The Most Akwardly Perfect Proposal Ever

    

One year ago today Andrew asked me to marry him.  It’s crazy to think a year ago today we decided to make this relationship a forever kind of thing.  But here we are a year later, happily married.  

When you hear about someone getting engaged you think theatrics and “awww,” but our proposal was very different. Our proposal is probably one of the worst in the history of proposals. 

Most of you know Andrew and I are huge baseball fans! I love the Reds and he loves the Braves, a house divided but we make it work. I had purchased tickets for every Reds home game in April, and since Andrew was coming up from Tupelo to visit, we decided it would be fun to go.  The Reds were playing the Rays and it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We go to the park got crammed into our upper level seats and enjoyed the game.  

In the between the 3rd and 4th innings I was about to head down to visit the ladies room and grab us some ice cream when Andrew grabs my arm and says, “Babe, Look! Second row very last one!” Confused I turned my head to where he had pointed and the big screen reads “Kourtney will you marry me? -Andrew”

I was in shock I turned around to find Andrew struggling to kneel in between the two seats, with a look of sheer pain on his face, holding a ring box.  He finally gives up on trying to get down on one knee and gets back in his seat and just hands me the ring box.  I looked at it and then at him and said, “Well put it on!” 

This whole thing happened in front of more than 100 people in our section and not a single one of them noticed.  I turned around to the lady behind me and literally punched her (completely on accident) and asked her to take a picture.  Surprisingly, she did and the picture was horrible.  I got my phone back and then we just sat there.  

What do you do after a proposal? I’m not really sure but it was extremely awkward. It was the most awkward situation, because you want everyone to know but you don’t know if screaming at the baseball stadium is acceptable. So we ended up leaving and heading back home. Where he dropped me off and then headed back to Tupelo. 

All and all it is one of the most awkward things to ever happen to me, but also one of the best.  Andrew and I have never had a perfect relationship. We are actually both extremely awkward and weird so this proposal was perfect for us.  In all its awkwardness I wouldn’t expect anything less from the two of us.  When I tell people our engagement story most laugh and make fun, but it will always be one of the best days of my life. We both still look back on it and smile. You don’t need to have a fairy tale engagement to have a happy marriage, a complete failure will work just a good. Plus the Reds won and hit like 3 grand slams that day! What more could you ask for?!   

How did you get engaged? What is your dream proposal?

I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

 

The Easter Story: Luke 24 (NIV)

I hope you are all having an amazing Easter weekend.  My entire family came to visit Andrew and I this weekend and it has been a huge blessing.   We have eaten, explored, had egg hunts and it has been great spending some much needed time together.  This morning my family is attending church with Andrew and I, in Tupelo, and I wanted to to remind everyone the reason for this holiday season. This season is not about magical rabbits and Easter ham.  It is about the resurrection of Jesus. What an amazing time of the year for us all.  He is alive!


Jesus Has Risen

24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

On the Road to Emmaus

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you:Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

The Ascension of Jesus

50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.


If you have any questions about the scripture above or do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior please feel free to contact me and we can talk about it.  You can leave a comment below or you can contact me through email in the “Contact Me” page above.

What were your Easter plans? Did you go to church this morning?

I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

IMG_0065

Thunder Thighs Thursday: Making it Through the Storm

The month of March has not been good to me.  I have had a lot of struggles, setbacks, and tears, but none of it has been from my running.  As most of you know I am going to school to become a high school history teacher. I wanna be the next Mrs. Williams, or Mr. Crouch.  Two of the most influential teachers I have probably ever had.   I have been working on my MAT degree at the University of Memphis, and things have been going good.  Well, until the month of March rolled around.

I have never known what I wanted to do with my life.  When I was little I never wanted to be the same thing, 2 weeks in a row.  In college I changed my major 8 times.  No, I am not kidding, literally 8.  I thought I wanted to be a doctor, then a wildlife manager, I even tossed around law school at one time.  I graduated with a Political Science degree, because I love politics, but I don’t really want to be a big politician.  Then I tossed around the idea of teaching, and it stuck.  I thought why not.  I can try it for a few years and I started my masters degree.

I found out my online degree is not worth as much as I had hoped in the state of Mississippi.  In Tennessee I can start applying for teaching jobs this summer and could be in my own classroom this fall, teaching on a transitional licence.  (Yay!)  Since we have moved to Mississippi that isn’t the case. My Tennessee transitional licence does not reciprocate to the state of Mississippi. (Boo.) When I found all of this out I was heart broken.  I have worked really hard on these classes and now they don’t count for anything, and I am another year from being able to teach in my own classroom.

Once I found this out I started looking around at different options and in Mississippi there are 3.  Teach Mississippi, which is a certification course for a 5 year licence, the MAT degree, which is a Masters Program with a certification, and the Mississippi Teach Corp, which is a fully paid Masters Program with free job placement with full time benefits and pay in a failing school.

I fell in love with the Mississippi Teacher Corp and lucky for me I met all the qualifications! I applied and the program coordinator was super nice, and then I got turned down. In the nicest way possible I might add.  It wasn’t because they didn’t want me to be a part of the program, but because there was no need for me in the program because they didn’t have a needy school for me.  I was heart broken.

So I started to look into other options, and I had missed EVERY. SINGLE. DEADLINE. I called and begged and got no where.  Defeat.  Do you know what that feels like? I do.  Defeat is laying in your bed cuddling your dog, a pint of ice cream and a box of tissues because you don’t want to live any more.  That is defeat.  I found myself on my knees a lot that week praying, “Please God, just let me teach!” For the first time in my life I have actually found something that I could spend my whole life doing.  My dream is to teach for a while, and then work my way into superintendent or the department of education.  But lately it seems like every door I come to slams in my face.

This is even more frustrating when you have an extremely successful husband.  Do you know how bad I want to kick him some times for having a job, and making money, and doing work stuff all day?  I was not raised to be a house wife.  Being at home all day is mind boggling.  Seriously, how many times a day can you mop the floors before you go mad? I got a part time job in retail, but that job seriously makes me want to punt babies across football fields.  The general public has no respect for anyone.

Then last Sunday Andrew and I went to church.  We went somewhere new, and the preacher preached about storms, and the ever familiar phrase, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” God is the ringmaster of all of our lives and we must learn to trust him.  He brings us these hardships and trials to help us, not hurt us, and even though I want things to happen quickly I know they will happen when God wants them too.  After church this Sunday I felt better.  I came home and searched for some more answers to my problem, and I found one.  Mississippi State has an online MAT degree and I hadn’t missed the deadline.  I called them and applied and should find out soon whether I got accepted.

Right now I am struggling with failure. I have always been afraid of failing.  I have this mindset that failing isn’t an option and I refuse to let anyone tell me otherwise. But right now I am toeing the line between success and failure and it terrifies me. Everyone I know is successful, and when you are faced with things like that it is hard to see the positive in your negative situation.  So right now I am letting go and letting God.  I am asking you to pray for peace of mind and confidence.  Things work out in their own time and not a second to soon.  Until then I am running.  Running from everything and everyone and it helps me clear my head.  Running has become my own little therapy with my surroundings and with God. That little add-in there qualifies this as a Thunder Thighs Thursday post right?

What Storm are you battling with? Do you know what defeat looks like? How is your running going?

I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

IMG_0065

Thawed Out Thursday: Stuffed Green Pepper Soup – CrockPot Style

So this week has been rough.  I have been extremely sick with a virus and the shingles.  I haven’t been able to get up off the couch for the most part.  I have spent more time with my eyes closed the last three days than with them open, and I have enjoyed a lot of popsicles and tv.

Andrew has been in charge of most of the meals this week, but yesterday I went to see the doctor and got some medicine for my ick, and stopped by the grocery store.  I knew I wanted soup, because it is the ultimate comfort food, and I had been thinking about my mom’s stuffed green peppers all week so I thought I would give this one a try.

Here are a few things I learned:

1. Rice gets mushy when cooked to long, and in this recipe I am not sure if that was suppose to happen or not.

2.  I think I cooked mine on the wrong temperature, but I am not extremely sure (sickness makes you forget)

3.  I forgot how much I love my crockpot.

4. This meal is really simple and easy to make even if you are sick. I loved it.

Andrew gave this meal and 6.7 but he wants everyone to know if would have scored higher had it not had any green peppers in it. Without peppers he says it would have easily been a 7.2

Ingredients  

1lb lean ground beef

1 cup onion

14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and onions

2 green peppers/red peppers/or a mix of the two chopped

15 oz can tomato sauce

3 cups beef broth

dried basil, oregano, salt, pepper, to taste (I also added garlic because I love garlic)

1 cup cooked rice

Instructions

Brown beef and onions, drain

Add everything to your crockpot juice and all

cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Ps.  If you don’t like soggy rice add it later.


I really liked this meal and I thought it tasted just like the stuffed peppers I remembered.  Andrew said it needed some spice to it, but he also puts hot sauce on EVERYTHING.  In the end it is a simple and easy meal for any night of the week.  It made me feel a lot better after a very sick and extremely stressful beginning of the week.  I hope you give it a try!

Have you tried this recipe before? Did you like it? What do you want me to try next?

I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

IMG_0065

Thunder Thighs Thursday: Charity Miles

Andrew and I are in Kentucky this week! I am so excited to be home and spending time with friends and family.  This time with family was much needed since we haven’t been home since Christmas! Tug is also loving being back in Kentucky because it means he gets to run and play on 1,000+ acres! To say the least I have a very very tired puppy.  

I am still keeping up with my running this month and it has gotten a lot easier to find the encouragement to go run here lately. My mileage is still low but I have been pushing myself to make some great gains.  I have also been doing a lot of research and have learned a lot about running.   I learned that I should be running different distances throughout the week and not the same distance every time I go run. I also learned that running the same route or trail is not good for you either because your muscles get use to it. So I have changed up my routine quite a bit here lately.

I am also looking into getting a bike! A fancy bike, to do some biking with. They say it makes for great cross training to running. So I am looking into it and the Natchez Trace is a great place for biking so I am excited to see how it goes. If you have any advice on bikes, let me know.

Anyways, the whole point of this post was to talk about my running app, Charity Miles. I love this app and it is simple and great to keep up with the mileage I run. So this app also has another great feature that I love! For every mile you walk, bike or run you raise money for a charity of your choosing! A donor will donate the money on your behalf! So it doesn’t cost you anything!

I love giving back as much as I can and this is a great way to motivate me to run more. Granted I am not raising a lot of money yet, per run, but everything helps! I always run for St. Jude. I worked there for a while and I love the mission of the hospital.

This app is extremely simple. You pick how you are working out, run, bike or swim, and then you pick your charity. There are a lot of options including St. Jude, Stand Up to Cancer, Wounded Warrior Project, and several others. Then you start moving. The app will use your GPS to calculate mileage, time and impact made. It isn’t anything amazing but it is simple enough for me to use and I don’t get confused by all the numbers on the screen. All I care about is how far I go.

You should check this app out if you are an avid runner. It will run in the background so you can listen to music and use other apps. Make sure you post your mileage to social media too when you are done! That’s how the money gets donated to your charity! Oh and did I mention this app is free?! You can use it at no cost to you!

What is your favorite running app? What is your favorite Charity?

I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

IMG_0065

Thawed Out Thursday: New Orleans Jambalaya

Andrew and I both got a snow day today!! How exciting! I love spending time at home with him and this is a great meal for those cold days at home.  Something a little different from the normal chili.

I just got back from New Orleans, Louisiana. The land of amazing Cajun food. My favorite thing to do there is eat. The smells and the tastes and the variety of food is just amazing. As mentioned in my earlier blog this week, Tracy and I went to a cooking class while in New Orleans at the New Orleans School of Cooking. It was fantastic. Big Kevin was our chef and I learned so much from him while I was there. At the end of the class they gave us a recipe to take home with us, and when I got home I drove straight to the grocery store so I could try this new meal out on Andrew. Here is what I learned:

-Rice is still my arch nemesis. I can never get it to cook the way I want.

-Andouille sausage is not the same in any state as the kind you can get in Louisiana.

-Jambalaya is what ever you want it to be. The things that make it Jambalaya are the sausage, the rice, and The Trinity (which I will explain later).

-You learn something everyday you cook and you only get better with every dish.

-This is a little more difficult than most, but still not to hard.

-Andrew gave this meal an 8 and loved it so much that he ate it everyday.

Jambalaya

Here is the recipe, you can add what ever meat you want to make it your own:

Ingredients (Makes 12 servings)

¼ Cup oil

1 cooked chicken, cut up (or shrimp, pork etc.)

1 ½ lbs. Sausage- any firm sausage will work

The Trinity (Next Three Items)

4 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups chopped green pepper

1 tbsp. Chopped garlic

4 cups long grain rice

5 cups stock with gravy browning

2 heaping tsp. Louisiana seasoning

Procedure

Season and brown the chicken in the oil over medium to high heat. Add sausage to pot and saute with chicken. Remove meat from the pot, leaving the drippings in the pot.

Saute The Trinity with the garlic in the drippings to the tenderness you desire. Return the meat to the pot. Add liquid and seasoning to the pot, and bring to a boil.

Stir the rice and return to a boil. Stir again and remove from the heat and cover. Let this sit for 25 mins. Stir and enjoy.

(For seafood jambalaya, add cooked seafood when the pot is removed from heat.)

We loved this meal and will make it many more times. It is great for big events where you need to feed a lot of people and it is a great comfort food. You should try it and let me know what think. Hopefully you love it as much as we did.

Also, a little update on my half marathon training.  I am up to 4 miles and I am feeling great.  Tug has made several runs with me lately and I am surprised how much easier he makes it!  I guess the fear of looking weak in your dogs eyes is enough to make you keep up with his pace.  My race is approaching quickly. I am feeling confident and I can’t wait!

I would love to hear about your attempts in the comment section below. I would also love to hear what recipes you would like for me to try and post about.

IMG_0065

Living on the Wild Side: New Orleans with Red Velvet

I just got back from a week long “vacation” with one of my best friends, Tracy Keeton!  Tracy texted me and told me she had found a $150 round trip plane ticket to New Orleans, Louisiana, and wanted someone to go with her.  So I packed my bags drove 5+ hours to NOLA.  It was a much needed break from the mundane.

IMG_0427

Now this was not your ordinary trip with a hotel in the French Quarter where you pay a small fortune for turn down service and chocolate mints on your pillows. Tracy and I did the unthinkable! We stayed in a Hostel! This was way out of my comfort zone.

At this point in this post I think I should tell you a little bit about my friend Tracy.  She is crazy.  Like so crazy even crazy people think she is crazy. After college she moved to South Africa for 4 months, backpacked through Europe, and then went to Central America for a month.  She truly lives on the wild side and I look up to her for that!  She is getting ready to move to Australia for a few years, and then back pack through Asia for a few more.  You can follow along with her blog/vlog here.

IMG_0535

Tracy has been all over the place so of course she has stayed in many hostels.  For the record I wasn’t afraid of staying in a hostel, I had just never done it before and I assumed the worst would happen.  My fears were anything from getting robbed to being peed on in the middle of the night. None of that happened and we met a lot of really awesome people.  We met a fish farmer from Italy, a brilliant scientist from Vietnam/California who had just left her full time job to bike Central America and then Spain and France, we also met a man from Japan and several other people.  Our stay was fabulous.  I highly recommend the  NOLA Jazz House for your cheap stay in New Orleans.IMG_0475

So sleeping arrangements aside, we had a blast exploring the streets and swamps of New Orleans. You can honestly do everything in New Orleans in less than a week, but we had fun taking our time through the city.

Here are some tips I have for your trip to New Orleans:

1. Look for free stuff.

We went to a Red Bull DJ competition!  It was the semi finals and I know nothing about DJing, but it was super cool to be there.  We also found an open mic night at a bar called the Hi Ho.  Some of the acts stunk, and some had a political agenda, but most of them were really great.  There are also plenty of bands and jazz artists everywhere that are looking for exposure.  You never know what you will find.

IMG_0455

2.  Eat the food.

All of the food!  New Orleans has so many crazy tastes and smells and you have to indulge in all of them! Tracy and I put all of our eggs into one basket hoping it would pay off on the food front.  We went to a cooking demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking.  Our chef, Big Kevin, made us Jambalaya, Gumbo, and Pralines, then gave us the recipe to take home with us.  (Jambalaya will be our Thawed out Thursday this week just FYI.) It was fabulous and only $25. You also have to try some Beingets, oysters, crawfish, king cake, charbroiled oysters, Po Boys and anything else you can possibly think of.  Everything taste amazing!

IMG_0478
3. Do Bourbon Street.

I am not a heavy drinker.  I will enjoy a beer every once and a while, but drinking is not my thing anymore.  That aside we still went and did Bourbon Street.  We got a frozen drink and bounced from bar to bar listening to the music.  It was fun.  We ended up in the best karaoke bar I have ever been to, called The Cat’s Meow, and had a blast! Here are some tips though: watch yourself you don’t want to be pick pocketed. Limit yourself to one frozen drink, they are full of sugar and alcohol and will make you incredibly sick. Just try your friends drinks instead. Take cash, there is a $10 minimum on all debit card transactions and then a service fee on top of that.  Also, everything on Bourbon is more expensive, Frenchman Street is half the price.IMG_0485

4. Get outside the city.

If you brought a car, get out and explore at least one day.  Tracy and I went to Jean Lafitte National Park and got to be up close and personal with some big alligators.  It was beautiful.  We also paid $25 to do a swamp tour with Cajun Encounters, which even though it was cold was still amazing.  The swamp is beautiful and since I love that kind of stuff it was worth the 30min ride to get there.  Plus, we had free parking at the hostel so I didn’t mind moving my car.

IMG_0436

5.  Ride the Streetcar

It is so much fun and one of two moving monuments in the United States. I’m a big fan of public transportation. Get a Day Pass for $3 and you can hope on and off when ever you want.  Make sure you check the schedule, because they only run about every 20 mins so missing a streetcar can be a big set back. We also rode it one day to see the entire city.  It was a great break from walking around.

IMG_0454

6. Go to the World War II Museum

This was simply amazing.  It is pretty much brand new and for a history buff like me it was amazing.  I could have easily spent a whole day there, and the next time I go I probably will.  This is the 11th ranked museum in the world.  The layout really puts you in the middle of WWII and I loved every minute of it.  Worth the time to explore it.

IMG_0492

This trip was a lot of fun and I will be going back to New Orleans eventually.  I really got outside of my comfort zone in New Orleans. Thanks for letting me tag along Tracy I can’t wait to see what adventure we decide to go on next.  I can only imagine they will get bigger and better in the years to come!

What is your favorite travel memory? What is your favorite part of New Orleans? 

I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

IMG_0065