Thursday, June 30, 2011

Job Interviews

After long agonizing days of searching the deep ends of the will of God, baking several loaves of banana bread, and at least 10 turkey sandwiches, I have come to a grand conclusion.... I am going to wait tables for a while longer. I know, I know, it is technically not a "career job" in the way that most of corporate America defines career. BUT I stumbled upon a dawning revelation yesterday... We are saving money to move to Tennessee. That is what we had decided before we even moved in to our new place. So if we are saving money to move to Tennessee and not necessarily planting deep roots here, AND I haven't gotten much of a leading from the Lord about what to do or what not to do then this is my conclusion: I am doing something. So yesterday morning I woke up craving the structure and consistantcy of a job. I had actually been dreading the idea of job hunting and resume writing after our month and a half nightmare of job hunting. The idea of being rejected OR even worst not called back at all was just not at the top of my list. But somewhere in the depths of confusion God lit the pilot light under my ass and I wrote up a simple resume (which my english major husband kindly revised) and filled out 2 online applications. One of them was to some City Club (like a country club with no golf course) and the other to Del Friscos Steakhouse (which i thought was a shot in the dark for sure) Some of those higher end steakhouses shy away from hiring female servers, it's just a fact of life. Especially in big cities! But low and behold the Lord had mercy, and BOTH places called me back asking for interviews today, no joke. I was pretty shocked. The Del Friscos interview is this afternoon, and the City Club one is in the morning. So I guess I'm slowly but surely climbing up the steak latter if I get this job. So here I go, off to interview #1, I'll tell you how it goes later.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This has been a morning of extreme searching for me. Extremely scattered searching, that is. I decided to take a slight detour from the land of job resume templates into the great land of "other job" ideas. Other jobs meaning ones that might potentially pay much less than what I would currently be applying for in the realm of fine dining. My internet search has gone something like this:

The book of 2 Peter (Bible Gateway) (a good hour of webstream backround)
List of jobs in food service (Craigslist)
List of other jobs (Craigslist)

(Selah)- accompanied with mental dilemma and momentary thoughts of going back to school. one more hour of webstream.
best banana bread ever (All recipes)
Thoughts of opening a bakery (my head)
State Board of Cosmetology Website of Texas- Possible license transfer ideas swimming through my head accompanied with stronger thoughts about how much one cut and highlight already destroys my back in one day.
Looking through wedding photos again and reminiscing. Awwwwwe.
A few aimless moments of Facebook.


So here we are. Here I am. This has always been one of life's biggest battles for me. Figuring out what I was made to do. So while I'm waiting for the answer, I will bake my husband some banana bread and start my baking blog.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


We have officially been in our new place of dwelling for 5 glorious days. Most of the week has been spent unpacking and trying to figure out how to arrange the living room and dining room (they are both one enormous room) We even considered making it one huge music room, considering our lack of furniture coupled with our abundance of amps and guitars. I cooked us our first meal in our new house last night, which was spaghetti squash and spinach pasta with my bacon sauce. To my extreme delight, John loved the spaghetti squash even more than the pasta and even asked me why I put parmasean cheese on his (butter and cheese were my sneaky ploy to convince him that spaghetti squash is truly amazing) It was a plan that backfired but ended beautifully, because now there is another food to add to the grocery list that my husband actually loves.

We have made it through some intense times for 56 days of marriage, but I can say that I thoroughly delight in my husband. He is wonderful and sweet and kind, and I don't even care anymore that he is well on the way to growing his first marital beard. As long as he shaves the "neck beard" that accompanies the growth of a real beard we are golden. I think the thing about beards that creeps me out, is that I've always wondered how many leftover meals are really hiding in those things. But John has thoroughly educated me on proper beard maintenance, which respectively includes shampooing the beard on frequent occasions.

Last but not least, I must add that it is a liberating experience being able to run around the house in only your underwear. This is the first time that I have been able to do that in years! I could have gotten away with it living with my mom in the months of wedding preparation in Ohio, but it was so freaking cold I barely ever took my coat off! Before that, I was always living with a bunch of people that would have told me to put my clothes back on, BUT not so with your husband. Husbands not only allow cooking in your underwear but they highly encourage it. So the combination of 100 degree Texas heat and living with a man, my "wear underwear all the time dreams" have come true indeed. Thank you Lord!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Amanda's Creations

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As I was taking some time this morning to sort through about 12,000 pictures from the last several years, I stumbled upon a few of my very favorite on this particular day. My incredible and dear friend Amanda (the artist formerly known as Mandy) wanted to bless me with an epic birthday present on a low budget 3 years ago while we were both living in Ft. Mill, South Carolina. It is true folks, some of the most valuable gifts in life can only be found in a pair of sharp scissors, popsicle sticks and construction paper. And glitter. Out of all of the things I received for my 27th birthday, nothing in my mind remains more memorable. As I was flipping through these gems, I had visions of an Etsy shop being birthed. The possibilities are quite endless. So until that day arrives, kick back and enjoy the show.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

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Father's Day

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I have to admit that for the longest time I avoided Fathers Day like the plague. To me it was a painful, yearly reminder of what I once had, but no longer did. It was once a day that had brought great joy in to my life. Up until a few years ago I was angry on Father's Day. Angry about all of life that was stolen from my dad, angry about the way that it was stolen from him. Angry about all that he has missed out on, and angry about the fact that life would have been so different if he had been around. So much would be different. So much would have changed. Where would my sister and I be right now if life had "just worked out"?

I have good memories of the short 17 years I shared with my dad. He was a sleek business man that had Italian suits tailored just perfectly. He had a loving, protective heart and extremely particular taste in EVERYTHING. He loved to sell houses, and even more loved to take us out and rollerskate every Saturday away. He had hand crafted Italian Cologne and a short temper. He told me once when I was 12 that if any man ever mistreated me that he would find an assault rifle and finish them off. I know he meant it. He never missed one single one of my gymnastics meets, and I know that he thoroughly supported my Olympic goals.

Looking back on the times when my dad was very sick, I can now see why he did some of the things that he did. I can remember a day when I was 16, and we were over at my grandparents house visiting him like we did every weekend where he had unusual requests. It wasn't a mystery to my mind that he was dying. In fact, I had been well aware since pretty much the very beginning what was going on. Everyone in my family was trying to protect my sister and I from the "real truth" but I had already contacted the American Cancer Society and gotten the real truth over the phone and through massive packets in the mail. I knew. He knew. I'm pretty sure he knew that I knew. So he started asking my sister and I to dance with him in the living room certain Sunday afternoons. I remember him putting in an Allison Krauss Greatest Hits album, or at least I'm pretty sure that's what it was. He would dance with us for about as long as he could stand to be up without getting a raging headache. I never fully understood my father's act until recently- and will probably not fully understand this until I am a parent.

But my absolute favorite memory of my father is a bittersweet one. It was the best and worst day of my teenage life if that is possible. My dad had been recovering from a brain tumor the following year. He had actually just returned to work, and everything was looking great. The doctor's had all said that the likelihood of anything recurring was very low, and gave him high hopes and a great prognosis. I had just practically skipped home from school about 2 weeks in to my freshman year of high school. My dad had just bought us 2 tickets to the 1996 Olympic Gymnastics Tour in Cincinnati, OH. I had never been more excited about going to anything in my life. As I ran through the door to get ready to go, I received a call from my mom saying that she had just gotten a call from the hospital, saying that my dad was in a conference with some family and doctors about the MRI's they had just received from the hospital. I was crushed. My mom said that my dad was forcefully trying to get out of the meeting with his surgeon and doctors about his potential failing health, telling them "I have a date with my daughter I cannot miss." While the doctors and family said that they didn't believe it was safe for him to drive, and were trying to even take his car from him, he dismissed all of their urgent requests (for the weekend anyway) and stormed out of the hospital and picked me up and took me away to Cincinnati. I know now how sick he must have been, but pretended to be well. We had a weekend that was epic and wonderful and scary and risky. I am so thankful that my dad decided not to listen to reason that weekend. He needed that time as a father, and I needed it as a daughter.

I had 17 years with an amazing father which in my book far outweighs a lifetime with a mediocre one. God gives us exactly what we need and when we need it, even when we don't agree on times and circumstances that accompany our lives sometimes. I could fill a book with the love and memories I have as daughter, both loved by my own dad and most importantly loved by God.

This is my first father's day as a wife. We have been married for a little over a month and a half and don't have kids yet. But when I look in to my husbands eyes, that same flame that burned so brightly in my own fathers eyes is every bit as present in my husband. The words "The son of man came to seek and save that which was lost" (I forget which verse that is) keep going through my head this morning. Because that is what is at work in our lives. God brings healing in to the places of our hearts where we were wounded most. It is a beautiful thing to receive healing by beholding in your own husband's eyes the very thing that was taken away, but is yet ever so present once again. It is beautiful.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Oh praise the maker, we officially have a place to dwell in! We are thankful, and (I) had a celebratory margarita (or 2) and John had some queso. I think I was actually so celebratory and thankful that I overdid it a little bit on the margarita and forgot that I hadn't eaten much during the day. By the end of the meal, I was loudly explaining to my husband "I know that I act like I don't like cheese dip but OH I DO! I just have talked myself in to not liking it, but I used to eat BIG bowls of it in high school all the time!" I proved this to him by occasionally dunking my taco chicken chunks in to the little remaining queso that he had not already conquered. I will admit that it is the truth- when I am not living in denial I will be the first one to admit that I used to chop up large bricks of Velveeta topped with picante salsa and then nuke it for 1:30 and finish that puppy off with a bag of tostitos.

(It is the morning and I no longer like cheese dip)

So the plan is that tomorrow morning we will go meet the Landlord and sign our lease and all of that good stuff, and then hopefully start moving by the beginning of the week. The most amazing thing about this new place is that we stumbled upon it by accident, while looking at the other side of the duplex. Yes, that's right folks. After all of the searching here and there and everywhere, we "accidentally" stumbled upon this place. Not only is it exactly what we needed (and had stopped looking for) but it is way closer to downtown, in a much better neighborhood, and $100 less than what we would have been paying at the Doris house. Not to mention that it won't cost nearly as much to cool the place, since it is smaller.

So today there is fresh grace upon me to begin the packing process once again. It took awhile after moving twice in 2 days to even be able to get back in to that state of mind, but BOOM SAUCE it is on!

Pictures soon to follow!

thankfulness on a thursday

Once upon a mid-summer's eve Brother John was off to worship practice to strum his chord for the Lord.

Brother John's ravished bride Therese requested to be dropped off at Victoria's Secret instead of attending worship practice.

Brother John did not argue with this request.

The ravished bride had not had her hand in the "Sale Panties Bin" for more than 2 minutes, when Brother John's ringtone went chiming through her purse.

Brother John had called Sister Therese with such swiftness that the first picture that flew in to her head was this:

Sister Therese was filled with joy when the words that came out Brother John's mouth were something like this:

Sister Therese was so elated that she decided to celebrate.

And celebrate some more.

The end of the story goes something like this.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love the one you're with

I have been trying to make it a point to continue this blog as of late, with the encouragement of my husband. He says that I should keep record of our early on marital experiences and learning curves, along with the much needed revelation that seems to come pouring in soon afterward. If we are willing to listen and humble ourselves, that is. It is crazy how life is more about our change of perspective than our change of circumstances.

I experienced this after a particularly terrible Monday of unfruitful house hunting that ended with me in tears, and a husband that had no idea what to do or how to handle his emotionally exhausted wife. What to do, what to do! When I hit walls, my natural instinct is to shut down and not talk, even though it is obvious that I am clearly not okay. (This is not a good habit to carry by the way, and particularly not a good one to continue to carry in to your new marriage)

To make a long story short, I woke up the next morning and it had been MUCH apparent that people had been praying for us. There was a light yoke that had not previously existed in the following week. I started to realize that my frustration with the situation was quickly going to cause division between my husband and myself if I didn't calm my ass down! It was starting to sink in that life is going to be FULL of trying situations where I was going to be constantly faced with the decision to act in love, or to react in frustration (that will quickly turn in to anger if I am not careful). I decided to put the situation back in to God's hands, and have joy in the moment and enjoy the husband that God had so graciously put in my life. And since that moment, we have had FUN. We have been so enjoying each other, and just making the most of the situation. So my advice when you are going through things you have no control over? Do everything you know you can do, and when it hits the point where you have no control, trust the Lord and just love the one you're with!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the grass is always greener...

Over the last several weeks there has been slowly brewing in me the desire to be many different places in the world. It began to stem from our moving frustrations when our dear friends from across the nation and globe would leave us little comments saying, "You can always come here." It is a funny thing how you can perceive the place of invitation in a time of being extremely frustrated with the place you currently located.

I have found myself many days dreaming of the times where I used to wake up last summer and go to Wrightsville beach just after the sun came up and go for walk, or even just to dip my toes in the warm water since I knew "I may not live here forever." I have spent much time dreaming about the mountains of Tennessee, and the love and support that I know surrounds us there when we eventually arrive. After the many suggestions of Seattle, I have gone back in time in my memory to the day that I practically picked all the fruit off of the italian prune tree at Union Hill and made "Stu." This current week, my heart has been set on Alaska with the possibility of beautiful mountains, clear blue pools beneath them, and pure fresh air to take in all day long.

Last night I had a dream that John and I flew to Germany. Actually, in the dream I knew we were in Germany, but once we were actually in Germany, it turned in to Seattle. (I love how you don't need time or space or boarding passes in dreamland!) Everyone I knew was there for the most part. Literally almost everyone! I was very happy about this in the dream, until I realized the conflict that started happening among everyone. I am not even sure what it was all about, but there was my family fighting with someone else's family, it was all just literally just a bunch of chaos. I knew in the dream even though I was in a place where I knew everyone and it was in the middle of beautiful Europe and Seattle that it was, in a word: CONFUSION.

The me several years ago would have woken up from one of those traveling dreams wondering if God was leading me (now us) to a new destination. Let me rephrase that. The me several years ago would have been wondering if God was leading me (now us) to a destination more appealing and less painful than the current situation. The second theory would be the much more truthful statement, actually. Because the heart of the matter is that we (humans) hate pain, don't like situations that cause you to grow in extreme patience, and are really good at fantasizing life situations that would be very different if we were to walk them out. I am not suggesting that God has not called us to Tennessee at some point (that could be tomorrow, that could be in 2 years). Right now, (today, June 14, 2011) God has called John and Therese to walk through a less than desirable situation in Dallas, Texas. Am I thrilled about where we are at the current moment? Not so much. Do I think that moving to one of the many places in my mental list would change everything? Absolutely not.

The point that I am trying make, is that the grass is truly greener on the other side. 90% of the experience in my own life proves this theory to be true. Wilmington is, yes, beautiful in the summer. It has ocean and flowers and sand and waves and many people that I love and adore. It also held many tears, many trials, and much heartache. It was only at the end of that heartache IN Wilmington when I had walked through the fire, and was ready to totally give up on everything- that God broke through, and broke me down, to the point where I could do nothing else but allow the Holy Spirit to move in me. But none of that transformation took place outside the fire. In fact, I am often too quick to give God credit for the times that He "took me out of the painful place" and put me back in the place of great joy. The truth is, that place where I was transformed was when He was burning the impurities out of my life. So maybe I am going to alter my prayers a bit today. I think before it would have been more a long the lines of "pull us out of the fire QUICKLY GOD!" This morning I am thinking that the more appropriate prayer is to ask Him to simply bring us through the fire.

Monday, June 13, 2011

end of our ropes

Today has been rough to say the least. I feel like we've been placed in a pressure cooker and the heat just continues to get turned up on us. We know there is an answer and a time and a reason for all that we seem to be up against right now, but I am honestly at the end of my current rope, ready for a new one. Every idea we move towards seems to get shit on, and it's not like we haven't exhausted our options. Wherever it is God wants us we want to be there, and wherever He would have me work, I'm ready to be there too. So if you are reading this, we greatly appreciate your prayers, and hopefully the next update will have a glimmer of life in it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

new wedding pictures

Here are a few pictures of us getting ready, and a few more that were taken just after we were married. All of the other pictures are posted to my Facebook page.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

searching for a homeland

I know this is the day of the week that my post that is supposed to be wordless. But considering the fact that I blog like once every two months, and our current situation, I probably have plenty to say. Let me preface this with the obvious... I am blessed beyond measure. Blessed with a husband that is incredibly wonderful, one that makes my heart so happy. He is not part of my rant... But our current situation is. I am so incredibly frustrated right now. We have had one hell of a time trying to find a place to live, to no avail. Either we find something amazing and no one calls us back, or when we find a place that seems like it might be amazing it turns out to be a dump or a scam and the KICKER? We MOVED in to a place 40 minutes away last week south of Ft. Worth only to end up moving out within 24 hours. Yes, you read that correctly. After I spent 12 hours packing, unloading, even scrubbing the bathrooms from the crap that the previous tenants had left (and the landlord had failed to clean after they left) Unpacked all of our kitchen appliances, set up the house and within 24 hours John called to tell me that our landlord was psycho and we were moving out TODAY. It turned out to be one hell of a fiasco of moving twice (both ways) 2 days in a row, 40 minutes away. Somehow the Lord put supernatural grace on me for those 24 hours and enabled me to not only leave the house better than we found it, but also to forgive them, pray for them, and bless them. This was a week ago and I would probably pay $ for that same attitude (if we had any, I might have to substitute with a BB&B gift card) Ultimately I am so thankful that we did not stay in that house. If John had moved the shop in to the house already, we would have been in a world of trouble. And not to mention if we had stayed there we would have had to deal with (God bless her) Doris for the next year of our lives which would make for an unhappy wife, and an even more unhappy husband (I have never seen him actually angry at anyone until she happened).....
So that leaves me to the present day. We are currently back at John's parents' house until we find a solid place to live in Ft. Worth. (and let me preface you with this, I am very thankful to have a place to stay) John has a job, and I have enormous amounts of free time on my hands that has never proven to be good for me. I know 5 million things that I could do to occupy my time that would be more worthwhile than what I am currently doing, but have hit a wall of frustration and am not doing any of them. It is an incredibly frustrating feeling to have the desire to want to try and build a life with your husband but feel like everything is on hold at the moment with no hopes of being able to move anywhere until July. Even though we have a side of the house that is pretty much our own, it is extremely hard to have the desire to want to build something solid with your husband in your own home, and not be able to. It is super hard not being able to get a job right now, since we are 40 minutes away from where we will be moving. (I tend to crumble in the absence of structure)
Other thoughts that have crossed my mind? Maybe God doesn't want us in Ft. Worth. Maybe he doesn't want us in Texas for that matter! Who knows? I am bad a the guessing game, and am apparently lacking in discernment at the moment. We pray every time we start looking for places to live that God will lead us to the right place, and if we are not supposed to be there, that He will shut the door. So this is an extremely exhausted me declaring that I am out of answers. We want to be where God wants us. Whether it's Texas, or Tennessee, or freaking Arkansas for that matter. We want someplace to call home. So this is me begging the Lord to show us where home is.