Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dear Special Person

Dear Special Person Who Insists on Driving Like a Douche-y McDoucherson:

I understand that there are many important things in your life that may distract you from operating your vehicle. Your need to text, drink coffee, apply lip gloss and blow your nose simultaneously while navigating the Baltimore streets driving with your elbows definitely top the list of course.

My only request...

(it really is just a small one)



The Person Desperately Trying to Resist Giving You The Finger While Riding Your Bumper

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Do you feel like it?

One of the things God has been teaching me lately is what role my emotions do and do not play in my life. Now, being female of course my emotions are a huge part of who I am. Yes, I'm the one who tears up at especially poignant Hallmark commercials, movies (did anyone else bawl like a baby through PS I Love You?) and even songs. But when it comes to my day-to-day life and decision-making, how much should I be letting how I "feel" guide me?

What has really been driven home to me lately is that there are many things in my life that I have to CHOOSE to do, despite what I feel. I know this is a sign of being a fully-functioning adult (i.e. I don't feel like working today, yet here I am at work), but in my personal life and relationship with God it's a bit of a revelation for me.

One thing I have been consistently taught (and I thank my Mom for this) is that when life doesn't make sense and tragedy strikes the way you get through is to focus on what you KNOW to be true about God. Not what you feel, because if you tap into those feelings and blame God, focusing on anger and frustration and sorrow, you'll just become more bogged down and hopeless.

As many of you already know, my good friends Jenny and Andy recently lost their little girl Olivia Hope. She was born with Trisonomy 13 and passed away a few days later. It is an absolutely heartbreaking situation that brings me to tears every time I think about them and lift them up in prayer. It isn't fair, it doesn't seem right and my friends are in such pain now trying to move forward and grieve for their little girl. It would be so easy for me to slide into blaming God for her death, tapping into that deep well of sorrow and emotions that spin out of control...

But what do I know to be true about God? I know all things work together for good for those who love Him. I know He will never leave us or forsake us. I know He has a plan for each child of His. And I know that Olivia is now in His arms for eternity and we will see her again someday.

These truths are what I focus on...and so I CHOOSE to praise Him every day. Whether I "feel" like it or not. I know the truth about my heavenly Father and that alone is deserving of my praise...even when tragedy strikes and the circumstances of this world don't seem to make sense.

Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your glorious name
You give and take away...You give and take away
My heart will CHOOSE to say: Lord, blessed be your name

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Should I really be complaining or will you all hate me?

Ok, so it wasn't really a new year's it a re-commitment in my constant goal to lead a healthier life, but I have started working out regularly these past few months as well as trying to eat a more balanced diet and watch my portions. Nothing uber-intense, but all in all a healthier way of life. I've lost weight, but to be honest that wasn't really the goal. I was ok with my self-esteem as far as how much I weighed, but was more concerned about being healthy.

So I've lost a chunk (ha ha) of weight, I have about 60 lbs to go to reach my ultimate goal...I started at needing to lose between 70-75 and whether I do reach that 60 lbs lost mark or not is fine, I just want my BMI to be healthy and to have more energy. I don't want to obsess on what the scale tells me, I want to feel good and know that I'm living a healthy life.


I didn't really mean to barf my personal weight loss and health goals out on this blog, but oh well. It feeds directly into my weird blend of annoyance and happiness at the moment.

I have been in desperate need of new business attire for awhile - I've been scrimping by on what I have, but really need to update my closet with more choices rather than constantly adding to my college-level t-shirt collection (although it does ROCK). So knowing what size I am, I started doing some online shopping since I rarely have time during the week to shop like a real person. I found 3 tops I loved and thought would work well for work and could also be dressed down with jeans or capris...

...or so I thought.

They arrived today...and literally HUNG on me! It was shocking to me. I know I've been losing weight - the tape measure and scale rarely lie, but I didn't believe it until I put on a shirt in my old size and realized I could fit a good 20 pounds around my middle under it. The super annoying part of it is of course that I was looking forward to wearing new clothes this week and instead have to return all 3 tops.


But elated?

What can I say, I'm female. Some shopping with the best shopping buddy in the world is on for this lucky am I to have a fiance who loves shopping and actually has fantastic opinions about clothing?

Ok you can all throw things at me now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring = Iced Mochas

I was reminded of my fascinatingly obsessive love of iced coffee drinks (mochas specifically) this week when I went on a grocery run with Kate. We headed to Safeway near Arundel Mills and they oh-so-thoughtfully include a Starbucks inside the store...danger!

It was almost 70 degrees, I was bustin out capri pants for the first time this year and there it was...the iced mocha. Yummmm...

I was somehow able to resist the temptation - probably because I was distracted by the absolute lack of personality being displayed by our cashier - and left the store with a vague yen for iced coffee.

The problem with getting an iced mocha at Starbucks is that it just isn't good enough. I know where to get the best iced mochas and they are a good 13 hour drive from here...this fantastic little coffeehouse in Fort Wayne, IN called "Old Crown". I could sit there and drink their iced mochas non-stop all day...and of course become violently ill that evening...but it would be worth it!

Oh iced mocha, how I love thee...and wish I could find a decent replacement for the fantastic versions of you I drank religiously at Old Crown!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Many of you know my friend Jen Fretz, but for those of you who don't - her blog is here: Her baby girl, Olivia Hope was just born yesterday and we're all praying for the family, as there are major health concerns for her. So far Mom and Baby are doing just fine, but the birth was a harrowing one (you can read more about it on Jen's blog).

As I was driving to work this morning, praying for them a song came on the radio that really resonated with me, gave me chills and damp eyes as I lifted them up in prayer. The chorus goes like this:

I'll be by your side, wherever you fall
In the dead of night, whenever you call
And please don't fight these hands that are holding you...
My hands are holding you.

Please pray with me as little Olivia Hope struggles to cope with this world and pray for their entire family as there are many big decisions about her care looming on the horizon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Missing You...

This past weekend was an incredible rollercoaster of ups and downs emotionally and physically. Aaron was in town, which is always fantastic and Mom is also here. I'm so blessed that they get along so well - both of us really lucked out with our future "in-laws"!

Saturday (as you can see in the post below), I went shopping with Mom, Meghan and Susan for my wedding gown and we found a fantastic one, had a wonderful time doing it!

Then Sunday came...I had hardly any sleep on Saturday night, tossing and turning, my brain full and my ears refusing to block out any extra sounds. Not a fun night. When I don't get sleep I tend to start feeling really overwhelmed and emotional and sure enough...Sunday I was uber-emotional. Un-fun.

I am so thankful for having my mom, Aaron and Kate around who so graciously put up with my incomprehensible blubbering, near-projectile puking and constant worrying and always seem to know what to say to calm me down.

There were a few "real" reasons I was upset hiding underneath that dense blanket of exhaustion-induced tears...and one of them is a simple one...I miss my friends! Of course I do have friends here, great ones in fact, but I miss the awesome friends I made out in Indiana who were like my close little dysfuctional family. We were (and probably still are) outrageously comfortable with and dependent on each other...I miss that family-style level of comfort we all have together - that familiarity that allowed us to just walk in each others' houses, flop down on the couch and hang out talking or watching TV while bickering about what to have for dinner. Those friends, that family, ties in so closely to my feeling of being settled and being "at home" - something I didn't realize until I moved away from all of them.

I love living with Kate and Andrew in their home. They have been so incredibly generous to me and I am dreading saying goodbye when I move to Salisbury...even though I'm looking forward to living there too! Still, they're my family and I love them so much and that house they've made into such a great home. But...I've always known that my staying there is temporary. Not a bad thing at all - but that knowledge is one of the factors that has kept me from feeling completely settled here. I know I'll be moving on yet again, saying goodbyes yet again and leaving another sister behind as I cry my way to yet another "home" while driving a moving van. It hurts my heart a little more as my official move out date gets closer and closer.

Doing all of this wedding planning and fun things like trying on gowns, trying to come up with favors that will be fun yet affordable and laughing myself sick at the atrocious dresses some brides force their attendants to wear...all of this would be a flobbity-jillion percent more fun with both of my sisters (Molly is out in Indiana still), Ruthie, Aimee, Matty, Josh, Amber, Mary...and everyone else I love who I live states away from now. It's hard not to dwell on that ache in my heart that creeps into my throat and draws tears to my eyes every time I think about those family.

I miss you so much.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hooray for Wedding Dresses!

Ok, I don't know about the rest of you "brides" out there, but I was kind of nervous about trying on dresses. It takes me forever to find regular clothes that I love, much less formal wear, so I was skeptical about finding one with a great neckline, enough *ahem* room for the "girls" and still made me look pretty while being comfy...not too much to ask right?

The short answer is that it was a fantastic experience! I tried on 5 dresses and loved 3 of them completely...finally made a decision on the 3rd one I tried on. I would post it on here, but I don't want Aaron to see it until the wedding...but here's the runner up"

If you want to see my actual dress, let me know and I can email you a picture all secret-like!

The best part about the appointment besides looking great in almost every dress I tried on was that my mom was in town to do this with me. It was a fantastic and tear-jerking afternoon for my awesome friend Meghan and her mom came with us for a great time!

So excited about my dress - thanks for all the happy wishes thought my way yesterday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Maybe Vegans Aren't So Crazy (and other groundbreaking concepts)

Today I had a cupcake.

Not just any cupcake.

A good...



No I'm not exaggerating. Jeez.

It was the best cupcake I have ever had. My friend Jan Marie made them for the school bake sale and I was lucky enough to get one of them...and then crave 300 of them, only to be met with an empty plate after rushing back to the bake sale table for more and begrudgingly accepting an inferior dessert option in replacement.

The most shocking detail about said glorious cupcake? IT WAS 100% VEGAN! It was an amazing chocolate cupcake filled with a light and fluffily creamy mousse made with TOFU of all things (ack), topped with a similarly constructed piped-on frosting/chocolate ganoche.




Wonder of wonders, the best dessert I've had in over a decade was vegan. Aimee would be so proud.

And now another groundbreaking truth (since I promised): I am the stealth ninja of Baltimore city detours.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Forgiveness and the Something of a Lighter Fare...

One of the things I've had a hard time with since I was a little kid is forgiveness. Forgiving others, forgiving myself and moving on...not so easy for me! As I've gotten older I'd like to say it's gotten easier...but that would mostly be a lie...mostly!

I find it the most difficult to forgive others for hurting those I love. Nevermind how someone hurts me, its when they hurt the ones closest to that I find their actions "unforgivable".

Still, God tells us that we are to forgive those who "sin against us", and I assume those who sin against the ones we love are a part of that grouping...sigh...why can't forgiveness come easier to me?

Something to mull over obsessively for awhile until God reveals yet another one of my fabulous "flaws" to me...

In other (and decidedly more upbeat) news: Mom is in town...woohooo! I haven't seen her since Christmas and it's so great to have her around for two whole weeks. During this visit she's having a great time bonding with her brand new granddaughter AND we get to do some fantastic wedding try on dresses this weekend! I can't wait - I finally feel 100% like myself again and I can actually be excited about all the awesome stuff we get to do to get ready for the upcoming wedding.

Any suggestions on wedding dress styles? I was thinking of one like this:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The JOY of the Lord is my Strength

I thought I'd take a quick minute and post about what God has really been teaching me this week. For the past month or two I've really just been focused on clinging to Him for strength and wisdom and I fought to keep my head above water battling these medication symptoms. I felt almost like a new believer in a way, as I renewed my relationship with Him and got back into the "fundamentals" of Christianity.

This week has been interesting...very busy at work and at home, but God has been revealing a specific truth to me through His words in Nehemiah 8:10(b) - "The joy of the Lord is your strength."

I've been extremely humbled and really brought back to the bare foundations of myself and my faith these past few months and now I feel completely renewed - like God is reaching out to build me up anew. This verse just has been running non stop through my head lately and what I take away from it is that there is so much to rejoice in! I don't need to constantly focus on the struggles and heartaches, God wants me to take joy in His creation, the people He brings into my life every day and the thousands of blessings He reveals to me daily! Being a child of God IS joy - even through the dark times...I can always rejoice in His strength.

What a week!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Holy Heck Yeah!

So this weekend was pretty fantastic as far as weekends go. My doctor's appointment this week went really well, I LOVE my doctor and I'm officially off the insanity-inducing medication as of this past Thursday. Things have started to even out in my brain and I'm starting to slowly feel more like myself again...hooray because I like myself!

Aaron's 30th birthday was on Sunday, so this weekend was "birthday weekend", we celebrated pretty low-key, but I cooked a fantastical meal on Saturday for all of us and am freakishly proud of the acclaim it received. If anyone wants the recipe for the easiest and tastiest pot roast dinner in the world, let me know and I'll post it. Plus I am in love with Food Network Magazine because they do these "copycat" recipes and the latest one was for Applebees' Maple Butter Blondies...which are one of Aaron's favorite desserts - so rock on birthday dessert!

Since he was turning a very grown up age (HAH!) I thought it appropriate to get him an age-appropriate gift...yeah...this amazing Lego set he's been wanting. It's Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Waters and he put it together right away.

I think one of my favorite parts of the weekend was FINALLY being able to go to church! With the blizzards, traveling and new baby at home I just haven't been able to make it to church in about a month and I have to say the service on Sunday definitely made up for it! Aaron led some of the worship and I know I'm biased but I'm pretty sure he's the best worship leader in the entire world. Heck yeah! Some of the songs just gave me goosebumps, God is amazing. Plus the message was focusing on praising God for all he's done for ORBC (Oak Ridge Baptist Church - Salisbury, MD) over the past decade and what the church plans on doing in the future. God is at work for sure and the future of our church is going to be incredible!

We also got almost all of our "save the date" postcards ready to mail, so you all will be seeing those soon! I'm crossing my fingers for another couple snow days this week - Baltimore got gypped last week!