Tag Archives: weekend

Journey Journal: Days 152-153

Day 152: Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day One of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free June! So far so good. Started with breakfast of a two-egg omelet with roasted tomatoes and garlic and caramelized onions, a glass of orange juice, and a press of coffee with coconut milk. During the morning, Bryan and some of our guy friends helped out on a yard work project at Frontline Missions. So to thank them for their hard work, we grilled them a lunch of teriyaki chicken thighs and shrimp, and grilled pineapple. I tossed together a spinach salad, and they shared a loaf of sourdough bread from Simple Gifts–Old World Artisan Breads (made by our friends Dave & Cathy Miller–I did not have a piece because I knew if I said “I’ll start gluten-free tomorrow” that tomorrow would never come). After lunch, the guys played a game and I took a nap. After my nap, I went on a 5 mile walk/run. It was just what I needed to get my mind ready for worship on Sunday. Then for dinner I heated up some leftover steak, caramelized a red onion, and threw it into some corn tortillas with some spinach. Then I cooked up a sweet potato with some garlic, thyme and tarragon.

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Day 153: Sunday, June 2, 2013

Grabbed a banana and some orange juice on our way out the door for church. For lunch, Bryan made us “breakfast tortillas” with scrambled eggs, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, salsa, and bacon in corn tortillas. Delicious! Did a workout video for about an hour. Then for dinner, we made a chicken teriyaki stir-fry with jasmine rice, carrots, mushrooms, daikon, and broccoli (I topped mine with a little bit of chopped cashews). We steeped a pot of Oolong tea and turned on some classical music as we listened to the raindrops and rumbles of thunder outside. A good ending to a good weekend.

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Journey Journal: Days 72-77

Day 72: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Today was a green smoothie day. Breakfast’s smoothie included spinach, lettuce, carrot, ginger, fresh lemon juice, fresh ginger root and honey–tasted like a spicy lemonade! Lunch’s smoothie included spinach, carrots, a frozen banana, strawberries, blackberries, ginger, lemon juice, and honey–very different than breakfast, and still quite good. For dinner, I made a stir-fry of rice, black-eyed peas, a scrambled egg, peppers, onions, garlic, and tomato. Bryan got home from work a couple hours later and I had a small portion of mac-n-cheese with him. Surprisingly, after being off dairy for basically a month or more, and after having loads of antioxidants all day, the dairy did not affect me nearly as much as it used to! So, apparently it’s not quite an allergy, but I still had some sinus issues the next day, so it’s still something I want to avoid as much as possible.

Day 73: Thursday, March 14, 2013

Highlight of today was lunch with Bryan and our friends Dave & Rachel downtown Greenville! I had fish tacos–no sour cream, but they were still delicious, topped with guacamole and Pico de Gallo. We always have a good time with them. Met up with Leigh at Goga after work for a workout and some sauna time–always a stress-reliever.

Day 74: Friday, March 15, 2013

Lunch with my mother-in-law at Ruby Tuesdays. Went with the Caribbean Chicken & Coconut-Crusted Shrimp, with sugar snap peas and their garden bar. It was a nice visit, and I really enjoyed the food. After work, my friend Carissa came over with her adorable puppy for a stroll around the neighborhood…and a good chat.

Day 75: Saturday, March 16, 2013

Started the day with Goga, after sleeping in and a quick bowl of cereal with almond milk and blackberries. Then worked for a couple of hours, did some errands and chores, went on a short walk–still, it was a bit of an “off” day, for whatever reason. I think we all have those from time to time–maybe it’s because I cheated with the dairy this week a little, or the barometric pressure whiplash of the season change, or the fact that I’m on a plateau with my weight loss, or whatever it is that throws us occasionally. I made pumpkin black bean soup and had that for lunch and supper with a few corn tortilla chips.

Day 76: Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fortunately, had a good night’s sleep. Grabbed a banana and some nuts for breakfast before heading out the door for church. Had a fabulous day of services at Heritage. J.D. Crowley, missionary to Cambodia, preached from Romans 7 and 8 in the morning service, and Danny Brooks preached from Galatians in the evening. Sandwiched between was 2nd grade Journey Group, Chinese lunch buffet with our co-teacher Sarah, coffee, setting up for evening service, and some fresh air on a short walk. God is so good! After church, I had a long chat with a dear friend and mentor and witnessed an incredible sunset! Since we’ve been pretty good overall with our diet, we decided to splurge and have grilled beef franks with baked beans, coleslaw, and fruit salad.

Day 77: Monday, March 18, 2013

Had an apple and some trail mix for breakfast with coffee. Lunch was leftovers from last night. Had a productive day at work…especially for a rainy Monday. For dinner, I had a free spicy chicken sandwich from Chik-fil-a with a small order of waffle fries, followed by a free soy latte from Starbucks with a dear friend, Faith. We had a great conversation! Then I headed to Bible study with the ladies for a conversation about how big our God is, and how we should never try to constrain Him into our man-made, mental, miniature boxes. The Gospel is Power…for salvation…for sanctification…for wisdom…for life…stronger than any other power out there! Simply put, the Gospel is Jesus Christ!

Journey Journal: Days 25-28

Day 25: Friday, January 25, 2013

Today was likely the coldest day of the year so far. I got sent home early from work because of icy roads, so I had a chance to get in some R&R, including baking some multi-grain bread with flax, sesame, and poppy seeds. It turned out pretty good. Next time, I’m going to try soaking the oats before adding them to the dough though, to see if it will help make the bread more moist. When Bryan got home from work, we had a “date night in” of homemade pizza (light on the cheese; heavy on the vegetables) and watched a movie, before heading to bed early.

Day 26: Saturday, January 26, 2013

Woke early and sent Bryan off to ski with our Jr. High group from church. Never did fall back asleep. Finally rolled out of bed around 9AM and had a cup of coffee and some leftover pizza from last night’s “date night in” (I’m a sucker for cold pizza for breakfast…don’t judge.) Went to a workout with my friend Leigh at GOGA Studios–it was an interesting concept, working out on a vibrating platform, so your muscles have to work extra hard to stay balanced. I especially enjoyed the vibrating massage and sauna! It took a little longer than planned, so I ran straight to my next appointment without eating lunch (bad idea).

Today was the day we got our cow! No, we’re not becoming farmers; several families in our church went in on a cow and had it butchered. It’s a semi-hefty chunk of cash up front, but then I don’t have to buy beef for a whole year (we still have about 8 packs from last year, so we’ll try to use those up first). Last year, the friend who ordered the cow separated it all out himself; this year, several of us decided to pitch in and help with the heavy lifting (literally…grand total of about 1,460 pounds between 9 families!). Not sure if I’m more sore from GOGA or beef sorting, but it was a good day’s work…took about two hours to get it all separated out.

Had a quick (albeit late) lunch, then closed my eyes for about 15 minutes before the nephews arrived so my sister and her husband could have a date night. We had a good time, filled with Wii and Stratego and homemade hamburgers.

Day 27: Sunday, January 27, 2013

After yesterday’s extremely long and exhausting day for both of us, we declared today’s day of rest to actually include rest, so we went out to lunch using a gift card from Christmas at lunch. It was a nice break from cooking. Trying to eat no dairy at a restaurant is more challenging than I thought. Fortunately, the chef was happy to cook the green beans in olive oil instead of butter and to put the cream sauce on the side; besides, the grilled chicken was very flavorful without the sauce, so I’m not sure why I would want to add the extra calories anyway. Bryan had steak and shrimp with green beans and rice, and we both had salads too (we skipped the bread basket and dessert, and both of us brought half of our lunches home for another meal).  I thought about going on a walk, but after all the workouts we did yesterday, I opted to take a brief nap before evening service. Then Bryan made curry for dinner! And we were in bed by about 10:30!

Day 28: Monday, January 28, 2013

Tired today, which is weird since we went to bed earlier than normal last night. Drinking lots of water. Breakfast was sourdough toast with peanut butter and marmalade and a cup of hot green tea. Good 30 minute workout at lunch, followed by a meal of meatloaf, potato wedges, green beans, and a pear. A good day of work, but ready for another early bed time. We’ve been getting to bed earlier on these more active days, and it makes it easier to get up the next day, so I want to keep this pattern going while I can. Bible reading has not been quite as good this past week, so I’m excited to jump back into John and Exodus this week. I think if I can discipline myself to get to bed on time, I would be able to concentrate most effectively on the Word first thing in the morning–with a cup of coffee in hand. After a supper of curried lentils and a mixed greens salad with strawberries, leftover grilled chicken, slivered almonds, and avocados, three of my friends came over for our bi-weekly Bible Study and Fellowship. It was good to rehearse the works of the Lord over the past two weeks, and to pray together for His strength through the next two weeks and beyond. I was once again overwhelmed with my unloveliness and Christ’s great and unconditional love.

Journey Journal: Days 4-6

Day 4: Friday, January 4, 2013

Had a small glass of orange juice and a cup of coffee with my multi-grain pancakes before heading to work. Good day at work, though it didn’t feel like Friday with a holiday right in the middle of the week. Lunch was a few leftover pork, brussels sprout, and carrot egg rolls with a half a cup of homemade baked apples. Had a cup of tea and a square of dark chocolate for an afternoon snack, and did some reorganizing in the back office at work, which I counted as my weight training for the day. After work, we walked 1.5 miles. For dinner, I had some barbecued beef on a small pumpernickel roll with a slice of swiss cheese, a salad, green beans, and more baked apples for dessert.

Day 5: Saturday, January 5, 2013

Slept in! Praise God for Saturdays! Bryan made rice and eggs for breakfast, and we had some baked apples again–they’re kind of addicting! Didn’t track my food today–it’s good to have a cheat day about once a week. We still focused on vegetables and lean meat, and we walked a 5K together in the afternoon before heading out on our continued search for an elliptical. We think we found the one we want, thanks to some recommendations from friends. For dinner, we had our friends Jared and Heather over and got to use our shish kebab set for the first time! (It was a Christmas gift from my folks.) We marinated some beef and pork, along with shallots and bell peppers and fired up the grill. Our friends brought baked broccoli, and we had some mushroom garlic risotto as a small side. For dessert, we shared a French Press of coffee with some dark chocolate. We talked much…of life and struggles, of freedom and truth, of sorrows and joys, and much of Christ. So thankful for godly comrades in the faith that share a passion for Jesus. It was a sweet ending to a long week.

Day 6: Sunday, January 6, 2013

More pancakes and coffee for breakfast. Lunch was a smorgasbord of leftovers–cleaning out the fridge before grocery shopping time again. We had pork and rice with mushrooms, onions, and peppers: it hit the spot! My cousin Ryan made it into town, ready for his final semester of college! We had a good conversation with him and one of his fellow students. Then when the guys gathered upstairs to listen to old records, I decided to take a 2.5 mile walk (to finish my weekly 25K goal). It was a beautiful afternoon, and I meditated on the mercy of God (the attribute of God that we reviewed with our second graders this morning). After a quick shower, we headed to church for a “Concert of Prayer” service. It was times of prayer interspersed with various songs reflecting on the different types of prayer: from adoration, to confession, to petition and intercession, and finally, thanksgiving. It was beautiful! We did some prayer times individually, some with a prayer partner, and some in small groups. It was a refreshing time. And afterwards, my cousin and his friend came back to the house for a dinner of cubed steak, salad, and roasted vegetables (parsnips, carrots, cauliflower, red potatoes and onions), more conversation and good music, and a dessert of wontons filled with baked apples–fried, and tossed in cinnamon sugar. And now for bed, as we must rise early for Bryan’s first day back to school for the semester! Not sure where Christmas break went. Good night.

A Recent Weekend Getaway – Beaufort, Savannah, and Charleston

We finally made it down to the Low Country to visit Bryan’s folks, celebrate my and his mom’s birthdays, and get away one last time before he really got busy with school. We drove down Thursday night after work and school and stayed at their lovely little rental in Beaufort, SC.

Common Ground Coffee Shop in Beaufort, SC, was our first stop on Friday morning! Anything from lattés and brevés to organic hot tea, from cinnamon rolls to sandwiches. So quaint and a great view of the coast. (Bryan and his mom)

Lunch at one of my in-laws’ favorite little local gems, Red Rooster Cafe!

Pimento Cheese and Bacon on a Burger with Sweet Potato Fries and Sweet Tea in Mason Jars! What more could you ask for?! (Not exactly a lean meal, but hey, it was my birthday weekend. After all, you don’t turn 31 every day!)

I love the coast! Who needs mulch when you have seashells?!

We checked out all kinds of antique shops and other little local stores around Beaufort and Port Royal, SC, on Friday.

Shrimping Boats, Port Royal, SC

Birthday Dinner at Dockside Restaurant in Port Royal, SC

Baked Scallops, Cajun Rice and Steamed Veggies

Adorable little book shop in Bluffton, SC, on our way to Savannah on Saturday.

The front of The Storybook Shoppe. There were several art galleries and local shops in Bluffton that caught our attention, but this was my favorite.

Welcome to Savannah, home of Joel Chandler Harris, one of my all-time favorite authors and storytellers!

Bryan and his folks in Savannah – don’t you just love those trees and all that Spanish Moss?!

I just loved this old building.

There were all kinds of statues and monuments along the river.

We stopped at a half dozen antique shops and a few art galleries, including this one where Artist Susie Chisholm was sculpting historic figures.

The city market in Savannah was bustling with street musicians, vendors, and tourists. Of course, I bought a couple of bags of Savannah Pecan Coffee Beans!

Sunday, we met up with our good friends Dave & Rachel, who happened to be in Charleston for their anniversary weekend! We had lunch on Johns Island at one of their favorite spots (and now one of ours), Fat Hen! Its only about 10 minutes outside of Charleston, and a must-do if you’re in the area.

BBQ Duck Sandwich with Slaw at Fat Hen

Our final stop before strolling around downtown Charleston and heading home was to one of our favorite coffee houses for a little dessert – East Bay Meeting House. It’s moved across the street from its original location, but still has great atmosphere, decadent desserts, and delicious coffee! (Though, I miss the old, green leather couch.)

Bryan and his favorite Roasted Chestnut Brevé

Dave gets a little intense with his chocolate cake and macchiato – and Rachel just laughs at him.

My favorite part (besides the atmosphere) is that all their products are organic! Yay! And I love supporting local vendors instead of big chains, as often as possible.

One last shot of the delicious organic cake! And that’s a wrap on this Low Country weekend-getaway-to-remember! We’ll be back soon!

So This Is What a Weekend Feels Like…

Subs, corn on the cob, fruit salad with a honey orange glaze, peach-thyme green tea, and a game…or six!

This past week, my husband started a new job! He’s been working night shift security at the hospital for the last 15 months – and his shift was every weekend – Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, which meant he had to sleep a good bit during most of those days. He was still able to make it to some services at church, but not as many as we would like; we definitely looked forward to Bible study on Tuesday nights and Shepherding Group on Wednesdays. Well, he finished that job last Monday morning and began as a part-time Facilities Assistant at our church this past Wednesday. We praise the Lord for providing this position, which will enable Bryan to return to school to complete a Respiratory Therapy degree, as well as be on the same schedule as me and be able to be more involved at church.

Needless to say, this weekend was his first weekend off in a very, VERY long time! We got to spend most of the weekend together, and we kept looking at each other and saying things like, “So this is what a weekend feels like,” or “So, this is what normal couples do every weekend?” and other romantic niceties. It was nice! I am so privileged to be married to my best friend!

This weekend, Greenville hit some record high heat levels, so we decided to get up early on Saturday morning and do the yard work before it hit 100°F. We were done by about 10:30AM, cleaned up, and headed downtown for lunch at one of our favorite spots, The Velo Fellow (we had a Living Social voucher that we needed to use). He got burger sliders and I ended up with a giant salad, loaded with bacon, ham, cheese, eggs, avocado, almonds, tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette. We split the honey glazed croissant that came with my salad for dessert. She brought it out last, so it was still hot and sticky! Yum!

After lunch, we walked around the mall for a while (yes, we must be getting old, but at least it had air conditioning), and we ended up at our favorite little local game store, Boardwalk. We bought an expansion for the game Dominion, plus some cool beverages (I got iced tea and Bryan got an iced Starbucks mocha – role reversal much??). We ended up playing three rounds of Dominion with the new expansion before the day was over.

Sunday was refreshing with good services and music. And Bryan was finally able to help me teach Sunday School again! We had another voucher for Grille 33 for lunch, and Bryan rated it “Best Burger in Town,” which is a very high praise, if you know Bryan. Then we went on a little Sunday afternoon drive, rested a little at home, went to evening service, and then played three more rounds of Dominion with some friends after church on Sunday night. It was like one big, long date! (No, we don’t normally eat out much, but this was a celebration weekend…and we hardly spent any money with those vouchers, which was an added bonus.)

I’ll try to write more over the next month to catch you up on various happenings. Upcoming blog posts: summer book reviews (I have about five books I need to tell you about), my first trip to NYC, and most importantly my little brother’s wedding (the reason for the NY trip)!! I also co-hosted a baby shower with a burlap and teddy bear theme, plus I have one military appreciation lunch that I’m doing decorations for, and two weddings that I’m doing flowers and reception coordinating for in the next month. So, it will be busy, but I’ll try to write at least once a week besides the weekly meal plan post. God has also been teaching me some things about holding things loosely (“living with my hands wide open“), being flexible, trusting, etc., so I want to share those with you in the near future too.

How was your weekend?!

Weekending

This past weekend started with dinner at Flat Rock Cafe with Bryan and his folks. I had the Hickory Salmon on a Flatrock Salad, which has blue cheese, glazed walnuts, dried cranberries and sliced granny smith apples. Yum!

Saturday started early. Bryan had Men’s Prayer Breakfast at church, and I had my friend Heather (of Wife Mom Runner) over for breakfast. We had Basil Omelet Cups and Organic Fruit Salad. I added spinach, mushrooms, and ground sausage to the eggs and used mozzarella instead of cheddar. They were delicious! The fruit salad was compliments of all the wonderful things from my Milk & Honey Organics baskets the last two weeks (orange segments, apple, pear, banana, and blueberries). Yum! And such a good time catching up with Heather!

We stayed up far too late on Friday night catching up on Hulu and talking, so after Bryan got home, we took a short nap before I got ready for my lunch interview. It’s not what you think. I actually interviewed Christine, the owner of Milk & Honey Organics.

Christine and I met at Everyday Organic at Cherrydale (one of my new favorites) and had a wonderful time. She had the chicken salad on wheat and I had the Cherrydale Turkey on wheat (turkey, lettuce, goat cheese, and sliced granny smith apples), each with the quinoa salad as our side dish. We split our sandwiches so we could taste both of them. We talked as if we had been friends for years. I can’t wait to share the interview with you! Stay tuned for that!

For dinner, we met up with our old Game Night group and had a fun time playing Poker, eating chili, drinking IBC root beer, and sharing lemon tarts (along with the age old inside jokes, of course)!

The funniest part about this is that she just cleaned her husband out, and he's still cheering.

I ended up making graham cracker crust crackers (basically, press graham cracker crust into muffin papers and bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes) and topped them with Ina Garten’s lemon curd (in which I used 2 lemons and 2 key limes instead of 3 lemons) and some pomegranate arils. Yum! The first attempt, I filled the lemon curd into the muffin papers, but it never set (even when I tried freezing it), so we tried just a teaspoon on each graham cracker crust cookie, and it worked great. Picture below:

Sunday was a great day of services. Sunday morning, Pastor spoke on Romans 14 and dealing with differences among fellow Christians graciously. In our Sunday School class, we had a couple give a testimony of their experiences making difficult decisions (which included a long distance engagement, living in China, getting pregnant in the first few months of their marriage, having a child with only half a heart, doing a short term mission to Indonesia, getting pregnant again, and traveling on deputation to return to Indonesia). It was a wonderful, transparent time that really helped me see that we’re not the only couple going through life changing decisions and challenges.

Sunday lunch was garlic-y sauteed greens and roasted yams and yukons (golden potatoes, that is)! We haven’t consciously made a choice to become vegetarians or anything like that, but due to current budget constraints, it just happens in about 75% of our meals right now. The cool part is, we both love fruits and vegetables, and it’s fun experimenting with putting different ones together. And when we do splurge for meat, it doesn’t feel quite so bad to spend the money on all-natural and organic options because it’s more of a treat than a necessity.

Sunday night, we were privileged to watch the premiere showing of the fourth Dispatches from the Front DVD, a glimpse into God’s Kingdom in India. It was inspiring and beautiful! God really is working all over the world, and His purposes are so much bigger than I can understand. It’s like I’m looking up, asking “Why?” and only being able to see the underside of a tapestry. Meanwhile, God is looking down and seeing the beautiful artistry of all those strings woven together into a perfect picture! And I have to choose to stop trying to figure out the strings on the underside and just trust the Artist!

Finally, I want to share a blog I recently came across.

This blog is put together by a Christian couple, living a simple life. It’s called Frugal Granola, and I can’t stop reading it! Check it out. They’ve got great recipes, crafts, devotionals, etc., but the Simple Living section is my favorite. It’s like reading a beautiful novel. It’s about making difficult choices to follow the dream of a simple life, the challenges of miscarriage and adoption, the joys of being a stay-at-home mom, and the journey of their marriage. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I’ve been learning so much recently, but I’m having a hard time putting it into words. God is stretching me and reinforcing my heart’s desires and teaching me to trust Him by trusting my husband, and so many other things. Just know my heart is full. God is so good and I am truly overwhelmed by that instead of my circumstances right now. Have a great week! It’s a busy week, but I’ll be back soon, so stay tuned!

~Melissa

Weekend Glimpse

Well, I’ve made it through my first week of classes and full-time work. It’s going to be a busy load, but I’m thankful to have Bryan’s support. He cleaned the bathroom and even went to the grocery store today for me.

Breakfast was blackberry quinoa. Snack was figs with ricotta and honey-cinnamon butter. Lunch was a small bagel with organic cream cheese. It was a long day at work. But I got to look forward to one of my good college buddies coming to stay with us for the weekend! While I anticipated her arrival, I straightened up the house and made a big lasagna. While the lasagna baked, I did the XStretch video in preparation for my first 5K tomorrow!

The lasagna was delicious! I made half with all-natural ground chuck for Bryan and half with veggies for me (organic mushrooms, Vidalia onion, and green pepper and summer squash from Saturday’s market basket). I used 1 jar of Earth Fare’s Organic Portobello Mushroom spaghetti sauce and 1 jar of Muir Glen’s Organic Mushroom Marinara Sauce. For the cheese, I used 1/2 large container fat-free ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, and filled the second 1/2 of the container loosely with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and mixed in 1 all-natural egg.

Dinner’s done. I had some good catch-up time with Meg, though she’s feeling sick and tired after traveling today. 😦 Bryan’s friend Josh came over for dessert and now he and Bryan are chatting. Meg is in bed and I am heading to my bed momentarily. I need a good night’s rest before tomorrow’s run. We have to be at the race at 8AM. Start time is 9AM. It should be a fun morning! Bryan’s even coming to cheer me on, even if it rains.

Then I have a couple errands to do and Bryan’s probably helping photograph a wedding. At 2, he and the guys are coming over to watch soccer while my friend April and I address baby shower invites for my cousin! They’re adorable! I can’t wait to see them printed!

Saturday evening I need to study and put my schedule in my daytimer with all my assignments and due dates. Then hopefully I get at least an hour to chill and maybe hang with Meg some more (she has plans all day on Saturday). Then she’s coming to church with us on Sunday a.m. before heading home. Meg was my prayer partner in college. I’ve missed our prayer times.

Well, all, it’s past my bedtime. I’ll let you know how the race goes…even if it’s just a comment on this post. Good night!