Tuesday, November 20, 2012

15 Minutes

I wanted to do a quick recap of my weekend at Young Life Camp. It was amazing- there is nothing sweeter than watching eyes and hearts be opened to the love and awesomeness of Jesus. It was also just a blast- sometimes I know I have more fun than my high school friends.

I have tried in numerous blog posts to sum up how amazing Young Life camp is (see here, here).  I've decided it's impossible, it cannot be explained with words- it has to be experienced. I so wish every high schooler (and really just everyone) could experience the joy of camp. I'm still riding my camp high and trying to stay in that world where everyone says hi to you as you walk around camp. Where you can dance like a fool and sing at the top of your lungs and not get weird looks, most of the time. Where there is freedom to be who you truly are not the person you present to the outside world. Where Jesus is just there waiting for you to take His hand and live a better life with Him.

One of my favorite parts of camp comes on the second night after the speaker has just shared the story of the cross, some of the kids hearing it for the first time, or hearing for the hundredth time but with fresh ears. At the end of the talk he asks for the entire camp (close to 500 high schoolers ) to leave the "club room" silently and find a place outside to sit alone for 15 minutes. All the lights in the camp are off, the stars are out, you can see your breath, and miraculously not a single person makes a sound. 15 whole minutes, just you and God. I can look around and see kids scattered across the camp, in the big field, on the sidewalks, balled up to stay warm or lying flat on their backs eyes fixed on the night sky. Totally silent. And  my God is having a personal conversation with each person whose heart is crying out to Him.

Anywho, I'll leave you with that for now. I'm heading up to my parents after work today.  I'm ready to hang out with my family, catch up on the sleep I missed over the weekend, eat way too much, spend a few days in my yoga pants, and snuggle with my dog.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pre-Camp Target Trip

I'm heading to camp this weekend for Young Life Winter Weekend!! So I had a few things I needed to pick up for the trip and for my cabin. Plus I'll take any excuse I can to go to Target. I have to have a specific purpose in mind when I go to Target, I can't just go for no reason at all, or bad things happen to my wallet.

One thing I annoyingly needed was a sleeping bag. Every time I'm at my parents house I forget to grab one of mine and bring it back with me.  Can you return a sleeping bag after using it for a weekend? Eww... I hope no one did that with the one I bought....

I also wanted to load up on some junk food for the cabin.  I probably should have eaten dinner before going shopping because I was feeling a little wild in the snack food aisle.

Of course before I went looking for the actual items I intended to buy, I stopped in the clothing section (which is right at the front of the store making it impossible to skip) and ended trying on about 20 different things. In the end I restrained myself and ended up with only one really cute sweater, plus a turquoise thermal (I needed that for this weekend of course) and some boot socks.  Oh and a really shiny 2013 day planner that I'm obsessed with. And even though I never used the 2012 I bought (still sitting under a pile on my desk) I am definitely going to use this one and be super organized!

I think the cashier either thought I was a 10-yr old, whose mom had let her come into the store alone, or a teen mom judging by the amount of lunch-box-worthy food in my cart. And did I forget to mention the extra box of Milk Duds I was snacking on.... You'll notice they're not shown in the picture of my purchases below because, well, I ate them all. Judge away.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Monday

I was so good this morning. I got up the first time my alarm went off. I had time to wash blow-dry and style my hair, and enjoy a cup of tea. It was quiet and slow, I took my time. I packed up a little bag with a Tupperware of the cookies I'd made over the weekend, plus a yogurt and a couple clementines to take to work.

The metro parking lot was surprisingly empty and I pulled right in to a close spot (this should have been the first warning). I swiped my metro card and as soon as I'm through the gate I see it.  The signs, the hoards of people waiting for the metro....

Single-tracking/ track work. It ruins commuters' mornings.

Annoyed that I didn't know about this until after I was through the turnstile, I proceed to wait, for 40 minutes for a train and send hostile tweets to Metro. Then with the help of a stranger I finally shoved myself onto the first crowded train that I could. Of course only then did I realize I left the cookies and my breakfast in the car.

Another 40 minutes later (spent practically sitting in a strangers lap with my face smushed into someone else's backpack) I arrived at my stop and hoofed it to the office. Sometimes the metro makes me just want to give up and call in sick. And even though I have the same mess to look forward to on the commute home, I will not let this delay dampen the rest of my day..

Instead I will leave you with a picture of my yummy cookies that I left sitting in the front seat of my car. (Hopefully they survive.)

I want to make these to take home at Thanksgiving so I decided to try out the recipe this weekend to see how they turn out.  To make these pretties I combined two Pinterest recipes: these Spiced Linzer Cookies, and this Pumpkin Pie Filling. It was a little time consuming since the dough has to refrigerate for at least two hours and the filling takes an hour to bake and then has to cool for another two hours. Plus those tiny cut-outs are finicky. So I made the dough on Friday and whipped everything else up yesterday.

All the effort was worth it though because they seriously taste like a bite of pumpkin pie! The perfect treat to gift or enjoy yourself this holiday!

P.S. I got the adorable linzer cookie cutters from Amazon, here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day

We voted! Have you??
(Now I can check on #62 on my 101 list!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Afternoon Tea

This weekend, a very dear friend came to town to play. She got in Thursday evening and stayed in the city with our other shared friend. I met up with them Friday after work at my favorite Mexican restaurant, El Centro DF. Seriously if you live anywhere near D.C. and you've never been, go tonight! We enjoyed margaritas on the roof-top bar while we waited for our table. Then I chowed down on guacamole made table-side followed by the Baja Tacos, which is what I always get and highly recommend. Of course, any meal is made better when you've got this girl in town to enjoy it with you!!
After dinner I headed home but I turned right around on Saturday and headed back into the city with a weekend bag in tow. We laid around for a bit before dressing up and bundling up and heading out for afternoon tea at The Willard. Very view places still offer afternoon tea (this side of the pond) and they only offer it from October through the holiday season.

Please notice that I distinctly said "afternoon tea" and not "high tea". Here's a  history lesson for you: afternoon tea was enjoyed by the upper/leisure class between 3-5pm, it was served with delicate sandwiches and scones and pastries.  High tea, also known as "meat tea" because it usually included heartier foods liked sliced meats and cold cuts, was enjoyed mostly by the working class between 5-7pm.  Afternoon tea is to Downton Abbey, what high tea is to The Kardashians, just kidding.

We had a fun time saying "that is so high tea of you" every time the conversation took a less than classy turn... which was pretty frequent.

Anywho... afternoon tea at the Willard is a purely indulgent way to spend three hours on a Saturday and a good time was had by all.

Tea was followed by sweat pants and a nap and which was followed by delicious take out Thai food. Here is where, lately, most of my weekends end. Take out food and movies on the couch in my sweat pants, and going to bed early is what I excel at these days.

But this weekend was different. This weekend I changed out of my sweat pants and into "going-out" clothes and then actually headed back out!! We went to an actual party and then an actual bar and I wasn't tired or cranky. And my feet didn't hurt and I danced, A LOT, and I stayed out and had a blast. Maybe it was having college friends in town, maybe it was the extra hour, I don't know, but whatever it was, I enjoyed the break from my quiet weekend rut.

Sunday we lounged around before settling on Logan Tavern for Bloody Mary's and brunch. Because what girl's weekend is complete without Sunday brunch?

Hope everyone had an equally enjoyable weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Extended Weekend/ Halloween

So Sandy came and went and I fortunately don't have any interesting stories to report. We were bracing for a hard couple days, stocking up on junk food and ice and batteries and candles, expecting to lose power at any minute... and, for us at least, it ended up being nothing more than 2 extra days off of work.

The wind picked up, and  the metro, the government and  work was cancelled for Monday and eventually Tuesday.  We turned the heat up, put on movies, played scattegories and enjoyed all three of us being home together at the same time, for the entire day (apparently all it takes is a hurricane to make that happen). The power teased us and flickered and we scrambled around the kitchen to whip up hot food for dinner, sure I would be mid-egg scrambling when it finally gave up. But even though we saw a transformer explode behind our house we were lucky and didn't lose power once. (My parents were  not so lucky... fortunately, or hopefully, they're getting out of town and escaping South as soon as possible.)

At some point, I don't know how or why, but we ended up on Youtube watching 90's music videos and singing like crazy people to O-Town and Natalie Imbruglia and then learning how to do the wobble and trying out this crazy zumba work out. Like you do when you've been stuck inside on the couch for 2 days...

So yesterday I was back to work and totally loving that the week was already half over! I completely forgot it was Halloween for most of the day. Sadly no one dresses up at my office...

But I came home from work and got in the spirit. I moved the pumpkins we'd stored inside during the storm to the front steps, lit some seasonally appropriate candles, opened a bag of candy corn and hung my cute trick-or-treat sign on the front door.
I re-heated left over Indian food and got caught up on the new episodes of The Walking Dead (my newest TV obsession which seemed appropriate for the holiday) while handing out candy.  Pretty quiet but good Halloween in my books.

I can't believe the week is almost over. I'm looking forward to the weekend (already) and hanging out with a college bestie who gets into town tonight!

Have a happy day!