Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friday Favorites

this post from my friend Jenna, reflecting on how we have been home for a month now. she writes beautifully, head over and check out her blog!

speaking of blogs, on my blog...if you were reading my posts while I was in Greece, you heard me talk about my friend Ellen, or saw me link some of her and Emily's blog posts. I am so proud to link her very own blog as one of my favorites! So so proud. It's called "The Other Side of E"

Christine Caine on Twitter. She spoke at Moody's Missions Conference while I was in Greece, and while I haven't been able to watch the sessions yet, I came across her twitter and it's been killing me! So much truth in such a small amount of words.

this quote from my new devo book: "We thrive on creativity. Sameness bores us, but we still need the dependable security God offers" -Beth Moore

The Ultimate Guide to Saved by the Bell Fashion. Zach knows me too well and posted this on my facebook page.

and since all the posts I read about successful blogging say I need to entertain you with photos like kids and picture books... these three photos from Pinterest of some of my favorite classy movie couples.

And that's it!! Here's to the weekend, blog friends. 

xoxo Em (&K. we're on a homework date.)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

seven on saturday

This was supposed to be a Friday Favorites post, but it's Saturday now so I present to you: Seven on Saturday. Here are seven things that have made me smile, laugh, or think this week- on the internet and in life. Hope you enjoy!

1. Miley Cyrus and Mumford and Sons- Little Wrecking Ball 
Don'y be quick to judge! You'll be surprised, I promise! All the nudity is gone from the video, I promise that too... watch! listen!

2. Sexy Christianity
If you haven't clicked through to this article after seeing it on Facebook, do it! It is truly worth the hype, and a bit of a punch in the face. This article is convicting, challenging, and helps put to words a lot of what it going on in Christian culture right now. It really made me think about my motives and desires for my relationship with God and how others perceive it. Let me know what you think of the article in the comments!

3. Twitter
After a long time off it, I am back on Twitter! It is really fun so far, tweeting everything from awkward moments during my day to retweets of life-changing quotes by C.S. Lewis, David Platt, or Christine Caine. However, my very favorite Twitter account at the moment gets it's own moment in the spotlight..

4. The Evangelical Hipster
All in good fun, this is hilarious. When I found it, I went through months of tweets laughing hysterically. Many of us have been guilty of things that they poke fun at, and going to a Bible college... yeah let's just say I see the reality of those tweets a lot.

5. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
I pack a lunch about every weekday for church, and sometimes I have to pack a dinner some nights too if I work both of my jobs that day. Leftovers and PBB sammies have been my go-tos this week.

6. These Pro-tips About Napping

Not that I've had any time to nap lately... a girl can dream.

7. Last Minute Halloween Costumes
My church's fall fest was last weekend, and since Zach was home for the weekend, we had planned to coordinate our costumes. This past summer we saw Despicable Me 2 in theaters and decided that would definitely be our costume this year. Until we saw Facebook and Instagram, noting that everybody and their cousin was a minion for Halloween. DANG people! just kidding. So we were left on Saturday afternoon before the party to come up with a new idea. I tried to think of famous TV couples. It was Kylie who came up with the brilliant idea of my second favorite TV couple ever (probably. don't hold me to it. Cory and Topanga definitely win first place, but a close second and way more fun costume was...)-- Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell.

The easiest part of this costume? I had every item for my outfit in my own wardrobe- high waisted shorts, keds, scrunchie and all. The hardest part? Zach/Zack's hair!!! How did they get it like that?

Brownie points if you made it to the end of this post.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Recipe: Apple Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

At the end of a long but great first day of work at The Children's Place, I was starving and couldn't wait to try out this recipe. After posting a picture of my delicious dinner tonight, I got a few demands (ahem, requests ;)) for the recipe... so here it is!! I got it from The Food Network website and adapted it a bit. I'll list the ingredients I used, but the directions are exactly the same. 


4 tablespoons unsalted butter (the recipe lists 5 if you're using prosciutto instead of bacon)

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 medium apples, thinly sliced (I used gala)
1 large white potato, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled butternut squash, fresh or frozen (fresh is good, people.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage (didn't have any of that, but rosemary works wonderfully)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup apple cider
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup milk (I put a couple spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt in a measuring cup, then filled it to the 1 cup measure with almond milk)
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces (I used BACON)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (go for the seriously sharp, you won't regret it! It uses almost the whole block)


(these are directly quoted from the food network site)

"Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and add the onion, apples, potato and squash. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes."

"Stir in the sage (rosemary) and flour. Add the cider and cook over high heat, stirring, until thickened. Add the broth and milk, cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the potato is soft, 8 to 10 minutes."

"Add the cheese to the soup and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Puree in a blender in batches until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the prosciutto" (BACON) and serve immediately! In a large mug, preferably.

There ya go! It was pretty simple. I'll be reheating it for dinner all week long, happily.

Let me know if you try the recipe out! How did I do for my first ever recipe post? Maybe there will be more in the future... 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

throwback thursday: costume edition

 Inspired by many Instagram and Facebook posts, today I'm throwing it back to Halloween costumes of the past few years. Every year my church holds a Fall Fest, and my friends and I have done several group costumes.  oh, the things you find on facebook. 

Fairy Princess. Osh Kosh B'Gosh pink overalls. Enough said.
2008: Tinkerbell! 

2009: Kellyn makes an adorable superman, and then there's me with a very lame  Zazu, the bird from the Lion King. We also had Scar and a hyena and maybe a few other characters this year. Nice try, but we could do better....
2010: This was my favorite group costume ever. Peter Pan year. Ever costume was homemade. Here you see Rufio, Tinkerbell (reduce, reuse, recycle), Tigerlily, Peter, a pirate, and Captain Hook. This year we had SO many characters. Not included in the photo? Wendy and the crocodile.

2011: This is my favorite photo from the Alice in Wonderland year. We went all out this year too, we had Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, a bunch of cards, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, and the White Queen. 

I'll report back if my costume idea for Fall Fest this year works out like I'm hoping it will. Stay tuned! For now, whether you celebrate Halloween or go the Harvest Party route or celebrate Reformation Day, hope your day is full of apple cider and pumpkin everything, you know the drill.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

most productive day ever.

it's my first full day back in NH. normally, I would've just chilled out, but this is what I ended up getting accomplished, bullet point list style:

  • filled out a job app
  • job interview
  • scheduled my first day at job #1
  • drank a really huge water bottle
  • peed in a cup in a slightly sketchy basement for a drug test
  • unpacked tons 
  • job interview #2 
  • got hired... AGAIN. 
  • obligatory Target trip for a new toothbrush etc. 
  • got groceries 
  • more unpacking
So basically, God is awesome. I had both of these jobs sort of lined up, but was so happy that today not just one, but both of them are finally solidified! And it was so easy this time, such an extra blessing because I didn't work all summer. I start training for one job on Saturday, and the other on Monday! It will be hard work and lots of hours, but I am so thankful. 

love from a receptionist, sales associate, and sometimes student, 


xoxo thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I made it. Chicago, my very very favorite big wonderful city. at my favorite place in the city, MOODY.  This is great. Couldn't ask for a better present for my birthday tomorrow!! Happy happy heart. 


Saturday, October 19, 2013

the one where I try to explain this.

I'm so emotional.
but it's okay.
this is a big deal.
last sleep in Greece tonight.

that's the best way i can describe this trip in a quick post with minimal editing THE night before we leave.

i have LOVED my time in Greece, I think that's been evident in my blog posts/facebook posts/instagram, whatever you've been following me on. God has done so much, and I am leaving a changed person because of him. I love to watch his work in my life and in the lives of others this trip.

my friend Ellen, who I have mentioned before, reminded me of something the other day. I'm allowed to be sad to leave Greece. SO sad, because it is a country I lived in for three months and have grown to love. it is a country where I have grown so much. another friend said the other day that she will think about big life decisions she's made and say "I made that decision in Greece". It is a country that is now written on our hearts, as we've seen God's heart for the nation. the images we've seen are not only filling up our Facebook timelines, they are markers on our own lives, our own timelines, and will stay with us.

On the other hand, I'm allowed to be excited to go home. I'm allowed to be excited for a week in Chicago, celebrating my birthday, getting much needed time with some of my closest friends, and enjoying silly American things like Giordanos and Chipotle, flushing my toilet paper, and being able to fully communicate with the cashier when I buy something.

I have been so surprised at how much of a family we have become on this trip. today we took a group picture, without one of our friends because he left this morning. many of us agreed that it just didn't count because he wasn't there. tonight we watched videos of the trip, proving the fact that we're definitely close enough to laugh and make fun of each other. I will MISS all 31 of these wonderful people.

as a group, we have been through it all. seeing breathtaking sites, eating new foods, laughing together, sharing pieces of our hearts. some conquered a half marathon, others climbed Mt Olympus, one was baptized, others made life-changing decisions, and we're all leaving changed. we've been through hard things, like injuries, multiple hospital visits, sickness almost everyone shared with each other, sad stuff happening back home, and a lost passport... just to name a few.

yet, through this whole time, we have had a thread weaving through our conversations of God's goodness and faithfulness. none of us are leaving the same. there are things we cannot unsee, there are things that have moulded us and grown us, as we become more like Christ. there have been anthems ringing out throughout our whole experience, growing in meaning as the days passed. I will let a few lines of these anthems have the last word in Greece.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander so my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.  [listen]

Great is thy faithfulness, great is the faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me. [listen]

Glory over yonder, over yonder- when Jesus comes in glory we shall part no more. Glory over yonder, over yonder- when Jesus comes in glory we shall part no more. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013


{written Monday, October 14, publishing now due to internet connection problems. bear with me!} 

Location: Leptokarya, Greece. Across the street from the jellyfish-filled Aegean, in the shadow of Mount Olympus. We're staying at a camp. No, don't think cabins with bunk beds- much more like a dorm, three to a room with a bathroom and fridge and a huuuge balcony overlooking the beach. I'm sharing with two friends, Ellen and Emily. It's so pretty here! And the food is so yummy, as a bonus.

Currently: We're almost finished taking Christianity and Western Culture 2, our 5th and final class, which means at the end we will have taken 15 credits in less than 3 months! Adding it up, I'm pretty impressed with us. I'm also pretty ready for a tiny bit of a break... even though I've got two papers to write and another class to take online in before December. I'll take what I can get.

I'm not sick anymore! Yay.

I am currently in disbelief that I won't be in Greece this time next week. We will be on a plane, one week from this moment, from Amsterdam to Chicago. It feels like we just made the opposite journey... was it really almost three months ago? ah.

At the same time, I think I'll be ready to leave. Sad, but ready to go back to Chicago for a week, then a few months in New Hampshire, both places I love dearly. We shall see if I keep it together and don't get too sad about every "last" we experience this week.

Last night my friend and current roommate Ellen asked me what things I have to do before I leave. We are far from any city centers here, so here are the things I came up with to do in this small abandoned vacation town by the sea.
  1. get my last Greek cheese pie (my favorite Greek food, to be honest! gyros are good too.) ...or maybe a few cheese pies once I run out of cereal to eat for dinner.
  2. get my last slice of Baklava 
  3. do my devotionals on the beach early in the morning- no excuses when it's a two minute walk there! 
  4. go for a few more walks on the beach- it's not exactly going to be beach weather when I get back to the States
  5. enjoy time with my friends here- all 31 of the people I have spent this experience with. whether it's playing cards or eating meals together or studying having deep conversations- I just want to soak in all my moments with them! 
  6. dress up and go out to dinner with all the girls 

Photos lately:
(sorry is these aren't the best quality, I had to take them off of Facebook because of very slow internet) 

we found a HUGE jellyfish on the beach where we're staying. this is the reason I have not gone swimming, and don't plan on doing so. 


quiet time on the balcony with a sea view is the best

this is the view from our classroom

it's fall! see the leaf? see me sitting by the sea? it's great. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Busses and ruins and tissues, oh my!

*note: this update is not in real time... I fell asleep before finishing it last week, whatever day it was... but I will post it anyway, more updates from Patmos, Turkey, and Northern Greece coming soon, I have enough pictures to blog for months!* 

Current location: Kavala, Greece 

Facebook: "we've ridden on 3 busses, 1 boat, crossed one border, all in 2 countries and 2 one day." 

Recent locations: 
European part of Turkey
Asian Part of Turkey 
Island of Patmos
...and more! 

Currently: sick with a cold were all passing around to each other, but still jazzed to be here! Still loving the backpacking thing, it will be weird to go back to semi-normalcy on Monday, settling in to Leptokarya and starting our final class. 


matching, backpacking, ready for adventure.
library in Ephesus

selfie with a turtle

on a bus, on a boat, going from Asian Turkey to European Turkey

the girl who makes me "the other Emily"

xoxo Emily

Thursday, September 26, 2013

γεια σας from downtown Athens!

 γεια σας (ya sas)! We're in Athens! Okay, we've been here since Saturday, but this is the first time I've had a chance to update you. Here's what we've been up to. 

SO much relaxation time. I don't think any of us realized how much we need it. While it is our ministry week, we had Saturday night through Monday to rest at our hotel, and have had most afternoons free as well to... 

-tan by the pool
-read for fun 
-eat cheese pies 
-munch on white chocolate bars 
-take naps 
-watch whatever's on in English on MTV 

We've also been doing ministry and focusing on The Lord this week by... 

-praying together 
-worshipping together a Capella 
-prayer walking on streets full of brothels 
-meeting three households of African refugees, praying for them, and being prayed for 
-learning about different ministries and how they are working here in Athens 
-prayer walking through the streets of a neighborhood to help prepare the way for a new ministry and church plant 
-getting our hearts broken for the people of Athens

More updates to come soon, once more processing happens in my heart and mind. Just know that God is at work here in Athens, in me, and that I am still having the time of my life here in Greece. 

The next few days will be more ministry, debrief and rest, and cramming in everything we haven't done yet in Athens! Keep us in your prayers, "if you're the type", my father would say. Hi Dad!


Toilet paper in our hotel room. 

I don't think I can feel at home anymore without a rooftop. 

Every night. 

Bible lately: 
"My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness." Isaiah 26:9

Brownie points if you made it to the end! 

Writing from a rooftop, 
Emily :) 

Friday, September 20, 2013


note- my last post never made it to a Facebook post, so if you missed it...
click here

Lately we've all been a tiny bit sad, since it's our last week in Pikermi. At the same time, we're incredibly excited about what comes next- 10 days living in Athens, getting involved in what God is doing downtown during our ministry week, having 2+ weeks off of class, spending every night hanging out in the city, and the tiny chance that our hotel might have a pool.

After that, we take a ferry to Patmos island, where John wrote Revelation, and then we'll tour around Turkey. This is especially cool because this whole week we've been studying Daniel & Revelation for 5 hours a day every day this week! We learned about the letters to the seven churches in Revelation, and will actually get to visit many of those locations!

Once we're done touring Turkey, we'll do a tour of Northern Greece, then landing in our final home at a camp just outside of Thessaloniki. We're told it's right across the street from the Sea and at the base of Mt. Olympus. Yep. There we will take our final class, Christianity and Western Culture II.

From there, our group will drive to Athens, board a plane to Amsterdam, do the tiniest bit of exploring and stay there overnight, then get on a plane to Chicago. I will be with the large mass of MBI in Greece students descending upon Moody's campus to visit with friends for three days, then making a short trip to Indiana, then getting on my last flight for awhile and landing in NH, the place I call home.


So that's what I'll be doing in the next 5ish weeks. Here are some snapshots from my phone of what we've been up to lately...

sunrise on Rafina Beach

Frosties are more than good... 

I didn't make every movie, but our group watched every single Harry Potter movie (there are 8 of them) over a week or two. It was great fun.

excited for dinner at an a house

Facetime and Skype with this guy is always the best, even with sketchy internet. 

street in Athens- can you spy the Acropolis?

the day we did SO very much shopping

Greek breakfast- Greek yogurt, just called yogurt, with honey and fresh fruit!

a sweet family made us dinner... there were hamburgers, but I went for an array of wonderful side dishes- Greek salad, fresh veggies and tsaziki sauce, potatoes, Fritos, Cheetos, and a tall glass of cherry Kool-Aid

view from the family's house! sunsets never get old. 

candid moment sitting on the balcony with some of my favorite people here. 

THIS is the view (from the seventh floor ) where I've been attending church

Looking over Rafina port from this little Greek Orthodox church, enjoying the sunshine and happy glow that happens when you have no homework. 

another sunset view on a walk near the college. 

I hope you have enjoyed a little peek into my life here in Greece. I mean what I say when I tell people that I love it here and am having the time of my life. Also, I promise I actually am studying, that wasn't just a cover for a 3 month vacation in this beautiful country.

PSA: I may not much reliable internet in the coming weeks... but look out for updates here and on Instagram! (you can click that link to see it, even if you don't have an account)

Cheers if you made it to the end!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear blogger inside my head,
I think you're doing this wrong. Pretty please learn how to organize some thoughts and finish a post now and then. Also, you may want to clean out the snippets in your "drafts" folder... it's getting crowded in there. Too many things to say.

Dear Bekah,
it is so much fun being your roommate. From reading me Bible passages in the morning, to offering a massage for a massage, and making me laugh- you're a good one.

Dear Project Runway,
uh oh. you've got us all addicted. Also, thank you for being such a great distraction for our suite. We can only read about eschatology for so many hours without a break.

Dear Ellen,
you're sitting next to me blogging too, so don't look over here. I am just so glad we're buddies. I love how I could instantly be honest with you about what I'm feeling, and how much we agree on. Also, I love baking with you while listening to Michael Buble or the Cheetah Girls. You have great taste in sweets and tunes.

Dear Emily,
you offer so much wisdom, and hold others so highly. Thank you for pointing me to Jesus.

Dear Zach,
as much as we joke about hating the internet, and as tired as I am when I stay up late to Skype you, I am so thankful we're able to do it. Thanks for putting up with me when I am a crazy person, and reminding me that you expect it from time to time, because I'm a girl and all.

Dear friends back in the states,
I miss you!!!! quality time is needed when I'm back. for real.

Dear Jesus,
I am so thankful that you are constant. It becomes more evident in the moments when everything else is on the move, and I appreciate it more than I can express.

Dear Kylie,
I am so proud every time I talk to you and hear about what you're doing, especially when it's something like serving at Food for Children all morning then working 9 hours at the Gap! What a rockstar. I can't wait for all our adventures when I get home.

Dear Greece,
I really really like you.

Dear Pikermi,
I'll be so sad to leave you.

Dear backpack,
We're going on a really big adventure soon! Get ready.

Dear blog readers,
You're great. Thanks for following along with my life lately.