Our Babymoon

We were trying to decide where to go on our babymoon. My first thought was going to a tropical island, where you can soak up the warm sun. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to fly anywhere since hubs is still in school and my work schedule didn’t allow it.

We decided to head west… in North Carolina. We are moving out of state in 6 months and we wanted to scratch some places off our “before we move” bucket list.

Friday, we drove in to Charlotte. Hubs has never been to a NBA game so we  planned to cheer on the Hornets. Luckily, they were playing the Cavs so we go to see Lebron play, too! We had a great time! Some of the Carolina Panthers players were there, too, like Cam Newton.

After the game, we walked to the Epicenter and checked out Howl at the Moon. I sat there listened to live music and drank my ginger-ale. We had a really fun time.

The next day, we drove to Grandfather mountain in Linville, NC. The views driving there were beautiful. The mountains are the sights I will miss the most when we move.

We stopped by the animal exhibit, where we saw a bald eagle, a cougar, and even a brown bear, oh my! We ate some fudge and kept on driving up the mountain.

We made it to the swinging suspension bridge and soaked in the views. This state really is something else! We stayed the night in a lodge at Banner Elk. We ate BBQ at the Pedalin’ Pig and checked out downtown Banner Elk. It was quiet and the stars were bright. I’m so glad we were able to explore this state. While living here, we have learned to appreciate  the great outdoors. Thank  you, North Carolina!

 

We hope our baby is as adventurous as we have been during our time together.

We hope that she will take risks.

We hope she will never take life for granted.

We hope she soaks up the present.

We hope she knows how loved she is not only by us, but by Jesus.

Jesus changed our life, and we hope she will follow Him like we have chosen to do.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declare the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Traveling Tips: Asheville, NC

Hubs and I spent a beautiful couple days in Asheville, NC on Memorial weekend. We have been before, but in the winter time; I wanted to see it during warmer weather. I only had a the weekend off so time was of the essence.

Tip 1:

Plan ahead. I knew we were only going to be there for 2 short days. I, also, knew that I wanted to see the Biltmore. I called the AAA office for discounted tickets for the Biltmore. I saved $18… every little bit helps! We just had to pick it up at their office, which is 3 miles from the house.

Follow me to the Biltmore House.. or really mansion
Follow me to the Biltmore House, darling!

Also, since it was Memorial weekend, many of the hotels were booked! Since it was a last minute decision, I didn’t have much choice. I found a little lodge through Booking.com. It didn’t have the best reviews, but it had free breakfast and it was in a safe area. I figured we would be busy all day, we would just need a place to lay down.

Tip 2:

Biltmore is huge! There are many different tours to do, so check it out online and book it! They can go fast. We decided to do the Roof Top tour and booked it via the phone, since I had some questions. I did not realize we had to buy the house tour to be able to do the specialty tours. I wasn’t really that interested in doing the house tour again, but the Downton Abbey exhibit was happening so it was pretty cool. I highly recommend the Roof Top tour. The view was amazing from the top of the house. Don’t go if you are afraid of heights or claustrophobic. There was a lady in our tour who couldn’t handle being in the small balcony and had to leave.

On top of the Biltmore house
On top of the Biltmore house

We went around the gardens and the greenhouse, hiked to the falls, frolicked in the meadows, and went wine tasting at the Antler Hill Village and Winery. Of course, we bought wine (if you buy 3, you get 10% off).

Welcome to my chateau!
Welcome to my chateau!
Hubs frolicking in the meadows
Hubs frolicking in the meadows
30th anniversary wine- we had to buy it!
30th anniversary wine- we had to buy it!

Tip 3:

Review the eats! When we first went to Asheville, I used TripAdvisor to find all the good eats. Hubs and I are big foodies. This time, we went on a suggestion of our friends and checked out Wicked Weed Brewing. There was a wait to even get on the waiting list! It was poppin’! They have gluten free beer on tap, if you are in need of that.

My eats: Carolina bison burger + haystack shallots + blue cheese (I don’t like blue cheese much, but I could barely taste it. It was mixed in the slaw that was on my burger) My drinks: Coolcumber, Glutenous Minimus (had to try the gluten free beer!)

Hubs eats: Black bean burger + firewalker pimento cheese + pickled okra Hubs drinks: Freak of Nature DIPA, Pernicious IA

My meal at Wicked Weed brewery.
My meal at Wicked Weed brewery.
Cheers with Coolcumber and Freak of Nature!
Cheers with Coolcumber and Freak of Nature!

Tip 4:

Research hiking areas. I knew I wanted to go hiking on Sunday. I searched online for areas with amazing views. There’s so many good choices. Last time, we hiked to Chimney Rock which I highly recommend! It was super windy and cold, but we made it! This time I found this amazing site online and found some amazing recommendations. I decided to go to Craggy gardens for the panoramic views at the pinnacle. It was breath-taking! I highly recommend it. Grab some snacks and water at the visitor center! Don’t forget your camera and even your selfie stick 🙂

But first a selfie... there were no other people, but us. It was our own little place for just a few moments.
But first a selfie… there were no other people, but us. It was our own little place for just a few moments.

Tip 5:

Check the weather. I frequently checked the weather those few days before we left. There was a rain chance at one point during the weekend. Sunday was the prettiest of the days and did not have any rain chances at all, so that was the day I chose to go hiking. The temperature was from high 50’s to mid 70’s. It felt amazing. I recommend to dress in layers. I had a shirt, sweater, pants, and comfy shoes. If I started sweating on my hike up, then I’d take the sweater off and can cool down. It was a bit chilly once we got to the top!

Dress in layers. The summit was windy and chilly.
Dress in layers. The summit was windy and chilly.

Even though our stay was short, we loved every minute of Asheville. The weather was in high 50’s, the views were amazing, the people were friendly, and we could picture ourselves living there. Anytime we have a couple days off, we try to spend them wisely. There is so much of this world we have just heard of or seen online.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Sorry, I’m on a cleanse!

For the holidays, we went on multiple out-of-town trips. We went to the Smokies with my in-laws, traveled to Florida to see our grandma, and spent the New Year in Charleston. Hubs and I are food lovers. We tried out new foods and ate out for every meal. Of course, I gained a few pounds, but I also felt like I trashed my body.

My New Year’s resolution is to live healthier. I started incorporating ‘Meatless Monday’, stopped eating after 7, and started doing cardio at the gym 3-4x a week. After trashing my body during the holidays, I wanted to start a juice cleanse to start fresh.

Before Cleansing:

Before starting a juice cleanse, get educated. I read blogs, reviews, tips, advices, and anything that could help me decide on which company to purchase the juices from, what to expect, and if I even can do this!

I chose to do a 3-day juice cleanse because a 1-day was too short and 5-day seemed too long to do for a first timer! I chose the company Pressed Juicery, a California-based company, from reviews online.

Prepping my body before cleansing meant only drinking one cup of coffee instead of two, eating a salad for lunch, and having dinner at 6pm. I, also, chose to do the cleanse on my 4 days off to lessen any temptation. This turned out to be more than just a physical cleanse for me; it was also spiritual.

My 6 juices per day!
My 6 juices per day!

Juice 1: Greens 2 consists of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon

Juice 2:  Citrus 2 consists of pineapple, apple, lemon, mint

Juice 3: Greens 3 consists of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, ginger

Juice 4: Roots 3 consists of beet, apple, lemon, ginger

Juice 5: Didn’t have a name, but consists of lemon, cayenne pepper, alkaline h20

Juice 6: Vanilla Almond consists of almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt (my favorite & most calories)

I, also, bought the chlorophyll h20 (recommended to drink throughout the day) and the aloe vera h2o (recommended to drink before bedtime- not that good!)

Day One:

Day one was the toughest, mentally. There were a lot of prayers this day! I never felt like I was starving, though. I drank the juices every 2 hours as recommended and plenty of waters. I didn’t do any cardio this day, just a minute plank. I went to bed at my usual time, and I was actually full!

Day Two:

I felt pretty dang good on day two! Mentally, I was stronger. If I could finish day one, I knew I could do this! Hubs took me on an afternoon date, despite my hesitation. We went to mall to grab some things we needed and to the movies. I sneaked my little cooler in the movies with my next 2 juices. I totally forgot to sit in the aisle, though! Oops! I just did a little cardio this day.

I sneaked my bottles of juice in at the movies.
I sneaked my bottles of juice in at the movies.

Day Three:

Day three was the toughest, physically! I think it would have helped if I picked my juices because by the third day, I was over the flavors! We went grocery shopping and I cooked gumbo for hubs’ dinner. SO TEMPTING! It smelled so good; I wanted it so bad! It took a lot of self-control to tell myself ‘no’. Hubs wanted to watch a movie, again, so I packed my little cooler. This time, the smell of popcorn got to me. I really, really wanted it! Ahh! But I toughened it out. I just kept drinking my juice and water. It was almost the end of the cleanse, I COULD DO IT! I repeated to myself, just a few more hours, just a few more hourssss!!! I did a minute plank before bed.

ALL DONE!
ALL DONE!

After Cleansing:

Being a food lover, I was really surprised that I was able to stick out. My body and mind felt pretty dang good. I did lose a couple pounds (more like water weight), but that really isn’t the point of a cleanse. I didn’t get a headache from the lack of caffeine and didn’t feel tired. I was still able to do things around the house, run errands, go on dates with my husband, and do a light work-out. I did start saying things that people on a cleanse typically say, for example, one of our friends invited us for dinner on Friday, my reply “Sorry, I’m on a cleanse!” or when my hubs wanted to go to a coffee house Saturday morning, “Ugh, I’m cleansing!”.

I didn’t realize how much hubs and I go towards food for a date activity. It was hard to decide what to do without involving food. Also, I felt like ridding my body of toxins helped me grow closer to Jesus. Is that silly? When I eat junk, it affected my body, mind, and spirit. I get moody, impatient, and lazy. Indulgence and gluttony is of a sinful spirit and to hold strong for a fast is so good for a spiritual awakening. One of my best friends said, “Your body doesn’t have the energy to waste on silly and petty things and instead your eyes and mind are open and closer to the realm of Heaven.” Ain’t that the truth!

Today was my first day off the cleanse. I ate light: small bowl of cereal with almond milk for breakfast and a turkey pinwheel with Laughing Cow spread. I did drink a small hazelnut latte… Mmmm. After our little coffee date, we went on a hike. It was a peaceful time.

My first taste of coffee in 3 days. 8oz hazelnut latte.. mmm..
My first taste of coffee in 3 days. 8oz hazelnut latte.. mmm..
Hubs and I went for a hike and found a peaceful spot to relax.
Hubs and I went for a hike and found a peaceful spot to relax.

April 17, 2013

Since his freshman year of high school, hubs wanted to be a Certified Registered Nursed Anesthetist (CRNA). He knew it was a competitive program, therefore, he worked hard in high school, college, and his 1st year as an ICU nurse to be able to be in the running. When hubs and I got married, I knew this. I knew what his calling was and where his mission field should be. He is so driven, hard working, and genuine that I had no doubt he would be accepted, but I didn’t know when or where. Hubs decided that he would start applying in the fall of 2013. He told me about some schools he thought about attending: UT, Baylor, Texas Wesleyan, and TCU. Every now and then, he would look at other schools; he found one in Portland, Maine, and one in North Carolina. We added Wake Forest to the list of “possibles”, whose application wasn’t until fall, as well.

On the night of April 17, 2013, he found a CRNA school at Duke University. He told me, as I was falling asleep, that Duke’s application process ends May 1st. He said that there was no way he could get everything done in 2 weeks and maybe if he doesn’t get in to any of his Fall “possibles” that he could apply to Duke the following May. I told him to just try and if doesn’t get in, he would have practice in the process for when he applies for the fall. That night, he took a leap of faith and started the application process. He worked on his personal statement and contacted every one of his references. God works in mysterious ways. Everything was completed within 2 weeks! We didn’t know it then, but our life changed that night.

Mid-June, we found out he got an interview! In the end of July, we both flew down to Durham, NC for his interview.

 

How hubs looked after his individual interview!
How hubs looked after his individual interview!
THE CALL!
THE CALL!

We were in Oregon for a wedding and this day we took a day trip to Washington for a whale-watching excursion. We just parked to get on the boat and after a prank call from his mom; we got the phone call that changed our lives. That was on July 27, 2013- A little over 3 months when we took that leap of faith.

Duke was never on our “possibles” list and all the glory is to God. We tell people that this whole thing was totally a God thing. For hubs to find Duke 2 weeks before their application process ended, to get all the things he needed to be done, and for his references to get everything they needed to do in the short notice was totally a God thing. I think of that saying, “When you tell God your plans he laughs”. He laughs because he has something more glorious that you can ever imagine or dream.

 

acceptance email
Acceptance E-Mail
on 8/9/13, we shared our news on FB to make it "official" Hubs wrote: "I can't keep the good news in any longer. I have been accepted into the Duke Nurse Anesthesia Class of 2016! I am so incredibly thankful for the blessings God has given to us! Thanks to our friends and family for all the love and support! :)
on 8/9/13, we shared our news on FB to make it “official” Hubs wrote:
“I can’t keep the good news in any longer. I have been accepted into the Duke Nurse Anesthesia Class of 2016! I am so incredibly thankful for the blessings God has given to us! Thanks to our friends and family for all the love and support! 🙂