Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I miss her!!

Kati has been out for the evening because she serves our church on the finance team and they were having a meeting tonight. Let me tell you, life is just never as good as it is when she is around! Having an entire apartment to myself for the evening is just not as much fun as I might have thought when I was single. Gaming, listening to music, watching movies, whatever, it just doesn't even begin to compare to having my Kati, my wife with me! She is the sweetest and I just miss her so much when she's she is tonight.

/sad husband

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Friday!!!

we got to hang out with chris and reka wednesday, and have jackie and jaime over for dinner last pics, sorry!!  our goal has always been not to fall off the face of the earth once we were married - not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that, but we're just so blessed with such amazing friends that we didn't want to squander months of getting time with them.  :-D

one of the things i've been chewing on a lot is the idea of loving the Giver rather than the gifts i receive.  it's a simple concept, but one that i fail at so often.  in this season especially, there is so much laughter and happiness and blessing - we're FINALLY married, with so many fun and faithful friends and family, and even material blessing (i sometimes can't believe our apartment is truly ours, and that i'm not just borrowing someone else's space!).  it is a sweet and happy time, and we are being so refreshed by it!

and yet, this is all from God's hands - a little kid who receives gifts for Christmas and scampers off to play with them without saying thankful could rightfully be described as a spoiled brat.  it is my constant prayer that i not be this way towards my God - and more!!! that i not lose sight of the gift of the Cross while i enjoy these other gifts.

happy friday, all!!  thanks for reading my mutterings! ;-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Answered Prayers

I was thinking this week of my answered prayers just over the last two weeks, and am just freshly in awe of a God who listens to my requests and pleas, and answers them.  What sort of God is this, who would love an unimportant girl among millions, to hear my quickly lifted prayers?  By all measurements, it should be too good to be true.....yet here I am, with more answered prayers than I even remember, loved and saved by the Creator of the world!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day, and New Home!

Last weekend post!  We celebrated Father's Day with my dad Saturday night, and Sunday with Pop.  So far, Mike and I have had a pretty easy time juggling the holidays - things fall into place without a lot of manipulation.  We know this won't last forever, and have been enjoying each time that we don't have to "choose" between the families, or just straight-up miss something!  My family went to the US Open on Sunday (I went one year, but can't even fake being a golf fan, so not again!), so Father's Day was no exception.

The only pictures I have from Saturday night - Muv brought candy up to spoil everyone while we were hanging out, and my Dearest was multi-tasking it with the Reeses Cup and peanut M&M's.  His sugar overload filled me with affection for him, so a picture was necessary:

I've found that the nieces and nephews are much more open to candid shots than the adults - can't blame the adults!  Here's the munchkins, pre-hot-dog-devouring!  

And this one is really precious - the DeCarlo men!  I can't remember who suggested shooting one of just them, but so glad they did.  And the guys were patient to sit through probably 5-6 shots from the different cameras and cell-phones!

And now, the apartment!  We've been working hard since March to add to the apartment, and clean/organize it!  There is still much work to be done (both the last two weekends have included trips to Home Depot!), but I thought I'd start celebrating the parts that are "done" by posting pics as we go.  :-)

Our book corner, right inside the door:

Our dining room, shot 1:

And again, trying to capture more of the room:

And our view from the dining room - this view is 10x better with leaves on the trees!  And Mike's shirts, since weekends now = laundry loads.  For those that know me well, this is a dramatic change from my single days - I used to dread laundry!!  But staying on top of it does make it a much less painful task.

Such an active and busy weekend - we were sleepy kids by the time we got home from church last night!  But loving this season, and trying to remember to thank God for the sweet things that are "normal" right now.  Seasons come and go, and I want to savor this one!!


Ahhh, and Young Person Happy Hour - Friday night!  Mike, my siblings, Jaime, and our friends Sue and Ben, met up in McLean for HH......Mike, Peter, Sue, and Ben work in McLean, Jackie and Jaime live in McLean, and Eli is a sweetheart and will drive to be with his family!  Jaime and I had some adventures getting out there, but it turned out ok......some shots!

Jackie and Jaime - posts without pictures of at least one of them don't feel like legit posts!

Eli and Sue, after Eli finally waded through DC's nasty rush-hour adventures.

Peter and Ben were mildly hostile to having their picture taken, so thankfully Mike just kept clicking til they looked away....

Another Jackie and Jaime - how could I stop at just one???  <3

And my Love!!  I can't believe how much more I loved him the instant we were married - I'm so very happy he's mine!!

And then Bethany came at the end - it was nice to get to see her for at least a little bit!!  More and more pics and posts later - it was a busy weekend!!!

Weekend Pt. 1 - Freezer, plants, and food!

Happy Monday!  It's a rainy one here.....but my heart is so full of thankfulness!  We had a busy Mike mentioned, there was need for caffeine (thankfully in the form of espressos!) to keep us going!

I've been chewing through going my approach to our food.  Mike and I are blessed to not really have allergies to food, so the necessity of eating organically isn't there.  And let's face it - I'm not an organic type girl, at all!  But, food is expensive, and growing some of our stuff, or buying fresh beef in bulk can help us to cut costs while still eating well.

So this weekend, we bought a large freezer chest - fattest little guy!  Obviously, I found one of Craig's List, so we had a bit of an adventure strapping it into Mike's car, and getting it home.....but it's safely in our kitchen now!  We plan to buy a quarter of a cow, which we're both so excited about - we love beef, and it will be grand to have it regularly without needing cut the budget elsewhere!  And our new freezer will be helpful with storing all that meat.

We also bought a tomato plant and several herbs (cilantro, basil, rosemary, chive onions, and one that we can never remember....) because I've been horrified with how much fresh veggies cost, and decided to start baby steps towards someday growing our own - this summer will a be a test run garden, and hopefully I'll learn from our mistakes and be able to expand next year.  Some pics!

Tomato plant:


More pics and stories later!  It was a full and sweet weekend - we loved the time with our fathers, celebrating them and their care and service to our families!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Espresso to start...

This Saturday is already so busy that we needed espresso to start. Here is a picture of our adorable demitasse mugs and our nespresso machine!
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Zoo Adventures

One of our favorite places to go in DC is the National Zoo.  We've probably been 3-4 times......we don't hit the whole place each time, but concentrate on one or two areas.  We went two weeks ago and finally got to see the "big cats" - lions and a tiger!  Loved are some pics:

Baby lions, being cool and avoiding the grown-ups.

Mama lion coming to investigate.

Solo tiger.....the exhibits were talking about how if tigers go extinct, the prey animals will eat all the vegetation and mess up the system the tigers live in.....interesting stuff!

Ant-eater chilling in the was pretty humid, so I don't blame him!

Prairie dogs!!  I could have sworn I got a picture with one of the little guys peeping out, but clearly not.  :-p

TERPS!  Our favorite exhibit is always the Reptile House.....and what an adorable friend guarding the entryway!  We almost always hit up the Reptile House during a visit to the Zoo, regardless of what else we see.


How cool is HE?  Multicolored skin, spikes....this guy's got it all.

Happy family.

He's my absolute favorite.  I'm often impatient to get to him - he's more than halfway through the Reptile House.  And once we get to him, I coo at him and beg Mike to get me one someday.  Isn't he fabulous??

Mike's favorite!  He's such a king!  This is the Komodo Dragon.  Last time we saw him, he was chilling in the dark, so it was lovely of him to give us such a good view of his regalness.

Some pictures of us at the zoo, too, in case you prefer humans to animals. ;-)

Mike took me to dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill in DC - WONDERFUL.

I got the salmon, and probably would have eaten every little bit if I hadn't been so distracted sitting across from the most handsome man I've ever seen.  It's ok - I didn't need the extra calories anyway! ;-)

Mike got the flounder, both of our first times tasting that fish.  It was great!!  They prepared it so well - he DID finish all of his, and we vowed to come back soon.

Happy Friday, all!  If you have plans to, may you enjoy celebrating your father!  And may we each revel in the amazing truth that we may call the Creator of the universe our Father, as well.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

".....and spiders"

It's been one of Mike's and my ongoing "jokes" that he will kill all of my spiders for me.....even the cute ones! Knowing this, my friend Kari sent me the picture below.....LOVE it!!

In other news, Paul, who photographed our wedding, blogged and posted some pictures!  And one of the ladies who second-shot for him, Stephanie, also posted some amazing of the many, many sweet things from our wedding day was working with Paul, Stephanie, and Katie as they took our pictures, and now seeing some of them, I'm so grateful for them and how their talent preserved our moments throughout the day!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pre and Post Wedding Craziness

I can't believe it's past!!!!  All the work, planning, countless lists and thoughts......and our wedding is past.  While there were many aspects that were enjoyable, I'm so relieved and glad to be married to my beloved Mike, and done with engagement and wedding planning!  Here are some pics of the last days before our wedding.....

 Mike and I running some last minute errands....this was the happy shot outside of the dress alterations place - happy because picking up the dress was one of the last "major" items on our to-do list!

 On our way to the wedding rehearsal, our wonderful, wonderful friend Jess is cosily ensconced between Jackie and Jaime.....Jess was truly a God send.  I brought out my many lists and organized bags when she first arrived, and apologetically explained I was type-A, and that my wedding seemed to have strengthened my OCD which she uttered the magic words that she was type-A, too, and adored lists!  It was love at first sight.

Mike, driving us over to the rehearsal dinner, looking debonair!

Self-portrait of me during the same car very, very happy......I couldn't believe we were actually, FINALLY, rehearsing our was finally, finally here!!!

The following pics from our rehearsal dinner are regrettably sparse.......I didn't get the chance to take any until the very end.  But, I'll share the ones I have!

My dear, dear friend Janet and I at our rehearsal dinner.....she has been one of my most trusted and beloved mentors and friends.  She and her husband Seth have been with Mike and I from the beginning of our "friendship" and anything either of us would say about growth or strengthening in our relationship almost always includes them.  

Us with both Seth and Jan - Seth served as one of Mike's groomsmen, and it was such sweetness to have them be there with us.  All the talks, tears, and scriptures shared.....and here we were!

Chris and Reka!!!!!  Our best friends......we had some other shots with them, more sober and staged.....but this one captures us so much better!  Chris was also one of Mike's groomsmen, and I just don't think the marriage would have been legal if they hadn't been there with us!!

Chris and Reka, at last meeting Jackie......Chris had said for months that Jackie didn't exist and even when talking with her on the phone, he would say it was just me pretending to have a sister (since our voices sound so similar)......unsurprisingly, the three hit it off immediately!

WEDDING DAY!  I know I'm skipping, but I'm sure you'll understand that my hands were busy with things other than my camera for most of the time between the above shot and this one.  Here are my gorgeous bridesmaids, humoring me with a shot as we waited at the chapel.

Skipping again.....MARRIED!  Mike took me to Anna Marie Island in Florida, by Sarasota.....beautiful, beautiful.  Here's a shot from the front door our room:

As mentioned in a previous post, our honeymoon included a stop to the grocery store to stock up on meds......we both got sick pretty quickly into the honeymoon, and still haven't quite shaken the sniffles off.  While I wouldn't have preferred to be sick that whole week, God used the enforced slow pace to more deeply relax us......I don't think I would have known how to slow my pace apart from being sick!  

Random snapshot of us.....

That's all for now!  Will post some pics from our trip to the National Zoo on Saturday later this week.  All in all, it was an amazing wedding, and wonderful honeymoon - I was overwhelmed by the love and care of our family and friends, and am already missing Mike after being in the office for just a few hours.  One blessed girl right here!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Marriage day 6

What we do, we do together! Praise God for medicinal drugs!!
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Marriage, Day Five

Today we spent our entire day in airports...mostly in atlanta. We were given an opportunity to trade our seats on our original 16:20 flight for a trip back on a 20:01 flight and free round trip tickets to boot! We were selected.

While the departure time for our later flight drew closer we wondered, "why isn't there a plane arriving at our gate to unload its passengers?" The answer. Our 20:01 flight was pushed back nearly two hours to 21:54! Ah! So we have spent almost the entirety of our fifth day married to each other either in the air or mostly waiting in airports!

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While waiting for our flight from Atlanta to Baltimore I discovered a new reality...Zombies > Husband. Lol. We spent an hour killing time playing games on our phones while enjoying beer and burgers!

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Anna Maria Island

The closest I've ever been to paradise - warm air, white sand, palm trees, emerald water, cool drinks and a beautiful wife. Life doesn't get better than this. Thank you Florida for a wonderful start to our honeymoon! Where to next?

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I get to marry HIM!?!?!?

A little overwhelmed....
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Circle Reminiscing!

I went out last night with three of my absolute favorites, especially when grouped together like this!  Jackie (my sister), Bethany, and Tony.....the four of us were inseparable for several years back in college and after.  We'd wanted to get together one last time before the wedding - and in the future, have an extra chair at the table for Mike!!  He will be a fun and welcome addition, and a support to Tony when we girls gang up on him. :-)

Beth, contemplating the many options....and avoiding looking at the camera being waved in her face:

 Jackie, narrowing her eyes at something Tony said:

My pictures of Tony didn't come out because of the light behind him.....I'll have to keep working on those types of shots!  But here's one of all three - love and enjoy them so, so much!!!

And one of me, quickly hiding my face after my camera was rudely confiscated.

As a count down update, we are down to 3 DAYS!!!!!!  It is also my last day here in the office before the wedding, as I'm taking off Thursday and Friday.  Unsurprisingly, I was ready to leave before even getting out of the car this morning!  Just a little longer... ;-)