Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkeyday Weekend Recap

Hello blog world! I intended to get back a little sooner, but when I am gone for the weekend, especially as long a weekend as this one was, there is so much to do that it's hard to find time to blog. And since we don't live near our families, when we do go to visit them, I like to be there and not on the computer. Also, I apologize, because I still cannot find my camera, this post will lack fun pictures. So I'll try to keep it brief.

We headed up to northern kentucky after work on wednesday evening. We spent time with Derek's parents wednesday night. Thursday morning was spent getting ready for our thanksgiving feast. Derek's aunt and uncle, as well as his brother's family joined us for thanksgiving day. The food was so delicious, and spending time with family was wonderful. My nephews are growing up. Henry is almost 3 and is hilarious. I got to spend some quality time playing with him, as well as holding my little 6 month old nephew, Oliver. They are both too cute. We ate lunch in the early afternoon, watched football all day, ate leftovers again for dinner and hung out some more all evening. Rob, Corrie and the boys spent the night at Derek's parents house even though they live close by. It was fun to have a sleepover. We hung out pretty much all day Friday too. I didn't change out of my pajamas til 5:00. It was glorious.

Unfortunately, Derek's younger brother and his wife couldn't join us, because they live in Pennsylvania and she is due with her first baby tomorrow! We're keeping them in our prayers though. I can't wait to meet the newest nephew!

Also, we didn't end up doing any shopping this weekend. We thought about it, but we didn't have anything in particular that we needed to buy and weren't (and still aren't) sure what we are going to buy everyone. So we decided to hang out around the house with the family all day. The rest of the weekend was spent in similar fashion. We went to see Harry Potter on Saturday (loved it!) and got to see some friends as well, and by Saturday night we were back in Lexington.

On Sunday we finished putting up the last of our Christmas decorations and had a Thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of our friends. Another pot-luck style dinner where everyone brings a dish and we all feast. It was delish! My friends make great food. I'm so thankful for them.

All in all it was a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Coming back to work has been tough, but luckily, I have this Friday off, so I'm almost halfway through the work week.

I'm gonna try to jump back into the 12 days of Christmas blogging challenge here soon! And I have appropriately Christmafied my blog. I'm 100% in the Christmas spirit!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Greatest Gift

Today for Aly and Molly's 12 Days of Christmas the topic is the best / most meaningful gift you have ever received.

Today I am going to go all serious on you, because this one is easy for me - it would have to be the gift of grace. I know it probably sounds cliche but as we approach Thanksgiving and I think about what I am thankful for, there are so many things. But without grace the rest of it means nothing.

If Jesus had not taken on the form of a man and come to earth to save us sinners, I would still have lots of things, lots of really good things, but the truth is, it would all be meaningless, and what is worse, I would try to use all those other gifts to find satisfaction in my life. And I have found that trying to find meaning, happiness and fullness in life is not possible without Jesus. But oh man, do I try. To be dependent on a God that I cannot see or physically touch is one of the hardest things. It would be so much easier if my husband, or my family, or my financial security, or relationships, or stuff could do it. Because those things I can control (at least to some degree). I can see them and I can logically work out what I need to do to make them work. But God is not like that. And so I don't want to be dependent on something I can't control or can't always be sure that if I put A and B together I will get C.

And because of this, I try to find life in so many other places. I've tried making other good things the ultimate thing in my life. And in doing so I have turned my back on the very God who created me. Which is why the gift of grace, the gift of Christ, is the best gift I have ever received. It is not something I even remotely deserve, or anything I could ever pay back even a fraction of. To have someone die so that you don't have to is something that I don't think I will ever comprehend the enormity of. But receving this gift has changed everything. It has given me meaning, purpose, a fullness in life that nothing else could bring. It has changed my relationships, the way I spend my time and money, the way I view myself, the way I view others. It frees up the good things in my life to simply be good things, not things I depend on for my happiness or identity. Every other good thing is only good because of this gift. And so that I what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, and that is why the gift of grace is easily, hands down, the greatest gift I've ever received.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black Friday!

Today on Aly and Molly's 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge the topic is Black Friday / General Shopping Tips and Tricks.

I need to preface this by saying that I am not a serious Black Friday shopper. I can't get myself up earlier than probably 5 am, nor do I want to. But my goal is to shoot for the early morning, after the serious shoppers who get there when the store opens are gone, and before everyone else wakes up. Now this does mean that you miss out on some of the best deals, but you can still get some good buys this way. Also, just because you get there when the store opens doens't mean that you will be guaranteed what you set out for.

Last year we had been saving up for a new tv. The tv we got when we first got married broke (can you believe that? It was only a couple years old!) We saved up our dollars for the Black Friday sales and came home with a pretty good deal. The first thing we did was check out all of the ads for every store that sold tvs. We made a list of the brand, specs and prices of all the tvs that were in our price range and size/quality range. The key here was to be flexible and not have our hearts set on one specific tv. We found that we could get generally the same tv at several different stores for around the same price.

Next we came up with a game plan. We looked at which stores were close to one another and plotted our course so we could go from one store to the next until we found one that had a tv left in our price range. We had about 5 or 6 different stores that we could go to.

We also enlisted help. Derek, my mom, my aunt and myself went. This way we could split up and quickly see if the store had what we wanted, and one person could go find a sales associate to help, etc.

We ended up getting our TV at Best Buy which was the second store we went to. The TV we ended up with wasn't even one that we had seen advertised, which is probably why they still had some left by the time we got there. It was a little more than we planned on spending, but it was a better quality TV. We still have yet to see a TV that is the size and quality of ours for the price we got it at.  So the key points here are to go with an idea of what you want in mind, but be flexible.

After buying the TV we headed to some other stores to do some general shopping. My advice for that is to have one person stand in line while the others shop. You can rotate out so everyone gets a chance to shop, but the lines are so long that if you wait to get in line you will waste a lot of time.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to try and brave the crowds this year or just sleep in. I'll let you know what I ended up doing and if I end up getting any deals!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Traditions

After I posted my Miscellany Monday post this morning, I saw that today is Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Aly's blog, Analyize This, and the topic for today is Christmas/Holiday traditions. Since I am married and don't have any kids, we haven't really established any of our own traditions, but we have 2 families that we would like to see around Christmas time, so every year looks different. I got excited though, thinking about the Christmas traditions I grew up with and wanted to join in the fun and write about those.

My favorite Christmas memories growing up involve Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. My family would go to Christmas Eve church service, and out to eat every year. Sometimes we would go to our own church, sometimes my aunt's church if she was singing or playing guitar. And we would always go out to eat. Sometimes before church, sometimes after depending on which church service we decided to go to. And sometimes it was just my mom, dad, grandma, sister and myself, and other years it was the whole family. This part was flexible. But when we got home, my sister and I would ALWAYS open our gifts to each other on Christmas Eve. Then we would put on our favorite pajamas and we would all pile into my parents bed and read these 3 books: 

All of us reading these books before bed might be the thing I miss most from our childhood Christmas traditions. We read these books every year up to the Christmas before I got married when I was 22.

On Christmas morning we would all go downstairs together and open gifts. As we got older we slept in longer, but when we were little my parents would have to tell Julie and I that we weren't allowed to wake them up until 7:00 or some really early hour. But we would wake up before that so excited and would hang out in each other's rooms until that time, so excited to open our Christmas gifts. Then after we opened gifts my mom would make Santa pancakes and we would play with our new toys all day until it was time to either go to my grandma's house or have everyone over to our house to celebrate with our extended family.
 Such good times!

Now it's your turn to head over to Aly's and join in and share your favorite traditions!

Miscellany Monday

It's Monday! It's a 3-day work week! Happy day! Here's what's going on round here:

1. I spent the weekend in Indiana at weekend camp with some LCA peeps and other YL friends. We had a super fun weekend of hanging out and fellowship. I didn't get nearly enough sleep but we had a great time.

2. Also on a young life note, tonight we are having our annual Thanksgiving potluck dinner. We started this tradition last year and it was one of my favorite things we do. One of the girls' mom makes us a turkey and everyone brings their favorite side dish or desert and we have a big ol' Thanksgiving dinner together. We love it, the students love it, and it makes us all feel like family. I can't wait. I'm making sweet potato casserole again. Here are some pics from last year's dinner. We're having it at the same place this year!

3. Naps. I have such a love-hate relationship with them. They feel so wonderful when you are taking them, but afterward I feel groggy and out of it for the rest of the day. I can't decide if it's worth it to nap or if I should just wait and get all my sleep at night.

4. Harry Potter! We are going to go see the new Harry Potter movie over Thanksgiving when we go up to Norther Kentucky for Thanksgiving. I LOVE Harry Potter. The books are so good. If you haven't read them I seriously recommend you do. The movies are good, but the books are so much better.

5. Speaking of the book being better than the movie, Have you read Confessions of a Shopaholic? Those books are seriously hilarious. I remember when I first read them thinking they should make a movie out of them, but they changed so many things and it's just not nearly as good as book.

I think that's all for today. I hope everyone enjoys Thanksgiving week! Hopefully you get a day or 2 off work or get to enjoy spending time with someone who does!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Call Us Crazy...

But Tuesday night, Derek and I put up our Christmas decorations! Now I usually have issues with starting Christmas before Thanksgiving, but for some reason this year I'm just going with it. Maybe it was because while we were shopping in Chicago all of the stores were decorated for Christmas and it got is in the spirit early. Maybe it was because we realized that since we'll be out of town for the next two weekends we might as well take advantage of an unexpected free night. Or maybe because we head out of town before Christmas and want to enjoy our decorations as much as possible. But whatever the reason, we just decided that people can judge us and give us a hard time all they want, but our house is ready for Christmas!

Derek even let me watch White Christmas whlie we put the tree up. Ever since I can remember my family has always watched White Christmas while we decorate the tree, and since I probably won't be able to go up to Columbus to help my parents put their tree  up :( I was so glad I got to watch it!

So here are some of the interesting dynamics of Christmas decorating at the Warnick household:

1. It is my job to fluff the tree. {Yes, we have a fake tree, but it was free and it's so hard to go out and spend money on a real one every year when someone offers you a free fake one. And with a fake tree, you can put it up as early as you want :)} So you know how when your tree has been in storage all year long and you take it out it is not very full and you have to spread out all of the branches? Well I think that properly fluffing the tree is key to having a good looking Christmas tree. However, it is time consuming and not the most fun job. Derek doesn't have the patience for this so its my job.

2. Putting lights on the tree is a team effort and pretty easy to do. We use colored lights because we have all sorts of different colored ornaments. I would one day love to have a fancy tree with white lights and a color theme going on, but Derek loves variety, which brings me to the next point...

3. I love pretty glass ball ornaments in red, green, silver and gold. Derek loves unique ornaments. The ones you get every year with the date on them, or that have meaning. So I put up all of our pretty ornaments and Derek puts up all the fun ones. It's the only way I can get him to help me decorate the tree.

4. My favorite part of Christmas decorations is putting up the tree and watching White Christmas. After that I could be done. Don't get me wrong, I love a house that is beautifully decorated for Christmas all over. But I could be happy if all we had up was a Christmas Tree and a manger scene. Derek does a great job of decorating the rest of the house for Christmas. Putting Christmas towels in the bathroom. Setting up the little Christmas village I got from my grandma. Finding a home for all the little Christmas-y things we have accumulated over the years. {Although I think I would like to get some new decorations for the mantle and make that look real pretty - I just don't want to spend any money on it!}

So that's pretty much how Christmas decorating goes at our house. Since I no longer have a camera there are no pictures to document this years Christmas decorations, but you can check out all the pictures from last year right here. I haven't gotten anything new, so not much has changed. And we still have the cheap tacky plastic gold star on top of the tree. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good Christmas tree topper?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This past weekend Derek and I headed up to Chicago to visit some of our best friends. We stayed with Kari and her husband Stephen and my friend Sarah stayed with us too.  Now I seem to be having some bad luck with cameras. I broke our camera on our trip to Marco Island, but luckily Sarah had an extra that she let me have. Well, now it seems I have misplaced that one as well. So I have no photos to document our trip. But Kari let us take some using her camera, so as soon as I get my hands on those I will share :) So here is the text only version of our little trip.

We headed out on Friday morning - after oversleeping because our power went out on Thursday and when I reset my clock Thursday evening I set it to AM. So my alarm was set to the correct time on Friday morning, except my clock thought it was night time therefore it didn't go off :(  (Losing power also caused me to get stuck at my house because my car was in the garage and I couldn't figure out how to get the door open so my boss had to come rescue me - but that's another story for another day.) Our goal was to get to Chicago before crazy rush hour traffic and we got started an hour and a half late. But we made good time and got into town before traffic started getting too crazy.

Kari and Stephen live in Lincoln Park so the first thing we did was take a little walk around town. They have a cute little pond right by their apartment, we went down to the beach and walked along it for a while and then headed back to the apartment by way of the zoo. Unfortunately most of the exhibits were closed by the time we got to the zoo so we didn't get to see lots of animals, but the sun was setting and the views were beautiful. That night we headed downtown to meet Stephen at Giordano's Pizza for dinner. Wow. That pizza is amazing! We spent the rest of the evening hanging out and talking and Kari teaching me how to sew a fun little project for my newest nephew who should be arriving in the next couple of weeks!

Saturday morning we woke up from a wonderful nights sleep. Their guest bed is super comfy! Kari made us a delicious breakfast and I finished my sewing project. We all headed down to Michigan Avenue to get some shopping in. We started at one end and worked our way down and then headed over to State Street to get some Garrett's Popcorn. Ok, this stuff is like crack. It is so good. I wish we had more. I'm salivating just thinking about it. If you ever go to Chicago you must get some. By the time we got our popcorn it was getting pretty cold, so we headed to a little tea shop and got some drinks and ate our popcorn. A few of Kari's friends met up with us and we hung out for a bit.

Next was more shopping. We tried on lots of clothes and even bought a few things. We went to what used to be Marshall Fields (and is now Macy's) and went to Holiday Lane where we purchased our 2010 Ornament. Every year Derek and I try to buy an ornament from one of our trips to put on our Christmas tree. We got  pizza slice ornament and Kari wrote Chicago 2010 on it for us. Then we headed to Joy Yee in Chinatown for dinner. And it was amazing too! We ate so much good food. It is a good thing we did a lot of walking while we were there. That is another cool thing about Chicago. We drove there, but once we parked our car we didn't have to use it until we left. We took busses and trains everywhere and walked and I loved it. (I probably wouldn't have loved it so much if it was 10 or 20 degrees colder.)  After dinner we took the train back to the apartment and hung out some more. It was so great to get to hang out with such good friends who I used to see on the regular and no longer get to.

Sunday morning involved cinnamon rolls and chruch at Moody Church. (Sarah had to head back to Naperville before church so this is where we parted ways with her.) It was so cool to go to church there. For one, it's just a really great church  with a great message, and two, I loved how multi-cultural it is. In Lexington, at least at the churches I've been to, it's 95% + white folks. Here there were people from all over the world. I think it was cool to see what it's really going to look like in heaven one day. We loved it. After church we went to pocket puppies and played with cute little puppies and then to lunch. Sadly, after lunch it was time to go. We had such a great trip though and I can't wait to go back. I loved Chicago (although I'm thinking I'm going to wait til spring to head back) and I loved seeing my friends. I miss them so much, but it was so fun hanging out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Idol of Importance

God has changed me ALOT over th past few months. I've been wanting to share, but to put it into words, succinctly, and in a way that makes sense takes a lot of time and effort, and every time I thought of trying to write this post I just put it off because I didn't want to put in the effort. But it's been on my heart a lot lately, so I'll give it a shot.

It all started with this. It is a talk by Derek's Young Life leader, Rick Scherr i listened to over the summer. It is about an hour long, but if you get a chance, I promise it is well worth your time. The title of the talk is Lordship. And it is about making Christ the Lord of your life. Yes, Jesus is my savior, but in many ways, I struggle to let Him be Lord too. The reason I struggle to do this is because I still have idols in my life. Not little carved statues that I worship, but things that I want to control because I feel like I need them in my life and I don't want to let go.

In this talk, Rick identifies the 3 idols that the majority of people my age struggle with:
  • Comfort
  • Romantic Love / Marriage / Family
  • Being Important to Others
As he talked about each of these, they were very convicting. I already knew, however that I struggled with thte first two. And I continue to struggle with those, and this talk was very convicting about them. The third item on that last though, I had NO IDEA that this was an idol in my life. It completely blind-sided me, but helped me to realize the cause for many of my insecurities, and the reason that I would often times feel not so great about myself.

So what I learned was this: I have this need to be important to people. I want people to want me to be a part of their lives. I want to be everyone's best friend. I want people to like me. I want people to want my opinion. I want people to want me to like them. I want to be the best at everything. I want to have the best friendships, marriage, ministry, job, etc. All of this was to the point that I couldn't be happy for other people when they had something I did not, or something better than me. If friends were getting together and I wasn't a part of it, I was devastated. If I saw a few people write on someone's facebook wall, I would begin to wonder why no one wrote on my wall. If someone's husband did something sweet for them, I would try to think of something sweet Derek did for me to make myself feel better. If people who I knew were closer friends than me did something together, I would tell myself that's ok, because they are really close, but if I was left out of something with friends I felt close with, like I should have been invited, I would feel awul. Everything was viewed through a lens of "how does this affect me?" This is honestly pretty embarassing to write out, because I know it sounds ridiculous, and it is. And I tried my best to hide it and deny it and act happy for people because I knew I shouldn't feel that way, but I did, I just didn't know why.

Then I heard this talk, and it clicked. I realized that the reason I had these feelings, feelings that I had never verbalized and would never admit to anyone, was because I had made being important an idol in my life. And once I realized this, it was one of the most freeing things that has every happened to me. All of a sudden, when I would get those feelings, I would recognize them for what they were. And I would ask God to take them from me, and allow me to rest in the fact that I am important enough for Him to send His Son to die for, and that is enough. I have focused on really being happy for people, without thinking about myself and whether or not what they have is something I want. I have become content and able to share in people's joys. I can see things for what they are, without viewing them through the "what does this have to do with me?" lens. And I m full of so much more joy, and peace and contentment. And I think the relationships in my life have improved. They probably have because they are no longer about me.

Honestly, I am a bit nervous to post this. Because I still care what people think of me. I wish I didn't but I do. But maybe someone will read this who can relate to what I am saying and it will bring you freedom too. And honestly, if you can take an hour to listen to Rick's talk, I promise you won't regret it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time...

This past Sunday I was at Garden Ridge shopping for some decorations for a work dinner this week and they already had most of their Christmas decorations out and were playing Christmas music! Usually I'm not into getting into the holiday spirit before Christmas, and while I will still wait til after Christmas to start decorating my house, I am ready to start thinking about the holidays, what gifts I'll buy, crafts I want to try, food I want to make and Christmas cards!  I've seen several people post about Shutterfly's awesome deal that if you blog about their Christmas cards you can get 50 free cards! So I decided to join in and share with you some cards I would LOVE to get from Shutterfly:

For Christmas cards, I love the monogram on this card:

I also have a slight obsession with plaid:
Here are some more I like:

Alright, I could go on, but you get the idea.  They also have calendars, which would make a great gift, as well as canvas wall art - how cool is that - you can get your pictures printed onto a canvas!

If you have a blog and want to get your own free cards, go here.  I am so excited about this, because just this weekend Derek was saying that he wanted to send out picture cards this year. Every other year we have just done regular cards, so I'm real excited to make our own!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Miscellany Monday

I finally got my act together enough to do a Miscellany Monday post! Head over to lower case letters and join in the fun! Now onto my random post:

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. I stink at waking up if I don't have to. Most days of the week I wake up anywhere from 5:45 to 6:15. So on Saturday and Sunday mornings when I don't have to wake up so early I sleep in. The problem is that lately I have been sleeping in past 10 am! I feel like I waste so much of my day, and then on Sunday night, I'm not tired so I stay up late and then on Monday I am tired again. I wish I could make myself wake up earlier on weekends!

2. The LCA girls didn't win the state championship this weekend :( I was so sad for them. It stinks to make it all the way to the championship game and not win it. But they played well and we had lots of fun watching them - even though it was freezing.

3. Speaking of freezing, the weather got cold here over the weekend. So I made my first batch of chili this fall on Saturday and a bunch of our LCA friends came over and we all ate chili before we went and froze watching the soccer game. I love chili on chilly fall days :)

4. Derek and I are going to chicago this weekend to visit our friends Kari and Stephen, and Sarah! I am so excited about this I can hardly stand it! I am going to try to get Kari to teach me some of her crafty ways while we are there. Only 4 more work days...

5. Derek is going to the Bengals vs. Steelers Monday Night Football game tonight with Rachel's and Katie's husbands which means that I have a whole free evening ahead of me. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the possiblities with what I could do with a free evening and end up wasting it. I will try my best not to do that tonight.

So, I think that pretty much covers it for this Monday. Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I did while not at a soccer game

Good news - LCA won their soccer game last night, so I will get to go see them play for the state championship on Saturday!  In my last post I mentioned that I opted to stay home and relax in an effort to not be out every night this week and spend some quality time with my pup and myself.

So, what did I spend my free evening doing?

1. Took Moose for a nice long walk (in the rain).

2. Talked to the Mormons who came to my door.

3. Did some dishes and cleaned up the kitchen.

4. Transferred ALL of my pictures from our old computer to our new computer.

5. Learned how to make a header for the blog and made this new header!

I am super excited about numbers 4 and 5.  We got our new computer about a month ago (ish - not really sure, I just know it was in the middle of my studying) and I have not done anything with it. I really wanted to move all of our pictures over because our old computer wasn't backed up. I guess it was too old because when I tried to plug in my external hard drive it crashed the computer. So now all the pictures are on the new computer and backed up. Music is the only other big thing that needs to be transferred, but at least all of our pictures are safe!

I also have been wanting to update the layout of my blog. I still would like to make some changes and add some things to it. But this is a good start. And all day today I have felt happy because of it.  It's the little things really. It's funny how a free evening can be so refreshing. I definitely needed it, and I still get to go support the girls that play soccer on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

At Home

I'm sitting at home right now flipping through the Pottery Barn December catalog that just arrived. Derek just left to go to an LCA girls soccer game. They are in the final four of the state. I feel like I should have gone, but I just got home from work and would leave and probably wouldn't get home til at least 10:30 or 11. Also, I feel like someone needed to stay with Moose. He's been in his crate all day and if I left he would be in his crate all night. Then he will be in his crate all day tomorrow, and tomorrow night Derek has to work and I will be at the Young Life banquet so he will be in his crate again. Then on Friday he will again be in his crate all day and all night since we have a young life leadership meeting right after work and an LCA football game that night.

One of the reasons we got Moose was so that we would be home more often. It seems like that hasn't so much happened, now we have just added guilt for keeping him in his crate too much. At the beginning of the week I was feeling such freedom since I no longer have to study. It is amazing how quickly that free time fills up with stuff. I mean there are just so many things to do. And its not like I feel like I am so important because there are things to do. I feel blessed that God has put us in the ministry of young life to share our lives with teenagers. But sometimes it all gets overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder how we can keep this up. I wonder if we are just being busy human doings and not human beings. All of these things are good things, and they bring us joy, but they also leave us exhausted.

I'm not really sure where I am going with this except that I just felt like I needed to get these thoughts out. I hate that I feel guilty for not going to a girls soccer game. But I also hate that if I did go my dog would have spent all 5 days and 4 out of 5 nights this week in his crate. I don't like that I won't get to spend any time with Derek today or tomorrow or much on Friday. I just kind of feel overwhelmed. But I am glad I chose to stay home. I'm glad I can make myself a healthy dinner instead of eating junk food on the way to a soccer game. I'm glad I can take Moose for a walk. I'm glad I can re-clean my house that was sparkling on Friday and has now reverted back close to what it was before. I'm glad I can spend some time reading, or blogging or just being, not doing anything. I'm glad I can go to bed early and maybe not be quite so exhausted when I wake up at 5:45 tomorrow morning. Sometimes I just need to say no. And know that that's ok. That it doesn't make me a bad person or young life leader or whatever. And remember that just because this is a particularly busy week doesn't mean that next week will be just as busy. And that in the end all that matters is love. Everything else is just details.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I'm back! I had my exam on Friday and while I won't find out the results for a couple of months, I feel pretty good about it. I feel like I passed, which is a good thing, however, if I didn't, I have no idea where I went wrong.

The test was in Louisville, which is about an hour or so from here. We had to be there around 7:15, so rather than wake up super early and make the drive, I decided to stay in Louisville on Thursday night. The test was downtown and there is a hotel that is attached to the convention center, which was the testing site. The only problem was, when I went to book my hotel room a little over a month ago, the hotel was full! I tried a few other hotels close by and they were all full too! Every hotel in downtown was full. Now there were several hundred people taking the exam, but not enough to fill up even one hotel, let alone every single one of them! This ended up being a blessing in disguise however, because Corrin, a girl that I went to college with, who took the review course with me, had already booked a room at the Marriott right next to the test site, and she offered to let me stay with her. She is such a sweetheart and I was so appreciative.

So I arrived around 6:00 Thursday night in Louisville and we had a delicious dinner together and headed back to the room to relax for the rest of the evening. We talked and laughed alot and had so much fun just hanging out. It felt like we were teenagers having a sleepover and was exactly what we needed the night before the test.

She was planning on staying the night after the test (she had some friends coming to stay with her) and dress up for Halloween and go out on Friday night, and then get a massage at the Spa on Saturday morning. So on Thursday night she called the concierge to book the massage. The concierge tried to call us back, but the phone in our room was on forward. So the concierge came up to our room to book Corrin's massage and Corrin had never had a massage before and was so excited and sweet that the concierge sent up a complimentary bottle of wine to our room for the night! We felt so fancy. Also, the housekeeping staff dropped chocolates off for us during the evening too. People kept knocking on our door and just kept bringing us stuff. It was awesome. We seriously had so much fun. We ordered room service breakfast to be delivered in the morning and feasted on eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, orange juice and hot chocolate before our test. Although neither of us slept well, I was tossing and turning all night and heard her doing the same thing, the night before the test and the morning of really made an 8 hour exam as enjoyable of an experience as it could have been.

I finished the exam around 5:30 and headed back to Lexington. I met Derek and our YL team members for a celebratory dinner at Cheddars. I got home around 9:00 on Friday night to a sparkly clean house and some chocolate covered strawberries! My friend Sarah sent me chocolate covered strawberries before my test which was so sweet, and my wonderful husband and his parents cleaned our house while I was taking the test. Derek has been having some health issues, so his parents came down to stay with him while I was gone, and on Friday they spent all day fixing things around the house and giving it a thorough cleaning. I mentioned a little bit ago that my goal has been to keep the house sanitary, not necessarily clean because I just didn't have time. I thought I would spend Saturday morning cleaning, but instead was able to sleep in and not worry about it. I was so happy. And because Derek's mom helped, it's probably the cleanest our house has been since we moved in.

Ok, so this post is getting long. Basically the rest of the weekend was pretty wonderful too. My parents and my grandma came down to visit and we spent all weekend with them. I haven't seen my parents since my birthday back in August, and I have missed them so much. We ate a lot, did some shopping, went to church, celebrated my dads birthday and just hung out all weekend. It was wonderful.

Sunday night as Derek and I were sitting watching football I realized that I didn't have to study and it was such a great feeling. There is lots going on this week and I feel like there are so many things I need to catch up on, but I'm so happy to be done studying and have my life back. Thank you to everyone who prayed. God definitely answered. There were times when I was taking the test that I would come to a problem that I didn't know how to solve, and I would look it up in a book and find exactly what I needed to do and throughout the test there were times when I knew it was God showing me what I needed to know. So thank you so much, I really appreciate it.