100th Post & 9 in '09!

First of all, this is my 100th post! Woohoo! Even though I only have like 5 people that read this thing, I still love my little online journal!

I am copying Hicks on her "9 in 09" post. Great idea, Special K! These are the 9 things that I remember most about 2009.

  1. Losing Nana. This was definitely the hardest part of our year. However, I really think it brought the whole family together.
  2. I started my 2nd year of teaching! I feel like I learned a lot during my first year that helped prepare me for this year. Not to mention all the amazing people I have met with this job!
  3. One of my best friends got engaged! I am so excited to celebrate at the Kent/McGraw wedding in February! SO close!!
  4. We added a little girl to our family. Ellie joined our family (ahem, ZOO) in May & has made our lives very fun! She is a great best friend for Huddy!
  5. We built a house! I love our first home and look forward to all of the memories we will make here.
  6. Discovering Leiper's Fork. I love driving around and I discovered this little gem of a community earlier in the fall. It is beautiful (AND the country music people live out there!) and our dream is to own a house with land out there...eventually:)
  7. Babies. Babies. Babies. Lot's of these happened this year. 3 first grade teachers are currently pregnant and 2 of my cousins are pregnant. Apparently I missed the memo about 2009 being the year of the baby!
  8. This is for Kristy & Mary...2 words: Justin Bobby!!
  9. I celebrated my 1 year anniversary with my husband & I love him more than ever!
What is your best memory of 2009?
Okay 2010...bring it! :)

It was Merry...VERY!

Finally..a Christmas post! Better late than never, right? Gosh I have been so busy since we back with cleaning the house (um, right...), seeing friends, and running errands!
We started our Christmas on the 22nd and we packed it up like the Beverly Hillbillies and made our way to Florence. We did spent a day with Ben's family & went out to dinner and opened presents with them. I have been sick for the ENTIRE month of December and the bonus of having a MIL that is a nurse is that she medicated me:) This is the best picture of me and the hubby the entire Christmas week..

We got Thomas this huge Alabama picture for his new Bama themed room. Ben was a little jealous..
Here is my sweet mother-in-law!
We drove to Lousiana on the 23rd to spend Christmas with my whole family! It was a LONG drive but well worth it!

Here is Nana's tree with only some of the gifts...I forgot to take one before we started opening!

You may remember back in February I bragged about this little girl being born. Baby Brooke is BEAUTIFUL! Seriously...how can you resist those big blue eyes?! Ben is a natural with babies. I can't wait to see him with our own little ones!
Sweet Princess Hailey with her new baby doll. This is a girl after my own heart. She LOVES her baby dolls just like her aunt Laura did:)

Brady and Hailey love eachother. Hailey is 3 and Brady is 2. Brady now lives in Norh Carolina but they are still best friends when they are together! We had so much fun watching them play. How sweet is this picture? Hailey wanted to put on her new wedding dress and Brady helped her with the high heels. Little Prince Charming...
Told ya...they are best buddies!
I foresee this being in a wedding slideshow in 20+ years!

A glimpse into the future?
My family!
the WHOLE Lousiana gang!
I hope your Christmas was as great as ours!



I do not like to make New Years resolutions. I feel like as soon as I put the word "resolution" into a thought, it won't happen. So instead of making resolutions, here are just a few things I would like to happen in 2010:

  • Find our true church home where we are completely satisified & get involved in a small group.

  • Get healthy...aka: eat healthy, maybe not be addicted to diet coke & mexican food, and work out. Of course I expect to lose weight while doing this. I shall call this plan Operation Get Fit or Die Tryin'. And no sillies, I don't actually want to die trying...that would defeat the purpose. I gotta throw out the rap shout outs when I can, though!

  • Learn how to sew
  • Save money...specifically on our grocery bill. I want to be better at using coupons...I love reading blogs where people save TONS of money on their weekly grocery bill. I need to work on this.

  • Get involved with a ministry where I am helping the less fortunate. I have a few ideas. I will keep you posted.

  • Be a lot better at keeping our house clean & organized. Poor Ben married a girl who does not know how to organize OR keep the house clean. Drives him crazy. I'll work on that.

  • Read more! I love to read & I never actually do it during the school year.



These are some things that I am loving today:

  • flannel pajamas
  • our fireplace
  • sleepy and clean pups
  • my favorite picture of Nana...thanks auntie June!
  • Chili's queso
  • cough syrup (week 3 of being sick. 2 rounds of antibiotics. what is the deal?)
  • our king sized bed
  • all of my Christmas candles
  • relaxing with my hubby ALL day:)
  • the holiday recovery Law and Order: SVU marathon. USA knows me too well!
  • a clean house
  • Christmas decorations. Soaking them up all week!


Christmas Eve:)

I just had to share with y'all a glimpse into our Lousiana Christmas Eve:)
  • We will be at Nana's house tonight with 17 adults, 3 little ones, and 1 little boy still hanging in the womb!
  • The presents under the tree fill up the living room. It is ridiculous!
  • We eat my Uncle Ken's gumbo on Christmas Eve. Yummy!
  • The stockings are hanging on the fireplace...and go ALL the way up the 2nd floor staircase. Stockings are always our favorite part! It will keep our sweet Nana's memory alive:)
  • It will be mass chaos...but that is what makes a Louisiana Christmas fun!

Merry Christmas!

I apologize for not putting our actual card on here...grr...lack of working scanner:( But, here is the photo we chose...

To all the bloggers out there in blogland...Merry Christmas from our little family! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and remembers why it is that we do indeed celebrate!

"And there were shepards out in the field keeping watch by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.' Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." - Luke 2:8-11


our halls are decked.

I apologize. I have been a bad blogger. December has been a crazy month! This post is mostly for my mama. She wanted to see our new house decorated for Christmas! Welcome to our home:)
One of my favorite things to do in December is check the mail! I have always loved snail mail & Christmas cards are the best! I think I am going to start putting all of our cards in an album so I can keep track of everyone through the years. Look at sweet Brady:)
This is our new tree. It is in our computer room in the front of the house. It will be a red & silver tree. I am hoping to buy a lot of new ornaments after Christmas--on sale! Look at all the presents!
This is in our family room. I think it needs some garland or something extra next year.
My little red table in the foyer. Hurricane vase was like $8 and those ornaments are from Hobby Lobby and were dirt cheap! Easy decoration!
My dining room needs some Christmas help. I am REALLY wanting a tall skinny artificial tree to put in here next year. I want a tree that has browns & golds. Ben says that would be excessive. I like being excessive at Christmas:)

Our 9 foot real tree. Gotta have the real one! You can't beat the yummy smell! Fun fact we have learned this year: Ellie likes to EAT Christmas trees.
Our newest ornament...thanks Caron!

My mom always had a lot of different Santas when I was younger. They were always on our mantle & I lovedgetting them out each year and looking at them. My house will have no such tradition. Isn't it funny how technology changes things? I love our stockings from Nana...I will always think of her when I get them out in December! I can't wait to buy matching ones for little ones down the road!
The wreath I made this year:)
I cracked up when I saw this picture on my computer. Pay close attention to the windows by the front door. It looks like we have wild racoons living inside:)

Happy Holidays!


Childhood Christmas Memories...

I absolutely LOVE this time of year! I love everything about it. I love the lights, giving gifts, decorating, recieving Christmas cards, ornaments, fires, the smell of Christmas trees, AND of course I love celebrating the birth of our Lord!
These are some of my favorite Christmas memories as a child...
  • I used to love the day that my mom would bring up all the Christmas boxes from the basement. They would literally fill up the living room. We would turn on our favorite Mitch Miller Christmas cd & unpack all the boxes together. I loved decoarting the house then & I love it now!
  • Every year for as long as I can remember we have gotten our tree at Home Depot. Ben & I still go there for ours! We would bundle up & head over there on the search for the best tree. Keep in mind that my dad always had gloves (to protect him from the sap...can't get dirty!) and would stomp his feet before returning to the car. No needles in a "Moore car!" ANYWAYS, I always found the perfect tree. My parents would disagree. I would argue. They would cave. We would bring my tree home and it would always be perfect! :)
  • I always loved going to Louisiana for Christmas. I have vivid memories of going there when I was really little...maybe 5 years old. We were at my Nana's old house and I remember her sitting in her chair & Ned sitting in his blue recliner. I got 2 baby dolls (of course) that were twins and when you got them too far apart they would cry. Haha.
  • I used to love being the little elf at the Georgia Christmas. For the longest time, I was the baby. The youngest got to pass out all of the gifts! However, I was always the last open...
  • I still miss the JFBC 11:00 Christmas Eve candlelight service. Perfect way to end Christmas Eve and celebrate the true reason of this holiday.
  • I used to make the LONGEST Christmas lists! Seriously...I'm talking like multiple pages. I would also make my dog, Maggie, a Christmas list!
  • I remember our first Christmas in the house I grew up in. We had just moved in and didn't have a real tree that year. My aunt and uncle let us borrow their small tree and I found only one ornament for that tree. A rubberband. I was 7 and thought that was the BEST Christmas ever because I got the asian twin babies from American Girl. Yes, I said asian babies. Don't ask.
What are your favorite Christmas memories?


Menu Plan (almost) Monday

I am trying a couple of new things this week for dinner & I'm a little bit excited! I feel like I have been in a cooking rut because I am sick of making the same things week after week. I got 2 new recipes from my friend Mary and I plan on trying them both this week. Now, if only I will stick to this menu...

Sunday: Parmesan Chicken bites (Mary swears by these--her kids love them) with rosemary skillet potatoes
Monday: Chicken cutlets, sausage stuffing (this is SO yummy), green beans
Tuesday: White Chicken Chili
Wednesday: Ben is on his own!
Thursday: I am on my own...haha
Friday: Chicken and Corn Chowder

In other news, I have recently discovered online Christmas shopping. I bought presents for all of our little ones last week from Amazon. It was SO easy. I was shocked! Why am I just now hopping on this bandwagon??? I think I have decided that after my awful trip to the mall yesterday, I will do all of my Christmas shopping online next year. The mall was a zoo and I was very flustered. I don't like large crowds. I don't like potentially seeing people from school. I would love to purchase everything from the comfort of my own couch!

We decorated our huge tree last night, so I will be posting some pictures this week! I love Christmas!!!


And we only have dogs...

This past Saturday, we got our boys & little girl all dressed up in their Christmas collars.
Jack, posing in his holly berries...
Ellie turned into Jingle Bellie...
And Huddy sported his handsome & festive holiday gear...
Why you ask?
Because Aunt Kristy came over to take our Christmas card pictures! I knew it would be difficult with 3 dogs this year in our picture..but seriously, it was tough! Thanks, Kristy, for taking our pictures! She finally figured out a way to get the pups to all look in one direction when she whipped out the dog food! Here are just SOME (we took 96...) of the pictures so you can see how hard it is to get 2 people & 3 furbabies to all look good in a picture. :)
Hudson was not happy about sitting on the cold concrete...and to think...he was once a wandering homeless baby! My how his life has changed...
Where is Huddy?
Oh! There he is:)
Jack is obviously admiring his mama!
Jack & Ellie: fascinated by Mexican workers building houses down the street.
Huddy: Just sharin' the love.
Not sure why my big boy looks asian right here...
We live in a brand new neighborhood. Seriously. They see workers every day...of course they chose this day to be fascinated.
We did have a few good ones and I just ordered our Christmas cards on Sunday. It was so hard with 3 dogs...I can't even imagine what it will be like when kids are added to the mix!



This year I have a lot to be thankful for. Here are some things that make my list...
  • My husband. He loves me. He makes me laugh. He puts up with me. He loves his furbabies. He is wonderful!
  • My family. I have the greatest parents...seriously. My mom is my best friend and my dad just cracks me up! They are great! I am thankful for Ben's family, too. I have great in-laws and I FINALLY have a little brother!
  • Ridiculously great friends!
  • 3 healthy dogs that make me smile every single day.
  • My beautiful home complete with a front porch and swing:)
  • A stocked pantry. Enough said.
  • A j-o-b. Not only do I have a job, but I have a job that I actually enjoy! AND I work with girls that I love!!
  • Christmas decorations. 'Tis the season to be jolly!

Seriously, I have a lot to be thankful. I am very thankful for everything that God has given me in this life. It sure is a good one:) I hope that everyone has a great Turkey Day tomorrow! Gobble, gobble!


Ode to my (fur)babies

Over at Kelly's Korner today she did a Show Us Your Life: Pets. How could I pass that up?! I LOVE my pets! In fact, I don't really consider them my pets. They are my little babies. I love them more than anything!! So I thought I would give a little background knowledge on each of these special babies...
Meet Jack. Everyone thinks he is a baby, but he is our oldest! He is 5 years old...which is really hard for me to believe! He is my little chihuahua baby that weighs only 6.2lbs:)
One weekend during my sophomore year at Ole Miss, I ventured down to Jackson with my roommate. We had wanted a dog for our apartment & spent MANY occasions at the Oxford Shelter playing with pups. So that Friday afternoon we decided to stop at the Briarwood Vet/Pet Store. It had a wall of glass cages filled with teeny little puppies. Then in the corner I spotted the tiniest puppy I had ever seen. He was the only one without any litter mates. He looked so lonely! I put my finger on the glass and he put his paw out to touch me! It was love at first sight! I knew that I HAD to have him. I bought him and kept it a secret from my parents for 2 days. My mom called me that Sunday and asked what I was doing. I responded with "playing with my new puppy!" I will never forget that. She was mad..but later fell in love with this little boy:) He is my first baby and I love him so much! Meet Hudson. He is about 2 1/2 years old. If you have ever driven through Mississippi, you will notice the abundance of stray dogs. It truly breaks my heart. Oxford is no acception. This little guy found his way into my yard during my senior year of college. We lived across from a pretty rough neighborhood that had tons of stray dogs. Hudson was so skinny when we first met. He would come up to me & my roommates and just want some love. We left out a big bowl of water and some blankets at first. He eventually started sleeping on our porch:) Then, we started giving him some food. He would come to our house every day and wait for us to come see him. When our neighbor threatened to take him the shelter, I panicked. I called Ben frantic and begged him to go pick him & take him to his backyard. When I came home from school that day, Huddy was ours! He had an embedded collar & has a nasty scar that proves his icky early life. He is so sweet with the best personality. He loves his mama but is a total daddy's boy! He is our BIG lap dog:)

This is my little girl, Ellie. Isn't she precious? She was definitely not planned! We walked into PetSmart this past May and there she was! She was 6 months old and had been in the shelter pretty much her whole life. The lady gave us a sob story about how this was her last chance at being adopted. Our hearts sank...and it didn't help that she looks JUST like Hudson! I mean really...they could pass for litter mates! We took her home that day & she immediately fit in with our little family. She ADORES her big brother, Hudson. They are best friends. She thinks her other big brother, Jack, is a little funny when he tries to fight her:) She is a crazy little girl but we love her fun personality. She completes the fur family:)


Making a list & checking it twice!

Am I too old to make a Christmas list? I told Ben I was going to make one. He kinda laughed at me:) You can NEVER be too old for a Christmas list!
Here are a few of my current wants...
new Patagonia Synchilla hoodie (aka: fluffly fleece hoodie) I can feel the warmth just from looking at this!!!
I like martinis. I registered for martini glasses. I did not recieve martini glasses. Therefore, I would still like some martini glasses. I love these from Sur La Table. I think they are so fun!

I need a new weekend bag. Seriously, I actually need this. Mine is too small, it is ripping, and the zipper periodically breaks. This does me no good. I like this one. Really, I like any bag with a cute pattern that I can potentially monogram. (shout out Caron!)
What do you want for Christmas?


Oxford: post graduation.

This may have been the best weekend ever. It was long overdue. I got a great dose of some of my best friends. I went back to the quaint Mississippi college town where I did much of my growing up. It was wonderful.

Whit, Cathleen, & I in the grove...you must go there before you die. I promise, it is superb SEC tailgating & fantastic people watching!
The newly engaged bestie...soon-to-be Mrs. McGraw!

Yep. I love her.
The best part: the Rebels beat those icky orange Vols! HOTTY TODDY!
Ben & Ryan
The Grove...Eli was actually there! Sad I didn't see him...you know how I love celebrities!

We were driving home yesterday & I glanced down at the calendar on my phone. I realized something. This past Saturday was exactly, to the day, 5 years since we met. AND we were in Oxford. Pretty funny, right? I can't believe I have known this boy for 5 years! :)
Of course we ended our Saturday night at the Library dancing to DJ Mario. Perfect ending to a perfect weekend! I am itching to go back for a girls only weekend!!! Pretty soon, we will back for Whit & Matt's wedding!