Friday, December 30, 2011

my only resolution

as far as new year's resolutions go, i'm not all for it. i've tried making monthly goals, but that only lasted about five months before i got bored. and everyone seems to have the same consensus-- that everyone fails resolutions, especially when they revolve around weight loss or major life changes.

so what about starting small?

what about simply praising god?

my only resolution this year:

to praise god for the life i have in this moment. to remember that the next day, even the next moment, is not promised. to praise him for the love my husband gives me, the strength my family gives me, and the courage my friends give me. to praise him for the beauty found in flowers, sunshine, and fresh rain. to praise him for the confidence found in a cup of coffee, a friend's comments, and his word. to praise him for the peace found in a morning of cuddling, an afternoon of cooking, and an evening of crocheting.

to praise him simply.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

thankful thursday

113. a saving's account
114. modern medicine
115. an understanding boss
116. pantry full of food
117. friends
118. thai takeout
119. crisp winter days
120. salads for dinner
121. hot tea and reality tv
122. my husband
123. planning
124. new starts
125. yarn
126. my enamel dutch oven
127. texting
128. new furniture
129. a husband who knows my taste
130. activities
131. that my old computer still works
132. new year ideas
133. big dinner and lots of friends
134. love
135. redemption
136. friends who offer instead of waiting to be asked
137. fresh vegetables

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

year in review

here's my favorite posts from the past year:

january-- coaster tutorial


february-- seattle trip!

seattle 039
see why i love this man?

march-- i made life goals

april-- i was really sick


may-- we (planned before we) moved


september-- another first- dinner at eight

october-- we had a music day!

november-- i shot my first wedding.

backyard wedding

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

la mar (the ocean)

a friend had a dream recently that i was on vacation.
at the beach.
eating potatoes.
i do love me some potatoes.

but the beach?
i'm kind of a "take it or leave it" girl.
i don't like my body
so, bathing suits?
but i like my toes in the sand.
i like the sound of the waves.
i love the orange in the sunset
and the pink of the sunrise.

we're talking in my group of friends of taking a vacation to the beach sometime next year. that we'll rent a house together and all live like beach bums for a week. that we'll have time to tan, read on the dock, snorkel. i did love snorkeling in belize. the fish in the reefs are amazing. colors and combinations you can't even imagine. the feeling of weightlessness is magical. the warm salt water holding your body afloat while you gaze at angel fish, octopus, cuttlefish.

so maybe i do like the ocean.

title taken from a song by the beautiful girls.

Friday, December 23, 2011

thankful thursday {on friday}

here's what i've added to the list recently:

93. christmas decorations
94. gingerbread contests
95. a chill in the air
96. cards from loved ones
97. a warm shower when the house is cold
98. cuddles from my dog
99. second chances
100. jesus' birth
101. twinkling lights
102. fresh water
103. disposable income
104. heritage
105. new foods
106. wine
107. a break from school
108. sam's club
109. a job i enjoy
110. coffee
111. hearing more "merry christmas" than "happy holidays"
112. a supportive husband

Thursday, December 22, 2011

i am {holiday edition}

crafting: a special surprise. groundhog's day is right around the corner!
reading: softland
listening: to christmas music. there is no other kind of music this month.
watching: lights twinkle in our neighborhood
cooking: so, so much. kutia and uzvar and kapusta... christmas eve is just around the corner.
planning: a large menu for saturday
doing: cooking. and crafting. no studying or teaching.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

grab a coffee and study with me

i know its saturday, and i'm supposed to post on fridays, but i had already posted something yesterday before leann and i decided to do our p31 project for the day. it's entirely my fault. so, here's my post!

P31:22:  "she makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple"
P31:23:  "her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."

good! another verse about homemaking! i like this. and funny story, i'll maybe be buying a new "covering for my bed" in the near future. because, you know, there's this white blanket i like at bed bath and beyond, and we just got a 20% off coupon... but i digress.

i think leann put it best: clothed in fine linen and purple isn't as much buying expensive, brand-name clothes, as it's taking care of what you have and presenting yourself in a manner that shows you care how you look. because, like she said, i feel a lot better about myself when i wear something decent than i do when i wear jeans and a baggy sweatshirt.

as for the husband part? well it just goes to show that all of this stuff that the p31 woman is called to do-- upkeep on her house, provide good foods, etc-- it's not for her. it's for everyone around her. by having this sort of presence, it will make her family well-respected also.

so quick sidenote here. this isn't about how you take care of your house. it's not about the clothes you wear. it's not about how respected your husband is. it's about your outward love for jesus. if you love jesus enough on the inside that it exudes from you, you're displaying traits of the p31 woman. that's our goal here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

brick by brick


for the rest of the year, i will breathe.
just breathe.

when i grade exams for my students
just breathe

when i plan my training schedule
for the next 12 months
just breathe

when i host a christmas party for
dear, dear friends
just breathe

when i cook christmas eve dinner
-- traditional ukranian style--
for an ever-growing crowd
just breathe

when i relax in the evenings
because i'm out of school
for three weeks
just breathe

when i crochet a blanket
that's taking me a year
just breathe

when i shop for husband's
stocking fillers
just breathe

when remembering what we're 
really celebrating december 25th
just breathe

when studying the advent season
just breathe

when preparing for 2012
just breathe

just breathe
just breathe

Thursday, December 15, 2011

thankful thursday

blame it on the holidays.
or being thisclose to done with school.
or that i've just been very happy lately.

i have a large list for you today!
75. relaxing walk in the woods
76. animal tracks
77. homemade chai lattes
78. homemade hot cocoa
79. walmart take-and-bake pizza on thanksgiving
80. santa in the macy's parade
81. finding "new" pants in my closet
82. fire pits
83. red wine
84. dark chocolate
85. surprise gifts for someone else
86. new lotion
87. a clean bathroom
88. knee-high socks
89. prayer
90. a good ballpoint pen
91. chocolate-covered peanuts
92. a freezer full of comfort food

Friday, December 9, 2011

What I've been up to

Yes, yes, I miss you too. But I've been terribly busy at home and haven't had time to write to you. So here's a quick recap of what I've been up to lately:

Getting my butt kicked.

Letting some homeless people live with us.

Being a tourist.

And a tourist.

And a tourist.

Cleaning the dishes.

Finally catching up to 2001. Never mind that I'm 10 years late.


Learning from him.

And visiting the aquarium.

See? I've been a little too busy to chat. And you know you're only seeing the fun parts. You don't get to see the homework, the big project, or the fiasco with my final exam that I'm giving. So take this with a grain of salt.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

thankful thursday

here's what i added to my 1000 things button this week:

73. that husband has just the right words sometimes
74. parents visiting!

just because it's short doesn't mean it's not sweet. or that my world was not full of things to be thankful for. it may just mean that i have been busy, and savoring each memory instead of documenting. or that the week has been so happy that all of the good memories blend into each other and i can't tell where one ends and the next begins. because it's hard to put walmart take-and-bake pizza and deer-watching on thanksgiving into enough description so that you realize just how thankful i am for these things.

and so, my dears, i leave you with a quiet thankful thursday this first day of december.

welcome, december.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


1. i feel like eating a caramel apple. not a homemade one, mind you.
one of those amazing chocolate-covered, dipped-in-mini-m&ms apples.
yes, please.

2. we had a great vacation.

3. my parents are visiting this week. it makes me happy.
(i love this photo of them)

4. i have no idea what to cook their first night here. they'll come in on friday. any ideas?

5. so happy our christmas decorations are up. look forward to seeing some photos soon.

6. i'm very thankful for my husband lately. he's a dear.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

our unconventional thanksgiving day {too many photos}

we ended up heading for vacation over break-- because we were off work some of those days anyways, we didn't have to take as much time off. here's part of our trip, to sulfur springs park in oklahoma:











Monday, November 21, 2011

{not just a} weekend update

here's a few updates from my phone recently:

i learned what kosher means.

we bought the best board game ever.

i made coq au vin for the first time. only bad decision was that i did it on a weeknight.

a friend made an adorable (delicious?) candy turkey for me.

husband was magically gifted a santa suit. you don't know how happy this makes him.

we went to the movies.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

thankful thursday

you can see the full list over there >>>>
in the button for "1000 favorites".

55. rainy days
56. a beer on the balcony
57. an extra hour
58. fall
59. the color green
60. red nail polish
61. a new dutch oven
62. pumpkin in a can
63. pumpkin cheesecake
64. pumpkin bread
65. game night
66. someone buying me lunch
67. wine on a friday evening
68. foot rubs
69. in-season vegetables.
70. red pens
71. my neti pot
72. pizza for dinner when i don't have energy to cook

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

random thoughts today

hump day boost is taking the day off today...

i forgot that i changed my header until i just saw my own blog. expect another header change in the near future, i don't know that i'm thrilled with this one.

my 1000 favorites list has really taken off lately. expect a long post tomorrow.

i'm not thankful that i'm getting sick. or have been sick? either way, husband and i are both fighting a super head/chest cold. oh, the things you do for love.

i'm glad husband isn't as picky with his cough drop flavors as i am.

noticing things about yourself that aren't good is a really hard thing to do. because that means that you have to work through them.

more hot tea, please.

i'm thankful for our church community.

Monday, November 14, 2011

i do.

husband has a friend who got married in a beautiful backyard ceremony. she asked if i'd take photos for her-- and woah! this is the first wedding i've done, so i was pretty nervous. it's silly, but husband said i "looked" like i was supposed to be the photographer. so there's that. anyways, thought i'd share a few of my favorites with you. enjoy!


backyard wedding

backyard wedding

early evening bokeh

Friday, November 11, 2011

grab a coffee and study with me

well, well. it's already friday. this week we're reviewing Proverbs 31: 20-21.

P31:20: "she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy."
P31:21: "when it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet."

again, i don't have my study bible. which is just fine. i can take it from here.

opening her arms to the poor, extending her hands to the needy-- really was a sort of wake up call for me. i'd love to say i'm the person who is always willing to take some homeless person to mcd's for a cup of hot coffee, or that i try to keep some cash or snacks on me to give to them. but i'm not, and i don't. you know who really has the heart for serving in our family? husband. and i'm so glad. because while i'd love to be that person, i'm not yet. this is a great way for us to learn from each other. he demonstrates daily that you should put others first, even if that means spending $200 at target to buy some clothes for a man who wears shorts when it's 39 degrees because that's all he has. me? i'll roll the window up. or talk on the phone. but the important thing is, i'm learning from him.

as for dressing my household in scarlet, i'm pretty sure that just means in warm clothes, appropriate for the weather. i am blessed in that we do have enough money to purchase new winter clothes when we need them, especially with husband's weight loss.

so, you win some, you work at some.
today shows me that while i'm rockin' at some of this P31 stuff, there's other stuff that i still have to work at. i'm very blessed to have a husband who excels in the areas that i don't, so i have someone to learn from.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

you know it's november when

this is a staple in november in the slay household.
this makes pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin bread.
this makes me happy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

a photo and a guy

i love this man.

ignore the fact that he didn't shave before we went to a wedding. or don't. i think it makes him look just scruffy enough to be cute.
husband? thanks for being supportive of me. and loving. and self-sacrificing. and for standing up for me. and showing me what's good. and for eating my cooking. and for remembering to turn on the scentsy in our bedroom because you know i like that smell. and for cleaning the kitchen before 6am.

i love you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

i am not

after overhearing a conversation some of my coworkers had, i felt prompted to tell you who i am not, in order that you might more fully understand who i am.

i am not a blind follower. i am an informed follower. i choose every day to follow the one true god, the only true way-- through his son jesus christ. i am aware that jesus is the only way to salvation and that is why i live the way i do.

i am not "opening up" about my beliefs. i am convinced that there is one way, one truth, one light. there is one lord and one faith. that is jesus christ. i will not change these beliefs after a tough heart-to-heart with anyone. i will not waver in my faith; rather, i will remain strong in jesus.

i am not ignorant. i am informed and well aware that the bible is a historically accurate book. see above, "i am not a blind follower".

i am not interested in converting you. i am interested in educating you. i don't convert people; god converts. all i can do is give you the right information and pray that god seeks you to be one of his saved

i am not strong enough to say this to their faces.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

grab a coffee and study with me

wanna know what a horrible person i am? i'm copying my best friend's entry for this week's bible study. that's right. because i DID look at it, and i DID read it and pray on it-- and i came up with pretty much what she said. so, due to the fact that i'll be spending the rest of the day doing homework and making pumpkin cheesecake, please enjoy (re)reading this post. my apologies. i promise to be back in full force next week.
from leann:

Today, we will be studying verses 18 and 19 (NIV):

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
   and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
   and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 

 Basically, the Proverbs 31 Woman is ensuring that the works she is doing isn't done in vain. The work she does prospers her family and keeps them safe and warm.

What would that look like today? Going to a job that is fulfilling personally as well as provisionally. If you own a business or create things to sell, that would mean that you are running an efficient business. Or, if you stay at home with your kids, that might mean making sure you do things that profit the whole family, like keeping groceries stocked, teaching/raising your kids to be worthwhile citizens, making sure the home is happy and safe and comfortable for everyone. All these as opposed to working a job that isn't getting you anywhere and isn't paying you what you are worth or what your family needs. As opposed to putting your kids in daycare if you don't make enough to pay for it. As opposed to wasting your time along with everyone else's.

I may be way off, but that's what I get out of these verses. And if you're wondering what a distaff is, it is "the instrument used for twisting threads by a whirl" (according to Easton's Bible Dictionary). So, she isn't afraid of working to put clothes on the backs of her loved ones.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

thankful thursday

i need this today. i need to reflect on the things i'm thankful for, the things that are blessings in my life. because i feel so used, so old, so superficial this week. excuse me while i go sit a while with god.

surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and i will dwell in the house of the lord forever.
psalm 23:6

41. a chill in the air
42. a good cardigan
43. crafty night with husband
44. planning a halloween bash for work
45. a clean kitchen
46. getting a good night's sleep
47. opportunities
48. good friends
49. pizza, wine, and a good movie
50. busy days
51. husband who cleans the kitchen before 6am
52. a surprise bouquet of fresh flowers
53. a SIL that i get along with
54. the servant's heart in my husband

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

look! fun!

this video (100 years of style in 100 seconds) is super cute.

i'd love to own this pouch from connect design. it's like a super cool bible cover, too. if there's such a thing.

and i'm still looking for a cute old birdhouse to fix up. i want it to hang above the chair in the corner of the living room. maybe with a small plant in it. if you find one, please remember me as christmas approaches.