Friday, February 26, 2010

Great Strides for CF

Raccoon Holler...Dr. Horvath Office...Hardees...
Words can't describe the incredible memories and all the lessons I learned as a YL leader during my college years. I got to learn from an incredible team, and I got to walk with amazing girls. In particular, the Dorman girls of 2001 really shaped my life. (See Day #4)
Two of my favorite girls from that class were together in an email this morning, as Laura shared her interest in the CF walk and the story of her incredible fiend Jenny. I am so excited to be on her "team"!
Love you!

Jenny and I met our Freshman year of high school. We were both new to the area and looking to meet new friends. Since then, we have become very close that I was the maid of honor in her wedding, and she was the matron of honor in my wedding. Jenny has a heart of gold, and a positive attitude that is very contagious to those around her. In August of 2008, Jenny gave birth to Maddie. Maddie is one of the cutest and sweetest 1.5 year olds ever. One can tell that she has amazing parents who love her and teach her the good in life. Unfortunately, Maddie's Mom suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. This year, I'm walking in the GREAT STRIDES walk at the 2010 Richmond - Innsbrook walk on 05/15/2010. Please help me meet my fundraising goal of $3,000.00 by sponsoring me. Your generous gift will be used efficiently and effectively, as nearly 90 cents of every dollar of revenue raised is available for investment in vital CF programs to support research, care and education. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a devastating genetic disease that affects tens of thousands of children and young adults in the United States. Research and care supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is making a huge difference in extending the quality of life for those with CF. However, we continue to lose precious lives to CF every day. That's why your help is needed now more than ever to ensure that a cure is found sooner - rather than later. To learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, visit

Join Laura's Team->

Day 149: Read with Me

1 hour a week + Kindergarteners - Third Graders + Adult Volunteers + about 50 elementary schools = A very cool program serving kids across Knox County.
Read with me is as simple as it sounds and a very popular county-wide volunteer program. Learn more about it here->

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 148: The Beck House

Today I have a meeting at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center. As part of the Introduction Knoxville series, I'll be visiting this place where I have never been before and looking forward to hearing about Knoxville as a caring, compassionate community. So far, I've already learned a little something about our city's history this morning. Meet the Becks, influential leaders from Knoxville's history. Learn more at

The Becks
"James Garfield Beck and Ethel Benson Beck were two of the most glamorous and influential members of Knoxville's black community during the period of the 1920s-I960s. They were in the forefront of most civic, church, and social activities. The Becks were involved in the establishment of the Knoxville Colored Orphanage in 1919 and Mr. Beck was the first black postal clerk in the state of Tennessee. The Beck House itself has a long history. In the early 1800s two Englishmen bought several parcels of property from Joseph Mabry whose neighboring home (The Mabry Hazen House), remains one of the great historical sites in Knoxville. In the late 1800s James Cowan had the house built at 1927 Dandridge Ave. as a wedding gift for his new bride. The house was purchased in the 1940s by Dr. E.F. Lennan a prominent black physician and a cross was burned on their front lawn. The Becks later purchased the home and after the death of Mrs. Beck the trustees of her estate provided $20,000 to purchase the Beck house from KCDC. Thus the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Inc. was established in 1975 to serve as a forum of artistic expression and historical perspective for African Americans in Knoxville and East Tennessee."

Photo and Quote Credit

Day 146:

This might as well be my homepage. Sometimes, I look for our dream house. Sometime, I look everyday for a week. Sometimes, I look to see what is new. Sometimes, I just like to play with the interactive map. I have become a real estate junkie.

Day 147: A new journal

It's been a week of bridesmaid-dress-ordering, church-meeting, dinner-party-planning, volunteering, serious-bonding,, and even ceremonial-burning. (The details of the final item will remain confidential to protect the innocent.) The details of life have created such a feeling "in between" right now. I am loving the ride...must of the time. All that thinking and praying for peace leads me to a lot of writing. Writing that is prayerful, quiet, and personal.
I finished a journal Wednesday. The one I started the day after Brad and I got engaged. I love the thought of fresh pages. Praying where this next set of pages will lead me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 145: Gel Nails

I just got my first "gel" manicure. Actually, I got it 5 days ago. And they still look perfectly, freshly painted.
Obcessed. Everyone said they were so great. Abigail, Shana, and the girls at Mary had told me all about them. I had no idea how right they were. And the gel is as thin as regular nail polish.
Plus, it wasn't expensive at all.
Apparently, other cities have had gel nails at salons for years. But they are brand new to Knoxville. So, if you are here, make a trip to Odyssey Pedispa.

Afternoon Quote

"February. It's not even a month. Why do we even have it?" - Brooke

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 144: Sunday Night at Second Pres.

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day

- "Bad" by U2

With this song, 2nd Pres kicked off a new pilot worship experience last night. Awesome. About 170 folks gathered for great worship, a thoughtful message from Matthew, and a creative look what "restoration" means. This "come as you" night brought dozens of college students and created such a welcoming environment. I want to invite everyone I know. So, if you want to come, I'll see you next week!

"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see." - CS Lewis

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 143: Say Yes to the Dress...I mean Dresses

And because everyone is asking, the answer is yes. I've found my wedding dress. Don't ask me to show it to you, because you know who reads this blog. Today, the fun continues as we settle on bridesmaids and honorary bridesmaids dress details. In honor of the fun day, here are a few of the dresses I have loved along the way. None of these made the cut, but I love them all.

And hats off to my favorites - my wonderful friend Abby and the team at White Lace and Promises and Stephani (and Erika too) at the new Alfred Angelo Boutique. Thanks girls!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 142: New glasses

Disclaimer: Yes, I know this post is slightly lame because I am not supplying a picture. But, well, I don't own a camera and well, I jsut never take pictures. Sorry.

I have new glasses! After years of never wearing them, out of date prescriptions, and even half-broken frames, I have new glasses. My little brother has announced that they make me look, "weird, um, no, I just mean different." Anyway, it's definitely something new! I have been wearing them all week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 141: McDougal's

Now in Knoxville. Coming soon to
The website isn't done, but the chicken is so, so good. This is my favorite place to head before UT basketball games. So, even though I skipped the game to see friends last night, Brad and I grabbed dinner before he headed over.
Here's what happened on another recent visit.

Setting - at McDougal's on the strip. I order. Brad orders. As the waitress is getting our drink she says....
Waitress: Are y'all going to the game tonight?
Brad: Yes
I look down at our clothing and realize that we are not wearing anything orange or UT oriented.
Waitress: Well y'all have fun down here.
Me: How can you tell we were going to the game?
Waitress: Hmm, I don't know you just look like you'd be going to the game.
I then look around the restaurant. I realize we are the only people over the age of 25.
Me: Yes, we probably just look like adults from West Knoxville who only come on campus for basketball games.
We all laugh.

It is not true. We don't just come on campus for basketball games...We love football too!

Photo Credit

Quote of the Morning

“Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.” ― Janis Joplin

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 140: Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Okay, first, I know what you are thinking. I had a smoothie today. No. I do love smoothies. However, today, on my first visit to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, I learned they have a fabulous menu. Great salads. Great sandwiches. Great wraps. Great sides. Keyword = Fresh. I went for the combo and sincerely enjoyed the thai peanut dressing.
Check out their website and menu.

Day 139: Blogs

Since coming to Knoxville and becoming a dedicated blogger, I have become a dedicated (though spuradic) blog reader. In addition to reading the ramblings of friends I love, here are a few blogosphere celebrities that I can't stop following:

Margaret Finberg


Southern Weddings

The Knoxify Photo Stream

And here is the best blog thought I have read this week
Donald Miller
Taken from Following God and Farming
...Plow the field God gave you. This is going to be a bit controversial, but I’m just going to say it. God gave you a heart, a wellspring of delight and desire. That heart can be corrupted, for sure, but God also speaks to you and through you through that heart...
Continue reading->

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 137: Copper Cellar

Our Valentines celebration continues to a Sunday Brunch at Copper Cellar. One of the best known brunch's in town, it was the perfect place to celebrate on Sunday. I don't even really like blue berry muffins, but these were great. Most of all, I love brunch, I love coffee, I love Sundays. And, well, I really love Brad.
Photo Credit

Day 136 & 137: Valentines Weekend

12 Red Roses
4 Envelopes
3 Surprises
3 Great Meals
2 Days
1 Snow Fall
A perfectly simple Valentines Weekend

Day 132: Molly & Bella

Molly is a nurse practicioner who loves the Lord and went to Haiti to serve in any way she could. And, well, long sotry short...she came home with a baby in her arms. Her heart for Bella and for the Lord is captivating.

Here's the story from WBIR:

A Haitian orphan in need of medical care is now recovering in Knoxville after the earthquake.

A nurse brought the 16-month-old back with her to the United States and is now caring for the child, named "Bella."

Just four days ago, Molly Marks ended her two-week medical mission in Haiti with the Provision Foundation.

Marks thought she had seen it all until she arrived at an orphanage.

"She's the one that caught my eye first because she looked so terribly sick," said Marks of Bella.

The skinny and malnourished girl was parentless and sick with phneumonia, bronchitis and giardia, an intestinal parasite.

"Her mom died of some type of swelling or infection," said Marks. "They loved her and they loved her so much they wanted a different life for her."

Bella was taken to a hospital where it became evident to Marks that treatment could take awhile.

"In the end, we were granted something called 'humanitarian and benefit parole,"' said Marks. "What that does is that grants her parole, allows us to enter the United States basically as a refuge, someone needing medical attention for 12 to 18 months."

Now Bella is receiving one-on-one love and treatment in nurse Marks' Knoxville home.

Bella can now move around and even sing a little. Marks said she may eventually pursue adoption, but that's currently not an option.

Right now, it's all about nursing Bella back to health. Marks' bosses at Blackmon Pediatrics in Powell have given her the month off so she can provide that special care to Bella.

Photo Credit

Day 138: Moe's

Moe's has agreed to donate 10% of their proceeds from both the UT and Northshore stores (for today and tomorrow) directly to Haiti Serve's efforts!!!

Spread the word!

HaitiServe's vision:
To see the people and nation of Haiti and those serving Haiti physically and spiritually transformed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mid-Afternoon Quote

"When we dare to speak from the depths of our hearts to the friends God gives us, we will gradually find new freedom within us and courage to live our sorrows and joys to the full." - Henri Nouwen

Thanks Adella

Diversion: Chocolate Butterbean

One of my new favorite things...
I have been following Chocolate Butterbean for a while now. Founder, Joni is THE emerging belle of the custom stationary ball. The look is sweet, southern, gracious, and personal. So, nothing could be more exciting than a partnership between Chocolate Butterbean and Rice Bowls! Check it out here->

Photo Credit

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 130: SunSpot

Metro Pulse Readers are Right:
Best Vegetarian
Runner-up for Best Brunch
Best Lunch Spot
Best Wine List
Best Hamburger

Best brunch this Sunday! I loved being back at the Sunspot, a Knoxville fav where you can't go wrong. "Where tie-die and neck ties unite." I had the black bean burrito with avocado relish. Amazing. Brad had a burger. Everyone at our table had something fabulous. I do love, love this place.

Photo Credit (And Check out the Menu!)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 129: The Silk Purse

"The cozy little cottage where you find sensational style"

This weekend started out with the perfect combination of wedding planning, shopping, and mom. We headed out for a day of wedding planning hosted by La Belle Soirée, at the Silk Purse. On Friday, I got an email that said the store was going to have a fabulous sale. It's one of my mom's favorite places to shop. I always seem to find things in there and they are always hosting cute events - like fashion shops and "the pearl girl".
I am loving my new hound's tooth jacket - 40% off!

Photo Credit

Day 127: Introduction Knoxville


Thursday I had the opportunity to volunteer with Introduction Knoxville. It was fun to make some connections and hear from great folks about our community. This week's focus was on the political and economic landscape.

"Introduction Knoxville is ideal for corporate, non-profit and government professionals who have moved to the Knoxville area, or who have accepted new positions of greater responsibility and want to become more integrated into the community. This comprehensive introduction to the rich history, culture, natural resources, institutions and promises of this vibrant region will connect you with some of Knoxville’s top leaders and provide a catalyst for a new level of involvement."

Credits and more information->

Engagement Announcement: Union City, Tennessee

Here it is! Our first engagement announcement! It is in the Union City Messenger, which serve Northwest Tennessee, home of the Jones Family.

Miss Landon, Fitch plan July wedding

"The engagement and forthcoming marriage of Katherine Theresa “Katie” Landon and William Bradley Fitch, both of Knoxville, are being announced today..."Continue Reading->

On a related note, I have the greatest fiance ever. He's taken care of this and so many other details.

Day 128: Pet Friendliest Community In America

I just learned that, "The Knoxville community has literally gone to the dogs; and we are loving every minute of it. To show our appreciation for our pets and all they add to our life, we are making our community the Pet Friendliest in the nation!"
Harding is very, very excited to hear about this initiative. This means important steps, like a new adoption center for Young-Williams, lots of Dog Parks, and more!

A lot of this is thanks to PetSafe. They are a Knoxville based company!

Credits and Learn more Here->

Diversion: Baby Haven & Child Haven

Wednesday I was in Spartanburg for lunch with David Webb. David and his wife, Caroline, direct Baby Haven and Child Haven. These are 2 Rice Bowls Orphanage Partners in South Africa. They are also ministers in South Africa and involved in a variety of other ministries.

David always has incredible stories about he Lord's faithfulness, grace, and calling.

Here are 2 recent stories.

"Last month we told you about the Child Placed in Record Time a little boy whose adoptive parents gained custody 4 hours after the child arrived at Baby Haven. That
adoptive father told his friends about adoption and shortly afterwards, two brothers came with their wives and adopted Baby M, a boy and Baby R, a girl. We welcome them as our first “Baby Haven Cousins.” We have several “Baby Haven Siblings,” children who are not biologically related but who were adopted by the same parents after a season in Baby Haven. But Baby Haven cousins? Definitely a first!"

"We are pleased to report on the progress of Child Haven’s first adoption. The Child “A” is ten years old. She had a stormy history as she came to us two years ago, was returned to her mother, but was rediscovered on the streets shortly thereafter. Returned to Child Haven, she is now in the process of adoption by a couple who have served at the home in the past. Please pray that the adoption process is smooth. She is presently in “foster placement” with her new parents. All 13 children are looking forward to a beautiful Christmas thanks to a generous gift from Grace Covenant Church in Virginia."

More news from Baby Haven->

Photo Credit and Website

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 125: Fort Sanders

I didn't visit every single gym in East Tennessee...just the vast majority. In the end, it's no surprise that Fort Sanders was the best. It was also the best value, with no contract. I joined this weekend and am looking forward to getting into a routine with body pump, body flow, yoga, extensive hours, and lots of friendly faces.

Photo Credit

Day 124: The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Welcome to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
Welcome to a nationally celebrated venue.
Welcome to the scenic Tennessee riverfront.
Welcome to a panoramic view of downtown.
Welcome to a icon of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Welcome to the site of our wedding reception.

About the Hall->

Photo Credit