Saturday, December 26, 2009

An a journey

I want to invite you to join me on a on to find out what I'm talking about.

Each new year brings new goals, and for years I have toyed around with trying to read through the Bible in a year....but that is about as far as it ever gets. It always seemed (and still does) like too big a challenge....and a goal I would certainly fall short of. BUT, if I have learned anything at all in 2009, it has been the necessity of discipline in studying the truths of scripture. I have learned that in the midst of trials, when everything feels chaotic and out of control, the scriptures are where I can find rest.

My feelings and circumstances will surely change, but TRUTH is always....well, true. I have been thrown into battles this year and found myself ill-equipped to war with Satan. How can I war against him in prayer and protection on my family and marriage, when I don't know the truths found in scripture? I can hardly discipline myself to 30 minutes, 3 days a week. Many weeks, I am doing well to get one day in. I am ashamed to say it.

So, if you can relate to any of this, I would like to invite you to go on this journey with me in 2010. I don't know how it will look, but I am certain it will be difficult. Another thing I am certain of is that God will indeed show up and that it may be easier if we do this together. I will be following this schedule and will post at least 3 times a week on the reading for reflection and discussion. Hopefully this will help me with my lack of posting as well! I would love for you to come along on this journey with me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Merry Christmas Y'all!
Here's a glimpse of some of our favorite Christmas movie traditions. What are some of yours??

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Warning: If you are easily grossed out by bugs, don't read this post.

So Friday night we went to our amazing landlords and friends house, just a few steps away, for dinner and gingerbread house decorating. Somehow this bug came up in conversation. Josh and Amy referred to it as an alien bug with fingers. We didn't believe them so Josh pulled it up online! Apparently the Potato Bug is a southern California resident and usually only comes out when it has been raining. We found so many posts online from Californians who spotted one and couldn't believe how huge it was. Seriously, we saw one online that was over 2 inches long. What kind of insect has Flesh Ripping Barbs???

So......yesterday morning we were coming back from the gym and I suddenly stopped in my tracks. I spotted it. The nasty alien bug on our walkway. The very disgusting creature I had just seen online two nights ago! It was as long as our house key and just as ugly in person as it was online. It looks like a cross between a spider, a bee and a grasshopper. So sorry to gross you out, but I couldn't keep this to myself.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Christmas Time in the City....

In spite of the warm Southern California weather, Christmas is on it's way! After a wonderful Thanksgiving up in Big Bear with the Huxford family, we wasted no time putting up the Christmas decor. We didn't have much to decorate with, so I had to get creative to stretch the small budget we had to get a few things. Luckily, our place is small so we didn't have to do too much.

The Tree. We opt for the fake, pre-lit tree. I know. I know. But when I was young and we were still doing the real tree thing, my mom, sister and I came home to an apartment full of praying mantises. They were all over the walls, ceiling....everywhere. Apparently there was an egg in the tree and it hatched while we were out. GA-ROSS. Been doing the fake tree thing since then.

The Lights. I decided to add white lights all along the fence a few weeks before Thanksgiving. We needed more lights outside for when we hang out on the front porch. I love them and I think we'll be keeping them up year-round.

The Wreath. I love wreaths, but they are so expensive. One night I went to Target with the secret intent to blow some money on Christmas decorations. By the time I put everything in a buggy (aka "cart" if you aren't from GA) I was about to spend over $100. I couldn't do it. I remembered how creative The Nester is and challenged myself to get creative. I ended up paying $3.00 for the wreath and $1.00 for the bow. My wreath cost $4.00!

The Garland. When we were shopping for the $3.00 wreath, we found the garland for $3.00 too. We had a enough to spiral the posts on the front porch, the back railing and around 2 of our 5 doorways. I just added a cheap ribbon I had from last year to add a little flare over one of the doors.

I was sure to add some candles, picture frames, and door hangers too!

I love this time of year! My kitchen smells of baking pumpkin bread, my living room of the "firewood" scented Henry Bendel candle and my front porch of chimney smoke or burning leave piles. Well, that last part was before I moved to California....but who says you can't dream right?!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Last week we caught a straight flight to St. Louis to visit our dear friends, the Jobes. I hate flying out of LAX, but I love getting a straight flight, so it is worth it sometimes. Marie has been my wise mentor for over 10 years and her husband, Brian has served as a great mentor to my husband as well. We were so excited to see them and to get to experience St. Louis in Fall. We were beyond happy to be able to pull out our coats and scarves for the trip.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Kid for a Day

I wish I could post all the funny details about our trip to Disneyland today to celebrate Patrick's birthday, but I am still doing laundry and packing for a tip to St. Louis tomorrow. In short, I drug my husband to Disneyland for his birthday. I use the word "drug" because he doesn't like theme parks. I won't dive into my theory on that, but needless to say, we had never been to a theme park before. After many failed attempts of getting him to go, he finally gave me something to work with. He agreed to go to Disneyland on one of our birthdays, since you can go for free. Since my birthday is in the only cold month in California (February), we had to go on his. Before you go thinking I'm the worst wife ever because I made my husband spend his birthday doing something he doesn't like, I have to defend myself and say that we did have a birthday celebration with friends the night before...and I didn't MAKE him....I only encouraged him to try it. I must add, I caught him laughing a few times and even heard a "Woooo" on one of the rides. We may have made a huge leap forward here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sneak Peek

Last weekend we had a friend, Matt Morgan, do a photoshoot for us in hopes of getting a good picture for our Christmas cards this year. I was planning on not revealing any of the pics until after we mailed the Christmas cards, but I just can't make myself wait. We had so much fun and Matt did an awesome job on the photos! Here's a sneak peek.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted. I have been battling an awful cold and cough that seems to linger. But, I am back to life now, so I thought I might give a quick overview of what you've missed this weekend.

Patrick and I had a date night Friday night at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. We enjoyed the L.A. Philharmonic's rendition of classical Dvorak. It was absolutely beautiful.

Halloween was full of football, food and celebrations....with the exception of the Georgia game. We watched the Dawgs get handled by the a house full of Gator fans. The game ended just in time for us to put on our costumes and head to church for Trunk or Treat. We went as tennis players....a last minute "what can we use from our closet" decision. I must say, the SHIFT ministries booth was my favorite. We projected the Tennessee/South Carolina, USC/Oregon and Phillies/Yankees on a huge RV, while we tailgated and handed out candy. It was quite possibly the most enjoyable way to do Trunk or Treat. We ended Halloween evening dancing the night away at a Halloween Party....and getting one extra hour of sleep.

Tennis Players...last minute

The SHIFT Ministries set-up at Trunk or Treat

Some beautiful college french men....aka Athalie and Kelly

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


As a girl raised in the low country, I didn't know much about coyotes when we moved here. My only experience with coyotes was on cartoon network on Saturday mornings. They were, however, one of the first things we heard about. Our first day here, our host told us about the coyote she saw in her back yard during the day. Oh....and the one that was creeping up on her while she was walking her the middle of the day. I started noticing that when people go on walks (even with their dog), they will walk with large beat off or prevent the potential coyote attack. How freaky! In addition to that, a couple of months ago a coyote attacked my neighbor's cat just two houses down from us!

I needed to know more about these mangy creatures. What do they look like? How big are they? What is the difference between a coyote and a wolf? Where do they live? What do they eat? What do you mean they only come out at night and travel in packs...didn't you just say they've been seen walking the neighborhood in the middle of the afternoon?

So, this has been my little....weird thing since we have been here. I want to see a coyote... and two nights ago I got one step closer. The weather has been nice enough to sleep with our windows open and I woke up around 3:30am to the sound of howling. It was loud and it was close. It was scary. I have never heard real-life howling before. After a few minutes of howling, the pack went crazy with this really weird cackling sound. I insist that it was a ferocious attack on as innocent pet in our neighborhood, but Patrick thinks I'm "over-reacting"....whatever that means. :)

Why was a coyote so far from the mountain? We live in the foothills, but we are still a good 2 miles away. Isn't that a long trek into the neighborhood? How do they know where the animals are? Certainly there is an outdoor pet at a house north of us. Why did they come all the way down here? So many questions.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Tradition Continues....

Last October we began a Mitchell family tradition of carving pumpkins and eating caramel apples. Our fellow Georgians, The Huxfords, were kind enough to include us in their tradition last year and helped us make it our own. We had so much fun, we invited others to join us this Fall. We started the night with dinner. It was my first time making home-made crockpot chili, and I must was a hit. Patrick added this morning, " wasn't like I thought 'Lindsey made this...I have to like it'...I honestly think it was the best I've ever had." Of course this posed the question of how often he thinks for the former to himself.

After the chili, cornbread and sweet tea, we all moved to the porch to begin our carving creations. The Beckfords and Huxfords set out on meticulously detailed designs, while Patrick and I remembered how long those took us last year. We opted to keep it simple and quick....we went for an "M" for Mitchell. Needless to say, we were the first to finish. Lindsay and I then started on the apples and caramel while we all took frequent pauses to follow the Angels/Yankees game into extra innings (what a let down! I can't believe we lost on an error).

The rest of the night was full of more eating, laughter, story telling and many pictures. Even Bailey had a friend over...Hailey. She is our new neighbor and dogter (daughter....but a dog) of some friends from church. The Angels brought the only loss to the evening.

Busy at work.

We've got our teamwork down. I do the cleaning out and Patrick does the carving.

Bailey and his new friend Hailey

Didn't the Beckfords do a crazy good job on Shrek? And the Huxfords have the intricate spider web. Nice job! We'll stick with the "M" for now.

Our attempt to take a self-portrait. Thank goodness for Ashley's long arms.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sleeping with the Enemy

This weekend marked the Annual Testing of the Mitchell Marriage. Each Fall I am reminded of the inevitable day of tension in our home. No, it may not be outright and obvious, but it is there nonetheless. It shows itself in small ways. Every Spring when I look at UGA's football schedule, there is always one game I find first.....the Georgia/Tennessee game. It is the first game I write in my calendar, and the game I actually have to prepare for. Why you ask?

My Knoxville native husband and I can put our SEC differences aside most every game of the season (unless a Tennessee victory directly effects the destiny of my Dawgs), but on this particular Saturday, every man (and woman) is for himself. On this Saturday morning my husband and I wake up and dress in two distinctly opposing colors. I adorn myself in Georgia red and black, and he in obnoxious construction worker orange. P.S.: Why can't Tennessee pick the same shade of orange for their helmets and jerseys?

Although the game was on the SEC network, which we obviously don't get in L.A., my savvy husband was able to track down the cords necessary to hook the Mac up to the TV and....thanks to, we watched the game in all its splendor. Needless to say, Tennessee reigned victorious (the end). husband was kind enough to take his orange off immediately after the game. I am a far worse loser than he.

And before I go, thank you guys for all of the musical recommendations. I plan on having a musical marathon at the end of the month!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Somehow I have found myself engaged in musicals lately. It isn't that I have previously been opposed to musicals. There are a couple that I have loved for some time--The Newsies, Grease, and The Sound of Music. I even had my debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of OZ in 8th grade. Yes, a blonde Dorothy.

But I haven't seen much more than that. I have been so excited to discover where some of these songs I already know actually come from. Now I will actually know what I'm singing.

Patrick and I were actually able to see a musical live last weekend. We saw Evita, the story of Eva Peron, as put on by the APU theater department. And as I write this, I find myself watching West Side Story and singing along to songs I already know that I didn't realize were in the movie. So....what are some of your favorite musicals? Any you recommend I see while I am on this musical kick?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

That Time of Year....

Lately I have been wrestling with the reality that there is not going to be a season change here. Most people would love the fact that Southern California stays warm year-round, but every September I always find myself longing for the changes a new season brings....specifically Fall. Even when we lived in Georgia, I always wondered what Fall was like the Northeast. So, as a coping mechanism, I thought I might post some of my favorite things about Fall...or at least what it should be.

Obviously, the colors. They are beautiful! This is a picture of Seeger Chapel at Milligan College, my alma mater in November 2008. Milligan is one of my favorite places. Isn't it gorgeous? Go Buffs!

I love decorating. We rarely splurge, but we got this Pottery Barn wreath 3 years ago and it brings so much joy to pull it out of storage every year. We just bought the Happy Fall sign this season from HomeGoods. I still haven't figured out where it is going to go, but I had to get it anyway.

Pumpkin anything. Candles, pie, butter, lattes, scones, and carving them too. Last year we started a tradition to have night of pumpkin carving and caramel apples.

The smell. I don't know what it is. Maybe it is because people have to rake leaves and then burn the pile, but it sure smells good. When all else fails, there is always scented candles.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Giant Forest

I have to admit....until this weekend, Patrick and I had never been camping together. As a matter of fact, we both hadn't been camping since high school....and our experiences were rather infantile. With the abundance of camping opportunities around here, we had to put an end to our embarrassing streak. We had read and heard about Sequoia National Park so we planned the road trip with some friends. Luckily, the Huxfords are experienced campers....and have all of the necessary equipment. The Sequoias are quite a bit of a drive away...4-5 hours actually. With that being said, the trip started first thing Saturday morning. Literally, first thing.

4:30am: Rise and Shine. That's right, 4:30 in the morning. Still dark. We got up early to make sure we were in Pasadena to pick up Lindsay and Harrison.

6:00am: Car loaded and quick detour to Noah's Bagels and Pete's Coffee to get the morning going. I'm the only non-coffee drinker.

10:00am: Second breakfast at We Three Diner, just outside the park.

12:00pm: Park entrance. Still wondering where the Sequoias are. Repetitively asking, "Is that one?"

I don't know what time it was when I finally spotted a Sequoia, but I didn't need to ask to make sure of what it was. It was breathtaking. I felt like I was in "Honey I Shrunk the Kids." It was massive.

The rest of the trip was wonderful. We climbed Moro Rock, visited General Sherman, drove through a Sequoia and set up camp. We enjoyed eating pita pizza and s'mores around the campfire. I loved bundling up in the cool weather. I loved having cool weather period.