Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer is Almost Over

Hey, Hey, Hey! It's been so long since I've blogged that I'm pretty sure the only people still even checking in are my mom and Susie! Hi Mom. Hi Susie. Maybe Lu!

I suppose I took the summer off. I changed jobs which obviously requires adjustment (and has an IT Dept that monitors my computer stuff so blogging has to happen at home instead of while at work. ha.).    

Socially we've been super busy trying to get our new Lake Martin Young Professional group up and going. It has been so much fun seeing the young people want to breathe new life into our hometown. AC for LIFE!! Move to Alexander City, we've are making things happen!

So as a catch up...

We celebrated Memorial Day hard. Real hard. It took me roughly a week to come back from it. When  I recall the dance moves I busted out a party that weekend I cringe in embarrassment. Handful, for sure. But it was probably the best MD thus far and that's saying a lot.

Ryan and I have had several fun night at Chuck's Marina eating pizza, having a few drinks and listening to live music. Love it. Love him. Love summer nights. 

We've had a few fun weekends with the girls, but honestly not near enough. I love my friends and the more time with the them the better!

My sweet friend, Katie Beth had her baby. Gray instantly stole our hearts. She has made being a new mom look so easy and effortless that it truly gives me hope! 

Couldn't you just eat him up? He was literally a week old in the above picture. 

Fourth of July came and went in the form a four day rainy weekend. We spent one rainy day on Lake Martin and the two rainy days on Lake Wedowee. There was lots of food and lots of card games. 

Gray even parties with us! 

Ryan and I don't get to hang with his hometown crowd near as often as we'd like so it was great to spend a few days with these fun girls over the fourth. 

I convinced my Dad into making me a farmhouse table out of reclaimed wood from our farm. It turned out so pretty. Dad really nailed it!!

Please note the hydrangeas on my table. They are from the bush I planted this year. I love them! 

Maggie and I made our debut as Chaquita (me) and a banana (Maggie) in this year's inaugural Sun Fest!   We didn't win-- didn't even place actually. We both feel robbed. We may be down, but not out. We'll get them next year. 

I've run a few 5Ks... 

...which resulted in an injury to my foot. Ouch. 

Nothing was broke. Just tendonitis. I'm currently on the mend. 

It's been a busy summer. I'm leaving out three weddings, book club meetings, and who knows what else. I am not promising anything but I'm going to try to do better staying on top of my blogging. 

Ryan and I are working hard and playing harder.... and loving every minute of it. 

**I embedded these photos from my Instagram (feel free to follow me) and for some reason it include my user name. I don't have time to redo... so please disregard.**

Friday, May 17, 2013

Last Weekend to be Silly before becoming Mrs. Lilly

My sweet sister in law's bachelorette trip was a couple of  weekends ago. As I explained in a previous post it was my third trip to the beach in a month's time.With no vacation days as of yet on the new job it meant leaving Friday after work and being home by Sunday. I wish I could have had more time at all three of them, but alas it makes no good use of anyone's time to complain about it.

Deidra and I posing on our 3rd beach trip in a month's time. 

As Ali's Matron of Honor I felt it was my duty to bring some fun to the table. I was going as the "oldest" girl in the group after all.

I had cover-ups monogrammed for everyone and had cups made for our weekend. Every girl got a special package filled with their cover-up, a float (courtesy of Deidra), a pair of sunglasses, candy, snacks, and their own cup!

Ali is the sweetest Sister-in-Law and I wanted to make sure her weekend was perfect... because DANG IT she deserves it.

We feasted, hit the beach for a bit, sunbathed pool side, sipped cocktails, and made her model her lingerie for us. She will be looking sexy on that honeymoon!

The first night we all rocked animal print which was so cute!

The second night we did the black and white thing. Always easy and fun. I didn't get to stay for the last night but had a blast the two nights I was able to celebrate with all of these sweet girls.

Ali, Deidra and I were three deep in our king size bed and I snuggled Ali real hard. (Her legs were so smooth - I have since invested in her lotion) Even if we hadn't been sharing a bed I would have snuggled that girl because I love her!

What a great weekend it was! Count down to wedding starts now. GO!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Three Years Today

Today marks three entire years of being married to my best friend and love! 

We've been together for six years and married for three of those years. It's a crazy thing that love. It's hard to imagine loving someone even more as time goes by... but I do. Ryan is my partner in crime, he makes me laugh, he he keeps me clam, he grounds me, he makes me a better person. And I hope I do the same for him.

I always said my one day husband would dance with me... 

Would laugh with me....

I never said my one day husband would slip-n-slide with me down a freezing cold muddy slip-n-slide, but I love Ryan even more because he did.

I got everything I even dreamed of and then some.

Ryan is a go-teamer and is pretty much game (with some convincing) to do anything to make me happy. He is even willing to dress up in whatever crazy costume I come up with for parties...

Bad guys from Home Alone for a Christmas Party

Here's to many, many more fun-filled, laughter filled, love filled years to come!!  I am so blessed he is mine.

Friday, May 3, 2013

My blog suffers due to the life that has become me.

I suppose my blog takes it on the chin when life gets busy. And I've been busy....I've had two bachelorette parties at this point at the beach, hosted one couple's shower, helping host a monogramms and mimosas shower, ran a 5K in my fastest time yet and I am leaving for the beach for one last bach party of the season. Let's not even delve into what my work life has me busy doing.

Alas, as they say I am young and can handle it... Let's recap shall we?

Kristen's Bachelorette Party was in Gulf Shores, AL. 

It was a windy but beautiful weekend. Deidra and I went for a walk and ended up having a photo session on the jetties. What started out as an innocent side-by-side shot turned in to an all out posed photo session, as directed by two sweet older ladies.

Dinner at Big Fish with the bride to be!

Finish on the 50 5K

I ran my fastest time yet. Although not necessarily very fast in terms of true "runners" but I crossed the finish line in 34:32 with an average pace of 11:07 minutes per mile. No speed demon but had fun nonetheless!

Lacey ran the 10K and came in 5th in her age group!! Go girl, GO!

 I did manage to beat Aubie... so I will take that! 

Ali and Jackson's Couple's Shower

Several wonderful people joined in as we hosted Ali and Jackson's couple's shower. We did a gift card shower since they are moving out to Dever after the wedding we thought it would be easiest to have some gift cards to use out there to get them started!! 

It was so fun. Love Ali and Jackson!

 I also love my man, which did I mention, got a new job!!
So proud of him. 

And lastly, remember the Mud Run I told you about.... we'll I finally got the waterproof throw-away camera developed and here is proof that we did indeed do a mud run!

Right after this picture was taken, I hit a deep spot and went to my chest deep in 35 degree water. I was then numb.

And here we are at the finish line. Pretty gross and tired. So much fun though!

Whew. Now I'm off to Destin for Ali's bachelorette weekend. Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Hiatus

I suppose I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus. Technical difficulties at home (lack of working computer for a bit) and a new job which requires full attention has made for a lack of love for this here blog. Sads, I know.  This hiatus is coming to end, as our new computer is now making life much easier.

Let's play catch up, shall we?

I started my new job and it has been fast paced and happening. I pretty much just got tossed in and expected to sink or swim. I will have you know that I'm doing just fine keeping my head above water.  In all honesty, I did start during a very busy time of year and I've had to just roll with the punches. I've put in a couple of late nights but I think that will be par for the course when handling different events.

On a more personal note, not only I have been busy learning a new job, but I've been going full speed ahead in my personal life.

About a month ago I ran the Russell Forrest 5K. It was a rainy weekend with made for a muddy but fun time. That marks off one of the three I planned to do in my new year's resolution.

That was also the weekend of my ten year high school reunion. We had a dinner party at Springhouse on Friday night for my group of running buddies. It was so nice to spend a lovely dinner with my best friends.

Not that we really needed to catch up because we are all still so close, but any dinner with this group makes for a great night.

Saturday was the actual 10 year reunion. I graduated with a class of a little of 200 people-- not huge in comparison to some of the bigger city schools but sufficient. We had a good turn out with over 100 people in attendance..

Obviously any time you plan an event for that many people you are not going to make everyone happy, but every person who came had a blast. We ate good food, had one too many cocktails and danced the night away. It was awesome to get to see so many of the people I haven't seen since high school. No one really got super fat or weird. Just good ole folks living life and making it work.

In other news, I have ventured down the road of chalk paint once again. This time I revamped an old coffee table that we have in our living room. I have had the hardest time finding a coffee table that is the perfect size for that area. (I've actually ordered two and sent them back) Since this one works size-wise I decided to revamp it with a bit of chalk paint. I used the Annie Sloan Primer Red with Dark Wax



Looks a lot better and will suffice until I find the perfect table.

I will work on carving out time to keep SFJ updated more frequently. I've officially got my footing at work and our computer issues at home are officially resolved.

Glad to be back up and running.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Alpacas

The Alpacas featured in my last post live right here in my hometown on an Alpaca farm. On Saturday mornings they bring a few alpacas out for petting and whatnot.

The name of the farm is Southern Star Farm. The farm has a gift shop where they sell all things made with alpaca fur (if that's what you call it).

I purchased my dad a pair of socks and for myself a little alpaca Christmas ornament (made of real fur of course).

These animals are so cute... and so soft.... and so funny. Although I was not of fan of one that decided to spit on the other. Yuck.

Doesn't it kind of look like it's smiling?

I kept getting so tickled at them. I would laugh and say, "Y'all crazy Llamas-- I mean, Alpacas!"

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Photography Class Update

For my photography class this week we are working on Depth of Field. Our assignment this week was to take one photo with a shallow depth of field and one with maximum depth of field.

We had to email our pictures to the teacher and the class is going to critique each one tomorrow night in a group discussion. (ahhhhhhh) To make matters even crazier while not only trying to understand the rule of thirds and depth of field we were limited to taking pictures of subject matter beginning with the letter 'A.' (so I had to get creative/get my mom to help think of a few things because I could only come up with apple)

So here we are:

An Alpaca with a minimum depth of field

 (side note on alpaca-- they are so much fun. I will post more of my pictures of them tomorrow.)

Arches showing max depth of field.

I actually spent more time trying to visualize the  "rule of thirds" grid while framing the picture, which I think caused me to not focus as much on the actual picture (if that makes any sense).

I understand fully the ability to create a blurry background (or bokeh) but I wish we hadn't been limited to the letter A for the sharper image because I think I could have done a lot better with a landscape photo at our farm.

I can look at both photos and name several "problems" so I am fully prepared for my classmates to point them out--- but it's a learning process, right? Constructive criticism can only make me better!

Also big thanks goes out to my "second shooter" for tagging along. Look how much help he was:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Whew, Big Day!

I quit my job today.
Yep, just like that I walked in and turned in my letter of resignation along with my two week notice. I may have cried, but they were definitely tears of joy. I may have even said to my boss, "I don't know why I'm crying because I'm excited to be quitting" (but I meant it in that I'm excited about what's next). He laughed with me.
If you've read my "about me" section then you know that I work with very low income single moms, living in Public Housing, work toward self-sufficiency (kind of like a life coach). I've been doing that for four and half years now.
A job that was supposed to be a stepping stone (to something else, to something more, to something I love) turned into my day-to-day life. It's funny how easily that can happen.  A means to get closer to my then boyfriend/now husband turned into my career. A pay raise here, a promotion there, great benefits! that can't be beat.... made it too easy to stay.
But it's not what I wanted to be doing. It's not what I necessarily went to school for. And honestly, it's emotionally taxing as it is semi in the the social work field. I have days where someone on the program I coordinate sits across from me and sobs explaining their desperate needs, whether it's lack of money, lack of enough food for the month, help with a sick child... you name it I've listened and tried to refer them to the best possible resource.
I've been looking for a job for roughly a year. Remember this post back in Jan. of 2012. A new job was at the top of the list of resolutions.

I've been patient. I've interviewed with several different companies. I put myself out there and I've been shot down a few times. But that's OK. It's okay because those jobs weren't THE job. It's okay because on Friday (after three rigorous interviews for a position) I found out I was chosen.
The stars aligned and I was chosen.
My new job will be in public relations for a hospital. I can't wait for the event planning, the TV appearances, the community events, and quite frankly the increase in pay!!
Like I said, I've cried today- every time I've told someone I was leaving actually. I will be saying goodbye to some of the best co-workers, most of whom I consider friends. Change is never easy-- it's actually quite scary. However, in life we have to get out of our comfort zone and take a few (calculated) chances.
I'm going for it! I'm nervous, excited and giddy all at once. Change is afoot and I'm loving it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On the Menu

Last night for supper I tried out a new recipe. I try to mix it up in the kitchen but it is so easy to get in a rut during the week. I tend to fall back on the same old tried and true recipes, but that can get old. Right?

Yesterday I decided I was going to actually make one of the many recipes that I've pinned. The only requirements were it had to be quick and easy because I had several errands to run prior to going home and knew I would be getting a later start that usual.

The winner from my pinterest board was......... CORNBREAD POT PIE!

Picture Via

It met all of the criteria-- easy, quick yet still delicious. I decided to half the recipe and used an 8x8 pan since it was just Ryan and I. I love a meal that I can cut in half so that we don't waste so much. It was the perfect amount. Ryan and I both had plenty to eat and I even packed up the rest for his lunch today! (read:good wifey)

Here is the link to the recipe if you want to toss it into your week night rotation.  (also I used a rotisserie chicken from the deli instead of making my own-- saves even more time) Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cat Nap

Yesterday afternoon the weather was nice so Maggie and I decided we'd go on a little walk. I grabbed my camera to take along jsut in case we spotted anything exciting.

Maggie has a love/hate relationship with cats. She barks at them like crazy if they pass through our yard and she happens to catch them through a window, but if we're outside and she sees one it's like she wants to be it best friends.

While on our walk yesterday I spotted a cat napping in a tree well before Maggie did so I snapped a few pics.

Once Maggie spotted it our photo session was over. The cat took off and and Maggie was hot on its tail--- until her retractable leash caught, as I am not about to run around the neighborhood chasing a cat with my dog.

(these photos of her running around are out of focus, as I was trying to hold the leash as she took off and snap pictures-- but they are hilarious to me)

Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go
Whoa, switch back the other way

Maggie is the best little dog. She is so full of life and even more so love!
She is also in desperate need of a haircut!
Happy Tuesday!!
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