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Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in review

2010 has been a memorable year, indeed.
thought i'd share some photos from our life over the past 12 months!

then-roommates Carrie, Jess, and Rachel
in our matching hand-knit beanies from former roommate Emily
engagement photos in Boston by Scot Huber
serving at God's Love We Deliver in NYC with colleagues during our annual ACUI conference
my first bridal shower hosted by long-time family friends, Jo & Alison
in Northern Virginia
Easter dinner with friends [another photo by Scot Huber]
second bridal shower hosted by Ruth, along with maid of honor, Rachel
and bridesmaids Carrie and Becca in Massachusetts
all my dear friends at the bridal shower!
our wedding day: May 15th
[photo credit Meaghan Elliott]
more of Meg's great photos can be found here
our honeymoon: an Alaskan Cruise
camping trip to Maine & walking on the beach near Kennebunk
i spent 10 days at Northern Kentucky University 
as a facilitator for a student leadership program called I-LEAD
working with college students from across the country
one of many BBQ's with our friends, Ryan & Jess
visit to South Carolina to see Brandon's niece, Izabella
[day trip to the beach]
our first Red Sox game viewed from the Green Monster!
[one of my favorite wedding gifts, for sure]
we picked up our puppy, Milton, from a shelter in Maine
apple picking at Honeypot Hill Orchards with Ryan & Jess
hosting international delegates from Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland
and touring the student unions at Tufts, Brown, Providence College and URI [photo at Tufts]
Thanksgiving weekend in Colorado
[strolling though Littleton with our pal, Harper]
at our friends, Becca & Adrian's wedding [with new friends John and Tina]
our first Christmas as Mr & Mrs G, we stayed in Boston
what a great year...
thanks friends & family, we're looking forward to 2011!

frugal friday finds

a few deals i snagged from post-Christmas sales!

Old Navy $15
Much Love Illy $14 (including shipping + used discount code)
Target $10
Old Navy $15
Old Navy $12
i don't usually have such luck at old navy, but i loved so many things!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2 quick fixes

ever wonder how to replace an earring back
or repair a favorite sweater with minor holes?
i tried these out recently
& wanted to share how well they worked for me.

in the past, one of two things happened when i lost an earring back:
1- i stopped wearing the pair of earrings
2- i borrowed an earring back from another pair of earrings
i found this idea in real simple magazine a few months ago
but could not find the exact idea on the website.
they suggested a pencil eraser here
but i don't have many pencils whose erasers i want to part with...

so, i used a vegetable rubber band,
cut off enough of the rubber band to make a square piece, 
then poke it through the earring end.
also works well on earrings with straight posts,
[i tried that first, but didn't photograph it].

one of my favorite sweaters got a few small holes in the arms
and i couldn't bear to part with it
[since i hadn't even had it a full season].
originally, i was thinking i'd have to sew patches on the sleeves,
and was envisioning elbow patches, 
which would have changed the look of my lovely j.crew sweater drastically.
i was looking through my sewing supplies and came across
an iron-on patch, similar to this one.
i simply turned the sweater inside out and used the wool setting to iron it on,
thankfully, the khaki color doesn't stand out much against the mustard yellow.
you can barely see the holes, right?
i'm back in business and wearing this sweater all the time again!

have you found any simple fixes?
i'd love to hear about it!

{post linked here}

grateful girl

102. a snow day for Brandon to extend our Christmas weekend one more day!

103. catching up with friends throughout the week
Christmas dinner, airport rides

104. lots of Milton time
[that dog is getting spoiled]

105. having our electricity, heat, cable all week
[some people in the area lost theirs due to the blizzard]

106. another relaxing & low-key weekend ahead:
our nye tradition of crab cakes at the oceanaire & concert at king's chapel

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a spiritual check up

this post from justin buzzard got me thinking about things to do differently in 2011.
i don't always use a bible reading plan, but i'm now on the search for one!

i don't typically make resolutions, but do often consider the year in review.
i have a wonderful questionnaire that a former bible study leader gave me in 2005 & i have been using for the past five years.
i want to share it, since it's been helpful to me in the past. [i left my answers out]
a spiritual check-up

1.      What are some good things that are happening in your life?
2.      List five things for which you are grateful…

3.  What are some challenges you are currently facing?

4.  Describe your prayer life using three adjectives:

5.  How often do you pray?  How has God responded to your prayers?
6.  How have you sensed the Holy Spirit at work in you—either in the past or presently?
7.  In Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit (that is, fruit borne within those who are led by the Spirit) is described as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control… 
Which of these currently describe you?  Which of these, if any, are you lacking or at least desiring?
8.  What spiritual exercises are you practicing in order to relate personally with God?
9.  What sacrifices are you making in your life?  And for what end?

10.  Which of the following Ten Commandments (listed in their Scriptural context from Exodus 20) is most convicting for you in this season of your life?
And God spoke all these words:  "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery…
 1 You shall have no other gods before me. 
2  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 
3 You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 
4  Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
5  Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. 
6  You shall not murder. 
7  You shall not commit adultery. 
8  You shall not steal. 
9  You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 
10  You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 11. God is…   All-knowing
                        Full of grace and truth
Which of these attributes of God resonates with you currently?  Why?
12.  What life-giving activities (i.e., hiking, dancing) do you participate in?

13.  Describe your vital friendships or relationships?
14.  If Jesus was sitting next to you what would he say about your 2010?  What part of your life would he want to talk about the most?  What would he want to tell you about 2011?  

i'm linking up here

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

it shouldn't be [sew] difficult

i don't often have a hard time making decisions, 
but when they involve money i do one of two things:
1- go with the easiest option, so i don't have to keep thinking about it.
2- spend days/weeks agonizing over the options
...and i almost always go with the choice that originally seemed best.
so, why don't i just go with my gut from the beginning
and save myself the agony?

in case you're wondering what i'm agonizing over
and the title didn't make sense or give it away, 
i'm in search of a sewing machine.
i'm caught between kicking myself for not taking my granny's last spring
and just wanting someone else to make the decision for me.
i don't need anything fancy; honestly the computerized ones freak me out.
i used my mom's sewing machine with her direction & help some ten-plus years ago. i even used my granny's more recently for simple projects.
but i want to make a good decision and 
as my husband says, "it's an investment"
...geesh, no pressure!

please don't hesitate to share any wisdom you have.
i went to a sewing store, as yellow songbird suggested and the woman was quite knowledgeable, but tried to sell me something for $700.
is that normal?
i did like that they offer sewing classes at any time for their customers,
but i'm looking in the $150-300 that unreasonable?
[i plan to use it for home projects, clothing repair & hopefully even make myself a dress.]

Monday, December 27, 2010

blizzard 2010

just thought i'd share some pics from metro blizzard 2010
in our boston neighborhood
snow drift in the backyard
one car free, another remains trapped [thankfully they're not ours]
Brandon freed the Prius
all in all, i think we got about 16" of snow
[but it's hard to tell because of the big drifts]
wind gusts were reported over 70mph ...eek!
the wind continued to howl throughout the day/evening too.
the perfect cup of hot chocolate...perfect way to  warm up!
did you get snow from the metro blizzard 2010, 
stretching the I-95 cooridor from south carolina to maine?!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

1st christmas for b + b

we stayed home.

i attended my first citylife christmas eve service.

we had a leisurely morning of drinking coffee, eating bacon & eggs
and of course opening some gifts!

we ate a lot throughout the day
...brandon cooked great food.
for lunch brandon made clam chowder some following this recipe
[...or chowdah as the new englanders say.]
the cook himself
we enjoyed hosting friends for a dinner of
mashed potatoes & cauliflower [sorry, i can't find the exact recipe, but we basically cook equal parts cauliflower and potatoes and then put them in the mixer, adding some milk & sour cream. it cuts down on the carbs, making it more diabetic-friendly]
green bean casserole modified with fresh green beans, [cooked for 5 min in the microwave before assembling the casserole].

and it was our first time using our china...loved it!

milton rested...loved shredding his new toys, eating some bacon & napping.
spoiled pooch
...what a lovely christmas day.
it's now snowing & we're expecting at least a foot in boston.
happy boxing day, friends!
hope you had a merry one, too!