Friday, December 23, 2011

Graduation Day

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!

Dear face, in a sea of black

Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.

 Walking up the aisle, at long, long last 

Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!

Michael J. DeCarlo, Bachelor of Science in Applied Statistics

  For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
...yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

Dear Dr. Sinha, Mike's adviser and mentor

There did we rejoice in him,
who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves.

Proud, proud in-laws

Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

Fiercely supportive and joyous parents

All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.

To see my love in his cap and gown, to know we're done...

Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.

Heart full.

I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will perform my vows to you,
that which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.

We are so grateful!!!!!!!

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!

(excerpts of Psalm 66)

Monday, December 19, 2011

today..... mike's last final!  starting in 61 minutes, actually!  i woke up thinking it was his birthday, because my sleepy brain couldn't differentiate between the happy occasions.  hurray for graduation!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

psalm 63

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

(Psalm 63 ESV)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Last Day

Today's my last day of regular classes!! I'm so excited to be finished with class attendances and get at those final final exams!! One of my professors even is giving us a take home final and he sent it out last night!! So I can get a head start today.

Firstly, though, I want to say if it wasn't for God carrying me through and providing for me I wouldn't be graduating. If it had been left entirely to me I would have given up a long while ago, but instead God gave me strength and perseverance to get to this point. I'm so grateful for His faithful provision for me. God gave me the ability to work and subsidize my expenses for many years working at Starbucks, He gave me parents who are extremely generous and allowed me to live with them well into my 20's also providing food, and He brought me to meet my wife, Kati, who has been faithfully working her butt off for years as an accountant allowing us to live well even while I haven't been working in order to finish my degree. Additionally, God has provided more than my simple material needs, but has provided emotional and spiritual support through friendships, encouragement and lots of pray from many many people.

I'm grateful to God and to each one of you who has prayed for me, been there with me cheer me onward, taught me not to give up and not to slack off - I'm so grateful for each of you, and yes I do mean "you" specifically!! Nine days until I walk! /grateful


Monday, December 5, 2011

2 weeks, 2 days.....

......til he graduates!  we are thanking God, and counting down each class period.  :-p  i can't believe it's finally here - mike has been such an example of perseverance, diligence, and wisdom in pursuing his degree, especially in the last year as he's added a wedding and a wife to his plate.  he's my hero, and i'm so, so proud of him......i can't wait to cheer for him as his name is called!!!!!!!

and yesterday we hit the 6 month mark of our marriage - i can't believe how much better i know mike now than i did when we got married.  i knew i would love him more as our marriage progressed, but hadn't realized how (relatively) little i knew him.  i love you, baby, and i look forward to learning more and more about you as the years pass - thank you so much for marrying me!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

fake or real??

that's the question for a new household, as we intently discuss the christmas traditions that we can even now form......mike and i shared with each other the sweet traditions we each had growing up, and tucked away ideas for the munchkins we'll (hopefully) one day have. 

but from this discussion, an important question we get a fake christmas tree - so much easier and economical - or do we go for a real one?  my family for years would drive to a tree farm (stopping at a 7-11 along the way for the necessary hot chocolate), to cut down our own my desire for a real tree was strong. 

but.........practicality is stronger when you're the "adults" in the family.  the discussion went back and forth (with the idea of a pine-scented febreeze plug-in being added as an accessory to the fake-tree idea) until last week when i saw trees at costco.  i ran over to sniff them and beckoned to mike to take a whiff - apparently, making such a commotion that a friendly costco employee came over to offer to help us.  he seemed to feel even more strongly than i did that we should get a real tree!

so my sweet husband said that we could get a wee little "real" tree this year - we're not officially a "real" tree family yet, but i can't wait to have our apartment smelling christmas'y!!!  here it is:

just kidding!  ;-)  i'll post a real picture once we get our tree - i'm hoping to get the fattest little guy they have!!!!  i love fat trees.

Monday, November 28, 2011

cyber monday tools

thanks to my awesome sister-in-law, michelle, i am now passing onto you two great tools for surfing cyber monday deas:

ebates- open other websites from ebates page, and you receive back a percentage of however much you spend on that site. 

for instance, we're ordering from sears this year - let's say we're going to spend $100.  so by opening the link on ebates's page to place our order, ebates will mail us a check of 10% x $100 = $10.  just by clicking through ebates' page! 

the percentage reward varies by site, and the checks get mailed ~3 months.  you don't need to request the check, they'll just send you an email letting you know it's on its way.

if you know me, and don't mind the extra step, let me know you want to join and i'll send you an invitation - i get free points for referrals!

secondly, retail me not....because we all need a good coupon-codes site during the holidays!  we're shaving off other savings from here, too.

happy shopping!!!

2.5 More Weeks!

Starting back at school again for the last time after Thanksgiving Vacation!

I've been chipping away, sometimes more slowly than others, at my Undergraduate degree for the last 10 years. During that time I was able to grow and mature and really learn what best suited and interested me in pursuing various educational career paths. I finally was brought to Statistics by a great professor, Mr. Jacobs, in 2007 and have been working at my Stat degree ever since.

Now, in December (technically it's still November) I have only 2.5 more weeks of classes before finals in order to completely finish my BS in Applied Statistics!! Kati and I are super (uber) excited!! I really cannot wait to be graduated and finally getting started on a career!! :D

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

other peoples' words

a friend shared the quote below on twitter today, and i wanted to pass it along:

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows but only empties today of its strength."
~Charles Spurgeon

and a favorite verse:

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"
~ Matthew 6:25-27

grateful for these words, and seeking to increase my trust in God for all the silly or not-so-silly things that tempt me to anxiety. 

grateful, so grateful, for a God who hears every prayer i pray.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Vaca!

This week is Thanksgiving week and is full of excitement, adventures, and busy-ness for us! We are kind of doing and "interrupted" vacation this year with Kati's family! We were with them over the weekend (saturday afternoon to sunday evening), but had to return home to attend a few classes and put in a couple more days of work.

Today, while Kati is working, I am at school, adding an extra class to my monday in order to have less on tuesday, and then headed to frederick after for my one week eye check up! Then back down to bethesda to pick up my Kati!! But! Our busy monday is only just getting started then, cus we are headed out to arlington briefly before actually coming home and settling down for the evening.

Tuesday is looking less busy, but could potentially be some running around too! Both our cars needing oil changes, I am hoping I can drive them back and forth to get that done before picking Kati up again in the afternoon! Then our punctuated adventures resume somewhat as we gear up for the exciting tuesday night travels!! Eli Black offered to let us drive his sportscar back out to the vacation house, which is incredibly generous! If our chubby cooler fits we'll be picking that up and then driving it to UMBC for my tuesday night statistics course (it's a very stubborn course that wouldn't get cancelled unfortunately) and then from there (starting at 10pm) we'll hit the road again!!

All this waiting and being responsible is only fueling our excitement and anticipation of the rest fo the Thanksgiving week!! We will have good times with our beloved families eating delicious food and relaxing!! We are so excited!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

picture evidence ;-)

here are the pictures - a gorgeous wedding!!  congratulations, andrew and suzanna, we love you both!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


i have pictures that i need to post but haven't had time to upload them.  but.....suzanna is now mrs. suzanna henry decarlo!  so very happy for both of them!!

and, hopefully, photographic proof to follow....someday.  :-p

Friday, November 4, 2011

happy times!

happy friday!  in 8 days, andrew marries his suzanna - so very, very excited for them!!!!  we love you guys, can't wait to be at your wedding!!

Monday, October 31, 2011


ever heard of awkward turtle?  no?  PLEASE ask me to demonstrate the next time you see me!  it's a hand motion you use in awkward moments, to emphasize the awkwardness (or just to cope with the awkward, depending on your personality type).

i used the phrase this morning in an email to my love, and he returned with the phrase "awkward balloon."  and i was much struck!  balloons are inherently awkward little beings, bumping into things, no concern for havoc they may cause.  why has their awkwardness not been highlighted more often??

the genius of the man i've married.  no wonder i love him.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

jellybeans no more!

i've stopped being a jellybean eater.  i KNOW.  :'(  in between increased budgeting emphasis, and focusing on eating healthy / working out.....the jellybeans have become an infrequent luxury.

don't get me wrong - i still dream of them, and hope for them, and they will be on my christmas list. longer a part of daily life.

and now, this is me shamelessly taking shakespeare out of context to express my resolve concerning jellybeans:

"Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
...To one thing constant never:
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny..."
~ Shakespeare, "Much Ado About Nothing"

the little things

mike does so many little things to serve constantly, that they can easily be taken for granted, or missed in life's crazy shuffle.  one in particular is standing out to me this morning - he drives me to work every single morning.  i don't think he's let me take the bus into work once since we've gotten married!  some days, due to class schedules, etc., i need to bus home......but never once on the way in.

my husband loves sleeping in, yet uncomplainingly gets up at my insane hours to drive me.....even at times arguing for the "right" to serve me and protect me in this way.

you're amazing, my love.  thank you for your servant's heart towards me!

Friday, October 21, 2011


(photo credit: jackie!)

we're going on a cruise to "nowhere" tomorrow - the ship sails out into the ocean for a day, and then turns around and comes right back!  the appeal is that it is over the weekend, so you don't have to take vacation days to go.

mike and i have neither been on a cruise before, so we are SOO excited!!!!!  especially sweet because, coincidentally, it is the year anniversary of our engagement!  and for different reasons (midterms, work challenges, random extra splashes of physical/emotional tiredness), we are grateful for the timing of being away together this weekend.  i think i must be the luckiest girl in the whole world, to get to be married to my mike.  i literally thank God for you constantly, my love.

but!  we haven't left yet, so these verses are encouraging me today, as different things are tempting me to impatience and frustration:

"...forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, i press on toward the goal...our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself."
~philippians 3:13,20-21


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

it reads minds???

my brother shared this site with us today, and it's pretty think of a person (real or imaginary), and it asks you questions, and then tells you who it is.  it's completely accurate....give it a shot!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

COW DAY!!!!!!

it's finally, we get our cow!!!  mike is picking up our portion during the day, so when i get home, i'll find a freezer full of red meat!!!!!  can't wait to start working with it!

Friday, October 7, 2011

church retreat!

we're going on our second annual retreat with our church this weekend - soooo excited!  especially so because we know our community group better now than we did last february, and getting extended time with them just sounds soooo blissful.

sometimes, your church small group is hard to knit into.....sometimes it's good fellowship while you're there, but takes a bit of work......sometimes you build into it over time and experience sweet fellowship based on months/years of trust.  for us, this group has taken little effort to build with - a huge blessing given our commute from silver spring!  i've gone from dreading the weeknight drive out, to looking forward to getting to see these people....even knowing the tired thursday that will follow!  they are just that wonderful.

we love you guys!!!  so, so looking forward to spending a chunk of the weekend with you!!!

picture from our wedding reception, with laura's almost-perfect photoshop of david and casey!  ;-)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hide and Seek in Historic Ellicott

The other night (Monday) Kati and I went to explore Historic Ellicott City! It was fun! We found a brewery to eat at and tried a sampling of their beers! We had Firecracker (hoppy IPA style), Pumpkin, Dunkel (german style dark), and an australian style beer! They were all decent, my favorite was the aussie beer and I think Kati like the aussie and the firecracker the best! We ate ribs and hung out!!

We had planned to go to the coffee shop, but time was short and we were anxious to get home, so we are hoping to return on a Saturday for the coffee and when the town is more lively!! :D

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Date Nights

This week I got the unusual sweetness of having 2 date nights with my Kati! This is especially wonderful this semester for us because, two night of the week I can't even be home with her since I have 2 evening classes that are required in order to graduate in December. While it is tough, a situation like this highlights the time we do get together and makes us both really hold onto the enjoyment of date nights!

So, back to the origin of this post, we got to have 2 date nights this week because it was the last Wednesday of the month last night, when most Wednesdays we would have church small group, this last Wednesday is free!!

But let me back up a little bit! The first date night was Monday night! We agreed, since TV shows can be somewhat of a vice for me to watch episode after episode in succession, to cut out TV shows from our Monday night dates!! This turned out to be a most fantastic idea!! Kati made an amazing dinner using steaks we had been saving, mushrooms in a soy sauce based sauce, and risotto!! It was delicious and paired really well with some red wine! After that we hung out and chatted and told each other our thoughts and perspectives, which is always enjoyable! We ended the night starting a game of Scrabble, which is a different activity and an opportunity to be sweetly competitive and yet build each other up!! We both really had a great time!! Date number 1!!

Coming away from that experience, Tuesday and Wednesday days were spent anticipating our second date night of the week!! We had several plans of what we wanted and needed to do with our evening!! Finally, when the time came to pick Kati up from work we were just so full of excitement to get more time together!! We got home and Kati started making dinner - I pitched in by chopping things with a very big, very sharp knife (fun!)!!! She made oven "fried" chicken and it turned out so perfectly crispy and delicious!! We had sweet potatoes lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, oil and Kati's personal touch of cinnamon which makes the dish, and some crispy green beans with onions and butter!! We paired a white wine with this meal and it was complete!! It was wonderful!!! We ate on the balcony and just enjoyed one of the last warm evenings together!! The next part of date night was Kati giving me a much needed hair cut!! This was her first time cutting my hair so we were both holding our breath a little...she did an AMAZING job!!! It was a really sweet thing for her to cut my hair and soon after we realized it was storming outside so we went to sit on the balcony again and just enjoy the sounds of the rain and thunder!! It was a most delightful second date night!!!!

We both are heading toward this weekend feeling so refreshed and grateful for each other and thankful to God for bringing us together and allowing us the specific pleasure of having two date nights this week!! :D

Friday, September 23, 2011

what do you do when you're sick?

was sick yesterday, and today is gloomy.  so thought i'd share some of my favorite laugh-inspiring pics.....big laughs, people, it's friday!


and my all-time, so-immature favorite - let the giggles commence:

Monday, September 19, 2011

jackie's surprise party!

we threw a surprise party for jackie this past saturday at muv and dad's house - it was a blast!  in spite of me emailing the evite to jackie on thursday (i know, who does that???  thankfully, she didn't open the link!), she was surprised!

i took some pics of the party, but my phone ate them.  :-(  i'm especially sorry for this because they were shots of jackie with her favorite little guys (tyler, jack, and dylan!) who she babysits for, crowded around her as she open the gift from their family.....a redskins jersey!!!  and then the skins won yesterday, by the skin of their teeth - coincidence? i think not.

this pic is not from this weekend, or even this summer, but still a good one......happy birthday, jackie!!!!  you're an amazing blessing to those around you - i hope that this weekend reflected some of our gratefulness for you!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

whole foods on a budget

one of my favorite blogs.....whole foods on a budget.  very grate to christy for sharing her knowledge with newbies like me!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A typical Sunday?

Watching the skins game at Chevy's w our Jackie, with some flowers from a bridal shower I attended earlier today......just another Sunday in the Mr. and Mrs. Mike DeCarlo's world! ;-)

Friday, September 9, 2011

3 months!!

as mike mentioned in our last post, we celebrated being married three months this past weekend.  i really thought i'd be further along in writing thank you cards at this point.... :-p  but that isn't the point of this post!  mike is.

i am so happy with you, my love.  you are my best friend, who figures me out, comforts me just by your presence, confronts me when i'm sinning, and loves me regardless.  i don't deserve you, but i thank God constantly for letting me be yours.  i love you, michael joseph decarlo.  happy three months!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


So today is mine and Kati's three month anniversary of being married so we went adventuring! Our adventures took us to Northern Virginia to a vineyard called Paradise Springs where we had a tasting of their wines and got to gaze into each other's eyed! It was fantastic and I'm so happy to be in love with my wife!!

Along the way we nearly ended this guy's (or girl's cus we don't know its gender) life! *picture of Living Dead. Beacuse of its red eyes and the fact that it nearly was road kill we thought the name is fitting. We picked it up and decided Living was now our responsibility to care for.

Needing a habitat for Living we needed to make a trip to petsmart. Now, I had long ago promised Kati that we could own a pet fish! Without a doubt she remebered this promised and feeling guilty about it we also brought home this guy! *picture of Napalm. Because of his fiery color (the reason we liked him to begin) we named him Napalm! He had to have an eccentric name just like Living!

We brought them both home and are letting them get acclimated! Next we are off to Mogolian BBQ for dinner! We love adventures!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the first day, of the last days

i'm just being theatrical with that title! IS important - it's the first day of mike's last semester.

i'm so very proud of him, and just think he's amazing in how he's persevered through changing majors and dreams, "incomplete" advice from his adviser, and the days and days and days of mundane work to finish each class.

i love you so much, baby!!!!  i praise God for letting you get here, and honor you for your hard work!!  here's to the beginning of your last school chapter.....i'm so excited for you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

zombie engagement pictures

busy life right now!!  mike's wrapping up his booz allen internship, and i'm swimming in a sea of state tax returns.

as my highlight of the day, eli sent these engagement pics - a couple after mike's and my hearts!  i wish we'd thought of this!!!  ;-)  j/ grateful for mike's planning and our own engagement pictures, but aren't those fabulous????

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy 40th Anniversary to Mom and Pop!!!

mom and pop celebrated their 40th anniversary august 7th!!!!

any "deep" relationship takes work (duh, kati).  friendships, family.....we're familiar with the "get back up again" phase that comes when the rougher seasons hit.  and marriage - the closest of relationships, which the Bible defines as becoming one flesh - i'm just a marriage-rookie, so i don't want to sound presumptuous, or knowledgeable.......but i know my relationship with mike is already the hardest and most rewarding i've ever known.

and so, to see a couple that we respect mark their 40th anniversary is such happiness!!!!  we feel respect for the marriages around us that persevere, and pursue being in love with each other - we aim to do the same, and watching you gives us hope and excitement to follow you!

so we wish mom and pop a happy 40th anniversary!!!  it is such a huge marker, and testimony to God's grace, and an example to this baby marriage that's watching - thank you for loving each other, and for the mentoring you've already given to us!

a picture from the decarlo family brunch this past saturday, to celebrate mom and pop's anniversary, of some of the cousins:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Night at home!

A game of othello (mike's win this round!!!), some favorite beers, and a little flame!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

entering the deal-finding world

it is probably already obvious from this blog - i'm interested in all things money-saving these days!  our "wants" list is relatively short - owning a house, going on vacations together, having babies (though this week, i've started to propose to mike that we dote on our nieces/nephews forever and just travel the world!!!) - but adds up to thousands of dollars.  so our "savings" list is constantly being added to.

and may i say, it's a tricky business!  because as i look for ways to save us money, i also get convinced that we need this, or should do that.  admittedly, i'm a marketers dream - you show me a picture and write a description with exclamation points, and i'm sold!  there's a reason mike and i do all our shopping together!

but apart from that, i am finding that there are soooooooo many good deals out there, and trying to learn the art of saying no to a gorgeous deal if it isn't one that i'd originally set out to find.  any tips??

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

cow time!

we have a date for our cow!!!  well, 1/8 of a cow......we're set to go and pick our portion up october 18!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

we sang the song "o wondrous love" at redeemer on sunday......and i teleported back to driving through an intersection in annapolis 9-10 years ago, listening to this exact song and tearing up.  smells are usually what most strongly take people back to memories - i suppose because i have minimal sense of smell, it's songs rather than smells that can jerk me back to a very specific moment.

and it made me tear up again on sunday, to remember feeling overwhelmed by God's love all those years ago.  i'm tearing up again, rereading the lyrics - i understand better today than i did all those years ago, how undeserving i am of this love.  my hold HAS failed, and He has not let me go!

"O wondrous love that will not let me go
I cling to You with all my strength and soul
Yet if my hold should ever fail
This wondrous love will never let me go

"O wondrous love that’s come to dwell in me
Lord who am I that I should come to know
Your tender voice assuring me
This wondrous love will never let me go

"I’m resting in the everlasting arms
In the ever faithful heart
The Shepherd of my life
You’ll carry me on Your mighty wings of grace
Keeping me until the day
I look into Your eyes

"O wondrous love that sings of Calvary
The sweetest sound this sinner’s ever known
The song of Your redeeming Son
Whose wondrous love will never let me go

"O wondrous love that rushes over me
I can’t escape this river’s glorious flow
You overwhelm my days with good
Your wondrous love will never let me go."
(lyrics courtesy of sovereign grace ministries)

Monday, August 1, 2011

noms, please?

so, food has been on my mind a lot's always on my mind, actually.  but recently, there has been additional reason to dwell on the gift of eats!  mike is a wonderfully supportive husband and always building me up as i learn how to cook and meal-plan.....but i have often joked in the past two weeks that i would understand if the recent feasting would turn him discontent with my own cooking!

(please stop reading if you are a fellow food-lover, and don't have something to munch after these pics make you hungry....)

to start, mom decarlo makes the.most.amazing's fabulous!  i've been wanting to make it, but it takes a bit of planning, and i haven't quite gotten to it yet.  two weeks ago, mom emailed me the recipe, and i made the mistake of mentioning this to mike.  poor man, he thought that i would be making in the NEAR future, which i couldn't because we were gearing up to be gone a lot (time to eat left-overs!).  he understood, but it really made me sad to compare other dishes back to what we could be's chili!  something to look forward to!!!!

also, we went to the klears (jaime's parents') a little over a week ago, for a seafood feast!!!  unsurprisingly, i was too busy scarfing down all kinds of goodness to take any pictures......and in true klear fashion, they even sent us home with left overs!  it was phenomenal.  pics before the feasting:

and then the picture i took as we were pulling away, after i realized i hadn't snapped any of the fabulous nom'ing! 

and, ohhh my......went went to muv and dad's this past friday, to enjoy time with just them.  muv made a truly gourmet 4-course meal......i "helped" a wee bit, mostly chatting with her while she cooked.  we were all wow'd.....view these pics at your own risk of becoming ravenous!

Vicychoisse (a cold potato soup, with cream swirled on top, sprinkled with onion grass that mike and i contributed)....i don't remember having cold soup before, and i don't know that i would risk having it again if prepared by someone else - muv's was AMAZING.

tomato slices w mozzarella and fresh basil (we ran out and cut the basil from muv's garden a few minutes before dinner, truly fresh!)

grilled strip steaks, grilled potatoes & red onions (wrapped into a foil packet with an assortment of herbs from muv's garden, then grilled), and honey-seared green beans (my contribution to the meal!)

mint ice cream w chocolate shavings & whipped cream (whipped cream whipped was whipped by hand prior to dinner, and the chocolate was also shaved right before we sat down).

told you!  enough to make anyone feel starved!!!!  a fabulous meal.....muv, thank you for your work to design and prepare it for us!

lastly, we went to the wedding of our wonderful friends, barbara and eric, on saturday.  was such a fun affair! some shots of us before heading into the chapel (where, a few shorts weeks ago, we were ourselves married!!!):

Thursday, July 28, 2011


grateful, so grateful, for family!!!!!  we get to see both of our families so often, mike and i frequently comment that we must be the richest of people.  tomorrow night, we are hanging out with my with muv, enjoying the lushness of her garden and soaking up her kitchen-knowledge!

and THEN in "6 sleepies and a wake-up" (to use decarlo jargon!), we're leaving to go to the beach with the decarlo's!  gahhh!!!! it's huge self-control not to be already packing to leave!

i'm so glad that so much of our living is closely tied to our families.  :-D

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. ...So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:1-2,13

why is love given so much power?  why is it promoted?  i would have chalked up removing a mountain as being pretty fabulous.  

this chapter, 1 corinthians 13, is one of my favorite in the Bible.  not just because it is beautiful, or because love is a pleasant thought.....but because of the unexpected message.  why is a greater emphasis put on love than anything else?  than even great power and authority?  why love rather than great service, or huge sacrifice, or some fabulous deed?  these are nothing without love.

as this chapter defines love, i am rarely loving, towards anyone.  i don't even value love the way these verses do - i value action and achievement.  so i keep coming back to this chapter, and rereading it, and hoping and praying a little bit will stick.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

trouble, trouble, trouble!

one of the guys in our CG tweeted this story yesterday, and i just have to pass it on......trouble, arlington style!  ;-)  we love this city....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

They're huge!!!

While I seem to not be a good pet owner (moment of silence for all my goldfish), I do seem to have a green thumb!! Look at how huge my babies are!!!!

Beach trip, anyone??

full weekend - seems to be the only kind we know!  mike and i were joking yesterday about needing more holiday weekends......ones that we didn't know about ahead of time, so that we couldn't fill them!  ;-)  

started off the weekend going to suzanna for a hair-cut, as mike mentioned in a previous post!  i LOOOOVE it.....especially since mike loves it so much!!!  i love being beautiful to him. 

we had our annual beach trip with my siblings (which includes jaime) to OC!  we dove into devouring crabs, and practiced our miniature golf scores.....loved it!  the only downside was that we went on sunday this year, due to scheduling conflicts, so it felt like we'd barely gotten down there before we had to come back again.  one of the sweetest parts of the trip was having eli there - he's out of town almost all of july, so we're savoring all the time we get with him!