Wednesday, September 19, 2012

it has been since the end of july since my last post.  no i do not want my blog to die. i am pressed for time and am actually working on something new... do not fear. i have a growing list for future posts and i promise i will write them all. i love blogging. i love writing. i feel ultra connected to myself, to God, and to people when I write. its when i feel most genuine and honest.

so this long over-due post will start with a little recipe i found that seriously is going to be added to my routine list of goodies to make. home-made chickfila sandwiches. oh so yummy & really do taste the same. except no preservatives, all natural, & they are not fried!

okay i know what your thinking. not fried? no way. but yes way. these suckers are good.

i got the recipe from food babe. i did not vary the recipe at all. do not be alarmed by the marinating in pickle juice- josh hates pickles but these were one of his favorite meals in a long time. tenderize the chicken! it is important!

oh i may also add that these were super easy to make? i did the marinade in the morning and just battered the suckers up, popped em in the oven and voila. chickfila. on a sunday if you wish.

the waffle fries? freezer aisle if you wish... meanwhile ill be hunting an easy recipe for those.

okay last thing: the blog. i will be moving it soon(ish) just perfecting it for now. the question is, what should the name be? lets take some votes shall we?

1. ally henderson- simple. easy. me.

2. a dream for us- our song. we love it. we work on our dream every day. its our life. oh and also google this and my blog may or may not pop up in images as well.

3. white as snow- no not like snow white and the seven dwarfs. this comes from my favorite passage in psalm 51:7 "purge me with hyssop and i shall be clean; wash me and i shall be whiter than snow."  i love the idea that God has given me life and washed me clean and i am pure.

4. the lions remorse- this has been an evolving thought for me. i continually think about this world and everyone struggles with doubt and "what if" and "what about ______" questions pertaining to God. but these things always take me to the nature of humans. we act as if we are big bad tough lions ready to pounce on every thing that makes us wince or stur inside. but in the end we are completely different from lions. because lions have no remorse for their kill. they simply survive off of it. we shrivel in our pride and weaken in our fears. we, humans, are not lions at all. we have guilt and pain and feelings. i am learning more and more that God has really made us so uniquely and set us far apart from any other species.

5. im open to suggestions. any particular post ive written that has stricken realness within you? let me know.

well i am done procrastinating on this paper.


one year!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

well it is official. as of last tuesday josh and i have been married for one year!!! we celebrated this day at a young life camp- loving high schoolers & sharing the gospel. it was not ideal no, but it was still a good day. lets start with camp as a whole:

my high school girls were sweet- i tubed with miranda. to be clear i do not tube... dont get me wrong i love the thrills but i have back issues. so sweet mir let us go pretty slow. the whole week was great- camp is always different. it always holds new treasures. this year i had a bunch of seniors in my cabin- along with some ragtag other girls. it was great- all 22 of us in one cabin. 8 beds on the floor. crazy. sara cross led in my cabin- thank goodness for 2 leaders. the girls were crazy. they were all in very different places in terms of their relationship with God. but for the most part they were all honest. and cared for one another. and had deep questions. the seniors especially were considering life- and what it means to live life to the full. it was great. i loved being with miranda. "my first yl girl." it makes me tear up thinking how far we have been together. she is literally the most mature high schooler ive ever seen. she loves the Lord. she loves her friends. oh and how i love her. shell be off the VT this year and she will do amazing things. i know it. absolutely no doubts. excited to visit her and some other girls in the fall.

camp. all that matters is that God did the work. not me. and that is what i trust in.

anniversary. like i said not ideal to spend it at camp. but we met at 4 to be with each other and look at some pictures of our wedding together. to just relax and be with each other even if it was only for a bit. we even headed over to the snack bar for some anniversary treats courtesy of Will Cox. josh enjoyed is mega mocha cookie milkshake. and i always love a good fountain coke with a warm chocolate chip cookie. i felt loved that day. by the other leaders. by my high school girls. even sloop & fetz (program team) mentioned it in their skit that night. everyone sang happy anniversary to us at dinner. we weren't forgotten. thank you everyone for making it a special day.

as for josh & i- we are headed out tomorrow. josh surprised me with a little overnight trip to manteo. we will be staying at the burruss house inn where we spent last july 24th at. what a sweet husband i have. i feel so very loved. cant wait for our time together to relax and just be. currently, i am a little sick- sore throat and such. but nothing will stop this mini-moon to be anything but wonderful.


its been a while...

Friday, July 20, 2012

so i have been m.i.a. in the blogging world for a while. i think its because a lot of things but a lot to with the fact that i am just so angry about not being able to put pictures up on here. so i am sorry about a long break from posts.

now we will turn to this some updates: this week has been crazy and fun. we celebrated joshs birthday on tuesday- he turned 23. thanks for a few of his closest friends for coming out to celebrate. his first birthday as a husband. oh and not to mention, his first birthday as a teacher! yup that is right.

josh found a teaching job. he will be teaching at Booker T. Washington High School right in the heart of norfolk. He (we) are beyond excited. the school is probably the most urban you will get in hampton roads.  and he loves that. so what an answered prayer.

anddd... tuesday is our first anniversary. wow. i have no words. it is true- it goes by crazy fast. i cannot believe it has been a year already. so much has happened- we have changed so much. and learned and fought and we grew. i love marriage and being married to josh. its easy but not so easy. i am just glad i get to do life with him forever.

we will be celebrating once we come back from young life camp- tonight we leave for lake champion in new york with 122 high school students from grassfield. its the biggest trip we have ever taken. we are excited- this year will look very very different from years past for a number of reasons. but none the less the gospel will be taught and everyone at the camp will be able to hear what God has done for each one of us. i am sad we will not be able to really celebrate our anniversary on our anniversary- but i am glad that the Lord has called us to his mission and I know he has BIG plans for this trip.

have a wonderful week.


thrift finds.

Monday, June 18, 2012

so over the past few weeks i have had a few chances to do some thrifting. i love thrifting and making things new. half (probably more) my home is decorated with thrift finds. so when i get the chance i try to go and rummage up some junk to love. one of my goals is to become really good at clothes thrifting. i love clothes shopping. but im bad at clothes thrifting which isnt good for our wallets. i wish i could be like ally mc. mom- she is the best thrift shopper ever.... one day perhaps.

anyways so some things ive scored in the past few weeks:
- NYC ballet company workout dvd. LOVE IT. ($2)
- You, Me, & Dupree. dvd($3)
- The Count of Monte Cristo. dvd($3)
- a black lace/crochet dress. its pretty fancy. ($5)
- oval gold victorian frame ($3) its pretty big and ive got some ideas up my sleeve...

im looking for a suitcase, like a hard plastic one thats kinda small... for something special :)

anyways. thinking about shutting down the blog... cant seem to get into it currently. and the whole picture thing is really making me angry.

welp, off to write this paper. yuck. im done at the end of this week though- thank goodness!


Monday, June 11, 2012

there are no words to tell you how much i loved our trip. i loved everything about it. and we seriously cannot thank his parents enough for the opportunity to travel together. what a blessing and amazing wedding gift that was.

our trip was perfect and it is safe to say i was incredibly sad to leave. i love europe. i loved the food. the culture. being able to speak some french. i loved being with his parents. the shopping. the buildings. the churches. everything was just beautiful. mostly i loved being there with josh. i cried when we left. i did not want to leave at all. i do not think josh did either. but this is reality and i know that we will go back soon.

we were able to go to a lot of places! Mons, Brugge, Paris, Versailles, Waterloo, Amsterdam, Dinant, and Brussels. i have about two million pictures so ill post some separately.

so lets start from the beginning. the flight over went smoothly. although i do not like flying... for some reason it jus seems surreal and un-natural. but it wasn't bad. delta airplanes are sweet.

when we arrived in Brussels we were tired. the difference is 6 hours ahead of us so it seemed like the middle of the night. we sleep and when we woke up went straight to the St Feuillien Brewery. If you know anything about Belgium, you know that they make two great products: beer and chocolate. And both are the best of the best. (although im not a huge chocolate fan) the tour was really cool. they still use the same building and method from when it first started. it was much smaller than i thought it would be. Unfortunately i have no pictures because in my drowsy state i forgot the cameras.... but his parents have one ill have to post later i suppose.

that night we had a dinner party to celebrate joshs graduation and us being in europe. his parents Belgian friends came over and it was an affair to remember. there were a few people who only spoke french and it was cool to try and talk to them.... the hard part was understanding what they were saying. great night.

the next day we went to Mons (after we sleep in for a long time) Mons is a city in Belgium near his parents. a cute little city.

and here is where i stopped a few weeks ago to add pictures. and got a lovely message that said my storage space was full and id have to pay monthly to add photos to my blog. what the heck blogger? i seriously may move my blog because this is so ridiculous.


nous sommes fini.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"we are finished." school that is. well josh is for real finished- i am so proud of my college graduate. and so proud especially for applying to a million different school districts and looking for job opportunities anywhere and everywhere. he is so responsible. and that makes me swell inside knowing how blessed i am for his hard work ethic.

so far i have straight As, but i must have rubbed off too much on two of my professors because they have procrastinated on posting final grades. i suppose i am not allowed to complain because i procrastinate too. [sigh.]

okay well, we are leaving tomorrow. for Bruxelles, Belgique. brussels that is. i am excited/nervous/in a daze/ going crazy because i feel like i should have more to do. but i think we are ready. bags (almost) packed. errands done. i will be gone for a while but maybe will have some spare time to blog. who knows though.

we do not have much of an itinerary but on the list for sure is: Paris, Bruges, Brussels.

i cant really believe this is happening. i have ALWAYS wanted to go to europe and speak french and by baguettes from la boulangerie and now i have been given that opportunity and i feel so very blessed. i am excited to see my new parents and see the world and take pictures and be with josh. i am super excited to practice my french too. i am much better after this semester- i had a brilliant professor. learned beaucoup. i find myself translating things i say or people say into french. but in no way am i fluent but i think we will get by easily! (i hope!)

mes amis, à bientôt! maintenant, il faut necessairé que j'aille et emballer.
(my friends, see you soon! i must go and pack now.)


lynchburg & nine months.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

today marks 9 months of marriage for josh and i... my oh my how time flies. seriously. i am realizing more than ever how life really is a breathe in the whole scheme of things in this world. i want to keep remembering that time is not guaranteed and it is completely uncontrollable. so happy 9 months joshua... i still cant believe i get to spend the rest of my life with you.

this past weekend we went to lynchburg. dan and ally are one of our favorite couples to be around- we all get each other and i just really love that. so when we heard mark driscolls marriage tour was going to lynchburg we asked dan and ally if they'd be interested in going... they are not married but will probably be one day and the even welcomes dating couples as well. so dan left radford and we left norfolk to set out for lynchburg. what else made this weekend such a good one is that allys birthday was sunday na dans is tuesday- so we got to celebrate a bit with them! the conference was great. mark driscoll is a funny guy who speaks truth. we learned a lot and honestly just being able to sit and breathe for a minute together was a blessing for us. the conference went until 12 pm on saturday. by far my favorite part of the conference was the very end. driscoll offered all the men in the room to stand up and take a vow to love god and be a leader for their wife and family. dan asked ally if he could stand up which was seriously so sweet and respectful. so the men all stood up and after were able to pray over all the wives. it was so beautiful. and moving.

so after our other friends from chesapeake met us up in lynchburg just to hang out. katie & brandon. they couldnt come to the conference so we all met up after to eat lunch. we ate at the market on main... a little townie lunch in downtown lynchburg. it was a really cute little place. then the girls headed over to the jcrew warehouse sale while the boys went to climb (of course... dan and josh love love love to climb and i heard brandon wasn't too shabby either) so let me tell you briefly about this jcrew warehouse sale... absolutely insane. we waited an hour to get inside. it isn't a clearance event at a store. its a warehouse with boxes and boxes of stuff. all with set prices. shoes $10-20, little kids crewcuts stuff $2-10, womens dresses for $20. not kidding- i got a 100% silk dress originally marked $168 for $20.... that is a steal. you have to dig. but it was thrilling/exhausting. they give you a price list when you walk in and a trash bag. you cant try anything on but we wore camis and made due somehow. it was wonderful. it also only happens about once every 3-4 months. but worth the wait.

after a long day at the warehouse we went to the fosters home where we stayed. they are a couple on the young life committee in lynchburg and are absolutely one of the coolest married couples we have ever met. their home was beautiful and their kids were so sweet (3,8, and 10) those are both understatements. their home was insanely gorgeous- he is a contractor and built it himself. on the way home josh and i both said how blessed we were to stay there. heidi made dinner saturday night and it was so good with rodneys home brewed beer too.

a beautiful and wonderful weekend.

couple things:
1. i finished the 2nd book in the hunger games trilogy and im hooked. trying to hold myself off for the 3rd one until NEXT WEEK when we go to europe.... yup next week we leave.

2. josh is officially finished on friday. please pray that a maury SS teacher is planning on leaving... that would be such a blessing.

also that i could find a summer job... hummm

3. happy birthday to some of our favorite people to be around- dan & ally we love you so much and are so glad we got to spend some time with you this past weekend. cant wait to make our viral videos, get rich and famous, build houses in the obx, and use the rest to open a rock gym/craft store.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

josh was on spring break last week so when my brother and dad told us in january that they were going to boston, we asked if we could tag along. a little break for him while he is student teaching...

well next thing you know, my whole family is going. so my family left wednesday afternoon for one of the best cities in the US.

i love boston. so does josh. he loves big cities and new england in general. nyc is pretty- but boston is beautiful. its clean. and you have to love the new england accent and food. seriously though- if youve never been you should go. the buildings all have so much character and not to mention the best seafood money can buy.

it was a beautiful weekend and my parents surprised josh and i with tickets to opening day at fenway park. for those of you who dont know- i was born and raised a red sox fan- and if i were anything else, id be banished from the family im sure. i love the red sox. i used to follow it much more in middle & high school and it is harder for me now since we dont have cable and our schedule is crazy. but i still love the red sox. theres something magical about being at a baseball park- and its ten time more magical at fenway park. its 100 years old this year- no park has ever reached that (and to think they were thinking about tearing it down a few years ago!) the smell of hot dogs, sausages, and beer. the lights, the people yelling. oh i do love it.

 100 years.
my sisters beautiful family.

my beautiful family.

we crushed the rays in the 8th inning.

crazy kids- jaydon & savannah.

we left boston and headed to my cousins house for the night- jennifer, michael, patrick, and little michael. what a family we have. sad we didnt get a picture of everyone, but it was wonderful to see them again and catch up. i love my cousins.
little michael, patrick, savannah and jaydon eating breakfast. 

boston was good for us. josh and i got to spend some time together with no agenda. we needed that. this trip has me more and more anxious for europe in a couple weeks- nervous but mostly excited!

have a wonderful week....


the good & the bad.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the bad.

i have to go through an interview process to officially be accepted to the odu education program. thursday i received an email "your followup interview is for april 18th." perfect. i mark it on my calendar.
the next day i get an email saying i missed my appointment and need to call monday morning. needless to say- i freaked out. hildy was here...(sorry hildy...) i call almost immediately because there must be some sort of mix up. the lady i have to deal with is... well... not the nicest woman in the world- at all. i told her i never received an email about the first interview which i guess was on march 22nd. she tells me she and dr.butler both received the email and told me i must have forgot. i didnt forget. i wouldnt forget. so im trying to explain to her that i dont see any missed emails- the only one i received was yesterdays. i start crying. and she told me "stop crying. its not the end of the world. calm down." what? why was she being so rude? i do not know. i do know that they have gotten a lot of complaints about their customer service. i told her i was looking at my email right now and the only one i got from her was the one from yesterday. she told me shes not going to argue with me.... ummmm.... im not arguing. im upset and trying to explain myself. i am NOT  a slack student. she told me "im hanging up now. you need to call back monday." never in my life have i been talked to like that from a complete stranger.

i sobbed hysterically for about 20 minutes. not a good start to the weekend. josh reminds me she is only the grumpy secretary. luckily she has no say in my academic future.

i went to the office myself in person monday in-between classes. she was on lunch (whew!) the nicer later takes a message, but no word by 330 so i call back. mean lady answers and i make the conversation short. she is looking for three "panel members" to do the interviews and will let me know soon.

im so worried itll be next thursday or friday- i will be out of town. we are going to boston to see family. i NEVER see my family. i will be so so sad.

please please pray it wont be on thursday or friday....

lets end with the good.

last thursday was a day i will always remember. i got a sub job as a kindergarten teacher assistant. i wanted a higher paying job (being assistant makes less....) but this would due. i am so glad i didn't find a new job. i subbed at thurgood marshall elementary school. its a title 1 school. that means most of the kids come from a very low income area. most of the kids were fed breakfast. and provided a lunch as well- along with an afternoon snack. at 730 the kids started pouring into the cafeteria and getting their breakfast. most of the teachers were so grumpy.... but my heart melted when those little 5 and 6 year olds smiled at me and asked me "are you nice?" being at a title 1 school also means full day kindergarten (i like the idea of full day kindergarten so much more.) so i had the little ones all day and those kids melted my heart and warmed my soul. there was only one white boy in the class. much different than anything i have ever done- i went to hickory. i still remember their names, and ill probably spell them all wrong. quasean, ja'sean, amiya, namya, zanya, and jamaya, raleek, najeeh, amandre, david, thomas, angela. i loved them all. i loved seeing how smart they all were. they were in kindergarten- counting money. thats so advanced! i was impressed. they have a good teacher. they all wanted to write my name with chalk during recess.... a dozen times each. they got these things called "blurts" and you put a check by your initials on the back board if you are not following the rules. ja'sean was a little bit of a worm- he liked to wiggle. he was also about 4" shorter than everyone with these huge glasses. oh my goodness he was so cute. he got a blurt and had to go give imself a check. so he walks to the back board, grabs a piece of chalk, and just looks up at where the teacher had placed his initials for that day- it was like he was looking up at the beanstalk from "jack and the beanstalk" i couldnt help but chuckle it was so darn cute because he stood on his tip toes as if he was going to be able to reach it- he was about a foot away from even being close. those kids taught me so much. no one wants to teach at a title 1 school. well almost no one. it can be rough. but those sweet babies are kids just like me and deserve so much- deserve a chance at learning and growing.

oh my heart still melts when i think of those kids... i keep telling josh "i want to go back and see the babies."

i hope one day.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

a while ago i was talking to my new friend janis here in chesapeake. just talking about life- it was mostly just her asking me questions because she is that type of person who cares that much. i love that about her. anyways, we were talking about my heart. i told her straight up. it has not been good. i feel bound by everything in my life and i have little joy.

yesterday i said i feel "bleh." i think im ready to expand my thoughts on that feeling. i told janis this. "i feel like i am in this room. like we all start in this room and because of sin we are bound in this room by chains. i imagine this room to be cold. damp. and made of stone. also in darkness. but because Jesus came and died for us, we have the choice of letting him free us from those chains and that room. were free to see the world and really live. live life like he intends us to. and i believe because this room is so familiar, i am still sitting there, with the little light from the door shining through, but holding onto my chains, as if they were a part of me, but i am totally free to let go."

thats where i am at. just in this room totally disconnected from everyone and everything- afraid to come out. im trying to let myself go, but my heart is bitter and callous and its really hard. so as i was thinking a lot today- i am going to let go and take this step by step. i want to feel the joy of life again, no matter what circumstances i am in. life is tough. and i dont think that is going to change because this world kind of sucks. so life will always be tough- but jesus doesnt suck. hes given me so much. the opportunity to life- life to live with him and a loving husband and friends and family (even if a lot are far) and that life will not be perfect and may be hard but i know i have hope and joy and freedom. freedom to let go- get up- and walk. walk with Him.

i will choose freedom. and im not going to be bound to anything- ill only be bound for the promise land.
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speaking of free- who scored free movie tickets to the hunger games at macarthur for next saturdays date night? yup. me. went to school early to get tickets they were giving away for students. they also are going to give us free refreshments. can not wait.
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** also my brotherinlaw is coming home tomorrow! read about their story here. please pray for a safe flight and that their little family of four will reconnect and learn so much from this experience. also that jason can find a new job soon.

happy weekend everyone.

the gym.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

oops. i forgot to blog a dozen times. to be honest, i do not have much to say- i have not been in tune with myself lately (or anyone else for that matter.) i am off. and i just have not felt connected so i therefore i have not really had much to say.

things are moving so slowly yet so fast around the henderson household. we go to boston with my family in a couple weeks. and then after that only two weeks of school for josh and i. then after my exams the following week, we are off to europe. when i put it that way it seems like it'll fly by. but lately i have been dragging so everything seems about five times slower.

 not sure what is up with me. the only way i can describe it is "bleh." literally i am "bleh." that is all i have to say about that.

last week i spent some time with a friend ally. i would most definitely consider her one of my best, that i am confident to say. we have not been long time friends but we get each other. maybe because we have the same name. of because we are dating the same people (not literally, but dan and josh are so alike) whatever the reason i just love her so much. we got a little taste of summer last week, laying by her pool and going to the beach. can. not. wait. we connect so well. and i love that.

spring is officially here. josh is applying to schools all over- and we are praying the lord would guide that decision. but for now we wait. maybe until august. who knows. i am excited for him to be done with student teaching and hopefully be able to get his own class next year. i just know he is going to be a wonderful teacher- he works so hard and has a big heart for that.

we are also looking for summer jobs. any suggestions?

happy wednesday everyone. check out this ecard that pretty much nails it when describing me and my relationship with the gym:

sorry for this boring post- just wanted to give you an update.


dear spring,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

i invite you to stay for a while.
love, ally.

seriously though. i am craving warm weather like i never have before! i hate this bipolar weather. the warm days (like today) are teasing me. josh on the other hand is dreaming of being in montreal where the winters average 20F. ew.

yesterday was lovely out. 67 and sunny. josh came home and surprised me with a trip to the zoo complete with a strawberry limeade from doumars first. oh they are so so good. i know they will be a weakness for me once spring & summer come and stay for real.

lately i have been in a funk. slump. valley. i am not quite sure what to call it. but not feeling well. perhaps because while im on spring break josh has a really busy week student teaching. sad that we cannot relax together. also feeling extremely alone. josh is not home. SOL week means cut throat sub jobs. and i do not have many friends here in the first place, but even when friends are home from college, seems as though everyone is busy.

just not feeling myself this week. and our financial situation isn't the best currently. i think that is why i crave the sun- so i can go to the beach and read or write or sit. but instead i hate the cold and cant fathom going outside for an extended period of time. not sure if you could classify this "seasonal depression" but i am definitely not feeling myself. i am distant. lonely. narrow-minded. selfish. sad.

i am learning to trust that God still has us. he will provide for us financially. and i know he is here to comfort me. he still holds me dearly. i know this. but i am fairly certain i am not allowing myself to feel that. i am just closed off. but trying really hard to break down those walls and to live life like God intended me to- free. but i am pretty sure i am fighting off everything. but that is not my job. i need only to be still. so i will make my heart still and trust that god knows me and cares for me and is fighting for me.

glad to have a husband who truly cares for me and is patient with me and loves me well. i am so blessed beyond measure.


wedding video.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

i am so beyond excited to share this with you! our wedding video!

matt benson did an AMAZING job. seriously. he is a really good friend of ours and also did our engagement pictures. i am so glad we did this. pictures are wonderful, but bringing it to life really put the cherry on top. i will not say any more. just watch it. thank you everyone for being a part of our day and our life. third day really was so special.

check out our wedding video {here}


sweet treats.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

my week has been kinda hectic. we came back from committee leader weekend refreshed and rested. i am learning to constantly be aware of the presence of God in my life. and i have some sweet treats to share this week. gifts from friends and notes from the love of my life.

first: one of my best friends came back from israel last week. what a wonderful experience. she brought us back a couple little gifts.

its a little elephant chain and i looks so god in our bedroom next to our little chair. she also got us a tea light candle holder- and it is so beautiful. unfortunately my photography skills weren't good enough to take a decent picture. perhaps one day.

another sweet friend elizabeth- i know her because friends did summer staff with her last summer. we all know my obsession with drew holcomb and the neighbors (ellie....) and saw on her blog her drew and ellie poster. i LOVED it.... so she sent me an extra copy she had. how sweet is that?!! she even sent me a little card with it. thanks so much!

we also all know about my love affair with donuts.... whelp. i was in a baking mode and wanted josh to come home to some treats because he seriously works so hard and still manages to juggle it all and love me so well.
(this is the last one... they looked so much prettier the other day. but hey- it tastes so good!)

and found this note from josh this week:

its crazy how close you can be to someone- never in a million years would i suspect i could be best friends with a boy. but its true. 

although I'm in a bit of a funk today, i am looking back to this week and how much i am learning. its crazy how much you learn when your constantly seeking the face of god. i am loved. not only by the friends above, but by the creator of the universe. i need to remind myself that always. i am only just beginning to truly know the depths of Gods love for me.

off to FXBG with mirmir and abbey to visit katie carr. really excited for my time with them.


our first valentines.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

okay so first let me say that valentines day is a hoax holiday. lets all just be real on that one. 

i was not expecting anything. really i was not. i really do not care about valentines day that much. we had not talked about it. i just figured wed do dinner at home and do the usual. he had school. i had class from 4-7. normal day for us.

but josh went above and beyond. its was honestly so sweet. its even sweeter because there are those guys who know all the cheesy things to do, and are good with words and show their love in the usual lovey-dovey ways. thats not bad. thats not josh. (i feel like this sounds mean, but i mean it to be complete opposite) josh expresses his love in other ways. he wakes me up gently, he gets ready in the dark in the mornings so i don't wake up. he lets me be a little kid most of the time. he always makes some extra sips of coffee for me upon request even though i hardly ever drink it. he works so so hard for us and makes sure i am getting the things i really want, like the nice shampoo and a pair of earrings here and there. and he always does the dishes- even my messes.

he does all that for me and i am insanely loved. but he is not the give chocolate and flowers and write poetry kinda man. (for the record... i hate chocolates anyways) so when he does something out of the ordinary, its that much more special to me because i know how much effort went into it. and i was a giddy girl on tuesday night when i came home from class.

first i woke up to a little message on our note white-board in the kitchen. (a gift made by a dear friend)

i smiled really big when i saw this as i made my breakfast.

i left a card and some baked goods out for josh before i left for school. and was really excited to come home after class. i raced home and texted josh i was on my way.

as i walked up the hallway and to our door, i heard music coming from 10B and i noticed on our new door knocker a little post-it note:
"Bienvenue á Restaurant Henderson... je t'aime Ally" translation: "welcome to restaurant Henderson... i love ally."

i opened the doors and saw our little expandable table in the middle of our living room all set up for dinner for two. frank sinatra's moon river playing (in case you didn't know, most any song with the word "moon" in it is the absolute best) josh came out of the kitchen all dressed up and i saw a dress and shoes out for me to wear.

he made chicken parmesan all by himself. we ate. we danced. we toasted.

i loved it. so much. i danced around like a giddy teenager and slipped on my dress and ate dinner with the love of my life. it honestly was so so sweet.

there are no words to describe how loved i felt. how hard he worked. how good the dinner was. it was wonderful. thanks babe.... i hope you know at least a little how much this all means to me.



Friday, February 10, 2012

so i have this problem. its called fear and we all have it. i heard on NPR the other day (yes... i listen to that station always) and there was a man talking about human emotions. and he was saying that fear is perhaps the greatest human emotion there is. i don't necessarily agree with that but he is right, no one ever wakes up in the middle of the night because they are happy. you wake up at 3am because you're afraid. and lately I've realized how much my fear drives me, and how much i let my emotions contain me.

and its reflected in all aspects of my life. my fear is stopping me from doing something or making me do outrageous things. but mostly my fear is keeping me from joy. 

there are lots of different kinds of fears. and i think most often its shaped by your past. no one has any easy past. no ones testimony of their life is "well I've had it pretty easy, I've always been happy." were not living in barbies dream house here. instead in a broken sinful world. we all have dealt with tough stuff and hard emotions. and everything causes us to fear about the present and future and what could happen.

my fear is messy. i think one of my greatest fears though is abandonment. so instead of allowing this abandonment to happen, i withdraw. i hold back from people. i numb myself. i callous my heart and allow myself to feel nothing. 

i've pretty much been seeing lately just how far away I've distanced myself from people- and most especially distanced myself from christ. i feel pretty much alone and I'm the only person putting myself there. but jesus has shown me lately that no matter how hard i fight and run, He never gives up.

God has shown up in really big ways and proven to me that i cannot escape his love.
- i got this computer- totally unexpected and needed.
-and then when my tuition bill came in MUCH higher than expected and when i went to talk to odu there was nothing but some loan to apply for which would have a high interest rate and just be super complicated. but then i spoke with a fin aid rep, she gave me a grant for the full amount. yes a grant of x amount of money which ill never have to pay off. that doesn't happen everyday.
- i had so much anxiety about this semester. and its tough but i am actually enjoying most of my classes. i have great professors and am feeling really passionate about the sped class I'm in.

i have been blessed in so many ways and i have nothing to do but thank jesus for his sovereignty and love and grace. I'm married to the most compassionate man who loves me and takes me as i am (sass and all), i have parents and in-laws who support us and offer us so much, i live in a beautiful home, my ministry is blossoming. the list could go on and on to become the longest blog post ever.

point is the Lord is showing me that despite my fear and outrageous emotions, he is here and is going to love and provide for me no matter what. 

so slowly i am peeling back the scars I've left on my heart. i am learning not to hide in my emotions but deal with them. and I'm crawling to the foot of the cross. because thats where i belong and that is where i will find comfort and realize that i have nothing to fear. i only have to experience gut-wrenching joy that jesus offers. 

ill take that any day.

** as posted on facebook, josh went to a teacher fair yesterday, but no places are hiring quite yet because its too early in the year to see how many openings there are. so instead we will continue to pray a position opens up for next year, and pray that the Lord will guide us wherever he desires to put us.


letting go.

Friday, February 3, 2012

this week has been big. on a number of different levels. hard and good. really good.

first some marriage stuff. this blog started to keep people informed about our wedding, to share my heart, and to document what its like to transition from dating to engaged and to married. so I'm gonna go ahead and update on that.

marriage is not easy. seriously. you don't marry yourself- therefore its hard. because we are all self-pleasers. and we don't marry perfection either. you marry someone completely different than you on so many levels and occasionally have the same interests.  thats josh and i. we are seriously so different its funny. but we do have some common interests, which makes for fun dates. both like cities, the beach, funny non raunchy movies, whales and a long list of other sea creatures. seriously thats all nice and dandy but what about when it becomes real and you move past the surface onto the deeper levels of your heart? ah... thats where it hits and things can get complicated.

but one common strand always brings josh and i back... jesus.

seriously i do not know where we would be without him. without constantly centering our lives on him. we would be lost and broken souls with hearts full of hatred. but we are not, jesus has restored our souls and given us new hearts. and that is the sole reason why josh and i work.

and we sometimes have to work harder than other times. and sometimes we forget that christ needs to be at the center. so this past week was hard. but we are learning and essentially being brought to the foot of the cross.

its still hard because we are both sinners and often forget that we live above the american standard of living- that is living for yourself.
sometimes two people get married and live the rest of their lives together. but a lot of times it doesn't work like that. divorce rates are really high. and people say things like "I'm not in love anymore" or "i got married too young when i was too naive"

but i promise if you let go of yourself and give yourself completely to jesus- then it can work. because you realize love isn't a fairy tale or an 80s teenage love movie - its real life and in so many ways so much sweeter because of that.

our love story in a nutshell: jesus came and died for us on the cross. we accepted the truth that we were sinners, we believe he is God showing the ultimate grace, and we committed our lives to him. and because of that josh and i met and are together this day.

i love my husband so much and am so excited that God chose us to be with each other and do life together and fight together and love like crazy with each other.

oh and ps.
big news: remember that time i complained about my laptop? well i must say i may have the best parents ever. seriously. my parents told me they wanted to get me a new one because they love me and are proud. so we've been on the lookout for a good deal. went to office max for their PC blowout event we saw in the a paper with the hopes of getting a new toshiba portage... and they had hardly anything left. because the little guy I'm typing on now.

my macbook pro was more than my parents wanted to spend but it was a STEAL. seriously no joke. i had no idea i would get one, and no one was really planning on it. but we found this deal and my parents went for it. thank you so much mom and dad- what a blessing.

here are some thank you pictures courtesy of photobooth.


our home.

Monday, January 30, 2012

lots to do this week, but not too worried... i semi-enjoy most of my classes this semester, work and reading for classes can just be really time consuming.

currently i am listening to band of horses. oldies but goodies. i really love his voice and their style.... it reminds me of summer and josh and the outer banks. some of my favorite things. i have the winter blues so listening to this is making me crave warmer weather even more... i have just decided to give up on a real winter this year since it has been semi-cold and semi-awkward-warm all season, which of course is not a good temperature because i just never know what to wear. so im just giving up and ready for spring. anyone with me on that?

so ive been playing with my camera lots inside and think im ready to show my favorite room in our little apartment- our bedroom. i like it best because it reminds me of our wedding, its eclectic, and the perfect combination of funky and serene and ive added lots of personal touches.

this is when you first walk in our room- old apartments have surprisingly big bedrooms. 
few things:
- headboard is from home emporium 
- linen duvet w/shams is from target
- the teal sham is from anthropologie
this is what is above our headboard.
the frame on the left is our vows (pinterest project)
the frame on the right is our first dance lyrics hung the moon by drew & ellie holcomb (my favorite) i cut a doily in the shape of a moon and tied yarn around it.

 here is the far wall from the first picture. the lantern is from our wedding that lined the aisles.
the floral art above is from a thrift store and super victorian. 

 window treatments can be pricey- i got these curtains from tuesday morning.
i made the curtain tie back from an old doorknob set. just washed it, painted it and 
josh screwed it in the wall. total was $6.
(notice the paper in the old window to keep the wind from knocking it against the wood at night- these windows are ollllddd!)
(heres an awful picture of it by itslef- couldnt get the lighting right)

a gift from his parents across the pond- we love it.

my side of the bed.... we love maps.
 this map is on the other side of the window.

turtle knobs on my nightstand.

this is the wall directly across from our bed. (closet & bathroom on the sides)
- home is where you are: urband outfitters
- the green turtle: joshs first christmas gift to me
- the art inside the brown frame: from paris
- made the j&a frame
-glued fabric inside matted part of the frame above the j&a

exiting the room is our bookshelf

 to the right of our bed., behind the entrance door.
i made the H out of fabric scraps.

again from home emporium- seriously can find some neat stuff in there.

voila! there is our bedroom. and here is our tiny bathroom:

i love decorating. i love going to a home that you actually want to be in. i think that is important. making a house a home doesnt have to be pricey either.

welp, gotta go do some homework... oh the joys of being a student.


some stuff...

Friday, January 27, 2012

this week has been long but in a good way. tuesday was a special day. six months. thats how long weve been married. i do not know what to say. its gone by so fast and yet so slow all at the same time. its crazy... when we first got married i felt like we were playing house. like it was gonna go back to  dating and not living together. but it never did and now it just feels.... right, natural, normal, sweet. so we split snow crab legs and a couple sides at AW Shucks- so delcious. i love crab. and later we talked about what we wanted the next six months to look like. some goals. we have a lot ahead of us. josh is wading into high waters with student teaching. i am in school doing 18 credits. young life starts in february. but right now i am not scared. we are on the same page and know our limits and needs and everyday is a new day to wake up and learn to love each other and be selfless- some days are harder but were learning and i dont think that learning will ever stop.

we are also headed to EUROPE this may- a little 2nd honeymoon/graduation trip to see his parents- they live in Belgique (belgium that is) i am currently in french and trying so hard to learn- its hard even my french professor says. but it would not be possible if it werent for the amazing wedding gift from his parents. we really are so grateful and excited. no set-in-stone plans yet but paris is a definite and were exploring ireland too! josh is graduating and will be looking for a full time teaching job for next year! thats a big prayer that he gets one but we are totally trusting the Lord and his will and for him to lead us to exactly where we need to be.

big things coming up for this year.... and its a learning process. we are excited/nervous/happy and i am just so blessed to do this all with josh.

this year is rolling on into february and i am excited. excited for this unseasonably warm weather to turn into real warm weather. i feel loved lately. and it is so sweet.

weekly highlights:
saturday night hung out with girls most of the day and then had a little sleepover with my grassfield team- jess & janis-  after mrs.gfield. felt loved and so glad i have a female teammates again!

tuesday camel & tmot came over to bake a cake for shannons birthday. have not hung with them in a long time so it was sweet to catch up. sad i had class to go to instead of delivering the cake with them, but glad she was loved on a special day.

wednesday had birthday lunch with shannon camel and jess.

thursday hung out with katie hardy which is always delightful.

and thursday night abbey & mirmaid came over to help me study.... although we didnt get much of that done! mir surprised me with a cake. loved that thanks mirmir.

last night i got a ton of texts from some of my favorite people. they were at the all staff yl conference in orlando and drew & ellie holcomb were playing. recieved lots of texts and even more when they played our first dance song hung to moon. thanks so much megan, katie hackett, ryder & libby. LOVED THAT.
katie even sent me this special video:

sometimes i have a hard time loving myself. i am thankful for the people God placed in my life to remind me of how loved i am.... and i must remember that God loves me more than tenfold that amount.

a little journey.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

sunday was one of my favorite days in a really long time. we woke up and had nothing to do that day. josh decided to surprise me with what he called "a journey." i love surprises. so josh told me to dress warmly, scarves hat gloves, the whole shabang. i had no idea where we were going or how we were getting there. and i was super excited. we walked down stairs and boarded the HRT bus route 16. this three minute bus ride took us to the tide. (the new light rail system in norfolk)

we toured through downtown on the tide and got of at the macarthur square station. we walked past some of the tallest buildings in norfolk- it seemed unreal that we actually live here because i really only see these buildings from afar. but when theyre right up close i felt like i was in a big city. 

i still had no idea where we were going. but then we approached waterside. i asked if that was our destination. thank goodness no. waterside norfolk could be really cool. but its not. norfolk needs to hype it up for sure.

we walked around the buildings and back to the water where all the ships are. and i saw what we were doing. we were riding the ferry to portsmouth! i love boat rides. this was a good surprise. 

we enjoyed a pretty chilly stroll through high street.

Col. William Craford- founder of Portsmouth VA

we were headed to our lunch destination. this was a surprise too. a really good one.

this place was absolutely delicious. called the bier garden. the place was opened by a german couple with the help of their daughter and son. they serve authentic german food and have over 350 different kinds of beer. it was so good. we both had bratwurst, spatzle, and the most delicious fries ive ever had. josh ordered Schneider Aventinus Eisbock and I had a Franziskaner Dunkel. (yes i really enjoyed it and drank it all)

we went to an antique store on our way back to the ferry and found a little splurge for our home- but most definitely worth it. itll be shown on my home blog posts soonish. we also found a little birthday gift for joshs dad- it was too perfect to pass up even though his birthday is a while away.

we strolled along the water and took some pictures of norfolk and portsmouth as the sun was setting. still trying to figure out my camera but it starts somewhere so i got a lot of good practice.

solar powered boat- josh loved it

here are some photos i cant take credit for- josh likes to play with the camera too:

the sun was down and it was freezing!

he likes to turn the shutter speed wayyyy down and blur lights
its nice to have someone know me so well and love me despite that. i seriously could not have asked for a better husband. girls, dont settle, because this seriously is worth it all. the time the effort the fights. i am so blessed. 

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