Day 832–Obligatory Bad Area Code Reference

I guess I’ll get to do it one more time in about 140 days…then I’ll be sad. I guess I’ll have to actually think of blog titles then.

The long and the short of it is that I made blueberry buckle, which was awesome for breakfast.  I went to Which Wich for lunch…always fantastic. And then I made homemade beef and potato empanadas, with black beans and rice (very Latin of me, I know).  It was really good food, and I enjoyed getting to do some work.

But that’s not really what I want to write about.

The events of the last week have caused an increase in clarity for me.  Perspective is funny like that.  A lot of the things I’ve been ruminating on came out in conversation last night, and for that I was truly grateful.  Even more so, I had the chance to stand up for a lot of those things today, which is always a blessing, even if its scary.  I look forward to sharing a little bit more in class tomorrow morning.

But that’s not really what I want to write about either.

The most significant thing I’ve been reminded of this week is how extremely lucky I am to have my wife.

Today, she got up early (on a Saturday) to go to work so we can pay rent and buy groceries and all that fun stuff.  She then came home, took a 45 minute nap, and took off to go run a 5K tonight.  She’s worked six days this week, gone to dinner with our friends twice (thrice if you want to count last night), will get up and go to church tomorrow and stay out all day so I can play basketball before life group, and then on Monday she’ll start the whole thing over again.  She was sick last week, so she’s doing all this after beating a virus into submission. She works hard, cares immensely, and pours herself into everything she does.

When the world is imploding around us, I take the greatest comfort in knowing my God is always in control and His will is supreme.  That being said…getting to wake up next to my beautiful wife every day is a close, close second.

Love you Abs.

Have a good one.

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Day 831–My Dinner With Sunjay

See what I did there? Culture people…culture.

And I returned from the no-blogging abyss just in time to make another crappy area code joke tomorrow. Life is good.

Since we last chatted we had a bizarre interview, a youth retreat, a sick wife, some birthdays, a disaster in Boston, a disaster here in Texas, and sweet sweet justice.  It’s been an eventful week or so, all things considered.  But my job is not to tell you about the past, my job is to tell you all about the mundane goings on in my daily life. So here we are.

I think I finished my last paper for grad school. Like, ever.  I got an A on one class, I’m awaiting grades on the second, and then the third might be finished. (Those of you that are observant are saying, “What? Three classes?” Yes…it wasn’t a pretty picture when that little nugget of wisdom was dropped on me.  Stay on top of your degree requirements kids…your advisors won’t do a good job. Trust me.) Then, I got a new basketball.  Which is terribly exciting…I think it’s the second ball I’ve ever bought.  The first was stolen. Sad times.

The true highlight of the day, however, was dinner with my good friend from high school, Sunjay.  It’s been many moons since we’ve talked and even longer since I’ve seen him in the flesh, so it was great to get to catch up. It’s always awesome to see old friends, but even better when you come away blessed by the conversation and by the knowledge that life is treating them really well.  Let’s try to make it a more regular occurrence bud.

Breakfast–Um…a cupcake? Maybe? That was so long ago…

Lunch–Tuna salad on celery.  You might be saying to yourself, “That sounds weird.” Or if you’re Abby, “That sounds disgusting.”  It was neither my friends…it was pure bliss.  Spicy Thai chili tuna, pumpkin seeds, and diced red onion filled into celery ribs.  It was AWESOME.

Snack–No snack. In other news, Nestle sucks.  Don’t buy their products, ESPECIALLY their bottled water. Here’s why.

Dinner–Sylvia’s Enchilada House, Sunjay’s recommendation.  Great food (two pork enchiladas with red sauce and verde sauce) and even better company and conversation.

Making blueberry buckle for breakfast tomorrow and then I think I’ll stare absent-mindedly at my paper trying to will it to be better.

Have a good one.

(And clearly, if we’ve learned anything from history, it’s DON’T SCREW WITH BOSTON.)

Day 822–Progress!

Ask, and you shall receive.

Most importantly, Abby seems to have turned a corner.  I think she got me sick in the process, but that’s how these things work sometimes.

Of second importance, #graduate2013 is back on track.  It’s going to be a little bit more complicated than I wanted–and it would have been good to know this complication existed a few months ago when I was told I was almost finished–but it should happen.  And when I’m done writing until my computer explodes, I will feel a great amount of relief.

Of third importance, I got a job interview! Friday. Pray.

I was able to sub at Westbury today, which was awesome.  Always enjoy seeing those kids, and I do have some good friends that still teach there.  And most of all, thanks to Casey Lankford for letting me crash his Bible classes and have some great conversations with him and with the kids.  Appreciated brother.

Breakfast–Fiber One bar.  In order to get to Westbury by the start of school, it requires getting up early. Very. Very. Early.

Lunch–Mr. Zhao has the best schedule EVER.  I had a couple of hours for lunch, so I went to China Stix and threw down a chicken and vegetable rice bowl.  There was much rejoicing in the land.

Dinner–Peanut butter and banana and peanut butter and cherry jelly sandwiches.  I wanted sugar.

Dentist tomorrow. And a meeting of the thugs.  Gonna be epic.

Have a good one.

Day 821–Balcony Garden

Our apartment the first time we lived here was pretty much perfect for an apartment “garden.”  Lots of direct sun, pretty good breeze to keep things cooled off; it was nice.  In fact, the only problem we had was that we traveled so much, watering was an issue…and some of the plants (especially the jalapeno) suffered greatly.  They looked like marbles instead of peppers and they were hotter than hades.  But the cilantro did as well as could be hoped and the rosemary flourished.  Can’t really kill rosemary.

This apartment is a stark contrast.  We don’t get much sun, but we will be here most of the time for watering and maintenance.  I planted some basil, some cilantro, and more jalapenos…hopefully these will be more edible, less firebomb.  And if everything goes well, there should be some awesome creations with fresh additions coming in future blogs.

Breakfast–A tangelo.  I don’t know why I’ve been anti-breakfast lately, especially since I know how important it is for weight loss.  I just can’t seem to motivate myself to eat anything, nothing sounds good, etc.  Maybe it’ll change.

Lunch–Two ham and turkey sandwiches with homemade pickles.  I took some baby cucumbers and made a brine out of rice wine vinegar, sugar, serrano chile, and a bit of salt.  They were gooooooood.

Dinner–Pei Wei.  Thai Wonton Soup and vegetable spring rolls.  Deliciousness.

Dessert–Some Ritz crackers with peanut butter, dipped in chocolate, and then I let it harden in the freezer for a bit.  Salty, sweet, and peanuty…pretty much awesome.

No update on any of the chaos from yesterday.  Abby is still sick, I’m still in graduation limbo, and nothing to report from the jobs.  But I feel better about all of it (except Abby…she needs to get better) so thats improvement.

Have a good one.

Day 820–Controlled Rage

My day started out with being able to cross something off my to-do list (shift some funds around for bookkeeping/savings purposes) before getting out of bed.

That was the highlight.

After that, I found out there’s a 50/50 chance I won’t graduate in May, that the school I applied at doesn’t have an opening in my preferred fields of teaching, that a headlight in my car had gone out, that Abby appears to be getting worse, that Manchester United decided against showing up to play in the Derby today, and that Jon Acuff just responded to a tweet of mine…that was, of course, sarcastically making fun of him. It was not a winning performance by Monday, to say the least.  It built on itself over and over and now I have this horrible pit of anger that’s causing more problems than I’d like.  Gotta harness my chi or something.

The good news is that we raised $6,000 last night, something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of.  And the migraine I’ve been nursing for the last couple of days now has a legitimate reason to be here.

And if you’re Jon Acuff and reading this, sorry I called you out.  The dome effect is legitimate and problematic. And you have every right to have no idea what it is.

Breakfast–That was a long time ago.  Honestly I have no recollection of what I ate, if anything at all. Let’s just move on.

Lunch–Ruggles Green with the wounded wife.  I had their spicy chicken tacos…not bad.  Buffalo burger is better. And now I know.

Snack–After the Manchester Derby put me in a foul mood, I decided to cheer up with a little Sonic.  Reese’s Blast, hot fudge…you know the drill.

Dinner–Shrimp fried rice with edamame, corn, and Tiger sauce.  Delicious.

Not a clue what I’ll be doing tomorrow.  I hope it does not involve A) having to find another school to apply for a job with or B) yelling at ACU for ruining my Monday before it had a chance to live and be happy.

Have a good one…or at least a better one.

Day 819–Taste of Sugar Grove

Good work tonight people.  With a little ingenuity, a lot of talent, and an ungodly amount of Cheez Whiz, we raised a lot of money for a great cause, and got uncomfortably stuffed in the process.  I’m humbled to say that I won second place for dessert (full disclosure: tie for second. Still counts.) and my baked goodies raked in $375 at auction.  Not bad for a guy who was consistently asked “So did your wife make these?”  I was blown away by the generosity and spirit of the Sugar Grove members tonight…I’m honored and blessed to be a part of such an amazing body of believers.

In less pleasant news, Abby is sick.  Might be strep, might be bronchitis, could be the black plague.  We’re covering all of our options just to be safe.  Lots of medicine, lots of OJ, and lots of antiseptic.  Hopefully she’ll get better quickly and it won’t knock us off our game for too long.

Breakfast–I was going to get donuts before church, decided that was an unhealthy choice, and ended up getting Pop-tarts.  I’m an idiot.

Lunch–Gringo’s with Leah and the Britts.  Such a great group of people…again, blessed with the community we have.  I had tortilla soup and was able to get some to take home to Abby, but the highlight of the meal–as always–was the fellowship and conversation.  Love those guys.

Dinner–I had a few tasting samples at ToSG, but when I got home Abby and I went to get more meds and grabbed Wendy’s on the way home.  Medium fries and a Spicy Chicken Sandwich hit the spot, as always.

So I went over today on calories, partially because I couldn’t really track everything and partially because I ate a lot of crap.  Put it together and you have a problem.

Hopefully I stay healthy and Abby gets healthy!

Have a good one.

Day 818–Gundermann Acres

You know, I generally have no idea how much food weighs.  My kitchen scale is a wonderful tool so I can get two ounces of pasta, four ounces of beef, etc.  And if I can’t handle it on a small scale, imagine on a large scale. Madness.

So when I ordered a small share box from Gundermann Acres and it promised 17 pounds of food, I wasn’t completely sure what I’d gotten myself into.  All I can say is, “Wow!”  It was a massive box with strawberries, grape tomatoes, a cucumber, kale, beets, radishes, three different kinds of lettuce, three different kinds of spinach…it was nuts.  And as we get farther into the summer, the berries are going to be incredible.  I’m psyched about this little arrangement, and the delicious food its going to help provide.

Breakfast–I got up this morning trying to finish off my Dolce Bars for Taste of Sugar Grove…and promptly made toffee on my first attempt at caramel.  My mom got me a great candy thermometer that for some reason doesn’t work for beans.  So it’s in the garbage now, next to the toffee and ruined shortbread.  Sorry mom…I won’t hold it against you.

Lunch–Chipotle with Leah and Kelsey!  A burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, carnitas, corn salsa, hot salsa, and lettuce.  And tea. Noooo soda. Tea.  If I hadn’t managed to develop a psychotic migraine while freaking out over the toffee fiasco, I think I would have had more fun AND been more fun.  Win/Win.  Had fun with the girls though!

Dinner–Pasta.  Whole wheat spaghetti, homemade pasta sauce, sauteed asparagus, shallot, and zucchini, with some chicken/apple sausage.  Just as good as it sounds my friends…just as good.

Dessert–Whipped cream with cocoa, lightly sweetened, and topped with blueberries.  Also as good as it sounds.

Taste of Sugar Grove tomorrow! Woohoo!

Have a good one.