Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 123: Vols Basketball

By chance today, I got to enjoy the sights, sounds, and spirit of UT Basketball with my whole family! Nothing beats a Sunday afternoon in the Thompson Boling Arena...except a Sunday afternoon in the Thompson Boling arena with your family, a half-time appearance with a bird from the zoo, and a last minute victory over Florida. Go Vols!

Also today, I realized my numbering has gotten totally off. So, I skipped a couple days. I think I have lived here 123 days, as of today.

Photo Credit

Diversion: Walls

Thursday I headed to South Carolina for Walls: A Haiti Relief Concert. This event was put together by Rice Bowls' own Dodd, with help from several others. We raised funds, hearts, and voices for the cause of Haiti. Specifically, our heart is with Rescue Children (please see earlier blog post).
Worship was lead by 3 incredible bands.

Josh Ridings Band

David Walker

Lee McDermot

And yes, that's the same Josh Ridings who will be singing at our wedding!

I also got to spend the night with the WoCo girls. Fun on the futon! Then, way home included a drama of wintry weather, which seems to appear every time I travel over the mountains. Here's to life to the full!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 107: JLK Transfers

I joined the Junior League to impact my community. I transferred to the Knoxville League in order to get invovled in this area. Honestly, all along, I thought it would be a way to connect with other women. Well, no that I am back in Knoxville, I realize I could not be more correct. I've had fun reconnecting with Farragut and Converse friends. Plus, there is a great group of women who have also transferred into the Knoxville League. We have been learning about the city and getting to know each other. Last night, some of us got together for a fun girl dinner at Stir Fry.

Here's a toast to our fun transfer group!

Here's to Shana! Shana is California girl with Southern charm, balancing kids, volunteer work, and always looking perfect.

Here's to Lee! Lee is sassy and savvy about all things Knoxville. This interior decorator always brings life to the party...and always has on a cute top.

Here's to Mandy! Mandy and I might be living parallel lives. We both worked in higher ed. We are the same age. We were both raised in Tennessee. Our chruch search has taken us in similar directions. Her boyfriend Greg seems very similar to Brad, and they are enjoying a romance that spans a couple hours drive.

Here's to Melissa! Melissa is the newest of the new and also a newlywed. In a few weeks, she has already become one of my favorite people to chat with - wedding ideas, lots of laughing, and sharing Christ!

Here's to Nancy! Nancy is the working mom who gives great Christmas ornaments, who moved in a matter of weeks.

Here's to Megan! Megan is another mom with kids to keep her busy. Like the rest of us, she's trying to survive the cold winter, and I am looking for to getting to know her.

Here's to Annazette! Annazette is educating us all on how to survive the cold this winter. She came from Iowa, so she can handle this.

Here's to Abigail! Abigail and I hit it off right away. I have a feeling she hits it off with everyone. Sweet and fun, with great taste in restaurants, Abigail is the picture of Southern hospitality.

Here's to Mariann! Mariann was literally my first new friend in Knoxville. After meeting her at a general memebership meeting, she called me for lunch and the rest is history. Marriage moved her to Knoxville, so she's also been a fun resource on all things about getting married. Plus, she's from Texas, so she helps me understand Brad. Haha.

Now, I must toast our fearless leaders. Amelia is the ultimate connector. She actually transferred herself, as life moved her and her husband to the Virgin Islands a month ago. We're following their BVI adventures. Finally, there is Sarah. Through every change, Sarah's teaching us about he League and providing a fabulous Introduction to Knoxville. She always has an answer and introduces us to fun folks like Shazi. She's a convert to the south and my go-to for Knoxville info!

Here's to the JLK Transfers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 106: Lunchbox

I finally found it! Best Chicken Salad in Knoxville. The secret is in the nuts, I think.
And, it's just minutes from work. Perfect place. The only thing that could make it better is enjoying it with Natalie - talking weddings, houses, and organizational strategies.
Next time, I am going to try their pimento cheese or a soup!
Photo Credit

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 105: KidzServe

. . . And the King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”-Matthew 25:34-40

Sunday morning, we kicked off a Rice Bowls campaign at our church! I got to join Stacey, Heidi and the kids in "KidzServe" during both services. "The purpose of KidzServe is to give the children at Second Presbyterian a hands on look at mission. By using music, a message, offering, prayer and a project that will impact the community and/or world." This week, we talked about Rice Bowls! It was so fun to share the cause with my new congregation! Meanwhile, during both services, as the church discussed the response to the earthquake in Haiti during an impactful stewardship service, Rice Bowls orphanage partner, Rescue Children, was highlighted! There are so many exciting things at 2nd! So glad to be a part of what the Lord is doing!

Quote and Photo Credit

Day 104: Sullivan's

Friday night, Brad and I headed out for dinner with both of families. We had a great time introducing my parents to Sullivans, our most favorite place. Half the table ordered the meatloaf, Sam ate a huge hamburger, and I got my favorite - grill catfish! I don't know what they do to it, but it is consistently the most flavorful dish I have ever had. Their great sides rounded out our perfect dinner - sweet potato souffle, jallepeno cheese grits, baked cream spinach, and mashed potatoes with gravy. So good it prompted some food envy. The book ended of the meal where a great cheese dip appetizer and chocolate cake and key pie desserts. So, so good.
When Brad and I talk about where we want to live, houses close to this restaurant always rank high on the list.
Check out the menu->

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Rescue Children Blog

Here's a new blog from Rescue Children, Rice Bowls orphanage partner in Haiti. There is backdated information so you can read how things have developed. Also, regular updates will be posted.

* All children have been relocated to another home where they have adequate shelter and provisions for the time being.
* A clinic has been set up at the orphanage site, caring for 70 people per day, I think.
* Two relief teams from Life Church in PA (who supports Rescue Children) are there assisting.
* Please continue to pray.

You can also see information about Rice Bowls, the Walls benefit concert, and updates at

Day 103: Downtown Clinton

Yesterday, on my way to do some wedding planning, I headed up to historic downtown Clinton. Who knew Clinton had a downtown? Who knew it was historic? All I knew of Clinton was high school football and used car shopping. I had heard rumors of people doing some antiquing up there... Well, it was getting dark, so I didn't get to check it all out. But it was an easy drive and a great place. I look forward to going back - for antiques, a lazy Saturday stroll, and lots of things to make my home cute!
Click here for a list of all they have to offer->

Photo Credit

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 102: Chez Guevara

No, this is not a salute to communism. Your comments about health care policy need not be posted....

This post is about veggie burros with goat cheese and spinach. It's about legendary Green Salsa. It's about great friends. It's about inviting Alissa and Dori to be my bridesmaids. It's about a beer selection the boys love. And all of it is in an eclectic environment.
This post is about a great night last night at a new favorite, fun, funky Mexican restaurant, Chez Guevara.

Next time, we'll get the cheese dip too, with or without any marxist revolution.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 100: 10 to 2010

Traveling to Nashville for work, a long weekend in Texas to meet Brad’s family…I have hardly spent anytime in Knoxville so far this year. But, here are the Top 10 Things I have learned so far in 2010.
1. I am blessed. There are so many people around the world who don’t have anyone to turn to. They don’t have any family. I already have a great one. Now, all of a sudden, I have dozens more wonderful people in my life – Brad’s family!
2. When you visit Texas you must:
(a) Eat Tex-Mex food at least once per day.
(b) put guacamole in everything – even if it is not Tex-Mex.
(c) shop for boots
(d) visit a “Honky Tonk” which includes a loud band, 37% of people wearing hats, and an enormous area where people randomly place their very large trucks in no particular order (this is called a “parking lot” in Texas)
3. When you are visiting people, soap makes a great hostess gift.
4. Going to the Bridal Fair is a good idea, as long as you don’t let it overwhelm you. However, going to the Bridal fair while the Vols are down 4 players but still beat the #1 team in the nation is not a good idea.
5. When you football coach resigns, it will totally change you prayer requests at Bible study.
6. When there is a earthquake devastating our hemisphere, it’s an even bigger deal than you football coach resigning.
7. Skunks will eat your cat food.
8. Opryland is the best convention center.
9. I don’t understand how the Lord works in tragedies like what is facing Haiti. But I know that in my little corner of the world, he used Rice Bowls to connect a new church with a small orphanage. A few months ago, this connection moved them to a new facility and no doubt saved 15 lives.
10. Asking your friends to be your Bridesmaids and Junior Bridesmaids is one of the most exciting parts of being engaged!

Day 101: McGhee Tyson Airport

This is my new airport. Big enough to get it done, small enough to be quick, easy and close...
"McGhee Tyson Airport has 8 major airlines serving 19 non-stop destinations including Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Orlando, Miami, New York, Chicago, Denver and Washington D.C."
Photo and Quote Credit

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Praying for Hope

Today, I am overwhelmed - overwhelmed by my lack of ability to help. Overwhelmed by a disaster that has killed hundreds of thousands. Overwhelmed by a Lord who saved all the precious children at Rescue Children, a Rice Bowls orphanage. Overwhelmed to think about a 5 year old girl at an orphanage supported by a one of my office mates - this little girl did not survive. Overwhelmed by how much we still do not know.
Below is the story on Rice Bowls website. Please read, if you wish. Above all, I am asking you to pray today - that we would all know the power of our God. That we would not be scared of the issues of Haiti or this disaster.
Friends, pray with me that we will find hope, that we will bring hope.

As hundreds of thousands of lives where reportedly lost in Haiti's earthquake, the children of Rescue Children are safe because of compassionate supporters and a Rice Bowls church. Rescue Children was founded in 2005 through the vision of Linda Morrison. Through Rice Bowls, she and the leadership of Rescue Children connected with Life Church in Allentown, PA. Life Church came alongside this orphanage and moved them to a new facility late last year. Thankfully, this new facility was strong enough to withstand yesterday's earthquake. All the children and staff of Rescue Children are safe.

Their building and facilities have significant structural damage. The home is will be in great need of repair. Their wall and gate is no longer in place, making security a chief concern. Additionally, the impact on their community and access to food and supplies is unknown.

At this point, communication with Haiti is very limited. Life Church is hoping to send a team to Haiti as soon as possible to assist in the reconstruction. We are thankful to have received word from Rescue Children and are praying passionately for this nation.

To impact these efforts, please contact Life Church or Rice Bowls.