Saturday, July 31, 2010

Unconditional Acceptance

Kyle and I are so blessed to be surrounded by such godly influences. We have several families who we can turn to for guidance and counsel, prayer requests, and just great fellowship. One of the women, who I just adore, gave me a great book as part of our wedding gift. It's called Creative Counterpart, written by Linda Dillow. I'm about halfway through it, and even though I think it's geared a little more to housewives/stay-at-home moms, the foundational truths found in this book are ones that every wife or woman who hopes to be a wife one day needs to know and remember.

Let me share just one little section on acceptance with you. I think this can be applied to anyone in our lives, not just spouses.

"As a college student I was invited to hear a speaker talk about the claims of Jesus Christ. I went because I was religious, and besides, I was interested in the boy who had invited me. That night I heard for the first time that Christianity is not a list of rules, it is not an ethical code or a philosophy of life. It is a relationship- a relationship with Jesus Christ. And I learned that I could enter into this relationship realizing that I needed Christ, that I could not earn my way to heaven by my good life, by my sincere efforts, or by my religious activity.

Never have I been willing to admit I was sinful. Sin was murder and adultery, and besides, I tried hard. Sincerity had to count for something. Through God's Word I realized that sin is not just deed but attitudes- an attitude of indifference or independence of God- and that my sins separated me from God. Christ was the only One who could forgive my sin...

For twenty years I had been trying to grow and yet had not been born spiritually...I'd gone through all the religious motions and called myself a Christian, never knowing who Jesus Christ really is and what He has done for me...

God's grace is the foundation of partner acceptance. I personally believe it is very difficult, it not impossible, to accept your husband unless you have experienced God's forgiveness and acceptance yourself."

It's so true. It is so easy for us to dismiss others when we don't necessarily like certain things about them, because we know that "people probably don't like certain things about us either." Our pride disguises our need for acceptance. But what if God just dismissed us and turned his nose up at us because He doesn't like certain things about us. Well, guess what. God doesn't like many things that we do. But here's the good news. He loves us anyway. And He accepts us we are and loves us unconditionally. And being believers, shouldn't we try to be as gracious and loving as the One we serve? Besides, we are commanded to!

"A new commandment I give to you, that you will love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In Case You Were Curious

A lot of people were having trouble logging in to see wedding pictures (me included). So I thought I would post them on here and share a little bit of mine and Kyle's big day with everyone. Here are a few of my favorites. And by few, I mean MANY!

The Church: Throughout high school, this was my Wednesday night home. The main church is on Poplar, but senior high Bible study was held here at the Sanctuary on the Square.
My incredible bridesmaids made my a scrapbook with pictures and letters. I couldn't even look at it until the next day, because I knew it would make me cry. And it did.
Profile shot. Per request of my hairstylist. Tish at Classic Image in Collierville. She's goooood ladies!
This picture is so fake, but Alicia always does a really good job of making me laugh so it turned out wonderful...
Kyle gave his groomsmen handsome little pocket Bibles and wrote each of them a letter inside. I am sure if I had read all of them, I would have been in tears. He and his buddies have a closeness that extends beyond brotherhood.
Me and my adorable flower girls. They are hilarious and provided some much needed entertainment before the wedding. Sammye Kate is on the left and Avery Kate is on the right.
My HOTT momma! She looked better than I did that day, but let's be honest, she always does :)
My smoking hott bridesmaids...Love them all!
Again outside. Work it ladies!
The handsome men. Groomsmen and ushers.
Kyle and I did not see each other beforehand but I definitely wanted us to pray together before the ceremony. Not sure about him, but it definitely calmed me and got me so excited to see him too!
My mom and my little brother Kyle (same name). He looks thrilled huh? Haha...
Walking into the church to walk down the aisle...Garrett, our little ring bearer up front, Sammye Kate and her mom Audrey, and Mike and I. He helped carry my dress and everything!
Mike loves me! He's glad he has a girl to spoil! At least I'll keep telling myself that. The word "step-dad" just doesn't cut it for men like him...
Mike walked me down the first half of the aisle and then my dad walked me down the second half and gave me away.
He will probably never look at me this way ever again (haha).
Just love this one...
This is why you pay photographers a ton of money. To catch sweet moments like this.
Can you tell he was ready for that kiss!
Heading out...
The whole group! Are we blessed or what???
As much as Kyle and I did not want to see each other before the wedding, I was nervous that we would miss getting to spend time together just he and I. But that was no problem. We spent a good bit of time taking pictures by ourselves after the ceremony and that allowed for some special moments together.
I think this might be THE favorite out of all of them!
Love this one a lot too!
First dance. Crazy Love, Michael Buble cover.
Dancing with Mimi and Dee (Kyle's great aunt and uncle). We couldn't keep up with them. They are good!
We love cake. And we love to kiss. :)
Dancing with my dad.
Kyle and his sweet momma... She cries almost more than I do! It's a good thing I am surrounded by good company!
Phi Mu song... These women made four years of college unforgettable. There are a lot of stories in that circle. Most of which need to remain in that circle. :)
Kyle's SAE chant. I have never been so frightened in my life!
Gigi and Poppy. My dad's parents. They are nuts! In the best way possible. Our DJ, Mark Malatesta with Jordabella Entertainment, did this thing where he invited all the married couples out on the dance floor and cleared them out by years of marriage. These two were left standing. They crack me up.
Throwing the bouquet. You can call me Captain Obvious here.
He about flashed everyone trying to get the garter off. I was a little embarrassed.
My MOH Alicia and her husband Patrick. I was Alicia's MOH in her wedding three years ago. I just love this picture of them. And let me brag on Patrick for a minute... while we were taking pictures after the ceremony, sweet Patrick Wright was CLEANING the bride's room that we had destroyed. Are you kidding me??? Love him!
My dad's side of the family is Jewish and my uncle is Israeli. Makes for a great time. ALWAYS. They insisted they lifted me in a chair. Tradition. And who am I to go against tradition. Needless to say, it took my stomach! Headed home...I cried about a minute after this picture was taken. I wasn't ready for it all to end!

Clearly I am a fan of black and white pictures. I think because you can't see as many flaws in them :)

All pictures are courtesy of Mike Gagliano at Starlife Studios.

Hope you enjoyed! I did!

Can't Do It

Blog backgrounds. I tried to find one that I liked and kept it up for a few days, but I am just not a fan (for me that is). My friends who have them, they look like them. I just didn't think mine "looked" like me. I'm a minima stretch kinda girl ;)

I attempted to make a pretty header....That was a bust. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Sorry if my blog not only reads boring, but looks boring now too. My apologies.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TiVo for Sale

You heard it. I bought Kyle a TiVo for his birthday last November and we have yet to use it. The house we are in now has DVR so we have no need and Best Buy said they have no need for it either.

So I am trying to get rid of it without completely having lost the $200 I spent on it. If you or anyone you know is interested, let me know. I will make you a really good offer :) It is literally still in the box it came in with everything in the box still completely wrapped. Never been touched.

You can comment on this blog or email me at

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Did It!

Made a successful dinner that is. You laugh. But for me, big accomplishment. Literally no cooking skills. Bound to slice a finger if given anything sharper than a butter knife. Just trying to paint a picture here.

After crying over meatloaf last week (which by the way turned out my mom wrote the recipe wrong-not my fault), I think I may have redeemed myself. It's a good thing Kyle will eat ANYTHING and is sweet enough to tell me he likes what I make. He will tell you that he really does like it and would tell me if he didn't, so I would never make it again. But I don't quite believe him. I just believe that he is a wonderful husband that will do what he can to build up and encourage his wife. God love him.

Back to the meal. I impressed myself. And even though Kyle, said he liked it, I didn't really care about his opinion this time because I loved it! haha.

Over six months ago, Kayla, Julie, Lauren, and Kendall took me to a Pampered Chef party. I tried my hardest not to make eye contact with the sales rep in hopes that she wouldn't call on me to help prepare. No such luck. Anywho, I bought a 29 Minutes to Dinner cookbook in preparation for upcoming nuptials.

So two nights ago I made Shrimp Orzo Skillet. I swore to Kendall I wouldn't be posting pictures of my cooking, because let's be honest, it's not impressive. But just for the sake of others out there like me, there is hope!
All the ingredients. I am not posting the entire recipe, but it's really easy. Basically you just toss the shrimp in some coarse ground black pepper, salt, and sugar and then cook in skillet. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and add in the chicken broth, clam juice (which likes to hide in the grocery store), and orzo. Cook the orzo and then remove from heat and add in some butter and the frozen peas and some lemon juice. Top with thinly sliced mint and some lemon zest before serving.
Glass of white with seafood. Yum.

Kyle said he liked it but he's such a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy that I think he could have done without the mint and lemon zest. I, however, LOVED it!

Proud of me? Good, because I am proud of me too! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

531 Pictures

To be exact.... Wedding pictures that is.

Here's how to see:

1. Go to

2. Click on weddings

3. Click on clients

4. Click on Client 2

5. Click on our picture above Courtney and Kyle

6. Groom's last name and password are the same: mcshan

7. On the bottom of the screen, click on View Wedding Collection Purchase Prints

8. I think then it asks for your email address. Just type it in and click enter and you should be good to go.


P.S. If for some reason you can't get past the point where it asks for your email, you may either need to update your flash settings and plug-ins or try using Firefox. I had to do both, including the updated Adobe Flash and Shockwave plugs ins and downloading Firefox. Let me know if you need help!

Most Important Meal of the Day

It's early. I know. But I just need to brag on my husband (still weird to use that word) for just a quick minute.

I start my day at about 7:30. I get up, brush my teeth, maybe eat something, and then bury my nose in board review books for the rest of the day. Kyle wakes up around 6:30 and is usually out the door by 7:10ish since he has to be to work around 7:30.

I woke up a little early this morning and was lying in the bed watching Saved By The Bell. Don't judge. Kyle came and kissed me goodbye. I heard him making some noise in the kitchen, thinking that he was just taking out the trash (today is garbage day). He walked back in our bedroom with a cup of coffee and a bowl of my favorite cereal.

I'm learning quickly...It's all about the little things.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Primping Pictures

My friend Rachel who I told you about here was soooo sweet enough to take pictures of me and the bridesmaids and my momma getting ready for mine and Kyle's big day. I didn't want my photographer worn out early, because that was sure to happen with our HUGE family.

So being the incredibly servant-hearted friend that she is, she happily obliged. And I couldn't be more grateful. She did a fantastic job. I am so proud of her for starting her own business. And being really great at what she does too!

This is my sweet friend. I believe her husband Johnny (John Paul) took this. You can find it on her blog and website (I hope that credit doesn't infringe on copyrights Rach ha).

You can see the pre-wedding pictures on her blog by clicking here.


Monday, July 19, 2010

One Month

Kyle and I have been married for one month today! He came home to a wonderful homemade meal, also known as Domino's (if all men could be so lucky haha). And he brought these with him...
Kyle was given a very handsome world map as a gift, and I had it mounted for him to hang in our office. (Just didn't want yall to think that he was left hanging)

I could have sworn I had a vase, but no such luck. So my pretty pitcher will have to work. Thank you Rachael Deen, your wedding gift is now multi-purpose!

First month has been fantastic! Can't wait for the next thousand :) I love you Kyle!

One Man's Trash

Early Saturday morning, Rachael and I (I'd add a link to her blog, but she doesn't have one..Rach I hope you are reading haha) went garage sale-ing and to a few estate sales. Out of all the ones we went to, we actually both ended up buying something from the same place. She bought a pair of old chair to recover later and I ended up with a cute little lamp.

After looking at lamps at Pottery Barn and other wonderful companies, and almost getting sick over the cost of nice lamps, I was thrilled when I found my $3 beauty. She came shade-less and with no promise of producing light. But I figured for $3, it would still be cheaper to get it re-wired and buy a lamp shade than to purchase a brand new one.

I took her home, cleaned her up, and plugged her in.

And let there be light!

Isn't she pretty?
One man's trash...Another's treasure.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Like Christmas Morning

It's here! It's here!

My wedding pictures! Well, a sneak peek at least! I have been stalking my photographer's blog for the past few weeks and if he uses SiteMeter or anything like it, I'm totally busted.

Click here. My photographer was Mike Gagliano from Starlife Studios. I can't wait to see the rest of them. And if you're like me, this sneak peek is just a tease...

I would copy and paste some of them (giving credit where it's due of course) but who wants to even mess with copyright stuff...

I'll let yall know when the whole shebang is up!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Little Touches

Sunday after church, Kendall and I made a quick little run to Garden Ridge, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Macy's. Kyle and I still have some gift cards lying around and our walls and windows are empty, so the girls went shopping. I was under strict advisement to spend only gift cards. I sadly agreed. One day. One day....

I did manage to find some cute little things that just happened to be on sale. Just little touches. Nothing to drastically change the way our sad, bare walls look, but just little things to begin to make this house feel a little more like our home.

I bought the same panels in two different colors. Just to see. During the day, the green ones just faded into the walls, which are this butter yellow kind of color. So we, and by we I mean I, stuck with the burnt orange ones. It's hard to tell but the pillows in the couch sort of have the same color thread running through them.
I hate where the tv is and how big it is (Kyle says a tv can't be too big). But this is the ONLY place in the living room it can go. What do ya do? That strange yellow panel in the middle window, don't ask. They were there when we moved in, and when I have the time, it's coming down.
Close up of the fabric. These are just cheap little curtains from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I dream of the day when we own our own home and I can make custom curtains :) Oh, to dream.
Then at Macy's we stumbled upon two little clearance tables of decorative pieces. I found the tall vase first and when I saw that it was 50% off, I got really happy. Then I found the gray bowl, which wasn't on the table, but was also half off! Even happier. So I bought both of these and we were on our way out of the store.
And on the way out, we walked by this pretty plate. We weren't sure if it was on sale, but the sweet man helping us earlier said if it wasn't half off, he'd give me the discount anyway. Why doesn't this ever happen when you're clothes shopping? It did however ring up half off so, SOLD!

All three pieces are sitting on my new table waiting for pretty picture frames to adorn the wall above it. Soon I keep telling myself.

Lunch break is over. Back to studying. Misery.