a few facts.

i’ve listened to hanson several times over the course of the past week. for some reason, it eases the stress that has become my life the past couple of weeks. or, maybe, it’s because it takes me back to middle school, where i had no responsibility, no stress, just swimming for hours with my bff (at the time) all whilst “mmmbop” looped over and over. gosh, that was great.

i proceeded to work on making a somewhat-complicated movie for my cousin’s graduation coming up, and in doing so, strained my eyes. i should also state that i didn’t wear my glasses. (i forgot??) so, my eyes hate me. and my head is suffering the consequences.

my nephew is the cutest little boy ever.

and he loves to ride the lawnmower with his “pa,” as he calls him now.

isn’t that terribly cute?

also, i have the greatest friends. every.single.one.of.them.

and lastly, praise Jesus for the freedom we experience in everything we do. today, i remember not only my family members who have served but everyone else who has served our country. i will not forget.

the kids.

my dearest, sweet friend annie took some pictures for me, as a gift to my parents.

i love working with annie, no matter whether she’s helping me or vice versa. maybe because we lived together abroad for 4 1/2 months, but when we conglomerate on a project, the end result is always fantastic.

i won’t get the rest until next weekend, but i just had to share this with you, because i LOVE it.

the one I want.

my favorite thing about this life is how God orchestrates one thing or person for a season and uses it to impact you a lifetime.

there was a woman a couple of years ago that i had three conversations with, about life, hardships, baggage, etc. they were the kind of conversations that you walk away and a week later you’re still chewing on what was said. those, for the record, are the best conversations. i don’t see her much anymore or talk to her as much as i would like, but God used her in my life and continues to do so.

but, my most favorite thing, is when i read through my old journals. when i take the time to see where my heart was, what i felt i was doing for Kingdom, what i felt God was doing, and the prayers of my heart. then, for months or years to read back, and see how God was moving far bigger in my life than i gave Him credit for doing. or, to see the prayers, that i might have felt were unanswered, answered and worked out to perfection in a way i could never have foreseen. in some cases even, i am rebuked. i am convicted. because, maybe at one time, i gave God the credit He deserved and in the present time at reading it, i wasn’t.

that’s my least favorite thing, learning and realizing where i’m falling short when i don’t realize it. it’s hard sometimes to admit a weakness or shortcoming. but, through that, i realize God delivered me then. He’s delivering me now. and He will always deliver me.  He is constantly running hard to me, persuing me (even when i feel like He’s not because i’m too consumed with the world), singing sweetly to me. why don’t i recognize that more? why do i pretend like He forgets about me? why do i sell my self short, when God sacrificed His one and only Son so that i could live a full life?

and then, i’m reminded, i’m not the only one processing through these things. we’re all in this together, and everyone goes through seasons.

this song is a summation of what i might not be able to articulate in this post. it’s a beautiful song. be encouraged by it…and look it up!

arithmetic, brooke fraser

I’ve been staring at the sky tonight
Marveling and passing time
Wondering what to do with daylight
Until I can make you mine
You are the one I want, you are the one I want

I’ve been thinking of changing my mind
It never stays the same for long
But of all the things I know for sure
You’re the only certain one
You are the one I want, you are the one I want

I’ve been counting up all my wrongs
One sorry for each star
See, I’d apologize my way to you
If the heavens stretched that far
You are the one I want, you are the one I want

I won’t find what I am looking for
If I only “see” by keeping score
‘Cause I know now you are so much more than arithmetic

‘Cause if I add, if I subtract
If I give it all, try to take some back
I’ve forgotten the freedom that comes from the fact
That you are the sum
So you are the one
I want

When the years are showing on my face
And my strongest days are gone
When my heart and flesh depart this place
From a life that sung your song

You’ll still be the one I want

You’ll still be the one I want

You’ll still be the one I want

my favorite.

my favorite part of the day is when i walk into my room, where tyler’s bed is, and i get a sweet, welcoming “hi.” and then, i get a finger pointed at me and a “that,” meaning, i want you, come get me.

it’s my favorite part. i feel needed. and loved, greatly.

no matter how bad i feel, what kind of day i’m having, it always makes it ten times better.

i look forward to it, every. single. day.

hi, reed!

everyone, please meet my friend, reed. he’s real cool. he loves for his feet to be tickled. loves to lay on his back. has the cutest little whimpers. and most of all, his mom is real rad. and i love her a lot.

we got to spend some time together yesterday.

what is that movie line?

“i think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

thank you, Casablanca.

can i have your attention, please?

raise your hand if…

you thought “LOST: The End” was incredible?

(raises hand.)

you cried like a baby throughout the whole thing?

(raises hand.)

you can’t get it out of your mind?

(raises hand.)

you will miss it an incredible amount?

(raises hand.)

if when you woke up this morning, you had a split-second where you were excited it was tuesday because of LOST?

(raises hand.)

and then realized, it wouldn’t be coming on?

(raises hand.)

LOST, you will be greatly missed.

what a weekend.

my favorite weekends are the ones where i get to see my dearest friends, cook something scrumptious, and God makes himself known in a huge way at church. friday, i got to visit and spend time with one of my mentors, and i must say, im so thankful for her. and her 6 month old baby. we ended up making a last minute decision and drove to the the dekalb farmer’s market.

HELLO, NEW EXPERIENCE?!?!?! it was wonderful. cultural. fresh. and i walked away with the best strawberries i’ve ever eaten. i’m not lying. my parents couldn’t believe it either when they tried them. i also bought some fresh, buffalo mozzarella. my guilty pleasure. it’s the one thing that even whole foods can’t provide to the specifications i could have gotten it in florence. and, that my friends, was the first thing i did when i got home. i cut a slice of it, salt and peppered it, gave it a splash of balsamic vinegar, and then i fainted. not really, but it was the best thing i’ve eaten in a while. creamy, melt in my mouth heaven. and please, don’t even get me started on the foccacia bread section. A, i’m not lying, i must have tried 4 or 5 different types of bread. but then i sadly walked away.

and that was only friday.

saturday was spent going to the dallas farmer’s markets that we have and getting some homegrown, organic veggies to have for the week. yummy. nothing beats a fresh tomato sandwich. yum. yum. yum.

and sunday, the best day of the weekend. i L-O-V-E my church. i love the leaders that God has put in place. and the volunteers. i knew ahead of time that we would be having an impromptu baptism offering. but nothing could have prepared me for what took place yesterday. God is magnificent. and huge. and almighty. my heart is overflowing with the goodness of Him. amen? amen.

and then sunday afternoon, i got to see probably two of my very favorite people in the whole world, annie and aj. annie and i have been planning for months to take some photos of my sister, greg, ty and myself. it was so fun (and hot and humid) and different to be in front of the camera. minus the heat, i couldn’t have asked for a better couple of hours than to see them and aj’s family. i can’t wait to see the pictures.

oh, sunday night! i cried. i cried a lot. LOST was great. at one point i thought to myself, why are you crying? because i’m not a “crier”. i rationalized that it was just sooo good. and my favorite show, which i’d invested 6 years into, was over. it ended quite differently than i expected, but i liked it.

ahh…what a weekend!! thank you, Jesus.

banana bread.

i love banana bread. but, i must say, i’m quite the picky one when it comes to what measures up. i hate recipes with too many nuts, overused cinnamon or nutmeg, and too much oil.

that is, until i stumbled upon this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.

if you’ve never read Cook’s Illustrated, make that a priority to do so. It’s probably one of the BEST cooking magazines in publication. the recipes that come from that magazine have never let me down. ever.

so, when i had over-ripened bananas i knew the perfect recipe for them.

what can i say about this banana bread recipe? it has no oil in it, using yogurt instead. all we had in the house was greek yogurt and it worked just fine. the only thing i changed was that i didn’t add the nuts (mama has an aversion to walnuts) and i just used regular salted butter (you don’t have to use unsalted butter, even in cakes, fyi) because that’s what we had.

so, please, trust me on this, and try this recipe for beautiful, crunchy topped and perfectly moist on the inside, banana bread. or as ty would say, “nan bed”.

try it. you’ll love it. and then tell me about it.

music man.

most of you know how awesomely cute my nephew is and more than likely he’s flirted with you…

but what you might not know, is that tybug loves music. in the car, it isn’t uncommon that he will be caught head bobbing or shaking his hands in the air.

well, apparently he’s learning more than we thought because i don’t recall letting him watch elvis, although i will admit he’s listened to him before.

so, someone, please tell me where he learned to curl his lip like elvis?

a moment.

i would like to take a moment and express my extreme sadness (?) that this time next week, my favorite show, will be over. gone. never again to return.

LOST, you’re the best show…EVER.

and…if you don’t watch it, then…well…you’re insane. (too much?) :) :)

and you need to start watching it immediately.