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Hi, welcome to our blog! We are newlyweds living in Memphis, TN. We love life, adventure and of course each other. We're starting a blog to keep track of any and 'all things Jacques' so we can look back and cherish memories from our first year of marriage. We'll be sharing memories, I'm sure a lot of our dog Bella, favorite recipes, books, trips, spiritual thoughts, home projects, and anything we're enjoying in life at the moment! We hope you enjoy as well. Much love, Michael and Rachel Jacques

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Recap:

A birthday, volunteering, Mexican, a movie review, a great sermon and a visit to see two of our favorite people.

We celebrated my dad's 59th birthday (I cannot believe my dad is almost 60 years old... I still picture my parents at that 35-40ish age) with sushi on Friday night. It was so much fun! Always love great sushi and time with our parents. I truly believe that spending time with both sets of parents is important for your marriage. It's funny how you love spending time with your parents when you're young, then you are too cool for your parents and when you get older love spending time with them again. We are blessed to have great parents on both sides. We love you!

Picture of us and our parents at our wedding from left to right: my mom & dad, me, Michael, and his mom & dad.

I am starting to volunteer with Streetdog Foundation. We had volunteer orientation on Saturday morning followed by an Adoption Day Event and I can't tell you how excited I am! If you aren't familiar with Streetdog foundation rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes stray and abandoned dogs in Memphis, TN. These dogs are so appreciative of any affection, attention and love that they receive. It makes it so worth while. I can't wait to get more involved with volunteer opportunities. There are so many ways to help out!

Definitely check them out on their website and on Facebook.

After volunteer orientation a girlfriend and I decided to make the most of this January patio weather. If you haven't tried Mi Pueblo near the Paradiso, it's a must. They have such a cool atmosphere, great food and yummy drinks... not to mention an awesome patio that over looks Poplar area. We were in the mood for something different so we got their frozen Strawberry margaritas! They were pretty and delish.

Check out their happy hour. It's .99 domestic drafts and $1.99 margaritas!

Saturday night ended with a movie and some ice cream with my two favorites (Mike and Bella, of course). We rented the Bourne Legacy from Redbox and although we enjoyed the ice cream and each other's company... it was a pretty pointless 2 hours. I'd rate it a 5 on a scale of 1-10. The viewers via Rotten Tomatoes seem to agree.

Say yes to ice cream but no to The Bourne Legacy.

Sunday morning we did our weekend routine and had coffee, eggs and bacon and got ready for church. It felt good to be back at church after 2 weeks of not being able to go. The sermon was fantastic. It was about God's covenant with each of us individually. I definitely learned some things. One of my favorite things that our pastor said on Sunday is that God gives specific symbols that we are supposed to carry as Christians. He said, "You only have one second to be Christ for someone" meaning that in our interactions with people, we should posses the qualities of Christ. You never know what your kind actions or encouraging words can do for someone. Click here to check it out.

The end of our weekend was definitely the toughest. Michael's sweet grandmother, nanny, who I have come to love as my own, is very sick in the hospital with Pancreatic cancer and we went to visit her on Sunday afternoon. She was only diagnosed about a week ago and went through one chemo treatment. She is now not responsive and they are transferring her to hospice. It is so hard to see those that we love like that. However, if her quality of life is diminished Michael and I both are glad that she will be with the Lord soon. After all to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord and there is nothing greater than that. We also went to visit DD, nanny's husband, who is at Methodist Hospice. He has been there since Thanksgiving and has been eating and doing relatively well. Our hope is that the Lord will give us comfort and peace during this time. Please pray for our family. Nanny and DD are both such a special part of it and we are all grieving.

R & M

Friday, January 25, 2013

Baby it's cold outside.

Because it's a tad bit chilly I think this day calls for one of my favorite chili recipes! This is Rachael Ray's Uptown Down-home Chili and it is fabulous!

And here's the full recipe.

I love this recipe because it is so unique and different than regular ole chili. And it's super easy. Don't forget the canned chipotle peppers in adobo because it's not the same without it. It really gives it a smoky flavor. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Now the only other thing I'm missing on this cold, rainy day is my little snuggle bug. This is our sweet doberman, Bella. She'll be 3 in July and she has added so much joy to our lives for the past 3 years. I know what you're thinking... what a spoiled dog in a sweater and blanket. She may be a tiny bit spoiled but she is so deserving of it all. Simply the sweetest, most well-behaved and beautiful dog in the world.

Meet Bella. You will hear much more about this girl.

Snuggle up with your loved ones and have a bowl of chili. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Everyday you can choose.

One of my favorites songs lately is "Steal My Show" by Toby Mac. You may have heard this on KLove recently. It's a really catchy song and easy to sing to. It also puts you in a good mood just listening to it BUT I took the time to really listen to it this morning and I can't stop thinking about the lyrics. One of my favorite parts comes at the end of the song. Here it is below.

No matter who we are, no matter what we do
Every day we can choose to say ...

If You wanna steal my show, I'll sit back and watch You go
If You got somethin' to say, go on and take it away
Need You to steal my show, can't wait to watch You go
So take it away

My life
My friends
My heart
It's all Yours, God
Take it away
My dreams
My fears
My family
My career
Take it away
Take it away
It's all Yours, God
Take it away
Take it away
It's You I wanna live for

In K Love's Behind the Music Toby explains that the song is about giving your life over to God. Toby says, “I was putting my five-year-old to bed one night and he said, ‘Daddy, how can you steal a show?’ I said, ‘Well if like four bands play one night and they just kill it, they stole the show,” Toby shares. “So he said, ‘Why would you be asking someone to steal your show?’ and I explained to him, ‘Dad’s asking God to take his show and do something bigger. Dad’s asking God to steal his show.’”

How awesome is that? So many times I find myself thinking I'm in charge and that I've worked hard for things that I have when in reality it's all God's. God has provided for me. What's so awesome about it is that God can take away any of those things (my life, friends, heart, dreams, fears, family, career)and I would be okay because He is all I need. And more than that if I let Him steal my show how incredible could it be? He fills any want and longing in my life and I truly want to glorify Him in all I do. These lyrics are so powerful to me. What I want to remember and what I wish everyone could take away is this simple: EVERDAY WE CAN CHOOSE. We can choose to give the day to God or get caught up the activities of the day. We can choose to spend time in prayer and in the word every morning or we can get busy and rush to work half empty. We can chose how we live our lives. Who are we really living for?

For the full song lyrics visit K love: http://www.klove.com/music/artists/tobymac/songs/steal-my-show-lyrics.aspx

Here it is on YouTube:

What will you choose today?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New year. New family. New traditions.

As we begin our journey as husband and wife (okay, so I'm a few months behind... we got married in October 2012... being late is in my nature :) I figured what better way to remember the first years than a blog?

I've never been a blogger but I enjoy sharing photos with friends and family. However, I've realized that a picture really isn't worth 1,000 words. Because a lot of times the picture only tells half of the story. For example, see the picture below. What you don't know about this picture is the excitement I felt that day getting ready or the big smile on Michael's face when he saw me for the first time... or what about taking photos in the hallway and our first dance where we sang to one another and I never felt more in love with anyone or anything in my life.

I want to remember it all. And rather than starting a diary or journal, why not publish it for our loved ones to keep up with us?

My hope is that this blog is a collection of fun memories and our favorite things that we can look back on and cherish for a lifetime. Any bloggers that have tips please fee free to share. I'm new at this... and my husband doesn't know I'm starting one. He'll thank me one day. :)

Much love,
R & M