Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wedding Slideshow!

So, becuase there are way too many wedding pics I want to put up, and I DIG putting together slideshows, here are two slideshows: a brief (around 3-4 min) and an extendeded version (11 min). I'm pretty sure the one on the left is the extended version, and the right is more brief.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Our Dig

Well, we've finally finished decorating our apartment!!! It's not quite as clean as I was hoping it would be, but these pics will suffice. Also, I'd like to give a special shout out to Joy, Mandi, and Amanda for either actually touring, or taking skype apartment tours in order to offer me painting advice. And also a special shout out to Jonathan for willing putting together all of our furniture, and moving it a million different places for me so I could visually see what set-up I liked the most. He rocks.

Let's start with the front door. We live on the 2nd floor in "the lodge" of our apartment complex. (This means we have to walk kind of far to get to our place, but it's great because we live in the trees!)


Here's our living room, furnished by Ikea...as is all of our apartment.



The living room leads into the sunroom/our office/Ali's bedroom. (Ali digs cuddling.)


To the right of our doorway is our dining room and kitchen.




Give Jonathan a hand for putting up the pot rack and the wooden shelves on the back wall.


Between the kitchen and living room is the hallway. Oooh, exciting.

And the window from the hallway into our kitchen.

Here's our guest room/place we put stuff we're not sure what to do with yet/place we have yet to decorate.


Our fun guest bathroom.

Our bedroom.

And we get a walk-in closet...for all the clothes we don't have.


Our bathroom.

And finally, our Valentines Day cake. I'm so domestic (wink, wink).
Come and visit so you can see the real thing!!!

Friday, February 08, 2008

J&S Slideshow

Wedding pictures are coming soon, but I wanted to put in the slideshow Jonathan and I showed at our ceremony. I think it was my favorite part of planning the wedding!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lent


"Endless Your grace, O endless Your grace, beyond all mortal dream." --Michael Dennis Brown

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, began one of my favorite seasons of the year: Lent.

I have always celebrated it through attending a service in which we are reminded of our sin through the drawing of an Ash cross on our forehead. There is something so personal and intimate to me about these services. They speak deeply to my heart and often draw me to tears. Our church in Atlanta doesn't have an Ash Wednesday service, so we found a random church online to visit. The focus of the service was to emphasize how we are incapable of helping or saving ourselves, but by the wounds of Jesus, we are healed.

Something else I've done is give something up for Lent. This is a sort of fast that reminds me of what is Easter means. And honestly, I've found that I rejoice much more fully in Easter when I surrender something. In the past, I've given up shopping or eating out. But I've also devoted prayers for certain countries, or taken communion every morning.

As I was praying about what to do for this season of Lent, I was reminded of a passage from my favorite book, The Autobiography of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux.

"One Sunday when I was looking at a picture of Our Lord on the Cross, I saw the Blood coming from one of His hands, and I felt terribly sad to think that It was falling to the earth and that no one was rushing forward to catch It. I determined to stay continually at the foot of the Cross and receive It. I knew that I should then have to spread It among other souls. The cry of Jesus on the Cross--'I am thirsty'--rang continually in my heart and set me burning with a new, intense longing. I wanted to quench the thirst of my Well-Beloved and I myself was consumed with a thirst for souls. I was concerned not with the souls of priests but with those of great sinners which I wanted to snatch from the flames of hell."

So this will be my Lenten journey: sitting at the Cross to receive His flowing Blood, and spreading it among other souls. I'm not exactly sure what this will look like, but I am eager to faithfully position myself beneath the Cross for the next 40 days. May God be exalted. Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Honeymoon Pics

Jonathan and I went to Mazatlan, Mexico for an amazing 7 day honeymoon.

Here's what we did everyday:
Morning-hung out at the beach
Lunch-hung out at the pool
Late afternoon-watched a movie in our room
Evening-dinner

So yeah, we were really busy.

Our wedding night we stayed at a hotel on the way to the airport, and some amazing friends of mine suprised us with a beautifully decorated room!



Here's the view from our time share room.

What we did with most of our time. (Isn't he a total dreamboat in those aviators?)


We also watched this amazing sunset one day, but my blog won't upload anymore pics, so you're outta luck.

It was great! I totally dig marriage!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Being Domestic

I always though being domestic would come naturally to me. My mom has excelled in all those areas, and having been around it my whole life, I just assumed it would be as easy to me as it appears to be for her.

Ha, ha. What was I thinking? Though I have domestic aspirations, I am anything but domestic! Here's a smattering of what has happened over the last week we've been in our apartment together.

1. Laundry: I have yet to understand how the dryers work in our complex. I spent over 8 hours trying to do 4 loads of laundry earlier this week. (There are 6 washers and dryers, so it's not like I was waiting to put more loads in.) I also closed the dryer door with some clothes still sticking out on accident, and created the most massive knot of wet clothes I've ever seen in my life.
2. Sleeping: I always considered myself to be a good bed-sharer. But, since I've been married, I've managed to steal J.'s covers almost every night, and even drop my elbow directly into his eye socket in the middle of the night. J. just moaned and rolled over, but I, being incredibly amused about this at 4am, started laughing hysterically for the next 10 minutes, keeping both J and myself awake.
3. Personal Space: Not only do I injure J at night. I think I'm not used to being so close to someone all the time. Everyday at least once, I bonk, or run into, or step on J. Earlier this week we were standing next to each other and I was pointing something out directly in front of us. Unbeknownst to me, instead of pointing forward, my hand started pointing to the side, and I basically stabbed J in the cheek with my long, wedding-groomed fingernail, leaving a swoolen read stripe across his cheek. Another time, in effort to turn around, I came around with "the claw" and clawed him in the eye with my fingers. He's surprisingly good natured about all of the wounds inflicted on him.
4. The Kitchen: I'm good at baking, and can almost always make something good without much effort. But ever since I've become Mrs. Pascual, my kitchen skill seems to have gone out the window. Two nights ago, I tried to make homemade pizza dough. The yeast never rose, so we had hard, crunchy crust. My moment of glory, was when I tried to make the first casserole I've ever made (apparent southerners like casseroles). The recipe called for "3/4C. raw rice, cooked." But I, having some tendencies toward being unobservant only saw "3/4C. raw rice." So, I poured 3/4C raw rice on top of the chicken, broccoli, and cheese, hoping it would cook in the 1/2 hour it was in the oven (without any water). Needless to say, we had a crunchy meal. And Jonathan, having eaten rice his entire life, was definitely less than satisfied. He, as usual, was very understanding about it though.

Fortunately, I'm pretty good at cleaning, and REALLY good at having fun. It's all a great adventure that we're both loving so far!

Uncooked Rice: The Beginning

I always though being domestic would come naturally to me. My mom has excelled in all those areas, and having been around it my whole life, I just assumed it would be as easy to me as it appears to be for her.

Ha, ha. What was I thinking? Though I have domestic aspirations, I am anything but domestic! Here's a smattering of what has happened over the last week we've been in our apartment together.

1. Laundry: I have yet to understand how the dryers work in our complex. I spent over 8 hours trying to do 4 loads of laundry earlier this week. (There are 6 washers and dryers, so it's not like I was waiting to put more loads in.) I also closed the dryer door with some clothes still sticking out on accident, and created the most massive knot of wet clothes I've ever seen in my life.
2. Sleeping: I always considered myself to be a good bed-sharer. But, since I've been married, I've managed to steal J.'s covers almost every night, and even drop my elbow directly into his eye socket in the middle of the night. J. just moaned and rolled over, but I, being incredibly amused about this at 4am, started laughing hysterically for the next 10 minutes, keeping both J and myself awake.
3. Personal Space: Not only do I injure J at night. I think I'm not used to being so close to someone all the time. Everyday at least once, I bonk, or run into, or step on J. Earlier this week we were standing next to each other and I was pointing something out directly in front of us. Unbeknownst to me, instead of pointing forward, my hand started pointing to the side, and I basically stabbed J in the cheek with my long, wedding-groomed fingernail, leaving a swoolen read stripe across his cheek. Another time, in effort to turn around, I came around with "the claw" and clawed him in the eye with my fingers. He's surprisingly good natured about all of the wounds inflicted on him.
4. The Kitchen: I'm good at baking, and can almost always make something good without much effort. But ever since I've become Mrs. Pascual, my kitchen skill seems to have gone out the window. Two nights ago, I tried to make homemade pizza dough. The yeast never rose, so we had hard, crunchy crust. My moment of glory, was when I tried to make the first casserole I've ever made (apparent southerners like casseroles). The recipe called for "3/4C. raw rice, cooked." But I, having some tendencies toward being unobservant only saw "3/4C. raw rice." So, I poured 3/4C raw rice on top of the chicken, broccoli, and cheese, hoping it would cook in the 1/2 hour it was in the oven (without any water). Needless to say, we had a crunchy meal. And Jonathan, having eaten rice his entire life, was definitely less than satisfied. He, as usual, was very understanding about it though.

Fortunately, I'm pretty good at cleaning, and REALLY good at having fun. It's all a great adventure that we're both loving so far!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ali (Ah-lee)

Yes, we're crazy. And yes, we got a dog. It all started with a trip to the mall a week or so before I got married. As my mom and I were leaving, we wandered by the pet store, and I saw a puppy. I stopped and looked at the little basset hound, and he looked at me and told me (with his eyes, of course) that I was meant to be his mother. He even put his paw up on the window to give me a high-five. I knew I couldn't take this specific dog home (and, we all know that basset hounds are really only cute as puppies), but I told Jonathan about it, joking that it was time for a dog.

I continuted to joke about it over the next few days, not expecting anything to come of it and not really sure I wanted a dog...until on our honeymoon Jonathan said, "Yeah, I think I'd be okay with a dog." What? You want a dog now? I thought we were just joking about it. But, not being one to turn away from adventure, I rolled with it.

When we got back on Sunday, we decided we would wait until I got a job and we got the hang of our life before we adopted a furry friend. That's the logical, sensible thing to do, right? Well, yesterday at breakfast, we were talking about what we would do that day and out of my mouth came, "Let's get a dog! Come on, it'll be great. It's the weekend, and I don't start work for a week and your schedule at the coffee shop hasn't started yet either, so we'll be able to spend a lot of time with the dog." Jonathan was hesitant at first, but as I learned earlier, I kept talking about it, and before I knew it, he was ready. I told him we would just go and meet dogs, and then think about it, but he was the one who said, "Let's bring one home today." Well then, okay!

I did some research via Lesli, who is my dog guru, and she told us how to look for a dog from a shelter. (It was so much fun rescuing Amir, that we wanted to rescue another shelter dog.) We finally decided we wanted a Rottweiler, as Lesli has had many Rotts, and they've all been great. But, before going, we checked with the leasing office and they forbade us from getting any sort of viscous breed (i.e. rottweiler), so we were back to the drawing board. The one other rule was that the dog needed to be at least a year old.

First we went to the Animal Control Services. It was a dismal, depressing shelter, with at least 100 dogs shut behind gates in small rooms with many other dogs. We checked out two dogs there. The first, Miya, was a black lab mix. She was very shy and fearful, but sweet. The second, Stanley, was also a fearful white lab. When we tried to play with him, he shook and cowered. We liked Stanley the most, but decided to check out the Humane Society first.

The Humane Society was a completely different atmosphere. It was clean, the dogs had a big living space, and raised beds for them to sleep on. (Lesli said this is a good thing to look for in shelters.) The volunteer introduced us to Beauty, an off-the-wall hyper-energetic dog, who was too excited to even look at us. She was good at fetch...but we passed.

Then, as we were walking we saw an adorable black and white dog. His name was Gabe and he was a lab/terrier mix. At first, we passed him by because we didn't want a terrier, but I told Jonathan I at least wanted to meet him. He had been found a few days before wandering the streets, so nothing was really known of him, and they estimated he was around a year old. We took him out to play and immediately fell in love. He watched us for cues, but played. He's a great combination of a lap-dog (the terrier in him), but he runs like a lab, and is fairly high energy. After 5 or 10 minutes, we knew he was ours.

We filled out the paperwork (just in time, because some other people requested to see him right after we decided on him!), hit up petsmart for a crate, some food, toys, etc. and brought him home. He fit right in! He's become very comfortable making home his, understand the word "no" very well, and has yet to have an accident inside. He slept in his crate last night with no problems, and was thrilled to see us in the morning. We couldn't have asked for a better dog!

We named him Ali, which means noble in Arabic. We talked about training him in Arabic, but decided not to when I couldn't remember the command for "sit".

Here are the pics we've taken so far: