Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday's Devotion

A Clear Conscience
“I myself always strive to have a conscience towards God and men.” Acts 24:16

Benjamin Franklin composed this little rhyme: “Keep conscience clear then never fear.” George Bernard Shaw, the great Irish writer, said “Better keep yourself clean and bright, for you are the window which you must see the world.”

If conscience was such a vital concept to these secular writers, how much more concerned should we as Christians be that our consciences are “without offense toward God and men?” Without conscience we would be like rudderless ships at sea, or missiles without a guidance system.

God has given our conscience to us. Its very presence is a reflection of God in the human soul. Sin, however, can dull or even distort our conscience, silencing its voice and leading us astray. But God’s Word can purify and sharpen our conscience- and when that happens, “He leads us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). Is this happening in your life?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday

Linking up with Jamie today....who is totally a blog celebrity. Isn't she a doll?

I'm LOVIN' that we will know about our house very, very soon. Possibly today or tomorrow!!!
I'm LOVIN' that I only have 3 more days till Spring Break!! HALLELUJAH!!
(*mini-rant: It makes me VERY angry when people say things like "Man, I wish I was a teacher and had all that time off."  People do NOT understand how challenging it is to teach.  I LOVE my job and wouldn't trade it, but teachers NEED these breaks to recoup and be rejuvenated so we can try teaching 160 middle schoolers a day and see if you don't need a break, ok?  And yes, teaching is a pretty sweet gig, so if it's so awesome, why didn't you go get your teaching degree? Just sayin'!!)
I'm LOVIN' that one of my best friends, Laura, got engaged last week!!!! She has a beautiful rock on her finger! More wedding fun! :) (Speaking of, miss thang, it's time to update your blog!)
I'm LOVIN' that the hubs & I have some big plans to spend the night in Atlanta & head to the Biltmore house over the break. I am so ready for some QT with Big Jon!
I'm LOVIN' that my calendar is packed with lots of fun friend time & wedding festivities through July!
I'm LOVIN' that Jon's cousin is getting married this weekend. :)  Yay for Brett & Amanda!!
I'm LOVIN' this blog....Carissa Explains It All....she is hysterical!!  I mean, look at her button...
I'm LOVIN' that I get to be a matron of honor in 2 of my best friend's weddings this summer, which means I get to go bridesmaid dress shopping again this weekend! Here's what we're thinking- isn't it gorgeous??
 I'm LOVIN' that I have an appointment scheduled for a massage and facial this time next week....courtesy of Wedding Day Planner! Thank ya very much!! Definitely some much needed R&R.
I'm LOVIN' that we are finally planning our vacay with the Doss'!! WOO HOO!!! Can't wait...
I'm LOVIN' Kari Jobe's song that Claire sang in our wedding...."You Are For Me"
It just has the BEST message. What a GREAT reminder for us all.
And most of all...

I'm LOVIN' my wonderful husband & that we are celebrating our 6th month anniversary on Saturday!! The more I'm around others and the more people I talk to, the more I appreciate my wonderful hubby....I am so thankful he is the love of my life!!  He is the BEST and I am so blessed with him!!!
 May your Wednesday be filled with blessings, sweet friends! :)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mom & Dad celebrate 40 years!!

We couldn't celebrate on their actual anniversary, but this past weekend we were finally able to celebrate my amazing parents and their 40 years together!!!!!!  I feel SO blessed that God handpicked me to be a part of their family. My mama & daddy are some of the most generous, loving, giving people I know.  They have stuck it out through some tough times (where many others would have given up). I am so thankful my parents honored their covenant to God and have set a Godly example that you do NOT give up on marriage, no matter what.  They have taught us to have faith and perservere despite challenges.  I truly believe God has blessed them and will continue to bless them for their hard work.  Unfortunately in today's society people do not honor the marriage convenant and understand the seriousness of making vows to God, and I am so thankful for wonderful parents who have taught me that.

SO, to celebrate we went to Dante's Down the Hatch in Atlanta.  We've been dying to try it because we love fondue!!  (I have to be honest....I like Melting Pot better, but it was definitely a cool atmosphere.)
It absolutely POURED rain on the way there....I was thankful we all made it safely.
Dante's was celebrating their 40th year as well, just like Mama & Daddy!
How cool...both celebrating the big 4-0!!!
Big Jon is such a stud!
 The anniversary couple!
  Eddie & Terry....(our cousins)
 The Newlyweds.... (the hubs & me!)
   My sister Tammie & her husband...this is Greg's constipated face!
 That's better....    :)
 My sister Steph & her husband Jamie....this is his excited face...
 Take two...there we go!
 My brother Big Mike & his wife Ragan...
 Apparently none of my siblings married people who know how to take a normal pic on the first try! Ha! Much better!!
 Dante paid us a visit...he's got jokes!!
 "Happy Anniversary to James & Tracey..."  3 candles, one for wealth, health, and prosperity...
 Feeding each other...
 My favorite picture...
 So cute...
 Cutting the delicious cake Ragan slaved over all day...yum!!  
My parents are the bomb.
My husband is so hot.
What a wonderful night celebrating with my sweet family...."all because two people fell in love."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bridesmaid Dress.....check!

Chelsi & I were finally able to go bridesmaid dress shopping @ Charme on Saturday before the shower! It took about 30 minutes & we found a dress!!  She was very open-minded and let me choose whatever I wanted (my only stipulations were not long or one shoulder, and any shade of green between lime and sage!).  We found one pretty cool dress, but it was a little too short for me, so here is what we came up with: (minus the straps though....I don't do spahetti straps!).
The dress is chiffon with a satin bow (which I thought might be weird but it totally works).  The color is kiwi, cocktail length and perfect for a beach wedding.  It's pretty. :)  I'm gonna have to get my tan on fo sho before the big day in order to pull it off! Can't wait!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tea Party Bridal Shower for Chelsi!!

We had the most wonderful shower for Chelsi this weekend!! A girl from church gave me the idea a while back for a tea party theme with big Kentucky derby style hats and lots of southern food, and I just HAD to do it! It was precious!!!

Meet the bride: Chelsi! Chelsi is one of the friends I've had the longest....we met in 6th grade and were inseparable throughout middle and high school.  We went to different colleges but maintained our friendship despite the distance.  She was a wonderful maid of honor in my wedding, and I am privileged to return the favor as matron of honor in her wedding this May.  She and Chad make such a great couple!  I think he compliments her really well & provides a perfect balance to make the relationship work.  Doesn't she look great? She has really trimmed up and looked smokin' in her shower dress!!
I am super fortunate to have Mama & Aunt Terry around to help me pull off all these showers & parties I have. I love to be a hostess, but the food planning aspect of hosting an event is beyond stressful to me. Mom was SUCH a huge help!!  I made some decisions about the menu, and she made it all happen!! She's unbelievable. Check it out!
This "Baptist Punch" recipe I found was delightful...I'll post it later!
The homemade pimento cheese & crab stuffed mushrooms were the crowd faves!
I think it's all about the DETAILS! We had framed pictures of them all around the house to decorate...And check out the super cute plaque mom had made for her & Chad on the mantel.
 Gifts....the best part!
 The rockin' cake- delish!
 Party favors...filled with Chels' favorite types of chocolate!
The early bird arrival....(so glad she got off work!) Chels' fellow bride-to-be friend, Miss Emily.
And meet the rest of the guests:
Chels with her sweet mom, April. Isn't her outfit perfect with the hat? It completes it.
 It was great to see our friend from high school, Meghan! She borrowed a hat & loved it so much she tried to take it home with her!
 Emily again!
 Chels with Chad's sweet sister, Kristi. We missed his other sister, Angel, who had to work. :(
 I love Chad's mom Tammie....doesn't she look adorable in her hat?
 And now with the hostess with the mostess (help from her mom & Terry- ha!)...
Enjoying the yummy food....
 After we ate we opened gifts. Chad answered several questions before hand, so I made Chelsi answer a question correctly before she could open a gift.  It took awhile and a lot of clues...! She said Chad did a great job answering questions about her and he knew the answers about her better than she did!  By the way, everyone did a GREAT job buying gifts for her even though she didn't register.
Emily knew exactly what she needed for her kitchen! And I learned what a "tart pan" is...ha!
 So excited to get her food processor from Mrs. Tammie!
The moms!
Picture frames & tupperware from my sis, Steph! (P.S. Big mistake giving her girls the bubble wrap in the middle of the! It sounded like a war zone!)
Beautiful platter from Chels' future sister-in-laws!! 
 Asking the tough questions...
The great tray from Emily Parker....(we missed you!)....everyone loved it!
Personalized mugs from my mom. :)
 SO excited I got her the knife set!!!  Yay, I did good!
 Some books I bought her. A MUST READ for all women: Lies Women Believe & the Truths That Set Them Free (Nancy Demoss). Also got her a marriage workbook, 5 Love Languages, a dessert cookbook...
 And an apron! So cute!! It's my favorite gift to give new brides...
I had another game in mind with the questions. :)  Chelsi had to answer questions about Chad this time....his favorite color, movie, biggest fear, dream, etc.  She had to chew a piece of cinnamon gum (it gets really hot when you put multiple pieces in your mouth at one time!)...and she ended up chewing LOTS of gum that day! Good thing I got sugarless....
 Everyone was able to participate in the "Famous Couples" game. I called out the male half of 30 famous couples....and the guests had to write down the wife's name.  Some examples? George Washington, Cliff Hucstable, Barney Rubble, Hans Solo, Antonio Banderos, Romeo, & Will Smith....just to name a few!
 Lots of concentration going on here...
 Check out Emily's thinking face....haha, cute.
Meghan's hat is crackin me up!
Doing a little better with this game. 
 And the winner was:
EMILY with 24 correctly matched couples! 
And Kristi & Tammie tied for second place with 22.
 They received cute stationary & notepads from "shabby chic" as their prize.
 Thumbs up from Tammie!
  So what's next? Well cake, of course!
Chels cut the cake....and it was as yummy as it looked!
 I was really pleased with how everything turned out.  Everything went so well and we had a blast. :) I am thankful I had an opportunity to shower my best friend with  the love & gifts of her friends and family to show her how much I care about her.  I hope she's feeling more like a bride now! Won't she make a lovely one??  Happy Bridal Shower, Chelsi!!!