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.