More than March

8.28.2011

More often than not, this blog has served as the vehicle for my obsession intense passion love for the North Carolina Tar Heels. I mean after "God's goodness", "tar heel obsession" is the largest label which means I mention it A LOT.

But I believe it's time to move that area of the blogging world if I have any kind of hope of making it a career. And without further adieu, I present "More than March"

More than March

This is not necessarily the final header, but I'm working on it! I cannot guarantee that the Tar Heels won't make a periodic appearance in this blog before the season is all said and done, but for the most part, I'm going to try to separate it.

So if you enjoy or at least tolerate college basketball, visit "More than March" and follow and comment! You guys know how much I love both of those things.
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Fall Wish List

8.26.2011

Can you feel that? That feeling of knowing brisk mornings and cool evenings are just around the corner? The knowledge that soon flip flops will be replaced with boots and hoodies will be pulled out from the depths of drawers and closets, leaves me absolutely elated. Chili recipes will be tested, leaves will be falling and pumpkins will overtake our neighborhoods.

I love fall. Pretty much every aspect of this season is perfection personified for me. Yes, those are strong words, but I feel confident in using them. There are so many things that I anticipate as the calendar crawls races towards the autumn months ranging from the aforementioned wardrobe items to the smells that go along with this delightful time of year.

There is nothing like your fall wardrobe especially here in the south because it can be kind of tricky. Those brisk mornings I mentioned can give way to mild days and as such, daily attire can sometimes be a challenge. Despite that, there is room for cute clothes and though more than one of the items below are far out of my budget, I can wish...
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Spring and summer months in our home lack in the decorating area. Don't get me wrong, I realize that there is plenty to decorate with and for, but I just really do not get into it. But knowing that September is less than a week away, have my fingers itching to pull out hand towels with embroidered  leaves and my homemade autumn wreath. I also wouldn't mind adding these things to our ever growing roster of fall decor...

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As much as I love changing my closet and appearance of the interior of our home, the taste of fall is what I am longing for the most. Pumpkin spice lattes, hearty chili and creamy soups are just a few of the delectable treats to indulge in during the coming months...

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What are looking forward to this Autumn? I'd love to know what's on your wish list!
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Top 5 Things Making Me Smile This Friday

8.19.2011

one. A skinny caramel latte from Port City Java. Yum.

two. The little Hershey Nuggets I steal from my co-worker :)

three. Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel playing on my Pandora station
 Yes, I realize that this is not The Way You Make Me Feel, but by the time I decided to make this a contributor to this post, the song had already finished. Also, I'll sing and chair dance to just about anything. So it's all relative.

four. The chair dancing and lip syncing I had going on while the aforementioned song was playing. Fortunately Sadly no one was around to document this moment, so I had to recreate it...it was exactly like this, I promise

five. It's Friday and the Panthers are playing football! And honestly, those two things alone are enough to make me smile!
What's making you smile this Friday?

Memory Lane was in the Headlights

8.18.2011

Last weekend, hubby and I headed up the mountain to Boone for the first time in way too long. And since the temperatures have been brutal here in the Queen City, I was more than ready to breathe in some of that cool, refreshing mountain air. This weekend I also realized that I did not fully appreciate my four years in that tiny mountain town like I should have. Gotta love hindsight. But thankfully it's only a couple of hours away and I it's never too late to learn how to appreciate something.

Anyway, we got up there around lunch time on Saturday and headed to our absolute favorite restaurant; Dos Amigos. 
taken with my phone clearly, but I was way excited about their new glasses!
This Mexican restaurant has spoiled us and we haven't been able to find one in Charlotte that we love even a quarter as much {if you know of a place we should try, please let me know!}. Then after lunch, we paid a visit to King Street and Kidd Brewer Stadium. I didn't have our camera for King Street, but after doing a quick Google search and discovering this picture, I decided that it was a great representation!

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King Street is the quintessential small town "main street"; quirky shops, quirkier people and an abundant amount of character. Afterwards, we headed over to the stadium just to see what we could see and it's so awesome to see what they've done to Kidd Brewer Stadium the past couple of years. It's massive and I love it. I realize to the rest of the world, Appalachian State football may not seem like something to get excited about, but we, the Mountaineer Nation, love us some App State football.

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The football team was out there, but sadly, we could hardly even catch a glimpse because of the massive metal fence surrounding the exterior. And in all reality, that probably worked out for the best because otherwise we would have spent the entire afternoon there watching them run through drills and been late for the whole reason we'd come; the Pendleton/Michel wedding!

Let me say this; all the weddings I have ever gone to have been lovely, but this may have been the most beautiful wedding setting I have ever seen. It was set right in the middle of the Blue Ridge Parkway and was positively perfect. It had been threatening to rain all afternoon and right before the ceremony it showered for about 10 minutes. After that, the clouds stuck around for most of the ceremony, but right before Ryan and Katie were presented as husband and wife, they broke and allowed for beautiful sun rays to shine right on them.

Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

The rest of the night was spent celebrating the newlyweds and we had a lot of fun. Like I said, it was a beautiful setting and there was great food and company. Those three things together make for an awesome time.
We stayed the night in Boone so that we could visit our dear and wonderful friends, the Earls. Josh became a pastor of a church in Newland {about 30 minutes from Boone} in February and we've been terrible friends and had not been up to visit them yet. It was great to hear an awesome message preached by one of our good friends and equally as great to visit with his lovely wife and kids.  
After church, we went to lunch at yet another Mexican restaurant. I think we may have a slight addiction, but I do not really see us working on that anytime soon. And then all to quickly, we said our "see ya laters" and headed back to Charlotte.

As always, the weekend went by in a flash, but we had a wonderful time. There is not many things that I love more then spending time with my husband and great friends. Actually, I know there is nothing that I love more than those things.

I'm a lucky girl.

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Guest Posting!

8.15.2011

I had the chance to guest post for Becca at Lovely in Pink today and I was way pumped about it! Check out my top 8 of the first 8 months of 2011 here.

I'll be back tomorrow to tell you guys about our amazing weekend in the mountains. Seriously, could not have asked for a better time. Here is a teaser and the place we got to spend our Saturday night...

Jealous yet? Stay tuned for the full recap!

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I May Not Be There Yet...

8.11.2011

By now, most of us have at least heard of the New York Times Best Seller, The Help.

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I was a little late hopping on the train of it's numerous readers, but I made it and thoroughly enjoyed the story. Today I read an article about the author that reminded me, sometimes we don't love success stories because of the end result; we love them because of how they got there. Kathryn Stockett's first novel was rejected 60 times.

Rejected. 60 times.

She was told her writing was "tiring" and the storyline itself "didn't sustain interest" and that was early on. Those were not the words she heard at rejection 58 or 59, they were the ones she received at 1 and 40. But passion is a funny thing because at some point resolve and tenacity start to fade. Giving up and moving on would be easier than opening up one of those dreaded letters. I remember going through the college application process and praying to never see one of the small, seemingly harmless envelopes waiting in the depths of my parents mailbox. Because though small, they served as sealed punches to the heart, gut and self-esteem. Now I assure you, I did not apply to 61 colleges, so I do not even have an inkling of the wide spectrum of emotions someone goes through having to endure that time and time again. And if I'm being honest, rejection and everything that comes with it, is something I fear and because of such, I did not apply to the one university I had always dreamed of attending.

Childish and dumb? Yes, probably. But it was easier for me to swallow being those two things before being rejected. Bleh. What an ugly, awful word. None of us like it. Rejection and not being wanted is something none of us crave.

So let me go back to the passion thing. We all have a passion in our lives, but very few of us are lucky enough to live them out. As you may remember from this post, I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Except you want to know a problem with that?

I fear rejection. I am terrified of falling flat on my face, making a fool of myself and never getting to where I want to be or getting to do what I want to do. I accepted a long time ago that not everyone will like me in my life and I had my heart broken a fair amount of times growing up. Those things, that's life. It's a necessary part of becoming an adult. Pursuing my passion? Not necessary. I do not have to pursue my passion; as long as I have a job that can help pay the bills, then I'm doing what is necessary.

But can I fully accept not trying? No, I absolutely cannot. I know what I love and I know what I'm good at. I love writing, but could I ever write a book? That is one huge, overwhelming no. I love sports {that's putting it lightly}, but can I play? Not a bit. I have no athletic ability whatsoever. But I can watch them and understand them. Are you getting where I'm going with this? My passion, I have discovered, is to write about sports. I have no idea how I'll reach and conquer this discovery, but I'm not sure I could live with myself if I don't at least try.

All of this to say, I'm would love suggestions, words of encouragement, names of potential connections {worth a shot}. And also, I implore you, if you haven't already, find out what your passion is life. I realize that statement in itself warrants a resounding 'duh', but it's worth putting out there. Don't live life just one foot in front of another because sometimes you will trip and stumble and maybe even fall.
Sometimes you'll have to live your life out seeing how well you can bounce.

The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places. ~Author Unknown



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Something Worth Fighting For

8.05.2011

Love. The 4-letter word that at some point in our lives was scary and maybe at times, still is. In school {elementary, middle, high}, we may have "loved" multiple people at any given time. At least I know I did, but I was a little boy crazy back in those days.

Now there is just one boy I'm crazy about...

Yeah, that's the one.

But 'love' changes as we do. When I was 16, I honestly thought I loved my high school boyfriend. Clearly, knowing what I know now and recognizing what love really is and means, it cannot even compare. At that point in my life though, I was sure that what we had was love and no one could tell me any differently.

I'm sure this proves to be true for most of us. Certainly not all of us because I personally know an amazing married couple that have been together since those teenage years. As little kids, we knew the love of our parents and other family members and as the years have gone by, we've learned different loves and ways to love. How many times have you heard the words uttered "I love you, I'm just not in love with you" in t.v. shows, movies or maybe even in real life? Love doesn't have to be a romantic knowledge or feeling. Defined as a noun, love means "strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties" and as a verb "to hold dear; cherish".

What I knew of love at 7 was different then what I came to know at 16. And what I know now of love at 25, the 16 year old me would not even know how to handle it. And I thank God for that. Most of us were not born being unselfish. It's something that has to be learned, taught and experienced. When I was 16, I was selfish, positive I knew more than my parents, I was always right and whatever was happening at a given moment was sure to ruin my life for years to come.

In a word, I was 16. I didn't know half as much as I thought I did, and I have learned that I will never know as much as I should. I will never love Andrew the way he deserves, but I'm going to live every day of my life trying. I will never give God everything that I should, but I will never stop trying and praying that I will one day be able to. I've said before that I never had no idea how selfish I was until I became a wife and I cannot begin to fathom how I'll handle my selfishness when what defines me is a 3-letter word with more power than anything else:

Mom.

But it is for that reason alone that I believe God gave us seasons. I would have been a terrible wife at 16. Heck, I have days now where I'm not sure I could be any worse. God teaches and molds and guides us through life and through love. Sometimes those lessons feel as though they could kill us, but what other way could we learn of His mercy and grace? What other ways could we recognize that the people He's placed in our lives are there to help us with those things? My husband, parents, family, friends and dogs {yes, my dogs}, have showed me what it means to love. And something that I've had to learn over the years, is that we all show love differently. If you've never looked to see what your "love language" is, you should. It is how we can serve God and one another while on this earth.

1 John 4:19 says that we love because He first loved us. Love is not just a word; it is not just a feeling. It is true, living, awesome and real. We've all heard 1 Corinthians 13, and it is a wonderful chapter. But the words that should be remembered if nothing else is verse 8;

Love never fails
...love is not a fight, but is something worth fighting for...



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Clear Eyes, Full Hearts...

8.04.2011

Here in the Janke house, there is a new obsession...Friday Night Lights!
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I seriously do not know why we didn't watch this show when it was still on! We currently don't have cable {and saving so much money} and so streaming Netflix on our BluRay has been a lifesaver at nights when we just want to sit and do nothing.

Which is most weeknights if I'm being honest. And while I'm on the honesty train, I should tell you guys that I got the idea to blog about this from Erin. Yeah, we've never met, but going to use her name like we have! Through Twitter, I learned that we both have an obsession love for this show and it's always nice to know you're not alone in such things. I would also have to agree with her that Tim Riggins is the best bad boy.

For the longest time I would've said Jess from Gilmore Girls. But no. No more. Tim Riggins has taken that title after only 19 episodes.

We have one episode left of the first season and at this point, I'm so glad that we're watching this on Netflix and don't have to be tortured by waiting for the next season. 
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And, seriously, this show warms your heart, makes you laugh, brings tears to your eyes {not a hard thing to do for me} and makes you constantly remind yourself during the "games" that it's a t.v. show. It's not real a real game. Not even a real team.

But that could just be me.

Regardless, if you haven't watched this show, you should.

Because it's awesome.

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A Bathroom Facelift!

8.01.2011

Last May, we became homeowners and everything that that entails. We by no means inherited a fixer-upper, but every home needs that personal touch and the stamp that makes it "yours". We've done small projects throughout the 15 months that we've lived there including the appearance and well being of the yard...

the flowers have grown alot since this picture was taken!
We also painted the guest bathroom, but I'm still hoping to make some minor changes to it as time goes on. Right now, both bathrooms are still boasting the orginal light and sink fixtures as well as the not so pretty construction cabinets. So one of my DIY projects is to redo the color of the guest bathroom cabinets to something darker and more modern. But one big huge massive project I'd like to take on is to transform our current master bathroom to look something like this: 
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You may remember that bathroom from this post, and when I first posted that picture it was a "wouldn't it be nice if..." kinda thing. But the more I thought about it and the more research I did, I realized this is something that we may actually be able to do. Money for us is always an object, but this project may be able to be accomplished on a budget. After scouring Home Depot's (closest to our home) website, I found some comparable sinks/medicine cabinets that could make this a successful DIY project

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Though it may be hard to tell from this picture, the color of this sink is technically "linen" which I think I would prefer over something that was bright white. It's adds warmth without being over the top.


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At this point, I'm not sure if we would do a dark medicine cabinet like the one pictured above, or all white. Once we've seen them in person, the decision may be easier to make. As far as wall color, I'm thinking along the lines of a pale blue


Benjamin Moore paint colors
Clearly it's hard to distinguish a true difference in these three online, but I think any of these would be a good choice for a bathroom. But then again, I like blue, if you couldn't tell.

Have you ever done a complete facelift of a major room in your home? How'd it go? Any words of advice?


Mingle 240

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The Rule of Five

Despite hearing and reading wonderful reviews of James Patterson novels, I had not read anything of his until a couple of weeks ago. I read "Suzanne's Diary to Nicholas" and I enjoyed it. It emotional without being over the top and was certainly not predictable. But above all, something that was mentioned early on in the book, is something I've thought about at least once a day since reading it.

Imagine that in your life day to day, week to week and year to year is all about juggling fives balls. Each of these balls represent something; work, family, friends, health and spirit. At any given point, all of them are in the air and you are responsible for keeping them all going. Now, what if I told you one of these balls is made of rubber, while the rest are glass. Which would you say can bounce back without any harm? And which ones, if dropped, could crack, become scuffed or even shattered?

At this point, I realize that for some that question may be hard to answer. But for me, and I'm assuming for most, the one rubber ball is "work".  Jobs can come and go and as we become older and more aware of what we want to do, what we do for work, changes. You can quit a job, get fired from a job; but when it's all said and done, you can get another job.

But the other four? Not as easily replaceable. And the point of the 5 balls, is balance. Finding the time and effort that needs to be devoted to our heath, friends, family and spiritual life, is not an easy task, but a necessary one. Balance in life requires a lifetime of practice. It's not something easily obtained or something that can be taught. Only learned. The older we become, the more we learn how incredibly valuable those other four balls are and how very much we need them.

Time is something that is constantly running away from us and there is never enough of it. But the good thing about juggling these five things is that we're not graded or judged on how fast we do it. It's about careful we are with each of them. Friends and family become increasingly important the more we realize how fleeting life can be. And our spiritual life? That is an area I feel like I can take 3 steps forward while simultaneously taking 4 in the other direction. I'll learn one thing and improve one area of my relationship with the Lord, while somehow allowing other areas to slip. I'm not sure how I do this, but there it is. Thankfully, I believe that this particular "ball", we aren't truly juggling that one; God's holding that one just as He's holding us. It cannot drop and shatter; but it is just as precious if not more so as the others because without it, what do we have?

I am constantly working on the balance and juggling act that is my life. I've realized this is not something that I can accomplish by myself and it is something that I will never master. There will always be room for improvement. But this analogy really stuck with me and reminds me of how important those glass balls are and that my energy and heart needs to reflect that. And each day provides a lesson to be learned in at least one of those areas. However, more often than not, I'm reminded that each of those glass balls become more fragile as each hour of the day passes.

And I am learning to guard them and what they represent with every fiber of my being.

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