Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Couple Things

It was a quick weekend, but a couple of fun things happened that I wanted to record:

1. We had our last soccer game of the season. Derek and I had so much fun coaching these girls. They are all kinds of hilarious. And super cute too. I have no pictures, and honestly I would feel a little sketch posting pictures of other people's kids here, but I'm pretty sure we had the cutest team. The good thing about the soccer league is that we will have the same team in the spring, so we will get to coach them all again. I'm also amazed at how much they learned and progressed throughout the season, so I think it will be fun to get to continue in the spring where we left off. I'm going to miss them over the winter though!

2. My parents made a quick trip down to Lexington to see our little team play soccer. They coached me when I was that age, and I'm sure have fond memories of it :) So they came to our game on Saturday morning, and then my mom and I did lots of shopping Saturday afternoon. I got some new clothes and some awesome boots! I'm pretty excited about them!

3.The weather this weekend was amazing. On Sunday afternoon I took Moose for a super long walk and enjoyed the perfect fall temperatures. I have a feeling we aren't going to get too many more days like that, so I'm trying to enjoy them as much as I can.

4. We had our church small group on Sunday afternoon. This is something I always look forward to. I love our group, they are lots of fun and pretty hilarious. We get together and meet for lunch and then discuss whatever we are studying. This year we're going to go through Proverbs, which I'm pretty excited about because I haven't ever really studied Proverbs before. We looked at the beginning of Proverbs 1 this week, and I loved verse 7. 

7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, 
   but fools[a] despise wisdom and instruction.

Such truth in that statement. I think I fear far too many things before I fear the Lord. Yet, of all the things I fear, none of them comes close to having the power that the Lord does. 

So that was our weekend. It was a nice weekend at home and was so fun to see my parents.

Also - don't forget to enter the My Memories Scrapbooking Software Giveaway! So far, there are ZERO entries, so your chances are pretty good :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Memories Suite Giveaway!!!

Hey friends! I'm excited to get to do a little giveaway on the blog today! The folks at My Memories Suite have offered to let me giveaway a copy of their digital scrapbooking software! They also let me have a copy of it to review for you.

So, starting out, you should know that I like the idea of scrapbooking. I like the fun paper and all the stickers and ribbons and accessories. The thing is, I don't love the time it takes to make a scrapbook. I made one for high school many years ago, and while I love it, it took quite a while to put together and I haven't really had the energy to take on another one since. 

I was really excited when the My Memories folks contacted me to review their software so I could give digital scrapbooking a shot. Let me preface by saying that the two weeks that I have had to review the software have been super busy weeks. I spent one weekend on Columbus hanging out with my sister who I get to see twice a year, and another weekend in Florida, hanging out with friends we also rarely get to see. So I haven't had as much time to really discover all that you can do with the software. But, the good news is, with the little time I have had, I've been able to start making pages of several different scrapbook projects. 

I started a California vacation scrapbook and found out I could use my own photo as a background and then add more pictures. Here are a few pages from what I've started on that one. 

And here are a few from a young life camp album I started:

A few things I like about the software:

1. You can add music to your scrapbook and make a movie out of it. I've tried using windows movie maker to make video slideshows and it has always been a huge headache. With this software I was able to easily just add music to my scrapbook, and click a button and it turned my scrapbook into a video with music. 

2. You have lots of options for your scrapbook. You can make it 8 1/2 x 11, portrait or landscape, or 12 x 12. It also can be as many or few pages as you want. The software comes with lots of paper and some fun little embellishments. You can use a theme that's already set up or create your own.

3. You can print it out on our own printer, or send it somewhere to have it printed or just make a movie out of it. 

The software is fairly intuitive. There are lots of things you can do without having to read directions or tutorials. But there are probably a lot more features I haven't discovered yet that you could learn using tutorials.

Overall, I'm excited to play around with it more, and see what I can do.

So now it's your turn. To win a copy of the My Memories Suite software, just go to www.mymemories.com and let me know which digital scrapbooking kit or layout you like the best and leave a comment letting me know which one it is. And then you're entered.

The giveaway is open until next Friday, October 28 at 5:00 PM.

To learn more about the company and/or software you can check out their blog, facebook, or twitter.

Also, if you are interested in buying the software but don't win the contest, you can use the coupon code STMMMS75394 and get$10 off the software.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quick Florida Weekend

As you can tell from the last post, Derek and I took a quick trip to Florida this past weekend. One of Derek's best friends, Brent, and his awesome wife Karin live in the St. Pete area, where they are currently in the residency phase of med school. Which means their lives are crazy busy. But they were awesome enough to work their schedules out so they had the weekend off to hangout with us. 

We flew into St. Pete on Friday morning and got there right around lunch time. Brent picked us up from the airport and we headed back to their house. Which is amazing. It sits right on the intercoastal and they have a dock with a little boat right in their backyard. Also, if you walk to the end of their street and cross the road, you're right on the beach. Probably takes less than 5 minutes to walk there. So you can probably guess what we spent the weekend doing.

First up was fishing on the dock in their back yard. Derek loves to fish, but we don't have any good spots close by, so it's something he doesn't get to do often. So we fished every day. If you look closely in the picture above you'll see a bird. That's Gary. Gary is Brent's friend, and has a pretty sweet set up. Whenever Brent catches a small fish, he'll feed it to Gary. He only feeds him 2-3 fish max when he is out there, but Gary can't complain. Every time we were out there fishing, Gary showed up.

A closer picture of Gary

Derek catching fish

There must be a lot of fish on the intercoastal because we caught tons all weekend. I even caught several every time I was out there. And by the last day I was baiting my own hook and everything! I never took the fish off the hook - I let that be Derek's job.

Also, funny little side story. We made a new bird friend on the last day, Roscoe. He's a pelican and must have noticed Gary's sweet set up. So on the last day he showed up. At first Gary squaked at him and warned him to stay away, but after Gary got a few fish he didn't mind Roscoe hanging around. We tried to feed Roscoe a couple fish but he was clumsy and couldn't catch them in his giant beak. So finally we just threw a fish onto the dock and Roscoe was able to get it.


So besides fishing, we ate a lot of really good food, went to the beach, went out on the boat, played putt-putt, ate ice cream, and spent a lot of time just hanging out. Some more photos from the weekend:

Derek loved driving the boat.

We saw a pirate ship.

We went to Oktoberfest and Brent got this hat. 

Karin and I competed in a stein carrying competition. Karin wore Brent's hat. I had random people cheering for me. It was lots of fun even though neither of us made it out of the first round. We blame it on the fact that we had to go first and didn't fully understand the rules.

After Oktoberfest was more fishing.

Brent's hat must have been lucky because he caught the biggest fish of the weekend while wearing it.

On Sunday we took the boat to a restaurant on the water called The Pub. This was the view from our table. There were TVs at the bar behind us so we ate lunch and watched the Bengals. Then we took the boat back to the house. 

We also spent some time at the beach, playing paddle ball, swimming, taking walks, etc. And the last night Derek and I went to the beach for the sunset, which you've already seen some pictures of, but I'll share a few more.

Overall it was a pretty perfect weekend. The weather was beautiful, it was great just being able to hang out with friends and not have any schedule or responsibilities. We loved catching up with Brent and Karin and wish that we got to hang out with them more often. We told them to block out this weekend next year, as we are planning on heading back and making this a yearly thing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sky: Florida Edition

Just got back from Florida this morning. I'll be back soon with more details. Until then, here are some more sky pictures, this time, from last night's sunset on the beach.


Hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


We've been having some beautiful weather these past few weeks. It's been a perfect fall. Enough rain that the trees are changing into beautiful fall colors. And we've had some of the most amazing skies. 

The best one was this past Sunday when we were coming back from Columbus. Unfortunately I was driving so I didn't get to take a picture of it. It seems like every time I see a cool looking sky I'm in the car. But there have been a few times I've been able to bust out my ipod and snap a couple of pictures. 

Just outside of Lexington

On my way home from work

Sunrise on my way to work

The one good thing about the sun coming up later and going down earlier.

It sure has been pretty here lately :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


There is nothing quite like a sister. And I have one of the most awesome sisters there is. Unfortunately, she lives far away. Which means we don't get to see each other very often. But, when we do, it's wonderful. And this weekend was one of those times.

My sister came home to Columbus this weekend...and it was awesome. She drove all the way from Colorado with her boyfriend Jeff, and their dog, Petunia, on Thursday and Friday. They stopped in Kentucky to have dinner with Derek and I, and then I joined them on the trip up to Columbus Friday night, and Derek came up on Saturday. Everything about the weekend was wonderful, except that we had to leave Sunday night and come back to Kentucky, while Julie and Jeff are still only a mere 3 hours away in Columbus. I was sad the whole way back Sunday night, and am still am.

But let's get back to happier thoughts, like this weekend. I had 3+ uninterrupted hours with Julie on the ride up to Columbus Friday night. Jeff was awesome and chilled with Petunia in the back while Julie and I talked non-stop the whole ride. That's the wonderful thing about sisters, you never run out of things to talk about. I don't even know what all we covered, but I do know that the trip flew by, and we weren't out of things to talk about by the time we got home.

We stayed up late visiting with my parents, and then when everyone was in bed, the 2 of us stayed up late, laughing hysterically reading my middle school journal entries. We could talk and laugh forever and I miss that so much not getting to see her very often.

We didn't do a whole lot the rest of the weekend. We hung out, played with her dog, went apple picking, had a lot of the extended family over to watch Ohio State play. Derek made it in town and was a champ for driving  3 hours by himself even though he would only spend about 24 there. It was so so good just to be together. My whole family. Derek, parents, sister, her boyfriend.

I haven't got to spend a whole lot of time with Jeff, so him staying at my parents house this weekend was great because I feel like I got to know him better. And it turns out I really like him a lot. I hope one day he becomes my brother. Not to put pressure on my sister or anything. I really try not to do that to people because I don't like it when people are always trying to rush me to the next thing. I just mean that one day, if this is who she decides she wants to end up with, I would love it. Because it turns out that I find myself not only missing Julie, but Jeff too. I hate that they are only 3 hours away and I can't just take the whole week off and hang out with them.

Here are the 4 of us back in April when we went out to see them:

And here is their awesome dog Petunia. It doesn't accurately portray how large she is. She makes Moose look little. And Moose loves her. I bet he wishes he got to see them more often too!

This weekend was so much fun, and I'll probably be a little sad all week. I'm really really hoping they'll be back for Thanksgiving. And that we'll be able to make it out there soon too!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lesson #2

One thing I strongly believe is that as believers, we are all called to share Jesus with people. The world needs Jesus, and for the past 10 years the main way that I shared Jesus with people was through young life. Just because I'm not leading, doesn't mean I don't need to share Jesus with people. The thing is I no longer have the platform of young life - where people expect me to talk about Jesus.. The challenge now is to just share Jesus with the people who are in my every day life: girls on my soccer team, soccer parents, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

This has been incredibly challenging for me, since these people don't necessarily expect me to talk about Jesus with them, and also, are mostly older than me. When I lead young life, one of my favorite things to do was to go to starbucks and sit down and talk about life with the students I knew. I loved hearing about what was going on, and getting to share with them why Jesus was relevant to their situations and why He matters in their lives, and the hope that He offers.

The thought of doing this with soccer parents, co-workers, etc. is a little scary to me. I knew it would be putting me outside my comfort zone, which is always a good thing. But when it comes to building relationships with these people I feel really awkward and doubt that they would want to hang out with me. When it comes to sharing Jesus I for some reason don't want to bring it up. Through this, the Holy Spirit has revealed a lot about the condition of my heart. I have learned 2 main things through this. One is that I lack faith, and the other is that I lack a love for people.

These two things kind of go hand in hand. I realized that I lack faith that Christ is really what people need. I think that because they are older than me, and have kids and life experiences that I don't, that I don't have much to offer them. The awesome thing about leading high schoolers was that I've been through what they're going through. I have the experience to share. But when it comes to building relationships with people older than myself, I feel inadequate. So, one thing I have been praying about and asking God for is for a bigger faith, that truly believes that Jesus is really all people need. And I can talk about Him with confidence, knowing that He is the answer for whatever people are going through, even if it's something I don't have experience with.

One of the biggest reasons I get nervous talking about Jesus with people is that I'm afraid they will feel awkward, think that I am weird or judge me in some way, or that they will think I don't care about them and I just want to push a belief system on them. And that has made me realize that I care more about what people think of me, than about them. And it kind of goes back to the whole faith thing. If I really believe that Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, why would I not want to share Him with people? It should just be a natural part of sharing who I am. I'm not afraid to talk about Derek with people. And I know it isn't my job to convince anyone to believe anything, only to share what I know to be true.

Not sure if you've ever seen this you tube video of Penn from Penn & Teller sharing about a time when someone gave him a Bible after one of their shows. He is an atheist, and this video is really cool. I definitely recommend taking the 5 minutes it takes to watch it.

So basically, God has shown me a lot of areas where I need to grow. And while stepping away from young life has been hard, I think it was necessary for me to really grow in my faith. I'm not sure what our lives will look like 5 years from now, or even one year from now. I'm not sure if our ministry future involves our current church, young life, or something completely different. But I do know that I need to be faithful where we are now, and that involves taking risks, having greater faith, and learning what it means to really love other people more than myself.