Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After

Wow! We had such a wonderful Christmas and it is hard to believe that it is over. We started Christmas Eve with a wonderful church service with Justin's Dad and Step Mom. We then enjoyed the evening with Ryan and Eve(his brother and sister in law). Christmas day we headed to his grandparents house to celebrate with his Mom and family. Not only did Santa come but we certainly enjoyed some delicious food along with fun with the family and Aunt Penny's Wii!

We then headed to Compass Lake to celebrate with my family. Santa even made a visit, although he was a little tired from his late night delivery, it was fun to have him stop by for a short amount of time. Justin and Mom made home made lasagna for our dinner -can I scream YUMMY. We hanging out at the lake until Sunday when we'll head home. I am enjoying the quite lake and I wish that it was cooler and NOT close to 70 degrees.....I thought that it was supposed to be cold at Christmas time.

People keep saying that once you know what you're having it makes is more real. This is very true but I'll also admit that when I was opening gifts yesterday for our baby boy it was odd. Knowing that these things, and especially clothes, would be for our child. Hard to believe but it has felt more and more real. I'll post pictures soon from our Christmas.

I hope that you are all relaxing and enjoying your weekend after Christmas. If you are traveling-safe travels.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Boy Oh Boy!

We're having a boy! We found out on Monday that we have a very healthy and growing baby boy on the way. It was so sweet to see him through the ultasound. To see his little feet and hands and how he is positioned. He even yawned while we were watching. Very cool. We are very excited and look forward to what all comes with precious little boys. It is such a blessing and so exciting to who God has hand picked for our family.

We met our parents for dinner last night and told them all at one time. They were excited to finally know blue or pink...Blue blue blue it is!

We're now at the lake and Justin and mom are cooking up some home made meatballs for our Christmas Lasagne and it is smelling delicious in here. I'll be posting some pic's soon of their hard work. I do hope that you all have a very Merry and Joyful Christmas. Love you all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I am completely enjoying this Christmas season. It is amazing that Christmas is next week - how exciting. Fully decorated and barley half way done with my shopping (oh well I'll get it done). Before I get stressed about getting all of the shopping done, I remind my self it isn't about the gift that I buy or don't buy but that this special day is about the birth of Christ our Savior. It is really humbling to think about His birth, that He would actually come to live a perfect life for our sake. I wonder what kind of baby that He was? I wonder the same for my baby as well - I know that he/she will be perfect according to Gods will. But we'll know a little bit more as of Monday. I'll post and share with you on Tuesday what we are having....will it be a Cheerleader or a Football player? And more importantly the update on everything else that we find out. I am a little anxious and can't wait to see sweet Baby Hicks (via Ultrasound).

Yall have a great week. We have a dinner every night the rest of this week. Fabulous gathering with friends! Yet another great part of this time of year. Oh and btw I just love getting mail so therefore all of the Christmas cards that are flooding my mailbox bring me such joy each day.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Birthday Champion

Today is Justin's birthday and he is such a wonderful man and certainly deserves a post all to himself! Not only is he my hero but he is the love of my life and he makes my life fun and interesting. I am blessed to have him as my sweet husband. Here are a few of my favorite things about him...this list could quickly get out of hand so as I said A FEW

  1. I love that he always makes me laugh

  2. He is the best and biggest snuggler I know and it is awsome to get into bed every night and sunggle up

  3. He is really just a big kid

  4. He cooks with me and helps so much in the kitchen

  5. He is smokin hot!

  6. He is very much a traditional person - he doesn't like to make changes to traditions but we certainly know that with baby Hicks this also will change

  7. As mentioned before, I love that He loves Christmas season and all of the decorating and fun that goes along with it

  8. Did I mention how funny he is?

  9. He love me!

Ok. I'll stop there so I don't bore all of you. Here's to wishing my hubby a Happy and wonderful birthday because he deserves it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I've never posted a thankful Thursday, but I thought that I would today. My friend Becky is so faithful in posting hers each week, so I am copying her.

I have so much to be thankful for, so this is just my immediate thoughts of thank giving:

  1. First and foremost, I am thankful for the precious baby that is on the way that God has blessed us with.
  2. I am thankful for warm fuzzy slippers to keep me warm on cold mornings and nights
  3. I'm thankful for laughter
  4. I am glad that it is time to listen to Christmas music!
  5. That tomorrow night is going to be cold and that we're going to be cozy by the fire for the night
  6. I am so thankful to have a husband who love the Christmas season as much as I do...we're decorating and lighting the tree tomorrow night as well! I'll share pictures when it is complete!
  7. I'm also thankful for my blogging friends and this wonderful resource to stay in touch with friends we don't get to see everyday...I love technology.

good night my friends.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Burrrr Gobble Buuuurrrrrr

Look who arrived at my house last night. Mr. Gobble Gobble....the cold didn't keep him away.

Isn't he cute! He is here to remind us of all that we have to be thankful for -and that list is long {that's for a later post}. I have to say a special thanks to my friend Lindsey for picking him up for me at the Birmingham Junior League Market....I tried to buy him last year but they ran out. I was so excited to have him now! He is the perfect transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving.
But, whatever you do don't let him moon you... Ha!

Well, let me just share with you what my awesome husband did this morning. He got up early (and if you know how much we love to sleep in on Saturdays, you'll understand what a big deal this is - we value our Saturday sleep in time....yes we are loathing in it before Baby Hicks arrives to rock our world!) so he gets up extra early, bundles up in all of his thickest coveralls, toboggan and gloves(because its 30 degrees outside). He looked so stink'n cute too. He then picked up our neighbor and off they went to the wood place, piled the truck high and returned with a load of wood to get us through the winter. The best part is that we're going to enjoy a day by the fire today. Justin is the best fire keeper around. He likes to keep a roaring fire the entire time and he does just that... moving, arranging and poking the wood to have a perfect fire. I'll certainly be curled up by the fire tonight with my hubby and maybe with some yummy hot chocolate.

Also, in response to my previous post - since I last posted my feelings about how early Christmas has arrived (which I still agree), I think that I've gotten the Christmas bug and will probably begin some Christmas decorating inside before we head south for our Thanksgiving holiday. I've seen so many people with their tree's already up and it looks so pretty...oh well. With that in mind....before Justin built the fire he took me to mom and dad's to snatch a shelf that I want to use to display our Christmas Village. Christmas Elf is having nothing of it - but was nice enough to help me bring it home. Mr. Elf wants the Village on the mantle where it was displayed last year. But, with the village on the mantel I can't hang our stocking holders and stocking from the chimney mantel with care. Plus the Village is almost to big to put on the mantel. I'm going to try it and if Mr. Elf doesn't like it I will change it back. Because an unhappy Elf at Christmas time is no fun...When Elfy isn't happy no one is happy! But we're still going to try it.

In the midst of all of that fun....we even managed to eat pigs in a blanket for a late breakfast/brunch. YUMMY.

And now I'll leave you with my current view... I'll certainly enjoy the rest of my evening warm and cozy! Love yall.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's Your Opinion?

Ok, so I am curious about what you think...Please do share. Do you think that Christmas has come t0o early to the commercial world?

Christmas is my favorite holiday of all time (Yes, fall is my favorite time of year). Plus my precious husband is a Christmas Elf himself. We both love Santa and await this season all year long. We put up our tree as soon as we can as we are sure to have Christmas Village and all of our other decorations up soon after Thanksgiving. Although Justin has already asked if I would start putting it up...needless to say I am hold off for now. All of this in remembering the true reason for this special season is to celebrate our Beloved Saviors Birthday - that is reason enough to put an extra joy in your life.

Knowing how much we love and enjoy Christmas, I just feel that the retail stores have started a little early. What do you think?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Evening Fun

What do we do when Daddy is out of town?

We get new toys!!!!! I had to go and buy food for the pups today and decided to buy them new toys since they Brinkley has chewed them all up and they have nothing to play with. Doc loves new toys, he didn't want to eat so I had to take it away from him so that he would eat. I may be a little on the crazy side but listen to this...

{Be sure to pause my music so you can hear the videos}

Yes that is the monkey making that screaming noise.and yes I will pick up before I got to bed tonight to ensure no crazy toy playing in the middle of the night or early morning.

I had to buy Brinkley a ruff and tuff toy - it doesn't have any suffing. Just a squeeker and its made of a thicker material. Here is her entertainment, she does love to hear the sqeeking. But it won't last long because she'll either get the squeeker out or she will puncture the sqeeker so it doesn't sqeek but just clicks at her biting it. So, silly. She is the destructive one otherwise Doc would have lots of stuffed toys as he did BB {Before Brinkley}

And we wonder why toys don't make it around here!

On a different note. I am still feeling good. Still tired - I should be getting in the bed instead of blogging. I understand that I will only have a few more weeks before I regain energy. I must admit that most difficult issue is dinner and lunch. Trying to decide what I actually want to eat is almost an impossible task. Its hard when Justin tries to help and I shoot down his suggestions - I don't want to hurt his feelings but most of what I or he think of to eat doesn't sound appetizing. I hope that this will also change when I start to get my engery back. Other than that we're great - feeling good and certainly blessed with God's Grace, Love and especially His gift of life he is trusting us with.

I want to leave you with a thought that has been revealed/reminded through my Galatians study. Our eternal life, blessings, grace, love, hope all come from Jesus alone. Nothing more, it does not depend on what we do or don't do, it is simply Jesus alone and we inherit all of His promises! Praise God. Have a good night. Love yall.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Growing Family

Ok, so most of you may already know...but Justin and I are expecting a sweet baby to be added to our family. I am due May 23rd and we heard the heart beat today. It really was cool to actually hear the sweet little beating heart (or what I said sounded like the dog's panting) in my tummy. It really is amazing how God does knit us together and especially how He created our body to change and be able to handle the development of this gift of life! It really is awesome.

We told our parents last weekend and have shared the news with many friends and family this week. This is the picture that we framed and how we told our parents.
I've been feeling good but have had some pains in areas that I didn't know I could get pains. I'm sure that there is more of this to come. Since the beginning of this year, I've been praying that when the time did come for me to be pregnant that I would feel good and that I would enjoy this time in my life. God has greatly answered my prayer so far...I haven't been sick at all. I was nauseous for about 2 weeks with the urge and desire to be sick but never did. Although at times I wished that I could in hopes of relieving the aching. That has now passed and I am really tired more than anything else. The doctor told me I should start getting energy back soon. Meal times seam to be the biggest ordeal because I am starving but NOTHING sounds or looks good...I understand that this to will be over soon. Really, I've been greatly blessed and am feeling good and we are very excited about having a new member added to our little family. I'm sure that I'll have plenty more to share as I progress so stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What do you do when you come across a pile of laundry?...

Doc says you lay on it and make yourself comfy!

Funny thing is that before Justin and I were married, Justin would and still does take his clothes off and leave them in a pile on the floor - never did the clothes make it to a dirty clothes basket - and so Doc would always just sleep on Justin's pile of clothes. I seperated my lights and darks to be washed lastnight and he suddenly made himself comfy...he just couldn't resist. Needless to say the clothes quickly made it to the washer! Silly pup.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I was tagged to share 6 quirky things about me. I'm sure that Justin could do this without effort for me, but here is my first attempt.

  1. I love my shoes off - I will take them off anywhere I go, except public places. If you invite me over to hang, my shoes will come off at some point. I love being shoeless
  2. I actually like going to the dentist - how weird is that?
  3. I think better and can process my thoughts best if I am holding a pen or pencil
  4. When I have a plate full of different foods, I will have a bite of everything and decide what I like best and save a bite of that food for my last bite....nothing like ending on a good note right?
  5. I read or look through magazines backwards to the front. But I never read the ending of a book before I should...My mom does this, she will read the end so that she already know what happens as she is reading the book. To me that is wrong.
  6. I get frustrated when people take the last of something without letting you know that it needs to be replaced. I work with an office full of guys and when they take the last of something and don't tell me it frustrates me, especially when I go to get or use whatever they took the last of.

There you have it. Not sure that it is very exciting, but it is me!

I tag Lindsey and Steph.... BooYa.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I am loving this weather and I know that I am a broken record on this statement. All weekend we opened the house and just enjoyed the crisp air throughout our home. It is just so comfy and cozy and makes us want to snuggle on the couch. Well, we didn't exactly do that but I could have all weekend. We had a great weekend surprisingly full of football. Saturday we watched game after game after game until I finally crashed. Today, I was a little slow getting up and I didn't even shower until 5...shameful yet so wonderful. We also joined a small group with our church and we had our first dinner tonight (which is why I had to shower :))I was thrilled to meet new people and get to know more people in our church. Seems like a great group of couples and I am looking forward to getting to know them through this year.

We are wrapping up our study of Job this week. It is hard to believe that we have made it through Job in 7 weeks. It has been such a great study and I feel that what I have learned most about is how powerful God is. He has it all and knows it all. It is very easy for me to keep God in my 'big picture'. It is the small and tiny details that I seem to try and handle on my own and leave Him out of...which is wrong. I was greatly reminded of the infinite details that God is in. Again, He has it all and knows it all - that is simply amazing. He knows the grains of sand on the beach and the number of hair on my does He do that? If you could see how much hair that I loose every day that is a task in and of itself. I have been fortunate enough that I haven't yet experienced the kind of suffering that Job went through. I just hope that, when a time of hardship does come my way that I will remain faithful and true to God.
Oh, I also wanted to tell yall that I tried to set up my bake sale at my local polling location and my county voting office said it was illegal to do a fundraiser on election day...WHAT? I think that is silly and I don't know the official law on that. So, I did start working to find another location and it isn't as easy as you might think. Needless to day, I'm still working to find a location and I may or may not make election day. My goal is sometime in November. I'll keep you posted. If you have any ideas of locations please let me know. I'm going to try WalMart on Monday...I called the Galleria and Publix and they both said NO.

I hope you have an awesome week. I'll leave you with one picture....she is so NOT supposed to be on the couch yet she seems to make her way up and usually in our lap! Are we suckers or what?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cookies Anyone?

I'm not sure about you, but I personally love Blogging and my love started by reading others - long before I had one of my own. I can sit for hours reading blogs, and even of people that I don't even know. Someone coined this as "blog stalking" and I'm guilty! One of the blogs that I stalk is Darby Stickler. She and I don't know each other but I love reading her blog. I want to be like her when I grow up...she is so creative, crafty, not to mention she is a great mom and loves the Lord.

With that being said, she posted an amazing story on her blog this week. Click Here to read the entire post. It is all about Cookies for Kids Cancer - a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of and funds for pediatric cancer research through local bake sales. What a great idea! The site for the organization is This struck a string and interest in my heart. I do not have kids yet - I love children so much - but I can not imagine what these precious children and their parents must go through when battling cancer. I look around at my family and friends who have children and how hard it would be if any of them were faced with such a horrible situation, yet our hospitals are full of them. I know that God is sovereign, but I also feel that if I can contribute just a little bit of time, effort and money that maybe it could make a difference for just one of these families. I do not personally know a family that is affected by cancer and for this I am blessed. I have been telling myself for a long that I need to volunteer or just contribute to some organization and this maybe just the one.

I am going to start tomorrow in contacting some people about doing a bake sale on election day at my local polling location. As I proceed and know more I'll add more details. Stay tuned and lets keep these families in or prayers in the mean time. Have a good evening.

Monday, October 13, 2008

On The Plains

Saturday we went to Auburn for the day. It was so much fun - even if the game was horrible and Auburn's football team is falling apart. It makes me sad that they are awful and it was honestly painful to watch the painful that we left at the end of the 3rd quarter... and therefore we didn't even see the worst of it. That is all ok though, because I had a blast being in Auburn and seeing my friends. We made it to Tiger Walk, visited with so many people and even made it in time to see the Eagle Fly before the game. For those of you who have never experienced an Auburn game. To watch the eagle fly around the stadium and then land in the middle of the field - it really is awesome. I don't care who you cheer for, that is just really cool. I do want to give Justin some props because he was such a good sport for the entire day in Auburn. He went to Tiger Walk and the game and supported me in enjoying every minute of it. He of course was harassed by all of my friends (and their husbands) but it was a perfect and fun day. He even wore blue...NOT RED CRIMSON. How great is he!

It was honestly soothing to my soul to see and be with my friends. There is just something satisfying about being with girl friends....I'm talking about the girl friends who know you and even if you don't talk to them daily that you know that they know you and that they love you no matter what. You can just pick up wherever you last left off. As much as I love my husband, there is just something special about a girl friend. I am blessed with lots of wonderful girl friends. You know who you are ladies and I love you and thank you for being the friends that you are to me.

Sunday, I helped to host a baby shower for my dear friend Kristin. It was a beautiful shower and she got lots of great things. She is due in December with a precious little boy on the way. I also got the opportunity to see more sweet friends on Sunday. Over all it was a fabulous and fun weekend. It was a busy one, but I loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Here it is....

Ok , so I finally finished. I have to admit that I always get great ideas...or should I say I fall in love with other peoples ideas...and then I get the thought of 'I can make that'. Well 90% of the time I get materials and then realize that I can not figure out how to pull it together or I just never finish it. I always have such good intentions and usually it is to save some money b/c the actual product is more than what I am willing to pay for it. In this particular case. I got the idea off of and theirs was actually a ballerina - but I liked the idea of doing a witch instead!

So. I am really proud that this one came together and that I am pleased with the outcome.

So, these pumpkins became this.....

Yeah. Isn't she cute. The picture actually doesn't do her much justice, she is adorable sitting on my porch. I really do love her. It did take me several hours but it was fun - every minute of it! She needs a name...any ideas?
I hope that you enjoy her and if you can, stop by and say hello! hee hee. The sad part is that since we live on a busy street we don't get any trick or treaters. We love Halloween and seeing he precious kids dressed up in their costumes. But, we have to go to Mom and Dad's to see any Trick or Treaters. That's OK though, we still love the season. One last pictures to share of her with my handsome Doc.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


It always amazes me how productive that I seem to be when my husband is out of town. Justin was in Mississippi for a golf tournament this weekend and I was sad to be home for the weekend alone. But I seemed to quickly feel my time in his absence. I was able to get in some exercise, and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Friday, I came home for lunch and decided not to go back to great is that!. It was awesome to chill and relax. I was actually worthless, but loved every minute of it. I did get some outside time in and some laundry done. Saturday I decided to start a Halloween project - I'll post pictures soon - I'm almost done but not quite. But that of course was time consuming yet fun. I also cleaned up and threw away all of my summer vegetables, they were looking so sad. I then vacuumed, mopped, did several more loads of laundry, plus watched a bunch of football. I ate Brussels spouts and mashed potatoes for dinner - which I could never have done with my husband home. Today, I finished up cleaning and straightening the house, took both dogs for a walk and then bathed both of them, I've gone to the grocery, started my bible study, showered, have dinner on (Jambalaya in the crock pot), and now I am enjoying the end of Talladega.

I know that I have already clearly explained my love for fall, but I equally love Halloween season, which leads to Thanksgiving and then to the glorious season of Christmas. Hard to believe that it is already October and it will be December before we blink our eye's. I can't wait to show you my weekend project and I love having all of my pumpkin decor out. Hope that you had an amazing weekend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Reoccurring Theme

In the matter of a very short afternoon I had a common theme to come to my attention. In reading my most recent book - Walking With God - this afternoon John Eldridge is sharing about a time when he was involved in an accident and broke both arms. The title of his chapter is 'Until God Becomes Our All'. He talks about all of the blessings and gifts that we have, from God, and that we often times focus our attention on what He has given us instead of ultimately on Him.

John says:
'We give our hearts over to so many things other than God. We look to so many other things for life. I know I do. Especially the very gifts that He Himself gives to us - they become more important to us than He is. That's not the way it is supposed to be. As long as our happiness is tied to the things we can lose, we are vulnerable... But we end up worshiping the gift instead of the Giver. We seek for life and look to God as our assistant in the endeavor. We are far more upset when things go wrong than we ever are when we aren't close to God.

And so God must, from time to time, and sometimes very insistently, disrupt our lives so that we release our grasping of life here and now. Usually through pain. Gos is asking us to let go of the things we love and have given or heart to, so that we can give our hearts even more fully to Him.'

Back to my thoughts:
It certainly strikes an interesting thought with me. Where do I place my value. Do I seek Him first in every decision or do I do what I want to do without asking for His guidance. So in my study of Job this question came up: If all of your belongs were taken away, your family killed and your health was no longer would you turn to God - who you know is all providing, all protecting and sovereign - or would you turn away from God? The way of the world says that suffering is a punishment (as does Eliphaz, Job's friend). But the truth of the matter is that we are here to serve God. He wants us to walk with Him and to grow closer to Him. He desires that we seek Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and spirit. Without God we are suffering, suffering for lack of eternal life. So. After I was done reading this afternoon I opened my bible study and here was the first thing that I read:

From CBS Job Bible Study:
'Life is characterized by change, and change often time means loss. Though everything we have is a gift from God, we tend to expect Him to always bless us and never take back any of His gifts. Our comfortable lifestyles, our good health, our loving relationships, our satisfying careers and pursuits, are all vulnerable to change.'

Back to me:
Our entire lives are vulnerable to change all according to God's will and purpose. He does love us and He certainly does want us to enjoy our lives (and things) on this earth. 1Timothy 6:17 says 'Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment'. But he also wants us to draw closer to Him. We all go through times of suffering and pain and in these times we become more like Him - He is polishing us. I have to answer the question (would I turn to or away from God if put in Job's position) honestly and tell you that my human spirit would question why this is happening, but I know that I would turn to Him. He would be all that I could turn to for refuge. He is the light of the world and I am thankful that He has called me to be His. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 67:1 May God be gracious to us and bles us and make His face shine upon us, that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation amoung all nations.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beautiful Weekend Despite AU Football

Justin was out of town this weekend on his annual guys golf trip. Even though he was gone I had a wonderful, relaxing yet busy weekend. Friday night I took it easy - after taking care of a work obligation at 7pm - I sat and watched TV and caught up on my blog reading, which can take hours and it is so much fun! Thank all of you bloggers for entertaining me on Friday evening!

Saturday I woke up early and went for a quick run before I headed to babies R Us to purchase a baby gift for a baby shower I attended that afternoon. It was great and so funny to see how many pregnant ladies were at the baby shower. After the shower I came home and bathed my stinky children and then got dressed again to meet friends out to watch the Auburn game. It was so much to fun be with friends that I haven't seen in so long, and some that I see more often. We hoped to get more of the Auburn game, but since Alabama was only pay per view they had the Bama game on most of the TV. In the end it didn't matter because Auburn played horrible. Thank goodness for our defense because left up to our offense we are in trouble. I love Auburn and I love when Auburn wins...even if they loose I still love Auburn. But I hate to see them playing so bad. Hope that they will get it together this weekend before we play LSU this weekend.

Today I went to church with mom and dad and it was such an awesome service. The episcopal church is such a traditional service and really what I mean by this is in terms of the music. We have an evening contemporary service that I love, but I enjoy going in the mornings sometimes and from time to time the traditional hymns bore me a little. Sorry for my honesty....but today during communion they had some young kids who played the piano (instead of the organ) a little bongo drum and singing contemporary was awesome and so uplifting. I hope that they will do that more because it was amazing. They also did baptisms - 5 babies were baptised and they all did so good - non cried. Justin has made it home safely and I'm glad that he's home. I think that he is traveling this week, so its been nice to have the afternoon with him.

Off to cook dinner - Chicken Sausage and Pasta...Yummy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Love Fall

I love the cooler weather, and although it isn't quite cool yet it isn't blazing hot either. It was a beautiful weekend this weekend and a weekend full of football. Football always brings cooler weather, which I absolutely love. Fall is my favorite time of the year. Fall also brings schedules and routines - now that summer is almost behind us - and that means that CBS (Community Bible Study) starts and I am so excited. It starts tomorrow and we are studying Job and then Galatians and then Hebrews. It is going to be an amazing study and I am thrilled to be diving back into God's precious Word. God is so good and it is refreshing to gain knowledge in Him and to grow closer to Him.

I've been reading a great book by John Eldridge called Walking with God. It is truly a great book - very simple read - actually John's life stories of walking and growing with our Loving Father. It was been such an inspiration about the importance of talking and communicating with God about everything. God has all the answers so why not ask Him. Which brings me to the next great reminder that I've received through reading this book. Be still and listen. I have to be honest. It is just plain hard for me to stop and NOT be thinking about something..I think its a girl thing.. My mind is always running and running fast and when that is happening it doesn't leave much room for listening. But I have really been working on slowing down my thinking and really hearing God and it is amazing what all He has to say. I hope that you don't think I'm crazy, and if you do then I urge you today to say a pray and ask God to speak to you because you want to know Him better and then sit in total silence and just listen to see what He may have to say to you. It is truly amazing how The King of kings and The Lord of lords WANTS me to talk to Him, isn't that humbling? If you reach out to Him, He will be there for you to grab onto and then He will wrap His loving arms around you and fill you with comfort and joy. Wow, it really doesn't get better than that.

Today at church, my preacher spoke about confronting sin in others lives - not that we are judge them but we are to hold each other accountable. Sin is destructive and causes separation from Him. It got me thinking about times when I don't want to talk about God with others or when I just don't want to sit and have quiet time with Our Father or just when I am being selfish and lazy all of this is separation from Him. Which is not pleasing to Him. I am working on this to not allow separation (sin and evil) in my life. I want to be pleasing in His eyes and I know that I will always fall short but I strive to be one with Him and serve Him with joy!

I hope that all of you have an awesome and God filled week. Love you all!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend at Home

I can not explain to you how great it is to be home for the weekend. It did rain most of the weekend, which was perfect and meant that we did lots of sleeping in and napping. Saturday I had a meeting for my bible study that starts in a few weeks and I am very excited about getting started back and in a schedule with bible study. CBS (Community Bible Study) really makes me be more consistent with my time in God's word. Plus I just love the growth and knowledge that I gain through CBS. Although over the past two weeks, on the mornings that I get up and run (at 4:30am) I have so much time before I have to be at work, I have started to have quite and sweet time with the Lord during this time. It is so refreshing to be with Him. I am reading Walking with God by John Eldridge. It is a very easy read and has been a great tool for me at this time in my walk with Him.

Saturday night we went to some friends house to watch the Bristol race - which I was thrilled to see Carl Edwards win the race...for those of you who don't know I am a Nascar fan. I know that this may be shocking to many of you. My favorite two drivers are Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards. Carl has actually won the past two races and is 2nd in the standing. The reason I like Carl is because he does a back flip when he wins and I think that is super cool! Anyway, it was fun to visit and hang out with so many friends who we don't get to see very often.

Football is right around the corner. Can you believe that it all gets started this weekend. I can't. Justin is headed to Atlanta for the Alabama/Clemson game and Doc, Brinkley and I will be headed south to the lake for the Labor weekend. I love football season and it has already started with the trash talking this year. I have to admit that we are respectful of each others team, so it isn't bad at all - but we have fun with it and like to give each other a hard time! Justin did tell me "it's on this year" I guess that we'll see how that works out. War Eagle for now and I love you all!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

5K Pix

Final Update

The Saturday before we went to the beach I ran a 5K with my friend Crystal. It was a retro run and everyone was supposed to dress up in their 70's and 80's garb. Well, in effort to survive the race and not be bogged down by an outfit, I went standard with a pair of short shorts and 80's looking t-shirt, Hair in pig tails and big polka dot bows, sweat bands on each wrist. Speaking of sweat bands, I'm not exactly sure how those got lost or out of style because they are really handy. It was great to have those to wipe my face with that instead of with my greasy fingers. Anyway, I'll probably be wearing those again - even if they aren't exactly stylish.
We did do very well in the run. We ran the entire time and were very proud of our selves. It was Crystal's first ever 5K and it was my first in about 4 years. Needless to say we were just thrilled to have finished with out walking! We hope to run a few more over the next couple of months.
I will probably have pictures to add soon. Justin took a few pictures, but most of them were fuzzy. He did get some good one's of other people in their outfit choices - which were a bit crazy.
Ok, I think that we are all updated on the past several weeks. I can finally post about current stuff now. I'm not sure that yall even cared to hear about all of it, but I still wanted to share it. We are still getting up really early to run at least two or three mornings per week. It is really great to have exercise done in the morning, but by about 8pm I am ready to dive into the bed. Speaking of 8:00 I'm fading fast and headed towards bed now. Night night and sweet dreams to you all (well except all of you that are catching up during the day :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Update Intermission


Well last night Justin was out of town and so I had dinner alone. It is hard to cook for one, but thanks to my dear friend Lindsey I made a Turkey Wrap. The night before (Justin was also out of town) so Lindsey joined me for dinner AND she brought me a surprise...tortilla wraps....just like the ones at Amsterdam's! Is she a saint or what - company for dinner and Amsterdam's wraps, friends can't get better than this! Which that set up for my dinner last night and my mind started wondering 'can I make sweet potato chips too'. After a little research and eliminating 100's of recipes for frying the sweet potatoes, I decided on a simple recipe to bake them. They turned out OK - next time I need to slice my chips slightly smaller and they need to cook a little longer (almost 2 hours) a few of them were a little softer in the center. None the less, I thought I was back in Auburn...if only I had a to-go box, I would have put it in that to make me really feel like I had just ordered out from good ole Amsterdam's. My night was I watched a movie - August Rush and if you haven't seen this movie yet it is really sweet but chicka's you will cry so be ware!

For all of you lost people who have never been to Amsterdam's in Auburn, I apologize. You should certainly consider making a trip to auburn to enjoy this delicious slice of heaven in a turkey wrap and sweet potato chips! And to all of you who have eaten there and who enjoyed many many eat in and to go orders of turkey wraps with me...I know your mouth is now watering. Mine is just thinking about it. Or you can call me and I'll serve you up a turkey wrap...I'll need a little notice for the sweet potatoes!

Ok. well this was just an intermission in between all of updating from last week. I have one more up date to share my 5K run before we went to the beach!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Catch-Up Part 2

So, we spend all of last week at the beach. Well we were in San Destin at the Baytown Whorf, which is a fabulous and wonderful resort that is on the bayside of the beach. I had a conference on Wednesday- Friday, we were at the lake on Sunday and Monday afternoon we drove down to Destin. Monday and Tuesday were supposed to be off days...well, I ended up working quite a bit on Tuesday,which took away from my beach time - can we say job security? I did manage to squeeze in about 3 hours at the pool in between the rain and the phone calls from work. I can't really complain, I was out of the office and on the companies dime. Life was good. Justin and I certainly ate good and we actually had the opportunity to meet up with some friends and spend some quality time catching up with them. We even went out on the boat one day with a group from the conference, it was overcast all day - but we still enjoyed ourselves. It really was a wonderful trip and I have some very shocking news....we never went on the beach! WHAT! Between the conference and rain we never made it over to the beach side. I was sick when we left and I realized that. The whorf is its own little community with restaurants, night life and anything else that you may want/need. Still no excuse, that was my only beach trip for the year. Crap, did I really just do that? Well, to late to change it now! but still...CRAP!
Friday we headed back to the lake for the weekend. It was really so much fun to just relax and not answer any phone calls or emails! We relaxed and of course the dogs were enjoying their last bit of lake time. They stayed with Mom and Dad at the lake all week while we were at the beach - needless to say they were tired when we got home on sunday. It is really funny to watch them enjoy the water like they do! Enjoy the pix of them - most are from the lake but a few were just too darn cute to NOT include! Ok, so I'm bragging a little ABOUT MY BABIES!

Catch-Up Part 1

It has been over a week since I've last posted. Its been a little crazy and on the go in our family! I think that I need to post backwards and post what has most recently happened and go back. There has been so much going on and lots to catch up on!

First, I want to share that with in the past week I have had two dreams about being in a tornado and both times I was surrounded by lots of people and people that are close to me that I care deeply about. In the 2ND dream, I was praying out loud to God for protection and safety. It really bugged me that I had two dreams within a few days apart about the same thing - especially something so destructive as a tornado. I started wondering if this means that there is chaos or craziness ahead for me or maybe that God is trying to get my attention and call me closer to Him. I have not been as diligent as I would like to be in spending time and quiet with Him. I realize now that my priorities this summer have not been in the right order. If you would please pray for my right focus and quality quiet times with Him each day. I appreciate your prayers as I focus on Him throughout my days - not just at the end or beginning of my days!

After being gone for a week, it was great to be home in our on bed last night. Although we're headed out of town again this weekend, at least I'll be home for the next couple of weekends and I am looking forward to that for sure.

This past weekend we celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday. It was fun to be with our family and visit with them. Here are a few pictures from our evening with them! Amanda is a great sister-in-law, she is extremely sweet and is perfect for Chris. Not to mention she is an amazing mom to sweet Ashlyn. It is always a joy to be with them and spending time with Ash. Check out the video of her throwing the ball for Tess. Plus the pix of her in the wagon are priceless! Do you get more southern...riding in a wagon with an umbrella - Only thing missing is a glass of sweet tea!

Stay tuned for my backwards updates!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Crews'n Through the Weekend

Well this post certainly requires a little back ground. Most of you know my cousin Stephanie. She is very special to me and she and I have always been very close despite the fact that she lives in Florida and I live in Alabama. I remember being in middle school and we would write each other letters (back before email!) She is someone that I have looked up to my entire life. She is always loads of fun to be around, she is very stylish and hip, she is an amazing mom and she has the sweetest and loving heart. She has 3 boys (I am godmother to all 3) and she has one little angel girl. Steph and Toby mean the world to me as family and as friends. Steph was even my maid of honor. Living so far away we don't get together quite as often as I would like, but when we are together it is always time well spent making fun memories.

Well this weekend Toby, Steph, Landon, Baylor, Corbin and Emmi all made their way to compass lake to spend the weekend with Justin and me. It was so much fun. As you can tell from the pictures we spent a lot of time on the dock and in the water and of course the boys had a blast jumping and flipping off the dock. The boys are all into wrestling, which Uncle Justin is thrilled about. Those of you who may wonder what the Hicks family watches on Monday night....well we watch WWE Wrestling! Awesome! I survive through it every week only because Justin finds it to be entertaining - I know that he watches girly stuff that he wouldn't necessarily choose to watch to my benefit and this is just his thing (along with sports too). I believe that he and Mr. Randy watched it from a young age and for some unknown reason it actually stuck. The Crews boys watch and record every match that they can. Did you know that wrestling comes on 3 nights per week. Well I try and keep it down to just one night at our house, but it sounds like the Crews' watch it as often as possible...again its a boy thing and can I just give a shout out to Emmi right now....Thankfully God gave Steph a little girl and one day they'll be watching chicky things while the boys are watching wrestling and sports till they are blue in the face. But it is funny to watch 3 boys use pillows as people to do the wrestling move - at least they aren't doing it to the each other. Justin talked trash with them through out the weekend - which was funny considering he is 31 and he is talking wrestling smack with 8, 6 and 4 year old's!

Little Emmi G is such a sweet baby. Very easy and content, she is so good. She can sleep through anything - I guess that you don't have an option when you have 3 crazy older brothers. The boys are all so sweet with Emmi, loving on her and making sure that she has all that she needs. Emmi even got to go on her first boat ride and she did so good. She loved Ashlyn's swing and seemed to enjoy floating in the water. As long as she is with everyone she is so happy. They are all such sweet and kind hearted kids...I just love 'em!

Last week before we left for the lake Justin went and picked blueberries. He picked for an hour and got a gallon's worth of blueberries. They are so yummy and sweet! So, now I am working to use a gallon of blueberries so that they won't go bad. I did make a blueberry buckle (thanks Aunt Jackie for the recipe) over the weekend it was really yummy, although the oven at the lake cooks hot and I over cooked it just a little. But with a little vanilla ice cream all was right in the world. This week I'm going to do my best to make some blueberry bread YUMMY! I love having fresh fruit - I was so proud that Justin went and spent time to do that and it was well worth the time to have such fresh and sweet berries.

To the Crews family - I love yall and thank you so much for sharing your weekend with us. Can't wait to do it again soon. Love you so much!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Doggy Adventure

Well last week I was driving home from the grocery and came across a little beagle walking in the middle of the road. Being the dog lover that I am I stopped and he came right to me. After petting him I opened my car door and he jumped right in. Hummm, my first thought was that someone is missing a sweet little beagle puppy. He had no collar and after taking him to the vet, I realized that he was a little skinny and was covered in fleas. He must have been wondering for days. The vet was nice enough to give him a de-wormer and some flea and tick meds. I then drove around for about an hour going to different houses and neighborhoods to see if anyone recognized him. No such luck. I did find a man who said he may be interested in beagle man (that is what I called the dog) if I don't find his owner. I put up a few signs at some of the local businesses in our neighborhood. I was mostly worried that someone would be missing their family pet. I brought him home, much to Justin's dislike and he sat on our front porch and was just so happy. Well to make a very long story short...I called the guy the next day and he did want beagle man. It took us 2 days to finally connect but he did finally get to go to a new home. I've received no calls and haven't seen any 'Lost Dog' signs for a beagle. He is just so cute and was so good. He didn't like the back yard, but loved being on the front porch. So that is where he stayed for 3 days. It was a bit stressful, as I was so very worried that I was going to have to take him to the animal control shelter. Humane Society doesn't take strays - which bothers me because I thought that was what they were for. I'm sure they are totally overflowing, but still. It also infuriates me that someone may have possibly let this dog go or dropped it off. Either way why doesn't he have a collar. Who hasn't been taking care of this precious and sweet dog. People do it every day, hence the reason that the humane society is over stocked. OK - that was my small soapbox...I'm off.

It was a learning experience. I always want to stop when I see lost dogs wandering around but I have learned a valuable lesson that I became the one responsible for this pup once I took him in. It is also hard to balance a stray dog when I have two of my own and I didn't have a clue what this dog may have I never let Doc or Brinkley around little Beagle man, which was a back and forth in sharing the back yard. Justin asked me to not do this again - which he knows better and so then he asked if I will ONLY save dogs with collars so that we can easily find its home. I probably won't do it again (at least not for a while), but it was so very rewarding to give him to a new owner who was so excited to have a dog. He has a little girl who has been telling him that all she wants to do is walk a dog on a leash. Well, some sweet little girl now has a precious dog to walk. So that was my doggy adventure. Saving a dog is a lot of work by the way. And I will leaving you with some words of wisdom from my sweet husband..."You can't save the world one dog at a time!"

Stay tuned for our weekend update with the crews family...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Lake Tour

Last weekend we spend the weekend with the Nix's at smith lake. It was such a fun and relaxing weekend. Chris and Melissa are great host and the weather was great so we spent a lot of time on the water. We also got in several games of Cranium in for some night time entertainment. I love to play games and it is a guarantee that we will be game playing when we are invited to the Nix's. Thank you both for a fun and wonderful weekend. Not to mention that it is awesome to leave on Sunday and ONLY have a one hour drive home....verses 4 hours! Wow.

We boarded Doc and Brink for the weekend and it was very nice, was better than I expected and they were actually tired when they got home instead of wired like they usually are. But they stayed at a pet resort this time instead of the vet! Hooray.

Our next stop is....COMPASS LAKE.... and the victims are my cousin's Steph, Toby, Landon, Baylor, Corbin and Emerson! I am so excited about a weekend with this family. They are a fun family who hold a special piece of my heart. Looking forward to a fun and crazy weekend (what do expect with 3 boys and a sweet baby girl?)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Compass Lake

Well this afternoon we arrived at the lake for our long weekend to celebrate July 4th. I love this weekend for many reasons. First because it is always a long weekend if not an entire week that we spend down here in our little slice of heaven. And Secondly because this was the weekend that Justin proposed to me...on our sunset cruise in 2005. Not to mention we get to spend some time with Chris, Amanda and Ashlyn.

So, this afternoon we got here and shortly after our arrival it started to thunder and lightening. The brewing of an afternoon shower. And our cabin has a tin roof. Have you ever heard rain on a tin roof? Sitting on the porch where there is no insulation or anything just tin and rain. The sound is simply therapeutic and relaxing. You hear every drop of rain that comes down. My favorite is when it rains so hard that you can not hear anything else and it did just that today. It didn't last long, just a quick welcome shower to cook off the afternoon heat. It was perfect and I wished that it had lasted longer. Tomorrow will be filled with BBQ, boating, sunning and fireworks with our family and friends. I'll post pictures when we get back because I will have a ton.

I do hope that you all have an amazing and safe July 4th weekend. As we celebrate our freedom and think and prayer for all of the military and their families for giving us our continued freedom. Thinking about the men and women on foreign soil serving and protecting our country and I have the freedom to enjoy rain on a tin roof, a weekend with family and friends on the lake, and especially the freedom of serving and praising our Lord and Savior. I will be lifting our country up to God for His protection on our country and for the guidance in where we are headed.

Happy 4th of July every one! Love to all!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fresh Vegi's for Dinner

I have to quickly share what we had for dinner tonight. It is so much fun having yummy fresh vegetables to cook and eat. Our neighbor was nice enough to share some of his home grown corn and zucchini with us (Thanks Brendan). I steamed the Zucchini, then dried it really well with paper towels and then I sprinkled with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese...YUMMY. I also made yummy feta burgers which includes, deer meat, sausage, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic, red wine and feta. Justin grilled them to perfection and it was a perfectly delicious meal. We boiled the corn and of course it was yummy. Oh and we ate our FIRST big tomato on our burgers. I didn't realize how quickly the tomatoes turn read. I have lots on my tomato plant and finally I saw on Friday that it was starting to turn red, well this morning it was bright and calling our name. It is so rewarding and fun to have fresh vegetables.

While I am giving a vegi report. I had my very first banana pepper starting to grow. I am so excited. I love it. next year I have big plans to do more than just tomatoes and peppers! Hope that you all have a wonderful week. Lots of love!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Home Sweet Home

A weekend at home. I have already enjoyed my time here at home for the weekend. Last night my sweet husband took me to J.Alexanders for dinner (just the two of us!) It was a perfect dinner and I really enjoyed our time together. Then after dinner he decided we should rent a movie (Charlie Wilson's War) and I sadly disappointed him and fell asleep before the movie was over. I am not a good Friday nighter...I am always too tired to stay up for anything. This morning I got up and ran and then came home and trimmed the ginormous bushes on the front of the house. It was so hot out there, Justin was nice enough to cook me breakfast. It hit the spot and I was able to cook down before cleaning up the mess I made with all the limbs I clipped. It was burning up and I was sore and I decided to finish the movie I tried to start last night. It was an awesome movie. I then was able to nap and watch another two movies. Justin has gone to golf and I an in total relax and do nothing mode which really rocks!

Last weekend we went to the lake with some friends Jeff and Crystal - well Crystal and I started talking about running and that we wanted to set some goals to run a 10K by the end of the year! So we started this week. Tuesday and Thursday morning I got up and met her at 5am (do you know how early that is? well I had to get up at 4:30 so that I could meet her at her house at 5am - wow that is major early) but both mornings I felt really good and full of energy. On Wednesday afternoon we went and ran with a running group that runs weekly and we ran 3miles...well we walked some of the way but not much. For our first week we were so proud of ourselves and really feel good about our start. So, this morning we met at 6:15 and run/walked 5 miles. I am so excited to have a running partner who wants to run with me and is so dedicated. Crystal is really motivated and focused so we've set a few dates to do a few 5K's and a 10K. I'm so exited and wow, I feel great and it has only been a week. Crystal is out of town all of next week and I am going to do all that I can to continue running - it will be much harder not having her here. But I know that I can do it. We're headed to the lake on Thursday so I'll certainly be taking my tennis shoes so that I can get my runs in down there too. It is so helpful to have a friend that motivates and encourages - an accountability partner.

Well, I'm off to start another nap - I have some sleep to catch up on from those early mornings this week!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Catch up

I have seemed to complain a bit about being on the go every weekend. It just occur ed to me that I am quite blessed to have friends and family who want us to spend time with them and vise-versa. Since we've been back from Napa we have been out of town every weekend. The first weekend we went to Mexico Beach with Mrs. Pam and Charles(Justin's Mom and Step Dad), along with Ryan and Eve (Brother and Sister-in-law). The guys fished both days and we gals got in some beach time. It was awesome to spend the weekend with all of them! Thanks to my dear friend Robyn the dogs stayed here. Robyn was truly a life saver and stayed at the house to keep the dogs, it was so perfect and I know that they had a blast playing with Sadie.

The following weekend we headed to Eufaula to spend the weekend with Mr. Randy (Justin's dad) for Father's day. It was so nice to get to sleep in both mornings and to get to spend the afternoon on the boat was great - Brink and Doc enjoyed it too!

Somehow I don't have any pictures from either weekend, I'll try and do better this weekend with taking some pix.

This weekend we are headed to Compass lake with some friends(Jeff and Crystal Wiggins). I'm looking forward to it being a relaxing weekend again and I do hope that the weather will be nice so that we can chill on the dock for the weekend. I know that Brinkley and Doc will be in heaven to play and swim for the weekend. Justin and Jeff are traveling this week and will meet us at the lake on Friday. Crystal, Caroline, Madeline (Jeff and Crystal's girls), Doc, Brinkley and me will all cram into my car to head down on Friday - it should be an interesting drive down.

I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home next week and then July will begin another month of visits and travel with more friends and family. Again, we are truely blessed and excited that we have had the time to spend with our friends and family - it isn't often that we get to spend quality time and really catch up with one another. Our family and friends make us who we are and Justin and I are both blessed to have such caring, loving and wonderful friends and family. Thankfully we both work for fabulous companies who give us flexibility and resources (company car) that make all of this travel much easier.

Ok, I think that will catch you all up with what we have been doing. Work and play and life is great. Love yall.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Dad

In honor of Father's Day this weekend I wanted to give a very special thanks to my amazing Dad. I realized that I have fabulous parents and my dad is simply the best dad around. Dad's really do have a special bond with their little girls - not that they love their son's any less BUT it is just different. Here are a few things that I love about my Dad....AGAIN, let me reiterate that this is only a small list - the list could go on for days!

  1. I love that my Dad is such a good and compassionate Dad. He genuinely cares about us and will do anything for any of us at any time.
  2. I love that my he will ask 1000 questions and it is all because of how much he really cares
  3. I love that as a baby he spanked me which resulted in my crying and he never spanked me again - not that I ever did anything to need a spank'n!
  4. Dad is a strong and amazing example of a Christian and God Fearing Man!
  5. After Justin and I were married, Dad missed seeing me (since I did live with them and saw them every day) and asked if we could have dinner with them once a week. We did for a while and still have dinner at least a few times each month together. Thankfully we only live 3 miles away!
  6. Dad can fix anything!
  7. He always tells me to call if I need anything and he really does mean it. He has rescued me when my power went out and Justin was out of town!
  8. Dad's two saying's when we were young: 1)'Be a leader not a follower' 2) regarding driving 'keep your head on a swivel, know what is going on around you' . Both are great pieces of advise and have stayed with me to this day.
  9. I love that my Dad loves Justin as if he was is own. He love Amanda (Chris' wife) as if she was his as well.
Dad, I love you and thank you for all that you do for me. I couldn't have a better Dad. Thanks for your friendship and your guidance. Love you Lots!

Home Grown

Nothing is better than fresh vegetables. I love them and I wish that we lived closer to the Farmers Market so that I could get all of my veggies fresh. When Justin and Chris lived together they had a full garden and that was actually when I started liking tomatoes. You can not beat the taste of home grown fresh tomatoes. Grocery store tomatoes are just not the same. I have two different types of tomatoes and 4 different peppers that I have planted in pots this year. It has been quite an experience, all of my peppers almost died. I actually think that I almost killed them by spraying a concoction of garlic, pepper and soap that is supposed to kill beetles. The beetles had flown in and invaded my pepper plants - well the spray resulted in all of the leaves falling off. So, I went and bought new peppers(am I determined or what) to plant again and when I was re-potting I realized that the original plants were actually trying to grow back. So, I ended up with a few extra pepper plants.
I would like to have a green thumb - my mom certainly does - but I am in my early learning stages so lots of trial and error is involved. I would say my thumb is more gray than green right now. I also like instant results i.e. I want my flowering flowers to bloom right away and I wanted to see quick results with my veggies. I had a sad realization, but was thankful to my cherry tomatoes that they were quickest to produce. And they are absolutely delicious, we've had about 6 that have ripened and they really do make your mouth water for more they are so good. My big tomato plant was slower to produce, which Justin later explain that the plant had to grow strong enough to support the large size of the tomatoes - the lack of green thumb is again obvious. In my sheer excitement about my tomatoes and how many are on my plants, I realized that the bottom of some of the big tomatoes are black - I freaked out because I thought that a bug had gotten into them YUCK! But after doing a little research discovered that my soil has a calcium deficiency (BER). I've added lime to the soil and will also add egg shell and that should help. Since I pulled the bad ones off I haven't seen any more turn black. I was very very glad to discover my first sign of jalapeno peppers this week. Yippie! (The picture is sort of fuzzy - my camera is not willing to focus on the veggie but instead it focuses on the fence behind the plant - brilliant)

I hope that they will all continue to do good and produce. If they do really good, we'll be glad to share fresh veggies!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Home sweet home. Although I am glad to be home, I am sad that vacation is over. Napa and San Fran were better than I ever could have hoped or imaged. I know that the company that we had greatly contributed to the trip. I do have several thank you to extend...First, thank you to Michael and Brittany (and their families)for hosting and organizing such an amazing wedding and weekend. Thanks to the Saliba's for the rental car - that was awesome and really was so nice of yall to do. Thanks to Ashley and Brett for organizing and for traveling with us - it was absolutely perfect and of course all of the laughing was major fun. Lastly, thanks to Justin for such a fun and special trip.

We're now back home safely after an amazing vacation. We got back this afternoon and immediately jumped into responding to emails and catching up with work. Dad brought home Doc and Brinkley and it is good to see them and have them home with us. After a week at the lake full of running, swimming and rolling in the sand they desperately needed a bath.

On a different note, my tomato plants are huge and doing really good. My beef-steak tomato is finally producing some tiny fruit. My cherry tomato plant is covered and one was actually ripe and so Justin and I ate it...YUMMMMMMMMMY. It was so tasty and sweet, it made my mouth water after I had eaten it. I can't wait to have more! I also have several different pepper plants, but none have produced anything quite yet.

Back to work tomorrow, I'm not sure that I will know what to do being back to work. I miss California and especially Napa.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Winery Visits

Here are some pictures from our winery visits. Wow, if you notice my eyes are very glazed by the end of the pictures. Del Dotto pushed me over the edge - they served straight from the barrels and the wine was flowing quickly and smoothly. It was awesome. Brittany and Michael joined us at the first one, Schramsberg, which is sparkling wine. This was one of the most beautiful grounds that I saw- they were also the first hill side cave to be built in Napa. Very cool. Enjoy the pix.

San Francisco Day

We had a wonderful day in San Francisco. We wish that we had more time, but our one day was a good one. We started off at Fisherman's Worf with a sourdough breadbowl of clam chowder - it was delicious! Then we walked through the market area and went to visit the seals, who are all very noisy and huge to say the least. We then went to Ghirardelli square - yummy chocoate and can you believe that neither Justin or I purchased anything. Yes the chocoholic's refrained from purchasing any chocolate, although we did get a little sampler when we walked in. We then jumped on a cable car - literally hanging off the side of the car and went into china town. China town here is differnet from the one in NY, this was cleaner, but sort of the same concept.
We then walked about 10 blocks back the the hotel to get ready for dinner. We ate at Scoma's seafood restaurant. This meal was delicious and very filling. Everything was so tasty and yummilicious. We then stopped off at the Fiddlers Green for a quick drink.
We're headed home tomorrow. I wish that we had one more day. This has been a fun trip and we have made memories of a lifetime on this trip. It is wonderful to travel with special and fun friends. I have laughed so hard that at times my stomach hurts. It has been such a dream vacation.
More pix to come.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wedding and Croquet

Sunday was wedding day and it was perfect. The weather was perfect (Saturday and Monday were overcast and cold - so it was awesome that it was sunny and beautiful). The wedding looked like something out of a movie or a jcrew catalog - everyone dressed in white and khaki, there were even little umbrellas for everyone to carry to keep out of the sun. The ceremony was just beautiful and so very sweet - Brittany and Mike are a wonderful match, it has been fabulous to be a part of this special weekend with them. After the ceremony we had wine and appetizers before the luncheon started. The lunch was of course delicious and full of trash talking about who would beat who at croquet. Then onto croquet - way tooo much fun. We played in teams of two and groups of four. It was so much fun and I think that Justin could have played all day if they would have let him. Ashley and Brett have already talked about setting a set up in their backyard - it was really that much fun. After the wedding we went to a small tasting with a big group of people from the wedding.

Sunday night for dinner Ashley and Brett and Justin and I all came back into the Napa area (the wedding is in St. Helena at Meadowood Resort) and ate at the most glamorous and delicious restaurant, Cuvee. Wow, it was an amazing meal with amazing wine and fabulous and special friends. Certainly memories are being made that will last our life time. Traveling with Ashley and Brett has been a blast. We've spend most nights enjoying a drink in the jacuzzi before we crash.

Yesterday was a full day of wineary tours and tastings. We visited 4 different winaries and by the time we were done, I was almost toast! Lots and lots of wine. They were all very different experiences which is really cool!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm not sure if the pictures are actually loading. Just in case they are not, here is the link so that you can connect and see them. Hopefully the slide shows will load eventually. More to come later.