Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions and such.

Goodbye 2009, hello 2010! Happy New Year's Eve to everyone! The neat thing about New Years is that my birthday is shortly after....yesssss more presents. I love presents! (That might sound shallow, but you know you love presents too. Everyone does. Stop judging me.) Anyways, what is neat about that is that I really feel, at the end of each year, that it is a brand new year of my life. New start. Another year older. It helps me to really feel the passage of time, which can be good and bad....I'm pretty nostalgic at times. So I do make resolutions each year, even though it is so incredibly cliche; it helps me to set the course for the next year of my life. I usually end up changing some, forgetting (literally) about some, and even chucking some out the window completely come February. Nevertheless, I think it is a good thing to have goals.

So...without further adieu, here are my 2010 goals:

1. Get up earlier to spend time with the Lord.
I did this every day in college and it was such a sweet time of communion and growth in my walk with the Lord. I NEED this time. Now more than ever.

2. Less TV, more books.
I will be posting my 2010 reading list soon!

3. Enter receipts into PearBudget immediately.
I've been slipping here. Not good. Especially when saving to go on a big trip!

4. Get back on track with my running.
I was doing so well! Then brochitis struck...dun dun dun... I miss it!

5. Put laundry away immediately.
Instead of letting it sit or pile up in the laundry room in the basement...a long way to walk for a clean shirt!

So there you go. No losing 10 pounds (although I'm desperately hoping that will happen with the help of Resolution #4). No huge life changes (though that might come with Resolution #1). Just some things I need to work on in areas that I've let go recently. I'll try to you keep you posted.

Here's to a happy, healthy New Year! God Bless!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Easiest Dinner Ever

Call it being "on break," call it "lazy," call it "unmotivated"....but I haven't fixed dinner at home in a while. Really, December has been really busy and I stopped even attempting to go to the grocery store because for a while we had SOMETHING Every. Single. Night. Being on Christmas Break has only faciliatated this, because laying around all day and then rolling on over to Grandma's for Christmas dinner has been the game plan this past week.

Today, I attempted to reenter the ballgame. I went to Sam's and bulked shopped. I made a meal plan for the next 3 weeks...did you hear me??? 3 weeks! Because I know once school starts and basketball games start comin' my way, I will retreat and lay in the fetal position and not want to cook or do anything after 3:00 in the afternoon. Dealing with teenage adolescense and the issues that come with will take all my energy.

So I reentered the game tonight with this easy, easy dish: Garlic-Tomato Pasta.
Here is the step-by-step. You ready??

1. Put on pasta to boil.
2. Get out a saute pan. (This was the hardest part because mine was in the back of the cabinet with a bunch of crap piled on top of it.)
3. Put olive oil in the pan. Turn it on medium.
4. *Optional, but really tasty: Put 3 anchovies into the olive oil. (Do not tell Patrick about this part. He probably would not eat it if he knew...)
5. Promptly dispose of leftover anchovies in the can in the OUTSIDE trashcan so that your cats, who are now circling your feet, will go light somewhere else, for goodness sake.
6. Use your Pampered Chef Garlic Press on 2 cloves of garlic, directly into pan. Stir.
7. Stir in some white wine. (Have a glass or two in the process.)
8. Dump in a can of diced tomatoes which you buy in bulk. Be really proud of yourself for having these on hand.
9. Drain pasta.
10. Mix all together.

**In the meantime, write a quick blog post. Really, it was that easy.

Enjoy! And Happy Almost New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

For you have delivered me from death

and my feet from stumbling,

that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Merry Christmas!

The Herndons

Friday, December 18, 2009

Prayers for our family

Our family lost a special little person tonight. Cole Puryear, Patrick's cousin, went to be with our Lord. Cole was seven years old. He suffered a rare stroke while playing football with his dad, Patrick's cousin, Glen. Our family is in somewhat of a state of shock over what happened. The doctors said this was a rare thing indeed for someone so young. From my short time in the Herndon family, I know that Cole was an energetic, athletically-talent, fun-loving little boy. Thankfully, he was surrounded by believers in Christ who trust in God's will and know that His will is better than our own. While we don't understand what happened, we trust in the sovereignty of our Lord. Please pray for our family as we grapple with this news and continue to trust in Christ's love and comfort. Pray for Glen. Pray for Cade, his tender-hearted older brother. Prayer for Cayci, his mother. It will be a somewhat bittersweet holiday this year, but we will call on the name of the Lord and be thankful that he has provided a way salvation in Jesus Christ so that we can spend eternity with Him.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Because I'm Always Thankful,

not just on Thanksgiving, for my amazing family...

And because I've been a slacker lately and keep forgetting to post these...

And, finally, because my mother has called again begging to see the pictures and accusing me of holding them hostage on my camera and I'm scared she might start threatening to take away my Christmas presents and/or upcoming birthday presents if I don't do it soon...

Here they are! My beautiful family on Thanksgiving.

My cousin, and former partner in crime, Scott and his beautiful wife, Mandy.

Uncle Buddy and Aunt Karen. There's a more normal (read: boring) picture of them where they are looking straight at the camera and smiling sweet innocent smiles. This is one is better. It's more realistic. The bunny ears say everything that needs to be said about these two.

Jenny and Ron. She's graduating from Virginia Tech on Friday! We're gonna party like it's 1999...

My cousin Katy and her friend. Isn't she lovely? I often wonder how I came to be related to all these gorgeous redheads. I hope the genes that skipped me end up in my children. I dream of raising beautiful redheaded babies!! ::sigh:: Someday...

The rest of the Price family. Beauties.

Granddaddy Robert presented me quite the challenge. What I am saving you from here is the series of photos I had to take of him just to get one where he was smiling. Well, half-smiling. That's about as good as it got (until I put the camera down of course). If you know my granddad, you know this is so typical. And so why we love him.

This is my Granny. I love Granny. She embodies quiet peace and strength and humility. And the woman looks good in blue! Told you she was amazing.

Neva and Granddaddy George. These two have a wonderful story that I will share with you somedays. I'm so thankful for them.
My cousin Andy and his lovely girlfriend, Jessica. I think Jessica is an amazing woman for three reasons: 1. She fits in with our family perfectly. 2. She dates my cousin Andy, who is also great. And truly needs a good woman. And 3. She has 5 brothers. This is an important reason because my granddaddy George, who has dementia and often, often repeats himself, likes to tell the story of his five sisters. After hearing his story 95, 604, 034, 239 times, it is easy to run out of responses. Not Jessica. She just comes right back at him with "Oh yeah, well I had five brothers!" We are truly thankful when she's around.

Cousin Nathan, who has a very sweet heart for people. And he's really good at making those video slideshow thingys. This talent comes in very handy in a large family with many, many graduations, weddings, anniversaries, etc.

Desmond and his mama. Friends are might as well be family. No. No. They are family. We love them.

We were also to celebrate some birthdays happening on or near Thanksgiving!
Dave, my sweet little (but taller!) brother. He's an old man now. I told it's all downhill from here.

Jessica. Look at that beautiful cake!

And Granddaddy George. The reason he looks slightly confused here is because Dave and Jessica got money in their cards and he didn't (he forgets that he's the grown-up here). Don't worry, later when they and my grandma weren't looking he snagged some of their dough and pocketed it. The look on his face was devilish. And pure joy!

I was thankful that my immediate family was all together. Dave lives in D.C. now, so this doesn't get to happen as much. It was so sweet to have him home for a little bit. Isn't he handsome??

Here's the mama. My mama. The one who threatened me about the pictures!

My dad and his companion, Roxanne the dog. Do not let Roxanne's cute little face fool you. She's the most hyperactive dog on the planet.
I was also thankful for the person who made this cheesecake. It was HEAVEN.

I was also thankful that I remembered I had these homemade pickles in my cupboard to share! My first attempt at pickle-making was quite the success. Delicious!

Here's my baby girl. Ain't she pretty? I was thankful to get to curl up with her all weekend and get some rest.

Lastly, I'm thankful for this guy. My guy. Because he puts up with me! And he loves my family. And he brings me flowers. And he wants to raise beautiful redheaded children with me someday. And he likes coffee and movies on the couch and Christmas. Because he thinks he's Clark W. Griswald and covers our house in Christmas lights every year. Because he eats my cooking and doesn't complain. Because he tells me I'm pretty and smart and that, doggone it, people like me! I love him. He's the perfect husband.

Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful holiday season! Christmas pictures will not be 2 and 1/2 weeks late, I promise!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Very Merry Thanksgiving

We had a lovely and restful Thanksgiving Break. Both of us were glad to be off for 4 days straight in a row. We couldn't believe it! Patrick kept saying, "Wait? I don't have to go to work tomorrow either??" It was great. We did a lot of sleeping, a lot of eating, and a lot of just sittin' around our cozy little house reading Twilight.

Well, that's what I did.

Patrick had to write 2 papers. And he is not showing much enthusiasm over vampires these days. ::sigh:: Someone has to keep up with modern day, 21st century, 9th grade girl culture around here. Might as well be me.

I got out of school early on Wednesday afternoon. Came home and took a gloriously long nap. That really set the tone for the weekend. Thursday, we slept in. I got up, made some sweet potato casserole, drank multiple cups of coffee wearin' my PJs and watched the parade. We went to my mom and dad's for my side of the family's Thanksgiving. Then we came home and took, you guessed it, another gloriously long nap. Then, in a thrilling and unexpected turn of events, we sat on the couch all night long and watched more TV than we have in ages. It was delicious.

I did make it out of the house on Friday to have lunch and browse some great consignment shops with one of my bestest friends. We had pizza at Grace's, which is the best dang pizza place I have ever been. I bought a great fitted vintage-looking fair isle sweater that looks as good as new at the consignment shop down the street. My friend bought a vintage black lace dress (it was awesome), a beautiful graphic looking pillow and some dish towels from the 1970s that were so cute. We managed to make it all the way through Black Friday without buying a single gift for anyone but ourselves. We're really good at that. Shopping is how we made it through college.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with Patrick's side of the family that night at his parent's. We finished up the night at the movies with good friends whom we hadn't seen in ages, and they had an exciting announcement to share!! (I'm not supposed to tell yet though, sorry. You'll have to be on the edge of your seats for that one. Don't you hate it when people do that?)

Today I did not get out of my pajamas. Like at all. Except to go eat dinner with my family before sending my brother back to D.C. At dinner my brother asked Patrick and I what we had done all day and we sort of looked at each other confused. Patrick said, "Did we go anywhere today? Do anything? I can't remember??" And I said, "I didn't. And you slept 'til 2." "Oh," he said, looking at Dave, "Nope, we didn't do anything. Just wanted to make sure." And so that was that. We watched the Vols beat Kentucky, laying on the couch, curled up with some cute kitty cats and full bellies. It was truly a restful and relaxing day. A restful and relaxing weekend!

We felt so blessed to have this time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lord help us when we have children...

...if we take this many pictures of our cats...

Sorry. I couldn't help it. He's so darn cute. Just be glad I didn't post the one of him snuggled up in our bed. Or rolling over on his back when Patrick or I enter the room. You would melt.
I mean puddle in the floor melt.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Look what I got!!

Ok so terrible picture and I know this is like the earliest made model of these things. It was such a beautiful day on Sunday and I wanted to run....are you ready.....outside....yes, where people might see me....scary. I talked to a friend at church who is a runner and she suggested a local park where it's pretty flat. The views of the mountains and the river are beautiful from here, so I couldn't resist. I called my dad and asked if he had a digital watch I could borrow so I didn't have to watch the secondhand go around and around, and he said, "I can do better than that!! I have this tells how far you go and it times you. I never use it! You want it?"
So he gave his Garmin Forerunner. Just like that! (I think technically I'm "borrowing" it, but he said he would just let me know when he needs it back. He tends to forget these things.)
I'm going to the beach this weekend with some of the girls in my family (so excited!) and I'm hoping I can take this little gadget and maybe get a run in at some point. We'll see!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My quest to become a runner...

So I'm on Week 2 of the program... and things are going well!! I waited until last week to start since cheerleading had finally slowed way down and I had more time after school. I have tried to make myself look forward to running, and have even caught myself in the midst of a crazy day anticipating jumping on the treadmill and pounding away the stress. I have also found that the key is to always keep a bag of gym clothes in my car. For example, today I was going to go to the gym. Then I went and did some errands and pretty much forgot about going to the gym (because I'm pretty much an airhead and just forget these things...), so then when I remembered about the gym, I thought, " I have to go home, change, and then come back out." But NO!! Lightbulb! I already had the clothes in the back of my car, along with my shoes (apparently I anticipated my airheadedness at some point this past week), so after my errands I drove my airheaded little self to the gym and jumped on that treadmill, feeling like a rockstar.

Please do not hear that I mistakingly think that I am a runner now.

I know I am not. But I am at least sticking with it. And that is far more than I can say about some other healthy habits in my life at the moment...

During Week 2, I have increased from running 60 seconds, walking 90 seconds (in Week 1) to running 90 seconds, walking 2 minutes. You are supposed to warm up with a brisk 5 minute walk, and then alternate these intervals for the next 20 minutes.

Today, after the 20 minute run/walk session, I was even fueled to keep running for the additional 5 minutes! (I always set the treadmill at 30 minutes, so after the intervals there is usually 5 minutes left to cool down.) I am starting to feel really great after my workouts, instead of just painfully exhausted and sore.

Next week is crazy though. Here's the breakdown:
1. Brisk walk for 5 minutes
2. Jog for 90 seconds
3. Walk for 90 seconds
4. Jog for 3 mintues
5. Walk for 3 minutes
6. Repeat #2-5.

Oh man.

Also, I would love to eventually run outside. However, these timed sessions prevent that from happening because I don't own a digital watch (and I REALLY don't feel like trying to keep up with a secondhand on a regular watch), nor do I own one of those cool little GPS thing-a-ma-bobs to track distance.

Maybe once I become a real runner (read: can handle more than 3 minutes at a time) I will treat myself to some running gadgets.

Yeah, I'll let you know when that happens.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Date Night With Dad

Tonight I went on a fun date with my dad! Just him and I. No one else. Just the like the old days. Patrick was (supposed to be) working on a paper and my mom is at the beach with some friends, so I called up my dad on Tuesday (ready for the weekend, eh?) and said, "Let's go on a date!" And he said, "Yeah! Let's go eat. Let's eat something that your mom and Patrick think is really gross and would never eat with us!" And I said, "I know! Indian food! Let's go eat Indian food!" And he said, "It's on."
My dad and I have always shared a love of exotic food. In fact, I attribute my love of exotic food to his love of exotic food. When I was in the high chair and my mom was insisting on mushing up some rice for me at the Chinese restaurant, Dad said, "No! Let the girl try some Moo Shu Pork!" And thus, it began. This girl has not met much food she doesn't like. (This is often my downfall. See here. And here.)
He called me today and said he'd been researching where we should go all week. We settled on Taaza. We'd never been but heard good food, good atmosphere. So off we went! I picked him up at 6:45, we jammed to some good tunes on the CD mix that Patrick has on repeat in his car, we ate, we chatted, we ate some more, and we chatted some more. We had fried califlower (which was great!) as an appetizer, chicken tikka masala, and lamb vindaloo (spelling?). Yummy! I love that we decided to get a couple things and just share it all. It was so much fun to have my dad to myself. Rarely does this happen anymore just because of the nature of our schedules and hurriedness of life lately.
When we left we decided we DEFINITELY need to do this more often. Such a refreshing time for both of us. I am thankful for the relationship that I have with my dad and how God has blessed our family. I'm thankful for a husband who said, "I think that's great! Go! Have fun!" And I'm thankful that my dad and I have things that only we share in common.
A good night all around and a great kick-off to the weekend.

Monday, November 9, 2009

For Beth:

This is Cousin Beth.

Beth is a (probably the only) devoted follower of our blog.

She is one of our favorites.

When she comes to town, we drop whatever we are doing.

We took Beth to the Salem Fair 2 summers ago. She is forever changed, we think.

Beth is the only cousin who has shamelessly played our "dive for pennies and quarters in the pool" game, despite the fact that we are all well into our twenties.

Beth let my husband take copious amounts of pictures at her wedding with his new camera, despite the fact that she had hired a professional photographer. It was the only wedding Patrick has ever thoroughly enjoyed. Including our own.

When I have issues about my ability as an English teacher, Beth reminded me that I am a good writer.

Beth told me to blog for our unborn children, Lord help them. She insists that they will care at some point in their lives what Mom and Dad had for dinner before they were born.

Beth, thank you for reading!
It was so good to see you this past weekend.
We love you!!

(And please don't kill me for putting your picture on our blog. You were a beautiful bride!)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

slowly coming into focus

Life is getting back on track after the 2 month cheerleading hiatus. Patrick reminds me daily that it is only MY life that is back on track and slowing down. HE still has schoolwork and lots of it. As we speak he is "writing a paper." Is he actually writing? I'm not sure. He may actually be reading online articles, checking facebook, and sneaking in some Midevil Total War on the side. These are his "pre-game activities" so he calls them. They "help him get motivated to write." Please don't ask. I have tried. Trust me I have.

I've learned to let him be and a paper eventually makes it out of the printer sometime during the night. How do I know? Oh, because he married an English teacher and I have to proofread EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. (I feel like this is slightly cheating?)

Nonetheless, we had a VERY productive weekend. Here is the list of tasks that got accomplished:
  • cleaned the house (!!!!)
  • learned to fold in the windows and clean them on inside AND outside
  • put away clean clothes that have been sitting in the laundry baskets for weeks
  • filled said laundry baskets with more clean clothes
  • changed the sheets on the bed
  • water our unkillable plant
  • lots of groceries
  • made some chocolate chip cookies for my expecting sister-in-law

and finally....[drum roll please.......]

dun dun dun DUNNNNNNNN


You heard me right. We had the pool open until November 7. A record for even us. This is slightly embarassing but I will say this in our defense: the longer we leave that thing open, the less time it has to get green and murky before Spring. We are only making things easier on ourselves down the road. That's our story and we're stickin to it.

On another note, our neighbor has swine flu (sorry Jenn) and her husband Trevor came over tonight to bring me lesson plans to take to school for her sub (she teaches with me). Of course, I'm in pajamas that don't match. (Why don't I have pajamas that match?? What has happened to my life??) Seriously, polka dot blue pants and a cheerleading t-shirt. And huge silver dangly earrings still in from church this morning. I think I was even wearing a black bra underneath my white t-shirt. Sooo Joy on My Name is Earl. So tacky. Oh goodness. I digress. Anyway, I'm frantically cleaning the house in my weird outfit, screaming over the vaccuum cleaner at Trevor who is in my living room dropping out lesson plans. Apparently I looked pretty stressed out, because he looked at Patrick and said, "You know, I thought about getting a cleaning lady to help Jenn out. To take a load off of her a little."

Trevor, you are my new favorite person. Please keep hanging out with my husband.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How the Freezer is Saving My Life

Oh man how I wish I had known about this while cheerleading was in full swing. I took a night a couple weeks ago and prepared several freezer meals from this amazing book:

I went to Sam's and bought in bulk like we've been doing for a few months now. This is saving us a lot of money, especially since I mostly cook from scratch and therefore cannot use many coupons (they just don't make coupons for produce, flour, eggs, etc.). As soon as I came home, instead of dividing up and freezing the food like we normally do, I took about 2 hours to go ahead and prepare marinades and pre-packaged meals, all to freeze and just pull out and cook over the next couple of weeks. This is working GREAT for us!!! We are saving money, eating home-cooked meals, and not spending tons of time (which I don't have) cooking.

I made granola (4 packages), barbeque chicken (3 meals worth), cranberry-apple pork roast (2 meals worth), and vegetarian chili (4 meals worth).

On Sunday night of this week I pulled out a couple of different entrees and put them in the refrigerator to thaw. Last night we had veggie chili. I fixed some rice and shredded some cheese to go along with it. Tonight we had the cranberry-apple pork roast. It was so easy!! I literally pulled it out of the fridge, dumped it into a pan, and put it in the oven for an hour. I quickly sliced up and roasted some potatoes to go along with it and that's it!! Done!! It was yummy and very fall-like feeling. Mmmmm...

Tomorrow night we've having the barbeque chicken. I'm going to slice up some apples and sweet potatoes and throw 'em in the oven like my lovely friend Jenna suggested.

Two of my friends had this British professor in college who would always say, "Easy peasy like sugar candy..." in a nonchalant, happy, British-accentish voice.
I think it will be my new mantra.
"Easy peasy like....cranberry-apple pork roast from the freezer."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On this gloomy Sunday, I:

  • worshipped the Creator of the universe, who loves me despite my sinfulness

  • sipped tea cozied up on the couch watching Gilmore Girls reruns

  • baked fresh bread

  • did not have to clean up lunch dishes (thank you, Subway)

  • am happily catching up on neglected schoolwork from the past 2 months

  • am looking forward to hanging out with friends tonight that we haven't seen in months

  • am loving the cute kitty cat curled up at my feet

  • breathed--for the first time since school started.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

So Proud!

Our competition girls got 4th in the district today!! I was so proud of them. They performed their routine the absolute best they have done all season TWICE!! While we don't get to move on to Regionals, it was definitely a day of excitement and pride. We overcame 2 injuries that happened in the last 24 hours which resulted in us having to us an alternate girl at the last minute, since one injured girl was unable to compete. We were so proud of their hard work!! I couldn't stop jumping up and down as they hit EVERY SINGLE STUNT and totally rocked our socks off!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I would just like to say...

I did it! I went to the gym! I did Day 1 of the running program! And...


Patrick told me I should set some goal, like running a marathon this time next year.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, baby.

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Time

I just got an email from our head cheerleading coach with the coming basketball season schedule. I was reluctant to open it, not prepared, at this point in the hectic game I am calling Life, to see how my time would be slipping away again in the near future. (Please do not get me wrong. I am LOVING coaching. It has just been crazy lately, and I'm tired.)

Turns out, not so bad! Between the four coaches, it works out to me supervising one game every week to week and half or so. Do you know what this means?? This means that I MIGHT be able to slowly dig my way out of the mound that has slowly been growing around me for the past 2 months entitled My To-Do List. This means I might be able to actually ENJOY the holidays without it seeming like a blurry mess.

Also, I am thinking about starting this program this week (thoughts?). I desperately need to start exercising. I dream of being a runner. I would love to be one of those people who "needs to run" (this phrase has never come out of my mouth). For whom running is "theraputic" and who just can't go without it.

Plus, everyone I know who runs is skinny.

I would like to be skinny. Just. Once. In. My. Life.

Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Life has been crazy. More like a blur since September 8th, aka The Day School Began. Patrick is back in school. I am teaching and coaching cheerleading and trying not to lose my mind/social life in the process. Meanwhile, we have fallen off the horse in just about every area of healthiness/sanity in our lives:

1. We have only been drinking soda for days. Weeks really.
2. The last time we exercised was the night we walked to the end of the block to see trucks repairing a water line break down the street, about a month ago. We saw lots of lights and thought there was a fire. We were sorely disappointed to walk all that way just for a water line break. And sadly, out of breath.
3. The laundry has been stacking up for maybe a good 3 weeks. Patrick is taking that back over soon. He did a much better job than me.
4. We are currently being very successful at sticking to a strict high-carb, high-cheese diet.
5. Often during quick trips outside, we will observe the rotting, decaying leaves in the pool and the clogged drain at the bottom of the basement stairs and remark to one another, "We should really do something about this." Then we quickly retreat inside for a high-carb, high-cheese snack instead. We have determined it is best not to even go out there anymore.
6. We have convinced ourselves that the clutter all over the house makes it look "lived in" and "cozy." These terms make us feel better. They just do.

But this is a new week. Patrick has a 2 week break from school. Competition season in cheerleading is quickly reaching its peak (Districts this coming Saturday and Regionals are next week) and life as we know it will hopefully slow down. Hopefully?!? Please?!? I don't know how much more I can take. We did set some goals for the week to make us feel more on the ball:
1. Exercise at least twice.
2. Do not go out to eat (I took Friday night to go bulk shopping and prepare some freezer meals...more on this to come)
3. Close down the pool.

Oh, and Patrick just informed me while reading this that no, my social life is actually dead. I'm going to try to work on this too.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


  • finished painting my grandma's old jelly cabinet and moved it into my dining area for extra storage
  • gave myself a much needed mani and pedi
  • got some good sleep
  • got my husband to clean and return the ugly metal dog pin that's been sitting in our living room from when our cat broke her leg 1 YEAR AGO
  • brought up the fall and winter clothes up from the basement
  • made a good trip to the grocery store
  • started that book that's been laying on my bedside table for the last year
  • got to see my good friend from high school who's moved back and her precious family!

A productive yet relaxing weekend. Perfect for the beginning of Fall, my favorite season!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weekend Plans

In a couple words:

1. Sleep in.
2. Read.
3. Wear pajamas.
4. Worship.
5. Date.

I'm reveling in the fact that I'm caught in grading and lesson plans. It's still early enough in the year that I'm motivated to get things done, and I mean GET THINGS DONE, in planning period. You should see it...I'm like a freight train! A grading machine. In a short time, though, essays will be turned in, tests will stack up, the "to be filed" pile will be uncontrollable, and I will slowly begin to lose my mind (and my free time).

For now, peace like a river.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 1 Down

It's midnight on Sunday and I still haven't gone to bed. I don't have to teach tomorrow because our principal is coming to speak to all my classes on school rules (a routine, beginning of the year procedure) so I feel like a little kid who gets to stay up past their bedtime!! On a school night!

So I survived the first week of school with a much more peaceful attitude than I had antcipated. I made my To Do List during teacher work week, completed it, and showed up on the First Day of School calmer and more relaxed than I really thought I would be (despite the fact that I could not sleep the night before...). I have a first period this year so getting to school on time is a MUST and I must say I have done a superior job so far! I've gotten up when the alarm clock goes off and only managed to hit snooze once. We'll see if that's still the deal come November...

My kids this year are much quieter than last year! I will say, I miss my former students like crazy!! I feel like a mama whose baby chicks have flown the coop. I had visits from lots of them throughout the week and am looking forward to the point in the next couple weeks when my current students start to feel like my own in the same way my former students did. It's nice to know more kids in the school as well and not be the newbie on the block anymore.

Hopefully Week 2 be even better as we start to get into the flow of the class and I get back in the habit of running a classroom. Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back to School Eve

The last load of laundry is in the wash so that I have the absolute full spectrum of my clothes from which to choose my First Day of School Outfit.

Today I stocked the fridge/pantry with peanut butter, jelly, banana, apples, and plenty of bread.

Mom bought me a new Teacher Bag so that I can finally ditch the ugly black square briefcase-looking thing they give us to carry our laptops in. Hello red snakeskin with a shiny buckle! You will make leaving for work in the dark each morning not so dreary.

I also bought new travel mugs. There are never enough when we're both working.

Pencils are yet to be sharpened and I still have to put the finishing touches on my First Day PowerPoint.

Tomorrow is coming so quickly...

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Married Person Date

Shared a pepperoni, mushroom, and onion pizza
Cherry coke (my first soda in 2 weeks) to boot
Catching up on our bulk grocery shopping
"Surprise" bouquet of daisies in honor of finishing Grad school
Stopping off at Food Lion for a bottle of champagne
Home to hang out and enjoy each other's company

A lovely time was had by all.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Diet Ball

I dropped it.

Yep. Again.

That's ok...the important thing is that I keep picking it back up, right?

So tomorrow I'm starting this. This challenge follows the basic guidelines for the Abs diet, I will just be adding spinach or kale to my smoothies (stop turning up your nose; you can't even taste it!) and eating a salad with dinner (hopefully instead of having a second helping).

I have read really good things about green smoothies. Lindsey talks about them here (I don't know Lindsey, but I love her blog!) There is also good information here and here. No, I'm not going all "raw-food" on you. Yuck! I like to cook wayyyy too much (really, probaby too much. Seriously. That's why we're where we are in this whole diet thing, people.) Just trying to be a little more healthy. I'm also hoping to rev up my immune system with the start of the school year looming. I always get sick the first few weeks of school as my immune system adjusts to living in a moldy cave for 8 hours of the day and interacting with/touching papers handled by/being in the same vicinity as a thousand snotty teenagers. That is not mean; I love teenagers. Really I do. But they can be a little snotty at times, admit it.

So, a green smoothie each day, no white sugar, no soda, a salad with dinner, and 15 minutes of activity. 30 days. We'll see!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I keep wanting to sing the Oklahoma song, except we're in Indiana. But it sort of works, right? The wind is sweeping through that's for sure, giving me the ultra hot wind-blown look as we walked in the building for Patrick's orientation.

My hubby is starting grad school. ::Sigh:: He's doing a "hybrid program" through Taylor University in Indiana, a 16-month program through which he will receive his Masters of Business Administration. He chose Taylor for several reasons:
1. He sort of wanted to go to undergrad there, but life had different ideas.
2. They have a great program that centers around a practical Christian worldview of business. That was important to him (and me) as we seek to live every area of our lives to glory of God.
3. The hybrid program is cool because he comes to Indiana twice a semester for 2-day seminars then does the rest online so it's sort of a mix between sitting in an actual class and distance learning. This is good for his learning style (Don't get me started on learning styles. I have to start teaching again in a couple weeks. Ugh. Not ready...that's my new middle name).
4. The hotel where we stay is connected to a flippin' sweet mall.

Ok, number 4 is actually why I like this program. I got to come for this trip and will be spending my free time (window) shopping, sleeping in the (flippin' sweet) hotel room (thank you,, and reading FOR PLEASURE.

I accompanied Patrick to his orientation tonight and kept having mild panic attacks everytime the lady started explaining how to submit assignments, check blackboard, and communicate with group members for projects. I DON'T WANT TO DO ASSIGNMENTS.... I DON'T WANT TO WRITE ANYMORE PAPERS... PLEASE NO MORE GROUP PROJECTS... But then the most glorious thing happened: I REMEMBERED THAT I AM NOT THE ONE IN SCHOOL!! THIS IS NOT MY ORIENTATION! I am, in fact, done with school (except the fact that my profession requires me to go to school every single day, but teaching is so much better than being a student. I'm so done with being a student.) So my panic attack subsided and I relaxed, looked at my hubby--so eager to check his backboard and take notes in class, and gave thanks that it was him and not me. (Such a supportive wife, huh.)

Well, the supportive wife did kick in, thank you very much, when Patrick dropped me off at the hotel after a delicious Mexican dinner and headed back to begin his first classes. I felt like a proud, worried mama sending off her baby on the first day of school. "Have fun! Make new friends! I'll be there when you get home!" I kept saying to him. (I also nagged him profusely about getting him a new backpack or some mechanical pencils while I am out tomorrow.)

Seriously though, I am SO proud of him for sticking to his goals and going back to school. He said he would as soon as I was done, but we always secretly feared life would just be too crazy by then. Well, life is crazy, but he is going for it anyway. Pray for us! Fall is going to be a doozy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Update on PearBudget

We are about 1 week into our attempt at a new budget system, and I think I can say that IT'S WORKING?! We are using PearBudget, which allows you to categorize your expenses as you enter in your receipts daily. I must say that having to attach a "label" to every single cent you spend really makes you think hard whether you actually want the item or not.

Last night I had a few minutes to spare before I had to be at a school meeting so I stopped by Fresh Market (we had gone to inner near by). Usually I'm so compelled to make impulse purchases at Fresh Market because everything smells so nice and is packaged so beautifully (yes, I'm a sucker for good marketing...yes, I was a marketing major and should be able to see through all the pizzazz...), but as I walked through the store I kept thinking about the $157.62 I have left in the "groceries" category for this month. Do I really want to eat it up (no pun intended) with this box of fancy tea or a pound of overpriced coffee when we already have these things at home?

Another great benefit is that Patrick and I both see where money is going. Before, he did the budgeting and I just ran most of my purchases by him, getting mad if he told me no on something. Now I can see it too as it's all laid out in neat little columns and I can better understand why he might say no at a certain point in the month, etc. Since I'm responsible for entering the receipts for the day, we sort of report to each other each night what we spent. This holds us accountable to each other as well for how we're spending our money.

The verdict for Week 1 is: so far, so good. I'll continue to report as we encounter any interesting situations.

OH! I almost forgot! PearBudget also has a blog, which has great tips for saving and budgeting! I mean good tips, doable tips. This product is really great.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I <3 Veggies.

Patrick did not like this super delicious amazing salad.

That's ok! More for me :)
Ignore the poor lighting. The salad was very pretty despite what this photo would have you think.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sabbath Compilation

To God be the glory
Great things He hath done...

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Jesus, author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

My chains are gone, I've been set free.

It's my joy to honor You.
In all I do, I honor You.

Oh the Wonderful Cross
Bids me come and die
to find that I might truly live

Shape and fashion us
in Your likeness
That the light of Christ
might be seen today
in our acts of love
and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord
and fulfill in us
all Your purposes
for Your glory.

My chains are gone, I've been set free.

It's my joy to honor You.
In all I do, I honor You.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


We have tried thousands (ok a little exaggeration) of methods for keeping up with our budget yet still somehow continuously overspend each month and cannot figure out why. This week we decided to put it all down on paper and just see exactly WHAT THE DEAL IS. Patrick printed out all of our monthly statements (we rarely use cash...this could be our problem, I know. All you Dave Ramsey folks out there can stop muttering to yourselves now.) We went through line by line and categorized EVERYTHING. This was exhausting.

Finally, we settled on a new system that will hopefully work for us in the near (VERY near) future. We decided to use PearBudget, which allows you to make as many different categories as humanly possible (ok, we even made a coffee category. We are insane, I know. That is a whole other post topic.) Then you enter your anticipated monthly income. Then, it tells you how much you are over or under budget in your plans. It then allows you to play around with the numbers (if you are over, which, of course, we were) to get things more in line. Everyday you enter any receipts, designating the category. My FAVORITE part about this program though is that it allows you to print "GoCards" which are quick little print outs of available balances in each category. Hopefully when I see that I only have $51.62 left for groceries that month I WILL ACTUALLY STOP MYSELF AND NOT SPEND $23043.87 AT THE GROCERY STORE (again, slight exaggeration but you get the point). Anyways, this is the plan-the new plan-as of this moment.

I will let you know at the end of the month how it all comes out. (Unless of course I'm extremely embarassed about my huge addiction to spending money. If you don't hear from me, you'll know what happened...)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bring It On!

The cheerleading season has begun! I'm the co-coach of JV and an assistant coach to our competition squad. Our season kicked off on Monday morning, 8 a.m., and since then I have spend many hours indian style on those blue mats watching band chants, sideline cheers being learned, elevators, straight-ups, libs, and round-off back springs, occasionally getting up my nerve to give my input, correct motions, and offer suggestions. It's throwing me back to the many days I spent on those very same mats, learning those very same cheers, and throwing the very same stunts. I AM HAVING A BLAST! Our head coach and the other assistant coach actually cheered on the squad with me so, of course, we are daily immersing ourselves in good healthy doses of nostalgia.

The funny part is I have those cheers and band chants so etched into my mind that as soon as we cut on the music, it all came flooding back.

I'm excited about the season and am sure that as it gets going, I will feel more and more comfortable in my role as a coach. I did do some assistant coaching for a high school squad during my days at W & M but have been out of it for so long that it's taken me a little while to get my groove back. Each day though, I am praying for strength, for wisdom, for opportunities to love on the girls and for relationships with the girls to be strong. As a follower of Christ my ultimate goal is to be able to share His love and the gospel with each girl who doesn't know the freeing grace of our Savior. I'm viewing this as a great opportunity to be more involved in the school and to get to know some students on a deeper level. And why not have a little fun doing it!!

Pray for me as the days have been enjoyable but long. I'm coming home exhausted (from sitting and watching? This puzzles me, but nevertheless. Perhaps mental exhaustion.) This fall will be a little crazy as I juggle school and cheerleading and having a husband going back to school. We decided to go all college-student again and spend many late nights typing away (or grading papers...that would be me.) in our local coffee shop.

This will keep us young right?? That's our hope!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Little House on... Haydon Street?

We talked to our people in Australia (we have people in Australia! How cool is that?). Patrick’s sister, her husband, and their daughter live on Kangaroo Island (YES, that is a real place!), and we will be visiting next summer. We like getting to touch base with them every once in a while on the phone. During our last conversation, Amy, my 7-year-old niece, desperately wanted to talk to me. As soon as she got on the phone, she didn’t even say hello, just launched straight into a full-on discussion of her latest favorite read, Little House on the Prairie.

“Aunt Emily, I have been reading about Laura Ingalls! Do you know her?”
“I remember reading that book! I loved it!” (my response)
“And I am watching her too on the television!” (Remember, she’s Australian, so all of this in a sweet little accent)

Then I went to school for a couple days to meet with the team of teachers with whom I work. Wes, my co-worker, commented on how long my hair has gotten since he’d seen me at the end of the school year.

“Oh, are you growing it out to put into a bun?!”
“Huh?” (my response)
“Oh, my daughter is reading Little House on the Prairie and all she talks about is growing her hair out to put into a bun like Laura.” (How cute is that?)

So apparently LHOTP is a hot topic among the seven and eight year old crowd these days. Maybe I should re-read?

This is all to say that I am feeling very prairie-ish these days. I made my own jam and pickles and canned them the other day (just to see if I could do it). Today, I am making my own yogurt in the slow-cooker (recipe from here). I also have all ingredients ready for making my own bread the minute this current store-bought loaf runs out. And I noticed, while typing this post, that my hair ACTUALLY is pulled into a (somewhat messy) bun. I have also tampered with my sewing machine a little this summer, again just to see if I could do it. A friend gave me a recipe for making my own laundry detergent, which I have yet to try. I find a crazy sense of satisfaction in mastering skills like these, even if I never use them again.

My husband thinks I’ve gone a little mad. I think I’m just getting a little smarter.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Simple Things

In an effort to make myself be a more regular blogger about the daily on-goings, blessings, and adventures in our life, I decided to try this exercise from The Simple Woman's Daybook.
For Today...
Outside my window...
The sun is coming back out after yet another rain shower. Our cat is crawling out from under the neighbor's car.
I am thinking...
about painting my nails but don't want to wait for them to dry before cooking dinner.
I am thankful for...
our ceiling fans because our AC is out! And to think that I have so many times wanted to remove those ugly little blessings.
From the kitchen...
waiting for our food processor bowl to come out of the dishwasher so I can immediately make another batch of salsa.
I am wearing...
my new earrings.
I am hoping...
to squeeze every drop of summer out of the next month
I am creating...
a spreadsheet of my favorite recipes and tips on eating healthy on a budget (because we SERIOUSLY. HAVE. TO. START. SAVING. MONEY. FOR. REAL. THIS. TIME.)
I am reading...
my thesis over and over. Final draft due Friday to the department head.
I am going...
to celebrate on Friday after turning in my thesis!
I am hearing...
the hum of the dishwasher and the buzz of the ceiling fan (s). And the UPS truck pulling up to a neighbor's house. Other than that, quiet. I have sort of liked turning the TV off while I'm home in the afternoons. I used to prefer it on, even just for background noise, but recently I have really begun to appreciate the peacefulness of a quiet house once in a while.
I am praying...
about the upcoming schoolyear, being able to make personal connections with my students, and making an impact for Christ on them.
One of my favorite things...
is the kitty cat curled up at my feet. And rainy days.
A few plans for the rest of the week...
finishing up this final thesis draft, turning it in, Family Dinner (in-law side) on Thursday night, brother coming home on Friday, Family Dinner (my side) on Saturday night, last Sunday School class with our amazing teacher on Sunday.
(We have finally split our college/career class and get to be part of forming a class for young couples and families. This is an amazing blessing and we love the friendships that we've already made that will carry on in our new class, but our AWESOME teacher, Jim, will be staying on with the college minstry. Jim has really challenged us to think with his lessons and has become a regular part of our meals and gatherings. We know our friendship with him will continue; we'll just miss his weekly lessons.)
Sometimes it's nice to journal about the simple things going on all around us that we often overlook...the small ways that God displays His peace, love, and grace. Feel free to try on your own. If you post it on your blog, please link back to the Simple Woman's Daybook like I have done at the beginning of this post.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Happenings

So, I am NOT good at updating this blog. I'm sure the few people that read it live in a dire state of disappointment (read: indifference). My apologies. For those of you who have been on the edge of your seat wondering about the Herndon summer, here is an update. In list format, mostly because we could be here all day if I let myself go into the details of every event. Suffice it to say that it has been a relaxing, productive, enjoyable summer:

In somewhat chronological order we have:
1. worked VBS at our church, leading to the realization that teaching 9th graders and 4 and 5 year olds can have some odd similarities. (See everybody looking around acting confused and not listening while he's giving instructions?)

2. (almost) completed the bathroom renovation. Finishing touches are still in the works.

3. camped with the whole family for the 4th.
4. gone to the beach twice. (Patrick couldn't come so I went once with my mom and dad and then again with my mom to take my grandparents.)
He was pretty thankful for us taking them even though we wouldn't let him smoke his pipe inside the condo.

5. helped welcome two new babies into the world and our church. I am excited to babysit (a.k.a. practice until we have our own).
The Haltermans with their newest, cutest addition, Elijah.

Me with Lane.

6. said goodbye to 2 wonderful friends moving to Staunton with a great night of fellowship and fun at our house.We'll miss you, Rebecca and Billy! (That is not their baby. She is practicing, too.)

Other party pictures:

(Not her baby either. They were all getting passed around quite a bit that night if you can't tell.)

7. learned how to can, an on-going project I am pursuing with the father-in-law.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
(Who knew I liked rhubarb? Another recent discovery.)

Recipe from this helpful book on canning and perserving.

8. eaten lots of this:
made from homegrown peppers from my uncle's garden

9. enjoyed Bible Study with these ladies every Tuesday night.

10. and started planning our trip here (!!!):

Looking forward to exciting things in August:
1. Brother coming to visit
2. Patrick starting his MBA
3. Trip to Indiana for orientation of MBA program
4. Cheerleading season begins in full-swing (new JV coach right here!)
5. Completing final draft of my thesis and finishing up my Masters degree