Friday, August 31, 2012

Dinner date!

Well, after some more fun dates, including bowling and Carinos, the theater, and Mr. G cooking for me himself, I decided to whip up a culinary delight of my own.  I can't remember what I was originally going to cook, but whatever it was became a crockpot meal when I discovered the Lady Bears were going to play Texas A & M on Saturday, February 11th.  Earlier that day, I put everything for our beef stew in the crockpot and set the table.
I used my favorite William Sonoma placemats and my Spode Provincial Garden everyday china that I just love.  Wouldn't you know that several years ago when I finally decided on a pattern, they discontinued it almost the next day?!  Thank goodness for!  I also thought this would be a perfect opportunity to use my grandmother Muvie's crystal that I received when she moved out of her apartment.

Then, the man of the hour arrived and whisked me to the Ferrell Center, where we had great seats to watch the team that would become National Champions!!  The funny thing was that when we got to the arena to pick up the tickets, tickets were spread out all over the table in such a jumble, there was no way to know where similar tickets were.  The two we got were on different rows, but almost right in front of the other.  Fortunately the seat next to my beau went unfilled and I got to enjoy most of the game by his side!  Just another comedic moment of dating. :)
Sorry these pics are not the best quality, but I'll bet the Baylor fans out there might be able to spot a certain gal we like whose initials are BG.
I just couldn't get over how close we were to the floor!  So fun!!
Also, this was the game when Trace Adkins sang the National Anthem, so that was a special treat, too! :)

After the game, we went back to my apt and faced the moment of truth.  Do y'all feel like that when you cook with a crockpot?  The food in the crockpot can smell fantastic and even fill your home with its fragrant aroma, but there is still a little question inside until you take that first bite as to whether this whole recipe really worked out or not.  Maybe it's just me. ;) Anywhoodles, all was well with the beef stew and I popped some bread in the oven to enjoy with our meal.  We had another fun filled conversation and I made one of my favorite desserts -- French Coconut Pie!  I really should blog that recipe because it is so easy, but SO delicious.  A few years ago Muvie wrote out all her favorite recipes in a book and this pie is one of them.  Makes me want to go whip one up right now just thinking of it!

More installments coming soon!  I'm so thankful for taking some photos on my iPhone to jog my memory. :)
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!  We are looking forward to the Bears' season opener against SMU on Sunday.  Sic 'Em!! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Love and Basketball

I thought I might start at the beginning and tell our "how we met" story, so I will have it written down somewhere.  On January 14th my friends Lindsey, Erin and I were having a fun girls' weekend and we decided to go to the Baylor Men's Basketball game.  That day, the men were playing OSU and at halftime, the girls and I decided we needed a little snack.  I was in a popcorn kinda mood and Erin and Lindsey wanted something different, so we each chose our separate lines for our favorite fan food.  Of course, as frequently occurs in many areas of my life, especially grocery store checkouts, I chose the longest line.  Now the line did not appear to the eye to be longest, but indeed it did prove to take the longest time to reach the front, order, and receive my precious popcorn and Diet Dr. Pepper.  As I scooped up my snacks and turned around I. Saw. Him.  Yes, this amazing guy was standing there talking to my friend Erin and I was instantly intrigued.  I walked over to them and she introduced me to him.  I found out that he had been in her life group at church and he was telling us about some of the remodeling he had been doing on his 1920s house.  I quickly scanned the left hand for any tell-tale jewelry and quietly stifled my sigh of relief when I noticed that it was empty of any type of adornment.  He made a funny reference about something earlier in the game, which apparently I found hilarious because I laughed.  Then, the game was about to get going and he took his long sought after Chick Fil A milkshake in hand and  returned to his seat.  At that moment I told my friends, "I like him.  I want to go out with him."

These words have probably never escaped my lips before, but there was something about this man that had me completely intrigued.  I wanted to get to know him.

After the game was over, I pestered Erin again about this mystery man.  She looked in her phone and found she still had his number from their life group days, so she texted him my number.  Then, as great fortune would have it, he called back.  After the game my friends and I had headed to one of our favorite shops to peruse before we were heading back to the Ferrell Center for the football team's congratulatory pep rally and also our opportunity to have our picture taken with the Heisman Trophy.

I answered my phone -- it was HIM!!  I couldn't believe it!  And then he asked me if I wanted to get together!!!  That night!  For coffee!!! :)  Then, I remembered my plans with my friends and I wondered if we could pick a different time, but as I am mentioning this to the boy, I see my friends waving their arms and saying, "Carroll, GO!".  So quickly my hemming and hawing turned into, "Coffee sounds great!"  We made plans to meet later that night.

My friends then went with me back to my apartment and helped me choose the perfect coffee date outfit.  After that, we headed to the Ferrell Center for the pep rally, which was incredible!
Here is Coach Art Briles addressing the crowd with the Alamo Bowl and Heisman trophies standing side by side.
What a team!

After the pep rally, the girls and I got in line for our trophy photo op only to realize that this line was going to take a LONG time.  I ended leaving before having my photo taken to meet my date. :) I arrived at the appointed Starbucks at exactly the same time he did.  He opened the door, we ordered our beverage of choice, and took a seat.  We proceeded to have the most amazing conversation about a wide variety of topics we were both interested in.  I knew that this was special.  We talked until the Starbucks closed and made plans to get together the next Friday for dinner.  I remember getting into my car and having a deep calm assurance that this was different.  This guy was special.  This connection could have possibilities...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy Friday, Y'all!

Well, this week has certainly been a whirlwind!  Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and encouragements.  Each day I learn more and more of the blessings of friendship and am amazed at the love of this incredible man God has provided.  Some moments I just can't get over it!  I think the verse that sums up how I'm feeling is:

"20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

Praise God for the ways He chooses to work in us.  All glory and honor belong to Him.  May you be blessed this weekend and rest in the abundance of the Almighty.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Retreat for the New Year

The first week of January was so amazing.  I went to Chrysalis Retreat Center in Kerrville, TX to attend a week long January term class called "Imaginative Readings for Creative Preaching".  We were assigned eight different literary works ranging from spiritual memoirs to poetry compilations to novels.  I worked on reading as much as possible over the Christmas break.  I had never read The Grapes of Wrath and was so moved by Steinbeck's classic work.  It turned out to be just one of many powerful works we would discuss over the course of the week.  

One of the best things about retreating in Kerrville is the drive to get there.  The views are just breathtaking and I saw so many places I would like to visit again and again.  One of my favorite spots that I have enjoyed visiting before is Fredericksburg and in particular, the Peach Tree Tea Room.  Oh, I love that place!  I managed to time my journey just right to stop there for lunch.  The sandwich sampler, perfect for the indecisive diner, is my favorite and I enjoyed every bite!

The retreat center itself was so lovely.  We stayed in these wonderful cabins that had a large backporch complete with rocking chairs and a beautiful view.  I just love a beautiful view. :)  So in the afternoons, I would frequently find myself in one of those rockers reading powerful words and journaling.  

One afternoon we ventured into town in search of caffeine and wireless internet.  We found both at the local Starbucks.  Now, talk about a view!  I was quite happy to spend several hours with my caffeinated treat and Anne Lamott.  An added bonus on this day was a chat with my friend Erin who was traveling for work in the area.  :)

The sky was so crisp and clear.  I couldn't help but be captivated by the moon one evening.

On our final morning, I decided to rise early and take a stroll down a path, taking in the beauty of nature and the experience of this place one more time.

What an experience of refreshment and renewal.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to experience it.
On my drive back, I stopped again in Fredericksburg for lunch, but this time went to an adorable restaurant called Sweet Marley's on my friend Erin's recommendation.

It was adorable and thankfully, I still got to enjoy their whimsical Christmas decor!

I also enjoyed their tomato basil soup and a delightful sandwich. :)

After this stop, it was straight on toward home.

Hello Again!

Well, there have been some exciting changes around here!  The short version is I met the man of my dreams on January 14th and we got engaged last night, but there is a lot more to the story and I want to write it all down before I forget the details, so more posts will be coming soon.  :)

God has been so faithful and I am so thankful for His sure guidance on this journey.