Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Special Shout Out

This goes out to Kristin Schweighardt. A loyal reader dedicated to leaving comments on every single post. Thanks for the love, lady! We miss you a whole lot down here in Virginia!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Adios Amigos

I'm stalling.

We're leaving Wednesday morning and won't be returning until July 10th. While going on vacation is good news, packing for an 11 day trip is not.

You may know one of the most agonizing tasks for me is to pack. My stress level shoots through the roof when I am merely packing for a weekend trip to my parents' house. I sit on my bed moaning out loud, as if I have so much indecision in me that it is has no choice but to overflow into audible gripes. Then I stand in front of my closet sighing, eyes panning left to right, left to right, over and over again because suddenly there is not one item of clothing I can bare, much less enjoy. I may pile a few random garments next to me that haven't seen the light of day in months, at which point I begin welling up with anxiety. At this point I usually lay face down in my pillow hoping that when I lift my head suddenly outfit choices will start flying off the hangers. Inevitably, though, I fall asleep. Jeremiah then comes in and wakes me, leaving me stressed and now groggy. Even better. It got so bad before the last trip we took that I went to bed angry and unpacked, waking up at 5:30 with the hopes of a renewed spirit. Not a good idea. That just left me frantic and desperate as I was forced to beat the clock on little sleep.

So that's why I'm stalling. I really have no reason to blog since I'll tell you all about our trip when we get back (or while we're there if we get wifi, say a quick prayer we do). Rather, I just need a break. My workout clothing options are set out and ready, in addition to the non-clothing items I got ready last night. Now it's the tough part. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


After a day of celebrating Cameron's graduation, it was my turn. On Sunday I got to open birthday gifts from my family, which had been the talk of the town since we had arrived in Sellersville. Cameron was hyping up the gifts he got me, and his friends were even asking if I had opened my present yet when we saw them at the graduation party. I had no idea what was in store, but was rather nervous.
My sister gave me a lovely serving dish I had seen a couple months ago that gave me some kitchen color inspiration. My mom and dad gave me Martha Stewart's sewing encyclopedia and a gift card to Joann Fabric. I'm excited to hopefully create some killer projects for our new place. Both of these gifts were so great!
And then there was Cameron's gift. First of all, part two of the gift was wrapped in this paper:

He handed me part one, which was not wrapped. This is part one:

Yes, you are reading that correctly. No need to adjust your screen or your vision prescription. Cameron created his own book on how to be awesome (essentially an autobiography) and compiled it in one of those classy report covers. "This book was written with the intention of helping you to live a more awesome life, much like your idol, Cameron Koehler. For the convenience of the reader, the book has been broken down into sections." A direct quote from the table of contents, of which there are 17 sections. After receiving this book, I was instructed to go to the section on gift giving and read aloud. Keep in mind I still didn't know what part two of the gift was.
I would like to share with you an excerpt from the sub-section, People you do like.
"If not food, go for something hilarious but also useful. For example: a huge rainbow umbrella. (Note: Cameron got this for me a few Christmases ago) It may be embarrassing, but it can certainly be used. And everyone can laugh about it before, during, and after the giving. Another example would be a Slip 'n' Slide. It's fun but also useful. It would be funny to get one for a 25-year-old without an outdoor faucet, a yard, or children. It's useful because it's a Slip 'n' Slide. Don't tell me there's no use for that. Maybe at a friend's house. Maybe 5 years down the road when said 25-year-old buys a house in southeastern Pennsylvania. Who knows. But it's hilarious and awesome right now."
And so, here was part two of my birthday gift:

We were laughing hysterically!! I had tears literally streaming down my face. Could barely finished reading the excerpt as it became clear to me what my present was. Oh, and there's a 110lb. weight limit. Add that to the list of reasons why it would be funny to get a 25-year-old a Slip 'n' Slide.

Note: Cameron does not actually have a mustache, nor does he smoke cigarettes. This photo was taken on Christmas morning, after receiving bubblegum cigs from me in his stocking. As for the facial hair, he calls it the Christmas miracle. Goes to bed on Christmas Eve with a beard, wakes up Christmas morning with a mustache. Miracle.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Baked-Good Bonanza

This past weekend we headed back up to Pennsylvania, but this time for Cameron's graduation party. And what a party it was! Lots of family and friends all there to celebrate my dear brother's Penn State commencement and his new job teaching at Pennridge High School. Oh, and LOTS of baked-goods. Why haven't you hired my sister yet?? Here's a sampling of what you're missing out on

First, S'MORE cupcakes. HELLO.

Second, sour cream pound cake with vanilla buttercream. Do you SEE those graduation caps??

Third, oreo cookie cupcakes. Tastes JUST like the real thing.

And last, but certainly not least, mint chocolate chip. A personal fave!!

Quarter of a Century Celebration

For those of you who don't know, my 25th birthday was this past Friday, June 18th. For weeks prior to this special day, I had been questioning Jeremiah about what we might do. Typically, Jeremiah and I aren't great at keeping surprises (for example, two Christmases ago we exchanged gifts two weeks early because we were so curious) so I thought he'd eventually crack and spill his plans to me. I was wrong. That man was a vault. Although I was anxious to know what our celebration would entail, it made me feel so special to know that he had thought out and planned an evening just for me. We both had half days at work; however, I was given strict orders not to arrive home before 4:45. I kept myself busy shopping but was very antsy to get home and be with my husband (instead of alone!) on my birthday!
When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. I came home to a sparkly clean apartment, smelling of delectable lobster macaroni and cheese fresh out of the oven. A blue cheese wedge salad sat waiting on the counter and a cannoli chilled in the fridge for later. Not only that, but Jeremiah had set up our balcony for a nice candlelight dinner, topped with wine and a little background music. It was so wonderful! And delicious! The food was all made by Jeremiah himself, using Ina Garten's recipes. I was so impressed. I would have been too scared to attempt cooking lobster, but Jeremiah's dish was a huge success.
Isn't he a great guy??
Happy Birthday to me!

School's Out For Summer

Last Friday school officially ended for Jeremiah and me. Let the summer begin!! I will definitely miss my co-workers, especially since I have no clue where I'll be next year. A couple of my friends who teach second grade were so wonderful to me in thanking me for my help, and also in celebrating my birthday. One teacher had her kids do this for me, I thought it was so sweet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Caroline's Graduation

This past weekend we traveled to Montrose, PA to see Jeremiah's sister, Caroline, graduate from high school. That little smarty pants graduated number five in her class. Way to go girl!

My mom and sister were able to come for the party later that day, and my sister made her graduation cake. She is amazing. The cake was a delicious chocolate chip pound cake with coffee buttercream, covered in a fondant plaid pattern. Everything was picked out just for Caroline. Take a look. I think you should order a cake from her.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Coincidence or God's Sovereignty?

After just about two and a half years of marriage Jeremiah and I just had our first true wretched cooking experience. Ugh, it was TERRIBLE.
We meant well. In fact, we meant really well. After church we drove as fast as we could to our dream everyday grocery store, Fresh Market. While at this piece of heaven on earth we picked up two gourmet burgers, which the woman in front of us told us were out of this world. One blue cheese and one bbq cheddar. Delish. We also grabbed a few colorful vegetables. (Oh, and my wonderful husband snuck over to get me a mini cannoli, too!) You may be thinking to yourself, hmm these sound like perfect foods to grill. Well, you're right, they are... in theory.
You see, at our apartment, we're technically not allowed to have a grill nor will we be able to at our new condo. I however, cannot settle for something that I can't have. Mom, sound familiar? So, while reading through the latest Crate & Barrel catalog, I stumbled upon what I thought would be a miracle cure to this problem. A lime green Smokey Joe Weber grill. I know, I know. We're not allowed to have a grill. But what harm could this itsy bitsy teeny weeny "grill" do? Harmless I say.
Well tonight proved that even a lime green apartment-sized grill can't fix all of life's problems. Now, it could be that Jeremiah only put a mere 14 coals in the bottom, or it could be God's way of laughing in our faces for participating in illegal activity. But either way, what seemed to be a fantasy grill meal quickly became the biggest bust in history. The veggies barely steamed to a just-slightly-soggier-than-raw consistency, at which point we tried to redeem them in the oven. The burgers then slid on the grate without a sizzle or a puff of smoke, at which point we tried to redeem them with a cast iron skilled on the stove. Let's just say, we found no hint of the gospel in any part of the meal. (No redemption, get it?) The only thing we gained from this experience was an apartment filled to capacity with thick smoke that I was sure would set even our packing-tape-covered smoke alarms off. Whoops, more illegality. You'd think with the microwave exhaust, the ceiling fan, and the bathroom vent all on high, plus me throwing the front door opened and closed, the smoke would dissipate. Let's just say, I'm still inhaling the gray stuff almost an hour later.
Jeremiah and I have a joke when we try a new meal that if it's gross, "there's always McDonald's." Well, tonight McDonald's couldn't even help our desperate situation. Instead, I feasted on a crabcake appetizer from The Grill at Waterford and Jeremiah is stuffing down some beef lo mein from our local China Wong. Now that I think about it, perhaps he knew all along what he was doing with that little grouping of charcoal. He's been craving China Wong for days.