Friday, July 22, 2011

Almost year!!!

One Year.

It is official-this Sunday, July 24th, my husband and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary!  I don't have words to express, at least those that would satiate the feelings, of how much love I feel towards this man.  Ladies-wait for something great (remember "good" is the enemy of "great").  I never knew, nor was I quite sure that I believed, that you could actually fall more in love with someone everyday.  Now I know it as fact and am constantly caught up in the greatness of God and who He gave me to be my husband, partner, best friend, lover, and lifemate.

Babe- I always remember John Mark saying that you "don't marry someone you can live with but marry someone you can't live without." You are the one I cannot be without.  You make me a better person everyday. You constantly know me, love me and care for me in a way that I have only seen the story of Jesus reflect.  You are my superman and the most beautiful human being I know.  You are everything I dreamed of (and I am a dreamer) and somehow a million times more beautiful and right in real life.

Thank you for the greatest year of my life.  The sheer unconditional nature of your love has brought me to tears so many times and I praise Jesus I get to spend my life with a man as tender and strong (and hot) as you.  I hope our baby is just like you in every single way. 

Ephesians 3:21  Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bobsy!

I had the pleasure of spending the last five days with one of my best friends from high school. We first met freshman year during basketball season and for the most part, have been undivided (minus the not living in the same state for the past 12 years).

  She lives in the great city of NYC and I have gotten to visit her many, many times, join her (in support) in Paris for her marathon, head to the Hamptons for a week with her and some of her amazing friends, and this last weekend, celebrate her 30th in Newport, RI.

Bobsy- you are fantastic. You will always be the Bobsy that I call in good and bad times. I praise God He gave me you as a best friend and I am honored I got to spend your 30th with you.  Forever grateful.  Love, the other Bobsy.

Highlights of a weekend in Newport, Rhode Island:

-nantucket reds, seersucker suits, navy blazers, and fabulous dresses
-a great bed and breakfast
-a sunset sailing trip
-touring the Breakers and Rosecliffe Mansions (seriously...the Breakers is 128,000 square feet. Perspective: our carriage house is 950)
-Awful, Awfuls and Del's Lemonade
-amazing food: even though neither of us like seafood :)  Oh, but we do love Italian (Gengs-go get gnocchi in the "fall")
-great, deep, life building conversations  
-prayers and making it to the city in record time
-the Cliff Walk, a slight sunburn and a day by the beach
-celebrating and learning more about a best friend
-a polo match!
-superfluous photos...sorry!

xoxo, Anna

Fish's Eddy! It's online and you can register here!

Must go see "Eataly." It was the one of the coolest things ever...especially to an Italian lover.

I found a diaper bag!!! It looks kind of like this one but a different print!  First baby purchase!

So this was our four mile (ish) total walk through the city to get a milkshake in Chelsea. The milkshake place was closed :( So we got gelato!

Awful, Awfuls!!! For you, Erin!

Divot stomping at a polo match.  They really do that...

Newport Harbor

Just one of the mansions on our Cliff Walk

Our sunset sailing cruise. Complete with the perfect sunset.

The lovely Liza who ran with her awesome husband the B and B.

Rosecliffe-PS: you can still rent this one :)

Amanda and her boyfriend, Pat!

Thursday, July 14, 2011



I meet with quite a few amazing young ladies and this is something I know I need to post just out of my own experience and hearing each of their hearts. I struggled with an eating disorder for about two years and know the pressure that we can place ourselves under. If you struggle with any issues of self-image or self-worth, please follow these little guidelines for recapturing a right image of one who is made in His likeness:

Things to rid:
  1. TV: yes, I said it. I can't tell you how much my life changed when we got rid of TV at my last house (the Bachelorette Pad). It got rid of the constant mirror that I held next to my own to compare myself to anything and everything walking/sitting/catwalking. My husband and I also don't have one now and it means we actually talk and just love on one another (and really like each other more and more). The likelihood of us ever getting one is slim to none after experiencing life without it. That is what actually happens when you get rid of it :)

  2. Magazines: not Martha of course (although my husband would say magazines like that give women a false sense of what is physically possible-good man). I mean magazines such: People/In Touch/US Weekly (you don't know those people...), Vogue/Glamour/Cosmo/Mademoiselle/etc. This was also another step we took at the Bachelorette Pad.

  3. Friends: no, not really get rid of your friends but make sure you are surrounding yourself with people who have a right understanding of who they are (in God's eyes). Surround yourself with people who are encouragers and of course, be one yourself.
Words to rid:
  1. not...enough”
  2. diet”
  3. if only”
  4. but she”

    Just a few things that changed my life and restored where my beauty lies.

    xoxo, Anna
    Enjoy the sun/clouds/rain wherever you may be.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Off to The City.

It is one of my bestie's 30th birthdays this next Monday and (given that she knows me well) she called me up last Sunday and asked if I could go to NYC for her birthday...with much prayer-and an amazing husband saying I needed to be there with her-I am going!  I used to be insanely random: booked a trip to Frankfurt, Germany on a Wednesday and left on Friday, last minute trips to Bali, trips to Paris to watch Bobsy run the marathon, etc.  This is one last little jaunt before Baby Norman comes.  Thank you, Jesus for allowing such a lovely life. So Truly Lovely.

Itinerary: heading into NYC Thursday night, hanging out Friday, dinner Friday night in Greenwich Village (where she lives), and then heading to Newport, RI to watch polo matches, look at mansions, enjoy good food, and have good ole' fashioned Bobsy twin time.  I hope you all have an amazing and super blessed weekend!

Happy Birthday, Bobsy!  Here I come!!!

She is the lovely right next to me!

Baby- I love you. Thanks for letting me go and being the best husband and friend a girl could ever dream of.  You make my life more and more beautiful every day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Berry, berry good.

There are a few of us "retired" gals.  Here is some of what we do...and yes, please go pick at this farm!  

lovelies in the last few days:

-great girlfriend time
-berry picking and hearing a crazy, squawking bird noise!
-garage and estate sales...
-and more girlfriend time
-realizing my joy can be robbed so easily and how much I need it!
-making jam
-making jam AND watching Step Up 3 :)
-SUN.  And clouds. They make the sun even better. 
-vanilla ice cream with pureed raspberries and blueberries
-Mason jars (to actually can with)
-and hubby and I's date to Mary Poppins!!!

Handsome and I at Jo Bar before seeing Miss Poppins.

A delicious happy hour treat.

Yes-Step Up 3 in the background.

Strawberry/Raspberry Jam!!!
xoxo, Anna N

Friday, July 08, 2011

Another blast from the past.

A lovely lady I know I had emailed me regarding a post that I had reposted from years ago (here).    It was interesting to me to realize how much the subject of "waiting" captivates women's hearts.  I started writing a book years ago called "Heart Murmurs" that went through all of the CV diseases that might effect our physical hearts and compared it to the emotional heart.  I will add snippets of it someday :)  The Bible is so clear on the "heart is the well-spring of life" and when you look at the fact that more people in the US die of heart disease than anything else, it makes sense.

What really caught me in my research was atherosclerosis: the hardening of the arteries.  This is something that happens over many, many years and it is a slow calcified buildup.   This buildup leads to the narrowing of the arteries and thus it is harder for oxygen (aka: life) to get to the heart. It eventually can lead to a heart attack, stroke or death.

How fascinating it is that we do the same thing with our emotional hearts. We let things build up over years (ask anyone who hasn't gone through counseling or broken the cycle from abuse, addiction, bitterness, etc).  Then slowly, but surely, because we never stopped to realize what was "building up," we lose our oxygen flow and we become hardened.  I would put up pictures but it would definitely disgust you.  "Hardened heart" ring a bell. It got it's name from somewhere :)

Two of my lovelies, Courtney and Heather (both bridesmaids), went with me to berry pick yesterday and this was a bulk of our conversation (might I add how ridiculously awesome that is-post to come next).  How if we don't get rid of that plaque and start tearing it away, tearing away the lies, the hurt, the bitterness, then we are less open to life, literally.  We must view ourselves in the eyes of the One who made us and promised us that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." When did we start believing satan and letting the world telling us we weren't worth it?  That has got to stop.  It is a lie and it will slowly, but again surely, destroy.

Here is something I jotted years ago but my heart still rings true.  Ladies-maybe the Maker is trying to speak to one of you and let you know that you are worth it.  That you are chosen, beautiful, perfect, and set apart.  Let that voice be the one you hear.  And then maybe, the lies will dwindle away.

             What can break my heart (2007)

I am a somewhat transparent person: not overly private, will tell you nearly all that you ask (nearly), and I usually wear my heart on my sleeve. By God’s good grace, my transparent personality is also coupled with His wisdom-and trust me, you can tell when I am not walking with Him.  So unwise!!!

I have never personally had my heart broken and I also really don’t care to feel what that is like…although I do love it when people say that you must go through it so you know what love really is. I am pretty sure I can feel love without having it wrenched out of my heart, thank you! It’s kind of like somebody telling you that you have to break your leg in order to actually know its full function. I don’t think so…  

Here is my real heart break: one of my dearest friends called me the other night and stated that she had been dating someone for nearly two months. He was “alright,” “not exactly my type,” and “someone to hang out with.” Definitely my top three traits for a perfect forever! The saddest part was what she mentioned after that: “Well it is better to be with him then to not have anything.” She noticed my silence and awaited what she knew my response would be…”it is much better to be alone then to be with someone who takes away any part of you, especially your standards.” Statistically this is a rather typical “Anna” response.

Since when did we start thinking that without someone else we are nothing? Don’t sell your soul (refer to the Harlot piece for more on our personal price) and your standards just to have companionship. I have spent 27 years refining and trying to figure out who I am and I will be the last person to put my personal finishing school on hold for someone who is just “alright.” I personally believe, and could prove it to be true, that standards are of the utmost. Theoretically speaking, in order for anything to improve (government, the economy, foreign relations, etc.) statutes of higher order are necessary. This meaning that principles must first be created and then followed in order for any element of that entity to improve.

This goes for us as well! In order for society to have emancipation from divorce, heart-break, single-parent homes, abortions, etc. we must raise who we are as individuals. It is not enough to be part of the normal crowd because greatness rarely arises from the masses. We must be willing to spend a few extra days alone in order to 1) learn who we really are, 2) make sure our standards are real and not just a fa├žade, and 3) to learn what God really sees as great for our lives. This patience is what creates in us the confidence to trust our intuition as well as gives us the ability to say no to anything sub-par.

Don’t you feel honored when you are chosen by someone who has high standards? It’s pretty much the same thing as getting a letter saying that you are the best, the ultimate, the elected, the one. Personally, I would rather wait to have “earth-shattering, spell-binding, unexplained love” versus having a right now full of “alright, good for now, not exactly my type.”  (PS: This is what I have now and I often tear up when I even talk about my husband. My standards were through the roof-and I believed that God had put those in my heart for a reason. He is the most beautiful, compassionate, kind, tender, handsome, wise, reverent man I know.)

I pray that God grants each of you the patience to wait for something incredible. If you have already found it, I tip my hat to you. Oh, and congratulations on being chosen.  
pps: we are all chosen by God.  It is the accepting part (shocking!) that is the hardest. Grace can sometimes be harder to accept than it is to give.  Give His grace a chance :)

xoxoxoxo, Anna N

Thursday, July 07, 2011

For the love of country.

I realized how deeply my heart is country while attending the St Paul Rodeo on the fantastic 4th this year (photos below).  I literally teared up during the national anthem and just listening to the cowboys talking about the freedom we have in America and how all reverence is due to God, His grace (I live in Portland so you don't hear things like that over the loud speaker-lest at church).  I was so moved but how simple and pure things could be.  

My favorite song is "Where the Green Grass Grows" by Tim McGraw-I even have hand-movements, you can ask the handsome hubby.  I love my rocking chairs, my mint lemonade, the smell of straw, the American flag, land, oak trees, horses (so ridiculously beautiful), my Bible, red checkered table clothes, and the stars.

You see-I love country.  I have loved living in the city but people are different-they so desperately need love and don't know how to receive it. I guess I need to learn how to love more-the obvious item here.  I am used to the burbs/country, where when you smile at people, they smile back.  It is something that doesn't happen as often DT and that just makes me realize all the more, how broken people truly are and how deep the need to be known is.  If people were really known, there would be freedom in looking into the eyes of someone they don't know-especially if a smile was accompanied.

It reminds me of this verse in 1 Corinthians 13:12.  

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  

How beautiful is that! And talk about freedom! We already are fully known-by the Maker, the one who knits us together in our mother's womb (I know that first hand currently).  It helps me to continue to strive to be the one that is willing to "fully know" people and ask the questions (and smile when I know it mightn't be returned).  It is so risky but what is life if not lived?

Happenings of the week:  
-made freezer jam (even picked the berries!)
-the Rodeo! Please check out the ridiculous food selection at the rodeo (and the perfect pic of the curly fries)
-meetings with dear friends
-the Sun
-seeing Mary Poppins at the Keller!
-brainstorming how to put "supercalifragilisticexpialadocious" on our baby's wall some day :)  
-hiking through Forest Park
-loving my husband more and more.

The lovely planner on the left with another beauty, Miss Christy.

Good thing I wasn't super hungry...

And more...

and more...

The ladies.

Some of the gents (handsome hubby included)

I wish you could've seen how happy I was that I captured this!!!


Like I wouldn't help sister eat those!

And of course I would Cristiana eat the funnel cake!

Love of my life.

Our baby is going to be so loved (and laugh so hard) because of this man.

 xoxo, Anna N