Sunday, February 28, 2010

The rest of my weekend...

I've already talked about my Friday night as a single 23yo woman who works full time.  The rest of my weekend was a little bit more exciting.

On Saturday afternoon, I left CS to travel to Grand Prairie for a wedding shower in honor of one of my roommates:

This lovely lady is gettin' hitched in May to her high school sweetheart!  It's such a great story.  Anywho, I got to hang out with some fellow A&M grads...which helped me to see that I'm not the only one struggling to find my way.  

It became a joke of ours that when we accomplish things like folding a pair of pants that another employee is struggling to fold, we just acknowledge to ourselves "that's why we went to college".  I can't say how many times this statement has passed through my mind since actually graduating.  It's so true.  Little's because I went to college.  It's a resume booster, right?

Okay, well, enough of that talk.  After the shower, we went to hang out with these cuties:

They're fun, Desmond and Jenny.  I enjoyed the time with both immensely.  We had quite the good time.  

Lindsey staring Desmond down.  She won.

Leslie and Meghan

Me, Lindsey, Jenny, Desmond, oh, and Leslie's toe...

After hanging out with them, we head back over to Leslie's parent's house...and play cards for a while.  Notice the ghost hands...

The next morning, after sleeping marvelously on Leslie's parent's leather couch, we went to church, got to eat a fabulous homemade meal and I got to take a nap!  Around 4, Meghan, Leslie and I packed up my small civic to head back to CS.  We were quite the loaded little car.  Along the way, we made a pit stop here:

If anyone was wondering, their kolaches are worth stopping for.  Just ask Meghan, who regretted her decision to only purchase one.  A little further down the road, we stopped at a historic site along the highway back to town.  Remember, this is a new concept for me...and my passengers got to participate this time!  Here are some pictures as the sun was setting on the Brazos Valley:

this building is as old as our house...

this little church is so great!

and my absolute favorite of the night:

For those of you who thought my Friday night was lame-sauce: maybe it was.  But it was in total preparation for the rest of my awesome weekend.  It's my hope that everyone enjoyed the warmer weather (finally!) and got to spend some time in the sun.  

Thanks for reading my ramble.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What do you do on a Friday night?!

Personally, as a 23-year-old single woman who works 40 hours a week, I can't imagine anything better than a quiet Friday evening at home.

I left work around 4:30 this afternoon and stopped at the Home Depot, affectionately called the Orange Box in my family.  This activity was necessary in order to bless a sweet couple for their wedding shower tomorrow.  Walking in, I was greeted with that awesome hardware store smell. You know...the earthy, rusty, musty air. For some reason, it's comforting to me.  Maybe it reminds me of my childhood and the trips I would make with my dad.  Anyway, I know I have to get the registry I try to find an employee to ask where the best place to do that is.  She points me to the service desk, which is by the door where I walked into the store.  After the list is printed by the not-too-enthusiastic employees send me on my way, I proceed to walk around aimlessly for like 10 minutes.  I have no idea where to look for the item I've picked.  None.  Great.  Eventually, an employee comes to help me out.  I was grateful.  He definitely saved me from looking like more of an idiot.

I head home after paying for my purchase.  Once I got home, I really didn't have a game plan.  There were definitely some things I wanted to do: clean out the fridge, organize the Tupperware, and watch the Olympics.  So what did I do? I cleaned out the fridge for our house of 6 girls.  I wiped it out, and it looks and smells better!  I organized our tupperware

to look like this:

and this:

It's so much better.  After that, I washed dishes.  Or maybe I washed dishes before that.  I don't remember.

I then ordered my favorite pizza from Mr. G's and it was wonderful.  I got to sit down, eat, watch the Olympics...take a nap and then wake up in order to see my favorite Olypmian: Apolo Ohno.  Although I was completely shocked about how the race turned out, I've gotten to see all of his races in this Olympics, and that makes my Friday night complete.

For this 23yo, I'm fully satisfied with how my Friday night turned out.  Maybe this means I need a new life.

Thanks for reading my ramble.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


(yes, I am fully aware this post is not the awaited part 5 of my Germany Chronicles.  just try to be patient, okay?  it's a journey...and i'm experiencing all of the emotions first-hand all over again.) 

Anywho.  Lately, as I've been remodeling my blog, I have thought about the names artists give themselves.  Their alter-egos. 

Ree Drummond = The Pioneer Woman
Beyonce = Sasha Fierce
A fellow table member at Freedom = Everly Pleasant

So, it's definitely not an isolated event.  I know that it can't be forced.  But here's the thing: I really want one. 

I want to be able to sign my awesomely cool name at the end of my posts.  I mean, Erin Danae is great.  But I didn't get to choose that one. 

How does one go about choosing a name?  Is it circumstantial?  Random? Does it have to do with a major event in your life?  What if you choose something that you don't care for, and want to change it later?  Are you allowed to even think about changing it? 

Any input would be greatly appreciated.  Maybe some suggestions? 

Thanks for reading my ramble.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow, 'Sghetti a la Canon and chocolate cake

Today was unusual.  It snowed in SE Texas!  What?!  I know.  It was totally not expected.  Some pictures of the event:

Snow is fun!  Until your feet get cold and your pants are wet.

I left work early in order to run to the store before it got really bad tonight.  I decided upon 'Sghetti a la paternal grandmother's recipe with my minor adjustments.  She likes to use mushrooms and I definitely like to use fresh onions and peppers.  The ingredients are as follows: 

'Sghetti a la Canon
1 medium onion 
1 medium green pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce (your favorite flavor)
1 can Italian style tomatoes
[sometimes I add a clove or too of garlic, but I definitely didn't have on hand today]
pasta (you choose your favorite kind, i just used regular noodles)

1.  Brown the meat with the onion and green pepper.  Your kitchen will smell wonderful :)

2.  Drain the grease.  Add the can of tomatoes and spaghetti sauce.

3.  Stir it together.  Let it simmer together while you cook the pasta.

4.  After the pasta is cooked to your likeness, stir it all together.

5.  Serve it in bowls or plates and top with cheese (if you want).

This is basically the only way that I'll ever make spaghetti.  Maybe one day I'll add mushrooms.  Maybe not.  I completely intended upon adding green beans to the meal and a piece of garlic toast, but I didn't get that far.  Maybe because I knew i had my chocolate cake waiting:

Chocolate Cake from Betty Crocker
1 chocolate cake box mix
3 eggs
1 1/3 cup water
1 stick butter, softened
1 container frosting (I chose rainbow choose your favorite)

The ingredients
A couple of quick notes:
I read on a blog that if you put the butter standing up in the microwave, it's more likely that it won't melt.  Mine fell over and melted anyway.
You have to use 2 white eggs and 1 brown egg.  It says so on the package.  I'm serious.  But just happened that I needed another egg, and my roommate had some fancy organic brown eggs that I borrowed.

1.  Mix the cake mix, the water, the eggs, and butter into a bowl.  

2. Mix it per the directions on the box so it turns out like this:

3. Grease and flour a pan so it comes out easily after baking.  I chose a bundt pan to add a little extra flair to this exciting day of snow.  Pour the batter into the pan and make sure it's evenly distributed.

See that hole in the middle of the pan?  I had some difficulty getting ALL the batter into the pan:

This little glop pile made it's way through that center whole.  Oh, bundt pans.  And don't worry, I just licked up my little mess.

4.  Stick it in an oven at the temperature appropriate for your pan (Betty helps you out here)

5.  When it comes out, let it cool for about 10-15 minutes before attempting to take it out of the pan.  I was cooking spaghetti at this time, so I kind of maybe forgot about my cake.  Take a knife and run it around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake.  Get a roommate to flip it over onto a cooling rack because you are afraid that you are going to mess up the process.

6.  Tell your roommate how great of a job she did!  And then wait for the cake to cool completely.  In the meantime, place the frosting can next to the cooling cake to make sure they become best friends.

7.  After the cake is cooled, ice away!  Or, in my case, go find yet another roommate (the third one in this post) and declare you have forgotten how to ice a cake...and you need her help.
After your roommate helps you, let her lick the leftover icing out of the container as payment.  She will definitely want to help you again in the future.  

If you used a bundt pan, it will end up looking like the biggest doughnut you've ever seen.  Although, I definitely would not recommend eating this entire cake at one sitting.  It might just make you quite ill.  

8.  Slice yourself a piece, and become convinced that this is the best idea you've had all day.  Because after you taste the deliciousness that is this cake, your day will then be complete.


Captured by Thoughts


                        the unknown.



                        Jeremiah 29:11-13.   

Monday, February 22, 2010

Part 4.

*this post is a continuation of my real-life Dear John story.  visit here, here, and here to read the first 3 parts.*

Matthias saw us back to the hostel and we said our "guten nachts". Tomorrow would be our last day of ministry in the city.


The trip was coming to a close. It was a fact that became more inevitable as time went on. Every night, I was anxious for the next morning. I couldn't wait to get to the church fast enough. By Tuesday morning, our last day of ministry in the city beginning, the American groups were dreading the inevitable good-byes to come later the next night. It might be bold of me to say, but I was definitely NOT looking forward to the separation from Matthias the following evening. Something between us made me believe he would also be dreading that moment.

The American groups separated for our final days in our areas. Because the Kreuzberg group had hosted a large party on Sunday night for the neighborhood, our day would be strategically focusing our energy into the parks. Matthias was the translator for my group, so we spent the majority of our day together.

The German students had put together a night of games to celebrate our time together. For our last official night, Matthias and I didn't spend much time apart. I was always conscious of where he was in the room. In my head, I was putting off the thoughts of saying good-bye. I didn't know what would happen once I left the country and got back home. We had already exchanged email addresses and snail-mail addresses one afternoon at lunch. We had means to communicate. But how well does cross-ocean "dating" happen? We would soon find out.

Matthias and me on Tuesday night before the games took place.

I was always good at being in my own little bubble. I never really shared what I was really thinking - and even to this day, I find it hard to express myself. I spent so many of my younger years being an introvert that now when I've figured out that I am a mixture of intro and extro, it's hard to switch. Nonetheless, I kept alot of my initial feelings and thoughts to myself. I was afraid of being judged and being told that what was happening between Matthias and I was fake - just an infatuation that wouldn't last. It didn't feel fake. I was 16. He was 19. But it felt like we had known each other much longer. 8 days? More like 8 years.

Wednesday morning, our last official day in Berlin before we traveled to Munich, started a little later. It was intended to be our "tourist" day. A part of the American group had decided to travel by train to the place where Martin Luther nailed the proclamation to the door. I wasn't really that familiar with history, so I was fine with opting to stay in Berlin and visit landmarks there. Some of the German students had decided to come with us on our adventures.

My favorite picture of Matthias and me.  This was taken in the hostel courtyard before leaving on Wednesday morning.

Geneva and me on the same hammock.

Before the Luther group left, I needed to make up my mind about which sights I wanted to see. There were 2 different groups forming from the team, and I had to make a decision. Matthias walked down to the bank with me because I needed to exchange more money for the remainder of the trip. At this time in my life, I was quite indecisive. As a result, I asked Matthias what he wanted to do that day.

His response? "I want to be wherever you are."

Butterflies swarmed my insides. My intuition was right. He did feel for me the way I felt for him. How did this happen in such a short time?!

We continued our walk to the bank in silence, got the money, and walked back to the hostel. My decision was made. We would stay in Berlin and travel in the smaller group.

A statue in Berlin...we felt like it represented our work with balloon animals rather well.

Part of the Berlin wall that has been painted by muralists.

After our day of sight-seeing, we headed back to the hostel to meet up with the other part of our team and eat dinner. After dinner, we packed up all of our suitcases onto the bus that would take us to the train station. The train, which would travel overnight, would take us to Munich. Because we had limited room on the bus, some of the students decided to meet us at the train station.

When we arrived at the train station, our team became a part of the organized chaos. As it turns out, our train would be delayed several hours. This meant that the majority of the local Germans with our team would not be able to get back to their homes merely because public transportation would be shut down that late at night. Amongst the brave ones who decided to stay, Matthias stuck out the long wait with our group.

Waiting in the train station on Wednesday night.  I'm in the maroon shirt in the middle with Matthias to my left (your right).

Finally, much, much later than originally anticipated, the train appeared.

Up to this point, Matthias and I have had very limited physical contact. Before we began boarding the train, he comes over to me to say good-bye. As we stood there hugging, it felt as though time stopped. As Matthias released our embrace, his hand ran lightly across my stomach. (Butterflies, behave please!!!)

Reluctantly, I board the train with the rest of my team.

Now, imagine a black and white movie. The girl has boarded the train, and is standing at the window, looking at her love on the podium below her. The train slowly starts to move. Gradually, as the train picks up speed, they catch eyes one last time, the train turns a corner, and the moment is over.

If there was a ever a time when I wanted a train to stop and turn around, it was at this moment. Where is the emergency brake?! This can't be possible...I can't handle leaving him like this! What has happened to me? Oh, dear...breathe. You will survive this. You will create defenses to protect the way you feel about this guy. It will not be over quite yet.

to be continued...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Something I've Never Done Before

Last weekend, on our way back from her 26.2 miles of knee-death, Leslie S and I saw a sign for a historical sign.  You've seen them...they're brown, and they are scattered along the little highways in the state of Texas.  I told her that one day, I just want to go ahead and stop and see what the signs say.  Since she couldn't really keep her eyes open and the weather was turning quite cold, we decided that afternoon was not ideal.

Today, however, had the perfect conditions: sun, slight breeze, and a little chill to maintain that awesome temperature.  On my way back to CS from D/FW, I took a state highway through some small towns.  It's the shortest distance.  You would not believe how many historical signs I saw!  I decided that today was not going to be better than any other I stopped at one in Old Springfield.

Many cars passed by me while I was stopped...and really, there wasn't a lot of scenery (the trees behind the sign are about it).  BUT I did something to further my curiousity about the state of Texas.  Aren't you proud?  

Next time, you should stop and see what our state has to offer.  


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Meet Farley

Meet Farley.

He's my older sister's Westie.  He used to look like this:

As you might be able to tell, he's filled in nicely.  Every time I come to visit my sister, it's a joy to see him.  She's trained him well and he has turned into quite the snuggly little dog.  When I first met him, he definitely tried to attack my face...and bite off A's nose: 

He was quite the little rascal in his puppy days.
But he also had his cute moments: 

He's turned into quite the happy content little dog.  And all he wants is to go outside and play with his next door neighbor doggie friends.

Good ol' Farley.  You're fun to play with...and provide hours of amusement.

I guess I can say that I like having you long as Miss Molly's not there....

(Molly right and Farley left)
Because, in all honesty, when she's around, I have a loyalty to her.  She'll be my favorite.  Sorry.
(Molly left, Farley right)

Miss Molly