Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas: Rogers Round

Christmas morning we headed to Mark's sister's house to see what Santa brought! We also have a big Cracker Barrel style breakfast - yumm!
The kids all got riding toys from Santa and David got a new CD player for his truck!
I thought this was cute of Rachel in her new pj's and demonstrating
how to wrap your wet hair in a towel.

Christmas: Stooksbury Style

Each year we alternate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family and Mark's family. This year we headed to Rockwood for Christmas Eve. We started with lunch and presents then had a day or relaxation and munching on the holiday goodies! We had fun just spending time with each other and playing with the kids. Drew really enjoyed the presents this year, he was so sweet! As for Alex, well, he mostly liked the ribbon!

What sweet boys

Alex content with his ribbon!

Drew rockin' out with his guitar

Granna and Grandad gave Drew this Buzz Lightyear space ship. He would get in and put EVERYTHING in with him. Here he also has on his bicycle helmet.

Aunt Kate had to chase drew around the house acting as Buzz.

Grandad and his boys

Givin some love

Christmas: Your Family and My Family

OUR family! We had both of our immediate families over for a Christmas gathering. It's very rare that both families are together. It hasn't happened since our wedding but would like for it to happen occasionally. So everyone was here! We had a nice dinner, nice fellowship, enjoyed the Christmas lights from the neighbors and again, another game of dirty Santa. I'm not sure they all get the idea that dirty can mean re-gifting or gag gift. I think every gift was a "nice" one.

Christmas: Gingerbread Houses

As a team outing at work we went to the Viking Cooking School and made gingerbread houses. We had the best time and there were so awesome looking houses!

Christmas: Fun with Friends

The first week of December we had several friends over for some food, fun and dirty santa. We had a great turnout and some awesome dirty santa gifts! :)
Mark had to steal the lottery tickets form Jonathan! What a great idea, Adam!
Jonathan going for his second gift - which he didn't keep very long.
Part of the crew waiting to see the next gift

And the group photo (minus a few that left early)
Some of the gifts included were lottery tickets (as previously mentioned), a doormat, Walgreens gift card (which was picked by the guy that worked there and had been purchased by his wife, which was hilarious), a Chinese puzzle, Christmas salt and pepper shakers, the Perfect Fit Button, and the list goes on. What a fun night!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas: Home Decorating

This year it was super fun to decorate for Christmas in our new house! I was so excited I did it the second week of November - which is way early for me! Because of the new house I had to get several new things (Mark just didn't understand)! We really enjoyed our decorations this year and I have several new ideas for next year too!

The place settings in our dining room! I finally got to use my Christmas dishes.

Can't forget the cinnamon scented pine cones - mmmm.

Santa is always watching.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Visit From a Bug

Drew Bug that is! As always I'm way behind but better late than never I guess. In November we got a little visit from Drew, we had such a fun weekend! Friday night was short, by the time I picked him up and we got to our house we had a short play time, bath time and then bed time. I was a bit nervous about bed time because he was fresh off his pacie. But he did great, all his "babies" kept his safe. I ended up sleeping with him just in case he woke up wondering where he was.

Saturday we had a big day. We took him to the Adventure Science Center where they had a train exhibit. He is very into trains right now so it was perfect. They had ALL kinds of model trains and Drew was amazed. There are so many things for kids to do there he wasn't really sure what he was supposed to be doing. He would just run from one thing to another. He loves to climb and slide so it was perfect! Later that afternoon after nap we hit the park - which he LOVES being outside.

We took him back to mom and dad on Sunday afternoon. And boy the week after that we sure miss having him around. Can't wait for the next time! I've heard we're getting him every couple of months - I think Casey enjoyed the visit just as much as Drew did. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Eye See You

I was in Chicago for business a few weeks ago and one of the things on my to-do list was to see the eye ball "art" on display in the city. So here it is!
Unfortunately the eye ball is now gone but you can read more about it here.
And well I thought I would mention the other things on my list too.
1. Portillo's for a Chicago style hot dog................and my new love their famous chocolate cake!
2. Hit H&M
3. Enjoy a bag Garrett's Popcorn
I'm happy to say I checked all items off my list!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lucky Ladd Farms

Bradley, Casey and the boys came for a visit and boy were we so glad they did. Casey and I had the same thought about going to a pumpkin patch when they were here. So Saturday night we headed to Lucky Ladd Farms. Drew had the best time, they had SO much to do! First, we enjoyed feeding the animals then we saw tractors, played in the sand, rode the train, slid on the slide and looked at the pumpkins! It was a little chilly that night so it was perfect for fall festivities. We enjoyed the visit and can't wait for Drew to come back for the weekend.

Stooksbury's in the Smokies - Part II

After our day at Dollywood we checked in to our home away from home for the weekend at Wilderness at the Smokies. Some of Saturday and Sunday was spent at their indoor water park. It was a blast...for all ages. Drew LOVED it! He loves the water anyway but they had so many things for kids to play with, play on and play in. They even had the wave pool and slides for the "big kids", including dad! The convenience of the water park to our room was so nice. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stooksbury's in the Smokies

The first of October we hit the road for to the Smokies for a Stooksbury vacation. Mark and I stayed at Brad and Casey's on Thursday night then hit the road early, with a slight detour by Chick-fil-a, on Friday morning heading to Dollywood. We had the BEST time! Drew loved the train but we didn't love the soot that came with it - yuck!

He wasn't so sure about the rides the first go around..................

but boy he learned to love those piggies!

The adults had a great time too!

And we didn't forget about Alex.
He was just as happy as can be!

Dolly had all her fall decorations out too!
Everything was so pretty!
To be continued..........

Go Titans!

I just wanted to post a few pictures from our Titans party with our date night crew back in September. It was so fun to have them over to see the house and watch the game!
The whole gang and Molly! But she's camera shy!
Maureen made this awesome cheese ball.
I love how she made it a football - so festive!
Because it was soo good, I wanted to share the recipe too.
(2) 8 oz cream cheese, softened
(1) red and green bell pepper, chopped
(1) can crushed pineapple, drained
Lawry's Seasoning Salt, as much as you want to taste
Combine all ingredients and form into the shape you want. Roll in pecans and chill.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nashville Challenge

In honor of the Amazing Race starting tonight I thought I would blog about the Nashville Challenge that I participated in a few weeks ago. This scavenger hunt/amazing race type challenge was great fun! A friend of mine, Lindsay Johnson, posted the groupon for the challenge on her facebook status and asked who would be interested. Well since I love this type of challenge I immediately told her I would participate! We were a team, Team Awesome, of 4 girls that were up for the challenge and there to WIN! There were approximately 80 teams taking part in the challenge and it was trivia on downtown Nashville. We received our clues and headed out. Our phones were helpful but many answers were just from the knowledge we had on our city. We covered the downtown from end to the other, approximately 6 miles. We ran probably half the time and walked the other. We finished in 4th, our time was one hour, 8 minutes and 44 seconds, only 10 minutes shy of first place. Darn. For every clue we had to take pictures of our team at the particular location with the requested props/positions. Here are just a few.

Our commute WAS cut in half but...

now the drive is going to be longer. Boo! Gerry House, my favorite radio personality, has announced his show will end on December 15th. I listen to the Gerry House Foundation on the Big 98 every morning. They are full of fun, jokes, news, sports, gossip, contests, and music. I will certainly miss them but wish them all the best. They are always a great start to the morning!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A few of my favorite things

about the new house.

Moving days

We went to the closing with both cars loaded full of boxes. We started moving things that night - why wait, that's what we had been doing for 2 weeks! We had all our boxes there by Thursday when mom and dad came out. When they arrived, first thing on the list was to get the U-haul in Murfreesboro and pack up all the furniture then we would meet Mark's buddies at the new house to help unload. Man, that U-haul was packed to the brim, we're thankful for dad's packing abilities. After only a couple of hours all the furniture was in - now it was time to organize. We had big plans for the weekend, we wanted to landscape and paint while mom and dad were here. Mark and I could unpack our personal items later. We went non-stop the entire weekend - man we were all completely worn out! Thanks mom and dad for ALL your help!

Here are some before and after pictures.


Dining Room

Living Room

Trying to be patient

As many of you know we bought a new home but let me tell you, the process sure did test our patience. We submitted an offer on a house in the middle of June. It was a short-sale and we knew it could be a longer process than normal which we thought was ok since we were still trying to sell our home in Murfreesboro and we really weren't in any hurry. We gave the sellers a week to either accept or decline our offer. As we sat on pins and needles we finally received a call from the realtor telling us they had another offer. So we went all-in and offered the full asking price, I was adamant about not going any higher. If we didn't get it, it wasn't meant to be. Sure enough we lost that house (which looking back was the best thing that could have happened). Oh, we were so devastated! We were pretty much set on this neighborhood and this particular part of town. We had looked at every house available and knew that was it.

Well God had another plan for us. We continued to look, again, at all the houses in the neighborhood, even the ones we really weren't interested in. We came along a brand new home that had been sitting there vacant for over 2 years and was a bit out of our price range. So after viewing the house 3 times we decided to go for it. We low-balled and thought if they go for it, great...... if not, fine. We had already been disappointed once. We submitted the offer on July 3rd and gave the sellers another week to accept or decline. The builder (father) and realtor (son) were on vacation but quickly returned the call to our realtor and verbally accepted our offer. Wow - that was easy! Since that happened so quickly, it really took us a minute to realize they had accepted.

We finally got all the paperwork going that next week, setting our closing date to August 11th. Well the packing began. Mark was so motivated, I occasionally had to slow him down so he wouldn't completely pack our house the first week. I was insistent on being organized and cleaning out the unnecessary items as we went - he was completely on board with that! Thank goodness.

July and August were already getting pretty busy so we continued to pack every spare chance we had. We were ready to go the first week of August but had not heard the final word from the lender that August 11th was still the plan. Well, we continued to harass our loan manager, poor Ashley (who was AWESOME)!! I know she was the middle man but golly we were SO00000 frustrated. We were trying to be patient but there we sat with all our stuff in boxes besides my makeup and hair products. The kitchen was packed, we were eating out, we were still showing our house with only the bare bones, we couldn't even walk through the garage, had the U-haul scheduled, Comcast scheduled, furniture deliveries scheduled, buddies to help unload were booked, time off from work scheduled, etc. Well we rescheduled all that a total of 4 times - UGH!!!

You can only imagine how this girl with a plan was so disturbed!! God definitely tested us and of course it ended up working out perfectly. Mark was definitely my calm in this storm. He was always so patient and calm and there were many days I just wanted him to be mad and yell with me!!! Thank you honey for keeping me in check.

So August 25th came, our official closing date!! We were FINALLY new home owners - bout freakin' time!

We certainly were tested and learned a lot about being patient and relying on God to make it work out perfectly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Row, row, row your boat...

Of course, I'm behind again! Anyway, in July our "Date Night" friends and Mark and I canoed down the Harpeth River. It was the perfect, warm, sunny day! We packed our coolers and canoes and were on our way. We had a great time but were worn out!!

And we're off.........

We weren't the only ones with this good idea.

Took a break for the rope swing.
I was shakin in my boots, but I did it!

My handsome tour guide and paddler

Group Shots