"I have come that they might have life and have it to the full..." -John 10:10b

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just Pictures


No stories or analogies or deep sentimental moments today. My whole body is sore from my weight lifting class yesterday and it's definitely one of those mornings that I could've stayed in bed all day...or at least until 7:30am. I haven't had my coffee yet and I'm feeling altogether uninspired.

So, I'll just share with you some pics from a day when I was feeling not-so-uninspired.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One for the Weekend


Edie over at Life In Grace posted a recipe a few days ago for a yummy looking apple bar. I took one look at this recipe and just HAD to make it. I had no choice!

However, the original recipe isn't as, shall we say, figure friendly as I would need it to be in order for it to be allowed in my kitchen.

So, I made some adjustments. You can view the original recipe here...but if you want to slim it up a bit, you can follow mine (I also cut her recipe in half so I could fit it in a tart pan instead of a jelly roll pan):

Figure Friendly Apple Tart

2 cups unbleached AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup splenda
1 1/2 sticks of vegetable oil sticks for baking (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter sticks)
2 Granny Smith apples peeled and sliced (but I think pears or peaches or plums would do nicely too!)

First you combine 2 C. flour, 1/4 t. salt and 1 C. sugar.
Then, cut in 1/2 sticks of "butter." The mixture will be crumbly and I recommends you use your hands. Press about 2/3's of this crumbly mixture into a tart pan.

Layer the apple slices over the shortbread mixture.
Combine 1/4 C. splenda and 1 t. cinnamon, sprinkle it over the apples.
Crumble the remaining flour/sugar/butter mixture on top of the apples.
Bake it at 350 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes...until it is crispy on the bottom.

After it bakes, let it cool.


Friday, October 23, 2009


So, we're having a yard sale tomorrow. Ole Craig ain't working so great for me lately and so, I'm selling my living room furniture the old fashioned way...out of my garage!

I also have some baby items *sniff, sniff* that we'll be selling and my dining room table which was recently replaced by the picnic table! Oh, and all of my eh-hem...robust girl clothes too! Yep...no more going back to those size #&@% jeans. No siree bob.

So today, I'm officially inviting you to come turn my trash into your treasure (doesn't that just sound so appealing?!?). I'm starting over fresh...and I'm not just talking about my living room decor. I'll go into more details about all that some other time.

Right now, I have to decide how many of these infant toys and clothes I'm going to try and hide on top of my closet...just in case *wink, wink*

P.S. Don't make fun of my "wink" face which is really more like a "stink" face. Trying to do a self portrait with our camera is more difficult than it may seem.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Little Control Freak

The Terrible Twos. That's what I was scared of. That's what I spent the first 24 months of Eva's life preparing for. Turns out...the Terrible Twos aren't so terrible. In fact, they're a breeze compared to the Trying Three's!


My precious first born has taken it upon herself in recent months to show me how it is. She does this in seemingly insignificant ways but when it all adds up, at the end of day, I'm tired of butting heads with her. She is a persistent little bull.

For example, this is a typical conversation in which Eva tries desperately to exert her will over mine:

Eva: Mother, I'm hungry

Me: Okay, well would you like yogurt and granola or a piece of fruit?

Eva: Um....um....*finger on her chin*....um....yogurt...no apple....no yogurt.

Me: Okay, so you want yogurt?

Eva: Yes

Me: *fixes yogurt and granola with pride and sets it before her at the table*

Eva: NO! I want apples!

Me: Eva, you told me you wanted yogurt, do you remember that? Have you changed your mind?

Eva: NO! I want apples!

Me: Why don't you go ahead and eat the yogurt and you can have an apple later.

Eva: NO! I'm not hungry! *gets up from the table and storms off*

Me: *Hangs my head in defeat wondering what the heck I'm supposed to do.*

Eva and I.

I have to admit, she comes by it naturally. That Paul is a stubborn, stubborn man....no? Okay, okay it's me. I'm stubborn, strong-willed, a control freak and any other name you want to assign to an type-A, anal-retentive.

I remember my parents saying something along the lines of "Annie, one day you'll have a child who is a stubborn as you are and then you'll know! That's what it will take for you to fully understand what it's like to discipline you sometimes."

Eva and I

For the record, Mom, Dad...I get it. I'm sorry.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria

I just really love this place.
Mount Vernon
Walking around Mount Vernon gives me a sense of nostalgia...which is weird, because I personally have no memories there, but I can imagine that I do (doesn't that sound SO Anne Shirley). Strolling down the dirt paths and I must have told my dad a dozen times , "I think I was born in the wrong century."
Mount Vernon
There's something about the creeking old floors of the mansions combined with the musky aroma of hay and animals in the pasture that gives me an overall feeling of calm and simplicity. I'm sure life in that time was anything but easy...but simple it had to be.
The Mansion
There were such defined roles and responsibilities for men and women. Women took pride in their feminine calling to be homemakers, teachers, friends and mentors. Men took pride in their responsibility to provide for their families and worked hard at their craft. They believed in something greater then themselves and they fought for it. Courtesy and chivalry were an expectation not an exception. Horses were THE way of life...not A way.
The Mansion
The scenery at Mount Vernon was beautiful. It always is, but this time the leaves were a rich amber and soft golden yellow and the air was crisp. The animals stayed huddled together to keep warm instead of venturing to the gate to sniff the hands of passers by.
Once we had made our way around the scenic acreage, we headed back to the museum and educational center. We sat down for a quick lunch before Paul and I noticed the droopy eyes of our tuckered out girls and decided to head home while my dad stayed around to take in the rest of the museum.

On the way home, we noticed the signs for Old Town Alexandria and they poked at our curiosity. We peered back at the girls in the rearview to assess the level of exhaustion and to see if we could predict how long it would be before tempers started flailing and eventually made the decision to stop. I'm so glad we did.
Old Town Alexandria
Old Town is beautiful. So quaint and historic.
Old Town Alexandria
Old Town Alexandria
We grabbed some hot drinks at Starbucks and meandered up and down the old streets. Paul and I made a plan to come back one day, just the two of us, for a whole day date (anyone want to babysit?).
Paul and Eva
And an hour later, when we noticed the emotional state of our eldest becoming just a bit more irrational than usual, we made the call to pack it up and head home. The girls slept the whole way home and I gazed out the van window at all the colors in the trees flying by at 60mph. Reds, yellows, oranges and greens.
Mount Vernon
I really love where we live.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just in case...


...you wanted to know :)


That is apparently, Izzy's new name. I don't know why or where it came from, but Eva has decided and that's just how it is right now.

Whenever I do make the mistake of referring to Izzy as...well...Izzy, I am immediately corrected by Eva that the proper way to address my youngest is "alligator."

photo by Paul

Oh, and Eva is to be called "Daughter" and in turn, Paul and I have become "Mother and Father." Which, I can't say that I mind.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Paul


Today is Paul's birthday. He wouldn't want me to tell you. But I am.

He's 29.

There are no plans to celebrate as Paul is not big on his own birthday.

BUT, I may or may not have something in the works :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Favorite Kind of Day


It's a calm, dreary day. My absolute favorite kind of day. It's the kind of day when you can stay in your PJs all day long and not feel one shred of guilt over it. It's the kind of day for long movies and good books. It's a day for building forts in the living room and playing hide and go seek all over the house until your sides ache from laughter. It's a day for sitting by the window and watching droplets form on the glass as the rain comes down, soft and steady.

My favorite kind of day.

There's wet leaves on the lawn and a few apple cinnamon candles strategically placed throughout the house giving off the sweet scents of the season. They skies are grey, the trees are red and orange and whatever green they still hold on to is faded in the blue/grey hue of this day.

It's a day for nothing. No room for worry, no room for plans, no room for stress....just calm.

My favorite kind of day.

Izzy is asleep upstairs and Eva is content watching Pinocchio on the couch...in her PJs.

And me, I have a cup of coffee and my new Pottery Barn catalog at the kitchen table. It's a day for far off thoughts and day dreaming.

I sip my French Vanilla flavored brew and slowly flip the pages of my favorite magazine. I circle the things I love.

Some are realistic.

Others, not so much.

But a girl can dream, right?

I find a picture of a room that I just LOVE. It has exposed wooden beams across the ceiling and subdued earthy tones throughout. I glance up at my coffee cup. Paul brought it home to me from Washington State. This room makes me wish I was there. Or anywhere in that region of the country. Perhaps on the outskirts of Seattle where it's rainy more often than not.

Tomorrow begins the weekend. It will be busy. But today...today is mine. To lounge, to be still, to be melancholy, to dilly and to dally, to dream. My favorite kind of day.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My First!


I got a blog award! Mandy over at The Trenches of Motherhood awarded me this blog award!

Thanks so much Mandy! Your blog has been such an encouragement to me on days when I needed to be uplifted and it's given me a chuckle on the days I needed to laugh!

So, now the responsibilities of this award (I know, right! Responsibilities!I feel so much like Miss America accepting her tiara and beginning her year long reign...only my responsibilities have nothing to do with feeding orphans in Zimbabwe or speaking on behalf of the American Cancer Association, but still...just let me have my moment!):
I have to answer the following questions and then pass this award on to 6 other deserving blogs. So, here I go...

Where is your cell phone? plugged in on the end table
Your hair? up and unwashed
Your mother? on her way here...YAY!
Your father? Leaving for Iraq...for a year!
Your favorite food? Pizza...I know, how high school is that? But it's true.
Your dream last night? I dreamed about being at a high school basketball game...I used to play basketball...you can stop laughing now.
Your favorite drink? coffee...a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks to be exact
Your dream/goal? to be a good mom...whatever that means.
What room are you in? my living room/computer room/playroom
Your hobby? baking, blogging, painting, singing, reading, movies, etc, etc
Your Fear? someone breaking into my house
Where do you want to be in 6 years? in a home that I own
Where were you last night? home with a migraine...it was yuck!
Something that you aren’t? skinny...or hungry for that matter.
Muffins? Otis's Cheese Struesel muffins!
Wish list item? everything in the Pottery Barn catalog (including the actual house)...and a puppy
Where did you grow up? Arkansas, Hawaii, Florida, Georgia, California, Texas and now Maryland
Last thing you did? fix lunch for my girls
What are you wearing? yoga pants and my favorite sweatshirt
Your TV? Martha Stewart...love everything she does...except for whole tax fraud thing.
Your pets? I'm working on it
Friends? I have a few very close friends, that are too far away :(
Your life? Abundant ;) hehe...ya like that?!?
Your mood? antsy. there are no vacuum tracks in my carpet.
Missing someone? always...today, it's Ashley. Fall weather always makes me miss her.
Vehicle? Honda Oddyssey
Your favorite store? The Christmas Attic in Old Town Alexandria...just found it last weekend and it's so cute it makes me want to cry.
Your favorite color? aqua...surprise, surprise
When was the last time you laughed? this morning...Eva is insisting that we call Izzy "alligator?"
Last time you cried? Tuesday...the Biggest Loser was on
Your best friend? My husband.
One place that I go to over and over? lately? Ikea.com
Favorite place to eat? anywhere that has pizza.

Okay, and now to pass on the award. I nominate:

1. Lisa over at Little Loveables
2. Ashley over at Tales From Goshen
3. Erin over at House of Turquiose
4. Janelle over at Three Men and Their Ladies
5. Katie over at Advice From a Caterpillar
6. Edie over at Life In Grace

So ladies, come collect your awards and do as I have done. Answer your questions and pass it on!

25 Things

So, Whitney over at Glam Life recently posted a list of 25 things you may not know about her. It was so funny to read and I have to admit, I could relate to her on more than one thing. Well, it got me thinking about what I would put on my list, if I had one? I really thought it would be difficult to find 25 things without getting too down and dirty...but then I decided, with all of my rants about transparency lately, what's wrong with getting a little down and dirty? So here it goes...

25 Things You May Not Know About Me

1. Anne is my middle name. Can you guess what my first name is? Charity, you're disqualified from this one.

2. Vacuum tracks in the carpet give me an overwhelming sense of all being right with the world.

3. I consider myself a bonafide food addict (seriously).

4. Officially, I do not believe in extra terrestrials. Unofficially, the idea of them really creeps me out.

5. I've eaten roasted guinea pig on a stick before (as well as the unmentionable part of a bull).

6. I secretly want to move to the Pacific North West (and it may or may not have to do with a certain series of books).

7. I get super anxious and flustered when I feel hot.

8. I tend to be in a hurry for absolutely no reason.

9. I have a therapist. Her name is Melissa and she's wonderful.

10. I struggle with being judgmental. I've come a long way, but I know I still have a ways to go.

11. I H.A.T.E. unsolicited advice, even when it's good for me.

12. I have 10 birthmarks on my body, the most noticeable one being on my left knee...my potato.

13. I genuinely want all people to find peace in their lives. I also know there's really only one place to find true peace and it has nothing to do with one's "self."

14. I tend to approach life with the assumption that most everyone has good intentions and can be trusted (with the exception of a few).

15. That gets me into trouble sometimes.

16. I cry EVERY time I watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and The Biggest Loser.

17. I have a sincere heart for children with special needs. I'd really love to work with them in some capacity one day.

18. I'm allergic to nickel.

19. I have 1 and a half fake teeth.

20. I'm a people pleaser and I have a hard time saying "no."

21. I am a beacon for high maintenance friendships because I'm a people pleaser and have a hard time saying "no."

22. I am my own worst critic.

23. My relationship with Jesus Christ is the absolute most important thing to me. Unfortunately, it's also the easiest thing to let fall by the wayside.

24. My biggest fear is that my children won't come to know their Creator as Lord.

25. My second toe is freakishly longer than my first.

Okay, so now it's your turn! Can you come up with 25 things that your blog readers may not know about you?

Aspiring Acrobat


...well, perhaps not an acrobat due to her fear of heights (poor thing is afraid of the swings), but a gymnast for sure!

Eva loves to jump, roll, tuck, twirl, flip and flop! She's a rough and tumble kind of gal and that's what makes her so much fun!

Isn't that the cutest summersault you've ever seen?!?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Living Room for Sale

We're starting over! Why? Because I'm restless. Because I need a change. Because, I saw this...

This is Michelle's living room over at Three Men and a Lady. Isn't it amazing? I wouldn't even have to change my paint color. Just the furniture and accessories. I just love how simple and elegant it is. I love how clean it looks but how comfy all at the same time. And the best part about this living room...Paul loves it too!

But don't lose heart, my new best friend Michelle (by the way, you're my new best friend because I love that you put stripes in your entry way) I won't allow myself to be a total copy cat! I pretty much just want to steal the "idea" of this room and put my own spin on it. But still, this room is my jumping off point. It's perfect!

So, here's the plan...

1) Get rid of old stuff...on Craigslist.

2) Get new stuff...at Ikea

Whadya think?