Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We've moved!

Well, mostly. Some of the kitchen stuff and some miscellaneous items are still at the old apartment. We ran out of time and boxes before the movers came Monday afternoon. But don't worry, we still had plenty of stuff to fit in the truck...

This is what we have affectionately dubbed "The Room of Requirement." If you need something, it's probably in here:

Thank goodness for the extra room to hold everything! It makes living and unpacking in all the other rooms less trying. Once it's cleared out (maybe by 2011?!) I plan to make it a library/reading room, with some places for toys.

Amazingly, this move was cheaper than last time and we have MORE stuff. Here's a tip: Always go with the extra guy. It's worth it.

I'm off to do some more unpacking... more details (and photos) to come.


Saturday, December 19, 2009


For better or for worse, Fall semester is done, at least from my end. That means I can take a break from things like waw consecutives and Deuteronomic histories, at least for a little while. Maybe I'll get some fun reading done. Or better yet, maybe I'll get some SLEEP.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

P-Dub Addendum

My friend Sarah's post describing last night's events is now up. Yay! (That sweet tea was a brilliant idea. Too bad we couldn't make it happen.)

Also, if you want to buy the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook for a friend (or two), then it is currently on sale at Amazon for under $12. Too bad I didn't know that earlier.

Plus, if you already have one of her cookbooks and want her to sign it, you just mail it to her with a postage-paid return padded envelope. How cool is that?

Enough. Just go check out Ree's glorious website. It is addictive. You have been warned.


Monday, December 07, 2009

The Pioneer Woman Signs Books

Have I told you about The Pioneer Woman?

Surely I have. I've certainly made many of her recipes! Perhaps you enjoyed one. (But perhaps I just took the compliments and sneakily passed them off as mine. Oops.)

The Pioneer Woman is otherwise known as Ree Drummond, a midwestern gal, mom to four kids, who blogs about food, photography, and her life on an Oklahoman cattle ranch. I've been reading her blog for about three years now, mostly the recipe section (I remember when she first posted that chocolate sheet cake), but her story of how she went from an uptown city gal to the wife of a rancher, "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" is quite riveting. She's got a wicked sense of humor and a great eye for composition. Her fame has steadily grown (I voted for her to get those Bloggy awards!) and she recently published a book. Isn't this just the happiest cookbook cover you've ever seen?

See that lovely design on the brown background underneath her book? That's a t-shirt. How did I get it, you might be wondering? Well, that, as they say, is the rest of the story...

Tonight, I met the Pioneer Woman. She was at her booksigning here in Atlanta. She is just as warm and friendly in person as she comes across on her blog. And she was signing books like Babe Ruth signed baseballs while carrying on completely gracious and intelligent conversations, maintaining poise and composure with Sharpie in hand and cameras flashing. How does she DO that?

(I actually asked her if she uses Vaseline to help her keep smiling through all those photographs. She said, "No, but I probably should." And then she proceeded to execute a proper "pageant wave." I love that woman.)

My friend Sarah is probably blogging right now about all our experiences, so I will let her share all the details about how we ended up there at the perfect time and made it smoothly through the line in only a little over an hour. Sarah brilliantly researched the fact that we should show up way early and get armbands so we could go in with an earlier group, rather than getting there at the start time. Apparently, some of PW's recent book signings have lasted until the wee hours of the morning, so at least Borders was prepared.

The Pioneer Woman definitely draws a crowd. But it's also a very nice crowd. Mostly ladies, quite a few adorable kiddos, one or two lone males. We were diverse and chatty and super excited to be there. I have been to other book signings (mostly obscure poets and authors that only my fellow English majors would appreciate) and it was nothing like this. Tonight was like a big party. You couldn't meet a stranger. Perhaps it was because we all felt we knew her from reading her blog.

Upon meeting the Pioneer Woman, she made me feel instantly at ease. When my friend Sarah, her sis-in-law Vickie, our friend Shanna and I all went up together, Ethan was sleeping, strapped to my chest in a Beco carrier. The very first thing she said to me was, "You are too tiny to have such a big baby!" That is the nicest compliment I think I've received in months!

I was just beaming. And struck dumb! How could I compete with such a compliment? Wasn't I, as the fan, supposed to be the one praising her? I think I said something lame about how I enjoy her blog. Then she said, "Was that all your milk?" and it took a second to register that she meant did I breastfeed him and all I could say was "Yup. Pretty much." Tongue-tied, I tell ya.

Still, that, too, was a compliment I couldn't beat. I tried to follow up with "And it was all from your food, too!" but that came across as kind of weird. Still, perhaps she, as a fellow mom, understood. At least she didn't shoo me away or anything.

There was some chatter about a Marlboro Man coffee mug that Shanna brought her (who doesn't like coffee?). And something about her hand getting cramped from signing all our books (we had 8 between us, but some people had that many by themselves!). Then we were gone, thanking her for coming, gathering our things so the next group could meet her. We chatted for a minute with her friends and were given these amazing t-shirts. For them, it's like residual fame. Kind of neat. And they are just as graceful and charming as PW.

And then it was over.

Afterward, we went to Figo for a late dinner. I think PW would've liked the food, minus the stale bread. I just enjoyed chatting with my friends and watching Ethan try to eat a piece of bread with his pacifier still in his mouth.

I'd like to think that the reason this collective adventure was so enjoyable for all was because the Pioneer Woman writes about and photographs what she loves, and we all just happen to love the same things.

I'm grateful I have a whole slew of new recipes to try out on my unsuspecting friends and family. Thanks, PW!


Saturday, December 05, 2009


To the victors go the spoils.

Georgia Tech 39, Clemson 34.

The ACC Championship was a nail-biter down to the final minute, but the Jackets came out on top. A few reflections before bed-time:

1. Being the punter for Paul Johnson is either the worst (if you actually like to play) or best (if you're really lazy) job in the world.
2. Josh Nesbitt is one tough dude.
3. Once again, Scott Blair proves he can be the man when he needs to be.
4. I'm glad we'll never have to play C.J. Spiller again.

and lastly,

5. Most awesome fruit? ORANGE, BABY!

Go Jackets!


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

More Than We Could Ask or Even Imagine

Ephesians 3:20-21

When I first started looking at houses to rent back in August, I had a wish list:

1. A fenced-in yard for the boys to play in.
(Here I have to go down two flights of stairs, carrying the baby and anything like balls or golf clubs or strollers along with me, just to get to some grass.).

2. An eating area that is NOT carpeted.
(We have mats down, we clean up immediately, but still I feel like the carpet around our table is disgusting. You just CAN'T get baby food or applesauce or milk or any other liquidy food product out of carpet properly without steam-cleaning all the time. And who can afford that?)

3. Three bedrooms.
(The boys will share--hopefully, but Gaines really needs an office area where he can close the door and work at night or when he is home on the weekends.)

I'd like to think I'd have been satisfied with just that. Of course, we wanted to be close to our church and still have a decent commute for Gaines.

And do you know what? God gave us a place that answered all of those requests and more!

I picked up the keys today and did a last walk-through. I ran back in afterward to take a few photos...

Our cute little 70's style 3 BR/2 BA brick ranch:

not only has an eat-in kitchen:

(This curtain seen below was left by the previous owner and the landlord gave permission to get rid of it. Suggestions for something new?)

But also has newish carpet and flooring throughout (seen here with the original tile in the entryway):

The house also comes with a 2-car carport:

a partially-finished basement, an extra living room, a den with a fireplace:

and the best part of all -- a screened-in porch!

Look at that deck -- there's a big fenced-in yard beyond:

Oh, and did I mention there were trees? Glorious trees. I'm actually looking forward to raking.

God really does answer prayers! When we move in, you are all invited over for a big 'ole party. Maybe we'll watch a bowl game?!