Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Anyway, I may not be blogging much (or at all) until we get back after the New Year. So if you don't hear from me before then, I wish you all a wonderful & RESTFUL Christmas & a very happy New Year!
Friday, December 19, 2008
1 year ago...Dan & I traveled home to Missouri and were thrilled to see lots and lots of snow. It was Dan's first Christmas away from home and his first time to experience the Carroll family traditions - which include a slightly (translate: incredibly) slower pace than Johnstons are accustomed to. We revelled in the rest, drinking lots of coffee while chatting away with Mom & Dad and watching the peaceful snow. Kelsey's fiance joined us as well, and for the first time, we really had the "whole" family together.
And this year we are just a few days away from hopping on a plane to head to sunny California once again. I'll miss my family dearly, but I'll learn more about being a Johnston as I spend some much needed time with Dan's family. I'm so thankful for the wonderful man I am able to call my husband, and though Christmas will never be quite the same as it used to be, I am thankful that I'm always able to bring "home" with me as Dan & I spend Christmas together.
There is one thing, though, that never changes - Christmas itself is ALWAYS about God wrapping himself in swaddling clothes in the tiny form of baby Jesus. I am so thankful that some things never change.
Note: Mom or Dad, if you have any pictures from the earlier years, feel free to send them :-)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Now, if I'm going to be outside during the winter months, I expect this. I bundle up, dress in layers, throw on a muff...whatever. I'm okay with that. But must I wear long underwear to work? Should I really have to bring a wool blanket to church with me? Is it really necessary to sit through a movie with mittens on?
I think I have my mother's curse. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go find a cup of hot chocolate and try to unthaw.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Hoped they'd work? They're beautiful! And they fit our little front porch perfectly. Grandpa, I'm not sure if I believe you when you say you've never made a rocking chair before. Maybe my old rocking horse was all the practice you needed :-)
Are we blessed or what? Thanks again, Grandpa AJ, for the beautiful gift!
Monday, December 1, 2008
As always, the time went way to quickly. Knowing I won't be home for Christmas made leaving that much more difficult, but it also made me savor the time. How thankful I am for a family like mine.
I left a lot out here, but perhaps that will encourage me to post a bit more this week. I have high expectations for the month of December :-)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Secondly, there's the whole locking doors thing. I'm still not used to that. When I suggested to Dan the other day that maybe we wouldn't have to lock up every time we walk in or out of our home, he looked at me like a crazy person! I just miss getting home and walking right on in the door without having to fumble through 10 different keys. I understand the point (trust me Mom, I lock everything), but I'm just saying...I miss the days when I used to leave the keys in my ignition.
Now here's something I love about living in a city - ACCESS. I have access to pretty much anything I could conceivably want or need, at pretty much any time I happen to have a hankerin (that's a word here). I have tried some rather exotic recipes over the past couple of years simply because I can find all sorts of crazy stuff at the grocery store. My small-town grocery store in Maysville - Dungy's Supermarket - didn't tend to carry much in the ethnic department. Unless you count tortillas.
On the flip side, I really miss the personal touch when I do go shopping. The other day I fought with a machine just to try and return a silly DVD. As I stood there and waited on technology, I thought to myself - if I had rented this from Dungy's, I would have just walked in, said hello to the clerk (who's first name I would know), they would have thanked me by name and asked how my Mom was doing. Or my cat. And they probably would have remembered which movie it was that I had rented.
Another reason I just don't think I'll ever be a city girl: the other day my coworker sought me out to tell me there was a dead possum outside. He was supposed to take care of it - and asked me how I would do it. And I actually gave him advice on how I would dispose of a dead possum.
Maybe next week a co-worker will ask me where I find such cute, trendy shoes...not likely. Sigh.
So what about you? Do you prefer a small town or a big city? And please, let me know if you have any pointers for this poor country girl. Please.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Dan got home Sunday night, but Monday I felt worse than the day before and decided I just couldn't handle a day at the office. Day #2 at home on the couch with a book. Not too shabby. What did I read, you might ask? This delightful book:
It's a memoir written about her spiritual journey - from her Jewish upbringing split between her non-practicing Jewish father and lapsed Baptist mother (who divorced early on), through her decision to become an orthodox Jew, and eventually to Christ drawing her to himself in very unconvential ways. She writes about the beauty of litergy and religious calendars and the ways in which she is able to draw from her Jewish heritage as she begins her new life as a Christian. It's a beautiful book, and not only did it remind me that Christianity looks different on different people, it also challenged me to think about my faith intellectually - something I've rarely been challenged to do since college.
Thanks for loaning me the book, Kelsey!
Just a few thoughts for this morning and a little catch up from last week. I'll try and get back on track this week - now if I could just shake this dumb cold.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Okay, fine...so the Iowa picture probably isn't from November. But it could have been! I'm just saying - it's really nice here. And I like nice weather.
Hope the weather is nice wherever you are today!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I was, however, both convicted & comforted as I read Beth Moore's blog this morning. My Mom also encouraged me in this way, reminding me of how much hate has been spewed towards Bush by those like the Hollywood elite. I do not want to spend the next 4 years harboring bitterness towards a man that I believe I am called to respect. For the past 8 years, republicans have grown weary of liberals who refuse to "reach across the aisle" and play in the sandbox with the rest of us. Now it's our turn to act like adults and do our part to continue making this great nation even greater by learning to work together and rising above the example that has been set for us. More importantly, as Christians we are called to both love our neighbors (even if they voted for the other ticket) and submit to the authority God sets up - and I'm pretty sure that includes our president.
Also, there was a victory last night for conservative Christians - Proposition 8 in California passed! Praise the Lord there are still plenty of people (even in the liberal state of Cali) who believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man & woman.
I have a lot of other thoughts running through my head right now, and I have a feeling it will take awhile to sort them all out. But for now, I'll leave you with a quote my Dad sent me today as well as a verse to chew on. How grateful I am that I am first and foremost a citizen of an ETERNAL Kingdom and the daughter of a King who will reign with justice & righteousness forever!
"Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary." ~Isaiah 8:12-14a
"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times." ~George Washington
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I am ever-so thankful today for the freedoms that we have in this great nation. And I am even more thankful that I know Who holds our future - regardless of the outcome of this race.
"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders." Deuteronomy 33:12
Monday, November 3, 2008
I'm not sure I completely agree with all of this, but it certainly was a good gut-check for me - particularly the last little bit of it. What do you think?
I already cast my vote last week during early voting, so now it's time to PRAY for this great nation and this pivitol election!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
For those of you who don't know, Paige & Torri are basically like my little sisters. My Mom stayed at home with my sister & I until we went to school when she started babysitting full-time in our home. Paige started coming when she was just 6-weeks old, and two years later Torri followed suit. Now, 16 years later (are you really 16, Paige? I still can't quite believe that!), they're pretty much family and we can't really imagine what life would be like without the Blythes. Needless to say, I was THRILLED when Mom told me there was a chance that she might be able to come visit...and Paige & Torri might be able to come with her! It also just so happened that Kelsey was on her fall break (or whatever they call it), so she & Brent quickly made plans to join the fun as well. Unfortunately my Dad had to work - wish you could have joined us, Buddy! Although you might have had to sleep outside...
Even though I have come to love Nashville and Dan & I both know that this is where we're meant to be for right now, times like this make me long to be closer to home & those I love. But because they are few and far between, these times are incredibly precious to me and I am learning to charish the moments together that they may carry me through the hours and days and years away. Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away - I'll see you all again very soon!
Friday, October 17, 2008
It also reminded me how much I love Brooke Fraser and her song Shadowfeet. If you've read the book, you'll see the connections throughout. I especially love the line "But I've heard rumors of True Reality, whispers of a well-lit way." Such a beautiful picture of what we know to be true - a True Reality in Heaven that is more real than anything we could ever experience on earth! I've posted the lyrics below if you're curious:
toward home,a land that i've never seen
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Fortunately I discovered my dilemma soon after arriving at work and quickly ran down the hall to make sure that no one presented their boss's gift before I had mine (what am I, 12?). I then ran out the door without any sort of plan other than to find something, ANYTHING, for my boss (who, by the way, REALLY appreciates these sorts of things...). And I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kroger for carrying everything one needs in a situation like this. I grabbed a pretty bouquet, found a Thank-you card (do they make boss cards?) and some of her favorite candy and headed back to the office.
It worked brilliantly. I even found some curling ribbon somewhere buried in our supply of birthday decor, tied up the candy and delivered the gift as if it had been planned all along. My boss even told me it made her day. Like my title says...crisis averted.
By the way...when is non-boss's day? And what would you call that, anyway?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
As one older man walked by he commented, "It warms ya twice, doesn't it?" Fitting.I was kind of proud of the bed-making job in our tent...just thought I'd throw in a picture of my hard work too!
On Sunday, after Dan made a fabulous breakfast of bacon & eggs, we packed up and headed back North. Since we had all day, we were able to explore many of the stops along the historic route. We even made it to the falls, Dad - during daylight! Here are a few more pictures of our explorations:
The beautiful drive!
A part of the original trace. One stop included an old tobacco barn.
All in all, we had a wonderful time and enjoyed the beauty of Tennessee in the fall. Even though there was plenty of work to do at home, this really was exactly what we needed...to just take a deep breath, enjoy some time together, and be reminded of the beauty of God.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I decided on an apple green for our little breakfast nook. It turned out pretty bright, but I like it! (Dan was pretty proud of his work, as you can see)
Here is my wonderful new kitchen in process...it looks much better than this now! I think nearly everything has found a home in this room...which wasn't too hard with all of those cabinets, and of course...
a PANTRY!!! Okay, now you may think I'm a little over excited about a closet with some shelving, but please note the photo above. I brought ALL of this from our other place. Seriously...where did I put it all?! This continues to baffle me. I mean seriously - all of my cabinets are full, too!
Here is our lovely blue wall in the living room (with the fireplace!), as well as our new furniture. I LOVE how this color turned out - it looks even better in the daylight! Our furniture is gone now - there's a long story there involving some holes & bad packaging - but we should be getting our replacements tomorrow.
Our "master" bathroom - with a garden tub! The fact that I have to put a description before the bathroom in order to differentiate from the other 2 in the house still seems crazy to me. And I really like this garden tub, as you can see :-)
Wrapping things up at our old place. As exciting as we are about the new - it was a little sad to say goodbye to our cozy little apartment. It's been a wonderful place for us these last 2 1/2 years.
I have my own washer & dryer!! We bought these from some friends of ours and were able to get them in on Saturday. If you ever want to get excited about doing laundry, just spend a couple of years doing laundry in a community laundry room, and then realize that you can do your own laundry in your own home any time you want. It's pretty amazing.
Here's a view of the living room this morning - we're getting things put together bit by bit. I'll have more updates as we progress, but for now - welcome to our new home!