Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

This year I had Christmas week off.
We started the week off with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate MC's birthday.

Jason and Baby C, MC opening gifts, delicious cheesecake
On Christmas Eve I baked cookies and wrapped gifts while Jason worked on his truck. That evening we went to Jason's aunt's house for Christmas Eve dinner with family. 

Christmas morning Jason and I opened our gifts to each other before eating breakfast at my parent's house. After breakfast we got ready and went to Jason's parent's house for Christmas dinner.  We had a delicious dinner, played bingo, opened gifts, and exchanged white elephant gifts.

the tree
It's a tradition to take photos in front of the fireplace every year.

Jason's mom and dad, Sparky, and Bella
Us with our pups!
We had Christmas dinner with my family the day after Christmas. 

the tree
Stockings on the mantle
Baby C's first Christmas; He slept through opening the gifts
Hanging out with baby C
A little smile
Family photo- only missing Scarlett!
We had a chill weekend and I got a lot done around the house. Now we have a clean house and all of the Christmas decorations are put away until next year.  

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Decor

It's hard to believe Christmas has already come and gone. 
I put all of the Christmas decorations away this weekend, but I took a few pictures while it was still up.

This was Scarlett's first Christmas, so we weren't sure how she would do with the tree or the gifts. Instead of getting a real tree, my parents gave us their old tree and an old tree that was my grandparents. Some of the lights didn't work, but if Scarlett decided to use the tree as a chew toy it wouldn't matter! She ended up leaving both the trees and the gifts alone which was great!

This was the first year we had two trees. We put one downstairs in our den and one upstairs in the man cave. I loved having a tree in both of the places we hang out.

Tree in the den, ornaments in a vase, tree in the man cave, tree and mantle
Gifts under the tree

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Family Photo

Jason and I had not had professional pictures made since our wedding, so we decided to have some made for our Christmas card picture this year. 

In October we met our photographer at a beautiful park to make some pictures. She didn't even mind that we wanted our dogs in the picture too. Trying to pose with the dogs was no easy task, especially with lots of people and other dogs around! There are definitely pictures where the dogs are not looking at the camera! But we had some really great ones also.

Here's the one we used for our Christmas card:

Merry Christmas from the Ellis family:
Jason, Kristen, Daisy Duke, and Scarlett

Monday, December 16, 2013

Atlanta Botanical Gardens and Brasstown Bald

It's the start of another work week. Last week was a great week off though. It was definitely a busy one, but there was a lot of fun involved too!

Monday night our small group wrapped up for the semester. We really enjoyed hosting and making some new friends!

Tuesday, I spent the day with my mom. We finished up some Christmas shopping, had lunch, and went through some of Nana and Papa's Christmas ornaments. 

Wednesday was a beautiful day, so the pups and I enjoyed the sunshine with a nice, long walk through our neighborhood. Wednesday night Jason and I had date night in Atlanta. We had a delicious dinner at Mary Mac's Tea Room. Then we went the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to see the Christmas lights. We had never been before, and it was really cool!

Outside Mary Mac's, shrubbery sculpture of a woman with lights for hair, poinsettia tree, butterfly lights.
Thursday was a chill day. I did take the pups on another walk since the sun was out again. Jason had Christmas dinner with some friends. Our local Chili's was doing free dessert for father-daughter date night, so I had dinner with my parents and got a free chocolate molten cake. Yum!

Jason was able to take Friday off, so we went for a hike at Brasstown Bald where we got engaged four years ago. We saw some beautiful views of God's amazing creation.

Beautiful views, a picture in the same spot Jason asked me to marry him, and the Brasstown Bald sign.
Saturday night we went to a Christmas party at a friend's house. It's hard to believe Christmas is less than two weeks away!

Sunday, we went to church and had lunch with friends. We relaxed at the house this afternoon before taking the pups to Petsmart for new treats and a trip to get groceries for the week. 

That sums up our week. Here's to the start of a new week!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Jason and I had a very busy Thanksgiving week!
Our friends from North Carolina were supposed to come down on Wednesday but bad weather in the forecast forced them to come down a little early. Ramsey arrived on Tuesday afternoon and was able to have dinner with us that night. Brandon and Jenny and the kids didn't arrive until late Tuesday night. On Wednesday we split up- the boys went to do their own thing and the girls did some shopping. We came back together for a lasagna dinner. 

This was our first Thanksgiving in our house, so we hosted Jason's family on Thanksgiving this year. Everyone came over around lunch time. We had all kinds of delicious food! We were all stuffed. Jason set up a hayride in our backyard for the kids which was a lot of fun. After a full day of family and friends, we got comfy and watched a movie. 

Snuggling pups!
On Friday we all did some shopping. We didn't get up really early or anything though. We got to Bass Pro Shops around 8 or 8:30. Then the boys and the girls split up again! The boys went to Harbor Freight and Northern Tool while the girls were at Target and Petsmart. We met back up for a pizza lunch. After lunch the girls headed back home to do cooking for the Kinamon Thanksgiving. Around four we all headed over to my parent's house to have Thanksgiving number two! We had more delicious food and ended up stuffed again. After dinner we all headed back to our house to make this year's family portrait. It took a few tries. We added two dogs and a baby since last year!

Family photo 2013
Saturday morning Brandon and Jenny and the kids headed home. That afternoon Jason, Ramsey, David, and I went to Atlanta for the the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game. We tailgated with some friends before the game started and some of the band stopped by to play a song.

Ga Tech band
It was interesting to be back at my old stomping grounds and see how much the campus has changed in the last few years! The game was at 3:30, so we were able to see the sunset over Atlanta from our seats.

Sunset sky at half time
It ended up being a close game and going into overtime, but Georgia finally took the win!

Sunday morning we took Ramsey to Passion City Church in Atlanta. Jason's mom went with us too! Then after lunch we celebrated our niece's 14th birthday with cookie cake.

Batman cookie cake
And that was our Thanksgiving week. It was busy but fun. We are thankful to have spent so much time with our family and friends.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I took this picture outside Charles's apartment. It is perfect for my 2013 thankful list.
Here are 30 things I am thankful for this year:

1. God and His love and mercy
2. Salvation through Christ
3. Jason
4. Daisy Duke snuggles
5. Scarlett's sweet personality
6. close relationship with my parents and Jason's parents
7. our house
8. having friends and family with us for Thanksgiving
9. my job
10. having every other week off
11. having Thanksgiving and Christmas off this year!
12. comfy pajamas
13. freedom
14. our small group
15. a healthy baby nephew
16. colorful leaves in the fall
17. gorgeous sunrises on my way home from work
18. beach sunsets
19. date nights with Jason
20. good health
21. Jason's arm healing well
22. my phone/computer
23. appliances that make life easier- washer/dryer, dishwasher, fridge, etc.
24. running water
25. electricity
26. dark chocolate
27. new glasses
28. mountain views
29. warm blankets on chilly nights
30. a new family photo of us with our pups

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Universal Studios

The last day of our Disney trip Jason and I took our niece to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. 

We rode almost every roller coaster. If they hadn't closed down the Hulk just as we were about to get in line, Jason would have ridden all of them! Kimmie and I skipped out on the Rip Ride Rockit. Jason and Kimmie both liked the Harry Potter ride and had a butter beer in that section of the park. My favorite ride was Transformer's 3D. 

Transformers Ride
We finished up our day with a delicious dinner at Bonefish Grill.
Our trip was packed full of things to do, and we had a great time!

Pharmacy at Universal

Friday, November 15, 2013

Disney: Epcot

Our last Disney park of the trip was Epcot. It was a lot to do in one day. 

We started with the rides at the front of the park and then made our way through the countries. To get through all of them we didn't have time to really explore them. We did get to have dinner in Mexico though!

I think Jason's favorite ride was Mission to Mars, which I really didn't like. We both really liked Soarin' and Test Track.

The big ball
The Eiffel Tower

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Disney: Animal Kingdom

After our rest day we were ready for the Animal Kingdom. We got there about the time the park opened and headed straight to the Safari.

Th Safari was awesome. We got to see all kinds of animals: giraffes, elephants, lions, flamingos, hippos, and rhinos just to name a few! There were even a couple of animals that are extinct in the wild and can only be found on reserves like the one at Animal Kingdom.

Lion sleeping on top of the rock.
While we were there we also had to ride the Expedition Everest roller coaster. We ended up riding it a bunch of times! We also saw the Bug's Life show and the Lion King show. They were both great. 

Tree of Life
Jason's favorite ride at Animal Kingdom was Expedition Everest. I liked the Safari the best! Animal Kingdom was definitely my favorite of all the parks.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Disney: Downtown Disney

Tuesday we decided to take a much needed rest day.
Jason and I went to Downtown Disney to do some shopping. We had to get some good souvenirs!

Buzz and Woody at the LEGO store
We had lunch at the T-Rex Restaurant. Every few minutes the dinosaurs inside would start moving and roaring. It was really cool to watch!

Our favorite dino
Later in the evening we came back with the whole family for dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. 

At dinner
Sunset from the boat at Downtown Disney

Friday, November 8, 2013

Disney: Hollywood Studios

Our next Disney park was Hollywood Studios.

My favorite ride was the Rock n' Roller Coaster. Jason's favorite was Tower of Terror. 
We also liked the Star Tours ride a lot! 

We took the Studio Back Lot tour and got to learn a lot about special effects and what happens behind the scenes of movies. At the end of the day we watched a stunt car show. It was really interesting to see how they do some of the car chase scenes. We even got to see Lightening McQueen as part of the show.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Disney: Magic Kingdom

I'm finally getting around to posting about our trip to Disney World in September. Jason and I took this trip with his family. Neither of us had been to Disney since we were kids, and we had never been to a couple of the parks.

Our first day was spent at the Magic Kingdom. 
We spent the day going through the entire park. We rode all the roller coasters and saw two parades! My favorite ride was the Big Thunder Mountain Coaster, and Jason liked Splash Mountain the best. We really enjoyed seeing Cinderella's castle and the electrical parade.

Cinderella's Castle
Mickey and Minnie
Princess float in the character parade
Electrical Parade
By the time the electrical parade finished up we were exhausted. It was a long day, but we had a lot of fun!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Our New Nephew!

The same Saturday that Jason and I were in Tennessee my nephew was born! 
We weren't able to go see him that day, but my parent's kept us updated with lots of pictures.

My dad with baby C
My mom and baby C
Sweet Baby
As soon as we got back on Sunday, we went to the hospital to visit Charles and MC and meet our brand new nephew!

He was a sleepy boy!
Father and son
Close up!
Our family is so thankful for this little one, and we love him so much already!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Wonderful Weekend

My last weekend off Jason and I took a quick trip up to the Great Smoky Mountains.
We left around lunch time on Friday and took the scenic route through North Carolina. We stopped in Cherokee for some ice cream and fudge at a little shop Jason had been to before. It was delicious! We stopped one more time before arriving in Gatlinburg at the Tennessee/North Carolina line. The leaves were changing, and it was absolutely gorgeous!

After arriving in Gatlinburg, we walked around downtown for a little bit before having a delicious dinner at Calhoun's and dessert at Gigi's Cupcakes. We walked through a few more shops after dinner before going to our hotel.

Saturday morning our first stop was the Applewood Farmhouse for breakfast. We also picked up some more apple butter while we were there! After breakfast we went to a new area of Pigeon Forge called the Island. It's still developing, but they have some shops and restaurants and a huge ferris wheel. I had never ridden on a ferris wheel before, but we had a good time!

The view from the top:

We saw a lot of fall decorations! I really liked these turkeys.

Next, we did a little bit of shopping at the outlet mall. We didn't stay long because it was so crowded! After grabbing a quick bite for lunch, we rode the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. I was nervous about it, but you get to control your own speed and it turned out to be a lot of fun! 

Since Jason went to the outlet mall for me, we stopped at one of the tool outlets for him. He didn't find any tools, but we did find a really cool Ford tractor sign with his tractor on it! A great addition to his collection of Ford signs.

Our next stop of the day was Jayell Ranch for some horseback riding. We took a four mile ride through their beautiful property and got to see even more great views of the Smoky Mountains. Our horses were Troy and Handsome. The ride was so peaceful, and we had a great time!

After dinner, we just relaxed in our room. I had Jason take a picture of me with a BIG smile on my face. Here's why:
1. We got the great news that our nephew Baby C was born!
2. Tennessee got the win over South Carolina! Go Vols!
3. I had a wonderful day spending quality time with Jason.

On Sunday morning, we had a pancake breakfast and headed back home to meet our nephew!
It was a great trip. Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg is definitely one of our favorite places to visit.