Friday, May 27, 2011

In 1 Month....

In one month I will be 30!

June 27 is the day I will no longer be a 20-something.

I will be 30.

A moment of silence, please. (This is serious, people. No laughing).

I can hardly type the number, when it is associated with my age. 30. Crazy, right?!

I have struggled with turning 30 since I was 26. (Really, since I got over the fact I was 25! Which, having a husband who tells you that you are a quarter of a century old, didn't help matters. As cute as he is, sometimes he is just mean!) So - I have had lots of time to ponder 30. To ponder what does being 30 mean, what does 30 look like, what does 30 feel like, what does 30 represent???? Lots of life to ponder here.

Many people (mainly my mother) have told me "age is just a number". I like the number 2 (with another single digit behind it). So can I stay 29 +?

I guess that would not be embracing the 30's. Which I (think) I want to do. I mean, when I'm 52, will I really still want to be 29+. Probably not - hopefully, I will have moved on!

So - embracing 30 is what I want to do. Here I go. 30. 30. 30. (This is me embracing 30). I don't want to mourn my 20's, I want to be excited about 30!

Yah 30!

I think this embracing thing will take some time...

In the meantime, what does a 30 year-old haircut look like? I have a hair appointment next week and am faced with the question I am always faced with: to go short, or long. Bangs or no bangs? Now that I'm turning 30 I feel even more stress when it comes to this question. HELP!

Back to me turning 30. It's coming. Why don't I feel ready?

Maybe if I think about 30 things I want when I turn 30...

1. 30 people to tell me "Happy Birthday".
2. Nik to tell me "Happy Birthday" 30 times.
3. 30 presents?! Ha!
4. 30 candles on a yummy chocolate cake.
5. A 30 minute massage....?!

This list could be a really good thing if Nik is reading...! continuing...

6. 30 hugs. Although, I'm not really a 'huggy' person. Maybe not. We'll see.
7. A road trip.
8. To have lost 30 lbs. (Currently resting at 19).
9. Dinner with 30 friends.
10. A new purse.

That's all for now. Maybe 30 isn't so bad. I might could embrace the numbers 3 0, when associated with my age. I guess I have about 30 days to do it!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mountain Bike Riding

I went Mountain Bike Riding last night! It was so fun!

I bought my bike a while back and have only been riding around our neighborhood. I go a couple of times a week. I really have enjoyed going. Nik has been telling me for a while now that I need to go ride out on the trails. That makes me a little nervous. I don't know why, but it did. Probably because it is something new and different - and I get nervous with new and different.

Anyway, I learned that the wife of the guy Nik rides with likes to go mountain biking as well. She has actually been riding for about 20 years, but has not gone out in a long time. She doesn't like to ride with her husband and Nik because they do harder stuff. I had been pondering asking her if she wanted to ride with me. And last week I finally asked her - and she said yes!

I warned her that I have never done this before, but I wanted to try. She assured me we would take it slow until I was used to it. So, we agreed upon an evening and we went!

Monday, after work we loaded up our bikes and picked up William and Susan and headed out to the lake.

Putting all 4 bikes on the rack was tricky:

But they got it - and we headed out!

I seriously had the best time. It was so pretty out, the weather was great and Susan was super nice to me. She helped me figure out how to manuever my bike better and taught me things as we rode that made riding easier and safer. She waited for me as I slowly went down the hills, and stopped when I needed to look at the view (a.k.a. 'catch my breath'). Ha! After a while I got the hang of it and did pretty well!

I stopped to take pictures as we were riding.

We rode around that little 'mountain'!

Looking back at where we started.

William and Nik had a great ride, too. William kinda ran into a tree. But he is okay! Those are the things I am scared of...!

We have plans to go again, soon!

William and Susan:

Nik and I:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Church Update 2

Today Nik and the staff met with the potential pastor. Their meeting went well. The potential pastor shared his heart with them about ministry and how he wanted to work with them, and then asked the staff to share the same. They spent a couple of hours together today just getting to know each other. Nik walked away from the meeting with a positive feeling.

Tonight we had dinner with the potential pastor and his wife. It was a fun, relaxed time together sharing and getting to know each other.

Later our church had a meet and greet time where our members were encouraged to come, meet the potential pastor and ask questions. It was a nice time. Good questions were asked. The potential pastor shared a devotion of what was on his heart during this time and really who he is and what he is about.

Our church board will get feedback from members, spend time in prayer, and then meet together again soon to make a decision.

We are praying for our church and for the potential pastor. We are praying for God's will.

Now I have to go to bed. It is late. Look forward to a post coming soon about my first mountain biking experience!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Church Update

Tonight, Monday, our Church Board will be interviewing a perspective new Pastor for our church.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, the perspective Pastor will meet with the staff. Then the staff, their families, and the perspective Pastor and his family will all have dinner together.

Following dinner, there will be a meet & greet time with the perspective Pastor for our entire church.

I don't know how quickly a decision will be made - this kind of thing takes time. I just wanted to give you a quick update on our church and search for a new Pastor.

Please pray for this man of God, for our church, and for God's will in this situation. Thanks!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Golf & Confession

Nik bought a new (to him) Golf Club! (Using birthday money. His birthday was in January. I can't believe he still has birthday money!) Anyways...

For those who want more details than 'a new golf club' (they are all the same to me), he bought a Taylor Made R7 CGB Max Driver. Cool, huh? (For those of you who think it's cool...)

We went to the driving range this week so he could test it out.

I sat reading a book. It was actually a really nice night, I enjoyed the weather and my book!

Confession Time. (By the way, I am only confessing because Nik has laid major guilt on me!) Earlier this week (probably Monday) I posted that it was National Bike Week this week. And in honor of it, I was going to ride my bike everyday...well, I didn't. I worked until 9pm on Monday. I rode Tuesday. Wednesay I went walking with friends instead. Thursday I rode. Friday, too tired. So - I only rode my bike twice during National Bike Week!!!

Nik and I did go for a nice long ride this morning - I even went up some really hard hills. I was in the lowest gears possible. I probably could have walked up the hills faster. But it was my goal to ride up all the hills today! And I did. It was a great ride!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Veggie Burgers

Pre-Post information: I am (actually both Nik and I) are meat lovers! We love meat and potatoes - that is what we eat. We try to incorporate vegetables and fruit into our daily meals because 'we are supposed to'. But honestly, if we had it our way - we would eat meat and potatoes (ONLY) everyday!

Something else you need to know about me, before I continue with my post: I'm kinda a picky eater (although over the last couple of years I have gotten better) and I rarely try new foods. Nik, on the other hand will try (and eat) almost anything! (He is trying to broaden my food world).

On to my Post:

One of my co-workers sometimes brings Veggie Burgers for lunch. Gross. Who eats those, really?! What are they even made out of?! That is just weird to me.

That is how I thought anyway...until one day.

I smelled something good coming from our little work kitchen. I asked what it was and she began to tell me about Black Bean Veggie Burgers. The thought was way out there for me, but it smelled good. She offered me one and I started to do what I do to new food. (Those who have been around me during a 'new food experience' can picture this.) I look at it - from every angle. For many minutes. Then I feel it. Which sounds funny, but that's what I do. Then comes the sniffing. Yes, I sniff almost everything before I eat it. And not just once...multiple times, and usually with my nose scrunched. I told her I might try it. I got some bread, and mayonnaise and cheese and stuck the burger on it.....

I waited and went through my whole 'new food process' again...

Then I finally took a bite! Then I had a conversation in my head debating if I really liked or disliked what was in my mouth. You know how you can get yourself all worked up over something and convince yourself of the outcome beforehand...that's what I do. So, after all the thoughts of my new food, I tried another bite, and then finished the Veggie Burger!

I can't really believe I did it - but I did! And then I went to the store, and purchased them. I can now say I eat Veggie Burgers. Only one kind - the Morning Star Brand, Spicy Black Bean (as shown below). There may be other brands out there, but I'm not really willing to try them. I like this one, and it took a lot of energy to figure out that I did. So, I'll save myself the time and energy and stick with what I like!

Nik, on the other hand...will not even try them! They are actually pretty good, and pretty good for you. So - I challenge you - if you have never had one - try it!

Now don't get me wrong - I STILL LOVE MEAT! Probably, will always love meat. But...when you are trying to lose some weight and be a little healthier, this is a good option!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Book Reads

Carla's current read: Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Next on Carla's list to read: Un Christian by David Kinnaman.

Nik's current read: Generation iY by Tim Elmore.

Next on Nik's list to read: Missional Renaissance by Reggie McNeal.

I just wanted to share some of what we are reading these days! Any other suggestions for next, next?

Monday, May 16, 2011

God's Masterpiece

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

What a wonderful service we had at Church Sunday night! Nik preached from Ephesians 2:1-10, focusing on verse 10, that we are God's Masterpiece. He talked about the importance of remebering who we once were, that we were saved by Grace and that through Grace God created us anew to be His Masterpiece.

He challenged us to continue allowing God to 'chisel' us into who He wants us to be.

Nik used a video, from The Skit Guys, to help get his message across. It is below, if you are interested in seeing it.

National Bike Week

The month of May is National Bike Month, and May 16-20 is National Bike Week. The National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 20. I'm not about to bike to work Friday - but I would like to celebrate National Bike Week by riding my bike everyday this week! That's my plan anyway...we will see how it goes!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Landscaping Take-Two

This is our second attempt at landscaping. Last year, we hired a guy to update the landscaping that we had. He did a great job. It looked good. We were happy.

Mid summer, half of our tree fell down. Actually two parts fell down two different times. I'm serious. Long story. Another post. Actually, probably not - I'm still traumatized from it.

So the 'shade' plants that were put in basically died because of all the sun exposure. The three plants that did not die then, died in the last freeze we had. No, we are not plant people - but we are trying to be!

So, Landscaping Take-Two, is the theme of this post.

After pulling out the dead plants, this is what one area looked liked (our walkway to the front door):

After purchasing a new plant and mulch - this is what it now looks like:

More to come...Landscaping Take-Two (Front of the House)...

Friday, May 13, 2011

I Heart Kohls

I heart Kohls. Yes I do.

A few weeks ago we went to Kohl's and picked up a few items. We spent enough to earn ourselves $10 in Kohls Cash, so of course, we had to go back to Kohls this weekend!

I was not in the mood to shop for clothes, plus, we didn't want to spend a lot of money. So we headed towards the 'home' stuff. On the way, I spotted a really cool necklace for only $16.00. I told Nik that if we did not find anything cheaper - the necklace was mine!

However, we found this cute wall hanging:

Originally priced at $69.99. Are you kidding me?! But, that is why I heart Kohls - they know how to clearance!

New price $13.99. Not too bad for this cute piece of art. So, after using a 15% off coupon and our Kohl's Cash, it only cost us $3.87! That is definately the least amount of money we have ever spent at a Kohls!

That is why I heart Kohls!

We decided to hang it in our Dining Area:


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Mustang and Bike Rack

This was too funny not to post!

Last night Nik went Mt. Bike Riding, with a friend. His friend used to own a truck. A bike rack was on the back of it. It looked normal. However, Nik's friend recently traded his truck in for a Mustang.

Putting the bikes on the rack:

Making sure they were stable. Yes, also funny is Nik's helmet over his hat on his head!

The final product! The bikes are bigger than the car! Ha!

It was funny watching them figure this all out! While riding, Nik saw a huge rattlesnake. He said it was about 5 ft. long. I thought he should of stopped and taken a picture (that is the blogger in me coming out) he said he just pedaled even faster!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend Recap

Friday evening was so nice outside. When I walked in the house at 4:30PM and Nik and I started discussing what we wanted to do for the evening - we knew we wanted to be outside. It is hard on these beautiful spring days to be in an office all day. So, we sent a text out to our youth group that we were going to the park. So we went to the park and hung out with some of our teens and thier families until dark. After that - late night snack at Taco Bell. I only had 1/2 a package of Cinnamon Twists. I won't tell you what Nik ate...!

Saturday, I woke up early and went on a bike ride, in search of some Garage Sales. None to be found in my neighborhood. Sad. I guess because people don't do Garage Sales on Mother's Day weekend? Not sure. But I was bummed. At least I got a little exercise in, I guess.

Nik had the joy (?) of serving a Mother's Day Luncheon that I was attending. I wish I had taken pictures of him. My cutie husband looks good in black slacks, white shirt and a bowtie! And of course, he is an awesome server. The days of him helping me at the Camp have paid off. And he is a Beast in the Kitchen, as well. Washing dishes and keeping others on task. The sooner they clean up, the sooner they got to leave! The luncheon was nice and we heard a wonderful message from a very sweet lady.

After the luncheon we hit the road and drove to the Georgetown/Round Rock area. Made a quick stop at Kohls (because I can't go within 10 miles of Kohls and not stop...right?!) Then we met up with one of Nik's friends, who is a youth pastor, and his wife. We 'officially' made the trip to drop off some graduate gifts Nik ordered for him. But after that was done - we were 'unofficial' and went to dinner at Freebirds and saw a movie!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there. In church this past Sunday, they had all the mother's stand so they could be honored and given a rose. Nik and I both had the same thought - Wouldn't it be funny if I stood?! Ha! It was hard to keep a straight face in church after imagining the shock we would cause everyone! One day...! But anyways. Back to mothers. Nik and I are extremely blessed with mothers who are kind, supportive and LOVING! We love you both so much, and are so glad to call you our 'moms'!

Since on Mother's Day all the restrauants are packed - we went home for lunch and had leftovers. We did our 'House Purge' on some more of the house and went grocery shopping. Yes, I bought some cucumbers. And Greek Yogurt. That is a new food for me as well. I tried it today. Not too sure what I think of it yet. I will let you know after another taste testing!

The rest of the day we laid on the couch, napped, rested, watched TV. A glorious day, really!

What we are looking forward to this week:
  • Mt. Bike Riding. Because of the wind, Nik has not got his bike riding in much. Tonight is the night!
  • Finish going through my house and finding Garage Sale Items / Throw Away Stuff / Give A Way Stuff / and Organizing!
  • Volleyball! We normally get together and play volleyball with our friends about once a month. But April was so busy, we didn't get a chance to do that. So I'm really looking forward to Friday Night Volleyball. It may not sound that exciting - but if you have ever played volleyball with me, it's normally a LOT OF LAUGHTER and a little volleyball. It does me good to laugh all night long - with some of my favorite people, over a game a volleyball. Jenn - if you're reading this, I hope to see you and Steve Friday. 7PM! We miss you guys and look forward to catching up! Oh, and in between games we talk and eat brownies! Seriously. Does a night get much better than that!
  • Nik preaching. He is preaching the PM Sunday Service. He does this every now and again. It has been awhile since he preached last, but with our Pastor now retired, he will probably start preaching once (or more) a month. I'm so proud of him.
Hope your week goes well - I'm hoping to be productive, but to also enjoy my week!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Computer Issues and Resolve!

A few months ago, our home computer crashed and burned. Nik tried everything he knew of to get it running again, but all attempts failed. We went to look at purchasing a new computer, but we could not bear the thought of putting out money for a new computer. I know it's really not that much, and most people see a computer as a necessity - but we are really trying to SAVE and PAY OFF ALL DEBT - so we decided to wait. A computer is not a necessity (in our world) but a want. By the way - waiting (in most circumstances) we have found, is never a bad option. Nik has a work laptop, so he would just bring it home everynight for our use. Yes, it was inconvienient, but we made it work. Oh, by the way, our computer was our TV source. No computer = no TV. So, again - not the best solution, but we made it work.

A couple of nights ago we started our 'Home Purge' for our Garage Sale this summer. While going through some storage stuff, Nik located a Recovery Disc (which he could not find first off, when the computer crashed). So he ran the recovery disk, and after about 1 1/2 hours - our computer worked again! Crazy. And to think...I almost threw the computer in the garbage this past weekend!

So now that our computer is back - I will be blogging more!

P.S. thanks for your comments on my last post about Cucumbers - I'll give you some updates once I purchase some. (I have to wait to purchase, because it is almost against my religion to go to the grocery store more than once a week!)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cucumbers and Bees

Cucumbers. Seriously. Who Knew:

1.  That just one cucumber contains most of the vitamins you need every day: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Folic Acid, C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc!

2.  They can provide a quick pick-me-up that can last for hours because of the Vitamins - So put down the caffeinated soda in the afternoon and pick up a cucumber!

3.  You can rub a cucumber slice along your mirror to eliminate fog (from your shower) and it will provide a soothing spa-like fragrance!

4.  By adding a few slices of cucumber to a pie tin and placing it in your garden, you will be free of grubs, slugs and pests all season long! (The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drives away garden pests).

5.  Rubbing a freshly cut cucumber over your shoes gives them  a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

6.  Taking a cucumber slice and rubbing it along a problematic-squeaky hinge fixes the squeak!

7.  Pressing a slice of cucumber to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds will eliminate bad breath! (The phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath).

8.  Rubbing a slice of cucumber on your faucets, sinks and stainless steel remove years of tarnish, bringing back the shine and it won't leave streaks!

WHO KNEW - Not me!

All I can say is...cucumbers are on my grocery list for the next trip. Did anyone know about any of the above mentioned greatness of cucumbers?

Will anyone try any of the tips?

Bees. Not fun.

Today, during my lunch break, I got some Thai take-out. YUMMY (by the way). I went to a park, and parked on the side of the road, under some trees. I sometimes get out and sit at picnic tables and eat - but the shade was so nice today. So, I park, roll down the windows, turn down the radio, kick off my shoes, put my seat back, put my hair in a pony-tail (so it does not get in my food), relax and attempt to eat my lunch and read a book. (Ok - the last sentence makes me sound high maintenance!). Side note - Have you ever tried to eat a 'noodle meal' and read at the same time? In my world, it is not possibe! Anyway, back to my story... I was reading and eating and then I hear 'buzzing''s a bee - in my car! I quickly open my door, step out onto the street (no shoes) throw my book down (luckily, my lunch was not in my hands, but sitting on my arm rest) and then I realized that I am now standing in the street, shoeless with a book thrown on the street. I get my self together (and no, I did not turn around to see if anyone was staring/laughing at me), and calmly start 'shooing' the bee out of my car. The bee finally goes away. I resume my lunch position, except my lunch was in hand this time. The bee is back. Seriously. Here I go again - although, this time was not so frantic. I do manage to set my lunch down and not throw it down. Yummy Thai food. I finally get the bee out again. I have learned my lesson. I roll up all windows, turn on the car (run the A/C) and finish my lunch. Side note - Don't tell Nik I wasted the gas just sitting in my car - he hates it when I do that! Ha!

Now that I have bored you with Cucumbers and Bees...I will sign off!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Misc. Thoughts

Wednesday we drove to Houston, TX to our church's annual District Assembly. We spent some time that evening with some of my family - Aunt Pam, Uncle Chris and Savannah. They were kind enough to cook us dinner and let us hang out with them! We had a great visit. It is always so fun to spend time with the ones you love! No pictures.

I have not been very good at taking pictures lately. I will try to get better.

The Royal Wedding. No, I was not/am not obsessed with it. However, I did have a large desire to wake up at 4am to watch it - but only until 4am came! I was too tired from being at District Assembly the day before. I did, however, wake up at 7am and watch highlights until I actually had to get ready at 8am. Beautiful couple, beautiful dress. That's all. No obsession.

I bought some sunglasses this weekend. They are a deep purple color and really, too big for my face. But, I have a small face and I have been trying to purchase new sunglasses for months now.... Nik said they looked good - so I bought them, with a Steinmart gift card.

Funny story about that particular card. Two years ago I was in Houston, at District Assembly, and went to Steinmart. I signed up for a chance to win the gift card. Right before we had to leave the store, they called my name - I won! We were out of time to shop, so we left. And never went back to a Steinmart. Until this weekend! I held on to that $10 gift card for 2 years...!

This past Sunday was our first Sunday without our Pastor behind the pulpit. (He retired). Please pray for our church and staff during this time of transition. We are seeking God's direction for our lives - please pray for us as well - as we are trying 'not to be anxious about anything' (Phil. 4:6) and claiming God's promise that 'We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose' (Rom. 8:28)!

Don't you love after-holiday-candy-sales? We totally hit up Wal-Mart for our favorite Easter Candy (after Easter): Reeses Eggs! The. Best. Easter. Candy. Ever!!! I also picked up some starbursts. Something fun and different for a change.

I just came across some exciting news about Cucumbers - stay tuned. It deserves it's very own post!

Today, at work, I was reading over some minutes from a meeting I missed on Friday. Included in the minutes was the statement: ..."After a spirited discussion about Carla swallowing her gum, it was decided..." (and on to other important matters). My co-workers are still discussing / laughing / making fun of me (whatever you want to call it) about my traumatic gum swallowing incident. (see post "Bike Riding" on April 14 for details.)

I have a strong desire to go through my entire house, and purge it! We really want to have a garage sale sometime this summer. Hopefully, we will set a date soon. I like to be prepared. So before we have a garage sale, Nik and I go through every room, closet, drawer, nook and storage box in our house and attic sorting stuff. Keep pile (repack and replace), Sale pile (price and box), Give-a-way pile (box) and Trash pile (straight in the trash can). Can't wait to start...just need a free night!

It has been too windy to ride my bike (now named Gloria). So when I finally get back on the saddle (bike) I will have to work through all the soreness, AGAIN. Not looking forward to that. The upside to that is - while I was riding my bike I lost 4 lbs! Hence my bike's name: Gloria. For "Glory, Hallelujah - I actually lost some weight!" (Glory + Hallelujah = Gloria).

May is here. We have a really busy month ahead of us. I'm trying not to let the month fly by without enjoying each moment of it, not taking anything in this life for granted!

Those are my thoughts right now...stay tuned for the post on Cucumbers!