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Lovin life! No matter where we are or what we're doing.

Monday, October 31, 2011

monday morning madness

Written at 10:11 this morning.

Today is normally Frank’s day off, but as usual, they asked him to come in. No problem for us, we love the automatic time and a half for every hour he gets on these days. However, yesterday started earlier than normal and was busy as usual, and I would have enjoyed cuddling with my sweet man for one morning this week, but nonetheless, duty calls and we answer! (Actually, the alarm goes off at 5 am and he gets up and goes to work…) I wake up at 7 and its cold in our little home. I know the furnace was set to come on, but clearly it did not. It surely is not 73 degrees anywhere in our 31 foot length of living space and I search for slippers and pad down to the commode. I race back to the warm quilt in my empty bed and attempt to nestle into a slumber to no avail. At 7:30 I call Frank. “Honeeeeeeeeey!” Click. I really hate AT&T and their awful, call dropping service. I call back and we check in about the furnace and work for the day. Sounds like he may get some good hours. After we hang up, I get distracted by face book for a minute (or ten) until I can’t take it anymore and decide since the furnace isn’t coming on, I may as well just be cold outside, taking a walk.

It’s a beautiful Texan morning, albeit colder than most mornings I’ve experienced here so far. (And by far, much warmer than it is back home in Prineville this morning!) Speaking of home, I decide to text my father, who I believe can fix anything, about this annoying furnace situation. He starts firing back a few questions like, do you have propane? (haha! We do-- but still, good question!) Hungry, and in an effort to keep the healthy kick going this morning, I start some oatmeal and coffee for breakfast. I decide to cook my oatmeal in the microwave because it will be faster, so I follow the directions and start trying to find the owners manual for our trailer on the laptop, in hope that some more light will be shed on the furnace situation. After a few minutes, I got up to retrieve my oatmeal and discovered an oaty, goopy mess all over the microwave. Great. The paper towel is literally cooked onto the rim of the bowl. Awesome. Guess I will be cooking the old fashioned oats the old fashioned way after all!

The owners manual won’t open on the computer because the file “may be in use in another location or is corrupted.” Again, awesome. The oats are simmering as dad calls to do some more “hands on” trouble shooting. I start fiddling with the fuses, noticing there’s a read light on next to one of them. As I try to pull the fuse out, the red light turns off and the furnace turns on. I touch the fuse again and the red light comes on and the furnace turns off. Hmmmm… After a few more minutes of searching for a pair of pliers, taking a bite of oatmeal, then hunting down a screw driver, grabbing another bit of oatmeal, then fetching the flashlight, another bite of quickly cooling oats, the furnace starts working correctly. Dad encouraged us to have our batteries tested anyway, just to make sure there isn’t anything wrong with them. We hang up, I finish my oatmeal, and sit down and decide to write about it. My morning now seems a bit silly to write about after having done so, but I think there is something comforting in knowing that we are not alone in our Monday morning madness. I have no idea why Mondays need to be difficult for most of us, but they live up to their reputation all to often, don’t they?!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

fall photo shoot

We had a little fun on Sunday with the iphone. I realize we haven't posted many pics lately, so we played catch up for ya... ;)

Happy Fall from Texas!

Much Love,
Frank & Alita

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Exciting News!

The Bathams are a buzzin! Some crazy transition has come up in the last week, and we’d love to share it with you. We are both so excited about what this buzz means, and before you go there-- no, we’re NOT pregnant! ;)

As you probably know, Alita was hired to work at the Boys and Girls Club at the beginning of September. To say the least, the last month has been difficult as we strived to transition to a new schedule of Frank working at 6 am and Alita working all afternoon, as late as 8 pm. The club Alita was hired to work at is about a 30 minute drive from home, without traffic. Combine that with the low pay and stressful environment, and the transition that was exciting at first spun into a difficult, profitless venture for this newly married couple.

We talked a lot about our options, weighed the pros and cons, and consulted with God about our difficult decision. Alita struggled most with starting a job and quitting it so soon, especially after three months of trying so hard to find a job! But it didn’t take long to see a better opportunity presenting itself in a two-fold plan.

Part one: throughout the month of August, Alita worked at the office for the RV park a couple hours a day which resulted in only paying for our electricity at the end of the month. (MAJOR blessing!) Alita spoke with MJ, the park manager and she agreed that having Alita around 10 hours a week would be a good thing. Rent paid. Sigh of relief.

Part two: the same week Alita accepted the job at the Boys & Girls Club, she also signed an agreement to become a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. She thought she could do both jobs part time and make a pretty good income. But the hours and stress of the BGC didn’t allow for much time or mental energy to focus on Mary Kay. After comparing the jobs side by side, Alita & Frank knew that Mary Kay would prove to be a much more profitable business over time. In addition, Mary Kay allows the flexibility that seems so imperative to our schedule right now. Mary Kay is a job Alita can take anywhere the we end up. And the income potential is exponentially higher than just about anything else she is qualified for.

Needless to say, Frank and Alita are extremely excited about the potential this endeavor holds and your support would be much appreciated! Alita’s Mary Kay website is: www.marykay.com/alitab.

Much Love,
Frank & Alita

PS- To receive an email outlining more details about this job opportunity, please email Alita at alita.batham@gmail.com.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Alita's Curry

Cooking always makes me feel better. Lately I haven’t been able to cook much because of some circumstances that will thankfully be changing soon! (More about that news in a blog to follow.) Last night I had the time to create something, which is one of my favorite ways to cook. I like following recipes, but there is something about creating something off the top of you head that is fun, especially when it turns out well.

I had some coconut milk and chicken broth in the fridge that needed to be used. I also had some broccoli, carrot and onion that needed to be consumed as well. I picked up some boneless, skinless chicken thighs to complete the creation and I was off and runnin’!

I started out by sautéing the chopped chicken thighs in a little olive oil in the cast iron skillet on medium high heat. When they were browned I, sprinkled a little curry powder over them and let it cook in, then I removed the chicken from the skillet, lowered the heat to medium and threw in sliced onion and some crushed garlic, along with about a cup of sliced broccoli and half a cup of sliced carrots. (Next time I’m throwing in a chopped red potato and some sliced mushrooms… mmmhmmmm!) As the veggies cooked, I sprinkled more curry powder (about 1 teaspoon), cayenne pepper (just a tad bit) and 1 tablespoon of corn starch over them and stirred it in, until the veggies softened.

Next, I poured the chicken broth over the veggies (maybe a cup? A little less?) and brought it to a simmer. Then, I poured about 1/3 cup of coconut milk into the skillet and stirred it in, letting it all come back to a simmer. I threw the cooked chicken back in the mix, along with a couple cranks of sea salt from the salt grinder. After a taste test and a little more curry, dinner was deliciously ready!

I think it would be fun to come to your house, open your fridge and pantry and see what I can come up with. Who’s up first?! ;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


My last post has inspired some great conversations among friends and family here in Austin. As Frank and I have talked more about what it's like for me to drive in Austin, another subject has arisen that I must write about, especially for those of you who don't live here.

To put it FRANK-ly (hehe), Austinites need "hooked on phonics" when it comes to pronouncing words. How would you pronounce the word, Manchaca, for example? Maan-cha-ka, correct? Not in Austin. If you were given directions by a local, he or she would tell you to "turn on 'Manshack'... and they would be referring to Manchaca. If I were looking for 'Manshack' (don't forget your Texan accent when you pronounce that, with emphasis on the first A!) as I was driving in my car, I'm not sure I would turn on Manchaca-- would you?

That's only the beginning! I started a list on my phone, just so I wouldn't forget to tell you:

A couple weekends ago we went to New Braunfels, TX for the day. It's an old German town south of Austin. We talked to a local outside a coffee shop while we were walking around who suggested we head up to Green, TX. That's what he said. But as we were driving home, we saw an exit on the freeway for Gruene, TX. If you know anything about phonics and/or the German language, I need not explain more. ;)

Then there's Burnett, TX... before you open your mouth, though, here's how it's pronounced: Burn-it. And we can't ignore Buda. The first time I saw that, I wasn't sure how to say it. The phonetics are not as easy to assume on this one. Don't worry, the good folks of Texas have figured it out for us. It's 'Bue-dah,' just in case you needed to know. (And if you're in Oregon, you want to know, because there's a huge Cabella's in Buda... of course!) ;)

I'm sure there's many more... I'll keep you posted as I stumble upon them. There's really never a dull moment here in Texas! ;)

Much Love,
Alita (& Frank)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Driving Miss Austin

What started out as a post about Texan culture shock ended up being a list of what it’s like to drive in Austin, and how that in and of itself is a shock, especially to this small town girl. Whenever we're in the car together, at least one of these comes up or becomes an annoyance. So we bring to you: “Top 5 Austin Driving Rants”!

1. Lack of road signs. We live in a city full of busy streets, highways and freeways. I’ve noticed the city or state or both (most likely) love to play tricks on drivers by not signing “turn only” lanes until you are turning. Nor do they clearly mark which road is which. The other day I was looking for 71 East and all I saw were signs for 71 West, until I was driving PAST the exit and finally saw “71 East”!

2. More than one name for every road. You will get confused in Austin right quick if you don’t know that Hwy 71 is also Ben White Blvd., or that Loop 1 is also known as “MOPAC” or Hwy 183 is sometimes Ed Bluestein Blvd. but then it’s Bastrop Hwy, until it changes into Lockhart Hwy… Pick a name, people, pick a name!

3. Stop lights on 65 MPH roads. Really?! I’m just gonna rant about this one: If Austin isn’t asking for more accidents, I don’t know what they’re up to. Some of the major highways around here are loaded with stop lights and side road entrances AND 65 MPH signs. Frank tells me you’re supposed to look ahead and watch the light to turn yellow. (Duh.) Do you know how hard it is to stop without getting rear ended when y’all are trucking down the road at 65 miles per hour and all of a sudden a light turns yellow? It’s crazy ridiculousness. I’ve never seen anything like it, except maybe in Kenya, but at least they don’t bother with the traffic lights over there!

4. Passing techniques. One of the first times I was driving with Frank in Texas, someone was following us really closely, so Frank just pulled over on the shoulder, maintaining his 60 mph speed, and let them pass. After they went by, we pulled back over. The car in front of us put on his hazards for a few blinks. At this point, I was really confused, until Frank pointed to the Hazard light button in our car and said, “This is the ’thank-you’ button,” and smiled at me. I just looked at him and said blankly, “where I come from, that’s the hazard button and you only use it when you’re pulled over on the side of the road and you‘re in trouble.”

5. Longest stop lights ever. Seriously. I’m guessing the camera sensor technology hasn’t hit it big here in Austin. That, and the length of stoplights feels about twice as long as it has other places I’ve lived. Granted, I haven’t lived in the “big city” for a while, but sitting at a light feels excessively long here. That, or I could just always be anxious to get to where we’re going…. Nah, they’re too long! ;-)

Much Love,
Alita & Frank

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You Know you Live in an RV when…

1. “Honey, could you empty the grey tank?!” is a phrase often heard from the shower, usually followed by, “it’s pooling around my ankles, please hurry!”

2. You often wake up to the sound of squirrels foraging on your roof.

3. Your “garage” is the storage area in the rear of the vehicle.

4. Your whole house shakes when you walk.

5. Running your AC and your Microwave at the same time trips the breaker.

6. You are constantly shifting your plates, cups and bowls when the AC is on to stop the symphony in the cupboard!

7. Washing your house is as normal as washing your car.

8. Brushing your teeth together involves rotating in and out of the bathroom.

9. You have to buy dissolvable toilet paper.

10. It takes an hour or less to clean your whole house!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cling to Love

It is a beautiful sunny, Friday morning here in Austin. Today will be the 52nd day in a row the temperature climbs above 100 degrees. Frank is out there delivering the world on time and I am sipping on coffee, writing and thinking about all the things I have to do today. Fridays are my “busy” days. Menu planning, & grocery shopping are on the agenda, along with my daily chores and spending time with my wonderful husband when he gets home. Lately, a couple hours every day have also been taken by a recent opportunity to help reduce our rent.

A few weeks ago our RV park manager, MJ, approached me about filling in at the office for when they need a “back up.” MJ is waiting for a liver transplant and Christina, her right hand woman, is going on vacation tomorrow. MJ is hoping that her phone will ring any day with hope-restoring news for her so I get to be on stand-by for now in case that happens and Christina isn’t here. So for the last couple weeks I have been working in the office for a couple hours each day. For each hour I work we get $8 taken off our rent. Last week I worked 10 hours, which saved us $80 off our rent! I am praising God for this opportunity and praying that MJ gets a liver SOON. She is a light, this woman. Quite endearing. She makes this place what it is and we appreciate her so much.

In other news, I applied at the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club yesterday. Rumor is that Boys and Girls Club are opening 4 new locations in Austin soon, thanks to a large grant. Again, please pray. Frank was hoping to get a full time route at FedEx this month, as a couple were scheduled to open up this week. Instead, those routes were split into part time routes and added to other drivers’ current routes. That day he was out looking for jobs in and around the same area FedEx is based. We are planning to go down to a one car family as soon as we get some paperwork from Oregon so we can sell my car next week. Frank is planning on riding his bike to work and letting me take “Katie” to work when I get a job. We may soon become very familiar with the Austin public transit system!

I need to apologize to our regular readers of the Buzz. I didn’t think my last post seemed negative but I have had a lot of notes of concern come to me since I wrote it. I am thankful for everyone’s encouragement; it means so much to me. Life has been an adjustment and frustrating in some ways lately, but it would be wrong of me to not give recognition to the fact that we have been provided for, one way or another ever since we got married. Our bills get paid every month and we have food in the cupboard. We are still giving a little bit each month, because we know that we are not poor, by the world’s standards. For every time we’ve given, we’ve probably received at least twice as much back. This isn’t why we give, but the contrast is so stark to me.

My Great-Aunt always says, “My mother always said, when poverty flies in the door, love flies out the window.” Now I love my great aunt and her many proverbial sayings, but after much thought and time, Frank and I are coming to believe that while that may be true for some people, it won’t be true for us. When poverty creeps in, we need to cling to love. Our love isn’t an arbitrary feeling that can so easily be tossed out the window, rather its what motivates us each day to keep giving and serving one another and cling to our Father God, who is the author of Love. No matter what our circumstances are, we are to continue loving. So we love each other, our neighbors and our community. Not because we feel poor, but because love is more important than poverty.

Friday, July 22, 2011


"It's not what you know, it's who you know," could never have been more true than it is right now. I feel like an alien in a foreign land. We have been in Austin for about 2 months now. I have probably been actively looking for a job for 6 weeks. I haven't had one interview. Without an inside connection or at least a familiar resume, I feel like I'm swimming upstream with one arm tied behind my back. I've never been a strong swimmer.

I can only think of two times in my life I was hired "cold," without knowing someone who got my foot in the door. Now, when I need a job more than ever, I don't know enough people to find one. Thankfully, FedEx has been giving Frank decent hours, but every 3 weeks there seems to be a bad week for hours. This has been one of those weeks.

Honestly, I'm feeling discouraged. I don't want this blog to be a downer, but I also don't want to hide the truth from y'all either. I need a job desperately and Frank needs more hours. There are two full time routes coming up in August that he will bid for. We appreciate your prayers. I also appreciate your hints, tips & leads. It's been a while since I had to look for a job. With so many people looking for work the job market has become more competitive and I've never been one for much competition.

Much Love,
Alita & Frank

Monday, July 18, 2011

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

Ham Steak with broccoli & Yam fries (I thought this was a sweet potato, but I was mistaken... still very yummy roasted with some olive oil, s & p and paprika!)

This was my first attempt at chicken fried steak. I served it with egg noodles and green beans. Frank said he preferred the lightness of the noodles compared to traditional mashed potatoes.

He really like it! :-)

French dips with a packed veggie salad... yummo!

And finally, we just had this last night... A salad every man would dream of. Steak, potatoes & bacon over a bed of red leaf lettuce with homemade blue cheese dressing. To. Die. For. (Recipe is from Real Simple Magazine, August 2011)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Alita's Kitchen

Apparently the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach but I won Frank’s heart a long time before I ever cooked for him. Still, it’s good to know that I could have used my cooking skills as a back up plan!

One of the reasons I couldn’t wait to get married was to start planning menus and meals and cook for my husband (I have never been known for being politically correct… no time to start now!). I love cooking. It relaxes me, especially when I’ve planned ahead and know what I’m making that night. I love trying new recipes. I love the look on my husband’s face when he takes that first bite and looks up at me. I do think he is an easy man to please but I trust if it wasn’t good he wouldn’t look at me that way. So far, 7 ½ weeks into our marriage, he says I haven’t made a dish that disappointed him yet.

What am I cooking? (I knew I should have taken photos!) Here are some recipes that worked wonders for our hungry stomachs these last couple months! My favorite cook book so far is “Betty Crocker’s Cookbook Bridal Edition.” My sister in law, Yvette, gave it to me before we were married and it has awesome recipes. It also has a lot of good cooking and baking basics and tips. If you aren’t a cook, this is a good book to use as it is simple and helpful!

Pecan Crusted Fish Fillets (Crocker, p.314)
We had a two pound bag of pecan halves left over from our wedding so we’ve been coming up with some creative ways to use them. This recipe is one of the best by far!

1 cup finely chopped pecans (not ground)
¼ cup dry bread crumbs (I used a slice of potato bread)
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 pound sole, orange roughy, walleye pike or other delicate fish fillets, about ½ inch thick (I used tilapia)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
Lemon wedges

1. Mix pecans, bread crumbs and lemon peel in shallow bowl. Beat egg and milk with wire whisk or fork in another shallow bowl.
2. Cut fish into 4 serving pieces. Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Coat fish with egg mixture then coat well with pecan mixture, pressing slightly into fish.
3. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fish. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 6 to 10 minutes, turning once carefully with 2 pancake turners, until fish flakes easily with fork and is brown. Serve with lemon wedges.

I served this with cilantro lime rice: 1 cup rice cooked in rice cooker, mixed with the juices of 1 lemon (the one I grated the zest off of for the fish) and 2 small limes, and about 1 cup of finely chopped cilantro. I also drizzled some asparagus with olive oil and grated garlic and pan fried it for about 5 minutes until it was heated through and slightly browned.

Indonesian Peanut Chicken (Crocker, p. 288)
This is a simple dish with a delicious Asian flavor, combining many of my favorite ingredients. Frank LOVED it! (It’s even better the next day.)

3-3 ½ pound cut-up broiler-fryer chicken
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (½ cup)
1/3 cup peanut butter
¼ cup chili sauce
½ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 cup water
¼ cup chopped salted peanuts (I used dry roasted.)
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper

I also served it with extra ground peanuts, chopped lime and chopped cilantro.

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet or 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook chick in oil about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides. Cover and cook over low heat about 20 minutes or until juice is not longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from skillet with tongs.
3. Drain all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet, heat over medium heat. Cook onion in drippings, stirring occasionally, until tender; reduce heat. Stir in peanut butter, chili sauce and cayenne pepper. Gradually stir in water, stirring constantly, until peanut butter is melted.
4. Add chicken. Spoon sauce over chicken. Heat to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 5 minutes, spooning sauce frequently over chicken, until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with peanuts and bell pepper. (OR: Make rice or noodles (I used whole wheat egg noodles). Cover bottom of serving dish with rice or noodles. Arrange chicken on top of rice or noodles. Pour peanut sauce over chicken, garnish with red peppers and peanuts and serve. I didn’t do the extra step of boiling the sauce with the chicken in it and it still turned out really well!)

Another wonderful wedding present was “Taste of Home’s Complete guide to Baking.” I am more attracted to cooking than baking, but this book is a dream of beautiful photos and delicious, easy recipes. It even has some savory baking dishes that I can’t wait to try. In the mean time, I’ve discovered a Southern must have:

Pecan Squares (Taste of Home, p. 69)
I have actually halved this recipe both times I’ve made it and it still serves plenty!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
¼ teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 ½ cups corn syrup
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups chopped pecans

1. In a large mixing bow, combine the flour, sugar, butter and salt until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I used a pastry cutter to do this.) Press firmly and evenly into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
2. For filling, combine the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Stir in the pecans. Spread evenly over hot crust. Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until set. Cook on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Yield: 4 dozen.

We have a propane oven, so I only need to bake the crust about 15 minutes, especially a half size. The first time I made these I over-cooked them a bit because they still look soupy in the middle after 30 minutes. Take them out anyway. They will firm up as they cool down. Enjoy a taste of the south!

So what’s on the menu next week?

African Stew & Greens with Rice

Ham with Sweet Potato Fries & steamed broccoli

Lasagna with green salad

Chef Salads

Round Steak Stir Fry & Brown Rice

Loaded Baked Potatoes with green beans

For recipes, email me: alita.batham@gmail.com!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Honeymoon Days

It is nearly impossible to believe a month has passed since our big day! Everything about our wedding day still feels so fresh in our minds. We remain basking in the glow of the love that our family and friends poured out for us over the weekend of May 15th. There is no better way to start a marriage than with the incredible support of friends and family. Thank you, again, to those of you who participated in making our wedding week and day so memorable and special!

You may be thinking we've fallen off the map over the last 4 weeks. We have been busy moving across the country, unpacking, settling in and getting used to each other. Frank has gone back to work at FedEx after his 2 week wedding vacation and Alita has been making the trailer a home and starting her job search. We've enjoyed spending time with Frank's family and making a ton of new friends at Austin New Church.

We'll leave you with a couple photos of our cozy abode. We're looking forward to building a deck on the outside and planting more grass and flowers and possibly some garden plants in the future.

Much Love,
the Bathams

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Moving Day

Two weeks ago today we moved our cute little home into its new spot. Our day began with church and "dinner on the grounds" (commonly known as a potluck in Oregon territory). We then said good-bye to good friends, Joseph, Kayla & Lucas Carlton who had come down from Longview to visit for the weekend. Then the afternoon's adventure began!

We packed everything up and hooked "Sydney" up to Frank's dad's truck.

After a while of working on the truck's lights (which weren't consistently working) we were finally on the road to Austin!

It took us a good hour on the back country roads to get to our new home. Frank and his dad, along with a little help from a couple of our new neighbors got the trailer backed into the spot.

Frank has been living in it now for almost 2 weeks and loves it! He really enjoys being a couple minutes from work, and coming home every night to a little workout gym, swimming pool and hot tub. Needless to say, I can't wait to join him! Two weeks to go until we can finally make our little nest together!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

a meaningful gift

Getting married is so much fun, for many reasons of course! One being, the creative gifts that people come up with. I have been so impressed with a shadow box of our wedding invitation & engagement photo, a photo collage that spells our last name, and the most recent one came in the mail today from my Uncle Don.

If you know my uncle, you may be groaning right now with the anticipation of what he has come up with. He is my quintessential unique uncle, who walks to the beat of his own drum. Every family needs one. I have more than one, but we'll save those details for another time. ;)

Uncle Don thoughtfully and lovingly sent me a framed photo of my grandmother's high school graduation photo from 1942, along with her favorite cook book, "Woman's Home Companion Cook Book," copyright 1945. The book was most likely purchased as a wedding gift for my grandmother. It is filled with food stains and handwritten notes, as well as every section tabbed by my highly organized grandmother herself. I love it! My Grandma Dorothy (Tombleson) was the last of my grandparents to pass away in 2005. I am sad to not have any of them alive today to celebrate with Frank and me, but it is so special to have something that she cherished and used to raise her family as I embark on my own journey into marriage & family.

Much Love,

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Home Sweet Trailer

As we prepare to merge our lives into one, we are also making the decision to "live like no one else." Inspired by Dave Ramsey and his counterparts, along with our personal convictions to be wise stewards of our finances, we have devised a plan to live in a 30' camp trailer for the first two years of our marriage to accomplish our mission to be debt free.

Surprisingly, many people have been very supportive of this plan. I anticipated a lot of wide-eyed responses laden with warnings about the stressors of marriage and living in tight spaces. I am looking forward to the challenge of living in a small space, along with being newly married. I figure if we don't know any different, it might not be as difficult. I'm sure there will be days when we will be really tired of it, but I also know the end result is by far worth the means. I'm especially looking forward to indulging my type-A side with clever organizing ideas and keeping everything clean & tidy. There will be no room to "let things go" in this space!

Stay tuned, I'm sure the "buzz" will be dotted with several posts about our life in our beloved miniature home!

Much Love,

Friday, March 25, 2011

A New Life

For many years now, you knew Frank as "just" Frank, or Alita as "just" Alita. Now we'd like you to get to know "Frank and Alita." Our long distance relationship & engagement has made it difficult for our friends to know "us" so we'd like to give you that chance as we begin our lives together. The most fun part of the journey? We'll be getting to know "us" even better ourselves!

So join us as we explore what it's like to be married, to live simply while we pay off debt, to try new recipes, to find fun things to do in Austin, and to grow in our faith as we grow together.

Thank you so much for your love and support of us as individuals so far. We can't wait to make trips to visit our friends and family all over the country in the coming years!

Much Love,
Frank & Alita