Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Blog

Hello! I have been blogging on my new blog for a few months now, but totally forgot to post it here! Head on over to http://theadventuresofmrsnorth.wordpress.com/ and follow me there! I'm looking forward to continuing sharing my thoughts over a cup of coffee with you!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A New Season

      Well hello! It has been quite a few months since I have posted here. Much has happened since the last time you heard from me. On February 25th, my best friend proposed to me in our favorite place, Redding, California. I wrote on March 27th about my wonderful birthday adventure, which ended with a ride in a bike taxi and experiencing Aladdin on Broadway. On May 10th, my brother Josiah graduated from Chadron State College with his master's of arts in history education. I took a small vacation to Chadron and then travelled back to Oklahoma with my family. And THEN, on May 31st, I said "I do" to Joshua North, which means that I am now Mrs. Joshua North! I couldn't be prouder to share his name. We went to Costa Rica on our honeymoon and both decided we could totally live there. These have been a packed few months! I never could have made it without the support of our wonderful families and friends that are as close as family. I am so completely blessed and my heart is full! 
      And now for some other news: I am creating a new blog, which means this may be my last post here. I have enjoyed my time writing as if sipping a cup of coffee with a good friend. I have now entered into a new season of my life, one that is shared instead of solo. Thank you for reading, for your comments and input, and for loving coffee with me. Here's to a season of drinking coffee, going on new adventures with my husband, and loving being married! Stay tuned for the info on my new blog! Here are a few photos to catch you up on the happenings of the past few months! Cheers! 

Mossbrae Falls Engagement! 

Aladdin on Broadway. Best birthday ever! 

Mt. Rushmore selfie with the brothers!

So proud of these men! 

Rehearsal dinner at Fiesta Mexico!

Costa Rica bound!

Paradise.

Outside our suite at the resort. 
* Sorry for the appalling lack of wedding pics! I don't have any yet! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Happy, Happy Day!

      I am 25 today! My, how the years fly by! It seems like just yesterday that I was a wide-eyed 12 year old girl, dreaming of my brilliant future as a nurse, missionary, and wife. I've been a nurse for almost three years now, graduate from seminary with my MA in Intercultural Studies in December, and am marrying the man of my dreams in only a few short months! This morning, snuggled in my bed listening to African Gospel music and sipping strong coffee, I am once again overwhelmed by the faithfulness of my God. It hasn't always been an easy journey, but He has never left my side and has truly worked all things for good as I have sought after His heart. 
      The last two years I had to work on my birthday, so I am thrilled that I get to spend the entire day relaxing and enjoying being me! Joshua came over this morning before he went to work with a surprise breakfast: homemade brown sugar scones, strawberries with homemade whipped cream (that he whipped by hand with a whisk), and coffee, of course. I am convinced that his scones trump my favorite scones from Jude's coffee shop in my college town - and I was addicted to those scones! Josh also brought a happy birthday balloon that has now joined my Valentine's Day balloon that is still going strong. A beautiful bouquet of tulips in a Mason jar decorates my table - Josh left them for me to find when I got home from a trip on Monday. There was also a large present from two dear friends waiting for me when I got home from work last night. To make the day even better, I get to spend this evening with my love in Manhattan, attending a Broadway show! I am feeling very much spoiled and dearly loved! 
      Today, I am thankful. Thankful for the God who created me, thankful for His love that sustains me, thankful for the gift of each and every day with which He blesses me. I am very much looking forward to this new year, a new year full of adventures, laughter, and God's faithfulness. Not to mention that this is the year that I will become Mrs. Joshua North! Enjoy the day, friends! 
      

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mornings and Monkeybread

      The past few weeks have been CRAZY! It's my second semester taking full-time classes and working two days as a nurse, but it seems to have gotten busier. Maybe because I didn't have any commitments outside of those two things last semester and have added a few things into my weekly schedule. Having such a busy schedule has mostly eliminated one of my favorite morning activities: sleeping in. If I wasn't convinced of it up to this point, it has now been completely settled in my mind: I am NOT a morning person. I let Joshua know this under no uncertain terms when he texted me "good morning" at 7:30 a.m. one day before my 8 o'clock class. I was quite unhappy about being awake at that hour, so I promptly replied that mornings cannot be considered "good" until at least 9 o'clock. Until then, they are simply "mornings." Needless to say, coffee is still a large part of my daily routine. 
      Last Wednesday was Josh's birthday and I decided to bless him with a yummy breakfast treat: monkeybread. One of our friends made it for dessert a few weeks ago, reminding me that I had not made the delicious, gooey bread since I was a little girl. I have such fond memories of sitting with my brothers around the kitchen table, cutting Pillsbury biscuits into fourths and rolling them around in cinnamon sugar before throwing them into a bundt pan and smothering them with brown sugar and melted butter. Because it has such a special place in my heart, I decided to make it a birthday tradition for Josh and myself. So, I introduced him to monkeybread making. It was so fun and even more delicious! I referenced two recipes in order to make the perfect combination of buttery and sweet. Those recipes can be found here and here. I found that the warm stickiness of monkeybread tastes even better when coupled with a hot cup of coffee on a snowy morning. Here's the recipe I used. Make and enjoy! (Warning: this is not low calorie OR healthy in the physical sense, though it will bring great joy to your heart!) 

Monkey Bread
4 cans buttermilk biscuits (I used the Pillsbury value pack) 
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter
2 tablespoons cinnamon (I use more than others because I'm obsessed) 
1 cup white sugar 

Directions: 
Dump one cup of white sugar and two tablespoons cinnamon into a gallon-size plastic bag. Cut each of the biscuits into fourths and dump them all into the bag. Give the bag several good shakes - you can even use it as a musical instrument and hum a song along with the shaking! Empty all of the contents of the  bag into a bundt pan. Melt 3/4 cup brown sugar and two sticks of butter in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Once melted, pour over the sugary biscuits. Pop the pan into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and smelling so delicious! Enjoy with a cup of coffee and good company! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Already!

      Happy 2014! What a fun, cold, wonderful year it has been so far! The first few days of 2014 were spent at a hoppin' New Year's Eve party, a wedding of two beautiful friends, meeting close friends of Josh's who teach English overseas and are back visiting, being snowed in, going to the movies, visiting the tree in NYC, making yummy food, drinking lots of coffee, and laughing oh so much. 2014 is going to be an amazing year! 
      I went back to work yesterday for the first time in a month. I took some time off to finish out last semester well and spend a few weeks at home with my family. It was well worth it, although today my entire body hurts, since I am no longer used to spending twelve hours on my feet. I really do enjoy my job, though, and am so thankful to be working somewhere close to where I live and go to school. 
      As I reflected on 2013, I was impressed by the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. As I read through journal entries from January of 2013, I realized that the prayers I was praying then were answered throughout the year, prayers of my heart that were penned in moments of uncertainty, many times accompanied by tears. How good it is to remember and to reflect on the faithfulness of God! 
      Even though it is already January 7th, I am going to list a few highlights of my 2013. I blogged about many of them, but am just going to recap! I loved last year, even though the joys were accompanied by struggles. I think that is the beauty of life, really. The tears make the laughter sweeter. 

2013 Summary: 

  • My best friend Kaity visiting me in New York (January)
  • Meeting and dating Joshua North (January and February) 
  • Attending the Kingdom Conference in Redding, California (February)
  • Joshua visiting me in NY and throwing me a surprise b-day party (March)
  • Visiting the grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins in Kentucky. I also got to see my friend Brooke! (April) 
  • Second visit to Redding - going on a segway tour over the Sundial Bridge (April) 
  • Going home for a couple of weeks before summer (May) 
  • Summer adventures with Steph and Quinn (June) 
  • New job in the Bronx! (July) 
  • Joshua returning to the East Coast! (July) 
  • Wedding celebrations of Steph and Sairam, Marco and Chantelle (August)
  • Surprising my family with a 4 day visit home (September) 
  • Missions department retreat in New Jersey (September) 
  • Apple picking, pumpkin hunting, fall adventures (October) 
  • Thanksgiving dinner two days early with friends, eating dinner in the car on Thanksgiving with my love on my break at work, Black Friday shopping at midnight (November) 
  • ATS Christmas party - ugly sweater contest! (December) 
  • Christmas at home with my family and Joshua (December) 
      I really am so blessed! Praying that 2014 is a year of growing, laughing, and falling more deeply in love with Jesus every day. Happy 2014! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy November!

      Happy November! I realize that I only blogged 3 times in my favorite month, which definitely breaks my blogging every day record that I had going for the past couple of years. The truth is, I've been totally scattered, and trying to gather my thoughts to form a coherent whole has been nearly impossible lately. I would like to give you the highlights from my favorite month, since I've been mostly MIA from the blogging world. Enjoy! 


First time apple picking together! One of my fav pics of us! 

Quality time with my Colleen and Ruth! 

World Religions field trip in NYC! Love these friends! 

Pumpkin patch! We picked a great pumpkin! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Lord is My Shepherd

      

      A few weeks ago in my preaching class, the professor asked for volunteers to read Scripture aloud in front of the class. As terrified as I was to get up and speak in front of the class in the second week of the semester, I was more determined to conquer my fear of public speaking, so I raised my hand and timidly climbed the stairs to the platform. My task was simple: read the first two verses of Psalm 23 aloud. Seemed easy enough, until my professor asked me to put emphasis on different parts of the verses, almost like I was in a drama. I recited the verse aloud a total of 7 times that evening. It was amazing what the Lord did in my heart and in the hearts of my classmates as I declared these simple words: 


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.

     After about the third reading, my heart was stirring with emotion and tears welled up in my eyes. I have heard these exact verses dozens of times, and have read them just as many. Why were they affecting my heart and the hearts around me in such a way? The difference was in the way I read the words. The most moving to me was when Dr. Bird asked me to emphasize the nouns: Lord, my, shepherd, I, etc. It made it so much more personal, to the extent that I only heard the personal pronouns: The Lord is MY shepherd; I shall not want. He makes ME lie down in green pastures. He leads ME beside quiet waters. 
      As I was reading the words penned by King David so long ago, I realized that those words were not just for David in the midst of his trouble. They are for me. Right now. In 2013. In Nyack, New York. The same God who was David's shepherd makes me lie down in green pastures. The very God who led David beside quiet waters restores my soul by doing the same. How can I not find peace in that? The Lord watches over me like a shepherd watches over His sheep. He provides everything I need. He shows me where and when to rest and leads me to still and quiet places when my heart is weary.