Posted by: mahlbrandt | July 9, 2009

List #116: Why I’m Putting It Down

I’ve decided to pull the plug on Martina’s Lists & Rants. Why? Here, I’ll give you a list:

1. I’ve exhausted the list idea

2. I don’t want to be known for ranting

3. I’m trying to simplify my online presence.*

4. I’m ready for a change. Something new.

5. I haven’t been updating much away. See points 1 and 2.

6. *I’m combining this, my more personal blog, and my home blog, East Nashville Atomic, into 1 brand-spankin’-new blog called…

my mid-century modern life

Pleez take a moment to update your blog reader with Thank you. If you’re looking for me, that’s where I’ll be.

Posted by: mahlbrandt | July 2, 2009

Cincinnati Trip #1

Last weekend Jason and I took a short roap trip up to Cincinnat to visit our friends Renata & Sean. It’s only been two weeks since they moved from Nashville and we missed them already! Bringing up their new crib and a few other odds & ends was the perfect excuse for a visit.

The trip is not bad – only 4.5 hours – and we had a wonderful time. We’re definitely planning to do it again soon. I’m not sure if I have enough patience to wait until August when their baby is born!

I didn’t take many pictures but here are a few from IKEA and from a restaurant in Mount Adams. Pictures of their awesome mid-century house are here. I CAN’T WAIT to see the house once they’re furniture is in and they’re unpacked.


ps. Renata please send me the picture of us at Frisch’s once you find your camera cord. And pictures of your house once you unpack. I won’t blog it, I promise! 😉

Posted by: mahlbrandt | June 25, 2009

List #115: Randomness

(As if MOST of my blog entries are not randomness…)

* I have a BUNCH of pregnant friends. Like 4 good friends and approx. 4 other acquaintances, former classmates, and extended family members. One of them just had her baby on Monday. Congrats Laura and Jeff!! I can’t wait to meet Jenna Diane.

Sidenote: Does this make me want to have a baby, you ask? Yes. And I have to remind myself daily that there is no hurry! Jason and I still have plenty of time.

* Tomorrow Jason and I are going to visit one of my other prego pals and her hubby for the weekend in Cincinnati! Renata and Sean just bought a new house and although they won’t be moved in yet, we’re so excited to check out the new place. It’s a MCM quad-level. Also on the itinerary: IKEA.

• My big brother and his wife also bought a house this week in Emmaus, PA. Yay Aaron & Laura! Your special cocker spaniel housewarming gift should be coming next weekend. (In other words, they have graciously agreed to adopt Coco. We are so relieved and I’m excited for them. I think/hope they’ll be a great fit.)

* I’m 25! A quarter century down, three-quarters left to go. 😉 I am blessed beyond measure with the most wonderful friends and family!! I stopped short of inviting everyone I know to my birthday patio party and I still ended up with more people than I had time to visit with. I love each and every one so much. I thank God every day for YOU!

* On my actual birthday (Friday June 19th) I spent the day with my parents: eating cake and floating around in the swimming pool. The evening was spent worshiping for hours at Encounter. Jason was playing in the band so I didn’t get to spend much (or any) 1-on-1 time with him but seeing him up there pouring his heart out to God and hearing his exciting retelling of the 2 previous nights was such a gift for me. I am so thankful for God’s salvation for me but when I think about the man I love so much and reflect on God’s salvation for Jason and all He’s done in his life—I can’t help but cry sweet tears of joy! God is so good.

* My parent’s pool is up to 90º. At night when the air temp finally drops below 90º the water feels even more fabulous – warmer than the air!! Tonight I’ve invited some friends to come swimming with me and Jason. I’m excited to see how  2-year-old Max likes the warm water!

* I have not been taking many pictures lately. I apologize. All my favorite blogs are based around fun, creative, cute and interesting photos. I wish I had a better camera on my phone because I just don’t feel like lugging my good camera around with me everywhere. Someday… I promise! Maybe when I get an iPhone. (Note to self: Bring camera this weekend!)

Posted by: mahlbrandt | June 22, 2009

Baptism by Water is just Step 1

I grew up much of my life at a Baptist church. I love the church and the Baptist church was an awesome foundation for my faith. I was baptized in Lake Erie when I was around 11 years old. But my church never talked about the other kinds of baptism. The Bible actually talks about THREE kinds of baptism. Here are some notes from a really great message I heard from one of my all-time favorite preachers, John Ragsdale, a few weeks ago. This sermon rocked my world, truly. So much so that I accidentally inhaled my gum.

Here are just a few notes if you don’t want to take the 45 minutes to listen to the message or watch the video. The notes are really scattered because I was only typing up things that I was wanting to remember for myself. Therefore, I highly recommend you listen for yourself if you thought the Bible only talks about 1 or 2 kinds of baptism!

Baptism by Fire, John Ragsdale 5/24/09

There are 3 Baptisms:
Baptism by water
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Baptism by fire

There is a difference between the in-filling of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

You can be filled with the Holy Spirit and never be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

You can have Christ in you, the hope of glory; or you can be in Christ and be in the glory.

86x is the Bible it says “in Christ”. That’s most of what the Church cares about today is: “Have you accepted Jesus?” But how about asking this, “Have you been accepted into Jesus?” Because you can live life having Christ in you and never walking in your full potential. Or, you can get into Christ and find out there is a lot more living in this place than there was there!

I’ve got Christ in me. That’s wonderful! But where I’d rather be is IN CHRIST. Because Jesus said “If you abide in me and I abide in you, then you are going to produce fruit, that fruit is going to be abundant and that fruit is going to remain.”

I don’t know if you knew this or not but God is not really interested in revival, He’s interested in reformation!

There are 3, no 4 things that can never be satisfied (Proverbs)
1. a barren womb
2. the earth with no water
3. the grave
4. fire

Posted by: mahlbrandt | June 18, 2009

List #114: 12 Things I love about our garden

If you’ve been reading this for some time (or know me personally), you know my wonderful green-thumbed husband takes care of all our gardening. He asks for my input for planning and coerces me into weeding with him every now and then, but for the most part it’s his labor of love. And do I ever love it!

I snapped photos of 12 flowers yesterday after work. I’ll see if I can name them all L-R, row by row:


echinacea, leatis, red canna lily

zinnia, zinnia, day lily

rose, yellow canna lily, red yucca

prickly pear cactus, day lily, echinacea



1. Jason and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on Sunday! Actually we didn’t do much celebrating since we went out on a big date for our 10 yr anniversary (of our 1st date). But we love each other just the same! And we did eat some Bobbie’s Dairy Dip.

2. Having 2 dogs is driving us nuts so I’ve convinced my brother and his wife to adopt Coco. They’re moving into a new house in Allentown, PA at the end of this month and an energetic cocker spaniel puppy is just what they need! Seriously though, our first family dog was Aaron’s cocker spaniel Tucker many years ago. Our family really loved that dog and we’re so excited for Aaron to have a cocker spaniel again. I’m working out shipping arrangements since neither of us have the time to make a 12 hr. car trip this month. More on that later.

3. Tomorrow is my birthday. Quarter century, baby!! I accept both Lindt chocolates and Target gift cards. Thanks!

4. Jason has been über busy lately doing music stuff: recording sessions, rehearsals, worship conference. Poor guy has hardly had any sleep this week. He had to take the whole week of from Starbucks (thank God!) and I’m really encouraging him to quit or take a leave. (I’ve been kind of spontaneous lately. What happened to my worried/obsessive planning nature?) Praise the Lord! Full-time music would be a huge answer to prayer.

Posted by: mahlbrandt | June 10, 2009

List #113: Why I’m not blogging much lately

1. too busy
2. being private
3. focusing on my real life
4. taking a break
5. it’s mostly self-serving
6. and too easy for people to find out a lot about me
7. I’m reserving my best ideas and interesting personal info for people I interact with in person/phone/email/etc.
8. I’m out of lists
9. I need to find a way to consolidate my blogs and social networking sites
10. I’m not convinced more than 5 people including me read this site

Posted by: mahlbrandt | June 5, 2009

Interior Design Itch!

In my six years as an adult (aka, married and not living with Mama and Daddy) this is the longest I have ever lived in one place – 2 years and 4 months so far! And I’m itching to do some interior design. The problem is, I’m stuck! I don’t want to redesign anything. I love the finished rooms just as they are. But I do have 2 rooms I can’t wait to get my hands on:

My office is occupied. As I mentioned in a previous post, we have some friends living with us and my office has been a guest room for the past 6 months. I can’t wait to get it back and redesign it. I’m not going to repaint or replace furniture but I have some rearranging, storage, and decor ideas. I also have in the back of my mind (ok, and occasionally in the front of my mind) that this room will one day function as a nursery. Can it be my office and nursery? Does that work? I’ve sketched it out on paper 10 different ways that will work but I wonder if it’s practical.

Our master bathroom needs a major overhaul involving taking down a wall, building 2 more walls for a tiled in shower, lots of tiling, some plumbing, a new sink cabinet … I’d love to get started but we need some moolah first! The good thing about having to be patient is that Jason and I have reworked the floorplan/design of the bathroom several times and thought about several different tile options and I think we’ve made some great progress.



Current state of the bathroom:


FYI, our master bathroom used to be a bedroom (9’x11′) so it is quite large and has wood floors. Our commode is in what I call  a “toilet closet.” We think it’s a complete waste of floorspace so we’ll be taking down those walls. Also the laundry area is housed in a former bedroom closet. We plan to close that off into a small “room” so we don’t have to have a curtain hanging in front of it. The door to the laundry room will probably be a folding translucent screen so the light from that window (1 of 2) will still come through. There is another window above the dog crate.

Posted by: mahlbrandt | June 2, 2009

List #112: What I Got (This Weekend)

I got…

1. Ice cream from Bobby’s Dairy Dip with Jason

(from flickr)

2. A long night walk in Centennial Park with Jason, Dan, Ginger and 3 pups: Marty, Coco and Lucy.

3. A new wedding stationery set design (in the a.m. hours of Friday night)


4. A booth at my first ever bridal show! My East Nashville Wedding


5. Some new customers for wedding invitations, a baby announcement and some design work for a florist and photographer – I hope!

6. A sunburn on my shoulders

7. A lime-blackberry Las Paletas popsicle at Bongo Java

8. To hear Jason play twice (or 4x): in a “Battle of the Wedding Bands” with My Morning Coffee (jazz trio) and with solo artist Michael Land. Then later at Maxximo Jo’s with both bands


8. A new friend. I mentioned a few weeks ago that we heard him play at Ugly Mugs and really enjoyed his music but I had forgotten his name. We spent quite a bit of time with Michael on Saturday and enjoyed making a new friend. He’s from Missouri and he and his wife have 5 kids. Five kids all under the age of 6! He said if Jason and I were on their schedule we’d have 3 kids by now! Check out his music. It sounds a lot like Marc Broussard and Jon McLaughlin:


9. To worship God without restraint and to learn about living by the Spirit rather than being driving by soul (mind, will and emotions). I also got to see lots of lovely friends!

10. A good workout canoeing in the Harpeth with our friends Jonathan, Katelyn and her bro Kenton. It was actually very relaxing and fun (not too much work!) Notice my George Washington pose and Katelyn’s 30 wk pregnant belly?


11. Very little sleep

12. Lots of quality time with my favorite guy in the world doing things we love to do!

Posted by: mahlbrandt | June 2, 2009

“Scheduled” Posts

Sorry about the seemingly incorrect date of the last post. This is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve tried to do a scheduled post through WordPress and it doesn’t ever seem to post when I actually schedule. That last post, 10 Years, was scheduled to post at 9 am on Friday May 29 and it just posted in my Google Reader at 1 pm on Tuesday, June 2. I believe it’s actually been posted on the blog since Friday. Anyway, sorry about that. I won’t be using the “schedule” feature anymore since it’s apparently worthless.

Posted by: mahlbrandt | May 29, 2009

10 Years

10 Years Ago today, on May 29, 1999, I said “Yes” to Jason.

We had been “talking” (to use a 2009 term) for 2 weeks — and we did talk a lot on the phone everyday after school, on AIM at night before bed. We had gone on at least 1 date (the previous Saturday), maybe 2. It was a Saturday night and we had been hanging out all afternoon and evening — went to the beach, had dinner with my parents, watched a movie and some TV (a little Emeril I’m pretty sure). It was almost time for Jason to head home for the night when he asked:

“Do you want to kick it up a notch? Make this official?”

For a decade it’s been official. I am officially crazy in love with this guy. The past 10 years have been more wonderful, fun, painful and beautifully messy than I ever could have imagined.

Hand-in-hand we’ve trudged through 10 years of our lives together —

dressing up for (approx. 10) high school dances

attending the funerals of Jason’s friend and my Papa and Jason’s Grandpa

celebrating high school graduations

floating blissfully through our engagement and wedding

spending a week in Myrtle Beach on our honeymoon and still feeling like kids

fighting through a good part of our first year

learning so much about ourselves and each other and Father and needs that a spouse can’t fill

tragically watching our first pet kitten Mabel die in our arms after we’d had a big fight and realizing how delicate life is

learning to budget and pay bills and keep house

celebrating our older brothers’ weddings

buying our first car

moving to a city and college where we didn’t know ANYONE and getting an apartment and jobs and learning our way around town

waiting months before making our first friends in Nashville

going to 100’s of Waterside (Jason’s band) shows in PA, TN, OH, VA, AR, IL, WI, IN, NC…

buying our first house

celebrating another brother’s wedding

making lifelong friends

graduating from art school

discovering our love for sushi

Jason playing sessions with worship bands and washed-up CCM artists and break out country bands

observing and supporting as Jason’s band was courted by record labels

getting my first “real” job and buying our next house (during the same week)

adopting our “rescue” cocker spaniel Lucy

becoming obsessed with the Fire Cracker Maki roll from Ru San’s

finally finding a church home at Grace Church

making more amazing friends

learning to worship God the way He likes it

taking our first week long beach vacation alone (since our honeymoon)

praying our way through many bumps and bruises

deciding to never give up on each other no matter how bad it hurts sometimes

taking numerous road trips – often to Atlanta just for the day – and getting into deep and pivotal conversations in the car and coming home knowing and loving each other even better than before

holding Granny’s hand as Jason hugged my shoulders and we watched my grandmother take her last breath and then crying with each other (and my aunt) for hours

turning our 1955 brick ranch into a magazine-worthy “atomic ranch” and finding a new hobby together in collecting and restoring vintage pieces

enjoying our beautiful garden (all thanks to Jason’s hard work)

going to Costa Rica to celebrate my sister’s wedding

adopting a second cocker spaniel – Coco – from Jason’s grandma

waking up each lovely day with a full heart as I gaze over at the man I love…

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