Tuesday, May 31, 2011


**So, this post is about a week late. I've been meaning to write it, but I haven't had a chance to. I have a very good excuse, and that is excuse is that I've been pretty lazy**

 A long time ago, in a small little Louisiana town called New Orleans, there lived a young boy named Grant. He went to a church, and several young couples invested in his life in youth group and Bible studies. And one by one, all of those couples moved away. And he was sad. One of those couples was Tim & Peggy Crane.

Years later, a delightful little thing called Facebook came into all of our lives, and Grant was reconnected with the Crane's. As years went on, Peggy and I had a Facebook friendship that we both knew was the "real deal" if only we could MEET EACH OTHER IN PERSON.

And they were all "Hey, we live in Oregon, you should come see us" and we were all "Hey, we've never been there, maybe we should go" and Grant was all like "It will be like 'A River Runs Through It"" and I was all like "I could wear my Ugg boots and not look stupid". (Note, I wore my Ugg boots. It wasn't that cold. I looked stupid)

So last weekend, we flew to Portland, Oregon (or OreGON as our flight attendant, Dwayne pronounced it) to see Grant's old friends and my new friends, the Crane's and their adorable 7 year old son, Elijah. 

This was taken from our window as the plane was coming in for a landing. 

On Friday, Grant and Tim went fishing. They did something call spear-heading (that may be totally wrong and I might have just made that up) and they had a wonderful time. 

Another photo from their fishing excursion.

During their fishing trip, I got to see downtown Portland with Peggy and eat lunch at a swanky little restaurant where we both had risotto.

Then we went and picked up Elijah from school. Let me tell you something about this child: He is SUPER smart, SUPER funny, and SUPER well behaved. We instantly became friends. And I'd like to think we instantly became friends due to more than just the fact that I brought him Star Wars legos.

Tim's family has a cabin near Mt. Hood that was built in 1929 and has been in the family ever since. It was BEAUTIFUL. Such a treat!! They took us there where we stayed for two nights.

Isn't it just heavenly?!

 This creek is in front of the cabin. You hear it rushing all day and all night. It was the perfect white noise. Such a wonderful time amongst God's creation!!

Another view of the cabin.

While there, we munched on yummy food, had great talks, played some really ridiculously competitive card games, and drank coffee by the fire. There was no television, no cell service, no internet. Honestly, it felt liberating. The vacation was short, but it felt so long because it was such a retreat from everything.

This is Grant and Elijah building Lego's in their pajamas on Saturday morning. Peggy's back there making pancakes from scratch :)

Here's Tim by the fire. They were such greats hosts!!

So, there are actually 2 other members of the Crane family: Piper and Sadie. Piper is my BFF. On the drive to the Gorge, Piper crawled up in my lap and stayed there. She is a sweet girl.

And Sadie is also so sweet and loves to be loved on. She is a bit older and for her to lay down and get back up is a 12 step process but we just encouraged her through it. :)
Saturday we went down to the Columbia river gorge and shopped and ate. Y'all know I love shopping and eating. The mountains still had snow on them so it was quite a change from the 95 degree weather we've been having in Houston.

After we each ate about 3 cupcakes, we drove to the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.

Here is the mountain. It is bigger in person. Obviously.

And here we are in front of the mountain. We are also bigger in person.

Honestly, I can't imagine a more perfect getaway with better friends. Peggy taught me the all important game of Slap Poker and we also shared our love of the book "Bossy Pants". Grant got to be a mountain man for a few days and reconnect with old friends. And he got to build Legos with Elijah and I think he enjoyed it more than Elijah did.

Grant & Jen love the Crane's!!

They really are awesome :)

 Thanks for a wonderful trip!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Some Things Are Happening Around Here

Grant and I just returned from Portland, Oregon to visit some good friends of ours. We had so much fun in a beautiful, beautiful part of the country. Later this week I'll have an entire post with photos depicting myself as an outdoorsy mountain woman.

But, in the meantime, while I'm still gathering all of my photos, I'll let y'all in on a little secret...


Yep, I did it.

I'm on to something different and more fun :)

And you know something else?

I'm going to be self-employed.

I'm not quite ready to share alllll the details, but I am VERY excited :)

Also, we've recently learned that Moxie really doesn't like it when we get ready for work with the lights on.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Retail Therapy

Now, normally, I ease my stress with food. Yes, I eat my feelings. If you've been reading this blog for any period of time, you've learned that pasta is my cure-all. Or chips and queso. And Diet Cokes. And PRETTY MUCH JUST CARBOHYDRATES IN GENERAL.

However, all this stress in my life has manifested itself in a new, different way lately. Let's just say that I've been on a little shopping journey the last few weeks. It has got to stop.

TJ Maxx and I have BECOME VERY CLOSE FRIENDS. I've purchased some tops from there in recent days. Also, I found a pair of sandals that were in my size (UNHEARD OF) and were seven kinds of cute. But even at TJ Maxx they were still $99.00. Apparently Coach shoes are expensive no matter where you buy them. I did not buy them.

I did got to Target and I bought this bag.

When I saw it I said (out loud, in the store) "OH. Oh no. You have to come with me."

I love it with my whole heart.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


When you spend Friday night with friends, holding newborn babies.....

When you get to sleep in on Saturday morning...

When you get a pedicure with a bright, summery color.....

When the lady doing your pedicure asks "you have prom tonight?"........

When you eat a peanut butter sandwich for lunch while watching the shows you recorded during the week...

When you have dinner at a little Italian joint with 3 girlfriends after a hilarious car ride together...

When you and those 3 girlfriends go to a Josh Groban concert....

When Josh Groban sings "February Song", "Oceano" and "Broken Vow"....

When the car ride home is SO EVER LOVING FUNNY...

When you go to church and sing great songs and hear a great sermon...

When you have lunch after church with friends and discuss topics that are both funny and serious...

When you take a nap on the couch...

When you play with the doggy outside in the backyard on a beautiful, beautiful day...

That's how you know you've had a great weekend!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I Love Me Some Haley

From the first time she sang "Fallin" by Alicia Keys weeks and weeks ago, I knew Haley had a killer voice. You hear me? KILLER.

The judges have been hating on her all season. She hasn't been getting a ton of buzz. They've been overly hard on her and have not been recognizing just how good her voice is! Yes, she needs help with stage presence but THE GIRL CAN SING.

I will only be satisfied if a girl wins. I am okay with Haley winning. I am okay with Lauren winning. I am NOT okay with James being the winner. The person I am most irritated with is He-Who-Holds-His-Microphone-Like-A-Flute-And-Sings-Out-Of-The-Corner-Of-His-Mouth.

Plus, it's been a long time since a girl has won the show. And the two boys that are left bug me to no end.

I feel like I'm the only person on this planet who loves Haley. Anybody else? DOES ANYONE ELSE RECOGNIZE HOW GOOD SHE IS?!?!? She is SO GOOD!!!

I would also like to take this time to point out that Lady Gaga is indeed, absolutely insane. Her wig last night seemed to be made of panda hair.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Confession Session

1. After listening to Mandisa share her joy on the radio this morning about how she has lost 120 lbs., I promptly pulled into the Kolache Factory and purchased TWO sausage and cheese kolaches for breakfast. And they were sooooo good.

2. On Sunday, I made a yellow cake with cream cheese frosting. Problem is, as soon as I put the cake in the oven, I realized I forgot to spray the pan with Pam! The cake still tastes ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS but, sadly, it looks like a hot mess since it didn't come out of the pan all the easily. Grant and I are still eating it though.

3. My big bad day from last week and the reason I'm in a rental car is because I was in a wreck. Yup, I was. And it was my fault. I rear-ended someone. It wasn't all that bad of an accident (her truck was pretty much fine) but I hit right in the sweet-spot and it is costing alot of money to fix my car. I feel horrible about stuff like that. I mean, clearly it wasn't intentional, and I wasn't on the phone or anything, but I hate that I'm costing us money.

4. I really don't like being the more expensive spouse.

5. There are some BIG THINGS on the horizon for Jen the Newlywed. NON-PREGNANCY RELATED things. Things that make me very happy. Things I hope to share with you soon! (I repeat: Not. Pregnant.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

He May Be Weirder Than Me

Scene: It's 8:15am on Saturday morning. Jen has just woken up, rolls over, and sees her husband laying next to her, just waking up...

Jen: (yawns) Good Morning....

Grant: Good Morning.

Jen: How did you sleep?

Grant: Um, very Bob Seger-like.

Jen: (blank stare) What does that mean?

Grant: (bursting into song) LIKE A ROCK!!!!!

Jen: Wow.

Friday, May 6, 2011

If You Weren't Completely Convinced that I'm Weird, This Should Settle That For You

So, I'm a bizarre human being.

And sometimes I find a new hobby or activity that most people wouldn't find all that entertaining but I JUST LOVE IT.

A few weeks ago, someone posted this little activity on facebook called "How to Create An Album Cover". The directions were simple:

1. Go to wikipedia and click "Random Article". The title of whatever article comes up is the name of your band.

2. Go to http://www.quotationspage.com/ and click on "Random Quote". The last 4 or 5 words of the 5th quote on the page is the title of the album.

3. Go to flickr.com and click the "Interesting Uploads from the Past 7 Days" page. The 3rd photo is the image for your album cover.

4. Go to http://www.picnik.com/ and put them all together.

Now, here's where I get weird. I did ONE of these and I was hooked. I MAKE THEM ALL THE TIME NOW. Especially when I'm in a bad mood or something. I make them and they make me laugh. Here are just a few of the assortment I have created:

I know, I'm a weirdo.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Rental

I am currently driving a rental car.

I was hoping I could get something fun for a few days. Something chic, like a sports car.

Or maybe something sporty, like a little SUV.

You know, just a little fun for a few days while my car is in the shop.

But, instead, I got a station wagon.

So sexy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Things I Learned About Myself Yesterday

1. When you start off the day crying, you should probably just stay home.

2. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have caffeine before you get your day started. You can't function without it.

3. Don't leave the house in the morning without spending some time in prayer, reading your Bible, or both. You have to have perspective.

4. Sometimes we all have to learn our lesson.

5. Sometimes that IS NO FUN AT ALL.

6. Sometimes something that's not a big deal brings up a whole bunch of junk that is a big deal.

7. I don't like to be a burden to other people.

8. Before I turn to God in my times of sadness, I turn to food. This needs to change. He needs to be my first place I turn to, not my last resort.

9. Sleep makes everything better.

10. At some point,I should've just declared May 3, 2011 as a failure and gone home and gone to sleep until it was May 4. There are sometimes that you just have to surrender.

11. Submit to the fact that you've lost all perspective and things aren't really that bad but now you've been crying so long that you're just all together a mess.

12. Hugs from the husband are very, very helpful.
13. Pray more.

14. Surrender to the ugly cry.

15. Tomorrow is coming.

And now that it is tomorrow, I can say with a BIG SMILE on my face that today is SO much better than yesterday, God is good, and everything is going to be a-okay. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today Is Not Going Well...

Oh, man. Today has not been a good day.

Even before 8am, today has not been a good day. I'm not going to get into why.

What I will tell you is that on the way to work, I immediately started thinking about all the things that make me feel better.

What makes Jen feel better when she is not doing so well?

Well, this video for one thing:

And also the following, because I like to eat my feelings:

God bless carbohydrates. Amen.