nacho cheese

imagenot cho cheese…. na choOOO cheeeese =)  Ok ok! I hear you… I love it too… but I digress from my intended intensions of today’s blog post.

Last night there was a ladies night hosted for the Honeymooners’ Sunday School class by the Koinonia ABF women.  While I love to be with friends and enjoy food fellowship, yesterday I was not in the mood to go at all.  In fact, I was a bit grumpy about going.  I was tempted to skip even though I RSVPed that I was attending.  But I went anyways with every intention of leaving early.

God had other plans.

I walked in, arms crossed.  I started to loosen up a bit.  A few minutes in Julie passed out “word matching” cards to each of us and told us to find our word match and that is who we would be eating dinner with.  They were all Mexican themed (like our dinner).  So taco went with salad; chips went with salsa… you get it (I hope).  I had cheese and this lovely lady comes up to me holding out her card that said NACHO.  So I nearly shouted out CHEESE!  Then we had a funny laugh about being not – cho – cheese.  I know! super corny =)

We got in line and started chatting along the lines of the provided “ice breaker questions”.

  1. What’s your name?
  2. Where did you get married and when?
  3. If you were to go out on a date night to an international restaurant, what ethnic food would you choose?

Arielle and I soon digressed from these provided questions and HIT IT OFF!  Come to find out, she’s recently married, moved from Ohio, went to school in Kentucky and would choose Mexican food (perfect!) and has never been to West Park (our church) but was just invited by a friend to attend this women’s night.  She needed some encouragement (as her husband had recently been out of work for a while) and she was new in town and adjusting to married life.  I needed some time to reflect on where God has brought us over our last few years and was able to encourage her with our story.  We had a blast chatting about college life, school, family, work place fun and married life. 

Recently, I wanted to tell one of the students I work with that when we are afraid to do something or refuse to do something outside of our comfort zone, we are selling God short of what He can do in our lives, whether that be overcoming a fear, being brave at school, having a good attitude at work or attending a women’s night when you don’t want to.  Boy was I eating my words last night.

I came away so blessed and encouraged, able to pray for her as she faces certain situations that I know all too well.  I came away with a renewed spirit, encouraged by a testimony of another lady that shared her marriage story.  I came away able to pray specifically for a few more friends.  I came away changed.

Gen 15:1  After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

Gen 50:20  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.


tour de knoxville

This weekend was a blast!  Friday was spent hanging out with the kids at HVA’s homecoming. 

Saturday we spent lifting heavy things at the gym (of which I’m still very sore from!!) and making a trip to Home Depot to purchase some weed blocker paper  for under our newest (yet to be planted in) garden boxes for our expanding berry patch.  Some say hubs is doing such projects in an effort to minimize grass cutting… =)  I think he just loves me and knows I love to garden.  We also purchased supplies to peel the paint off our deck floor and refinish it.  HD trips never seems to be cheep for us.



Saturday afternoon hubs and I attended an early birthday celebration for our friend Rebecca =)  It was a great evening out at the Chop House, lots of laughter with friends and good times all around.


Sunday was our church’s 50th anniversary celebration, pastor’s 25th year with the church, Rebecca’s official birthday and Tim and Jill’s wedding anniversary too! Lots to celebrate.  West Park brought in a HUGE tent to celebrate (all of those events of course!) and we had an amazing worship service as one large congregation (instead of the usual 3 services). 

Sunday afternoon hubs went off to play Frisbee and I went on a bike ride from Turkey Creek to downtown, ate lupper at Panera, then rode back.  It was my new record long bike ride (40 miles).  The first 20 on the way out (Debbie, Kelly, Shanin and his daughter Anna, and I ), we took our time.  Shahin was riding the tandem bike with Anna so we took things a bit slower.  The way back, we hauled it and needless to say, I am a bit saddle sore!  Here are a few cute pictures Kelly was able to snap on the way =) I had a bit of fun with Picnik and did a little editing to the pictures.

Anyways, what a fantastic weekend, full of lots of fun and good memories.

great day to be a duck

Lately the weather as been a bit dreary.  While we need the rain, the ground was starting to crack, I feel like I could use a bit of sun shine right now. 

On a completely separate note, we had an AWESOME dinner last night.  While I didn’t take any “final pictures” you get the idea from this one


PS: I heart my new to me grill!!

We had potatoes and zucchini seasoned with Chili powder, thyme, salt and pepper and stuffed Salmon (feta, spinach and basil).  Oh my, yum!!  The cast iron griddle thingy worked fantastic and the fish turned out “fork tender.”  This was one of my few successful fish journeys =)


My sous chef even came out to support my cooking endeavors.  I wish I caught the picture of her double drool that made it all the way to her legs and ended up wrapped around her head by the end of the night (of course some got on me too).

Here is the recipe I used as my guideline.  Hubs does not prefer tomatoes or onions, so I used some spinach instead.  I also replaced the lemon zest with just a drizzle of lemon juice.  It turned out delightful and was really really easy!

Stuffed Salmon “Barcelona”
Printable Recipe

  • 2 boneless, skinless salmon filets (7 oz each)
  • 1 1/2 oz feta cheese
  • 30gm sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large scallion, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • zest from 1/2 of a lemon

Preheat grill to medium heat. Mix together the feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, scallion, and basil. Carefully cut a pocket into the side of each filet and stuff each with half of the feta mixture. Season the salmon pieces with freshly ground salt & pepper, and sprinkle with lemon zest. Spray a grill basket (like this one) with nonstick cooking spray and carefully place the filets on the basket, then close and slide the lock in place. (Alternatively, you could cook the salmon in foil packets on the grill, or just bake them in the oven.) Place the basket on the grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and browned on the outside.
Nutritional Info:          Servings Per Recipe: 2         Amount Per Serving
Calories: 419.1       Total Fat: 18.6 g     Cholesterol: 61.1 mg   Sodium: 349.4 mg
Total Carbs: 8.9 g     Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g      Protein: 53.3 g

wilmington triathlon

317836_261915393842590_100000723957311_834450_1478641260_nThis past weekend we spent in Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, NC with some friends.  We stayed in a nice beach house just off the ocean on the island and our friend Kelly showed us the good life of Wrightsville.  We ate at some really sweet places, went to a really neat artsy studio called Re-Eco and hung out on the beach. 

We also went to compete in our last triathlon of the season.  It was probably hubs and my favorite race we’ve ever competed in.  It was super well run, very efficient and was well participated in (about 1250 racers). 




11-09-17%2520Wilmington%2520Tri%2520130These are our statistics from the race.  We both placed well.  Mike had a fantastic swim time!  I had a great run time.  Kelly had an awesome bike split and Rachel came in 2nd in her age group =)! 




My mom was able to come down and watch us race which was really awesome and super special! 


Here are a few pictures from our weekend.

The race ended up being cool (wetsuit legal even!), but fortunately it didn’t rain on us!  Here’s to competing in the race again next year =)