Thursday, September 30, 2010

Freezer cooking night

This was the scene of Melissa's kitchen on Tuesday night after nine of us gathered for Recipe Club. We tried something new this time and all brought ingredients to put together two different recipes that would leave us with 4 meals to stash in our freezers. I didn't take a picture of the chaos on the other side of the kitchen- I mean, nine women all cooking in one place- it was a little messy! But this was the fruit of our efforts, stacked 2 and 3 high, chicken enchiladas and stuffed shells. Our little experiment turned out to be a huge success, at least in my opinion! Can't wait to try it again!

Monday, September 27, 2010

a rainy monday night

A rainy, cool evening; fall has finally arrived and it couldn't be more welcome. After a few days of sickness, this evening finds me better. So I've got a bowl of apple crumble, drizzling rain outside, a favorite show to watch and my best one snuggled next to me on the couch.

If that's not the makings of a perfect, rainy Monday night, then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


today, I'm thankful...

-that i didn't have to go to jury duty again.
-that honey crisp apples are in season. deliciously wonderful.
-that no one has fallen down the stairs on their bike today. (happened on monday!)
-that today is not laundry day.
-for a clean kitchen floor.
-for a new book that is kicking my butt. and causing some deep thinking.
-that it's officially fall, despite what the temperature outside would have you believe.
-for the library and free books that my kids love to read.
-for the new curtain i finally made for my kitchen windows.
-for phone calls with friends about nothing and everything.
-that my kids are healthy and we can run around having pillow fights.
-for my favorite meal on the docket for tonight.

And I'm thankful that even though I haven't had the best attitude today, He keeps renewing my mind (Romans 12:12) and reminding me of His goodness. See the list above for proof of all the little ways He loves me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Catching up

Thursday already and another weekend bearing down on us. Unlike last weekend, this one is partially unfilled and that means I just might get to relax. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind; we've had so much going on that I've barely had time to think about it all, let alone blog about it! But here's a few pictures of the last week or so and what's been happening in our world.

Last week Haven started her third (!) year of Tuesday School. She loved it and is excited about a new year. Is it just me or does she look so old in this picture?!!

Cale and I had a wonderful time celebrating his birthday at the Steelers game on Sunday. What a great guy to decide he wants to go to a game as his gift and take me along! We won the game in overtime with a touchdown in the end zone right in front of us! Couldn't have asked for a more exciting way to end it!
The birthday boy on the bridge as we hiked to the stadium. We didn't mind the mile and half walk on a sunny day in September, but it wouldn't be fun on a cold night in November!

Tonight we entered a new phase of life: organized sports! Haven had her first soccer practice tonight and loved every minute of it. Her coach is pretty cute, too!
So that's our life. Well, the fun things anyway. I didn't think you wanted to see pictures of the dirty dishes, toys spread from room to room or the face of a child in trouble which seem to be the things I look at all day long! But aren't those all reminders of a good meal, fun being had and in the case of a child in trouble, a good idea that didn't turn out so well?
Life is good around here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Golden tickets

My weekend is full to the brim of goodness. Which sounds especially good to me after a challenging week. The wonderful mix of time with friends, serving our community and time alone with my man await me. And come tomorrow....tomorrow, I'll be here.

Heinz Field in Pittsburgh for the Steelers home opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Cale's 30th birthday present sure does feel like a present to me! I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today, there is much celebrating at our house. It's Cale's 30th birthday! Last week we were discussing his birthday and how old he feels and he commented that I've been a part of his life for the last decade, a third of his life. (And of course I had to add that it was the BEST third!)

That conversation got me thinking about our life and the evolution of our relationship. We first met at a college retreat in the spring of 1999. I had traveled with my roommate 6 hours to be at this retreat and we arrived late that evening. Everyone was gathered in the main room of the lodge and my brother was running me around the room introducing me to new people. It was in that rush that I met Cale and for the life of me couldn't remember his name. I knew that both his names were kind of different and so in my mind he became the boy with the strange name. I never thought he'd make me the girl with the strange name, too!

Cale circa 2001

We've come a long way since then. Our friendship grew and developed over the next few years, even going with me to Benin, West Africa where I'd get a random email from him once in a while. When I returned to Cleveland our friendship escalated and before we knew it, we were dating. A blink of an eye later (literally- it was 3 months later!) we were engaged!

Newly engaged at college graduation May 2002

And before we knew, we were married, had moved to a new city and Cale had started his first full time job. It was a crazy year!

Newly married- on our honeymoon at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada
Now we've been around the world and had all sorts of adventures. Life has not been slow or dull over the last decade. I've had the best person in the world by my side.

Cape Town, South Africa January 2005 (pardon my crazy, wind-blown hair!)

We've grown up a lot and I've witnessed first hand Cale becoming the man God intended. I watched him throw himself whole heartedly into being the best dad he possibly could be and loving his children more then anything.

New family February 2006

Together we've had more fun then should be allowed. We've laughed until we've cried and have a slew of inside jokes and nicknames that would certainly reveal our ridiculousness if ever shared with another. But to us, they're golden.

Chatauqua Lake, NY October 2007

We've also walked through lots of hard things, just like any other couple. We've had to choose to love and hold tight to the promises we made. It isn't always easy, but it is certainly worth it.

Heinz Field November 2008

We've stood hand-in-hand and watched God do things that we never dreamed possible. He's led us places we could have never imagined and Cale has followed hard after those things, sometimes pulling me along. We are overwhelmed with blessings.

Our growing family July 2009 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Thirty years old today and a humble, kind, servant-hearted man. And I get to claim you as mine. How lucky am I?
See, Cale? It's been quite the decade, don't you think? And I've got a feeling we're just getting started!

Happy Birthday, my love!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September=fall, but it's still hot out there

Don't you love the start of a new month? A clean, fresh start. And September 1st is extra special because to me that means fall has started. I don't care that the calendar says we've got a full 3 more weeks of summer.

September = fall. Anyone with me?

But, it is 90 degrees out there today. Not necessarily fall-ish per se. So let's look at some pictures of our favorite activity of the summer: the pool. My kids LOVE to swim. Haven has always been pretty comfortable in the water, but this summer her confidence grew by leaps and bounds and she's now swimming on her own and even daring to go underwater. She earned herself a pair of goggles for that feat. Cale and I learned early on that we just had to let her go at her own pace. She didn't like us to try things with her in the water. She wanted to do it on her own and then she'd practice with us.

Don't you love the yellow and pink goggles she picked out?!

And then there is my son. He has NO fear. Jumps in, doesn't care who's watching or if anyone is around. This video that I captured so perfectly sums up his pool experience. I couldn't believe he did this and that I was fortunate enough to capture it. This kid is crazy!