I ain't dead, just busy.

A Haiku.

Shopping at the mall
Panties for the Bride to Be
Party all night long

I'll let you guess what my weekend plans are. ;) (Bow-chicka-wow-wow!)


We all "Needtobreathe"

After last night's show, I'm convinced. Heaven will be a rock concert. A cabaret of every genre: there will be show tunes, gospel, rock 'n' roll, classical, bluegrass, hymns, Latino, blues, reggae--and Jesus will be lead guitar and vocals. And you and me? We'll be back up dancers. We'll sing harmony. We'll play bass, piano, and maybe even the sousaphone, I'm sure. Tambourines and tympani--it will be a holy, eternal moment in what used to be time.

We went to see Needtobreathe at the Cat's Cradle last night in Chapel Hill. I will tell you, I'm usually not the first one to say, "Oh, hey! Let's go see the __________ at the ________ tomorrow night!" But if I go when someone else has invited me, I always have a great time. And last night was a testimony to that, for sure. Andrew bought tickets online and informed me on Tuesday that we were going. No argument here, but no giddy excitement either. Much to my surprise, however, the Cat's Cradle was SOLD OUT and Needtobreathe put on a stellar show--I kind of want to do it again tonight! They played some oldies and some new songs from their album The Outsiders and the crowd went nuts! The only thing that would have made it better would have been if we were in Clemson with our Tiger family instead of a sea of Tar Heel strangers. I kind of wanted to yell, "1-2-3-4 and cadence count!", in sheer defiance. Andrew sweetly and probably wisely discouraged my almost-outburst. Harrumph.

It was during Something Beautiful that I put my eye up to the keyhole of heaven and saw a glimpse of eternity: the crowd was worshipping--it wasn't just a fun song to sing, it was a heart's cry to be in the presence of Beauty itself--Himself. And it was awesome. Truly.

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me with your fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees
I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And just so you know, I would see Needtobreathe 10 times again before I would see John Mayer again. Belie'e dat!


Who puts the "G" in ROY G. BIV?

I do! If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should probably track down your fifth grade science teacher. (I'm sure he's on facebook, so it should be a snap.) So, the "G" stands for greeeeeeen and even though I've already done a "going green" post (about switching to green household cleaners) I read a blog post this weekend by a girl I went to high school with about the amount of plastic trash she picked up on the beach during a surfing "sesh" in California where she lives. Long story short, the slogan litter trashes everyone finally got through my thick skull. Now, I was raised a tree hugger--my parents recycle everything, they compost, grow their own vegetables and other sundry foods--but now that I'm an adult and very mature ;) I decided to take one more baby step towards doing my part to save this planet from choking on it's own discarded shiitake, pardon my Japanese. I purchased (for $0.99 each) five reusable totes from Harris Teeter. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind, right? Right. And, BONUS, when they wear out, you take them back to Harris Teeter and they replace them fo' free!

(I know, who takes pictures of their groceries? I'm trying to create visual interest here, people. Sheesh.)

"Going green" has definitely become trendy--kind of like celebrity philanthropical endeavors--but it's a trend I'm happy to hop on board with--I think because--unlike tights, platform stilettos, bib necklaces, mismatching patterns, coral lipstick, and mauve nail polish--it's benefiting others and not just the proprietor, -er the tote toter. And, hey, it might actually have some staying power. I hope so.

The reason I rushed out and bought reusable grocery bags is because plastic (not just bags) is one of the major perpetrators (80%!!!) of ocrean litter--one of them being a giant floating trash island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Growing up on the coast, I just remember as a teenager going to the beach every other day--or every day-- in the summer and seeing people leaving their solo cups, water bottles, Chick-fil-a cups, or whatever in the sand as they gathered up their towels and beach chairs to head back to the beach house. Or seen someone literally watch their empty cup, can, plastic bag tumble down the beach in the wind and not even move a muscle to retrieve it. Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you get to take leave of your senses, people! Gah! As the tide rises it inevitably sweeps all that trash out into the ocean for any of the sealife to mistake it for a tasty meal. How would you feel if you sat down to tuna tartare and moments too late realised it was trash tartare? Not cool, humans. Not cool. Epic FAIL.

BUT. Now is the time to redeem ourselves. Ever heard the saying many hands make light work? Well, it's true. Everyone can do their part to lighten our planet's load and preserve the beauty of God's creation for present and future generations. Do it. You know you want to.


The Saturday Morning Post

This whole week went by without me writing so much as a single, durn thing. Sorry 'bout that. Trust me though, you probably wouldn't have wanted to read about it anyway. Booooooo-riiiiiing. Yes. Except 24 on Monday night. OHMYGOSH. And that's all I'll say.

This week, Andrew had to get all shot up for his stint in Haiti this summer--oh, yeah. I forgot to tell you. Andrew's going to Haiti this summer with Water Missions International--

WMI - Haiti from Water Missions.

saving the world one cool drink of water at a time. Anyway, he had to go to the clinic and receive no less than five shots, three in one arm, two in the other: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Diphtheria Tetanus & Pertussis (DTap), seasonal flu, and H1N1. And we're probably lookin' at Malaria meds and maybe some "just in case" antibiotics--just "get the prescription filled and take it with you in case you get sick" kind of meds. (DO NOT EVER TAKE ANTIBIOTICS UNLESS YOU HAVE PROOF POSITIVE THAT YOU NEED THEM. ALWAYS ASK THE DOCTOR FOR A CULTURE BEFORE TAKING ANTIBIOTICS. If you do not indeed have a bacterial infection and you do take antibiotics, you will just be aiding and abetting "super bugs" and drug-resistant bacteria for future generations.) Ahem. And that's my RN soap box for the day. Anyway. The nurse who administered the vaccines gave Andrew one giant band-aid for each injection. Thus he proudly displayed his bandaged arms for two days. And like any good wife would, I forced him to pose for a picture. :)

In other news, I went to a jewelry party at my dear friend Abby's house on Thursday. Her mom makes amazing jewelry out of clay--I know, you're thinking, "clay? wouldn't that be heavy and clunky?"--it's not. It's beautiful and delicate and unique. Anyhow, Abby's house got burgled on Tuesday night, bringing back some memories from the ol' college days at the Ridge. Laptop lifting walk-through, anyone?? Word to the wise. When you're not at home, hide your laptop. Shove it under the couch, the bed--anywhere it's not in sight. You and your lifetime's stash of pictures will thank me later. Anyway, Abby made a slew of delicious dips and hors d'oeuvres--including Pioneer Woman's Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies--her name, not mine. ;)

Photograph from PW. Delectable, finger-lickin' recipe found here.
Any they were good. Really good.

Last night we had ourselves a little mini date--and quite fittingly went to see Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date Night.

It was seriously hilarious. I had a laughter induced headache when we left. I'm not kidding. I took two Ibuprofen. The plot is kind of so-so, honestly, but they did a lot of improvisation, which you know Steve and Tina are just sooooo good at! It was worth the out-takes in the credits alone! Watch the trailor here. And go see it.

As Porky would say: Abadee, abadee, abadee--That's all folks!


I spend time in the gym so I can eat food like this

Strawberry cobbler from PW. You heard me. Strawberry.

Date night self timer attempt #1. We were a little off.

and #2. I like to call our outfits "The Farmer in the Dell". Did you know--a dell, by definition, is a "small wooded valley"? What is that song about anyway? Hi-ho the derry-o? What the heck? Just please go read it. I think my favorite line is, "The cheese stands alone". Definitely.

Anyway, I know I always post pictures of ooey-gooey deliciously sinful and decadent food on here--but we don't eat like that all the time, I promise. It's just that grilled chicken and vegetables aren't really worth rooting through my purse for my camera. And I think you've all seen that familiar plate before. Just close your eyes and imagine. The night we made the cobbler we also made jerk chicken shish kebabs on the barbie--and they were so good and healthy. Yum. The night before that however--for our date--we went to the Cheesecake Factory. And we did have cheesecake. And it was really, really good. Then we went to Barnes and Noble for like four hours. Heaven, I'm in heaven!
Later, alligators!


House on fire!

Did anyone else play that ice-breaker game in high school youth group?? No? Mmkay.
Well, yesterday afternoon I gave my first and best effort at creating Pioneer Woman's homemade pizza. And I did. And it was amazing. And we have left overs. Muahahahaha!! But I also almost watched all of our worldly possessions go up in flames. You see, the oven had to be set to 500 degrees. That's the last degree setting until "broil". Pioneer Woman, while seemingly innocent and kind, did not put a warning at the bottom about cooking pizza in a ghetto oven. If it had been my cook book it would have read something like this:

WARNING: If you live in the ghetto, have ghetto neighbors, went to a ghetto high school, have ever been told you are the lucky owner of a ghetto booty, have ever owned a ghetto vehicle, have ever hummed Elvis Presley's "In the Ghetto", or have a ghetto oven: do NOT attempt this pizza. I repeat, do NOT attempt this pizza.

Well, there was no warning. So I proceeded sans caution to make a lovely, gourmet, tomato-basil pizza, and then a subsequent pepperoni and turkey sausage pizza for my manly hubster who cannot survive on greens alone. See, one of the first steps in assembling the pizza is to drizzle the pan with olive oil and then spread out your pizza dough. So, I drizzled. *Note: I think the key here was that PW used rimmed baking sheets. I do not have rims. I wish I did, because that would probably complete my ghetto lifestyle. Heh heh.* Anyway. I drizzled. And I spread out the pizza dough and topped it with pesto, real mozzarella, roma tomatoes, and a sprinkling of parmesan. And then I stuck it in the fiery furnace, alongside Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And behold, it did not catch on fire...immediately. About eight minutes into the baking time, I turned on the oven light to see the deliciousness that was filling my apartment with a dizzying aroma of goodness, only to see olive oil pooling at the corner and then dripping off onto the blazing hot element in the bottom of the oven. And then, the flames. Thank goodness, however, that by the time I shrieked, "ohmygosh, it's on fire!!" the flames were gone. But where there's fire, there's smoke ('er, something...), and our apartment was literally filled with hazy smoke--as if pollen wasn't enough--even more so than when I burned the pork chops or the meatloaf, (I'm a good cook, I sw'ar). We, (and by that I mean "I"), set off both fire alarms--twice. I had only cooked the first pizza when the flames popped up, but we powered through, baking soda on hand, to cook the second one and they both turned out delicious, amazing, party-in-your-mouth good. So. P-Dub, thanks for the recipe. But next time, a heads up about cooking in ghetto ovens might be nice. I still love ya (and your recipes) more'n my luggage, though!

Tomato-Basil pizza. Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks.


Look it up in your Funk & Wagnalls

Apparently, before the days of wikipedia, Funk & Wagnalls used to be a publisher of dictionaries and encyclopedias, with it's last issue going out of print around 1997. But more on that in a minute.

This weekend, Andrew and I headed way down south, where the wisteria drips off the trees like jewels on a royal's necklace. The weather was spectacular--not too hot and not too cold--sunny skies and a slight ocean breeze. Just magical. On Saturday night, my mother whipped up an amazing passover spread, complete with lamb and mint jelly and topped off with blackberry cobbler and creamy vanilla ice cream. Yummm. During our dinner conversation, with our lovely guests Dane and Meghan, my father began a discussion about something that, apparently, was quite incredulous, because we started saying things like, "huh?", "are you sure?", "really??", and he responded with, "yeah! Look it up in your Funk & Wagnalls!" *cricket, cricket*. Except it didn't sound like "Funk and Wagnalls", it sounded like "funkin' wagnalls" which sounded like something else. You can imagine the guffaws and side-splitting laughter that ensued. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to try to use the phrase, "look it up in your Funk & Wagnalls" at least once every day.

Easter morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed to beat the traffic to Boone Hall for St. Andrew's annual Easter celebration. Every one of the 4,000 chairs had a bum in it and there were people standing in the back. The children's tent was packed out. It was an awesome, awesome time of celebration and thanksgiving! I didn't take pictures until after the service, however, because we were busy chit-chatting with people, but I think I still got some good ones!

The celebration tent, nestled between the river and the "cotton field".

The annual, obligatory family phooootoooo! Minus two siblings and a sibling-in-law. We're looking quite natty in our Easter duds, if I do say so m'self. ;)

The flowered cross this year was a leeetle chaotic, (usually you bend the stems or cut them off prior to sticking them in the mesh), but our good friend Todd was in charge of it and his lovely wife, Elizabeth, was home with two sick cutie-patootie kiddos. So, we'll cut him some slack--this year. ;)

Every year, there's myriad carefully selected songs for pre-service music and for the service itself--this year, one of the opening songs was a Hillsong selection called Mighty to Save with the first lines of the chorus declaring Saviour/He can move the mountains/My God is mighty to save/Mighty to save, words borrowed from Matthew 17. As I was belting out this song with the other 4,000+ people in attendance, I got the feeling that Jesus wasn't necessarily talking about geographical feng shui. I think He was talking about people. Who in your life do you perceive as an immovable mountain? Who's heart is so hard that you have an inkling of doubt that even the One who cheated and pummeled death couldn't handle them? Well, he can. He is so mighty that His love and grace can move even the most stalwart of your friends or family to turn to Him and know the He is love. He is truth. And He is yours and mine--and theirs.

Happy Easter, everyone. And may we celebrate every day what Christ has done for us all.