Too Much Multi-tasking

Now, I pride myself on the fact that I can multi-task like no one's business. I've always been a multi-tasker, but I refined my technique during college as I worked my you-know-what off to get outta there a year early. But this week, I may have gone a little overboard.

Here's what I/we have been trying to accomplish before Christmas (and all at the same time..):
-Paint the living room
-Paint the kitchen so the living room & kitchen aren't almost the same color
-Christmas shopping
-Working part-time
-Picking out curtains for the living room
-Sewing curtains for the kitchen
-Trying new recipes for dinner each night so we don't eat the same three things over & again
-Organizing our closet so we can both fit our stuff in
-Baking Christmas cookies for when the extended family visits
-Painting & arranging frames for a wall collage (crossing my fingers that it looks good)

(Oh, and not to mention: sleeping, spending time with Deric, and reading my library books.)

Deric's been helping with the big projects such as painting but as for the rest of the projects, I've brought those upon myself. All of these projects have been started but not a single one finished yet. However, as I write, Deric is finishing up the kitchen so tomorrow I'll have one less thing on the list! I'm off to work on those kitchen curtains...my first sewing project. Gulp.


"Take a Look, It's in a Book..."

Anyone else watch that show when they were little? (I have to admit, I always judge books by their covers. The Reading Rainbow guy wouldn't be very happy with me.) 

Yesterday, I got my membership at the nearby library and I am psyched. I hate buying books because it gets so expensive, but I also hate having to reread my books because I don't buy more. Its a catch-22, really. So the library saved my day! I spent forever in the library yesterday just wandering around and soaking it in before actually getting any books. And then when I did start finding books, I felt like I couldn't stop...

This stack of books is definitely the first of many I'll be bringing home. I get so excited when I have brand new books to read! I've already started the top book, The Friday Night Knitting Club, and I LOVE it. I highly recommend it (and hopefully still will when I finish it). I also got a Martha Steward cookie cookbook so I can look for more Christmas cookie recipes, a few home solutions books, and a historical biography for Deric. Plenty to keep me busy for the next week or so :)

On a side note, we're just about finished painting the living room. We only bought one gallon of paint since the room didn't seem that big but we ended up running out of paint, despite our efforts to stretch the paint as far as it could go. Once we finish up the last wall, I'll post the pictures.


Busy, Busy

Guess what we've been up to today??

So much for a lazy Sunday afternoon...


The Grass is Always Greener

I've come to realize that I have a "The grass is always greener" mentality fairly often. I catch myself thinking that "If only I had a (fill in the blank), life would be better..." or "If only I worked at such-and-such, life would be better..." and on and on. I think I've had this mentality for most of my life, but lately I've realized I've got to change my attitude because shoot, life is good right now! So to counteract the If only's, I make myself stop and think of all the things I am grateful for...and its then that I realize there's an awful lot I'm thankful for.

All this to say, I was rereading one of my favorite fictional books: In Search of Eden, by Linda Nichols. I finished it last night and ended up reading all the extra stuff in the back: the discussion questions, note to the reader, etc. (Yes, its that good!) And in the note to the reader, guess what Ms. Nichols discussed?  That never-ending search for perfection (or Eden, hence the title) that we all have. She included this great quote that is such a good reminder to count my many blessings that I'm thinking of painting it and displaying it somewhere in our house. Here's the quote:

"Life can never be fully perfect again...at least not here on this planet and in the sense it originally was...Here and now, life can be perfect only in a new and different sense, in the way of God's freely given grace."
-David Seamands, pastor & author

Such a great reminder that God is the giver of all good things; most importantly, grace for sinners like me. I quickly forget about the perfection that awaits us in heaven, where the grass will most definitely be the brightest green :)


Craigslist, You Have My Heart.

Ok, so maybe that was a bit of a stretch, but I really do love Craigslist! Granted, I've only bought off of it once, but it was a big purchase and an even bigger bargain. When Deric and I got married, we received all kinds of gadgets and fun house things off our registry thanks to wonderful friends and family, but we soon realized that we had NO furniture. Seriously, nothing. (Unless you count Deric's two futons, but I don't..) This was a problem, seeing as we were soon moving into our own house and didn't even have a bed or kitchen table. So, Craigslist to the rescue! I checked Craigslist at least once a day for what felt like months and finally found a set of couches that wasn't floral, lumpy, sagging, overpriced, or stored in someone's garage (I cringe just thinking about what critters might move from the garage to a couch..).

(This isn't even one of the worst!)

The night I found our couches, it was about 10pm and Deric and I had been watching tv when I decided to browse through Craigslist one more time. Lo and behold, a listing had just been put up advertising two couches for $350! I immediately zoomed in on the pictures and tried to judge if the couches were in good condition. I was already praying quick prayers that this wouldn't be a scam, the couches would really be in good condition when I saw them in person, we wouldn't get ripped off, etc. I showed Deric the pictures, but he wasn't too excited (he hates spending lots of money). I was kind of bummed, so I exited the listing and went back to browsing. Then I found an ad for a kitchen table (from Target, no less!) for $100 and realized that the table was listed by the same people who listed the couches! I freaked and sent them an email to tell them we were interested, then quickly talked Deric into purchasing them and promised him I would try to negotiate with the sellers.

So, long story I'll try to shorten: After at least ten emails between me and the seller that night, we negotiated the price for the table and chairs: $350 for ALL of it! Yep, that's a free kitchen table and chairs.  Bright and early the next morning, Deric and I hitched a trailer to his truck and off we went about an hour north. Thankfully, when we got to the seller's house, everything was clean and in good condition. As Deric and the guy were moving everything to the trailer, the lady said she would see if there was anything else she wanted to get rid of. She came out with two end tables and four floor lamps, thrown in for free! I was so pumped (and so was Deric, at this point). Alright, story finished. Thanks for waiting so patiently-- here are the pictures!

 Notice the white walls? I do everytime I walk through that room:) We're currently hunting for a tan/beige paint to use. I'm slightly scared that I'll pick a color that doesn't work well with the couches (they've got a little green in 'em) and end up hating it. But anything is better than white to me!

 Ah, beautiful. Especially because they were so cheap!

The paint we used in the kitchen was a mistinted can we found at Lowe's for $5. Now that we've got the brown walls next to the brown table, we're looking for a different color in here as well. But I'm holding out for another mistint :) Cheap paint to go with a cheap table! 

So that's our Craigslist story. I'm so thankful we didn't get scammed because I've heard that happens fairly often. But God blessed our efforts to save money! Let's hope he continues to bless us, since we're on the hunt for a bed. Yep, we're sleeping on...you guessed it, the futons :) 


A Brand-New Family Tradition

With the holiday season in full-swing, Deric & I have been brainstorming traditions that we want to start in our little family. We've already got a few traditions from our childhoods that we're going to incorporate, but we also want to start some new ones just for us. For example, Deric's family always read the Christmas story from Luke before opening any presents on Christmas morning. My parents always gave my sisters and me pajamas on Christmas Eve that were sometimes almost always matching.. Both of our families eat a big breakfast before presents too.

This is Sarah (my younger sister) & me, Christmas 2008. Also the year Mom & Dad gave me the best Christmas gift ever-- my wisdom teeth out two days before Christmas, hence the swelling on the left side of my face. Fyi, that swelling got much worse before it got better :)

As far as new traditions, we've started one so far: a few nights after Thanksgiving, we baked gingerbread cookies in Christmas shapes, then ate them as we watched Elf. Deric quickly became the master of the cookie cutters; I was resigned to moving the cookies from countertop to cookie sheet.

Three full cookie sheets later, we were both pretty tired of cookie-cutting but we had a little ball of dough left. This is our attempt at making a 3D gingerbread snowman (which, as you're probably already thinking, looks more like a pile of you-know-what). Ah well, still delicious.

The recipe made more than enough cookies for two people, but instead of sharing them in true Christmas spirit, Deric and I have been pigging out on cookies almost every night...

In an effort to redeem myself, I do plan on making more gingerbread cookies here in a few weeks, and I will be sharing that batch :) I'll probably be sick of gingerbread by then anyways! 



Hey! We're Deric and Ashley, and this is the first blog for either of us. We're pretty nervous about starting our own blog, but we think it'll be a great way to remember more of our first years together. Plus, we hope to share more of our life with our family and friends that live far away.

To start off, let me (Ashley) introduce ourselves. We got married June 27 of this past summer in Suffolk, Virginia. I'm from Virginia and Deric is a tried-and-true Indiana boy. We're currently living right outside Indianapolis. This past week, we moved into Deric's grandparents' former house and are really enjoying the process of making the house our own home. We're both currently working in the area, and we're both looking for jobs that are more suited to what we studied in college (me, teaching; Deric, ministry). In the meantime, we're thanking God for each other, our home, and our jobs, and enjoying our first few months together!

**Side note: This blog will mostly be written by Ashley, with a few 'guest posts' by Deric. But Deric will probably be the subject of most posts, which is better suited to his personality:)