Life's great journey is made up of day by day delights.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Christ Alone

Amazing song for the lyrics alone. Just reading the words to this song fill me with such joy and cause me to get goosebumps all over. I hope this is an encouragement to you as it is to me.

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found.

He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace;
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease;
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid,
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay.
Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious Day,
Up from the grave He rose again.
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
‘Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What a weekend!

This past weekend was one I have been needing for a while! Having gone through an icky few months of snow and ice along with being sick and the drudgery of work, a mini getaway is just what the Doctor ordered. It all started on Thursday....
My mom came down and we went shopping for some clothes with me. How perfect! Spending time with my awesome mom AND getting some retail therapy in. Deeeeee-lightful! Mom is such a hoot and also has great taste so she was the perfect shopping buddy.
Friday, I had to work but was able to leave early. Woo-hoo! When I got home, Eric and I threw some clothes in a suitcase and headed down to Nashville (Indiana, that is) for a largely anticipated couples retreat hosted by my old church. Nashville is in Brown County which is a beautiful and quaint tourist area that is largely popular in the fall, especially for camping and hunting. There are tons of rolling hills and gorgeous trees galore! Plenty for the eyes to take in but just in case that isn't enough, there are several little shops and boutiques to browse through. Although we are still in winter we had fantastic weather!! I'm talking lows 60's and upper 50's. Nice, right?? The drive was so scenic and speckled with some oddities as well such as a camel farm AND a little boy with a power mullet throwing rocks at passsing cars in an itty, bitty town. We stopped at the local McD's before going to the retreat. As I was enjoying my chicken nuggets I noticed this gem...
"Coon hunt with Black & Tans" haha  I lol'd when I saw this. I literally lifted up the blinds and snuck my camera under to get this shot. Excuse the gunk on the window.
After dinner, we checked in at the hotel and our room was so nice and cozy!! Waiting in our room was a goody bag filled with treats, love coupons (Example: "This coupon is good for one big hug."), and a $25 gift certificate to the Old Spaghetti Factory. Yumm-o. Eric and I are now excited for a date night there! Then we headed off to the conference room. It was so nice and I was so excited to see they used some of the decorations from my wedding for the tables. I had gotten 20 or 30 candle holders that I had no need for after the wedding so I gave them to the church to use for banquets and weddings.
Beautiful! And check out all of the goodies on the table! Mmmm!
Also on the table were these faboo cookies....
So good!
The evening was filled with fun games (The Newlywed Game), wonderful songs (O Perfect Love), and an awesome message (Busyness:The Enemy.)
After having a great night's sleep, Eric and I woke up to this beautiful sunrise...
Our camera didn't do it justice.
We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast with everyone then absorbed some more wonderful lessons! I was so encouraged by the mesasges I heard and really felt like I could apply them to my life. I am grateful we had the opportunity to go and to grow together as a couple!
Love him!
I actually had the rest of the weekend free so once the conference was over I suggested we head over to Cincinnati to see his mom. He called over, she was also free, AND had our nephew and new niece, Ivy! I was so excited because I had not met Ivy yet. Once we got there, we played with Wyatt and adored Ivy for hours. It was so nice to see them and to have that quality time with family we don't always get to visit.
Beautiful, sweet Ivy!!!
Wyatt going in for a kiss but Ivy not looking so ready. haha
Sunday, we enjoyed some wonderful services at church and even got to bring Eric's little brother, Nick, with us to the evening service. What a blessing!
Yes, this is exactly what I needed. Isn't the Lord awesome to provide me exactly what I needed at exactly the right time?? He is good.

I had an awesome weekend? Did you? What did you do??

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's a Goodwill Goldmine!

I am in desperate need of some home furnishings and knick-knacks for the ol' casa. What I'm not in need of are empty wallets or pockets.
Before heading into work one day, I stopped by one of the many Goodwill's on my side of town (seriously, I've never seen 3 Goodwill's within a 10 minute radius of one another) just to look around. Let me tell ya'...It's like I had struck gold!! I picked up a few items that will be perfect additions to a few rooms in my house! PLUS, I can mix and match some of these accessories based on future plans I have. <3

L-R  glass hurricane candle holder, in the back-a silver plate for candles, and 3 different vases. Grand total? Around $10!!!
Yep! $10. That made me so excited, you have no idea!! I have almost the exact same glass hurricane that I had purchased from Pier 1 about a year ago....but for 8x the price I paid for this one! The silver plate is originally from Pottery Barn. I love finding nice brands at low prices! The vases are probably nothing special but I really liked the shapes of them. Don't you just love bargain shopping? It's the best!

I have to be honest, this is getting me so excited to start giving this house a make-over! I cannot wait till we start buying paint, crown moulding, bead board, etc. And I especially can't wait to take pics galore to share with you!!! :-)

Have you visited your local Goodwill or thrift store lately? What are some of the treasures you've found? I'd love to know! :-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Re-Cap

In years past, February 14th was a bittersweet day for me. I had the love of my God, my family, and my friends but never the love of that special someone.

Last year, I had my first good Valentine's day. I had Eric and in a few months we were going to be married! LOVE WAS IN THE AIR!

This year, we celebrated our first Valentine's as man & wife so I wanted to go all out! Not with fancy gifts or a lavish evening but with sweet, sentimental symbols of my love and appreciation for our relationship. I always want Hubby to know how much I love him but this month I wanted him to really know! So on Day 1 of this month, I gave him a little paper heart listing a reason why I love him oh so much! Day 2, he received another heart. And so on and so forth. Yep! He is getting a paper heart every day of this month which will hopefully give him a little glimpse into my heart and affection for him. {So sappy, I know!}

But that's not all, Folks! Yesterday, when he came home, he was given a treasure map of our house that led to different clues and ultimately to my heart. Eric LOVED it! For dinner we were originally going to go to.....{cringe} White Castle. Yeah......a BIG dream of his. Moving on. Instead, we opted for a quiet dinner at home. I made a simple meal of spaghetti and meatballs, salad, and breadsticks. We enjoyed a candlelight dinner and finished it off with strawberry cupcakes, rice krispy treat hearts (chocolate dipped), and chocolate covered strawberries! Mmmmmmmm! Nothing too fancy but what made it special was the time we were able to spend together.

Eric got me some beautiful flowers, a box full of fudge (he knows me all too well), an amazingly sweet card and some money to buy some new clothes! Woohoo!!! Seriously, I'm one blessed girl. :) What did Lovah Boy get? A block oxide Leatherman Supertool 300.

His new toy!! Soooo romantic! ha

I loved this Valentine's Day and I am so looking forward to spending  future February 14th's with the man that makes me weak in the knees. <3
Strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and topped with "Love Birds"
I had a GREAT Valentine's! How did you celebrate this lovey dovey holiday?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Family Favorite

I’m sure some of you are familiar with these little morsels of chocolately goodness but just in case you’re not, these are (drum roll please)........NO-BAKE COOKIES!!!

I’ve grown up with these delicious treats. If cookies could be a family crest, no-bakes would be ours! We all know and love no-bakes. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters….Everyone. Loves. These. Cookies. If there is a plate of no-bakes out on a table, you can bet your bottom dollar my family will find them!

I <3 these cookies for a few reasons:

1. They are amazingly good!!! They’re kind of a cure-all when one is feeling blue. I personally use them to tame the raging hormonal beast within. Hubby also loves these cookies (probably for the same reason!) ;-)
2. Sugar, butter, peanut butter….just a few of the ingredients that one typically has around the house. No need to scramble yourself together to the grocery store to buy ingredients that you will use for this one recipe. Whenever the craving hits, you’ll most likely be ready!
3. EASY, EASY, EASY! They take all of 5{ish} minutes to make and then TADAH! you’re done.

Everyone makes them a little different but today, I’m sharing how I make these scrumptious little goodies!


1 stick of butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
½ c. Half & Half or cream
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 c. sugar
½ c. peanut butter
2-3 c. quick rolling oats

In a medium pan, place all ingredients except the peanut butter and oats. Turn on High heat, mix together, and let the butter melt, stirring continually. Let this get to a boil and once it does, stir it constantly for 1 minute solid. Do not let it go longer than that because it can dry out if on the stovetop. After one minute, remove from heat and add the peanut butter till it is perfectly incorporated. Quickly add the oats but to your taste. I probably do about 2-2 ½ cups but the recipe actually calls for 3. I find that if I do 3 cups my cookies are a little crumbly and dry. By doing half and half or cream and using less oats, I end up with a fudgier cookie which seems to be more universally appealing. Once the oats are mixed in, drop by spoonful onto waxed paper. Do within 5 minutes or so otherwise it will harden into the pan. Allow to cool and solidify and POW! YUMMY COOKIES!!!

So if a chocolate craving hits or you need a quick goodie and a trip to the store isn’t in your game plan, head to your kitchen! Whip up a batch of these. Believe me! NO one will complain! ;-)

Have you had these before? Does your recipe differ from mine?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I come home and what do I see?

Yesterday, Eric finally got a new grill for his truck. Excitedly, he put it on as fast as he could but what did he do with the old one???

He placed it right on the kitchen table....where we eat....every day. (sigh)

Coated in road salt, street grime, and encrusted in bug guts. Yeah, this is a perfect side dish to our dinner!
Needless to say I was less than pleased to find this on our kitchen table. But Eric was thrilled with his new piece of car candy so I can't complain too much. I love to see him happy! He's lucky I adore him so much! ;-)

Has your significant other done something like this before? :-)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Purse Implosion!!!

Lately I've noticed that my purse has felt a little heavier than usual. Please realize that my purse is normally heavy and I've always been known for carrying BIG purses so for me to say my purse was heavy, you know I mean it.  I've also just been going, going, going so things have been just been stashed wherever I can find space.
Today, while bored at work....ahem...I mean hard at work, I decided to take an adventure in my purse to see what was in there.....even I was shocked at all that I found.

BEHOLD! Just a few of the items that my lovely bag was hiding.
Here is what had been weighing my beautiful bag down:
 -Hair Brush
 -About $3.00 in change
 -2 gloves encrusted with purse junk (ew!)
 -BIG wallet
 -Cash envelopes equal to the size of another wallet
 -Small pouch with notepad & pen
 -2 Lotions......after Christmas I found myself buying little lotions at great prices and thinking, "These will be a perfect fit my purse!" Apparently I forgot that the other perfect fit was already in there and threw the second one in.
-1 hand sanitizer spray
-3 tubes of lipgloss ranging from Pink Lemonade to Berry Delicious ("My lipgloss be poppin' ")
-1 mini calendar...even though I never use it b/c I just the one on my Blackberry
-1 previous statement
-1 earring....yep, just 1
-2 do I have two rings but only one earring? I'm a mess. haha
-3 contact cases.....REALLY??? THREE!?!?!?! What's wrong with me?
-2 mini-perfumes....1 being empty and has been since July
-An old, uncharged phone...ya' case of emergency??? Hmmm....
-A 2010 Reds Baseball schedule....that will come in handy.........
-1 pack of gum...also empty
-1 lone piece of gum
-1 handwritten recipe for homemade creampuffs given to me about 8 months ago
-3 tanning lotion samples
-2 things of mints
-2 packs of sanitizer wipes....hands can never be too clean I always say!
-1 small pill holder...minus the pills.....
-A business card holder filled with cards from my old company I left 5 months ago
-3 Nail clippers....seriously? What is up with me having things in 3's??
-2 nail files
-Countless hair bands and bobby pins
-2 chapsticks.....1 good, 1 with nothing in it
-1 Vaseline lip gel....apparently I'm obsessed with moisturized lips
-1 old antibiotic from when I had bronchitis
-1 pack of fruit crisp crackers

Amazingly enough, while staring at this towering mound of non-sense, I thought, "Gee! I'm missing some band-aids and Aleve!"  (rolls eyes at self) Like I said, I've always carried heavy purses but since I've been married it's gotten worse. Eric will ask me for all sorts of things while we are out & about and if for some odd reason I don't have (fill in the blank) he acts annoyed that I somehow forgot (fill in the blank). So now I just try to carry it all!

Despite my collection of randomness, I do have a few tips that help keep me {normally} organized.
1. Find a colorful, small to medium sized pouch or make-up bag. Many times purses become so cluttered because it's dark in there, you can't seem to find what we need. When you carry a bright little bag, it is easier for you to find exactly what you are looking for. Also, the benefit of this tip is because you can easily change from purse to purse by just removing the pouch from one bag to the other. If you can find a bag that has a light texture to it then that is helpful as well. Sometimes you can't look in your purse but you can feel around for things and having something with a ribbed pattern might make it that much easier! And who doesn't like easy?
2. Go through your purse regularly. This is helpful in a variety of situations where organization is key. If I had weeded through my purse once a week like my regular routine then I probably wouldn't have ended up with this alarming amount of junk! Consistency is key!....and is it bad that I didn't mention all the items that I had found for fear of harsher judging? It was like the purse version of "Hoarders." haha
3. It's great to be prepared but be realistic! I clearly like to be the one that has it all "just in case" but having two to three nail clippers or 5 options of lip care isn't realistic.....unless I'm surprised by a phone call that I was cast in a nail care or make-up commercial!.....yeah, not going to happen.

Please tell me I am not the only one out there that has had a purse implosion? What are some odd things you have found? How do you keep yours organized?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gal Pals, Guitars, and Gut Busters!

I'll be honest with is one of those days. You know what I'm talking about. A day where all you want to do is hide under your covers and raise up a white flag shouting, "Ok Monday. You defeated me. Now leave me alone." Nothing of major consequence happened (beyond a follow up to the dentist). Thankfully I have a lot of fun memories from this weekend to get me through this gloomy day.

Friday I had lunch with a few of my favorite gal pals at Panera Bread {yummy!}. We were there for 3 hours and probably could have lasted another 3 to be quite honest. Our husbands don't get how we can just sit and talk for that long! haha

Although my friend and fellow blogger, Ashley, couldn't make it, her adorable Andrew did along with his cutie cousin, Braden, in the back! 

(L-R) Amber, Chrystal, and yours truly. <3 These girls!

Later that evening I got to hang out with my hubby (cue the happy dance!). We kind of floated from store to store but spent some precious time at the guitar store. Have I mentioned my husband is an amazing,  self-taught, rock star in hiding? He is awesome. I love hearing him play!!
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On Sunday, the Who-sers played the What-sers in the Super Bowl. Clearly being an expert on this years teams, I headed out to my in-laws with Eric to watch the game but fiiiiiiirst...............a stop to White Castle was made and this is what Hubby brought back to the car......
Yep, a 30 pack Crave Case (sigh)
Eric, smiling ear to ear, made me hold onto this box of greasy gut busters like it was the Crown jewel. He actually was petting it and talking to the cardboard case holding a future heart attack. He suggested I use it as a briefcase for work. Silly husband! haha With crave case in hand, we arrived at the in laws ready to watch some football and chow down on some awesome food Eric's step-mom made!....oh yeah.....and those square little burgers.

Yes, today may be one of those days but at least I had one of those weekends that help me get through the drudgery of a cloudy, cold Monday.

What did you do this weekend? How did you celebrate the Super Bowl? :-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Time Rant

Our porch mat frozen to the concrete.

Part of a bush in our front yard completely coated in ice.....and this was at the beginning of the storm.

BEAUTIFUL!!!.....and dangerous. We were so lucky our power lines stayed intact.
This is just a peek into my frozen, ice death trap of a world right now. It's beautiful but it is straight up annoying! Reasons why this "winter wonderland" is getting on my last nerve:
1. Potential of no power. Of course that means no heat but more importantly no blow dryer! This girl can take the cold but crazy, out of control hair???? Well that's just one thing I won't stand for.
2. The State House closed, a myriad of businesses closed (including Hubby's), and schools a plenty were updating with the local news stations that they were in fact not having school.......guess who still had to go to work????This girl. Because Heaven forbid the mall should be closed. And yes. People still came to the mall despite the fact that warnings were given to not go out if not absolutely necessary.
3. Eric was home, nice & cozy with nothing to fill up his time. I could have been there with him which is a rare treat for us because we never get the same days or time off. I would day dream of us cuddling up on the couch, watching old movies, and eating yumm-a-licious snacks when suddenly I would be brought back to reality by Eric saying, "Honey, your car is cleared off. You can go to work now."
4. And speaking of cars, I 'm pretty much over the whole cars being coated with so much snow and ice that I literally have to pry my doors open. Plus, having to drive through this stuff is no fun. I got stuck in our driveway yesterday. OUR. DRIVEWAY. Ridiculous.
5. Being cold all the time. Brrrrrrwinkles.
6. The sun glaring into my eyes off of the snow. And it's been like this since December 1st. Snow has been everywhere since that day. Bleh!

While I have these frustrations, there have been just a few positive's.
1. Although I went to work on the two major storm days, I did get to leave early on day 1. And on day dos, I got to go in late. So although my day dreams didn't fully come to be, I at least got to experience some cabin fever fun with my Honey.
2.............ok, #1 was pretty much my only positive. :-)

I know nature needs to run it's course and I am grateful for the variety of seasons but this past week has made me more excited for spring than before!

What is the weather like in your neck of the woods? Cold? Really cold?? Share your experiences with me! :-)