Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Blackhorse Pub

This week's Friday's Food Find is one of our favorites in Clarksville.  Why you ask?  For one - we love original restaurants and another is because of the great food & atmosphere.

The Blackhorse Pub & Brewery is located at 132 Franklin Street in downtown Clarksville.  It is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.  It is known for its wide variety of offerings on the menu.

Some of my favorites are the inferno flatbread, lemon pepper pita sandwich, greek dressing on the house salad, the beer cheese dip and the pizza!!  I love, love, love the PIZZA!  They have lots of speciality pizzas to choose from or you can create your own.  And Ron says it is probably one of the best places in Clarksville to go for a steak....

And if you save room for dessert - try the one called "A Little Sinful"...which you will have to share with friends or you will have to change the name to "A Lotta..."!!

A great Saturday outing would be to make a trip to Clarksville for lunch at the Blackhorse...visit the unique shops in our downtown area...stop in at our museum...and take a stroll at the Riverwalk.   Never know when you might see the Edmondsons taking a walk around our neighborhood now that we live downtown....

What are some neat restaurants or shops in your downtown?  Please share....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mourning into Dancing...

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
  You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
  that my glory may sing Your praise and not be silent.
  O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever"                                                            Psalm 31:11-12 ESV

Unfortunately, like many of you - I have experienced a lot of junk in my life.  Some were a result of my own poor choices...some no fault of my own.  Either way - these were very hard times in my life.  I struggle even as I type these words as to how much I share...what are my reasons for sharing...yet I know that God's Word is TRUTH!!  God did not cause these events to happen in my life, yet He has and continues to use each and every one for His good.  How you ask??  Let me explain my take on some of my story.  This is only - "my story"...
Many of you know that I am in my second marriage. My first marriage was to someone I loved very much, but who was so very different from all the wrong ways.  Our whole outlook and goals in life were different and the things I always told myself didn't matter when we were dating - really did when we were married!!  I went into the marriage thinking I could change him into the person I needed him to be (and I'm sure he felt the same way about me) and we know how that turns out. Needless to say, it ended after 9 years of marriage. My self esteem was at its lowest.  Yet, the huge blessing that came out of my marriage was our son, Jeremy. For all the hurt and pain during my first marriage - for no other reason, I would do it again.
During my first marriage, I became pregnant with my second child.  I was so excited!  I loved having siblings and wanted Jeremy to enjoy the same experience.  Of course, I prayed for a healthy baby, but also selfishly desired a daughter.  During my routine 20 week ultrasound, it was discovered that our baby had a terminal chromosonal defect and had no chance of survival. We were devastated. Our precious baby...our precious baby girl who we named Mary Catherine that I never got to hold is in Heaven. And yet God, through His mercy, did bless Jeremy with a sibling. He brought Ron and Nate into our lives! Jeremy and Nate are closer than any two brothers I know!! Thank you Jesus!

And I could share the time when Ron and I took a leap of faith and purchased our own business which we thought was the "dream of a lifetime" and how it didn't turn out as we had planned...or when we took a step of faith and Ron surrendered to fulltime vocational ministry not knowing how we would continue to pay our mortgage...or an even bigger step of faith when we answered an incredible calling from God and we joined other families to plant a church in our own hometown (crazy, huh?). Each of these stretched us tremendously, yet God used each of those to mold us and lead us to where we are today! He has blessed us beyond our wildest imaginations.

But why am I sharing any of these events at all? Because God has indeed used each and every one to mold me into the person I am today. I was not even a Christian until my early 30's which was after my divorce. Oh, how God has poured out His love, mercy and grace into my life through my times of mourning.... 

He has blessed me with an incredible husband and father to our two sons. Ron is my best friend who makes me laugh and he is my dance partner for life!

Allowing God to use all the "junk" in my life I can truly say to others "I know what you are going through...".  It has been one of life's greatest blessings. To my God alone be all the glory!!

So yes - God has turned my mourning into dancing and I will give Him thanks forever!!

What have you allowed God to use in your life to turn your mourning into dancing?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Philly Style....

Ron and I decided to take a quick trip for our anniversary over Labor Day weekend to one of our favorite cities - Philadelphia.  Ron received his second masters from Eastern University in Philly and we have enjoyed the city together several times.

My all time absolute favorite restaurant is in Philadelphia - Sabrina's Caf'e with locations in the Italian Market (best atmosphere), Fairmont & coming to the University City area.  Sabrina's is known for breakfast/brunch specials especially their french toast, but my favorite meal is always dinner.  The daily choices are absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!  Take my word for it - if you go to Philly - you've got to go to Sabrina's!

Of course - our trip would not be complete without our morning trip to the Reading Terminal Market for blueberry pancakes, turkey bacon and fresh coffee at the Amish diner...YUMMY!!!  And of course - we have to walk off our breakfast by checking out all the vendors located inside the Market.  There are fresh meats, fruits/vegetables, various restaurants and so much more.  And if nothing else you can sit in the food court and just people watch!!

Our first night there Ron took me to a really neat restaurant called Max Brenner located on Walnut Street.  Just about everything on the menu is cooked with chocolate and may I say it is a chocolate lover's dream come true!!  The food was great and the dessert that we shared (yes - Ron did share) was even better!!  The chocolate shop even gave me somewhere to occupy my time while we waited for our entree...Let's just say - this restaurant was the total package.

On South Street, the owner of Core de Roma recognizes Ron as this quickly became his Italian restaurant of choice during his trips to Philadelphia.  It is a cozy restaurant that you can easily walk right past it if you don't know to look for it.  The owner and his son always go out of their way to make us feel welcome and even let us create our own authentic dish if what we want is not on the menu.

So, as you can probably tell by now -  when everyone asked what we did during our time in Philly it's not hard to believe...we walked and we ate and we walked and we ate....I think you get the picture!!

Where's your favorite place to eat in Philadelphia?  What's your thoughts on a chocolate restaurant??