Friday, February 24, 2012

casual friday

You know those jeans? Your favorite jeans. The ones that are the perfect wash, perfect length, fit just right in all the right places... They're a bit too tight just out of the dryer, though (Yes, I dry my jeans. Bras, too. Yes, I basically disobey all washing instructions on all my clothes.) and putting them on causes all sorts of weird dance moves and squats, wiggling them up your thighs and bum just to suck in it before buttoning them. But! Fifteen minutes after they're on, they're perfect. Tight enough you don't need a belt, loose enough to eat just about whatever you want. And then they stay in their perfect state for days, never stretching out. And when you realize you were able to wear them five days in a row, the squeezing and sucking was totally worth it. Say hello to those jeans.


For those of you who don't know, Husband has been cheating on me. Her name is Bio Chemistry, and she's kinda a beezy. He'd spend all day with her, even visited her on the weekends. Sometimes he'd even get away with talking to her in our own home! While I was in the kitchen, no less! (No doubt cleaning up his dinner) She started to do a number on our relationship. I became jealous and he started to defend her... I finally convinced him to break up with her, though. Apparently she put up a pretty good fight. But, at last, she's gone. And my husband is back! Until Monday, that is ;)

(Aka, Stephen passed his Bio Chem final today!)

Stephen's momma, Sherri, is in town this weekend! It has already been an interesting Friday... Giant plastic bags, three car rentals, shaft talk over pizza, cop cars, and ugly dolls... I'm looking forward to what the rest of the weekend will hold! :)


P.S. "Put a bird on it"? 
(Portlandia reference)
More like, "put a belt on it". 
Story of my life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

a toast


Oh, Monday. Surprisingly, you were good to me. Spent a solid day at work (starting to take on more managerial tasks and loving it), and a cozy night in bed catching up on fashion blogs, Pinterest, and Postsecret... all my favs. As a bonus, Husband and the WWAMers won their volleyball game! And word on the street was, Michael was sporting some sexy Daisy Dukes. Better watch out girls.


Prrrrobably coulda turned on the flash for those ones. Oops! Certainly not my momma. Whom, speaking of, is safe in Africa and loving it! They've been able to write a few e-mails, enough to tell me that it's unbearably hot, they're with a fun group of people, they've seen some amazing animals (elephants, lions, black rhinos, baby zebras...), and that they're having a blast :) So happy they get to have this experience! And on their 26th wedding anniversary, no less! So cheers to 26 years! To my two best friends, my parents, my inspiration... 

We love you, mom and dad!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

this & that

Saturday I enjoyed a yummy turkey cranberry sandwich in the wonderful company of Amanda... Much needed girl time :) When I got home, Stephen was dressed and ready to go, dishes done (he knows the way to my heart) and instead of heading out the house to a coffee shop to read and study, we lazily plopped on the couch and did this...

Ok, half on the couch, half on the desk chair. Awkward, but oh, so comfy. It was fun to sit and talk, goof around... Kinda like we were dating again. Which we still are :) (Oh, and isn't he handsome?!)

Groceries, coffee, textbooks, and three amazing Value Village finds later... We enjoyed some good 'ol spaghetti and continued to veg on the couch with a white board in hand, playing hangman (Husband's choice. I hate the game and it may or may not have lead to a tiny dispute) and the dot game. You know, the one with all the dots in a square and you write your initials in them... Yeah. That one.

Husband would like you all to know that he downloaded a few new songs last night (that I will now be hearing on repeat every time he plays his 'study mix' out loud). He would also like you to know that I (apparently) look and dance like THIS GUY. Funniest music video ever. And yes, I have been reenacting it in our kitchen all day.

I had a work meeting this morning, which meant no attending church. But we were able to listen to Jeff's sermon! While cuddling on the couch (only slightly better than the chairs at church) I've mentioned before that I am slowly making my through a journal prompt book, each page posing a different aspect of Jesus, followed by a verse or two, a story maybe, a few questions to get you thinking. Today's topic was titled "A Reservoir of Power", talking about how the Holy Spirit lives in all of us and we at any time have the ability and opportunity to access that power, to find the Holy Spirit within us and change. Wow. Incredible, right? I stumbled across this quote the other day that fit quite nicely with this topic... "You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself." And you can make that change with the Holy Spirit. What's stopping you?

Another perk in our Sunday (besides our nice nap) was getting to skype with the Winders! And how could these two faces not brighten your day?!

Study time is nearing its end and husband's arms are calling my name :)
Much love to all!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

a sequin soiree

Had myself a little sequin soiree at work yesterday. (Remember the real sequin soiree we went to Allison? (The other Allison) And the crazy events that lead from that...?!) My second day as the Assistant Manager. That's right! Someone over here got herself promoted! I was offered the job on my first day back, but it was a long process to interview and make it official. Salary pay and all. Feel kinda like a big girl, now.

Husband is still sick and eating his way through a box of popsicles while studying away for his test on Monday. Sister is still pregnant but due SO SOON! And I get to see precious baby Harper when I visit on the 20th! I'll be in Idaho for five days, then head off to Seattle with my momma for three! We get to do some apartment hunting/shopping/walking/eating in the city I love so much. My parents have officially landed in Africa and started their incredible journey. A whole twelve hours ahead of us, it's already almost midnight there. Crazy! My mother-in-law is coming to visit next weekend. It'll be fun to show her our little place and around the town. We haven't had any visitors yet! And in the next hour I am off to lunch with Amanda and her sweet baby girl. (I'm sure pictures will come tomorrow)

And, welp! That's about it!
Thanks for stopping by :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

soup success

Couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks, pinterest. Husband is sick and the kisses are minimum. He doesn't want to get me sick. Though I'm learning that if I stomp the floor and pout my lips, I can muster a smooch or two outa' him. The crafty wife part, though... eh. I don't know. But I can make a mean cheddar broccoli soup. A discovery I made tonight. 

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups broccoli cut into very small pieces (you want them to fit on a spoon)
2 cups chicken stock 
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I did marry cheese man, so I used a little more)
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, add onions and celery plus a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until soft. Add garlic, cook for another minute. Add broccoli, cook for one minute, then add the chicken stock and cover. Allow the broth to come to a boil, and cook until the broccoli is soft.

Whisk together flour and milk until combined. Add this mixture to the pot, stirring gently. The soup will thicken and once it's thick and creamy looking, add the grated cheddar. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Made some yummy homemade breadsticks to go with, which I would recommend. At least toast. It was delicious for dipping! I have yet to make a recipe I hate, but I also had yet to make a recipe that I instantly wanted to make again. This was that recipe. Super creamy and warm... perfect for a night inside, in sweatpants, with a sick husband. 

pearls for the girls

I wear your standard white button up at least two days a week to work. (That might have been a slight exaggeration, but only slight) Never alone, though. It is the easiest piece in a wardrobe to layer and accessorize. Pair it with a sweater or cardigan or belt it around the waist for a pop of color... Your options are endless and if you don't own a solid white button up...? I shake my finger at your and say "go shopping!" (But that's usually my answer for everything) And the pearls! Other than my wedding ring they are my favorite piece of jewelry. My sister gave them to me when I was the maid of honor in her wedding (we all wore pearl necklaces of different length and styles... so cute!) I love wearing them with unexpected pieces like a slouched sweater with winter shorts and tights or one of husbands large t-shirts with skinny jeans and heels. And since it's still winter here... the big chunky scarf wrapped three times around my neck. It ward off frost bite, of course.

Something else that's been on my mind besides the clothes in my closet...

I've been going through a book called Addicted to God by Jim Burns. It's a journal guide, "50 days to a more powerful relationship with God." Well, it's taken me almost a year and I'm not quite through with it. Not because it's not good, it's incredible, in fact! But because I tend to leave it in places I forget about or because I love books and Barnes and Noble so much that I am constantly buying new books that I start and take mini detours from the ones I've already started... However... Today's journal topic is on how God is always with you. Whether you want Him there or not, whether you know He's there or not... Learning to trust God and follow God, especially when He's not walking in the same direction, has been hard for me. But I'm learning and trying, as I will continue to do for the rest of my life. Because really, I don't think anyone's got this thing down pat. Out of my own struggles, though, I wanted to share with you this story...

"One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then than I carried you."

I have been slowly but surely reading my way through the book of Psalms, and one in particular stood out in my memory while reading this story. Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Never forget that God is there and that He is faithful.
Never hesitate to turn to Him in times of trial or of triumph.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
and do not lean on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge Him, 
and He will make straight your path."
[Proverbs 3:5-6]
Always know that you are loved.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a day late and a cupcake short

Before the cupcakes took over my kitchen, Stephen and I went on a double date with our friends Heather and Brandon on Monday night. I've been working with Heather since we moved here and her long distance boyfriend, Brandon, is in town for a few days! And since I've always wanted to meet him... We found ourselves at Moose's Tooth Pizza (best in town!) for three hours chit chatting away while crazy huge snow flakes fell outside at a ridiculously fast rate. The restaurant was warm and cozy, the pizza was delicious (spicy Thai pizza!), and the company was wonderful!

My favorite thing about this outfit? (I wore this Monday night on our double date) When I logged on to my favorite fashion blog Tuesday morning she was wearing almost an exact outfit! Change the shoes and the color scheme and we were spot on! Made me think I'm not totally lost in the fashion world I love so much.

And then there was volleyball. As there is every Monday night at 9 pm. Stephen's class has a team called the WWAMERS... Pun intended. They "wham" the ball. (hee hee) Amanda and I have been die hard fans (as the director of inter-mural teams calls us) since they started playing last semester and now she gets to bring Natalie along, her two month baby girl. We try and pay attention and clap and cheer when we see the team doing it, but mostly we sit there and talk talk talk :)

And now for the good stuff. The love stuff.

Hoping you all had a happy and love filled Valentine's Day! Every girl on Facebook was showin' off her roses and chocolates, so I already know ya'll were spoiled :) As was I... in a different way. Stephen and I have never done much for Valentine's Day. Cookies, maybe a card, certainly lots of kisses, but never anything else. This year was the first Valentine's Day we were married! So that was kinda fun about it. It didn't matter what we did, what we got each other... the fact that HE was and always will be my Valentine is the best gift I could ever ask for. Husband had school all day and I had work all night. I only got to see him for a few hours. (Booo!) But he spent the whole day at school (literally, the whole day), learning and studying and furthering his education for me. For us. And I know I write all the time about how I'm so appreciative he is going to medical school to someday provide for our family, but seriously, I AM! And maybe those outside of medical school will never fully understand... But he puts in countless hours of studying and preparing and sitting in class... Never getting enough sleep or exercise or time with his friends and wife... He is constantly stressed and busy and studying... This life is draining on him in so many ways... And he's doing this for us. And I'm supposed to call it even by making him cupcakes and giving him a cute little book on Valentine's Day? No. This is something I'll never be able to repay him for. Nor will I ever be able to describe to him, or to you, how deep my appreciation and pride runs. I know everyone thinks their husband is the best. But really, I'd have to disagree :) 

I've been in love with Stephen from day one and on our third Valentine's Day my feelings have not faltered, only grown deeper. Never could I have imagined I'd be so lucky as to marry my best friend, though I'd certainly dreamed for it. He is not perfect, nor am I, but together we are. I am so in love and so looking forward to all our adventures to come! :)

My present to Stephen...

I got Stephen this little book, tied in a bow with a cupcake. "Me without you is like hair without do, biker without tattoo, tango without two..." Each page a little scenario of what my life is like while he's at school or I'm at work. Sad and miserable! But it was a cute book, and in the end they find each other :)

I made cupcakes for Stephen's class, little red hearts included. I've become somewhat of a class mom, I think. Always sending Stephen off to class with cookies and bringing Capri Suns to every WWAMI volleyball game. I don't have children of my own, so 19 grown adults will have to do :)

And what else happened on Valentine's Day? 
Oh! That's right! THIS GIRL had a birthday!

Miss Madison is a very favorite Kappa sister of mine whom I miss dearly! I have no doubt her amazing boyfriend treated her oh so well and that her roommates (aka, my best friends) showed her lots of love ;) Madison has got to be one of the smartest gals I know. So strong and independent and FUNNY! Oh how I miss the days of calling myself her roommate and talking for forever about nothing. This girl deserves one hell of a birthday, and I hope she got it! Oh, and isn't she beautiful?!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

today is the day


Forget date night. It's been more like date weekend 'round here. Despite Stephen's big Bio Chem test on Monday, he's spent plenty of time away from the computer and text books this weekend to hang out with the old ball and chain. And I have been so grateful :) Friday night he took me to see The Vow. For those of you wondering, it comes highly recommended by the two of us. "It was actually pretty good for a chick flick" were Stephen's exact words to his brother, I think. It was sweet and romantic and funny, causing us to be all giddy in love afterwards. Not that we usually aren't :) And fun fact? The movie was roughly based on a true story. Crazy! Can't imagine what I'd do if Stephen no longer remembered who I was... Sure does make you grateful for all the time we've been given with the ones we love most.


No, it's not quite spring around here. But I've sure been dressing like it. I'm sick of snow boots! Though the weather has been warming up... And even though I said in my last post that thirty-six degrees isn't warm... I might just be changing my mind. The fact that I can wear my TOMS and just one coat... I think I've finally adjusted to the Alaskan life. I understand now why Stephen was always wearing a t-shirt in the forty degree Oregon weather. I always thought he was just crazy... Which he is a little ;) The snow is starting to melt, though! So the spring clothes are slowly, but surely, making their way to the front of my closet!

As another study break and an opportunity to spend time with his wifey, Stephen took me to the public library on Saturday. An odd date, maybe, but perfect for the two of us. Even though our church is held in the library, we've never explored the place. And it was actually my momma who suggested I get a library card. True to my New Year's resolution, I've been reading a lot more! I have yet to pick up a newspaper, but since I started work I read the three books in the Hunger Games, then re-read them out loud to Stephen. I read Ender's Game, a recommendation from husband that was surprisingly good! And I just finished The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks, a quick, easy, romantic read. I also bought The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but have yet to start it. And husband and I are still working our way through the Inheritance Series. Books, books, books! At the library I checked out a sign language book, something I've always wanted to learn, and the first book in The Series of Unfortunate Events. I read almost all the books when I was younger, started in elementary school, but Stephen's never read them and we thought it would be fun to start :) Maybe something we can read to our kids someday along with the Chronicles of Narnia!

After the library we found ourselves at Outback Steakhouse, a favorite of Stephen's. We split a juicy steak and garlic mashed potatoes (yum!) and headed home for more studying on Stephen's part and baking on mine. Granola. of course!

Means church, like always. Today the message was on being sent. For the past month Pastor Brent has been focusing on Acts 2:42-47, what it looks like to be owners of the church. To be captured by God's grace. Which is essentially, what we as Christians all are, owners of the church, captured by God's grace. Each week he's discussed a different topic with a corresponding scripture, like fellowship, humility, generosity, and this week, being sent. We are sent by love, to love. "As we turn our attention to the grace we have received, our thoughts and actions go to those who have yet to experience His grace." "Forgive the inexcusable in others because God forgave the inexcusable in you." "The enormity of God's forgiveness compels us to live sent."

I wish I could do the sermon justice, I however am pretty amateur at the grace stuff myself. But it was a compelling sermon, motivating me to fulfill my purpose of this life, which is God, Jesus... He is our purpose. It is by him we have been sent. (2 Corinthians 5:15-6:2) 

Brent ended the sermon by asking us to ask ourselves if we are truly captured by God's grace. Are you? Am I? If not, well... Today is the day. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

as of late...

Cheers to the birthday shopping, again! Aunt Kelly sent me a gift card (possibly my favorite gift to receive!) and the shirt and belt were just two of the four purchases I made with it. All apparel. Of course. I wore this to work on Wednesday and wowed them all with my eight dollar purchase. I know! Can't be eight bucks, right?! Dressing for the day just might be my favorite part it. Other than the daily phone calls to my mother and the sweet love and kisses from my husband, of course ;)

Despite the fact that outfit posts are my daddy's favorite... ;) NOT! (Hi daddy!) Quite a few other things have been going on around here...

First off, we have a new neighbor. Seen her a few times around the street and our little four-plex. For being incredibly tall and dark brown, she blends in really well. Causing Allison (me) to freak out in the car when she sees her standing four feet from her window. Yeah. Scary.

The weather is warming up, though despite what everyone from Alaska says, it's not warm. Though, thirty-six degrees above zero does, surprisingly, make a difference. The sun is in the sky about seven minutes longer each day, too. Meaning it's light around nine am and still light at five! That, more than the rising temperature, makes me so happy! Also causes some pretty sunrises on our way to school :)

Husband and I are as happy as clams. Though I've never really understood that saying because clams just hang out alone in the ocean making pearls... It just means we're happy. And in love. Fall more in love with this fella every day. He's been so supportive of me going back to work and I am so appreciative of his flexibility, going to school two hours early or staying there 'til I get off at ten... He's a trooper.

Along with the moose, we've had another visitor. Ann. She was a little creepy at first, but she kinda started to grow on me. Though I wasn't too sad to see the human skull leave the apartment this morning. Stephen's been slammed in school, one hard Bio Chem test every Friday and three days to study for an equally hard Anatomy test with homework and and hospital visits in between. Not to my surprise, though, he is excelling :) I am so proud of all the hard work he is putting in! Long hours and long days to further his education and one day support our family... He's so intelligent and determined... I am, still, so proud!

I took on a little project of my own the other day... Made myself a 'Stephen Box'! (Momma, get the reference?!) I've had a collection of notes, letters, and cards shared between Stephen and I for the last few years just strewn about the house, finally decided to put them all together! I cheaply and and quickly decorated an old shoe box with scrapbook paper and stickers we used on our wedding board (a giant 'welcome board' of sorts at the sign in table). Yay for art projects!

And 'yay' for the coming days! I have the weekend off, which will consist of babysitting sweet baby Natalie on Saturday, church on Sunday, and double date night with Heather and Brandon on Monday! I have to work on Valentine's Day (booo!) but plan on making cupcakes for Stephen's class :)

Thanks to all those who continue to read our little blog! ...Trying to keep it interesting! ;)

(I just realized I start too many sentences with 'Though'. My bad.)