Happy New Year!

2010 I welcome you with open arms!!!
Now here's all the things promise to TRY and complete this new year:

* Improve my prayer life and quiet time.

* 30 days of homemade meals only. No restaurant food! I really want to try longer, but I think a realistic goal is to try 30 days and then see where it takes us. No Take Out

* Get healthy. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I'm not setting a weight loss goal, but rather a goal to become healthy and weight loss should happen as a result.

* Become a certified professional photographer.

* Join a few photography associations.

* Scrapbook all of my photos.

* De-clutter.

* Develop a new style. Reinventing myself of sorts.

I really think that's enough to start with. I don't want to overwhelm myself and then not accomplish anything. So I will be keeping tabs of my progress and I will gladly take any suggestions you have to be successful.

Happy New Year to all!!!


Life Is Funny

Ok, so I found this Life is Funny blog carnival and thought I would join.

Mine is about our Christmas Eve tradition. When Chris and I first married we lived in Rockmart. This was about a 45 minute drive from our families. So on our first Christmas Eve, we were out late going from house to house and stopped at the Waffle House for a late night dinner and left a big tip since it was Christmas. 5 Christmases later, we still make sure to eat at Waffle House every Christmas Eve and leave a big tip.

This is one of my favorite traditions that is special to Chris and I as we are our own new family. This year was especially fun because we invited a couple friend of ours and Chris's little brother and sister. The fun part was cramming 6 of us at a table that is a tight squeeze for 4! It was great!

I can't wait for next year!

It's Monday - and I had the day off!

And what did I do with my day off? Nothing of any significance!
I think I almost had an anxiety attack because I had nothing to do!
I found that I don't know how to just "be".
However, I did manage to venture out and buy some new undies! Hallelujah!
My friend Heather has issues with buying bras in a timely manner - well I have the same problem with undies!
I realized that almost every pair I have I have literally worn holes in!
So, I got some fancy new knickers.
I'm a happy girl.
Is it sad that a few new undies makes me happy?

Anyway, I believe I have officially recuperated from Christmas.
Chris's aunt bought us movie tickets for Christmas and we used those Saturday. We saw "Did you hear about the Morgans?" with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker. It was actually cute.
Then we rented 4 movies that night and watched them all! Let's see, we rented Year One (STUPID), Away We Go (good), My Sisters Keeper (so good, but nothing like the book. This caused anger.) and The Hangover (love it).
Fun times.

Then last night I had a photo shoot for a Nigerian woman's 80th birthday party. It was a surprise party and so much fun. This was my first Nigerian event and it wasn't at all what I had expected. They were truly lovely people!

We've got lots going on this week that I'll have to tell you about at a later time! ;)

As for now, I'm off to start reading The Shack. I've heard great things about it. I'll let you know asap!


Christmas Festivities

I'm so bored now that Christmas is over! I just don't know what to do with myself!!! So.......I decided to share a little from our Christmas.

So on the eve of Christmas Eve, I decided to get crafty. I made Joy bottles for everyone. They turned out soooo cute! I found them on another blog, but they can be customized for anything. Basically, it's glass bottles filled with candy and then I Mod Podged scrapbook paper over the label and printed a label with a bible verse that had the word joy in it. Each bottle had a different verse. I was really proud of myself when they were all finished. Here are a couple of photos:

And then after I made the bottles, I decided to try cake balls! So yummy! You can make these with any cake and icing combination. I am a chocolate lover, so I used devils food cake, chocolate icing and chocolate covering. The recipe is soooo easy! You just bake your cake and let it cool completely. Then crumble the cake up in a bowl. Mix in a container of icing. Then scoop into balls and coat with melting chocolate. Let cool and you're done! So here's a few pics of that too:

And of course the delicious food on Christmas day:

As for today, I've got a photo shoot this evening and then a week off!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!



Ok, so all of a sudden, today, the eve of Christmas Eve, I decided I am going to make everyone hand made gifts and bake! There's no talking me out of it.
Just ask Chris.
It was ugly this morning when he tried! ;)

Now since there are peeps receiving these gifts that read my blog....I'll just have to tell you about them this weekend!
All kinds of stuff to tell!

Ok, well all of you please have a most wonderful Christmas!!!!



Bells will be ringing...

...the sad sad news; oh what a Christmas, to have the blues

Are you singing along yet?
Ha! I'm not sure why that song popped in my head.
Well happy Monday! Christmas is this week! Can you believe it???

I'm feeling a bit melancholy today. Not really sure why.
It's like I'm just overflowing with a ton of emotions all at the same time and the end result of it all is just blah.
Kind of like when you mix a lot of colors and you get brown.
Maybe that's what I'm feeling - brown.

Christmas time is hard this year and very bittersweet.
I miss my mom. I always miss her more at the holidays. It doesn't help that I've got a lot of crap going on right now and she's the one person I want to talk to so badly!So it's just kind of multiplied the effect of missing her.

And since we moved last week I saw no need to put up the Christmas decorations. Blah.

This weekend was really laid back - I'm not used to that. Freaked me out a little.
Our movie night Saturday was fun.

I just feel like I'm in desperate need of divine intervention.
You ever feel that way?
Like the only way you'll come out alive is with a miracle?

Ok, I've got to get my act together. I can't be feeling poopy on Christmas week!

All I can say is that I hope 2010 has much more positive things for us!


The Highlight of My Weekend

I had a photo shoot this weekend and this is my new favorite picture!
You can check out more of this cutie on my photo blog - Lauren Thomas Photography on the blogroll!

Moving right along, Saturday night was the perfect night for movies! Have you heard of the Red Box? It's this most fabulous movie rental machine where movies are only $1 a day. So we rented 3!
1. The Goods - ok this one was for Chris and I thought it was just awful! Don't waste your money.

2. Julie and Julia - possibly one of my new favs! So so good. Now I could be partial because a) I love cooking and b) i love blogging!

3. The Proposal - actually still watching this one, but I heard it's good. We'll see...


Already Working on Resolutions

Happy Friday to all!!! It's officially 1 week until Christmas! How exciting!!! But that only means it's less than 2 weeks until 2010!!! Can you believe it?
So with that being said, I've been thinking about some resolutions for next year. I'm going to create a bucket list of sorts. My goal is to actually check a few things off!

In hopes of getting you in the resolution spirit, I've decided to share a few:

**Become a certified professional photographer - there's a whole test you have to take and in different sections. Yay! ;)

**Join the professional photographer association

**Jump into marketing my business

**Get healthy. Notice that I am not putting a pounds to lose goal, or specifics. I just want to start living a healthier lifestyle and hopefully that should result in a few pounds shed.

**Take a road trip

**Go on a cruise

**Reinvent myself. I want a new style. I feel that I'm a bit lame. Almost like I'm 60 trapped in a 26 year old. It's time for a change.

**Unpack EVERYTHING. I have had boxes of stuff for 5 years hidden in closets. I want everything out of boxes!

That's just a few I've been thinking about. I'll have a full list New Year's Day and I think I'm going to keep it posted on my blog so I am constantly reminded to check a few things off!

Have a great weekend and finish all your Christmas shopping!

Finishing Up

Ok, so life is about to get a little hectic, so I'm going to go ahead and finish up the rest of Best Of today! Ready? Ok!

December 19 Car ride. What did you see? How did it smell? Did you eat anything as you drove there? Who were you with?

Best car ride was definitely to the mountains in November. We literally spent a whole day in the car riding from mountain town to mountain town...it was beautiful and inspiring. We had interesting conversations, smelt the mountain air, and just enjoyed our time together. Fabulous!

December 20 New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

Alright, this one's difficult. I can't pick just one person. Over the last year we have made some incredible connections with people that I love dearly. So I'm going to say it's a tie between Kaite S., Lyndsay M., and Terri G. These lovely ladies hold a very special place in my heart. Their prayers and encouragement have been awesome! Love you!!!

Then there is Leslie. Now I've know Leslie over a year, but we didn't really get close until this year. She has become one of my dearest friends and has been there unconditionally for so so much! Love you too!

December 21 Project. What did you start this year that you're proud of?

I started my photography business this year. It was in the works most of last year, but in 2009 everything became official. I am really proud of myself so far. I have a long way to go, but honestly, I'm truly excited with how far I've come.

December 22 Startup. What's a business that you found this year that you love? Who thought it up? What makes it special?

Touched my heart.
Check out the banner at the top of my blog. It will touch your's too.

December 23 Web tool. It came into your work flow this year and now you couldn't live without it. It has simplified or improved your online experience.

Does Facebook count? Cuz I totally got addicted to that this year!

December 24 Learning experience. What was a lesson you learned this year that changed you?

Ha! This is funny. Funny because I'm going through it now. I'm really not going to get into it, but I guess a condensed version would be to really examine who your friends are. The ridiculousness of high school drama does not end as an adult. It possibly gets worse. People are imperfect therefore they will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS let you down and disappoint. Also, read the warning signs. Don't just ignore them.

December 25 Gift. What's a gift you gave yourself this year that has kept on giving?

Um, my camera of course! It's my money maker!! ;)

December 26 Insight or aha! moment. What was your epiphany of the year?

Epiphany of the year would be finally figuring out that I don't want to teach school. There, I said it. I think I'd be miserable. Now, if I could only figure out what should go in its place!

December 27 Social web moment. Did you meet someone you used to only know from her blog? Did you discover Twitter?

I am teetering on the fence about joining Twitter. Just maybe - I'll join before the year is over and it can officially be a part of best of!

December 28 Stationery. When you touch the paper, your heart melts. The ink flows from the pen. What was your stationery find of the year?

Any piece of paper in Archiver's. Actually makes my heart flip flop!

December 29 Laugh. What was your biggest belly laugh of the year?

Thanksgiving at Chris's grandparents' house. It was definitely a had to be there moment, but it was when his granddaddy slurped his spit back in while telling a story about a rain stick. I know, sounds stupid, but we've been laughing about it ever since!

December 30 Ad. What advertisement made you think this year?

I'm gonna have to choose charity:water again. It grabs your heart!

December 31 Resolution you wish you'd stuck with. (You know, there's always next year...)

Of course that would be losing weight. I managed to shed about 15 pounds total for the year - not at all what I had hoped, but there's always next year.


December 17th and 18th - Best Of

December 17 Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. "2009 was _____."

Hmmmm...."2009 was eye opening"

Yep, very very eye opening. I learned so much this year about so many different things. Truly too much to try and bore you with here, but trust me!

December 18 Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?

Definitely spent all my money at Snapfish on all kinds of photo stuff! I have always used snapfish for my prints, but until this year I had not ordered any of their photo books or gifts. I must say I am lovin it! Affordable and cute! I can't tell you my most recent buys, well, because they're Christmas presents! So.....you'll just have to wait for Christmas Day photos!!! ;)

December 16th - Best Of

December 16 Tea of the year. I can taste my favorite tea right now. What's yours?

Unfortunately, I am not a big tea drinker. I like iced tea - 1/2 sweet and 1/2 unsweet. Other than that, and maybe a long island iced tea JK, tea is not really that involved in my life. I have tried several hot teas....just can't do it. I don't really like hot water in my mouth. Not a big coffee drinker either. I guess I'm just weird.

However, I did try a friend's berry tea....can't remember what kind...but it was tasty. Just not tasty enough for me to convert to hot tea.

Any suggestions?


This and That

December 15 Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves?

Let's see...best packaging. I can't think of a single thing that I remember the packaging of. Wow, I really need to branch out more. But to keep up, I'll say this - I vote for our company Christmas gifts as best packaging.
Because I wrapped them! ;)
No really, we had 50 gifts of all shapes and sizes creatively wrapped and it was just so festive. So, that's my vote.

What a lame post.

Sorry about that. My head is just a bit in the clouds. I'm desperately seeking an answer from God and I'm just so scared of missing the boat. Ever have that feeling? There are several things on the table that require decisions and I'm so scared that I'm so worried about making the right choice that I end up making the wrong choice. I know that confusion is not of God, but I'm just down right confused.
Anyways, any prayers you could offer would be amazing. AMAZING!

Have a fantabulous Tuesday!


Ahh Monday, I'm so happy you are here!

Last week was probably one of the worst in my life. Just awful. It's times like these that you find out who your friends really are. All I am going to say is to beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. I am truly embracing today because it is the start of a new chapter in our lives. I have officially closed the book of yesterday, last week, last year. It's over. Terribly saddening, but over.

We've got our new place and I'm really kind of excited. It's cute and homey. But I am definitely now not doing Christmas decorations. There's always next year. And I'm super duper excited about a scrapbooking date I have in a couple of weeks! The perfect stress reliever!

Also, I managed to squeeze in a photo shoot last week! Here are a couple of pics and I have more at my photo blog. It's Lauren Thomas Photography over in my blog roll.

And onto a little "Best Of" catch up!

December 11 The best place. A coffee shop? A pub? A retreat center? A cubicle? A nook?
Ok, so I would say my best place was Highlands, NC. We took a random weekend trip for our anniversary and it was the most happy, relaxing place. My heart gets all worked up just thinking about it! Definitely a place I could spend a week or so just chilling in!

December 12 New food. You're now in love with Lebanese food and you didn't even know what it was in January of this year.
I am now completely in love with sushi! Specifically the dynamite roll at a place in Austell. Ahh, fabulousness! I seriously could eat it every day. I can't believe I've been missing out on this!

December 13 What's the best change you made to the place you live?
Probably the fact that I've moved twice this year - actually in less than 3 months! So, I'm not real sure what may come out of this move. I haven't unpacked everything yet! Hopefully, I can figure out the best change before the year is over so it counts for 2009. However, I think it may be the fact that we've changed our 3 bedroom lifestyle to a 1 bedroom. I think I like the simplicity.

December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?
Hmmm....best rush. Let's see, I would have to probably say getting my photography website up and running. It just kind of felt like my business was finally real!

Alright, well I hope you all have a great great great Monday!


December 9th and 10th

Good morning! Time to catch up on "best of 2009":
December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?
I am 100% confident that the biggest challenge of the year is what I'm going through right now. It is probably one of the most dirty, trying times I have ever gone through. I just don't understand why people lie. Lies are hurtful and harmful. But, truth ALWAYS wins my friends. ALWAYS. Maybe not immediately, but it will win. This challenge has pushed me off the freakin grand canyon! I am definitely over the edge right now and need all the prayers we can possibly get. It's just too much to go into all the details on, but please please pray! I think it's funny how that challenge post really played in with what is happening presently in my life. I'm not sure how this is the best challenge just yet....I'll be sure to let you know once I figure it all out.

December 10 Album of the year. What's rocking your world?
Ok, there's a couple albums that I have totally rocked out to this year. I can't pick just one, so I'll share them all:

Kings of Leon - great band!

Brit Nicole - to bring out the fun you

David Crowder Band - Church Music - this is an AWESOME techy dancy album. LOVE it!

Well that's all for now. I hope you have a fabulous Thursday!


Best of continued....and other stuff

December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?
Hmmm....this is a toughy. I can't pick just one moment of peace. I like to think I have a little peace with me every day because I know I have a Savior who promised that to me. I know that at the end of the day, my worries are useless because He always steps in. So that's what I'm going with...daily peace.

And, just because:
So my husband's mom has been asking for photos of me, Chris, Maddie and Nate for about 5 years now. I have no excuse for not getting to it. So...in an effort to make cheap Christmas gifts, this was the perfect time for it. Here are just a few from our fun filled day of picture taking! We had a blast! These could be some of my favorites to date! I'll put some more up over at my photo blog.


Monday, Monday

Happy Monday everyone! I must say, getting out of bed was exceptionally tough today! My bed was just so warm and comfy! But, then there's that thing called a job that is necessary to survive, so I managed to roll on out and start the day.

School is officially over at 7:30 tonight....well at least until June. But I am in desperate need of the break!

I had a great weekend and took a few fabulous photos that I can't wait to share. Those should be up tomorrow!

But for now, here's today's Best Of topic:
12/7 Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can't believe you didn't know about until this year.

Now this is a hard one. This year I have found a TON of blogs that I love! It's really too hard to decide. but if I had to choose, I would probably say Jenna's blog over at These Are The Days. I just love it. She's too funny. I highly recommend that you add her to your blog roll.


Sunday Happenings

Ok, so I purchased this album last night:

This is Meredith Andrews and I now LOVE her! Everyone should give it a listen!

Also, I need to mention my happiness over Alabama winning the SEC Championship last night! Amazing! The way life works here in the SEC is that UGA Bulldog fans hate the Florida Gators, therefore, if we are not in the running, we root for Alabama! Yippee!

And finally, time for best of:
12/5: What conference did you attend this year that rocked your world?

Well this one is kind of a weird one because I only went to one conference this year. I went to Women of Faith with a few ladies from church back in August. Now it was really good....just not what I expected. It didn't really rock my world, but I am glad that I went for the experience. My favorite part was Mandisa. Do you remember her from American Idol a couple of years ago? Her story is amazing and of course I had to buy her CD that day. I love every song on it. She is an artist in the Christian Music genre but what she had to say is something everyone needs to hear. She talked about how nervous she was to try out because of her weight. She didn't want to be made fun of. And to her face, Simon was nice. But when the auditions aired months later, while watching it with a bunch of her friends she heard his rude comments as she walked out of the room. Sad.
So when she went back for Hollywood rounds, she apologized to him on stage. She said she was amazed that they aired it on national tv, but they did. She told him that because Jesus died for her and offered forgiveness for her, then the least she could do was to forgive him. Powerful.
But what we all didn't know, and what Simon didn't know, was that as a young girl she was raped. And therefore put on all the weight as a defense mechanism. She felt that if she made herself ugly enough, no man would ever do that to her again.
Then there's hope. That her validation is not through what people have done to her or what people think of her. Her validation comes through Jesus. And once she let Him come in and take away the layers of pain, her life is getting much better. She had lost like 75 pounds and is still losing.
That story is just so inspiring to me.
So everyone should buy her CD too. haha!

Well I guess that's enough for today. Enjoy your Sunday!



Happy Saturday! I hope you all are having a fabulous weekend so far! I should be cramming for a final, but this is much more entertaining!
This morning I began pulling out the Christmas decorations. Haven't quite finished yet...I don't really have much tho. The mantle is what we're really decorating this year. I'' put up a picture once it's complete :)
While I was decorating this morning, a big pillar candle fell off and hit me in the head! Luckily no blood was shed and no concussion either!

Now for the best of 2009. Today's topic is:
12/5: Did you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?
I would have to say the night that is sticking out in my mind was the Good Friday service at Verizon Amphitheater. We went with a few friends to this awesome concert. The crazy thing was that there were multiple tornados spotted in the area and the weather was ridiculous. We were all scared and freaking out, and then all of a sudden it cleared up and we had a great time. It was by far the craziest thing weather wise that I have ever experienced.

And pictures are up over at my photo blog. Check them out here:


Just a few things....

Good morning and happy Friday! Today is our compnay Christmas party and I can't wait! We're doing a luncheon at Maggianos...family style! That = all u can eat Italian! YUM!!! We're also doing a gift exchange to. I've got my camera, so I'll be sure to have pics up this weekend.
I have been a busy lady, but this weekend is catch up. I'll have pics posted here of this family by Sunday.

Moving right along, someone loves me! And it's her. My fab friend Heather gave me a "Thanks for Blogging" Award! Yay!

So of course there are rules to this. Time to pay it forward:

1. Each recipient who receives a TYFBA must give away at least four (4) TYFBAs

2. Each recipient must describe, in at least three words why they are giving that person the award.

So here's who I pass this lovely award to:
1. Kelly's Korner - she's cute, fabulous and inspires me.
2. The Other Mama - just because she is so darn spunky!
3. These Are The Days - Jenna's blog is too funny! She actually reminds me a little of myself. Everyone should be reading her blog!
4. Stuff Christians Like - because, well, it's stuff Christians like! Fun and witty! Love it!
5. Honorable Mention: Whatever - I'm not officially giving it to her because Heather did, but her blog is the one that got me hooked into the blogging world and her's is still the one that I can't wait to see everyday!

And then continuing on with the Best of 2009:
12/4 What book - fiction or non - touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?
Well, I would have to say, My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Oh my, it was soooo good! I read it at work this summer during my breaks. I couldn't put it down. Read it in 2 days. So so so good!

Well I think that's enough to chew on for now!


A Look Back at 2009

We all know that I can't resist a meme so.......I found this one from Heather who found it here who found it here!
Did you get all that?

So basically it's a "best of" for 2009. I think I'll do one a day, but since I'm starting 12/3 - you get 3 at once! Special day!

12/1: What was your best trip in 2009?
My best trip of 2009 was definitely a tie! We spent New Year's in Charleston this year and it was just the prettiest city! I so want to go back!!!

But in June we went to Washington, D.C. We crammed so much into that long weekend, but has such a blast. My favorite part of the trip I think was Annapolis. LOVED it!

12/2: Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?
Hmmm... now this one is hard. I'm going to say our anniversary dinner in November at Houston's. I had a burger...nothing fancy, but OMG it was the best one I've ever had! Like melt in your mouth good. They grind their meat fresh daily and it was obvious. It was a great dinner b/c I was with my love and it was a celebration of 5 long years! Oh, I want to go back now. Yum.

12/3: What's an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends. That you Delicious'd and reference throughout the year.
Another tie. One was sent from my friend Lura. We all used to work together and we had this couple that came in once/twice a week to polish the floors. The article was where the husband went crazy and tried to kill her and her new boyfriend. Shocking! He was so sweet...or so we thought.
But then there was the one that tops the cake. While browsing through the local newspaper's website, we found where one of our former employees was on trial for raping a 12 year old! Oh my goodness, it was crazy! So then we started doing our own investigation and found out all kinds of crap. And you better believe I forwarded it to almost everyone I knew!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's interesting fact:What book - fiction or non - touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?