Sunday, August 23, 2009

Changing season

What a beautiful day!  The weather has the first sweet whispers of fall in it.  Cool mornings, breezes, crisp air...I love it all.  Of course, it won't REALLY be fall here for about another month and a half.  I'm sure that the thermometer will hit close to 100 degrees for a few more days again. But days like today, they get my creative, cooking, and shopping juices flowing.  Changing of season always does.  A few things  Fall always makes me want to do:

1. Bake apple pie.  My Granny makes the best apple pie.  Always made with ONLY granny smith apples.  I've tried mixing up her recipe with different crusts and things before but I always go back to the "original".  She is MY Granny Smith after all...

2. Go camping.  I suppose this one speaks for itself.  Anyone want to go with Aaron and me???
Aaron is great at building campfires...and I cook on them.  Is that incentive enough? 

3.  Said camping trip is not complete without a lovely bonfire and s'mores.  In fact, in the absence of the ability to go camping, I will take a fire in the backyard with smores.  

4. Drink Starbucks Chi-Latte, eat a pumpkin scone and read a great maybe Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre.  For some reason the fall makes me want to read the more "gothic" classics.  Starbucks, please open a store in Griffin...

5. Change out my decorations.  Just a few key pieces, like throw pillows, in fall colors.  Or maybe some throw blankets to keep out.  I like these.  Greens and Orangy-yellows are going to be on order for some new throw pillows in the living room.  

6. Carve pumpkins.  I think something like this is going to be in order for my front porch this fall...along with some lovely mums...

7. Go to the State Fair, and eat cotton candy, funnel cakes, and caramel apples.  Ferris Wheel, here we come!  

8.  Of course, I need wardrobe options for all of the above activities.  I'm loving everything here, and well, you already saw the post on the boots.  Is it just me or would they be perfect for the fair, pumpkin carving, bonfires, everything basically except camping.  Since that post, I think those boots have haunted me.  I keep coming up with outfits I already have that they would make SO much cuter...*sigh*.   

9. Christmas is now officially "around the corner".  The "gift list" starts...and I start buying.  My goal is to always be done with Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving.  Rarely do I make it, but I usually get pretty close.  
10.  I'm ready for soups/stews and chili with cornbread.  First chilly we come!  

I realize I'm way ahead of myself...but on a serious note, Fall makes me so thankful for God, and his infinite wisdom to change the seasons for us.  "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..."  Ecc. 3: 1.   "He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. "  Ecc 3: 11   
I can't wait to see what God does this fall! 

Thursday, August 20, 2009


My mama and granny have always told me I have expensive taste.  (My daddy can't say anything 'cause I get it from him.) As a little girl, teenager, and young lady (well, maybe not little girl 'cause mama didn't take me to nice places, but you get the idea) this conversation was typical for shopping trips:
Natalie:  "Oh!  I like this one!"  "Oohhh..isn't this pretty?"  
Mama, as she looks at the price tag: "You WOULD like that one...."  

My poor mother.  I really do have a knack for loving the most expensive item in the store.  I know she wanted to get me whatever my little heart desired, but we just didn't have the money.  In the end I probably benefitted more from her frugalness than I ever would have her spending extravagantly on clothing that I was going to outgrow by the next season.  I have been greatly blessed by my parents managing their money well.  They helped make it easier for my husband and I to start out in life debt free.  Well, we owe on our home, but seriously, who doesn't unless you lived there 30 years.  It kinda makes me cringe though to see that we're paying for the house three times over almost in interest.  

I say all that to say, that, just after Aaron and I moved to Fort Worth, my sister-in-law, Kirsten introduced me to a sinful little store called Anthropologie.  My entire wardrobe could come from that store, and every season when the new catalog comes out, I drool.  Dog ear pages and drool.  And sigh.  Because, my school nursing salary and Aaron's minister salary hardly "responsibly" support a $120.00 blouse.  So, I do a couple of things to try and responsibly achieve the level of fashion I so desire.  I make a wish list on their website and watch for those items I really like to go on sale.  That makes the price tag a little better usually.  Or, I note their expertly assembled ensembles and then look for similar pieces at different stores.  A good store to try is Forever 21.  Urban Outfitters has good shoes sometimes, and you never know what you'll find in a random store somewhere.  I suppose that's the "thrill of the hunt".  Thank You Lord for the internet though, because Griffin is the Land that Retail forgot.  Except for the outlet mall (which has a nice selection of stores) we have a Belks, Wal-Mart, and Dollar Store.  Along with a few consignment shops.  Oh well.  Like I said, thank you Lord for the internet and shopping!  

Currently, I am swooning over these $298.00 boots. 

They are Frye boots, and I absolutely SWEAR mom, really, I would wear them with EVERYTHING! Maybe Aaron will get these for my "birthday/christmas gift".  Maybe I could get them early???   

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Simple blessings

Today I am thankful for:

1.  Frozen, fully cooked shrimp.  Dinner in five minutes? Yes, please.  And Thank You.

2. Friends!  I love you all for so many different reasons...

3. The technology that has made it so easy for slackers like me to keep in touch with so many people! 

4. Clean white sheets.  :) Yes, always white, and I'm getting to them early tonight!  

5. The rain yesterday, which means I don't have to water today!

(Can you tell I'm feeling lazy today??) 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Musings...

Memory of Rain by Tapio Hurme.
Today turned out to be a perfect one for "musing".  I had to stay home from work due to some random virus I caught over the weekend, which, when I went to the Dr on Sunday told me all kinds of terrible things were going to happen to me, none of which have, thankfully, but I still felt peuny.  So, under Doctor's orders to "stay home" and husband's orders to "rest, no chores allowed" (does he know me or does he know me??) I guiltlessly rotated between the couch and the bed, enjoying little debbies and chicken noodle soup.  I did disobey the rules and do some laundry, but not until this evening, when I was feeling much better.  Plus, husbands do not always understand the fact that the laundry (and other things) do not necessarily disappear because we don't do them today.  They still, at some point, have to get done. 
Anyway, during my morning couch rotation I was watching the newest Dennis the Menace movie and laughed out loud at the following conversation between Margaret and Dennis.  Margaret, Dennis, and Joey are all heading to the treehouse.  Margaret has tons of "luggage" in tow...a doll, her stroller, and the accompanying "accoutrements".  Joey (who is lugging most of the accoutrements): "We could have brought a lot more stuff if you didn't have to bring that idiotic doll and all her stuff!" Margaret: "She's not idiotic, she's an important training tool. Know why men are so lousy when it comes to taking care of babies?"  Dennis:  "It's because they have better things to do."  Margaret: "Like what?  Play Golf and drink beer?" Dennis: "No, like hunting, having wars, driving cars, shaving, cleaning fish!  Do you know how to do that?"  Margaret:  "If you didn't have women, then you wouldn't have babies, which means you wouldn't have people."  Joey: "If you didn't have men, who'd drive the ladies to the hospital?"  If you aren't laughing should be!  
I think it's an age old fight men and women have.  Who is more important.  I know sometimes Aaron and I go at it about who does more/has the hardest job/works the most. In the end the answer is, we both work hard.  I think the bottom line is, we all need to know we're important.  That we matter, that what we do matters, and that other people appreciate it.  Problem is, we're usually all walking around stuck in our own cloud of "underappreciation" to notice that others need appreciating.  Especially the people closest to us sometimes.  So...thought for the day.  "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you will be hardened by sin's deceitfulness" Hebrews 3:13.  Let those you love and appreciate know you love an appreciate them!  And, on that note, I just want to say, to any of you out there who read my silly ramblings, thanks for listening!  I appreciate you!  

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Fun

TGIF!  I'm always glad to welcome the weekend!  I've got painting ahead of me this weekend, plus a friends daughters birthday to go to.  I'm looking forward to the smores.... What are your plans?Just a little image to remind you to HAVE FUN! 
23 times of fun ? by KarolusLinus.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


It was not a good day for me.  Some frustrating things at work had me very down by the end of the day.  So, I came home, collapsed on the bed, took a two hour nap and then enjoyed frozen pizza in front of the TV with my favorite person in the whole world, Aaron.  :)  Thursdays are pizza night.  Sometimes we order in, sometimes we eat frozen, but either way, it's easy for me, and I'm usually so worn out by Thursday that it's very welcome.  Not just because it's easy, but because it's comfort food.  My bed is comfort, pizza is comfort, and this lovely piece of heaven will cure ALL that ails you! 
 My mom originally made this dessert for our trip to the beach this summer and I swear I was DREAMING about another piece of the stuff.  I made it earlier this week for a lovely dinner with some great friends, and was super glad I had some leftover in the house today.  It's called "Chocolate Rhapsody" and it requires a few steps, but isn't hard, and is definitely worth the effort (and dishes....). The recipe is in the post below.  Try it, you'll love it! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Great Adventure

I love the movie "You've got mail"  How far we have come from the days of "dial up" internet!  I have a hard time remembering a day without google.  I think I love the movie because, in many ways I am Kathleen Kelly.  So many lines she says feel like they could be coming out of my mouth.  "Daisy's are my favorite flower.  They're so friendly.  Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?" "Sometimes I wonder about my life.  I lead a small life.  Well, small, but valuable.  And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when, shouldn't it be the other way around?"  She finally had to be brave enough to dare to believe that she could have a different life.  I do not think I am a brave person.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  Thankfully, God has seen fit over the years to gently pull me (i.e. force me) out of the pleasantly routine, safe and comfortable place I'm in and move me on to some place where I'm stretched and challenged.  The amazing thing is that afterwards, I'm so much more thankful that I took the step out of my comfortable place.  And, an amazingly, the queen of routine has learned to embrace change.  Don't get me wrong. When I'm stressed, the first thing I"m going to try to do is either set up a routine to handle it, or run back to my old routine.  But I like the adventure.  We've started new small groups at church, and I have to say, each one of those feels like I'm starting on a new adventure.  As the song goes "Saddle up your horses, we've got a trial to blaze.  Through the wild blue yonder of God's amazing grace.  We'll follow our leader into the glory of unknown.  This is a life like no other...this is the great adventure!"  Here's to the adventures God has waiting on us tomorrow....