Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our First House

In the months before Jason and I got married we made the decision to move into my parent's basement apartment after our wedding. We weren't sure if either of us were going to have jobs, so it was the best option. After I started my full time job around this time last year, we started talking about purchasing our first home. 

In January of this year, we began our search. At first we were just getting an idea of what we wanted.
We decided we preferred a two story, and we wanted it to have a basement.
We looked at all kinds of houses, but we were having trouble finding the right one.
In June, we looked at our first new construction. And we loved it.
It seemed like more house for less, and it would be brand new!
Unfortunately, someone else got that one.
We thought we were back to square one, 
but then the builder offered to build us the same house for the same price.

We decided to build the house. We love the floor plan and building would allow us to pick out everything and even make a few changes to make it even better!

First, we had to choose the lot. We choose one on the edge of a cul-de-sac.
Our Lot
Later, we went back to choose things like brick, paint colors, tile, countertops, cabinets, etc.
When we got back from our Maryland trip, the lot had been graded.

After grading came the footings and the foundation.


Jason and I in front of the foundation
When we left for the beach, they had graded the lot again but still hadn't done any framing.
They had most of the framing done by the time we returned!

Next came the roof and the windows.

Then the brick and siding went up.

Next came the paint.

Finally, things really started coming together.
The house got shutters and a garage door.
Landscaping was done after the driveway was poured.

The new front door was put in and painted along with the shutters and garage door.
Then the columns on the front porch got put up. 

Final Product
Last week we did our initial walk through and inspection. 
Building this house has brought about a roller coaster of emotions. 
It's exciting to see it get started and watch it come together.
It's frustrating when something doesn't look like you thought it would.
Dealing with the mortgage company has been really frustrating too.
It's also a little scary. There's so much that goes into owning a home. 
Change and the unknown always scare me a little.
There have been so many times over the last five months that I have wondered if this house would ever be ours.
But today, we finally closed. And now the house is ours!
Now it's time to move in and get settled!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This is Life

What we have been up to lately:

Jason has started clearing a road up to his property in the mountains in North Carolina.
He set up camp there with the camper, so last time I was off we took Daisy on a camping trip.
We went four wheeling and checked out a bunch of trails.
Daisy really enjoyed the four wheeler!

Daisy on the 4 wheeler
Mountain View from our campsite
The property overlooks this reservoir.
No camping trip is complete without a fire and s'mores!
We were also able to spend some time with our friends in North Carolina while we were there.

We also went to the UGA vs. Georgia Southern game. 
A friend gave us the tickets, and the seats were excellent!
Jason is excited about the Dawgs headed to the SEC Championship.

Unfortunately, I had to work over Thanksgiving. We celebrated with my family on Wednesday evening before I went to work. Jason was able to have dinner with his family on Thanksgiving night. 
It was certainly different this year, but I am thankful for my job. And I do have Christmas Eve and Christmas off, so I am thankful for that too!

I ventured out on Black Friday this year. I only went to Bass Pro Shop though. 
Jason's presents are the only ones I have bought so far!

I can hardly believe Christmas is less than a month away.
My to-do list definitely includes Christmas shopping and making our Christmas card photo.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Well, Thanksgiving is just about here!
Last year I made a thankful list (see it here), and I want to do that again this year.

2012 Things I am Thankful for:

1. God who is loving, merciful, and gracious.
2. Jesus, who sacrificially gave up His own life so that each of us could walk in freedom.
3. My wonderful husband, Jason.
4. Our sweet girl, Daisy Duke.
5. Our family- Jason and I both have awesome parents and siblings!
6. My job.
7. A schedule that allows me to have every other week off.
8. God's provision and many blessings in our life.
9. The years that I had with Nana and Papa and their positive influence.
10. Country Music
11. Heated seats in my car for these chilly mornings.
12. Freedom and each person who has fought and is fighting for our country.
14. The beauty of sunrises and sunsets.
15. The beach
16. Leaves changing in the fall
17. The mountains
18. All of my appliances- washer/dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, oven
19. My phone and computer
20. Good health
21. Our new house that is just about finished.
22. Laughter
23. Desserts
24. Friends
25. Warm, fuzzy blankets
26. Jason's company staying busy  
27. Good books
28. Finishing all of my continuing education!
29.  Our ability to travel and make memories
30. My life resting securely in the hands of God.

Colossians 4: 3 (NLT)
"Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pumpkin Pecan Bread

Pumpkin is something I very much look forward to in the fall.
Last year I found an amazing pumpkin bread recipe, so I had to make it again this year!
This Pumpkin-Pecan Bread recipe is from the Southern Living All Time Favorites cookbook.
It is delicious! One of my favorite recipes for sure.

Pumkin Pecan Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin
3 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup water
1 to 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans

Beat sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves at low speed 3 minutes or until blended. Add water and beat until blended. Stir in pecans. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire rack.

Special Notes:
The recipe makes 2 loaves- 1 to share or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
I have used vegetable oil or substituted applesauce instead- both ways are delicious.
I don't have cloves, so I don't put them in. I sprinkle a little extra allspice instead!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Football and Family

Jason and I were traveling again over the weekend!
This time we went to Tennessee for the football game and to Kentucky to visit Charles and MC.

Friday afternoon we loaded up with Mom and Dad and headed to Knoxville.
We made it there in time to have dinner at Calhoun's and stop in the Alumni Hall store to see what kind of Tennessee stuff they had.

On Saturday we got up really early to head to the game.

Game day outfit: orange pants, Tennessee sweater, orange and white scarf, boots
Arriving on campus
 I wanted to get there early to see Smokey. When I was younger and didn't know a thing about football, I would always watch the sidelines for Smokey during the games. And I love dogs. When my parents texted me a picture of my mom with Smokey before the Alabama game a couple of weeks ago, I was so jealous! Since we had planned on going to Homecoming anyway, I said we had to find him! And we did!

Smokey and I
When we walked up, Smokey went right to Mom. Almost like he recognized her! He was so calm and let everyone pet him and take pictures with him like a pro.

Jason and I with Smokey
After our pictures with Smokey we waited for the Vol Walk. Since the game was early, there weren't as many people that came out early for the walk, so we were up close and personal. The offensive line stopped right in front of us!

Vol Walk and Neyland Stadium
We enjoyed the game, but it was a close one. Tennessee did manage to pull it out in the end.
We always enjoy watching the band too!

Panoramic view of the stadium
Pride of the Southland Marching Band
Jason and I- He looks good in Orange :)
We left the game a little early and headed to Kentucky. We had dinner plans with Charles and MC. They cooked us a delicious dinner and yummy gum drop cookies (without gum drops)- a family tradition!

It was good to be able to spend some time with them and hear how things are going with school, work, and church. On Sunday morning we all went to church with them. It was nice to see where Charles is working and meet their pastor and some of the church people. Everyone was so nice!

After a family lunch, we started the long trek back home.

I'm thankful to have had a wonderful fall weekend with a little football and a lot of family!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Three years ago today, it was a gorgeous Sunday.
Jason took me up to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia, because I had been wanting to go on a hike.
And at the very top, he proposed!

I can hardly believe it's already been 3 years since that day, 
or that we've already been married a year and a half.
But I am thankful to be able to call my best friend my husband, and I am honored to be his wife.

After we got in Engaged!
I am loving Darius Rucker's new song, "True Believers".
Relationships aren't perfect and love is not a fairy tale.
But love is worth all the work you put into it!

My favorite part of the song:

"We are one before our God in Heaven
We are one road,
When the going gets rough.
We are one now and forever.
We are one name, one life, one flame.
We are one heartbeat in darkness.
We are one lasting answered prayer
We are one unbroken promise,
And we are two true believers"

If you want to check out the video click here.

Happy Rock-iversary to my sweet Jason!
Thank you for asking me to be your wife!