Jess's Quarter Life Celebration

The Quarter Life Celebration began Monday morning when Shelby called to say, "Happy Birthday Week"! This was followed by a celebration lunch with Haley on Tuesday. Then Thursday night my mom and Brad took Adam and I out for a tasty Italian Dinner at Aldos. I got to blow out Tiramisu birthday cake.

I awoke Friday morning to a house my mother-in-law had decorated for the Birthday girl. There was a new surprise hiding around every corner. Cute huh?

Then Adam took me to the mall to get my new RayBan Sunglasses! I LOVE THEM! After getting my new sunglasses I felt like my hair needed a newer look to I got a hair cut fit for someone who's 25, don't ya think?

Here I am with the new sunglasses and the new haircut!

To round out the day, Adam had asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday dinner and I had requested a dinner that would be some sort of the Melting Pot. (I had heard it was a pretty cool restaurant, but I didn't think we had one in Virginia Beach). Well Adam Surprised me with dinner reservations at none other than....
The meal began with a cheese course where we had the choice of apples, two types of bread and vegetable dippers in a cheddar cheese fondu.
Just look at how that melted cheese drips...I'm telling you it was tasty! Then we had course 2...salads. Adam had a spinich and walnut salad while I had the Cobb, which was the house special.
Round three was the main course: meats and vegetables. We had duck, sirloin, pork loin, chicken, shrimp and dumplings, which were all cooked in the fondu pot at the table by yours truly and Adam of course. We cooked them in a coq au vin style...delicious!
First you cook the veggies and then you can cook your meat two at a time and as you eat, you cook some more and that's how the meal continues, which was fantastic for a slow eater like myself because the cooking process forced Adam to pace himself! Oh and the sauces were scrumptious too...they give you 6 or 7 different sauces to dip the meats in once they're cooked and to add to the flavor the meats are marinated in something amazing...I need their secret recipe! This makes me want to put my fondu pot to use more often. I should have a fondu party.
The final course was chocolate fondu of course, except ours was flaming! We had a smorgasbord of dessert dippers from your traditional strawberries and bananas to pound cake and brownie bites as well as rice crispie treats, marshmallows and cheesecake!
I even got a framed picture, balloons and a champagne glass with chocolate bonbons to commemorate the evening all from the restaurant. The meal really was an EXPERIENCE and the food was heavenly. It was the perfect way to ring in my 25th year!

Thanks everyone who sent Birthday wishes. They made my day and I love you all. I can't wait to see what the next 25 years bring!

Looking for direction (with friends)...finding that new job!

As many of you know, I am currently knee deep in a job hunt because we moved to Virginia Beach for Adam's dream job and the right job hasn't found me yet. So I took a trip to UVA for some alumni career counseling to see if they could offer any new ideas or places I should be looking. I was told to NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! It's people who hold the keys to the hidden world of job openings rather than doing a lot of searching online. So if any of you know of a great job in the Tidewater area that you think would be a good fit for me, someone with an education background and good communication/people skills then please let me know!:) After my meeting at Alumni Hall, I decided to walk around grounds and take some pictures of the school I love so much. It was a beautiful day and I loved some of my shots.

The Serpentine Walls

The Rotunda
Here's Celeste and I on the downtown mall for dinner. I also had a chance to meet up with Stacey Fink for Coffee and she has just started student teaching. Overall, it was a fun filled visit and I had a great time catching up with my buddies in Charlottesville.
Tuesday was the perfect day for a stop in Richmond to visit with Haley since it was conveniently on my way home from Charlottesville. Let me just say that I love being able to easily visit my friends even if many of them are spread out around Virginia. Haley and I went over to the Short Pump Mall where we enjoyed window shopping and drooling over adorable outfits we hope to purchase and wear to the perfect new job. Then she took me to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my Birthday.

It was so yummy and we had so much fun reminiscing about our adventures in Europe. What a great trip that was! I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with Hale at her new place and she made a delicious dinner for me and Justin.

The trip left me feeling refreshed and newly motivated to continue the job hunt. It also gave me that added encouragement I've been needing lately. So thanks ladies for the visits! I am always so thankful to have such close friends who know me inside out!

Adam's FIRST Baptism

Last Sunday Adam had the honor of baptizing his FIRST students. He baptized one student at the 9:30 service and another at the 11 o'clock service. I was so excited for him and was all ready to take a picture and watch him Baptize his first student. When he was done, I turned to his parents in excitement and realized they were both in tears. They were just so proud. It was a sweet, sweet moment and a truly momentous one for Adam.

Here's Adam on the big screen introducing his first student.

And then he says..."I baptize you my brother in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, buried in the likeness of His death, raised to walk in the newness of life" and then he baptized him.

The Oceana Airshow

This Friday Adam and I decided to check out Oceana's Airshow.
It was fun to see all the tricks those planes are capable of and to see some of the planes that Adam flew in this summer up close and personal like the C130.

The best part of the show was when they showcased the Airforce's newest fighter jet, the F22 Raptor and all it could do. Then they had it fly with the Airforce's earliest fighter jet to show the history of the Airforce and just how far technology has come!

The Music Builds Tour

One of the perks of Adam being a youth pastor is the fantastic events we get to attend with our students. This past Friday was a beautiful night...and we were off to the Music Builds Tour at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater with a bus full of students, parents and leaders. Not only was I excited about the concert itself, but a portion of the proceeds were given to the Hampton Roads Habitat for Humanity, which made the whole event even better!

I had never seen any of these bands live in concert, so I was really looking forward to hearing them all play.
First on was Jars of Clay...

and we had a chance to meet the band after their performance. Here's the lead singer, Dan Haseltine, up close and personal.Robert Randolph & the Family Band followed.
Their music was kind of like a jam session, pretty funky.Switchfoot was on next and their songs "Meant to Live" and "Ready to Move" were even better in person. This was a lot of the student's fave band for the night.Then, to close out the night, we heard from Third Day, whom I really liked. Adam was sad that they didn't play more of their older hits, but even their newer stuff is pretty great. So we definately enjoyed ourselves as did all the students and their families. Everyone was all a buzz on the bus ride home and even Sunday morning!

My first 3 mile run!

For many a three mile run is no big deal, however, for someone who has never run that far before I was pretty thrilled! Who knows maybe my desire to actually run a half marathon could someday become a reality.It was nice out Friday so I decided to jog down at the ocean front on the boardwalk. I figured the sound of the ocean waves crashing along the shore would be a perfect distraction from my pounding heart and heavy breathing. Indeed it was! I kept up my pace and ran an entire three miles! I was so excited I thought I'd share, and hopefully by sharing it will force me to continue running that distance and further. I'll keep you posted...there is a Shamrock Shuffle half marathon here in the spring, maybe I'd be ready by then. Guess we'll see!

Congrats to the newly engaged!!

It's been an event filled week as a few of our friends recenly got engaged. We wanted to take a time-out of our recent news and events to share a moment in theirs. Congrats Austin and Courtney on getting engaged after 8 happy years dating! We are so excited for you guys and all the happy years to come in your future together!
And congrats to Dustin and Adele on getting engaged! Lindsey is lucky to be getting such a fantastic sister-in-law!

Love is in the air!! Congrats'll love married life. I know I do! XOXO

Labor Day weekend

So life has been pretty busy as Adam gets things off the ground in making the Middle School Ministry his own at church. So Labor Day Weekend was a nice break from hours at his office. He was able to watch some football, have church as usual on Sunday and then we spent Labor Day at the beach with some friends (sadly no pictures). We capped off the night with a cookout where we met Evan and Amy's new puppy Feenie, as in Mr. Feenie from Boy Meets World.

It sounds like this might be as close as Adam gets to becoming an uncle. Oh, but you should have heard the puppy's grandmother...her first granpuppy!! It was a festive time!

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