Monday, December 10, 2012

preacher's got a brand new blog!

Mornin', chickadees!

The new fledgling blog is born:

She is a work in progress, but will allow me to continue posting pictures (which Blogger will not unless I pay.)  This blog will, of course, remain here, because it gives such a window into my life in the past five years.

I invite you to come on over, sit down with some coffee and meet my new friendly blog.  I think you're going to love each other.


Sunday, December 09, 2012

Bear with me, y'all...I know it's been FOREVER since I've posted.  I have tons of fun pictures/stories from being home at Thanksgiving I was going to share, but Blogger says I've reached my photo limit.  Bah humbug!  I'm working on a new blogsite so I can keep my pictures a-comin'.  I'll share it with y'all soon.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

curl up and chat a spell

-The warm comfort of a fresh-from-the-dryer cardigan.

-Looking everywhere for my fluffy dog and discovering that he had curled up in the sleeping bag I had out to pack for this weekend's youth retreat.  I think he'd like to be a stowaway.

-A long chat with a good friend that got us all caught up on life and theology.  I have such wonderful friends.

Monday, November 12, 2012

let me try that again...

-A delightful day spent running errands around Raleigh with a couple of friends. The target stop and Mexican food for lunch were especially enjoyable.

-A tree so bright with fall colors, it almost looked on fire. Have I said I love this time of year??

-Tripping over my tongue during communion and having everyone laugh (including me) making it feel more like a usual family dinner, which of course it should.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

a little warmth goes a long way

-Uplifting graffiti on a bus stop in a nearby trailer park.

-A little girl wearing a crown with joy.  She made me think of my nieces.

-Going from a frosty morning into the warmth of my house.  I'm so grateful that I have a warm place to live, so many do not.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

just divine, darlin'

-An entire day spent at home, preparing keynote talks for a presbytery retreat and relaxing after working all weekend. I can't remember the last time I was home all day. It was heavenly. (I voted early, by the way.)

-Hearing from someone wishing to join the church.

-A new creative endeavor: I am now a weekly food columnist for the Sanford Herald, the local paper in a neighboring town. Each week I get to share favorite recipes. What fun this is!

(The online edition isn't free, but you can just pay $2 a day to view that day's paper. My article comes out on Wednesdays.

Monday, November 05, 2012

turning over a new leaf

-A day spent working hard for our Mission to Cameron and raking up people's yards. The team insisted on doing mine too, which was so thoughtful. What a giving church.

-Going to hear a little bluegrass at a charming local place and feeling brave for going solo when friends couldn't make it. It turns out that the man who works there remembers me and said, "We haven't seen you here in too long! I was going to have to send a search party after you." How nice to be remembered.

-Cheery bright morning sunlight shining through the windows.

Friday, November 02, 2012

my favorite time of year

Oh, chickadees!  I've been a bad blogger of late.  Let me fill you in on life in the last autumnally delightful weeks. 

I made the most of my usual days off (Friday and Saturday) by heading to Wilmington to hang out with my buddy Kevin and enjoy sand between my toes and great music in my ears.  It was such a relaxing time.  

The gig was at a wonderful outdoor venue and we heard the Tedeschi Truck Band.  Strange name, phenomenal folksy, bluesy music.  They've won a Grammy, by the way!

 The beach was delightful.

Hayden tagged along and got completely sandy but loved breathing in that salty air.  He was a bit befuddled walking in the waves, though.

 Downtown Wilmington is a charming place with Saturday markets...

 ...and a boat-lined boardwalk.

 These fellas actually look happy next to each other! :)

 This was a pub connected to an old laundromat, in which people had written amusing reasons for the washers to be out of order.  I believe this machine was out of order because of "rickets and communism."  Ha!

 I love me some old buildings.

 And old bugs.

And walls with my name on them!

 And art deco!  It was a lovely time.

Hayden was tuckered out and glad to be in his suitcase bed when we got home.

 I enjoyed drinking my coffee out of the sea-shaded pottery mug I picked up at the Cotton Exchange in Wilmington.

This was just a usual Wednesday afternoon in nearby Sanford, made sublime by the play of light through fall trees.

Last week, a few lovely ladies from church invited me to go visit the pottery shops in Seagrove.  What fun!  I can't post pictures of all my treasures there because, well, Santa was busy.  Don't want to spoil the fun.  It was a chilly, dreary day but each shop offered creative takes on traditional North Carolina pottery.  The weather and pottery both reminded me of Ireland.

This shop looked like something out of a fairy tale.  They had beautiful French-inspired things, and best of all...

 ...a warm fire!

 Here was a delightful moment spent enjoying yummy homemade chocolate chip cookies and tea.  Speaking of yummy, I've been cooking lots lately, y'all.
One of my pottery finds was an adorable little blue baking dish, made especially to bake Brie in.  I had a couple of elders from church over to work on our manual of operations, and we made it a delicious evening with this puff pastry-wrapped Brie.  I even let the leaves outside inspire me to decorate it a bit.

The next night brought more entertaining at home: for Halloween!  I invited my friends Gina and Ali over to eat yummy food, pass out candy to trick-or-treaters (we had several for little Cameron!) and watch a cheesy Halloween movie (Hocus Pocus).  Ali and I go to a cooking demonstration on Saturdays at a local specialty food store and last week, it was all about Halloween-inspired recipes.  Hence the spiderweb cake and snake filled with meats and cheeses.  Very little tricks were found, but plenty of treats!

This was the only little monster to be found.

So, all in all, life is good and filled with challenging, rewarding work and wonderful people.  Grace abounds.  I hope you're doing well!  What's your favorite thing about this time of year?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

sleepy & seeking

-A fiery and vibrant sunrise to wake up my sleepy self.

-Taking the afternoon off to make up for having worked so much lately and enjoying the decadence of sweat pants and a t-shirt, leisurely cooking and a nap.

-Playing hide-and-seek with youth in the church, which is exactly what I loved to play in church when I was a teenager.  Some things just never get old.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

opening windows

-Decking out my front porch for my favorite season, Fall. (Note Hayden waiting at the door.)

-The whirr of a boy riding his bike past my open window.

-Going to a Presbytery meeting and being overwhelmed by the friendships and connections that have been made in this place.  And seeing the talented Joanna, a seminary student and member of our church, go before Presbytery to become a Candidate in the ministry.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Once Upon a Time in Brady

Once upon a time, a Carolina-dwellin'-Texan-Gal donned her Lucchese boots and was magically transported to a land where zebras roamed beneath ancient cave drawings, a wedding took place in a backyard that rivaled an English garden and delighted children danced while consuming cupcakes and laughing with glee.  
Or to put it more simply, I spent last weekend in Tejas celebrating my cousin Lee's wedding with lots of family.  It all kicked off with a "Sangria Safari."  You heard that right.  We decked out the party room on the bluff overlooking the water for a fun soirĂ©e honoring the Lady Lee and, though there wasn't a Victrola wafting Mozart or Robert Redford washing our hair (what a shame), it was a party worthy of Isak Dinesen.   

Aunt K. putting the finishing touches on that scrumptious, slightly-sweet sangria.

Thirsty glasses.

Grandmother's lovely flowers.

(And divine caraway-cheddar crackers.)

We're clearly health nuts, y'all.

Aunt K.'s Mexican iced tea.

I promise I didn't drink a ton of sangria before making this "centerpiece."  Not my best work.  What, you've never seen a zebra with a flowered-feathered headdress??

I do believe that there tusk is real, y'all, but also real old (aka when that sort of thing was legal).  Don't focus on the poor elephant roaming with one tusk...look instead at those shabby chic burlap & lace wine bottles my Mamacita made.

Purple is Lee's favorite color.  It turns out purple m&m's really do taste better.

Getting the guest list started...

These beauties are now living on my mantle.  Love them!

And the party kicked off with great conversation...

...and relaxing vistas.

Cheetah woman!

Did I mention how good the purple m&m's were?

Or the sangria?
This is the life.

I resisted every urge to whisk this fabulously-painted chair away as a "carry on" for my flight back to NC.

The wedding festivities were beautiful, with a golden-sunset-and-candlelit-rehearsal-dinner and a wedding full of laughter and joy.  Lee and Luis looks so happy!  Then it was time to celebrate!

Meet the Queen of Celebration, y'all.  Lady 'Livia.  She even has the wave down.

Lovely centerpieces with wildflowers and candles.

A bit of a grainy photo, but this was adorable.  Nat and Gigi laid on the floor to watch Lee and Luis have their first dance and then they ran over to us jumping up and down and shouting, "I'm going to get married!  And wear flowers in my hair!  And DANCE!"  Precious.
My sista and me.

The next morning, after catching up with lots of family over breakfast in the hotel, it was playtime with the girls as we got things packed up.  The luggage rack proved the most entertaining.

What a delightful time!