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Blessings in the Waiting: 198-196

1. The feeling of fall - you can't really see it here yet - not even on a thermometer but it's coming!
2. Breaking out the fall/winter season perfume. Am I the only one that does that?
3. Having my US Airways flight on a 737 instead of my tiny plane and getting upgraded!
4. A lovely italian dinner
5. Comfy beds and charming botique hotels.....I'm spoiled.

1. Collaboration, momentum and motivation spurred from engaging dialog
2. Two story Starbucks on the Riverwalk with Pumpkin Spice Latte and Greek Yogurt
3. Spa DAY!!!
4. Airport Sillyness
5. Coming home to my love and singing him songs to make him laugh....really hard

1. A sweet, compassionate man to hold my hand
2. Sleeping with the windows open and AC off for the first time all season!
3. The delish smell of homemade cookies
4. Coming home to a house full of people and actually loving it!
5. Being in love and reminded of how lucky I am, over and over again.


Blessings in the Waiting: 199

1. Lunch date picnic complete with Goldfish, pebble ice and my LOVE!
2. Wedding Blogs for inspiration.
3. The joy of gift giving.
4. Lovely dinner date with Jen
5. Waking up to pumpkin spice coffee from the roomie!

Blessings in the Waiting: 200

1. Hitting the 200 mark yesterday!
2. Knowing and believing that He is totally in control no matter the circumstances
3. Some overdue family time - a generous uncle and some cousin-catch-up time
4. A restful nights sleep
5. Humility.


Blessings in the Waiting: 201-203

1. Dressing up and hearing from B that I look pretty in his eyes :)
2. Trying a new restaurant that's been on my list for a long time
3. Endless loose-track-of-time type conversation across from the one I love
4. Cuddling and falling asleep in his arms on the couch
5. The begining feeling of being a pair....forever

6. Starting our registry - the scanner was so much fun!
7. Blake's patience and good-itude during the whole process
8. An out-of-office hang out time with some co-workers and her pretty new house!
9. Celebrating Kristin and Kelly
10. Playing dress-up with friends in my closet!

11. A church that earnestly prays for the people of the congregation
12. Celebrating Krislyn and watching her be suprised and excited! We love you!
13. Breaking out the fall decor around the house
14. The smell of Pumpkin Spice candles
15. Speaking truth out of experiences that have shaped us


Blessings in the Waiting: 204

1. Forgiveness and Understanding.
2. No cavity check-up at the dentist and the feeling of very clean teeth!
3. "Talking Pillows" and the imagination and playfulness of little ones
4. A restful night's sleep
5. Work/life balance: getting some personal things accomplished while working from home


Blessings in the Waiting: 205

1. Being back in a room filled with the ladies I've missed so much for the past 3 weeks
2. Friends that just really get me
3. Letting out some pent up stress via a run
4. A quick response from the cops when there was a 'dispute' next door and a roomie to be with in the middle of it! I feel safe!
5. A meeting that gave direction and clarity...


Blessings in the Waiting: 206

1. A cool fall morning....I love the changing of the seasons
2. Seeing the bridesmaids dresses live and in the flesh! Ohhh so cute!
3. Good roomie time laying on our nicely vaccumed carpet :)
4. Catching up with Lizzie
5. 2 fun packages in the mail!


Everyday Italian

Giada is clearly the hottest thing on the Food Network right now. Maybe it's because of her cleavage, maybe it's her perfectly polished (Bubble Bath OPI- I have it on now) nails or maybe it's just because everytime I watch her, I can't wait to cook up some delish homemade Italian Meal. Last night I made a good one. It was perfect with a good glass of red wine, my favorite dining companion and some candlelight. This one was inspired by the very talented Jen Weaver, but I will put it out there for all to try! This is my "I don't like recipes" recipe. It might not be pefect - but a pinch here, a splash there and some good ole fashioned tasting and you will be well on your way! I'll keep sharing as I make some good ones here and there. Let me know if you end up being inspired by it or making it yourself. I would love to hear about it! Enjoy!

The Chicken:
-Marinate 2 or 3 chicken breasts (or bonless skinless thighs) in a store-bought sun dried tomato pesto overnight and a little bit of sea salt.
-Cook chicken covered in a skillet until browned on outside and not pink in the center

The Sauce:
-Dice 1/2 onion and saute with olive oil in pan
-Add a heaping spoonful of minced garlic, basil paste and some dried oregano & sea salt
-Once onions start to carmelize, add in 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 2 diced roma tomatoes and some red wine and let reduce until thick
-Optional: add mushrooms, fresh parsley or basil or spinach

Serve over sliced rounds of polenta that you baked/browned in the oven with sea salt and garlic powder. Top with chicken and sauce and dig in!


Blessings in the Waiting: 207

1. Love note email to wake up to
2. How kindness breeds kindness
3. Acts of service that overwhelmed me with how blessed I am and how much I don't deserve to be loved like I am
4. Dinner by candlelight
5. 9pm bedtimes


Blessings in the Waiting: 209-208

What a great weekend! ENJOY!

1. The gift of touch….ahhh what a massage!
2. An incredibly blessing time with my favorite ladies of AZ- their generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness made me feel so loved!
3. Opening some uncomfortably awesome gifts (Beyonce)!
4. Giddy, girly laughter
5. Longhorn victory – sweet redemption over TECH!

6. A gospel centered sermon devoid of any sugar coating
7. A lovely lunch date at a new favorite spot with my favorite person
8. Checking a tedious task off the to do list
9. Dinner with a few of the Allison ladies (+ B) and a new recipe
10. Laughing at myself while trying on some of my new gifts! :)


Blessings in the Waiting: 210

1. Having an at-home work companion and dancing to Beyonce while he was on conference calls
2. An unexpected knock on the door from my sweet friend Mandy
3. Another mind opening sermon from Voddie and awesome conversation that resulted from it
4. A challenging, challenging, frusterating run that showed me how kind, prayerful and patient Blake is once again
5. Long distance g-chats from Puerto Rico


Blessings in the Waiting: 213-211

Some how I ended up getting really behind on my postings for Blessings in the Waiting. I'm really not as diligent about this as I would like to be.....oh well. I started from the beginning of this blog saying that this was not about perfection. For my few readers out there...thanks for the grace.

I've been on the road quite a bit for work these days. It's keeping me really really busy, but the blessings keep coming. My travel should quiet for a couple weeks now, that is something to look forward to!

1. An energetic group of travel buddies, with me as the team minivan driver!
2. Prayerful friends, despite a challenging situation for our sweet friend. I'm so thankful for our community that loves each other well.
3. A fabulous dinner on the Riverwalk filled with laughter, sarcasm and story telling. I'm blessed by talented, intelligent and just amazing people as co-workers
4. A night at the Watermark.....I could move in if I could afford it!
5. Cooler Texas weather and lunch outside

6. Room service
7. A collaborative, energizing meeting with great results. Hard work payed off!
8. Connecting conversation
9. Making faces at people on the airplane and creating a scene in our delirium
10. A cuddle/catch up visit by B after I got home from the airport.

11. A love note left in my kitchen for me this morning. A perfect way to start the day
12. Catching up with the roomie over coffee at the kitchen table
13. Working from home with no make up on
14. Moms and Mother-in-laws to be that will stop at nothing to make sure you aren't stressing and that every detail is right. They are simply wonderful and love me no matter how tired, grouchy and stressed I am!
15. Hearing I was missed last night and a phone call that made me feel loved and pursued.


Blessings in the Waiting: 214

1. Checking off a number of things off the to do list during my lunch hour
2. A chiropractor appointment that gave me some relief, finally.
3. Excellent insurance coverage, I'm so thankful
4. A good, sweaty run with the man I love encouraging me the whole time
5. An eye opening, paradigm changing sermon by Voddie


Yummy (and Healthy!) New Recipe

In college I tried the South Beach Diet for a while. I definitely put on the Freshman 15 (or maybe 20). I really loved the diet and I feel like it changed the way I eat in a big way. I tend to be a bit of a carbo-holic. So it was good for me to stay full longer from lean proteins and veggies instead of carbs that made me crash later on.

Long story short, I cracked open the SBD book yesterday after being inspired by a head of cauliflower at the grocery store. I remember reading about this mashed potato-like side made from cauliflower. I decided to give it a go. I knew Blake would be a little reluctant - but he loved it! It was super flavorful and really good for you (as the roomie would say "more nutrient dense")! I modified the recipe below to make it even a little better for you (subbed out the half and half for yogurt) and added a few of my own twists! Give it a try and tell me what you think!

4 cups cauliflower florets
2 tbsp margarine or yogurt spread
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt (add additional until creamy)
1 tbsp of minced garlic
A dash of Siracha paste
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Steam or microwave the cauliflower until soft. Puree in a food processor, adding the spread, yogurt and seasonings to taste until creamy. Serve immediately!

Bon Apetit!

Blessings in the Waiting (Weekend Update): 216-215

1. Morning workout and a cup of coffee in solitude
2. Dinner with good friends (who happen to be from TX!!)
3. Endless energy, laughter and joy that comes from little ones!
4. A caring and compassionate fiance when I wasn't feeling 100%
5. Making some great headway on the wedding and feeling like my vision is coming together!

6. Experimenting with new recipes that worked!
7. An afternoon nap - it felt like college all over again
8. A long overdue phone call that blessed me. Thanks Ash for your genuine heart and vulnerability
9. An evening walk - you can feel Fall on the heels of Summer
10. Alexis' pesto.


Blessings in the Waiting: 217

1. A long overdue cuddle session
2. Longhorn lunch over Mexican Food
3. Finding the bridesmaids dresses and a great sale this weekend!
4. A sin revealing, humbling conversation last night - oh the purification
5. A thankful heart for the men and women who have served this country to protect us from things like 9/11 8 years ago today


Blessings in the Waiting: 218

1. Though I could learn to do it myself, a willing fiance to jump my car battery when it was dead
2. A really really productive day at the office and a now manageable to do list
3. Compassion and a Christ-like heart giving witness in front of my entire office today at lunch
4. Coming over to Blake's after work and having dinner ready for me :)
5. An awesome draft of our save-the -dates! I'm so excited!

PF Changs Rock and Roll 1/2

What am I getting myself into? For some reason I’ve committed myself to running in the half marathon in Phoenix in January. I’m not sure that I’m ready for this or if my knees will even hold up (I’ve had 7 knee surgeries), but I’m ready to give this a go and give training my all. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do! A half marathon is something that’s on my “bucket list” of life experiences. I’ve trained for one in the past but the knees didn’t last long enough and I ended up having to go in for surgery a few weeks beforehand. Not that I have enough to do these days, but for some reason, I think committing to a regular training schedule will really be great for me. An awesome way to put stress at bay and increase those endorphins! Right?

My cousin Jessie who is more of an experienced half-marathoner is going to come out for the race in January. I’m most excited about spending some time with her with 2 hours of catch up while we run. I’m not sure I will be able to hang with her on the course– but the exciting news is that she is coming out to Arizona to visit! My sister might also make the trip out to run with us. She has terrible knees as well (runs in the family) so she’s a little bit on the fence, but is going to make her best effort at it! Watch out for the 3 crazy redheads! Blake’s great friend (and one of our groomsmen) is going to come as well. He is a regular marathon racer so we won’t even try to keep up with him. Blake is going to be training with me and a bunch of our friends from AZ are thinking they will join in the fun! Who’s with me????!

Training starts on Monday for me. I’m doing a Hal-Higdon training program spread out over a couple weeks per my sister’s suggestion (she’s completed a couple halfs already!). If anyone has any tips or advice on training and sticking to it, I’m all ears!

Looks like I’m doing this for real. No backing out now. It’s out there. It’s on paper. I’ve committed. And you’re my accountability. Here we go!

Blessings in the Waiting: 219

I was stuck on a plane last night so I couldn't submit my post....the last thing I wanted to do after a long day was open my computer, so here is yesterday's top 5!

1. Gaining 2 hours on my flight home and watching the already dark sky turn into a beautiful burnt orange sunset
2. Being back on campus today
3. Not being in a place where I’m searching for a job in a tough economy– unlike all of the students I talked to at the Career Fair today
4. Becoming re- energized about my work by talking about how great I really have it each day and how well General Mills takes care of their people
5. Making an awesome spreadsheet on my flight home that made me feel super organized about wedding stuff


Blessings in the Waiting: 223-220

Since I'm not really a weekend blogger...I think I'm going to need to make up for the days of blessings that I do not record in a marathon-style post covering the last days of weekends and holidays :). Enjoy!

1. Actually flying the SAME direction as Blake on an airplane (and happening to sit next to him with a row to ourselves!)
2. Walking off the plane and not feeling 100+ degree temps
3. Having a HOT tub actually feel good on a chilly evening
4. Chex Mix from the Back to School sale satisfying my mid-airport craving
5. Blake's new car! It's perfect and JUST what we were praying for!

6. Being disconnected from my phone almost an entire day
7. A fantastic hike with an amazing view at the top
8. Farmers Markets...need I say more?
9. Reuniting with our "glue" and my sorority sister from the good ole days!
10. A delish home cooked meal that I didn't cook!

11. Longhorn victory, Sooner defeat
12. Fire pits.
13. Wine, buses, 15 partners in crime
14. Loud worship music that allowed me to sing it out....loud
15. Doing homework with Blake on the patio - quality converstation and thought provoking ideas

16. An early meeting that went better than expected after just a few hours of rest
17. A peaceful drive through the Texas hillcountry
18. Having one of my favorite sandwiches in Austin
19. Bringing home a suprise gift for B!
20. Connecting with Mindy, Nathan, Avery and Emerson


Blessings in the Waiting: 224

1. Savoring the last half-day friday of the summer with a delightful trip to Cali
2. Friday Funday traditions continue in the office
3. A sweet video that came in the mail with an exciting question included! YES is my answer!
4. College football season. Period. The End.
5. Booking our photographer for the wedding today! We are making progress!!!


Blessings in the Waiting: 225

1. Flexible work days on the road: coffee shop preparation before a meeting
2. A successful meeting, engaging dialog and positive relationships being built
3. A network of prayer warriors and watching God come through again and again
4. Delish Texan wine at the airport at a genius spot
5. Texan Pride via email


Blessings in the Waiting: 226

1. Monsoons outside that cool everything down at night
2. Racking up the frequent flyer miles due to business travel
3. Encouraging convo on the way out the door this morning with the roomie
4. Mix tape CD #2 suprise!
5. Taking time to listen to what God is teaching me and seeing themes pop up again and again: affirmation


Blessings in the Waiting: 227

1. Eager friends that can sew.
2. Iced toddy made with love from the roomie.
3. Blake's endless patience
4. A mix tape CD as my soundtrack to the day
5. Planning a dinner with the ladies (+Blake) of The Allison and Redfield Park.


In my efforts to continue to be more real with others, show some vulnerability and even expose my mess and weakness I let it out more times than not this week. I let it out in a teary mess at Bible study, felt like it came out in word vomit during counseling this week and found myself really telling people about the feeling of mess in my life when they asked, “how are you?”
A woman at my church is one of those people who is clearly living out what she believes in her faith. She is such a provider of encouragement and is a woman who tells you she has and will be diligently praying for you – you believe every word and I absolutely know that she is. I think sometimes we have a tendency to say I’ll pray and then forget and get lost in time and just don’t remember unless the issue or friend is on the top of our minds. This woman prays. This woman is wise. This woman knows the word and this woman speaks truth.

In my messiness, she shared something with me on Sunday that really gave me a ton of peace and clarity as I have been wrestling with being spread too thin, prioritizing my life and being intentional about what I do with all that is on my plate. I am usually very consumed by it – as I have a high stress personality by nature- but these words of wisdom gave m y soul some much needed rest. She told me…

“Jesus had the same number of hours in his day that we do today. He didn’t magically create more daylight, he was fully human, while he was also fully God. He was so in touch with the spirit and listening to the father’s will that he simply did what He asked day after day. He was sensitive to his callings, clearly seeking after the things in the Father’s will. He didn’t visit every city, he passed people in the streets without connecting with every person. He was wise in whom he spent the majority of his time with – 12 individuals that he equipped, guided, taught and shared intimate details with. Our Jesus had the exact time constraints that we feel each and every day.”

Oh how I love how Jesus knows exactly how I feel each day. I love that he has felt the pressures of this world and understands – he’s been there, done that. I love how He is the perfect example of seeking God’s will one day at a time, day after day with only 24 hours to do just what He asks. Let peace flood in.
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