Monday, January 28, 2013

A crockpot dinner

We had our first dinner from the crockpot tonight.  It was a really simple London broil and it was DELICIOUS...the fall apart on your fork, melt in your mouth kind of delicious. 

I've never used a crockpot regularly before, but my parents got us one for Christmas and I am definitely willing to try to cut down on the time between getting home from work and eating dinner. 

Disclaimer:  The rice and edamame were not cooked in the crockpot, but it was a similar hands-off process -- rice cooker and microwave. 

Dinner is served. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another snow day

Once again, the "snow" neither disappointed nor impressed - a few snowflakes mixed with and followed by lots of sleet.  Fortunately, since it's Friday and since I have people above me at work, I was able to come home near the beginning of the snow and finish up the day here. 

I also got to spend some time doing somethings that make me feel really happy: baking and crafting.  Not really loving the painting, but it provided some entertainment for a while.  I haven't decided if I'll keep it or donate it just yet.  Cookies are delicious though.  I love the smell of warm, baking cookies. 

I'm particularly proud of that little tower I made...
Okay, so the last picture is unrelated.  But Bryce got this fancy little piece of wood as part of a white elephant gift exchange at work, and I am so happy to have finally found a place for it.  Welcome to our dining room, little wooden slab. 

Stay safe and warm this weekend!  Brrrrrrrrr!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our first snow

I'll be really honest.  I don't love snow.  Sure, it looks pretty when it covers the ground.  But here in NC, snow usually sticks to ice and turns to slush pretty quickly.  And that's just enough to make me not care too much for it.  This year's snow met my expectations perfectly: cold, quick, and slushy.

That said, I do acknowledge that it makes for fun pictures and every now and then, we have a snow big enough to have a snowball fight or build snowmen...or to make snow cream, which is yummy to me.

So folks, there it is:  our first snow. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Our wedding in just 4 minutes

This weekend, we got a copy of our wedding highlight video from our videographers.  We just love every bit of it!  It was so nice to sit back and remember some of the fun parts of that day together.  We love that the video shows a different perspective than the still camera lens.  I won't post videos of the whole thing again, but this quick little highlight is definitely one to watch. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Busy, but not bad

"Busy but not bad."  That's been my response for much of this week (and some of last) when asked how things are going at work.  Everyone is back on campus now, finalizing things for Spring semester, checking off the final requirements for graduation, and figuring out what to do when this fun time called college is over.  Since I get to work with all of our students, this means a particularly busy time for me. 

That said, I am really focusing these days on being patient, content, and thankful.  I am thankful for my job and all of the work that it entails.  My to-do list really encourages me to be productive and I'm glad for that.  A large part of the reason I chose to work in student affairs is to be a resource to students and faculty and I really enjoy that opportunity. 

That doesn't mean that things don't get crazy sometimes. 

"4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  Phillipians 4:4-8

Bryce is one of the most calm and patient people that I have ever met in my life.  He reminds me a lot of this verse and really encourages me to live it out. 

The fact of the matter is - no matter what my circumstances are, this is the day the Lord has made and I'll rejoice in it.  I will choose to not be stressed over things that I can't control and will work hard to do well at the things for which I am responsible. 

This is not natural.  My nature is to worry and to be anxious.  Remembering this verse and being confident in God's grace, faithfulness, and sovereignty allow me to overcome this nature.  Praise God that the old has gone and the new is here. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

What a relief. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quick trip to Target

We're not extreme couponers (though secretly, I wish I could figure it out).  But every now and then, Bryce finds deals that are just too good to turn down.   Lucky for me, he is really good at math and figuring out all of the discounts and has the patience to find the matching coupons.  

One of our favorite places to practice our deal-searches is Target.  They recently had coupons that gave you a $10 gift card for spending $50 or more (20% off) at the same time as several other great deals where you got $5 gift cards for buying multiples of various items.  So this is what we got: 

Bryce's cart:
All the loot: dish soap, toilet bowl cleaner (2), body wash (3), deodorant (3), mio drink flavor (3), and gel inserts for heels (2).  We already had $15 in gift cards from a similar trip before and manufacuter's coupons for everything in the cart. So the total came up to $14.46 and we left with $25 in gift cards.

ML's cart: 
All the loot:  Sorry and Scrabble board games, body wash (2), deodorant (2), dental floss (2), face wash (2), shampoo and conditioner, and a box of q-tips.  I was just behind Bryce in line so he gave me his gift cards.  (The dental floss was actually on sale for $0.97, but we had a $1/1 coupon which meant they helped get us to our $50 total for the gift card, but were really just free.)  This total came up to just $13.38 after using the gift cards from Bryce and we left with an additional $20 in gift cards.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  I'm also happy to report that we have played both Scrabble and Sorry with friends since the purchase and really enjoyed them both.  (I was skeptical about was way more fun than I remember it though.)

Finding deals like this are so much fun and such an adventure.  What a treat to come home with so many useful things without having to spend much at all.  (really, being paid - in gift cards - to shop)I continue to be so thankful for a husband that easily figures these things out.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas and New Year's re-cap

What a fun holiday season!  We were so excited to be off of work for a little while and to be able to spend time with our families.  Splitting time was pretty easy this year since Christmas Eve and Christmas were on a Monday/Tuesday.  We were able to spend a couple of days with each of our families and still have a little bit of time to relax together once we got back home. 

Fresh crabs for dinner.  Delicious.  

Speed Scrabble

Awesome light show that was synchronized with the radio.  So much fun.   

A full tree makes my heart so warm.   

Bottled sodas are tradition around my parents' house.  
Most personal gift of the night:  WCU jerseys!  I want to get one of these for myself.  asap.  

The other tradition:  Christmas pajamas.  So comfy and warm. 
 New Year's up North
Jersey Shore

Happy New Year!!

So that's it.  Our whirlwind tour of travels for Christmas and New Year's.  2012 was really one of the most wonderful and exciting years of our lives.  We continue to be blessed beyond measure and are looking forward to all of the adventures in store in 2013.