Saturday, April 30, 2011

I hold it all...

...when I hold you.

I've been thinking for weeks about what I wanted to post on our 5 year anniversary. (I'm having to type this ahead of time and set it to post-date since we'll be celebrating my sister's wedding on our anniversary.)

Anyways, I've been pondering for weeks what to write. God has walked us through many highs and lows in our first five years of marriage. God has been gracious and merciful and we have learned much in these five short years about ourselves and who we are as a couple. I'm grateful for all of these experiences because I know that we wouldn't be who we are without them and that we are stronger because of them.

I think there are three things that I wanted to say about my husband and they are all tied to a song. So here goes:
The first being a snippet from Train's Marry Me.

"Marry Me
Today and Everyday..." 

Everyday we have the choice to get up and choose who we love. I'm grateful that everyday Andy chooses to love me. I'm grateful that everyday I have the opportunity to love him. Does that mean that every day is, most certainly not but even on the hard days I'd choose him.

The next is the chorus from Dave Barnes' song "God Gave Me You"
"God gave me you for the ups and downs 
God gave me you for the days of doubt 
For when I think I've lost my way 
There are no words here left to say, it's true 
God gave me you"

I'm forever grateful that the Lord saw fit to give me Andy. I can't fathom experiencing everything we have experienced these last five years with anyone else. We've had our ups and downs because that is how life is. We've had moments where one of us was lost and the beauty of marriage is that the other one gets to help you find your way back. And sometimes there are no words and that's okay too.

The last song is a song that Andy introduced me to when we were dating. I fell in love with it immediately because everything about it reminded me of our relationship. 

Anberlin's "Time and Confusion"
Woah oh! Yeah eah! Woah oh yeah eah woah oh!
Woah oh! Yeah eah! Woah oh yeah eah woah oh!

Live for today, we'll dream tomorrow
We've got big plans in sight
We'll take this city, and by nightfall
the bright lights are calling
Everything is going our way
Everything is just as we planned
This is our future for what we've heard,
and i've still got your hand

And it feels like, we could last forever
And I'm not doing this alone

When memories fade, we've got each other
When time and confusion collide
singing, "I hold it all when I hold you."
When friends walk other ways, we've got each other
I hold it all when I hold, I hold it all when I hold you

Woah oh! Yeah eah!
Woah oh Yeah eah woah oh!

We fell on hard times
This isn't the ideal
We're miles from home, doing the best that we can (the best that we can)
I wont do this without you (do this without you)
Wont do this without you so take heart
'Cause you know that you have mine

And it feels like, we could last forever
And I'm not doin' this alone.

When memories fade, we've got each other
When time and confusion collide
singing, "I hold it all when I hold you."
When friends walk other ways, we've got each other
I hold it all when I hold, I hold it all when I hold..

It's not about the money we make
It's about the passions that we ache for
What makes your heart beat faster
Tell me now, what does your body long after
I don't care now where we live
It's not where, or what, or who we were with.
I just need you in my life, so promise me again!

When memories fade, we've got each other
When time and confusion collide
singing "I hold it all when I hold you."
When friends walk other ways, we've got each other
I hold it all when I hold, I hold it all when I hold you

Woah oh! Yeah eah!
Woah oh Yeah eah woah oh!

I hold it all when I hold you, Andy, and as long as I have you it doesn't matter how much money we make, where we live, what we do, etc. As long as I have you, Andy, I know we can make it through whatever ups and downs may come our way. Thanks for holding my hand on this adventure we call life. I really do hold it all when I hold you. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Short on words...

Don't know when I'll post again...there is a massive storm racing toward us after the one that we already suffered this morning. We faired well this morning but our beloved Berry didn't and if I think about the images that I've seen today I may start to cry. The reports on the news don't begin to touch the scope of the actual damage at our alma mater. Today I was reminded about the magnitude of our God's infinite powers and reminded of his grace and mercy as no one at Berry was hurt.

I'm a ball of emotions and contractions.

Praying without ceasing. Psalm 121.

AG's on the mend and we are grateful. Off to gather the last of our supplies...pray for us.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


...for my husband and my child's health.

AG has been out of sorts the last two days and earlier today I commented to Andy that something didn't seem right. Well, tonight AG and I ran to pick up dinner while Andy cut the grass. (In preparation for our next round of inclement weather tomorrow.) We got home from picking up dinner and AG started acting weird when I pulled him out of the car. We made it inside the door before he threw up everywhere. Thankfully, I was able to yell for Andy and he came running to help me. We got AG in the tub and then Andy graciously went and cleaned everything up for me. Normally, I'd clean everything up but I couldn't do it super sensitive nose couldn't take it and I was instantly nauseated.

So, tonight I'm grateful for a husband who doesn't mind cleaning up throw up and helping pick up my slack while I'm pregnant. I don't know what I'd do without him. Lastly, as I bathed AG tonight I thanked the Lord that he is not sick often. I'm very grateful for all that the Lord has done and continues to do.

Hoping AG feels better in the morning and that we all get a good nights sleep since we didn't last night. My original plan for tonight was to get the blog and FB caught up on pictures. Clearly, that didn't happen. :) Maybe tomorrow...we'll see...the weather is suppose to be bad again. I'm hoping we don't lose power for the third time in less than a month due to the weather.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Playing at The Ted...

My cousin, Will, had the chance again this year to play one of his high school baseball games at Turner Field. We couldn't pass up a chance to take AG to The Ted and he is obsessed with baseball these days. We finished the evening with a stop at The Varsity. AG had a blast running around...heaven help us next time we go to The Ted because there will be a lot more people and AG won't be able to play the way he did tonight. 

He wouldn't let us wipe off what was left of his Oreo cookie...he looks like he has a gotee!

He had to bring his glove and ball with us to the game.

Having fun watching Will with Daddy.

Enjoying the view from the top of the dugout.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A cooking marathon...

...happened here today.

I took pics and have lots to share but for now I'll leave you with what all I created...I'm off to put my swollen feet/achy body in the sack. Despite the aches and pains I feel accomplished as we get closer to the arrival of our sweet girl. Next up sauces and dishes featuring beef...just waiting on a good sale.

Chicken Pastina x3
Poppyseed Chicken x1
Chicken Crescents Casserole x1
Saucy Mexican Chicken x1
Chicken Lasagna Roll-ups x2
Chicken Noodle Soup x2
Individual Chicken Pot Pies x6
Homemade chicken stock x4 (I already had to use two today because I needed more than what I had saved for cooking)

For the grill:
Chicken breasts in a honey teriyaki marinade x2
Chicken breasts in a steakhouse marinade x2
Porkchops (the other white meat! Ha.) in honey teriyaki marinade x2
Porkchops in a steakhouse marinade x2

In addition to what we already had stocked:
Ribollita-soup x3
Red sauce with pancetta x1
Individual chicken pot pies x2
Fajita Chicken x2
Chili x1
Creamy Red Sauce with Chicken and Broccoli x1
Stouffer's Mac-and-Cheese x2 (on sale recently at Kroger)
Purvis' BBQ x4 (This is our FAVORITE BBQ and we get it every time we go to the farm. This last trip Andy got extras so we could have enough for several meals on hand...thus, making his very pregnant wife very happy!)

In addition to all of this I've also started stockpiling other items around the house as they go on sale. Last go around I hadn't gotten into couponing. A few months after AG was born I got into couponing/stockpiling and have since kept up with it for the last two years. This year I have begun to experiment with freezer cooking in bulk and while I don't like to rely on it for every night of the week it has been super nice on nights when I can't/don't want to cook. And I know it will be really nice to have a stocked freezer/pantry when we become a family of four in a few weeks. Details on my adventure to come...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Straight Line Winds...

I had never heard of straight line winds until Saturday when it was determined that a tornado was not the cause of the damage on our side of town. Just winds blowing straight at 80 mph! For you weather gurus that puts the winds whipping around Rome equivalent to what you would find with Category 1 Hurricane. This was our third storm of the month and the second time we lost power for an extended period. We ended up leaving the house to grab dinner at Waffle House on the other side of town since EVERYTHING on our side of town didn't have power. Including half of Turner McCall. Here are some pictures from this latest round:

Pea sized hail was everywhere.

Our house is covered in leaves due to the winds.

Our neighbor's tree fell and it took out our power. It also made traveling down Terrace impossible.

A sale on chicken...

...means time to restock the freezer. So, I set up several pots on the stove and got to work. Add some bone-in chicken breasts, onions-halved, celery with leafy tops, carrots, and whole cloves of garlic. Throw in your favorite seasoning...I use Montreal Chicken seasoning by McCormick. Simmer on low until done. Since all of my pots were a different size the cooking time varied for each. Let cool and debone. I saved the cooking liquid and strained it. I then threw it back in the largest pot along with the bones and skin and simmered it for several hours to make my own chicken stock. Let it cool and then strain it again. Let it chill over night in the fridge and skim off the fat in the morning. Afterwards, I froze half of it and then saved the rest for my marathon cooking day when I plan to use up all the chicken that I cooked. Since this is the first time I've made my own stock we'll count this as a new recipe and I'm also going to count poaching chicken as a recipe since I've recently taken that up this year. So, we'll count this as recipes 23 and 24. And when I did my marathon cooking earlier in the year I meant to post about poaching the chicken I just forgot to take pictures. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday, Monday...

Well, what a weekend we had.

Friday we awoke to grey skies that promised inclement weather...and inclement weather they did provide. In the last two weeks we've had pretty horrific storms. Two weeks ago today we spent a night without power. Last Monday while bad we thankfully had power all night long. Friday we were not so lucky. 

Friday I took AG to Kindermusik, we had lunch at the Dwarf House per AG's request, and dropped off my dress to be altered for Meg's wedding. We got home and I put AG down for a nap...I had high hopes with the rain coming that I could get a nice nap in myself. Well, no such luck. At 4:35 the winds kicked up, the sky went to an eerie shade of grey to the point where there was no visibility,  it began to hail, and there was a piercing howl. I dropped my phone call with my dad and ran to grab AG from his bed. And then the power went out. We tried calling Andy who was trying to get home to us but was stuck in the down pour. 

Moments later I ventured to the front of the house to see that a tree had fallen across the street but our old oak was still standing. I began reading reports via my iPhone that parts of Rome were completely shut down. When it was all said and done there were over 15, 000 outages in Rome. One of our main roads, Turner McCall, was shut down till Saturday due to multiple snapped power line poles. Andy made it home safely and we ventured out to grab dinner at Waffle House since we had no other options and everything around us was without power due Turner McCall being shut down. We originally thought that it was tornado that came thru but they later determined that we had straight line winds at 80 mph. Either way the cleanup is still on going and chainsaws could be heard all weekend long. 

I spent the rest of the weekend having contractions, nausea, and cramps. I was suppose to head to Albany for Meg's Lingerie Shower Saturday, however, after consulting with my midwife she decided that I was in no condition to travel. So, I spent the bulk of the weekend on the couch and in the bed. 

This morning, we had AG's preschool tour at the Child Development Center and then my OB check-up. It was hard getting up this morning since we were up most of last night with AG. His sleep has been off the last two nights and I am starting wonder if his last set of molars are gearing up to make their appearance. Our tour at the CDC was great and AG was Mr. Analytical like always...taking it all in and studying everything that was going on. We were then off to my appointment and AG enjoyed helping Shannon, my midwife, with my check up. He helped measure my belly and use the doppler to find the heartbeat. Everything looks belly is measuring a little small but Shannon is not concerned in the least. She commented after picking up AG that a little on the small side for #2 might not be a bad thing. I laughed and agreed with her. She gave me the go ahead to try using something to help me sleep at night. Up until two weeks ago I had been sleeping great...much better than I ever did while pregnant with AG. Anyways, I'm now averaging 2-4 hours of sleep a night and while I know that sleep is hard to come by at the end 2 hours is not sufficient with a toddler. So, we'll see if I can get some better sleep this week. Here's hoping.

This afternoon I had high hopes of cleaning the house since Andy was home all afternoon since today is the end of tax season. Alas, I've spent the afternoon in bed with really bad nausea and throwing up. Thank heavens I'm 32 weeks and the end is in sight...I'm so ready for summer.  The only thing not ready is the house BUT thanks to my hard working husband things are coming along. Wait till you see what he built for AG's room this weekend. Pics and posts on our latest house projects to come this week. I'm off to curl up on the couch for the rest of the night and this post is long enough.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Clicking along...

Life as we know it is flying down the tracks like a train on long journey. The picture above was snapped last weekend when we were in Macon. We went to Macon at the end of last week to meet AG's newest cousin, Delia. This is Ronnie showing AG how to get around the hospital. I was hoping to snap some sweet newborn shots with my portrait lens but Miss Delia needed to be under the lamps to help stabilize her billirubin levels. Which is fine because we'll see her again in a few weeks when Avi-Kate arrives.

We got home from Macon and I've been struggling with my allergies. Last pregnancy I missed the spring pollen season and so I didn't have to worry about it. This go around has been brutal. I can't take my migraine meds and so I have to tough it out. Needless to say that over the last few days there have been lots of headaches along with nausea and throwing up. In addition throw in daily contractions, increasing sciatic pain, and the ability to not be comfortable when sleeping (that comes during the third trimester) and that's pretty much where I'm at.

I'll be 32 weeks this weekend and go back to see my midwife on Monday. We are getting closer to the finish line. I mailed off my pre-registration packet to the hospital last check that off my huge to do list. Next week I don't have to teach so I'm hoping to tackle several organizing projects around the house. We are quickly running out of time to get things situated. I need to finalize how I want the kids rooms laid out and then get to putting them in order.

G-Daddy came up on Tuesday to speak at some classes at Shorter. He had a great time with Rick's classes and then came over to do dinner with us. We enjoyed having a meal together and catching up. He and Andy also spent some time in the backyard brainstorming some projects ideas.

Last night we had our college family over for dinner and it was fabulous. We had to pull in a third table and extra chairs...which is not a bad problem to have. We had a big Italian meal all together and it was delish if I do say so myself. I think we fed 19 people including AG and the to go meal I sent home for Harrison who couldn't make it. Thankfully the red sauce that I made triples beautifully and I still have leftovers for lunch and enough to freeze for another meal.

Speaking of freezing...chicken is on sale this week at Kroger. I bought a ton and am planning another huge cooking day. I know I never posted all that I created last time and the recipes...I will do it this time. I actually still have a few things I made last time still in the freezer but my stash is dwindling. I wanted to restock closer to June so this will be perfect. We'll have lots of dishes to pull out as we get closer to my due date and once Avi-Kate arrives. I also plan to do some beef dishes and Italian sauces that freeze well. I'm just waiting on beef to go on sale.

Hard to believe that April is halfway over already. Our sweet girl will be here before we know it. To say we are excited and ready to meet her is an understatement. :) Speaking of her arrival reminds me I have projects to tackle to be productive.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dining Room Update...

...well, we've done a few projects in the dining room over the last few weeks. Here's some of the highlights:

Andy and I opted to just rehab our 90's brass chandelier. With a quick trip to Home Depot to pick up supplies Andy was able to take our chandelier from this:

To this:

Here's what we used:
-Rustoleum spray paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze
-Replacement sleeves for the arms (x8)
-25-watt bulbs (x8)

We opted to replace the old sleeves in a cream color instead of bright white to help soften the look. We also liked the look without the lampshades so we took the wattage on our lightbulbs down. I didn't toss the shades because it's highly possible that at some point I'll want to change it up. :) Anyways, this project was super simple. Andy took down the chandy, we cleaned it up, sprayed it, and then re-hung it. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I'm all for a thrifty but fabulous redo!

Next up would be my fabulous benches courtesy of my quite handy husband. I discovered a fabulous website, by Ana White, that has great FREE! plans for building your own furniture. Andy mulled over several possibilities before settling on this plan. If you know my husband you know that he is meticulous and a perfectionist when it comes to projects. So, tackling his first furniture building project was no exception. Here's how they turned out:

Finished and ready to be sanded, primed, and painted. Photo via Andy's iPhone.

Finished. I LOVE them.

To go with my new fabulous benches Andy's mom gave us these two old chairs. They were originally Andy's great-grandmother's and were residing at the basement at the farm. They are extremely old (I'm thinking 100+ years) and in desperate need of some TLC. They aren't done but here's a sneak peek of how they are coming along:

Fixed, patched, sanded, and primed...

Lastly, we have the table. Andy started refinishing it this fall and then the weather got bad and he hasn't been able to finish it. We are waiting for the pollen to die down and then we'll haul it back out to the backyard to finish it up. One of these days we'll redo the china cabinet but till then it works for now.

The table with one of two leaves in it...

One of my next projects on tap for this room and the whole house in general is window treatments. I'm still mulling the possibilities. For now the dining room is coming along and I'm quite pleased with the progress. On to another project, right?! Of course, there is always some sort of project to be done around here...

Wordless Wednesday...G-Daddy's Baseball Edition.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nursery... update of sorts. 

Well, we decided that while we were gone on our trip that this would be the perfect time to transition AG completely to his big boy bed. In the past few weeks he had been spending time in both the crib and the bed. After being gone for almost two weeks we decided that we would come home and not go back to the crib. He spent the entire trip sleeping in a regular bed and didn't have one problem at the places that we stayed. We got home Sunday and he was happy to snuggle under the covers of his big boy bed that night. We didn't have time that night to move the crib out and decided we'd do it Monday. 

Monday evening Andy had his men's group. He came home ready to get the crib moved and watch the NCAA Men's Championship. We got to work and AG was happy to 'assist' us. This would also be the same night that the weather was predicted to become severe...well, sure enough within minutes of starting this project the weather did, indeed, get bad. The winds were severe and the rain hadn't hit, yet. The power went out and the crib was half way apart. Shortly after the power went out the rains came. I got to work lighting candles and turning on our flashlights while AG helped Andy finish taking apart the crib. 

We reassembled the crib by candlelight and flashlights while AG and Samson scampered around the house chasing each other. Andy decided to go ahead put the crib on the highest setting for the mattress... meaning there is no turning back for AG! Once the crib was assembled we decided that our power was probably not going to be coming back on anytime soon. We let AG wear himself out and then tucked him in bed sometime around 11. Our power came back on sometime after 5 AM. Thank heavens it was not too hot or too cold that night. We were all quite comfortable sleeping. Trees ended up falling on three different streets around wonder our power was out all night. Praise the Lord that our large oak weathered the storm.

It's quite surreal seeing the crib in another room and ready for an infant. I need to finish reorganizing things now that we've moved the crib. The next thing on my to do list was to finalize bedding for the crib. The problem is that after searching long and hard I had yet to find something that I was in love with. However, last night my dear friend, Ginny, told me about a gem of a website Serena and Lily. Well, after much browsing and weeks of searching I finally found what I was looking for! Hooray! Thank you Ginny for your help. All I need to do now is order the pieces that I need. Be on the lookout for a full picture post in the coming weeks with the nursery/guest room before and afters. 

Also, for the most part we are able to reuse most of AG's baby items but I do want some girly items to accent what we already have. I've got a running list of items to order from Amazon with our Prime account so that we don't have to pay shipping/tax. I also need a few summer items that I didn't need with AG. For example we used flannel receiving blankets with AG since he was born in January. And while I have them washed in case we need them I'm ordering a set of muslin blankets to use this go around since Avi-Kate will be born at the beginning of the summer. And summers in Rome can be quite sweltering. Things are coming along...can't believe she'll be here before we know it! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

A little project...

Any guesses as to what this little gem is being turned in to? :) It's one of the shutters I took off the window in the laundry room. It's now sporting it's first coat of black spray paint thanks to Andy. He's going to put a second coat on it and then I'll be ready to start working on it. Here's a hint: it's going to hang in Avi-Kate's bedroom...stay tuned.