Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FREE!!! check it out!

Colorincorporated, a digital photo lab, contacted me about placing a banner on my page to offer all of my lovely readers FREE prints!  How exciting!!! 

You can click on the banner on the left hand side of the screen, or just click here to go to the site.  Don’t forget to use the promo code (mperk09) for FREE prints!  It’s good for 25 free 4X6’s. 

I’m definitely gonna be using this one myself :)


And, of course, tell ALL of your friends!!!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I married a preacher man…

This morning Justin had to give a message in Kids’ Church.  This was his first experience speaking to children and his first experience using a microphone!Imported Photos 00022 He spoke on discernment.  I think the message went very well.  (some thanks needs to go out to Sarah aka Kingdom Mama… she helped us out with a direction on this one!)  Several children responded at the end with requests for prayer in this area.  I was sooo proud!  I probably looked like a goon with my big ole camera in there taking pictures, but I wanted to capture this “first”.  Here are a couple pics…

After church we came home for some lunch, football, reading, and a nap.  Speaking of reading, I just started reading The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom.  I really like it so far!!!

This evening we took some time out to buy groceries.  I just made some cookies using a cake mix.  Now I think we may watch a movie!!!

Much better day than yesterday.  Just wish I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I wish every day had weather like today’s.  It was perfect!  Justin and I took Bobo on a long walk.  Then we sat out on the balcony for a while.  He worked on school work and I read a little bit.  It was so nice and relaxing.  I’m just now appreciating that we live on the 3rd floor and have a balcony.  It sort of makes all those trips up the stairs with bags of grocery worth it!

Justin had work tonight, so I’m home alone.  I have not done much at all… pretty boring night.  I have been feeling kinda sad and down since he left for work.  I can’t exactly say why.  I know that I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately, but I don’t think that is what this is all about.  Maybe it’s just me being emotional…  Surely tomorrow will be better.


I’m ready for the HOLIDAYS!!!

Imported Photos 00017 Now, These are two ladies that can make me smile :)  <3

Thursday, October 22, 2009


My mom-in-law bought me a cute green frame to match my living room accent color a while back.  I love it.  But for a while it sat on my end table with a family of strangers staring out of it.

Finally this week I decided to get some pictures printed and filled my frame with my favorite little face.


My Ava Nicole!  She is growing up so fast.  I can’t wait to see her again for Thanksgiving!!! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

good news

First of all I have to brag on my husband.  He just finished his first block of ministry school and made A’s in all his classes.  This is big for him.  I’ve always known that he is super smart, but he just has never been into school.  He just didn’t care or try before.  Now he LOVES his school and is doing great!  I’m so SO proud.  :)

The other news has to do with one of my besties.  I’m not sure if I mentioned before, but Lacey is pregnant with a baby boy due at the beginning of March.  Well, today she and her hubby decided on a name. I LOVE it!  HUDSON WADE!  So cute.

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If we can work it out, Lacey is coming to visit sometime soon so I can try my hand at maternity pics.  I’m excited!  I have so many ideas running through my head already. 

And to end this post I’m gonna post an old picture of Sylvester that I just found when looking through a folder on my computer.  He was so small and so cute.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dinner with Friends

My friend Jenna has cooked dinner for me and Justin quite a few times in the past couple of months, so tonight I decided to be the one to cook.  We had her, Dustin (her hubby), and Richie (their roomie) over for dinner.

I decided to make a recipe I got from my mom-in-law because she is one of the best cooks I know.  This recipe has many names and many ways of making it.  We call it Mexican Chicken.


Natalie’s Mexican Chicken:

Boiled chicken (I use boneless skinless breasts)

1 c. chicken broth

1 can cream of chicken

1 can cream of mushroom

2 cans mexican festival Rotel tomatoes

1 sm. chopped onion

1 bag nacho cheese Doritos

2 c. cheese (monterey jack and colby mix)

Mix broth, soups, onion, and Rotel in large pan and heat til soup is dissolved.

Line bottom of 13x9 pan with crushed Doritos. Add layer of chicken.IMG_3243

Pour 1/2 of mixture on top. Cover with shredded cheese.IMG_3245

Repeat all layers again.

Bake at 400 until bubbly.


Then for dessert I made a super yummy (super fattening) recipe that I found on Kelly’s Recipe Blog.

Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake:

1 cup butter, melted (2 sticks)

1 pkg chocolate cake mix (18.25 oz)

3 large eggs

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 box (1 lb) confectioner's sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center. Lightly butter a 13x9 inch pan. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, 1 egg and 1/2 cup butter until combined well. Evenly pat into pan and set aside.IMG_3241

In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Beat in remaining 2 eggs and the cocoa powder until combined well. Reduce speed to low and add sugar; beat until combined well. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup butter and the extract. Beat until smooth. Fold in nuts with a rubber spatula and spread over cake mixture.

Bake until set around edges but center is a little gooey, 40 to 50 minutes.IMG_3246IMG_3251These are SO SO SO good… how could they not be with a whole cup of butter and a whole box of sugar!!!  Ha :)

After dinner we played Mario Kart on the Wii and watched some Storm Chasers on TV.

Now company is gone, and I’m about to catch up on blog reading then read some Crazy Love.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You might wanna check these out...

First I have to tell you I just finished reading one of the best books ever, Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers.  A while back I asked for some good book suggestions on facebook and several people recommended this book.  I figured I would read it if I could find a cheap copy.  I looked for a while at Goodwill stores and bargain book stores around here, but never found one.  Then my mother-in-law surprised me with it!  She's the best :)

When I got it, I was shocked at how thick it was!  I love to read, but still get intimidated by really thick books.  Forget about how long it is... I finished the entire thing in a week.  It was really, really good.  It kept me interested the entire time.  It's a great love story and at the same time a great story about God's love. 

Check it out!

Also, check out a new blog....  One of my very good friends, Heather, just joined the bloggy world.  She and I have been friends since probably Jr. High.  We were roommates in college.  I was in her wedding.  Etc, etc, etc.  She just had a precious baby boy in August.  If for no other reason, just click the link to see his cute little face!

Monday, October 12, 2009

birthday trip

--long post with lots of Ava pics--

We left Thursday afternoon headed to WM for my birthday trip!  I was so super excited about seeing all my family.

Friday morning we took a ride out to my Mom's house.  Candice and Ava were already there.  Eventually my Aunt brought my cousin's girls.  We had a good time catching up and watching the babies play.  We had yummy Popeye's chicken for lunch.

Imported Photos 00007Imported Photos 00009Imported Photos 00010Imported Photos 00013Ava wanted to take pictures like Aunt Lissa :)

I was so worried she wouldn't remember me after so many months, but she did!  She almost jumped out of mommy's arms to get to me.  That made me soooo happy.  I brought her some high heels and bracelets to play dress up with.  She loves dressing up right now.  More fun that that though, I think she loved playing with Uncle Justin.  He's so good with her.

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These are my cousin's girls, Taylor and Riley..Imported Photos 00028

Friday night we went out to eat Outback with a bunch of family.  (Justin's parents, sister, brother in law, my Aunt, Uncle, cousin, and Mamaw, my sister and Ava)  After dinner we went to my in-laws' house for cake, icecream, and presents!

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Saturday morning we went to a women's Bible study at the church.  Justin's mom was speaking.  She did a great job.  It was a very refreshing and much needed time with Jesus.  We spent the afternoon visiting more family.  I spent about an hour with one of my best friends, Lacey.  She just found out she is preggo with a baby boy (due in March), so I took him a little gift.  She had a birthday present for me too.  We had lunch with my daddy and sister and Dom and Ava at Chilis.

That night we had a wedding to go to.  My friend, Lauren Meador, made a beautiful bride. I only snapped one pic of the bride and groom, and only a few others at the reception.

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Here is Lacey with her hubby, Matt.Imported Photos 00056

Sunday morning we went to church of course.  I miss my Christ Church family so much.  Everyone is so loving and warm.  After church we had lunch at the rents house... pot roast... yum!   Sunday afternoon we visited my sister one more time, stopped by my Aunt and Uncle's new house, then headed back to the Big D!

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It was a great weekend that went by way too fast.  I am so thankful for all of my family and friends, and for my husband taking me home for my birthday.  :)

I hope to see even more friends and family next time we go back to LA for Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

good movie

I was talking to a girl I work with about how I LOVE movies, but I'm finding it harder and harder to find good, clean movies.

She suggested a movie that I had never heard of that is based on a true story.  (the based on a true story part is important because Justin usually likes those movies best.)

Anyway, I ended up finding it in the Redbox which means I got it for only $1.  :)

It's called Gifted Hands.

We really liked it a lot.  It's not rated, but if it was it would probably be PG.  No cussing, no nudity, very little violence.  It has a positive overall message, so I recommend it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

so cute

Hudson's mommy is doing a GiveAway today.
Check it out... and check out that precious little model!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

brain overload

Lately I have had so many thoughts swimming around in my head. 

My birthday, conversations with my husband, conversations with friends, conversations with God, reading blogs, and reading Crazy Love have all contributed to these many, scattered, random thoughts.

Where better to spill some of them than my blog?!


I wonder what it feels like to be a parent.

I wonder what it feels like to be a parent of an adult.  Just thinking about that blows me away.

I wonder where I would be and what my life would look like if I had said "no" to God.

I wonder what my life would be like if I had pursued medicine like I once wanted to do.

I wonder how much my childhood and past really impact the way I live my life today.  Sometimes I can see places where it's evident... but most the time I don't really see it.

I think about how much the past 5 years have changed my life, and I wonder what changes the next 5 will bring.

I wonder what it would be like to not have all of the luxuries that we have as Americans.  I realize that I take so many things in my life for granted.  I hate that I do.

I have trouble making really good, close friendships.  I don't understand why.  Is it me?...

I am so ready to pursue my dreams.  When will I see these things take shape?  It's hard to be patient.  Hence why patience is a virtue, I guess.  :p

I've always thought about what I would do in life... what my life would look like.  I had it all planned out in my head.  Sometimes I still try to think ahead and figure it all out.  But lately, it's become so much more clear to me that all of that thinking and figuring is in vain.  I'll never figure it out.  I probably couldn't even guess if I had a billion guesses.  Only God knows.  He is the only one that knew me before I was created.  He is the only one that put me together piece by piece in my mother's womb.  He created me for a specific purpose and with a specific plan.  He created me "to do good works, which God prepared in advance....".  IN ADVANCE.  My whole life is mapped out according to his plan.  That's so neat to me.  It really takes some of the pressure off.  I don't have to worry about choosing the right career or the right time or the right place or the right anything.  If I just seek Him then it will all fall into place.  How cool!

I know that I have sin in my life.  I hate to admit it... but it's the truth.  I could name probably more than a few areas in which I struggle.  U.G.L.Y.  Between talking with Justin yesterday and then reading some scripture today, I have found another area of sin.  I had never even thought about it before.  It's simply doing nothing.  How can you sin if you aren't even doing anything?  This is how...  James 4:17 says "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins".  Wow.  I know that I should be spending lots of time in the Word and in prayer every single day.  I know that I should be witnessing more.  Giving more.  Exercising my spiritual gifts more.  Working more on my relationships (especially with the Lord).  Etc, etc, etc.  I know that I should be doing all of these things, yet I don't.  And THAT IS SIN!  Ouch.


I'm gonna stop now.. gotta get this house picked up and dinner started. 



I wanted to post yesterday, but didn't get around to it. 

Yesterday was my birthday.

My 25th birthday to be exact.

I have yet to celebrate in any big way. 

So far...

The girls at my work surprised me with donuts on Thursday morning.  Yummy.

A little girl at school told me that my dress was "very, very beautiful."

My wonderful husband that knows me all too well surprised me with this...


I was so SO in LOVE with the wrapping paper.  To me it was farrrrr better than any fancy paper, ribbon, bow, etc. that he could have purchased at the store.  I liked how personal (and messy) it was.



Perfect gift.  Smells delicious.  Makes me feel special.



All of my family texted or called to wish me a happy day.  It was special.  Especially when my sister put Miss Ava on the phone.  I got to hear that precious little voice.  That in itself was a great gift.  Love her.


I got some gift cards and some cash, so I did a little shopping last night.  Got a new dress for a wedding next weekend!


Speaking of next week...


We are traveling to LA next week.  I told Justin a while back that all I wanted for my birthday was to see my loved ones.  I didn't need a tangible gift.  Just my family.  And being the awesome hubby that he is, he is making my dream come true :) :) :)  I have missed them so much.


I'm not exactly where I thought I would be, nor have I done everything I wanted to do by the time I turned 25.  My life has not gone according to my plan.  But, I'm okay with that.  I know that I'm where I am supposed to be according to HIS plan. 

So, happy birthday to me!