Sunday, January 31, 2010

Headed Back To The Queen City!!

After an amazing 3 days with my family, I am packing my bags to catch a flight back to the Queen City.  I'm so excited to spend a little time with hubby.  Unfortunately, he will be getting on a plane early tomorrow morning to spend the entire week in Indiannapolis, so I will only have the evening with him.  I miss him so much I can't wait to see him!

The good news is, Paxston's graduation was amazing, our tour of Chicago was fantastic and my time with my family was so entertaining that I have a week's worth of blogging to do about this trip!  Tons of great pictures and hysterical stories - so stay tuned this week as I share my trip with you all.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Off To The Windy City


Yay! The time has finally come for Paxston to graduate from Navy bootcamp. His division has scored the highest of all divisions and they are hoping for “Hall of Fame” status at graduation. I am so proud of him and I am amazed at how quickly this 9 weeks has flown by. I hope I don’t get too emotional at his ceremony, but I’m just a super proud big sister!

I’m flying to Chicago tonight to meet up with my family. We will attend Paxston’s graduation tomorrow and spend Saturday sight seeing in Chicago. Wish me luck – I’ve never been anywhere so cold before and I’m afraid my Southern blood might not be able to handle it.

So I will be kind of MIA the next couple of days, but promise to return next week with pictures and updates.

Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My God Is Might To Save

Steven and I joined a church this past Sunday. We have been visiting Five Stones for the past few months, but made the decision to join about two weeks ago. I am so grateful that God lead us to Five Stones. Every time we attend, I feel God’s presence and I hear him speaking to me. I swear it’s as if God gave the pastor a sermon specifically for Steven and me to hear.

This morning on the way to work, we heard the following worship song. To be honest, we don’t usually listen to the Christian station in the morning – we usually listen to one of the talk shows. But for whatever reason, Steven decided to try our local Christian station and the following song started immediately. This is a song that we sing almost every Sunday at Five Stones. I’m not usually a big believer in “signs”, but for some reason when I heard these lyrics this morning my spirit was moved and I took this as a confirmation that Steven and I are following God’s will for our lives by joining Five Stones.

Everyone needs compassion
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Saviour
The hope of nations

Saviour
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine Your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing
For the glory of the risen King
Jesus
shine you light and let the whole world see
were singing
for the glory of the risen King
Song by Hillsong United
You can hear the song HERE

I’m not trying to be preachy by any means. Lord knows that my spiritual walk is not what it should be and I am no one to counsel others on their relationship with Christ. But this song spoke to me this morning and changed my outlook on today – hopefully it can do the same for one of you. It’s a beautiful song. It reminds me that I am not in control of my life. And thankfully, the person who is in control is Mighty. It’s kind of liberating to realize that the day to day stresses we face are ultimately not our responsibility to worry about. As difficult as it may be, turn them over to the Lord and believe that He will take care of you. **This is a principle I’m struggling with, but I’m praying about it and believing God will relieve me of my anxiety and worry**

So I hope you have a blessed Wednesday!! And thank-you to everyone who asked about Bauer. He is feeling MUCH better today and is almost back to his usual spunky self.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Great Giveaways

Just wanted to share some really great giveaways with my blogger friends!

Short Southern Mama at Short Southern Mama is hosting a giveaway and you get to choose your prize from a list of goodies she has selected.  Check it out - she's giving away some cool stuff!!!

Erin at Texan Couture is hosting a giveaway in which she is giving away some health snacks from Pirate's Booty.  Her blog is super neat - she blogs about health foods and health advice a lot so it's nice to stop in and learn something new.

Hope your enter a giveaway!

Housework Tuesday Emergency!


Happy Housework Tuesday to everyone!

I would like to start this edition by saying thank-you to everyone who entered my giveaway. I have loved using the Motivated Moms Chore List and I am so excited to pass this little jewel onto a lucky reader. So without further ado, the winner is Mrs. P at A Little Pink In A World Of Camo. I promise, promise, promise that I compiled a list of all entries and used a random number generator to determine the winner. Unfortunately, my camera is out of commission and I cannot document this – but take my word, it’s true. Congrats Mrs. P! For a new mommy this should be very helpful. I will contact you shortly on the best way to get the download to you.

Now onto business…I have a rather interesting story to share regarding housework emergencies that happened just last night. Our puppy Bauer had an upset stomach Sunday night. He woke us up at about 1am and 4:30am to go outside so we knew he wasn’t feeling well. Coincidentally, we had a vet appointment scheduled for him Monday after work so we figured we would get the vet to look him over and make sure everything was okay. We put Dixie and Bauer in their cages Monday morning and headed off to work.

When we got home yesterday evening, the smell of dog poo filled the entire house. Steven looked at me and said, “Oh no – I bet he got sick in his cage.” Sure enough…we entered the office and found poor Bauer huddled into the corner of his cage – POO covering his blankets, his cage and the walls surrounding his cage. Steven quickly grabbed him, took him outside and then headed to the vet with him.

I was left with unfortunate task of cleaning up the mess. (Steven has had to do this once before – so I guess we are even now.) I threw Dixie outside because she kept trying to get into Bauer’s cage – oh yeah, she is the dirty kid at school. The smell was overpowering. S.O.G.R.O.S.S. I knew that I had to clean up the mess as quickly as possible otherwise I was going to be sick.

I threw Bauer’s blankets into the washing machine and used extra detergent. I ran into the kitchen looking to prepare my arsenal of cleaning supplies for my attack on Poo Mountain. I grabbed my Bounty paper towels, Windex antibacterial and Clorox wipes. I searched and searched under my sink for my trusty rubber gloves only to remember that I previously decided I didn’t need trusty rubber gloves. My thought at the time was Honestly – this isn’t the 50’s - who washes their dishes with rubber gloves these days? My thought now is IDIOT – get the gloves!

So there I was bare handed, cleaning up poop. I will spare you the gory details (poop under the cage, in the cage, three feet up the walls and in the cracks of my baseboards!) On more than one occasion I had to run outside and get some fresh air. When I looked down and realized that I had poop under my fingernails I ran to bathroom fully expecting to become sick myself.

All I can say is thank goodness for Bounty paper towels. Those bad boys truly do clean up *any* mess! They are the quilted, quicker pooper picker up! After dousing the office and Bauer’s cage in Lysol, I scrubbed my hands and arms doctor-style under scalding hot water with Dial soap. Finally – I could rest in peace, my house was poop free once more. We lit some candles and moved on with our evening – boy what a night!

I learned many valuable lessons from this experience:
- A proper house should always have a pair rubber gloves in case of emergencies. You never know when the $#*t might literally hit the fan.
- Don’t skimp on cheap paper products – buy Bounty – these bad boys are worth their weight in gold!
- The lingering smell of poop mixed with Lysol is not exactly welcoming. Keep fragrant candles on hand at all times.
- Don’t be afraid of a little poo – it’s just poo. It will come out in the wash – but it’s best to wash everything twice just to be sure!

So what about you? Any housework horror stories to share? Any trusty products that rescued you in a time of need?

Happy Housework Tuesday!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bye Bye Juicy - Bye Bye


We experienced a tragic loss last night.

Steven and I have a pretty busy week this week, so last night we decided to try going to the gym in the mornings to free up some time after work. I generally shy away from morning workouts primarily because I hate getting ready at the gym. I always forget something important: bra, mascara, conditioner, etc. It’s pretty difficult to pull off a full day’s work with no bra!

So I began packing my bag doing my best to be diligent and include all necessary items. In the hustle of trying to pack my bag quickly so I could get in bed at a decent hour I dropped my Juicy perfume and it splattered all over the bathroom floor. I gasped, “Oh no! Oh no! Oh no – oh no – oh no!” I had to fight back the tears that rushed to the brim as I picked up the empty bottle and saw my perfume spreading across the tile. You see, I just got this perfume for Christmas and I love it. I feel so dainty each morning as I use it. I catch lights scents of it throughout the day and feel incredibly feminine and pretty (yes…I know…I know – but I just really like it okay!).

Steven came rushing into the bathroom, “What’s wrong!?! Are you hurt!?! What’s wrong!?!” I stood there, bottom lip poked out, begging the tears not to fall “My Juicy is ruined” is all that I could manage. “Your Juicy”, he responded. “Yes! My Juicy”, I replied thinking that he understood the severity of the matter. “All that ruckus over a bottle of perfume?” “Yes, Steven! It’s not just a bottle of perfume….it’s my *Juicy* perfume!” He eyed me quizzically – stood there for a moment making sure there was no real bodily harm I may have been hiding then sighed, “If that’s all, I’m going back into the living room.”

The nerve! How dare he not understand the importance of this item to me? Whoever coined the phrase, “No use crying over spilt perfume” obviously never spilt an entire bottle of $75 Juicy perfume! That will make your stomach do a flip. Steven tried to explain that we can easily replace the perfume and to be glad that it wasn’t something more valuable. I!?!?!

The point isn’t that the perfume can be replaced. It’s that it was a gift (actually, I returned a gift and purchased this instead…wow that’s really bad, but still in effect, it was the result of a gift!) and I don’t want to purchase another bottle. I don’t want to spend the money again. Oye….

So here I sit, Monday morning, reeking because I don’t have any pretty perfume.

Yes, I know, I know. My dramatic tendencies may have flared a little last night – but I really am upset. Have you ever lost/ruined something that you really loved and you had a hard time getting over it? I’m not talking about something priceless or irreplaceable – just something that you really liked and didn’t necessarily want to spend the money replacing. Does anyone feel my pain??

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lazy Saturday = IKEA Trip = Flat Screen TV

Oye!  What a day!  Hubby and I slept in this morning - sad when sleeping until 9:30 is considered sleeping in!  After a quick clean of the house, we were at a loss concerning how to spend the rest of the day.  It was only 11am and already we were bored.  I suggested we finally take the 45 minute trip to visit IKEA.  We've heard such great things about it, but have never made the trip.

So within an hour, we were in the car and on our way to "window shop".  As we pulled into the parking lot Steven asked, "So - what's the limit here?"  "What do you mean," I replied "we are only window shopping."  Steven smiled at me as if to say, "Okay honey....okay...."

He was right - no way could I leave without buying anything!  As soon as I entered the store I felt the uncontrollable urge to run to the ATM and empty my entire bank account and just hand it all to the cashier.  I mean - this place is amazing!  And everything is SO cheap!  We almost bought a huge Wok just because it was only $8!  I wanted everything in the store.  It was so large that we just couldn't figure out where to start.  So we just started at the beginning and worked our way through...and that was my first mistake.

We kept finding so many beautiful book cases & TV stands that would look amazing in our living room.  After the fifth or sixth "OMG - that would look so great in our house!" the conversation went a little something like this:
Me:  OMG that book case is amazing - it would be a great TV stand!
Steven: You're right - but we would have to purchase a flat screen to go on it.
Me: Does IKEA sell flat screen TV's??
Steven: No - but Best Buy has a bunch on sale.
Me: If we can get out of here for less $300 I think we could swing a TV too....
Steven: Don't kid with me woman - that just wouldn't be right...
Me: If you're getting a flat screen, I'm getting lots of candles & picture frames....

And that's pretty much how the day went.  After four hours in IKEA, we finally purchased the beautiful book case/TV stand.  I also managed to get many candles, picture frames, vases & other decorative items.  And on the way home we went to Best Buy and bought a 50 inch 1080p plasma tv.  OYE!!!!

We had a flat screen TV before, but it was a projection screen so it had the big huge back and we had to put it in the corner of the livingroom.  We have wanted a true "flat screen" for a while so that we could put it in the center of the main wall in our livingroom.  I swear, I feel like this new bookcase/TV have just opened my entire living room.  I feel like I finally have my "big girl" living room.  It's beautiful, I'm in love.

More importantly - I'm in LOVE with IKEA!  If you haven't, been you've got to go.  If the IKEA in Charlotte is the closest one to you - make the trip, let me know and I will meet you there.  I'm actually going back sometime soon to get an area rug I had my eye on.  I'm sure more candles & table lamps will be purchased as well.

It's late and we just got everything set-up - my house is a wreck due to all the rearranging.  I promise to post pictures of everything tomorrow.

Hope you all had a great Saturday as well!  Hopefully yours was a little less expensive than mine!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest Post Friday - Alissa

Hello all. Happy Guest Post Friday to you! I have decided to continue my idea of having a fellow blogger post for me on Friday's and this week I have asked Alissa to do the honors. She is a young, newlywed as well and I truly enjoy reading her blog each day. Feel free to check her out! So without further ado...here is what she has to say..


Hi Amber's Followers! I'm sure you all are just as lovely as my girls are. First off I really want to say a big thank you to Amber for allowing me to post on her blog. I am truly honored if I could give you a big hug I would. 
So when Amber asked me to do a guest post my wheels started turning about what I was going to write about. I first thought it would write about something newlywedded related, but then I didn't want to single anyone out because although many of you are married some of you are not, and I want us all to be included on this one. I thought some more and thought bam dating! It's something we've all had to/ is having to deal with...

I had a crush on a boy named Anthony once. I think I was about 12, I met him being an ambassador for students visiting from other countries. It was a program the local college put on. We got to spend the whole summer together going to places like Disneyland, San Diego and more. It wasn't until the week before the program ended that he told me he like me. I kinda liked him too. I think we might have held hands once. We wrote each other for about 2 weeks and talked on the phone together. Then he sent me a friendship bracelet and told me to wear it. I was so mad at him, I thought he was my bf, friendship? He had nerve I thought? I have friends. That was pretty much the end of Anthony.

By the time I got to high school I was super shy so although I had crushes I never dated a single guy in high school. I was so darn nervous with them, and still figuring myself out it's probably a good idea I didn't date. So I watched them from afar studying their behaviors, interactions, and just trying to figure out the male species in general. Sadly I went to prom alone boo I know right? I still had a good time, but by this point I was wondering what the heck is wrong with me? Am I ugly, what's going on here? I was starting to think that's it I suck. High School was rough, to distract me from boys I studied and got good grades and graduated.

After high school I went on to community college where I met lots of boys (yes even though I was in college they were still boys). Suddenly boys started talking to me, asking me out, and looking at me differently. I think this is when I fully blossomed. I was skinny in high school, but something happened in that summer after high school. I got boobs, a booty and maybe grew a couple inches to the whopping 5'3" that I am today. I didn't know how to react to all this attention. I started going on dates, but saw that most of these guys were losers that just wanted one thing, and we all know what that one thing is. Me being the nice Christian girl I am was not going to give that up. So I dated and eventually got my first kiss around 20 or so. These boys were plenty excited to teach me a lesson or two, and I was nervous as all can be. I had no clue. None of these guys lasted, or needed to last. At the time there was one guy I fell hard for, but looking at it now I seriously wonder what was I thinking.

Eventually I went on to transfer to the 4 year college I had always wanted to go to. Again, when I got to college I met lots of boys. Enter frat boys, wowzer frat boys. You could turn a good girl bad. I had fun, got into some trouble, nothing too bad, and had lots of experiences. I really lived the college life. I dated, went to frat parties, but again even by Senior year of college I hadn't had a single boyfriend to my name. At 22 I went from thinking I would never go on a a date to thinking I would never find a decent guy, much less a husband.

Finally at 23, yes 23 thanks to good old myspace I started talking to this guy from of all places my high school. He ended up being my first real bf. We dated a year and a half and then bam he told me he didn't want to be with me anymore. I was devastated. At the time I truly thought I was going to marry this man. My heart was left in a million pieces. I was a mess.

Looking back, now though all this dating, and learning about myself changed me. It made me a better person. I would not be the person I am today were it not for these guys. Ultimately I met and married my husband who is a million times a better man than any of these men will ever be. Finally I found my prince charming and you know what he did exist. All those nights of crying myself sick so not worth it.
 
So for any of you out there who are still dating don't worry. I strongly believe there's someone out there. I'm a perfect example that dating is not always easy. I used to think I would never find someone, but I did. I have been blessed in so many ways and am so grateful for my husband. And for those of you who have met your man of your dreams give him a big kiss and tell him thank you for never having to date again.
What a motivating post!  Love really is out there for everyone and it comes at different times in all of our lives.  I look back on all the guys I dated in high school and thank God that each time I thought I had found "the one" He knew better.  So like Alissa said - if you're still looking don't be discouraged - your prince may be just around the corner!

Hope you have a great Friday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Blogger BFF's


Happy Thursday! Is anyone else as excited as I am that it’s almost Friday as I am? I am needing a weekend break in the worst kind of way!

So earlier this week the super sweet Katie F debuted her very own blog award “The Blogger BFF” and was kind enough to pass it along to me – one of the first winners - how fabulous!

I love Katie’s idea behind this award. It pays tribute to the fact that so many of us have developed great friendships with other bloggers, many of which we have never met, nor will we probably ever meet for that matter. Yet, somehow through reading their daily entries and commenting back and forth, we feel like we know so much about their lives. We feel as if we are actually sharing in their lives. I have been blogging since August – but only starting posting frequently this past December. In the past two months I have enjoyed the blogger world so much! It’s a place for me to vent my frustrations, share my triumphs & happiness and seek advice from other bloggers who may be going through similar situations as me.

So now I would like to pass this award on to other bloggers who I feel a kindred spirit with. I look forward to reading their new posts and love seeing their comments on mine. You should really check them out – they are great!

Alissa at Newlywedded: Life, Love & Me
D.A.R. at Just Another Day In {Our Midwest} Paradise
Miss Kriss at Miss Kriss
Taylor at Jimmy Choos & a Baby Too
Natasha at A Day In The Life
Mrs. P at A Little Pink In A World of Camo

The rules of this award are as follows ladies so please pass the fun along!
1. Thank and link the person that sent it to you
2. Present this award to at least five people and explain why you chose them for this award
3. Copy and past the award on your blog

On a sidenote - I am continuing Guest Post Friday tomorrow and Alissa will be posting for me.  :)  Come check it out!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zumba Nightmare


In my attempt to keep my new year’s resolution and lose weight, I have decided to start taking a weekly Zumba class. I took a Zumba class twice a week the 6 months before my wedding and absolutely loved it. The class was conducted by an amazing instructor, Koh, and even as a beginner she made me feel like a pro. So when I decided to start taking Zumba classes again, I was thrilled to learn that Koh still teaches at my local YMCA. BONUS – my real life friend turned blogger, Tess – check her blog out HERE, also takes Koh’s class on Tuesday evenings – so now I have a workout buddy!

Last night, Tess & I were surprised to learn that Koh would not be instructing the 5:30 Zumba class and we would have sub. Bummer….but we entered the class anyway. I for one was looking forward to the session – it had been a super long/stressful day and I needed to shake my cares away. Tess and I lined up in our usual spot (I should say her usual spot – this was only my second time in the class) which normally would be the center of the second row. Just close enough to front to have a clear view of the instructor, but not quite as intimidating as the front row.

Unfortunately, Tess and I did not realize that all the hardcore, front row Zumba women left when they realized we had a sub. Like I said, I have taken Zumba classes before – but this was my second session in over a year and half and I was front and center with a brand new instructor. Great…

I’m not even sure how to begin describing what happened over the next hour. The closest description I can manage is that it was a Zumba inspired exorcism. This woman was screaming, shaking, sweating, gyrating, panting, and flailing all.over.the.place! Tess and I kept sneaking panicked/amused glances at one another in the mirrors the entire class. This woman was exerting more energy screaming than she was moving her body. The choreography was tacky silly amateur uninspired.

I’m a curvy girl. I’ve got the hips and thighs of a Latin dancer. So as I became more comfortable with the insane choreography our instructor was teaching us, I braved a look into the mirrors to see what I looked like. Big mistake. Being on the front row allows you to see every move you make – it wasn’t a pretty sight people. I was doing my best to keep up with the instructor, but every time she yelled at me to “SHAKE IT!” I could only manage to “GIGGLE IT!” At one point (I swear I am not exaggerating here – Tess can back me up) she forced us to spread our legs far apart as if we were doing a plie style squat. We then had to plant our hands on the ground in front us. In case you are having a hard time picturing this – my feet were on the ground, my hands were on the ground and my butt was STRAIGHT IN THE AIR! We then proceeded to “shake it” up and down for 16 counts. *Remember – I’m in the front row* To say that I was mortified would be an understatement. I had to resist the urge to turn to the lady behind me and apologize – I have some serious junk in my trunk and I know it couldn’t have looked from that angle. I also did a quick glance to my crotch just to make sure I didn’t have any holes I was unaware of – how bad would that have been???

As 6:25 approached I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep moving – this class is almost over! I figured we had time for one more song and then we would enter into a warm-up. Boy was I wrong. Somehow, this crazy lady managed to cram 3 songs into the remaining 6 minutes of class – and she actually INCREASED her enthusiasm. She was literally in my face screaming for everyone to “shake it”, “move it”, and “let me hear you”. I kept backing up because I was afraid she was going to spit on me. At one point, she knocked me off balance. The look on Tess’s face said it all – this is hysterical, but we will never take lessons from a sub again!

The class finally came to an end and I am almost positive that everyone left feeling as if they barely escaped with only a shred of dignity left. Tess and I joked that we learned some good moves for the bedroom (again – sorry moms!). I am pretty sure that if I ever tried any of those moves in the bedroom Steven would burst into tears laughing and Bauer would go nuts and try to attack me. I really hope Koh is back next week….

Lesson learned: If you go to Zumba and your usual instructor isn’t there – hit up the treadmill for a half hour and call it a day!

Anything I’m leaving out here Tess? I honestly feel like our friendship reached a whole new level last night!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Housework Tuesday Giveaway


Good morning to my wonderful blogger friends! This Tuesday brings a special edition of “Housework Tuesday” in honor of me reaching 100 followers! I can’t believe that just 19 days ago I said “when I hit 100 followers I will host a giveaway” and now here I am. I swear – I thought it would be near the end of the year before that ever happened!

So what’s up for grabs?? Any of you who read last week’s “Housework Tuesday” learned a little about an amazing product called “Motivated Moms Chore List”. I have now used this chore calendar/meal planner for two weeks and I swear I am *in love*. This planner lays out 3-4 chores to complete each day and by the time Saturday rolls around – your entire house is clean. Literally, somehow this little planner requires you to do about 30-45 minutes of cleaning a day and you have your whole weekend to do as you please!

So I will be purchasing a chore calendar/meal planner for one of my readers as a part of this week’s “Housework Tuesday” – here are the rules:
1) Be or become a follower – one entry
2) List my blog on your blog roll – one entry
3) Share this giveaway with your friends by posting it to your blog
**Please list these entries separately under the comment section so I can make sure to give you as many entries as you earn!

Pretty simple! You can earn up to three entries and I will draw a person at random. The giveaway will close Sunday at midnight so please enter and share with your friends!

On a side note – how is everyone’s “keep the house clean” resolutions coming? Any good tricks you’ve learned over the past few weeks? Any good products to share?

Happy Housework Tuesday!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Something's Gotta Give

I realized last night that I have raised a monster. I don’t blame myself entirely – Steven is equally at fault here. Somehow over the past year and a half we have allowed Dixie to become the leading lady in our home – and I think it’s time I put my foot down and show her who is boss.

Please don’t misunderstand – I *love* that dog. She is like a child to me and if, heaven forbid, she were to ever pass away I would call my boss and tell him that I would be out of the office the next three days grieving the loss of my child and I would be taking my employer provided bereavement days (and I would completely expect him to understand!)

With that being said – something has got to give. I truly believe that Dixie thinks the order in our house is as follows: Steven (all mighty, loving Daddy who never does anything wrong), Dixie (next in line directly beneath Daddy and never to be questioned), Amber (she’s okay – she feeds me and sometimes I will listen to her if I feel like it) and last Bauer (the pet of the family – because, after all, he is only a dog.) Yeah – that about sums it up. In Dixie’s opinion, Steven’s love and affection belongs to her – not me.

For example, after four long days away on business, Steven came home last Thursday evening. I was so happy to see him that I ran straight to him when I got home and planted a huge wet one on him. You know, one of those good kisses where you just kind of melt into each other. (Probably TMI here – sorry if any of our parents are reading this!) But it was just a great, much needed, long overdue kiss. About 30 seconds into our kiss I noticed the most awful whining/moaning/growling sound. From the corner of my eye I saw Dixie on the couch closest to us and her entire body was shaking with anxiety. I pulled away from Steven and she continued to moan – she looked as if she was considering leaping off the couch into Steven’s arms. I started to kiss Steven again and she started to wail even louder. I mean really Dixie! Can’t mama get a little lovin’ without all hell breaking lose?

As if it weren’t difficult enough to try and get a good smooch with Dixie’s dramatic little show, Bauer joined in on the fun. I don’t think Bauer likes it when Steven hugs me. I don’t know if he perceives it as a sign of aggression (because usually when we “hug” we’re actually wrestling or tickling and I’m screaming for Steven to stop) or if Bauer just doesn’t like Steven touching me – but either way, he isn’t too fond of Steven hugging me. So about 10 seconds into round two of our attempt at smooching, Bauer started barking. A quick glance out of the corner of my left eye confirmed that he was in fact pouncing back and forth, left to right and barking the entire time.

So there we were – Dixie moaning, Bauer barking, doing our best to have a somewhat romantic, “I missed you so much” moment and it just wasn’t happening. It was an incredibly frustrating, albeit somewhat entertaining, moment.

Which brings me to my realization: I tried to cuddle up with Steven on the couch last night for the premier of 24. As soon as Dixie saw me leave my chair and approach the couch she threw herself in front of Steven and sprawled out across him. She planted her face directly in front of Steven’s face as if trying to block me from him view. Her eyes followed as I approached the couch - daring me to make my move. She made a HUGE ordeal of stomping around the living room in a huff when I threw her off the couch and laid down next to Steven. Within 5 minutes she back on the couch between the two of us.

I swear – something is going to have to give. If I’m not careful, one day soon I will have a blonde haired, blue-eyed little girl running around my house with Daddy wrapped around her little finger and I’ll be sleeping on the floor with Bauer…..

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Your Questions Answered

So the questions came pouring in yesterday.  Thanks for wanting to know a little more about litlte ole me!  I have tried to break them into catagories just to make it easier to answer/follow:

Wedding
First Dance Song - "First Dance" by Corey Smith  First Dance via YouTube

Father/Daughter Dance Song - "My Home's in Alabama" by Alabama

Favorite Moment From My Wedding - Okay this is kind of strange actually...my favorite moment would be after the ceremony and after the reception when Steven and I pulled into the Ballantyne Resort and checked into our room.  We were super giddy like little kids.  At one point I'm pretty sure we were jumping up and down.  We just kept saying, "We're married! We're married!" We sat on our bed and ate all the food that our caterer had packed for us (didn't get a chance to eat at the reception) and just giggled.  It was the first time in almost four days that I had a moment alone with Steven and it was absolutely perfect - we were so happy.

My Life
Greatest Accomplishment So Far - This is hard....it's really hard....honestly, I would say it's the life I have created with Steven.  I am 24 years old and we've purchased our own home, bought two puppies and created a little life together.  While many of my friends are still out partying and blowing there money on frivilous things, Steven and I are investing, paying off student loans, making improvements to our home and planning future adventures.  It may not seem like a glamorous accomplishment, but some days I wake up and I'm just really proud of all that we have done together in the two and a half years since we've graduated from college.

What Do I Love Most About Where I Live - Steven and I live in a small town about 10 minutes south of Charlotte.  I love the fact that our hometown has the "small town" feel - friendly neighbors, no traffic, it's quite.  But I also love the fact that within 30 minutes we can see professional football games, hockey games, professional basketball games, theater, great dining experiences, etc.  We are only 2 hours from the mountains and 3 hours from the beach.  Both of our families are only an hour and half away - literally everything is at our fingertips!

The Thing I Love Most About Hubby/Married Life - I love how much Steven makes me laugh.  We play non-stop.  We are constantly teasing/wrestling/joking/etc.  We enjoy the same types of movies and TV shows and we can curl up in our bed on a Sunday afternoon and watch an entire season of The Office and be perfectly happy.  He's my best friend and I get to spend every day with him. It's like having an awesome roommate that I get to smooch - married life is pretty amazing.

My Occupation - I'm a senior accountant for a medium size firm in Charlotte.  I report directly to the CFO, and I am responsible for monthly financial reports, oversee the accounts receivable & accounts payable department & manage cash flow reporting for senior management.  Basically - I'm a nerd!

Hidden Talent - sadly, I really don't think I have a talent.  I guess it would be my aptitude for learning.  I graduated college with a 3.955 and received mulitple university honors and awards.  Granted - that's not incredibly helpful now..but that's really about all I've done that is "talented"

Favorite Memories From Childhood - Christmas!  My Nana would always come and stay with us on Christmas Eve and we would get to open one present Christmas eve night.  Then we would do Santa Claus and open the rest or presents Christmas morning.  After that, we would load up and go to have Christmas brunch with my dad's huge family.  It was just always a great time as a kid - I loved sleeping with my Nana each Christmas eve and loved being with all of my family on Christmas day.  It's sad to me how much those traditions have changed now that both of my grandmothers have passed away....

Random
Favorite Book/Author - Okay, if we're talking about true literature here, it would have to be "Wurthering Heights" by Emily Bronte or "Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. If we're talking books I should be ashamed to love at 25-years-old, the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.  But Nicholas Sparks is by far my favorite author.

Edward or Jacob - This is hard for me.  I am Team Edward when it comes to Bella - I think Edward and Bella are right for each other.  But if it came down to choosing one for myself, it would be Jacob.  I love the playfulness. He wants to protect her, but he also wants to enjoy life with her - it's the perfect balance.  That's what I would choose for myself.

Favorite Jeans - New York & Co.  They have a "curvy" jean and it fits me SO well - which is hard because not too many jeans fit these curves.

Favorite Place To Shop - TJ Maxx/Home Goods - You can get ANYTHING from there and it's always at a great price.  LOVE IT!

Favorite Color - Pink...oh I love pink!

Thanks for the questions...hopefully I didn't bore you with my answers...in case you haven't noticed, I kind of love to talk and use way too many words....whoops!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday!!

Happy Saturday!!! 

I have a list of items to get accomplished today - so I will be taking a tiny break from blogging. 

I just wanted to remind you that tomorrow I will do a post answering any questions my readers may have about me.  Not many questions have been submitted so far - so please ask them - lol!

Hope you have a wonderful, enjoyable Saturday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Guest Post Friday!!!

Good morning friends!  So I asked one of my favorite bloggers Katie F at The Life of an Army Wife to do a guest post for me today.  She returned the favor and I've posted a little something over at her place - so go check out her blog and read what I have to say as her guest!  Now for Katie's post.....
Hello to Amber's reader's. Amber asked me last week if I would do a guest post on her blog. I jumped at the chance and asked Amber to do the same on my blog. Amber as must of her follower's and myself included are newlyweds. I always wander what people find the most challenging as a newlywed and decided to share some of the issues I have faced in my marriage.
Marriage in and of itself is a big committment. Something that we lose track of as we are planning our big day, looking for a dress, ordering the perfect flowers and planning the honeymoon. What happens however when the dress is put away, the wedding pictures are framed and hung on the wall and your honeymoon tan has started to fade. What happens when the realities of life start to get in the way of everything you want for you and your spouse.
My hubby and I started off our married life apart. He deployed a month after we were married and came home 10 months later. It wasn't till about a week before our one year wedding anniversary that I was able to finally be with him. I stayed in Wisconsin when my hubby was deployed so we started our first actual year together as a married couple, moving me down to North Carolina where he is stationed. Right of the get go my hubby had to deal with a sad and homesick wife. Don't get me wrong, I was excited to finally be together but it was still a shock to the system to get adjusted to this new town where I knew no one. I soon put my feelings aside and got over it. After all M and I were finally together. I imagined all the things we would do on the weekends, the places we would go, and so forth. We would never be that couple that fell into a rut. Every day after work we would enjoy spending time together and not fall into the pattern of watching tv before bed. Boy was I wrong. Something always seemed to come up. I was looking for a job and then starting a new job, trying to find my way around a new town, trying to meet people and I also started school about 4 months after moving. M had also started a new job within the military and was preparing for another job prospect in which he was going to have to leave for three months. Most days by the time we each got home we were too tired to do much of anything but lay on the couch and watch tv. For awhile we finally seemed to adjust to working and balancing time for each other and ourselves but soon my work hours picked up and M left for training. When he came back I was now working on Saturday's and had school on the weekends. Life was busy. We also moved to a new apartment, went home for the holidays and now all of a sudden, here we are. January 2010 and I don't know where this past year has gone. Nor do I feel like our first year of marriage was the one I wanted us to have. Before leaving for the holiday's I started feeling overwhelmed. I felt like a bad wife, that school or work was constantly getting in the way of our marriage. I wanted us to have more alone time together but it never seemed to fit in our schedule. Then when we were able to squeeze it in, this was the way our night went. Me-What do you want to do tonight? M-I don't know. Me-Do you want to see a movie? M-Sure, check what's playing Me-I read off the suggestions M-Nah, nothing looks good. Me-Well do you want to rent a movie M-I don't feel like leaving the house, let's see what's on demand Me- I again read off the play list M-Nothing sounds good to me, pick what you want. It's times like these I want to scream. I know marriage isn't all about flowers, romance and passion but this. This is what I vowed to never become. So I ask all of you how do you create time for your marriage in relation to balancing school, work, kids, etc. How do you strengthen your bond as husband and wife and get out of the rut it is so easy to fall into?
Another issue we faced this year was having time for ourselves. I left a big group of friends back home and moved to a town where I knew no one. At first M was supportive of my going out and meeting new friends. He had just been deployed with his friends for the last 10 months, but he still saw them every day so he wasn't looking for any social activities with the guys. He just wanted to relax. I on the other hand was looking to meet people. I worked with kid's everyday and some days just wanted to go shopping and have adult conversation with a girl friend. Still I always asked M if it was ok that I go and hang out with the girl's for a few hours before actually making plans. Now however, we both make plans without consulting with the other, though we never make plans for the weekends since that is time for us. Even though M doesn't mind when I make plans, I still always feel guilty if I'm not spending every second with him. I know that in a healthy relationship it is best for for everyone if you still have your own interests and friends but how much is to much? Most of M's friends now are deployed or are stationed at a different base so I feel even worse hanging out with the girls while he is at home with the dogs. Now don't get me wrong, I never go to the bar's without him. A girl's night for me is dinner and a movie not partying it up at some club, but I still feel guilty when I walk out the door and he is sitting playing x-box. How do you all balance your time between spouse and friends. Or how do you balance your spouse and time spent just for yourself?
Many people say the first year of marriage is the hardest. I agree and disagree with that. This first year actually together did have a lot of challenges that we had to overcome. However these challenges just made us stronger as a couple. I look back and see how much we've changed and grown, both as individuals and as a couple. I would never change anything about this past year and I look forward to what this next year may bring. It takes two to sustain a relationship and what I learned this year is that you can't control everything. When you plan something, something will probably come up to change your plans. In the end all you can do is learn from it and grow. What you do after the wedding is up to you!
(It's me, Amber, again!) Don't you agree with everything she says?  There is a fine line that newlyweds walk when learning to spend time together but keep an identity unto themselves.  Thanks for sharing so freely Katie!

Happy Friday All!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Love ~ I Hate

I’ve seen other bloggers list their “I Love/I Hate” so I figured it might be a good time to give you a few of mine….

MY LOVES

I love Coach – love, love, love it!

I love Sunday afternoon naps

I love Boxers – especially Dixie & Bauer


I love the Twilight Saga – yes, I’m almost 25 and in love with fictional characters – sue me.

I love beach vacations – put me in a chair on the beach with sun in my face and cold drink in my hand – FABULOUS!

I love going to the movies – Steven and I see a movie almost once a week, it’s our thing.

I love Grey’s Anatomy – love me some McDreamy & McSteamy


I love Starbucks – I try to limit myself, but I have to have it at least once a week!

MY HATES


I hate being wet in my clothes – spray me with a water hose or throw me into a pool and I will LOSE IT

I hate ACE & TJ (Charlotte Radio Station – 95.1) – they are rude and obnoxious

I hate cleaning my hardwood floors – 2 hours!! 2 hours!!

I hate it when people talk/text/email on their phone at dinner – if you are out to dinner/drinks/coffee with a friend – put your phone away – it’s rude. Your mother raised you better and if she didn’t – she should have.



I hate cats – I know…I know…I’m horrible…but they are SO moody

I hate people who change lanes without using their blinker – Can’t.Stand.It!

I hate Wachovia – NO customer service, NO sense of accountability, NO more money from me!



I hate women who own HUGE SUV’s but can’t drive them – if you can’t park it – don’t drive it! (This is why I have a small sedan!)

So there are just a few things I love/hate. Sorry if I hate something that you love or love something that you hate. It’s not personal.  :)

On another note – I posted that I’m willing to answer any questions you may have about me/my life/hubby/etc. No questions have been made yet – but I will answer any on my post Sunday so let’s hear those questions!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

True Life: I'm a Klutz

As I was getting ready Monday morning, an old pair of super cute black pumps caught my attention. I haven’t worn them in a very long time and couldn’t remember for the life of me why I hadn’t worn them – they were so cute! So I threw them on and headed out the door, ready to start my week off right. As I completed the walk from my car to my office building, I quickly remembered why I hadn’t worn these shoes in over 2 years – I can’t walk in them! I mean seriously, they have *super* pointed toes and I trip almost constantly in them. I braced myself for what was sure to be a difficult day trying not to fall and settled into my work load.

At lunch, I completed a few errands and grabbed a coffee. As I absentmindedly walked back to the office, the most embarrassing event that has happened to me in quite a long time occurred. It all happened so quickly, but everything seemed to be moving in slow motion…

As I approached the entrance way, coffee and purse in hand, I noticed a group of men leaving the building – heading out the same door I was going into. I shuffled to the right to make room and tripped on my stupid shoes. I was lost in thought at the moment and completely caught off guard. Unable to gain my balance, I knew that I would plummet to unavoidable death, demise embarrassment. On my downward descent, I realized that not only was I going to bust my butt in front of this group of men, I was also going to take one of them down with me.

As my coffee flew from my hand and my body collided with the gentleman directly in front of me, I realized that my face was either going to land smack on the concrete or smack in this man’s crotch. Being the conservative married woman that I am, I opted for concrete. OUCH! Once we both hit the ground, I was laying face down across this poor man. His coworkers wore an expression of shock and humor. He on the other hand just looked like he was in pain. I jumped to my feet as quickly as possible and immediately began apologizing…”I’m so sorry! Please forgive me. It’s these shoes…it’s Monday…I’m so sorry…are you okay?” Thankfully he gave me a polite smile and a small laugh. “I’m fine – are you okay?” What did he mean by that you? This poor girl obviously has mental problems and can’t even stay on her own two feet…I feel too sorry for her to be angry that she just tackled me to the ground and almost bit my crotch! Something about the way he said “you” was humiliating and after one last quick apology I darted into the office building practically sprinting toward the elevator in hope of an escape.

I had barely made it three feet when I heard my victim shout, “Excuse me miss…I believe you dropped some…umm…personal items….” As I turned around, I saw him and his coworkers picking up my tampons, Midol & lip glosses. I trotted back and quickly took the items – I had this urge to make some crazy joke like, “Well at least I’m not pregnant – right?!?” But I said nothing…I’m pretty sure my brain wasn’t working at this point. I turned around and walked every so slowly back to my office. As if it wasn’t bad enough that I fell and took another person down with me – I had to give a show-and-tell to complete strangers letting them know that Aunt Flo was in town.

As I sat in the safety of my cubicle, rubbing my knee and trying to temper the ringing in my ears, I realized – this is the story of my life. I’m a klutz and I’m absentminded. No matter how hard I try, I will always fall at the most inopportune times and show up to church with lipstick on my teeth. I will always burn the crescent rolls and there is a slim chance that I will ever put away my Christmas ornaments without breaking one. I need to start writing these stories down – one day they might make me a lot of money!

So now that I have shared a most humiliating moment with you – I figure I will let you ask me anything. Anything you want to know about me, my life with hubby, just anything – feel free to ask. I will blog on Sunday with answers to any questions.

Happy Hump Day – do you best to stay on your feet!

You Shouldn't Have

More awards? Oh wow – you really shouldn’t have ladies. :)




Risley at Adventures of the Wilkinsons awarded me the “Glamorous Blog” award. Thank you lady!
Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Link the person who gave it to you.
3. Keep it going and give to whomever you like…
4. If money were not an issue, what are the top 3 things on your wish list?

-I would buy 10 acres, build a beautiful large ranch style home with a finished basement and stock the yard with four wheelers, basketball court and a beautifully landscaped back yard including patio, built in grill area & swimming pool. Steven and I would never move…
-We would take a 4 week tour of Asia: Japan, Hong Kong, Bejing, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand – all the hot spots.
-We would pay for college tuition (undergrad – however high they want to go) for all of our siblings – we have 7! It would be a great gift to them and to our parents because they wouldn’t have to foot the bill!


The beautiful Katie F over at The Life of an Army Wife awarded me the “Best Blog” award. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite bloggers friends. :) Thanks girl!

So now I would like to pass these awards on to some new found bloggers who I have enjoyed getting to know over the past few weeks/days:
-Laura at Cowboy Boots & Baby Booties
-Ams at Surviving Long Distance Love
-My Mama at There is Life Being the Wife of a Preacher

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Housework Tuesday



For my second edition of “Housework Tuesdays” I would like to highlight an amazing product that MG from Magnolias and Mimosas introduced me to last week.

Motivated Moms offers a weekly chore list calendar that outlines specific chores you should accomplish each day to keep your housework under control. It cycles through items such as vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathroom toilet, cleaning bathtub & shower, cleaning mirrors, etc on a weekly basis. It also rotates in those random chores such as baseboards, dusting the ceiling fan, cleaning light fixtures, etc throughout the month. Here is a sample of what another user had to say as well what the chore list loosk like Sample Calendar.

I purchased the calendar at MG’s suggestion last week and I have fallen in love! I purchased the half size calendar and I printed it off and placed it in my planner. I have my weekly schedule and weekly household chores laid right out for me! I tend to put all cleaning off until Saturday and I spend my entire Saturday morning cleaning the house. Since I have been following the MM Calendar, I do a few chores each evening/morning and my house stays at a level of constant clean. It’s truly genius! Plus I don’t feel like such a failure at housework throughout the week. I tell myself, “All I have to do is the few items on the list and I’m done!” If you are a control freak/list maker like I am, you will love the feeling of accomplishment you get from checking off your little boxes each day!

I am sure that I will not follow the list 100% all the time, but it gives me a guideline to follow for keeping my home in order and it makes me feel like I have some sense of control over the housework situation which honestly makes keeping the house clean a much more pleasant experience!

What about you? How do you cope with the never ending amount of laundry/dusting/dishes?? Any good tips to make housework a little less irritating??

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blog Wordle

My real life BFF, Khristi, introduced me to a fabulous new site: Wordle and I am in love! It's so simple!  Visit the link and you can input the web address for your blog.  Hit create and the wordle engine creates a work of art with most frequently used words found in your blog.  You can create fun color schemes and use different fonts.  I have created a "Life Wordle" below of important words that showcase my life.  I also used the link to my blog and Wordle created a "Blog Wordle" for me with the most common words from my recent posts.  You can also post the wordle to your blog in your side.

Super easy - super fun!   Enjoy!!
 **Click the links below to see a more upclose version of my Wordles**

My Life Wordle



I'm Ending My Affair

Like any great affair, Nicholas and I have some serious issues. Yes, he makes my heart go pitter-patter. He makes me swoon and dream and believe that anything is possible – but he also makes me cry – a.l.o.t.

I’m not talking about the kind of crying because you’re just so happy. I’m referring to the type of crying that makes your chest hurt and your nose raw. You feel as if someone has punched you in the stomach and you find it hard to catch your breath. Anyone who has read more than two of my lover’s books should know exactly what I am talking about. There is always some underlying tragedy in each book! Someone dies, someone cheats, some one lies, someone’s heart is broken, someone fails, but maybe it’s just SOMEONE DIES!!!!

I start each new book with sense of excitement and dread. After reading every single novel he has ever written, I have started to look for the tale-tale signs of what’s going to happen. Did someone cough funny? Oh no – another cancer tragedy. Lines of communication breaking down between the lovers – ouch, here comes a horrible breakup.

I mean honestly!?! Nick – would it kill you to end a book with the simple phrase, “And they all lived happily ever after”?!?!? I love your books – I live for the romance. But most times I as turn the final page of the last chapter, I have an unsettling sense of dread. Yes, love is magical and conquers all – but death, betrayal, and loneliness can tear a person apart!

Just one time I thought I Mr. Sparks had given me my happy-ever-after. I read “True Believer” – one of my all-time favorites. The book ended exactly how I wanted – no huge tragedy, no life changing events. They got the happy ending! Until the sequel that is. By the second chapter of “At First Sight” I was miserable. Furious – even! I was so mad at Nicholas Sparks for the way he turned Jeremy & Lex’s love story upside down that I swore I would never read another Nicholas Sparks book again (too bad I can’t keep that promise!)

As I have written this mini series on my love affair with Nicholas Sparks and his books, it has helped me to realize how grateful I am for my real life love. Sure, my day-to-day life with Steven may not be as grandiose and earth shattering as words from “Dear John” or “The Notebook”, but it’s real. We certainly aren’t perfect and sometimes we fight more like brother and sister than love like soul mates, but he truly is the best part of my life. Our love shows passion in the smallest acts of kindness: allowing me to have the best bite of his burrito, letting me put my freezing cold feet against his legs to warm them at night, taking out the dogs at 7am on Saturday morning so I can sleep in, surprising me with a Coke icey after a long day at the office. Steven knows every detail of my life - my imperfections, my insecurities, my failures, my worst fears – and he loves me in spite of it all. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always fairy-tale land around our house. But even when we hit a rough patch and we struggle to find the proper lines of communication, I still know in my soul that I will never leave him.

In the end, no matter how magnificent and earth-shattering my affair with Nicholas Sparks may be, I will always come back to Steven time and time again. He is the only man who can make me laugh no matter how bad it gets. He is the only man who will kiss me despite my awful morning breath each and every day. He is the only man I have ever known to be able to put up with my A-type, control freak, over zealous, need answers now personality (even though sometimes we both know it drives him crazy!) You can keep your books Nick. Our love may not be the stuff dreams are made of, but our love is everything that real life is made of – and for me, that’s all I need.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

It's been a great Sunday!  I made cornbread for the first time (without burning it!) and J-Ezzy at La Dolce Vite nominated me for the "Beautiful Blogger" Award.  :)  Thanks so much J-Ezzy!




So here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award
2. Paste the award on your blog
3. Link the person who nominated you for the award
4. Tell 7 interesting things about yourself
5. Nominate 7 bloggers or less
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominated

So here are 7 interesting factoids about myself:
-I'm a reality TV junky.  The trashier the better usually - yes, it's ridiculous!
-I'm a nerd at heart.  Can't help it - I just like nerdy things and I'm drawn to nerdy people.  After 25 years I'm finally okay with it.
-My dream job would be to work as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve - what a job! That man truly holds all the power! (Told you - nerd!)
-I'm in love with Channing Tatum.  He's so sexy I can't stand it.  Hubby says he's a horrible actor, but I haven't noticed that yet because he always has his shirt off.  :)
-Overeating is my vice.  When the going gets tough, I grab a cookie.  Hence the extra pounds on my hips these days.
-I have no desire to ever live anywhere other than the South. I want my family to be raised in the same nurturing, family-friendly environment that I was.
-I am the crazy dog lady. I treat my dogs as if they were my children and I can carry on hour long conversations about them with complete strangers.
 
So now to pass along the award to other inspring bloggers:
-Risley at Adventures of the Wilkinsons
-Blissfully Enamored
-Julie at Brown Eyed Belle
-Taylor at Jimmy Choos & a Baby Too
-Leesie at Newlywedded; Life, Love & Me
-Elizabeth at A Wedding Story
 
Happy Sunday to all.  I hope everyone has a great Monday and a great week!

I Love Giveaways!

Hello all.  The wonderful Julie at Brown Eyed Belle is hosting a Girlie Giveaway in honor of hitting 100 followers.  Isn't it so great when bloggers reach new successes and share the wealth??

She is giving away some super cute stuff - stationary, bracelet, luggage tag and a cosmetic bag.  Of course I have entered the giveaway and keeping my fingers crossed to win.  I haven't won a blogger giveaway yet. (It's okay - I mainly enjoy entering and sharing the giveaways with others.  It's a great way to meet some awesome bloggers!) I would love the stationary, primarily because I am currently using so many cards writing to my little brother, Paxston, who is at Navy bootcamp right now.  I'm sure he would also love to receive some super girlie letters.  LOL

So go check out Julie's blog and enter her giveaway if you like!

And remember - once my blog reaches 100 followers, I will be hosting a giveaway as well.  :)

The "Simply Fabulous" Award

                                  

Wow I can't believe it!! I have reached 75 followers! Only 9 days ago I posted that when I reached 75 followers I would create a blog award of my own - and here we are in such a short period of time. Thank you so much to my followers and all those who leave comments on my blog. I love hearing what you think about what I have to say!

So here is my blog award.  It's titled "Simply Fabulous" - kind of a play on words with the title of my blog, if you will.  And I want this award to exemplify bloggers who are just fabulous
I chose the women of "Sex and the City" to represent my award because I absolutely love them.  Especially Carrie.  In my opinion, she stands for everything *fabulous* - smart, talented, independent, compassionate, daring, sensitive, feminine, memorable, determined.  I love her sense of fashion (even though sometimes I wouldn't be caught dead in what she wears!)  I admire her ability to love even when she knows there is a chance she will be hurt.  I wish I had her ability to throw caution to the wind even when logic tells me to play it safe.

I want this award to represent bloggers who are *fabulous* themselves.  So here are the rules to receiving this award:
- Post this award on your blog.
- Blog about a woman (real life, celebrity or fictional) that you think is *fabulous* and explain why you think she rocks.
- Pass the award on to 5 other bloggers that you think are deserving.

And now for the first ever winners of the "Simply Fabulous" award.  I love reading these blogs.  I love how these women share intimate details of their lives with their readers and welcome us into their world with open arms.
- Lindsay at Southern Cinderella

Thanks again to all my followers!  Now spread some *fabulous* cheer!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Love Affair Continued...

Like I said in my last post, there are many reasons that I love Nicholas Sparks. The most obvious, as I am sure many women would agree, is his ability to write about romance in a way that makes me feel as if I am falling in love for the first time. For example, here is one of my favorite excerpts from “Dear John”:

I barely had time to drop my duffel bag before she sjumped into my arms, and the kiss that followed was like its own magic kingdom, complete with its special language and geography, fabulous myths and wonders for the ages. And when she pulled back and whispered, “I missed you so much,” I felt as if I’d been put back together after spending a year cut in half.”

OH.MY.GOSH!

My heart leaps, my spirits are lifted and no matter how bad my day has been, I believe that life is good. That’s powerful writing! Of course, my husband, does not appreciate Mr. Sparks’ novels nearly as much as I do. I think he gets tired of hearing me sigh and swoon as I read beside him. “Real men don’t act like that – Amber” he always says. But I specifically remember the first time he told me that he loved me and it was just like that.

Again, we were freshmen in college. It was Halloween and we went to a haunted trail. After a night filled with fake terror and pitiful “help me” squeals (by Steven, of course), we drove back to campus on a cloud of excitement. He dropped me off at my dorm and we said goodnight. Barely two minutes had passed when my phone rang. My heart literally burst at the sight of his name on the caller ID and when I answered he said, “I have to tell you something – will you meet me outside?” We both acted completely absurd, like excited little puppies. But I knew what was coming and I was so happy to know he felt exactly as I did. When he said that words for the first time, I truly knew this time it was different.

So every time I read one of Nick’s romantic passages, I’m reminded of how I felt at 18 years old. Excited, in love, dreamy-eyed. I just can’t get enough. No matter how silly it may seem, I will keep coming back to Nicholas time after time as long as he makes me feel like that!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm Having An Affair

Before you think, “AN AFFAIR!?!?!” let me explain…

I have a long standing love affair with Nicholas Sparks. Since I was fourteen and old enough to value his romantic ways, I have been in.love.with.him. My love for Nicholas is two-fold. His passionate stories about love, life and loss have always spoken to me in a very deep way. Despite my exceedingly logical mindset regarding career, legalities, schooling and almost everything else in life, I’ve always been a hopeless dreamer when it comes to matters of the heart. So at a very young age, when I first read “Message in a Bottle”, I fell in love for the first time in my life.

In the recent years, my affection for Mr. Sparks has only deepened. You see, Nicky is what they call a “North Carolina writer.” Every book he has written takes place in one of North Carolina’s charming little towns. As I said before, I have moved many, many times. I lived in Alabama until I was 7 and spent the following 11 years of my life moving to 7 different states before I landed in Wingate, NC my freshman year of college. I have resided in the Charlotte metro area for the past 7 years. So for me, North Carolina has become home. I love it here. We have mountains and snow, beaches and sun, professional sport teams, light houses, and a plethora of Southern charm that is hard to match.

I have recently reread some of my favorite Nicholas Sparks novels and I have discovered a new character in each book that has caused my appreciation for his writing to grow even stronger. Nicholas writes about the towns in his books as if they were an actual driving force of the story line. In his latest - “The Last Song”, the cities of Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach add as much romance and nuisance to the narrative as the lovers themselves. The way he describes the local traditions and culture captivate me and now, as a North Carolinian, I can actually appreciate the truth in his writing.

After rereading “Dear John” I was reminded of my first Valentine’s Day with Steven. We were freshmen in college (how *long* ago!) and he surprised me by driving 3 hours from Charlotte to Wilmington. He wouldn’t tell me where were going, just that I would enjoy it. We had an amazing dinner on the water and walked to see the battleship. He bought me a rose from a street vendor and blind folded me to our next destination. I knew he was taking me to the beach, but I was more than willing to play along. Unfortunately, he got lost and a policeman pulled Steven over as his driving was a little erratic. Imagine the policeman’s surprise when he found a blind folded woman in the car! After a brief explanation, the officer pointed us in the right direction and Steven lead me down the boardwalk to the beach. It was my first time at Wrightsville Beach. Despite the freezing cold temperatures and the darkness, we danced on the beach under the stars and the moon. It truly was magical. The entire ride back to Charlotte that evening, I kept thinking, “This is the one I want to marry.” Here I am 7 years later, happier than I have ever been in my life.

Somehow when I’m reading Nick’s writing, I become fully aware of the person, the Southerner, that I am. My expectations, my desires, my convictions, my faith, my life have been formed based upon the principle that I am a Christian, Southern woman who appreciates SEC football, the smell of a peanut field, the sound of children laughing, a church choir’s beautiful melody, the love of a good man and the dream of one day being a mother.

Thank-you Nicolas for reminding me that being a small town, Southern girl is something to be proud of – to be thankful for. It’s one of the many reasons I love you so dearly.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!

So tonight is the night I have waited for all season.  The NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP featuring #1 Alabama vs. #2 Texas.  CAN I HEAR A ROLL TIDE!?!?!
Hubby and I will be viewing the game with friends at a local joint and I will be debuting my #22 Alabama jersey with the 2010 BCS Championship patch - quite possibly my favorite Christmas present from hubby.

If the Tide pulls it off tonight, they will have had the perfect season: undefeated, SEC Champs, Heisman Trophy Winner and National Champs.  It just doesn't get any better than that!  If they lose, say a prayer for me because it won't be pretty around here for days!
On a completely different note: My family and I are planning a trip to Great Lakes to watch my brother graduate from Navy bootcamp.  While we are there we will be visiting Chicago.  We've never been - any tips on what to see and do?  Keep in mind, we will have a 6 year old little boy with us!!!

One last time - ROLL TIDE!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Need Sleep!

I’m on my second cup of coffee this morning – and I don’t drink coffee. *Except for those super sweet yummy lattes at Starbucks, but those don’t count because they are calorie free. Right?*

I have blogged before about how difficult it is to get a good night’s sleep when Steven is gone because my dogs go absolutely crazy. Guard Dogs on Crack  Lately, however, they have seemed to become used to him being gone and have calmed down the barking and howling somewhat. Unfortunately, now that they are no longer on guard duty, they have become a little too comfortable in my bed. Generally, Steven and I hook them to their leashes which are tied to our bed so they both sleep on their own dog beds on either side of the bed. When Steven travels, I do not want them chained down in case they need to “unleash the beast” on some crazy burglar trying to get their mommy. They love sleeping in the bed! Dixie in particular since she fully believes she is human and should always have the exact comforts as Steven and me.

Last night was miserable. I tried put down my copy of “The Last Song” (fantastic read for anyone looking for a good book!) around 11 and decided to call it a night. As soon as I turned out the light, Dixie maneuvered her way under the covers and sprawled out across my body pillow on my right side. Yes, my body pillow – the one I was supposed to snuggle up to. Unfortunately for me, Dixie is stronger and more stubborn than I am so she won the fight for my body pillow. On my left side, Bauer insisted on putting his head under my chin. Apparently Dixie was going to sleep on my body pillow and Bauer was going to sleep on me!

After an hour of fighting over the covers and doing my best to push them off me, I dozed off around midnight. My slumber was disturbed as my butt started to get really hot. I woke up to find Dixie lying in between my legs with her head on my butt (I sleep on my stomach.) You know the expression “blowing hot air up your ***”?? Well, I literally lived through that last night. Dixie was breathing fire directly onto my bum and my whole body was sweating as a result. I pushed her off the bed (knowing full well she would hop right back in) and nestled against my body pillow hoping to fall back to sleep. Another 45 minutes passed with no shut eye. I had almost dozed off when Bauer started mini-barking in his sleep and nibbling on my ear. (Okay, I just read that back and it sounds wrong on so many levels but I swear it was a completely appropriate, very cute puppy thing!) As cute as he was, I had had enough. I got my pillows and tried ever so quietly to sneak into the living room to sleep on the couch.

I wasn’t on the couch for more than 5 minutes when I heard her prancing to find me. In my sleepless deliria I could have sworn I heard Dixie chastising, “And just where do you think you’re going? You are my pillow and you will sleep where I tell you to.” Another 5 minutes later Bauer joined us on the couch. So there we were, me and two 70 lb boxers trying to fall asleep on the couch – needless to say it didn’t work out so well.

Around 1:30 I drug myself back to bed, dogs in tow, and did my best to clear my mind. I finally dozed off somewhere around 2:30 or 3. I woke up at 6a.m. this morning laying long ways across the head of my bed. My feet were hanging off the edge and I had NO covers. Dixie and Bauer, however, looked quite rested. I decided to go ahead and get up – I could finish folding my last load of laundry and get something yummy cooking in the crock pot since Steven comes home today.

As I pulled my load of darks from the dryer, I realized I had made a terrible mistake. I washed and dried Steven’s brand new *wool* Brook’s Brothers sweater by accident. I didn’t even know it was in the dirty laundry! As I held the sweater up to my chest and realized it was small enough to fit my 6-year-old brother, I burst into tears. I don’t know if it was my sleep deprivation or my utter disappointment in ruining Steven’s new sweater, but I leaned up against my dryer and bawled for a solid 10 minutes. I guess I’m out of the running for Wife of the Year pretty early in 2010. I told you yesterday – I HATE DOING LAUNDRY!

I need it to be Friday in the worst kind of way – I’m having a week of all Mondays.

On a more positive note, I am approaching the 75 mark for followers.  As I said in my resolutions, once this happens I will create my own blog award.  I've got something really juicy in the works - so if you've been reading lately, but aren't a follower - feel free to join!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Housework Tuesday!



I have decided to create a weekly post titled “Housework Tuesday.” You know kind of like Margarita Monday or Champagne Thursday, only maybe a little less fun! Each week I will chronicle the challenges of keep a clean home as well as share tips I have found or amazing cleaning supplies I have stumbled upon. I hope other bloggers are inspired to share tidbits of valuable information as well!

For my debut entry, I would like to complain about housework! It really is my least favorite aspect of being a wife/newlywed. When Steven and I purchased our first home, I was thrilled. I was incredibly motivated to keep our home immaculate at all times. Now, a year and half later, let’s just say my enthusiasm for cleanliness has waned slightly. I know, I know, cleanliness is next to Godliness and all the stuff…but really, who enjoys laundry and doing dishes?? I enjoy having a clean home and feeling of accomplishment I feel when my house looks great. I do not, however, enjoy spending two hours cleaning my hardwoods! I swear, the more I clean, the dirtier my house gets.



For example, what is the deal with laundry?!?! I can spend an entire Saturday washing load after load and folding basket after basket. After I hang the last article of clothing in my closet, I breathe a sigh of relief. Whew! I sleep easy that night knowing that I can rest easy for the next couple of day as my closet is under control. But then, somehow I wake up two days later and everything is a disaster again. How is this possible?!?! It’s like gremlins come into our home while hubby and I are at work, try on every piece of clothing we own and scatter them all around our bedroom. I swear! I find dirty clothes in the closet that I haven’t worn in ages! Maybe Dixie and Bauer are pulling our clothes of the hanger and laying on them when we aren’t looking? I honestly do not understand how two people can manage to go through so many clothes each week.



To make matters worse, I despise folding clothes. I don’t really mind the sorting and the washing part (thank goodness for the industrial revolution and washing machines!) It’s the folding and putting away part the drives me crazy. Steven becomes exasperated with me because I will wash all my clothes and leave them in the “clean clothes basket” until I want to wear them again. It really is a very clever way to avoid folding your clothes! Thankfully, hubby is *very* particular about the way he likes his clothes folded. Shortly after we were married, we agreed (it possibly was more like argued) that if he did not like the way I folded his clothes, then he could fold his own clothes. And I have not folded a single thing of his since. :) But still, if only I didn’t have to fold my own clothes – that would be so nice!

So now that I have complained about how much I hate doing laundry, I realize that I have piles of it waiting at home for me. Maybe I will wash and fold while watching 90210 tonight. A girl has to find a way to bring some entertainment into an otherwise torturous evening!

Happy Housework Tuesday!


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