Saturday, August 23, 2014


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hey guys!

Here's the dealio...

We are in the midst of updating our blog and with both of us working pretty heavily right now, it's taking some time, so if you see some crazy stuff going on, please be patient with us while we work hard to make our blog better and more user friendly.  You guys are awesome!  Thank you for showing us some love!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What Divorce Has Taught Me.

(photo from

Disclaimer: I've been praying about this post for a while now, and my hope is that it will encourage others. The goal of this post is to bring a light to the corruptness our world is becoming and to help us remember what Christ says about marriage and divorce.  It has taken me years to muster up the nerve to type this post, but I'm passionate about it.  Marriage is the greatest example of God's love that we have as humans, and if it goes away, what other example do we have?  I'm also afraid to do this post... part of me feels like being an advocate for marriage will make me a target by Satan.  Yes, I believe their are spiritual forces that seek to kill and destroy children of God (John 10:10).  I still have to write this though.  I have to trust that the God of the universe will protect the most valuable part of me, next to my salvation, which is my marriage.

Growing up, I never really dealt with divorce.  My grandparents were divorced, but it was when my dad was a child, and from where I came into existence, I simply had two sets of grandparents on my father's side of the family.  It never even resonated with me they were divorced until I was older.  My grandmother on my mother's side was married three times during her life.  My mother's father passed away from Leukemia when she was young, her second marriage ended in divorce, and she passed away while married to her third husband.  When I came along though, I was barely old enough to remember her not being married.  I barely even remember her getting married.  The point of all this is, while their was divorce in my family, I never had to deal with the process of it.  It was already done by the time I came around.  Ashlynn's family is another story.  Ashlynn dealt with divorce her entire life.  Her parents divorced when her and her sister were young.  Why is this?  What causes people to fall in love, make promises before God, and then to think they don't have to keep them?

It's a good thing God keeps his promises to us... if not, we'd be screwed.  I thank God that even though I fail him daily, he still loves me.

In the past two years, several people we love have chosen to get a divorce.  This is what I've learned...

Divorce has taught me that ministers can lie too... a lot.

Divorce has taught me the victim isn't always the victim.

Divorce has taught me that when God says to put your trust in Him, and not man, he meant it.  People... even the people you admire the most... will let you down (Psalm 118:8).

Divorce has taught me that pride is deadly, and ego is even deadlier.

Divorce has taught me that families can fall apart in an instant.

Divorce has taught me to fear Satan and his power.

Divorce has taught me that vows do matter, despite what others may think.  They are, in fact, a promise to God.

Divorce has taught me that regardless of the actions of the people I love, I have a right to fight for my marriage.

Divorce has taught me to set a better example for my future children.

Divorce has taught me to love my wife like Jesus loved the church...selflessly forever and always (Ephesians 5:25).

Divorce has taught me the power of healing and forgiveness that only God can give (if you allow it).  

Divorce has taught me that being a man means respecting and supporting your wife at all times.  Does God leave us when we make a mistake or do something wrong?  I can answer that... NO!

Divorce has taught me that women should submit to and respect their husbands, not because they are weak, but because they are strong in the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).

Divorce has taught me that next to Christ, my wife is my priority.  Not work.  Not play.  My wife.

Divorce has taught me to pursue my wife for the rest of our lives (She's not just a prize.  Now that you have her, you should still pursue her, date her, do nice things for her).

Now, let's talk about what marriage is for me.  Like I said, marriage is the greatest example of God's love for us here on earth.  It is my goal (and I fail daily) to love my wife like Christ loves me.  Stop and think about that.  Take a step back and comprehend how much God loves you.  If you're a Christian, then you believe this.  God died for you, right?  God was beaten nearly to death, and hung on a cross because he loves us!  It sounds so simple, so down-played.  Words can't even describe the love God has for us.

So, when we screw up, no matter how bad--Does God still love us?  Does God still support us?  Will God ever... EVER let us go?  NO!  He won't!  That's how I want to love my wife.

So, wait, let's get this straight.  Do we have to earn God's love?  Is his grace only sufficient when we do the right thing... when we look good in the spotlight?  NO!  We can't earn God's grace.  We just have it if we are a Christ Follower.  It's that simple.  No matter what we do, what we've done, God love us, we don't earn it, we simply have it.

My wife... simply has my love.  She didn't earn it... she couldn't earn it if she tried.  She can't buy it.  She can't persuade my love for her one way, or the other... she simply has my love.  Jefferson Bethke puts it best when he says, "We're often judgmental, hypocritical, and legalistic while claiming to follow a Jesus who is forgiving, authentic, and loving."  Why is pride so hard to swallow?  Why is it so hard just to let go?  I know people hurt others.  Believe me, I've been hurt so many times, but God can heal those wounds in time, if you give him the opportunity.  See, that's the funny thing with Christianity.  We're not puppets--we have the free will to do whatever we want.  But I want to say this...

If you've done something you think is horrible and you feel dirty and disgusting, God still adores you.    "You're not what you did.  You're not what someone did to you.  You are not what happened to you.  You are who Christ says you are" (Craig Groeschel).  To those who are hurting, remember this:  The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern" (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).

Divorce isn't always a horrible thing.  I've seen many people reclaim their life because of certain circumstances.  I'm not talking about abuse in the home or anything like that.   That's not what this post is about.  I'm talking about the fact that you don't feel love anymore is no reason to end something that you promised God.  Do we always feel close to God?  Do we always feel him near to us?  Does he still love us regardless?  I'm sure a lot of people would say, "well, you've only been married for five years... what do you know?"  Well, I don't know much, but the scripture is a lot older than I am, and God's views haven't changed.  All I'm doing is quoting what God has already written in the bible.

I think we tend to turn the bible into a genie in a bottle.  Thanks to Christina Aguilera, we know that if we "rub it the right way," we'll find a verse to justify just about anything.  I've heard so many times that the bible says if a woman commits adultery, it's okay to get a divorce (Matthew 5:32).  I mean, the bible does say that... specifically.  But, if we're going to play that game, can we ignore everything else the bible says about marriage?  NO!  If we're going to abide by one verse in the bible, we have to abide by all of them.

This is simply a matter of opinion, but I think most divorces end due to selfishness.  They want more.  They're tired of the life they've been living.  They're not happy anymore.  They want more money.  Sounds pretty selfish to me.  Remember, God's love for us is selfless.  I understand it takes two in a marriage, but the faith of a man or woman can move mountains (Matthew 21:22).  Have faith.

I could honestly go on for days.  I hope that this post inspires you to love more... no matter who it is.  If we are advocates for Christ, we have to start acting like it.  If you're in a position where you are questioning divorce, evaluate your reasoning.  Don't be a quitter.  Fight the good fight.  Remember the promise you made for God.

Vows aren't just words.  God promised to love us and be with us until the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).  Will you do the same for your spouse?

Monday, March 17, 2014


Who doesn't love a good challenge?  

Challenges are what makes us feel alive, right?  

The whole idea of a challenge, for us, is to become a better version of yourself.  So, with that being said, here we go.  We are gearing up to run in a race at the end of April, and thought a challenge would be a great way to prepare for it.  

We're no stranger to challenges.  We've kicked fast food to the curb (for life), we can survive without soft drinks, so we wanted to come up with something new.  So here's the rules for us:

1.  No Dairy.  
2.  Vegetarian Dinners Every Night.
3.  Complete Training Plan.
4.  Eat Clean.

That's it!  The whole "no dairy" rule will be the hardest I think.  All that milk and cheese... man.  It's hard to say goodbye (cue Boyz II Men), but for 30 days, totally doable.  The whole idea of eliminating these things from our diet is to make more room for more fruits and vegetables.  One thing we love about where we live is all the farms nearby.  We really have no trouble getting fresh produce, and we're thankful, because where we're from, it's virtually impossible.

I'm also going to be re-reading through this book during the challenge.  If you're a Christian and you love Jesus, but religion has beat you down... or if you're not a Christian, and simply want some actual facts, this is a great read.

So, here we go!  You're welcome to join us if you'd like!  The challenge starts today and ends April 16.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Our TV Table.

We have a new rule.  When you can't find what you're looking for... build it yourself!  And that's exactly what we did!  We love our new TV Table.  You can head on over to Craftsman Drive to see exactly how we did it.  We altered the measurements a little to fit our space, but for the most part, it is built to scale.

These are the behind the scenes shots.  It doesn't get more real that this.  It was an easy project that only took about three hours, and cost around $50.00 to build.  We paid home depot to cut the wood for us so all we would have to do is basically put it together.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why we're quitting Facebook...

Actually...we're quitting all social networking sites (for a period of time at least)... Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter more specifically.  Our first reactions when the idea of taking a break came to mind were "what if we miss something."  It was then I realized that I had a problem.  Facebook and Twitter are everywhere!  Any channel you turn to, any website you visit, there's always that logo.  Nowadays, people don't even advertise their site, they advertise their Facebook page.  Now, don't get me wrong, Facebook is a great tool to keep up with family and friends, and also a great way to market your business, but for us, we're noticing a trend that needs to stop.  We don't see Facebook as even by any means, we are just simply trying to grow in our faith more, and a good way to do that is eliminate something that takes up the majority of our free time.

It's interesting.

We never have time to read our bible, yet we ALWAYS have time to see what our friends are up to, and scroll monotonously through our news feed.  We don't have time to do our research papers in graduate school, but we have time to share countless pictures of food and our dog.  Most young people don't even remember, but there was a time when social media meant listening to independent bands on myspace.  We weren't into everyone's business or posting our picture-perfect lives on the internet for the world to see.

Don't get us wrong, we will definitely miss the interaction, but for now, it's time to focus on more of what really matters in our life.  Of course, we'll still be updating our blog, and if anyone is dying to get a hold of us, you can always email us at

Sunday, February 9, 2014


We've never really shared personal thoughts or opinions on our blog before, so this is a little new to us.  Our goal in this is that we can encourage others to open their eyes a little more, and be open to the fact that life is really beautiful and should be cherished.

When I first sat down to write this post, I thought I'd just put a few motivational pictures on here, and call it a day, but when I began, I felt led to dive a little more deeper into the notion that we're only here for a short amount of time.  I've always had this philosophy that God created this earth, and I wanted to cherish every moment that I'm here.  We are so guilty, especially myself, of getting caught up in the mundane tasks that are required of us on a daily basis, that we forget to stop and be thankful for what we have.  It's not easy... we're not wired to be like that.  It's natural for us to get distracted, but one day, these blessings we overlook will be gone.  Everything in this life will eventually perish, so we should cherish and value the time we do have.

I think we should live it up.  There's always that saying "live today as if it was your last."  For me, that's not always possible, because I promise, if today was my last day on this earth, I wouldn't be worried about that deadline for my 15 page research paper, or going to work that day.  I don't think that quote is very realistic, but what we should do is acknowledge that life is short, and we should do more of what we love when possible.  Ashlynn and I love to travel, so when we can, we travel.  After all, if God made this beautiful earth, we want to see as much of it as we can while we're here.  Why not?  Just do it.  If there's something you love, or want to do, make a plan, set a goal, and do it!

While on the subject of life being short, we should probably talk about how life is hard also.  It is.  It's hard!  And don't let any pastor trying to get you saved tell you otherwise.  When you inherit the kingdom of God, it's going to be tough at times.  Christianity does not make life easier.  When we become Christians, we automatically inherit an adversary that will do anything to take us down.  That's a reality that I think many Christians try to ignore.  I think many times, pastors try to paint this picture of if we just believe in Christ, we'll be happy-go-lucky, running through the fields with our Savior, without a care in the world.  That's not true.  Now, don't get me wrong.  When times are tough, we have Jesus Christ to turn to and lean on.  That's actually been my only saving grace at many times in my life.  If you asked me why I believe in Jesus Christ, I would tell you not only by faith, which is extremely important, but by what he's done in my life.  You can't tell me I lucked up and just stumbled upon marrying Ashlynn.  Seriously.  Those of you who know me personally know that my luck sucks.  It really does.  If there's a hard way, you can bet it'll be harder for me.  That's just how I roll, and I've finally learned to accept it and embrace it.  But anyway, God brought Ashlynn and I together.  It wasn't luck.  There's no way I could have it this good without divine intervention.  My life is amazing.  Easy?  NO!  Amazing, definitely, because whatever I had envisioned in my past for what my life would be, is ten times better with my wife by my side.  If I ever questioned God's love for me, all I have to do is look at my wife.  It's right there.

This is one thing that Ashlynn and I really had to work together on last year, and even this year.  We'll probably be working on it our entire lives, but it's important to be happy.  If someone's bringing you down, or just simply toxic to your character, just let them go.  Life is simply too short.  I decided last year that I would spend as much of my time with people I loved and loved me than with others that have nothing better to do than bring you down.  Be happy.  Surround yourself with people you enjoy being with.  Also, those people that bring you down in no way define your character or what type of person you are.  It only speaks of their heart, their failures, their shortcomings, and ultimately their ignorance.  So remember that, when someone is responding negatively towards you, ask yourself, "what does that say about them?" instead of what that says about you.

I want to end this post with this video.  This is from someone that just recently passed away from cancer at age 27.  The man in this video, Nick, made it so his daughter can see that her dad loved the Lord, and that God the Father will take care of her.  

The point I'm trying to make with all of this is that we should soak up every single second with our children, our spouses, our parents, our family, our friends... we should cherish our travels, where we are, where we've been, and where we have yet to go, because everything works together for the glory of God.  Everything.  Instead of living like today was our last, why don't we love like today was our last.  That changes everything.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


You know what's funny?  Now that rustic furniture has hit the mainstream and is the new "thing," expensive furniture stores are imitating these unique pieces with unique price tags as well.  Sure, if you don't have the time, go for it, but we find something rewarding, and appreciative when we restore furniture ourselves.  

This table took about two days total to complete with work, the commute, and a graduate class in-between.  

Here's the before shot... in all of it's glory.  Not a bad looking table to begin with!  We didn't sand the original piece.  We primed it, put a coat of paint on it, and then distressed it.  After that, we sealed the deal with a couple of coats of polyacrylic.  You can see a tutorial video of how we chose to paint the table here.  We used a special paint that was developed here in Nashville, called Blackberry House Paint.  It dries evenly, doesn't streak, and doesn't have harmful fumes.

Our chairs came from Stein Mart.  After an exhaustive search from about 6 different HomeGoods and TJ Maxx stores, we found these!  

Thursday, January 23, 2014


It's true... the picture is a little blurry.  Don't judge.  I was wrapped up in the moment... trying to snap a picture before I devoured every bite of this delicious soup packed with nutrients.

We wanted to share this recipe courtesy of Eat Live Run.  Jenna Beaugh shared this on her blog last week, and we've been itching to try it ever since.  We changed things up just a little though.  We added parsley, and bell pepper.  We also used chicken broth instead of water.   I also made awesome garlic croutons as well and sprinkled white cheddar on top.

You can view Jenna's post here.  This minestrone was filled with caramelized onion, garlic, butternut squash... you get it.  Do yourself a favor.  Make it!

from Jenna Beaugh at Eat Live Run

1 cup dried cannellini beans
1 yellow onion, small dice
4 carrots, small dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 small butternut squash, small diced {or any other winter squash}
1 fennel bulb, small dice
2 cups loosely packed spinach leaves, rough chopped
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
parmesan cheese for serving
The night before, soak the beans in cold water in a large pot. In the morning, drain the beans, add fresh water {about 3″ above beans} and simmer until very tender – about 1 hour. Drain cooked beans and reserve cooking liquid.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and fennel and saute for about 15-20 minutes until veggies are soft and onion has started to turn golden brown. Don’t skimp on this step because it adds so much flavor for the soup later!
Add the garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and salt and saute for another 3 minutes. Then, add the water and the squash. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender – about 15 minutes.
When the squash has become tender, add the beans and enough bean cooking liquid until you reach desired thickness. Keep in mind that this soup is supposed to be very thick so don’t add to much liquid here! Less is more. Add the spinach and cook just until the spinach has wilted.
Adjust seasonings if need be and serve soup topped with a tbsp {or more!} of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bread is always a good idea as well.
Croutons (from The Pioneer Woman):
  • 1/2 loaf Crusty French Bread
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Fresh Garlic (peeled)
  •  Salt To Taste

Slice the bread into thick slices and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Throw them onto a baking sheet.
Heat olive oil in a small saucepan or skillet over low heat.
Peel and crush—but don’t chop—2 cloves of garlic and add them to the oil. Use a spoon to move the garlic around in the pan. After about 3 to 5 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the garlic from the pan.
Slowly drizzle the olive oil over the bread cubes. Mix together with your hands, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake at 200ยบ for one hour, shaking the pan occasionally.
One hour after baking, crank up the heat to 400 degrees. Bake them on high heat for just a few minutes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Hey guys!  We've been MIA for quite some time now!  2013 was... interesting for us.  Many highs and a few lows, but we're blessed and thankful for it because it has prepared us for 2014.  Last you heard from us, we were preparing for a half marathon in Panama City Beach, Florida, and let us be the first to tell you, it went great!  We'll do a post about the race soon, but we had a great time.  People seem to think we're crazy for loving it so much, and maybe we are, but we love it nonetheless.  Some people hate running, but it's a great way to get out, travel, and many times, support different charities.

We've decided to shift gears a little bit here on the blog this year.  We will still focus on food, exercise, DIY projects, etc., but we're shifting our direction to share a slightly more personal perspective of our lives.  After all, the blog is called Schruff Shenanigans (pronounced Shruff).  We want you to know what we're up to in the moment.  We have a lot of great ideas, and events coming up, and can't wait to share them with you.

But back to the whole purpose of this post.  With us shifting gears, we thought it would be fun to share with you 13 interesting facts about our marriage, just to give you an insider's look to how we got started.  We consider our marriage a blessing, and we are best friends.  We definitely didn't go the conventional route, but if you know us, we're anything but conventional.  We chose 13 facts because we got married of Friday the 13th.  We wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

1.  When we first met, Trey was 19, and Ashlynn was 14.  (We obviously didn't start dating then).

2.  We met through a mutual friend, Christine, at a church where Trey's uncle was a youth pastor.

3.  We didn't actually start dating until about six years after we first met.

4.  Before we started dating, Ashlynn had moved back home from school, and so had Trey.

5.  On our first lunch date, Ashlynn was 45 minutes late.  (It was love)

6.  We dated two month's before Trey proposed.  Trey actually had the thought to propose when he was shopping for a promise ring, one month after they started dating.

7.  One person thought we'd be divorced in three years.  Our five year anniversary is next month.

8.  We were engaged nearly two month's before we decided to go ahead and get married.

9.  We got married in Pensacola, Florida.

10.  5 months into being married, we packed up, and moved to Tennessee, where we currently reside.

11.  We didn't know it at the time, but we ended up completing our undergraduate degrees together and graduated together in 2012.

12.  Ashlynn graduated Cum Laude, but Trey's 3.49 GPA didn't make the cut.

13.  We were married on Friday the 13th.  We call it our lucky day.