Friday, August 29, 2014


Two weeks ago mom came up to my desk at work talking about this book she was reading and how life changing it was.

Life changing? That caught my attention.

She explained that it was a challenge basically.

A challenge? I love a good challenge.

The book...
Find it Here
Now I am only on like Chapter 3 but it is already so good and mom and I already started our journals. Mom is already at like 524 gifts or blessings. I am at 278. It is amazing. You start looking at the little things, good memories start floating the top and it is so much easier to block out the negative. This is week two and I already feel lighter and more appreciative and closer to God. I also feel like my relationships with family and friends are more cherished. I am living in the moment and realizing how good things really are and I have decided that I might just keep going once I hit 1000. Why stop at 1000?

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Beat the Heat

The heat this summer hasn't been to unbearable except the whole 100% humidity everyday. The humidity in Georgia is unbearable. You walk outside and it is pretty much instant sweat. Ick. Our AC decided to crash on us at home and at work which made me start thinking about ways to beat the heat. 

Sweet Tea 
I think the reason sweet tea is like fine wine down here in the south is that it is the perfect beat the heat drink.  It is sweet and cool and perfect. I drink mine from a chilled mason jar, and yes I did this BEFORE Pinterest said it was cool. 

Pool and lake time! 
This is a given. Here in Georgia we have a few awesome lakes. I have my favorite up in the mountains that I run too when the heat gets brutal. It is also imperative that you know someone with a pool to make it through the summers here. If your pool buddy is missing and you don't feel like hooking up the boat or SeaDoos, I recommend hiking to one of the water falls (we have a billion here) or heading to the many rivers or creeks around here. Devil'e Elbow is the local hot spot around here. 

Washing the car
You get two things taken care of in one swoop here. Friday night we washed one of the big tow trucks together as a company. It was the hottest day of the year and we needed to cool down. Plus, the truck had a car show to attend. Between soaping up the truck there was a lot of spraying each other with hoses and pretending we hated it. It felt amazing. That 106 heat index with 97% humidity was no joke. 

Homemade Ice Cream
We hit the triple digits again on Saturday but the event we were at had homemade ice cream. There is nothing in this world like homemade ice cream. Why is that? I have no idea but I had 2 cups of it and no, I don't feel even a morsel of regret. It was cold and sweet and I would love some right now... at 9am... this is why I will never be a size 2. 

Those are just a few ways I beat the heat down in here in the dirty muggy south. How do you handle the summer heat? 

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees

So I know I am late to this party. It seems EVERYONE I know has already read this book and possibly seen the movie. It has been on my bookshelf and I just never had the time. This summer I made the time and I was not disappointed.

The book is set in South Carolina in 1964. Lily Owens, 14, is the main character. Lily has a troubled past. She lost her mother, Deborah,  and feels her death was her fault. Her father, T.Ray,  is a peach farmer that is often harsh and cold towards Lily and the only person who she feels loved by is her nanny, Rosaleen.

Rosaleen decides to register to vote and on the way they are met with a group of men that start trouble. When Rosaleen stands up for herself  she is thrown in jail and beaten. Lily finds out that when Rosaleen does get out that the men will most likely kill her and that is where the adventure begins.

Lily manages to break Rosaleen out of the hospital by fooling a guard and they end up in Tiburon, SC where they find a family of bee keepers that take them in. Lily learns so much about bees that summer and about life and the tragedies that come with it.

The Characters: I am just going to sum up the 4 that I felt had the most impact on the story
I felt bad for Lily, but at times she frustrated me. She endured so much in such a small amount of time and did what she thought she had too, but I feel like she played mind games with August. She withheld and lied and claimed she was protecting herself but I felt like she would NEVER give in.

I loved her. She was the rock of the little community and so wise and patient. Reading this made me want to stand in the beehouse and help jar the honey and listen to her all day.

I hated him but at the same time I feel like he loved his daughter. I just feel like with all the hurt he endured he let the cold move in and couldn't let go.

Oh Rosaleen... I loved her but at times she was a little childish. She was sweet and determined though, and I cried happy tears when she got all dolled up to register to vote again.

It is a must read. I loved the setting and being a southern girl I could immerse myself in that hot summer easily. The characters were lovable and passionate and you could feel their love oozing off the pages. The story had twists and turns and kept me wanting more and I was a little sad when it ended, but I felt the ends were tied up nicely. I feel like it is one I will revisit and fine different favorite parts each time.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wedding Bells

The past week and a half has been insanely busy. I have been busy working on getting my real estate license and got a job lined up for once I am done! We went shopping for campers, went on a date night or two and visited a dear friend in the hospital. But the biggest news... my little sister got MARRIED!!!!

It was a small ceremony at my parents house. It was simple and super casual. She was beautiful. It was perfect.

And now I am just going to photo dump...

We adore our little nephew

She wanted both daddy and Brantley to walk her down the aisle

Husband and wife! 

The beautiful family

The happy couple 

May you guys have many years of happiness ahead of you.
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Humble Pie

I had a little bit of a wake up call/slap in the face Friday.

You see, I have always been one of those people that secretly rolled their eyes when moms talked about crying at their children's doctors appointments. I always thought "Suck it up! They have to go. What's the big deal?" So Friday when my sister had to take my nephew to the doctor I volunteered to go to entertain him. Ha, this is where I set my own trap. Mom mentioned that he would be getting a finger prick and a shot but I didn't think anything of it. Honestly,  I was just excited about the lollipop at the end, that his 9 month old self couldn't enjoy, but auntie could!

We walked into the doctor and I sat in the waiting room while Sara went to make a bottle. They choose this moment to call us back.

First thing, the finger prick... He whimpered but put on a brave face and flirted and smiled at the nurse. They gave him an awesome spaceship band aid that kept him busy for most of the developmental questions.
He really wanted that thing off his finger! 

The doctor tortured him a little more and counted his teeth and made him super grouchy and then said we could get him dressed. I thought "Well this isn't so bad. Mom's are so dramatic." 

Little did I know...

The nurse walks in and told Sara to lay him down for his shot. He is smiling and cooing and flirting and melting my heart like he does and she stabbed him!  He looked so betrayed and then burst into tears. REAL tears. So what does Auntie do? Burst into tears. REAL tears.

At the moment I wanted to hurt whoever was hurting him. I had this instinct to take him and protect him and all that "Well it has to be done..." went out the window.  How did this munchkin do this to me? Who am I?  I seem to be getting softer the more I hang with this kid.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Kinda like Serena and Venus...

I know I wrote a post earlier about how I haven't really enjoyed this summer. I mean it hasn't been awful but it has kinda been all work and no play and I have had basically no saddle time.

I did manage to squeeze in at least one ride and it was a ride that meant A LOT. You see, my sister and I have ridden together since we were kids. Mom would load us up and take us to the barn where we would tack up and hit the arena together. We would stay all day riding our horses and once we got REALLY good we started working with other peoples' horses. Our trainer was like a second mom to us and she always made sure we got some AMAZING opportunities. (She still does)

We started showing shortly after. Sara was always the pretty rider that could make it look effortless. I was always the effective rider that could take a horse that was unruly or untrained and take him/her through the levels and win. We did well in the show world. We bonded with our horses and they enjoyed their jobs. It showed in the arena.

Skip ahead to a few years later. School schedules collided, boys came into the picture, babies and marriage happened and while we were riding it was only occasionally and never together.

Until a few weeks ago....

Sara and I left work and went to the barn together. We stepped out of the car and I looked at Sara and said, "Do you realize it's been years since we have been in a ring together?" We walked into the barn and grabbed our horses. Our trainer made the same comment, " It has been years since my girls have been in an arena together."

Our ride was fantastic. Our horses behaved perfectly. Sara looked flawless and I worked hard to get Soul to understand what we were working on. We zigged and zagged around each other. She is the only person I can ride with and I know I don't have to make sure she isn't going to run into me. We have a 6th sense about where the other is about to turn. It's kinda cool.

 At one point we were taking our walk breaks and looked up and people from the barn were standing around the arena watching us. One of the ladies from the barn said, "I cant believe you two are in the arena together again." Mom stood proudly on the side line with my nephew, talking to him about how maybe one day he could be an equestrian like mama and auntie.

I know it seems like it is not a big deal for 2 people to ride horses together. Heck, I ride with 8 other people in the arena with me all the time. But Sara and I were always together. Always trying to be better than the other, challenging each other, cheering for each other and laughing at each other. Even though it is an individual sport we are a team and that day we felt like celebrities kinda like Serena and Venus, but without all the money and sponsors. Who knows maybe once life slows down a little we will show together again.