Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Hawk

Yesterday I was leaving the gym. No, really. And I saw the strangest sight. These 5 little mockingbirds hanging around the tree that I was parked directly in front of. They were all squawking loudly and I couldn't help but think about Patricia who really hates birds. When I got to my car I pressed the button to unlock it which made the "beep" noise. At this exact moment, I saw this huge hawk fly out of the tree right in front of me. It was at least 8 times bigger than the little mockingbirds. However, within a matter of a second, the 5 mockingbirds were dive bombing the hawk. 

At this point you are probably thinking, Mollie, is this whole blog really gonna be about birds? It's not. Bear with me. You see, I've taken where this blog is going several different ways. I can't seem to pick a way I want to go, so you're getting all of my thoughts today. It's my blog. I can do that. 

There's something our pastor said a couple weeks ago that has intrigued me ever since. "The Christian walk is a marathon... Not a sprint." This is a metaphor that I've never considered, but is 100% accurate. There are so many tiny little mockingbirds that try and bring us down, daily, in our walks. It might be past friendships that weren't good for you, past choices that haunt you, unanswered questions that concern you, future choices over finances, parents, or jobs. The good news is it's a marathon... all you have to do is keep enduring.

Why I blog. I've said it before.. And I will most likely keep saying it. I blog for me. A record for myself. It's my recipe book, my memory lane, and my detail keeper. Please don't misunderstand me.. I am so grateful to have so many of you that tag along. I am astounded when I meet random people who tell me they love my blog. I think you're all crazy for reading about my fairly average life. For keeping up with growing pains. For listening to my rants. For praying for 300 school children. And for loving me no matter what I put on here. 

There's a whole bunch of personal information on this little space that I call my musings. There's a whole lot of opinions that you might disagree with, stories that you might think are ridiculous, grammar mistakes that might drive you nuts, recipes you think are terrible, DIY projects that you would never, ever try, rants that you think are unnecessary, or religious beliefs that might not coincide with yours. When you place details of your life out in the open for anyone and everyone to read, there is a whole lot of room for judgement. 

Two weeks ago my pastor didn't know that the Supreme Court was going to rule 5-4 in the favor of gay marriage. There's a whole lot of room for judgement there too. Opinions you might disagree with, stories you might think are ridiculous, rants that you think are unnecessary, or religious beliefs that do not coincide with yours. 

Thinking back to the hawk and mockingbirds... The hawk didn't screech at the mockingbirds that were dive bombing it. The hawk didn't do anything but keep flying.. enduring and looking for safety in another tree. 

It's not my job, as a Christian, to screech at people. It's my job to love people, and that's exactly what I intend to do. 

As for my tree? ..... That's where the hawk and I are different. I don't have to fly to another tree. I've got one tree and I know who He is.
John 15:5 - "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

Monday, June 29, 2015

One Time We Were Given $1000

We are back from Lake Charles, Louisiana! Our girls trip was successful for sure. Here is the entire rundown. Pictures, tweets, and an enormous amount of laughs. 

It started with an interesting discovery.
"Also, if you're not careful autocorrect will change "girls trip" to "girl strip". So, that could make my tweets interesting. #girlstrip2015"

Then we moved onto:
"Siri, what is a manatee?" #girlstrip2015 #twitterlesslaura"
We made it to Lake Charles! We flew on a very tiny airplane and flew into a very tiny airport.

"New fact: Lake Charles, Louisiana does not have Uber. Taking a good 'ol fashion yeller cab. #girlstrip2015"

"New fact: share a cab with a 60 year old and talk to him the whole time and he will buy your cab!! #moneysavers #girlstrip2015"

"You guys have Dallas hair. I can't lie." ..... You realize that's like a compliment, right?? #twitterlesslaura #dallasproud"
"Livin it up with my oldest sista!!!! #girlstrip2015"

"We go from belting "strawberry wine" to.... "No diggity"... And we are not complaining!!!! #girlstrip2015 #twitterlesslaura"

"New fact #3: be nice to, said, 60 year old and he gives you free money. Seriously. #girlstrip2015" 

We ended up running into the guy who paid for our cab. We made him look really cool in front of his friends and then watched him play a couple hands of blackjack. On the third hand, he put all of his chips in... we told him he was crazy... and then he hit a blackjack!!!! He handed us each a chip and literally ran off.  

We pooled it up all day long and met people like Donald Trump, Thor, TCU, and Nordstroms. There were also people we didn't meet but nicknamed anyway... Jersey Shore, Dolly Parton #1.. Dolly Parton #2.
"Are you gambling tonight?" "Yeah... I'm bettin' on you!" #girlstrip2015"

 We were in a secluded room for dinner at the country club. Laura about died when I had a real life.... real dead anchovy on my salad!!! And after dinner we attempted to take pictures when we really could have used a selfie stick. 

We loved this bench. We sat on it at the end of each night and... met even more people as they walked by. It might have been my favorite place of the entire trip. However, the man we asked to take a picture of us was incapable. But I want you to see the bench so bad, you're getting it anyway!
"Conquering Lake Charles one "booty work" at a time. #leftcheekrightcheek #girlstrip2015"

"We got hit on while eating Frito twists on a bench...... We are feeling good about ourselves today!! #girlstrip2015 #twitterlesslaura"  

"Thank God for good directions... And Dramamine!! We're home Dallas!!! #girlstrip2015 #overandout"

Can't wait for next year's girl trip!!! :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Random Picture Update

Do you ever have random pictures just sitting on your phone that you are not ready to delete yet? Here's my little collection from summer so far! 


I'm finally done with training.. and I am off to VBS that I helped my mom set up last week! During that, a photo shoot occured with the waterfall we created. P.S. the hint on the setup page for the waterfall was "be patient"... we were proud when it was finished. 

During the training, which we decided is a tiny bit like summer camp for teachers..we sent pictures and gifs back and forth to each other. This was one of my favs, because truth.
And here was my view all week. Delightful. Just long.

But, I came home to an excited dog and found some holiday napkins to get me in the right mood for favorite month July!!!!!

And now, here is my mood this morning. Happy. Content. And ready to go play with some little kids at VBS!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pantry Purge

God bless our pantries. pantry's. pantrys. food closet. 

They hold a whole bunch of my sustenance and I am very appreciative. I go to the pantry after a long days work, working out, taking a nap on the couch during the summer looking for anything to fill my belly. 

Here is what I see.

Slightly overwhelming, huh? 

So, I started researching. "How to organize your pantry." Everyone seems to have their own way of doing things, but here was my resounding result:
boxes take up a whole lot of space 

I made my own plan. Took bits and pieces from everyone and decided to tackle the job of organizing the pantry. Here's are the steps that worked the best for me!

1. Take everything out of the pantry. Of course, throwing away all the things that are expired or you know you do not need anymore (for me, that was "iced tea" K-cups I have had for 3 years).

2. Begin to group things together into clusters. I found for myself it was easier to have more groups and combine them later than to have a huge group that I needed to split up. (aka find 11 packs of gum that you had no idea existed)

3. Begin to locate some containers that would be good for food storage. I decided to recycle my "program holders" and "favor holders" from the wedding. I added those to some cylindrical containers we received off our registry and I bought one more wire basket on clearance from Target. 

4. Begin breaking down boxes. I definitely tested things out. Some things I thought would fit best, totally did not. It was incredible how many boxes I threw away. 

5. Put everything back into the pantry with clusters of "like" items. Thoroughly confusing your husband. (mine has been waiting for this post because it has diagrams)

6. Sit back and marvel at the amount of happy you feel in your... belly. And then go take another nap. You've earned it.

Friday, June 19, 2015

El Salvador Update

It's my red head's birthday today!! 25 years of age!!!

It's a little weird that she's so far away.. but she and my brother in law have been so blessed by a wonderful host family and I know that they will spoil her in the most/best El Salvadorian way today!!!! 

First of all, shout out to my brother in law, we got this picture this morning! He got her flowers!! Good job bro.

I thought it would be as best a day as ever to update you on their life in El Salvador. {original post here} With pictures included! :) 

A couple weekends ago, I did something with Hannah that I had never done before. I facetimed with her during Joshua's wedding. I heard my phone buzzing as the ceremony was starting and thought who in the world is calling me right now! Well, it was Hannah.. facetiming me! She got to see all the boys walk to the front, the girls walk in, see our Joshua standing there waiting, and watch the bride walk down the aisle!! For not being able to be there, I thought it was pretty cool that worked out!

One of my original prayer requests was "They are in a host home. I pray that they are comfortable in their surroundings." It's safe to say this one was answered. They have an incredible host family including their host mom, Adela, host grandmother, Carolina, and host "little brother", Caleb! 

We've even gotten a video of 4 year old Caleb playing the "air drums".. it was adorable. They said they're getting used to life with a 4 year old... and have watched the same movie over and over again. However, Hannah said watching the same movie has helped her with her Spanish! 

Speaking of Spanish! That was another prayer request! Hannah has said Ben is picking it up a little more quickly.. but they have individual tutors that help a lot. Hannah's tutor name is Frank and she said she's been teaching him some English too.... with a little bit of Texan! Like "fixin to" ... and I felt proud. That's my sister. Bringing the Texas to El Salvador! Here's a little snippet of Hannah talking about the language barrier:

I have been very impressed with Ben’s ability to communicate with the family in Spanish. I’m normally more talkative than he is in these types of situations but his Spanish is better than mine so he is doing most of the talking. I told him the first day we were here I don’t think I’ve heard him talk this much in a long time. He is really enjoying learning Spanish and trying to communicate with the family. Our host’s mom is the main person we communicate with during the day. When we don’t understand something she does a great job of acting it out so we understand. She will also act things out for the fun of it. When we told her that Ben used to be shorter than me she stood on her tiptoes and said “Hannah, you,” and pretended to look down at Ben and wave. When you don’t speak the same language you do whatever you can to understand each other. One night Ben was trying to figure out the word for rooster but our host’s mom did not understand. So naturally Ben made the noise and asked what animal made that sound.
 My other main prayer request was Hannah's dietary issues. This has been answered in great part through such a wonderful host home. Hannah was able to go with Adela, the host mom, to the store and show her what she could and could not eat. We've gotten pictures of huge avocados and they even grilled hamburgers at the mission center the other night!! 

This is from the town about 15 minutes away called Ataco. Hannah told me tomorrow, they are going to the beach!!!

 As for continued prayer requests, I asked Hannah this morning.. this was her response:
"Yes, our neighbor and someone in our church (who we had lunch with last week) has Chikungunya, which is one of the bad mosquito diseases. You can get it from a mosquito biting someone who has the disease and then biting you. The disease causes horrible joint pains like arthritis that can last anywhere from 2 weeks to several years. So we are being really proactive about putting on repellent at home."

If you know me, you know mosquitos flock to me. Hannah is the same way. Mosquitos love her.. so if you have a second please continue to pray for protection from those little bugs!! 

She walked out this morning to Caleb's kid songs DVD cued up to "happy birthday"! She said they all gave her hugs while saying "Feliz cumpleanos".  I am sure grateful they are loving on her today.

Happy birthday Hannah! Have a magnificent day!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

White Wings

White Wings. A Sheridan recipe.

One of the first recipes Duck Dude every made for me. Awww.

It's a pretty simple recipe, but looks (and tastes) way fancier. I couldn't decide the easiest way to do the recipe, so I made it for 4 servings. The directions are for creating 1 white wing and you would repeat those instructions 4 times. Hope that makes sense!

Also, there was one more thing I left off. We had wooden skewers laying around and Duck Dude broke them in half and stuck them all the way through the white wing just to make sure they held together on the grill. 

I really like this recipe because I also think it would be fun for younger kids to make their own! Get everyone involved in the dinner process! As always, I'm sure there are many more things you could add to this recipe to make it your own! Go for it and just let me know! Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

101 Days

As I was doing my summer countdown post on Monday, I realized that Duck Dude and I had been married 99 days!!! I texted him and he said, "Let's celebrate!!"  Which is exactly the response I was looking for! But now, it's two days later, so we have officially been married for 101 days!!! 

We've learned a whole bunch about each other these last 101 days. You see, living with a significant other is much different than living with a roommate. However, in some ways it's exactly like having a slumber party every single night!! 

Here are just a few things both of us have learned over these past 101 dalmations days. 

  • He washes his socks inside out and likes them folded together. I just lay matching pairs on top of each other. 
  • I will have a paper towel out the entire time I cook for my hands.. He's learned not to throw it away. 
  • He will sing the last word of every verse in the song about a second later.... and about an octave lower. 
  • I will leave hair..... everywhere. And earrings. And hair clips. And bobby pins.
  • He will eat a snack... even though dinner will be ready in 15 minutes. 
  • I will definitely always compile an assortment of glasses of water by the bed. 
  • He likes the top button of his polos buttoned while they hang dry.
  • I don't dry anything but my socks and underwear. (he learned this the hard way)
  • He will continue to complain about the amount of pillows on the couch. 
  • I can't wait to buy new ones for fall. 
  • He is the official chopper... mainly because he likes to use the knives.
  • I realllly do watch a lottt of crime shows.  
  • We will both fall asleep on the couch at night and wake up hours later.  
  • We are capable of packing in the same bag for a weekend trip. 
  • We like to try new recipes on a regular basis
Overall, we've realized even though we are learning and still learning, and I am not ever sure if that learning stops, we make a really good pair. Here's to many more 101 days. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Caroline for Bachelor 2016

We had SO much fun last night guys. Seriously. 

We decided not to go out on the boat because Texas is basically a flood right now and the weather is unpredictable. So yay for us being responsible adults. 

We had a ton of food.. some good drinks.. and a LOT of commentary!
And we DID decide that Caroline should absolutely be cast in the next season of the bachelor. 

We will probably have to delete her "my adopted sister" picture album.. it includes pictures like this. 
Her resume includes: 
1. She looks realllly good in fairy costumes. 

2. She keeps her cool when people "moon" her.
3. She's got a lot of... spirit?
4. Her one leg popped pose in on point.  (far right.. I'm far left.. rockin the glasses and middle part before it was cool)

5. Duck Dude and Jimbo will help her create a totally rad audition video. 

6. Laura Pocket will be her "advice giver" on the show... because she will be honest and unforgiving. She might even bring a red dog along to have him sniff all the guys out..

7. When she makes it to home town visits.... obviously.. we will hold it at some mansion that she "grew up in"... and eventually have a pasture party and be the cool family. 

8. Naked Nick will provide comic relief.. like telling him if he guesses how many baseballs are in the container.. he can have a rose. 

9. PT Patricia will help work out all of her kinks since she will be holding the show down.  

10. I, personally, will complain and complain until she gets a firework show... because that's all she really wants. 

It's not like we're asking much, right?

Caroline for Bachelor cast 2016.    Over and out.