life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between

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Weekend Update: Flying Solo, Good Friends, & Live Music

Tonight is a very unusual night in that I’m spending it without Dayne. He’s away hosting one of his best friend’s bachelor parties at his parents’ farm (camping out in November — crazy!). I’m so happy for him and know this is great guy time for him. But I am all off-schedule! I napped and ate a hot dog & celery for dinner and have been successfully ignoring all the housework I was hoping to get done. I guess everyone deserves some lazy time every once in a while… 🙂 I’m simultaneously dreading and excited about having the bed to myself tonight. Oh, how things have changed since I got married!

Clock rewind: I got to see some of my very best girlfriends earlier today, which was such a special treat! My friend Megan drove down from NJ last night to spend time with Molly, Amy, and me. We all went to Eastern University together back in the not-so-distant past (Molly, Megan, & I were roommates for 2 years), and they are a. BLAST. to be around. We are always laughing and having fun and learning about life when we’re together. I love them so much, and they’re irreplaceable! I remembered today why it’s so important to have a) friends who have known you over periods of time, and b) friends who share your heart and hurts but can also make you smile 24/7.

FLASHBACK! Molly, Megan, & me at our baccalaureate, May 2007

FLASHBACK: Amy's b-day, 2008!

I just realized looking through old pictures that we need more recent pictures together! We’ll have to get on that.

So while that time was extra special, I also had an extra-special date night with Dayne last night! We drove down to Wilmington to the new World Café Live at the Queen to see Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers with “Deep River” (they’re changing their name any minute) and Jon McLaughlin. World Café Live in Philly is one of my favorite music venues, so I was anxious to see how the Queen compared. Well, it is amazing!!! Check out some of the older features they preserved, as well as the awesome lighting and new features they installed:

It’s a little hard to see, but they preserved the stage area, complete with surrounding walls with chipped paint (looking very vintage, shown above), brick walls behind the stage, a cupola in the center of the ceiling, and then everything else is totally brand new — flooring, chairs & tables, bar area, walls, sound panels, speakers, etc. The sound is incredible in that theater. And you can see the stage from almost every vantage point – a huge plus in any music venue.

We got there on the early side so we could eat dinner at our table, and we caught both opening acts. Normally, I admit, I try to avoid the opening acts. But last night, both Dayne and I were glad we got there early! Deep River had a folksy sound with great energy, and Rachel (the lead singer) has a powerful, versatile voice.

Unfortunately, I left my camera at home. The light was great in the venue, but Dayne’s phone didn’t react to it well, so these pictures are gonna be a little fuzzy.

Deep River

Jon McLaughlin was next; he made us laugh, and musically, he blew us away. He’s a great pianist with a soulful voice.

Jon McLaughlin

Then, of course, there were SK6ers. They were fantastic, as usual. They always put on such a fun and energetic live show, and Dayne was really impressed and had a great time (which was exactly what I was hoping for)! They are not to be missed in your hometown. Seriously. Check out their tour dates. And their music.

Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers

And there’s always at least one surprise at an SK6ers show:


It was a great date night; I look forward to experiencing many more concerts with Dayne as time goes on.

Part of how I discovered SK6ers was through Hanson and The Rock Boat. I highly recommend making the effort to always discover new music and support your favorite independent artists.

Over and out!

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Nothing like Good Girl Friends.

I’ve only been married 2.5 months, but I can already say that marriage has strongly enhanced my need and appreciation for Good Girl Friends. Dayne makes me incredibly happy most of the time, but he’s still a GUY. He still pees standing up and plays Halo and doesn’t notice dirty dishes or his shoes in the middle of the floor and isn’t concerned about making the bed perfectly and doesn’t quite understand why I get so emotional about things that I “can’t do anything about”. He’s still a very private person, while I will spill my guts to anyone who’s willing to sit, listen, and give me feedback. I love him, but he’s not a girl.

I love my girl friends. Seriously. I have had a joyful, comforted feeling in my heart this week because of them. I feel differently after being around one of my good girl friends than I ever feel from being around Dayne — and this is not a bad thing, girls are just different. There are countless things that my relationship with Dayne gives me that I will never, ever get from a girl friend. But there is something special and unique about girl time!

My friend Amy is an incredibly good sounding board, has a ton of energy, is open and honest about everything, and asks the tough questions all the time. I appreciate her so much because she doesn’t gloss over the nitty gritty of life; she’s real. She has a great heart – she teaches young children with developmental disabilities – and she loves the Lord. She’s also really funny – a blast to be around – and Dayne loves her. I got to see her last week, and I’ll get to see her tomorrow. I can’t wait!

^^Molly, me, & Megan at my wedding. College roommates for 2 years = 3C love! 

My friend Molly had me over on Tuesday night for dinner. I don’t get to see her as regularly, but she is a really good friend – the kind that’s seen me through some of my worst phases (i.e. junior year of college) and somehow still loves me and strongly supports my marriage! She has such a servant heart and she is a great listener, always has great book recommendations, and she married a guy who is just as much fun as she is. She’s also a great cook, so dinner on Tuesday was a treat 🙂 It’s always humbling to look back on our college years and see how much both of us have grown.

Of course, Erica is my cousin, but she feels more like a sister than a cousin. I didn’t have any sisters growing up, but Erica and I are the same age and have grown up in the same extended family and are alike in so many ways. We just get each other, and we have a shared sense of humor that nobody else really understands. Her Maid of Honor speech was incredible, and just having her as my Maid of Honor was an experience I will never forget — our bond is very deep and we love and respect each other so much! She’s been in Cameroon since the end of my honeymoon, which has been hard, but we’ve still kept in touch through facebook, email, and Skype, and I’m really looking forward to her trip home for Christmas.

Tonight I’m going to see Hanson with Erin, who was my roommate for over a year after college, and who is an incredibly kind person who I have a lot in common with, especially since we got engaged around the same time and went through some of the highs and lows of that together! I met Erin through church and she just happened to be a Hanson fan, but there are also countless friends I’ve made through Hanson over the past 14 years, and I love that Hanson concerts keep bringing us together!

I don’t have time to talk about each of them in this post, but Jess, Stacie, & Courtney (my long-distance Hanson girls!), Shelli, Ashlee, Courtney, Gretchen, Megan, Christie, Leah, Janelle, Katie, and Kay are some of the other incredibly meaningful women in my life. I love you girls!

I’m blessed to have so many good girl friends who keep me on track in Christ, who encourage me, who keep me honest and give me sound advice, and who are just lots of fun to be around – especially when we can have a glass of wine and laugh about life. Or rock out to Hanson.

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Thursday Night Vacation Update.

So much has been going on that I only have time for a random, quick post!

I am on vacation – the girls are away with their parents for a long weekend – and I am sooooooooo happy. I felt noticeably lighter tonight than I have in a long time. Possibly because the weather is getting better and I got to spend time with two of my favorite people tonight!

Amy came over to make a twine ball with me.

Let me just say that I have never considered myself creative, or craft-y, or gifted with too many feminine traits. Dayne’s mom is AWESOME at these things, and she has been such a help with making samples of napkin rings, twine balls, favors, etc. Then I try to copy what she did, and it turns out looking very… Lisa-like.

To prove my point, here is the twine ball that Deb made (along with the shepherd’s hook she found for $1… how does she do that?!) and we decorated together:

Looks pretty, right? 🙂 I’m just gonna have to get more of Deb’s help until I become less inept at crafting.

This also happened tonight while Amy was playing around with the camera on her new iPhone… I love moments captured in time like this:

And this verse came to mind tonight and I liked it, especially the Amplified version:

Isaiah 26:3: “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” (emphasis mine… I want to work on doing these things [especially leaning on Him] and attaining that perfect & constant peace!)

Also, PUPPY!:

My family got the cutest dog and dogs are the best, right?! He is such a little angel. I wuv him. (Can you already hear me asking, “Dayne, can we get a dog?” Because it’s happening. Sooner than later.)