Sunday, July 29, 2007

House Pictures, Part 1

So I finally got the house fixed up enough to take pictures of the main rooms, at least! First, our kitchen--note the beautiful peach roses on the counter, which Matt brought me for no reason!

Then, the kitchen opens into the den. The side with the fireplace is along the back of the house.

Along the front of the house is the combo dining/living room. Most of this furniture belongs to the house (which explains why there are two china cabinets--we already had the corner cabinet).

And, finally, the master bedroom. So, that leaves the guest room and our offices that are still filled with unpacked boxes and other random things.

In other news...the wild turkeys had babies! That was a fun surprise, to see the little turklings (like goslings, maybe? I don't know the real name for baby turkeys) wandering through the yard.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just Beachy!

Matt got to lead a workshop (AKA a "Splatshop") at the quadrennial United Methodist youth event, Youth2007 (the theme of which this year was "SPLAT!: Seek, Pray, Learn, Act, Teach"). The event was held in Greensboro, NC, so we decided that if he/we were going to drive that far, might as well go on to the beach and make it our summer vacation!

So, we left Nashville on Thursday 7/12, and drove to Asheville, NC, where we spent the night in the mountains and enjoyed a nice Mediterranean tapas dinner. (We'd planned to eat at the Biltmore Winery, but found that it closes at 5pm! How crazy!) Friday morning, we drove a few hours further, to Greensboro, where I did a little shmoozing with UM youth pastors, trying to promote a particular Abingdon book we're wanting to push. (Might as well plug it here, too--see for the "Unofficial United Methodist Handbook," a humorous but insightful dummies-guide to the UMC!) Matt led the two sessions of his seminar, "Evangelism for the Rest of Us," in which he encouraged the youth (and their chaperones, who weren't all thrilled with this anti-prostletization look at sharing the gospel) to evangelize by sharing their own stories of faith, telling people how God has actually impacted their lives, rather than "four easy steps to escape hell and damnation." The sessions went really well; the youth loved having a good portion of the workshop time to just talk in small groups about their views and experiences, prompted by a list of 15-20 questions Matt posed to them about God, Jesus, hell, the Bible, etc. Kids are so much more insightful than we give them credit for, and it's amazing how deeply theological they can be when given the opportunity.

After dinner with a friend of mine from Furman, who now lives in Greensboro (though he's moving to Israel soon--awesome!) Matt and I drove on to Wilmington, NC, where we enjoyed three days at Wrightsville Beach! It rained a bit Saturday and early Sunday, but by Sunday afternoon, we were frying in the sun, so much that Monday morning, we went to the NC Aquarium to avoid the midday sun before enjoying some late-afternoon beach time.

It's good to be back home now, since we've only had about 6 days by ourselves in our new house since we moved in three weeks ago! It's time to get those books on shelves and pictures hung, etc., and THEN I will finally take some pics of the new house to post here! Ciao!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Turkeys, Bunnies, and Deer, oh my!

Though we are theoretically in a suburban neighborhood, we have a good bit of wildlife here, which is a delight to Charlotte, as you can imagine. In the cat's-eye-view picture below, you see three wild turkeys just wandering through the yard, which is an almost-daily occurance. We also see deer and brown rabbits every couple days--which I get very excited about every time, despite the fact that I'm terrified I will hit or run over them!

Also, here's a few photos from moving day, including Jessica's "so-sad-to-leave-our-first-home-together" face, our crystal seat-belted into the car, and Charlotte enjoying her new digs!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Matt's First Infant Baptism

I (Matt) got to perform my first infant baptism this past Sunday. I had previously gotten to participate in the baptisms of teenagers and some very young children, but this was the first baby. Her name is Madison and she's one of the cutest and sweetest babies I've ever met. (This does not, however, alter our intentions of waiting a few years to have one of our own. Sorry, Mom.) Here are some photos, courtesy of Jessica:

Performing the liturgy (Madison was asleep but woke up right after this was taken):

Yes, we sprinkle (Methodists can also pour and dunk):

Showing Madison her new church family:

As we sung the last hymn, Madison helped her Mom and Dad hold the hymnal. She's already getting it!

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Kelley Clarksvillians (not to be confused with Kelly Clarkson)

Sorry we don't have pics of the new house up yet--we don't have Internet there yet, but that is coming tomorrow, so we'll post some soon! We moved into the parsonage on June 30, using professional movers (I vowed after moving Matt into our duplex that I would never U-haul it again!) and a bunch of people from the church helped out, getting the house clean and ready for us, then helping carry boxes and furniture in once the moving van arrived! They brought tons of food, too, so we're still feeding on Subway sandwiches and Capri-Sun over a week later, now!

The next day we received a "pounding"--a church tradition in which parishioners stock the new pastor's pantry (traditionally, with pounds of staples like flour and sugar). We did receive some staples (including 14 pounds of sugar!) but also a bunch of canned goods, pasta, cake mixes, some fresh fruit, and even a Starbucks gift card! The folks at Bethlehem are so thoughtful--someone who knew we had a cat even threw in some kitty treats!

The house is great, with brand new carpet and paint, and enough bedrooms for us to have a master bedroom, guest room, and his and hers offices! (My--Jessica's--office also has a spare bed, so we have plenty of space for visitors!) I can't wait to post pictures, and even better, to have people over for a cookout or cocktail party! Matt and I drove in to Nashville together last Thursday and Friday (after I took Monday through Wednesday off to unpack and celebrate my 26th b-day on the 4th!), so today was my first day of solo commuting. The traffic wasn't bad at all until I got inside the outer beltway, when it came to a standstill! (I am still looking into carpooling, to reduce my smog contribution.) It took me right at one hour to get to work (42 miles, door-to-door), but 25 minutes of that was within the city limits! Hopefully, if I get out the door by 7am, I can avoid the tardy-worker rush that I hit today!


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