Taylor and I

Taylor and I

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer's Over....kinda

Well, it's over......I have said that I was ready, and I am, but I'm still a little sad. I am very lucky that my job follows the school year. It has allowed me to feel like I get a summer like a student or teacher would (even though I still work). The past couple of weeks I have become very anxious about school starting. All these big plans from work, a partly new territory, high expectations......I was ready to get started! I spent the last two days in the Crestview/Destin/DeFuniak Springs Florida area making visits and today am totally exhausted! Fingers crossed for a great school year!!!

Taylor and I have one last summer get-a-way next weekend - going home to celebrate my mom's bday, a friend's wedding in Birmingham, seeing Lindsay in Nashville and a Ray concert to top it off! I am looking forward to it!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Most Magical Place on Earth

Our DW2010 visit was wonderful! We had a great time - the crowds and hot weather didn't slow us down a bit! We took advantage of the magic extra hours (which are extra hours the park is open for guests staying at a WDW resort), used our fans and drank lots of water. Andrew's favorite characters were Woody and Buzz and even after standing in line for 45 to meet them, his eyes still lit up.

Disney World is really that - the world....let me explain. It was rare to hear people speaking English, and if so they had a strong accent as if they hadn't been speaking it for long. Many visitors from South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Of course I loved this multi-cultural experience and watching Andrew trying to figure out who all these people were. It was so amazing to see that no matter where we come from, who we worship, what we eat or how we dress - that mickey can make us all smile, that fireworks still are beautiful and everyone gets butterflies in their tummies on the tower of terror. (We are on the right, front row)

Many people asked, How was Andrew? How did he do on his first plane ride? How was in the heat? How was he standing in lines? The answer to all those questions - is great! He truly is a well behaved, sweet, wonderful child. Fingers and toes crossed that our future child takes after him! I love being his aunt!!! One of the cutest stories from the trip -
The first day , he had been up since 5:30 am with no nap. When we got the resort, we went straight to Epcot and didn't come back until after midnight. That is a lot of a 5 year old, and needless to say, he was tired. I was washing my face and getting ready for bed as he was starting to whine and tell me he wanted to go home. "Disney World is not fun - it's boring" I knew he was super tired and that we had to turn off the lights and get to sleep quick to avoid a major meltdown. So we did. the next morning when we woke up, before his eyes were even opened all the way and the first words out of his mouth were "Aunt Jen, I didn't mean what I said last night. Disney World is fun". It was so sweet and sincere, I teared up. Why can't we all admit our mistakes that way?

To sum up what I learned on this trip:
  1. Plan a trip NOT during peak season
  2. Andrew loves water parks, thrill rides and isn't scared of much
  3. You are never to old to be a kid
  4. Andrew is awesome, but I already knew that
  5. Everyone around the world is more alike than they are different
  6. My husband rocks
  7. We aren't ready for kids, but when we are we will do alright

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The first couple weeks of July

I LOVE SUMMER!!! What a great month July has been so far! Taylor and I spent the fourth at the beach, which despite the oil is still a great place to be! We didn't have a traditional grill out but I did manage to make a themed dessert, by using star shaped cookie cutters, when we got home. If you are a subscriber to Southern Living - this dessert was featured in the July issue. It was made with biscuits, blueberries, and whip cream (along with a few other things) - how can you go wrong?!?!

Jessica (AKA mommy in the making) and Bryan were in town last weekend and Jess and I spent much of our Saturday getting ready for Baby McDaniel, Samuel, Jackson, Zachary, etc, etc (deciding on a name is hard)by registering at Babies R Us. It was so fun to share in these special planning moments with her. I can't wait to meet the little man!

We were also lucky enough to get to go to the Jimmy Buffett concert last weekend (Thanks Andy!!!) It was a great time with friends and we even managed to get home and be at work the next morning - even if we were struggling!

This week is a big week for us, we leave Thursday morning for Disney World. We are taking my precious nephew Andrew and can't wait! Don't worry - I will share some of the magic moments!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

A lazy weekend in June

This was the first weekend in a while that T and I had nothing planned and would both be in town. We made plans to have no plans and it turned out pretty good. I know why we keep ourselves so busy, I get bored pretty easy.

We went to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays Friday. I have eaten at Ruby Tuesday's for lunch several times (salad bar, minis) recently but we couldn't remember the last time we had dinner there. After eating there Friday, we remember why. Overpriced food that tastes like it was frozen, heated in the microwave, and put on cute square plates. I think eating fresh food has really spoiled us because crap food, tastes just like crap. After dinner, we decided to check out Traders. Traders is the dome shaped hut on the causeway. We have passed it countless times and decided we had to see what it was like. Apparently it was the owners birthday, and man were they having a party. The building it self was really cool with a round bar in the middle and an upstairs above the bar so that you could sit and observe whatever was going on below. There was a band that turned out to be pretty good and very classic. I enjoy meeting new characters. Here is a picture from the rafters.

Saturday I cleaned up around the house, and we ran some errands. We had a little grill out Saturday night - T made a great pork tenderloin and I snapped fresh green beans and made mac and cheese.

The mac and cheese recipe was so easy and I guarantee it tastes better than anything you mix out of a box. The cornmeal I added by mistake, but it turned out pretty good!

Mac and Cheese
8 oz box of elbow noodles - boil, drain, and set aside
Melt 1 T of butter in a saucepan and add 2 cups of milk
Add 2 t of flour and 1 t of cornmeal. Stir until thickened.
Add 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and mix in noodles.
Pour in baking dish, add a little more shredded cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes in 350 degree oven

Sunday we went to church and headed over to Pensacola for a friend's bridal shower. Taylor rode with me to hang out with a friend that moved other there not to long ago. On the way we decided to stop for lunch at the Derailed Dinner. It's a truck stop in between the Eastern Shore and Pensacola and man, did they go all out. The entire restaurant was themed with cars, trucks, trains. You could even eat in an old train car. I felt like I was on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The food was excellent! Here is Taylor at our table, a tailgate. (and yes, that is a mini flat screen tv)

By the way -- It's a boy!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Living Simply.......

I have long enjoyed reading people's blogs, learning about their experiences, getting a glimpse of their view, sharing in their lives. I have wanted to create one for our family for a while, and given the lazy days of summer - I found the opportunity. Of course Taylor and I are blessed with an amazing large family, but for now, "our" family consists of the two of us and our dog, Mac.

I have titled this blog "Living Simply" and hope that theme carries throughout them all. I always wondered, "Who in the world has time to do one of those blog things?" But given the distance I live between my family and most of my friends, what better way to be able to share our lives? I want to share our activities with every day life. Since Taylor and I both live simply we enjoy the basics - friends, food, fun.

I made the poll of your favorite summer fruit after a conversation with my best friend, Jessica. She is a "mommy in the making" (we find out the sex this weekend!!) and we talk often throughout the day. I am sure this will not be the only inspiration one of our conversations gives this blog......

Taylor and I both love music and luckily live in a place where you don't have to go far to hear great singer/songwriters. You also don't have to go far to get great food - a local farmer's market is my favorite Sunday afternoon stop, and until now (thanks oil spill) all the local seafood you could eat.

Anyway - I guess I will begin the blog announcing our recent sucess of "living simply". We hung a clothesline in our backyard. Something I thought would be not only "green" of us, but also very southern. I remember my grandmother's growing up. We also have been using our ceiling fans more and our A/C less - both of these I think contributing to a power bill of $70 dollars this month!! It was almost half of last years!

We have made it a point to be conscious of every dollar we spend. That way when a fun event comes up (Ray Lamontagne in Nashville, taking my precious nephew to Disney World, etc) we can go full blast. Hopefully, this will pay off (pardon the pun) for our future. Well, I guess I will go get a dinner ready made fresh from local goodies, listening to great music, and having a wonderful time!