"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure." Psalm 71:14-15

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Since I'm a short timer here at work, I've been daydreaming about my new house. OH HOW I WOULD LOVE A NEW BEDROOM. I doubt any of this will happen since we will probably be BROKE after we move in, but if I could decorate our bedroom with all new stuff this is what it would look like.

The bedding is from Pottery Barn of course! I would forgo monogramming the duvet, but definitely order the monogrammed standard shams in Green Apple. I would make the nice big square Euro Shams and trim the bottom of white curtains with the Betz White Sprig and Sprouts blue/green organic cotton/hemp blend fabric. We would HAVE to order a new comforter from Pottery Barn to go in the new duvet cover - made from echo friendly materials, organic cotton outer and mirco-poly fill made from recycled plastic bottles!!

I would paint 3 walls in the Behr "Mississippi Mud" color with 1 accent wall where our bed would be in the Behr "Chocolate Cupcake" color. Keep in mind our bed is white ornamental iron that my Papaw made for my mother, so it would really stand out. Do you like how I used "Paint" to go ahead and paint the walls of the bedding picture?

This is all just wishful thinking, but a girl can dream can't she????

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

UPDATE: Life is moving quickly, get out of its way!!!!

First, I know all [2] of you have been waiting on the "big reveal" of our kitchen face lift! Matt worked SO HARD on the new doors and drawer fronts. They really look wonderful and have breathed new life into that tired old kitchen. In addition to the cabinets, I painted the walls a hot new color and put fresh white paint on the wood trim. I was also really sick of all of my cookbooks just stacked on top of our microwave. So we hung a new shelf above the spice rack and it looks FAB if I do say so myself! Without further ado...



Second, you all [probably] read about my NEW JOB that I am starting next month. We are both so very excited about this position and what it means for our family. I will be happier and have much more flexibility. I can do paperwork from home or wherever I choose. And because it involves some nights and a few Saturdays, I will have time off during the week to do things like workout, clean and shop while Matt is at work, so that we have quality time at home together. I will also likely have Fridays off with Matt (who has every other Friday off), so that is something else to look forward to.

Third, this NEW JOB also means that we are buying a NEW HOUSE!!! No, I don't get to enjoy my new kitchen for long, but the new owners will (let's hope that the potential buyers love "New Avocado" as much as I do)! Matt and I fell in LOVE with a house down the street from our friends Meghan and Daniel a few weeks ago. We went back and forth about it with the owners, prayed a lot, and decided not to make the move until we knew about the job. We stayed the course with the improvements we wanted to make to get our house ready to sell (hence the kitchen face lift). We knew that if it didn't work out with us getting the new house, at least we would be living in a prettier house than we were before! Here is the flier from our dream house! Now, pray the inspection and appraisal goes the way that we hope!

Now you are all updated on what happened LAST WEEK!!! Matt said on Sunday that he didn't want to start a new week. We'll never top the week we had last week. Our friend Debbie said, "the only thing missing is a baby!" Thanks Debbie, we will wait a while. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


SO, yesterday I got "the call." No, not from God to enter the ministry. I received the phone call that I've been waiting on for a long time. Remember when I took that long break last month because I had a lot on my mind that I felt like I couldn't talk about? Or an opportunity that I had been waiting on for a while that might not be worth it? Or do you remember me feeling really trampled on?

Well, all my prayers have been answered. My heart is at peace. I have no worry or fear, only joy and anticipation!! I am starting a NEW JOB on August 31st!!! My concerns about time are at ease. Yes I will lose some evenings and a few Saturdays with Matt, but I will also have more time at home while he is at work to do things I don't want to do when he is there!! So the time we do have together will be less guilt-ridden and much higher quality. :)

I even did a little happy dance in my cubicle (that I WILL NOT miss working in!) to celebrate!! SEE?

Well you can't REALLY see the essence of the dance, but it's a self portrait - very difficult!

SO, thanks to everyone who has walked with me through the "dark valley" and prayed for me. I appreciate all of you. For those who didn't know what was going on, just be happy for me ok?!?!?!!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

NOT ME!! Monday

I would NEVER dream up a way to give our kitchen a "face lift" in order to list our house on the market that would leave me in the air conditioned house all weekend painting while my husband slaved away in the hot garage making new cabinet doors and drawer fronts!! Nope, not me!

I did not ask my husband's opinion on the new wall color for the kitchen, and while he went to another part of the store have the paint vendor mix my color preference instead of his. And I CERTAINLY wouldn't rub it in that it was my choice of color not his once he said how much he liked it!! NOT ME!

I have not ONCE rubbed in the fact that I know more about home renovation than my husband, then had to apologize and explain that it's only because I've watched more TLC, DIY and HGTV than any one person should. Nope, not me.

I am not counting down the days to when our kitchen is put back together and pretty, you know - just in time to sell the place. I mean, I've only been looking at these ugly 1985 cream laminate disaster cabinets for four years!!! NOT ME!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Wedding Dress, Party and Reception

My other blogging buddies have been participating in this OH-SO-FUN blog carnival from Kelly's Korner called "Show Us Your Life." I felt a little left out because I missed the first two weeks, but I wanted to be sure not to miss this last week of Show Us Your Wedding series!! SO, it hasn't been THAT long since my wedding, but I thought I would participate this final week anyway!

Week 1: Show Us Your WEDDING DRESS

I loved my wedding dress. It was simple, but elegant for an outside wedding. It took what seemed like FOREVER to find the right pattern, because my fantastic mom made it!! Yep, it was super special because she made my dress and veil. The lace on my veil was from my aunt Pam's veil that my Meme made back in 1969! I loved it all. It was very sentimental and special for me!! Here are some pics!


We got married September 20, 2008 at the gorgeous Laurelwood Farms on Signal Mountain. It was really the best weekend ever (even with that one little hiccup of locking the keys in the getaway car)!!

My wedding party was made of my bestest 6 friends that I've been collecting since childhood. When it came to their dresses, I wanted them to have something they loved, looked good in, felt good in AND could wear again. So I purchased all of their fabric and each girl picked her own dress pattern (they just had to be knee length) and had it made!! Voila!! A beautiful bunch of ladies!

from left to right: Lamm, Christie, Melissa, me, Mere, Betsy, and Hilary

Matt threw tradition to the wind and chose his best friend Beth for his Best Maid along with his 5 bestest guy friends. She wore a black dress and stood with the boys; she even had a pin-on corsage to match the boys' boutonnieres!! Isn't she just adorable? I felt sorry for her having to hang out with boys all day.

So there you go, our wedding party.

For the music we had a harpist and a trumpet (which I LOVED).

For the flowers I went bright to offset the rich chocolate brown of the dresses. It was fall, but early fall and still warm, so I really didn't want to stick to just yellow/orange that most people do with chocolate brown. Each flower had meaning (almost). The thornless red Jacqueminot Rose is the symbol of my sorority AOII. The yellow rose was my Papaw's favorite (and mine); I remember him giving Meme 3 yellow roses on their anniversary, one for each daughter. The purple iris was Meme's favorite; she planted a sea of purple irises on the bank outside their house. I can't see one without thinking of her. The mango calla lily just made for pretty boutonnieres!! See, I said almost!!

Matt and I had a wonderful time planning the different pieces of our ceremony, especially picking our scripture and planning the foot-washing. Yes, we had a foot-washing. The very first thing we did after exchanging vows and rings was wash each others feet. It was very special and moving, until I couldn't get Matt's sweaty sock off. Oh well, that's just how we roll!

So that's pretty much a summary of our wedding!!


Matt and I wanted to throw a hellova party for our reception. It was on the grounds at Laurelwood in their fantastic barn!! We danced the night away to our handpicked play list on the computer piped in through the speakers (GREAT way to save $$). We put together a "dinner music" playlist (lots of Sinatra on that one), a "first dance" playlist , and a "party" playlist ('nough said). I am fairly certain that folks had a blast, but heck you can see for yourself!

THE CAKE was a bit of a fiasco (though no one knew it but us). I'm VERY picky about cakes because my UBER-talended mom used to make them for extra income. NEVER would a cake of mine be frozen before coming to my wedding. NO fondant icing allowed (yes it's beautiful but it tastes like cardboard). I wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese icing for the bride's cake. We even made them do a sample cake for me to taste (I HAD to order it through the caterer, long story). The sample cake was perfect. What showed up at our wedding had about 1/3 the cream cheese in the icing that the sample cake did. But what do you do? It's there, you've cut it and they've screwed you. Not much you CAN do. Anyway, at least they got the decoration right (you can't really screw up putting flowers and cake toppers onto a cake).

My husband was mad because he thought that the groom's cake was supposed to be chocolate. Oh contraire bonjour. I wanted chocolate for MY cake, he had to pick something else! After several weeks of back and forth, I appeased Matt with the idea of a dessert table with all of his favorite pies. Our sweet friend Lara even made the centerpiece as part of our wedding gift, complete with a Buzz mascot!!!

(picture taken by Christie B. Griffin)

Mom kept bugging me about table decorations. I was trying to save money, so I said we didn't need any. She wouldn't leave well enough alone, so I told her she could spend $5 per table. This is what we came up with!

The sheaf of wheat is also a symbol of AOII, so after the wedding I packed them all up and shipped them to my sorority sisters at the Nu Beta house! They use them as center pieces for different events, so I'm told :) It also pays homage to my slight obsession/addiction to coffee!! Lamm loaned us the votive holders, so it cut costs even more!

YAY!! Time for Matt and Jill to leave!! WOOHOO!!!

About 5 seconds after this picture was taken, Matt said "Where are the keys?"...

Well, the photo album looks like it was a perfect day ;) Our photographer even offered us a ride home! Instead, we rode 1 hour down the mountain in the back seat of Lisa and Bill's car (Matt's mom and step-dad). We drove back up the mountain the day after the wedding to get Matt's car, and all of our belongings and IDs. Luckily, we didn't leave for Jamaica until Wednesday!!

So there you have it! More than you ever wanted to know about our wedding!

**picture credit for this entire blog post (except where noted) goes to the FABULOUS Melody Hood of Innamorata Photography**

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lara's baby shower

Our women's small group (Bible study group) has been excited for a very long time to help Lara and Bryan welcome a baby into their family. We just had no idea (nor did they) that God would work in their lives the way He has. We are all truly amazed by the great blessing He has given to them.

Lara and Bryan are our friends who had just finished filling out their adoption paperwork when she found out she was pregnant, that I mentioned here. They have decided to adopt after little Hayden is born! They may have TWO BABIES by Christmas!! She is so amazing and dedicated to healthy living and treading lightly on this great Earth that she is going to cloth diaper both babies!

Well, it was finally time for us to plan Lara's baby shower. Since Lara has her very own organic garden, and her nursery is garden themed, we thought it the logical theme for her baby shower. So we got to work on the plans, and OF COURSE I called Lamm to design the invitations!!

Of course, last names, addresses and phone numbers have been removed.

Aren't they ADORABLE??? I was quite proud of coming up with the rhyme!! We wanted to make sure and acknowledge that Lara and Bryan are awaiting the arrival of their birth daughter, Hayden and an adopted sibling.

Anywho, this was the best shower I've ever co-hosted! We just did "everyone bring a dish" so no one person was overwhelmed (except maybe Merrell, she had to clean her house!). I signed up to bring the dessert, sugar cookies. My MIL gave me her/Grandy's coveted recipe and all the fun stuff to make them for Christmas and I've been DYING to try it out!

Well, I grossly underestimated the time it would take to roll out, cut, bake, ice and decorate 24 large cookies. But all the effort was worth it. They turned out so CUTE! I even found a cookie cutter at my favorite craft store that was a large flower with a small cookie bumble bee to stack on top, perfectly matching the invitations! SEE?!?!?!

Note to self: do not stack bees onto flowers until you've arrived at the destination (carry separately), some poor little bee faces got smushed :(

Here are all the ladies from small group (except Meghan who had a little trouble finding Merrell's house) that attended the shower.

Note to self: do not wear this outfit again until you have lost 10 lbs.

And here is Lara with her sister-in-law, neice, nana and mom.

Lara got tons of cool stuff for both babies. Her mom made a little sweater and booties (so cute); her nana made a blanket, and Meghan embroidered some onsies, a blanket and some bloomers.

Yep, Lara is cracking up because the onsie says "organically grown"

I think Lara's favorite gift was a few items of clothes worn by Bryan's favorite cousin that they are so close to. They were very special!

Fun was had by all (except Bryan waiting back at home). Bryan promptly got some horrible flu while we were at the shower and is now in quarantine at his mother's house for a week. Bryan needs prayers of healing, Lara needs to not get sick, and baby Hayden needs to stay in Mommy's belly until Daddy is well enough to welcome her into this world!!

We can wait a week to meet you Hayden!! Stay in Mommy's belly!