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Posted in Health, Home Life, Photography, Uncategorized

New Life

I last wrote a blog post 75 days ago.

Our worms have had quite the adventure, as they are now inside of our kitchen as opposed to being outside where they were originally housed. Long story short: I hate fire ants.

The Vacation Bible School Marathon has come and gone (thank the Lord!). The gospel was presented, and the church house did not burn down.

While I am FINALLY registered for my class at secular college, I have yet to get a response on my financial aid situation. Just to be clear, I have been working on this process since mid-March. The college has changed my name, lost my file, given me false instruction, and locked me out of registering for classes. In short, they have been driving me crazy. Here I am…still waiting…11 days until classes begin…  But, I am not allowed to focus on frosting, we will move on!

I have struggled with what to write about; again, there is so much going on that I have been slightly overwhelmed. In light of this, I decided to simply give an update on my summer and publish some of the photographs that I had the honor to take of my sister’s labor and my niece’s birth (no need to be scared; there is nothing too personal).

I now present the miracle of life as captured by my FujiFilm camera.

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Posted in Bible, Home Life, Uncategorized

Don’t Focus on the Frosting

I have been waiting to be inspired.

There is so much going on in my life, but I don’t seem to know what to write about (partially because I have SO MUCH going on in my life). I have neglected you, my (now five!) avid readers. There are different topics I want and plan to write on, but I never seem to be in the right place, the right mindset, or in the same building with my pictures.

Since I last wrote a month and a half ago, we have inherited some vegetable plants, adopted some Canadian night-crawlers, made a short film, finished a wedding video, deadlines were met, the semester ended, my cousin got married, I got accepted into an ASL interpreting program, my husband graduated with his bachelor’s degree, and I have been frantically planning Vacation Bible School. Our plants are still alive, except for that habanero (sorry Brother Mark!), and we have harvested and enjoyed 7 strawberries and 9 sugar-snap peas.

I will go ahead and tattle on myself, I am getting a LITTLE overwhelmed. Poor Kyle has gotten to experience full-on “Panic Christy” for a few weeks now. The problem is not just nervousness…I also get a LITTLE grumpy (who’d’a thunk it?). He finally sat me down this morning and gave me one of those pep-talks where you have to break down before anything productive can be accomplished.

I will not go into all of the details, because I do realize they are in fact boring and ridiculous. (You, my readership, know the things that I worry about, which are *to be honest* almost everything.) When it came down to it, Kyle informed me that I was focusing on frosting.

Frosting is nice, but it is not carrot cake.

I too frequently define myself by what I do, not who I am. My self-esteem gets so easily wrapped up in what I perceive as success or failure on my part. I am not the stupid mistakes I made years ago. I am not a horrible wife because we go out to eat too much. I am not my mis-translated word on my homework. I too often expect perfection in my own life instead of admiring the perfection of the one who made me.

The frosting is what compliments the carrot cake in this game of life.

If someone invites me over for carrot cake, I’m going to be disappointed if it is just a beautifully shaped mound of frosting with little or no cake under it. That is just disrespectful to the name “Carrot Cake”. I’m pretty sure I could get an ‘amen’ at this point, because…carrot cake.

I am not a student. I am not a secretary. I am not a failure.

I am Christy.

I do all of those things, but they are not WHO I am. I am a work of art by the God who made me, no matter what I do or think about myself; and that is the carrot cake.

Kevin Wedding

Posted in Health, Home Life, Uncategorized

Worm Tea & Hammocks

I’ve officially been well for a week and a half now! No more flu. No more wisdom teeth. I do however, still have little indentations where my teeth used to be that currently serve the purpose of catching a sampling of every single thing that I eat. Oi vey. But we will not let this get us down! It will heal up soon…hopefully. Until then, I will keep aggressively rinsing and flossing.

Having my newly-found freedom from the couch, Hubby and I decided to celebrate by making worm tea. For the members of my avid readership who do not know what worm tea is, it is a natural, liquid fertilizer made from your compost pile, specifically from the worm castings in your compost pile. For my avid readers that do not know what worm castings are: its poop. It’s totally worm poop. In the vermicomposting world, they are known as black gold and are not nearly as disgusting as you imagine them to be. You can buy this stuff on Amazon and people are darn proud of it too.

Anyway, the basic process of making worm tea involves sorting, bagging, and dipping worm castings/compost soil into water (think a tea-bag). In the Bacon household, this means making a bag out of an old t-shirt, sorting through the compost to try to not bag any worms or cocoons, and dipping the bagged soil in a five-gallon bucket filled half-way with water. I did not get pictures of the process, but I did however capture the face of pure joy.

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Hubby with his beloved worm tea.

After fertilizing our container garden with a portion of our worm tea, we divided the rest into all of the glass bottles I found laying around the apartment (Yay for my pack-rat tendencies!). The particular spice bottle in the picture went to one of our neighbors for their newly-founded container garden.

We do not water with the worm tea (aside from the first day), but instead put some in a spray bottle to spritz the plants 2-3 times a day. You, my avid readers, may think this is a burdensome task. You neglect to realize that my husband goes outside at least 4-5 times a day to check on his beloved worms, so this is really not that big of a deal. We are nothing if not enthusiastic about the strangest things, but I would like to think we are at least somewhat endearing.

As we were sorting, Kyle somehow spotted this little beauty. This teeny-tiny little guy is the smallest baby we have found to date. This discovery was a natural cause of excitement!

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Tiniest worm found to date!

Moving on from the worms, I got to hammock a whole two times this week! This does not sound like an accomplishment, but between school, my two part-time jobs, cooking, cleaning the apartment from the great flu-apocalypse, and Arkansas weather being super bipolar, this really was special.

I (again) did not capture pictures from the first hammocking session with my dear husband, but I can tell you the adventure that ensued. We technically trespassed, but by only about 10 feet (so it’s okay, right?). The pond that we were at was also the home to at least one water moccasin snake, which scared the worm castings out of Hubby.

My second hammocking experience was solo, and I didn’t even trespass on private property! Memorable moments were when I hugged some poison ivy and my great view into my neighbors’ kitchen (not creepy at all).

And yes, I was eating. Always eating. Don’t judge me.

Posted in Health, Home Life, Uncategorized

Everything March

Hello, my (now four!!!!) avid readers! I have neglected you. I know. I am sorry.

March has been weird.

The more accurate, and probably slightly optimistic, term is perhaps that March has been eventful. I intended to do five separate posts for this month covering everything from my birthday, spring break, etc. up until now. But as I said, March has been weird so now we are going with two (the first being Spring Is Here, which I published on March 13th). I will, however, try to appease you with differentiating everything in this post with a bold and underlined title as well as the time period in which the particular event/(not post) occurred. *Cue the ‘Oooohs’ and ‘Ahhhhs’*

Flu-pocalypse (March 8th-19th)

It all started with a cute little girl at church. I had been eye-balling her since the day she was born. She is so stinking cute. The issue is that she has wanted nothing to do with me for the past year and three months she has been in this world. I have tried shooting silly faces her way. I have tried peek-a-boo. I have tried almost everything to no avail…until Wednesday night, March 8th at 5:30pm.

We eat supper at church on Wednesday nights and I just happened to be sitting next to the adorable little thing on this particular night. She acted very strangely, almost like she wanted to be my friend. We had a wonderful night together. We played poke-and-giggle. We played drop-the-bottle-and-this-crazy-lady-will-pick-it-up-for-you. She rubbed her drool and food covered hands all over my sleeve. It was great! I thought that I might have genuinely made a real friend! Until the next day…

I happened to get on Facebook and saw that little Leah Kate had officially been diagnosed with the flu. She wasn’t really my friend, she was just feverish and delusional. Needless to say, that kind of bursted my bubble. I immediately called my dear husband and had him bring me my liquid-vitamin mix, regular vitamins, and Emergen-C. I diffused Thieves oil. I took an Epsom salt bath. I tried my hardest, yet to no avail.

I first started exhibiting the symptoms on Friday night, March 10th. I was tired and foggy, but I still clung to the slightest hope that perhaps it was just the result of the end of a long week.

Nope.

Hubby and I were supposed to take our youth group to a conference hosted by one of our dear friends from seminary on Saturday night, but instead we had to cancel due to me only having the strength to sit on the couch and watch Golden Girls and Hubby being night blind. We really are a little old couple, but it works for us. I like to think it is endearing.

I couldn’t go to church on Sunday. I finally gave in and got a doctor’s appointment on Monday, March 13th (my birthday). It took me EXACTLY 25 years, but I did it; I finally had been diagnosed with the flu. Not exactly my idea of a milestone birthday, but it is what it is. On the bright side, the flowers that my parents sent me for my birthday served double-duty as ‘Get Well Soon’ flowers.

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The rest of the week was filled with That 70s Show, which is one of my favorite shows ever, until the season where Eric cheats on Donna and she’s totally okay with it. (No! Totally out of character for Donna and I do not accept it.) Fun fact: my absolute favorite bit from That 70s Show is Season 1-Episode 24, “Hyde Moves In”, where Kelso sees Jackie without makeup. It gets me every. single. time. Along with these horrible screenshots, here is a link for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome.

Eventually I got over the flu. Overall it wasn’t that terrible, it just lasted forever since my immune system is so bad. I didn’t completely get over being sick until Sunday, March 19th, but life moved on before that. So, we move along to our next not-blog post.

Spring Break: Part One (March 17th-19th)

Hubby and I went to my parents’ farm for part one of our spring break on Friday, March 17th. We decided to take the old highway instead of the interstate to get there. It was going to take nearly two hours either way, so we decided to enjoy the view.

We stopped to eat at a little Mexican restaurant in a small town called Perryville. Everything was great until we went to pay. Turns out that we neglected to see the more than adequate sign on their door that said their card machine was down. The cashier (who had also waited on us) was so kind about it, and we ended up hunting down an ATM. Dude got (and deserved) a good tip. We were so embarrassed, but everyone got a good laugh in the end.

We finally made it to my parents’ dirt road (which the very sight of makes my heart breathe a sigh of contentment every single time). We made it three of the three and a half miles down the road when I saw…a road grader. I vocally let out an “uh-oh”, because (to those of you who haven’t lived down a dirt road) that means that all of the nails, screws, barbed-wire, and any other metal substance in the ditch has now made it back onto the road. This is also an issue, because the road workers of Yell county always put out the sharpest rocks they can dig out from the pits of hell. They claim that the rocks sink down into the road and are not an issue. The part that they neglect to realize is that cars have to drive over these rocks to beat them down into the road. I immediately slowed the car down, but it was too late. As soon as I “uh-oh”ed, the tire light came on in my car. We managed to hobble our way the other half-mile to my parents’ house, and just in the nick of time. Our tire let out its last breath at the mail-box. Sure enough, there was a pointy-rock-shaped hole in our tire. We decided to take care of it in the morning.

Saturday morning comes, we put on the spare, and we are off to the tire shop. They were surprisingly busy, but it was the Saturday before spring break. Hubby and I dropped off the car and decided to take a stroll while it was waiting in line to be fixed. We ate some breakfast and went to the pet store down the street. The snail was my personal favorite, because of his little mouth on the glass.

Eventually, we made it back to the house and enjoyed cows, donkeys, dominoes, hammocks, and a bon-fire the next couple days. A good time was had by all, especially by my nephew, Levi.

Spring Break: Part Two (March 20th-22nd)

Part two of my spring break was mostly notable for my lack of husband. The guy insisted upon going trout fishing with his dad (how dare he!), so I was left to fend on my own for three whole days.

Day one (Monday, March 20th) consisted of my mother and I running around like hoodlums. We went grocery shopping, we ate Chinese food, and we roamed around the outlet mall. We were wild women riding on the highway to hell. I was especially bad because I spent all of my birthday money during that trip. While I was deciding on which shoes to buy, my husband and father-in-law were trout fishing machines.       P.S. – I chose the pink ones.

Day two (Tuesday, March 21st) consisted mostly of work. Not the most exciting day, but it was notable in its own regard. First, I wore my new dress that I had bought the day before. Second, I assisted (bugged) my church’s janitodian after work, because I did not want to go home to an empty apartment yet. And third, my husband was bitten by a trout.

Also, I got bored while “assisting” Coop put together a wagon for yard work. I ended up taking dramatic pictures of my hair blowing in the breeze. Don’t judge me.

Day three (Wednesday, March 22nd) was mainly just work. I had to try to cram all of the previous week’s work (remember Flu-pocalypse?) and that week’s work into these two days. The reason? You will find out in a minute. My husband did come back to me that night, thankfully, as I was running out of ways to keep myself entertained.

Spring Break: Part Three – AKA: “Dude, Where’s My Teeth?” (March 23rd-26th)

You guessed it! (Or not, I don’t know). The day had arrived in which all four of my wisdom teeth were going to be ripped from my skull. Ah yes, Thursday, March 23rd was an exciting day. On the up side, it was also the day where it was actually socially-acceptable to wear my pajama pants in public. Here are some pictures from before I was drugged and doped! (Note the excitement in my eyes and the booties upon my feet).

The bit before the surgery actually wasn’t half-bad. I got to lay on a comfortable table with goofy gas pumping into my lungs for ten minutes before the nurse even put a blood-pressure cuff on me. By the time she got around to doing my IV, I was the chillest I have ever been in my 25 years of life. That stuff was magic.

The next thing I knew, I was awake in another room and the nurse told me my husband was pulling the car around. As she was walking me down the hall, she had her arm around me (which makes sense since I was all doped up), but for some reason (drugs) I decided to also put my arm around her waist and we walked out like we actually knew each other well enough to be essentially hugging one another. Apparently I was really giggly the whole ride home.

The recovery was pretty boring as far as a blog post goes. My already round face was even more puffy, and I was on narcotics. It was kind of a blur.

(Pictured on the left is me when I got home from surgery. Pictured on the right is me two days later.)

The only thing I actually remember is crying into my Chick-fil-A chocolate shake that my dear husband went to get me. Why, you ask? Because it was too runny…and I was on drugs.

Overall, not a bad experience. Three stars.

Posted in Health, Home Life, Uncategorized

Spring Is Here

The planting season has begun at the Bacon house (well, apartment).

Last year was not a complete failure, but it was pretty pitiful. It was our first attempt at apartment/container gardening and we learned a lot during that time. First off, we decided to garden on a whim. We had a particularly trying week followed by a particularly trying weekend, so we decided that we needed to force ourselves to take some initiative on something…anything…to get us out into the sunshine. Cue a trip to Home Depot. We invested in some planters, seeds, and the cheapest dirt we could put our hands on. [Invested = spent too much money on]. Hubby and I then came home, divvied up the loot, and we officially started our first garden.

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Things went fairly well from that point. Every morning we would wake up and practically run outside to see what had developed overnight. We would water the plants and sit in the sun on our back patio-area-thingy. I even put a wind chime up. Our snap peas were doing very well, our bush beans were making it, and our tomato plant was still living.

It rained and rained and rained the whole next month, which is great if you are going to be harvesting hay in the summer. However, for a barely-made container garden in March, it smelled of disappointment. It was great not having to water our plants with our chlorinated, fluorinated tap water, but our lovely little plants never rooted because they were spoiled to a never-ending supply of rain water. We lost a few seeds to drowning and rot, but the garden as a whole pulled through…until summer.

As I wrote earlier, the plants were spoiled brats. As soon as the typical Arkansas summer drought hit, our plants went from springy to blah. We managed to keep the snap peas, bush beans, and spinach alive, but the tomato and corn plants died an agonizing death.

Something that did do very well was our new-to-us strawberry plants. It came straight from the swampy Stuttgart, Arkansas to the bold, beautiful, and slightly ghetto Little Rock. My sister had been given a few plants from a gardener in her church and she knew that she could not dream of keeping it alive, so I adopted them. I was so excited when a beautiful little quarter-sized strawberry ripened up. I went outside and lovingly picked it, washed it off, and divided it with my husband. We were very pleased. I had my eye on the second berry of the harvest the next week. I waited DAYS for this one to grow and ripen. It was so beautiful. I checked on it one day and thought to myself that that one berry needed one more night’s rest and it was ready. I went to bed excited, anticipating eating that sweet, little berry the next morning with my greek yogurt. I’m pretty sure I dreamed about the darn thing that night. The next morning was like Christmas. After waking up, drinking my coffee, doing my studying, and getting ready, it was finally time. I drew my kitchen curtains aside. I opened the back door. I stepped onto my patio-area-thingy with my eyes full of giddy anticipation! …And a darned squirrel had eaten it overnight. It was sad really.

That one strawberry experience kind of summed up our gardening season last year. What did not die was eaten (by squirrels or bugs) before we could harvest it. But we vowed to do much better the next year!

Next year is here and we have prepared ourselves for this. We have been planting at the proper times, have been perfecting our composting system, and have gone through the extra precautions to plant marigolds to keep the bugs away. Things have already gone awry as winter has decided to visit us again this week. But we will not be moved! Instead, our tomato and bell pepper plants have moved…into our kitchen.

When they are in their normal place, the back patio-area-thingy looks pretty good. This year we have planted spinach, lettuce, green onion, and kale on the porch. In separate containers, we have our tomato, bell pepper, snap peas, bush beans, and corn plants. And on the pallet planter we have planted cilantro, oregano, dill, parsley, tarragon, thyme, mint, and rosemary, as well as strawberries and carrots.

Most of them have sprouted and are looking very well. I figure we will need to replant some since it has been so rainy (again), but things are looking up this year.

On a separate note, today is my 25th birthday. Each birthday is like the last, but this day was different. This is the day I got diagnosed with the flu. I have never had the flu in my life, but I honestly expected it to be worse than it currently is. Don’t get me wrong, it is no fun, but not near as bad as I thought. It took me exactly 25 years to get the flu, and I hope that it takes me another 25 years to catch it again. I shall have to celebrate the day of my birth when I feel better and am not quarantined to our cute, little apartment.

God bless, and take some vitamin C.

Posted in Crafting, Health, Home Life, Uncategorized

Operation: Sqwormy Box

To start off, I do realize that I incorrectly spelled ‘squirmy’. However, I would like to assert that I did so for the sake of a pun!

Hubby and I* started a worm compost nearly a year ago outside the back of our cute, little apartment. But by saying “hubby and I”, I mostly mean I.

I* started a worm compost nearly a year ago outside the back of our cute, little apartment. If I am going to be honest, my dear husband detested the idea all together, but he was willing to amuse me.

We acquired our first worms one weekend while we were visiting my parents at the farm. My dad and I dug them up while my husband quietly observed (seeing as he was always raised in one city or another, this behavior was understandable). I brought my new pride and joy home in a five-gallon bucket and placed them in two milk crates lined with homemade t-shirt bags and filled with the cheapest dirt we could get ahold of at Home Depot. I would make sure and give them my fruit and vegetable scraps and leftover coffee grounds, and every once in a while Hubby would be willing to bury the loot with a trowel for me. We had a pretty good thing going and I was perfectly content with my new project.

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I am honestly not sure what happened exactly.

I was astonished.

I was slightly horrified.

I was impressed.

I came home one day to my husband elbow-deep in worm poop. I’m not sure if the worms audibly spoke to him or played him a song on the ukulele, but apparently the they had grown on my dear husband and he decided that he would take it upon himself to turn the soil. It was a (post-)Christmas miracle!

Since that day, Hubby has been actively caring for our worms and we now refer to them as ‘our pets’. We feed them. We turn their soil. And we water them occasionally.

We had been doing research for quite some time about building a legit worm bin, but none ever stuck out to us as being practical and suited to our needs. We found everything from coffee cans stuck under the kitchen sink to elaborate multi-level contraptions that seemed better for a large-scale production. We wanted to respect our new friends more than putting them into a coffee can, but building something from scratch looked too complicated.

Then it appeared. It was a vision from Heaven. It was perfect. It was a shipping box left behind our dumpster!

I got inspired!

With our eye on the prize, Hubby and I very unceremoniously lugged our newly-acquired, ugly shipping box across the parking lot, up the hill, and around to the back of our apartment. I wish I had taken a picture of it laying hideously behind our dumpster, but I guess I was afraid someone would nab it while I was getting my camera (I don’t know either). And this is where we catch up to about two weeks ago.

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Boom, baby!

That hideous gray atrocity is the first step of our new (and improved!) worm bin. As a side-note, the weird-looking red pallet project is a planter box holder and it also got much improvement during this process. The poor thing was naked all of last year.

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We attached the lid to le box via those two hinges. Not bad if I do say so myself. Our apartment is the one on the right with the open door (if you care).

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Here is the front of this beast. We felt like we should add a latch on the front for protection from any critters wanting an easy snack of our worm-babies or our scraps (there was a really hungry stray cat one time). We also felt like we should attach said latch to where you have to man-handle the lid a bit to get it on and off for “extra-protection” against crafty predators (yeah, that was totally an accident).

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Here are some placement photos! Husband leg is just a bonus, and that big, nasty pile of leaves is where our fire ants currently live… Soon. Very soon.

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I forgot to take a better picture of this, so this is what you are getting. Essentially what we had done was drill a bunch of holes in the bottom to allow all of the excess moisture to escape. We then cut a piece of screen and tacked it to the bottom to a) prevent worms/dirt from escaping the box, and b) to hopefully prevent and/or deter our pesky fire-ants from nesting in there. We also slid two standard-issue aluminum roasting pans underneath the box to catch those precious worm-tea drippings.

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And the dirt and worms finally got to go in our box! These pictures were taken a few days apart with two different cameras, and I was too lazy to try to color-match them in my software. We decided to add the shipping straps to the box so that it wouldn’t flop back and destroy the air conditioning unit behind it.

Another feature of our new worm bin is the “cinnamon barrier” around the bottom edges and perimeter. I did some research a while back when I was concerned about ants getting into our apartment, and found that cinnamon is an excellent deterrent. Cinnamon is apparently too strong of a scent for the ants and they steer clear of it. As I have mentioned earlier, we have recently discovered a fire ant problem in our back yard (particularly under our concrete porch). I have been consistently dusting cinnamon around our worm bin so as to add another obstacle for those devilish fire ants.

And, for your entertainment, here is a doofy picture of me being so proud of my niftiness.

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Posted in Bible, Home Life, Uncategorized

A Nearly Perfect Birthday

To start off this post, I would just like to say that I tried. My husband’s birthday was on its way and I was determined to capture the day “on film” so that I could write a blog post about it (complete with pictures!).

Everything was great. I looked like a hipster carrying around my cute little camera and taking pictures of us eating, but it was going to be worth it (right?)!

Nope. *wha, wha, whaaaaaa*

The pictures look great on the camera. I could click through them and admire my work. However, the problem occurred when I attempted to get them onto my computer. Take the SD card out and put it in the slot, no big deal. Fail. I thought my card reader was just being difficult, so I did the famous “turn it off and on again”. That didn’t work either. My husband tried to load it on his computer and…nothing. Okay. I went another route: USB from the camera to my computer. No luck.

My husband finally delivered the bad news to his darling, and still mildly hopeful, wife. The SD card was not dead, but it was unable to transfer my beautiful pictures.

That being said, I had to resort to pulling the pictures up on the viewfinder of my camera and then taking a picture of that with my phone. It turns out that an iPhone cannot capture the intricacies of a perfectly framed and focused photograph (in my opinion; my husband the photographer would probably disagree) off of a viewfinder. The result: pitiful, blurry pictures. *Insert pouty lip here*.

I finally was able to get those inferior photographs on my computer and was utterly distraught with the quality. I have a blog to keep up with! My three readers deserve better than this! Sorry to let you know that while you guys do deserve better photographs than what I am providing, you are in fact not getting them. It was not from lack of effort though, so just keep that in mind.

Hubby recommended changing some of the more horrific photos [of photos] to black and white to make it look “art-y”. So yeah, some of them are black and white because I was totally trying to be “art-y”.

 

Now back to the original intended content of my post!

 

My dear husband turned 25 on January 31st. The morning was “eh”: work and school and stuff. But the celebrations officially began at lunchtime. Like any true Baptist whose abode is Arkansas, we ate Mexican food.

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The majority of the weird looks that I obtained was in this restaurant (just in case you, my three avid readers, were wondering).

We then went to watch “Silence” at my husband’s request. I spent the 2+ hours of this movie struggling with the concepts introduced and the theological implications that the film brought to heart. This movie is definitely not for the faint-of-heart and you must be willing to dedicate most of the next few days chewing on the challenges that this film portrays. I so desperately wanted to take a side in this movie since Hollywood tends to have us naturally take the protagonist’s point of view. This is why this film was especially difficult for me since I did not fall on either side of the religious spectrum that it portrayed.

 

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My husband just wrote a review of the film and it’s comparison to the original, and it is well worth the read (if I do say so myself). If you are interested in Japanese history, the influence of Catholicism in other countries, or are just a glutton for punishment, I would highly recommend this film.

Afterward, my husband and I met up with our friend, Coop, who is the janitodian (janitor + custodian) at the church where I work. He just happened to be doing yard-work that day, and will probably never forgive me for posting these pictures on the internet for my avid reader-base to see.

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I would like to note that this picture deserved to be “art-y”. I would also like to note that Coop was worried that his hat would look weird on camera. I think it looks fine.

Shortly after this picture was taken, my dear husband and our handsome-hatted friend helped me arrange furniture in our Sunday School classroom. Happy Birthday to Hubby! No, really; thanks a bunch, hon!

And how did we reward ourselves for our hard work???

Chick-fil-A!!!

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Here is our main course. And just so everyone knows, I really miss eating Chick-fil-A sandwiches with wonderful fried chicken-y goodness.

I did leave this photo in color, so one might think that it survived the “Great SD Card Plague of 2017”, but no. Note the black edges of my camera view screen as proof that I could not even take a nice, good photo of a nice, good photo.

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And here is an “art-y” picture of Hubby drinking his Birthday Shake (**vanilla: yes whipped cream, no cherry**).

Overall, it was a great day. And even though my beautiful plan of documenting that day went horribly awry, I did end up at least being able to post some form of the pictures I took.

And finally, for your entertainment, here is my SD Card Shaming picture for all the internet to see.

Look at him sitting there with his smug face.

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***Retraction: It was pointed out to me by one of my avid readers, that I mistakingly wrote that my husband does not like whipped cream or cherry on his shakes. My husband insisted that I correct this atrocity so that my other two avid readers would not be mistaken on how he takes his shake.***

Posted in Health, Home Life, Uncategorized

What Have I Done?

 

So…I did something bad.

My husband and I have been gluten-free for a little over two years now. We decided to try this diet when I first started getting sick after we got married (if you are morbidly curious, here is a link to The New Normal). We decided to stick with this diet when we discovered that my beloved hubby swelled up like a balloon on our first “cheat day”. Since then, we have also discovered that gluten has a tendency to trigger my migraines. Both of us being gluten-sensitive has turned out for the best though, because neither of us cheat in order to not tempt the other.

Since that time, I have also discovered that sugar also triggers my migraines (shocker, I know). I have spent the past three weeks trying to be as naturally sugar-free as I can without going crazy about it. Life is too short to worry about how much sugar is in peanut butter (can I get an amen?). If my body wants sugar, I eat a piece of fruit.

That being said…I ate a Reese’s cup instead of the cute little orange in my jacket pocket. It was not a violation of my gluten-free rule, but it is obviously not an apple or kiwi. But dare I say, I think I am okay; no headache and no aura.

The trick that I am trying to learn with sugar is moderation, but that is hard considering how addictive it is. As I wrote earlier, I mostly get my sugars from fruit. If my body is going to get a blast of sugar, then it is going to have to digest the fiber that naturally goes along with it and evens it out.

I am a work in progress, and that is okay. I ate a Reese’s cup, and I think that is okay too. However, a migraine-free Reese’s cup is no excuse to not continue caring for my body.

Next experiment: caffeine.

Posted in Health, Home Life, Uncategorized

Friday the 13th

Learning to take care of myself physically is emotionally exhausting.

I am your typical OCD perfectionist. Pushing myself to do the best is where I get the extent of my exercise. It is difficult for me to a) do work that I know is not my best and b) to not do work at all.

I still have my job, just in case I scared somebody. However, yesterday was my first ‘First Day’ of a semester that I am not involved in. As much as I desperately wanted to get back in school from my nice little medical leave, I had to accept the fact that I am simply not ready.

For the previous two and a half years, I listened to my body when it was demanding me to stop and tried my best to not make the rest of me stop along with it. That was life: go until I couldn’t any more. In the process, I had maimed the only part of me that I thought I could control.

School work has never been un-doable for me. On the inverse, it was very easy. I sat through class, took notes, and studied a little before tests. But by not listening to my body, I have slowly destroyed my mind. Sentences are harder to put together and words do not come easy anymore. My sickness has robbed me of my beloved education and I long for the days where my mind was clear.

If I have learned anything from this experience thus far, is to cherish the opportunities that I have every day. I may not be my old self yet, but I am here. I have a wonderful life that I am living each day, even if I struggle.

And on those days where I just can’t seem to have as much faith and hope as I need, God is merciful enough to send a few mourning doves my way.

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Posted in Culture, Health, Home Life, Uncategorized

A Merry Little New Year

Today is the first official Arkansas snow day of 2017. I am currently sitting in my office at work, because snow can’t stop a lady from working when she is within walking distance. However, everyone else is pretty much out of school and out of work, as it is a lovely day to sit around and drink hot chocolate.

Having finished my regular work duties, it is now time for me to try to catch up on le blog. Something I have been thinking about lately (mainly to the credit of social media) is how much the holy trinity of holidays mean to everyone: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

This time of year is marketed to be so happy and perfect. Expectations are high for a lot of people to give the best gift or set the loveliest place-setting. Individuals are supposed to be blissfully joyful as soon as the calendar flips to when Thanksgiving Day is in view. Dinner is made, trees go up, and a new year is within sight.

In reality, I look around and see broken people trying their best to keep their chins up in the midst of a broken world.

It is no secret that I struggle with perfectionism; you can ask my parents, my husband, my teachers. The trick is learning to recognize the things that I cannot change and how they influence how I feel. So, I guess this article is my first step to rehabilitation.

I see that the holiday season causes stress and discomfort for many who so desperately long for the simple joys of what the holidays portray. Relationships are strained because of unnecessary financial burdens, children jealously quarrel over everything and nothing at the same time, and people are just plain unpleasant in general. Not only this, but then you are expected to take a beautiful picture of your perfect family to put on the holy trinity of social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

How can I prevent these negative attitudes in my marriage? How do I keep my future children from being horrible human beings? How can I prevent splitting myself into two separate beings (public and private) for the sake of people I don’t even see every decade to view on a computer? And is there a way to get a good picture for Facebook without destroying my family’s trust and intimacy?

I know. I know. I’m Debbie-downer today. It seems silly, but these things really bother me. I’ve prayed a lot about this and I keep coming back to one word: contentment. God expects me to be content with His love, His provision, and the future He has in store for me. Some days this is easy, but most days I endlessly struggle. Thankfully, my relationship with God does not depend on how much I trust Him on a daily basis, and that in itself is proof of what an awesome God I serve.

I am learning that I am asking the wrong questions. Instead of worrying about the potential negativity and heartache in my future, I should be focused on the present.

Is God enough?

Until I can answer this question with absolute certainty, I will never be content with my marriage, my family, or my social status. The catch is that I have to examine myself every second of every day. It is easy to remember me, but God is the one who ultimately provides satisfaction and purpose.

 

On a lighter note, please enjoy this picture of my husband who thinks he looks just like Groucho Marx…

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