harvest sunset

Saturday, November 12, 2011

eleven seven

Happy 2nd Anniversary to my husband Robert!! 

Can't believe it has been 2 years! Sometimes I can't remember what life was even like before we met. He is my very best friend and I wouldn't want to "do life" with anyone else. I won't get too sappy- so here are a few pics :)  

wedding day 11-7-09

first dance

the best wedding EVER :)

1 year anniversary in Asheville

2nd year

Hoping to spend many more years together. Love you!!

gal pals

This post is dedicated to the sweet girls in my life here in Charlotte. When we moved here, we were fortunate enough to already have a few friends from the RUF internship. Over the next year, we made other friends through seminary, church, work, etc. All of them have meant a lot to us. For the time being I am just going to focus on a small group of girls that is very special to me...

We were pleasantly surprised when a couple, The Gregory's, moved right behind us. They were from Mississippi and attending RTS! Yay! Holley Gregory has become one of my best friends in Charlotte and it has been really fun running back in forth between our houses. Holley started a girl's accountability group that I meet with once a week. It has been between 5-8 girls this year- not sure what the past year would have looked like without this group of girls. They have been a great encouragement to me. Here are a few pics of some of my favorite times over the past year :)

Sedge-hood snow day

Holley and I frolicking in the side yard

RTS girl's night

watching the Bachelorette at Katie's- always a fun time!

girl's accountability group last May 

Barnabas Center benefit

Love ya'll!!! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

revisiting a disney classic

I have been reminded of the Lion King a lot lately. Now that it's out in 3D, a whole different generation is experiencing it for the first time. I haven't seen it in forever, so when the kids I was babysitting for begged to watch their favorite parts, I was excited :) 

They only had a few minutes before bedtime so I told them each to pick their favorite part and we would watch them before bedtime. If someone had asked me that question (as a child) I would have picked the Hakuna Matata song or maybe another light-hearted scene. However, this 6 year old boy and 3 year old girl picked the scene towards the end where Simba fights his uncle, Scar. They loved it! I was slightly confused why they would pick such a dark, dramatic scene. But as we watched it, I was reminded of some of the beautiful themes in this movie. I understand that not everything in the Lion King is correct...and certainly not biblical. However, I couldn't help noticing little pieces of truth scattered in. In this scene where Scar is killed, there is a sense of redemption. Evil is gone and Simba can take the throne as king. Even as a child, we are glad when the bad guy gets the justice he deserves or when the good guy finally wins. Here are a few of my (new) favorite parts:

Simba, now an adult, is struggling with his guilt and his future- 

Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back will mean facing my past. I've been running from it for so long. 

[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for? 
Rafiki: It doesn't matter. It's in the past. 
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts. 
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it. 

When Scar dies and Simba takes the throne, a physical change takes place across the land. The dry, dark land becomes lush and green. This part was a sweet reminder of how creation will one day be restored-- the new heavens and earth. 

It's fun to watch these movies that I loved so much as a kid. I pick up on so many things I missed! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Supermarket Sweep

Ok, so most of you have seen the Extreme Coupon show or at least heard of it. These (let's be honest...crazy) people get grocery carts full of things for under a dollar with their coupons. It's usually 230 mustards, 115 laundry detergents, and 300 packages of bacon....always ridiculous amounts. Some give the excess items away---great idea, some hoard it in their basements--

this is not the cold war....

I have been cutting coupons to save money on groceries this year and try to only use them on items that I would normally buy anyways. Also, I try to use them when they count for more savings. Example-- Harris Teeter's super double coupon week or triple coupons. If you are lost in the language, don't worry. You can go to Southern Savers and get all things "coupon" figured out. I digress....so I have saved a lot of money on groceries by using coupons I've found in the newspaper and online. It takes time- even to use coupons minimally, but the savings are worth it to me in the end.

Yesterday started one of those weeks at Harris Teeter that doubles coupons up to $1.98. I don't even bother with coupons under $1 on these weeks. The coupons that are $1.50 are the best because you save $3.00 at check out. I'm realizing how big of a dork I sound right now.... So yesterday I went when the store opened, 7am. I have never done this before. I usually go later in the week but a lot of the items are sold out. Also, I couldn't sleep because I thought I saw a ghost-- I'm saving that for a later post, don't worry :)

So here I am, rollin in with my shopping cart at 7am, half expecting to be participating in a Supermarket Sweep moment with other crazy coupon participants. I enter the doors, in sweats, pony-tail, and no make-up and I realize... "I look like the crazy mom on Extreme Coupons" I literally look like her. Who does this? Gets to the grocery as it opens? Instead of being in the company of other weird shoppers, I find myself in the company of the produce man and inventory stocker. In fact, most of the sale signs for items haven't been put up and the lights are only half-way on (I'm thankful for this b/c I hoped I might not be spotted in the darkness). So, like a hunter, getting up early to stalk and kill its prey....I go in for the kill. I suck up my pride and I roll down the lonely aisles while pinching my pennies and sorting through my coupon book.

As I check out, the clerk says "Wow! Do you know how much money you saved? Where do you find these coupons?" And beaming I say innocently, "the newspaper." I have succeeded. I managed to buy over $80 worth of groceries for under $30. Some items I even got for free!

I went home and laid out my loot on the kitchen table. This has become what my husband expects on these trips. I like to stack it all up and display it like a trophy...and then go down my receipt and list of all my savings, and end with my grand total. I realize, again, this is silly...but in that moment I am proud. Proud of saving money and seeing his face look shocked as I tell him my grand total savings (it's the little things haha). Then I put my items away with a smile on my face.

This isn't something you are born with skill in. As any athlete does, you must train. My mother was grooming me at a young age. I recall many car rides to Kroger when I carefully sorted my mother's coupons into her filing folder. "Mom, does this one go in baked goods or paper products?" My brother and I watched Supermarket Sweep and dreamed that one day we could run around the grocery store stuffing huge cheese wheels in our cart and winning money. Seriously...we did. We would go on that show in a heart beat. Sad, but true. Shout out to my sweet money-saving Mom, who made all of this possible-- Thanks Mom! :)