A Shower for Baby Shep

I just realized that the last two posts I did were lists. I must be feeling listy. But, in an effort to change things up, I'm going to post about Jath's baby shower which I helped throw the other weekend. Here we go!

So on Friday of last, last week (the 15th, rather), Aaron, Jath, Toby, and I packed up and headed to Marion, Aaron's hometown as well as the home to Indiana Wesleyan University, where the three of us went to college. We stayed with Aaron's parents, and - I just love this family. I know that's the general consensus among people who know them, so I know my opinion is nothing special. But seriously...I didn't even know how much I missed them. We spent a lot of time with them in college, since their place was such a nice escape from campus life and was so close. And Aaron's three younger brothers provided hours of entertainment. Being there just reminds me of lounging on the sectional, playing rock band, even camping in the living room!

Here's where we always end up - around the kitchen table, arms out, listening to Jordan talk.

This picture cracks me up. WHAT are these faces? And WHAT are we doing??

Anyways. First thing on Saturday morning, my fellow shower-throwers (Amy, the third roommate in our triple, and Lauren, Jath's sister-in-law) and I headed out for groceries and decorations. We got back right before noon and started right in! Here's the menu:

  • Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting (I substituted the banana in the recipe for mashed up apples. And I didn't garnish them with bananas either. Also this frosting recipe is insane, but SO worth it. Try having a partner help you...)
  • Pumpkin Coffee Cake (I created this recipe during some Baby Shower Test Kitchen nights I had prior to the shower. Maybe I'll throw it up here as its own post later on...)
  • Buckeyes (a big hit...wonder why ;))
  • Caramelized Onion Tartlets (tasted like a sour cream and onion chip turned into a pie...weird, but good!)
  • Garden Pizza (I used purple cauliflower! It was awesome!)
  • Smoked Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms (surprisingly also a big hit...maybe because they tasted like little pizzas without crust.)
  • Cheddar Cheese Popcorn (set around the room for munching)
  • Apple Cider Punch (just a gallon of apple cider, a 2 liter of ginger ale, and half a can of orange juice concentrate)
The party started the next day, Sunday, at 2 pm, and we were ready! It was wonderful and fun and went off without a hitch. Jath got some great gifts, we prayed for her and even Skyped in her mom and sister who live in PA!

Even though I was completely exhausted when it was over, I didn't really care; it was a *fabulous* weekend.


List for the day:

Get up early to finish cleaning room, which was last night’s task that didn’t get finished as most of the night was spent shopping.
Struggle getting out of car for some reason, dump crumbs in passenger seat.
Continue clumsy streak by spilling coffee all over hand and sidewalk.
Drop iPod.
Consider just going back home.
Enter building and proceed to have issues with all the fiber I ate for breakfast in my Overnight Oats (no figs, unfortunately).
Really consider going home.
Make it through all issues – fiber-related and motivational (thanks in part to surprise e-mail from mother and a super-long article I wrote going live and looking great) – and on to lunchtime errand, the post office.
After post office, go to Potbelly’s for chicken salad on regular with provolone, lettuce, onions, and three hot peppers.
Only eat half of saltiest chicken salad sandwich I’ve ever had. Throw the rest away.
Back to work.
Write write write write write write write write write.
Go home and wait for Leah to come so we can eat dinner.
Go to Bosom Ball with Leah.
Meet Sara Bareilles.
Listen to Sara Bareilles.
Go home and to bed ASAP so I can wake up early tomorrow to pack for Chicago!!!


A Little Early Thanksgiving

I don’t know why…but I’m just feeling kinda thankful lately. So, I’m gonna make a list and put it up here. Maybe I’ll do this on a regular basis. But let’s be honest – I’ve never been very good at doing things on a regular basis. Like, for example…blogging. ;)

So, without further ado – a shout-out to God for:

1) The opportunity to dog-sit for the first time this weekend (and also to make a little money).
2) The fact that the dog was THE most chill animal I have ever encountered.
3) Finding a neighbor family who let me use their phone to call a locksmith after I locked the dog and myself out of the house without a phone within the first 10 minutes of my being there.
4) How nice and welcoming the neighbor family was, even though I was interrupting their Shabbat dinner and 40th birthday celebration. They even gave me a piece of cake and I got to sing Happy Birthday with them.
5) The fact that the amount of money I made dog-sitting was the same amount the locksmith charged. So at least I didn’t lose any money...
6) Weekend playtime and naptime and eating time with Natalie, the little love who is still stealing my heart after a year.
7) The great time I had with her parents, Leah and Jimmy (and our friends Matt and Ashley!), at The Brazenhead – the first bar I’ve been to since moving here!
8) Beer being so cheap in Ohio! (Compared to Chicago.) (Um, can I thank God for beer being cheap?)
9) Leah giving me old, but still nice jeans she wasn't wearing just when I was thinking about having to go buy a new pair.
10) The fact that I didn’t get too lost in the ghetto this weekend. Only a little lost.
11) The beautiful rolling fall landscapes I get to see each day in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
12) Helping me realize it was silly to stress about finding a church home, and then blessing me with one on the first try.
13) Giving me the opportunity to lead worship in a new environment with a new church family.
14) The new people I’m meeting each week and the new relationships I’m building – I’m so excited to see what those relationships become!
15) Aaron and Jath letting me come over, do my laundry, and raid their fridge on lonely Sunday nights.
16) Their little baby boy coming at the end of December that I'm just dying to have in my arms already.
17) A job that frequently gives me free meals (pizza for lunch today!) and free things to do (tickets to an advanced screening of Red tonight!).
18) My grandpa celebrating his 84th birthday yesterday, and the fact that he's healthy.
19) My dad using his miles to buy a plane ticket for me to go to Houston for actual Thanksgiving.
20) The fact that there are only 45 days between now and the day I leave for Texas to see my family!

It’s true – these aren’t really deep, soul-searching, life-altering things…but they are tangible ways God’s showing me how He loves me – and for that I’ll never be thankful enough. I’m praying that I keep my eyes and heart open, so I don’t miss even the smallest ways He’s moving in my life.


Friends in the Nati

The last couple nights I’ve been hanging out with Jath since Aaron’s been in New York on business. We haven’t done anything special – Sunday night I did my laundry at their place (it’s free and they love me), and we intermittently lounged and fell asleep on the couch while watching movies on TV (Runaway Jury and Marie Antoinette). And yesterday after work, I ran to the grocery store, came home, made some biscuits, and took them over to Jath’s house to eat with this amazing soup she made. Then we watched Sister Wives (DVRed from Sunday night and so interesting!) and Gossip Girl – quality TV, I know.

I remember what it was like to live so far apart, just longing to spend time together doing nothing. And it makes my heart all kinds of warm and happy to know that now we can.

And last night, the small group I've been attending got together for dinner. The women in our group are just lovely. Leah has been meeting with them since she moved back to Cincinnati in March, and Jath and I joined them in September. They welcomed us right in and made us feel like we've always been part of the group. I really love our time together every Tuesday night, just us girls. But last night we changed up the routine as we gathered for dinner at Jessie's house. Husbands and babies were welcome, which made our group eight adults, two toddlers, and an infant. It was one of the most fun nights I've had since I moved here: great food, loud laughing, kids crawling and running everywhere, and just general good times. I loved it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm humbled to be a part of these people's lives. And I'm so, SO excited to see how these friendships grow.

That’s all!