Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tampa: Go there.

OH.MY.GOODNESS.  Jon and I got to spend all of last week in Tampa.  It was amazing, y'all.  No kidding. Everything was perfect.  We were there for Jon to attend a class at MacDill Air Force Base.  Seriously, all of you Air Force wives, go there.  It is absolutely beautiful.

First, it was just plain amazing to finally be reunited with my husband after only getting 3 days together following the wedding.  The trip to Tampa was about 10 hours, crazy I know, but wonderful and fun when shared with your best friend.  We stopped at Perard's in Jacksonville to grab pizza.  Best. decision.ever.  It was amazing.  If you're ever in Jacksonville, check it out.

While Jon was in class during the day I read, adventured around and hung out be the pool in the gorgeous 90 degree weather of October, not a bad life. :)  I also got to have lunch on base with him each day, so that was nice.

Our first evening we ventured out to Clearwater Beach, which was a little drive from Tampa, but totally worth it.  We felt like two spoiled kids swimming about in the water, and basking in the warm sun.  We ate at Frenchy's on the beach, a restaurant recommended by a friend.  I wish I had pictures y'all, but the food was just too delicious to stay on my plate.:)  Before leaving the beach, Jon and I had to check out a good local coffee shop.  Spending time at coffee shops is our favorite thing to do.

The second day we decided to check out this place Jon found on the map, Picnic Island Park.  Love love love!  It's a sweet little park surrounded by water with a beach, a dog park, picnic tables, grills and playgrounds.  If we lived in Tampa, we'd go to Picnic Island often. Seriously.

Later, we ventured to downtown Tampa and checked out Bayshore Blvd and the bay front area.  It blows my mind that people really live here.  The homes are breathtaking.  The restaurants are endless, and the scenery is so gorgeous I tear up.

 One thing Jon and I wanted to do while we were in town was visit an authentic Cuban restaurant.  I'm fairly certain The Lord was placing us in the exact, most perfect places to experience Him in the most amazing ways.  While mapping our way to one Cuban restaurant, we end up at a different one, Lincoln's.  You would not believe how amazing this place is.  Hunt it down.  I am drooling just thinking of it, and my heart warms thinking of the sweet staff there. Best.service.ever.
The next evening we went for a stroll in Hyde Park and did dinner and a movie at Cinebistro.  I have been to a Cinebistro a couple of times, but Jon had never been, so I thought it would be a new, fun activity.  We saw "The Escape Plan", which I really enjoyed.  It was a nice time for the two of us to just sit back and relax.  Afterwards, of course we grabbed coffee at another local shop and sat out in the park.  We actually struck up conversation with a sweet believer nearby, and she told us about South Tampa Fellowship, the church she is active in, so Jon and I checked out one of their sermons on the car ride home. :)  Also, we had an opportunity to pray for her, which was awesome.  God is so good and so faithful.

Thursday, we headed over the Busch Gardens.  Jon and I are just about as opposite as a couple can come when talking about amusements parks.  He's a total thrill seeker, running to all of the most intimidating roller coasters, while I am a feet-on-the-ground kind of girl, petting the animals and eating funnel cakes. :)  Fortunately, our love for one another creates some sort of unit that seeks the thrill of roller coasters (even if I'm screaming at the top of my lungs out of fear), and also one that enjoys strolling about and taking pictures with all of the animals. :) Love him.

One thing that was so striking to both Jon and I throughout this entire trip was the incredible, unmistakeable outpouring of God's love and blessings.  So often we felt ourselves stop to question whether or not we were having too much fun, or enjoying ourselves too much.  Surrounded by all of the beauty and wonderful, Jon and I were not oblivious to the fact that what we were experiencing was almost abnormally wonderful, if that makes any sense.  It was seriously one of the first times in my life that I was completely aware that although I was experiencing absolutely beautiful things, I had done nothing to earn any of it, in fact, I am completely undeserving of it, and God chose to bless us simply out of His affections for us, and for His glory.  This was humbling, and allowed me to truly enjoy things for the first time in a light that I had barely experienced before in a world that seeks to instill in us that we must earn gifts, or that we are somehow entitled to them.

Oh, how He loves us, and oh, how I love Him.  To Him be all the glory. Forever.

 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
 --1 Timothy 6:17

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five on Friday

-one- The fact that I finally get to see my husband tomorrow!  Jon flies in from Germany.  Thank The Lord!  We will get more time together this coming week than we have the entire time we've been married.

-two- My sweet college friend, Lindsay, gets married tomorrow! Yay! I will be going to the wedding, then leaving to meet Jon.

-three- My other sweet college friend, Cassidy, is my "date" to the wedding because neither of our men can make it.  Super sad Jon can't be there, but excited to catch up with Cass and eat lots of cake.

-four- My church recently got on The City.  It's like a Facebook for church, which is awesome.  I like that it allows me to meet new people at my church, but also stay connected with praise, prayer requests and community activities throughout the week.

-five- Jon and I leave Sunday for a week in Tampa.  He has a class for work, but it's also a nice little mini-honeymoon for us. :) We've never been so if y'all have, please share your favorite restaurants or places to visit!

Happy Friday!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five on Friday

Okay guys, here's my first attempt at a link up!  Five favorite things this Friday!

-one- Getting to see my little brother and sister-in-law this weekend!  Mom, Dad, Holly's sister and I are all headed up to spend the weekend with Chris and Holly.  I am SO excited to see these guys!  Here is a sweet photo of them from our wedding this past weekend.

 -two- Dad's birthday!  My dad's birthday is tomorrow, October 5th!  Can't wait to celebrate! Happy birthday, Dad!

-three- Virginia Tech football!  This weekend is homecoming at Virginia Tech, and Dad and Chris are both alums!  We plan to attend the homecoming parade, tailgate, and of course catch the game!  Go Hokies!

-four- The coffee mugs I gave my parents at brunch the day after our wedding!  I saw them, and just had to have them. :) Too cute, right?  Thank goodness they survived!

 -five- The Bible Jon gave me the morning of our wedding.  I will forever cherish this precious gift.  It even has my new name on it, and a sweet letter from him inside. Husband.

Happy Friday, Y'all!


Eeee!  My heart leaps with joy as I type this post!

We are so unbelievably blessed.  Everything was wonderful.
Our families were wonderful. The weather was wonderful. The food was wonderful. The dancing was wonderful.
God is so wonderful.

I hope to be able to take more time over the coming weeks to share details of our sweet day with all of you.  :)  Life has slowed down a bit, allowing me an opportunity to catch up on things like cleaning, packing and blogging.  Jon & I had 3 precious days together before he left for Germany.  (Life of an Army wife, right?)  My plan has been to stay at work until he gets back in a of couple of weeks.  However, it appears as though the Lord is already showing us a different plan, allowing us to make decisions with limited communication from opposite sides of the world, a valuable skill in marriage. He is good. 

I'm sure many of you are aware of what is going on with the federal government shutdown.  Although I work for a state agency, my state agency happens to be one that is 100% federally funded.  In any other situation this is beneficial, but unfortunately in this one it means myself and most of my coworkers are furloughed until the government reaches a resolution.  Jon & I are very fortunate so this doesn't impact us as tremendously as it is impacting some of my coworkers, and many men and women across our country.

I ask that you join me in prayer, prayer for our country, prayer for resolution, prayer for peace and hope, true hope that is found in Christ alone.

I love you all, and thank you for following along as I prepared for such a precious day that we will forever cherish.  I'm so excited to share it with you.:)

Mrs. Voss