Tag Archive | updates


This morning I got an email from Brooks, the running apparel brand.  It was a coupon for free shipping and the subject line read, “Happy Half-Birthday!”  It made me laugh because I’m basically the only person who thinks half birthdays are cool…possibly because mine falls on Valentines day, thus giving me something to celebrate other than a silly holiday fabricated by the greeting-card industry.  But I quickly stopped laughing when I realized that in two days I will officially be Thirty-And-A-Half which seems WAY older than just plain Thirty.

As you know, Mary-Hall and I took a one-month-and-a-few-days hiatus from blogging to recharge and renew not only our own love for blogging, but the face of the blog as well.  (We have a new “About” page in case you’re not sure what’s going on here, and a sleeker, cleaner look featuring a fancy-shmancy new header that Mary-Hall designed).  But that doesn’t mean we each laid about in bed eating bonbons or anything.  Nope.  We’ve both been busy, and I thought I’d let you in on some things that have gone down in the past 45 or so days of bloggy silence.

Keith and I were blessed to get to celebrate our 3rd anniversary a little early with a trip to Mexico at the beginning of January.  We stayed at the Aventura Spa Palace resort near CanCun, and thanks to a special scored through his Mom’s timeshare program, we did little else than rotate between the pool, the lagoon, and the actual spa.  We did leave the resort one day to visit Tulum, some ancient Mayan ruins, and had a blast there as well.  All in all, the trip was lovely.  (I even took a Yoga class while I was there…bringing the Yoga Class count up to two!!)


Panoramic View from my lounge chair one afternoon. Mmmm. Lovely


Keith and I cliffside at Tulum overlooking the beach!


Hanging out in the atrium…ready to go to dinner.


I may or may not or may have been chosen to participate in a “follow the leader” style party game at the resort-wide “Mexican Fiesta” night. Unfortunately the game involved the ability to count in Spanish and I came in second place. Sigh.

Also, as many of you know, I officially left my job as violinist for the Ronnie Freeman band this past December (more on that here) but I’d also started a new job as the personal assistant/violinist/road-manager for author/speaker/singer Kelly Minter this past August, and life in Kelly-world has been busy and wonderful!  Travel season for us started the last weekend of January, and since then we’ve been to Louisville Kentucky, Birmingham Alabama, and Ruston Louisiana.  this weekend we’re off to Bellingham….just about 2 hours north of Seattle, Washington.  Our weekends are cram-packed and fast-paced, but I love my job and I’m thankful to be able to support a gal as awesome as Kelly!  Two weekends ago in Birmingham, I was excited to not only have my friends Leslie and Sophie stop by (and bring me yummy yummy cake!) but my mom (know to you blog-followers and commenters as “Momma Daniel”) was able to come stay with me and attend the event Kelly was speaking at.  It was so great to have her there!


“Momma Daniel” and me. So thankful for her support and love!


Did I mention the weekend involved a food-packaging service project that involved hairnets? Sadly, the only photo I have with my boss. We need to change that. Stat.

Other notable things that have happened in the past month:

*Keith had a birthday.  Sadly, we did not get to travel this year.  But we did play skee-ball and 4-person air hockey with our friends John and Hannah.  Not the same kind of awesome, but still awesome all the same.

*The squirrels returned to our attic warranting an emergency call to our favorite carpenter and entire new soffett on one side of the house.

*1/2 Marathon training has begun yet again.

*I’ve lost another pound.  Total weight loss since Jan 1, 2012 = 18.8 pounds.

*I took a cooking class…finally……a really real one.  But that’s a whole ‘nother post.


One Month To Go…..

Today is July 14th which means my birthday is exactly ONE MONTH AWAY!  How did this happen?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I got an email from Mary-Hall saying, “hey…I have this idea….”  I thought I’d take a slightly different approach to this update post as you’ve now seen the same format on a few different occasions and I’d like to keep things fresh.  I’ve taken my list from the B’s List page and pasted it here, but in four different chunks.  Chunk 1 consists of things that I checked off a long time ago.  The links are there so you can refresh your memory if you like!  Chunk 2 consists of things that I’ve accomplished since the last update post when I had 3 months to go!  Chunk 3 consists of things I’ve made progress on, but not completed, and Chunk 4….well, let’s just say I wish there wasn’t a Chunk 4.  I’m not sure how I’ll get to all that in the next few weeks.  And of course, I give you overall stats along the way.  Who doesn’t like stats!?

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Eggplant Parmesan with a side of Swoopy Bangs

June 18th was a big day.  Not only did I finish another book, but I tasted a new food.  And checked off an item that wasn’t even on my list, but in retrospect probably should have been.

Hubs and I made a last-minute trip to South Carolina on Sunday to see his family and while we were there, we cashed in a gift card to Travinia Italian Kitchen we’d received as a Christmas present.  The food was amazing, and I decided to seize the day and order Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant Parm from Travinia. Yummy!

Why was this a big deal?  Because I’ve never tasted eggplant before.  And because I don’t really like red sauces.  Read More…

Blueberry Scones

Last Saturday, I volunteered to make 3 dozen scones for a women’s ministry tea at church..  I had never made blueberry scones before, but for some reason, I failed to see that as an important detail and volunteered anyway.  After some internet searching for blueberry scone recipes, I found this one, and except for human error on my part (like forgetting to add the butter to an entire batch), they were A-MAZING.  I can’t be certain its the actual Starbucks recipe since I just stumbled across it on some random website, but I will say they were super yummy and well worth trying.  As always, I’ve listed the recipe here including the small tweaks that I made….and I have some lovely photos of different phases of the baking process.  And to whet your appetite, here’s a spoiler photo of the finished product!

Yummy blueberry scones on a pretty platter…and headed to the tea!

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The Decaf Life: Round Two

So, as you all know, my last attempt at seven straight days of decaffination was almost successful, until I caved to the siren-like call of a cup of hot sipping chocolate.  Which was totally worth it.

While in general, I try not to be a legalist, I felt like this was an instance where I needed to stick to it.  So I went for it again….7 more days of no caffeine.  No Coke.  No chocolate.  No coffee (except a few cups of decaf when i was craving it.)  And I’m proud to say that yesterday, I completed it with success!  So, I’ve officially crossed

11. Go caffeine-free for 7 days straight

off my list.  And I’m having a cup of coffee to celebrate.  It’s how I roll.

Also, because if I ended it here,  this is the shortest blog post I’ll ever write, I’ll leave you with a few teasers of what’s up in my life that will certainly birth blogs to come…..

*I’m ALMOST finally caught up on my Bible reading. Right now I’m camped out in Jeremiah.

*My sprint-triathlon is a mere 11 days away.  What?  #Pleasedon’tletmedrown,pleasedon’tletmedrown

*I baked something new last weekend.  And I’m cooking dinner tonight.

*I un-earthed MY England/Scotland trip photo album.  Get ready for some further high-school fashion highlights.

*I’m exactly halfway through two books at the moment.  And they couldn’t be more different from one another.

*I’m still practicing thankfulness.  And its taking shape into something you probably wouldn’t have thought of.  (I wouldn’t have, but my husband is really cool, and he thought of it.)

*I’ve spent lots of time with some amazing Compassion students the past few days and it reminded me of a really awesome post that I’ve been working on for a while now….time to buckle down and finish….

*I realized I’ve never tasted egg plant…….

What do you guys want to hear about first?  Let me know!

Staying on Schedule

Schools are out or almost out.  The month of May is about to bid us farewell.  The weather in Nashville has become unbearably hot.  All these things point to the rapid approach of our birthdays and there’s lots left to be done.  So I decided this past Sunday night to prepare to cross off several list items by crossing off a list item:

26. Create a daily schedule

I don’t work an 8-5.  I’m either out on the road, or I’m home; and when I’m home, I sometimes have trouble managing my time.  Read More…

Keeping My Head Above Water

Yesterday, we took 5 Kenyan Compassion LDP students to a friend’s house on the water for a fun lake day.  It was awesome to watch them float around in their life vests, get brave enough to do flips off the dock, and try their hand at tubing and riding the jet-ski.  It was an amazing day to relax, hear more about their stories and enjoy time together.  And did I mention we were on a lake?  Yeah, you know where this is going.

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