Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Forever is composed of nows. " Emily Dickinson

There is much truth in that poem Ms. Dickinson.

Today does affect the future, I know that for sure. How will my nows affect my forevers?

1 Timothy 4:8 informs us,
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” I think that Emily had it right when she said that forever is composed of nows. This has had me thinking over the past few days. Not only has it strengthened my want for godliness, it has also made me realize that today is gone as soon at tomorrow comes. How many times a day do I chase the things that won't last forever? I want to start living for forever!

Speaking of nows and forevers I attended my very first Pilates class over my lunch hour today. Because the Savoy Rec Center is small I was the only person who showed up. It turned into more of a personal training session than a class, which I thought was pretty awesome. I am all about staying in shape and working out and who doesn't like to exercise with their shoes off? I am hoping that it will get much more advanced in the future, I am always up for a challenge.

In other now and forever news, Matt and I have an appointment with a realtor this evening to look at a few houses. I am so ready to be a homeowner it isn't even funny. I am a little apprehensive just because it makes Champaign a little more permanent for us, at least for a little while. I just want to be sure that this is where God wants us. Keep us in your prayers!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Long Awaited Arrival

Finally after 4 full months Matt and I received our wedding pictures in the mail. YEY! There is nothing better than photographs, especially the big ones. We only ordered one really large print to hang on the wall and all of the smaller ones will go in an album. Now I get to cut mattes, pick out a frame and find the perfect spot to hang it. (I wish we had a real house).

Monday, January 28, 2008


When I got back from Chicago last Friday, my wonderful, loving husband made me dinner. What a stud.

I had bought all of the ingredients previous, but it was such a blessing to be able to relax and let him take care of all the cooking.

If you like taco-tasting stuff, I think you will enjoy this. It seems to be really simple and there aren't a bunch of strange ingredients. Most of the ingredients are things you will have in your cabinets/refrigerator at home!

Taco Crescent Bake

  • 1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 cups crushed corn chips, divided
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese


  • Unroll crescent dough into a rectangle; press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 13x9x2 in. baking dish. Seal seams and perforations. Sprinkle with 1 cup of chips; set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce and taco seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Spoon over chips. Top with sour cream, cheese and remaining chips.
  • Bake, uncovered at 350˚ for 25-30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fire & Ice

I don't think I knew just how cold -12 was until I walked the frigid city blocks of Chicago, with a stylish but not so warm coat.

Last Wednesday the team and I took a trip up to Chicago to present at my very first UAG (User Acceptance Group). I only had a small part to present and all of the equipment was working very well, so stress was low and the users were pretty easy on me. We will be going up every three weeks from here on out. I am getting pretty excited since I don't know much about Chicago and I am getting to know it in the BEST way. We stayed on Michigan Ave. at the Hilton Suites, directly across from H & M. We pulled up to the hotel around 3, the valet took our car and we checked in. We each got our own King Suite, which was pretty awesome. My dear friend Brooke met the team & I at the Cheesecake Factory and ended up staying with me that night. It was just too dang cold for her to walk back to the L, late at night. After dinner the girls on the team shared a piece of chocolate chip cheesecake and watched American Idol. The perfect way to spend the evening if you ask me.
By the way, UIC's mascot is the flames. Really cruel if you ask me. I wish they had some flames in the parking lots, just to melt the ice and make it a little more bearable. Hopefully the next time we are up there, the weather is a little more favorable. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend Wonders & Workout Woes

Keeping up with Matt at the gym is an extremely difficult task, especially when it has been months since my tennis shoes were used for anything other than a quick shopping trip to Wal-mart. I guess that is why I have been so sore!

Last week, Matt and I took the plunge and got a gym membership. The Savoy Recreation Center is a local, community gym with pretty much any amenity one would need; it even has courts so Matt can shoot hoops from time to time. The only thing it doesn't have is a pool, which I was pretty bummed about. Eventually I would like to get back into triathlons and the lack of an aquatic center would make it quite difficult to train. It definitely doesn't compare to the Rec Center at SIU, but then there aren't very many that do. We were, however, pleasantly surprised to find upon signing up that the initiation fee was waved for the month of January. I guess it is to give those new year's resolution folk the upper hand on getting in shape. So far Matt and I have really enjoyed it. It gives us an excuse to get out of the house and it's helping us stay active over these dark and dreary winter days.

In other news, Matt and I made the much anticipated trip to Southern Illinois this weekend. Matt's brother Pat, who is on the Missouri Baptist track team, had an indoor meet at SIU. It was fantastic to see the paw prints leading all the way into town. It instantly brought back memories and it made both Matt and I feel very sentimental. Originally we were going just for the meet but Matt's great uncle died last week and the visitation was on Sunday evening. We ended up staying all of Saturday and most of Sunday. It is always nice to see family, even in the wake of death.

While in town we got to visit a bunch of my college friends who I miss dearly. The ladies at 906 W. Mill St. opened their doors to Matt and I and we got to stay there on Saturday night. We were also blessed to be introduced to the American Idol game on the Playstation. Let me tell you it was a blast! Matt did surprisingly well on his rendition of "You've Lost That Lovin Feelin." I was very impressed.

Over all, another stellar weekend. I get to go to Chicago and present for the first time this week, I am sure I will have lots of pictures and news to share very soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Revisiting the Winter Wonderland

Last night Matt and I finally got around to ordering our wedding pictures from Schilling Photography. We are very excited about receiving our order very soon (especially our 16x20 that I talked Matt into, ahh the pleasures of BIG photography). Meanwhile we got to visit the the long awaited Cosner-Turner wedding photo site (compliments: Jeremy Fenolen). The images turned out great. I think they really capture the moment and give a vivid picture of just how cold it was.

The brave couple along with their faithful icicles ventured into the violent cold for a photo opp. It seems silly to get married in the middle of a December snow storm and not take advantage of it. I think these photos tell the story.
On another note, I have just noticed that the days are in fact getting longer. Praise the Lord. I was beginning to think the winter's darkness would last forever. When I got off work last night at 5:00 p.m. the sun was still setting! I was so excited about this that I got my camera out and took a few shots on my way home.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sing a Song

In the writing mood:

Make Me Sing:
Returning heartache
It's becoming hard to breath
I don't understand it,
Why you're still loving me

But your love, surpasses understanding
and I am covered by the blood shed by a king
Not willing to give my heart completely
So break my heart in two and make me sing,
Break my heart in two and make sing

I feel like somethings missing
and I feel so alone
but when you shine your face upon me
my feet move toward your voice toward home

Your love surpasses understanding
I am covered by the blood shed by a king
Not willing to give my heart completely
Please break my heart in two and make me sing
Please break my heart in two and make me sing.

I wrote this song during a time in my life where I felt lost and I needed a reminder that there was ALWAYS a reason to sing.

Picture of the Day
(I eat a lot of these during the day)
Sweet Starts With an 'S'

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pyrex & People

Since Matt and I have moved to Champaign, our weekends have been full of exciting events. This Friday Matt's dad stayed with us and treated us to one of our FAVoRiTe restaurants, Biaggi's. Matt ordered the standard Spaghetti and Meatballs where I opted for a bow tie pasta with Alfredo sauce. The meal was delicious but the dessert really topped off the enjoyable evening. Matt and I split one of my favorite delectable retreats Tiramisu.

I am hoping that Jim's 6'5 frame slept o.k. in my twin bed from childhood that resides in our guest room. He was going hunting early the next morning and I can't imagine that the combination of lack of sleep and guns is good.

After sleeping in on Saturday morning Matt and I ventured out into the gusty streets of downtown Champaign and went antique shopping (this is one of my favorite weekend activities). We found all kinds of fun stuff but most importantly we found some reasonably priced antique Pyrex dishes! Here are some photos from our adventure.

Saturday evening Matt and I visited our dear friends Lance and Betsy. We got take out from a great BBQ joint called Hickory River. I recommend the pulled pork sandwich along with the garlic mashed potatoes and mac & cheese, it was very good. Other festivities of the night included tennis and boxing on the WII (I was mercilessly defeated by the surprisingly good boxer Betsy) and Mexican Train Dominos. The latter has sparked an interest in purchasing our very own set of dominos (its a great game to play with an odd number of people and very versatile). Just another great night with the Gorrells!

Sunday, Matt and I were in for yet another treat. We were blessed with a visit from my dear friend Michelle from college. It was a wonderful visit full of catching up. Wish I could see her more often.

Overall the weekend was a HIT. Hopefully this week is just as eventful.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Amber and Armoires

Since childhood I have aways LOVED big, old furniture. I am a huge fan of anything that can tell a story or hide a mess just by simply closing doors. My mom had a great big antique Armoire in our great room when I was a kid and it was the ULTIMATE hiding spot. In fact it is so large I could probably still fit in it comfortably today. The idea of a great big free-standing closet has always been appealing to me. Matt and I often discuss the idea of purchasing an armoire. Well, I discuss it in great detail and Matt just smiles and nods (bless his heart). I think once we get one and he sees how useful it is for hiding messes and how much extra storage it provides he may like it more than what he thinks. I found this lovely one at The Pottery Barn & I fell in love with it. It's not old but it looks old (I like the distressed, painted look). I don't think we will be making such a large purchase until we have a more permanent place of residence, but rest assured I will be dreaming about the day.

I also found this adorable table and chairs (I had painted my chairs different colors long before I saw this picture). This was definitely more of the look I was going for. Instead, I ended up with chairs that look like legos, in the cave that is our apartment.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Netflix, Snagit, and Bliss!

Matt and I have finally decided to joined the 21st century and we have been participating in Netflix for the last couple of weeks. So far it has been pretty great, other than the lack of instant gratification. As long as one can plan ahead, the idea of it is phenomenal. It has changed the way I think about movie-watching.

I am also getting used to a new program called SnagIt. You can get a free download here. I have to use it at work. It is called SnagIt because you can literally snag anything from your screen and copy it to any program or save it as an image. The program also has small editing tools like adding text bubbles, highlighting, adding text, adding borders, etc. It is most definitely not Photoshop, but it is definitely useful in writing training guides, and pulling pranks on people at work!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Love

SOOO excited about this new find

Raised from birth as a Catholic, Corrinne has always drawn inspiration from her faith, weaving it subtly into her songs. However, in Beautiful Seed, she takes the bold step of casting aside her apprehensions and puts forth some of her most specifically Christian songs to date. In ‘Five Loaves and Two Fishes’, she writes ‘Take my five loaves and two fishes/ Do with it as you will/ I surrender’ and in ‘33’, she reflects upon reaching the same age as Jesus was when he died.
her new C.D. entitled "Beautiful Seed" appeared on shelves within the last 2 months and had wild success in Singapore (the place where she was born)
It seems to be doing rather well in the States as well.
Personally VERY excited.