Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Year in Months

I’m going to be a big old copycat and steal this from all my favorite bloggers who have been writing great lists and sharing pictures to review 2011.

I picked twelve highlights…

January – Spent New Year’s in Louisville, Kentucky with our best friends.

February – We played broomball with our Young Marrieds small group.

March – Kyle saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.

April – We dyed Easter eggs together – something neither of us had done since we were little.

May – Kyle got hit on by a bartender.

June – I graduated with my master’s degree.

July – Spent a quiet July 4th, just the two of us and eighty million other people on the side of a hill in Worthington. There were sparklers.


August – Kyle and I were in Beth and Zach’s wedding.

September – We went apple-picking.


October – We became members of our church.

November – I judged a beauty pageant. Cross THAT off the bucket list!

December – I sat in the jury box for a courtroom trial.

Happy 2012, everyone! Be safe tonight.

love, elizabeth

Thursday, December 29, 2011

31 Before ‘13

I know I’m not the first person to think of this but when I just couldn’t bring myself to draw up a list of New Year’s resolutions, I decided to try something else. So here’s my 2012 Bucket List. 31 things to before 2013. Some things made my list because I have to do them, anyway. Some things are on there because they seem easy or fun. Some things made the list because they scare the poop out of me. A few things overlap from my list of winter. I am resolved to attempt ALL of them.

31 Before ‘13

1. Get my solo-performance on its feet.

2. Successfully prepare for my comprehensive graduate exams.

3. Perform at a poetry open-mic night.

4. Read the chronological Bible straight-through.

5. Finish my PhD coursework.

6. Cook a new vegetable.

7. Commit to my one-hour system (see post).

8. Visit a weird museum.

9. Find five new uses for five old/recycled things.

10. Complete (at least) ten weeks of Weight Watchers.

11. Go to an Ohio State football game.

12. Learn to make a pie crust.

13. Take a vacation with Kyle to somewhere new.

14. Read ten books UN-related to school.

15. Visit five breakfast spots featured in Breakfast with Nick: Columbus.

16. Hike in Hocking Hills.

17. Watch all of Alfred Hitchcock’s films.

18. Attend the young women’s small group regularly.

19. Save money every month.

20. Write 300 blog posts.

21. Throw a party.

22. Take a haunted tour of something, using this map.

23. Celebrate Valentine’s Day in an out-of-the-ordinary way.

24. Present a paper at a conference.

25. Go to a Blue Jackets game.

26. Spend a day at the beach.

27. See a new band live.

28. Go on a blate.

29. Learn how to play a new board game.

30. Volunteer for a new charity.

31. Find and use a homeopathic treatment.



So what do you think? What made it onto YOUR list?

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Post-Christmas DIY: Recycle Your Christmas Cards

This is one of my favorite post-Christmas crafts, although it’s great for any time of year. If you’re a card saver like me, you end up with piles of them after birthdays and holidays. Here’s an easy DIY picture tutorial for folding paper boxes out of old cards. My mom shared this one with me when I was a little girl and now I’m sharing it with you…

Step 1Step2


Step 7Step 8Step9Step 10Step 11Step 13Step 14Step 15Step 16Step 17

Step 18












The finished product is cute and they look great as a little pile in a basket or hung as ornaments…

What about you? What post-Christmas projects are you working on?

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Starliner Diner

I have discovered my favorite restaurant. Much to my surprise, it’s been here in Columbus all along. Just waiting for me to come and find it and order off its delicious menu and be completely charmed by its atmosphere and staff and well…everything.

Blog…meet the Starliner Diner.


This place is a recommendation from one of my new favorite books, Breakfast with Nick. Nick writes a really successful blog of the same title all about his favorite meal, breakfast. My goal is to try all of the featured breakfast spots from the book this year and have the staff sign their restaurant’s page.



Cuban-American food. Creative, delicious menu. Quirky d├ęcor. Lovely staff. What’s not to adore?





Here’s what we ate. Yeah.


Breakfast burrito.


Cuban breakfast casserole.


If you’re ever in Columbus, you need to eat here.

love, elizabeth

Monday, December 26, 2011

Twelve Things of Christmas

Christmas week was wonderful but I have so many pictures, I thought I’d share twelve as a representation of the whole.


1. Madigan loved Dad. She spent lots of the week in his lap…

2. Jeni’s, the best ice cream parlor in Columbus (maybe the best ice cream ever). My favorite holiday flavors? Smoked Tea & Plum Pudding and Cumin & Honey Butterscotch Cake. Yes, yes, and yes.

3. Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek. Sooo pretty to drive through…

4. An afternoon at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. What could be better?

5. Starbucks with Mom, Dad, and Kyle. Another bonus of being married to a barista.

6. Starliner Diner for a traditional Cuban breakfast.

7. Rummikub after dinner. Mom killed us.

8. Vegetable Medley Soup. Absolutely delicious and so easy! Recipe to follow.

9. The Poinsettia Tree at the Franklin Park Conservatory on Christmas Eve.

10. Perfect fortune cookie for our Christmas Eve dinner at Hong Kong Buffet.

11. Candlelight service at church.

12. Dad read one of our favorite Christmas stories aloud, Papa Panov’s Special Christmas by Tolstoy.

What kinds of things did you do this Christmas?

love, elizabeth

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.

~Bobby, 7 years old

Hope you’re having a merry Christmas morning!

love, elizabeth

Saturday, December 24, 2011

God With Us

Every Christmas, I am struck by a passage in Matthew that quotes the prophet Isaiah.

'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel'
--which means, 'God with us.'

God with us. With us in the muck, the mire, the darkness, the sadness, and the pain of life on earth. I think about Jesus, born into the darkest of circumstances. Into a poor family who seek shelter from the elements in a place where animals are kept. Into an occupied land. Into oppression and fear and sorrow. Into a world that did not recognize Him or look to protect Him.

And I think about our wish for peace at Christmas. But Jesus didn't just show up for the peaceful, easy moments, the beautiful, well-lit nativity with the gently smiling cow and the well-coifed Mary. He came for the worst and the hardest moments. And He is there in our hardest moments, as well.

This Christmas, Immanuel is my prayer. God, be with us. With my brother on a distant shore, in harm's way and homesick. With my husband in his troubled dreams. With my parents in their anxiety. With me in my trembling heart. Immanuel.


Hope your Christmas Eves are all peaceful and full of joy and love. But even if they're not, I hope you feel the presence of Immanuel, God with us, here at Christmas, wherever we are.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Dance Break: Christmas Edition

It’s Christmas Eve EVE and I think we all need a little dance break. Ready, set, go.

If you were able to resist tapping a toe to this, you have more willpower than I ever will.

My parents have been here all week and it has been absolutely wonderful. I’m already dreading the trip to the airport on the 26th but trying to hold onto the moment for now. LOADS of pictures to share next week and I can’t wait to see all of yours!

love, elizabeth

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Courtney from Life with the Baxtrons

Today I’d like you to meet Courtney from Life with the Baxtrons. Courtney is so sweet and she shares wonderful pictures and stories from her life with her beautiful family in New York City. This is what she had to say about her blog…


I'm Courtney: wife to Jerry and mama to Zion.  While I have learned to thrive on the witty sarcasm and hustle-bustle of NYC, my soul longs for the Pacific Ocean, organic fair trade coffee and the laid-back crunchy granola-ness of my home in Seattle, my spirit belongs neither here nor there, indulgently abiding in the love of my savior.  I love meeting new people, experiencing new things and overcoming obstacles in life.  Life with the Baxtrons is my place to share life, encouragement and the day-to-day adventures of our family of three living in New York City.

Be sure to stop by and visit her blog and check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, too!

Maybe we can even convince Courtney to stop by and do a guest post for January...(cough, cough).

Happy almost-Christmas!

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesdays Are For Lovers

Today, hold the people you love closer than ever. After all, who knows how many Wednesdays we get?

love, elizabeth

Monday, December 19, 2011

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

“Are you going home for the holidays?” I don’t know even know how many times I’ve been asked this question this year. Actually, people ask every year. And the second I tell them that, no, Kyle and I plan to spend Christmas here in Columbus and not back in Colorado, everyone is sympathetic, sad for us. They mean this in kindness, our many friends.

I think what most people don’t know is that we are home. I realized this year that I have stopped defining ‘home’ by geography, that it has been seven Christmases since I have thought of home this way. I have started thinking of it as the place I am with Kyle. I don’t think of my parent’s house as my home anymore or even the state of Colorado. I think of Kyle as my home. It doesn’t really bother me that I am far away from my family on most holidays. Home is in the lights of our own Christmas tree, the smell of coffee grounds in the collar of Kyle’s shirt, in burying my toes under Madigan’s furry tummy, in our tiny red tea kettle, in the scratchy sound of vinyl records, and in the knowledge that home is where you keep your heart. Kyle is driving home from work even as I type this. I can’t wait till he gets here. Because after all, I am a homebody. 


What about you? How do you define home?

love, elizabeth

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Scary Stuff on the Internet

Yesterday, I saw this.

And this.

Photo credit

First of all, I am throwing my Neti Pot out. Right now. Bye-bye, irrigated sinuses! I’ll take that horrible cold over a brain-eating amoeba any day! I like my brain. I need my brain.

Secondly, I have a lot of important things to do today like scrubbing every inch of my house before my parents get here on Monday and mailing Christmas cards and making every last effort to decorate our apartment windows for the holiday decoration contest in our complex (judging is on Monday night – I’ve been scoping out the competition and it doesn’t look good for us, you guys…).

How is your Saturday? And THANK YOU for the blog recs! Expect a visit and a comment this weekend.

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Recommend a blog?

I’m looking for new blog recommendations! What should I be reading? Anyone have a blog they can’t live without? This includes your own! If I don’t have your blog listed on my regular reads or you’re wishing I would swing by to comment, leave me a comment and let me know…


Source: via Elizabeth on Pinterest


Lay it on me. What blog am I missing?

love, elizabeth

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