Saturday, January 30, 2010

Living life with my best friend.

It's been tough being here without friends. Working at a church with no one really younger than 50, working at the school with women who already have families, and no one really our age, I guess you could say, the young adults in the area are kinda scarce here. And yes, sometimes we wish we could have at least a couple friends that we could go to just hang out with on the weekends or evenings. I do miss my girlfriends and the crazy times we used to have. I do wish Ryan had some guy friends to watch sports with and get together with like he used to back in Chicago. But God is SO great. He gave us each other.

We got warned over and over again before marriage that the first year is the worst. That we'd get in fights, and find things out we didn't like about the other person, and would struggle and be challenge through the first year. We were told we'd get tired of being with each other constantly, and might need space, because of not being used to that much time with the other person. If anyone ever tells you this before you get married, well,

It isn't always this way. In fact, it shouldn't be. The first year is so exciting, full of joys that you never thought you could experience. You get to know and feel love the way that it should be. Marriage brings to life biblical love, unconditional, and it truly can be an example of how Christ's love to the church is. It is sacred, pure, and beautiful. The way God designed marriage to be.

Through the past almost six months of marriage, Ryan and I have been together ALOT. and i mean ALOT. We've had almost a week's worth of snow days inside our home, we've spent every single evening and weekend with each other (excluding a few nights when i went to chicago to surprise my sister),and we go and do everything together, and still we desire more time together. One might think with all the time we've spent with one another, we would get tired of each other. But like I said, God is good. He blessed us with each other.

And not having friends here has drawn us closer to each other. And in a way of blessing. When we do have friends, we will rejoice, boy will we rejoice:), but until then while we are meeting and getting to know people, both older and younger, we have each other. And it's wonderful.

Marriage has shown me love. and service. and pure joy. and lots of laughter. Life with my best friend is wonderful

Friday, January 22, 2010

3 p.m. breakfast:)

MLK day, Ryan and I had the day off. Recently, Ryan has been digging through a bunch of his old stuff and came across some recipes he had gotten and prepared in Home Economics in high school, so he wanted to prepare a breakfast he knew how to make, Eggs benedict. He thought early Monday morning he'd get up and prepare this special breakfast for me, which i thought was absolutely wonderful. I love breakfast, and the idea of having breakfast cooked and served without me doing it was kinda exciting!

Monday morning my dear husband bustled around in the kitchen. And then left for the grocery store to get something he'd forgotten. CAme back and bustled around again. and then left to get something else he needed. He tested and tried and tasted and added and tested, tried, and tasted somemore:). By 2:30 my tummy was about ready to come out of me and find food on its'own, and Ryan prepared a plate for me. It was 3 pm by the time I had my first bite of the eggs benedicts, but boy was it good! I told Ryan how great they were-the best Eggs benedict I've ever had! (and truthfully, the only eggs benedicts I've ever had:)).

The breakfast was yummy and flavorful, but the best part was my husband's efforts to cook me breakfast! Sure, it took all day to cook it, but wow was it worth it. My husband was serving me in an area that he was not comfortable in or good at, but he was still lovingly serving and trying to cook.

p.s. he wouldn't let me do the dishes after them either!:) what a sweetheart!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"How can I keep from singing your praise..."

Thinking back...
This whole guitar playing thing has been a process for the past like eight months. I can't remember when exactly I started praying about it, but before last summer, Ryan and I both decided that one of us should learn how to play, so that we can provide music to worship in the ministries that we are a part of in the future.
So last summer, I started praying that God would provide some way for me to learn the guitar. I didn't know how I would learn, or where exactly this guitar would come from, but I prayed that I could be used to worship with others in Storm lake.

Well, Ryan and I got to Storm Lake, and I still have no guitar at this point. But I prayed that somehow God would work something out for me to learn, whether I'd have to borrow a guitar or buy a very cheap one. God had laid it on my heart that I should learn guitar-but I didn't know where that would be coming from.

I kept praying for an opportunity to learn guitar.

After moving to Storm Lake, we went to visit my old youth pastor and his family. This family has been great friends of my family for as far back as i can remember, and they live just an hour away from us. Being away from my family and friends, it was nice to know they were near by and we took a drive out to smaller-town USA, to see them.

Mr. Lou excitedly told me he had something for be honest, i thought it was food, like a pie or something yummy like that. haha. But when he took me to the dining room, he didn't point me towards the table, but towards something on a stand on the floor. It was his first guitar. The first guitar he got when God had laid it on his heart to learn how to play , when he did not even know how to do it, or even to sing-a time during his life that there was a need and he was willing to serve, even without the ability to play the guitar. But he did it and God has really used him in that ministry.

"Kristine, I want YOU to have it. I think God will really use this to expand your youth ministry that you will be doing in Storm Lake."

with that, he pulled out another guitar, gave this one to me, pulled out some sheet music, and showed me a few chords. I brought that guitar home that night, praising God for the answer to prayer, and have been teaching myself how to play.

I still am in awe how of God placed this guitar in my life. I can't even play it all that well yet. But He allowed me to go through a journey of prayer and trust, and through it, He made it so clear to me what He wanted me to do.

There are so many moments in my day that I stop and pray. This guitar is a physical result of prayer-a reminder to me that God hears me. Of course I remember that prayers are not always answered with shiny beautiful guitars, but I do enjoy the reminder every time I hold the guitar, or play it, that God hears my heart and desires, and answers prayer to His glory.

I thought I would share this with you, as I was sitting here practicing, with my guitar on my lap. My heart is warmed and encouraged when I think about God's ways, and the sweet soft reminders of his presence, and maybe this story will encourage you in your day of trust and prayer.

(mr. lou and i strumming it up at Thanksgiving.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Phones, new number, new carrier

One of Ryan and my weaknesses is technology. When it comes to technology, we love all the new gadgets that comes out and we like all the cool bells and whistles that come out. So when we got a phone call from Sprint that told us we were costing them loads of money being in an area with no Sprint towers anywhere close, they recommended we switch to a different carrier, we jumped at the chance to get new phones.
We went out and found the best deal possible, and walked out with a new phones (i got the LG bliss and Ryan got the Samsung Caliber), new numbers, and a new carrier.
So, in case you're wondering, you dn't have our phone numbers anymore...I'll have to send you a text or something to give it to you!:) We both stayed up late last night playing with our new toys downloading applications and ringers and wallpapers, and seeing what our new phones did. It was fun:) Kinda felt like Christmas.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quick meal

When Ilene and I were roommates, numerous Sundays I would walk into my apartment and Ilene and Ryan Butler would have some enchiladas cooking:) I called her up the other day to find out how to make it, and I added a few things to make it a little more to my taste (spicy, and spicier:)). This would not be the healthiest choice in a meal, but it is really quick on one of those days when you don't want to fix a big meal. This one is also real good for a couple days of lunches or dinners:)

First we start out with ground beef. thawed, and no oil. just stick it on the pan and let it cook.
After it, drain it, and rinse out all the excess grease.

next, add McCormick's Orginial Taco Seasoning mix to the ground beef. After doing that, add TWO cans of Tomato SAUCE. Should look like this.

after that, spook the beef mix into flour tortillas, and roll them up, and line them up just like this.

Add TWO cans of Enchilada Sauce (HOT is better;)).

it should look like this. just cover it completely:)
Next sprinkle some Mexican Style Four cheese to it, all over it.

Stick it in the oven until the cheese is completely melted and wah-la!:)Enchiladas for dinner. Easy as pie! (or as enchiladas.)
Thanks Ilene!:)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I thought Chicago was cold-nothing compared to Iowa.

Our first winter together, we have now experienced two gigantic blizzards. I did not realize that a blizzard is like ten times worse than a a snow storm. It's not just COLD, its REALLY COLD. and the wind is faster and harder than anything I have ever experienced. For a gal that grew up in mostly all warm climates, this Iowa weather is WAAAY too cold for me.

This past week, I had work for two days, and the rest of the week, we stayed in our cozy lil basement apartment, eating lots of hot soup and grilled cheese (our most recent winter favorites...simple, but perfectly cozy for the wintery days we were having.) btw, if any of you have ever tried Campbell's Select Harvest-"Zesty Tomato Bisque" thatz my recent most favorite soup. We couldn't go outside, because of the dangerous wind, ice, and snow, so we had a nice excuse to enjoy the time toggether inside our apartment.

We had gotten a bunch of new games for the PS3 and the Wii from Christmas, so we had alot of fun having the time and excuse to actually play them! Little Big Planet is my current favorite game on PS3.

Not only have we had some fun together with video games, we've had fun playing board games, talking to the family, and having great conversations with each other. It's been great.

With all these freezing temperatures, all in the negative teens or twenties, today is our first warm day all week! 1 degree today, with a low of -2. yay:).

here's the way to the window of our basement apartment:) we have sunlight in our apartment once again!
huge mounds of snow everywhere.
yep, some of the snow piles were as tall or taller than Ryan.
I feel like a little bear hibernating until winter is over...come warmth, come!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Our first Christmas as a married couple was wonderful. Spent Christmas Eve and the next week in South Carolina with my family, and we spent the few days before Christmas Eve and stayed five more days in Kansas for Ryan's family. It was a complete quality Christmas break with the people we loved the most. Some of the very fun things we got to do were:

1.Spend Christmas Eve with my family with all our Christmas eve/day traditions:)

2. have our Christmas Campout in the living room with the family

3. Play Beatles Rockband-my parents favorite gift from us

4. Go out to Jade Garden-our favorite Sunday lunch restaurant
4. Squishy cuddle time in the back seat with all the Gamboa gals

5. Play with our Gamboa boy-Peyton
6. Grill Steaks and eat Shrimp with the Ryans

7. Drank coffee with my daddy and hung out with my mom:)

8. Hug and Cuddle with my baby boy, Pey.
9. Meet Alvin and the Chipmunks when we saw Holmes
10. Have a Brandenberger Christmas

11. and a Brandenberger new Years

12. Visit a 50's diner with mom B and Sis B
13. Celebrate Sis B's birthday with her a lil early!

14. Oh, and of course- I got to kiss my husband on New Year-that was a first!:)