Monday, December 27, 2010

An Oh-So-Pleasant Christmas:).

The quietness of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was almost overwhelming... almost. To have a whole Friday evening with Nat is almost unthinkable... almost. Saturdays are usually a work day for me, so it almost never happens that I see my husband on the one day he's off... almost never. To say this past weekend was a treat for us is an understatement!

Sleeping in, reading the Christmas story, quietly talking while the candles flickered and the tree lights cheerfully lit up a corner, lots of hot chocolate with biscotti (thanks to a cute Sunday School student!), cutting up tons of fruit for a brunch at church, and then going to the craziness at my mom's house sums it all up!

We both love family time, so after a call down to Texas to say hello to Nat's family, we geared up for a family Christmas with my side! I have never seen so much food in my entire life for a smallish group of 13. I should clarify that I've seen lots of food (case in point was at Nat's grandma's house for Thanksgiving), but there was tons of food at mom's for just a few siblings gathered together:).

I told Nat I haven't had to cook in a week because of my crazy work schedule last week, dinner (and leftovers!) at mom's, the Christmas brunch at church Sunday morning, and now going to camp this week.

Yep, it's winter camp for us! My sensible husband has already packed his stuff up and is now getting a few things at the store for me. I decided to spend my morning cleaning the house since we're having a New Year's Day party with some friends. We don't get home from camp until Thursday night and I work Friday, so that doesn't leave much time to clean and get ready for the party:). Plus we have a New Year's Eve fellowship at church.

Just another loaded week for us ~ like usual!

By the way, I couldn't do a post without a picture.... isn't her grin contagious?!?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Checking Out.

I got my work schedule for this week and it's insane:), so I'll see you Christmas Eve??? Christmas Day???

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

'Tis The Season...

..... for cookies.

Oh yes, working at a bakery means tons of cookies (and pies, and cakes, and brownies.... I'll stop there)! I don't make the cookies at the bakery, but I do box them and I must say that cookies aren't high on my list:). When people come into the bakery and look at all the food and goodies, they usually say something like, "oh, it must be so HARD to work here! I would eat everything all the time!"

Well no, not really. You know, that phrase "familiarity breeds contempt" is very true. I'm not too tempted (usually) to sample every single item at the bakery. That's a good thing!

I know bunches of people get into the holiday spirit by baking cookies.... I won't be joining them though. Too many cookies!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas-y Things:).

For the first time in a long time, my church is not doing a manger program (outdoors or indoors), a drama, or a cantata. Instead we're doing a Christmas concert this year!

I'm extremely excited yet slightly nervous for my husband as he is doing the dramatic reading but I know he'll do a great job! The kiddos of my church are going to sing as well as the big people and then the hand bells are going to be played by the teenagers. Overall it's going to be a great night!


Nat and I saw a cute little 3 ft. tree at Home Depot and chose to go the "artificial tree" route for our first Christmas together:).

A few ornaments have since been added, such as our first first Christmas ornament. A sweet family at church had our names and 2010 engraved on a Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus ornament and now it is hanging on our cute little tree:).

When I was younger, my family and I would always sit in the living room with all the lights off except for the Christmas tree lights and enjoy them. I've added candles to that little tradition and now one of my favorite things to do is to curl up on the couch with the tree lights on, candles lit, and quietly chat with my husband!


I feel like I need a third picture to complete this post... yikes, OCD is kicking in!

Nat and I are going out to Sight and Sound to see "The Miracle of Christmas" and I am quite excited about this for several reasons: (1) I get to spend time with my husband! (2) Nat's grandma just saw it Tuesday and said it was terrific (3) S & S always does a good job (4) I haven't seen this one yet. :)

As bonus, we're going to Yoder's Restaurant for lunch since my parents talk about it constantly:). It's going to be a great day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Toothpaste Tubes.

My pastor was preaching on contention tonight and made me chuckle (to my self, of course) at one point. I have unknowingly spared my marriage from one of the classic marital disputes: the dreaded toothpaste tube. Squeeze in the middle or bottom? (Or top I suppose). How did Nat and I manage to skate past this potential land mine that would threaten wedded bliss?

It's quite simple. Really!

When Nat and I first got married, we packed for our honeymoon separately (insert a big "obviously" here!). That meant our toiletries were separate... right down to that little tube of Colgate (or Crest... we're not picky). When we returned to our apartment, we continued the trend we started on the honeymoon: using our own toiletries. Including that little tube of Colgate (or Crest... like I said, we're not picky!).

Never once have we had a dispute over the tube being squeezed in the wrong place because we each have our own. I don't care how he squeezes his toothpaste tube and he doesn't care how I squeeze mine. Rocket science is taking place here at our little apartment:). And thanks to Pastor's message, we're reminded about a little piece of contention that we are missing out on... gladly!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Party That Wasn't.

A couple of weeks ago, Nat told me he would be going away for a planning retreat with some staff members on Thursday into Friday. Immediately I began to think about my husband being gone for 24ish hours. Now I realize this happens to lots of people all the time, but you must forgive me for being wistful over my husband leaving - we've only been married 5 months. :)

I had been tossing around the idea of having some girls over and realized this would be the perfect time: girls over while hubby's gone without me having to kick hubby out. Sounded good to me! I knew that Thursday night is a strange time to have a girls' night, but I was working with what I had. Of course several girls had to work or couldn't make it, so I was planning for 8 girls and even chatted with several of the girls on Wednesday night.

Now the one thing I hadn't planned on was being sick... all week long. In the back of my mind, I was just going to get better and never actually thought of the alternative. Thursday morning rolled around and I felt like getting up took a huge amount of work. When Nat came home for lunch, I asked him what I should do. Being the great guy that he is, he knew I wanted to have these girls over so he was trying to make it work for me.... but reality settled in and I knew I couldn't do it and so did he.

I sent texts and facebook messages to my friends cancelling the party, slept some, bid a good-bye to my husband (yes there were a few tears), slept some more, read some.... ding dong.

My friend stood on the other side of the door with a cheerful rendition of "we wish you a merry Christmas!" while I felt bad because she didn't get my message. She understood though and we parted ways.

I went back to my place on the couch and within ten minutes.... ding dong. Oh no! That made two friends who didn't get the message about the cancelled party. This friend actually came up and visited for 15 minutes. I had to laugh when she said she didn't get my text. Here I actually sent a text to her mom's home phone number... whoops! She also called a third friend to let her know about the party. By this time I'm realizing the unreliability of facebook messaging. :)

In a way, it worked out not having the party Thursday night. I crashed on the couch trying to feel better and thinking about the irony of not wanting to be alone the first time my husband goes away and yet finding myself in that very position anyway. :) God has a sense of humor!

My husband comes home today (yay!) and the party will be had .... another day!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving At Our House.

Nat and I hosted my family for Thanksgiving on Wednesday with an Italian menu. Wow, talk about being anti-tradition;o). We didn't want to "turkey" everyone out since my brothers/sister were all going to their in-laws on Thursday, plus we had received as a wedding gift a gift certificate to a local Italian catering place, so we chose to use it on Wednesday. Our apartment is small, but we fit 12 people in just fine and had lots of fun in the process:o).

If you look on the wall to the left, you'll see a bunch of pictures in a wall hanging. My brother laughed when he first came in, because every single picture in that hanging is of Nat's family (minus one of Nat and I). I jokingly told my brother it's because my family is all local and we see them often enough not to need their photos on the wall;). I actually have to just go find a frame that will look just right, but I haven't found one yet.

My husband loves to help and jumped right in to help with the meal... what a guy;).

Chatting and hanging out

These two willingly offered to do the dishes... yay! I think I caught my brother off guard though:).

Within 5 minutes of coming in, my niece managed to get candy juice all over her outfit... hence the onesie!

Ethan playing Apples to Apples - toddler version;o).

My sister-in-law Ann playing Apples to Apples the real way!

Apparently something was funny to Tom...:)

All in all, we had a marvelous time with my family. I'm so glad that we could work out schedules to visit with my family on Wednesday and Nat's extended family on Thursday... yummy times!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


All week long I was holding my breath just waiting for that question to be asked: could you work Saturday? It came oh-so-close yesterday, but it was never asked!

My sweetie and I are enjoying a quiet Saturday together with no program, major plans, or (and this is the best part) work schedules! It's rare that we're both off on the same day since I work just about every Saturday and he works every Tuesday and Thursday (my days off) so we started this day off by sleeping in... which we actually accomplished! Now at 10:30, we're ready to start the day - IKEA here we come!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Apparently confession is good for the soul, but I think that might have more to do with some church of old being steeped in tradition. Regardless of the origin of that statement, I shall do a little confessing on this blog of mine!

  • Vacations are horrible, horrible, horrible in one area: weight. I'm so sorry to admit this, but both Nat and I gained weight on our little vacation to the mid-west. We're chalking it up to too much junk food and not enough veggies and exercise. We are very glad to be home now and I have stocked my fridge full of yummy fruits and vegetables. Now if I could just get rid of the chips, pretzels, and chocolate that found their way into our kitchen.
  • Ironically enough, I did enjoy three little chocolate-covered black licorice bites that were simply delish! For our engagement anniversary, my husband bought two 1-pound bags of chocolate-covered pretzels (in a word: fabulous!) and a pound bag of those licorice bites that are too tasty. I'm going to have to have some family or friends over to finish them off!
  • When the Kohls envelope comes in the mail, Nat and I play a little game of who has the bigger discount. He won yesterday by scoring 30% off (compared to my measly 15% off), but I think I actually won today by finding some boots on sale at Kohls! Teamed up with his discount coupon, I was very satisfied with my shopping. I also bought him a package of dress socks to celebrate our 4-month wedding anniversary because I'm romantic like that;o).
  • I promised pictures of our apartment but was waiting on some curtains for our bathroom to be hemmed (yet another confession: I don't sew. GASP!) Amanda finished the curtains (thank you muchly, Amanda!), but I haven't taken pictures yet. I don't remember why now, but it sure was a good excuse this afternoon:o).
I better stop there because the little orange light is blinking so I think that means my battery is going to cease to exist soon. 'Night!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

*The* Story.

When people asked me where we were going on vacation, I always managed to confuse people with the answer: Indiana, Wisconsin, and Texas. Most people followed the whole Indiana/Wisconsin concept, but Texas normally brought about a "whaaa?" moment. Naturally:o).

My in-laws live in Texas as well as some good friends of ours, so we decided to go now to do our holiday visiting, rather than during the actual holidays. Working at a bakery doesn't allow a lot of wiggle room for trips in the midst of the busiest time of the year!

We chose to make the 11 hour drive to Indiana to spend time with my brother and his family, drove the 3 hours to Wisconsin to spend the day with Nat's brother and his wife and also a college friend of mine, drove back to Indiana, and then flew to Texas. We were going to take our car to the airport, but then decided my brother or his wife could use it while we were gone so we left it at their house. My sweet sister-in-law dutifully drove the hour to Chicago Midway Airport to drop us off and wished us a happy time in Texas. At least I think she did. Since this took place at the crazy hour of 7 AM, I was barely functioning:o).

We did have a happy time in Texas (for those of you who were wondering) and we were finishing out our trip with a missionary friend of ours in Fort Worth when we got a phone call. My brother very nonchalantly asked me when our flight returned to Chicago and then asked me if I wanted to talk to my sister-in-law. When she got on the phone, her voice was raspy and muddled. She proceeded to tell me she just had a surgery because there was an accident, but I must admit the first thing I said was, "No way! You're joking with me... quit it!" She tends to be a prankster:o).

She actually wasn't though (surprise!) and when my brother got back on the phone, I asked him what in the world happened. He replied, "it's complicated... there was a car accident in the driveway. I'll tell you tomorrow." Uh-oh. I got off the phone and told Nat I just had this feeling our car was involved with her accident.

When *the* story finally came out, it was quite *the* story. Now my brother has to be the most laid-back man in the world, because he didn't seem fazed at all. I know that's not really true deep down inside, but there wasn't a frazzled reaction on the outside at all! But back to *the* story. My sister-in-law had used our car Wednesday morning, but left a light on so that drained the battery. That afternoon she was going to take her son out to eat but had to first jump our car with her car (which my niece had to use to get to work). Since the battery in her car is in the back, she told her son to back her car up to our car to jump it. Meanwhile she spotted something in the backseat of our car and went to quick grab it. As she leaned half-way into the car (with the door open), my nephew backed up her car and hit our car door. The car door closed in on her leg, but of course he had no idea. All he was thinking was, "Oh man, I'm in big trouble" so he just sat there. That whole time the car door was on her leg and she was praying for him to pull forward. After 15 seconds he finally did, much to her relief!

Her leg instantly swelled up into what looked like a drumstick around her calf to her ankle. If it had been any higher, it would've severed it off (details I'm sure you're glad I'm sharing!) or even cut off the main artery that would've killed her. As it was, she went through surgery on her leg, hoping to relieve a big chunk of pressure. There was still the possibility of amputation if infection set in, but we are so grateful that was not the case!

The doctor is giving her a 3-month recovery period, which is a long time to not walk. But that's a better option compared to not being able to walk ever again!

Obviously our main concern was making sure she was going to be alright. Once we were fairly certain she was, we looked into fixing our door. While not the biggest deal at the moment, it would've made the 11 hour trip home windy, to say the least! The bottom part was bent at a weird angle (thank you leg), so Nat got on the phone to see if he could find a replacement door. He knew the salvage place here in PA didn't have any parts for our car, but the Lord directed him to the right salvage place out in Indiana who had a matching door! Saturday morning Nat and my nephew spent a couple of hours putting the door on and we left soon after to return to Pennsylvania, minus the wind blowing through:o). Isn't God good???

Soon after my brother told us about the accident, Nat and I had a couple of minutes to ourselves. He instantly said it was no use playing the "what if....?" game ("what if we had taken our car to the airport?"). Instead we started to pray. Pray for those involved and for issues that God was dealing with. Would I choose to have this situation play out again? If God would get the glory, then yes! We serve such a mighty God Who knows all things and I'm excited to see what He is going to do through this situation!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Well, hello there!

In case you haven't noticed, *ahem* I've been gone for a little bit... or actually a while. My husband and I were traipsing around the USA, or so my brother thinks! In reality, we were gone for 12 days and visited 4 states. I seriously DOUBT that would be considered a cross-country tour, but I suppose it is to someone who never travels:o).

This trip included lots of family time.... and adventures..... and some "huh?" moments, but all in all we made it safely home! I leave for work in a little bit, but I have quite the story to share - tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One Year!

One year ago tomorrow (which is technically in 37 minutes), my sweetheart asked me to marry him! You all left such sweet comments, and we were overwhelmed with how many friends from all over the world rejoiced with us. (By the way, if you're curious how Nat and I met and got engaged, I have a book for you to read: "The Cliff-Hanger Series!")

As I look over the past year, I see tons of growth in our relationship. But if there is one thing I can pass on to other girls from my year of experience, I would say the best thing ever for our relationship has been ending each and every night in prayer together. That became a challenge at various times when we were on trips, but we always made it work somehow!

I can't imagine life without Nat. Truly we have become one and that's the way God intended it to be. He's my very best friend, a good husband and leader, and is always sensitive to the Lord and His Will. Nat can make me laugh at anything and sends my heart fluttering every single time he reaches for my hand.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Making Fall Memories.

While I don't remember this, my brother assured me that I definitely did go to pumpkin patches when I was younger. I'm taking his word over my memory, and chalking it up to "big brother experiences."

Nat and I went to a pumpkin "patch" nearby - more like 10 acres of pumpkins - but that's besides the point. We went with my brother, sister, and their families and had a blast! It was fun going on a hayride to the pumpkin fields and watching my niece's eyes light up with wonder:). Good times!

~Ann (sis-in-law), Phil (brother), Nat and me~

~Out in the fields trying to find the perfect pumpkin, according to my nephew Ethan~

~We even found our own pumpkin to take home:)~

Monday, October 11, 2010

What A Weekend!

I may be very biased, but I believe I am a part of the best church in the world! This past weekend was one to be tucked away into the memory box, to be pulled out time and time again in the future.

Friday night I got in on the tail end of the prep work for the appreciation banquet for my pastor, but I'm so glad I did! What a blessing to look around and see ladies I dearly love helping to pull this banquet together. Banquets are a lot of work because that means transforming our auditorium into a banquet hall. I think the results were absolutely beautiful:

While no one person can take the credit for this banquet, it helped to have a very organized lady in charge of the decorations:).

Loved the centerpieces!

Seeing all these pies brought back memories from my wedding three months ago... thankfully all the church ladies pitched in and brought a pie:).

Sunday was just an all-around terrific day. I started a new motivational program in my Sunday School class, the choir sang a song that I just couldn't get out of my head all week ("Hallelujah, 'Tis Done!"), Pastor Roland preached a thought-provoking message on the last statement Jesus made on the cross - "It Is Finished" - and of course there was the "Light the World" sending service at night.

Pastor Roland started with Adam and Eve and how sin plunged the whole world into darkness. Of course our entire auditorium went dark at that point. Pastor then started walking through the patriarchs, the judges, prophets, etc. and lit a match for each one. But the match only burned for a little while before it went out. When Pastor Roland came to Jesus, he light a center candle and from there lit candles for the church at Jerusalem, the church at Antioch, and so on. It's so neat to be able to trace my church's history back to Welsh Christians who came and settled in the Philadelphia region.

Anyway, from there Pastor Roland went through all the missionaries my church supports, including the families sent from my church. Each teen from the youth group had a candle that represented a certain missionary and walked to different parts of the auditorium with their candle burning. I always get the shivers when I look around the room and see so many teens holding candles. But then comes the reminder that there is still much darkness that needs light shed upon it.

The final candle of the evening was lit by Pastor-now-missionary Doug Hammett and his wife. We as a church are so excited for them as the follow the Lord's leading!

Good-byes must always be said though, and my church family did that very thing! I must say one of the many good things about sitting so close to the front is I got to get up there and say my good-byes right away:).

They head out Tuesday for the mission field of Botswana!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


.... and I'm not quite sure why! Hmm, must've been that cheese dip we had for a snack after church tonight.

Since I'm not in the land of sleep being oh-so-productive, and since I just heard the cuckoo clock from my neighbor's house downstairs strike one, I figure some late-night musings and ramblings are well in order! I'm actually procrastinating on a project that needs to get done, but that's what tomorrow is for, right? Umm, right.

In random news, Sunday evening our blissful sleep was interrupted with a 12:51 AM phone call. I must say I was almost patting myself on the back for being strangely alert through my sleepiness when I saw the name on the caller id: *very pregnant friend*. One quick return phone call to her and hubby and I were out the door to pick up her two-year-old son and bring him home with us. One very quick hour later, she welcomed her daughter into the world. Yeah, that's the kind of delivery I want to have: quick and well, not-so-painless, but at least quick!

Since the baby was three weeks early, that meant things were nowhere near as ready as my friend hoped to be in making the transition smooth for her son to come to our house. So we dutifully grabbed a pack-n-play, which turned out to be quite worthless that first night:). Little two-year-old boy was a bit disoriented and strangely enough (ha!) did not take too well to being in a newish place. We were bordering on sleep deprivation and chose to take the sanity route by bringing him to bed with us. Who knew that a two-year-old boy could actually take up the entire queen size bed, leaving us to cling to the edges? I finally got smart in the wee morning hours and moved said little guy to the one side of the bed where he had exactly 6 inches to sprawl:o).

Our plan for night #2 was to wear him out before bed, which my husband did quite well. We thought we had the system beat... until we put him in the pack-n-play and began our prayer time. Let's just say prayer time was sprinkled with lots of "Mommmmmmmmmmy!! Dadddddddy!!!!" With the hope of him crying himself to sleep fading away, I went to the pack-n-play and made sure little guy knew Mommy and Daddy would be seen.... tomorrow. The sniffles and tears subsided and 9.5 hours were passed in peaceful slumber, much to our relief and in answer to prayer!

Although definitely not planned for this week, I'm glad that baby girl is born and little guy has been babysat. I'd rather have everything be completely busy in one week (case in point: this week!) and leave next week wide, wide open:).

Later today Nat and I are going to Philadelphia and Sight and Sound, making for a very full Thursday. In a twist I still don't understand, we're following the school bus from our Christian school to a museum in Philadelphia. Apparently there is no parking available for buses at this museum (what a concept), so Nat is going to drive the bus from the museum to some parking lot half-way across town. Strange. Since we planned weeks ago to go to Sight and Sound, the school principal suggested the idea of bringing our own car so we can take off for Lancaster County once Nat has returned the bus to the museum - where the principal will take back over in driving the bus back to school.

We actually spent the day in Philadelphia two months ago and did the touristy thing, so I'm not exactly sure what we're going to do for the four hours we have to kill while waiting for the students to go through the museum. I'm sure it'll involve food and chocolate though:o).

I get to work Friday and Saturday and in the midst of all of that, I'm helping with preparing for a banquet for Rachel and her family. They head out next week for Botswana, so my church is doing an appreciation banquet on Saturday night, which means prep work on Friday night:o). Sunday will be a busy (and emotional!) day as we hold a sending service called, "Light the World." This type of church service is only held when we send a missionary family to the mission field, but they have been some of the most impacting church services I have ever been in.

Missions has always been the heartbeat of my church, and right now we have missionaries coming and going. One missionary family to Chile has been home for a month and they leave tomorrow to go back to Chile. Of course Rachel's family goes to Botswana next week, just as another missionary family -- the Wilhites -- return from 8 months of furlough travel around the USA. Then they will return to South Africa sometime in November. Another missionary family to Chile is planning to return to the States on furlough sometime within the next 3-4 months. I feel so blessed to be a part of a church that is active in missions and sending families from our own church. Of course we greatly miss these families, but technology has greatly improved over the last ten years that it is so easy to stay in contact with our families... almost too easy sometimes. All these communication tools and methods at my fingertips and I still sometimes fail in keeping in touch with missionaries.

So I said all that to say it's going to be a busy weekend! For now though I think I better go try to get some sleep or I'm not going to be very productive through this busy weekend:o).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rain, Not Snow.

It's raining. I'm not complaining, just mentioning a fact. A friend at work and I were talking today about the ratio of rain to snow in inches and realized if all this rain was snow, we could potentially have 30 inches of snow. That thought made me happy, until my manager commented that we would both still have to go to work since we're within walking distance. Oh yeah:).

But it is raining, not snowing. For some reason, that makes me think of lists, but I'm not sure why. So here's a list:
  • I am happy to be at home with my husband, although he is in the other room diligently working on his Bible Institute course.
  • I'm grateful for a cozy, little apartment to call home.
  • We had some friends over after church on Wednesday and we enjoyed the fellowship so much (hopefully not enough to keep Amanda and her family up though!).
  • I'm terribly excited about going to the Bloomsburg Fair! My family and I have gone for the past 20+ years (give or take a few years!) and I knew it was something I wanted to introduce to Nat:o). We were planning on going today until we saw the weather report that used words like "heavy rains" and "accumulating" and "2-3 inches" all within the same sentence. That was enough to make us change our plans until Saturday when it's supposed to be sunny and 67 degrees. Bring on the funnel cake and sausage sandwich!
  • Bath and Body Works has come out with some incredible candle scents that have made me happy! This one is my absolute favorite! (And my husband loves it too:o).
In short, it has been a delicious fall evening that's just about to get better... we're going to have ice cream:o).

Friday, September 24, 2010


I was up early (that's code for 8 AM... which is early for me!) anticipating a walk with a friend, but a cancellation phone call changed my plans for the morning. The one challenge I have found since being married is maintaining a balance between home and work. I do work part-time as well as babysit often enough to turn it into a side job (without pay:D), so I try to make sure I stay on top of grocery shopping, laundry, and cleaning. With some unexpected extra time this morning before work, I decided my challenge would be to clean our cute little home.

I always want to run in twenty directions at one time and started 4 or 5 projects before I finally settled on one :o). I tackled the kitchen first, which was extremely easy, since I'm OCD about keeping my kitchen clean! The bedroom was next, which was almost just as easy. Dust manages to get into all sorts of places!

I hit a wall when I entered the living room though. Approximately 11 boxes were in the middle of the room and while that added an interesting flair to the decorating style, I decided they weren't going to become permanent fixtures:o).

I'm doing a yard sale tomorrow morning with my brother and sister-in-law and I chose to be ruthless in purging our house of stuff. I know we just got married and couldn't possibly have accumulated stuff, but in reality we have. Most of it was a carry-over from when I lived at my parents, so I don't feel bad at all at selling stuff I'm just not using anymore. Nat contributed a couple of items too, and yet our goal isn't to make money ~ it's to get rid of the stuff! Goodwill is going to be the last stop if they don't sell at the yard sale.

The amazing thing about our apartment is we have the space for everything, and I have fallen in love with a closet that runs down one wall of the apartment (by the way, pictures are coming of our little home... promise!). But just because we have the space doesn't mean we should fill that space:o). Our future goal is being missionaries to Thailand and last time I checked, we're allowed to each take 2 suitcases (50 pounds each) and a carry-on. There's no use in holding things too tightly.... it's either purge now or purge later!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Because Becky asked if I was going to do this, I'm posting this picture... just for you, Becky!

Nat and I had Becky and her brother, Nina, her sister, and brothers over tonight and we had so much fun!!! Several of these dear friends were kind enough to videotape our wedding and then put together a beautiful DVD too, so we decided it would be fun to have a little get-together... and it only took us 5 weeks to actually all get together;o).

Our evening was filled with food, volleyball, some more food, and then a fun game called, "The New Yorker." Nat and I have played it with both of our families and it's a ton of fun, so we figured this would be a great group to play it with ~ we were right!

We are so thankful for good friends in our lives!

Nat and I both enjoy having people over and being hospitable, so I'm sure this won't be the last party we have at our snug little apartment;o).

Friday, September 10, 2010


The little patter of footsteps were heard in my house yesterday, along with the happy giggles and cheeky grins that two dearly loved kids bring with them;). After they left, I found some remnants of their visit and it just made me smile!

My visitors for the day were my 3-year-old nephew and 1-year-old niece. Both of them helped me make these brownies... can't you tell with the concentrated crumb dump at the top of the brownies?!? ;)

My nephew was also a big helper with lunch and the dishes. He was very excited to tell Uncle Nat that he spread the mustard on Uncle Nat's sandwich! Then as I washed the dishes, he rinsed off all the bubbles and put the dishes in the drainer. Cute!

Of course we had lots of play time:). Between playing with toys, hide-n-seek in the closet, going down the slide at the playground, and tickle time, we had a blast!

Nat was able to join in on a little bit of the fun when he came home for lunch.... I have yet to see a child refuse the awe and intrigue of Nat's iphone!

I just love these little kiddos to pieces!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cooking With Betty.

I was given approximately 12 cookbook/recipe holders for my bridal shower and I must admit my first thought was, "oh boy, here we go!" I like to cook, but it's not like I churn out gourmet meals or anything like that. Plus my dad has always been a basic meat-potatoes kind of man, so I never deviated from that routine (hint: it always helps to keep the man happy with the kinds of food he likes!). I learned that hint the hard way after trying new dishes on my dad, who promptly looked for the old and familiar dish;o).

With the turning of the page into wedded bliss, I knew I had one very big advantage on my side: Nat loves all sorts of food (with the exception of scrapple and liver and onions). So I determined to start putting all those cookbooks to good use!

Of course it helps to have them handy, although I'm not entirely satisfied with their resting place:

It also helps to have cute Longaberger baskets nearby to compliment the look and feel of the kitchen:o).

I must say my favorite cookbook so far is the old tried-and-true one of Betty Crocker. Any recipe I've looked up in that red book I have tweaked, but that's the luxury of being the cook:o). So far I have only burned one meal (go here to read that story!), and overall I'm happy with what I've been able to do.

Gourmet? No.

Happy husband? Most definitely!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Family Time!

Ever since I can remember, we've done a smallish family reunion on my mom's side every summer. Numbers have always fluctuated because of other obligations, and this past Saturday was no exception. Obligations called others away so we really had a small group, but it's more cozy that way:-).

One thing that is always special to me is having my grandfather's cousin Ruth come to the family gathering. I have such happy memories of living with my grandfather for four years in the early 90's before he passed away and Ruth is one remaining connection I have to my grandfather.

We gathered at my mom's house on Saturday and saw these sweet kiddos:

(Ethan and Adrianne with Uncle Tom!)

(Like I said, really small gathering! One day all the relatives who live in far-off states will actually be able to make it home for a reunion;o)

( Ethan absolutely loves Uncle Nat and playing with him!)

This was the first family function at my mom's house since I've gotten married, so it was a little strange to be one of the people leaving after the event was over! Just another little adjustment that comes with the happy bliss of being so joyfully married!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


When I came out of the shower this morning, I saw this on our bed:

No, Nat hasn't gained a sudden affection for stuffed animals:o). We've been watching my 4-year-old nephew for the past two days, and he decided that Cleo, Rhino, Neville, and Elmo needed a new place to call home after spending two nights on the blow-up air mattress!

By the way, Nat gave Rhino to my nephew as a birthday gift last year and became an instant hit with my nephew! Nat's got such a way about him and knows how to win the hearts of protective nephews :o).

At last check, these four guys are still residing on our bed, along with a certain 4-year-old. They go home tonight, at least that's the plan. I've been informed several times over that some little guy just loves our apartment and is planning on staying until Sunday. Nice try, but you gotta return home, kiddo!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Redeeming The Time.

My husband and I, along with two friends, made a trip down to Frederick, Maryland on Monday to attend a memorial/funeral service for a pastor we had known for several years. My friends Rachel and Pastor Shorter both wrote about this man - Pastor Purks - who stepped out into eternity suddenly last Monday morning.

There were many tears shed at the funeral, but in stark contrast there was much laughter heard. A saint of the Lord's had gone home to be with his Saviour. After the service was over, my husband and I were quietly talking about the various people we had seen, how we were challenged by the speakers, and obviously about Pastors Purks. One thing that struck both of us was the fact that Pastor Purks was known as a man with a passion for souls. Nat made the comment that this was the most convicting funeral he had ever attended.

Pastor Purks was only 59 - quite young, really. One never knows when it's time to go home, and the reminder from Scripture is so necessary: "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time." (Colossians 4:5)

Monday, August 23, 2010

1,000 Words... Plus A Few More!

While we were on our honeymoon to Boston and Maine, we decided rather than picking up the obligatory mug or magnet commemorating our trip, we would pick up t-shirts instead, since that was something I never got to do when I was younger. Hey, when you have 5 kids in the family, you're just trying to find food for everyone:o).

Anyway, we did that very thing, although it was easier for Nat to pick up t-shirts because he's not as picky as I am. I don't like having my shirt too long and apparently all the styles today give the option of t-shirt or mini-skirt ~ your choice! ~ and so I only came home with one shirt I really liked.

Last Saturday we had what we called a "honeymoon day" which is an opportunity for us to get away alone and spend time together. We chose to go to the city of Brotherly Love and do the touristy thing of acting like it was our first time in a city that's less than an hour away:o).

We had a lot of fun together and saw things like Independence Hall, walked by the Liberty Bell (the line was waaaay too long!), went to the Powell House (Mr. Powell happened to be the last governor of Philadelphia under British rule and the first governor of Philadelphia in the newly formed country), walked the oldest alley in the United States, and went to Reading Terminal Market where we had the best chocolate-covered pretzel!

Since it was a honeymoon day, we chose to stick with our tradition of buying a t-shirt. My mind raced ahead to the cooler days coming so I picked out a sweatshirt and for the first time ever, we decided to get matching ones:

(In our kitchen)

Green is not usually my first choice; in fact my default is pink, but my husband encouraged me to go with the green and I'm glad I did because it finally adds some variety to my normal blue/pink/pink/blue/blue/blue/pink..... :o).

Now that I've given a peek at our kitchen, I'll have to dig out the camera and take some more pictures of our snug, little apartment!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

*The* Offering.

So without going into the whens and whys and all such nonsense like that, I've decided confession is good for the soul: I've given to my dear, sweet, kind, doesn't-deserve-this-at-all husband an offering.

Oh yes.

That kind of offering.

I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. But, oh is it awkward to actually come out and say it. Or spell it. Whichever the case may be (which in this case, it would be spelling it).

I won't even try to offer one of those "in my defense..." statements because it would be totally worthless. But, and this is to brag on the man God has given to me, Nat was gracious and kind and still thanks God every night for a wife who can cook.

Ha! Well, except for that night when I couldn't, you know, cook the main dish.

I think next time I'll just use the grill.... :o).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One Month = Pure Happiness!

It's not exactly down to the minute, although I suppose I could wait the extra 52 minutes, but it's been one month of wonderful, sweet marriage! God has richly blessed me with a compassionate, considerate, fun-loving, sensitive husband who is simply the best! He is my best friend in the world, and I would rather know every little detail about him than anyone else.

Someone asked me the other day if the wait was worth it.......... ABSOLUTELY!!!!

"Grow old along with me... the best is yet to be."
~Robert Browning~

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hi, I'm Still Here:).

Hubby is currently sleeping (as are most of the people on the East Coast at this time of the night!), but I kick in with my second wind right about now and thought a blog post just might be in order.

But first, I realized I only posted one wedding picture soooo.... here are a couple more:

After the ceremony was over, Nat and I headed out to a local park and had some pictures taken. Our photographer did an amazing job and we like the fact that this park is close enough for us to visit often.... like we did tonight when we had a little picnic:).

Hmm, methinks that last picture needs a tad bit of explaining. I find it extremely ironic and humorous that the only time I cried on my wedding day was right here (or is it right there since it's not here anymore? Anyway.) This lady is such a dear friend of mine and not only drove the 13 hours from Muddy Pond, Tennessee (yes that's the name!), but also agreed to greet people on our wedding day. As soon as I came up from downstairs and saw her, I just lost it.... as did she. We're both crying while we wonder why we always cry when we see each other. It's hard to explain, but 'tis true!


Life has been wonderfully busy... setting up our new apartment; packing up stuff from my parents house (Goodwill is going to benefit!); working busy hours; having my first visitor over for lunch; spending time with the dearest man on earth; writing thank you notes....

Oh the thank you notes. I feel as if paper and pen fail in verbalizing our thanks. I suppose if I really considered it, it's not the paper or pen expressing our thanks, it's our words. But how do you squeeze into one note the fact that you really do appreciate the gift of ________ and are thankful time was spent in coming to the wedding?

Or to my wonderful co-workers who not only gave me the time off of work (3 weeks), but also provided pies, a large cookie tray, and chafing pans/dishes to hold our reception food. In addition to that, the were so gracious to give four large gifts, including a beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer.

What about the dear, dear church family we are so blessed with who jumped in with both feet and enthusiastically and cheerfully helped out where needed? I've come to the conclusion that it is impossible to say "thank you" on paper only; it must be lived out and in some cases paid forward, so to speak.

Simply put, we've been blessed.

A few people asked after we returned from our honeymoon if we still needed anything. Need? In a word, no.

We've been blessed.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


While I have a few minutes and access to a computer (those two don't coincide too much these days!), I figured I would post just a few pictures from our wonderful, fabulous, relaxing, fun honeymoon:).

My sweet husband surprised me with the honeymoon destination and on our wedding day actually gave me a binder chock full of informational pages. For months we used the code word Antarctica to refer to our honeymoon since that was the answer Nat gave at one point when I asked where we were going. Anyway, on the front of the binder was a cover page with pictures of penguins, ice flows, a cruise ship with a snowy background and an acrostic:


When I opened it up, I was THRILLED to discover we were heading up to Maine! Out of all the New England states, Maine was the only one I hadn't been to, but I've always wanted to go:).

We actually had a few different parts to our honeymoon which was fine with me. We spent two days in Westborough, Massachusetts and used one of the days to go to Boston - a place I went to two years ago with friends. From there we traveled up to Booth Bay Harbor, Maine and had a lovely view of the harbor from the bed and breakfast we stayed at.

We then went on to Bar Harbor, Maine and spent three days in and around Acadia National Park
and saw some lovely views like this:

Sunset on Cadillac Mountain

Taking a kayak tour of parts of Acadia

Climbing Gorham Mountain - boulder after boulder!

Celebrating one week of marriage on top of the mountain!

Watching the waves crash onto the rocks

The whole trip was absolutely lovely and my only complaint was eating out for 10 straight days... after a while, the choices all start looking the same:).


Since coming home, my brother has finished tiling our apartment kitchen floor, so now we just have to move things in and around our place. We're both working and have other "little" things come up to keep us busy, but eventually we'll have this place put together! In the meantime we are rejoicing in the Lord and His goodness to us. What a blessing to be married to such a godly man!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mr. & Mrs.

Just returned from our wonderful honeymoon trip to Maine and figured my lovely blog readers deserved at least one picture:).

I'll post more when I can!!!

~Mrs. Anne Williams~

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wedding Day.

Wedding day is HERE!!!!

And I'm excited;).

Friday, July 9, 2010

You're Invited!

The craziness of the day is about to begin (siblings are in town, you know!), but in case I didn't have a chance to post later, I wanted to make sure I got this up now for anyone who is interested.

My church is going to be streaming our wedding online, so if any of you had absolutely nothing to do around 2 PM (EST) on Saturday, feel free to watch the wedding from the comfort of your home:).

  • On the left hand side of the page, you will see this:
Check out our LIVE video stream on Sundays at 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM EST by clicking the link to the right.

Live Webcast: OFF AIR

  • Keep refreshing the page until the live/off air box goes from gray to red.
  • From there it will ask you something like do you want to connect through low band or high band. (This is the part where I wish my techy side would be so much more up-to-date!)
It's pretty easy from there; I figured it out every week when I was in Thailand and would watch my church's service online:).

Of course if you want to come in person to the wedding, that would be terrific! The more the merrier:).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

No Wedding Woes - Only A Choice To Rejoice!

This morning I read this verse, not realizing how much I would need it for today:

"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." ~ Psalm 126:6

Last Thursday I finally decided to take my winter coat to a local dry cleaners and grabbed Nat's wedding suit as well, since it needed to be dry cleaned. I've used this particular cleaner before, so the thought didn't really occur to me to go anywhere else. Actually it did because I had a coupon for another dry cleaners, but that was 20 minutes away and I didn't figure the discount was worth it. So I went to the cleaners, turned in my coat and Nat's suit, and the lady cheerfully gave me my slip with the pick-up day for Wednesday.

Sunday night I had just gotten to bed around midnight when I heard sirens go screaming by for a couple of moments. I genuinely thought maybe someone had gotten hurt shooting off fireworks and was being rushed to the hospital, but that wasn't the case. When I was reading the news on Monday morning, a particular article caught my attention: Fire in Emmaus Strip Mall. My heart jumped into my throat as I read the article and realized the fire started in the very dry cleaner shop I took Nat's suit and my coat to. Trying to be calm and not jump to conclusions, I thought perhaps it wasn't as extensive as the article made it out to be. I called Nat and mentioned the possibility of there being issues with our stuff, but we figured we had to wait to find out for sure because the holiday was still being celebrated.

After trying several times this morning, Nat was finally able to get through to the cleaners and the confirmation was in: everything was completely destroyed. Nat's tailor-made suit from Thailand -- his wedding day suit -- was no longer available.

As the news slowly sank into my disbelieving head, my ever-logical sweetie calmly stated he was going to implement Plan B: go look for a new one and keep his eyes open for divine appointments. It was firmly established in both of our minds that this was no mistake and God was going to use this mishap to get some precious seed out to someone!

Nat returned this evening with the report that no less than three people were those someones!!! As he explained about his adventures to the mall and talking to these three people, my mind drifted back to the verse I read this morning and I realized sometimes the Lord reminds me in a very clear way that there can never be a price tag put on getting some seed to a lost person.

This all might sound very trite and nonspiritual, but the tug of sentimentality can be a bit strong at times. We happened to be very partial to our clothing items, but when I put it all into perspective, I know Nat and I will be married regardless of whether he wore a tailor-made-in-Thailand-just-for-him suit or a JC Penny special.

In addition to growing in grace over suit situations, I've spent the day and now the wee hours of Wednesday morning making pie shells and baking!

I've chosen to have pies and other desserts served at the reception, rather than a huge wedding cake so of course that meant making them all:). In between all the rolling of pie dough, some family members wandered in to stay for several days, so I decided I would rather finish all my baking tonight while it wasn't in the triple digits weather-wise and no little kiddos underfoot:). The last batch is in the oven, 8 apple pies have been delegated to two of my bridesmaids, and that leaves me with 6 more to make on Friday. Overall I feel as if I haven't put too much stress on myself and now I can enjoy time with my family before the big day comes on Saturday!

Only 3 more days:).