Tuesday, April 28, 2009

shrimp and veggie goodness

we've fully recovered from the icky bug that bit us last week. thank goodness! i have to give a shout out to my friend, andrea, who passed on one of her great (and healthy!!) recipes to me. i tried it tonight and OH. MY. WORD. it was so good. i marinated (in a really simple mix) shrimp, squash and zucchini and then grilled them on our george foreman grill. (as an aside, i am so proud of hubs because he is not a huge fan of veggies...unless they are raw...but he told me he was willing to try the marinated, grilled veggies and he liked them! YES! score for the home team. ;)
here was the finished product:

i know i mentioned our date night last thursday night in my previous post and can't believe i didn't include our pictures! so, here's "date night part 2: in pictures."

i think you can tell that our spirit was willing but our flesh was still a little weak...

mmmmm....amazing dinner!

so much fun at the musical...love elle woods!
how's that for one of the most random posts i've written in awhile? (actually, i had planned just to write about the shrimp recipe but when i pulled the picture off the camera, i realized i had date night pictures to share, too.) anyway, just know that life is good in the alley household. we are loving being married, trying new recipes and are so excited about our new puppy, paisley, who will be joining our family on may 22. she's precious. you can bet that i will post pictures of her as soon as i have them!

Friday, April 24, 2009

exciting and not-so-exciting times

so, we've had quite the week here in the alley house. a few exciting things have happened and a few not-so-exciting things have happened. remember how much my type-a personality loves a list? well, good...then you won't be surprised to find that this post is in list format :).

i'll start with the exciting things because, hello...everyone loves a little happy (even if it's someone else's happy ;).
  • monday i had the chance to have lunch with my sister and a friend of hers at ikea AND a chance to shop just a little (i HAD to walk through the kitchen section to get to the exit from the restaurant area ;). i let joel know that we HAVE (hello all caps, apparently, i love you today!) to go back soon and walk around/shop in the whole store. and as an aside, can i just tell you that their swedish meatballs were amazing. which, i guess makes sense since it is a swedish store and all. i've known about ikea for years (one of my good friends is a missionary in sweden and before she even moved to stockholm, she would travel to the atl or dc to visit ikea regularly) but never had the chance to experience it for myself until now. yay for shopping love!
  • we're getting a puppy!! she is a schnoodle (a mix between a miniature schnauzer and a miniature poodle...precious). her name is paisley and we get to bring her home on may 22. we are SO excited about that!
  • i'm now actually on twitter. i've had an account for a long time but have just recently gotten into it. so, if you're into twittering, send me a tweet (amybeth78). i was a bit skeptical if i could get into it but it's been a lot of fun this week.
  • and finally, last night hubs and i had date night and we had a blast. he surprised me last week with tickets to see legally blonde: the musical. yay! we had a yummy dinner at texas land and cattle and then headed off to the show. it was such a sweet, thoughtful thing because i am certain that legally blonde probably wouldn't be j's first choice but he knew how much i love the legally blonde movies. babe, thank you...i had such a great time and had so much fun being with you! :)

and now the not-so-exciting...

  • hubs worked SO hard this past week to finish a big philosophy paper for school which meant philosophy swallowed him whole all last week. thankfully (here's something exciting) he finished it just in time to turn it in monday night in class.
  • while he DID get his paper turned in (praise the Lord!) very soon after the nasty stomach virus of '09 hit our household. it started with j (while he was at school, poor guy) and i have to tell you, he was SICK...seriously have not seen him this sick ever in the whole time i've known him. i tried my best to take very good care of him and at the same time, keep a safe distance from all the germs. i'd like to tell you that i was successful in not getting sick but....................that just didn't happen. one word for this whole week at our house: yuck. but thank goodness, we're on the mend now and we didn't miss our date night!
  • this last little detail about our week may be considered a bit exciting (as in, heart beating fast, jaw dropping, unbelievable...not happy, exciting, thrilling) but i would have been happy to have had this little piece of excitement omitted from my week. due to hub's stomach virus, i headed over to our harris teeter (near our house) to get the poor guy some gatoraide, hoping to keep him hydrated. i was on my lunch hour and admittedly, was in a hurry. apparently, while moving into the turn lane for the grocery store, i accidentally cut off someone in a white car. i didn't realize it until after the fact and i immediately felt bad about it. i turned into the grocery store parking lot only to see the white car behind me turning in as well. i thought, "gosh, i don't want to park near him in case he's mad at me." so, i took the long way around the parking lot only to discover......he was following me! my heart started beating fast and i couldn't believe it. so, i parked close to the store thinking that surely he will leave me alone. ohhhh no. he pulled up behind my car (blocking me in....could not have backed up) and when i stepped out of my car, he immediately started yelling at me, calling me names, etc. now, i have to tell you....he was quite the elderly man (i'm guessing 78, 80 or maybe even 85) and all i could do was stand there with my mouth hanging open listening to this elderly man bless me out. (seriously, he called me names and used words that just shouldn't come out of an elderly man's mouth or ANYONE'S mouth, for that matter) and ya'll, i'm not proud of it but all i could think to say is (in a rather scared, freaked out high pitched squeaky girl voice), "you're crazy!! what are you doing following people? you are crazy!!! you are a crazy old man!!" i kept repeating, "you are a crazy old man" as he continued to bless me out. he called me one last name and then sped away. all i could think was, seriously? did an elderly man seriously just do that to me? and of course, it made me so angry because i didn't know he was an elderly man when i got out of my car and he could have been someone who would have really tried to hurt me. oh and don't even get me started about how angry it makes me that a man would even do that to a woman. argh. okay, so, i'm going to settle back down because i've gotten myself all worked up again :). see? it was kind of exciting but not the happy type of exciting that i'd prefer!

well peeps, it's friday and it's my "official" day off. i need to go figure out what exciting things i'm going to do on my day off (you know, laundry, clean the bathrooms, etc.) hope you have an exciting day (the happy kind of exciting...not the old man follow you around a parking lot exciting;) !


Monday, April 13, 2009

road trip!

joel and i both had friday off and we randomly decided to head to the beach for a quick road trip. so, we packed a bag, jumped in the car and headed to...

we checked into our hotel and took a moment to enjoy an incredible ocean view from the rocking chairs on our balcony...

then, we headed out for a fun night of dinner (dinner was SO good!) and shopping...

(sorry the pics were so dark...but it was very dark outside by the time we finished dinner!)

one of my purchases at vanity...LOVE that store (the other purchase is a very fun, very pretty cocktail ring...i've wanted to start wearing them so i thought i'd give it a try:).

after that, we made a wrong turn headed back to the hotel and we got to cruise ocean blvd with all the spring breakers...we're such cool 30 year olds :). needless to say, i didn't take any pictures of any of the people driving or walking down ocean blvd because i didn't want to potentially cause some sort of confrontation. so, sorry but you'll just have to picture that in your mind. just imagine two very uncool 30-somethings driving down the road jamming to hillsong united...

anyway...back to the point of the post....beach trip with pictures!

saturday morning we enjoyed doing our devotion sitting in the rocking chairs enjoying the beach and the sunshine...

then, we headed out for breakfast (K & W...joel had never been to breakfast at K & W at the beach. i mean, until you have the lady yell at you about whether or not you want eggs, pancakes, or waffles you really haven't had a true beach breakfast experience ;). we were super stuffed after a yummy (and entertaining) breakfast and decided to take a drive with the windows down, enjoying the breeze and the ocean air. we drove all the way to the end of ocean drive at cherry grove and the day was absolutely gorgeous!

after driving around for a bit, we headed to calabash to the callahan's nautical gift shop to purchase some fudge...souvenirs for family. my family always takes a trip to the beach every year and we always drive to calabash to eat fish and then go to callahan's and almost always end up purchasing some of their homemade fudge. so, i thought it would be fun to bring everyone some fudge home as a little surprise.

the boats and docks at calabash (graysons and burgesses: this is right beside our beloved docksider :)

after our little trip out to calabash, we decided to head over to broadway at the beach to ripley's aquarium. unfortunately, all we did was drive by because the line was crazy just for tickets and it was already 2 pm. :( so, we will have to visit it some other time. at that point, we decided to grab lunch and then head home since we had so much to do to get ready for the next day (sunday). we had lunch at cheeseburger in paradise...

LOVE these chairs...seriously could sit in them forever and just enjoy the day...

we both agreed that we had the best time (as you can see from the pic of joel :) and that we should definitely take more spontaneous little road trip adventures!


Sunday, April 12, 2009


we have had a fun and a very full day! church was one of the best easter sundays that i can remember...we had lots of visitors, lots of children, AND lots of volunteers (praise the Lord)!! the theme for today truly seemed to be one of complete celebration and it was contagious. after a great day in the Lord's house, we headed to gastonia to spend the rest of the day celebrating with my family.

we celebrated with lunch together...

pictured was my contribution to our easter feast (green bean casserole and pineapple casserole) plus some yummy cream cheese danish swirls i made for breakfast for my coordinators.

we celebrated with pictures and just generally loved being together...we had a yummy, yummy lunch, exchanged some easter treats, went for a walk, watched some golf and laughed and laughed and laughed. i truly have the best family...we love being together and we have such a great time doing it :)

the alleys!

mom and dad :)

the best sister and bro-in-law...ever!

burgess family (LOVE them so much! :)

all in all, we had a most fabulous day celebrating our risen Savior. He is risen!


Saturday, April 11, 2009


"the angel said to the women, "do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. come and see the place where He lay. then go quickly and tell His disciples: He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into galilee." ~matthew 28:5-7

He is risen. He is risen, indeed! i believe that remembering the steps Christ walked through holy week to the cross make sunday that much sweeter. how blessed are we that we serve a risen Lord and Savior! i am excited about church today, about celebrating with long time believers and hopefully having lots of opportunities to introduce the story of the cross and the resurrection to those who have never heard it before. can you imagine something more exciting?

i remember when i was a little girl, we used to sing a song that basically talked about every day for a believer is resurrection day and that the excitement we have on easter is ours for every day of our lives. i've given myself a challenge: to look at every day through the perspective of the power of the cross AND the empty tomb.

He is risen!! He is risen, indeed!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009


this week i have worked very hard to remember...

the expensive perfume used to annoint His feet...what a precious sacrifice and way to honor her King...

those who were scheming to arrest and hurt this One by whom they felt so threatened...

the palm branches that waved and the people who shouted praises for their King...

the water, the basin, and the towel...an example to follow

the betrayal that ended with a kiss...

the denial that ended with weeping...

the arrest, the beating. the crown of thorns, the purple robe, the cross, the blood, the sacrifice...

Lord Jesus, may we never walk through this week lightly but may we remember all that happened before the empty tomb on resurrection day. may we allow the enormity of Your sacrifice permeate every aspect of our lives this week...may we remember.

"for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing ,but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." ~1 corinthians 1:18


Sunday, April 5, 2009

so very blessed

we've had a great couple weeks here in the alley household. since i'm such a fan of lists, i thought i'd share in list form :).

  • last friday we had a "date night" with our niece, anna. joel picked her up on his way home from work...how fun to have your uncle pick you up for the "date" ;). we let her pick the restaurant for dinner (she picked on the border), stopped at coldstone for some ice cream to take into the movie theater (instead of buying candy there), and then enjoyed monsters vs aliens. we had so much fun with anna and she gave us cards she made for us (#1 aunt card and "awesomest uncle ever" card) that have a place of prominence on our refrigerator.
  • last saturday we had so much fun bowling with the special needs sunday school class from church, had lunch with our favorite guinns :), shopping, and then celebrating our engagement anniversary with a yummy dinner at bonefish grill. gotta love the bang bang shrimp!
  • we both renewed our commitment to make it to the gym every morning. currently, we're doing a big health and wellness contest at work where each person commits to walk 120 miles in 8 weeks. given my competitive nature AND the fact that gaining a vacation day is the prize, i'm all about winning!!
  • we spent some fun time with my parents in gastonia. it had actually been awhile since we had been over there for dinner (they've been coming to my house...i figured the least i could do is cook for them after all the meals they've prepared for me over the years ;) and it did not disappoint. my mama knows how to cook...yum. she's the best!
  • friday night i had a girl's night with the girls in our sunday school class and had the best time! i'm excited about the beach trip in may!
  • saturday we spent the morning cleaning (while i don't love the process of cleaning, i love the result. i will admit that i'm a little OCD about keeping my house clean ;) and then saturday afternoon took our nephews to nascar speedpark. we had a blast with them AND i totally schooled joel in skee ball. he won't admit it but i'm just naturally a better player than he is. :) we also let the boys pick our dinner location and they picked sticky fingers. THEN, (i know, are you tired, yet?) my family (mom & dad, sister, bro-in-law, and niece) met us at our house to watch the heels take down villanova in the final four game.
  • then, today was church and we were SO busy!! lots of visitors and members returning to church that have been out for awhile for various reasons. it was a great day in the Lord's house and a great start to holy week. i will say, some of my favorite crafts always happen on palm sunday. today did not disappoint...little kids with a construction paper "head band" around their head with palm fronds stapled to it. precious, just precious.

well, tomorrow starts the beginning of a very busy, busy week! we are in serious preparation mode for easter sunday AND we are in the middle of vbs prep...so, there is lots of fun to be had at the grove this week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

whoa...You're talking to me?

"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."~ philippians 4:6-7

isn't it funny how the Lord gives us a verse and we think, "oh, wow, that's a good word for fill-in-the-blank. glad i'm not struggling with that today." whoops. did i really think that this morning? well, i'll confess that i did. i could name a number of people who i know are anxious and struggling and i thought what a perfect Word for them. i even had the opportunity to talk to a friend from another country on the phone this afternoon who is waay struggling and majorly needing some peace.....and i shared philippians 4:6-7 with her.

and then....a situation in my life popped up and now i'm faced with being anxious. thank you, Lord, i will take that Word i assumed was meant for others and apply it to me. i'll be honest, though, it's a lot harder to apply it to yourself than to share it with another person. not that i was being flippant in sharing but personal application just takes it to a whole other level.

so, i'm working on it but it's hard. i'm also deciding to be fully dependant on His Word and His Truth because, quite honestly, i think it's the best place for my heart to rest right now.