Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Good Week

Hello! Sorry it's been a little while since the last post.... I had a horrendous test in my Aphasia class last Thursday, so I spent the week studying for that. Whew! Glad it's over!

Well, here is the week in pictures! We had lots of fun and made good memories.

Scott and I made our first Thanksgiving turkey for our Small Group Thanksgiving dinner! I used my mom's recipe, so you know it was GOOD....! These are our friends, Eric and Sarah, who host Small Group. Scott is attempting to consume the neck of the turkey. It took a little bit to figure out what body part that was.... gross.

So much bloody juices! I used about half a bottle of Comet and mopped the ENTIRE kitchen, high to low, when we were finished with this bird!

After the bird tackle, we enjoyed some ice cream. I just realized how much I look like a 1960s housewife in this picture.... Ode to My Grandmothers! And all other 1960s housewives who raised our parents! You done good!

The wish bone from the turkey! Make a wish! Scott won this particular wish battle.

We had some really tasty food this week! I made this Chicken Noodle Satay--it was SOOO YUMMY! Lots of noodles and chicken, soy sauce, peanut butter, nuts, spinach.... Delicious!

This past Friday, Scott and I had a date night and went out to "Little Bigs", a small joint a few blocks from our apartment that serves teeny tiny burgers called "sliders", fries, and the most creamy and rich chocolate milk shakes! Yummmm!

Scott with his sliders. We each got the sampler, which had a beef, chicken, and black bean burger.

Look how cute they are! We downed that milk shake!

Scott made a wonderful breakfast on Saturday morning! He loves to cook breakfast and he always does so in his underwear, so I couldn't post the picture I got of him using that skillet to whip up this burrito of eggs, steak, bell peppers, and green onions on a fried tortilla! Wow!

Last night Scott and I decided to have a homemade pizza and game night with just the two of us. It was so much fun! I made the crust from scratch! The dough had to rise and everything! I wasn't brave enough to do the tossing, so I let Scott do that part. Way to go, babe!

Topping included: spinach, tomatoes, turkey, mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, and marinara sauce. Soooo good!

We played Scrabble. Such a good game! I am very focused on my next killer move....

Now, some of you know this and some of you don't, but I NEVER beat Scott at games! Ever! But.... I stomped him at this game of Scrabble!! I didn't have it in me to rub it in his face, but BOY was I excited!!!

Well, that was our week! It was a week filled of fun, GREAT food, and lots of love!

We can't wait to see all of you tomorrow and later on the week! Yay for Thanksgiving!!!

Blessings to all and to all a good Tuesday.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Saturday and Scott has to work...

Friends and Family,

It's the weekend! Hurray! Scott and I had a pretty normal week, for the most part.

My bike that he and my parents bought me for my birthday a couple of years ago got STOLEN out of our LOCKED garage. Oh, city living. We honestly have NO idea how they could have gotten into the garage. Thankfully, we have very good renters insurance and they gave us more money than we bought the bike for. I am currently hunting for a new bike, and I have already found a few that I like. We are going to spend, at the very most, what I bought the first bike for and use the left over money to get me a pair of new, much needed, running shoes.

Friday night was date night for us!

It's so nice to spend time with just the two of us, though we certainly enjoy our friends as well. After eating some juicy burgers at a small burger joint close to home, we went to a nice theater in downtown called the "Angelika" and saw the movie "Precious".

Scott enjoyed a "medium" Dr. Pepper--It looked pretty LARGE to us!

I had a vegan Pumpkin Spice cookie! Yummy! We sell these cookies at work, too, and I LOVE them!

The movie was a very emotional and touching film about a 16-year-old, overweight, African American girl from Harlem who grew up in a VERY abusive home, is pregnant with her second child, and is illiterate. It was a powerful story about overcoming absolute hatred and learning to love yourself. The critics are speculating that it will be an Oscar nominee for sure, and I would certainly agree. I recommend this movie if you are into hopeful stories, can handle some violent scenes, language, and don't mind crying in the theater.

There is underground parking in downtown Houston that you have to pay $7 for, but if you see a movie at the Angelika, they will reimburse you! Yay for that! I had never experienced underground parking before; it was pretty neat! It looks like a normal parking garage, but getting down there is kinda creepy.... You find a stairwell in the middle of downtown (there are several) that leads downwards, open a door, and there you are! Parking! The underground garage is HUGE. It covers several blocks of downtown and Scott ended up parking pretty far away from the theater without realizing it, oops. We just hopped on a golf cart and had these men find our car for us!

We found it pretty quickly. My feet were very thankful that we didn't try to find the car ourselves. I was wearing boots with 3-4 inch heels and no socks... bad idea... blisters followed...

Scott had to work today. Bummer. He will get off of work around 3:30 and then we are going to hang out with some friends from small group tonight, Eric and Sarah.

I have spent most of the day cleaning the apartment and doing laundry.

I am currently enjoying a turkey sandwich with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and avocado, with an orange on the side. Yummmmy!

Well, that is all there is to tell for now. We love you all so much and are looking forward to Thanksgiving when we will get to see some of you!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Back from the retreat

We're back.....!!!

A weekend in the country of Hearne, TX was very refreshing, but we're glad to be back in the city, at home. The retreat wasn't quite what Scott and I were expecting, but I think we both came away from it having benefitted from the fellowship and meeting new people.

Scott and I went into the retreat thinking that it was going to be a big camp out with an occasional devotional and maybe some singing, with mostly times of enjoying each other, exploring, and playing games. Well, our expectations were corrected. The weekend was spent mostly inside of a very large and beautiful farm house (no tents). We walked in knowing almost instantly that we had the wrong impression of what was going to happen, and we quickly realized that we wanted to go back home.

From the first meeting the night we arrived, we discovered that this weekend was going to be a very intense, emotional, and challenging weekend of DEEP inner searching and resurfacing very painful memories to "deal with them" and find out "what we wanted" from life and what we wanted to "fix". It was all done with a great intention--to build community and learn to rely on your community for strength, support, and prayer (all things I absolutely believe in)--but it was done in a way that Scott and I don't really relate/respond to well. The whole weekend felt like a big counseling session. Lots of "how do you feel", "what do you want out of life", "what was your relationship like with your parents", etc. It was very uncomfortable at times because Scott and I really didn't know anyone there; we were the only ones from our small group represented at the retreat. So.... spilling your inner soul with people you hardly know is not easy, nor enjoyable.

However, I prayed several times about what God wanted me to learn from this experience and that he would reveal to me what I was supposed to do. Well, I learned that some people have been through some REALLY hard things in life. Molestation, divorce, neglect from parents, self-hatred, to name a few. I realized how incredibly blessed I am to have had a beautiful and wonderful upbringing. How lucky I am that I was not molested by a family friend, that my parents are still very much in love, that my parents SHOW their love for me openly, and that I don't hate myself. I found myself this weekend being the listener and the comforter. Among so many broken people, I had the strength to provide love. I am not trying to say that I don't have issues too, but I felt that God was asking me to be the listener this weekend.

Scott had a similar experience. He, too, did not have any painful childhood experiences and I think, after talking to him, that he also recognized how blessed he is to have not had such a painful upbringing.

I don't understand or know why some people have to go through such awful and traumatic experiences, but I am absolutely humbled that despite so much baggage, these individuals have a clear and present relationship with our Savior, which was such a testimony to me.

Scott and I went for a walk on Saturday morning down the country road and talked, collected pine cones, and took lots of pictures of the gorgeous country side. The grasses were just yellowing, the trees just turning, and the crisp air was drifting silently around our shoulders. There was a thick, dense fog creating an eerie ambiance. It made for some incredible photographs that I will share with you below.

Scott took this photo. My favorite detail is the white flowers in front of the fence.

I loved this oak tree. The contrast with the road was intriguing.

Again, contrasting nature with civilized life.

This tree looked so lonely in the fog.

We love you all. I hope that you choose to recognize the beauty and blessings in your life.

A photo from the last day of the retreat

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Good Hair Day and Yummy Lunch!

Well, I had the day off today from work and it has been a pretty productive day so far! I got about 80% of my homework done, which means I will be able to observe Sabbath on Sunday! I have started making a point to observe Sabbath every Sunday starting from Saturday night at dinner to Sunday night after dinner. It has been such a great, relaxing time for me and I know Scott enjoys having my time :-) I feel so refreshed by the end of the weekend! God knew what he was doing when he created a day of rest! I highly recommend it!

So, I have developed a habit of not showering since graduate school started... Okay, so that's not entirely true. But my poor hair gets washed about every 3rd day, and when it does get a good scrubbing, man! The difference! Another good thing from God--hygiene. I highly recommend this, too! My hair was suffering from the Houston elements, natural (but not too much) grease, and 2 days of hair elastics for my ponytails. I took a long, hot shower this morning, blow dried my hair, and voila! Perfection!

My clean, fresh hair!

I also wanted to share my delicious lunch with you all... I made myself a pita sandwich with cream cheese, peanut butter, honey, and apple! The combo may sound weird, but it was every bit of creamy, nutty, sweet, and crunchy that I wanted :-)

(I had already taken a couple of bites by the time I got out my camera! I couldn't resist!)

Scott and I are going on a retreat this weekend with our Bible study group to Hearne, TX!! My grandparents' stomping grounds! One of the elders at our church, Jack Wisdom, and his family own property out there and they graciously offered it to us for the retreat. We leave tonight when Scott gets off of work and we will return on Sunday afternoon with smiles and lots of pictures to share!

Well, I need to make some cookies before we go!

We love you all so much and wish you a restful weekend!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tracy Porter!

Friends and Family--

I know this is kinda random, but I follow the Tracy Porter blog and she is just a fireball of inspiration, good design, encouragement, and life! I really enjoy reading her blog and soaking up her good ideas for food and design and now she has a new radio show!

Click on the link to the right to check it out.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween party

Well, we hosted our first BIG party in our SMALL apartment and it was a flying success! We spent the first several hours of our Halloween day doing a deep-clean/reorganization of the apartment, which ended in a decent pile of things to put in our garage sale next weekend, hurray! Before we knew it, it was time to start making a few treats for our guest and decorating the house. My ONLY decorating purchase was a $3.00 bag of fake cobwebs and a $1.00 bag of plastic spiders. I was determined to use what I had around the house to make things look creepy and fun! After pulling and stretching the polyester webbing across various surfaces in the house and tucking in spiders here and there, I believe we achieved the spooky, old, haunted look we were going for! Scott made a delicious appetizer of mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, and basil on a toothpick while I made homemade sugar cookies with orange-colored cream cheese frosting. We also made a cranberry-raspberry punch that was pretty tasty.

The table! I should have zoomed in for more detail pics, but this will suffice.

Creepy cobwebs....ooooo.....

And spiders!

As I mentioned before, Scott and I went as the Mac and PC characters from the Mac vs. PC commercials. People definitely caught on once we introduced ourselves. There was a variety of fun costumes present at the party including skyscrapers, an African woman, a parrot, a bear, a baseball player, and Superman, to name a few. I think the overall turnout was about 25 people and yes, they were ALL crammed inside our little apartment! It was so much fun though. Our neighbor, Sarah, brought over some old scary movies that we played on mute with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" record providing the audio--it was quite a hilarious combo! By midnight, everyone had left and we, surprisingly, had little clean up to do the next morning.

Hannah: "Hello, I'm a Mac." Scott: "And I'm a PC."
I really hope you all have seen these commercials...

Scott and our neighbor's boyfriend, Tim, crashed on the couch after everyone left.
Sarah and I just laughed...

We had such a great time putting everything together and spending time with all of our friends. We will be hosting a Christmas party in December! Fun, fun!

Well, I am approaching my last month of class for this semester! After this week, I have 2 weeks of class, Thanksgiving, then one week of class and finals! I can't believe this semester has come to close so quickly. It wasn't as frightening as I thought it was going to be. Stressful... yes, at times. But, overall, a wonderful experience and I look forward to more!

Blessings to all and to all a good night.