Thursday, October 30, 2008

Outback America

We are slowly getting caught up! A few weekends ago was Outback. This is a weekend retreat held at Farmlinks (golf course close to us) that is designed around relationship-building. You attend with a partner (typically husband/wife, father/daughter, father/son, mother/daughter, or mother/son). Stephen and I had the great privilege to attend at husband/wife coaches, meaning we got to help lead a group of husband/wife couples through the weekend. Not really teaching, because that is all done by the speakers, but helping to facilitate their times together and be their guides through the weekend. We had a great time! We had 4 couples in our group and all of them had been married less than a year! Here were the lengths of the marriages: 6 months, 4 months, 2 months, and one engaged couple! Isn't that crazy! Stephen and I were the old married couple of our group :-) And how great that we had an engaged couple - what a fantastic investment in preparing for your marriage.

Here are a few pictures of the weekend. It is truly beautiful out there and a great place to reflect on the Lord.

Another reason this weekend was special to us is because this is the location Stephen proposed to me 2 years ago. It was up on the mountain-top at Outback, and we got to go back to the exact same spot where he proposed. It was our first time to go back since that time, so we made sure to stop for a moment to reflect and be thankful. And of course to take some pictures! These pictures look almost exactly like the ones we took right after Stephen proposed - minus the showing off of a shiny new ring. :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Again, we're trying to play catch-up here.  Jeff turned 50 on Sept 28th and we had a surprise party for him at our house!
We are so thankful that he is a regular part of our lives here in Sylacauga.  Jeff is a godly man who is quick to serve and to give a hug and a smile.  He is a blessing to all who know him and I always leave encouraged when spending time with him.

It was a blast throwing a surprise party for his birthday (much credit to Janet and Jayci for handling all the details and putting it together)!  Here are a few pics of us getting ready for the big event.  Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures during the actual party, but just take my word for it that it was a great one.

Jayci wrapped our presents for Jeff
Don't they look awesome!  I need her to give me lessons in bow-making!
Our fun musical card!

And of course, the cake!
Happy Birthday again Jeff.  We love you!!!  

It's been a big year for birthdays...lots of parents turning half a century old :-)  Just one more left...we'll be sure to do it big Dad!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Time Flies!

My how the time has flown.  I've thought many times that I really want to update this blog, but the reality is that I haven't had any time!  I have lots of events and pictures to share with you all and I'm going to do my best to cover a few of those over the next few days.

First of all, Stephen and I celebrated our 1 Year Anniversary on September 1st!  I can't believe how quickly our first year of marriage has gone by.  At the same time, I feel like we've been married for a long time because it feels so right and natural to be with Stephen.  We definitely belong together and it's hard to even imagine life any different than it is today.

For our anniversary, we had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants - The Melting Pot! Mmmmm, so good and fun!  It's a fondue restaurant and every course is served fondue style, meaning you skewer the food and actually cook it at the table.  Here's some pictures of the fun:

And the absolute best part...DESSERT!
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fondue anyone?
I can taste the goodness just by looking at that picture.

We also went to a movie and then drove out to the lake and spent some time talking about our favorite things from our first year of marriage and things we're looking forward to in year 2.  Here are a few of our favorites from yr 1: honeymoon in Maui, weekend getaways in San Diego and Pasadena, serving together in Jr High ministry at Grace Community Church, Saturday morning waffles, and moving to Sylacauga.  It was definitely an exciting year with lots of new adventures.  And greater than all those things, I'm thankful for the time we got to spend learning, serving, laughing, and living as husband and wife.  What an incredible blessing marriage is!