Friday, November 30, 2007

Miss Etiquette

Just wanted to let y'all in on something...I have started a NEW blog about etiquette! Please visit HERE to read about basic etiquette questions and how to use etiquette in your life!

Please leave comments about topics you would like to see covered!


Alright, I know it's really starting to look a lot like Christmas. You want to know why? Because every single one of my weekends are booked up - I have no extra time! But you won't hear any complaining from this girl, because I LOVE IT!

My weekend looks a little like this...I'm working tonight at the shop from about 5-7 p.m. since all the stores downtown are open until 7, so if you're in Murfreesboro, stop by and see me! After that, I'll be attending a Christmas party with my boss, Susan! Brad has to work tonight at Hastings, so it'll be nice to get some "girl time" in. Tomorrow morning, we're going to travel to Culleoka to have our annual Christmas breakfast with my cousins, Brenda and Trisha, and their children. I'm very excited about seeing everyone, and I'm really looking forward to all the food! I'll be going to work straight after the breakfast since I'm trying to get in some extra hours! It'll be a long Saturday for me! Sunday will be church day, of course - I'm so glad my good friend, Diane, has been going to WOC - I love seeing her on Sunday mornings! Then, some of the ladies at my work are meeting to see "Little Women" at The Lamplighter's Theatre and then having dinner afterwards. You all have NO idea how excited I am about seeing this play. Some of the best memories I have are of my mother reading Little Women to me and my sister when we were children. I already told my mom that when I have children, I want them to call her "Marmie." I have already made plans to see it again with my mother, grandmother and sister!

On Sunday night, I'm going to try and finish a garland that will go around my front door, as well as a wreath. I feel so behind on outside decorations - everyone on my street is already finished! I need to get on it! The rest of my spare time will be spent getting my house ready for our MERRY OPEN HOUSE that will take place next Saturday. I'm really excited about opening our new house to family and friends - I just hope I get everything done! One of the reasons I love the holidays so much is that I get to see so many of my family and friends - it is a truly MAGICAL time of year for me! I hope that each of you have a wonderful weekend - let the holidays begin!

Oh, here is a quick picture I snapped of the front of the house this morning - sorry it's such a bad picture. I tried to take another one, but then my camera died! How do you like the front door?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday.

Since I have no voice today, and I really don't have anything to talk about (or the time to talk about it!) - here's a picture of Brad and I trying to take our Christmas card picture last year. At the time, we only had Georgia (our HUGE dog) and my cat, Gertie. It was a lot of trouble trying to take our "family" picture, and we got some HILARIOUS outtakes! I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A fresh coat of paint.

I always said when I was a little girl that I wanted a yellow house. Well, I was thinking more on the lines of a huge, doll house-like yellow house with a huge wrap around porch and all the trimmings, but that'll have to wait. Anyways, when we bought our new house, I was absolutely thrilled that it was painted a light shade of yellow - with mocha brown shutters. I love it! However, when we moved in, I didn't think the stark white front door matched the "cuteness" that is our house. And what do you do if you don't like the color of something??? CHANGE IT! I'm a huge fan of paint - spray paint in particular. I have a little wicker coffee table that I have spray painted a different color THREE times! I love how you can change the whole look of something with a fresh coat of paint.

So, off to Lowe's I went with my gift card in hand to look over paint samples. I didn't want anything too bright or drastic, but I definitely wanted it to stand out. My mom suggested an orange-rust color to match the rest of the warm tones - and to make the brown shutters stand out more. I grabbed every orange-rust color I could find - and I finally found the perfect shade.

And for goodness, wouldn't you know I forgot what it was called? Pretty sure it was "harvest orange" or something like that.

After four coats of paint, Brad and I finally finished our front door last night, and we even had enough paint to cover the bench that my grandfather made for us! And you know what? I absolutely love it! I didn't have my camera with me last night, but I will definitely take a picture so y'all can see it! So, next time you're pondering throwing away something or perhaps even buying a new piece - look it over and imagine it with a fresh coat of paint! Trust me, you'll save a bundle!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Change of plans.

Remember last week when I talked about how exhausted and tired I was? Well, it caught up with me. Let me give you a little recap of my CRAZY Thanksgiving long weekend....

On Tuesday afternoon around, eh, 3:30, I started feeling a little tingle in my throat. Nothing too unbearable - just uncomfortable. On Wednesday, it got worse - MUCH worse. When I swallowed it felt like sandpaper was dragging my throat. So, I called my doctor, who has been a family friend since I was in third grade, and GUESS WHAT? He's closed for the holiday, and so is every other doctor in Murfreesboro. So, what does this sick little girl do? Well, I make a little visit to the CVS Minute Clinic! It was really quick - no wait whatsoever. I visited with the nurse, who did a strep test on me. I had nearly a 101 fever, and she told me I was "highly contagious." The strep test came back negative, but she said just from looking at my throat, she knew I had strep. She took another test and sent it to the overnight lab. (I did get a voicemail on Friday that said I did indeed have strep.)

What a way to start the holiday.

I pretty much stayed on the couch for the rest of the day on Wednesday. Brad took me out to dinner for soup on Wednesday night, and then we saw Enchanted. He was really babying me! Enchanted was SO cute - I highly recommend it if you like cheesy, girly, happily-ever-after movies! I think we were the oldest people in there!

I felt pretty good on Thanksgiving Day, and we spent the day at my grandparents' house with my side of the family. We thoroughly enjoyed some good ole southern food, and then we put up my grandparents' tree - although, this isn't your normal Christmas tree. It's 12 feet high and 8 feet around. To say it's huge is an understatement. I didn't have my camera with me, but I will post pictures soon of our finished product.

We were supposed to leave bright and early on Friday morning for Mississippi, but my illness prevented our trip. We actually got up and ready, but Brad did not want to make me travel 8 hours in a car while I was sick. We enjoyed a wonderful day together - we had breakfast and did a little Black Friday shopping. I was really thankful that I got to spend time with my hubby!
The rest of the weekend was spent doing odd jobs around the house - I did a lot of cooking for some reason - don't ask me why! I did love making a good meal for my man! On Sunday, we made a long trip to Hampshire, Tennessee to visit my Uncle John and Aunt Holly's new home - it's SPECTACULAR! It's nestled in the country on the side of the hill - really makes me want to move out to the middle of nowhere!

I'm back to the grind today - although to be honest, I feel worse today then I did last week! I am truly thankful for many things this year - a husband that loves me, a Savior that calls me His child, a family that's always there for me, a NEW home, loving pets that are my babies, and a job that allows me to help thousands of people each day. I hope that y'all had a wonderful holiday - here's to MANY more! Here are a few pictures from the weekend....

A picture of one of the tables set for Thanksgiving - it was BEAUTIFUL!

My husband, Brad, and our dog-baby, Turner.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hurry up Thanksgiving!

So, I'm exhausted. My body hates me. It is running low on energy needed to do daily functions. And it's NOT fun. I'm so ready for Thanksgiving, you don't even know! Two whole days off from work, and you've got this girl smiling ear to ear! Brad and I will be spending Thanksgiving Day with my family at my grandparents' house for some good ole southern food! We will be waking up at the crack of dawn on Friday morning to travel to Vicksburg, Mississippi to visit with Brad's family. Then, we'll head BACK to Tennessee on Saturday morning. Thankfully, my sister is watching over the house and our babies, so we don't have to board them! That saves us quite a bit of money! Anyways, it will be nice to make a quick little trip to Mississippi - I know Brad is really looking forward to it. On Sunday, we'll visit my dear Aunt Holly and Uncle John - they just moved to Culleoka, Tennessee from Chicago! We have a LONG and busy long weekend. If it were up to me, we'd be staying in our new home trying to get everything settled in!

We all worked hard this weekend to finish the majority of the house - we put up new bookshelves in the family room and finished putting up and decorating the Christmas tree. I still have a few things to add to it, but for the most part, it's FINISHED! Next on my list to do is to put up some shelves in the kitchen to display all of my mexican antiques and my collection of salt and pepper shakers! Then, I'll move to organizing our office/scrapbooking room! After that, I'll add some finishing touches to the master bedroom, and then we'll be finished! It will be so nice to sit and ENJOY our new home! I can wait to put pictures here, so I can finally show y'all!

Here's a sneak peek at the top of our tree - I sure do LOVE Christmas!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A proud big sister!

I haven't shared much news lately about my little sister, Kayla. Honestly, we have not spent much time together for the past two weeks. We've both been busy, she's been sick and with the move, we just haven't gotten to get together.

Anyways, Kayla has had a very hard life for a fifteen year old - things I could never imagine. But she's still a trooper! She's shy when you first meet her, but she's full of life, love and laughter once she warms up to you (much like myself). She loves her family more than anything in the world, and I truly believe that she has a heart of gold. She has been dealing with issues involving her father - he's very sick and needs many surgeries. However, with TennCare and NO disability, they are not able to get any of the surgeries taken care of. She worries about him constantly - I have to consistently remind her that things will work out - she may not understand everything as it is right now, but one day she will.

Because she worries about so many things, her grades almost always suffer. When we were first paired together, she was not doing well in her academics - except her culinary class - that girl loves to cook! However, as most of you know, I'm a big advocate for education and making good grades, and I let her know that. I told her that she is wonderful and smart young lady, and that there would be nothing that would make her father more proud than for her to make good grades.

Last night, she called to tell me what she made on her report card, and I was shocked - 3 A's, 2 B's and a C!!!!! You all have NO idea how proud I am of her! She has already blessed my life in more ways than one in the short time that I have known her! I love her dearly and pray for her every single time I think of her - and I hope you will, too. Pray that she knows that this life can be a beautiful life. Pray that she will beat the odds and become more than anyone can ever imagine. Pray that she will understand and trust the Lord in regards to her father's illness. And lastly, pray for me - pray that I will always be a loving and good role model for her. Pray that I show her the love that Christ has shown to me, to all of us.

I hope that she will continue to make good grades - I know as long as I'm around she better! Now we're going to work on that C!!!

For the Lord God is our light and our protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right. O Lord Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.Psalm 84:11-12 NLT
Here is a picture of Kayla and me with Amy Grant. We got to see her a few weeks ago at Hastings! Isn't she adorable?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Camp Forget-Me-Not

Today has been a busy day for me - lots of meetings and LOADS of emails for some reason. Every second Wednesday at United Way, we host an "Agency Brown Bag." This is an opportunity for all of our 48 partner agencies to come together, eat lunch and hear a speaker that may or may not pertain to their particular agency. Well, today's speaker cancelled at 11:15, and the lunch starts at noon, so we were in a pickle. I haven't had the opportunity to speak to all of the agencies about Project PASS (Preparing Adults for Self-Sufficiency), and I thought this would be a great chance to let them know about an initiative that may help their clientele. Now, those of you that really know me, know that I'm pretty outgoing. I'm shy and reserved at first, but I eventually warm up to you. Well, I hate, I mean HATE public speaking - but for some reason, I was really excited about talking about Project PASS, so it went well all in all.

Anyways, to the real point...after the main speaker, there is a chance for agencies to "brag" or announce things going on in their agency. Faye Knox, who is with ALIVE HOSPICE, talked about something that really touched my heart. Alive Hospice, which provides loving care to people with life-threatening illnesses, support to their families, and service to the community in a spirit of enriching lives, has recently started a camp for children and teenagers who have recently lost a loved one in their life - it's called Camp Forget-Me-Not. This camp helps them grieve over their loss in a fun setting.

And here comes the tear-jerker.

At the end of the camp, the camp participants have a butterfly release, but before they release the butterflies, they "whisper" a message to their loved one and then release the butterfly. Faye says it is an absolutely heart-wrenching moment, but so inspiring. Their hope is to teach the participants that death is a part of life, and it doesn't have to be a bad thing for the rest of their life.

This was especially close to my heart, because, as some of you know, I went through three deaths in my family within a matter of weeks during my freshman year of college. My aunt and uncle were murdered on October 9th, 2002, and my father died from lung cancer two weeks later. Although my father and I did not have a relationship when I was growing up, we had just re-connected months before. It was absolutely traumatizing to me, and I only wish I would have had services like Camp Forget-Me-Not to help me work through my many emotions.

At the camp, the participants are asked to design a Christmas card. Alive Hospice then chooses a design to print for the holiday season, and they sell them in packs of 12 for $10. This year's card is ADORABLE (it has the cutest snowman on it) and was designed by Will Moss, who recently lost his father. On the back of each card, Will's picture is placed, as well as a description of Camp Forget-Me-Not. I ask that each of you that read will at least visit the website to see the wonderful things Alive Hospice does - the website is You can purchase greeting cards on the website or at MidSouth Bank, The Clay Cup, Reeves-Sain Drug Store, Heavenly Ham and many other locations in Murfreesboro.

Psalm 27:4-5 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Separated at birth?

Tonight, I got to meet up with my new friend, APRIL for coffee since we discovered that we actually live in the same town! How crazy is that?! Anyways, I seriously think this girl is my long lost sister - we are so much alike, it's scary. It was so nice to sit and talk with a young married woman like myself. I'm really excited about getting to chat with April more often, although it might feel like I'm talking to myself since we are practically the same person!

In other unrelated news, I made this diaper wreath for my boss, Rachel, who was hosting a baby shower for one of her friends. I saw one in a children's shop, and I thought "hey, I can do that." Anyways, I couldn't remember exactly how it was done, but it turned out cute anyways. I tied each of the diapers with lavender and mocha satin ribbons. And I have to tell you, I love those colors together! Rachel's friend is having a baby girl, and the nursery is decorated in lavender and mocha. Let me know what y'all think...I'm hoping I can make more of these for showers!

I'm a professional mover!

I have not had the chance to update y'all on the status of our weekend move. My goodness - it has been quite the task!

Everything went well with the closing - lots of signing and initialing, but all in all, it was painless! I had to go back to work after closing to finish up some things, but I got to leave a little early to get started on packing the U-haul for the first load. Things took a turn for the worst that evening when my mom's dog, Mattie, who has been really sick for the past couple of weeks, suddenly had to be put to sleep. Mattie was our beloved bassett hound that we had for over 10 years, which is a LONG life for a bassett. It was a hard night for us all, but I'm glad that we had the move to keep our mind's off everything.

We started early Saturday morning, and surprisingly we got the truck unloaded very quickly! The men left for the second load while the women unpacked and arranged things - not a bad job if you ask me! We still had several things at the house, but we had to have the U-haul back in the early afternoon, so we had to make several trips for the remaining things...I didn't think we were EVER going to get all of the stuff! Now, all that's left at the old house is cleaning supplies to clean everything up! I'm so glad to be out of that old and dirty house!

Everything is going well at the new house - it's a lot smaller than the old house, so we are getting an opportunity to get rid of all the junk that we no longer need...and I LOVE IT! We've gotten the majority of the rooms organized and put away, and I think the only room left is the office/scrapbooking room! Praise Jesus! I can't wait for the day when everything is unpacked and put away and we can enjoy our new home!

I have attached a few pictures of the garland my mom and I did for The Write Impression's front doors...I love the green and pink, which is The Write Impression's signature colors! I'm very proud of us, I think it might be one of the prettiest garlands we have made!

This is a picture of my mom and I working diligently in the dark and freezing cold temperatures!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

We're better together.

This post is going to be totally dedicated to my husband, Brad. We are coming up on our six-month anniversary, and I just wanted everyone to know how much I love my man! The picture above was taken after our wedding ceremony - it completely describes our relationship - JOY. FUN. and LOTS OF LOVE.

Brad and I got engaged after three months of dating - he proposed in front of my whole family (and everyone at my favorite restaurant, Miller's Grocery), and I, of course, said YES! We planned the wedding of our dreams that took place 14 months after we were engaged.

Our relationship is truly "opposites attract." Brad is everything I'm not - he's sarcastic, witty, realistic and a "numbers" guy. I'm a dreamer, not a big fan of sarcasm, and I hate math. I am a morning gal, and he is a night owl. But somehow, it works.

There are so many things that I love about Brad - I love coming home every night knowing that he is hiding somewhere in our house waiting to scare me. I love that even when we are in the most serious conversations, I can look at him and just bust out in laughter. I love that he keeps me in line regarding finances - otherwise, we'd be broke. I love hearing him sing Johnny Cash songs in the shower EVERY.SINGLE.MORNING. I love it when he dances and makes the "froggy" face. I love that he'll watch all the old classic movies with me that I love so very much - Gone with the Wind, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday, etc. And I love that every night he tucks me in, kisses my forehead and tells me he loves me.

And tomorrow, we will start a new adventure in our lives as HOMEOWNERS, and we couldn't be more excited. So, here's to you, Jimmy B - I LOVE YOU to the moon and back!

So, if you've got a man you love - hold him close, kiss him sweetly, and let him know how much you truly love him!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sewing is testing my patience...

At the end of the summer, I bought a sewing machine at Target. It was the cheapest sewing machine there, and because I'm a beginner, I thought it would work all right for me. If there is a stage before beginner, then that's me. I took sewing classes through 4-H during the summer when I was in middle school, but the main things we made were boxer shorts and pillows. And I remember that being very hard for me. Anyways, I thought I would give it a try again, especially because I want to learn to make curtains and whatnot.

My mom (who is perfect at EVERYTHING) calls herself a "learning again" beginnner, and she has been playing around with the sewing machine at her house. We went to Hancock Fabrics one day and found loads of easy fleece patterns for ponchos and skirts, and since we are always spoiling my five year old cousin, Tessa, we decided to try out a poncho pattern for her. My mom made THE CUTEST poncho last week for Tessa while I was at work. Well, if it was that easy for her, SURELY I can do it. Misty, one of my co-workers, has three absolutely precious girls, and I thought it would be precious if they all had a poncho in their favorite color. Mom bought the fleece, thread and rick rack yesterday, and I was determined to try and make one.

Well, it was an awful experience. It's hard for me to watch my mom sew and try to mimick her (since I'm left-handed) - I have to try and do everything backwards, and I get all confused. Needless to say we nearly finished Zoe's green poncho - I just have to run to Hancock today and get some purple thread for her purple rickrack. I'm not going to let this sewing machine get the best of me! I'm determined to practice, practice, practice and hopefully, I'll eventually make something! Until then, I'm going to continue to be my mom's apprentice :)

This is an almost finished product! I can't wait to see all the girls in their ponchos! Too cute for words!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New friends!

So, most everyone knows that I'm a "newbie" to the blogging world - well, if you didn't, I only started blogging in June I believe. Anyways, I always enjoyed reading my friends' blogs, and I would always stumble around reading blogs of people I didn't even know. Well, I have recently started reading this blog, and I have always enjoyed reading about the Smith family's journey to adopting their little one from Vietnam. I don't usually comment on posts, but there was this one particular post that really intrigued me, so I left a comment! And lo and behold, I go to read their blog this morning, and there is a post about my life verses post!!! How exciting - I felt so honored! I was literally grinning ear to ear! It made me so happy to know that my thoughts inspired someone else! Anyways, by chance, it turns out that we are actually both from the same town! Even more exciting!

I have been praying for MONTHS for guidance within my friendships - now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE all my girlfriends. The problem is that we are all at different stages in our lives right now - some live out of town, some are still in college, and the majority of my friends are not married. It has been a very difficult thing for me lately - sometime I feel so out of the loop. I have been praying to form friendships with women who will motivate and inspire me - so hopefully my "new" friend and I will be able to meet and greet!

So, you never know who you are going to meet on here, but so far, I can say my experience has been worthwhile!

Monday, November 5, 2007

In need of restoration.

This past Sunday at church, the sermon was based around "Heavenly Conflicts-Earthly Consequences." We talked primarily on how Christianity is about freedom - freedom for the ENTIRE person - meaning body, soul and spirit. We receive that freedom through the cross of Jesus - we examined Luke 23:44-46:
"It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last."
The temple curtain separated God and his people - there was limited access to God for select individuals. The barrier was there to remind people that God was a HOLY God. After the curtain was torn, that was God's way of telling people that there was a NEW and LIVING way into the presence of God! There is no other mediator required - and that mediator is JESUS.
This piece had a huge impact on me - I now know that we have a loving God, but we also have a mighty and fierce God who needs to be feared. I learned that I need to pray in new ways - in a BOLDER way - saying "In JESUS name." I learned that I need to make repentance routine. So often we think repentance is a one-time thing. That is not the case - repentance is the way that we open our lives to the way of God, and we need to be quick to repent!
"If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." - Romans 10:9
I am so blessed to go to such a wonderful church, a church that leaves me convicted! I hope those of you that read this will get satisfaction like I did!
Blessings :)

Countdown begins...

Well, I feel like this weekend was over before it even started! But that means we are just getting closer to moving into our new home!!!!!

Friday night was spent geting ready for our YARD SALE! Since we've been packing for the past 3 weeks, we have been making a pile of stuff to go in a yard sale. I thought our pile was HUGE, but I was so wrong. As I toted everything to our back patio to price, I began thinking to myself, "do we have enough stuff to even have a yard sale?" Well, thank the Lord, we did. We actually had a whole set of sitting room furniture (remember the set I just got???), an old couch that was in the "man room," and a small loveseat that was in the office. We had a few other odd and end pieces - not too much. I told Brad that if we made $100, I would be happy. Good news, we made $150!!! I was so excited to know our junk became someone else's junk! Ha!

I worked all day Saturday at The Write Impression - from 9:30 until 6:30! I was exhausted when I finished! Thankfully, my mom worked with me or else I would have been there for many more hours! My mom, Brad and I went to eat at O'Charley's (chipotle chicken, yay!) and did a little shopping at Kohl's - I have been dying for some new tights to wear with my skirts! It was a long day that started at 5 a.m.!

On Sunday, we met my nearest and dearest friend, Diane for church - I'm so glad she has started to go World Outreach, I hope she gets as much out of it as I do! I will try and post on the sermon from this past weekend - totally opened my eyes! After church, I spent the rest of the afternoon with my mom shopping for Christmas ornaments for our tree!

We are down to the wire with moving in - only4 more days until we close! Both mine and Brad's family will be helping us move all weekend, and I think I may go ahead and get the tree up! Brad will be so mad - he says I just bypass Thanksgiving! Anyways, we have LOADS of things to do before we move - please, if you can, say a prayer for Brad and me. Just pray that everything goes okay when we close on Friday and pray for a safe and quick move! Blessings, y'all!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A little Christmas preview...

These pictures may be a little dark, but I'm proud to say that my mother and I worked for 10 and a half hours straight to get The Write Impression in full Christmas mode! Everything looks better in person, so go to The Write Impression in Murfreesboro's historic downtown to see everything firsthand!
The main "pink and green" tree with Vera Bradley paper gifts and assorted gifts as well.

One of the front windows with a traditional red and green tree - as well as the Christmas card display! If you are looking for a cute Christmas card, definitely go to The Write Impression. For the holiday season, there is complimentary imprinting on all Christmas cards!

Another red and green tree that features all of our Magnolia Lane ornaments, as well as all of the Christmas dish towels!

So, I'm completely worn out this morning, but it was so worth it - I love getting to spend one-on-one time like that with my precious mother! (Even though I'm sore as all get out this morning!) Oh, and on my way home, I happen to turn it to my favorite radio station, and guess what? Continuous Christmas music was playing! I love it!