29 January 2011

Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice is a new book I simply cannot put down. It is published anonymously and the note from the editors tucked just behind the title page is what initially caught my eye. It reads:

Go Ask Alice is based on the actual diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user.

It is not a definitive statement on the middle-class, teenage drug world. It does not offer any solutions.

It is, however, a highly personal and specific chronicle. As such, we hope it will provide insights into the increasingly complicated world in which we live.

Names, dates, places and certain events have been changed in accordance with the wishes of those concerned.

I'm hooked. I have been for 100 pages and will probably finish it tonight.

I think it should be required reading for high schoolers. It's that good... and that bad... and totally true.

28 January 2011


Today Evan is 19! What a mile stone.

Evan's been living with us since September and we're pretty glad he was born! We hope he feels loved and celebrated this and every day!

10 Things you should know about E:

1. Evan is really funny and has a great sense of humor, laugh, and smile.

2. Evan loves to game--he and Grant and Stahler have logged in many hours playing a game I cannot for the life of me remember the name of, but it involves strategy and killing people... so you're guess is as good as mine ;)

3. Evan has a special place in his heart for Georgia girl (which in turn, has a special place in mine).

4. Evan has a ridiculously amazing work ethic. Wow.

5. Evan loves Jesus.

6. Evan understands that family is who you choose to let into your heart, and that family comes in many shapes and sizes. Family is awesome and we've created family in our little 3-bed room apartment.

7. Evan has a really fun girl friend, Gretchen, and we've adopted her, too... and her whole family... They're pretty great ;)

8. Evan is a history buff who probably knows more about American History than... well any one I've met. And he's knocking his history grades outta the park!

9. Evan likes to read. a lot. I like this about him. a lot.

10. Evan's got a good head on his shoulders and, though it's a marathon not a sprint toward self-discovery for all of us, I think he will really know himself and allow himself to be fully known--which is the best one can hope for in this life, I think.

Evan's great and we're happy to have him with us for this season of life. Through the ups and downs of two young {and stupid} 20-somethings trying to figure out how to "do" this thing called life with another, he makes us better. That's awesome. We're thankful.


26 January 2011

Next Gen is MOVING!!

New Address:
11380 Southbridge Pkwy
Suite 220
Alpharetta, GA 30022

New Work Phone #:
770. 674. 8131

24 January 2011

my honey wrote me a love note today

he left it on my car for me to find.
my heart is full.
that's all.

21 January 2011

Meet Patti

{Pat speaking at church}

{Pat singing and Larry dancing}

{Pat and Larry}

{Pat with grandbaby Charlotte}

10 Things I love about Pat--

10. She's beautiful! Are you kidding me? Her good looks are matched only by her sincere heart. She gives generously of all that she has--time, money, awesome cooking ability, wisdom... you name it. She's got it and she's sharing it.

9. She loves Jesus. A Lot.

8. She loves her kids and family--there's such strength in lovely something dear so deeply.

7. She gives great advice.

6. She's my spiritual mama here in the city.

5. She loves prayer. She gets this: "not by might or strength but by the power of the Spirit" [Zechariah 4:6]

4. She knows scripture, and--get this--she really believes it.

3. She is somehow the wonderful combination of a meek and mild precious spirit mixed with a boldness and confidence in Christ, with 2 parts Baltimore and 2 parts Atlanta.

2. She makes me laugh. [and on occasion, cry, but the good kind of tears].

1. She gives really great hugs--the kind that wrap you up and make you forget where you are for a minute. And she never lets go first.

I love her very much.

19 January 2011


I'm trying this new workout and it's making me soooooo sore... I don't like being sore... for days... but I do kinda like the new routine, so I think I'll keep it up.

My friend recommended a book that I've been meaning to read Water for Elephants (not to be confused with Like Water for Chocolate ;) I've only read a few of the first pages, but it seems awesome.

Any good books you're reading?

Have you read Water for Elephants?

What's next on your list?

16 January 2011


Today G and I headed to Athens for the day just to remember and enjoy one of our favorite cities together again. It did not disappoint. We headed straight into town, and after the requisite drive through of Pineview and then the KD House, we made a bee-line for Amici's (my very favorite little Italian place) in the heart of downtown. We had mozzarella sticks and tortellini (amazing) and were joined by the lovely Maggie H before exploring more of our old haunts. We strolled across the street and checked out the deals in Masada (few and far between, if I do say so myself). We browsed looking for water-proof gear for our upcoming trip, but found their collection of (affordable) options lacking. So we made our way to the Grille for a milk shake before we and Maggs parted ways at the Arch. {Always a pleasure to spend time with you, presh.}

Grant and I walked under the Arch and made our way across North Campus, taking a few pics along the way. I just love Herty Field (the fountain was iced over, but my foot still throbbed a little anyway due to the close proximity and long memory of freshman year). It was peaceful and campus was all but deserted with the lingering ice and snow and Monday off for holiday. We visited my beloved Park Hall and snapped a few in front of Terry before meandering through the SLC (now the ZMLC: Zell B. Miller Learning Center... whatev... SLC forever) and Tate 2--crossing the road to view a snow-covered Sanford Stadium (still glorious). As we walked back to North Campus and our car, we reminisced about college, school, and what it was like during our time at UGA together and before we'd met. It was perfect.

We drove past St. James UMC and Drew and Nat's first house--now the youth building--where we all hung out so much (too much, probably) during their first year of marriage. We stopped by Kinnucan's where there was a much larger selection of affordable gear, but nothing that worked for us. We did find a new Eno hanging seat that was amazingly comfortable... maybe we'll get that later. Anyway, after driving by all our favorite places--and gawking at the changes (how could life possibly go on without us in Athens??)--we joined Benji and his gf Kristen and Wart (aka Josh) for dinner at Senor Sol. It's so fun to be in on the hip new restaurants again in Athens when you have fun young friends still living there. The food was delish and quite authentic.

We headed back and had a playlist ready when we hit 316--all the songs that reminded us of life in Athens. It was a truly perfect day, remembering a pretty fantastic season of life. Every time we go back we wonder what it would be like to live in Athens again... who knows. But visiting is very fulfilling (for now, anyway ;)

15 January 2011

13 January 2011

The Promise of Circumcision

Strangle title, huh? I wasn't reading about circumcision, actually, I was reading about our hearts. Strange how God pairs these two things together, but He does so in both the Old and New Testaments.

Biblical Context
The context is important because the promise is after a list of blessings (and what happens if you try to take advantage them, but defile God in your heart). Note: promises and blessings are biblically two different things... but that's for another day ;)

Deuteronomy 30:6
"The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live."

According to Easton's 1897 Biblical Dictionary:
"covenant" is: a contract or agreement between two parties. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word berith is always thus translated. Berith is derived from a root which means "to cut," and hence a covenant is a "cutting."

The symbolic separation of His people the Israelites from the rest, setting them aside, making a covenant with them bound in blood that required a transaction and a cutting, is physically manifested in this "cutting" or circumcision of the body. Then all who saw them would know that they had changed something in a rather substantial way as a sign of a much deeper covenant bond.

New Testament References
Romans 2:29b:
"...And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God's Spirit..." Along with 1 Corinthians 7 and Romans 4.

Other Old Testament References
Genesis 17:10, Deut 10:17, Josh 5:2-8 among many others.

What does this have to do with me?
We (Gentiles) are included in this promise for two reasons:
1-We are Abraham's children
Romans 4:11b, 16b "....So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith....Abraham is the father of all who believe."
2-Abraham's promise is our promise, honored by God
Galatians 3:29 "And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God's promise to Abraham belongs to you."

The point is--returning back to the original verse, Deut 30:6--we have this image of cutting off the extra, removing what is not necessary, preparing to make something clean--even if pain is initially involved. It will hurt. But it will heal. We cannot do this ourselves. But God promises that He will do it for us. And in doing so, we will be more able to obey, serve, and most importantly love with both our spiritual and emotional beings. And the ultimate promise that gives us most hope: we may truly live. It's not a means to an end, nor is it the end in and of itself. We will reap the benefits of the process--letting God teach us, prune us, mold us into loving with our whole heart and whole soul--but in the end, we will experience LIFE. That's what it's all about and why He came: "I have come that they might have LIFE and life abundantly!" (John 10:10b).

As we enter this new year, I'm counting on that promise: that God will circumcise my heart (even if it hurts) so that I will love Him with wild abandon and so that I will truly live. Amen!

12 January 2011


I was really dreading coming in today because I was afraid it would disturb the immensely wonderful daydream-like quality of having snow everywhere and might put a damper on enjoying the snow. It's been quite the opposite! Coming in, braving the roads, falling into the work routine (breakfast, coffee, email, music, spreadsheets) has actually been really therapeutic--what is happening to me?? I love being alone. I love being in our apartment. I love staying in, cuddling up with blankets, watching movies and napping the day away. But it has been a nice change of pace to get dressed, come in, and have a bit of space of my own. A little solitude away from the solitude of home (if that makes sense). And using my brain again (other than in board games, books, and sudoku).

This snow has also brought with it some perspective. People seem to bond together in the midst of a (weather) "crisis". There must be some connection we can make between the camaraderie and unwarranted neighborly love that we've all experienced over the past few days. Is it that sometimes God allows (or even brings about) hard or difficult circumstances so that we can reach out (outside of ourselves and our often self-centered world) to human connection? Could it be that God notices the friendships (albeit some short-lived) and finds solace in the fellowship that can happen when His kids gather together--whatever the reason--and He thinks, this is good. I wonder...

We've met more people, helped more neighbors, walked through more doors, spent more time outside, and have interacted warmly more with strangers over the snowpocalypse than we have since we moved in... A bit of perspective while at work and play in the snow. I am so grateful that God provides us every opportunity to see more of Him in every circumstance here on earth.

11 January 2011


So... it's 1.1.11, which is fun in and of itself! but we have also enjoyed two days of SNOW and non-work this week, which is awesome! So far: 2011 rocks.

We spent the first snow day sleeping in and playing in the snow with Frank and Cara and two new apartment friends, Drew and Lauren. Then we ate, then we napped--serious nappage... like, college style. It was amazing and much needed. Then watched movies and caught up on good books and quality time. Evan's friend Ryan got stranded and spent the night with us, which was like a huge slumber party. Very fun. And of course, we watched the national championship with all of the above at Drew and Lauren's. I will not talk about that here, except to mention that Alabama has 13. Moving on.

Today we slept even later (11am, I love you), walked to North River Tavern--which we were delighted to discover has huge wings and overall amazing food. Totally going back. We left so full of food and fellowship (and interaction with civilization after 24 hours of cabin fever) we felt almost tipsy and braved the elements again for the trek home. We have LOVED netflix all afternoon and after pizza for dinner, will probably watch a movie and go to bed early. My goodness, 2011 is off to an excellent start!

04 January 2011

UK in May

So...!! We're headed to Ireland, Scotland, and England in May! It's official. We bought our tickets yesterday: May 18-30. My cousin Alice will be studying abroad in Limerick, Ireland starting... well, any day now! and so her parents, my parents, Stahler, me and Grant will be joining her for a few days before Grant and I strike out on our own. We've found a couple day-trips in Scotland and hope to see Glasgow, Loch Ness, Glencoe, Inverness, Stirling, and the Highlands. Grant wants to see St. Andrews Old Course and if we can make it to Edinboro even better! In England we hope to see friends in London and Oxford and take a day trip to Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge. We're pretty excited! We got a bunch of travel books for Christmas, so we spend nights pouring over the pictures and maps figuring out what we want to do--pretty crazy nights, huh? We enjoy it. Anyway, I'll keep you posted as we plan the trip!

01 January 2011


Happy New Year!

I don't know why this year feels any different from any previous year, but it does--somehow new and fresh and with more hope or promise than usual. Perhaps I'm just paying attention, or I'm just hyper-aware of the passing of time... who knows. But 2011 is going to be exceptionally great. I just know it.

A quick recap of 2010

Alabama won the National Championship. RTR.

We had a very nice Valentine's Day and enjoyed some snow! Our friends the Taylors welcomed twins on 2/2/2010!! And Mary Catherine and Syman welcomed Laney, as well! All 3 precious and perfect.

Stahler turned 20 and we made several trips down to t-town to hangout and play.

Easter came early and we celebrated on Mama's birthday 4/4/10 and we unexpectedly resigned our lease to remain in Atlanta for another year--a hard but good decision. Spend some quality time with Drew and Allison before their move.

My quarter-life crisis passed wonderfully at the lake with friends! Perfection. We spent our 2nd anniversary with Zach and Steph in Clarkesville. Awesome. I got a new job and things started looking up. We began to think about buying a house and planning our trip to Italy with the Nalleys. Took a quick family beach trip with the Heaths.

Family beach trip with the Duggars to Hilton Head. My parents celebrated 33 years of marriage! Grant's boss got transferred back to Chicago--we miss them dearly!--and Grant took on much more responsibility at work. We started going to Grace Midtown and love it.

We spent the fourth of July at the lake with fam and bemoaned our day-jobs, and wished longingly for college days when we had entire months to spend lounging pool-side, lake-side, or beach-side.

We both had crazy-busy months at work and Frank and Cara got married and moved into our apt complex!! What fun!

We enjoyed 10 wonderful days in Italy--Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Venice. Unforgettably romantic and perfectly memorable. Couldn't have enjoyed it more. What an experience. We met and welcomed Evan into our home--quite an adventure, too. Maggie got accepted into her study abroad at UGA!! And Kimsey's welcomed twins Miller and Charlie into the world--too cute. [This is the year of twins. We know 6 friends who've had twins this year!]

The Bossman at work treated NGM to free tickets to Catalyst. We got to hear 10 of the most influential speakers in the Church in America. Absolutely incredible. I think that Francis Chan's, Beth Moore's, and Craig Groschelle's talks literally changed things forever and will be referenced in the future as a turning point in 2010. Amazing. Alice got accepted to her study abroad in Limerick, Ireland and we began to plan a trip in May 2011!

Grant had a birthday around which the entire family rallied and bought him his first shotgun--awesome--and we spent Thanksgiving with Evan in Augusta. Much family time. Much fun.

Grant and I are unbelievably thankful as we look back over the past year. What an amazing journey it has been. We spent Christmas with Evan in Huntsville, where we got to see Mary Catherine and Syman before heading off to the lake. We got sick [yuck!], went to the doctor, but it didn't dampen our spirits as we played games and hungout at the lake with MA and fam. We ended up staying in Hsv for New Years and are still here watching football, eating pizza and wings, and slowly recouping.

What a year it has been and what a promising year we have before us! Looking forward to many new beginnings, new trips, new adventures, and seeing new pieces of the globe. I pray that God's glory is revealed more and more and more! 2011, here we come!