My Twentysomething Life

I Do, Make, Read, Watch, Eat…

everyone loves a good love story

Since February is only two hours away, I wanted to kick off your February with a love story.

Once upon a time, there were two couples who were best friends in college.  One of these couples found out that they would soon be parents.  The other couple came to visit and celebrate with them.  At this time, the other woman felt sick.  They did not realize it at the time, but this was the beginning of a love story.  In February a little girl was born, and in July a little boy.

The families did not live close to each other, but they got together every few years.

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The little boy and girl grew up knowing each other and each considered the other one as a friend.

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It got harder and harder for the families to get together, and each family continued to grow.  They would get together whenever they could, even if it were long times in between.

While the boy and girl were looking at colleges, they were both interested in the school where their families had gone.  The two families went to visit the school together.  This meeting rekindled the friendship between the boy and girl and they began to talk more frequently.

The boy followed in the footsteps of his parents, but the girl chose another school, eight hours away from the boy.  They continued talking, and at some point they realized, “hey, I really like this person.”  They began talking more and more and more.  And on April 10, 2009 they had their first official date.  He came to her home.  They want out for pizza and ice cream, watched her favorite movie at the time, and went for a walk.  It had been such a great date and she didn’t want him to leave.

Our First Date :)

Our First Date 🙂

They both went back to school and during the summer saw each other quite often.  During the summer the girl decided to transfer to the school where the boy was attending.  And she was much happier there.  They continued to date for another year and a half, enjoying every minute of it.

And then on August 1, 2010, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.  She was very excited and she said yes.  The next year flew by and they planned the wedding.  And on August 6th, 2011, they said I do.  Next week they will have been married for one and a half years and it has flown by.

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Many of you will know this, but some of you may not (and the pictures have probably given it away), this love story is my favorite, because it’s my own.  It’s also my favorite story to tell.

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Thursday-Morning Tell-About!

Good Morning! And welcome to the “Thursday-Morning Tell-About,” the part of this blog where I tell you about my week.  Yes, I know the week is not over yet, but it’s been a week since last Thursday and I’m starting a tradition here.

My Movie Queue:  Goodfellas, The Warrior, Mrs. Miniver, Patton
Pages left to read in my current book:  100
I have made: Homemade Chai Tea
I have worked on:  That stupid rug I will never finish
Food made:  Apple Pork Chops, quesadillas, grilled cheese, pizza, salad, cereal
Goals checked off:  none I haven’t started yet
Games played:  Adam and I have played lots of hand and foot
Favorite Pinterest pin: 122371314845526229_53aApcUl_c
Total Blog views since last Thursday: 103
Number of snow days: 1
Movies Watched: 4:  The Sound of Music, All the King’s Men, Anastasia, Rendition, Love Actually
Books read:  2: Memoirs of a Geisha and Nobody’s Princess
This week I love:  Cheesy Bacon Grits
This week I hate: running errands
Days until my birthday: 25

Thank you all for reading and for making this blog so much fun to write!
I hope you enjoyed the first of many Thursday-Morning Tell-Abouts

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Don’t Forget Discipline

dis·ci·pline

[dis-uh-plin] Show IPA noun, verb, dis·ci·plined, dis·ci·plin·ing.
noun

1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.

How many of us try to practice discipline?  Now, I am not talking about disciplining your children, so let’s just disregard the third definition for what I am going to say today.

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.

How many of us actually pay attention that that last fruit and say, “I’m going to work on being self-controlled or disciplined today.”  Not many of us probably.  And until this month, I had not either.

We have been talking about spiritual disciplines at church: reading the Bible, prayer, fasting, and so on.  When you practice spiritual disciplines you are training your spiritual behavior, you are working to make it stronger.  Because of these sermons, I have decided to discipline myself in reading my Bible and praying by doing this every day.

Adam and I are taking the Financial Peace University class because we need more discipline with our money.

Showing discipline in many areas or your life shows that you have self-control and that you are training yourself to be a certain way.  Because of all this talk of discipline I have decided to try and discipline myself in other areas of my life.  I am already working on spiritual and financial discipline, and I have added my own goals of showing discipline in my eating habits, in my exercising, writing every day, and in cleaning the house.  I want to train myself to be a certain way.   For me, it is important to learn these disciplines now so they will become habits for the rest of my life.

I have been thinking a lot about discipline and why I think it is important and these two verses really helped me:

Hebrews 12:11  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Proverbs 13:4  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, which the soul of the diligent is richly supported.

So, I encourage you to think about discipline in a way you perhaps haven’t before.  I have found it very freeing and I am excited to see what these next few months of discipline will bring.

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Presentation

The time has come for me to present to you my 23 Goals for my 23rd Year.  I am really excited about these goals.  I have spent quite a few hours pondering this goals and making them better.  I really tried to make my goals actual things that I could attain.  There are only two “fluffy” “immeasurable” goals, which are: to be more content and be a good wife.  All the other goals I can actually see if I have met them or not.

I hope you will keep me accountable with these goals and maybe I’ll inspire you to make your own.  I also got so excited once I finished writing my goals that I didn’t want to wait until February 25th to start working on them, so I’m going to start February 1st, just to get a head start.

My goals are split up into separate categories: daily, weekly, monthly, and one time goals.  I figured that this would help make them more manageable and easier to keep track of.

So, here are my 23 Goals and a little bit about why I picked each one:

DAILY
1. Be content with where I am in life, don’t wish my life away, flourish where I am
I wrote this goal because of the blog post I wrote yesterday about a really good message I heard that really moved me.  I realized that I have been viewing this stage in my life as an “inbetweeen” transition stage and so I wasn’t investing here.  Click here to read more about flourishing.
2. Be a good, supportive, encouraging, loving wife to Adam
Even though I do not mean to, sometimes I take Adam for granted and I know that.  So this year I am going to try and not do that.  And I also want to be more supportive and encouraging of his work in seminary.  Even when I don’t get to see him because he has a bunch of homework.
3. Do one thing to clean the house
Too often, I come home from work and I make dinner and then I just relax the rest of the night, which means that by the end of the week our house is in shambles.  This year I want to try and be better about doing at least one thing a day to make cleaning the house more manageable and help it to look better more often.
4. Keep a food and fitness diary to help me remember to be more healthy
I don’t know how many times last year I said I was going to “be more healthy” well now I am going to keep track of everything I am doing and hopefully that will make me more mindful.  Here is an example of my food and fitness diary:
2WEEKLY
5. Call my mother
My mother and I have never been “best of friends” but more and more I have come to rely on her advice and her support.  Something about growing older I guess.  I want to be more intentional about calling her just to talk and to make our relationship even stronger.

MONTHLY
36. Write a thank you note to someone I am grateful for
I am thankful for a lot of people in my life, but I fall short in expressing this to them.  I want to be more intentional in thanking the people in my life that mean a lot to me.
7. Have intentional date nights with Adam.  Start with at least once a month1
This goes back to the being intentional with my relationship with Adam.  I want to intentionally spend time with him, doing something together, once a month.  This will be a time to relax and connect with each other because our lives can get so busy.
8. Find a craft or something creative to do
I thrive on being able to be creative.  I don’t want to lose time with myself because of how busy I get.  So this goal is two-fold.  One, I get to express myself through crafting and two, I get to enjoy some time by myself, relaxing.
9. Have someone over for dinner
Adam and I are always saying to each other how we would like to get to know a couple better, or spend more time with our friends, but then we never do it.  So this goal is to help both of us set time aside and focus on building relationships with people.
10. Do something with my sister (her coming over to do laundry doesn’t count)
My sister and I have not always had a good relationship.  You might say that we strongly disliked each other for most of our lives growing up.  But now that she is in college, we have become much better friends and I want to cultivate that relationship, not just when she needs to use our washer and dryer.

ONCE
11. Finish Financial Peace University with Adam and save some moneyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Adam and I are getting ready to start our third week of FPU tomorrow, and we are trying to really be committed to the principles we are learning and really do some savings.  We need discipline, quite frankly.  We need to learn how to save better so we can be ready when emergencies come up.  I am excited for the future peace to come in our lives.
12. Take a vacation–or have a weekend getaway trip somewhere we have never been
I just want to be able once this year to go on a getaway and relax with my husband.  I want us to be able to do something fun that we both enjoy and get some time away from everything going on.  So hopefully we can make this happen.
13. Finish my Best Picture movie list
I have been working towards this goal for almost two years now, and gosh darn it, this year I’m going to finish it.  As of right now, I only have 14 more movies to watch and two on my shelf at home waiting to be viewed.  To keep track of my list visist: Best Picture Movie List.
14. Finish reading Anna Karenina
I don’t know how it happend, but I got it in my head that I would really like to read this book.  Luckily, it was free on my Kindle.  So I have been reading it for a few months now, and it is good, but it’s just so stinkin long!  It will probably take me the whole year to finish it.
15. Plant flowers in the flower beds outside my apartment
I love flowers.  And I have always wanted to garden but have never had a place to do it.  Our apartment at Emmanuel has flower beds in the front and back and I would really like to plant flowers in them this year.  And I also think the process of weeding them, which is inevitable, will be rather relaxing.
16. Read through the whole Bible again
My freshman year of college I read through the whole Bible, and it was an amazing experience for me.  I have not been able to do this since then, so I wanted to do it again.  The last few years I have not been devoted to reading my Bible every day, and I really want to get back to that.  To keep track of my reading click here.
517. Play Eclipse with Adam
Eclipse is Adam’s new favorite game, probably in the whole world, but it intimidates me because it is intense.  And also because they tell you up front that it will take 30 minutes per person playing to play this game.  That is what I call a significant time committment.  So my goal is to play this game once this year so I know what all the fuss is about.
18. Finish watching Prison Break6
 
I started watching Prison Break sometime in December and I absolutely love it!  I haven’t even finished Season 1 yet, but in the next year my goal is to finish the whole series.
19.  Learn how to knit
I learned how to crochet back in my freshman year of college.  And this year I wanted to learn something new, and since I have never attempted to knit in my entire life, I thought it would be a fun thing to learn.
20.  Go to a sporting event or a concert (where you have to buy tickets)
It has been forever since I have gone to a concert that wasn’t a Milligan College concert, and Adam and I have not been to a sporting event that wasn’t at Milligan in a long time either.  So I thought it would be fun for us to seek out one of these this year, or maybe even both!
21. Take a cooking class7
I have discovered that I really love to cook.  I want to get better at it.  So, this year I will have my eyes peeled for classes in the area so I can get better at cooking.
22.  Go one weekend (one with good weather) without watching TV, movies, or tygetting on the computer–a weekend “unplugged”
I want to do this to see if I can do this.  It seems that on the weekend I plop down on the couch and stay there for a majority of the days of my weekend.  That’s just sad.  Weekends should be for doing things I can’t do during the week or that I don’t have time to do during the week.
23.  Read a biography of someone that I am not a fan of so I can learn more about them
I was trying to think of one more goal and this one popped into my head.  I don’t have a person in mind just yet, but we will see who pops up this year.

Here’s to a year of checking off goals!
To keep track of my progress throughout the year, click on the 23 for 23 page on the side bar or click here.

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Flourish

1I recently was at a bible study where I heard a wonderful message from the following text:

Jeremiah 29:4-7

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:  “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.  Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give you daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters.  Increase in number there; do not decrease.  Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Ever since Adam has been in seminary, I have seen us in a transition period.  It can sometimes seem that this is a means to an end.  Even though Adam and I have only been in this stage of our lives for less than a year, I have viewed this as a stepping stone to the future.  I have been saying “I wish…” or “I can’t wait until…”  This verse is an important reminder to be present HERE in this stage of our life.

I need to invest in my life and the community I am in NOW.  I need to be present here and now and not only think of the future after Emmanuel.  And honestly, we’ll probably be here another three or so years just so Adam can finish his degree.  And wishing my way through those years would be no way to live.

God is telling the people not to be stagnant.  Prosper.  Grow.  Exile is only for a time:  don’t become out of practice.  I think it is important to remember that I need to be an active part of this community here.  I need to do my part to see this community prosper in Christ.

This was just an important reminder to engage in your life and community wherever you may be.  Even if you feel like you are in exile or that this is just temporary, flourish and grow where you are.  Be a part of your community, be hospitable.  Don’t just sit around and wait, ACT.

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Perilous Potlucks

For a person with food allergies, potlucks are death defying stunts.  And I had two potlucks in the past four days.  This weekend someone asked me, “How do you know what to eat at potlucks?”  Do you want the scary answer?  I guess.  I usually choose things that there is almost no way that you could sneak a nut into.  So at my first potluck I had macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and barbecued pork.  It would be awfully hard to mess those things up with nuts.  At the second one I had green beans, creamed corn, and chicken pot pie (no crust just filling).  Needless to say I don’t usually eat much at potlucks and here is one important rule I have for myself: Absolutely no desserts.  People can hide nuts in desserts better than anything I have ever seen.

Because of this, I always take the same thing to potlucks: dessert.  I do this so there is one sweet thing on the table that I absolutely know is safe.  This week I took these two potlucks as an opportunity to try something new (two Pinterest recipes I had been wanting to try).

My first new dessert was Strawberry Brownies.  This is really easy.  It’s a box of strawberry cake mix, 2 eggs and 1/3 cup of oil.  You mix this all together and then put it in a 9×13 pan.  Then it cooks at 350 for 14 minutes.  For the topping, you do a glaze, which is 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 T of water or milk.  These brownies looked suspicious in the end, but they were pretty good.  You could easily do this with any kind of cake mix.  Hmm….funfetti brownies….

My second new dessert I was really excited about:  Jello Frosting.  I made some vanilla cupcakes the night before because this recipe is only good for about a day.  You can pick any flavor jello and it’s not just for color, it’s for the taste.  I chose raspberry for my first attempt (but watermelon would be awesome).  You mix a 3oz box of jello mix, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 egg white, and ½ c of boiling water.  Then you mix it on high with a whisk attachment in a glass bowl (the recipe said this was important).  You mix on high for 5 minutes and these soft, beautiful peaks are supposed to form.

Problem 1:  whipping something super watery on high is a problem.  A problem which means there are bright red dots all of my kitchen and myself.  Note to self:  Watch for splatter.

Problem 2:  soft, beautiful peaks never formed.  I got a runny, soupy jello mess.

But, this mess tasted good.  I put the frosting on the cupcakes, and then it ran down the sides, but this frosting was pretty delicious.  The kids at the potluck loved them.  Here are some pictures of the runny goodness for you to enjoy.

IMG_1483 IMG_1484

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Memoirs of a Geisha

For the past week I have been reading “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden.  Four years ago I saw the movie and thought it was beautiful and I recently learned that it is also a book.  I finished the book today and I very much enjoyed it.

The story follows the life of a geisha, Sayuri.  It takes her through the ups and downs of her life as well as the depression and war.  The book was beautifully written and I felt like I could really picture everything that happened.

I highly recommend this book of historical fiction, yet fairy tale.  I found myself reading late into the night.  I could not put this book down.  Golden tells a wonderful story.

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Academy Award for Best Picture

One of my goals for the past two years has been to watch all of the Best Picture winning movies.  I watched another one today, which leaves me only 14 more (or the current 84) to watch.  And next month one more great movie will join the list.

To see what I have watched and what I have let, visit my Best Picture List.  The movie I watched today won in 1949.  It is called “All the King’s Men.”  This movie was about political corruption.  This film, like many other best picture movies, ended in death.

Here are some other funy facts about the Best Picture winners over the past 84 years:

-with the current nominations, 503 films have been nominated for Best Picture
-Of the 84 films to win, 62 of them also won for Best Director
-to date, only 9 foreign films have been nominated and three semi-foregin films have won (Godfather Part 2, The Last Emperor, and Slumdog Millionaire)
-no animated film has ever won
-no science fiction film has ever won
-eight comedies have won
-one horror film has won
-The Artist was the first silent film to win since the first Best Picture winner, Wings

This years Oscar nominees for Best Picture are:
Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Which one has your vote?  Which one do you think will win?

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I Eat–Pork Chops with Apples and Creamy Bacon Grits

Last night we tried this new recipe: Pork Chops with Apples and Creamy Bacon Grits and it was delicious!!
You use 6 pork chops, so it feeds more than just 2 people, so we had some friends over to share it with.
I was going to take lots of delicious pictures for you but I forgot because we were playing games while I was cooking.
From start to finish, making both dishes, this took just under two hours to make.
In The Pioneer Woman’s recipe she calls for stone ground grits.  Well, I had no idea where to get these, definitely not at Food City, so I just got a regular bag of grits and they worked just fine for us.

I would highly recommend this dish!  The grits are cheesy, bacony and delicious.  The pork chops are so yummy with the apples and the glaze.  Mmm.  I think I’ll even have some leftover bacon cheese grits for breakfast!

Also, if you don’t know The Pioneer Woman, you need to!  Most of my favorite recipes come from her.  And while she is cooking for a family of 6 and me for 2, we just have lots of leftovers of her amazing recipes, so we don’t complain very often.  And if you make this recipe and need someone to help you eat it Adam and I will happily volunteer.

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I Watch–Pixar (Quiz Time!)

I could watch Pixar movies over and over.  I love them.  They are always so well made and funny, and who doesn’t love a good cartoon?  This morning on the radio they were seeing if you could name the Pixar movie that the sound bite came from and I got them all right.  So, what about you?  Think you know Pixar?  Take my quiz and find out.

http://www.quizyourfriends.com/take-quiz.php?id=1301241001173870&a=1&

Leave a comment and let me know your score and your favorite Pixar film!  And don’t forget to share with your friends!

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