Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Had myself a merry little Christmas

Ah. Christmas is over, and this year I'm not glad. For Mark and I, Christmas is usually a hectic 2 days of rushing around, slinging gifts at people and trying to eat at least a few bites at each place. Somehow, this year, the stars aligned and all was calm, all was bright.

We started a little early and exchanged gifts with Bill and Beth on Friday night. They loved what we got them and you could tell. (isn't that the greatest feeling? Knowing you did well with your gifting?) Anyway, Mark got some shells for hunting and I got a tropical smoothie gift card. Holla!!! Mango Magic Smoothie here I come! Somehow I managed not to take any pictures. I'm sure Bill and Beth don't care, but I do! : (

On Saturday we headed out for 2 grandparent stops and a stop at my sweet in-laws house. At Mark's grannies house, we ate a huge meal and played grannies version of dirty santa...which consisted of her buying random gifts, handing them out and then having us try and bargain with one another for them. It was adorable, and we had many many laughs.
Mark ended up with some pain patches and some heated neck wraps. If you could have seen the expression on his face when I held up the nutcracker (which I later traded for some sweet measuring cups) and the pain patches he somehow ended up with, you would have cried. I nearly did. I traded the pain patches for some ice cream scoops. I thought it was a pretty sweet deal myself. Mark initially opened a snow globe and ...wait for it.... a fanny pack. Like I said, we laughed ourselves silly.

Next we headed over to My grandmothers house. She was able to come home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for a couple of hours! We were so glad to have her home!
I was hoping she wouldn't grow tired of all the pictures we were taking, and she didn't! She just said, "let me hold Ryan and I will be fine!" Bless her. She is so sweet and adorable. My family is so blessed to have her with us! We had another huge dinner, supplied by my aunt Carolyn. It was AMAZING! Prime rib and veggies. Yum, yum!
After lots of eating and plenty of talking, we finally got around to opening presents. I swear I had more fun watching Ryan shred paper than anything else! He went nuts! Our family gathered in the living room like we always do and got to work. Little elf Ryan helped hand the gifts out, a tradition Holly is passing on to him, which I think is so cute! After everyone had their presents, Ryan said, "OK, everybody, let's Go!" We all laughed and he got busy. Very busy. He opened everything from a Spiderman Tent to a Cars toothbrush set and holder. The boy was on fire! We all sat around and watched him laughing. It was hilarious! He's shout out things Like, "Mommy! Look! I got this thing!" or "Hedda, look! This is mine!" I think it was largely in part to him that of Christmas was so fun this year. It's normally hectic or there's tension, but not this year. It was all about this....
 That boy can SHRED some paper. : )

After we left Grandmother's house, we had yet another stop to make, but we were in good cheer and that always helps! We stopped off to exchange gifts and visit with Mark's parents. This is always our last stop on Christmas Eve. It's a small to do, no food, just good laughs and company and a few presents. Naturally, there's always a little booze, too.

Darlene tried on her new robe and Ken got a new Zip pullover. They were making a ham for the next day, so I caught Ken at the stove making his magic glaze! The ham turned out incredible! We always have such a good time when we visit with Mark's parents, and this year was no exception. We looked through some pictures, exchanged gifts and headed home with a boatload of ham. : ) When Mark and I got home, we put in Christmas Vacation. It's a yearly tradtion to watch it on Christmas Eve when we get home. I usually make it all the way through, but Mark is usually worn out from over eating and travel. This year we both made it through and went to bed just after midnight. We must have earned some serious Christmas karma this year, because that never happens! We went to bed and like I always do, I woke up at 4AM. I swear, I am still a kid at heart! I manged to fall back asleep, but got up again at 7AM and called it good. I decided to be a good wife and wait an hour before waking Mark up. I also made him coffee. He probably thought he was still sleeping when he woke to the smell of coffee! (I can be a good little wifey on Christmas!)

The house was quiet on Christmas morning this year. A huge change from years past when we've had friends and family all here with us on Christmas morning. I have to say, I really liked it. Blissful would be my exact words. There was no rush, no fuss and it was just us. The first time thats happened since we moved into this house! Mark got some serious warm stuff for hunting, jeans a new movie-Bad Teacher, a coozie for hunting and a lot of other clothes. I got books, new hunting gloves, lotions an awesome under armour jacket and underwear. Super happy couple!

We let the dogs open stockings too.... Bruiser didnt enjoy sharing... which makes me feel guilty because there's no picture of Magoo enjoying HIS stocking because she was all up in his buisness, SO to be fair, I won't post a picture of that. :) (I'm sure you're glad.. this post is long enough already and I'm not done yet!) After a fun morning alone, we head to Christmas Lunch with Mark's other grannie. This side of the family is always wild and fun. The babies have multiplied yet again this year. Grannie says she's lost track of how many grandchildren and great grandchildren there are, but I think combined, it's somewhere close to 16 or 17 and there's at least one more on the way. Grannie stays busy at Christmas! : )

So yes, the post is finally drawing to a close! Our Christmas was merry and bright. We enjoyed every single moment of holiday fun we had. We spent time with our wonderful friends and family. We rejoiced in the true meaning of the season. Without His love, none of this would be possible.

So from our home to yours,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night..

*Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Frank Sinatra

Monday, December 12, 2011


So, the main reason it has taken me so long to post here, is because I am finally working! It feels amazing! I am sitting with an elderly man, which hardly qualifies as work, even though I worked 48 hours last week! -and he is so sweet. I'm not sure how long it will last, but I am grateful for anything right now. It feels good to contribute! I also went to the doctor to talk babies. Since we haven't been trying long, he's not worried that it hasn't happened yet. We are going to wait another 6 months and see where we are then. I have been so tired lately. (Which either means I have been out of the workforce WAY too long, or....) Either way, I am more relaxed because I'm not sitting around the house wondering and bored. You know what they say, Idol Hands...

Keeps us in your prayers. We're happy, but we would love an addition to our family. God knows the plan. I trust in Him.

*Cruisin'- Smokey Robinson

New in Hunting

This hunting season has been a slow one. I have managed to get some awesome pictures and I also got to visit Johnson Bottoms and hunt in a new place. The season may have been slow, but we haven't lacked in the fun department. The weekend Before Thanksgiving, we went out to dress the blind. You have to redo it every year, and it's always blood and sweat. No tears, unless you get sweat in your eyes. Mark and Bill hunted at Johnson Bottoms the first weekend. It's part of the TWRA Blind drawing on the Hiawassee Refuge. I couldn't go the first weekend. (Only for to a blind, I was the odd girl out.) The second weekend we went to our blind, and last weekend I finally got to road trip, too! 4AM came early. It's a long drive down there!

Scout had a great time down at Johnson Bottoms. She is much improved since last year! : )

The week before we went to Johnson Bottoms was quite eventful. At the start of the morning, we forgot Marks gun. So, we were running a little behind (which I hate!). We agreed to meet Bill at the boat ramp. We got the gear loaded into the boat and took off. AS we were pulling up to the bank, Bill was telling us where to go and what to do. I stepped out of the boat and grabbed some gear. My hip boots somehow got stuck in the mud.....I ended up going for a swim. Let me tell you. The Clinch is cold in the summertime. At 6:15AM in November? It's EFFING COLD. Bill fished me out of the water. Luckily I only fell in a couple of inches of water. My butt was soaked and the water ran down into my hip boots, soaking my pants and socks, too! Awesome! Bill asked me right then did I want to go home. My pride and ego slightly bruised, I firmly said No, Sir. Mark and I headed up to the blind where we surveyed the damage. There I stood.. naked from the ass down in the duck blind. (I wish I had put that on my list of 100 things I want to do, it would have been marked off with force that day!) He pulled off his waders and gave me his extra pants he was wearing. For some reason he had an extra set of socks in his blind bag. The bottom of the back of my shirts were a little wet, but we had nothing else to put in me so I just lived with it. I wrapped up in a coat and asked Mark for a minute to myself. I counted my many blessings...named them one by one. A while later we used a plastic bag from somewhere and sandwich bags our breakfast was wrapped in to put over the socks (and gloves covering my feet so I could put the waders back on to stand up.


Here's what I looked like after we got back to the boat ramp. Check out those wet clothes I'm holding!

Yes. I stayed the whole day. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. It also gives us something to laugh about. I won't lie. It also keeps the guys from thinking women shouldn't be in the blind...not that the two guys I hunt with would ever think that...but I get total street cred.  : )

*I'm Still In Love With You- Al Green

Thanksgiving Belated

I've had several people mention to me the lack of new material here. Geeze, people! If you are reading, then comment! I had no idea so many of you stop by to read about my crazy life. : )

So, I think I left off somewhere before Thanksgiving. Well, it's been a whirlwind dudes. November was crazy.  I did manage to look pretty on Thanksgiving, though! Thanksgiving was a mess. We ended up having Thanksgiving at my grandmothers house without her. Honestly, it was WEIRD. My aunt did come either, so it was a small gathering, even for that side of the family which is usually about nine people.

We also got to see this little turkey, too. Light of my world, I tell you!

After we left there, we went to Mark's grannies for dinner. I so enjoy getting to spend time with his family. The are a bunch of loons, and you can always count on a laugh and probably a shot or two out behind the barn from Uncle Jimbo. : )  We headed home for a few hours and set out that night for Walmart. Epic Fail. Whoever decided to open Walmart the night before Black Friday was more evil than Shredder. We got there and people had already opened the shrink wrapped sales bins for the midnight sale. There was nothing left for us to buy. I was hot! Actually, I was SO mad, that I briefly considered not getting up at all on Friday morning to shop. In the end, we got up at 10, had breakfast and went shopping. It was a great day and we managed to get all of our shopping done except for one another. All in all, not too shabby.

I know it's belated, but I hope your Turkey Day was a success!

*I'll Do Anything You Want Me To: Barry White

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pity Party Fail

Have you ever just had the kind of day where everything seems to be going the wrong way? That was yesterday for me. It started the night before when I went to bed. I laid down in my normal fashion. Snuggling up to my warm husband, already 3 hours ahead of me in sleep and pressed my cold feet into the back of his calves. Pure bliss. That man radiates the heat! I said my prayers, closed my eyes and waited for sleep to come. It did not. Instead, I began  thinking about all of the things in my life (or other peoples lives) that I wish I could change.

 I thought about my sweet grandmother in the nursing home. Have I mentioned she fell and broke her hip? Had to have surgery? Is now in a nursing home in Oak Ridge? No? Well, there it is. I thought about how weird it would be to have Thanksgiving in her house without her. From there, my mind started developing plans for how we could get her home to eat and visit..but then, I'll bet she would be sad to have to go back afterwards...Should we just take Thanksgiving to her? Those thoughts rambled and rolled around for a while. I thought of other members of my family and their plights to just get by. I thought of how hard my mom is struggling to care for her ailing parents and balance a job on top of that.

You see where all of this is going. Anyway, after about an hour of crappy thoughts, I began to think that I REALLY needed to stop thinking and fall asleep. It was raining. I opened my eyes and thought, I will just lay here and listen to the rain. At that exact moment THE RAIN STOPPED. Apparently God had other plans for me. So, I started trying to think of nice things. Redecorating my kitchen. Remodeling the bathroom. Redoing the hardwoods. The list goes on and on.

I finally fell asleep. When I woke up, I realized I was running slightly late for a job interview. Awesome! After a mad rush and a whores bath, I was out the door and headed to Knoxville. The interview went OK, so we'll see how that goes. Afterwards, I decided to go and visit my grandparents. Grandmother in the nursing home and granddad at home. After seeing grandmother, who has lost so much weight and is battling Alzheimer's, I was through. My grandfather would have to see me another day. (Which made me feel guilty, obviously.)

I started home under a grey sky and drizzling rain. I won't lie. My day was just shot. I decided to throw myself a pity party. I headed to Sonic and bought the most delicious, disgusting thing I could think of. Super Sonic Cheeseburger and tots. When I got home, I put on my favorite sweats and settled in for a marathon of NICS-which always drones out a crappy day and tore into that burger like Tom Hanks from Cast Away. Guess what?? Found a big ass hair in it. Pity Party complete! Tears rolling.

Sigh. Started my period yesterday too! Guess that means no baby this month.

I ended my day with a good phone call, and flushed my pity pot. Took some medicine and went to bed. Can I have a do over?

Five Finger Death Punch- Bad Company

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Fun

I think I left off last at those orange pants... Still want a pair, but I think they may have jinxed us or something.. Anyway, Halloween has come and gone. We hardly have any candy left at all. We only had one trick or treater that night...but he was so stinkin' cute!

We also got into the fall spirit just before Halloween with some pumpkin carving and cookie decorating. We are masters of fall over here....

A good time, indeed. No costumes for Mark and I this year, and you know I was disappointed about that. I love to dress up! There's always next year though, and I saw some amazing black swan and avatar make-up tutorials!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I need some pants like this

The Vols may be a little down on their luck this year, but Derek Dooley's Orange pants continue to inspire me.....

i'm in love

Have you met Lauren? She's the amazing girl with freckles who like to run and eat ice cream. She also introduced me to Phillippa Gregory. Now she's my hero. She mentioned this fantastic author when I went through my English phase. I found The White Queen and The Other Queen for $4 a piece at Books a Million. Sold! The Red Queen I found at Kroger. It was pricier, but worth it. Lauren sent me a message this weekend that she was coming home from D.C. and was prepared to loan me some books! I'm so excited and can't wait to get my hands on them.

Thank you Lauren!! You're the best!

a new season begins

Hunting Season started again this weekend and we encountered some serious fog. No geese this weekend, but alas, that's not what I was shooting anyway.

There's what the face behind the camera looks like! Pretty, no?

Candi and Chad got Married!

This is a super belated post, but Mark and I were so thrilled to be a part of Candi and CHad's wedding day. They are such sweet friends of ours, and we truly wish them the best. Those two are FUNNY.

I was having a really good hair day. : )

Mark did sound for the reception. Isn't he smokin' hot? : )

Candi's dress was so pretty and her hair and make up were flawless!

It was SUCH a beautiful day for a wedding!

Best wishes to Candi and Chad!!

Mark's Little Helper

Most of you know that when Ryan comes over, we like to let him do whatever it is we are doing. If it's raining and we are inside, he like to help me cook or clean or brush the dogs. Most of the time, we are outside and he just LOVES to help Uncle Mark work on things. So far, he's helped mow, burn brush, stack up the wood pile, work on the lawnmower and countless other things. Working on the lawnmower really seems to be his favorite thing to do, though. Almost every time he comes over, he asks Mark is they are going to work on it. (Mark does side jobs working on other peoples small engines. Our lawnmower only gets its blades sharpened and routine maintenance.) Anyway, Mark wears gloves while he works and he always gives Ryan a pair of purple latex gloves to put on while he's working.

Ryan's love for gloves has gotten a little out of control. It adorable really. About a month ago, he had his first trip to the dentist. It wasn't going well. The dentist prepared to get started anyway and put on a pair of gloves. It turned the entire visit around. Ryan demanded a pair (actually, several pairs) and they gave them to him. He was a happy camper after that. : )

A week ago, my grandfather (Ryan's GREAT grandfather) was in the hospital. Ordinarily, Ryan would be super bored and probably acting out. Instead, Papaw told Holly to get him some gloves so he could "work" on him to help him get better. SO CUTE.

Further compounding his love for gloves, Mark ran to Lowes for a few items the other night when Ryan was staying over. When he returned, Ryan was in the bathtub. Mark came in and asked Ryan if he had been good while he was gone. "Yup!" Ryan replies. Mark promised him a present since he had been good and to come see him in the office when he was all clean. So we hurried the rest of the bath and went to investigate....

Ryan got a pair of "heavy duty work gloves" with Disney's Cars on them! He was over the moon and helped Uncle Mark work on all kinds of things for the remainder of the night!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

why I love Thursdays

There's McDreamy....

There's McSteamy...

Avery (who I like to call McYummy)...

Owen..(Who I like to call McArmy)...

Alex..(who can sometimes be McAsshole, but Derek is filling in for him at the moment.)

Every Thursday is such a joy. : ) See you tomorrow, Grey's Fans!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the beach! a story in pictures...

On the road!

Happy Little Beach dweller

Beach Bum

We made it!

The missing Blues Brother: just add lemonade!

Proof we cooked, and didn't let the gangsters do it every night. 


Getting my ass kicked by a wave.

one of many beautiful skylines...

blood red sunset

my favorite couple

Crabbing and shelling

Gangster shows beach bum just how to fly a kite.

This one knows how to relax! and makes a mean sangria!
ready to leave, but always ready to come back.

*Every body Have Fun Tonight- Wan(g) Chung
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