Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry belated Christmas and Happy New Year from the Sudans!

(this one was our christmas card)

JAson's little sister, Mary Beth, took these photos to help us with our Christmas card this year! Isn't she talented? Check out her tumblr at thank you mary b!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

26th birthday and our midget tree

I'm not going to apologize for my lack of blogging...sometimes, there are just thoughts and ideas that are better left off the blog and more for a face to face conversation over coffee or tea. but other blog-worthy news... I just celebrated my 26th birthday on Saturday! i love birthdays and jas and family & friends made it really special, so thanks for the birthday wishes! It's crazy to think that I am close to 30 than 20 now....but I welcome this next year with anticipation and waiting to see what God has in store.

I also wanted to post a little picture of our little, midget Christmas tree. this will be our first christmas in the Marable's back house and space is limited. But even though we don't have much space, we didn't want to completely nix the Christmas tree this year, so here is our little guy (see below). He only cost $20 from home depot. He was kind of deformed, so we trimmed him up a bit, although he still has quite the awkward shape. we like him that way though. anyways, I'm hoping that this year I can shop for some Christmas ornaments after Christmas because there are always really good sales and our ornaments are lacking. what is everyone's favorite store to shop for Christmas ornaments...just looking for suggestions.

Happy monday!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

jury duty

several weeks ago i received my first jury summons in the mail. dallas county was requesting that i take the day off work to wait around hours upon hours at frank crowley court house for the possibility that i might make it on a real life jury panel. welp, turns out i am good juror material because i was one of the 12 out of the 65 that was selected to be on the jury. did i mention it was for a murder trial?? yes, it was for a murder trial.

so there i was....and once the judge read the indictment, i had to ask myself, can i do this? can i be fair and impartial based on the evidence presented? what a responsibility and weighty role to take on. what if the defendant isn't guilty and we give him 40 years or even worse- life? what if he is truly guilty, but there isn't enough evidence to prove it?? what about justice then? these were all questions i was asking myself while sitting in that terribly hard wooden bench in the 1st criminal district room. but deep down, i did feel that i could do this task through God's wisdom and i felt that if i was selected, it was simply God's sovereignty that i be put on that panel. soo are you wondering what happened??

so last monday, after much prayer, i returned to frank crowley to report to the jury room to begin the trial. of course, i hit traffic and was the last juror there, but it didn't matter...everyone was waiting for the trial to begin and it was a busy day in the court room. about 45 minutes later the judge came in and told us that the defendant and the state had come to an agreement and that the defendant plead out. trial and no jury needed. so he goes on to tell us that he got 31 years in prison for this brutal stabbing. the judge explained that this often happens once the jury is selected because it puts the pressure on the defendant and his attorney and forces them to come to an agreement that may be a better punishment than what a jury would give. so i guess they felt that 31 years in prison was a fair and just punishment for the crime. it's possible we could have given him more...but i guess we'll never know. do you think 31 years in prison is a fair punishment? how do you determine how many years is appropriate for a murder?? ...(you can read the details of the crime at the link's a really sad story).

so that was my jury duty experience. i will say that i learned a lot about how the justice system works. and it really hit me that average joe people serve as jurors, then given the evidence and the rule of law....they decide the fate and punishment of others (you could argue that the individual committing the crime decided their fate, but you get what i'm saying...). it's really a crazy idea, but it also makes sense. it made me thankful to be a part of a justice system where the people actually have a say. i know there are lots of flaws to it, but i do think having a jury is a legitimate set up and i am glad i was able to serve in the way that i did. plus, i made a whopping $46 for my day and a half served....extra spending money for clothes thanks to Dallas county. anyways, thanks for reading.... and here is the article below if you want to read it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Da Bears

So i think I need to let Jas take over this blog...he's been a pretty successful blogger on every entry he has written. i love that man.

in other news....we are getting ready to leave for Waco to go to the A&M v. Baylor football game! this morning I was taking a shower and mentally preparing for the game (I know, I sound like a freak)'s an important one. I hope we win!!!!!

SIC EM BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Long Lost Love

Go back 15 years or so with kids in the Sudan family whenever your birthday came around, not only did you get shotgun in the car all day but you got to pick any restaurant of your choice for lunch and dinner. Wendy's for lunch, Panchos Mexican Buffet for dinner. Those were my choices.

The other day I actually had cash in my wallet (usually we use the card) and I told Alex that I wanted to treat myself with a special lunch after I had finished working for the day (I do home inspections for vacant homes in the DFW area). I had been talking about it for awhile and had not gone since I was a kid, so around 2:00 p.m today I pulled into the Panchos Mexican Buffet parking lot in Euless, TX got out of my car and walked up to the buffet line, ordered enchiladas, flautas, and tacos, sat down at the table in front of the flag (mexican flag that you raise when you need service) and had a delicious lunch. After living in Dallas, I have become a Tex-Mex snob with the likes of Chuy's and Glorias, and to tell you the truth if felt great going back to my roots and eating at Panchos. And I am serious when I say, it really was a great meal.

So, I issue the challenge.....whenever you see a Panchos on the side of the road, stop in and raise the flag.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Brooke Fraser

So, it's official...i love Brooke Fraser. I've always known this, but she came out with a new album on Oct 12th and can i just stay that it is the best, most genius album. every song is so good...the lyrics are deep and creative. and the sounds are whimsical. can you tell i liker her music? :) i love jamming to her songs in the car, in my office, getting ready in the morning. i love the album, too, because there are slow thoughtful songs and really fun upbeat ones...anyways, i wanted to share that if you don't have her album, you should go out (or get on i-tunes) and buy it. you won't regret it. you should buy it and support her...and not burn it. it's that good. worth every pretty penny. so enjoy the music video! also, i will be seeing her in person at the house of blues in dallas on november 12th...i'll keep you posted on how great the show is!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

bad blogger

i know...i've been a bad blogger. i've neglected our blog lately and i guess the only excuse i have is that things have been pretty busy over here on the work front and when work gets busy i guess i kind of lose interest in blogging. but i have been meaning to post some pictures from a recent weekend trip we took to denver, co to visit some friends who recently moved there. we went at the end of september to visit our good friend, Erick and Brooke Frazier, and we had a really good time and are thankful they hosted us for the weekend! here are the pics!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to.....SPUD!

That's right! today our little guy is 2 years old today! call me silly for being excited for his bday...I have no shame. It's not like im throwing him a birthday party with cake and ice cream...just remembering his little birthday. So here are some pics to celebrate Spud's two years! Go Spud- you're the cutest and cuddliest pup i've ever owned! seriously....he's a big cuddler. ok on to the pics.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Anni Pics!

soo jas and i celebrated our 3 year anniversary last month! we were actually in town this year for our anniversary, so that was nice. it was on a wednesday night, so wednesday i gave jas my presents and we went to dinner at breadwinner's...see photos below. they are in chronological order (which took me some time to do, cause blogger is weird and always uploads them backwards...moving forward). I made jas a photo album on shutterfly and it documented these last three years in photos. it was really fun to make and it was so fun to flip through it together and laugh and remember the last few years. i also asked jason's friend to write him an encouragement letter (words of affirmation is his love language, for sure) and he really enjoyed reading thank you to those him took the time to write him one! :) and jason's gift to me was some sweet letters and the promise that we could get a new mattress soon! woot! i've been asking for this...

then, that weekend jason had planned a night at a local bed and breakfast (i almost said bread and breakfast, ha) and we went out to dinner on sat night at grimaldi's for pizza and then went to la duni for some major sweetness. we should have only ordered one dessert, but we ordered two. check out the quattro leches cake... i coud barely finish half of it. but i highly recommend la duni for those of you out there who have a serious sweet tooth. anyway, we finished the evening by watching dear john back at the bed & breakfast...not that we really wanted to watch that movie, but it was all the redbox had. terrible movie...don't see it. so there you have it! our anni in a nut shell. here are the photos to document. jas and i are trying to be better about taking pictures....enjoy!

don't mind that authentic ethiopian spear in the background....where do you store something like that!?

cue corny solo pictures here.... its like we were back on our honeymoon.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

cookin' and a workin'

ok you guys...i am in a rut. a dinner makin rut. i started working almost three months ago, and since then, the number of times i make dinner on a weekly basis went down to about, ummm one time?? i know, its pretty sad. jas has started to wonder when i would come back to life in kitchen. hasn't happened yet. i do like to cook, but the spark has kind of died because when i come home from work i don't feel like scrounging up something creative or tasty. i'd like to eat something tasty, but i just want it to sort of appear on the table on its own. not very realistic, i know.

i think part of the problem lies in my lack of planning for my weekly grocery trips. i end up buying all snack food...yogurt, granola, doritos (jas), double stuff oreos (jas), fruit, and then i forget i am supposed to make meals and not just have food for our every day lunches. got any tips for this??

so tonight i made enchiladas...they are in the oven as we speak. perhaps we'll have some leftovers for lunch or dinner this week? but even still, we're talking left overs here... so my question to you is this-- anyone have any simple, yet fun and tasty recipes that want to pass along from one working girl to another?? help a sister out!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

3 years!!

can't believe we got married three years ago today! happy anniversary to my main man!!

and happy anniversary to my parents, good 'ol mark and tamra parks, who also got married on this same day, 31 years ago!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Home Group!

Jas and I are so blessed by the Biblical community we are apart of. Jason always says that our home group is "stacked"...which makes me laugh cause I'm like "can you say that??" But it is pretty true... we've been a group since Dec 2008 and it is has been such a journey and joy to walk with everyone along the way. Nate and Andrea, a couple in our group, have been engaged for about a year & finally got married a couple of weeks ago. We all went to the wedding and it was SO FUN. So here are some pics of home group at the wedding... i love these people!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. -- Joseph Scriven

the topic of prayer is one that has been on my heart lately and it just so happens that Matt also preached on it today at church. i love when the Lord is leading you in a direction and it just continually comes up so that you are forced to think/meditate on it...especially when in your flesh you'd rather just push it aside. anyway, since May i have been reading Desiring God by John Piper. i just felt that it was about time i tried to tackle that big ol' book and i finished it today. woot woot! even though there are several appendices so i don't really feel finished....this book has challenged me big time in a lot of different ways, but especially in the area of prayer. i think a lot of the time i do not take prayer as seriously because i'm aware of how deeply i need Him. or things get so busy at work, i don't take a minute to breathe and consider God and what He is saying or trying to teach me. i know i am missing out on a deeper joy and satisfaction in Christ....
at the end of the chapter on prayer, john piper ends by exhorting the reader to make a plan to pray. he uses the comparison that we do not just get up one day and take a vacation, but we plan it way in advance and then make it happen. this idea has stuck with me and it is so true. i am a sucker for practicals, i always needs a good practical application to help me out. so i need to be more serious about making prayer a priority and making a plan of action!

and then from the sermon today--two of the things that stuck out to me from Matt's sermon is 1.) we don't pray like we are at war...and as much as we can deny that statement, we are at war, we just don't view life through that lens, ** insert conviction here!** and then 2.) God asks us to give him no rest when it comes to praying and seeking him. This is from Isaiah 62 (which is one of my fave chapters in Isaiah, btw)...verse 6 says
"on your walls, o jerusalem, i have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. you who put the Lord in remembrance; take no rest and GIVE HIM NO REST until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth."
God wants us to be petitioning him day and night...he does not ask that we leave him alone so he can take a nap or watch the football game. i love this....

sooo all this to say, i hope you are encouraged to spend time to pray today...and to make it more of your spiritual disciplines consistently. i also pray that you don't feel shame or guilt because of your lack of prayer. i know i was feeling this way and I feel like that guilt and shame is one way the enemy could prevent me/you from engaging God in prayer. welp, there's my little tid bit...thanks for reading! have a good week! :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad

What greater joy to a father

That a son should heed his instruction

What greater joy to a son

Than to receive praise from his father

Dad, when finding the best words to write to or encourage you, its simple I look to Proverbs. For what does Solomon say time and time again, “Hear, my son, your fathers instruction. And be attentive, that you may gain insight.” Prov. 4:1 For, my boast about you, is in your wisdom, your insight.

So, where do I go? Where should I search?

Dad would you show me

Do I run or do I fall prostrate at His feet?

Lead, I will follow

Dad, I have followed your lead. You have spoken of a God and have lived for a God that has consumed your heart; that has transformed your life. “ I have taught you the way of wisdom. I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered. And if you run, you will not stumble.” Prov. 4:11-12

Can I trust Him? Is He worth it?

He is worthy, Holy, the Giver of life, Sovereign King of the nations

Trust Him

Dad, you have placed your trust in Him. It is evident that Christ is everything to you. Your life is marked by the Gospel. It is evident, it truly is. You have led and we have followed in your footsteps. He has become treasured in your children’s eyes. And He will be treasured in your grandchildren’s eyes. It is evident that He is worthy to follow. “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” Prov. 4:23-25

Happy Birthday Dad, 55 years have passed, so much life still to be lived. You are leaving a legacy; the work is not yet finished. I am proud to call you my father and honored to be your brother. My hope is that you will prayerfully examine this next season of life and be led to sprint after Christ, that you would find Him even more precious and worthy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Journey

July 2nd was my last day at Southwest Alliance of Asset Managers a marketing and management contractor for the Dept. of HUD. A place that I had been working for the past 3 years since graduating from Baylor. I had developed a lot of friendships at work over the past 3 years and will greatly miss working/seeing them on a daily basis. So, for the past 2 weeks I have been unemployed I have been lounging, running errands, inspecting homes (side job), and visiting with friends and family. I really could get used to this not working schedule.....actually when I was a kid, I would always tell my parents that I wanted to stay home while "the wife" worked.
So, I quit my job to fully pursue firefighting. Alex, has been so encouraging during this firefighter journey. I may have quit the firefighter pursuit a while ago if it hadn't been for her support. For the next few months, Alex will be bringing in the bacon, while I am in school. My vacation has come to an end, tomorrow, July 19th I will start the Desoto Fire Academy. I have been pursuing firefighting for the past couple of years and it has turned out to be a lot more competitive career to jump into than I originally had thought. I have been unsuccessful getting hired on with several departments the past couple of years, so I have been attempting to make myself more hirable. In March I completed my EMT-Basic course, which all firefighters have to be, and now I have enrolled into a fire academy, to become a certified firefighter. This program will end in November and we will see how it helps getting me onto a fire department.

I will keep fellow bloggers posted on the new journey.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pro Active??

So we've all seen the ads....Jenna Fischer (Pam from the office) & Jessica Simpson singing the praises of the acne treatment- Pro Active. my question is...does it REALLY work??i asked myself this same question freshman year of college, and guess what happened??? i got the worst acne ive ever had in my whole life. what?? so i didn't/don't believe you Jenna Fischer. But for whatever reason...i got the itch to try it again recently, so i bought it (they also promise a 100% money back guarantee). well, one week in and my face is itching like crazy. but is a pimple-free face worth it?? i havent decided yet. its not that i have severe acne or anything. i just get the random break outs. so i have taken a before and will take an after picture when im finished...just to document whether all these commercials are boloney. and i will send it in to get my money back if it doesn't work!! so here are the before pictures...and you can't even really see my zits, so its not a great "before" picture, but here i am no make-up and's to my experiment with Pro Active.

to be continued....

Sunday, June 20, 2010


so i recently went to orlando (winter park) with my parents and nephew for my cousin's high school graduation! the trip was totally unexpected (i knew i was going a week before) and was really fun! my nephew is 5 years old now and getting so big!! he says the funniest things. also, we shared a room the whole week...shared a trundle bed and i gave him baby tickles to get him to go to sleep, it was a really sweet time. here are some photos!

at tyhoon lagoon!

during splash mountain...look at his face! actually, all of our faces are pretty priceless....

after the buzz light year ride...

playing at cocoa beach

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

finally employed!

thank you, Jesus!! i feel like i've been waiting for this moment for two years! don't get me wrong, i loved school...the learning, the flexible schedule, the internship experiences and so on. but i am so thankful to have a job and be a "professional" now! yesterday was my first day as an LMSW at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children! woot woot! this hospital is so neat and i am excited about the children and families i will be helping out there! this hospital will be 90 years old next year and no child or family has ever had to pay a bill for any of the services or surgeries performed! kind of hard to believe...especially when many of the customized prosthetic limbs for the kiddos cost thousands and thousands of dollars. anyways, i will keep you updated on this journey, but just wanted to praise God for a job, his provision, and new learning experiences! below is a really great video of the types of patients that are served at scottish rite...the little girl is SO cute!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dup dominates Denver!

That's right...DUP took over Denver last weekend. You may be asking yourself what DUP is? Well, simply put, we are just a group of former college roommates at Baylor, but it is so much more than that! Anyways, we've been pretty good about seeing each other in the post-graduation days. But some of us have moved away to different parts of the US. Two of us are in Dallas, three in Waco, one in Austin, one in NYC, and one in Denver. Back in January the idea was proposed for ALL of us to go and surprise Kate (who lives in Denver). It was hard to find a weekend that worked for everyone. In fact, it was pretty difficult and took a ton of group facebook messages in secret to coordinate it. I had been looking forward to this trip all semester long and I am so sad that it is over now. But it was SO fun and Kate was completely surprised! Ahhh, it was awesome!! Kate definitely shed some tears as we surprised her at breakfast all sporting DUP shirts! We did a lot of walking and enjoying the weather, went to a farmer's market and ate really good food, went to Red Rocks, and just chatted and caught up. It was really good...reunion ideas for next year are already being about a DUP cruise next year?!?! Yes please...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Graduation Day!!!

Congratulations Alex Melinda Sudan! You are now a graduate of the UTA Masters Social Work Program! Way to go. One of Alex's sweet statements she says frequently is "Jas, aren't you proud of me?".......YOU BET I AM, I am so proud of you! Alex has worked so hard the past 2 years traveling to Arlington for class, taking many tests, writing extremely long papers, completing a couple internships, and dominating a licensing exam.
Before I met Alex, I really don't think I ever gave a second thought to social work agencies, due to my own selfishness and ignorance. Now, I realize the importance and necessity of them. It has been really fun to watch Alex develop such a heart for those that are seen as social outcasts, physically or verbally abused, mentally unstable, etc. It takes unique men and women to work in this sector of society, and I am very thankful for them.
Once again CONGRATULATIONS Alex! You are going to make an incredible social worker.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Healthy Morning Muffins

Hey guys! here is the tasty recipe I mentioned in the last post. they are called "healthy morning muffins" and they are simple and yummy for breakfast. i got the recipe from an every day food (which i finally subscribed to recently--woot!)...sometimes, on sundays i like to make muffins or scones for the upcoming week's breakfast. cereal just get boring enjoy! the recipe came from a lady named Fawn Dixon from Fairbanks, Alaska...

Healthy Morning Muffins

nonstick spray
1 1/4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 C. raisins
3 tbsp. EVOO
1 lg. egg
1/3 C. skim milk
4 medium carrots
1 medium ripe banana

1.) preheat oven to 400 degrees. coat a 12 cup muffin pan with spray. in a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt until there are no lumps. Stir in oats and raisins. Add oil, egg, milk, carrots, and banana and stir until blended.
2.) fill each muffin cup with 1/4 c. batter. bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 23 to 25 mins. serve muffin warm or at room temperature (to store, keep in air tight container, up to 3 days).

they are really good warm with butter on them...perhaps with some eggs and a good ol cup of joe in the morning.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

freeeeedom (said in william wallace's braveheart voice)!

this is what i am feeling right now...(actually, feelin' a little tired and like i need a nap), but i am totally free!! no more school! no more internship hours! i graduate next friday!! can you tell im excited? i finished my 500 hours at parkland yesterday and now i am just relaxing and applying for jobs until graduation. my family is coming in, which i am excited about, too. i know i have been neglecting this blog a bit, but perhaps with this new found freedom i will get up to blogging-speed. ive had a few things ive wanted to post, so we will see where the wind takes me. in other news, my camera lasted me a good 5 or 6 years, but now i don't have a super great camera to take pictures and post on my i phone will have to do for now. i made some really great breakfast muffins the other day and i will post the recipe soon....very easy to make, and they're healthy and tasty, too.

also, i have to give a shout out to the j bird--i am so grateful to have gone through this program with the hubs supporting me...without his hard work and dedication i would not have been able to finish the MSSW program in two years. i love you, jas! im looking forward to working so that you can pursue your fire fighting goals more aggressively!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Date Nights

Jas and I try to be very intentional on having date nights...we try to do it once a week (i think that was one of our 2010 goals...). but sometimes its difficult to make an official date night every week, especially when the weekends are busy. last weekend jas and i went to our beloved Chuy's and ordered the same thing we do everytime...we split the "as big as yo face" burrito with roasted chicken and queso sauce on top. you should definitely order it some time because it is delicious. but you'll have to split it cause that mug is huge. after dinner, jas took me on a romantic walk in highland park on lakeside dr where there are huge mansions and a little river. the houses around there are ridiculous, but what was really nice was the blooming flowers and the weather was perfect. pics from the night...

so the moral of the story is...go on a date! the end!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hummingbird Cake

Now that it is officially spring time, its time to make spring time Hummingbird cake. No, this cake is not made of hummingbird (corny joke, i know). I think it is named that because it is like nectar that hummingbirds enjoy...but thats just my theory. i made hummingbird cake for easter and i think it came out pretty good. it is really sweet and rich, so one piece is almost too much or just right, depending on the size of your sweet tooth. i finished a whole piece myself :) Here is the recipe below...its really easy and tasty, so be inspired! Make it for someone special in your life!

Humingbird Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins (originally printed in “Southern Living,” Feb. 1978)

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups chopped pecans, divided
2 chopped bananas
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans, or spray them with a nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add eggs, oil and vanilla; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Stir in pineapple, 1 cup chopped pecans and bananas.
4. Spoon batter into prepared cake pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool immediately. When the cakes are completely cooled, spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans.

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.