Wednesday, May 30, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge

I think I've hit a bit of a rut in my blogging.  I feel like my day to day is relatively boring, and wouldn't want to read it if I were you guys.  To try to get out of this rut, I googled "30 day blog challenge."  Most of them were either really philosophical or really immature.  I found one that I still think is geared towards teenagers, but I'll try to morph the "relationship" questions into something more applicable to my life.  We'll see how it goes!  Here are the different topics for the days:
I'll start on June 1st and try to write every day.  Let me know if ya'll have any suggestions for changing out the relationshippy questions!  Hope your weeks are going well!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Potato Salad!

Hope everyone had a good 3-day weekend!  I certainly did!  For a cookout we had on Sunday I made some potato salad, for the first time ever!  This wasn't just ordinary potato salad though guys...this was Paula Dean's Texas County Potato Salad loaded with crunchy salty bacon.  And boy was it guuuuud!  You should make some!  Recipe here.
Special shout out to those who have and are now serving in the military.  It's because of them that I have the freedom to live in this great country, and eat potato salad. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bun head.

Today I wore my hair like this:
Husband very rarely ever comments on my choice of hair styles.  Ponytail, not a word.  Curly, not a word.  Straight, not a word.  But buns...buns he is quite adamant about.  And I'm not talkin' about those cute little round things that make my departing such a treat.  I'm talking hair on top of the head because you didn't wash it that morning, buns.  He is quite vehement in his dislike of all things bun-like.  It doesn't matter the style, if it's all bunched together, he's opposed.  He says it's too severe and makes me look mean.  So I try to keep that in mind when I'm trying to tame my mane in the mornings, but this morning was just a bun sort of day.
I've always thought he was a little ridiculous in his views of the topknot, but today at work me and the guys were talking and someone made the comment "don't mess with Julie Anna, she's got a bun on her head."  I was like, what the heck?!  Apparently all males share this dislike of bunyular hairstyles (yes I did just make that word up.)
So on the way home from work today, I was traveling on my merry way, going about 30mph because of "traffic" when I see a State Trooper behind me.  Now let's just say, I have a bad track record with cops.  Every time I have gotten pulled over, I have tried a different method of weaseling my way out of a ticket.  I've tried crying, I've tried flirting, I've tried being angry, I've tried telling them I have a degree in Criminal Justice (trying to find common ground, you see). But nothing has ever worked!  (and no, I haven't gotten 4 tickets....close though).  So today, when I go to turn onto my road, I notice that the Trooper follows me.  And then it hits me, my brake light is out.  I've known this for a couple of weeks, but always forget to go get a new bulb, because hello, I don't ever see my brake light for it to remind me.  And if I do, I better call the cops 'cause somebody's done taken my truck! (This southern vernacular will become important in just a second)  Right after that realization, I see the lights in my rear view mirror.  And then another thought hits me.  Oh crap!  My hair is in a bun!  He's going to think I'm mean and give me a ticket just because my hair is in a bun!  So I thought about ripping the pins and rubber bands out and letting my hair down, a la herbal essence commercial lady, but then I was like well no, because then he'll think I'm just trying to use my feminine wiles to get out of a ticket!  Ahhh!  So I just plastered on a huge smile and when he came to my window, I somehow verbalized the most southern bell accent anyone has probably ever heard.  Trooper: "Ma'am your brake light is out"  Me: "Oh shoot, is it really?  Well my goodness, I guess I'm going to need to get that fixed aren't I"?  Worked like a charm.  Actually, he was really a nice guy, definitely the nicest Trooper I have met, and he didn't give me a ticket.  He didn't even take my license back to the car like they do to try to get your blood pressure really high.  He even pulled out and stopped traffic so I could get back on the road.  So there, men of the world!  The bun did work!  Or maybe sounding like I was straight off of Steel Magnolias did, never can tell. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Girls' trip part 2!

Here goes part 2 of our girls trip to Hilton Head back in March: (part 1 here)
Saturday morning we woke up to the threat of rain.  We had a Groupon to all go horseback riding and were hoping and praying that the rain would hold off long enough for us to be able to go riding.  We were running a little bit late, because we had to go towards Savannah, but well called the stable and they were really nice and agreed to wait for us to get there before they started.  After a quick trip to the "complaint department" i.e. a redneck port-a-potty, we got in line to mount up.  They asked for the most experienced rider, and since I took lessons back in high school and had my own (gorgeous but ill behaved) horse for a while, I was volunteered for the horse needing an "experienced rider."  That usually happens to me, which means I get stuck with the temperamental horse who always likes to bite other horses in the butt.  This usually leads to an interesting battle of wits.   This horse also just so happened to be named Dash, which was slightly disconcerting, so I asked the guide why he was named that, to which she replied, "well he was named Buck but that made people nervous, so we renamed him Dash instead."  Uhhh, ok.  Still not giving me any clues to what I'm facing here lady!  I think she could tell I was a little hesitant to throw my leg over this horse's side (considering that the last time I did that I was bucked off).  So she quickly added, "Oh Buck came from his coloring (he was buckskin)."  Stilll didn't explain the whole Dash part.   Anyways, turns out Dash was a pretty chill horse that was a former barrel racer who just needed someone with "gentle legs" to stay off his sides.
Yes, I was the loser with a helmet on.  Ever since being thrown off and hitting my head, I always wear a helmet.  
So anyways we all got mounted up and were rearin' to go!  (Not literally though, that would have not gone over well for those not wearing a helmet.) Our trail ride commenced and lasted for about 45 minutes.  The stable was in a sort of industrial area around Savannah, so our trail included an interstate and a billboard.  Not quite what we were used to, but it was still very relaxing.  Allie's horse kept wanting to eat any and everything green, and my gentle souled sister was quite alright with that.  The guide behind her was all "kick him, ok kick him harder, ok you can really kick him harder than that."  Allie had such a regretful look after each kick, it was actually pretty funny.  Whereas my horse kept wanting to take off at every single move of my legs.  They weren't kidding about him having sensitive sides.  My mom's horse was a saint the entire time and just plodded along at a slow and steady pace.  I think he was 26 years old?  That's like 98 in horse years (I don't really know if it is, I didn't do the math).  Right as we were riding into the arena to dismount, it started sprinkling.  The rain held off for the perfect amount of time.  We were all quite happy aboutt that! 
Since we were in Savannah, we did the obligitory Riverstreet visit.  It had begun pouring by that point, and we were one umbrella short.  After a very awkward trip down some very tall and slippery steps replete with haggard homeless people transients in dark alleyways, with my sister and I practically hugging each other while walking under one umbrella, we were sufficiently soaked.  We looked sort of like Siamese mermaids, come to think of it.  The first umbrella we saw, my sister bought.  The umbrellas really didn't help that much though, between the deluge and the standing water on the cobblestones our pants' legs were soaked up to our knees. 
We quickly went in to Riverstreet Sweets to get us and our spouses some sweets, and then went to the Savannah Bee Company where I bought some honey that you eat with cheese.  I talked about it in this post.
 At this point we were all soaked and were kind of over the whole walking around in the rain thing.  So we traversed back to the car, by a different route, smartly.  We ate some delicious pasta salad that my mom made and asiago cheese bread (from Panera, of course) in the car on the way back to Hilton Head. Once in Hilton Head, we decided to go and paint some pottery!
 We've done this on several past vacations and always enjoy this creative little outlet that we rarely get to try our hand at.  I've always liked little figurines, so I painted these little animals to go in my terrariums.
 My mom and sister painted these beautiful mugs.  I'm always so jealous of their creativity!
 My mom's mug said Marmee (what my niece calls her)
 Allie's mug.  She did a tree for every season.  So pretty!
 We had a wonderful time painting our pottery.  It took a couple of hours and was so relaxing with the rain falling outside. 
After we completed our pottery, we headed back to the hotel to get dried off (our pants were still pretty soaked) and get ready to go out to dinner.
Me and Allie
 Me and mom
 Mom and Allie
 We debated if we should try another local joint like we had the night before, but we were disappointed with that experience, so we decided to go with a more fail proof plan.  Bonefish Grill!!! Yay!!!!  We got Bang Bang Shrimp (of course!) and me and Allie got fish tacos, while my mom got fish 'n chips.  It was all quite delicious!
Fish tacos!  Sorry it's so dark, the restaurant had some mood lighting going on.
After dinner, we shopped in a few stores and then headed right down the street to the Fresh Market.  They have the most delicious desserts!  We each picked out a different dessert and ended up with: a double fudge brownie, an eclair, and a slice of carrot cake.  The lady in front of us in line was totally judging us.  She looked unhealthily skinny, and quite unhappy and was buying a giant wad of some leafy green.  It sort of made me sad for her.  She can have her clean colon and bored tastebuds, I'll enjoy my fattening dessert (in moderation, of course)!
On the way back to the hotel, we crossed over another bridge, and while I was attempting to control the rising panic, my mother and sister decided to start discussing the gigantic manatees that were probably floating around like giant water cows in the ocean right below us.  My mom then just randomly yelled "Manatees!  They'll suck your brains out!!!"  Tha heck?  Where in the world did that come from?!  It gave us quite a laugh and definitely helped me to ignore my fear of bridges at that moment.
After that we somehow got on the topic of evolution and survival of the fittest and had a pretty good discussion going when my sister decided to add to the hilarity of that car ride by confiding in my mother and I that she thought, up until about a year ago, that baby animals were only born in spring.  Like, it was physically impossible for them to be born any other time of the year.  My mom and I were both like um, "why did you think that."  And she was all, "I have no idea!"  It was pretty funny.  (Sorry Allie, for outing you on the interwebs (: )
Once we got to the hotel, we chowed down on our desserts.  We were either still so full from dinner or the lettuce lady in line had placed a curse on us, so that I don't think any of us could finish our desserts.  We all were about to bust we were so full.  Allie tuned us in to the Animal Planet and we started watching a show about puppies.  Very fitting, after our conversation in the car.  A commercial came on for a show called "Too Cute" that was just about baby animals and my mom was all "that's ridiculous, who would watch a show like that?"  Me and Allie just kind of looked at each other, and Allie eventually said, "Mom, what do you think we're watching right now?"  That show was what we had been "awwww"ing over for the past hour!  We are the people who would watch that show!!!  We had some good laughs about that as well! 
An example of the cute puppies that would be on that show.  Always wanted one of these!
Photo cred here. Have no idea whose blog this is but this popped up when I googled corgi puppy.
The next morning we woke up and headed back towards Georgia.  It was a pretty uneventful day, just a couple of Sonic tots thrown in with some more good conversation.  We were all pretty sad to see the weekend come to a close.  We had such a great time!  We each probably gained about 10 pounds, had several laughs, and made some wonderful memories.  Thanks mom for such a great girls trip, I think this should become an annual thing! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

25 for 25!

Well, I know that this is a little late, considering that my birthday was a month ago, but I wanted to make a "to do list" for my 25th year of life.  These are 25 things that I would like to do before I turn 25!
1. Send out 25 cards: I'm really bad at sending out cards to people, but always enjoy it so much when I receive a card in the mail from someone.  For money's sake, I will count birthday and special occasion cards, even if they are hand delivered.
        1. Mom for Mother's Day
        2. Nannie for Mother's Day
        3. Mom-June
        4. Nannie-June
        5. Allie-June
        6. Emma-July
        7. Allie-July
        8.  Nannie-July
        9.  Emma-October

2. Call family members at least once a week: I hate talking on the phone, but I know it's important to have contact with my family, especially now that I live farther away.

3.  Remember people's birthdays: I've always been bad at remembering birthdays, and I really have no excuse.  Facebook tells me every day when someone's birthday is!

4.  Run 366 miles: This should be interesting.  That averages out to 1 mile a day, obviously (since it's a leap year).  Right now it's a little tough to get in 7 miles a week, because I normally don't do longer than 3.2 miles at a time.  But once I get past running just 3 miles when I run, this should be easier.  At the moment I have ran 21 miles since my birthday, so I am currently 11 miles behind schedule.  :(  Got to kick my butt in gear!
After my first 5k, somehow smiling
5.  Run a 10K: In helping with the 366 miles in a year, I want to train to run a 10K around February/March of next year.  It will be the farthest I have ever run, and will keep me striving towards something.  I've noticed that my motivation to run sort of dwindles when I don't have a race hanging over my head.  I've been scouring the website to try to find a 10k to put on the calendar for around that time to hopefully keep me motivated.

6.  Run a mile in under 8 minutes: This may not seem fast to most people, but I have always hated running, and have never been very good at it.  I haven't run an 8 minute mile since high school. 

7.  Finish a 5k, sub 30:XX: For the three 5ks that I have run, this was my goal.  Always at least a few minutes off, so not there yet, but hope to be by fall. 

8.  Lose weight: This is a big one for me.  I don't really care so much about the amount of pounds lost, but definitely want to be more toned/in a smaller size.  I would like to be the same weight I was at my wedding two years ago.  
9.  Give more of my time and money to help others: This seems kind of vague, but I want to be more involved in my community and church, whether that is monetary or just time spent helping.

10. Make 5 recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking: My mom gave me this cookbook two Christmases ago, and I have only made one recipe so far, Beouf Bourguignon...which was quite ambitious of me.  It was delicious, just time consuming!

11.  Make 5 recipes from the Joy of Cooking:  This is the book that inspired Julia Child to write her cookbooks, so it would be neat to make some recipes that she made when starting her cooking journey.  My mom gave me a vintage copy of this cookbook for this past Christmas.  
12.  Attend 5 concerts: Concerts are always a good thing to do with Husband since he loves music so much.  Already got 1 under our belts!
       1. Punch Brothers

13.  Read 2 books a month:  This should be pretty easy.  I'd like to extend that to being 1 fiction, and 1 nonfiction book per month.
       So far:
       1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children-fiction
       2.  Let's Pretend This Never Happened-nonfiction
       3.  The American Heiress-fiction
       4.  Mrs. Kennedy and Me-nonfiction
       5.  The Dovekeepers-fiction
       6.  Unbroken-nonfiction
       7.  The Poisonwood Bible-fiction

14.  Read through at least the New Testament:  I've tried to do this several years, but have never actually finished it in a year.  I would definitely like to accomplish this one. 

15.  Read the Count of Monte Cristo:  I have owned this book for about 7 years and have started it about 3 times.  It's just so intimidatingly huge.  But I love the movie, and love the storyline.  I am determined that by age 25, I will conquer this book!  All 1,462 pages of it.
 16.  Create a family tree:  This would be a fun project to do with my parents and grandparents and I think would be a good way to help preserve my family's history.

17.  Learn to sew: My mom always tried to teach me how growing up, but I always resisted her efforts...much to my current chagrin.  Hopefully she'll give me another try.  I'd be fine with just knowing the basics.
18.  Watch 25 new-to-me movies: Husband and I really like watching movies, so this should be pretty easy!

19.  Re-learn French:  This seems so vague, but after studying French for 5 years, I was in the very beginning stages of being fluent.  Since my last semester of it a couple of years ago, I haven't really sharpened that skill anymore.  There is a little shop in the next town over that has some French speaking women that work there, but I have only had the guts to go in there and talk to them once.  They could definitely help me get back to where I was, just need to suck it up and go talk to them.
Me in high school with my French teacher, Mme Wells.  Awesome teacher! 
20.  Take 500 new pictures: I've had a nice DSLR for years, and took tons of pictures to begin with.  I've sort of hit a wall with picture taking, and want to get back in the habit of taking pictures. 

21.  Go to Wakulla Springs: Husband and I have been planning this for a while, and hopefully we'll get to go this summer.

22.  Go to 3 parades: I usually resist parades, but once I'm there I always enjoy them.  I'm sure one of those will be the annual Cairo Christmas parade.
2011 Cairo Christmas parade
23.  Go on vacation to a city I've never been: For the sake of our budget, this doesn't have to be another country or even another state.  Just a city I've never been.  Darrien trip!

24.  Paint my toenails a different color each month: This was my sister's contribution, and I love this idea.  Some of these might just have to be pedi trips with said sister. :)

25.  Write 200 blog posts: Self explanatory, 15 down, 185 to go!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Last weekend I was able to spend time with all of my family for Mother's Day.  On Saturday we had a shower for my cousin Lauren, who is getting married in a couple of weeks. 
From left to right: My sister Allie, me, cousin Lindsey, and cousin Lauren
Sunday I got to see my Aunt Kimberly, Uncle Tim, and cousins Jake and Holden.  We all ate lunch together with my parents and grandparents.  
Left to right: Me, cousin Holden, niece Emma, cousin Jake, my sister Allie
It was great to see so much of my family in one weekend, some of which I hadn't seen in a year.  I've been blessed with such a wonderful mother who loves my sister and me more than we'll ever understand.  Hope all of the mothers out there had a good Mother's Day!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pomp and Circumstance

Tonight are the graduation ceremonies for the high school where Husband teaches.  So he got to dress up in his little robe and look all professional.  I think he looks pretty handsome. :)
We weren't quite certain what was going on with this tail thing in the back...
Ya'll got good plans for the weekend?  Mine involves yard work, cleaning the house, and more yardwork.  And I'm sure plenty of sleeping somewhere in there too. :)  Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Today I received a prize in the mail that I won from my friend Laura's blog.  It's a journal that says "Treasured" on the front with Psalm 147:11 underneath it.  She included a business card that has her blog website listed, such a cute idea! 
Laura and I went to CCF (Christian Campus Fellowship) together at UGA, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading her blog Where I Came From.  She posts such interesting and thought provoking things, from running inspiration, to recipes, to DIY projects, to personal stories.  Hop on over to her blog and give her some love!  Hope you're all having a wonderful week!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Ode to Taco Bell

On my way up to Henry County last weekend, I decided to start things off right.  Now how does one do that, Julie Anna? might ask.  And my overly confident response would be two words: Taco Bell.  
Now, I know I have talked about Taco Bell a lot on this here blog.  And I know that some of you are either A. grossed out that anyone could so passionately enjoy eating what many insultingly call "dog food" B. You think I am totally exaggerating said passion for eating Taco Bell, or C. You have known me from a young age and know that I am being completely serious.  

For the sake of this post, I will ASSUME (even though we all know what that does...) that you all fall in the B camp.  So please, allow me to explain...
You know how adults think it is cute to ask small children what they want to be when they grow up? And normally you get some variation of a doctor, a mom, a veterinarian, and so on and so forth with the fulfilling and money making ventures that most logical adults know their child will probably never achieve...Well, as a small child, when people asked me that (hopefully self fulfilling prophecy) question, I would reply... "I want to be a Taco Bell manager."  Yes, really shooting for the stars huh?  I'm not sure where that goal came from, or why I just enjoy the food so dang much, but I just decided to run with it.  "Yo quiero Taco Bell" dog ain't got nothin' on me!  (In hindsight, the abundance of cheese in every single menu item is what probably did it for me.)  All growing up I remember going to Taco Bell with my family and friends, and even once wrote an email to a country radio host, Wylie Rose, discussing our mutual admiration of bean burritos.  And guess what ya'll, the lady wrote me back!!!  We were truly kindred spirits.
In high school, some of my friends caught on to my pintos n' cheese, bean burrito, nachos supreme, mexi-melt addiction and decided to make me a screen printed shirt with the Taco Bell logo on the front and the word "manager" on the back.  There has probably never been a more fitting gift.  No really, the shirt fit really well.  Then in college, I was blessed with a roommate who understood my preference for the Bell and who just generally enjoyed going to get highly caloric food at 3 am with me when Taco Bell was the only place open.  One time we got the smart idea to go through the drive-thru in our pajamas, robe and all.  Well, when my roommate (name withheld to protect the innocent) did not get her caramel apple empanada, I marched my fuzzy slippered, robe clad self right into that restaurant and held them accountable!  I definitely think that was my shining moment.  I'm not sure my embarrassed roommate agreed, but she sure did enjoy that empanada, thankyouverymuch!

After I got married, I was slightly saddened when Husband and I were going through the drive-thru and I told him to order me a mexi-melt.  "A mexi what" his confused face said.  And I just looked at him.  "A mexi-melt," I said, as if such a word is just as common a word as button.  And he said "what the crap is a mexi-melt" and I died a little inside.  After I recovered, I insisted that he get one and told him that it would forever change his perception of Taco Bell, for the better.  Wellll, I forgot to explain the delicate manner in which one must unwrap the mexi-melt.  You see, they steam the tortilla before filling the inside (which is practically the only thing that makes it different from a taco, but whatever) so when they wrap it, the steamy tortilla tends to adhere to the wrapping paper.  I'm talking like, crazy glue adhere.  Like, if I ever had a gigantic cut on my body, I would just stick one of those warm tortillas on the cut, and then place a wrapper on top.  Voila!  Most effective bandage ever!  You have to very very gently peel back the edge of the tortilla, or else you will end up eating paper or you will have a shredded tortilla and have to eat the innerds with a fork.  Annnd yep, he had to use a fork.  At that point he vowed to never eat a mexi-melt again.  

Fast forward a year, and a move to Cairo, Georgia.  Naturally, my first question about the area was "is there a Taco Bell," followed by Zaxbys, Wal-Mart, and more practical things like a hospital.  I got an affirmative on everything. but. the. Taco Bell.  What a tragedy.  But I sucked it up and consoled myself with the fact that there was a Taco Bell 20 minutes away.  But guys...that Taco Bell is 20 minutes away, and this city raised girl is not used to driving more than 5 minutes for her fast-food mexican.  In the year that I have lived here, I have gotten Taco Bell once.  That one time I had to "pick up some shoes" but my true reason for going there was that I was craving Taco Bell like mad.  My mom has jokingly said that I could fulfill my dream of being a Taco Bell manager by opening one in Cairo.  I know she's kidding, but it is sounding better and better every day. 

Allll of this being said, whenever I get the chance, I take advantage of a route included Taco Bell.  So it was a no brainer that during my trip up to Henry County I would skip my usual dinner hour and wait until I got to the exit with the Taco Bell, to consume my final calories for the day.  In case you guys didn't see this picture earlier, here it is again... (The mild sauce reads "Eat your heart out ketchup"!  Well then call me ketchup baby!)
Now, because some of you sticks in the mud safety conscious individuals will probably judge my choice to eat a burrito while operating a motorized vehicle, I have decided to put together a quick lesson in simultaneous burrito eating/car driving.
1.  Locate a Taco Bell.  This should be easy.  MOST towns have them (no I'm not bitter)
2.  Close your eyes and randomly point to 4 items on the menu.  According to Husband, everything tastes the same.  
3.  Pay with a $5 bill.  No matter what you have ordered, it will still be less than $5.  Take THAT McDonalds!!
4.  Pause in the parking lot to assemble your meal in your lap.  If you have on white pants, you should probably line your lap with some napkins. 
5. Puncture the cup with a straw.
6. Now clean up all of the liquid that pooled up on the lid, since your cup was inevitably filled too full.  Lucky for you, Taco Bell's brown recycled napkins are super absorbent.  (another reason to like Taco Bell, they are environmentally friendly!)
7.  Get back on the road.
8.  Peel back the paper at the top of your item, which, in my case, was a bean burrito.
9.  Take the first bite out of the burrito, so that you can now pour your choice of sauce down into the burrito.
10.  Open the sauce package with your teeth.  Yes, you might catch a communicable/incurable disease by doing this, but probably not.  Plus, it'd be worth it.  Taco Bell is no good without their sauce (which they conveniently sell jars of at Wal-Mart now)
11.  After pouring in your sauce (you might have to do this more than once and with multiple sauce packets depending on your preferred sauce:burrito ratio)  continue eating your burrito until it's all gone.  Do your best to avoid the paper.  It won't kill you if you eat it though.  (Husband should know after that mexi-melt fiasco)
12.  Repeat steps 8-11 (and 7 if you have run off the road during the enjoyment of your first burrito) with each additional item until you have a full belly and a smile on your face. 
13.  And finally, take a picture of your smiling face, to prove your joy to those who could not see you in person/that you didn't almost hit while trying to take a picture.  
And that concludes our lesson in car burrito eating!  And now I totally want Taco Bell.  Which, I just might be in luck, since I'll be near one after church tonight! 
Oh, and always remember, "Think outside the bun."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Remember in this post when I asked if those pods would turn into blooms?  Well, turns out, those just turned into new leaves...And I was really disappointed when I figured that out.  But!  Last week I noticed that things were beginning to look up!  Cause looky here at what are on my Magnolia trees?!
Now, I know for sure that this will turn into a flower.  I love magnolia blossoms, and if you can't tell, I'm excited.  :)
My hydrangeas are also doing pretty well.  I cut this one today to put in a vase inside.  It's a single bloom.
Hope everyone's week is going well so far.  Got some good posts coming your way, just got to sit down and write them!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


It finally rained today, and I was so excited about getting to wear my new rain boots my parents got me for my birthday!  As I was getting dressed to go to dinner with husband and the father-in-law, it was pouring outside and I was so excited!  Well, as soon as I stepped out the door, nothing but blue skies.  I was so mad!  So I stepped in every puddle there was outside to justify wearing my cute boots. 
See that shirt laying on the ground and the drawers all askew?  Husbaaaaaaand!  Story of my life...At least he's hot. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

This past weekend, on Cinco de Mayo, my parents celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary!  They are such a beautiful example of what marriage should be.  I'm proud of them and thankful for the example they have provided for my sister and me.  I'm also kinda glad they got together for personal reasons, since I wouldn't be here if it weren't for them! :)
Married for 28 years!  They look 28 years old though!  

Friday, May 4, 2012


Oh my sweet goodness, someone please buy this for my cat...

Photo courtesy of this awesome Etsy store

Or at least help me convince my husband that Bing Clawsby neeeeeds this adorable little bowtie.  He would feel so dapper!  I'm sure of it!!  It would totally go along with his name too!  Can I get an amen?!?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Girls' trip part 1

Well it has taken me two months to finally begin writing the posts about the girls trip I took back in March with my mom and sister.  I'm pretty ashamed about that, considering that here lately I feel like I have nothing to write about, and here I have this awesome trip that my mother took my sister and I on, that is full of material to write about, and yet I've been too lazy to sit down and actually write it.  So I've decided to make myself a little more disciplined and get to it!  So the story that all of you some of you have been waiting on! 
It all started back in January when my mom told me that she had purchased a Groupon for a two night stay on Hilton Head Island.  (if you don't know what Groupon is, it's a site that has some awesome deals)  My mom has always been all about us, her wonderful children, so she automatically knew she wanted that little stay on Hilton Head to be just a girls trip.  So we all consulted our schedules and asked our wonderful bosses if we could have the first Friday in March off (which thankfully, they agreed to) and we were set to go.  By the time the date got here we were all so excited and so in need of a break.  Because I don't like driving long distances by myself, I decided to drive to Macon to meet up with my mom and Allie (my sister) and just ride to Hilton Head with them.   For those of you not from the Southeastern United States, Hilton Head is right off the coast of South Carolina.  This is what it looks like:
 I met them at lunch time and we had Panera for lunch.  And let me just tell you, that lunch kicked off a weekend of some wonderful tasting food.  I became addicted to Panera while in college in Athens and consider it one of my favorite restaurants, behind Taco Bell and Bonefish of course.  Imagine my utter dismay and chagrin, when first taking husband to Panera and hearing those cursed words "I just don't really like the food here" cross his lips.  Oh the horror!  So because I am a kind and self sacrificing wife, I never make him eat there.  Needless to say, I never get to eat there now.  Side note: he doesn't really like Taco Bell either, but that is just a non-negotiable.  My devotion to Taco Bell could be grounds for divorce if husband ever even considered refusing me my Taco Bell.  (not really, but kind of) 
So after enjoying a scrumptious (yes I had to spell check that word) lunch, we headed off towards Hilton Head.  After being in the car for 3 hours already and then another 3 hours towards Hilton Head, I was ready to get all kinds of dramatic about my legs falling asleep and feeling claustrophobic (yep, had to spell check that too).  I  pull off dramatic REALLY well.  But alas, we finally made it to Hilton Head Island.  Well, we made it to the bridge heading to Hilton Head.  And here's where things did get all dramatic.  Well, at least in my head. 
And now is when I give you a little history lesson on me and bridges.  Ya see, we just don't get along.  I'm not afraid of heights, not afraid of spiders, not afraid of most things.  But bridges, and the subsequent water that necessitates said bridges, Oh, and the man eating sharks in said water...yeah...not so good.  I vividly remember being about 4 years old, going over the bridge to Panama City, wearing a blow up alligator floaty.  I thought that if we crashed through the side wall of the bridge and plummeted into the ocean, my alligator floaty would preserve my life via it's floatation capabilities.  It's really intimidating cartoon reptilian face just MIGHT end up scaring away a shark or two as well.  Pretty soon I got old enough to realize that the impact would probably pop a hole in said floaty, and I simply got too big to squeeze through the dinner plate sized hole.  

And here is me and my alligator floaty.  I knew some of you would doubt it's existence, so I braved the cobweb that is my old Dell laptop to find this little gem for you guys.   
So, I came up with another plan.  If I rolled down my window while crossing a bridge, the car would take on water fast enough (through the open window, see) that the pressure on the outside and inside of the car would equalize faster, thus allowing me to open the door and make a faster exit.  The only flaw to this would be that because of the faster equalization, the car would sink faster, giving me less time to realize that "holy cow my worst fear really just came true." (Say that sentence in a mildly hysterical voice)  I considered unbuckling my seatbelt for every subsequent bridge crossing, but then realized that the absence of a restraint around my body would probably mean that, during the fall, I could possibly hit the roof of the car and knock myself unconscious.  And then what good is an easily opened door, if you're knocked out and can't open it?  So now I just roll the window down, close my eyes, keep my seat belt on, and maintain a vice grip on the "oh crap" handle.  Suffice it to say that this method has a 100% success rate.  Should that percentage ever decrease, I think I would be too terrified to survive.  And you thought I was kidding about my fear of bridges?  Yep, I've really thought through this whole nearly impossible scenario.  So now that I've explained all of that...want to see the most impressive bridge we passed over?  
 A real Golden Gate ain't it?
So now that we all realize how irrational I am and that I should probably be medicated for my bridge triggered anxiety, shall we continue?  At this point you are probably assuming that either A. our car did not careen over the side of the bridge or B.  our car really did fly into the ocean and my well thought out plan really did work and saved me and my family.  For the excitement of the blog, I wish I could tell you the correct answer is B, but we all know that my life is not near as exciting (and as previously stated, I do dramatic REALLY well, so you would have heard this story waaaay before now if B had in fact happened).  Needless to say, the real story is A. 

Aaaaanyways, once we survived the passing of Golden Gate part B, we went ahead and checked in at the hotel. 
And yes, I am including another picture of the bridge.  After this picture, I put my head between my knees...
The first room we were assigned was right at the entrance to the first floor, and therefore was right by the elevator and vending machines.  Now, we are normally not high maintenance people, but we decided to just see if they had another open room.  The front desk kindly confirmed that yes! they had another room available and gave us a key to check it out.  We skip on down to the room, opened the door, and there were someone's belongings everywhere!  So we very quickly closed the door, thinking there might be someone actually in the room along with their belongings.  We all just kind of looked at each other for a minute and were like "uhhh...Ok, I guess we need to ask again for a different room."  My mom was convinced that the person was a squatter, and went back to the room after they were supposed to have checked out.  Don't know if that was the case, or the hotel just doesn't keep very good records of who is where.  Thank goodness we didn't walk in on the people when they were actually in their room!  We went back to the front desk and told the attendant what we had encountered and she got really confused and then the manager had to get involved and find us another room.  The moral of this story: whenever you're in a hotel room ALWAYS do the little slide lock at the top of the door.  Never know when someone like my family could walk in on you and your stuff!  But anyways, third time was the charm!  
We freshened up a little in the room and then decided to go to dinner.  We read some reviews and decided to go to an "authentic" Italian restaurant in town.  Well, we didn't quite know how authentic the restaurant was until we called for directions and the person on the other end of the line didn't speak a lick of English.  (she totally would not have understood my use of the word "lick" in that sentence)  She passed the phone off to another person, who spent the next 15 minutes on the phone with my sister trying to tell us how to get to the restaurant.  Only, she was completely clueless, and sort of rude on the phone.  Turns out, we were like 1/4 mile down the road from the restaurant and the lady had no clue where we were.  Anyways!  We finally made it there, and lo and behold, the rude lady on the phone?  Yep, she was our server.  She had some major control issues too.  If you tried to pick up your empty plate or your cup needing a refill to hand it to her, she'd huff and glare at you like you were killing her puppy.  And the next time around she would like sneak up behind you and snatch your plate away quickly before you had a chance to sully it with your diner's hands.  It was all so abrupt!  I was a server for several years in college, and I know how frustrating the job can be, but you also have to realize that the person you are serving is who will be leaving your tip.  You grin and bear it, even if they're annoying you.  Though I never got annoyed when someone tried to hand me their empty plate, I even thanked them!  The food was mediocre, and obviously the meal was tainted by the service we received, but we still left her a nice tip, because that's the kind of people we are.  Along with that money I wanted to leave her a note that said to get some Xanax, but that wouldn't have been very nice.    
After dinner, we walked around a couple of shops and admired the pretty, expensive stuff in them.  We were all tired after riding in the car all day, so we decided to go back to the hotel and watch a little tv before bed.  My mom and sister don't have cable in their house, and I didn't until I got married, so it's always exciting to be able to watch HGTV and Animal Planet when we're on vacation. 
So that's the end of day one!  Hopefully I'll post about day two tomorrow!  It'll have more pictures too, promise! :)