Saturday, January 28, 2012

What May or May Not Be

Uncertainty has GOT to be the pattern for every person's life. It certainly can't be just us.

In the next six months (less than that, but I'd rather not think about it), we may or may not be here.
Here, in this apartment,
here, in this city,
here, in this state,
here, on this side of the country
(pretty sure we'll be in this country, but you never know, I guess).

So many things are supposed to happen before then that sometimes I don't think it will possibly work out. Before we may or may not move, these things are supposed to happen:
Start and finish last semester of college.
Internship. Six weeks overseas.
Move. Possibly during internship. Scary.

And then more things:
Find a new church, make new friends, get to know a new place, find a job, Carson starting grad school.

In two months, we will probably know where and most likely even when this change will take place. We'll see the puzzle pieces come together. Our questions will have answers and decisions will be made. Though money probably won't grow on trees, our needs will be met.

Our life is in the Lord's hands.
That's both reassuring and scary, if I'm being honest. He's got it and I trust Him but still I want to make sure everything's under control. In so many ways I'm like a little child. I know He knows it all and has it figured out but sometimes I doubt the sovereignty of God in my mind, which is probably where it counts the most.

So for the next couple of months, we wait. It's our only choice; a perfect one for two impatient people. Keeps us reliant. Keeps us praying.

I realized today that the "next step" isn't to go to grad school or whatever is to come in the distant future but to trust God now. That should always be our response to Him.

No matter what may or may not be.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I thought I'd post some recent recipe successes, if for no other reason than to encourage you to follow suit :)

On our snowday, we tried something that we've never done before: homemade snow cones. Well, sort of. We had coke in the fridge already, then Carson gathered a bowl of snow from outside, shoved it into glasses and poured coke over it. 
"When life gives you snow, make coke floats..." 

 Another thing I tried recently and was SO proud of was cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot. A friend said it was easy, so I bought the chicken and basically rinsed it, threw it in the crockpot, put random spices  (paprika, thyme, savory, sage) and garlic on top and cooked it for 6 hours. Though I was skeptical, the chicken was really good! It smelled amazing and I was proud.
Ps- probably mentioned it before, but if you're looking for a crockpot, get this one... it has buttons instead of a little knob, so as soon as it's cooked for the specified time, it stops cooking and goes to "warm". It's great if you end up coming home a little later than planned.

We enjoyed our chicken with garlic mashed potatoes. It lasted for many meals!

The last thing I made is the best: Caramel Popcorn! 
I wasn't sure it was going to work, but it did and it was amazing. 
I used this recipe and followed it exactly, except used half the amount of butter. It says to bake for an hour, mixing it every 15 minutes, but I think I baked mine for about 45 and it was perfect. 
Also, it says 5 quarts of popped popcorn. I don't know how much that is, but I popped three bags of microwave popcorn and it was just fine with that amount. This is a recipe I hope you try. I'll be making it again soon! (possibly adding peanuts or cashews... yum).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Free Time

Since I haven't been working full-time, I'm enjoying things I hadn't been able to before:

Trying new recipes: Salsa. I'm allergic to tomatoes so I didn't actually try this, but I wanted to because it smelled excellent! It's two large tomatoes, half a red onion (by the way, if you light a match, put it out and then hold it between your teeth as you cut an onion, you won't cry! sounds ridiculous but it worked for me and I usually have mascara running down my face at the first slice), half a huge bunch of cilantro, some garlic, a bunch of chopping, and voila! Kristine gave me the recipe and it's fabulous. I was supposed to add jalapenos as well but didn't know that when I bought ingredients.

Writing Papers at a leisurely pace (my method is to do it curled up in bed in the middle of the day). This paper was for my Romans Jan Term, which has been the only class I've ever taken that I wouldn't have minded taking for an extra week. It looks as if I lost my mind and started hurling things around, but that's actually because I dragged other things over there to be my study breaks without sacrificing the cozy bed. I think I made a card, wrote in my journal, worked on another project for class, and did some reading. Paper writing takes a LONG time, and it could very well be because of my study breaks.

Drying cilantro. Because of the climate, this had dried out by the end of the day. There must be 0% humidity here. Also, I only dried this because they give you a LOT of cilantro in a bunch for .49 at the grocery store.

Eating cheesecake. This particular one had too much chocolate. My dear friend Jillian probably died at that comment, but in the past couple of years I've discovered that I think chocolate looks really tasty, but it's lost its appeal and if I eat it, I consume a small amount and then I'm done. This is excellent news for a person who would exist solely on junk food if possible. The cheesecake part was terrific.

Seeing this wonderful person off to work. He bikes to work when he doesn't have to be there too early and when the weather is nice (actually, often when it's bad also... we share a car so if I need it, he's pretty much left biking to work). He loves his rides but you should see the layers he has on in this picture - it gets chilly!

Watching snow fall from my window (2 feet accumulated just hours after this picture was taken). If you're wondering, that's an overpass and yes, we hear traffic all day. We had to get special speakers so that if we want to watch movies, we can hear them over the road noise.

Home things
Sewing: in one afternoon, I hemmed a dress, made two pillows and mended some holey clothes. This fabric was used in packaging my Christmas gift from Brooke. Everyone should send me gifts wrapped in fabric... not kidding. The other side is red and white houndstooth fabric.

Made this little lopsided heart pillow because I wanted to see if I could, and I wanted to use the fabric but it wasn't large enough for a square pillow. It's silky something on one side and burlap on the other :) I like it. At its tallest part, it's probably 8 inches (but that's my best guess and we all know I don't estimate well).

My Valentine's decorations are a bit sparse. I couldn't think of a good, cheap filler so I punched circles into Valentine-colored paper and threw it in a hurricane glass.
If you're wondering why I've decorated for Valentine's day, it's simple: I took down the Christmas decor and wanted to replace my decorations around the house with something else appropriate for the season. Since everyone still associates snow-themed decor with Christmas, that was out, so I chose Valentine's Day. After that, we'll see. I only theme my decor and change it often because I feel the need to create and make things pretty and if I didn't do that I might decide to paint a mural on my walls and we DON'T want that. This is the best option.

Mom made this garland. It says LOVE but I couldn't get a good picture since the snow was making it so bright!

Made paper flowers with drinking straw stems for the table, again in Valentine colors. I'll come up with something not quite so third-grader in the future but making this was 100% free. The flowers are fun and easy to make. Down the road, I'll invest in pipe cleaners or something a bit more chic ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


The day began with good intentions: to-do lists. Goals. Projects. 
But as the snow kept falling, so did our willpower to complete our tasks. 
We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast (we rarely make breakfast)
And decided to call the day a day of rest, relaxation and plain old laziness. 

(he hurled himself into the snow on purpose)

Home sweet apartment building. Have I shared a picture of where we live before?

We decided to take pictures of us jumping. Took ten, one came out of both of us jumping. Plenty of us trying/Carson pushing me into the snow.

The rest of the day was spent watching movies, having a late lunch and spending time together. 
I like snowdays.

The Importance of Being Honest

(Perhaps the title will make sense as you read)

This (school) year, I have been spending one afternoon a week with other people's rather undisciplined children. It's something of an after-school program put on by my church where we hang out with the kids and talk to them about Jesus. That's the gist of it anyway.

So anyway, I was sitting on the floor during worship, which was sort of a pain on this particular day. A fifth-grade girl was going through a fifth-grade girl sort of drama, which meant that her friends gathered around to hear her woes. About 25% percent of the group was singing along or remotely focused on the hand motions. The rest were running to the bathroom one more time, laughing about how childish it is to do hand motions (we all go through that stage, I think), or joined in the little circle of drama.

I rolled my eyes. Inwardly of course... I guess it's more acceptable to do it inwardly.

And then it came. That little thought.

At first the thought was my own, something like: "WHY WILL THESE CHILDREN NOT PAY ATTENTION?????"

And very shortly after that, possibly interrupting that thought, I realized that so, so often, I am JUST like that. (but I should know better)

I'm there, at church or during my quiet time, but then I get distracted. It's a little thing: an item to add to the grocery list, a forgotten sock on the floor to put away, a completely different thought altogether that has me reading words on a  page but so lost in my own thought that I have no comprehension.

Whatever that thing is, I realized that very often...
Okay,  I would venture to say all the time, my focus is anywhere but where it should be. And that should is on Jesus, on the gospel, on the things of God.

For all my good intentions, all my opinions on what people should be doing or how they should behave during an after school program for children, I fail to hold myself to the same standard. I fail to practice what I preach. I fail to judge myself as I've judged others.

"Oops!" isn't exactly the thing to say here. I'm uncertain as to what SHOULD be said. Something profound, I guess. Something to make you say, "Hmmmm" as if you're deep in thought and deeply convicted.

I can't come up with something to meet that criteria, so I'll just say this:

1. I pray that you, the person reading this, are able to look at my failure to focus on Christ as I ought and think "Whew! I need to stop and see if I'm doing the same thing", because I don't want you to find yourself guilty of putting things (even tiny ones) in front of Him. I pray that you are HONEST before the Lord in this. 
2. I hope that you are encouraged that you aren't the only one. 
3. I ask that you will pray for me and for your fellow believers, that we remain focused in our walks. 
4. And finally, please (please please please) do pray for those kids. Yes, they can be frustrating. But they come from some rotten home backgrounds. Most of them have unsaved parents and don't know Jesus themselves. Pray that they would know Him through this little ministry thing once a week and for the families they return to each day. Pray for the leaders, that we would be understanding and patient and loving, presenting Christ to them as a pleasant aroma.

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? (II Corinthians 2:14-16)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Where We Live

This is how our living/dining room is looking these days. I moved the table into the middle of the room and it's been great for making the room look more like two. The lighting is from our lovely fluorescent lights. I don't like them but they do light up the apartment when needed :)
This is the dining room/office/study side: 

And this is the living room side. The signs on the left side of the window aren't there anymore. The yellow one started to warp from the heat and the black one was a Christmas gift that needs a home. 

The table was set for a fancy date night: note paper plates and pizza box. At least I took the breadsticks out and put them in a bowl :) 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Romans Class

Last semester, I enrolled in a class on the book of Romans. It's a required, senior class here at Moody and I was SO excited to get way over my head in theology and struggle with the text. I've been looking forward to it my whole Moody "career".

Only, I sat through three weeks and dropped last semester's class. The reason? The way it was taught in that particular class was too academic for me. I don't understand Hebrew or even the tiniest bit of Greek, so the professor's lecture left me confused, and doodling. So I dropped that class and decided instead to take the  two-week Jan Term version, taught by someone else. Usually, when I drop a class and decide to take it later (or just decide to wait because I'm not really looking forward to that class), I regret my decision. "Couldn't I have just dealt with sixteen weeks of that class? My schedule would be so much better!"

That was NOT the case with this class.

I started my Romans class last Tuesday and today is the last day of class. That's nine days of class time, four hours a day. And you know what? I absolutely LOVE this class. One of the best I've taken, for sure.

This book, formerly frightening, has lost a little of its scare in my mind. The outlines and chapter breakdowns have been so helpful. I don't understand the book to its fullest capacities, but I have a greater grasp on the key themes, words, passages and doctrines of the book of Romans after taking this class. The homework assignments (the gospel, totally from Romans; a chart breaking down the book; a research paper on any passage we'd like [Romans 6:15-23 for me]) have been more uplifting and personally encouraging than daunting and annoying time-consuming. Basically, this has been great. I'm even a little sad to see it end.

Just in case you were wondering how school was going, the answer is "Great!" and the Spring semester hasn't even started. January 30 I'll be heading back into a full last semester before I graduate.

Two thumbs up for shorter classes though. They force the Scriptures and information to be at the top of your mind, instead of sandwiched in with other things. Love the things I've learned in shorter classes like this one!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

That Time I Burned My Hair

Very recently, we had some friends over for dinner. It was casual and last minute, so we made breakfast for dinner, with pancakes, sausage, hash browns and eggs. Now I don't know about anyone else, but one of the worst smells in the world to have hanging around your home is the smell of egg. Mixed with sausage? Gross. So while the guys were off at a coffee shop discussing theological things and Josie was washing our dishes (I have good friends), I lit a candle to rid the apartment of the smell.

Unfortunately, as we were talking, I leaned a bit too far over this candle. Next thing I know, there's a bright light (flame) and I can hear the sizzling sound of my own hair on fire. I jumped back, and thankfully my shirt was low enough that my chest put out the flame. It was very startling and unexpected.

Also very funny. If you laughed, don't worry; you're in good company.

It burned all the ends of my hair since it was in a braid, so I sat there as we talked and cut the ends off, one by one. Not too much burned, although one side was a bit worse than the other, due to the nature of the braid. The ends were curled and gross. We opened windows and doors and lit another candle (but stayed far away). We also documented. Josie thought of it before I did: a picture of the burnt hair (you can't even tell in the picture) and the culprit, the ashes on the floor from when I jumped back -- yes, ashes, and finally, me cutting off the ends of my hair.

The good news is that I'm not bald, the house isn't burned to the ground, the burn on my chest isn't bad, and finally?

The house no longer smelled like eggs.

Ps - burnt hair is ever so much worse.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Celebrations Continue

Even though it was supposed arrive the day we arrive back in Spokane, the Christmas box from my parents didn't actually arrive until January 3, which made for a festive celebration in our little apartment. We opened socks (lots of socks), candy, gum, new pens, a neat letter sign, clothing and more from the family. Check out my strange frustrated face; I was having some trouble with tape.

You probably don't remember, but last new year's eve we went to Taco Bell. It was the very last thing we did in 2012, so we said we wouldn't eat Taco Bell for the whole of 2011. I never really liked Taco Bell anyway so it wasn't much of a sacrifice. Turns out that all we wanted in 2011 was fake mexican food (aka Taco Bell). We actually went three days before the year was out because we made a stop on the way back from the airport and were hungry, and we planned to make that count instead of going on January 1. 
Then, of course, I was sad that I didn't document our fast food indulgence. So we went again on January 2. Nope, we shouldn't have. Yes, it was greasy and a little gross. But I got my pictures and I really do love those curly cinnamon things :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How We Rang in 2012

Dying to know how we celebrated the arrival of this new year? 
Well, let me be honest... it wasn't super exciting. 
Nevertheless, here you go!

Carson worked New Year's Eve. When he returned, he went off to work out while I took the car to buy a few groceries so that we could eat dinner. We had chicken salads and crescent rolls.

Then Carson got some studying in. He didn't seem to notice that I took this picture.

We then played with the unpacked Christmas ornaments

And watched this movie. I didn't like it at all. 

While we watched, we ate Peppermint Candy ice cream. One of the best things about this time of year.

We're on Pacific Time here in Spokane, so we missed the live feeds of the ball drop in Times Square. So we watched it on YouTube before it was actually midnight.

The reason for that was that we planned to watch the fireworks downtown at midnight. We drove a few blocks away (if we had walked, we might have missed the fireworks; it was 5 minutes till midnight when we decided to see them) where we had a clear view of downtown and waited. 
Sure enough, we heard loud cheers from downtown (the squiggly lines below) and then the sky lit up!

Our first picture of 2012. I look way too excited. 

We returned home (our car's heater had kicked in by that time) and popped the sparkling cider with Carson's new alligator bottle opener.

I made this sign and we took a picture with it after church on Sunday. 
Welcome 2012!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What Will It Hold?

2011 was a good year. It was quite full of adventure and travel. It was the first time in a long time that our address has remained constant for an entire calendar year. That won't be the case (we're guessing) for this coming year.

But what will 2012 bring? Here's what we anticipate doing this year:

- Lindsay finishing school!
- Family coming for Lindsay's graduation
- Finding out where Carson is accepted for grad school - this will lead to figuring out all the logistics for a move to a new state (most likely)
- Our two-year anniversary in May
- Weddings: John and Rachel in January, Carson's cousin Savannah in March, Carson's cousin Anthony in May, my sister Becca in September. Also to several engagements that will probably lead to weddings later this year...
- Lindsay's overseas internship this summer. Details yet to come.

There are quite a few things that will make for big changes in our lives: graduation, moving, starting grad school, traveling... we anticipate 2012 being another year full of busyness and adventure.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Little Review of 2011

January 2011
Rang in the New Year by taking a leisurely drive down to Oregon
Worked and took classes
It was cold and there was a lot of snow

February 2011
Both of us started classes (Carson had 27 credits, I had six)
I worked full time
My phone decided to fall into the toilet and survived the adventure
We celebrated our first Valentine's Day
We took pictures as the "Reilly Family"

March 2011
We got new furniture for the living room
We housesat for a couple in our church
We went to Sandpoint, ID for Spring Break

April 2011
Carson's parents came to visit
I used my new sewing machine

May 2011
I put my two week's notice in to my job (and ended up staying an extra two weeks)
We both ran Bloomsday
We celebrated one year of marriage
Carson graduated from Moody Bible Institute!

June 2011
Carson moved to Naches for the summer
We learned that we don't say goodbye well
I got a roommate for that time
I was recruited to teach at VBS

July 2011
I celebrated the 4th of July in Hayden, ID
The Reilly Girls had another girls' night
We spent time in Olympia 
I went to Pennsylvania and saw family and Jillian

August 2011
Erica became my roommate for the month of August
I attended Josie and Chris' wedding in Montana
We attended Catherine and Levi's wedding later that week
I started school full-time

September 2011
Carson moved back to Spokane
We celebrated Rachel's birthday with a pool party
John and Rachel got engaged and we went dress shopping
I was creative again

October 2011
We went on the Reilly Retreat
We dressed up for Halloween
Molly, Erica and I were the 3 Blind Mice

November 2011
The leaves changed 
We had our first foot of snow
We were married for a year and a half
We celebrated Thanksgiving

December 2011
School ended and my grades didn't suffer
Carson turned 25
We celebrated Christmas just the two of us
We traveled to Pennsylvania for Christmas

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