Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's A New Car!

So, QUITE unexpectedly this past weekend, Daniel and I BOUGHT A CAR. Yes, that's right. We passed a new marriage milestone! Scary and exciting all at the same time...

Background Story:

I've had a white 2003 Saturn L300 (basically like their Camry or Accord) since my senior year in high school. Basically about 6 1/2 years. It's been a fantastic car. Our goal was for it to make it through our time at seminary--mostly because it was paid for, which = NO car payment! Woo hoo! We have been blessed to make it 2 1/2 years of marriage without one. Well, wouldn't ya know, the Saturn just had to start acting up. And when I mean acting up, I mean transmission issues. YIKES! Just the word alone sounds expensive! We made it into town for the Holidays and decided once all the festivities were over we would take it in to a transmission specialist. Daniel and my dad took it to Trans Tech in Conway (cannot say enough good things about these guys! ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! If you ever have transmission problems, take your car to them!). Not even 2 hours later, he called Daniel and said we needed to completely replace the transmission. $1500-$2000!! Well, the Saturn is only worth $3000 in top condition, so we were faced with a huge decision. Do we spend that much money to fix it and then something else go wrong soon after? Do we just try to trade it--even $1000 is better than nothing? Can we afford a car payment on a seminary budget? The list goes on and on. What made it more stressful is we HAD to make a decision that day because it would take 3 full days to fix the transmission and we are leaving for Louisville soon! Oy!

My parents have some connections at Smith Ford in Conway, so we decided just to go over and talk to them, explain our situation, and see if they had anything pre-owned that could work for us. Mr. Kenny Ketcheside told us he just had a 2011 Ford Fusion traded in last week and he thought he could give us a good deal for it. We test drove it, and LOVED it! We were fearful that it was out of our price range though--just because it was newer and only had 43,000 miles on it. Needless to say, we were VERY pleasantly surprised! Not only did he give us a great price for the Fusion, he looked at the Saturn and gave us $2000 trade-in!! We could not believe it! With the trade-in credit, we were able to finance it and negotiate affordable monthly payments. WE COULD NOT BELIEVE IT! Saturday morning, we cleaned out the Saturn, drove it down to Ford, signed the papers, and drove away in our new car! It still seems kind of surreal but I'm sure that will all change once we start having to make payments on it. Lol.

Here it is!

Smith Ford took SUCH great care of us, we will do what we can to always do business with them! I absolutely adore this car---it drives so well and is SO roomy! It's weird to think about, but we had to consider if it could fit car seats in the back and baby stuff in the trunk! (NOT that we are pregnant! Or close to it! lol). Thankful the Lord worked out all the details and we now have a dependable car to drive back and forth to Louisville.

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness

I love Thanksgiving. It's a shame that I start to realize around this time every year how much I truly have to be thankful and grateful for--I really should remember that all year long.

Now that November is here (CRAZY), I have jumped on the whole Facebook bandwagon of "30 Days of Thankfulness." The Lord has really put on my heart this last week that even though I get frustrated or depressed with life circumstances and situations, I really do have a lot to be thankful for! I have a nice apartment that has air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter, I have nice clothes, I have enough food to eat so I don't go hungry, I have good health, I have an amazing church and church family, my husband is able to learn more about Jesus every day of the week, I have a great job that is full-time and in my field, I have a car to get me places around town and traveling home...I mean the list could just go on and on!! 

Aside from all these material things, most importantly, I am thankful that Jesus chose to save my sinful, selfish self and make me a child of God. How humbling is that?? What a blessing to say that Jesus loved me so much, despite my sin, that He died on a cross so that I might be saved and live with Him eternally one day in the Presence of God. Whoa! Y'all, the Gospel is so powerful!

Not only did He save me, but He blessed me with an amazing family here on Earth whom I love SO dearly! I totally took them all for granted when I lived 30 minutes away, but now that we are states apart, I cherish each moment I spend with them (and thank you FaceTime for allowing me to actually see their face 500 miles away!!!). They are all so precious and I miss them OH SO MUCH! 

Last, but not least, the Lord blessed me with my soul mate. Like it says in Song of Solomon, "I have found the one that my soul loves." This man is so perfect for me---funny how my weaknesses are his strengths and vice versa. We balance each other so well and I will love him til the day I die. Four years ago this month, he asked me out on our first date--thank goodness I said yes! 

What do you have to be thankful for?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

No Place Like Home

There truly is no place like home! This past weekend, my hubby traveled to Washington D.C. (he is an intern this year at our church, so our associate pastor and one of our elders took them to the 9Marks conference at Mark Dever's church on Capitol Hill). Once we found out when he was going, my parents felt sorry for me to be home by myself for 5 days and decided to fly me home! :) Sweet of them right?! Equally sweet, my boss let me off work Friday so I could fly out Thursday night.

Friday morning, Mom and I headed to Mimi's house where she got up early to cook me my favorite pancakes (blueberry w/ granola sprinkled in) and bacon. Then we headed to Gran's house to spend time with her and my aunt Virgie before we played Bunko with the rest of my mom's Bunko group. I have the sweetest grandmother's ever! Friday night, Hannah came over and us girls had a sleepover---watching girl shows like "I Found the Gown" and eating brownies. :) I love Girl Time!!

Saturday morning, mom and dad and I headed up to Fayetteville to support our Razorbacks as they took on Alabama. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good game, but it was fun to be back up there and enjoy the atmosphere and time with my family.

Sunday came way too fast, and all too soon I found myself back at the airport headed to Louisville. I'm back in my apartment safe and sound, but I'm ready for my husband to be back home, and I'm even more ready for it to be time for holidays so we can go back home together. Even after being in Louisville for 15 months, in my heart, Arkansas is still home.

Thanks mom and dad! It was a great weekend!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Florida 2012

I NEVER tire of this view. EVER. The beach is unquestionably my favorite place on earth. Praise the Lord my parents take us every year. :) This year was our second time to go since we have been married and I'm not quite sure who was more excited about going--me or Daniel. We had such a wonderful time! Of course it went by WAY too fast---I feel like I blinked and the week was completely over! We got some much needed "recharging" time with mom and dad and Hannah, ate some great food, watched the Olympics while eating cake and ice cream (like every night), enjoyed the sand and the ocean, and OH YEAH...and we had a flat tire! Apparently, it's our goal to do something every year to make it more memorable---last year Daniel lost his wedding ring in the ocean (and by a miracle, found it) and this year we had to get a new tire. Lol. Things happen. All in all, it was an absolutely fantastic week and we can't wait til next year!

Here is some documentation of the memories we made :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

the New J.O.B.

My new J.O.B.

Let's just say God knew what He was always. I absolutely LOVE it. Aside from all the overwhelming-ness and learning new things, which just comes with new-job territory, it's fabulous.

I work at a clinic called Advanced Foot and Ankle. It consists of two doctors, male and female, who happen to be married...but she goes by a different last name. Weird, I know. I also work under an Office Manager, April, who I instantly clicked with, and we also have a receptionist at our main office named Lindsey.  I am one of the medical assistants for the female (Dr. Dorsett), which is also a great example of divine providence. Not that Dr. Sanders (the male) isn't just as nice or welcoming, but he is more of a workaholic. This is what my typical day looks like working for her:

* I come in at 8:45 AM.
*We see our first patient at 9:15 AM
*We see ONE patient every 15 minutes until we break for lunch around noon
*We have lunch until we see our next patient at 1:30 PM (this allows for travel to other locations)
*Again, we see a patient every 15 minutes--our last one is seen at 4:30 PM
*We close everything up and I leave at the latest by 5:00 PM
*BONUS: on Fridays I leave by 3:00 PM

Is this not the greatest work schedule ever?! Time absolutely flies by! As I mentioned above, we also have different office locations--four to be exact. So I travel to different ones throughout the week--which is paid travel time. I love this aspect too because it gives me variety throughout my day and my week. Dr. Dorsett is very nice and has a fun sense of humor, except for when she gets into "doctor mode." She has two young girls so that is why she wants to see her last patient at 4:30, no exceptions. Again, AWESOME.

The reason I say this is because Dr. Sanders definitely has a busier schedule. Where we see ONE patient every 15 minutes, he might see 2 or 3 in that span of time. And he doesn't always see his last patient at 4:30. Sometimes his medical assistants don't finish until 6:00 PM or after. Again, the Lord definitely knows what He is doing.

I'm able to do what I love, and still be off work in time to come home and cook dinner for my hunk of a man...maybe even squeeze in a workout class. PLUS, the best part....are you ready?


Can I get a Hallelujah! Yep, God definitely knows what He is doing. It is absolutely perfect. I get to wear scrubs again (another Hallelujah), I have an awesome laid-back work place, I get along great with my co-workers and the doctor I work for, and I am bringing in more income and benefits will come later. WOW. I'm just completely humbled and utterly grateful for this wonderful turn of events.

Now, Daniel's job that I posted on FB fell through. (shocked faces can commence). We got the call on a Thursday that they wanted to hire him, he went and met with them on Friday---had a few issues to work out concerning what they would pay him, and the next Wednesday they called and basically said they changed their minds. To say I was mad was probably an understatement. Now that it has been a week, and I've been on vacation, we feel a little better. Ultimately, if they didn't want him, we would rather know NOW than get 2 weeks into it and then they change their minds. But, now we are back to square one with him looking for other employment. (The tutoring company doesn't think he will get to tutor this fall because of new laws or something or other...). Please be in prayer that he can find the perfect thing that would work with his school schedule and also provide adequate income for our family.

Also, another prayer request is for direction and wisdom concerning our future---we are in prayer about where God would have us go once he finishes up and graduates with his Master's degree in May. This time in our lives is all about newness and change and we are doing our best to embrace it.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I am so embarassed....i literally have not written a blogpost in 5 months! There IS an explanation for that, BUT there is fun news to share! :)  So, if you're in a hurry, here is the jist of this post: I GOT A FULL-TIME JOB IN MY FIELD! Praise the Lord, He is so faithful!

Ok, now if you have time to continue, read on.

 I haven't written a blogpost since February---life was pretty rough and honestly I was too depressed to write anything. I was working two jobs, both of which were high-stress and caused me to be on my feet for hours on end, and a lot of days I was working double shifts with Apple in the morning and then waitressing at Macaroni Grill at night. Needless to say, life was not at it's most enjoyable. But I did what I had to do to provide for my family. Since February, I have had probably 7ish interviews all around Louisville and I kept getting the whole, "Thanks for taking the time and interest in us, but there was someone else who was more qualified. We hope you'll continue to apply for other positions." SO FRUSTRATING! It kept getting my hopes up that this was finally going to be it and I would be delivered from my current situation...and everytime my hopes got dashed and I would be this emotional roller-coaster.

Finally, one Sunday in late May/early June, God got my attention. Our pastor, Dr. Hamilton, was preaching from Jeremiah--talking about the Israelites and their idols. And he said something that grabbed my attention. To paraphrase, he said, "Idols are not necessarily tangible things and they are not necessarily always bad things. The way to know if you have an idol in your life is to examine your heart and tell yourself, there something I'm hoping for that I don't think I could be TRULY happy without obtaining it for myself?" And it was like a brick hit me on top of the head! I had been idolizing finding a full-time job---I wasn't going to be happy without it. And at that point, my attitude changed. I wasn't seeing that God had ALREADY blessed me with TWO jobs! Maybe not jobs in my field or jobs that I enjoyed, but at least I was bringing in income. And I know deep down that God has a plan for me that's even more perfect that I can ever imagine.

Literally, THAT WEEK I got 3 interviews for 3 different places. I interviewed at the Seminary for a secretarial position, I interviewed at a local dental office for a receptionist position, and I interviewed at Advanced Foot and Ankle Clinic for a Medical Assistant position. Secretly, I was hoping for the medical assistant (duh). I mean, it let me use my degree I went to four years of school for, it was Monday-Friday with no weekends (hallelujah!) or holidays, and not to mention the office manager who interviewed me was awesome! She and I instantly clicked and I knew I would love to work with her. What was even better is she told me they were hoping to fill the position by the end of that week! Well, obviously that didn't happen---she called me the next week saying the 2 doctors decided to take a two week vacation and then she would be on vacation the week everything was put on hold for a whole month! Well, in that month, the Seminary informed me they had found someone else to fill the position I interviewed for, the dental office was also on hold due to family vacations and the like, and I got to go on vacation with some of my family as well.

I got the call yesterday morning (Monday, July 16th) from the office manager at Advanced Foot and Ankle, saying that while she had been away on vacation, two members of their staff had suddenly had to quit. So, this expedited the process of hiring me (yay!). She actually OFFERED me the positon at 10:15 AM yesterday morning, asking if I could start immediately in 2 weeks! This completely floored me! I was under the impression she would call me yesterday, probably say the doctors wanted to interview me and the other candidates before making any final decisions, and then probably have an answer by the end of this week. But man was I wrong!! I was absolutely THRILLED! I had to turn in my 2 weeks notice at both places yesterday (which I have never done before and is not fun at all, but they were so great about it) and I start to work on Monday, July 30th! I'm still kind of in shock and can't believe it's really happening!

I will truly miss the people I work with at Apple and Macaroni Grill---they made work fun! And I know that what I have learned about business and about myself by working at these places will carry with me wherever I go for the rest of my life.

God is good. God keep His promises. God is faithful. He never left me or forsake me--even when I was depressed and had doubts. His plan is better than my own and for that I am grateful. Thank you to everyone who has been in prayer for me and Daniel over this past year (already!) we have lived in Louisville. You will never know how much we appreciate it! And it obviously works because the Lord has heard our prayers and answered them with the perfect job for me! :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Surprise 25th Anniversary Party

This past December, my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. I'm so proud to just even type that statement. What a privilege to have parents who are still "head-over-heels" in love--25 years later!! So, of course, my sister and I wanted to plan a big celebration party--I mean, this is a big deal! During our beach trip in August last summer, Hannah and I started talking and brainstorming ideas. We wanted it to be a small, intimate, family affair and we wanted to cook a 3-course meal with our favorite foods we had grown up with. And most importantly, we wanted it to be the surprise of the century! Mom was hilarious--I don't think she knew we were planning anything, but she did say a few times, "Don't be planning anything...It's not a huge deal...etc, etc, etc." And of course, we would just laugh behind her back like, "yeah right Mom."

Our last plan was the present we wanted to give them. We teamed up with the photographer of the family, Aunt Linda, and started gathering photos from the past 25 years. We found pictures from when they were dating, wedding pictures, baby pictures, family vacation pictures.....everything. In the end, we had over 700 pictures to choose from! In the end, we created a family photo album off of that chronicled all the moments and memories our family has shared since my parents got married. It turned out even better than we imagined!

We decided to have the party in January...for two main reasons. 1) Their anniversary is December 27th. That is way too close to Christmas for us to be able to have time to squeeze in a celebration party! 2) It would be more of a shock and surprise. As the date got closer, we nailed down details and sent out invitations and finished the photo book and boy, was it HARD to not say anything! Especially when we left to come back home after Christmas--it was hard to not say, "see you in a couple of weeks!" Finally, the weekend came! Daniel and I left on a Thursday--which of course, it was snowing up here, so we were just praying we would make it! We got in late Thursday night and spent all day Friday decorating and cooking and getting ready for the big party. In order to pull off the surprise, my grandmother invited my parents out for fondue. We knew they were coming out about 6:30pm, so we told the rest of the family to arrive about 6:00pm. To hide the cars, we parked them at my dad's aunt's house right down the street and carpooled down to my grandmother's house. We went down to pick everyone up and headed down to the party. But, SURPRISE! Wouldn't you know, my parents who are ALWAYS late, arrived to their surprise party 25 minutes EARLY!!! Holy Cow! So, to avoid my parents seeing us, we pulled up to the front door and all ran inside and Daniel and I hid in the back. They walk in, and I can hear my dad say, "what are we celebrating?" Lol. After the initial shock, Hannah told them we had one more surprise for them. They closed their eyes and Daniel and I walked out from the back. I'm so glad my Aunt Linda captured their faces on camera---it was priceless.

We sat down to a dinner of wedge salad with homemade blue cheese dressing, Imperial chicken with twice baked potatoes and green beans, and Italian Creme Cake from PattiCakes bakery. It was all so yummy!

After we stuffed ourselves on the delicious food, we let them open their gifts. Hannah and I gave them the photo book, but we requested everyone else to write them a letter describing what they have meant to them the past 25 years.

 It was the perfect surprise party! In a hilarious way, we ALL got surprised--but I wouldn't have changed anything for the world! It was such a special time to spend with family and I think it's one of those memories we will love to remember!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Holiday 2011

Now that things have settled down a bit, I can finally take the time to write about our fantastic Christmas week back home! We were so, so fortunate that my work let me off for a whole week to go home for the holidays (total God thing). So, we packed up and headed out Friday, December 23rd. It took about 8 1/2 hours to get from our house in Louisville to my grandmother's house out on Beaverfork Lake--which is great timing! Since this was our first trip back to Arkansas since we moved in the summer, we couldn't WAIT to see everyone (yes, even you too Uncle Richard). We had missed everyone SO much and it was a very surreal feeling to be driving on familiar roads--definitely did not feel like it had been 5 months. We got to Mimi's house and were immediately met with smiles and hugs and "we have missed seeing you" and got eat some wonderful food. We woke up Christmas Eve morning, and started off the festivites with my favorite tradition--Homemade Gifts. Every year, my dad's family draws names (and you keep it a secret) and you have to make that person a gift. We have had everything from guns to wreaths to paintings to food. It is so fun to see what everyone comes up with! This year, I got my mom's name and decided to make her some Razorback pillows (which I will admit, I got the idea off of Pinterest). And ironically enough, she drew MY name and made me the most beautiful napkin rings out of some family heirloom brooches! I wish I had taken a picture on my camera to be able to post--look for it on facebook...i'm sure it will show up. lol. After that, we continued with our annual Christmas breakfast--peppered ham, cheesy grits, cinnamon rolls, etc...(all low-calorie foods I assure you) before ending with stockings and presents under the tree. Our stockings were fun this year because we all got treasure hunts to go find our big present! SO FUN! My big present turned out to be a sewing machine!! I have been wanting one for a while and my grandmother, the sewing master, was sweet enough to get me all decked out with all the materials I need to get started. I can't wait to put my creativity to the test! Christmas Eve night, we went to my mom's family, where we ate (again, all low calorie foods) ham and turkey and sweet potatoes and green bean bundles and the list goes on and on (oh how I have missed good ol' Southern cookin'). We do a gift card Dirty Santa game with everyone there and I walked away with a $25 TJ Maxx gift card--YES!

Christmas morning came bright and early and we celebrated with my parents first. We all watch each other open stockings and then we move on to the big presents...and boy, did my parents surprise us with a BIG present. They combined mine and Daniel's and got us an iPad--yes, you heard right. AN IPAD. Can I just Yes, I know I work at the Apple Store and everything, but never in a million years did I ever think I would actually OWN one! It is so great! Daniel will be able to take it to class and take notes, it helps him with tutoring his students, and then I just get to have fun with it :) we absolutely love it! And can I just say that Facetime is the absolute best thing ever! Getting to actually SEE the person you talk to??!! That is perfect for us--especially talking to everyone a few states away! Christmas afternoon we went to North Little Rock and met Daniel's parents at the movie to see "War Horse." I really liked it---much more so than I was anticipating! Of course, it is a Steven Spielberg movie, but to be honest I wasn't too keen on going to see it. SO glad I did though! The day after Christmas, the 26th, we spent the day in North Little Rock again celebrating Christmas with all of Daniel's family--his parents, brothers and their wives, our nieces and nephews, and his grandparents. That was a fun day too! It was so great to see all of them--and the kids have grown so much! Plus, Sean and Kim just had a new addition to their family in November, named Audrey, so we got to see her for the first time too (she is a doll!).

December 27th was my parents 25th wedding anniversary! Congratulations to them! I feel like that is such a huge milestone in a marriage--especially in today's world! We were able to surprise them a little with a small family affair--a replica of their wedding cake and punch and some light snacks. It was really special. I am so lucky to be able to say they are my parents--such a great role model for me personally to look up to! And not only from a marriage standpoint, but also a parenting standpoint. Love them both an incredible amount--words can't describe!

The rest of the week was spent watching football and enjoying time and savoring moments with family and a few of our friends. And then, sadly....we had to head back to reality. We headed back Friday, December 30th and got in late that night. So now, we have rung in the new year (2012...Really?!) and are back at work. But, we are having a watch party for the Cotton Bowl tomorrow night (WPS) which will be great to see all of our friends up here again. Sooooo, that's all for now. Just wanted to share about our joys of the season. I hope everyone else had a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year!