Friday, September 9, 2011

Days of Grace: The Photos

Yesterday was Drew's Mamaw's 83rd birthday.  Drew had a great idea for us to make a card that said, "Happy Birthday" and take some pictures of Grace with the card to send to her.  We had to do it a day late because the electricity went out over here until around 8 last night; but it turned out for the best because I was able to get some amazing shots with the morning light from the back porch.   I tried my hardest to capture her smile (the smiles, although frequent, are quick - we call it baby mood swings), but I certainly was able to capture her personality in some of the shots.  Here are some of the best ones:

Lately, she can't get enough of trying to put her entire hand in her mouth.
This is her latest face, she is about to blow raspberries.
She is making sure I capture her "good side."
She almost looks like she is whispering her message.
Finally, a smile!

Oh, what a joy and blessing she is.  I hope her Mamaw loves the pictures.  Happy Birthday, Mamaw!  Can't wait to see you at Christmas!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Days of Grace

So this new parenting thing is going pretty good, if I do say so myself.  We are settling into a pretty solid routine around here and have a happy baby to show for it.  In the mean time I am learning so much about how God, the Father must feel when he looks down on his children.  Such blissful love and such strong desires for them to be well and happy! 

The thing He has shown me lately is the whole allowing struggle in our lives to better us and change us into what He desires for us.

We are letting Miss Grace cry herself to sleep when necessary (lately, she is so good on routine that she doesn't do much of this).  Part of this involves listening to a baby who you have loved from the moment you heard of her existence cry, seemingly endlessly, until it gets suddenly silent.  We do have a time limit for her crying (usually around 15 minutes) and then we go in to comfort her and help her get to sleep.  She rarely goes over 15 minutes and when she does, we evaluate the situation to determine what needs to be done for her good. We do this in hopes that she will learn to comfort (soothe) herself and will be a good sleeper regardless of where we are.  So far, she is sleeping through the night and we are extremely blessed by good nights of sleep as well.

This got me thinking that God has a time limit and a purpose for our struggles and suffering.  The time limit is not always clear to us, just as it is unclear to Grace because she has almost no concept of time.  But He has a perfect time for each trial to begin and end, it will not last a moment longer than necessary.   He hears us as He listens intently from "the next room" watching the stopclock He has set for the trial.  And He does it all because He has a goal in mind for us: Christlikeness.  He is faithful to sanctify us and perfect us, and he uses the circumstances of life to do so. 

Which gets me thinking: am I crying out to God in the midst of my trials the way that Grace cries out for me?  He hears.  He is listening.  Am I using the lungs He formed in me to call out to Him, knowing He has a purpose for my trials? 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why we've been gone

Our apologies for being gone for so long. We have been working on a little project.

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

This is our announcement courtesy of

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I just noticed I spelled Reliquiarium incorrectly in my header file - time to fix that. lol

Drinking through Phoenix Pt 2

Before we go back to where I left off, I'll give you an update on a couple items that have happened since. I tried to make a Dark & Stormy at home with a Jamaican Ginger Beer and was thoroughly unimpressed. I believe that the combination of a -meh- ginger beer and a spiced rum was probably what set it apart from an actual bartender making the drink. It couldn't be my total lack of formula creation.... also, my wife has started our posts on the food of Phoenix. You can catch that over at Seldom Made. You can also vote for her for her Food Buzz challenge!

So back to the fun! We may only be 30, but I guess we have the schedule of a geriatric couple. I believe we arrived at 5pm to sit at the bar.... alone.... and had to wait for the kitchen to open up. Go figure. After having dinner at Bourbon Steak(the food will be at the other blog) at an incredibly early time, we walked over to La Hacienda. It's the Fairmont Scottsdale's on site mexican restaurant and tequila bar. Being a fan of tequila, we thought that I might be able to grab a drink since it was just late afternoon. =\ They state that they have over 130 tequila's which comes down to about 30+ different brands of tequila. For instance, Don Julio has a Blanco, Reposado, Anejo, Extra Anejo, and the premium Extra Anejo. It's a good selection, but slightly sobering when I hold out hope that I might just find the elusive Los Azulejos(yay, for Oklahoma!) brand. Back to it, they do a specialty margarita that includes a house infused tequila with Serrano's and Pineapple. It had a unique flavor and was worth a try, but not worth ordering again. I heard Serrano and instantly thought HEAT! It gives it a slight pepper taste but didn't impose the heat I was hoping for. 

After finishing about half the margarita, Leah talked me into going for a tequila flight. It's a way to test out a few quality tequila's without spending a paycheck's worth of money, or getting tossed. And since it was our anniversary I went with the El Presidente Flight. It's a three tequila fest consisting of some incredibly expensive tequila. 

Just a quick flight recap - you first smell the tequila. It's similar to what a wine lover would do when they go to a tasting. Preferably, you'll smell with your nose and mouth. It sounds weird but it does work. Take a small sip of tequila and wait till your tongue tingles, or you can swish it around. After you have a good "coating" or "feeling" take the rest of the tequila. It should give you a good feel all the way around. 

Herradura Tequila Seleccion Suprema - First tasting - This was a very smooth tequila with a decent burn after swallowing. With any great Anejo, you should pick up some of the different traits in the soil as well as the agave. This one had a caramel undertone. My favourite of the three. 

Partida Elegante Extra Anejo - Second Tasting - Very little afterburn which created a very smooth tequila. If I recall correctly, it also had the least agave flavor out of the three.

Don Julio Real - Third Tasting - for folks that aren't tequila drinkers this would be the last of the three that I would recommend for trying out new tequila's. The afterburn is incredibly strong - it's a little stronger than a tasting of Gran Centenario but the overall taste is better. It's what you'd expect from a 350.00 bottle of tequila versus a 50.00 bottle. 

Overall, it was a good experience, and there are still plenty of drinks to come... well, I think there's a couple more margarita's and a couple drinks at the Valley Ho hotel.  Go check out Seldom Made for day two of the Restaurant Week.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Drinking through Phoenix

From the title, one might think that I am an incredible lush and spend most of my time barely lucid. That couldn't  be farther from the truth. What really happens is that I thoroughly enjoy trying new drinks or tequila's but rarely have the same thing twice. Think Seldom Made but smaller portions, higher prices, and without all that crazy food. So why do we get a new post on my seldom used blog? Because we had an anniversary and most anniversaries mean going somewhere out of our tepid town and into an area full of culinary wonders! nay, LIQUORARY wonders! In honor, the name of the blog shall be theliquorarium.

We went out to Phoenix to partake in a little R&R&F(ood). Every stop in Phoenix requires us to eat at least one time at Z'Tejas. It's a Tex-Mex restaurant originating out of Austin, Texas which gives it one point just for being. The food is always delicious, and the margarita's are muy bueno. I always get a 6th Street Margarita. It's their signature house margarita and one of the best frozen margarita's at a food joint. small fact: the 'rita is named after the street the first Z'Tejas is located on. It's also their chili festival menu! The specialty drink was their Southwestern Margarita. It was special, in the sense that it had muddled cilantro(intriguing!) and raspberries. It was an incredibly sweet drink, and L ended up liking it. The cilantro wasn't really present making the drink good but mildly disappointing. =(

The next night we went to one of the local restaurants at the Fairmont Scottsdale. The hotel is nestled off the main street and inside a residential area. I thought that was a little weird, at first, but got used to it and would definitely recommend staying there if passing through Phoenix. We got a great rate through The rooms are set up weird but very nice. The grounds are quite the sprawl, but it's all very well maintained. But back to the drinks. Right off the lobby, they have a Michael Mina restaurant called Bourbon Steak. Leah request a lemon drop - she's not much of a drinker and is limited to a Midori sour and the occasional lemon drop. I decided to step out a little bit and had a Dark & Stormy made by Kyle, one of our bartenders that night. I guess that it's more of a British drink - it consists of rum, ginger beer, and a lime. I've tried to enjoy basic drinks like this with rum and usually can't get past one sip, but this was a very good drink. It sounds easy so I could make it for parties(yah, like parties would ever happen at our house) as an alternative for tequila.

That takes us through a day and a half of our Phoenix trip and it's already an incredibly long post! I'll let this one marinate out there for a day or so while I write part two! I'm not sure if I'll get done in one more section because we're coming up to a large tequila section and a few drinks that are newish. Enjoy!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tie In: AYB

One of my favourite internet memes of all time. My last blog post reminded me of the intro to AYB. Metro 2033 was a different book in terms of writing style. Perhaps the translation from Russian to English made reading it that much more difficult. But at least I had some fun with it. Prepare yourself for one of the greatest meme's ever.