Saturday, December 27, 2008

imaginary honey vanilla chamomile. [Weihnachten week]

My mother has a unacceptably non-existent tea stash in her house, a far cry from my own full to the brim tea drawer back in Montreat. I've bought some tea bags, but nothing can compare to my habitual honey vanilla chamomile in the evening before bed, so I am writing without my tea, devastatingly.
This week has been pretty wonderful. We traveled back to Regensberg on Tuesday afternoon and stayed through the evening, enjoying the numerous Christmas Markets whilst we wandered the cobble-stoned streets of the Altstadt of the city. We breathed in, then sipped on a few different cups of Glühwein, a wonderful mulled wine made in a variety of flavors, my preference being the Apfel Glühwein. We also dined on metre-long sausages, crêpes, so delicious. We milled around the main Christmas market in Regensberg for a good amount of time before we set off in search of a local Irish pub called Murphy's Law, which we had only be told of, not seen ourselves. My mother bravely asked numerous people in German where we might be able to find the pub, and only after asking about 5 different people did we get solid directions. We finally made it, and rewarded ourselves with pints o and nutella-bananaf our favorite drinks, mine being a Black Velvet, a wonderful combination of Guinness and Strongbow Hard Cider. We spent a couple hours there, talking, eating, drinking, and just generally reveling in the good company of each other before we set off to the parking garage to make our way home. It was a wonderful evening. Christmas in Germany is something everyone should experience--it's magical.
Christmas Eve was a relatively lazy day until I was forced to make dinner for everyone. Juuust kidding, I jest, I volunteered to make my homemade macaroni and cheese with kielbasa sausage and granny smith apples, because I have decided that it will be my traditional Christmas Eve dinner for my own family. It turned out well, and there were appreciative grunts of tastiness heard round the table. We didn't end up really doing anything but watching random Christmas movies on TV, but it was great being with family none the less. Christmas morning was highlighted with my mother's wonderful traditional Christmas breakfast casserole and strawberry butter, and of course our respective gifts to one another were all fantastic as well. We ended up playing a family game of Trivial Pursuit Christmas evening, which I won for the first time in my life. My mother usually reads the cards in her spare time, and that paired with her already trivia and knowledge packed brain is always a tough contender. Though my mother claims she hasn't read the cards in years, it was still a tough game. We enjoyed white wine Glühwein while we played. After quiting early due to my father's heavy eyelids, I was in the lead, and was consequently declared the winner--though I think my mom probably would have ended up winning in the end.
The past few days we more lazy days, though yesterday my mother made her wonderful Christmas dinner for us--which she can get away with doing on December 26 in Germany because they celebrate it as Second Christmas Day, like Boxing Day in the UK. We also began watching the spectacular documentary, Planet Earth, produced by BBC, which is absolutely amazing. We watched one disk yesterday, and another today--neither ceased to amazing me with almost every frame.
Today my mom had to work, but my dad took Jeremy and I to a few local wonders. First we took the backroads for about 45 minutes to Kallmünz to see the burg, or castle, up on the hill above the city. After an near-embarrassing trek up the steep, sometimes not so there, stairs up the hill, we made it to the ruins. They were amazing. The masonry, though crumbled, has lasted for more than 500 years. Just running your hand along the aged stone makes you wonder what these stones would tell if they could, what have they seen--battles, love affairs, treachery, peaceful family feasts, weddings, who knows what else those walls have seen in their antiquated years? It was great fun exploring and frolicking among the ruins and in the fields in the courtyard. Jeremy and I love experiencing these sorts of things together, him for the stone masonry, me for the imaginary stories, and both for the history. It was wonderful.
We also went to a very old, very large, very cold church attached to a monastery which was also very humbling and amazing to behold. We walked somberly around inside the great sanctuary of the church, investigating more interestingly old things, as well as pretending to confess in an beautifully carven confessional--no worries, we did nothing heretical (in our theology, at least). We finished off the lovely, yet chilly, day with a small meal in the restaurant attached to the monastery, which was delicious as usual.
I'm not completely sure what our schedule looks like for the next week or so, but I do know that my Dutch sister, Fabienne, is coming for a visit which I am very excited about, we are planning day trips to Rothenberg and Prague which I am also very excited about, and also Jeremy and I will be spending afew days with Meghan, my sister-in-law, in Heidelberg which, you guessed, I am very excited about.
I'll catch up sometime next week if time allows.


Monday, December 22, 2008

rooibos vanille tee. [arias and rainy silhouettes]

Last night was so wonderful. My parents, Jeremy and I traveled into Regensberg last night, which is a larger city only a short drive away from little Velburg. We met some of my parents friends and caravaned to the center of the Altstadt, Old City, to park in a massive underground parking garage. From there we walked to the square in front of what seemed like a huge church-- until you looked up to the left to see the truly towering spires of the ancient cathedral of Regensberg, lit from the bottom, giving voice to every nuance of the experienced stone and carvings colored with the years of history passing. There in the square, a traditional Christmas market was in full swing, though it was lightly raining, no amount of inconvenient precipitation prevents the Germans from celebrating Christmas right--and as it was, neither did it prevent our party from enjoying our evening out, and it surely made for some beautiful photographs. After sipping on the customary beverage of every Weinachtsmarkt, called gluhwein, a piping hot mulled wine with a purpose to warm your body and your mind, we milled around the stands of gifty wares and tasty treats, stopping for a nutella banana crepe. Soon enough we made our way back to the Dreieinigkeitkirche in which the concert of our primary purpose for being in Regensberg was taking place. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a Weihnachtsoratorium, which is a concert of both orchestral and vocal beauty based on the Christmas story as told in the Gospel of Luke. It was such a beautiful concert, the acoustics in the kirche were so perfect. The chorus and the soloists were all quite wonderful vocalists, but it was the orchestra that had my heart skipping beats. The sound washed over the audience in a wave of notes and sounds that stayed the heart. At one point, as the music swelled, it filled the room so that there was literally no room to move--all I could feel was music, I could hardly breathe, I didn't want to break the wonderful tension that the soul of Bach created with his passionate composition.
Though the music was so beautifully distracting, it wasn't quite enough once the cold began to creep its way into the church, and slowly began to make its way up my body--I tried to stifle by putting on a woolen hat, as I pulled my scarf closer around my neck. But it got the better of me, and I was glad when the concert ended and we could walk over to a warm brewery to have a hot dinner and a hearty drink. Each restaurant in Germany is so unique, there are virtually no chain restaurants, so everywhere you go is something new and different, and almost always as wonderfully enjoyable.
Speaking of dinner, we are away to have some now. I'll catch up tomorrow or the next day.



Saturday, December 20, 2008

apfel vanille tee. [tag zwei]

So it's day two for Jeremy and I here in Germany, and we're both pretty tired still, quite happy to be here but the jet lag is still lingering over our heads, making our eyelids just a but heavier than normal. Here's a photo of my parents view from their window, and also a shot of the main street (haupt strasse) of their little village, Velburg.
We woke up this morning to the delightful smell of bacon sizzling on the stove and snow falling outside. My parents had made us breakfast, so kind of them. Today was more of a lazy lay around day because the temperature rose steadily through out the morning causing it to rain more than snow. We had planned to go to a Christmas Market or Weihnachtsmarkt in Hexenaggar, but because it was raining and the market is outside we decided it wouldn't be worth it. It was disappointing, but we'll have other opportunities to go to either that Weihnachtsmarkt or others. We sat around for most of the day, reading or playing Wii with my parents--my mom is remarkably good at bowling on the Wii.
Tonight, however, we went out to dinner at a local German restaurant called Winkler Braustuberl which is also a brewery and hotel. It was so nice, and the food was geschmeckt, which means YUM! Jeremy and I both got a roasted venison, with spatzle and nudeln garnished with half a pear filled with cranberry like berries. The photo is of my plate--I barely remembered to take a photo of it before I began gorging myself on its delectable flavors. Jeremy was going to get wild boar, but they were out of it. Anyway, the dinner was so delicious--I'm still full.
Tomorrow evening, after church, we're planning on going to Regensberg to see a Bach Oratorio in 100s of years old cathedral, so hopefully I'll have some more photos the next time I post.


Friday, December 19, 2008

chai tea. [in Deutschland]

I really did mean to write a short "I'm going to Germany!" post before I left, on the request of the pixie, but I ran out of time. But now all you lovely readers are just yearning to hear of my travels. Well, yearn no more.
Firstly, let me say that Jeremy and I are safely in Germany, at my parent's lovely house in Velburg, set up on a hill which overlooks the enchanting village that stretches into a gorgeous landscape of rolling hills and fir forests.
Though everything in Germany has been gorgeous so far, everything dusted with a layer of fine snow, the trip here went far less beautifully. It started out well enough, with a drive from Asheville to Charlotte with Rachel in Baquito (Rachel, I apologize for murdering the spelling of your car's name.) Even getting through security at the airport and waiting for our flight went smoothly, as I wrote in my journal, pretending to pen brilliant things. Once we were on the plane, it was a different story completely. Jeremy and I were unfortunately separated by an aisle, he has an aisle seat next to a British man by the window, and I has an aisle seat next to an Indian father traveling with his wife and daughter. That was upsetting, but what made it even worse was that we were some of the last people to board the plane, and so my carry on bag was in the overhead compartment about three rows behind me. This turned out to be a problem when I went to get out my book and ipod from my backpack; I tried to get everything out without taking my entire bag out of the compartment which would then cause other people's precariously placed bags to come tumbling out, and also risk my huge water bottle to come crashing down upon the lady below me. As it happened, while I was trying to find Wolfskin at the bottom of my bag, a jacket that belonged to the lady below me fell out and into the aisle, not on to anyone, mind you. The lady gave a huge huffy sigh, and looked up at me and said all snarky, "Why don't you just take your bag back to your seat, instead of just digging through it above my head?" At which point I said, taken aback, "I trying to avoid anything large from falling out on to you." She snapped back, "Yeah, well that's what I'm worried about." She was so rude, and I was so stressed already because I wasn't sitting next to my husband, that I just grabbed my ipod--no book because the only one I could frustratingly manage to find was Foxmask, and I tore back to my seat fighting back tears which came in full force as soon as I sat down in my seat--too far away from Jeremy for my liking. I refused to go back there, so Jeremy went and got my book for me later in the flight, flashing her a sarcastic smile as he rummaged above her head. I love my husband.
We also had to sit about an hour and a half in the plane because we were too heavy to take off on the runway we had been originally assigned, and to wait for a longer runway would have been a two and a half hour wait--so they unloaded some of our cargo. Jeremy and I were secretly hoping they would unload the drunkenly loud girl from Chicago that had been annoying our eardrums for hours at that point, but alas, no luck. Anyway, once in the air the flight went really well, even though the Indian man next to me was blaring his music that entire flight that all sounded remarkably like "The Nipple Song" (look it up on youtube, I promise it's not scandalous.)
Now that we're here, and have now taken a nap because we just couldn't help it, I feel better because the flight is behind me-- I am going to request that someone switch seats with either Jeremy or me so we can sit together on the flight back. My parents house is wonderful; I'm so happy for them. Kitty is fat and lazy, and makes me miss Cael because he's so much more friendly than Kitty.
So, within the next couple days I post again with some photos, and more stories--hopefully not so traumatic.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

honey vanilla chamomile and chocolate milk. [finished]

To clarify my title, I am drinking chocolate milk (PET, the best!) right now, as I wait for the kettle to boil. Then I will be drinking honey vanilla chamomile tea, yum.
I am writing again at the request of my dear friend, Laura. She misses my writing, and that makes my heart warm.
You know what I'm going to do tonight? Completely relish in the fact that I have no homework to stress about, rejoice that I have reworked the photos I needed to rework, AND sent them off this afternoon, be anxious that I'm giving a speech the day after tomorrow, and read what ever I want, and crochet as much as I want. That's right, I am officially finished with my undergraduate studies, and I seal the deal at commencement on Saturday. I don't know if I'll continue on with graduate studies, if I do it'll be later. Or I could take the urging advice of my beloved professor Paul Owen and become a theologian right away. I'll always continue studying the Bible, but I'm not sure if I want to do graduate work on it. I think if I do continue on, it'll be in either Graphic Design, Photography, or perhaps Creative Writing. But who knows?
Ahh, now I have my tea. This feels better. These past two weeks have been a blur, not only have they gone by fairly fast, but I've been sick and on constant cold medicine of some kind. It's hard to believe that I'm actually done with college. It's gone by so quickly. It feels like just the other day that I was 18 and unsure of who I was, and now I'm married and well on my way to becoming the woman that God wants me to be. Montreat has been so good for me, in so many different ways. My life has changed in ways I could have never imagined, and I'm so thankful that God has had his hand on my life the way he has. He's always got plans for me, and whether they're my own as well or not, I know that they are what is best for me, and best for my future.
I shudder to think of living this life on my own, not only not knowing what's coming up around the corner, but not having a benevolent Father who loves me looking out for my well-being. This world would be a oppressively depressing place without my knowledge of my God. If I were the ultimate maker of my own destiny, I know I would royally screw it up. I am just so glad that no matter how stupid I am, or what kind of a mess I make, God is always right behind me, ready to help me pick up the pieces and keep on walking the path.
Pray for me as I take another big step into adulthood and pursue a full-time job. Pray that God reveals his plan for Jeremy and I sooner rather than later, and pray for discernment, so we know that our plans are really from God, and not just from our own selfish desires. Thank you all for your support during my last semester, it has helped and meant more to me than you know.

Almost graduated,


Thursday, November 27, 2008

honey vanilla chamomile tea. [crochet]

So, I've been on a crocheting binge lately, when I should be working on papers and school work--a house wife's version of senioritis. I've made 5 pairs of fingerless mittens, and 2 hats (a pair of mittens and a hat going to Laurel for her birthday). But my most recent creations are my favorite. I learned a new stitch, called a herringbone double crochet which I made my favorite pair of glovies with, and I just finished a hat with awesome military-looking buttons on it to match my herringbone glovies. Here is a photo of my new hat. Be in awe. Be proud. Now, I must get back to work, this hat will be the last of my creations until I'm finished with school.

A quick shout out to my lovely Laura, who has eclipsed the set goal for NaNoWriMo of 50,000 words in a month--yet, the month is not over and she is going for 60,000 as a personal goal. Go Laura!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

sleepy time with valerian. [tension]

It's getting to be crunch time. Only one week of classes left after Thanksgiving break, then exams, then graduation. I still have a good amount of work to do, but next week should be well used to get everything finished. Keep praying for me, I've got a ways to go yet, but I have a first draft of my graduation speech done, and begun research for my theology papers.
Pray for my health, I've been sneezing a lot, and been getting migraine headaches that last for an entire day. I can do this; I know I can, but I need my strength--pray that it fails me not.

Holding fast,


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

vanilla black tea. [strength]

Many sincere thanks to those who have been praying for me. I have felt the Lord's hand upon my life lately, though things are still toilsome and arduous for me (and Jeremy), God has given me a kind of peace about it all. Though I am still stressed, I am not drowning--and God is giving me the strength to get through it. So thanks again, all you gracious friends and family--keep praying, the culmination approaches.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

honey vanilla chamomile tea. [elastic.]

Lately I've had a perpetual feeling of tightness in my chest, and that feeling seems to echo the character of my life in days of late. I feel like a rubber band, and that I'm being stretched and pulled until the tension grows just shy of my breaking point, only to be released ever so slightly to stay intact, then just as I let out a breath of relief--the tension begins again. I am reminded of a line in The Fellowship of the Ring, one that I've actually always rather poked fun at, until now, when I know exactly what Bilbo means when he says he feels "like butter scraped over too much bread."
I am coming up on the home stretch of my college career and I scarcely feel that I can make it. I have numerous in-depth papers to write, The Whetstone to keep on task, photography jobs to shoot and edit, and on top of everything else I now have a graduation speech to write, practice, and stress over delivering in front my graduating class without stuttering. I'm not sure exactly what God is trying to do to me here, and I hope that he intervenes soon to give me just one breath before I am plunged back into the sea of my anxiety.
Have you ever stretched a rubber band, grasping it fully with both of your hands, until it snaps--stinging your hands, but you hold it tightly together to keep it from completely falling apart? I feel as if that's what God is doing with me right now. Though he stretches me to my absolute breaking point--complete with spur of the moment blubberings, and unnecessary trenchant remarks aimed at helpless victims--he is holding me intact with his strong and able grasp. Though I am broken, he is the mortar that holds my pieces intact. He has also blessed me with a master stone mason to help pick up, and carefully put back, the pieces that I force to the ground.
I am at my breaking point, but hold to the hope that I have in my Savior and the gift of my faithfully strong husband. Please pray for me. Pray that I can get it all done without falling apart, and pray that even if I do break, that I allow those who love me to help put me back together again.
God can make me into the most magnificent mosaic, but I must be willing to become His restored masterpiece.
I am no Humpty-Dumpty.



Sunday, November 9, 2008

[hannah and jordan]

I had the amazing privilege to shoot Hannah and Jordan's engagement photos today. They were so cute, and I had a wonderful evening enjoying the adoration for each other that emanates from each of their smiles. Here's a sneak peek.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

hot apple cider. [poesy]

I tried my hand at poetry for the first time in two years. I long to be a poet. Here is my attempt.

"Sway Once More"
It is twilight of autumn, the chill in the air is sharper, biting.
Once vivid hues but few dawns hitherto enraptured my senses,
Now grow dim to dour shades of brown.
Winds beat the brethren of leaves from their lofty seats,
Ghosting to their mass grave of fading autumn shades.

The once full arms, now bare bones of branches left destitute.
Gale after gale moans through the boughs of birch, maple, and oak alike;
Each leaf that lightly falls is one step closer to the bleak of winter.
Soon only skeletons remain, barely a whisper of the splendor they once held.

The long winter approaches, already breathing into the misty valley.
I ignore it while I can, remembering the peak of autumn’s glory,
While I dance among the fallen comrades; they follow my twists and turns.
One last dance before the color altogether dies,
Right foot, turn, left foot, turn, a curtsy and a bow.

Fare thee well, we shall dance once again
When passes harsh winter, demure spring, and sultry summer,
And once again the air grows crisp with your presence,
Promising shades of sweet orange, gold, and crimson.
Then I will sway once more with the refrain of the autumnal muse.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

irish breakfast tea. [the day after]

Yesterday was an important day for our country, we voted and elected a new president that will guide and govern our country for the next four years at least. It was also actually my first time voting; I had just missed it in 2004, as I didn't turn 18 until March of 05. It was rather exciting walking up to the building, entering, giving my name and receiving my first ballot as a voting citizen of the United States--lucky I took so many 'bubble-in' tests in high school. Our country waited with eager anticipation as the voting closed in each time zone, getting closer and closer to knowing the outcome. McCain or Obama? I'll go ahead and tell you that I voted for McCain, and I have my reasons which would be too lengthy to impart to my readers here, but if you would like to know don't hesitate to ask me.
Though Obama won, and I was rather disappointed (along with 49% of the popular voters), I have complete faith that the outcome was what God intended. Though I passionately mourn for the multitude of unborn children that my tax dollars will pay to murder if the Freedom of Choice Act is passed, I know that God has a plan. I know that God can use even the most evil of people and events to carry out his will--not to say that Obama is evil, of course, but that if God can use those kinds of men, he can surely use Barack Obama. To paraphrase my dear friend, Laura-- I will pray for Barack Obama and his decisions regarding my country just as I would have prayed for John McCain in the same way. Like it or not, Obama is our president, and we must acknowledge that, give him the respect that any President of the United States is due, and pray that God can use him in great ways that we cannot even imagine.



Friday, October 31, 2008

ichor red tea. [all hallows' eve]

I just wanted to wish my lovely readers a very terrifying All Hallows' Eve, and a happy Reformation Day while I'm at it.

"On mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveller in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was headless!--but his horror was still more increased on observing that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was carried before him on the pommel of his saddle!"
--The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

raspberry zinger. [faith integration]

In reading an article for my CS 102 class entitled Integrating Faith & Learning, by David S. Dockery, I am inclined to reflect upon my own experience at a Christian Liberal Arts college. I am thankful for my education, and know how rare a thorough, yet Christian, education can be. As Dockery points out, the majority of colleges and universities in America at one point all had one goal in common: an authentic Christian higher education. Though the number of schools with a goal like this in mind has drastically depleted, I am glad that I had the opportunity to study at one with such a vigor for Christ--a vigor that emanates from every pore of the college's being.
I came to Montreat College in the autumn of 2005. Previously in high school, I claimed my Christianity but did not particularly live it. I knew what I believed, but I probably couldn’t tell you why I believed it. Jesus loves me this I know was about the extent of my doctrinal knowledge. As soon as I arrived to Montreat, my new home, nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in an enchanting cove which time seems to have left untouched, I knew it was different. Never before had I been in an atmosphere that so obviously contained an insatiable love for Christ, and I was wholeheartedly encouraged to deepen my relationship with Him by not only my friends but my professors as well. It didn’t happen overnight, but as I spent more and more time in Montreat and around people who were on fire for Christ, it was hard to resist the power and grace of my old Friend, and renovate the relationship I had with Him. So shortly after arriving to Montreat I begin to strengthen my relationship with Jesus through prayer, reading the Word and fellowship with my awesome friends. I decided to make, what was up till then my parents’ faith, my own. Thus began the inauguration of my faith integration process.
As a Christian in a Christian college it wasn’t hard to begin integrating my faith in with my learning, because most of my professors were already integrating the faith into their teaching. This not only helped me see what faith and learning integration was, but helped me see what faith integration can look like in a career. I struggled to choose a major, and planned what felt like the rest of my known existence; I really didn’t know what I wanted to be in life besides a mom, and the only other thing I was certain of was that I would travel. I wanted my Christianity to be apart of every aspect of my life so eventually my conclusion was: Bible and Religion concentrating in Cross-Cultural Studies. Bible so I can answer my kids’ questions about my faith (as well as anyone else’s questions), and Cross-Cultural Studies to satisfy my desire to travel, as well as learn about other worldviews and beliefs--not to be a close-minded, ignorant Christian.
I wouldn't trade my experience at Montreat for anything. Through my classes, especially ones like Christian Doctrine and Worldviews, I have understood not only that I am a Christian, but why I am. I no longer am a follower of a faith I know nothing about. Montreat also revealed to me the other half of my soul, though I can hardly credit Montreat's liberal arts education for giving me the gift that is my husband, Jeremy Foreman.
As Dockery says, "learning shaped and formed by faith results in living that is shaped and formed by faith." I can joyously say that I am an unmitigated example of the truth in that statement.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

perfectly pear white tea. [first snow]

It was snowing this morning. I looked out the window to see my car blanketed in a white mantle of fresh, glistening snow. So beautiful. It was also Cael's first snow experience. He was enraptured.
It was joyous.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

tension tamer ginger tea. [an eerie evening]

The trees were unusually vocal, and the night was eerie as I walked Cael in the darkness. The shadows were long and skeletal, and the chill in the air sharper than it has yet been. Sounds came from the woods to my left, and voices not belonging to the trees whispered in the branches above me. We walked on; the voices followed. The wind created a tumult in the canopy above, causing leaves to rain down around me in torrent of cold darkly colorless leaves. The dark is frightening; it pilfers the brilliant color that normally typifies my sleepy valley. Where there is darkness, no color remains. We continued up the road, through the shadows, trying to ignore the voices in the trees. A gravel, tree covered road peels off of the one we tread, and it abruptly ended into a huge mouth of black nothingness. Mysterious noises piqued Cael interest as he strained on his leash toward the ominous blackness, my senses and the hair on the back of my neck held any degree of curiosity I might have a bay, while I attempted to keep my spaniel as such. We turned and headed for home, still being trailed by the voices in the forest, as the occasional leaf, drained of color, ghosted to the ground at my feet. I shivered, pulled my scarf closer to my neck, and tried to think of nothing but the hot tea I would have when I had returned home.

Monday, October 20, 2008

honey vanilla white tea. [autumnal weekend.]

This past weekend was full of autumnal occasions. Friday was a day of relaxation for Jeremy and I, I made dinner and we watched Scream 2, (Hocus Pocus is next on my list). It was nice to stay in and just enjoy each others' company. Saturday morning I met with my girls to discuss our brilliant ideas about our brilliant novels, and to laugh and be silly with each other as well. We had to cut our meeting a bit short due to the wedding of friends of Jeremy and I, which we were going to at two. Shelley and Nate married each other on the beautiful, albeit chilly, autumn day that Saturday was. The wedding was held In The Oaks, in Black Mountain, beneath a sunshade of autumn oaks, maples, and birches. It was gorgeous, and Shnate (as they have been dubbed) were blissful in each other's arms. I was able to take many good photos for them as well, just as a gift. The reception was catered by Jeremy's mother, Anne, so needless to say, the food was exquisite. Their dance was romantic, their smiles perpetual, and their escape, fingers entwined, through a throng of people tossing freshly gathered leaves of many hues, was sublime.
After the wedding, I went to catch the last fifteen minutes of the Montreat vs. Covenant soccer game, we won 4-0, very exciting. Jeremy and I celebrated with part of the team that evening.
On Sunday morning, Jeremy and I awoke early with intentions of leaving at the break of dawn and abscond to the parkway for the day to enjoy the beauty of the leaves, and the majesty of the mountains. Though we got up a little later than anticipated, we still made it up to the parkway before the crowds and had a wonderful day. We brought Cael along with us, he was a pain, but we love him were glad we brought him in the end. For some reason part of the parkway was closed and we couldn't go farther than Craggy Gardens, so we pulled in there. We ate our lunch, and then hiked the trail that began on the far side of the picnic area. Jeremy, Cael, and I embarked on the trail leading up to the summit of the small mount we were on. The trail took us twice as long to follow for we tended to venture off the beaten path whene'r something caught our eyes. It was an easy hike, about mile long, though we easily did two. One such venture took us deep into the woods for the better part of a half an hour before we rejoined the trail. The forest was beautiful, the sun danced playfully upon the golden leaves, while igniting the those that were crimson. The trees stood tall and strong, inviting us to caper below their emblazoned canopy. I felt like I was in a different world, the forest made me feel like I belonged there. The trees whispered around us, and the breeze carried their message of peace and tranquility to our ears, tempting us to lose ourselves within their undisturbed embrace of earthy serenity. We came to ourselves before all manner of mind was lost and found our way back to the path. Ambling the rest of the way up the trail did not take long, and the view at the top was magnificent. I spent some time up there, then began our trek back down to reality. The trip back didn;t take half as long as the former, and were within view of the prking lot all too soon. We drove him, still feeling enchanted, though our exhaustive exploits of the day began to take their toll on us the moment we sat down. It was a beautiful day, and I was lucky to be able to spend it with the most amazing husband anyone could ask for.
Later that evening, I made a dinner of avocado burgers with carmelized onions, and honey mustard dressing, and Laura and Chelsea came over to eat and watch North and South which is a charmingly romantic story set in 19th century England. Though a bit long, it was worth investing the time to see the way Mr. Thornton looks at Margaret in the train station.
As always, Chelsea and Laura's company was amusing and thoroughly enjoyable.

As you can imagine, I'm quite knackered and in dire need of a good long rest which I am hoping to obtain tonight.

Cheerfully exhausted,


Friday, October 17, 2008

darjeeling black tea. [knowledge the enemy of faith?]

Last night, Jeremy and I watching The Order, with Heath Ledger, which is a movie about the what are called "sin eaters." The movie focuses on a Catholic priest called Alex, he is one of the Carolingian order of priests, who are specifically trained to exorcise demons, and fight otherworldly creatures. The movie itself is of little consequence to me in this post, but more a quote given by a 'wise' bookstore owner in Rome, because everyone who owns a bookstore is the pinnacle of wisdom for all subjects. He says the knowledge in the enemy of faith. It took a moment for his meaning to sink in, then I said aloud, "I completely disagree." I'll be the first to admit, that to a person weak in faith, 'knowledge' is the means by which the culprit snatches the waning faith from said person, usually giving him a haughty new worldview which belittles the 'faith' he thought he possessed before. But as a Christian, knowledge has been fuel to my fire, and not only knowledge about what I believe; the more I know God, the more I see his fingerprints on the world around me, and the more easily I see his influence in every aspect of my education. True faith begets knowledge. St. Anselm of Canterbury said "I believe in order that I may understand." Believing in God not only allows us a better view of the created order, but knowing God, allows us to better know ourselves and others as well.
Esphesians 3: 17-19
I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know that this love surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Dwell on this, so that you may understand that no matter how much knowledge you acquire, there is nothing that you can know that equals the love that we have in Christ, that he loves us so much, though we deserve none of it. That he allows us to know him and know his creation--every aspect of it. Knowledge will never be an enemy of faith, it can only supplement our relationship with God, to better serve him as his chosen people, as we continue to build his kingdom.

Late for class,


Thursday, October 16, 2008

hot fresh-pressed apple cider. [mind of Gwen]

I know I'm not drinking tea, but if you knew how glorious this apple cider tasted you wouldn't be questioning me.
Classes are now back in full swing, and I'm just praying that the second half of the semester goes as quickly by as the first half. Overall, my classes are going well and I'm enjoying most of them, most of the time.
Autumn is still working on transforming this valley into a palette of deep, rich colors; the paint brushes of trees still striving towards their brightest, most vivid colors. The leaves have begun to loose themselves from their places on the lofty branches with the aid of the occasional gust of crisp westerly wind. On Cael's walk this morning, up ahead of us a breath of wind liberated some leaves from a yellow birch tree, they looked like gold flakes glittering to the ground in the morning sun.

I have been working on my novel lately and been making some encouraging progress, but I continue running into the same problem. Gwen, my protagonist, is reluctant to allow me full access into her mind--this is a problem because I am writing it in first-person, from her point of view. I feel like I'm forcing ideas into her head, then when I go back and read them, they don't fit into the narrative at all. I've done a character study, but maybe I need one that is more in depth, because Gwen is not one that lets people in easily. Any ideas on how to get Gwen to let me in?



Monday, October 13, 2008

black currant black tea. [harvest time]

This morning heralds the end of my Fall Break, which is rather unfortunate--but it also ushers in the latter half of the semester, which means I'm only about six weeks away from graduation. As much as I do not want to go to class this morning, I must think of what is to come, and why I must go. This has perhaps been one of the best ones I have ever experienced. I read the entirety of Son of the Shadows, and loved every page of it; and I also began Child of the Prophecy, which is the next of the trilogy.
Yesterday was perhaps the best day though. Jeremy and I went to church at iSight, which was quite fulfilling, then came home and made and had lunch with Laurel, Jeremy's sister. After Laurel left we went out to find pumpkin carving tools, candy corn, and some pumpkin ale. Jeremy brought home three perfect pumpkins the other day, and we spent all day together yesterday carving pumpkins, toasting pumpkin seeds, listeing to Irish music, and eating candy corn. It was so great to spend a day with Jeremy, laughing, and joking around, and just being together having fun. I love carving pumpkins, and he surprised me the other day when he brought them home, like they were flowers. I was so excited. It was just such a pleasant time with him. We each carved one of our own, then I traced one, and he carved it while I made dinner. Can you guess which one's which?
We then watched The Village, which isn't terrifying, but it's as scary as I tend to venture to see. I love that movie, it's so thrilling--but I realized the real reason why I love it is because of the relationship between Ivy and Lucius. It's beautiful. There is this one scene where their town is being invaded by dangerous mythical creatures who have not breached their borders in many years, while everyone is terrified, running inside to their safe places beneath the floor boards, Ivy, who is blind but also one of the more capable people in the village, is standing on the front porch with her hand out, waiting for Lucius. She knows he will come for her, she has a faith in him that is so pure and so sure that she risks her life as one of the creatures is coming for her, but before it gets there, another hand firmly grasps hers and leads her inside. Lucius had come, just as she knew he would. It it's just such a beautiful picture of the kind of trust two such people should have in each other, they are not engaged yet as of that scene, but they do become so later. It really is the ultimate image of a blind faith, as cliche as that might be.
Spending time with Jeremy yesterday was so enjoyable, and reading books with such strong, faith-filled love, and seeing The Village last night really made me appreciate him all the more. We are so wonderful for each other, and it's beautiful to see our relationship strengthen, and our lives grow intwined with each other, creating not just two people perfect for each other, but eventually, one heart beating in a steady, never-ending cadence of devotion.

Not caring how sappy this post seems,


Friday, October 10, 2008

darjeeling black tea. [autumnal elegance]

After a wonderful night of dinner, dessert, and great company--Laura came over for dinner and brought with her an delectable chocolate peppermint torte--I read a bit before going to bed, and was inclined to sleep in this morning. When I woke up, Cael was ever so ready to go on his morning walk, tail wagging, constant whining and all. I threw on my favorite blue hoodie, my black sambas, got Cael leashed up and headed out the door.
As soon as I took a few steps outside I knew this morning was different. I continued walking, letting Cael do his thing, then usually I would turn back for home as soon as he was finished. But this morning lured me on to continue walking, the crispness in the air, the vibrant colors on the trees, and the ever thicker carpet of yellows, reds, and browns enlightened my mind to the fact that it was now undeniably autumn. The toughest wildflowers were still hanging on, but even they cannot last much longer, their springy pinks and purples no match for autumn's gold, scarlet, and sweet orange. As Cael and I walked, protected by the still intact canopy of the trees, the chill was nipping but not biting yet, still a small puppy waiting to be full grown with the coming of winter. The mist was covering the mountains again, giving way to yet another contented sigh from me as we walked on. The wind, by and by, would ripple through the trees and they would lean in toward each other as if telling great secrets only they can understand, precipitating a new array of color to rain down to the ground, adding to the beautiful autumnal mantle through which I continued to walk. We walked for the better part of an hour, smelling, hearing, seeing, and even tasting the lovely weather with the coming and going of the breeze, always having something else riveting to catch the eye. We turned for home, enjoying the last few paces of our walk and the wind prompted the trees to again begin whispering and leaning in toward each other, I couldn't understand their cryptic language, but I'd like to think they were calling to me, telling me to return again soon to enjoy their protective canopy, and delight in their resonant colors once more.

Enraptured by Autumn,


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

honey vanilla chamomile tea.

I am not actually sipping my honey vanilla chamomile tea yet, I am awaiting the whistle of the kettle to forewarn me that the water is boiled and my tea can now begin imbuing its flavorful herbs in my white, wide-mouthed mug. Anytime now. Ah, I can hear the pressure rising...
Now that my tea is steeping and sweetened with the perfect amount of honey I can really sit down and write. Today has been another long day, made bearable by two things: The perpetual rain today has shrouded the mountains all around the valley in that enchanting mist I love so much, hiding the peaks so that one can imagine they loom higher than ever before in majestic mysteriousness. Today is also the beginning of Fall Break, and I am so thankful to get a couple days away from the engrossing life of being a student. I have two extra days in which to read whatever I want, and spend my time how ever I please, which may or may not include any of the following: reading, writing, drawing, thinking, painting, and then of course the everyday things like walking Cael, and loving my husband so well. These things are all prevailed upon in my everyday life by my school work and constant thoughts of assignments, grades, and articles for the newspaper. I eagerly anticipate giving them their due time these next few days; then alas, it will be over before I realize.

My tea is finally cool enough to sip. The flavor of the aromas are dancing upon my tongue in peaceful pirouettes then waltzing back and forth, making aqauintance with every tastebud before slipping down my throat, warm and comforting. The smell of chamomile is something that never fails to calm my senses and ease the tension that usually accumulates in my shoulders any given day. It's sweet but not sickly so; the redolence seems to permeate my being little by little, each breath taken being deeper than the one before it. It smells like home, like curling up with a good book on a chilly winter's gloaming, like the warm embrace of a parent when you're young before drifting off to sleep. When I smell chamomile I find it easy to imagine myself in my favorite fantasy novel, having a warm cup of chamomile tea before the hearth of my father's household, being full from a hearty dinner, surrounded by family listening to stories of old I've heard a thousand times and of which I never tire.
Now I am finding that as my body relaxes, that tranquility is knocking at the door to my mind. I think I'll end here, and go and welcome my guest waiting on the doorstep; I'll invite him in and ask him to stay a while.



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

irish breakfast tea. [autumn approaching]

It's one of those mornings again. I do not say this because it's a dreadful, nothing is going right sort of morning. I say it because the night and dawn have brought a beautiful, enchanting mist upon my valley again this morning. I love these kinds of mornings, and while I took Cael out on his morning walk I took in the smells of the damp woods as the crisp autumn air nipped at the back of my neck. I pulled up my hood and noticed leaves littering the ground in a decorative carpet of golds and yellows. The vermilion leaves have not yet begun to show themselves as much as the vibrant, early yellows, but I have heard whispers of the sugar maples preparing for the day when they will allow their colors to explode forth in an array of gorgeous shades of sweet orange, yellow, with hints of crimson. I'll be there on that day, taking in the beauty and admiring the canvas of color with which God always blesses this valley. The time approaches.

Monday, October 6, 2008

raspberry zinger. [company]

I can't stay long tonight, I have company, as I write, pulling up into the driveway. Josh, Christal, and their kids, as well as my dear friend Chelsea, are all coming over tonight to watch the newest episode of "Heroes." I enjoy having friends over and being able to provide a place for such to gather. Fellowship is such an important aspect of not only being a Christian, but just being human. Being able to share common interests, and also common struggles with someone you care about allows one to realize they are not alone in this world in the marvelous or dreadful things that occur in life. I am incredibly thankful for the friends God has blessed me with, whether I see them all the time, or every once in while we'll get together and it'll be like we were never apart. I am thankful for those that love me for who I am, and enjoy each little idiosyncrasy of my personality--and I love being able to return the favor.

À demain,


Sunday, October 5, 2008

vanilla black tea.

Yesterday was a pretty long day. I was on my feet, serving appetizers, serving wine, then clearing dishes, among other catering duties most of the day. It was for a fortieth wedding anniversary party, and it was a pretty sweet event. The house where the party was held was off of Elk Mountain Scenic Highway, which connects to the Parkway--it winds, twists, and turns up and around a mountain for about fifteen minutes before the intended destination. The way up was a bit precarious, because I was ill familiar with the road and its sudden veerings left and right. But after the party, around 10 o'clock in the evening, the brisk mountain air lured my windows down, my moon roof back, and my senses unwound as the road unwound itself down the mountain. I listened to some of my favorite bands, breathed deep, and enjoyed the crisp autumn zephyrs as they danced wildly with my dark tresses and gently kissed my eyelashes. It was one of the most pleasant drives I have had in quite some time.

Today in church, I was informed that a girl at my school's father died suddenly last night of a heart attack. He was in his mid-fifties and it was completely unexpected. My heart goes out to her and her family, I can't even imagine losing my father--just the idea makes my chest tighten and my eyes threaten to unleash a deluge of tears. It makes me miss my father, as well as my mother, tremendously. They live in Germany, and I see them very little except for Skype phone calls very once in a while. It makes me appreciate having such great parents, and continuing to love and grow in my relationship with them. Since I've gotten married our dynamic has changed to more of a friendship which is really wonderful. So Dad and Mom, I love you very much, and miss you more than you know. Thanks for being so amazing, and I look forward to when I am next able to see your smiling faces, and throw myself into your loving embraces. Can't wait till December.

Still sipping,


Saturday, October 4, 2008

vanilla almond tea.

I have recently returned from yet another splendid Snippets meeting, bearing the fruits of good friendship, and helpful ideas from my fellow snippets. Unfortunately this post cannot be of length, because I was just reminded that I promised Jeremy's mother that I would help her with a catering job tonight. I will away to her house within the half hour, and help prepare the food, and then help serve at the party later. I must discontentedly miss the Homecoming soccer game, which I was looking forward to, but I made a promise and I will keep it.

Until my next cup,


Friday, October 3, 2008

black currant black tea.

I sit down this evening, hot tea in hand, perfectly sweetened with honey and a bit of milk, and face a night by myself. Jeremy has gone camping with his good friend, Billy May, for the night, so it's just Cael and I. It makes a bit nervous because I haven't spent a night by myself since before I was married, but at the same time, it'll be nice to have some time to myself to read, write, or whatever. Overall, I look forward to my solitary evening, but am not looking forward to a night in a bed by myself.

I have now finished, (as of yesterday morning), Daughter of the Forest, and have already been loaned a copy of the next book Son of the Shadows. I have begun the second book, but am trying to hold off until Fall Break to continue reading because I have midterms to study for next week, and need the extra time I would be reading to study.

Tomorrow I meet with my Snippets again, and look forward to it. I haven't written too much this week, but did overcome the obstacle of writing my hero's character analysis. I have learned much by sitting down and answering questions in his voice, and I am excited about what else I'll found out about his character. I'll probably try to write a bit tonight, so I can bring in some new stuff to read to Chelsea and Laura tomorrow morning. Well, I'm about to finish my tea, make myself dinner, then bathe Cael (wish me luck).

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, October 2, 2008

honey vanilla chamomile tea.

Autumn is here at last. I can feel it in the crisp chill in the air, and smell it in the breeze. The trees are beginning their annual spectacle of vivid shades of gold, vermilion, and orange. I feel it as I have a wear a hoodie or jacket when I take Cael on our morning walk. I sense the change, and it makes me smile and sigh with contentment. Autumn has always been my favorite season, and I look forward to enjoying another glorious Western Carolina autumn with Jeremy, and now Cael as well.
For those of you who have not been able meet the newest addition to our little family, I hope this video clip will help you realize what you're missing. Jeremy and I would love for you to visit.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

cranberry apple zinger tea.

I write late today because of a couple reasons. Firstly, I worked tonight at Cheshire Fitness Club, I man the front desk--greeting the members, and membership management type of position. Secondly, I am so enraptured by the book I'm reading: Daughter of the Forest. I have been reading in every second of spare time I can find.
I love finding a book that so captures my attention that I can scarce put it down. They have been few and far between the last couple years. Not to say I haven't read books that I haven't enjoyed; I have, especially those I must read for my Bible classes. But to find a book that so pulls you into its story that you find yourself doing things that are part of its plot--that is special. Like with my book, the protagonist, Sorcha, cannot speak for the majority of the book, for if she does, hers tasks will be for nothing, and she will lose her brothers forever. I find myself, while reading, hesitating to answer Jeremy's questions for a moment, or pausing before I speak to Cael, my puppy.
To find a fantastical world in which you become an inhabitant, even if just for a moment, being able to escape the toils of everyday and immerse yourself in a good book is something that is so necessary sometimes. I thank God for the ability to plunge into a good book, and be swept away with its adventure, love, danger, and happily ever after.
Now excuse me, as I get back to being silent with Sorcha.

Until I steep next,


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

vanilla black tea.

I sit down to write today in the midst of a Montreat afternoon thunder shower. With all the windows in the room open, as well as the door, I am able to enjoy the poetic fragrance of the shower. If you've ever been in Montreat during one of these wonderful events you know what I'm talking about. The smell of fresh rain, and damp earth are mingling with the aroma of vanilla and black spices within my tea and soothing my spirit.
Afternoons such as this never fail to bring a smile to my face, and a contented sigh upon my breath. Earlier today I was feeling a bit overused, tired and unsought. Those moods have a habit of creeping up on me when I'm not expecting them, making them harder to combat. I tend to dwell on the things going awry in my life, things that I don't have or things I desire to have happen, but dont. It's hard to come out of a slump like that on your own. Then I remember who has my seemingly huge problems right in the palm of his hand. I realize that God's going to take care of me, no matter how I feel or what happens. Instead of turning inward and feeling sorry for myself, I must lean on the shoulder of God, a shoulder that will always be there--waiting for me to lean on him. Then he brings me a thunder shower, speaking to me in the deep rumblings of the thunder and in the sweet aroma of the new rain. He washes away my worry and doubt with his majestic glory, and I realize how small my problems really are to him. As long as I trust in God, he will always pull me out of my slump--as a little weeping child is pulled up from the ground into his loving father's strong embrace. He tells me it'll be okay, and to just trust in him. He knows my needs better than I do, and he will provide. Always.
Thank you, Lord, for never leaving me in my times of doubt and darkness, but shining your glorious light upon my life, and ever holding me within your loving, strong embrace.

Still sipping,


Monday, September 29, 2008

madagascar vanilla red tea

Jeremy just went out on a run, and I figured now would be the best time today to sit down with my cup o' tea and write. One of my dearest friends has recently spurred me on to read Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, she said it would be right down my alley. She was right. I have scarcely been able to tear myself away to go to class. (Don't worry, Mom. I did.) The story is so engrossing, and I relate to the protagonist, Sorcha, so well. The fact that it's set in ancient Ireland helps too.
Sorcha is the youngest of six older brothers, before she was born she was thought to be a seventh son or a seventh son, but she turned out to be a girl. Her mother died in childbirth, and her father turned into a shell of a man at her mother's death. Sorcha's older brothers raised her, and thus the seven of them have a incredibly strong bond between them. I'm to the point in the story where an evil woman has bewitched her father into marrying her, and has turned Sorcha's brothers into swans. Sorcha must complete a seemingly impossible task, taking her perhaps years, to break the enchantment. She suffers night and day for the brothers she loves so much, and is never allowed to utter a single word to anyone, especially about her story.
I'm not even halfway through it, but I'm loving it. The connection and love she shares with her brothers really tugs at my own heart. I have three older brothers, the youngest and only daughter of my parents. Luckily, no such tragedy has befallen my family as it did Sorcha's, but I cannot get over her relationship with her brothers. They love her so much, and hate that they are the cause of her sufferings, but Sorcha is glad to be helping her brothers. Yes, she suffers, but it's for the people she loves best. I would do almost anything for my brothers, and I know that they love me as much as I them, and it's neat to put myself and my brothers into this story. Stephen would be Liam, our fearless leader, stoically sensitive in his own way, but has an authority no one questions, and a love obvious through all he says. Drew would be Conor, wise and mature beyond his years. Learned in many ways, skilled in many arts, and also a leader in his own rite. Jake would be Padriac, the most sensitive and kind of all the brothers, cherishing all living things, and skilled with his hands. I would be Sorcha, though she more skilled than I in her way, we do both love our brothers well, and that is the biggest similarity I see between us. Family comes first, and I do wish that my brothers were all nearer to me, I miss being able to gather together as a whole family. I am thankful I have my Jacob close to me though, for he has been gone for a long time. Drew is not so far that I couldn't see him if I needed to, but Stephen is halfway across the world from me, and I miss his immensely. I pray for his, and all my brothers, safety everyday in the hope that in the coming future we might be able to be all together again, relishing in each others company and good humor.

Continuing to sip my rooibos tea,


Sunday, September 28, 2008

honey vanilla white tea. same cup.

Jeremy's little brother, Zak, came back from Virginia this weekend where he works and is planning on going to school. It was great to see him, and was an excuse for the family to get together today after church. We all had lunch together and hung out, enjoying each others' company.
At one point, during the Inter Milan vs. AC Milan derby match on TV, all the Foreman brothers were sitting right next to each other on the couch. Here's a photo I took of them--I love how much they all look so different, but when they're all together there's not questioning their blood relation. The photo captures all of their personalities too, I love it.

The message this morning at church was one of the best I've heard in a while. We've been going to iSight, and the speaker was actually a guest speaker. His message was about how we, as Christians--as did the Sanhedrin of the Jewish church, tend to put God in a box. We him there to keep ourselves comfortable, and our mindset is such as if we pray, tithe, read the Bible, etc. God's owes us his mercy and grace. The first century Jewish church thought that as long as they kept the law, and the temple covenant, God would bless them. We have a horrible habit of thinking that we deserve something by the "good works" we do. The truth is, we deserve nothing, and God, in his great mercy and grace, gave us a means back into his blessing. Jesus didn't just come to give us free us from the bondage of sin, but also to be a mediator between the Almighty God, and the people who continue, time after time, to turn their backs on him, in order for them to have a chance to see God's grace. It is important to keep in mind that nothing we can do by ourselves is good enough to win the blessing and favor of God. In that humble attitude only can we grasp the immense joy and favor that we have been given through Jesus Christ, and only him. We need to stop putting God in a box, and allow him back into our everyday lives and let him use us to fulfill his glorious plan.
Acts 7 is the story of Stephen's speech to the Sanhedrin, I encourage you to read it and allow yourselves to see the truth in his words, and remember that while Stephen may have been addressing the Sadducees and Pharisees, we commit the same crime today. Search your heart, let go, and let God use you in the way he chooses. Take him back out of the box, and step outside of your own.

Until the next steeping,


honey vanilla white tea.

Montreat Varsity Soccer won yesterday! Yeah, go Cavaliers. It was a hard fought game, and they came out on top 1-0. Here's a snapshot of some of the action.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

filled with chai latte goodness.

It rained late into the night last night, and this morning an enveloping mist shrouded the valley of Montreat, making it even more like a fairy tale than yesterday. By the time I went outside to walk Cael, my beloved puppy, the mists had receded but they left a similar feeling of mystery and an imagination evoking sensation. I took a photograph so my lovely readers could share in my imaginings. Can't you just see fairies making their home in an enchanting place such as this?

This morning I went to Moments, Jeremy's coffee shop, (that's where I had my chai) and met with my group of novelists--Laura and Chelsea--to discuss the progress we have made this week on our writing. It's so good to meet with such good friends, sharing common interests, and be able to help one another improve our writing, plot, dialogue, etc.

We all read a bit from what we've written, well, Chelsea read a LOT, but it was all so good, Laura and I didn't care. It was good to read some of my story, and hear it out loud. It is always helpful to hear something you've written read out loud, it puts things into a different perspective. You're able to hear things you want change or reword, things that you might not have caught just reading it in your head.

Being encouraged by such good writers, as Chelsea and Laura are, is really nice, yet intimidating sometimes; they've been writing seriously much longer than I have and I relish their compliments and advice. Their stories are so well written and exciting, I can't wait to hear how they turn out.

In about 45 minutes Jeremy and I are going to the first home soccer game Montreat has had in about a month, they play University of the Cumberlands and it promises to be a good game. I'll, of course, have my camera handy and might post some photos later of the game. Go Cavaliers!

Chai still lingering on my breath,


Friday, September 26, 2008

english afternoon tea.

As I sit here waiting for my tea to steep, listening to Wilco, I try to decide what kind of brilliance to grace my readers with today.

It's raining today, it has been throughout the morning and hasn't let up now that it's almost 5:00. I used to hate rain, mostly due to the nature of my curly hair in damp weather. Now though, from living in Montreat for nearly 4 years and most likely my desire and love for all things Irish, rainy weather not excluded--I have come to terms with my amative feelings toward rain.

Rain is probably the most romantic type of weather. When I say romantic, I don't really mean romantic as we think of it today--though that is probably true too. I mean romantic in the Jane Austen, Victorian Era sense of the word. I mean rainy weather, at least for me, evokes a strong desire to use my imagination. As I drive through the back roads of Montreat on a overcast, cool, rainy afternoon I can see fairies flitting in and out amongst the trees. I can imagine a hidden community of fairy folk living in the woods, having been here long before humans came to settle here. That's why Montreat seems so magical--because it is.

Rain also has a calming effect on my senses. Listening to the raindrops hitting the ground outside my window makes me feel at ease, lets me enjoy the time I have to myself--just writing and drinking my tea, which has now steeped, I've added the necessary milk and brown sugar, and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Hot tea and rainy days are my elysian standard.

Until my next cup,


Thursday, September 25, 2008

wishing i was sipping black currant black tea.

I have to start blogging as an assignment for a class at school, and I suppose since I have been contemplating starting a blog--now is as good of a time to begin as any.

I have been assigned to write something in this blog everyday until October 9th, so I can guarantee you witty, insightful entries (hah.) until then--but who knows what will happen when updating this will become my choice.


In my last semester of school at Montreat College, I should have numerous things to reflect upon. What have I learned in these four years? How have I changed as a person, and as a daughter of Christ? Though I have learned so many things at Montreat, and continue to fill my mind with more knowledge in my final semester, I know that I will never be finished gaining valuable knowledge, no matter my age, vocation, location, or mindset. Though my time in a classroom is coming to an end (for now, who knows about Grad school), I know that learning does not only occur in a classroom; some of the most important and relevant things I have learned have been experienced in the 'real world'--whatever that may be.

So I guess, this blog will be my reflection and relevation of knowledge known and unknown-- but not so serious as all that sounds. I'll also be keeping up what Jeremy and I are doing, posting adorable photos of my puppy, Cael, and informing my beloved readers of the projects I may be undertaking at any certain time.

One thing I can go ahead and mention is my weekly meeting with 2 of my favorite people: Chelsea and Laura. We call ourselves the Snippets, we even have t-shirts (cheers, Laura). The three of us are in the process of writing unique, insightful, brilliant, enthralling novels. Totally.
So look for updates each week on the status of our brilliant novel-writing endeavours. Hurrah.

Until tomorrow,