Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 423: Mercy Me Christmas Sessions

The reviews were right - fabulous music celebrating Christ and Christmas!!
Got it today. Love it.

Day 423: Advent Wreath

In addition to our wonderful Christmas tree, my favorite thing about the holiday decor that is all over our house, if the Advent wreath I just made. I used the lovely silver candlesticks that the Stewarts, Mandy, and Jelleys gave us as wedding gifts.
We are all set for the holiday season and I am so proud of the first "real" advent wreath I have ever made.
In honor of this, and for any of you who are less familiar with this tradition, here is some information we shared with our 2nd Pres families about this holiday tradition!

The Advent Wreath
For hundreds of years, Christians have used an Advent wreath to inspire their hopes for the coming of Christ. By lighting candles and reading Bible verses, we are reminded about the meaning of Christ's birth and become more excited about his coming in the past, in the future, and in our own lives.

The Candles and their Meaning
Use these reminders as you use your wreath each week.
1st CANDLE- (purple) "CANDLE OF HOPE" - First week
We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises he made to us. Our hope comes from God. (Romans 15:12-13)
2nd CANDLE- (purple) "CANDLE OF PREPARATION" - Second week
Preparation means to 'get ready'. "Help us to be ready to welcome YOU, O GOD!" (Luke 3:4-6)
3rd CANDLE- (pink) "CANDLE OF JOY" - Third week
The angels sang a message of JOY! (Luke 2:7-15)
4th CANDLE- (purple) "CANDLE OF LOVE" - Fourth week
God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! (John 3:16-17)
5th CANDLE - (white) "CHRIST CANDLE" - Fifth week
The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins!
His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth! (John 1:29 and John 3:1-8)

Source 1
Source 2

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 422: Brunch at the Bistro at the Bijio

There are about 17,481 things I love about my new husband...give or take a few.
One of them is that fact that he plans and picks fabulous things. We never get in a rut, especially when it comes to dining out. (Which is why restaurants is the #1 tag on this blog). Today he picked Bistro at the Bijio for lunch. We enjoyed their Sunday brunch menu in this historic building adjacent to the legendary Bijio Theatre. I'll do that egg and cheese panini any day, on it's perfectly pressed dense french bread. And I would love to go back Eggs Bijou, which is Carolina crab cakes, tomato, poached eggs and béarnaise sauce on an english muffin. The live jazz didn't hurt either.
Great choice!

Learn more about the restaurant, the world famous theatre, it's history and guests, including Andrew Jackson, Rutherford B. Hayes, James K. Polk, and Ulysses S. Grant here->


Day 421: Our first Christmas Card

We just received our very first Christmas card as Mr. and Mrs. Fitch! Thanks to my sweet Sarah Weaver for so promptly getting out the holiday greetings. She's always such a rock star.
In honor of the momentous occasion, I fond the a fabulous holiday pic featuring the best and brightest of Converse College crica 1999...I think that is the correct year. Several of us look like we have been adequately scared by the Vietnam experience.
Thanks Weaver, for kicking off the holiday season!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 420: Thanksgiving!

So, I started this blog to tell you about new things in Knoxville that I was discovering or re-discovering. And now, I get to add in things I am learning and seeing in a new job, a new home, and as a newlywed!
But today's post is nothing new. It is Thanksgiving! My favorite time of the year!
And true to tradition, here is what the Landon/Theilen and now Fitch families are having for Thanksgiving dinner:

Turkey & Dressing
Crab Legs
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Beans
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs
Crescent Rolls
and maybe more?

While we are watching the Macy's parade, we'll be snacking on:
Apple Dip
Mini Sausages
Pumpkin Bread
Apricot Bread
Cinnamon Rolls
and more!

And for dessert:
Pumpkin Pie
and another pie, whose identity will be revealed when Grandma arrives!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 419: Fantasy of Trees

It opens today!! I'm kicking off the activities in the fabulous Reindeer Pals booth! There are countless other children's activities, shops, entertainment, and, of course...the trees!!! Over 300+ fabulously decorated treed trees. We have truly taken over the convention center. And it is all to benefit East Tennessee Children's Hospital!

Here are jsut a few of the special events you can enjoy...
Carousel, Decorate-a-Cookie, Face Painting, Itsy Bitsy Trees, Letters to Santa, Penguin Telescopes, Princess Manicures, Reindeer Games, Snow Friends and Thumbprint Ornaments to make, a unique "Giving Tree" to give to direct needs at Children's hospital, Gingerbread Village, the legendary Target Raffle Tree, Tinsel Time for Moms & Tots, Babes in Toyland Parade, Santa's Senior Stroll, Kris Kringle's Kiddie Party, Handbell Concert, Baubles and Bangles jewelry, Personalized Ornaments, Santa's Warehouse, Secret Santa, and Trim the Tree shop. Plus, entertainers from throughout the region perform daily at the Fantasy Theater...I fondly remember preforming year after year!!
And, the one, the only-Santa Claus will be there!!

Learn more here->

See you there!

Wednesday, November 24 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Thursday, November 25 3 - 9 p.m. (Thanksgiving Day)
Friday, November 26 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 27 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday, November 28 Noon - 6 p.m.

At the Knoxville Convention Center, located at Clinch and Henley Streets.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 418: Fantasy of Trees Preview Party

The Fantasy of Trees starts tomorrow. We've been decorating since last weekend. And now, tonight, it's time for the Preview Party!!

"The Fantasy of Trees Preview Party is a great opportunity for visitors to celebrate the upcoming holidays, enjoy wonderful food and dancing, check out the Fantasy of Trees before the crowds of visitors, and get started on their holiday shopping list," said Elizabeth Thomas, coordinator for the holiday event.

See you there!
Now, what on earth to wear?


Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 417: A tale of 2 Presidents

My favs.

So many girls I love.

11 junior Bridesmaids...and one honorary Junior Bridesmaid present in spirit via Enrique Iglesias.

8 years and counting.

And now...

2 Sorority Presidents!!

Congratulations Lauren Mc and Lea!!

Clearly, sitting to my right hand is a good thing....


Day 379 and 381 meet Day 398 on a moonlit night - check out these fabulous photos from Michele Andreck photography!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 416: Belk Shopping Event!




Those were the only words I had heard when I heard about the Belk shopping event.
Okay, maybe those were the only words I remembered.
And I did hear something about 20% off...but I didn't know that was off sale specials already!
I think I heard there would be lots of people...but I had no idea how many.
And there were lots of words I had never realized would apply...

Live Music.

Door Prizes.


Lots of Door Prizes.

Drink Tickets.

Multiple $500+ Door Prizes.

Fruit Tea.

Heavy h'ordeuvres.

Designer Cakes...that even impressed Mandy.

And you could still get the Lacome free gift!


And all this to benefit the Junior League of Knoxville's Mini-Grants for Teachers, were 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.

Great night.

Learn more about our League (source)->

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 415: "The Best Christmas Ever"

This Sunday, we're praying, planning, and playing with our families! This Christmas, our Children's Ministry is investing in our families and their time together. So get set for some great Advent decotions. The only objective is for parents to spend time with kids having Christ-centered conversation, at least more days than not. Over breakfast, in the car, or at bedtime are great times to do this.
And it is never too early to start.
Never to early to engage the heart of your child.

We will be giving out The Christmas Story fro the Family Bible. It's been 2nd parent tested by families of all ages! Come and see or pick up your copy if you can't attend!

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1:14


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 412: Old City Java

A perfect break from the Tuesday night Bible Study...a trip to Old City Java. There, under the wood ceiling painted with a stary atary night scene, we enjoyed some fair trade coffee and drinks made with milk from a local dairy, Cruze Farm. Perfect place to catch up and plot out out our next study. A great place to relax in the Old City for some coffee love!

Visit them online (source)->

Or on Facebook (source)->

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.
- Joshua 1:9

Thanks Rachael

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 411: Cooking for 100

12 heads of lettece. 4 onions. 9 pounds of ground beef. 3 bottles of catalina dressing. Tons of chips. Cheese. Enough salsa to swim in. And more!
That's what it took to cook for 100 girls this afternoon.
That is right.
And I did it all in about 90 minutes in my sweet little kitchen.
Then, once the food (and Brittany's fabulous soup and fixin's) made it to campus, the sweetest girls from the Chi O chapter at UT just kept coming and coming and coming. And Brittany and I just got to keep serving and serving and serving. They were so cute. So fun. So many great names. Kate. Kaitlin. Catherine. And Katie!
All the while, I was thinking about Rachel, Kim, Becky, and all the wonderful folks who made meals for me while I was in college in Spartanburg!
Now, I am So, so glad to pay it forward and looking forward to getting to know some of the girls better. And I am praying that my favs have yummy meals cooked for them at Clemson, Carolina, Samford, CofC, Catwaba, and even Wofford.
And, I now have a "go to" recipe for 50+ people. Thanks Mindy and Kristy!
Do you need to serve 100 people? Here is the what I recommend->

Day 410: No Shave November, he does not look like this. But when I googled "No Shave November" this image came up. My husband says he is not shaving this month as in order to raise awareness for prostate cancer.

So he says.

He says he is part of a cause bigger than himself.

He says that it makes him look like a member of "the nobility."

He says people come up to him all the time and tell him how good it looks.

So he says.

Oh, and now my uncle is doing it too?!

Facial hair for a cause...what will they think of next?

Day 409: An SEC Win

Tennessee 52, Ole Miss 14.


A bowl game. It is in sight. Personally, I think my sites are set on the Music City bowl...


Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 408: The Word Players

Friday night 2nd Pres will host the Word Players! Their traveling performance of the Diary of Adam and Eve will make it's way to our stage.

This organization features year round productions for every type of audience. The Word Player's vision "is a community uplifted by excellent, Christ-centered art, where artists are freed to develop and use their God-given talents in a positive environment founded on Christian principles and values."

So excited about the Word Players at 2nd.

Click here to see their 2010-2011 season->


And how cool to tag this "Christ" and "Arts"!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 407: Our 1st Christmas Card

The holiday season is offically here! And we have reached a new milestone as newlyweds!
Tonight on facebook, we received our first Christmas card as a married couple!

Yes, Kellynn is sticking out her tongue.
Thanks Elmo.

Watch it here->

Day 406: Bellacino's

I don't know how this is possible. But today was the first time we went to Bellacino's. It is steps away from our neighborhood, so i am so glad we finally went. Plus, I really always love gettting out for lunch with my husband!
Next time, I am trying Bellacino's pizza! They looked and smelled great!

Click here for their menu->

Day 405: Orange Drive In

Mid week, I headed down to Atlanta with Laura, one of 2nd's most gifted Sunday School teachers, for an "Orange" one day drive in conference. Well worth the time, there was lots packed into this
-It's not about creating "Perfect Christian Families," it is about inviting families into God's story.
-You are precious to God. I am precious to God. If He could pick any girl in the world to be His, he would pick me. He. Loves. Me.
-Being involved in our Children's Ministry will be a blessing to volunteers that are called to teach these kids. But they might not know it is going to be a blessing until they are involved in it.
-High school graduation is not the finish line in ministry - in the church, in young life, wherever. Doing life with people lasts a life.
-as a church, we have an opportunity to serve families - whether they attend our programs or not.
-Any type of ministry involves people...and therefore takes time.

Day 403: Chic Boutique

I was driving down Kingston Pike over the weekend and I spotted a new little shop in the heart of the district in Bearden. It had just popped up, so I had to pop in. Then I saw their line under the sign, "Stylish. Unique. Affordable." I walked in, a half a dozen shoppers were buzzing about and I fell in love. Loved the leggings. Love all the choices in UT orange. Loved several cut sweaters. And, I loved the price point. Welcome to the neighborhood Chic!!

Learn more on their Facebook page (source)->

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 404: Wok Hay

Q: What is better than lunch at Wok Hay?
A: Lunch at Wok Hay with Michele.

Q: What is better than lunch at Wok Hay with Michele?
A: Lunch at Wok Hay, with Michele, and a 2 for 1 coupon.

Q: What is better than lunch at Wok Hay, with Michele, and a 2 for 1 coupon?
A: Lunch Wok Hay, with Michele, and a 2 for 1 coupon...with the Mango Tea.

Next time I am getting that! Yum!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 402: Sangria's on Market Square

When an impromptu guys night pops up. The only way to answer with an impromptu girls night. And to top it off, we hit up a restaurant I have been wanting to try! So, Sangria on Market Square it was. It was Linnea and I's second night in a row on Market Square. My fabulous husband was across the way enjoying a Tennessee football win on the big screen. But meanwhile, we joined Mandy for an incredible meal! Ai-Oli Potatoes. Calamari. Roasted vegetables. Some sort of fabulous tuna. And a sweet White Wine Sangria. Knoxville's first and only authentic Spanish Tapas bar and restaurant exceeded even my highest of expectations!
Can't wait for the next girl's night!

Check them out on facebook (source)->

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 401: Mr. & Mrs. Fitch's first Christmas card

Today, I ordered our first Christmas cards as a married couple. Last year, we ordered Christmas cards together - they were also our "Save the Dates." Last year's card featured a photo from the night we got engaged. This year, we are a new family, with so, so much to celebrate!

I know what you are thinking. Gee Katie, did Brad help you with the selection of your Christmas card. After all, the man does love Christmas. To answer your question, yes. Brad was so, so, so helpful. He proposed many, many different pictures to be used in our Christmas card. He really wanted to be sure people enjoyed it. Here are the pictures Brad suggested we use for our Christmas card. Enjoy!

(Click the photos for source.)

Priceless. But in the end, we went with a picture from our wedding. Our first dance actually. We danced to "You are" by Lionel Ritchie. I love how we are looking at each other. It really captures a perfect moment. Right in the middle of 350 people we love and in the middle of a fabulous time of celebration. Celebrating the ceremony of our marriage and kicking off the greatest party of our lives, during the greatest 2 weeks of our lives! And on the back, I selected a verse from Daniel 4, a chapter that has been meaningful to us this year.

Coming soon to a mailbox near you.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 400: JLK Tinsel and Treasure - Changes, Changes, Changes

Last year, I blogged about The Junior League of Knoxville's Tinsel and Treasure. So much has changed since then. That weekend, I headed out to shop with my mom and Brad's mom! My now husband and I were not yet engaged (though he had it in the works - little did I know!). We decided it was time for the parents to meet. And me, eat, shop, and bond, we all did!
No, it's time for Tinsel and Treasure 2010. It's going to be a great weekend!
Here are a few highlights from this year's lineup:
*NEW LOCATION!! Downtown at the Knoxville Convention Center
*General Admission hours: Thursday (9am-7pm), Friday (9am-5pm), and Saturday (9am-6pm)
*Gingerbread House Building Contest: Thursday, all day
*The Frugalissa Finds, Thursday at 4pm
*Lunch with Barbara Dooley, Friday at noon!!!
*Candy Canes & Cocktails Party, Friday night (So Excited!)
*Sherry Johnston from the Biggest Loser on Saturday!
*Most importantly, I am working Friday 12-4pm - COME SEE ME!

Day 399: 3 Spoons

It is new.
It is frozen yogurt.
It was the place to be after The Cross.
Precedes went to 2nd Pres Youth.

Obviously, we were there! 3 Spoons Frozen Yogurt.

Check them out at (photo credit)

Next Up? Zaxby's on the Strip. This Monday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 398: Michele Andreck Photography

Okay, so I am generally obcessed with Michele, my fellow livin', 2nd Pres workin', lunch clubbin', Bible study leadin' friend. But, wow! That is not all. As you check out the picks above, it is clear, this girl is one fabulous photographer too! She did the pics from Trunk or Treat. The above pics are from her blog.

Day 393: Trunk or Treat Fall Festival

Words can't do it justice. But what a fun night with families at 2nd Pres! Thanks Michele Andreck Photography for the AMAZING pics!

Day 395: Fizzleween

Halloween Eve, eve. North Knoxville. My husband in costume. Friends and new faces. Great, great night!
In addition to our renditions of a Kuwaiti princess and "The Duck Commander" other great costumes included: The Chillian Miner, a bunch of grapes, several bees (The Queen Bee, the Spelling Bee, "Whatsup Be?", etc.), and more!

Day 394: Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Last Thursday was my first day as a mentor at Westview Elementary. I was so excited to finally meet my "Little Sis!" We got to know one another, talked about our families, and her school.
Then, it happened.

She asked me a question I never like to hear.

A question I dread.

A question that often leads to my extreme embarrassment.

She said,
"Do you want to play basketball?"




But we did.

And she lowered the goal.

And I did alright.

I pray that by the end of the year, that we really get to know one another...and that I get a little better at basketball!
So excited for next week!

Learn more about being a "Big" with Big Brothers/Big Sisters through 2nd Pres's investment and partnership with Westview.

Photo Credit