Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm heading home to Indiana to spend the holiday with our families. I can't wait to visit with everybody, get dirty in the kitchen, overflow the yams with marshmallows, eat until I can't do anything but nap, capture it all in photograph, and especially give thanks for each of God's blessings. I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Count Your Many Blessings

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I am reminded to count my blessings. And, oh do I have many! God has blessed me so richly. He has redeemed my soul through the blood of His son. Every other blessing is just icing on a cake that I didn't deserve in the first place. Here's a nonexhaustive list of things I am thankful for this year, in no particular order:
  1. Brad, my amazing husband
  2. My loving family - immediate, extended, and in-law
  3. Tusculum church of Christ
  4. The avenue of Prayer
  5. Chester, my dog
  6. Each of my relationships
  7. Our apartment
  8. Two reliable vehicles
  9. Warm coats, gloves, and scarves in this cold weather
  10. My great job with wonderful people
  11. My health
  12. My Life Group
  13. Encouragement and Support
  14. My cell phone
  15. Enough money to purchase the things we need, and even some things we want
  16. The abilities to walk, see, hear, talk, read, and think normally
  17. Forgiveness
  18. Good examples
  19. God finding ways to speak to me through friends, books, songs, conversations, nature, etc.
  20. Changing seasons
  21. My digital camera
  22. Rest
  23. Trials in my past that have prepared me for the future and helped me to become the woman I am today, and current trials that will continue to strengthen my Walk in Christ
  24. This free nation
  25. Hugs and kisses
  26. Computers
  27. Abundant clean and running water
  28. My college degree
  29. Grace and Mercy,
  30. Rain... and Snow
  31. Lunch dates
  32. A closet full of clothes to choose from each morning, even if they aren't the latest trends or styles I'd prefer
  33. Memories
  34. Honesty
  35. God's Word

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.

Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Brad's Staying Warm

For Brad's job with EdwardJones, he spends quite a bit of time walking around outside. Well, the weather has gotten cold enough that his undershirt / dress shirt / suit coat combination isn't quite keeping him warm anymore. He already owns a nice charcoal gray pea coat, but it doesn't hang lower than his suit coats, so he wasn't wearing it since it doesn't look very professional. Well, needless to say, he wasn't making the greatest first impression while shivering on the front porch of a prospective client. We decided that if he intends to survive the winter, he needs to get a nice, professional, long coat. I think he looks quite handsome in it, don't you? Thank you, Burlington Coat Factory.


We delayed turning on our heat as long as we could in order to save some energy (costs). It was fairly simple, considering we are hardly ever in our apartment. Besides, we have plenty of blankets and I love any good excuse to snuggle up next to my husband. We made it all the way through October and half way through November. However, yesterday crossed the cold line for me. When I woke up, Chester was shivering and cuddling up in a tight ball as close to us as he could get to stay warm. It was in the teens outside and seriously in the 50's inside of our apartment! That was it. My survival instinct outweighed my frugal nature, and the heater was turned on - to 63 degrees. Warm enough to keep the icesicles off of my nose, but cool enough to keep the cost down. Afterall, we do have plenty of blankets, and I'm still looking for any reason to snuggle with Brad. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Letter From Gena

The following is an update from Gena that she emailed to our ladies' prayer chain online:

Dear Sisters,

Thank you so very much for all of the cards, calls, visits, food, money, time, etc that you have given to Adam and I at this difficult time. We have truly seen the love of God in all that you have done for us. We could not make it without you. We consider all of you to be our family and we are so thankful for you.

This afternoon, we went to see the neuro-oncologist at Vanderbilt and got a very good report. Adam had a dysembroplastic neuroepilthelial tumor, grade 1. It is the best kind of tumor that you can have. It is cancer simply by definition. Cancer in the brain is different than tumors in other parts of the body, for they do not mastisize and spread to other areas. His tumor was unusual because it usually occurs in children. Because it is such a slow growing type of tumor they believe that it has been there for years. Neither Dr. Weaver (the surgeon) nor Dr. Moots (the oncologist) think that the symptoms that he was having had anything to do with the tumor. Therefore we are lead to believe that our Almighty God preformed a miracle through our eye doctor on October 17th. The only treatment for this type of tumor is regular MRIs to make sure that it is not growing. If a scan does show that it is growing (over the years), then he will have to have another operation or possibly radiation.

We are so thankful for all of your prayer and support. God is healing Adam. We praise God through whom all blessings flow! We love you all.

With love,
* * * Hallelujah! * * *

Monday, November 17, 2008

No Shower Saturday

This past weekend, I was privileged enough to celebrate a No Shower Saturday. These occasions are characterized by having no obligations or commitments outside of the home, allowing me to spend the entire day in my PJ's without making myself up. They are few and far between, and I thoroughly enjoy them each time they sneak into my busy schedule.

I began my observance this week by sleeping in until 2:15 PM. Yeah, you heard me right, 2:15 in the afternoon. Aahhhh... So nice... As a general rule, Brad and I get negative amounts of sleep throughout the week. Back in the day, this was not a problem, because we could make up the hours through frequent naps. However, this new grown-up life is demanding more and more of our time to be spent awake. Without periodic Saturdays to refill our sleep tanks, I don't know how we'd function. Unfortunately, Brad was not able to join me in this recent celebration. He had meetings, events, and job obligations that filled most of his morning. Thankfully, he got home right as I was waking up at 2:30, with no further demands for the day.

We gladly spent the afternoon and evening lazing around. Brad took advantage of the free time by playing video games (a rare commodity nowadays), while I caught up on the house. I even washed our bed sheets! Brad lovingly pulled out our holiday storage and indulged me while I proceeded to make our clean apartment a little more festive! As of now, everything is out but the Christmas Tree, which is appropriately waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to be put up.

We concluded our wonderful holiday by having Erin and Aaron over (along with their precious new baby Cock-a-Poo, Newton) to watch some "30 Rock" and eat left over birthday cake. Yes, it's nice to have friends good enough to come visit even while celebrating a No Shower Saturday, and trusting that they won't call you dirty, greasy, or crusty. We are truly blessed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Brendan James Concert

Recently, thanks to my Pandora Radio playing in the background while I'm at work, Brad and I have discovered some new musical artists and bands that we really like. Brad ordered some songs of off iTunes of one of my favorites, Brett Dennen. Through iTunes, he searched for other artists with a similar sound. Turns out, that "sound" we like is considered Folk music. Who knew? Brad surprised me with an entire CD of various artists that fit into the folk genre, along with my already liked Brett Dennen. I would have never considered myself a folk fan, but it turns out, I pretty much love all the music he compiled for the CD. Since all of the music was new, and none of the artists were familiar, and they all had a similar sound, Brad and I didn't know which song on the CD went with which singer. However, we did know that one of the artists somewhere on the CD was named Brendan James.

Brad saw that Brendan was going to be in Nashville playing at the local corner bar, 3rd and Lindsley. Even though we weren't sure which particular songs he sang, we did know that he was on our new favorite mixed CD, and we bought the inexpensive tickets to his small show. The concert was last night. And it was awesome. When we got there, Sparky's Flaw (what a name) was already opening for him. However, we didn't know what Brendan James looked like, or even really what he sounded like, and we were loving what we were hearing, so we just assumed that this was him. We were a little surprised a few songs in, when they made a comment about being pleased to open for Brendan.

Twenty minutes later, Sparky's Flaw left the stage and Brendan James took over. Apparently, Brendan James is a whole band, and Brendan is just the lead singer. I mean, seriously, Brad and I had no idea what to expect. It's kind of funny to think about it now. But, anyway, the point of my story is to tell you how great of a time we had at his concert last night. We loved every song that he sang. His voice is incredible, his songs are pretty deep, and his piano playing skills are remarkable. You really should check him out. He's actually on an MTV SoundTracker Tour, right now. So, there's a chance you may be able to see him live! I know that we thought it was definitely worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Praise God!

Adam came home yesterday! Yahoo!! He even came to church last night! He said he has missed over a week's worth of church, and there was no way that he was going to skip out again when he had the opportunity to go. Gena's parents came back into town yesterday, too, and brought Davis and Abby back along with them. They were so glad to see their daddy again. We were all glad to see him up and walking around. He's getting better and better each day. It's a slow process, but the Lord is holding his hand all along the way, and he is gradually regaining his strength. God deserves all the praise and glory!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Okay, so I apparently couldn't hold out very long at all. Everywhere I look, Christmas is staring me in the face! I had every intention of grasping onto Fall and Thanksgiving as long as I could, but I just can't resist the Christmas temptation anymore! I'm ready to embrace it and let all of my Holiday Spirit flow from my veins! I'm cracking out the Christmas music and all the decorations. Let's get this Christmas show on the road!

Besides, if I change the blog around now, that will leave me plenty of time to squeeze a couple different Christmas templates in before the holiday season is over! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

I can't easily talk about Veterans Day without getting tears in my eyes. I am just so incredibly thankful to each person who has ever served our great country. I'm overwhelmed with pride in my own family. Dad, TJ, Grandpa - thank you. Thank you for your courage, bravery, commitment, strength, integrity, devotion, and sacrificial love. I understand that Freedom is Never Free, and I know that this country could not possibly be the free nation that it is today without the dedication of military men and women like you. You truly deserve honor. And I, along with the rest of the nation, honor you today.

Thank you to all our veterans and men and women who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. You are continually in my prayers.

Brad's Birthday Celebration

Well, we weren't able to squeeze a birthday cake for Brad into the busy weekend that his birthday actually fell on. So, I promised him that I'd bake him a cake this past weekend - his choice. He picked a spice cake with cream cheese icing. Not what I expected, but delicious none the less. I, of course, baked it to perfection and decorated it so creatively with some red sprinkles. What do ya think? Mmmm...

But what good is a birthday celebration or birthday cake, without great friends to share it with? So, we had the Howell's and Mitchell's over to give him a proper induction into the next quarter-century of his life. We had a great time visiting and watching a movie. Brad, however, fell asleep before the movie was even over. Turns out he really is getting old.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Visit with the Hesselrode's

Well, it's been a little over a week since Adam had his brain surgery, and he's doing extremely well considering the magnitude of such a procedure. He's currently staying at one Vanderbilt's rehab facilities undergoing both physical and speech therapy. He doesn't quite have the energy to maintain his usual joking manner, and he's having a hard time remembering names even though he can recall everything else about you. But, he has been able to preserve his positive and joyous attitude. He's thrilled when he gets visitors and spends a majority of his day singing praises to God and reading scriptures that they've printed and posted on the walls all around his room. Adam and Gena are two of the strongest people and Christians that I have ever met. With their faith and the support system that they have been blessed with, I have all confidence that the Lord will bring them through this difficult time. Please continue to keep Adam's recovery and Gena's coping with the situation in your prayers.

Christmas Time is Nearly Here

It's officially Christmas decorating time. Walmart says so. And we all know that they are the authority on such matters! When Brad and I stopped in to perform our monthly Walmart run, we noticed that they are even playing Christmas music already!! That pretty much provided all the permission I needed to roll out the Holiday Storage!

Now, don't get me wrong. I'll be sad to see the pumpkins go, and I'm in no hurry to bypass Thanksgiving without a second glance. But, I am so anxious to set up for the Christmas season. I'm ready for snowmen, Santas, red and green sparkly things, wrapped gifts, little village scenes, ornaments, stockings, Christmas movies, and around-the-clock Christmas music on Mix 92.9!

But Brad is right. I need to reel myself in a bit. Just because Walmart wants to boost their sales by marketing for Christmas the first week in November in hopes that they'll rope crazies like me into a buying frenzy, doesn't mean I should give in to the temptation. I love fall way too much to not savor every moment of it. And I respect the Thanksgiving holiday enough to give it the honor it deserves. With that in mind, I'll do everything I can to hold off the Christmas itch until after (or at least closer to) Thanksgiving. We'll see how long I can go before I give the blog a Christmas facelift!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sermon Series

We are very blessed at Tusculum to have an incredible pulpit minister. Steve is able to preach in a way that seems like he's having a conversation with you over a coffee table. He preaches on relevant topics, talks on even my level, and incorporates movies and other visuals into many of his sermons.

While many, if not most, of his sermons are awesome, the 4-part sermon series that he just concluded really reached me. He titled it [un]certainty and focused on the uncertainty of these times in contrast to the certainty we find in Christ. The first week he talked about the financial crisis hitting the nation as well as other uncertainties that many of us are facing right now. The following week, he talked about "the more god" and what determines our contentedness. Next, he talked about our gauge for success and the difference between "great-at-ness" and true "greatness." He wrapped up the series by discussing who is really in control and having faith in the One who holds the future. If you get the chance, download the podcasts and listen to them. Even though you won't be able to view the short videos that originally accompanied each sermon, I believe you'll still get a lot of out of lessons. Let's keep this nation's economic, political, and moral future in our prayers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election, 2008

I voted this morning. I got the sticker to prove it. Honestly, I'm not completely convicted towards either of the two major candidates, but the opportunity to vote still made my heart swell. I stood in line at 6:45 waiting for the doors to open with a variety of other citizens performing their "duty." I couldn't help but notice the number of black voters and women joining me, and a sense of pride overwhelmed me. We have the right to vote because of so many who have gone before us fighting for that freedom. I, a woman, freely voted for the next leader of our country with no problem. This privilege was earned by over 50 years of fighting for women's suffrage, and I refuse to take it for granted.

Matthew's Officially a Police Officer

Well, after 22 weeks of the Police Academy, Matthew (Brad's younger brother) is finally a genuine Nashville, Davidson Co., Metropolitan Police Officer. Can you believe it?? He's wanted to become a cop since he was little. He actually went after it, and achieved it! We are so proud of him for following his dreams, and even prouder of his determination. It was not easy to acquire this honor, and he truly deserves it. (He was 7th in his class of over 40!) Way to go, Matthew. Nashville is in good hands.

Brad's 25!

Yesterday was Brad's 25th birthday. He's a whole quarter of a century old! Sunday after church, the whole family went to the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Nashville to celebrate over lunch. He didn't want anything for his birthday, except for some nice business suits. (When you get old, you apparently get lame, too.) Here is a picture of him exhibiting one of his new wardrobe additions. If you can get around his "thug" pose, I do believe he looks quite handsome. That's my man! :)

Halloween 2008

This year, I was a doctor, and Brad was nasty. Yep, that's pretty much what he was. He was going for redneck/white trash. I believe he pulled it off perfectly. Right down to the foo-man-choo. He cut his shorts way too short, wore gross work boots, and topped it all off with the disgusting mullet wig. I honestly could not look at him without needing to control my gag reflexes. But don't worry, at least one of the Mehaffey's was respectable. I looked very authentic in my scrubs and lab coat with a stethoscope hanging around my neck. Hopefully our name won't be too smeared in the social network.

We went to a Halloween party at Alex and Leigha Moltz' house. They used this time to announce that they are pregnant. You have to see their costume. They're so creative! Congratulations Alex and Leigha!!
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