Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy Things

We're coming off an absolutely gorgeous but tease of a weekend here in K-town, and it brought with it that perpetual good mood that only spring can bring. Unfortunately snow is predicted in the near future, which is necessary I guess to remind us all that it's barely February, but regardless, I figured I'd share some happy things while it's still above freezing:

1. Tonight I made this for dinner. And it was sooo good. I used a store-bought thin whole wheat pizza crust too, which it made it pretty darn easy and maybe even healthier too?

2. I just stumbled upon this recipe too, and I'm so pumped to try it soon! I'll give you a hint: it's called Cookie Dough Creme Pie...oh. gosh.

3. Valentine's Day is only 2 weeks away! I know it annoys a lot of people, but I really just love this holiday. And not just because I have the greatest fiance ever to spend it with either, I loved Valentine's Day even before Mr. Right came along too. The happy red and pink colors everywhere...the aisles and aisles lined with candy...the excuse to eat chocolate all day long...and not to mention the little spring in your step and smile on your face that only that diapered baby with wings can bring. (That's my cheesy reference to Cupid, p.s.) But yeah, I love everything about February 14th and am pumped! Benjamin and I are celebrating a little early. We have dinner reservations here for Friday evening, but I fully intend on extending our celebration through the actual day anyway. Yay! :)

4. Yesterday Mom, Ben, and I went up to my aunt and uncle's hilltop property to check out their new pool house and bar that will serve as the location of our rehearsal dinner come the end of May. It is absolutely beautiful and got me so much more excited for the night before the wedding! There are incredible views in both directions, a huge stone fireplace in the corner, and plenty of space to sit any and everyone who wants to come!

5. I finally got my engagement ring sized last week, and it has been so nice to have it actually fit! Turns out I had been wearing it a whole size too big for the past 6 months, and winter's cold temps have caused my fingers to shrink even more. No more worrying about it falling in the toilet at the preschool, hurray!

6. I'm taking an awesome class on Communication Disorders that is totally making me want to be a speech pathologist. What does that mean? More school, of course, but that was in the plan anyway. I've got awhile to think about it, but for now I'm just going to keep learning and feel it all out some more. Got to read for it now, in fact, so I'm out!

Sorry for the lack of pictures...I have got to get better about that.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Monday!

Hello again!

Well, school must be back in session since the only time I seem to blog is when I have a whole big list of other stuff I should be doing. But who really wants to watch an hour-long anatomy lecture disguised as a YouTube video...not me! So here we go.

Friday night 301 finally had our roomie dinner! We found out last week that sweet Erin will be doing Teach for America in...wait for it...HOUSTON!!! To celebrate, her dad told her to use the credit card and take us all out for a celebratory dinner. And celebrate we did.

With wine flights at Cru! It's a new restaurant in Turkey Creek that serves tapas (small plates) and lots and lots of wine. We each chose a different flight to try, meaning we each got 4 small tastings of different wines, all coming from a similar region of the world. It was tasty and super fun, and when I wasn't in the bathroom blowing my nose (tmi, sorry...), I had a really great time.

That was pretty much the highlight of my weekend however, because the next day I woke up feeling like someone had injected foam into my head. I've been dealing with a nasty sinus cold for four days now and am sooo ready for it to move on out. Benjamin hooked me up with a McAllister's spud, some Sweet Cece's, and a nice hefty box of Kleenex Saturday evening, but sadly it wasn't the end-all cure I was hoping for. Thus the pill-popping will continue.

In other news, I'm on the half marathon hunt again. Do I really want to run my life away all spring in order to prepare? Not really. But I do have a fairly large event coming up on May 28th that calls for a flat tummy, so I figured a commitment might be necessary. I've promised Ben for the last 3 years that I would do the TriDeltathon with him in April, and I'm thinking this might be the year I actually hold that promise, so that will be a nice way to mix up the training...if I build up enough courage to ride my bike anywhere besides my neighborhood, that is. As for the whens and wheres of the race, I'm honestly not sure yet. Last night we looked into this one in Cincinnati at the beginning of May. Looks great, but the only drawback is that it's right smack in the middle of finals...hmm. Let's be real, though, probably wouldn't study that much anyway.

Well look at the time, gotta get ready for meeting! I think I'm finally trying our new Chipotle on the strip tonight and I'm excited! Happy Mondays everyone! Good luck deciding on whether to watch the second half of the Bachelor or Gossip Girl later tonight...I know I'm wishy-washy, hah. Bye!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowed In...Again!

There are about 4 inches of snow on the ground.

School was called off.

I am sitting in bed...and my butt is gradually molding to my mattress.

But it's the perfect way to spend my second to last day of break.

I've been brainstorming ideas for a new blog to document this little upcoming journey called marriage and moving across the country, and today I actually created it...though I'm not sure I'll keep it. I'm really ready for something new and fresh and want to start writing on it now, but part of me just thinks it's too weird to contribute to anything which mentions The Hymans just yet. Maybe I'll talk myself out of that eventually and go for it. But today, it will remain blank and floating somewhere out in the world wide web.

I'm mildly concerned with the fact that I'm still at home (and stuck here, for that matter) with classes starting in less than 48 hours. I've decided to wait until tomorrow, with the hope that the temperature will rise enough to do some melting without adding any additional treachery to the road. I'm a wimp when it comes to winter weather driving...imagine that, hah.

Well, sorry to be brief, but just thought I'd check in...not much else to do! Probably need to go do some ironing and preliminary packing, get the blood flowing a bit. Gotta get everything as ready as I can before I begin my LAST SEMESTER EVERR!! Ahh, too much craziness.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mish Mash.

So. I might be on the edge of going slightly insane. A girl can only watch so many Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reruns and House Hunters marathons. And that pretty much sums up all I've done over break. I did get to celebrate a wonderful Christmas with my family (weird to think it's the last one without big changes though...), and I've checked a couple of things off the wedding to-do list (though I need to get going with a lot more), but all in all, I have been the definition of a lazy bum, and I'm trying to just rest and be okay with that, as things will pick up soon and I will surely miss the calming boredom of the past two weeks.

Thus, in the midst of doing nothingness, I turn to the blog in search of a few minutes of entertainment. I think I'll just share a list of the various mish mash on my radar as of late:

1. Houston. Well, duh. As the wedding day moves closer and closer, so does the move. I would be lying if I didn't admit I am super anxious and probably way too concerned with searching for dining room tables and deciding between a king or queen-sized bed. I blame the boredom, hah. Ben and I have decided we will make our first trip over spring break in March to do some preliminary looking and exploring. Can't wait to see this beautiful skyline!! (though I'll likely be living quite a ways away from it...and that's okay)

2. DISNEY WORLD. Honeymoon part 1 will officially be taking place here:

We're switching it up from the normal Value Resort stay and upgrading to Coronado Springs! Very southwest-y and festive:

I made all of our lunch and dinner reservations last night. I know, sounds ridiculously early to be worrying about what we will be eating some 6 months from now. But having never been over Memorial Day weekend, apparently one of Disney's busiest times, I was worried things would be filling up already. And I was right. Sadly enough, my favorite restaurant in the park (which is even going up to 2 table service credits on the dining plan come March), is already completely booked for every reservation time the entire week we will be there. So sad Le Cellier...I guess Benjamin will just have to wait to sample your delicious mushroom risotto filet mignon on the next trip.

3. Snow. and bitter cold...The last week of preschool I only had to work 2 of the 5 days thanks to a whole lot of snow and ice and temps in the teens. That was wonderful, though. Then we received a beautiful white Christmas in K-town this weekend, complete with even more snow and ice. And its still here! Well, not really, but I noticed this morning that my neighbor's roof was still partially white! I guess what I'm getting to is that I'm just really tired of being cold and being confined to indoor workouts. Jillian literally almost put me into cardiac arrest the other day, and the I swear the treadmills at Fort Sanders go faster than any others I've ever used. Ew. I want to sign up for another half marathon sometime in the spring, but I need to make sure I still have outdoor running capabilities first...and 28 degrees is not going to allow that to happen.

4. Solitude. My latest read is called Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen. It's a bit of a break from the traditional Christian living book, but I've found it to be really fresh and insightful as a result. The first section is about leaving behind our loneliness and instead reaching for inner solitude. I love how Nouwen describes this word that denotes such a solitary and even lonely meaning as being the key to our most Godly relationships and the most Christlike community. I liken this solitude to an inner confidence in God's will and Christ's love for us. It is our heart at rest in God's sovereignty. His love is true and thus all that matters. His Son is all we need.

Nouwen says that without solitude, we look to others to fulfill our worldly needs, things we only desire because we think we have to have them to be happy or successful. I have certainly seen such sin in my own life, especially as I continue to struggle with worldliness on a daily basis, but Nouwen's talk reminds me so much of what I learned this summer about relationships. If I am standing on Jesus as my sole rock and foundation, he will change my heart to desire him alone. Thus I don't have to look for fulfillment within my relationships, and my time with others can be pure and loving and selfless. It's all still a little jumbled in my head, which is likely obvious, hah, but yeah, I'm learning and I like that.

Okay, so that's that for now. Off to embark on a little more laziness!

Friday, November 12, 2010

How to Make Your Workout Obsolete

It's really easy...

Drive to campus or downtown Knox...park your car...get out, start running, and make this your destination:

Mmmm...the famous chocolate factory above World's Fair Park. There's a greenway that leads right to it! So Ben and I have gotten into this terrible habit of running from campus and ending here. Then we go inside and pick 3 or 4 things to try, purchase our treats, and go enjoy them on a bench by the fountains (which are no longer running because it's supposed to be cold outside).

Today we shared a hazelnut truffle, a kahlua truffle, and peanut butter and graham crackers covered in chocolate. Yummm, it was all delicious, and totally worth the thirty minute sweat.

Hope they have good chocolate shops in Houston!! Have a great weekend and happy homecoming! Go Vols!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Materialism at its apologies

I'd say the thing I'll miss the most come graduation in May is a college student's schedule. I do work two days a week, but when you're only taking 12 hours, that still leaves plenty of time to run around town and have afternoons very similar to mine today.

Ben and I both finish with class at 11:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so we met up right away and went for a nice (but very painful) run. After showers and lunch, we headed to the mall to run some errands. Well, "errands" might be pushing it. Basically Benjamin landed a sweet big boy job (that may or may not be on the other side of the country...) and he's so anxious already that we went shopping for big boy job clothes. Mom's credit card and 20% off coupon in hand, we did some damage. It's so fun spending other peoples' money! Belk was having a fantastic sale, though, and he found four new pairs of slacks and four new shirts that will have him looking super sharp! I do enjoy dressing him, and I'm glad he allows me to. :)

After Belk we walked down to Pottery Barn, since it's pretty much my second home these days. I've been spending way too much time on their website's Design Your Own Bed feature lately in an attempt to figure out colors and what not before we continue registering. My chronic indecisiveness does not help in these situations. At this point, our goal is to mimic this entryway (from the PB catalog of course) and somehow use it as inspiration for the bedroom:

I've been in love with this page since I first laid eyes on it. But yeah, great looking wall of frames and cute little skinny side transform into a bedroom--bam! Wish it was that easy. Doesn't help that I'm the pickiest bedspread-picker-outer ever. Oh well, we'll get there! But really I'd just like May 28th to be here now!

Post-Pottery Barn we went to pick up Ben's rental tux for a gala Friday night (which I am sadly not attending), and then stopped for some free samples at the new Teavana store in the mall. I've tried before to like hot tea but have never been successful...until today. The lady offered us this Chai blend of some sort and it was so delicious. I wish I had a nice cup right this second in fact! I didn't even want to ask how much it was, so I didn't, but maybe that will be a nice little treat one of these days.

Then it was off to Bed, Bath, & Beyond to check out the selection pre-registry. And success! We finally found flatware we liked that isn't $100 a place setting. Very exciting, hah. I'd show you a picture but I know nobody cares. Nothing better than good news in cutlery...

So yeah, I looked at a lot of stuff today...stuff that doesn't really matter, but it's still kind of exciting, right? I've struggled through this whole registering thing with my addiction to stuff. Every time I point the gun thingie at a barcode my mind just resounds with "God before possessions." And I can talk all I want about knowing my true worth and identity is in Christ, but I'd be lying if I told you I practiced that all day everyday. I'm learning, though, and I'm glad to at least be aware of all the stuff in my life, but I want my true treasure to be in heaven. I don't want to try and create a kingdom of my own on earth. Someone much greater and mightier and richer already has a kingdom waiting for me that is more exquisite and breathtaking than anything I could ever imagine. And in that shall be my comfort.

Anyways, I just had a really great Wednesday. I got to spend some lovely quality time with the fiance, and that brings me joy no matter what it is we're doing. And I am so thankful for my Bible study tonight. It was a wonderful message and just reminded me of this summer for some reason. I think I just really felt the Spirit moving in me like I haven't in a while, and that was so encouraging.

So I hope everyone else had excellent days too, and here's to a good night's sleep that ranks up there as well! Sweet dreams all. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday and Memphis

Dear Monday,

You have been such a Monday. How is that, you ask? Well there was the nice layer of ice on my car this morning, the broken stereo in spinning class, the tennis substitute, the due date for the paper I didn't write, the afternoon in front of the computer writing said paper plus some, the Homecoming pomping, the sub-par Gossip Girl, and the very busy fiance whom I did not get to see...

See what I mean? Typical Monday to a T. Hmmm, and guess what? It's only Monday.



Okay, so today wasn't that bad. Not bad at all actually, though I did just ramble off a surprisingly long list of reasons to think otherwise.

Anyway, on to this weekend. Thursday afternoon I headed down to Memphis with Benjamin so he could do an on-site job interview all day Friday. Nat, Gav, and Louis arrived a little later and we all enjoyed a nice relaxing couple of days out west. We shopped a little, napped a little, visited a little, and ate a I always do when I travel.

Mom and I ventured to the Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma outlets, but as soon as I walked in I just got overwhelmed by all the color and style prospects of future room decor. My indecisiveness is not going to come in handy when we have to start choosing paint colors and purchasing sofas. Exciting though, eh? Mom got some glass containers to start her candy table collection for the wedding. She's so thrilled. It's precious. :)

I didn't have much luck at good old Anthropologie either, which is just so disappointing. Sometimes I think I'm just not stylish enough for that store. The manikins all look so well-put together and trendy, but I can never manage the same look back in the dressing room. It makes my wallet happy, though, so that's good.

I did anger my wallet at Dillard's, though, but it was so worth it. I finally found boots! I think I have scoured every single store in K-town, but nothing fit the bill. Memphis did the trick though! Oh I just love them:

While in Memphis, we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Salsa and at Huey's, a popular hamburger place downtown. We didn't make it to the game Saturday night, which is fine because it was freezing, but we did take the opportunity to walk down Beale Street before it got too crazy. Took some fun pics!

Dinner at Huey's

Beale Street!


On the trolley...

Overall it was a great trip! So thankful for such wonderful friends and my terrific fiance. Goodnight all!