The Silly Life

Reflections on a life lived by the seat of our pants

Second Lunch {among other things}

In case anyone was worried that LBN was not getting enough nutrition, here’s a looksee at what I had for second lunch today:

Smitten

Which brings me to my real point. The deliciousness in the above picture is a recipe from MY ALL TIME FAVORITE food blog smitten kitchen. It’s a yummy, simple tomato sauce that actually tastes like…you guessed it…TOMATOES! It’s fabulous by itself, is super easy, it keeps in the fridge for-freakin-ever, tastes even better the next day and the next day, and it doubles and triples {and probably quadruples or quintuples if you can find a pot big enough} like a champ. Because it uses canned maters, you {I} can have summer tomato heaven in the middle of the {bitter NC} winter–GLORIOUS!

But seriously, if you aren’t already a fan of sk, I feel badly for you and really don’t want to be associated with you any more. Just kidding, kind of. Go! Read! Conquer! You will not be disappointed. It’s a promise from the totality of my heart {which always wants to share wonderful things with the people I love}. I have not tried anything on this blog that I would hesitate to make again…light wheat bread {a staple in our house–when we had one}, mango curd, roasted tomatoes and cipollini {best thing I’ve ever eaten}, mushroom marsala pasta with artichokes, cream biscuits…I’d keep going all day, but is it really necessary?

Click here if you are tired of reading my ramblings and would rather look at food porn. I won’t take it personally. But I will leave you with this, a glimpse of the ridiculous cuteness of my husband strumming his geeter on the back deck.

The Little Drummer Boy...

Sometimes I Make Things.

So, I have lamented the fact that my life has very little MEANING these days (you know, aside from growing another human day-in-and-day-out). I quit my job–which I found way too much of my identity in, btdubs–to follow my hubby to this cold, less dreary as of today place called NC. Because every morning I rise and bid my husband adeui to spend the rest of my day alone, albeit as I please, I have concocted many a way to waste spend my time wisely.

What, you might ask, does a (newly minted) 25 year old (newly discovered) pregnant lady do with all the free time in the world? Well, let me tell you! My life is pretty exciting.

I used to bake A LOT. Then I got morning sickness, and that was no longer an option. But BEFORE that I baked LOTSANDLOTS of cookies for my jolly husband to use for marketing his business. I say “jolly” because he took the cookies to AT&T and Verizon stores to win their hearts and thus their customer referrals for breaky/fixy phones, making him The Cookie Fairy…see, jolly.

After spending a little time in Charlotte I made some friends: it’s GLORIOUS! Sometimes I hang out with my friends, if they want to hang out with me…except that I have a very unique situation, being gainfully unemployed and all, and most of my frands have jobs and cannot play during the day hours.

Which means lots of quality time by myself.

Sometimes I make things.

Other, other things:

I don’t have very many original ideas, but I can copy other people real good. Mostly I look for crafty blogs and make the cute and pretty things I find. I got a sewing machine for my birthday from my hub’s parents (THANKS Y’ALL!), and I have been learning to use that.

For one (employed) frand’s baby shower I made her thisandthis that I found on LeAna’s blog (one of my fave’s for crafty ideas).

A baby thing. Burrito.

I have also rediscovered the JOYS of the library. You see, they have books there, and you can take them home FOR FREE! It’s amazing. I like to borrow books. I mostly don’t read them, but I LOVE to check them out. It’s the same high you get from compulsive shopping without the guilt.

Every now and then I exercise. But it’s been cold, and I hate exercising inside. So I don’t.

Most of my time is spent reading or writing. I get to spend a lot of time with Jesus, which is a luxury I didn’t have when I was working. It’s been really challenging for me to slow down and enjoy the restfulness that is my life right now. Last week I spent two hours every morning at Starbucks writing in my prayer journal and reading my Bible. It was AWESOME! I saw God do really big things these past few days because I slowed down and shared my burdens with Him. He is faithful no matter what I do, but when I get to spend time with Him I’m reminded that He’s the One doing it all. So sweet.

But sometimes I get a little itchy to move on to the next thing, the next phase of life. From what I’ve heard, I probably won’t have hours to have coffee with Jesus once LBN arrives. So this busy bee is trying her bestest to enjoy the slowness right now.

Oh, and as of Sunday I get to take a vacation from my CRAZY HECTIC life and spend a week with my hubs and his parents in CABO! I.CANNOT.WAIT.

And The Winner Is…

HOTTEST BABE ON THE BLOG goes to…

Drum roll, please…

Ahem…

LITTLE BABY NATIONS, arriving October 2011!

Actually, Adam and I are the winners here.

Or at least that’s what people tell us, and we’re trying to tell ourselves : )

But seriously, we’re really gonna be parents and we’re really excited…no, really.

That was the exciting announcement I promised 2 posts ago. Sorry if you came expecting to win something or thought we’d won the lottery (I know you’d be super stoked for us). Nope, you win no prizes…and we’re still homeless and crazy and now we’re gonna have a baby! Please don’t report us.

I Love Murder

Okay, so a pretty morbid name for a blog post, but bear (bare?) with me.

I LOVE nature. I LOVE black kids (pc?). I LOVE cake. I LOVE traveling. I LOVE school. I LOVE murder.

My love of all things macabre was discovered, like my seemingly contradictory love for neglected people, at an early age. In elementary school I liked listening to gruesome ghost stories. In middle school I started watching CSI (The OG, none of this Miami, New York bs). In high school I decided that I would make a good doctor because bloody, gross things fascinate me. In college I got married and realized that my husband preferred rom-com’s while I preferred movies that featured mysterious deaths. Apparently that’s not normal.

Now, NOW, I am OBSESSED with the author Kathy Reichs. I have read four of her books since November (I have friends that read, like, a book or two a week; but I have a really hard time absorbing things that I read and thus have to read them 12 times and thus read VERY SLOWLY)–this is a FEAT, people! All four of the books have been AWESOME.

Bones, Bones...

In case you haven’t heard of her, Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist (woot, woot for Social Science nerds; but she does sciency stuff too) in RL and writes crime novels that are loosely based on her RL exploits. Plus, she teaches at UNC Charlotte (hurray for academia!) and consults on murder cases for the crime fighters in Montreal. And as if she wasn’t cool enough, she’s also the RL person that the lead character on the TV show Bones is based on (sorry to end on a preposition, all you English snobs, mom)…she’s a badass.

If you’re looking for a good beach read (for all you Sprang Breakers out there…mom) or a plane read or a coffee shop read (cause it’s still not beach weather in NC), might I suggest ANYTHING by Lady Reichs?

Since U Been Gone!

Seriously, A loves this song. I am outing him as a KC lover. It’s been a while, but we used to rock out to her on road trips to SoFla. I should prolly have entitled this here little blog post “Since WE’VE Been Gone”, because we are the ones who are slacking it up in the blogging arena. I digress…

I haven’t washed my hair in days. Don’t worry, there are no pictures to prove it. Just trust me. I re-digress…

Since the last time I posted, not much has changed. We are still in NC, still homeless, still wandering and still antsy (that’s me, not A). However, we did get some much needed respite from the NC cold at the beginning of March when we went to FloRida for my birthday.

It was GLORIOUS! We stayed with my parents for a week, soaking up the sun and the love.

The day of my birthday (3.4) A took me on a surprise trip to McDonald’s for coffee (we’re fancy) and then to a STRAWBERRY FARM to pick strawberries. Our friends the T’s came and brought their little girls. We picked 12 pounds of strawberries, and they’re all mine! I will use them for something wonderful, but for now they’re in my parents’ freezer : /

Corn rows...

So, I need to express this…I feel totally slighted that there wasn’t a 4H Club at my high school. I guess there aren’t too many people in PVB interested in agriculture, and I prolly wouldn’t have joined the club back then (I mean had a reputation to uphold, People! Yeah right.).

But still.

The harvest is plenty...

I love old fashionedy things like picking berries and making them into jam and canning the jam. I LOVE farming, or maybe the IDEA of farming. I like picking and eating. Dirt and I have a tenuous relationship.

After our little farming adventure A and I headed to St. Aug to meet his ‘rents for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, The Columbia. They drove up for my birthday–so sweet! It was great. We walked around after lunch and ate popsicles from The Hyppo (delish.) and sat by the Bay in the (magnificent) sunshine.

I think I am HILARIOUS!

Saturday there was a birthday party at my parents’ house for me and my bro (he is 6 years older than me, but his birthday is 3.1). Also great–birthday party and brother. The best part of that was getting to see my nephew, who is 2.5 and HILARIOUS!

It was so refreshing to be around our fam and friends of old. Moving to NC has made it very clear to me that I LOVE feeling LOVED. It made coming back to CharTown pretty hard. For a while I just didn’t (I’ll explain why I used the past tense in another post) feel loved in Charville because I hadn’t found any deep friendships here. With time that’s changing.

BUT we’re here now, and Jesus has made my heart joyful (which is due in embarrassingly large part to the warming weather…but still, THANK YOU JESUS!).

More to come soon. PLUS, an exciting announcement!

P.S. Don’t tell A, who insists I post “small” pictures from flickr, but I REALLY like the medium photos better.

Displaced

So, I needed to share this adorable story with you all (all the many one of you, Mom). For Valentine’s Day I surprised A with what should have been a fun little mountain, hippie town getaway (see previous post about what actually went down). I told him, “DO NOT GET ME ANYTHING FOR V DAY!” advice which, because he’s the BEST husband, he did not heed.

He got me this little number…

Because he loves me...

Excuse the poor lighting and the lack of accessories.

My Love told me that he went to Anthropologie (did I mention that he has good taste?) and picked out this dress, debated over the color, the size, the weather, picked the winner, and went to the register to pay. While waiting in line he said that ALL THESE GIRLS were staring at him. I told him it’s because he’s hot. Then we decided it’s because EVERY GIRL in Anthropologie was wishing that HER hot husband was picking out an adorable dress for her for V Day. I think I PICKED A WINNER. Seriously, I have the best hubs in the world. He’s amazing, and I love that other women recognize that. Shallow? Perhaps.

ANYWHO, this post was not supposed to be about fancy dresses from Anthro. It is supposed to be about homelessness.

You see, Adam and I spent the last year (before thinking that small business ownership was a good idea…I’m still skeptical) working alongside low-income families in Actionville. We loved the kids and families that we worked with. We both have hearts that feel at home with the oppressed and feel like Jesus did too (not to say that that makes us more like Him because my motives and actions probably embarrass Jesus a lot of times). I was convinced that God wanted us to both be in full-time care for the poor and the unloved, stat. Well something got lost in translation, cause nowadays we’re small business owners and parts (most) of our lives look a lot different than they did a year ago.

I feel a lot of tension about what I feel called to do (serving the poor) and what I’m doing (baking cookies, going for walks with friends, and sleeping in). My dear friend, Alex, told me that people like us (her and me) have a hard time doing things that seem frivolous because we have to find meaning in our work, in our play, in every part of life. A does not have this same need. He likes to work and play and serve, and those are all different categories in his mind.

But despite my confusion about the MEANING of this phase of our lives, God has been faithful to put us in some pretty wild, humbling, refining situations. Currently A and I are homeless. We are staying with family and friends in NC and FL–cause we’re also migrants. Although we have a bed to sleep in most nights, the McKinney-Vento Act says that we’re homeless. I know this because 6 months ago I aided families who met the criteria of this Act. Now I AM a family that meets the criteria.

PARADIGM FREAKING SHIFT!

Our situation still reeks of middle-class because we did choose our homeless fate, but it is uncomfortable nevertheless. I now know the uncertainty that comes from having to rely on others. Am I asking too much? Are we imposing? Are they sick of us? I can’t help but think about my students’ mothers who probably wonder those things. I feel powerless. For one of the first times in my life I am the one receiving and not the one giving (which is totally how my relationship with Jesus is, but he already knows I’m decrepit; it probably comes as a surprise to the people around me…j/k). It is painfully difficult for me. I have nothing to offer in exchange for hospitality except the boxes and suitcases of OUR stuff that will take up space in YOUR house.

So until we can provide care for the needy, God has us in a place where we are needy. It’s like bootcamp for what I am hoping is next for us.

And until THEN I have a really pretty dress to wear.

Our (not so) Lovely Trip to AshVegas

Ahh, AshVegas (Asheville, NC). This is where my amazing, lovely, beautiful and hilarious wife brought me for a surprise trip for Valentines day weekend. The trip started out great with everything awesome you would want on a trip, Waffle House Breakfast for dinner, a beer tasting throughout the micro-brewery capital of the US, a hike on the Appalachian Trail, and a beautiful bed and breakfast in downtown AshVegas. Although we had all of this going for us, we were struck down by some type of disease and both rendered exhausted and feeling poopie = (

But none the less, we had a good time and are definitely excited about the prospect of going back (hopefully when there’s snow) and enjoying ourselves sick-free.

Anyways here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Our Lovely B&B:
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In the Mountains:
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On the App Trail:
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Tatau

Sittin' Pretty

So I have been working on this piece of art for a lil bit now (By working I mean that I sit and get needles jabbed into my arm that have been dipped in various colored inks). But it is finally Done! The pictures are what I have of the whole process…

The idea is Jonah and the Whale (or in this case a ginormous fish that swallows up people whole). It is my interpretation, not literal- so don’t bother telling me the fish was a whale or a blue seagull or a tuna-this is what I think it looked like. Anyways I like the allegory about Jonah trying to run from what God wanted him to do- but God still grabbed his attention, even though it involved Him using some monster to swallow Jonah up and spit him out days later on a beach somewhere in the freaking middle east. I hope that God doesn’t do that to me, but I find comfort in knowing that He will do whatever it takes to bring me to Him.

So many people ask if it hurt… Yes it do, but it probably doesn’t hurt as bad as you might think. It just gets exhausting, and I think that makes the pain worse after a while- it wears you down a lil’ bit.

The whole Tatau (how it is originally pronounced and spelled by the beautiful people of Polynesia) took about 10 hours of sitting time. The first session was just to get the outline done, next was the coloring of the fish and then we knocked out the rest with a wild 4 1/2 hour session (That was insane but I’m glad it’s done).

First  Stage:
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Second Stage:
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You may or may not be able to see the grotesque swelling in my arm…

Final Stage:

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My Friend Udi

Allow me to introduce you to my new second best friend (A would be emotionally destroyed if he knew I had fallen in love with another man).

This is Udi...

His name is Udi.

He makes me gluten free things, namely bread.  And because of that I am forever indebted to Mr. Udi, whoever he is.

Seriously y’all, I am a newly discovered glutenophobe (non-scientific word for gluten intolerant).  I spent the last several years trying to figure out what in sam hill (what does that even mean?) was wrong with my belly.  You can ask A, who took care of me after I had a colonoscopy (tmi?), it hasn’t been pretty.  So my friend Megan mentioned that I might be gluten intolerant and I was all, “No, I had a friend who was a celiac (scientific word for glutenophobe), and she almost died from it.”

But then, OH THEN!, I experimented with no gluten and HARK THE HERALD ANGELS, they sang.  In my language that means IT WORKED!  I have been almost entirely gluten free for a month and a few days and I am a different human.  And when I say “almost entirely gluten free” that’s because I cheated and ate pizza…and then I felt sick.  Wondrous miracles!

So, in case you don’t know or haven’t figured it out, gluten is a protein that is found in wheat.  Therefore, one (me!) who is gluten intolerant must avoid A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G with wheat (or rye or barley)–sad.  

Back to my friend Udi, he makes THE BEST gluten free products including bread, fantastical bread.  Damn good gluten free bread.  That’s how excited I am. Now this glutenophobe can have this:

Gluten Free Sammy Goodness

Amen.

The PODS Fairy Came!

When A and I awoke this morning, we dashed to the window. What to our wondering eyes had appeared?

I know, you’re on the edge of your seat…

So I won’t keep you waiting any longer…

Okay, for real this time…

A PODS pod! You know, for storage, but we’re actually going to live in ours. That’s a lie. But for real, it is so cool. I think at some point I really do want to live in one. Or maybe two or three squished together. Or four.

The PODS fairy came! Our new home!

Okay, I feel a little guilty that I told you the PODS pod (which I feel compelled to write out every time because you cannot just call it a pod, because PODS stands for Portable On Demand Storage and PODS with only the POD…now that just doesn’t make any sense) appeared overnight. That was a lie. Lying for the sake of a better story is a sin that I struggle with–or rather, give in to frequently and feel not that badly about. Oh, and sorry about the cheap shot of a lie about living in a PODS pod. A is even worse about “exaggerating” though and it was his idea. Blame shifting is another sin I struggle with.

That being said, we got to witness the delivery of the PODS pod and it was AMAZING! You should get one just so you can watch it be delivered.