The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

good feeling.

I can't explain the good feeling of leaving work and knowing that you don't  have to return for 10 days.
10 WHOLE DAYS. I can't wait. It is gonna be - stellar.
Chad and I started it off already with lazing on the couch watching a movie while it is grey and rainy outside. All of our presents are wrapped and under the tree, ready to go to the people we love and cherish. I think we are even going to sneak out a little early and head down to Columbus tomorrow night late. Chad isn't feeling great but we will do Christmas with his family first and then head down there around dark. I am looking forward to spending some time with my family, eating a little Ok Sun's, and seeing happy faces.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

getting close!

I am thrilled that we are inching in on Christmas week away from Christmas Eve! I am literally completely finished with my shopping - with one exception of someone from work  ::ahem:: whose mother bought her the same gift I bought her so I have to return mine (and think of something that is equally as clever because it was obviously something she wanted if she almost got 2!!) I am also almost finished wrapping gifts - just a few left that were purchased this week. Made a lot of things this year but not nearly as many as I had hoped. Better luck next year - ha! - when I have more time??

I am seriously looking forward to our travels south of here to be with those that I love. Couldn't be looking forward to it more. And seeing happy faces as those folks open their gifts, spend time together, cook together, and just generally enjoy each other's company. I am going to really, really enjoy my time off work being with them...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crafty McCrafterson.

My friend K and I took the day off today to finish/work on some of our Christmas crafts and projects. We both had some personal time at work that we had to use or lose by the end of the year so we used it!

We ran some errands to finish up some of my shopping and then crafted ourselves silly the rest of the day. I've taken lots of pictures but some I can't post until after our office Christmas party because I'm not entirely sure that no one from my office reads this (though I acknowledge that it is highly unlikely).  However, folks from Chad's work read it so I guess you never know...

Sorry for the blown out flash pictures...I'll do better next time. Promise.
I am about 123% sure that K's family doesn't read my blog so it is totally safe to post what she did for her cute gifts this year. They do a set money amount for gifts so she put that money on a a money tree! How cute is that? Instead of buying people things they don't really want or need - who doesn't love to just get original, green moola?!

I had to go to a Girl Scout ornament exchange tonight and frankly, I totally had the best one there! This is a Pintrest idea that originally used a wedding invite and cut it into strips. I wrote the Girl Scout Promise and Law on green cardstock using a silver Sharpie and cut it into strips about a quarter of an inch wide. I then curled them around a pencil to get the corkscrew shape and stuck them in a glass ornament. I painted the "gs" in black glitter paint so it adds just a little sparkle! I added the big red bow and tag that reads "I contain the words to the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Happy 100th Anniversary Girl Scouts!"

I'm pretty proud of our craft day and I can't wait to show you all the other cute things we made!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

runnin' around.

A Saturday when we have nothing planned is rare - so rare in fact that we won't see another one of this breed until 2012 at least. I am truly excited about the weekends we have coming up though so it is a teenie tiny price to pay. As for today, we are going to run around and do some errands (like pick up my sewing machine from the hospital - can I get a "hip hip hurray!" in here??) and get some tires for Chad's car. I am about 3/4th's of the way finished with Christmas shopping - bought a couple more things yesterday afternoon - but I have quite a few crafts left to make (including one that I am praying is a success but I have no clue what I am doing!!).

As for the rest of our December weekends, I am thrilled to report that we have sweet and fun company coming for the next two. My mom will be here next weekend - insert huge sign of relief here, I miss that lady!! - and my cool cousin is coming the following weekend - just for the day so we can be tourists together! I am pretty excited about both! Then finally, we will be in Columbus the last weekend for Christmas. I am looking forward to some downtime with my family and seeing some sweet friends that I haven't seen in far too long.

Good things ahead!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

good days.

We are wrapping up our time at this sweet cabin in Blue Ridge. it has been nice to spend osme time with family and friends, just being together, eating, talking, laughing, watching movies. We are headed back to the Noog today to be at home for a couple of hours - it seems - before we have to go back to work. I have big dreams of getting some Christmas decorations put up before Monday but we will see how it goes. I have deeply enjoyed spending time with some of those that I love most but still miss those that I did not get to see.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Facebook has had a rash of people posting things that they are thankful for every day this month and while I did not jump on board with an entire month of daily thanks, maybe I can fit in a month's worth of thanks into this sort little post.

I am so thankful today - sitting now at a cleared feast table only littered with half filled wine bottles and melted candles - looking out the window at sunset drenched hills. I am thankful for a family that has always welcomed me and made me feel like blood, the one I married into that has become my own. I am thankful for a family that is a few hundred miles away celebrating without me and missing them all the same. I am thankful for the guy at the other end of the table reading a good book and winking at me over the edge. I am thankful for new friends at our table of thanks. I am thankful for a sweet prayer at the meals start that asked God to send His angels to find our family members in heaven and remind them that we miss them today but that we are thankful that we know we will get to see them again one day. I am thankful for every blessing - every little moment of peace and love - that I am experiencing today. I am just thankful.

Monday, November 21, 2011

holidays. crafting. and more.

I can not believe that Thanksgiving is this week. That means we are a month away from Christmas and I am just flat out not ready! I have been crafting with my friend K from work, putting together things for all the ladies in our office and a few things for family members as well. I am about half-way done with my Christmas shopping and crafts but I still have a lot to do! And of course, over the weekend my sewing machine had to go to the sewing machine hospital. I love my machine - it is my mom's and I am proud to be sewing on the machine that made so much cute, amazing stuff over the years. It is an awesome, good quality, all-metal machine and I am even more thankful for it after seeing all the plastic ones in the store over the weekend.

We are getting together with Chad's side of the family for Thanksgiving at a cabin in Blue Ridge, GA. It should be fun - I think Uncle J picked out a good spot for us to gather. Hopefully we will make it back in time to gather our thoughts before another few weeks of work. I am really looking forward to Christmas and all that will bring - family, togetherness, etc..

Friday, November 4, 2011

gearing up.

After having nasty colds this past weekend and finally feeling like we are recovering, Chad and I have big plans for the weekend. A short trip to Atlanta is in store for us to celebrate my parent's 30th anniversatry (wow!) and to see some other family that will be in town. Sunday will bring lots of laundry to wash and put away and next week will bring busy insanity. I have a TON of work to finish before Wednesday and then I will be leaving at the rising of the sun to fly to Texas. I am super de duper excited about participating in the Girl Scouts National Convention and I am chaperoning 9 of our council's girls that will be attending a leadership conference as part of the convention. Since Girl Scouts is heading into our 100th Anniversary -woohoo! - this convention will be a serious party! There are lots of great speakers and entertainers coming too - think Katie Couric, Soledad O'Brien, Sara Bareilles, and the Harlem Globetrotters, just to name a few. It is going to be a few super busy, lack-of-sleep days but totally worth the experience.

I am looking forward to a quiet night with my favorite dude tonight though!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

you're welcome.

Chad and I are both suffering from a pretty nasty cold. He claims - oh, it's only allergies - but judging by our communal symptons, these are some nasty allergies. We stayed home from church this morning and instead watched it on the internet. Can't make it to church in the AM? Check ours out and watch it live. I want to say a big "you're welcome" to all the folks who are thanking us for not bringing our colds to church. :)

I worked all day yesterday. Annual cookie sale training with my service unit teams in the AM and then went to North GA to do a program aide training all afternoon. Neither are bad trainings, just means that I spend another weekend at work. And actually, the program aide training is lots of fun - older girls and some cool games to teach so not an entirely wasted afternoon.

We have a giant pile of laundry to fold today. I mean GIANT. Like at least 2 weeks worth of clean clothes. That is our big project for today.

After 2 months of having the AC and Heat off in our house, we finally broke down and turned the heat on last night. Since it got down to a frost-bearing 32 degrees last night, I guess it was time. Those 2 months of electricity bills were amazing though - see you again in the spring! I'm glad we did - it was pretty chilly in our house still and I am watching the frost steam off the houses across the street now that the sun is up. What happened to fall this year??

Thursday, October 27, 2011

it's been a while.

It has been a good few weeks since Chad has been out on a late night fire so I guess we were due one. I've heard we are expecting rain in the next few days so that would be nice to keep it from happening again. I guess it wasn't so bad since I had to work out of town last night too. Either way, he was out late and gone again early this morning so someone I know is gonna sleep good tonight!

Livin' for the weekend, even though I have to work ALL DAY Saturday. Cookie training in the morning and then headed down to GA to do a training. But, it is a fun training to do so it should go by quickly. So maybe it would be more accurate to say that I am living for Sunday?

Saturday, October 22, 2011


This weather we are having is incredible! Though it is a bit chilly in the mornings, we've usually stripped down a layer or two by the afternoon. Currently, I am writing from my comfy chair on the front porch enjoying some serious Vitamin D soaking up and a nice breeze.

Slept in this morning until a wonderful 8:30! Ate bad food for lunch but then walked it off with a tour of the Forrest Hills cemetery near our house. It is one of Chattanooga's oldest cemeteries and is full of interesting, historic figures from Chattanooga's past. A couple of times per year they have actors/decendants who will tell you about the history of the folks buried there. Some of them are really related and some of them do a great job of playing the part. It was informative and fun. I know - I am really turning into my mother when I enjoy a good tour of the cemetery!!

Thinking about going to a movie tonight with a birthday gift certificate. Neither of us will have to work this weekend thanks to a good schedule on my part and a little rain on his part so it will be lovely! (though we did commit ourselves to filling in at kids church so we will do that tomorrow too!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Its been a while again. I won't apologize...I've enjoyed spending some time with the people I love.

This past weekend we spent a day with our Uncle J. It was his birthday request - just to spend the day with Chad and I so we gladly oblidged! Chad ran a half marathon on Saturday morning - sorry, no pictures for this one. I intentionally left my camera in the car. He did, however, set a PR (personal record) for the time and we are all very proud of him. He ran 13.1 miles in 1 hour and 46 minutes - his Nike + said that he averaged a 8:36 mile so that is pretty good for a guy that trains at about a 9:36 mile! I am super proud of him. He said "I actually ran this one!" when he finished. Cute.

We then went to the apple festival in Ellijay, GA. It was an amazingly beautiful fall day and we enjoyed just strolling and hanging out. Chad had camera duty the entire day so I will load them up and see what I can share with you! We sort of forgot to buy apples but ate a delicious caramel apple while we were there so it was worth it! We will be spending Thanksgiving in Blue Ridge, GA (about 15 minutes from Ellijay) and there were a few little shops on the town square that I am looking forward to strolling through that weekend!

Not much happening since then. This weekend is the first weekend of the month that I don't have to work either Saturday or Sunday so we are making plans to enjoy this much cooler fall weather and hang out together!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Funny how you imagine your life years before things ever happen - thinking of "how it will be when I am ___ years old". But here I am - 27 years into my life - and things are rarely as I imagined them. And I am so thankful.

Other than having to work all day today on my birthday, it has been nice. I really and truly enjoy all of the women I work with on a daily basis and they made feel special today since we all had to work. I've spent some time with family this weekend and enjoyed some lazy time with my dearest. I've recieved some beautiful and thoughtful presents and I am currently enjoying watching my littlest 4-legged child enjoy the wonder of a drinking straw on hardwood floors.  I am so blessed and thankful for another year!

Oh, and mom - they brought me a GIANT piece of carrot cake with candles in it at work today. It was delicious and you are off the hook. :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

evening fun.

If I recall my memories correctly, my Mema liked hot air balloons. I really love them too so maybe I got that awesome part of her genetics, passed quietly down through my mom.
We went to the hot air balloon glow last night down by the river...I loved every moment, every burst of hot energy keeping the giant balloons afloat...
maybe one day when I recover from my fear of heights I will ride in one farther than 50 feet from the ground.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

good weekend.

Worked for about an hour and a half this morning for a meeting then freed myself of my work bonds and have been hanging out with people I care about ever since. Good stuff for a week. A friend is in town this weekend for Chad, we hung out with our nephew this morning - and after a small meltdown it was a really awesome day of doing things to make him happy - love it! - and we are headed out to do adult things tonight (meaning beer and darts at one of our favorite never-crowded hangouts). I've heard - by way of my 6 year old nephew - that there is a hot air balloon glow tonight so i am trying to make my way downtown for that too!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

busy bees.

Painted my fingernails a calm shade of fall grey yesterday to celebrate the coming of my favorite season. How can you not love fall?? I think it wins out over the other three in most of our minds...

This week has been just as busy as the 8 before it. I am trying to be intentional about my time with my family so blogging has taken a back seat for a while. We have a friend coming in this weekend and we're gonna love on our nephew this Saturday so I think it is going to be a good weekend. Sorry for the quiet but really - I'm not. The little time I have in my day to spend with the people I love is far too valuable...

What is your favorite season and why?

Friday, September 23, 2011

the british...

The British are coming! The British are coming....oh no wait, it's just my mom. And she isn't British. Sorry.

But she is coming! And I am super-de-duper-de excited about it. We have lots to do this weekend - might even sneak in a visit to the aquarium tomorrow. I love me some penguins...

More later!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I think a big change is coming around on the blog. I have been pondering it for a while...stay tuned for more details.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

i think i'm an addict.

I think I am addicted.
It isn't all THAT harmful. I can stop whenever I want.

Isn't that what all adicts say?

Pintrest. I hate you.
Anyone want to go to rehab with me?
Nah, just kidding.
I'm not ready to quit.


It has been a little quiet around here lately. Things are so busy with work and keeping life together that I don't often have much time for written words.

I'm not working this weekend which is a serious blessing so I am doing some stuff around the house. The amount of Gwendolen fur on the floor is embarrassing, I think I spend my life unloading and reloading the dishwasher, and dealing with the constant pile of clean clothes on the bed. And yet, somehow today I am unbothered by it. It is an overcast, cool fall day and I am going to get stuff done then hang out with my sweetie - who is out running a 16 miler this morning. Sound like fun?

So happy that fall is slowly arriving...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

it's coming!

I realize that we are barely into September yet but this past week's rain and a few cloudy days afterwards have cooled things off so pleasantly that it makes me yearn for REAL fall. I know it is coming so I am waiting patiently.

Sorry it has been so quiet on the homefront this past week. It is just that time of year, I guess. Busy with work, projects around the house, things to do! I went to a school this morning for a recruitment (still helping with that when I can), I worked from home today, and I have a meeting tonight an hour away in Pikeville. I hate that I will be so late getting home but I am earning some time to take off another day.

Going to work on writing a training that I have been working on for literally days. I have never written a training before so really I don't know what I am doing. It is a new skill to learn for sure...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

a new day.

I'm still not sorry about what I wrote yesterday but I think I have a much better perspective on it now.

I am working on a couple of craft projects...two for babies that are coming in the near future and one that was for me (that I've already finished...a super easy bag made from a Girl Scout t-shirt. It was a fun shirt - it says "Every cookie has a help girls do great things." and I just made it into a bag.

Chad is back out at the fire location this morning but not to fire a fire. They apparently left the bulldozer in the woods last night because it was so far in and in such a bad spot that bringing it out in the dark was not an option. He says it will take them a couple of hours and some winching to get it back out and loaded on the transport truck. Oh well - we got about 5 minutes of strong rain last night and I am hoping that is enough to tide us over until the rain we are supposed to get Sunday or Monday arrives. Praying that I will get to spend some time with Chad over the next few days.

Going to clean bathrooms and work on crafts.

Friday, September 2, 2011


If you don't want to read a serious rant, skip today's post...because I am about to lay it down!

I realize a work a lot. I've written about it multiple times and how I struggle to find the balance between work and home things and my personal life. I know there are a lot of nights when I am out at work and Chad is home without me, fending for himself for dinner and getting things done around the house. But this week has been a whole different story and is grating heavily on my emotions. I have worked a lot this week but it has been a fairly normal load for me. I had daily regular work and worked Tuesday and Thursday nights for meetings. I was lucky enough to take all day Wednesday off to hang out with my sister which was a MUCH needed break. Chad, on the other hand, has worked some serious hours this week. His week started when we got back to Chattanooga on Sunday with a call out to a fire about the time we got in bed. He pretty much worked sun-up to sun-down Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and most of Thursday (meaning he left home before the sun and got home around midnight. Literally.) He was on overtime by Wednesday.

He finally got a day off today and worked around the house all morning. He cut down trees and hauled them off. He is hot, tired, and a week of terrible sleeping hours and hard physical work (not to mention all the smoke he inhales all week at work) has worn on him. I was seriously looking forward to a 3-day weekend of hanging out around the house and running some errands and I have been praying that would actually happen and fires would stay at bay. No Luck. He just got called out - literally 20  minutes after I got home this afternoon.

So here is my SOAPBOX (you probably just read something similiar on my FB page...but it limits your status words and boy did I have more to say.):

Here's to all the Idiots...
To the people who were raised poorly, trained terribly, and don't care about others,
To the people who throw cigarette butts out their car windows onto drought stricken land,
To the people who don't know how to properly put out a campfire so it doesn't catch acres of precious woodlands on fire (the Girl Scouts have a FREE class for that - I will teach it myself.),
To the supremely selfish and classy folks who think arson is an appropriate solution to their problems or that it should be used to cover another crime,
To the uneducated and somehow unaware public that doesn't realize we haven't had rain in over a month and a half and that you need a permit to burn your trash or brush - which won't be issued because of nationwide drought conditions,
I salute you.
Carrying my garden hose and my watering can and wearing my Smokey the Bear ballcap,
I salute you.

Because you, my friend, are the people that put the people I LOVE in danger because they have to come clean up YOUR mess. Because of you, my husband and his coworkers inhale more fire smoke than could ever be considered healthy. And you carelessly remove any chance I might have of spending some quality time with my hardworking, dedicated, wonderful husband. Why do they do this? Because it is their job - their barely-pays-the-bills-and-yet-they-are-still-dedicated-job. They do it to protect YOUR houses and YOUR land from burning up. They do it to protect YOUR crops from burning up. They do it to protect the land YOU want to hunt on and ride your stupid ATV's on.

I'm not sorry for saying this.

Edited later to add: Chad just called and said it was raining where he was on the fire. I know that prayers are always answered and sometimes how and where we least expect it. God is good. But I'm still mad.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

back at it.

My sweet Chad is back at it again after a 12:30 arrival at home last night. Going on another 5 hours of sleep and headed back out to a fire. The called me from the top of the fire tower yesterday saying "hey, I get really good cell service up here!" but I can't imagine climbing that many stairs just to make a phone call. Guess he really loves me!  Please keep praying for rain. There is none in our forecast but we all know who controls the weather and HE can do whatever he wants!

My sister is coming this morning but since I was awake before the sun, I am going to do a bit of cleaning before she gets here - somehow breaking  yesterday's rule about what was more important. At least I will not clean WHILE she is here. Instead I will eat sushi and get a pedicure.

Updated to add: I did get a lot of stuff done! Cleaned off and rearranged the front porch...moved chairs to the back patio in preparation for fall fires in the firepit, cleaned off dining room table, cleaned up kitchen, emptied and refilled dishwasher, one load of laundry down and about to shower! I've had a productive morning!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I am sorry that I am such a bad blogger...this time of year is just not good for extracurricular activities in our family!

I am pretty excited that my sister is coming to visit me tomorrow. I am taking the entire day off just to hang out with her, get some pedicures, maybe eat some sushi (cause that cutie I live with won't eat it!), and just chat. I am thankful that she lives close enough to just come for the day when she chooses - I just really wish that our lives and schedules matched up a bit better than they do. Like I said, this time of year is nuts for our house. Chad has been out on a fire since Sunday - coming home to sleep around 5 or 6 hours a night - and then getting up and pushing the "repeat" button the next day. I am sure it is wearing on him...I know he is tired because we don't really talk when he comes home...He just crashes into bed and then is up again before the sun the next day. I worked 12 hours today in my office and I am exhausted. I can only imagine how he feels right about now with all the physical labor and heat he is dealing with these past few days.

I love my job. I know it pays the bills and I am oh-so-very thankful for employment in our current economy and even a job that I actually enjoy going to every day! However, I wish I was home more. And I REALLY wish I was home more when Chad and I could be here together. My house is a wreck right now and I feel like I never really "have it all together". I managed to sneak home and fold the giant pile of clothes last week but they are sitting there on the guest bed waiting to be put away. And now I am two loads behind again! My kitchen smells funny - which I can't seem to find the source of - took out the trash, no dirty dishes, scent checked the fridge - no luck. My dining room table is covered in...stuff. Mostly from where I cleaned off the kitchen counters. Depressing. And there are Gwendolen tumbleweeds blowing near the baseboards...from just 4 days of no vacuuming. Two lessons: you can't always have it all put together (meaning: not that I ever had it put together but for example...if I am succeeding at work, putting in lots of hours and getting my job done well, other areas of my life will fall behind). And two: I would rather spend time with the people I care about than clean my house. We went to Columbus this past weekend and saw people we loved. I went out last night to celebrate the birthday of a sweet friend with a bunch of other gals. And tomorrow - my only day off - I am choosing to spend it with my sister, ignoring the odd smell in the kitchen (ooo...maybe the chef can figure it out!). Hopefully the house cleaning will come in there somewhere but frankly, life is too short...

In other news, please pray for rain. It hasn't rained in over a month here, at least not enough to be considered the real thing. I realize there are places that are experiencing serious drought and the livelihood of entire communties are depending on that rain and I don't mean to minimize that. But we need it too. We need it to soak our land and keep the fires away. Sending people we love out to fire a forest fire is dangerous and rain is really the only thing that will stop it and keep the fires at bay.

Friday, August 26, 2011

making plans

We are in Columbus this weekend - no really - right now! Don't worry the neighbors with guns (no really - they do - its awesome!) are watching the house for us. We are here to celebrate my sweet friend J and the upcoming birth of Caleb in October. We hope to shower her with love and blessings tomorrow here at my parents house so we have lots to do in preparation! So, I'm just checking in!

However, I want to mention - I have been in Columbus for less than 12 hours and I have already seen my 3 best friends in the entire world (together! in one place!!) and eaten Ok Suns. For those of you that understand the implications of that - it is truly epic.  It has been a great day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

that cat.

In the summer, Chad gets up at 5am Monday through Thursday. He does his morning routine - dog walking, devotion reading, lunch making, feed the cat and the dog - and then he comes back to bed for a few minutes before we both get up at 6am. Wooby - our cat that can apparently tell time - gets up with him every morning. She knows he is going to feed her and she usually even hangs out with him while he lays on the couch and reads. Some mornings, however - take the weekends neither of us have to go to work as an example - we humans like to sleep a little later than 5am. Wooby does not like a change in her routine. She begins speaking loudly to us from the hallway outside our bedroom door. Chad, my dear, sweet husband can sleep through this nonsense. I cannot.

All that to say that sometimes this obnoxious early morning conversation can be helpful. Like this morning for example. Wooby started in right at 5am and I tried to ignore her for a while until I realized that Chad's alarm hadn't gone off. I woke him up around 5:20 and he was thankful for our furry alarm clock that seems to keep very good time.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Here on the celebration day of our 3rd anniversary, I can't help but feeling a little sentimental so if you don't like cheese, you might want to skip this post. You were warned...

We joke all the time that I did NOT marry a romantic. Considering his exact words were "so, you wanna get married, or what?", I think it is safe to say that my Chad - though he is many things - probably should not be called romantic. However, looking back over the years, I am starting to realize that the dude might be more romantic than I ever gave him credit for. Like many things are, I guess romance is in the eye of the beholder. I have tried in the most recent past to be more acutely aware of things that Chad does for me - trying to see them from his eyes, from his priority list, and from his heart - instead of just seeing them how I would normally see them. Every Friday when the trash gets taken out, he is blessing me. Every time he unloads the dishwasher - a job he knows I hate - he blesses me. Every time he gets up earlier than me and quietly ushers the dog out and closes the door so I can sleep for another blessed 30 minutes, he blesses me. I know these things don't really seem romantic and in the most traditional sense of the word they aren't. They are just daily necessities or small thoughtful moments that looking back are reminders of a romance that is sometimes unseen and unspoken.

Most recently though, Chad has done two things that he probably thought were not a big deal but I saw them as hugely romantic and almost tearfully recieved. First, he suggested that we take a picnic out tonight and eat at the park where we got married. And he suggested that the food be Chick-fil-a. I think that is a triple romance whammy. A picnic? In the park, at the table where our families sat when we got married? And Chick-fil-a? Guy knows how to win my heart. So that is our plan for tonight - our 3rd anniversary. I am hoping for a breezy, quickly cooling evening.

Second romantic moment...I got home from work today, changed clothes, let the dog out, and went to check the mail. My mom and my sister and Frannie somehow managed to perfectly plan the delivery of sweet anniversary notes (I can't ever get mail delivered on the right did you guys buy off the mailperson?!?). There was also a postcard from our trip to the Turks and Caicos, addressed to me from my husband. He could never have known that it would arrive today and probably couldn't have planned it if he had tried; I didn't even know he sent me a postcard while we were down there. But he thought of me. And he knew I would get it weeks later when I needed a reminder of a sweet, fun, memorable trip while struggling through the busy fall season at work. And he mailed me a postcard. I know - it doesn't seem like much - but those two things were so sweet, understated, perfectly CHAD that I am quickly reminded that I married the right guy for me and I am blessed every day to be his wife.

I do have a fun addition to our picnic tonight. I went by the cupcake store today and bought two cupcakes for us to share with our dinner. One that is lemon flavored - to remind us of the cupcakes my sister lovingly baked for our wedding. And the other is chocolate with peanut butter frosting - to remind us of the cake my best friend's mom baked us for our reception at my parent's house. I am loving trolling through sweet memories today and I am excited to spend the evening with my handsome, funny, smart, strong husband.

3 years!

I can’t believe that 3 years ago we were standing on that lake shore promising to “love each other, when it seems easy and when it seems hard”. It has been some of the most incredible years of my life, filled with experiences, memories, challenges, and triumphs. I am so honored, blessed, and thrilled to be his wife; I have the most hardworking, loyal, dedicated, strong, and faithful husband – blessings beyond what I would have ever believed had I not lived it these past 3 years.

We are having a picnic at the park where we got married for dinner. His idea. (and I say I didn't marry a romantic. Ha!)
Here’s to 80 more!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

i was wrong!!

As my sweet friend Dani pointed out in the last post's comments, I was wrong about the 3rd anniversary gift!  Oh NO! All my ideas are out the window.

Note to self: you rarely get comments on your blog. When you do, read them. They might be important.

So, LEATHER it is folks. Help me out!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

coming right up!

Our 3rd anniversary is coming up in just over a week and I am seriously struggling with what to get/do for my sweetie! The traditional gift is cotton - which might not be so bad - and the modern gift is china - which we do NOT need or want so that's out of the question! However, a nice new set of sheets for the bed or something might be nice...

Our friends Emily and David gave each other fun gifts for their 3rd but I can't seem to come up with any great ideas! 

I need suggestions!! What have you given your spouse that they really loved (and that hopefully wasn't expensive!) for an anniversary? It doesn't have to fit the cotton/china traditions but it might be fun to throw that in there too!  I have enough time to make something if I needed to but don't know what to make or get him. He is frugal, impossible to shop for, and a minimalist. Help me out!


As I reported here we got over 31 pounds of honey this year - so much in fact that we had to go buy more jars!

The first thing you do is cut the "caps" off the frames of honey. This is the newest, freshest wax that seals up each individual space in the honeycomb; it is also the wax that you will clean and save to make candles, lip balm, etc. - which we did! Well, I mean we saved it and cleaned it. We haven't actually made anything with it yet. You then put these now-dripping frames into the extractor. The extractor basically acts like a large centrifuge that spins the honey out of the comb, allowing it to drain to the bottom.

 This is the valve at the bottom of the extractor. The honey comes out of the valve and passes through two filters, decreasing in size. This gets out any bits of wax, debris, etc. You then use the valve at the bottom of the bucket to pour the honey into jars, after waiting at least 24 hours for the air bubbles to come out of the honey.

This is our final jarred honey. The largest of the jars is going to be used for the mead. The other three sizes will be for consumption! I especially love the little squatty, flat jars which were given to us by a sweet family friend.

A sticky wonderful mess!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Sorry it has been so quiet around here on the blog. This week at work was a bit crazy - I guess that is what taking a week off will get you - a pile of work to be done! I had at least 3 days where I worked 13+ hours and then also had to work Saturday. I do work on a flex schedule so essentially I can take the time off in the next two weeks but I am so busy with so much work to do that it might not exactly be possible.

Our vacation was amazing. The Turks and Caicos are an interesting little island chain made up of multiple smallish islands. The best part about them is the amazingly clear and colorful water. Varied shades of blue, turquoise, navy, and green - it was amazing. I am hoping that Chad's dad will share some of the pictures and videos that he took because I sort of took a camera hiatus. I borrowed my sister and Frannie's camera and I think I took a total of about 30 pictures. It was nice to not be the one behind the camera this time - and that means there are actually some pictures of me in there! It was also nice to turn off my cell phone for a week - I can't describe how amazing that was! No calls, no emails, no Facebook "dings" all week. Fabulous!

A few more super busy weeks at work, a baby shower for my sweet friend Jenna the last Saturday of this month (along with a trip to Columbus!) and if I can just get through September and October at work then things will start to settle down.

We processed honey yesterday and put it in jars today. We got at least 31 pounds of honey, spread over about 40 jars. We got enough to make a batch of mead (fermented honey, like a strong wine), keep some, give some as Christmas gifts, and even sell a little (and we have already had offers from the neighbors!!). It was a messy, sticky experience so thankfully it only happens once per year! Pictures to come...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

we're home!

I think that Shelley is planning on using this as her Christmas card picture this year so hopefully I am not ruining anything but just thought that you should see proof that we really did scuba dive together! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

going "stealth" - as they say.

My friend A talked here about going into "stealth mode" where you don't know where she is - and she likes it that way - and if she doesn't answer the phone, then she probably doesn't want to talk to you.... Well, I am going into stealth mode for the next week. I'm not quite as overt as she is - and I probably DO want to talk to you - but I will be phone and internet free for the next week (by choice!). I will have my phone on me and I will check is periodically but I will mostly be enjoying the crystal blue waters of the Turks and Caicos islands, spending time with Chad and the family, and hopefully eating my weight in good seafood.

See ya in a week!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

wanna help? i didn't think so.

So I thought that maybe if I publically announced all of the things I have to get done before we leave town on Friday then I will actually have to stop procrastinating and do them. So, here is it, the most intmidating to do list ever (ok, maybe that was an exaggeration):
- laundry. lots of it.
- fold and put away said laundry to I can effectively pack
- set out clothes to pack
- set out scuba gear to pack
- buy Dramamine.
- sweep floors
- mop floors
- change sheets
- clean kitchen, put away dishes
- pack
- clean out litter box
- set out animal stuff for dog/cat sitter
- get travel paperwork together
- give Gwen a bath and give animals meds
- finish up work stuff

I am sure there are a ton of other things...that is all my brain can think of for now.

maybe helpful - need a house?!

We have sweet friends who are officially putting their house on the market because they need something that is better for children (woohoo!). Not that posting their house on my blog is going to help it sell any faster since I have about 3 readers, none of whom live in Chattanooga, but hey - it can't hurt right? Any advertisement is good advertisement!!

So, if you are looking for a beautiful, well-maintained home in a lovely neighborhood - which is super convenient to shopping, grocery stores, and easy to get to from downtown - THIS is the one!

Check it out on her blog and see a link to their MLS listing! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

about time.

Sorry, it is about darn time for an update!  Great things are happening to us this week and we had a wonderful week last week. I am continually reminded of God's faithfulness in knowing the perfect time for things to happy in our lives and for pouring out blessings on our sadly undeserving little lives.

We sold my car this past week. After multiple rounds in the newspaper and on Craigslist, it appears that the third time really is the charm. Sold it to a sweet mom for her teenage sons to drive and to get her back and forth from Cleveland to work. They were excited and kept thanking me and I kept telling them that it was ME that was thankful that they were allowing us to get something different that worked better for us. The son even said "I didn't sleep last night I was so excited!" which blesses me a lot. I have a lot of great memories in that car - from it being a surprise the night my parents bought it for me - Thanks mom and dad! - to doing the long-distance relationship thing with Chad until we finally got married. It's taken me a lot of places and hopefully they will love it as much as I did.

Got to see Harry Potter yesterday. It was a great movie - one of my favorites of the series. However, I am a bit sad that it is over! I absolutely loved the books and wish the story kept going on for much longer but it was fun while it lasted! Now, I can re-read the books again and enjoy them even more!

Then, last night, we went to the Honda dealership to just look at a car and came home with one!! We've been looking at used cars for sooo long and disucssing the details and how much we want to spend and hemming/hawing about things that I am thrilled that it is finally done! And it just happened to work out that we got one the day we sold my car. Talk about Amazing Timing. We got a 2008 Honda Fit and it is - in keeping with tradition - bright red! It gets almost double the miles per gallon that I was getting so hopefully it will be a money saver for us! We've saved and been very thoughtful and were cautious about what we were willing to sell my car for and were blessed with a gift from my mom. All that together means that we were able to pay cash for this car, which we are incredibly proud of. We didn't want another loan - other than our house - and don't like debt hanging over our heads so we are thrilled that when they cash that check we will be debt free on this car!

Lastly, we leave for our trip to the beautiful Turks and Caicos on Saturday of this week! We could not be having a better week though we have a TON of stuff to get done between now and then! Exciting times ahead!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

praise the Lord!

We have a buyer for my car. I am so excited. It means that we can finally start looking at other cars and making a decision about what we will do next. She is going to bring me the money and we will sign the paperwork on Saturday which is good because I need to drive it the rest of the week, including a trip back down to Atlanta. We are even getting pretty close to what we really wanted to see it for so that is good news in itself. So, praise the Lord for His timing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

sigh of relief.

My Chad is finally home. After 16 days gone from home, he's back and I am thrilled. Our official trip countdown can begin and we are already at 13 days! I think even Chad is getting excited.

Back to work for two weeks - hopefully I will have something better/more exciting to say in the near future. Early morning tomorrow after a week off (ugh!) and my gym buddy is ditching because our schedules are changing. Gonna make it so hard!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

happy to be home.

Finally back in Chattanooga after so many days away (seems like a lifetime but 5 days about sums it up).  Gwendolen and I are travel weary - feels like we have been in the car for days. We spent the night with my sister and Frannie last night and between their 3 dogs and 4 cats, Gwendolen was super ready to be home. She is taking a well-deserved nap at the moment and I am putting things away from our trip. I'll do a couple of loads of laundry today and tomorrow and anxiously await Chad's return. He will be exhausted and super ready to be home and I will have plenty of smoky laundry to do! I can't tell you how happy I will be to see the guy - the whole theory of "absence makes the heart grow fonder" might actually be true. 16 days apart is far too long...and now I am looking even more forward to getting to spend a week on a tropical island with him. The countdown for that trip starts now - 2 weeks from tomorrow!!  I have a couple of big work things coming up for the next few weeks so at least I will stay busy and not have issues with focusing!

Scuba class tonight for me and the rest of the crew (minus Chad, of course). It isn't as much a training class as it is a test out all of your equipment kind of class. I have some new stuff that I need to use before we go and I will be renting some of the more expensive stuff so I will be using the specific things I will be renting for our trip tonight. Looking forward to a bit more pool time and some hanging out...

Have a couple of people interested in my car. Hope something works out on that front this week!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

traveling fiends.

Gwendolen and I are in Atlanta spending the day with my sister and Frannie. Their house is home to 4 cats and 3 dogs so to say that Gwendolen is stressed out is probably an understatement.  She is nervous and worked up and sorta freaked out. Hopefully she will settle tonight and will sleep some so she won't keep me up. I will be thankful to get home tomorrow to get a few projects done and get ready for Chad's return on Saturday (I can not tell you how much I am looking forward to that!!)

Monday, July 4, 2011

i've arrived.

I got to Columbus about 5 yesterday after having left Chattanooga about 1:30. Not bad drive, traffic wasn't even that bad, but I did hit a few pretty nasty storms south of Atlanta - an especially bad one just as I was getting into Columbus. Gwen was nervous but we arrived safe and sound. No big plans today - hope to get to see my bff tonight if she gets back into town in time. I am going to make PW's Cinnamon Rolls today and hope to give most of them away to friends and family that I will see this week. But of course, keep just enough to ruin my diet. :)

Headed to north GA tomorrow with mom and the cousins to go to a museum. I get taken a lot of cool places with my mom - she makes sure that I am somewhat cultured. Chad is fine - a bit tired but hoping for an afternoon off in the near future (tomorrow maybe??) to eat a real dinner and head to the beach.  More later...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

can you believe it?

I'm not saying that my sweet husband can be a distraction but it is apparent that I would rather spend time with him than clean or do yard work on a normal basis.
Why do I say that, you ask? Here is a list off all the things I have gotten done in the week he has been gone by way of a recap:
- gave Gwendolen a bath singlehandedly (an accomplishment!!)
- gave Wooby her topical flea/tick/heartworm medicine (required me to wrap her in a towel while she screamed at me - not fun.)
- re-caulked the master shower
- did approx. 6 loads of laundry
- folded put away approx. 12 loads of laundry (don't ask - it's embarrassing)
- 3 loads of dishes
- 2 craft projects (at least one can be seen here)
- mowed the grass in the front and back yard (p.s. the palms of my hands hurt from pushing the lawn mower. does that make me a pansy?)
- vacuumed every room in the house with carpet
- swept and mopped/swiffered all the hard wood floors
- went to the gym 4 out of 5 days this week (skipped on lawn mowing day - thought I would get my workout - and I did!)
- weeded and mulched front flower beds
- cleaned off dining room table
- cleaned bathrooms
- changed sheets on the bed (technically this is tomorrow morning so we will come home to clean sheets next weekend but I will consider it done)
- washed/dried/ replaced cover for couch so it will NOT be covered in dog hair when we get back next weekend (since the Gwen-hair-machine is going with me to leave hair at my parents house...wahaha).
- bought tomato cages and put on tomatoes cause they were getting out of control (still need 2 more - we had more 'maters than I thought!)
- bought sale signs for my car (giving in!) and put them in the windows

I am sure there were other things but I can't think of them at the moment.
Also, I did my best to not eat out, to eat healthier, and to not buy groceries this week - attempting to eat stuff we have in the house. I did fabulously! I only ate out once and it was with Chad's family so it was sort of excused. I finally treated myself to Chick-fil-a while running errands today but I had a gift card so I didn't even spend money on it - which was my goal this week - spend as little money as possible and get tons of stuff done!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

coming up next...

My next post will be #750. I still can't believe that I've stuck with it and had this much to say. Hopefully I can keep it going for a long time...I really like the act of documenting our lives and being able to read it later and share with other people.

Working a half day tomorrow then coming home and probably mowing the grass. Though I think I am supposed to wait until it is about to rain or something? How does that work?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

fire update.

Fire is still about 30% contained but Chad expects that might change drastically (for the better) after an aerial mapping that occurred today. The acres burned made a huge jump to over 30,000 acres burned (a 35% increase over yesterday) because they did some back-burning to burn up fuel inside the containment area. He said some of the guys from GA got to go home either today or will head home tomorrow but so far, we aren't that lucky. Some rain yesterday helped things and even gave him the evening off today so that is a major praise. A good night's sleep will hopefully make tomorrow more pleasant. Please keep praying for rain, patience, safety, and great attitudes all around. I miss him!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

we're hiring!

The Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians is hiring!

The position in the Chattanooga office is working up front, answering calls and questions, helping in the shop, etc.

If you are interested, check out our website at: and go to the "About GS" tab at the top. Choose the "employment opportunities" link and see what is available!

still burning.

This website said that the fire is now 30% contained but burned another 5% in acreage yesterday. Chad said they got some rain (Praise the Lord!!) yesterday too but it wasn't enough obviously to put things out. And containment means a lot more than just putting out flames too...they need a few days of pretty constant downpours to really help things out. So, still praying for rain...

Monday, June 27, 2011

another night.

Long day at work today - they are working on the roof of our building and it requires a lot of banging, scraping, thunking, bonking, dragging, and loud conversation. Not very friendly to my work environment. Gonna be a good week of getting things done and big plans. Big meeting tomorrow night that I am responsible for, small group Wednesday night, dinner and beverages with a friend Thursday night and then it is Friday!  Did I mention that our office is closed all week next week and I get to travel?!? Woohoo!

After spaghetti and some vino tonight, I am finishing 3 big cleaning projects before I leave town: the sweeping and vacuuming of all the floors (goodbye Gwendolen tumbleweeds!), cleaning off the dining room table (I'm embarrased to let anyone in my house!), and folding the biggest pile of clean laundry you have ever seen (I might actually take a picture and let you see it because it is so impressive. It will make you feel better about all of your own housecleaning. Trust me.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

old bananas.

My goal while Chad is gone this week and I am home is to not eat out the entire time and eat up some of the weird, random things in the pantry and freezer. This is not only an effort to save money but to also make some room to do some serious grocery shopping when he gets back/when we get back from our trip in a few weeks. We love bananas but tend to quickly eat all but one and it sits on the counter until it turns a funny/gross color. Today, in admiring what was in the freezer, I realized that I had at least 6 frozen bananas waiting to make something yummy. I had been meaning to make banana bread for a while so I did that and it is currently baking and making my kitchen smell a-maz-ing. I will enjoy this for breakfast this week - a slice on the way to the gym should get me through my workout to my cereal.

I also found another recipe on a blog/website that I linked to from P-Dub's Tasty Kitchen website. This recipe is for banana ice cream - except it is just frozen bananas and milk. Since my fruit was already frozen, I thought "why not??". Again - amazing. And it used up another three of my frozen bananas so now I only have to figure out what to do with two more!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I made it myself!

My grandmother had this really awesome thing hanging near her clothes lines down in South GA. and we are trying to save energy and hang our clothes outside too (when the weather cooperates - ask me about last week's very, very wet clothes!!). I only used what memories I have of her clever clothespin holder but hopefully I would have done her proud. Hers had a hanger in the inside that went through a hole at the top but I thought a pants hanger with clips would be easier and would hold plenty of weight. Clothes pins don't weigh that much anyway!  So, two pieces of coordinating fabric out of my scrap stash and a pants hanger from a Walmart 3-pack at around $1.25 each made for a really inexpensive solution! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

good day.

It was a really good day today, despite the fact that Chad left at 5:30 this morning and will be gone 2 weeks. I wrapped up working at a can you believe it is this hot and humid outside, is it even possible to breathe out here?? day camp today and loved it but I am sorta glad it is over. It was fun and exhausting - you know that feeling of having to be on your toes all the time - yeah, I just lived that. I still want to work at G.S. camp every summer and can't figure out how to swing it.

Tonight I went on a date with my in-laws. We ate at Olive Garden (I believe my feelings for Portabello Ravioli and Berry Sangria are well documented) and then saw Water for Elephants. I read the book but it has been a while so I wasn't too terribly offended when it didn't stick strictly to the story line. It was decent though that vampire guy (yes, I know his name...) was hard to believe as Reese Witherspoon's love interest. I do think that I caught a glimpse of Lookout Mtn. in the background of one scene and even though I might have imagined it, I will just continue to believe.

I also just got to Skype with my sweetie. Bless the inventor of Skype, even more than Facebook. Dare I even!?  He took our older laptop with him so we could at least see each other in the next two weeks while we are apart. Please keep praying for safety, health, and a lot of rain!!  Apparently they made some good strides today but it is still a large fire that is being hard to control.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

oh life.

We had the most non-eventful, sweet small group on Wednesday night. We got to finally meet sweet baby Ella (photos of her cuteness can be found there on Emily's blog) and she is absolute perfection. Don't worry - no baby jealous here. I still like 'em best when you can love on them and then give them back!  There weren't many of us and we were happy to just hang out together and chat. Don't really know how Chad feels about nights like that but I love them - times when we can just all sit around and laugh and hang out. Frankly, it is better than the super goofy and only partly-enjoyed or accurate video series we have been watching (come on folks, you know you ALL feel like I do!!)

Biggest news on the homefront is that Chad got called out this morning to head to a fire in North Carolina for the next 16 days. Yep. 2 weeks. It will be the longest time we have been apart since we got married close to 3 years ago. Amazing huh? A week is as much as we have managed so far so it should be interesting. We had some travel plans in that time that will have to get put on hold but I am going to Columbus for a bit so at least I won't be alone the whole time. For any potential stalkers out there, I have a FABULOUS neighborhood and even better street full of people who are looking out for me. I'm not worried a bit...oh and a dog that will eat you and an alarm system that is stellar.  I'm gonna miss him tons - and of course worry about him even more - so please do me a favor and add him to your prayer list just a bit more these next two weeks. He leaves super early tomorrow morning to travel to NC and will either come back when the fire gets put out or 16 days from now, which ever comes first.  In all his amazingness, he got off work early today to prepare and he's done dishes, cleaned up the laundry room, done a load of laundry, put away beer making supplies, and is changing the oil in my car.  He is so incredible.

p.s. I tye-dyed at day camp with the kiddos today. My hands are blue.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

for my dad.

This is for my Dad - who I don't think even reads my blog (hey mom, help the guy out!!):

Thanks Dad -
for every time you gave me gas money,
for every basketball game you sat through that I barely played in and for cheering me on when I did,
for telling me that you are proud of me every time I brought home good grades and telling me that you knew I could do better when I brought home grades that weren't so great (because you knew I really could),
for every hug and kiss,
for every "don't come home late" knowing I was going to anyway,
for paying for a year of my college tuition when I bombed a math class and refused to agree with a philosophy teacher and lost my scholarship,
for buying me a car (ahem - or 3 cars.),
for rasing me to be dependable, honest, thoughtful, independent, and happy,
for loving my mom and my sisters and me,
for sacrificing for us for many, many years so that we could have a great life, go to a great school, take amazing summer vacations,
for taking me and my sister to Hawaii and Mexico when you could have left us home with the grandparents,
for being excited to see me when I come home now,
for calling me "Pooh Bear" - my most endeared nickname (I guess I'm telling family secrets here...),
for telling Chad - when he asked for my hand in marriage - that "I just want her to be happy." because I truly am.

I am so thankful, blessed, and honored to be your daughter. Hope you have a wonderful Father's Day and I am sorry that I am not there with you but I promise, I will be soon!! See you in 16 days!

P.S. I am also thankful for my father-in-law who treats me like his own daughter. I married into a wonderful family and I am eternally grateful.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Saturn Vue

Ok, folks - I would really like to sell my 2003 Saturn Vue.  Any takers??
Here are the details:
2003 Saturn Vue AWD
4 cyl. (means it gets pretty decent gas mileage for a SUV - 18 city and 24 hwy)
we are asking $5,500 for it but we would negotiate a bit if necessary.

NEW TIRES (Hankook brand - approx $700 value)
NEW A/C compressor (recently installed - $700 value)

Interior and exterior are actually in really good condition - just minor wear and tear that is expected.
CD/FM/AM stereo - all speakers are working

Let me know if you need more info! 
Have a friend that might want to buy it?  Just let me know!

bending the river.

It has been a busy week this week and I could not have been happier to see Friday afternoon come and see a blank box on my calendar for Saturday. Ahhh - feels like a breath of fresh air. Chad and I braved Riverbend again last night to see Alan Jackson. I'll admit - I love country music and Chad - doesn't so much. Obviously he went because he loves me and pretty much no other reason (I mean, he couldn't let me brave that drunken, loud, sweaty crowd alone right??). We lucked out with really good seats thanks to some friends of Chad's parents who had their chairs out all week and weren't using them all so they let us sit with them - basically front and center. It was good! I knew pretty much every song he played so it was a fun concert. We did sneak out before it was over because we didn't want to have to weave through the crowd again and didn't want to get stuck in traffic - though we were parked probably a good mile away. I'm glad we went and that I experienced Riverbend for the first time this year. However, now I know that I won't really be going back unless there is a band I am really interested in seeing - that crowd is something else!!

Today we literally have nothing on the schedule. We've talked about going to the pool somewhere today but it is a bit overcast so we might wait and see. Chad let me sleep in super late this morning (9:00 - gasp!!) and he was up doing stuff around the house for a while before I got up. Cleaned up a huge mess from brewing a batch of beer yesterday afternoon, watered plants, put up my hammock, etc. He is so beyond fabulous - I am so lucky to have a driven, dedicated, sweet husband like him - and one that even braves country music concerts just to hang out with me!

Monday, June 13, 2011

small wins.

I ended up having quite a successful day of getting things done around the house yesterday. After feeling good enough to eat some lunch, I tackled washing and hanging out to dry my 3 loads of laundry (so very eco-friendly – I love my 2 – yes 2 – clotheslines in the backyard) but I do NOT love crunchy towels so those went in the dryer. Small steps here. I vacuumed up the Gwendolen dust bunnies, cleaned up the kitchen, folded last week’s laundry (yes. embarrassed.), cleaned up my car, organized in the living room/dining room, and watched the end of a movie/documentary called “Born into Brothels” (which was fascinating, sad, and beautiful all at the same time).

Back at work today. It’s gonna be a long week of not a whole lot going on. I have decided that as much as I hate being out at night and working the weekends when I could be at home hanging out with Chad that I really love the flexibility it gives me in my schedule. Because I can flex off the extra time whenever I want to (within two weeks), I can get haircuts, go grocery shopping, etc. when other people are still at work. And not waiting in line is super nice.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

not as planned.

Up until 2am this morning, I was having a great weekend. We had an absolute blast yesterday up at the lake with friends and family. Rode the jet ski a bit, rode an inflatable couch with Chad and Megan and fell off twice (totally cleared my sinuses with lake water), and even tried to water ski after an 8 year hiatus and a history of never really being able to. We then went to the drive-in movie last night down in Trenton, GA. It is a super fun - and even cheap - way to watch movies. They have two "screens" that each show two first-run movies. We watched the new X-Men movie and the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean - and it only costs $5 for each person.The other screen was showing the new Kung Fu Panda movie and Water for Elephants. The food in the concession stand is even really reasonably priced! It is a great, inexpensive, fun night. However, for obvious reasons, the movies can't start until the sun goes down - which last night was at least 9:30pm. I thought we were only staying for the first movie (X-Men) but somehow I got outvoted and we stayed for both, leaving there at 2:30 in the morning. When we were leaving, my stomach didn't feel good (I'll admit - I ate nachos at like 11:30 at night - always a bad idea) but I just thought I was tired and cranky and didn't think much of it. This morning, I got up at 7am to gather my stuff and head to meet the SCUBA folks to go do two of my checkout dives in the super cold quarry. Alas, my stomach had some other ideas in mind.

One of the things that they stressed in our class was not to dive if you don't feel well - it won't be fun and it is dangerous for a number of reasons. Well, not only did I not feel well, I couldn't get very far from the toilet for a while (sorry - was that too graphic?? I was trying not to be!). I decided - much to my frustration and embarrassment  - that pulling on a tight wetsuit, being in the sun for hours, and doing to deeper dives was probably not going to be a good idea for today.  I am super frustrated and upset about it because I am now an entire day of dives behind and unless I can get them done before our trip, I've just lost a day of fun diving (which was the whole point in doing it today). I am hoping that there will be another opportunity to go and get some dives in before we go but now I just feel like a wuss, I know that everyone will basically be waiting on me, my instructor will have to take time out of his schedule to meet me and get these dives in - the list can go on. I am frustrated, upset, and annoyed that today didn't really go as planned.

I feel quite a bit better now, though I am not sure how I will feel after I eat something. I almost wish I had gone but I can't imagine how bad I would feel if something went wrong that far from home, wearing a wetsuit and all my SCUBA gear. Not fun. So, I am sure I made the right decision but I am going to be home and mad all day. Plus - I need to clean and do laundry. Double bummer.

Friday, June 10, 2011

gearing up.

I am pretty excited about a fun weekend coming up…though Chad is going to miss most of the fun because he is teaching another lifeguarding class Thursday night, all day Friday, and Sunday. We are headed out tomorrow afternoon (after sleeping in till a late 8am – that’s always our goal. Lofty huh?) to the lake house of friends of Chad’s parents. Incidentally, these are some of the friends that are going on the dive trip with us in July and the husband was my dive instructor. They are hilarious, fun, sweet people and I am looking forward to spending some time above the water with them! There are also jet skis involved so I am a happy girl. Sunday is church like normal but then we are going up to the quarry to get some of our check out dives out of the way (giving us more leisurely dive time in the Turks and Caicos). That water is going to be crazy cold but it should be a fun day. I am glad we aren’t waiting as many weeks before we do these dives so maybe I will remember all the important information that I learned!! Hopefully there are pictures to come – though I am always afraid of getting the camera wet. Maybe I should just buy a cheap, underwater disposable! J

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Just wrapped up an exciting weekend of SCUBA class and I passed. Made 100 on all the written tests and did every skill necessary to progress to the open water checkout dives (which I will do in 7 weeks in the beautiful Turks and Caicos islands). I told Chad that I think it is a major accomplishment that I only cried once and I didn't punch anyone in the face (especially the very lucky - or maybe unlucky? - instuctor that had to turn off my air tank underwater so I would know what running out of air felt like.) I have discovered that as long as I stay busy doing things that I don't have a problem with anxiety. It is when I get bored and have time to think that I have a problem. I have to go to the doctor and get cleared to do my checkout dives because of my migraines and prescriptions association with them but I have plenty of time to do that.

Check that off the list and now all I really need to go is find my equipment to rent and get my passport and I am ready to travel!

Friday, June 3, 2011

it'll be quiet.

Well, just a forewarning that you should not expect to hear from me all weekend. After spending Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights studying and reading and watching videos, Meg and I have our SCUBA class all weekend. Tonight, all day tomorrow, and Sunday afternoon/evening. Chad and I also have our week in the kids church so it is going to be a full, fun, and exhausting weekend.

Going to Dalton this afternoon to drop off my friend/co-worker/gym-buddy K to meet her husband. They are leaving for a week of vacation and I’m super jealous (not that my turn isn’t coming and she can be jealous!). Just having a week off work with no worries is such a blessing. Hopefully I can make a stop into the outlet malls nearby and see if I can find a couple of things for our trip…

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

for my sister.

Monday, May 30, 2011

SCUBA lesson #1.

I had my first SCUBA lesson last night with Chad's dad B. It was more of a "get to know the equipment and see if Paula freaks out" sorta lesson but helpful none-the-less. I was super, duper nervous...the idea of being under the water with all that stuff on and the weight of the water on top of me was causing me some serious anxiety. (I've been promised that I can still gon on our fancy diving trip even if I decide snorkelling is more my style.) I actually felt a lot better and calmer than I thought I would.After a few adjustments to the gear,  I felt like I could breath a lot better and much less panicky.  There were a few times when I sort of felt like I was talking myself off a ledge, thinking "don't cry in public" and I think I managed to not make a fool of myself. There were a TON of kids in the pool so they were good distractions - curious, asking dad B a lot of questions, and then telling me that when I went underwater that they would swim around and "be fish" for me to look at. The most difficult part was getting my ears to clear at the bottom of the deep end. Not really knowing what I was doing or how to fix it was frustrating and painful; it is different for everyone and the techniques are varied so I just had to try things until I fixed it and it was sweet relief!  This is apparently the most difficult part for most beginners so it makes me feel a bit better.

My true SCUBA class is this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so I will be learning a lot at a rather quick pace. I wish that dad B was going to be my instructor because I know he is understanding and patient but it will be a friend of his instead. He is going to come and he knows how nervous I am about it so hopefully it will go really well. I think that I am most nervous about getting in the open water to do my checkout dive once we get to the Turks and Caicos. I am totally OK in the pool - love the pool because I know I can only go 10 feet down. The ocean feels so limitless and to be certified you have to stay 20 feet down for 20+ minutes...yikes. Hopefully there will be a sweet someone there to distract me....which there will. Chad is going to be my diving partner for this trip and I can't think of anyone who I would rather have the experience with!

Headed to buy tires for my car today (major ugh!  It is still for sale though!! Any takers now that it will have a new AC and new tires?!? Perfect for your summer travels!!) and then we are having lunch with Chad's family - cookout style for Memorial Day.

P.S. a HUGE Thank you to all the men and women who have selflessly served in our military through the years and still today. To those in my family who have served and those I will never meet, I am so thankful and appreciative of your dedication and willingless to do what it takes so that I can have my freedom. I recognize the sacrifices that are made every day by those brave folks and I know that I live in an amazing, free country because of you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

big reveal.

These are a teenie part of the Turks and Caicos islands, located west of Cuba and southeast of the Bahamas.
 I'll say hello for you when we are there for a week in late July. 
No seriously!
Chad's parents invited us to go on a scuba diving trip with them the last week of July and we thought long and hard about it and finally said yes. It will require us to take a week off work, use most of our available vacation time, and I will have to renew my passport (to the stinky tune of $200 because I will have to expedite it) but we think that it is something that we can't pass up!  Chad is already scuba certified from taking it as a P.E. in college (why did I think of that?!?  walking for fitness just isn't the same!!) so I will need to bust my behind to get finished with that by then but it should be totally worth it.

I'm trying to not think about it too much or the next two months will be close to unbearable. I don't have any reason to think that it won't happen so I am not worried about getting my hopes up but I also don't want to not be able to focus on anything else for the next 8 weeks! 

Anyone interested in babysitting one insane dog and a cracked-out cat for a week in July? :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

small victories.

I have spent the morning cleaning up in our spare room. Since Chad finished the attic stairs and storage area, I have been going through things to put up there and store away. Mostly things from my childhood that I am not ready to part with quite yet but it is just so much stuff! I have cleared out, thrown away, and made another Goodwill box even after taking a huge load of stuff not too long ago.

And lo-and behold- I found my passport. It has been lost since we moved a year ago - just boxed up with a bunch of other junk.  It is still no good since my name has been changed edging in on 3 years now *whoa* but it saves me a bit of paperwork to declare it "lost or stolen" and to use it as my proof that I say I am who I say I am. I was also a bit attached to it because it has all my stamps and visa from my last trip to India and my trip to Europe with my bff Jess. Thankfully they send it back, since they know we are all pretty emotional about saving this type of thing, right??

Chad is teaching a lifeguarding class through tomorrow night so I have the rest of the day today to clean and organize and all afternoon tomorrow as well. I am actually enjoying make some space and organizing things that have just been sitting around since we bought this house a year ago. Time sure does fly...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

help me out ladies!

I need some help from all the ladies out there...

I need to buy one or two new bathing suits. I have a coule of pretty specific requirements...

1. They need to be one piece.
I know - lame. I am just not comfortable with the get the rest. I am not the skinniest kid on the block and I don't like to be tugging up or down on the thing while I am trying to have fun in the water (tankini MIGHT  be an option but I would have to try it on and dance around in the dressing room - not so cute!) so one-piece it is.

2. I would like to NOT spend a fortune.
Lands End has a special place in my heart and I have absolutely loved the other 2 bathing suits I have from then but they are so gosh, darn expensive. I can almost justify spending $80 on a bathing suit because I know I will get a couple of years of wear out of them but not quite.

3. The more functional the better.
I don't mind patterns and designs and color but beads, metal embellishments, etc. are totally not my style. Straps that stay put, leg holes that stay where you put them (i.e. no wedgies!) and so on... I know. I'm super lame.

My very favorite suits of all time are my Tyr Brand lifeguarding bathing suits (double layered, cross back amazingness)...but they are also a little pricey and I will probably need to get 2.

So, help me out. Where are your favorite bathing suits from?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

still quiet.

I'm not doing so great at posting recently, mostly because life just goes on as normal sometimes. Work is normal, house is normal, animals are normal - of course, normal has many definitions.

Chad was out on a fire till around 11 last night and is back at it again tonight. We had plans to eat with Emily and David from our small group tonight because we were going to be the only 2 couples there tonight. It was foiled a little bit by Chad still being at work but I went anyway and I am glad I did. I got to experience Jet's Pizza for the first time (um...hello yummy!) and got to have great, uninterrupted conversation. Sometimes it is actually really fun to be the third wheel and to give and get undivided attention from such a great, sweet couple.

Chad and I have been offered a really cool opportunity to travel (for pleasure) this summer and we are pondering it really hard. It is sort of a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing and we are having a little trouble making a decision - not because it wouldn't be amazing and fabulous and cool but there are just a lot of other sort of stinky "we are trying to be adults" parts of the decision too. I will share more details as we make our choice...obviously, if we decide to go, you are going to hear a LOT about it!  As a teaser, I will have to get a new passport if we decide it is something we can do...

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Prepare for the sap-mobile to roll into it comes.

I have this picture on my desk at work and I love it. It is next to the phone that I answer 100 times a day so I see it all the time and think of him 100's of times a day...
I am so blessed to have a husband that I not only love but I actually LIKE to hang out with. I look forward to coming home to him at night, talking to him, laughing with him, making memories with him.
Gosh, crazy about that guy...


It has been an uneventful, though slightly busy, week so far. Monday and Tuesday were pretty painless - no evening meetings or nights away from my sweetie (woohoo!). I even managed to fit in a little grocery shopping and dinner cooking - go me!  Wednesday I spend the entire day in Knoxville - left at 7:30 in the morning and go home around 9 last night - for a strategy meeting for next year's cookie sale. It was interesting, informative, and I am glad to sort of see the "backside" of the cookie sale from the pre-planning point of view. Worked a full day today and I will work about a half day tomorrow. I am actually going whitewater rafting at the Nantahala with a group of girls on our adventure team. I skipped out on the caving (no thank you!!)  and the llama trekking (totally would have!) but this I couldn't pass up!  (Note: I still can't find the beloved Chacos - did I leave them at your house??)

Hanging out with my sweetie tomorrow afternoon.
My awesome momma is coming Sunday afternoon when I get back from rafting. Rocks my world, it does.  We are trying to find a place to go horseback riding, preferrably in the battlefield. Any suggestions?  If not, we will just stay home and fold clothes. Sounds like a good time huh?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

for my sister.

I really enjoy cooking. Anything really - baking is fun and always smells great, dinner always feels like an accomplishment after a day's work, and spur-of-the moment, trying new things is always fun stuff as well. However - and I have always been really clear about this - I hate doing the dishes. I mean really, really, really dislike it. Maybe I should have gone to culinary school so someone else would do my dishes now. :)

We have a wee-tiny birds nest in one of our boston ferms on the front porch. Today Chad discovered that it has 4 even teenier (is that a word?) eggs in it now. They are probably the size of a dime - maybe slightly larger - somewhere between a nickel and a dime - white with brown/black speckles on them. Can't wait to see when they hatch.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

my bad.

I get all cranky and annoyed when other people don't blog for a week because they have nothing to say. And then I do the exact same thing. Literally, nothing to say. I give you permission to be cranky and annoyed.

Job changes at work this week. Nothing too exciting. Pretty much doing what I have always been doing except different somehow. More work in some areas, less work in some. Still don't know how it will look as far as my many nights and weekends working will go. I will let you know when it becomes more clear.

Still haven't sold the car. Must sell it before we can buy another. Really wish that would happen soon. Don't really know where else to post it. Any suggestions?

We have not turned the air conditioner on in our house yet this spring. Haven't had the heat on since probably the end of Feb. so we are trying to make it 3 months with a nice low electric bill and hold out till the end of May. Not sure that is going to happen since I am sitting here sweating and can't sleep at night. It did reach a blasted 92 degrees outside today so this can't last that much longer before I'm ready to put up a fight.

Small group tonight. I have worked Monday night, Tuesday night, have to work tomorrow night, and then leaving Friday afternoon to spend the weekend at camp (through Sunday). Work much?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

want to buy my car?

Still trying to sell my car!

Posted it on Facebook here.

Posted it on Craigslist here

Will send pictures of you want to see them...

Monday, May 2, 2011


The news media is so interesting and spurs such fascinating commentary on the world around us. We float from one news story to another – storms, royal weddings, and now dead terrorists. We flit from one emotion to another, never landing long enough to wonder where those deep feelings come from.

I am not sure about how I feel about all of this excitement and joy over the death of another human being. Before you jump all over me and tell me what a horrible person he was and how many Americans he helped kill and how he was the September 11th mastermind, let me assure you – I get that. He deserved to be punished – I believe that there should be a consequence for your negative actions, just like there can be rewards for positive ones. Yes, Osama bin Laden was a bad man who encouraged his followers to do harm instead of good. But do I get to judge him? Do I get to say that his sins were worse than my daily sins of unforgiveness, or jealousy, or anger? Does God see sin like that – different levels of heaven or hell, depending on how heinous your crimes might have been? I don’t really think so. Do I have the right to dance in the streets because one man was brought down by some brave men in our military? Do you honestly think that killing one man will bring down an entire terrorist organization or solve all our problems? And do you truly think that those radical members didn’t dance in the street when thousands of our citizens died?

I am a peace loving person. I deeply wish we could finally get to the place where we beat all of our swords into plowshares and where nations will no longer train for war (Isaiah and Micah got it right!). But, I also know we aren’t there yet. I understand the concept of “an eye for an eye”. And I do believe that a punishment was in store. But I can’t bring myself to be excited about it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

an offer.

Chad spent the better part of last week, including most of the day Wednesday, helping the city and county clear trees from roadways to ensure that emergency vehicles could get where they need to be. He has some great chainsaw skills - careful, trained, and hardworking - but of course, I am not a bit biased.

Here is Chad's offer: he will come help you clear trees/debris out of your yard/off of your house if you need him to. I can't - no skillz, you see. He will have Friday off work completely so it would be a great day if you need some help. He says he can also possibly take some other days off work, especially if they won't be called in to work with the city this week. I know that most people that read my blog don't live in the Chattanooga/Ringgold area but either way, this is an offer. If you need help or are interested, just let us know. You can leave a comment or contact us on our cell phones if you have that number...

short update.

I just cleaned 3 bags of trash from my fridge and freezer - food that was purchased that we can no longer eat and probably the most sad of all - veggies that Chad so painstakingly froze from last summer. However, much was saved from the freezer and taken to the townhouse so we really only just lost what was in the fridge. All that to say - I'm not complaining or even really all that sad about it, now that I think of it. My house is fine and all of my family is safe, uninjured, and accounted for. There are others in our church family, work family, and community that are not so fortunate. Chad's high school is completely destroyed along with most of the rest of Ringgold, GA - - either damaged or just gone.  I have distinct memories of being in India a few short years ago and hearing about a tornado that damaged my own high school - that feeling of helpless fear, anger, and sadness - and that building wasn't even completely destroyed. Even those individuals who have found their families unharmed or just have minor damage, there is this uncomfortable, pervading feeling that everything you have always known is gone - all things familiar are different now. I can not fathom the emotions, worries, and fears that are happening in Alabama, North GA, and Tennessee right now. Please, please keep all those effected by these storms in your prayers.