Tuesday, December 20, 2011


To celebrate 2 years we headed out to Atlanta for the weekend.
On Thursday evening we ate at the Woodfire Grill which is owned by Top Chef finalist Kevin Gillespie. We actually dined there two nights before our wedding as well. It was a very tasty meal & a great way to mark our anniversary!

We spent Thursday night at the W in Midtown and woke up the next morning for breakfast at The Flying Biscuit (I miss that place so much. Who wants to open one in Bham with me?).
After a visit to the High museum, we headed 45 minutes out of town to Chateau Elon.

We rested, tasted their wines and ate another delicious meal. On Saturday we headed back into town for a trip to Ikea and Trader Joe's.

This picture doesn't really do justice to the amount of furniture and food we fit into the ole Passat Wagon...but it did the trick! Atlanta will always be one of our favorite cities to visit together. Happy 2 years!

Monday, December 12, 2011

2 Years

Today marks 2 years since our wedding. It's crazy to think how quickly time flies! We spent the weekend in Atlanta (more on that later) and celebrated with lots of good food and some restful time away from the norm. It was wonderful.

We spent some time reflecting on what has happened over the past two years:
-we both have different jobs
-we bought a house!
-we've planted and had 2 successful gardens
-we lived through our first serious illness with a parent
-we rebuilt a church
-we've traveled to Japan and South Africa

So....Happy Anniversary Matt!
I can't wait to see what year 3 brings our way!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nov. 6

On November 6, we dedicated the new Sanctuary for Woodlawn UMC. It was an exciting day and one we have been waiting on for a long time. Here is the outside of the Sanctuary building (also included in the building that you can't see here are several classrooms, updated bathrooms, and a high school sized gym):

After many many months of hard work and tedious details, the building is complete and making a presence on 54th St. in the Woodlawn community. Below is the inside of the Sanctuary the day before the dedication:

Matt has worked so hard to make this dream a reality and I could not be more proud of how far he has brought Woodlawn UMC. Below is an image from the actual dedication service:

The builders were able to use stone from the old building as well as several stained glass window pieces (not pictured here) that are a beautiful reminder of the longevity of this congregation in this community. It was a wonderful day of celebrating the Resurrection, a church reborn, rebuilt, and renewed even out of the ashes. Now for what is yet to come....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I'm behind but a few weeks ago I was able to spend the day in Texas with my mom and dad. A day in Texas in October meant only 1 thing to me, a trip to the State Fair.

I hadn't been to the Fair since I was in college so it was nice to get reacquainted with Big Tex, to smell the smells, and just be in the atmosphere.

Surprisingly, I didn't eat as much as I'd thought I might. The only fried food I had was the delicious funnel cake above..although I was VERY tempted by the fried brownies.

It was lovely to enjoy the setting sun in the wide open sky. There was even some good ole Texas country playing in the background before we left. These are the moments when I really miss Texas....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Fav Costumes...

In keeping with the Halloween spirit, here were some of my favorite costumes:

1. The Black Swan and her counterpart, the White Swan.

2. Earbuds, an ode to Steve Jobs.

3. Mario & The Princess

And then who can forget this little one....

Due to her momma not feeling so hot, Mags did not get the chance to wear this for actual Halloween but she looks awfully cute don't you think?

What were your favorite costumes this year?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween! (a day late)

Hope you had a very Happy Halloween!

We've been on the slow recovery back to health in our household so we didn't consume as much candy or dress up as much as I would've wished but we still had a little fun. Check back soon for some of my favorite costumes this year.

Monday, October 10, 2011


A few weekends ago Matt & I decided we needed a chalkboard in our kitchen. So we headed out to Home Depot to buy some chalkboard paint & then hunted around for the perfect frame to go around it.

We found one at Ross--I would have gone with something a bit more ornate but the size and shape was just too good to give up.

So I spray painted the frame white while Matt took care of the chalkboard paint in the kitchen. Here is the final product:

We love it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Home Improvement

We've been working on a few updates in the study/office room. While out shopping a few weeks ago, I found a rug for $10 at Home Depot. I decided I had to have it. I love the way it looks under the sofa in the office.

When we moved in the windows in this room had basic $5 cheap-o looking shades in the windows. We replaced the broken ones at first just to have something to cover the windows but we've always wanted something warmer for the windows. Over the weekend, we finally bought and changed out the blinds. The result is a much warmer space for studying & working.

Above is the final product. It seems so much cozier than before!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Garden

The garden is still hanging on for dear life. As the weather changes, we are going to begin pulling some of our plants & planting for fall (maybe?). In the meantime, however, my okra plants have grown to a ginormous height since I last posted a picture.

I made Maggie stand in front of them just so you could have a sense of the actual size. It's crazy to me that a few are taller than me! The okra love it here in the South...we will definitely be growing it again next season.

Also, my banana pepper plant has been blooming like crazy. We took several and attempted to can them for later.

Verdict is still out.

Our 2nd attempt at a garden has had some successes but also many failures. Here's a recap: NONE of my squash plants (or zucchini) survived the squash vine borers. I can't decide if we'll try again next year or call it quits. My tomatoes also had a rough season as did my green peppers. I don't have a good explanation. As I said before the okra did very well & so did the eggplant & basil. We've had basil coming out our ears (fresh pesto...yum!). I can't wait to give it a go next year...it will be our 3rd garden! Crazy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Labor Day Fun

Our Labor Day consisted of a LOT of water thanks to Tropical Storm Lee. I won't complain too much because it was nice for our yard to get some fresh rain but perhaps this was a bit more than we had bargained for in the end. We started the day at the lake but came home after lunch to build this....

There is nothing better than an indoor tent on a rainy day. Right after we got situated, however, the power went out. Below is a picture of our backyard just before the power stopped running for the night.

Although the crawl space flooded (since our sump pump can't run without power) there was little other damage to the house. We spent the evening playing an intense game of Scrabble with the door open and flashlights/candles on.

Sure, I would've preferred sunshine but there was something nice about forced rainy day relaxation.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Matt and I like to collect a piece of art from each place we've traveled. We finally got around to framing and hanging our art from South Africa. It's now hanging in our guest bedroom along with several other paintings from past adventures.

What will we add next....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Top 5

As a recap, I thought I would share my top 5 favorite things from our trip to South Africa. So, here goes:

1. Staying at the Addo Elephant Park. I didn't know if I would love it or not, but staying in a tent in the middle of nowhere on a game reserve turned out to be one of the most fun things we did. We completely unplugged, sat around a campfire (that's another story for another day...), and enjoyed the company of friends. Plus the starry night sky just can't be beat.

2. Staying at the Antbear Guest Lodge in the Drakensberg Mountains. Beautiful sunset. Good food from a working farm. Cozy Cabins. We LOVED it.

3. The beach in Durban. We walked it, we biked it, and we just sat to enjoy it several times. The waves are to die for and the weather simply can't be beat.

4. The animals. I know, it's so predictable. But you just can't see animals in the wild here in the US like you can in South Africa. I never ceased to be amazed.

5. The adventure. Travel is good for the soul. I came back feeling so alive and refreshed. Matt and I love experiencing new places & new cultures. We ate some of the best food we've had in a while (eating vegetarian is easier there than it is here!), lived among a diverse group of people, and tried lots of new things.

Friday, August 12, 2011

We're Back!

We've finally returned from our adventures in South Africa and soon enough I'll be back to blogging! In the mean time, I'll leave you with this picture as a teaser.....

Hope you didn't miss us too much!

Monday, July 11, 2011


We took this photo at the 4th of July party we attended:

It has nothing to do with America or patriotism but it does demonstrate the fun we had. That's how we roll. Hope you enjoyed the 4th and took some time to celebrate!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Okra Flowers

Have you ever seen one?

They are quite beautiful AND they produce some tasty veggies.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tree Down Again

It happened again. I don't know what the deal is but the very same tree dropped another limb during the wee small hours of Monday morning. I woke to Maggie barking like crazy to what Matt thought to be a tree falling elsewhere in the neighborhood. I decided to check anyway and discovered this:

We are thankful that the only casualty this time around was our outdoor glass table which can be easily replaced.

Although it made quite the mess, at least we didn't have to deal with home repair or the insurance company. Matt and his dad were able to wrangle this limb to the curb themselves--saving us a good bit of cash. I suppose it's time to get that tree checked to make sure it's healthy (one more thing to worry about when you own a home)....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I miss this city. Last weekend I had the chance to take a quick overnight trip to visit my seminary bff, Jillian. We enjoyed some quality shopping and had the chance to eat at our all time favorite restaurant, The Flying Biscuit. Yum!

(forgive the poor picture quality, apparently the guy taking it didn't know how to take a good iphone photo)
We woke up Saturday morning to find the Coca-Cola bear in our hotel. Things like this only happen in Atlanta....

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Last week I was able to spend some time at one of my all time favorite places.....Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. I spent a lot of my 3 years of seminary cheering on the Braves with some of my dearest friends. I love that place.

It was a brief trip because I ventured with the youth from our church. Luckily, I'm headed back this weekend to spend some time in my favorite city with Jillian! I can't wait to eat some Flying Biscuit, do some quality shopping, and enjoy the big city life.

Monday, June 6, 2011


On Friday evening, Matt was ordained into full connection in the United Methodist Church. After a process of written paperwork and in-person interviews over the past several years, he is now officially ordained!
Although you can't tell from this photo, I had the privilege of standing with Matt during the ceremony. I couldn't have been more proud. Can't wait to see where ministry takes us in the years ahead! Congratulations Matt!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Garden Update

Last weekend, we also spent several hours working in the garden. I let the weeds grow out of control so it was time to put a stop to that.

We also did some research (should have done the prior to planting?) and realized we needed to separate our leeks and onions so Matt took on that job.

After a brief scare in which I thought we'd lost our garden for the year because of extreme heat early in the season, I'd say things are looking pretty good! We've had several strawberries, tasty spinach, and are currently waiting on some baby squash and okra to grow (side note: our spaghetti squash given to us as a seedling is growing out of control, as in it might grow out of our "garden box"!).

Having a home garden is a heck of a lot of work but so rewarding and fun when things go well. I recommend everyone give it a shot. There is nothing like getting your hands in the dirt and growing your own food.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Get Away

My in-laws recently bought a lake house and they invited us down this weekend to enjoy it (I forgot to actually take a picture of the house...next time). So we spent Friday and Saturday on the lake. My view looked like this for most of the time:

It was wonderful to escape our every day norm and spend some time taking in the sun and the breeze on the water. Maggie loved the freedom of not being on the leash and splashing around in the lake. She played so hard that the minute we returned home we found her like this:

Matt and I are looking forward to many more great weekends spent at the lake. They are beginning some renovation work this week & we are hopeful that in the near future there might also be a boat to go with the house. But until then, we are thankful for a weekend of rest and sunshine!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Turning 27

Yesterday I celebrated my 27th birthday. It doesn't even seem possible that I can be that old. But it was a great start to a new year of life ahead.

After returning home from a quiet dinner together, Matt arranged for our dearest friends to surprise me at home. I seriously had no idea. We walked into the house, the alarm wasn't beeping, the light we usually leave on was off, & Matt was staring into the living room. My first thought was, "we've been robbed." So I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the lights came on and all of my friends jumped out yelling, "Surprise!" It was great to spend the evening with friends. Thank you Matt for arranging something so special & fun. I love you to the moon and back! (oh and he also gave me a new Kindle so I am exploring the world of the e-reader these days...so far, so good).

Here's to the 27th year!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The past few weeks have been crazy so I am just now getting around to posting the debris that we found in our yard after the tornadoes April 27. I went out to water the backyard late in the evening the Thursday after the storms and ran across this newspaper clipping from Tuscaloosa!

And then the search was on....I am fascinated by the fact that debris from that far away made it into our yard (and also terrified by the realization that the tornado actually came THAT close to our own home). I felt like an archaeologist trying to piece together documents and figure out where they might have come from. Here is a phone bill I found across the street, also from Tuscaloosa.

Alabama is still reeling from the destruction of these tornadoes. This will be a long term recovery and we don't expect it to go away any time soon but we are glad for some sense of normalcy returning to our lives.