Wednesday, November 26, 2008

26 Things I am Thankful For This Year

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Phil. 4:6

I am the worst at worrying. I worry about everything. I know that is something I really need to work on. I am a perfectionist so when I see that things might not work out “perfectly”, I get very anxious and often can’t see past the negatives. I know it’s a bit early for New Year’s resolutions but that is going to be my top resolution.

I have been so blessed. I have NOTHING to ever complain about. Absolutely nothing. Yet I still fret about everything.

The recent financial crisis is especially hard on worriers like me. Are the markets up or down, will there be any money left for older Americans like my parents who will be cashing out within the next few years, will anyone I know be affected by losing their jobs, will we be able to sell the houses we put on the market once we get married, etc… Josh has said that we will never see another thing like this in our lifetime. And when you watch the news, they make you feel like we’ll all be growing food out of our own gardens to survive. But we are commanded not to worry.

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? Matthew 6:26

I also keep finding myself being presented with a situation and automatically wishing it could be different instead of being thankful.

For example, I am getting married on New Year’s Eve. Josh’s house is a bit bigger than mine so I will be moving into his place in January. A few years ago, Josh signed a contract for a new house in Cool Springs, which won’t be ready until April. So we’ll be moving everything in January, then again just 3 months later. So I immediately think how inconvenient it will be to have to move everything twice.

I hate that about me. Why don’t I immediately thank God for the homes he has blessed us with, that I wake up every day with no fear of losing my home, that I am physically able to pack up and move boxes, that I get in a warm, cozy bed each night, that I am moving twice to live with the most wonderful man in the world, etc…?

So since I am going to have a lot going on this New Year’s Eve, I am going to make my resolution now! I know it won’t happen overnight, but I am going to make a conscious effort to be content and think positively no matter the circumstance.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

So here’s my list. I decided to come up with something I am thankful for by using each letter of the alphabet. It was kinda fun…try it and come up with your own list!

I am thankful for…

Aunt…my own Aunt Mary and that I am an aunt to 4 wonderful kiddos
Bridesmaids…all 10 of them!
Casinos…and they have them in San Juan where we are honeymooning!
Dave Ramsey and for being Debt free!
Examples…those my parents have set for me
Fox News
God…who is so patient with me
Health…mine and my families
In-laws…I love my future in-laws!
Josh…my best friend
Lori…who is coming home from Japan for my wedding, and who I get to visit in Japan this spring
New Year’s Eve…my future anniversary date!
Old car…that after 10 years, still gets me from point A to point B (knocking on wood now)
Pets…my dog-child Scarlett who has a been a great friend for the past 8 years
Quarterbacks…yay Kerry Collins!
Republicans…who have a majority in both houses of the TN General Assembly
Soldiers…who will not be eating Thanksgiving dinner with their families
TV…especially reality TV
Vacations…next up San Juan Puerto Rico!
XLIII…Superbowl 43…Go Titans!
Yellow blanket…that I’ve slept with for the past 29 years
Zac Efron…HA! JUST KIDDING. I know nothing about that kid. I just hear his name and need a Z to wrap this up! OK, how about zebras!
Side note…I just got these delivered to my house. Josh and I celebrate our anniversary each month on the date we first started dating officially. I’m sure it will transition to yearly once we get married but I enjoy celebrating monthly for now!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Slide Shows

There are two different songs on each one so you have to pause one when you watch the other.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

Josh and I finally got away to Granby, CO this weekend. The ski slopes aren't open yet but we just wanted to get away. Thursday night we ate at a great restaurant in Denver with some of Josh's old colleagues. Then we headed up the mountain on Friday. It started snowing pretty hard as we drove up the mountain and got a little scary there for a while!

Saturday we decided we needed some rest and relaxation and went to Hot Sulphur Springs Resort and Spa for massages and to soak in the natural springs. They had 24 natural pools ranging from 85 degrees to 112 degrees. The smell wasn't so great and was sometimes a bit cold getting out of the warm water into 32 degree temperatures! But it was a cool experience and we had lots of fun.

Saturday night we ate dinner at another one of Josh's friends house that lives just right up the road in Fraser, CO. Then we went to Rocky Mountain National Park for a bit on Sunday before heading back to Tennessee.

We had the best weekend and I'm already planning when we can go back next! Now I just need to learn how to ski!

First Engagement Pics

Thanks to Josh's friend Ben De Rienzo for these great shots! I don't know how I'm going to pick which ones to order!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesdays with Mory...Kate

Yesterday Josh and I had our first engagement pictures made. We took them out at Gentry's Farm in Franklin. I can't wait to get them back! We are also going to do some in and around downtown Franklin. We leave tomorrow for Colorado where the high on the day we arrive is 31 degrees, low is 14 degrees and snow showers! So since there will be snow on the ground, I thought it would be a great place to take some more engagement pictures. I have no idea what to wear though! I want to look cute but it is going to be FREEZING! But I think if we can endure the cold, we'll have some great pics of a winter wonderland!

After our pictures yesterday we ran up to Sperry's to meet Josh's parent for dinner. A good friend of ours came in and was celebrating a birthday so we ended up staying later than we thought but had a great time.

Happy Birthday Kathy!

Ali and MK

Now off to pack!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

“Dad, What Did You Do in the War?”

On this Veteran's Day, I'd like to thank my brother-in-law for his service to our Country. Here is an article he wrote for National Review Online. I think it's a neat story.

Why I joined.

By David French
I woke up early one morning in the fall of my 36th year and traveled to Fort Dix, New Jersey, to take an Army physical. I felt faintly ridiculous, standing there in my briefs next to a bunch of high-school guys who looked like they just left a casting call for Friday Night Lights. They called me “sir” and talked about combat and death while I duck-walked past a stern-eyed doctor, took a drug test with absolutely no privacy, and strained to read the last line of the eye chart. Against all odds, my middle-aged body passed the tests, and a few months later I found myself standing under a blazing hot sun while a drill instructor mocked my inability to execute a simple “about face.”

Why would a 36-year-old lawyer with a beautiful wife and two young kids decide to join the United States Army Reserve? It’s no surprise that the answer starts with 9/11, but it doesn’t end there. Like millions of Americans, I can remember sitting in the safety of my office — watching in disbelief as the towers fell — and thinking, I wish I could do something. But I didn’t join then. Less than two years later, I had similar thoughts. My wife and I were returning from a steak dinner at Morton’s as we listened to radio accounts of a fierce battle against the Republican Guard on the outskirts of Baghdad. I was struck by the strangeness of the moment: I had just finished a delicious filet while my fellow citizens were fighting for their lives against the shock troops of a genocidal regime. Again, I thought, I wish I could do something. But I didn’t join then, either.
As the war dragged on, I thought less about what I could do and worried more about national issues. By 2005 (and the fourth anniversary of 9/11), my family and I were in Philadelphia, I was president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and I was living in the world of ideas. My days were full of media calls, speeches, panel discussions, and fundraising presentations. Everywhere I went (especially on campus), the war in Iraq was the hot topic. Casualties mounted and our unity faded into a quaint memory of 9/11 telethons and Congressional singalongs. Whenever someone asked me my opinion, I always said the same thing: “This is a test of our national character. Do we have the courage to engage in a long war against an enemy that seeks not just to kill us but to undermine our will to fight?”
And then last summer I read about the Army’s recruiting shortfalls and thought to myself, we’re failing the test. But as soon as those words crossed my mind, I felt convicted. We are not failing the test. I am failing the test. National will is a reflection of millions of individual choices, and the choice I had made to this point was to simply stand aside and lament others’ decisions. But that was no longer enough. And so then, finally, I joined.My life changed. I resigned from FIRE — where it was hardly fair to a small and vital organization to have its president subject to lengthy overseas deployment — and joined the Alliance Defense Fund — which is remarkably supportive of employees called to serve. In late May, I left for a month of training at Fort Lee to begin my Army Reserve career.
As a soldier, I have a long way to go. While I passed the Army Physical Fitness Test with flying colors (well, an above-average score), the highlights of my young Army career include an embarrassing fall from one of the obstacles in the so-called “confidence course,” a low crawl through a patch of poison ivy that led to a quick trip to an urgent care clinic, and a truly terrible performance on the M16 qualifying range. But I am improving — or at least I improved enough for the Army to send me on to my home unit for further training.On the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I am spending my spare time completing the second (written) phase of my officer basic course as rumors circulate that my unit may be mobilized next fall. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know two things. First, there is no feeling in the world that compares to the first time you salute the flag when wearing the uniform of your country.And second, I now know the answer to a question I think my children may ask one day: “Dad, what did you do in the war?” I don’t know that I’ll have any tales worth telling, and I certainly know that my own service will be a pale shadow compared to the tremendous courage shown by so many, but I can say one thing.
I volunteered to serve.

— David French is a First Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve, a senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, and a contributor to NRO’s “Phi Beta Cons” blog.

On a lighter note, here is part of an email he wrote while in Iraq. As a lover of all celebrity magazines, I thought this was great! :) David is on the left.

From David French:

My picture in a celebrity magazine. Sabre Troopers live with guys — all guys — all the time. 2d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, is a classic combat arms unit, and — as I’ve said in other editions of GBU — combat arms means all male. Consequently, the guys are starved for any glimpse of a woman. (It is hilarious to watch when a female interpreter or female Soldier does visit our FOB. As the women through the dining facility, you watch guys’ heads pop up from their meals like prairie dogs popping up across the plain). In our area, you rarely even see Iraqi women, and when you do the are hidden behind dark veils. Even if they weren’t, we’re under strict orders not to make eye contact with, smile at, or talk to an Iraqi woman. Such an act of “dishonor” can actually cause violence.
Nowhere is the deprivation more complete than at our COPs. Stuck in the middle of the desert, far from television, videoconferencing with girlfriends or wives, or even from the books and magazines that circulate the FOB, Troopers are left with little to nothing to see or do. So it’s no surprise that when one Trooper’s mother sent him a stack of “OK!” celebrity magazines, they were immediately snatched up, fought over, read, and reread. Features like “Who wore it best?” or “Stars! Just like us!” sparked vicious debates about the relative hotness of Jessica Alba, Paris Hilton, or Jessica Biel.
Two weeks ago, I visited “COP OK!” (really COP Imam Mansour) where the headquarters hut was full of well-read and dog-eared copies of the celebrity fanzine. A friend was flipping through Jamie Lynn Spears’ “adorable” baby pictures when he sat bolt upright.“Dude, we have to do this!”“Do what?”“Check it out.” He put the magazine in my face and pointed to a picture of one of a guy in a hammock reading OK. Underneath the caption identifying him was an invitation to “submit a picture of you reading OK.” My friend was psyched. “If they print that doofus in a hammock, they’ll definitely print a picture of troops in the field.”“I’m in.”We grabbed the Commander of Lion Battery (our field artillery battery), took three magazines, walked out to an armored personnel carrier and took the attached picture. My friend sent it to OK the moment we got back to the FOB with the following message:Dear Picture This...Attached are pictures of CPT Dave French, CPT John Romito, and myself, CPTJon Norquist....some of the most battle-hardened patriots this country hasto offer.
In the picture we are taking a much needed break from constantly pursuing the enemy in support of a major offensive operation against AlQaeda in Diyala Province, Iraq. It was nice to finally wash the blood offour hands and catch up on the latest celebrity child-bearing woes and get a glimpse of the red carpet glamour. Thanks for keeping us in the know! Perfect. Just perfect.
Within 24 hours came the reply from OK: “Thank You! I’m going to put this in issue 36 of picture this! :) OK! mag is happy we can provide you with entertainment and appreciate everything our troops do for the USA!”
And there you have it. My mug is going to share the same page space with the most beautiful people in America (heck, the mot beautiful people in the WORLD). So check out newstands near you.
Now that’s what I call supporting the troops!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bride Down Main Street!

The Hostess-es with the Most-est!
Bride Down Main Street Group Pic

This weekend four of my bridesmaids threw a shower for me in Franklin. It was also the same night as Wine Down Main Street so we decided to turn it into our own "Bride Down Main Street". I had A BLAST and really appreciate everyone who shared this special night with me!
MK and Sara
Misty, MK and Ann Loraine
Olivia, MK and Sara
We took the Franklin Trolley to Main Street
Melissa and MKLacey, MK and LeighSuch a fun night!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


"The government who robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."

I love how the Obamas donated less than 1% of their 2000-2004 income to charity...yet call those who do not want to pay more in taxes "selfish". Those "selfish" Republicans historically give more money to charities than Democrats. Pretty ironic if you ask me.

On the eve of the 2008 elections, I think we all need to say a prayer for our country. But no matter the results tomorrow night (or next month when all the lawsuits are settled!), I know that God is ultimately the One in control - and that does ease my fears of an Obama Presidency a bit.

Here, Barack Obama feeds a crowd of 5,000 with 2 taxpayers.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Family Weekend

My nephew was a pirate...I stole his hair for this shot.
Friday night was our annual Boo Bash at my sister's house. It's always so much fun to see all the kiddos dressed up. Julie Adcox and I go every year because we are great aunts :) and this year since we are both engaged, Josh and Chris came for the first time!

My sister and Caroline...and Julie's Chris in the background!
Saturday night was my brother in law David's Welcome Home Party! My sister Nancy had the event at Rippavilla in Spring Hill. Tons of friends and family flew in for the occasion and it was a great night. WELCOME BACK DAVID! Josh's parents also attended and met my whole fam for the first time.

My bro-in-law David

His wife/my sister Nancy


Bro-in-law Scott and sister Amy

So it has been a wonderful but jammed packed weekend!