Merry, Merry Christmas

On Wednesday night, Greyson and I put an offer on our first home and it was accepted!!! We are so excited and thankful for God's provision. We can't make this house our home. If all goes well we will close on January 11 and move in that weekend. Let the packing and purging begin. Prayers are appreciated for us first time home buyers. The experience has been pretty great so far. If you follow me on Pinterest I am sorry for all my “For the Home” pins. I just can’t wait to decorate. We are beyond thrilled with our first house.

Crockpot Comfort

Easy Hamburger Vegetable Soup

My next door neighbor growing up always made her hamburger vegetable soup for me every winter. It was one of my favorites. When I moved off to college I e-mailed her for the recipe. It is such an easy and hearty meal in the winter. But like all my recipes I have tweaked it and made it my own… although I am not sure if it is as good as Michele’s. This recipe just uses items I have on hand and I also make it in the Crockpot.


1 lb lean ground beef
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 packs (30 oz) of mixed frozen vegetables (I prefer Publix’s brand)
1 can of Italian Style Tomatoes (do not drain)
2 ½ cups of macaroni noodles
3 cups of water

Brown ground beef and drain. Boil macaroni noodles as directed on package. Heat frozen vegetables in microwave for 8 minutes. Combine all ingredients in Crockpot on high for 4 hours. It is oh so good!

Special tip: brown your ground beef and boil your macaroni noodles the night before and stick in the fridge, then mix together on your lunch break the day of

Light Em Up

Ever since my aunt passed away a couple of months before Christmas my senior year of high school I’ve become what some people would call a scrooge before Christmas. I guess that was the year everything was truly put into prospective for me. All the glitz and glamour of what we’ve made Christmas to be about does not matter a bit. All the gifts under the tree that year brought no comfort or joy to her 5 children that she left behind. It was then that I really realized for the first time how we’ve turned this season from celebrating the birth of Christ into anything but celebrating His birth. I get anxious and irritable every year before Christmas. This year I was so bad I threatened not to even put up a tree… I realize how extreme and irrational I was being so I did decide to put a tree

I am very glad my thoughts about Christmas are shared with a lot of those around me including my husband. We’ve talked a lot this season about how we want Christmas to be like in our home after we have children. We are really considering just three gifts. The reason for three? Jesus was given three gifts by the three wise men. We also want our children to participate in activities where they give back.

That is why I was so excited when I found this great idea on a blog. The basic principle is to share God’s love with those around you (it may be people you know or do not know) by “random acts of kindness”. Many of you have probably seen similar ideas on Facebook or Pinterest but this particular blog that I discovered the idea to do this for Christmas breaks it down for you and makes it as easy as can be. The writer of this blog gives you ideas for random acts of kindness, gift tags to leave behind to the recipient and a planning guide on PDFs that you can download. I know we are all very busy during this time of year and sometimes even scrooges like me still get caught up in the hustle and bustle. But I love this idea and am so grateful someone made it so easy for us by providing all these resources. My challenge to each of you that reads this is to do one random act of kindness. Just one. We never know what the difference of that 1 act can make.

Merry Christmas!

To read the blog yourself and to download the PDFs visit http://www.lillightomine.com/light-em-up-2011.php .

Ham & Cheese Party Sandwiches

Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we had over some friends to watch the Iron Bowl game. My mother-in-law had sent us home with leftover ham from Thanksgiving. I decided to make ham and cheese party sandwiches. My mother-in-law has made a variation of these before and that is how I got the idea.

1 lb Ham- can be leftover ham from the holidays or deli ham
6 slices of provolone cheese
1 packet of Sara Lee Classic Dinner Rolls
2 tablespoons of melt margarine
2-3 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning

Cut Yeast Rolls in half
Layer ham and cheese on rolls
Spread melted margarine on tops of rolls
Top with Salad Supreme Seasoning
Make at 350 for 10-15 minutes (You want your rolls browned and your cheese melted)

Serve with Spicy Mustard and Mayonnaise.


No Promise of Tomorrow

Yesterday in Nashville there was a large pile up that involved over 50 cars. Unfortunately one life was lost. A life that my husband knew. A life of a young husband of only six weeks. A life of a brother whose sister was supposed to get married this weekend. A life of a son whose father was his best friend.

I have not been able to get this family out of my head. Last night as I was taking a bath after a long and stressful day and I glanced over at a picture of Greyson and I on our wedding day. I began to think about how I felt on my wedding day and as a new bride. It was G and I against the world. My mind was full of hopes and dreams of our future. We were giddy and so excited about our new journey. Then I started to think about how Paul’s wife must feel after losing her husband after only six weeks of marriage. I imagined her feeling robed of her hopes, dreams and life with her groom. I began to cry and then I lost it. My heart ached for this girl and all his loved ones. He was on his way to work and just like that he was gone.

Then I started to go a place of what if that had been me? Did I kiss Greyson before work this morning? Did I tell him how much I loved him? I know it may sound cheesy but during my breakdown in the tub the lyrics to “If Tomorrow Never Comes” echoed loudly in my head. Today I have been conscious more than ever of making sure G got a goodbye and welcome home kiss and a hug and tell him how much I love him.

I hope you will join me in praying for this family. Please pray for comfort, peace and that they will be surrounded by people who will minister to their every need. I pray that God would bring people in their lives that have been through similar tragedies. I pray that even in their grief they will find joy.

War Eagle

Greyson and I just returned from a great weekend at our friends, Ashley and David’s house in Columbus, GA. We had a great time. Ashley and I have been best friends since we were sophomores in college and I know without a doubt that we will always be best friends. Ashley and David live close to Auburn now so it was a great excuse to go to a game this weekend. Funny part is Ashley and I have been going on trips to Auburn since we were sophomores in college so I am super jealous that she lives so close now. We’ve had tons of great times in Auburn and we don’t mind telling you our stories…. And boy do we have some. Our poor husbands got to hear several of them too. We even have some from this trip. Let’s just say some things never change. I love this girl to pieces and I couldn’t imagine life without her. And we sure know how to have some fun when we are together. I can’t wait to visit them both more often now that G has a “normal” job.





30 Days of Thanks

My 30 Days of Thanks:

1. This list is not in any particular order but this #1 is truly my #1- My Lord and Savior. I beyond thankful to know my Savior on a personal level. I view it as a distinct pleasure that I can call on His name anytime. His presence in my life is humbling.
2. My husband. I am thankful to be married to one of the most thoughtful human beings on the face of the earth. He amazes me every day.
3. My daddy- yes, I may be 26 years old but he will always be “my daddy”. He along with my husband is one of the greatest men I know. Hardly ever does a day go by that I don’t talk to him. He is my friend, my mentor and my rock.
4. My momma- I am thankful my mom leads her life by showing by example and not by telling. Every time I cook for someone who is sick or just had a baby, put a care package together or volunteer- I know without a doubt who I learned it from. I was never told to do these things. I was shown how to do them.
5. Libby, I know she is a dog but she brings so much joy to Greyson and me. We never get tired of seeing how excited she is to see us when we come home each day.
6. Realizing I’ve never wanted anything more. Not too long ago G and I were driving down the road and I said, “You know, I’ve never wanted anything more”. We don’t have it all but I have the things I’ve wanted most in my life. I have a loving husband, a great job and an amazing family.
7. My mother-in-law. I want to come up with a new name for her soon because mother-in-law does not seem fitting. She has very much become my second mother. She is there whenever I need her and is always surprising me with her love for us.
8. New friends.
9. Old friends.
10. Leadership Rutherford. I am honored and privilege to be among this group of 40 individuals who motivate me and make me laugh harder than any other group I know.
11. Business Women’s Council. I am humbled to be a part of this council and have met some awesome women in the process.
12. MYP. I am thankful to see this organization grow by leaps and bounds this year.
13. My promotion at work earlier this year.
14. The challenges of each new day at work. Hardly ever does a day pass by at the hotel that I do not leave feeling like I have learned something new. This isn’t something that is easy to always be thankful for though : ) .
15. Greyson’s new job.
16. The ability to spend more time with my husband. This is a first for us. All we’ve ever known in our relationship is either long distance or strenuous schedules.
17. Evelyn*
18. Isaiah*
19. John Keith*
20. Kayden* Our niece and nephews. These little ones hold a very special place in our hearts.
21. My “roots”. I am very thankful for how I was raised and the principles that were installed in me.
22. Rutherford County. I know it may sound funny but I am very thankful to live and work where I do. We have such an awesome community here and a lot to be thankful for.
23. Our safe home.
24. Sweet memories of this year. And there have been a lot of them.
25. New lives. It is the year for babies! (Don’t expect one from us anytime soon though.)
26. Prayer warriors- I love having a great group of friends that I can call on whenever I need some extra prayers.
27. My health.
28. Greyson’s health.
29. My great team at work. I couldn’t do without my Alyssa and Deb.
30. The simple blessing of each new day.

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Remembering “ The Voice of Truth”

To say October has been a busy and stressful month would be a huge understatement. From hosting another football team, weddings, a baby shower, serving on a planning committee for a large women’s conference, serving on a board, going through a leadership program and not to forget my 40+ hour workweek, it overwhelms again to think about it or look at my calendar. Add to that things that were not listed on my calendar or to-do list have made it an ever more stressful month. My grandparents’ health is failing. My grandmother’s sister passed away. Friends of mine have lost loved ones in tragic ways. My husband is adjusting to a new job. We’ve had a lot of changes in our management staff at work and the demands are ever increasing there. It has been a little much. I am sure I have not been the most pleasant person to my husband and co-workers and my friends are probably about to fill out a missing person report on me.

But yet through this entire month, God has been changing my prospective. He has changed my prospective on large and small things. (I hope to have more time to share all the ways my prospective has been changed.) He has been doing this in many different ways. He even used Facebook and YouTube today. Yes, I believe God can use these things to grab our attention. A fb “friend” posted a link to a YouTube video. Normally I would never click on it but I had a few moments to kill during lunch. It was this video.


Here I was home for lunch and taking a break from a stressful day at the office where tension is extremely high and my mind is on my grandmother who just lost her twin sister. And God uses this ordinary moment and this video online to remind me to stop listening and focusing to all the negativity. I am reminded that I need to focus on the Voice of the Truth (Jesus) because it really does tell me a different story. The Voice of Truth personally tells me to not worry because this is ALL part of His plan. I have no reason to be anxious about anything because He is there with me in every step.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”- Matthew 11:28

“Do not withhold your mercy on me, O Lord; may your love and truth always protect me.” – Psalm 40:11

“Surly God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid….” – Isaiah 12:2

“So we say with confidence, the Lord is my helper. I will not afraid.” – Hebrews 13:6

How It Goes

This is Greyson’s third week on the new job. So far he loves it. Of course there have been some adjustments and the stress that comes with any situation but he’s not regretting his decision at all. I also love his new schedule. And he has definitely been enjoying his afternoon and weekend rounds of golf.

We both thought this new job would mean much more time together and although, our time together has doubled we somehow forgot that I lead a pretty busy life with work and all the organizations I am a part of. I guess because when I was busy he was at the golf course so we never dealt with my busy life interfering with our time together. For instance, this was the conversation that occurred two weekends ago when we were planning our meals for the week.
Greyson: What would you like for dinner this week?
Amy: Humm… I’ve been craving chili. How does that sounds?
Greyson: Good and I was thinking grilled chicken one night.
Amy: Well I have a MYP Community Outreach meeting Tuesday night, a dinner with the girls on Wednesday night that we’ve already had to reschedule once and Thursday night I will be out of town at my Leadership Rutherford retreat.
Greyson: So chili Monday night it is.

He has been a pro about it though. He said if I waited two years for him then he could wait a few nights a week on me. I do think it will be juggle though for me and very much a transition for us both. I am use to going to my meetings and not keeping him informed on my schedule. It was on the kitchen calendar before and that is all he needed but now he wants to know my schedule a week in advance.

Oh we also kind of forgot I have to work some on the weekends…. Crazy sounding, I know. But seriously it is like we forgot. Just this week, I worked on Sunday at a Bridal Show and I have to work this Saturday because we are hosting a football team at the hotel. It never mattered before because he worked every weekend. But now he wants to plan stuff on the weekends and the next available date I can give him because of work or other commitments is the first weekend in November…. Eek! I’ve heard him say once already he wishes I could slow down. Hopefully things will slow down for me soon but I guess this is how it goes.

Happy Birthday to Me…. And Trina!

Last night we celebrate my birthday late and my friend Trina’s birthday early. I worked all day on my birthday because I had a major client at the hotel and Trina is leaving for her high school reunion and cruise this week. Because of all of our crazy schedules we decided to combine our birthday dinners. We had so much fun. We went to Jackson’s in Nashville for dinner and to Winner’s for drinks and lots of people watching afterwards. Such a great night with such great friends!

First Weekend EVERRRRR!

I am a giddy little girl! Greyson P. has his 1ST WEEKEND OFF EVERRRRRR in the 15 ½ months of our marriage. I honestly do not know what to do. He’s in the kitchen cooking dinner and has me in the living room with a glass of wine. I could get use to this. Tomorrow he is going to play golf with two of his closest buddies while I sleep in and tomorrow night we are heading up to Nashville to celebrate mine and one of my good friend’s birthday.

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Time to Turn the Page

Time to turn the page; it is a new chapter in the Painter book. Today was G’s last day at SRCC. As you know from all my former posts G has been working A LOT this summer A WHOLE LOT. It got to where he was doing nothing but working, eating and sleeping and had no time for family, friends or fun. After MUCH consideration and countless prayers he decided to apply for some jobs outside of the golf industry. I kept praying that God would not open any doors unless they were supposed to be open. Well, God has a way of confirming things with us. G got not only one offer with a company he worked with but he got two offers from that company. He is going to work at HCA which is very different from work he has been doing but he is finally getting to use that MBA of his.  Just kidding, G!

We appreciate everyone’s’ prayers during this transition. But we are very excited about this new chapter. And so thankful to God for his provision!

August, Come Back!

Hey August- Would you like to come back? Yes, I am actually going to welcome some cooler weather (some being the key term) and football but the month was so busy I never posted.

And this is all for this post but much more to come! WE GOT SOME BIG NEWS! (And it is not a baby!) But I can't post just yet but be on the lookout for BIG NEWS and more posts.

You’re invited to ….

Another pity party hosted by yours truly.

Unfortunately, I am having another one of those days/ weeks and of course this comes after my vow to not complain (I am saving that for another post). G has been working some CRAZY hours this week thanks to their largest golf tournament of the year. Try 16 hour days without a day off. Let’s just say I am beyond frustrated and miss my husband dearly. I want to be the most supportive wife ever but it is hard to support hours like those. Plus, I am tired of saying, “No, it will just be me. Greyson has to work.” Literally I am sick and tired of it. I say it at least once a day and I don’t know if I have it in my being to say it anymore. I desperately need a weekend away or just a weekend at home with my husband but that doesn’t look like that will happen until January.

Prayers are appreciated every though I don’t have a specific request but I know God knows what we need to get through this.

Bringing Awareness to a New Issue

Today is a new awareness day you may not heard of before…

Please show your support to me and other fellow golf widows by not allowing your husband to play so much golf this summer. Hopefully by doing so I could see my husband sometime soon. Also, please pray for rain.....


Amy P., a golf widow


I am “home” this weekend in Florence. I can’t believe I’ve been gone for six and a half years. (Yikes, how am I old enough to have been gone that long? I don’t think I left when I was 14!) There is still an overwhelming sense of calmness that comes over me the minute I see the city limit sign. I also feel the need to see all the sights and eat at all my favorite restaurants. For the most part, things stay the same in my hometown. Somehow it seems like life has somehow remained simple here. While the town has progressed and seen growth since I have been gone, it still holds onto its small town roots. The simple things in life aren’t taken for granted but are enjoyed. Saturdays are built around ballgames, Sundays around church and “the river” is where you go for an afternoon getaway. I am amazed at no matter how much I love the Boro and can’t see myself living anywhere else that this still feels like “home”. Every time I am “home” I wonder why I don’t visit more and become more “homesick” than I ever am when I am away. Nostalgia takes over. Every street I drive down, every person I see, and every song on the radio brings a story to my mind. The place I make fun of for its simple ways suddenly seems like the best place in the world. Sometimes while I’m here I can almost see myself coming “home” to live. But then reality sets in and I see the opportunities I’ve had in the Boro that would have never happened at “home”. But I do hope in some way this always feels like “home”, a place of refuge from the rest of the world and a place where things somehow remain simple.

Sweet Home Alabama.....

Best Daddy in the World

Many may claim that they have the best daddy in the world but I promise you mine really is the best : ). His love and sacrifices for my family are incomparable. He’s the hardest worker I know and has the best work ethic. I don’t think he’s ever had a normal 40 hour work week. He’s never taken a 7 day vacation (until next week), never had a sick day or ever arrived at work late. Yet he never missed a school play, PTO meeting, tennis match, church choir production or anything for that matter. He also never walked through the front door and didn’t show my mother that she is number one in his life. He is my best friend, my number one fan and my soundboard for everything in my life. I consider him the wisest person I know. He came from humble beginnings and knew his destiny was his own. And that no one else could create a great life for him other than himself and that is exactly what he did. I am who I am today all because of the precious man who is my “daddy”.

Happy Father’s Day!


G and I just got back from vacation on Friday afternoon. We went to St. Simmons Island, GA. It was ah-mazing. I wish I could have stayed all summer. I told G I was going to put in an application at one of the local restaurants and he could leave me there and I would think about coming back sometime in the fall. We went with his family (mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece).

Here’s some pics from the week….

Greyson, me and Nancy
Lady and Sons', Paula Deen's restaurant in Savannah, GA

Michael, Isaiah, Greyson and Bill showing off their big catches from their deep sea fishing trip.

Me on one of the bikes at our rental house. They had all kinds of fun stuff for us there at the house to use.

Greyson and I before our date

Isaiah and Evelyn

Happy 1st Anniversary

The clock just struck midnight so that means we made it to our first anniversary… ha ha!

I cannot believe it has been one year already. I still haven’t done anything to preserve my wedding dress. I now understand how a couple can feel like they turn around and all of a sudden they have been married 30 years. I’ve been reminiscing all weekend about our wedding and what I was doing this time last year. Although being sick has thrown a little kink in our plans I refuse to let it get to me. I guess when you have the wedding of your dreams then you don’t get the perfect first anniversary as well, ha ha. But we do have some special things planned for tomorrow night (well tonight now) which includes eating a replica of the top tier of our wedding cake. Our top tier is in my mother-in-law’s deep freeze an hour away and I am going to get it on Monday so since it will be a day late I decided we should order a new one. Plus, I’ve heard way too many horror stories from people about their cake on their first anniversary. So yay for Publix for saving the day!

I titled this blog when I made it during wedding planning, “The Start of Our Journey”. And oh what a journey this first year has been. I remember right before I got married telling my boss I didn’t foresee many changes after we got married because we had been together for so long. She just smiled and said something along the lines of, “oh you just wait”. And boy was she right. From learning to pay bills and manage our finances together, to just learning more about each others’ personalities, to two promotions, it has been a challenging year.

I am not trying to paint a doom and gloom picture because that is not what it has been. It’s been a year of building a firm foundation in Christ and in one another. Just as much as our love and understanding has deepened for each other so has our love and understanding of Christ. That excites me! I know we are going to have more growing pains in this life and both of us had a lot of growing up to do this past year. (Neither one of us had ever paid for our own cell phone, people!) But if we continue with each phase to draw closer together and even more importantly closer to Christ than hopefully we can keep an eye on the prize.

Cheers to my G and our first year of marriage and to many, many more. I love you!


Wednesday was a sad day for me and many around the world. It was the last day of the Oprah Winfrey Show. Go ahead laugh all you want to but I love Oprah. I love pretty much everything about her. My life and the Oprah show have always coexisted. The show has been on for 25 years. The same amount of years I’ve been alive. For my entire life if I was at home at 4 pm. Oprah was on.

Before you judge me for liking her so much, let me tell you why I love her.

1. She came from nothing! She grew up in rural Mississippi and no one but herself had hopes or dreams for her life. She is where she is today because of her own hard work. It wasn't something that was handed down to her.
2. She takes no credit for where she has come but rather gives God all the credit. I once heard her say, “Nothing about my life is lucky. Nothing. A lot of grace and a lot of divine order. I am the co-creator of my life with the ultimate creator”.
3. She has the ability to make even the biggest celebrity seem human. She is my favorite interviewer of all time. She can take the biggest star feel like your new best friend.
4. She has brought awareness to so many issues that were never talked about before.
5. She saw her role of television host more than that but brought it to an entire new level and encourages everyone else to do the same in their own lives.

So goodbye, Oprah. I will miss you.

May Recap

I am starting to see how complex the blogging world is for me and many others I know. When I have a lot going on and a lot to write about, then I don’t have time to blog but when I do have time that means I don’t have a lot going on and not much to say….

Anyways, once again it is the end of another month and I am wondering where it went. It has been extremely busy at work. Our 4th wedding reception is this Saturday. We also had a Mother’s Day Brunch. I was fortunate enough to have my mom, grandmother,my mother-in-law, and my best friend’s mom, Julie, attend. My best friend was unable to make it home for the weekend so her “adoptive daughters” (aka Trina and I) wanted to be with her on Mother’s Day.

My mom, me, and my gran

G, my mother-in-law, and me

Me, Julie, and Trina

We also celebrate my sweet great nephew’s 6th birthday last week with a bowling party. My mom and dad also came up and spent the night with us that evening. The older I get the more and more I enjoy my parents company. It was a short but very sweet time.

The birthday boy and his Mel

John and Papa Billy

Me and John

This month has also been a month of sickness for me. I’ve been home the past two days with high fever. My doctor had me panicked this morning thinking I had walking pneumonia because of the tightness in my chest and my annoying cough but thankfully my lungs checked out okay this morning. They are treating me for it because of my history but are thinking it is a bad viral infection. I am hoping and praying to be more of my normal self tomorrow and be able to put in a full day’s work. This is the second time I've been really sick this month. Plus, our first anniversary is this weekend and I cannot be sick!!! So prayers are appreciated. But it doesn't look like someone has minded that I've been home sick.

(Sorry for the poor quality. Camera phone.)

Happy Birthday to the one and only, John Keith Stokes!

I can’t believe my precious great-nephew is turning six tomorrow. It seems like yesterday I was holding him right after he was born. The past six years he has been an absolute blessing to my family. I’ve never known a child with a heart as big as John’s. He doesn’t know a stranger and everyone is his friend. Even at two years old he was yelling across a restaurant for a little boy to come sit with him. At my wedding he made new best friends with G’s nephew and first cousin’s children, who he told them “I am your new cousin now”, ha ha. He is also the little boy who brings together all the kids of the playgroup at the park in a city he doesn't know anyone in to play one big game of chase. I have so many more John Keith stories and so many sayings that I could go on for days… but I will spare you. So I will leave it with this, Happy Birthday John Keith Stokes, may you continue to bless people with your smile and big heart. I love you and am so proud to be your aunt!!!!

P.S. No matter how old you are you will always be my sweet little Elmer Fudd baby!

11 Months

Can’t believe it has been 11 months since our wedding. It is also the day of the Royal Wedding. (Wasn’t she beautiful!!!)

Now’s the big question, and it’s not when to start a family but what should we do to celebrate! We don’t have time for a weekend away but I feel like we need to make it special. The first anniversary sets the precedent for all the other anniversaries to come. Please send your suggestions our way. I can’t wait to celebrate our first year as husband and wife. Plus we get to sample our cake. But we’ve decided we are going to order a small replica just in case it is freezer burned.

After watching all this footage of the Royal Wedding, I want to get married all over again.

Happy Easter Everyone!!!

I should be climbing into bed right now but instead I am washing and ironing clothes for tomorrow and just finished putting together a breakfast casserole and baking some muffins. I can’t imagine the stress of getting an entire family ready for Easter morning. I am thankful I only have myself and G to get out in the door in the morning.

With our jobs we no longer have a “traditional Easter”. We are both working tomorrow. My hotel is hosting a brunch and we have a record number of over 300 people registered. Tomorrow is also a big day at the county club for G as well. Thankfully he doesn’t have to go into work until late tomorrow afternoon and THANKFULLY he is going to help hide the Easter eggs for the two egg hunts we are having at the brunch. Also, his parents are coming to the hotel to eat and my precious mother-in-law is bringing a homemade coconut cake shaped like an entire body of a bunny. Her mother use to make one every year and Nancy does not want us to miss out on the tradition even if we do have to work. To be 100% honest I have dreaded tomorrow for a while. I struggle with guilt about having to work on Easter. But it is not my choice so early last week I started praying that my focus would be on Christ’s sacrifice and not the brunch. And it has been just that. Each night I have spent a great deal of time reading about Jesus’ last days on earth. Also today it hit me like a ton of bricks that I have the opportunity to serve and shine for Christ and my plan is to do just that… with HIS help of course. Otherwise, I would be my normal complaining self tomorrow. I have the opportunity to provide 300+ people with a great holiday experience and that is how I am determined to look at it. So please say a prayer for me tomorrow that my focus will remain on Christ and not on having to “work”. Also we both still have the opportunity to go and worship tomorrow and I am so thankful for that. Besides He paid the ultimate sacrifice so what am I complaining about?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter wherever and however you choose to worship.

Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above All

Hear You Loud and Clear

After writing my last post, I had a little pity party the rest of the night. It continued even after G got home from work. Poor thing! I know I made him feel terrible. And again, I do NOT want him to change his career path. I was just feeling overwhelmed and lonely on Friday.

Well wouldn’t you know it, our preacher’s sermon was titled, “Never Alone”. He had us read aloud Psalms 93 and then say, “God is with ME. I am never alone”. Then to stress the point of how we are never alone, he then provided us with examples to remind us that whatever situation we are in that we are not in it alone. His first point was, “God is with me. I am never alone even when I am bored to death with my mundane life.” DING, DING, DING. I am hearing you, God. That was where all my frustration was coming from Friday night. I had worked hard all week and I wanted to enjoy life but instead I was home alone and bored.

I know our preacher’s message was so simple but it was so true. And just those few sentences were all that I needed to hear to change my attitude. He continued his sermon with different circumstances I know others could relate to but this was the one that struck my cord. I am never alone and even though my problem does seem insignificant, it isn’t insignificant to God because I am His child. He cares about every single problem I have and He is with me every step of the way. WOW!!! No other love compares. I think I was nodding my head so hard as our preacher was saying this that he knew it was just what I needed to hear. We even made direct eye contact in that moment. I am so thankful for God to have used him to speak directly to me on Sunday. No, my problem isn’t as great as natural disasters or people who are sick but God still cares and I am never alone. I am also thankful that the Spirit was there not only during that moment but throughout the service.

Thank you, God. I hear you loud and clear and I am so thankful for that.

My Weekend Blahs

It’s Friday and I should be screaming from the rooftops TGIF but I’m not. Instead I have what I call “my weekend blahs”. It’s Friday night and don’t get me wrong I am thrilled to off work for two days especially after a day like today when I have seen and talked to a million clients and lunch was at my new normal place and time, my desk at 2 pm. But as thrilled as I am, I’m also a little down. I come home every Friday evening to husbandless household and it pretty much stays like that except for a few sporadic hours here and there. So that means just me and Libby. HOME ALONE ALL WEEKEND! I love that dog to death but she’s pretty boring. I can’t exactly share a glass of wine with her or go to dinner and a movie. I never want my husband to change careers because he is following his dream and doing what he loves and that is what matters most to me.

So I try and keep myself busy but it’s hard. How much shopping can a girl do on the weekends without breaking the bank? And has far as hanging out with friends, most of friends now are married and have hectic schedules just like my own. And there’s another thing when I do have fun things to do then I either have to work on the weekends myself or I am so exhausted from work all week that I dread doing them. It is like I can’t win. Are you starting to see why this titled this blog, “My Weekend Blahs”?

I’m not asking for sympathy. I’m really not. I just wish I was a little more “normal” when it came to my weekends. Enough complaining for now! I am tired of hearing myself whine. I promise for a more upbeat post next time.


Last weekend we celebrated Isaiah’s 6th birthday and Evelyn’s 3rd. I can’t believe it. It seems like yesterday they were both babies. Look at those sweet faces!

Their birthdays are a week a part so for the last three years we have combined their parties. Since Isaiah is in school now, I am sure this will be the last year my sister-in-law can get away with this. I couldn’t help feeling sad throughout the party though. I can’t believe how we have turned around and they are now 6 and 3. I can’t imagine how my sister-in-law feels. Having nieces and nephews on the other side of my family, I know that not only will this year probably be the last party they combine but one of the last parties their aunt and uncle are invited to. Ok, I may be a little dramatic but I just wish they would stay babies forever. Besides, babies don’t have wish lists for Christmas and birthdays, ha ha! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISAIAH AND EVELYN!


Today I said goodbye to my sweet friend Seth at work. We sent him off in true DoubleTree style by throwing him a surprise party. It was complete with all his favorites, Chick Fil A and chocolate cake! Seth has been so much more than a co-worker to so many employees at our hotel and he has been more than a front desk agent to our guests. I know without a doubt he has blessed each and every single manager at our property (all 17 us) in some capacity and I am sure majority of the rest of the staff feels the same way. And we’ve heard of countless stories from guests on his service to them. You may have heard of someone being described with the ability to light up a room, well I think that expression was coined with Seth in mind. I have honestly never met anyone like him. And the greatest thing about his light is it radiates Christ’s love. So it makes total and perfect sense that God has called him to a life of missions.

Seth has a powerful testimony. One I have wanted to share on here many times but have been cautious of doing so. The reason is because it is not mine to share and I never want anyone to label him anything other than a believer and a follower of Christ. But I believe that his testimony has power and it deserves to be told.

Seth is gay and before we all put our not so glamorous judging Christian hats on, listen to the rest. Seth is not a practicing homosexual. While he desires to be with a man, he actively chooses not to, because his personal relationship with Jesus Christ means more to him than anything else in this world. He knows nothing compares to the love of Christ and because his nature does not follow with God’s word, he surrenders his desire daily. I hope you are all saying, “WOW” right now. I am sure if we were to all take even a small look in the mirror we would all see an image that wouldn’t reflect the very nature of Christ but our own human nature. And how many of us actively give up something every day because we value our relationship with Jesus Christ more? Yes, I have my battles but I can’t say that there is one deep desire that I have to surrender daily.

Seth has been a true inspiration to me and a great friend. I only hope I have blessed him as half as he has me. I am so proud to have been on part of this journey with him. I will never forget the day he told me God was laying missions on his heart. I hope Seth has been inspiration to you and I know God is going to use him for so many great things for the glory of His Kingdom. I also hope each of you will take a few minutes and pray for Seth. He is about to embark on a huge change by leaving everything he knows to go live halfway around the world. Pray for his transition and for the hearts of those he is going to meet.

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." _ Mark 16:15

A Glamorous Gala: Special Needs Prom

Yesterday, I had the privilege of hosting the Rutherford County Special Needs Prom at the hotel. Six high schools attended the event with more than 150 students and countless family members and teachers. I don’t think I have ever seen any prom goers be so happy. It was a very challenging day but more rewarding than I ever could imagine. At the end of the prom after running around all day and not really getting to see the students enjoy themselves, I made myself stand back and reflect on it all. I stood there with tears in my eyes as they sang and danced to “I Had the Time of My Life”. Their excitement and gratitude made all the stress of the day more than worth it. I am so thankful to have been a part of this event. Also, I am once again thankful to be a part of this community, where more than 25 vendors volunteered their services and time for absolutely no cost to the students or to the organizers of the prom. Everything thing from their formal ware to limos were donated.

For press coverage of the prom, check out:


Ash Wednesday

G and I were a little confused when we learned our Southern Baptist Church was holding an Ash Wednesday service. I’ve heard of Catholics, Lutherans and Methodists holding Ash Wednesday services but never Baptists. But we were excited and proud to be a part of a church that not only focuses and celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday but during a season just as we did at Christmas with Advent. Growing up in a Southern Baptist church I know very little about the symbolism and history of Ash Wednesday and lent but I know what it symbolizes to me. I attended an Ash Wednesday service in high school at a Methodist Church. I can’t remember the words the pastor said but I remember the feeling I had when I left. I had humbled myself in front of my friends as the pastor smeared ashes on my head in the shape of a cross. I walked out of the church with a cross on my head, a testament to everyone I saw that night that I was a believer of Christ. It makes me think about how we should have a cross on our heads every day. No, I am not talking about literally having a cross on our heads every day but how we should show the love of Christ through our words and actions. It also symbolizes to me how we never need to lose sight of the cross. The cross is where it was all paid. Every sin of mine and the entire world was paid for. Because of the cross I am able to have a personal relationship with my Savior and everlasting life. For me personally, lent is not what you give up but what you gain. It is about focusing more on the ultimate sacrifice, growing and realizing the freedom we have in Christ.
I can’t wait for G to attend his first Ash Wednesday and even more for God to reveal more of His glory to us.

For My Friend, Seth

I shared a little bit about my friend Seth going into the mission field before on my blog. You can read about it here (http://amyandgreyson.blogspot.com/2010/11/day-of-celebrating.html).

I want to spread what he has been called to do with you and how you can help if you are led to do so. Here is a letter that Seth has shared with many and I like I am sharing with you, I hope you will share it as well. I will be writing more about Seth and his testimony later.

Dear Friend,

As the New Year is upon us, people will be making the ever-famous resolutions; changes they plan to make to better their quality of life as well as who they are individually. For me, this upcoming year promises to be exciting and adventurous. At the beginning of last year I was at a place where I felt lost and uncertain about my future. Not really having a plan or knowing where I was headed, I spent the majority of the year praying fervently for the Lord to reveal my purpose in life. He revealed to me that I belonged on the mission field... That's right; I'm going to Australia!
My prayers led me to Youth With A Mission's base in Perth. YWAM is a global missions organization that equips young people with the skills needed to preach the gospel to different cultures and countries around the world. After completing YWAM's Discipleship Training School, I will be eligible to teach with YWAM on a regular basis, helping to build up other missionaries to go out and spread the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. I have included more information about Youth With A Mission in this packet in case you would like to know more about the organization..
My personal prayer and goals are to stay with this group for as long as they will have me. The Lord has shown me many opportunities, like becoming a teacher through this organization and attending the leadership school they offer, following my DTS. There is also a local ministry in Perth called Art Refuge that will have the majority of my attention. This ministry teaches and introduces fine art to the poor and impoverished, as well as to women in crisis centers, and to people in detention centers. As most of you know, the Lord has given me a passion for the arts, so this was no coincidence. I am very excited to see what the Lord has in store for me while I am there!
This is more than an amazing opportunity for me, this is my calling. I know you are all praying for me, and I am so grateful! However, as with most things in life, this will not be free... or cheap. I am doing all I can by working, saving, and cutting corners, but it does not cover the full costs needed. My support goal for this program is roughly $15,000. This would include lodging, food, and supplies for the full six month DTS and would most likely carry me into the leadership school that follows. You can help by giving a one time donation, or you can sign up to sponsor me monthly. Monthly sponsors will receive a regular newsletter, keeping you updated on my journey. In this letter I have included a stamped envelope with an insert to sign, telling me how you would prefer to give.
I thank you so much for taking the time to read this and even more for responding. I pray your new year is blessed and full of the Lord’s favor and joy!

P.S. You may also write your checks out to Springhouse Worship and Arts Center(my home church) if you would like this to be tax deductible; just put my name with YWAM somewhere on the check or with it!

With Love,
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:1-3

Sorry It’s Been So Long…

Wow, I never would have thought February would have been this busy and this great! It’s been filled with birthdays, events and a PROMOTION!!! I was promoted to Director of Catering last week. It is still so new it partly feels like a dream. It was been an overwhelming two weeks but a great two weeks. I am so honored to be given this amazing opportunity but God deserves all the glory! Greyson and I have been praying for so long about our future and trusting in God to open the doors that were supposed to be opened and close the doors that needed closing. We have stood on the promises of Jeremiah 29:11 and once again GOD HAS PROVIDED! Prayers are welcomed and appreciated during this transition.
And to my friends, I promise not to drop off the face of the earth. Please just give me a couple of more weeks to get acclimated and to hire some help! Hopefully, I will have a new coordinator on my staff soon. Dinner dates and phone dates soon. I promise.

And for a little recap….
We started off the month celebrating our good friend Lara’s “26th“ birthday. Oh wait, it was her 29th but we count what the candles say and her candles said 26, ha-ha.

Then it was Greyson’s 25th birthday. We had a great time celebrating for over a week with cupcakes, cakes and both of our families in town.

DoubleTree by Hilton Murfreesboro hosted Business After Hours for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce that was all coordinated by yours truly. It was a huge success. It was a western theme event and we had a couple of hundred attendees.

And I ended the month with the Boro Bridal Ball at Stones River Country Club.

Diagnosis Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?

As you may already know by now I only watch quality television. You know things like Bravo’s Real Housewives series…. Haha! Well I think the Real Housewives might have led me to a breakthrough with Libby. There is a dog named Giggy on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that has the same problems as Libby (hair loss and itching). That dog was diagnosed with alopecia. I had never really heard of this term until last night when I was watching the show. Thankfully we also learned that if she does have it, it is not life threatening and can be treated with medicine. We will definitely be calling my brother-in-law (the vet) for him to look more into the disease.

It doesn’t seem to stop Giggy from enjoying life. Maybe he can be Libby’s new boyfriend!

Meet Giggy for yourself! http://www.hulu.com/watch/202818/the-real-housewives-of-beverly-hills-the-sweet-life-of-giggy

Beef Enchilada Casserole

This is another one I tweaked and made my own. I experimented a lot with this one. I can see this recipe evolving. I can see a chicken and several other varieties in the near future. Although, this was a huge hit with G. He asked if we could eat the leftovers for supper the next night. Wow, stop the presses. That has NEVER happened.

1 lb lean hamburger beef (I always use 8% or 4% fat)
1 package of Taco Seasoning
1 jar of Salsa (16 oz.)
12 small flour tortillas
1 cup of water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger meat with taco seasoning and drain. Cut tortillas into one inch squares (doesn’t have to be precise). In a large mixing bowl mix together the beef, salsa, tortillas and water. Spread evenly in a 9X13 pan. Then top casserole with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese bubbles.

When mixing together ingredients only put a few tortillas in at a time so they do not stick together.

Garnish with sour cream and jalapenos if desired. Serve with Spanish rice and black beans.

"A Woman and Her God"

As February begins, I am trying to hold on to the “New Year” momentum and continue to make 2011 a great year. I didn’t make any resolutions although; I do hope to be swimsuit ready by the summer. I didn’t even write down my goals. But I know the areas in my life where I want to continue to grow and improve. First would be my relationship with my Savior.

I am very thankful that reading God’s word daily was something that was instilled in over ten years ago. But I am come to realize my relationship with Christ has become one out of disciple and routine and not a desire to know Him better. It has been a one way relationship. Here’s a look into my daily walk: at bedtime I would read a chapter or two in the Bible, maybe read over a devotion, say some prayers asking God to meet my needs and the others around me, ask Him to bless me, maybe a thank you for His blessings, ask forgiveness of my sins, and then falling asleep before I ever said amen.

Yes, I have grown in my walk in the last year but really when I reflect and I am real with myself I have to ask, “what kind of growth really is that”. I want to continue to know God in ways I have never known before. That is the greatest think about growth in Christ. It never ends. There is never a point where you know everything there is to know. My recent quest for growth led me to the bookstore to walk up and down the rows looking for a new book for my devotions each night. I left there with a book by Beth Moore and several other authors she collaborated with called, “A Woman and Her God”.

I have only read the first Chapter (I purchased it Sunday) but I have reread each paragraph at least twice. I found so many great truths I wanted to engrain them in my brain. I also wanted to share them with you. I am not sure how the rest of the book will be (on to chapter two tonight). I just hope I can carry these truths and put them into motion in my life.

1. Don’t always think of God in a corporate manner- a sanctuary filled with believers. Spend some time focusing on how God loves you, the individual. This is so important because our relationship with Him is our own. No one else can bring you closer to Christ than yourself. Somehow I had forgotten the simple truth that Jesus loves ME.
And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. - Luke 12:7
For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. - Psalms 139:13

2. Let your time with God come from a desire to know Him better not just out of routine or disciple.

3. NOTHING in your life will give you satisfaction outside of God. NOTHING!!!

4. Turn to God to give you the affirmation you need and to meet your needs. Remember nothing else can satisfy you.

5. If we are full of ourselves (anxiety and concerns) we do not have room for God. So it is important that we give our needs to God and allow Him to meet them and for us not to take them for our own. But remember not to become so focused on your needs and the needs of others around you that you lose sight of the One who meets those needs.
“I want fullness in life. Not just what God can give.”- Beth Moore

6. Christ laid down His life for you so you could be free to know a love that is better than life.