Saturday, August 30, 2008

Birthdays, Birthdays, Birthdays...

Zach and I are so blessed to have such wonderful relationships in our lives. That's one thing you'll never hear us complain about. This weekend, some of the most important and influential people in our lives are celebrating their birthdays!

First up, my sister is on her way to Branson, MO right now to celebrate her birthday with her husband. A few of her friends had a celebration dinner last night at "On the Border." I took some pictures, but my USB cable is acting up, so I'll have to post those later. My relationship with my sister is one of those things I will always be grateful for. We are so different, so she always keeps me on my toes and is always giving me a different perspective. I love that. She is so full of life and energy. I love this stage in our lives- where we are turning into adults and are growing together.

A few of the things I love about my sister.

1. her ability to belch like a man
2. how she holds my hand and acts all motherly whenever I have to have a shot.
3. how she would rescue a possum off the road if she thought it was stranded and hurt.
4. the way she loves her friends and family
5. how sensitive she is.
6. how she can make anything funny
7. Her love affair with "Dance Dance Revolution."
8. How once she told me that she always tries to support "NBC," and I got all touched because I thought she was supporting the affiliate I was producing for at the time- but no, she was supporting NBC because it's the home to "Friends." Did I mention her pets' names are Joey, Phoebe, and Chandler??
9. How crafty she is
10. How giving she is.

I love you, sis. I hope your birthday is as wonderful as it can be! You guys have fun and be safe. Happy Birthday!

Another important birthday today- this lovely lady... Irene Wiggs.
Zach and I are packing right now, getting ready to head down for a weekend in Guntersville, AL so we can spend some time with his mom on her birthday weekend. When it comes to sassiness and strength, I think Irene wins the contest, hands down! She is the single mom to four children and is helping raise two grandchildren. I'm consistently amazed at her strength. I love how she and Zach are good friends, and talk almost every day. Their relationship is something I would love to have with my son one day. She is so supportive when it comes to her family. I'm looking forward to a weekend with my amazing mother-in-law... something that doesn't happen often enough. Happy Birthday, Mom! We'll see you in a few hours. We love you!

And last, but certainly not least---- our sweet Sydney!

Sydney is turning six tomorrow!! S-I-X! How is that possible?? The last time we visited Missouri, Sydney told me she had decided what she wanted to be when she grows up. "What's that?" I asked.

Her: "A fairy."

Me: "A fairy?? Really?"

Her: "Yes, but it has to be a fairy with wings."

Me: "Oh really.. why?"

Her: "Because I want to be able to fly. Wouldn't that be cool?"

After my conversation with Syd, I quickly became convinced that I also would like to be a fairy when I grow up- so that I can fly!! She has such a rich imagination and is so full of energy and life. She loves everyone and portrays such an innocence. This is something we pray every day that she never loses. Over the past few years of our relationship, Sydney has taught me how to laugh more, giggle more, and love my girly side. She is so beautiful, inside and out.. I feel blessed to be a part of her life.

We love you SOOOOO much, Syd and are anxiously waiting for our next visit. Have fun on the lake this weekend! We love you!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

That's Who I Am...

This past weekend, I was having a talk with my friend, Katie, who is a house-keeper extraordinaire. She's one of those people who could entertain herself for hours by cleaning. In fact, she was over at my house last night, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed she was turning my couch pillow right-side-up. Apparently the zipper should not be on the top. Hee hee.

On Friday night, she was complaining about the fact that her husband has such a hard time picking up after himself. I quickly came to his defense. I explained that during this process of trying to sell our house, I've tried SOOO hard to keep the house straight. I've tried to put my clothes in the hamper after I undress at night. I've tried to carry my dishes to the kitchen after we eat. I've tried to stay on top of the laundry. I've tried to change the cat litter every day. But during this attempt to be something I'm so obviously not, I became uncharacteristically frustrated.

Don't get me wrong- I recognize the importance of keeping a nice house. I want people to feel at home in our house. I obviously don't want bug problems in my house. I obviously don't want my house to smell bad. BUT, if the dishes stay in the sink a couple of days or I have a few days worth of dirty clothes laying next to my bed, I'm not going to have a coronary.

All that to say, I saw this on Emily's blog this morning and it started my day off with a smile.

Sorry, Mom!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chima and Shekia

Things have been a little nutty around our house the past couple of days. I'm just now getting around to posting these pictures of Chima and Shekia from this weekend. Chima, Shekia, Zach and I all went to college together at Union. They've been married for exactly 3 months now. Shekia's birthday was a week ago, so Chima brought her to Memphis for a little shopping spree and a weekend with friends. I LOVE when they get to spend the night in our home. Shekia and I can talk about our husbands and everything that's been happening in our lives while the boys watch sports and listen to music.

I will offer one piece of advice, though... it's never wise to spend a day shopping with a birthday girl with a hole in her pocket and hundreds of dollars to spend. Seriously- I spent more money than I should have, but Shekia racked up!

All in all-- a REALLY great weekend. There's nothing better than good conversation and good friends.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Girl's Night Out

I'm so blessed to have such a great group of girlfriends! Saturday night, the six of us headed downtown for dinner, drinks and desserts while our husbands played poker and went bowling. It was so nice to have a night to just be girly and talk about all the things our husbands don't want to hear. Thanks, girls! I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Baby Predictions

So, last week I mentioned I do stupid things when I'm bored. Here's more proof of that. Last night, I started playing around with a "baby-maker" software online. The software predicts what your children are going to look like. I also decided to play around with some of my friends.

One thing is for sure- Zach and Katie, you guys will have the prettiest child of all (no surprises there). Zach and I will have the ugliest child of the bunch, although Lee and Mandy's boy looks a little creepy. And Tori- I'm sorry, but you did get a red-headed child... and he's SOOOO cute!

If you're equally as entertained as I am with these things, you can play here.

Oh yeah, and I'm not sure why Ross and Caroline have their daughter's hair in dreads... but whatever floats your boat, guys! :)

Missing You...

Everything inside my heart wants to see this little girl right now! I can't stop thinking about her smile, her laugh, her wild imagination. Sydney, we love you so much and miss you more than you'll ever know.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I've Been Tagged...

Jamie is one of my fab four photog girls (see the links on the right side of my page). We email regularly and share a blog together with 2 other girls... but we've never met! I'm excited to finally get to meet her in a couple of months from now.

She tagged me, and so now I have to write 6 random things about myself and then tag 6 other people.

1. I have a bizarre white spot on my face called "vitiligo." I obtained it when I was 17- it basically means I have no pigment in that area. I have to use make-up and mascara every day to cover it up.
2. I am double-jointed in my shoulders and can pull my arms over my head.
3. I had dinner with Bill Cosby when I was about 16 years old.
4. I am not functional without my morning cup of coffee.
5. I wear the same pair of jeans, on average, about 10 times before washing them.
6. I am like a five year old in that I wait until the VERY last minute before using the restroom.

Ok, the six people I tag are Jennifer, Tori, Katie, Mandy, Angie, and Sara.

Here are the rules.

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules to your blog
3. Write 6 random things about myself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Battle of the Beans

When Zach was growing up, his grandmother's signature dish was pinto beans and cornbread. EVERY time we go to Guntersville, we know there will always be a heaping of pinto beans and cornbread waiting for us. Sometimes, out of nowhere, Zach will talk about his Granny's pinto beans. Zach eats his beans in the most bizarre way: He crumbles up the cornbread, pours the beans on top, and then sprinkles them with sugar and eats them that way. To say that Zach is obsessed with his Granny's beans would be an understatement.

I, being the frugal person that I am, actually love this about Zach. For $2.00, I can buy enough pinto beans to feed our family for weeks. BUT- here's the problem. I LOVE white beans. When I say love, I mean LOVE. I could eat them for days. And once they're smothered in sugar and cornbread, I'm sure you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

So, here we are, faced with the Battle of the Beans.

On Sunday, I bought enough white beans for an entire meal. My plan was to serve them to Zach as if they were pinto beans, and maybe he wouldn't notice. After he kept talking about our upcoming "pinto bean" meal, I started to feel a bit convicted. Last night we were laying in bed and our conversation went something like this....

Zach: When are we going to have those pintos?

Me: Probably Thursday night

Zach: Cool! (With a smile)

Me: (Hesitation)... except don't get upset when you notice the pinto beans are actually Great Northern Beans.

Zach: WHAT??

Me: But they'll taste similar... in fact, I think you may actually like these more.

Zach: Great Northern?? I'm from Alabama! I'm going to have to make a phone call about that.

Maybe you had to be there, or maybe it was just really late and we were exhausted from a long, stressful few days- but we laughed for about 30 minutes. But in all seriousness- Zach HATES refried beans in Mexican restaurants, but LOVES pinto beans. Nothing about that makes sense!! So, Zach, as we continue the battle of the beans, here's what I found on the two:

PINTO (Pink) is the staple of Mexican cooking, and is a pinkish-mauve color that turns brownish when cooked. Some variations are mottled. Pintos look like brown medium ovals. Cooking times vary from 1 to 2 hours depending on size. The favored bean for whole or refried beans in burritos and tacos.

GREAT NORTHERN beans are another relative of the haricot bean (white bean) family but larger than navy beans yet offer a similar mild white bean taste that is great in soups and stews and in the classic French dish, cassoulet. They cook quickly, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Can I get a vote??? Pintos v. White???

Monday, August 18, 2008

Little Anden

What kind of photographer shows up to a hospital to see her cousin's new baby boy and doesn't bring her camera?!?!? Here's a picture of little Anden less than a day old, taken from my cell phone. Liesl and Anden are doing fine, and of course Anthony is acting like a proud daddy! Enjoy!

35 Years and Counting...

"Love is not as simple as candlelight and roses... Love is day-to-day living, taking time, making time to be there,with open arms and a giving heart..."

Happy Anniversary, you guys! Thank you so much for the example you've been in our lives! I hope it is a great one!

When Christians Act Un-Christian

Throughout the past few months, Zach and I have been diligently studying and praying about what it means to live intentionally. We have a desire to live a life that is committed to Christ, but have been struggling with what that looks like... especially when you're standing up against something you believe is wrong. What does it mean to fight in a Christ-like way? Those are questions that have been weighing heavily on our minds as Zach and I fight through personal issues in our lives. Those have been questions weighing on my mind as I prepare to vote in the upcoming election. I'm challenged in this as I deal with coworkers, unloving people, and just the day to day frustrations of life.

I became challenged during Gib's sermon on Sunday about true perserverance. Last night, I laid awake in bed for about an hour, not being able to sleep, my mind heavy with the realities that exist in adulthood (I SOO wish I could be Peter Pan- and never grow up). I began to pray that I could feel God's love and that in return, I could exhibit his love to those who are unloving. Why is that SOOO hard?!?!

As I continue to struggle with all of this and work through this, I came across this article from Smart City Memphis. My heart ached as I read it... at the way Christians in Memphis are choosing to fight. I'm so glad I came across this article today- because it is a reminder that when our pride and flesh begins to interfere, God slowly diminishes.. and sin creeps in. I'm reminded that the best way we can fight ANY battle is through love. I strongly believe that love is the only way to fight for Christ... which means we are to love those who hate us and we are to love those who we don't agree with.

I'm now curious at what would happen to Memphis if we, as Christians, put down our protest signs and pride.. and begin to love those who are different from ourselves. What if we choose to comfort those who are living in sin? What if we open our doors to those who hate us? What if we pray for the people who rob, murder, and hurt us? What if we actually LOVE people who try to kill us?

What would that fight look like?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Eat Your Heart Out...

He's mine... and I'm proud of it!! Yesterday around 3:00 pm, I received a phone call that someone wanted to come see our house between 9:00-10:00 today! Our first time to show the house!!! I've mentioned this in previous posts, but Zach and I don't claim to be the neatest people in town. As soon as I received the phone call, I jumped into action, making a list of everything that needed to be done before we show the house. As the list started to grow, and as I counted the hours- I became a little concerned.

1. mow the grass
2. vaccuum the house
3. fold the 4 loads of clothes that are hanging out on our living room couch
4. dust furniture
5. make beds
6. straighten house
7. change cat litter
8. wipe down countertops and bathroom vanity tops
9. straighten closets in guest bedrooms- (ouch, I know, but someone pointed out to me today that people DO look in those closets... and the fact that we've been using them as our personal storage unit is probably a turn-off).
10. wipe off door where dogs jump on it.
11. Remove bird's nest from the front door and the pile of bird droppings underneath.
12. clean up dog poop from the backyard.
13. Pull weeds from our overgrown garden
14. Clean our food-infested microwave

Obviously, we had a LOT of work to do last night. The only problem: last night was my final meeting with my "Jesus For President" group. I knew last night's meeting was going to be extremely insightful and good for our church community, so I REALLY did not want to miss. That's where aforementioned, amazingly wonderful husband steps in...

When I got home from my meeting (which Zach encouraged me to attend, saying he would take care of the house) last night around 9:00, Zach was mowing, cleaning, organizing, and being just down-right AWESOME! I, of course, jumped right in to help. We stayed up until about midnight getting things in order, but there's NO way the house would be ready without him. By the way- did I mention that he NEVER complained- not even once?!?

Honey, thank you one more time for showing me what it means to be a team. I'm SO happy you're the one I get to walk through life with. I love you so much. So, thank you!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Misty and Nathan

Pictures are up from Misty and Nathan's Engagement Shoot! You can check them out here.

Loving It!

I'm loving every second of it!! I don't anticipate it will last, but I'm already thinking about football games, scarves, and hot Russian tea (a favorite that I stole from your mom, Jenn). I had a fabulous engagement shoot last night in downtown Memphis and I don't think anyone broke a sweat. I'll post those pictures soon. But until then, it looks like we have several more days to enjoy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Afternoon With The Girls

Every now and then, I need some good old-fashioned girl talk. I'm blessed to be in a small group with a group of amazingly insightful and down-to-earth women. Yesterday, several of us met up for coffee at a little coffee shop in Memphis. I'm not sure how, but we managed to stay there and talk for 3 1/2 hours! Afterwards, the guys finished up playing golf and met us at Rusty and Anna's where we hung out for a while before heading to Old Venice for dinner. I also got to take some pictures of Rusty and Anna's two dogs as well. For more of those, click here.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Zach Needs to Get Home...

Zach generally works until about 7:00 on Friday nights, leaving me at home for about two hours before he gets here. Normally, I enjoy the little bit of time to myself, but on other days (like right now), I'm hopelessly bored and end up doing completely ridiculous things to occupy my time. Sometimes I make funny faces in the mirror or put my hair in side pony tails like I did in the 80s. Other times I dance around the house or take stupid pictures of myself with my cell phone.
Tomorrow I'm going to get my hair cut, something I haven't done in 6 months. I'm trying to let it grow, but I'm also VERY tired of it and sometimes want to cut it all off. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do, but in an attempt to try to figure it out- I started playing around with Marie Claire's Virtual Make-Over. I was trying to figure out if I wanted bangs. Anyway, after spending WAY too long doing this, these are the pictures I ended up with. I should mention it also allows you to put on make-up.

I also did this with some pictures of Zach, but I was afraid he would leave me if I posted them on the internet.

Ok, I'm off to do something productive...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Sweet Precious...

A couple of days ago, my brother, Fred, wrote on my facebook wall, telling me to stop kissing my dogs in pictures. Today, I woke up and found this facebook message from my brother, Dan.

"Hey, Fred's note about you kissing your dog gave me a thought. I was thinking that's not so bad, but it'd be better if it were a cat. Then I was thinking that Precious probably feels left out with all these dog pictures floating around. What about your cat for gosh sakes?! Show her a little love."

Tonight, Zach snapped a couple of real quick pictures while Precious and I were cuddling on the couch. So, here's to you, Dan.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Just one of many pictures of Sarah and her boys. You can check out more pictures here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Turkish Afternoon

On Mother's Day, I bought my mom Lisa Bearnson's Travel Scrapbook Kit, ahead of her trip to see Dan and Tami. This weekend, I finally had a chance to work on it. While working on the scrapbook at Mom's today, she served me some Turkish apple tea (which is basically a very sweet apple cider) and some Turkish Delight (a very chewy, powdery candy that I wasn't very fond of).

Needless to say, Dan and Tami, you guys were in my thoughts all afternoon. I miss you! The next time I'm drinking Turkish tea and eating Turkish Delight- it better be there with you!! I love you!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lea's Shower

Lea is just a few weeks from bringing little Harper into the world. After today's shower- I think it's safe to say Harper will be the most well-dressed little boy in Memphis!!

Lea looked SOOO great. She had the cutest dress on and definitely had that pregnancy glow! I can't wait until Harper is born!! Lea is going to make the best mother!!

Clayton Turns 5!

If he's not the cutest, most adorable, most loveable almost-5-year-old boy, then I want to meet the kid that is! I may be a little prejudice, but I LOVE watching my sweet nephew grow up. We get to spend a lot of time with Clayton as a family, but rarely ever do we get the chance to see him with his friends. Last night, Fred and Jennifer threw Clayton a bowling party in Jackson, TN. So much fun!!