Sunday, December 8, 2013

Last night was the 2nd Christmas party I've gone to that was thrown by his boss. Are these things EVER anything but awkward? But there was this steak...we were best friends for about 2 minutes.

Babies First Christmas

We put our Christmas tree up yesterday, just a couple of hours before we had to leave for a Christmas party. This little girl had at least 1/3 of the ornaments off it by the time we got home. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baby steps...that's what this is. Blackberry and mint infused water instead of a second cup of coffee.
We've been getting outdoors a lot more too. I think Lydia's tolerance for bugs and heat is increasing, and I'm at the point where it drives me crazy to stay indoors for too long. Lest I give you the wrong inpression with these pictures, the healthy snacks are more of an exception than the norm right now.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Got to visit my brother Mark and his family in Pigeon Forge this weekend. Patrick and I got our butt's handed to us in Scrabble by my nephew Ben (far right).

I've gotten a new a hospital, where I work completely crazy hours including nights and sometimes 2 or 3 days of double shifts in a row. I am so grateful for the job and am paying my dues.

I found out I am the only southern woman who doesn't care for Paula Deen

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It was go time on May 16. I felt super confident in my baking abilities because the last cake I made came out perfectly. It was moist and had a great texture for decorating. You know the old saying about how the enemy of "good" is "better"? Well I thought I would make an effort to make the cake even moister and followed random online advice to add 1/4 cup of oil. I saw this advice several places and thought it was safe, but the cake fell apart. I looked at it and it fell apart, let alone attempting to get it out of a pan or frosted. I decided to make cupcakes with the rest of the batter. As you can see from the picture this was also a failure. I eventually used all the ruined cake and made cake balls. I didn't bother to subject my wedding/reception guests to them though. The great part about a laid back wedding is that nobody cared that we didn't have cake, least of all me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'm so happy to be married to this man.

Our wedding day included a last minute switch to the historic wedding chapel across from the Ringgold Courthouse. The lady pictured here is the owner and she saw us getting out of our cars and convinced us to get married in the chapel rather than the courthouse. My sweet younger brother, who was there with his family from Illinois, paid for the ceremony and also walked me down the aisle. It was awesome. 

My nieces and nephews got in on the impromptu action as well by acting as flower girls and ring bearers.
My nephew JT even found a piano at the coffee shop we went to afterwards and played a special song as a gift to us. 
It wasn't traditional but it was still the loveliest of all days.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hello good people of North America, and apparently somewhere in Moscow! I thought I would post a few random updates about what is happening in our lives lately. Here goes:

1.) I got hit in the head with a gravy boat. It hurt. It fell from the top shelf and hit my forehead. You really do see stars...that's not a metaphor.

2.) I'm getting married Friday. It's taking FOREVER to get here.

3.) I made my first cake from scratch last weekend. It was a trial run for Friday since I'm baking a wedding cake for the day's festivities. As usual I was a little hasty which resulted in it being a little lopsided and lumpy where I frosted it before it was cooled completely. I've got to say though that it was delicious. I followed a recipe found on the Bakerella blog.

4.) For Mother's Day, Patrick and Lydia picked me some wildflowers. I can't believe how good they look. Why pay for flowers in the spring time...ever?
5.) We briefly decided to move to Illinois and then changed our minds at that last minute. In the end I was relieved to not have to leave the TN valley that I love so much and so was Patrick. Lydia was a harder sell on staying, but she just made the dance team at her school and is looking forward to the coming year. Chattanooga never, ever fails to impress me. It has it's "shady under-belly" (Gilmore Girls reference) but there are SO many wonderful things about the town. I will post our pictures from Mother's Day at Coolidge Park shortly.

Hope you are having a fantastic week!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

click here for the MOST adorable video of our new kitten playing with our dog. I love the way daisy just nudges the kitten with her nose. She seems to know she has to be careful. These two will be best friends I predict. By the way, meet Marie...

Monday, April 29, 2013

I never thought I'd be the "type" to get married in a courthouse, but the further along into wedding planning I got, the more I realized my wedding day would be a huge amount of work for Patrick and I. Several days ago we had a conversation that led us to agree a courthouse wedding is JUST what we need. The more I've browsed through photographs of other couples getting married by a judge, the more confident I feel that this is right for us. Everyone just looks so happy!
No sheen of sweat or forced smiles. No last minute panic when 12 of 15 bridesmaids forgot an essential part of their outfits.
Yes this is definitely the way to go in my opinion.

This is the county courthouse in Ringgold GA where we'll be getting married, followed by a coffee toast at one of my favorite locally owned coffee shops just up the street with a few of our friends. It also happens to be the same place Patrick's parents were married.

Monday, April 22, 2013

In case you haven't heard, we're getting married in less than a month. This wedding is going to be an almost entirely do-it-yourself affair. Yes it's a lot of work and is stretching me creatively, but I want what I want and don't have a $30,000 budget. I finished my first "project" a couple of days ago....this bridal hair wreath.
All it took was one trip to Hobby Lobby for floral tape, wire, and few flowers. The ribbon was re-purposed from my wedding dress since I'm replacing it with a different sash. Obviously it needs ironed. I may post a tutorial on my projects at some point. 

One of my biggest concerns through all this planning is that I sometimes lose focus on the whole point of this relationship with Patrick. The wedding planning can be all consuming, but in the interest of the many, many years to come I want to be focused on starting day 1 of our marriage on the right foot. We hold our married life in our hands, covered and protected from the world...from outside influences...from the stress of daily life. We do our best to fortify the walls so any ammunition bounces off. We will work even until we're exhausted to make it strong. Personally I know I can do better and am disappointed in myself when I've spent time just coasting along and co-existing with the man whose hand I will hold even on my last day on earth (or his). It's a sobering thought.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I found these little ballet flats on clearance at Old Navy. I love the the umbrellas...not fond of the toe cleavage. I still love them anyway.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I went for a drive in the country yesterday. I wasn't sure where I was going, but couldn't stop myself from driving further and further. I ended up in some deeeep country.....the kind that almost makes you nervous around these parts. There are still people who will stand on their porches with shotguns to chase you away.

Despite the fact I knew I was getting lost, I wasn't too worried. Being lost is not a bad thing. I think you would agree right? The moment the road dumps you out into a familiar intersection and you realize "aha! I'm not lost anymore!" is kind of a great feeling. Life is similar to the road in that respect. Change occurs. We wander, cluelessly biting our nails until suddenly we're back on familiar ground again.

Lydia and Patrick and I collaborated on this Boston Market Macaroni and Cheese recipe. It didn't taste exactly like Boston Market but it was some kind of wonderful cheesy goodness.
(thrifted bowl)

and since it was such a peaceful day here in the Tennessee Valley, it's fitting to share a little Doc Watson with you I think.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

 This is Patrick. I met him just days after my ex-husband died. Despite the fact that I have a few years on him and that I was going through a difficult time, he pursued me. He says he wanted to be with me from the moment he first saw me and he has spent 6 months proving it. He's the first man I have dated since my divorce that I trust not to hurt me. He's the first man who has addressed my concerns and fears with honesty and strength rather than pride and offense. In the process he won me over. 

He fits into my life like he has always been here. He adapted to the many quirks that Lydia and I share including things like a disdain for hearing people chew. He accepts the fact that he doesn't speak the non-verbal language that Lydia and I share with just a look from the years it has just been her and I. He's not jealous of my time with her. He's not intimidated by a house or car full of girls and can thrift shop with the best of us. He can do unconventional. He accepts our femaleness and doesn't try to change us. He has held me through the loss of relationship with my parents and picked up my phone without a word after I threw it across the room.He's the strongest, toughest, kindest, and most stable man I have ever known and I love him dearly.

 Playing Scrabble and eating cupcakes at Starbucks on his birthday. Note that he wore a party hat and glitter confetti we had bombed him with earlier and was happily hanging out with three ladies including two teenagers who like him better than they like me :)

Another Reason to Love Chattanooga

Lydia and I were both off school/work yesterday so we took to the downtown streets of Chattanooga's North Shore. While there we discovered that a "soda fountain" called Pure Sodaworks had opened in one of the Frazier Street first floor units. I was expecting something old fashioned when in reality the soda came in flavors such as honey lime, lemon creme, and strawberry jalapeno. Nevertheless it was tasty and if you buy a mug, refills are only $1. While were were in the area we did a little walking and photo taking.

On this wall was written my favorite piece of graffiti ever. It said "There are two things in this world I hate...graffiti and irony." The quote was attributed to someone but I couldn't make out the name.