Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Back in October we traveled to the great state of OOOOKLAHOMA! (I just sang that in my head) Sam was in the band at the University of Oklahoma and he and his bandmates decided they would participate in the Homecoming Alumni Band on the 2's and the 7's; so seeing as it is 2012 we made our way to Norman for an OU football game...and more importantly to visit Sam's brother John, his wife Alice, and their family! 

We woke up at 3:15 a.m. Friday morning and made it to Oklahoma City by 11:00 a.m.

We had a layover at DFW on our way to Oklahoma City. It was the first time Sam had seen flat, treeless land since we moved. He forgot how nice it was to not be surrounded by trees. 

We got to meet our new niece Lilia! And yes, Sam is a very skilled baby holder.

She is so cute! 

 Our first day there, we went to downtown Oklahoma City and walked around. I love Oklahoma City! If we don't move back to Texas, I wouldn't complain about moving there. 

Exploring the space

 The band was such a big part of Sam's life in college so it was really cool to watch him do something I had heard so much about. 
Game day was long and hot (I can say 85 degrees is hot now since I no longer live in Texas).
It started with alumni band practice...

Fortunately, I got to hangout with our other very fun and adorable niece, Marjorie!

I love going to OU games! They are so much better different from Baylor games. The stadium is completely full for EVERY game and there is so much pomp and circumstance, also known as tradition, before each game. OU games also remind me of the beginning of our relationship. Sam took me to an OU game when we first started hanging out, I wouldn't even say we were dating at that point. 
Flashback to that game back in 2010...

 Sam and his euphonium!

 On Sunday we headed home and we made it back to our apartment at 3:00 a.m. Monday morning. 
It was a fast but great trip seeing family and football! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's benign.

Two of the best words I have ever heard. This past week and a half has been the scariest time of my short 24 years on this earth. Last Tuesday I went to the doctor for my yearly check up and I told her about a lump I had felt in my breast. She decided I should go ahead and get an ultrasound...the ultrasound led to a biopsy...and a biopsy led to waiting. I had the biopsy a week after my first appointment and then had to wait until Friday, aka today, to find out the results...a benign fibroadenoma, common in women my age. My doctor had told me she was "pretty sure" it was nothing, the ultrasound radiologist told me she was "pretty confident" it was a fibroadenoma, and the biopsy radiologist told me it was "probably nothing". Well, all of those pretties and probablys are enough to make you think something is seriously wrong with you and you are going to die in 2 weeks. As Sam likes to point out, that is not logical thinking, but when you are faced with this situation logical thinking can tend to go out the window real quick. This has been a difficult time but I thank God for it because He has taught me things that I may not have learned otherwise, and I would like to share those things with you:

1) I cannot imagine living without a relationship with God. When I went for the ultrasound it was just me and the ultrasound technician in the room. As I watched her find what was clearly the lump and spend time taking pictures of it, I prayed to God to comfort me and to take away my tears. I knew I wasn't alone in that room, God was right by my side the whole time, holding my hand. While I was looking up at the ceiling praying, I couldn't help but wonder what a person that does not know God would be doing in this situation. Where would their comfort come from? Would they feel alone? What would they be thinking about? Would they be praying?

2) Thankfulness. A scare like that reminds you that you are mortal. It definitely made me thankful for everything God has blessed me with and reminded me to be content wherever I am. I tend to imagine exactly how I would like something to be and if it doesn't go exactly that way then I feel disappointed. I realized that when I plan things out like that I'm not allowing God's plan in my life, and His plans are better than anything I could imagine.

3)  "It's not supposed to be like this..." is a dangerous way of thinking. Those words kept popping into my head this past week..."I'm 24, I should not be getting a biopsy." But then I would think, "Why?". Why do I think I am entitled to having no problems in this world? We have no guarantees on this earth. God does not promise that we will get married, have kids, be wealthy, and live until we are 95...but He does promise that we can live with Him for eternity if we accept Him. This experience has taught me to trust God no matter what situation I am faced with because He is in control and because He loves me. I found comfort in James 1:2 "Consider it true joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds because the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

4) I need to share my burdens. I told my family about what was going on...well actually I told my mother and she told my family, but I didn't really share what was going on with anyone else. While I wanted people to pray for me, I did not want their sympathy or reactions, and I felt like the more people I told the bigger deal it was and the bigger deal it was the more worried I became. The great thing about the Christian community is that you can share your burdens with others and you know they will pray for you. So I apologize to those that I did not share this with. I'm sorry I did not let you share in my burden but I hope now that you can share in my joy!

I came across this verse last week and it has really helped me to get through this time:

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock."
Isaiah 26:3-4

This is long, but I really wanted share what God has taught me through this. 

God is good!

Hannah Estelle

Monday, October 8, 2012


It is officially fall in NOVA (that's what the locals call Northern Virginia). It is our first fall in the area so are we excited to see all of the leaves change colors...and those little guys better be worth the cold weather! The other day I was a little perturbed that I had not had a chance to wear any of my new fall clothes yet, knowing I would want to eat my words as soon as I said it, and lo and behold a couple of days later I am snuggled in bed with my space heater, refusing to go outside. It is going to be a long fall and winter. Anyway, to take in all of the newly changed leaves, Sam and I went on an adventure after church...

The lovely house right behind the church we have been going to. 

Unfortunately I do not have a good picture of the counrtyside...however, I do have a bad picture taken from the car that does not feature any fall foliage but did manage to capture the power lines. 

Enjoying our car ride.

We ended up in Leesburg. A small town only about 30 minutes away with tons of antique stores and history. I loved it! 

A cute coffee shop, much like one I would like to own someday. 

Sam really enjoys to explore the space when he taking pictures. 

An antiques store... I wanted everything. 

After Leesburg we headed home and made a stop at the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Musuem in Dulles. 

This is where the Discovery Space Shuttle is held! It is definitely a must see. 

It was a great day in our new state!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Not a Tutorial

I just have to share. I made the baked chicken and spinach flautas pictured above and oh man, they are delicious! Super fast, easy, and healthier than frozen or restaurant flautas. 

I found the recipe on Pinterest, one of my best friends posted it, Mrs. Jessica Henry . Like I said in a previous post, you are not going to find many tutorials on this blog...so here is where you can find a tutorial: http://healthy-delicious.com/2012/03/baked-chicken-and-spinach-flautas/ !!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jei Jei's Trip to D.C.

My oldest sister, Kristen, came to visit me in D.C. last weekend! We commonly refer to each other as Jei Jei and Mei Mei. We picked these names up when we were in China visiting our other sister, Cassie. Jei Jei means big sister and Mei Mei means little sister in Mandarin. 

I once again did the D.C. tour. I decided I need to start reading books and articles about each site so I can give people more facts about them, and then maybe I can starting charging. 

My big sister the night she arrived. 

Don't we look so much alike?? People have told me our family photo looks like you picked 5 random people from a crowd and put them together.

We began our tour at Mount Vernon. I have now been there 4 times in 4 months, but it still hasn't gotten old. The house tour is never the same and there is always something new growing in the gardens. This time it was huge sunflowers. (This picture is for you Ashley Hatley)

After Mount Vernon we went shopping in Alexandria.
 I love hanging out with my sisters now that I am older and have more in common with them. Since they are 8 and 6 years older than me, I really enjoy talking to them and hearing their great advice.

On Saturday we headed to D.C. to see the sites. We went to the American History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, and my favorite restaurant in D.C., Good Stuff Eatery!

Sam likes to "explore the space" when he take pictures; so enjoy the next 4 photos of Kristen and me at different angles and distances. 

I loved having her visit! 

The next thing I get to look forward to is going to Texas in September! I can't wait! 

Tour de Eastern States: Part 2

Next stop: Gulf Shores, Alabama!! I had never been there before and we were both so excited to spend some time on the beach and in the ocean.

We enjoy looking out at the water and being photographed.

Sam is a beach baby

Our amazing sand castle!! Notice the tunnel I created.

Looking at these pictures makes me want to go back! 

We stayed at Gulf Shores for the night and then headed to Savannah, Georgia. It's about halfway to D.C. and my cousin lives there so it worked out perfectly.
I could kick myself for not getting any pictures with him and his family...but I did get some of downtown Savannah!

Setting up for the farmers market. I love the spanish moss!

We ran through downtown before we began the last leg of our trip. Downtown was to cool and different from anywhere I have ever been. I would love to visit again. 

We found the house from Savannah Nights! One of our favorite trainwrecks shows!

After Savannah we drove through South Carolina and North Carolina, more states I had never been to...and more trees.

Whelp that's our trip! I was not too happy to be headed back to D.C. (the land of no friends, no family, and no church home). I definitely cried about half the drive back; and told Sam, and I quote, "You probably shouldn't let me drive because I don't know where we will end up. You will wake up and we will be in Arkansas or something." BUT God is doing a work in me. I will elaborate about this in an upcoming post. 

Anyway, fortunately, I had something to look forward to when we got home. My sister was coming to visit!