The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

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

Saturday, March 31, 2012


A biased birthday post.

I am married to an amazing guy.
He is kind, patient, self-less and sacrificial.
He does so many things around our house that *he thinks* go unnoticed but just to take care of our home.
He is funny, good-looking, strong, loyal, and dedicated.

My mom and I had a conversation a few weeks ago looking back on the day we got married. I don't think either one of us really knew what I was getting into. And it turned out even better than either of us could have imagined.

I just sat here and listened to him have a conversation with his older sister about going to church. We took our nephew with us last week, upon Chad's request. Listening to him describe our church and how he feels about the community we have found there nearly brought me to tears. Knowing that he wants his family to experience Jesus in that community based setting is water to my soul.

He is one year older and wiser. And I can't wait to spend many more years with him.

Birthday boy.

Yesterday was Chad's birthday and we sadly, did nothing exciting. I know, epic wife fail. I didn't even buy him a present. Yep. It was that lame. In fact, he spent about 6 hours yesterday working on a leaking sink and toilet - replacing parts, 3 trips to Ace, and lots of banging and bumping and tools dropping that sent Gwendolen to hide in the other bathroom. Not the most exciting birthday ever. After a later lunch, we also didn't eat dinner till almost 9pm and thought that Cracker Barrel wouldn't be crowded on a Friday night (apprently it is fish fry night. Who knew?).

So, I'm committing to today being better. The sink and the toilet are dripless (hugh success!) and we have plans to just hang out today. Weather dependant, we might go on a hike or for a walk on the river or something that Gwen can do with us. Tonight we are grilling out at the townhouse with family and friends to celebrate my guy (brownies and ice cream included - my special request). Crossing my fingers that today is a much bigger success than yesterday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Sorry it has been quiet around here. I am working quite a bit this week...regular days and then Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights too. I don't have to work this Saturday which is great because starting next weekend, I will be working 6 weekends in a off then two more. Yuck.

So, if you want to come visit us, please come! But please don't expect my house to be clean or for their to be anything to eat in my pantry!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Good weekend.

It has been and is going to be a great weekend!

I got off work at a normal time yesterday, came home, hung out with my dude and was in bed by 10pm (good stuff already!). This morning, we slept in and I lazily got up and showered in time to head to a baby sprinkle for a sweet friend in our small group. We went to a fabulous local restaurant - Foodworks - and had lunch and she opened sweet girly gifts (her first was a boy! She deserves some bows and pink!).

This afternoon, I came home to Chad working on our toilet (we have a leaking one in the hall bathroom) but no real plans for the rest of the day. Tomorrow we have church, lunch then TICKETS TO SEE HUNGER GAMES. Can you tell that I am excited? Fun day!

I love weekends when I don't work - unlike the entire month of April when I have to work every weekend. Le sigh.

Friday, March 23, 2012

For comparison.

Paula's Honda Fit = 2,400 lbs.
Chad's transport plus dozer = 18 tons = 32,000 lbs.

Sorry for the cruddy phone photo but I couldn't resist the visual comparison.
I think I will stick with the Fit.

March Birchbox.

In case you missed yesterday's blurb, I'll say it sister got me a year's subscription to Birchbox! If you don't know what that is, I am about to give you more information than you every could have wanted!

Kate, over at "The Small Things Blog" (one of the blogs that I check out pretty faithfully...mostly for GREAT hairstyle help!) talks about her Birchbox all the time so I had to check it out (well - I've finally done it. I'm talking about a complete stranger like I know her because I read her blog...awkward?) . I will probably never be as cute and put together as she is (come on - she is a hairstylist...of course she has great hair!) but I've always loved trying new products on my face and hair to see what works best so I figured Birchbox would be something super fun to try. Only downside - no disposable income for things I don't really "need" (though frankly, I can justify almost anything!).

Birchbox has been on my wishlist for a while now but I think my sneaky sister - who is the best gift-giver ever - saw it on my Facebook page and got me on the waiting list. She didn't tell me - only that I had something coming in the mail when she finally saw that it shipped. So...what is a Birchbox? Only magical I say! You go online to their website, sign up, and fill out a beauty profile. The profile asks a few questions about your skin care habits, what hair type you have, make up preferences, etc. Then, once a month, you get your Birchbox in the mail! It is full of sample sized products that "fit" you based on what you picked on your profile. You never know what you will get and you might get things you love and things you don't love. If you find a product that you really like, you can go on their website and order the full size edition...easy peesy. You also earn points towards products too, by ordering other things. Pretty cool huh? It is super girly and fun and totally a splurge and I am super duper excited. Can you tell?

Right, right. Enough talking...what was in the box right?!?

So it comes like this...this is the inner box and the outer shipping box is hot pink. I am already excited about seeing that pink goodness show up in my mailbox for the next 12 months.

Everything was wrapped up all cute but I was too excited to see what was in there to take pictures first. Maybe next month...yeah...we'll see.
Petite Cheri perfume - Annick Goutal  - Paris ~ already used it this morning. LOVE the way it smells.
Orofluido hair oil ~ really looking forward to using this when I shower tonight
Juice Beauty organic skin care Blenish Clearing Cleanser - totally gonna try this tonight too!
Deborah Lippmann's The Stripper to go fingernail polish remover - it is a mitt style doo-dad that fits over one finger and is preloaded with fingernail polish remover.~  There were two in my box and I already used one this morning. It worked great and the lavender based scent didn't smell all chemical-like!
Hollywood Fashion Secrets - fashion tape assortment ~ I think I will tuck these in my glovebox for when a "fashion emergency" strikes like a loose hem or gapping blouse. Awesome!
Eye Rock stick-on eye liners ~ this is the only item I am hesitant about. I know other Birchbox gals were like "what the heck!?" so I am going to try to get the guts to use them sometime (they are funky and cool like cat-eye look, etc.) when I have an occasion. Be brave, P, be brave!

So, I sort of stole Kate's  idea of telling what was in her box but I want you all to have fun with me so I will probably do it every month. They should totally pay me for advertising! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Oh. My. Gosh.
My sister sent me a Birchbox subscription.

I will tell you all about it tomorrow when I am not exhausted from working 12 hours.
And show pictures.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


So when you order bees, this is how they come (as long as you don't get a nuc - which would include eggs and honey too). This set up just has a couple of pounds of bees and a queen - along with a can of sugar water for them to eat/drink on the drive.
Our bees came from an apiary (a bee breeder!) and they were delivered on a truck headed somewhere else today. Chad's dad went and picked them up (literally right off the truck near the highway!) and brought them to us earlier today and they were waiting at home for us when we got off work!
If you can see the little plate on the top - that is just a little piece of plywood that you pry off and you can access the screened in portion that way.
 You take the bees out to where you are going to put the hive...which is in our side yard next to the older hive. Here is Chad crossing the bridge to the side yard where the clover and bees live!

Once you pry off the plywood to get inside, you need to get the queen out and put her in the new hive. Here you can see Chad getting the smaller box out that houses the queen and putting it in the new hive. Once the queen is in the new hive, the other bees will go in there to protect her so it makes it easier.  

 Basically now all you have to do is dump the bees into the hive! It looks nuts but that is the best and easiest thing to do. The top of the hive is open and the bees just fall into it. Once you have everyone in there, you can put the lid on top. You can see that the other hive is much older and more mature. This is the 3rd year we will have it and Chad has already put on the extra honey supers so it is 5 supers (boxes) high.
So there you have it!  A short bee lesson for the day.

Chad did get stung more times today than he has before so we've already dosed him with Benadryl and checked for stingers and I promise I will keep an eye on him! The bees didn't like to be moved!

Beautiful and edible!

This is a cupcake that my sister made for her friend Rhi's birthday is:
Orange brown-sugar cake, raspberry buttercream, white chocolate shavings, fresh raspberries and edible butterflies.
No seriously. She is that good.


Chad got his new hive of bees this afternoon (a whole post dedicated to that momentarily!) but I couldn't resist taking some pictures of Gwendolen while she hung out in the clover with her dude.
Chad intentionally planted red and white clover on the side of our yard where our - now two! - bee hives reside. We don't mow over there because  - well, obviously - it is for the bees. Since we have had this lovely warm weather and just enough rain, the clover has been in little clover heaven. It is about up to our knees now and Gwendolen loves to run through it.
Of course, "up to our knees" means over Gwendolen's head so I do deeply enjoy watching her gallop through it when all I can see are ears bouncing away!

Can you see that little Gwen face in there??

And here she is running towards me...this face rocks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


My girl was snuggled in the nicely folded clothes and trying to hide herself by blending in with things that are no-where-even-close to her colors. I got my camera out to take her picture (because isn't that what cat parents do? Oh. I'm not normal? Darn.)
And she laughed at me.

Here she is still giggling.

Oh come on...doesn't it look like she is laughing?
I know she is yawning but the giggling was so much more appropriate for this goof ball that we live with.

Filled up.

I have a journal that I specifically write in when I am in church. I find that it helps me to focus on what the pastor is saying instead of letting my mind wander when I should be listening! I still fill it up with words, questions, ponderings, pictures, etc. and I tend to write in fun colored pens too. It is always a good and yet sad feeling when you fill one up. I filled one up a couple of Sunday's ago - which was actually perfectly timed because our church (Calvary Chapel Chattanooga - check it out - you'll love it!) just finished up a run through the entire Bible and now we are getting back to our super-in-depth studies at Romans (one of my favorite/most highlighted books!). I was gifted a lot of journals around the time I graduated high school and college and bought one or two in India and I am slowly filling all of these up. I've finally settled down with what I like the best...unlined, plain pages - usually an earthy cover/natural paper. I've enjoyed looking back over my notes, seeing how my thoughts have changed and yet always, always, always amazed at grace.

For a friend.

Chad's man bff (cause I am his lady bff!) just moved out - again - to a little apartment just 5 blocks from us! He's been moving around, mostly finding himself I think, and he is ready for another step out in to the real world again.
Every time I have a friend around my age move out on their own (unmarried), I am reminded how blessed I was when I finally moved out "on my own" to live with my then-new husband. We moved into a fully furnished, lived in townhouse where we wanted for nothing. We didn't even have to start buying toilet paper for a while!  So, I am hyper aware of people who are starting out, starting over, making a go of a fresh place to live. I decided that it would be nice to bring him a little care package/housewarming gift of sorts.
I assumed that since he is a dude that he needed a few basics because he forgot to buy them for, I included:
A small trashcan for the bathroom, a Febreeze plug in thing with a clean smelling refill (nothing too fruity or girly, I promise!), hand soap, dish soap, a new bath towel and wash cloth, and a basic first aid kit (that includes things like Tylenol, Pepto, bandaids, etc. to get him started).

Here it is all packed up and ready to take down the road.
I remember my blessings clearly and I just wanted to bless him a little bit too...
it should be fun to have him close by - a close friend for my sweetie! I am a little jealous - so my bff's - who's moving?? :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wrap up. (edited!)

So much for remembering to bring the camera home so I could post pictures about our fun trip to Nashville on Monday. Maybe next week? As for now, I am thrilled that it is Friday and I don't think I will have to work tomorrow so that is fabulous (I was planning to but I believe my meeting is officially cancelled!). So, I am working every weekend in April, for which I am resting up for now.

I did take the afternoon off - just a few hours of flex time to make up for the many, many extra hours that I worked this week. My to-do list is far too long for one weekend but let's see if posting it here will encourage me to jump on it instead of taking a nap instead:

- Clean up the kitchen (counters, dishes, and floor) - everything but the floor is done!
- Fold multiple loads of laundry and put it away (always the catch here!) - everything is folded and all of mine is put away. Chad is super picky about his hung clothes so he can put his own away....come on - I folded them!
- Clean all the other floors (meaning: rid the house of Gwendolen tumbleweeds)
- Clean off dining room table (yep. still atrocious. embarrassed.) - it's a modern day miracle!! finished! We can even eat dinner in there...
- Clean bathrooms (sinks, toilets, floors, and the shower curtain. yikes.) - done! The shower curtain is waiting to go through the washer with a load of laundry but everything else is finished!
- Organize fabric stash (more on this later)
- Paint wheelbarrow (yes. seriously. it is getting rusty.) - sort of done - well, started. Four layers/top is finished - drying now.
- Plan dinners for next week and then go grocery shopping - done! Minus the planning part so we will be having interesting meals all week!
- Wash and store blankets that we use on the couch - done! stored (right where Wooby can take a nap on them. Awesome.)
- Take off, wash, and store electric blanket from our bed (don't need that dude anymore - thank you, 80 degree March days)
- Mow the grass (Chad thinks the clover in our yard is the only pollen the bees can find. I disagree. So, I get to mow. Stinks being right sometimes.) - done! well, the front yard is done that looked so bad and I did it! It is such a gratifying job...even if my pansy hands are sore today from pushing the mower. Back yard is still bee-friendly.
- Finish and file the taxes. - you'll notice I just added this one so I can mark it off. But hey, it's done and we didn't owe and that's great!

So, let's see A)how much I can get done before Chad gets off work in 3 hours and B)how much I can get done over the entire weekend. And.....GO!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Big day.

Well, Girl Scouts has officially started celebrating their 100th Anniversary! We kicked it off yesterday with a visit to Nashville, the Tennessee State Capitol.

Check out this link to see us being recognized in the Tennessee General Assembly!
(around minute 19...)

I will post much more tomorrow when I have recovered from arriving home at 11:30 last night and when I remember to bring home my camera with loads of pictures on it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gold Award

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout can earn as a girl (there are awards for adults too!). It is THE most prestigious thing she can do during her school years and sets her up beautifully to succeed in the "real world" once she graduates high school. Not only does earning your Gold Award teach leadership skills, position you for local and national college scholarships, and encourage sustainable community impact, girls who earn this award will also automatically advance one rank if she chooses to join any branch of the US Military. By discovering something she is passionate about, connecting with people who can guide her and mentor her through the project, and taking action to create change in her community, each Gold Award recipient truly does take small steps towards changing the world.

Today I got to go present a girl with her Gold Award pin during her church service at a sweet little country church outside of town. It was such an honor to participate in pinning her and hearing the stories of the project that she did mapping the cemetery so loved ones could always be found. I told a little about the Gold Award in general and then spoke about how much the Gold Award committee has seen this girl grow and become more confident throughout the process. There were few dry eyes in the place - especially those family members and mentors that have helped her through a year long process. This girl is a great example of what Girl Scouting both stands for and teaches - dedication, leadership, loyalty, hard work - I could go on and on. It is an honor to teach these girls, work with these girls and learn beside these girls.

Tomorrow is the day we get to take girls to meet the Tennessee State governor and attend a legislative session to honor Girl Scouts on our 100th Anniversary! I love my job!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

::clever title::

I really do love my job and I try to have a good attitude when it requires more of me than I think that I have to give. These next few days are going to be like that.

I worked today - from about 9am to 3pm - for our annual Delegate Meeting in preparation for the Annual Meeting that happens in April. After work, me and a couple of gals from the office went and had our toes painted lovely spring colors...all pretty much wasting time until our husbands finished what they were doing and we could hang out. Chad spent most of the day with our nephew - today was the big Boy Scout pine wood derby - woohoo! About the time I left the nail place to head home, I gave Chad a call. He didn't answer but the phone rang about the time I got into our neighbor hood...he was reporting that he was at work. On a fire.

I've already had a decent rant about how I feel about people that start fires or set fires they can't control so I will spare your sweet little eyes this time around. I just wish that my work schedule and my husband's work schedule would somehow work together so we can actually spend some quality time together. Some day.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lovely clouds.

I knew that it had been cloudy all day but I was keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the rain would actually come. And it did. I got home from a really long, stressful day...made dinner...sat down to eat with my sweetie and heard the most wonderful sound. Steady rain on the roof. We're expecting enough rain that it looks like my Chad is going to get a day off tomorrow. It is a little sad because I have so much to do tomorrow that I can't really take any time off with him to hang out (and I have to work Saturday AND Sunday of this weekend) but at least he gets the day off!

I get the privilege of taking a group of girls to Nashville on Monday to have an audience with our governor, get lunch at the capital and go to a special legislative session of the Tennessee Congress in honor of Girl Scouts' 100th Anniversary (which is Monday!!). It is going to be a super fun and busy day and the heart in this this Political Science major is going pitter patter. Regardless of how I feel about the current government, it is still exciting to be able to see things first hand! I love my job and the perks!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


My sweet Chad left for a fire about the time we sat down to watch our Tuesday night NCIS (so...8pm?). I stayed up waiting for him for a while - mistake! - and finally crashed about 10:30 or 11 - which is WAY past my normal bed time. I woke up with a start around 2am and realized he wasn't home yet so I called him...he said it was one of the worse fires he's been on because they didn't have enough people there to keep it under control. So, needless to say that he left again around 7am this morning to go back out there. If I am even half as tired from him being out on a fire as HE is from being out on a fire, it is going to be a long day for both of us!

I am not sure that he will make it to small group tonight but I was looking forward to it so much that I am going to go either way. Either way, please excuse anything I say or do today or tonight because I might be a little loony.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Just keepin' it real.

Even on the rare nights when I am not working - going to meetings, attending events, etc. - I still have to drag myself away from my office at 4:50...trying to beat the traffic out and home before everyone else leaves work. I am supposed to leave at 4:30 (I want to thank whatever genius made our work day 8:30 to 4:30 - it rocks for traffic avoidance!!) but I always seem to have way to much to do! I am dragging myself away from the computer and the rainbow of post-it notes that plan out my day telling myself "GO HOME!". I tell myself that I should go home and get stuff done...the 1,000 things that are on my personal "TO DO" list. I truly love my job - love the people I work with, love the mission and organization, and love the impact that it has on the girls in our community. And I use it as my excuse for why my dining room table looks like this.

I am totally embarrassed to show you that but...
Just keepin' it real.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I like that I got my 3 days of traveling done and still had a weekend at home with my sweetie! Since I got home Friday night, I still got to chill out, do errands and laundry, and go to the grocery store today without feeling like I lost my entire weekend!

Yesterday was great...we slept in and hung out. I worked on pictures -filtering and editing and sorting (you should see how organized my external hard drives stays! It is the most organized place in my life and I am so proud! :) )  and Chad worked on his bee hives. We are getting a second hive of bees this spring so his dad came over to help him rearrange some stuff and get a place set up for the new hive. We had to run down to LaFayette to pick up a few extra things to finish building the hive but we're all set now...waiting on the arrival of the bees! They are coming in on a tractor trailer with a bunch of other bees so we literally have to meet them on the side of the highway and pick them up...that should be a story to tell! ( I will try to remember to take pictures!).

Today we got up early and went to the first service at church like we usually do. The second service has gotten so crowded - it is just easier to go at 9 am! After church, we headed over to the home of a sweet couple that sits behind us at church. They invited us and a bunch of other people over for lunch and she fixed "Bible foods" - salmon and pita - you know, loaves and fishes!! It was delicious and the company was great. It is awesome how we literally just met at the "turn and say hello to someone sitting near you" moment at church and it has blossomed into a sweet friendship now. We got to meet some other young couples our age so it is always fun to connect with new people too!

After our traditional Sunday trip to the grocery store, we are hanging out at home, folding said 4 loads of laundry and catching up on 2 missed weeks of NCIS...Chad is finishing up painting some waterproofing on the outside of the beehive and then we'll do dinner and hopefully go to bed early!

I only have to work one or two nights this week so I am looking forward to being at home and getting some things done!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Niagara Falls - Canada and New York!

My sister got married! We are on the NY side, next to the American falls and looking across the river at the Canadian side.

I like this because you can see the back of my sister's dress - not to mention the photographer that caught herself in the mirror.

We went to Niagara on the Lake afterwards and had lunch at a little pub and desserts at a fabulous bakery. Isn't she cute?

Frannie, my sister, and I braved cold temperatures and I braved the heights to be able to see the falls lit up at night. It was totally worth it...the view from the top was spectacular!

The newlyweds in the scary ferris wheel!

Greetings from the top of Niagara Falls!

It was a quick but fun trip. Mom and I enjoyed spening some time together - we tend to giggle a lot when we hang out and this trip was no exception. I took tons of pictures - some great, some ehh....

We had REALLY bad weather pass through here yesterday but I seriously lucked out with it. We landed in good weather in Atlanta and ate some dinner before I hauled it back to Chattanooga in between waves of the storm. I lucked out and got all the way to the Tennessee state line before it even started raining on me and got all the way home before any worse weather decended. There were tornados and some terrible damage in areas around town but we were blessed to not have any damage.

So, congrats to my sister and Frannie. Thanks for letting me join you on the beginning of your true adventure together!