Friday, July 24, 2009

SHOW US YOUR LIFE: Wedding Dresses

This is my first time participating in a Kelly's Korner link-fest thingy-- but we all know I'm obsessed with my own wedding, so there was no way I could not participate!

I did a fair amount of reminiscing about my wedding in my anniversary post a few weeks ago, but I'm not sure I really dwelled on how fabulous my dress was (is). I'm telling you-- it was really, really fabulous. It was actually the first dress I tried on. I saw the dress in a magazine (it's a Casablanca gown), went to the bridal shop, asked if they had it. They did-- it was actually on display in the window. They took it down for me, I tried it on, and it was perfecto. Even the right size! I tried on 2 or so more gowns just for comparisons sake, but went with the one I came for-- why mess with the best? Why make life more complicated than it is? This was by far the easiest part of planning my wedding!!

Here's a picture of me trying on the dress at the boutique! There's a chance I liked the dress TOO much, ha!

The dress is off-white (champagne?) with a lace overlay and lots of pretty beading. It has a rather short train (chapel length? I forget the terminology) and the bottom was puffy but not too princess-y. My veil was actually my "something borrowed", as my friend Kristina, who'd gotten married earlier that year, lent it to me!

I absolutely LOVE how the light shined (shown? Where has my English gone?) through all the lace of the dress and veil and made it look so translucent and irridescent. These pictures of me in profile are my favorite.

In the next picture you can see the bottom of the dress better. The beading became less and less as you got towards the bottom...

Here you can see the back of the dress. It was scooped, but not terribly low.

And here you can see the front/top with the beading. The bad part about the beads/lace was that it made it so uncomfortable to have your naked arms down by your sides!! Scratchy!

Don't worry, I could go on for pages, but I'll spare you that. Check out the anniversary post (link above) if you need more of Erika in Her Wedding Dress. I've no shortage of pictures. :)

Happy Weekend! I'm going camping with Matt and my family and we'll be back in business on Tuesday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today, after a very abbreviated workday (9-1:20...but I got paid for a full 8 hours, thank you very much fill-in-boss!!), I made an always-dangerous pilgrimage to the Hobby Lobby. Despite years of swearing I would hate Hobby Lobby if I ever went there...I do not. I love it deeply. And last week, one of my students' moms was nice enough to give me a gift card to the Hobs Lobs...and it has burned a hole in my purse all week! Anyway, I have two pieces of art that have been unframed their whole lives. The first is a canvas print that James brought me from Malawi (Africa) when he lived there 5ish years ago. I absolutely love it and love the colors and have displayed it in a very klassy manner for the past 5 years...sticking it up directly on the walls with some thumbtacks. Nice, I know. The other piece is a photograph Matt's brother Joseph brought us from China when he was working there for a few months last year. I don't know anything about the picture (it's a baby and I assume the baby's father) but I think it's beautiful and mesmerising. This one I haven't been displaying...I was waiting for a frame. Anyway, today I bit the bullet and got both framed...they look absolutely BEAUTIFUL and I must say, I got them for practically nothing (especially considering I didn't pay anything for the art itself!). I can't wait to hang them up! My empty walls will be so happy! (PS Please excuse the bad pictures...I'm a terrible photographer and couldn't figure out how to take pictures of the frames that would turn out clearly but not have a glare from the flash. When I turned the flash off it would make the pic all just trust me that they look better in person!)
This one is huge-- the picture is 18x24 and the frame even bigger!!
This one is a bit smaller, maybe 10x14 or something.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

settling down, country style

Hopefully life is settling down a little bit. We've been here a week now, and most things are out of boxes and in their rightful places. We've actually had lots of company this weekend, which forced a last-minute hanging-things-on-the-wall spree. You know...all week you think "I really should hang stuff on the walls.....naahhh....I'll get to it later." And then you realize your out-of-town guests (shout out to Andrew and Lori!) are 4 miles away and you think, now would be a really good time to get on that. So we did. :) Nothing like a little pressure to work under! So most things are even on the wall now...except stuff in our room. Our room has ended up being very...spacious. Although we have huge furniture (that we paid cash for 2 years ago, thank you Dave Ramsey), we only have 2 pieces-- bed and dresser/mirror (weren't interested in financing furniture we couldn't afford). And a few small nightstands. But nothing else. And in our last house, that was all that would fit in the room, so it was great. But in this house...we seem to have lots more space and the room looks a little empty. But we're not sure what to get (cause it needs to be reaaalll cheap) to fill the void. We hit some yard sales yesterday, but didn't find the perfect thing just yet. So anyway, we haven't hung things on the wall yet in our room because we aren't really sure where the furniture will end up being. But other than that (and the piano which will go in the living room which hasn't been delivered yet) we are all good to go! Therefore I present you!

Our bedroom
Master bathroom

Guest room/office

Living room


There you have it. Yesterday our friend Andrew and his beautiful fiancee Lori came to visit us! We had a good time picking blueberries and otherwise taking advantage of our new 'country' life. (Side note: I have started listening to country music again. I pass at least 2000 cows, horses, and goats on my way to work every day. It only seems appropriate.) Later on Alyssa met up with us and we all enjoyed dinner at Cali 'n Tito's (my fave) and then came back to our house to sit on the back porch, eat watermelon, and have a seed-spittin' contest (we live in the country). We also planned the future things we would do when they visit-- stop by the house that has the "Rooster Livers Are Back!" sign out front, go to the Bogart Car Show, find out how one becomes a train conductor, and re-decorate our kitchen with lots of Americana- themed things, apples, and roosters. These all seem to be things one does when they live in the sticks.
Anyway, after the blueberry picking festivities, we sat down for a spell (like my country lingo?) and enjoyed some popsicles. As Matt finished his, poor Lola decided life wasn't fair, and she too needed to have a popsicle stick to enjoy. So they enjoyed a very Lady and the Tramp-esque moment while I grabbed the camera:

Don't I have the cutest family ever? Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I'm off to watch Matt attempt to change his car's battery (true story: he just came in here with dirty hands asking if we had any 'grease'. " Crisco?" I asked, knowing pretty fully well that no Crisco should be involved with car repairs. "Umm...maybe? I don't know, it just says I need grease," he replies, looking at the car manual. My confidence in his car-repair-skills is not as high as it could be, I think.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


We're all moved in! And by that, I mean...our stuff is here. And it looks like a tornado has struck the place. Although I haven't moved very many times in my life (home to dorm, dorm to dorm, dorm to townhouse (stay 3 years), townhouse to duplex (stay three years), duplex to here! 5th move.) I seem to remember that every time previously I was able to unpack and get myself all settled (or at least like 90%) by the time I went to bed. Not so much happening here. I had to let it go. But then I just couldn't sleep. Something about knowing nothing is in place (and not knowing where I'm going to find my clothes/makeup/hairbrush to get ready for church) just doesn't let me rest. So I woke up at 6:30. Oh, the roosters crowing also could have had something to do with that. Welcome to life in the country. Then I spent some time organizing the laundry room so that I could start tackling our appx 5000 loads of laundry we're amassed in the last 2 days. And then I discovered that some kind soul on our street hasn't bothered to secure their wireless...and thus ended my productivity.

I'll take pics later, after things are more settled. No one wants to see half-emptied boxes. Lola is doing well...she was a little overwhelmed and still seems a little stressed, but really seems fine. She is a huge fan of our new couches...she seems to be rotating between couches and 'spots', deciding on which is her favorite. The vote is still out, though. And it's really funny seeing her slip slide on the floors when she tries to jump up and run.

We have super nice neighbors. So far we've received home grown tomatoes, freshley baked cookies, and a dog run! And lots of kind words and "welcome to the neighborhood!"s.

Lastly-- congrats to my friend Liz on the birth of her baby girl, Leah Audrey!! Liz did the "we're not telling the name" thing, and I'm glad to see she picked a beautiful and perfect name even without my assistance. :) I can't WAIT to see some pics (she just gave birth at 4:05am and she's already posted the birth stuff on facebook...I'll give her some slack on the pics!!)

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

mid-week list

I'm in a rambly sort of mood. To keep myself in check, I think I'll aim for a list-type post. Maybe this will keep the rambling to a minimum. Or at least you HOPE it does!

1. Long weekends are the best. I thoroughly enjoyed my 4th of July weekend-- lots of friends, food, and sun. The Moores came to visit (and stay with us) and we also hung out with lots of other people all weekend. It was a refreshing change-- most nights and weekends lately we've spent by ourselves, out at the house. Human interaction was so exciting! Here's proof we actually do have (real life) friends:

2. House update (feel free to skip if you're so over my house ramblings): We (apparently) have floors!!! As of 11:00 last night, Tyler (friend who is doing the floors for us) was almost done. The floors are all down, but some of the trim work/details still need to be completed before he'll call it a done deal. I haven't seen it yet, but we're heading over soon to check it out. I can't WAIT! What this means is.... WE'RE MOVING IN ON SATURDAY!!!! I never thought I'd see the day, but it seems I will. I'm not even old and gray yet! Well, not gray anyway.

3. On a related note, I called Comcast today to get some internet/TV set up at the new house. (Note: some of you may know this, but Matt and I haven't had cable (or satellite, or whatev) for the past 2 years. This is a huge jump for us!) We're really only getting the TV thing because since we're new customers we can get a sweet bundle thingy for a great price for 6 months (basically the same price as what we're paying right now for just internet). After 6 months is up, if they want us to pay full price, I'm sure we'll be cable-less again immediately. But at least this will get us through football season. Anyway...the bad news is that they can't install it til July 17th! Which means we'll be (home) internet-less for a whole week!!! I'm not sure I'll survive. Most quality webpages (read: Pioneer Woman and Facebook) are blocked at my school, so I can't even get my fix there. Ugh. I will hold out hope that maybe one of our neighbors has some unsecure wireless there for the 'borrowing' (a la Moores)...but our yard is huge and I highly doubt we'd be able to pick up anyones. So if I disappear next week, that's why.

4. We have a new (to us) favorite TV show.

Amanda and Marshall told us about this show over the weekend, and we decided to check it out. ABC is kind enough to carry the whole series online (as most networks do most of their shows,'s really not hard to survive without cable!) so we stayed up a little too late last night watching the first two episodes. It's so funny!! We've added it to our list of reality shows to participate in (and win): Amazing Race, Wipeout, and Here Come the Newlyweds. If I get around to it, I also plan on winning Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. And appearing on What Not to Wear, except I don't want to actually be nominated, since that would mean people think I dress badly, which I don't agree with. It's a conundrum. Anyway, I digress. Check out HCtN. It's good times.

I think that's all for now. Oh yeah-- one last thing I am so excited about. Guess what channel we (will) get when we get our cable turned on??? The one channel the Athens cable provider (Charter, aka the Devil) could never seem to offer (although maybe they do now, who knows...just not the last time I checked)?? My FAVORITE CHANNEL EVER, even moreso than TLC and HGTV?? Discovery Health! I am so incredibly excited!! I can watch mystery disease and unusual health story shows for hours I tell you, hours. It's actually sad...whenever Matt and I go visit my family in Augusta (once in a blue moon or so), we seem to spend at least half the time staring at the TV watching Discovery's addictive!! Just another thing to look forward to about MOVING!

Friday, July 3, 2009

flowers & a long weekend

It was a very flower-filled week, I must say. Since we did all the landscaping last weekend, including planting lots of new little flowers, we've been required to drive out to the house and water those babies every day. Ugh! Now theoretically these are strong, hardy plants that won't require a lot of water in general (you'd be stupid to plant anything else here in a perpetually drought-stricken state), but since they're newly planted they have to be "watered in" so that their roots will grow nice and deep. Which means I have to drive 20-25 minutes out to the house (and back) just to water. Since we don't really have anything else to do out there (still waiting on the floors to be done) it's kind of a pain, but I guess it will be worth it. We have been filling up the back of the car with loads of stuff to move, so the trips don't feel as pointless. We're just piling up a bunch of stuff in the 'nursery'...once we have actual furniture and floors in the guest room, that's where the stuff will actually go. Anyway, here's proof of our hard work!

This small bed is to the right of the walkway...we're not doing too much to it yet (those bushes were all already there), but we planted a few little things (2 gerbera daisies!) in the empty corner. Maybe next summer we'll attack that one since they (the builders/whoever did this landscaping) planted the bushes backwards...smaller ones in back, larger ones in front. Duhhhh.

My mom brought this variety pot from her home-- there's some fresh parsley growing there! Cool!

Just some groundcover and canna lillies around the mailbox...maybe flowering plants at some point.

So in addition to all the hard-labor-requiring yard plants, I also got some beautiful hydrangeas from my husby for our anniversary! I have somewhat of an obsession with hydrangeas...and hopefully will plant some in our yard someday soon!

I am already enjoying my long weekend-- very thankful for having today off! This weekend our friends the Moores are coming up to visit and they're staying with us...this means I need to go whip the guest room (currently a holding space for approximately 12,000 flattened moving boxes) into some semblance of order. Funny how we've had overnight guests the past two weekends, when both my Athens house and Statham house are at their absolute worst...I bet once we move and have just one beautiful house, we won't have guests for months. Ironic. Oh well. We're looking forward to spending time with friends, swimming, and cooking out this weekend...probably not much "house stuff" will get done, but that's okay.

Oh- one last funny story. Last night Matt and I were swimming laps (still loving that!) and Lola, who is pretty much terrified of water/the pool, has really gotten funny the last few times we've been swimming. She's gotten so bold as to actually come down to the pool-level deck (normally she stands on the highest deck, furthest from the water/closest to the gate out) and she's started RUNNING laps next to us as we swim. It's hilarious. I'm in the habit of coming up out of the water at the end of each half-lap (when I get to the pool edge) and counting off what lap it is ("two!" "two and a half!") helps me stay motivated. Anyway, Lola runs alongside as I swim, and when I pop up to yell my count, she is right there, in my face, usually with a quick lick or playful swipe of her paw. It is the funniest and cutest thing. I think she's trying to be my trainer and keep me motivated...and it works. I'll swim a few extra laps just because it's funny...and hey, she can use the exercise too!! The really funny part is if Matt and I are both swimming at the same time, she gets really worked up trying to keep up with both of us...and if we happen to be swimming opposite directions...she's just in a tizzy. Who to greet, where to go...oh, the conundrums she faces. However, despite her apparent warming up to the pool, she is still not a fan of being in the pool. We tested again last night (more or less dragging her 55 pound, legs flailing, panicked body in with us) and she doesn't seem to be any fonder of the water than she was last month. Oh well, maybe soon she will be swimming alongside us!!
Happy Fourth!