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Monday, October 3, 2011

Nothing like a Ocean Sunset & Food for Thought

Waiting for the sunset on the board walk

sun over the water earlier in the day

seconds before the sunset
I had the joy of being at the beach recently and I wanted to upload some more pictures from this amazing trip... You may have seen the pictures of my beautiful friends, well this post is dedicated to the beautiful scene as the sun finishes shining on this side of the world.  It is amazing to me that the world is turning so fast through space but because of our atmosphere and gravity we don't feel any of it!  I was looking at the sky last night and saw all the beautiful stars and it always amazes me.  To me it is such a treasure to know God put all the stars in the sky all the fish in the sea and all the creatures on the Earth and Sky for our ability to explore and discover. 

Even today scientist find new things every day.  They find things from centuries past as we learn about the human race and the knowledge of our ancestors and people all over the world.  It is such a blessing that the Bible is the oldest and most historic document that we have to remind us of how history repeats it self and the stories of the past.  It is so factual that you can visit the actual places that are referenced in the stories that really happened.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Movement, Serenity, Peace, Calm, and Decisions

"Blue Serenity"

"Big Decisions"
The "Blue Serenity" painting is one I did for my guest bathroom yesterday, and the "Big Decisions" painting I did a couple years ago when I made a career transitional decision.  You must be seeing a constant theme in my paintings swirls or random movement. 

Movement is always a theme in my personal life too.  I am usually doing something fun and staying active.  Sleep is my serenity so the blue in my paintings is a testament to that quality as I associate blue to peace and calm.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Healthier Life + Lots of Water= More Energy

I am feeling very good lately.  I have been drinking a ton of water- trying for 80 oz a day.  I have been eating more fruits and vegetables like I mentioned before, and it has made a huge difference.  I have lost more weight and people are noticing- that is the best, because then you get more motivated to keep up the good work.  I fit into my skinny jeans for the first time, in a long time... ahh the joy of working out.

This is where I stopped running... Beautiful, right?!


I am training for a Duathlon with my husband, Kyle.  He is so excited, because we will compete together and he will bike, then I will run, then he will bike, all along outdoor trails.  This is great because I was a little apprehensive about doing another race since my "glory days" of running cross country.  Let's be honest there is no way I will beat my 5k time of 27 minutes, so I will just do the very best I can with the body I have now,

and enjoy the view while I run.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Girl's Weekend in Seaside, FL

One weekend + 14 Young Ladies + Bachelorette Party = Just what we needed!!
Just some of the Fabulous Ladies on the Trip
We had rented a Mansion on the Beach in Seaside, the Mango Mansion to be exact.  11 of us were staying in the Mansion and the other 3 were living nearby so they just came to party ;)  Just a little Rest and Relaxation also know as R&R...  The sign below is a sign from the hallway.

We went out the first night to dinner and they had a cool little area where we could dance to some great live music... beach music, the best kind!

The next day we woke up early put on our bikini's grabbed our towels, tanning lotion, sunglasses, and bottled water and headed to the ocean which was close by, considering we were on the beach!!  I walked the beach shore and found a ton of sea shells... FunLovingJen by the Sea Shore finding Sea Shells.  Then I worked on my tan, like only us southern girls can.
Me and the Bachelorette, Leigh
This is a Panoramic view from the walkway to the Beach
One thing you will notice from the beach pictures is how white the sand is and how the ocean is as blue if not bluer than the sky... pretty remarkable if you as me!!  The Florida Coast is one of the nicest places on Earth, and I have traveled quite a bit to other parts of the world...

That night it was filled with laughs and an excellent time with friends and the future Bride.  We sent the evening at the famous local spot called Red Bar.  The restaurant has a very short menu compared to others I have seen, but with the well known eatery being known for their delicious food and ambiance everyone leaves happy.  After dinner the Red Bar turns on the music and the DJ kept us dancing all night long. Memories to last a life time!! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Friends I'll Never Forget


Game day in Oxford Mississippi from scottburtonphotography on Vimeo.

This video by Scott Burton Photography gave me chills and is a more accurate portrayal of a game day and really took me back.  Loved it so I just had to add it to the blog!  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!!!


It's too bad this blog wasn't started 8 years ago, mainly because I would have written about my time at Ole Miss also known as the University of Mississippi.  This video shows part of the experience, but only graduates will have the life long memories of attending school there.

Before I was married those were definitely some of the happiest times of my life!  I still keep in touch with the friends I can never forget that I met there!  Some of the sweetest and beautiful women in the South!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

7. Simple Tricks to Losing Weight

Well, after exactly a year and 10-12 lbs of happy eating and marriage, I finally was able to lose 5 lbs.  It happened so easily once I really applied myself to doing the right things.  If you want to know my tricks, and common things I have heard for people wanting to lose weight here is what I did:

Myrtle Beach, SC 2011
1. Walk 30+ minutes a day
2. Eat more fish and lean protein
3. Eat low carbohydrate vegetables and fruits with dinner and as snacks
4. Eat yogurt (I like Activia's vanilla)
5. Drink a lot more water (trying for 80 oz a day)
6. Switch from sandwiches to salads at lunch (2 tbsp or less dressing)
7. Start using portion control and counting calories

That was the difference and I am already seeing big results and people are noticing!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Baby you're a Firework

"Firework" by Katy Perry





This inspirational and meaningful song to me is about finding yourself when you are down, and the inner light that will come out when you tackle your inner fears or insecurities.  It is not a wonder how 5 of the songs released from her album went #1.  I will tell you I downloaded the whole thing and was very happy to see her release all the songs she did and that they did so well. 

Good for you Katy!!!


Here are the lyrics if you are like me and want to know them!

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,
drifting through the wind
wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
like a house of cards,
one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep?
6 feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite, the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite, the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, Oh, Oh"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through-ough-ough

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, Oh, Oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, Oh, Oh"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Best Sand Castle at the Beach

Sand Castle #1

Sand Castle #2

Sand Castle #3

Sand Castle #4A

Sand Castle #4B

UP, UP and Around

Me & Kyle in front of Myrtle Beach, SC Farris wheel
I had a great adventure at the beach this time around, it was nice to enjoy the Jimmy Buffet Farris Wheel in Myrtle Beach, SC.  It is almost a Sky Bucket because it goes up so high and is fully enclosed.  You can go with 2-6 people and it was truly a ton of fun!

Kyle and I saw the coastline for miles around and all the fun lights of the city since we were going at night.  Every day is an adventure with this amazing man of mine!

I love the beach and Myrtle Beach was such a fun place to go, it was like Destin of South Carolina!  Sand was white and the water was blue, what more could anyone want?  It was dog friendly before 9 am and after 5 pm, which is perfect because the beach is really too hot for canine during the day!  It was also very friendly.  See my other post about the best sand castle!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Love like Crazy



This song will always have a very special meaning to me as it was the first dance song at our wedding!!!  Almost exactly a year ago we got married in Norcross and had the reception at the 173 Carlyle House.  This was such a perfect spot for us and was so beautiful!!!
courtesy of Lee Patterson Photography
As we are almost ready to celebrate our One Year Anniversary of being married, I am getting all nostalgic of the memories from the wedding and how beautiful it was.  Kyle was so handsome and I felt like a princess.
courtesy of Lee Patterson Photography
It was clearly the happiest day of my life!  I'll never forget what a blessing my mom was to planning everything.  Kyle's mom, Susan did such a nice job with the rehearsal dinner, and Amethyst my Maid of Honor did above and beyond what I could have hoped for.  I was also grateful for all the people that helped with planning both my bridal showers, which, by the way were also spectacular! 

It was so great to have people come from all over the world to be at my wedding, and especially those that came across the country!  I have never felt so loved!  I guess that is what it is all about right?! 

Love can conquer all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beach Bound and Care Free

One thing I love about being married and no kids is: if you want to leave for the weekend to head to the beach you can just go!  We took our dogs and our one year old wedding cake topper and we headed to SC beaches to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary.  It is a nice feeling to know we have made it our first year.  Things will only get better from here.

This was a picture from our room, kind of amazing right?  Thanks instagram for the editing help, super easy by the way, I had to borrow Kyle's iphone 4 ;)


Let’s just say when you are gone for a couple days and you take your dogs it is no hard task to fill up an entire truck bed.  With dog crates, dog bed, food, drinks, and luggage it is not hard to pack the whole truck up.  I was really excited about our trip to the beach because we were celebrating our anniversary.  As I mentioned, we have been married a year and it honestly has been one of the best years of my life.  We get along really well, but we also have amazing communication.  That is definitely something we work on daily and it is a blessing.

There is nothing better than getting some good ole fashioned Vitamin D and we went with our dogs on walks down the ocean.  I love to just slip my toes in the sand. Oh and the clique long walks on the beach!!!  Tootles :)

So Critical


‘“I was just thinking how critical you are.” My natural instinct was… well, you know. But I thought, This is a good willed man. Maybe he means something else.  So I asked, “What does that mean, that I’m critical?”  He replied, “I mean our family couldn’t exist without you. You are so critical to us.”’  “The Language of Love & Respect,” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, Pg 101.

When I first read this I thought what you did, wow sounds like the beginning of a fight!  This amazing book talks about a lot of things but one of the points of this chapter is how men say plainly what they mean most of the time and women read in between the lines.  He also talked about how we hear each others voice's and have a different connotation in the sounds when we communicate.

I did an experiment with Kyle and myself at the dinner table.  I said will you yell my name, pretending you are trying to get my attention.  Then I did it.  I thought he sounded mad at me and he thought I sounded like a damsel in distress.  So this just shows how the tone of our voices can make the other person feel a certain way about something we are saying.

Two students are given a task to try to get the other student to cross a line.  Students in America will try to bribe the other student and do anything they can to try to get the other student to come over.  In Japan the same experiment was done and almost immediately all the students quickly switched sides so that each student won.  Hence a true win, win.

I guess that is why in a loving marriage we don’t try to win on just one side, we did like the Japanese and try for a win, win. There is no "i" in team.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Down and Out after an Amazing Game Tuesday Night

The missing ball's replacement
Kyle was really sweet and after I lost my blue Nike Soccer ball he went to the store and bought me a new one to replace it.  So I was all excited about having my new ball to play soccer with at the game.  I got there early and was warming up with our keeper Jeff and everything was going well for the game we were about to have.

We started the game and right away we moved the ball up field and my friend Jen G and Marta  both scored goals so we were up 4-0.  I remembered this team and I think we either tied them or they won last time so there was a sense that we needed to continue to play well.

One thing we definitely had going for us is our whole team or most of our team was there.  We were missing Marc and Charlie but we had almost a full roster.  We ended up winning 7-3 and it was amazing the first real game of the season. 

The only problem was I hurt my ankle by hyper-extending it. But yesterday I took the day off work to rest my ankle and let it rest and ice it down.  So now it's Thursday and I feel much better!  Tomorrow I will be back to work!

He can Surf, Snowboard, Skate... oh and He's a Dog



There are definitely cool dogs out there but this one is one of the coolest!  My dad sent me this video and I wanted to share it with you!!  I hope you enjoy it.  He surfs, he snow boards and he skates.  All this and he is a dog!  I just can't believe it!

My favorite part is when he is at the skate boarding park!

I hope you enjoy the video!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Camera for a Semi New Family

He said he was driving and didn't want to take a picture
Kyle used his USAA points to get us a new camera.  I was surprised when he said he wanted a new camera because he usually doesn't even like it when I am taking tons of pictures.  If he is turning over a new leaf I am all for it. 

Kisses
Of course I am always up for a picture.

at a stop light
So I guess he doesn't mind having his picture taken after all. 

I am loving the quality of this new camera, it is a FujiFilm with 14 mega pixels, and 5x zoom, I wish I had this camera at the Britney Spears Concert, that is for sure.

This is one of the first things we have bought that is something we will have to share, and I am sure it won't be our last.  It is just part of being married. 

I mean our dogs even know I am Ruby's master and Kyle is General's master.  This is because before we were married the dogs lived with each of us separately.  Of course now they are our dogs and we each take care of the other dog, but the attachment and favoritism is also there.  

I love both dogs and both dogs love us too.  Seriously the dogs make me feel like a family because with out them we would be a married couple.  I like our family the way it is for now.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

My pure bred puppy still has nightmares about the "pound"

General Lee and me at the cabin
It was only for a little while, and it really wasn't the pound, but try telling that to my puppy General Lee and he tells a different story.  If my dog could talk he would probably tell you all sorts of terrible things about a woman named Stephanie who bought him for a little while telling me, "Oh he will be my special puppy," something straight out of the PETA articles is more along the lines of what was going on there. 

I had a bad feeling about her after a month or so of her buying General from a litter of 10 puppies that we had a couple years ago.  So I called Stephanie and she confirmed that "she hadn't taken care of him right and had gotten really sick."  So I offered to buy him back for half the price she paid.  I went to pick him up and he was literally skin and bones.  There were tons of other dogs there as she was breeding dogs and the big ones ate all of Generals food.  He had a really bad upset stomach and was very skidish, I think the doctor said he had parasites too!  When he ate his food if you didn't sit right by him he wouldn't eat, he would follow you. 

Most of these things he has gotten over with tons of love and caring support but still gets anxious when we leave for even a little while.  The other day I was going to the Eye Doctor and General has been so good lately I thought maybe he would be good for just an hour while I was there.  Well the doctor's appointment ran late and it was 2.5 hours before I was back.  The other day before I had done some really pretty paintings and some how General thought he could do paintings too just all over the carpet. 

After three bottles of cleaning solution there is still quite a mess but not nearly as bad as it was.  Now we have to get it professionally cleaning.  A local cleaner is coming next week.  But poor General just got anxious and then destructive.  It was such a mess I almost couldn't handle it.  He is such a sweet boy though!  I love our dogs, even if they can be a hand full sometimes!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not a Win Win

Tonight at my soccer game I got there early to warm up.  As I was practicing on the field and I was juggling.  You may remember my soccer ball that I blogged about a couple weeks ago.  It was a really nice Nike light blue soccer ball.  Well I was on my marry way warming up getting ready for our last game of the season, when I kicked the ball up and took a shot at the goal.  It went way over and I thought I saw where it went but when I went over to find it, it was no where to be found.

I lost my brand new soccer ball.  First loss.

Then it was unbearably hot at the fields at 6:30 and I was out of shape for the heat.  It was a relatively close game until about 10 minutes until the end of the game and 3 girl goals slipped in.  Girl goals count for 2.  Second loss.

Can't be a win win all the time!  Better luck next time!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A different kind of Skyline

North Atlanta

Buckhead
Piedmont Park


How often do we look outside and see the skyline and think about how beautiful it is and give reverence to God?  I know I do this more often than not.  These three pictures were taken recently at three very different locations.  One thing is for sure beauty is at work in all of them!!  Nature, one of God's greatest gifts.

From a Small Stage to a Sold-out Concert

Rocking out to Karaoke
Every singer has a start, and every music career starts with a dream.  When I was little I fantasied about being a music artist.  I even took music lessons, some might have called it a pipe dream.  One thing is for sure the music lessons I had growing up helped my voice and my piano skills.  I didn't really stick with the piano lessons but I did continue to sing, sing, sing.  Pictured above at a birthday party, I still love to sing.

Finally at Britney Spears concert
I usually sing songs I know really well, over maybe more popular songs.  I would rather do a better job with a song I'm comfortable with than a song to get the crowd going.

Britney Spears on the other hand can do both!  This picture was taken at her recent concert in Atlanta. Where me and my three friends had the best time! 

So until I can be on a huge stage I will have to settle for enjoying other people sing and enjoying the simple life with my friends.

I have everything I need to be happy and I am not quite sure more money would bring any more happiness to my life.

Right now, all I need is love of my family and friends.
From left to right Jen, Kathryn, Nicki, Jen