Thursday, April 4, 2013

we can't mac on cheese anymore

Guys, I realize its been a while since I've written, mostly because I haven't had anything worth reading I don't think. But today, boy do I have something for you.

First off, can I just say what a sexy bird Britany Spears is? I mean really, yall. I've been watching Fuse, and they have this show called "sexiest: britany spears". It shows all of her great videos. I can't guarantee I wasn't trying to practice her moves...but for some reason I didn't look the same. Maybe its because I need sexy background music. Also I guess I need to be talented at driving with my foot, and I can barely drive with my hands so I don't see how that would be possible. Anyway, that all goes back to my Cream of Wheat and Being Sexy post.  Basically, I'm just giving a shout out to Britany and bringing sexy back.

Secondly, and almost related to being sexy... I cook most nights for Shane and I, and for the most part they are all healthy recipes, however, we have a weakness for mac-and-cheese. Yes, I know, we all feel the same way here. Whether it be velveeta or kraft, no matter. So because a) I was too lazy to cook real sides and b) because mac-and-cheese is delicious, I would make it like twice a week. Here's the problem with that: Shane and I are getting up there in age, and our bodies don't burn everything off like they used to (especially me, because I am the older one of us. Some call me a cradle-robber...go ahead, he was foxy, I couldn't help it). So I realized that even though I workout like 5-6 days a week mostly, I wasn't really getting the results I wanted. So I had to make the tough decision to 86 the mac-and-cheese in our diet and replace it with healthier options like garlic bread. Just kidding, with sides like asparagus and veggies. Apparently your plate is supposed to be composed of 50% veggies. Whoa...let's get crazy here. Its harder than you think to come up with like 80 different veggies for one week of food. So I wouldn't say we are there, but we are progressing. So, there's something for you.

Here's a few pictures so you guys realize I actually have friends and do stuff:

Shane playing frisbee with the pups.

 Holly, myself and Kellie at Holly's birthday dinner

This was a drop night that happened to be around St. Patrick's day...we look awesome, I know.

And finally, I spend my days doing calligraphy things. If you like it and want me to make you something, I could maybe arrange something. Just e-mail me or whatever. 

Okay I can't let you guys know everything I do because then my post would be like soooo long, so, you're welcome. Have a great week! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

here's to you

This week has been a mostly fun week. We are in "transition" with Shane's schedule, which means he is gradually going into work later and coming home later. Maybe because its the first week, but I am so. over. it. I think this is part of being in the Air Force...some would call it having no control, I would call it the same thing. It's basically been a routine since Shane started his training, and I can't believe I'm just now realizing it. But here's how the cycle goes: a) Shane's schedule changes b) I can't plan anything c) frustration d) over it. e) used to it....then right as I get used to it, the cycle starts again. I mean, obviously its good and blah blah because it makes me a better person, go with the flow etc. etc. 

The main reason I'm writing today is because I thought you all should see Shane before his remote solo flight (I think that's what it's called). (That's a helicopter he's leaning on for those of you who aren't accustomed to such machinery.)

He's so handsome. I'm so proud. 

Tomorrow is drop night! THREE wives from our little helicopter community will find out what the next chapter holds for naturally we're all excited. There's only 1 more class before Shane finds out what he gets! Time is going by so quickly...

I promise I'll have something super interesting to post on next time. But for now, life is just floating on and we are having the time of our lives, despite the control that I never have on anything....ever. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nothing Feels Like Free

Hey all, 
It's been a long time, so sorry about that! Things have been really busy here since going to Nashville in January. 

Shane's parents got to come and visit this past weekend, and that was a blast. We are so thankful for our families and the blessing and good company they possess. Can't wait to see everyone in Vegas in April! 

Shane only has two classes before him before its HIS turn to GET HIS WINGS! It's gone so quickly here in Alabama, and we are so grateful for where we are. I know it was like a year ago, but my last post touched on how we were believing for a new season in our lives...its here! Come on! Seriously, thank you guys for all of the prayers. Apparently its bad for you or something to just quit "cold turkey" on medication, so I am going to the doctor sometime soon to check out how to get off of it safely. 

I can't tell you how relieved I am. Even though I'm still poppin the pills, I am free, and back to being myself again. I can't tell you how long its been since I've felt this way...and its because the Lord is awesome. (cue Our God is an awesome God, haha). 

On top of all of this freedom I'm beginning to walk in, the Lord has been blessing the socks of of Shane and I. No kidding. Nashville was kind of like a milestone or something (maybe not that serious), but a turning point for sure. Shane and I have received new direction for our lives, and for my purpose specifically, as we prepare for him to be away on deployment. That may be a long way off still (a year or so), but my heart is being prepared for his absence now...and I'm thankful for that. I am working for our financial freedom, but mostly for all of the dreams that God has planted in my soul. Anyone who really knows me, knows that I have a deep desire to see the nations glorify the Lord. My heart has always been to go. Somewhere along the way, I allowed life to get in the way of my dreams, instead of life working toward my dreams..and here we are at the turning point, where I'm headed back to where my soul longs to be--to see "all the nations come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed..." (Rev. 15:4). I felt that the Lord was telling me this was going to be a year of great change, and we are excited to embrace that change; though already it has been different than I thought originally. I think there will be tough moments ahead, but SO worth it because at the end we get more of Jesus. We will be doing what others wouldn't so we can be living how others couldn't. WOOOOOO! It's gonna be a wild ride! 

I'm reading some great books, and since a lot of you won't think twice to actually go and buy the books, I'll give you a few quotes that have impacted me to make you want to get them :)

"The human mind can be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild. But whether cultivated or neglected, it must and will bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall, accumulate and will reproduce their own kind. Just as the gardener cultivates the plot, keeping it free of weeds and cultivating the flowers and fruits which are required, so we may tend the garden of our mind, weeding out all the wrong useless, and impure thoughts and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruit of right, useful and pure thoughts."  

-James Allen 
As A Man Thinketh 

"Spoken words program your spirit (heart) either to success or defeat. Words are containers. They carry faith, of fear, and they produce after their kind..."

-Charles Capps
God's Creative Power

Sunday, January 6, 2013

it's a new season

This will be one of those serious-y posts and probably long too, so if you're not into that, I'd skip this one. At first I wasn't going to talk about it, but that was just my being scared of what people would think. ......and then I realized it doesn't matter.

I don't usually make resolutions, mainly because I never stick to them. Like not even for a day. Come to think of it, I can't really think of one resolution that I ever followed through with. Maybe I'd forget, or probably because I thought it was going to be too tough. I used to be kind of a nancy when it came to any sort of commitment...I'm trying to be better now (thanks to Jesus mainly, and marriage). To understand this year, you'll have to understand last year. So it might be kind of a long story, you see.

Last November, Shane and I got married. Our dating relationship and engagement were a combined 6 months. So needless to say it was quick. And for a girl that was pretty afraid of the sacred M-word, there was barely a second to catch my breath. Before I knew it we were married, leaving my family, friends, everything I ever knew, and moving to Del Rio...all in one weekend. It was a lot. And it got worse once we got there. Del Rio was like hell on earth in my opinion. The city was 99% spanish speaking--including the churches and grocery stores. With a few english speakers thrown in there randomly. Shane was working 12 hour days, and I missed the initial boat on the spouse get togethers, so after that I was too scared and honestly too sad to get out and know people. ...And the enemy had me right where he wanted isolation.  As you can guess, it just got worse from there. I was like crying everyday and all that crap. Not like me. So I decided to go to the doctor on base and he told me that a lot of military wives go through depression. Despite my hesitation, I got on the 'ol medication. To spare you the details and making this blog post a book, we'll just say it was the toughest year of my life. Shane thought I hated him...and understandably so. I was not thinking outside of myself and my situation. Selfish. But too in my head to get out on my own. That's when you realize you need God, you know? C.S. Lewis writes in The Screwtape Letters, and it is a testimony to where I was. It's a book from the enemy's perspective, and is a series of letters from a devil named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, about how to woo a Christian away from God (Make sure to keep that in mind as you are reading the quotes, especially if you’re wondering why God is referred to as “The Enemy.”) 
"...The dryness and dullness through which your patient is now going are not, as you fondly suppose, your workmanship; they are merely a natural phenomenon which will do us no good unless you make a good use of it...You must have often wondered why the Enemy (God) does not make more use of His power to be sensibly present to human souls in any degree He chooses and at any moment. But you now see that the Irresistible and the Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of His scheme forbids Him to use. Merely to override a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo. For His ignoble idea is to eat the cake and have it; the creatures are to be one with Him, but yet themselves; merely to cancel them, or assimilate them, will not serve. He is prepared to do a little overriding at the beginning. He will set them off with communications of His presence which, though faint, seem great to them, with emotional sweetness, and easy conquest over temptation. Sooner or later He withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs-- to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best. We can drag our patients along by continual tempting, because we design them only for the table, and the more their will is interfered with the better. He cannot 'tempt' to virtual as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

I did not stand on my own legs...and because I could not stand I needed to fall on my face. 

At the tail end of Del Rio I found myself on my face, begging for freedom and change in our marriage, and in my life. When we got news that Shane got helicopters, it was an act of the Lord's kindess indeed. We had both been praying for freedom and some sort of community, and I felt that leaving Del Rio was our answer. When we got here we were really intentional about finding community...I mean good, Jesus loving community to be around. And not to mention involving myself with the helo wives. It's such a small community so I knew we'd be seeing these people over and over again for the next ten years. Which excited know people. To have girlfriends. Husbands are such a gift, but don't forget about your girlfriends. They are such. a. blessing. Sometimes you just need some girl time...I mean, they have periods. We have a level of understanding of one another that guys don't get. (Am I allowed to say periods on here?) Since we've been here, things have gotten substantially better. I'm still on the depression medication, but I'm not crying every day. And I laugh and enjoy most days. (What a terrible sounding sentence. It's not as bad as it sounds now). I am happy, but I want to be joyful. Here is the point to my entire post: (well there's two)

1. I'm writing all of this not so you will feel sorry for me, or be sad for me, or any of that. Mainly because we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. So I'm hoping Jesus uses this post to speak to someone's heart.

2. This morning I was praying for more freedom for our marriage and I felt like the Lord gave me this scripture, and a meaning for it specifically in my life. It's Ezekiel 36:26-36.
26 "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.[a] 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. 30 I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations... 
33 “Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. 34 And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. 35 And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’36 Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places andreplanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it."

This might be a bunch of jibberish to you, but to me, to my heart, its a promise from the sweet Father who cares. I am believing, and praying that this is the end of my depression. Relying on medication for gladness. But believing that Holy Spirit is going to give me in abundance-joy and gladness...this land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden..." Yes, Lord. 

So my new year's resolution is ushering in a new season...what an exciting year ahead! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

One for the road

Hey all,
So I feel really on top of it lately with my blog because I actually made time to write one last post before leaving for Dallas for the holidays.

I have a crafty thing I did! I didn't have steps because it wasn't that difficult. You're smart, if you wanna do it you can totally figure this one out on your own.

Okay so this first one was created because Shane's friends were coming in from Florida and the wall behind my tv in the living room was so ugly. The problem comes because we were fortunate enough to receive this big-A tv from my sister Amber and her husband Stephen. Because it's so big it makes for an awkward wall space behind the tv. I know, I know, cry about it.

Anyway, so I tried a few things I found on Pinterest and they totally didn't work because of various reasons/just looking worse than a blank wall. So here's what I came up with and I'm in love with it (although I need to add something organic-y to the walls beside it to make it not so edgy).

The best part of this project? It was only like $20 to cover basically the entire awkward wall. We just went to this local lumberyard (Builders Cash and Carry for those of you who just happen to be in Daleville in need of some lumber) and asked the owner if he had any pallets we could "take off of his hands." and he totally did! He was more than happy to give us as many as we wanted and pointed us to the back where they were. I was kind of expecting this rejected pile of pallets that no one wanted- looking really homely and everything. But NO! They were seriously the most perfect pallets you would need for any sort of project. And there were like a hundred (exaggerating for story sake). Anyway, so we (mostly Shane) grabbed 5 and brought them home. Then we (mostly Shane) hung the pallets, and I went to Hobby Lobby and bought different kind of craft letters that so happened to be 40% off. $20! So I came home and spray painted them. 
The worst part of the project was the fact that I had like 3 hours to accomplish the entire project from getting the pallets to painting the letters and attaching them to the pallets. To answer your question; yes, I am a little bit of a procrastinator. 
Anyway, so of course Shane's friends were like 20 minutes away (and could care less about the home decor) and the letters were sopping wet, but I hung them anyway...because I care about home decor. 
Anyway, we are both happy with it! 

The second thing that was last minute (of course) was Christmas cards. We weren't planning on doing them this year because it cost money that we didn't have. However, the end of last week I started getting all of these Christmas cards in the mail. Some of them were from people we never talk to so I felt really awkward because what are you supposed to do when you get one? Like write them a thank you card? Or is sending a card of your own thanks enough? If we didn't do either would they stop sending us cards from now on because we were rude? Seriously...all of these thoughts go into your head when you're new at this gig. We are only a year into this gig (marriage). I feel like no one really expects you to send cards when you're single, you know? Like its cute if you do, but if you send cards to your single friends chances are they don't think about all of these questions in return (I definitely didn't give sending a christmas card/thank you note a second thought when I was single). So I decided I was too lazy to individually write thank you cards...and thought maybe it would be sort of awkward: Dear so-and-so: thanks for the christmas card. 
                                                Merry Christmas!
                                                Shane and Tyler.
Yikes. So I thought making cards wouldn't be so weird. But I was determined to make them and send them out before Christmas cheaply. Boy was I wrong! I looked at all of my favorite sites for making/sending cards and all of them were like a million dollars to get them to my house overnight. What the heck? Hasn't anyone heard of like Christmas being the season of giving or something? Anyway, so I had to think more locally. And its Alabama, so basically I was screwed. But then as a last resort I was looking at Wal-Mart and their "create a card" section actually didn't look too terrible. And they were able to make them in an hour ready for pick up! That should've been an indication to walk away...but I wanted to give them the benefit of a doubt (it is the Christmas season after all) and try it out. Four hours and forty bones later, they were ordered. So of course I was like so excited to pick them up. We went and after like 10 minutes of the lady re-typing my last name to find my order, the envelope was in my hand and I had to anticipate no longer! .......I open up the envelope and look at them. No words can describe what a let down they were. I mean come on, its Wal-Mart so I shouldn't have expected much in the first place, but I did. My b, my b. I like immediately look and Shane and he can tell I'm super bummed. Can I just paint a picture for you real quick? 
They were seriously as thin as a piece of computer paper. And they were supposed to be like legit folded cards. The bleed was terrible and there was this ugly white border around our picture that the INTERNET DID NOT SHOW. So of course Shane took over at this point and talked to the proper people to get our money back. Thank God for my husband. 
Anyway, so we come home and I literally had two options: dip into our savings for Christmas cards (yeah right), or hand make them. So I hand made them. I just happened to have card stock and envelopes at home so I made them super simple. James and Daniel (Shane's friends that were in town) bought us a helicopter stamp so I incorporated those on the envelope. Then I just went to office max and print out copies of the pictures I wanted to use. Why Office Max you ask? I needed our pictures to be 3x5 and they are like the only place that made them. (Why would John Mayer make a song about 3x5 if 4x6 is actually the most popular size?) I got them printed and addressed and out yesterday so hopefully everyone will get them before Christmas....except for maybe Carlos and Amanda in Alaska because that's like on another planet. 
I was going to post a picture of them but I won't because it might ruin the surprise for those of you who are so eager to read my blog................

Okay, okay, I'll post them after Christmas. 

Have a Merry Christmas, and don't forget to love on your families and remember what its all about, okay? Because I know that's easy to do. 

gossip girl (who is actually not Dan, it was me all along). 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

its beginning to look a lot like Global Warming...

My post really has nothing to do with global warming, but seriously--where is the cold weather? Christmas in July anyone?

It's been so long since I've written I actually forgot my password...yikes. I need to schedule a block of time in my week for "blog writing time"...but I'm just so gosh darn busy with...........

being a wife? 

Update on my etsy: I deleted it. I know, that lasted a whole two seconds. But that just aint me. So onwards and upwards. 

Other than that, things are rolling smoothly here in Alabama. Shane is doing great flying helos, and I'm so proud of him. What a man. He's flying the aircraft and everything...I can't tell you what stage he's at, but he's supposed to have his solo soon! I don't think I get to go out there to take pictures, but maybe I can pay the instructors in cookies or something to let me out there. The helo wives had a cookie swap today, and I'll put the recipe up here because it was fun and very good. The recipe that I followed was great, but I changed a few things so I'll let you know. The cookie swap/wine wednesday was so much fun. I had almost forgotten what it was like to have girlfriends to just sit and talk for hours about things together. Today, I'm thankful for wine (Wednesday). 

Shane and I have found a church! (its been a while) Its a great place and we are going through membership classes now and we are so excited about this, because as some of you know good churches are hard to come by sometimes. 
I had been trying to read a lot to fill my spare time since I don't have a job right now, so I read A Thousand Gifts. It was good for the first like 100 or so pages, but after that it was too cheesy for me. I'm not dogging the book because its filled with truth and lots of insight on being thankful- but I am just not a sentimental reader for more than like 50 pages, so 100 was pushing it...and the whole book? Well...I couldn't finish the last 40 or so pages. But if you're one of those girls that likes movies like The Notebook or My Sisters Keeper (haha Kel had to throw that movie in there) then you'll probably like the book all the way through. Just my guess. 

My birthday is in a week or so, but I'm more excited about going to Dallas than the 'ol turning of the page. 26 is serious y'all. I should probably start crocheting or buying de-wrinkle creme, but Shane says he will like my wrinkles, so I'm going to hold off on the beauty products. Maybe not hold off on crocheting. I did think about going to Boot Camp in January to "work on my fitness" as Fergie would say, but the funds just aren't there for now. So workout on my own it is until hopefully the spring class. Luckily I have a husband with a tight bod so it keeps me I right ladiez? No one wants to be the fat girl next to the hot I'm doing my part. 

Speaking of monumental events, I'm pretty sure I skipped our anniversary on here. I know all of you really care so I'll just tell you that it was November 19. What did we do you ask? ...nothing. Except I did get a tattoo:

It looks like Shane must've twisted my pinky before this picture or something..I don't know why else it looks so retarded. Obviously, the "S" stands for single. Totally kidding, chill out. 

I also have decided to "take control of our finances before they take control of me" I read Dave Ramsey's book. Don't let the price tag fool you...its a really good book for people that don't know much about finances. Not pointing any fingers, but me. It's been really takes a few months to get everything situated but I think it's been really helpful already! 

Enough of the talking, let's get on to the baking of Christmas goodies! I'm telling you, if you like those girl scout thin mints, this is your heaven. It is identical to the thin mints you buy from the girl scouts, and the best part is: the recipe is fairly easy! It's one of the first recipes I tried after Shane and I got married and I had zero experience in cooking. (Ask Kelly and Lauren...we did not cook in college). So my second time around I made some changes, and here they are: 

Okay here's the original recipe with my changes in red

Home made Thin Mints!!!

For the cookies:
  • 8 ounces of butter
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (I'm linking pictures of the ingredients that aren't your everyday my oh so professional opinion)
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11/2 cups of all purpose flour
For the coating: 
  • 12 oz package of white chocolate chips
  • 11/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (make sure you get peppermint, not spearmint)
  • Package of candy canes. I think there were 12 in mine and I only used 4. 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream butter  (if straight from the fridge I would put it on 10-15 seconds in the microwave to soften) until light and fluffy, then add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Stir in the salt, vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter resembles a thick frosting. Add the flour and mix just until the flour is combined, making sure to not over mix (it should look kinda like chocolate puppy chow or whatever that stuff is).
  • Form dough into a ball. Knead a few times to bring together (I had to do this for a while..I guess until my body oil absorbed so it would "bring together"), then flatten into a disk between half an inch and one inch thick, cover in plastic wrap then place in freezer for 15 or so minutes. If your body temperature runs high (some would call it "sweating", I would keep it in a little longer because you'll handle it a lot and the warmer it is the more they deform....I had to keep it in for 25 minutes if that tells you anything.
  • Remove dough from the freezer and roll it out really thin on a floured surface, about 1/8-inch. I don't have a roller so I used one of Shane's metal water bottles. Cut cookies using 1 1/2-inch cutter (I used a skinny wine glass (since I don't have "cutters" and they were a nice size). 
  • Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack. I let them sit overnight because Shane goes to bed at like 7:30 pm....I do too. I love to sleep. No shame. While the cookies bake (or the next day), make the peppermint coating. Place the white chocolate in a glass bowl or similar container and microwave in short 10-15 second bursts. Do this because in the microwave the white chocolate burns really easily. So 10 seconds, take out, stir. Put back in for 10-15 seconds until melted smoothly. Stir in the peppermint extract. Feel free to add more peppermint as you see fit. (Don't add any more, the amount is perfect)
  • Gently drop the cookies, one at a time, into the coating. Turn to coat entirely, then lift the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and bang the fork on the side of the pan until the extra coating drips off. Place on a parchment or plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. I had to reheat my chocolate a few times. Depending on how much was left in the bowl, I would just decrease the amount of time. Its amazing what 5 seconds in the microwave will do. Also, I had to "bang the fork on the side" of the bowl quite a few times to keep the chocolate from running out before I had all my cookies covered. 
  • For the candy canes, I unwrapped 4 of them and stuck them between parchment paper and took a hammer to them until I was satisfied with the size of the pieces. I then put them in a small bowl and used a spoon to sprinkle candy cane pieces on the dipped cookies. I would say to dip 3 or 4 cookies in the melted chocolate, then sprinkle, so the chocolate doesn't harden before the peppermints get a chance to cling to the chocolate. 
  • Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer to set. 
Ta da!! Home made thin mints! 

If you have any questions let me know! 
Happy almost my birthday

Monday, November 12, 2012

I got an etsy

Okay, I caved. I got an etsy. I don't know exactly how it works, but basically- if you need invitations, seasonal cards, pretty prints...let me know here or there and we'll work something out!