Confessional Thursday

4.28.2011

I promise these types of posts won’t become a trend and I only have 2 confessions…

1. I have never, ever read “To Kill A Mockingbird”.

I’m pretty sure that’s borderline Un-American. Not be dramatic or anything. But seriously, I have not. In high school we watched the movie. Hello, public school. And though I often didn’t read everything we were supposed to {oops}, I think we watched the movie in lieu of reading Harper Lee’s bestselling, Pulitzer Prize winning novel.

That makes sense.

Regardless, it’s next on my book list, so hopefully those reading and judging won’t think as poorly of me.


2. I am not the least bit interested in the Royal Wedding.

If the first confessional didn’t warrant gasps of horror and scowls of disapproval, I bet this one did. 

But I am honestly not. I’m so glad that they’re in love and want to stand before God, friends and family…and the whole world to declare that. That is wonderful and I pray that they have a blessed marriage. And that’s pretty much the end of my concern for this wedding. 

I either personally know or know of people that are getting up at insane hours to watch it, go to or host parties for it and even travel to public venues to watch it with a whole bunch of strangers.

All of this will be around 4 o’clock {EST}. 4 a.m. that is. That’s right. 4 in the morning. To watch a wedding. More power to those that are doing that.

I just don’t get it. But, I’m sure there are people that don’t get how I don’t get it. So I guess we’re even.

via ABC News
So what about you? Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird or are you as uncultured as I am? And will you be getting up at an insane hour to witness Will and Kate exchange vows?

I’d love to hear {read} your confessions for this Wednesday!

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Tuesday Tangents

4.26.2011

Today seems as good as any other to blog about everything and nothing in particular!

1. Why do people leave shopping carts all over the parking lot when there are about 5 shopping cart "corrals" {do they actually have a name}? It is seriously one of my biggest pet peeves! Hubby and I were leaving Target last night, and a guy finished loading up his car, pushed the cart far enough out of the way so that he wouldn't hit it--by putting into another parking spot--and drove off. The cart corral? About 100 steps to his left. Have we as Americans become that lazy? Just walk it over and put it where it needs to go!

2. Have you ever been around someone or work with someone that talks even after you've walked into the bathroom stall? That is one of my biggest pet peeves because generally speaking, there is nothing so important that it can't wait until you're back out of the stall. But that could just be me.

3. Have you noticed my amazing new blog design?? Lauren from Life with a Lab is the artist behind it! Her design blog is Blue Lux Studio and if you're in the market for a new layout, the you should definitely check her out.

4. Words to live by...
"Don't go wasting all them bright tomorrows you ain't even seen by hanging on to what happened yesterday. Let go, child. Just breathe out and let go." - Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
5. We are looking into flights for Chicago! I can't believe we're going so soon, but I kinda can't wait. It's going to be so much fun and a great experience for us to have together. The part I'm dreading the most, though, is being away from our sweet pups for so long!

6. I have no shame in asking people to follow my blog. I have no number in mind that I'm trying to reach, but I'd like to increase it nonetheless. So if you read, or think you'd like to start reading, please follow! And leave comments...it totally brightens my day. And, yes,  I'm being serious.

7. It's hubby's birthday on Saturday! What's sad is that I probably get more excited about this than he does, but I think that's just a guy thing. It'll be fairly low-key most of the day, but we're going to dinner with some great friends that night.

And with that, my tangents for today are finished. Honestly, anytime something random or not worthy of an entire post comes into my head, I make a mental note so I can do this! And, again, I'm being serious. I hope you enjoyed!

Happy Tuesday!
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Resurrection Weekend!

4.25.2011

Happy Monday! What an amazing weekend! As always, it went by far too fast, but it was wonderful just the same.

Saturday morning, I got ready to head to Mount Airy to meet my parents at my great grandpa's house to take him to lunch. It was so good to see him, because I haven't since Thanksgiving! Which doesn't seem possible, but that is life...always flying by. I got there a little after 12 and we all headed to the restaurant to eat. It was a buffet, which is always a little worrisome, but I found enough to eat so that I didn't look too picky. After that, we went back to his house for a little bit, and I'm so glad we did. Not only did I get some more quality time with my sweet great grandpa, but he blessed me with 2 necklaces that belonged to my great grandma.
{please excuse the poor quality...taken with my phone}
Loved this. I think it could be real jade

my great grandparents!! on the back of the locket is my great grandma's name
I was thankful to receive these necklaces, because it's awesome to own something that was my great grandma's for so long. They were married for over 60 years and their love was and still is evident. I of course had to get a picture with this sweet man before I left!
not bad lookin' for 95 years young!
When I got home around on Saturday, I was greeted with a beautifully cut yard and flowers planted by the mailbox!

We're still working on the yard, but once it's more complete, I'll definitely post some more {better} pictures. Sunday morning we left way earlier than normal for church in anticipation for the large Easter crowd, and that effort was certainly not in vain! I just hope and pray that some of those newcomers come back in the coming weeks and don't wait a year to come back. The sermon was such a blessing {as it always is} and I was reminded of how thankful hubby and I need to be for the amazing church family we are apart of. Easter dinner was at Andrew's parents and it was sooo good. We had a rather non traditional meal of tequila chicken {let me know if you're interested in the recipe!}, baked potatoes, salad and root beer floats for dessert. Delish! And of course, we took too many pictures...
hubbs and myself

my niece is stunning!

my sweet girls...dani was a little hot

hubby trying to be tricky...

the root beer floats

hunting Easter eggs
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend filled with family time, food and eggs!

Hope y'all had a great and blessed weekend!
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Sweat Planning

4.23.2011

Through the power of reading running blogs and finally getting some motivation on my own, I’m getting more excited to get back into my workout regime and sticking to it. Hopefully. I started my early morning workouts back up this week and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. One of the running blogs I've started reading is Skinny Runner and I've seen her with a couple of  these headbands, so I invested in one for myself!





They have really cute patterns, but I figured I’d get one that is simpler to make sure I like it. If these headbands become something that is a must have, then I guess that’s what my “allowance” will go towards!

I also think that this time, I have actually set realistic goals. This is the plan for next week:


1.Monday—Wednesday: early morning gym sessions.

While I don't always get the best strength workouts in, I usually get a great run in during these early morning workouts. And I discovered that if I try to break up my early morning session days, I’m doomed. It’s better for me to just to do it back to back days and be done with it. Plus, I really do love going once I’m there and knowing that I don’t have to go at the end of the day.

2. Thursday: Long walk or Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred

This will totally depend on the weather. I enjoy walking through the trails in our neighborhood immensely. But if pollen is bad or it’s raining, Jillian screaming at me through my TV will have to suffice.


3. Friday: Off!


4. Saturday: Gym in the a.m.


I may try to do a class on this morning. But if not, probably looking at some quality time with the elliptical


5. Sunday: Off!

I will keep you posted on my progress and be honest if I fail at any of these days.

Any workout plans/goals for you this week?

Love So Amazing

4.22.2011

Sorrow and love flow mingled down..did ever such love and sorrow meet..or thorns compose so rich a crown
_______________________________________________________________________

This weekend represents the most important thing in my life; my salvation. And though articles have been published at length declaring that Resurrection of Jesus Christ didn’t happen on Sunday, it is not the day that makes this an important. The day is just that. A day. It’s what the day represents; life. A life of knowing our sins are forgiven because the most pure and holy being to ever step on this earth, was slain for us. For a people that will never fully comprehend nor appreciate that sacrifice until we have left this world. And while He was hanging from a cross after being tortured and ridiculed for hours, He cried out to the Father asking for forgiveness for those doing these things.


Jesus knew what He was sent to this earth for. He knew what would happen to Him. But because of His unwavering love for us, He endured the torture and the ridicule so that we could have an eternity in Heaven.

Take the time this weekend and everyday of your life to remember that, because though we celebrate the Resurrection this weekend, it is something that happens everyday. Each day we open our eyes, we have to choose between living for this world or living for Christ.

He died for us so that we could live for Him.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus Romans 6:8-11



The End of an Era

4.21.2011

For those out there that never got to hear Woody Durham call a Carolina football or basketball game, I’m sad for you. This man who had a gift and who used it well. He had a way of making you feel like you were at half court or on the 50-yard line instead of perched in front of a radio. He had a calming effect while simultaneously expressing the intensity and excitement that was happening right in front of him.
He also did what so many of us will never get to do; live out our dream. How amazing to wake up every morning for 41 years knowing that you genuinely loved what you were doing. Throughout his career, Durham’s voice carried through speakers for 1,805 games for the Tar Heels including 23 bowl games, 13 Final Fours and six basketball title games.
This past Tuesday, Woody Durham announced his retirement to a shocked and saddened Tar Heel Nation. It is truly the end of an era and he will be deeply missed on game days when someone else travels through the radio speakers. 
 But I will still go where I go and do what I do...and he will get to do the same.
"I'm retiring from doing the games," Durham pointed out. "I am not retiring from Carolina."

Making Cents of it All...

4.20.2011

I could be alone in this, but there are times where I feel like I'm "growing up" all the time. Or at least trying to.

Does that make sense?

For instance, budgets and finances? STILL trying to grasp these things and know that just because the money is there, does not mean I have to spend it. It's not that I'm out buying the almost $500 Kate Spade bag that I want, but I must feel like it's a crime to leave Target without spending $25 or more. And while $25 alone isn't a lot, it adds up.

Quick.

So, yeah. I'm trying to grow up more in recognizing my spending habits and how they affect our household. Because it's not just me and my future...it's mine and the hubbs and eventually children. Whew. Reason enough to make smarter, more "grown up" decisions when I crack open my wallet.

And though you and your family have you own system or know these by heart, I thought I'd share a couple of the tips I found today:
  1. Spend every dime on paper before the month begins. Translation: create a budget of what you're going to spend and where you're spending it...and stick to it!
  2. Over-fund your grocery category. Most people underfund {according to Dave Ramsey}. I'm trying to get back on track with weekly menus because I know that will really help with this area
  3. Stop the "money leaks". These are the miscellaneous items that may seem small, but add up.
  4. Create a paper trail. Write down even your smallest daily expenses and see how your spending your money. This is probably very similar to a food diary. 
  5. Allow yourself an allowance {so to speak}. I have friends that do this and I'm totally going to start. After seeing how much I spent on coffee and random Target trips, I need to limit the amount I can spend each month on unnecessary things.
What about you?  Any financial gurus out there, self proclaimed or otherwise? Are there any budgeting rules that you live by and want to pass along? I would love some tips and success stories!

Lessons When You're Not Looking

4.18.2011

As you may remember from this post, I enjoy reading. I have turned into that person that can't leave the library with no less than 4 books. Mind you, half of those will get taken back after I've gotten about 3 pages in, but I waltz out of the library with the best intentions. With that said, last week I unknowingly grabbed a book that would become one of my favorites.


I am ashamed to tell you guys that I totally judge a book by it's cover, and while this one doesn't seem like it would offer life lessons, it does. The journey of young CeeCee is one I can't imagine, even as an adult. But this story will wrap its arm's around you from the first page and does not let go even after you closed the back cover.  Below are just a handful of quotes that struck me as worth remembering and repeating:
"Don't grow up to fast, darling. Age is inevitable, but if you nurture a childlike heart, you'll never ever grow old."
"Don't go wasting all them bright tomorrows you ain't even seen by hanging on to what happened yesterday. Let go, child. Just breathe out and let go." 
"Oysters are a lot like women. It's how we survive the hurts in life that brings us strength and gives us our beauty."
I would name the characters that said those thought provoking sentences, but it wouldn't mean much if you haven't read the book. So, really your only option is to read it. I promise you, you'll enjoy it. It may or may not become one of your favorites as it has mine, but you won't regret it.

A "Just Because I Can" Picture Post

4.14.2011

I certainly didn't miss my calling to be a model...

...but I think my hair looks pretty!



Here are a couple of other pictures I've taken to prove I'm not as vain as the picture above may lead you to believe...

beautiful sky!


springtime in our backyard!

Can you tell what I love most about my new phone?

Happy Thursday!

Top 2 Tuesday..Favorite Drinks

4.12.2011


I'm linking up to The Undomestic Momma again this week for my top 2 drinks!

1. Pepsi

I love Pepsi. Seriously. Love. Especially in the fountain drink form. There is nothing like it. And there are just certain meals that warrant a Pepsi; Mexican, pizza, etc.

2. Starbucks Caramel Apple Cider


This is hands down my favorite seasonal drink. From mid-October until the end of the year, this drink truly and honestly makes me happy. It just warms your soul!

What about you? What's your favorite drink?

My Week Recapped

4.10.2011

I don't even know where to start with this post! I have nothing serious or though provoking to write about. But I just feel so blessed and at peace, that a blog post is needed. Nothing astounding or life changing happened this week or weekend. But I just feel happy.

Do you know what I mean?

This past week, hubbs and I have been battling some allergies and, let me tell you, that's been delightful. But other than that, our week was pretty uneventful other than "New Phone Day".

That's right. There was an unofficial new holiday in our house this past week and seriously, I acted like I was a 4-year old at Christmas. Ask Andrew. He will assure that I'm not exaggerating and that there is a chance that I'm not being completely honest about my level of excitement. But I feel no remorse for such emotion because I adore my iPhone. I now understand what all the hype was about for so long. My favorite thing by far has been picture taking and editing.

At one point I had four photo apps on my phone, but I have now limited it back to one. Let's hope this doesn't turn into some type of addiction.

Yesterday morning, I got to experience another benefit-- the map/directions function. My dear friend Amber had a baby shower yesterday morning in a town that I am not all too familiar with and normally, you could put money on the fact that I would have gotten lost about 50 times. But, no, not now with my trusty new phone! I was quite pleased with myself that I didn't have to call hubbs for saving. The shower was beautifully decorated and had wonderful food and guests. And of course mommy-to-be was lovely as always.
beautiful

"Words of Wisdom Tree"

best cupcakes I've ever had

insta-friends :)
And last night, I joined my Aunt for Saturday church at Mecklenburg Community Church. It was very different that my church, but I really enjoyed going with her and seeing where she worships. One point that the pastor made last night really struck me though when he was reading from John. And the end of the 15th chapter, Jesus is speaking to His disciples, and He says this:

 When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. John 15:26-27

The point that he made was from that verse; the disciples got to experience many things, but we as believers always have the Holy Spirit. Though His disciples had to the ability to physically walk with Jesus and break bread with Jesus, they never had the Holy Spirit {our Advocate} until after the Resurrection. I'm sitting here racking my brain for words to explain this more precisely and the impact it had on me. How many times have I taken for granted that at any time of any day, I can speak, cry out to, and worship to the Almighty God and know that He'll hear me. All because of the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is mind boggling, but oh my goodness, so amazing. I hope that you can decipher my rambling and hopefully be equally as blessed.

Today was pretty low key due to the fact that Andrew had to work through the night last night. But this afternoon we had delish Chinese food for lunch and I found the 4th season of Friends for $18 at Best Buy
And to top it off, a walk with our pups and some homemade chicken Alfredo.



Perfect ending.

Top 2 Tuesday

4.05.2011


Today I'm linking up The Undomestic Momma and her Top 2 Tuesday!

Top 2 Songs on your iPod 

{1} Taylor Swift - Enchanted



{2} Kutless - It Is Well


It's not too late for you to link up!!

Purification by Affliction

4.04.2011

Trials, struggles, adversity...

No matter how you put it, affliction is hard. And honestly, there is no poetic way to say that. I remember my college pastor comparing our struggles with gold going through it's process in order to be purified. I amen'ed and wrote fervently in my journal those exact words. But did I really understand the weight of them or what they truly mean?

Do I now?

Answer for both; no. Yes, I've gone through trials and I feel as though my faith has been tested and made stronger. But when I'm honest with myself, I know the trials I've gone through at this point, are nothing compared to the ones that are to come. I also know that for me learn God's faithfulness, I needed to have each trial that I've gone through because I've come out on the other side of every one. Weakness and uncertainty may filled every bone in my body during those moments, but the fact that I made it through, is proof of God's faithfulness.
I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Oh may Your lovingkindness comfort me, according to Your word to Your servant. Psalm 119:75-76

It's so easy when life is good and easy and affliction free to believe and trust those words.  It's simple to read those verses and pray for others and their struggles when you're thanking God for the goodness of your life. But what happens when you lose your job? Or when your doctor calls and says he/she needs you to come back in for additional tests? Or what about when someone you love so dearly is taken away from you long before their time? Then what? Is it easy to trust those words or to pray for yourself and those around you? Chances are, no. But praise God for the people that He places in our lives for such seasons. For the people that remind you, while life is hard and God's will is something you don't understand at this moment, He is still good and He still in control.

The only way to gain physical strength is to work your muscles and train your body. The only way to gain spiritual strength is pray. Sounds simple, but to pray in complete faith is something that can only come with experiences where you feel the most unfaithful. The ones that you wonder if it's your lack of faith that put you in this situation in the first place.

Or maybe that's just me.

And no matter how many times I'm told that the God I worship is not a petty or vindictive, I can't help but wonder if He's more like me than not.  He, of course, is not. He's not a bit like me. Which is why He's worthy of worship and complete and utter trust. My ways are not His ways, nor my thoughts His thoughts. There is a song that we sing at church called "Through the Fire" and in the chorus are these words;
But he said help would always come in time
Just remember when you're standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And he will take you through the fire again
I love this song. God shows up, on time, every time. And the fire we have to go through? If we are holding on to His hand, He'll not only shield us from the flames, but He will pull us through to the other side. I know that for the rest of my days on this earth, I will have to learn this over and over. But with that, I know that with affliction comes purification. And with purification, faithfulness.

And with faithfulness, victory.

My Weekend in a Box

4.03.2011

I would like to introduce my new best friend...

In fact, we are so close, we haven't spent a minute apart over the weekend. So serious. As much as I love this time of year and the weather changes, I am not a fan of allergies/sinus issues. But such is life; gotta take the good with the bad. And one good great thing is that our grass is growing and things are blooming all around our home and neighborhood {hence the new BFF pictured above}. Once I can part ways with Mr. Puffs, I plan on trying to get some pictures. Hubbs and I are planning on planting some flowers in a couple of weeks and I am probably a bit too excited about it.

Moving on without even a hint of a segue, I am ashamed to say how excited I am about getting the iPhone this week. Yes. I am that person. I went back and forth for a bit trying to decide if I would get it now or wait to see when the next one would arrive, but the way I see it, technology is almost instantly obsolete...so no point in waiting.
Hubbs is a little jealous because he can't get his for another couple of weeks. I'll be nice though and at least let him hold mine when I get it.

And that folks is all that I can manage at this point because of said allergies/sinuses and the meds that come along with those.

But regardless, happy spring!
 
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