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Monday, May 28, 2012

all aboard to...DC

This past week we made a quick, spontaneous decision to take the train into DC for Memorial Day weekend.  We are not quick decision maybe I should restate that.  MY honey is not a quick, spontaneous, on the fly decision maker.  I'm a go anywhere, do anything kinda gal.  Thank heavens he keeps my feet on the ground.  Needless to say we balance we each other out beautifully.

So this trip was unplanned and sometimes those are the best little surprises.   DC has been on our to-do list since moving here almost a year ago.  How can you live so close to such an amazing city and not take full advantage of it right?!

We decided instead of messing with traffic and the stress that goes along with driving that we would take the train.  BEST decision ever.  None of us had ever taken a long train ride before.  It was so easy.  You don't have to check luggage.  You don't have to go through security or wait forever.  You just get on, find a roomy seat, sit back and relax.  You can plug in your phone, iPad whatever and stay connected.  It's definitely the way to go.

My sweet traveling buddy:)

It was also a wonderful way to take in the country side.  Virginia is beautiful.  Lush and historic.  It made for a peaceful ride.

Once we got there the wow factor started right away.  This is Union Station.  The architecture was so beautiful. 

It amazes me the attention to detail that went into every little thing.  If you love detail you would love DC.

Oh the feeling of finally getting to the room.  Of setting down the luggage and taking your shoes off.  A home away from home. 

We set our stuff down for just a second and then took off. We couldn't wait to explore.  It was weird walking the streets...seeing the history everywhere.  We see it on TV all the time, but to be there in person was surreal.

The first night we walked by the Capitol, took in the Natural History Museum, and the National Archives.  The archives were my favorite.  They usher you into a dark room and you stand in line waiting your turn to see the Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence.  Uh can you say AMAZING!!  There was a poor guy who whipped out his camera to take a picture and the security lady made an example of him and had him escorted out of the building.  I was so glad I didn't make that mistake.  Talk about being mortified.

To stand over those faded documents and make out the signatures of Ben Franklin, James Madison and George Washington was goose bump worthy.  The only thing that would trump that experience would be to visit the Holy Land and stand where Jesus stood.  See the grave he arose from...the hill he was crucified on.  That would be amazing.

This was the sculpture garden right in front of the National Archives building.  It was SO crowded.  They had some kind of jazz concert going on and throngs of people were standing around and laying on blankets.  I didn't get it really.  It was super hot and muggy and to go to the park and sit on the grass just didn't sound fun to me.  I'm not a city girl at all though.  People...lots of people annoy me.  I need space.

The next day we went to the Ford Theatre.  It's the place Lincoln was shot in the back of the head.  Out of all the presidents Abraham Lincoln was my very favorite.  Visiting the actual theatre and seeing right where he was on that night was powerful.  The girls thought so too.

We finally made it to the White House.  You kind of picture this moment as being special.  But in actuality we were dripping with sweat.  It was close to 90 degrees and HUMID, nothing but concrete to walk on and we had been walking a long long way.  The girls were grouchy.  I was on my period because anytime we ever have anything important...any kind of vacation...I'm always on my period;)  And it's time to take the pic.  Little Chick is acting out.  She won't get in the picture, and all of a sudden I feel spit on my shoulder.  Next thing you know I lash out and pinch her on the bottom.  She runs off pouting and that's our White House memory.  There you have it.  Finally after some tears, apologies and calming down we got this shot.  Welcome to vacation.

After the White House debacle we got some ice cream.  Ice cream just makes everything better doesn't it?  We made the LONG trek to the Lincoln Memorial. 

Out of all the sights this is the one I've been looking forward to my entire life.  It was powerful.  Walking those steps.  Standing small by that giant statue of a man who made such a difference in our Nation's history.  I felt small and insignificant...but inspired.  These people who care...really care for something.  Who stood for freedom and liberty and for right.  Those soldiers who gave it all up to protect and defend our nation.  They deserve our utmost respect.  They deserve to be honored.  I am so proud to be an American.  I don't always agree with how our country is ran,  how things are accomplished, but I am forever grateful for our Founding Fathers who came in search of freedom and for all the men and women who have died and lived to protect that freedom.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Have a blessed day. 

598.  DC under our belts
599.  our soldiers...the sacrifices made
600.  freedom
601.  memories with my family...good and bad
602.  the luxury of a train ride 
603.  Godly leaders

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Friday, May 25, 2012

thanksgiving in may

Good morning friends.  My family is on the move...we are heading somewhere exciting this Memorial day weekend.  I can't wait to share it with you next week.  EEEK!!  I love a good long holiday weekend.  I hope you all have something fun planned too.  Tell me if you do:)

Okay so I was sifting through my pictures and came across these I took last week.  Remember I gave myself an awesome birthday gift and signed up for an art class at our botanical garden here in Richmond??

I really really enjoyed the tranquility of that week.  I didn't know a soul.  I got in my car...GPS ready...and navigated through the city to a place I'd never been before.

I felt completely out of my element artistically though.  I was challenged.  And by challenged I mean I sucked at pastels;)  It's all good though, because when you try a new thing you sharpen your other skills, and I think in the long run it will help me grow as an "artist".

I've taken a few art type classes, and every teacher just kind of guides you and then turns you free.  I find that frustrating.  I like hands on, show me what to do,  kind of learning.  And when I get frustrated I kind of shut down, and decide to throw it in the trash when I get home.  Grrrr patience in the journey is not my strong point. 

I mostly enjoyed sitting in the gardens and really just soaked in every little sound of the birds chirping...children laughing in the distance.  I honestly need to stop and smell the roses a bit more in my life.  How often do we really slow down and appreciate what's around us? 

God created this!  And it's there for me to enjoy.

Thank you Lord for what's right in front of me, if I just open my eyes and soak it all in.  So master of pastels or not it was a very good week:)


My recipe this week is not really a recipe.  I'm getting pretty simple here.  I roasted a turkey, and as fancy as that sounds it wasn't.  I bought a roasting turkey in a bag.  Inside there was a cooking bag.  I plopped it in a pan, cut in a slit and baked it according to the directions.  It was DELICIOUS.  I'm all about healthy, simple and easy.  This met all the criteria.  I added some instant mashed potatoes (remember I don't like to cook), homemade gravy (recipe was on the bag) and a veggie.  So there you have it.  A meal without a recipe:)

If you want, link up with me and let's feed our families:)

Happy long weekend friends:)

590.  nature that begs me to appreciate
591.  a thanksgiving dinner in may
592.  weekend plans
593.  lunch with a friend
594.  clean bathrooms
595.  a five mile run that made me feel invincible

596.  my new favorite cuff
597.  mani/pedi's with my sugar sistas

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Monday, May 21, 2012

storing up

I was 6 years old when I asked Jesus to come into my heart.  I know that seems really young, but I had a momma that had been teaching me about Him since wee little.  When I started having questions she quickly directed me to the word and explained things.  When the Holy Spirit started tugging on my heart...she was there to guide the way.  When people talk about their testimony usually it involves a life of sin...going the completely wrong direction and then a wake-up moment.  Mine wasn't like that.  I feel like I was born into the family. 

I'm forever grateful that I had a great grandma, grandma and momma that were Godly women.  Whether they prayed over my life directly or not...their walk with the Lord was sowing into my future...a covering of sorts.  Our pastor talked about "storing up" on Sunday. When I think of storing up I remember that scripture that says, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." Matthew 6:18-20. 


Our pastor wasn't talking about storing up earthly possessions, he was referring to a storing up of future generations.  We store up when we cover our kids with prayer.  We store up when our lives, because of our faith walk, have that trickle down effect of mercy and grace.  It's passed down from generation to generation. 

He talked about David.  That for generations after David had died God kept sparing his descendants.  There was favor on them, not because of what their lives were showing, but what David had stored up for them with his own life. 

I want nothing more than for my own family to have a destiny full of favor from the Lord.  I want them to not be able to run from His love.  I want goodness, mercy and grace to chase them down the streets.  I want them to be used in a powerful way.  I want them to have both feet firmly planted...not one foot in, one foot out.  I want a covering to keep them all the days of their lives, and that they would never stray. 

I want their lives to be full of fruit.  That they would be giant killers...Champions for God.  That's all;)  I want to carry on that legacy from my family tree, and for them to do the same with their children one day.

Maybe you didn't have that Godly family tree.  Maybe there was no one covering for you or standing in the gap.  It's never too late to start a new tree.  To store up for the future.  I'm trying with all my might not to get caught up in the fleeting here and now.  Oh to be able to keep my eye on the prize...

Have a blessed day.

586.  an annointed pastor
587.  antibiotics for my little
588.  Godly role models
589.  strawberry shortcake

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Friday, May 18, 2012

leading lady and winner winner chicken dinner

First of all THANK YOU sweet friends.  There is nothing like a birthday to make you feel so special and loved!!  I was showered with little messages and happy birthday wishes all day long (starting with my Sasha girl who texted me at 1:30 in the morning...she wanted to be first;)) and it just made me happy to my toes.  Oh and when I got home from my art class I had big beautiful butterfly balloons tied to my mailbox with cookies tucked inside, and flowers on my porch!!  To say that I've made some wonderful new friends since moving to Richmond is an understatement.  I am blessed, blessed, blessed:)

Last week I finally got some things done that I'd had on my to do list.   I went with a friend to a local nursery and quickly realized I was in over my head.  Do you do that too?  I was standing there with flowers and plants in every direction completely overwhelmed.  Thank God for Joannie who directed my attention and helped me figure out what I wanted to do.

It could have been the super cute goats that distracted me or the chickens! I love me some chickens.  Maybe it was the fun playhouse or...

...the goofy trees.  Not sure, but we finally got it nailed down and when I got home I was a planting fool.  I filled my big front baskets with flowers and then put herbs in my old double wash basin.

 Something I've been wanting to do for well over a year now.  Love it when it all comes together. 

But before we made it home we hit Ulta.  My girl Alicia has been giving me great ideas with her Happy Day Projects.  Have you been over there yet?  I'm a little slow linking up.  This post counts as two of her challenges...but I figure it's better late than never.  A few weeks ago she challenged us to try a red lipstick.  Now I personally think red is hard. 

This one is "leading lady" by Lorac.  Kind of love the name.  Do you pick a lipstick based on the name too?  Remember that line in The Holiday when Kate Winslet is having dinner with the old man and he helps her figure out that she's not the leading lady in her own life??  And it's a light bulb moment for her.  Love that scene and it made me buy the lipstick;)

My blog crush Kelle Hampton told me to get "Wine with Everything" by Loreal.  And since that girl knows her red lipstick I also ended up with it.  Have no idea why I need two red lipsticks, but that's how it went down.  It's growing on me.  I'm trying to be brave and just go for it.  Something about the red does make me happy.  So thanks Alicia for pushing me out of my comfort zone. I'm sorta loving the bold pop of color.  Even wore it to the gym the other day;)


So this week for Feed my Family Friday...the recipe comes from my friend Lenina.  Her family calls this winner winner chicken dinner and I can see why. 

It's super easy too. 

One roaster chicken. 
A bottle of Lawry's marinade. 
A bag of steamed vegetables.

Marinate your chicken with the Lawry's for approximately an hour.  Place in roaster with lid at 425 for 1 1/2 hours.  When there is about 10 minutes left, steam veggies in microwave, and then add to the chicken.  I also added some water in the bottom of the roast pan in the beginning, and midway added some chicken broth because it dried out.  When it's all done the chicken is coming off the bone it's so tender, and the veggies are tender and seasoned with the marinade.  YUMMY!!!

Okay you know the drill.  Link up and let's feed our families:)

Happy weekend friends.

582.  one that I wanted to keep;)

583.  feeling known again

584.  laughing hysterically with a giant sombrero on my head
585.  facebook for helping people remember my bday...ha!
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