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"

24 October 2012

we're having a BABY!!

well, its been quite some time since i last blogged. oh how i've missed it. and instead of writing (yet again) about how i hope to do better, blah blah blah, i'm just going to jump in. i have known for a while that i wanted to blog while pregnant and during baby's first years, so heres to hoping i can do just that. 

since i last wrote, we have moved to a rental home, are on the hunt for a permanent home, and are excitedly celebrating the arrival of a little one. whew! we are excited and nervous and maybe a little bit scared, but more than anything, we are learning to trust and lean on christ for wisdom, guidance, and his timing. 

i have always wanted a baby. i always knew that i wanted to be a mom. but, i always knew i wanted to wait a little while before that happened. i was very grateful that nathan was on the same page with me. we had decided back while we were engaged that we wanted to wait a few years at least to start a family, we had always said 3-5 years. after i started experiencing some "female issues," we knew that our timeline might get bumped up a little. i am so grateful we waited as long as we did. the last 3 1/2 years have been full of travel, fun, spontaneity, lots of the unknown, and heaps of flexibility. of course, we could and would have made adjustments for a child, but i have loved how this time alone and together has allowed us to blend together, understand one another, grow in our love, and have a blast (not saying those things can't happen with a child- in fact, i anticipate taking all those things to the next level with little one here!). with it being just the two of us, we could live in a tiny basement apartment, up and travel to california for a long weekend, decide at the last minute to go to a drive-in movie, splurge on new bedroom furniture, and all the other many things we have done with our time. but now, its time to make some adjustments. and we couldn't be more thrilled about that. 

when we first started talking about "when" we wanted to start a family, it seemed so strange. as if it really mattered or depended on us and our timing. because of conversations with doctors, we knew when our best chance were, and combined with prayer, we believed that God was allowing us a glimpse into his timing. some days, i worried that it wouldn't happen. what if....??? two months went by and it was hard not to fixate on it. but i kept telling myself that God was in control. his timing was best. and it was only 2 months so far. 

by the middle of august, i had a sneaking suspicion. i couldn't get it off my mind. i hadn't even mentioned it to nathan yet, but i couldn't stop wondering. i didnt have any tell-tell signs, just a gut instinct. so one day after work, i decided i was going to stop wondering and just take a test. if it was negative, i wasn't going to think about it again until the next month. i think i really thought it was going to be- but hoped for something different. so i got home from work, took the test, laid it on the counter to straighten up a bit, and came back a few minutes later, shocked and ecstatic to see the words i had craved "PREGNANT." whoa. hold up. like, for real!? i started shaking and laughing out loud (and yes, i was home alone, but thats ok). i couldn't believe it. could it be true?  i hadn't even missed my cycle yet- so for it to say it so loudly i was like, ok! i only had one test, so i immediately rushed out to target to buy a few more, all the books on pregnancy that they had, and a gift bag for nathan. (about a year ago, maybe even more, i had a brilliant idea of how i wanted to tell him we were having a baby, so i went ahead and ordered it and kept it in my desk drawer so that i would be prepared for that day. crazy, i know). 

i rushed home, took 2 more tests, cried, thanked jesus, put nathan's gift together, and waited. i couldn't wait for him to get home. but i couldn't call him because i knew my voice would give away that something was up. so i waited. and waited. and waited. he actually even got home early that night, but it felt like forever. 

when he got home, i gave him the bag and attempted to record his reaction. i was shaking so bad i missed all of it. but i'll never forget it. at first he was like, "is this for someone else?" and i just shook my head. and then the light bulb came on and he said, "wait- are you pregnant?!" i burst in tears and smiles and said yes! he sat down next to me and we both tried to process it together. so crazy. so sweet. 

and so, the journey to becoming a family of 3 begins. 

20 July 2012


people love to ask questions. shoot, i love to ask questions. why? where? what happened next? how'd you feel? what did it taste like? was it good? when was that? what's the purpose? how do you do this? our whole lives, we've been taught to be inquisitive. to search out. to understand. to learn.
and this can be great. as a "learner" and someone high in "input," i can be queen of question. my mom tells stories of how, when i was little, the first thing out of my mouth each morning was, "what are we doing today?" i struggled with some great questions in my life, academically, spiritually, and some just for fun. i love the pursuit of knowledge. i love "to know."

one of the things i've realized in recent months though is the damage that questions can do. questions carry a lot of weight. and they can have tons of unintended consequences. see, the problem behind questions lies in their answers. you may wonder what i'm talking about, and its hard because i don't really want to overshare on here. but its like this-

say you ask someone how they are doing. simple enough question, right? but the problem lies in what they are going through- the answer they want to give you in their mind. they might be thinking- "i'm not doing good at all. ----- just happened, don't they know?!" instead they offer up an, "i'm good," but your question just reminded them of their pain.

how often do we ask question without really caring about the answer? the question above is a perfect example. how often do i ask "how are you?" when really, i'm just doing the social convention of making small talk. do i really care? and if i do care, what is the purpose of my caring? do i care for you and for your answer? do i care for the simple pursuit of knowledge? do i care because i want to have the tale to tell later? do i care because i believe i have "the right" to know?

it's time i pay attention to my motivations. it's time i show my friends i care by the questions i ask and don't ask.

i've decided to be more intentional in what i ask. this is going to be hard- its much easier to not pay attention. but i have been hurt by questions, and i do not want to inflict the same pain. i don't want my questions to serve as a reminder of someone's inner pain, inner conflict, or inner struggles.

17 July 2012

missed this

i've missed blogging. not that i think i was any great blogger or had anything super valuable to share, but i miss how it symbolized the discipline in my life. the outlet for my thoughts. accountability. vulnerability. creativity. i want to start back but am scared to even commit to that. however, i think i will try. many exciting things going on. elections. house hunting. another half marathon. babies? maybe. friends. family. cupcakes. work. house projects. quilts? crafts. invitations for friends weddings. so many things. i want to share my thoughts.
i've been missing my favorite movie lately and think i will watch it tonight- i feel so much like meg ryan when she says,

"The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings."


" Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void."

so here's to trying, again, to blog. to sharing my thoughts and creating discipline. 

29 February 2012

whats the purpose?

last night, nathan and i were laying in bed chatting about thing that interest us or are important to us, and he asked me why i haven't blogged lately. he was a big supporter of my blogging habit, and i have falling down on the task. its funny that he should ask that yesterday, because it has definitely been something that has been on my mind. i haven't blogged lately. i do miss it. but when i pull up the blogger page, i sit there and think, what's the purpose? what am i actually contributing to the world in writing some words on this post? i follow other blogs, tales of friends in far away places sharing their life, people who i've never met who cook or bake really good and share their awesome recipes, blogs about home improvement, missions, and sewing. what does my hodge podge blog have to offer? sure, i've had a few good recipes, a few good ideas, and some projects that i have mentioned. i've shared some news and research, some personal goals, and some randomness. i've talked of travels and friends. but all in all, who or what am i making better by writing this blog? i'm thankful for the handful of folks that have followed it, but what have i given them? an insight into my craziness? and what good is that?!

i say all this to say, i want to be intentional. i do love to blog. i love the discipline of sitting down and writing. its funny but one of my favorite parts of college was all the crazy papers i wrote. i love the act of researching. of pulling together. of verbalizing. even though i'm not a poetic or inspiring writer necessarily, i enjoy words. and i enjoy sharing my knowledge- be it on coffee, the middle east, my friends, or info i've picked up. i love to learn and share.

so i return. hopefully. life is busy now- but when will it not be?! i am disciplined in my work. i run regularly. i keep in touch with friends. and now, i will make great efforts to blog.

i will blog about things i make- food, desserts, projects, etc.
i will blog about things i research- the news, current events, lifestyle habits, etc.
i will blog about things i do- half marathons, vacations, big accomplishments.
i will blog about things i consume- cupcakes, food, coffee, etc.

i hope if you stop by to read, you will gain something from it. and if you do, please let me know. its cool to hear. i think one of the discouraging things in blogging has been the lack of comments & feedback, so i'm asking that ya step it up a notch! let me know if there's something you are interested in me doing/making/researching. i'm up for a challenge.

so hopefully, i'll continue to blog. and make an impact. even if its just helping you make the best cupcakes ever. or recommending a dinner spot for ya. hopefully, my blog will serve a purpose.

23 January 2012

500,000 little women each year

yesterday, as many of you may know, was sanctity of life day. around the country (and the world), many people, churches, groups, and others recognized the sad anniversary of row vs. wade and the millions of babies who have died at their mother's hands from abortion. since 1984 when president reagan designated jan 22 as national sanctity of human life day, groups and individuals used this day to "celebrate the intrinsic value of all human life" ( 

for me, it has never been hard for me to choose which "side" i am on. to tell you the truth, i dont even recognize that there are sides.
i believe in life. period. end of story. therefore, the legality of abortion isn't a question to me. it is wrong. i believe it should be illegal as it is murder. i believe life starts at conception. 

my beliefs are strong, but if they weren't enough, watching ashley's pregnancy affirmed to me the fact that she was growing a child, not a fetus, inside of her. with all of her complications, she had the unique experience of getting almost weekly views inside her body to watch little rhett form. at 24 weeks, rhett could have survived outside of her womb. how amazing is that?

to say that it is an issue to allow women the right to choose, the right to "reproductive freedom" is a complete scam to me. when a woman chooses to have sex, she must accept the consequences. that's where her choice is. if she doesn't want a child, then she has the responsibility to take precautions to prevent that. it is a life. she couldn't kill it once it was born - at least not without consequences. why should she be allowed then?

there are plenty of options out there- adoption, help, etc. i am a huge supporter of adoption, and grateful for the three women who choose to put their child up for adoption instead of abortion, thereby allowing me to have two wonderful brothers and a precious sister. 

and to the women who have had abortions, i believe that in Christ there is forgiveness and love and hope.

this may seem strong, but it is only a glimpse of how strongly i feel about it.

i encourage you watch this video by john piper and check out the links below. 

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For further reading, check out the following articles:

"We must guard against the reverse blind spot of the pro-abortion people. They talk much about compassion to women in crisis pregnancies and about the pain of being an unwanted child. But they do not talk about the pain, the indignity, the injustice, the brutality done against the unborn in abortion. And one of their primary defenses against the pro-life efforts is to say that we talk a lot about compassion to the unborn but show little concern for mothers in crisis or unwanted children after birth. To which I respond: let's not have this blind spot. Let's not be imbalanced. Let's admit (on both sides of the issue) how imperfect we are. But let's keep the ledger straight...Restricting the right of doctors and mothers to kill unborn children will not result in greater misery for those children. When the heart of a nation is willing to kill its unborn children to avoid having to care for them, it is hard to imagine this heart being willing to care for them. But if the heart of the nation could be turned so that it was no longer willing to kill its unborn children, then it is not so hard to imagine that this heart could care for them." (from

"For example, are you willing to explain why a baby's right not to be killed is less important than a woman's right not to be pregnant? Or are you willing to explain why most cities have laws forbidding cruelty to animals, but you oppose laws forbidding cruelty to human fetuses? Are they not at least living animals? Or are you willing to explain why government is unwilling to take away the so-called right to abortion on demand even though it harms the unborn child; yet government is increasingly willing to take away the right to smoke, precisely because it harms innocent non-smokers, killing 3,000 non-smokers a year from cancer and as many as 40,000 non-smokers a year from other diseases? And if you say that everything hangs on whether the fetus is a human child, are you willing to go before national television in the oval office and defend your support for the "Freedom of Choice Act" by holding in your hand a 21 week old fetus and explaining why this little one does not have the fundamental, moral, and constitutional right to life? Are you willing to say to parents in this church who lost a child at that age and held him in their hands, this being in your hands is not and was not a child with any rights of its own under God or under law?" (from

"God is calling us in this verse—he is calling all Christians—to expose the dark and fruitless work of abortion . . .
  1. To expose the fact that there are 1.5 million abortions in America every year—27 million since the Supreme Court overturned the public conscience of 48 states 19 years ago.
  2. To expose the fact that 30% of all babies conceived in America are killed by abortion.
  3. To expose the fact that medically women are told not to have abortions before the seventh week of pregnancy (see the Yes/Neon booklet), and yet by the eighth week the heart of the baby has been beating for a month, there are measurable brain waves, there is response to touch, there's thumb-sucking, grasping with the hands, swimming with the arms in the amniotic fluid, distinct arms and legs and sexual organs. This much must—not may, must—be present before most abortion centers will cut the baby to pieces with a suction machine 4,000 times a day.
  4. To expose the fact that 9,000 babies were killed after the 21st week of pregnancy in 1987, fully formed and on the brink of being able to breathe for themselves—killed, legally!
  5. To expose the fact that in Minnesota we have a fetal homicide law that makes it "murder to kill an embryo or fetus intentionally, except in cases of abortion"—in other words, it's unlawful to kill the unborn child unless the mother chooses to have it killed. And that is a strange and dark criterion for lawful killing.
  6. To expose the fact that "There is inescapable schizophrenia in aborting a perfectly normal 22 week fetus while at the same hospital, performing intra-uterine surgery on its cousin" (Steve Calvin).
  7. To expose the fact that viability outside the womb is not a criterion of personhood and right to life, because we ourselves don't want to give up our personhood and our right to life if we must be sustained on a respirator or dialysis machine the way a baby has to be sustained by a placenta.
  8. To expose the fact that the size and reasoning power of a tiny person is irrelevant to human personhood because if it were, we might allow tiny and unthinking newborns to be killed.
  9. To expose the fact that genetically human embryos and fetuses are utterly different from all other animal life; if they are just left alone, with nothing added but nourishment, they will grow up.
  10. To expose the fact that if it is unlawful to crush the egg of a bald eagle, it is not excessively restrictive to make it unlawful to crush the egg of a human.
  11. To expose the fact that when two legitimate rights conflict—the right not to be pregnant and the right not to be killed—justice demands that we give place to the greater right, the right that does the least harm—the one that does not willfully kill.
  12. To expose the fact that there are thousands of crisis pregnancy centers in this country ready to help, and almost all of them are free—unlike the abortion mills that charge plenty of money—and the older the baby, the more they charge.
  13. To expose the fact that there are no unwanted babies in Minnesota. Mary Ann Kuharsky (President of ProLife Minnesota) said in the Tribune she would take any baby whose life depended on it, and there are hundreds like her.
  14. To expose the fact that it is hypocritical to speak as though choice were the untouchable absolute in this matter and then turn around and oppose choice in matters of gun-control and welfare support and affirmative action and minimum wage and dozens of other issues where so-called pro-choice people join the demand that people's choices be limited to protect others. It's a sham argument. All choices are limited by life.
  15. To expose the fact that trespassing to save life is not a crime and that it does not undermine our legal system, but on the contrary endorses the one foundation stone without which that legal system in this land will fall, namely, the inalienable right to life. There will be no law but the law of individual choice (=anarchy) if the foundation stone of life's value is destroyed. And abortion is destroying it." (from
"With regard to peaceful rescuing I stand where I did three years ago: It is not a crime to trespass to save human life. If a child is choking on a toy in his back yard surrounded by a fence that says, KEEP OUT, NO TRESPASSING, it is not a sin or a crime to jump the fence and try to save the child. If a child is trapped in the second story of a burning home, it is not a sin or a crime to put a ladder to the window and enter without permission to save that child. If a blind child is trapped in the median of a busy street and about to step into traffic, it is not a sin or a crime to cross the street and guide him to safety even if the sign says, “Cross only at crosswalk”. If a child is drowning in a lake where the sign says, “No swimming” it is not a sin or a crime to rush into the water and rescue him." (from

(WARNING- GRAPHIC) Here is a video of an abortion being performed-

Here are some chilling facts on abortion and its wide spread destruction on our future generations:

19 January 2012


so i'm a huge fan of sites that make my life easier, and i'm all about some online shopping! so when i found shutterfly a few years ago, i knew i would love it! i have used it to get prints, order custom christmas ornaments, invitaitons, stationary, photo books (lots of them) and more. i love that you can share all of your pictures there and then you can put them out and download them on another computer. i think they are high quality prints and etc that look good and last and i really like the level of service i have recieved from the company. so recently, after receiving a $20 off coupon, i went back to make another photo book. i have been doing these for nathan and i since we have been dating instead of printing a bunch of pictures and putting them in books or frames or never doing anything with them, ever so often i make a book and keep them on our coffee table. its a great way to glimpse back at our story and where all we have been. take a look!


hello, rhett!

last week, you might have noticed that i was quite silent. it was a busy week full of normal and extraordinary things. in addition to the usual, ya know laundry, work, being sick (ugh), i had the huge honor of helping welcome rhett steven cash into the world. alright so i did nothing to help other than keep a seat warm in the waiting room, but i was there to cheer! tuesday morning, ash & charlie headed to the hospital and within a few hours, charlie was calling us from behind the l&d doors to tell us that their family was no longer two, but three! so exciting! in the days that followed, nathan and i have enjoyed celebrating with the cash family. ash's pregnancy wasn't exactly textbook, but that was ok because we got lots of extra pre-birth shots. i tell ya, not that i felt differently before, but even more so now, it is impossible for me to look at these pictures of rhett in ash's womb and not view him as a person, a life, created with a purpose, so carefully knit together in his mother's womb.  he is a miracle, a blessing, and a word of our Father. 

we are so excited for the cash family, and can't wait to watch little Rhett grow up!

05 January 2012

my next half:under two hours

and yes, those are my favorite running shoes :) mizuno wave creations, to be exact.
well friends, its time for me to start training again! in just 10 short weeks, i'll be joining two friends, brittany & jess to run my fourth half marathon. crazy! over the thanksgiving break, i teamed up with my uncle and cousin to run the thanksgiving day half and scored this sweet medal
and although i didn't have the most stellar time (2:07) i definitely earned my turkey! but its a new year, 2012 brings lots of energy and excitement for me, and as i mentioned in my resolutions, this year, i will run a half marathon in under two hours. even if its 1:59:59, i'm determined. the date of the big race is march 18, and the race will be the publix half. i ran it last year in 2:14, so we are shooting at shaving off 14 minutes. totally doable, right? i think so!

not my actual time because when i crossed the start line, there was already several minutes on the clock due to start waves

so i'm getting ready to lace up my shoes & get to work. the last week, i've been easing myself back into running. i took about a month off, which was much needed, but now it is much needed that i get back to work. so i'm going to be sure and include updates on here for you, including race day coverage! here's my training plan, in case you are interested. and as i have mentioned before in my blog, you can follow my training on dailymile, via the widget over there on the right side.

(m=monday, t=tuesday, w=wednesday, th=thursday, f=friday, sa=saturday, su=sunday)
(r=rest, m=miles)
week 1 (starting jan. 9) m=r, t=5reps of 200yd hills, w=5m, th=3m, f=workout, sa=6m, su=3m
week 2 (jan 16) m=r, t=4reps of 600yd hills, w=3m, th=4m, f=workout, sa=8m, su=3m
week 3 (jan 23) m=r, t=6reps of 200yd hills, w=3m, th=4m, f=workout, sa=7m, su=3m
week 4 (jan 30) m=r, t=5k for time, w=4m, th=6m, f=workout, sa=9m, su=5m
week 5 (feb 5) m=r, t=5k for time, w=3m, th=5m, f=workout, sa=7m, su=3m
week 6 (feb 13) m=r, t=6reps of 880yd hills, w=5m, th=6m, f=workout, sa=10m, su=5m
week 7 (feb 20) m=r, t=6reps of 880yd hills, w=4m, th=7m, f=workout, sa=8m, su=3m
week 8 (feb 27) m=r, t=4m for time, w=6m, th=7m, f=workout, sa=12m, su=6m
week 9 (march 5) m=r, t=5m, w=5m, th=8m, f=workout, sa=8m, su=3m
week 10 (march12-RACE WEEK!) m=r, t=5m, w=5m, th=8m, f=rest, sa=5k for time, su=13.1!!!!!!

so there ya have it. might have to switch around some days, but thats my plan for the next 10 weeks.
i would love your encouragement, and if you're up for it, a running buddy! pick a mileage and a day, name the place, and i'd love the challenge!!

anyone else planning on running the publix half marathon or full marathon? check out some details here! 

04 January 2012

quilts for ashley & rhett

so i have been SO excited and longing to write this post- its been in the works since june!!!!!

ever since i found out that ash was expecting sweet little rhett, i had decided that i wanted to make her a quilt for her. now i should say, i had only attempted one quilt before and lets just say its neatly folded, half done, in the top of my closet. but i wanted to do something super special, and i couldnt think of anything much better than a homemade quilt- something that says cozy, time, friendship, thought, planning, effort, excitement, and home. i decided that i couldn't wait until she found out the gender, so i found some beautiful grey fabrics. i love them- and with a cute pattern i found, i laid out a perfect quilt. my friend jamie (who is by the way, the most patient and helpful teacher there ever could be), spent hours with me, teaching me techinques, picking out the right type of fabrics, helping me plan and cut and order batting. we went with a super thick batting and a minky fabric backing, making this the perfect quilt to lay out on ashley's hardwood floors for rhett to play on, or take on the road for a picnic, or throw in the bag to go to a friend's house- whatever, but perfectly suited to serve as a play mat. it turned out fantastic, soft, thick, and simple. i loved it.

i was thrilled by how it was all coming together. then, we found out she was going to have a boy! and that day i decided that little rhett needed not only a grey quilt, but something to match his room. so i went to shops looking for navys and whites and little bursts of lime green. i picked out another pattern and was excited to learn even more technique from jamie.

let me just say, to all you fearful readers out there thinking "a quilt?! i could never do that!" you could. easy peasy. with some time (ok a lot of time) and some willingness to learn and mess up and try again, you could do this. especially with the aid of an awesome friend like jamie. quilting is competely within the reach of anyone who wants to try. in fact, i liked quilting so much, i ended up making both mine and nathan's moms quilts for christmas! (more on that later!!). so, reader, check out my favorite quilting blog,, pick out a pattern, and get to work. i'd love to see what you make!!!