Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We're about to load up the car and head out for Christmas. Hope you all have a great one!

P.S.- sorry we didn't send out Christmas cards. My only excuse is that I have been studying for the last 6 months for a big licensing exam that I took last Friday and it took over my life (no word on whether or not I passed yet).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

1 Year

Where did the year go!? I gave Kent tickets to see Cory Morrow for our anniversary. Kent loves Texas country music and has been doing without since we moved to Florida. He played last Saturday in Birmingham, so we spent last Saturday there. Here's the only picture we got of us...and half of my face is cut off:

This is where we stayed. I had never stayed in a bed & breakfast before and we both really liked it! It was like staying in someone's home (I guess we technically were).

And here's the year old cake which was actually really good. We even ate it on our china (It's the first time we've used our china).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

North Carolina

Work has been incredibly busy and stressful lately, so I decided that I needed to get away from it for a few days. I headed up to North Carolina to visit Rebekah, who interned with me at Appalachian State 2 years ago. I was hoping to get some fall colors, but unfortunately there was an early snow this year that caused most of the leaves to fall. I did see some though! It was a good trip even though the weather was not the best. Lots of eating (I ate fried chicken every night I was there and even brought some home in a cooler- healthy, huh?), shopping, and visiting with friends! Here are some pictures:

We went to an old haunted schoolhouse. It was scary. This character here kept trying to scare me while we were in line because he overheard me say I am not a fan of clowns. He was scary until I heard him say something and he had a kid's voice. Little punk.
This is one of the places I really miss. Notice the fog in the background. It was like that pretty much the entire time I was there until the day I left when the sun came out...of course.
My last day there was the only day it didn't rain, so we went hiking. There were lots of these guys along the way:
The first waterfall we saw:
An old Homestead:
Stone Mountain:
Stone Mountain Falls:
A few remaining fall colors:
After the hike, we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Check out that waterfall in the distance:
My last picture as I was heading back to Florida:

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I'm putting an end to my blogging hiatus with a recipe. One of the things that Kent and I have missed the most since moving to Pensacola is good Mexican food. There is NONE here! I think I took for granted the good Mexican food on every corner in Texas..and also the fresh tortillas. I LOVE nice thick, fresh tortillas. I even went as far as going down to a questionable part of Pensacola to the "Taco Rock" (where I was the only one speaking English) in search of good tortillas...even those were bad (I think they were store bought). After that I decided to just try to make some of my own. I found a recipe online that is fabulous and SO EASY. Here it is:

Texas Flour Tortillas (adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)


2 cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk


Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.Slowly add the warm milk.Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)

After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.

Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.

Makes eight tortillas.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Our week in Cameron

I've noticed that my past few posts have not been very happy at all, but I guess that's just life sometimes. We just spent 5 emotionally exhausting days in Texas and I'm still trying to process everything that we experienced. We initially thought after driving all day Thursday (the 10th) that we would be able to sleep in and rest until Darryn's visitation Friday evening. We learned shortly after arriving that we would be going with Darryn's family at 8am Friday morning in a police escorted motorcade to Easterwood Airport in College Station (about an hour away) to pick up Darryn.

Friday was a hard day. The drive to College Station was actually pleasant. I sat next to Darryn's grandmother and we had good conversation...I think we were all avoiding what we were about to do. As soon as we caught sight of the airport the entire van went silent. When we arrived at the airport there were dozens and dozens of Patriot Guard Riders there waiting for us...holding American flags. We waited about 45 minutes for Darryns' private jet to arrive and then we went out to the tarmac for the "ramp ceremony". They had lots of military men there and one Captain who had been with Darryn since Afghanistan and stayed with him until he was buried. I can still see the flag-draped casket being rolled off the plane and I can still see the expression on his pregnant wife's face. I don't think those images will ever leave me. We were escorted back to Cameron and no one said a word the whole way back. When we passed through Caldwell the huge flag at their car dealership was at half mast. When we got back to Cameron the entire town was waiting for us. They were all standing at intersections holding American flags. We passed by the high school and every student and teacher was lining the sides of the street with flags. It was surreal and just the homecoming that Darryn deserved.

We then spent time at the funeral home where the Army Captain who had travelled with Darryn from Afghanistan informed us exactly how Darryn died. Darryn was in the second hummer in a line of hummers and the first one hit some kind of explosive. They all got out to secure the perimeter and Darryn saw that they were getting attacked by a rocket propelled grenade launcher. He physically pushed 3 guys out of the way, saving 2 of them. The 3rd died a few days later. I can't think of anything more heroic than that.
As a side note, central Texas had been in drought conditions for about 3 months with little to no rain. Shortly after we picked up Darryn, it started raining...and I mean raining. It rained pretty much the entire time we were there. They intially told us to prepare for war protestors, as they had purchased permits to protest outside of Darryn's service. I think the rain was a factor in keeping them away. How can you not believe that God and Darryn played a part in that weather?! It was definitely representative of the mood.

Friday night was the visitation. So many people came out (in the rain) to pay their respects. Saturday afternoon was the funeral service and they estimate around 600 people attended. The little First Baptist Church in Cameron has probably never had to accomodate so many people. It was such a nice service. There were 20 or so military people there and Darryn's family was presented with some awards (Purple Heart and Bronze Star) and Darryn's dogtags. I don't think I've ever felt so patriotic and so inspried to grow in my faith.

Monday we rode in another police escorted motorcade all the way to San Antonio so Darryn could have a military burial at Ft. Sam Houston. Bagpipes were playing. The rain held out, but it was still a cloudy, dreary day...consistent with our moods. They brought the casket to the site on a horse-drawn caisson. They presented flags to Julie and little Daylan as well as Darryn's parents and twin brother Jarrett. They did the rifle shots and a bugler played taps. Taps always gets me.

Darryn was a true American hero and I feel so honored to have known him. Please continue praying for his family and friends.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Hero...

A scene from today (notice Kent in the front). It's been 2 stressful, long, emotional days so far and it's not over yet.