Sunday, May 31, 2009


A few weekends ago (um wow, almost a month ago!) John and I made a day trip to Austin to visit some family and run a few errands that can't be done in Waco (ie: the Apple Store). We had a fabulous day and event got to see our sweet friends, the Eppers!

Austin and John's Grad Present 009

I can't get enough of this precious little girl. She is so adorable and perfect!

Austin and John's Grad Present 006

Her mommy is pretty great also!

Love you guys!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

insert clever blog title here

These are my thoughts today, in bullet list form. I'm not feeling very creative. (see blog title above)

  • A friend at work told me about a show called Whatever, Martha! and I'm pretty sure it is our favorite show now. John and I watched 2 episodes last night and we are hooked. I am a Martha fan. Love her and love the stuff she does. But watching her daughter and her friend make fun of Martha is just classic! I promise you will love it too. It's on the Fine Living Network. Check it out!
  • I am craving long hair right now. Have been for a few months now. When I was talking to my hair dresser about it she told me to try a specific "hair, skin and nails" vitamin and I've been taking them for about a month now and they are fabulous. I've been able to tell a big difference in my hair, skin and nails! (they are Futurebiotics Hair, Skin & Nails in case you are curious)
  • I'm itching for a vacation. Specifically, I want to get away to a quiet beach somewhere with a good book or escape to the mountains and do some rafting or hiking.
  • A few weeks ago I made a trip to the eye doctor for a long overdo appointment. I have been having trouble seeing when I drive for a while now (safe, right?) and it slowly got worse. At my appointment the doctor told me that I should be wearing something all the time and not just driving. So he gave me glasses AND CONTACTS! What? I tried them for a couple weeks and absolutely hated them. I went back to him a couple times after my first visit and he finally told me that if they didn't help on normal day to day stuff I don't need them..just my glasses will be fine for movies and driving.
  • My birthday is coming up. In about a week and a half actually. I recently read that the brain stops developing at 25. So does that mean that my brain stopped developing last year? The article said that the brain continues to develop until age 25, by this point most of your billion neurons know what path to take for functioning. I'll be 26 on June 10 and it is crazy to me that I will be closer to 30 than 20!
  • And here is where you come in. I need some help, friends! My workout playlist on my iPod is not working for me anymore. It's unmotivating and not keeping me going. So PLEASE, leave a comment with 1 or 2 or 3 or 12 great songs that I can add to my workout playlist.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whitney's Graduation

My sister also graduated this weekend however she chose not to walk the stage. Instead she had a fabulous brunch at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. The food was amazing and the resort was so beautiful! It was such a sweet time with family!

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Where we had beautiful! It felt like we were outside. But without the birds and bugs.

Graduation Weekend 154 them!

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Whitney and her husband, Jonathan.

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What graduation brunch would be complete without a magician?

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Another view of the gorgeousness...

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These amazing palms were everywhere.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

i love camping!

My husband knows me so well. I mean he really knows me soooo well.

I found out about our little camping trip on Wednesday. Less than 2 days before we were to begin our adventure. John called me from work to say that we were going camping. My first question of where was answered with, "somewhere in the Austin area." The man wouldn't give up any details because he wanted the weekend to be a surprise. All I knew was we would go out to a nice dinner Friday night and then camp out the rest of the time.

When I left for work Friday morning my bag was packed and by the door so that John load up the car and we could leave right at 5:00 when I left work. When I got in the car I happened to glance in the back of John's 4Runner and noticed there weren't any bags. I asked him about the missing bags and he played it off answering all my questions with "I don't know." That is pretty much how he answered any question I asked about the trip. And I asked a lot of questions.

Once we got closer to Austin, John told me that this weekend was a thank you for the past 4 years (read: the whole time he has been in grad school) and he wanted to thank me for my support. The man just finished 2 masters degrees and I'm the one getting a surprise weekend trip! He's pretty fantastic if you ask me.

It was at this point (John telling me that the weekend was a thank you to me) that I realized that we weren't camping. He knows me pretty well. So we get downtown, and are heading up one street and down the other. I had no idea where we are going and I had a weird mix of excitement and nervousness. I love surprises. But I also hate surprises. I almost can't handle the anxiety but I love it at the same time. I'm weird like that.

We quickly made a very sharp right turn into a small 4 story parking garage. We went up to the very top floor and parked in an assigned parking spot. We got out of the car and saw the most perfect view of the Capitol building. It was beautiful!

Austin Weekend

But there wasn't much time to stand and take in the view. John took me into an elevator, down to the first floor and then down a short hallway. At the end of the hallway, we went through a door (which was locked and unlocked when John looked into the camera - little did I know, he had a clicker in his pocket). We went down another hallway to another set of elevators and took that up to the 3rd floor. We made our way down another hallway and at the end of the hall John opened a door and we walked inside.

Austin Weekend 004

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Rose petals, wall-to-wall windows, hardwood floors, the Capitol building, a tent and 2 camping chairs. And our bags. This is my kind of camping!

Where were we? John's mom's friend has a condo in downtown Austin that is 2 blocks from the Capitol. She is trying to sell it right now and it is empty. It was the perfect place for a weekend getaway!

John had arranged everything from rose petals on the floor to chocolate covered strawberries to all the fixins for s'mores! He thinks of everything..remember our engagement story? It was starting out as a perfect weekend.

Austin Weekend

Friday night we went to dinner at Rio Grande which is in the Real World house when Real World was in Austin. We had chips and queso and yummy tacos. John had pork tacos and I had beef tenderloin tacos. They reminded us a lot of Taco Diner but Taco Diner is much better! After dinner we went to the IMAX at the Bob Bullock Museum to see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. After the movie we were exhausted so we headed back to our campsite and crashed! Oh, but not before we had s'mores!

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Saturday we slept in which was glorious and we were anxious to get out and get our day startedWe had brunch at Kerbey Lane Cafe (YUMMY!) and then headed out to Zilker Park. It was a beautiful day. The temperature was perfect and I really wish it would be like that all summer. We rented a canoe and headed down the river. I would have loved to have a picture of John and I canoing, but I didn't think it would be a good idea to take my camera on a canoe. It was so much fun and a great upper body workout too! It started raining on us on our way back in but it did not bother us one bit.

We spent the next couple hours hiking around Zilker Park. John mentioned at one point how relaxed he was. He couldn't remember the last time he had felt that relaxed. It was the perfect day!

Austin Weekend

After Zilker we went to Hey Cupcake! It was the cutest cupcake trailor on South Congress. John got the carrot cupcake and I got the vanilla cupcake. They were so good! Oh and John made his cupcake a "whipper snapper" which means they injected it with fresh whipped cream! So good and so not Weight Watchers friendly!

Austin Weekend

Our afternoon ended with a trip to a juice bar (John got lemonade and I got watermelon, raspberry and rose water juice) and then back to our condo to get ready for the evening.

Our evening finished with dinner at the best. Chinese. restaurant. ever. and a concert by the Austin Civic Chorus. A friend of our's sings in the choir and it was a great concert!

The weekend was fabulous and much needed. It was relaxing and fun and so enjoyable.

Thank you John for such a fun weekend. We both needed it and I LOVE CAMPING!

And no need for the Sunday night blues!!!! No work tomorrow!

Friday, May 22, 2009


This weekend John and I are headed down to Austin for some camping! I must be honest here and say that I have never been camping. The real kind of camping.

Seriously never been.

Seriously looking forward to it!

I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. Remember..I'm a city girl!

"Her recommendations for a campsite were totally unsuitable. There were no outlets. And there was dirt, and bugs, and... and it rains there. So anyway, we've found a place that's much more us: the Beverly Hills Hotel." -Phyllis, Troop Beverly Hills

Monday, May 18, 2009

Turkey Meatloaf with Mushrooms and White Beans

Well, I'm sorry. I promise more posts this week and I promise to do a better job at keeping up!

Turkey Meatloaf

I made this meatloaf a couple months ago and it had tons of flavor and is extremely healthy! The mushrooms and white beans add another depth of flavor (since ground turkey is pretty plain) and the Dijon topping was such a good pairing.

Turkey Meatloaf with Mushrooms and White Beans
adapted from South Beach Diet Supercharged

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound mushrooms, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can white beans (Great Northern beans or Cannellini beans), rinsed and drained
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat metal or glass loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, cayenne, paprika, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and mushrooms are incorporated, about 5 minutes longer. Add beans and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cooled bean mixture, turkey, eggs, parsley, and 2 teaspoons of the Worcestershire sauce. Mix well with wet hands to combine. Form into a loaf and place into the prepared pan.

Stir together mustard and remaining 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and set aside.

Bake meatloaf on the middle rack of the oven for 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and brush with the reserved Worcestershire mixture. Return to the oven and continue baking 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until a thermometer inserted into meatloaf registers 170 ° F. Let meatloaf stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with additional Dijon mustard.

Nutritional Information
205 calories
5 g fat (1 g saturated fat)
15 g carbohydrate
30 g protein
4 g fiber
549 mg sodium

four years later...

Truett Graduation

I never thought this day would come. Well, not true. I knew it would come. It just took a long time to get here! John has graduated and is now a Master twice over. Master of Music and a Master of Divinity. Yeah, he's smart.

Graduation day started with a lunch at Truett with all of the graduates and their families. It was such a wonderful time to be with friends and start the celebration!

Our families came to town to see John graduate and it was so much fun to have everyone together to celebrate this tremendous occasion! After graduation we went to our favorite restaurant, Siete Mares, with some of our good friends and our families. We had so much fun continuing the celebration! I am so proud of what John has accomplished over the past 4 YEARS! Warning..Picture overload!!

Truett Graduation
Walking into the chapel. I was so proud!

Truett Graduation
I am pretty sure he is thinking about something that has to do with divinity or music or something that a Master thinks..

Truett Graduation
Dean of Truett and Interim President of Baylor Dr. David Garland and Interim Provost Dr. Elizabeth Davis

John's Graduation
Me with the Master..

John's Graduation
John, M.J., and Mike are so happy to be finished!

John's Graduation
John with two of his mentors, Dr. Terry York and Dr. Randall Bradley

John's Graduation
John with his dad and Pam

John's Graduation
Us with my mom and dad

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John's, his mom and sister

John's Graduation
John and Patrick

John's Graduation
We are so proud of our Masters...

John's Graduation proud we have to kiss them! (PS: Patrick and Courtney are at Disney World right now and we are a little jealous!)

John's Graduation
Checking out the goods once we got home!

John's Graduation
His Master of Divinity degree is signed by Dr. Garland twice since he is the Dean of Truett and the Interim President of Baylor right now.

John's Graduation
2 degrees baby!!!!

I seriously cannot believe that this season of our lives is over. I have only known John as a student and I have only ever been married to a student. It is a big change but one that we welcome warmly! The Lord has blessed John so much with a heart for music and people and I love seeing him use those gifts daily to serve Him.

Sic 'em!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Penland Life

I think most people who read my blog know that I work at Baylor in Student Activities. We got a kick out of this at work this morning..I love what students do in their spare time!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

it's kind of a big week...

Wow..I'm a bad blogger. But it has been a busy week and it is kind of a big week.

John is graduating TOMORROW. I mean, no big deal, right?

Last night we were talking about this very exciting time and I asked if I have to call him "Master John" now since he will have a Master's degree. He corrected me that I will have to call him "Master John Master John" since he will actually have two Master's degrees.

Yes, tomorrow John will be graduating with a Master of Music and a Master of Divinity. He's one smart guy. I guess 4 years of graduate school will do that to you.

Oh BTW.. "Master John Master John" is said like the little boy in the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom who says, "Dr. Jones Dr. Jones."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

happy mother's day!

if you got this post more than once I apologize..blogger is acting up and deleting my pictures!

Happy Mother's Day to all you fabulous moms out there. I hope your day has been blessed and wonderful!

I am so incredibly blessed by both of my mothers. My fabulous mom..I love you more than you will ever know! Thank you for all your constant love and support. Susan, my fabulous mother-in-law..I am so thankful to have you in my life! I love you both!


Sara, John, Susan and me at my graduation


My mom, sister and I after we saw Paula Deen Live a couple years ago.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009



Mark's Show

That is the name of my brother's band and John and I drove down to College Station last Thursday night to see the band play. They are very good, but Mark has to be the best drummer ever. We had so much fun watching the band play but at the end Mark had a drum solo and that was when the crowd went wild!

Mark's Show

It was awesome. I was proud. I can't wait to see him again!

Mark's Show

At the very end he threw his sticks to one side of the stage and walked off the other side. We thought it was such a cool way to end, but later found out he was tired and just wanted to be done! ha!

Mark's Show

I really wish I had brought my Flip camera in to record it but I'll know better next time!

to see more pictures go here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Done. Forever.

Here is John turning in the last paper of his scholastic career. Praise Jesus!!!!!


And how amazing is he that he thought to take a picture with his iPhone because he knew I would want to post about this tremendous occasion?!?

His email said, "I'm done! Forever."

Friday, May 1, 2009

a weekend of celebrating!

What an emotional weekend! I want to give a recap mostly so I remember this season of our life. Please, do not feel the need to read it all.

I'll start with Thursday. Thursday was John's last day of studying before his comprehensive oral exams. He spent most of the day in the library taking a few breaks to come out to Diadeloso. {Side note: working at Baylor is great especially on days like Diadeloso!} On his way home Thursday night his car basically shut down and to make a long story short, the power steering went out and he had to coast the rest of the way home {it shut down as he took our exit} and made it half way up our street and had to walk home around 11:30pm. He got home, told me about the car problems like he was telling me what he had for didn't bother him at all! He was so focused on his exams the next morning. I was so proud that he didn't let that stress him out. I would have!

As you know, Friday morning he had his exams and PASSED! YES! He finished and came straight to my office to tell me in person. He was so relieved to have those over and to have done so well. I am beyond proud of all of his hard work. We went out Friday night with our good friends Patrick and Courtney to see Earth and then to eat Mexican food. It was such a fun night of celebrating with sweet friends!

So Sunday. Sunday was my favorite day of the weekend. John was ordained on Sunday in such a special service at our church. Most of our family and a few close friends made the trek to Hamilton to show their love and support to John. John's ordination service was so perfect and special and it is a day that we will both remember forever. The Lord has truly blessed us and I am so thankful for the ministry my husband is doing.
And let's just be honest. I can't believe he is now REVEREND JOHN S. WOODS!!!!!

Here are pictures from Sunday. I was able to take a few before the service, but unfortunately, after the service I got distracted and only got a couple.

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So weird to see, "Rev. John S. Woods"

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John's mom, Susan and sister, Sara

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Our good friends, Patrick and Courtney {ugh..sorry it's out of focus}

Oh, and can I just say..he is done with school forever and only has 13 days until graduation!

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