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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekend Excursion

Our Thanksgiving went well. It was quiet, low-key, full of football. I made a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but there was no stress involved. I kept it simple. Our only guest was Eddie, a long time friend of ours (he was the only witness at our wedding) and so I didn't feel the need to impress.

The remainder of the weekend was very similar. Quiet, low-key, full of football. However, Paul and I did manage to peel ourselves away from the confines of our home for a few hours to take a trip back down to Old Town Alexandria. We went in hopes that their Christmas decor would be up...it wasn't. But we still had a blast!

Our first stop was Starbucks (of course!) to warm up our hands and bellies...it was COLD. We walked a bit and stopped for lunch and a family friendly pizzeria called Bugsy's. Once our tummies were full, we continued to walk. I visited my favorite store in Old Town, The Christmas Attic (if you're ever in our neck of the woods, you HAVE to go in there!) and just enjoyed the clear, crisp day.
Old Brick Path
My favorite color
My Beloved
A Man and His camera

Thursday, November 26, 2009



Today is a day for gratitude. To be honest, every day is a day for gratitude but today is when we as a culture slow down to actually dwell on all the things in and about our lives to be grateful for. I've been reflecting on this a lot in the last few days.

Less than a year ago, we moved into this house. It's an end unit town home provided for us by the US Army and compared to the home we had out in Hawaii, this place felt like a palace to me. I was grateful.

Less than 6 months later, I was feeling restless and discontented. It seemed everyone I knew was buying their first homes, making improvements, staking a claim and putting their mark on it. It seemed everyone was partaking in their piece of the American Dream...everyone but me. I read blog posts, listened to friends on the phone and got emails about the the trials and joys that come with home ownership and I was envious.

After weeks of discussion, Paul and I decided to start looking for our own home. We knew we wouldn't be able to afford our dream home, but we figured we'd be able to find a great starter home and investment opportunity. After viewing a few potentials, we found one we loved. It too was an end unit town home, only 3 years old and all the fancy upgrades. We put in an offer and prayed. A few days later, we found out we didn't get the house. I was disappointed.

We continued looking but the market was just so competitive at the time and every time we found something we liked, we'd also discover that there was already multiple offers on the table. We started to re-evaluate. I'm glad we did.

Call me naive but I always imagined that when I bought a home, it would be the one I would grown old in. I always thought it would be the house that my kids would bring their kids home to for holidays and birthdays. I would fill it with things I loved and be able to hand them down to my grandchildren when I passed. I never thought that I would ever consider a home as an "investment" but more as an heirloom.

So this morning, I sit in my Army owned town home and I'm grateful. I may not own a piece of the "pie" but this isn't necessarily the pie I want a piece of when it's all said and done. I'm storing up my treasures in Heaven. Not to say that home-owners cannot store up treasures in Heaven because I still hope to be a home-owner one day...I'm saying FOR ME, I have to be grateful right now with what I have.

For although this house will not be my heirloom, contained within it's walls are all the things that I hold eternally dear. My home. My husband, my children and the memories we've already created here and will continue to create until the military calls us to move again.

It's where we live. It's where we laugh and cry and play and sleep and feel safe. It may not always be clean or straight and it may look nothing like the pages of my Pottery Barn catalog but it's one of the houses that we will call home during the life of our little family.

So today, I am thankful for my home...even if the house it resides in is temporary.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rain and Elizabeth Bennet

I do love rainy days. They're so...so...Pride and Prejudice. And I mean, who doesn't love Pride and Prejudice?!?

Through the Window

And even though I can't spontaneously decide to talk a walk in the morning mist like my dear friend Elizabeth Bennet, I can sit at my breakfast table and gaze out the window with a hot cup of coffee and dream of of walking along side her, listening to her stories about Mr. Darcy and recanting stories of my own.
Rainy Day

We would talk of books and music and our crazy families but how we can't help but to love them despite all of their flaws. We would speak of our favorite things to do...I'm sure she would've hated scrap booking almost as much as I do.
Through the window 2

But I'm guessing that she would've loved photography if the modern conveniences of the hobby had been available to her.
Rainy Day

Rainy days make me think of her.

Even if our walks together only exist in my mind.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I am many things. Patient is not one of them. I'm notorious for jumping the gun, planning for things months (even years) in advance and acting on impulse. The people in my life who know this about me have learned to identify the signs and respond accordingly. I get talked down from quite a bit, thank goodness.

For example, we almost bought new furniture a few weeks ago. Not because we NEED new furniture, but because I saw the furniture I want eventually and didn't think I could wait. Paul has learned that I don't hear "NO" very well and so he does this amazingly sneaky little dance in which he says "okay, let's talk about it a bit more." And then that leads to "Let's look at the numbers." And then that leads to "I trust your judgement to do what's best for this family." And then that leads to me sinking down into my chair, letting out a loud exhale and saying, "Okay, okay we'll wait." Sneaky, huh?

Well...right now, it's Christmas decorations. I am THAT person who gets my panties all wadded up over these big retailers who put up their Christmas stuff RIGHT after Halloween. I mean, can we have November please?!? Thanksgiving?!?! And don't get me wrong, putting up Christmas decor in the beginning of November is, in my opinion, a bit tacky but I'm feeling the urge to put up my Christmas tree right now...today...at this moment.

Does anyone know the actual etiquette for Christmas decor? How early is too early? Can I have my Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving day or would that have Emily Post rolling in her grave? Do I need to be talked down from this one? And if so, proceed...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pics from the Weekend

We had a relatively quiet weekend. We walked. We walked around Target, we walked around the commissary and we walked around the lake on Ft Meade. We walked and we took pictures, of course.








Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm in Love


Paul came home Thursday evening with a smirk on his face. This always causes me concern. It usually means one of two things...he's spent money, or he's made plans and not informed me of them until I only have enough time to shower and scrunch some palmade through my hair.

He said something about being able to enjoy the "fruits of his labor," which made me roll my eyes and urge him to just get it over with and tell me what he did. He pulled out a computer mouse. One of those Magic Mac Mouses that he keeps talking about. I shrugged my shoulders, pretending to be unimpressed and said, "Oh, that's all?"

It wasn't. He insisted that I go out to the car and grab "the thing" he left in the back on accident. I looked at him like he was nuts. "You go get it," I retorted. The smirk came back. "You have to go get it, " he prodded.

I rolled my eyes again and made my way to the front door where I slipped my toes into my tennis shoes and didn't bother to slide my heels in after. It was raining...so I, of course, rolled my eyes yet again and made sure to push open the screen door with enough force to make an irritated scene.

I ran awkwardly to the van with my toes all curled up inside of my shoes trying to keep them from slipping off, and pulled open the back door with a bit of curiosity mixed with a lot of "this better be good."

And it was.

My birthday isn't for another week. But Paul and I really stink at waiting for the actual holiday to give one another our gifts.

This has been on my Christmas/birthday/anniversary/Valentine's Day list for a long time.

And now, it's mine.

Ain't she a beauty?!?! Gotta love Martha Stewart Blue!

Thanks Paulie. I promise I'll enjoy this gift almost as much you'll enjoy all the yummy things that come from it!



To all of you who are going to see New Moon tonight...please don't tell me anything. I'm not going until December 2nd. That's my birthday. I know that waiting that long to see this movie could quite possibly mean that I walk around with my fingers in my ears for the next week and a half and may even lead to a small bout of insanity in which there will certainly be gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothing but it's a small price to pay. I mean, how many of your husbands VOLUNTEERED to take you to see it?!? Yeah...exactly...worth the wait.

Now, go in peace and enjoy yourselves, but keep your mouth shut when talking to me. Kay? Thanx!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Little Pony

I'm a child of the 80's. I loved My Little Pony and Care Bears and ThunderCats. But mostly I loved My Little Pony. I was a My Little Pony Mommy...

and yes, I was happy as can be.

I watched the TV show...
every day.

I had quite a few. I had some earth ponies, some unicorn ponies and a few flutter
ponies too.

But my favorite
pony was a twinkle eyes pony...

Sweet Stuff.
I got her when I was 6. For my birthday or maybe Christmas, I think. We were
living in Hawaii. Very soon after I got her, my family took a trip to the Big Island.
We were camping and there was snow on the ground. I know that sounds
weird...snow in Hawaii, but we were high enough up in the mountains that
it was possible.I remember we went hiking and we saw the black, cooled lava and it
smelled funny. I also remember a little park near our camp ground. There was a
merry-go-round. And that's where I believe it happened. I lost Sweet Stuff.
I equate that entire trip to this one sad fact. Well, that and the fact that I got
attacked by a big black lab while collecting newspaper with my mom for the
fireplace in our cabin, but I digress.The point of this post is that I loved My Little
Pony. And it's back!
And Eva LOVES it.
And I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty cool. One thing I absolutely love about being a mom is being able to share all the things I loved as a child with my children.
So Christmas should be a blast this year. I can't wait to get all of my ...er...her new My Little Pony stuff. If I'm lucky, maybe I can find another Sweet Stuff pony :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Photo by Paul

"I wish I could crash like the waves and turn like the autumn breeze
In effort to praise You


I wish I could smell like the forest, the fragrance lifting a mighty chorus
In effort to praise You
In effort to praise You

Fall in MD

But I'm such a limited creature
And my words can only paint so many pictures
But somewhere I think I read that I am treasured over all creation
So I know that I must try
I wish I could roll like the thunder, to leave the earth below in wonder
In effort to praise You


I wish I could fall like the summer rain and every drop would sing Your name
In effort to praise You
In effort to praise You

From the Garden

But I'm such a limited creature
And my words can only paint so many pictures
But somewhere I'm sure I read that I am treasured over all creation
So I know that I must try

photo by Paul

Gloria, glory in the highest
Forever I will hide myself in Thee
Oh, gloria
Glory in the highest
Forever I will hide myself in Thee
Every breath that I breathe, every moment in my history
Is an effort to praise You
An effort to praise You
Glory in the highest
Forever I will hide myself in Thee
Oh, Gloria

photo by Paul

Glory in excelsis Deo
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Annapolis Part Deux

Yesterday was a lovely, warm day. It was a nice break from the freezing, rainy days we've had lately and so Paul and I loaded the girls up and headed to Annapolis. We had two motives...to sightsee and to shop! And let me just be straight up, I was more excited about the latter. I really like to shop. I do. It's a sickness. I don't always buy things when I shop, sometimes I'm merely making mental notes. This was the case yesterday.

We went to Crate and Barrel. Angels sang as we walked through the doorway. Why? I'll explain...


Paul and I are polar opposites. He likes warm, I like cold. He likes salt, I like sugar. He likes to watch sports on TV and I like to be where the action is. He likes to stay home and I like to go out. He likes all things modern and I like traditional.


photo by Apartment Therapy

That's why Crate and Barrel is the PERFECT store for us. It's traditional, yet modern all at the same time. The pieces would work well with a really contemporary motif as well as something a bit more classic. So, Paul and I found that we have one thing in common...Crate and Barrel. We will hinge our marriage on this fact forever more. Well...not really, but at least if we're mad at each other we can hit up a C and B and mentally redecorate our home to put us back on the same page.

After our revelation at the Annapolis Mall, we headed downtown in search of cupcakes and good photo ops. The cupcakes were a bust because the little cupcakery I've been dying to try was closed but we got some icecream instead and ventured out in search of lovely things to take pictures of. And there were lots...

White Washed

I love Annapolis. It's a quaint little town on the water with brick laid sidewalks and cute, colorful townhomes all in a row. It has a colonial feel along with it's obvious nautical aspect. It's a family oriented yet trendy city where people are out with their jogging strollers and dogs. Dogs everywhere. There's old taverns in the buildings that are a century old and cute coffee shops. You're bound to run into a dozen midshipman on any given weekend as the Naval Academy is right there on the water thus giving the whole experience a subtle patriotism as well.

Window Box

Colonial Path

The air is crisper in Annapolis. Walking down the back streets all lined with 100 year old townhomes takes my imagination to a different place. A place where people still get around in horse drawn carriages and women wore long dresses and bonnets when venturing out to Mainstreet Market. Men worked on the docks and came home smelling like fish and the children ran down the brick streets with home-made sling-shots while they're mothers called to them to keep their knickers clean.

Shingled Home

Tree lined

I could seriously sit on a bench by the water all day in Annapolis, watching people go by and taking in the salty air.

Izzy and I

Paul likes Georgetown better.

Paul and Eva