Monday, October 29, 2012

My Productive Weekend.

This weekend, Carson went to Michigan for a conference. After I dropped him off at the airport on Thursday morning (his flight was at 6, so we left at 4:30am - yes, I was a bit grouchy), I realized that I had an entire weekend ahead of me and only one day of work. So all weekend I worked on things I'd been meaning to do. I took pictures of some of it (you probably didn't need a picture of mopping or laundry, so I didn't take one) just to remember what was probably the most creative and productive weekend ever. I re-arranged, organized, brainstormed, decorated, baked and shopped (mainly for groceries) until I left for the airport again on Sunday morning. I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments, so take a gander: 

1. I painted my nails. Bright pink, since it was a rather rainy and gloomy afternoon.

2. I wanted something to hold my stud earrings, so here's what I did: I snapped the top off one of these pencil boxes. I think I could still use it again if I wanted to, but it was empty and had been sitting around with my craft stuff since approximately 1998. I then folded burlap accordian style and put it in the box. My burlap didn't go all the way to both ends of the pencil case, plus it was a little ugly, so I cut two pieces of paper to fit over that. It looks better than I'd anticipated, and now my vast collection of pearl studs is sorted out and not one big mess to sort through.

3. I found this little key rack at the craft store, so I just painted it and put it on the wall by the door we use most frequently. Now I won't run all around looking for my keys, only to discover that they were in the tiny pocket in my purse the entire time.

4. Our kitchen was needing some curtains. I didn't really care if they were pretty (that's why they aren't), but since that window looks right into our next-door neighbor's window, and since that window provides a great view of the stairs, which we descend in our early morning hair-everywhere-sloppy sweatpants, I thought that a curtain might not be a bad idea. We only want those neighbors seeing our best side. I made these to hang over the cabinets with no doors in our Spokane apartment (click here for a's photo 12) since it was the largest amount of fabric I had, and they were the right length for this window. I used a dowel rod to hang these up, and they're way too full, but it's unlikely that it will bother me enough to make new ones.

5. I used glitter nail polish on my keys. Why? Because it's a beast to get off, and now I know which key goes to which lock.

6. I painted these to go over our bed. I finally solved that dilemma. It's not what I wanted, but it was my cheapest option (four frames from the $ Store and paper and paints I already had).

7. I've had this empty frame sitting around with intentions of making an earring holder for over a year. I finally did it this weekend! I just stapled burlap to the frame with a regular old stapler, painted my first initial in the middle, and hung it up. Easy - I should have done it a year ago!

8. I made these when Carson came home. It's a Crockpot Chicken Caesar sandwich recipe I found here. I added bacon, since we had it and since most Caesar sandwiches have bacon - excellent addition. We'll make this again for sure. Very easy, not very healthy, and makes great leftovers.

9. I found this old shelf at Goodwill and painted it red. It will go above the stove in the kitchen (as opposed to the one in the bedroom?). It's not the prettiest, but that space needed something and I think a shelf will do the trick.

10. I don't think any non existent guests will have trouble finding it, but just in case, I hung these up on the door. I felt like making a sign of some sort and this was the only option that came to mind. I received the tags as a gift and LOVE them. If I had more, I'd label everything. I really enjoy labeling.

11. Our fall table. It's evolved a little bit, but these branches of fake leaves were $0.50 so I stuffed three of them in my pretty blue mason jar.

12. Hung this up in the bathroom. I'll show a picture of the whole room soon so you can see where it is, but I  wrote this C.S. Lewis quote on a piece of paper and cut burlap as a mat. Very simple. And by the way, yes, I did have a ton of burlap on hand.

13. I made breakfast sandwiches to freeze. The eggs were baked in muffin tins, which I'm for sure trying again (I had visions of exploding egg on the side of my oven, but had no problems) I haven't tried one, but I doubt you can go wrong with English muffins, cheese and egg. I may fry a little of that bacon to put on top. These will be great to grab and go.

14. This isn't going to stay on the wall, but we have a long, empty wall in the living room that just looks so WHITE and sad. So I grabbed a bunch of pictures and made a collage. It's too cluttery to keep forever, but the pictures are fun to look at, and it was free. Eventually, I'd like a big painting here.

15. I cleaned my makeup brushes using vinegar and Dawn dish soap - it worked better than brush cleaner and they're so soft now!

16. I made pumpkin bread. I'm actually not sure if this is cake or bread, but here's what I did: a spice cake mix, a can of pumpkin, one egg and a dash of milk. I threw it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes and it was perfect! I hadn't baked in a long time and this was so easy that I'll probably do it again!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cedar Point.

I would consider myself an expert on theme parks. 

Growing up, most of my family vacations included visits to family members because we got several things out of it: visiting family, free place to stay, and proximity to roller coasters. Coincidentally, most of my out-of-town family members happened to live a short drive away from some sort of theme park: Disney World, Sea World, Busch Gardens in Florida and Virginia, Six Flags over Georgia... so maybe that's why we saw our family so often.

The point is that I grew up going to places like that, smelling $14 funnel cakes that we couldn't have because they were too expensive, waiting in line for an hour to go on a two minute ride, walking around hiding from people dressed up as characters from Disney movies and cartoons, screaming on roller coasters... 

Well, the other day, Carson informed me that he had never ridden a roller coaster. I laughed, of course, thinking it was a joke, but then he followed up with some silly question that only a roller coaster novice would ask. After further clarification, it came out that he had been on a roller coaster, but it was more of the state fair type and less of the I-think-my-stomach-might-come-out-of-my-mouth type. 

From what I can tell, the good theme parks are somewhere down in California, not in Washington, Idaho or Oregon, which are nearby. So it makes sense that his family didn't make the 30-hour (or however long) drive down just to pay a million dollars to get into Disney Land. Obviously they didn't - their family was nearby - no excuse to visit ;)

We've heard about the wonders of Cedar Point since before we moved. When people found out that we'd be in the Cleveland area, they looked wistful and said "You MUST go to Cedar Point. It is amazing!" So we moved here, looked at ticket prices (and the $25 parking fee - WHAT???) and said, "That's nice, but that is a very expensive date". 

And then Carson met someone at a conference a few weeks ago whose brother or sister or someone was in charge of getting volunteers for their Halloween parade. The volunteers only had to be there for one hour, and they got free parking and free admission out of it. So we volunteered, and it happened to be the last weekend that they needed volunteers. 

Sunday after church, we drove over to Sandusky, Ohio and entered Cedar Point. 

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that just about every time our family went to a theme park, it rained. Guess the Bay family is continuing that tradition. 

We got there about 25 minutes before we had to meet to volunteer, so we found what Carson thought was a kiddie wooden roller coaster to ride. Afterward, he admitted that he'd never been on something that fast and scary. Note his windblown look.

Then we went through a little gate marked "Employees Only", which was kind of fun, and entered a back room filled with costumes for different characters and decorations. We were given two bright yellow jackets that were ugly but surprisingly warm and windproof, and told to stand in a certain place and wait for the parade.
Carson squints in the sunshine, I squint when it's raining...

We took pictures while we waited.

And then someone found us and told us that it was too windy, so the parade was cancelled. They took our warm jackets away and told us to go have fun in the park.

We rode Carson's first big-boy roller coaster. They told us that our legs would break if we didn't have them stick-straight on this coaster. He seemed to believe them.
He loved it but looked TERRIFIED on this and every other coaster. I think it was the wind that made him look that way. I couldn't take any more pictures-of-pictures because I got yelled at on the other rides but take my word for it - I wanted to buy them because he looked so freaked out.

This was on our way to the car to get a bigger jacket. It wasn't that cold, but it was windy (it's right on Lake Erie). 

 They had an exhibit called "Dinosaurs Alive!" but we didn't go through it for whatever reason. Here's Carson with his buddy.

This is the fifth-largest  and longest wooden roller coaster in the world. This thing was SCARY and surprisingly long for a roller coaster. Carson's face on this was the best, and my scarf flew up over my mouth so the picture of us was my favorite.

Dad found a webcam and we spent most of the day trying to find this fishing skeleton so that he could see us online. He took a picture, but I don't have it.

I don't think we'd be smiling if this were for real. But can you imagine if we still punished people like this?

We stopped to watch this acrobatic show, which was really amazing.

We stayed till after the sun set but you can only take so many pictures of yourselves smiling in line for roller coasters. After the sun had set, the park turned creepy (it's Halloweekend there)... there was dry ice pumped to look like mist and creepy zombies and things that popped out and harassed you every single second. They were only on one half of the park, so we took the longer way back after our last roller coaster (which ended up being shut down due to wind). Those things were creepy. I don't like creepy things.

So our first theme park adventure together was just that - an adventure. We'd love to go back on a day where rides aren't shut down because of wind and rain, and probably on a day when there aren't zombies roaming the park. But all in all it was great. We laughed a lot, enjoyed the rides (and the shorter lines that are probably a result of the wind and rain), and discussed why we weren't purchasing $14 funnel cake. 

Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

She's Getting Married

As friends of mine prepare for their weddings, thoughts and memories flood through my mind. Thoughts of, "How can we be this old?" and "remember when we dreamed about this day?" It's fun to have known someone for a long time.

When I was little,  my best friends were my cousin Morgan, just ten months younger than I am, and my little sister. Grandmama called us her "Big Three" because, if you couldn't guess, we were the three eldest grandchildren. We're still referred to in that way.

We played for hours on the boat parked in Granddaddy and Grandmama's garage, pretending we lived on it and making wonderful messes that would frustrate the adults to no end. We played tea party, played in pluff mud, jumped off docks, had "art galleries" (featuring our own original creations), went crabbing and shrimping, watched Mary Kate and Ashley videos and played together all the time.

Best of all, we played dress up. There was a drawer full to the brim of old ballet attire, old dresses cut down so that we could put them on and still walk, costume jewelry, jelly shoes. We adorned ourselves in fantastic outfits.

And then we would find things to play all dressed up. One of our favorites was "wedding". We didn't have any boy cousins (until my brother came along), so we pretended that one of us was the bride and another, the groom.

I remember that Morgan wanted to be the bride - the bride always wore better clothes - but since I was the oldest, I usually decided that I would be the bride, Morgan the groom. I'm not sure what Becca was - maybe the best man?

Well, this week, Morgan gets her wish. But it isn't pretend this time. Instead of a walk down Grandmama's hallway in a too-big cut-down bridesmaid's dress, she'll walk down an aisle in a white dress that fits her like a glove. She'll be beautiful. She'll be a bride. It will be real and perfect.

It is wonderful to see my friend and cousin enter into this stage of life. I am thrilled that I'll get to witness her transition from Miss to Mrs. I am thrilled that she has met a person who loves and cares for her in the way that she deserves. I am happy to see her find a man who is worthy of her.

This is a happy week, filled with memories of the years we spent together and reminders that though distance and years have changed our relationship, there's still so much that has yet to happen.

Congrats, Morgan.

This was the best I could do - so nice to be out of those years.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Loving the Season

Saturday was relaxing: 
we slept in
 read in bed for awhile
ate brunch (it was really too late to call it breakfast) in bed
and lazily started our day. 

We found a thrift store, where we walked out with things we didn't need
(things to hang on our walls)
And on the way to find a different park, we stumbled upon this one.
We saw bees (first picture), ducks, egrets, and other wildlife
Carson put a feather in my hair
We found a leaf that was bigger than our faces
And took way too many pictures of lovely leaves and things

Thursday, October 11, 2012


There are a few things that we've done to set a few roots around here.

We got drivers licenses - plus had the best DMV experience ever - and those are words I've never uttered before. Seriously it was great! Friendly people, happy people waiting. It was as if we were in a dream.

We also have Ohio plates on our car. Ohio's license plates are actually pretty. Here are ours.

I went to the dentist. It wasn't bad but apparently it's going to be - I have about a million dollars of work to be done (major exaggeration, but still, it's a lot of stuff and money we don't have. And I do not like dentists.)

And more exciting than those things...

We joined a church! It's a church that's almost a year old (started October 23), that meets about 10 minutes away from here in a theater. It's a small but growing church (apparently began with 14 people and now there are about 140 attenders) and we love its commitment to the gospel, to preaching truth and to a community of believers.

We attended a "Get to Know" class last Sunday and had a membership interview on Wednesday. We are members numbers fifty-three and fifty-four! We're excited to get involved in this church, not only to make friends (which we can't wait to do), but to serve and to grow in this community. Thank you for your prayers that we'd find a place to go on Sundays - this is the only church we visited and from beginning, we have felt very sure that it's where God has us for our time in Cleveland.

Monday, October 8, 2012

How Lindsay Got a Job

This will be long because I like to write every single detail. Feel free to skim to the end. 

I was idealistic in my job applications when we moved to Ohio. From the time I returned from Ukraine (late June) until the time we moved, I applied for jobs (and let's be honest here - I applied when things looked good, not all day every day). I wanted a 9-5, Monday through Friday sort of deal. An administrative job was what I had in mind. I love working in an office setting, even if it's not a high paying job, so I even applied to a few local schools for administrative positions - how nice would it be to work full time and then have breaks when Carson did so we could see family or have them come and see us?!

Those jobs didn't pan out. I got nicely worded emails and phone calls replying to my queries "Thanks for applying - not gonna happen!" (paraphrased, obviously). Since we hadn't moved to Ohio yet, I wasn't worried, but I was tired of looking.

Carson applied to jobs for me in his free time, since he really enjoys job hunting. He didn't exactly tell me what these jobs were, just that he saw things that I might like or have done before.

I received a call one day, "Hi, I'm fasdjfhs and I'm calling from dfjglsjfasf (that's what it sounded like). We filled the position for a preschool teacher that you applied for, but we have a position in the infant room, are you interested?" I figured out that this was a daycare and that Carson applied, since I wouldn't have.

And if I'm being honest, I wasn't interested. I love kids. I do not love being in a room of other people's children if the children are generally undisciplined and there's not really any kind of structure. Forty hours a week with small children is a lot if there are eight to twenty of them that are the same age and you're stuck in one little room all day long. My last daycare job was not my very favorite.

But I'd been praying for a job, so I told the woman on the other end that I was interested. She was all about me interviewing ASAP, so she asked if Thursday, the day after we moved to Ohio was okay. I said yes, and then later moved it to Friday.

The same week that she called me, I was out with my friend Catherine when Carson texted me and told me, "What would you say if I could get you a guaranteed job?" I am not an idiot, so I asked about this job. It was at a coffee shop, which is the kind of job I've always thought that I would hate, plus I don't like coffee. And they were hiring, and my good friend Rachel (my next-door neighbor in Spokane)'s brother works at this particular place (small world). It sounded a million times better than a daycare so I filled out the online application and called the manager. We set up an interview for the Monday after we moved to Ohio.

So I had my interview at the daycare and it went well. I liked the staff, I liked the policies they had, I liked that the place was bigger and more structured and that they used a Bible based curriculum.
I could tell that the woman interviewing me liked me. I liked her too. But I just didn't know. She didn't offer me the job on the spot, so thankfully I didn't have to make a decision.

Later that day, I went to my friend Erica's rehearsal dinner, and then the day after that was her wedding. I spent almost the entirety of Sunday sleeping because that was one of the busiest weeks of my life.

Then I went to my interview for the coffee shop. I couldn't tell how it was going because the questions were fairly typical interview questions. I can have a normal conversation just fine, but "What would you do in this hypothetical situation?" questions freak me out. Two days later, I had a second interview with a different manager to get a second opinion and she promised to recommend me for the job. I waited several days before finally calling.

During that time, the daycare called back. They wanted me to start on Monday. I would be full-time right away. I'd been praying about this job for a little while, and decided to turn the job offer down. It would have been a thirty minute commute, I would probably get sick a lot like I did the last time I worked in a daycare (that's how Carson got pneumonia two years ago - through me passing those germs on from a little kid), and I had a sinking feeling.

The coffee shop took several days to call back, which scared me since I'd turned the daycare down.
I called them on Monday, when they were (so they say) picking up the phone to call me. I got the job - could I start on Saturday?

And so I did. I started on the first of September. I am a barista at a coffee shop, which is the last thing I saw myself doing, since I'm not the bubbly personable person I feel should work in that industry.

And you know? I love it. It's one of the best jobs that I've had. I love my co-workers, I love that I'm busy, I love that if I'm going to come home smelling like work, at least it's a good smell (i.e. not a diner  or something where I'd smell like old food). I love that they've been flexible with giving me time off twice for weddings. I love that almost everyone there has been patient as I learn and gain speed (so much to remember). There are benefits (including free drinks) and even though it's not at all what I had in mind, it is perfect.

I wanted something that sounded grown up, that gave me a predictable schedule, that was a little more administrative. It's none of those things, but I've always hoped to have a job that I didn't dread in the mornings, and this does fit the bill. I don't think I'll be here for the rest of my life (never say never), but I'm enjoying where I am right now. Best part? It's a less than ten minute walk. To drive takes a ridiculous 90 seconds (and when it's dark, yes, I drive there). God's blessed me in this job.

So when you order your next double tall pumpkin spice latte, think of me. I'm making them all day long in Ohio :)
Carson took this while he was waiting for me to get off work 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thoughts While Unpacking

Yes, we're still unpacking. It's mostly things here and there - like craft stuff I don't have storage for (besides those fun cardboard moving boxes) and the winter clothes we took out (it's been cold).

- Oh there are BOTH of our graduation gowns! We'll definitely use those again - glad they made the move. (that's sarcasm)

- Why didn't we label these boxes? A number on the side means nothing to me.

- I should not buy things just because they are on the clearance rack. I wear them even though I don't like them because I "feel bad" for not wearing them. A little self-control would solve this problem.

- Yay - the "To Donate" box made the move. So glad to see all of those items again. Or maybe not. Also - I remember making a trip to Goodwill - what was in that box?

- I think I bought 90% of my winter clothes while in high school. I'm glad I still wear these things. On the other hand, maybe I should have purged a little more.

- How can I not find the sports bra I wore on the day we arrived? Pretty sure it couldn't have escaped.

- Well hello, shirt I purchased when I was twelve and STILL WEAR (sometimes).
The shirt - I bought it in 2001
- Hm, this Pandora station is pretty good. I think I'll look up the name of this band. And get on Facebook. And watch a movie. Wait - why is this pile of clothes still here?

- I should take pictures of this process (they're the ones in this post)!

- How much outerwear can one person own? When did I become a hoarder of coats? Why are they all brown or green? Why do I not have one black jacket in this mess? Or at least something that coordinates?

- Why did I decide to pack all of my swimsuits with my winter clothes? It's definitely one of the last places I would have looked.

- Wait... there's that sports bra! But how did it get on the bottom of the winter clothes box? Weird.

- I think I'll write a blog post as I unpack these things! Yes, that's much better than unpacking!

- Hey look! I'm done!

- Oh boy, now it's time to pack up the summer clothes. I don't want to!
It was chaos. Making the bed might have helped.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Why Carson Attends a Jesuit School

Or, what Carson's doing, why he's doing it, and all the other things we've been asked about his schooling. 

Disclaimer: This is the post that I've been meaning to write. It's imperfect and I'm not the family academic, so I may have gotten things wrong. I'm going to go ahead and say that if you still have questions after reading it, please email me. 

There are several of you, our wonderful readers, who have only heard bits and pieces of what we're doing. You probably know by now that we don't live in Washington anymore - that we're in Ohio. You possibly even know that Carson is going to John Carroll University. The school itself might be just a name to you. We'll be honest - it was Carson's last choice, the very last place he applied. We'd never heard of it before and kept forgetting that he'd applied. It was the "other" school at the end of a long list of places with bigger names. 

In so many ways, we've sensed God's leading in moving here. We were really praying for a program that would offer funding. We went through our undergrads debt-free but held jobs that covered those expenses and didn't give us much in the way of savings, so we didn't have tons of money to spend and we'd rather not take out loans. There were several schools that offered really good scholarships, but they didn't cover the whole expense or hey didn't give any sort of assistantship or internship that would be good for Carson's resume. We took those as a no, though there was one school that we almost chose, since it was nearly funded and did provide opportunities he looked for in a school (plus it was only a few hours from my hometown). 

The very last school to contact us, the one we had forgotten about ended up being the school God provided. John Carroll interviewed Carson over the phone for a graduate assistant position at the school and he was accepted! We took several days to pray about it and really felt that God was leading us to move to Ohio. As surprised as we were (we just never thought about Ohio!), we were excited to move. 

So why a Jesuit school? 

First of all, you might want to know what it is that Carson's hoping to do. Yes, he did get his undergrad in Biblical Studies and yes, he's the best public speaker I know, but we've prayed long and hard about pursuing seminary and an eventual pastoral role and for now, we believe that God's closed that door. So this is not seminary. John Carroll is a Jesuit school - the Jesuits branched off of Catholicism around the time of the Reformation. Jesuit schools have a high standard of education. They're really good schools. 

We don't view ministry as something that must happen within a "Christian" setting alone (pastors, youth pastors, missionaries), but as something that all Christians do where they are within their own field (dentists, teachers, sales managers at car dealerships...). Carson wants to be a light in a dark place. His desire is to live as a follower of God in a field made up of mostly unbelievers. 

Carson wants to pursue teaching, research and writing (basically, tenure) at a university. Though we may end up at a Christian University at some point, his goal isn't to teach Christians. He'd like to study and teach in a more secular field, among people who aren't Christians. He'd really like to be published one day, and he's already thinking about the things he'd like to research. 

Carson's master's degree will be in Theology and Religious Studies. He's a graduate assistance in that department of the school with, as you've seen recently, his own office, a proximity to professors who know all about his passions, and some experience in the field. He works for several professors at the school, helping grade papers (for undergrads), filling in to teach when the professor is away, helping do research for their books and projects. In every way, he is in his element. He's so passionate about academia, adores what he's doing, and eats up all of this learning and experience. 

We'll be here until after he graduates in 2014, and then there will probably be more school. We only know what's ahead of us in the next two years (and then, we don't have details) but feel free to ask questions!

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