Thursday, March 29, 2007

I've been trying to post pictures of our weekend at the Gaylord Texan. I'll have to get those on a computer and put them up.
I passed my licensing test today for Limited Lines. That doesn't mean I'm licensed already (of course there's bureaucratic red tape to go through still) but I've done everything I need to get it finished. And I didn't have to spend most of today at my desk.
Finishing the Race
The realization is becoming more and more clear as we are rounding the corner. It is only a year until we are finished her (a year and four weeks if we want to be really specific, which I do). So we keep getting asked what we (or Adam) wants to do when he is finished. And we always answer the same way. We don't have the foggiest idea. (That answer comes in different forms, from "Whatever God wants us to do" to "We don't have the foggiest.") So most of you who read this know us pretty well. What do you think we should do? Where should we go? Just wanted to get some feeback. Let us know what you think.
Driven is awesome! It's my favorite of conferences ever.
We've been asked again to help this summer. We need to prayerfully consider this because we hadn't planned on travelling to Ohio for it (mostly, actually wholly, for financial reasons). But our heart really lies with the work that is being done to reach a new generation for Christ and then even more specifically in the Grace Brethren Fellowship. Pray for and encourage us as we make a decision soon, very soon.
More to Come
There are some things in the works that I can't yet discuss on here but just you wait! I'll have a lot to talk about soon enough!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

So many wonderfuls

I had a bunch of things to blog about, but as soon as I opened my screen to do it, they flew from my head. So here's another list of wonderfuls...
Baby Alex McClung is here. I'm so excited to finally meet him
Baby Ella's health so far is wonderful. Check out the new pic of her!
Getting to leave work early and having time to run errands :)
My "weekend to remember" with my husband. We had a great time.
Getting to work early.
How you feel after 2.5 miles on the treadmill.
The smell of a clean house.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Horray for fun things

Things I love right now...

Actually feeling like I know how to do my jobs (instead of being the new girl).
Secretly reading Cosmo... I love trashy airplane magazines. oooo Glamour too.
Drinking high quality tea. Life's too short for bad tea. (Drinking right now- Harney and Sons Citron Green Tea)
Knowing I don't get to sleep in my own bed tonight, but still get to sleep with my husband.
On a similar note, not having to see my dirty/messy apartment for two days.
That my mommy is coming to town for Easter.
Ohio State pulling it out in the last minutes of the game. (the guy who sits next to me at work went to Tennessee)
When I'm in the middle of a good book.
Crochetting! I've spent some time this morning looking up patterns for really cute stuff.
Feeling like the day is flying by and you are being productive.
My pretty new car.
Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oh yeah, I forgot

I was also going to write about how I got chosen for jury duty. Are you kidding me? I'm a totally conservative Christian. I'm surprised they'll even let me in the buidling. It should be fun to not have to go to work in the morning and get compensated for it. Did you know the first day of jury duty you get paid 6 whole dollars? Wow, that makes me want to do my civic duty. I'm pretty sure they'll ask me 5 questions and send my on my way. My best friend was hit by a drunk driver, I believe in the death penalty, and I have no tolerance for thugs since I taught school for a few years. Oh yeah, I should say I believe everyone is guilty until proven innocent (which I don't believe by the way). They probably shouldn't waste their time on me. Bummer they probably won't let me take in my camera to photograph this momentous occasion.

Random Things for the Day

Insurance Weight
Today I was scheduled to take my limited lines insurance test next week. The only reason I mention it is, that the process was partially humiliating. My boss's boss is not the most conversational of people. He's a nice, upstanding guy who I really don't mind working for, but I think in the 6 months I've worked here our conversations have consisted of Hello, how are you? kinds of things. Today, the man had to ask me everything down to my weight. My husband doesn't even know how much I weigh, so now I have to tell this man my weight, and not in the DMV kind of style where I never have to see this person again, but in the I see you 25 times a day and now you know how much I weigh kind of thing. Don't worry, I resisted any off color jokes about how he should at least take me out to dinner and buy me wine before asking these types of questions and I just reverted to answering them honestly (I swear, honestly) and will now proceed to avoid eye contact for the rest of the time I work here. I think its a great solution.
This weekend
Adam surprised me a while ago (when I was probably having a rough week) with a weekend getaway to Family Life's A Weekend to Remember conference. Well this was a long time ago but the weekend is finally coming up. We will stay at the Gaylord Texan for a weekend and I will not have to work for two whole days, and get to spend it with my husband.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Oh come let's sing Ohio's praise

Before I start on the never ending post of my weekend.... Horray so far for Ohio pulling out the basketball win in double over time on Saturday.... make me proud Buckeyes.

This weekend I went to Ohio to "surprise" my Andi Leigh at her bridal shower. So of course I couldn't post about all this until after the weekend had come to fruition. So this shall be a long discourse on everything that happened leading up to this (and may actually take a few posts, but I want to get it all down before I lose some of the funny things from memory).

Back Story
The whole idea started way back last year, you see Andi and I have a habit of surprising each other in different places. She surprised me for a weekend in Columbus from Denver and then again in Dallas when I moved there. I surprised her for her graduation in Denver from Dallas, and then this weekend was going to be the ultimate, surprising her at her bridal shower flying from Dallas to Columbus.

But things were a little fishy.... I kept getting text messages that ended with "see you soon". Yeah, she knew. That sucked. But, none the less we had a wonderful weekend and I had a wonderful time hanging out with her.

Getting there
I flew in Friday afternoon and my mommy picked me up from the airport. What do I love to do when I'm in C-bus? I love to eat! So, I told Mom that I was starving and we should go eat Skyline. Horray for Skyline! I got my four way with onions... If you've never had Skyline, it's the best chili in the world. I took this picture to make Adam jeally (see Erin, I used it).

Then I took the second one to make him laugh...

After that, Mom and I went for me to try on Kara's choices of bridesmaid dresses... I won't bother you with those pictures, though Mom trying to figure out how to use my camera ended with some funny pictures.

After hanging out with the in-laws for a while, I got to see my Jessica. She politely cut my mullet off (yes it turns out I had a mullet) and then we went to Starbucks to hang out. Talking about life with her makes everything seem better and leaving her breaks my heart everytime. I have not cried so hard in a long time when I had to get out of her car. So I called Adam to cry some more, and he promised that this summer he would fly her down to visit us. Yeah! I can't wait. She's so dear to me and one of the kindest people I've ever met. I call her my spiritual soulmate, our hearts know how to talk to each other.

The Big Surprise/Letdown
So the next morning we have everything planned. Barb is going to drive me out to get my dress fitted where while I have my beautiful dress on Andi will walk in thinking she's getting a fitting but see me instead and shed copious amounts of tears and shout many shouts of joy. So I'm in my dress and I hear Andi talking to Agi in the next room and the door opens, and she says..... "hey, how are you?" Really?!? hey how are you? are you kidding me?!? Where are the tears? the shouts of joy? Nothing.... Then she laughed, ran across the room, and hugged me.... Silly Momma (Paula) had spilled the beans months ago and didn't even realize it.

Crazy Day
So the shower itself wasn't until 2pm, so we spent the rest of the morning running around with errands (mostly at JoAnn Fabrics and Walmart). But we had a great time doing it... Erin and I kept ourselves busy laughing about things while the moms and Andi did most of the work. What are sissies for except to make you laugh?

But we did get Andi to act a little goofy!

We stopped by Chipotle for lunch before the shower, where Corey joined us for a few moments. His face says to me, "I can't believe I'm joining this family...." I can't either Corey, good luck with all those crazy women.

We had a great time at the shower, all of Andi's gifts were lovely, the food tasty, and the company and guests were the highlight (for me anyway). I love all the women who were there, it was fun to see people who I hadn't seen since the summer and some in years. Erin and I tied during the game where everyone finds out who knows Andi best, which was pretty good since we only cheated off each other a little.

After the shower was over, it was time for the real party to start. The girls decided they would go ahead and finish all the favors for the table which really consisted on tying a ribbon the top of a beautfiul bookmark. Really easy right? Nope! We were up until 2:30 in the morning and couldn't feel our fingers by the end of the evening. But the sangria, fondu, pizza, and jokes were great. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time, especially at poor Miss Erin, whose problem with spelling Tupperware, Tubberware, has earned her the nickname Mrs. Tubby.

After we finally finished the bookmarks (which I wouldn't mind if I never saw again, as lovely as they are). Andi and I thought it would be a fine idea if we slept in the twin bed together, just like we did in high school. Let me remind you, that I'm no longer in high school.... I didn't seem to remember that at the time, but boy the next day, my body really reminded me. I've pretty much never felt so old. My body hurt so bad. It didn't help that we stayed up until 5:30-6am chatting and giggling like little school girls as well. But I wouldn't change any of that for the world. It's a memory I hold really dear to my heart.

The next morning I woke up early enough to go to both services at East Side and was able to see a lot of friends I hadn't seen since we'd left during the summer. It's so great to be asked if we are coming back soon. I really wish we had an answer to that question. I even found Marty hanging out by the new nook built in the entry way and stopped him for a picture. I love our church here in Dallas, but East Side is where I became a Christian, learned about true worship, and grew up in my faith. I love the people and atmosphere and meaning it has.

After an afternoon with my wonderful in-laws and a quick dinner (if you call cheese fries dinner) with Andi at the airport, I flew home to a wonderful and lonely husband and was greeted with flowers and a spotless house. What more could a girl ask for (besides a really long sleep)? I know, Donato's Pizza (good thing I packed a pizza in my checked baggage). So we ate the best pizza in the world, talked a little, and then I fell straight asleep.

Andi Leigh & Cara Beth

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Day Off...

I am proud to post that the underbelly of my beds have been exposed, reorganized, and masses of things have been thrown away. I even got some scrapbooking accomplished yesterday.
You see I found alot of my scrapbooking stuff under one of the beds, including my unfinished Disney scrapbook from this summer that I lovingly worked on before I got a job.
But since I have become employed it was somehow discarded and shoved under a bed. It was safely recovered yesterday and I took over the middle of the livingroom floor in order to spread it all out and arrange everything before digging in. It took an hour or so to collect everything I needed and when I then only had enough time to complete two pages before having to go to work, I didn't have the heart to pick it back up. So I left it there and then after work completed about 10 pages and ended up keeping myself up until 1AM working on pages when I then finally picked up the mess and dragged my sorry self to bed. Promise I'll post some pics of my fun pages soon, if I can figure out how to get a good picture of them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Not too much....

has been going on around these parts. I've just finished reading The Measure of A Lady by Deeanne Gist... it was so good I read it in two days and it didn't even have time to make it up on my currently reading list, so it warranted a mention here. Good Christian Romance Fiction. My mind has been adequately filled with fluff.
I'm sure I'll have more to post on Thursday, tonight we are having friends up (I say up because they live on the 3rd floor and we live on the 9th) for dinner and a birthday celebration, and tomorrow I have the whole day off (well until 6-10pm anyway), so maybe I'll organize under the beds. Ok I know that's a sick and weird thing, but I really think it will make me a happy camper.
You have to understand, under our beds is our primary source of storage in our apartment. I have systematcially bought risers for our bed and the spare bed (basically this leads to me having to hop into bed because it's so high) and most of our boxes of stuff are underneath. Not good fung shui but it's good apartment design. Somehow our boxes of stuff have turned into a plastic bag of ribbon scraps, an old feather pillow Adam refuses to get rid of, magazines that I need to pull things from, and some computer cords and accessories that no longer work, amongst the boxes of storage. So tomorrow I resolve to get up early to clear everything out, organize everything (especially my craft, art, and interior design supplies)....
Ooooo I should also take care of those stacks of books that have been accumulating around my house as well. Not only have we filled our built-in bookshelves, plus the three purchased bookshelves, but now have accumulated stacks of books on the floor and table and other surfaces as well. I should really find a place for those to live, besides my floor.
This past weekend a bunch of friends of ours got together in Asheville, NC. Some live there, some live in the Bay area of Cali and some are from here in Plano, TX. I miss them so much and I'm totally jealous that they all got to love on each other this weekend. I love this picture so much I had to share with everyone. My favorite part is that Tati is missing a shoe!
So for nothing going on I've managed to fill up a pretty good blog...

Friday, March 9, 2007

I've given up on the sounds....

I'm about 15pages into What's So Amazing About Grace? and I already have to take a break. The whole time I'm reading, I'm thinking "Gosh, I'm so AWFUL at giving grace. I need to do this better. Gosh I'm just awful." So I thought I would actually interact as I read this book and let you know how it's breaking me down and building me up again.
Yancey quotes David Seamands:
Many years ago I was driven to the conclusion that the two major causes of most emotional problems among evangelical Christians are these: the failure to understand, receive, and live out God's unconditional grace and forgiveness; and the failure to give out that unconditional love forgiveness, and grace to other people.... We read, we hear, we believe a good theology of grace. But that's not the way we live. The good news of the Gospel of grace has not penetrated the level of our emotions.
Yup, that's what got me. I believe a good theology of grace. I can lay down a chart or list for you of God's grace in my life and in general. Somewhere along the way it is ingrained in most Christians' heads. The part that is most heartwrenching for me, is that live out section. But that's not the way we live. Bam! Right in the face. We don't live in accordance to what we believe. Then to make matters worse, I was reading a blog of a woman struggling with grumbling, and the passage that convicted her came up to convict me as I was reading this. Titus 1:16- They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. Ouch! Another one right there. I always forget I will be known by my actions, not by what I believe. People can't see inside me. I have to live in a way that is honoring to God and shows His grace in order for people to know what I believe.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


I wanted to post some pictures of our Brand-New-Car! It's an 07 Honda Civic and it's only by the grace of God that we ended up with it, but I L-O-V-E it!

Here's Adam, he's going to be the primary rider in this car.
The beautiful dashboard.
Here's where all of our friends (and future kids) will ride! Come take a ride with us!
I'm so excited, get out of my way!

I just have to say that God is good. There's no other way to explain it. He is faithful to those who follow Him. I'm not a claim it and take it kinda girl, but I do know that the circumstances that allowed us to end up in this car were blessings poured out on us from above and are beyond anything we could imagine, from receiving over 2000 more dollars for our old car than we expected, to the people we dealt with being honest and more than helpful. So all I have to say is, "Thank You Lord, Amen."

Monday, March 5, 2007

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.... (a very loud, never ending scream of pain)

Ever been glad it's Monday so that you can escape the clutches of the weekend? Well I am, except that the clutches continue to hold my heart and this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Just a regular tune up
Adam and I took our trusty Saturn (the one he's drove all through college and the sole car we've been driving here) to get an oil change on Saturday morning. First of all, I was grumpy because Saturdays are the only day I get to sleep in (I usually work the 1-10 shift at PBK on Saturdays). So we took it in and I was busily crochetting away for two hours when they come to tell us that something is horribly wrong with our car. We've told it over and over, but at the risk of sounding like I know nothing about cars, there is something wrong with our engine and potentially with our transmission. So essientially, a regular occurance of $40 ended up to be a $5000 bill.
Buick, Boat, it's all the same
So once we found out this information, the dealership told us it was unsafe to drive our car. So Enterprise picked us up (just like the slogan says) and got us a rental. The only car they had available was a Buick Lucerne. Yeah if you've never seen one, it's a boat. I've driven minivans and things before but this feels larger. It's pretty amusing to watch me park. So we've been driving around a Buick, and we're on our way to church yesterday when I look down at all the amazing gadgets to find out that the check engine light is on! What? Are you kidding me? This is the exact reason that we are in a rental car. Stupid engines. I hate them all. Adam told me he was going to get me a bike.
I need an answer
Adam and I are clueless about cars. Literally clueless. So we've annoyingly questioned every person who may have anything to do with cars about what we should be doing. Luckily we have some pretty awesome friends. We have a friend who "knows a guy" (I've always wished I was cool enough to "know a guy") and both of them have been really helpful. And dear Aaron has helped Adam out tremendously even calling the dealership for us to get a clear answer. Oh the games we play in a fallen world.
I'm here at work calling the insurance company to find out if out rental coverage covers the rental we currently have with the check engine light on. And calling the rental company to find out if we are in fact safe to drive this car we currently have in our possession. The guy at the rental car laughed when I told him the light came on and told him that was the exact reason we had a rental in the first place. I don't think he understood my frustration. I'm also researching the price of cars that won't have a price tag to send my husband into an early grave. His Kipp Frugal Mode is trying to kick in amongst the frantic sheer terror of not actually having a car at all.
Funny Car Story
Adam: Oh and Aaron said to get a Honda or Nissan (which are the Accent and Versa) so I guess we are no longer going to be Saturn people
Me: Accent is Hyundai
Honda would be Civic
Adam: Oh crap! I always get those mixed up. Well then let's get a Versa if we like it
Me: That's why I was letting you know
Nissan is Versa though so good going on that one
Pray for us in this situation. As seminary students most of our money goes straight to housing food and books. Although we have been so blessed to have not had a car payment, it is soon to change, on top of us not having been offered very much at all to trade in our current car. Pray that we would have wisdom in using our money and that the people we deal with would be honest.

Friday, March 2, 2007

boing, boing, boing (I'm running out of sounds already)

The reason I chose the "boing" sound is I have been bouncing all over the place lately. Also, this is due to be a random blog that doesn't have any cohesion to it at all.
Adam has been reading my blog, but I suspect he's only waiting for an apology for the ferris wheel conversation. So honey, I'm sorrry if I painted you in a foul light. But he was highly vindicated by the fact that multiple other people thought the same thing. Thanks, other people.
Book Club
I had my monthly book club last night. And I must admit that even when we really don't care for the book I still always have such a wonderful time. It's amazing. I was telling Adam that I wouldn't have "picked" these people for a book club, but when we are together it feeds my soul in a way I cannot clearly explain. It's wonderful to have Christian women with different lives, experiences, and expectations, be able to enjoy fellowship in that way. I dearly treasure the time I spend with these three women. Especially Char's story about her 70 year old mom reading Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. Now that's classic.
The Unknown
Things that really annoy me: being told what to do, and the unknown. Not knowing what's going on really irks me deep down. That's why a number of things happen to me all the time. Like getting lost, if I don't know my way, I convince myself I do. When I was little I was the kid who always said, "How long until we are there?" instead of "Are we there yet?" I also HATE surprises. Then last but not least, I'm a planner. I keep my calendar with me almost all the time, if I don't have it I feel a little lost, and I refer to it about 200 times a day.
So why care to write about this? Adam brought to my attention the day before last that he is scheduling his fall schedule for next year, and I thought to myself. Oh no, that's his last fall here, and we don't know what the crap we are going to do when we are done. Which essientially led me into an internal shame spiral about where we are going after seminary.
It's about a year away. The moment we've been striving and sacrificing for now for three very long and arduous years. It's kinda like going up a big rollercoaster hill and going over the top and your about half way down the hill when you look at the bottom of the hill. There's not a brick wall there so you know you won't crash, you know there's still track because it doesn't just stop, but there's this tunnel, you can see that the tunnel eventually comes out on the other end (for my purposes, Heaven), but you don't know what's inside that tunnel. It could be dark and scary or it could be like the "It's a Small World" ride at Disney World; all fun and music with exciting people. But the whole anxiety is based on not knowing what's inside the tunnel. So for now I just have to trust (and trust I do) that everything will work out. I have to trust not on my own understanding but a little bit of the understanding of Adam, and the rest is God's thing.
Status Quo
Until then, I'm sick of being status quo in this place where we are. This place of uncertainty and transition. I know, this comment and the one above tend to sound contrasting. This morning I was driving to work and heard Nicole Nordeman's Brave on the radio. That song always makes me smile and sing along. But I was thinking of the lyrics and how the desire of my heart is really to be brave. Most of everything I want, worry about, and do comes down to insecurities and that's a huge problem. I want to be brave enough to do what I'm supposed to do, what God wants me to do with my life. Sometimes I'm just too afraid to speak up or too afraid to try something, but then I remember that my faith is what makes me free to do so many things. Sometimes I choose the path of compromise, and I don't want to do that.

(Nichole Nordeman, Jay Joyce)
The gate is wide
The road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
You're safe and sound and
Until now, it's where I've been
'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, your love, that cuts the strings

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I am small
And I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say your name
Just your name and I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall

Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I try to keep it all inside?
I've never known a fire that didn't begin with a flame
Every storm will start with just a drop of rain
But if you believe in me, that changes everything