Monday, September 26, 2011

10 Things...

So, this weekend was pretty awesome. The boy and I have spent the last month just going going going with projects, wedding stuff, and work. This weekend was, of course, no different from that. Except that it was awesome. Thursday afternoon we hauled our cookies down to Georgia where both his parents and my sister and brother-in-law live and geared up for a long, activity-filled weekend. On the books was shopping and dinner with the boy's fam on Friday, then off to Atlanta to tailgate and attend the GA Tech game on Saturday and then hit up the Coldplay concert in Piedmont park Saturday evening.

So, with that said, below are 10 things that made this weekend perfect:


Getting to spend some quality time with the boy's family and see where he's from!

Me and my guy on our way to dinner with his family :-)

2The boy's sister flew up from Jacksonville, FL as a surprise and came to dinner with us! So fun to have his whole family together in their element. Wish we could have visited longer...

Real, authentic southern BBQ, including fall-off-the-bone ribs...tailgate perfection!

Soooo yummy!!

4Watching my man's eyes light up when the Athletic Director for GA Tech came by our tailgate and chatted with all the guys for about 15 minutes.


5When the Boy and I got in to my sister's place on Friday, my nephew was already in bed asleep, but when I walked in to the kitchen on Saturday morning (he was up helping CoCo (grandma) make breakfast) he ran up to me and hugged me and let me kiss all over his sweet cheeks. Then he sat on my lap at the game and we got to talk football :-)

Love this lil guy...

Somewhere around the 3rd quarter of the game, I had sweat through every layer of clothing and was sunburnt in about 10 places, and I stretched my legs out in the stands and rested my feet in the Boy's lap. He took my flip flops off and rubbed my feet (even though I didn't ask him to!). My brother-in-law promptly took his "man-card" away, but Keith told me later that he didn't care if he lost man points for rubbing my feet because I was hot and tired and stuck it out because GA Tech is his favorite team. Now that's love.

In front of the fountain on the GA Tech campus on the way to the Stadium

As an added bonus to the weekend, we got VIP tickets to the Music Midtown festival in Piedmont Park where we got to see The Black Keys and Coldplay (among others)...all compliments of my brother-in-law who works really hard and is awesome at his job and made the tickets happen for us. Did I mention that VIP tickets get you free food and adult beverages?? Oh, why yes, bartender....I would like another glass of Pinot Grigio!

Music Midtown silliness with K

Me and the sisters in the concert t-shirts we bought because it got soooo cold!

I spent the first half of the concert listening to Coldplay and resting my hand on Brynn's belly waiting for my nephew to move.  Kinda crazy and cool to feel that little guy squirm around in there!

Me and Brynn, and then Brynn and her hubby...I can't help but give her belly a lil' motorboat :-)

Sunday morning before we left to head home to Kentucky, we re-arranged some furniture in my sister's house and ended up taking a piece home with us that was exactly what we needed at our house.  Now we don't have to spend more money on a new piece of furniture for the kitchen and it looks great!!

I loved that K and me got to dance in Piedmont Park to "Fix You" by Coldplay while they shot off fireworks from the stage.  I also loved driving back Sunday afternoon and falling asleep in his lap while we listened to football on the radio.  It was a great weekend.

So, that was my great weekend...what did you do this weekend??????

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Fun Weekend

Are you ready to pee your pants with jealousy??  If not, get ready to marvel in the fun and exciting weekend me and the boy had. 

It started like this:
That's my mom ripping up carpet

...and the dogs came to help...

And then things went a little like this:

And then our dogs came to help with the floor:

And then I got reaaaaalllly tired:

You dig my make-shift knee pads??  They were fashioned out of the boy's old socks which I promptly threw away after the job was done.

Foors worth every penny...and every bit of knee pain:

My handsome dad! 

But the real caviat of our weekend was THIS:
That's right folks, on top of installing new floors, we also had a yard sale this weekend.

Massive amounts of junk....people actually bought it too...

Yes, this too.  The real tragedy of this picture was not that I am marrying someone who owned it, but that someone actually PAID me to take it off my hands.  His poor wife. 

So there you have it friends...our weekend of fun.  We are heading off to Georgia again tomorrow for the and a GA Tech football game.  I'm sure I'll have some great pics and stories to share from yet another exciting weekend.  Until then....I'm off to finish watching Modern Family.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm a model, ya know what I mean?

Okay, so something BIG happened today.  Seriously....huge.  Today, I was "discovered".  Oh yes, friends...'tis true!  For so long I have been contemplating whether working in sales was my true calling, and today I got my answer when I met Tyler. 

Who is Tyler, you ask?  Why, he is only the highly professional, super talented, photographer that discovered me at the Speedway gas station this morning.  Duh.

Here I was, pulling in to the Speedway to put a little gas in the Matrix, and little did I know that my life (and career path) were about to change!  As I was replacing the pump back in the nozzle, Tyler shuffled himself on over to me and said something to the effect of "Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice...with your height and your long hair...that YOU could be a model."  Then he handed me a paper towel with his name, number and websites written on it and said, "Check out my websites, and if you like what  you see, give me a call." 

At first, I was thinking, "yeah right, total scam", but after thinking about the last 5 minutes of my drive to work I realized that Tyler must be legit.  I mean who, other than a 100% professional photographer, would notice me at a gas station, approach me on a 50 degree morning in cargo shorts and a t-shirt, and take the time to write his business information on the back of a windshield paper towel??  If that mental assurance wasn't enough, I decided to take him up on his offer to "check out my websites" and see if I liked what I saw. 

If the images weren't enough to convince me that this man was legit, statements such as these in his photgrapher profile, certainly sealed the deal...

"The STEELERS Rock!"

"Main Passion is working with/for MATURE MODELS 40 & Above! Rarely Will I work with Minors!"

"I Have LOCATIONS, 2nd to None!"

"When You're In Front of My Camera, You're The Most Hottest Beautiful Girl in the World, & Princess of The Universe!"

I think it's safe to say that you can expect some serious life changes on the way for this 'lil blogger once my modeling career takes off!  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Catching Up...and it's random...

Not much new with me kiddos...other than the usual that is: crazy busy at work, crazy busy with house projects, and just plain bizz-ay.  Ya digg?  Anyways, in an effort to bore you senseless, how about a 'lil recap of my fabulous life?  Okay great!

Since Thursday was the official kick-off of the NFL, I, being the gracious and thoughtful gal that I am, decided it would only be right to make a big pot of chili for the boy and the brother.  It was healthy chili, of course.  I substitute the ground beef for ground turkey and load it up with tons of veggies too.  Don't worry, it's still delicious...
The finished product! Email me if you want my chili recipe :)

Of course, after dinner, I packaged up the leftovers and sent them with the boy to work for the next couple days.  I got follow up texts both Friday and Saturday once again reminding me that my chili was delicious...not to mention the text I got on Friday from the boy to the effect of "Hey I have hot dogs at work, and your chili!  Chili dogs!" much for a healthy meal. 

All I remember about Friday was that work was cray-cray.  I hit my wall around 3:30pm, which is right about the time I lost my mind and tried to send this word in an email...

....thank you spell check.  And thank you more to Fridays at 5:00pm...I love you. 

I had planned to spend some quality time with this cute guy on Friday...

...but he had to stay late at work with a customer....Oh the joys of retail!  He literally got to my place around hour later than expected and just enough time for my to give him a kiss before I turned into a pumpkin and had to go to sleep.  Boo :-(

Ugh...don't be jealous of me, but on Saturday, I got to go paint the bathroom at the boy's house while he was at work.  The guest bath was this horrible Scorsese red that I tried to avoid when I was at his house, partly because he never cleans it, but mostly because it's the kind of red that gives you nightmares...yeah, like the shower scene in psycho nightmares....true story.  So, in an effort to keep the housing projects moving, I have to take care of some of the things while he's at work since we rarely have days off together. 

Let me tell ya, because I had both mine and his dog at the house during my de-nightmaring of the bathroom, I had to paint with the door closed.  Umm, pretty sure I sweat more during the hour and a half I was in that tiny bathroom than I did during the 10 miles I did on the bike earlier that day.  No really, the mirror completely fogged up...I kid you not. 

After the painting was finally over, I worked on cleaning the boys house...I will spare you the details of that disaster, but let's just say, a discussion has been had about cleanliness, and that was that.  I will say, in his defense, we don't spend a whole lot of time at his place right now since mine is closer to both our offices, and to pretty much everything else we would want to do.  So he doesn't get much of an opportunity to do many household chores (since he's busy doing them at mine)...

By the way, in case I haven't mentioned it......I HATE PAINTING.  Just had to get that off my chest.  We've so far painted the kitchen, living room, master bedroom, master bathroom, hallway and entryway, and now the guest bathroom.  Ugh...and next up is the guest bedroom.  Pray for me. 

See what I mean?? Ruin my mani, why don't ya...

Saturday night was our first date night in about a thousand years...seriously.  I cannot remember the last time K and me went somewhere, just the two of us, other than the gym or the grocery store (that doesn't count).  Since he got off work at a reasonable hour on Saturday and I was ready for a glass or wine or ten, we hit up one of our new favorite little tapas restaurants and wine bar in Nicholasville.  Yeah, there is actually a tapas restaurant in Nicholasville...I am as surprised as you are.  Since we like it so much, I feel confident that it will close as soon as I move to in the spirit of enjoying good things while they last, we had a lovely dinner together.  Lucky for us, there was some kind of fall festival happening in downtown Nicholasville, so along with my wine and cheese platter, I got to enjoy a lovely view of the passersby.  Pretty sure I counted no fewer than 50 men in wife beaters and at least half a dozen toddlers carrying around bottles filled with Mountain Dew, but everyone seemed to be in good spirits, including myself. 

Unfortunately, as dinner was coming to an end, I got an excruciating headache (you know, the ones that just linger right behind your eyes...) and we had to go home and veg out after that.  We ordered "Something Borrowed" on demand...ummm, wow.  Pretty sure even if I hadn't read the book, I would still think the movie stunk.  It really was a toss us between what was more headache, or the horrific movie adaptation of what was a delightful beach read.  And can we talk about Kate Hudson?  When did she stop being adorable???

I can't say much about my Sunday.  For the first time in at least a month, I allowed myself to just relax.  Okay, I say that, but by relax, I mean lay in bed and watch 9/11 specials all day and cry every time the State Farm commercial came on with the kids singing to Jay-Z.  Promise.  I did manage to make it to the grocery to at one point, and more importantly, paint my toenails before finally making it out of my bed cocoon and join the normal world for dinner. 

Work....and lots of it.  I barely had time to eat my Chobani today I was so busy.  It was a total Monday.  After work I sweat it out with my co-worker and friend, Hilary, at the gym and headed home for dinner.  The boy and me came up with a to-do list of things we need to get done this week before we install the new flooring we bought for his house this weekend.  The to-do lists NEVER end.  After that, I sat down on that couch and enjoyed my puppy dog (okay, I get that at 110 lbs. he is not a puppy, but whatev...).  Turns out Sawyer had a busy day too.  After sleeping on my couch (which he's not allowed on, kinda) for 9 consecutive hours, he ate dinner, went potty and proceeded to take turns waiting for K and me to drop pieces of our dinner on the floor and barking at the front door for an hour.  After chewing on his bone and eating a dryer sheet, he was pretty much spent and decided he needed a 'lil nap.

Anyways, that's pretty much been my life for the past few days.  What have my dear readers been up to??

Friday, September 9, 2011

Redefining the Southern Belle

I recently read the following article by Allison Glock in Garden & Gun Magazine.  I think it is by far my thing I've read about southern women and why we are the way we are.  You can check out the article below or you can visit the website and read it here.

By Allison Glock | August/September 2011 | Features

Southern Women

A new generation of women who are redefining the Southern Belle
It is not posturing, or hyperbole, or marketing. (See: all those song lyrics about California girls and their undeniable cuteness.) Southern women, unlike women from Boston or Des Moines or Albuquerque, are leashed to history. For better or worse, we are forever entangled in and infused by a miasma of mercy and cruelty, order and chaos, cornpone and cornball, a potent mix that leaves us wise, morbid, good-humored, God-fearing, outspoken and immutable. Like the Irish, with better teeth.

To be born a Southern woman is to be made aware of your distinctiveness. And with it, the rules. The expectations. These vary some, but all follow the same basic template, which is, fundamentally, no matter what the circumstance, Southern women make the effort. Which is why even the girls in the trailer parks paint their nails. And why overstressed working moms still bake three dozen homemade cookies for the school fund-raiser. And why you will never see Reese Witherspoon wearing sweatpants. Or Oprah take a nap.

For my mother, being Southern means handwritten thank-you notes, using a rhino horn’s worth of salt in every recipe, and spending a minimum of twenty minutes a day in front of her makeup mirror so she can examine her beauty in “office,” “outdoor,” and “evening” illumination. It also means never leaving the house with wet hair. Not even in the case of fire. Because wet hair is low-rent. It shows you don’t care, and not caring is not something Southern women do, at least when it comes to our hair.

This is less about vanity than self-respect, a crucial distinction often lost on non-Southerners. When a Southern woman fusses over her appearance, it does not reflect insecurity, narcissism, or some arrested form of antifeminism that holds back the sisterhood. Southern women are postfeminism. The whole issue is a nonstarter, seeing as Southern women are smart enough to recognize what works—Spanx, Aqua Net—and wise to the allocation of effort. Why pretend the world is something it isn’t? Better to focus on what you can control (drying your hair) and make the best of what you have. Side note: Southern women do not capitalize on their looks to snag men, though that often results. The reason we Southern women take care of ourselves is because, simply, Southern women are caretakers.

An example: I have lived in the North off and on for fifteen years. In all that time, only once did another woman prepare me a home-cooked meal (and she was from Florida). I recently visited Tennessee for one week and was fed by no fewer than three women, one of whom baked homemade cupcakes in two different flavors because she remembered I loved them.

Southern women are willing to give, be it time, hugs, or advice about that layabout down the road. Southern women listen and we talk and we laugh without apology. We are seldom shocked. Not really. Sex in the City may have been revolutionary for the rest of America, but not for Southern women. Of course we bond and adore each other, and talk about all topics savory and otherwise. That’s what being a woman means.

In Terms of Endearment, a dying Debra Winger visits a friend in New York and is immediately bewildered by the alternately indifferent and aggressive way the women relate to each other.

“Why do they act like that?” Winger asks a friend, genuinely confused. Why indeed.

Southern women see no point in the hard way. Life is hard enough. So we add a little sugar to the sour. Which is not to suggest Southern women are disingenuous cream puffs. Quite the opposite. When you are born into a history as loaded as the South’s, when you carry in your bones the incontrovertible knowledge of man’s violence and limitations, daring to stay sweet is about the most radical thing you can do. 
Southern women are also a proud lot. In any setting, at home or abroad, Southern women declare themselves. Leading with geography is not something that other ladies do. You do not hear “That’s just how we roll in Napa.”  Or “Well, you know what they say about us Wyoming girls…” You may hear “I’m from Jersey,” but that’s more of a threat than a howdy.

There are other defining attributes, some more quantifiable than others. Southern women know how to bake a funeral casserole and why you should. Southern women know how to make other women feel pretty. Southern women like men and allow them to stay men. Southern women are not afraid to dance. Southern women know you can’t outrun your past, that manners count, and that your mother deserves a phone call every Sunday. Southern women can say more with a cut of their eyes than a whole debate club’s worth of speeches. Southern women know the value of a stiff drink, among other things.

Which brings us to what can only be called: the Baby Thing.

Southern women love babies. We love them so much we grab their chubby thighs and pretend to eat them alive. This is not the case in the North or the West or the middle bit.

I grew up, like all Southern girls, babysitting as soon as I was old enough to tie my own shoes. I was raised to understand that taking care of children was as natural and inevitable as sneezing, that when we were infants, somebody looked after us, and thus we should clutch hands and complete the circle without any fuss. I was also taught that your children are not supposed to be your best friends. Southern women do not spend a lick of time worrying about whether or not their kids are mad at them. They are too busy telling them “No” and “Because I said so,” which might explain why there are rarely any Southern kids acting a fool and running wild around the Cracker Barrel.

I have two daughters, Dixie and Matilda, and when we go down South, they are surrounded with love from the moment we cross the Mason-Dixon. Elderly men tip their hats. Cashiers tell them they are beautiful. To be a girl these days is more fraught than ever. But growing up among Southern women sure makes it easier.

Which is why we are moving back home. I want my children to know they belong to something bigger than themselves. That they are unique, but they are not alone. That there is continuity where they come from. Comfort too. That there are rules worth following and expectations worth trying to meet, even if you fail. If nothing else, I want them to know how to make biscuits. And to not feel bad about eating a whole heaping plate of them.

Because before I know it, my girls will be grown. And they will be Southern women too. And that, I believe, will have made all the difference.

Great article, right??  I was actually born in central California, and we moved to Ky when I was 6...I believe it has made all the difference in my upbringing.  Despite missing so many of my west coast relatives, I never go back and wonder what it would have been like to grow up as a California girl.  I love my southern roots and the hospitality that we are greeted with at every turn, and being able to show the west-coasters what real southern hospitality is when they visit.  I love knowing what really really good BBQ tastes like and that my fiance has a southern GA twang.  I love having rocking chairs on our front porch and that the neighbors I don't even know will wave when they drive by.  I love being able to strike up a conversation with the lady in line behind you at the grocery store who you've never met, but who'll tell ya her life story.  I love that I can say "Bless her heart" and all my southern gals know what that really means.  And I love that my mom knows how to make homemade buscuits and teaching her daughters to make them is a right of passage.

What do YOU love about being a southern women??  If you're not from the south, have you every visited?  What have you noticed about people below the Mason-Dixon line??

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Say "Ummm..." to the Dress?

Oh my word...can we say exhausted??  This past weekend was a total whirlwind of tulle and satin!  For those of you who read my last post, you will recall that I went dress shopping in Atlanta with my two sisters, my mom, my aunt and another adorable bride and her mom and sister (my nephew came along too, but only because he lives in my sister's belly still).  It was super fun hanging with all the gals, but I gotta tell ya, the dress shopping thing...I didn't love it.  In all seriousness, the first couple places we went were kind of fun and it was neat to get the whole experience.  But when we weren't finding the dress, I really started to hate it.  I went in to the experience with both an open mind and also an idea what the feel of the dress I wanted.  We left on Friday morning at 6am and our first appointment was at 2:00 at Kelly's Closet.  Let me just say...I die over the dresses there.  I fell in love with a Claire Pettibone dress....too bad it was $6,000.  No biggie.

 There were several others I loved there as well, but they were seriously out of my budget...the nice thing about the first appointment was that we got an idea of what I liked and what looked good on me.  Our second stop was at Pricilla of Boston in Atlanta, and let me just was AWFUL.  My sister made the appointment last week and then got a call a couple days before that they were going out of business and all the dresses would be 40% off "as-is".  So, even though I wasn't a fan of the as-is part, I figured we would take a gander since they are normally super expensive dresses and we could get them almost half off.  Honestly, I almost wish we handn't gone.  The lady who helped us was this mean old b*tch who was just rude from the first minute.  I don't have any pics from there as we were so rushed through our time at the salon and she was too busy yelling at my family (who took the day off work to come help me find a dress) to quit pulling dresses for me.  She sucked.  Not surprised they are going out of business with the service they were providing.

Saturday was our main shopping day.  It was find the dress or bust!  We met up with another bride, Katie (a family friend, and one of my sister's best friends growing up) and we tag teamed the dresses together.  First stop was this little bridal store in Kennesaw which had surprisingly great dresses at ever better prices.  Here are some photos of some of the dresses I tried on there:

Not sure what's with the "sad face" here, but this was a lovely dress...not the one though...

A gorgeous lace option...but it was realllllly heavy!

A "princess" option...not my fave because of the skirt...but the top of the dress was absolutely gorgey.

I loved this one...kind of ethereal and very light :)

another view of the last dress....

A major contender at the first store....this was everyone's favorite at this place, but I was hesitant...

....and with the veil, it was really pretty....
  Our second appointment was at Winnie Couture in ATL...a really cute bridal boutique that had a wonderful ambiance, but sadly, all the dresses there looked wretched on's a couple that were "okay" at best...

prettier dress than my group gave credit for....and i loved the open back ...


but it made my booty look good....

trying to explain that the straps would need to be altered so my gals weren't all hanging out during my vows...

but the back was gorgey :)

loved the top, but the bottom made me look "hippie"

 By the time we made it to our last appointment on Saturday, I was worn out and sooooo discouraged.  I was feeling like we weren't going to find "the dress" and I was reallllly not wanting to try on any more.  The last place we went was called Sweet Elegance Bridal in Decatur.  It's owned by a mother and daughter team and we were greeted with smiles when we got there.  The ladies sat down when we got there and asked each of us all about our wedding and how we wanted to look on the big day.  They asked us what we liked and what we didn't like and got a feel for what each of us brides was all about.  They told us that what they like to do was pick the first handful of dresses for us based on our conversation and then we could do a pass through the store once they did the first round.  I was open to ANYTHING at that point, and the gals there were seriously sooo sweet.  When I got into the dressing room they gave us a robe and brought us some diamond earrings to wear for the whole look.  They brought the first dress in and I waited about 15 minutes while they laces me up into it... "No peeking!" they said when I tried to look in the mirror.  Before I went out to show everyone, they brought me a veil and finished off the look.  I got to go out having not seen myself in the dress at all yet, but fully adorned in the whole bridal look. 

The first dress was stunning.  It truly was beautiful and nothing I would have ever picked out.  We all agreed it was our favorite look of the day so far.  Wow...picking my dresses all day was apparently the wrong way to go. We all agreed that the first dress was a contender, and they said "okay, we're setting the one aside, and every dress you try on has to beat it, or it's out!".  Wow, what a great way to approach things!  They brought about 5 more dresses in for me to try and we finally narrowed it down to the top 2 contenders.  With our top 2 set aside, they gave me and my crew a chance to make a pass around the store and pick dresses for the final round.  Everyone had some opinions and I even entertained a ballgown for a brief moment to appease my mom.  I pulled a dress that reminded me a lot of the first dress, but with a little more of the things I was looking for in it too...

....The dress I pulled ended up being "the dress"...and I really love it!  It is nothing like I thought I would end up with but I feel like that's how it typically works.  I seriously must have tried on at least 50 dresses...yeah, for serious.  The funny thing is that I know if I had tried on the dress I ended up going with on the first appointment, I would have said, "It's beautiful, but it's not what I'm looking for" and moved on.  I guess I needed to try on a bunch of duds to finally realize that this dress was perfect for me.  I guess looking for a dress is kind of like looking for a groom in a lot of ways :-).

Anyways, the below pick was my number 2 choice and it was beautiful....

The ladies at Sweet Elegance Bridal were seriously awesome.  They put all the bad dresses to shame and made me feel like a bride.  I would seriously recommend making the trip out to Decatur if you are in the market for a dress.  They even let us bring a little vino in and have a toast with our whole crew once me and Katie found our dresses (yep, Katie found hers there too!)!

Our group, left to right: my mom, little sister, Katie (bride to be), me, sister (and baby nephew in her belly), Katie's lil sis, and Katie's mom

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