Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Amazing Hike

This fall, I got up the courage to start hiking some on my own (with Hokie, of course). My first trek was out to Spy Rock.  The day was beautiful! 
Definitely windier and cooler on the top of the rock where I ate a picnic lunch.  

I'll definitely do this one again! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs

 I wanted to read this book to get a different perspective. I appreciate that Jacobs took a reverent approach to studying the laws of the Bible and attempting to live them out in our modern society.  His thoughts and research helped me think about my faith in new ways.  I was disappointed that he gave much of it up at the end of the year. As a writer, I was also disappointed that he took everything literally, rather than using his knowledge of the different types of writing to actually understand the Bible.  The most helpful books I have read on biblical interpretation focus on ensuring we understand the bible as those hearing it would have understood it, taking into account aspects of prophetic, poetic, narrative, and apocalyptic literature.  It is also important to understand the Bible as a whole and how all the parts fit together.  Jacobs' focus on individual passages does not do justice to the big picture.  He also largely glossed over Jesus and the New Testament.  I felt there were some assumptions made about the knowledge of the reader on the topic and there were definitely barriers for him as someone coming from a Jewish background. He did not allow himself to fully embrace the Bible in its entirety.  Still, this was an enlightening read for me on a topic close to my heart (the Bible).

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I love a band director

I have only made it to two rehearsals (and no performances, yet), but here's a taste of the UVA Marching Band.  I have the privilege of shadowing them to the Macy's parade this year! I'm hoping and praying for good weather!

Notre Dame game
HS Band Day v. William and Mary
Boise State game

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Jamberry nails

I wasn't sure about these, and I'm still not quite sure how they'll work out, but a friend of mine did an online party so I thought I would support her and buy a sheet.  I also won the giveaway set, which is super cute! I started with a sample accent nail as a trial.  I really liked the pattern of this jam (?).  I got too many wrinkles in it, so those drove me a bit crazy for the week they lasted. I'll get to try again with a full set soon!  My friend who sells them can be found here:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Recent recipes

I tried two absolutely delicious recipes this past week.  On can be found here:

Her original recipe suggested cooking the rice first.  I skipped that step due to the comments which said I could.  The rice turned out a little crispy, so I recommend the short cook on the rice.  Otherwise, this was delicious and I felt healthy eating this vegetable based dish.

The second recipe came from our PICU cookbook from several years ago.  It was entered by a friend who is now a travel nurse in Hawaii. Miss her! Loved the recipe!  I think anything made with sausage is absolutely delicious!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Maddie's blanket

I finally finished joining and edging this blanket for my niece who was born in March (just a tad late! I had a lot of schooling to finish!).  This was a great activity for listening to the UVA v. Boise State game.  The benefit of listening online? I could actually hear the band!

Pattern found here

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

A new quilt top in brightly colored batiks

I started these squares before I started school last summer. The inspiration came from a video I found on pinterest. I actually wasn't very happy with them since I mixed up the warm and cool colors and I didn't think the color scheme worked well. I changed my mind as I worked with the blocks this year. I went ahead and sewed them into blocks, lined them up to best coordinate the colors, and added boarders.  This is a throw-ish size quilt top.  I really need to get brave and work on finishing some of these quilts (with backs, batting, and quilting).

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Starting on Sunday, God began really been getting my attention on the topic of humility.  Here are some of the verses He has led me to:

Matthew 23:11-12
11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

James 3: 13-18
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Proverbs 22:4
Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.

Proverbs 15:33
Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

I got this book from the library book sale a few years ago and finally got around to reading it. It was definitely an easy read, and since I tend to love historical fiction, it piqued my interests. I now want to take some time to learn more about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. I had just been raving the other day about how we saved the world and I tend to get irritated when we are always apologizing for being American.  This book helped remind me that we have also made mistakes along the way.  I want to believe that those in power were doing the best they could at the time.  I cannot imagine being in their shoes and trying to protect the people at home while sending thousands of them to die overseas. War is a terrible thing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back to cooking

I have failed to take pictures of what I'm making lately, but I have had the opportunity to cook again.  Kroger had a great coupon offer through August ($10 when you spend $40+) and I took full advantage of buying additional meat and canned non-perishables to use them wisely.

I cooked for my Life Group last Thursday.  At the beginning of the year, we all agreed to cook healthy for one another. I was stumped about what to make, because pasta was the easy choice for a group of 12.  What else can you cook for such a large group?  It still being summer, I decided to make chicken and vegetable kabobs and brown rice (the healthy kind).  I don't have a grill, but baked the kabobs for 20 minutes at 425 and they were a hit.  I marinated the chicken in Lowry's mesquite marinade prior to cooking, which gave only a subtle flavor to the chicken once cooked. I added 3 small pieces of chicken, onions, cherry tomatoes, yellow and green squash, and green pepper pieces to each skewer.  I made 2 skewers per person, and there was plenty to go around since some of the group didn't show.  I would definitely try this again, although it was a somewhat time consuming process.  This was also my first success with rice!!

I also made a potato, onion and sausage goulash last week.  The recipe can be found here. It wasn't as flavorful as I might have liked, but that is probably due to something I did while cooking rather than the fault of the recipe itself.  This makes the list of maybes to try again.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Back to blogging

I'm baaack! I finished school at the end of July and I've been reading and cooking and I'm ready to be back to blogging these adventures.

 Most recently, I have finished reading The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.  She is a psychologist and he is a conductor for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.  The book is published by Harvard Business School Press and is designed to help anyone, but especially leaders, to think in new ways.  The book is segmented into chapters, called practices:

Talking with my dad, he thought this fell into the realm of "the power of positive thinking."  While this might be somewhat true, I enjoy the opportunity to get out of my box and think more positively.  I think it can go a long way in interacting with others.

I was also inspired to listen to more classical music.  Mr. Zander has a powerful way of talking about the music that makes you want to dive in.  Check out his TED talk.