My epitaph

Today I am embarking on a journey to discover God's vision and purpose for my life. A friend suggested the book/experience "Chazown" by Craig Groeschel to me, so I am starting there.

The first section of the book ends with a question: During your final days, how do you want to be able to finish these statements?
-The thing that was most important to me was
-People say I stood for
-I made a difference in my world by
-God was glorified because I
-People knew I loved them because
-The reason I expect God will say "well done" is

I wrote these questions in a journal, and started pondering what I want my life to say. The answer to the first question came to me easily.
-The thing that was most important to me was FAMILY.

The other questions took more time. I let my thoughts wander as I read and re-read the questions. Certain thoughts started repeating themselves as I looked down at the page, and I realized these were some of my answers.
-God was glorified because I worshipped with abandon.
-People say I stood for equality.

The last few questions I still struggled with. I thought about what I would write, and realized this is just a jumping-off point, none of this is set in stone. So I wrote what I feel in this moment.
-I made a difference in my world by helping people achieve better health.
-People knew I loved them because I invested time in them.
-The reason I expect God will say "well done" is for setting a Godly example of what a wife should be for my children and others.

For now, this is my epitaph.



I've been neglecting the blog (and Project 365) again! It's been about 2 weeks since I posted, and I've taken very few pictures in that timeframe. Sorry, guys! I think I'll start afresh tomorrow, since it will be the first of a new month. Stay tuned!



Sorry I've been neglecting the blog a bit! I have 2 weeks worth of pics to post. I'd better get crackin'...

Sept. 2 - some awesome storm clouds rolled in!

Sept. 3 - we flew to Roswell, NM. This is the sign outside the airport.

Sept. 4 - we celebrated Grandma Mahaffey's 80th birthday

Sept. 5 - we spent some time in the park taking family pictures

Sept. 6 - Tyler and I hung new shelves in the living room

Sept. 7 - missed

Sept. 8 - sunset through the house they're building behind ours

Sept. 9 - missed

Sept. 10 - missed (my mom was in town for all of the 'missed' dates)

Sept. 11 - Former UNT footballer Johnny Quinn, with Honest John and a painting by Honest John

Sept. 12 - flowers!

Sept. 13 - Lucy wears my running shirt.

Sept. 14 - Massage Envy's Massage for the Cure (and a picture of my new haircut, I'll get a better picture soon though!)

Sept. 15 - me and the puppehs


New Rules

Yesterday Tyler and I started a new workout program - the New Rules of Lifting for Women. (Yes, we are aware that Tyler is not a woman. But this training plan reminds us that there is no reason for women to lift differently from men, so it works for both of us.) I decided my Project365 picture of the day should be my 'before' shots. So you get to see me in all my semi-fit glory. Please note my terrible posture and gradient tan. Hopefully in 6-8 months you will see my fabulously fit self in the 'after' pictures, with better posture and some abs! Stay tuned!

A pictureful post!

I know that I'm way behind, but I think I'm only missing a picture for one day! Here's a mega-post of pictures, ending with Monday's picture. Yesterday's gets it's own post, for a reason to be revealed in that post. ;)

(8/24) - I got off work 2 hours early for my 'weekend', and the temp was finally below 100*!

(8/25) Enjoying my day off, after a massage and lunch with Tyler. A HOT cinnamon chai and Little Women on my Nook.

(8/26) A very flattering shot of me after Thursday night training. shoveling soybeans into my mouth.

(8/27) We really know how to party: in bed at 9:45 on Friday night.

(8/28) Ahh, Saturday morning training. :)

(8/30) So much for our workout, this means a double on Tuesday!


My 'Friday'

My work schedule is a little weird, so yesterday was technically my 'Friday'. Even better, I got to go home 2 hours early! I was pretty excited. I took this picture as I pulled out of the parking lot at work:

And by the time I got home, the temperature read 87*! It was SUCH a nice day. Later in the evening Tyler and I took the dogs to the dog park (right around sunset). They had fun running around, and we got a cool picture of the sunset and the full moon, but I'll have to upload those later because they're on Tyler's phone. We also tried out running in our Vibram Five Fingers (toe shoes ;) ) - .15 miles! When we got home we went for a real run in our regular shoes, and it was so cool and breezy that we had much more stamina than usual. I can't wait for fall to be here, I'll feel like a superhero when I run!

Today I'm up early so I could have breakfast with Tyler, and in a few minutes I'm going to leave to get a massage. Afterward I'm getting a coffee and then meeting Tyler for lunch. This afternoon I have no plans but to lounge on the couch with the dogs and read. I want to finish Little Women (what I'm currently reading) and start on The Hunger Games. I've heard a lot of good reviews of this series, so I'm going to read it, even though I have no idea what it's really about.


Already behind!

I forgot to take a picture yesterday! I'll make up for it today by showing you a picture of the thing that got me most excited yesterday, mmkay?

Larabars were on sale 10 for $10 when we went shopping at Kroger yesterday! Here is my haul:

And today? I spent the morning making scrambled eggs with cheddar, fresh Hatch green chile, and green onions. Then I made yellow curry to take for lunches this week. After that was done, I cleaned the kitchen. As I washed, I set each item aside to dry. When I was going back through and drying everything, I found this under one of the dishes:

Yep, it was under the pizza pan. I thought it looked cool, apparently I'm easily amused in the mornings!


Day 3

Approximately 7AM



This is my 100th blog post! I'm about to head to bed (yes, at almost 9PM) since we have to be at training in Grapevine at 5:30AM, but I wanted to post my picture for Project365 today. I forgot to take my camera with me, otherwise you could have seen the AWESOME sushi we had for dinner tonight. Instead, you get to see me crashed on the couch with the pups.


So, I got 4 comments on my last post, so here is the adorableness, as promised:

And to answer some of the comments:
J.Nick, I didn't know you read my blog! Howdy, friend!
Dragon - Project365 can be whatever you want it to be - some people post a picture of themselves every day, others post a picture that encapsulates each day. I plan on doing a bit of both!


2 for one!

That's right, you get two posts today!! I just wanted to let everyone (Who is everyone, by the way? Leave a comment if you follow or read this blog!) know that I've got a new look on the blog here. And that I intend to update it more frequently than once a month from now on. I know I've said that many times before, but I'm going to really make a concerted effort this time around. Things are crazy busy, but I want to have a record of what's going on to look back at (hence the Project 365 mentioned in my previous post).

I'd like to hear from my readers - what sorts of things would you like to see on the blog? More pictures? Recipes? Anything? Leave a comment and let me know!!

As an incentive, if I get at least 2 comments, I will post an adorable picture or two ASAP. :)

Adventures in DIY

Today I embarked on my first ever do-it-yourself refinishing project. I am refinishing a dresser from my childhood:
for our guest room, which will have a semi-nautical, travel-inspired theme. Today I started sanding the drawers so they can be repainted this color:

I'd like to try posting a picture (or several) of my every day life on the blog here (known by many as Project 365, so here are a few from today's adventure:

Stay tuned for more pictures of the guest room makeover, random snapshots from my daily life, and more!


I'm not afraid to admit it

I am a terrible blogger. There. I said it.

Yesterday was my 24th birthday, and it was pretty great. I got tons of birthday well-wishes on Facebook, wonderful birthday cards from my family members, and a special dinner out with my favorite person ever (Tyler, in case you were confused about that, haha). We went out to the Abbey Inn, which is a British/Irish pub. There was even a British 'folk' band playing and singing while we were there, which was pretty cool. The food was great, too.

Not much else is going on around here. I started a new job at Massage Envy, which has been pretty cool so far (I've been there 2 weeks tomorrow). And we're mentoring a group of Team in Training people for the winter season, as well as fund raising and training ourselves. So far, so good!


I've been neglecting the blog again, sorry about that!

Here's some bullet points about what's been going on lately:

1) my last day of work was last Friday
2) Tyler's parents visited this weekend!
3) Tyler and Gary put in our flagstone patio!! It looks great, picture to come.
4) We visited my grandmother in the hospital yesterday. She's 1 week post-op on a heart valve replacement, and should be discharged today or tomorrow.
5) we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary last week. Plus this past weekend we stayed in downtown Ft. Worth to celebrate, and visited the Ft. Worth Zoo on Memorial Day. Fun times!


Scientist Creates Life. That's a Good Thing, Right?

Scientist Creates Life. That's a Good Thing, Right?

This is a very interesting article about the emerging field of synthetic biology.


Slacking off!

Sorry I've been a bit absent from the blog lately. There's a lot of stuff going on around here that is kind of stressful - Tyler's grandma passed away last week, so we were busy this past weekend with the memorial service (as well as wedding, which was a nice counterpoint to the sad occasion), and I've decided to quit my job and focus on stuff at home for a while, as well as working on making my relationship with God my #1 priority. It should be an interesting summer, to say the least.

In other news, we have some squash fruits growing on our plants! We may try and eat one tomorrow, or let it grow a few more days and enjoy it this weekend. We also need to get our guest room set up this weekend, because Tyler's parents are probably coming to stay with us the first weekend in June.

I've also been busy knitting and reading instead of blogging lately. I have an awesome sock on the needles right now! I'm also planning on doing a knit-a-long with my friend biomaj5 and a few other people - we're going to be knitting a cardigan! I'm pretty excited about taking on a big project, especially since I get to use custom-dyed yarn for it. :)

That's all the update I have for now. I will try to post pictures of my various projects soon, if I don't get too sidetracked.


Soooo, I kinda slacked on the last half of Knitting and Crochet Blog week. :-/ Sorry about that, some issues at work have me stressed and distracted.

Instead of catching up, I'd rather you enjoyed a picture of how our patio will look once we get all the flagstone put in. We laid out the stones today to see how they would be arranged, now we just have to dig it out and layer some sand underneath the stones.

The section of grass to the right of the grill will get filled in with some kind of bushes (hopefully lavender). That's our new patio furniture, which also got delivered today. Besides the patio project, the other big project we have planned is adding gutters to the house, which will drain into rain collection barrels which we can use to water our gardens. :)



Today's blogging topic is all about what skills you want to learn to enhance your crafting. I'm just going to leave you with a short list of things I'd like to try, plain and simple.

-toe-up socks (I will be starting my first pair this weekend, hopefully!) I hear they are "better" than cuff-down, so we shall see!
-colorwork (this rocking pattern has inspired me to learn someday)
-cables (I just haven't gotten around to them yet)
-completing a sweater, and all that goes with that (seaming, blocking, buttonholes, etc.)

These are my ambitions for now. I'd better get crackin'!


One Great Knitter

OK, OK, I couldn't narrow it down to just 1 great knitter whom I admire. I will focus on 2: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (AKA the Yarn Harlot) and Jared Flood (of Brooklyn Tweed).

The Yarn Harlot is one of the best bloggers I follow. She is humorous, light-hearted, and above all, dedicated to her craft. She is the most prolific knitter I know about, and her love for other knitters is obvious in her enthusiasm for her readers as well as those she interacts with at her various speaking/knitting engagements. And, I love the way she doesn't *just* write about knitting. She puts a fair bit in there about her family and friends, which helps the reader get to "know" her on a little more personal letter. I strive to do something similar with my blog, but I don't pull it off nearly as well.

Another knitting blogger I greatly admire is Jared Flood. Mostly I love his photographs. They capture the beauty of knitted objects so perfectly, and the projects seem to just grab me and say "knit me!". His designs are just gorgeous. Here is some eye candy from his blog for you to enjoy:


An Inspirational Pattern

Today's topic for Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2010: Blog about a pattern or project which you aspire to. Whether it happens to be because the skills needed are ones which you have not yet acquired, or just because it seems like a huge undertaking of time and dedication, most people feel they still have something to aspire to in their craft. If you don’t feel like you have any left of the mountain of learning yet to climb, say so!

One project in my Ravelry favorites that I aspire to knit one day is the Myrtle Cardigan.

I LOVE the lace pattern in this sweater. I love how feminine it is, even though I'm not usually a girly-girl and I definitely don't dress like one. I WILL knit this someday (hopefully not too far in the future). I have never knit a sweater, which is one of the reasons that this pattern intimidates me somewhat. Plus the fact that it will probably take me forever to knit, and I will be SO AFRAID to mess it up. I will overcome my fears, however. How could I not, when the finished object will be so beautiful and well-loved?


Knit & Crochet Blog Week

Hey everyone! Today marks the beginning of Knit & Crochet Blog Week 2010! My friend biomaj5 encouraged me to blog about my experience with knitting, so here I am!

Today's topic is how you got started knitting. "Was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?"

The first time I learned to knit was at the end of the fall semester of 2007 (I honestly can't remember). My friend Lindsey was teaching several of our friends at the time (very beginner techniques), so I decided to give it a try. I chose some size US13 acrylic needles and a skein of light green Red Heart Super Saver yarn and started on a scarf. I knit for a while, and then got bored. I picked it up again on a whim in the spring of 2008, and finished that scarf. I obviously added several stitches somewhere in the process, and while I still have that scarf, I never use it. Here is a picture of that fateful first scarf:
Hideous, no??
...and then fell off the knitting wagon again. It's been a very 'on-again, off-again' kind of relationship for us. Finally, in the fall/winter of 2008 I got serious about knitting. I knit a kerchief, and then moved on to a tote bag. This tote bag took me nearly a year to complete, mostly because I didn't have a lot of time for knitting (I started massage therapy school in early 2009), and I just had other things on my mind. I also began knitting a lovely lace scarf, which is still OTN (on the needles, for you non-knitters). Since then, I've moved on to more advanced projects, working on double pointed needles, and using nicer yarns. I have made a great e-friend in the process (that'd be biomaj5 again), and have become a part of a larger online knitting community, as well as a face-to-face knitting group which meets on Wednesday nights.
Until tomorrow,
viva la knit! :-D


Flower garden!

This weekend's main project has been completing our flower garden in the front of the house. We started by digging out the grass where we wanted the garden to go, and added plastic edging to keep the shape. Then we filled in what we removed with flower and vegetable topsoil. We did all of this on Saturday. Today we decided to go pick out our plants and get them in the ground. We ended up with 2 yew bushes, 3 Chattahoochee phlox, a bunch of french marigolds, impatiens, and dwarf oyster plants, as well as 1 coral bell. I'm a bit worried that the marigolds won't get enough sun, since our garden faces north, but we will see how they do.
Here is a photo of what the yard/front of house looked like last summer:

And here is a picture of the new improved garden area!
I will have to take a picture soon when the sun is on the garden so you can see more details. :)


The Husband makes his blog debut!

Hey there, all my faithful readers! Recently Tyler (aka The Husband) sent me an email after he got to work one morning. This is not unusual by any means, but this was slightly different than the typical 'hope you have a great day, I have XYZ meeting this morning, etc. etc.' emails I usually get. (Don't get me wrong, I love the emails he normally sends me, I just needed to mention that this was something else altogether.) He said that he had a blog-worthy experience on his drive to work that morning, but since he didn't have a blog, he would just share it with me.

I am always looking for new ways to freshen up the blog and bring you stories or information that are important or meaningful to me, so I asked Tyler if I could share his experience with you. I hope you find as much encouragement from it as I did.

"I was driving to work this morning, and I needed to have a talk with God. Recent events have left me feeling a little vulnerable, so I needed His help. We were talking, and He was just listening and letting me say everything I was going thru. I’ve had discussions where he wants me to listen, but there was nothing to listen to today. But He wasn’t exactly being silent.

I looked up to see the sun start to rise thru the clouds in the midst of morning rain. What I saw was a vision no painter could duplicate. There were gray clouds as far as I could see... everywhere except for one line running across the sky from left to right. It was like a giant cleft in the clouds. You could look as far left and as far right as the air would let you see, and it didn’t seem to budge an inch. The sun was behind the clouds, but this cleft opened up as the only source of sunlight in the sky. The rays of light shot in every direction, both shadowed and reflected by clouds in a color that didn’t even seem natural. Just when I thought the scene couldn’t be any more majestic, the sun broke thru the clouds in a brilliant light that amplified the good of around me. I could hardly keep my eyes off the scene that seemed to personify the power of the God who was listening to my story this morning. I felt touched, lifted, soothed, and overpowered all at once.

Now that He had my attention, he started to speak. Not thru quiet thoughts like I’m used to, but He spoke in a way that I haven’t heard in years. I had my radio turned on, and song after song spoke to me in a very personal way. They were all songs I’ve heard dozens of times. Songs that have caused me to meditate on the meaning. But this time, there was no question of the message of these songs. One was a song that brought me back to running during sunrise and showed me the experience of being in nature, away from the negative influences of the sleeping world around me, and feeling close to Him without having to even think about Him. Another seemed to speak for me, detailing how much I need His intervention in my life. It caused me to reflect on how little control I have and how necessary His hand is in each and every decision I make. Thinking back, I don’t even remember every song, but remembering them wasn’t the point. The songs gave me a message that is more powerful than any I have heard in a very long time.

As I drove to work this morning, thanks to the “words” of my God, I had no doubt of the power, the providence, and the majesty of the God I serve. And my prayer as I sit here today is that I won’t forget it anytime soon."


Monday Update

Not a lot to report this week so far! I got my haircut and a massage on Friday, both of which were desperately needed. The haircut turned out a lot better than the massage, unfortunately, but I can't complain too much, since the massage was free and I did feel better afterward.

The rest of the weekend was spent running (8 miles), running errands (bank, library, post office, oil change/car inspection), and relaxing around the house, due to the rain we got. Very little yard work got done, although Tyler started digging out where our flowerbed will be. We also went to a cool little garden/farm store this weekend that we will be visiting again once we need flowers.

This week we are going to try a few new things in our daily routine to get back on track to lose some more weight. We are going to start dividing our daily food intake into 6-7 mini-meals, which is healthier for your blood sugar and energy levels. We will also be trying to make sure we eat balanced meals with more fruits and vegetables. We are also going to start working out in the mornings before work, because I have zero energy left by the time I get home from working on my feet every night. This morning we went for a 2 mile walk with the dogs starting at about 5:30. Tuesdays and Fridays we will go to the gym to lift weights, and normally Mondays and Thursdays will be dedicated to running (we walked today simply because we had a hard run on Saturday). Saturdays we will continue to do longer distance runs, and Wednesdays and Sundays are for resting/recovery. Hopefully we will be able to stick to all of these changes!

I am still knitting away on Tyler's socks, and I'm hoping to be done with the 2nd one by this weekend. I'm really looking forward to starting on a new project for myself, and possibly finishing up a scarf I've been working on since before Christmas. I also need to start researching patterns for Christmas gifts. :)

I will update more later this week! Hope everyone has a great Monday. :)


Wonderful weekend!

This weekend my friend biomaj5 came to visit me and we went to the DFW Fiber Fest and a local yarn shop, The Woolie Ewe. We perused the various yarns and came out with some pretty good finds. Bio also brought me a little giftie: a beautiful 3AM Enchantments Petite KIP (knitting in progress) bag. Here are some photo highlights of our weekend!
Here we are on Friday night after Laura arrived. She brought me this:
The next morning we headed out to conquer the yarn world...
At DFW Fiber Fest 2010 (thanks nice employee of Shabby Sheep for taking our picture!)

I got some good loot while we were there: Brooks Farm Solo Silk (unknown colorway) and Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist Sky

In other knitting news, I also got my KnitPicks Options interchangeable circular needle set in the mail on Friday, in addition to some other notions, a yarn swift, and 1 skein of Comfy Fingering weight yarn in Lilac. I totally meant to order 2, so I'll be placing another order shortly.
I can't wait to start some new knitting projects with my new stash and tools, but I still need to finish Tyler's socks, and I should really finish my Ripened Scarf at some point, too.


A sock!

Last night I finished knitting my first-ever sock. It turned out really well, I think, for my first attempt. Tyler is pretty excited about it, too. I'm going to cast on sock #2 this morning to avoid the dreaded SSS (Second Sock Syndrome). Here's a pic of sock #1:

In other excellent news, I received my massage therapy license in the mail yesterday! It feels good to be "official" after so long!


A Poem for Your Monday

Litany - Billy Collins

You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine...
-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.



So, the last two days have brought some exciting news to our family! Yesterday T found out he'll be able to start telecommuting in the very near future. His office was doing a pilot for this program for the past year or so, and they are ready to start making it an option for more employees. So, we will be getting a phone line installed at the house on Friday (plus switching providers for internet and adding basic cable, because the bundle is cheaper than just internet and phone). The plan is for him to start working from home 2 days a week, and may increase to 3 days shortly thereafter.

And today my boss (Dr. Jobe) asked if I would like to start working full time! That is 32 hours a week at our office (as the schedule currently stands, it may be changing in the near-ish future). I told him I'd absolutely be willing to do so, so I will start that schedule next week. My hours will be: MTTh: 7:45-11:30(ish) and 2:45-6:30(ish), W: 2:45-6:30(ish) and F: 745-11:30(ish). I'm excited about the extra cash flow we'll be getting due to this situation, which will mostly be going toward savings for a car and any future baby expenses, but will hopefully allow us a little extra 'fun' money, too.

And lastly, a few pictures of our new planter box, the veggie seedlings, and my latest knitting project: