Monday, September 29, 2008

Wedding Weekend

Wow...I am exhausted from our anniversary weekend! To sum things up, on Friday we got to go see the new movie Fireproof with our friends, Kim and Doug. I highly recommend that you see this was EXCELLENT! Even the men loved it! It is very real and something you can relate to, and if you can't day you will. But if you are in a relationship/ CAN relate! It is a MUST SEE! We got home around 10pm Friday night (which is late for us), and got back up bright and early Saturday morning to help our friends, Charles and Bekah, with their yard sale. Sadly we couldn't help as much as we wanted since we had so many anniversary plans, but it was still nice to hang out with them, and hopefully we were a little help...and, hey, we did buy a $2 cake pan and a $1 bottle of water, so that's $3 towards Charles' education! :-) After the yard sale, we went home and got ready, and hit the town. We went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner (YUMMY), and then went to see Bill Cosby LIVE at TPAC. This was an amazing night. Just to be in the same room with him was awesome. We got home really late that night. Sunday morning we had to get up very early because I had to teach Sunday School. Luckily, Brandon came along this week since he was off this weekend. After church we went home and cleaned up a little before going out to dinner with my mom and dad. Mom and dad treated us to dinner at Logan's for our anniversary...thanks, Mom and Dad! After that, we were off to church again for Real Marriage, which is a semi-annual event at FBC which is a lot of fun, and we get a lot of tools on how to make our marriage become what God really intended it to be, and what it really CAN be. This event is always tons of fun. AND the church even presented Brandon and I with a couples' marriage Bible since it was our anniversary! (when you go in, you can send a text message telling where your husband proposed, so I did, and I said that it was also our anniversary, so we won 2nd place). We thought that was really sweet. After Real Marriage, we went home, and I think it took all of 5 minutes for us to hit the bed and fall asleep!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On this day...

On this day two years ago (9/28/2006), I walked down the aisle and promised to share my life with a man. As I explained in an earlier blog, it has not always been easy, but nonetheless, I would not take back a day of it. I have no regrets, because for each and everything that we have endured, there has been a greater reward at the end. I love you, honey, and I am so proud of you! Thank you, Lord, for putting my husband in my life... I cannot imagine life without him.

Brandon and I after we first started dating
drive inn


Brandon and I the Christmas he proposed

And now for a few wedding pictures!
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Reminiscing (did I spell that right?)

Well, as I've mentioned before, this is mine and Brandon's anniversary weekend! I am absolutely excited...and at the same time I am already exhausted! We have a full weekend planned, but it should be a fun one. I make a huge deal out of our anniversary, in case you can't tell.

See, in today's society, marriage is considered get married when you want, and if you get tired of the person or things don't work the way you want, you just get biggie. It is also condidered no biggie to live life outside of marriage, if you know what I mean. Don't get me wrong, I have friends who have done all of these, and I absolutly LOVE all of them! I would never judge any one of them...I think they are awesome people! But I do have my beliefs, and I believe that what God's word says is true. I am not without fault myself. But when it comes to marriage, it is NOT casual. (Ok, I'll get off my high horse now)

Brandon and I have had a VERY hard two years of marriage. I know...marriage IS hard. Any marriage is hard, and if you plan on getting married thinking that it makes life better....think again. Again, don't get me wrong...I love my husband more than any person on this earth, and I thank God every day for him, but God did not create marriage to make our lives easy. Sometimes I wonder if he created it for his own entertainment so he could get a good laugh. No, really though. Brandon and I, it seems, have had an exceptionally hard marriage. It's an extremely long story and there is a LOT of detail, but between familiy woes, my criticism, Brandon having to just now deal with a very extensive past, counseling, living with my parents, being poor, and many other obstacles, our marriage has not been easy, and there have been times when it was nowhere near fun. I wish I could say I have loved every minute of it, and mean it. I can't. I wish I could say I have been the happiest woman in the world these last two years. I haven't. This is real, people. This is life. This is honest. There have been times when I have wondered if I made a mistake marrying him. There have been times when I wanted to walk out...and almost did (Satan, you would have loved that, wouldn't you?) BUT, I have grown and learned more in the last two years than I have in my entire life. I have learned so much about how to love, although I have yet to perfect it, and I have learned about myself and what I truly want to do with my life. I have learned what is really important in life. I have gained discipline and maturity. More than anything, I love my husband twice as much today as I did two years ago. I love my husband with a love that can overcome anything, I believe. Our marriage is challenging, but he is an amazing man who loves me very much. Baby, I love you!

1 Cor. 13:8 "Love never Fails"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Here it is...

I don't get into many political debates, mainly because they always become heated and someone always becomes offended (and I'll be the first to admit that I get there quickly). I have no problem telling you who I plan to vote for, but I don't plan to wear his and her t-shirt all over Nashville because there is only one reason people do offend and make others angry. Not to support. Here is a short version of a story so that you will know why I am writing this blog... in my last church (which I still kinda go to sometimes), a group of people decided they didn't like some things the pastor was doing or the way he was handling things, so they wanted him out of there. They sued the church, caused the entire church a lot (and I mean a LOT) of pain and suffering, and ultimately the church is slowly splitting because of it, which is why I have begun attending another church (our pastor retired because of these people). In all of this, I learned how important it is to support your leaders, whether you agree with them or disagree, like them or dislike them.... for the good of the people. As I prayed and studied I found several Bible passages that state the same thing...that God wants us to support and obey our leaders, even if they make bad choices (just for the record, I don't believe our Pastor did what they say he did), simply because 1) they are our leaders, 2) God chose to place them in that position, and 3) GOD SAID SO.

I won't say what my stance is on Bush...I'll let you guess (I will say that I am neither Repub nor Democrat...I vote for who I like and who has the best morals according to God's word). But I get so tired of everyone talking so negatively about him. Yes, he has made some poor choices. Yes, I am tired of the war. But what is he supposed to do? Pull them out so that China can come over here and wipe us out? How about I come to your house and dig up every mistake YOU have ever made and then hold it against you and tell you that you are terrible at your job because you made some mistakes. If my boss fired me because I made mistakes....WOW! Where would I be? Where would any of us be if God expected perfection out of us? I find it ironic how we expect our leaders to be flawless when we ourselves are far less than they.

Here are they scriptures I have found.

Exodus 22:28
"Don't curse God; and don't damn your leaders"
Prov. 16:12
"Good leaders abhor wrondoings of all kinds. Sound leadership has a moral foundation."
Prov. 24:21
Fear God, dear child- respect your leaders. Don't be defiant or mutinous. Without warning your life can turn upside down, and who knows how or when it might happen?"

Jeremiah 7:8:
"'Get smart! Your leaders are handing you a pack of lies, and you're swallowing them! Use your heads! Do you think you can rob and murder, have sex with the neighborhood wives, tell lies nonstop, worship the local gods, and buy every novel religious commodity on the market—and then march into this Temple, set apart for my worship, and say, "We're safe!" thinking that the place itself gives you a license to go on with all this outrageous sacrilege? A cave full of criminals! Do you think you can turn this Temple, set apart for my worship, into something like that? Well, think again. I've got eyes in my head. I can see what's going on.'" God's Decree!

Ecc. 10:20
Don't bad-mouth your leaders, not even under your breath, And don't abuse your betters, even in the privacy of your home. Loose talk has a way of getting picked up and spread around. Little birds drop the crumbs of your gossip far and wide.

I am praying for Nov. 4, but I am also praying for myself, that I will have enough faith that no matter who God chooses to place in the White House, I will be able to respect and honor him, although it may be hard. This is a very scary time for our families and our country, and I know that God knows best and has everything under control.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's here!

As of two days ago, Autumn has officially arrived...and I could not be more excited! There is still some warmth to the sun, which I love, but a slight chill in the air in the evenings and mornings. So far, I have really enjoyed [all two days of] this season. Actually, as you can tell from previous blogs, Autumn starts on September 1 for me. Well, I have enjoyed all but the hike so far (see last post). And even that will make a funny story...someday...once the soreness wears off. I must say, God has blessed us abundantly! He has blessed us greatly by placing us in the midst of our new small group. We love it! We really seem to feel comfortable with Brad and Alison, and Charles and Bekah. we haven't gotten the chance to spend a lot of time with the others just yet, but hopefully we will soon! And our group is really good about praying for each other and being there for one another. I'm hoping to make some lifelong friends along the way.

This weekend should be a fun one. Friday night (if it's not sold out) we are going with our friends, Kim and Doug, to see the new movie, Fireproof, which is a movie about a Fireman who is a hero to everyone but his own wife...should be excellent. They've been selling out in several theatres apparently. Saturday night we are going to a nice dinner and then to see Bill Cosby (yep, THE Bill Cosby) LIVE at TPAC! We are so excited about that! Then on Sunday evening we are going to Real Marriage at church, which we are also very excited about! So this weekend is apparently All about marriage! :-) And may I just say that, I love my husband?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What an adventure

Yesterday Brandon and I decided we wanted to go to the park and enjoy the new Fall air. We packed ourselved a nice picnic lunch, put some books and blankets in the car, and headed off to Cedars of Lebanon State Park. This is a very nice (and quite large) park. We wanted to work up an appetite so we decided to go on one of the many nice walking trails they have to offer.



This was a really pretty trail, with lots of trees...and I mean lots.



See all the pretty trees? We hiked for a good while on this trail, and really enjoyed it. It was a really nice day out, too...not too hot, not too cold.

THEN... all the sudden, we realized we were no longer on the trail....


When I looked around, saw no trail, and saw only trees around us, I realized that.... WE WERE LOST!!!!

After about two hours of trees, this became a litte monotonous, and I became tired and upset. I was upset with the park for their lack of markings and signs along the trail (the only thing you had to go by was a white spray painted spot on random trees, and every trail was marked the same way, so you didn't know if you were following the right trail or beginning a different one).

This is me after about thirty minutes...


And this is me after two and a half hours...


Needless to say, the 5 mile hike was not a good choice, and by the time I got I had to pee quite badly (Brandon couldn't convince me to go in the woods for fear of poison ivy in the worst possible area...if you've watched Grey's Anatomy, you know what I mean!)

However, we did get to enjoy dinner with some friends, Kim and Doug, that we haven't seen in quite a while, so that was a nice end to the not so nice afternoon!

A few more pictures from the day





This is how I felt once I reached the car....


Thursday, September 18, 2008


YAY! I have completed my first task of my 101 things to do, which was to make a "big girl" address book. I have never actually owned one of these; more like a list of addresses on notebook paper that I create every year, along with the phone numbers in my cell phone. But now my addresses and phone numbers are neatly tucked away together in one cute little address book. I decided I should do this before the holidays so as to avoid scrambling for addresses come time to send out Christmas cards. :-)

I think the next things I want to work on are:

- Creating our Family Mission Statement (already in progress) and having it printed and framed
-Having our pictures taken
-Starting a scrapbook

I'm working on several other goals on my list already. I spent a whole day at work last week cleaning out and reorganizing my I just have to keep it that way. We have only eaten out ONCE in three weeks....this is major, people! We are starting to look at houses. We are becoming quite involved at our new church, and I love it! I still need to work on the exercise thing :-(

What's for dinner?

Just thought I would randomly share my menu with ya'll when I have a good recipe planned. Tonight it is (drum roll please)....

Asian Chicken Skillet

1 to 1-1/2 lb. boneless, skineless breast, cut into 1-inch pieces (you can also use beef strips, but be warned, marinate it or put some meat tenderizer on it first!)
3/4 c. Kraft Toasted Sesame Salad Dressing
1.5 Tbsp Teriyaki sauce
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (or as Rachel Ray says, EVOO)
1 c (or however much you like, I like a lot) frozen stir fry veggies
Linguine Noodles (Since I kinda made my own spoof of this recipe, I'm not sure how much... however much you need.

In a skillet or wok, heat oil. Add chicken and cook until almost done. Meanwhile, Mix together salad dressing and teriyaki sauce. Also, while chicken is cooking, boil linguine. When chicken is just about done, add veggies. Cook until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta. Add sauce to chicken and heat through. Toss chicken with pasta in large bowl and serve (you can serve the pasta on the side if you want. Brandon likes his noodles with sauce on the side. I also like to add a little soy sauce to mine to give it a little kick).

Brandon and I really like this dish. We eat it once a week sometimes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Common sense vs. obedience

As I said in my last post, I have been having the nagging feeling lately that I should go back to school. I have had several friends tell me of different ways of doing it (unfortunately I don't see any of those ways working for us right now since none of them pay enough for us to live on) and they are all really encouraging me to do it. I see people go through school all the time, and several of them work full time, but it just seems like it would be impossible for ME to do it. I keep thinking, "I'll just end up quitting again." Or, "I'll make myself sick by doing too much." I have never really been the self-motivated type, so to think of working full time during the day and going to school three or four nights a week is terrifying! Lately, though, God has been teaching me a lot about myself. He has shown me a lot about me as a wife, as a Christian, as a friend, and as a person. And one of the things that He has shown me is that I am NOT meant to work in an office for the rest of my life! I have a pretty good job. It doesn't pay that great, but I have GREAT benefits, and I like the people I work with, my supervisor is awesome, and I pretty much get to do what I want. It's an easy, laid-back job. No one breathes down my neck. I like working here. But I am so bored I could scream. This is NOT my purpose! This is NOT what God has called me to do! I am not using my God-given abilities! And that, my friend, is a lousy feeling. It stinks when you know exactly what you were meant to do, AND you love to do that very thing, but it seems so far out of reach. So, I am in prayer. I am praying that God will guide me and open doors, because I know that he has given me these gifts for a reason, and it isn't so that I can waste them by sitting at a computer all day! So whether it be opening my own daycare in my home (which doesn't require a degree), or becoming a school teacher, I pray that God will guide me and give me clarification, and the guts to obey Him, even if I am afraid. See, obeying God isn't always easy. Sure, it's easy to do the simple things like getting baptized, reading the Bible, or going to church. But it's not so easy when God can't speak to you audibly and the answer isn't written down in the Bible. It isn't so easy when the economy is falling apart and people are losing homes left and right, and you are afraid that if you quit your job you'll be next. It IS easy to put "common sense" before obeying God.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kelly's Crock Pot Chili

This is my chili recipe. I thought I would share it. It's one of the few things that Brandon really loves (he used to hate chili, but for some reason he likes mine... I don't really know why). You may want to cut it in half. I make a big pot so we can eat on it for a few days.

2 lbs ground beef
2 or 3 (15.5 oz.) cans chili beans (depends on how much you like beans)
1 can tomato sauce
2 packets McCormick's chili seasoning
Garlic powder
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Brown beef in skillet until done. Drain fat. Mix all ingredients together in crock pot, except garlic and red pepper flakes. Add water or beef broth (broth will help with flavor) until desired consistency. I like mine a little thinner. Season to taste with garlic powder and red pepper flakes for an extra kick. You can even throw in a can of diced tomatoes and add less broth/water. Serve with Fritos and desired toppings and enjoy!

I was going to add a picture, but, apparently, since I like my chili thinner, it doesn't look very pretty in pictures. All the "stuff" sinks. So I decided not to :-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Well, this week I felt a sudden urge to apply for a home loan, and, much to our surprise, we got APPROVED!! Yep, that's right! So, hopefully if everything goes right, we'll be buying our first home when our lease is up in February! I am so excited I can barely contain myself! It actually feels like something is happening in our lives. I know that what we have here on earth makes no difference in the long run, and believe me, I am not exactly a materialistic person, but ever since we got married it has just felt like we could not get ahead, and every time we have started to get ahead, something would happen that would knock us right back down. But, I think this is totally in God's hands, and if He decides to bless us with this at this time, then we will do whatever we can to open our home up to others and bless them. I believe God blesses us with THINGS so that we may bless others, not just so that we can keep them all to ourselves.

Ahh...I'm excited!! I told you something big was coming!

Friday, September 12, 2008

God's Megaphone

C.S. Lewis once said, as stated in The Purpose Driven Life, "Pain is God's Megaphone." Well, God.... you can stop yelling now...I have a headache! God has sent me through a whirlwind of emotion in the past month or so, and it doesn't seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. Half of the emotion is an overwhelming amount of joy and realization for the love that God has for me, and I tear up just thinking that He loves me soooo much! The rest of it...well, not so much joy. It's a lot of mixed emotion, but it's the kind where you know He's at work so you're happy in a way because you know something big is coming, but you wish it would come already so the frustration would subside. I am frustrated with everything in life right now....finances, my husband, my career, the fact that I want to go back to school so badly but it just doesn't seem possible. I've had this nagging feeling lately about school...of course, this isn't the first time. God has called me to be a teacher... Pre-K or Kindergarten to be exact, and I have known this since I myself was in Kindergarten and loved my own teacher so much I wanted to be just like her. And I have always had a very strong passion for children, and a God-given talent for teaching them. So I am struggling with knowing what to do. I can't just quit my job...we would never be able to pay the bills. Working part time is no option for me...must be full time. But a full time job AND full time school? I've tried part time school... I am just the type of person that has to do all or nothing I suppose. I want to be obedient, but I want to make sure we will be ok, too. Very scary. Then there is the work he is doing in me through the Purpose Driven Life, which has been amazing. However, I am seeing so many weaknesses in myself. Right now I have the classic scenario of the devil on one shoulder showing me all of my faults and God on the other telling me how much He loves me. And I am frustrated with everyone. I'm frustrated with my husband. My greatest strength is my greatest love for people. I love my husband SO much that I just tend to tell him how to to think, and I seem to think it should be that simple. Brandon and I were raised completely differently. Like north and south different. Black and white different. So I tend to say, "well, you know that you were taught wrong in this area, and you know what's right, so just change your thinking." But it isn't always that easy, even though I think it should be because I have always thought that way. He has no goals in life, but why would he when has been told all his life that he couldn't do what he wanted to do? Yeah, I know, I'm rambling and venting. But there are just so many issues going through my mind right weaknesses as a wife, the decision on school, whether or not to buy a house, my husband, and so much more, I don't know what to deal with first. All I know is, God is doing something big in me. I'm sure it will be worth it in the end.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pickin' Apples

Well, I have officially begun the task of creating mine and Brandon's "Fall schedule." Yeah, I know...I'm such a nerd. We haven't decided what all we want to do this Fall, but we have decided that we do want to go pick our own apples. I know, it sounds dorky, but I think it will be quite fun, and definitely different. I didn't even know you could do that here in TN, especially not in our area, but there are actually more apple orchards in our area than you think. I haven't decided which one I want to go to yet. There is one in Mt. Juliet and one in Goodlettsville. In Goodlettsville, you get a 5 gallon basket for $12, which isn't bad at all, but I'm not sure what kinds of apples they have yet.
We're also going back to the Pumpkin patch in October. That seems to be a tradition for us, which we started last year. We went to the pumpkin patch, got several large and small "punkins," as I call them," and came home and spent the afternoon painting and carving pumpkins. It was so much fun. I can't wait until we have little ones to take to places like that... sometimes it almost seems empty or we are missing out on something when we go places like that. I know, I know, don't rush it.
The only other (vague) thing on my list is to visit some of the state parks. I love to go on nature walks during the Fall and see the leaves change. I would love to take a trip to Fall Creek Falls. If anyone wants to join us on any of our excursions, just let us know. The more the merrier!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I'm Falling...Haha...Ha...

It's Fall! Well, for me anyway. Hence the new look to the blog. I know Fall doesn't "officially" start until, what, the twenty-something of September? But, September 1 is Fall enough for me! I absolutely LOVE Fall. I look at it as my last chance to enjoy some gorgeous weather before the nasty, cold, depressing, winter hits. I'm not a fan of winter. Well, I like it through Christmas. But once Christmas is over, and I mean like the day after, I'm ready for Spring again. I HATE Winter. I like one good snow, and that's it. But as for Fall....when the weather starts cooling off, the leaves turn, the ground gets covered in them, there are pumpkins everywhere, the smell of apples and cinnamon in the house, little kids dressing up for Halloween...I love it! I love Halloween...I know, I'm a Baptist. I am supposed to hate the evil Holiday, but the way I was raised, we knew the difference in good and evil, we weren't allowed to be anything super-evil (the devil was out), but it was always fun to be someone you weren't and get some free candy. And I love to decorate. I can get carried away with decorating the house around the holidays. So, watch out folks, the holidays have started for me....I am officially "Fallin"!

Monday, September 1, 2008

PDL Day 1

"It's not about you." This is the first sentence you'll read when you open Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life," and it is definitely an attention-getter. At first, you think, "excuse me?" But then, as you continue to read, you're awakened as you start to realize that, sadly, he is right. We all go through life asking ourselves, "what do I want? What career do I want? What do I want to do with my spare time? What about me?" We think that the point of life is simply to get through and "live life to the fullest" and be happy. Well, it's not. God has a specific purpose for each and every one of us while we are here on this earth....a very distinct plan. Yes, we can go to college, become intellectuals, get married, have a family, and plenty of success, but the question is....who sets those standards for success? Does God really care how nice our home is? Does he care whether we go to the best college or graduate at the top of our class? Does he care if we "dress to impress?" No. Not one little bit. We do these things because society tells us we should. Society says if you have a nice home, nice cars, a good job, and a good family, then you have a good life and you have succeeded. Well, you may have succeeded by the world's standards, but is that going to help you when you stand before the Lord on Judgement Day? We may have this type of success, but missed God's calling on our lives completely! And without that, our lives are simply a ritual. Wake up, do your thing, go to bed. God doesn't need us. He was just fine before he created us. But we cannot live without Him. See? WE are created for HIM...not the other way around. God isn't merely a maid that is here to tend to our needs and then leave. We must be willing to live completely and totally according to His calling on our lives, otherwise we are simply occupying space.

The end of each chapter (I read one chapter a day for 40 days) has some questions to think about here are a few with my answers.

1. Have you ever wondered about, or felt confused about, the purpose of your life?
A. Oh yes. There are some things I know that God has called me to do, like teach and work with children. Ultimately I want to teach small children full time. I also know I am supposed to be a mommy someday. But other than that, I have asked myself, "How can God use me to help people?" I see so many flaws in myself I don't think He could possibly use me, but then I remember nothing is impossible for Him, and if He couldn't use me, I wouldn't be here.

2. What ways have you tried to discover your life's purpose that hasn't worked?
A. I once took a job in a medical office because my best friend at the time was going into nursing school. I wanted a change, but I didn't consult God first, and it turned into a nightmare.

3. Why do you think people try to discover their life's purpose without turning to God?
A. Independence. Everyone wants to believe they can do it on their own, without help. It's like the book says, if you are an invention, you don't know what your purpose is until the person that created you tells you. And if you see a new invention, the creator has to show you what it's for before you can figure it out. We don't need to be independent. We need to be GOD dependent.

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