Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Friends In High Places


Jennifer lived with my sister all four years of college. She is incredibly smart and accomplished and has some fancy schmancy title that basically means she's in charge of real estate development for one of my favorite places to eat....Zoe's Kitchen. Well, she sent me a message last night that read "Zoe's opens tomorrow!!" For those of you that have never heard of Zoe's, let me just tell you...YOU ARE MISSING OUT! It is one of my very favorite fast restaurants in the fast casual category, really one of my favorites in any category.

From what I hear, there are 4 characteristics you must meet in order to be called a called Raving Fan of something... :)
  • Comes more often...Let's see, I went for lunch AND dinner today, and it's not super close. 30 minutes, one way, without traffic.
  • Pays full price...I have eaten there more times than I could count in the past 6 years or so and have only had a coupon twice
  • Tells 'us" ("us" being Zoe's)...I'm all for mailing in a comment or telling the staff personally
  • Tells others...I sent emails to my Atlanta friends telling them about the opening, tweeted about it and even de-virginized my roomie tonight.
Pretty sure I pass all of those characteristics with flying colors.

Speaking of colors, I just love the color scheme Zoe's has going on...so bright and cheery!

So, for all of folks that have never tasted the goodness that is Zoe's, check out the website and find your nearest location. All of the food they have is delicious. I highly recommend the chicken salad, either in a sandwich or a plate, and the chicken rollups. All of the sides are super yummy...my faves are the slaw and pasta salad. Oh, and you can't forget the limeade...and the chocolate cake!!

I'm making myself hungry again just thinking about it. Good thing I brought a to-go box home for tomorrow!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's been too long...WAY too long

The last time I saw my sweet niece's face was in January. January 21 to be exact. Entirely too long ago! So this Friday, I will be making the drive down south to lovely Brewton. Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing family and friends, going to my home church, eating at my favorite Mexican restaurant and enjoying small time life...but I'm most excited about spending some time with my precious niece, Emma Kate.

I've been planning my trip home for a month or so, but the trip got even better when I found out last week that not just one, but BOTH of the families that I nanny for are going to be on spring break next week. Translation...I GET THE WEEK OFF! It didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to spend that week with EK.

As of now, my only plan for the week is to lavish her with love and fill the days with things she enjoys doing. So, we'll probably be taking in some of the local sporting events, going to the beach, feeding the ducks, swinging and sliding at Rainbow Dragon, eating lunch at the Pizza Hut buffet, playing Puppy Pal Bingo, going for walks...and anything else her little heart desires. Who knows, if she asks me nicely, we might even do some of those activities wearing matching outfits!

Oh my goodness, I can't wait! See ya on Friday, my little EK.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Car Washes and Car Seats

My car has been in MAJOR need of a wash! Well, the Goo Goo Car Wash is one of my favorite places to get 'ole Harriet fresh and clean. It offers a combination of the automated wash and a hand wash plus the complete vacuum treatment. Sadly, there isn't a Goo Goo anywhere in the Atlanta area. Well, I went on a little road trip yesterday and I remembered from when I went there the last time that they had a Goo Goo, so I took the fun car seats out of my car and got it all ready for a thorough cleaning.

The wash was great, but even better was my roomie Lisa's excitement over the car seats in the den. I took a little video footage...please note that for the first 5 seconds or so, she thought I was taking a picture. Love it!


video

Friday, March 20, 2009

Too bad evey Friday can't be Friday the 13th!

So far 2009 has had two Friday the 13ths and both of mine have been great. The one in February was pretty laid back but filled with lots of things that make me happy and I was excited that there would be another in March. I was a little worried that the March festivities wouldn't be as good as the ones in February, but I was wrong about that. You see, I spent the day...and the weekend...in NASHVILLE!

I had not been to Nashville in years. When I was a kid I went a few times to Opryland, but I had never really been as a "big girl." Well, my roomie and I got all packed up and left the great state of Georgia on Friday afternoon, and everything about the weekend was pretty fabulous. Yes, it did rain most of the time, but that didn't stop us from touring and absolutely falling in love with the Music City.

Special thanks to Miss Caroline...my friend that I met in October who graciously opened her home to us. Not only did she provide a great place to stay, she also gave us a detailed list of all of the fun things to do and places to eat while we were there. What she didn't know is that one of Christen's Top 5 Strengths is ACTIVATOR and one of mine is ARRANGER. So when we were talking about all of the things that we did over lunch on Sunday, she couldn't believe it. In her words, "y'all dominated Nashville." To that, we say "thanks, Caroline." We can't wait to come back and dominate your city again! Next time, we promise we will give you more than a week's notice so that you will be able to play WITH us instead of having to work!


One of the many perks of blogging...

winning contests! I love love LOVE to win things. Usually I'm pretty unlucky, but since I've had a blog, I've won a couple different little bloggy contests. All of my wins were a few months ago, but I had to wait to blog about them...more on the specific reasons later.

So, the first little contest I won happened on my friend Jennifer's blog. Jennifer was one of the first people that I met when I went to Alabama. In fact, I think she and her friend Savannah were the first people that I met that I didn't know before I moved in. Our paths didn't cross too much in college, but I always thought the world of her...still do. So, when I came across her blog a few months ago I quickly became an avid reader. She and her hubby are pregnant with their first child...a little girl named Charlotte. She has great insights, yummy recipes and is going to be such a wonderful mommy! I'm so glad that I came across her blog and that we've been able to reconnect.

Well, Jennifer did a little giveaway on her blog for some super cute stationary, did the little random number generator and I won! I got the cutest stationary and address labels and I also ordered some stationary for my friend Natalie with her new name on it. Kacey was so easy to work with and all of my goodies arrived super quickly. Check her out at Doodle Bugs Stationary. I'm sure you'll see one or two or twenty things you like!



Now, if you are reading this in something like a Google Reader...which is pretty much my favorite way to read blogs, you're going to have to leave it for a quick minute to check out my actual blog because there is a change. Ok...is everybody here? Do you see a change? If you guessed the header, then you are right. I've been wanting a little header change for quite sometime, but didn't really have any pictures of babies to put up there and I definitely didn't want a picture of myself plastered across the top, so I was looking for a fun little font to help liven things up a bit. Thankfully, I didn't have to do much work because I ended up winning this little header makeover from Joy at 5J's. Like Kacey, she was super easy to work with and SO FAST! She had this header whipped out in 24 hours and it was incredibly easy to install.


So, for those of you that think blogs are just crazy online journals...I know there are a few out there because you are the ones that refuse to comment on my blog, say that blogs are a waste of time and you only read to know what's going on in my life...all I'm going to say is you're wrong and you're missing out. Missing out on meeting new people, missing out on new perspectives, missing out on FREE STUFF!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

worth losing sleep over...

Have you ever had a moment when it appears that out of nowhere, someone or something just pops into your head. A dear mentor once told me that those thoughts are not out of nowhere in God's eyes. He is bringing those people to mind for a reason. So when someone pops into my head, I usually say a quick prayer for them. The key word is quick...usually 15 or 2o seconds. Nothing fancy, because remember, I usually don't know why they were brought to mind...so I just lift them up. If I think about it, I will send a text or give a call to let them know they are being thought of. The response is usually a quick thanks and that's all there is to it.

Last night I was having the hardest time falling asleep. This is not the norm for me. Usually I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and I rarely wake up in the middle of the night. God had different plans last night. As I was getting ready for bed, a name crossed my mind...sweet young lady, awesome woman of the Lord, just met her a month ago. So, I added her to my nightly prayers. Well, after I finished praying she was still on my heart. Quite honestly, my first reaction was, "Lord, I already prayed for her...why is she still on my heart?" After pleading with Him to grant me sleep for the next 45 minutes, I finally got out of my bed and got on my knees to pray for her.

I felt so unqualified to be praying. I didn't know what was going on in her life. Surely someone else could pray for her better than I could, but the urge I had to pray for her was overwhelming.
When I talked to her last, she told me about the guy she was dating. She talked about her special someone just like my friend Natalie talks about Scott. So, I prayed for their relationship just as I did for Natalie and Scott's before they were married. I prayed that if it was meant to be that He would make His plans perfectly clear and that if it wasn't that He would surround them with people to speak truth into their lives and offer support when things begin to crumble. I pulled out journals of prayers that I had prayed over Natalie and Scott and replaced their names with the other couples'. Finally at about 2AM, I fell asleep.

Flashforward to this morning. I sent the girl a quick message just to say that I was lifting her up in prayer and this is what I got back (names removed)...


Oh Lindsey.....

IT WAS GOD WEIGHING ME ON YOUR HEART!!!!! Lindsey, something has happened to ***** and I. ***** broke up with me Sunday.. Lindsey- God and I have cried and wailed in wrestling over this.. I was literally laying in bed praying for someone to lift me up and praying for clarity and trust in this circumstance if in fact this is God's deliverance... I literally feel like I have been delivered.


Oh my goodness. As I read the words, chills ran up my back and tears flooded my eyes. I had NO clue what was going on in her life, but God did. I felt highly unqualified, but The Lord met me there and showed me that once again HE DOESN'T NEED US TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WILL, but HE LONGS TO USE US!!

Thank you Lord for not giving up on me. Thank you for pushing and prodding me to pray. Thank you sweet friend for sharing your heart with me. What a testament to the power of intercessory prayer!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So close...but oh so far

For two weeks I have been craving an Icee. I capitalize the word Icee because it is a SPECIFIC brand...I don't want just any frozen drink. No Parrot Ice, Minute Maid, Slush Puppy or Freezie for me. ICEE ONLY! So, when my roomie and I drove by a gas station that had an Icee sign in the window I about had a conniption fit. I pulled into the parking lot, grabbed my change and was by the machine in less than a minute. I picked up the cup and reached for the lever to add my coke Icee only to find this...
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Does anybody know of a place between Atlanta and Nashville that has Icees?? I am in DIRE NEED!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Small Town Giving

One of the many reasons that I LOVE being from a small town...specifically, Brewton, Alabama! What are you doing to change your world?

Friday, March 6, 2009

I LOVE MY ROOMIE!!!


Life is better when you have fun people to share it with. One of my favorite things about being a 24 year old single gal is ROOMIES! I have 3 of them and they are fantabulous, but if I sing their praises at the same time they will all be walking around with a big head. I can't have that, so I will have to do them one at a time. Now...who should I brag on first? I suppose I will start with Christen since I met her first.

Met this crazy gal pretty soon after I moved to Atlanta but didn't really start getting to know her until September '07. From our first conversation, I knew we would be perfect roommates. I was right...don't you think, Christen?

Here are a few of the reasons why she is the bestest...

  • She gets up before the sun comes up so I don't have to walk by myself.
  • Deep thinker...I love having intellectual friends and she definitely falls into that category. Pretty much every day she gives me something to think deep about
  • TWITTER...I'm a twitter maniac thanks to this kid and I LOVE IT!
  • GREAT taste in music...and a wonderful voice to go along with it.
  • HULARIOUS...oh my goodness...all we do is laugh!
  • She's always up for doing something fun. Take for example the conversation we had last night...

    C: Boo...Brad Paisley isn't doing a concert in Atlanta this year
    L: Sad day
    C: He is going to be in Nashville next weekend though....do you have any plans?
    L: Hmm...not that I know of
    C: That settles it...we're going.

Ten minutes later...we had tickets. So, if you're going to be in Nashville next weekend...let me know because we will be there!!

So thankful, for you sweet friend. Do you think you would be interested in moving with me in August?

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Learning to be a vessel

Just when I think I have it all figured out, it seems that the Holy Spirit knocks me down to show me that I don't. Some of what I've been learning is more on the personal side, but I've been finding that the more I have opened up, the more I have been taught.

A few posts ago I told you that the youth at my home church were gearing up for a big Disciple Now weekend. I hated that I wasn't able to be there, but the Lord impressed upon my heart that He needed prayer warriors and I could do that. Here's what I wanted to write in that post, but didn't.

I love going home to lead at Disciple Now. I am so mad I can't do it. People are calling me an sending me message. They want me there. They could have had it any weekend, but they picked the one weekend I couln't be there. Lord...you know I love leading. I feel like you have gifted me in that area. I have a heart for young girls. I have a heart for young girls in my hometown. And then some even deeper things...I know they are going through some rough things right now, I know I could help them. I'm a good leader. I know I can do it. What if the people that lead don't want to try to help? I want to be a vessel for your use. Why won't you let me help?

Bet you didn't think I could think things like that! Those thoughts came straight from my journal and not two seconds after I had put down the pen to hear what The Lord had to say in response, I heard Him. Well, not audibly, but I heard Him. This was His response back to me...

Lindsey, you are pathetic. How many times have you talked to girls and reminded them that we are all filthy rags and it is only through my love and grace that you can be restored? You are not the only one that loves girls and youth. You are not the only one that can reach them. Humble yourself in my sight and let me lift you back up again into Truth. There are others out there that long to have a part in their lives as well. Those guys and girls need more than one person to set an example. I am honored that you want to be a vessel for my use...and I'm letting you...but this time it is not as a leader. Do as I have asked you to do. Pray like you have never prayed before. Just take a step back and watch me work. Lindsey, I want to use you to do great things. It is important to know that I want to use others to do great things too. You are a vessel, but you can be used in more than one way. Pray, sweet daughter. I will answer your prayers in ways greater than you can imagine.

So, for two weeks I prayed. I started praying for the leaders and volunteers and then I got my youth minister to send me the names of all of the students attending. I gave them to some of my closer friends and we prayed over them collectively and individually. Guess what? The Lord didn't disappoint. He answered my prayers in ways greater than I could have imagined. I have received phone calls, text messages and facebook messages about what the Lord did that weekend. He is doing some incredible things in the lives of that youth group and I couldn't be happier. I pray that this weekend will be something that they look back on years from now as a turning point. I pray February 27-29 was not just an event, but that it was an ENCOUNTER.

The kids learned a lot. The leaders learned a lot. However, I'm just as thankful for what I learned. It's not all about me. I'm so thankful that God allows me to be used to accomplish His will, but I am NOT the only one He can use.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

How Beautiful The Radiant Bride



The past few days have been so jam packed with incredible memories that it is hard for me to get them down. This post may get lengthy...just bear with me, I don't want to forget anything. Usually I blog for others...but today, it's more for me...sorry!

Natalie and Scott have always wanted their wedding day to be about more than dresses and flowers and cake. Well, they succeeded. From the time we arrived on Thursday until the time we left Sunday morning, the Lord's presence was felt.

One of the reasons I hate not living in the same city as Natalie is for the simple fact that my friends don't really know her. Sure, they hear me talk about her all the time...but they don't know her like I do. So it was a real treat to be surrounded with family and friends of Natalie for a few days. I loved swapping stories with them and meeting others whose life had been changed for the better because of her.

The festivities got kicked off with a casual dinner on Thursday night to welcome everyone to Hattiesburg. Good food and a fun board game made for a great night.

Caroline and I woke up early the next morning and drove to Jackson, MS to pick up Mikey and Laura from the airport. It cut into our sleep, but we didn't mind one bit...especially since we got to take a fun watermelon picture!

The bridesmaid's luncheon was next on the agenda. Again, the food was delicious, but the best part was just getting a chance to be around Natalie and the other bridesmaids. Weddings are so busy...most of the time we were just running from one event to another. What a treat to sit for a few hours and exchange stories. Natalie showered us with love, gifts and sweet words. Then we surprised her with a fun little scrapbook we had been working on. We made pages individually and then put them all together. It was fun to see it all will be a fun keepsake.

We got back to the hotel and had about 2 hours before the Rehearsal. Just enough time to get some a quiet time in and work on my blog. The Rehearsal was great. It was then that I noticed that the bridesmaid's would be walking down to How Beautiful. The crazy thing about that is that when I was in seventh grade, I decided if I ever got married I wanted my bridesmaids to walk down to that song. Having the chance to walk down to it this weekend only reaffirmed that decision. It is really one of the most beautiful songs. I hope you like that song, Ms. Teresa.

As most of you know, the part of the weekend I was most anxious about was the Rehearsal Dinner. Though I had practiced it countless times, I had never been able to make it through my little toast without crying. I just kept praying that The Lord would help me get through it. Well, He came through! I got through the entire toast and only teared up at the end. Now, I cried through every other toast, but I wasn't alone in my tears. What a blessing Natalie and Scott have been to so many...both individually and as a couple. I can hardly wait to see what they do now that they have become one.

If you're still reading, goodness gracious....you're dedicated...and you've made it to Wedding Day!

It was obvious from the beginning that they day had been bathed in prayer. Never in my life have I been to a wedding where the Lord was more honored. You could see Him in the faces of the family, friends and of course Natalie and Scott. I found myself fighting back tears throughout the entire ceremony...most of the time however, the tears won. Each word that was spoken, each scripture that was read, each song that was sung...everything pointed toward Christ. I can't pinpoint my favorite part of the ceremony...just too many sweet things to choose from. So, here's the short list:
  • Scott's first glimpse of Natalie...They went traditional so he hadn't seen her in the dress. I always love looking at the groom when he first sees his bride and Scott definitely didn't disappoint.
  • The singing of Wonderful, Merciful Savior...Another of my favorite songs, but I had never really thought of it as being a wedding song. I was wrong. It was perfect. Amy lead us all to the throne. "You are the One that we praise...You are the one we adore...You give the healing and grace our hearts always hunger for."
  • The exchange of the vows and rings...since they were facing each other during this, I was able to really see Scott well as he repeated the vows. One look at his face and it was apparent that he wasn't just repeating what he heard. He was speaking from his heart. It thrills me to know that my best friend has found someone that can hardly wait to protect and provide for her.
  • Mr. Ethan...can't forget to mention that Natalie's dad, Mr. Ethan officiated the ceremony. I can't even begin to put into words what a wonderful job he did.
  • Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Scott Orr...Natalie and Scott's face was priceless upon hearing those words. Equally as fun was seeing the smiles on their face when we were taking pictures afterwards. I have been to so many weddings in my time and I can't recall a single one that the bride and groom weren't happy, but I'm telling you people...their excitement can't be put into words.
The reception was perfect. The bride's cake was DELICOUS...a pretty big accomlishment if you ask me. Though I've probably been to about 50 weddings, I can only remember two others that I even remotely liked. Since Natalie and Scott met at Starbucks they had lots some fun tributes to the coffee place. There was a station where they were making Caramel Apple Spice drinks--yum...and the wedding favors were Starbucks mugs! Doesn't Natalie have the best ideas?!

So, that's my recap....and here are the pictures!