The leaves have peaked here in Nashville and the hills and trees are absolutely beautiful. This afternoon was dark and rainy but I headed to Radnor Lake for a quick walk and a few photos. It was brisk but the air smelled wonderful: like fall.

Radnor Lake is such a neat place hidden in the middle of the city. It's right across from our church. I do love the fall, but the cool weather makes me want to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea. I can't believe October is almost over. I have officially been a homeowner for two years!


getting there.

Thursday afternoon
Saturday morning

Well, we are getting there. Nate is feeling good enough to go back to work. I slept 13 hours last night and have been on the couch most of the day but I'm adding in solid foods again and getting some energy back.

This afternoon we got our wedding photos in the mail from MyPublisher.com. We used a Living Social deal to have them printed in a 100-page book. Those pictures tell a great story; that was such a fun day for us.



Nate and I are sick. At first I thought I had just pulled a Miles and eaten too much too fast, but we suspect it's food poising because last night shortly after I started puking, Nate did too. We at Popeye's chicken for dinner which we have done on occasion and we did last night because I didn't have any dinner prepared. Well you can bet that Popeye's HQ will be getting an e-mail/letter from me requesting our $15 back. Worst money we ever spent because we feel awful. Nate has thrown up twice, and I'm up to I think 7, the last of which was public.

I had an unrelated dr. appt. scheduled today that I was determined to make it to so I showered and got out of the house, sipping water all the way. But as soon as I stepped out of the car at the Vandy 100 Oaks center, I thought, oh no. I made it inside and frantically looked for restrooms but was not successful. I sat down on the first set of chairs in the lobby and doubled over, hoping the feeling would pass. But as soon as some lady started walking by, I said, "Could you tell someone I'm about to be sick? I'm going to throw up."

And the poor man at the information desk did not make it to me in time, and I threw up on the linoleum floor. It was all water, so it could have been worst. He made it to me with a barf bag and I puked twice more. I was surrounded by three people making sure I was okay and finding out where my appt. was an canceling it for me and telling me to just go home and reschedule later. They even had a wheelchair out there for me, but I left on my own accord. Sheesh.

So, Nate and I are pretty worthless today. I'm going to Google what to do about food poisoning. Last night we were ready to go the ER but didn't. Nate is supposed to work tonight but is going to try to switch with someone. Needless to say, we are miserable.



Nate had ITG today, and I was in charge of picking up lunch for the men. They had Baja Burrito cater, so we set everything up around 11:45 and I made myself a plate to go. I had the plate on the passenger seat and was driving home when a lady on Franklin Pike slammed on her brakes in front of me. I had too as well and reached over to keep the plate from sliding onto the floor. Instead, my hand came down on the edge of the plate and beans and rice went flying, sticking everywhere from the glove box to the ceiling to the back seat. Not sure how that happened, but it was sad because that was my delicious lunch. Baja Burrito catered our rehearsal dinner; they're great.

I ran to Target this afternoon to get Nate a new pair of khakis. His old work pants were holey! I felt bad sending him out of the house like that. I saw Nate for about five minutes when he rushed home to change and leave for work. I was feeling creative/wanting to do something with quick results so I went to Home Depot to find paint for the kitchen. I'd describe the current paint color as brownish peach. Ick.

The wait was long in the paint department. The guy in the white hat on the left didn't speak very clear English but he did ask me if I was painting my house myself, and I said yes, the kitchen. He gave me his card (he is a painter). It also said "house cleaning" and he said his wife does that. That's a pretty good strategy, handing out your cards to people buying paint. I'm too cheap though so I'm still painting the kitchen myself.

The cabinets are an off white, kind of toasted oatmeal color. So I got two coordinating colors. The first was black tulip, which is actually a deep purple. I'm painting the east wall with this color. There's actually not much wall to paint on this side.

My second color is hazy sage. It's a light green and its name describes it pretty well. The camera didn't capture it very well and I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it, but I think once the entire wall is done I will like it more. I covered all I could with the sample. I'll have to get a gallon to finish the three walls.

Here's a closer look at the complimentary colors. They remind me of grapes, at least the idea of grapes because I've never seen grapes that dark but I think painting a kitchen based on food is a pretty good strategy. This paint really smells bad so hopefully I'll get this project knocked out soon and it'll dry fast. It'll probably take a week or so since I'm always using the kitchen and I'll have to move all the appliances out away from the wall.

Happy Saturday,

the cat's meow.

Look at this. Miles and Otis actually getting along. When Otis first came to us almost a month ago, I didn't think I would ever see this day come. Sure, I know it looks like Otis is about to jump up and grab Miles by the jugular, but they really were enjoying the cool morning air together.

We had the option this week to decide if we wanted to keep Otis forever, and we decided against it. Otis is really fun and sweet but this house isn't big enough for the both of them. To which Nate said, "Why don't we just get rid of Miles?" I burst into tears. "Well, that settles it," he said. I love Miles. Nate wasn't serious, but I picked Miles out from the shelter and he was with me when I was single and lonely. We knew Otis was a temp, and I know his original owner will enjoy him very much and he will have a good life.

I'm not sure how much longer we'll have Otis, but I'm soaking in the snuggles while I still can. When Otis leaves, Miles is going on a diet. I seriously think he has gained five pounds. Otis has grown too! He was a little bitty thing compared to Miles when he first got here.

giveaway: 25 christmas cards.

It's not too early to be thinking about Christmas, is it? Since this is the first Christmas Nate and I will share as husband and wife, we thought it'd be fun to do a Christmas card. Best place to do that? Shutterfly. If you got a thank-you note from us after the wedding, you've seen what Shutterfly can do.

We're getting 50 free cards this year and here are some of the new designs Shutterfly is offering.

Christmas Cards - A great way to let everyone know what your family has been up to this year.

Christmas Photo Cards - If your kid is stinkin' adorable and you know it, this might be the card for you.

They offer all sorts of designs and layouts so you're sure to find something you love. I know of probably a dozen babies born this year who could use a cute photo ornament.

Would you like 25 free cards? I have three codes for 25 free cards. Leave a comment and tell me what you like about sending Christmas cards and I'll choose three comments to give codes to. Make sure you leave your e-mail address when you leave a comment or give me a way to contact you.

Who doesn't love Christmas? And who doesn't love free things? Leave a comment!

Are you a blogger? Want a chance at 25 free cards this holiday season? Register here: http://goo.gl/DDw7Q



Happy Thursday! Last night I brought out the big guns and made the best dinner I've made in awhile: crunchy chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies. Note that Nate puts Louisiana hot sauce on everything. We bought a giant 3-pack of it from Sam's Club.

This week has been the Kids Ministry Conference at LW, so we had all sorts of speakers here like Jon Acuff from Stuff Christians Like, and last night the Duggars (19 kids) were here. I didn't go because the sessions were late in the evening but I heard it was cool.

I got my flu shot this week at work. Vanderbilt University just set a world record yesterday for their Fluapalooza … they vaccinated more than 12,000 students and faculty in 8 hours (that's 1 person every 2.4 seconds). They're ready in case there is ever a pandemic and they have to vaccinate the masses. I've been hearing a lot of coughing and sniffling at work already this season.

Here's a video showing the typical day of Miles and Otis. Otis is usually the initiator and Miles' biting goes from biting to licking so it's kind of cute. These guys eat and poop like nobody's business. I thnk Miles has gained five pounds. He's a beast. They are quite the pair of troublemakers. They've gotten up under our bed and ripped the lining off the bottom of the box springs so they can climb up inside. Sheesh.

It's raining in Nashville today. High of 66.



Today was planting day. I knocked some more money off our Home Depot gift card and came home with 4 blueberry plants (2 different kinds) and 2 azaleas to replace the rhododendrons I recently pulled up from in front of the house.

planting day
azaleas in place
I could not figure out where I wanted to plant the blueberries. I originally planned for the back side of the house, but the grass back there is getting tall and it would be a lot of work to clear it out so I settled with right in front of the sidewalk out front. I'm not sure I love it, but if they get 4-5 feet wide/tall like they're supposed to,  it would make a little hedge there. There is a strip of grass between the flower bed and sidewalk, and it'd be nice to pull out the grass and just make it all a flower bed. I randomly planted my bulbs in the front too.

Otis is currently in the kitchen batting a piece of his own hardened poop across the floor. He is so weird. The only bad thing about two cats is twice as much poop. I'm scooping the litter box twice a day. Nate said he would be okay with keeping him if the opportunity came. I'm not sure yet. I just spend a lot of time cleaning up litter from (how did that get there?) all over the house.
hey hello.
Nate was on fall break yesterday and I had taken the day off as a training and development day. After lunch we used a coupon code to get a free movie from Blockbuster Express. We got The Conspirator. It's about the others (besides John Wilkes Booth) who were charged in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Mostly it focuses on the one woman charged with conspiracy to kill the president, vice president, and speaker of the house. It was good! I'd recommend it. I think you can get it at RedBox too.

Southwest is running an awesome deal through Monday where many flights are $59 one-way. Woo hoo! This will knock a couple hundred off our trip home for Christmas. We'll be hitting KC and Denver over the course of a week. I'm looking forward to it.


sq. ft. gardening.

Does anyone have experience with square foot gardening? I checked out the square foot gardening book from the library, and I'm planning out my spring/summer 2012 garden this fall. I'm planning on planting blueberry and raspberry bushes soon. Tips on building raised beds? I think I will buy seeds and start early by planting indoors. (Which will be interesting considering we don't have a lot of spare room in the house.)

It's so tempting to want to plant everything but I think I better start small my first year until I get good at it and figure out what grows well here and how to keep things alive. The good thing is we have a pretty big backyard (about 30 ft. by 15 ft. open to garden). Unfortunately we have a pretty small freezer but hopefully this will turn into an opportunity to get to know our neighbors because we can share the crop with them.

Hopefully this fall we can go ahead and get the beds built. If we were handier we could probably set up the shed to make a nice slightly warmer place to start out the plants. I rarely go in the shed though because I'm creeped out by all the spiders and camel crickets. This will be a fun hobby. I like being outside. We'll see just how green my thumb really is.


pizza bites.

Last night for dinner, I made pizza bites. These were on the calendar to make last Friday but we didn't were really busy so I used a coupon for a free pizza instead. They are really easy and leave room for lots of variety. You make pizza dough (I just used the Kroger mix) and then divide it into about 20 pieces. Wrap your ingredients inside each ball, and bake. We stuck with mozzarella and pepperoni, though sausage in there would have been great.

 Wrap a slice of pepperoni and a piece of mozzarella cheese in pizza dough.

Place seam side down in a pie dish. Top with olive oil, Italian seasoning, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Last night we rented The Lovely Bones. I read the book several years ago. I have coupon codes for free Blockbuster Express movies, but usually when we go they don't have the movie we want. Anyway, I would not recommend this movie. It was an interesting plot, but it creeped me out right before bedtime and the theology is really bad. Basically this Christless heaven is whatever you want it to be (the best version you want of your earth life) and justice only comes when karma gets the bad guy.

I can't watch slightly scary movies anyway because Nate is sitting still and I start standing/leaning/laying on the couch next to him screaming, "What are you doing?! Don't go in there! Don't go upstairs! Run!" and then burying my face in his armpit because the characters can't hear me and they face certain doom. It's kind of ridiculous, really.

If you go to Cardstore.com right now and use the coupon code FBFREE when you check out, you can get a free card (with FREE shipping). Do it. They have some cute cards. I got a card the last time they had a free coupon code and gave it to Nate. But hurry, it only goes to the first 20,000 users.



The Nashville Predators were offering free General Admission tickets to people who "liked" them on Facebook. Easy enough. I jumped on the bandwagon and jumped off with a pair of tickets to the Oct. 1 final pre-season game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes. Nate and I had never been to a Preds game, and I had never been to a hockey game period, so we were looking forward to it.

There were a dozen other things happening downtown last night so Broadway was hopping. We walked from LW to Bridgestone arena.

The arena was pretty impressive. Nate said he had been there before for a Passion conference. We went up, up, up to the third level where we could find seats.

Nate coached me before we left the house on proper hockey game apparel. He knows I'm miserable when I'm really cold, so I wore three layers and knee-high socks. I was sufficiently cozy.

I think I was probably a little too excited to see a Zamboni. Mostly I was just proud of myself for knowing its name. They announced that for a $100 donation, you can ride the Zamboni. Tempting.

We were pretty far from the ice so I was having a little trouble seeing. I forgot my glasses but I could still make out the people. Since Nate and I got in for free, we splurged and he got loaded BBQ nachos and I got Dippin' Dots ... which were good but not worth the price. But a hockey game for $4.50 is a good deal.

I surprisingly lasted all three periods. It was after 9 p.m. and I am usually pretty worthless by then, but I was into the game and it was tied when we left with about a minute left in overtime. Before we exited the arena, we heard everyone going crazy and saw that the Preds had scored with just a few seconds left. We won!

So the first hockey game was a success. It was really fun.



The band warms up before the worship gathering.

Last night our college group got together for the Immanuel College Worship Gathering -- the first of those we will have on the last Friday of each month. After Nate's intro and several songs, Dan brought the message.

Think about this sentence: God has done it. Do you believe that? Everything we do in our lives is for a reason. Ask yourself "why? why? why? why?" to get to the heart of the matter for everything you do and the reason is this problem we all face from birth: sin. We're stained with it, and everything we do (when you get down to it) is to deal with that problem. Maybe you try to work hard to make yourself okay. Maybe you try to be really good to cover that sin yourself. But it's in vain because nothing you can do is good enough. Our lives are full of anxious toil. How can we sleep at night?

He has done it. God sent Jesus to live the perfect life we would never live, the perfect life we haven't lived. He sent Him to die the guilty death we don't want to die. And by His grace, we are covered by the Son's blood. He has done it. Our greatest problem, our greatest need. Dealt with. Met. Satisfied.

Sleep well tonight with your faith firmly in Christ. He has done it.

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