Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2006

Today is our 4th wedding anniversary. :) I've been in a nostalgic mood all weekend so I decided to take y'all on a little trip down memory lane with me this morning!

Brett and I were living in Niceville, Florida (right across the bay from Destin for those of you who only know Florida by its beautiful beaches!) and considering a move to Montgomery, Alabama. I know it doesn't make much sense, but we did it anyway. We had been engaged since July and were planning an October 2007 wedding. Certain family members (who will remain nameless) had been heckling us about our guest list (or lack thereof) and it felt like our wedding was getting out of control. Brett and I had joked about just driving down to the courthouse to get married by the magistrate and call our families and tell them after the fact! I really thought it was just an innocent joke!

Brett had a job interview in Montgomery on November 29 so we drove up to Montgomery early that morning. After his interview we decided to kill some time at the local Chevy dealership before heading home. As we were walking through the lot, we started talking about what would happen if he got the job in Montgomery. It was pretty much a given that I would move up to Montgomery with him, but I still felt weird about moving away together before we were married. I'm not sure how the conversation went from that to Brett calling the Montgomery County courthouse to find out what time they closed!

We were nowhere NEAR dressed for a wedding, had no wedding bands, no friends/family in town, NOTHING. Sure enough, we high-tailed it to downtown Montgomery and were married by the magistrate. My parents were excited about it, Brett's mom and step-father weren't. Thankfully, Brett's dad and step-mother were as excited as my parents were! In hindsight, I wish we had been a little more prepared. We were so spur-of-the-moment that we didn't even have a camera with us!

Brett, I love you 4x as much today as I did the day we got married. We've been through our fair share of storms, but we've always made it to sunnier days. I love you with all my heart. -J

Sunday, November 28, 2010


There are so many things that I am thankful for this year that I don't think I could begin to cover them all on here. This year has had plenty of storms, but we've weathered them better than I could have ever anticipated. We've truly been blessed.

I do want to take a minute and introduce you to an organization that I'm sure you've heard of, but that is near and (very dear!) to us. Compassion International is the organization that we've been able to sponsor our sweet Samuel through. Please take a few minutes to check them out (if you haven't already) and prayerfully consider sponsoring a child this holiday season. Your love (and letters!) will mean the world to a child out there. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Transforming Church in Rural America"

I was so excited when I saw this book on the Thomas Nelson website. This is a subject that is very dear to my heart and I hope to share a lot more about that in the near future!

Fear of change seems to be one of the largest stumbling blocks in small, rural churches and Shannon O'Dell tackles this subject with grace and blunt honesty. Small attendance, an ever-shrinking budget, and decades-long traditions are choking the life out of rural churches of ALL denominations. O'Dell offers fresh insight on how to overcome these obstacles and breathe new life into your church.

As someone from a church with a membership roll under 60, you better believe I will be recommending this book to everyone on our church board AND to everyone in our local ministries. Thumbs up, Mr. O'Dell!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beautiful Things

In February I signed up to review Sheila Walsh's new book, "Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God." I started reading it and then life caught up with me and it sat on my nightstand collecting dust. I'd much rather think that it wasn't the right time for me to read it than my priorities being skewed! When I picked it back up today, I realized just how much of an impact this book will make on someone.

Guilt. Anxiety. Depression. Mistrust. Every single one of us, at one point or another, has fought one of those demons. Sheila so openly shares her personal battle with each of these and does it in such a way that you feel like she's having a one-on-one sharing session with you. This book is a must read!

*This is a compensated review.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Where I've been lately

I haven't been blogging much lately and I have a really good reason. You see, I've been spending a lot of time with

and THIS (well, lots of them actually!)

I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend my time behind the lens of my camera with subjects like this! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vacation Pictures

Contrary to what the last few posts may lead you to believe, we did get to spend some time driving up the mountain and just plain relaxing! The weather couldn't have been any nicer and I hated not to spend as much time as I could outside. It was so nice not having to deal with 90% humidity.

It didn't take long before I had a chance to try out my new 55-200mm lens. I was clear across the porch when these guys flew up. I'm pretty pleased with how the pictures turned out!

We took a break Saturday night to drive up Sand Mountain and catch a glimpse at the start of all the beautiful Fall colors. I can't believe that so many of the trees are changing already. We were too busy looking to bother taking the camera out (we're not so bright all the time!) but Brett did take some nice shots driving through Henagar and down the mountain towards Scottsboro.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Art in the Park (Part 2)

I know Part 2 is late, but hopefully late is better than never!

Two of my favorite vendors had nothing to do with art! Fresh squeezed lemonade and funnel cakes. Enough said! We spent more money on lemonade than anything else. Seriously. :)

We couldn't have had nicer weather. I think the high was right around 80 with a light breeze all day. It was the perfect day to spend outside!

The highlight of the day? Easy. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Retired Art Teacher Tells All

I'm postponing Part 2 of our vacation pictures to proudly announce that Marlene's book, "A Retired Art Teacher Tells All", is now available from Barnes and Nobles and Amazon!

As a young art instructor, new on the block, Marlene Nall Johnt went looking for an instructive manual about successful art education techniques. To her dismay, she never found one. Now retired, Johnt realized what needed to be done: she needed to write just such a manual for the young teachers of today. A Retired Art Teacher Tells All is an educational guide and workbook with detailed tips for running a successful art classroom. It is a step-by-step lesson for teachers, with comprehensive instruction and thought-provoking questions intended for reader response. Within its pages, Johnt shares the logic behind time-tested teaching techniques with true-to-life stories from her own extensive career. Unlike most art instruction textbooks, which read like art autopsies, A Retired Art Teacher Tells All adds the human touch, dealing mainly with real students in real life scenarios. It is not a collection of lesson plans, but a collection of relational plans, aimed at guiding you to be the best art teacher you can be. -- Product Description

Mar -- I am SO proud of you! You've worked so hard for this and I couldn't be any happier for you. I am honored that you allowed me to be a part of this!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Art in the Park (Part 1)

Brett and I got home last night after a wonderful trip up to Scottsboro, Alabama to help my mother-in-law, Marlene, set up for the local art show. Art in the Park is a Scottsboro tradition and attracts vendors from all over the southeast.

Brett and Jim set the tent up Saturday afternoon so all we had to do Sunday morning was hang all the paintings up. We woke up at 6:00, were at the park working by 7:00 and still didn't finish before it started at 8:00! I think we all underestimated how long it would take!

Caldwell Park was full of interesting vendors. I only spent $22 so I was pretty proud of myself. If our car hadn't been packed so full I might have been tempted to get more, though!

Part 2 (and maybe even a Part 3!) coming soon!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Western Sky

This was the view out our back door last night as a storm was rolling in. The pictures don't do it justice at all.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Things have been pretty quiet around our house lately so I haven't had a lot of inspiring blog material! We're going on vacation late next week so I should at least have a bunch of new pictures to post when we come home.

My birthday was last Saturday and we had a low key celebration. Brett took me out to dinner at Samurai Friday night and we spent my actual birthday taking down and re-painting the shutters. You know you're getting old when you ask for a home improvement project as a birthday present! HA!

I got a new lens for my Nikon yesterday afternoon and I've been playing with it ever since. I snapped some super funny pictures of Reese on the porch this morning. I apologize in advance for the out-of-focus ones. I was laughing way too hard to hold the camera steady!

Needless to say, I don't think Reese will try to eat the leaves off my Gerber Daisies anymore!