Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Week Into Thirty

I'm officially 30 years and 1 week old today! Nothing feels different though I never expected it would. I'm just thankful I've lasted 3 decades!

I had a few days of celebrating around some delicious food and great company. Is there a better way to celebrate a momentous occasion? I celebrated an early birthday with my two friends Baylee and Lindsey at a local Mexican restaurant. Michael and I celebrated a dinner together on Sunday before my big day. On my actual birthday, we made one of our favorite dinners - homemade chili. On Wednesday, my mom came in town for Thanksgiving, and we celebrated my birthday together at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Southside. Hot and Hot is famous around here, and I have wanted to go for quite a while, especially when the owner Chris Hastings beat Bobby Flay on Iron Chef earlier this year. What better time than my 30th birthday to splurge! We made a reservation at the Chef's Bar that encircles the open kitchen, and we got to watch the chef's prepare all of the dishes. It was a great atmosphere and an unforgettable experience with my two favorite people in the world!

We stayed in town for Thanksgiving because Michael had to work a basketball tournament over the weekend.  Since so many of his colleagues had to stay around town, his coworker Michelle hosted everyone at her house for Thanksgiving.  We thought it would be fun to enjoy a big Thanksgiving feast together.  My friend Baylee joined my mom, Michael and I.  We had the job of making sweet potato casserole, dressing and dessert.  This was our first time making dressing, and we need a do-over next year!  It tasted good, but it wasn't the prettiest thing to look at.  In fact, it got placed at the end of the table for everyone to scoop on their plate last!

Baylee and I at Thanksgiving

After dinner, we hung out together, played in a bouncy house of all things, then tried not to fall asleep!  Mom and I really wanted to do some late Thanksgiving night or early Black Friday shopping, but we didn't have it in us.  Instead, we were in bed by 9 pm Thanksgiving night.  One day, I will engage in Black Friday shopping if only for the experience of people watching.  At 30, I'm proud that I have never partaken in the ritual, so out of pride, I may never give in :).

Mom and I did spend quite a bit of time shopping on Friday and Saturday.  We didn't buy much, but we looked around for hours!  She did get me a few things for my birthday, which was really great of her.  I thought her coming to Birmingham was a good enough present!

I am excited to see some more of our families over the Christmas holidays.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Scarlett Belle!

Our baby turned five today!  She is officially older than her parents, and it makes us both very sad!  We love this girl, and we have so much fun having her around.  Here are a few 5-year-old birthday pics.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day!

Happy Election Day!!!!

Michael and I headed to the polls early this morning.  I was so happy to see the long line of men and women waiting to vote.  I don't know why, but it makes me overly emotional to vote.  I just feel so patriotic and thankful that I have the right to vote!  This is one of the most important elections of our time, and I hope positive changes come out of this race.

No matter the outcome of this election, I hope in the next four years, we as Americans will learn to cross the aisle and love beyond our differences, use common sense, lean on God's authority, pursue fiscal conservatism,  and worry less about being so politically correct.  

I have been reading the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  I am amazed at how the Bible aligns with the history of our world and major events that have taken place.  You can pinpoint historical events to the day that were prophesied hundreds of years before.  God warned the people of Israel, but they chose to live for themselves and ignore him.  I pray that we turn to God's authority and seek His direction, not what the world sees as popular.  We are foolish to live according to our own laws.  Though we are the greatest nation in the world, we aren't too powerful to fail.

I can't say who will make the better president for the next four years.  I am not a prophet.  I voted for who I trust will be the better candidate.  The best I can do is vote and trust that God will place the best person in power.  It is my job to submit to God's appointment, and trust Him as the ultimate leader.

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. " Romans 13:1

Friday, November 2, 2012

Time Flies

How is it November already?!!!   I am officially only 18 days away from turning the big 30.  Can someone tell me how this happened?  This big birthday could not have proven more inevitable than a few weeks ago when I purchased my first anti-wrinkle skin system from Clinique.  I'm trying to age gracefully folks, but when my sweet but honest husband confirms that a wrinkle cream may be the trick to stopping the hands of time around my eyeballs, I decided it was time to pull the trigger.  
I don't really know how I feel about turning 30.  I don't feel old except for the crow's feet, and I have no problem with saying I'm 30.  I just feel like there is so much more fun stuff I wanted to do before 30.  Although, looking back, Michael and I have had a lot of fun!  I get the impression that my 30's will be about grown up stuff and about making bigger life decisions.  I don't know if I'm ready to get serious!

I do hope my 30's will be a decade where I learn to embrace who I am, faults and all.  I hope I learn to better my relationships and deepen my bond with Michael.  I hope I am less anxious and more loving.  I hope I lean on Christ before making big decisions rather than acting selfishly out of immaturity.  I hope that my 30's will be a meaningful and impactful decade!

Speaking of meaningful relationships, I got to spend a great weekend in Tulsa with my best friend Holly who got married!  Holly was my maid of honor, and I feel so blessed to have been her matron of honor last weekend.  We got to celebrate her bachelorette party on Thursday by going out to eat then to what I would call a boot scootin' club.  I attempted to two-step one time, and I'm almost certain someone booed me under their breath from the crowd!  I happily declined a second dance, but I'll do anything once for Holly!


Holly and I have been friends for 17 years, and we have been best friends for most of those years.   I don't know how we grew up so fast!!!!  No matter how long we have gone without talking or how far away we live from one another, it's as if no time has passed.  She is a blessing in my life, and she made such a beautiful bride!  


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Love Hate Relationship

Obviously I love social media since I write a blog, have a facebook and twitter account, and post pics to instagram on a daily basis, but I've developed quite the love hate relationship with it.

I've gone for periods of time when I gave up social media altogether. After quitting the habit for a few days, I missed it a little, but I was amazed at how productive I became.  I actually did chores after work, talked to Michael more, and went to bed at a decent hour. Often, I find myself with my face buried in my phone and Michael sitting next to me with his face buried in his phone. This is the hate part of social media. I think it can replace genuine relationships and cheapen friendships if we aren't careful. Let's be honest, I don't have 236 friends like facebook says I have. I have a handful of friends who know me well, and not all of them have a facebook account.

I also hate how social media has given me the false impression that my thoughts and opinions matter so much. I know I'm contradicting myself, since sharing your opinion is what a blog or status update is for, but the world will go on without my opinion, and sometimes I need to be a little less judgmental. Let's not mention the times that I've been unwillingly tagged in a friend's status update or in an unflattering picture!

Let me share what I have recently realized I love about social media, as a result of an unimaginable tragedy. I have seen people from all walks of life and all parts of the world reach out to someone who is hurting beyond my imagination. I have seen unbelievable acts of giving, prayers, uplifting thoughts, awareness, and love shared through social media this week for a beautiful young widow and mom named Julee Turner who lost her husband Matt unexpectedly on Saturday, October 6, as he drove home to her in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The outpouring of love I have witnessed is one of the greatest testimonies of her husband Matt's death, and social media has provided a unique way for Julee to be touched in so many aspects. Though I knew of Julee through mutual friends, I felt like I knew her most through her blog, which will continue to touch lives for years.

There are so many days that I want to disconnect, but I see the value that outweighs the disadvantages. Love it or hate it, I've seen the amazing ability of so many people to reach a hurting spirit through social media. Because of that, I have decided not to disconnect.

To view Matt's story: Remembering Matt Turner

Click here to read Julee's blog.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My New Job!

I got a new job! I have officially completed two weeks as an Executive Associate at an executive search firm in Birmingham called Wheless Partners. I am working with two senior partners in the firm serving as their associate for marketing and client relations. Basically, I help them gain clients and serve clients we are performing executive searches for. It's providential how it all came about, and it happened so fast, which is why I'm just now getting around to writing about it. Our friend Chris' dad Kevin works for the firm, and I had given him my resume several months ago for a search they were working on for a client. I never heard back from him regarding that search, but luckily they still had my resume on file. I was at work one day, and Kevin messaged me on Facebook and asked me to call him. The next thing I know I had an interview with the president of the company, I flew to New York for a great trip with my mom, flew back for a second interview, and I had a new job! I know this opportunity is a blessing from God. Though I wasn't actively looking for a new job, the move could not have come at a better time. It's been very exciting but very challenging, and though it's been nerve wracking getting into the swings of things, I know I need the challenge to be happy and to grow. I had the privilege of assisting with my first search in Omaha, Nebraska this week. We flew in on Thursday, and we conducted a series of interviews for the executive director of a major foundation in the city. I met some wonderful people, and I learned so much in one day. I am such a curious person, so the trip was awesome! I also got to meet the COO of Gallup who was assisting with the foundation search, and we got to visit the Gallup campus before we flew back home. It was an awesome trip! Today, I have been trying to catch up on my personal life. Traveling makes me so tired. Though I was exhausted, I decided to go shopping today to buy some clothes for fall. It was a bad idea! I hate shopping, which is so crazy because I used to love it. But seriously, shopping puts me in such a bad mood these days. I can't explain it, but I think its because you know you want something specific that you have in your head, but you can never find it when you need it. Somehow I always end up buying the same looking stuff. It's classic so that's good, but I am pretty sure that everything in my closet is black, gray, cream or navy. I set out to buy color, but it never happens. Michael is on his way back from Georgia tonight. I can't wait to see him and spend tomorrow together. We have been so busy, and I miss him so much! I am hoping for a lazy Sunday. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Last Day in NYC

Mom and I spent our last full day in NYC with my cousin Kelsea. We took the subway to Lexington Avenue where they were having a street market. After the market, we walked to Bloomingdales, where Kelsea works. It is such a nice department store! After Bloomingdales' we spent some time in Central Park, which is absolutely gorgeous. I wish we could have spent an entire day there. From Central Park, we took the Subway back to Rockefeller Center to go to the Top of The Rock observatory deck. Wow! What an amazing view! Since it was our last night, we took the subway to Kelsea's apartment in the lower east side. I have lived in tiny spaces, but her apartment is truly miniature. She definitely pays for the location! We ate Mexican at a restaurant in her neighborhood then mom and I took a cab back to our hotel to pack. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket I was sad to make it to the last day of our trip, but a part of me was a little happy about getting home because I was sooo tired! We had one last lunch with Julia, her mom, and Kelsea before we headed to the airport. We ate at the pizza and pasta restaurant inside Eataly, which is one of the neatest places I've been to. There are several Italian restaurants and markets inside one large complex. You pick where you want to eat if you want pasta, pizza, meat, vegetarian, or seafood. This was the best meal I had all week! Photobucket This was an amazing trip, and I cannot wait to go back!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Heading Uptown

On day three in NYC, mom and I headed uptown. We started our day at the Flatiron Building then walked east to Irving Place, a beautiful street in Grammercy. We took the subway uptown to Grand Central Station, which is amazingly beautiful! I cannot believe they were going to tear down this piece of history! After Grand Central, we walked west on 42nd to the New York Library and checked out the famous Reading Room before heading to the library's back yard, Bryant Park, for lunch. Mom got a hot dog from one of the thousands of carts, and I got a lamb gyro while we took a break at the park. After lunch, we walked to 5th Avenue from 42nd to 57th and took in all the amazing designer stores 5th Avenue is famous for! We visited Michael Khors, Trump Tower, Louis Vuitton, FAO Schwartz, and Nike. The funniest thing was the lines to get in Abercrombie and Hollister. I guess the foreign tourists love these stores because they were busier than any others. After we made it to 57th, we took the subway back to the hotel to change for the Jersey Boys on Broadway. We met my cousin Kelsea for Thai food before the show. I was very excited to see Jersey Boys, but I was not expecting the show to be as wonderful as it was. It is the best musical I've seen. My mom loved it so much as well! Julia, her mom and sister also saw the show, and we met up afterwards and headed to Serendipity for their famous frozen hot chocolate. I think we made it home by 1 a.m.!

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Back from the Big Apple

My mom and I have been back from the Big Apple for a week now, and after such a fun and jam packed trip, I needed a full week to recover.  I love to plan vacations, and I never leave home without an itinerary.  Let's face it, I don't want to be stuck in a new place running around in circles.  I wanted to share our itinerary so that we can remember all we did and help anyone reading this who wants to use our itinerary for a future trip. Here is all we did on day one and two. I can't say I've always wanted to go to NYC; it has never been on the top of my list, but I'm so glad we went.  I will definitely go back!  I really want to go for Christmas though I know it will be super expensive and full of people.  Our first reason for going was to see my dear friend Julia who was visiting from Melbourne, Australia.  We also got to spend a lot of time with my cousin Kelsea who just moved to the city. 

We arrived in NYC around noon and hired a car to take us to our hotel on 28th street.  Our cab driver was nice at first, but by the end of the car ride he was quite pushy about converting my mom and I from Christians to Muslims.  He offered me a Koran, but I politely declined.  I was very happy to get out of the car and check into our hotel room!  After checking in, mom and I walked up 7th avenue, grabbed lunch, walked through Macy's on 34th street (would definitely like to spend more time there on our next trip), then walked up to 42nd to see Times Square.  Times Square was ok to see once...it's one of those places that it's nice to say you visited, but I don't need to go back.  It was dirty and full of tourists. After Times Square, we took the M42 bus to Pier 83 and hopped on a 3 hour Circle Line Cruise that took us around the whole island of Manhattan.  This was a great experience and the perfect way to see the Manhattan skyline and the statue of liberty.  I recommend everyone do this once.  After the cruise, we took a bus and train to meet Julia and her mom and sister at Cafeteria.  This was a great restaurant, and everyone's food looked delicious.  I was so happy to see Julia again!  .

Photobucket On day two, we got up early. This was our most ambitious day! We took a train to Grenwich Village then walked to Washington Square Park. Don't miss Washington Square Park, it is beautiful!!! We walked through part of NYU's campus then shopped a little in Soho. My mom and I loved Soho. They had beautiful couture shops with such a fun and funky vibe. From Soho, we walked to Little Italy and had lunch at one of their little cafes. After lunch, we walked to Chinatown in search for a few knock offs. We had a rather interesting experience that was scary at first! I guess I pictured street vendors selling fake purses and jewelry, but since it's a no no, they have to be a bit sneaky. A man walked up to us and said "Louis Vuitton" and I said yes. All of a sudden he took off and we followed him for blocks. He turned the corner, whispered into a womans ear, and we started following her. My heart started to pound and I told mom that no fake Louis was worth going into some back alley!!! The lady took us to a van that she would not open unless we picked a purse from a pamphlet she gave me. While standing there a guy with a satchel full of glasses and a different woman with a purse full of fake Tiffany jewelry appeared out of thin air. It was crazy!!! I scored a pair of sunglasses and got the heck out of there. We headed downtown to the financial district and to Wall Street. I loved downtown! After the financial district, we walked to the lower east side along the East River and it's redeveloped seaport district. It was at this point that we bought a new pair of shoes because our feet were screaming. We found an Aerosoles shop and bought new sandals with some padded soles. This was our best purchase all week! We then took the ferry to Brooklyn to eat New York style pizza at a famous pizzeria called Grimaldi's. They prepare their pizza in a coal fired oven, and it was amazing! I can't wait to take Michael back to Grimaldi's. After pizza, we walked back to Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge. This may have been my favorite experience! The Brooklyn Bridge is amazing! Here are pics from day two. PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Monday, August 13, 2012

Playing Catch Up

I've been bad at blogging lately.  I don't know how a month has gone by without me writing a single sentence.  I admit to being a little lazy these days, and I also blame it on our sloooow computer that makes using it a nightmare.  Hopefully, we are going to change that soon!  So where were we last time?

We had parental responsibilities for a week in July.  We had a fun week! Steven made me laugh a lot, and he was such a great kid.  But I don't know how parents do it!  Kids are work.  I'm such a low energy person, and it doesn't take much to get me tired.  He's nine, so it wasn't that bad, but it's tough doing the extra laundry, making an extra lunch, organizing our schedules, giving up my tv shows and quiet evenings, and eating at kid friendly places.  I would love to have Steven back any time he wants to visit, but it may be a while before we have any permanent children around our house ;).

I started a second job a few weeks ago.  I am now working as a bridal consultant for a dress shop called Bella Couture.  With Michael working most weekends, I thought it would be fun to work on Saturdays and earn extra spending money.  It's fun to work with brides, and it gives me a creative outlet.  I'm having a lot of fun so far.  Michael is gearing up for his first football game on Labor Day weekend, so that means he will be busy, busy, busy until May.  I wish his down time could last a little bit longer.

On a low note, I'm pretty sure I fractured my baby toe last week.  I was walking at work and slammed my foot into a corner of a cubicle wall that was diconnected from its cube.  I thought it was getting better, but I've had a lot of pain in my foot recently.  I am going to the doctor tomorrow to see how bad it is.

Let's hope it's not that bad because my mom and I are leaving for The Big Apple next week, and we will be doing lots and lots of walking.  It's our first time in NYC, and I don't want a foot injury to dampen our vacation.  I'm not going to let it stop me, and I've already started packing because I'm super excited!

I don't plan to go this long between blog posts, and I'm glad I had time to catch up.  Have a great week!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I hope everyone had a festive 4th of July although the holiday was in the middle of the week and left us all going back to work on Thursday. Well, Michael and I had to go to work. I don't know about everyone else! We didn't let that stop us, and we were a little adventurous on Independence Day. Or let me say that we were adventurous according to our standards ;)! We traveled to Georgia where our friend Lindsey's parents live, and we hung out at the pool and cooked out before going to our first Braves game. The Braves lost to the Cubs, but it was still a great time. They had an amazing fireworks show after the game that was better than expected! After the game, the adventure felt a little less adventurous and a little more irresponsible as we drove back home and didn't get into bed before 2:30 am only to get up a few hours later!


Michael and I at the game!

Photobucket Baylee, Lindsey, and me before the game. I love these girls, and I'm glad we work together!

Now an even bigger adventure for Michael and I began today! This one is big!!! We drove half way to Arkansas and met my mom, two aunts, and my little cousin Steven who they handed over to us for the week. Yep, Michael and I are parentals for a whole week to a 9 year old boy. I don't know who needs more prayers, him or us! I am happy to have him here to visit, and we have a lot of fun things planned for him. It was also nice to see my mom and aunts. We ate at this great place in Holly Springs, MS called Philips Grocery. It is a converted nineteenth century saloon turned grocery store turned hamburger joint, and we enjoyed it!

Photobucket My mom and her two sisters Donna and Paula at Philips Grocery

Photobucket After eating lunch, we drove back to Birmingham with Steven. We went grocery shopping then came back and headed straight for the pool before dinner. I think he's having fun!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Apalachicola Bay

Just a short drive away from St. George Island, we visited Apalachicola, a cute fishing and oystering town known for some of the best oysters in the world.  Apalachicola supplies 90% of Florida's oysters and 10% of the world's oysters.  They also have some amazing fresh fish markets and a to die for bakery named That's Amoray with the best red velvet cake we have ever eaten in our lives.  We visited the bakery twice on our trip!  But the oysters are the prize of this town.  Before this trip, I had absolutely NO desire to try an oyster.  Not fried, not baked, and certainly not raw!  But you know what they say..."When in Rome!"

We started off with Oysters Rockefeller at a divey restaurant called Capt. Snooks.  The oysters were yummy...one of the best things I ate all week! 

We were ready to try the real thing when our friends Blake, Lindsey, and Zach came down on Wednesday night.  We walked to the local raw bar named Eddie Teach's and tried our first raw oysters with a little horseradish, crackers, and ice cold beer.  Michael wasn't as smitten with them as much as the rest of us were.  On Friday, we went back for Oyster Happy Hour and got a few dozen for $4.50 each!  They were soooo good!


I loved driving over to Apalachicola and walking in the shops and seeing some of the historical sites.  We definitely want to go back to St. George Island and Apalachicola and try some of the incredible restaurants we missed.  Here are some pictures of Apalachicola and a few more from our view at the beach house.
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket  Photobucket Photobucket It's sad that we were there almost two weeks ago...time flies so quickly! It was a great vacation, and we can't wait to go back!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

St. George Island

We just got back from a week at St. George Island, Florida.  What a great week it was!  This was our first time to St. George, and we both loved this place known as the 'uncommon Florida.'  I heard of St. George from a dog loving co-worker like myself a couple of years ago who suggested the island because its one of the only dog friendly beaches in the country.  There are no high rise condos, no chain retaurants, no crowds, and no large grocery stores.  It's laid back, quiet, and beautiful. Here are pictures from our trip.  I will share another post with pictures from Apalachicola.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scarlett's New Hairstyle

Scarlett had her first puppy spa day this weekend! We finally decided that she is too furry for Birmingham. She loves her walks every night, but here lately, she has been struggling. It is not the breed standard to groom Cavaliers, but who cares, she is happy and soooo cute!
Honestly, I don't know why we waited so long to groom her. She is loving her new haircut, and it's like she is a puppy all over again. The funniest part is that we thought she was a little plump, but with all that hair missing, she has a cute little puppy figure!