Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Practicing Gratefulness

I truly do have so much to be thankful for. More than I'm even aware of really - things like life and breath and family are sometimes taken for granted, although those are sometimes the things that deserve the most thanks! God has blessed each and every one of us in so many beautiful and unique ways. And the sad thing is, we often don't even realize it. God loves us enough to place amazing things and people and opportunities in our lives, so is it really too much to ask that we remember to thank him for those things? Of course not. So I want to take a just a bit to highlight just some of the blessing I'm thankful for this year...

I am thankful for:
My husband, and our new marriage.
Adorable step-sons.
My loving and supportive parents.
Siblings who I not only get along with, but genuinely like/love being around.
Our new doggie, Primrose.
Promotions (over the summer) and more new responsibilities (again!) at work.
Sweet family members.
Caring and thoughtful in-laws.
Being able to run or ride a bike, pretty much whenever I want to.
Our cute little rental house.
A forgiving Savior.

I love making lists like these. It makes me truly take a moment to stop and think about all the wonderful blessings in my life, and appreciate each one of them. This list in reality is a lot longer than just these eleven things. In reality, I have hundreds of things I'm thankful for - but these are some of the ones that mean the most to me. I definitely encourage y'all to think about all the wonderful things in your life that you have to be thankful for! And it doesn't have to happen just on Thanksgiving every year! You can thank God at any time, any day of the year. Just show the guy some appreciation for all He's given us!

I wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you have a great holiday with family and friends! I for one am very much looking forward to a few days off work, sleeping in a little bit, spending time with family, and of course lots of yummy food!

Much Love,

P.S. - I just randomly found this quote, and I loved it too much to not include it....

“. . . my obsession with gratefulness. I can't stop. Just now, I press the elevator button and am thankful that it arrives quickly. I get onto the elevator and am thankful that the elevator cable didn't snap and plummet me to the basement. I go to the fifth floor and am thankful that I didn't have to stop on the second or third or fourth floor. I get out and am thankful that Julie left the door unlocked so I don't have to rummage for my King Kong key ring. I walk in, and am thankful that Jasper is home and healthy and stuffing his face with pineapple wedges. And on and on. I'm actually muttering to myself, 'Thank you. . .thank you. . . thank you.' It's an odd way to live. But also kind of great and powerful. I've never before been so aware of the thousands of little good things, the thousands of things that go right every day.” 
― A.J. JacobsThe Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

Sunday, November 24, 2013


So Jeff and I finally got the chance to go to our first Florida State football game of the season. And it was just in time too, because it was the last home game of the year! My mother-in-law's boss had a couple of extra tickets, and he generously gave them to us, for free! So Saturday afternoon, we got dressed in our garnet and gold, and hopped on our bikes. We live less than two miles from the stadium, so it was perfect to ride our bikes down there, and avoid all the parking craziness. So that worked out perfectly.

The weather was pretty great, despite a few clouds. Our seats were up at the very top, but it they were actually pretty great! I enjoyed the view, and we had a great time watching the game from the stadium. It's just such a different experience than just being at home, watching it on the TV. Sitting in the stands with 84,000+ Seminoles, all cheering and screaming for our favorite team, is just so much more fun! Also, participating in "The Chop" and the fight song and all the other game day traditions are just wayyy better at Doak Campbell Stadium, rather than in your living room. Am I right?!

Anyways, we did other things this weekend, but all I have picture-wise is from the game, so we're going to leave it at that, and just do a photo dump from the game....

After the game, I didn't want to leave Prim at home alone any longer, so Jeff picked up Chinese food and grabbed "Bridesmaids" from Redbox, and we just vegged out on the couch all cuddled up together. We also saw "Thor" on Saturday morning (which was soo good - and thanks for that Mama!), and saw "We're The Millers" on Sunday at the cheap theater (which was so funny!)

After grocery shopping, I made potato soup for dinner on Sunday, and we watched quite a few hours of "Friends" throughout the whole weekend. (We started working our way through the series over the summer since Jeff hasn't seen it all, and we just started season six.) It was a nice couple of days, and now we only have a three-day work week - bring it on Thanksgiving! Yay, and Happy Monday!

Much Love,

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

So I forgot to write this post last night like I was planning, because I got too distracted watching the catch-up episodes of "Once Upon A Time" on Hulu. Oopsies! But now we're finally caught up, and we can watch the new episodes when they air each Sunday. So that's exciting!

Anyways, since I'm kind of in a rush, here's a quick weekend recap. It was a pretty chill couple of days, but that's really just what we needed...

For some reason, I honestly can't remember what we did...not one little bit. I know I cooked dinner, but I don't remember what. I know we watched a movie, but I don't remember which one. Not every night is memorable, but that's OK. I know it was spent enjoying the company of my husband and doggie :) I do know however that I tried out our new air popper machine, and it's awesome. The popcorn comes out so fresh and airy, and there are a million different toppings and "recipes" for homemade popcorn! Friday night I made buffalo ranch popcorn, and it was quite tasty.

Primrose woke us up pretty early, and we were up and out of bed right around 8 o'clock. I went right to making some breakfast, and this Pumpkin Pie French Toast turned out so stinking delicious! I will most definitely be making this again before fall is over. It's super simple, costs almost nothing (especially since I already had all ingredients on hand!), and taste so good. What's not to like?!

We then sat around till about noon, just snuggling with our puppy, and watching a couple episodes of "Once Upon A Time." I made our to-do list for the day, and then we finally got ourselves out of the house. We ran tons of errands, spent some wedding gift cards at Bed, Bath & Beyond, bought groceries, and even a few Christmas presents too. By the time we got home, we were pretty exhausted, so we spent the rest of the night just being lazy and relaxing around the house. We did do a few more chores such as laundry and dishes, but after I made dinner, the rest of the night was spent on the couch again :)

Check out this GIANT polar bear at Costco! I just wanna cuddle it all day long.
I had a brilliant idea to make cinnamon apple pancakes, and boy did they turn out delicious! I put a peeled, sliced apple in our Ninja with some cinnamon, then just added that to our regular pancake batter. And it was so good! Jeff loved them too, and we will absolutely have those again sometime soon. Then we got dressed and went to church, followed by some more errands. We got a few Christmas decorations with some of our wedding gift cards, and grabbed a couple things from Trader Joe's.

After a quick, easy lunch of hot dogs and chips & dip at the house, we both did some chores separately, and then we both did some yard work raking up and removing leaves. Also, our property manager had cut down some trees in our yard right before we moved in, and they were still in a big pile of yard trash - so Jeff had the brilliant idea to grab out the good pieces to save for firewood, for the next time we go camping! So we fished it all out, and I stacked it under the front porch. Now we will have plenty for the next time we need to make a campfire. Perfect.

So then we needed a tarp to cover the wood, so we rode our bikes up to Harbor Freight, which is less than a mile from our house. But we decided we wanted to ride a little more, so it ended up being a much more challenging, almost 6-mile ride by the time we made it back home.

After bathing Prim, and showering too, I made chili and cornbread for dinner (which was really yummy), while Jeff folded a couple loads of laundry. Then we just vegged out on the couch for a few more hours. (Which is when I should have been writing this blog post but was too wrapped up in  watching the last few episodes of "Once Upon A Time.")
She was so cute all cuddled up on her Daddy's side! :)
All-in-all, it was a good little weekend. Lots of rest and relaxation, with a little bit of chores and exercise mixed it. And of course lots of hugs and cuddles! Sometimes those are just the kinds of weekends that you need, and it definitely was for us. Now it's Monday again, and we're back to the daily grind. It's foggy and kind of rainy here, so that makes it just a little bit worse. Hopefully the day won't pass by too slowly though, because I'm ready to be back at home again for the night with my little family!

Happy Monday & Much Love,

P.S. - Oh, and my new Social Security card came in the mail on Saturday, with my new last name! Now I get to experience the joy of going to the DMV to update my driver's license as well. And you know, change my last name on about a billion other things!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pitching Our Tent

We were so very blessed to receive so many awesome gifts and gift cards for our wedding. Seriously. We were so thankful for all the things we were given and were able to buy because of the love of our family and friends. And one of the things we were so excited about was our own tent. We were able to buy a 6-person tent from Target with some of our gift card money (or what we now call, "Imaginary Monies.") We've had it for a couple of weeks, but hadn't used it yet. So we decided Veteran's Day weekend would be the perfect time to break it in!

We made reservations online for Sunday night, at Three Rivers State Park, in Sneads, Florida. We made our packing lists, went grocery shopping, and tried to plan out our time there. We left after church and lunch on Sunday around 3 pm (after a quick stop to grab some firewood from my parents - thanks Papa!) and made the quick, hour-long drive to the southwest corner of Lake Seminole. We had just gotten our new puppy Prim the day before, and so of course we had to bring her with us. She did great in the car though, and seemed quite excited for the adventure!

We got the tent put up pretty quickly, and got the rest of the camp set up too. The weather was great, and the park was very nice. It was definitely going to be chilly though, so Jeff got a fire going right away.

Before leaving, I prepped chicken, potatoes & veggies to make hobo pouches for dinner. So after hanging out and talking and exploring a tiny bit, we started getting dinner ready. The pouches turned out pretty yummy, even though the potatoes got a little bit burned on the bottom. It was all still good anyways. And then of course in true camping tradition, we made s'mores for dessert!

While we were eating, an armadillo ran by our campsite, and Prim went crazy over it. He stayed in the little clump of trees right next to us for a long time (which freaked me out), but Primrose just wanted to go over and investigate the whole time he was rooting around over there. Jeff wanted to let her go after it, but I was against that idea, so I had a tight hold on her leash. I guess he finally went away after about an hour or so, and then she calmed down.

Then we just sat staring at the fire and talking and enjoying the peace and quiet. It was really nice to just sit back and enjoy the silence and the outdoors and the fresh air. We sat in comfortable silence for a while, and then continued on with our normal conversation. I sure loved spending the night with this husband of mine. And since we aren't completely shut off from technology in this generation, we took my laptop into the tent and watched a couple episodes of "FRIENDS" before finally falling asleep.

And then the next morning, I got to wake up to these two cuties... :)

Well this was actually a quick nap-time later, so that's why he's wearing glasses...
We woke up right after 6 am, and after taking Prim for a quick walk, Jeff got the fire blazing again in order to make some breakfast. I was going to let Jeff be in charge of making breakfast, but I'm too much of a control freak (and I also just really like cooking), so I ended up jumping in and helping out quite a bit too. Between the two of us though, we had ourselves a nice breakfast of fried eggs, turkey bacon and potatoes.

Prim also hadn't eaten much in the couple of days we had her, so we made her a couple of eggs for breakfast as well, and she loved them! Also, we decided to take advantage of the camping tradition, and decided to make some s'mores again :) And Jeff decided to take a couple of really flattering pictures of me eating them. None are super cute, but here's the "best" one....

Since we woke up so early, we were actually super tired, so we decided to take a quick nap. Even baby Prim was tired, so she took a nap with us too.

After nap time, we hung out around our campsite a little more, then had to pack up camp to be out by noon. We then drove down to the public part of the park to explore a bit. We walked out on the boat ramp/dock, to check out the gorgeous view of Lake Seminole, and it was so calm and pretty. Then we found ourselves a nice little trail to hike close by. We walked for about 45 minutes to an hour, and Prim absolutely loved it! She seemed to really just enjoy being outside and exploring and smelling everything. She led the way most of the time, and it was a good thing we had a 24-foot retractable leash on her!

Afterwards, we all had some water, and then made our way out of the park. We found a tiny local restaurant and had the pizza and salad buffet for lunch before heading out of town. We had such a great time camping out together as a little family, and we definitely can't wait to be able to do it again! We're hoping to do it at least once more before it gets way too cold, and then we'll be excited again in the spring once the weather starts warming up a little bit. We want to check out all the state parks close to Tallahassee with camp grounds, so we'll have fun going to a lots of new campsites, and putting our new tent to good use!

Much Love,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Primrose Joins the Family

Here I am with my first "real" post back in blog-land, after quite a bit of a hiatus. And I know, I know.... I'm sure you were all hoping that I would jump right in with wedding recaps and what-not, but I just can't dive back into the blog-pool straight into the deep end, before I wade around in the shallow end first. Plus, I haven't actually gotten the professional photographs back yet, so I'll wait for those before sharing all of the wedding stuff :)

So today, we're starting out with our newest addition to the family - little miss Primrose!

Last Saturday morning, we were sitting on the front porch drinking coffee, and I said all I needed to make it perfect was a little furry friend sitting all warm and cozy in my lap. So I grabbed my laptop and starting searching Craigslist. I ended up on the website for the animal shelter, and before we knew it, we had added that as a stop on our list of errands for the day.

We got there around 3:30, and found out that if we donated blood before 4 pm, we would get a voucher to waive the adoption fees! So Jeff went in to try, but couldn't while on antibiotics. Fortunately for us though, they gave us the voucher anyways! We saw a couple of cuties, but once we saw this one, we knew pretty much immediately that she was a good choice. We had them take her to the little dog-walk-section, and we fell in love with her fun little personality!

So we decided to make her our own little baby! She's a 2-year-old Dachshund mix, although we're not really sure what the mix is. It could be a little bit of Beagle, it could be a little bit of Jack Russell, but who really knows?! She's already been spayed, but sadly she is heartworm positive. Luckily for us though, the shelter has an assistance program for dogs that are heartworm positive when they're adopted, so we get a discount on her treatment at a "partner vet." Jeff dropped her off this morning actually for her first shot, then we have to take her back in a month for a second shot. Then after that she will be perfectly healthy!

She is seriously one of the sweetest little dogs ever. She absolutely loves cuddling and getting petted and scratched. She loves sleeping all curled up on my chest on the couch while we watch a movie, or between my legs at night in bed. She walks right by your side both inside and outside, and doesn't even like to be alone to go to the bathroom. She doesn't eat much, but that might be due to the heartworms. She does however love marshmallows as treats! And she also jumps up on top of her crate trying to get to the kitchen table ;)

First family picture, right after adoption :)

She's been a perfect fit for us so far, and I can only imagine it will only get better and better as she gets more used to us! We both love her so much already, and I'm so glad we have our own little fur baby. She's the first dog that's ever been "all mine," and she's the greatest little doggie. Oh, and this is another thing I get to mark off my 30 Before 30 list, of "have my very own pet!" I am so excited to have my own baby dog to love and play with and have as a part of our little family! So very glad to have found this sweet baby girl - our little Prim! :)

Much Love,

P.S. - Yes, her name is from one of my favorite book/movie series, "The Hunger Games." It's perfect for her really, because she is quite prim & proper. It's pretty funny so far :) But in spite of it being from a favorite book of mine, it also starts with my favorite letter, so it was perfect. And of Primrose Pullen has a good ring to it, right?! :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Procrastinating My Blog-Return

So like three weeks ago, I said I was coming back to blog and coming out of hiding. And look how well that turned out for me..... but a lot has been going on over here in newlywed life, and I've just been so busy! But I officially decided over the weekend that I am finally ready to get back into blogging.

There's so much going on in blog-world that I've been missing out on! There's obviously no way I can completely catch up on the last two-ish months, but I'm gonna do what I can to at least visit some of my favorites :) Also, so much has been going in with me lately, and I still really want to share it all! I'll start working on some wedding recap posts here soon, and get those out to share with everyone. Also, last weekend we adopted a doggie, so of course I want to share all about her! For now, here's a quick puppy-picture though to wrap things up - meet Primrose!

Hopefully tonight I'll get a chance to start uploading pictures and working on posts, and I'll be back in the blog-world full force by the end of the week! I've got some updates, some recaps, some adventures, some adoptions, some rants, and who knows what else to share. Can't wait to get back into it, and reconnect with you lovely ladies! See ya soon!

Much Love,