Throughout the year I have kept a running list on my phone of things I’d like for Christmas. There is lots of good stuff on there. Purses? Nope. Funky nail polish? Nope. No, by “good stuff,” I mean really cool things like a bread knife and a rolling pin, dishes, flatware, and a travel coffee mug (mine all leak). Yeah, I’m asking for good stuff this year.
Lately I’ve had several “conversations” on facebook that have made me question my own sanity. A few weeks ago, a friend’s status lead to 12+ comments from myself and other ladies about the pro’s and con’s of hardwood, tile, and carpet. Today, a friend posted she’d gotten a new vacuum and loved it. I asked what kind it was. I’ve also shared and learned lots of stain-removing and cleaning tips through facebook conversations.
Last week I had lunch with a friend, and we spent at least 10 minutes discussing the cleaning of carpet and couches. Sunday I realized my husband had cleaned the ceiling fan in the living room. That was definitely a happy moment for me. And did I mention that I went to Target yesterday? For storage containers that were on sale?
This was taken at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere on a chilly December Monday morning on our honeymoon. There was ice on the rope. I wanted to cross it, but he insisted on going first to help me across. Steven took one step onto the ropes and fell flat on his rear. I, being the sweet wife I am, laughed. He did too.
Are there moments in your life that are forever etched in your mind? I don’t mean big moments like when you got engaged or when you gave birth to your first child. I mean smaller moments. Moments that will make you smile 50 years from now, even though when it happened it seemed small and unimportant.
This is a picture of one of those moments for me. It reminds me of what my husband and I do best together. Laugh. For a long time, I felt strange when people would ask us, “What do you do together?” I always felt a little embarrassed that we didn’t have a joint hobby that we do together regularly. I’m not too interested in playing COD4 on Xbox Live, and he isn’t too interested in scrapbooking or watching Desperate Housewives. Now don’t get me wrong, we take our annual trips to the zoo together, go to car shows, play a mean game of Uno or Scrabble, and do other little things together here and there. However, none of those are things that we do together on a regular schedule. Of course, with Steven’s work schedule, “regular” isn’t really in our vocabulary.
Anyway, I worried that we weren’t normal and that our marriage was doomed because we weren’t enrolled in dance or cooking classes together and didn’t share a love for something like Star Wars movies (although, strangely, we do both appreciate romantic comedies starring Ashton Kutcher). Then I thought about my parent’s though. When they were newlyweds, they took a compatibility test. The person giving them the assessment told them they really weren’t sure how my parents made it past the dating and engagement to end up married to one another. They’ve been married nearly 30 years.
Then I realized there is something my husband and I have in common with my parents. It’s something we do together. It’s something my husband and I do together everyday, whether we are in the same house or hundreds of miles apart. We laugh. Sometimes it’s just a giggle or two, and sometimes it’s a side-splitting, tears pouring down cheeks, me screaming for him to stop whatever he’s doing that is so funny, need to run to the bathroom laugh. Sometimes it’s even over those romantic comedies starring Ashton Kutcher that I mentioned earlier. Either way, it’s what we do together. Although, my mother might say that arguing holds a close second place. 🙂
My neighbor called me Friday night just before we met my parents for dinner to say that they would be turning on the power within a few minutes. Oh was I happy!
We didn’t get to go home that night though. Saturday we came out to our house, turned the water back on, murdered a few snakes Steven removed from the water meter hole, turned the heat on, and dropped off our kitty. I admit it. I shed a few tears. I was SO ready to be back in my own home! In all, the power was out here over 18 days. I went around the house flipping every switch on and off, on and off. 🙂
Today after church we moved the rest of our stuff back in and brought the dogs too. Woohoo! I’m home! Oh, and Steven’s home too! His crew has been assigned to a 34 mile stretch between Greenway and Maurmaduke, so he’ll be working 7 days/week, but he’ll also be home most of those nights. That’s a nice change for a bit.
Me, the hopeless romantic who threw a year-long hissy fit after one bad Valentine’s Day (It’s true, I’m ashamed to say.), called off Valentine’s Day this year. Steven had been working out of town for so long, we had no idea if he was even going to be home until the Thursday before, and I spent an hour wandering around Wal-Mart with no idea what to get him. I also knew that because of his work schedule he had zero time to buy me a gift, and I’m not big on buying my own gifts.
So, for our 2009 Valentine’s Day….
We exchanged cards, drove to Batesville to pick up the Trailblazer from his boss’ house, ate dinner at ol’ faithful (Salsa’s Grill, of course!) and went back to the house to watch an episode of CSI. We lead such exciting lives. 🙂
After work on Saturday (if you call playing with a cute baby and taking pictures work), I met Steven at our favorite restaurant for an early supper. He called me on the way there and told me to wait outside for him because he had found something for me in town that he wanted to give me before we ate. Honestly, I figured it was another Wii game or maybe he had gotten really ambitious and went to get the Cricut Expression early because he knew I planned on getting it that afternoon.
When he pulled up next to my car, he drug me out of the car and over to the SUV where he pulled up the tailgate to show me what was inside. Inside, I saw these!
Ok, now you are probably wondering why on Earth I would ever be mad about getting flowers. I’m not. HOWEVER, for the last year Steven has refused to buy me flowers. I do mean refused too. His reasoning? For the 2 years before that, maybe more, every single time he bought me flowers, I managed to get mad at him for something totally unrelated before he was able to give me the flowers! We finally broke the curse though. Steven said he decided to try a new approach this time — buying them and not talking to me again until he gave them to me. 🙂
I finally got it! I got a Cricut Expression! I have been wanting one of these forever, and begged for one for the last few months. Well, Saturday I finally got it! I went straight home and plugged it in. So far I have made some greeting cards, random punches for later use, and a few things to go on scrapbook pages that are in-progress. I love it!
Steven was playing xbox online and talking to a friend. I ran in there to show him one of my greeting card creations and was apparently a bit too giddy. I overheard him say, “Yeah…my wife. I bought her one of these Cricut machines things that does all these letters and design punches. She’s just beside herself.”
Steven actually thinks it’s pretty cool himself. He helped me play with it a bit. He also helped me think of some more stuff I plan to use it for this year.
Oh, and to my local friends that already have one of these… So far, I have the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge and the Home Decor cartridge. I’m willing to share if you are. 🙂
On Sunday, we headed home. 🙁 We have agreed that we’d like to go back though. Next time I think we’ll rent one of the cabins though. They seemed pretty neat, too!
We were definitely glad that we got out and did our hiking on Saturday, as it was freezing cold on Sunday! I insisted on taking the time to take a few photos in front of the house on our way out, and by the time we got the car loaded, the tripod set up, two pictures taken, the tripod hurriedly put away, and ourselves in the car…my hands were so cold that they hurt terribly. I got a cute picture though!
We also stopped for a second in Snowball to take a picture of something that we had laughed about all weekend every time we saw it. Do you notice something a bit odd about this picture?
That new Pepsi machine really stuck out in this little building, surrounded by other dilapidated buildings and houses. We aren’t really sure why it is there or if it was even filled. However, at night we could see the lit up, blue machine a ways off as we were approaching Snowball.
Overall, it was our favorite kind of trip…nothing planned except our lodging! We had a great time, just driving around exploring the backroads of the area. I’d really like to go back in October/November when all the leaves are changing. I’m sure there are lots of beautiful colors then. I’d also like to see it in the Spring. Hmmm….I’m getting an idea of what I might want for my birthday. 🙂
Saturday morning we decided to take a walk to see the other buildings on the property. Across the road from our house, was a barn and two restored log cabins from the 1870’s. They also rent the cabins.
Steven, on the porch of the first cabin
hanging out in the old barn…
the barn Mr. Scarecrow
a sign that hangs on the outside of the barn
After our short walk, we decided to take a drive to do a bit more exploring. We discovered the dead ends of a couple of gravel roads, at which people were actually living…and people think WE live in the boondocks? I’m pretty sure our house is nothing compared to the end of a gravel road, on a mountain, outside of Snowball, Arkansas!
After enjoying the scenery for a while, we headed into Marshall to grab some groceries for dinner that night. We also stopped for lunch…at a Mexican restaurant. Imagine that? :o)
That afternoon, we went for another walk. This one was quite a bit longer than the first! We decided to go up the trail, past the first cabin and the barn. We found a hiking trail off to the side and followed it up into the woods. There, we came across this cool old house!
We also saw an elk track! I think that was Steven’s favorite part of the entire trip!
That walk/hike ended with me being exhausted! Steven took a picture of me resting on a big rock before we headed back, but I’ll spare you! It’s kind of scary! haha I’m not sure exactly how far we hiked, but it was at least 3 or 4 miles, most of it up hill. Oh, and did I mention my husband isn’t one of these always-stay-on-the-path hikers? Well, he’s not. This resulted in me getting whacked in the face/arm/leg with a branch or two, almost stepping in horse poo, almost slipping on my rear while climbing over rocks, etc. It was definitely an interesting “walk”! When we got back to the house, my sweet husband suggested we go for another drive, so that we could enjoy some scenery and I could sit down for a while. 🙂
This time we discovered the end of another gravel road…and a SCHOOL BUS tow truck! Oh yeah, now that’s custom!
When we returned to the house from our second drive, I set to work in the kitchen to bake Steven a belated birthday cake. (Note to self: next year call Courtney!) While the cake tasted fine, it certainly wasn’t our beloved Courtney Cake.
Steven enjoyed a massive piece of the cake…
After our mini birthday celebration, we headed into Marshall to see a movie…
at the drive-in! We saw Four Christmases, which was cute. Marshall has the only drive-in movie in Arkansas that is open all year.
UPDATE: Please note that our Christmas card this year was a collage of images of my attempts to get good Christmas photos of our five pets. We do not have 20+ animals, even though it may seem like it at times.
Also, I need to mention that the names on the card are not in order of the last row of photos. Oops! L-R they are, Biscuit, Emerald, Roush, Minnie Pearl, and Poncho.
Last Friday, Steven and I headed out for a relaxing weekend away to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. When we planned our honeymoon we were torn between renting a cabin in the Ozark Mountains and going to Nashville. In the end, we decided on Nashville because…well, because I got 2nd row seats to see Andy Griggs! haha We had a ton of fun though! We did something different and fun every single day we were there. However, we weren’t anxious to rush back into a big city this year. Actually, Jonesboro is getting too big for us day-by-day. So, we decided for our first anniversary we would go with our second choice for our honeymoon.
After doing some research on the Internet, I came across a huge listing of getaway rentals in Arkansas. We finally agreed on a beautiful old farm house in Snowball, Arkansas.
Where is Snowball? Right here…
It is far enough out that we got zero phone service at the house we rented. Imagine that! A weekend without a cell phone ringing? Oh, it was marvelous!
(Ok, ok…I admit it. I did check my e-mail/facebook/texts when we drove into Marshall on Saturday. )
Anyway, this is what we saw when we arrived on Friday night.
And the outside during the day
Here are some photos of the inside of the house.
This is the living room, where you enter from the front door.
We spent a lot of the weekend reading here, next to the fireplace in the living room.
Above is the second bedroom. This room is just off the left of living room. It has two full beds, a door that opens to the screened-in back porch, and a door that opens to the front porch (the solid green door seen in the picture of the outside of the house).
This is the kitchen. The door in the back of the first photo goes to the bathroom.
The main bedroom. This one was hard to get a picture of because of the shape of the room. It isn’t as small of a room as it looks in the picture though. There was a queen size bed with plenty of room to walk around, with room to store shoes, suitcases, etc. on the sides. It is off the left side of the kitchen.
The pretty back porch
Ok, it’s really late so I will post more about our trip later.