The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Friday, December 31, 2010

big decision.

Ok folks, I have made a big decision. For the past couple of years, I have sent out lovingly, homemade, work-filled Christmas cards. As many of you know, that did not happen this year. I had every intention - good intentions at that! - but it just didn't happen. So, I cleverly thought, I will send out New Year's cards! We got a beautiful white Christmas and took some fun pictures then so it worked out perfectly. And then I started thinking - why spend the money now? Everyone else has already sent theirs and they will be enjoyed on refridgerators for months to come (I know they will be on ours!). And of course, it isn't really too late, the refridgerators aren't going anywhere. But, I think I will just post some pictures here and make a promise to do better next year. I'll even put it in my list of New Year's Resolutions....Resolution #87: Get jumping on Christmas cards no later than Nov. and get those bad boys sent out in early December of 2011 with cute pictures and filled with love.


See there? Now I will be stuck to it!

As for now, I will just give you some pictures of our White Christmas from 2010 - some of which you might see on next year's cards! :)




























So, from our box-loving, back-yard running, snow-ball throwing, house-buying, white-Christmasing family to yours - we hope you had the merriest of Christmases, filled with love, and family, and remembering what Christmas is really all about...
And we wish you the most wonderful of New Years. May 2011 be better than you could ever imagine!
p.s. sorry about the crazy layout. we all know blogger has a mind of its own.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

back home.

Well - we are safely back in Chattanooga after a few days away and a day - today - of perfectly not doing much of anything. We are looking forward to a few more days of laying low, watching movies, working on the house a bit and of course, the requesite laundry and grocery shopping in preparation for going back to work on Monday (Tuesday for Chad)...

Christmas was grand. We recieved many fun and useful gifts - always recognizing how blessed we are by our families and friends. The time spent with them was the sweetest - looking forward to another weekend in Columbus in Feb. to hang out with my mom - and sorry friends - no one else! :) That was her Christmas present...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

here!

We've arrived in Columbus after a non-eventful drive through snowy countryside. I slept - almost an hour and a half - and it was lovely. Been missing out on night sleep so a nap was totally in order!

Sister and Frannie coming late tonight and Christmas Numero Dos tomorrow...

Friday, December 24, 2010

...and to all a good night.

This has been the most uneventful Christmas Eve in my history and yet one of my favorites thus far...we attended one of the sweetest church services I have ever been too - I love Calvary Chapel. A few animals in the nativity - complete with a REAL BABY - the music was awesome (a fabulous drum quartet after a little par-rum-pum-pum-puming) and finished up with a passing of the glow stick. Hey - candles are a fire hazard. Yes, glow sticks. No lie. Pastor F started it off, broke his glow stick, then it passed through the room ending up with the whole room waving their glow sticks and singing.
It was too cool...once we went outside, we heard sirens and watched about 20 or 30 fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars head into our neighborhood. Admittedly, I was thinking about all of the horrible things that could be happening that would bring that kind of power into our little part of town. And then I saw - in the middle of this long line of sirens blaring and lights flashing - the white stretch limo. With a white gloved hand and red sleeve sticking out of the back window, waving as they drove by. Again, I would not lie. Come on...you have to believe! I can only assume it was the annual gift drive/giving of the emergency services to families in need - which our area of town has a lot of - but seriously, to see all the vehicles, lights, sirens, and then Santa in a limo in the middle of it. Hilarious, amazing, awesome. And totally fun.
We plan to sleep in tomorrow then exchange stockings. We aren't supposed to be anywhere until lunch time. My sister would not approve of the sleeping in...but it's ok because neither does the cat - blasted early riser. Early we shall rise. I will make my casserole and we will head over to be with our sweet family...

excited.

It is going to be a great Christmas full of family, fun, remembering the past, and creating new traditions and memories.
I am a little sad not to be waking up in my parents house on Christmas morning - the first in 26 years that will not be the case. But I will be waking up in our house - the very first house we have ever owned - the first time in 26 years as well. Lots of new, different, and equally as special and good memories to make.

Tomorrow we will spend the day with Chad's family and then leave for Columbus on Sunday. Looking forward to a few days of simply being with those I love.

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy. It is for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord." - Luke 2:10-11

Thursday, December 23, 2010

plans change.

Well, I had big dreams of sleeping 'till an indecent 9am this morning - but Gwendolen had other plans. I slept until a normal 7:15 when Chad leaves and Gwendolen starts barking - oh right - then she doesn't stop. She has been in rare vocal form all morning and it is starting to...get old.

I've already made toffee and sweet Chex mix...I'll be adding those to the homemade chocolate and peanut butter fudge Chad made and sending all of our neighbors into a sugar coma. Hopefully they can exhibit a little self control - because that is exactly why I am getting as much of it out of my house as possible!

More cooking to do, jewelry to make, and a little laundry and my day off will be fabtabulous!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

11 days.

I am so thrilled - I just finished up my last day of work until next year. Oh, it is even fun just to say that! I am off work for the next 11 days in a row - counting the weekends too! It is going to be amazing, fun, and good to just be off hanging out for a while. I am off work tomorrow and Chad is not so I am going to do some cooking and laundry folding but our house is still mostly clean from me cleaning everything before my parents came this past weekend. Just need to put sheets back on the bed and fold some clothes and I will be done. Tomorrow is reserved for a little cooking and possibly breaking out my first Christmas songs (sorry - not a fan of listening to them non-stop from Thanksgiving until the 25th...).
I think I am done shopping. And if I'm not - and I've forgotten someone - then I will just have to be done. Bought my last couple of things for girlfriends today after work and I will wrap and be finished with it tonight or tomorrow. I am going to paint on something for M and make some jewelry but I think I am wrapping it up for this yeah (haha...wrapping it up...).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

blessed Saturday.

Oh, Saturday, how I love thee. Yes, I know I got two other "Saturdays" this week but there isn't anything like a real Saturday.
Today, I clean, organize, wrap a present or two and get ready for my mom and dad to be here tonight...yes, oh yes, they are coming to see ME! So excited, thrilled, looking forward to it. Dad hasn't been up since before we closed on the house so he has never seen it with furniture in it so it should be loads of fun!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

incredibly "lucky" girl.

I am one seriously, majorly lucky - shall we say blessed - girl. Let's start with last night...went to a surprise party for Samantha (the glue that holds my department together at work) at the Melting Pot. Now, if you have never been to the Melting Pot and did not grow up in the appropriate fondue eating era - this is a novel and pretty fun experience. It was definately my first time both visiting this eatery and eating fondue in general so I had a blast. It is incredibly expensive but I am sure you are paying for the experience/atmosphere as much as the fancy cheese, food -that you have to cook yourself, mind you - and chocolate. I'm a salty over sweet lover so the cheese was by far my favorite. Some of the other gals from the office met us there and as it turned out, one lady from work actually offered to buy all of our food/beverages. It was an amazing offer/expense for her to do that and a really sweet blessing for those of us sitting around her...she didn't have to do that but she could afford to and wanted to and it was a really nice surprise. So, I got to go out, have fun, try something new and was blessed in having someone else foot the bill. She's awesome...
Then, as the weather continued to worsen, I knew we all needed to be heading home. From what I heard, the roads got really, really bad last night. Snow turned to rain and then froze creating a skating rink on all the major highways...I took my time getting home (literally drove like 28mph on the interstate!) but made it home safely. Blessing #2 (or 4 billion and something but hey, who is counting?).
Since the weather got pretty nasty - and even though it was supposed to warm up nicely today (I think I saw something like 52 on the thermometer in the car) and all melt away - the schools were closed again today to keep buses and kiddos safe. What does that mean?? I got my second day off of work this week. Yes, oh yes, Blessing #3.
Oh wait...there's more! The road up to the forest where Chad works was completely frozen over. Like - hello, I used to be a gravel road and now I have 1 inch of ice over my top and you should have brought your zamboni to work today - frozen. So, he got to stay home today too (for his 2nd day this week - even though he pays for it in personal days - darn the State of Tennessee and their stupid weather policies). We did seperate stuff some (video games for him next door, cleaning up at the house for me) and then got to hang out most of the afternoon. Ran some errands this evening, did dinner with his parents, got Gwendolen and Wooby their Christmas presents (Wooby's includes a laser pointer...and she already loves it. I couldn't wait!), and now are home snug as the temperature drops again. I just made some biscotti to take to work tomorrow and it is cooling, preparing for the 2nd baking so I have some time to kill.

Note: I have about $3 left to spend on Chad's stocking gifts. Small suggestions *in size and price! Dani's suggestions were all good - probably use one of those - any others out there - for the man who has everything and yet a minimalist nothing all at once?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

brrr....

It has been cold here. I mean like bone chilling, wear leggings under my pants, don't want to get out of bed, stay home and make chili cold. We got a nice bit of snow Sunday night and Monday that got me out of work one day and we are under another "winter weather advisory" for tonight that - crossing my fingers - might get me out of work another day this week. I did work about 13 hours yesterday so I would not feel bad about taking another one off if given the opportunity....

Most of my Christmas shopping is done. A few small things to get and wrap here and there but mostly going pretty well. I do need some ideas for stocking stuffers for that dude I am married to...since we bought ourselves a new laptop, we are not really buying anything else this year. I suggested the stockings with a limit and I am pretty sure he will head to the dollar store and buy 20 things. It would be amusing if nothing else...I've already bought him a couple of small things but I need one or two more. Any suggestions out there? I'm open to all ideas! Fun, creative, handy, useful, or goofy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a big hurrah!

Ok, people...we are having our first good snow of the winter! It has been snowing since about 11am and finally started sticking this eveving when it cooled off after the sun went down. They have already cancelled school for tomorrow because the overnight low is far below freezing and I imagine that the roads will be a mess. However, my office goes by the county school cancellation for closing its doors as well - that means...drumroll please....I get a surprise Monday off! And oh boy, could I use it. I didn't use the weekend to the best of my ability and I still have floors that need vacuuming and presents that need wrapping and a messy kitchen. Yippe for an extra day of the weekend and beautiful snow to boot! (Wish I had gone to the grocery store so I could be baking yummy and warm food too but alas...it will have to wait.)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

weekend plans.

We plan on it being a nice quiet weekend around the house, getting needed things done before the holidays hit us over the head. My plans for the day include raking leaves in the front yard, changing sheets, doing laundry, vacuuming, folding said laundry (and debating whether or not to put it away), wrapping Christmas presents to place under our tree to try and weight down the tree skirt which keeps making its way across the room due to animal play time.
How does that sound for a day of work?
We are predicted to get snow on Monday - a nasty mix of snow and rain and I just might have to stay home. I do NOT like to drive when the roads are bad - after last year's sliding down the hill in my car incident - I am pretty much done with it. I just have to cross my fingers that the schools might be closed if it really gets bad. The rule at work is that we close when the schools close...a novel idea to this girl who worked at the HobLob last winter. And they don't close for anything.
I am looking forward to having some time off the end of this month. I have big plans for a whole lot of nothing - except spending time with my nearest and dearest.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

no words.

Sorry it has been almost a week since you last heard from me. I know I should do a better job since this is really for me and posterity but I guess I have just been a little busy with...you know, life.
Work is still busy - not out 5 nights a week busy but just out 3 nights a week busy. I am truly and deeply looking forward to the 11 days off that are coming for Christmas and New Year's. I think that Chad is going to take a couple of days off so that his will match mine and we can just hang. I will be a very happy girl when that happens!

My mom and sister are down at my grandparent's house in South GA cleaning, organizing, remembering. I wish I was with them - thinking of stories, remembering my Papa's multiple knee replacement gate as he walked across the backyard he loved, and Mema and ice cream sandwiches - big sigh.

Got most of my Christmas shopping done. Except for my parents who are notoriously hard to shop for. Take my mom for example...all she wants is time. No, seriously. Easy enough you would think. I wish I could go to Columbus and see them every weekend, alas life tends to get in the way. So, I won't be buying them much of anything. Might make my mom a little something and then give her time.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

merry everything!

Christmas came a little early to our little family this year...
I am currently blogging on our new laptop - bought on a Black Friday sale and delivered in the mail this week.
Thank you - wonderful neighbors - and those who sell crack too - for not stealing it off our front porch this afternoon before we could get home and rescue it. I guess it is a good thing that you all probably thought it was a box of pajamas or Christmas pears or something less valuable. No, really, I actually really like about 95% of our neighbors - really love even. Except those that sell crack. They aren't our favorite. Gwen doesn't like them either. But we also have some neighbors who might have taken the Christmas goodies as a joke too.
Which wouldn't have been very funny.

Been working on setting up the wireless network all evening. Mostly the internet's fault - not the nice, fast, quiet new computer.
Oh bless my soul - a computer that works on command! Lovely!
This is pretty much it for Christmas for Chad and I. We might do one other small thing but this was sort of a splurge in our saving to fix up stuff around the house budget so I am ever so thankful.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

bad blogger.

Sorry I am such a bad blogger - I promise I am trying to do better. I just find so many other things to do that I sort of forget.

Our 24 hours in Blue Ridge, GA with Chad's family was nice. I love that their family get togethers always include a few friends that have become family. It is a sweet reminder that we are all family really when it comes down to it...

Went to the townhouse and got our Christmas decorations yesterday, minus the tree. I think we might go fake-o this year and get the one out of storage. I already vacuum too much and adding a live/slowly dying tree to my living room will only increase that....oh, but they are so lovely and smell so festive! Hard choice.

Finishing the decorating today hopefully. Front porch is looking good. Chad is going to insulate under our house - I kindly explained that I will NOT be crawling under the house for a multitude of reasons - tight spaces only being one of them.

We are keeping the nursery at church tomorrow morning for the early service - they asked what age group we wanted and I put in a request for "at least potty trained?". :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

thanksgiving #1.

The deal, when we got married, was that we would try to split holidays as evenly and fairly as possible. Until we have kids. And that's a game changer.
Since we still (thank you Jesus) don't have children...we have been switching holidays...sorta. We spent the last two Christmases with my family and last 2 Thanksgivings with Chad's family. And I think he was a little sad to miss an actual Christmas with his...
so this year, we're switching for real. Except not really. We are going to do Thanksgiving with my family (which fell the weekend before, meaning today and tomorrow, for a number of reasons) so we are going to end up being with Chad's family on Thanksgiving anyway. Both families have relocated festivities - mine is meeting up at Red Top Mtn. State Park - and Chad's is meeting up at a cabin in Blue Ridge, GA. (a la Emily style - don't rob us. We have a great alarm system and fabulous neighbors - who I am pretty sure would shoot you, giving a good opportunity.) I took off work tomorrow (hopefully - never really got true approval. Sorry J!) so I am only working Tuesday and Wednesday of this week before we go out of town another couple of days. His family is staying for around 4 days but we have a lot of stuff planned to try and get done around the house over next weekend .
In other words, we are headed to Thanksgiving #1.

And we're giving thanks.
For great families that want to see us and being able to spend some time with all of them.

For jobs that allow us to take the time off to do that (and also pay our bills!)

For each other, especially this year, 2 years into our marriage and always learning and growing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Solider's Marathon

While it is highly tempting to bore you with pictures of every time we saw Chad during his race, I will just spare you a bit and show you the finish line.
Way to go dude...
4 hours and 18 minutes
+
26.2 miles
=
one amazing fella!

Check this one out...mom is there on the left hand side of the screen...cheering her heart out. Oh how I love her!

This was the neat finish line...they ran through all the flags of the countries where American soliders have served overseas at the Infantry Museum.

We arrived home Sunday night and as we drove past our house I was like....
ack! What is that on our windows?!?
Well, our amazingly awesome neighbors had done a little research about Chad's race, what place he finished in, what his time was, etc. and made a huge banner and hung it on the front of our house.
I am sure Chad was horribly embarrassed but I think it was wonderful...


That banner is just an odd - yet sweet - reminder that we made the right decision when we bought this house and moved down here. God has provided us with such a cool support system, fabulous neighbors, and begun to create some really wonderful relationships through our small life community. From a couple hours of beer brewing in the back yard last weekend (hi S and B!) to a just-finished 2 hours of laughing and chatting at the local pizza pit (Hi P family!) - we have been blessed with some great folks on our street!
ps. We had a long discusion about how that is not how you spell Congratulations but hey, it is the thought that counts!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

26.2 x 2

Today was Chad's second marathon (thus 26.2 miles, time #2) and he did fabulously well! Finished in around 4 hours and 15 minutes (give or take a minute or two - we aren't sure about official time). He did a great job, found a pace partner, and they ran it together so they kept each other going strong.
I will post pictures when we get back to Chattanooga and I get to my computer.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers...it was a successful morning.

Now dinner at Ok Sun's and it will be perfect!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

can't help it.

I'm sorry - I can't help myself.
I'm in love with this dude.
Just thought you should know.

pictures, finally!

Oooo...there is a special place in my heart for pretty nail polish. I ::ahem:: splurged - and bought three fall colors. Haven't used the far left one but I used the middle grey a few weeks ago and just painted fingers and toes the brgreige (you know, like grey + brown + beige) one on the right.
All Essie colors...sorry, not paid or perked (I wish!). Just like pretty fingers and toes.
Sneak peak of color on fingers in the last picuture...Made these little danglies for a sweet friend/neighbor. Figure it is safe to share since I am about 1000% sure that she doesn't even know I have a blog.

Also made a little baggie to put them in...didn't have a box to wrap - thought this would be just as cute.
Tied with a little hemp.
Hey, a girl has gotta work with what she has laying around!^Check out the fall fingers! :)

unplanned.

ooo...how I love unplanned weekends. Ok, so I volunteered Chad to teach CPR/First aid but I wound up having nothing planned for today. Never sure how that happens...
So far, since last night, I have:
- made the Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake, in cupcake form (delicious!) - will give some/most away so I don't eat them all!
- done 3 loads of laundry (one is already folded and put away!)
- changed sheets on the bed
- washed dog's bed/blanket and hung out to dry (a.k.a. freeze)
- made a sweet little birthday present for friend/neighbor (I will show you after I give them to her!)
- put away clean dishes/re-filled dishwasher
- painted fingernails and toenails (more on that to come)

Today just might be a post-a-rama!

yep, it's that cold.

Well folks, it looks like we might have skipped over fall around here. Went straight from balmy, warm, and flip-flops to oh-my-gosh-cold rather quickly. And because of lack of rain around here, we didn't get much of a fall color show either (maybe it's not too late - some of the trees still have leaves!!). Want proof of the chilly? I volunteered Chad to teach a CPR/First Aid class at my office today. He asked me to come out and move my car so he could drive his this morning - his car that usually sits in the driveway with a billowy car cover on it because he drives a state-owned truck to and from work every day. Except - low and behold - his billowy car cover was FROZEN to his car this morning. Not so billowy today. Yep - yesterday's brief rain + last nights frozen-er-ish temperatures = frozen car cover. So, he has my car this morning - with her frozen water droplets all over and I am at home doing dishes and laundry (it's about time!).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

silence.

Sorry, it has been a while. I am still not sure I really have anything interesting to say but I will talk anyway (oh come on, what did you think?!?).
Having Jess here over the weekend was awesome. I had to do a few little work errands so we didn't really get to spend as much time hanging out and doing our own thing as I would have liked but it was soooo nice to have her here. She hadn't seen our new house yet and it was fun to just hang out, sleep in, and do girl stuff for the weekend. I wish she could stay for days but I know she has tons of school stuff to keep her busy.
We did have a few little trick-or-treat kiddos...I gave large, generous handfuls of candy so we wouldn't have much left over (which is good because no matter where I put the basket, Wooby finds it and gets candy out piece by piece and feeds it to her sister, Gwendolen. Homicide possibility with all the chocolate in there...).
Should be a quiet week the rest of the week. All day meeting in Knoxville then my mom is coming up Thursday evening for a Vince Gill concert that benefits the Children's Advocacy Center here in Chatt. Good concert for a good cause and I get to see my sweet mom. Rocks my world! (Hi mom...I miss you and dad! I am glad the holidays are coming and I get multiple excuses to come see you!!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'll take one please.

My bff is here!
And I am not working today to hang out with her.
It will be wonderful - I am so thrilled that she is here.
Now we have to decide how we are going to entertain ourselves for the next 2 days.

Fun times ahead!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

she's coming!

Oh bless my i-wish-i-owned-cute-fall boots.
Jessica is coming to see me.
And staying most of the weekend.
And I am taking the day off work tomorrow to hang out with her.
And we are going to laugh and talk and do art projects and go sight-seeing and eat good food.
And it is going to be so so so good.
I can't wait.
Except now I need to go put clean sheets on the bed and vacuum up all the Gwendolen tumbleweeds off my hardwood floors.

Someone please remind me to take my camera with me all weekend!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

weekend beauty.

Finally got stuff done last weekend and this past weekend around the house and around town.
A little porch decorating...bow making...
(thanks Chad for bringing home my free corn stalks!)

I got to hang out with this guy a little bit this past weekend when we both weren't working...
it was grand!
This past sunday we went to the farmer's market/Sunday market.
There are always local vendors who sell veggies and it was fun to look.
Didn't buy anything this week but starting to get ideas for Christmas.
No, not veggies for Christmas, give me a little credit.
Handmade Christmas again!






It is always fun to see what is seasonal and available. We've started trying to buy local and organic when it is available...also getting milk in glass bottles from the local grocery. Antibiotic and hormone free from a relatively local farm. Cool stuff!
Thinking about joining a CSA next year - and wishing they weren't so expensive. There are some that let you trade work for goodies so we might work at the farm and get our stuff for free. Hopefully one of those will work out for next summer...
There are rumblings, flashes, and a big storm headed our way that is going to last most of the evening. Turning off all electronics in the house - locating candles, just in case.
Chad is actually out teaching CPR till late and I am going to have to go out in the storm to pick him up so hopefully it will blow over quickly. I don't like being home alone when the weather is bad - especially not knowing how this new-to-us house will weather a big one....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

all it takes...

It has been quite a few nights since I have slept well and it is amazing to note that all it takes it the correct medicine to make me feel like I can breathe again...maybe tonight will be better.
It has been a really great week - with the nasal/sinus issues being the only sad exception. I have had no school visits to steal my time and have gotten a ton done at work. Hanging out with my boss most of the day Tuesday and training in Knoxville most of the day yesterday and I have still managed to have a rather productive week. I did bring some work home with me today because I left the office early. I figure I am probably feeling better with comfy clothes and sitting on my own couch and I can work on my computer doing what I was doing at the office.
I am so blessed - to have a flexible job that not only keeps me busy at times so I am not bored! - but also allows me to work when I need to. I love what I do - I can see what a difference I am making in the lives of girls and their parents. It is great!
Oh, and I have a sweet, awesome, cute husband too. He's been so sweet while I haven't felt well - worrying and calling to check up on me. He's grand. (And out on a fire at the moment so say a little prayer).
Headed to work on some new girl spreadsheets and finish inputting registrations...don't mind the work at home with my t-shirt and pj's!

Monday, October 18, 2010

sniffle, sneeze.

I heart fall.
I read a quote today that said something like "fall is the second spring with every leaf a flower"...too true. The colors are finally starting to show here and there. Mostly bright yellows, a few deep reds, and hopefully not turning too quickly to brown from lack of rain!
However, apparently my allergies do not like fall. Been sneezing so much my abs hurt. Seriously. That is almost embarrassing. Along with the face pressure and nose running like it is being chased...ew.
We hiked about a mile and a half yesterday (what seemed like straight up hill though it really wasn't) from Cravens House to Point Park for one of the very best views in the city. It is on the literal edge of Lookout Mtn. and you can see all around - totally worth the hike. And the calories I burned. And the Moon Pie I ate immediately afterwards (hey, a girl's gotta refuel you know!).
It was a lovely day, full of sweet time with my guy.
Now would it be terribly embarrassing if I went to bed at 8:45?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

shape up.

Shape up Saturday.
You were looking so wonderful.
We bought apples, sliced, and some in the dehydrator.
A few more ready to make PW's pie.
Football game about to be watched (by Molly - at a friend's house).
Fall decor on the front porch.
So why, exactly, did Chad just get called out on a fire?
What a Saturday bummer.
Shape up Saturday.

breath of fresh air.

A weekend with no work to do, a friend in town, beautiful - cool fall - weather.
I am breathing deep the beauty of this weekend.
New cover on the couch.
Clean clothes put away.
Clean house ready for company.
Great day for hanging out with my sweetie and a friend.
Apple orchard, here we come!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

hello 26.

It has been one of those weekends where I can not possibly tell you everything that has happened and frankly, I am so tired I am not sure I would be able should I choose to.
Camp all day Friday and Saturday. An extraordinary (sorta crappy) event at camp kept me there much later than I thought I would be there and on the phone even later than that. No one got hurt, all the little Girl Scouts are fine. It was just sort of a bad situation - not the kind of one you want to deal with on your birthday for sure! The day was pretty much stellar and good until then though! I spent the morning helping teach first aid/knife skill basics and then spent the afternoon at the lake with the cutest lifeguard ever (ok, so I happen to be slight biased and married to him). I am glad I could see him some yesterday and get to watch him "work" - he enjoyed a day in the sun with the girls so that was nice. Especially because he has been out on a fire most of today - on the backside of Lookout Mtn. - local folks, you can see the smoke from the ridgecut. Still. Hours later. Not a good sign.
However, even though I wish I could have spent what we are calling my "second birthday" today with him - my mom, sister, and F came up to spend the day with me. It was so lovely to just hang out with them - no real plans in place. They came with a carrot cake in tow - Thanks, mom! Carrot cake for breakfast is exactly how a birthday should be. We went to Rock City (because I have lived her two years now and have only been in the dark, at Christmas time, to see the lights - never seen the view). I even braved a slightly creepy cave with black light gnomes (come on, really, is that a good idea?). My sister and Frannie gave me a fabulous, awesome hammock and stand to enjoy in my nice backyard. They even went so far as to put the thing together for me. (You shall find me here in all my spare time now!). It is one of those nice fabric ones - much more comfortable than the rope ones I grew up with!
My mom also rocked my world with getting me the beginnings of a Pandora bracelet. This was the thing I fought myself about wanting - but I think it will be neat to add to it for years to come. It was much more than I expected and my mom is so awesome.
I couldn't be more blessed. To be surrounded by people I love today, given meaningful gifts - trees that I can watch grow with my sweet husband, a bracelet that will always remind me of love, and a hammock to grab a little relaxin'.
It doesn't get much better than this.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

my wish.

I am leaving tomorrow at lunch time to spend another weekend at Girl Scout camp. The big plus for this weekend is that Chad is coming up all day Saturday to lifeguard for the canoeing girls. I know that I won't get to see him much but I will get to see him some.
And since it is my birthday, I would like to spend the day with him. That would by my number one wish.
I got peach trees in the front yard. That was my birthday gift from Chad. I didn't know they were my birthday present and now I am trying to remember to be thankful.
I sorta asked for something else but I LOVE my trees. I will love them more when I can eat peaches off of them.
But really, if you were thinking about spending money on me for my birthday, re-consider.
You might make a donation to the Mocha Club or 1040 Connections instead. Clean water worldwide and no sex slavery for women and children would be my real birthday wish.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dear Mom...

I have a terrible confession to make.
I had a spoonfull of raw cookie dough for breakfast.
I must be my mother's daughter.
Love,
Your Daughter

Sunday, October 3, 2010

there.

I am headed back north today - after lunch at Country's and plenty of sweet tea. Did a little sleeping in and sorta missed church - I guess I needed the sleep before another long week at work.
I am looking forward to seeing my sweetie tonight - hopefully will make it home in time to enjoy some hanging out with him and the dynamic duo (Gwendolen and Wooby). Funny how you miss all the little home things while you are gone - even for a couple of days.
Stopping in the ATL to see my sis on the way. I'll hopefully get to see her next weekend too...they might come up for my birthday!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

here.

I am finally in Columbus...it was not a bad drive yesterday. Windows down the entire time, music up too loud.
It is finally here. Breathe in fall people, breathe it in.
I am now hanging out with my bestie after sleeping in beautifully late.
Ok Sun's for lunch and a beautiful wedding this afternoon then campfires and adult beverages tonight.
I would not even beg or ask for a more perfect fall weekend.
Just wish Chad were here.

I attempt not to put inside jokes on my blog cause - well, basically it is rude and no one else thinks they are funny - but I can't help this. I'll even give you context on this one - Jessica and I slept on the queen-sized air mattress last night.
"Once you hit the downhill slope, you are destined for the floor." - J

Friday, October 1, 2010

ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

Yesterday was another doozy at work.
I don't think that anyone, anywhere near my Girl Scout family actually reads my blog but until announcements are made, I will refrain from details. Suffice to say that our membership areas got an overhaul yesterday and while I agree with the change and I know it will make TONS of more sense geographically on the areas we serve, I am sad because I am losing some areas that I have worked really, incredibly hard for and with. There is one in particular that I pretty much (shameless biased boasting here) have helped bring back from the brink of extinction with the help of a few dedicated ladies that are volunteers there. I have a lot invested in these areas and have worked really hard to build relationships, trust, and mutual respect and now I feel like I have lied to them when I have said "I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon!". I know they will be in fabulous, capable hands - hands that will work just as hard as I have with them - but I still feel like I am losing those relationships that I have worked so hard for.
Ah - breathe.
Change is good for your soul right?

Headed to Columbus today (Yes - Dani - We will have to coordinate better next time!). A beautiful friend is getting married tomorrow - excited about being a witness to the next sweet step in their relationship. Marriage is amazing, challenging, awesome, wonderful, hard, fun - an adventure for sure! It's nice to share everything with your best friend - I can't wait for C & J to get to experience it!

Get to hang out with some old friends up at camp on Saturday night. Super excited...details to come.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

this should explain it.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks around the GS office. As if a "normal" recruitment season isn't crazy/stressful/exhausting enough, things got a bit more so last week. One of the membership gals (those lovely ladies that do the same things that I do) quit last week. She was very new - only been with us about a month - and left with little explanation and absolutely no warning. She had 4 service areas - one near the office and the other 3 out in fairly rural counties. These areas - full of schools that have not had a recruitment yet - now are the responsibility of myself and one other membership manager, my friend K (who really got the bum deal on this one - I got one area and she got the other 3). Second blow...another of the what WAS 5 girls that do what I do...is moving to another department after recruitment season is over and I will get her two areas. This leaves 3 membership managers - one of whom will be having a baby soon. Then we will be down to 2.
Oh.
My.
Gosh.
Let's sum this up - two weeks ago I had 4 service areas with 52 schools (32 of them being elementary schools). Now I have 7 service areas with - frankly I have no idea how many schools - and currently I prefer to live in uneducated bliss.
In all honesty, I am already so stressed out and overwhelmed and filled with there-already-aren't-enough-hours-in-my-day-ness, that I am really not worried about it. My boss knows what kind of workload she has placed on us. She knows that we are working as hard and as fast as we possibly can. She knows I am already working 12 and 14 hour days. I will continue to love my job, give it 100% of me while I am there. But I have also had to come to this conclusion that I am only one person and I can only do just so much in one day. I still need time to hang out with friends, keep my house clean, do laundry so I don't smell funny (!) and love on my sweetie.
So, I will do my best.
And the light at the end of the Tunnel of Recruitment might have gotten a little further away but it is still in sight.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

buzzing louder now...

We moved the bees to our house tonight.
Yes, a hive full of bees.
In a van.
Please note the use of duct tape and screens and a blanket and NOT my car.
Pictures to come.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

bzzzz....

Today was the last of Chad's mentoring sessions for his bees...
I have some picures of his hive opened but my camera battery died before I could load them.
Now we get to figure out how to move his hive the 20 minutes to get it in our backyard.
Yes, I will take pictures when THAT happens.
And please, rest assured that I was using my zoom lens today.
After getting a bee in my hair and having to help him escape, I backed off a good pace!







life-lovin'.

If I haven't said it in a while, it needs repeating.
I love my life.
It is messy, busy, crazy, unorganized, fun, and lovely.
And I love every minute of the long nights at work, early mornings at schools, Saturdays at home with my sweetie, being in the car along with the catchy Sugarland anthem of the day blaring way-too-loud on my stereo, dancing along (but only when you think no one is watching...), fixing up the house just a little more every weekend, clothes on the line, planting fall veggies in the backyard, always praying for rain.
I love my life. Craft projects and work projects - finding time for it all.
The waking up together or sleeping in alone, dog-barking, cat-climbing, laugh so hard you almost pee-your-pants, doing life together days.
I, so-incredibly-much, love my life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

oh blessed friday.

Friday is here and let-me-tell-you...it's a darn good thing.
My brain is in overdrive, my body is exhausted (and I just got out of bed!), and I seriously have about a 10 inch tall stack of registrations that I need to process and girls to place in troops. I brought all that stuff home with me today because I sorta figured that I might be able to sit in the quiet and work better without the email going and the phone ringing but it might not work out that way. Chad is off work today and I would much rather hang out with him than do work at home so I might as well go to the office. If I can be super productive today, I might spare myself a trip to the office on Saturday or Sunday when I would rather be devoting myself to my sweetie.
However, I think God was - in His ever present Kindness - aware that I was struggling this week. That is was probably my fullest week of recruitments and my mind and heart were getting close to maxed out. He definitely sent me unexpected volunteers at two of my big parent nights this week - ladies I didn't expect to be there - who just showed up - and blessed me more than they know with their presence. They helped answer questions, form troops, help take up registrations - it was amazing. Last night's was especially awesome - she stayed afterwards and helped me figure out who the leaders were for each troop and what girls could get placed in what troop. What a blessing! I recruited about 47 girls and 8 leaders last night - fabulous and exhausting!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy,
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflications eclipsed by glory,
I realize just how beautiful you are,
And how great your affections are for me,
And oh, how He loves us so.
Oh, how He loves us.
Oh, how He loves us.
Oh how he loves...
We are His portion, He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
So heaven meets Earth like a sloppy, wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way He loves us.
Oh, how He loves us.
Oh, how He loves us.
Oh how he loves."

This is a song we have sung the past couple Sundays at church - has made me cry, made me smile, made me whip my journal back out and write down the words. Love it.
I think it is ung on an album by John Mark McMillan (don't really know him - sorry!) but that is who I found when I looked up the full lyrics...


Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree. ::Sigh::

Saturday, September 11, 2010

hi-wa-see?

We are hitting the Hiwassee River today folks...for a leisurely stroll down the water. This isn't anything like the last white water experience...also with no pictures. Sorry. Camera is NOT going on the river.
I think you can actually go tubing on this river it is so leisurely but they literally do not release enough water to be able to do that after Labor Day. So, we shall take something you can paddle so we move a little faster. Haven't decided what yet - canoe, inflatable kayak? We shall see. However, my mom is coming up to go with us today so I am pretty excited. The water will probably be heckuva cold but I get to see my mom so all is well!
We met friends for dinner last night - my old friend (old as in have known him for a while, not as in HE is old!) G from Girl Scout camp back in the day and his cute new fiance K. We had fun just swapping stories, hanging out, ate good food at the Terminal, and then saw a free concert in the park - Katie Herzig? She was actually really good - I am glad they convinced us to go! She was folky (word?) catchy, cute words, great music....fun all around!
Headed out to put on the sunscreen...I just know I will get toasted otherwise.

Friday, September 10, 2010

happy friday!

I am thrilled that it is Friday - there isn't a relaxing weekend in my future but I am still excited that it is here.
One school today, a HUGE PILE of paperwork on my desk, then possibly a leaving early afternoon? We might have friends come in tonight for a little concert downtown and hopefully we will get to do dinner with them and hang out a bit...
Oh bless the coming of Friday.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

day 3.

Well, it is Day #3 of those poor guys out fighting the same (rather large and annoying) fire that someone thought it might be a good idea to start.
Chad is exhausted, tired, and tired some more. Did I mention that he is tired? Cause he is.
Gwendolen was very, very sick last night.
I knew that dogs are not supposed to eat grapes - enough of them can be toxic and cause kidneys to stop working. Apparently no one sent Gwendolen that memo and she thought the muscadines in the compost pile looked mighty tasty.
Probably not as much later when she threw them up. 6 times. We made it outside for the last 2 or 3 (since I was in bed at the time and was putting clothes on as fast as I could). Chad was so tired I couldn't bear to wake him up so I dealt with the grossness (murmuring the entire time - "this is why I don't have kids yet - barf makes me barf").
Sorry was that a little too picturesque for you?
I was quite concerned. Mostly about her kidneys.
Woke Chad up.
We stayed up late with her, making sure she was not going to be sick anymore.
Called the emergency vet. They told me to bring her in and it would cost $110 just to look at her.
Whoa-ness. I cried. A lot.
Scared for her. Mad about being up. Tired of dealing with animal issues.
Called her vet this morning - told him everything. He says she will be fine. For free.
Love our vet.
Going to church. Alone.
Cause Chad is still on a fire.
did I mention he is tired and this is Day 3?
Please pray for rain.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

fire-shmire.

Neither of us expected fire season to start so early this year. We are still hoping that it was due to the glorious weather we experienced over the weekend, encouraging bad decisions and too much alcohol consumption (by those making bad decisions - not us!). After being gone about 4 hours on Sunday, Chad then worked from 8:30 yesterday morning until about 11:30 last night. He was so exhausted and frustrated when he got home. I think (biased, I'm sure) that he is such a reliable, hard-worker, that never quits that he gets sent to do most of the most tiring, dirty parts of the work - mostly because no one else will! That just means that his workload gets doubled, tripled, added-to, etc...and he comes home ready to pass out. Just to hit the road again first thing in the morning to go back to the same fire.
Yeah. Bummer.
Please pray for him today if you think about it. He needs a strength and a peace about his work that can only come from God today - and every day - but especially today. He is physically exhausted, mentally drained, and just plain ole' tired.

Monday, September 6, 2010

blessings flow.

I have already told you the story about when we bought our house and discovered that a bunch of our neighbors had been praying for its potential owners and how blessed and directed we felt about our purchase.
Last night was just icing on that sweet cake.
We were invited over to one of our neighbor's houses (the house that backs up to ours and is owned by a couple of native South Africans who are lifelong missionaries - worked with the Presbyterian church and also with YWAM for a while - small world huh?). She invited us, a couple and their kids from down the street, some friends from Kenya that are now living here in Chattanooga - a really cool conglomeration of people - most of whom have either lived abroad, are from another country, or have done foreign missions to another country. I didn't think we would be able to go because Chad got called out on that darned fire but he got home about 6pm last night and was so exhausted and frustrated that I didn't think he would want to go. But we did.
And we are thrilled we did.
We had the best food (chicken curry - felt like Indian home), awesome conversation about each of our lives, and the neatest time of just asking each other questions and learning about individual walks of faith. I can not even begin to tell you how blessed we are to know these people and have them in our lives. We literally live next door to them - in a cool, unintentional that is now very intentional - community of believers. I am thrilled that we went, glad we stuck out the evening instead of pleading off early, and got to know some of our amazing neighbors. God has provided us mentors in faith and in life - with examples of how to live a rich, love-filled life - and beautiful examples of strong marriages that have weathered continents, coups, and time.
I love our house. I love that it is becoming a home, surrounded by people that care about each other, take care of each other, and love on each other.
Oh how the blessings flow.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

bummer.

Well folks, this day could not get more beautiful. It feels like fall outside - clean skies and wonderful temperatures. Chad and I made it to early church this morning, leaving us plenty of afternoon left to enjoy ourselves. We've worked in the yard a bit, I've done a couple loads of laundry, and we were discussing our afternoon plans when it hit us.
That phone call beginning the thing we know as "fire season".
So much for spending this entire weekend hanging out together...we had even joked that Megan was busy with friends, Jay was not in town this weekend and Chad's parents reported that they didn't feel well so were declining all offers to hang out.
Boo.
Hiss.
So I will stay home, blog for you (with a slightly pink-colored cat curled up on my lap - my bright spot in this afternoon!), and finish folding laundry while we all hope and pray it is a small fire, not as far away as we think, and is easily controlled and put out.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

our evening.

I had the honor of taking engagement pictures for a friend from work...C and N got engaged just over a week ago when they went to her hometown for a visit. These are just a couple of the pictures we took - straight out of the camera with no editing (though many of them need it, due to an inexperienced photographer!) I am as crazy about photography as Dani and I wish I were as good as Lindsey but I guess everyone has to start somewhere right??




This one is probably one of my favorites...I like that you can definately tell they live in Chattanooga...


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

quietness.

It has been a nice two days at work. Yesterday was long and tiring - but capped off with a recruitment of 65 girls and 45 adults. Crazy. Chaos. And awesome!
Today I didn't have to visit the first school or print the first flyer. I spend most of the day at my desk, returning phone calls, processing registrations (did I mention that there were 65 girls and 45 adults at my recruitment JUST last night...not to mention all the others I have done?). And hopefully tomorrow will be more of the same. I have a staff meeting in the morning and then a service unit meeting tomorrow night but there will hopefully be some much needed paperwork time tomorrow as well.
Tonight, at our small group, one of our leaders said something about travelling with AIM (the organization I went to India with). I discovered that he and his wife worked for AIM for a while and another couple lived in South Africa with AIM for a while serving with their teams there. They know one of the guys that was one of my team leaders and knew a lot of the staff that worked my training camp. It really isn't THAT small a world - and I knew this leader/friend of mine was from Chattanooga (and also lived with my Chad's best friend Chad for a while)...but really, it is weird! Wait...are you totally confused yet? Awesome! Anyway, it is sorta cool for me. I think Chad just feels like it is another way that he is excluded from that part of my life by not knowing any of those people so I am trying to explain people to him as they come up. It is almost like it is more confirmation that India was an important, huge, God-led part of my life (not that I had any doubts - but confirmation is always nice) and now it is coming around again that God leads people in all kinds of crazy directions but always leads us "home".

Sunday, August 29, 2010

finally!

Please bless my I-am-too-busy-to-remember-to-breathe-and-pee, much less finish projects around the house soul and play along here.
I am finally getting around to some finishing touches projects around the house here and - drumroll please - also posting pictures!
I would give you the before and afters (mostly because I am so impressed by them!) but Blogger is only letting me load one picture at a time and the afters are so much better than the befores that it isn't worth wasting my time on them!

Made some curtains out of printed canvas from HL. Granted, I could have probably bought pretty sheets or even pre-made curtains for the amount I paid for this fabric but I just loved it at first sight and made curtains out of it anyway! Chad said they looked a little grandmother-ly but now that they are on the walls, I think he has changed his mind - even if only slightly.
Bought the empty black frame when I stil worked at HL on the super-cheap. Been saving it for some project. Got the middle two ceramic plates at Goodwill - 2 for $3. The others weren't quite as cheap - they are antique milkglass and I found them at this little antiques store just over the mountain.

I think this room is mostly done. There are still two blank walls that I am not quite sure what to do with. One might get my full length mirror just so it isn't laying around propped up on something anymore...and the other...who knows!?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

most wonderful.

We had the most wonderful evening last night.
I went to my last school at 2 yesterday, done by 3:15 and I didn't do one more bit of work.
It was amazing!
I came home, hung out with Chad a bit, and then he left to go on a bike ride.
I went to the little antiques store over the hill and found exactly what I was looking for to complete a little project. Super excited!
Came back - Chad showered and then we walked from our house to Mr. T's pizza. It is about a mile and we sorta took the back alleys to stay off the main road and it was such a nice walk. We had pizza (and ice cream!) for dinner. We figured that since we had to walk there and back that it was totally allowed! Next time, we are going to walk to the Thai place and try it!
Walked back home, watched our Netlix movie (Up in the Air...good. not the ending I expected.) and just enjoyed each other's company.
It was a wonderful night!
Chad has a long run this morning and I am going to run to Hobby Lobby and pick up some parts to my project - I think I will go to the one I didn't work at - easier to get in and out quickly! Sorry folks!

Friday, August 27, 2010

well...

"It's me again Margaret..." (ok, I think only my immediate family will get the reference...)
It's me again though...posting at 6:30 in the morning, about to leave the house for work. Except today, I'm a doofus. I can't go straight to my school because I forgot all my flyers.
Didn't even print them.
Didn't even gather up my principal gifts.
Didn't even think of it until I was across town last night.
Ugh.
So I have to go to the office first.
Thankfully, my school is up on the Mtn. nearest the office so I practically had to pass by there anyway.
But still.
I can't seem to get my brain together for both the evening event and the following morning's event. I sure thought I was more organized than this...I guess stress does that to you.
So that's it...Chad is teaching a CPR class at my office today. Too bad I won't be there most of the day to pester him.
Oh well. It's Friday. I have two schools to visit today and then I am putting the Blackberry on silent and pretending I have nothing to do all weekend.
So there!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

thoughts.

We missed church here in Chattanooga this past Sunday due to being in Columbus and attending old (yet very new to us!) stomping ground at Christ Community. We listened to Pastor Frank's (our pastor here at our church in Chattanooga - Calvary Chapel) sermon over dinner Tuesday night (thank you internet!) so we would be prepared for Wednesday night's small group. We just started another 6 week round of small group - hopefully I will make it to all but one. I know I already have a school talk scheduled for a Wed. night but that is the exception instead of the rule for Wednesdays.
I enjoyed it. It will take some time to get used to another small group. There is something really comforting about your "old" small group and it would be really easy to just continue on with them and never change things. But, we also think that we need to widen our community and learn new people (not that we didn't LOVE you guys!). We think we need to be newly challenged and newly taught by a new group of people!
Anyway, the main focus of the study for this week was our adultery to God.
Yep.
Wow.
Went there.
So here is the basics - and a challenge -
Frank talked about how we war with the world, we war with ourselves, and we war with God. But when you really look at our lives, and specifically our sin, we are committing adultery to God. Our sin is cheating on God. He is a jealous God. He feels emotions (come on, Jesus wept! and Jesus is God-man on Earth). And we cheat on him. Anytime we go to the world to fill our needs - whatever they might be - we are cheating on God. We are telling Him that He isn't good enough, He doesn't provide enough, He isn't present enough, He just basically isn't enough to fill our needs.
And that makes Him jealous.
And maybe even angry.
And of course, hurt.
Wouldn't you be if your bride told you that YOU weren't enough?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

shhh...

I am at home.
It is 1:26 in the afternoon.
Shh...don't tell.
I have a good reason though! I came home to meet the EPB (electric co. - for those non-Noogans) guy to do a post-inspection on our window replacements. They give a $500 rebate for eligible energy friendly home improvements and we are eligible! I am pretty excited about getting a little bit of what we paid back - a small thank you for us doing our part to try to save a little energy!
I am loading up the car with all the recycling and going to drop it off before I go back to the office. Yep, back to the office.
Hopefully though, since I was leaving home at 7am this morning to go to a school and I have pretty much been working ever since, I might get to finish up my work and head home a few minutes early (or atleast on time). It will be the first night this week that I am home before 8pm and I am thrilled!
I might even get my new-transmissioned (word?) car back today. It would just be icing on the cake!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

less weird. i promise.

We are considering having an Open House Party this fall to showcase our (not quite finished, cleaned or organized) new home.
Any suggestions? Maybe around Halloween?
My life at work should be settled down by then. And maybe that will give me some time to work on little projects here and there.
Who would want to come? :)

you pick it.

I told Chad that he could pick the blog topic for tonight and he suggested Sarah Palin.
Seriously.
Something about Momma Grizzly.
uh...yeah. I don't know what to say about that except for the fact that I have no idea what he is talking about. Momma and her Grizzlies.

So now he is trying to convince me to run the marathon with him in November. I can't even explain how much fun that would NOT be. I really, really dislike distance running. No joy. I really, really DO enjoy watching him run and cheering him on.
So, Ft. Benning. November 13th. Join me cheering. Or join Chad running. Just join!
Chad says to tell you that for every person who joins our cheering section, we will provide you with a t-shirt with our mascot on it. An official Team Fish shirt. Please, please don't ask.

Ok, since you asked - we have a stuffed piranha next to our TV. No lie. Well, maybe. Cause I'm not sure if it is stuffed so much as it is just um...dried out. Chad says it is freeze dried. Crunchy. And he is going to be Chad's mascot for this race apparently.

I keep telling myself that I should NOT ask Chad for suggestions about what I should write about. Better to blah, blah, blah about MY nothing (or just not blog at all!) than try to figure out how to make what we are talking about in our living room make sense to you!

"It's Team Fish people, get with the program!"

p.s. no alcohol was consumed in the making of this post. as weird as it might be.

Monday, August 23, 2010

long weeks.

I love my job.
I love knowing that I am recruiting girls to join one of the premier leadership organizations in the nation. I love knowing that we have a mission and a vision that I believe in and support whole-heartedly.
I do not, however, like being away so many, many nights in a row.
I will be at schools three nights this week - that means I still get to spend Wednesday night and Friday night at home with my sweetie (of 2 years!) but it means that I am so tired by then that I am not a particularly enjoyable person. I am trying hard though - to do things to take care of myself all week long - so that I can still be a fun, energetic, willing to still clean the house and hang out, wife when those few nights come.
Headed to 2 schools today!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2 years.

Today is our 2 year anniversary.
I have been so blessed with a husband who is caring, honest, trustworthy, reliable, hard-working, loyal, funny, strong, and ever increasing in his faith.
I can not believe it has been 2 whole years so far on this wonderful journey.
Here's to many, many, many more.

Friday, August 20, 2010

last one!

It is 6:41am and I am dressed and walking out the door for work - makeup on and cute earrings in my ears, my Girl Scout shirt and bless-my-soul, I can wear my chacos to work.
I am headed to my last school talk for the week. I am supposed to arrive by 8 am but considering school actually starts at 8 am intending to arrive at 8am would put me smack-dab in the middle of the traffic for parents dropping off their sweet little ones.
So I go early. Gives me a chance to count out my nice GS flyers and place them in teacher's boxes before we even get started.
Oh praise the fact that it is my last school visit for the week...praises, praises! I am exhausted. Happy but exhausted. My first parent night went well last night - got 33 girls registered and atleast one troop leader. I'm a proud Girl Scout!
I even had a parent almost make me cry at the end - talking about her Girl Scout experience and how it changed her life and now she wants that for her step-daughter and how her husband just got custody and he wants to be a great dad so very badly and she knows that participating in Girl Scouts will help him do that. Oh, le sigh. I love my job. Even the exhausting part.
Headed to Columbus this afternoon - jump for joy! Can't wait to see Dad and his new knee - or maybe just Dad and NOT his new knee.
Jess' "little" brother is getting married Saturday morning - I'm going to offer all the support my body holds. And maybe a little more.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

girls date.

I am super excited about my girls date with A this afternoon. Like I said earlier, we are going to see the Eat, Pray, Love movie. I did read the book and I loved it. I actually just finished her next book, Committed: A Skeptics View on Marriage. I actually really, really enjoyed it. There were a few "ah ha!" moments while she discovered her own path to a "forced" marriage. It made some of the things that my own husband does make a little more sense too. Humorous, interesting, and sweet. I enjoyed it.
Hopefully I will enjoy this afternoon's movie and dinner with a friend as much. It is always nice to go see a girl-y movie that I am not forcing Chad to see with someone who really wants to see it too. And there is always the ever-cute and talented Julia Roberts to look forward to. And the popcorn and full octane Dr. Pepper. It's gonna be a good day!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

unplans.

Oh how I love a weekend with no true plans...ok, that isn't what we are actually experiencing but it doesn't feel as rushed and stressed as it would if we had tons of other stuff planned. Our Saturday is pretty open. We just got up after sleeping until a late 8am (for us!) and we are headed out to get a little exercise in before it gets too hot. I am going to walk, Chad is going to run - weekends are his long run days in his training program so he will be gone a lot longer than I will. I will just head back and work in the house some. Last night I vacuumed up all the Gwendolen hair balls that terrorize our hardwood floors - no matter how often I vacuum - because I see more now already. It amazes me. I also cleaned bathrooms to save myself that particular Saturday chore. Today it is more cleaning and organizing after the walk - working in the second guest bedroom and the office/spare 'oom (come on...name THAT movie).
We have plans for a matinee movie this afternoon in the heat of the day - using more of the gift cards I won while I was still at HobLob. We need a treat because starting next week I expect to be home one night a week - if I am lucky. I need a date with my sweetie...
Our two year anniversary is coming up next weekend. It is almost a little too bad that we will be spending it on an air mattress at my parents house. My best friend's little brother is getting married next weekend so we are headed down to Columbus for a few days. It is always so nice to spend some time with my family and to see people that we have not seen in a while - catching up with old friends. BUT, seeing as how we never went on a honeymoon ("We will go when we can afford it and take time off work..." - hilarious.), we need to actually GO someplace!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

lazy thursday.

I let myself sleep in this morning. It was lov-e-ly.
I have a dentist appt. smack dab in the middle of the morning so it was almost not worth it to get up, get ready, go to work for an hour then to the dentist. I worked nights this week and I will have to work nights next week so I just took a little time off this morning. I LOVE that my job is flexible like that. It make me like my job even more that I don't have to worry about dr's appointments, etc. I can just work over and then do what I need to get done! I am going to go walk then shower and go to the dentist. I dislike having the ole' teeth cleaned but it is a necessary part of life.
The rest of my week looks pretty normal. No more nights. Hallelujah.
Date with a friend on Sunday to see Eat, Pray, Love. Super excited about that one. As excited about the date as I am the movie.
Hopefully I will get some things done around the house. I still need curtains for atleast two rooms. And the second guest bedroom looks terribly unfinished. Anyone have a small lamp they would like to donate to the cause? I will pick up! :) Oh, and if anyone has one of those fancy laser levels, I would like to borrow that too! I need to hang a series of pictures and have no clue how to get them all straight without one. That would be a lot of time-consuming, tedious measuring. I think I might cry.

Monday, August 9, 2010

a good con-ber-sation.

Name that movie.

Here is how it went at our house tonight.
I ended up not needing to go to my meeting tonight (mostly because there wasn't one - my mistake!) and when Chad and I both got home, this is how the conversation went.

Paula: What do you want to do tonight?

Chad: I need to go run. Wanna walk?

Paula: Sure. What would you like me to fix for dinner when we get back?

Chad: Cheesy bean burritos.

Paula: Ok. What else would you like for dinner?

Chad: Just cheesy bean burritos. Like Taco Bell makes.

Paula: So cheese, beans, and chopped up onions.

Chad: Yep.

Paula: Nothing else?

Chad: Nope. Well, maybe ice cream for dessert.


Hm....and he wonders why it feels impossible to be healthy in this house.
Please note this conversation happened before he ran 6 miles and I walked 2.
Yeah. He sucks.

just another manic monday.

I woke up this morning and as I was heading into the shower, my phone rang.
It was Chad calling to report that he took his car keys to work with him.
See normally, this wouldn't be a big deal. It would even be expected that one would take their car keys with them.
Except for this morning - when that someone's loving wife needs to drive that someone's car to work because hers is in the shop. He started explaining that there was an extra key in a drawer somewhere and one hidden on the car somewhere. And that hopefully one of them would work..."you might have to jiggle it, you know, work with it a while to get it to turn."
Awesome.

I will let you know if I make it to work or not. I am thankful for our "extra" vehicle, since he drives a work truck home and back every day. I am not, however, excited that my car is in the shop needing a new transmission. It has been needing one for a while and we thought we might could get a decent deal on one and save up for a new car (debt=boo.).

Looking forward to another week at work. It is starting to get busy around here. I have meetings tonight and tomorrow night and I have to start calling schools to schedule my visits there. I like to be busy - I think it makes me work more efficiently.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

sweet sunday.

It has been a sweet sunday...church with my sweetie this morning. Lunch with my sweetie and his parents - yummy chicken. Followed by a wonderful nap. Just what I needed.
Now hanging out with my Chad and about to let Gwen play in the creek so she can get her bath. One treat for the pain of the horrible monthly bath - woe is she.
Friends might come over tonight for dinner and a movie - working inside while it is helluva hot, getting the house straightened up bit by bit. No one told me it would be this hard to get it like you want it!
Playing on a sweet Sunday.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

sighing.

I am home again. Maybe I will get a week in my bed this time around.
It was a sweet, not-a-dry-eye kind of funeral today. He deserved all those people loving on his family cause he loved on other people's family. I am glad I went - it was nice to see two of the besties today, even under the circumstances. I miss those girls - just being together, laughing, hanging, talking about the future and the past - sigh. I miss them.

I am thrilled to be home. I am looking forward to some time to me this weekend. I have a school recruitment/open house tomorrow from 7:30am-noon, work all afternoon, and then a service unit meeting tomorrow night. A normal work day on Friday and then we are going to an open house at a new scout hut in one of the rural areas Friday night (maybe I can convince Chad it is a date! and get him to go with me...!!) and then Saturday I am going to help K man a Girl Scout table at the rodeo. Yes. The rodeo. For 6 hours. In 99 degree heat. Whoa. Giddy-up.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

shouting out.

I am at my sister's house in Atlanta, after eating dinner at Eddie's and filling up on deliciousness and sweet tea. It wasn't a bad trip down - a little traffic before I could get out of Chattanooga due to not leaving work when I wanted to and a little traffic in downtown Atl. but it wasn't a bad drive. I think my migraines are somehow stress related because I always seem to get one when I have to drive in Atlanta traffic and preemptively when I know I have to drive in a lot of traffic. I definitely have more anxiety about things than I used to and maybe that makes my head hurt - seems to make sense to me!

I am super tired - more driving tomorrow. Atlanta to Griffin, Griffin back into Atlanta, Atlanta back to Chattanooga. Hopefully my car will hold out for a bit longer. Please.

Monday, August 2, 2010

did you just say that?

One of the blogs that I periodically stroll through (mostly because of the photography) started this repeating post where she quotes herself and all of the weird things that come out of her mouth because she has children.
I read it and thought it was mildly amusing until...
I found myself doing it to our animals (a.k.a. children) tonight.
So I thought I would share...

"Gwendolen, the cat it not a toy. Please remove your sisters head from your mouth."

"Wooby, okra is not good for kitties. Please return the large okra pod to the bag."

"Wooby, do NOT drag that Okra across the kitchen."

"Gwendolen, get Wooby's head out of your mouth again please."

"Wooby, please do not stash your fake mice under the pantry door. Yes, I know it is a good hiding spot but I can't open the door 20 times a day to rescue them for you."

"Wooby, please do not rub your face on Chad's sweaty work shirt. Yes, I know you like the way it smells but I do not like the way YOU smell afterwards."

"Gwendolen, please come sit on the couch so I can brush your teeth" - this one was Chad, thank-you-very-much.

"Gwendolen, please do not pull Wooby off the couch by her fur. Yes, I know she is soft and fluffy but she does not like to have your slobber all over her."

"Wooby, I know you think it is but that pipe cleaner is, in fact, not alive."

change of plans.

I got some sad news over the weekend...one of my best friends, Jenna, lost her dear, sweet, wonderful grandfather. She sent me a message that said "death has truly lost its sting" and she could not be more right. I have such fond memories of her grandparents - almost as fond as those I have of mine! We have spend many hours hanging out with them at their lake house up at Lake Burton in North GA - I can remember hilarious games of Charades - no TV's allowed there! I can remember his fishing hat as he drove the pontoon boat loaded with giggling teenage girls - oh boy, is patience a virtue THAT man had!! Jenna and I have both been lucky to have grandfathers that were amazing, humble, patient men of God and I promise he will be missed by his sweet family and adopted grand-daughters alike!

I thought I would spend an entire week getting to sleep in my bed every night but life had other plans for me. I will leave tomorrow afternoon when I get off work and go spend the night with my sister in Atlanta. The funeral is Wednesday morning down in Griffin, GA. and I am trying to spare myself an early morning drive. My understanding boss told me I could take the day off Wednesday - knowing that I have to work Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights this week.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

oh my. 600.

This is my 600th post.
Wow.
I can't believe that I still come up with things to say.
Oh wait...what am I talking about? I could talk about anything!
It is going to be so fun to look back on this in many years and be able to see what was going on in my daily life via this weird little online journal. So, in reality, this is as much for me and posterity as it is for you.

Chad and I got up this morning and went to water the community garden before it got too hot. It is still pretty overcast so maybe we will continue to have a not-so-unbearably hot day today. We have plans to do some things around the house. I am headed to the grocery store in a few minutes, Chad went on his run (he is training for another race - not sure which yet), then I am going to spend some serious time cooking and cleaning up the house today. It still seems like we aren't even fully moved in....there are still boxes full of stuff that I don't know what to do with, furniture in weird places, and just general mess everywhere. I can't wait to get it all situated so that I feel like I can actually invite people over!

Looking forward to spending some time at home today and tomorrow. I have to go to a work planning lunch tomorrow with one of my service units but hopefully it won't last too long...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

happy day!

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday (Happy Day Meg! - even though it is the other sister in law that actually reads my blog - Hi Anne!)...Chad and I took her out for dinner and it was so nice, just us chickens as my mom would say.
We went to GreenLife (our used-to-be local organic grocery store that is now owned by the Whole Foods chain) - they have a great selection of ready to eat foods. A nice salad bar, cold and hot bar, panini bar, and my favorite - sushi! Everyone got exactly what they wanted, we sat outside and ate the organic goodness of it all. I had a blackberry sparking drink (delish but made me burp something serious!!) and Chad had a root beer (sans high fructose corn syrup - his one request).
It was such a lovely night - we are now home, preparing to spend the next three days hanging out together. We both worked our hineys off this week and earned ourselves a Friday off = a three day weekend!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

sweet. home.

I am finally home. Looking at my calendar, it looks like I will get to sleep in my bed with my sweetie for about two or three weeks before I am gone again. Thankfully it seems that he will get to go with me the next time I leave town. For now, our busiest season of the year is starting. We are jumping head-first into our fall recruitment and that means many nights away from home and many early mornings for at least the next three months. The up-side is that I will be in my house at night with my husband - even if I am exhausted and it just means that I get to sleep in the same bed and never have a conversation.
We had our membership retreat the past two days which was interesting, frustrating, fun, and a learning experience. We had to set our "girl goal" for the coming Girl Scout year and here in Chattanooga, we have what are really unreasonably high goals because of this past year's programs. We were instructed to do a lot of what we call "outreach" (i.e. week-long programs or all year programs in the schools) and that adds numbers to your membership. It is great for that year and for reaching the numerical goals of that year but you are really screwing yourself over for the next year, especially if you aren't going to be allowed to do outreach type programs for the forseeable future. You can't set your goal for a smaller number than what you actually got the previous year so I have some areas that have very, very high goals. It means I have to work twice as hard to recruit girls and troop leaders to fill up those numbers BUT...and it is a big one....I am much more concerned that the girls we do have get quality programming. It is hard for me to focus on a strictly numerical goal; I know I can get plenty of girls but if those girls don't get troop leaders who care about them, care about the program, believe in the value of Girl Scouts, then I might as well not recruit them at all. It is definately something to consider...
I have been becoming more aware of protecting the rare and sweet time I have with my husband and I am very cautious of doing things that limit that time. I need to be protective of my free time because it won't be readily available until November...That being said, I still want my loved ones to come see me! Our weekends are pretty open and we won't be doing much traveling until much later in the fall! The house is slowing coming together and getting ready for visitors!

Monday, July 26, 2010

gone again.

I am leaving tomorrow for another two days of being gone for work.
It seems like I am never home.
Makes me appreciate the days and nights I have at home with my sweetie.
Like this one.
It is thundering, lightning, and we are getting much needed (Thank You God!!) rain.
So I am making herb and mozzellllla stuffed tomatoes and steaks.
Yummy dinner with my man.

Friday, July 23, 2010

the basics.

It looks like blogger might be fixing itself so my oh-so-cute background might be back...

These are the window pictures...yes, one before and after set is all I can bear to load with blogger being as slow as it is.
This is our dining room window - looks our into the backyard.
Not too bad before (plus a little Wooby):

And After:

Much bigger looking and open - without the bars/panes.
Sorry about the picture quality - it is dark outside!
I love them.
Our front window is similiar with one large window in the center and two that slide in on either side. We did these sideways sliders in the dining room, kitchen and in the big window in our office/craft room because they look like they don't obstruct the view. The rest of the windows in the house are double hung - or slide up and down for those of you (like me!) that didn't know what that meant before this process started!
We used Window World - a national chain but each store is owned locally so I feel a little better about it. I am very pleased with the results and I have been pleased with their customer service and question answering and promptness.
However - and it is a big one - they left my house a wreck. They "cleaned up" after themselves meaning that they didn't leave glass, plaster, or bits and pieces laying around - for which I am very thankful. They did not put anything else back where it belongs. They took down curtians, blinds, moved furniture, scooted beds, etc and didn't bother to put those things back. After spending a 3 days in a training that based around having fabulous customer service and coming home to the mess in my house I think I am going to write them a letter. It wouldn't have taken them 15 minutes to rehang the blinds that they took down and put the beds back where they belong and it would have sent their customer service through the roof in my book. Going the extra mile is a big deal. A really, really big deal. Fabulous customer service = getting something you didn't expect (in a good way!) Instead, I will always follow my recommendation of them with "...but they will leave your house a mess!"

what is wrong?!?

Yeah...my sister sent me an email that said something was wrong with my blog background.
She was NOT kidding.
No clue what is wrong or what that little white box means.
I loved my background - I hope it didn't somehow get deleted. I haven't been in there messing with the HTML code so unless someone else has, I don't know what happened.
I am going to try to post some pictures so we will see what happens.
If it doesn't fix itself in a day or so I will see if I can correct the problem.

excuses, excuses.

My reason for not cleaning the house right now?
I have a sleeping, purring cat snuggled in my lap.
Our snuggle time is limited because the rest of our family members (ahem...Chad and Gwendolen) like to pester us so we are appreciating this afternoon slumber.
I am going to the last night of a camp tonight rom 6 to 9 then I will come home, get a few things done, then crash.
I have a long To Do list and happily I will have most of tomorrow to get it done.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

blogger is not making me happy.

If I could upload pictures (Dani - I'm feeling ya'!), I would show you our beautiful, wonderful, clean new windows in our house! Great energy use update that really just updated the entire look of our house. They are so open, wide and clean looking. We went with windows that slide sideways in our living room, dining room and kitchen instead of the traditional double hung (slide up and down) windows. It means that they are more open looking - without that bar across the middle. They are just one solid window. They were installed while I was in Knoxville this week and they are lovely - just what I imagined they would be.
Now I have to re-install all of our blinds, rearrange the furniture they moved to get to the windows, and hand curtains back. I know we got a great deal on fabulous windows but couldn't they have put our furniture back where it came from (there is literally a chair sitting on our guest bed. On. The. Bed. Whoa.)
Maybe soon I can show you pictures...

ew.

I am sorry for all of the gramatical and spelling errors on the previous post...
they have now mostly - I think - been corrected and we can move on from that hideousness.

I am back home from two and half days in Knoxville for meetings. We are working on re-aligning our council. It sounds so scary, business-like, and vague but if you have never been a part of a strategic learning process or a business realignment (which must happen now that our councils have been merged for almost a year now), consider yourself lucky. It is challenging, exhausting, breeds confusion and disagreement, and then once you finally get it all figured out - you have to go out and convince the rest of your organization to buy into all the things you have decided. For us, this means other staff that is not on this particular team, volunteers, girls, troop leaders, parents, vendors, etc, etc, etc....not an easy or even all that fun a process. Necessary and interesting. But I wouldn't go as far as to call it fun.
In other news, I have this strange swollen, infected, weirdness on my ankle. I know I shouldn't tell my gross and weird personal problems to the world but I would like to request some prayers for quick healing. It has gotten progressively worse since Monday so I am going to the Dr. this afternoon - I am pretty nervous about it. I haven't the slightest idea what it could be and I have gotten myself sufficiently worked up about it...

In better news, I have a nice new house update to show you. If blogger will upload pictures tonight, I will pass it along!