Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This past weekend was super busy and full - of fun with friends (both in and out of town), do-it-yourself projects, and new additions to the home decor! Here's a preview until I have some time to update.

Can't you just tell by the look on his face that this boy loves me?!
And no, we're not dressed as we normally do for a Saturday night.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maxine's Take on Health Care

*I'm not trying to get all political on you, and I'm not claiming to know the answer. I'm just quoting my friend, Maxine.

Let me get this straight.....we're trying to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it. To be signed by a president that also hasn't read it and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What the hell could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

dining room table

Two weekends ago I was in Augusta for a friend's wedding, and on Saturday I couldn't resist checking out some of the antique stores downtown (after all, literally half of our home is furnished by pieces found downtown). We've been searching, for a long time, for another side table to go in our Master bedroom. I was focused, but had no luck. And then I spotted this table.
And even better, I spotted its price tag. Which I can't tell you the numbers on it because it was so ridiculously reasonable that its hard to believe it was true (trust me, I asked twice just to make sure).

Then I was told that it had two leaves, stored in the table, so I could fit my (future) large family for holidays, etc.

Now, Jamie and I have a table in our dining room/breakfast area, but it belongs to my parents. And at some point, I do hope to have a formal dining room - call me old fashioned. Plus, I'm sure my mom plans on me returning said borrowed table. And did I mention that the price was crazy affordable?! Called husband (because I'm terribly indecisive and I would never buy a piece this large without running it by him first) and here's how the conversation goes...

Husband: "Any luck finding a side table?"
Me: "No. But, I did find this beautiful dining room table. And it only cost $XXX.XX?! Should I buy it?"
Husband: "Do we need a dining room table? I thought we had one?"
Me: "We do. But at some point, we'll need another one. Or we'll need to return mom's."
Sister (jumps in): "Tell him that no dining room table made of real wood w/ 2 leaves will ever be this affordable again."
Me: "It really is a great deal."
Jamie: "Does it come with chairs?"
Me: "Nope."
Husband: "How are we going to sit around it, then?"
Me: "We'll have to buy chairs." (we're currently borrowing some from a friend that wouldn't work with this one)
"So we have two options - leave the great deal, and somewhere down the road, we'll need to purchase a table and maybe we'll get lucky again. I'm fine with that. OR we buy the table, store it in our basement for now and pull it out when we decide to buy chairs or have a real dining room."
Husband: "Go for it."
Me: "We'll take it!"

There is a little wear and tear from years of use (water rings, etc), but the shop's owner (Lisa at Lofty Ideas) gave me a recipe for a serum that she says works wonders. I'll share once I've had the opportunity to try it myself.

This past weekend, we were able to get a lot done on the house. Once I've finally gotten at least one other room completely finished, I'll post pictures!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Family Heirlooms

Happy Saint Patty's Day! Which also means, Happy Birthday Mema! My sweet Mema is 87 years old today.

Speaking of grandparents, my favorite mother-in-law is in the process of going through all of her mother's things (Mimi's moving into a smaller place) and she came back with this beautiful china for J and I (not even sure why I say Jamie...I mean, he was excited and all, but I'd be lying if I said we were equally as excited).

Anyhow, part of the reason I chose the wedding china I did was so that it would be easy to add accent pieces. And Mimi's old china is perfect! I love the color, the design, I mean, it even goes perfectly with the color theme in our home (which is why I'll be hanging a few of these plates on the wall in our dining room).

But, my favorite part? Every heirloom has a story behind it. Even if I don't know what the story is, I love that someone else used this china. For sweet meals as husband + wife. For entertaining friends. For family holidays. I'm sure there were lots of laughs and lots of love around the table where these plates were set. And I'm hoping for many more!

A soup bowl of Mimi's china placed on a dinner plate of our china.

Details (pardon the orange/yellow-ish glow from poor lighting).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

my friend, Charlsie

One of my long-time friends (I'm talking since we were babies), Charlsie, gave me this awesome bottle of wine when I saw her this weekend. Just out of the blue. Because I'm the middle sister. And I'm awesome. Or at least I like to think so. And I know Charlsie likes to think so.

Charlsie's one of my favorite friends, and I could spend the next few minutes listing off reasons why. But I think this little post says plenty.

The label on the back of the bottle reads...
Did you know that birth order is commonly believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development? And that the middle sister has a greater chance of having a special wine named just for her? A sassy blend of our three favorite white varieties perfect for sipping before, during and after our favorite family meals. Some people are just born lucky. Now give me back my blouse.

And an excerpt from the website...
You may have fewer photos in the family album, but who knew someday you'd have your very own wine. So how about sharing it with the rest of us?...Sure, you're wicked but Mom always did like you best. Now we understand.

Bottle to the left is Middle Sister, Wicked White. Sold at [some] local Targets.

[This post dedicated to my older sister, Jennifer, and little sister, Robin Anne. Without which, I would not be a middle sister.]

Friday, March 12, 2010


Today is one of those days when I [selfishly] wish money grew on trees. Then I would not have had to worry about coming into work, meaning that I could have stayed at home a little longer and sipped coffee as I visited with my mama, listening to the rain fall as we sat cozy and warm inside.

And I could have joined her as she headed to Scottish Rite to see my sister and niece.

Afterward I might have met my friend, Hannah - precious freshman at UGA who'll be in Atlanta for the afternoon today - so that we could visit for a while.

Possibly would have made a lunch date with the list of people I'm wanting to catch
up with but can't seem to find the time.

Then I probably would have swung by a few stores to continue my search for bases and shades to the lamps I'm dying to make for our master bedroom.

I'd run to the grocery to stock up, then by home to make/leave some yummy treats for husband before I head to Augusta for the weekend without him.

Might sit and read my new book for a while, journal my thoughts, and just sit and be with Jesus.

And I'd definitely leave before traffic got too bad.

Oh, and I probably would have squeezed a workout in at that new gym we tried!

In the springtime, I can only imagine that this feeling is going to get worse, when the weather's warmer, the sun's out, and we'll have rocking chairs where these arrows are pointing.


But instead I'm sitting at my desk, staring at the computer screen, at a job that I really am grateful to have - even when my dreaming takes me away.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

new is good

Following up on one thought from a previous post, the husband and I tried out a new work out spot this morning. Trammell Fitness and Martial Arts. Yep. That's right. Martial arts.

The gym is owned by Richard Trammel, 3 time World Champion in the field of martial arts. Jamie and another broker helped him find the building that he's currently in, so he told us to come try it out.

This morning they took us through a warm-up - jump-roping, squats, flys, bench press, jumping benches, etc. Then they taught us the basic punching and kicking. And then they took us into the ring! Yes, a real ring. Where we did 30 minutes worth of punching and kicking into pads that our instructors were wearing. I mean, I had on boxing gloves and everything! They even taught me how to dip (when someone is coming at you...I definitely ran into his pads at least twice from going the wrong direction!). We closed with weights and abs.

We're still giving some thought as to whether or not this is for us, but honestly, I think we'll give it a try for at least a month or so. We're just stuck in a rut at LA Fitness, so it will be nice to have someone challenge us physically in a different way.

And maybe one day I'll snap a picture of me in my gloves for you all to see :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

what's currently going through my head

Y'all, my sister-in-law-to-be is wonderful! We had a great weekend with the family, and turns out Betsy is the perfect fit for my brother. We are so excited!!

The current, former, and soon-to-be Allen girls

As I drove into the city last week, I noticed that the Westin Hotel in downtown Atlanta is finally able to repair all of the broken windows that were busted out during the tornado in March 2008! Over the past few years it's reminded me of an old person with various teeth missing in its smile.

We ate SO much food this weekend that I just went to the store and stocked up on fruits, veggies, and lean meats. Today is the first day (possibly ever) that I am not craving anything sweet!

The weather today - 68 and sunny - has me so excited for Spring. When this type of weather rolls in, I crave windows down, sunroof open, and either oldies or country music on my radio.

This weekend, I met this guy to my right. Serg, the boxer. He might just have convinced me that we need one. Keep in mind that I said might, but I did fall in love and ask his owner (Tammy, the local Carrollton dog trainer) to keep her eyes out for us.

I've heard great things about When Crickets Cry, by Charles Martin. So, along with about 4 lbs of the world's greatest Vanilla Chai, I ordered a copy on Amazon. I opted for the free shipping, 5-10 day mailing option. And it only took 4 days! I plan on starting the book tonight.

Jamie and I are currently in the market for a new work-out plan. We've been members at L.A. Fitness, but it just ain't cuttin' it. Morning work outs are best for us, but lately, we've lost motivation. Jamie's been researching some options for us, but I'll gladly take any ideas.

Now, a note to end on: To be honest, this current season has us in the middle of some really tough circumstances. I know God is good, and I know that as long as we keep running after Him we're going to be ok. But that doesn't stop the hurt or the confusion or the sadness or the anger. I'm starting to realize that growing up comes with a lot of responsibility and with eyes opened wide to the world. People we thought were our heroes turn out to be struggling big time. While hardships occur, life moves on. But as God says in His Word - I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Friday, March 5, 2010

today I get to meet...

....my future sister-in-law!

Yay! Andy and Betsy are flying in to Atlanta tonight then tomorrow we'll head to Carrollton so she can meet the entire family (I'm talking about all 25 of us!).

Just for fun, here are some pictures from their engagement.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

christmas in march

I realize that it is, in fact, March. And that these decorations are no longer up in our home. But with all the whirlwind of moving and other things, I never got to put up any pictures of our home at Christmas. So...I'm doing it now! Enjoy!

Forgive the poor quality of some of the shots!

Our Christmas tree! Nothing too fancy - a last minute purchase
from our neighborhood ACE. I'm a big fan of sentimental ornaments too!

Table set up - my sister, Jennifer, gave me all sorts of old decorations
she wasn't using, so that's where this cranberry branch came from.

That same sister gave me a full place setting of Christmas dinnerware years ago.
I love, love, love having the table fully set during the holidays!

My favorite piece of decor is this manger scene. Bought at Design Images in Augusta
with credit from our wedding. It's beautiful and my favorite reminder of the season.

Mini Christmas tree for the kitchen. Notice my
Starbucks ornament sitting below (the hanging piece broke off!).

Minimal outdoor decor

And here's a picture of hubs and I on Christmas
Day at the Hargathers! Married Christmas #1!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

worst line in bachelor history...

...preceded by the worst decision in Bachelor history....

Vienna's my baby : Jake Pavelka

But in good news....Ali's the next Bachelorette!

Monday, March 1, 2010

every two weeks

Husband and I have created a new ritual. Once every two weeks, we go and visit this place -

Where we see faces like this one -
And generally just play around with the pups.

If you've never visited the new(er) building on 11th street in Midtown, you should really check it out. The brand new building is super nice and clean, and features one area where you can love on all the puppies you want. (And they provide hand sanitizer! OCD, I know.)

Now any of you who know me know that this is a big deal. I like dogs (actually I thought I loved dogs until I met my in-laws and my co-workers), but the reality of owning a dog means a dirty(er) home and a lot of responsibility. But I'm slowly working my way into the idea, and I have been loving our trips to play with the puppies. So, who knows...maybe this will be us in the next few months -