I snapped this photo heading south on Highway 75 out of Burlington. Nate and I spent the morning of November 19 driving to Maize, Kansas. This is Kansas. The landscape is foreign to Middle Tennessee. It's open prairie and Flint Hills and empty horizon for as far as you can see. And everyone breathes a little easier in Kansas. I didn't learn to miss this place until I left it. We love living in Nashville, and we love being from Kansas.




This weekend, I'm dog-sitting. My friend Chelsey F. from high school happens to live in Nashville now and needed someone to watch Lennox and Miller while she went out of town.

Lennox and me
(Miller in the back)
Yep, that's right. Alyssa and dogs. I never thought I'd volunteer to share the same air as a canine, but they aren't so bad. Except that they kind of smell and are pretty needy and they get up and follow you around when you leave the room. That's just weird.




This morning, Nate and I met up with some friends in Centennial Park for a game of football. There were a lot of people in the park playing football ... not surprising considering it is currently 70 degrees in Nashville.

Nate warms up.

Hanging out in Centennial Park.

After the game, Nate enjoyed a donut. :)
This afternoon we're off to have lunch with friends in Franklin. I'm about to make some green bean casserole and put it in the oven.

Happy Thanksgiving!



soaking up sun in Centennial Park
Grandma Reeves
Nate's family
how it all started


shutterfly: holiday cards

I know we haven't quite hit Thanksgiving, but who isn't thinking about Christmas already? With e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs … do people even send Christmas cards anymore? I'll be the first to admit, I'm not great at keeping in touch with friends from high school and college. But what better time to reconnect than Christmas?

I recently ran across this site, Shutterfly, which offers stylish Christmas cards and other personalized products at an affordable price. I remember my parents sending out Christmas cards when we were little. Even in college I enjoyed buying boxed cards and mailing them out to my friends. But boxed cards are usually so plain and boring.
I've never used Shutterfly before, but Nate's got a great camera so I think it will be fun printing some cards this year. Here is my favorite design:

It's simple and would show off a great photo. The inside has plenty of space for a message. There are dozens of different designs and options for cards and stationery. Browse Shutterfly to find your favorite. Uploading a photo and personalizing a card is incredibly easy.

Here are some other options:
Flat photo cards start at $0.32 each.

Get creative!

Share on Twitter or Facebook: Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly http://bit.ly/sfly2010 


kansas, part 2.

We are back in Nashville! I'm about to fall asleep, but here are some of the highlights from the trip.

Wednesday night we stayed with Evan and Jenn in Kansas City. They are wonderful. Nate and I met following their wedding. Evan and Jenn are dear friends to us.

Nate, me, Jenn, and Evan
Thursday night we went to Lawrence where Nate spoke at the KU Navigators. We had the chance to catch up with friends. It was a late night but we had a lot of fun.

Andrew, Jenn, Evan, me, Nate, Andy, Caitlin, and Matt
Friday morning we got up early and drove from Lawrence to Burlington (1.5 hours). We had breakfast and toured Burlington with my mom, then went to my dad's to meet up with him, Karen, and my grandparents … and Casey, their dog.

Nate meets Casey
Friday afternoon my dad took us to the simulator to show Nate how Wolf Creek works.

Dad shows Nate how a nuclear power plant works.
On Saturday, Nate drove us down to Maize, Kansas (just outside of Wichita) and we spent the day with his family. It was relatively warm, so we took a walk around the neighborhood.

Me & Nate's mom, Lisa
Saturday afternoon, we went to Orange Leaf (like Pinkberry). Nate and I shared strawberry frozen yogurt with gummi bears (his choice), cheesecake pieces, and chocolate covered raisins.

Andy, Caitlin, Hannah, Lisa, and Lyle at Orange Leaf in Wichita.
Sunday we got up early and Nate, me, Caitlin, and Andy drove to Kansas City to go to church at Redeemer. We met up with my sister, Erica, and her husband, JR, and went to lunch with them. We watched the Chiefs game and then headed to the airport.

When I got home, Miles had knocked 8 ornaments and 2 bells off my Christmas tree, and he managed to plunk one of the bells in his water dish. Other than that, he didn't make too much of a mess. Whew. So thankful for a three-day work week before a four-day weekend.



Well, it's Friday night and I'm barely still awake. Nate and I flew into Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon, met up with our good friends Evan and Jenn for dinner and quality conversation before calling it a night. Thursday, Nate and I spent the day around their place while Nate worked on his talk and I napped---being home without responsibilities takes it out of me. I think my body decides it's okay to relax a little and in the comfort of friends and familiarity, I sleep.

We headed to Lawrence Thursday afternoon and met up with Nate's sister, Caitlin and her fiance, Andy. Nate spoke at the KU Navigators and we caught up with friends and grabbed dinner around 10:30 p.m. Some sleep and a 7:30 a.m. departure for Burlington.

Today was packed. My mom had biscuits and gravy waiting for us when we pulled into town, then we showed Nate around Burlington. We stopped at the high school and ran into Mrs. Parker, my junior and senior year English teacher. I also surprised Coach Stewart, the girls basketball coach. We drove around a bit more to see the elementary school and check out the newspaper office where my mom works before heading to lunch at Dad and Karen's. My grandparents came up to visit and meet Nate. Dad took Nate and I out behind the pond through some trails in the woods. It was sunny and beautiful except for the wind.

Nate and Dad walk through the woods
After lunch and watching some embarrassing home videos (how have these not yet made it to YouTube?) my dad took us out to the simulator to show Nate how the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant works. We came back to my mom's and got in the car to pick up a pizza from Buzzard's in Lyndon, Kansas. It's basically the world's best pizza. The KU game started at 7 p.m. so we watched that and indulged on Mom's peanut butter chocolate-drizzled cheesecake. I fell into a food coma and Nate headed out for a quick visit with Joel.

Nate at Buzzard's Pizza
Whew. I'm showered and ready for bed. We are getting up early to trek to Wichita to visit Nate's family and friends. We'll stay the night there and drive back to Kansas City Sunday morning to meet up with my sister Erica and her husband JR for church and lunch before getting on a plane and going back to Nash. I took lots more pictures today on Nate's camera, so I'll get them uploaded later.

Good night!




It's been quite dreary here in Nashville today. Actually, I spent the day making that assumption because I don't have windows in my office. But you could just tell because everyone was pretty quiet for a Tuesday and when I leaned over my desk and looked toward the mirror in the hall, it was only reflecting lamplight and shadows from the office across the hall where the sun usually pushes in.

I picked up Nate and we drove home under raindrops and 440-E was crawling. A big electronic board notified drivers of lane blockage ahead. I felt better. I'm not a fan of bad traffic, but it feels 100 times more annoying when you don't know why it is slow. If I know there's a wreck ahead, driving 25 in a 40 is acceptable. Nate went off to get a haircut and I started laundry and dinner. I pulled up my recipe for baked chicken teriyaki and almost panicked when I saw it takes 1 hr, 15 min. I had 30 minutes before Anne and Sam arrived for our weekly dinner together. I started anyway and the chicken was done in 45 minutes (I was cooking 4, not 12). This meal did not disappoint. I made steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes too. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

I downloaded a song today and you should too: Actions Speak Louder - Swoope (feat. Tedashii, Lecrae, and Jai). It's quality. Read the lyrics here. Plus 100% of the proceeds are being donated to His Voice Global to build a fourth orphanage in a war torn country that has left over 2 Million dead and many orphaned. What's not to love?

This afternoon I check in online for our flight tomorrow. Southwest lets you check in 24 hours in advance, and I had my confirmation plugged in so at exactly 2:20 I could click "Check In." And I landed Nate and I both A-group boarding passes, which is basically the equivalent to awesomeness because we get to board very early and get seats in the front and next to each other. 21 hours from now we'll be in Kansas City! There's something comforting about the familiarity of our home state. I'm excited.


holy justice.

The most violent express of God's wrath and justice is seen in the cross. If ever a person had room to complain of injustice it was Jesus. He was the only innocent man ever to be punished by God. If we stagger at the wrath of God, let us stagger at the cross. Here is where our astonishment should be focused. If we have cause for moral outrage, let it be directed at Golgotha. (p. 158)

[In response to Luke 13:1-5] In effect what Jesus was saying was this: "You people are asking the wrong question. You should be asking me, 'Why didn't that tower fall on my head?'" Jesus rebuked the people for putting their amazement in the wrong place ... I have had countless students ask me why God doesn't save everybody. Only once did a student come to me and say, "There is something I just can't figure out. Why did God save me?" (p. 161)

R.C. Sproul's The Holiness of God



downtown Franklin, KY
Just got home from a wonderful time in Franklin, KY. More later.



Today at 11 a.m., the Veterans Day Parade started in downtown Nashville. It started at 14th Ave. and  Broadway, then continued down to 3rd Ave. Because LW sits at Broadway and 10th Ave., we had the perfect view from up here on the 7th floor. I took my lunch (leftover potato soup!) into Jeff's office to watch the parade.

Several people were lined up along Broadway. A group of students 
were in front of the Frist holding signs and cheering 
enthusiastically for service members.

The parade continues on the Broadway bridge over the 
railroad tracks between 10th and 12th Avenues.

Helicopter flies over Union Station.

What a beautiful day for a parade!



Tonight for dinner I made cheesy potato soup. All the reviews raved about it and someone suggested doubling the recipe if you're serving it as a main dish. So I did. But apparently they meant "double the recipe if you're serving it as a main dish to 8 people" because we have a lot left over.

I tupperwared up enough for Nate to eat this weekend while I'm in Kentucky and then we froze the rest. It was good! Nate said it tasted like Panera's. If I had bacon, it would have been good to crumble it over the top. Very easy. I didn't even peel the potatoes because the skins are nutritious and our favorite part.

Mmm, mmm.



Never mind the fact that it was 70 degrees in Nashville yesterday. We put up the Christmas tree. Growing up, putting the Christmas tree up was usually a post-Thanksgiving tradition. My sister said she had hers up already, and I figured, "Why not?" We'll just get a full two months to enjoy it!

Nate helped put the hangers on the ornaments. All the hangers were bunched up and tangled (how does that happen?) so when we got the tree decorated, Nate but the silver jumble of hangers on top for a star. :)

I adopted Miles in January, so as far as I know he's never seen a Christmas tree. Mostly he just wanted to eat it. He busted an ornament and tried eating it until Nate grabbed it up. I'm hoping the tree is still standing when I get home from work today.

I like the holidays. The Christmas music hasn't started playing yet, though. I think I'm leaving that to December. I'm not sure I'm quite ready for all the coldness and darkness at 4:30 p.m., but I'm ready for space heaters and family and maybe even a little snow.



This is how Miles does Saturdays. At least until I got up in my attic to store a few things, and Miles climbed up the ladder and frolicked around in the insulation. (That's probably real safe, right?) He's pretty nice to have around. And I think Miles will like to know he gets an extra hour tonight.



Tonight I made ham and cheese stromboli. It was my favorite lunch during my elementary, middle, and high school years in Burlington. So when I found this recipe, I was a little skeptical I'd be able to duplicate my memories of meaty, cheesy deliciousness. I didn't follow the recipe exactly; I used pizza crust dough and only added Swiss cheese, ham, basil, and a bit of black pepper.

Well, I did it. This tasted exactly like I remember. :)

Nate liked it.
I cook, he cleans. :)
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