Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall Advance

Eric calls the youth retreats "advances" because we know that God will advance our relationship with Him and each other when we get away from it all for a weekend. We went to McCray farm last weekend for our "Fall Advance"- what an incredible place. We had perfect weather and God did some amazing things in the lives of our youth. It would not have been such a great weekend if it were not for our wonderful VOLUNTEERS! Our youth volunteers are excellent leaders and crazy game players. You wouldn't believe some of the things these volunteers did to get a laugh out of these students. We are so thankful for their dedication and service to these students. Enjoy a few pics from the weekend. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pfunky Griddle Nashville, TN

Hey all you Nashville fans. Next time your in the area stop by and visit the Pfunky Griddle! It's a family style breakfast joint that's all you can eat! The griddle is built into the table and you make your own breakfast. They have lots of scrumptious breakfast items to choose from but, my personal favorites were the wheat pancake batter and the potato cakes! To die for. The atmosphere is so charming and is a huge part of the experience. I give it 2 thumbs way way up!

Add whatever topping to the pancakes you like!

Can you feel the excitement?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Why my Husband is so cool

It's pretty easy for me to brag about how awesome my husband is so be warned- it's coming. First of all, I married him so it goes with out saying I think hes the best anyway. We have been married a little over 3 years now and I find new things I love about him as time goes on. He is one of the most motivated persons I know. Eric is what I call a "go getter" in every sense of the phrase. I'll give you a few examples.

In high school Eric decided to teach himself how to play guitar. From there he learned how to play base, electric, acoustic, and drums. Lately he's been talking about the banjo and I believe he'll learn how to play it.

In college Eric just barely dabbled in photography, learning small bits of things here and there. The first year we were married he decided to start saving for a nice camera. With some help from my Dad's old equipment and many months of diligent saving, Eric purchased his first Nikon D80. Since that first year of marriage his talent has increased tenfold. He has managed to start his own photography business and now has a Nikon D700. His talent has afforded him the upgrades! He has inspired my creative photography gene as well! This pic is one I took at one of our more recent weddings. You can follow his/my work at http://www.ericleephotography.com/

As you have already read, I fell in love with the strawberry cupcakes at Celebrations Bakery. Eric and I have now both experienced this goodness. From that experience he was inspired to start a blog called "The Local Joint". This blog is awesome. He is featuring a new local businesses each week. By viewing his blog and leaving a comment you will be put into a drawing to win something donated by the featured local joint. Cool Huh? View this week and you could win a Celebrations strawberry cake!!!

Honestly, I could list so many more things about my special husband. He inspires me in so many ways and pushes me to do things I normally wouldn't do. Most importantly, Eric is a wonderful man of God. I am so blessed to watch his authentic walk with the Lord on a daily basis. Think about the people who inspire you and be sure to tell them today.

Love you Babe.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rocked my face off!

The other day I went to Subway for lunch- I have to interject here. This blog is not about Subway but I promise to devote a blog post about my L.O.V.E. for Subway another time. Aren't you excited? Anyway, back to the point of this post. After eating my delicious Subway sandwich I was just not satisfied. I needed one more... something. You know what I'm talking about, the "I was trying to be good at lunch and just eat a small turkey sandwich". Who was I kidding? I wanted more and something SWEET! Lucky me there is this quaint little bakery next to this particular Subway called Celebrations Bakery. They make all kinds of baked goods in there like wedding cakes, cookies, and other pastries. So I decided to indulge and see what they might have to satisfy my craving. When I walked in and looked at the display case of goodies, surprisingly nothing was catching my eye. I looked to the right of the glass display case and there, taped to the outside of the case was a small white piece of paper that said "ask about our strawberry cupcakes in the back".

"YUM! Strawberry cupcakes!", I thought.

So I told the cashier, "One strawberry cupcake please". With a smile and a polite nod she whisked to the back of the bakery and came back with a small white box with a cute sticker closing the seam. I thought wow how special I just came in to grab a quick something to satisfy my sweet tooth and I got a specially wrapped treat. I paid the cashier walked out the bakery and sat on the brick ledge outside the store. I carefully tore the sticker from the seam and opened the white box. There inside was one beautifully crafted pink cupcake. I carefully peeled away the cupcake wrapper and took my first bite.....


Heaven in my mouth! So moist and delicious! So light and refreshing! Absolutely the best strawberry cupcake I have ever had. The cake part was chilled and had a moist batter with real strawberries throughout. The frosting.... Oh the frosting. It was also chilled and had real strawberries pureed in it. It was so light and creamy. I don't know if it was a cool whip frosting or a cream cheese frosting. All I know is it was perfect. Sadly, I cannot find a recipe that truly resembles what I ate today, but I did find this one
and this one that may come close. I haven't tried to make it yet so I can't say for sure, but I am really HOPING.

So my plug and ridiculously long blog about one cupcake I ate is from Celebrations Bakery
here in Northport Alabama. If you have a chance to go, do it! And ask for the strawberry cupcakes in the back. You will not be sorry.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Last night we had our "young married couples/engaged couples" small group. We opened the night with a Nooma video called "kickball". I highly recommend all of these short videos. They are very powerful communication tools, short, sweet, and will definitely leave you thinking. After watching the video our discussion inevitably turned to (if you watch the video you will know why) "Do we truly believe that God is good?" Some of you may have read that and gasped, thinking- DUH, of course he is. While others of you may have thought- No, He's not. I can't believe that about a God who allows all of this pain to happen in the world.

Well as you can imagine our discussion went deep about the nature of God. We've all had "belief shattering" experiences in our lives. You know, the ones that shake you to your core. When everything you thought was true all of the sudden isn't or maybe what you understood to be true was not the way it was supposed to be understood in the first place. I may have lost some of you there. Stay with me. In my life I would say that I've had 2 major events happen where I questioned the goodness of God. Events that made me think I was alone in this world and all I had believed about life, people, and God was not true. I can tell you those times were scary and lonely. Going through those events made me search hard for the true nature of God. What I found was a God who saw I was hurting. A God that even though knew I did not understand the "why" would be near me during my questioning. A God that truly reached out to me when all I wanted to do was push Him far away. I don't understand why God did that for me. I don't understand why those events in my life had to happen. I don't understand why God lets some of the evil in this world happen. But, despite all of my lack of knowledge and understanding, God made his presence known to me. He let me know He wasn't going anywhere and He truly loved me.

God's nature is good and not like the good that people do or have in them. God's nature is always and purely good. I think when we can come to grips with this seemingly simple thought- it frees us up to trust Him completely. Trust can be one of the hardest things to give to God. I know, it is something I'm reminded of almost on a daily basis. That was the challenge of our small group discussion. If we truly believe that God is good and He has our best interest in mind, then why do we not give it all to Him. It was a great reminder to me of how much my Father loves me and how He wants me to trust Him fully. Why? Because he is good.

Thanks for that reminder God.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Fun

Fall is seriously my favorite time of year. Who doesn't love the crisp cool air, the amazing display of autumn colors, and of course carving pumpkins. I didn't know if I would get around to it this fall- as I did not last fall but, lucky me I had plenty of help this year! I called my wonderful youth group girls to come over for a pumpkin carving party!
I am a volunteer leader for our youth group "Vertigo" and I have some awesome Junior girls I get to hang out with. Some of the girls came over to carve pumpkins, bake cookies, and eat pumpkins seeds. So much fun! And who knew? They turned out to be AMAZING carvers! We tried this recipe for the pumpkin seeds. Good one to try if you like Sweet and delicious.

As you can see they are all adorable and each girl is sitting under their carved pumpkin. I feel pretty blessed to have a chance to hang out with these girls. P.S.- if you haven't tried the template pumpkin carving kit, you should! You can carve some very cool and detailed pumpkins :).

The final product displayed on my southern front porch. Only one of the girls decided to take their pumpkin home so I have quite a cute display for my front porch. I think it definitely says "Welcome Trick-or- Treaters!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Online shopping-somebody stop me

Can I get an amen? Does anybody else get into the bad habit of trolling online at your favorite stores drooling over items you should not buy? Well I'm still working on my self-control and have done OK, really I have. Except I bought a few items recently. But, they were cheap! So no worries right?

Something I LOVE doing right now is looking at Christmas ornaments online. Anyone else get into the Christmas mood early? I don't know why? It just gets me all giddy to picture a beautiful Christmas tree with coordinating decor artfully placed on its bright green branches. Right now Pottery Barn has free shipping on all of their adorable ornaments. I just grabbed this one. I also bought this last week. However, I did not pay the ridiculous price listed for this cute drink dispenser- I only paid 5 bucks! I have no idea why it was discounted but, I didn't ask questions- I just pulled out the credit card. Sorry shopper, it's no longer that price. Shame on me for not starting my blog earlier with this useful information. Maybe it will make you feel better to know that it's on back order until December.

When we first got married Eric's parents were awesome and bought us our bedroom set as a wedding gift. I actually like it more every year. Unfortunately, when they bought the set it only came with one nightstand. When we lived in our small apartment that was perfect because we couldn't squeeze one more piece of furniture in that room. But now we have a slightly bigger room at our new house and I REALLY want the other nightstand. BAD NEWS! Discontinued! So I have also been online searching for the matching nightstand with no luck yet. If you come across this cute little nightstand PLEASE shoot me an email and let me know. It's called Kathy Ireland's Carmel Valley collection.

Well fellow website wanderers good luck with all your online purchases to come. And let us try to remember; less is more- but only if it's too expensive... because if it's a really good deal then it's really just MORE for LESS! Let's get one more AMEN!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh how I love the blog world

OK, so I started a blog for a few reasons. ONE- because I LOVE to read them. Two (yes I will number these reasons)... TWO- I am fascinated by all the wonderful, hilarious, thought provoking, and creative things people have to say and share. THREE- I hope to be able to entertain/keep a journal of the fun and important things in my life as so many other cool people are doing.

What I know already- My posts will be nothing like those adjectives I just mentioned about the fascinating blogs I read. I am not a good writer or speller and I am terrible at grammar (so get used to it). Also, unfortunately I am funnier in person. All of that said I hope that some of you out there in Internet world enjoy my random thoughts because I sure enjoy others.

Here's hoping


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