Our Jolene-girl

So Monday, this happened.

Meet Jolene, our new puppy!

And yes, she was named for the Dolly Parton song.

She’s a 10 month old boxer mix and we are already so in love with her. Ryan and I met at the Humane Society to look at a dog and we found her! We’re all still getting to know each other, but so far, everything has been about as good as it could be! There was a moment when she started sniffing O.B.’s tank and we had to move him. No eating your brother. She’s a little younger than we thought we would bring home, but we’re okay with that.

We’ve started playing in the yard with her and taking her on walks. And this morning I started training her a tiny bit. She mostly knows sit, we’re learning stay, come, and heel.

Our first family picture!

We’re so excited about this stage of our life!


Life Lately

Life has been kinda crazy around here. This is just a recap of almost everything we’ve been up to.

When we went to our final inspection of the house, I took some pictures of the dogwood in the front yard. I am soooo happy about it!! We need to see about the ivy growing on it because I’m scared it’s killing the tree.

After we closed on the house, we had dinner at Marlowe’s Tavern. Their tomato bacon jam is amazing!

I was packing/cleaning up one night and Ryan stuck a hanger over his head. Then he couldn’t get it off. It was hilarious! He finally had to break it to get it off.

In the midst of all of our packing, cousin Heidi’s book showed up!!!! Along with this delicious chocolate. I’m super close to finishing, but I’m waiting for a big block of time. But so far, I have loved it. I’ll give it a proper review when I’m finished, but I highly recommend it. You can pick it up on Amazon!

The Friday before we moved, we had dinner for Kylie’s birthday. It was sooo good, even though I’m terrible about remembering where we’ve eaten. I do, however, remember that amazing caramel cake from Piece of Cake.

Saturday, we headed to Athens for Twilight and for the sorority’s IRD. I miss Athens. I will never stop missing Athens.

For old time’s sake, we went to General’s for a drink. It hasn’t changed a bit. It made me happy. I’m a little crazy-eyed in this picture.

Sunday morning, we were up bright and early to move. Ryan, Ross and I started off with the breakfast of champions- Waffle House.

It was kinda funny seeing Ryan drive up in that big U-Haul.

After we got most of the big stuff moved on Sunday, Ryan and I spent the rest of the week getting all of the little stuff and cleaning. Ugh.

Our last meal at the apartment- Jimmy Dean’s frozen croissants. They were actually really good.

The house right after we moved in. It’s still a mess, but most of this stuff has cleared out. We just have a lot of furniture we need to buy to unpack everything into.

Last weekend, we went to my parent’s for Big Daddy’s birthday. Sunday was our one year anniversary, so Ryan woke me up super early and we went to Waffle House, just like we did the morning before the wedding.

The top of our cake! It was still delicious, even a year later! Of course, Ryan ate one bite and I ate the rest of it. I think I need to try Whole 30 again to detox myself from all the sugar.

On Friday, Ryan went to Shaky Knees and I went to the Braves game with some Sarah, Jamie, Kacina, Brie and Elizabeth. It was raining and yucky before the game, but it cleared up when we got there. Plus our seats were covered.

Saturday night, I headed home for Mother’s Day. It was just the four of us on Sunday and Mama cooked lunch. It was nice how we all just fell back into our routine and sat down in the dining room where we had always sat. I found a few old pictures when Mama and I were going through some stuff.

Chance was buttoning his shirt all the way to the top way before Ryan did it.

It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but the collar on this dress was HUGE. I remember thinking this was the prettiest dress EVER. (I think both of these pictures were taken for the Mr. and Ms. Sweetheart Pageant (that is a hard word to spell) that the Pilot Club put on for a few years. So yes, I was in a pageant once or twice. One year, the girl that won gave us all chicken pox.)

And that just about wraps us up. We’ve had a busy few weeks and we’re about to have a few more busy weeks. It’ll be nice when things relax and we can get the house painted and in order. I think we’re both getting a little tired of living in chaos.


Plants and Mothers

Any time I see a plant growing towards the sun like this, I think of Mama and of Mimi. When Mimi was sick and we would go visit her, we’d walk the halls of Plantation Estates and Mama would turn the plants in the around so they could start growing the other way. A few months ago, Ryan and I were somewhere and the plants were growing towards the sun. I turned them around so they could start growing the other way.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall. I am my mother after all.

There are worse people to turn into.

Christmas and New Years 2013

So is it too “late” to do a Christmas blog post? Well, if it is, they’re my memories and I want to remember them.

Because we spent Thanksgiving with my family, we spent Christmas with Ryan’s. I took embarrassingly few pictures, so most of these are “borrowed” from Facebook.

I worked 8 days in a row up to Christmas Eve. It was crazy, but good. I was glad to have my week off after that. Ryan went to Virginia to see his dad and family up there. He got back Christmas Eve. Present buying was stressful and I have vowed that this year all of my shopping will be done before Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping.

Christmas Eve we went to church with Pete and Monica and then out to dinner at Milton’s. Mama R came and met us at dinner and Kylie met us on her way home. It was delicious, but the two appetizers at the bar kinda killed my appetite.

We spent the night at Pete and Monica’s. Christmas morning, we were trying to figure out what to have for breakfast and decided to go to Waffle House. It was awesome and I think we may have found a new tradition.

After breakfast, Ryan and I ran home to wrap all of our Christmas presents. Never again will I do that.

We then went to Yia Yia and Papou’s for presents and lunch. This is the only picture I took.

It was fun and the food was delicious, of course. We had lamb and pastiza (I have no clue how to spell it, but it was some kind of pasta dish. “You don’t spell it son, you eat it!”) which is not our traditionally Christmas, but it was fun to have something new.

The next day, Ryan worked and I slept in and laid around like a sloth. We went to dinner with Brendan and Megan, who were in town from San Fran and then went to Jillian’s for the oyster roast.

The next day, we headed to Greensboro and went to visit Tori and the Fagan’s and then went to dinner with Mama. Saturday, we got up early to go see Lala and Big Daddy and then head to Charlotte to see Mama’s family. Eula has gotten so big! We ate dinner at a pizza place that was nice a quiet.

It was a little weird and sad because Mimi wasn’t there, though.

The next morning, we woke up and went to see Papa again before we left. He’s so funny. I’ve started asking him all of these random questions that I want to know about him. Like how all 12 of them ate dinner at the same time while he was growing up. (They sat on benches and there were always more than 12 of them because the farm hands ate with them too. I just think it must have been so chaotic and fun.)

After that, we got back on the road for Jacksonville. The Dawgs were playing in the Gator Bowl down there, so we went and relaxed for a few days beforehand. Mostly, we walked on the beach and read. Mama and I went shopping one afternoon. It was perfect, except I wish we’d had one more day.

This picture is a tribute to all of Iz’s “creeper” pics she took in Europe.

I finished one book, read two more and started another on this trip. Success. I actually read part of every single book I brought, which never happens.

New Years Eve, we went to dinner with Mama and Daddy and some of their friends. We went to a few bars after and were in a cab home at 12:15. Have I mentioned that I’m not a NYE fan?

Taking pictures in a dark bar isn’t easy.

The game was the next day, so we piled in and headed to the stadium. Of course, as we were walking in it started raining and didn’t stop the entire game. And then we lost. It was lame, but none of us really cared that much.

After the game, we headed back home to real life. I started my new book (LOVE IT) and it was back to work the next day.

A very successful holiday, indeed. Family, food, relaxing, football, shopping, reading. I’m not sure I could have asked for anything more.

Mimi’s Girl

Things have been a little quiet around here this week.

Last Friday, I got a call from Mama that I have been dreading for a long time now.

My sweet Mimi was gone.

This weekend, we celebrated her life and I loved hearing the stories everyone had of her. She was so loved.

We will always miss her. She was strong and fun and full of life. However, she never hesitated to spank me when I deserved it or tell me my eyebrows were too thin. :) While I am heartbroken that she is gone, God is still good and I am so thankful that she is whole and healed with Jesus and Mama’s brother, David.


When Christ shall come
With shouts of acclimation
And take me home
What joy shall fill my heart!
And I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
“My God how great Thou art!”

Christmas Time is Here! (Okay, was here…)

I have to say, Christmas was a little different this year. A little more low-key. Less presents. More money. Transitioning into what we will be doing for Christmas next year was also a theme for this year. Even though we didn’t really do anything we will do next year, it was definitely on my mind more.

This is from the Christmas card photo shoot, had my mom had the time and energy to send out Christmas cards. (Incidentally, mine are still sitting on the floor on my apartment. They do say Happy Holidays inside, so I figured I could still send them out around New Years because it’s still the holidays, but now at 22 days into January, maybe I’ll turn them into Valentine’s cards.)

Christmas Eve was spent at Ryan’s parents’ house. Ryan and I headed to church at 3 because everyone was coming over for apps at 4. (Btw, when I was in college, apps were appetizers, not phone applications. Crazy how things change in 3 short years.) Anyway, it ended up being the children and family service, so instead of really hearing a sermon, we heard lots of shhhh’s and ‘so help me God, if you don’t sit still and be quiet’s. Nice way to begin the day celebrating the birth of our Savior. Anyway, after church, we had dinner and a white elephant gift exchange with Ryan’s family. It was very hard coming up with a gift that both his 24 year old sister and 80 year old grandfather would like. And explaining white elephant to them. But I was happy that my gift was the only one actually stolen. Go me! (Checkers from Cracker Barrel, if you were wondering. If you ever are in need of a last minute, cute gift- Cracker Barrel is where it’s at.)

(I don’t actually have any pictures from Christmas Eve because Monica has yet to post hers on Facebook so I can steal them.)

(Let’s just see how many parentheses I can use in this one single blog post, why don’t we?)

(Count is up to 5. Six counting this one. I’m going for the record, folks.)

After dinner and gifts, I headed home to the Boro and got to see Mama and Daddy for a few minutes before they went to bed. And then I proceeded to stay up until 2 watching Auntie Mame. A Christmas classic and since learning ‘We Need A Little Christmas’ was on my Christmas to-do list, I felt it necessary. Although this was the one with Rosalind Russell, not Lucille Ball which is the one with the song in it.

Christmas morning, I woke up to money, candy and the first and second season of Downton Abbey on DVD. Which Mama and I proceeded to watch over the next 5 days, pretty much non-stop. We had our traditional breakfast of pancakes, sausage and oranges while Big Daddy came to eat with us.

We then had lunch at Lala and Big Daddy’s and opened presents with everyone there.

(And the words cease and pictures begin.)

This picture cracks me up because it looks like Big Daddy photobombed an Olan Mills picture of Chance and me.

After lunch with the family, we always head down to the Ellenburgs to say hello. This might be one of the things I miss the most about Christmas next year. They are seriously our favorite family- all hilarious and so full of joy and love. Plus, Miss Marjorie makes THE BEST fudge you have ever had in your life. I even Instagrammed it, so you know it’s true.

Okay, I was going to do Christmas all at one time, but this is getting insanely long, so I will save Christmas with Mama’s family until next time. Props if you stuck around this long. (Do people even say “props” anymore?)

A Wicked Saturday

Saturday was a great day! Ryan’s family came in from allllll over (Grandfather from Arizona, uncle and cousin from Nashville, Dad and brother from Virginia) to come to the game, so I took the day off and I finally got to tailgate and spend the whole day in Athens. Oh, I loved it! I have missed Athens and spending the whole day there. And because the game was late, I also got to see lots of friends! Basically, it was a perfect day!

Jamie and Kacina came to the game! It was great to see them and get to hang out! And eat Jamie’s famous apple dip. Plus, Kacina made these Heath potato chips. You haven’t lived til you’ve tried them. OMG.

Finally, after a looong day of tailgating, it was time to go into the game. Ryan and I headed in early with Zach to show him around (and try to convince him to come to Georgia).

Amazing sunset.

I mean, how you could you not want to go to school here?

Pretty soon, it was game time! I have to say, I was pretty nervous. We have a tendency to get lazy and drop easy games like this. But, we played awesome! Oh, I was so proud of how well and how hard we played. I love this team! It’s so fun to watch them play and see them have fun playing. I mean, when you win like that, how can you not have fun??

Final: 48-3! The best part was when Vandy scored a touchdown, but fumbled it into the endzone, so it got taken away. So funny to watch the scoreboard tick backwards!

I know that most people will say that Vandy is a cupcake team, but to me, this game was just a sign that we are on the right track and just need to keep doing what we’re doing.

When the Dawgs are winning, there really is nothing better!

Vols, watch out!