Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Year End Wrap Up

I guess this could also be "where the heck have you been the last 6 mths?" -- life has just been so crazy, fun, sad, worrisome, you name it, I guarantee I've experienced every emotion over the past 6 mths. So I thought I would highlight some of the things that stuck out most to me in 2010:

  • Surprised my sister on New Years
  • Wild Child turned 5
  • Trip to NOLA with my TBM (you will only know what this means if you follow me on Twitter)
  • Terrible car accident (DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!!)
  • Broke news to friends and family we were moving "home" to Atlanta
  • Big Daddy's contract ended and he branched out on his own
  • Entire family in wedding of our dear friends Bebe and Patrick
  • Wild Child broke his arm
  • Wild Child got bit by dog
  • Sisters trip to Chicago
  • Met lots of bloggers & now new friends in Atlanta
  • We bought our dream home in Atlanta
  • Co-chaired a HUGE event for American Cancer Society
  • Had an amazing 'see you later' party thrown by some of our dearest friends
  • Landed my dream job
  • Had our first visitors (BFF Amber & family came to visit)
  • Annual girls trip to the Ritz Carlton in Naples
  • Big Daddy turned 47!
  • Princess turned 8!
  • Surprised my best friend for her 40th birthday
  • Went to see Jake Owen at Ga State Fair
  • Two of my BFF's surprised me for my 35th birthday (one was surprise, one was surprise ruined by Facebook)
  • Ran AND COMPLETED my first 5K
  • Celebrated 35th birthday with lots of new friends
  • First year in 4 yrs we didn't have to travel for Thanksgiving
  • First Christmas at our new home and first Christmas I've celebrated with my parents in almost 10 yrs!
We have certainly seen our share of sadness and heartache this year. Things just didn't go as planned - however - God is good and we are happier than we've ever been. It's not worth going into detail, but I know that I know that I know (yes, I meant to say that) - we are HERE because we are SUPPOSED to be. We found a wonderful church that Big Daddy and I have jumped head first into and are becoming extremely involved with - we absolutely LOVE it. My Dad has been sick, so sick that I thought we were going to lose him. By God's grace, we haven't and he is doing well.

I would not change ONE single things about 2010 - no regrets. Our Pastor said this past weekend "The past is just a reminder of the things God CAN and WILL do for you" -- man, isn't that perfect? I remember laying in my floor this past summer, face buried in the carpet, crying, begging for mercy -- looking back now, I can see where God delivered us. We certainly walked through a desert and we are still walking, but it's OK.

Considering blogger likes to upload pics in whatever order they want, I'm just going to label the pics instead of painstakingly putting them in order:

Wild Child and his Pappy (October 2010)

Big Daddy and Brody (See You Later Party June 2010)

Big Daddy and Princess - Cheer Comp (Jan 2010)

Finishing first 5K - 35th Birthday (October 2010)

My best girls surprised me - eating at Doug's (YUM!) Shawn and Shannon (October 2010)

Ritz Chix annual beach weekend (July 2010)

See You Later Party - Best Friends a girl could have! (June 2010)

Celebrate Life Gala - American Cancer Society (May 2010)

Chicago (April 2010)

No explanation necessary (April 2010)

BFFs Wedding (March 2010)

Taylor Swift (I can't remember 2010)

Chicago (April 2010)

NOLA @ Commander's Palace - Top Chef Table (Jan 2010)

Erin from Blue Eyed Bride and me - April 2010

and lastly:

Blooper from Christmas 2010 Family shoot

I know I've left out stuff - but honestly, it has been fun going back through and looking at pictures - which reminds me - MUST TAKE MORE PICTURES in 2010. I am missing some though (BFF's surprise party, more going away pics, etc) - I do believe they are uploaded on another computer - which leads me to ANOTHER 'goal' for 2011 - download all pics!!

Anyway - I've really missed blogging. I hope I'm able to get back into it. I've found that blogging/twitter is such a great place to vent and meet people you may never have met living where you live. Can't make any promises, but I can promise that I'll try :)

Rock on Y'all!
Much Love, Natalie

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing you more blessings you ever thought you could receive in 2011!
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Supporting Local

Ever since we moved here, every Saturday and Sunday, I would drive by a certain intersection and see the cutest old man selling homemade dog feeders. We had been wanting one for Delilah and I just never had the opportunity to stop. This past Sunday, after church and on our way home from a delicious breakfast at Doug's, we decided to stop. My sister and I took bets on how much the handmade feeders cost.......Big Daddy went to talk to him, came back to the truck and told us $75!! WHAT!?! Noooooo it was only $30 and so we decided to buy one. It reminds me of the woodwork my grandfather used to do. The funny thing is, we had to write him a check and Big Daddy asked the man to just write his name on the check. The man held up his hand and 2 of his fingers were missing!! He laughed and told Big Daddy "Sanding is a hard job!" ....come to find out he worked at Stetson Hats for yrs and lost his fingers in a work accident.

Happy Wednesday!
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Catching up .....


You still there?

I hate that I just can't blog regularly - I'm off work today and thought I would catch up and make a dedicated effort to blog more than just once/month {or less} - BUT - this blog is a place for my family and friends to keep up with us, and especially since we've moved - I really do need to keep up with it. So now that I'm back in my blogging groove, it's time to play catch up:

Let's start with our escapade at the North Georgia State Fair! There were several country music artists playing, but the only one we could get to was Jake Owen.

His show was great and thanks to Big Daddy - we were able to get into the meet & greet after the show. A twitter friend was able to hook us up to tickets to the State Fair **side note: the friends I've made on twitter is BANANAS! A lot of girls are local and I'm actually having lunch with a great friend (that I met thru Twitter) TODAY!

Anyway, here is proof I got to get 'up close and personal'

My sister and I decided the night would not be complete without some fair food. She got a fried Snickers bar -- oh yeah, you read that right - a FRIED Snickers bar - and it was RIDICULOUS. SO YUMMY. I got my standard candy apple.

It was a fun night and I enjoyed the time with my sister!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brain Dump

I' m following suit of my dear friend, Blue Eyed Bride and doing a brain dump. Here goes:

  • I'm still loving my job ... like LOVE it. My immediate supervisor went on vacation 2 weeks after I started and then when he returned, he quit - so I've been kind of tripping through on my own. Luckily, I am not new to this business and have fell right into place, however, it's amazing when someone sees potential in you, invests time in you and wants to see you succeed - therefore, it's almost like I'm working a NEW job, only better because I actually KNOW what I'm doing!
  • Kids are out of school this week for fall break. I have 3 days off - in.a.row. So totally stoked to get some much needed projects done around the house - even though I've got both kids home, plus 2 extra - I plan on putting them to work and rewarding them with Maggie Moo's ice cream.
  • Big Daddy has been home a total of 6 days over the past 6 1/2 weeks. He is loving his job and God continues to bless us for being obediant. The job he has now is NOT the one we moved here for .... and I'll just leave it at that.
  • I'm grateful for my sister and niece (Big Daddy's 24 yr old niece lives with us while in school getting her SECOND degree) - I wouldn't be able to do anything without them.
  • My father is doing amazing -- he needs a post all on his own.
  • I have about 25 thank you notes to write/mail and 5 AWESOME packages to get into the mail.
  • I blame the above not getting done because I pretty much fell into a major funk when we moved here and threw myself into work. But I'm going to do it because I can't not do it and my friends deserve it.
  • I am so excited for the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate at Starbucks.
  • My drapes are almost done for my family room (right, Mom?) and wait until you see how I saved myself $$$ by making my own curtain rod!
  • I have SO many projects on the horizon and will be posting pics as I finish them - HOWEVER - I am doing one room at the time. None of this starting a project in one room, half doing it and then a yr later, finally finishing it.
  • I have LOTS of company coming in the next 2 mths and I'm so super excited to see them. I'm happiest when my house is FULL of people!!
  • I miss my friends in Tampa - still - a lot.
  • Finally - we found a church here. I am BEYOND excited. We went from a LARGE church in Tampa to a very SMALL church here in Georgia. We visited many churches around town and after our 3rd visit, decided we would make this church our home church. SO excited for their vision and to be a part of of the growth of the church. I always thought I needed a BIG church to be fulfilled - not at all. Even at our church in Tampa, we were so plugged in, it didn't feel like a big church. I have really felt this has been the missing piece since our move here, and now I feel completely fulfilled!

That's all - and if you love fried pickles - make sure you come back TOMORROW!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Card Cubby .....

While out with my sister several weeks ago, digging thru my purse to find my Am Ex, she commented that I needed to 'get organized' -- that is the story of my life, y'all -- and one I am passionately pursuing -- time just gets the best of me and I would rather sit and watch HGTV, dreaming about all the things I want to do to our home, tweet, facebook, etc etc etc -- when I really need to be organizing my life, but I digress. My purse is a plethora of cards, all kinds, but they are strewn about not in any real 'place' and it takes me a good 5 min to find whatever card I'm looking for when I need it - so much so, that I've been known to sit in my car, find the card/rewards card/coupon, whatever - before I go into the store, in order to save embarrassement at the checkout counter.

Jenn was very excited about a 'gift' she found that was PERFECT for me -- SO SO PERFECT she exclaimed. Seriously? What could she find that I would need SO desparately.

She literally skipped over Thursday night with a small box in hand, tearing through it as she walked through the door -PROUDLY handing me my 'gift' ....

Enter - The Card Cubby

Y'all - it was like the heavens parted and God sent a little angel in the form of a hot pink 'wallet looking thing' to organize my life. One of my BIGGEST downfalls (my highly disorganized purse) is now fixed. I dumped out my purse on the kitchen table and started organizing my cards - I have a LOT of rewards cards, a couple gift cards, a couple credit cards and a few coupons. It was so great to just put them all in there and KNOW they're organized. I do have a wallet -- a nice one -- but it never shuts right and the stuff never ended back up in there anyway. I'm proud to say, my cards have made their way back into the Card Cubby each time.

So go out and getcha one -- Jenn found them cheaper at QVC -- but they make great gifts!! Trust me, I KNOW!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shawn's Party

SO last weekend, I made a secret jaunt down to Tampa for the weekend. It was a very special person's 40th birthday, and I wanted to pull off one of her own surprises (she is the one that encouraged me to surprise my sister over New Years). Shawn is one of my dearest friends, and honestly, we haven't been friends THAT long - prob 4 yrs now - but it feels like we've been friends forEVAH .....

I sent her bday present to her early, in hopes to throw her off - and it worked. She was suspicious of the party, but I have asked her 100x and she SWEARS she had no idea I was coming down. I LOVE LOVE LOVE surprises so this was extra fun for me! I sat in my 'spot' in their kitchen - the spot I always sat while at their house - and just waited .. waited .. waited. I heard her come in and got SO excited listening to her make her way thru the foyer and into the kitchen. Her reaction was PERFECT and we both burst into tears. We never really got a 'proper' goodbye - so this visit was bittersweet. It was a great time, an absolutely PERFECT party! Shawn's hubby, mom, sister, Honey, and BFF did a FANTASTIC job putting it together and I was so happy to be a part of it. My sister was able to come with me and it was a fun little weekend getaway!

I've attached a slideshow of some of the pictures - the first picture is me and my BFF Shannon - that's not my sister, although everyone seems to think we're related.

Hope you had a wonderful birthday week, Shawn - LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ritz Chix Weekend

My annual Girls Trip was just a few weeks ago ~ hence why I probably had my emotional last post. It was a short weekend trip to celebrate the birthdays of 2 of my dearest friends. We do it EVERY YEAR and this is our 4th year. We set up camp at a Ritz Carlton -- our initial plan was to go to a different Ritz Carlton every year, and we were doing that, but when we landed at the one in Naples LAST year, we decided we would forever converge upon that beautiful property year after year ... at least until they tell us we can't come back! {or I convince them the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta would be fun *cough cough*}.

Ahhhh, but you have this to look at every single morning .... who wouldn't want that?

Me and my sister from another mister ..... if I had a dollar for every time someone asked if we were sisters, well, you know the drill.

Our first night - these girls provided so many belly laughs ... I can't even begin to list .. and I'm sitting here laughing just thinking about them all.

This was "upon arrival" -- this is standard and customary. Welcome cocktail in the club level!

The food is always spectacular - this was just one of MANY dessert options. {BUT it ALWAYS seems to be seafood at dinner ... always. AND for those of you that know me, know I pretty much starved -- so it was off to the hotel bar to get a cheeseburger - the BEST bacon cheeseburger ever}

and we ALWAYS meet someone interesting on these trips ... this year these 2 ladies were staying all the way from NY. They stopped to talk to us and then ended up sitting with us for the evening. It was so nice to listen to THEIR stories and how they've been best friends for over 30yrs and every year, they go to a Ritz Carlton and stay for the weekend and have been doing it for more years than they can remember. How awesome is THAT?!

I realize how lucky I am to have such wonderful women in my life. I have some absolutely FABULOUS friends that tell it like it is and keep me grounded.

I've also met some A-MAZ-ING women thru blogging and twitter and have been fortunate enough to meet several of them in real life. More on THAT coming soon .....

Monday, August 2, 2010


So I've been a little non-existent in the blogosphere lately .... new{ish} town, new home, new job, new friends, you get it.

I honestly have not felt motivated to blog - at all - until just a few days ago. I'm really going thru a 'different' time and just felt like anything I posted would be blah blah boring. I wouldn't say it's a difficult time, but it's different. I am blessed to be back in an area where I already had friends. I also moved into a neighborhood where I had been visiting for the past 5 yrs, and so I was familiar with the ladies here. Which, yes, I know, I am LUCKY..... but I miss my friends in Tampa. Bad.

I miss impromptu Target runs.

I miss meeting up for dinner because after the 5th phone call of the day, we figure we might as well just eat dinner together.

I miss celebrating birthdays - because that is something we ALWAYS do - my group of friends. I'm not there anymore and it's not THEIR fault, but it doesn't mean that I don't WANT to be there and it doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt my heart a little that I just physically CAN'T be there.

I miss going for Rt 44 Cokes and DDPs.

I miss meeting up on a Sunday afternoon and hanging out by the pool.

I miss meeting the girls at the gym for Body Pump {yes, I really do miss this}.

I miss wine tasting parties .... that always ended up with less wine tasting and more party.

I miss laughing so hard my sides hurt.

I miss church -- I miss it SO SO much that I cried the entire time while watching online this past weekend - but I miss our church family even more.

I miss having friends over for dinner because I've made too much or I feel like making 'beer can chicken' and know they love it as much as we do.

Most of all, I miss being able to get a hug from a girlfriend that 'gets me'.

Please don't mistake this for a 'poor me' post - it is not. I am just being real. I miss my girlfriends more than I ever thought I would. I have moved a lot ... and my home in Florida was probably one of the most impactful times in my life. I came to know Jesus more and fell comfortably into a way of life. I am so grateful for that time. The friendships I made there will be ones for life. For that I am sure.

This is a new beginning and one I'm finally facing head on. I have some amazing ladies in my life here in GA and I am looking forward to nourishing those relationships. I'm happy to be back in my 'home'town and near my sister and my parents. I'm happy to be able to see my BFF & mentor whenever I want, who is guiding me in my new career.

But I left a small piece of my heart in Tampa .... and I'm ok with that.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Is this for real?

I'm PRETTY sure this is for real ... but honestly, these days, you can't ever tell. I found it via Facebook and I have laughed until I cried - and it's NOT funny!! It's really not ..... the brother's interview makes you FORGET this is a serious matter.

I digress ....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do not dismiss ....

I had a wonderful trip out to Dallas - too short if you ask me, but I accomplished what I needed to accomplish and came back with a new pair of earrings (seriously ....) and lots of knowledge about my new company.

I also came back to Wild Child and a crazy staph infection on his leg.

See, it started out as a scrape -- from him falling down on the pavement at some point over the past few weeks.

I specifically remember, on June 30th, because he was at our neighbor's house, there were a couple other little spots that looked 'not right' and were just below the original scrape.

THEN there was a medium size 'patch' of dry skin above the scrape that looked like eczema.

We had been keeping it clean and applying bacitracin to the spots, but they weren't healing. My niece moved in with us on Saturday and she is a nursing student, so I immediately pounced on her and asked her what she thought it was ... she suggested cortizone and keeping a band aid OFF the spots to help them dry out.

I left for my trip, came back and at 3:00 in the morning, on Wednesday, Wild Child was crying in his sleep and scratching his leg. I turned on the light and oh. my. goodness. FREAKED OUT - it looked like his leg was covered with a flesh eating bacteria ... like OVERNIGHT it got this bad. I did the best I could to cover his wounds (seriously ... gross) and told Big Daddy he was to take him to the doctor as soon as they opened.

He text me about 2 hrs later -- STAPH INFECTION - BAD - shot & antibiotics. I also text my prayer warriors asking for prayer - we do NOT want this to get into his blood and I believe it has been caught before that has happened.

The shot was a Rocephin shot - which is HARD CORE and he's on 2 different medicines and a cream. It has gotten SO much better just in 24 hrs and he has a follow up appointment on Saturday for a recheck. I would post pictures, but I want you all to keep coming back to read my blog -- this is just a PSA to always be aware of stuff like this. I will admit that I dismissed it because he's a boy, being rough and I thought he was just allergic to mosquito bites (that's what I thought the other spots were) - no, that would be the infection spreading!

SO -- learn from my mistakes -- if you have a wound that doesn't seem to be healing, is itching badly and well, a flesh eating bacteria looking stuff comes up, GO TO THE DR IMMEDIATELY.

That is all .... peace out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm heading out for my first EVER business trip -- I feel so grown up. I'm traveling to our corporate office in Dallas, TX and they were nice enough to book my flight EARLY in the day so I could relax a bit before heading into the office tomorrow.

I'm not staying long - just one day - but I will travel lightly with my job. Depending on which territory I get, I'll either be heading NORTH {think REALLY North ... like NEW YORK North} or SOUTH {fingers crossed for SOUTH} once a quarter.

** update on house ** I started painting the guest bathroom and let me tell you - it's TOTALLY different than painting the textured walls in Florida. Once I realized I was making a bigger mess than I normally do, I stopped. I will finish when I get home. HOWEVER, not having the textured walls does make it a WHOLE lot faster to paint because you only need one good coat. Which, for me, is a good thing.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What's going on with me ....

I'm starting my dream job tomorrow.

Yes, I know -- wasn't going to work, but an opportunity of a lifetime fell RIGHT in my lap.

I drove 8 hrs straight to Atlanta -- for a 4 hr interview -- and got in my car and drove 8 hrs straight back.

AND I got the job!!

Such an amazing blessing that I'm STILL pinching myself to make sure it's real. I'll be working with car dealers {I know, some of you are shaking your head, but trust me, it's right in my element!} and with an INCREDIBLE company {and no, I'm not going to tell you who it's with ... that's a little bit TOO personal even for ME!}

Our service today was awesome. We visited a new church and when the Pastor's name popped up on the screen {the Creative Arts Pastor was preaching today}, I grabbed Big Daddy's hand and said "THAT'S THE PASTOR THAT WENT TO SEMINARY WITH TODD!" .... Todd is the Executive Pastor at the church we grew to call our "second home" .. a great friends of ours and a place where we KNEW would be hard to top. What are the CHANCES!?!?!? We are excited about our new church and pray we have landed in a place so quickly. It took us YEARS to find our church in Tampa.

Anyway, he preached about life. When you go to bed at night and lay down, is your life what you thought it would be? Are you happy? Are the pieces fitting together? He said if it wasn't, we needed to ask God to change it and be ready to respond - then he gave his own personal testimony. It was SO good!!

Haggai 2:9 'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the LORD Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the LORD Almighty."

So when I felt the desire to work, I prayed and asked God to confirm my desire. Really, just that simple. Was it just a desire to work because that's what I've always done or what? Well, when I started applying for jobs, this was the first place I applied, and the ONLY place I interviewed. EVERYONE had already filled their position but 'would keep me in mind'. The interview was intense, but I figured would be good training for future interviews. A week later, I was offered the position. The benefits are awesome, which is a HUGE factor for us, as we have been on COBRA for 4 mths ... which for anyone that has ever been on COBRA, knows it is NOT cheap.

That's it! I'm beyond excited and looking forward to getting back to the grind and routine. Kids are going to be in 'Daddy DayCare' until Big Daddy starts traveling with his job, which will be in just about 2 weeks.

Have a great week, friends!

Next up: Guest Bathroom Reveal!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Custom" Curtains

I wanted THESE curtains for Princess's new room. They are so cute & simple - BUT - they are $89... EACH. There's no way in the world I was paying that for "a" curtain -- and they seemed simple enough, so I thought I would try to make them myself.

Enter T@rget and Mich@els .... {and a really cute ironing board cover}

I simply ironed the ribbon on to the edge of the curtain - using the seam as my guide. I used double sided iron-on hem tape and that got the job done for me!

Finished product:

They look so cute! I still need to steam them out and I think I'm going to move the rod a little higher, but they work!! My cost: $17.99 for curtains and $10 for 4 spools of ribbon, of which I have 1.5 spools left, so I'll find somewhere else to use it in her room. SO less than $30 for 2 panels ... SCORE!

Sorry about the quality of the pictures - I had to use my phone since I can not locate the cord to my camera right now. It's in a box. Somewhere. and yes, those are paper temporary blinds - priorities people, priorities and these are getting the job done for now.

We're working on the guest bedroom today - in anticipation of some guests coming .. AND I'm planning to have the guest bathroom COMPLETELY finished this weekend! Will post pictures first of next week!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Father's Day

While we are still crazy busy getting the house put together and organized, I did want to take a minute and wish the 3 VERY special men in our life {our = me, Princess and Wild Child} a VERY Happy Father's Day!

Big Daddy's Dad ~ PawPaw ~ is such a wonderful man. He has worked so hard all his life and is now able to enjoy traveling the country w/Big Daddy's Mom, Nana. They go to Alaska - RV it, mind you, and thanks to our recent move, we are now just a little over an hour away from them. They have a quaint home in the mountains of N. GA and I look forward to visiting this summer with the kids. It is something Big Daddy did as a child, and we can't wait for the kids to experience this as well! Family is so very important to me and I'm so excited the kids are going to be so close to their grandparents!

I rely on PawPaw a LOT when he would come to visit, fixing stuff, entertaining the kids, etc. He always has a solution and doesn't ever mind when I have a 'project' for him to do! Princess and Wild Child certainly adore their PawPaw! Note to self: Need to take more pictures! This was the only one I could find from Wild Child's bday party LAST YEAR! It was a camo themed party - obviously! We love you, PawPaw!!

Big Daddy and his Daddy!

This is my Dad ~ and I have to say, I'm choking back tears writing this. On my trip up to Atlanta on Monday, after having said "see you later" to all of our friends, packed up the last of our stuff, I received a phone call that I honestly NEVER thought I would get. It was my sister and she said "I'm just going to cut to the chase. Dad's cancer is back".

I had to pull over ... and I cried for 10 minutes, before deciding that I wasn't ever going to GET to Atlanta sitting on the side of the road, so I wiped my face, chugged my Coke, and decided to CHOOSE JOY in this situation. Dad has been battling SOME form of cancer for the past 7.5 years. If you remember this post, you'll see we thought we were in the clear, and yes, I say 'we' because it is affecting our ENTIRE family.

My Dad is a fighter. He is stubborn and yes, that's where I get it from. He has worked for the government and in the private sector. I admire my Dad so very much for his work ethic, spirit, and just genuine love for his family. He loves to garden and like PawPaw, can fix anything. He enjoys being with his grandkids and loves my Mom so very much. The kids call him "Pappy" which I think is adorable. To say that I am blessed to be able to drive just 4 miles to see my parents is an understatement. We love you so much, Dad!

Dad, Mom, dude from Run DMC, Big Daddy & me (I had food poisoning, so sick & this pic is 6 yrs old, hence the outfit)

Dad, Princess, and Big Daddy (look how LITTLE Princess is!!!) - this was 1 yr after original diagnosis

Finally, Big Daddy himself ~ this man adores his children and would do anything for them! When Wild Child was born, this was when he decided to go off the road to be able to see them grow up. Thank Goodness! We have so enjoyed having him home. Both kids looked so much like Big Daddy when they were born, had I not been in the delivery room, I don't know that I would've known they were MINE! Thankfully, Princess is starting to look like me, but Wild Child is a lost cause. He looks JUST like his Daddy.

Big Daddy ~ thank you for being such a wonderful role model for our children. Thank you for showing them how to treat others with respect, work hard, and love others. I hope our son grows up to be just like you and I hope our daughter marries a man that loves her as much as you love me! God is really working in you and I love how you have responded! Thank you for loving my family as much I do!

Happy Father's Day ~ I hope it is blessed beyond measure!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"See You Later" Party

I do not have pictures because I can not find my camera cord just yet, but my BFF Shawn just did a post about our "See You Later" party ~ head on over to her blog to check it out. We had an off-the-chain amazing party hosted by Shawn and my other blogless BFFs Amber, Shannon, Bebe and Dawn.

Will be sure to post pictures as SOON as I get them : I'm looking at you, Amber & Torrie!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Still here ....

I do realize I am the worst blogger ever, BUT .. in my defense, we moved and I had to get our house ready for our friends that will be renting from us. I never knew I had so much stuff {yes I did, actually, it just sounds better when I try to deny it a little} but we managed to get almost all of it to GA in one piece.

I promise to update more regularly - lots of projects on the horizon and you know I love to post before/after pictures. I have a CLEAN SLATE to work with and I couldn't be more excited.

So thanks for hanging in there with me!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Packing "How To"

I asked my sweet friend, The Dishy Decorator, to share her packing how to's ... and like the sweet Southern girl that she is, she kindly obliged!

You can find the post here!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LIGHTS .... CAMERA .. NO, just lights!

SO if you know me in real life, you know I am quite a bargain shopper - on ALMOST everything. If I really want something that's expensive, then I'll wait until it goes on sale - VERY rarely will I buy something full price, unless it's a pair of shoes .... but we won't go there .... anyway, when we bought our house in Atlanta, we negotiated a stellar price {trust me, it helps lessen the sting whenever we decide to sell our house here in Florida .. we bought at a high price} but part of that stellar price was us providing our own lighting. The builder provided a $3500 lighting allowance - which really sounds like a TON - however we just offered a price that had that allowance taken off because I KNEW I could get lights for the ENTIRE house for less than $1000. Yes, you read right -- now, in my defense, we do have 2 ceiling fans that we are bringing from our home in Florida because they are just too nice to leave behind - BUT - all the rest, I purchased at L@we's, except for a few rooms, and spent $350, and that INCLUDED our foyer light! I still had few rooms to buy for and really wanted something unique in our kitchen. One of my friends on Twitter suggested I try - so I logged on and within 10 minutes, found my beautiful kitchen lights. Now, the best part is they were CHEAPER than what I found at Direct Buy {yes, we have a membership} and I didn't have to pay shipping and wait 6 weeks! SO while I was on there, I decided to look for a couple other lights I needed and ended up purchasing 8 lights, all for under $400! I'm serious.

This one is going in my master bedroom - center stage! We have a vaulted ceiling in there and it's going to look stunning!

This is for the outside entryway - I believe this light was under $60 AND it's Savoy House - which is a name brand that is normally pretty pricey. I also got the matching outdoor wall light to put by the garage - also under $50!

My kitchen light - I love the black and the bronze together. My furniture is black and we have bronze handles, etc. I love it and it matches the French Country decor' I have in my home.

These are the pendant lights that match the mini-chandelier and will hang over my island. My countertops have black, bronze, tan running thru them so I think it's going to look beautiful! I wanted something unique but not overly trendy. I think these fit the bill perfectly!!

I also bought 2 Kichler lights for Princess's bathroom, since the ones I originally purchased had parts missing and they are now DISCONTINUED! SO I'll return those and keep the ones I bought! They're prettier!! is part of the network of stores and they pretty much have anything and everything you need for your home if you are updating, renovating or building!

And no, they didn't pay me or send me anything to write this post - just thought it would be good to post because I got such a FANTASTIC deal and wanted to pass on the information!

And if you don't like my lights, please don't tell me ... I am fragile right now {kidding - kinda}. Can't wait to show y'all once they are installed!

All images courtesy of

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Packing ....

Where have I been? Packing ... packing ... and more packing!! We move in just about a week. I can not even believe it's here! We do not have the luxury of having a moving company come in, pack us up, and move us, so it's Brock and Brock Movers taking over this one - and I have to say we're doing a great job! I made a schedule and got an amazing 'tip list' from my IRL friend, The Dishy Decorator. I have pretty much only 2 more rooms to pack and we've got a week to go! Although I'm not doing much of the packing myself, I am doing a great job of telling people what to pack and what to toss!

We purged QUITE a bit of stuff and I must say, I'm a little aggravated I waited 5 yrs to get THIS organized! We also gave the kids a box and told them to fill it with the toys they wanted, and once it was full, everything else was going to charity. Yes, I'd love to have a garage sale, but there's really no time left for that.

As for our 'issue' I posted about a couple weeks ago, it looks as it's being resolved, although we have a couple hurdles still to jump through. If you pray, please keep our family in prayer. Yes, it is a financial situation - which is my achilles heel and it's being tested greatly. Big Daddy and I WILL pass this test though and we are standing firm against the enemy. God has already won this battle for us, it's just how we choose to respond. Every night, when I go to bed, I thank God for having enough for that day. We are beyond blessed, even with the situation at hand, and even when it seems like nothing but despair, I can still raise my hand, and thank God for SOMETHING. We are going to be OK - no matter what.

I have been going to the dr since my car accident for close to 4 mths now, 2-3x/week and today, for the first time, I noticed a plaque over the doorway in his office. It had the verse Jer 29:11 on it and let me tell you, I looked at it, and then did a double take ... and then burst into tears. All this time I've never noticed it, yet on the day I need to see it the most, there it is! Hmmm, God is awesome, isn't He?

Jer 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I promise, no more Debbie Downer posts, but I'm just keeping it real. Life happens, this is somewhat of a 'therapy' for me, writing it down and getting it out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chicago ....

When my sister and I attended a wedding last May in Memphis, we decided every year, we would take a 'sisters trip' and had pretty much decided right then and there, we wanted to go to Chicago. I have always wanted to go there IN THE SPRING and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint. We invited our friend, Amber, whom we have known for nearly 25 yrs.

We stayed downtown at the Homestead Suites on Grand. I HIGHLY recommend this hotel. The staff was very friendly and their complimentary breakfast was wonderful!

Friday night we went to eat at Hugo's Frog - it was SO good!! We had a nightcap at The Signature Room in the John Hancock Building. It was crazy because a storm was definitely rolling in and within 5 minutes, you could not see ANYTHING. NOTHING. Then 5 minutes later, you could see all of Chicago again, then 5 min later, again, nothing. It was crazy.

We also went on an architectural boat tour of the city - if you are EVER in Chicago - I HIGHLY recommend this!! Seriously - it was wonderful and I enjoyed it so much {except for the crazy lady that wouldn't leave us alone. Bless her heart, she would just barge in and start asking us bizarro questions while the 3 of us were in the middle of a conversation and kept following us around the boat - then she asked where we were staying and where we were going for dinner that night - God forgive me, but I might not have told her the truth!}.

Sat morning we got up bright and early and decided to have an impromptu photo shoot on Michigan Avenue amongst all the tulips! Oh it was SO beautiful!!

Then we went to the Sears Tower and decided to venture out on to "The Deck". It was so weird being that high up, look down and be able to see 101 stories down. I couldn't comprehend HOW we were standing on Plexi-glass (I'm sure it's not plexi-glass, but it sure looked like plexi-glass) and the thing wasn't breaking off. SO neat - Jenn and I were getting our picture taken by other people, I guess maybe they've never seen twins before? VERY AWKWARD, but hey, whatever. Hopefully we don't end up on some mail-order bride catalog or billboard in China!

We spent the rest of the day shopping and sight-seeing, then met up with LegallyFab and Daisy, JD for some more shopping. Daisy, JD filled us in on lots of neat facts about Chicago - it was very nice having the 2 of them there to show us around. Yes, we met on "Twitter" but I consider these girls in real life friends now! Don't ever let the power of social networking fool you - it is POWERFUL! I have met some of the most amazing women thru Twitter and blogging -- but I digree.

Saturday night we went out to celebrate LegallyFab's birthday and had dinner at Epic and then went to The Underground. It is a pretty popular hot spot and has won tons of awards. It was great fun, even though all I could think about was the place catching on fire and where on earth I would make my exit.

Sunday morning we woke up early to head back home and get back to normal. I was so sad to hear about the flooding in Nashville - this was my home for only 3 short years, but home to Big Daddy for 15 yrs. He is devastated about the losses many of his friends suffered and the devastation to the city he loves so much.

Now for pictures:

** Top of the Sears Tower out on The Ledge**
If you look at the bottom of the picture, you can see below!

Michigan Avenue tulips w/Amber

The Navy Pier

The famous "Chicago" sign

The view from the bathroom in The Signature Room

Sears Tower from the boat

Amber and me at Hugo's Frog

In front of the Sears Tower {now the Willis Tower, but everyone refuses to call it that}.