Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Creative Side

Last night, Zach and I were invited to a birthday bash of a friend of ours. When we were invited, I asked if I could bring anything. I was asked to bring vegetables. It kind of freaked me out considering I don't eat veggies. What do I bring? I asked what the birthday girl's favorites were and I jumped on that. So I came with zucchini and carrots. I was a little nervous since I don't know how to pick out veggies, but people said they were good. So I made it through that hurdle. Then we were having a good time chatting and eating, when it was announced that we were going to paint. This was shocking to my soul. Oh goodness, freestyle painting with other people watching made me beyond nervous. I have been meaning to start painting, but that was just going to be between me and the paint brushes. No one else was going to be involved. I was a little scared, but after getting over myself, it was really enjoyable. I wouldn't call what I did anything close to a masterpiece, but it wasn't horrible (I don't think). What a fun night!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another Snow Day

So far this year, I have had the pleasure of experiencing 3 snow days. We have 5 built into the calender, so we are not going to have to make up any days yet. I woke up at 5:55 am to my phone ringing. A message let me know that school was cancelled for the day. I was immediately sad because I did not go to hear a friend play last night because I would be up too late and thought that I would need for my head to be screwed on straight today. I was also a little sad, because in general, Wednesdays are my favorite days at work and I think today would have been a good one. I got over those emotions pretty quickly and went back to sleep. When I actually got out of bed, I look out the window to see very little snow outside. Amazingly, this is the most snow I have seen on a snow day yet. (the first day, all the snow was in the South part of the county and the second day, was an extremely cold day).

I feel like I made good use of the day overall. I made and baked cookies and made and baked a cake creation. In the midst of baking, I cleaned all the floors in the house. I also intermixed 4 loads of laundry. Since I was going to be home, I decided I would make noodles for the already planned chicken noodle soup for dinner. I made whole wheat noodles today which I think turned out very well. (I forgot to update you to let you know that the last set of noodles were delicious as well). I think I might become a noodle maker on a regular basis. As soon as Zach got home, we ate dinner and then headed out to go shopping. I had to return a gift and then we started scoping out a TV. We went to Circuit City, Electronics Express, Best Buy, Sam's, Walmart, and HHGregg. I think we got a good idea of what we want, but Zach is going to do some more researching. As soon as we got home, I got right back in the car to go exercise with a friend. I came back home showered and now I am writing this. Overall, I think this was a productive day.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Things

Last night, Zach and I decided to go try a new restaurant not too far from the house. We don't usually try new things because we rarely go out and we like to get our favorites when we do go out. Well, now we have a new place to add to our favorites. The name of the restaurant is Pied Piper's Eatery. Zach decided on the Monte Cristo and I had the chicken sandwich. Both were amazing. Here is a pic of Zach's...

A little later, some friends came over and we played Hoopla. I got Hoopla for Christmas. This was my first time playing it in years. I am happy to announce that it is just as great of a game as I remembered.

Today has been a day getting back to business. I went and worked out with a friend this morning while Zach went to work. We both got done around 2pm. We headed out to buy a garage door opener. Zach is currently working on putting that in. Wish him luck! While he has been working on that, I have been working on dinner which includes homemade pasta. I don't know yet how it will turn out yet. I will be sure to update soon on hopefully the success of the pasta and garage door opener.
Zach taking down the old garage door opener

Me using the pasta maker

My noodles. I hope they taste as good as they look:D

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hitting a Wall

Today was a lot like many days have been recently. I went to a crazy day at work (pretty much all of January has been this way). I had 5 evaluations/testing to do today. I got them all done, but I have not typed up any of the reports yet and I am further delaying it by writing this blog. In between some of these, I find out that we paid $40 for a guy to come out and tell us that he couldn't do anything to fix the garage door opener. It seems to me that you come out and see that you can't do anything, that we shouldn't owe you much if anything. Definitely not $40. So now, Zach and I have to decide what to do about the garage door opener. This begins my downward spiral of thinking about all of our unexpected financial responsibilities lately, especially the ones still waiting in the wings. And on top of those needs, are wants (piano tuning, a new TV, a slipcover for the recliner) Needless to say, I am a little stressed. I know deep down that God provides and I fully believe that, but I still feel lost in all of this. I know that things are fine and that we aren't sinking, but I am just tired. I start to think that this might be what things are like for a very long time and I don't like that thought. I am ready for a month where something does not break.

Now that I got that off my chest, continuing with the day... After work, I went to the YMCA to have a health evaluation/fitness test done. As luck would have it, the guy who was supposed to be doing my test was not there and so another worker attempted to cover for him. Things did not go smoothly and I only got a partial test done. Overall good news, even though I don't know whether to trust the results. According to the test, my body fat, blood pressure, and resting heart rate are all in the excellent range. My push up ability is in the fair range and my flexibility (hamstrings) are in the "needs work" range. Overall, pretty reassuring (if true).

Following my partial fitness test, Zach and I then went to see a friend play at a local venue. When we go to these types of things, I am reminded of how crazy Nashville is. Nashville is a town full of very talented people (and some not so talented people), making amazing music, fighting to be heard. I really enjoyed our friend's songs and feel for all musicians trying to fight their way through this town. Good luck musicians.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Deep Breath In

Even though I had a four day weekend, I did not run out of things to be doing. It feels like we worked on the house non-stop. We have officially finished painting the windows and we are choosing to ignore the fact that the new paint doesn't quite match the old paint. More importantly, we were finally able to clean up and move furniture back into place. I was at a breaking point with the house due to every room having furniture piled in the middle of the room. I have not been able to use my desk in about a month and we have been watching TV crammed between furniture with the TV on the floor. I am finally able to walk into different rooms and breath. In addition, Zach and I cleared out and cleaned up the attic which still had junk in it from the previous owners. We left the bottle collection for now because today it was too much to deal with.

This not a very good picture, but all the furniture was sitting in the middle of the room on the carpet.

Some of the troubles continue though. Today Zach and I worked on attempting to fix the fan in the bathroom. We found out for sure that it should be vented outside and not into the attic. In addition, after taking it apart and cleaning the craziness out of it, I still don't think it is working. The garage door opener is still not working. In addition, we went to put the TV back up the window where it belonged to find out it no longer fits because the window was moved in some. So, for now it is placed on a coffee table. This means that I am caving and considering buying a flat screen:( I just hope that we can find an amazing deal...but first Zach has to sell his trumpet.

The TV is supposed to sit on top of those cabinets in the window, not on a small table in front of the cabinets.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Ups and Downs of the Day

  • I got to sleep in this morning...really sleep in. (Oh, how I love to sleep)

  • We were able to successfully install the new digital thermostat we got for Christmas

  • I won a game of Nertz

  • I got to talk to Andrea who is halfway around the world. What an unbelievable way to end the day!
Zach taking down the old thermostat.


  • The van had a flat tire...a major flat tire that took hours to get off due to really tight lug nuts and not owning the right tools. Zach spent a lot of time in the freezing cold with van rolling off the jack two times before being able to get the spare on. Thank you love! (Did you know that AAA will only come help you with towing, flat tires, batteries, etc 4 times/year and what do you know that this would have been our 4th time. We decided to save it in case we need it in the future and don't have resources and hours of time on our side. Unbelievable that we have already used them 3 times. What does that tell you about our cars?)

  • I had to do a lot of painting of window trim today and we are still not sure if it is close enough of a match that we won't have to go back and repaint

  • The garage door opener is still not fixed. It is officially beyond our abilities to fix.

  • The vent in our bathroom is still not working after Zach spending a long time in the attic working on it. We thought it was do to a lack of ventilation in the attic (which Zach brilliantly fixed), but now we think in addition the fan itself is broken.

  • Our oven is crazy and made making sweets very difficult with done to burnt bottoms and uncooked tops of cupcakes and cookies

A broken looking jack that is actually still working surprisingly.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Night with My Hubby

Zach asked that we spend a night together at home. So, I changed some other plans around in order to be home with him. So, how did we spend our night? Well, the afternoon began with finally selling Zach's truck. Just in the nick of time to turn around and spend that money to pay for the windows.

Then we started taping and painting our new windows. We still have a ways to go.

And I finally got to clean up some. I had been avoiding cleaning as long as we were having construction in every room of the house. After sanding down the windows, I felt it was safe to finally clean. I ended up going a little crazy and even cleaned out the vacuum cleaner. The house is still a disaster with all the furniture in the middle of every room, but at least the counters and floors are a little cleaner.
We ended the night by watching Prince Caspian.

The Weather Outside is Cold

Today I am home from school because of extreme cold. That's right, Metro Nashville cancelled school today due to predicted temperatures of 0-2 degrees in the early morning. At first it seemed silly (and it still does to some degree), but I am also glad that the kiddos I see at school did not have to wait in 0 degree weather this morning. Honestly, I didn't even know what to wear myself. Do I have clothes to wear in 0 degree weather? I don't really have a true winter coat. I know that I could layer, but I still feel unsure how much is enough to stay warm. Thankfully I am not going out much today, so I don't have to worry too much. All this to say, that I can only imagine what some of my children from very low income families might have looked like this morning. I can tell you that a big winter coat is not on my list of needed clothing and I am sure it is not on their list. Overall, I am just celebrating a 4 day weekend (MLK day is Monday)! Hopefully that will free some time to paint some windows.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Y

Zach and I have officially joined the YMCA. After going as a guest on Saturday with Erin and hurting for several days, I decided that this was something that we really should do if we could figure out how to make it work in our budget. We sat down and redid our budget and somehow got an amazing price on membership to the Y due to our income. It is amazing how everything fell into place. We did the joining part yesterday and we went and actually worked out today. I really enjoyed it. I know that I will be feeling it tomorrow, but I am excited about that. Tomorrow I want to try pilates class.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Year's Eve Pictures

Zach acting something out.

Kelley acting something out.

Group picture.

Jesse acting out a dinosaur. In case you couldn't figure it out.
Thank you Tyler for the amazing pictures.

Fun and Work

This past weekend was busy. I didn't expect it to be but that is how it ended up. Zach ended up doing a lot of work and I had a lot of fun:D

Zach began cleaning out the garage. The garage is where we put anything that did not have a spot in the new house and has been sitting there. He also attempted to fix the garage door opener. Not the little hand held button thing you push to open the garage, but the actual machine that opens the garage that is fastened to the ceiling. He was up on a ladder for hours replacing a stripped gear. He did it. But sadly, it didn't fix the garage door opener. We will have to continue on that adventure. He also game along to the party. Thank you Zach for all your hard work this weekend.

I hung out with friends for hours, exercised with my new shoes, made cookies, went to a house party, kept kiddos in Sunday school, went to a meeting about a mission trip and went to church. That is a pretty full weekend. I am still feeling the affect of exercising. I think doing most of the machines at the gym should be saved for maybe the 10th visit, not the 1st in months. At the party, I played a game called BuzzWord that I really enjoyed. We also played some games I did not enjoy as much such as Apples to Apples, but overall, I had an amazing time. At the mission trip meeting, I made the decision to pay the deposit to commit to going to Guatemala with my church. Wow, what a weekend!

I am so excited to have new tennis shoes.

The team that lost. I didn't get a pic of our team. That's right we won!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bluegrass News

Over the past few months, friends and family have been telling us they have heard The Farewell Drifters on XM radio, but we didn't really know what to make of it. Well today, Zach found out that they have made it on the XM Bluegrass Charts. Birmingham was listed as the 23rd most played song and Sweet Summer Breeze was listed as the #19 most played album. Congrats boys! The web address is:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas is officially over

I am sad to say that Christmas 2008 is over. We returned on Sunday night from our 2nd Christmas celebration. We headed to Peoria to have an "after Christmas" Christmas with the Bevill side of the family. I am beyond blessed to say that I have in laws that have welcomed me into their family with open arms. Which makes it a lot of fun to have 2 Christmases. I wish that we could actually be with both sides of the family on Christmas, but since Birmingham and Peoria are 10 hours away, we had to split it up. In Peoria, Zach and I were showered with gifts, food, and family. I think that sums it up.

Then we had to return home and I had to return to work. As far as work goes, I have an amazing job, but that did not make Monday even easier, but I made it through.

Sorry there are no pics...I will work on that for future blogs.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A New Year

Zach and I rung in the new year at the Thompson's home. It was a pajama party in which we played a great made up game by Melanie about events of the past year that we had to pick out of a hat and act out. It was hilarious. It was definitely one of the best New Year Eves I have had. I was able to be comfy with people that I am comfy with.

The next morning, we returned to the Thompsons for some kind of Mexican breakfast thing that I did not partake in because there was spicy sausage stuff in it, but everyone else raved about it. We ended up staying the entire day at their home. We ended the day by playing Settlers of Catan (a board game). I really enjoyed playing the game especially since Zach and I won. What a way to bring in the New Year.