Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is what our Christmas card is this year - We went with the postcard idea to be a little unique and to save on postage! We really wanted to have a picture on it that included Molly, but we simply ran out of time and decided that this one would be nice to show everyone what snow looked like in Alabama. Be expecting your copy very soon!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I love this picture of my parents - my dad is actually showing teeth and smiling in this one! Just felt like putting a picture up today; I can't believe that it has already been 6 years. WE LOVE AND MISS YOU, DAD, VERY MUCH!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Here is what our Christmas festivites look like this year... we have decided not to put up a tree, which is very sad I know. (The picture you see is from last year as I like to remind myself of how beautiful it was.) We are going to be in Dallas this year for Christmas and then we are pretty much heading straight to Jacksonville after that for New Years so we thought that we would not get to enjoy it much anyway. Plus - all of the ornaments are still in my "china and other things I have no room for in Alabama" closet at my mom's house so we would not have much to put on it. We did put up a few decorations though and they are as follows...

1. Wreath and Candy-striper rug for the front door. The rug I got on clearance from Crate and Barrel after Christmas last year. I was very excited to finally be able to use for the the first time this year. Also, I decided to make a Christmas wreath after I found so much satisfaction in making my own Fall wreath. The girl across the hall and I have a secret battle going on who can put out decorations first - I definitely won with the fall wreath but for the Christmas one, she beat me to it.

2. Christmas serving dishes and Dish Towels in the kitchen. I got these wonderful serving dishes on clearance from Pier 1 after Christmas last year. I was so excited to have a place to display them this year. I can't wait to use them when we bring sweets to all of our upcoming Christmas parties very soon. I found these cute dish towels at target - the snowman one is perfect and looks as though it was made to go with the snowman serving dishes.

3. Christmas Place Settings and Candlesticks. The placemats I have had since our first Christmas together. I absolutely love them. I actually thought ahead and got 6 of them for when we have a larger table in the future. The reindeer bell napkin rings are from the clearance purchase from Pier 1 last year and I was o so excited to use these for the first time as well. The red candlesticks were only 50 cents for the pair from Hobby Lobby - you can't beat that. I mixed all of this with the dishes, chargers, napkins and candlestick holders that I already had.

4. The Willow Tree Nativity set. This is of course an absolute must. We would put this out if nothing else. Sadly we do not have a very good place to put it - so it sits kind of in between the kitchen and living room on the bar. At least it is visible from most places! I have been collecting the pieces for the past few years. I received the Jesus, Mary and Joseph starter kit as a wedding shower gift which I thought was a very neat idea. I love it!

5. Hand-made Christmas cards and Earrings. The annual Calico Corners employee Christmas Party is tomorrow night and everyone is exchanging gifts this year. I work with a bunch of very crafty women so I am guessing that they will be pulling all kinds of neat things out of their sleeves. I decided to try and make their gifts as well - this is what I came up with. I have several pairs of these earrings that I wear to work all the time and get compliments on from my co-workers. (Everyone from Jacksonville knows what I am talking about.) No one around here has seen them before so I decided to make my own. I hope they enjoy them!

That about wraps up all of the Christmas decorating and crafts that I have done so far this year. Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Monday, December 7, 2009


This weekend we had so much fun as our good friends Steven and Laura Hunter made the drive from Gainesville to visit us. Our original plans were to get up early and drive to Altanta for the SEC Championship game on Saturday morning, but some bad weather forecasts convinced us it might be better to stay in Birmingham and watch the game from the convenience of our warm apartment. (After the disappointing outcome of the game, we were all very pleased with our decision after the thought of having to drive back in tons of traffic late at night with all the annoying fans from the other side that will not be mentioned at this point.)

We had a lot of fun during the Hunters visit - Birmingham got its first SNOW of the winter season - very exciting. Although it was not much, it did get these four native Floridians very excited. On Saturday morning we slept in, watched College Game Day and then took Steven and Laura on a condensed tour of Birmingham. We decided to have lunch at Jim N' Nicks BBQ - it was delicious as always. On Friday night and Saturday we cooked dinner at the apartment, attempting to start to pay Laura back for all of the wonderful meals that she has cooked for us over the years on every visit we have made to Gville since we graduated. (She is a fabulous cook!) She made us "Monkey Munch" on Saturday during the game which is a great Chex Party Mix for anyone who has not made it before. Here is the easy recipe:

9 cups of Rice Chex cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on high 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in Vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, sitrring until coated evenly. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on wax paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refridgerator. (We
kept ours in the freezer.) Very yummy!

On our tour of Birmingham we made it up to Vulcan park which is at the highest elevation in the city - here are some of the SNOW pictures that we took.

We were so glad that we got to spend the weekend with our good friends - we miss you guys! Perfect timing with the snow - I am hoping for much more!!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Recently Molly has been making several requests for some new accessories. She is feeling a little lost in the "pack" as she looks around at all of the other dogs in our complex. She has become slightly jealous of all of the other stylish pups and keeps requesting and we assist her in branching out in her wardrobe. She needs to feel like an individual - able to stand out from the rest. She asked - we listened. Here are a couple of new additions to Molly's wardrobe...

This first little beauty is a fabric flower that can Velcro right to Molly's collar. She was so excited to find a beautiful black and white pattern that would perfectly match her black collar. She loves that these colors not only go with anything else she is wearing, but they also contract perfectly against her fur. We were able to find this perfect accessory on Etsy - it was actually made by a lady in Gainesville, FL - it must have been fate. The name of her business is Bow Wow Couture. Very cute and very affordable at $5 to $6 per flower. Molly is very pleased.

This next addition to Molly's wardrobe is an outfit. She really wanted to make sure that she was ready for Christmas this year, complete with some Christmas pajamas. She decided to go with an open-footed pair so that it would be slightly cooler for her when she makes the trip back to Florida for New Years. She saw this number at Target for only $3 and knew that she just had to have it.

Molly gives both of these stylish additions to her wardrobe a very HIGH FIVE. She can't wait to model them for all of you the next time she sees you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


10 Things I am Thankful for this Thanksgiving:

1. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for saving me and sustaining me every day
2. My wonderful husband who is working so hard and I am so proud of
3. Our loving parents and siblings who are so supportive
4. Our new church and small groups who are such an answer to prayer
5. My FULL TIME JOB! (Also an answer to prayer!)
6. Our apartment - such a great roof over our head in such a wonderful city
7. Our reliable vehicles
8. Our adorable dog Molly who now a member of our family
9. Our amazing Alma Mater and how far the football team has advanced this season
10.All of our wonderful friends including Ben and Jess and their family for inviting us over today for dinner since we could not make it home to Jacksonville - THANK YOU!

I hope everyone gets to spend a wonderful day with Family and Friends and please know that we are Thankful for each of you!!
We love you,

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Our birthdays were great. We went out to dinner and ate cake, what more could we have asked for?!?! Thank you to everyone who called, wrote messages and sent cards, we felt very loved by our friends and family.

We used some of the money that we got as gifts for our birthdays to get a much n
eeded new desk chair. We love it! It just came in this week so I wanted to post before and after pictures so that everyone can see. (Thank you!!) As you can see... the old chair was literally in pieces and did not provide much back support to Josh as he spends long hours studying. The new chair provides much more back support and even has arm rests. Not to mention it has chrome accents that brought inspiration for the new chrome hardware on the desk. We also got a new lamp for the desk that just happens to be the perfect shade of Gator Orange that now sits nicely next to the Albert the Alligator business card holder.


We had great birthdays and are very excited about our little mini office renovation. Thanks everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009


We have been so busy over the past few weeks that I have not had time to catch everyone up on everything... so here goes...

Secret church was amazing! It was a 7.5 hour intense bible study conference held by our pastor at Brook Hills on Friday night November 6th. The topic was Angels, Demons and Spiritual Warfare. David Platt went through the foundational spiritual truths of this world, explained who and what angels and demons are, what they do and how they relate to us. He went through the scripture to explain chronologically what spiritual warfare was like in the Old Testament, during the time of Christ and what it is like today in His church. He went over several controversial topics such as deliverance ministry, demon-possession, etc. Throughout the whole night he would bring every single point back to the scriptures... trying very hard to de-bunk any myths that are so prevelant today. He conclusion focused on the coming battle spoken about in Revelation 12:7-12 where Christ will be honored as King, the devil will be cast down in defeat and the Church will rise up in victory. Secret church was truly amazing... I have never been in a study quite like this before... I know that eventually the whole night will be up on the church website at: It is not up now... but all of the past Secret Church conferences that Platt has done are up there. I will try to let everyone know once they post it.

The weekend was a lot of fun! Our friends Chris Brantley and Jordan Baker came from Jacksonville. Chris came to Secret Church with us while Jordan stayed with her friend at Samford. I think he really enjoyed it as well. The invitation is open to anyone who wants to make the trek to the Ham for the next Secret Church in April 2010. I will let you know the topic when we hear about it.

Now on to the big news of the past couple of weeks... I got a full time job! Calico Corners decided to move me into the position of their In-Home design consultant. I get to go into some of the nicest homes in Birmingham to make suggestions on new furniture, draperies, bedding, upholstery, etc. I am very excited about this position - it is such an answer to prayer. I started full time two weeks ago and everyone at the store has been so great to help me through the transition and on my first few calls.

I think that is all that I need to catch up on! Hope everyone had a great Monday!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Today is Josh's 25th birthday!! For two whole days he will be a whole year older than me. 25 is good... you are able to rent a car without an underage penalty and get a big break on your car insurance...very nice.

Here is another picture down memory lane from one of our many birthdays together - this year will be our 7th birthday together. Crazy to think about actually.

I love you Joshie and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!!

Friday, November 6, 2009


SECRET CHURCH IS TONIGHT!! We are very excited! Check it out at

Monday, November 2, 2009


On Saturday night (Halloween) we went to a costume party for our small group at church. It was a lot of fun. Josh and I decided to go as Dorothy and the Tin Man - it was quite easy as I already had the costume and we figured out a very easy and inexpensive way to make Josh's costume. There were a ton of people that showed up for the party... lots of food and games outside in the cold. There were definitely some creative costumes that showed up throughout the night... characters from the Office, the cartoon from our childhood DOUG, and various other animals, Disney characters and pirates. Here are some pics from the evening.

There was lots of great food - including Pumpkin cupcakes :)

Our good friends Richard and Tara came as each other - the Nurse Practitioner and the Dental Student

Our small group leaders Jim and Betty - the Pilot and Amelia Earhart

Group shot Guys

Group shot Girls

Halloween was a lot of fun! Josh and I are so thankful for all of the wonderful friends we have met since we have moved to the Ham. God is good!


My new favorite book is a cupcake cooking and decorating book. It is called "Hello Cupcake" and has the best decorating ideas for cupcakes that I have ever seen. Check out the book website to see what great ideas this book has. Josh's parents recently got the book for me when they visited us a few weeks ago. Josh and I decided to make some pumpkin cupcakes for this weekend's Halloween festivities. We followed a recipe in the book that adds canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to a boxed cake recipe. The cakes were delicious. We piped the batter into cupcake liners and baked them. Once they were cooled, we began the decorating process complete with orange-colored icing, orange sugar sprinkles and a green-colored twizzler for the pumpkin stems. Here is how they turned out...

Not too bad... we will definitely be attempting more recipes in the near future! Many more cupcake-worthy festivities are coming up soon. Hope everyone had a very sweet Halloween.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Last week was a very busy week! Josh and I had our 2 year anniversary on Tuesday and then his parents and Aunt Lisa came to visit us Wednesday through Sunday. Our anniversary was great!! He was so sweet and got me these beautiful flowers. The sales associates in the floral department at Whole Foods kept questioning him as to why he would want to pick out red and orange flowers for his wife on their anniversary... he kept trying to explain that pink and purple would just not do. He finally told them that all of the flowers in our wedding were in fact red and orange and I am sure got the same reaction that I get from most people when I tell them the same thing... o well, some people can just not picture it. On our anniversary Josh told me that I could pick anywhere I wanted to go and eat. I decided that I really just wanted a hamburger and so we went to the place where you can get the best burger in town - FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES!!

Josh's parents and Aunt Lisa came into town on Wednesday night and stayed through Sunday. We took them to most of our favorite restaurants in town, toured them around the city, played the Wii and Capitalism every night and just got to spend good quality time with them. One of the highlights of their trip here was definitely our visit out to Sylacauga and the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory. Although not everyone (Josh) enjoyed the trip - I thought it was fun and best of all FREE! We took the tour and then got to sample any flavor that we wanted. I found my new favorite flavor: Moolinium Crunch.

On Friday Josh and his dad went out to Oak Mountain with Molly to go hiking while the girls went yard selling and shopping - we did not find too many promising sales yet we did manage to spend an hour and a half in whole foods! Not too bad. I think that the hiking trip was a great success! Here is a great picture on Josh and Molly in front of the Waterfall. Now we are going to have to go back and try to pose a Christmas card photo or something.

On Friday afternoon Josh and I hung out with Ben and Jess who were in town for the Alabama homecoming weekend. We went to one of the best Thai places here - Surin for lunch and then they came over so that they could see our place! We miss having them so close! It is pretty funny how we have officially swapped home towns with them now - we are originally from Jax and they are originally from Bham. On Friday night we went over to Josh's Mom's 2nd cousins house (did I get that right?!?!) Karen lives about 10 minutes from us and is a school teacher in Mountain Brook (the next suburb over from us.) She and her brother Sam had us over and cooked a wonderful meal for all of us. It was great to get to know them and to discover that we in fact do have family very close to us!

Overall the whole week was a lot of fun. We were so glad to have family come to visit... it makes it feel like we are really not that far away. Love you all and thank you for coming!