joy.

26 Dec

Because I so rarely blog, I know there will probably only be 2 people to read this, and that is why I am a-ok with the fact that this particular post is for me. I am writing just to write, so if you do find yourself here I hope you are reading just to read. It is the day after Christmas, orrr Christmas Leave… Christmas Eve Eve, Christmas Eve, Christmas, Christmas Leave, which I guess makes tomorrow Christmas Leave Leave? I digress. My holiday was an interesting one. I am avoiding negative terms; lonely, sad, weird, blah, because JOY is where I’m going with this, and now I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take it from the top, shall we?

So, this was my first Christmas to spend apart from my family, all due to circumstance. This year I stayed home in Lubbock. I spent most of the day playing with my Izzy dog, painting, drinking coffee, relaxing, experiencing a strange solitude. It was hard. So hard that it’s tempting to use those words I crossed out earlier, but it was the best kind of hard; the kind of hard you learn from. There is a song by Relient K called Therapy, and it says, “Loneliness and solitude are two things not to get confused, ’cause I spend my solitude with You…” Because Jesus loves me sooo much, I never have to feel lonely. I still do, sometimes. I’m human, don’t misunderstand. I’m just reflecting on that subtle difference between loneliness and solitude, and I think it comes down to a choice. Yesterday, over and over, I told myself to make the best of it. It’s an attitude I think we could all stand to adopt sometimes, and that’s what I think this Christmas taught me. Choose joy. I remember about a month ago, I was thinking about joy and overthinking about joy. There was a series at my church about joy a few months before that, so I text my friend Jennie about it, and she sent me this quote, “Joy is God and God is joy. Joy doesn’t negate all other emotions; joy transcends all other emotions.” What it boils down to folks, is that true joy never leaves you, because God never will. So, I spent my Christmas with the birthday boy, Himself!

Ohhh, and with some friends, which brings me to my next point… More than ever before, I feel like my friends are my family. That is not to take away from my actual family at all! They are amazing, they mean the world to me, and I love them more than I can say. The part of my Christmas not spent at home was spent with a friend who cares enough about me to include me in his Christmas. I had lunch at his dad’s, met a lot of his family, and had my first piece of ‘ritzy pie’ (tastycakes, btw. I need to find a recipe). Meeting new people, especially in mass quantities, makes me nervous. I get quiet and weird, but they were all super nice and made me feel so welcome. For that, I was thankful. No matter what is going on with me, at the end of the day I am still so blessed. I think the key to joy is just taking the time to realize that and thank God for it every chance I get! It’s all about making a conscious choice.

hot off the press…

4 Apr

Sheesh-kabobs, I can’t even remember when I blogged last! Soooo much is going on with me and in my life that 1. I’ve been tooooo busy to blog and 2. Even when I’ve had the time to blog, I haven’t been able to narrow it down and decide what to blog about! Ridiculousness, yes. I like to make sure that my posts are about something, or else I would just ramble, as there is plenty to ramble about, but really who wants to read my rambling!? Okkkk, so this is me RAMBLING as I try and decide what to blog about…. hmm ok, got it. COFFEE! Like it, LOVE it, drink it all day, can’t live without it, you get the picture. Personal favorite of mine is the Komodo Dragon blend from Starbucks. I buy the whole beans and grind it fresh each and every time I brew a pot. It is a must! All of the Starbuck’s coffees give pairing suggestions on the packaging. The Komodo Dragon blend says that it goes nicely with cinnamon-dusted french toast and hanging paper lanterns… sigh. Just lovely… Now, I have never actually had mine with french toast, but the suggestion inspired me. I ALWAYS add cinnamon to the coffee grounds before I brew. Try it!

Ok, most of the time I make coffee in the morning, and I habitually run late. I do every single thing at the last minute, including getting out of bed, so it is always a rush. For that reason, I usually just go the ol’ coffee pot route, but every now and then I just want to slow it down and really, REALLY enjoy my coffee! I’m talking french press, y’all! If you don’t own one, go buy one immediately! Like right now! Don’t even finish reading this. It will still be here when you get back.

Sooo, the french press is actually super easy to use. You just put your COARSELY ground coffee in the bottom (I use 1 ‘scoop’ of coffee per 1 cup of water), and add hot hot water (just off the boil). Let it steep, then press… done, and there are really so many advantages!

1. FLAVOR- French pressed coffee is just so much yummier dudes! Tastycakes, fo realz, especially if you drink your coffee black. Drip coffee doesn’t even compare. Pressed java has more body and even a texture. You taste everything you’re supposed to taste. I’m a bit of a coffee snob, but in no way the connoisseur  (ok, I totally spelled that correctly on the first try. I just impressed myself) that I want to be!

 

2. ZERO ELECTRICITY- No cords, no nonsense.

3. PRETTY- Face it, the press is so much easier on the eyes than that bulky coffee pot sitting on the counter.

4. PRESENTATION- If you’re making coffee for a friend (I haven’t had a friend over for coffee in almost a year, sad face…. I do meet friends for coffee quite often though, happy face) it’s fancier and even a little more fun to use a press.

P.S. I took all the photos in this post the last time I pressed my coffee. I just knew I’d blog about it one day.

coffee  java mud cup o’ joe café battery acid liquid gold brew coffee

bakeapaloooooooza!

19 Feb

Meeep, I haven’t blogged in far too long, so long in fact that I have been dreading this, because I have so many options! What to blog about, hmmmm. I think baking! Sooo, the night before Valentines Day my new, and already dear friend, Lindsey came over for our first ever “Bakeapalooza!” Oh me oh my we baked and we baked, and then we baked. On the menu were peanut butter pretzel brownies, puffy hearts with pink icing, dozens and dozens of mini funfetti cupcakes (we used Lindsey’s adorable little cupcake maker for those), AND oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies. Sugar heaven, my loverlies, is what that means! I have pictures-a-plenty! And recipes too if anyone wants them!

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I made ALL of this the day before Valentine’s day, so naturally, a single gal like myself was thinking how much I wished I had someone to do such ridiculous baking for! For now, though, me and my sweet tooth are a-ok on our own! I have to remind myself to be patient constantly, but seriously future husband, look what you have to look forward to! Oooh, and speaking of love love day, I seem to have a secret admirer of sorts. I went out to my car around 11 AM on Vday to find a single red rose in my car’s door handle. No note, no card, no clue, no nothing. Who are you!? At this point, I’ve decided I may never know, but it is probably for the best, because at this point if you were to reveal yourself to me I just might kick  you in the shin! If you had come clean, oh I don’t know, say later THAT DAY I probably would have shared a cupcake, or a brownie, or a cookie, or even a puffy HEART with you!

 

give me coffee, or give me death!

6 Feb

well today is the last day of my bunny diet, and boy, what a week! It was cold and snowy and all I wanted was coffee! Ok, that’s not all I wanted… chili, soup, hot coco, insert cold weather food here all would have been nice too, but mainly coffee, and I have a confession to make. Today I caved. I had a tall cinnamon dolce latte because it is snowy/rainy/dreary/bleh. I feel funny and jittery. Is this what caffeine does to people who aren’t addicted!? Nuts!

also, this week has taught me that I am a glutton for punishment! Several nights I sat up too late reading recipes! Um, why would I do that to myself!? who knows, but now I have the LONGEST list ever of must-try recipes! Not going to lie, I really wish I had someone to bake for on Love day… ok, that’s enough feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I’ll bake for my friendloves!

here are some pretty pretty snow pics!

my house makes me happy. I think it is different and cute and great!

p.s. word of the week: MEEP! (thanks Jennie Ann Carroll)

Fruits and veggies and shopping carts!

1 Feb

Successful first 24 hours of h2o, now on to fruits and veggies fruits and veggies! That’s my oh so loverly shopping cart full of color! Carrots and bell peppers and oranges oh my! Wish me luck as I proceed to eat like a rabbit for 6 days!

image

ready for the a.m. when I can eat some of that goodnessss! I think for breakfast I will have a yummy yummy grapefruit, make a green smoothie to take to school with me for lunch, maybe some carrots to snack on, and for dinner I think lettuce wrap with spinach and tomatoes and bell peppers and pico. mmm mm

oh and here I am with a baby basket, because the city of Lubbock hears snow, and thinks the world is coming to an end. They all rush to market street to stockpile paper goods, candles, and canned foods! So, for a few minutes, Jennie and I had to wait around for an available shopping cart. How.ridiculous. oooh, is it weird that growing up we didn’t call them baskets, or shopping carts. My mother always called it a buggy and sometimes I still do!

Sooooo,

31 Jan

for the next 7 days I am going raw. Raw fruits, raw veggies, water, the end. It’s a sort of “detox” although I think it really takes longer to rid your body of ALL those yucky toxins. Anywho, it should be very interesting and we’ll see if I’m able to stick with it. I’m hoping that blogging about it will help. I feel some sort of obligation to my readers (all 4 of you ahahaha) so perhaps this will keep me on track. The first 24-hours are H2O only, eeek!  Another goal for the week is to run EVERY day! I just recently proved to myself that I can run 3 miles.Sadly, it’s the most I’ve run in quite some time, so it’s a feat for me. I’ve gotten way out of shape, but I’m working on it and I tested myself on the treadmill last week. I was very satisfied 3.1 miles and 30 minutes later. I did it again tonight (3 miles in 28 minutes this time)… It seemed a little harder this go round, but I think half of that was in my head. I wish I could turn into a runner overnight, one of those people who can just run miles up into the double-digits, no sweat. Maybe, someday, I’ll be there, but for now I’ll take my sweaty, out of breath, red in the face 3 miles!

“I wish we’d always wake up new, refreshed, and born again with nothing left to lose…” This lyric from The Format song, Sore Thumb has been on my mind a lot this past week. Of course, that is my wish. I think we all wish for that, and it’s so easy to forget how possible it is. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

p.s. you should maybe think about commenting sometime. It would probably make my day!

coffeeshop conversation…

26 Jan

I am blessed. so so blessed! I had a coffee date with my sweet friend, Mikayla Jenkins this afternoon. It was simple and perfect and just what I needed! Mikayla and I started hanging out somewhat recently, especially over the break, and now that school has started back up and she has herself a new and oh so lucky man, we’re just busy busy. One thing she has said to me more than once is that we will still make time for each other. I love that and it is sooo important in ANY relationship. No matter how busy we get, we can never ever let ourselves get so busy that we forget to slow down with the people we care about, and that is exactly what Mikayla and I did for a solid hour and a half this afternoon.

Ohhh the conversation… Mikayla tweeted, “coffee with @vlbarge. discussing sxsw, bacpacking in Europe, boys, and the meaning of life. nbd.” That right there paints a pretty perfect little picture of our friend date. Oh and here’s a quick picture of a list we made regarding our spring break plans. We are headed to sxsw and I just can’t hardly wait!

I’m realizing more and more everyday that I am exactly where I need to be right now. I’m single, but that’s ok because I’m young. There is so much that I want to do with my life, so many experiences I have yet to experience and wh0’s to stop me? I’ve found myself right here in the middle of all of these people and all of this LOVE. I couldn’t be more grateful! Thanks, Jesus!