"I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself." -CS Lewis, The Great Divorce


Thing #73: Homemade Soup

Until 2011, I had never ventured into the realm of homemade soup. I had once ventured to make stew, and it was delightful. However, soup and stew seem different to me. Plus, stew always seems a little more involved, especially with the wait. Soup, though, soup is different.

The soup thing is so incredibly easy. Step one: open and poor in a little chicken or vegetable stock. Step two: open whatever variety of canned vegetables you happen to have in the pantry. Step three: cook and add whatever meat you have in the freezer/fridge. Step four: add seasoning to taste. Voila. Soup.

This is quite the exciting revelation for easy cooking that feeds me for many days.

Today's soup included tomato sauce, chicken stock, corn, green beans, kidney beans, peas, mushrooms, and a little ground turkey. It's delightful. And easy. And gosh, who doesn't like that combination?


Thing #72: Boast-less Love

Confession: I always check Facebook before I leave for school in the morning. I recognize that this is ridiculous and a waste of time; however, I will continue to do so. This morning, Facebook was full of pictures of flowers, accounts of dinners eaten, and boasts about the things that girls' significant others did for them.

I recognize that it's good to be happy. I know that it's great to give appreciation. Still, something just rubs me the wrong way about the accounts of what people did. I'm reminded of 1 Corinthians 13 - "love does not boast." I guess this just isn't my kind of love.

My kind of love is quiet, simple, everyday. We didn't do something fancy. John didn't surprise me. We just celebrated the way we are... and I'm grateful that he doesn't expect me to boast to others about what he did, and that I don't feel the need to put it out there. We are content. Private. The love we share is ours, and it's good to know that he and I are on the same page there.


Thing #71: Haircuts

It's hard to deny how wonderful a good haircut can be. You go in thinking, "Yeah, my hair is a little...eh" and leave thinking, "Wow, how fabulous is this?" It's a wonderful attitude pick-me-up. The wash is delightful - a massage that you simply can't give yourself. Then the cut lightens the load a bit. And finally, the blow dry is always better than what you could do. The shiny of the hair makes you wish you could have your hair done every day.

Just fabulous :)


Thing #70: The Perfect Jeans

Last week, I decided to run some errands on my way home from a doctor's appointment. As I was driving along, I thought, "Hey, I have that gift certificate for TJ Maxx that I haven't used yet. Maybe I should stop there and look for some jeans." You see, I was hurting for a new pair of jeans after I ripped my favorite pair while putting them on the week after Christmas. Alas, I stopped. I browsed the jean isle, and then I took a gander at the "designer" section, which though discounted, is generally above my price range. To my delight, there was a sale rack in the section, however. I found a pair of Seven jeans on sale, and they seemed to be about the right size, but they looked awfully small. I hesitated, ultimately deciding to take them with me to the dressing room.

And what a glorious decision that was. While the other jeans hugged in places they shouldn't and gapped in others, these hugged all the right places and fit at my waist perfectly. This is certainly an unusual event, so I looked closely at the jeans to insure there wasn't anything wrong. Perhaps in need of a wash, but other than that, they were pristine. So I bought them. $100 at TJ Maxx, marked down to $69, purchased with a gift card, costing roughly $45.

I think it was meant to be. These jeans called my name through the streets of Virginia Beach, "Come find me, Katie. I'm here." I love them in a way reserved for my favorite flip flops and maybe even my wedding dress. There's just something special about a pair of jeans that actually fits.