Archive for the ‘Friday Delights’ Category

If you’re from Evansville, Indiana, you bond over the heavenly goodness that is white queso from Los Bravos.

If you live in the DC metro area, you bond over not knowing what anyone does for their jobs and the painfulness of long commutes. (and the pride and excitement of living in our nation’s capital!)

If you spend time with old classmates, you bond over the crazy things you once did and wish you could relive just to laugh as hard as you did the first time.

If you meet a new coworker at CEB, you bond over the 10 minute elevator wait and all the pregnant ladies in the building.

So what do you bond over with aunts you rarely see, who are a generation older, live several states away, and have a completely different life than you? 

Books!  I am thankful today for all the bookie friends I have, who can share a nice discussion about literature, themes, favorite reads, perplexing stories, and the enjoyment of a good story.

(photo from Pinterest – would love a room like this one day!)

Thanks to GoodReads – I can now keep track of my booklist in a much more practical way!!

Also thankful for all the signs of summer!

– neighborhood pools finally open

– upcoming trip to see my sis/bro-in-law/adorable niece whom I miss SO much (also means roadside kettle corn and produce stands – it’s become a tradition)

– outdoor concerts, especially picnics and lawn seats at Wolftrap and summer bluegrass at Frying Pan Farm Park (yes, it’s really called that!)

– plenty of opportunities to grill out

– upcoming reunion getaway with college girlfriends

– blueberry picking at a nearby farm, then making tonnns of blueberry goodies afterwards

– hopefully a vacation in there somewhere, but Jon and I will have to get over our inability to plan ahead and make decisions…

What’s on your summer list?

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1)  Reading Unfashionable, by Tullian Tchividjian – Great summary of how the church should exist in and for our culture – to be different, not because we’re weird fundamentalist separatists, but because of our love, our service, our ability to engage the world around us (all the while being very different from the world) with compelling purpose because of our identity in Christ.  I still think too much about these things and struggle to do them, but I’ll hope for at least more baby steps of change.

2)  Old Office episodes with Michael Scott – I had forgotten what I was missing and then watched this – it’s just not the same without him!  Booze Cruise Dance

3)  5 Year Thankfulness Journal – I got this idea from a friend to write one line of thankfulness each day for 5 years.  Each January 1st, for example, falls on the same page, so in 5 years I’ll be able to see what I was thankful for that same day all the previous years.  This has been especially good for those bad days when I don’t feel very thankful at all; There’s always something to be thankful for.

What are you thankful for this week?

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1.  Looking back at my 2012 new year’s resolutions and seeing that I have actually done most of them!  We are running another 5k tomorrow morning, we went to the Newseum in DC when my parents visited, I’ve been resting/reading/reflecting more in the evenings, we’ve enjoyed our back deck and grill in this nice spring weather, and we finally had a neighbor over for some delicious mango ice cream the other night!  What can I say, I shot low with my resolutions this year because I rarely ever succeed.  The one I’m clearly missing the mark on, however, is “eat only one serving of dessert per day”….yikes!

2.  Making this awesome Indian butter chicken last night.  We used the boxed spices mix, reduced some of the butter (whoa, this is not a low fat meal), and probably used too few tomatoes, but it was still AMAZING.  I haven’t made that many sound effects while eating in a while.

3.  Enjoying a good, long story, and the sense of accomplishment with finishing such a massive book (and building arm muscles from holding the heavy thing on my commute).  I finished East of Eden this week (thanks to some friends for recommending) and thoroughly enjoyed this very dark story about sins of generations, what the lack of love will drive a person to do, the battle of good and evil, and human nature.  I’ve also loved using Good Reads to track my book list!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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1.  Jogging/dinner/Parks and Recreation date nights with Jon.  These have pretty much become our Thursday nights.  Jon runs slowly with me (and then sprints up and down the sidewalk, while I huff and puff at my normal pace), and when I take walking breaks, we talk; when we run, he talks at me, and I give him thumbs up when I agree.  Back to Parks and Rec – Ron and Andy are our favorites.  Annnd I think sometimes I can identify a little too much with Leslie Knope.

2.  Pretending flowery weeds are are real flowers and laughing at the ridiculousness when I pull a whole plant out of the ground to take home.

3.  Under the Sycamore – now this is a blog worth reading.  This sweet mom of 4 (who is currently in the adoption process for a 5th – from China!) just asked for a small donation this week to help fund a baby incubator for the orphanage in China. Due to her great blogisphere following and compassion of the readers, upwards of $8,000 was donated in just a few days, which will cover the sponsorship of 9 children for an entire year and provided cleft palate surgery for 7 children in the past week!  What a treasure! (plus, she partnered with a blogger friend who gave away this cool print in honor of the adopted baby named “Song”!)

4.  Thursday Dessert Days at work (not the overrated candy bowl, but real, homemade desserts).  I have successfully started dessert days on 2 teams at my company.  The first team took it as healthy (describing the competition here, not the food) competition and made some outstanding treats.  The second team has had fits and starts with just a few contributors, oftentimes myself…so it’s extra special when someone else surprises the team and makes something tasty! (yesterday’s treat from E. – just double the saltines and cut the butter down by 1/2 a stick – delicious!)

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Weeks seem to pass so quickly doing a weekly Friday post!

1.  I’ve been delighted this week to have some lunch/dinner dates with girlfriends of mine – college friends, work friend, DC friends – so nice to find time to catch up on our lives.

2.  Since weeks start on Sunday (at least on my calendar), I can count Easter Sunday in this list!  What a glorious service we attended at Good Shepherd – organ, brass, choir, bells, and joyful voices shouting “He is risen indeed!”  Glad my parents were here to celebrate with us.

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

– 1 Cor. 15:55

Christ’s resurrection changes everything.

3.  Mason jars (I got a whole box of mason jars last year at a garage sale for $1!).  For flowers, for candles, anything!  Currently I’m enjoying the ones on my kitchen table with my grandma’s homemade doilies wrapped around them (makes for a nice effect when it’s dark!).

4.  Teaching my first violin student.  She’s only had 3 lessons so far, but we’re making progress, and it’s been fun!  Now if I could just get myself to practice…

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1.  I love these pink, fluffy trees! Please tell me if you know what they’re called!  They are so soft and whimsical – seem like they would be in the real life version of Candy Land or something.  Since the cherry blossoms came and went so early this year, I’ve been glad these pretty trees have bloomed longer and later, so I can keep enjoying all the pretty colors of spring!

2.  Singing again.  I am still dealing with singing angst and say things like “I used to sing”, but lately I’ve really enjoyed singing more around the house.  I found an amazing teacher in MD shortly after I moved here, but it’s tough to shell out the money for lessons when I’m not singing full time (or much at all).  Anyway, each time the springtime comes, I’m compelled to sing this song by Samuel Barber – one of my favorites. I also find myself singing “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord” each Easter season – another favorite to sing.  Doing chores at home isn’t nearly as bad while singing!

3.  Free apps, especially the cool Bible app that has a Lenten season reading plan. Great start to my commute each morning.

4.  Already talking with Jon about how we’ll dress up this year for Halloween – ha!  It’s never too early to start brainstorming.  I think I could pull off Mary Poppins, and he’d be a super hot chimney sweep, but the accessories would be a bit tough (though my sis did receive a parrot head umbrella for Christmas last year that I could borrow).  Last year we weren’t going to dress up for whatever reason, and then we found out last minute that Chipotle was giving free burritos to anyone dressed like farm animals. We just threw this together and ran down the street.  It was awesome (and I guess I was some sort of exotic farm animal). 🙂

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1.  The book The Meaning of Marriage, by Tim Keller has brightened my commute this week and reminded me of some of the most important aspects of marriage and loving Jon well.  I highly recommend it to anyone – single, married, young, old – many things in it are applicable to all of our relationships in life and have been very encouraging/convicting to me.  I also met a nice stranger on the metro who saw me reading it and mentioned he also had.  We had a nice conversation about it all!

2.  I was thankful to enjoy the sunset under the cherry blossoms last night with some girlfriends, and we found a nice quiet spot without many tourists (until a whole bus of kids stopped by, but at least their stay was brief). 🙂

3.  I am going to a library book sale tonight!  In the past I’ve gotten a whole stack of books for the price of one new book – and they’re usually in great condition, too!  Do I really need to live in a big city forever, if this is what I’ve been looking forward to on my calendar for weeks?

4.  Jon and I have watched an episode of Downton Abbey almost every night for the past few weeks.  I cannot get enough of this show – incredible character development, social/political/historical commentary, beautiful love stories, dramatic themes…  Jon pretended he didn’t like it at first and was just watching it to be nice, but there’s no denying it now!  Violet Crawley (love this moment) is hands down my favorite character, but Anna and Bates are probably my favorite pair.

How have you been delighted this week?

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