The CD : Jitney Jams Year III

We were a few months late getting them out again this year, but the Jitney's Jams is back and ready to blare through your stereo system.

{If you don't know about our annual album, read about the history behind it here.}


The theme for this year's album is: Wake Up

This may come as a surprise to you but months of thought go into our album - 12 months, to be exact - sometimes even more. {We already have a few songs on the 25-year anniversary playlist. CDs probably won't be around by that year though.} Our goal each year is to methodically plan the songs to flow in certain ways. 

This year's mix was planned in such a way to demonstrate our waking up physically and also spiritually throughout this past year. Each song or a few lyrics from each song have a special meaning behind it. Granted "our meaning" behind a lot of the songs are probably way different from the intentional meanings of the lyrics. For instance, some of the lyrics in the song "Lover of the Light" by Mumford & Sons are parallel to our walks with Christ, as He is the Light, but you'll have the chance to read all about those meanings soon. 

There is purpose in every song that we've added to every album, but this is the first year we'll be sharing those purposes with you. We'll post about the explanations in a blog series so that it's not info overload. The first post will explain songs #1-5, the second post #6-10, and you get the point. 

Hope you enjoy!!

OH! And, of course, this year we will be sending CDs out to a few of our blog readers. If you would like a copy, comment below or on our Facebook page. We'd love for you to jam out with us! 






The Anniversary : Rose Petals, Flooding & a New Home

We have finally moved into our new house! 

We were planning on staying our first night the weekend after we signed the contract. Unfortunately, I began washing our sheets for the bed and quickly found out that the washing machine drain was clogged.

Yeah.
First day of move-in: The laundry room floods. 
Good thing it has tile flooring down there.

So we called Roto Rooter out to unclog the drain and decided to wait it out a few more days until our anniversary.

Ends up, the first night was more than perfect. Way more perfect than it would have been if we stayed there the originally-planned evening. JD had a few wonderful surprises waiting for me on our screened-in back porch (candles, bouquet of flowers and scattered rose petals surrounding our tiny chairs). 


My sweet husband is so brilliantly romantic that he scattered rose petals on the bedroom floor - on top of bubble wrap so that our floors wouldn't get stained. 

That's love, right there, y'all.

We prepared the popcorn, got cozy in our completely unorganized living room and watched "Up", the first movie we watched together on our first date four years ago. I cry more and more during that movie as each year passes. Only now I don't need 3D glasses to hide my tears. ;)

In the past week, adventures in home ownership have thrown us for a few surprises and left us with several moments of frustration. 

{we'll tell you more about that later}

Yet, we are truly having the time of our lives. After our first shock of an old-house issue (laundry room flood), we laugh about all of the other huge and tiny problems that arise.

It's our house now.

Our home.

No maintenance guys to call or leases to let run out. It's our responsibility - and challenge - to take care of.

And it's awesome. 

For now, we will share at least one small victory from our first week: a freshly mowed lawn. 


Whoop whoop!


Viva Las Vegas : Happily Ever After

Have you ever been to Fashion Show Mall in Vegas? 

It's pretty epic. 

A fashion show stage and catwalk literally rise from the ground floor and models strut their stuff. As soon as the show is over, the models step back into their window-shop positions as the stage and catwalk lower back down into the basement of the mall like an elevator. 

Sheer genius.


We celebrated Jackie's birthday at Maggiano's, family style Italian. 

Mmm.


The guys fought against Optimus Prime. 


And we took a lovely family photo in front of a fountain.


Here's a few last Vegas shots for your viewing pleasure...






Thanks Chase and Jackie for letting us stay with you guys. We're super proud of the things y'all are doing in Vegas. God is doing amazing work in and through the two of you. Can't wait to see what else He will do! 


Mom and Dad  - Few kids can say that their parents have been married for 30 years... much less happily married for 30 years. Chase and I have been infinitely blessed by you two. Your kisses in the kitchen and hands intertwined when you walk have not gone unnoticed. In fact, it is the imagery of your entire marriage. Thanks for loving each other wholeheartedly. You have not only stuck with each other through the worst of sickness - but you have fought for each other within in. Thanks for rubbing mom's feet when her neuropathy kicks in full-blast and for driving dad at nighttime because glaucoma has glazed his eyes. Your support of one another is impenetrable. Thanks for remaining faithful in prayer and in the Lord when doctors said mom would only have one more year to live in her darkest time of sickness, and when doctors said dad wouldn't be able to see his daughter's birth because he would be blind by that point. 

Most people must live by faith and not by sight.

But I have seen. 

I have seen that God heals and that He does a mighty work in marriages, in families and in our bodies. Thank you for leaning on Christ and each other in times of trials rather than straying apart from one another. Thank you for setting such a pure example of marriage for Chase and Jackie, and JD and myself. 

We love you.

Here's to 50 more years of being newlyweds. ;)

Viva Las Vegas : Hotels and Casinos

We'd be lying if we said we didn't dip our toes into the "Vegas Culture" just a bit. 

In fact, we may have slipped a few dollar bills into the casino slots. I was really hoping the bells would start dinging and pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters would start shuffling out of the change slots. 

But they didn't. 

Instead, the machines gave us a "Gaming Voucher" in the dollar amount of what we won. The voucher is a tricky thing. It makes you think you won more than what you put in... and then you want to slip it back in to win some more money on the voucher. JD and I won more money than what we gambled - an entire $13.52 - thanks to JD pushing the button and me sitting in front of the machine wishing and hoping. Wahoo!!


But there's more to the Las Vegas hotels than not-so-hidden casinos... Take a look into the interiors of these Las Vegas hotels lining the Strip.

First Stop: Caesar's Palace.



I wanted to twirl a thousand times under the trees lining the interior of the Wynn. Luscious fresh flower balls adorned the branches twisted with Christmas lights. 

But I forgot to twirl because I was too busy taking photos. Don't you hate when that happens?


Nest stop: Palazzo.


Want to cruise through the Venetian while being serenaded in Italian on a gondola? 

You can. 


Don't miss the free hotel attractions every night, like the Fountain Show at the Bellagio. Vegas visitors gather around the pond's gates as the anxiously wait for the water to start dancing.

And, I'm telling you... it dances

Like magic. 

Blissful Beauty.


After the sun sets, head over to the Mirage for the Volcano Show. Fire and water merge into an array of dynamic bursts as they follow into choreographed routines. 






Viva Las Vegas : In-N-Out Burger vs. Five Guys


If you live on the West Coast, surely you've been to In-N-Out Burger, right?

Chase brags about how phenomenal it is every time he would come back from visiting Jackie's family in California. 

JD and I were pumped to try it out first hand. Thus, we decided to make it a priority in our Vegas Venture. 

The entire family kicked it animal style... or Wild Animal Style, as I like to say... from their Not-so-Secret Menu



The Verdict?

In-N-Out was delicious. We were digging the scripture on the wrappers and the 50's style vibe.

BUT, we decided that we still choose Five Guys and Fries as the Nation's Chain Burger Champ. The fries are perfect and the burgers. Yeah. Period. That's the best way to describe them. The burgers cannot even be adjective-ized. 

We've made our choice, but what is yours?
Which burger chain is your fave?






Viva Las Vegas : Celebrating New Seasons in Life


In late April of this year, we flew to Las Vegas to celebrate Chase and Jackie's new home, Jackie's birthday AND my parents' 30th Anniversary!! Whoop whoop! 

We're dedicating the next three weeks' blog posts to them. :)


Mom and dad LOVE watching Pawn Stars. Even though we did get to walk through the actual Gold & Silver Pawn Store, we didn't get to meet mom's favorite character, Chumlee.

She got over it pretty quickly when Chase and Jackie took us to play glow-in-the-dark KISS mini-golf. 

Why? 

Because she got to "meet and greet" KISS superstars, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. 




The 18th hole! 

KISS Mini Golf is awesome. We won a couple of extra tickets from trivia questions along with a free game of mini golf for the winner of each game.

Apparently, you can get married here too, but we would not recommend that. ;)



**If you're a new reader, here's a brief overview of our fam...
Reid and Mama E (Yvette): Whit's parents
Chase: Whit's older brother, works as a Front-end Web Developer for Zappos.com
Jackie: Chase's wife

Mr. Jim and Mrs. Josie: JD's parents
Theresa: JD's younger sister
Brandon: Theresa's husband and JD's former college roommate
Brandon and Theresa are house parents for the Baptist Children's Village


This Week in the Todd Family... Oh yea, and our Finished Bedroom

It's finally here. Our bedroom transition #35... or something like that.

Finished Room from Whitney Todd on Vimeo.

This Week in the Todd Family:

Papa is BACK! He came home yesterday and we welcomed him home with a nice crockpot full of beef stew and cornbread. Thanks to a friend in my core group at Community Bible Study (and Julia Child), the beef was deliciously tender... not to mention all of the other secret tips my mom has taught me about cooking an awesome meal and beautiful presentation. Papa looks good - he has color in his face but still seems to be a little weak. Overall, he's 99% back to our Papa. :)

JD's dad, Mr. Jim, went to the hospital Sunday night after they got back from Theresa's wedding with a painful and terribly swollen knee. The doctors drew out the fluid and he should be going home today.

My parents (Mama E and Mr. Reid) are doing well... just getting ready for a spooky weekend at the Adams Family Home. Hopefully, dad and I will get to carve our annual Halloween pumpkin.

Theresa and Brandon will be coming home today from their honeymoon so we're expecting some exciting stories from them later this evening.

Chase is doing some awesome blogging so check out The Chase Scene if you have yet to do so. Jackie visited her sister in Virginia last weekend and is back safely, working on a pretty cool event which you may have heard of... The American Cancer Society joining up with Dancing with the Stars. Yeah. It's super awesome.

Finally, JD and I are celebrating our FIVE MONTH anniversary - BOY! Has it flown by! We woke up this morning and had bacon, biscuits and coffee. I'm not quite sure what the plans are for tonight... maybe some beef stew leftovers and The Last Samurai (latest Netflix movie that has come in) all by candlelight. :) Moments are what you make of it. When you're newlyweds on a small budget, you definitely have to learn to make moments like that super special. We wouldn't have it any other way though.

Above is a photo that our friend

Robyn Sutton

took and edited. I love this vintage/antique look. :)