Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

pray for my friend, Sydney

The only pic I was able to get of Syd, as she held her new baby boy.
I am not sure how many actually read our blog, but I figured I would do a quick post asking for prayers for my dear friend, Sydney.
My beautiful Sydney was diagnosed with a brain tumor yesterday. She is 32 and just had her 3rd baby (Boone) on Dec. 1st. After suffering a bad headache, she went to the ER then had an MRI where doctors discovered a large tumor in her left frontal lobe. She has great doctors at Duke. But, more than that she serves and loves an Amazing God who loves Sydney more than any of us. I have been deeply saddened and shocked by this news, but so thankful that God is drawing us all closer to Him. Please pray for peace, comfort, healing, and provision.

I have wanted to be friends with Sydney for as long as I've been going to Hope (our church). There was just something about her I had to know. We briefly talked at church randomly, but never hung out. Then, this September we ran into each other at Carolina Smoothies and talked each other into going to our church's women's retreat later in the fall with plans to ride home together. And that is where it started; on the drive back to Charlotte from Montreat we discovered a new and exciting friendship. Sydney is one of those ladies who has a ton of friends and is surrounded by people who love her. She's unique, and beautiful and her own person. She's funky, real, honest, safe and loves with her giant heart. In these past couple months we've spent lots of time together. We share our love for Jesus, but also our love for the non traditional and thrift stores. When I'm at her house hanging out with her and her amazingly beautiful kids, I never want to leave. I feel so safe and wanted.

We were supposed to play next week. Instead I await news about her possible biopsy on Wednesday. Tonight we had a prayer meeting at our church for Todd & Sydney and the kids. It was beautiful to be a part of a community of people who love Jesus and love this family. And I believe with all my heart that God is in this; that He will be glorified and He will use it for good.
Here are a few pics I took a couple weeks ago while we were hanging out.

Haven, Boone & Vail

Vail with Boone

Haven and her giant personality!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Samosas by Aunty

Adam's aunt makes the BEST Samosas. Another great thing about Louisiana is visiting family and having some yummy homemade Indian food. I have these hopes of keeping recipes alive from both our families, but it turns out most people don't use recipes. But, on our trip, his aunt walked me through making homemade Samosas!!
Step 1:
Cook ground beef and drain ALL the oil; put back in pot to stir to get dry. Add salt, garlic paste, and ginger paste.

Step 2:
Let meat cool, then add chopped onions, cilantro and green onions (chilis optional) to taste
*this is your filling (notice how there are no measurements)
Step 3:
Lay out Spring Roll Pastry Squares (cut off 1/2 inch). Make "glue" out of flour and water--should be paste. Fold in half (long side)

Then fold down diagonally with edge

Pinch corner and fold down again making a funnel type pocket

Spoon in 1-2 spoonfuls of filling and press down into pocket

Put paste on pastry edge and fold over to seal, repeat for top and other "loose" edges.
Finished product is shaped like a triangle.

Deep Fry on Med - High heat until golden brown; let drain standing on one corner.
ENJOY. (we just ate these and they were AMAZING!)

DEEP roots

When I decided to go on Young Life staff in 2002, I had no idea I would end up in Louisiana. During my 2 years there, I repeatedly said that I would not have "deep roots" there. And, honestly I have no idea what I meant by that. It turns out I got those deep roots b/c it's where I met Adam. hello, deep roots! I also met one of my best friends & soul sistas, Laura Garcia, along with many friendships. I am so thankful for the 2 years I got to spend down there doing YL and for the people that God brought into my life during that time. In addition to the relationships, I discovered an amazing place in Southeast Louisiana...New Orleans.

One of my favorite places in Louisiana is the lake front (Lake Pontratrain) on the Northshore in Mandeville. There used to be a coffee shop there--Java Grotto--that I would spend countless mornings at. (...it never recovered after Katrina) The lake front was(is) one of the most peaceful places where I was able to be alone and it literally became a refuge for me during my internship.

the lake front what used to be Java Grotta us by one of the many giant oaks

On our trip back we visited some of our favorite restaurants. New Orleans has the best food ever!! EVER. Jacques-Imos is on this dark side street off of Carrolton where the street car runs. It is some of the best food ever. The fried green tomatoes comes topped with giant shrimp, everything is cooked in a rich, buttery sauce, and the atmosphere is spectacular. Another favorite place is Mr. B's Bistro which is owned by one of the Brennans (a local family of chefs). We always come here and at lunch b/c it's cheaper and they have $1.50 bloody marys. But, the best dish is the BBQ Shrimp. For most of us, this conjours up ideas of BBQ sauce or even a grill. Not in New Orleans. It is about 6 jumbo shrimp (heads and everything) cooked is a ridiculously delicious buttery and black pepper sauce (roux) and some french bread for soaking it up. You even wear a bib!! I took some pics of what was leftover. :)

Another one of my favorite things to do in NOLA is Magazine Street. It's a funky street full of funky places & people. A must do everytime we are there.

I am thankful for the deep roots.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Buckle Up for Safety!!

I first saw these seatbelt bags when I worked at Starbucks in college and loved them. So cool!! A purse made out of seatbelts!? amazing!
It wasn't until my first Christmas with Adam that I would ever get one...he gave me a small red seatbelt purse and i loved it. And, since it's made out of seatbelts it's virtually indestructible. Which is just what I need.
So, over the years I've kept my eyes out, but they are pretty pricey. I will be saving for the diaper bag one day for sure! anyway...
since we've been in Louisiana for a few days, I have been able to do some of my favorite things and have lots of pics and blog posts coming soon. We were in New Orleans yesterday doing one of my favorite things...Magazine Street. park, shop, drive, park, shop, have a drink, shop, drive, park...you get it. It's full of funky places and people...i love it. So, we're in Buffalo Exchange (a great consignment/thrift store that needs to come to Charlotte) and i'm checking out the purses thinking we could get one for his sister. then, out of the corner of my eye is a BEAUTIFUL BLUE (PEACOCK COLOR) SEATBELT BAG!! i literaly gasped. and it was only 25 dolloars!!! merry Christmas to me!!
check them out at www.seatbeltbags.com (i got the mini-messenger)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

blogasaurus rex

blogging is so the new thing and i love it. like facebook, you just get a glimpse into people's world that wasn't available years ago.
anyway...photography seems like the new thing (maybe not for all), but i know a lot of AMAZING photographers. (links are on the right...jen hunt, smitten, blue bucket to name a few)
well, i usually make my rounds on all 3 sites once a week to see what is new. one time i found this project that Amy Free is doing on hers (blue bucket)...here is her vision:
The quote:
"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful."
Sophia Loren

The goal:
The goal? Empower you, the women around me, to see yourself from a new angle. To enjoy what others love seeing in you—grace, love, humility, confidence, talent, sincerity, fierceness, loyalty, laughter and joy. The fact of the matter is that we are bombarded all the time with images that tell us how we should define beauty, and I have had a lifetime of wrestling with how I fit within these definitions of beauty. This project is all about empowering women to believe in their own beauty.

Think about this: when you look around your house, how many photos do you have displayed of yourself? I'm guessing there are wedding photos, family photos, and maybe a few random snap shots. But what about a beautiful image of you? Just you? Well now is your chance.

The style:
Each image will be unique to each woman because our definitions of beauty can range and my desire is for these images to capture that uniqueness. I will shoot on location in natural light.

I wanted to do this with my sister. If I could, I would do it with all my girl friends. so i inquired and we had our shoot with Amy a couple weeks ago and i just got the disk. it was so fun. she is amazing at her job and it was sweet to do this with my gorgeous sister. so, check us out (and many others) at www.bluebucketphotography.typepad.com.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pack Rat

I know why I hold onto things.
I am on my second weekend of fall cleaning and I decided to go through our 2nd bedroom's closet. When we moved in, we put boxes of stuff and Christmas decorations and clothes and all sorts of office stuff and other random things in this closet. It's fairly spacious. I figured it would be good to go through and see what is actually in there and either keep it & organize it or throw it out.
I found some old cards & letters as I went through a box. Tied together was a stack of construction paper cards from my going away party that the staff & leaders gave me in Cab. Co. before I left for Louisiana to do Young Life back in 2002.

"I just want you to know that I think you are truly amazing. Yes, you are hilarious. In fact you are the funniest person I have ever met. But I want you to know that I see past that. I think you are a genuine and wonderful person, and I think you're an absolutely beautiful woman."
"I don't think you can imagine how awesome it has been having you on my team! you truly showed me what it means to be a YL leader and to serve and give of yourself for others."
"I've been blessed by our friendship and have no intention of letting it end here..."
"You are truly a woman of God and I'm thankful for all that I've been able to learn from you."

These are few excerpts from the notes I received. I was so amazed at what other people thought of me. I was so thankful for it. And I was so glad that I kept it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

celebrate under 30

i know i just turned 30, but i have to post about the excitement i feel when i fill up my subaru for under 30 bucks. it's amazing.
we all know it's hard-knocks right now for most of us, BUT, we can buy gas for under $2!!! that's freaking awesome! so, right now i get excited to go to the pump. i love to be on empty so i can fill up for a dollar seventy-six at Costco.
i know it's sad that my mood is based on the cost of filling up my car. (uh, and in reality, it's not)
pump it up!!

finally some pics of the 30th

my beautiful sister, julie

my sweet friend, leah

my awesome cake that my sister "designed" for me

really? do i need to say anything about this one?

so, there are a few pics from the night. there are more, but mostly blurry and random. none with me and adam. what a shame!! my friend, jessamy, has some good ones of the surprise.
it was such a great party.