Friday, August 26, 2011

the one with the gospel prayer

my pastor, jd greear, has shared a prayer that he has prayed every day for several years and has challenged my church, the summit, to join him in praying it for the next several weeks. rob and i have been trying to pray through it every day and it is so rich in truth. it really uncovers every lie we may be believing about ourselves, our circumstances, or God and has helped us focus our hearts on Gospel truth at the beginning of every day. i wanted to share it here in case you'd like to join us in praying it!

1. in Christ, there is nothing i could do to make You love me more; nothing i have done that makes You love me less.

2. You are all i need today for everlasting joy

3. as You have been to me, so i will be for others.

4. as i pray, i will measure Your compassion by the cross, and Your power by the resurrection.

for more information on this and his new book coming in october, go here: www. SummitRDU.com/Gospel


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

the one with a kitchen chalkboard

my awesome co-worker, laura, inspired me to make a chalkboard for my kitchen when i saw her cute craft on her cute blog. and then one week this summer rob went out of town and so then i made it! :)

sarah made me these awesome framed signs for our wedding...one for the groom and one for the bride (me!). they were really pretty and sweet...she painted them ivory and hung them by this beautiful satin ivory ribbon.

i decided to convert one of these into my kitchen chalkboard! i chose my favoritest shaped one and got to work...
the infamous before shot.

love the dotted detail.

i chose to paint the frame blue, although usually i prefer neutrals and soft colors. i am DYING in this apartment with all bland/beige walls so i needed a pop of color...plus whenever we move into a place where i can paint the walls (symbolically and actually), it's super cheap to paint it a more neutral color.

my kitchen is full of blue accents so i chose this rich blue.
after one coat...

it was seriously the easiest craft! i just slapped some chalkboard paint on the back of the frame and voila! i love chalkboard paint....in small doses. some people (especially on pinterest) go WAY overboard with the chalkboard paint. but this right here looks good :)

i hung it on the wall above my spice racks from ikea! 
(ps this isnt my only spice rack in my kitchen...overboard?)


sorry for the terrible lighting...i promise its way prettier in person :) it's such a fun tool in the kitchen - it's a great way to keep track of leftovers in the fridge or reminders or leave funny notes for passersby... for instance: will came by one night and left this note on our chalkboard (it stayed up there for at least 3 weeks):: "when in doubt, just shimmy". words to live by.

Friday, August 19, 2011

the one with bj's ranch potatoes

after my disastrous post about the twice baked potatoes that i nearly destroyed, i got a sweet message from a dear family friend, bj. our families have been friends my whole life...bj & mike taught sunday school with my parents for approx 20 years. we've gone on beach vacations together, eaten lots of good food together, and had many playdates growing up!

bj is an amazing cook and us keegan girls are always SO excited about eating her yummy southern cooking :) when i got a message with an offer for a good potato recipe from her, i knew i had to try it!

the best part about this recipe:: it's easy, delicious, and QUICK. potatoes can take so long to boil and cook...and this recipe allows them to cook quickly because the potatoes are cut up. it's so quick and seriously delicious! ive made it twice already - once when we had rob's brother claude over...and then again when went over to the casa de shields for sunday dinner. it was a big hit both times :) so...just try it! you'll love it :)

(ps it's not the healthiest recipe...but you only live once! :) )

ingredients
  • potatoes
  • shredded cheese
  • hidden valley ranch dressing
  • real bacon bits
1. peel and slice potatoes (1/4-1/2" thickness). boil until done (firm...not mushy done, since they will cook more in the oven)
2. cover bottom of greased casserole dish with a layer of potatoes.

first layer of boiled potatoes

3. spread hidden valley ranch dressing over top and sprinkle with shredded cheese (mexican blend or cheddar) and real bacon bits. bj suggests two layers of everything.

3. listen to eminem and do thug dances because you know the potatoes are gonna be so GOOD.

4. bake at 350 until heated through and cheese is melted!

*easy tip:: can be prepared earlier in the day, refrigerated and baked right before serving...just takes a little longer in the oven if baked from cold.

enjoy and thank you so much, bj!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the one with a civil war antique shop

thanks to my wonderful friend, mer, sarah and i found our new favorite antique shop! it's called patterson mill country store and it is beeeauuuuitful! i was so excited....mer told me about it and posted this gorgeous photos on facebook::



i had to see it for myself. plus, rob and i had found these beautiful gems at an antique store near our apartment just the weekend before....and antique/thrift shopping is addictive.

two BEAUTIFUL antique bottles...
my favorite is the blue jar with a cork!  

the store was more than we could have imagined. yes i know that sounds dramatic...but you weren't there! we literally gasped around every corner...and when we saw a preserved/restored civil war era doctor's office and pharmacy...my heart literally skipped a beat. the whole store was gorgeous and there were so many treasures, we are definitely going back. i did buy some things...but you'll have to wait to find out what when i do a fun craft with them :)

here's a quick glance at some of the treasures we saw! our favorite things:: antique doilies, blue mason jars, and beautiful rooms of antique books on beautiful bookshelves!








Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the one featuring a stir fry recipe

i wanted to share my favorite, never fails, easy and delicious recipe! ive been cooking this dish for about a year now and we LOVE it. it may have played a major role in why rob decided to marry me :)

i haven't cooked it in a while because ive been trying a bunch of new stuff...but we had it again last night and im in love with it all over again. we also cooked it for my parents the first time we had them over for dinner after we were married :) so here it is, folks!

ingredients ( for 4 servings)

  • 4 (4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
  • broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

directions

1. cut chicken into 1/2-in. strips; place in a resealable plastic bag or a bowl. add cornstarch and toss to coat. combine soy sauce, ginger and garlic powder; add to bag/bowl and toss well. refrigerate for 30 minutes (or however long you'd like :) )

2. in a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. stir-fry chicken until no longer pink, about 3-5 minutes. remove and keep warm.
 
3. add in remaining oil and chopped veggies (we like onions, peppers, & broccoli...although carrots and celery would be great too!). stir fry for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
4. add water and bouillon. return chicken to pan. cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.


and voila! you have a yummy and delicious dish :) we like to eat it with brown rice...it makes for a very easy and filling meal! enjoy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the one with a breath

today (/tonight/five minutes ago), ive had some time to reflect. and it feels good. today/tonight/this week/recently, im beginning to feel settled. much more settled than i have in the past year. this makes alot of sense if i think about it...while most of the time i havent felt chaotic or out of control, it's been a crazy year. quick recap?
june 2010 - go to ethiopia for 3 weeks

july - august - deep discussion & prayer for both rob & i about whether we want to take the next step and get married... thankful for the Lord's goodness in those days but my stomach still churns to think about the emotional roller coaster.
 not pictured :)

septermber - get engaged/on cloud 9.

october - december - plan a wedding. quickly. while working fulltime and right smack dab in the middle of the holiday season.

january - get married to my best friend

february - july - learn to live with a boy, get settled in our new apartment, learn how to love each other well (totally got it perfectly figured out now... definitely), spend lots of time together because we are newlyweds, adjust to my new job & role at work, etc etc
 and here i am! i feel like i can breathe a little more and that maybe im not quite right in the middle of a big transition. it's really refreshing!

i would be remiss if i didn't mention the Lord's faithfulness through every season of my life...including the many seasons combined in the last year :) the Lord is my rock, my fortress, my comfort, and horn of my salvation. He is my portion. the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places - indeed i have a rich inheritance. i will rejoice and be glad for the Lord has done great things.

and while i have some time to breathe, maybe ill focus on a few new things:
1. more reading (less computer browsing, less tv watching)
2. quit whining and get out of bed in the morning
3. go to dinner with our next door neighbor, pam, who has come to summit a couple times.
4. one last tanning session at the pool (i am a keegan, after all :) )

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the one where rob gets lasik

we've been saving since we got married so that rob could get lasik eye surgery! he's always had to wear contacts or glasses to see....but for the last 4 years, he hasn't been able to wear contacts b/c of this condition he developed in his eyes. it's been quite inconvenient to wear glasses constantly.

on monday, august 8, rob got lasik surgery! it all went great - he had his post-op appointment on tuesday and the doc said his vision is now 20/20! he did great - and not just because he was on valium :) i sat in the operating room with him while the doctors did it...it was the creepiest thing ive ever seen but i convinced myself to watch so i could see if they did anything wrong.

here's a play by play on the day. important facts:: rob had to wear shields on his eyes all day & night; he couldn't sleep but also wasn't supposed to focus his eyes on anything so he was constantly having to look all around and blink alot....for the WHOLE day.

pre-op preparations. look at his pretty eye shadow! 
(just kidding, that's iodine...and yes he was thrilled with me for taking this photo)

after surgery! he had to keep his eyes closed for 20 minutes until the doc could come check him...
imagine sitting in a waiting room for that long with no vision. 

on the way to chickfila after surgery! (clearly still under the influence of valium)

post-valium crash. as soon as we got home he crawled in bed and passed out...yes with the sunglasses on. (dont worry i only let him sleep for 30 minutes) 

boredom has set in. he is dying of it. but check out those awesome "goggles"!
they are like shin pads for the eyes. 

my favorite rob quotes::
"i wouldn't have it any other way" - listening to backstreet boys in the waiting room right after surgery when he wasnt allowed to open his eyes for 20 minutes.
"i was blind but now i see...biblical surgery"
(when we were going out for a snack run) "hey!! we can check the mail while we're out!!!!" ....new level of boredom.

Friday, August 5, 2011

the one with sweet baby harrison



my sweet friends, josh & erin, recently gave birth to their first son, harrison. i know josh & erin from unc - they serve on staff with campus crusade for christ (or cornerstone) erin was my bible study leader for two years and has the best "most embarassing story" ive ever heard. my senior year, i had the privelege of being a student intern with cornerstone and got to go to weekly staff meeting with josh and erin. i love them alot and have loved getting to know them.

their baby boy was born early at 27 weeks due to a severe case of pre-eclampsia. they were on vacation in colorado when erin was taken to the denver hospital via helicopter. harrison was born 6 days ago and while he is doing really well and there is alot of hope, he still needs alot of prayer and has a long road ahead. erin & josh will be in denver for awhile and are staying at the ronald mcdonald house.

i really encourage you to go to their blog and read harrison's story. their story is beautiful and their words are laced with the Gospel and the hope we find in Christ! please join me in praying for them and for sweet baby harrison!

Monday, August 1, 2011

the one featuring summer blog lovin'

i always love getting blog recommendations - ive found some of my favorite blogs that way! so i thought id share some of my own.

here's a quick run through of my favorite summer blog reading list :) (just because im not a student anymore, it doesnt mean i dont have a reading list!)

1. The Stephen((sons)).  - okay i know, i know. this is my sister's blog. and y'all probably think im just promoting it because im related to her. but i promise it is one of my favorites if not my most favorite blog to read! becca is WAY funnier than i am, she's a great writer, and she has the cutest family! some of my favorite posts...
Some of my favorite photos from the blog (gotta highlight my cute nephews!)
  
i love this picture of the boys playing together...especially because fin has goggles on.

2. The Journeyi love this blog. love it. katie (the author...who i dont know, ps) is about my age and lives in Uganda. she has a home for those in need and has adopted 14 (yes 14) girls. i dont even know where to begin - her writing is beautiful and so well thought out. every post is overflowing with the Gospel and Scripture is inter-woven through all of her sentences. she is totally sold out for the Gospel and her life is beautiful. please read her blog - it's worth your time.


3. Organized Chaos - a new blog i just found this summer! i know hannah from carolina - we both come from big families and most of us have gone to UNC so our families just had to become friends :) her and her husband just bought their first house and are totally renovating it! it is so cool to watch the transformation.... and they are so good at it! i know it's a lot of hard work but it looks like so much fun :)


 4. Better After - i love before and after pictures! this blog is just that - pictures of things people have transformed with a brief explanation - like 1 or 2 sentences - with witty commentary :) im obsessed!


5. germainestreet (oops another home/DIY/renovation blog...kinda my obsession this summer) - my sweet friend anna just bought her first house with her very handy husband josh! :) ive known anna and josh almost my whole life and love them both dearly. we grew up together. they are wonderful and i can't wait to see how their house is transformed with josh's never-ending handyman skills & resources and anna's beautiful artistic touch :) plus they just started so you can watch it all unfold before your eyes.

that's it for now! happy reading :)