Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Roadtrips and Shopping!

Tonight, Keith and I bought our very first Christmas Tree (for next year, of course!) on 50% off clearance at Target. It's the tree pictured above (6 foot Colorado pine) but ours is not pre-lit like the one in the picture. We both have collections of lights already to string around it! Thanks to some smart shopping (and partial use of a Target gift card from my Aunt), we got this tree FOR FREE, along with some ornaments and a 20 gallon rubbermaid for extra christmas storage, too. FOR FREEEEEE. WHOO HOO! Thanks, Aunt Lynn and Target clearance!

Keith was a trooper, because after Target we hit up Tuesday Morning (all clearance and Christmas was an additional 50% off) where I got some pretty Christmas coasters and 400 sheets of gorgeous, thick tissue paper for the holidays for $0.89!!!!

Then, we headed to Big Lots, where I concluded today's bargain hunting with my 75% off snag of 20 christmas gift bags of all sizes. I spent $4.00. It was awesome. I did that this past year, and it sure saved a LOT of headache just having all the Christmas wrap and bags ready to use versus braving the stores and high prices. Keith despises Hobby Lobby, so I will head there tomorrow where hopefully I will finish up any decor shopping. I love love love love Christmas, but the last couple of years, I have been renting from friends, and have not had a true living area/kitchen/etc of my own to decorate. When I last lived in an apartment, I just didn't have the "bug" when it came to all that.

Earlier today, I traveled to Huntsville to pick my Mimi up for a trip home to see my parents. I met my Dad back in Shelby County for them to finish the final leg back to Ozark. It was so nice to spend some one on one time with her and help my Dad out, too. It is not a short trip from O-town to Huntsville...basically coming from the AL/FL line and traveling to the AL/TN line! I am about half way, so I was happy to oblige.

Other than this, not much to report. Back to work January 4th, and then grad school starts back January 11. Thankfully, I survived taking 4 classes this past semester, and came out with 3 A's and a B (my first grad school B *tear*) I am taking 3 classes in Spring Term- ENG 527 (Contemporary Latino/a Literature),  EDF 601 (Ed. Psyc for Secondary) and EDF 620 (Social and Multicultural Foundations)...I only have classes on Monday and Tuesday each week....YAY!!!!

Also, I got my snazzy new Alabama Teaching Certificate, listing bachelor level qualifications in Music Ed AND my new Language Arts Ed from taking and passing the Praxis II in my new content area. I will have the Master's degree in Languag Arts Education and new certificate to prove it by this time next year. Hopefully, the class they are thinking of offering in the Summer becomes reality....if not, I would have to take this class in fall 2010, thus pushing back graduation from August to December. I prefer sooner rather than later!

More later....Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Save the Date!

This is your "first look" at our save the dates, ordered earlier this week :)

       I'm heading back to Birmingham after spending a full 7 day week at my parent's home. This has been the longest stretch of time i've spent at home in Ozark since I graduated from college in 2006. This morning I am going to do my last registry, at a little "hometown place" here in O-town, Family Traditions. My sister works there part time when she's home from college, so she knows the ropes. No scanning guns there, just a clipboard and pen. We shall see how it goes!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I have been a TOTAL slacker when it comes to this blog the last week or so. This is not because I have been slacking in all aspects of my life; quite the contrary! In the past week, lots and lots and lots of decisions re: the wedding have been made, and I'll share with you a little peek into what's been goin' down (i'm so hip).

1. Bridesmaid Dresses/Flowers/Shoes PICKED! My home church where the wedding will be held has RED carpeting and pews. RED. Not maroon, not crimson, CHRISTMAS RED. However, I'm getting married in June. This totally eliminates lots of color schemes and palattes for wardrobe (no hot pink, no yellow, no orange, no navy blue to avoid being too over the top patriotic!). I always envisioned marrying in the Fall, and my favorite colors are dark, so I tried to pick wedding colors that I liked but would also go with the church.

So, here it is- my colors are Mocha (as the dress) and Champagne- I felt this was super neutral, but pretty.

The bridesmaids will be carrying a single lily vs a bouquet, much like this:

I think the green will really be focal against the mocha color. :)

Shoes are below. I never thought i'd be one of those brides who wanted a certain shoe, but then again, I never thought i'd have a wedding in the hot season with tea length dresses! It's all new people, all new. These are SUPER cheap on Zappos, so I think all my maids will still be on speaking terms with me after dress and shoe costs combined!
2. Photographer- My dear friend Windy's mother is a very talented photographer in the Dothan area. I was super excited when we found out she was free June 12th to photograph our big day. We got put on her calendar today, officially, and I couldn't be happer. Check out T. Darley Photography online to see her awesome portfolio. Not long till we get our engagement shots done!!

3. Music- Being a music major and music teacher, you'd think I'd want my wedding to be chock full of tunes, but in fact, it's quite the opposite. Keith and I are lucky to have a super talented organist as a family friend to handle the prelude music, and my bridesmaid Beth is going to be singing "He's Always Been Faithful" by Sara Groves early in the ceremony. I will enter to the classical "Trumpet Fanfare" (trumpeter TBA!) and we will exit to "Come Thou Fount". I want a true southern baptist wedding ceremony- 20 minutes tops! HA! Seriously though, too much can be overkill. Hopefully, we will have a pianist for the reception, too.

Anyway, this is just a sampling of where my head has been lately. My family is so  helpful, not overbearing and offering helpful and wise advice as I plan. Preparing for Christmas on top of all of this has been...interesting, but I think once January comes, things will seem a bit more connected and real! It has helped being home in Ozark with the family for the last few days. Keith will join me here at my parents house Christmas Day and stay until Monday. I can't WAIT to see that sweet Fiance of mine! I haven't seen him since I was 26! (I turned 27 yesterday, oh yeah!) God has been so good to give me such a bevy of blessings this season. All glory to Him!

More to come!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Whirlwind Love

I don't think I ever truly understood the concept of "whirlwind" until this weekend!! With half of my extended family down, Keith's family, Choir concerts, Church, Dinners, Lunches- It is only just beginning: and I love it!

This morning I am just waiting for the clock to strike 8am so I can call Ozark Baptist...June 12th is our preferred date and you'll see why in a moment:

1.Keith's roommate of 3 years, Jay and his fiance Laura Beth are getting married June 5th.

2. I am singing in Holly and Erick's wedding June 19th (so excited!)

3. My sister, Lorilyn, is leaving the country June 26th for study abroad in Germany until August. She is my maid of honor, so I gotta have this on the books where she can be there!

4. My mom and I are school teachers- and its so much easier to plan and prepare when NOT working full time....I am done the last week of May, but Mom has to go a couple of days past Memorial day, I believe.

I have already called Mr. Hix (my officiant), and my bridesmaids are nailed down. Keith has a couple more groomsmen (ushers?) to get in touch with, and we need to nail down music. And send save the dates. And figure out attire. And hotels. And showers.....AHHH :) SO EXCITING!

Please keep us in your prayers :) Oh, and here's our "knot" page (we are know like officially engaged, right?)

Natalie and Keith!

Friday, December 11, 2009

This is my Winter Song to You-

This is my Winter Song to you
The storm is coming soon
It rolls in from the sea
my voice a beacon in the night
my words will be your light
to carry you to me

Natalie Thompson + Brian Keith Owens
12.11.2009- Hoover, AL

God blessed me with a lifetime to spend with my best friend.
Keith, I love you with all of my heart. I will never be able to praise Him enough for all that you are to me and how you've fulfilled His eternal promise for our lives. May the years to come hold nothing but love, laughter and growth. I will always be yours.

"Let us hold fast to the confession of our faith, for He who promised is faithful" - Hebrews 10:23 (esv)

More info to come :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Christmas time calendar is here! Is your December this crazy, too?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Here's a little Christmas survey to get you in the mood...maybe we'll all learn something, too :) This is busy season for grad-schooling choir teachers, so forgive the lack of creativity in this post.

1. Does your family send out Christmas cards? My mom sends out a family one, I think. Sometimes I send them out to friends, too.

2. How soon do you start shopping? This year, I had all presents BOUGHT and WRAPPED (except Keith's) before Thanksgiving. The key is to shop the sales all year.

3. Who do you shop for? Mom, Dad, Lorilyn, Grammy, Mimi, Keith..various others

4. Do you put up a Christmas tree? My family does. Since i'm technically still single and living on my "own", it really depends on the roommate I have. Carol (my roommate) has one up this year, so sure.

5. If so, is it fake or real? My parent's is always fake and pre lit, carol's is real.

6. Do you like tinsel? EW. No. I prejudge your Christmas tree if you use tinsel in a description.

7. Do you use homeade or storebought ornaments? Both. My parents still have all the ones Lorilyn and I made in preschool hanging on their tree.

8. Do you put Christmas lights outside your house? My parents opt for a spotlight and wreath on the door. I like it- it's classy.

9. Do you put lights on the tree? Mom and Dad's is prelit. It's all white lights, though- so they add a few multi strands

10. How about popcorn and cranberries? food on a tree?? is it 1930?

11. Is there a wreath hanging on your door? Yes!

13. Do you hang up your stocking? Technically? mom hangs our stockings up.

14. Does your family read "Twas the night before Christmas?" No, but each Christmas eve my dad gathers the 4 of us (plus whichever grandmother is down) to read the story of Jesus' birth form the bible.

15. Favorite Christmas Movie: Christmas with the Kranks or The Santa Clause (Original only!)

17. Favorite Christmas Song: That's a toughie! I like them all- minus o holy night. and christmas shoes. dear lord, i hate that song.

18. Favorite Christmas Memory : I remember getting a mini trampoline and thinking it was super awesome in like 1988. Also, the memories I have of my grandfathers at Christmas.

19. Give or Receive? both!

20. Eggnog or Cider? Cider, please. Hot Chocolate=even better.

21. Red or Green? both!

22. Ham or Turkey? Ham.

23. Star or Angel? Angel

24. White Lights or Colored Lights? COLORED

25. Blinking Lights or Still Lights: Still

27. What do you want for Christmas this year? Satellite Radio for my car amongst other things.

28. When do you open your gifts? Christmas morning, duh.

29. What's the best gift you've ever gotten? The bikes and the 2 story barbie house were awesome!

30. What's the worst gift you've ever gotten? Socks. Thanks, mom. Every year....

31. Who gives you the most gifts? Mom and Dad

33. Do you like wrapping gifts? Sure! Open bag, insert tissue paper!

34. Do you put change in those red buckets? Nope. I tithe.

35. Do you burn a yule log? Uh, it rarely gets cold enough at my parent's house in SE Alabama to do that.

36. Can you name all the reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.....and of course, RUDOLPH. Yes, I sang the song as I typed.

37. Do you bake cookies? Sure. Cut and bake!

38. Have you ever seen your mommy kissing Santa Claus? um. no.

39. Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe? Yes! :)

40. Do you go caroling? Every day at work.

41. Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights? always, with both Family and Keith.

42. Have you ever left Santa cookies? and a carrot for rudolph.

43. Have you ever sat on Santa's lap? sure. I have vague memories of this happening at Wiregrass Commons Mall in Dothan in the late 80's.

44. Who do you celebrate Christmas with? Mom, Dad, Lorilyn, one of my 2 grandmothers (dependent on year) and this year, Keith is coming, too :)

45. Where do you celebrate Christmas? 249 Trotman Dr!

46. Have you ever had a white Christmas? Nope. Had a white Dec. 22 (my birthday), though! I think I was turning 6 (1989?)

47. What part of Christmas do you look most foward to? Being with my family.

48. Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa? Yup.

49. Does your family always take a picture at Christmas? not really. We take them at Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Best. Candle. Ever.

Presenting: Glade Apple Cinnamon
I may or may not have gone through 3 of these since October.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's been a while :)

What have I been up to??

Headed to the Peanut Festival in my hometown with Keith for Halloween!

Felt the wind rush through my hair :)

Visited with Family

Had several date nights with the most handsome boy...ever!

This fall has been a complete blur. So much has been going on- grad school is great (ask me again after my 20 page Jane Austen final paper....), work is alright, and the weather has been nice. This really doesn't sound interesting, I know. Life is good right now, and for that I am thankful. Thanksgiving is coming up, and then my favorite time of all times- DECEMBER! I am doing combined program with the drama department for Christmas (Ozark people: think Christmas Spectactular), and thats getting a little stressful, but it will be over Dec. 12, so then i'll be able to take a HUGE breath! Keith and I are going to the Iron Bowl the day after Thanksgiving on the plains, so that will be fantastic. We will be transitioning to a new Sunday School class (among other fun changes) in January, and I believe the holiday season just might bring a few suprises and celebrations. I am praying so!

More elaborate and inspired update soon!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


When I'm on the way to work in the mornings, it seems I always can find things I think I should blog about. By the time my lunch period rolls around and I can actually sit down to blog, these thoughts have VANISHED. I managed to salvage a few for today's edition, so here you go!

I am in a graduate class with LOTS of elementary teachers this semester. They talk about mysterious things such as AMSTI, Directed Reading and something that was mentioned last night- the number system of grading. Do you know that in Shelby County, children in grade K-5 (as of this year) no longer recieve letter grades in ANY SUBJECT but Math? They are graded on a 1-3 scale...1 being not progressing, 2 progressing, and 3 mastered skill. To me, this does not pack the same punch as a Good Ol' D or F, and certainly most children would fall into the 2 category right? What are these poor kids gonna think when they get to high school and don't know how to decipher what a B means? Sigh. The teachers say some parents don't get it, and think 1 is the best, so they have lots of needless teacher conferences and phone calls. Sheeeesh.

In seasonal food and beverage news, this is the only time of year that I get an urge for Starbucks (not the biggest coffee fan here), and only for their Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino..."A mocha Frappuccino with peppermint syrup blended in, whipped cream, and those ubiquitous red sprinkles". I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of this flavor....the best drink anywhere (besides my DC!)

I asked my 8th graders to define the word retro for me today. Their reply?: "90s!"

Watch it. I dare you not to cry.

Monday, October 19, 2009

November 17th

Will be one of the greatest days in recent history....

John Mayer
Battle Studies

"Battle Studies" is slated to come out across United States on November 17. Led by single "Who Says", the effort is described as "observations and a little bit of advice on relationships ... kind of like a heartbreak handbook".

Though I am no longer a victim of heartbreak- John Mayer is my all time favorite artist. I love the visuals he creates and the timbre of his voice. I am SO FREAKING EXCITED. What, might you ask, are my favorite JM songs? Let me elaborate.

3x5 is a song about memories and the future...

In Repair was my anthem for a very long time. I love the organ at the beginning!

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room captures all the emotions of a love going wrong...and neither person knowing what to do.

Tracing is a brilliant song with great phrasing.

I'm trying to reconcile a favorite among these and I just can't. That's how much these songs mean to me...I think everyone has an artist whos songs are like a soundtrack for their lives....well, John is mine.

I also recommend:
City Love
St. Patrick's Day
Back To You
Split Screen Sadness.


Faithful to Me (Jennifer Knapp)

All the chistles I've dulled carving idols of stone
That have crumbled like sand 'neath the waves.
I've recklessly built all my dreams in the sand just to watch, them all wash away.

Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile
To one who sees past all I see.
And reaching out my weary hand I pray that you'd understand
You're the only one who's faithful to me.

All the pennies I've wasted in my wishing well
I have thrown like stones to the sea.
I have cast my lots, dropped my guard, searched aimlessly for a faith
To be faithful to me.

Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile
To one who sees past all I see.
And reaching out my weary hand I pray that you'd understand
You're the only one who's faithful to me.
You're the only one who's faithful to me.

I love him :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The rain is falling here at work during my planning period...

That's about all I've got in the way of blogging today. (and no, I don't work in a jungle, but that IS the view outside the window beside my desk.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I take back every preconceived notion I had about grad school and working full time. After this summer's classes were not time intensive, I thought- hey, I will be able to sleepwalk through this in the fall. It's not all that challenging yet, but LOTS more time consuming. It is not easy, especially on weeks when you have two 10 page papers back to back...but I believe it will be worth it!


Monday, October 5, 2009


Enjoy this sampling of Thompson/Roberts cousins...
starting with Christmas 1990, ending with Thanksgiving 2008...


I have a few "praise" items (I feel like i'm in 6th grade sunday school..."Any praise items this week?" Ya know, so we don't sound so greedy with the prayer requests) so, I'll share them in a bulleted list. I know you love it when I get lazy and do this.

  • Keith got re-hired at Wells Fargo! He starts his first full week today. After 3 months of interview elsewhere, and hundreds of applications, It was totally unexpected and totally a miracle. We are really thankful.
  • I have had to cut my couponing (pun INTENDED!) to once a month (this does make sense since I only get paid once a month)...but this weekend was AWESOME! I had $7 ECB's from CVS, and I bought $30 worth of stuff FOR FREE (used coupons, too), and got $10 back in ECBS's. So basically I got paid $3 to buy $30 worth of laundry detergent, diet mtn dew, allergy medicine, and toilet paper. I heart CVS, so- SO much. I meant to take pictures...but yeah.
  • This is a 4 day week for me. Teacher Workday Friday...possibly the best combination of words God ever invented (besides, "That's one Large Diet Coke?" that I oft hear thru the drive-thru window..)
  • 7 of my friends from high school are planning a Girls Weekend for this summer. I am really excited about that, since there are a couple I havent seen in years, or since their weddings.
  • My grandmother turns 80 this weekend and I will be joining the entirety of my mom's side of the family in Andalusia for a big to-do @ the First Baptist Church. I kid you not! I can't wait to see everyone and to honor such a fun and fine lady....:)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


As i've mentioned before- our pastor is leading a series at church called "Our Hope in Difficult Times". It's been an awesome time for the congregation to hear it, with the economy and everything else that's gone on in 2009. Here are a few gems I like that I wrote down from the service this past Sunday. I hope you can find some encouragement, as I did.

(All of these points come from Luke 12:22-34...English Standard Version (ESV))

1. God will provide the necessities of life.
"Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!" Luke 12:24

2. Worry is only an indication of our selfish nature.
"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to the span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest" Luke 12:25-26

3. When you worry, you offend God with disbelief.
"But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown in the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!" Luke 12:28

4. It is dishonoring God to be anxious.
"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to the span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest" Luke 12:25-26

5. Our value is in who we belong to and not in ourselves.
"Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added unto you." Luke 12:31

6. He is my Heavenly Father and that is enough.
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful --Hebrews 10:23

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let's just put a few things out there:

I am not a fan of Dirty Dancing. I think it's weird that a character's name was Baby and I don't care about putting her in a corner, one way or the other. While I am sad for the family of Mr. Swayze and hope he knew the Lord, I think its a little overboard that the national news chose to spend 3 full minutes covering him the night of his death.

I think it's sad that people my age (and older) still watch the VMA's. I admit, I like to listen to the radio, and I keep up with the names of artists and such- but award shows, especially anything MTV would produce? No thanks. I'm a grown up. I'm sorry that Kanye West was a rude drunk, but life happens- and I don't think it merited national news coverage.

I have metioned this previously, but I do not watch "Glee". I live high school musical drama every day- no need to fill my nights with hollywood's latest manifestation.

Okay- now that the negative is over, let's move on. I am loving grad school this semester. I love being back in classes and remembering how to use my brain again! I fear that given the opportunity- I could be one of those people who is in school forever....maybe even getting my Ed.S certification one day??

My school is participating in a new trend called Curriculum Mapping, which I actually am beginning to like as well. Instead of "lesson plans", you actually map out what you DID (post not pre) during a month- it's neat and I like it. And I'm apparently running out of adjectives that are not monosyllabic.
Since I just bashed some TV I'll let you know what I am excited about on the small screen:

Now that's Must see TV!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

flu blues

it was only a matter of time...

H1N1 found its way from my classroom to my body. After a few hrs at the doctor's office yesterday- my fears were confirmed. I never run a fever, and that was my first sign. Thankfully, my tummy has not been involved, and my major complaints are a runny nose, body aches and a fever that hasn't gone away. Tamiflu is a great drug- but it was a bit misleading. I woke up this morning (after taking my first dose before bed last night) and felt pretty good- so good that i decided i could and should put a load of laundry in the washer. After about 4 steps with an arm full of laundry my head was spinning and the whole lethargy thing really set in. Since then, i've done alot of napping and just laying still.

Maybe i'll feel more like finishing this tomorrow....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Excuses, excuses...

I could compose a whole, well-thought out bullet point list to detail just exactly where i've been and what i've been doing that is SO important that I have neglected my blog.....but I'm sure you can probably surmise. Work, School, Sleep- REPEAT! Seriously- if you've seen my life, please let me know (and tell it to wait for me).

Instead of excuses, here's a bullet point of some random observations over the last few weeks.
  • How about that Auburn offense? I think there were more points scored in the first game vs. LA Tech than all last season combined. Keep it up, Tigers!
  • The one item I simply despise purchasing: Gas. Why can't cars just run on love and diet coke (kinda like me!)
  • I could probably go to bed at 8pm each night. Some nights, I do.
  • My back hurts.

How informative am I? I don't know when my blog mojo will reappear- but until then.....

Monday, August 24, 2009


I'm seriously tired today! Mondays really take it out of me. Pay no mind to the fact that it's only 10:17 a.m.-- my day is almost half over!

School has started back with a vengence. This sentence really captures where my brain and body have been the last 2 weeks. For real.

I start back to grad school for the semester a week from tomorrow. I am excited. I will be the teacher during the day and the student two nights a week. I think I can do it...

Anecdote from class:

During the first day, I always get my students to fill out a little "about me" form. One of my junior high kids had a creative spelling on her answer for "Where is your favorite place in the world?" Answer? Gratin Beach.

Grayton. Yes. Gratin' sounds painful!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I will rise


Click this link, pause it and let the video load- skip to the 52:00 minute mark, watch, and be blessed (not that the previous 51 minutes weren't uplifting...watch them too if you want :))

More blogging to come...this whole going back to work thing is really throwing me for a loop!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

School time once again....

Classroom tour time!

Welcome to the Choir Room :)

I admit it- my sense of humor is so unrefined, I laugh at my own bulletin board!

the entire masterpiece! don't look at that background too long, you might pass out.

My GORGEOUS new smartboard. with my itunes. and my "i'm at school" john mayer list.

View from the door

No idea why this is so dark....

Come back soon! Well, before August 18, because after that date it will be kinda jammed with adolescent musicians. Now, back to 3 more days of inservice....

Down Home and Bargains

The last time we met, I was leaving for a short sabbatical to my parents house. It was great! I helped mom in her classroom, got to relax a bit, and saw two old friends from HS over a great Mexican lunch! I should have thought to have my camera then.

I did have some mexican with my Mom one day in Dothan....La Parilla is a GREAT restaurant....these are the best chips I've ever eaten!

She did not really want her picture taken, but she'd just had a haircut so I figured to seize the moment :)

Just wanted to share a little ghetto slice of Southeast Alabama living with you all :)
I have found some GREAT bargains here at home the last week or so. Let me fill you in!

How much do I love monograms? Well, at Monograms Plus in Vestavia, they had a 75% off table....that was full of N's! All N's and Q's, actually. I got the clipboard and coozie above for $3.00 a piece. REALLY! That cutesy stuff is usually SO expensive. I was elated. And felt somehow much more southern....
I got this Auburn Car Flag at Wal-Mart in Alabaster.....on sale for $.80! These things are usually $10 or MORE so I was very proud. Wish the colors were reversed -- i'm more of a "orange is our secondary color" fan. Not that you would know that from my next picture....

This leather Nine West bag doesn't photograph well, but it was a steal at only $4.00! I hit Kohl's during tax-free weekend last Friday and only spent $18 bucks total (including this purse)...4 shirts and a purse for under $20?? Yes, please!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Way Back Whensday

For 3 summers during my undergraduate years at college (2003, 2004, 2005), I worked in South Dakota. How does a girl from Alabama get hooked up with a job 1600 miles from home? Well, after staying home the summer after my freshman year, working at a daycare where I got pink eye, and wanting to do something unique, I went to http://coolworks.com. I didn't really want to work in a national park, per se, because the pay there isn't anything to write home about....but I did end up finding the place I would call home for 9 months out of my life....WALL DRUG STORE! Thousands of tourists every day came to our store, which is on the lonely road to Mt. Rushmore in Western SD. I got to live there for very cheap, with lots of fun college girls my age, meet fellow employees from around the country, earn some money, and basically have the time of my life.

Let's take a peek back in time!

The family came out to visit me the 2nd summer I worked! Mt. Rushmore was about an hour away, so we took a trip! (I have probably been to the "Mt." 10 times!)

Homeade signs are every where in the store

This was my job for three summers....MAKING FUDGE! Usually, we had to wear a gingham shirt/jean skirt duo uniform, but this was my last day so I got to wear regular clothes. Can't you tell I was a good candy maker?

The scenery was amazing...I lived a mile from Badlands National Park

But there were crazy grasslands all around, too.

The little town of Wall (pop. 400) was pretty at night.

I made this and taped it to the counter in my store...people kept asking!!! (Not about the last one;))

This is actually along the side of I-90 near Rapid City...Wall Drug is famous for it's roadside signs that lure people in for free ice water, and in this picture, the country store (where I worked and made fudge!)

The place has a great history and is very quirky...if you've never heard of it, you should really check it out. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Hi all :) Tomorrow morning, I am off for a little mini vacation down at my parents house until the end of the week. I am really looking forward to it!

FYI- I used the Purex "washing" sheets- and they are really something! I've never felt my clothes so soft....and the scent is really light and clean smelling...I haven't broken out in hives yet- so I guess the hypoallergenic claim is true! YAY!

Keith and I got to eat lunch with a "long lost friend" yesterday...we don't get to see Miranda much anymore since she goes to a different church now, but she had recently returned from a mission trip out west (originally, I was supposed to accompany her-but that trip got put on hold so I could start grad school...) and we were eager to hear her stories. Sounds like she had a great time and that many seeds were planted- she even went white water rafting! I miss being out west during the summers...dry heat is SO much better than this muggy stuff down here :)

Anyway- today will be spent getting clothes clean, packing, and enjoying some time around the house. I wish I had more exciting things to tell you, but c'est la vie.

Until then....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Let's take a retail pause...

Have you seen this product advertised? I had been sooooo interested in trying these 3-in-1 sheets that are supposedly detergent, fabric softener and anti-static stuff that I used some ECB's from CVS and bought some. The ones I snagged are the hypoallergenic kind since I'm allergic to most dryer sheets (sad, but true.) Anyway, verdict is still out on those- I'm doing my first load with one right now!

I took the time to send a few e-comments to some companies (inspired via couponingtodisney) and viola, the mail is rollin' in. This was just one day last week....FREE sister schuberts rolls, FREE skintimate shave gel/foam, $1 off english muffins and a TGI Friday's members card. Not pictured, but recieved were FREE VALUE MEAL cards (as in, more than 1!) from McDonalds (after I complained about the cleanliness of the last one I was in). Yay!

This was my CVS/Walgreens haul for today. You can see the shave gel there (i used that free coupon), and I had $5.98 in ECB's to use....
I paid $0.40 for everything pictured here!!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009


My weight loss has been see-sawing within the same 3 pounds for the last 6 weeks. I GOTTA break this plateau! I'm at 17.5 lost (technically) since March, but I'd like to make that 25 total gone by labor day. I've already started drinking loads of water, but I need to get lots better at writing down what I eat.

I am posting this here for posterity's sake and to remind me what's goin' on :)


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Take me out to the balllll gaaaaame...(out on the town Thursday!)

Welcome to my post. I have a great digital camera and I rarely make use of it (mostly because I don't know how to do much with it!). Today was a photo vomit day for me...I took way too many! Here we shall view a couple of "i-just-did-my-makeup-so-im-taking-a-pic-to-double-check-how-it-looks" shots. The first picture is the one with lipstick (MOM). I know, all good Southern girls have to wear it out. I just hate it!

Testing the flash. TOO MUCH!
Okay. That's over with!

Last night, Keith, his sisters and I went to watch the Birmingham Barons baseball team take on the Montgomery Biscuits. Mmmmm. Here's some goodness that followed!

Keith loves to iron. I kid you not. I think he may be the most un-wrinkled human being on the planet. God bless him. I just buy stuff with lycra or rayon.

Nothin' says summer time like a ballfield!

The crew- Keith, Amy and Kerri. I think Keith and Amy look the most alike.

It had rained all afternoon before the game, and still looked pretty threatening!

Wait! I was there too- :)

press box. the stadium is converted into a football field in the fall for Hoover High School games.

Please notice the size of these cones. Amy sure did!

The mechanics were amazing. they melted super quick! Wish I had gotten a picture of the quarter hot dogs. What a deal!

Have a great Thursday!