Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Helping me Treasure Life's Moments

A lot of gifts are just stuff. Stuff that fades away. Things that are temporal. But, this Christmas my sweet hubby got me something that will help me treasure. He bought us a new D-SLR camera. The quality of the pictures is amazing! But what I love the most is what it will help us capture. The moments in life that are joyous, adventurous, and life changing - we will be able to treasure. Time kind of stops for a minute when you look at a photograph. It provides time to remember, to TrEaSuRe.

Here's to you Mr. Nikon - thanks for all the memories we will be able to treasure over the years. Take a look at some of the memories I will cherish from this Advent Season...
(Madeline, 3yo.)
(Blythe 5yo. and "Silly Uncle Casey" as he's affectionately called.)
Livin' large
(Matthew, Jr. 3 months)

Kirra's first trip to the beach - loved it - as all golden's do.
on the water, no other place this guy would rather be.
New Years fireworks - Folly Beach, SC
Remembering with old friends,
not to mention the Cougars beat the Vols while we were there!

Excited to share lots more memories as the moments unfold throughout the years. hope your advent season was as full of rest and celebration!

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator." - Antoni Gaudi

The genius architect, Antoni Gaudi, gave his life to put as much of God's hand on the culture of Catalonia as possible. After living a self consumed life, he had an amazing encounter with God, that changed the course of his life, and the course of architecture as we know it. Gaudi sold all he had and gave it to the poor, lived a simple life and designed building that had "God's handprint" on them. Each building has images of nature, the cross, and God's handiwork as Gaudi demostrated God's love for mankind. Below are pictures of La Sagrada Familia, his masterpiece. that is still being completed in Barcelona, Spain, the way Gaudi envisioned it, 86 years ago.

One of the amazing things about Gaudi is that he started building La Sagrada Familia in the late 1800s, and it looks even modern for TODAY, 2011! He was so ahead of his time, as he wanted all he created to be seen as "God made" instead of "man made." You can see this in the architecture that looks like that of plants and water, things made by the God of the universe.
This is an up close of the doors of the crucifiction facade of LSF. The left door is Matthew's gospel account of the crucifiction and the right door is Luke's gospel account. Incredible'!
Seeing Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia was the most spiritual experience for me.
The way images of Jesus' death were depicted in stone was amazing for my heart. I could just feel the spirit of the God alive in this church. I have been to the Vatican City and felt more of God at LSF. Thank you Mr. Gaudi for invoking such a connection with the triune God. Need to Breathe has a song saying, "Cathedrals try in vain to show the image of your face, but we are by your design, signature of Divine." I do believe that we have the hand print of Jesus on us, however, God has used Gaudi through this church to show the image of Christ in stone. Thanks be to God!
Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

France and Spain 2010

Enjoying our last night in Madrid, Spain
La Sagrada Familia - Gaudi's Masterpiece in Barcelona
FC Barcelona Estadio - Mes Que un Club
Vamos Barca!
Barceloneta Port
Barcleona, Spain
Tour de France - Col de Tourmalet, Pyrenees Mountain Range
La Mongie, France
Tour de France - Finish Line, Stage 17 - Pau to Col de Tourmalet
back side of Notre Dame, Latin Quarter, Paris, FR

Casey and I got to take a trip of a lifetime this summer. After getting to take some of my high school students on a mission trip to London, England, Casey met me in Paris, France. We spent 4 days touring Paris, from Notre Dame and Sacre Couer to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

We then took the train to the south of France to a town called Toulouse. There we toured the Cathedral and old chapels. We tried the local fare, duck confit, before heading to La Mongie, France. There we camped out before hiking 2 miles in the height of the Pyrenees mountains to watch the 17th stage of the 2010 Tour de France. We got to see the final mountain stage from Pau to Col de Tourmalet, and see Lance Armstrong ride in his final Tour. Check out our awesome polka dot jersey rider hats!

We then took the train across the border to Barcelona, Spain, where we were able to embrace the Catalan culture there. Casey and I toured the FC Barcelona stadium, a highlight of the trip for Case, as well as travel the city to see the incredible architecture of Anton Gaudi, the highlight of the trip for me. Sagrada Familia - absolutely incredible.

Then we took the train for our final stop in Madrid. The city is very regal as we were able to tour the Royal Palace. What a beautiful city with incredible food, great tapas bars, and delicious vino. What an amazing time to travel with my wonderful husband! Thank you God for allowing us to take such an amazing trip like this! I will never forget it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

First Christmas in our own house!

After having Christmas in boxes last year, we are so excited to actually get to celebrate Christmas in our own house in Knoxville. We went and picked up a Christmas tree yesterday after church and I immediately began decorating. Casey was less than excited. I guess its a girl thing. I mean when I lived with Allison Reed, Christmas started after Halloween! :)

I had to whip out the Home Accessories Department from Potterybarn. haha. Thats what I like to call it, since I have pillows and botanicals for each season. Thanks PB for the amazing discount! Our friends, the Accardi's, are on Young Life staff in Oak Ridge/Clinton, TN and we bought some amazing fresh garland from them to help send YL kids to camp. Our house smells amazing! Stop by sometime this Holiday season and see us.

Merry Christmas Friends!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jelley Jam 2009 - How grateful I am!

It was another Thanksgiving to remember as 50+ Jelley's gathered in Decatur, AL for the Annual Jelley Jam! We stayed again at Joe Wheeler State Park on the lake in cabins.  It was so fun to be with everyone, especially for Casey and I since we hadn't been in  2 years.  All of the kids are so big and more are being added every year.  We were often asked when we would be adding to the number.  I guess we'll have to keep everyone hanging on that one.  Hopefully, we will have a boy one day so little Andy won't be all lonely being the only baby boy!  

We had to leave Kirra home while we were away.  She had to get spayed.  She did great and is at home recovering.  She gets her stitches out early next week.  She's getting some rest right now as I blog. 

I thought often this weekend about all that I am grateful for.  What a gift to think about those who have spoken so much truth and love into mine and Casey's life.  We are so thankful for each of our dear friends and family that usher us into deep friendship and a closer relationship with our Savior.  And how thankful I am for Jesus choosing to tabernacle inside of me and taking me from death to life.  And as we say in the presbyterian church, Thanks Be To God!  I'm so excited for the season of Advent that is ahead and am thankful for God's precious gift.

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!

Caroline, Courtney, Emily and Maggie Beth looking through our scrapbook of past Jelley Thanksgivings.
Me and Blythe hanging out on Thanksgiving Day

Baby Andy was very enthralled with Stella. So cute.
The boys playing a little football before Thanksgiving dinner.

Katie, Susannah, and Blythe.  These little ones were inseparable!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

*Kirra Graduates from Puppy School*Magna Cum Puppie

I feel like such a mom.  I mean, not a real mom, like most of you... but a puppy mom.  Normally when I go see all of my friends blogs, I get to see your babies, since most of you have them.  And sometimes I think to myself, your baby is so cute... but what have YOU been up to.  I'd love to see a picture of YOU too!  

And now, I'm sure you are all saying, I wish Laura would stop putting pictures of her dog up. Because every time you come see my blog you get to see my baby dog!  I mean, I thought I would love my own doggie, but I officially think I'm obsessed with Kirra.  So, I have to brag on my pup!  I mean if I love my puppy this much, I can't even begin to think about how much I will love my baby.  (Mandy, thanks for the reminder of loving those in our lives ALOT!)

So, our sweet Kirra just graduated from her 8-week puppy training class.  She was amazing.  Lots of stuff that we went over in class, Kirra already knew how to do.  She's such a smartie!  But she did learn new things like, loose leash walking, not jumping, not barking and coming when called.  At the conclusion of her class, each pup got to show their tricks.  Kirra's were definitely the most advanced.  She does a routine of: sit, shake, down, play dead, and roll over.  Its incredible. She can't wait for you to come for a visit so that she can show your her whole repertoire!  

Love to you all from the Cutter Clan!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kirra is a Big Girl!

I love my Kirra!

Our baby dog is turning into a teenager!