Monday, January 28, 2008

5 - Mercato

This week I am going to count down my 5 favorite dining experiences since I moved to the Low-Country. So, enjoy a "taste of the Low Country" with me.

I was treated to Mercato for #29. You can read about that here. This is an Italian restaurant in the downtown Charleston area. It is across the street from the Charleston City Market and Daughters of the Confederacy museum. But enough about location...this post is about food. And good food it was. For an appetizer we ordered an olive and pickle plate. Those who know me best know I can't stand olives, but I've never met a pickle that I didn't want to consume. And consume those little babies I did. They were very different tasting, but again it is a pickle. I. Do. Not. Discriminate.

On to the main course. I, being a web guru (and lover of knowing all things ahead of time) had already purused the menu prior to going to this establishment. Well, actually I had to pick a place so I perused a couple of different menus before decided on this one. But that's another story for another time. Long story short, I chose the beef marsala grilled flat iron steak with sauteed wild mushrooms, haricot vert, and mashed potatoes. Mmmm, Mmmm, good. The steak was cook perfectly, the potatoes were divine, and I learned that haricot vert is a fancy smancy way of saying green bean. All in all a very good meal. are #5 on my list.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, January 21, 2008

Reconstructing Natalie

Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas I visited the $5 Christian book store in glorious West Town Mall. During my time there I picked up the book "Reconstructing Natalie" by Laura Jenson Walker. It was one of the Women of Faith books. As a self-proclaimed queen of chick-lit novels, I have read several books by this group and this one looked good. I knew it was about a girl who had breast cancer, but I didn't realize how it would hit home with me. No, I don't have cancer nor do any of my friends at this time. But I realized two things reading this book: 1) if I ever have cancer I hope I face it with the bravery of Natalie and 2) I hope if I ever have a friend in a position such as this that I will support that friend as Natalie's friends supported her. So, if you are a girl who digs a good book I highly recommend this one to you. I hope you will laugh and cry with Natalie as she braves the highs and lows in this book.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

29 Great Things About Today

1) Arynda called me early. I mean really early. Before I left my house early.

2) My dad called after I left the house and first checked to see if he work me up. I had been up since 5:45. Seriously, once you're retired you forget other people work for a living.

3) Mom reminded me that 1:13 PM is more important than 7:00 AM

4) Mary Neill called and sang.

5) Sue called and left a voicemail.

6) I got lunch for free...well, compliments of the fact we went to a restaurant where they will not split your tab and the guys I work with are points hogs

7) I got flowers. From Arynda. I don't deserve her friendship. But I am thankful for it.

8) People wrote on my wall.

9) I got no bills in the mail!

10) Tea at the Gallery iPot is in.

11) I am healthy!

12) I have a job which challenges me in more ways than I can count.

13) I get to eat dinner here tonight.

14) Betsy sent me a Hoops and YoYo card.

15) Betsy sent me a DJ your own song card.

16) Shanle sent me a text. She didn't call me at 12:30 AM. I wouldn't have been mad at her if she had. I love her that much!

17) My Papaw read the calendar and it registered with him what today was.

18) He then sang to me on the phone.

19) My granny talked to me. She told me to call her whenever I need to.

20) This may be the last time my grandparents call me. I will cherish this memory.

21) Doodlebug picked me out a card. My sister didn't mail it because she doesn't have my address.

22) I sent myself a Facebook message from someone else's account. :-)

23) Steve Jobs did not announce a new iPod Nano. This saves me money.

24) Connie C called. Her big day is tomorrow. We're going to compare dinner notes. Italian vs. Italian.

25) My best guy friend sent me a text. After he was prompted. I'm not complaining. Guys are guys and they are forgetful. He tries. Besides, I'm not his #1 girl...I'm #2. And I'm ok with that.

26) The West family did not forget me either.

27) Traffic was not bad today...the jam was before I get on the interstate. YEAH!

28) I've reached the age where you start holding...but I'm going to keep going.

29) Jesus loves me. I love Him! It doesn't get any better than that.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Time Travel Tuesday

I will start this post off by saying I am not a Valentine's person. In fact I think it is a stupid holiday and I say that having been in relationships on February 14. I have just celebrated Christmas and my birthday. It would be better served for me if it were in July. However, a few years ago I was dating someone and they were planning on being out of town for Valentine's Day. Seeing as how I don't enjoy the holiday I didn't say anything. When he figured it out he cancelled his plans (left the following day) so we could do something. How sweet. Blah Blah Blah. So, that night I went to his house and he surprised me by saying he had reservations to our favorite Mediterranean restaurant. We arrived at the restaurant and were seated. I normally would order some type of mediterranean pasta dish or salad, but that night I felt like a nice brick oven pizza. This place had the BEST brike oven pizzas. So, our little waitress comes over and I said "I would like a pizza." She snapped back "we don't have those." So my date, being oh so sweet, replied "oh, you're not serving them tonight because it is Valentine's Day." She snapped back "no, we're never serving them again." So we quickly picked something off the "special" Valentine's menu and she went to place our order. We commented on how sad it was that they had discontinued their pizzas. We continued our meal (which was very nice by the way because this was our FAVORITE Mediterranean place) and left happy. The next week we were at his basketball game and I was talking to a good friend of mine. She asked me what we did and I told her. She said, "But that place is closed." And I said, "No, I promise we ate there." She replied, "Well, then it closed the next day because my roommate was a waitress (now unemployeed) there." Apparently they stayed open through Valentine's Day and then closed. So, while I am still not a fan of the holiday I am glad that I was dating someone then who was so I got to have one final meal at that restaurant. Plus it's a great story to tell.
Workout Day #2: No workout. Just work. Lots and lots of work. I'll be back tomorrow.

Monday, January 07, 2008

White Chocolate Moments

I confess, I love white chocolate. I know it really isn't chocolate, but seriously. The whiter the better. If you give me dark chocolate I will give it right back. But give me some white chocolate and I'm a happy girl. I remember Tony went to Switzerland once and brought back some heavenly white chocolate candies from Nestle. Amazing I tell you. Simply amazing. Maybe it was my love of white chocolate that drew me to the book "White Chocolate Moments" by Lori Wick. I have always enjoyed Lori Wick books, but this was one of my favorites. A young girl loses her parents in a car crash and moves in with her grandfather. As she grows they have time together eating white chocolate. Hence the book title "White Chocolate Moments." I also like how Lori Wick always shares the gospel in each of her books in simple, easy to understand language. So, if you are looking for a good fiction book to read, I highly recommend this one.

I am going to start posting my workouts on my blog so I can track them (and my 5-7 readers can help keep me accountable!)

Workout Day #1 - Walk 2 - Run 15 @ 5.5 - Walk 3

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Friday Night Lights

When ABC blew him up on Grey's Anatomy I was devestated as I knew he would make a wonderful addition to the McTastic cast. However, NBC realized what ABC didn't: this guy needs his own show. So, if you aren't watching Friday Night Lights, Shame. On. You. And if you don't like the older men, the younger ones aren't so bad either.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Family Foto Friday

I am Carrie. I am an aunt. I am the biological aunt of two girls. One here and one in heaven. I am the surrogate aunt to 3 nephews. Here are the ones I still get to hold. My family. I am blessed.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2007 Goals Revisted

So, I failed. I won't say I failed miserably because I did make progress on most of the goals, but I didn't focus as intently on the ones of highest eternal importance and I only actually accomplished a couple of these completely. So here is the list of last years goals and the final status of each.

1. Memorize 26 individual verses and 1 chapter of the Bible -- failed
2. Read the New Testament -- I read in the New Testament but did not read the whole thing
3. Run 3 times per week -- failed miserably...but I'm still trying!
4. Keep house cleaner (not necessarily spotless, just cleaner!) well, this one was much better before I moved to a smaller place.
5. Eat healthier -- I've definitely improved in this area but have miles to go
6. Lent: Give Up Eating Out -- I only had to eat out when I was out of town...and I felt better and lost weight during this time. Go me!
7. Find a new job -- read about it here
8. Run 3rd half marathon (hope for personal best) -- didn't happen
9. Raise $150 for Cystic Fibrosis -- I raised $270! Woohoo!!!!!!!! To my blogger friends who donated, "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!"
10. Take meals to Ronald McDonald House Twice -- Does it count I visited my mom twice when she took meals? I didn't think so either.
11. Read all the books on my nightstand and dresser (except the scary one that mom lent me) -- I actually think I accomplished most of this...but I no longer have a dresser so they aren't on it any more. Hmmm....
12. Watch all the movies that I own (DVD and VHS) -- probably a 65-75% success rate. Although I did watch some of them on TV rather than getting the VHS out and hooking up the VCR.
13. Go hiking at least 4 times -- Does hiking up the stairs at work and my apartment count? I have also hiked around Charleston several times. Oh, and I hike back and forth between the two builds. A lot.
14. Finish cross-stitch projects -- I finished the one I started in high school. Yeah. It was a long time coming. I have the next one about 70% complete. It was much larger than I anticipated.
15. Finish scrapbooks that are "in-process" -- don't ask.

So, as I enter 2008 and am thinking through my goals (not resolutions) for this year expect several of the above to resurface. And some new goals as well. After all, we all need some new for the New Year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I Can Only Imagine

Emma would have been two today. It hardly seems as if it has been that long since the tiniest little thing ever entered our lives. I hadn't thought much of it today. It was a busy day. But on my way home from work I heard the Mercy Me song "I Can Only Imagine" on the radio. The lyrics are as follows:

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus,
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence,
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Halelluja,
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine.

And then the verses in Luke 18 came to my mind. In these verses people are bringing the children to Jesus and the disciples see this as a bother to Jesus. Jesus replies with these powerful words "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." WOW! The kingdom of God belongs to those who enter it as a little child. This made me think of going home. The best part of any trip home is the moment I see Doodlebug across a room. She immediately stops what she is doing and runs over to see me. That, my dear readers, is childlike excitement. So I hope when I enter heaven's gates it is with childlike excitement. I want to see Jesus and the Father across the way and run to them. I know that's what Emma did. And Gus too. And all the other little ones who have gone on ahead of us. For they entered the gates of Heaven with that wonderful childlike attitude. So happy to see their Heavenly Father. As only a child can do. Oh yes, there will be rejoicing and praising, but I want there to be excitement. I know we won't know what it is truly like until we are there but for now we can "only imagine." And rejoice for those who have gone on ahead.

I pray the New Year will bring to each of us a childlike faith. Eager to spend time with the One who loves us more than any other. The One who yearns to capture our full attention. The One who wants to see us excited to spend time with Him. For we don't have to wait until we are in Heaven to spend time with our Father. We only have to talk to Him. And talk to Him with the eagerness and excitement of a little child seeing a relative or friend after time apart. God is good. No, God is great. And though we should grow and mature in our walk with Him we should never lose sight of the childlike excitement that comes with being part of the greatest family of all.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

In the tradition of always eating black eyed peas and hog jowl for my New Year's Day meal, I headed off to my local Publix in search of such delicacies. And this is what I came home with:

I am starting a new tradition this year. Sushi on January 1. Blacked eyed peas around the 3rd or 4th. And hog jowl...well, I'll just have it the next time I go home for New Year's or I live in a place where I can freeze all of the extra as the only package Publix had would have fed a family of 15. Oh, and I got cupcakes too....but that was just an added bonus.