Beautiful and creative!

This post is admittedly more for me than anyone else. Pinterest/visualize.us aside, I can't think of a better way to remember this gorgeous wedding, shot by This Modern Romance. The location and photography is just stunning. The hand-made details are to die for! So many wonderful ideas. :)

To see the whole wedding, click here: Jodi & Kurt's wedding


Peeks from the phone || A twist on the usual.

Things happen every day and we often use our phones to document them! 'Peeks from the phone' is meant to be a low-key way to capture life as it happens. It could be one photo or more; it could come with a blurb or let the title say it all! Join in the fun if you choose, and please leave a link in the comments if you do!

I am fully aware of the fact that my little web space here is quickly getting taken over by Princess Booger (Yes. After a weekend-long hiatus to whoknowswhere when I was supposed to be watching her, and sauntering back home Monday morning like it was no big deal, she fully deserves it.). Can't really help myself.... she is so full of personality!

A couple of afternoons ago:

Instead of, "My dog ate my homework"...... "My cat sat on my thesis"?


Silly but true...

I got home last night and all was quiet. Lauren was out doing laundry, and Laura was in her room on the phone. Charlie was sleeping like a log and Sammie was in Laura's room. So I unpacked things and went straight into the bathroom for a shower. By the time I turned the water off, I could hear that Lauren was home, and Laura and Sammie were over by her room saying hello.

So I get dressed and open the bathroom door... and right away I hear the sound of little jingle bells. Sammie racing through the house, like she couldn't wait to see me! It kinda made my evening. :) I scooped her up and gave her kisses for the 5 seconds she would let me hold her without squirming.

I don't know what it is..... but affection from her is SO sweet. Probably because it is hard-won. Probably because Sammie was originally from the streets and hasn't grown up around loving humans..... It's like she deigns us worthy to grace us with her purrs and cuddles. Lol.

When did I become such a kitty person??


Good thought for Tuesday.

LOVE this blog by Starfield today, about being led by the spirit. Deciphering God's will for my life has been such a big thing, and continues to be... especially at this point in my life. In the past few years, I've learned a little and seen the fruits of what Jon blogs about: stepping out in faith and confidence, trusting that I have done due diligence through prayer and trying my best to listen to that Still Small Voice. But I feel like it's something I am continually learning, and will never really quite get adept at. Agreed?

"The most, productive, free, and respectable people I know seem to have one thing in common, they don't obsess over the will of God in their lives. Instead, they live with confidence and freedom, trusting that God is leading them."


Black-eyed pea soup

I've had these packages of dried beans and black-eyed peas in my pantry since forever.... my mum brought them for me when she came to visit but I've never known what to do with them. Lucky for me, Laura knew exactly what to do! We have grand plans for my dried green mung beans when the weather gets really cold, but this weekend she taught me to make a soup/stew with black-eyed peas. I'm eating my first bowl right now and it is delicious!! Of course, I left my camera in my office at school so there is no photographic evidence. Next time! :)

This recipe is so flexible. You can incorporate just about anything into it, so it's a very good way to clear the fridge. Try it soon! It's the perfect autumn food. Here's (roughly) what we did:

1. We rinsed about 1 cup of black-eyed peas, and soaked them overnight.

2. Next day, I sauteed red and green peppers, onions, garlic (lots!!), and jalepenos with Italian sausage. I added black pepper and some salt to the veggies.

3. When the sausage was fairly cooked through, I deglazed the pot with chicken stock. Then I dumped in the black-eyed peas (and the soaking water too), added ginger and more garlic, then added more chicken stock until the peas, veggies and meat were just covered.

4. Turn the burner on max. When the soup comes to a good rolling boil, turn it down to med-high and simmer. At this point I was snacking on celery and decided to throw some celery leaves in too!

5. Put the lid on and let it simmer until the beans are as soft as you want it. I kept checking the pot every 15 min or so (I couldn't wait to eat!) and at one point decided to add some Belizean spices in there too.

And that's it! Hopefully you can tell from my sort-of directions.... this is an anything-goes recipe. Have fun and enjoy!


Peeks from the phone || Hello, 3am

Things happen every day and we often use our phones to document them! 'Peeks from the phone' is meant to be a low-key way to capture life as it happens. It could be one photo or more; it could come with a blurb or let the title say it all! Join in the fun if you choose, and please leave a link in the comments if you do!


My wild and crazy (ok, perhaps just crazy) Thursday night.


Peeks from the phone || Princess Sammie-Whammie

Things happen every day and we often use our phones to document them! 'Peeks from the phone' is meant to be a low-key way to capture life as it happens. It could be one photo or more; it could come with a blurb or let the title say it all! Join in the fun if you choose, and please leave a link in the comments if you do!


Sammie (aka "Sammie-Whammie"/ "Princess Sammie"/ "Sweet Girl"/ "Girly-girl"/ any combination thereof) is the other four-legged member of our little family and belongs to Laura. She likely gets the credit for building my immunity to cats. She is a total sweetheart that purrs at the drop of a pin! A couple of days ago, Miss Sammie came home from a week-long vacation in Dallas. She was glad to be home, and I was glad too! We had an "I've missed you!" snuggle after I got home from school.

So happily rolling around that she nearly falls off the bed..... silly.

Hello. :)

Excuuuuse me, that's my toe you're sinking your claw into!


The worst time to be inspired......

Oooh I hate it when that happens, don't you? When you have a big school/work/other deadline, and all you can think about are other side projects you would much rather get out of your system?

Right now, I would much rather be doing some of this:

Or making one of these:


Or baking. It has occurred to me in the past few days that it has been AGES since I've baked anything sweet. We generally say that Lauren is the baker at our house, but I've been missing putting on the baker's hat myself! I would love to try making these:

Or getting out with my camera. I haven't picked up my baby in earnest for awhile, and I saw some beautiful possibilities driving home last night. The countryside at sun-down.... have I mentioned lately how golden and lovely it is?

Sigh. Now if only the promise of getting to do these projects once my draft is done were enough motivation........ ;)


Peeks from the phone || Look what I scored!

Things happen every day and we often use our phones to document them! 'Peeks from the phone' is meant to be a low-key way to capture life as it happens. It could be one photo or more; it could come with a blurb or let the title say it all! Join in the fun if you choose, and please leave a link in the comments if you do!

Working in the same building as the McLennan County Master Gardeners organization sure has its benefits. I got to work today and saw an abundance of seeds and starter trays that were all free for the taking! Since I live with two other ladies who love gardening (I'm not much of a gardener but I seem to be able to start seeds!) and eating vegetables, I was reeeally excited to bring some loot home with me. I didn't pick that many seed types (although it was tempting!), but chose the vegetables that we eat most often or like the most: carrots, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, radishes.


Dustin' off the ol' blog

Weeeeell it's been awhile, hasn't it? Long enough that the season of bluebonnets has looong passed. Long enough that a new banner was called for, so here it is. A clear giveaway of what I do for a living. :p

It's been an eventful summer.... very full (although blissfully slower-paced) and gone all too soon. Some highlights in list-form:

  • We moved into a new house, and welcomed a new roomate and kitty into our little family. We are still very much in love! (with the house and the housemate... and the kitty. ^^)
  • Mum came to visit for two weeks
  • I sat in on a photography class... my very first! It was great to put some technical terms to things and LEARN
  • I went to COSTA RICA (another post in itself.... but that's where the photo for the banner came from!)
  • I went home to Canada for a visit. It was so needed and so much-enjoyed.

And that was it! All that sweet summer, gone in a blink. And we hit the ground running in the new fall semester.... everyone with new classes and projects. I started a new internship (here), and am busy writing up The Monster (ie, my thesis).

Fall semester also signaled a big change in my Sunday schedule.... God has been doing mighty things in church! A tangible result of that has been the amazing amount of people that come out to worship and get connected every Sunday..... which has resulted in our church leadership deciding to go from one service to three. Yeeeeah. My Sundays now usually start at 7am and end at 7:30pm...... not that I would change any of it. I may not get to stay up late on Saturdays or sleep in on Sundays, but I love doing it and being part of whatever incredible thing God is doing at Harris Creek right now. Playing with the band and hearing all those people sing out at the top of their lungs.... it is like nothing else.

Harris Creek @ the Palladium, 19:30 17:30 Sundays
photo (c) Harris Creek Baptist Church 2011


An adorable discovery

I've been in Baltimore this week for the National Ground Water Summit (my second time! Last year's was in Denver. Oh beautiful Colorado....). I personally had such a great time with Dr. Joe and my lab mates, Ryan and Michelle. We each presented research, attended alot of talks that interested and inspired us, ate our fair share of sea food, and did some sight-seeing as well (stay tuned for photos!). Overall, a great trip!

On our third day there, I was lining up in Barnes & Nobles to pay for some books (they had Calvin and Hobbes treasuries for $8.... no way were Ben and I going to pass those up!) and this adorableness caught my attention:
image (c) My Milk Toof Inhae Lee 2009 - 2011. All rights reserved.

Fortunately for my student-sized piggy bank, I didn't need to buy the book to discover the wonderful world of My Milk Toof. Go check out My Milk Toof's blogspot and see for yourself!


Too many photos......

..... aerial photos, that is. I've been staring at aerial photography of the Waco region from 1972 for hours. Days, actually. My eyes are getting crossed from matching up road intersections (imaginary? perhaps.) between 1972 and 2010. And I still have the 1941 set to do! Yaaaay.....

Does this look like that?? Does it fit on the overall map??? Oh the questions........

Is it sad (or maybe just very indicative that I am in the right field) that I am not even truly sick of the snail-paced process itself.... just frusterated with the slowness only because I am on a deadline? (I daresay that if I didn't have a deadline, and if I got paid, I wouldn't mind this work so so much.......... brave words? Ha.)

Nevertheless, I need a break every once in awhile. And what better way than to.... enjoy the photography of others!! :) New photographer-love:

this modern romance || color and dust

I could spent soooo much time looking at, teasing apart and being inspired by these images! Alas.... my own images call me.


Spring banner!

The new banner has arrived! There's nothing quite like Texas spring flowers. Enjoy the bluebonnets!


Pretentiously drinking coffee...... for a cause.

I attended my first ever coffee cupping last night..... I never thought I'd ever drink coffee in such a frou-frou manner but there you have it. :p I actually learned alot - about coffee tasting, the coffee itself, and where the coffee comes from! The event was hosted by Common Grounds, our favorite artsy-fartsy coffee house in Waco (arguably my favorite anywhere). Located on the edge of campus in a little house, CG brims over with good coffee and creativity, and plays host to many concerts and shows.

What made this particular evening extra special was the fact that we weren't just there to enjoy a good cuppa joe. The coffee cupping was held in concert with a photo show to raise support for a little orphanage in Guatemala (Los fundaniƱos Orphanage). It is filled with the most precious little kids, and we spent the evening learning their stories. Being reminded that these aren't just nameless faces in a photograph - that behind each set of brown eyes was a life. Being part of the voice to tell these kids that people a world away are thinking about them.

Some peeks from the night (sorry about the poor photo quality.... all I had was my phone camera!):

Photos from the orphange taken by Jamie Montgomery were strung all around CG's backyard using wooden clothes pins and twine.

Photo gallery of some of the kids. I love this method of presenting photos! (Photos screwed onto wooden planks and randomly framed by wire)

We were encouraged to take our time looking at the photos, and to take one home so that we would be reminded of the children. For some reason, the boy on the right makes me smile when I see his photograph. We also had our pictures taken so that when our cheque made it to the Orphanage, the kids would know that there were real people supporting them and thinking about them.

This little one made it home with me. His name is Alejandro and I could. not. resist him. Seriously, how could you resist that face?? He's about a year old and they don't know much about his story.... only that he - like lots of other babies there - never cries because he's learned that even if he did, no one will come to comfort him. It makes me so sad. Children so little shouldn't have to become so jaded, y'know? I pray through his being at Los fundaninos, he will get loved on and cared for, and that one day he will be able to trust again..........


Today's schedule

4h30 :: wake-up 5h45 :: actually wake-up

6h50 :: arrive at school

7h00-9h00 :: do some major creative writing for a grant due Monday (that I found out about yesterday late afternoon). Pray. Alot.

7h10 :: Mum calls to offer encouragement and a prayer (hurray for mommies!)

9h30 :: Meet with Dr. Joe regarding said grant (this will be interesting....)

11h00 :: Meet Bestie et al. at home

11h30ish :: Embark on major birthday festivities in Austin.

Goal :: make it to 11hoo with sanity intact.


Self-professed dork.

I read alot of blogs. They are the perfect length of reading (or looking, in the case of photo blogs) in between interpreting thermal-band satellite imagery and grading papers - and let's be honest - while procrastinating. I love getting a peek into other people's lives and see how they put their lives together, and how/what they create. Oftentimes their creativity sparks my own.

A little while back I stumbled upon Oh, Mishka..... what I love about her is that she is both a stylish and creative soul while studying and loving geology! She posted a very fun list of nerdy tidbits about herself today, which has inspired me to make my own list (yes, laugh. I know you are.).

My list, however, will be a list of dorky tidbits because as my advisor and I have established, a nerd, a dork, and a geek are not the same thing. You have to be really brilliant (think Sheldon Cooper) to qualify for nerd-dom. A geek is slightly less brilliant, but still very very smart. A dork is probably the lowest on the smart cookies spectrum, and is also somewhat goofy/quirky. In otherwords: me. Without further ado:

* I openly claim to be a dork and am fairly proud to be one. I'm not sure that there is anything dorkier.
* When my little sister was in first grade, she was looking for something to bring to school for show-and-tell. I gave her rocks, and proceeded to teach her the three rock types. I successfully convinced her that rocks are cool!
* Every time I watch Kingdom of Heaven and it's the scene where the men are digging a well, when they hit water the thought, "They hit the water table!" rings in my head. Without fail.
* In high school, while the rest of my class moaned and groaned their way through Shakespeare, I read ahead while my teacher explained each scene and puzzled as to why they found it so hard to understand.
* I love Star Wars. I wish I had a light sabre.
* When I see a bird, I think about their flight pattern (bounding? soaring?). When see a kitchen countertop, I think about the minerals that comprise the granite. 'Nuf said.

Lol. There are SO many other things, but this is incriminating enough! What are some quirky/dorky things about YOU?

ps: My brother is now a married man! I can hardly believe that the boy who used to build Lego towns and read Calvin and Hobbes with me is starting his own family. Photos will be posted.... soon....

pps: Spring has arrived in Texas! New banner and photos are coming!!


Staying out late in the field has its benefits....

That was from yesterday, day 1 of spring break. I'm looking forward to getting lots done this week, with some fun and relaxation thrown in. :)

In other news: My brother is getting married in less than two weeks!!


Dust bunnie gets a bath

Once upon a time, there was a dog named Charlie. Charlie is sweet, loyal, curious, and loves to follow his nose.

One day, he spotted his Auntie Steph's purse on the floor..... lo and behold! What is that black pouff attached to her bag? He couldn't help but go over for a closer look. It was Dust Bunnie! Charlie decided that Dust Bunnie would make the perfect playmate and tried to separate him from the purse..... but not before Auntie Steph spotted him and plucked Dust Bunnie away.

You foiled my perfect plan! Charlie thought.

Dust Bunnie, you're stinky! Auntie Steph thought.

And so, Dust Bunnie got a bath.

Eeeek! Water!
Dust Bunnie thought.

But Auntie Steph didn't listen. Rub-a-dub-dub......

Dust Bunnie even tried a new hair style.

Aw nuts I can't keep my mohawk?

Before long, Dust Bunnie was squeaky clean and smelling nicely again. And he was none the worse for wear.

The end. :)


Today I am thankful for......

* pay-day.....

* a full weekend-long preview to the spring.....

* pay-day.....

* sweet people for whom I am infintely glad to have in my life, and who are genuinely glad that I am a part of theirs.....

* pay-day.....

* groceries.


Dear Columbia,

I needed new hiking boots. I must confess, I didn't want to seem a shallow brand-loyalist, so I tried hard not to pick your boots. I briefly entertained a commitment to Wind River boots.... but in the end your fantastic track record (through snow, sleet, mountain, mud, and river.....), waterproof-ness, and Omnigrip won me over.

I tried so hard to resist.


Even in defeat, I must say that I do not regret choosing you You have rightly earned my loyalty, and I will never stray again.



Subversive God

"Subversive Jesus and His Trojan Horse".

At first glance, the title intrigued me. Where is the link between Jesus and the famed Trojan horse that led to the downfall of Troy? But read this article.... it makes you think. And it's a good thing to think on, especially at the start of the year, the time of fresh starts and new beginnings. Especially during this time in my life, when the question of "What is Jesus' goal for my life" - in the career/life's work sense as well as in the "general progress" sense that Packiam is talking about - is part of my daily thought life. Read this. It's good stuff to think on.

"This faith that we've embraced, this Life that we have taken into our hearts, will be our undoing. And it means to be that. It's designed to be the end of us...... He is the Trojan Horse of blessing that we readily welcome into our hearts without knowing His mission to destroy us." (Glenn Packiam)

Full article here.