Thursday, December 23, 2010

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!!"

This week I have really been feeling the Christmas spirit. I only worked Monday and Tuesday, and don't officially go back until January 3rd. (although I might go in a day next week because I fear I will get bored) Yesterday I FINALLY finished our Christmas shopping, and have been wrapping presents, cleaning, cooking, and loving every minute of it!! Today Jameson is also off work, and we are super stoked about having a 'quiet' day together...although I'm sure we will spend most of it wrapping presents, doing laundry, cleaning the house, and other preparatory things to ready ourselves for being out of town. We have a very busy Christmas ahead of us, one filled with lots of driving and party hopping, so we plan to enjoy every minute of our day today; a day of peace and alone time before all the family festivities. We are however, quite looking forward to being with our families over the next few should be a great Christmas!!! :)

As promised, I wanted to share a few of the pictures from the ''learning experience'' roll of film that I took a few weeks ago. I plan to practice my photography skills over the Christmas break. Although after looking at these pictures, you'll realize I probably shouldn't call them 'skills'.
To start, are pictures from Hatcher's first birthday party. Hatcher is the son of one of my best and oldest friends Stephanie and her husband Andy. It was such a fun night; the Fuquas are wonderful hosts and Jameson and I thoroughly enjoyed spending the evening with their family and our close friends. Too bad the pictures don't reflect that. 

Hatcher's Birthday Cake....half of it
Meda and the birthday boy...can you tell she has baby fever??

Stephanie's gorgeous table arrangement...a little dark!

Next are pictures from Laurel's Christmas party! Laurel can throw one mean party, we all had a grand time!! Our group of friends isn't able to get together very often, and thus I took numerous pictures that night, probably to the point of being annoying...sorry friends. So I was totally heartbroken when the didn't turn out!!

Laurel and Brooke cracking up....sadly you can only see Brooke.

Beautiful Meda....a little over exposed :(
Good friends in a good hug!! Too bad it's a little over exposed too!!

The following picture of mine and Jameson's Christmas tree turned out OK, but not great, and it looks like it's a photo from the late seventies. Weird!!

Hopefully I'll have better luck with my next roll; maybe I can figure this camera out well enough to help me capture all our upcoming Christmas fun! I'm not holding my breath though...

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


This post is a little belated, but CONGRATULATIONS to my brother-in-law Robert who graduated from Austin Peay University on Friday! He graduated cum laude with a major in English and minor in education. So awesome!!
Robert's feat is especially awesome considering all he and my sister Laura have been juggling while both finishing their education. Laura started nursing school in 2006, Sadie was born in 2007, Robert started taking classes in 2007 while still working full-time, Laura graduated in 2008 and began working full-time allowing Robert to increase his case load, then Robert graduated Friday! YAY!!
I can't imagine having a newborn turned toddler while being in school...I had enough issues getting myself up and ready everyday, not to mention being responsible for a miniature human.
SO major Kudos to Robert and the Reid family!!     Love you guys!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My hobby

I have always enjoyed taking pictures; I love being able to capture's life's moments in a way that preserves the memory forever. Have you ever looked at an old photograph and found yourself immediately transported back to that moment in time? Being able to recall specific emotions related to the photo? Remembering little details that would've otherwise been forgotten? For me, that is the essence of photography, and the reason I am so drawn to it. I often view daily mundane events through the eyes of a camera; how can I capture this memory in a way that portrays its emotion and guts? How can I make a split second slice of life tell a full story? This may seem cheesy, but it's how my brain works.
My mother is the reason for my interest in photography; she too loves to take pictures and thus I had a camera in my face for most of my childhood. At times I thought it was annoying...always having to wait for Mom to get her camera before I could blow out my birthday candles, or suffering through countless Christmas morning shots...when it was really too early for that much smiling. But I now I get it...and I'm proud to say that I will probably be just like her...if not a little worse.
All the cameras I've had up to this point have been digital point and shoot cameras; perfect compact size made for easy transport, with quick, thoughtless mechanisms. Literally point at your subject and snap the picture, easy as pie. These cameras were great for my college lifestyle, I could throw it in my purse and take a hundred pictures or more without a thought. But I always knew my goal was to someday master a REAL camera. And that day has finally arrived!!
In the late seventies my Mother got a Canon AE-1 camera; state of the art for its time. She used it till the early 2000s or so, when she switched to the easier and more efficient digital model. My siblings and I loved this old camera, and all expressed to my Mother our desires to own it (at different times). My sweet Mom, who does not have the best memory, apparently told each of us that we could have it....not remembering that she had already promised it to the other sibling. She is hilarious. So a few months back she put all three names in a hat to decide who would get the camera, and sadly (for me) my sister's name was drawn. I was heartbroken!!!!
But my dear, sweet, wonderful, beautiful, and giving sister (did I use enough positive adjectives there??), decided to let me use it for a while. Little did she know, she pretty much made my year, no joke. Well besides the whole getting married thing...that was pretty cool too.
Canon AE-1 similar to my Mom's

I have been beside myself with excitement! My underutilized love for photography finally has an avenue for growth. I'm trying to immerse myself with information about this art; I want to learn how to turn the images I see in my head into tangible photographs. How to manipulate the numerous mechanisms of this complicated camera to capture memories. May sound reallly boring to some, but to me it's intriguing, challenging, and super, duper exciting!!
I have already finished two rolls of film...and sadly both turned out to be learning lessons of what NOT to do. I had plans to share some pictures with this post, but I was a little long-winded (as you can tell...I didn't mean for this post to be so long), and now it's 11pm....which is way past my bedtime. Check back this weekend, as I'll share my initial successes, well mainly failures, of this journey.

And lastly....... SUPER thanks to my sister for sharing the camera and allowing me to fulfill this goal. You are the best. Love, love, love you!

Guilty Pleasure

Oh how I've missed blogging!! Jameson and I have had a very busy week or so, and I haven't found a spare second to indulge myself in this new little hobby that I love.
Well actually last night I had a lot of seconds...Jameson got called into work, which means I had the house to myself; a perfect time for blogging. But I instead did the dishes (a not fun alternative to blogging) and watched the Sing-Off. Has anybody else been watching this show?? I LOVE it!!
I was glued to the TV for two hours, the volume turned up to 46 (sometimes 50, especially during the Fleetwood Mac song), singing and dancing to every song. I mean I was rocking out; snapping my fingers, clapping, laughing (Ben Folds is hilarious!), dancing around in my seat, trying my best to hit the harmonies, and pretending I could hit the low notes. It was a blast, to say the least.

When Jameson got home he asked....."How was your show?"
"It was enjoyable" was my only response. I didn't divulge to him how I shamelessly made myself a part of the show and turned our living room into a stage. I didn't tell him that I used the remote as a microphone and cried at the end of the show.
That might have been too much for him, considering he unexpectedly had to spend his evening at work.

Maybe he'll get called in again Monday night so I can enjoy the finale in peace and quiet...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fullfilling a childhood dream

Today the agency I work for is participating in a community outreach event called Project Homeless Connect. Some of my co-workers and I have volunteered to work this event, and I'm suuuper excited! My shift starts at noon and I'm counting down the hours. I'm not a huge fan of the time I spend everyday commuting to and from work, but events like this make it all worth it.

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the homeless population, as I'm sure a lot of people do. My family and I lived in northern Virginia for some of my elementary years, and school field trips almost always involved seeing the sites in Washington D.C. (Looking back, I wish I had realized how lucky I was to live so close to such a historic city). I have memories of sitting on the school bus as we drove around the city, looking out the window, and noticing the large amounts of people that made the streets their home. Even though I was young, and probably not fully aware of what emotions I was experiencing, I can honestly remember being heartbroken for these people, and even crying. My little imagination, and boy did I have an exaggerated imagination, thought up this elaborate plan to provide aid to the homeless. My strategy was to have my Mom make hundreds of raccoon blankets and attach plastic tarps to one side, allowing it to provide warmth and shelter from the rain and snow. What is a raccoon blanket you ask?? It was a quilt my Mom made for me before I was born, and brought me home from the hospital wrapped in its warmth. When older, I coined it 'my raccoon blanket', due to it having little baby raccoons on it along with other forest creatures, but for some reason I fixated on the raccoon. I loved this blanket, (still do, it's on my bed as we speak) and wanted so badly to be able to share its warmth and comfort with others.

Sadly, my plan never came to fruition, but I know my 6 year old self would be happy to know that I'm helping the homeless today. I may not be able to give them each a raccoon blanket, but maybe a smile will suffice.

Friday, December 3, 2010

This weekend my lovely sister Laura, and one of my best friends Laurel, will be participating in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. I'm so proud of these ladies I can barely stand it. This will not be the first half marathon for Laurel (she's really into this kind of thing), but it will be Laura's first venture. They have both been training hard, and I'm sure they will each perform beautifully. Well...actually I bet they won't feel so beautiful after running 13 miles, or at least I wouldn't.
Running is not my cup of tea. I'm not sure if the italics I used to emphasize "not" truly portray the way I feel about this activity. It makes my hips ache, knees hurt, ankles feel wobbly, chest feel tight and nose burn . Not to mention I can't breathe. In high school we were required to run a mile, four laps around the field, before each soccer practice. Fellow teammates would file in at varying times, each starting their mile at their own convenience. My friend Kitzie and I would maybe run a half  mile, some days just one lap, then sneakily join the other girls that were finished, faining exhaustion as though we too had completed our mile. How pathetic.....and genius at the same time. Kit- my memory could be failing me, if you weren't my accomplice to this laziness, then I apologize.
My disdain for the sport of running spawns my deep appreciation for what these girls are doing tomorrow! What drive, ambition, mental and physical stamina they have! I'm uber impressed and very proud of you both!!

Laura Beth and Laurel Beth- knock'em dead tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Oh how blessed to feel the warmth of the sun again today.
I usually don't experience a change in affect when there is a change in the weather, but the last few cloudy, rainy days have been tough to handle.
My co-worker Katie returned to work today after an number of days off, and I told her she must have brought the sunshine back into my life. She was amused by this...and probably slightly creeped out.
I will never again allow her to take a day off work, even though I'm not her boss, I will find a way to keep her here. Muuuuuhahaha. Sorry Katie.

Hope everyone is enjoying the sun today!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


I'm currently cuddled up on Jameson's parent's couch, watching the Iron Bowl with the Bouldin brothers, smelling the wonderful smells coming from Mrs. Vickie's kitchen, and thinking about the blessings in my life that I have to be thankful for.

The recent addition of Jameson as my husband is definitely in the forefront of my thankfulness this year.
I'm thankful for his friendship and devotion; his loyalty is unwavering.

For his humor, bad jokes, and ability to make me laugh...even when I don't want to.

I'm thankful for his tender heart, and sweet nature; his tough exterior is only a facade.

For his work ethic and willingness to help me in so many ways. Whether it's washing dishes or meeting me at the driveway to help me unload groceries... he is my knight in shining armor.

I'm thankful for the way he can comfort me; no matter what kind of day I have, or what frustrations I'm dealing with, I feel better when I'm with him.

For his all-encompassing hugs and the way they melt away all worries.

I'm thankful for the way he has inspired me; he makes me want to be more positive, more productive, and more passionate.

For the way he loves me, our families, and UT... with all his heart.

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for him.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pillows and Pictures

I have been a little delinquent with posting updates on some of the things I've been working on for the house. I feel like making this house a home is a continual project...and I'm not sure if I'll ever feel done (probably a normal feeling for most??). But it's been really fun thinking of creative and inexpensive ways to make it feel like our home.

One of the projects I've been wanting to tackle for months is making new pillow covers for our couch pillows. The sofa and love seat came with four pillows....perfect size and very fluffy. But sadly, they were covered with the ugliest fabric I'd ever seen.  The fabric made my eyes cross, caused sudden waves of nausea, and sometimes put me in a foul mood...quite frankly...I hated them. I tried to hide them in a closet, or put them in the back bedroom...but they always seemed to find their way back to the couch. (It's hard to nap without a pillow!!)

So a few Saturdays ago, I set up shop in the living room and sewed for hours. I made two cream colored solid print and two floral print for the living room and two of a different floral print for the bedroom. I've experienced such peace and serenity since ridding our home of those atrocious pillows! It's now much easier to breathe!
Bedroom pillows


Living room pillows...forgot to take a picture of the solid cream ones

 I also finally hung some pictures on the wall. I took some time finding a balance of wedding photos and non-wedding photos - this decision was not easy for me. But I got to the point where a choice had to be made, so I rounded up some pictures, old and new, and  made it work. Including a picture of some calves from Jameson's farm. Yes...that's right... I have cows on my wall. Cows. I never imagined my home would have bovine decorations, but somehow it least for now. I'm so indecisive I will probably change the entire collection next week.

Can you see the cows???

We are loving the current set-up...especially the new pillows. Even Jameson, who is usually too low-key to care about decor, finally saw the light and realized how awful those poor pillows were. And of course he loves the cows. But I'll post any updates that we make...because I'm sure there will be plenty.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My first homemade pie....sorta

I'm officially in the holiday spirit! The increasing cooler temperatures, the last few leaves clinging to the trees, and the sudden realization that next week is Thanksgiving, has got me all warm and fuzzy inside! I love this time of year and am so excited to experience my first holiday season as a newlywed! Mostly, I can't wait to cook all the seasonal dishes that I've always wanted to learn how to make. I feel as though it's a rite of passage as a wife, at least a Southern wife, to be able to cook scrumptious holiday dishes and have your house smelling delicious from now till the new year. I have many goals for different meals that I want to make, but first on my list is a apple pie!!

Sunday I scoured my cookbooks for a recipe, and sadly I looked through five cookbooks and didn't find a recipe that tickled my fancy. I wanted something plain and rudimentary; a recipe that captured the true essence of an apple pie (is there even such a thing as an essence of a pie??). Either way, many of the options I found had ingredients like maple syrup, raisins, caramel, and other odd items that I just didn't want to include in my pie.

So I decided to wait until Monday and I would ask around for good suggestions. But lo and behold....first thing Monday morning I went to my best friend's blog (you know my best friend? Pioneer Woman? Ree?) and guess what her new recipe was that day.....Apple Pie!! I swear we are soul-mates. And not only was she too thinking about the glorious-ness of apple pie, she is featuring a different pie recipe everyday this week. I love her.

As much as I'd love to be a great cook like Pioneer Woman, I've opted out of attempting to make the pie crust. I know, I know, I'm cutting corners, and not really making the pie from scratch, but I feel as though a pie crust failure might scar my budding culinary self-esteem, and I may vow to never cook again!!!! Or I'm just lazy, and don't feel like preparing dinner AND a made-from-scratch pie between the hours of 5:30 and 9:30. I think the latter is probably more accurate.

Can't wait to get home and get started!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bye Bye Hair

Well...I've decided to cut my hair. And not just cut it...chop it off.
This is very unlike me, as I've had long hair for the majority of my life. I looove long hair. I don't feel that my long hair defines me, but it has certainly been a large part of who I am.
I have been toying with the idea for some time now, but knew I wanted to preserve my long locks for the wedding. But now that the wedding is over (4 month anniversary yesterday!!), there is nothing holding me back.
Except of course for Jameson. Up until a couple days ago, I was apprehensive about getting his opinion on a possible haircut. He has told me numerous times how he doesn't enjoy short hair on women, and how much he loves my long hair. But I brought it up to him anyways, and much to my surprise, ...he is OK with it. In fact he said "you should definitely do it!". Apparently I was incorrect in his opinion of short hair, or maybe he was just being supportive. Either way, my hair appointment is scheduled for this evening and there is no turning back.

Bye Bye long hair!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another year older...

Another birthday has come and gone, and alas, I am a year older. It's funny how exciting and pivotal birthdays used to be. I can remember waiting with great anticipation for the arrival of my birthdays, making birthday present wish lists and counting down the days. But as I've entered into my (EEEKKKK) late twenties, my birthdays have lost a little of their luster. I'm sure this is normal, and is a feeling that is felt by many, so I'm not fretting about it too much. I now get more excited about having an excuse to get together with my family and gorge myself on spice cake (my birthday cake staple..since I was like 6).
Jameson and I didn't get to spend our weekend quite the way we wanted, as he had to study pretty extensively. We had planned to have a date night Friday night, but decided to forgo that in lieu of more study time so that he could enjoy the family get-together on Sunday. His intense studying regimen required me to find a way to occupy myself so I didn't bug him every hour on the hour (which I have a tendency to do). So I raided my Mom's sewing cabinet, borrowed her machine from the eighties, and made SIX pillow covers. It was soooo much fun. Turning another year older has apparently turned me into Martha Stewart...but I think I'm OK with that. I will post pics of the finished pillows soon!
Saturday night we enjoyed some WINNING Tennessee football, which boosted our spirits...and Jameson's self-esteem ;)  Sunday we had a great meal at my Mom's house with our immediate family, including Jameson's parents, who made the trip from Mactown for church, lunch, and visiting!

Obviously Jameson's lengthy studying didn't afford him the chance to do any major birthday shopping (which I totally understand) his present to me was quite comical.
His envelope

He thinks he is hilarious...

He made this 30 minutes before lunch

The card was sweet and touching in it's own right, and we all laughed...a LOT, but once pharm school is over he better make up for it! ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We have a problem

Jameson and I...well.....we have a problem.
 A Mexican food problem.
And not just any ol' Mexican food problem.
A Mazatlan Mexican restaurant Mexican food problem.
We l-o-v-e it!
In fact...we might be addicted to it.
Actually, I know we are addicted to it...which is why it's a problem.
A big problem.

I often sit at work and dream about it. One day last week, at 9:30am, I was salivating at my desk thinking about beef nachos. Sometimes Jameson will text me (also at weird times of the day) and say "You know what would be good for dinner?" To which I simply respond "Should we go tonight?" He responds "Yes!". Without any specifics, we each know what the other is talking about.

This past Friday night Jameson and I watched Sadie, and instead of changing our usual Friday night routine, we took her to Mazatlan with us. This child has eaten Mazatlan since she was in utero, so she too might have a problem. She also knew what she wanted before we even got there.

"Uncle Jamo- quit taking pictures so I can get back to my beans and rice!!"

And here we are, Tuesday evening, a mere 3 days removed from our last Mazatlan outing...and guess what we are having for dinner tonight??

Thank you Lord for beef nachos!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Photo collage inspiration

I'm still knee deep in wedding photo dilemma; figuring out a creative and non-overwhelming way to enjoy our wedding photos is proving to be quite the challenge. Work has been somewhat quiet this morning, which has allowed me to search for inspirations for possible solutions. 
I wish we had a stairway- this is super cute!

This might look good in our hallway

I'm also drawn to the simplicity of just three frames

Love, love, LOVE these Pottery Barn tabletop frames!!

This, however, is definitely too much!
(all photos from here)

Hopefully inspiration will strike me soon!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wedding Photo Dilemma

The extensive and drawn-out process of acquiring our wedding photos is finally nearing its end. Thank goodness, Yay,  Hallelujah, oh Happy Day!!
 We were able to view the photos initially in August, and while I was quite pleased with my photographer’s work, there were a few editing issues that I wanted her to address. Like including black and white coloring for some photos, and lightening/darkening others, etc. -they were all seemingly simple requests. But numerous emails and 2 months later, I’m finally at the closing stages of this process and I couldn’t be happier.

But now I’m faced with the dilemma of what to do with them. Jameson and I received beautiful frames as wedding gifts, and I haven’t put anything in them yet as I was waiting for the wedding photographs. Yet as I’m going through the pictures, and deciding which large prints to order, I realize…our house is going to look like shrine to mine and Jameson’s wedding. It would be so monotonous and boring to walk through every room in our house and see the walls filled with pictures from the same day, each of us in the same outfit. As much as I LOVED my dress and adored how adorable Jameson looked in his tuxedo, I believe I will tire of being surrounded by such repetitive decor.
So what should I do now? I’m thinking I will pick just a couple of my favorites for large wall frames, and then have groupings of smaller tabletop frames? Or maybe go crazy in the hallway with a large collage of wedding photos, including those with family and the wedding party, but not have any wedding photos anywhere else in the house? (Keep in mind we have a very small home). What about wedding photos in the kitchen? That just seems odd- I think I will steer away from that.
Sadly, I don’t have any artwork to throw into the mix to add variety. I hope to at some point in the future, but for right now, I must work with what I have.
Below are some pictures I took of our house soon after we moved in. We have changed a few things, and done a little more decorating, but mainly it's the same.

Our kitchen

Our living room. There is a similar empty wall on the other side of the couch

Our bedroom

Don't worry- we have since hung that mirror
As you can see, we have plenty of empty wall space, plenty of beautiful frames, and plenty of desire to finish decorating...but we must come up with a plan of action, and decide how to tastefully utilize our wedding photos. I plan to tackle this project feverishly because I'm itching to have this completed. (These photos have been a thorn in my side for too long!!) I'm welcoming and requesting any suggestions or tips! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Our Weekend

It's Sunday evening, which sadly means the weekend is almost over and the upcoming workday is looming in the future. Jameson and I had a great weekend. We were super busy, which was fun, but made the time pass by too quickly.

Friday evening we made an impromptu trip to McMinnville to spend time with Jameson's family.  It had been a few weeks or more since we had seen them, so the trip was overdue! Unfortunately we weren't able to be with them for very long, but we had a great time just the same. Jameson's mother is the perfect host, and we always leave there with full hearts and stomachs!
The Bouldin's beautiful home

Saturday morning came too quickly, and not long after arriving in McMinnville, we departed for Knoxville. Thankfully we were able to visit with Jameson's lovely Nana before heading east.
Good ole Rocky Top welcomed us with an air of excitement and hope. Even though we knew better, Jameson and I allowed the electric atmosphere to convince us that maybe UT had a chance to pull out a win, but alas, we were disappointed.

UT was only down by 3 at the start of the third quarter

After the game, we met up with some good friends we hadn't seen in a while, which helped eased the sting of losing...a least for a little bit.

Saturday night we stayed with our dear friend Rachael, who is always so gracious in opening up her home to us. Thanks Rach!! The drive back Sunday was tough; we spent the first hour of the trip analyzing the game, rehashing what went wrong, and coach Jameson discussed his thoughts on what UT should have done differently. (He is hilarious!) We won't lick our wounds for too long however... redemption will happen at some point. We will see you next year Alabama!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Third Saturday in October

Jameson and I are traveling to Knoxville this weekend to participate in one of the oldest traditions in college football. The University of Tennessee and The University of Alabama have been playing football on the third saturday in October for generations. The first meeting between the two schools was in 1901!! Since the Southeastern Conference split into East and West divisions in 1992, the game has not always been played on the third Saturday, it often falls on the fourth Saturday, but fans still refer to the event as ''The Third Saturday in October".

Image found here
There is always a certain excitement in the air for this game; the weather is finally cool and crisp, and the trees are at their peak of color (lots of orange everywhere!). There is such history and emotion related to this game that you can feel the weight of years of tough battles with every snap. And the fans are as deeply entrenched in this rivalry as the players themselves.
Tennessee is in the rebuilding process, and Vols fan's hopes aren't very high for this year's match up, but Jameson and I will do our best to support our Alma Mater. We will be there cheering with every down, wearing our orange, and putting all emotion into pulling out a victory...just as Tennessee fans have been doing for generations.
                                             GO VOLS!!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Home; it’s what shapes us…

Jameson and I have been living in our home for three months now, a home that once belonged to my beloved Grandmother, a home that still means so much to my family and myself. Living in her home has been bittersweet for me; I’m confronted with daily reminders of the wonderful lady she was, and of the wonderful life she lived. With the recent one-year anniversary of her passing, I can’t help but reflect on how much my life has changed in a year’s time, and how much I’ve learned from her, even in her absence.

Every time I clean the house,
I think of how she would always say “I love my little house, it’s the perfect size for me, if it was any bigger it would just be more for me to clean”. And that’s exactly how I feel! The two-bedroom house is just right for Jameson and I; cleaning it is a breeze, and allows us to spend time doing other things.

Every time I take a shower,
I think of how when I was little, she always made me cut my fingernails and toenails after my bath because that was when the nail was softest and easiest to cut. That is so smart!! And to this day, I only cut my nails after a shower. 

Every time I put something on top of the fridge,
I remember the little wooden basket that she used to keep up there that was full of trinkets, hair bows, and other girly things. When I would spend the night at her house, after my bath, and after we cut my nails, Grandmommy would let me get the basket down and she would put my hair in the little pink, soft curlers. (Cousins, do you guys remember that basket??) It was always so fun to stay with Grandmommy.

Every time I get a birthday card in the mail,
I think of how great she was at keeping up with her correspondence. Grandmommy had index card boxes filled with information about everyone who had a place in her life. Each person had their own index card, filed alphabetically, that listed birthdays, anniversaries, and important life events. Occasionally, she would have you update your card with recent information, and when a new person came into the family, she would have them fill out a new card. This allowed her to be so efficient in sending cards for all occasions. Often I would get my birthday card weeks before my birthday, just because she wanted to make sure I got it in time. And how great she was at thank-you cards too! She instilled in me the importance of a timely and well-written thank you. How I hope I sent her thank-you cards for all the things she did for me, although I really couldn’t have written enough.

Every time I look at mine and Jameson’s new car,
I think of how proud she would be of our purchase. My Grandmother was a banker before her retirement, and she was so good with money. I can remember her telling me, even at a young age, the importance of paying for things with cash, and limiting the use of credit. She would tell me how she was able to pay for her vehicles in cash, and I would listen and absorb her wisdom, not understanding its full implications. But when Jameson and I faced the opportunity of purchasing a gently used, 12-year-old car with minimal mileage, I heard her advice ringing in my ears. Our new car isn’t flashy, pretty, or stylish, but it’s in fabulous shape and will last for many years. And the best part, we were able to pay in cash! I can hear her now saying “Good for you, that’s so smart!” 

Every time I cook in my kitchen,
I’m completely amazed at what a wonderful cook she was!! I always knew her food tasted fabulous, but now that I’ve had to cook and entertain in the same small kitchen she used, I’m in awe of her ability to feed the masses with ease! I never thought twice of going to her home for Sunday lunch, where she would have food prepared for our whole family, every bit of it hot and ready to eat. How did she ever get everything cooked to the perfect temperature, steamy and delicious, and ready at noon? How did she find the space to heat and prepare all of her dishes, and the space to serve them, and the sanity to keep it all together in the process?? I remember her telling me  “Always clean as you cook. It’s very important to keep your workspace clean. I’ve washed and put away two loads of dishes already!” That must’ve been her secret, one secret amongst many secrets I’m sure. Now looking back at those wonderful Sunday lunches, I don’t remember seeing any dirty pots, measuring cups, spoons, bowls, cutting boards, etc. (those items are often found in my kitchen!!) She must’ve cleaned and whisked everything away before we all arrived. Last night, I did a load of dishes while cooking (I don’t have a dishwasher…have I mentioned that yet on this blog??), and I teared-up a little as I thought of how proud she would be. I know she would tell me, “Emily, you are so smart!”. I’ll be channeling Grandmommy as I continue my quest to become a fabulous multi-tasking, multi-talented cook! 

A beautiful tree in our yard

Every time I look at our yard,
I remember how much she loved to garden, and I’m inspired by her desire to have a well-kept exterior. She never had extravagant flowerbeds or ornate arrangements, but she had well-placed shrubs, neatly tended to flowers, and immaculate trees. Anytime a tree became unruly, she would have someone trim it immediately. Whenever the grass got out of control, she would have it cut without delay. She kept her shrubs precisely trimmed, and her steps swept of leaves and sticks. It would be nothing for Grandmommy to walk along the edge of her yard (and my parent’s yard too) and pick up trash that had been thrown out by passing cars. Even in her later years, I would see her out in the yard with her cane, picking up trash. I always hated when she did that, as I would fear for her safety. But Grandmommy took such pride in keeping her home looking clean and beautiful, and it always did!!
As I now watch Jameson tend to our yard, I wonder if it is a coincidence that I married a man that has so many of the same qualities that I admired in my Grandmother. He too prides himself in having a well manicured home. He will spend hours mowing, weed-eating, picking up sticks, watering flowers, sweeping our steps, and of course, picking up trash. Does he even realize how much he is honoring Grandmommy by doing so? (I love that man!) I know she would be so proud of him and tell him, “Jameson, you are so smart!”

I'm so happy Jameson was able to get to know Grandmommmy!

Living in this home means so much to me; it’s helped me grieve the loss of my Grandmother, it’s allowed me to remember and reflect on the many wonderful memories I have of her, it’s aided in my continual learning process of how to maintain a lovely home, and it’s inspired numerous aspirations for my future. And lastly, it now plays host to the formative years of mine and Jameson’s marriage. How special to experience our growing love for each other while in a home that has such a history of love. How meaningful to form our own family and learn to rely solely on one another while in a home once inhabited by someone so special, that many relied on her. 

I’m so thankful for the years that Jameson and I have ahead of us living in this special home!