Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kitchen Reno: The Reveal

I'm finally delivering on those promised pictures of the new kitchen! It's finally finished, but before we get to the new kitchen, take a quick look at what we started with:

And here is the finished product:

 So here's the rundown of what all we did:

  • Got new appliances
  • Had the cabinets painted *we did not trust ourselves to do this, so paid to have it done
  • Added backsplash *Derek and his dad did that - they did an awesome job
  • Took out our crazy ceiling thing and replaced the fluorescent lights with canned lights
At least those are the big things. Here are some more detailed pictures.

Our cabinet guy added this little raised bar area on the back of the island.

He also added legs to our island, bead board to the sides of the island and the sides of all the cabinets, as well as trim.

This is my favorite view. I love the stove with the backsplash, microwave and shelf with my cookbooks. Tony the cabinet guy built that shelf as well.

New lighting

We decided to use what was the back of the doors as the new fronts, and added hardware and got new hinges.

Here's a close up of the backsplash. I like it alot :)

And here's one more of the new bar area. This is the new wall Tony built on the back of the island. We got a scrap piece of granite that we were able to get cut to the right size, and Tony added those corbels to hold it up.
So...there it is! I couldn't be happier with it. I'm glad we tried to do some things ourselves, like the backsplash and the new lights over the island, but I'm also thankful that we paid to have the cabinets done. Tony did such a great job with all the extra little details, and that raised bar on the back of the island was his idea. I wasn't sure about it at first, but now, it's one of my favorite things. So it was a trade off. We could have painted the cabinets ourselves and saved a lot of money, but I don't think it would look even close to as good as it does. Also, it was really nice having someone who does kitchens for a living to help make design decisions. Overall, it wasn't the cheapest kitchen renovation, but we could have spent a lot more money. Had we purchased new cabinets or countertops we could have easily spent 2-3 times as much as we did. 

Wanna come over and I'll make you dinner?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Anne and Derek's Whole 30

Twenty-nine days ago, Derek and I decided to take the plunge and give the Whole 30 a try. The Whole 30 is a 30-day cleanse that eliminates sugar, grains, dairy, legumes and processed food from your diet. I had read about it on a blog (you can see their recap here) and as soon as I read about it, I was intrigued.

When you go to the Whole 30 website and read their reasons for why they want you to take these things out of your diet for 30 days, you wonder why you would ever eat them at all. It is kind of shocking to see some of the effects that foods that I thought were healthy, actually have on our bodies.

When I first mentioned it to Derek, he was not on board. But he's been working out a lot, and eventually decided that improving his diet could only help his efforts. It was on our drive home from North Carolina for PW and Amanda's wedding, that we decided that the following day we would give it a shot.

Derek didn't want me to blog about it at first, in case it ended up being an epic fail. But here we are on Day 29 and we have been successful. It has been hard for sure. Inconvenient mostly. But it is safe to say that we are both feeling really great and our clothes fit much better. And while I am looking forward to being able to partake in sweets when we are at a wedding or a party, I can honestly say that I am hoping that going forward, we won't change our eating habits too much from what we've been doing these last 4 weeks.

We would definitely recommend giving it a shot. Derek says that if he can do it, anyone can. If anyone is brave enough to give it a shot, here are a few of my thoughts about this 30 days.

  • I spent a lot of time preparing food. Chopping up fruits and vegetables, making dinners, making Whole 30 approved snacks and breakfasts ahead of time. I spent a lot of time in my kitchen. A side note on that: For a couple of weeks during this we were remodeling our kitchen, which added an extra challenge. Luckily we had access to our fridge and stove, and our grill until 2 weeks ago when it broke. So we have had some extra challenges, but were able to stick with it. (Also, finished kitchen photos coming later this week!)
  • I went to the grocery store, sometimes multiple grocery stores, a lot. Only eating fresh produce and meats means a grocery trip every 3-4 days. Some things we could only buy at Whole Foods or Fresh Market, so I had to go multiple places.
  • Your grocery budget will go up. However, if you consider the long term health benefits of changing your life style, I believe its worth it. There are lots of things I don't need that I could justify spending money on, it's all about choices. You can make the choice to forgo other things so that you can eat healthy.
  • Eating out is a pain. There are some places you just won't be able to go. Grabbing a quick and cheap meal is not really an option. You will be the annoying person that orders something and has to ask for it prepared a different way. And eating healthy at restaurants is expensive.
All that said, I would still say it is worth it. I have learned that if I am hungry, it's not the end of the world. I spent the first 2 weeks of this hungry. My body has learned how to feel full without bread or grains. I don't have crazy blood sugar spikes. My love handles have shrunk significantly. And as I have already clothes fit better! I weighed myself and took body measurements on Day 1. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures, but we have pictures of us at the wedding, so those will do. I'm excited to weigh myself and take body measurements again tomorrow and see the results. I'll definitely post an update on that!

Finally, to wrap up this marathon of a post, here are some links to some recipes and foods that have made this 30 days possible/enjoyable. And, if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Larabars - I recommend Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, Coconut Cream Pie and Chocolate Coconut Chew

Monday, May 14, 2012


Yesterday, Derek and I celebrated six years of marriage.

 Last year we really did it up with our five year celebration, (you can read about it here, here and here and see the awesome song/music video Derek created here) but this year was much more low key. We spent the day together, grouting our new back splash in the kitchen!

Romantic, right

But the good news is the kitchen is sooooo close to being finished. Hopefully I will be back with pictures later this week or early next week.

But, back to the anniversary. I told Derek that I think we are really hitting our stride in our marriage. We are starting to think the same way now, and often times it seems we're reading each other's minds. Which has certainly not always been the case. We have this ongoing joke that whenever I am waiting for Derek for something, as soon as I lose patience and call him and ask where he is, is the exact moment he is arriving. At this point, I make myself wait til I absolutely can't anymore, and I know that once I call him, he will show up. And it has worked without fail recently.

I've heard that 7 is the magic year, that most divorces happen within the first 7 years of marriage. And as we are one day into our seventh year, I can honestly say that our marriage has grown so much in these past 6 years, and I think we are really turning a corner, from being two selfish, sinful individuals, to being a "we" instead of a "me", to putting each other before ourselves, and to kind of sharing a brain. It has been fun, and I can't wait to see the ways God continues to grow us closer to each other and closer to Him.I'm so glad I married Derek 6 years ago. One of the best decisions I've ever made.

Also, we did go out for dinner to celebrate. We changed out of our work clothes and had a really tasty dinner at the Chop House. We took a self portrait at the Chop House and that was only photo to document the day.

And finally, I would be remiss not to wish a happy Mother's Day to our moms and to our wonderful friends who are moms. Derek and I are both incredibly blessed with wonderful mothers. Seriously, they are awesome. So happy Mother's Day to my mom and to Linda. We love you so much and are so blessed to be able to call you both mom.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

PW & Amanda

A couple of weeks ago we had the privilege of heading down to North Carolina to be a part of our good friends PW and Amanda's wedding.

First of all, I have to plug PW, because he is an amazing singer and songwriter. You can check out his website here. Also, within the past couple of years, he has begun a non-profit, called The Hundred Movement, whose mission is to "rescue and restore one hundred women and children from the bondage of human trafficking in the U.S." You can check out that website here.

Anyways, PW and Amanda were getting hitched, so Derek and I arrived in North Carolina on Thursday to partake in the wedding festivities.

The weekend was a whirlwind, with lots of unexpected twists and turns, including several trips to the emergency room with PW due to an old back injury that flared up several days before the wedding. All I can say is that God is faithful and hears our prayers, because PW was in some serious pain nearly the whole day of his wedding, but for the 5 or so hours of the wedding and the reception he felt great.

The wedding and rehearsal were at Carolina Point, a new young life camp in the mountains, right on the border of North and South Carolina. The venue was beautiful. The forecast called for rain Saturday, and we all prayed that the weather would hold off, especially for the ceremony, since it was outside. Not only did the rain hold off, but it was sunny and beautiful during the ceremony. When we left that night, not even 5 minutes away from the camp, the roads were soaking wet and it looked like it had been pouring. Again, prayer.

Carolina Point
Another really cool thing about this wedding were the people in it that we got to meet. We went knowing only PW and Amanda, no other guests or members of the wedding party. But the people we met, particularly the other groomsmen, since that's who we hung out with most of the weekend, were some of the most awesome, sincere, Jesus loving people. There were 13 or 14 guys who were part of the wedding party, most of them didn't know each other before this weekend, and by the end of it they were all close friends. There really aren't words to describe how much fun we had getting to know these people and spending time with them all weekend. It is not surprising to me all of the prayers we saw answered that weekend, knowing the people that were doing the praying. The time we had with everyone was a blessing and a joy.

There's lots more I could say about the weekend, but I think I'll share pictures instead.

Beautiful Scenery - with a little cabin construction in the background :)

Me and D!

Beautiful Reception

PW & his Best Men

Lookin good Mr. Warnick

The beautiful bride

Exchanging vows

Laying hands on and praying for the couple

The kiss!

Mr. and Mrs. PW Gopal!
We had a great weekend celebrating PW and Amanda. They both love the Lord like crazy, and I know He is going to do amazing things through their marriage. We consider it an honor to be friends with them, and to be able to be a part of their wedding.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Personality Shift

I was reading a blog post the other day about birth order and personalities, and it contained a link to a free on-line version of the Meyers Briggs personality test. I took this test in high school and again in college, and I'm pretty sure I was an ESFP. Extroverted, sensing, feeling, perceiving.

I suspected that over the years my personality has changed, and thought it would be interesting to take the test again. And it turns out I was right, my personality has changed.

I am now an introvert.


I remember in high school taking this test, and I knew before I even took it that I was an extrovert. There was no doubt in my mind. Funny how things change.

Granted, according to the test I am only slightly introverted. But still, that is a big change from how I used to be. I think that I used to think that introverts were really quiet and shy and not very sociable. Which now that I am one, I don't think is true. I think, for me at least, being an introvert just means that being around tons of people wears me out more than energizes me.

I do wonder, though, why the change in personality?

When I was in high school, I hung out with friends every Friday and Saturday night. I organized events and invited people over all the time. I brought people together and would plan fun things to do.

When I went to Kentucky for college, I didn't know a soul, besides my high school boyfriend, who I dated for the first couple years of college as well. I got involved in Young Life, became a leader and made lots of friends. It seemed, however, that nearly all of my new friends came to college with their best friends from high school. They were already doing fun things and hanging out together. Which meant that my role changed. I was no longer the person who organized get-togethers and brought people together. That was already happening. I just wanted to be a part of it. I went from the person who took an active role in planning things, to the person who tagged along and just hoped to be invited to what was already going on.

Throughout college I made lots of friends, and even some really close best friends, however the extroverted role I played in high school was never needed with this new group.

Being friends with mostly young life leaders put me in part of a group that was nearly all extroverts. I was out-extroverted by the majority of my friends, and I realized at some point that I was tired of trying to talk over everyone else. And so instead I just started listening. True story, sometimes when we're hanging out with a group of people, Derek gives me a hard time for being too quiet. But sometimes it just seems like a lot of work to be heard among a group of people who are all so outgoing.

In addition to being out extroverted by my friends, I was also a young life leader for nearly 10 years. That is 10 years of introducing yourself to random high schoolers, 10 years of being friends with awkward kids and trying to get to know lots and lots of them. 10 years of organizing young life clubs, hangouts, dinners and coffee with girls, of initiating and carrying conversations. Being in front of a big group teaching, or singing, or wearing a ridiculous costume and doing silly things. 10 years of putting yourself out there and facing rejection. Maybe a lot of my extrovert-ism got used up doing ministry, so when I wasn't doing ministry, I just wanted to lay low.

So there is my little analysis on why I think I had a personality shift. Although if you look at all the other letters of the personality test, those have changed too. I have no explanation for all of it.

One thing I have realized is that I really love hanging out with small groups of people or one on one. I love intentional two-way conversation. And God has been good to put some great friends in my life who I know care about me and who I can get together and talk about life with.

Sometimes I miss being the social butterfly I was in high school. It was great to have a group of people who were always ready and willing to hang out. Close friends who never got tired of being together every Friday and Saturday night. But I guess with the stage of life I'm in, that's not really realistic. And God is teaching me to be content right where He has me.

I had Derek take the test also and I was able to guess exactly what he was. Derek is an ENFJ, so we are exact opposites, except for the J. The funny thing is, sometimes we feel like the same person and like we share a brain, so I'm not sure how that works. Anyways, it's kind of fun to take those tests and I think it helps us figure out how God has created us. It's also interesting to see how our circumstances can change us over time. You should go take the test and come back and let me know what your personality type is. I would be interested to know!