Yep, it's time for the hubster to reach his quarter century mark. Ole Adam is 25. Three years ago we celebrated his first birthday together. Wait, not HIS first birthday. We celebrated his birthday for the first time TOGETHER. That's it. That means 7 years ago he was a senior in high school, motocross racing across the nation. That means 14 years ago he was a cute little middle schooler with a pudge and bowl cut. And 19 years ago, he was just a wee little kindergartner. Oh, how time flies.

He's on his way home from fishing. He had a test this morning, so he was on the study wagon all weekend and now he's communing with nature. Tonight, we celebrate (puke-free, might I add. I'm feeling better today!)

So, let's raise a toast- to the funniest, perseveringist, God-lovingest, faithfulest, sweetest, fishingiest, dedicatedest, strongest man around- Adam "Softshoe" Jennings. Really, I couldn't ask for a better husband.

Here, here!


I will never eat Pappa John's pizza again- and that saddens me. See, it all started out innocently enough last night: a little girls' night eating & watching a chick flick together. It kicked into high gear this morning around 3 a.m. when I shot out of bed & began throwing up in the bathroom. We think either food poisoning or stomach bug but given the deep, earth-shaking retching that I was doing (my abs are still sore), I think it may be food poisoning.

Just walked downstairs for the first time today (4:36 p.m.) and am feeling a bit better. Dr. Jennings and Nurse powers were good to me- Nurse Powers even stayed in bed/bathroom with me the entire day, which is a little unorthodox for health care professionals but I liked it.

But why did it have to be Pappa Johns? Even as I type the word *pizza* the words " disgusting, nuh, vomit, blech" come to mind. So long, pizza.


Adam's my homeboy

I've been a little homesick lately- missing Waco and all the familiar people and places. Missing driving around with the windows down, the same familiar paths to work, church, friend's houses, and home. I'm glad we're having this adventure in Erie and experiencing life in a new place but sometimes it's bittersweet. Adam and I will always hold Waco dear in our hearts.. our first married home.

Monday, my husband will be 25. That's a quarter of a century! 25 feels like the most note-worthy birthday since 21. Isn't this the car rental year? Adam is definitely a homebody. Note- when I was trying to type "homebody", I kept accidentally typing "homeboy." I think God's trying to tell us something- like Adam is such a cool homeboy, dudes. Duh. Anywhoos, homebody- (Incidentally, should there be a space between 'home' and 'body'?) Moving forward- When we were engaged, I threw this big party for him- people came, we had cake, he busted a pinata. It was fun. Actually, the cake was in the shape of a jeep which made it super cool (By the way, if you live in Waco and ever need a great cake, try Gwyndene)
The next year, though, when I asked if he wanted a repeat, he declined. We had a nice supper, instead, with our soon to be Erie pals (Brooke & Free). Adam's definitely enjoys the smaller celebrations more than the larger ones. This year, my parents are coming on the 29th for Dad's leap year birthday and Adam's quarter century birthday. I cannot wait to celebrate with the family in town and teach them the wonders of snow boots and monstersicles.

Adam's been studying his pants off. Not literally, that'd be embarassing, but figuratively, yes. Lately, he's had a test at least every week and they're always on Mondays and, frankly, I'm getting sick of those stinking tests stealing my husband away! Grr, tests. Back off. At least we still have our supper times where we sit at the dinner table and play chess like big nerds. (We are.)


Two of the summers that I was in college, I worked at a summer camp. Now this was a fantastic camp (Kanakuk in Missouri) and they have several camps throughout the United States. The Kanakuk camp where I worked was for 12-18 year olds. Campers stayed for a month and were divided into cabins. The youngest cabin was "Diaper Deal"; the oldest cabin was "Super deal". Everything in Kamp had a nickname and there was certainly a chant or song for any and every activity, object, person, utterance, etc.

I loved being a counselor at camp. The constant spazzing out, the yelling and singing, the devotional times with your campers- I really enjoyed that environment. The kids seemed to thrive, too. There were very clear rules and discipline for breaking those. You knew the boundaries and you knew the consequences. Also, everyone had jobs in their cabin. You competed to "outserve" each other- and it worked! You did TONS of physical activity. They didnt' allow any magazines, t.v.s, dvds, gameboys, any of the outside stuff and I liked that. Teenage girls need a month without comparing themselves to pencil thin models in a magazine.

But the reason I brought up camp was because of mail! My mom just wrote a blog about writing letters. That was big at camp. Every afternoon, you had an hour for "rest time" and that's what we did! It was during the hottest part of the day, so we went to our cabins and wrote letters, notes, etc. You could write to your counselor friends at other camps or send "goodies" to people. An example of a "goody" would be a beachball, inflated, with a note to a friend written on it. Goodies were the bomb.

Anywhoos, all to say, that one of my New Year's resolutions was to correspond more by snail mail. Yes, it's becoming more of a pretty penny investment to do so, but who doesn't LOVE getting snail mail? You know, you open the mailbox- bill, junk mail, pizza coupons, bill, junk, magazine, envelope addressed to former occupants of the house, A LETTER! That's why on Blue's Clues they had their own special song for "Maaaail Tiiiime". Not that I ever watched Blue's Clues.......


Howdy Erie!

Pump, pump the jams. Our pals are moving to Erie! That's right, amigos! Another Texas couple coming to the big Erie to experience the 4 seasons!

Congratulations, Brooke & future doctor Freeland!



I think that work sucks the creativity out of me. Notice, back last summer, when I wasn't working and still getting paychecks for teaching the previous year.. ahhh.... notice, THEN, that I had (relatively) interesting things to write about. Ah well, we must pay the bills, eh? Or be bandits. EIther way.

Currently I'm sitting in Adam's office while he studies. I'm sitting criss-cross applesauce on the couch and Powers is leaning his head on my knee taking a nap. We've been making an effort to go to the YMCA almost everyday- I think it's the antidote to the winter blues. It definitely helps even out my mood.

I just finished this book:

Folks, it's sad. But it's also mesmerizing. I don't know how else to describe it. But the writing is absolutely beautiful. The book is about a hastily made decision that is hidden. The power of a secret.
Thanks to my great mom-in-law who mailed it to me and keeps me in the books- Gracias!


Black Hole

The sun'll come out.... TODAY.. betcha bottom dolla that TODAY.. (lalala) there is SUUUUUUUN!

Yes, the sun is out today! We just took a walk with Powey-Zowey and it was glorious. Ah, to feel the sun on your face....

On a different note, there's a black hole in our house. It appears only interested in tupperware container tops. How do I have all the bottoms and no tops? Urgh, black hole.

Adam is studying hard for his test on Monday. I mean, to wake up at 6 a.m. on Saturday.... for any reason.. even like a 70 billion percent off sale.. is beyond me. He's a good man, that one.

If you're in Erie, enjoy your sunny day!


My Funny Valentines...

Valentine's day is funny. Not ha-ha funny, although sometimes maybe, but amusing. Growing up, of course, there were the school parties. We'd make our Valentine's "mail bags" out of white paper bags and decorate them with cut-out hearts & drawings. Then, you'd tape it onto the end of your desk. The day arrived- you had to have a valentine for every kid in your class. Whoever Johnny cutesy was you had to think long and hard for his valentine, right? I choo-choo-chooose you, Valentine. I was always a fan of the kids who brought the mini boxes of nerds for everyone- SCORE! Sugar rush in one gulp.

Anywhoos, then there were the junior high/high school years. My dad was my consistent valentine, always sending me flowers to school, such a sweet dad. In junior high, you could send a carnation to your friends & admirees for $1. White was for friendship, pink was for crush, and red was for loooove. Obviously, you worked out saweet deals with your gal pals to send you pink & red ones so that you'd look really adored.

Then in college, we had Single's Awareness Day (S.A.D.) instead of Valentine's Day- we'd get the girlfriends together to eat & tell funny stories & have a blast doing it. And, obviously, to make fun of couples celebrating Valentine's Day- HA! Who needs men?!

Now, here I am, snuggled up beside the best husband & best dog to ever exist. Adam is so thoughtful and loving, it's not like he has to do any damage control on Valentine's Day, but he's still a sweetie head and brings me flowers. Good guy, that one. I hope you're having a happy stinkin' Valentine's day.


Tea Time

One of my new favorite things is tea. See, when we first started meeting for girls' group, we'd be at someone's house and they'd say, "Does anyone want any tea?" And everyone would drink tea except me. I'd drink water. But I liked the idea of tea, you know? Like very Britishy, tiny cottage on a rainy day with a good book and fuzzy slippers on kinda thing. In the south, we only drink saweeeeet tea. But my friends, here, drink like chamomille tea & Sleepy Time tea & Lemon zinger and all kinds of good stuff. So, when Adam's reflux starting acting up, he purchased some tea. Then, the other week at the grocery store, I got a little tea pot. And finally, I tried some tea. I like it! It's not what I expected- so far, my favorite combination is

1 bag of "Get Some Zzzs" (a red tea)


one bag of Holiday Spice tea

2 bags of Holiday Spice alone are too much but Adam seems to like it.

I think I like the whole process with tea, too. I like boiling the water, the whistle of the kettle, letting it all sit in your mug for a few minutes, and slowly sipping. Tea is what you make for people when they're upset. Tea is what you make when you're awake in the middle of the night with something on your mind. You don't have to worry about coffee breath. Tea is what the Queen drinks, by George!

Don't get me wrong, coffee, I still love you. But I just think I should see other beverages, okay? I just need some space.


You should also know that it's currently 6 degrees... weather.com says it "feels like -15"

Manly Arts & Crafts

Since moving to Pennsylvania, Adam has found a new love- fly fishing. I am a supporter of this hobby- go be with nature, enjoy the streams, yadee yadee. Little did I know, this seemingly "manly" sport has a creative side full of feathers, thread, and glitter- namely, fly tying. Fly-tying is essentially "arts & crafts". I got Adam a kit for Christmas, thinking that I would enjoy tying flies and he can go and fish, you know? Like this would be my part of fly fishing. Well, I have yet to tie a fly and he loves doing it. I tease him and tell him it's manly arts & crafts.

the fly-tying thingamajig

yep, that's a feather...

finished product


Last night, at girls' group, Elizabeth was reading a chapter out of a book for us. It's called "Confessions of an Honest Wife" and it's by Sarah Zacharias Davis (Robbie's daughter). The scenario was this: A woman and her fiance decided to wash their cars together. They both drove to the apartment complex's car washing facility and were hosing down the cars. She was meticulously scrubbing her cars as her dad had taught her to do. When her fiance was done with his car, he walked over and began scrubbing the side of her car that she hadn't reached yet. She was started. "What are you doing?" she asked. "We're washing our cars...." was his response. "No, that's not how we wash our cars- you wash your car, I wash my car." She reasoned. "No, this is how we do it- we help each other," he replied. It really annoyed her.

As she thought about this scenario, she wondered about balance in marriage. Essentially, she saw but two doors- behind door number one, was their marriage 40 years down the road- she had maintained her independence and lived the life of "together/separate". They were in a counselor's office as she cried- the 2 strangers having gone separate ways year ago and it was too late to reconcile. The therapist says, "You should've done things 'together/together'."

Behind door number two they stood, again, in a counselor's office, 40 years down the road. They had done things "together/together" and she had lost herself. The wife didn't even know how to go to the gym by herself anymore. Her husband had lost interest and had an affair. She wished she had kept her "self".

The author admits to knowing that there are more than 2 doors, more options than those 2 scenarios. However, it made a great discussion for our girls' group. The fears in a group of women, from all different backgrounds, are varied and widespread. But somewhere we wrestled with that question: where's the balance? I think it's a journey. I think that that two do become one in marriage- but there's two selves- you and you & hubby. Marriage is a exercise in selflessness. It's a sacrifice of pride. But I bring something unique to the table just as Adam does. And it'd be an insult to the Lord, who created me (and you) in his image, to lose the passions that he's placed on my heart. So, there has to be a place of pursuing those. However, there's also sacrifice. Hopefully, mostly the bad stuff get's sacrificed- selfishness, wanting to bring glory to myself/vanity..hopefully, I'm sowing patience and kindness. But my time isn't my own anymore. But was it ever? Maybe marriage is a reminder that we're not our own. But I digress, the point is there's sacrifice- I'm not always going to do the things that I love- I'm going to share things that Adam loves with him and vice versa.
So, it's a two-way street- there's balance, there always is. It's something we have to seek wisdom on, for sure. We want to, for lack of better words, develop our selves- through time with the Lord, time with friends, time loving/serving others, time spent doing things that we love- that the Father loves. Because we owe that to the one who created us and the one we share a home with. But we're also going to sacrifice and love, by doing things we don't feel like doing- laundry, doing something that our hubbies love and we don't particularly, bridling our tongue, etc.
Anywhoos, that was a really long post but it was what we talked about last night. I hadn't ever really thought about it before but it's definitely a fear among women- in one form or another. One girl in the group was talking about her desire to be a stay-at-home mom. But there are fears along with that- because sometimes the world thinks less of a stay-at-home mom (which they wouldn't if they tried it, eh?). She didn't want her husband to, unintentionally, feel that way. So, things to process through- good times.


Psalm 34

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
(v. 18)

Thank you, Lord!


Happy Fat Tuesday

Hola! Today, at work, we had interviews. I give tours on interview days and I think I missed the job for me. I think I should be a tour guide somewhere, like one of those gondalas (spelling?) in Italy. Or maybe I could be a tour guide for those double deckers in London?! Basically I like giving tours because:
1. I hold everyone's attention and they have to listen to me.
2. The interviewers laugh at my lame jokes because they're nervous about being accepted. Score!
3. I can make up an answer and no one knows (I would NEVER do that, okay.....)

Anywhoos, yesterday Adam had a final for his "Core" classes. So, obviously, the Super Bowl was out of the question for Sunday night. Well, last night (Monday night), Buffalo Wild Wings threw a big Superbowl Party for all those med. students! We went for a while and sat in a booth with a few pals. Even though the game was spread across a wall, I couldn't hear over the loud med. students so I missed the commercials. The only one I saw was some lizards doing the "Thriller" dance. Good times.

In conclusion, life is faster than you can say "PNEUMONOULTRAMICROSCOPICSILICOVOLCANOCONIOSIS" ( yep, that's right people- 45 letters; a lung disease caused by breathing in certain particles) so go & seize!


chicken anthropology & other good date ideas

My roommate, Caroline, and I were excited. Our other third, Lindsey, had been asked out on a date by a guy she was digging. We were friends with the guy and trying to come up with some fun date ideas! You know, go to the park, go to the zoo, yadee yadee. Then, Caroline procedes with the most original date idea ever. She said, "Oh, I read this on the internet! (?) Go to KFC and get a bucket of chicken and a side of mashed potatoes. Then go to a park and sit at a picnic table and eat the chicken & then use the bones to reconstruct a model chicken using mashed potatoes as an adhesive!"
Silent stares of shock.
"What? I read it on the internet!"

Now, Caroline could never clarify where she "read this on the internet," nor could we ever convince her to attempt this on a date with a boy. She never lived it down, bless her heart.

Anywhoos, what are good date ideas? Adam and I have had some fun ones. We used to love geocaching on the weekends. ( www.geocaching.com) In Waco, we used to go "tortilla tossing". Basically, you'd go to the grocery store and buy a 100 or 200 pack of tortillas. (Oh, yes- they exist in Texas!) Then you would go to the suspension bridge over the Brazos River. 50 yards or so away from the bridge were some concrete pegs that used to support another bridge(?) -not sure about that one. Nonetheless, you would take a tortilla and throw it like a frisbee; hoping to land it on a peg. Most times you would fail and it would land in the water and the ducks would swim up and eat them like it was going out of style. They were fat ducks.

I feel like I've told about tortilla tossing on the blog before. Sorry, if I have. Adam was really pretty good at tortilla tossing. He would land like 23 out of 100. I would land like 3 or 4 out of 100, sadly. Oh, well- even if you miss, you're still contributing to duck obesity.

Got any good date ideas?


Breaking news: Adam found the baby! Ha- he has to buy the king cake next year!!
Also, what about LOST Season 4, eh? It's blowing my mind!
I think that the flash forwards are Season 5 previews.

Fat Tuesday

Thanks, Best Pal! Mary Lou sent me this King Cake after a discussion about the serious lack of Mardi Gras paraphenalia up here! The UPS man dropped it off today. Thank you, sweet pal! Now to consume thousands of calories of delicious, frosted goodness.

On an unrelated note, my new worst enemy? The ice. Ooooh, that ice. It is sneaky. I mean, at least with snow it's all fluffy and pretty! You know... with snow. (catchy slogan!) But ice is a sly fellow. The ground looks all normal and then BAM you're on your butt! The road seems safe then BAM you're sliding. With the ice on the windshield, ay-ya-ya. Double, nay, Quadruple layers!
Okay, enough whining.