Thursday, December 9, 2010

In the Christmas Spirit....

Happy holidays, dear friends!  I've had entirely way too much fun getting our home in N.C. ready for Christmas :) Even though we'll only be here for two weeks to enjoy it, I'm really glad that I denied my inner thoughts of "bah-hum bug!" and went ahead with my decorating madness.  I blame it on the beautiful winter snow we received this past weekend :)  

Thanks to my years working at Strasburg and training from my momma-in-law, I can successfully tie a Christmas bow!  Looking pretty good, if I can say so myself :) I've posted some of my favorite ornaments below, too:

A few other touches of Christmas I've added throughout our home: 

Two Christmases ago, I found some beautiful crystal snowflakes to hang from the chandelier in our kitchen.  Roni loved to climb on the table and mess with them, but was NEVER to busy to stop and pose for a picture! :) Here is one of his best shots from last year's holiday photo session:

This year, I had to get really creative with where I could hang my snowflakes, but I finally thought of a perfect spot for them... what do you think??
No worries- I have already thought through the disaster that would occur if I were to turn our fan "on" on accident.  When I wake up in the mornings, however, this mobile of pure winter perfection lulls me back to sleep and makes me feel as though I am dreaming under a soft blanket of pure white snow :)

It's the little things that add so much holiday spirit... 
Merry Christmas, from our home to yours!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let it snow :)

Happy December!

I can't believe it's been nearly TWO whole months since my last post!  I'm learning that with blogging sometimes you go through seasons where you feel like you don't have much to say and other times you feel so busy that you don't have time to stop and share what's on your mind... the lengthy hiatus between my last post and now is definitely due to the latter. 

Our last two months in North Carolina have been soooo good!  I started a new job as a kindergarten teacher assistant mid-October at this lovely school:
Sycamore Creek Elementary School in Raleigh

I am extremely thankful for God's provision and for really great people to work alongside! Sycamore Creek is a year-round school, so I work nine weeks at a time and then have 3 1/2 weeks off!  I am officially "tracked out" (year-round term- it was new to me, too!) for the entire month of December and I could not be more excited!  I am really looking forward to having several weeks to decorate our apartment, do my Christmas shopping, spend time with Nolan and Wake Forest friends, and then head home to be with family for the holidays. 

Nolan is wrapping up his first semester at Southeastern over the next two weeks with lots of reading, papers, and final exams.  I am so proud of the diligence and discipline with which he has poured into his first semester of seminary.  Seeing both the knowledge and spiritual growth that has taken place in Nolan's life and in his heart has been so affirming in God calling us here and has been truly inspiring for my own life, as well.  I know he is ready for some time off, though, and this month-long break will be just what he needs to feel rested and ready for the spring semester.  

We got our first North Carolina snow yesterday!  It was so beautiful... something about it that reminds me of God's gentleness and the peace that comes in trusting Him.

I had the lyrics to this song on my heart all day long:  

You could have come like a mighty storm
with all the strength of a hurricane
You could have come like a forest fire
with the power of heaven in Your flame
but You came like a winter snow
quiet, soft, and slow
falling from the sky in the night to the earth below

You could have swept in like a tidal wave
or in an ocean to ravage our hearts
You could have come through like a roaring flood
to wipe away the things we've scarred
but You came like a winter snow
You were quiet, You were soft, and slow
falling from the sky, in the night to the earth below

no, You're voice wasn't in a bush burning
You're voice wasn't in a rushing wind
It was still, It was small, It was hidden

You came like a winter snow
quiet, and soft, and slow
falling from the sky, in the night, to the earth below

You came falling from the sky, in the night, to the earth below

{"Winter Snow" by Audrey Assad and Chris Tomlin}

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Art of Antiquing

I absolutely {love} to shop for antiques!  It's something my sister and I really enjoy doing together.  Not everyone shares our passion for the art of antiquing, but we like to think we have "an eye" for things that can be reused, refurbished, or recreated into beautiful pieces of home decor.  Sure, not everything you find in an antique shop is vintage treasure, but that's the fun of it... on some days, you get insanely lucky and stumble across something really fun, rare, or beautiful...something you just can't pass up.  

Here's a few of my latest finds at one of our local antique shops in Wake Forest:

* A "weathered" anchor to hang in my beach inspired bedroom :)  

 * A vintage Sunkist milkglass juicer- soooo pretty! 

* And my "treasure" for the day? This 1920's armchair!
I had to pull out the "early Christmas present" ticket for this beauty!  It definitely needs to be reupholstered.  The blue velvet is old and nasty, but the arms and legs on this chair are what sold me!  So much potential to be a gorgeous piece of furniture.

 My two other treasures that I can't live without?
  My sleepy boys :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Are you ready to RUMBLE?!

Nolan's parents came to visit us last weekend, and we had such a great time with them!  It was their first trip to Wake Forest, and so when they got here, Nolan and I were waiting for them on the balcony of our apartment which overlooks the road.  The anticipation of seeing them drive by was FUN and we could not stop waving and hollering!  I've decided that this should be our new tradition whenever anyone comes to visit :) Here's a re-cap of our Rumble weekend:

FRIDAY: After giving them the tour of our cozy apartment and visiting for a little bit, we went out to eat at Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant. Then, we went and saw this movie: 


Do I even have to say that the boys picked this movie? The freaky nun masks the bank robbers wore almost gave me nightmares.  It was soooo intense, and I'm pretty sure that I had teared away all of my fingernails by the time the credits were rolling!  After the movie, Mama Jackie requested some icecream.  I think she had some of that "soft and creamy goodness" I've referenced in an earlier post on her mind :)

Man, that "Carolina Concrete" is delish! Once we had finished our ice-cold treats, we returned home to our apartment and called it a night (only after a few Glee episodes, of course!)

SATURDAY:  Everyone had their morning coffee on the balcony and enjoyed some time of sweet conversation.  Mama J and I made eggs and bacon for breakfast.  After eating, we got dressed and were ready to hit the town for a tour of Southeastern.  Here's some of my favorite pics from the morning:   
Once we were finished at SEBTS, we walked around downtown Wake Forest, stopping for coffee and checking out the Farmers Market and several quaint little shops.  The Old Magnolia Trading Company on the downtown strip is my NEW favorite place where I found this pretty frame for my "beachy" bedroom (more pictures to come!) 

After walking and shopping around downtown, we decided to go on an adventure to find one of the lakes in the Wake Forest area.  One short drive and a mini-hike later, we were on the edge of Falls Lake, looking out over the water and watching boats go by.  It was so relaxing and beautiful.  Here's a couple pics we took there:

We decided to head back to the apartment for some down-time after hanging out at Falls Lake for a bit.  Once we got home, we watched the UT/Florida Gators game on the computer (no cable!) and then ate dinner at our most favorite restaurant in Wake Forest: Shuckers.  This oyster bar and grill has some killer seafood and hush puppies that are to die for... seriously.  Let's just say none of us had any room for desert!  After dinner, we made it back to the apartment and watched ONE MORE Glee episode before heading to bed! :)

SUNDAY: We woke up and got ready for the early service at North Wake.  After church, we grabbed some lunch at Red Robin before Mom and Dad had to hit the road to make their way back home to Cleveland.  I started missing them the minute we waved good-bye from our balcony.  It was such a wonderful time with them, though, and a weekend I will always cherish.  Thank you both for going out of your way to visit and be a part of our lives and new home here.  We love you with all our hearts and are so grateful for every minute of our time together.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Can a girl have TWO homes?

I made my very first "on my own" road trip home to Cleveland for Labor Day weekend, and I was OH SO happy to see my family and some very dear friends of mine! After just a few days though, I was already thinking about my new home in North Carolina, mainly, getting back to my man and my kitty-child :)  So many people have encouraged me to start viewing Wake Forest as my "home," and have said that doing so will make the transition easier on me.  But the more I think about it, the more I feel like I have two homes. 

Cleveland will always be home because it holds so many of our most precious memories.  It's where Nolan and I were raised for the majority of our lives.  It's where we found one another in the hallway of our middle school and where we exchanged wedding vows.  It's where we received salvation.  It's where we will take children of our own some day.  But now, Wake Forest is our home away from home.  It's where the Lord has called us.  It's where we will begin a family.  It's where we will make new friends.  It's where we will grow in our love for Christ and one another.  It's where we have found God's peace.  

I was thinking about all of this during my 7 1/2 hour drive home on Tuesday, and couldn't help but thank the Lord for how he has blessed us and provided the foundation for a home here in Wake Forest.  Here's some things that we are absolutely LOVING about our new home in North Carolina:

#1)  North Wake.  We've really enjoyed having the freedom to visit churches and experience worship in our community over the last month and a half.  Although we have visited some really wonderful churches, we have felt the Lord drawing us to North Wake.  Every time we have visited here, the Lord has made it more and more clear that this is where He wants us to serve.  We had the opportunity to visit one of North Wake's small groups- what a blessing it was to connect with other men and women who have followed God to Wake Forest in faith and obedience to God.  This church is such an answer to our prayers.

#2) One word: Goodberry's.  Now, a lot of you are thinking, "What in the world is Goodberry's?"  That was our thought, too, until we put the "soft and creamy goodness" (Nolan's words- not mine) in our mouths.  It's definitely the best ice cream we've ever tasted! If you ever come to visit, Goodberry's will be a mandatory stop during your Wake Forest tour. :) YUMMY!

#3) Our NEW CAR! My dad thought it would be best for us to trade in Nolan's old white Accord for a car that's a little more dependable for long-distance road trips.  He found us a silver Mazda Tribute, and we love it!  It's a great car and it will always remind us of our years in North Carolina!

#4) The beach.  A two-hour drive to the beach is NOTHING when you are used to traveling seven to eight hours to make your way to the closest coast!  We have claimed Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington as "our beach." :) It's such a beautiful area and is known for having great surf waves during certain parts of the year.  Let's just say a surf board may be on Nolan's Christmas list this year! :) We love it there and will be making many trips during our years in North Carolina. 

5)  Super Target! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was when I found out I have a Target in Wake Forest, but a SUPER-Target, nonetheless.  I can always think of something I need or could use from this awesome store. :)  Not only is the Super-Target a convenient 5 to 10 minutes from our apartment, but so is everything else like Wal-Mart, Harris Teeter, Walgreens, Goodberry's, the post office, our bank, and lots of other places!

I'm sure there will be much more that I grow to love about our new home over the next few years.  If the saying "Home is where your Heart is" is true, then Wake Forest, North Carolina and Cleveland, Tennessee will both forever be a home to me. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back to School

With my Kindergarten students from North Lee starting back to school this week, they have been on my mind and my heart over the last couple days.  I wish so much that I could be there to watch them grow as BIG first graders, but I know the Lord will take care of each and every one of them this year. I truly believe that I had the BEST group of students, the BEST parents, and the BEST teachers to work alongside EVER.  Being Mrs. Rumble was such a joy in my life, and I will always count working at North Lee as one of my greatest blessings. 

Bless my students, this day, O God.  

Give them inquiring minds and discerning hearts.

Give them courage to persevere in all they undertake.

Give them the gift of joy and wonder in all things.

Give them laughter and love to share with all.

Give them protection and safety as they move out of our embrace.

And give them sure and certain knowledge of Your never-failing love.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our move to North Carolina

It's hard to believe Nolan and I have already been here two and a half weeks! Here's some of my favorite pics from our moving day:
I thought this pic was so cute of us, but when I showed it to Nolan, he asked "What HAPPENED TO YOUR ARM?!?!"   It took us a few minutes to realize that my hand was resting on his shoulder, and Nolan's hand was hanging on to the ceiling of the truck.  No, people, I do not have super long, ALIEN arms. Ha. I think we are lookin' pretty good for 5:45 in the morning :)
We hit the road about 6 a.m. after a bittersweet good-bye with Nolan's momma and Sarah Beth and Nathan.  They were so sweet to send us off from my parents' house so EARLY in the morning. I really feel like I have the best family in the world- we are SO blessed.  After awhile of driving, I took a picture out the window of the car: This picture says "Yay! We made it to North Carolina!"
The mountains of North Carolina are breathtakingly beautiful.  Nolan said he felt like he was in Jurassic Park, and that he just might see a giant dinosaur stomping over the mountains any minute.  Dad was driving the moving truck- that's him fixing to go through the tunnel.  As mom would say, he drove that truck "like a boss!"
Hold your breath! We're going through the tunnel! What a responsible mom: One hand on the wheel, holding her breath, and yet her eyes are STILL on the road! You go, momma!
Our sweet kitty-child did SO well during the eight hour drive! I was pleasantly surprised- I was so worried that Roni was going to turn into Kujo-Kitty on the way there.  Here he is sleeping on his favorite blanket in the backseat of mom's car.  He didn't last very long in his carrier, but did just fine resting in the backseat. 
Here he is again- just chillin' in his litter box.  I think Roni almost fell asleep in there! Our cat is SO weird sometimes. The litter box was clean, so I guess there was no harm in letting him lay there, right? :)
Mom and I were SO STINKIN' TIRED of looking at this single mom and her two girls by the time the trip was over.  WoooWeee... I hope I don't have to see them again for a loonnngggg time!
Hallelujah! We made it! By this time, we were all anxious to arrive at our new apartment and start getting to work. Thankfully, we hired two guys from a moving company to help us unload all the heavy items from the moving truck.  We began unloading the truck around 4:00 p.m., and by 5:15 p.m., it was DONE. 
Here's where we'll be calling "home" for the next couple years! We are only about five or six minutes from Southeastern's campus and located right in the middle of everything.  We are really enjoying this place so far!
After a night of unpacking boxes, we took the next day to relax a little bit and enjoy the day.  We gave mom and dad a tour of SEBTS and then had lunch at Las Palmas, a local Mexican restaurant.  I think this next one is a great picture of them. :)
Dear Mom and Dad,  I know I told you this through my tears right before you left, but I have to say it again, just so you know how much I mean it.  You have done nothing but give and give of yourselves during the last couple months and throughout my whole life- your love has been such a perfect picture of Christ's love for me.  Thank you for pointing me to the cross and for playing such a big part in preparing my heart for God's call on my life.  Thank you always for your unconditional love and support.  I know it hasn't been easy, but it's been good and right. Having you for parents has been one of the most gracious gifts I've ever been given.  I love you through and through.