Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Pink Star!

We had a great weekend! It was really a lot of fun and so uplifting! We spent time with friends, time with family, and time just the two of us that was oh so special! I have some pictures to post from it but those will come later this week. =) For now I want to share a picture of the plant in my office. I know it's not much but I'm busy and don't have much time to type up a big post about my weekend. But since I didn't post yesterday I wanted to put up a little something!

The plant in my office has a bud! Can't wait to see what pops up!
Scattered Horizons

My little office plant has a bud! I'm excited to see what blooms from it. I acquired my cute little plant a few weeks ago, it's called a Cryptanthus or a "Pink Star". I love how it does look like a pink star! I need to re-pot it because it's outgrowing the original pot it came in! It makes me smile every time I see it in my window sill. I'm so glad I have a little bit of nature inside my office.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday is Back!

Lauren took a break from Fill in the Blank Friday for a little while but it is back! And I am glad because I enjoy filling out these blanks! Sometimes they're hard because it really makes me think but I always enjoy it! On to today's blanks!

Photo credit to Lauren

1. I am a Christian, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a blogger, a musician, a (mostly) bubbly, happy person!

2. I have always been really into music since I was a baby. I literally think it's a part of my being.

3. I hope to use my love and gift of music to reach the lives of others for God. I know I use my gift now but I want to do so on a much grander scale.

4. I can get a knot out of any piece of jewelry. I have really tiny fingers that can manipulate the chain and I enjoy the challenge of untangling it!

5. I dream of having a long and happy life with my wonderful husband and getting to travel and have lots of adventures.

6. The way to my heart is through sweet words of love/affirmation. And occasionally through little gifts, too. ;)

7. I am passionate about being the same person I am in private that I am in public. The way you see me is the way I am when I'm alone. It doesn't matter if "no one" is watching me, God sees me and that's enough for me. I want to make Him happy and proud!

I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend! Ours shall be lots of fun! We've got the closing night of Vacation Bible School this evening. Then tomorrow we're going to see The Wizard of Oz Summerstock performance! And then on Sunday we're going to a marriage conference called Love Worth Fighting For featuring Kirk Cameron! We're really excited about all our plans this weekend! I hope you are, too!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'd Rather Be Married...

Two of our friends got engaged recently and one is currently ring shopping. I am so excited for them!! This is an absolutely wonderful time in their lives and I love seeing my friends preparing for and getting married!!

However, it got me thinking about our own proposal and engagement and how sweet and wonderful a time it was. And I got a little sad/nostalgic. Our proposal was so fun and sweet and I loved telling people the story! I remember how much fun we had in those days of being engaged. Getting to spread the news and planning for our wedding and for our future as a married couple. It was great and fun! Those were some very happy days and I look back on them fondly! But hearing about these friends getting engaged it brought me back to that time in our lives and I missed it.

But then I realized, I'm MARRIED to my best friend and love of my life! Sure we had fun in the "beginning" while we were planning for our future together but we're still having fun now! And when we were engaged I wanted so badly to just be married already. And now we are and have been for over two years! Being engaged is great but being married is SO MUCH BETTER! It's okay to look back on our engagement period with happy memories and fondness but I don't need to be sad that it's over because this period of my life (and the rest of the periods of my life) are great because we're married and living our happily ever after!

I can't wait for our friends to experience the wonderful blessings that come with marriage! And I can't wait to continue experiencing those blessings myself with my wonderful hubby by my side!

Photo by Tiffany Blackstone Photography


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday

Not much to say today. Some days I feel like life is boring. We've been up to a lot, spending time with friends, going thrift shopping, church, and Vacation Bible School is this week which we're helping with! But I just don't have much to say. Anyway, today I wanted to share with you a few sky pictures I've taken lately. My obsession has not subsided one bit. =)

I meant to post this sunset picture last night. I wish this picture did it justice.
The clouds look like the overhead radar shot of a hurricane!
Beautiful late afternoon sky!
Amazing sunset.
Tired of my sky pictures yet? Lol I wish the colors turned out as brilliant on a photo as in real life.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Delicious dinner of buffalo chicken pizza from tonight!

So last Wednesday I decided to make a buffalo chicken pizza. It was so, so good. Collin kept telling me how yummy it was. He ate half the pizza that night himself! I will definitely be making this again. Plus, it was super duper easy to make! And quick! That was the best part; it was quick and simple! If you like pizza and you like buffalo chicken, you must make this!

1 pizza crust
buffalo sauce
(We have Texas Pete's Buffalo Wing Sauce)
pre-cooked chicken strips
(you can either buy these pre-cooked or cook them prior and set it aside - for time constraint purposes I bought the pre-cooked packet of chicken strips)
mozzarella cheese
Ranch dressing

Before I begin, there are certain recipes that I don't actually measure my ingredients. I just go by how it looks/feels. That's what I did with this.

1. Have your pre-baked pizza crust ready on your pizza pan.

2. Mix your chicken strips with buffalo sauce in a medium-sized bowl until the chicken is fully yet lightly coated in sauce. You want all the chicken to have some red on it but you don't want it swimming in liquid (unless you like it REAL spicy).

3. Spread two spoonfuls of buffalo sauce over your pizza crust. I used what we consider the tablespoons (the bigger of our two spoons) and it coated the crust perfectly.

4. Spread a thin layer of mozzarella over your buffalo sauce on the crust.

5. Top the mozzarella with your chicken mixture. Spread it evenly over the crust.

6. Drizzle Ranch dressing over top the chicken mixture. You can either do little dollops of Ranch or make little lines along the pizza in a zigzag pattern (I did the latter).

7. Top the pizza with mozzarella cheese.

8. Bake at 425 (or 400 for dark/non-stick pans) for 8 to 10 minutes or until your cheese is bubbly and your crust is golden brown.

9. Let it cool for about 3 to 5 minutes (if you can wait that long) then slice, serve and enjoy!

Let me know if you make this pizza. It really is so delicious! I don't think you'll be disappointed! I think I'm making it again this week!! Happy eating!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Exploring a Fort

This is the last post I have from our anniversary trip in April. While we were down in NC this year we decided to take advantage of learning some history about Fort Macon! Collin was taught some of this stuff in school (since he grew up so close to the fort) but being a Maryland girl I never really learned anything about any fort except Fort Lincoln down at Point Lookout. Plus, Fort Lincoln was a Union prisoner of war camp and fort whereas Fort Macon was most definitely Confederate. It was interesting for me to learn some of the history about a Confederate fort! We really enjoyed our afternoon at Fort Macon and the weather was beautiful! It was actually very mild in temperature albeit windy! The fort itself was really rich with history and we were fortunate enough to catch a tour that was going on and got some great information from the guide!

Walking up to the fort they had these warning signs.
The bridge that went over the moat and leading into the fort.
Most of the food supplies came from Baltimore and New York.
The whole fort was pretty much connected from room to room. I loved how you could see down through the doorways for numerous rooms!
This was called a Hot Shot Furnace. Collin was fascinated by it!
Another view of the hot shot.
The view of the ocean from the top of the fort where they would fire the canons at the incoming ships (via sea) and troops (via land)
We were there one day before the 150th anniversary of the siege of Fort Macon. The battle started on April 25, 1862 (the day we were there) and many soldiers died on the 25th and 26th. They put these crosses out In Memory of the soldiers who were killed during the battle and they were placed in the location where they died.

It was a REALLY neat experience going to the fort. I had a great afternoon exploring and learning a little bit more about Civil War history from a different viewpoint (Confederate vs. Union). And I think it was especially neat that we were there on an anniversary date! To learn a little bit about Fort Macon's history you can visit here. But if you're ever on the Crystal Coast in NC go visit Fort Macon yourself! It's a really wonderful way to spend an afternoon (or morning).


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday

Sometimes life doesn't look real. Love skies like this!
Some days the sky just doesn't look real! I love it when it looks like that. Those big puffy clouds. =D

I hope your day is filled with big puffy clouds and beautiful blue skies!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blogger 411

My blog friend Meagan posted this neat little getting to know you Blogger 411 today and it linked me to Becky over at From Mrs. to Mama. I think Becky has a great idea for getting to know other bloggers better and since my blog is a journey of my life I thought it could be fun for you all to learn some more about me through some fun questions.

1. How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?
I started blogging in December of 2010, so almost two years now! I started blogging because I was already a big part of the community (I read and commented on many blogs) and I wanted to journal and form relationships with the many wonderful ladies I had already met and would soon meet! My blog hasn't really changed too much. I didn't exactly have a real format. I've tried certain things that I kept up with for a little while (my Friday series stuff) that I don't do anymore and I've added other random things but mostly my blog is the same, a hodgepodge of different posts. I am proud though that my posts are accompanied by original photography now instead of finding random photos online.

2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?
I went to Messiah College in the tiny town of Grantham, PA. I studied music. Started out as Music Education and ended up as Church Music. It may have been expensive (and put me in debt) but I wouldn't trade my experience there for anything!

3. Where have you traveled?
Well, growing up my family didn't go too terribly far away for vacations. We didn't have a ton of money so if we went a long ways from Maryland is was pretty much to visit family. So as a kid I went to Phoenix and Tuscon (in the same trip), the Chicago suburb area, Louisville, and New Hampshire; and then we went to VA Beach a lot and went to numerous campgrounds in the states of VA, MD, and PA. Then in college I went to Austria and Czech Republic with my choir on an international tour, I went to Miami for an ACDA Convention (choir convention), I did a New England fall break tour with the drama ministry group, Spirit Force, I was a part of, and I went to NYC, NJ, DE, and some random other places in PA for choir tour. One summer while I was in college my family went to Las Vegas! That was also to visit family but it was such a fun trip. And then since I've been with Collin I've been to Orlando, Ormond Beach, Atlantic Beach, NC, the Poconos, Williamsport, PA, and on a cruise to the Bahamas. I REALLY love to travel. I would travel all the time if we could afford it!

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
I would pay off all my student loan debt. Then once that was done I'd buy us a house and a Disney cruise to Alaska.

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
1. Hmm... This is weird but coughing. I can't stand to hear people cough. Ick.
2. People who don't know how to drive/break driving rules. And I don't just mean like driving too slow or what not. I mean people that pass on the right on a solid white line. People that talk on their cell phone/text while driving even though it's against the law in MD. People that don't use their turn signals. Just stuff like that.
3. When someone doesn't put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher but doesn't rinse it off and/or stacks the dirty plates filled with food. EWW. So gross!!! When I go to put it in the dishwasher (i.e. if it was full and/or clean when the new dirty dishes were made), I do NOT want to touch nasty food stuck to the bottom of a plate or smell icky caked on stuff.

6. What is your favorite movie?
It's too hard to choose. Here's my top 5. Up, Ocean's Eleven, RV, National Treasure, and Rat Race

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
Of all those options the only one I drink is water. =) And that actually is my drink of choice.

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
I love to play piano, play frisbee golf, or read.

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
Only one store? That would be really hard. But I suppose either Kohl's or Marshall's. And I'd probably still only buy sale/clearance priced merchandise.

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.
This is the hardest to come up with. I know I have had NUMEROUS embarrassing moments in the past (and present) but I can't think of any. I guess I just block them out! haha. I suppose I can share with you one that happened in middle school that traumatized me forever. I was in band throughout middle school and we always had to play at the 8th grade graduation ceremony. This was in 6th grade and we had finished playing and went to lunch all together as a band. Because we had to be dressed up I was wearing a knee length black skirt with my band shirt. Our cafeteria at the time didn't have AC in it so they had these gigantic industrial fans in there to keep it cool. Well, I was walking from the table to go get in the lunch line and I tripped over one of the fan cords and landed face first on the ground. Upon standing up I realized my skirt flew up revealing my underwear to all who saw me fall. But the worst part was, the boy I had a crush on was sitting RIGHT NEXT to where I fell. I was mortified. At least it was the last day of school and everyone had forgotten about it over the summer. =)

11. What day would you love to relive again?
Either our wedding day (it was SO MUCH FUN) or our Day At Sea on our cruise in 2010.

12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?
Kate Hudson.

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
I had a lot of different jobs. In high school I worked for Peebles Department Store for a few months, I babysat, and then between high school and college I worked for a government contractor. Then during my college breaks I worked at a daycare one summer, as a behavioral specialist for a child with autism one summer, I babysat one summer, and I worked as a substitute teacher for a little while. Then after college I worked for a Temp Agency before getting my first "real" job.

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.

Collin and I at the Senior Banquet in High School. We weren't dating, we didn't really know each other all that well actually. haha! I love how it looks like we're in love though. Proves we were meant to be together! *Sorry for the poor quality of the photo. This is a scan of a physical picture and the original was kind of washed out, too*

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
Italy. I would go to most of the country actually but definitely Venice. And I'd ride in a gondola.

16. Show us the most current picture of you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you.

This may not be the *most* current picture but I love it. And it still looks like us. It was taken last December. We haven't really changed much at all. Except my hair is now longer. =)

17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?
5 years from now I really have no idea! Life is so up in the air. I suppose in 5 years I hope to be pregnant and possibly owning a home. It just all depends on where we are financially. At least 5 years from now my car will be paid off and my smallest student loan will be mostly, if not all the way, paid off!

I hope you guys enjoyed getting to know a little but more about me! It's fun to fill these things out. It gives me a bit of introspection into myself. And I even had to think about things I'd forgotten about!


Monday, July 16, 2012

All The Pretty Fishies

I realized over the weekend that I never finished sharing my vacation photos with you guys! I shared the ones that I had taken on my iPhone but never shared the ones from my Nikon. I didn't use it too much because the iPhone was much more convenient for the random everyday moments but I did have my Nikon with me when we had something planned for the day. And that happened to be when we visited the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and when we visited Fort Macon. The photos I'm sharing today are some of my favorites from the aquarium.

Collin and I love sea life. We LOVE going to aquariums and marine museums and what not. Our favorite exhibit at the Natural History Museum in D.C. is the sea life portion. We love to watch documentaries on ocean life, especially ones on sharks! We are definitely advocates for sharks. They have such a bad reputation but really there's not much to be afraid of. They just look scary to many people. Not to me though! I think they're so cool! Anyway... all that to say it was a definite requirement that we visited the aquarium while we were on our trip!

This is the sculpture outside the aquarium! That fish is the "mascot" of the aquarium.
There were lots of snakes in this one exhibit but it seemed like the majority of them were curled up together on this ledge!
All the creatures in the aquarium are things you can find within the state of North Carolina. Even alligators.
The sting rays and skates are my favorite. =)
Can you see the sea horse? He kind of blends in...
Saw this guy on our nature walk!
We went to a Creature Feature and it was on snakes! We learned all about the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes. Very cool! It was helpful the next day when we encountered a snake on the frisbee golf course! They had a non-venomous snake that people could touch after the presentation was done. Collin was all over that!
I love that they do a live dive in the shipwreck tank. They send three divers into the tank (with sharks!) and they talk to the audience from inside the tank. So very cool!

We had such a great time at the aquarium! I know it will be some place we visit every time we're down there at the beach! This was our second time after all. =)


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