Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Girl Can Dream, Right?

From Anthropologie.com

Remember When?

So, in the midst of a routine phone call with his mother, she let him know that she had sent me something in the mail. Jeff worried, and I anticipating what I knew she'd send, I was the first to snatch up the mail yesterday. The result? A school picture! Ignoring his groans, I bring to you Jeff in middle school :
And just to make sure I'm fair in all things, I'll post an equivalently embarrassing photo of myself ...
Ok... So I'm cuter, but we can't really help that I was terribly photogenic as a child, can we?

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Home Improvements


After a LONG stint of construction, the house is finally starting to come together. Jeff and I have been spending every spare moment cleaning, organizing, repairing, painting, sanding, steaming, moving, etc to make our little space our own.  I don't think I really knew how much work goes into a true thorough cleaning of a place, especially when someone has allergies, but I can confidently say that's no longer the case! While we've got a long way to go until we are completely moved in and unpacked and settled the way we want, I think we are off to a good start! Here are a few pictures to share our progress so far!
This man can do it all, and does it with a great attitude. I am so blessed with such a fabulous work horse man for a husband!
The one thing i hated about these rooms is how dark the walls made them seem. So, I chose two paints that makes the natural light that comes in through the windows brighten and cheer the whole place up.
I did NOT consider how hard it is to cover up a dark color with a pale yellow... this is two coats in... sheesh.
After it was all said and done though the room is much brighter and calm. P.S. Jeff picked out the shower curtain. :)
The bed and the two fabulous windows. Still trying to figure out what I want to do for curtains. I'm looking for something creative that will match the room without having to spend a fortune. Suggestions anyone?

Like I said, we have a long way to go, we still have a book shelf to put together and fill, and a ton of other little projects. I wish I had the money to decorate the way I like, but in the mean time I'm looking for some crafty little projects and I know that some of you out there are already masters in this area. Any suggestions on ways to creatively spruce up the room without spending a lot of money?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dear friends,

I've been thinking a lot lately about my life and the path that has led me up to where I am today. I've been thinking a lot about life decisions along the way, and specifically the people that I have surrounded myself at different points. In my pondering I have been thinking a lot about a specific acquaintance that I used to be very close to who I am no longer in communication with. I keep puzzling and puzzling over the events that led up to our estrangement, and the more I think about it the more frustrated I become. The whole thing was so silly, and yet we took ourselves so seriously! Continuing to think about this over a period of time, I decided that I wanted to contact and apologize, gain closure, and possibly resuscitate an old dead friendship. This person won't answer or return calls, reply to email, and I can't help but feel like a terrible person.

Have you ever lost a friend or someone you cared about to something you said, did, didn't do, and regret it? Do you have any advice to give? I'd sure love to hear it!

Thanks and love,

P.S. Hope you all are enjoying this AH MAZING weather!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


AH! I love days like today. Blue skies, cool breezes, and a skin warming sunshine make spring my FAVORITE time of year. I can take or leave the holidays ( except the pie), and will take the blossoming spring weather any day. I was so enamored with this weather today that I got to enjoy my favorite part of this season - I rode home from school today with the top down on the bug! As frustratingly expensive as my little yellow convertible bug can be to maintain, I so love driving it. I mean, I LOVE driving it! I love going on drives on back roads where it hugs the curves, top down with the sun on my shoulders, and the music up so that I can sing a long. After a good drive I feel like I can take on anyone and anything. Bring it on spring, I'm so ready for you!

What's your favorite thing to do when the weather is this beautiful?

Monday, March 14, 2011


In my attempt to update, refresh, and reinvent my little corner of the blogosphere, I changed the URL as well as the title. Because of that it has put some kinks into the ability to follow me if you were already doing so. SO, if you had me on a list, or were following me using blogger, you may need to delete and re-add the blog so that you can
A.) Get to the blog without any error messages, and
B.) receive updates on new entries.

Thanks, and sorry for the trouble! It'll be worth it, I swear!

P.S. Let me know if it gives you any trouble and I'll come rough it up for you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Showers of Happiness

First of all, I want to say that I am unusually lucky in that I have some of the most amazing friends. I say this knowing full well that I am not the easiest person to get along with. When I asked Ashley Fister to be my maid of honor, I knew that I'd get a lot of help and advice, but she blew me away with her amazing skills, tireless work, and dedication to making this wedding memorable. One might wonder where one gets these fantastic traits. Well, in the case of Ashley, I think it's safe to say that her mother is a huge contributor. Ashley and her mother planned a fantastic wedding shower, went overboard with food, graciously hosted and entertained my friends and family in their home. It was a wonderful afternoon full of laughter, satisfied bellies, lovely gifts, and entertaining factoids about Jeff and I.
Lori( my aunt), Karen Parker( my grandmother), Libby ( my mother), and I. Three generations all on one couch!
Lovely friends! Ashley, Kendall, and Vanessa
The whole affair was so much fun that even Jeff couldn't stay away ( or I gave him the wrong time, either way, he was entertaining and helpful, and could not stop talking about days later)
SO much good food! The delicious cake was just a small portion of what Nancy and Ashley did!

A Cottage for Two

When we first started dating, I bought Jeff a camera so that he could take pictures of the things we did together... it's a win-win situation. I'm a TERRIBLE photographer, he likes doing it, and I get pictures to blog and facebook and collect memories with.

To kick off the new feel to the blog, I went raiding his camera for ideas to blog about. It also made me realize how infrequently I update. So, without further ado, our honeymoon in a nutshell:

We chose to spend our honeymoon in the Smokey Mountains. In the middle of February, we were expecting to curl up in a log cabin with firewood and snow falling. Of course, with the weather we get around this area of the country, nothing that predictable happened. We instead got to enjoy beautiful, beyond reproach spring like days filled with sunshine, cool breezes, and mild days.

Our cabin was a wonderful reprieve. Two floors and one bedroom, I was personally in love with all the windows that left every corner of the place filled with natural light.
We couldn't resist being our usual odd-ball selves. To avoid drawing further attention, Jeff turned to disguise to better blend in with our surroundings.
We found a few detours along the way... and found it hard to stay grounded while having such a good time.
Even though we were on vacation, and living it up, I still couldn't seem to get away from work.
The paparazzi just couldn't get enough of the two of us. We're kind of a big deal.

All in all it was a fantastic week. We got to enjoy a break after a flurry of events, settle into our new roles together, and got to have a heck of a lot of fun doing it. I love this crazy man I get to claim as my husband. He is patient, playful, compassionate, and a perfect fit.

Here's my epiphany for the day for my chick-lit junky friends. Jeff will NEVER be a Mr. Darcy, or Rhett Butler. Then again, I will NEVER be a Elizabeth Bennett, or Scarlett, So why would I expect him to be? It's not a matter of finding " Mr. Right" As dictated by some crazy list, or societies expectations. It's a matter of finding "Mr. Right for Me," Someone who clicks with your personality, who is easy to talk to and communicate with, who compliments your great qualities as well as your not so great qualities. We are our own dynamic couple, and THAT'S what it's all about.

New Name

So, I had originally named this blog after the collection of animals that had accumulated in my life. Since then, I've slowly lost them up until I recently gave the two cats away to new homes. Now that I'm rather... menagerie-less, I think it's time for a face lift and new name for the blog. It might take me a bit to nail down a title that fits, so until then I think I'm just going to try a few ideas out. :)

The URL has changed, so take note of that... Also - Don't forget to add it to your blog list, that way you can get updated on the regular!  ( as regularly as I update it, at any rate. )

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Journal Jar

About a year ago I stole a jar from my mother that was laying around her room. It was cutely decorated and had brightly colored strips of paper stuffed into it. It came with the explanation that if one writes based on one prompt a week pulled from the jar, that in a year a detailed, personal and well rounded journal would unfold. As a teacher this was an old concept to me, but I was excited to have a new way of writing, and blogging based on prompts. I remember pulling out the first couple of strips and getting discouraged because they were based around family life, husbands and children. I abandoned the effort and went about my scatterbrained and inconsistent  blogging and personal journaling.
Today as I went in search of a copy of the book that we're reading for book club this month in my boxes, I found the jar again. I  had already been remarking to myself about the need to catch-up, or reinvigorate my efforts to add to my blog, as the past few months have been busy, disorganized, and distracting. I figured that I could write about the prompts on the strips the best I could, and perhaps even modify them as I go here, and now that I'm in a different stage of life than I was a year ago, they may even be more applicable to me. So, without further ado, my first prompt:

" Write about what you remember about your wedding day and your feelings."

Could I have gotten a more ironic strip?

My wedding day was one of mixed emotions. Not in a terrible way, mind you, but with the complexities of life there was much more than just the literal wedding that was going on. The wedding had been moved up so early in the first place because of my mother's brain cancer. As a result, SO many people stepped up and jumped in to make the wedding a reality, and an amazing event. I happily relinquished as much control as they let me, and allowed them to donate their expertise, knowledge, and crafts to the process. Because of this, when the day came and events unfolded, I felt a little disconnected from the whole thing in the sense that I didn't always feel like I knew what was going on. This isn't something I wholly regret, because I at the same time was very methodical about being laid back in my response to change, challenges, and the usual bumps in the road that happen during weddings.
I felt very whisked away with my fantastic prep team the whole morning. They kept me happy, calm, and I was very unaware of any major problems that may have happened. I would like to go on record for those who care to know that I am truly grateful for the people involved with the wedding. I worry that I came across as uncaring or cold, and if I did I truly apologize. That stoicism was much more in line with dazed and increasingly overstimulated as the day went on.
I remember that the feeling that dominated everything else was the surrealism of the whole affair. It didn't really hit that we were married until a couple weeks later... Still, I enjoyed myself immensely, I loved seeing people there to support us, and the receiving line wasn't as terrible as I was bracing myself for it to be. I thought I had the cutest darn flower girl in the world, and the most amazing maid of honor. Jeff looked darn handsome in his suit and other than the fact that I couldn't breathe, I loved my dress. I actually DID get to eat at my own wedding, which I was glad I did, because that food was amazing! I was a little sad that we didn't get to dance or throw bouquets, but at the same time I was happy for the early wrap up. I remember the feeling of getting to the hotel, and being so overwhelmed with appreciation for my maid of honor, who when I thought she couldn't do enough, she continued to be thoughtful long past the wedding.

That is one huge hodgepodge of random emotions and feelings there... but kind of explained my in a nutshell that day. I was never really nervous or hesitant about getting married. I always knew from the start that I was very sure about the man I was picking to spend the rest of my life with. I am so glad to have had the wedding experience I was given, and cannot say enough thank yous to make up for the many many things that people did along the way. It was a great start to an amazing marriage to the most perfect man for me.