December 2, 2010


My life in Bullet Points
  • 12-hour shifts are hard! But I do like only working 3 days a week but sometimes it feels like more.
  • Thanksgiving we stayed in Virginia. We were blessed to spend the day with friends from church. And I tried deep fried turkey for the first time and I am a believer.
  • Our Christmas tree is up! I love decorating for Christmas!
  • Saturday we went out for tape and came home with a new TV for the bedroom...still trying to figure that one out.
  • Sunday, I went horseback riding. So fun! Although the horse started to trot and I freaked out a little. And man was I sore! Totally uses different muscles that I haven't used in awhile.


  • And last night I had my first night shift. It wasn't so bad.
  • Now let the Christmas parties start. And the Christmas shopping! What do you want for Christmas?
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November 24, 2010

High School Fall Retreat

This past weekend, we had a blast at our High School Retreat. We had 30 students come and had a great time in worship and learning about being Living Sacrifices.

I also introduced the students to the game Pit. I heard comments like "This is the best game EVER!" You can see us playing it in the video.

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November 19, 2010

Pack Your Bags!

This weekend is the High School Fall Retreat. I feel like I am a little more prepared for this retreat but we shall see. Maybe I'll get more sleep?
 Expect lots of pictures to come!
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November 9, 2010

Christmas List

PhotobucketWhat Do I Want for Christmas you ask?
That's all I got....

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November 7, 2010


We have a Houdini in our house. His name is Cooper. There have been a few times when we have come home and Cooper has escaped from his crate.

His latest escapade has been escaping from the backyard. There is a corner in the yard that was not connected between fences. First we put up some temporary nylon fencing. He just ripped through. Next we put boards in front no help.

Joe then decided to put a wall of concrete blocks up. Look at what he does!


We can't keep him in! Luckily he doesn't really go anywhere but how tall do we have to build that thing?

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November 6, 2010

Do You Have Kids?

We get this question a lot. I usually just simply answer "No." And let the conversation move on. Do you say that we've been trying for quite awhile? That we had two positive pregnancy tests and no babies? That if we had it our way we would be holding our four month old?
I never thought that this would be our experience. That every month hopes rise and fall. That every funny feeling, every mood change is a hope that this time it will be good. I never thought I would look at my cycle so much. I never thought I would struggle with hard feelings when it seems that everyone is getting pregnant and we are not.  Surely that would never happen to us.
I so wish my faith was stronger to whisper to my heart in times of uncertainty.
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November 5, 2010

My Week @ Work

As you have noticed  by my lack of blogging that  I am back in my work mode. After two more days of hospital orientation (which totaled 7), I finally spent two days on my unit.

My brain is officially on overload. There is so much to learn! I got to help circulate three c sections this week. One of them was twins. Very exciting! The only thing that was distracting was that my role was to help with surgery and not to look at the baby. Hard, right?

Yesterday was my first 12 hour shift. Not very fun but I think I'll get used to it. However the drive home was hard. But Joe had Olive Garden waiting for me and then I went to bed at 9! Ha!

Now I have 5 days off in a row! But then I work 6, 12 shifts in 7! Not.

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October 28, 2010

One of My Favorite Hymns

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me

To look on Him and pardon me
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!
Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!

One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God

With Christ, my Savior and my God

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October 27, 2010

My New Job

I started my new job on Monday. Everyone keeps asking me "How's your job going?!" Well I have been sitting through hospital orientation. I learned all about the history, values, mission, diversity. And while I do enjoy learning about this. This has been no indication of how my job is going to be. I have yet to be at the hospital I will be working at.

I do enjoy that the health system is faith based, which is obviously important to me. They value education and will do tuition reimbursement if you go back to school. And they have adoption help.

The dogs I think were spoiled with me being home so much and now don't know what to do with themselves. But I do enjoy the big greetings I get again.

I also learned that a month off really messes with your sleep schedules! I am pooped when I get home! Monday night, I fell asleep on the couch at 7 and then woke up at 8. Not good for trying to get to bed early. And I haven't got to the hard stuff yet! Oh the fun of starting new jobs!

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October 25, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend was a little more relaxed. Friday night, the church hosted an outdoor movie in night, in October! It was after the football game so it was about 40 degrees! The funny part is the rest of the week the low is the upper 50's! Even though we had about 75 students and parents come. We watched Letters to God. That was my third time seeing it and I still cried.

Saturday we hung out and got the house cleaned up. I had a couple of boxes left to unpack and found a lot of things I was missing!

Sunday after church, our rental house was having an Open House. So we decided to take our dogs to a dog park in Richmond. It was only a 20 or so minute drive. Before our trip, I was kinda worried about how they would do. I pictured Annie running around like crazy jumping on dogs.

They surprised us. They did really well but were more interested in following us around then the dogs. They especially loved all the attention they got from other dog owners. They did have a chihuahua follow them around for about 20 minutes.

Last night, Joe shared his vision with youth and their schedule for the next year. The students were pretty excited about our mission trip to New Orleans next summer. We had a fun weekend!

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October 23, 2010

It's a Tough Day for the Dogs

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October 22, 2010

Loving my Man

Our Love Story: The Beginning
I thought it was time to dedicate a series to my man. Joe and I started dating my freshman year of college.  Joe is four years older than me and we grew up in church together. I always say that Joe never gave me the time of day when I was younger. I don't remember ever talking to him. Then the summer after I graduated high school, all of my friends ended up at the house he was renting with his friends, including my brother. I went to visit my friend who was interning at a church and Joe was brought up to speak one night. That's when I remember thinking that Joe is really a nice guy! That was probably the first time he ever talked to me. But my being realistic thought this could never happen so I did what any normal girl would do, I would avoid him! I didn't want to seem stupid! But not very long later, we'll say God opened his eyes to me! My favorite part is that Joe didn't tell me his feelings for me until after I left for college and he was four hours away at home!

That is one of our first pictures taken together almost 6 years ago. I don't really look any different! There are still days when I think to myself, I married Joe?! How did that happen? I say God has a sense of humor!

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October 21, 2010

New Design

What do you do when you haven't start work yet?.....

You make a new blog design! I used my trial of PSE and here we go. I have already decided when I get my first paycheck, I am buying it for real.

What do you think?

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October 19, 2010


Joe got me the iPhone 3G a couple of weeks ago and I am a believer. My phone before was the cheapest phone ever and while I was happy with it, I was ready for a new phone after seeing Joe with his iphone.
I am slightly addicted to checking facebook while away. And I downloaded the Target app! I also play Words with Friends.
What are your favorite iphone apps?

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Blog Challenge Day 3: First Love

Today I am supposed to talk about my first love. I have some no shame, I will tell you.

 My first love was N Sync. I totally loved N Sync when I was in middle school, made my mom go buy their albums the first day they came out. I even would tape all of their TV appearances. Their posters were in my room and had debates with those who liked Backstreet Boys.

Thankfully I grew out this affection and into a my healthy one with God and a great relationship with my husband but here it first love.

Come on...tell me I'm not the only one!

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October 18, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend we kept pretty busy. Friday we went to the homecoming game at the high school. We only stayed until half time but I was COLD! They did not win their homecoming but we had fun seeing students.

After the game we came home and we saw a shadow following us. We then saw the fluffliest black cat. He just followed us into the house and had a nice look around before Joe made me tell him it time to leave. 

Saturday we went to visit our friends at the International Mission Board Training Center. It was a really awesome facility that missionaries go to before they go across seas. We then went to lunch at California Pizza and Joe and I shared a pumpkin cheesecake for desert.
The restaurant was at a really nice upscale shopping center called Short Pump. We walked in the Mac Store. The church bought Joe one and then in my head I am starting the 'Mac for Al' fund! We felt more hip after we left.

That night we saw the Christian movie "What If" about a man who went against God's calling on his life and kind of like "It's A Wonderful Life" twist to it. It was a cute movie. It was nice to support more edifying movies. The only thing I didn't like was the actors. I was looking at their other films and they were definitely not Christian.

Afterwards we went to Fridays with some friends for some late night apps. 


All in all it was a fun weekend!

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October 16, 2010

Blog Challenge Day 2

Day's 2 Challenge is to describe the meaning behind your blog name.
Living Joyfully really is pretty simple. I know that God has created people to find their true joy in him. I know that I have a personal relationship with the King of the Universe who invites me to communicate with him at all times. How can we not be joyful? Living Joyfully, I think, is a choice we have to make to find joy in our lives.
Psalm 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord.
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October 15, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge

I found this 30 day blog challenge here and decided it was time to jump on board.

The first day you are supposed to introduce yourself.

Hi! I am Alison! I am 25 years old and married to Joe.  We have been married for over two years. I am a Registered Nurse and Joe recently became a Youth Pastor again. We just moved to Virginia and the first time we have ever lived outside of Indiana.

15 Interesting Facts
  1. My hair is wavy and not a cute wave either. If I wear my hair down I straighten it. Interestingly, it doesn't hold a curl either. I am also a natural redhead.
  2. I have been to Russia and Italy and want to see more of the world.
  3. We have now lived in three houses since we have been married and since the house we are renting is for sale, we know we will be moving again.
  4. I love popcorn, especially movie theater popcorn. I even worked in a movie theater for 2 years and would eat it on my breaks and could still not get enough.
  5. I am 5'3 and Joe is about 6'2. But I really enjoy my height. I never wanted to be taller. The only frustrating thing is I am too tall for petite and too short for regular!
  6. I really do not like preying mantises. I had a nightmare about them and ever since I get scared of them. Yuck.
  7. Makeup does not stay on my face and I am way too lazy to reapply frequently.
  8. I pride myself on being independent but getting married I realized that I NEED Joe a lot more than I thought I would. When the movers came to load our stuff Joe was speaking at a conference and things kept going wrong and I was freaking out and pretty much told Joe he needed to get his tail home!
  9. Joe and I are Southern Baptist.
  10. I am a fan of reality TV--The Biggest Loser, Survivor, Apprentice, Project Runway, Top Chef.
  11. I like sleep a little too much.
  12. I don't answer my phone if I don't know who it is.
  13. My favorite colors are blues and greens
  14. I use the same purse for months and then get a new purse. No changing purses daily for me.
  15. I have never eaten sushi.

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October 14, 2010

I Should

...exercise more less junky food more diligent in my housework
...complain less
What are some things you are thinking you should do?

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October 13, 2010

10 Things About Me

I haven't done an about me post in quite awhile so I thought I would post 10 random things
  1. I am now a youth pastor's wife. For those of you tracking, I was a youth pastor's wife (for 3 months), a senior pastor's wife and now again a youth pastor's wife. And yet I haven't figured out either of these things.

  2. I LOVE Target. When we were looking at churches, an important question was where is the nearest Target? Back in Indiana, the nearest Target was 30 minutes away but it was in the city I worked. So many lunch hours were spent in Target. Our church here in Virginia graciously had a 'pounding' for us and we received many giftcards to Target. Joe wondered if secretly put it out there my love for Target.

  3. We have 2 or 3 dogs, depending on how you look at it. We have 2 Cocker Spaniels here and Daisy our lab is in Indiana at Joe's brother's house until we get more settled. We are renting a house that is currently for sale (it's confusing) so we decided to not bring the whole clan. That also means we found a new home for Levi our kitty. We miss them but know its best. I will go on record that I love animals. I am a pet owner who calls myself Mom and yes they sleep in my bed....every night.

  4. I have a love/hate thing with cooking. I really enjoy finding/trying new recipes. Hate the cleanup. Hate a stuffed fridge. I sometimes picture myself as this 'foodie' and then I realize that I am nowhere near but we can dream

  5. I really enjoy music. I started learning the piano when I was 7 and took lessons for 7 years. But I don't like to play in public. Since getting married and having my own piano, I have been playing more regularly and am becoming let's say decent. I also enjoy singing but get terrified to do it in public. Funny story. When we came for our trial weekend here, I was asked to sing for the service. For the first service, I was singing during the offertory which is the last part of the service which happened to be the very last thing before they voted on us. I totally felt like it was American Idol!

  6. I have always enjoyed photography. I bought a Nikon D40 off of ebay a couple of years ago and have been messing around ever since. We'll say it's a hobby. I have a trial verson of Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and have been finding really neat free actions on the web to spiffy some pictures.

  7. I really want a colorful family. I decided probably back in high school that I really wanted to adopt children. I would tear up when I would families with Asian children. I was thrilled when it was something that Joe was passionate about also. If you have been following me here, Joe and I have had two early miscarriages in the past year. We don't know what God has in store for us in regards to children. Regardless, my heart is burdened with those who are motherless.

  8. I really enjoy reading. There are 2 1/2 bookcases in our office here full of our books. Love looking at Amazon. I really enjoy reading fiction. One of my favorite authors for awhile is  Robin jones Gunn. I love that they are quick reads but still edifying.

  9. I enjoy looking at crafty blogs...knitting, sewing, designing. You name it. And then I imagine that maybe one day I would accomplish day

  10. Oh....and I got a job! Starting 10/25 I will start orientation to be a Labor and Delivery Nurse. That's right. This is what I had planned for probably the last four years and finally getting into it. When I had my interview I was thinking about this probably the nurse that a mom will always remember. To be a part of someone's birth story is nothing short of amazing and so excited with what God has blessed us with.

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Time for Knitting

I have been knitting a lot more recently.

I have been going through phases of being crafty. There are times when I just cannot get enough knitting. And then there are times when not even in my brain waves. In those time, I will stumble upon a crafty blog or see a pattern and I am know that I will have to start again!

Lately, I have been thinking about Christmas. Or sometimes I find myself knitting and Joe will ask "Who is that for?" I will say it's a Christmas present! But then I never know who!

I ordered some beautiful yarn from knitpicks and have started my next project. I have already restarted three times! This pattern is pretty intricate so I am trying to figure out what I am doing.

Who knows? This might be your Christmas present!

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October 11, 2010

Camp Willow Run Video

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Weekend Recap

This past weekend, Joe and I went with our Middle School students to Camp Willow Run in North Carolina. YouthQuest from Liberty University came and led worship, and small groups with our students.

We had a blast! I must admit as we were leaving, I thought "What did I get myself into?" But I soon knew that this would be a fun and God-lifting weekend. We took over 70 students with us.


We loved the trip. The camp had canoeing, rock wall climbing, and low ropes courses. We really started connecting with the students and developing relationships. We came home really tired though! Now I am trying to condense my 200+ pictures into a video for the students.

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Menu Plan Monday

Last week we tried new recipes and I think they were all really good! Joe really liked the chicken tenderloins!

Here is our menu for this week!

Monday: FFY (Fend For Yourselves)
Tuesday: Chili
Wednesday: Three Cheese Penne Pasta Bake with Garlic Bread
Friday: We are going to tailgate at the high school homecoming game!

What are you having for dinner?

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