Friday, May 30, 2008

Big Stuff

Today I had a job interview.

For a job I really want.


One of the questions they asked me was, "What is the most difficult decision you have ever made in your life."

And honest to goodness, for a good few seconds the only thing I could think of was to highlight or not to highlight. Because a girl has to have priorities in life.

Clearly, that's not what I told them.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rules for clothes

Last night, I learned a very valuable lesson from a three year old and her mom.

Girl: Mommy, I want to take my clothes off. (Her friend, a 3 year old boy, had just taken his clothes was his house, he was comfortable)

Mom: No, honey, leave your clothes on.

Girl: Mommy, why? I really want to take my clothes off.

Mom: Honey, you need to leave your clothes on at other people's houses. It's only okay to take your clothes off at your own house.

At that point, I was laughing so hard I was tearing up. Andy did the same when I relayed the story to him.

Just remember: it's only okay to take your clothes off at your own house.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This is what I need!

Tonight I got to spend a few hours with a group of wonderful ladies...and it was so perfect....except that it was for a moving away party. Exactly what I have been longing for. Female fellowship. I feel like I get so little of it these days, and I have so missed it. I was so bonded to my friends at Purdue...heck, I lived with my two best doesn't get any better than that. And then to move away from that, from everyone and everything I have known to a place where there really aren't people my age has just been a really difficult transition.

I have started to develop relationships with women here, but it's harder. A lot of times it seems like things stay at the surface level for so long. Most of them are mothers, and I am not. Many of them are already friends with each other. I am not naturally a very bold asking people to do stuff is kind of difficult for me.

But after tonight, I know that I need it. I can feel the change in myself after having spent Wednesday with Linsey and Margo in Indy and then tonight at Michelle's party. I feel so much lighter, so much happier. I know that the Lord has blessed me with these relationships....I just need to be bold about pursuing them more! I need a friend who will get up in my bid-ness! Someone who will help me figure out this being a wife business....and someone who I know I can call for anything.

So that's what I'll be pursuing this summer.

If you need me, I'll be out pestering someone to be my friend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My identity is my own

I think I finally got my whole banking situation figured out today. The money that was taken will be credited back to our account within 10 days and my credit report looks good. I have a new card, and I just need to activate it. Woohoo! I have access to money again! I was down to about 11 dollars in cash and we need groceries. Of course, I could have used Andy's card if we got really desperate. It's just been a really trying time. I've been praying a lot about it, though, because it has really revealed a lot about my heart. The anger and the frustration that I have felt have really shown me how much value I have placed on earthly things, and not on storing up treasures in heaven. It's amazing the things that God uses to teach us lessons and show us the state of our hearts.

We just started a ladies Precept study at our church tonight--and I am so crazy excited. I know that this study will bless all the women involved. So many have never had this experience before, and I am so thrilled for them. It's an immense undertaking...but the rewards are so incredible! It was the largest Bible study class I have seen since we started at the church (there have only been two....and they both had fewer than 10 ladies involved...there were nearly 30 there tonight!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Not quite what we had in mind....

Later this week I will post a lovely photo essay entitled, "What to do with year old wedding cake." But not right now.

Right now, I'll share with you how our anniversary was supposed to go. And then how it really went.

How it was supposed to go:

Lunch at Cheesecake Factory.

Shopping at two malls in Louisville.

Watching Prince Caspian.

Dinner at a really kitschy restaurant in the arts district of Louisville.

Come home, enjoy evening together, eat cake.

How it went:
Lunch at Cheesecake Factory, but no dessert...because we were too full.

Shopping at just a few stores in one mall because....

The first dress I tried on at Forever 21 made me look 5 mos. pregnant and made me really sad.

Then my card was declined at Ann Taylor LOFT.

And again at Williams-Sonoma.

But Andy's worked at both....and they are attached to the same checking account. The checking account I meticulously balance and know the state of daily.

I start to get frustrated. My attitude was beyond lovely. And I want to leave. So we do. We go home to go to the bank and figure out what is going on.

At the bank, as the super sweet girl behind the counter is telling me what has happened, someone from the bank headquarters is calling Andy to share with him the same thing.

My card has been restricted. Because of unusual activity. Unusual activity that I didn't put on it. Someone got ahold of my card number and made some purchases on it....there were three or four that the bank had noted before they froze the card, but things haven't posted to the account yet, so we don't know to what extent. Of course, this means that I am without my card for a few weeks, until a new one arrives. And we have to fill out a police report to try to get back the money that has been stolen. And essentially, this is going to be a long week.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

One year ago today, I went from a Miss to a Mrs.

And what a year it's been.

This first year of marriage has been a fun, exciting, exhausting, exhilirating, trying, and totally awesome time.

So many things changed for me last May--I finished student teaching, I graduated from Purdue, I got married, I moved to Madison. Essentially nothing stayed the same. My name went from Keller to Cook. My address from Warren to Madison. My occupation from student to unemployed. It was intense.

And it was perfect.

Because I got the greatest husband. Every day I learn more about him and more about myself, and I am so thankful that the Lord has brought us together. So today, I want to post a few pictures from that perfect day last May....and think about what it began--this amazing marriage, this exciting life, this imperfect but blessed union.

Our first kiss as a married couple! Woo-hoo!

Leaving the ceremony, just escaping the last of the bubbles. But not the sunlight, which is why I look so squinty and this definitely wasn't the picture I thought. The other one is cuter. But I'm not in the mood to go back and switch it.

We've been married about 35 minutes in this picture....How exciting!

Our totally adorable pink cake. I loved that thing. The top is sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be eaten tonight. I'm a little nervous about that....but even if it's bad, it's okay, because we're going to Cheesecake Factory for lunch.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Another way we're different

Earlier, I was realizing that there are two malls within one mile of each other (basically, they are across the street from each other) in Louisville. We are going to one of those malls tomorrow to have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory for our anniversary, and do some shopping. I was checking out the store directories for both malls, because I need a new suit, or at least a suit skirt to match one of the jackets I own for something very adult I have to do in the next few weeks. I turned around to start telling Andy about my discoveries...and this is basically the conversation we had.

Me: These two malls are just across the street from each other. It looks like they combine to form Louisville's version of a great mall. Basically, whatever one doesn't have, the other does.

Andy: Oh, so like one has Target and the other has K-Mart.


More silence.

I start laughing.

Me: Are you being serious?

Andy: Yes. Why are you laughing?

Me: Sorry. It's just that Target and K-Mart aren't really mall stores. Did you really not know that?

Andy: Yes. What are you talking about?

Me: These malls are kind of like if Castleton and the Fashion Mall were across the street from each other...but not quite that cool, because Indy has Crate and Barrel and H&M. Like one of them has Ann Taylor LOFT and the other has Ann Taylor. Or, one has Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma, but the other has Pottery Barn Kids and Sephora. Or, one has White House, Black Market and the other has GAP, Banana Republic and Old Navy.

Andy: So it would be like one has Best Buy and the other has Circuit City?

And that, my friends, is where this story will end.

One year ago...

we were preparing for our wedding--the very next day!
We were crazy in love and so excited!

We were rehearsing, surrounded by our most favorite people in the world!

We were anticipating our wedding day.

And I was afraid our pastor was going to call me the wrong name during the ceremony.

But he didn't, and all was perfect.

And now it's one year later and I cannot believe it. Some days it feels like we got married five days ago, and other times it feels like it has been far beyond one year!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The earth is the Lord's...

Last night, Andy and I became explorers.

And we discovered a new world. Less than a mile from our home.

Well, not new new. Just new to us.

After dinner and the great ant killing spree of 08 we decided to go for a walk. Only this time, we didn't stick to around the block. We decided to make use of the wide open entrance to a state park that's literally three houses down. So we start out, at first just wondering along the paved roads and being goofy. Then we realize that we are literally a half-mile from the waterfalls that the park is named after.

So we wander down onto one of the trails, for one set of waterfalls (I think there are three) and instantly walk into one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. The falls are over 70 feet high, with huge cliffs and trees all around. It was absolutely stunning. And peaceful. And huge. And majestic. And perfect. And seriously a mile from our house. We could not believe it. We could not believe no one had told us about this! It was so beautiful! We're thinking about going back tonight and checking out one of the other falls. This time I'm not going to wear $3 Old Navy flip-flops. Some of the rock was really slippery and I was definitely not dressed appropriately. And I'm bringing my camera....because we need pictures of this! I have finally discovered something new that I like about Madison (it's been last discoveries were a few shops downtown)

To Mom: You have to come and go for a hike. It'll make your science lesson on Clifty Falls so much better. Plus you can show your kids real pictures--"This is Mrs. Keller on the trail" and "This is Mrs. Keller falling down on the trail" and "This is Mrs. Keller punching Mr. Keller for laughing when she fell down" It'll be perfect. Seriously.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You can take the girl out of the country....

On Monday, as a part of my substitute teacher duties, I was able to experience my first ever elementary school talent show. It was a mind-boggling that lead to a very many thoughts that have stuck in my head ever since.

I could talk about the sweet little girl who forgot most of the words to Hannah Montana's "I got Nerve" but kept rocking out on stage. But I won't.

I could talk about the sweet little third grader's rocking guitar/singing skills and how I think he's going to be a heartbreaker. But I won't.

Or that after those two performances, things went downhill for me. Instead of enjoying and thinking "how cute" I instead had to bite back the instinct to throw up or cry. But I won't.

I could discuss the short skirts and somewhat innappropriate language and the heart-wrenching feeling I got as I watched most of the girls gyrate around the stage in a manner that they shouldn't even know. Or that the very heart of modesty was under attack throughout most of the performance. But I won't.

Instead, I'm going to talk about a little number called, "International Harvester" and my small identity crisis. Two very sweet fifth grade boys sang Craig Morgan's song "International Harvester" and they were a hit. The whole school started to sing along, and believe me when I tell you that it's really kinda adorable to see little K and 1 students shouting "I'm an International Harvester" As they were singing, though, my thoughts moved far beyond what was happening in front of me.

I started to think some about my own childhood and my own twisted past with country music. I grew up on MAJIC 95.1 "The best of the 70s, 80s, and Now" or something like that. And that's how I can still sing along with the majority of Amy Grant's "Hearts in Motion" album.

But all of my friends were listening to K105 "Today's Best Country"

But my dad really didn't like country.

But we lived in the country. And we had a lot of country in our family.

So I started to listen to country hanging out with Mariah and Shannon. I grew to love songs like Watermelon Crawl and Chattahoochie. My very first cd was Deanna Carter's "Did I Shave my legs for This?" (which I wish I still had....I may buy it again). But then, things started to change. I decided I didn't want to like country as much. It may have been around the time my dad started to like country (he lost his radio station on the way to work, and the next one up was a country station). I don't really think that's it, but if it is, I apologize Dad. So my next cds were Spice Girls and Hanson (I'm not as sad I don't have them...though I do enjoy belting out "If you wanna be my lover" on occasion).

Since then, my tormented relationship with country music has only continued. Most days I could take it or leave (even then, I would usually leave it). Especially in high school, when most people's response to the question "Favorite Music" ellicited the response, "Ugh, like anything but country." But there is still that occaisonal country song that I fall in love with....and I guess that even now, at 23 years of age, I am still a little embarrassed about it.

And that's about it. The song finished so I stopped thinking about it. I guess more than anything this is a glimpse into the way my mind works when it gets going.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Are you trying to make me change my mind?

A few weeks ago, Andy and I were talking about homes, and different types of houses. He mentioned that he thought that all-log homes were pretty cool. I mentioned that I thought that they were totally ugly and I would never want to live in one. He mentioned that he thought I was being ridiculous and that basing a decision totally on looks was dumb. I mentioned that if I had to live somewhere ugly that looked like a piece of wood I would be miserable for my whole life and never get over it. It was a totally mature conversation.

Since then, we have been getting mail from this company called "Real Log Homes" like every single day. Seriously, they have sent us the same brochure 3 times this week. Plus a magazine and a few assorted letters. Unless the Real Log Homes people have spy satellites tracking all conversations that ever mention the words "log home" I think something is up.

But seriously, I still think they look ugly.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Time for a change

So for the last long while I have been telling Andy that I am going to cut my hair. And I haven't done it, haven't done it, haven't done it. I think he was getting a little tired of the conversation. Today, though, today I did it. I decided I wanted a new haircut before I go home tomorrow and see my parents. So I did it. And I took pictures all by myself in the bathroom mirror. They are fabulous quality.

Here I am this morning:

And here I am this afternoon. I'm not sure if you can tell from this picture since the lighthing isn't great, and it's a bit blurry, but there are blonde and reddish/caramel highlights in there. I'll hopefully have fun pictures from the weekend to post later that will be better quality.

Updating the house

When we first moved in last September, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I loved everything when it was finished. Now, I'm beginning to rethink a few things. The biggest is our office. I loved the dark red with black and white prints last summer, but after a whole winter of it, I think I need something brighter. I still love the room, but I think the dark makes it easier for me to think it's okay to clutter the room. It's like the black hole of the house, so I'd like to repaint and start over. I will probably try a yellow or something equally bright, and then update the decorations and such.
I am loving these little wall vases for the kitchen, where I currently have scrapbook paper framed. They are from CB2, the same place I got the hanging candleholders that are in the cutout window from the kitchen to the living room.

Also, the fabric that I loved for pillows in the living room is seeming to wintery now. I'd kind of like to just make button on pillow covers that I can change to update the look every so often. Maybe change them out every six months or so. I'm really liking these fabrics right now:

And lastly, the bathroom. It feels too beige right now. We had registered for aqua, teal, brown, and tan towels, but we only received the brown and tan. Combine that with the brown rug, tan shower curtain, and tan walls, and it's a very boring room. I think I'd like to paint the walls white, and change out the shower curtain to this:

I'd also like the matching rug. I think that if I take the black and white striped curtains from the office and find a green ribbon to match the shower curtain, it could be one sassy little room. I'm also thinking about buying and painting two little flower shaped towel holders from Hobby Lobby, so we don't have to drape our wet towels over the shower curtain anymore.

So, these are my ideas. I'll probably start changing things a little bit at a time, as I figure out how to work it into the budget :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

This is why we shouldn't talk in church

During Sunday evening service, I had the hardest time not cracking up. Andy and I were just inches away (yes..inches, a physical measurement) from dying laughing. We were both just not fully with it tonight, and the most bizarre things were happening.

There was a speaker from the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team there and he was saying that the trailer they had parked outside could outfit two teams of 8 for up to a month (or something like that....the details are fuzzy) and I whispered to Andy, "Wow, that's not a very big trailer for that amount of stuff"

He kind of stopped and looked at me funny.

"You know the people don't go in the trailer, right?"

Really? They don't? I thought they were going to pack 'em in the way Mrs. Kim's tambourine troup traveled on Gilmore Girls.

Then, a few minutes later, the man speaking was reading his PowerPoint, but he missed a word.
His exact sentence:
"Teams are deployed for man-made earthquakes, floods....."

I look at Andy. "How you do make a man-made earthquake?"

"Get a lot of big people and have them jump in your yard."

Then, at the very end as we are singing "Take my life" Andy mis-sang a line.

Me: Did you just say 'Take my heart, it is my own' because it's supposed to be thine you're giving it God.

And next week we're expecting our letter inviting us to enjoy church elsewhere. Just kidding :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Joy Comes in the Morning

Today was our ladies luncheon at church--my very first ever. And I got to help with food. It was so much fun--and such a dream. I love to work with food, and to serve other people, so it was so exciting to have the opportunity to do both.

I helped two other women do most of the work....and it was such a blast. And so much work! I had no idea how much went into an event like this. I got to the church as soon I could after school yesterday...and got home at 10 last night. Then I was there from 8:30 to 3 today....all for a two hour meal! The end product, though, was so absolutely worth it. The food turned about so well, and the ladies were just so sweet.

Last night while we were frantically searching every discount store along the Clifty Drive strip (ha!) for serving dishes and tongs I found two things at Big Lots I want to buy for decorating the house. I have to remember to go back and get them.

Several of them said some really sweet and encouraging things to me....and it was just so what I needed. This year has been a difficult one, and things just feel so up and down so was just so nice to feel this incredible encouragement coming from people I didn't even know a year ago.

I am so exhausted right now. I can't make my words come out correctly.

I also learned how to make homeade fruit syrup, for pancakes and such. I have a container of strawberry and of blueberry in the fridge. They are so good.

And I got to bring home lots of leftovers. We had some of them for dinner...and there are still a lot more left.

Aldi makes the best raspberry iced tea powder mix. Seriously, it was the hit of the day. I'm going to buy my own. As soon as I get a pitcher.

Sad moment of the day: I was having a good hair day. But I had to pull it up because I was working in the kitchen.

I'm chopping my hair off on Thursday, before I go see my mom and dad this weekend.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Mind of Men and Women

Last night Andy and I were watching 27 Dresses. I have fallen ridiculously in love with the movie, and not so subtly hinted that I would be delighted if a bag of Sour Patch Kids, a 4 dollar Wal-Mart bouquet, and that particular movie were to appear in gift form in our house.

Not that I'm needy or anything.

But this isn't about that. This is about a moment during the movie when my darling husband and I realized something. Katherine Heigl's character loves looking through the wedding announcements, and Andy made a comment about it. Apparently he's never even glanced at them. I, on the other hand, read them faithfully every Sunday when I lived at my parents house (the last time I got a Sunday paper). He was curious as to the obsession, and I couldn't quite figure it out. I think I was always looking to see if I knew someone. But at the same time, I think I was also just in love with the descriptions and details. It's like hearing people's engagement stories, or romantic meet cutes. There is just something about a truly romantic moment that makes me melt inside. Andy doesn't have that need. He doesn't melt over fun stories or "Ahh" over every darling thing.

And that just explains so much.