life in the basement has come and gone. we loved living underground, but are excited to practice maintaining a home. join me as i journal chapter two of our life, as we save up, look forward, and plan for a home in the city. as we seek after our great God to glorify Him daily, join in as we figure out what it means to radically pursue Him in "everyday life"

31 October 2011


in the last six weeks, i have become quite the traveler. i have spent more time packing, traveling, and unpacking than i have pretty much anything else. don't believe? these numbers don't lie!

17,072...number of miles flown
70...number of meals eaten out
5...number of meals eaten at in-n-out
19...number of nights in a hotel
6...number of destinations visited
8...number of trips taken (3 to california!)
7...number of cupcakeries visited
4...number of nights stayed with friends

needless to say, it's good to be home :)

so now that i'm done traveling, look forward to many good posts. i promise, i'll be much better than i have been the last six weeks. i feel like i said that two weeks ago. but look forward to many good things!

13 October 2011

white chicken chili

so last weekend, inspired by the crisp autumn air, we came home from church and i made a big old pot of my white chicken chili. i don't know about you, but there is something just so cozy about coming home from a great morning at church, changing into my sweats, and smelling something good cooking on the stove. we did have to make a stop to grab a few things from the store on the way, but during the autumn/winter months, i like to keep the basics of this chili in the cabinet.
i love this recipe because its good, hearty, goes a long way, and is pretty simple.

feel free to take it and tweak it.
i should add that i make white chili because i have a pretty strong tomato intolerance, so normal chili is out the window for me. i've made it a few times (we host an annual christmas chili party for our friends) but i dont claim to be great at it, because i can't really taste it.

and, white chili is a little different flair. if you've not had it before, its got more of a tex-mex feel. its great served the same way as regular chili- i usually top mine with a little sour cream and cheese, with either fritos or cornbread. sometimes i even add in some fresh cilantro and maybe a chopped jalapeno.

so to start with, i get everything out and get ready. this time, i was making a double batch because i wanted to make enough for us to take for lunch to work all week.

the goods

i was somewhat surprised to find local chicken at walmart?

for my chili, i like to use a combo of light colored beans. this time, i used navy beans, chick peas, and great northern white beans. pretty much though, you can use whatever you prefer, as long as they are light colored 

so first step, start boiling the chicken in some salty water.

once you've got that going, drain your beans and get them ready. the recipe calls for about 1 lb of beans, so i used 6 cans (2 of each). i like my chili extra-beany.

as you can see, my recipe has been used several times. and i'm not very neat. ah well, its well loved!

so i also go ahead and get my pan ready to saute some onions.

so once your chicken is starting to boil, you want to combine your beans with 6 c. chicken broth (12 shown here) with 1 chopped onion and 2 tbsp minced garlic. you can add to this if you'd like, but i find this makes a pretty good base. now i made this on my stove this time, but often, i'll throw all of this in the crock pot to let it cook down. this will need to simmer for a good 4+ hours. also, you can chop your onions as fine/chunky as you prefer.

isn't this guy fun? my dad picked us up this olive oil container and its great- it makes the perfect drizzle and doesn't drop or leak

so this is my workspace to prepare to chop the onions. tip: when chopping onions, if you have problems tearing up, either put a big chunk of bread in your mouth, or cut next to an open flame, the onion juices will burn up and you won't cry!

so i put half of those chopped onions in the chicken broth & beans, and i saute the other half. i get them good and soft and golden, then add in 2 cans of chopped green chilis. i let them saute for just a minute or so.


then i add all my spices to this and stir well. i add cumin, red pepper (cayenne), a little oregano, some lawrys & some lawrys season pepper. i'm pretty generious with how much, but you want at least 2 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp cayenne, and 3/4 tsp oregano. and several good dashes of the seasoned salt and seasoned pepper.

stirred up and ready to go.

ok so once your chicken is boiled, it should look about like this.

so you want to tear/chop/whatev into small pieces/cubes. you can keep it as chunky as you like, or go for shreds. i opt for shreds..

and then, after your beans+broth have cooked down for a good 4 hours, you add the chicken and onions and peppers.

yum, huh?? now you want to let this cook for AT LEAST an hour. the longer, the better.

be sure to stir this a good deal so you don't get any stickage. also, so if you are going to have this cooking in your crock pot all day, say while you are out to work or whatever, let the beans+broth cook all day, and when you get home, have all of the chicken+onions&peppers ready to just dump in. then, dinner will be ready in an hour. if you do do this, make sure you add extra broth to the beans depending on how long you will be gone. maybe even an equal amount of water. or, just keep your crock pot on low.

and there you go! yum, huh? here is my bowl, with some fresh cilantro, ready to devour.

a little sour cream goes a long way in adding a creaminess factor to it.

and of course, some fresh cheddar cheese on top.

there you have it friends! white chicken chili! check out the recipe below:


1 lb. white beans (I like to use dried beans and soak them overnight- I combine 1/2 bag of Navy and 1/2 bag of Great Northern or something like that- I've tried a lot of different beans and they all taste about the same, just so long as they are white)
6 c. chicken broth
2 cloves minced garlic (1 tbsp)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 4 oz. cans of diced green chilis (last time, I accidently used diced jalapenos which made it super spicy)
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne (all my spices I eyeball instead of measure, and I always use probably triple what it calls for, because I like a lot of flavor)
4 c. cooked, diced chicken (I like to boil about 2 lbs of chicken and shread it)
Chopped Cilantro
1-2 Fresh Jalapenos, chopped
Cheese+other toppings

1. Combine beans, broth, garlic, and 1/2 onions in large pot and bring to boil. Go ahead and turn on your crock pot if you are going to use it so it will be hot. Once the mixture is boiling, transfer to crock pot and simmer 3+ hours (I've let it simmer all day before, but if you do that, just add extra broth or water)
2. In skillet, saute the rest of onions in oil until tender. Add chilis & seasoning and mix well. Add to crock pot, then add chicken. Simmer 1+ hour. Check, and right before you serve add chopped cilantro and fresh jalapeno to taste.
3. Serve and Enjoy!!

11 October 2011

could i get a little info please?

if you'll notice, to the left of this post is a little blurb about how i am trying to gather your info for my records. pretty soon, i'll begin the process of getting our christmas cards together and i want to make sure i have everyone's info. i promise not to share anything you give me or anything like that, i just want to send you a christmas card.

if you are interested, just Click here to take survey. thanks friends!

unreached: the zaza-dimli of turkey

while nathan and i have been in san fran, we have seen a lot of different people. its always amazing to me how many people can come together in one place. even more apparent than the skin colors and languages we hear is the variety of food available. greek. chinese. thai. irish. mexican. italian. etc. we are surrounded by the world. we can't help but talk about how incredible it is that people from all over the world come together here in the US.

all of this made me excited to blog about the unreached people group this week. i know i have missed a few weeks, but to me, this is one blog topic that i like to take quite seriously.

today, i ask you to join me in praying for the zaza-dimli people of turkey. the joshua project has identified them as one of the top 10 people groups needing to be reached. a people group that is a type of kurdish people, the zaza-dimli have their own dialect as well as their own "sect" of islam. shocking to me was the fact that, although they number over 1.1 million, the government of turkey doesn't recognize them, and will not assist in meeting their basic needs. additionally, there are literally no believers among them. there is no copy of the bible in their language. and while they have been identified as in need of missionaries, there seem to be none present.

would you join me today in asking our Father to reveal himself to these people? pray for believers to be willing to go, to learn the language and translate the bible so that these zaza-dimli might be able to read and know our great God. pray also for a mindset shift within the government, that He would help meet the physical needs of these people through the government of Turkey. pray the God would raise up a generation of these kurds that would worship Him as the one True God.

100 posts!

so its hard to believe but this is my 100th post! 

i must say, i am really enjoying this blogging thing. 

here's a few pics from our trip so far.

and ps, here's some places you've GOT to check out if you come to san fran....

kokkari estiatorio

yes my friends, we have the in-n-out on the wharf 
yes please! a little double double, some fries, and a strawberry shake...yum@

hanging out in muir woods with the 400+ year old trees (redwoods)

at the wharf...pretty cool, we got there and it turned out to be fleet week, so we got to see the blue angels and a lot of other pretty cool air shows!

yes, that is a REAL background :)

07 October 2011


this past weekend, while up at berry for mountain day, nathan and i, along with our whole crew of buddies, ran in a 5k. it was a blast running berry's campus like i did as a student, plus it was fun to get active with my friends! (most of our hangouts involve lots of food and most of it on the not so healthy side:) ). to top it all off, i had an awesome time that i was quite proud of- 25:29! 

06 October 2011

yay for new shoes!

so the other night, i ordered new running shoes- yay! 
i had to tell you about the site i used to order them- after going thru ebates, i found this site called not only did i get 8% cash back through ebates, they had this awesome option to purchase a VIP membership for 1.99 that ultimately saved me $14! so basically, i paid $2 for a $14 coupon. but the good news is, the membership lasts for a year! and it got me free shipping, which is basically another $7 or $8 off. 
my shoes were shipped out within a few hours and i got a nifty email documenting that. they should come in tomorrow, which i am pumped about. all in all, i definitely recommend them!! check them out for your running gear!

stay hungry. stay foolish.

last night, while driving to agnes scott, nathan and i were blown away by the annoucement of the passing of the great steve jobs. he truly was a remarkable guy, a visionary, and someone worthy of being looked up to. while he created a lot of great products, he also modeled what it is to pursue the impossible. nathan has shared this link before, but i wanted to repost the transcript from mr. jobs only commencement address, given in 2005 at standford university:

"I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much."

Steve Jobs, thank you for your dedication, your drive, and the example you've given to our great nation of what creativity truly is. 

04 October 2011

i'm certified!

after a week of training and weeks of studying, and 2 years hammering around in the software, i'm officially a certified salesforce administrator!

now, on to the advance admin certification!

pages of notes

03 October 2011

far up in the hills of georgia stands old berry tried and true...

so this weekend, we loaded up the edge and headed up to sweet sweet berry. i loved by days at berry. they were full of learning, friends, outside, memories, coffee, and growth. 

each october, we return for mountain day- an age old tradition to pay homage to miss martha berry, the found of the college. its hard to believe that my first mountain day was 6 years ago....

christina, erin, and i our freshman year.
so how mountain day works  is that it is really a whole weekend. on friday, the dorms compete in an annual olympics. each dorm has a secret theme with tshirts and its just a blast. friendship (my dorm) always went way beyond just tshirts and did whole themes. freshman year, as can be seen above, we were girl scouts, complete with cookies that we gave out.
sophomore year, we were a baseball team, complete with jerseys and bags of popcorn.

me & erin
erin & lyd

our class :)
junior year, we were a naval fleet, aka the "friend ship" kind of lame, but we had fun.

and finally, senior year, we had some green recycling theme going on. kind of crazy.

 then, on saturday, everyone goes up to the mountain for a picnic and the grand march. a strange old tradition, we basically line up and march down a hill, giving our age in pennies to the president in a basket as a gift. we march down, then come down in pairs, then come down in fours, then eights, and finally 16 across. its a big deal to be a senior, because typically, there are only enough boys to hold hands with the senior girls, and everyone else ends up holding hands with girls. its a fun tradition, and once we get down to the bottom in 16, we sing the alma mater and the class president gives the president the pennies. and that's the grand march! its a lot of fun, as crazy as it sounds. oh, and one other thing you will see below, there's a dress code. well, more of a color code. underclassman women wear pink, underclassmen guys wear blue, senior girls wear blue, and senior guys wear white. here's some pics throughout the years:

sophomore year

me, christina, and our friend amory

one of our first pics together :)

me and christina- marching!

me and erin
junior year!

getting ready to march- me, lyd, christina, and erin

trying to keep up!
finally seniors!

check it out...boys!
the beginnings of the march

not sure if you can tell but i'm giving my pennies

we got to hold hands with  boy!
lydia never would march- but she took lots of pics!

lydia capturing the commotion

needless to say, it was always a good time. this year, we met up again to watch the march and enjoy remembering the glory days.

this year, me, christina, eli, nathan, and graham

christina, lydia, erin, and me

nathan and his friend adam

and here's our alma mater:

far up in the hills of georgia stands old berry tried and true
the shrine of many a memory of the silver and the blue
our loyalty and love we pledge
God keep thee without fail
behold the light
that shines for right
alma mater hail all hail!