Monday, October 29, 2012

Celebrating 2 Years of Marriage

Looking back over the past 2 years....

Tomorrow is our 2 year wedding anniversary! Time has really flown by. It seems like only yesterday these pictures were taken!

We have both grown a lot, and learned a lot over the past two years. There have been ups and downs, highs and lows, and we are both stronger and closer because of these. God is faithful and he will continue to be faithful, and he blesses us even when we don't deserve it.

What a beautiful and blessed day we had!


Highlights of 2 years of marriage....

Attending my brother's wedding and inviting Janaye into the family. They are having a baby boy in March & we are so excited to get to be an auntie & uncle!

Going to Disney World for the FIRST time ever! I LOVED it! Thank you Kite's!

 Visiting Jonny & Janaye in Louisville, KY. 

Surprising my family in Ireland for Christmas! They had NO idea. 3 flights, a bus, and a train, and a 2 mile walk to the doorstep.

 Vacationing in Colorado. Thank you Groupon Getaways!

 Gregg's Birthday present 2012. Why, oh why, are you not this cute and tiny anymore?

And just for laughs.... I got my wisdom teeth out and I am crying because I am not funny and we couldn't make a funny youtube video of me. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Art of Fermenting

Gregg finds this very strange. I probably used to think it was strange too. But I will try anything once! I have made batches of sauerkraut from scratch before, and my latest craze is kombucha tea. It costs about $3 for a 16oz bottle of kombucha so it is much cheaper to make your own.
So you purchase a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast) that is alive and feeds on the sugar in the tea, which ferments the tea. It is full of probiotics, detoxes, high in anti-oxidants, improves digestion, boosts energy, and supposedly is cancer preventing, as well as many other things!

Here is a picture of the SCOBY on top of the tea. Usually when you add the "mother", it produces a "baby" on the surface of the tea, like the one pictured here.
Pretty gross looking, right?

Anyway, Gregg still thinks I am out of my mind for making and drinking this stuff, but I actually like it! You can also double ferment it with fruit juice and after bottling it, leaving it out to ferment some more will make it have a little more fizziness! 

I made another batch of sauerkraut tonight, which will be ready in about 2 weeks. I used cabbage & carrots in this one. Should be interesting. Well that's my exciting blog post on my obsession with probiotics.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Well, here we are! This summer we did a very grown-up thing and bought a house. We are new home-owners! I have to admit, it is a little stressful knowing that if something breaks we have to figure out how to fix it. There's no property manager to call! But at the same time it is also wonderful having a place we can call our own. It really is a cute little house and in great condition.

Now comes the interior decorating part of things! I have decided to stop where I'm at and just let it develop over time. It would be a little pricey to completely deck out this place! So I shall wait.

Exciting times are up ahead. I will begin my work in the special education doctoral program this fall and will be working at a preschool autism clinic (which I am VERY excited about)! I am a little nervous heading back into the world of academia, but am ready to face it head on.

We feel very blessed by all that the Lord has given us, and how he has taken care of us over this past year. We could not have done it without His strength and provision. My continual prayer is that we would keep our eyes fixed on Him through all these new developments and changes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our Wedding Videos!

Ok, so there's a fun story behind this video. Well, maybe not fun, but it's definitely a story.

Out computer crashed, so I thought that all of our wedding videos had gone. I had pretty much given up. Then, about 6 months later, in the last week in fact, I had a hunch, and when I followed it (I won't bore you with technical stuff), there they were!

I've also been trying to learn more about video editing lately using Sony Vegas Pro, so I got to put together a lot of the videos of the ceremony to make this little gem...

And now I've even finished up getting the footage together for a quick featurette of the Reception! Here it is. Enjoy!

Shout out to Janaye Atkinson for doing all the videography during the ceremony!

Monday, January 16, 2012


I have been enjoying cooking from "Make it Paleo" over these past few weeks. They have quite a few good dessert recipes as well. I don't think I have ever used molasses in baking before today. I found this recipe and decided to give it a try.
Paleo Gingerbread cookies
I tasted the molasses mixture and thought I was in heaven. I could probably just drink the bottle... well maybe not. The main ingredients are the molasses, and blanched almond flour. The problem I came upon was that they were so sticky when I rolled them all out that it was hard to cut the gingerbread men out individually. I ended up baking the whole rolled-out sheet of dough and then cutting then gingerbread men after it had baked - this worked fairly well, but a lot of the poor little guys lost their legs or arms. It also meant that there was a lot of left-over cookie in between each gingerbread man, which Gregg and I ate as we were separating each one! Gregg said, "I wonder how many cookies that actually was that we ate?" Probably a lot.

Here is another recipe from their cookbook that I decided to give a go since it looked interesting. Interesting is the only way I can describe this breakfast dish - made a nice change from just regular eggs though!
Beat egg whites until stiff  peaks form and fold in 1/4 cup of shredded coconut. Form into nests on parchment paper and put yokes back in the middle (i broke mine!) and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until starts to brown.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gregg loves paleo.... sometimes.

So I (Libby)  have been eating Paleo (in and out) for just over a year. It is definitely an adjustment in lifestyle.... no more cereal for breakfast, no more rolls with dinner, not more bread, tortillas, or grains of any sort. Most of our meals consist of meat and vegetables. I enjoy fruit and nuts for snacks. This has been the hardest part for Gregg as he doesn't really like nuts, and has a limited amount of fruit he will eat. The part he does love though, is the MEAT. Tonight we had steak topped with whipped chive butter, and roasted balsamic onions. Ahhhhmazing.
Recipe courtesy of  "Make it Paleo"

Gregg's response? "They should sell this at Cafe Eccel" and "This is way better than Roadhouse". A success then, I believe.
What did Buddy do the whole time we were eating?
He stared longingly.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Gregg's Progress

I recently finished reading John Bunyan’s classic, The Pilgrim’s Progress, which I was inspired to read while in Northern Ireland visiting Libby’s parents when we watched one of Liam Neeson’s first, and worst, performances as an actor in the 1979 film version of the book (“Flee from the wrath to come…”).

Most people are at least familiar with the story of Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress, but I wonder how many of those same people have ever sat down with the book. Two weeks ago I would have fallen into that category. It’s really a shame that such is the case, because John Bunyan’s extremely blunt allegory is quite a masterpiece. Using extremely simple characters that are named after their archetypes, Bunyan gives an exposition on the Christian path to sanctification. Pilgrim begins with a heavy burden (sin) acquired from awareness of his sinful nature, and begins to seek the way to be free of it. When he encounters Liam Nee—erm, Evangelist—he is pointed toward Calvary, essentially. His burden falls off of him as he has a vision of the Savior on the cross.

The beauty of the story is that it doesn’t end there. Pilgrim (now named Christian) still has his entire life ahead of him, and has only one instruction: do not stray from the path. The bulk of the story occurs after Christian becomes…well…Christian. Amazingly, I never knew that the story went beyond salvation! From that point on, Christian goes through many toils and snares, including the Valley of Death, Vanity Fair, and more. Christian often loses his way, straying off to a side path for ease of travel or to avoid some apparent danger or another, and each time he does the worst happens, and he ends up in dire straits. He even ends up being beaten down by the Giant, Despair, until he is nearly ready to take his own life (luckily, his friend Hopeful is there to stop him).

When Christian isn’t in danger of his own, he shares the path with several people, both wholesome and otherwise. Faithful, an old friend from his home town, the City of Destruction, joins him until he is killed at Vanity Fair, where he is whisked away to heaven in the style of Elijah. The aforementioned Hopeful is converted as a result of their proselytizing in Vanity while detained, and ends up being Christian’s dearest ally.

Other people on the road are false converts, it seems. Christian and Hopeful do their best to minister to these poor souls. The character Ignorance has the most grievous story. He believes, in his ignorance, that legalism will earn him his place beside the King of Kings, but the very last paragraph of the book tells of his denial at the gates, after he had crossed through the River of Death, and how he was taken to the cave that leads to Hell, in an eerie reference to Matthew 7:21.

The version I read was retold in today’s English by James H. Thomas, which did wonders for my understanding. I highly recommend finding this version. I think if I had read it as it was originally written, I would have lost some of the more subtle allegories. In any case however, this is a book worth any Christian’s time. After all, most of what I’ve just written could be read as advice. “Christian(s) goes through many toils and snares,” “Christian(s) often loses [their] way,” etc. This is most certainly a book that has obvious life application.

Don’t be Obstinate, who does not have the ears to hear the message of God’s salvation. Don’t be Pliable, who gets gone when the going gets tough. Do not try to circumvent the hill of Difficulty, if God’s path is laid out for you to go over it. Know that Apollyon, the devil, has no power of you and that God has given you the tools and ability to overcome him. Rely on “effectual, fervent prayer” in the Valley of Death. Travel with those whom you can trust—those who are Hopeful and Faithful. Do not be Talkative, or Ignorant, who do not glory in their salvation but their works and knowledge. Don’t leave the path to explore the silver mine, which may bring you fortune, but also death. Know that you have been given the key to be free from any desperate situation. Follow the path, meet with God.

These are just a few of the lessons learned from Bunyan’s work. At every turn, Christian has another challenge before him, and we can learn from his successes and failures. God speaks deeply through this book, and that is the reason for its success.