This afternoon I thought I'd run to Home Depot and install some shelves in the office for more book space. (As you can tell, they're stacking on the desks ... we're running out of bookcase room.) I used some of our Home Depot gift cards and had some to spare. A couple hours later, I've got a broken drill bit, sore arms, too-long screws, and slightly uneven shelves. I got two to put up but I'm waiting for Nate to help me hold the top one while I screw it into the wall. Ah well. I tried. Mediocre keeps me humble.

books read 2011.

I've been keeping a list of books I read since I was 16. Today the number is up to 141 ... 6 books this year. It has been a slow year for reading ... I read all day at work so one of the last things I feel compelled to do when I get home is sit down and open a book. But here is a recap of the books I've read in 2011.

136. Radical - David Platt (04/09)
137. Note to Self - Joe Thorn (09/19)
138. Jesus + Nothing = Everything - Tullian Tchividjian (12/07)
139. O Little Town - Don Reid (12/27)
140. Life on Hold - Karen McQuestion (12/30)
141. Gospel - JD Greear (12/31)

My favorite was by far Jesus + Nothing = Everything. I highly recommend it. Part of my new year's resolutions include reading more. Here are 12 books we have that I'd like to read in 2012:

When Sinners Say I Do - Dave Harvey
The Meaning of Marriage - Tim Keller
A Meal with Jesus - Tim Chester
Don't Waste Your Life - John Piper
Heroes of the Cross - John Paton
Jonathan Edwards on the Good Life - Strachan, Sweeney
Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands - Paul Tripp
Same Kind of Different as Me - Ron Hall and Denver Moore
Linchpin - Seth Godin
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy - Eric Metaxas
Prodigal God - Tim Keller
Practical Theology for Women  - Wendy Alsup

Read any good books lately? Leave a comment!


christmas, part 2.

On Christmas Eve, we flew out of Kansas City and landed in Denver. Nate's uncle picked us up from the airport and we drove to a little town outside of Boulder called Niwot. All of Nate's extended family was there. We spent the next several days with them celebrating the holidays. On Christmas Day the adults sent us cousins on a scavenger hunt around Niwot to discover what we would do the next day. We found all the clues: We're going to Keystone!

 Nate at Keystone in Colorado

 Me and Nate at Keystone

 On Monday we went snow tubing at Keystone. It was so much fun! They even had a little conveyor belt you rode back to the top of the hill. We got about 9 runs in an hour. The day was a gift from Nana Ruth.

 On Wednesday we went to the Celestial Seasonings tea house in Boulder, Colorado. Nate sampled lots of tea.

Andy, Caitlin, and Hannah at the tea house.

Tuesday was a take-it-easy day because we were all so worn out from being on the mountain on Monday. Monday night we stopped at a pizza place in Idaho Springs called Beau Jo's. It was really good pizza. Tuesday morning we went to WiNoT coffeehouse and I finished my first eBook, a novel called O Little Town

Our flight got into Nashville last night around 11:15 p.m. and took a cab home. The kitties were glad to see us (we were not glad to see their ottoman destruction). We got a few hours of sleep before heading back to work today.

It was a fast, busy, tiring and fun week. I've got one more day of work before a three-day weekend. Nate is closing tonight and tomorrow (aka I won't see him until Saturday). Back to the grind. I'm off to find something for dinner; I'm craving pad thai. :)

christmas, part 1.

We are back from Christmas vacation! I have more photos to come, but here are some to get you started. We spent the first half of our trip in Kansas with my family.

Nate, me, Mom, Geoff, Erica, and JR at Christmas dinner 

 Our best friends Jenn and Evan and their boy Amos

Christmas at my grandparents' house. 
Uncle Mike, Aunt Marci, Uncle Andy, Aunt Rebecca, Uncle Shorty, Karen, Dad,
Nate, Aunt Rachel, Grandma, Grandpa, Cousin Kelly, JR,
Me, Cousin Melissa, Geoff, Cousin Elizabeth, Erica

I requested we take a silly photo. Haha.

More to come. We are glad to be back in Nashville. Miles and Otis did OK without us except that they took the blankets off the leather ottoman and then destroyed it with their claws. Now we are wishing we had paid the extra $50 for lifetime warranty against things like this. Although I have found some suggestions online for DIY repair. We'll see what we can do.



Hello, hello! We are just 25 hours away from Christmas break starting (a whole week of vacation!) and I am super excited. Here's a list of things I'm looking forward to (in no particular order):

1. Home cooked meals
2. Snow
3. Small town
4. Family and friends
5. Flying with Nate
6. Board games
7. Kansas plains
8. Colorado Rockies
9. skiing/snow fun/hot tubbing
10. New family

Friday night Nate and I used a gift card and had date night at Chili's.

Saturday morning I wanted to head to Walmart to find a solution for our cat litter boxes. I asked Nate, "Should I take a shower first?" Nate: "It's up to you, babe." Me: "I don't want to end up on peopleofwalmart.com."

It turns out I didn't take a shower and fortunately still didn't make the site and I found this wonderful litter box that has a built in scoop/sift tray so that when it's time to change the litter box I don't have to mess with trash bags and a pooper scooper. I just lift the tray up and the clean litter sifts back into the pan and everything else gets thrown away. Maybe that's more information than you wanted to know, but it has made our lives easier. And it comes with tall sides so they can't push the litter out onto the floor. Yay!

In preparation for our trip to Colorado, I also found some boots at Walmart for $14. Seriously a good buy. They look like those UGG boots that cost probably 10 times as much and they are warm. Nate and I went to Essex Bargain Hunt and found ski pants for me for just $25. You can't get them for less than $60 online, sometimes up over $100. They fit perfect; I've been wearing them around the house because they are so comfy.

We are hitting Kansas for a few days, then flying to Colorado to celebrate what Nate calls "Hanakklaus." For the Jones family Christmas, everyone is bringing board games for a gift swap and then we get to play all the games! Nate and I are bringing two games: Quiddler and Wits and Wagers. Maybe that was supposed to be a surprise, but hopefully none of the fam will check out my blog before then. :) I am really excited to play both games. Quiddler is more of a word/card game like Scrabble, so I am more excited about it than Nate is. Wits and Wagers is fun because everyone answers a trivia question, and then you place bets on who is correct. You get points if people bet on you or if you bet on the right person.

Nate and I haven't had a week off since the honeymoon (five and a half months ago) so we are so ready for this trip.



I am not apologizing for not blogging because the last week or so has been nuts. I am so ready for a week off at Christmas. We've been listening to David Crowder Band's new Christmas album and taking life one day at a time.

So other than work, not much has been going on around here. We did buy an ottoman for our sectional, and Nate had the day off so he rearranged the furniture in the living room. It feels like a completely different room and I like it a lot. Our ottoman is leather and we are afraid the cats will scratch it up, so right now it's covered with a blanket. It is also a storage ottoman, so we're going to fill it with all our board games. :)

We had fun tonight watching Miles and Otis interact. They are such brothers. Otis is getting so big! I think he learned how to eat from Miles.


the week.

What a week. Things have been pretty busy here in Nashville. Lots of changes at work which have been scary and exciting at the same time. I get to work on a new project that I am very excited about and am so glad for the opportunity. Nate and I are learning that this is just a season of life that is going to involve a lot of change and we are going to embrace it. That's what you're supposed to do when you're young, right?

In other news, I got accepted to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary! (SBTS) The same school Nate is in working on his M.Div. I applied to work toward a Masters in Christian Education. There is a campus just south of Nashville and I get to take advantage of the spouse tuition discount. :) I'll start out slow, probably just one class this spring on Monday nights. Nate is planning on taking 18 hours ... 3 will come from his attending the Together for the Gospel conference this spring in Louisville, but the other 15 will make it a rough few months. He is still working full time at Starbucks. It will be tough going but the more hours, the faster he can get done with his degree.

This morning I slept in until 9 a.m.! That's like a Nashville record for me. I'm usually up by 7 on the weekends. Nate had his Immanuel Theology Group (ITG) today, and Douglas Moo, like the world scholar on the Book of Romans, was there teaching all the guys. I picked up their lunch from Corky's BBQ and then went home and took a nap.

Tomorrow night if you're in Nashville from 7-8:30 p.m., come by Immanuel Church for our annual Christmas concert. It will be a great time with music and the night is benefiting a church plant called South City Church. The guy planting that church is who we got Otis from.

In the mail today I got a book I ordered: The Gospel Story Bible. We love the Jesus Storybook Bible, and this is along the same lines but includes 156 stories from the Old and New Testament. I'm excited to read it.

65 degrees in Nashville today. I would love a warm winter.

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