Monday, September 29, 2008

Missing Fat Tuesday

Since I've moved here, I've been missing my Fat Tuesday girls so much! It's kind of funny, because half of them didn't even live in Abilene last year, so it's not like I'm the only one who's moved. But I've been thinking about them a lot lately, so here's a post dedicated to my best friends. I miss you girls! (The awesome photos are courtesy of Emerald; I miss taking advantage of her talent, too!)


What I miss the most: Watching her interact with children. She is such a wonderful teacher, and I got to see that ability come through at church. I would tease her about using "education language" in normal conversation, but I really do admire her dedication.
Memorable quote: "I am still convinced that one day (possibly decades in the future, but still) I will have a husband who is WAY hotter than any of yours!" ---This was written recently in an e-mail to all of us girls, and I almost died laughing when I read it. It is so typically Carolyn.


What I miss the most: Her great smile and laugh. When she gets really excited, her voice gets really loud just like mine.
Funny memory: Brittany, Erin, Carolyn and I got lost in the country around College Station. It was very late, and we were almost out of gas. Finally, we spotted a gas station in the middle of nowhere. The pumps were on, but the station was closed, so Erin had to pee behind the building. (I think Carolyn did, too!) :)


What I miss the most: Talking to her about things that excite/anger/surprise me. She can always match my emotion and gets just as worked up as I do. When we get started, we can go on for hours.
Memorable quote: "But Darby's so much more than just a brain." (This quote actually made some sense in context, but Brittany will NEVER live it down).


What I miss the most: Talking with her about our shared interests - books, cooking, spiritual issues. Kalyn is very introspective, and I always learn a lot from her.
Funny Memory: Kalyn, Brittany, Carolyn, and I took an aerobics class together our sophomore year. Kalyn and I embarrassed ourselves daily with our lack of coordination and flexibility.


What I miss the most: Her awesome story-telling ability. She is hilarious and always has me hanging on to every word.
Funny Quirk: When Emerald does not know what to say, she blinks. A LOT! With Em, a blink is worth a thousand words.

So, those are my friends. All are very different and very special. I hope that our little group remains close for many years to come.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Exciting Week!

I have had so much to be excited about in the past week:

1. The curtains and pillows Darby's mom made for us came in the mail!!

I'm not very good at photographing curtains because of the backlighting, but here they are. They look even better in person.

A close-up.

The pillows. So cute!

She also made a valance for the large sliding door we have in our kitchen, but we haven't gotten those hung yet. We love them, and they make our house feel so much homier! I am incredibly lucky to have such a generous, talented mother-in-law. Thank you, Debby!

2. I got a job! I will be working as a production editor at Omegatype Typography. They specialize in producing textbooks (mainly college-level social science books) from Pearson, which is one of the largest textbook publishers in the nation. I am very excited about the opportunity to do something I'm passionate about. I won't be writing much about my job on this blog because I don't think that's appropriate, but I'm sure those of you I talk to by phone or e-mail will be hearing all about it. This job is definitely a blessing for me; so many people have been praying about this, and I am grateful that God answered all of our prayers in this way. I start next Wednesday, so my homemaking days are coming to an end. :)

3. The Office starts tonight!!!!! I cannot wait! Darby and I got Season 4 last night. It was kind of a treat for getting a job, or at least that's the reason we used to justify the purchase. Plus, I found $15 in reward certificates to Best Buy that I had kind of forgotten about. If you have not watched this show, you must start! And don't judge it based on only one episode. It takes a little while to get into the characters, but once you do, you will be hooked. If you're not sure where to begin, here are a couple of my favorite episodes from various seasons: Health Insurance, The Convict, Business School, Money, The Fire, The Injury, Conflict Resolution. I think most of those are available on iTunes, so what are you waiting for?!?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Boredom Baking

I need to get a job for my health. When I don't have anything to do, I cook...more specifically, I bake. Here are a few of the things I've baked in the past month or so:
Cinnamon Toast Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Double-Decker Butterscotch Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
Homemade Chocolate-Filled Donuts
Zucchini Bread (This doesn't sound too bad, but I thought the bread was dry, so I added cream cheese frosting...ummm, yeah...I need help)
Cottage Cheese Cheddar Bread
Blueberry-Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake
Peanut Butter Brownies

Now, most of this stuff has been shared with others, but I definitely eat my fair share during and after the baking. Thankfully, it's looking like I will have a job very soon. (If you want more details, call or e-mail me). It couldn't have come at a better time. I'm about to go up a jeans size!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Things I'm Loving Right Now

1. Lost - I know we're a little late jumping on this bandwagon, but Darby and I started renting the first season disc-by-disc on Netflix, and we are hooked! We only have the most basic Netflix plan, so we only get two discs a month. We figured it was going to take us a pretty long time to watch all of it, but then we realized that all of the old episodes are available online. Woo-hoo! I'm a little bit afraid how many episodes we'll watch in a row now, though.

2. Fiber One Caramel Delight cereal - I know the name is a little off-putting, but this cereal is seriously sooo good. It tastes kind of like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but it's much more grown-up and healthier (I think!)

3. Top Design - I had never watched this show, but I happened to catch the first episode of this season, and I am hooked! The interior design assignments are extremely hard; the designers are all prima donnas; and the judges are horribly mean. It all combines for great TV!

4. My Kitchen Aid Cake Decorating Set - I got this as a wedding gift and had yet to use it. I finally pulled it out this weekend to pipe frosting on some cupcakes. Oh my gosh...I am NEVER frosting cupcakes without it again. It seems like it takes forever to spread the frosting with a spatula, and it never turns out looking good. I spent literally five minutes frosting 2 dozen cupcakes with this thing, and they looked WAY better than usual.

5. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte - It's baaaack! We've been having lovely fallish weather here, so it's perfect timing. I enjoyed one this afternoon. Yum!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

That title's for you, Mom! (It's a song she used to sing to us when we were little).

Before I show you the long-awaited pictures of our house, I have some exciting news. Darby got a Teaching Assistantship for this semester! That means he gets a full tuition waiver and a stipend. We are so excited! We were able to cancel all our loans for this semester, and, more importantly, we got to go out to dinner! :) We are so thankful that God provided for us in this way, and it definitely takes a lot of stress off both of us. Now, on to the pictures...

The Living Room

Here's the view as you walk in the front door. We just got the couch and chair from Ashley. The chair is a glider recliner. It is soo comfortable. We are going to get an end table to go on the left side of the couch eventually. On the right-hand wall is a big window. I will post pictures once we get the curtains that Darby's mom is making for us. The living room opens up directly to the kitchen. I like the open-floor plan. The door you see in the background leads to the garage.

Here's the other side of the living room. Darby got the TV with his graduation money. It's awesome having such a huge TV and cable. We probably enjoy it a little too much :) The shelves were already on the wall. which is why it appears there's a vase on top of the TV. Oh well!

The Kitchen

The table also belongs to the owners. It's not my taste, but it was free. The door in the back leads to the laundry room. I love having a washer and dryer! Laundry doesn't even feel like a chore any more. There's a big sliding glass door on the right that leads to the backyard. We have a nice patio and yard. I didn't take pictures because the lawn is pretty overgrown right now. Eventually, I want to get patio furniture, so we can actually enjoy sitting outside. All in good time.

This is the centerpiece I made for the table. I combined a couple of ideas from Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart. I have to be pretty creative to decorate with almost no money.

Here's a closer view of the cabinets and appliances. There's a Lazy Susan cabinet in the corner. which is awesome! I have so much more storage space than in our old apartment. I love cooking in this kitchen. I could probably still fill up a kitchen twice as big, though! Most of the decorations on top of the cabinets were already there, but I added a few of my things.

The Study

This is the view as you walk in the door.

In between the bookshelf and the desk is a window. I need to get a valance for it, so I didn't take a picture of it. Darby mainly uses the desk for his schoolwork. In exchange for the desk, I got...

A scrapbook closet!!! There was a nice-size closet with built-in shelving that was perfect for my little workspace. I just set up a TV tray as my desk, and I move a chair in when I want to work. I love it because I can leave stuff that's in progress out and just shut the doors.

The Bathroom

Pretty much your standard bathroom. We do have A LOT more counter space than our old bathroom, which is nice.

The Bedroom

This is the view as you walk in the door. Both dressers belong to the owners of the house. We really don't need that much clothing storage, especially with the...

Giant Closet! You can't really tell from this picture exactly how big it is, but it could almost be another room. It's awesome!

Here's our bed. We have basically the same set-up as our old apartment. I still love it!

Here's a close-up of the "art" I made. It's six pieces of coordinating scrapbook paper in a Wal-Mart Frame. Take that, HGTV!

I did not include pictures of our guest room because it's still kind of crazy. We have an inflatable Queen-size air mattress that we get out for guests. When we don't have guests, Darby uses the room to play his guitars, so they stay out most of the time. It's a good arrangement for us, but I haven't found a way to make the room look like it's not just a junk room. I'm working on it.

We both feel so lucky to get to live in such a nice house. It is definitely a HUGE step up from our apartment in Abilene. It actually feels like a real grown-up home. There are definitely some things we would change if we owned the house, but overall we love it. This spring, we're going to concentrate on improving the flowerbeds and yard. I'll post pictures of the outside once we get it in somewhat decent shape. I'll also continue to change the inside, especially once I have money to decorate. Having a house is so fun!

Friday, September 05, 2008


When I woke up this morning, it was 58 degrees. The high today is 72.

I just have to brag a little before our freezing temperatures start and all you Texans are laughing at us!

I promise I am going to post pictures of our house pretty soon. We've been a little lazy in getting all of the last details done. I have a real aversion to hanging things up, but I finally sucked it up and got most of the frames up this week. Darby's mom is making curtains for our living room, so I'm going to wait until we get those to take pictures of that room. (Not that there's any rush, Debby! We're just so grateful you're doing that for us!) We're having a couple from church over tomorrow night, so that should encourage me to get the house in perfect shape. Some pictures to come next week!

Monday, September 01, 2008

I'm mean in my sleep

Last night, I had already gone to sleep by the time Darby came to bed. This is a common occurrence, because I generally go to bed pretty early. I always leave his lamp on for him and have no trouble falling asleep with that light. He usually comes in pretty quietly, but I'm a light sleeper so I almost always wake up. I either get really scared or I smile at him and stretch like I'm a little baby. Last night, however, I was evidently in a bad mood.

He came in, used the bathroom, came out quietly, got in bed, and turned his lamp off. I said, "Uhhh...why do you always have to be so loud when you come in!" He said, "What? I wasn't being loud." I said, "Yes, you were. You always come in here flushing toilets, slamming doors, and turning on lights." At this point he just started laughing because while he had flushed the toilet (obviously), he had not slammed any doors and definitely had not turned on the bedroom light. I said, "I'm always so quiet in the mornings when I wake up before you." So, of course, he had to tease me this morning when I was getting out of bed and accidentally woke him up. He said, "I don't know why you have to be so loud - putting your glasses on and getting out of bed. Uhhh..." I guess I deserved that. I have no idea why I said that. It definitely does not bother me that he comes to bed late, and I always go right back to sleep when I wake up. Maybe I have some unresolved anger. Hmmm...