Monday, April 26, 2010

Diversion: AprilBabees

Here is to you, oh AprilBabee,
You are the incarnation of all the it is to be a Fav
With your left hand stretched up into the air,
You voice loudly proclaiming the truth of your birth month,
With the extravagancy of our friendship embodied in the longevity of the final syllable
You, AprilBabee, bring memories of all that Breakfast Group means
You may or may not finish the reading,
And you will likely continue to talk about Tshirts in order to distract from that fact,
You look grown up and perfectly poised,
But deep down, we all still wish you acted out Bible stories,
You do know the court way to pass and fork
And you will remind us all
And yes, we know you are hording the powdered sugar and strawberries

But dearest AprilBabees,
You mean more to me than I can say.
You, AprilBabees, are greater than 3 individual women,
You are the representation of all Laurens, all Carolina girls, 2 sweet twins, and even a famous Red Head.
You, and all your friends,
You, who will bring the light of Christ down the aisle and go before me on my wedding day,
You, will always be my AprilBabees,
And along with all my girls, will always be my Favs!

Day 208-213:

As I enter this week of transition and change and opportunity and blessing, the words below are on my heart. The cry of my heart is to bring praise to Christ alone. Even as I am so aware of all the ways I cannot do it all and life will bring surprises, I am aware that none of the twists and turns are surprising to God. And all I need to do is only what He has called me to. He is everlasting.

From The Inside Out
Hillsong United

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart and my soul, I give You control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise, become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart, my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out

My Soul cries out to You
My Soul cries out to You
to You, to You

My heart, my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out
From the inside out, O my soul cries out
From the inside out, O my soul cries out.

Day 208b: I40 is open!!

If you want to visit Knoxville or escape to the Carolina just got easier!

I-40 reopened after massive rockslide. In a surprise announcement Sunday, the North Carolina Department of Transportation opened Interstate 40 earlier than scheduled.

Ahh, All is right with the world.


Day 207: Bridal Show at the Bleak House

Mom and I will e there, with over 25 wedding vendors, Live DJ on Patio, bridal fashions, catering by Rex Bradford Jones (see Day #196). Excited to see the beautiful Wisteria in Bloom too!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 206: The Dogwood Mile

Come run with us!
See how fast you can run the mile down Gay Street. Post-race party on Market Square with music, refreshments, food vendors & more. Produced in partnership with YPK.
Friday, April 23 @ 8:30 pm
Immediately following the Dogwood Parade.
Downtown Knoxville - Gay Street
Entry is $15 adults, $10 children ages 7-12 (add $5 if registering day of race)
Each runner receives a t-shirt and goody bag.
Register at or see Brad and me at the onsite registration, on Market Square on Friday, April 23, 5:30 – 8:15 pm.
Photo Credit and More Information

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 205: Rafferty's

Best Specials. Best. Potato Soup. Always an easy choice. So glad I got to see the girls there tonight. Quick, convenient, fun, girl time.

Day 204: Panera in Turkey Creek

As my time with Rice Bowls comes to a close and as we look forward to moving to the Bearden area, this is one of my final (or perhaps the final) mornings I will sit at Panera in Turkey Creek. Sure, it is a chain. Sure I had many a Panera trip while in SC. But, every Tuesday and Thursday morning, as I needed to get to work before the Provision Office opened, Panera has been there for me with sweet hazelnut coffee, cinnamon crunch bagels, or an egg and cheese sandwich. Delight.

Here are a few of things I have learned sitting here...
* Gossip hurts. Especially church gossip. As I have overheard a groups talking, I have felt their hurt and the hurt they afflict on each other as nit bit bulletins or church staff or even the person right across the table.
* No matter how many times you visit, a chain with 40 tables will never treat you with the same sense of being a regular as a local shop like Broadway Bagels with 15 tables and Mary and Janet's smiling faces of ownership behind the counter. Maybe it's a big town/small town thing. But it's okay. Things just change.
* Sometimes, as I type on the computer, I think how little I have in common with orphanage partners or Rice Bowls staff in other countries. Then, I am reminded that we have so, so much in common - as passion to love the Lord and a heart for others. That perspective on the world is so, so unifying.
* All I have to do is what I am called to do. Not the biggest thing, the most imporatn thing, or even the thing that others want. What is most imporant is the life, people, places, and all the Lord has called me to.
* If you see someone you know, say hello. Especially if it is Leslie and she is picking up 30 dozen bagels and taking them all out to her car like a parade of bread.
Praying big matters.
* If a man with an accent keeps trying to buy your car every time you see him...pick up your laptop and move to the other side of the restaurant.
* Giving out your business card is always a good idea.
* Everyone, everyone, everyone you see is made in the image of God. If I remember that (thank you Bret Allen) is will radically change the way I look at the world, treat people, and relate to the Lord.

So, I am sure I'll be back from time to time. But here's to being a regular at Panera in Turkey Creek! It's been grand!

Photo Credit

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 203: We're Cooking

"Welcome Home!" That's what they say when you walk in the door. Then they will offer you the best chicken club you have ever had. Or a heavy polish accent will say, "Let me make you a hamburger."
It's the best sandwich I have had in Knoxville, welcome to the new We're Cooking American Grill!

Sometimes in America we forget the extraordinary opportunities available to us if only we have the desire and guts to go after them.
Not Edward Oliwa.
The 47-year-old immigrated to the United States in 1986 after an escape from what was then a communist Poland.
With nothing but $160 in his back pocket, Oliwa began without hesitation his pursuit of the classic American dream.
His inspiring story culminated last week when he opened We're Cooking All American Grill at 159 N. Peters Road in The Commons strip center.
"This is the only country where you can get up in the morning and do something and be successful. No one can stop you," Oliwa said...

-Read more from the Knoxville News Sentennial

Visit them Online/Photo Credit

Day 202: Tic Toc

Nothing says, "Happy Birthday Adella!" Like a trip to Tic Toc Ice Cream Parlor in Loudon.
It's my new favorite reason to visit Historic Downtown Loudon, Tennessee! It's handmade ice cream. Feature in Southern Living Magazine. A preciosu parlor setting. The best Coke Float I have ever had!

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 201: Our Invitations

Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Ray Landon
Request the honor of your presence...

They are here.
Our wedding invitations have arrived in Knoxville.
They are fabulous!
Debuting next month, in a mailbox near you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Diversion: His & Hers, Showers & South Carolina Friends

"Friends are the Bacon Bits in the Salad Bowl of Life." - Anonymous

A perfect weekend. Four lovely bridesmaids. Countless wonderful friends. Spicy guacamole. Legendary Bull Hawgs barbecue. Worship at Hope Point. Precious Ellie, M.E., and Andy. A moment to hug two of my favs/Junior Bridesmaids. A stop in for stationary with Sweet Pea and Powder (including our wedding invitations).

As Brad unloaded the car back in Knoxville and I started on thank you notes, I was overwhelmed - we have so, so much to be thankful for. I do miss seeing South Carolina friends on a daily basis. I am seeking after new relationships. I am eager for July 10 to get here and to be married to Brad. I want my faith to grow. I am excited about my new job. I am anxious to be in our new home together. I confess there are so many things like these that I want, but I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the wonderful things about these season of life.

Photo Credit

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 198: Outlet Shopping

Nothing say Happy Birhtday Linnea (see Day #151) like dinner and a trip to the Tanger Outlets in Sevierville. I was so pleased to be reminded that there is outlet shopping close by here. Such a fun night. Here is a highlight:

In the middle of the Gap Outlet.
Linnea: Oh, that's a nice sweater. Oh, it's 30% off.
She tries it on.
Me: Oh, I like that. Nice basic.
Linnea: Yes, and it is 30% off of $12.
Me: Oh good-
Linnea: Wait. No? That's not a 1, that is a dollar sign. This sweater is not 30% off $12 something. It is 30% off $2 something!
Me: What.
Linnea. Yes.
She shows me the tag.
Linnea: This is a less-than-3-dollar-sweater. You can't buy yarn for that!
I throw down my shopping bag in drama.
Me: Well dang, now I have to try it on too.
We each bought the sweater. $2.17.

Here is a list of all the great stores they have in Sevierville->

Photo Credit

Friday Morning Quote

“Behind every successful a substantial amount of coffee.”― Stephanie Piro


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 197: Wild Turkeys

Well good morning!
This is what greeted me when I stepped into my driveway this morning. Good morning says the wild turkey! This makes the 6th one I have seen this week. They say good morning. They stop traffic. They even interupt Bible Study.
They don't call things out here "Turkey Creek" for nothing.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 196: Rex Bradford Jones & Abner's Attic

Welcome to Abner's Attic, "a unique place to
stop in for a bite to eat and a little shopping," home of amazing spiced tea and our wedding cater - Rex Bradford Jones. With 25+ years experience, I fell in love with this custom caterer. Amazing work, amazing presentation, and so, so wonderful to work with! He made it so easy. We hound him via Josh and Alissa's wedding last year. And Rex helped us settle on a great menu for July 10. Country Ham and Sweet Potato Biscuits. Crab Cakes. Roasted Vegetables. Fruit and Cheese with Chocolate Fondue. And more!

Photo Credit

Day 195: Your Reflections

I love our photographer! Your Reflections will be doing our wedding and I can't believe I have not blogged about them yet. I love Tonya's work, her creativity, and her laid back, have fun attitude!
Photo Credit

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 194: A Grace-full Shower

Sunday afternoon, I had my first bridal shower! Appropriately, it was hosted by two of my bridesmaids, Dori and Alissa and their mothers. It was full of wonderful women from Grace Lutheran Church, where I grew up. My mother cried, my grandmother told wonderful stories, my little cousins Amanda and Rachel arranged gifts. Brad's mom, Jenny, and my Matron of Honor, Marci, both came over from Nashville. I was surrounded by amazing women who have pured into me so much throughout the years. We laughed a lot and in addition to some generous gifts, I got dozens and dozens of great recipes!
I am so, so blessed!

Photo Credit

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 193: Dogwood Arts on Market Square

Saturday was full of fun! One highlight was the Dogwood Arts Festival's Market Square Art Fair. Sure, it was not as exciting as 1985, when I had my picture taken and ended up on the front page of the Sunday paper! But still, it was a great time!

One of Dogwood Arts Festival's most cherished traditions, the Market Square Art Fair, transforms downtown Knoxville into a lively street fair with high-quality arts and crafts booths, demonstrations, entertainment and festive food. It's an event the whole family will enjoy. For arts and crafts enthusiasts, this juried event showcases the original work of artisans from Tennessee and several other states, which are on hand to share their wares with the community. Live entertainment lies in wait around every corner, from street performers to a children's stage to an all-day lineup of bands on the Market Square stage. In addition to Market Square's own selection of unique cafes and eateries, Art Fair- goers will have their pick of a wide variety of food vendors. Market Square, located in the center of downtown Knoxville, was the site of the city's original marketplace, established in 1854. With the Art Fair, Market Square's identity as the city's communal centerpiece carries on into the 21st century. -

Photo Credit

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 192: Chill

If you are looking for me this summer, this is where I will be.
It's custom ice cream.
Custom. Ice Cream.
You create it.
They freeze it.
You eat it.
I had chocolate with reeses. Yum!

Photo Credit

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 191: A Mile Without Shoes

Altar'd State (See Day #69) is getting together with Toms this Thursday for a cool event. It's a one-mile walk without shoes to help spread awareness of the impact a simple pair of shoes can bring to a child's life. I also here that folks around town (like my parents and me) are going for at least part of the day without shoes to raise awareness about the needs of poverty among children. So cool. Barefoot for a cause.

Join in: 6-8pm in Turkey Creek - More Details from Toms

Photo Credit

Day 190: The Dogwood Arts Festival

East Tennessee is in Bloom and I am so, so excited!

"Just when pink and white blossoms announce spring's arrival, the Dogwood Arts Festival returns to East Tennessee celebrating the natural and cultural beauty of our area. In its 50th year, the Festival is partnering with Knoxville's fine cultural institutions to showcase the region's best performing and visual artists in a blue jean to black tie festival that has something for everyone! An exciting mix of fine art, dance, theater, crafts, historic tours and Americana music at its best offer stimulating experiences at our finest venues."

Check back - there are sure to be many more posts related to the Dogwood Arts Festival!

Photo and Quote Credit - Visit the Festival Online

2010 Dogwood Arts Commemorative Print

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 188: Francesca's

Monday, to welcome in the summer weather, I sported some new flip flops from a favorite store, Francesca's Collection. It's located in Turkey Creek, run by my high school classmate and former co-cheerleader Mary, and I got them with a gift card. It's a perfect place for a cute gift (I've given 3 birthday presents from there), a fun accessory, or a new purse. They've also got clothes. My shoes are not featured on their website, but above are pick of a few of my favorite things!

Photo Credit

Day 189: BRAVO!

It's the first Tuesday of the month, so it most be time for a Junior League meeting. And if it's time for a Junior League meeting, it is time for a post-meeting girl's night out. Tonight we are off to BRAVO! These nights out typically come with a fun special on drinks or appetizers, as well as time to meet new faces.
Brad must be jealous because BRAVO! is one of his favorites.
Click here to see their menu->
Click here for their website and the photo credit->

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 187: Easter

Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble?
By Delirious

Did you feel the mountains tremble?
Did you hear the oceans roar?
When the people rose to sing of
Jesus Christ the risen one

Did you feel the people tremble?
Did you hear the singers roar?
When the lost began to sing of
Jesus Christ the risen one

And we can see that God you're moving
A mighty river through the nations
And young and old will turn to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring your hope
Songs that bring your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice

Did you feel the darkness tremble?
When all the saints join in one song
And all the streams flow as one river
To wash away our brokeness

And here we see that God you're moving
A time of Jubilee is coming
When young and old return to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 185: Good Friday

This year, Brad and I attended Good Friday service at Second. It was one of the most meaningful services of my life. There are about 7 different thoughts that are racing through my head, as I sit down this morning with a good cup of coffee to journal a bit and prepare my heart for Easter. Here is just one thought, from my stream of consciousness.
The service is all about light. As the story of the passion processed, candles were extinguished and lights were put out. The was so profound to me because earlier that day, I had been doing a little wedding planning. We are having lots candlelight at our wedding. People lighting candles, holding candles, etc, etc, etc. All this made me realize, that these wonderful relationships I have in my life are actually possible becuase of Christ. Without Christ, without His sacrifice and His victory, I would not have the friends I do, the Christ-centered conversations we have, and Brad and I would not share a deep faith. The love of Christ and His work on the cross really, dramatically changed my life - not just in the eternal, but right here, right now. My life and relationships are so different because of Him.

Day 186: Knoxville Greenways 5K

A perfect Saturday morning to check out 5 kilometers of Knoxville Greenway System. There are now over 40 miles of Greenway across the city of Knoxville, along wiht additional mileage in Farragut, Maryville and some of the surrounding areas. The race was highlighted by Melissa and Darci - Florida natives who love running the hills of East Tennessee. (Note the sarcaism.)

Here's the info from The Knoxville Track Club (see Day 180) about the 19th annual event: "The Greenways 5K race is unique in that most of its route is on the most scenic portion of the Third Creek Greenway, but it also features live music, plenty of food, and living plant awards to overall and age group winners."

Photo Credit

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 184: 30!

Today I am 30 years old.
Today I ran 10 miles.
Today is 100 days until our wedding.
Today is Maundy Thursday, and nearly Easter.
I love this day.

The 30

I honor of turning 30, here are 30 things I am so thankful for or have been so blessed to be a part of so far in life. So, so thankful.

1. The Landon/Theilen Families
2. Converse College
3. Young Life
4. Model League
5. Visiting Kuwait
6. Visiting Belgium
7. Visiting the Netherlands
8. Visiting Russia
9. Visiting India
10. Rice Bowls
11. The Gore 2000 Presidential Campaign
12. Nike Women’s Marathon (and Greenville TNT!)
13. Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon
14. The New 2
15. Preserves
16. 701 Dupree Drive
17. The Evelyn B. Henderson Mission Home
18. Grace Lutheran Church
19. Junior League
20. The Indivisible Players
21. Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts
22. Giving Tree Montessori
23. Slice of Life
24. Breakfast groups
25. EC
26. Class of 2002 Class Officers
27. Angels
28. Hope Point Community Church
29. The Body of Christ
And coming soon…
30. The Fitch Family

Day 183: My Sewing Machine

Yes, that is right. For my birthday, my amazing mother got me a great, great gift. She is up to her eyes in plans and projects for my wedding. But never the less, she had the time and thoughtfulness to surprise me with an awesome, awesome birthday gift - A sewing machine. No more using someone's used machine sometimes. I have my own. Grandma Theilen will be so proud, maybe even more excited then my mom and I. Meanwhile, my father is explaining to my fiance how much money one really "saves" with frequent trips to Jo Ann's fabrics. Hahaha.
If you know my family, you know that sewing is a huge tradition. My
The icing on the cake? Patterns to make curtain for our new home!

Photo Credit