Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 274: Saying goodbye

Recently, I have said "Hello" to driving a new-to-me car. I love that it's pretty, it's a jeep, and it has heated seats. It is great and I am so thankful!
But, I've still driven The Civic from time to time. Yes, "The Civic." Note the caps. This car is a part of me. Since the fall of 2000 and Shenice's wedding and Knoxville rush hour with Valerie combined to bring about the end of my high school car, I have been driving a silver honda civic. Now, with 188,000 miles on it, and thanks to Craigslist and my selling-savy fiance, I am saying good bye to the car today. In honor of this historic moment in my life, here are the top 9 most memorable moments I have had with this dependable friend.

9. Saturdays. 6:05am meet at exit 290. 6:07am pile 5 girls into the small car. 6:35am arrive at Furman. Run 2-18 miles. Pile back in the car. Drive to Spartanburg. Find rap music on the radio. listen to Bess and Loring break it down with their bad selves.
8. Folly Beach with the windows down with my brothers.
7. A Honda Accord. A Honda Civic. A Honda CRV. All at home at 701 Dupree Drive.
6. Having campus safety call me to move my car while it was parked in front of Dexter residence hall while I was a student at Converse...and again while I was a staff member.
5. February, 2009. Zaxby's to Carolina Country Club. The longest drive of my life.
4. Driving though the Dorman Center parking lot with the windows down, as some of my fav middle schoolers attempted to "row" my car with their arms.
3. Winter Break, 2001. Me, Renee, Casey and the quest for Canadian hockey.
2. Miss Lexi, then age 7, hollering from the backseat, "I love this car! I can use these things to make the windows go up or down anytime I want!"
(Clearly, the girl had never experienced non-power/non-child locked windows.)
1. Approximately 100 drives through the Smoky Mountains. Whenever possible singing "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks at the top of my lungs

Day 273: Suprise!!

When 6 friends show up at your house and you think you're going to have a little summer bible Study, the only thing that could make it even better is strawberry bread, brie with preserves (yes "reserves"), decorations, festive popcorn,!!
It was a surprise "shower"!! Who would have guessed that the first shower in our new home would be for me! Haha. Sweet, cute treats. Time to share and pray and laugh with great women. And gifts from folks who love to shop the Pottery Barn registry.

The "icing on the cake" was the cake Mandy made. She is an expert cake decorator, in addition to everything else she does. I don't have a pick of last night's cake. (It was topped with magenta flowers - the color of my bridesmaid's dresses!) Here's a pick of another one of her masterpieces.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 272: Smoothie King

As if the precious gardens, the proximity to work and church, the cool arcitechture, the nice neighbors, or the parties busting free BBQ or hotdog vendors where not enough...there is one more thing to love about our new home.

It is right next to Smoothie King.

What better way to get your chocolate fix!


Day 273: Earthfare

Inbetween my house and the church where I work, lies the one, the only, the healthy supermarket - Earth Fare! Today, Rachel introduced me to their Pesto wrap for lunch. It was fabulous. A side of fruit and great conversation made it even better!

Oh, and it was only $4. Yummy price.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Another quote for the Day

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ― Thornton Wilder

Afternoon quote

“To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others.” ― Anne-Sophie Swetchine

Day 270: Fountain City Creamery

Perfect Saturday. Lazy lunch. Cute new place.
Conversation about our wedding and plans for remodeling our house.
I love Saturdays and I love having a couple hours with nothing scheduled todo.


Note: the "nothing scheduled todo" part is probably even more revolutionary for me than anything else. Falling in love and moving to Knoxville and growing in a knowledge of God's grace has really relaxed me this year.

Day 271: Sweet Pea's

" This one of a kind blend of Tennessee and North Carolina flavors combines the best of both worlds the sweet and the tang. And if it is hot you crave we have got that too."

Nestled on the Knox and Blount county line, with parking for cars and boats, in the midst of a very chill, chill, chill marina, is Sweet P's barbecue. Along with classic pulled pork and chicken, there is the notorious BBQ burrito or the farm burger (a brunch favorite that is topped off with an egg), and 4 good sauces to choose from. Brad is generally a restaurant hopper and doesn't like to hit the same place twice. But he wanted Sweet P's twice in 10 days. That proves that it is good!

And their banana pudding might deserve it's own blog entree.

Visit them online at

Day 269: Jay & Rebecca!

They are engaged! Congratulations!
Words can't describe how excited I am or how blessed I feel to be a part of one another's stories. Praying for Jay and Rebecca, this season of engagement, and their marriage!

And who took this awesome picture. Great job.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rice Bowls in Relevant

Visit Revelant Magazine's "Reject Apathy" section for a great look at Rice Bowls! Thanks Relevant for helping us "Collect Change. Fill Bowl. Fight Hunger."

Read it here->

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Diversion: Folly

I miss this state.
I love my family.
I love this island.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 266: Initialy Amy Fay

Here's a pretty little something we are adding to our cross wall in our house. It's a ceramic piece from Initially Amy Fay. It came via the fabulous Abigail...Amy Fay's sister.

About Initially Amy Fay

"A beautiful engraved acrylic tray that was given to me and my husband, Jeff, for our wedding sparked the idea for Initially Amy Fay. Having become my serving piece of choice over the years, our simple yet elegant tray--engraved with my initial--was appropriate for all occasions, coordinated with any decor and could be dressed up or down. As I was shopping at the first Tinsel and Treasure, a Junior League of Knoxville Christmas shopping extravaganza, I was excited to find and buy several engraved acrylic pieces from one vendor. As I walked out of the opening night gala in 2002 of this now annual event with my newest acrylic pieces, I commented to my husband and a dear girlfriend that I could do that.
My girlfriend told me about Southern Market, an upscale group of unique interior shops. Two days later I signed a lease without a clue about where to find acrylic much less anything else. Happily it has all worked out, and if you are one of our wonderful customers, many thanks! Having celebrated Initially Amy Fay's seventh anniversary in 2009, I am thrilled to have IAF enter the online world in 2010! Today, IAF shops feature initialed gifts of every description. Sophisticated, adorable, professional--whatever your gift needs--we strive to make sure you can find that perfect, thoughtful touch at Initially Amy Fay. "

More at (Source)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 265: Hero Headquarters

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's VBS at 2nd Pres!
Soaring through this week, it's Vacation Bible School! Our theme is "Hero Headquarters."
175 kids, 100 youth and adult volunteers, excellent church decorations, 2 awesome chairs, and tons, tons, tons of prayers for an amazing week.
May kids lives be impacted.
May volunteers be blessed by their experience.
May the Lord's will be done at "Hero Headquarters!"

Don't forget - Mission Reminders. Bring these items to VBS each day!
Monday: Boxes of Tissue
Tuesday: Hand Sanitizer
Wednesday: Crayons
Thursday: Gallon Zip Lock Bags

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. - I Timothy 4:12


Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 264: Baptisms at 2nd

What a wonderful treat! Sunday morning, we baptised 2 children into the family at 2nd Pres. In praying for these children and their families, God has been teaching me so many lessons...

...we have to let go of our own dreams sometimes, to allow God to be God. Sometimes when we let go, there is a bit of grieving. The Lord is in that too.

...children can do amazing, amazing things. I thought I knew this, but everyday I realize it more and more and more. Right now, I am learning this big time, especially from the preschool aged sister of one infant.

...God's got a plan to bring it all back together...and I mean all of it. And His plan, is even more profound than we realize.

...the Lord uses the milestones of our lives to shape us. He wants to draw us to Himself and He will use marriages, children, crisis and work to accomplish this.

Praying for the Lord of Life to be in the lives and families and futures of sweet Ella and precious Cade!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 263: Father's Day and my Dad

There are not enough words, time, or emotion in the world for my to tell you in a blog post ow much my dad means to me. He is wonderful. Wonderful.


When I was in college, I read Margaret Fuller's the great lawsuit. Her description of Miranda's father reminded me so much of my father, that I gave him a copy of the portion of the text. It included:

"In so far as he possessed the keys to the wonders of this universe, he allowed free use of them to her, and by the incentive of a high expectation he forbade, as far as possible, that she should let the privilege lie idle. "

Now, that I am getting married, other words are also coming to mind. The words of songs and the ever present question: What will be dance to?!?
Here are the final pics:

Isn't she lovely
Isn't she wonderful
Isn't she precious
Less than one minute old
I never thought through love we'd be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn't she lovely made from love
Isn't she pretty
Truly the angel's best
Boy, I'm so happy
We have been heaven blessed
I can't believe what God has done
Through us he's given life to one
But isn't she lovely made from love
Isn't she lovely
Life and love are the same
Life is Aisha
The meaning of her name
Londie, it could have not been done
Without you who conceived the one
That's so very lovely made from love

- Steve Wonder, "Isn't She Lovely"

I believe the light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever
And though I can't guarantee
There's nothing scary hiding under your bed
I’m gonna stand guard
Like a postcard of a Golden Retriever
And never leave till I leave you
With a sweet dream in your head

I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
That loved his daughter more than I love you.

- Father and Daughter, Paul Simon

James Taylor and the Beatles are also in the rolling. Find out July 10, around 8:30pm!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 262: My Grandpa

Today, it's offical, I feel like a homeowner. The day I have waited for my whole life has arrived. I have watched my parents and aunt and uncles all experience this milestone. I have so looked forward to my turn.
Today, I called my grandfather and asked him to come work on my house!

We put up a cabinet. Since we moved in, I have wondered why a previous owner took it down. But my grandfather, the handiest-man-in-America figured out that it had previously been put up incorrectly. So, it may have fallen in the past. But he got it right. This time, it'll never, ever fall. And the lovely glasses we are receiving as thoughtful wedding gifts will have a home for years and years to come!

Here are a couple of favorite quote from Grandpa, as he was working away today:

"I feel sorry for anyone who tries to take this down, they are going to wonder what crazy old german man bolted it to the wall."

"When they demolish this house after we're all dead, this cabinet and the stud I screwed it into are going to be the last things standing."

Thanks Grandpa! And happy early Father's Day!

Day 262: The Cupcakery

A night out with the JLK Transfer girls was full of bridal treats and somethings sweet! We had cupcakes from the ever famous Cupcakery. Everyone is always buzzing about their cupcakes, but I have not tried them yet...until now! And they were fabulous!

The evening's flavors included:

Double Chocolate


Tuxedo (Perfect for a Wedding!)

Red Velvet

Lemon Drop

And my personal favorite of the evening...

Carrot Cake

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 261: Lenny's

A great place for lunch with sweet and fabulous Laurie!

Convenient. Good. Easy. Lenny's.

Here is their "Top 10 List" from
1. Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks Hot Off the Grill
2. Premium Deli Meats Sliced to Order
3. Plentiful Portions of Meat and Cheese
4. Chicken & Tuna Salad Made from Scratch
5. Crowd Pleasing Catering and Party Platters
6. Signature Hot Pepper Relish
7. Fun, Friendly Service
8. Bread & Cookies Baked Fresh Daily
9. Great for Kids, Bring the Whole Family
10. Don't Worry about Trash, We Clean the Tables


Day 260: Brad's wedding present

Today I am picking up the greatest wedding gift I could think of, for my wonderful future husband. Check back in July and find out what it was!!

Day 259: Ephesians

This summer, I have been reading through the book of Ephesians with a group of girls. It is so good and the Lord is teaching me in so many ways. I know I am going to look back on this time of life and see how much the Lord taught me so, so much in this season...
In the meantime, as I begin to see all the lessons, here is the scripture that is guiding my heart.

“...I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1b-3 NIV

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 258: Junior League Community Projects 2010-2011

Wednesday morning was the Contract Signing Breakfast Reception honoring the 2010-2011 community projects for the Junior League of Knoxville. These community agencies will received trained volunteers from the league to equip them and their mission.

Here is the 2010-2011 Slate of Projects

Character Counts
This program works to provide education and training to parents in various parts of Knoxville and Knox County on how they can reinforce the Six Pillars of Character at home, how to deal with discipline and the importance of building good character as life skills.

Child Health and Wellness Grants

JLK, in partnership with Mercy Hospital Foundation, First Tennessee Foundation, and Shults Pediatrics provides health grants to non-profit agencies based on critical health needs of children and families in our community.

Done in a Day
JLK volunteers work with many non-profit organizations throughout the year with projects that are completed in a single day.

East Tennessee Children's Hospital Rehabilitation Center

Volunteers assist pediatric specialists and work with special needs children and their families.

Knox Heritage

JLK and Knox Heritage work together to preserve the rich architectural history of Knoxville through the historical marker system.

Leadership Knoxville
A year-long course developed to enlighten present and emerging leaders about community issues and to broaden the base of leadership in the Knoxville community.


JLK and Belk partner to award mini-grants in the amount of $50 to $500 on a competitive basis to teachers for innovative classroom projects.

The Parenting Center

JLK and the Florence Crittenton Center are working together to provide parenting and life skills to the community to enhance family preservation.

Tennessee Advocacy and Public Awareness

A state level coalition formed by the Junior Leagues of Tennessee facilitate networking, coordinate information and research, promote awareness, and advocate on issues of shared interest.

Kids In The Kitchen

The goal of the Junior Leagues' Kids in the Kitchen initiative, which is supported by The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. and its member Leagues, is to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues.

Learn more at

I am so excited to be co-chairing the Community Research and Project Development Committee, as we look forward to a great year and exciting projects for 2011-2012!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 257: Fresh Flowers...

...from our yard.

Thanks to my amazing fiance, who is practically a master gardener already, our yard is getting into great shape. With help form our sweet friends David and Ashley, most of the overgrown excess is gone.
And now, we've got great views of some of the lovely flowers that previous gardening owners have planted. I brought a bit of that life into the house with fresh flowers in several of the new vases we have received!

Yes, I know you want to see pictures. After I get married, settled into our new house, help Brad perfect the yard, become a great children's director, and learn the ins and outs of married life, then, maybe, I'll finally get a camera of my own and learn to take pictures.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 256: Golf Range Apartments

At the end of a long run, I took a stroll down memory lane today...
The Golf Range Apartment complex is located less than a mile from our new house. A property of the University of Tennessee, it was closed in May and will soon be converted to reccreation fields. This will certainly be a welcome addition to the campus facilities and to Sutherland Avenue.
But it is also a little bitter sweet for me. In 1983, my family moved to Knoxville. We planned to stay 2 years, for my dad to complete graduate school. Well, low and behold, 27 years later, we are still Knoxvillians. Growing up in university housing was an incredible experience, with friends literally from around the world right outside your front door. I loved it! As I strolled through today, everything seemed so small. I remembered the play area where I busted my lip and needed stitches. I saw building K were Valerie lived and building M, home of Bethany. In between these 2 friends, I lived in building L. L1 to be exact. As I walked by, I thought of marvelous trick-or-treating, girl scout meetings with my mom as my troop leader, and ball games on the notorious K hill.
Here's to Golf Range. My prayer is that the new rec fields will hold as many memories for future students, their families, and our neighbors, as these apartments did for me.

Day 255: Petros

Seriously. One of mankind's greatest inventions.
A Knoxville classic.

How have I not blogged on this before?

Note: I recommend adding the jalapenos and getting the veggy chili.



Day 254: Remedy Coffee

The "remedy" for a long busy week? Coffee and conversation with a great friend, Alex, at a cozy, comfortable location.

Located in the old City, Remedy has direct trade coffee, a conversation loft, a great interior look, and a community space that is used for everything from book swaps to church services to private events. Their mission is to be "A place for coffee and conversation. A place to meet new friends and gather with old friends. A place to sit and relax. A place to be."

A perfect "Third Space"


Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 253: Highlands Grill

Fabulous dinner last night at a fabulous new place near our new neighborhood. The Grill at Highlands Row is seeking to do things right. Unique twists on the classic - like an elk burger or fresh strawberry pie. There are also great vegetarian options, and whenever possible, they by local. My favorite was the fritter of the day. That night, it was a jalapeno fritter. Marvelous.

A look at the original highlands grill. This pic is part of the warm, wonderful decor.

Quote of the Day

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.”
― Win Borden

From Real Simple

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 252: ONE MONTH!

The forecast sunny,

The day will be grand,

My dress has been fitted

And the wedding is planned.

I am so excited I simple must say,

It is exactly one month,

Until Our Wedding Day!

More from our Wedding Website->

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 251: Volunteering for Fantasy of Trees

No, it is not Christmas in June. But, I am all set to volunteer with Fantasy of Trees this fall. On Thanksgiving weekend, this spectacular event kicks off the holiday in style. It was a huge part of my life growing up and now, thanks to Renee, I am looking forward to volunteering for this wonderful event to support East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

The Fantasy of Trees has been a holiday tradition in East Tennessee since 1985, and this year's event marks the 26th year of this special celebration of the season. In 2010, this special holiday event will showcase a theme of "A Holly Jolly Christmas,"highlighted with whimsical decorations and wintry designs that celebrate and showcase the fun and festive holiday season with reindeer at play, this year's "hot holiday colors" of lime green and bright reds, and twinkling snowflakes, glitter and lights. In addition, new children's activities and shops will also reflect this year's festive theme.
All proceeds from admission ticket sales, children's activities, designer sales and holiday shop sales at the Fantasy of Trees benefit Children's Hospital.

Click here to learn more about Fantasy->

Now, off to recruit some other volunteers!

Source (Photo)

Source (Text)

Quote of the Day

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:10

Wow, God's workmanship. I am making a scrapbook and I am so obsessed with it. How does the Lord feel about me, if He made me?

Day 250: Pete's Coffee Shop

Michele and I had breakfast in the heart of downtown this morning at Pete's. It is a Knoxville tradition on Locust Street. The biscuits here jsut fantatic and next time i'll have to have the blueberry pancakes I spotted. Perfect plans for great conversation, coffee, and a taste of Knoxille.
Plus, I love working at 2nd, because it was only minutes from the church!

Visit their wesbite for the menu:>


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 249: Campbell Station Park

"This 17-acre park is adjacent to the Farragut branch of the Knox County Library System."
Welcome to the Campbell Station Road Park! Site of my bridal portraits!!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 248: Brentwood Hills Shower

Talk about generosity and southern hospitality. On Sunday afternoon, Brad and I were showered with well wishes, gifts, and a great time at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ. Brad was raised at Brentwood his and his mother is an active member. And they know everyone.
Brad's 3rd grade teacher...
Old neighbors...
His football coach from high school...
His 1st grade Sunday School teacher...and 2nd...
Friends from half a dozen mission trips to Honduras...
So, so many sweet folks and smiling faces. And the most organized shower hostesses in the history of weddings. What a blessing!

Oh, and the cake was wonderful!


Day 246-248: Girls Weekend

"Polished and Pampered - Grab Your Gal Pals and Indulge in a Little Rest and Relaxation"

"in a rustic bungalow set high in the mountains, this cozy, family-run spa has breathtaking views"

"Hailed as a "rustic-chic" gem of a getaway channeling the charm and warmth of a Mediterranean village, Lakeview at Fontana offers its guests all the stress-melting amenities of a large scale spa steeped in a cozy casual atmosphere that is decidedly do-as-you-please."

"once you check're tempted to skip it all and just relax."

The reviews where right and the weekend escape to this surprise location was incredible.
Amazing Maid of Honor.
Incredibly "Rustic-Chic" Resort and Spa.
Wonderful Hiking and Dining.
Great conversation.
Most relaxed I have been...maybe ever.
We enjoyed the weekend at Lakeview at Fontana.

Read more about this Resort and Spa and their recent rave reviews in Southern Living, Lucky, and more->

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 246: The Graduate School of Banking

Brad comes home today from 2 weeks at the Graduate School of Bank at Lousiana State University. He is now in his final, "Senior" year of this low-residency, executive education program. One more year and he will graduate.

Congratulations! Way to go Brad!

More about GSBLSU
For over a half century, the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University has been a major provider of advanced financial education in the United States.

More than 14,561 executives have successfully completed the program which is held each spring on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. The School's purpose is to fill the need for graduate level study by bank officers and others meeting admission requirements leading toward a broader knowledge and understanding of major banking functions.

Completion of the program has become a requisite to professional advancement in many banks. Executives at multi-billion dollar financial institutions as well as community banks find that the School's curriculum addresses their educational needs.

Presented by the Southern States Conference at Louisiana State University and sponsored by the State Bankers Associations of: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 245: Sundown in the City

Tonight it is all about Market Square and the Dirty Guvs (the fav Ktown band) and Blues Travler.




I love this town!