Monday, September 18, 2017


All good things must come to an end, and Jay and I have wrapped up our extended honeymoon in the Bend, Oregon area. It's been a wonderful time of rest, culinary indulgence, and discovery.

For example, we have discovered that I am a covers hog. I like it if both I and a good portion of the floor next to my side of the bed are covered. This leaves Jay approximately 33% covered 90% of the nights. Thank goodness he is a 100% good sport. 

We have also discovered that if you eat little more than pastries and chocolate for a week straight, you will need to wash your hair more than usual. Butter, when eaten in copious amounts, seeps out your pores, slicking your hair with grease at a distressing rate.

When I was single, it occurred to me that my habit of flossing in the shower, and then leaving my floss to pile up in the shower over the course of a week, may be problematic upon marrying. BUT, I have discovered that my husband throws my floss away away, along with his floss, since he, too, is a shower flosser.

I am loving this whole marriage thing.

It's been great for my health thus far, as I have eaten more gluten, dairy, and sugar on my honeymoon than I've eaten in the last eight years.

Jay and I found a bakery in Sisters, Oregon with the best scones I've ever had; and since they also sell delicious muffins, stuffed croissants, and fritters-the-size-of-cantaloupes we frequented it our first ten days here.

And oh my, after years of not being able to even think about eating baked goods, I was FEELIN' GOOD!

Do you remember my FEELIN' GOOD shirt? I got it a little over a year ago, when I started limbic system retraining. It was an eyes-on-the-prize shirt. I wore it when I wanted to remember the goal of all the hard work associated with limbic system retraining, and I looked forward to the day I would actually feel good and could wear it victoriously. In the photo above, Jay and I are in the parking lot on a grocery run to replenish our quickly-dwindling chocolate supply. Yay for healing limbic systems and chocolate runs!

Our honeymoon diet did eventually catch up with me, causing a flare-up that kept me in bed for a few days. During this time, Jay cooked all our meals, serving them to me in bed; and gave me regular acupressure to try to quiet my nervous system. I love continuing to discover how kind and compassionate he is.

Thankfully, before my flare-up, we were able to enjoy as much of the outdoors as the nearby fires would allow.

We rode bikes through the high desert.

We blended green shakes to compensate for all the butter.

We found a bridge over a river and played Pooh Sticks, as we are prone to do when we find a bridge over a river.

We lounged on the patio and watched the horses in our backyard.

We climbed Smith Rock. Well, the children's climbing wall on the playground overlooking Smith Rock.

We hung out in Government Camp, where Jay used to spend summers training for the upcoming ski season.

And, as you may have noticed, I wore the same exact thing almost every single day. And I discovered that Jay is not a judger of those who rewear their clothes.

And now, it's onward — to more discoveries, in Orange County!

Happy almost-weekend, folks.


© by scj

Thursday, September 14, 2017


The townhouse Jay and I have been staying in the last few weeks backs up against horse pasture. Some evenings, just as we are sitting down for dinner, the horses are released from their stalls to graze. We love watching them search for sweet clover. 

We often wish there was clover against the fence nearest our back patio so the horses would draw near enough for us to pet. Sometimes we try to convince them that the feeding opportunities near our house are tremendous. I may stand on the fence and wave a giant carrot in the air, or I may do my best horse call — which is, incidentally, a Mariachi shout — but despite my best efforts, the horses stay put. Until two mornings ago, when I pulled open the shades and saw one of the horses eating brekkie, right next to the fence nearest us. 

Excited at the prospect of hand feeding the horse (I have named her Stella), I ran outside and over to the fence where I was able to pet her. A few moments into petting Stella, I realized that, in my excitement, I had forgotten to put pants on. This is not the first time I have forgotten to put pants on before leaving the house; and I am beginning to wonder what old age will be like for me — and, more importantly, for the people who have to look at me, if this pant trend continues. (Have mercy!).

So I ran back inside to put pants on and grab some carrots for Stella. She was ready and waiting when I returned, as were a number of hungry horses.

This here horse is Jay's twin, with its tan hide and blond hair:

I have named him Barney. Jay is not sure if he is a Barney. (And neither of is sure if he is a "he.")

Do you see the resemblance?!

Once the horses learned we were the sole neighborhood carrot distributors that morning, they were eager for more.

So we kept more carrots comin'.

It was my favorite breakfast of the trip!

I hope you are all having a lovely Thursday!


© by scj

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Jay and the Gilmore Girls

A few days after we got married, I introduced Jay to Gilmore Girls. Because he is every bit the man I thought he was, he loved them. We have watched them every day since.

Today, we finished season two. As the season two finale credits rolled, Jay threw himself across the bed and lamented.

"I can't believe it," he moaned. "Hold me. The ground beneath me has disappeared. I should have known. It was too good to be true. I should have listened to my instincts. Tell me it's going to be okay. Lorelaid and Rory don't deserve this."

Oh Jay. Hang tight. You still have the wild ride that is seasons 4 and 5 ...

I hope you are all having a light-filled Tuesday!

I'm cheering for ya Home Skillets,


© by scj

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bachelorette Picnic

Two days before my wedding, most of my bridesmaids gathered for a bachelorette picnic hosted by my lovely sister. 

It was under a big ol' oak tree in the setting sun, complete with a banner, twinkle lights, and festive balloons (not pictured, some frisky pink balloons and a giant gold letter "C" balloon— to go between the "S" and "P" balloons below — that decided to join the impish wind for a joy ride).

My sister made sure there were plenty of foods that my body wouldn't react to, along with my favorite drink: sparkling water. I started drinking sparkling water a few years ago, when I could only eat five foods. It gave me the sensation of being fuller than I was, so it became a daily treat. When I was able to add new foods to my diet, I found I still loved the "agua con gas" as the Latins and Spaniards call it. It makes regular old meals feel more celebratory.

Baby Aria, my darling niece, was the youngest of our group. 

Look at her little footsies! In her little onesie! With her chubby little cheeksies! And (not pictured) her roly poly little thighsies! (Surely her thighs are worthy of some sort of Baby Thighs Award.)

And look at all these girls — my lifers! The ones who've always been there and always will be. :)

My sister planned to have everyone share a favorite memory with me, along with two pieces of affirmation. By the time everyone had spoken, I felt bundled up in layers of cozy love. Girlfriends are one of God's best gifts!

Thank you, Sister-loo-hoo, for such a special evening!

Happy Monday, friendlies.

I'm cheerin' for ya as you face the week.


© by scj

Friday, September 8, 2017

Peck of Pickled Zucchini

My husband is a non-profit ministry founder. A skier. A volleyball player. A brat-and-summer-squash griller. He is a wash-the-dishes-right-after-dinner kind of dish washer, and a "sure, I'd love to run to Michael's Craft store with you" kind of pal. And, he is a Panther-who-pickles-pecks-of-peppers. Or slices of zucchini and yellow squash, as the case may be.

I was not familiar with his pickling ways when I married him, but boy am I delighted with them.

Today, I came down to the kitchen where he was prepping dinner and noticed this in the fridge:

Pickled squash!

Jay was preparing to grill some brats when he thought, "I sure do wish we had some more of that cheesy bread from the other day. That would be great with these brats"

But we had eaten all the cheesy bread, so he thought, "I wonder if I could hollow out a zucchini and stuff the brat in it..." He ixnayed that plan, along with a number of other potential plans, before landing on the mother of all plans: PICKLING! He would pickle some vegetables and cover his brat with them!

So he diced up some squash, covered them with pepperoncini juice, and stuck a teacup on top to keep all of the squash pieces fully submerged in pepper juice.

Don't I have an innovative husband?

It's just one of the may things I love about him.

Happy weekend, folks!


© by scj

Monday, September 4, 2017

Wedding Sneak Peek

Seven years ago I taught my first classes at Biola University. I had a student named Kayci that first fall semester. I had her as a student spring semester, too; and when she was no longer my student, she became my friend. The years have been full of adventures for her — moving, a new career, her wedding, and more moving. We've stayed in touch along the way.

Kayci and her husband are moving from California to Texas this month, BUT, she just happened to take a road trip through Portland last month; AND it just happened to be the weekend of my wedding; AND she just happens to be an incredible wedding photographer. And so, she took photos of my wedding. It was so so sweet to have her capture our celebratory day.

The photos she took will be sent to us in all their edited glory in 4-6 weeks, but she sent Jay and me a two-photo sneak peek of what's to come. She also posted two photos on Instagram (check out her account, here), and since I am a screen-shooting fiend, I have them here, to share with you.

The ceremony was in a wooded area at the church I grew up attending. Every detail of the wedding was made beautiful by friends and family — from the ceremony decor, to the flowers, to the delicious reception food. I can't wait to show you photos of all the beautiful details.

I've collected some photos friends took to share with you too, while we await our official photos:

Here is my immediate family. Little Aria, my one and only niece (on the far right) made her flower girl debut at the ripe age of 7 weeks.

My sister was my maid of honor and did my hair and makeup. Didn't she do an incredible job?! She also threw me the loveliest bachelorette picnic that I will share with you later.

We had the most loving, loyal, and fun wedding party of all time! It was grand to have them stand with us! All of our siblings were in our wedding party; my mom was a bridesmaid; Jay's dad was a groomsman; and my dad did the ceremony. It was a family affair!

 The ceremony site was a five-minute walk from the church building, and since it was warm, we sat in an air-conditioned van until it was time to walk down the aisle. We had all sorts of excitement that made it hard to sit, so we sang while we sat. It was glorious.

Our dessert table was the most incredible I've ever seen. I can't wait to show you better photos.

Can you believe family and friends made everything on this table?

There is so much more to share — and to be thankful for. We are so incredibly grateful for our loved ones who made our day more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

And we are thankful for you, our prayer warriors and encouragers who have prayed for this day for such a longtime.

Thank you thank you thank you, dear ones!

We are cheering for ya, Home Skillets.



© by scj