Wednesday, February 25, 2009

C-Ya Later 25!

This past weekend Clint and I celebrated my b-day early with a little getaway. I have always wanted to take a trip to see the Biltmore House in Asheville. I grew up listening to my Nanaw telling stories about all of her visits there. Now that we are living in JC, we are only about 45 minutes from Asheville. So, Clint planned a trip for us to see it, which also included staying at a B&B (we love trying new ones). We stayed at Dry Ridge Inn in Weaverville, NC. It was only 10 minutes from the Biltmore. The house and breakfast was great! Saturday we headed to the Biltmore for our audio tour. I highly recommend the headphones because it tells you the history and some interesting facts about each room. I am still amazed at the shear size, attention to detail and advancement of this mansion. We then ate lunch at the famous McDonalds in Biltmore Village after our tour. On the way back to the B&B we stopped and browsed some of the antique stores in Asheville. We had a wonderful time!
Monday was my actual 26th b-day. We both had to work, so when I got home I found the house decorated and Chloe with a party hat on!! My husband thinks of everything. We went to eat dinner with Joe and Lo and then came back to our house for cake and presents. As per tradition, Clint baked my cake. This year was red velvet with cream cheese icing. I was impressed that he made a double layer cake! It was delicious. I was so surprised at my gifts from him. I had mentioned a long time ago that I didn’t have anything with my married monogram on it. He must have filed that in his memory because he got me a silver monogram ring, a (very cute) monogram tote bag and adorable note cards! I absolutely love everything...he knows me too well!

Dry Ridge Inn


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

It's the day of love! I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned previously how much I love this day. The past few years, Clint and I have been going out to eat for Valentine's day the night before to beat the crowd. So, last night we went to eat at the Chop House...yum! Our tradition has always been to eat at J.Alexander's in Nashville but obviously we were not going to make that trip. So around here, Chop House is the next best thing. I don't normally eat steak but I did last night and it was delicious! This was defiantly a splurge for us. But, thankfully we have some very kind family members who sent a little something extra in their Valentine's card to us that made it possible! So, thank you family...we had a wonderful night out!

Clint and I had agreed on only exchanging cards. But, as usual, my husband went above and beyond and got me roses! Also, this morning I got the biggest box of chocolate I have ever seen. (I think he is hoping I'll share!!) I did get him some of his favorite candy too, but not quite as big of a box.

I want to let all my family and friends know how much you mean to me. I love you all dearly. Now it's your turn, go tell someone you love them today!
My gorgeous flowers!
Our pup in her v-day bandanna

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Praise the Lord!

I am gainfully employed! Yahoo!! I have been waiting so long to write a post like this one. Yesterday, I was hired as a receptionist at a local chiropractor’s office. Career? No. Paying gig? Yes! At this point, that is all I wanted. I am so thankful that the hiring manager was able to overlook my master’s degree and give me a chance. My whole plan of working at the Gap just to have a job fell through. Turns out, the Gap isn’t hiring. Turns out, most retail stores are not either. Finding a job, any job, was much harder than I initially thought.

If you are one of those individuals who is still under the illusion that our economy is fine, then try job searching. Clint and I have been enormously blessed to not be in the hard situations as many other job searchers out there. It all became extremely real to me when I was in the career center and within a span of 30 minutes, I saw 8-10 people come in to file for unemployment because they had just been laid off that day! I’m sure many of these people have families to feed and mortgages to pay. It hasn’t just affected the laborers or blue collared workers; it goes all the way up the ladder. More than I think we will ever realize.

Our country is hurting and I believe will continue to hurt for a few years. Overall, we are a very selfish country. I think this is the time to reach out to those people who are hurting and help them. I think it’s time for our priorities to change. (And I’m speaking for myself as well.) We need to stop spending money on ourselves for things we think we need. Instead, spend that money on others who are actually in need. Or, if you are struggling with money yourself (as many of us are), giving of your time is always free. I think we should all answer the call from our President to take action and quit waiting for someone else to do something about it. But more importantly, as Christians, God calls us to do this.

These past 4 months of job searching have been a true test of my patience, priorities and my pride. I really have learned a lot about myself through this process. I am so appreciative to my family and friends for supporting me through this time. No matter where this job may lead me, I am just so grateful to have one because so many out there don't.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine.” ~1 Peter 1:6-7


Had to share

Mandy had posted this picture of Ryann and I couldn't resist sharing it. She just keeps getting cuter! Sometimes it is hard for parents to brag on their kids without getting on everyone's nerves. But, as an aunt, it is easier for me!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Washer Woes

Well, the inevitable happened. I knew it was only a matter of time. Our washer washed its last load. Honestly, we were lucky to have it at all. Our landlord so graciously left it for us to use. She wouldn’t accept any payment. So, we have used it for 4 months, but it finally gave out. (The dryer is still kickin’…knock on wood!) So, now we must set out on the oh-so fun task of getting another one. We have spent the last few days doing our research and went today to see what was out there. We even pulled out our Dave Ramsey cd on bargaining and getting the best deal and listened to it again. We of course have been weighing the options of getting a used one versus a new one with a warranty, but NOT an extended warranty (a no-no in Dave’s world.) At this point, we are pretty sure we want the standard top loader instead of the front loader b/c of a few factors but mainly cost. We have checked out consumer reports, but it mostly lists the higher priced models. So, my question for you guys is what brand/model of washer do you have and would you recommend it? Any help appreciated!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Christmas again?

Well, sort of. This past weekend Bridget, Sarah and I got together for our annual post Christmas get-together. We have been doing this for a few years now because it’s so much easier to find time after the holidays. We have had this planned for a while now and I was really looking forward to it. The girls came up here to see our place and stay the night on Friday. Then, we headed to Pigeon Forge to stay at the Inn at Christmas Place. Wow, this place was great! It is rated the best hotel in the area and usually is pretty pricey. But, we found out that January is the best time to go to save money. We got an unbelievably cheap rate and then it was split 3 ways! Even though it wasn’t Christmas, they still had everything decorated. In fact, the Santa there told us that PF and Gatlinburg don’t take down their Christmas decorations until March! One thing I loved about this place is that they have artwork done by local artist hanging up all around the hotel. We had 2 in our room done by my favorite Robert Tino. As always, we had a wonderful time exchanging gifts, eating and just catching up!