Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Trip

Last Thursday Zach and I took a quick trip to my family's mountain cabin in western North Carolina to relax and enjoy the fall foliage. Here's some pics from our trip...

On the drive I took this pic and then used a new art app to edit it. I love all the texture and color brought out in the leaves.
After we arrived Thursday night we went to one of our favorite local spots, Maggie's Galley.
Maggie's Galley is a really unique restaurant made from six pre-Civil War cabins found in the western North Carolina/ eastern Tennessee region.

We love this place.
We normally get the alligator appetizer, but sadly there was no alligator to be found. Apparently alligator meat is quite scarce these days due to low demand for the skin. They won't continue killing alligator just for the meat when no one is using the skin to make clothing and accessories. Instead of that tasty treat we tried the catfish fingers and they were super delish, light and fluffy, and served with the perfect dip -  jezebel sauce (whatever that is!).
As usual, I ordered the local NC rainbow trout with twice-baked potato, fresh veggies, and cripsy hush puppies.
Zach is at home in the mountains. He feels inspired and rejuvenated here.

Fall color

I took this one looking out from one of the windows of the gym while Z and I worked out with all the retirees. :)
Best part about working out mid-morning with old people? Watching the Price Is Right of course! :)
The Price Is Right always reminds me of my grandma, who use to watch this show everyday. I marvel at the fact that with the exception of Bob Barker, this show is almost identical to how I remember it from watching it at her house during my childhood.

For lunch on Friday we tried a new place in Waynesville called Panacea. The restaurant is set in an old warehouse and utilizes the old brick and concrete floors to create a super cozy space.

Inset menu behind the counter
Cool tree table
I got the Dixie Chicken sandwich which sadly, was an epic fail.
You see I hate celery and this sandwich had celery seeds in it... which I thought would be less flavorful than celery itself, but I now know it is way, waaay worse than actual celery in a sandwich. Ick! But Zach's Scarlet Begonia sandwich was totally scrumptious so I'm not giving up on Panacea yet. :)
I also discovered my love of hot chocolate and lattes can converge into something truly glorious - the mocha. This drink was the jam.
After lunch Z and I spent the afternoon shopping around downtown Waynesville and found some pretty interesting things.
Handmade soap with bike design
Zach loves these antler chandeliers
Big comfy chair
We also visited a dog bakery. Yes you heard me correctly. A store completely devoted to cooking special treats for your canine companion. I find this fascinating... and funny.
Bone buffet
Lindsay Keller, consider it a real act of love that I did NOT buy Bella one of these giant hooves.
Friday night dinner was probably the highlight of our trip and was spent at the incredibly lovely Frog's Leap Public House in Waynesville.

Zach and I have eaten at a ton of nice places, but this was definitely one of our most favorite meals ever.
Cheese plate with honeyed preserves
Mini biscuit and corn bread with sweet potato butter

The yummiest chicken with potato au gratin
No this is not a donut, but squash served with a cinnamon butter. O-mazing.
After dinner coffee
Love love love LOVE Frog's Leap and our quick getaway to the mountains!
Next big trip is Florida for Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fresh Fabo

Zach and I have been wanting to try Fabo, a cozy and eclectic local coffee shop in the Myers Park area. We've past it many times on our way to neighboring Mellow Mushroom or some place downtown, but only visited it for the first time last week.

Fabo, who advertises itself as "art, coffee, and goodies" is a fusion of coffeehouse and art gallery as many paintings and artisan products are available for purchase. The space itself is really interesting with unique furniture and accessories.

Baked goodies
The cutest box of teas I've ever seen
Wallets made from juice boxes
My delish pumpkin spice latte
Fabo is a GREAT place to have coffee with a friend, meet with a life group, shop for a unique gift, or just run by and grab a treat. If you like this type of stuff like me you should check it out soon!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Better Together

If you can't tell by our blog and photos, Zach and I love being married. Like a lot. :) We are so blessed in a myriad of ways, but it seriously is the best, most joy-producing thing ever to do life with my husband even on our worst of days.

It. Is. Awesome.

Our pastor and friend David Chadwick has been doing a series on the book of Malachi. One recent week focused on chapter two and the marriage covenant. If you are married or know someone who is, chances are you know marriage takes much love - real, sacrificial, selfless, Jesus-centered love that all of us have to work at. If we don't, things can deteriorate right before our eyes. Anyways, at the end of the message they gave out this card with ideas for marriage enrichment that I wanted to share with all our married friends and hopefully-married-one-day friends who can soak up all this advice before walking down the aisle. It's good stuff.

If you can't read that tiny font or don't want to download the image, here's the quick list:

  • Take the Two Becoming One class (offered through FHC)
  • Go to bed at the same time - it helps with communication.
  • Remember dates don't have to always cost money, your back porch is sometimes just as good as going our to a restaurant.
  • The most important minute for your marriage is the first moment you reunite after the day - greet your spouse with a hug and a kiss and let them know they are important to you. Leave the weighty discussions for later when rested.
  • The couple who prays together, goes to church together, or reads their bible together has less than a 1% chance of divorce. 
  • Don't always make communication a task - if your spouse isn't naturally the one to share his/her heart with you, let their few words suffice. Only look to him/her to provide a few minutes of heart talk and then keep it playful and fun. You want to be the kind of spouse the other one craves to be around!
  • On dates, try to talk about work or kids for less than 20% of the time.
  • Get to know your spouse's friends - it means a lot that you care enough to know their buddies.
  • Believe the best in your spouse - take time often to remember the person who you first met and what drew you to them

(Side note: I once heard Andy Stanley do a message on marriage. After interviewing like 100 couples - some still together and some not, he found that the single common thread between the marriages that were able to stand the test of time were that they chose to consistently believe the best in their spouse instead of assuming the worst. This in my opinion is priceless advice because we can often become frustrated over time and allow ourselves to blame our beloved or lash out at them when that frustration is based on assuming our spouse intends to hurt us when they don't. )

  • Publicly praise your spouse - to others, with social media, to family, etc.
  • The couple who plays together stays together - look for a hobby you both can enjoy.
  • Major in the majors and minor in the minors - choose your battles and don't let yourself be a nag.
  • Don't always wait for the other to initiate (communication, sex, etc)
  • Pray for your spouse and let them know you are - pray for their heart, pray you will be daily encouragement for them, pray God would show Himself to you through your spouse, and pray that your marriage will be honoring to him always.
I think this list is great advice and things we need to remember as life and circumstances change. Marriage is a huge gift from God and often the place where He does his greatest work in us. Hopefully with that perspective we can find joy in all seasons and all chapters of life we spend with our spouse.