"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure." Psalm 71:14-15

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It sure is Christmas around here!!!

Since our last (substantial) post, we spent Thanksgiving in Indiucky, started celebrating the advent season, helped little Knox celebrate his 1st birthday, began the first tradition in OUR family, had Christmas in Dixie, and one more in Chattaboogie. Amidst all of this, we managed to complete our Christmas shopping 3 days before Christmas (other than actually MAKING the homemade gifts)! WHEW!! Can you see why we haven’t blogged in a while?

Right after chopping all of my hair off, we went to Indiucky for Thanksgiving. We left Tuesday for my (Jill’s) mom’s in Burlington, KY (just outside Cincinnati). We had Thanksgiving dinner with Mom and several friends in town on Wednesday night. Thursday morning we drove to New Albany, IN (across the river from Louisville) to the Needham Thanksgiving celebration. I was asked to bring the PECAN PIE to Thanksgiving, which I thought was a pretty big deal. My friend Christie supplied me with her family’s recipe since I had never made one, which was a hit. Friday morning was breakfast at the Needhams’, to which I contributed MY family’s famous and always loved chocolate chip pancakes. We spent the rest of the weekend at Matt’s dad’s house. I promptly misplaced my camera on Wednesday afternoon, so there are no pics from Thanksgiving. I did find it once we were home.

I decided that I wanted to have an Advent wreath this year because we started doing the nightly readings of the Upper Room Advent devotional guide last year. Matt agreed. So we went to our church’s Advent wreath making event and assembled a beautiful wreath of live greenery and candles. We’ve enjoyed taking time each evening (but a few misses) to read the short devotional and scripture to prepare for the coming of Christ on Christmas Day. See our pretty wreath?

I traveled to Atlanta the first Saturday in December to celebrate Knox Rogers' birthday! It was a great party. Of course Ashley made all the decorations, favors and food. It was absolutely adorable!!! Everything was puppy dog themed. Here are a few pictures from my camera of sweet Knox's big celebration. To see Ashley's pics, click here.

The first tradition of OUR family, we decided last year, would be to decorate our tree every year on December 6th, the anniversary of our engagement. We thought it would be a special way to remember the beginning of our family when Matt proposed while decorating our tree, as well as a wonderful way to start Christmas at our house (since it is near the start of Advent as well). There is also a pic of our Christmas card clothes line in the dining room. I love it!!!

The Trousdale family gets together every year in early December, so that we can celebrate with each other and not feel rushed or torn around the actual day of Christmas. This year, Aunt Pam hosted in Muscle Shoals. Whenever we go to Muscle Shoals, we try and see one of my oldest and dearest friends, Betsy. Betsy and Bradley are expecting their first baby, Rubye Kate, in early April!! See!!

Here are a few pics of the Trousdale Christmas. I was really bad with pictures this year!

This past weekend (the weekend before Christmas), Mom came down from Kentucky, and Brenda (my godmother) came up from Birmingham to celebrate Christmas with Matt and me. They were our first overnight house guests since we got married! We had a wonderful time talking and laughing, exchanging gifts, eating, and watching Christmas movies together. We really enjoyed being able to enjoy this season with them!!

I suspect there will be no posts until after we celebrate Christ's birth, so the Blacks are wishing you the Merriest Christmas!! May you be truly blessed and safe this Christmas, and remember the reason we celebrate is the gift of our Lord!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

They made friends

So I know it's been a ridiculously long time since I blogged, but I wanted to give you a quick update. I will post more about Advent and family get-togethers soon. But for now, I just want to let everyone know that Isis and Hurley love each other. I truly believe that Isis thinks that Hurley is HER DOG. Just watch...

The funny part about this video is that Isis had been bathing Hurley for about 2 minutes before I got my phone to video setting. By that time she had stopped. I said, "Isis give your sister some more love so Mommy can take a video." And this is what I got!! Animals are hilarious.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I DID IT!!!!

Well, I did it!! I began growing my hair out over 2 years ago with the intention of donating it. Matt made it interesting by saying, "I've heard girls say that before. No one ever makes it." Ah-Ha, a challenge!! It got longer and longer, and I was just about ready to donate it, when Matt proposed!! I have had short hair only 2 other times in my life, so I didn't want short hair for my wedding. It wouldn't look like "me". So I waited. Which means that I've had really long hair for nearly 2 years!! AAAHHHH!! I was ready to cut it! So I decided to go ahead and donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and while I was at it let's try being a redhead!! Here are the pictures!

this is Sharissa getting my hair ready




my new do as a redhead!

I'm donating 9 inches to Pantene Beautiful Lengths!!!

Watch out world!! There's another sassy redhead on the loose!

If you are wondering why I chose Pantene Beautiful Lengths instead of Locks of Love, I will let you know. Locks of Love is more well known, so they receive many more donations. They are underfunded and understaffed, and cannot afford to process and pay for wigs to be made for all of the donations they receive. Pantene is a large company with plenty of money to use their donations. Locks of Love is a wonderful organization making wigs for children that suffer from alopecia, but I didn't want to contribute to their backlog. Plus, Pantene Beautiful Lengths will make a wig for anyone who has lost their hair from cancer treatments, regardless of age.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Watch it

We are two people who are so blessed to be able to share and celebrate this joyful time in our lives. This especially resonates with us...

This is one of those days...

That's how my horoscope started out today. Yep. "This is one of those days when you must make your own way without relying on other people for help or advice." SWEET. You know that you have a challenging day ahead when you wake up 30 minutes late, get snippy with your husband for no reason, have no options for ways to shave time off your morning routine, arrive 20 minutes late to work only to have the elevator doors open with your boss standing there greeting you "Good morning" knowing full well what time it is. This is one of those days...

I've had a bit of a tough time lately. I've been cranky and anxious for a multitude of reasons. Hopefully some steps I am taking will alleviate part of the problem, if not most of it. We've gotten a lot done around the house towards settling in, which is a load off my mind. My sweet husband is very helpful working right beside me to get things in order. He's been wonderful, really.

We got some FABULOUS news from my friend Betsy, who was in our wedding. Betsy and her husband Bradley found out Tuesday that they are expecting a GIRL!!! This is particularly exciting because all of my really close friends with babies all have boys, and it's been a very long time since I got to shop for girlie stuff!! Her name will be Rubye Kate, after Betsy's grandmother Rubye. I am so very excited!!

Other than that, we've been trying to relax at home when we can. Sometimes we actually manage to do that...
Isis and me curled up on the couch

Hurley doesn't like sharing her mommy, obviously.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Better Place...

I tried tonight to find the letter to the editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel that I wrote 4 years ago. It talked about being disheartened. I remember so vividly, I couldn’t understand how millions of Americans could turn out in droves to re-elect a president who had done so much harm. So many people were/are without health care, early childhood education, a good/fair start. It was a great heart-felt letter, eloquently worded. I was very proud, but I can’t find it.

As this election approached, I warned my husband about being too excited, too confident. He said, “We have this in the bag.” And I said, “I’ve been through this before. I’ve knocked on doors, and had the numbers. But polls don’t mean anything. VOTES DO.” I was too scared to get excited.
I sit here in shock, bawling my eyes out. I had a conversation with my friend Joe today about the stark choice that American voters face. There seemed to me to be a stark contrast between going forward, ‘to a new place’, and going back 40 years. The hateful venomous speech in rallies exacerbated by Gov. Sarah Palin were so offensive and detrimental to our progress, I can’t even put into words my shame or distress. My heart breaks that the people I know to be so loving and genuine in their belief in the gospel; yet they align themselves with such blatant hate and shame. I looked at my African American friends tonight; we were both in disbelief and all I could say was, “We are going to a better place.”

In this country, in our hearts, our HOPE, is going to a better place. Thank you, Jesus. Love for all of your children will shine. This country, The United States of America, is going to a better place. All I can say after all the heartbreak, we are going to a better place.
I am young. I haven’t seen the worst of what my home contributed to the history of this great land. Truly anything is possible. I can never understand what has been endured by others at the hands of my ancestors, but I can understand that “YES WE CAN and YES WE DID”. Thank you, Jesus, bring our time of healing and hope.

originally written at 2:38am November 5, 2008

Jill, Matt, Meghan and Daniel

Amecia Lynn Reeves when the victory news came in, my favorite pic from the night

Tay-Tay and his friends

YES WE DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tay-Tay and me

And then we DANCED!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall is...

The Blacks have been busy indeed since we returned from our honeymoon. We attended the wedding of my friend Rachel from grad school just a couple of weekends after we returned. It was a fun time and there were lots of spirits enjoyed by all but me (the DD).

We also had the opportunity to celebrate more than a year of remission for our friend Karson that night (busy day in Knoxville). We missed the Race for the Cure that morning by attending the wedding, but we didn't miss dinner with the Beatys and the "cancer posse" at Downtown Grill.

Those who know us know how much we LOVE football. We were so busy with wedding planning and Matt moving in that we had NO TIME for football before the wedding. We decided that we wanted to go to a couple of games this year. We decided to go to 1 away game for each of our schools, and to make those trips to stadiums where neither of us had ever been!! It worked out very well. We went to Clemson and watched Georgia Tech win there, and then we traveled to Fayetteville and watched Ole Miss win there!!!!

Picks from Clemson:

Pics from Arkansas:


Anywho, we also really got into Halloween this year. I'm not normally big on dressing up for Halloween, unless I'm divinely inspired with a fabulous costume idea. This year was the most fun I've ever had. Matt and I spent date night the Friday before Halloween shopping for our costumes. I must say, we both had lots of fun. For Halloween, we never located a good party, so we just drove around town to our friends' houses and went trick-or-treating all night!! I think we look great, don't you??

I wanted to post this fun and uplifting post tonight. Tomorrow is election day and we are excited and very nervous. I'm sure you will hear more from the Blacks after Tuesday!!! Godspeed and GO VOTE!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

1 whole month!!

Monday, Matt and I celebrated one whole month of marriage!!! Ok, so it may not sound like a big deal to all you old married hats out there, but we can’t believe how time has flown. We are adjusting to living with each other, and being that we are both only children and very stubborn in our own rights, that’s saying a lot!!

My biggest fear going into this was dinner. I was so worried about us cooking dinner for a pesco-vegetarian and a full-on carnivore!! We’ve done really well so far. We manage to eat REAL food most of the time (and not resort to hot pockets and cereal but about once a week), and we’ve managed to cook things together for both of us to eat.

Combined banking and finances are truly a blessing, but it’s just going to take some time to get used to. End of story.

Our house is still a wreck. We got tons of lovely gifts from our friends and family, and we are so appreciative. But we have nowhere to put half of it. Our kitchen suffers from a severe lack of cabinet space. We literally have 2 double wall cabinets, 1 double floor cabinet on one side of the sink, and 1 single floor cabinet on the other side of the sink (under-sink storage can only be used to store cleaning products b/c it’s just gross). THAT’S IT!! That’s the only cabinet space in our whole kitchen!! We’ve got to figure out something quick, because all of these gifts sitting in the corner of our dining room is driving me nuts (short trip I know). Don’t worry, a kitchen remodel is on the list – we just can’t swing it until next summer at best.

As promised, I am posting pictures from our fabulous honeymoon in Negril, Jamaica. We had an amazing time and can’t wait to go back!! And we will go back; anyone wanna come with?