Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hubs!

Marcus is 25 today! In the words of his favorite band, the Beatles:

They say it's your birthday!
We're gonna have a good time!
I'm glad it's your birthday!
Happy birthday to you!

Marcus, I'm so glad it's your birthday and that I get to celebrate with you! You are the love of my life and I can't believe I'm so blessed to be your wife. I love you more today than I ever thought I possibly could. You have filled my life with so much joy. I am so proud of the man you are and the man you are becoming. You are my best friend. I love you!

Tour of the distillery this weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wish You Were Here: Colorado

One of the perks of Marcus still being in school is that he still has a week off every spring semester. Around this time last year, I knew this would most likely be one of his last spring breaks and with the busy schedules of my family, I knew we would need to start planning far in advance if we wanted to go somewhere.  So I emailed my parents, my sister, and my brother-in-law (and Marcus, too!), we all marked it on our calendars, and I've basically been counting down the days since!

My family has been going skiing during spring break nearly every year since I can remember.  When I was five, I got to go for the first time and with the exception of a few years (including the college mission trip where Marcus and I met), I haven't missed a one. We are fortunate that my grandparents have a condo in Silverthorne that's really close to several resorts, so we've always stayed in the same place every year, and we pick where we ski based on our mood that year. :)

Before I get to our trip, though, I have to mention that the weekend we left was also a very special weekend because one of my best friends, Laura, got married! I was so honored to be a part of her wedding and we had an absolute blast!

The lovely Laura Lawrence!
The Lawrences and the Womacks
After the wedding, it was off to the Rockies! It was so great to spend a whole week with my family. There were NO lines, the weather was beautiful, and we had so much fun skiing, playing games, and catching up on life.

Unfortunately, I failed to take a single picture the whole time we were on the mountain. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! See, here's the deal. Skiing is a lot of work. I'm extremely cold-natured so it takes a lot of time and energy to get bundled up and play in the snow all day.  I had my camera with me, but by the time we were off the ski lift and stopped long enough to take a picture, it wasn't worth the effort to take off my mittens (yes, I wear mittens because they're warmer than gloves), pull out the camera, get everyone together, ask someone to take our picture, put the camera back in my pocket, and put my mittens back on.  I just wanted to get down the mountain, ok? My dad did snap a picture on his phone though, so here's proof that I was there and I skied:

After three days of skiing, we were pretty exhausted, so we decided to spend our last day shopping around the little village at Breckenridge.  If you've ever been, you know what a cute little town it is, full of little shops and restaurants!  First, we had a little lunch at a neat little crepe cart, Crepes a la Cart.

Super yummy!
We shopped around for a bit, visited a little ski museum, and then stumbled upon a wine shop, where my mom, my sister, and I did a fun wine tasting.

We shopped around a little more and then headed back to Silverthorne for dinner.  We had been told about a place called the Mint, where you cook your own steak. I still don't understand why people think it's cool to pay money to cook your own food, but I totally bought in to it and we had a great time.
Hard at work grilling my steak.
The real grill master (I had no idea what I was doing).
The whole family!
Spring Break 2012 despite what the Christmas lights might indicate :)
I'm so thankful I was able to take a whole week of work and spend Spring Break with my family. Hopefully this is a tradition that will continue with our kids (many, many years from now)!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blissdom 2012

Have you heard of the Blissdom Conference? Until very recently, I hadn't. Blissdom is a conference for female bloggers to connect with each other, learn skills and tips to build their business and their blog, and encourage each other. Blissdom is in it's 5th year and is held in Nashville every year.

My co-worker Kellie and I had the opportunity to go to the conference this year to meet people and share Blood:Water Mission with them.  I'll admit that we were both a little skeptical that the whole thing would be a giant girl fest-- a little too much for us! And unfortunately, we weren't able to go to most of the conference.  But we did get to hear the opening keynote session and meet some wonderful people and I was so impressed by how the conference was run, especially for one that is no older than it is.  Blissdom took place at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and when we arrived, we were greeted by friendly staff and handed this ginormous bag of goodies!

Whoa!! (Blissdom has awesome sponsors!!)

After we registered, we grabbed some breakfast and found a seat for the keynote session.  I am so glad we got the chance to hear from Jon Acuff.  You may know him as the guy behind Stuff Christians Like.  He has also worked with Dave Ramsey and he is an author, speaker, and social media guru.  The guy is hilarious. I loved what he had to say- I thought that it was extremely relevant for people.  That's right- not just mothers, bloggers, women, but anyone who works, or has a family, or has ever tweeted or been on Facebook.  That's most of us, right?

Bad iPhone pic. :(
Here are some of my takeaways from his talk:

  • Figure out your dream.  You're not the only one who hasn't figured it out yet.
  • Never compare your beginning to someone else's middle.
  • Instead of asking, "What do I want to do with my life," ask, "What have I done that I loved?" Instead of discovery, think of it as recovery.
  • Make time for things that matter.  Use time that others in your family don't need (aka when they're not in the house or asleep).
  • You will disappoint people. Learn to disappoint the right people.
  • Ignore the voices: both external and internal.
  • 90% perfect and shared with the world reaches more people than 100% perfect and stuck in your head.

I can't say enough good things about this guy and all the wisdom he had to share. Go read his blog. Follow his tweets. Buy his books. That is all.

After hearing from Jon, we watched video messages from Zac Efron and Oprah. Yes, OPRAH! Then it was time to mingle and meet some lovely ladies before we had to head back to the office.

My co-worker Kellie and me!
I wish I could share more, but all I can say is that if you ever have a chance to go to Blissdom, you should! Also, big thanks to Alli Worthington for the opportunity to attend Blissdom and share Blood:Water Mission with our new friends. Alli is one of the amazing Bliss Chicks behind Blissdom and she is one talented lady!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Married to the Ministry

When I pictured my life as a kid and a teenager, even as a college student until Marcus and I started dating, I never imagined I would marry someone in the ministry. I'm not sure why, it just never occurred to me that that might happen.

Yet here I am, nearly two years into a marriage to the love of my life and wouldn't you know it? My husband is preparing to go into full-time ministry.  If there's one thing I've learned in my life, it's that God always has a way of changing your dreams for the better.

Being married to a seminary student is one of the hardest things I've done. But everyday, I'm so very proud of my husband and the commitment he has made to the Lord. It is not fun to deal with his ever-changing schedule and his late hours at the library, but I am constantly reminded that this is just for a season and soon enough (December!!) he will be done.  And then we'll continue the odd hours of weeknight church activities and the seemingly never-ending process of ordination in the United Methodist Church. ;)

Despite the trials of being married to a minister, there have been just as many blessings.  Marcus has a great job as a youth ministry intern that has not only provided scholarships for seminary, but wonderful friends and invaluable experience.

The life of a minister (and his wife) can be uncertain.  We're not sure where God will send us when Marcus graduates. But I know that I wouldn't change a thing about the life God has chosen for me. He continues to amaze, surprise, teach, and provide for me, and that is all I could ever ask for in marriage and in life.

Marcus and me after he preached at our church.

Today I'm linking up with other ministry wives at Kelly's Korner. If you're a minister or married to one, you should join us!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wish You Were Here: Chattanooga

Marcus and I used Valentine's Day as an excuse for a little overnight getaway to the charming town of Chattanooga. It's just a couple hours from Nashville, so it makes for a perfect little weekend trip! The short drive takes you through the mountains and even through Georgia for a few minutes before you find yourself back in Tennessee in a little town that sits on the river and is home to a fantastic aquarium, incredible art, tasty food, quaint little B&B's, and general feeling of sweet yet sophisticated southern hospitality.

This was the first time Marcus and I were able to go to Chattanooga for fun, and we accomplished our goal of just relaxing and enjoying each other's company.  We stayed at a wonderful little B&B that was part of the Bluff View Art District. From our room, we could walk to the restaurant where we had dinner overlooking the river and the perfect little coffee shop for dessert. And that's exactly what we did on Friday night!

Really bad picture with the self-timer. :)
Another bad picture with my eyes closed. This is where we stayed!
On Saturday morning, we got up and had breakfast at the Inn. After checking out, we headed over the river to Frazier street, right by the riverfront Coolidge Park. We decided to just visit the little shops and not have any sort of agenda. I found a great little dress for my friend's rehearsal dinner, and Marcus got The Beatles Rarities on vinyl at a cool little vintage shop. After hitting up the antique mall, it was time for lunch! We hit up Good Dog for some tasty hot dogs and frites (fries). Then, we topped it off at the ice cream parlor, Clumpies!

Yummy breakfast!
Yummy hot dogs!
Yummy ice cream!

After a day of exploring, it was time to head back to Nashville. We had such a great time and if you're ever looking for a quick little escape, Chattanooga is the perfect place!!

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