Friday, July 30, 2010

Exact Change

Since moving to Ormond Beach, God has made himself more visible in our life than ever before. For a variety of reasons, life has also been much more challenging here, but God has provided in amazingly detailed and personal ways. He continues to show us he has purpose for us here and is truly in all facets of our life. EVERY. Minute. Detail. 
Recently, I somehow severely injured my lower back. All of a sudden I was experiencing a lot of pain that escalated until I could not sit up in bed one morning. It’s humbling and terrifying to find yourself in such a state especially at my age and activity level. According to the chiropractor, I have no degenerative disc problems, just a lot of vertebrae out of alignment needing immediate attention. This news fell on heavy hearts as Zach and I have been financially challenged due to our increased living expenses and my lack of job. As the chiropractor discussed the amount of care needed to fix my spine, I was overcome with more panic and fear due to the associated cost. I knew we had no room for an extra bill at this point, much less continued chiropractic care. I felt so beat down when we were already down (literally for me) and struggling with the stress of it all. 
As tears filled my eyes I looked over at Zach and saw a much different reaction in him.  A smile slowly crossed his face as he gently told me he had received an extra check that morning totaling the exact amount we needed for my chiropractic care. ‘Overwhelmed’ does not come close to describing how I felt seeing God provide down to the last penny, meeting this specific need at this specific time. 
It’s almost unfathomable to think, know, and truly accept God is so acutely aware of our every need. How/ why do we continue to doubt him (by letting stress dominate our lives) when the going gets really tough? Thank you Jesus for your patience. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for loving us and showing us you are our ultimate provider. We trust you with all that we are. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

For Atlanta appetites only

As previously mentioned, Zach and I are enamored with the food in Atlanta. So many fantastic places. It’s ridiculous. WE MISS THAT TOWN. Anywho... when some friends of mine moved to the city I was inspired to make them a restaurant guide so they could more easily navigate the fabulous eating scene. (Little did I know this would erupt into a list of over 100 places!) Zach recently challenged me to share this gem-of-a-spreadsheet to all those Atlantans out there looking for some good grub. Restaurants on the guide are rated (by us) and categorized by location, cuisine, service times, late night, outdoor patio, healthiness, and price. We have also included our menu recommendations and general notes. 

[DISCLAIMER: The guide it written from our perspective so all recommendations are subjective to our taste.]
So with much ado, here it is.... the master list, five years in the making! Hope you Atlantans out there visit some of our favs and enjoy the deliciousness within!

page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

page 5

[ If you would like the single PDF version, shoot me an email and I'll send you file!]

Here's a few shots of some of our favs. We will see you soon blessed eateries!

Ria's Blue Bird
JCT Kitchen
Highland Bakery

Friday, July 23, 2010

View from the Top

Our Allie-bound Alabama commute has made us quite the frequent flyers these days. Although there have been regular delays, layovers, and overbooked flights, we try to remain focused on the positive aspects of flying. It’s all about perspective right? I am never more reminded of the impact of perspective as I am from a few thousand feet up. So many things unnoticeable from the ground are glaringly apparent and beautiful from the sky. Ordinary things expressed in extraordinary patterns. Farmland, highway intersections, layers of clouds, and city lights all reveal their grandeur from above. I find inspiration in seeing these patterns, big and small, organic and organized. So many breath-taking patterns are visible only from the sky and make our journey not only pleasant, but refreshingly spectacular.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'll take 'the Zach'

Zach and I love to eat. We were intensely spoiled living in Atlanta, surrounded by a plethora of fan-freakin-tastic restaurants that (at the time) we did not realize was out of the ordinary. Sweet potato pancakes, black-bean sliders, raging burritos and tacos alike, we frolicked from establishment to establishment reveling in delicious flavors with full bellies and empty wallets. Sadly we continue to covet these places from a distance and are already debating what meals we will partake of when we go to Atlanta in August. Pa-thetic.
Naturally, our first order of business in Florida was to find our new “jam,” our “Highland Bakery of the south” if you will. Serendipity served us another savory helping as we stumbled upon the best pizza we have ever had in our entire life - Shroomer’s. From the outside, one would not think twice about this business. One could potentially drive by a hundred times and not even notice this tiny, dilapidated shack of a place. Lucky for us, we are adventurous, Zach likes to eat late at night, and Shroomer’s is located at the end of our street. 
There are many noteworthy characteristics of this quirky pizza joint, one of which is the wide array of toppings. The first time we ordered we randomly selected a custom combination that has now made it on their menu as “The Zack.”  So what makes The Zack pizza out of this world? 
• 8-grain crust
• red sauce
• light cheese
• grilled chicken
• mushrooms
• onions
• sliced tomatoes
• sliced zucchini
• a splash of pesto sauce
Seriously redonk. Perfect combo of flavors and textures. You gotta give it a try cause it will blow your mind. 
Other important tidbits about our favorite pizza shack?
They grow their own vegetables
They are open until 2 am (sometimes later)
It’s a tad sketchball so take your gun if you go late-night! Ha!
We are still on the hunt for more hidden gems in our new hood, but Shroomer’s will always have our heart.