Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day  

What is with this gorgeous weather in January?? I don't know, but I'm lovin' it! I may have mentioned it one time (or fifty) that I don't like to be cold. It's even gotten to the point that I warm up a heating pad each night to put under the covers with me. Keep in mind this is after I turn on my personal space heater and climb under two thick blankets in my socks and sweats. Yea, it's bad. So, you can only imagine how stoked I am by these gorgeous days in the sixties and even up to seventy tomorrow! Score! 

My sweet husband and I were talking yesterday about how this time last year we'd already been out of school and work a week for snow. Am I sad not to have those few days off? Not really because now we get to keep them around Spring Break! Now, I know I should probably bite my tongue or Mother Nature is going to rear her ugly head and throw snow my way. I just can't help how excited I am to get throw open the windows and get outside with the pup!

On these beautiful afternoons you can find me either out on our patio watching Daisy play with the cows (and writing a blog or two!) or trolling around our neighborhood with the princess. Anything to get out and about! It's amazing the sense of renewed energy I feel just sitting in the sun for 5 minutes versus sitting inside doing the same thing. AH-MAZING! 

I know I'm ranting and rambling about the same thing at this point, but I can't help it. What do you do to enjoy this beautiful day?!?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Manic Mondays

Manic Mondays. . .we all know them WAY too well. I was spoiled the past two Mondays because we did not have school. The first we were out for the MLK Jr. and the second was a teacher workday. After two gloriously productive Mondays I think we just shouldn't have to work on Mondays. I mentioned this idea to a group of my students who were complaining about being tired. One of them kindly pointed out that Tuesdays would then become the new Mondays. Argh. Don't you just hate it when they're right?!? Some uplifting words to get you through this Monday:

 Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Boonetown Visit

This past weekend David and I were fortunate enough to get to go to Boone to see my sister, Abby. This wasn't just any trip up the mountain, though. I was going up to celebrate her initiation into Chi Omega!!

We arrived late Friday evening and went straight to her dorm to pick up her and her boyfriend, Matt. I was famished after not eating since 11am (the life of a teacher. . .) so we headed straight to supper at none other than Chilli's. This used to be the go-to place for our family growing up so it made sense for us to choose there to chow down.

After supper we scooted on over to Sweet Frog's Frozen Yogurt. Nom nom nom. Y'all know I love me some sweets, but froyo is one of my supreme weaknesses. My flavor of choice this time around was cake batter with hot apple pie on top! I was able to try a few new flavors, though and let me just tell you, Sweet Frog knows what they are doing.

We then went back to Abby's dorm to hang out and talk. It may sound silly, but it was really neat just hanging out in a dorm room again. David and I met our sophomore year at NC State and much of the beginning of our relationship was spent hanging out in dorm rooms. The not so fun part of staying there? Having to sleep in a lofted bed. Oof.

I resolved to climb up and stay there 'til morning. My body had other plans and at about 3am I woke up having to use the restroom (blasted 6 cups of water at supper!). After I determined there was no way I could last until morning, started climbing down. Not exactly sure what happened next, but I started slipping, the bed started moving, and the next thing I knew I was falling. I managed to land right on my knee (still limping a day later) and scared the mess out of Abby who shot out of bed screaming. My husband? Slept through the whole thing. I somehow climbed back up and got help when I needed to get back down the next morning.

Once we were up for good we headed over to Melanie's on King Street for breakfast. It was the cutest little cafe with very deliciously HUGE breakfast options. The breakfast I ate at 9am held me over to supper that evening. We then wandered up and down King Street and around Boone for a few hours before Abby's initiation.

Now, I can't give any details on initiation (so don't ask!) but what I can say was it was a wonderful experience with a great group of girls. The Chi Omega's at Appalachian welcomed me with open arms, and I couldn't have been more grateful. I now know why Abby loves it there so much!

Unfortunately we had to hit the road soon thereafter. It may have been brief, but it was a great little visit and I can't wait to get back! A few pictures from our quick trip:

 Abby and Matt waiting for Mast to open.

What, you mean you don't take pictures while waiting for stores to open??

King Street
Other side of King Street
 A little wind blown, but we were in Boone after all!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm a BIG fan of anything minty and chocolately, and the fact that it surrounds us this time of year makes me a very happy girl! Here is a recipe I found in a magazine and thought I'd give a try this past Christmas season.

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4-1/2 tsp. mint extract
8 drops green food coloring
1 egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350°F. 
In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms.
Stir in chocolate chunks. 
Drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes.
Cookie dough all mixed together.

Waiting patiently to be baked!

Do we really have to wait for them to cool??

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tag . . Again!

Happy Friday blog world! I hope this day finds everyone in a wonderful place. Lucky for me, I was tagged again! This time around it was by Beth at Sweet Southern Pearl. Be sure to pop on over and say hello:-)

1.  What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I love sharing the fun of our lives and all the love I receive from my readers. When I started I had no clue all the friendships that could begin!

2.  If you could pick ONE artist to listen to for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
Ahhh, such a tough question! Hmm, probably the marvelous T.Swizzle (Taylor Swift for you normal folk). I love all her stuff!

3.  What is one quality you look for in a significant other?(this is a repeat question but I liked it)
A strong relationship with God. That is one of the biggest things that drew me to my sweet hubby.

4.  If there was only ONE season in the year, what would you want it to be?
SPRING! Hands down, Spring is my favorite time of the year.

5.  Heels or flats?
There is a time and place for everything, heels and flats included!

6.  What is the best vacation you've ever been on?
This is a tie. Either our honeymoon to Disney World or our week in Charleston, SC for Spring Break last year. Both were incredibly special for different reasons!

7.  What's your favorite perfume/scent?
I don't really wear perfume because I just love the smell of lotions. 

8.  Favorite outfit (type) to wear?
Sundresses and Jacks:-)

9.  What's your life motto or a quote you live by?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. I remind myself of this each morning as I walk into school.

10.  What do you think is the best quality to have in a friend?
Support. The support of a true friend can take you anywhere.

11.  What's your favorite television show?
Another toughie! Our "shows" are Modern Family, Once Upon A Time, The Office, Glee, and New Girl. Wow, didn't realize we had so many! I'd have to say that Mod Fam is my most favorite of them all.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday-You're Gonna Fly

You could be a black bird
On the country street
Hiding from the world from a broken wing
But you better believe you gonna fly with me
You could be a songbird from the New Orleans
Scared of the rain just 'cuz you're scared to sing
But you better believe you're gonna fly with me
-Keith Urban

Happy last Thursday of January-wahooooo! We are now one month closer to Spring, and in my book that is reason enough to celebrate. Here are a few more things that I am celebrating this week:

fresh farm veggies
Unfortunately this is the last week of our share until April, but we hit the jackpot. Our meals this coming week will include spaghetti squash, butternut squash sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots, bok choy and apples-all fresh!!

open communication
If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, but the open lines of communication in our marriage continue to blow me away.

warm snap in weather
LOVING the fact that I was able to leave the house without a coat this morning. I'm hoping these low 60's continue til Spring!

break throughs with my kiddos
This is the reason teachers teach. That moment when the student gets it. Or, in my case when the kid gets it and shares your enthusiasm in the topic.

alone time
It's amazing how a few hours by yourself can rejuvenate a girl!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


If there is one thing I love, it's a good deal. And, boy do I have a good deal to tell y'all about! A few weeks ago I visited the tortuous eye doctor. The man himself isn't horrible by any means. In fact, he is quite kind. I've just always despised the eye doctor. Everything from the bright lights to the drops to the wait time has put me over the edge. But alas, once a year I must suck it up and visit the torture chamber.

Now, you may be wondering "what in heaven's name is she going on about the eye doctor for?". Hang tight; I'm getting there! Anywho, prior to the visit David and I decided I was overdue for a new pair of glasses. It may have been the outdated prescription or the chewed arm thanks to the princess that sealed their coffin, but I was in need of a new pair of bifocals. After checking out the eye doctor's pitiful stash of glasses I decided to hold off. I figured if I was going to pay that much for a pair of glasses, I was going to love the darn things!

I headed home ticked off at the eye doctor and partially blind thanks to his magical drops. I logged onto to facebook for my daily stalking check-in to see what was going on. Lo and behold there is a coupon code for a new pair of glasses! It felt like one of those TV moments where the heavens open up and the light shines down. So I popped on over to Coastal.com to check out what they had going on. Boy howdy am I glad that I did! They had pages and pages of adorable glasses to choose from at very reasonable prices. What could make this situation better? Oh, I don't know the fact that the coupon code was for a FREE pair of glasses! You read that right folks, your first pair of glasses through them is FREE-ninety-nine!

So what do y'all think???

I ordered them on a Saturday and they were here by the following Saturday-score! All you need is your prescription and a measurement of your face and you too can be on your way to free happiness! What are you waiting for? Go!

All opinions in this post are my own and were in no way influenced by Coastal.com. They don't even know I love them enough to blog about them:-)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dreary Days

I don't know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but here in North Cackalacki we're getting hit with a whole mess of yuck. It's been three full days of cold and rainy with no sign of letting up. The weather peeps keep making promises of sunshine in the future, but from what I can tell it's still going to be a few more days. It's easy to get stuck in a rut when this kind of weather hits. I personally enjoy a yucky day every so often. Not enough to jump ship and move to Seattle, but enough to soak it in when it happens. A few things that perk me up when the weather gets grouchy:
  1. A good book
    There are few things better than a good book and cup of tea on a rainy day. If you want to find me on a dreary day look no further than the big chair in our den where I will be curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.

2. comfort food
Bleck days call for massive pots of chili, plates of cookies, or the likes. Calories don't count on rainy days, right? Right??
 3. snuggles
What's better than snuggling with a sweet hubby and pup on a yucky day? Not much!

4. no frills
This means pulling out the cozy clothes, the glasses, and boycotting make-up. We all deserve a day like this every once in a while!

How do you stay out of a funk in the midst of yuck??

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Some times we confess to clear our minds and consciences. Other times we confess to free ourselves from a burden on our shoulders. And some times we confess just to share news. Regardless of what you are sharing and the reasoning behind it, confessing can be a very cathartic experience. A few random confessions I have to share that are on my mind this week. . .

I'm not keeping up with my Bible reading plan like I want to.

If it weren't for my husband's common sense, I would have 15 puppies romping around.

I go to bed at 8pm on school nights. No shame here!

I want to steal one of the cute mini-horses from the farm I pass on the way to church.

Some times I make sweet treats just to lick the bowl.

I feel guilty spending money on anything that I don't have a coupon for or isn't already on sale. 

I have this irrational fear that they will run out of food when it comes to buffets. This may stem from the fact that I come from a big family and we were always fighting for the last bite of something good!

I enjoy a good rainy day every once in a while.

I am very excited about what this year is going to bring us. In fact, I'm so excited I keep having to remind myself to slow down and enjoy what's around me now.

What's on your mind this week?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Baked "Fried" Chicken

I was on a bit of a pinning spree the other day when I stumbled upon this gem. I looked it over and after reading the reviews, knew I had to make this for supper. After making it for my sweet husband, I got double thumbs up and figured it was worth the share!

 thawed chicken breasts (I cooked two)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 T Season All
3/4 tsp Pepper
1 c. Flour
2 tsp. Paprika
1/2 stick of butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Place thawed chicken breast tenderloin strips in a bowl of milk. 
Let soak for 20-30 min.
Cut 1/2 stick of butter into a few pieces and place in a 9x13 pan. 
Melt butter in pre-heated oven. 
Spread melted butter around the bottom of the pan. 
Mix salt, Season All, pepper, and paprika in gallon Ziploc bag.
Shake excess milk off of chicken and completely coat each piece with the seasoning mix. 
You can either shake the chicken in the bag, until coated.
Place each piece of chicken in the pan.
Cook for 20 minutes. 
Turn each piece of chicken and continue cooking for 20 more minutes, or until cooked through. 

Chicken coated in flour and seasoning

Extra chickens waiting in the milk.

Butter melting in preparation for chicken.
(please disregard the spaghetti squash just hanging out!)

Coated chicken waiting for the oven to finish heating.

Delicious final meal!
I always ask David after we try a new recipe if it is a "do over", or if he liked it enough for me to make again. Not only did he respond with an enthusiastic, "YES!" but he also requested I make it again very soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday-Greater Things Have Yet To Come

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here
There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God 
-Chris Tomlin

Can you believe it's already Thursday? This week seems to have really flown by, and that may have something to do with the beautiful Monday we had off of school:-) Here are a few things I am thankful for this week:

my sweet husband
despite the crazy that goes on in his own life, he always makes such an effort to check on me and help calm the storms that rile me up. I am blessed to be led by such a Godly man!

pinterest recipes
we have tried a few since I joined the dark side of Pinterest last summer, and have yet to be disappointed. Our most recent fave will be a blog post soon!

feeling of renewal
I have felt such peace these past two weeks and I am so grateful for that. It's as if the Lord's spirit has truly entered me and calmed me from my head to my toes. So grateful for His gracious spirit!

teacher workdays
so excited for the opportunity to get a lot of items knocked off my growing to-do list!

What are you thankful for this week??

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Happy Tuesday one and all! I've made a few small changes around the blog for the new year. Yes, I realize I'm a few weeks late, but better late than never.

I now have a button! Interested in swapping? Just shoot me an email:-)

new tabs
I added a few new tabs. Being the big reader I am I figured a book shelf tab was long overdue. 

I also thought it would be good to add a tab to keep track of my 30 Before 30 list. Check over there periodically to see how I'm doing on my goals.

new design
As much as I liked the other design, I was ready for a change. What do y'all think??

As always, this blog is a work in progress. I'm open to any suggestions or thoughts y'all have!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

30 Before 30

I'm sure we've all made unrealistic resolutions that we hope to accomplish in a short period of time. The problem arises not in making the resolutions-it's wonderful to set goals-but in trying to accomplish this in an unrealistically short amount of time. Well, after David and I completed our Reverse Engineering I got to thinking about some long-term goals I have. Some for our marriage and family, others for my career, some for my faith, and so on and so forth. Then, I started jotting them down and this list was born. This is a list of 30 things I hope to accomplish before I am 30.

  1. Add to our family
  2. Go on a trip somewhere I've never been
  3. Go on a hike with David
  4. Run an entire 5k
  5. Read The Scarlet Letter
  6. Read the Bible all the way through
  7. Tour a brewery
  8. Go to a farmer's market and make a meal from only the food I buy there
  9. Buy a new car
  10. Attend a local festival
  11. Go on a mission trip
  12. Do a big project on the house with David
  13. Paint a room in our house
  14. Get pictures taken of us now that we're married
  15. Bake a cake from scratch
  16. Watch an entire show on Netflix from start to finish
  17. Try one new recipe a week for a year 
  18. Go to a winery
  19. Host a backyard cookout
  20. Pay it forward
  21. Complete one Pinterest craft for every season 
  22. Pursue higher education
  23. Host a dinner party
  24. Attend a beer festival
  25. Post every day for a month
  26. Write a letter a week for one year
  27. Attend a professional sporting event
  28. Watch the sunrise and the sunset in the same day
  29. Keep my nails painted for an entire month without picking off the polish.
  30. Host a giveaway on this blog
My hope is that by posting it on this blog I won't be tempted to let these things fall by the wayside and become lost in the hustle and bustle of life. I'll keep y'all posted as I go!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tag, You're It!

A while back I was tagged by the sweet Ashley over at The Christian Wife Life and the precious Tamara at T times 3 for a fun little blog game. I figured I'd wait a few days and ponder the questions before I answered, so here goes!

the rules. . .
one: you must post the rules.
two: post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
three: answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
four: tag eleven people and link them on your post
five: let them know you've tagged them!
fun facts. . .
 one: I'm a sucker for anything chocolatey and pepperminty
two: I'm a total book worm. 
three: I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up
four: I am old lady who struggles to stay up past 10pm
five: I'm a bit of a bossy boots/control freak. Must be the oldest child in me. . .
six: my husband is my best friend
seven: Billy Joel's "Greatest Hits" is the most played album on my iTunes
eight: I do not enjoy the month of January and start the countdown to Spring as soon as Christmas is over!
nine: I have known some of my best friends for twenty years!
ten: If my husband would let me I would adopt every abandoned pup at the pound
eleven: Oddly enough, I really enjoy grocery shopping.

questions . . .
(I'm answering some from Ashley and some from Tamara!)
1. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Target, Gap Outlet, Old Navy, J Crew, and anywhere I can get a good sale!

2. What food could you eat every day?
Sweet potatoes, mm mm mm

3. What is your favorite animated movie?
For the longest time it was "Monster's Inc" but nowadays I'd have to say it's "Up" because the old man on there reminds me of my Pappy!

4. What was your best subject in school?
language arts, what a cowinky dink that is what I teach:-)

5. What shows are you watching these days?
Mod Fam, Once Upon A Time, New Girl, and The Office

6. What is something you collect?
Anything with pineapples on it. For those of you non-Southerners, pineapples are the traditional sign of "welcoming"

7.Where is the furthest place you have been from home?
I went to the Grand Canyon with my best friend Kelley and her parents in high school

8. If you could go on vacation to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Right now Savannh, GA is on my radar or anywhere tropical 

9. What is a TV show that you absolutely won't miss?
Jersey Shore. That show is such trash!

10. Do you have any "favorite kid" names planned out for your future children? (C'mon, we all do!)
We have a few in mind, but I don't want to spoil the surprise;-) 

11. What is the first thing you do in the mornings?

 Since most of my sweet blog friends have already been tagged I'm going to leave it open to anyone else who wants to do it! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rosette Wreath

A while back I fell in love with a precious wreath on Pinterest and I knew I had to recreate it for myself, but never got around to it. Fast forward a few months to Christmas break. We were randomly wandering around a Hobby Lobby in Florida and I was struck by the crafting bug. I picked up the supplies and got to work when we arrived home! At least I attempted to get to work. The rosettes on the wreath gave me a run for my money and after a few frustrating attempts I stepped away. I came back a week late and voila it all worked perfect! The lesson learned? A day away can do wonders for a project! Here are some pictures and a how-to:

Here's what you'll need:
Roughly 1-2 yards of canvas (the directions called for burlap, but Hobby Lobby was out) depending on how many rosettes you want. 
18in white foam wreath form
Glue Gun
Lot's of glue sticks


Foam wreath

Cut a portion of your fabric into long strips about 4 inches in width.
Grab your glue gun and attach one end of the strip to your wreath and then wrap it around tightly, gluing it down again at the end of the strip. 
Keep doing this, while overlapping the strips, until you cover the entire wreath.  

Now for the rosettes. . . Cut your fabric in 1.5 inch strips for smaller rosettes and up to 3 inches for larger rosettes. 

Fold your strips over and then iron it. This sort of seals it and makes it much easier to create your rosettes. It's very tedious, but makes a difference in how your rosette turns out.
Then fold one end down a couple times and twist it.
Place a dot of hot glue after every other turn or so. 
Keep doing this, rotating folds and turns until you reach the end, leaving a small "tail."
Place a ton of glue on the back and fold the tail to the back.

 Then it's as simple as placing them around your wreath by putting a bunch of glue on the bottom and pressing it down onto the wreath.

 Rosettes in waiting. . .

 Daisy decided she wanted to help too.

 You can place the rosettes around the entire wreath, or bunch them in one place.

The finished product!

To transition this through the seasons I plan on getting different fabrics and making seasonal rosettes to pin on it. This wreath is cute and multifunctional-yay!

Happy wreath making!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Feast Fit For A King

A while back I posted about a fabulous yard sale our neighborhood hosted. One of our treasures was a grill. "A grill?", you may ask. Why in heaven's name would any one purchase a grill at a yard sale. Well, it was $13 and we figured even if it didn't work, $13 was cheap enough for us to take a risk and figure it out.Fast forward 4 months and we still had not used it. We just never got around to picking up a gas tank. Well, David finally bit the bullet and got one last weekend-hooray! Then came the big question, "what would be our first grilled item??" Harris Teeter to the rescue! Steaks were on-sale BOGO this week.

David found a delicious marinade in our cabinet and fired up the grill at half-time of the San Fran/New Orleans game, and we were off! I made more homemade mashed potatoes (who can go wrong there?!) and prepared some of the bok choy in our CSA box from the farm. Yum, yum, yum! Here are a few pictures from our supper:

Steak waiting to be cooked (and then promptly devoured!)

Bok choy simmering in a little oil and minced garlic (recipe to come soon!)

Potatoes boiling

Finished product!

Needless to say we spent the entire meal plotting what we would cook next on our "new" grill! Recipes and suggestions welcome!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole

I absolutely adore sweet potatoes. Any which way you want to cook them, I want to inhale them. They are my kryptonite. Bizarre? Perhaps. Lucky for me I live in the great state of North Carolina and they are native to this area. We even got a few sweet potatoes in our farm box this week-score! Here is a semi-healthy recipe I found to use them.

3 cups cooked/mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 1/4 lbs raw)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, cold
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 dish with cooking spray.
Combine all filling ingredients and mix well. 
Spoon into prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
In a different bowl, combine the brown sugar and flour for the topping, then cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
Stir in chopped pecans and sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture in the baking dish. 
Bake 30 minutes.

What's your go-to recipe for fresh sweet potatoes?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday-Ours

So don't you worry your pretty little mind
People throw rocks at things that shine
And life makes love look hard
The stakes are high, the water's rough
But this love is ours
-Taylor Swift
Happy Thankful Thursday! A few things on my radar this week. . .

my health
As I posted yesterday, I am officially beginning the "tapering" process with the steroids. I am so grateful that my kidneys are continuing to heal and that the doctor said the prognosis is good.

communication in our marriage
I love how we can talk about anything and everything under the sun.

warmer weather
The warm snap this winter has been wonderful for this Southern bird!

three-day weekends
I am very excited for the three-day weekend that is ahead of me. I'll be busy for sure, but at least I'll be busy at my house in my cozy clothes:-)

What are you thankful for this week??

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Wednesdays typically find me posting some sort of picture that documents my life. In honor of some very good news, I decided to mix it up a bit. I am ecstatic to report that after a positive visit to my nephrologist on Monday, I can officially begin tapering off the steroids! HALLELUJAH! She said I look great, my kidney function is normal, and there is no more protein in my urine (sorry for the TMI). All of these are very important things, because just three months ago I was puffy, my kidney function was horrible, and there was a plethora of protein in my urine (and again, sorry for the TMI).

It is such a blessing to receive this news at this time. I've been fortunate to not feel many of the traditional side effects of the steroids until recently. It was only a few weeks ago that I adopted what The Momma refers to as "the prednisone moon face", which basically means my face is very full and very round right now. I've also only recently seen a dramatic increase in my appetite, the surprise visit of acne (didn't I do my time when I was a teenager???), and an interruption of sleep. Oh, and the short temper. That has reared its nasty little head recently as well. My doctor is optimistic that all of these side effects will disappear fairly quickly since I responded so well to the steroids.

So, what exactly does tapering mean? Well, starting today I am decreasing my dosage by 5mg every four days until I see her again next month. At that point we will reevaluate and work on weaning me off entirely. This is a longer process than I had originally imagined (2-3 months), but worth it in the long run. If I were to try to quit cold turkey, I could face many adverse side effects, and quite possibly a return of the minimal change disease.

I will continue to update as things change, but that's where we are now. Many thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers-we appreciate them SO much!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year, Better You

"New year, new you"

I have lost count of how many times I have heard/seen that phrase in the new year. I don't know why I'm surprised either. It's tradition to see the new year as an opportunity to start over. To tell you the truth, though, it kind of bugs me. Why are we so obsessed with starting over? Why can we not just take the old experiences and grow from them?

Starting over can be a good thing. Some times we need to get away from a past event that may have been negative. Some times we just need a fresh start. But, we don't need to forget about that event; we should take it and build upon it.

A few weeks ago I wrote about what a roller coaster 2011 was for the Mobleys. Even though it was a scoach cuckoo, I wouldn't change it for the world. All of our adventures were stellar learning experiences that helped build our faith and our marriage.

My question for y'all is, how are you taking 2012 and making it a better you? Not a new you, because you should never lose who you are, but a better you? Are you going to the gym more? Eating healthier? Reading the Bible more? Communicating with loved ones more? What? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Blogiversary!

Happy Blogiversary! I am happy to announce that I have officially been blogging for one year. It still  amazes that people are actually interested in reading anything I have to say!

I started this blog as an outlet to chronicle my adventures in my first year of teaching, our first year of marriage, David's work adventures in Alabama, the extreme spoiling of our pup, and anything else that crossed our newlywed path. I am to report that I am now in my second year of teaching, we are now happily progressing toward our second year of marriage, and he's home from Alabama! Oh, and the dog is still the princess :-)

It has been such a joyous experience keeping track of our adventures this way. I love looking back at where we were, and seeing how far we have come. Here are a few stats from the past year:

Posts: 222
Followers: 50 (HOORAY!)
Most popular posts:
  1.  There Has Been A Revolt
  2. A Diagnosis!
  3. Our House. . .
Top Referring Sites:
  1. Striving To Love
  2. The Christian Wife Life
  3. Adventures of the Southern Wife
Goals for the next year:
  1. Keep up with my regular postings.
  2. Host my very first giveaway!
  3. Set up (and keep updated) new tabs.

Many thanks to y'all for continuing to put up with my random ramblings! Looking forward to more!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Suppers

Growing up was a little crazy with so many kids. Most evenings were spent being shuttled back and forth between various activities and doing homework in carpool lines. In fact, Sunday nights were the only evenings we were all guaranteed to be at home for supper. The Momma took this and ran with it. Each Sunday evening she would prepare a feast that we were all expected to take part in. I looked forward to these meals, and it wasn't only because of the marvelous food. It was wonderful shutting down all technology and other distractions and really taking the time to enjoy each other's company.

After we got married I decided I wanted to keep up the Sunday supper tradition. At first I started with smaller meals, but over time my cooking confidence has grown. With the added bonus of the fresh veggies from our crop share, our meals have become feasts as well! This evening's meal was homemade meatloaf, pink-eyed peas, "canberry" (that's what we called canned cranberry sauce), and homemade mashed potatoes. Mm mm mm!

Not the best picture but you get the idea!

The best part? Most meals are large enough to be eaten for lunch and supper the next night too! I'm always on the lookout for new meals to try, so please pass on any favorites you have! Here is the recipe I used for the meatloaf this evening:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 egg
1 onion, chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk and bread OR cracker crumbs. 
Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5x9 inch loaf pan.
In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. 
Mix well and pour over the meatloaf. 
Bake for 1 hour.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Monkey Bread Guest Post

Happy Saturday one and all! Today I am guest posting for Breanna over at My Beautiful, Crazy Life. My post is a fabulous recipe The Momma used to make for us on those lovely, lazy Saturday mornings. Pop on over there to check it out and leave the sweet Breanna some love!

Happy Day!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chasing Dreams

My sweet momma brought me back a page-a-day daily devotional in the midst of the great kidney revolt. If I remember correctly, it was another one of her great Cracker Barrel finds (we're big on the Cracker Barrel in our family). And it truly is great! Every morning before breakfast I flip the page and ponder it while I eat my eggs. Some mornings it's a Bible verse, other mornings it is a comment. The comments vary from advice to questions. Today's comment really got me:

Go after your dreams-God created you to live them!

As I sat there munching on my eggs (side note: there is something truly awesome about starting the day with scrambled eggs), I pondered this. What dreams do I have? Have I shared those dreams with David? Am I living a life that coincides with those dreams and God's will for me? Why not?  Needless to say the questions started pouring in a lot faster than the answers. 

I've always been good at reaching goals (helloooooo quintessential Type-A, oldest child personality), but not so good at setting them. A lot of it is the fear of failure. I was always so set on doing well that I didn't want to give myself the chance to fail. David and I had a conversation the other day about someone we know who has never challenged themselves, and so by default has always been the top dog. Well, what happens when that person is placed in a situation where they are no longer the top dog? How will they succeed if all they know if being the big fish in a little pond? I don't want to succeed just in my little pond, I want to succeed in the ocean

Today I decided I wanted to start setting goals that aligned with my dreams. I'm going to set goals that challenge me to grow in my faith, marriage, workplace-everywhere! Updates to come soon, but until then. . .

What kinds of goals/dreams do you have? Are you really living them out? I'd love to know!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday-All Your Life

Would you walk to the edge of the ocean
Just to fill my jar with sand
Just in case I get the notion
To let it run through my hand
Let it run through my hand
-The Band Perry

Happy Thursday one and all! As with every week, I have much to be thankful for. Here are a few things on my radar this week:

I know it sounds silly, but they really are awesome! 
fresh veggies
It's been another delicious week at our supper table thanks to Barbee Farms!

solid friendships
 This week I got to spend a great amount of time with two girls I have known since I was three and I received an uplifting call from a new friend. Talk about a great week!

family visits
So grateful for the time we had to visit with family the past two weeks and the upcoming visits. It's amazing how rejuvenating that time can be.
I am so grateful for the modern convenience of heat when it dips down to 18 degrees around here!
What are you thankful for this week??

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Break in Pictures

I mentioned yesterday how cuckoo things were at the tail-end of break, but I didn't have the opportunity to share any pictures. I was so busy having fun that I don't have as many to share as I would have liked, but a few are better than none at all!

David's brother, John, with his prized hat!

If you can't see, it's a M&M's Star Wars dispenser. All of his childhood dreams just came true.

Of all the items the biggest attraction were the toy helicopters! 

Moving onto the Ward house. . .

Coffee from the Secret Santa? Score!

The new script c-d! He was such a happy boy!

Abby admitting to deceiving us all in the Secret Santa game.

Christmas Eve game night!

Daddy having oh so much fun playing Who Knew?

Merry Christmas from two Chi Omegas! Love our matching hats!

Our second Christmas morning together!

My precious new boots!

Poor thing was very overwhelmed by all the activity!


Such a pretty sister! 

Abby and Oma!

"What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

I promise this will be the last Christmas post, but I couldn't resist sharing!