Going Green

Oh my goodness – I’m losing it and jumping on the health nut bandwagon, courtesy of my friend Lisa. My lunch today was green and the most prominent ingredient was spinach! Who am I? The bag might have Popeye on it, but I didn’t immediately feel the urge to duke it out with a villain, ha-ha.

Just thought I’d share some pictures of my experiment today and I’ll even share my version of the recipe at the bottom; in case anyone else feels like going green! I was shockingly surprised to discover; just like Lisa said, you couldn’t taste the spinach at all and it really tasted pretty good. I guess I won’t have to find a home for my extra spinach after all!

I can honestly say this is the first time in my 28 years I’ve ever bought spinach – and I  certainly couldn’t have predicted it would be to drink!

Ingredients – here goes nothing!

I mean – not exactly appetizing at this point…

Swirly, swirly….

It was certainly green. Not as green as I thought it would be, thank goodness.
Mean Green Smoothie
-1 cup fresh spinach
-1 tbsp (heaping) of Greek yogurt (I used vanilla)
-1 tbsp peanut butter
-3/4 cup skim milk
-1 banana
Throw all the ingredients in a blender, pulse until thoroughly mixed and then drink up!

Work Week Wrap-up

1. What part of the state do you call home?
I live in Collinsville – which is a one stop light town, literally.  Definitely one of those places where if you didn’t know what you did last weekend, someone else certainly did and they wouldn’t hesitate to tell your Momma about it.
2. How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging in 2010 – around October of that year. 
3. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging; I guess for no particular reason other than that I wanted to. I felt like maybe my life was about to get really exciting since I’d just graduated college and I wasn’t very good at writing in a journal, so blogging seemed a good alternative. I wouldn’t say my life has gotten that exciting – at least not what I thought it would be, but I’ve certainly documented it.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Oh – anywhere but where I am now. I’d like to be married and have a child but I’ve learned the hard life lesson that I can plan my life until I’m blue in the face but what I plan makes no difference because God already has my plan.
I’m told that what God has planned for me will be far better than anything I could ever imagine and I’d certainly like to see that. I’d be lying if I said I could patiently wait to see what would happen; I feel like I’ve been waiting patiently for quite some time now and it gets harder with each passing day.
So – in five years? Who knows? I know what I’d like but we’ll see how that all turns out. Forgive the short rant.
5. If you could choose an actress to play you in your life, who would you choose and why?
Ooh – Sandra Bullock. I love her in just about everything she’s ever been in. She’s hilarious but can also be dramatic when called on and certainly one of my favorite actresses.  Definitely Sandy.
6. Name 5 things on your Bucket List that you hope you’ll check off before you die?
1)Get Married  2)Have children  3)Travel extensively  4)See the Northern Lights  5)See the pyramids of Egypt
7. If you could be known for one thing, what would it be and why?
I want to be known as a good friend to the people in my life. I’ve been blessed with so many good friends myself and I hope that I am able to be as good a friend to them as they are to me.
8. Describe the best moment in your life.
I don’t know – maybe it hasn’t happened yet.
9. If you could “be” anything (no consequences, no fear), what would you “be”?
Could a valid answer be something along the lines of…Superman? I guess that would technically be Supergirl; I don’t want to be a man. Ha-ha, just kidding. Although that would be pretty cool. I think if I could “be” anything, I’d want to be worry-free for the rest of my life.
I am such a huge worry-wart; I over think and elaborate in my mind until I make myself sick. At the end of the day, I really need not worry at all because I know that God is going to handle things and I’m just along for the ride. I think not having any worries would be divine.
Maybe not the typical answer to this question – but there you have it.
10. What or who inspires you to blog?
I don’t know if any person inspires me to blog – I guess I just like to share anecdotes from what is going on around me. So I suppose my life in general inspires me to blog.
11. We’re headed to your neck of the woods… what restaurant would you recommend?
Oh man – I guess San Marcos. Almost everything in my neck of the woods is a chain restaurant and so that isn’t really so special or unique. I like eating at Chili’s but hey – you can eat at Chili’s almost anywhere in the 50 states. So maybe get some Mexican food at San Marcos.
12. What’s a southern tradition you and your family have?
Eating meals together as a family – at least we used to when we all lived together. I don’t know if that is a uniquely Southern thing but there you have it. I suppose Watson and I do that still; he sits as close to me as he can when I eat supper. Ha-ha!

Thursday Thoughts

I’m going to do a brain dump via my blog today – because I’ve got lots of thoughts and they are just whirling around in my head. I didn’t think I’d ever get my brain to shut off last night; thank goodness for Advil PM. Moving right along….

Yep – I need to do that.

A silent house – seriously, my house is SO quiet sometimes I just want to scream. Even the smallest noises seem to be so loud sometimes. I have to leave the TV or music or something on because I think the quiet would make me crazy. I guess it’s not anything new because I’ve been living by myself for almost 2 years now but sometimes it makes me nuts. You know what is really loud when you’re in a quiet house? A bowl shattering. *sigh* Also, finger pricks bleed a lot. *sigh again*

Celebrity Crush – oh my goodness, Henry Cavill. I’m sure the fact that he plays Superman helps because he can wear that suit like nobody’s business. I made him the background of my phone and that leads to lots of moments of my thoughts wandering throughout the day; not necessarily a bad thing when you don’t have much work to do. I noticed Henry Cavill years ago when he was playing Charles Brandon on The Tudors; which I once owned. I kindly passed them along to my sister so she could watch it and now…well now I wish I still had them. Hahaha!

*sigh* Yes please.
Treadmill trauma – Which is going to have to stop. Now. I am on this major fitness surge and a huge part of that is that I’m able to get on my treadmill and walk; because I’ll be honest, I can’t afford to join a gym and if I tried to walk in this insane heat, I’d probably absolutely die. You see, the belt keeps locking up when I’m walking and the whole stupid treadmill tries to pitch me into the floor. So far, it hasn’t been just awful but on Tuesday that thing locked up crazy hard and the resulting jar that it gave me was not pleasant. It actually hurt a little bit. This treadmill better get it’s crap together – because I’m having major trouble figuring out what the next step would be if it doesn’t. Get it together – Now!
Television Indecision – So, I went back and forth about finding some kind of summertime TV show to watch. There is literally nothing on TV during the summer and I can only bake and read so much on the weeknights before I start going nuts – remember, I’ve already ranted on my quiet house.  I decided to record Under the Dome and I watched it last night. I think I’m pretty effectively hooked but I’m still not sure. Unbeknownst to me, the show is based on a Stephen King book…which also means it’s classified as horror. One of the characters made a comment last night that when she had goldfish, one got sick and the other ate it – which, these characters are trapped in a dome. Is that foreshadowing? Are they all going to become cannibals? Do I want to get invested in this show and then 5 episodes in have it be scaring the crap out of me because the people trapped under the dome are going nuts?
Yeah – Is this show going to scare the crap out of me?
*** I have too much time on my hands and my brain just never quits thinking – I’m telling you, crazy. ***
Health Food – Oh man, also on this health kick. I’m completely not even sure who I am sometimes anymore. My friend Lisa posted a recipe for a green smoothie and because I’m just about nuts, I actually think I’m going to make one. I’ve got to buy some fresh spinach first. I just crack myself up, I’m going to make a mean green smoothie and drink that bad boy down. At least, I hope I will. My friend says you can’t taste the spinach over the milk, yogurt, etc…and I guess we’ll find out. If I can taste the spinach, then someone is going to have to take fresh spinach off my hands. Ha-ha!
Mini Vacation – I get one in just…6 days!! Oh my goodness. How do you try to cram in as much as possible in just 3 and a half days? Also, is there any way I can just convince my parents to let me stay? Probably not. I know that we are going to a Nationals baseball game on Friday night and going to Antietam on Saturday for some 4th of July fun. I can’t wait and because I can’t wait…the days are passing so slowly…
So yeah – there you go. I’ve dumped some of my thoughts today. Granted, they all still seem to be whirling around in my head too. Oh well, whatever. I guess it’s better to have lots to think about as opposed to nothing at all.

Finger-Lickin Chicken

This post will be short and sweet – kind of like my meal last night. It was quick, easy and delicious. I stumbled onto a recipe for bacon wrapped barbeque chicken tenders yesterday afternoon before I headed home for the day and I immediately decided that was what was going to be for supper.

As soon as I got off the treadmill, I immediately started cooking. The irony, right? I walked for 45 minutes and then cooked chicken wrapped in bacon and smothered in barbeque sauce. Oh well – whatever. I’m dedicated to my walking (even when the treadmill keeps trying to throw me into the floor – seriously) but I’m also not going to eat plain chicken and bland veggies every night. It just isn’t happening. So – moving on..

Some chicken & bacon…in a pan…

Cooking it all – chicken, purple hull peas and mashed potatoes.

Adding some barbeque sauce to the mix.

I was pretty sure the pan would never be clean again – but at this point, the house smelled so good that I really didn’t care.

Oh yes – delicious supper.

The bacon was meant to be wrapped around the tenders, but I couldn’t find toothpicks to secure the bacon. I just laid it on/in the pan with it and it all cooked together with a good flavor. Once I got the barbeque sauce in there, with the bacon and the chicken and all the cooking juices….I may or may not have licked the fork I was cooking with about 3 times; it was covered in this bacon/barbeque-y goodness and I was hungry.

Bacon Wrapped Barbeque Chicken Tenders

-thawed boneless chicken tenders (I used 3)
-barbeque sauce of choice (Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbeque Sauce)
-2-3 slices of bacon
-shredded cheddar cheese

Wrap (or in my case, lay in the pan) the tenders with bacon and season with Season All. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, till tenders are cooked through. Cover each tender with a tbsp. of barbeque sauce, turning to fully cover. Cook on low for about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and plate.

See – it is just that easy. And it is really good. As evidenced by the picture below of my constant shadow begging for a bite of people supper. God love him – he’s precious. I may have slipped him a little bite.

Please Mom – just one taste & I won’t pitch a wild fit when  you bathe me.

Just Passing the Time

Sometimes I feel like that is what I’m doing – just passing the time. I guess what matters is what you’re doing while all that time is passing. I stayed pretty busy this week, so it seemed like it passed even quicker than usual.  I enjoyed my week and my weekend – but man, blink and you miss it.

I’m just now eating my breakfast on this Monday morning, so it may take me a paragraph or two to become completely coherent. I’ve become one of those people that needs two cups of coffee to function these days – thanks for the addiction Dad. Ha-ha!

My family was with me at the beginning of the week; it is always nice to start any day with family around you. It was also really nice to know that when I came home on Monday afternoon my house would be filled with sounds of people and I’d have someone to talk to. The house was pretty quiet on Tuesday when I got home; I love my dog dearly but he isn’t exactly the world’s best at conversation. He is good with the cuddles and confused looks – as you’ll see below.

Watson saying good-bye to his Aunt Beast. I think he misses her the most.

Monsoon conditions on the way to work Tuesday – where is my boat??

This face kills me – so confused about why his “people” left. Bless your little puppy heart.

The rest of the work week passed pretty much without incident – which is how I like it. I guess I think of an incident as a bad thing, I suppose that isn’t accurate though. Maybe I need more incidents in my life to liven it up? Regardless, this week was pretty relaxed – unless you count my treadmill trying to kill me on Saturday but that’s getting ahead of things. I’ll get to that in a bit.

Wednesday morning stretches – he cracks me up.

The office lizard – he visits almost daily. I think he’s pretty cool.

Fluffy blue skies on Wednesday afternoon.

I baked again – I mean, I couldn’t just let those bananas go to waste…

Flowers everywhere! I’m amazed any stay alive in this insane heat.

Thursday was eventful – maybe I should backtrack on no incidents. This was an awesome incident though. Some backstory: July 4th is on a Thursday this year – what a crazy weekday to fall on 4th of July! My office is not closed on Friday, the 5th and that is just a sad truth. We’d been discussing making plans for me to visit Virginia if the office was closed on the 5th, but since that wasn’t happening, the visit to VA was a no-go. I basically had no plans for the 4th of July but to sleep late and maybe wear some patriotic colors while I chilled at the house. My Momma decided that just wouldn’t do though…

Thursday morning on the way to work, she told me to go ahead and ask for the 5th of July off. Which I was kind of skeptical about – plane tickets cost quite a bit of money and this chick does not have much of that green stuff to spare. Also, July 4th was literally two weeks away – to the day. Plane tickets don’t get any cheaper the closer your departure date gets; they do the opposite and much like the Man of Steel (saw that this weekend – I’ll elaborate later) they go up, up and away…out of reach. Thank goodness I lead such a jetset life because all those miles that I’d been accumulating were about to be of use.

My day off was approved, there were fevered text messages between my Mom and I – was 45 minutes to short a layover in Atlanta? Did I mind getting back to Jackson at 8:53 or would I rather get back at 5:30? – and then, the best text message of all – to check my emails, the confirmation would be there! Victory! Through my miles and a gift of some of my Mom’s miles (thanks Mom!) I am now going to be VA bound for a long weekend in just…9 days! If you count the 3rd, which is the day I leave. So really – only 8 days! Talk about a drastic change in plans in a matter of hours.

I spent the rest of the day bouncing off the wall with excitement and that feeling has carried over into this week because with each day that passes, I’m a day closer to VA and all the people there that I love to see; family and friends both! Virginia is worming it’s way into my heart and with every visit, I am even more convinced that I want to make a more permanant place for myself there. So – we’ll see. Only 8 days to go!

Yay Virginia – I’m counting down the days!

Sack lunch Friday at work…yummy, yummy.
This movie – was DUMB. And really weird. So weird
And now my writing is centered. What is up with that?? I tried to move a picture and it caused it to get all jacked up. My OCD tendencies are kicking in. Oh well, moving on. Friday night, David and I went to see This is the End. Now, I was pretty confident it was going to be fairly dumb – especially when David tells me we should probably turn our brains off before it starts. I don’t think I expected it to be SO dumb. Sure, some parts of it were funny and the last minute and a half was pretty hilarious/awesome, but all in all. Just – no. *I fixed it! Joy!*
You know what was even more no? A girl decided that she would strike up a conversation with me while I was in the bathroom stall next to her. Never seen this girl before in my life and suddenly, while we are both going about our bathroom business she wants to discuss Channing Tatum’s 30 second cameo in the movie. I mean – no thanks. Please lets not discuss that or anything else. Just – no.
McKenna showing off Lindsey’s possible new bedding while in town on Saturday.

Saturday morning I drank my coffee and fought my treadmill. I mean that almost literally; not in the sense that walking on the treadmill was killing me. That’s not it. The crazy belt on the treadmill seemed loose on Saturday morning. When I tried to walk forward, the belt jerked backward pretty hard and had I not still been holding on to the hand rail, I would have been pretty swiftly thrown into the floor. Good grief! I mean, come on treadmill, you are supposed to help me acheive physical fitness – not try to kill me. I persevered and kept on walking, but with a little more trepidation. Ha!
I spent the afternoon in town with McKenna. We ate lunch at San Marcos, perused some shops in town and then went to see Man of Steel . Which will now be classified as my favorite Superman movie. Honestly, is was such a good move. I was pretty apprehensive about it; I’d heard that it was too dark, too brooding, etc…but I really didn’t think that. It was really well cast – I mean, hello Henry Cavill! I know he’s a Brit but he can play America’s number one superhero all day long if he’ll just leave that supersuit on. I told McKenna I might pass out if he was shirtless in the movie and ever dutifully, when he appeared onscreen shirtless, McKenna poked me and whispered “are you okay over there?” Ha-ha! Amy Adams was also great as Lois Lane and had great chemistry with Henry Cavill. Granted, I’m not sure how you couldn’t have chemistry with Henry Cavill. Is it too obvious that I might have a slight crush on the new Man of Steel? Ha-ha, go see the movie. You won’t be disappointed.

Loved it! People only gave it 2.5 stars, but I say 4. Loved. It.

Sonic on the way home – Orange Creme Slush this time.

My one purchase for the day – a $6 red owl from Ross. Love it. He’s hanging out in my kitchen now.

Sunday – well, Sunday was stressful. I’ll just leave it at that because I probably shouldn’t say much more. Suffice it to say that once I got home and had lunch, I was really looking forward to my nap. Apparently so was Watson because he crawled into his little dog bed and practically died. He’s a mess for sure but he isn’t going to miss his Sunday afternoon nap – much like his Momma.

I think having pets is like pre-gaming for when you have kids. Seriously. Sunday afternoon I was asleep on the couch…pretty deeply asleep and I heard a choking noise on the porch which caused me to jerk up and off the couch and to the front door to see why Watson was choking. I don’t know if he swallowed a bug or what, but he coughed for a minute and then recovered. Of course, then he needed to come in and nap because choking is exhausting. Agreed – because I think worrying that your dog is choking is also intense. Yikes.

The church is getting an overhaul – whoa!

I mean – he was out like a light. Didn’t move.

My sweet Daddy brought this to me last week. It’s one my fridge now & let me say – Superman is looking GOOD for 75!

Look at that face!! I could eat him up sometimes.

True Blood – oh Lordy. Definitely a guilty pleasure at this point; mostly because sometimes I actually feel guilty that I’m watching something so absolutely nuts and enjoying even a little bit of it. A couple of the storylines are good and if Alexander Skarsgard is onscreen then I’m game, but most of it has just become such complete fantastical nonsense that I find myself playing a round of Candy Crush Saga during some scenes. I guess I feel invested though – I’ve watched 5 seasons and I can’t just quit; I’ve got to know how it all ends.

Nerdy Eric – I love it. Eric/Alex is the best part. The rest of it = meh. Whatever.

Well – that’s all folks. I’ll touch base a little later in the week – till then, hope you’re having a good Monday.

Seeing Color

Bedroom Overhaul 101 – maybe that’s what I should have titled this post. I’ve had the same bedroom “theme” for 12 years now. Twelve! I got it into my head a couple weeks back that I needed to update my room and it needed to have some serious color. It’s been tan, black and brown for far too long. I didn’t know what I wanted but I knew I wanted color – and lots of it. So, when my Momma came to town and said we should go look for new bedroom stuff, I jumped at the chance and away we went – with Lindsey in tow for supervision and help making decisions. Ha-ha!

My room before the makeover – nice…but too dark.

I loved it…but I needed some change.

The trio searched high and low, through Belks, JC Penneys and Dillards. I found a pillow I really liked, but no bedding that really matched. I found a really cool pillow at Penney’s…but the pillow alone was $40 and that just wasn’t it. Everything in Dillards cost around…oh, $200+ or was really ugly. Lindsey had mentioned that there was a 50% off shelf but my Mom and I blazed right past it to look at other things, so Lindsey plopped down on a bed and proceeded to play on her phone. Right about the time I was going to admit defeat, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye – on the 50% off shelf. I pulled it out and waved my Mom over. At this point, Lindsey looked at us, hands on her hips and said “geez guys – I told you about the shelf right when we came in, but Nooooo. You wouldn’t look!” I guess I should give Lindsey the credit for finding my new bed set. She saw it first. It was fluffy, bright and colorful – and on sale! Score!

Hello colorful!

Lindsey even found the throw pillows. Maybe she should get credit for the whole room?

So bright – I love all the color.

One the bed set had been purchased, I sought out accesories to make the room just right. We perused Wal Mart and Bed, Bath and Beyond to find the things that we needed. I even had some things already at my house  that I was able to incorporate into my new room, swapping things from one room to another and making everything work out for the best. All in all, I am really pleased with how it turned out and I am loving that my room has so much more color!

New lampshade on an old(ish) lamp. Yes – the shade is a little big for the teeny base, but I like it. It looks…unique!

Some prints on my wall above the bed – want to guess who found these? Hint – she found almost everything else.

I love it!

Some wall flowers from Bed, Bath & Beyond. They matched the bedding perfectly!

Just a little closer look.

Side by side pictures of the Tuscan countryside. Also matched the bedding!

New sitting area by the window with new sheers.

A Wal Mart find – so cute & perfect to sit on & put on shoes at the beginning of the day!

Already had this table – just moved it from the living room to my room!

Again – love it!

The completed room looking from the head of the bed to the windows.

The room looking from the windows to the door!

Last but not least, since I moved out all the animal print stuff, I took the little tiger striped chaise lounge from my bedroom and moved it to the living room. I wasn’t sure it would work out, but I actually think I like it. I’ve been trying to convince Watson that it can be his very own couch where he can lay and look out the window. So far, he’s not buying it. When it was in my room, he got on it all the time. Now that it’s in the living room, he’s having none of it. Silly dog.

I think it looks pretty good.

And – that’s all for now. I’m loving my new room(s) and I hope you enjoyed seeing it. It’s almost the weekend – so close I can taste it and I’m going to sleep late in my new, colorful bed!

A Week and Then Some….

Time flies when you’re having fun and so this past week, weekend and beginning of this week (because I’m somewhat behind) passed pretty quickly. Thursday – Monday passed very quickly, I’m sure because my family was in town and so time couldn’t possibly slow down for just a little while and give me anything extra; it sped along at a breakneck speed and we just had to cram in as much as we could in the time we had – kind of like life in general. You only get so much time, so you better get to seeing and doing what you can!

Let me start back at the beginning of last week – and this post is picture heavy!

My wobbly look behind me on the treadmill on Monday afternoon – I may be walking my butt off, but someone else is not interested.

I may have mentioned this before, but when I walk on the treadmill my dog stares at me like I’m absolutely insane. Which I think is pretty funny because I’m guessing he’s probably thinking that I keep walking and walking and I’m not going anywhere. Which – true, but my fat is going somewhere. We went shopping this weekend and I was able to get two dresses in a size smaller than the last time I shopped. I’ve still got a long uphill journey, but it is slowly and surely starting to pay off. So Watson can keep looking at me like I’m crazy, it doesn’t bother me in the least.

A sweet seashell from Tanner and a big ol bag of Sour Patch kids – maybe someone at work likes me.

This little bum on Wednesday morning. He was not going to get up for anything.

My parents were already due to come into town for the weekend but some unforeseen illness on the part of my Grandpa (bless his heart) they decided that they’d come a little bit earlier. Lord knows I was not happy to see my Grandpa sick – I visited with him in the hospital on Tuesday and it just about broke my heart. I sent out lots of requests for prayer for my Grandpa and since prayer is powerful, he continued to get better and while at the beginning of the week, they were thinking surgery would be the best solution, he is now at home and doing much better. If you’re reading this, you can continue to lift him up – everyone always needs a little bit of prayer.

My family arrived on Thursday and I was ever so glad to see them. I hadn’t seen my parents since March – which some of you may be thinking is no big deal, but for this girl it totally is! I saw Lindsey just about a month ago, but I’m always happy to see my sweet little sister. The best part of having my family in town? My Momma cooked supper!! More than once!! I have missed my Momma’s good cooking!

I got off the treadmill Thursday and this was happening in my kitchen. Marvelous!

Ah yes – Momma cooking. Hamburger steaks, mashed potatoes and green beans!

My Dad just couldn’t handle staying awake on Thursday night – bless him.

Friday I had secured my freedom from work at 1, so my family had some delicious San Marcos for lunch (our favorite Mexican spot here in Meridian) and then we parted ways – Dad to visit his Dad and do some car related work; Mom took Lindsey and I – shopping! What a shocker, right? The big purchase of the day was a new bed set for me; I’d gotten a little tired of animal print after 12 years. I’ll post on that another day because I have lots of pictures to share. We had a good time and headed home in time to have supper with my Mom’s side of the family and visit with David.

These shoes – wow. Lindsey and I had to try them out, while my Mom kept saying “don’t break your necks!!”
Oh yeah – Sonic. Lemon Creme Slush. It was to die for.

Supper at Nanny’s – so delicious! She knows how to cook for sure!

Watson wanted to know where heis seat at the kid’s table was…

My Uncle Neil & Watson practiced their dance skills in the kitchen.

Cousin picture – minus two.

Lindsey making some priceless faces while she bonds with Watson…

Saturday was pretty busy to say the least. We were all over the place, eating breakfast, getting pedicures and making a Wal Mart run before heading to Jackson for a wedding and then turning around and coming home again. Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about all of it. If I wrote in detail about it all, you’d be exhausted too!

I knew I’d need a lot of coffee to make it through Saturday. So, I fueled up with some cinnamon roll flavored coffee!

This nut – her massage chair was going so strong she was bouncing…

The process of a pedicure. Love it.

Lindsey stuck her little green foot in my face and wanted a picture. Well okay.

Lindsey did a number on my hair…good gracious. I didn’t have to mess with it at all for the rest of the day.

At my suggestion; even though I’ve never eaten there, we ate at Babalu’s. Which I thought was great. I thoroughly enjoyed all the food and especially liked the guacamole that was made at the table. I’d go back in a heartbeat to try out some of the other things on their menu. I had the special for the day, which was chicken enchiladas with a special cheese sauce – and it was GOOD. I tasted my sister’s burger and it was also really good, as was my Mom’s meal and the sides we got – black beans and rice and some Mexican street corn. Delicious. Loved it all. I want to go back in the near future.

Guacamole made at the table – it was delicous. So delicous.

So much good food at our table. Nom Nom Nom!

Yes – Lindsey bought herself & me a drink. Mine was pretty good – a little heavy on the gin, but fine.

The wedding we went to was for a classmate of Lindsey’s from high school, Joel. Of course, Joel and his family mean much more to us than that – Joel’s mom Hope and my mom have been friends for years now and since my family moved, Hope has been a dear friend to me as well. Our families have always gotten along well and so we were so excited to be invited to witness Joel’s special day. It was perfect – so fitting for Joel and his new wife Casey and everything about it was just a splendid fit to their personalities.

Just a little look at the decorations.

Pictures of Joel & Casey in coffee mugs – the wedding was at a coffee house!

My crazy tribal print dress. Nice.

Looking out the window of the coffee house before the wedding started.

I promise Lindsey isn’t naked – she had on a strapless dress.

Joel spies his bride for the first time – so sweet.

Exchanging rings.

A heck of a first kiss as husband and wife – nice!

We were given the ever important job of guarding the groom’s sandwich so he’d have some food for later…

Reception eats – they were delicious!

These two cutting a rug salsa style…

Lanterns lining the walkway when it was time to go!

Sunday was – Father’s Day, of course! This year I actually got to spend Father’s Day with my Father! There is a whole post dedicated to all that and to my wonderful Dad. As with most every day that my family was here, we were all over the place but at least we were all over the place together!

I’d heard stories about this ice cream – and when I found it in pint size, I decided to give in & try it.

I was NOT disappointed. It is delicious.

The father with his gift on Father’s Day. Look at that cheesy smile!

Watson, caught in the act of begging for food from anyone that would be kind enough to share.

Monday came much to quickly and I had to go to work (sigh) while my family visited and poked around for the day. They were nice enough to come get me for lunch at Deli on 5th and my Momma cooked another wonderful supper once I got home. We visited with some friends again that evening and then…much too soon, it was time for bed and the fun had ended.

Dessert at Deli on 5th – I love lemon squares!

Yummy supper, courtesy of Momma!

Lindsey got to meet Micah for the first time – love at first sight, I’m certain – because well, Micah is awesome.

Spending time with my buddy Micah!

We were having an important conversation.

I have the magic touch – I soothed him right to sleep!

Well – I guess that’s all she wrote for now. Tuesday is halfway through, my family is on their way back to Virginia (so sad) and Watson and I will be reverting back to business as usual tonight: walking on the treadmill, cooking my own supper and catching up on the True Blood season six premiere (oh, I hope and pray it isn’t completely insane). I hope you all are having a good week so far and I hope it continues in that fashion – which I hope for me too!


Well – this post is a day late but hopefully not a dollar short. I suppose I was busy actually being able to spend time with my Daddy yesterday, so I couldn’t type up my blog post on an ode to Dad. So…here we go. I’m going to try to keep this one light – my Dad is what we fondly call a major weeper – I don’t think he could get through my Mother’s Day post, so I’ll keep it conscise but nice for my Dad. Ha-ha!

My Daddy – what can I say? He’s the best Dad there is and I think we bear a slight resemblance; don’t you? Not only did he give me some good looks but he gave and has continued to give me love, support and guidance as I’ve navigated the paths of life.

I think I look just a little bit like him.

Are we sure about that mustache Dad? I don’t know…my face says it all.

My Dad taught me to cheer for the best sports team – as evidence by our love of Maroon & White. He helped me figure out what was going on down on the field, what calls were being made and somehow managed to turn a kid that despises sweating into a kid that would sit in the stands in heat, rain, even snow flurries to cheer on my team – and understand what was happening! He taught me that you support your team through thick and thin; even when they have a losing season, you keep on cheering and know that things can only go up from a losing season. You find the positives in the negative and keep on truckin! Right? That lesson translates in a lot of other ways though. The most important translation of that lesson is that you don’t quit. Life gets tough sometimes, you may keep having a losing “season” and life my continue to label you the underdog, but you look for the good in a bad situation and keep on moving. You ring you cowbell, announcing to the world that it can’t get you down and keep on going – look for the good in the bad and you’ll always manage to come out better in the end.

Football fans!

My Dad is also a spiritual leader; he has lead our family since I can remember – and I’m assuming even before then. I know that from the time I was a few weeks old, it has been understood that when the doors at the church are open, that is where we are going to be. He leads us in prayers at every meal and although he isn’t showy or loud about it, his faith shows. He has a quiet, steadfast type of faith but it is the kind of faith that allows him to lead our family. I’m glad I have a Christian Daddy that taught me the importance of a heavenly Father.

Being a leader in the literal sense. Go Dad!

Another area where my Dad excels? Being an awesome husband! That may not seem like an important function for a Dad, but actually it is extremely important. He loves and respects my Momma and he also genuinely enjoys spending time with her. They have a good time together and the partnership they have spent almost 31 years working on it almost honed to perfection and I know that because my Dad (and Mom, but this post is about Dad) has put time and energy into the relationship, it is where it is today. I also mentioned he respects my Mom – which is important when you have daughters. I’ve told him before and I’ll say it again, he is making it hard to find a husband since I’m looking for someone that will treat me as well as he has always treated my Momma.

Daddy & Daughter

Dad – every girl’s first hero.

The best thing I think (personally) that my Dad has taught my sister and I is the love of travel and experiencing history. I think my Dad must have a little gypsy in him because his love of seeing the world has taken me to 32 of the 50 states and he and my Mom never sit still – they are always out to see more and more of what the world has to offer. My Dad has also taken us to more Civil War battlefields than I count and while as a teenager I moaned and moped about it, looking back now I’ve got to say they were all pretty cool. I’m a history nerd and I get it honest. Kind of like I got that little bit of the gypsy need to travel and see the world. Thanks Dad!

In Gettysburg – Dad is taking this picture, so he’s not in it. Ha-ha! I still don’t see any ghosts in this photo either. Such a letdown since this is the most haunted spot on the whole battlefield. I guess that means we need to go back, right Dad?

I can’t say I remember too much about my Great-Grandpas; I actually only have a picture of one of them but I’m sure they were great because I’ve got such a great Dad and wonderful Grandpa.

Grandfather Williams & I…many, many moons ago.

Last, but certainly not least – the Grandpas. I got two of the best ones, I think. My Pops let me traipse around behind him in the garden, taught me to shell peas and snap beans and made sure I always cleaned my plate. Ha-ha. My Pops made me furniture, some of which I still have and will have till the day I die; a special keepsake to always have of him and the work he did with his hands. My Papaw took me fishing and helped me learn how to swing a bat and throw a ball. He was there for every ballgame, dance recital, choral concert and any other random thing that I (or my sister) decided to do. Both of my Grandpas are men of faith and their faith leaves a legacy for their children and grandchildren that is evident in our lives today. My Pops is still here, my Papaw is not. Whether present or absent this year, they’ve both had a profound effect on my life.

Pops & I.

My Papaw…because I couldn’t find a picture of us together. 😦

Oh – and one last thing. My Dad easily gets the best Dad award because well, my car looks like it is brand new and so does my house after this weekend. He’s awesome I’m telling you. Awesome. So – Happy Father’s Day to the best Dad there is. Love you!

Best Dad Ever – easily.

He’s just awesome.

Getting to Know You….

Ha-ha, as the blogger that I borrowed this from said, now you’re singing the song, right? I confess that I don’t think I’ve even watched all of My Fair Lady, ever. If I have, I don’t guess I remember it very well. I think I like Roman Holiday better than My Fair Lady – if you’re asking me. Which you’re not, right? Oh well.

I borrowed this idea from a blog I love to frequent called The Sowell Life. I changed mine up a little bit; I answered her original questions as well as the 12 questions she came up with for other people to answer. Go check out her blog though – I know you’ll love it. Hopefully just as much as you love mine!

1. What was your inspiration for your blog name?Let’s see, I guess I named my blog Life As I Know It because this is my view on things. The blog is about my life and the people in it; we all have our own views of life and the things I talk about on my blog make up my life, as I know it.

2. Apples or oranges?
Apples, although I’m really not a fan of either. While you might catch me eating an apple from time to time, I don’t make a habit of eating oranges. Which is weird because I love citrus/orange flavored things more than apple flavored things. Weird, right?

3. What’s your gulity pleasure t.v. show?
I watch a lot of shows but the one I’d say is a guilty pleasure is probably True Blood. I say that because the storylines have just gotten so completely out there, crazy, totally nuts but I still want to know how it all turns out. Plus, I’m a single 28 year old girl. I need a good dose of Alexander Skarsgard and Joe Manginello each week; for the 12 weeks I can get it. Ha-ha.

There is nothing wrong with this picture. Nothing at all. For the record, I prefer the blond on the left.

4. If you have one last meal, what would it be?
I don’t know. Too many things come to mind – some really good homemade mac & cheese would be involved. Maybe my Momma’s hamburger steak. BBQ. I don’t know y’all. I like to cook and I like to eat so this would have to be answered in the heat of the moment.
5. What’s your first blog you want to read during the day?
I don’t guess I have a specific blog I jump to first. Two of my favorites are
Texas Tales and Enjoying the Small Things, so I’m always looking to see if they’ve been updated. My friend Lisa also has a blog called Grits & Griddles that is pretty great.
6. Northern or Southern?
Southern – I wasn’t born here, but my family is from the South, I’ve lived in the South for most of my life and while I’m making a dogged effort to get further North, when I do get North I’ll still technically be in the South. Ha-ha! That was a mouthful, huh?
7. You have to leave your home immediately – what are three items you must have?
iPhone, my Purse and a book. I try to always have a book.

8. When you get angry about something, do you hold it in or let it show?
I guess I show it. I keep thinking that I do a pretty good job of holding it in but depending on the situation, I think you can probably tell because its written all over my face. I need to work on my poker face.

9. If you could have dinner with any of the Presidents (passed or living), Who would it be and why?
Abraham Lincoln – mostly because I’ve just always been pretty fascinated with his presidency and I feel like I’ve visited so many sights from his presidency. He was a man of little means who made something of himself and used his knowledge of the “little man” to make our nation one that was better for all men. Pretty impressive.

10. What was your favorite childhood memory?
I can’t pick just one. I am blessed with a multitude of childhood memories and each one is more wonderful than the one that came before it. One of my favorite types of memories is of the vacations we took when I was growing up. I remember the planning phase; mapping out what we were going to do and counting down the days till it was time. The actual trips themselves are always highlights of a childhood that was as close to perfect as it can get.

I’ve seen…32 of the 50, if I remember correctly.
Now is a change – I’ve already answered the questions that Joy answered on her blog but I’m also going to answer the questions she put out for someone else to answer. And on top of that, I want Lisa to answer these questions too!
Lisa is a sweet friend that I met while I was attending USM. You know how adults tell you that you’ll make the best friends of your life in college? The people that will be your friends for years to come; your really, truly best friends? Lisa is one of those people. I didn’t know her for the first 22+ years of my life but I feel pretty confident I’ll know (and love her) for the rest of my life. And I feel confident you’ll love her blog if you go check it out!
So…here we go again!
1. Out of the 24 hours in a day, what is your favorite time on the clock and why?
I really like 5:30. During the week, that is when I get home from work and there is something so nice about settling in at home, walking on the treadmill to destress and sorting out what I want for supper. It’s just nice knowing that the evening spreads before me in all its glory.
2. What is your favorite magazine to get in the mail or buy in the store?
Entertainment Weekly
3. Twitter or Facebook?
Facebook – for now.
4. What’s your best memory of high school?
All of my best memories from high school revolve around any time spent with my best friend, Nickolee. So, there are a lot of them – enough to fill multiple posts.
5. What’s your go to website for shopping?
Amazon! I’m addictted like it’s a drug.
6. A blogger who inspires you?
Kelle Hampton from Enjoying the Small Things. Just reading her blog will make that pretty easy to understand; shes a wife and Mom to three sweet kids and her outlook on living life is both refreshing and inspiring.
7. Who is your celebrity crush?
Too many to choose – although right now I’ve got Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as my phone background. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. I like Scandinavian men. I also seem really into blonds.
I mean – yes please.
8. What’s a book you’d recommend to read?
It’s more a series of books – I’d reccommend the series A Song of Ice and Fire. You’ll need to start with book one though; called….A Game of Thrones.
9. A favorite recipe you love to make?
Homemade Macaroni & Cheese!
10. Your favorite app on your phone?
Buzz Feed. Ever been to that website? It’s addictive. The app is too. I peruse it at least once or twice a day.
11. You’ve got an afternoon kid free and job free, what would you do?
My afternoons are always kid free, ha-ha. I’d probably just chill out. Read a book. Take a nap.
12. The restaurant you always crave?
I really like Chili’s. Not sure why because it’s not exactly extravagant or amazing, but I’m a huge fan.
And there you have it. So – go check out Lisa’s blog and see what she said. I linked it at near the top of this post and I guarantee you’ll get a kick out of this chick. See there – I made a rhyme. Hope you’re having a splendid Tuesday afternoon!

…..I Can’t Think of a Title…..

Another week has come and gone – parts were good and if I’m being honest, parts of it were really rough. I don’t like wishing my life away but I can’t say I was sad to see this week go. Let me refresh that thought; last night I was really sad to see the weekend go. I think we are always pretty sad to see the weekend go though, right? I guess if we didn’t have the week, the weekend wouldn’t look as good though? I don’t know. I enjoyed my weekend immensely. My week was less than thrilling – I suppose it all balances out somewhere down the line.

Watson and I both seemed to suffer from some residual depression after last week’s Game of Thrones. The episode featured a scene I knew was coming; The Red Wedding. I won’t go into much detail but the name alone should give away that it wasn’t exactly the type of wedding you want to be invited to attend. As someone joked on Twitter, always hire a DJ – never book a band. Ha-ha. 🙂

Watson wallowing in depression – he just slept all of Monday evening. Bless him.

Some of the funnier, less curse filled comments about the Red Wedding. You’ve got to laugh so that you don’t cry.

This week was just…rain all the time. I’m telling you, the day would start out perfectly sunny and wonderful and before you could snap your fingers, dark clouds would be rolling in and raindrops the size of quarters would start slapping down from the heavens. Wednesday, just such a storm rolled in as I was driving home. I knew it was going to be a close call and I was right. As I drove up the driveway, a little twig flew across my windshield and the trees were whipping in the breeze. I grabbed my stuff, ran up the walkway calling for Watson while the thunder started to rumble and as he came flying across the yard in sheer panic (he hates bad weather) the first drops began to fall. We jumped through the unlocked door and stood just inside of it, staring out at the porch as it quickly became drenched. Whew! We just did make that one.

The light just went away from the sky completely. Eek!

I should share another funny. Later Wednesday night, once the rain had finally ended, Watson went outside to explore. After he’d been out for a while I went to the door to see what he was up to. He was standing out in the middle of the yard, sniffing around and doing dog-like things. In the distance the sky crackled with lightning and he immediately froze in place…waiting for what he thought would come next. When the thunder boomed across the sky, he turned tail for home and fled, running up the steps and raced past my legs into the house for safety. I only thought I didn’t like bad weather – this critter takes the cake!

Dove with it’s words of wisdom. Don’t even get me started on this one.

Reactions to thunder – he gets situated, hears the thunder and slaps his little head down onto my hand as if to say “Noooo Mom, don’t leave me in here alone!”

It rained again on Thursday and Friday afternoon. Watson and I got good at getting inside and watching the rain pour. Granted, I watched it from the treadmill while I walked and Watson (little bum) just laid in the floor watching me walk and watching it rain.

After the rain.

This cloud was so pink – I couldn’t come close to capturing how awesome it really looked. This was after Friday evening’s downpour.

I thought my Saturday would be pretty run of the mill – just straightening up things around the house and doing whatever I wanted, but I got a surprise. David decided he’d randomly come home on Saturday afternoon and so instead of spending a whole weekend amusing myself, I had some entertainment in the form of my best friend! Granted, I was enjoying my Saturday pretty well even before I knew I was going to have company. I had some coffee, read a little bit, walked on the treadmill for longer than I thought I would, cleaned up around the house and even sat out on my porch and read for over an hour. It was a good day.

Trying to persuade me that he needs coffee to wake up on Saturday morning.

Saturday marked 4 weeks of being committed. I’m getting pretty good at this!

Reading on the porch – thank goodness for cooler weather, if only for a few hours.

The huge rabbit that just decided to hang out in the yard Saturday afternoon – I mean, he was massive.

I admired Watson’s restraint. He didn’t immediately chase the rabbit. He watched him first…

Okay – this next picture is proof that it’s probably a good thing David decided to come home and spend some time with me. I was cleaning out my fridge/freezer and came across some stuff Gladware that had been in the freezer for way too long. I thought the ice crystals on the lids were so pretty that I sat there with my phone taking pictures of them. You might need some human contact when you start taking pictures of ice!

Bored much? Why yes…yes I was.
Ha-ha….love it. I mean, don’t smile David. Don’t even look at the camera. 🙂
The sky on the way home from supper. So pretty.

Sunday morning I didn’t even get to leave the nursery building – but I didn’t mind so much. I got to play with my little buddies and get sweet hugs from some of them. If you’re having a bad day, there is nothing quite like a kiss and hug from a sweet little blonde haired boy to make things better. I hugged lots of babies on Sunday but only one was sweet enough to return the favor!

All in a day’s work.

“My” boys – been watching these two grow up side by side since they were born.

Me & my Graham cracker – he used to be a graham cracker crumb, but he’s grown just a little bit.

Sweetheart Isaac – he’s so cuddly.

Thank heaven for Nannies that love taking care of their grandkids. Yum!

I discovered this spiderweb after (another) rain storm. It looked neat, but it’s gotta go. I don’t do spiders.

Rainbow on the way to church on Sunday night – which you really can’t see in my picture.

Another of my favorite Scandinavian men on the cover of EW this week.

Hoping to get a bite of supper. He didn’t. He has his own food.

The season finale of Game of Thrones was last night. The only problem I have with Game of Thrones is that there are only eight episodes seperating the season premiere from the season finale. We were really just getting going and now comes the long wait for season four. The finale was good; pretty calm. Anyone who has watched the show can tell you that the main action always happens in episode nine out of the ten – and last week’s episode certainly had action. Enough so that I am still recovering from it, so I was good with calm. I’m not good with there being 9 months standing between me and the Lannisters, Starks, Targaryens and the rest of Westeros. Come on HBO – maybe make season 4 have 12 episodes? Please.

Jaime & Cersei – this did not play out the way it does in the book. Interested to see where it goes next season since I’m extremely invested in Jaime’s redemptive arc…which means Cersei has gotta go!

Happy end of the season – they released the soundtrack! It made the parting from the show a little less painful. Just a little.

And that is that. Another week done and over with. Monday is almost over with. I can’t wait for Friday at about 1 – my family will be here! Hope you have a good week; I’m going to do my best to do the same.