Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 61: The Rockettes

Tonight! Tonight! Going to see the National Tour of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes! Tonight!

Day 54-60: Thanksgiving Week

The week of Thanksgiving. Here are the highlights...
Day 54: My Grandfather
Unloading from a week in Atlanta and so thankful for my grandfather's help. Even more thankful for an hour with him to talk about life, tractors, tractor festivals, road closings, his new dog Molly, and more.
Day 55: Tuesdays
Tuesday evenings after dinner, meetings, or Bible study, I seem to find myself at my parents to catch up, harass my little brother Sam, and chill out. The perfect mid-week break.
Day 56: China Pearl
The perfect meal for the night before Thanksgiving? Chinese takeout (from the Landon family's Farragut favorite, China Pearl)
Pumpkin bread. Cranberry bread. Pinwheels. Mini-sausages. Cheeses. Cinnamon rolls.
Turkey. Cornbread dressing. Green bean casserole. Crescent rolls. Mash potatoes. Gravy. Cranberry and apricot sauce. Corn. Broccoli casserole. Deviled eggs. Strawberry pretzel salad. Cold pasta salad. Hot pasta salad. Crab legs.
Pumpkin Pie. Black Pecan Pie. Oreo Pie. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie.
Day 58: Shopping*
Start time: 5:12 am
End time: 3:21 pm
Day 59: The favs & Rivalry Saturday*
Go Clemson! Go Vols!!!
Day 60: Christmas Decorating
Perfect afternoon. Perfect decorations. Perfect tree.

*Further details on these posts would involve revealing secrets. Shh...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Diversion: Pathway Adventures

While in Atlanta, I got to stay with the fabulous Miss Elizabeth. She is working with a very cool org - Pathway Adventures. They offer students discipleship travel programs to Greece. How cool to grow and learn more of the Lord, while walking the steps of Paul and seeing the sites of the early church.
Here's a look at them...and my first attempt at adding video to the blog.
Check out Pathway Adventures->

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Diversion: No time to blog. Stuck in Atlanta Traffic

I have a new reason for loving Knoxville - it's not Atlanta.
As a result, there is no Atlanta traffic.
Here's to Rice Bowls, the Youth Specialties, LJ, & Gonda.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 49: Team In Training

Here I go again! I am training for my 3rd Marathon with Team In Training. I wanted to do a race to celebrate turning 30 next Spring. I also wanted to support this transformative organization. At the same time, I didn’t want to take attention away from Rice Bowls. So, I am replying on old friends, teammates, and supporter, who already know about Rice Bowls, to help me run this race for the Leukimia and Lymphomia Society. My goal is $1300.
With this race, I would like to do things fast - run 26.2 miles faster than ever before and raise the $1300 soon! So, I am praying for some $10 gifts and a couple $50 contributions to get this ball rolling. I'll also be mentoring a team of runners. I am here to help them with their first TNT experience. Your support will help me set an example and encourage them. Help me show them that this can be done and watch your gifts multiply!
Please click here for my fundraising page. Check back often, I’ll be adding details!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 47: Equitas

Monday the Provision Monday devotion, we heard this verse from Lance and got an update from Equitas. Not just a grant-making organization, these guys are a catalytic force – for dialogue about the restavik issue in Haiti, child exploitation in Cambodia, and the intersection between faith and justice. I can’t begin to say it as well as they do. So, I’ll stop typing so you can start reading what they do….

Day 48: Horn of Plenty

This is my new favorite!! Just East of Cedar Bluff on Middle Brook is the Horn of Plenty – a produce market and restaurant. Fried Green Tomatoes and great, great Chicken Salad (with grapes!), creamed corn, collared greens, chicken fried chicken (not be confused with fried chicken which they also have!), meatloaf, cheese biscuits, baked spaghetti, pimento cheese, pumpkin crunch, and more! Did I mention this is my new favorite?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 46:The New 2

A list of 2 dozen initial choices. 5 weeks. 9 churches visited at least once. 3 services on some Sundays. Dozens of website visits. Countless great conversations. Lots of coffees. Prayer, prayer, prayer.
We’ve been visiting churches…can you tell? Lots of churches…can you tell? Knoxville has so, so, so many wonderful choices. (Thinking about that while hearing from Joseph Paul talk about the persecution of believers in India was an incredible juxtaposition.)
After visiting so many of these great Christ-centered communities (not a bad one in the bunch), we joined “The New 2.” I can’t begin to tell you what a cool process this has been, at this point in life. I can’t begin to tell you how many ways things are right for us to be at 2nd Presbyterian Church right now. I am so excited!
So, after all this praying, visiting, and incredible affirmation, Brad and headed to an informal dinner Sunday night. To join 2nd Presbyterian Church. We saw some people we met in the new members class and Sunday School. We laughed a lot at…I mean with…Bryan, the new pastor. We sat with fun, fun, fun folks at dinner who are in love with the Lord. Then, we become part of the family at “The New 2.”
I pledge to be a servant, a student, a leader, a resource, a disciple.

Photo Credit

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 43-45/Diversion: 1st Trip Back to Spartanburg

My first trip back to South Carolina. Honestly, I didn’t want to go. Finally starting to feel at home here in Tennessee, I thought it would be hard. But it was great. Here are some highlights….
…On the way over, I got a message from Bret, my old area director for Young Life, a great friend, and a fellow former Spartanburg resident. He mentioned how we are called to be grateful – for whatever the Lord gives us in whatever season. Grateful for time with people when we have it.
…Joseph Paul was visiting from El-Shadai, Rice Bowls first orphanage partner. It was wonderful to hear him speak and get a first hand update on Lydia (his sweet wife), Jecentha (a little girl I have adopted through prayer via Hope Point Church), and all the other children!
….I cried when I saw Lauren and Lea and almost when I saw Lanie. How I miss my favs.
…Broadway. Breakfast. Anna. Alex. Nothing better.
…Angie and Ben and Andy and M.E made me feel so at home in Pauline.
…Two Doors Down!
…JLS Santa Shoppe – thanks for the hugs and the free ticket! Great to see the new Mrs. Cromer!
…”Do you mind if we go to Venus Pie for dinner?” I said. “Oh yeah, we already knew that was where you would want to go,” Loring and Katrina.
…B&N for years Amanda and Emily and I have been going there for the best conversations and car trips. Now, it’s even better. Ellie was there!
…Kristen was in town from East St. Lewis, such a fun shower with her and Hope Point friends. Too many to even mention.
…Deb, I’ll be half way home!
…More Josh Ridings Band CD’s
…I took a back road, US 25, home. (Thank you road slide aka Day #). It was quicker than going through Johnson City. However, the winding mountain roads slowed me a little. So did the horse wandering in the middle of the road.
…All I was trying to do was get in one more visit with Joseph Paul, pray with him and Richard, and get in a little Sweet Pea and Powder. But then I was attacked. By ants. I didn’t know what was happening. I was talking, I was happy. Then, my foot was on fire. I ran and hopped like a crazy person. Hosed off my feet in the yard. Then, Richard was rubbing my feet with vinegar. Awkward. Very, very awkward.
…Grace Management kicked off their Rice Bowls campaign! Praying, praying big!!
...Coffee on a stool in Susan's kitchen. Where I've spent many a morning.
…So glad I stayed until Saturday. Action backed and productive, personally and professionally.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 42: Diana Warner

Unique. Trendy. Timeless.

On Wednesday I was out to lunch with Laura (see Day #4) and we happened upon Diana Werner. No, not just the jewelry, the woman herself, Diana Warner and her sweet dog princess at J.P.Coffman’s for a truck show. For a while now I have followed my fellow alumna of Angel’s Kickline turned NYC jewelry designer, featured on Gossip Girl and in dozens and dozens of boutiques across the country. She’s as fabulous as ever, with a big hug, a smile, and that same desire to make the world gorgeous down to every last detail.

Visit Diana online!

Photo Credit

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 41: Angie & Merropa

In 1994, when I moved to Farragut the first time, I met Angie. We were on the same 8th grade cheerleading squad, and I was do glad to have friends to introduce me around that summer. Angie was the best. (Ask me sometime and I'll tell you about "cheerleader prayers")
Now, 15 years later, it is great to be catching up with Angie - having coffee, talking about work, families, career, balance, shopping, and other topics that sound like the navigation buttons for iVillage or Real Simple websites. She’s so talented and does so many things, among them she has her own business, Merropa. It's "A Mobile Boutique... Full of Lifes Little Extras." I’ve already purchased Christmas presents and a cute necklace at Tinsel and Treasure (see Day #22). Here are some cute pics from Merropa…(The bottom is my favorite.)

You know I love these!

Photo Credit

Reminder: Some things don't change

"I the Lord do not change." - Malachi 3:6

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 40: North Shore Sun

I went in with mail. I came out with a little something for a little one.
Today I needed stamps. Across from my office, I had seen a USPS sign. So, I hoped over to mail a couple of items for Rice Bowls and some favorite people. But when I walked in, I was in the midst of pink and green…polka dots and paisley prints…engraved monograms and “Elf on the Shelf.” What was happening?
I was in North Shore Sun. They have a post office inside, so I got all my mailing done. I also learned they monogram and have lots of cute items available for personalizing – silver pieces, tervis tumblers, and accessories. Plus, there is a little salon and spa inside. While I was there, I picked up a little gift for a baby shower – it was a great price and they had free gift wrapping!
Cute and convenient!

Photo Credit

Day 39: Ashley & David

The sweetest, most welcoming people in all of Knoxville, TN are Ashley and David. I am not exaggerating. They are wonderful. So, this weekend it was BBQ, potatoes, and Red Velvet Cake to celebrate Ashley’s birthday!
Happy Birthday Ashley!!
I look forward to getting to know you even better for years to come!
1. Amazing appetizers…always after 9pm.
2. She remembers everything…things you like, important moments in life, how to make you feel welcome when you are dating one of her best friends.
3. She considers it a privilege to get to love on people, spend time with them, and help or comfort them.
4. Along with “Little Bear” helped inspire Harding’s homecoming.
5. Style. Wow, such style.
6. Just like her house, Ashley can see something that is “okay” and invest in it. She sees potential in some many things and goes after them!
7. In this city where I don’t know everyone, I know their door is open anytime I need a friend!

Day 38: Marci

Of all the wonderful things about moving to Knoxville and Saturdays in Neyland Stadium is my friend Marci. She doesn’t live here. Life in Nashville keeps her busy. Our friendship has seen us through family illnesses, sickness, her wedding, career questions, happy times and hard days, all seasoned with delightful, random voicemails that are typically 4 minutes in length. Her wonderful husband Josh went to UT. So they make is to Ktown for plenty of games. And this Saturday, as sweet as huge win over Memphis was, it was even sweeter to get to catch up with Marci at the game. Great, honest, fun conversation. Life. Work. Moves. Change. Sure, I am so thankful for my cell phone, but I am so, so blessed for a little face time with my best friend!

Day 37: Gay Street

"Early Green Leatherback", Jen Hamilton (above)

"New Zealand #24: Macrocarpa Tree, Oamaru Gardens", Kathy Holland (above)

The Downtown Brewery+Tennessee Homecoming Weekend Events+Good Pizza+First Friday+Really funny friends+Local Art+Lots more=Gay Street
It was a great Friday night in the heart of downtown Knoxville. Gay Street has totally changed since I was in High School. There was so much to explore, we didn't see half of it. There's also the Mast General Store, the Tennessee Theatre, the East Tennessee Historical Society, amazing downtown lofts and a dozen fun restaurants. And on every "First Friday" arts are highlighted at the Arts Partnerships' Building and smaller venues up and down the street. We hit the Art Market and the pictures above are some of the featured pieces.

Photo Credit-1

Photo Credit-2 and 3

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 36: Seasons & Sweet Tea

September 30, 2009, as I turned off of my beloved Street, I found myself on South Pine. Pine Street,: the home of my alma mater Converse College , my old office at Grace Management,, and the Rail Trail, my favorite place to run. I thought I was ready. I had said my goodbyes, had an awesome going away party, made plans for the future, and set up my upcoming visits back to the 'burg for work and play. Nearly everything I owned was in the back of a moving truck Brad was driving right ahead of me. But as I drove down the street, I saw it. The Shine on South Pine. Was I really moving 194 miles away from Sugar N' Spice.? How would I survive long afternoon's at the office without the sweet, sweet, sweet goodness and energy jolt of a Spice Tea? Could I manage? Would anything ever be the same?
In moving, I am learning that nothing is ever the same. As I just discussed with a great friend, life comes in "Seasons." Change is a beautiful, crazy, energizing, trying, motivating, energy-zapping, confusing, patience-needed, wonderful time. It is different living in Knoxville. I am different. Knoxville today totally different from the town I grew up knowing in the 80's and 90's. And I love that! If the Lord wanted me to experience the exact same things, He could have kept me in the same place. No. He wanted something different. A new season. At the moment, that means I need to be a little uncomfortable. I need to be okay with uncomfortable. My task is not to recreate every aspect of my life in Spartanburg. It is to seek after the plans He has for me. To give my life away to the people in my life - old friends, my family, and new relationships.
In this quest, I am definitely uncomfortable. I miss my favorite places. I miss my "favs". I miss being an expert on things. And I wonder when I'll start to feel comfortable again.
Then, last night, after a nice run with Harding, I thought it was the right time to reward myself. I wanted some french fries. Really good french fries. So, I headed over to Sam and Andy's. It's a great little "come as you are" kind of place. Home of the volburger. And home of really good fries, as I remembered. It's been of course I forgot, they still only take cash. But that all worked out. I was waiting on my order and went to fill my cup.
Good ice.
Sweet Tea.
Sweet, sweet, sweet tea.
Great tea.
The best tea I have had in Tennessee.
Yep, I think I can get comfortable here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 35: Gourmet Market & Cosmo's Cafe

Today it is two new things the price of one blog post.
Topped off with a side of synergy.
"...the finest foods, ingredients, and cookware available, in addition caffè and bistro in the City of Knoxville."
That may sound like a tall order, but that's exactly what you get at Cosmo's Cafe inside the Gourmet Market.
It's like Little River meets White Rabbit. (Minus the Cookie Cottage, but no one can be perfect.) Cute and full of character. Great local feel. Unique seasonings and salsas. Inspiring dinner ideas. They've got stuff in there don't even know how to use. But there are helpful people who surely assist me in figuring it case I wanted to start pretending to be a gourmet cook.
Best of all today - great, great conversation about real things - personal stories, honest answers, big prayers, and an openness to change. It really seemed like more than just a coincidence that we were all there . Great time. Great place to be. Great place in life.

Photo Credit

Diversion: Emily Ray

I just became a "Fan" of Emily Ray Jewelry on Facebook! Check out this fabulous Spartanburg jewelry designer. Lovely jewelry featured on this lovely of my favs!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 34: Natural Alternatives

I got "Brighten" at Natural Alternatives Salon and Spa.
Nothing tops a quick trip to the day spa on a cold day. Nothing is better than finding great options at a reasonable price. And absolutely nothing makes you feel at home like finding that new day spa once you move. Thanks Megan, I'll be back!

Photo Credit

Day 33: My Mom

My mom is so cool. Creative. Fun. Always ready to help. She gives great advice, when I need it most. She led my brownie troop. She hand-beaded my prom dress. She makes awesome volcanoes at the beach. She was the volunteer of the year last year at my brother’s school and has aught Sunday School teacher for 20+ years. She is basically awesome.
Since I live here now, I got to celebrate her birthday twice – a mother/daughter lunch and a birthday dinner with the whole family. That’s a whole lot better than a phone call or coming in for the weekend a few days later.

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Favorite quotes...
"It's 10:20 on Christmas Eve...I think we can make it to the drug store for a couple things."
"Everybody's got to look somewhere."
"I left it on there on purpose. That white stuff is the best part of the whole orange."
"I didn't take you to church to become religious, I took you to church to become a Christian."
"There is never a reason to wear white high heels....unless you are Miss America."

Day 32: Camera Phones

I was in Ohio, missing Tennessee, but having some Halloween fun while traveling for work (see Day 31). Nevertheless, I was well represented at a fabulous South Carolina party. Thanks for the texts, pics, and facebook - they made my day.

Day 31: Tennessee 31, South Carolina 13

Those numbers say it all.
This weekend, I was out of town for work. But thanks for ESPN, it was still full of tricks and treats!
Photo Credit