Wednesday, December 29, 2010

deep thoughts by Emmy

...that contentment is a state of the heart, unaffected by outward circumstances.
Contentment is a choice. So choose today to bloom where you’re planted. Choose to make the most of whatever situation you find yourself in. Choose to stop focusing on what you don’t have and start being thankful for the many blessings you do have.
-money saving mom

As I set out to make my annual New Year's resolutions, this quote really strikes home. 

I was born and raised in Nashville (lived in the same house 23 years) and basically all my family and close friends are still there. I am very much a family person, so it has been an adjustment moving 3 hours from home! Ben is also from Nashville, but being in the Marines meant he's lived several places and is quite comfortable in being away from "home". 

When I married Ben and was forced too moved to Memphis, I ultimately chalked it up to a temporary move. I really didn't think we'd be here long term. I didn't think of Memphis as my home, just as a place where we live at the moment. When people from home asked "when are y'all moving back?", I'd answer "soon, I hope!"

I made some friends through work (and B), but really didn't go out and do much (FYI: it is difficult to make friends as an adult!!). My life pretty much consisted of: B, work, house, dogs and all that they entail. BORING. I enjoy being at home, but after a while it got to me. I'm a social person and have to have contact with people to keep me sane. I was also missing all the wonderful places, restaurants etc that were back home, but really not giving the one's here a chance.

I decided to get out there and do things. I started blogging (which has introduced me to wonderful people), Zumbaing, hanging out with my new friends, trying new places, and going to church (and even a friend's church!)!

I basically started to bloom where I was planted...and I liked it! I chose to be content with the plan God had for me as this stage in my life. I chose to make the most of it and look at the bright side of things. I am 3 hours away from family, but I'm only 3 hours away. It could be a long plane ride after all! I'm choosing to look at the blessings we do have: health, jobs, house, families...instead of the things we don't have! Choosing these things has really made life much more enjoyable too!

I never once thought I'd say this but I'm glad we moved to Memphis! I may lose my Nashvillian card, but I actually like this place! 

Home is where your story begins....our story as a married couple (& hopefully one day as parents) started here so I guess this is HOME.

In 2011, I'm going to increase my effort of blooming and making the choice to be content! 

(sorry for the ramble...just had to get it out!)

Christmas recap!

I don't know about you guys, but Christmas has officially worn me out! We thankfully were able to go back home and spend the long weekend with our family! It was a wonderful time, but I need a "vacation" from our vacation! ha!

We went to 4:00 Christmas Eve Mass, which was the Children's mass. The kids did an excellent job in the choir and homily "play"!

During the mass (the time where we say "peace with you"), the lady behind us complimented Will's behavior. She then asked me (Marn wasn't sitting with us) if he was mine to which I said " nephew". She then asked my MOM if he was hers!! I know my mom looks great, but I didn't think she looks young enough to have a 4 year old!!

After Mass, we went to my parent's house to have supper, and exchange gifts!

We had delicious beef tenderloin, twice baked potatoes, asparagus casserole and rolls! It was wonderful!

Mom her son grandsons and my Dad!

my brother and his family!

helps make spirits bright!
proudly wearing my apron I made in 91!


After dinner, we decided to open our gifts! My brother and his elf Will did an excellent job passing the gifts out!

No matter how many toys he got...he enjoyed the boxes most!
We all got way to much!

We awoke Christmas morning to....SNOW! It's been forever since we've had a white Christmas, so we were excited! 
After eating a great breakfast, we headed over to B's family's house! We opened gifts, napped, and ate a great turkey dinner!

B's mom wanted a nice frame with a wedding picture! So easy to please!

B and Memphis Girl! The girls got bones from Santa!

That evening, we  (and B's sister and our friend) decided to go to Opryland Hotel to see their Christmas lights. During the flood in May, Opryland received multi-million dollars worth of damage and had to be closed til last month. I'm so glad they were able to rebuild in time for Christmas, because it wouldn't be the same with out it!

Nativity scene outside with snow falling! perfect!

so pretty!

Ben and Dave!
Sunday and Monday we hung out in Nashville and then finally headed home! We had an awesome Christmas and are more blessed than we know!

How was your Christmas?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!


I'm sure by now you've seen this, but in case you haven't I thought I'd share. It is quite touching.

We hope you and yours have a blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

x-mas memories

Today's "Top Two Tuesday" is about Christmas memories! I have tons of favorite memories of Christmas, so it's hard to narrow it down to just two!

1. Running down the stairs to see what Santa brought us! Of course I never slept much on Christmas Eve, so I was up bright and early! My brother and I would wait upstairs until it was time, then race down the stairs! It was always so exciting to finally find out what he brought us!

One of my favorites was my toy kitchen (with phone of course)!

Now, I love to see the looks on my nephews (and one day our kids) faces Christmas day! It's such a magical time of year!

2. Seeing Santa on the radar at my dad's work! My dad is a retired Air Traffic Controller, and usually he had to work either Christmas Eve or day. Some how, one of the radars were able to pick up Santa's sleigh so we were able to watch it!  It was really neat!

Can't wait to make more memories this year...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

weekend wrap up

We had yet another busy weekend. There must be a rule that all weekends in December have to be jammed packed. But, we had a great one, so I can't complain!

Friday we went to my work's Christmas party. The lady who hosts it is crazy about Christmas and her entire house is decked out with Christmas decorations. I mean, every single room has a tree and other Christmas items. Anyways, we ate yummy food and played a fun (not too mean) game of Dirty Santa! We had a nice time.


I had to watch a friend's girl for a while during the day. After, we went out to get a couple things from the office store and window shopped at HHGregg.

After braving the Christmas rush, we decided to go to Swanky's Taco Shop for dinner. We were seated and then waited for at least 10 minutes before someone came to get our drink order. We finally got our drinks and ordered our tacos.The manager came by and gave us a free queso dip as a "sorry", which of course we gladly accepted! The tacos and dip were delicious! We cannot wait to go back!

you can also "build your own" tacos!

soft chicken, queso and hard taco chicken...yum!

Before dinner we went by my favorite bake shop (Muddy's) and picked up some cupcakes! We went with "hot chocolate" (chocolate with marshmellow icing!), "Santa Baby" (peppermint) and their prozac (chocolate fudge type). I may have to go back because 5 just aren't enough! They are so good!

We enjoyed these bad boys (not all of 'em at once) while watching "Miracle on 34th Street" and doing our budget! Fun night.

calories don't count at Christmas...right?
Dixie Belle turned 4 on the 15th, so we decided to take her to the dog park today! When we were getting ready, she knew something was up because she went right to her leash and waited. We were the only ones there, but the girls still had a great time running and playing.

After we wore them out, we took her to the dog store and got them a treat.

We came home and decided to clean our cars since it was a nice day. After our cars were shining, we headed to 5 pm Mass. I love our new Priest! He always has thought provoking homilies. Today he quoted the Charlie Brown Christmas movie "...that's what it's all about Charlie Brown" and said (something like) "with the birth of Jesus and all that it entails....who needs Santa Claus"! Very true and easy to forget as we get caught up in the rush of Christmas shopping.

After Mass, we came home to cook supper!

Yesterday during our errands, we went to Luchessi's Pasta and Ravoili Co to pick up some ravioli and other stuff for dinner. One of my mom's co-workers has a step-daughter who used to live here in Memphis (confused yet). He purchased several "group ons" for different places here and she wasn't able to use them yet. So they gave them to us and we ended up with one for Luchessi's! I'm glad we went because the store was neat and we'll definitely be back!

We had meat ravioli, sauce and salad with their yummy croutons! We picked up Italian spinach, but will have that another day! It was delicious and so easy to do! I can't wait to try their other stuff!

Now...we're calling it a night and getting ready for the week! I can't believe it's 6 days til Christmas.

easier said than done

We bought our house knowing it need quite a bit of updating. I remember when we were touring the house commenting on the not -our-style towel/tp fixtures. Ben said "oh..that will be easy to replace." I believed him and later signed my life away the mortgage document.

Two years later, I decided I was sick of looking at those old ugly not-our-style bars and decided to go out and get the new ones. B reassured me that it was going to be easy, so I figured I could tackle it myself. I asked B to show me how to remove the old ones and he did. That's when this simple project turned into a not so simple one.

Apparently the genius who either built or lived in this house, decided to put towel bars that are made specifically for TILE on DRY WALL. Yes, they cut a hole in the wall, counter-sank the bar thing into the wall,  and used mega strength adhesive. Not good.

So we soon had 8 holes in our dry wall and dry wall dust every where. After 2 trips to Lowes, we began patching the dry wall. It was a messy process, but not too difficult! After mudding and sanding twice, we were able to paint and then ultimately hang our new fixtures.

hole with dry wall patch stuff

taking the old one down

what a mess!

 mud, sand...repeat

hanging new brackets up for the new hardware

after. (brushed nickel)

Even though this project was easier said than done, it still wasn't too bad! I'm loving our new hardware and can't wait to tackle the next project!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

ornament love

I love collecting ornaments that have meaning and try to add to our collection as much as possible!

Here are some of my favorites:

1. From St. Thomas we got in January!
2. From Costa Maya Mexico!
3. St. Jude's ornament...nativity. (From a student)
4. Made my heart melt receiving this from one of my students.
5. I gave this to B when he graduated from the academy.
6. Fish from Saks Fifth Avenue I got on my trip to NYC after graduation!

I also decided that Memphis Girl and Dixie Belle needed "monogrammed" ornaments too!

I took two ornaments I found at Target, some scrap book stickers and some houndstooth ribbon and got these:

I think they turned out great!

Can't wait to add more next year!

We wish you...

I love how our card turned out this year! Shutterfly is definitely the way to go for cards! Getting 50 free cards sure helped make our Season brighter too!

Merry Christmas y'all

(don't know why there is a huge blank space...sorry!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

nothin' like nephews-

My parents and nephews came down this weekend and my house and dogs will never be the same! (ha!)

From the moment they arrived they were wound up and I'm pretty sure they didn't stop until they were on their way home. Oh to be 4 and 2 again!

When they arrived, we toured the neighbor's blow ups. All my sweet Drew could say is "WOW!".  It was sweet to see his face light up at the big snowman and Santa.

I had to pry them away from the yard and entice them to finally go inside. As soon as they entered, Drew bee-lined to the dogs' room. The next thing I know...he was IN the crate. Crazy boy! Yeah, the dogs were quite confused by this! But they figured as long as he was in it, they didn't have to they didn't mind! ha!

no child or dog were harmed in the taking of this photo!

We were hungry, so we went to the yummy Soul Fish Cafe in Germantown. The boys ate their weight in mac-n-cheese and Will informed us that "it's the best macaroni ever...even better than my mom's"! Sorry Marn!

sweet Drew!

I didn't get the "orange" memo!

After dinner, we headed to see the lights at Starry Nights. It was really neat seeing all the different light display. The boys (and adults) were all mesmerized! It quickly put us in the Christmas spirit.

To top our night off, we headed over to Bass Pro to see Santa! The boys both did a great job and went straight to him and smiled! We toured BP and Drew loved the big train set!

i promise we had fun!

right before I got busted taking pictures..oops...(i didn't see any signs though)!

We then headed to another house close to ours that is literally all decked out. It even has the light display coincide with the music (on a radio station). Will said "I bet it drives their neighbors crazy"! I bet it does too!!

We called it a night and headed home. They had to get up early the next morning to head back because of the weather. I wish they could have stayed longer, but I am so glad we got to visit!