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Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas memories.

This will be the 1st Christmas without Peppes.
I know it's going to be a day filled with varying emotions for each of us.
We miss her so much, so much more than I can say.

I think of her on a daily basis.
Like when I...
*put on my Clinique makeup every morning
(Clinique was the only makeup she wore)

*make a banana sandwich
(it's because of her that I love them so much)

*fry an egg
(she taught me how to fry them the "Peppes" way)

*finish a good book and want to tell someone about it
(we shared a love of reading)

*see anything with a lighthouse on it
(another love we shared)

*drive past a library

*open my mailbox knowing that there won't be a "Peppes letter"

*sing her favorite hymns in church

*cook her Spanish rice
(it never tastes quite as good as hers did)

*play the piano
(a love for music-something else we had in common)

I will miss her presence at Christmas but am glad that we have memories of Christmas' past with her to reflect on...
*Christmas mornings with Peppes & Pop coming over to see what Santa brought

* her unique way of wrapping gifts

*the "big bulb" Christmas lights she strung on the fence outside

*Peppes' annual "memory gift"

More than ever, this Christmas will be about being with family, sharing Christmas memories, creating new Christmas traditions, and remembering the real reason for the season.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas card

Our 2009 Christmas card...

I love it!

great giveaways.

There are more wonderful giveaways going on at PinkNothings blog!
I've won 2 great things from here so far (Skin MD lotion (it's great!) & a set of Days Ago timers (love them too!)).

Right now you can win several things from here, but my favorites are the Sleepyhead pajamas and the Crabtree Handbag giveaways.

What's better to a girl than a new pair of pj's & a new purse?

Check out all of the entry rules and deadlines at PinkNothings.

Thanks ladies for more great giveaway items!

Friday, December 4, 2009


I can finally share my exciting news!
(NO, it's NOT about BABIES YET...)

I have officially accepted a position as a Clinical Instructor (C.I.) for the
Duke School of Nursing in the spring semester!!!
This is the "opportunity" that I mentioned a few weeks ago.

If you recall, I had applied for this position last fall and again last spring and both times never heard anything after submitting my application.
Needless to say, I gave up!
A few weeks ago, I was in the breakroom at work doing some work on policies and procedures and in walks a friend of mine (Penni) who's a C.I. for the school and her boss (Kathy).
Penni introduced me to Kathy who on the spot offerred me a job for the spring.
I let her know that we were moving and I could only fulfill the role for 1 semester.
I think I was in shock for the next few days...

This spring is going to be so busy for us with Chris & I both preparing to graduate and move to Nashville.
I had so many doubts and insecurities about taking on another thing.
Chris & I talked about it,
Chris encouraged me,
I prayed about it,
all the while knowing God had this in store for me all along.

This opportunity will only be possible because I have the most wonderfully supportive boss in the world.
She is willing to let me drop my status to 2 days/week so I can continue working for her while taking on my new role!
There aren't many bosses like her...thanks Joey!

I sent Kathy my resume soon after and that set the ball rolling...
I got the official offer earlier this week,
accepted it,
sent in my payroll papers today,
and will officially sign my name on the dotted line next week!

What a crazy semester it's going to be...
Mondays- 10 hours of preceptorship for my final class
Tuesdays- C.I. duties or preceptorship
Wednesdays- C.I. duties
Thursdays- work
Friday- work
weekend- try to relax, catch-up on things

I'm so excited about my new position and the opportunity to try something new!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Where November went I don't know, but December is here meaning it's only 22 days until Christmas!
Time sure does fly!

We have our tree up and the majority of the decorations out.
We had hoped to put up our icicle lights on Saturday, but with highs in the 40s & a prediction of rain turning to snow (that's right...SNOW), I don't think that's going to happen.
No sweat...that's my motto for myself this holiday season!
If it doesn't get done, it doesn't get done and that's OK.

We are hoping to finish up our Christmas shopping this weekend despite the weather.
Then I can start wrapping gifts with my beautiful papers thanks to Hobby Lobby (had to make a trip there over Thanksgiving to get some)!

Bring on more Christmas fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am so thankful for...

-my God & my salvation

-my husband

-my family

-my friends, coworkers, & neighbors

-my job

-my home

-my church

-my health

-our country's freedom

-my education

-each of the many "big" & "small" gifts God gives me every day...


Monday, November 16, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

This is Samaritan's Purse Nationwide Collection Week (Nov. 16th-23rd) for Operation Christmas Child boxes.

This marks the 9th year that I have participated & I look forward to it every year.
Chris & I enjoy going shopping and picking out fun things for a sweet boy or girl somewhere in the world.

This year, Chris stuffed a box for a boy 5-9 years old.
He had perhaps too much fun...I could hardly close the box!
It's filled with candy, plastic bugs, crayons, dinosaur figures, transformer figures, a notebook, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer (ok, so I told him to toss in the hand sanitizer!).

I too had lots of fun filling my box for a 5-9 year old girl.
My box is stuffed with a sweet baby doll, a 2nd outfit for the doll, a notebook, crayons, adorable Disney fairy candies, a princess comb and mirror set, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer.

For the first time ever if you make the donation for shipping ($7) online at Samaritan's Purse, you will be given tracking numbers so you can follow your box all the way to the hands of a needy child...how awesome!

It's not too late to stuff your boxes...

want to win this???

Pink Nothings is sponsoring another great giveaway...

Enter to win this 8-inch Rachel Ray skillet in this awesome green color.

The giveaway ends at midnight on November 22nd, so hurry on over & enter to win!

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Have you ever had an opportunity fall right into your lap?
It happened to me today....

just when I thought I had things figured out...
just when I thought I plan...
just when I thought I knew what I had in store for me...

God has quite a sense of humor!

That's all I'll say for now.

I love this quote...

"Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

it's here, it's here!

The holiday season is here!

I know that it's official because I stopped by Starbuck's last Friday for a skim white chocolate mocha & here's what I got...

that's right-the Starbuck's holiday cup...a true sign that the holidays are here!

I also saw a commercial for Chick-fil-A's Peppermint Chocolate Chip milkshake the other day. Yet another sure sign!

And, peppermint ice cream is officially in the frozen food case at Kroger. It's my favorite but you can usually only find it around the holidays.

Since I'm not quite ready to decorate our house for Christmas (well I am, but don't have time just yet), I instead decorated my blog for the holidays!

44 days until Christmas!

Friday, November 6, 2009

learning about Nashville...

Being the curious person that I am, I've been doing a little searching about Nashville...you know, the important things to know like is there a
Chick-fil-A & a Hobby Lobby!

Things I've learned so far:

(1) Nashville is the 2nd largest city in TN with over 1.5 million people.
(didn't realize it was quite that large!)

(2) Nashville is in the central time zone, meaning they're an hour behind us.
(atleast it's only an hour)

(3) There is a Hobby Lobby!!!
(huge deal people, I've been living without one in a 100-mile radius for over 4 years...this could be a dangerous thing!)

(4) There is indeed a Chick-fil-A...hooray!

(5) There are Krogers & SunTrust banks.
(I don't want to switch banks-it's far too complicated & that's
one less thing we'll have to deal with in the moving process.)

(6) Nashville is the Music City Capital of the World.
(I knew that, but maybe you didn't :-))

(7) Residents of TN do not pay state income taxes,
instead they pay exorbitantly high sales taxes...almost 10% in some places. (oh dear!)

(8) This month's Southern Living features Arnold's Country Kitchen, one of their picks for the best Southern Diners...their specialties are apparently fried green tomatoes & banana pudding.
(yummy...2 of my favorites!-We will be checking it out)

Random info, I know, but hey, these little details are very important!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November already?

It's so hard for me to believe that it's already November.

With my favorite month of the year gone, I'm looking forward to the Christmas season.
As usual, Chris is warning me that I'm getting too excited about Christmas too early...in my book, there's no such thing!

Again this year, I've fallen behind in where I want to be in my Christmas crafting projects...surprise, surprise!
I'm trying not to worry about it too much.
I'm determined this year to enjoy the Christmas season & not focus too much on what I can't get done.

I have been sewing a few things lately, some of which will be Christmas gifts...
*these awesome fabric key chains
*the ric rac kitchen towel below-this is one of many!
*aprons like I shared a while back

I'm hoping to have time to keep sewing some more fun gifts...
I'd like to try my hand at these personalized embroidered towels--I want to make one for every holiday & season!

I'm pretty stumped on what do to for Christmas cards this year...
Last year I didn't include a picture in our card & I regreted it, so this year there will be a picture.
Next dilemna---which picture?
Sadly, I don't have a great one of Chris & I that I think is Christmas card-material.
So, I've got to get one...
Hopefully by next weekend we'll have the perfect picture & then I can go from there!

I love this wreath...I hope I'll be making one in the next few week to adorn our front door..this looks too Easter-like to me, but I love the idea. Check out the tutorial here.

The countdown 'til Christmas is on...49 days!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

what i've been up to...

I've been very busy for the last few days. Here's a recap...

Last Thursday & Friday I was in Columbia, S.C. at Fort Jackson for my cousin's graduation from Army Basic Training Camp-goooo 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment Bravo Company soldiers!
It was quite humbling to see hundreds of future soldiers on the field in front of us.

When I wasn't working or traveling last week, I was sewing a robe for "my king". We searched for couples Halloween costume ideas for a while before we agreed on being fast food mascots. Chris was set on being the king of Burger King and I chose the Wendy's mascot.

The robe turned out pretty good considering I've never made anything like it before & "my king" was pretty demanding in his specifications :-).

It certainly kept me busy!

We had a great time though, as you can see...

Sunday afternoon I threw a bridal shower for a sweet friend from work, Ashley.
We had such a fun group of friends to celebrate with & we had a wonderful time!

And, finally a must share recipe from the shower...

Coffee Punch

1 tablespoon of instant coffee
½ cup of sugar
1 ½ quarts of boiling water
Mix the above ingredients & cool completely.
Add the following:
1 quart of milk (2% or whole, not skim)
½ tablespoon of vanilla
4 ounces of chocolate syrup
Pour this mixture into containers and store in the refrigerator. You can make this the night prior & store until the next day.
To make punch-Put 1 ½ quart package of Breyer’s vanilla bean ice cream in a punch bowl & pour half of liquid mixture over it. Mix until slushy. Repeat with a second 1 ½ quart package of ice cream and other half of liquid.
Serves 20-25 (Recipe can be halved or doubled)
It's soooo delicious!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

big news!

Well, we have big news!
Drumroll please.....

Chris was offered and has since accepted a post-doctorate fellowship in the Vanderbilt Medical Center Department of Pharmacology.
He will be doing research on medications to treat central nervous system disorders...interesting!

We had been playing the waiting game for quite a while and are so happy to finally know what's in store for us.
We're especially happy that we'll be able to stay in the Southeast & that we'll be closer to our families (4.5 hours as opposed to 6.5)!

I do get a bit overwhelmed when I think about all of the things we'll be tackling between now & July to make our move happen...selling our house, finding a new place to live, me finding a job, exploring our new city, and all of the other tasks that go with moving to a new state.
But, the position doesn't start until August 2nd, so we're in no rush to make too many other concrete plans.
We're just enjoying the assurance that Chris will be employed after he graduates!
Only 6 months until I'm married to a PhD!-I'm oh so proud of him!

God is so good & I can't wait to see what else he has in store for us in the months to come...

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the Smokey Mountains with these lovely ladies (yes, including myself)! We enjoyed relaxing, each other's company, nature, and of course-eating!

The fall colors were just beginning to show.
I think this-coming weekend and the following will be the peak season. A few more favorite pics from the weekend...

I can't wait for the 2nd annual ladies' retreat (or the semi-annual retreat :-))

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

tastes like fall...

I cooked my first turkey last night...well, sort of!
I cheated and used a boneless turkey breast to make this recipe...
totally tastes like fall.

Moist & Tender Turkey Breast
1 4-5 pound boneless turkey breast
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
½ teaspoon of ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ teaspoon of salt

Place turkey in a crock-pot. Place rosemary & garlic around it. Combine spices and sprinkle over turkey (I also added oregano and minced onions).
Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours until tender.

I served it with fresh green beans and homemade mashed potatoes...wish I had taken a picture.
It was beautiful!

Monday, October 12, 2009


I came back yesterday from an awesome ladies' mountain getaway & found out that I was a lucky winner of 2 of the Days Ago timers featured in the Pink Nothings giveaway last week...yeahhh!!!

I can't wait to put them to good use so I can let you guys know just how awesome they are.

I must say that I love winning things!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

another success!

Another sewing success...

I whipped up these p.j. pants for myself yesterday.
I love them!

I got the pattern all cut out Sunday night & got very nervous on Tuesday when I reviewed the directions because they made no sense to me at all.
I got discouraged & put it away until yesterday when I gave up on the directions accompanying the pattern & turned to the good 'ol WWW.
I immediately found a great tutorial that seemed to work with what I had already cut out for my pattern.

I was nervous about trying them on for fear that I had done all of the work & they wouldn't fit...
but they did...yeah!!!

I even got 'brave' & trimmed the leg of each with this adorable ribbon (not a great picture, I know, but you can atleast see the ribbon).

I'm definitely hooked on sewing...if only I had more time for it!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Here are a few after shots of my front-porch re-do...

I guess it's hard to tell from far-away, just how much better it looks.
The paint definitely looks fresh & here's another close up of the "new" light fixtures I can't get enough of...

Can't wait to share the pictures of our newest home update from the weekend...check back soon!


Here are 2 shots of my 1st "real" sewing project...

I call it "real" because I actually used a pattern, although a very easy one.

My first few projects were table runners that didn't require patterns.

I'm so happy with the way the apron turned out.

I'm thinking it's going to be a Christmas gift for some lucky person!

Next on the sewing block---pajama pants for me!

Days Ago giveaway...

Check out this awesome invention...
Days Ago timers!

The timers help you keep track of how long open food has been in the fridge (we all know we have a hard time keeping track of that!),
when you last took your medication,
when you last made your baby's food/froze breast milk,
when you did your last self-breast exam,
when you watered your plants...

They make several varieties that attach to containers differently...
magnetic timers, suction timers, timers with bands attached to them.

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month,
they have created a pink timer to remind you to do self-breast exams.
10% of the proceeds of this timer are donated to the cause.

Pink Nothings is sponsoring a giveaway where you can win 1 of 6 of these awesome gadgets.
Hop on over there to enter to win before October 10th...
Good luck!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


(courtesy of Kari at UCreate)

October is here...my favorite month of the year!

I can feel fall in the air...
it's still 66 crisp degrees at 12:15!

I can't wait for some time outdoors this weekend & our girls trip to the mountains next weekend...what fun!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

my new fixture!

As promised, here's a picture of my new BLACK light fixture...

I love, love, love it!

By Thursday I'll have a picture of the entire finished product!

Stay tuned...

Monday, September 28, 2009


Check out what I did today...

Front entrance of our home before:

Front entrance of our home post transformation:
PICTURE TO COME---it started raining just after I finished painting, before I could shoot a photo!
I'll hopefully get one tomorrow so you won't be kept in suspense too long.

The paint on our front porch railings has been slowly chipping off for some time now.
It's been driving me crazy, but yet neither Chris not I had any time to deal with it (plus, with it raining the last 5 weekends in a row we've not had nice weather for it either).

The sad state of affairs of our front porch paint-so sad, I know.

Well, today was the day to fix it up!
I cleaned the railings & banisters off with bleach & warm water.
While it dried, I ran to Lowe's for supplies.
Then, I painted away.
There's not a lot of surface to paint, but it's tedious because I had to use a small brush to get around each of the banisters.

For the last few months I've grown to simply despise the light fixtures on either side of our front door.
I never liked them much to begin with, but I was dealing with it.
Poor Chris, I knew if I asked him to change out one more light fixture for me that he might snap (he's so good to do it, but I don't want to push it too much!).
So, I took matters into my own hands...

It was mostly the gross, brass-color of the fixtures that I was so over. (can you blame me?)

So, I painted them BLACK!

I'm sad that I wasn't brave enough to paint them before now.
(Note about painting metal light fixtures: You must prime the metal surface first for the paint to stick to it.)
Luckily, I had read into this enough to know to prime first.

To top it all off, I bought a new WELCOME doormat at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Gotta' love it too-it was regularly $19.99-today it was on sale for $14.99-with my 20% off coupon it was less than $13 with tax!

Total cost for my project: $40
(brushes, paint, drop cloth, doormat)
And...I still have a ton of ivory and black paint left.

All I'm missing now is a big 'ol pumpkin!
(Picking one up at Sam's is on Thursday's to-do list...)

I'm so glad that this transformation is done...
there's nothing that a girl & some paint can't fix!