One month from today

In a month, my husband and I are making a huge step in life.

We close on a new house. Our first house. We are first-time home buyers. It’s exhilarating. It’s exciting. It’s terrifying.

But I’m so in love with my new house.

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This has been, without a doubt, one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. And am still doing! Between financial side of things and logistical, I’m pretty much exhausted 24/7. But I am learning SO MUCH. We went into this literally knowing nothing about the home buying process. But we have surrounded ourselves with kind, patient and understanding people from day one. So far, the process has been smooth and I feel wiser (and older!) from it.

This month is going to fly by… But it’s also going to drag. I want to be in the new place NOW even as I’m going, “I don’t have enough time to get it all done!”

But it will get done. And it will be amazing.

[Blogging for Books] — The Chopped Cookbook

IMG_20140831_172959239_1 Confession: I am addicted to the show Chopped. I DVR it. I have judges I love. I have judges I hate. I get really invested in the contestants through the course of an episode. I really don’t think I’ve missed an episode.

So when I heard about The Chopped Cookbook I got excited. I got twice as excited when the opportunity came to review it.

I love this cookbook. It’s not just a cookbook with recipes telling you how to make delicious and unique dishes, it helps explain WHY the dishes work. So, its not just a hot-to-make book, it’s also full of great lessons like how to find the perfect fruit or vegetable, how to make different sauces, and go-to guides in herbs and cooking techniques.

The best thing about this book, though? It focuses on items you probably already have in your kitchen. It builds great recipes on items that most people buy anyway. This is where the book differs from the show… no crazy chicken feet or obscure fruit from a remote place in China. Just basic home goodies made great.

I have a weakness for cookbooks. I have a LOT of them. But there’s one thing for sure: The Chopped Cookbook is going to stay at the top of the pile and is destined to be smudged and stained from use.

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Five on Friday: Reasons I can’t stop smiling

Life has been a whirlwind lately. (When is it not, right!?) I’ve been very hesitant to write about some of the stuff going on, because I am so afraid of jinxing it. But. Here’s goes…

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1. Aggies win their season opener! Hey, I had to start with this one. Especially since everyone went into this game expecting us to lose. But not only did we win, we WON. 52 – 28. Whoop! On top of it all, we had an amazing turn out for the game watching party in Brentwood. My heart was so full the entire time. I found myself flitting from table to table trying to take it all in… I left feeling so jazzed and happy and…. I love being an Aggie!

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I made my husband take a selfie with me after the game… we’d just watched the Aggies win!

2. The #ALSIceBucketChallenge. Why does this make me smile? Because its bringing awareness to ALS, which is part of the Muscular Dystrophy family. Which if you read this blog very often, you know that MDA and any research towards fighting muscular dystrophy is very, very important to me. I challenge everyone to give! Help us find a cure!

3. We’re buying a house.  I’m going to have to start a blog post series on this venture. It’s overwhelming. It’s terrifying. It’s exciting. I’m GIDDY. And exhausted. Please, please, please don’t let my posting this jinx the whole thing. Its never a done deal until the final papers are signed, so I’m scared to say anything. But I’m ready to burst with excitement. I can’t hold it in any more!

Pending!
Pending!

4. My husband is okay. There was a huge storm last weekend, and a stage roof collapsed on my husband’s gear. When he called me and told me what happened, I started shaking like a leaf. I was trying to comprehend that he was okay. No one was hurt. Yes, there is a lot of gear damage. No, we don’t know what we’re going to do. But all that mattered was that he was okay.

Roof on one keyboard. The other face down on the ground where it fell and landed.
Roof on one keyboard. The other face down on the ground where it fell and landed. Had he been standing there, that truss would have landed on his head.

5. Running on faith. Right now, there is so much going on… SO much. I’ve been getting more calls for photography gigs. Aggie club. House purchase. Insurance on my husband’s gear. Moving. Working extra nights. I am overwhelmed often. I’m also being quickly reminded time and time again how important faith is to me. Because its through faith that everything is coming together. And as long as I give it all to God… I’m going to be all right. And that… is something to smile about.

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…