Monday, November 29, 2010

thanksgiving oh ten

thanksgiving weekend,

you are a glorious 5 nights long & i love you.  it is good to give thanks.

heart-
jen

this weekend has been so blessed.  lots of relaxing, feasting, friends, family, learning, decorating, shopping & more.

after work wednesday evening benny & i packed up & headed off to northern kentucky to see his family.  i was so looking forward to this trip.  it is so rare that we get to go home so i really cherish that time.  we got up there around 7:30 or so...just in time for homemade pizzas.  yum yum.  i'm lame & plain so ben was forced to share a boring pepperoni & cheese with me but it was oh so very nice.  theeeen we played fact or crap.  ever heard of it?  it was hilarious & fun.  i lost.  i'm the opposite of competitive so i'm perhaps the perfect loser.  the only troubling thing is that my non-spiritual, spiritual gift is guessing and i was terrible in a game all about guessing so...i hope i haven't lost it!

thanksgiving day was beyond chill.  we hung out around the brzinski household, snacked, visited, watched the macy's parade, football & home alone.  kind of a veg out but still very nice.  ben's pop made all the fixin's.  he is a great chef!  he even fried us up a turkey.  and an opportunity to eat pumpkin pie?  sign me up. 
{set up for turkey day: round two}
{pumpkin roll}
{mmm pumpkin piiiiie}
{it looked like this all day...but the next day we had snow!}
{what i did during avatar...colored like a 5 year old.  i'm a notorious hand-turkey artist}
{neat coffee, i just want the can}
friday i was getting restless.  stir-crazy if you will.  i was terrified of black friday shoppers so i didn't want to go out and about but i desperately wanted to get out of the house.  ben & i went to lunch {skyline lunch #1} and ran a few errands.  then after coercing we also went to nky's yl leadership.  it was so great to see some of our friends.  ben davis talked about the kingdom & about living like it matters today.  living today with eternity in mind. it was really awesome to be reminded of that.  from there ben headed to the ryle/trinity playoff football game.  we both graduated from ryle and love to cheer on our raiders but i don't like to cheer when the temperature is anywhere near the teens so i bowed out.  ben & his brother went, saw old friends and watch our team suffer a loss.  i think they still had a good time.

i was hoping to get ahold of my dear friend tudge to visit during that time but failed...so what's a girl to do?  probably go to the mall on black friday night.  this is genius. i can't believe i'm sharing my newly found secret.  no one was there.  just me and like 3 other people.  and there were still sales!  i should do all my christmas shopping on black friday night next year!  if i had the slightest clue what i was getting for my family it would have been tremendously helpful that night.

i made some purchases for cheapity cheap {h&m, i love you} & then headed to the margrave's for a hangout.  i love our friends.

saturday we had discussed a big plan of ikea & north face outlet shopping but after much deliberation decided against it.  instead we went stopped by verizon {ben got a new phone...one that hasn't taken a dip in the hot tub} and it is working perfectly!  turns out that verizon is on a mission to punish anyone who isn't interested in a smart phone or a data package.  there we two, i repeat two phones available in the store that didn't require you to pay for a monthly data package.  those thieves!  and then we went to old navy where i got a new pair of jeans {$15}.  i am in desperate need...i have worn my original pair of o.n. skinny jeans thread bare.  then off to lunch with two of our favoritest couples, the margraves and the ridds {skyline lunch #2}.  james was there to eat with us and is a doll!  rach finds out if she's having a little boy or girl tomorrow so we discussed our guesses {i guess girl} & just visited & visited.

here we are...i'm dirty and pale.  this picture mades me feel sad about myself but i really like my husband so i'm ok with it.  look at that beard.  it's no shave november.  what a cutie.
from there we cut our trip short and headed home.  i just felt like we had so much to do and so little time so we needed to get back.  i was desperately wanting to put our christmas tree and get festive so that is exactly what we did.  {post coming soon to a blogger near you}  while still doing plenty on napping and lounging we got so much accomplished: grocery store trip, christmas tree up, mini tree up, kitchen table, dining room table & sofa table christmafied, trip to two fabric stores to clean up the deals, errands to collect girl christmas craft supplies, clean bathrooms, laundry, visit to holly & jenna's, campaigners  & team meeting all complete!  and our front yard was raked because we literally have the nicest neighbor in the entire world.  that man deserves some banana bread.

late to bed, late to rise.  that was my unintentional theme for the week.  i know i will inevitably be a mess as early monday morning rolls around.  i dread it already.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i'm not a morning person, or a night person. sad.

what! what! 3 day week!  i am loving that tomorrow will be my last workday this week.
{time to celebrate}

*****
this past weekend was a little rough.  we weren't able to go with our students to weekend camp since we didn't take enough students from our school.  it was disappointing because we know what can happen in those three days and it was difficult to not be a part of that.  and we missed being with our team too.  but God is so good and of course he doesn't need ben or i to work out His will.  


we had a hangout instead of campaigners not knowing who would be up for coming over after the long weekend and it was awesome.  i loved hearing the girls go on and on about how much fun they had.  that made me really happy.  i loved just being together, laughing, having community, playing apples to apples.  we love those friends.


last night, monday, we had club.  it was awesome.  i had mentioned that things had felt 'hard' at club lately, it felt like a struggle, a struggle to have students there, a struggle to have fun, to have energy.  i reminded myself that no matter what club looked like that we have an opportunity every week to talk to kids about Jesus and to glorify the Lord.  even if it doesn't look like a conventional club.  but this week, we had club and the Holy Spirit was there.  how blessed to be a part of that.  benny talked about Sin.  that's a hard talk to give, and a hard talk to hear.  but you can't understand the power of the cross & the gravity of grace until you wrap your head around where we actually stand without Christ.  ang talked more about it {here}.


i pray that God will stir in the hearts of our friends after that talk.  i pray that they'd come back and hear about the glorious news of the cross next week.  God, let them hear.


i've been reading this quote lately and gosh, does it fill me with passion and urgency:
"If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for. - C.H. Spurgeon.


*****
now we're watching the cats in the maui invitational.  they make me feel a little scared.  they explode with awesomeness, run up a huge lead and then let their opponent come back over and over.  that's a little baby team for you.  still very exciting to watch though.  if you don't like basketball you might be interested to know that the commentators keep repetitively mentioning how wet and sweaty the ball is because maui is humid.  sick.


*****
it's nearly thanksgiving.  did you hear me?  it's nearly thanksgiving.  i can't believe it.  we're going to northern kentucky and i am psyched.  i love ben's fam and i love being back 'home'.  it's not really my home now that i've lived in lexington to 6 years and my parents don't even live there anymore, but i still consider it 'home'.  i can't wait to see them & also see some friends that live there.  i have some crafts to take care of but i'm not sure if i'll work on them up there or not.  decisions, decisions.  we've also discussed doing some weekend shopping...buuut this weekend is black friday so i'm a little intimidated to say the least.  i don't want to get trampled for deals.

*****
things i plan on working on in the next 2 weeks:
-- christmas list & gifts: this has absolutely snuck up on me & i hate giving gifts last minute.  i'd like to do something thoughtful for the people i love but i am a terrible gift giver.  so hence, i must start brainstorming sweet treats to celebrate the people so dear to me.
-- girl christmas crafts!  our 8th or 9th annual girl christmas party is right around the corner.    girl christmas has certainly evolved and we love what it has become.  i'll share more about that soon!
-- hang things on my walls {how long have i been saying that?} i know i know.  but it has to happen.  has to.  before christmas.  ben will be out of school soon so maybe if i could ever decide on placement he could help me.  my walls are bare.
-- i don't know if this is COMPLETELY unrealistic but i would love to whip up some curtains and have those hung as well.  i know i'm being very ambitious.
--  put up our christmas decorations including our tree.  i'm so excited to do this with benny. decorating while listening to christmas music & drinking hot chocolate - so stinkin' great.
-- eat turkey!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

if you fly with your eyes closed you can't see where you're going

long time no chat friends.
i know something that would make you want to sit down and stay a while...
my team + mustaches
yep.  that's them.  isn't that awesome?
we had mustache club with lhs friends a while ago & it was truly a blast.  we've been struggling a bit with club and these pictures remind me that goofyness and fun open doors and break down walls so that every kind of kid can hear how God loves them.  i'd wear a mustache any day for that.


our wonderful team is taking a trip this weekend, a trip where kids will laugh hard, be loved well, go on adventures & hear the gospel.  i'm so thankful that these friends will have the opportunity to share Truth and Life to folks who couldn't need it more.  please join us in praying for kaitlin, dylan & ang as they head out tomorrow, let them be bold & let God stir in the hearts of many high school guys & girls.  i pray that friends will come home with a recognized Savior.  God is good & oh so faithful.  i know that He will show up.

p.s. try and count my chins
 p.s.s.  look how cool my husband is.

so today i'm trapped at home.  i'm supposed to be at biblestudy with my girlie friends but my radiator exploded & i couldn't get a ride...so here i am.  and i can't say i hate it.  i've been gone for the past few days & it feels nice to be home.

before i left ben & i had what we like to call 'college weekend'.  we acted just like we were college kids again.  well, i mean ben is still in school but...you know.  we saw about a billion friends, house hopped, went on dates, watched uk basketball & stayed up entirely too late.  i generally feel old and tired.  that weekend was refreshing & tiring all in one breath.  i don't even know how that's possible.

my friend {and co-worker} jules had a meeting in colorado & i got to come along to aid!  it was a meeting with young life folks so it was double awesome.  mixing work & ministry...that's the best kind of work there is!

we only were able to spend 1 full day in colorado springs and the rest of my time was spent like this...

airport, airplanes, fountain pops, reading, sitting 
oh and i did some sudukos too.  
since julie and i are friends we had an extra special fun trip.  we found out that we love: x-terras {our rental car...so spacious and phatty}, phantom canyon {uber yummy celebration restaurant}, mountains {it's co afterall}, slumber parties, free breakfast {thank you hyatt place}, oh hyatt place, the duggers, lotion & chapstick {winter is drying out our old lady selves} & movie quotes.

here's a couple shots on the way to the hotel.
so stinkin' pretty.
 garden of the gods.  should have taken more pics.  it was gorgeous.
had we known that our flight was delayed 2.5 hours we could have stayed and hiked around a bit...
 lots of sun + big blue skies = little tiny light eyes
.squintfest.
 we have bigger eyes but apparently i can't have big eyes and take a pic at the same time.  fail.
now i'm home safe & sound & the trip was a complete success.  i hope the ladies liked us.  how could you not want to buy from these faces.

i feel like the Lord has been teaching me a lot lately and is definitely drawing me into a deeper dependence in Him.  it is the best place to be.  living at the foot of the cross.  i hope i stay there.  one awesome thing i read on my trip was from 'seizing your divine moment'.  mcmanus said "...you must treasure the invitation to join God.  these moments {divine moments} can only be grasped when one moment with God is worth more than an eternity without Him."  i want Christ to be my everything. i hope i treasure Him.

today was back to the grind but i was able to eat lunch with my poppa for his birthday which was so nice.  i don't get to see him enough.  i loved that he was able to fit in a trip to lexington.  i gave him narnia.  i hope he'll like it.  if you haven't read it, you should.  7 awesome books, perhaps intended for children but perfect for all.

i also was blessed to spend time with my friend emily from lhs.  we got to talk about chasing after Christ, serving people & building community.  she is such an encouragement to me.  i know that the Lord is at work in her.

aaand i got to see benny for a second.  i really love spending time with him.

i can't believe tomorrow is friday.  trips make the work week feel awfully short.  and when i say awfully i mean awesomely short.  the weekend is swiftly approaching!  happy thursday all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

pandora & gmail. gifts.

my mind is just swarming.  as a testimony to that i woke up at about 3 am last night and had more than 3 fake, one-sided conversations, sang more than 5 different songs, planned a bible study and a blog post, and talked to God...all in my head.  i didn't fall back to sleep until some time after 6 am after a warm shower.  after 2+ hours of laying in bed i figured i might as well get my shower out of the way for the day.

*****
so my club talk.  thank you to anyone who was lifting that up in prayer, called or texted to encourage me.  i could not be more grateful.  something a little different happened last night, there weren't enough kids in attendance to run club, i know...bummer.  which in turn meant no talk, which really means that we didn't really have a verbal proclaimation of the gospel at all. but what we did have was an awesome time hanging out with the kids that were there, buck buck and dancing.  of course we would have LOVED to run a big ol' phatty club FILLED with students that got the opportunity to hear REAL TRUTH in a world consumed with lies, but the Lord had different plans for last night and i trust that He knows what he's doing.

i just pray that as a team we will continue to be faithful and that we would not lose heart when things don't look exactly like we'd like them to.  our goal is for students to encounter Jesus and our prayer is that someday they would call him Lord & Savior and i feel like those things ARE happening at l.h.s.  i pray that we'll be consistent, that we'll be putting ourselves out there, putting ourselves into the lives of kids.  i pray that God would raise up high schoolers that partner with us and chase after their friends as they chase after Christ. 

we have big hopes and God has big plans.  i trust that.  God will expand his kingdom at lafayette...i just know it.

***completely unrelated***

today i put on my "fat jeans" which generally hang and look ridiculous on me.  i took them out of the closet and thought..."i want to wear baggy jeans today.  i will be so comfy."  so i popped them in the dryer to dewrinkle, got them out of the dryer, burnt my hand on the metal button, put them on and guess what?  yep, my "fat jeans" fit perfectly.  what a great way to start the day! {i'm being sarcastic if you were curious}

***perhaps semi-related***

i have been eating an obscene amount of halloween candy.  we didn't pass out candy but my nana brought us some and i bought a cheapity cheap bag full the day after.  yikes, i love kit kats.

*****
my cousin sarah & her husband josh should be welcoming their little guy, carter, into the world any day now.  i cannot wait to meet him!  sarah is really small and josh is really tall so it should be interesting to see what God knits together. 

*****
i plan on spending the evening at home tonight, drinking hot chocolate with marshmellows, reading, wearing pj's and hopefully a few friends will stop by for a visit.  the more the merrier.  c'mon.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

i could sleep for 24 hours

since i haven't taken any photos, i can't upload any pics for your blogging enjoyment so i guess this will have to be one installment of jen's life in words.  part 1 of many perhaps.  i hear you saying "awww" in disappointment.  i'm sorry people!


i've missed out on blogging all kinds of fun over the past few weeks.  lots of time with friends & students & family & benny.  lots of parties & hangouts & adventures.  i wish i could have been on top of things so that it wouldn't all be a blur today.  welp, what can you do?


here is a bunch of random nonsense to bring us up to speed...
{1} my house is completely un-fall-ish.  there isn't even a hint of festivities lurking.  it looks just like every other season.  i hope i get into the decorating spirit before christmas rolls around!

{1b} i went to michael's the other day and was already sucked into buying christmas-y things.  it was still october when that happened.  yikes.

{1c} c is sad.  i have sadly already let my perfectly clean wonder-house a la benny get cluttered again.  as soon as i get home today i am going to "super fast pick-up" which is where you pick-up...super fast.

{2} benny had his last day of observation today for the semester.  the sweet lady he observes had all the little babies draw ben pictures and then take a silly class picture for him.  isn't that the cutest thing you've ever heard?  he's going to be such a great teacher!

{3}we had all-city club this week.  it was a blast.  our club is changing some this semester which is exciting but a little strange all in one.  i miss the kids i used to see all the time but am excited because of the new opportunities that are being laid in front of us.

{3b} i have to get to give my first ever club talk next monday, the 8th.  i have eluded the "talk" for the past 5 years and now...it's go time.  i have a public speaking phobia.  it isn't mild.  like i have a physical reaction to it.  when jerry seinfeld jokes about people who are more scared of public speaking than death...that's me.  i just am praying that the Lord will do something miraculous {literally} and that "i may proclaim it [the gospel] clearly, as I should".  your prayers are welcomed & appreciated.

{4} for a few months i've been cooking up ideas for how i will someday quit working, have babies and stay at home.  i realize that this may never become a full-fledged reality but a girl came dream right?  while dreaming i've concocted quite a few avenues for me to bring a little extra cash.  purusing etsy is just about the biggest "I CAN DO THAT!" motivator i've ever seen.  i'll keep you up-to-date as i start to dabble.  its hard to dabble when you currently have a full-time job but if anything is good i will share it with the world {aka you}.


i could do that!
{living my dream here}

{5} my sweet friend mere just welcomed her sweet baby girl, elle, into the world.  is she a doll or what!?

{6} a few weeks ago we were blessed to participate in a golf outing for libby ryder.  if you contributed...thank you so much!  i know that they appreciate it.  justin actually got to come to town for the event and it was so awesome to see him. i hope that he felt really loved being here.  i pray that our friends continue to feel prayerfully and financially supported by our community.  the Lord has certainly blessed us with their friendship, i see Jesus in their lives.  i hope they feel encouraged in return.

there is more. but that is all for now. i shall return friends.