Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Song

They played this song today at church and I've heard it numerous times and I love it more and more every time I hear it. It reminds me of the bible study I'm doing right now, Plan B. The end gets me almost to tears each time I hear it.

Matt Redman "You Never Let Go":

My favorite part of the song is where he says:

"Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise you, still I will praise you"

This is pretty much what Plan B is all about. Trusting that God has a light at the end of the tunnel and that you WILL get there. I've experienced that wait before and it seems like it will take forever to get to the light, but it will happen, if you trust God. I think I get emotional when I hear this song because the most recent time in my life where I felt like this applied to me, I actually gave it to God and decided that He knows what is best for me way better than I ever will. I was so right to trust him and I eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel. This experience only made my faith that much stronger.

So many people in the world are in pain for various reasons. Divorce, cheating spouse, death, infertility, addiction, jobless, etc. When we're in the midst of these troubles is when we need God the most, but for some reason, we think we can handle it on our own. It's not until we completely surrender control over to God that we start seeing the end of our troubles. We are so impatient and want to see results now. Matt Redman chose the phrase "for the heart that holds on". God wants us to hold on and wait for his timing. Quit trying to do things your way and let Him do it His way. Trust God. He knows what is best. And He never lets go. If you know someone that is having trouble letting go, pray for them because when we are incapable of giving God our problems, we tend to be angry and bitter all the time. Other people see this in us and steer clear of us, causing us to be lonely. The cycle will never end until WE end it!

Finally, he says "Still I will praise you, still I will praise you". Do we not all get so consumed in our problems that we usually STOP worshiping right at the time when we need to be doing it the most? We, as humans, are so self-centered. We'll worship God when things are good and then God throws us a curveball and we stop. Can you imagine what God is thinking?? I mean, we're basically proving to Him that we only love Him when He gives us what we want and when our lives are going according to OUR plan. We must praise him, even through the storms. BTW that last line is stolen from a song by my FAVORITE christian band, Casting Crowns. The name of the song is "Praise You In This Storm". Hope this helps you on this awesome Sunday :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

#17 - CHECK!

Number 17 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days was to visit my friends Lauren and Garrett in Seattle, WA. This was my first time to visit Seattle and I was so excited to finally be able to see Lauren in her city! Justin and I took an early flight at 5:30am on Thursday morning (we had to wake up at 3:30am) and we got into Seattle at about 10:30am. As soon as we got there, we headed about 45 minutes north of Seattle to go to the Boeing plant. This plant in Washington makes all the Boeing airplanes that fly all over the world. The newest plane is in the process of being finalized and it's the 787. Justin and I got to see this 787 in an assembly line at the plant. Yes, you heard me right, the plane is in an assembly line. Just like a car or any other mass produced product. Given the size of planes, you know that plant is HUGE! It's the largest building in the world by volume. 29,000 people work there in numerous shifts making these planes. Interesting picture...


This is actually a 747 that is slightly modified. You'll notice that the middle section of the plane is much bigger than the rest. That is because this is the plane (one of four) that ships the parts of the 787 to Washington. This plane, as small as it may look in the picture, can carry the fuselage of the 787 planes. It's crazy! The 787 plane series is called Dreamliner. So it's fitting that these four planes that ship the parts of the 787 are called Dreamlifters. are called Another interesting fact about the 787's is that it only takes 3-5 days to make them. Not sure about you, but I don't feel safe flying in something that takes less than a woman's monthly cycle to build. I'm just saying.

After leaving the Boeing plant, we drove back to the Space Needle to take the world famous "Duck Tour". We boarded this bad boy...


And drove all over Seattle learning the historical facts of the city as well as having some fun. By the way, apparently people in Germany and South Africa all know the steps to the Cha Cha Slide. We took the "duck" into Lake Union and passed this house...


Look familiar? It should, well, at least to the ladies it should. It's the house Tom Hanks' character lived at in Sleepless in Seattle. Garrett also showed us the restaurant in Pike Place where Tom Hanks had dinner with the girl he dated before Meg Ryan's character. I heart Tom and Mel in movies :) After finishing up doing the duck tour, Justin and I drove to Garrett and Lauren's house to meet them. They both had to work that day so Justin and I just kept ourselves occupied doing the things above until they got home.

We refreshed for a minute and then left again to have dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory downtown. Dinner was fabulous and we stayed there for hours just talking. It's been so long since I was able to have some friend time with Lauren because she lives so far away and can only come home so much and when she does, she usually has an itinerary of things to do everyday when she's here. I know how it is. When I lived in Nashville and only came home once every couple of months it seemed like everyone wanted to do something and I only had so much time, so I pretty much had a schedule to meet every time I was home. You're lucky to get a lunch or dinner in with your friends before you have to leave again.

The next morning we woke up and traveled about 2 hours to Rainier National Park. This day rocked! We got to the Jackson Visitor Center trailhead, which is the same trailhead you take to the summit of Rainier, and hiked about 4 miles roundtrip. Four miles doesn't sound too bad does it? Well, there was a little factor that made it slightly harder that I like to call STAIRCASE! The views were unbelievable though.


This is Lauren pointing at the awful staircase. Trust us, it is way steeper than it looks.







We took the Skyline trail to Panorama Point. Aren't the mountains gorgeous? I mean, Justin and I saw mountains like this when we hiked to the summit of Mount Elbert in Colorado. But that was at 14,500 feet. Panorama Point is only at about 7,000 feet. To see these views at only 7,000 feet is incredible! Lauren was our trail leader. She was in front and hauled some tail up the mountain leading the rest of us to the top. Here's a video of the views we were looking at.

Coming down was a different story though. The steepness made us all pretty nervous about coming down. Justin and I didn't really want to walk down, so we slid down. Yep, we SLID down the staircase. After leaving Garrett and Lauren at the top, they finally decided to do the same. Luckily, I got them on video...

After leaving the park, by the way, a woman fell 20 feet through the snow while on the exact same trail we were on. She fell through a warm spot in the snow 10 feet down where she hit a transformer and then fell another 10 feet until she stopped. She was there for 2 hours until she was airlifted to a hospital. This happened a mere 4 hours after we left. CRAZY!

We headed home to change and get ready for the Mariner's game that night. We had so much fun and the views were so AWESOME!


Like Meredith Grey, I also have a thing for ferry boats :)


Me and Justin with the Olympic Mountains in the background. We intend to go climb those when we make it out there again.


Justin took this picture. We watched the sun set over the space needle from our seats!!

The next morning, we did several of the fun touristy things around Seattle...


Had lunch at Pike's Place Market


Took a ferry to Bainbridge Island


Went to the top of the Space Needle

Justin and I had a blast in Seattle and we didn't even make it to the airport before we started planning all the things we're going to do next time we get to come out there. Lauren and Garrett were such amazing hosts and I was so glad to get to hang out with them. Lauren, Justin still talks about those pillows. He wants to know if they came from Polo or Costco. He can't remember :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wedding Video

After Justin and I got back from our honeymoon, we were so excited to see the wedding DVD had already come in. I watched it numerous times because it was so awesome and I kept saying to myself "one day I'm going to try to figure out how to break up this dvd into numerous video files and upload them so that my friends and family that don't live in town can see it". Needless to say, that was almost a year ago, and let's face it, I didn't really try that hard :)

However, I finally found some software that was able to do it and I am so excited to have figured it out!!! I had 8 bridesmaids and only 2 of them have seen this video. Justin's family that weren't able to make the wedding still haven't seen it so it makes me really happy to have finally figured out how to send it to people so that they can see it. Youtube (my personal video upload of choice) for some reason only lets me upload a video if it's less than 10 minutes long, so I had to break it up into several files for it to be viewable. I'll try to write about what is in each clip so that you don't have to watch the boring parts ;) Without further ado....


At 1:53 you'll see us trying to use make-up to cover up a scar. I received that scar a couple of days before the wedding from attempting to help Justin iron his clothes. Needless to say, I do not iron clothes anymore :)

Ceremony Part 1 (includes seating of the mothers and grandmothers and entrance of the wedding party and bride):

Ceremony Part 2 (includes giving away of the bride, scripture reading by Bonnie Hill, prayer, vows, exchange of rings, and another prayer):

Ok this is the one I have to do some extra commentary on! You'll notice at about 1:15 that Rob, Gordon, and both of my sisters do a little chuckle. The reason for this is because Don (the minister) was supposed to ask Justin all the questions first. Justin and Rob convinced him right before the ceremony to do me first to see my reaction. They knew how much of a nervous wreck I was already and thought they might have a little fun. Nice. Don starts the first prayer at 3:15, and if you'll watch Justin's face, he keeps eyeing up at me and laughing. He is seriously completely shocked that I'm as emotional as I am and he's enjoying the heck out of it, so he chuckles a couple of times when he sees me sniffle and try my best to hold back tears, though because of the small video and quality, it's kind of hard to see. At 6:30 comes the funniest part of it all and the part that Justin and I STILL laugh about to this day. I was so nervous and emotional that I couldn't tell which hand was his left hand to put the ring on. You can hear me say "which hand? this hand? left hand? ok." and then Justin laughs. We get a kick out of it.

Ceremony Part 3 (includes lighting of the unity candle, final words by pastor, first kiss as husband and wife, presentation of bride and groom, and the exit of the wedding party):

And finally on to the more FUN part of the night!!! RECEPTION TIME!!!

Reception Part 1 (includes a quick glance at the food and decorations at B&A Warehouse, the leadout of the wedding party and the introduction and first dance of husband and wife):

I've said this before somewhere, but I'll say it again since new followers may not know. You can see in this video that the kinds of food we had at our reception was not what you see at a normal wedding reception. Justin and I are VERY down to Earth people and we wanted to show that in our food. We had mini-cheeseburgers, mini-corn dogs, popcorn, chinese, macaroni and cheese, etc. We wanted food that we knew people would eat at home while wearing sweat pants and a T-shirt.

P.S. If you're wondering what we danced to, it's Sister Hazel "This Kind of Love".

Reception Part 2..MY FAVORITE ONE (includes cutting of the cakes, greeting friends, speeches to the camera by some of the wedding party, THE GIRLFRIEND DANCE, and some more speeches to the camera by friends and family):

If you watch any part of this section of the reception, watch 4:30 for the Girlfriend Dance. I had my bridesmaids, mothers, and close friends learn a choreographed dance that we performed at the reception. It was awesome! Thanks to Lindsey Limbaugh for the idea :)

And finally, Reception Part 3 (includes some wicked awesome dancing by the bride and her maids and friends on the dance floor - what do you expect from a former dancer? Also more speeches from more family and friends and finally the tossing of the bouquet and garter and our exit):

The reason I love my sister Jennifer is at :25. And yes, when we're leaving people are throwing popcorn on us. It was a last resort. We were supposed to have sparklers but the horse got nervous around fire so my reception coordinator had to come up with something quick :)

I absolutely adore these videos, even though the quality of them on youtube isn't wonderful. Our wedding day rocked and I have my amazing family and friends to thank for that, oh and my awesome hubster too :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Xterra Sport Triathalon

Yesterday, my rockstar husband participated in the Xterra Sport Triathalon race at Oak Mountain. The race consisted of a 750 meter swim (about the length of 8 football fields for those of you that need a visual), followed by a 10 mile mountain bike ride and finally a 5K trail run. Keep in mind that in Birmingham yesterday morning, the high was 95 degrees with a heat index of 102. It was INSANELY hot! I have no idea how any of those people did it. You would think that the swim part could have cooled off the participants, but no. The water was 84 degrees. As the winner of the race said "you could boil eggs in that lake".


This is Justin and I before the race started

Here's a video I took of the start of the race



Those are some pictures I got while Justin was doing the swim. He was most worried about the swim section because he'd never done a swim in a race before. Turns out, it was the part he did the best on! He said he wasn't tired at all and could have done it again.

This is another video I took of Justin getting out of the lake and running to the transition area to get ready for the mountain biking.



Going from swimming to biking...

Justin wanted to do the swim in 20 minutes and did it in 15! He had also planned on doing the biking section in an hour and 20 minutes and did it in exactly one hour. We all waited for him in the shade :)


We are so blessed with amazing friends and family. Trevor and Tiffany and Rob all woke up super early to come out and support Justin during his first mini-triathalon. And his parents as well and sister and brother-in-law came too! I was thinking I was going to be out there all by my lonesome and then all these fabulous people show up! It was truly awesome! Thank you so much guys!

This is the video I took of Justin coming into the transition area from the biking to drop the bike and head out for the 5K trail run. Justin was furious because a portion of the trail run was actually on the main road that runs through the park, which was exposed to the sun and that 102 heat index. He made it through though. He did the 5K trail run in 43 minutes. Justin was disappointed with his run time, but was very happy with his overall time. Justin usually run a road 5K in about 25 minutes, but trail runs are MUCH MUCH HARDER. When you're having to run through the woods on teeny tiny trails and dodge rocks, tree roots, and logs, it tends to take a bit longer than a normal 5K.

And this is the video of Justin finishing the triathalon. He did it in 2 hours and 1 minute. Out of the 60 people that did the Sport triathalon, he finished in 25th. In his age group he finished 3rd and even got a medal.


Justin and I after he finished. I'm soaking wet for two reasons. One - I'm sweating like crazy in the heat. Two - they had a "misting tent" that was really more like a "waterfall tent" for the athletes when they finished and I sat in there with Justin for a while.


The whole family. Love them!


This is Justin's age group winners. There were only four people in his age group, one of which was Trevor who didn't do the race because he had broken his knee. Justin was only 58 seconds from the dude that finished 2nd in his age group and 9 minutes from the dude who finished first.

Justin did so awesome and I couldn't be more proud of him. He was incredibly nervous about it since it was his first time to do a race that consisted of three different sports, but he is obsessed now and plans to do the full triathalon next year. To give you an idea of how bad the heat was...


Almost every athlete that finished the full triathalon had to be carried from the finish line to the medical tent where they got a slight ice bath or even in a lot of cases, an IV of fluids. Like I said, it was INSANELY hot!

Congrats bay!!!

Justin and I leave for Seattle on Thursday at 5:30 am (YIKES) but we couldn't be more excited. The weather is going to be AMAZING for our trip. The high is 69-70 degrees with only a 10% chance of rain the entire time we're there, which is incredibly rare for the rainy city of Seattle. SO EXCITED!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What's Your Jordan?

This week we had week 2 of our Plan B bible study. We covered two chapters; one dealing with "The Illusion of Control" and the other dealing with "Your Jordan". I love this book more and more as I read it and I love these girls more and more as we discuss it and how it relates to our lives. I'll talk about the Illusion of Control first.

The Illusion of Control - Chapter 3

Pete had a really awesome quote in the book that said "the greatest of all illusions is the illusion of control". Whether we realize it or not, we are all kind of controlling. Some people are more controlling of other people and others are more controlling of themselves. I think I fall in that last category. I don't try to control other people because I learned a long time ago that the more you try to do that, the more resistance you get from that person and it will all fall apart if you keep trying. So my issue is that I try to control the outcomes of my life, knowing full well that God already has a plan in motion and He knows how it will all turn out. However, I try to control it anyway.

"I like control. I like to know where God is going, exactly what he is doing, the exact route of how we are getting there, and exactly when we will arrive." Let's be honest, how awesome would it be if we knew all that information? But let's face it, we don't and never will. God will always surprise us. The more we try to control everything, the more stressed out we're going to get, the more we're going to take that stress out on our friends, family, spouses, children, co-workers, etc. This exhausting effort that is control, has the potential to ruin our lives....if we let it. The key is to not let it. The key is to surrender control to the only being that can control our lives and trust that His plan is the best one.

"You may think you're losing control, but the truth is, you never had control in the first place. The only thing you do control is how you respond to your disappointments and your unexpected obstacles." We will literally wear ourselves out trying to control the outcomes of our lives or trying to control other people to conform them to what you want them to be instead of who they are. We all need to get to a place where we can sit back and say "Not my will God, but yours be done."

Your Jordan - Chapter 4

In order for people not reading this book to understand this part, I need to dive into the scripture Pete refers to in this chapter. So we got our homeboy Moses who led the Israelites out of bondage and now they're strolling around trying to find the Promise Land. Well they finally find it, but all these peeps are all scared now and are afraid God won't give them what they promised. Finally, their great and fearless leader, Moses, dies (let's face it, the guy was like 120 years old...he was tired). So who takes his place? Joshua. Long story short, J-man has a convo with God and God tells him to take 12 of the dudes he's with and carry the Ark of the Lord into the Jordan River and as soon as it touches the river, the river will stop flowing and stand up so that the people can get across the river and into the Promise Land. Apparently God was so impressed with himself after the whole Red Sea thing that He felt the need to do it again ;) Gotta love him.


Crossing a river doesn't sound so hard to us, but apparently back in the day, the Jordan River was very deep, even at the banks, and the flowing of the water at that time of year was incredibly fast, so yeah these dudes could have easily gotten washed away. The Jordan was these people's scary place. It was the thing they were afraid to do because they were hesitant to trust God. What is your Jordan? Where in your life are you afraid to step into the water and trust that God will take care of you?

Good quotes from Pete throughout Chapter 4:

  • "You have to take the first step. You will not see God's power or experience His faithfulness until you get your feet wet."
  • "God is teaching his people 'I have so much power, and I want to manifest it in your life. But if you want to see my power, you have to take the risk. You have to take the step. You have to take the spiritual risk of trusting me first."
  • "Hate and bitterness are both poisons to the redemptive work God wants to do in and through our lives. And the only way I know to drain the poison is through forgiveness."
  • "He's learned the truth that makes all the difference: constant contact with the Creator is essential for transformation living. If you want faith enough to live the life God's called you to live, time with God is simply a must. And that applies double when you're facing a Plan B situation."
  • "Some people can trust God in the midst of difficulties, and others can't. I don't really believe that. I think that's a cop-out and, for most of us, nothing more than an excuse."
  • "I'm learning more and more that if I want God's help in my life, I need to be ready for what He's going to do. I have to be willing to wait for His signal. And when He says go, I'd better start paddling."

Next week is Chapter 5, entitled "Paralyzed" and Chapter 6, entitled "Whiplash". Ashley Matherson has already finished the entire book and she says that I will absolutely love Chapter 6. So far I'm pretty much in love with every Chapter in this book so we'll see how it goes :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why My Husband Rocks

I could probably make a list of a thousand things when asked "Why is your husband a good husband"? But what would probably make the number one spot on that list is that he wants me to be so happy and will do things he doesn't even remotely want to do in order for that to happen. Prime example....our one year anniversary.

Justin and I are reaching our anniversary date of July 25, 2010. On that date, we will have been married for one full year, but I won't talk about that now. I'll make a separate post that weekend to discuss our first year of marriage and our wedding day since I apparently didn't make a post about that (other than showing wedding pics). Anyone who knows us knows how much we LOVE to travel. So naturally, it would make sense that we would go somewhere on our year anniversary. The original plan was to take our trip to the west to climb some mountains (which is actually number 57 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days). We were going to rent a car and drive through Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, and Oklahoma, doing each of those state highpoints along the way.

We had this discussion back in January and decided this was what we wanted to do. Well, around the end of April, I called him one day and asked how many days it would take to do the trip and he told me 5 days total. I didn't tell him what I was doing or why I was asking, but he got curious because he brought it up that night. Later that evening when we were in bed watching the Andy Griffith Show (yes, that is our nightly routine) he asked me why I asked that. I told him that I needed to know so that I could request the days needed off work. He started freaking out. "Why did you do that???" I was so confused. We had already talked about it so why was he getting mad? Finally, he kept saying "you need to cancel that request. We can't take that trip anymore". I got furious. "Excuse me?? You know how badly I wanted to take this trip!!! Why can't we take it anymore?"

After some arguing, he told me that he had other plans for that weekend and had already booked another trip, one which wouldn't require me to take any days off. Basically, he wanted to make sure that if someone at work needed me on a job, that I would be available and if you request off and it's approved, managers will see that and not schedule you on something. So his only purpose in telling me about the new trip was so I could go back to work and cancel my request to be off for two days that week.

Now, I am SOOOOOOOOOOO that person that tries to figure out a surprise before I get it. I am STILL that person at Christmas that rummages through any present with my name on it to try to figure out what I got. Justin knew he was taking a risk when he told me about a trip he had planned for us, but wouldn't tell me what. He had tried this once before when he took me on a secret trip to Maine. It didn't work because he told me months before the trip. Not a good idea honey. I will figure it out when you give me that much time to work with. Because of this, Justin was just going to be waiting for me at the house when I got home from work that Thursday (July 22nd) and tell me to pack my bags and that we were leaving tomorrow for a trip. This would have totally worked because I wouldn't have had enough time to try to figure it out. Of course I wouldn't have slept at all that night either, but whatever.

Because he knew he wouldn't be able to keep it a secret, he told me where I was going. Any guesses???? Those of you that know me....where is my FAVORITE city in the entire world??

If you know me well, you probably guessed it....


Yep, Justin has booked us a romantic getaway trip for the weekend to NEW. YORK. CITY!!!

So why does planning this trip qualify Justin as a "husband who rocks"? Well, NYC may be my favorite city on Earth, but it's Justin's LEAST favorite city. He is a home-grown country boy who loves small town life. He doesn't like a lot of people being around and he doesn't like the quick hustle of the city. Because of this, he truly despises New York. But he knows how much I love it, so he planned our year anniversary romantic getaway for what I would want, not what he wanted. This guy loves climbing mountains more than anything in the world and the fact that he'd give up a chance to climb two major mountains in order for me to have what I want speaks for the kind of person my husband is. Only God knows how much I love that man. He's only been to the city once and didn't have fun then, so I'm hoping he'll have more fun this time with his awesome wife :)

I've been several times, so only going a weekend is fine by me because I've already done pretty much all the "touristy" stuff. So far, we're planning on going to a Yankees game on Friday night. I'm REALLY excited about this. I've been to a Mets game before, but not a Yankees game AND it will be at their brand new stadium!! I'm gonna rack up on some Yankees gear before-hand. Don't worry!


We wanted to try to get tickets to the Statue of Liberty since you can now go up in the crown. You've never been able to do this all the times I've been, so I really want to do this. However, somehow tickets for that weekend are already sold out. I have no idea how that happened. Either way, we're still gonna make our way to Battery Park in hopes that we can buy them there or someone will be selling a pair we can scalp.


P.S. I actually took this picture of the Statue of Liberty the last time I was in New York and you can read about that here.

We're also doing some of the normal tourist things that I could seriously do EVERYTIME I go to New York; Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, Museum of Natural History, cruise of the Harbor, etc. Going to New York again is also on my 101 List, however I didn't think I was going to mark it off until 2011, so I'm really pumped to be able to mark it off next month!! Before we head to New York, we're heading to the wonderful Seattle to see my friend Lauren. I've never been to Seattle before and going there is another thing on my 101 List, but this one was actually planned to be done in 2010 :) We're leaving next Thursday at like 5am. Advil PM will be my friend the night before. We get into Seattle on Thursday around 10:30am and plan to drive north of the city to go to the Boeing plant where they build all the super big planes. SO EXCITED!!! 9 days till Seattle and 46 days till New York!! Have I mentioned how much I love my life?

Because Justin does things like this all the time for me (not necessarily always spending money to travel somewhere to surprise me) I'm making a label for "Why My Husband Rocks". When he does awesome things that make me realize why God put us together, it will be just another part of the Why My Husband Rocks blogs :) Love you babe.

On a totally irrelevant sidenote, today is apparently Follow Me Back Tuesday in the blogging world :)

BWS tips   button

If you're a fellow blogger, click on the picture above and it will take you to the Boobies, Babies, and A Blog where they host Follow Me Back Tuesdays every week. The directions for how it works is in the post. Happy following!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Hill

This past weekend, Justin and I had the pleasure of attending Bonnie and Andrew's wedding. Justin was actually an usher. The wedding was at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Birmingham and the reception was at Avon Theater downtown. Bonnie and Andrew are great friends and ours. They love traveling and do a lot of mountain climbing with Justin and I when we go to knock off some highpoints.

Bonnie and Andrew have been together for SEVEN YEARS! As Bonnie says, it was about time!! They newly married couple are currently on their honeymoon in Aspen and will return to their home in Houston, TX afterwards. We had so much fun at their wedding. Congrats to you guys! Love you! Here's some pics:


The junior groomsman heard the jingle from the ice cream man's truck and literally chased it down the street, requesting that he come to the church so that the wedding party and a few others could get some ice cream. Made a cute touch to the pre-wedding events :)


This is me and Margaret enjoying our ice cream


Me and my awesome husband. He was an usher at the wedding.


First dance as husband and wife


This is me, Shelly and Tiffany. Shelly is preggo and due in September. This is her second child and against my wishes, she's refusing to find out the sex of the baby. We all joked at the reception that Shelly would have a girl, Allison and Chase already have a little girl, our friends Joe and Katy have a little girl and when Tiffany and Trevor get pregnant, they're gonna have a girl. This way, me and Justin's boy will be big pimpin ;)


The cake was sooooooooo good!


Me and the hubs again


Allison and Chase


All the girls. And no, I didn't get the memo to wear black.


I love this picture


Me, Allison and Tiff


Me and Shelly


More of the boys

Hope everyone had an awesome weekend!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

#15 - CHECK!

Number 15 on my 101 things to do in 1,001 days list was to join a bible study. Well, instead of joining one, I kind of started one! This is a first for me so please pray for me and for the other girls during this study. We are doing the Plan B bible study. I've mentioned Plan B before on this blog. It's a book written by Pete Wilson, who happens to be my old pastor back when I lived in Nashville. He built that church from the ground up and Cross Point has grown tremendously since I left.

How funny is this. I went to church at our church on Sunday (St. Mark United Methodist Church in Vestavia) and brought my Bible. This is the first time I've brought my Bible in I can't even remember how long. Our contemporary service, the Hillside, puts the scripture on the screen, so I just stopped bringing my Bible. For some reason though, I had the urge to bring it on Sunday. While flipping to the scripture for the day, I ran across this....


It's the program for the Sunday service at Cross Point on April 6, 2008 where the series was Plan B. My heart just melted when I saw it. When I opened the program, there was a piece of paper inside that had scripture on it and Pete always had sentences with fill in the blanks that we filled out during the church service. This particular one said:

Two Temptations:

1) Wrapping your FAITH around the fulfillment of your dreams

2) Trying to CONTROL outcomes

These two things really just sums up what Plan B is all about. The group met for the first time at my house on Thursday night. We discussed chapters 1 and 2 and had a 3 hour long discussion about how these chapters related to us and our lives and what our current situations were that caused us to want to read this book. It's a small group, which I'm totally fine with because I would be way to nervous otherwise. It's comprised of myself, my sister-in-law, Melanie Martin (my P90X partner in crime) and Ashley Matherson (my best friend for 12+ years). Ashley was actually cracking me up. We were only supposed to read chapters 1 and 2, but Ash has read up to chapter 12 and kept trying to talk about it. I had to hush her a few times ;)

I discussed how intense chapter 1 was here. I suggest reading it if you can do it without crying. Chapter 2 is when Pete dives into scripture. His reference is the life of David. David was told by Samuel that God had chosen him as the next king. David's life progressed with no sign of becoming what he'd been promised and then all of a sudden this Goliath character came into the picture and David kicked some giant booty. THEN he had faith in himself that he could be king. Why didn't he have that faith before? We all have a tendency to say we know that God has a plan for our lives, yet we tend to be impatient about that plan coming to fulfillment. It's hard not to be.

David becomes a hero and the current king, Saul, starts favoring him. After some time though, Saul starts to become slightly intimidated by David and begins being unhappy with him. As Pete refers to the situation, a "Jerry Springer-type moment" happens when Saul throws a spear at David. David ends up running away in fear of Saul. He ran. How often do we run away from our problems? The questions we discussed in our bible study revolved around this. Do you run away? Do you try to control it on your own? The one thing we don't do often enough is turn to God for help. When we get ourselves dug so deep into a hole, we tend to exhaust ourselves trying to get out all on our own. Turn to God.

Some interesting things brought up during the bible study:

  • Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. I can totally speak for this one and so can most of you. How often did you pray for that guy you dated in college? Pray that he would be the one? Boy did I do that. And I thank God everyday that he didn't answer those prayers, otherwise I wouldn't be married to the TRUE love of my life now.
  • Plan B is only OUR Plan B. Plan B was ALWAYS God's Plan A.
  • "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish" ~ John Quincy Adams. We must be patient. When we say we will wait for God's timing, we have to actually do it. God knows way more about your life than you do. Be patient and wait for Him to reveal to you what He wants.
  • Your dreams may not be happening , and things aren't turning out the way you expected, but that doesn't mean your life is spinning out of control. It just means that you're not in control.

Chapter 3 and 4 will be discussed on Wednesday and I can't wait. Chapter 3 is all about the illusion of control and chapter 4 is called "Your Jordan". I haven't gotten to 4 yet, so I don't know what it's about, but I'll certainly blog about it after Wednesday :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

ABC's I Love

I stole this idea from Laura over at Where is the Lolo. I thought it was a cute idea and I'm kind of bored today so here it goes...

Auditing. Yes, I know, I'm a dork. This is what I do for a living and I actually enjoy it very much.

Baking. This is a new thing for me, but I'm catching on. I'm learning from an awesome baker that I happen to be blessed enough to work with. I love making cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and brownies. I try not to do it often though because I will seriously eat everything I cook. I have a massive sweet tooth.

Camping. This is something Justin and I do together pretty frequently and we both love it so much. Getting away from all technology to enjoy nature for a couple of days is a necessity for us.

Dan Brown books. I loved The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and Lost Symbol. These books actually sparked an interest in history for me since I started reading them. Dan Brown is very accurate when he talks about places and the history behind them. One day, whenever Justin and I do the 12 day Mediterranean cruise that goes to Rome, we're going to do the "shore excursion" where you take an "Angels & Demons" tour of the city. Justin may be bored out of his mind, but holy crap I'm gonna love every minute of it! I actually told Justin that whenever we have a kid, if it's a boy, I loved the name Langdon (Robert Langdon is the main character in all these books), but he quickly said no. He doesn't like that I read as much as I do and naming a child after anything I read is an absolute no no according to Justin.

Elephants. Roll Tide....enough said.

Flying. I love airplanes. Not as much as Justin does, he knows every type of aircraft, where and when flights in and out of each city are, the details of each kind of plane, etc. He's nuts. I just like flying because it means I'm about to take a trip! On our honeymoon I finally experienced what it's like to fly first class...definitely something I could get use to.

Giz. She's the best dog I've ever had and I love her so much. Her full name is Gizmo by the way. She is so smart it's almost scary. She knows exactly how to get what she wants and is sometimes rather sneaky about it!

Hiking. Anyone that knows my husband and I knows how much we love hiking. We have a goal of hiking to the highest point in each of the 50 states. You can see those blog posts by state on the sidebar of my blog to see how many I've completed.

I-pod. Technically I no longer have an I-pod, I have a Zune. However, it's the same exact thing (except on mine I can get the radio in addition to whatever songs I've downloaded). Couldn't live without it.

Justin. He's my husband, my other half, my soulmate. He can finish any sentence I start and I can't imagine life without him.

Keira Knightley. I love every movie she's ever been in. Probably because I love dated movies, i.e.Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, The Duchess, King Arthur, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.

Lydia and Anderson, my niece and nephew. I mean, I can't put into words how much I love them. I couldn't love them more if they were my own kids. They light up my life so much. They are at such a fun age right now (Anderson, 4 and Lydia, 2) and I really don't want them to grow anymore!

Mexican food. I know how unhealthy it is, but cheese dip may be the best thing I've ever put in my mouth. It is impossible for me to go eat Mexican and NOT get cheese dip. It just doesn't happen.

New York City. It's my favorite city in the world and me traveling to places I've never been will never change that, promise. I almost moved there in June 2008, but God had other plans for me. She still has my heart though.

Oatmeal. I eat cinnamon roll flavored oatmeal for breakfast every morning. It's very good and incredibly healthy for you. Double whammy.

Pictures. If you're a regular to my blog, you know how much I love pictures. I hate having blog posts that don't have pictures. I'm that crazy picture taker that wants to make sure she captures every single moment so that I don't forget it in 50 years. Sue me.

Quotes. I love finding quotes that relate to a given situation I'm dealing with. They help inspire me, biblical or religious quotes in general are my faves. Quotes on life, love, and happiness are awesome and make frequent appearances to my facebook page.

Running. Justin and I love running races. We've run a ton of 5K's, a couple of 10K's and one 15K. Justin's run a half-marathon before and I'm training for one in November.

Smoky Mountain National Park. Justin and I started dating in April 2008, got engaged in January 2009, and married in July 2009. Since we started dating, we've been to the Smoky Mountains 4 times. We've already decided that whenever we have a vacation home later in life, it will be in Gatlinburg. It's a hiker's delight!

Traveling. Words can't describe how blessed I am that I've gotten to go to all the places I've been since dating Justin. We're so lucky because he travels so much for a living and builds up frequent flyer miles and hotel points that we just turn around and use to take trips all the time for such a low cost. Our next BIG trip is to Africa in December. See my "Africa" label on the right sidebar to see my posts related to that trip.

University of Alabama. My Alma Mater. I love all things UA...especially our 13 national championships!

Vampire Diaries. I LOVE this show. Some people say it's a knock off of Twilight, but actually, the Vampire Diaries books were written in the 90's, a full decade before Twilight. Though, I love both :) The Vampire Diaries show on the CW is my favorite show on TV right now. LOVE IT!

Working out. I work out all the time and if I go even 3 or 4 days without working out, I'll get slightly depressed. P90X is my new favorite workout. It gives such an intense workout and I never even have to leave my house!!

Xmas. Ok, I may have cheated on the lettering, but let's face is, what starts with X other than Xray and Xerox? I certainly don't love those! Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday of the entire year. In Birmingham, the week before Thanksgiving, 96.5 plays Christmas music all the way until New Years. It's awesome. Unfortunately for me, we'll be gone to Africa over Christmas this year. But that could be a good thing. What better way to celebrate Christmas than being in the process of hiking the tallest free standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro? And what better way to celebrate New Year's Eve than on a safari in the Serengeti? This Christmas season may be the best ever!

Yogurt Mountain. If you don't live in Alabama, you're missing out. There's only two locations of this fabulousness, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. At YM, you can pick your yogurt (probably about 20 choices) and pick your toppings (about 50 choices). You pay based on how much your cup weighs. It's freaking excellent. Every time I go, I usually get peanut butter yogurt topped with chopped up Reese's cups, Twix bar, Crunch bar, hot fudge, and peanut butter and chocolate morsels. Yeah, I kinda like chocolate.

Zip-lining. I discovered zip-lining while on our honeymoon in Hawaii and it was the most awesome thing ever. I'm ready to go somewhere and do it again, but I'm afraid my expectations may be too high now. It's hard to beat zip-lining through the rainforest with Hawaiian beaches in the horizon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#88 - CHECK!

Number 88 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days was to go to a drive-in movie. On Saturday night, Justin and I drove about 30 minutes to Trussville, AL to go to the Argo drive-in theater. There's another drive-in in Harpersville, which is about the same distance, but I chose Argo because of the deal they had going on. The deal was to see two movies for $5. What a deal!!! And these aren't movies that you see in the $1.50 theaters that is in that awkward stage of just getting out of the big theaters but not on DVD just yet. These movies shown at the drive-in are the same as what is in the big theaters.

I didn't take a picture of anything because I didn't have my camera. I like to try to get pictures of these items as I mark them off my list, but sometimes it's not really necessary and this was one of those times.


They weren't showing Rush Hour, I promise. I found this picture online and just grabbed it. Justin and I saw this movie:


and this movie:


The second was by far the better movie. I liked Shrek, don't get me wrong, but it certainly wasn't as funny as the other Shrek movies have been. It was alright. However, Ironman 2 was friggin amazing! Such an awesome movie and Robert Downey, Jr. may be my new obsession :)

Before going to the theater, Justin and I actually stopped at a gas station to buy some candy in an effort to save money from buying food at the drive-in. As soon as we got there we realized that not only is the movie price a banging deal, but so was the candy. All candy at the drive-in was $1. The only things more expensive were the popcorn, which was $2 (and rather nasty if I do say so myself), and drinks which were also $2. Note to self, come to the drive in more often.