April 28, 2009

Best of Intentions

This past weekend did not go as planned. I blogged a couple of weeks ago about how excited I was for April 25th because it would be my first Saturday off in a really long time. Well, I definitley had the day "off." I actually never even got out of bed. Sounds relaxing, right? Wrong. Somehow I ended up with a horrible case of food poisoning and spent the entire weekend indoors. I couldn't have missed out on a better weekend. It was sunny and 80+ degrees the entire time!

My poor to-do list sat untouched and continues to build. That's life, right? Had I been well I would have attempted to cross off the following items:

1. Buy ferns to hang on front porch.
2. Prime and paint rocking chairs.
3. Touch up / stain window shutters.
4. Tackle mountain of dirty laundry.
5. Try a new recipe
6. Buy new bedding / paint for the guest bedroom (I have given up on our bedroom for now because I can do the guest bedroom much cheaper!)
7. Start planting garden.
8. Take a lazy Saturday nap - this I can check off. I took an 18 hour nap - I think I'm good.
I did get to one of the items on my list, although it wasn't technically over the weekend. I was finally eating solid foods by Sunday evening, so by Monday I was eating everything in sight. The weather was gorgeous and Todd and I had yet to use our patio furniture, so the two of us made a new recipe last night and ate outside. It made up for my horrible weekend. I could eat outside every meal if the weather was nice enough.
We made chicken pasta primavera. Yum! My husband is a great chef. I greatly appreciated his help, and together we made a delicious dinner.


Work is as crazy as ever, and my to-do list will continue to get longer and longer, but I'm at the point where I don't care that much. I'm always going to have one more thing to add to my list. This weekend won't be about what I need to do. It will be about who I need to spend time with. This weekend will be filled with great friends, good food, and the new Jennifer Garner movie. It doesn't get much better than that!

April 19, 2009

Franklin Charm

My good friend Brianna has a gift. The girl can design/decorate a home. If I had the money, I would hire her as my interior designer!

What she has done with her downtown Franklin apartment is unbelievable. It looks amazing and I want to move in!
Nearly everything in her home was found on Craigslist and Ebay or at garage and estate sales.







She needs a blog. :)

April 17, 2009

Say Cheese!

I have had these pictures for awhile and have been meaning to post them, but my life has been a little crazy lately!

Our friend Josh is an amazing photographer. I could brag on him all day long. A couple of weeks ago when our friends Jason and Renee were in town, Josh got some awesome shots of of us (the Nashville family). I couldn't wait to see them because I knew they would turn out great. I haven't been able to look at them without smiling. Enjoy!







Really, can you look at those pictures and not laugh? We are so blessed to share our lives with Jason, Renee, Jeff, Al, Josh, Christi & Suz. Love you guys!

April 14, 2009

Easter Catch-Up

What a weekend! I'm a little behind in blogging, but our weekend was a special one that I didn't want to forget.

Easter is a celebration of the life that was raised from the dead. It's remembering that God gives and takes away for our good although we don't see the good at the time. That truth was revealed to us this weekend.

Todd's uncle Tyler (who I should really describe as his best friend rather than uncle) and his wife Kari suffered an incredible loss last year. Last May Kari lost her baby boy when she was just 5 months into her pregnancy. It was one of the most difficult things our family has faced. We mourned the loss of his short life and the joy he would have brought to our lives. This weekend we celebrated new life. Tyler and Kari are pregnant again and last Saturday we found out she is having a baby girl! Praise God!

We had a blast at the "reveal party!"

How cute is their house?

The glowing mom-to-be handing out the Easter goodies.

Grandpa Joe grilling the burgers.

Me and Todd

The big reveal! Pink it's a girl, blue it's a boy!

It's a girl!! Sorry it's a little blurry. I got excited. :)

There you go, our Easter in a nutshell. We're so happy for Tyler and Kari and thankful we could celebrate the baby news with them and the risen life of our Savior with those we love the most.

April 8, 2009

North Carolina Recap

We're home! Well, we're home for two days and then we're off again to Missouri. I'm really excited to see my family, but I'm exhausted. I just need a day at home, but it looks like it's going to be awhile before that happens. April 25th is my next day off with no plans. It is circled on the calendar and I'm counting down the days! One day my house will look like someone lives there. I always wonder what our neighbors think when they look at our house and see nobody coming in or out for days at a time. That will change in May. I will have pictures to prove it! :)

Now that I'm done ranting, I'll briefly summarize the last few days we spent in North Carolina. I love it there, by the way. The quaint little towns, the mountains, the city life that is still slow paced. It's really a great place.

Saturday night Todd and I lost our minds and decided to go to Chapel Hill to watch the UNC game. What were we thinking?! It was crazy. Nearly 15,000 college students decided they would join us.

We wanted to blend in with the locals, so we headed to Target to load up on UNC gear.

Apparently I'm going to be a basketball player when I grow up! The only t-shirts they had in my size were in the little boys section. Looks like I'm a "Future Tar Heel!"

We watched the game at a place called Jack Sprat's. Did I mention everybody in North Carolina is go with the flow and laid back? The guy checking IDs at the door left Todd in charge while he went to find us a couple of empty seats. Todd guarded the door, Sharpie in hand!

After the Tar Heels wiped the floor with Villanova, people started coming from everywhere to celebrate in the streets. Insanity, I tell you!

We ended up getting home so late that we cancelled our beach plans. I was bummed, but we spent the day exploring Raleigh which was really fun. Sunday night we went back to Chapel Hill to grab dinner. The weather was amazing and we found a great little Mediterranean deli with outdoor seating.

Monday we packed up our things to head west. Before we left for Winston-Salem, we met my mom for lunch in Durham. She knows me so well. She picked the best little cafe for lunch. If you ever go to Durham, please go to Foster's Market. Even if you just go for me!

The restaurant is named after Sara Foster. If you visit her site or blog, you will see that celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Martha Stewart comment on her food. It's a treat.

After lunch we took a quick tour of Duke University. Todd proudly wore his UNC t-shirt while I prayed that nobody would shoot him. Fortunately I convinced him to change so that we could tour the gardens on campus. They were breathtaking. My cell-phone picture doesn't do it justice, but it's a really beautiful place.

We ended our trip in Winston-Salem. I had a work event with WBFJ, one of the local radio stations in town. John Waller was holding a free concert to celebrate the release of his new record "While I'm Waiting." You won't meet a more faithful or humble man. His show was a great way to end a fun-filled weekend.

I'm taking the next few days to recover, but I'm sure I'll have updates on our Missouri/Easter trip soon. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!!

April 5, 2009

Ten Years

Ten years ago today I walked in from school, sat down at my computer and waited anxiously for a 15 year old boy to sign on to AOL instant messenger. I knew the "big talk" was coming. He signed on and the conversation went something like this:

tstepp10: Hey
tnt2001: Hey
tstepp10: So will you?
tnt2001: What? Be your girlfriend?
tstepp10: Yeah.
tnt2001: I'm not answering over instant messenger. You have to call so I know it's really you.

We were so eloquent with our feelings as teenagers! Needless to say, April 5th, 1999 was one of the most important days of my life. I was just 16 when Todd asked me to be his girlfriend and I didn't hesitate to say yes. I just had no idea that my new boyfriend would soon become my best friend and later my husband. I am still in awe that God would bring the man of my dreams into my life at age 16 and that 10 years later I would still be sharing my life with him. To say I'm blessed doesn't even scratch the surface.

Don't get me wrong, our wedding anniversary is also very important, but to think that Todd and I have been together a decade today is pretty surreal. I'm more in love with him today than I was 10 years ago. He is a wonderful husband, an amazing best friend and an incredible follower of Jesus. I just wish I had the words to describe how in love with him I am.

Happy ten years, babe. Thanks for growing up with me. I love you.

April 4, 2009

Downtown Asheville

Todd and I are on our mini-vacation in North Carolina and are having a great time. Our first stop was in Asheville and we both fell in love with it. It's one of those places that is so laid back that time almost stands still. The landscape is beautiful and the downtown area is awesome. There are so many local shops and restaurants. We both left thinking, "why have we waited until now to come here?!"

In an earlier post I wrote about wanting to visit a restaurant I found in Southern Living that was voted the place to go in Asheville. We went and were not disappointed. The local eatery was called Tupelo Honey Cafe. It had the greatest atmosphere and what sets it apart is that the owners only use local products including locally farm fed animals and produce from local farmers. A place like this would be great in downtown Franklin!

Your mouth is watering, huh? The food was so good, and what a nice touch to add a flower to my plate!

We're at my mom's house in Durham and I'm going to try to sneak in a power-nap before we head to Chapel Hill for the North Carolina game tonight. Nearly 20,000 people are expected to be where we're going to watch the game. It might get a little crazy! I'll have updates soon.

April 1, 2009

These Are My People

Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty - they merely move it from their faces into their hearts. ~Martin Buxbaum

There is a country song called "These Are My People" and that title appropriately fit our night tonight. I love old people. LOVE them. I love them so much that when Todd and I first got married, I called a retirement community to see if they would make any exceptions for us to live there. They said no.

I think my relationship with my Grandma Ada ignited my passion for senior citizens. She had my dad late in her life, so by the time I came around she was already in her 60s. Grandma Ada was my best friend. My mom was gone a lot when I was young (she was a Sophmore in college when she had me and worked full time - I will never know how she did it!) But because of that, my grandma practically raised me. I was always around people her age. That was just life. I wasn't playing with other kids at preschool; I was listening to my great aunts and uncles talk about the news and the weather. I picked green beans in the garden and loved when the AARP magazine came in the mail because I always got to do the word search puzzle on the last page. Those were the days!

My grandma passed away when I was 16 and that wise, older influence has been missing in my life ever since. But, God has a way of meeting our needs.

Todd and I are very involved in the youth group at our church and the thing I love the most about our students is their heart for senior citizens. They love visiting the retirement communities with us to play Scrabble, bean bag baseball and cards. They willingly give up their time to spend it with those that don't often have visitors. It makes my heart melt.

Tonight we visited The Manor at Steeplechase retirement community. It was a great way to distract me from the craziness of this week. My cup was filled and I'm thankful that our students keep coming back. Another visit is already on the calendar. They make me so proud!

Shelby and Mariah with Kay

Addie (our beanbag baseball umpire) and Kay

Todd and Lois

Remember the days of long ago; think about the generations past. Ask your father, and he will inform you. Inquire of your elders, and they will tell you.
-Deuteronomy 32:7