Thursday, June 6, 2013

Impromptu Date Night

Life outside the nation's capital is quite fast and busy at times.  There is always something going on.  Just so you have an idea of what's been happening in the recent lives of me and Mr. Man, I'll give you a little breakdown.  He works in security - I work in HR.  We live not far from where we work, which around here is a godsend.  I like to run and have recently started a running club with our church.  We do that every week.  We try to have date night once a week, and since getting married in November, we have only spent one Saturday at home with no plans at all.  (Yes, if you are wondering, that has been one of my favorites.)  We  have a great, wonderful, beautiful yellow lab, who - although loyal and adoring, is not the smartest tool in the shed some times.
Recently, we have had a roommate.  While you may be thinking - ahhhh!  Roommate for the newlywed couple in their tiny two-bedroom condo = nightmare... we have enjoyed it.  Roomie is only sticking with us until about July 5 weekend since she is in the area for a super awesome internship at a local international hotel chain's HQ.  I have known roomie for - LITERALLY - her entire life.  She is my best friend's sister, and so is an extension of my family. 
Another thing you should know is that Mr. Man and I are excited to try to save enough money over the next year to get out of debt and buy a house.  In the meantime, we are learning to watch our dollars, but still want to enjoy our time being young, single, and free.  So when we both have a long day, get stuck at work, and don't get home until 7:30 or 8pm.  First thing we do is apologize profusely to the pup, and then make plans to let someone else do the cooking for us.  So we headed out to Rockville yesterday for some fine dining at Founding Farmers.  If you are in the area - I highly reccomend that place.  They have fantastic brunch, a nice bar, and they promote the ever-struggling family farmers and are select about where they get their food.  We were seated outside - which was perfect for a clear night in the low-70s.  I opted for a Chardonnay paired with my Scallop and Risotto dish.  Mr. Man got a MEAT salad (seriously... you had to dig under 1/2lb of meat to find the lettuce!), and a sweet tea.  I thought I was full enough to skip dessert, but when our waiter brought out Mr.  Man's carrot cake slice that was as tall as my head - I guiltily gave in.  It was a fantastic way to unwind after a stressful and frustrating day for both of us, and we were able to laugh, joke, reminisce, and then mosey over to an outdoor firepit after dinner.  Summer is here, and so is summer dining, and since the cicadas aren't taking over this particular area, that let's us people swarm around outside.  Mhmmm summa nights are the BEST - especially when your dinnertime sunset is as beautiful as this:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The week I tried to poison my knight in shining armor...

So... married life.  People keep asking me how it is.  Obviously, my husband is the love of my life, and the first three months have been quite an adventure.  I am really looking forward to the next 11thousand.
But it has definitely come with some learning moments.
But pinterest has given me this confidence.  Of course I can make the most delectable meal, work out, make my house look great, and conquer the world with inspirational and witty quotes in the process.
So I found a wonderful recipe for beef stew.  I excitedly bought some stew beef chunks, and pinned the best recipes.  I breaded the beef, cut up the additional ingredients (even had the foresight to cut the carrots and put them aside so they didn't get to smushy in the slow cooker), and left the stew to cook for a couple hours while we went off to watch the superbowl with the in-laws.
Monday night we were ready for some delicious beef stew.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) I had bible study, so I left Kev to enjoy the beef stew while I had dinner with some great girls.
Monday, I got a message from Kev that he quarantined himself in the apartment.  At first we thought it might be the stomach bug that his brother and sister in law had last week, but then when I came home and didn't get sick, and then we noticed the smell coming from the crock pot - WE KNEW.
Fast forward to Thursday night.  As I was coming home I pulled toward the end of the street and realized there was no further spaces, so I go to put the car in reverse.  It wouldn't move.  So I put on the parking brake, shift back and forth a couple times, and no dice.  But because my car is an automatic, I couldn't get into park either.  I call Kev and he tells me to try to turn off my car and turn it back on.  Well unfortunately, I tried to turn off the car and it wouldn't turn all the way off.  It also decided to not turn all the way back on.  So here I'm sitting, blocking in at least 3 cars, and my car won't turn off, won't turn on, and won't shift.  So I am sitting here freaking out, having images of the bill for towing our car, getting it fixed, etc... I am waiting for my battery to die, the people who I'm blocking in to suddenly need to leave, and all other ridiculous thoughts.  I can't leave because my key is stuck.  Finally Kev shows up.  He gets in the car, I toss him the manual, and say - Help!  He shifts.  Just like that.  Car turns on.  Just like that.  Enter riotous laughter from my husband who is then joking about being my knight in shining armor.
I learned an important marriage lesson this week.  If you poison your husband, he will plot for your car to betray you.  Clearly, there is no other explanation.

Also, I am giggling because of the occasion (ok... occasions) that I missed the f in shift.  It's a funny story either way.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Date night & puppies!

Brother in law introducing the new puppy to the horses

Lovely weekend

So, the man has been working lately, and I mean working a LOT.  It's been an adjustment for sure, but he likes what he's doing, and it gives me free reign to rule my social life and not feel guilty about "leaving the husband at home."
Friday night - we took the dive and JOINED THE GYM!!  Very exciting since I've already gained a couple little pounds since the wedding, and I refuse to be THAT married woman that let's herself go.  That, and I need to get my legs in gear if I am going to attempt the 10 miler in April!  After that, I headed up to one of the local high schools for a production of You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.  I got to have a date with the mother in law, meet some people I've heard a lot about, and remember what it's like to be in a high school without the focus of hanging out with YL kids.  The school did an amazing job, and the sound was perfection.

Saturday hubby and I lazed around the apt and went out to breakfast.  It was probably the first time all week I had seen him for a collective 4+ waking hours, so that was pretty lovely :-)

Saturday during the day Graciebelle and I joined my friends Walter &Yelena and Gracie's friends Blake and Luke for some romping around the dog park.  My stupid silly dog just walked off sniffing grass by herself while all the other dogs ran around smelling each other's butts, jumping, and chasing balls.  Ahhh... she's a special one, but I love that fat old lab!

After the dogpark I headed down to Rockville for a very unique party!  One of the beautiful ladies in my bible study hosted a "my favorite things" party.  Don't know what it is?  I didn't either.  But what I found out is that you show up with 5 of your favorite item in a bag and everyone puts their name in a hat 5 times.  Then, as names are picked, each girl ends up with 5 different favorite items from other people at the party!  It was fun, unique, and a great time, but from this friend - I didn't expect anything less!  The five items I got were body wash, a notepad and post-it holder with Sharpies, a huge amount of tea, (I've already started on it, it won't last too long), some ... ahem... unmentionables from VS, and some really cool colored pencils (hubby will have to hold me back to keep from finishing thank you cards with those!)

Sunday we re-decorated our tree (it has survived the fall, and now we actually have ornaments on it too!). 

I made a delicious dinner of pinterest finds... what else?  I have always been afraid to buy kale because I never cooked with it before, but let me tell you - roasted Kale?  BETTER THAN POTATO CHIPS!! 

And then to top it all off, I let my inner craftiness out yesterday and made yet another Pinterest find.  I cut up our wedding invitation for a christmas ornament, and also butchered my bridal bouquet.  Previously it had been sitting in a vase just rotting away in our apt, but now I have a beautiful ornament with dried peices of my bridal bouquet.  Admittedly, not nearly as beautiful as the bouquet was on our wedding day (Blossom & Basket) did a fantastic job - and I can't wait to show off pictures on here.

All in all - it was a wonderful weekend, with lots of chances to be social, active, and creative.  What more can you ask for?

Oh yea... for the Eagles to beat the Cowboys.  Unfortunately, I think my hometeam would prefer the #1 draft pick instead...

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Presenting the Mr. & Mrs!

I have been absent at best from this blog, but with everything going on in our lives, I want to get back into it.  And yes, you read correctly - our lives.  On November 3, 2012, I became a We.  I am losing the Pott part of my name that made me JPott, but so thrilled to take on this new identity as the wife to my best friend.

Kev is a wonderful man, full of humor, a generous spirit, desire to serve others, and a boatload of goodness and integrity.  I can't express fully in words how lucky of a woman I am that he has chosen to spend the rest of his life with me, and how excited I am for the rest of our lives to begin!

Where we are - after a beautiful wedding with 170 of our closest friends and family, we jetsetted ourselves off to the west coast where we honeymooned in San Francisco and Napa valley.  I will make a dedicated blog update about our wedding and honeymoon at a later time. 

If we fast forward to today, we are biding our time in a small simple apartment in the MD Suburbs, with the hope of beginning the process of buying a home within the next year.  We have a wonderful yellow lab (who was previously just mine), and the three of us are one small but very happy family. 

I have started a new job, which I thoroughly enjoy, and the commute has shortened from up to three hours a day (roundtrip) to about 30-40 minutes (traffic pending - about 15-20 minutes each way!!).  The location is obviously better for me, and the atmosphere is one of value and teamwork, which makes me much happier than my last role.

We are getting ready for Christmas, and I have survived Black Friday shopping with my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law's girlfriend.  We only had one potentially minor issue, in which SIL was about to chase down some crazy driver in the Best Buy parking lot.  I am slightly kidding about this, but overall we got some deals, most of the Christmas shopping done, had a great morning together, and got one more thing checked off my to-do list.
We successfully found, cut down, and put up our tree.  We did some decorating of the tree before realizing we didn't have many clips for the ornaments, and also, that we have a pretty bare tree this year!!  I guess over the course of marriage we will try to beef up our Christmas ornament collection... But it's probably best we didn't have the tree completely decorated, because at some point early on Monday morning (roundabout 4am), Kevin awoke to a loud crash but didn't feel like it was anything to investigate, and when we were up for the morning realized our tree had timber-ed itself in the middle of the night!!  We are currently hoping that our first christmas tree together has survived the fall, otherwise it may be a brown Christmas in our home this year :-/  More to come on that...

Also, with the ongoing Eagles v. Redskins battle going on in our home, my eagles are breaking my heart this year, and are majorly sucking.  Regardless... Kev and I get to spend our Christmas weekend at the Eagles game in Philly and I am stoked beyond words since this is the first time I will be at the Linc for a game.  (A wonderful and thoughtful gift from my oh, so dreamy husband...)  However, I have learned the disaster in inviting a bunch of redskin fan friends and family over when I am the sole supporting fan of a crappy eagles team.  Of course, the Philly Dream in me believes that next year will be a much different story, and just like every year, it will be superbowl or bust.  I just hope our team is done busting...

So hopefully many of you are welcoming me back into the blogging world with grace and patience of not updating nearly at all over the last few months, but I plan to be giving more updates and PLENTLY more photos.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Busy busy busy bee!

So... fault - I haven't been blogging.  But to my credit, I have been planning a big wedding for about 200 people in the period of 5 months, right?
I'm gonna say it's a good excuse at least...

So, planning is going so well.  Everyone keeps asking me how stressed are you?  My answer is the same every time.  I'm not.  I have had a couple moments of "eek!  we are halfway through 5 months already!!" But for the most part, I have really enjoyed this process.  It's been nice to share the joy with my family and friends.  It's been great to see apartments and register for items that are going to build OUR FIRST HOME.  It's been great to have our families meet, and plan a wedding that is completely about our personalities and (hopefully) just a blast for everyone who comes.

So far, we have gotten our reception venue, ceremony venue, our ceremony options, food, drink, save the dates (done and out), invitations are gonna be going out by Labor Day, we have flowers, limo transportation, dress for me, dresses for my girls, tuxes picked out for our guys, first family shower/party (which was such a complete success!), we have our honeymoon booked (don't ask where we are going, we aren't going to tell until we get home!), we have a DJ, a photographer (and engagement photos done), mother of the bride/grooms dresses already chosen, favors picked out.  The things I am struggling to decide on are a guest book and wedding favors.  Also the cake/dessert options. But for the most part everything has worked out really well, and yes, we are going to be eating ramen noodles for the first year of our marriage, but we couldn't be more thrilled about getting married in November!

Cue this weekend.  This wonderful weekend.  The weekend before it was kinda hit and miss.  We had a great family shower up in PA for us on Sunday, and another engagement party on Monday for a close friend of mine.  But I did unfortunately end up putting about 20 hours of work in over the weekend too, so it was kinda a wash for me as well as for my super wonderful, graceful, and patient fiance. 

Caitlin and Carousel Rogues rockin out!

Needless to say, this weekend was a welcome break.  I took off Friday, slept in until almost 7am (I know, that is depressing).  I drove against traffic for the first time in a long time, to head up to Kev's to get his car and get it aligned.  (True confession: I did work for just a little bit while waiting for his car to get done.)  Then I headed up to his parent's house for dress shopping with his mom.  It turned out to be a wonderful day.  We got a dress at David's Bridal, had a delicious lunch at Silver diner, and then headed back to the house for some more chatting before I went back to Kev's place with his car.  Then, I headed my butt into DC for some sweet jams and good friends since a friend's band was playing a concert.  The concert was intimate and awesome, and it was such a good relaxing time. 

New recipe: baking turkey bacon on cooling racks and cookie sheets!
Saturday I tried my hand at making crepes for the first time in my life, and then had 6 of the coolest teenage girls I know come over for brunch.  Complete with juice, coffee, fruit, powdered sugar, pumpkin butter, and nutella, we had an amazing brunch of just talking, catching up, and discussing some of life's more important things... Ahhhhh I love those girls.

And then Kev came down and we embossed thank you cards.  We resolved that embossing and creating our own thank you cards needs to be regulated to the showers, and that we are NOT going to take on the challenge of making our own after the wedding, but it was still fun to create something together.  We welcomed new roommate 1 of 3 (we have two more moving in the next month), on Saturday night and finished off a great day with a run and then some Chinese food.  Mhmm... life is good.  Sunday was some more just relaxing, and getting stuff done.  But after being so go-go-go for the last month or so, it was nice to just relax and enjoy the good relationships and laid back time with the people that mean the most.

Mhmm... Life is so good, and I do believe, it's getting better... <3>

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I sparkle...

Sometimes I get in this fantastic rhythm in which I keep up with my blog.  I offer witty stories, cute photos, and at least bearable updates on my attempt at an adventurous life.  And inevitably I always lose my rhythm and fall into a funk of not posting for weeks or months at a time.  And sometimes you are just so fortunate to have a life event amazing and wonderful enough to catapult you back into blogging and sharing your life again.

A few weeks ago, my life changed in a wonderful and spectacular way.

The day was planned.  I was going to go to Downtown Baltimore for the Sailabration.  The Sailabration was the bicentennial of the War of 1812, and of course the creation of our beautiful Star Spangled Banner.  (For those of you that don't know this about me, I actually really dig history, and although I am not the most patriotic person in the world, I am pretty freaking proud of this country and my right to be an American.  I digress...).  So you can imagine that a day to celebrate this point in America's history while featuring Naval Ships from all over the world at Inner Harbor, a Blue Angels airshow, a sunny warm summer day, and fireworks sounds like a perfect win for me.  So Kevin and I planned to go to Baltimore and meet up with some friends for the Air Show.

A couple weeks before the Sailabration, Kevin asked if we could go to Annapolis in the morning before we went to Baltimore.  It made complete sense, I LOVE being in Annapolis and right along the water there.  It's out in generally the same direction as Baltimore from DC, and we had gone there a couple times before, and even have a favorite brunch place there.  As far as I was concerned, it was a good excuse to go hang out in the water, have brunch, and enjoy a quiet morning before the hustle and bustle of downtown Baltimore. 

Kevin came to pick me up around 7ish that morning, and we headed out for the day.  We had coolers packed, sunglasses on, and even a CD that he made specially for me (cue: AWWWWWWWW).  We got down there and headed on over to this park that we had gone to before.  There is this beautiful little bench right along the water and it is out of the way enough that no one really comes to bother you.  You can just sit nearby and take it all in.  So here we are bright and early along the water in Annapolis.  (Melt my heart now.)  Kevin had brought his big clunky camera bag, which I always make fun of him for bringing, because we never seem to take pictures when he brings his camera.  (Let me assure you - that day was the same.)  What I didn't realize though was the the camera bag was a decoy for him to fit a perfect little ring box inside without me ever suspecting. 

We sat on the bench.  We joked and laughed and talked about the times we had been there before.  Like the time we went to watch the sunrise on his birthday (in January) and almost froze to death before we realized that we actually didn't have a good view of the sunrise there.  So we drove a couple blocks up and watched the sunrise (while still shivering) from a different spot.  Or like the time last summer when we went there, and sat at the same park and for about 2 hours sitting there, I had a mental war with myself to tell this guy that I loved him.  (Which I chickened out and didn't even do that day - but it made for a better story anyway.)  We pulled out a log book attached to the bench, started flipping through stories people left when they found this park.  Some about heartbreak, or family vacation, or quiet times of contemplation, or seeing Venus orbit.  After reading through stories, we went to write our own, but Kevin said he had something he wanted to do first.  I gave him the most confused look, and then the next thing I know he is down on one knee... and he has something in his hand... it looks like... it is... OMG he's asking me to marry him! (That was kinda my train of thought.)  Of course I said yes and cried and kissed him.

His brother happened to be there snapping photos and showed up a couple minutes later.  I sat there with my fiance grinning like an idiot, taking in the rest of the morning of being there with him by the water.  Then we went to breakfast, then headed into Baltimore for friends and festivities.  It was the most wonderful day, and included so many of my favorite things - he did so well, and it has so far been the best day of my life.  I am very excited, and needed to share with anyone who may stumble upon this blog how awesome and fantastic my fiance is, and how happy I am to be the girl that gets to end up with him. 

My pirate!  Surrender the booty!  (We are engaged, so I can say that now, right?)

One of my most favorite pictures ever :-)

The blingin ring!

After getting some sun

Friends that we shared the wonderful afternoon with!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"And will the Younglife and Youthgroup leaders please stand" said no graduation speaker - ever

After 4 years I am hanging my hat.  By the time this next school year rolls around kids will be going back to school, fall sports will start up, Friday nights my high school friends will be watching football games, leaders will be starting to get kids excited for fall weekend, and hundreds of grown ups will find themselves using twitter and facebook again to get their YL kid's attention.

But not me.

My time is done.  No more campaigner Sunday afternoons, crazy club games and skits, club talks that seem to stress me out until I give in, give it all to God and suddenly I have something worthwhile to share with the kids.  No more laughing about how silly our club games were on Thursday, or taking goofy pictures of kids with pots on their heads and lolipops in their mouths.  I will miss the days of cuddling together with my younglife friends during cabin times, and club talks, and praying with them through the hard times, and the rare but most beautiful moment of all - when they want to talk to you about changing their life to have a REAL relationship with God.  All of the mentioned moments have been some of my absolute favorite over the last 4 years.

I have loved my time as a Younglife leader.  It has taught me humility, selflessness, the servanthood and grace of Christ, and how to push on through the tiredness to have that late night conversation with a kid, let them cry on your shoulder, and spend tons of time/energy/money/all the above to try to be where kids are and pursue them.  It has taught me the pleasure of being a kid, living life, finding joy, and the satisfaction when you know you are accepted just for who you are.  Because of Younglife I know what dubstep is, can sing more Justin Bieber songs than I would like to admit, have have at least 2,307 car rides screaming Taylor Swift songs at the top of my lungs, I bravely bought a pair of skinny jeans, I have learned how to create no less than 7 interesting prom hairstyles, and know that high school boys are just as cute/adorable/frustrating/obnoxious as they were when I was in high school.

I went to graduation for the high school the other day.  They asked the pivitol people in the kid's lives to stand.  They started with parents, and then grandparents and siblings, and then teachers.  They never asked for youth leaders to stand up.  And I love that - I think every youth group leader does.  The one thing I have learned over the last four years, is that it isn't about what we've done for our high school friends.  God placed me as a leader to learn that - I think - because I can so easily make life about me.  The last four years I have gotten to see God more clearly, and been able to try my hardest to grow more like the others-focused, loving servant that Christ perfectly modeled.  There may be times where we question our impact on a kid's life, but we are so quickly reminded that it isn't about US and what WE are doing with the kids - it is what HE is doing for THEM, and how fortunate we are to be used in that way.

And at graduation, as each of those kids are sitting there, they are waiting for the moment that they walk across the stage.  They are revisiting what their time in high school meant, what they stood for, what they are leaving behind.  And it's all about them.  Welcome to being a YL leader.  It is all about them.  We love them for who they are (and as frustrating as it is, we love them for their mistakes too).  It is so great to know that because I have been given the gift to spend time with them, some of those kids have had encounters with Christ through high school.  And some got it, and some didn't.  But they are all off to new things now.  And I don't get to go with them.  If I am lucky, I get to stay in touch with them and share a wonderful friendship with them.  But where they are going - I don't get to.  God does.  And for any time I ever (selfishly) felt under appreciated, stretched too thin, or taken advantage of, I know that I did it in the name of Christ, and to draw them closer to a God who loves them and wants life with them.  And hopefully for most of those kids I've met, they will let him go where they are going.

Leaving Younglife is a sad sort of contentment.  I will miss this graduating class, just as I've missed the ones before it.  I will miss leading YL for the girls that are still at RM for the next year(s).  But I know that I have been set aside so Christ could use me and bless me, and now it's time for someone else to have that blessing, and I hope they love every moment as much as I have.

Congratulations RM ROCKETS 2012!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And I'm off...

Well... another CA-RAAAAAZY week [almost] survived.  I am looking forward to a nice date night tomorrow and then flitting off to Charlottesville, VA for a friend's wedding.
There seems to be a lot of moving and change around, enough so that - even for me - it is a bit overwhelming.
Photos?  Of course.  A new city and a wedding.  How could I not come back with some good photos?
Catchya on the flip side friends!  Happy weekend :-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Catching up and the simple joys...

Sometimes we can be running, running, running, and it seems to stress us out even more to find times to rest.  I found myself running on E on Friday, and I just started to shut down. 

"And He said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest for a while.'  For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat."  Mark 6:31

Likewise, Psalm 23 gives us a beautiful image of God leading us to a restful place.  The imagry in the passage alone makes you want to get a cool tall glass of lemonade and start chillaxing in a hammock with the sun streaming down on you.  Hmmmm....

Life has been busy, but joyfully busy.

Last week I attended a very nice Younglife Banquet to celebrate and raise funds for Montgomery County Younglife.  There were a few sudden surprises thrown my way, but it turned out to be a great evening, reconnecting with friends across the county who support the ministry, and being part of something I believe in so much.  Younglife has, is, and will continue to change lives, and I am blessed to be a part of it.  Not only that but I got to hang out with some of my kid's parents, and I got a graduation gift for the baby sister, Rock Climbing for me and the boy, and a 1.5 hour date with a massage therepist around the corner from my house.  Mhmmmm....  Lovin it.

Friday was my day.  That was the day I shut down.  Cancelled my plans.  I picked up sushi, and watched the Flyers v. Penguins game with my roommate.  I did not even make it to the third period of the game because I went to bed around 9:30.  It was glorious.

After a much needed 10 hours of sleep, I trudged out of bed for some breakfast with some wonderful women from my chuch (and an adorable little man who joined us!).  Then I spent most of the rest of the day cleaning out and organizing the storage room.  It was tedious, messy, and frustrating at times, but at the same time there is so much peace that comes from cleaning up and clearing out space - I loved it.  I went to softball practice and then to Kev's parent's house for some out of town family, working on a car, and dinner.

Yesterday I started the Daniel fast, and that was pretty much the biggest accomplishment of my day.  It was quite a low-key weekend, and it was so wonderful to have a low-key weekend after all the business and craziness lately!  Now, I just need to make it through this wonderful week with pedicures, weeding, Younglife Club, and then Charlottesville for a friend's wedding this weekend!  Whooop!

Pictures from my recent busy-ness:

Easter creations!  Tim, Kev, and I made Peep sushi, found on Pinterest over Easter weekend.  So cute, fun to make, and deleriously sugary.  Yum!

Carousel Rogues - Friday night on the town with roomie, boyfriend, and YL friends.  What a great time!

Yep... he already has a girlfriend?  Not a big surprise...

Wyeth and Kev on our Saturday Virginia day.  This was at the winery just enjoying fun, sun, wine, and family.  What could be better?