Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Snow Pics

I couldn't resist posting more snow pics. Zach took his camera out on Saturday after our biggest snow this year and took much better photos than I took the day before. They say we are going to have light flurries at times, then maybe an even bigger chance of snow this weekend and on into next week. In my opinion, most of the times they predict a considerable amount of snow, it either doesn't happen at all, or it's an insignificant amount. The weather last weekend was absolutely beautiful, so I wouldn't mind if it would stay that way. Although, I would be really happy to have one more big snow before Spring! Here's to hoping for more...

Our little family :)

Me & my sweet hubby

Me & Daisy girl...excuse my no makeup look :)

Daisy in her "fur" coat in the snow

Me & my girl, with snow on her nose

Sweet Cosmo in the snow

Friday, February 19, 2010


First of all, I am in no way bragging by posting about Lent, and I also don't want to push anything on anyone. I never really knew much about Lent growing up in only one Baptist church. I remember the first year we were at our new church, hearing more and more about Lent. Our Sunday School teacher mentioned it in some lessons our first Lenten season there, and it has always somewhat intrigued me since then. It is amazing to me how people stress over the decision of what to give up for Lent. No matter what the sacrifice, it is so small compared to what God sacrificed for us.

Our Sunday School teacher had always talked about how giving something up really makes you realize what is important in life. It prepares your heart and mind for the celebration of Easter. A girl that attended our women's retreat in January told us about how her church group would always join together and give up the same thing for Lent. She said that last year, they fasted completely for one week, and the outcome was amazing. How awesome would it be to become spiritually stronger from an experience like this? I didn't participate last year, but want to this year. Just a simple act of giving up a virtually meaningless thing for 40 days can make a difference.

I have been looking into the subject online, and found one website with a lot of info: One thing that stood out for me was this:

Jesus is not looking for self-torture, self-hatred, woe-is-me thinking, 40-day starvation and oceans of tears...Lent is for soberly looking into yourself and getting down to what's real. Self-hatred is not being real. How could it be right to despise someone who God loves and treasures? The Sundays aren't counted in the 40 days of Lent, because every Sunday carries with it a part of the glow of Easter Sunday. So it's not all gloom and doom. But even on the Sundays, the theme of repentance (turning from our ungodly ways) holds true. When you repent, you please God whether you fast or not, and that is what most counts for Lent.

This particular website also mentions adding something for Lent. Whether giving something up, adding something different, or just researching the subject, it really gives you something to think about.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Valentine

I am so excited to spend another Valentine's Day with my sweetie! This year, I actually asked him to not send me flowers. I do enjoy getting them, especially if I'm at work during the day, but I thought it would be better this year for us to both enjoy something together. Instead of spending money on flowers that would fade and die in just a few days, we decided to use the money for a very nice dinner. (We actually decided to not get each other ANYTHING since each of us have no real needs or wants, because we were so spoiled at Christmas. However, he cheated and bought me my favorite Whitman's Sampler chocolates!) I was surprised though when I found out that a few of my friends had told their husbands the same thing. We would all rather have food than girls! :)

Last year, we had our Valentine's date at Canyon Grill. The restaurant has always been one of our favorites, but since our Rehearsal Dinner was held there, it means even more to us now. Since we only go there maybe twice a year, we decided to go again this year. It was yummy, as always.

We were going to take a few pics of us before we left for the restaurant, but didn't really have the time to, so I'm just posting more Maui pics. These are just a few of the photos Zach took in Maui, and I'm planning to post more on here soon. He posted a full portfolio of them on his Flickr page:

Wow! I love the sun rays in this one.

Me & my sweetie on Honolua Bay

My feet & Zach's feet in the sand. Bet you can't guess which one belongs to me? :)

Me & Zach on our beach, Ka'anapali

Me on our room balcony

Snow- 2/12/10

It seems like we have had the chance for and/or have gotten so much snow lately! I love it!! We closed our office early on Friday afternoon because of the snow accumulation in Fort Payne. I went straight home, changed clothes and bundled up to go outside with Daisy and Cosmo. Zach had already left earlier that afternoon to take some pictures at the Canyon, so we had the yard all to ourselves. (However, we woke up Saturday morning to all the snow still on the ground, and enjoyed a snowball fight with each other. I will post some pics of Saturday soon!) I just included a few of the photos that I was able to take Friday afternoon.

Our house in the snow, with a few snowflakes still falling

Me & my girl

Me & Cosmo

Daisy in her spot under the awning. She wasn't very thrilled about the snow.

A.J. & Z.J.

Monday, February 8, 2010

EIGHT Years Ago Today...

...I had the best and most important date of my life!! I can't believe that our first date was exactly eight years ago today! It's amazing how time flies! Just to commemorate our little anniversary, I thought I would post some old photos. :)

Prom 2003- I was a Senior in High School, and he was a Freshman at BSC.

This is my favorite pic my mom took of us before Prom.

Eating out at Pizza Hut forever ago!

At Disney World...the moments right after we were engaged!

Our beautiful, perfect wedding day :)

Enjoying the first day of our honeymoon in St. Thomas

We enjoyed our weekend with a Marriage Retreat with our church group. We had 39 couples attend! We had it at The Summit in Fort Payne, so the setting and the food were both wonderful!! It was great to spend time with our friends.

After church on Sunday afternoon, we made some last-minute plans with David & Amy Kinsley to watch the Super Bowl at their house. We met up with two other couples from church, Mark & Monica Patton and Scot & Angie Shankles, and had lots of yummy food with them. Their kids all came too and had a ball playing together. We're very blessed that God led us to our church and we're so thankful for all the new friends we've made so far! God is good, all the time!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Whale Watching in Maui

As mentioned in our previous post, we spent a lot of time looking out for whales while in Maui. We would be lying out by the pool or on the beach, and would hear "oohs" and "ahhs," and look up to see a whale breaching in the air. It was an amazing sight! It's unbelievable how close they come to the shoreline.

We went out on a whale watching boat one morning at sunrise. It was indescribably beautiful watching the sun rise over the islands. Zach got some great shots. Keep in mind, the whales were several yards away from our boat, due to regulations. We also went to a lookout near the ocean one afternoon and he got many more. If there are any really good ones, we'll post them later on.

Thanks to everyone for all your sweet comments also. We missed everyone while we were gone- especially our family and our church crowd! I can't wait for our Marriage Retreat coming up this weekend and to get back to singing in our choir this next Sunday! Zach and I have had so many people asking us to post photos from our trip on here and on Facebook. It means so much to him to know other people are enjoying his little hobby also. Enjoy!

The sun coming up over the island of Maui.

Whale breaching

Good shot of the whale's tail

Another breach! I love this one because of the colors of the sunrise reflecting off the whale's fins.

Tail slap

I think this one is my favorite of the whale pics so far. This shows the island of Linai'i in the background.

Maui Trip 2010

Well, we have been back for a few days now from our Maui trip, and we miss it so much already. Life just seems so carefree when you're on vacation. You don't worry about work, bills, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. It was great to get away though, especially to somewhere so beautiful. One of my friends told me before I left that her & her husband went there on their honeymoon. She told me that the island is so beautiful, "you can see the hand of God everywhere." It really is true!!

Zach's dad was so great to invite us...we couldn't thank him enough! We spent most of our time soaking up the sun by the pool, walking the beach and enjoying the ocean (Zach even rented a body board one day :) ), and eating really good food. We went out early one morning for a sunrise whale watch. We went out on the boat just a short way from the shore when we started to see whales everywhere. Zach got some awesome photos that morning, which I will include in a later post. (There are so many photos to go through, we will probably just categorize them and post them under different headings on the blog accordingly.)

I was excited to start and finish a book while I was there- My Sister's Keeper, which I highly recommend! It may seem like a simple thing, but it's something I haven't had the time to do in a while. We had plenty of time to do so on our flights. This was the only thing I didn't like about the trip, since it took up so much time. We watched little TV while there, and I didn't get on Facebook or check email from my phone the entire time. It makes you realize what matters from day to day, so I'm hoping to scale back on those things now that we're home.

Zach had his camera with him at all times, and we're so proud of the shots he took. The place really is amazingly beautiful, so there really were no bad pictures. I included some of our favorites of the gorgeous beach and all the plants we loved on this post. Many more pics to come!

This is the Banyan Tree, located in downtown Lahaina. It was planted back in the 1800's, and is very unusual in that its branches have rooted themselves in the ground. I believe it has a total of 16 branches that have taken root. This is a close-up of the main root of the tree.

This is our beach, right beside our pool at the condo. It's gorgeous!

This one is my favorite of all the plant pictures Zach took.

There were so many of these growing wildly on the island.

Palm leaves
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