Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back from the 'Burg

We rolled into town today from our 5 day trip with Dusty's family to Sevier County, TN. I'm simply exhausted from the trip so will post more pictures later.

However, I'd really like to make a big deal out of the WHITE CHRISTMAS we had up on Rocky Top Estates. Because we were so high up (and believe me, I have a video documenting our treacherous climbs and descents in which I am making all kinds of terrified, animated sounds that I might post later) we got over a foot of snow and it stayed that way for two days. Not that I'm complaining: I could be a recluse if I let myself and was perfectly content to sit by the fire and read my book!

This is a shot I took when we first got to the cabin on Christmas Eve:

This was taken sometime on December 26th, a mere not-even-two-full-days later:

Looking at the pictures side by side I cannot believe how much of a difference there is! Our cabin was named "A Dream's View" and while it's a little cheesy, one can definitely see why.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Currently Reading

I'm really diggin' this book.

It took me a while to get into it, but it was well worth the fifty cents I paid.

(On another note, I love scouring flea markets for good deals on books that are already on my list to read.)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Today I turn 25.

Bully for me.

I will be spending my birthday going to church then singing in a Christmas program. Not my ideal way to celebrate.

In fact, I'm pretty melancholy about this whole stupid

25 sounds so old but I'll be wishing I was only turning 25 when I turn 50--that in and of itself is also a pretty depressing thought.

So here's to my 25th year. I have a lot of things I'd like to happen this year. Maybe I will have a more eventful post to write when I turn (gulp) 26.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Well the ice is still coming and this time I'll be ready! Here is my to-do list for the day:

1.) Charge all electronic devices, i.e. iPad, iPods, cell phones, etc. That way we can still have some entertainment if the power goes out.

2.) Finish laundry: during the ice storm of 2009 the power went out while we had a load that was in the rinse cycle. Two days later I dragged a trash bag full of sopping wet clothes to my cousin's house (who had the fortune of getting electricity back fairly quickly) and the clothes were mid-rinse cycle when AGAIN the power went out! I'm not willing to let that happen again.

3.) Find all flashlights in the house and put them in living room.

4.) Make sure board games are accessible. We've really been diggin' Scrabble on the iPad but that's not very battery efficient. See #1.

5.) Make Dusty go to Wal-Mart to get Rudy his cat food. Wal-Mart is the only place that has the special food Rudy needs for his, erm... "condition."

6.) Wash sheets in guest room/ prepare guest room. This is just in case we need to house anyone whose power is still out. Rumor has it that during the last ice storm our little house (which we did not live in yet) didn't lose power at all! I find this hard to believe since just using my hair dryer causes a breaker to flip, but what do I know?

7.) Make Dusty fudge. I would do that anyway today because he said he wanted some but it would also be nice to snack on while sitting in a dark, cold house that's been encapsulated in ice.

So, ok maybe some of these actions are a little over the top. I just don't want to get caught with my proverbial pants down. And maybe since I'm going through all the hassle of of battening down the hatches, just maybe, we will hardly get any weather at all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Destruction, Take Deux

About two years ago Kentucky saw the storm of the century. In the aftermath we were left without power and water for days (for some, weeks into months), businesses shut down, trees fell, roads were blocked--it was mayhem.

Dusty and I affectionately coined it Winter Destruction 2009.

Here are some photos, just for old time's sake:

This was the view of some of the trees from my in-law's backyard. They look so droopy and sad.

This photo is courtesy of my pal Erika, who lives in Western Kentucky. They got hit way worse than we did, but some of the roads around here looked about the same! Treachery!

Gabby was about two months old when the storm hit. What a way to enter the world! This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of her-- her expression is priceless! To me it says, "Why is it so cold?!"

I bring up all these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad memories to say that tomorrow they are predicting another whammy of a storm. I really don't think it's supposed to be anywhere nearly as bad as Winter Destruction '09 but it is supposed to be bad enough that my grandmother felt the need to call all her grandkids to sound the alarm! Her advice: "Honey, you need to get to the store and buy some milk and Diet Cokes, and make sure you have plenty of blankets and batteries."

My grandma is awesome!

To be fair to her though, a lot of us around here still reference that terrible storm and I think we're all still a little gun shy, especially with a special weather statement that reads like this:

See that last part: a significant coating of ice on power lines...trees...

Yeah, this is going to be an interesting rest of the week.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I have to admit, writing the previous blog post was super difficult. I sat on it for a day or two. Then I went to post it, but hit the "save" button. Then a little later I went to post it and did an online crossword puzzle instead. But then I posted it. And I feel a little better, I do.

To cut the heaviness of the aforementioned post I thought I'd blog about something VERY EXCITING I'm doing this weekend!

About ohhh... 5 years ago my friend Devon and I hatched this plan that involved trooping down to Nashville and going to the ICE! exhibit. I say exhibit because I'm not really sure what to call it. Perhaps spectacle would be a better word. Here,

According to the kind lady at this exhibit is made of almost 2 million pounds of ice, carved into holly jolly Christmas characters.

There is an ice slide. Enough said.

Sadly, our plans never worked out and they stopped doing the exhibit. However, we discovered that this year, it's back! And they're not even doing the ultimately less cool Grinch theme. Score! So we've convinced the husbands to join in our venture and we're leaving on Friday.

Another exciting thing we will be doing is going to see these lovely ladies kick their legs in uniform fashion:

We will also be going to SNOW! and eating at the Pancake Pantry.

I'm coining this trip Mini-Cation 2.0, Holiday Edition. Our last Mini-Cation was a complete bust: I got sick at Six Flags, we blew a tire on the way back, and so on. This Mini-Cation will be better. I can just feel it.

It helps that we will be in the company of two of my favorite people!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Compassion: Has and Has-Nots

I bought my first "legit" camera around this time last year. I was incredibly excited because I'd be wanting a DSLR for a long, long time.

Since then I've tried really hard to learn the basics of such an advanced device. I have absolutely no formal training. Most of the time I feel like I've been put in a maze blindfolded and told to find my way out. Yet somehow, the Lord has really blessed my bumbling, fumbling efforts.

One such blessing came last week when I was able to use my bumbling, fumbling semi-talent to do family Christmas portraits for some of the women who are clients at Crossway Pregnancy Resource Center in Radcliff.

I had a blast getting to meet some of the moms and dads, and of course interacting with the children. Some of their stories broke my heart, and some were inspiring. At the end of the day I was happy with how things had gone but I also realized that what I had done had vast amounts of spiritual significance for myself.

About a month or so ago the Lord revealed to me that I am not as compassionate as I think I am. Truth be told, I have compassion for homeless people because I have a home. I can be compassionate and send money to Mukti because I have the money to send.

You see I realized that for me compassion has really become about the has and the has-nots. This is not true compassion, is it?

And this brings me back to the topic at hand. Dusty and I are not actively trying to have children, but we've been told by medical "authorities" that it will be difficult. (That is a whole 'nuther topic for a whole 'nuther day. God can do anything, things happen for a reason, blah, blah, blah. I know these things.) I have another set of dear, dear friends who are trying to conceive and are having a hell of a time. In my head, I've categorized myself as a "has-not" when it comes to having a family of my own. This begs the questions: "Who are the 'has?'"

The "has" in this area is the single mom with four children by four different dads. The "has" in this area is the woman who opted for abortion, thinking that would make her problem go away, not thinking how many women have tried for years to get pregnant with no results. And this is who I'm supposed to have compassion for? Me, the girl who has been told by her doctor that having children is going to be hard, perhaps even impossible? I'm probably going to sound like a terrible person, but that is a hard truth for me.

The difference is, I know I have this issue. I know my heart's position is not in line with the Lord's. And I want to change it.

If the formula for compassion is that the "has" take pity on the "has-nots" then being compassionate like Jesus was would be pretty easy. In fact we probably wouldn't have to rely on him at all.

But Jesus told us to love like he did and his love was equal. It knew no category and didn't care if you had a carefully planned out family or three kids and another on the way while being unemployed living off welfare.

And if it didn't matter to Jesus, logically, it should not matter for me, even when it comes to the areas that keep me up at night, that make my heart ache.

I had been praying for the Lord to begin changing my heart about this issue and not long after was asked to do these family photographs. And the indicator to me that mine is not a hopeless, unchangeable heart is that I was incredibly excited to get this opportunity. Now, I'm planning to attend the volunteer training meeting next month and to become active in ministering to the ladies who are clients there.

I feel like the guy in the Bible who said, "I believe; help me with my unbelief!" Lord, I have compassion; help me in my un-compassion!"

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More Advent

Not a lot of time to post today, but I ran across this on my Google Reader and thought it was too cool! Check it out, especially if you're a space nerd.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Freedom and Advent and Stuff

Today I bit the bullet and did my last bit of homework for the Fall 2010 semester. I'm experiencing FREEDOM for the first time in months!

I really have mixed emotions on how this semester has gone, if it was worth it, etc. I imagine it was worth saving my sanity, because as much as I felt stressed about turning assignments in on time, I was not forced to sit in a tiny cubicle calling people all day. That, in itself, makes all the difference in the world.

And, I'd say it was worth it because this is one of the first things in a long, long time that I didn't quit halfway through, deciding it just "wasn't for me." (Ahem, CNA, waitressing, working in a collections department, etc.)

However, the other side of this coin is that I'm not returning to ECTC for the spring term. I'm feeling my way though where I should attend graduate school instead. This seems like a behemoth task, let alone actually taking (and passing) the classes.

This all brings me around to the Advent season, because incidentally I have yet another thing to be looking forward to. And isn't that what Advent in the Christmas context is all about?

It seems like every year around this time I have some tangible reminder in my life of what it's like to be "adventing." Last year it was the impending visit of my family. This year it is what comes next for Dusty and me in the coming months.

And make no doubt, we feel like big things are coming our way in 2011.

In looking forward to our position in the coming months I feel hope. I feel happiness. I feel included. I feel new.

And isn't that just the way we feel about that baby who came 2000 some odd years ago? Hope because he brought with him the key to death. Happy because he is on our side. Included because he came to us, the marginal ones. New because that's what he makes us.

Advent. Quite possibly my favorite season.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Been a While

Oh, it's been a while since I posted. Like a long, long while. Like a month's long while. A lot can transpire in a month.

First things first I'd like to thank my friends and family members who have been so kind in offering encouragement to me these past few days. For those who don't know, my Aunt has passed away after a two year long fight with cancer. She is surely missed.

This picture was taken during my visit with her over the summer. Cancer is a wicked, wicked thing, huh?

On a brighter note, I'd also like to take the chance to welcome home my friend Charity! After gallivanting around the globe for a year she was finally returned to the old Meade County. I'm so happy she's home, and that she lives just a hop, skip, and a jump
down the road from me! Here is an extremely unflattering photo of Charity and me from back in our college days, about four (could that be right?!) years ago:

I think it's only fair after showing this dreadful late night picture to show you something like this, which just proves that I have the prettiest friends a gal could ask for:

Friday, November 5, 2010


While the rest of the country tuned in to their televisions on Tuesday night to keep pace with the election results, I gathered with my family to celebrate a very special little girl.

Gabby, I know you can't read this yet, but you'll never know how much joy you've brought your family the two short years you've been with us. Three is going to be a good year, I can tell.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Homework Cat

Rudy is the opposite of helpful during my all night homework marathons.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 22, 2010

Catching Up

I am currently trying to keep my head above water in one of busiest seasons of my life. Between school, youth stuff, and my "bustling" social life I haven't had time for much else! So here's a breakdown:

I'm reading this book. It's a winner. You should get you one.

A few weeks ago our youth had a free car wash. It was great fun, but everyone got a little whiny towards the end. And there was a leaf tornado. Not kidding, this huge bunch of leaves slowly started swirling till it was full speed throwing stuff all over the place. It lifted a bike helmet, a bucket, and a trash can and carried it all into a nearby field!

Note how everyone is just watching Dusty wash the car...

The leaf tornado-- you kinda just had to be there for this but it was the craziest thing I've experienced in a long, long time!

Also in this month we've had a wedding:
Frankly, just thinking about the rest of the stuff that I have to post about from this month is making me sleepy. And since I already have my computer in bed because I'm supposed to be doing online homework well... it's too good of a scenario not to rest!

More later, to be sure.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Simply Put, Pumpkin Vol. 1

This is the first installment of my experiments with pumpkin recipes. Enjoy!

The Process:

So I did a really poor job of documenting the "process"--could be because the basis of this cake is semi-homemade at best, using a boxed angel food cake mix. Let's just say that about ten minutes after this pictures was taken, my house smelled lovely!

The Result:

The Test:

This was Dusty's reaction after taking the first bite. Actually probably the fourth bite. He hates having his picture taken. Also, considering he has not gone back for more, he was not a huge fan of this cake.

In all, I was not a huge fan either. The recipe called for a creamy ginger filling, but I didn't have any whipped cream so I had to skip it.

To be fair, I'm not a lover of angel food cake in general. This cake wasn't bad at all, but it was definitely not the best thing I've ever made.

It did, however, pair nicely with a cup of Harden's Vienna Roast Medium Dark Coffee!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Happy birthday to my
first love,
best friend,

24 will be a good year

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cancer-- This is a Depressing Post

Today we got the news that we've been dreading for a year and a half.

The news that chemotherapy is now ineffective, that cancer has spread, and that my aunt is on the downward slope.

Cancer is the scariest thing I can ever imagine facing. Everything about this news frightens me, down into places that I didn't even know could be scared. Scared that my aunt is alone, scared the she's not a believer, scared that my mother could get cancer someday, scared that I could.

When you get news like this it's uncomfortable. Like a weight has descended onto your chest that makes breathing difficult. You know that you've got to get the weight off but you know this is a heavy weight to move. How can I fit this weight into my everyday life, because I'm not strong enough to move it?

And part of me hates that right now I'm also thinking about myself: how I'm bad with hospitals and with silence and with finding the right words to say. I'm bad at comforting and I'm bad with tears.

This whole death and dying thing is really quite awkward, wouldn't you agree?

I wish I had all the time in the world; I would go to Ohio and sit with my aunt and talk and keep her company and make her smile and maybe even laugh and I would take her shopping and feed her ice cream.

Because more than I dread the awkwardness, I dread being alone. And I dread loneliness not just for myself but for those that I love. Being alone is one of the most hollow feelings on the planet, and being sick is also hollow so that makes for a lot of emptiness.

And as a Christian I've heard that we should not fear death and that we should celebrate a person's life when they die. But what if I'm afraid of death both for her and for everyone else and what can I celebrate knowing that if she goes in her present state she will go not knowing the Lord?

What is there to celebrate with that? Nothing.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Simply Put, Pumpkin

I was having a chat with my friend Devon today and as tends to happen when we talk, our conversation turned to wonderful, glorious, food!

I mentioned that I had a bunch of recipes that I'd been collecting all year involving baking with pumpkin.

May I digress for just a moment? Yes, I can bake with pumpkin any ole time of the year. But I just don't feel right about it unless I'm well in to the month of October. And by "well in" I mean about six days.

So, I weeded through my pumpkin recipe collection and made it a more manageable endeavor. I'm going to do one a week and document my progress. Here are the recipes, in case anyone would also like to take a stab at them!

  1. Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream (Adam T., if you are reading you will be treated to this in a few weeks!)
  2. Pumpkin Butterscotch Nutella Bread
  3. Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars
  4. Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  5. Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Creamy Ginger Filling
  6. Pumpkin Truffles
  7. Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with Pumpkin Maple Syrup
  8. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
  9. Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
  10. Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins
That's ten week's worth of pumpkin recipes! Hopefully I will get so tired of pumpkin by the end that I won't want to venture back into that realm for a long, long time.

Or I will just keep doing it because I love it so very, very much!

Probably that one.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reason Number Infinity

I totally stole this video from my friend Andrea's twitter/tweet. I'm lazy and never find cool YouTube stuff but




As one person in the comment section wrote, "this is the height of bad-assery."

And it's true!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Books, Books, Books

I went on a book buying binge today. Behold the spoils:

This is a book I first read about here. I've been wanting to read it but kind of forgot about it for a while. I found it at Peddler's Mall for $.50!

I had to buy this book because I didn't have cash with me to purchase the first book and for some crazy reason they didn't allow $.50 debit card purchases! But it looks good and I like to read about travel writers.

I also had to buy this book along with #1 and #2 to beef up my total so I could use my debit card but I can't say what it is because I'm going to give it to Kid Brother for Christmas!

My friend Tony was talking about this book over the weekend and even though it sounds totally creepy I'm trying to read more worthwhile, weighty fiction. (Hence, I am currently reading--and really enjoying!-- Wuthering Heights.)

This book was actually a freebie that I got from this website. I haven't read it yet, but part of the deal for getting it for free was that I write a review about it on my blog so be looking for it hopefully soon!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I Should Be Doing vs. What I'm Actually Doing

What I Should Be Doing:

(i.e. homeworks)

What I'm Actually Doing:

(i.e. wasting time before I'm "too tired" to do homeworks)

Monday, September 20, 2010


Here is a shot from some pictures I did for friend Devon last week. Her baby girl makes the most hysterical, wrinkly-nosed face, and I think it can accurately be described as a "smirk!"

I'm entering this in the I Heart Faces photo challenge this week, so click on over to see some more great entries!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


A friend of mine here in Meade Co. just posted this on my Facebook wall:

Not having cable but loving the few times that I have watched this show, I had to investigate further.

I present to you the evidence:

I see it, I definitely see it. If D had darker hair, maybe even more.

At any rate I wish Dusty had this guy's baking abilities:

Thoughts? Do you see it or are we waaaay off?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gabby Dances About It

I almost titled this post "Cute Baby Vid" but then I realized that our little Gabriella Grace isn't *sniff* a baby anymore! In fact she will be two in November!

A few things about the following video:

1.) She had just woken up from her nap, hence the multiple yawns.
2.) She loves, loves, loves when Dusty puts his Photo Booth to the mirror effect, hence some of the hysterical facial expressions.
3.) Doesn't she just have the most captivating smile ever? *Insert mushy grin here*


Saturday, September 4, 2010


Fall is in the air and this is one change that comes every year that I genuinely don't mind.

Not only don't mind, I genuinely crave this kind of change. But it does funny things to me.

I want my next tattoo and I want it yesterday.
I miss my nose piercing and I'm considering getting it done... third time's a charm right?
I'm dying the underside of my hair tomorrow I sweet shade of Cherry Creme.

Fall just makes me want to change myself and it always reflects my state in life. And right now, I'm wanting to make a ruckus.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Day Off and Looking Forward to the Weekend

I woke up with quite the headache today, after going to bed with quite the fever last night.

So, I took the day off school. I feel "un peu" bad about this since I am now puttering around the house aimlessly. And I don't like to miss class. But my head, oh my head this morning!

It was like the whole world crashed into my brain when I got out of bed.

One thing I am very much looking forward to this weekend is our little trip to WKY to see some pretty rad friends:

This picture was taken many moons ago in a county far, far away. Three years, two weddings, and multiple moves later, they're still some of our dearest friends and a visit with them is long overdue!

Gilkeys, be prepared for Snyder Awesomeness to descend upon you this weekend!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Observation Confirmation

Occasionally someone at church will ask me how I'm liking school. My response is somewhat akin to a B-12 shot of joy for my heart.

Let me rewind for a little bit to my days (almost exactly one year ago) working at an unnamed cell phone company.

Someone would ask me how I liked work, and I would respond:

Oh, you know... it's work.

Or toward the end of my tenure:

I hate it. I absolutely hate it, but thanks for asking.

They would give me a sad little face or a reassuring clap on the back and I would go back to dreading mornings, dreading Mondays, and dreading life.

But now when someone asks me how I like school I've found that I can say with all honesty:

I love it!

I know I'm on the right path.

I know this is what I'm supposed to do with my life.

And I couldn't be happier!

The first time someone asked me I felt the old urge to give that "it's okay" or "it's not my favorite thing in the world" answer, but then I realized that urge is completely unfounded!

Today I observed in my first classroom. I can't even tell you how much I missed kids coming up to me and asking for help putting on their paint smock or showing me their latest Lego creation.

Today the Lord brought confirmation in the form of little kids asking me, "What is your name is?"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Don't Know What This Says About Me

While meandering around B&N on Saturday I ran across this book:

I can't help it, and I promise I'm not a Twi-hard, but I love this book! Would I buy it for my theoretical children or real life niece...? Probably not. Would I buy it and display it on my coffee table.


To read more about it and see some other pictures inside click here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Got My Hair Did

Today I went with my cousin and got a hair cut--just on a whim. It's still long; I went back and looked at old pictures of me with short hair and me-oh-my! I'm pretty sure the ages and stages of my hair could take on a life of its very own!

Exhibit A:

YIKES! That's short! And that's not even the shortest it's been in the past few years. Feast your eyes:

I mean hey now! I'm a pansy about a lot of things, but one thing I've never been afraid to do is experiment with my hair (hence the summer of 2006 when I spent three months with fire engine red "highlights." Ugh.)

So behold, my latest stage:

(Please excuse whatever random face I'm making in this photo. I'm just not photogenic!)

Verdict? Love. It!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Toe Tapper

This song has kept me dancing through a pretty ugly week!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Frumpy Mom-Me

I've thought that I would be a lot of things in my life, but one thing I never thought I'd be is a youth minister's wife. Even when I married Dusty, I never figured the first place we'd end up would be a church.

The thing is, as much as I enjoy the students I don't feel like I get properly "fed." I'm like a frumpy mom of 8-15 teenagers, putting her own children's needs in front of her own--complete with iffy home-done haircut (Hello Bangs!) and clearance priced clothes. Ladies like that either end up in a padded room or on What Not To Wear.

Part of my conundrum is busyness on my behalf and poor time management skills. But another part of it is really a product of my desire to always be hands-on with the students and help Dusty as much as I can; my desire to serve along side Dusty and be open and available to the kids.

Here's a scenario: instead of, say, going to the women's small group Bible study on Sunday nights I make snacks for the youth and then clean up the kitchen while Dusty leads their study.

Here's another scenario: youth worker volunteers at our church are scarce at best so when it comes down to it, it's Dusty and me planning the trips, driving the vans (or dreading driving the vans as I'm wont to do!), doing the Bible lessons, answering the hard questions or whatever. I feel worn just a little thin.

Am I sounding too whiny? I don't think so. Because when it comes down to it, I know that I'm in a leadership position and ultimately I am responsible for my own spiritual well-being.

I guess it's just that being a youth minister's wife is different than I thought it would be in a lot of ways, but I never really expected this kind of dryness.

Who ministers to the ministers, you know?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Monday!

How do you spend your Monday mornings? Having fun like Dusty and Gabby? Or sitting in class, like me?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I am re-reading one of my all-time favorite books: a little work called Confessions by some guy named St. Augustine.

As much as I love to read I sometimes have a very low tolerance for classic literature. I get bored with it unless I can make myself focus enough to get engrossed in the story. In other words, I'm a true product of my generation. However, it's not a problem when I read just the first paragraph from this book:

"Can any praise be worthy of the Lord's majesty? How magnificent his strength! How inscrutable his wisdom! Man is one of your creatures, Lord, and his instinct is to praise you. He bears about him the mark of death, the sign of his own sin, to remind him that you thwart the proud. But still, since he is a part of your creation, he wishes to praise you. The thought of you stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you."

Besides the Bible, I've never come across a book before or since Confessions that has prompted me to spontaneous, often time riotous worship right in the middle of a sentence!

What? You say you'd like to read it as well? Lucky for you I have a back-up copy!