Friday, October 23, 2009

Marriage Memo: Five Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Was Married

by Dave Boehi (from the Family Life Marriage emails I get)

#1: Marriage is not all about you. It's not about your happiness and self-fulfillment. It's not about getting your needs met. It's about going through life together and serving God together and serving each other. It's about establishing a family. It's about committing your lives to each other even though you may be very different in 10, 20, or 40 years from the people you are now.

#2: You are about to learn a painful lesson--you are both very selfish people. This may be difficult to comprehend during the happy and hazy days of courtship, but it's true, and it shocks many couples during their first years of marriage. It's important to know this revelation of selfishness is coming, because then you can make adjustments for it, and you will be a lot better off.

#3: The person you love the most is also the person who can hurt you the deepest. That's the risk and pain of marriage. And the beauty of marriage is working through your hurt and pain and resolving your conflicts and solving your problems.

#4: You can't make it work on your own. It's obvious that marriage is difficult--just look at how many couples today end in divorce. This is why it's so critical to center your lives and your marriage on the God who created marriage. To make your marriage last for a lifetime, you need to rely on God for the power and love and strength and wisdom and endurance you need.\

#5: Never stop enjoying each other. Always remember that marriage is an incredible gift to be enjoyed. Ecclesiastes 9:9 says, "Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun."

Enjoy the little things of life with your spouse: the food you enjoy together at home or in restaurants ... the movies you like ... the little inside jokes nobody else understands except for you ... the times you make each other laugh ... the games you play together.

And focus on making memories together: Plan special dates and weekend getaways. Make sure you reserve time for each other after you have kids.

When you are old, you won't look back and remember how great it was to buy that new furniture or watch that great show on television. You're going to remember what you did together and saw together and created together. (Emphasis mine.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why I love Williams-Sonoma

I llooovvee Williams-Sonoma.

Target is my favorite store, because of all it offers (including Starbucks!) & its availability. I go there about once a week, whether I need to or not. The clothing stores I love are financially out of reach (Anthropologie, Banana Republic, White House Black Market) unless I am at the outlet or in front of their clearance rack, but I always wander through them to appreciate what they make. But my favorite specialty store... Williams-Sonoma for sure.

I love to cook you know, so what could be more fun than looking at crazy cooking gadgets & pans you can't afford but dream of using & cookbooks & sauces & fun things like lemon peel twists? Oh I'm tempted to hop in my car right now & go enjoy it all.

I've only ever bought one thing there (altho I have an apron & pot holder I got as a gift, pink & green of course) - their Balsalmic Vinegar. YUMMM.

I tell Josh often, one day when our kids graduate high school, I'm going to go work at Williams-Sonoma. I would LOVE that.

Anyways, a couple of weeks ago Josh & I were in there, & Nespresso, a company that sells their espresso machines at WS, had a representative in the store demonstrating the machines - therefore making yummy cappuccinos & espressos! So we got some delicious drinks & drooled over the machines that made cappuccinos & espressos close to how they make them in Italy (which makes sense since it is a European machine). SO, last weekend when I was in Austin, I (forcefully?) suggested my mom, my sister & I go by to check the machines out (slash... get a cappuccino).

It was samples galore when we walked in! Free coffee drinks, pumpkin spice cake, snickerdoodle cake with cream cheese frosting, & apple cider! Yes I had one of each. & I walked out with three free booklets - Thanksgiving recipes, Thanksgiving tips, & olive oil facts.

Williams-Sonoma + fall samples = HAPPY me. I LOVE that store!

Friday, October 9, 2009

"The saying is trustworthy & deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor & glory forever & ever. Amen."
1 Tim. 1:15-17

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, & thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings & all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful & quiet life, godly & dignified in every way. This is good, & it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved & to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, & there is one mediator between God & men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time."
1 Tim. 2:1-6

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Monday night Josh & I went to a concert! Not many bands of mine come to San Antonio, I usually have to drive to Dallas or Houston, so it was exciting that Mae came to SA Monday, we just had to go. The concert didn't start until 8, & three bands opened for Mae so I knew it was going to be a late night, so we headed to Starbucks first & sat & chatted for a while. That alone was a lot of fun too, we need to do that more often.

We didn't know any of the opening bands so we listened half-heartedly, then after the second band we headed outside where the merchandise was. We were standing at the table checking things out & the lead singer of the band that had just played, Deas Vail, walked up & started chatting with us, until we realized some actual fans wanted a picture so we headed off, then ended up talking to the bass player. We eventually realized he was a believer so the conversation became meaningful. He told us about their band & their ministry. They are not a "Christian band" but they are all believers that want to make music & travel to minister to the bands they perform with. He shared some stories & Josh & I were so encouraged by his heart, & were able to encourage him by letting him know we could tell he & the lead singer were believers before he even said anything. Don't you love that? The Holy Spirit in us makes us aware when we are talking to someone else with the Holy Spirit... cool! I also loved that we were able to talk to him & will probably never see him again on earth, but we will pray for him & the band, & will see them in heaven! Anyways it was a very encouraging, uplifting conversation & you should check that band out! Deas Vail, which means Servant of God (Deas is Latin, & Vail is old French, I believe).

It was fun to see Mae perform. You know how you listen to a voice for so long, either in a band or on the radio, & then you eventually see the face that goes with the voice, & sometimes it matches up to you, & sometimes it doesn't? It didn't match up to me. Mae has come on my ipod a few times since then & I think of the lead singer's face, & it is still funny.

Anyhow, it was a pretty small showing, probably about 100 people in a fairly small venue, so we were comfortably 10 feet from the stage. That being said, it was weird because Josh & I both made eye contact with the lead singer several times - usually when you see a band they don't see you too! Josh said he felt bad because he wasn't singing along since he didn't know the words, & he was caught.

& we were out until 12:30! Can you believe it, us old fogies? We were super tired the next day. But it was worth it! A fun night.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recipe: Enchilada Casserole

I made enchilada casserole tonight & it was yummy. Josh said it "actually tastes Mexican, not like a caucasian tried to make it." So I guess that means it's good? I thought so, anyways! I don't know where I got the recipe (I have a Word document full of recipes I find & want to try), but I certainly didn't make it up.

Easy Enchilada Casserole

1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (19-ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 (11-ounce) can Mexican-style corn, drained
1 teaspoon fajita seasoning or chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (10-ounce) package 6-inch corn tortillas
3 cups chopped cooked chicken*
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend

Saute onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until tender. Stir in next 6 ingredients. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Spoon one-third of sauce mixture in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Layer with one-third of tortillas, half of chicken, and 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers with one-third each of sauce mixture and tortillas, remaining chicken, and 1 cup cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, sauce mixture, and 1 cup cheese.

Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Prep: 15 min., Bake: 20 min.

*2 pounds lean ground beef, cooked, may be substituted.

**My modifications: obviously used onion powder instead of onion, & added garlic powder as well. I also substituted hominy for corn; I thought that sounded better & it did taste good.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall in spirit if not in weather!

Hobby Lobby had all fall decor 50% off so I bought a couple things for the house! Featuring some real pumpkins & gourds... I think they are so fun!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Italy part 5 - summary & observations

Basically, it was a wonderful vacation. We saw so many things that I will always remember, learned about Italian culture, & discovered where my home on the New Earth is located. :-) Josh & I really hope to go back one day.

I’ll leave you with the remainder of the notes I took:
-Italians eat their pizza folded. & yes there is a lot of pizza in Italy. Thin crust, not much sauce, with olive oil. Very good.
-Ambulances in Venice are boats. (Josh loved hearing the police car noise in Italy, because he had heard it often in movies & it’s so different than here.)
-Europeans are apparently really into see-through clothing right now. You could definitely see undergarments under the white.
-It is impossible not to get lost in Venice.
-They don’t seem to use ice often. & you have to order (& pay for) water there. It comes out in a big glass bottle. & they ask you, “gas or no gas?” because they drink carbonated.
-Colored denim is very popular there – we saw green & purple pants on men!
-They do time the military way – dinner at 1800.
-I sneezed a lot. Apparently I’m allergic to something there.
-Some public restrooms do not have toilet paper, or the seat part (you know, the part men lift up). Luckily I looked before I sat in the restroom at the Venice train station, so I didn’t get myself stuck in an unpleasant situation.
-Carnival is a big deal in Venice’s history (like when they would wear masks & party lots). They also have lions everywhere; they represent Venice.
-Florence has lots of motorcycles/vespas.
-“Prego” is Italian for: yes; can I help you; you’re welcome; please. Confusing at first, great when you realize you can say it in lots of different scenarios.
-The brooms they use look like our version of witches’ brooms.
-Getting rid of cellulite is apparently very important to Italians. There were advertisements everywhere.
-Americans linger over drinks (like meeting for coffee, going to bars to socialize) while Italians linger over food (they have 2-hour long meals).
-Drivers don’t get angry. They are very aware of pedestrians & other cars. Honking has a purpose (saying “here I am” instead of, like Americans do, “you blankity-blank-blank!”). People help each other without being asked… more of a sense of community, not as individualized as Americans are.
-In some sandwich shops & cafes, it costs money to sit at the table instead of standing at the bar. -We got a cappuccino & an espresso for 1,80 Euro. CHEAP!
-They switch the use of the comma & period in numbers… for one thousand, they do 1.000, & for one-fifty, they do 1,50.
-We watched a Spanish version of Deal or No Deal in Rome. & there were not nude people on European TV like I feel like we are led to believe.
-I love the Fiat cars there. They are super cute.
-There were kissing nuns in Florence that were pretty creepy… they made kissing noises & if they came up to you & you let them kiss you on the cheek, they made you give them money. But we did not encounter gypsies nor we did we feel like we had to be as careful to watch for pickpocketers as we had read we should be.
-Italians are more formal than we are (& so come across as less-friendly sometimes, but our tour guide Todd assured us that is not the case). They are also more laid-back, less schedule-driven.

I hope you enjoyed reading through our trip! I leave you with a few more pictures.

Where Peter's remains are buried under St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

The Doge's Palace in Venice at night
Our espresso & cappuccino... oh I miss Italian cappuccinos, so yummy!

Fiat :-)