II: Chick-fil-A

You might be thinking the same thing I was when this idea came to mind. Chick-fil-A, Alex? Really? Do you not have anything else to be thankful for?

Chick-fil-A was my first official job. It was the job I had post-college for two-and-half years as a manager. It was the job where I met my husband and it was in front of our entire team when he proposed. Chick-fil-A was the job I got to travel cross-country to do Grand Openings with. It was my first (and current) job after we moved here to Asheville. Chick-fil-A has been a part of my life for seven years and seen a lot of my life’s ups and downs.

Looking back, this job has been more of a safety net than I ever realized.

Although any job has its highs and lows, CFA will always hold a special place in my heart. Having that experience on my resume has opened doors for other opportunities I didn’t know were possible.

Will this be my forever job? Probably not. I will be sad when it comes time to hang up this grease stained uniform forever, but I know it has taught me so many invaluable lessons. It taught me to be more coachable and to also look for chances to coach others. It has grown my ability to see the bigger picture and to multi-task or die trying. It has taught me endless amounts of patience to deal with the general public and how to say “My Pleasure” without second thought.

Chick-fil-A has given me relationships that are near to my heart and has provided me people who push me to be a better version of myself, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Thank you, Chick-fil-A, for the endless opportunities I would’ve otherwise missed out on. Although jobs aren’t everything, you have given me a lot in return.

Do it for Truett, y’all.

I: YinYin

For my second day of “thanksgiving,” I chose to highlight my biggest confidant, my sorority little and my best friend, YinYin!

Anyone who has had the opportunity to meet YinYin knows has she a sass that is unmatched. They know grit, determination and someone who you can count on with your life. You can also expect a mean side-eye from across the room at any given moment.

I originally met YinYin my sophomore year (her freshman year) of college at the University of South Carolina. Go Cocks! YinYin had just joined the sorority that fall and we were both in the hunt for our respective big and little. Our big and little process was well underway and I wasn’t quite sure of any of the girls I had been matched with previously. In our next to last week of Crescent week, I was at Cookout with some of my friends one night when I saw YinYin with her Crescent. I immediately requested to be her Crescent for the final week and I am so glad I did. Call me creepy if you will. The Lord works in mysterious ways. 😂

Everybody has a home team: It’s the people that you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people, who near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water at you’re house without asking. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle of the night, no matter what people.

YinYin has been my “home team” since the day we met. We share the same love of naps, all things ice cream and Asian food. We throw up our peace signs as a sign of endearment and you can often find us day dreaming of our next trip abroad together. We can find all of the best Pho spots in town and will one day get our matching elephant tattoos that we’ve promised!

There’s nobody else I’d rather wander through downtown China Town during Chinese New Year 🧧 only to find confetti cannons to shoot off.

There’s no other person I’d rather sit in coffee shops eating our gelato in Québec City with or wander through shopping centers of Hilton Head to find macaroons before a friend’s wedding.

She went above and beyond to make sure my bachelorette weekend was more than I could have ever imagined and had the cutest bags made. She even flew into town a day early to sit in the floor and hand steam chair covers with me for my wedding.

Thank you for being you, YinYin. You allow me to say just about anything and to rant about whatever is on my mind without judging too hard. I could not be more grateful for you and I look forward to the day we’re roommates together in the nursing home. 💗✌🏼

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY INTRO

As an idea that came to me randomly today at work, I have a new “series” that I’ll be starting this upcoming weekend!

Every Saturday leading up to the week of Thanksgiving, I will be highlighting a “small business” that has meant something to me as well as ones that I have recently stumbled upon.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes and to bring light to all of the amazing talent we have around us in the Asheville (and Spartanburg) area.

If you have anyone that you would like to nominate for consideration, please send me a message and/or comment below!

Until next time,
Alex in Asheville

OUR PAPER ANNIVERSARY

One year ago (plus a few days), I got married to my best friend.

It has been one year as loving you as my husband. I love this life we have created together far and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes us. Here’s to a lifetime of loving you and choosing you always.

I will always cherish every little aspect of our wedding day one year ago. From vowing our love and commitment before God, friends and family to that AMAZING soul train line at our reception, it will always be one of my most cherished days and one I find myself thinking about often.

I can’t imagine doing this thing called life without you. Some days, it feels like it’s been decades, and other times, it feels like our wedding day was just yesterday. Chandler, thank you for living, laughing and growing with me this year. Being your wife has been one the greatest joys of my life.

In our bathroom, we have a sign that I use as a daily reminder in how to love my husband. It comes from the (very popular & very convicting) 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It reminds me that love is patient, even when we can be short-tempered. Love is kind and looks to uplift others when we are weak. It does not envy, it does not boast and is not proud. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. What a great reminder that although we will will struggle with certain things, our God and our spouse will be always be on our side.

Marriage has taught me that love is a daily sacrifice. Love is a daily decision, not just a feeling. it is sacrificial, unrelenting and transformational.

Life isn’t always easy and the waves can come crashing from time to time, but together, we will always find a way to find the calm, stillness & sunshine. 

Love inspires you to be patient and permission to be human. It teaches you to meet in the middle. Love focuses on the positive and chooses to believe in the best. It forgives, appreciates and celebrates. 

Chan is the perfect balance of spontaneity to my constant preparation and having things always in order. He has taught me that the most fun moments in life are not always (and most likely not) planned. 

His warmth, kindness and composure impress me the most. He makes me feel heard, even when I am babbling on about things he’s heard me talk about 1,000x before or being completely irrational. His

One year ago, I promised to love this man under all circumstances: happy or sad, easy or difficult. I still mean every word. you’re my favorite, forever and always.

Over the last year, we have…
☆ attented two friends’ weddings
☆ visited Miami, Key West, the Bahamas, HHI and Louisville
☆ been to countless concerts
☆ moved to Asheville, NC
☆ bought a new car
☆ lived through a pandemic
☆ adopted our kitten, Belmont


August 3, 2019 will be one of my favorite days in the history of forever!
Happy paper anniversary, my love. ♡

XO,

CONNECT ON SOCIAL MEDIA:


SS: Chandler

To the man who is witty, charming and selfless, you are greatly appreciated and so, so loved.

When you came walking into my life four years ago at our Chick-fil-A store in Spartanburg, I had no idea how important you’d mean to me then. From brushing off the constant curiosity of our family and friends as time went on, my conversations quickly went from avoiding the topic at all costs to rambling about our numerous road trips to Braves games and our travels to many concerts up and down the east coast, literally.

You are my forever concert going partner and my favorite is to hear you singing loudly to songs you may, or may not, know all of the lyrics to.
I also love that we share the love of sports and some my favorite time with has been spent has been at games together.

Your heart is invested in the meeting people in their current situation, always looking to pour into those who have a greater need than yours.

You have a great taste in all things Christmas and I look forward to you having our house decked out to the nines come winter time every year. (I get to decorate for all other holidays, right? 😂)

Your Braves and Panthers hats are the staple of any outfit, from your Sunday best to the first thing you put on for a day around the house.
Your childlike spirit and your zest for life excites me to see you as a father one day. You will be the absolute BEST dad.

You value my feelings and validate my rambling tangents even when I don’t make sense. You are my shoulder to cry on and also the best part of my day. You challenge me to dream big on a daily basis and to grow outside of my comfort zone.

You are the reason for so many of my belly laughs and ear-to-ear smiles, as well as a few tears along the way.

No matter how rough the seasons might be, you are my stronghold. You hold me in the quiet, protect me in the stormy and love me mightily when I can’t love myself.
To be loved by you and to navigate this life together will always the greatest gift. “Chandler’s wife” will always be one of my most treasured titles, always.

You are one of the best things that happened to me, always.
I love you longtime.

♡,
Alex in Asheville

SS: Mom

As a project that I’ve been eager to start for some time now, this Spotlight Series will be a way for me to highlight those who have played a huge part in my life and to recognize them in just a small way!
With that being said, the first in my spotlight series will feature…

… my mom!

To accurately depict what my mom means to me will fail to be a full picture of how great of a woman she truly is. For anyone who has been fortunate enough to meet her knows what a truly remarkable lady she really is.

My mom is a woman of character, positivity and prayer.
My mom is a woman of determination and a pillar of strength.

She genuinely uplifts and fiercely protects. She is an advocate for equal education opportunities for all children, and strives for all to succeed in the classroom (& beyond). She is a cornerstone for her family, always extending a helping hand and offering a listening ear.

My mom is a loyal supporter of her Gamecocks and a lover of the color green. She loves lake days and searching for turtles sunbathing on logs.

To the woman whose “larger than life” laugh (and voice) often proceeds her, you are so appreciated and so so loved, Momma bear.

Thank you for ALL you have done for me in my lifetime and for all that are as a person. You are my greatest mentor and an even greater friend. Know that you are fiercely loved and you raised a pretty great daughter. 😉

♡,
Alex in Asheville

SPOTLIGHT SERVICE

With the COVID-19 “outbreak” in full swing and more time on my hands in between working full time, I came up with the idea to start a spotlight series. Over the course of the next few weeks (or months), this spotlight series will include just a way for me to show appreciation in the best way I can for family, friends and others who have helped to shape me into the woman who I am today.

Be on the lookout for the first official highlight of the series in the near future!

♡,
Alex in Asheville