Sunday, November 21, 2010


So, I've got a feeling that this is going to be a pretty random post. This is the conversation I just had with Brent:
"Are you blogging?"
"What are you blogging about?"
"I don't know. It's current title is 'Untitled.'"
"Sounds like it should be very interesting."

Where shall I begin?

School has been hectic, but still going well. Finished my first round of report cards last week and parent conferences this week. Overall, it was not a bad experience. I count that as successful. We also had another field trip this week, to the National Museum of the American Indian. It's one of the Smithsonian museums. Wait, did I really just say that? I am taking my students on field trips to our nation's capital in Washington, D.C.!? That's just wild to me. These kids are pretty lucky. We have 3 days of school this week, though I will only be attending 2 and then flying HOME! More about that in a minute. Considering our last day off was Labor Day, I am seriously in need of a break! I can't wait to not see those angelic little faces for a few days, no matter how much I adore them.

Brent and I, as I have mentioned before, are part of a lifegroup with our church. We've got a fantastic couple leading our group and have been going through a great curriculum by Andy Stanley about faith. It has definitely challenged me to take a serious look at how much I trust God with all of the parts of my life. I think the biggest change I've felt is in my perspective. God desirse for us to fully depend and trust in Him, not just when life is going well, and not just when times are really tough. In my experience (based on the tough year that I had last year), I draw closest to God when times are tough. This study has changed my perspective about "tough times" to help me see that God does allow those things because that is when our faith and trust in Him grows the most! When I was struggling last year, I was much more devoted to daily bible reading and prayer than I am now. (Yikes, didn't realize I'd be sharing so much, but here goes) I will admit that I am less consistent about reading my bible and less passionate with my prayers. I hate to admit that, especially after going through this study, because I SEE my choices are not right, but it's so hard to make time to do those, and it shouldn't be. Since going through this study, I have really felt this lack of . . . devotion, and I don't like it. One thing I've changed, is that I read my bible for the first few minutes of my plan time at school every morning. It's not a lot, but it's a start, and it gives me a solid start to my day. I challenge you as well to take a look at your dependence on God. When do you rely on Him the most? Do you cry out to him only when you are struggling? Do you thank Him only when life is easy? Make the commitment to devote yourself to him no matter the circumstances. Trust that He is truly in control of circumstances and will do what's best for you and His will. I love this familiar verse because it reminds me that what I see (or don't see) is not what's important, because I've got an all-knowing God on whom I can always rely, and so can you.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Speaking of things I do not see, I have not seen my family (aside from Steven, Grandma, and Grandpa) for 4 months! That is a super long time. But, that is about to come to an end! We are flying home late on Tuesday night where my dad will be picking  us up at the airport at 11:15 pm! Party at the airport . . . all are welcome! ;) Just kidding. But seriously, I am so excited to see everyone and I know Brent is, too. I'll be checking out for a few days while I veg in Oklahoma! A few things I'm looking forward to:
  • Seeing family (duh!)
  • Hanging out in the kitchen with Mom and Grandma
  • Staying at the McLaughlin's house (new experience!)
  • Making a trip to Skiatook to see my other family
  • Watching OSU beat OU in Stillwater with Nick!
  • Hanging out with my husband on our first trip home
  • Beginning the Christmas season
I'm just a little bit excited for all of the hugs, laughter, and delicious memories that I know are to come this week!

Speaking of delicious (did you like that transition?) Brent and I made PW's Chicken Parmiagiana for dinner on Friday night. It was glorious. Good thing our lifegroup leaders introduced us to this recipe! I knew we were in the right lifegroup when Pioneer Woman came up on the first night. :) In case you missed it this week, she threw down with Bobby Flay. And she won. I'm just sayin'.

Also, I want Bobby Flay's Throwdown Cookbook for Christmas. And then I want to throwdown with Bobby Flay. Are you up for a Frito Chili Pie throwdown, Bobby? Or a Chocolate Chip Pancakes throwdown? (Ooops, better leave that one to Dad!) Or a Strawberry-Pretzel Salad throwdown? It's on! Get ready!

And, I'll stop there. Wow.

Oklahoma, I'll see you soon!

P.S. I introduced a new and dear friend to Hobby Lobby this week. Don't worry, she's in love with it.
P.P.S. I'm watching Elf right now. Bring on the Christmas season!
P.P.P.S. I'm trying to convince Brent to do a guest post on here. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Familiar territory.

I had an absolutely wonderful experience on Saturday.

Columbia just had their Grand Opening of their newest store in town . . .


Now, 'round these parts, Hobby Lobby is new and unfamiliar territory. (Sort of like most things are to me around here!) However, for the first time since we've moved, I was in familiar territory!

Please forgive me if you have no knowledge/experience of the wonderfulness that is Hobby Lobby. You may want to stop reading now.

So, I walk into the store, and was welcomed home. I looked to my left and saw the Thanksgiving decorations and what I knew were infinite (or at least, close to infinite) aisles of Christmas decorations that are available all year long. I looked in front of me and saw picture frames and what I knew would be paintings and old-fashioned metal signs and candles galore. To my left were aisles of fake flowers, fabric, and the ever-popular wedding aisles.

Ahh, sigh. Happiness. I knew that I could find what I needed here, without asking an employee where these crazy MD'ers hide the Velveeta cheese or peanut butter. I meandered down many of the aisles, reminiscing about projects with my girls at OSU, trips with Mom to buy scrapbook paper for my school calendar that we worked so hard on, and of course, all of the wedding projects that consumed so much time and energy (well-spent!) of the last year. Basically, I took a walk down memory lane.

I didn't buy a thing. But I enjoyed every minute of my time in "this new Hobby Lobby shop" as I heard one woman refer to it in a conversation on her cell phone.

Thanks, Hobby Lobby, for the trip home. That will help me make it to Thanksgiving, which is officially 2 WEEKS away! I can't wait to be back on OK soil. :)

And, thank you, dear friend, for reading my ridiculously lame, but oh-so-true post about what Hobby Lobby means to me. You're the best.

So, so blessed.