Monday, February 28, 2011

happy birthday bubbs...

i'd like to take a post here and wish my brother a happy birthday. today, the little kid i used to give such a hard time to, turns 26 - wait am i old enough for him to be 26? here are just a few things i appreciate and love about my brother.

he is patient. his ability to sit and tinker with and fix things is incredible. he's that guy that you call to put things together for you when there are like a million parts or something isn't working just right. but he is also patient with people seeing the best in them and their potential.

he is compassionate. he is intune to what people are feeling or might be feeling and considers them above himself. his ability to love and care for others far exceeds mine. he is way more thoughtful and considerate.

he is optimistic. he sees the best in people. he hopes for the best situation and has the ability to help others (like a pessimistic sister) feel the same.

he can cook! and he loves to! this is a huge bonus when we get together!

he is great with kids (it is like we inherited a gene or something). we have both always loved playing with kids and been kid magnets.

he forgives easily. i have seen jon forgive people so quickly when they have wronged him. he sees the best in them and does not hold grudges. some people have taken advantage of this, and his older sister who has a little trouble forgiving has wanted to fight a few people.

he is honorable. he fights for and defends our country.

i love you bubbs! happy 26th birthday from your proud big sister!

Friday, February 25, 2011

zenni optical...

if you wear glasses, you must check out this website. they have the cheapest glasses ever! they include lenses and frames. last time i ordered 3 pair for $50 total. you will need to have a prescription and get the PD from your eye doctor.  but it really is easy as pie. you can even upload a picture of your face so that you can test them out. and even if you end up getting a pair you don't like, its okay because they only cost you like $20.  so now you can have multiple pairs of glasses or even prescription sunglasses. so go ahead and start looking. and you could get a cute pair like these...

Thursday, February 24, 2011


this past weekend some of my long time friends and their wonderful husbands from pine cove came to austin for a 1/2 marathon. our visit was brief but it was sure good to see them.  we met at foodheads and then later at mandola's.  i had to show them so good austin cuisine! adrianne and robyn (pictured below) were some of my first friends at pine cove when i started full time there almost 8 years ago. i can't believe it has been that long. we have some fun memories!
robby also was in town, but somehow we did not manage to snap a photo. i love my camp friends!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

roomie run...

not too long after i moved in with the engstroms, i started training for a 1/2 marathon. one day when i was leaving to go on a run, gtb wanted to go with me. i told him that he couldn't because i was going too far.  he told me that it was okay because when he wore his puma's he was really fast.  i chuckled and told him that he still couldn't go.  this became an ongoing joke, where he asked if he could go and i usually teased him by saying no but i was wearing his pumas.  he always checks my feet to make sure before i leave (he got me puma's for christmas ps).

well this past saturday, we were out playing in the front yard and i told him that i needed to go for a run and i would be back.  he then, as usual, asked if he could go.  this time i surprised him by saying yes.  he got so excited, ran inside and put on shorts and his pumas!  but that is not all folks, he also grabbed his iphone (an old hand me down - don't judge) and headphones. and he did that on his own, with no prompting. i said, "oh we need to take a picture!" he then proceeded to tell me that he had a camera on his phone and could take care of it. i couldn't help but laugh! 

olivia did snap a picture of us before we left and gtb wanted us down in the ready position. so here we are.

our run was around the corner and back (i did not make him go 5 miles). as were were walking back in the house he said, "that was a good run. now let's have some gatorade." too cute!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

double-minded and unstable...

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 
(James 1:5-8)
as i have been reading and studying these verses, something new has stuck out to me lately.  i have always read these verses to mean, "if you lack wisdom, ask god and don't doubt that he will answer you."  i do think that james could mean that. after all, he is quick to remind us that god gives generously to all.  but i think the doubting james is talking about is referring to the answer god gives us. when i ask god for some wisdom and he answers, james is saying, "don't doubt the answer that you he gives you."

the rest of the verses make more sense when i think about doubting both of these things. if i am having to wait during a trial for god's answer and i start doubting him, then soon i am going to be all over the place, anxiety ridden trying to come up with my own solutions, asking for all kinds of advice, wondering if god can really do something about this.

if i do get an answer and i doubt it, i too am looking to something else to give me the answer and to fix things, when i have already been given the only thing that will fix it. but instead i am going all directions drawn to what seems like the right answer. i think james had to remind us not to doubt because our little finite minds forget that our god works in the supernatural. in ways we cannot see or even imagine.

we forget that our god is the one who made bread appear every morning for the israelites. that he caused walls to fall because people walked around them and blew trumpets. he has caused armies to turn on themselves in confusion because they heard glass jars breaking. or a god who can stop the sun or part the sea.

so don't doubt what ever seemingly crazy idea the lord gives you when ask for wisdom. there is no other way, no matter hard you search for it. you are only causing more anxiety and stress on yourself. you will, as james says, become unstable. claiming that god is all you need, but all the while looking around for something else to fill your need.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

take me to the cross...

this is an excerpt of a prayer that I read this morning out of the valley of vision. this pretty much needs to be a daily prayer of mine.

"take away my roving eye, curious ear, greedy appetite, lustful heart;
Show me that none of these things
can heal a wounded conscience,
or support a tottering frame,
or uphold a departing spirit.
then take me to the cross
and leave me there."

why do I constantly look around me for things to help me or comfort me? lead me to the cross.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

when you meet trials...

i have been spending a lot of time reading through the book of james lately. the first few verses are very familiar to me and easy to breeze over, but the lord has been using them to humble me and remind me to trust him.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
(James 1:2-4 ESV)
i don't know about you, but when a trial or challenge come, the last thing i have is joy, and i for sure do not want to wait around long enough for anything to have its full effect. but james is reminding us here that the lord is in control. this situation or challenge (no matter its severity) has been brought to me that my faith may be tested. things revealed. unbelief and idols disclosed. if i remain steadfast in this rather than just trying to escape it, i am going to come out different on the other side. i am going to be healed. i am going to be stronger. i am going to know jesus more. and though the trial may be unbearable or long, i can have joy knowing that i am lack no good thing. in fact this trial is a good thing. so don't just put on a smile and push through because you don't want to look weak.  don't run from the trial because you want it to be over with. meet it. embrace it. knowing that you are going to be different on the other side of it. more like him and more in love with him. fight to keep that in the front of your mind. and fight you will have to do. counting it joy is no easy task.

Monday, February 14, 2011

veneers and sonic care...

i have bad teeth. almost every time i go to the dentist i have a cavity.  before you judge me you need to know that i brush, floss and even use listerine. but it is no use, it is just in my genes for these pearly whites to decay. my pops can't seem to keep his teeth either.

each time i go to the dentist i make a joke about just pulling them all and giving me veneers. i argue that this will save everyone time and money since i am sure that all of mine will eventually fall out. my dentist (who i love) and her office manager think this proposal of mine is hilarious and give me a hard time.

well this week i went in and sure enough i have small cavity. i am getting good at spotting them on the xrays now. as i was leaving and scheduling my followup appointment to get the cavity filled, the office manager asked me if i wanted a sonic care toothbrush.  i laughed and said, no. those things are like 200 bucks.  she then proceeded to try and sell it to me. i laughed and told her i needed to save for my veneers. that no toothbrush could save these pearly whites.

she said i had a credit and that she would discount the toothbrush so that i would walk out with the new toothbrush at no cost. she guaranteed me that i would like it. and well, she's right.  i accepted her offer and her challenge and i love it.  it feels awesome.  i have had a little trouble keeping stuff from dripping from my mouth, which is about par for me. but i bet i still will have a cavity next time i go in...

Sunday, February 13, 2011


i was blessed to receive a vitamix as a gift just a coupleof weeks ago. i have wanted one since i saw them at the texas state fair last fall. the demonstrations totally won me over. pops and i had at least 3 samples. well this thing is awesome! i have made a smoothie at least every other day. this thing is so powerful. just today i made one with yogurt, kiwi, apple, grapes, a clementine, spinach and carrots and it was delicious.  all the fruit covers up the taste of the spinach, so i am getting my vegetables in too!

the best part is that you don't have to dice and peel stuff, you can just throw it in! if i am putting an apple in my smoothie, i just quarter it and toss it in.  even if you use fresh pineapple, you just have to skin it, you don't have to core it - crazy huh! and this thing is so powerful that it truly makes your smoothie smooth. no chunks, just goodness.
creamy spinach and chicken potato soup
 last week, olivia and i also made soup in the vitamix. yup you read that right, soup. this thing spins to fast that it heats stuff up too. our soup was piping hot when it was done.  we had to precook the chicken and the potatoes before putting them in, but everything else we just tossed right on in and it was delicious.

next on my list is to try to make rice milk, soy milk, and hummus. hmm...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

friday night lights...

after hearing so many people talk about this show and spotting the actors here in town, i decided that it was time i gave in and started watching friday night lights.  olivia and i (and sometimes even todd) have plowed through seasons 1 and 2. we have just started season 3. the show has a lot of drama, but i still like it. season 2 was like a soap opera and i don't think i would have stuck with it if everyone hadn't been telling me that it gets better in season three.  my favorite part of watching the show is tim riggins, wait no, that's embarrassing, let me start again. my favorite part of the show is figuring out where the different scenes are filmed around austin. i love seeing reagan high school, the broken spoke, EZ's, etc. in fact just the other day i was picking up a couple of blizzards for a friend and just googled the one nearest to the hospital. as i pulled into the drive thru it was like deja vu. everything was familiar. it is where matt and smash work in the show - the tasty freeze or something. i was a little too excited. we will see if we can finish seasons 3 and 4 before season 5 airs.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

a good week for new music...

within the last week or two i have purchased several new albums that i think are worth your time. some great music.

this album is #1 right now on itunes. that should tell you how good it is.  the civil wars is a band with singers joy williams and john paul white. i have heard this duo a few times, got some of their free christmas music on, saw them on leno.  i love the sound of the their music but most of all (kind of folkie), i love the way their voices go together. i even really like their remake of i want you back (originally recorded my michael jackson). definitely buy this one!

i recently had a friend tell me about andrew belle and then literally the next day i saw that this album was free on and so i immediately downloaded it. it is so good!  i was listening to it nonstop (until i bought the civil wars album). go ahead and buy this one too. its perfect for all of this winter weather.

this is a local austin band (some friends of mine) and i have grown to really like their music. give it a try and discover a new band before your friends. you won't regret it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

mom comes to town...

a few weekends ago my mama came into town for work, but i'd like to think it was just to see me. ;) friday afternoon,we hung out with the engstroms. mom made the boys spiderman blankets and well we had to teach her how to play GTB's favorite game, undies! then, we headed out for some high class dining and used my groupon to the melting pot. and man o man was it delicious! my mouth is watering it just thinking about it.

saturday morning we headed to cafe monet in the triangle and painted some pottery. it was great. i am not very artistic, but it was still fun and i like what i painted.  here is what our pottery looked like before...

 yes, that says insulin. figured that made this bowl even more original.  funny and a practical reminder for diabetics - did you take your insulin?

and here are our finished products.  now i just gotta figure out how to get mom's plate to her.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


so if you come our house and meet my roomies GTB and deuce, one of the first things GTB is going to want to do is teach you his, excuse me, our favorite game - undies. we play it ALL the time. it started a few months ago, when i was in my room innocently working. before i knew it was attacked by a 3 year old throwing his clean underwear at me.  i then proceeded to throw them back and some how eventually they ended up on my ceiling fan and now it is officially a game.  often (as you will notice in the video, shake your booty by kc and the sunshine band is playing in the background. deuce LOVES this song.  and just to clarify any possible confusion, we only play with GTB's clean underwear, no one elses. :) check out this game and take notes, because if you come over, its almost a guarantee we will play. enjoy.

because of this game, i am definitely looking for ceiling fans when looking at rental homes... :)

[valley of vision] sins...

was convicted and reminded of his grace when reading this prayer this morning. this definitely exposes some of my sin and brought to mind some that i forget or overlook...
from the valley of vision

merciful lord,
pardon all my sins of this day, week year
all the sins of my life,
sins of early, middle, and advanced years,
of omission and commission,
of morose, peevish and angry tempers,
of life, lip and walk,
of hard-heartedness, unbelief, presumption, pride,
of unfaithfulness to the souls of men,
of want of bold decision in the cause of christ,
of deficiency in outspoken zeal for his glory,
of bringing dishonour upon thy great name,
of deception, injustice, untruthfulness in my dealings with others,
of impurity in thought, word, and deed,
of covetousness, which is idolatry,
of substances unduly hoarded, improvidently squandered,
not consecrated to the glory of thee, the great giver;

sins in private and in the family,
in study and recreation, in the busy haunts of men,
in the study of thy word and in the neglect of it,
in prayer irreverently offered and coldly withheld,
in time misspent,
in yielding to satan's wiles,
in opening my heart to his temptations,
in being unwatchful when i know him nigh,
in quenching the holy spirit;

sins against light and knowledge,
against conscience and the restraints of thy spirit,
against the law of eternal love.

pardon all my sins, known and unknown,
felt and unfelt,
confessed and unconfessed,
remembered or forgotten,
good lord, hear; and hearing, forgive,