"baby scout"

Made for Jeanette's little bundle.

Also... had Chinese for lunch today, and my fortune cookie said: "Someone thinks you are wonderfully mysterious." Wonderfully mysterious. That's me, alright! As mysterious as, say, a chair.


DC weekend


[1] What's a road trip without a "[destination] or bust!" sign?!
[2] Team Snarton Summer Trip, Pt. 1. We made it through a near gas-outage in a desolate wasteland [Pennsylvania]. We established the Unofficial Frappucino of the First Half of Summer [white chocolate mocha]. We established the future Unofficial Frappucino of the Second Half of Summer [white chocolate mocha with coconut]. In other words - Part 1? Success.
[3] Road trip necessities.
[4] We took the heat wave with us. Temperature = 108. Heat index = 120.
[5] Oh, hey George. This was the closest we got to the monuments this time. No touristy stuff - we were trying to pass as residents. Thanks, Matt!
[6] Inside Matt's house - in the library. The house was amazing. Old wood floors, amazing staircase, bedrooms with fireplaces, see #7...
[7] Inside our guest bedroom. Thanks, Guy Who's Away For the Summer!
[8] Reminds me of Brooklyn. I love red doors. And it's for sale!
[9] I made a little felt "sou chef" applique for a baby onesie for...
[10] Grayson Erik. Such a tiny, perfect little bundle. Heather & Ralf are going to be such wonderful parents!
[11] 3 of the LASP guys: Matt, Doug & Caleb.

Such a fun weekend with such quality people. Looking forward to LASP ReuniĆ³n Diez: Costa Rica!


it's gettin' hot in here.

Zooey wants to send a huge shout out to the previous owners/squatters of our house for taking the AC unit when they left...


recently i'm... (17)

Loving: Ephesians 2:1-5.
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and followings its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
But !
because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved."

Enjoying: Visiting the CHV pool across the street on these crazy hot days!

Excited about: DC this weekend! LASP reunion with Doug's friends and DC Bannister Babes reunion. (The only downside is that I had to turn down an opportunity to shoot my first wedding...)

Listening to: Um, I randomly started listening to my old Aqualung albums to fall asleep the first night we were in New Orleans... and have been listening to them every day since. Magical.

Reading: Finished The House on Mango Street yesterday - wonderful. Also read The Help before New Orleans and adored it. Pumped for the movie!

Cooking: Yeah, haven't done this so much since New Orleans. Doug & I have both had meetings or other stuff in the evenings where we've been fed, which is pretty nice.

Annoyed with: Music that plays automatically on people's blogs. Usually, I'm listening to music while perusing the internet, and your playlists are interrupting my sweet jams!

Wanting to make: bright & bold pillow cases for our couch pillows. They're so boring.

Also wanting to: chop all my hair off...

Wishing: I could go to Africa with the team that leaves next week...

Helping with: planning our church's walkathon this fall! So excited about this. All the money raised goes to World Orphans.

Laughing at: the usual.




01. Trinity Christian Center - the building where we girls stayed.
02. Gecko? Mini lizard? We saw many of these.
03. Kyle & the Muscle Divas. Our OG paint crew.
04. The home of Belinda and Deonica. I forgot to take a before picture, but this is the house in the works. Before, the house was white with blue/gray stairs and the green/white awnings pictured. Belinda said her mom owned the house, and they were forced to move during Katrina. Her mom's desire was to fix and paint the house before she moved back in. Unfortunately, Belinda's mom passed away before this dream could be realized. Belinda said she wanted to finish the project for her mom, so she picked out the colors and our new friends, Rene and Mike from Americorps, have been heading up the team to bring this dream to reality. (You can see in the far left corner that the awnings are also being painted.)
05. Kyle & the Muscle Divas, part 2.
06. Some of our crew got a little messy...
07. Flowers along a fence in Hollygrove.
08. Face painting at Family Fun Day.
09. A drain system that we walked over each morning and night.
10. Americorps truck.
11. Doug helping Clint with some construction.
12. Vibrant colors! The white house to the left is the back of the house where the boys stayed.
13. Look what we found on the ground.
14. Doug & Jesse watching the skit on Family Fun Day.
15. Little hands like to color.
16. "Lord, when did we see you thirsty and give you a drink?"
17. Beautiful feet of New Orleans.

In a nutshell - amazing week. I have never sweated as much in my entire life. I'm so proud of our students - they were given some extremely difficult tasks, and they conquered without complaint! We had some funny bus mishaps, and found out more than we wanted to know about some of our new Americorps friends, but if you want to know more about that, you'll just have to ask in person.

Thank you so much to those who prayed for our trip or contributed monetarily. Your partnership in spreading the gospel is greatly appreciated.

how to celebrate 4 years

1. Make a last minute version of Annie's Tuxedo Cake.
2. Grill out together.
3. Admire your rings. (Also, get your engagement ring cleaned for the first time in... 2 years?)
4. Seriously, this cake. Also recommended for non-celebratory occasions. Like, you know, July 18th.
5. Take pictures of your ridiculous dog begging. [Every so often, Zooey's upper lip will get caught, giving her an "angry pout" expression, which I find hilarious.]
6. Cave in and give pup some watermelon.
7. Give your husband hugs and kisses for bringing home a rose for each year.
8. Take a picture of your squinty-eyed, no make-upped, trying-to-do-laundry-from-last-trip-while-packing-for-next-trip, but still wildly in love selves.
9. Invite friends from out-of-town who are in-town over to enjoy cake. Even if they protest because it's your anniversary. Remember, an anniversary, like a wedding, is just one day. Every other day is what makes the anniversaries possible.

[Pictures & stories of New Orleans on the way...]


4 years

i love you with every fiber,
with my entire heart and soul.
i love your strength and passion -
the better half of our whole.
i love your sense of humor
and the way you make me laugh.
i love how you make sense
in a world that seems so daft.
i love your arms and kisses
and the warmth of your embrace.
i love your humble leadership -
your example of Christ's grace.
i love that we're forever -
better or worse, my whole life.
i love to stand beside you;
i'm so proud to be your wife.

the best four years of my life.
i love you so much.



My little sister graduated at the end of June, and that smarty pants ended up being salutatorian. Way to represent the Bannister Babes - brains, brawn & beauty! Hehe!

Unfortunately, Robert wasn't able to come home from North Dakota (oh, did I mention on my blog that he's back out there indefinitely?), but he was with us in spirit!

The best sisters anyone could ever ask for.
Congrats, you little warmint. We are so proud of you. We can't wait to see the ways God continues to work in and through you! Um, and after this picture, we're praying for a mighty work indeed...


happy 4th

My in-laws are here for the 4th. We had a picnic, and I made "Firework Cake" for dessert (a.k.a. funfetti box mix with buttercream frosting and berries in a "firework" design... sort of...).

I beat Doug in Perfect Pitch! Zooey didn't really want to hold our washers.

Can't celebrate the 4th without sparklers.

Whoops - Doug's sparkler died prematurely. You get the general idea, though, right?

I thank God for the freedom I have living in the United States, but far more importantly,
I thank God for the freedom I have in Christ. Happy Independence Day!