Sunday, September 30, 2007

Our "Food Network" Night

My husband earned major points last night.
Keith and I love the Food Network. I can watch Everyday Italian, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America, Barefoot Contessa, you name it, all day!!! This evening was a "tribute" if you will, to our love of food. It was the most perfect way to celebrate our anniversary. Good food, good company, good conversation......

We left the house at 5:10pm. He took me to a rooftop bistro.

It was this great little restaurant that did an American twist on French food. Plus, we ate on the roof, overlooking the city. We were given complimentary glasses of champagne, enjoyed two appetizers- rosemary skewered shrimp and baked brie- and watched the beautiful sunset. It was the perfect start to a perfect evening. We were at Vin de Set for about 2 hours and then my husband informed me it was time to leave for our second reservation at.....

Mosiac is a tapas restaurant. We totally embraced the idea of tapas. We sat outside and ate so many wonderful dishes. We started off with hummus on pita bread, munched on truffled frites, Chilean sea bass, petite beef tenderloin and pot stickers. Mmmm, my mouth waters just thinking about it.

We sat outside, enjoying the fall evening, just catching up on life. We needed the night for the two of us. Just us. No to-do lists, no cleaning, no unpacking, no hectic-ness. Just us.

After our tapas, I just knew that our third and final destination would be dessert!
My husband knows me and my sweet tooth all too well to leave out dessert.
I was right! Not only did our future hold dessert, but the best kind of dessert....

He took me to a new fondue restaurant downtown, Simply Fondue.
We had Reese's Peanut Butter Cup fondue and dipped everything from bananas and pineapple to cheesecake and brownies. Heavenly.

I had a fantastic evening with my husband of two years. We ate for 6 hours and I loved every minute of it.
We both woke up this morning with food hangovers, but it was totally worth it!!!

Happy Anniversary sweetie!!! Thanks for a wonderful night!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Capturing Moments, Inspiring Memories.....

That is the new tagline for VWC Photography. (you may remember the contest I posted about a couple of weeks ago)

Val's new site is up and running!!!
She has worked so hard on her new site and should be incredibly proud. It looks amazing.

Val shot our engagement pictures, wedding, and a family portrait session. She is such a talented, compassionate, creative photographer. I adore working with her because I know that the pictures are going to be fantastic. Plus, she is a friend of mine! (Smiles) I can't wait for future opportunities to work with her!

I hope you take some time to check out her new site. I know she would love for you to see it. (If you do head on over, leave her a comment and let her know you were there...)

Congrats on your new site Val! It is amazing!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

A little thing called Anger.....

Hebrews 12:14 "Work at living in peace with everyone and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord" (NLT)

Right now, I am not seeing the Lord. I am not keeping my heart and thoughts focused on Him.

I hate it.

I can literally feel the difference in almost every aspect of my life.
I have to let go of my anger and frustrations. They are getting the best of me.
A lot of it has to do with my "temporary" job. I won't even get into the whole story, but I feel like the job and the people are sucking every ounce of goodness out of me. It leaves me frustrated, exhausted and angry at the end of the day. For some reason, I cannot let it go. I take it out on Keith when I get home.

Proverbs 29:11 "Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold back". (NLT)

I don't like being angry all the time. I don't want negative emotions to control me, but I have been allowing it.
I'm sick of it.

I'm taking back control.
I'm re-focusing.

The only way I know how to do this is by turning to the Bible.
I've been looking up some verses. Some are new to me, some are not.

One of the verses, I memorized some time ago.
James 1:19 "You must be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry"
I know this verse. Why I choose to not live by it is beyond me. It is so true. If only I would just stop, remember this verse and say a lil prayer. I am the opposite of this verse. I am not quick to listen (I interrupt), I speak quickly (and without thinking) and I am quick to anger (one thing can just set me off).
I have to arm myself with this truth, or when I am in battle against anger, the anger will win.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 says "Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool".
I don't want to be a fool. I don't want to be angry.

I'm handing it over to God. I'm done with anger.

Romantic Surprises......

Monday was our 2 year wedding anniversary, 10 year "dating" anniversary. We got married on the date we officially became a couple. Worked out nicely because Keith didn't have to remember a different anniversary date!

My husband informed me a couple of weeks ago that we would be celebrating our anniversary on Saturday Sept. 29. He said he had everything planned and that it would be a surprise. I love it when he surprises me with a night out. Keith has very good ideas.

I don't know much about what our anniversary celebration holds. I do know that I have to be ready to go at 5:10pm. I need to dress up a bit. I can wear cute, uncomfortable shoes (which means we won't be doing a lot of walking). I will be fed. We are doing more than one thing. We have never done anything that he has planned. It may be a long evening. Oh, and I can bring my camera!

What could it be, what could it be?
I love the anticipation.......

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

That's right...
We got tickets to Wicked!

Wicked is a musical, the untold story of the witches of Oz.
The synopsis from Wicked's website says,

"Long before Dorothy dropped in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One - born with emerald green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two unlikely friends end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch makes for the most spellbinding new musical in years."

We got tickets for opening weekend at the Fox Theater.
I wanted to go two years ago, but each show sold out before we could get tickets! I wasn't about to miss out on the opportunity again.
Now if I just didn't have to wait until December 15......

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Commenters Unite!

My friend, Karen, is having a heck of a time lately. She has a new post I'd like for you to check out. She is asking for comments and suggestions, and being a new blogger, I know she doesn't have alot of traffic yet.....

So, if you have a few moments, read her newest post and let her know how you handle it all. (you'll understand after you read....).

I know it'll make her day to hear from you!

Happy commenting!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

On the move....

Today is MOVING DAY!

I'm beginning to think that I should have set aside more things to donate, then we wouldn't have all of these boxes to move. (Sigh)

But, I do love decorating a new place! (Erin, wish you were here to help!!!)

Keith made coffee this morning, as usual. The spoons were all packed. We had to dig through boxes to find the silverware so we could stir our sugar!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Oh-So Appalled!

Yahoo! Homepage had a headline that caught my eye- "Expiration Date for Marriage".


I had to read it. The content of the article leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

As you may know from previous posts, I am a huge advocate for marriage.
Well, there is a German politician, Gabrieli Pauli, who is proposing an expiration date for marriages!

Can you believe this?

She is suggesting that marriages last for 7 years and then expire. The couple can then agree to extend the marriage or it will automatically dissolve.

It's a MARRIAGE, not a gallon milk! Marriages don't have expiration dates!

Appalled doesn't even begin to cover it.....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just a little vent.....

Do you ever have one of those days when you just want to pull your hair out?

I am having one of those days....
The only thing keeping my hair in my head is the fact that it is exfoliated and super-shiny!

Shiny, Happy Hair

I had a hair appointment last night. I am very fortunate that my stylist is one of my best friends, Annie. I always look forward to my appointments because we just sit (well, I just sit, Annie stands) and talk and catch up on the week's news.

Last night Annie told me she was going to try a new "service" on my hair. I always just put my hair in her hands, so I agreed.

She EXFOLIATED my hair. I had never heard of such a thing. She put this stuff on my hair and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I could feel the lil "grainy" things when I ran my hand through it.
After the exfoliation, she put COLLAGEN on my hair.

Oooohhhh, this treatment is fantastic. My hair is super-duper soft and shiny!
It was the first time Annie had done this service and she was very pleased with the results.
I think her exact words were, "Look how shiny your hair is. And, on a blonde. You can never get a blonde to be that shiny!".

I came home and told my husband he was married to the shiniest blonde in the world.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Girl, Free Time, and a Computer

After we got done packing and moving some things today, I got a little bored. It feels good to be bored, especially after the past few weeks. I don't have to clean, since I will be cleaning at the end of the week when we move out. Keith is watching football, so I am just playing around on the computer.
Flickr has a site where you can type in a word, and it will "create" the word for you in images.....

So, here is my name....

C O R i for information E

(I can't seem to get all the letters of my name on one line... I don't have that much free time.)

My weakness.....

Shoes are my weakness.

Payless has really impressed me with their selection of styles! And, since I like to buy shoes so often, I must say, their inexpensive prices are checkbook-friendly!

These are a few of the pairs that I have my eyes on.....

And, they are an additional 30% off their already low prices!!!
(I must be strong, I must be strong, I must be strong.....)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Second Chance as a First Responder.....

A few months back I posted an entry about how I had the opportunity to be a first responder.

Well, today I had my second opportunity.

I had spent the early afternoon packing up a few boxes to take over to our new apartment. I was carrying a box of wine glasses to my trunk, when I heard a girl scream across the street.

I look over and the girl is laying on the ground of the parking lot across the street. I yell over to her "Are you okay?" and she cries "No!". I toss the box in my trunk and run over to her. She had tried to jump over this chain link "rope" (for lack of a better term) and tripped, I wasn't sure what happened, but she was hysterical and kind of holding her arm. I asked her again if she was ok and she finally got the words out- "No". I asked her what she wanted me to do. I didn't want to leave her alone, but I didn't have my phone on me. I asked if there was someone I could call for her. She told me, through lots of crying, that her friends were eating in the restaurant around the corner. She asked if I could go get them and let them know that Mary was hurt. I ran to El Burrito Loco (the Mexican restaurant around the corner) and found her friends, told them Mary was hurt. They immediately jumped up and ran behind me, back to Mary.

One of the guys (who I think was her boyfriend), tried to look at her arm, but she starting yelling out in pain whenever he tried to touch or move her arm. It was then that I noticed the pool of blood gathering on the ground. I ran back to the restaurant and asked them for a clean towel. I knew we needed to get some pressure on that wound, even though I couldn't see it.

I got back to Mary and her friends, gave them the towel and the guy started to apply pressure on her arm. Of course, this made her just scream in pain. I felt so badly for her!!! One of the store owners across the street brought out a cell phone and I ended up calling 911.

I stood out there, waiting for the ambulance. Since it happened in a parking lot, we didn't have an exact address to give the dispatcher. The ambulance finally came, after what seemed like an eternity. Her boyfriend thought that she may have a compound fracture. Now, I'm not sure, but is that a fracture where the bone protrudes out of the skin? That would explain the extreme pain and bleeding.

Her parents showed up and were able to ride with her in the ambulance. I finished watching the scene from my living room window. I didn't want to stand down there, gawking at her, once I knew the paramedics were taking care of her. I told her friends that I hoped she felt better and went home.

After they got her on the stretcher and loaded up in the ambulance, I noticed one of the guys wiping his eyes. It was the guy who applied the pressure to the bleeding. That is what made me assume he was her boyfriend. He was so strong in front of her, not showing any panic or fear. Once she was in the ambulance, he just broke down. My heart went out to him. He did such an amazing job, staying strong for her when she needed him. I just broke my heart to know how worried he must have been about her.

I am just praying that everything turns out well for Mary. I'm thankful that I was there to help her.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mercy and Grace

Ok, so after my Chinese, I felt ready to tackle the serious topic I mentioned in my previous post... :)

We attend a small group (Bible Study) on Thursday nights. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our small group. We have an amazing group of people, all in different stages in their walks with Christ. I know I can count on these individuals for love, support and prayers and that is an awesome feeling. I feel like the small group is where I really learn and grow, not that I don't learn and grow in weekend services at church, but small group is just different.

So, anyway..... back to my post.....

This Thursday we talked about God's mercy and grace- two words I have heard over and over and over, but honestly, never stopped to really question their meaning. Our leader gave a really great definition of the two. He said grace is "receiving what we don't deserve" and mercy is "not receiving what we do deserve". I hope that makes sense. Hearing those two words defined like that, gave me a totally new outlook on God's grace and His mercy. I'm still in awe.....

We also talked about how when a person becomes a Christ-follower-WAIT- let me explain what I mean by this. I have heard a lot of confusion about this. There is a difference in a person who believes in God and a person who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Believing in God will not get you to heaven. John 4:16 states that Christ is the way, the truth and the life. No one can get into heaven without Christ (kind of paraphrased).

I think this is a difficult thing for some people to grasp. My husband had a hard time with this one before he became a Christian. I hear so many people say that if you are a good person, that will get you into heaven. It's just not the way. Actually, I am glad that is not the way into heaven. If that were the way, we would constantly be insecure about how much good we have to do, if what we were doing is actually good enough, if we were doing as much "good stuff" as our neighbor..... and on and on and on. I am so thankful that Christ died for us, our sins, and all we have to do is confess that we are sinners and accept him as our Lord and Savior.

Yep, it's just that easy. I remember the night I received Christ. It was 2 days after Christmas and I was with two of my high school friends. I didn't exactly know what it meant to be a Christian, but I knew I wanted it. I saw the peace and joy that my friends had captured and I wanted it, with all of my heart. When they prayed that little (or BIG, considering it changed my eternity) prayer with me, my first response was "THAT'S IT?!" I could not believe that praying that 2 minute prayer, and meaning it, was all I had to do to secure my place in heaven. It seemed way to easy, but it was true. Jesus did the work for us. God's grace and mercy are offered to all, it is up to us to accept His gifts.

God gives us a choice. He is a God of free will. We get to choose whether or not we want Him to be a part of our worldly life. He loves us all and longs for each of us to have a relationship with Him. He loves us so much that He lets us choose.

I could go on and on and on about this subject. It is one of my favorites to talk about. I never get tired of discussing God. I pray that someone reads this post and it triggers something for them. I pray that this post makes someone want to search a little deeper, learn a little more about our amazing God.


Ah, Friday.. my favorite day of the week. Especially this week.

Two blissful days without thinking about work. (Can you tell that my new job has not gotten much better yet?!) I have to have faith that it will get better, but it gets harder and harder. My boss did come over to the clinic and talk today. I actually felt better after he left, so that is an improvement.....

So, here it is, Friday. I am exhausted. My husband is going to the Cardinal game tonight. I don't want to cook, I want Chinese takeout. I suppose I could eat it off of one of the 3,000 moving boxes that have taken residence in our apartment.....

I have a post that has been forming in my head all day, but it is a serious topic and I am just not up for it right now..... I'll do it tomorrow. For now, I have to find the number to my favorite takeout restaurant.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's Your Blogger Duty.....

Val, at Purple Valley, is holding a contest (see the post below)....
Well, she has included us again- she is giving us the chance to vote for our favorite taglines for her business! She asked her blog readers, family and friends to give her suggestions for the tagline and received a TON of response. Since she had so many suggestions, she has asked for some help in determining the winner.

She is an amazing, talented, compassionate, photographer. You can check out her professional blog, VWC Photography.

Head on over to Purple Valley to cast your vote. She's keeping the polls open until tomorrow night.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Calling all Creative Thinkers.....

Val, over at Purple Valley, is holding a contest.

She is a very talented photographer and a good friend of mine. Be sure to click on the link in this post, or her blog on my sidebar and check out her contest!
Be quick though... the contest ends on September 12.

My week.. with a few pictures

I feel like it has been forever since I have posted, even though it has been less than a week. I suppose it is just that SO much is going on right now, I feel overwhelmed and am not even sure where to start posting..... Hope you have a cup of coffee or tea and a few minutes to sit and read. I have a feeling this is gonna be a long one....

Well, my 29th birthday has come and gone. I am a little sad to have celebrated the last birthday in my 20's. I have a feeling the big 3-0 will not come easy to me. It never ceases to amaze me the complete misconception I had about 30 when I was a child. I had this idea of being married, with a house and children, settled in my lifelong career...well, that is another post in itself.

I had a great birthday! Keith got me a fantastic birthday present...

5 new books!!! I was so impressed with my husband- it was the perfect gift.
THEN, my friend at work, Karen, made me bithday treats.

I called them "cone cakes". I had never seen these before, but cannot wait for someone to have a birthday so I can make them! She took ice cream cones, poured the cake batter into the cones and baked them. Then she iced the top, added the sprinkles and the cherries. Yum!!! I think I ate three of them! (it was my birthday, so I don't feel bad about it).

A stressful part of my week has to do with my job. Most of you may have read in previous posts that I work for the St. Louis City Health Department in the Communicable Disease section, specifically with HIV/STDs. LOOOOONG story short, my job description is changing for the next 8 weeks. I am now stationed at a clinic, not the health department where I typically work. I can't even begin to explain why I am the one working there for now, but I am. It has been stressful because it is not my normal job and I have had two days to grasp my new responsibilites, which include doing stat gonorrhea and chlamydia interviews and giving test results. I have given test results before, mostly HIV results, but the stat interviews are a first for me. AND, working strictly with gonorrhea and chlamydia cases is a first for me. My knowledge on the two diseases is not as extensive as my knowledge on HIV. I'm just not as confident with the other 2 diseases. (Some of you are probably thinking "WHAT on earth does this girl DO?") The best thing about my new, temporary position is that I get to wear scrubs to work! Scrubs and crocs. So comfy and requires absolutely zero thought in the morning. No more ironing and trying on multiple outfits before work. That is what I must focus on for the next 8 weeks...... enough with the job stuff. I am pretty sure I have lost most of my readers at this point....

Another big piece of news for us- we are moving. Again, this is a very long story that I will not share right now, maybe someday. We are moving to another apartment. We needed to move and quickly, so buying was not an option for us right now. We chose the first place we looked at. It is so cute!

It isn't far from where we are in South City currently, just a couple more blocks south. But, it is on a one way street, which is so much quieter and less busy than where we are now. The couple that owns the building (which is a 4 family flat) seems great- very clean, responsible and trustworthy (which we have learned is very important, from our current landlord).

We have a working gas fireplace in the living room, with stained glass windows on either side. I am already picturing Keith and I cozied up with a mug of hot cocoa, exchanging Christmas presents while the fire glows in front of us!
There is an archway between the dining room and living room and french doors that lead from the dining room to the hall that will take you to the bathroom and kitchen.

The kitchen has beautiful new cabinets and tile backsplash. The only downfall is that there is no dishwasher, which we have become completely dependent on! Oh how I dread doing dishes again. But, the fridge is HUGE and has one of the bottom drawer freezers. Too cool and unheard of in rentals!

We have 5 (yes, 5, also unheard of in city apartments) closets. Ah, the storage! A bedroom with an attached sunroom. We have a full basement available for storage use also. The bathroom is purple, but it is growing on me. They did tell us we could paint if we want to, but I absolutely despise painting, so the walls will be staying the colors they are. The landlords just painted anyway and I like the colors of the other rooms. They are letting us move in gradually, all month. Our first official day of residency will be Oct. 1. I've already taken everything off our walls, packed all the picture frames, books, cds and dvds. We are going to move those things and winter clothes this week. Just bit by bit, that way hopefully on the last weekend, we will only have the big furniture items left to move.
I hate moving, but I am excited about our new place.

WHEW! That was a long post. Next time I will remember to make time to post before a week has gone by. If you made it all the way through this one, I commend you! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Two Thumbs Up!

Keith and I watched a really good movie last night, The Ultimate Gift. I recommend this for you movie lovers! I know for sure that Blockbuster carries the film.

It is a faith-based movie, based on the book, The Ultimate Gift. I don't want to give away much, but I'll just say that in order for a young man to receive the inheritance his grandfather left him, he has to complete certain tasks or "gifts" as his grandfather called them. Of course, there are life lessons to be learned with each task.

I am going to have to pick up the book and read it too. Books are always better than the movies and based on the movie, the book has to be good!!!

A New Blogger....

My co-worker and friend, Karen, has started her very own blog.

I was a newbie blogger not that long ago and remember that my first few commentors (VAL!) always made my day...
So, this is a lil plug for Karen- if you have a minute, check out her new blog and leave her a "welcome" comment.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Look What the Mail Carrier Brought.....

I got a package in the mail before we left for vacation!

I love getting mail, well, the "personal" kind... not bills or junk mail, of course. My fantastically wonderful friend Tracy lives in North Carolina. She is really, really good at sending lil cards and packages all the time. She mailed my birthday package to me....

These are all the goodies that were inside!

Thank you Trace, for the birthday mail and just for being you! I can't wait to see you, Bart, Emma and your belly! (Trace is pregnant, in case you didn't figure that out...)