Saturday, July 20, 2013

Carley's Married.

My sweet friend, Carley, married Josh this evening. It was a beautiful and simple ceremony and reception. Lots of family and friends. Lots of laughter and happy tears. Congrats, Car and Josh!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

8 years old today!

This girl. She's no longer 7. Happy 8th birthday, sweet girl!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

gf cheez-its.

Today was kind of a strange one. I woke up with a bloody nose, I worked a 3.5 hour shift, I informed a Starbucks barista that I didn't have time for him to flirt with me today, I was too nauseous to eat dinner, and then I made really yummy gluten free cheez-its. Now it's time to blog and watch Pretty Little Liar reruns.

Here's the gluten free recipe!
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 TBS cold, cubed butter
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to sprinkle over the tops
2 TBS cold water
3/4 cup sweet rice flour (or any gf flour)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Pulse all of the ingredients except the water together in a food processor until well combined, then add the water and pulse until the dough comes together. Chill the dough well; at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator or 10 minutes in the freezer. Roll the dough out as thin as possible; this is important for a crispy, crunchy cracker. Use a pizza cutter to make little squares. Lay the crackers on a non-stick baking sheet and use a fork to poke the tops of each cracker. Sprinkle with a bit more salt. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake another 7 minutes, or until just golden at the edges.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Unjustly Embarrassed

Let's go back a few thousand years...

The horizon releases the sun as morning is breaking on the Mount of Olives. Soft wisps of amber, coral, and tangerine mingle with the delicate blue sky. A gentle breeze caresses the grass and wild flowers, evaporating the frailly placed dew. The birds begin to awake from their nap and start their lovely songs to welcome the new day.

The soft filtered light scatters through the leaves of the olive trees, creating ethereal stepping stones, ushering in a special visitor seeking the seclusion and serenity offered on the mount.

And on this particular morning, a special visitor does come. Jesus spends time in prayer with His Father. When He has finished, He leaves His mount of prayer unhurried, but with a destination in mind.

People from all around fill the temple to sit in His presence and to listen to Him teach. He sits in their midst, but is halted by a rude but not uncommon interruption from the Pharisees. They thrust a woman before Him.

They say, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act!"

She was seized from the privacy of a bedroom and dragged into the scornful eyes of the public. How unfair. How mortifying.

Was she clothed at all? How did they find her? Did someone see her solicit her paramour? Did they eavesdrop? Was this a set up to trap Jesus since the male counterpart of this scandal is nowhere to be seen?

She hangs her head, trying to hide the embarrassment turning her face red as she stands next to Jesus in the midst of the crowd. Every eye is focused on her. Her eyes fill with tears as hatred hardens her heart.

These self-appointed vigilantes of virtue continue, threatening to throw the rocks clutched tightly in their fists.


They continued, “Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?”

It is a trap. The Pharisees wonder if He will let her go, abandoning the Law, or throw the first stone, thus upholding the Law. All eyes were back onto Jesus for a few moments. The Pharisees and impressionable crowd are not seeking justice, merely some evidence to use against Him. The scene was only marginally about the adulterous woman; it was about trapping Jesus. She was merely being used and, in return, was openly drowning in her humiliation and shame.

Just silence from Jesus. Instead of responding, He bends down and begins writing in the dirt with His finger, ignoring their continued questions and confused stares. Is He making a list of sins?

The Pharisees and teachers stand there, steaming with frustration and spite.

Jesus looks accusingly at them as He stands and commands, “Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

Again, He stoops down and continues to write in the dirt.

One by one, the crowd slips away. Convicted by their consciences, they stumble over their own feet as they backtrack. A flurry of thuds is heard as the stones are hitting the dusty ground.

Jesus stood back up to see the crowd dispersing. No one is near Him but the accused woman with tears streaming down her relieved face.

In His gentle voice, He said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

Still trembling and with a racing mind, she gazes up into His loving eyes and manages to utter, “No one, sir.”

He responds, “Then either do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”

He smiles that glorious, forgiving smile at her. With more tears streaming down her face, this time of joy and relief, she thanks Him profusely as she turns around to start her new life.

John 8:1-11

Sunday, March 24, 2013

neither absent nor silent

But God is there - in the middle of our lives - and He is neither absent nor silent. When we are silent long enough, God speaks. It is then we discover that He was there all along. 

- Calvin Miller

There are numerous things about God that I can't understand, but today I'm particularly astounded by His immutability. God's love for me doesn't change. Even when I fail. That's someone I can surrender to - someone who's love is constant amidst my imperfections.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

I realize Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland is only a myth, but this just made me laugh regardless.

I don't drink beer (I'm gluten-free and don't even like the smell of it), leprechauns creep me out, I don't like corned beef and cabbage, and I don't believe in luck. I do like the color green though! One out of five isn't too bad, right?!

Saint Patrick is one of the most commonly recognized saints of Ireland. In the early seventeenth century, Saint Patrick's Day was declared to be an official Christian festival. Celebrations on this day celebrate the spread of Christianity, Ireland, and the Irish culture in general.

Patrick was born in Britain into a wealthy Roman British family. His father and grandfather were religious leaders in the Christian church. As a teenager, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. According to his Confession, in a dream God told him to flee from his captivity and go to the coast, where he was to board a boat and go back to Britain. He made it back home and joined the Chruch in Auxerre in Gaula, where he studied to be a priest. 

Once Patrick was trained as a priest, he was called back to Ireland.  According to legend, Patrick used the 3-leaved shamrock to explain the doctrine of Trinity to the Irish pagans. After nearly thirty years of evangelism to the Irish people, He died on March 17th of 461 A.D. Although there were other successful missionaries in Ireland, Patrick is the most esteemed in the Irish church.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

overboard purple lettuce and cascading straws

My life is full of funny happenings right now, as it usually is.

I've been working a lot of 8 hour shifts at work, which means I get a 30 minute lunch break! I could stay and eat in the backroom, but I'd rather be completely away from it for my few moments alone. So my car has become my little sanctuary of choice.

Salad is my favorite lunch food right now. Earlier this week, I discovered my dislike for purple lettuce mixed in with my spinach and romaine lettuce. I tried eating around it, but it's hard to eat around specific things in a salad. The window of my car was rolled down, so I causally dropped all of it overboard.

Tonight I brought T and V home from soccer practice. There was a bag of straws in the backseat that I strategically moved to the front. I didn't want the back of my car covered in straws, as I knew it would be if they were within V's reach. I got the girls home and ready for bed and it was time for me to leave. D helped move the car seats out of my car and I was making sure there were no stray toys or blankets in the front seat. I opened the front door and the straws cascaded out of the bag and into the curb. I instantly started giggling. D and I laughed a lot as I attempted to pick them all up.

First off, who keeps a bag of straws in their car? And second, who manages to let them spill out of their car and onto the street? Laughing just seems like the best option right now.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 
Proverbs 17:22

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


"Sweetie, He's never failed you before, so what makes you think He'll just start now? Use the proof of the past to calm your anxiety about the future."

Sometimes frozen yogurt and a rockstar daddy-daughter date are exactly what I need.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Oh no. (You never let go.)

My best friend is an emotional tackler. She hid it well for 20 years! One Sunday a few years ago before I went back to Chicago for the fall, we sang Matt Redman's song You Never Let Go. After the service, while we were still on the stage, Alicia started singing the song again. She wrapped her arms around me while singing "oh no you never let go". We somehow managed to topple down to the stairs leading off the stage before falling completely over. There was lots of laughing and probably a few tears as our high heels went everywhere. Our "hellos" and "see ya laters" were always (and will always be) loud and dramatic. This "see ya later" might have taken the cake though.

We sang that song this morning at church. During rehearsal on Tuesday night, those memories sprung back into my mind. It was happy and then sad, but then happy again.

Happy: I have the best best friend in the world. The memories of her tackling me make me laugh whenever I think about the ridiculousness of the scene. We've been friends since we were babies in the church nursery. I won't list all our memories and adventures because that would be an encyclopedia-lengthed book series. We're very different people, but at the end of the day, our hearts are on fire for the same thing and that's what fuels our friendship and gives it meaning.

Sad: I cringe at the words “never” and “forever”. I’ve been told too many times that “we’ll be friends forever” or “I’ll love you forever”. And then “forever” becomes a lot shorter than it should be. Or “I’ll never hurt you” or “that’ll never happen”. And then “never” becomes a little too frequent. There's a lingering shadow of fear with those words.

Happy: But then there’s God. His “forevers” and “nevers” mean just that. Guaranteed. He will never leave me. He will love me forever. I have to believe that and live within that promise. It's means replacing fear and hesitancy with confidence and joy in the constancy of God.

You Never Let Go

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back, I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles but until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Oddly enough, I ended up with either food poisoning or the stomach flu each Valentine's Day in Chicago. But this one was a good one! No throwing up, whatsoever!

1. Gluten free cereal.
2. Time for an iced vanilla latte before work.
3. Blue sky and sunshine.
4. Lots of happy texts from friends.
5. Shopping with Alicia.
6. Beautiful flowers from Nick.
7. Only four hours of work today.
8. Hannah Montana sing-a-long with Alicia.
9. To-do list conquered.
10. Dinner with Alicia and her parents.
11. Time to relax.
12. The Cromie's had blueberries in their refrigerator.
13. A day fairly void of anxiety.
14. Unconditional love from my Father.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent: Giving Up and Replacing

Heidi (my roommate at the time) gave up soda. I gave up being mean. That's what happened during Lent last year.

I can't tell you how we made those decisions, but we did. I'm sure some dramatic event influenced my decision. And I'm sure Heidi's decision was more thought out.

And I honestly can't tell you who had a harder time. I'd like to think I did, because not being mean included not being impatient, annoyed, frustrated, short-tempered, all that stuff... But, then I think about taking diet coke out of my life. I'm not sure I would survive. Regardless, we kept each other accountable and made it through Lent.

Giving up my "meanness" really did help me focus on God. I had to give every situation to God, regardless of the size, so I could consciously handle it in a way that would be pleasing to Him.

Giving up my "meanness" for Lent served it's purpose. I was emptied of myself and was continually relying on God.

This year, after many suggestions thrown around by Nick and Alicia (Nick's suggestions were marginally better then Alicia's.), I decided that I wouldn't be giving up anything.

With the weird health things I have going on, many of which effect my emotions, I just want normal. Not even normal. Steady. Something steady.

Yesterday was rough. Nothing was horribly wrong, but my "normal" has just been a little tougher than I'd like. I drove home after a long day and realized that giving up nothing was exactly what I needed to do. I'd love to take some major things out of my life, but (at least for the time being) that's not possible. So adding more of God to those pieces of my life seems like a good option.

So there you have it. It's untraditional, but that's what I'm doing for Lent.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Review

January seemed like a long month. A long month that went by too quickly. Confession: I went through twitter to remember what I did this past month.

Jan 3rd - I dyed my sister’s hair. Ok, attempted to. 3 boxes of hair dye later and we had a somewhat decent color! My little sis was a good sport about it. :)

Jan 4th - Shopping and dinner with my sister and grandma. I know we won’t always have this time with my grandma, so I’m enjoying and treasuring it as much as I can. 

Jan 7th - Ugh. I don’t have a problem with doctors, but sometimes I think when I go to see my doctor I’m healthy, but I leave sick. I felt fine when I arrived, but left with a fever, low blood pressure, and low sodium. More french fries? 

Jan 13th - Blog Post: Outspoken 

Jan 14th - Blog Post: Red Pen

Jan 18th - Packing for Florida with Alicia. We only packed 5 pairs of shoes! And a few extra outfits. We managed to make it fit in one large suitcase though. I’m impressed!

Jan 19th - FLORIDA!

Jan 22nd - Disney World. I don’t know what else to say other than it was amazing!

Jan 23rd - Home. Without seeing any alligators. It was the longest two airplane rides ever. The turbulence and crying baby made the flights seem even longer.

Jan 24th - Party with my favorites!

Jan 29th - Annie and Jacob are BOTH on Twitter!! Party!

And I had a million and a half wonderful conversations that were too important to tweet about. That’s what January was full of for me. Meaningful and memorable tidbits of advice and encouragement. January was a good month. I’m looking forward to seeing what February holds!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ariel and Fireworks.

If you don't know that Ariel is my favorite Disney princess and if you don't know that I love fireworks, well, you simply don't know me.

Nick's wonderful Christmas present to me was a trip to Disneyworld! We spent the morning and early afternoon in the Magic Kingdom and the rest of the day in Epcot. The highlights of my day were meeting Ariel and watching the firework show. And, of course, having Nick with me while doing those things!


Monday, January 28, 2013

manatees and power plants and marinas, oh my!

I love little beach towns. Absolutely love them. I love all the little old boats mixed in with the fancy yachts. This little beach town had a big power plant in it! The manatees were enjoying the warm water from it.

There's a manatee in there!

"Can we keep him?"

 Lisa and Jerry. Nick's mom and stepdad!