Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A New Blog Home!

Hi friends!
We're making the switch to Wordpress - will you join us there? We'd love to keep in touch with you - I know I've said it before, but I'm going to do my best to update this thing on a more regular basis.
Come visit us at

Love you! Talk to you soon!

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's Been A Busy Summer...

Hi friends!
This summer has been flying by! John and I have been on a billion adventures (it feels that way at least) and are excited to have a couple of weeks of down time before we start gearing back up for the start of the school year.
Here are the highlights:
* I got to go on a trip to Granbury (it's not just for old folks, people!) with my sister and our girlfriends from college. We had a blast laying by the water, shopping, and eating a LOT.
* John, Em, and I went to Killeen for a long weekend with my parents. It's been a very long time since John got to come home, so it was fun to have him there the whole weekend. We ended our trip with a Rangers game. *Bonus* We got Nelson Cruz bobble heads. Be jealous.
* Mom came up to Tyler to play for a few days. We ate really good food, picked blueberries, and did some shopping. And it rained while she was here. Mom is good for our weather in Tyler.
* John and I went to Gainesville to get some quality time with Bootsie and Granddaddy. It was so fun! We spent our time playing cards and looking at really old pictures. Fun!
* John had to go to Crier Creek for work, so I went to Austin and played with Em and Lauren. We went to Barton Springs, went shopping, and ate a lot...are we sensing a theme?
* I met up with John and the IT gang and went to Addison over the 4th of July and watched some awesome fireworks! We went to a super fun bbq then had friends over for more grilling greatness.
* This weekend John, Em, and I went to New Braunfels this weekend. We slept in, floated the river, ate at the Grist Mill, and even visited Schlitterbahn (I faced my fear on that one).

Whew! It's been super busy but a huge blessing. We are thankful for the freedom to get away and play and spend time with friends and family. I'll try to put some pictures up soon (fingers crossed!). We hope you're having a blast this summer and can't wait to hear about your adventures!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Hobby!

I have a love/hate relationship with blogs. I love keeping up with friends and family, I love seeing pictures of fun happenings in the lives of people I love, and I love being inspired by the craftiness (as in arts and crafts, not cunning) and wittiness (is that a word?) of people around the country. I hate, however, reading the blogs of the ultra-talented, creative, trendy people who can turn trash into treasure and still look cute in the process. Don't get me wrong - I wholeheartedly wish I was one of them. And I don't intend to stop reading their blogs just because I am insanely jealous. More than anything those blogs remind me that the Lord gifts us all differently - I just sometimes wish He had given me the gift of creative expression as well. :)
With that in mind, I fell upon a new blog that falls under the above mentioned list-of-things-I-wish-I-was. I love it. It is fun and creative and attainable! Not only have I found the first project on a blog that I feel like I might actually be able to tackle (once a friend shows me how to use a sewing machine, that is), but it also offered the simplest tutorial I have ever seen for my new fancy-pants Canon Rebel (thank you, Ginger!). So what did I do this afternoon? I played with my camera!
I do not profess to be awesome at this; in fact, I keep reciting the things that I'm reading on this blog to myself as I try out new settings ("low light, high ISO...high light, high that right?"). But I am excited about the prospect of getting better at something I've always loved.
Here's some of what I did today. Please do not judge them. Remember I am neither ultra-talented, creative, or trendy. But I like to pretend that I could be if I tried REALLY hard. :)

Deen didn't even try to lick the camera this time! She's really growing up...

Little Deenie was the blissfully unaware test subject for trying out my camera settings. I ventured off of auto - a big step for me!

Our hammock. Beautiful, isn't it?

This one is a bonus - John and I went on a dessert picnic yesterday afternoon. It was delightful!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just a few pictures from our trip to The Happiest Place on Earth!

1.5 lb bag of assorted gummy treats. We were the envy of all of the kids in line with us. Snack WIN.


Do you know how hard it is to get a picture with the huge Epcot spaceship-ball-thing in the background? It's not as easy as it looks, people.

Classic! John didn't appreciate this as much as I did, but he sure was a good sport. :)

Wish you all could have been there! Group vacay next time?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Disneyworld is for Grownups!

Hi Friends! We've finally entered into spring after a weird and snow-filled winter (climate change is real, people). Today we celebrated the spring by planting flowers and other plants at our house. But last month we celebrated by GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!
That's right. John and I decided to spend our Spring Break at the happiest place on earth. My family has been to Disneyworld several times growing up, but John had never been. What better time in our lives to go to Disneyworld than now - post-childhood and pre-kids. :)

We had so much fun. John and I haven't gone on a vacation together since our honeymoon, and we relished the opportunity to play and laugh and act like little kids together. We ate lots of junk (1.5 lb bag of candy, anyone?), rode lots of rides (except Tower of Terror - John let me out of that one when I started to panic as we were loading the ride), laughed LOTS (it's a reaction to roller coasters for me), and just enjoyed being together.

Highlights of the trip:
1. The 1.5 lb. bag of candy (have I mentioned that already?) we bought on Day 2 and ate until Day 4. We were the envy of every little kid in line with us. Bored? Pull out the bag of candy...
2. The fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Magical.
3. Riding Space Mountain two times in a row. Thank you, Fast Pass. Thank you.
4. Riding Thunder Mountain Railroad in the middle of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Magical.
5. John says, "Beating Lori over and over again on the Toy Story ride." Thanks, babe.

There are too many fun memories to write here. It was a fun trip. We learned a lot about each other and had a blast while we did that. And believe it or not, we were so encouraged as we reflected on the truth that even the best things in this life are but a shadow of what is to come. Thank you, Jesus!

*Pictures are coming. Our computer is not cooperating with us right now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fun Happenings In Tyler!

Hey Friends!
Like the rest of Tyler we've been enjoying the snow this weekend. Our day began on Friday morning at about 5:30 a.m. My phone starting ringing and in my confusion I tossed John out of the bed to answer it. It was an automated message from TISD saying that school was canceled. I jumped to the window and threw back the curtains (this is sounding remarkably like "The Night Before Christmas," isn't it?). It was a winter wonderland! Who knew?!

John and I went back to sleep for a few hours and got another call from our dear friends Amy and Neil as we were getting up for the day. Their heat wasn't working in the their house, so they were coming over to crash with us. Bonus! We love houseguests!
I made some breakfast casserole that we enjoyed while we waited for Amy and Neil as well as Emily and Lauren, who were walking up from their house down the street (check out John waiting eagerly for Em and Lauren to arrive)! What a blessing to live near friends and family on a day like this.

We played in the snow for a little bit (Deen loved it!) and spent the rest of the day watching Season One of How I Met Your Mother.
It has been a long time since we had such a lazy day. It was even more fun getting to spend it with friends.
We hope your snow day was just as fun as ours! We'll write more later. Love you!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lessons From Eve

I've never ventured to write anything profound or of spiritual significance on this blog. The reasons are many, but I suppose the main one being that I do not in any way profess to be an authority on Scripture or posses great wisdom in theological issues. But John asked me to teach his Sunday School class this morning, and I was caught off guard at how the lesson seemed to hit a little too close to home.

John is taking his Sunday School class through The Gauntlet, a Bible study written by our friend Chris. In this study his class examines various men and women of the Bible, discusses their character vices or virtues, and looks for ways to apply the truths found to their lives. John is more comfortable teaching about the men of the Bible - he has been through this study himself. I've been through the girls' version of The Gauntlet, and from time to time John asks me to step in when teaching on some of the women (namely the ones with traits that can be harder for us as women to swallow - you know, submission, pride, etc.).

Today John asked me to teach on Eve. Eve is a tough study, mainly because there isn't a whole lot to read about her. On the way to church this morning I was thinking about how I would present Eve as prideful. But somehow I couldn't reconcile this in my heart. Was she proud? Maybe. Entitled? Maybe. But the more I thought about her, the more I realized that what I believe to be Eve's defining trait wasn't pride, but rather discontentment.

I've heard contentment defined as, "choosing to be satisfied regardless of circumstances." So it stands to reason that discontentment would be, "choosing to not be satisfied regardless of circumstances." Ouch.

I didn't expect to be challenged by Eve today. But my heart is still stinging a little bit from it. Eve was in the Garden of Eden, where the Lord walked in the cool of the day. If there was ever a person who had everything, it was her (and Adam too, for that matter). But alas, the serpent sowed the seed of discontent, and Eve took the bait. How ironic that the very thing that Eve thought would fulfill her actually (and immediately) led to death. One moment Adam and Eve were in paradise, the next, banished. Can you imagine the regret? It makes me shudder.

Here's where it hurts for me - how often do I convince myself that the one thing I lack is the one thing I need? God has blessed me beyond measure, the greatest blessing being Himself! How, then, do I convince myself that if I can have God + 1 more thing I will be happier? Since when did God become part of an equation of stuff in my life?
Paul speaks on contentment when he says,
"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Phil. 4:10-13
I would argue that Paul did not lead nearly the cushy life that I do, yet he was content because he knew Christ. Shame on me for choosing to not be satisfied, regardless of my circumstances. I am blessed with far more than I could ask or imagine simply in knowing Christ; the rest is just icing on the cake.

Help me, Lord, to live content in knowing you. Forgive me when I think I need more.