Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

The blog has been neglected for the past few weeks/months...sorry friends and family.  Soon enough we will be settled in Florida, and I will have nothing else to do but update y'all on our lives.  Yet, for now, we are surviving until Christmas break.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving this year with friends in St Louis.  We "hosted" Thanksgiving at our church's youth house for about 14 friends.   Marty did a wonderful job roasting the turkey all day, and I fixed a mixed berry cobbler and peanut butter pie.  Sadly, I did not take my camera out once to document the festivities.  I am trying to get better at that.  I fear we will leave St Louis with no pictures of our time here or our friends!

We have a busy end to our time here, yet it looks like it will be a lot of fun.  We are beginning to sell some things that we don't want to make the move with us, and this transition is beginning to feel more real.  Our second bedroom is currently the moving room, lots of Marty's school books are packed and ready to go into his office at SRPC.  I guess it is time to move on to some of the bigger items.  We have not committed to a place to live yet, so it looks like we will be staying with a generous family until we find a more permanent home.  This makes packing a little more challenging.

I would love to say that over Thanksgiving break we packed and cleaned and were super productive...yet that would be a lie.  We spent lots of time relaxing, watching abc family holiday movies and White Christmas (best all time Christmas movie), and did some online shopping.  I think we are both refreshed and ready to tackle our last 4 weeks in STL.

Love y'all!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oh trech!

Hey y'all!  We are still alive and well, although the blog has been neglected for many weeks.  Marty is in the middle of his craziest semester yet, and I am working one full time job and one part time job...so there is not too much free time.

This photo was just too good to let pass in our blog though...


Look closer, at the eyebrows....



Marty went to the barber to get a haircut a few weeks ago...and came home looking like this.  An innocent trimming of the manly brows turned into half of his eyebrows being shaved off!  Ha!  I am thankful for a hubby that can laugh at himself when this happens.  The haircut was pretty bad too, so we just shaved his head the next day, which made his eyebrows stand out even more.  They look much better now, thanks to his manly, hair-growing genes :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Let's Go HOKIES!

We have officially begun the college football season with a win against Georgia Tech this past Monday night.  A few friends have posted this video about our beloved coach, Frank Beamer, I thought it was too good not to share.  It is a great tribute to coach Beamer's faithful leadership to the Virginia Tech football program.  With lots of bad news in the world today, it is wonderful to celebrate others doing excellent work!





Saturday, August 25, 2012

House Hunting

How do you find a home from 955 miles away?

Today we are attempting to begin answering that question.

Marty is in Citrus County this weekend officially beginning his new job.  He is busy casting vision, meeting with staff and members of the church, and meeting students.  During his visit today, he is going to look at a few houses that have been on our "watch list".  Houses are starting to fly off the market.  For instances, at the beginning of this week we gave our realtor 4 houses that Marty wanted to see and by Friday one was sold and one has a contract on it.

Marty is going to take video with his i-pad for me to view the houses with him.  I am anticipating funny footage from lots of various homes.  I feel like I am on Property Virgins or House Hunters and all I have to do is choose the best home :)  Ahh, if only it were that easy.

Maybe we need Sandra's help...
Marty flies back into STL on Monday morning.  Pray that Hurricane Issac does not change his travel plans!  Happy Saturday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunshine State

We have officially accepted a call, and will be moving to Florida in January.

Crazy!

We have known for a while, yet wanted to tell most people before broadcasting BIG news over the internet.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions we receive when stating this news:

1.  Is Marty done seminary already?
No, he will finish on time, May 2013.  He has taken extra courses each semester for the past year or so. He will have 6 elective credit hours left when he finishes the Fall semester.  He will take these 6 credit hours in online courses through Covenant and RTS Orlando.  His degree will still be a Masters of Divinity (Mdiv) from Covenant Seminary.

2.  What will Marty's job be?
Marty will be the student pastor at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church.  He will work with students from 6th grade to college age.  He is very excited about the staff he will be working with and the students he will get to know soon!

3.  Where is the church located?


The church is located in Citrus County.  This county is located an hour north of Tampa, and an hour 15min. west of Orlando.  The county has a small town/rural feel.  In the county are seven rivers, hence the name of the church, which make fishing, boating, kayaking (basically any water activity) popular in this area.

We still do not have a lot of questions answered such as:
- Where will I work?
- Where will we live?
- How will you move there?

God is good.  He knows our steps way before we do.  We are thankful to have a call, even if it is one we would have never expected when entering seminary.  God has been so very faithful in the past, and we know He will continue to be faithful to us.

We will keep you in the loop on house hunting from 950 miles away, packing up a two bedroom apartment while I work 2 jobs and Marty is in a crazy semester and working , moving details (PODS vs. Truck), etc.  Let the fun begin!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

12 and 13 year olds are fun!

In June, Marty and I took our middle school group to the Edge, a PCA middle school retreat at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.  We had a fun time getting to know the youth at our church more and acting like teenagers again :)  It is such a blessing to be a part of God's work in the local church by loving young girls that are so eager to learn more about Jesus.  Girls are the same, at any age...we are all searching for our identity, wanting to feel loved, important, and special, and Jesus loves us unconditionally, better than anyone or anything else could ever love.   Here are some of the sweet girls I have been hanging out with this summer.  





And Marty going down a HUGE water slide...awesome!
Love that I can still go to camp at 28 :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Girls Reunion 2012

I have just returned from a week with Jr. High students, and survived!  I will post about that soon.  Yet, right before that trip, I was able to go home to spend a weekend with girls from high school (well some even elementary/middle school too).

We get together every year, and this year we stayed in West Chester.  We cooked together, ate together, hit the pool together, and caught up on life.  it is always refreshing to spend time with people that have known you your whole life... the good, bad and the ugly! We now have added 4 babies to our clan of girls :)  Here are some of the fun memories from the weekend.

Good morning ladies!

The whole crew at pool day at my parents house!

The newest Mama and baby Sam :)

Itsy bitsy teeny weeny baby

The whole crew again minus Melissa, Sara & Lylah, and Katie 


Nap time! 

Bethany and me

Jess and me

Raelyn and Sam 

A night out on the town in the borough of West Chester 

And no weekend at home is complete without Rita's water ice, yum!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Summer 2012


This summer is going to look a little different for me.  I will not have as much lounging, tanning and vacation time this summer.  I will be working at our church as a youth intern with Marty this summer.  I will have administrative duties as well as hanging out with the girls in our group.  I have enjoyed my week so far, and am looking forward to some really fun times of learning and getting to know the girls.



Last night, we got together with some friends and went to Tower Grove Park.  The second Friday of each month, they host food trucks, and we all went to picnic together for dinner.  It was a really different experience for dinner, but a fun change.  We got there and it was super crowded, we stood in line for a really long time, and the trucks ended up running out of food...moral of the story, don't be late to food truck Friday.  I enjoyed time with friends and picnicking outside the most :)

After dinner the boys played Spikeball, which is the new "it" yard game that has taken over the seminary and youth group.  If you haven't tried it, you should.  Father's Day present in the making (if you have a somewhat active Father). Check it out here:


Sunday, May 27, 2012

28


Birthdays are a strange thing.  You love growing older until a certain age, and then it changes.  You are not as excited about getting older and older.  I don't know if it is because after 25 we don't gain any "new" privileges like you do with birthdays like 16, 18 and 21.  Today I started thinking about the age 28.  Things that I thought I would be doing at age 28, and how they are not happening in life for me yet.  No house with a white picket fence, no babies, we are not living close to home, we have not "settled down".

Instead of being sad about not having these things, I just realized these are just things.  Expectations that I have placed on myself, not based on anything truthful or anyone.  These past few weeks I have been hit with so many moments of thankfulness.

Thankful that God has provided for us through two years of seminary.  He has taken care of each and every one of our needs.  He has taken care of tuition and book expenses through the generous gifts of our loved ones.  We could not make it through seminary without His provision.  God is good, all the time.  I have a great job that pays the bills and leaves me time to have a social life and be active with the youth at church.  God is good, all the time.  He has provided a wonderful job for Marty after seminary (more details to come soon).  God is good, all the time.  When I thought I would have no community in St. Louis, He has provided friendships for both Marty and me.  God is good, all the time.  


The Lord's faithfulness is the only thing that I can trust in as I grow older and older.  God has been faithful in the past and will continue to be faithful as the years come and go.  Praise the Lord for 28 great years!

 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

5 and 13.1 More Than Just Numbers

As you begin reading you are probably thinking to yourself, "About time."  We know that since Easter we have not blogged at all.  We apologize for the lack of entertainment and information you have received from us.

Some of you know that this is Birthday/Anniversary month here in our home.  Meaning we are celebrating Meredith's birthday (though one never reveals the age of a woman) and we are celebrating five years for Marriage.  Its hard to believe that five years has gone by so fast.  Well not quite five years because its not officially 5 until the 19th.  When you look at the supposed gift giving protocol for 5 years you don't really get excited though.  I believe its wood, BLAH!  I thought for awhile I was going to have a good friend of ours over at Onyx Feather make Meredith a custom piece of jewelry.  The more I thought about it the more I realized vintage jewelry really isn't my wife's thing.  

I also realized that there isn't much made of wood that I can afford right now or that Meredith wants.  So what do I get her?  Well thats where the second number in the Blog title comes into play.  I have decided that for Meredith I am promising to train and run a half-marathon.  This is a big goal for me as I have never run more than 4 miles at a single time in my life.  We haven't chosen one yet but I am considering three.  The St. Louis Rock'n Roll, The Disney Half, and the St. Petersburg, FL Rock'n Roll.  Wish me luck thats our news for now.
Who had have thought she would stick around for 5.  










Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Easter

Marty and I, along with two friends, hosted Easter at our church's youth house.  We started the day with a wonderful worship service and fellowship at church.  Then enjoyed a potluck dinner with seminary friends.  We had great food, great company and great yard games :)  No easter egg hunts for this crowd.  Here are some of the few pictures I was able to snap during the afternoon.




Annie's bunny cake turned out beautifully

Dessert table

Marty's famous lemon raspberry cake 

Buffet table after we did some damage 

Some girlfriends I meet with regularlly and new baby Leah Claire 

Our new porch with seating for about 30 :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

14 days :)

Marty and I are fortunate enough to have our Spring Break on the same week this year!  We have been invited to spend the week at the beach in Isle of Palms, right outside of Charleston, SC.  To say that we are excited about this is an understatement.  I am already starting a packing list, which includes our poor beach chairs that have been in storage since last summer :)  The weather is looking great- about mid-high 70s and we may even see temps in the 80s.  We are hoping for a relaxing week to hang out with each other and friends, to soak up the sun and some trips into Charleston.  The last time we were in Charleston together was 5 years ago for our honeymoon :)    


Pineapple Fountain- we must get a shot of us here on our trip again :)

check out some big hair!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tag, I'm it!

My sweet friend Ashely, at The Pollock Potluck, tagged me in a friendly game of "internet question" tag.  If you have not read her blog, you should check it out when you have some spare time.  She is a new Mama, and has great advice for all things motherly, crafty, kitcheny etc. Here we go...

1. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to & why?
I would not change my name if given the choice, yet if I had to I would probably make my name into an official double name.  I just love the sound of a double name.
2. What website(s) consumes most of your internet time? 
Pinterest and watching TV episodes on ABC and NBC.  The combination of no cable and a busy schedule means no live TV for me.
3. Is there one household chore you love to do? how about one you detest?
I don't mind doing laundry/hate cleaning the bathroom and kitchen
4. Coke or Pepsi? Diet or Regular?
Diet coke, no doubt about it!  Diet Dr. Pepper has been on sale at our local grocery store and that is a close second :)
5. You have an entire day to yourself- no commitments, no responsibilities. What do you do?
Well, if we still lived in Norfolk, I would go to the beach all day. Then cook a meal and enjoy it with friends. 
6. Have you ever been to Disney?
Yes Ma'am
7. If you online shop, tell me where. If not, what stores do you frequent to drop some dolla dolla bills?
I am not good at shopping online, I like to touch and feel my merchandise.  The one place I will shop online is Boden.  I love to spend some time in Target, yet I probably spend the most money at Trader Joes and Sams right now to be honest :)  
8. What are your fears?
Shots/needles, driving in crazy busy areas (the 757)
9. If you were a famous athlete, what would you be famous for?
No clue :)
10. Right-handed or left?
Right, yet I play cards with my left hand
11. 30 years from now, what does your life look like?
I will be 57, hopefully happily married with great friends and a healthy family :)




Saturday, February 18, 2012

V-Day fun


Last week, we were generously given some money to go out for Valentines Day by one of our youth families.  Just one of the many blessings the Lord has given us recently.  We decided to go out on a double date last weekend with some of our good friends from Seminary.  We tried a fun new restaurant downtown called Range.  It is a burger and milkshake joint, yet anything but ordinary.  All the beef used for the burgers comes from local Missouri, grass-fed cattle.  All the bread and condiments are made on site as well.  The restaurant was full of character, as it is housed in an old building downtown.  We all enjoyed our burgers and fries with choice of dipping sauce very much.  Brittany and I got normal milkshakes to finish off the meal, yet the boys got a milkshake called Sweet Sweet Bacon.  This milkshake is made with bourbon, candied bacon and salted carmel ice-cream.  It sounded great, yet the mixture of bourbon and ice-cream did not satisfy.  Oh well, other than that it was a fun night out on the town, with great fresh tasting food and good company.  Check out some pictures of this new hot spot.

Menus, the drink menu was pretty incredible and I think we may go back just for milkshakes soon



Fun long dinning area, and expansive bar.  There is seating lining the exterior walls all around the top.  We sat upstairs and were able to look down on this area and the kitchen.

Basic burger and homemade catsup 

Sweet Sweet Bacon Milkshake 
    

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cute Valentines

Thanks to Pinterest, I have made some cute valentines for the kindergarteners.  I can't wait to see them with big red lips or a mustache tomorrow :)

Click here to head over to Blond Designs Blog to make your own.



Friday, February 10, 2012

Ka Ka o


Last Monday night, I went out with all the girls in my small group to celebrate our friend Dara who will be welcoming her daughter into the world any day now.  Instead of doing a typical shower, we decided to take her to a local chocolate shop, called Ka ka o, which does tasting parties after hours.  It was awesome!  The owner taught us all about how chocolate is made.

Here is a quick tutorial:
 A Theobroma cacao/cacao tree grows fruits called cacaos.

Inside the cacao are pods, and inside these pods are cocoa beans.

This is what the cocoa bean looks like before it is roasted.  (We were able to see these at the store)
                                       

After the bean is roasted it looks like this: 
(We were able to try the cocoa bean at this stage and it was very bitter!)

After a quick lesson, we started tasting!  We tried all sorts delicious treats.  First we sampled a lavender truffle, which tasted just like lavender smelled.  Then a chai tea truffle that was full of rich flavors.  We also tried a truffle that was made with fig, bacon, thyme and balsamic vinegar called Pig Vs. Fig.  Next, we sampled was a vegan cherry truffle which tasted like an awesome chocolate covered cherry.  Lastly, we sampled a truffle(mushroom kind) truffle, which was very earthy tasting. 

We also tasted a marshmallow pie that reminded us all of a smore :)

They make their own marshmallows and flavor them with all natural ingredients.  We tested a vanilla marshmallow, yum!

Lastly, we had some sea salt caramels.  The caramels were freshly made and the sea salt made the flavors pop beautifully.

I came home with a tummy ache, yet it was worth every bite.  I have never realized the vast difference between mass-produced chocolates and locally made chocolates.  This store uses all natural ingredients and local ingredients when it is possible.  It was such a fun way to celebrate a friend, and I would definitely return again for any kind of party!