Hey Y'all! Glad to have ya!!

Thanks for stoppin' by to read my humble little blog. This is where I ramble on about my everyday life and share the funnies and the not-so-funnies. I hope you enjoy your visit!

Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oh, how time flies!

It's been a year, y'all.

A year since I married the love of my life, the funniest man on earth, the sweetest husband around, and the only leader I will follow unconditionally. Nathan and I have said several times over the course of this first year together that it has been so easy and FUN!! Everyone said there would be an adjustment period where we would be getting used to each other's habits, but, we're still waiting for that to happen! Maybe we are super easy-going because it seems as though we've blended our lives seamlessly. Of course, there's been a few little "I do it this way..." moments, but no big blow-ups and such.

When I look at my husband, I am constantly reminded of how HUGELY God blessed me with this man. I am absolutely, 100% positive that there is no other man more perfect for me than Nathan. Our love story is too full of God's hand and we are just so much alike. Even our differences complement one another. For instance, I abhor doing the bills & checkbook, while Nathan is great at managing our finances. I just ask him for a general run-down and get him to tell me how much I can spend on something. This year has truly been the best of my life and we are well on our way to keeping a promise we made to each other in the beginning...to be newlyweds forever!

To celebrate our 1st Anniversary, we took a little weekend trip to Arkansas. **Destiny, Nathan decided he wanted to surprise me, so we'll have to check out some of those great places in Mississippi next time!** The only thing I knew about the trip was that we were going somewhere outside of Mena, Arkansas (and that's only because my honey slipped up one day!). We left on Friday evening and headed to what turned out to be the Queen Wilhelmina State Park, 14 miles outside of Mena. Here's a picture tour of our trip...(descriptions at the top of each photo)

Excited to be on our way (yes, those are my sunglasses Nathan is wearing) :)

The lodge where we stayed at Queen Wilhelmina. It was so nice and they had yummy food in the dining room! There were lots of recreational bikers there that weekend (not the mean & scary kind).

Another view of the front of the lodge. It sits on the top of Rich Mountain, which is Arkansas's 2nd highest peak!
We had great views! Saturday morning we got up early and went out to explore after breakfast. Nathan is using his binoculars to get a bird's eye view of the valley. Notice the wooden trail marker? There was a trail called "Lover's Leap!"

We took the path to the Reservoir Trail...

and came upon this...

Here's the actual reservoir. Doesn't look like it gets much use these days, does it? Looks more like a snake den than a water tank!

This Ohio Spiderwort was growing all along the trail. Isn't it pretty? By the way, I only know it's name because there was a poster depicting all the wildflowers you can find in Arkansas.

The trail was not so easy on the way back! Those rocky steps got a little tricky and we took a few rest stops.

I'm catching my breath on a bench that was so conveniently placed!

Nathan had fun looking under rocks for crawdads and salamanders. Ick! He finally found a baby salamander...
The rest of the day we drove all around the surrounding towns and even ventured into Oklahoma for a bit! We ate at a neat little restaurant in Heavener, Oklahoma that was once a train car. It had been restored and converted into an eatery. Can you guess it's name? On Sunday, we decided that we had done all there was to do at Queen Wilhelmina, so we checked out early and headed to Hot Springs. I had been there a long time ago and thought it might be fun. I had forgotten how touristy it is and Nathan and I decided that we don't like being surrounded by crowds of people all clamoring to get their hands on souvenir junk! We did end up having a good time though. We took a sight-seeing ride on a "Duck," a big boat with wheels that can drive and go in the water! It was fun!

Captain Carl was our tour guide...

Good thing we had cash money on us!

We also paid a visit (and a pretty penny) to a slightly creepy aquarium. It was fine until Nathan was petting the resident turtle, "Slow Poke," and we noticed an ever-growing puddle underneath her. She was peeing on the floor! And when we looked around, it looked like the floors hadn't been cleaned in quite awhile! Yuck, yuck, yuck! The rest of the place was kind of dimly lit and just had a "carny" air to it. We got out of there pretty fast!

After being grossed-out by the aquarium, we decided to find a place to snooze for the night. We checked in, dropped off our bags, and then headed to Garvan Woodland Gardens. This is a former private citizen's home that has been turned into a couple hundred acres of lush gardens & wooded areas by the University of Arkansas. It was very relaxing to stroll along the trails and see all the different plants and ponds.

A nice man offered to take our picture for us. It was sunny that afternoon!

When we got to the gardens, there was a wedding just finishing up in the chapel so we saved that tour for last. I'm so glad we did. Just look at this beauty! This is Anthony Chapel, isn't it amazing?

It's built from wood, stone, and glass. The ceilings are 57 feet tall and it has floor to ceiling windows. It is so peaceful...

The crazy thing is, I didn't realize it 'til we'd been there for awhile, but this is the church that my friend, K, showed me on the internet a couple years ago. She raved about it and said she'd love to get married there. How about that?

Such a pretty altar...

We had a great time relaxing together on our trip! Monday, May 19th, was our actual anniversary and we took our time making our way home. That night, we got dressed up and went to dinner at Superior Steakhouse. It was DELICIOUS! It's definitely a special occasion place though because it is so expensive! But it was worth every penny, they even brought us a piece of cheesecake for dessert that had "Happy 1st Anniversary" written around the edge of the plate in chocolate! Yum! I didn't take a picture because I thought they might look at me funny in that fancy place. Ha!

Y'all, this year went by so fast. As wonderful as it's been, I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for the rest of our years together. Not that I'm rushing time. Goodness knows it'll get here and be gone fast enough! So, go kiss your husband and hug your kids. They're blessings, believe it or not. Just think about how you'd feel if you never got to put the toilet seat down again, never got to put the cap back on the toothpaste again, or never got to pick a high-heel Barbie shoe out of your tender foot again. If something happened to one of your people, you'd be begging to be annoyed just one more time. Treasure all the time you have with your hubbies and babies.

Thank you so much for sharing in my memories of this special milestone! Have a blessed day!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Online? Yes, I think we are, finally!

Hey Y'all! It's good to be back online! Nathan and I were out of town this past weekend for our 1st Anniversary and our internet connection has been on the fritz. So, I haven't gotten to check blogs as much as I like. The repair-man was supposed to come this morning, in fact, but the dispatcher called and asked if we were online. I told her yes, and she said they'd been working in our area recently. That means I didn't have to wait around for a strange man to show up and come in my house! Yay! I'm not crazy about being alone in the house with repair people, can you tell?

Anyway, I have pictures to show from our trip and the tale to tell. But, you'll have to wait a little longer. I have to work tonight and I need to go take a nap.

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Honey!

26 years ago today
You were born in the month of May.
Your folks got a double blessing,
Elated and anxious to be holding twins, I'm guessing.

Your childhood had its rough patches,
And yet you've grown into a man with no matches.
I'm thankful for all you are, and all you do.
Honey, I love every side of you.

Our days together are just beginning
And when I think about that, I can't stop grinning!
No telling what the future will hold
Though I know it will be as precious as gold!

Baby, you make me so proud
I could shout it out loud!!
Whatever we may weather together,
I'll love you always and forever.

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What's One More?

Is anybody else out there fascinated by Michelle Duggar and her extremely LARGE family?

I am. I love any news of their amazing family. And, I just read on Yahoo! News that she is pregnant with child #18!!! Wow, now that's an accomplishment! They are, of course, thrilled to be having another baby. And, I stand in awe of their family dynamics. I've been to their website and read all about life as a Duggar, I played the name-guessing game for the new baby on Discovery Health's website, and I've seen the TV specials.

But, you know what I'm most curious about? And, forgive me for my candidness...

How the HECK is her Virginia still north of the Mason Dixon Line?! Good grief, the woman's insides have to be the consistency of one of those 2-week-old birthday balloons found floating around every kid's floor at some point or another. But, hey, God gives to those that can handle it, right? She must be one strong lady!

Sorry for my brazenness, but I had to voice my curiosity. *shrug* Seriously, though, the reason I am so fascinated by their family is because they have always been very public with their belief that a successful family centers around a love for the Lord. Even on all the talk shows and such, Jim Bob and Michelle stand up for Jesus. I get a warm fuzzy from watching all the kids interact so lovingly and seeing the order in their household. Theirs is definitely a model I wouldn't have a problem following for my family.

Except for maybe the 18 kids part. I don't think I'm that much of a woman. And Nathan would have a coronary at the mere thought.

So, I'll stick with good old Ortho Tri-Cyclen and let Michelle Duggar bear the heavy load. No pun intended. Really.

What do you Arkansas girls think of the Duggars? Have you ever gotten to see them all out and about? Not that they're a circus attraction, but still....have you?

Y'all have a great day, now!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Holy Toledo!

We had a GREAT time camping, y'all! It was beautiful weather the whole time we were there and we can't wait to go back!

Thank goodness we decided to drive down on Saturday morning. The park officials told us that we missed out on a big storm Friday night that knocked the power out and had major winds! Our little tent would've been blown all over the place!

We drove down to North Toledo Bend State Park Saturday morning and after checking in, we ventured off to find our water-front campsite.

Which turned out to be more like a water-view campsite.

So, we weren't exactly able to dock the boat on the shore right next to our camp. No big deal! We didn't let that minor disappointment spoil our fun! The boat launch was only a short ride away and it's really not all that hard to put in and take out the boat. Nathan might say differently, though. After all, the only thing I do is back the truck & trailer down into the water and then park it once the boat floats off! Ha!

Anyway, we made short work of setting up camp (I promise I helped as soon as I put the camera down!)

And once the tent was up and the air mattress set up (so cozy!) we headed out to the lake for some fishin'! Neither one of us had ever been to Toledo Bend before and we were very pleasantly surprised. The lake is HUGE!! Seriously, when you're in the middle of the lake, it feels like you are in the middle of the ocean! I don't think the wind ever stops blowing and those waves can get mighty choppy! It's beautiful and scary all at the same time. Here, let me show you...

Does that not look vast to you? Notice the choppy waves in the foreground? Yeah, I still feel myself rockin' if I sit still too long! I also liked that there was a good mix of classes along the bank. I didn't get any pictures of them, but there were huge mansions right alongside a row of trailer-house camps. No discrimination on these waters! Ha!

Toledo Bend is one of the largest man-made lakes in the U.S. and has over 167,000 miles of shoreline. And, on some unknown mile marker, I caught this little guy...

He's a medium-size Blue Gill. Nathan says they're good to eat but my first catch wasn't quite big enough to keep. Oh well, he was fun to catch anyway! And, I've even gotten brave enough to take my fish off the hook by myself! Those fins are sharp and more than a little intimidating, ya know!

When I got tired of fishing, I took a camera break and caught these little cuties sunbathing on a log. There were turtles on every available surface; we even saw some swimming just under the water's surface! They must have ESP because as soon as I would spot them, I'd turn to tell Nathan about it and when I looked back...Poof!...they were gone! A few of them were pretty big, too. Almost a foot across, I'd say!

Saturday afternoon the wind kicked up pretty hard and we almost didn't think we'd make it back to the boat launch! We were sure glad we'd already made camp and took advantage of the cool evenin' to take a nap in our cozy tent.

When we woke up, we both REALLY needed to visit the Comfort Station (fancy name for restroom) and then we cooked supper, over a fire of course! We like to eat good when we go camping, no plain old burgers and hot dogs for us! Here's my Sweetie patiently waiting for the charcoal to burn down. We had grilled corn on the cob, barbecued chicken drumsticks, and fried potatoes. Yum!

The next morning, we got up at 5 a.m. (yikes!) to cook breakfast and get out on the lake before sunrise. Actually, I surprised myself because it wasn't really that hard to wake up. Maybe the full to bursting bladder had something to do with it. The only thing that I'm not crazy about while going camping is that you usually have to walk a good ways to the bathroom! My nurse's bladder has a hard time with that!

Let me tell you, it was SO worth it to wake up early and get out on the lake. Just look at this gorgeous sunrise...

And my Sweet Boy and our puppy in serious concentration mode...

Sunday was another full day of fishing. We threw out a lot of casts but only got a few bites. Here's a couple that didn't get away...

We had the best time this weekend just hangin' out with each other and following our own timetable. My Sweetie is the best fishing coach, he's so patient and always encouraging. I love learning new things from him! Fishing is a love he's had for a whole lot longer than me and I'm so thankful that he loves to take me with him. He says fishing with me is his favorite thing to do and I have to say that I cherish each time I get to go out on the water with him too. There's something so peaceful and relaxing about throwing out a line and watching the water dip and sway.

It's even more relaxing if you keep a 5-gallon bucket handy for "emergencies." Yes, I had to do #1 in the middle of the lake on a steadily rocking boat! Thankfully, I had a jacket to tie around my waist and God kept all the other boats away until I was decent again. Whew! That was a funny experience!

I hope y'all are having a great day! I leave you with a picture of our goofy puppy. He loved the cool sand at the campsite and I guess it loved him too!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Is the Weekend here yet?

Woo Hoo! It's Friday! And I am so ready for it, y'all. Because the last two nights at work kicked my boo-hiny. I guess I should be used to it by now, but somehow it's hard to adjust to being run over, stomped on, and dragged around. All to the tune of whimper and a holler.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

But, seriously, I can't wait for this weekend to get a move on. Because my Sweetie and I are going CAMPING! Yay! Nathan reserved us a water-front campsite on Toledo Bend. He went shopping for fireside munchies last night. And Buster keeps looking at me with those eyes that seem to say, "Is it time to go yet? What about now? Now is it time?"

Enough already, puppy dog! Clearly I shouldn't have told him we were going camping until we were actually on the way. Because you know dogs (and kids too, I'm sure) can't contain their excitement about an upcoming trip, be it big or small.

We're leaving in the morning and will be back home sometime Sunday afternoon/evening. Hopefully, I'll have some neat pictures to share with y'all.

I'm prayin' that there are no high winds or thunderstorms to blow away our little tent. We are hard-core campers, after all. For some reason, whenever Nathan and I do anything outdoorsy together, major precipitation likes to tag along. Oh well, it makes for fun and almost always funny memories. *smile* But that's another post...

Have a great weekend, Y'all!