Monthly Archives: October 2015

cruising, wedding, and ringing in 2015

andy and I were booked for a cruise for may 2014.  we were so excited to be planning another vacation and then 2 unexpected things happened.  1. dad crushed his heel not long before we were to leave and 2. we got a wedding invitation to kendra and cliff’s wedding for right after Christmas – and they were getting married on a cruise.

we knew that we wouldn’t be able to go on two cruises in one year and we didn’t know if my dad was going to have surgery and I didn’t want to be that far away from home if he did.  so we called the cruise line and got our reservation changed.  one of the best decisions we made.  we got to go on a perfect vacation, see a wonderful marriage of two amazing people, and ring in the new year in style!

our boat was leaving from fort lauderdale, fl on sunday so we got up early Saturday morning (before the sun) and loaded up dad’s truck and away we went.


we made it to fl and met up with my brother and blair for dinner.

IMG_1561 IMG_1566

we made it to the port sunday after killing time shopping and driving around.  we went through security and after dad got his new knife taken away from him (he got it back when we got back) we boarded the boat.  there is something about walking through the walk way and to the boat.

DSCN3589 DSCN3604 DSCN3605 DSCN3617 DSCN3621 DSCN3624 DSCN3641 DSCN3643 DSCN3676 DSCN3690

we loved our room.  it was a little bigger than the room we had on the last cruise.  we had a love seat in our room.  (I think my parents were jealous).  they were around the corner and down the hall from us in a room that only had a chair (because of a connecting door).  and like last time, we had a port hole in our room so we could watch the waves and the ocean.

DSCN3712 edit DSCN3717

the wedding was different.  I had never been to a wedding on a cruise with the captain officiating.  we went to the chapel and had champagne while we waiting on the ceremony to start and once all the parties where there, we watched as two wonderful people exchanged vows and rings.

DSCN3720 DSCN3721 DSCN3725 DSCN3731 DSCN3740 DSCN3741 DSCN3743 DSCN3744 DSCN3746 DSCN3747 DSCN3761 DSCN3762 DSCN3763 DSCN3775 DSCN3777 DSCN3779 DSCN3783 DSCN3785 DSCN3787 DSCN3794 DSCN3795 DSCN3797

(playing with editing a little bit)

DSCN3805 (2) DSCN3805 (3) DSCN3805 (4) DSCN3805

(back to the wedding)

DSCN3809 DSCN3810 DSCN3811 DSCN3812 DSCN3813 DSCN3820 DSCN3821

to the beautiful reception

DSCN3825 DSCN3826 DSCN3829 DSCN3832 DSCN3835 DSCN3838 DSCN3839 DSCN3842 DSCN3845 DSCN3852 DSCN3857 DSCN3860 DSCN3862 DSCN3864 DSCN3867 DSCN3881 DSCN3885 DSCN3891 DSCN3892 DSCN3902 DSCN3904 DSCN3905 DSCN3913 DSCN3929 DSCN3935 DSCN3941 DSCN3951DSCN3854 edit

the first stop on the cruise was to the grand caymens.  we did our own self walking tour right around the port.  we didn’t stray too far but we did a little bit of shopping.  I love all of the towel animals.

 DSCN3962 DSCN3970 DSCN3973 DSCN3975 DSCN3976 DSCN3981 DSCN3983 edit DSCN3986 DSCN3987 DSCN3990 DSCN3993 DSCN3996 DSCN3998 DSCN4003 DSCN4006 DSCN4009 DSCN4011 DSCN4013 DSCN4018 DSCN4022 DSCN4029 DSCN4031 DSCN4034 DSCN4039 edit DSCN4046 DSCN4068 DSCN4070 DSCN4079 DSCN4088 DSCN4090 DSCN4092 DSCN4100 DSCN4110

we made a point to try to go to all of the shows.  on our first cruise we didn’t get to many of them and we talked about wanting to make sure that we did on this cruise.

DSCN4112 DSCN4113 DSCN4114 DSCN4119 DSCN4124

kendra arranged for us to all sit in the same area at meal times.  we had a little trouble getting into the group since we transferred cruises, but we finally got it fixed to where we were sitting in the same area as the group.  we were at a small table with another couple from the wedding group.  allison and chris.  we had a good time with them (hopefully they did with us as well).

DSCN4128 DSCN4129 DSCN4131 DSCN4132 DSCN4135

we enjoyed after dinner festivities around the boat.

DSCN4139 DSCN4140 DSCN4144 DSCN4148 DSCN4161 DSCN4166 edit DSCN4167

the next port was jamaica.  we knew our room was close to where we got off the boat so I put my book in the window so that we could find our room.  we walked around inside the port area, but we also went outside the gate and walked around a little bit.

DSCN4169 DSCN4170 DSCN4171 DSCN4172 DSCN4173 DSCN4176 DSCN4179 DSCN4184 DSCN4185 DSCN4189 DSCN4190 DSCN4192 DSCN4195 DSCN4198 DSCN4199 DSCN4201 DSCN4202 DSCN4205 DSCN4214 DSCN4216 DSCN4218 DSCN4224 DSCN4225 DSCN4230 DSCN4231 DSCN4233 DSCN4244 DSCN4246 DSCN4254 DSCN4258 DSCN4261 DSCN4264 DSCN4265 DSCN4266 DSCN4269 DSCN4272 DSCN4274 DSCN4282 DSCN4300 DSCN4307 DSCN4312 DSCN4315 DSCN4320 DSCN4325 DSCN4336 DSCN4338

after dinner we were invited to join the group in new year’s festivities.  they reserved the bridge for our group only.  it was so much fun to be with everyone (and to not be in the crowd below).  we definitely brought in the new year in style.

DSCN4348 edit DSCN4356 DSCN4359 - edit DSCN4363 DSCN4364 DSCN4368 DSCN4371 DSCN4376 DSCN4380 DSCN4390 DSCN4391 DSCN4395 DSCN4407 DSCN4412 DSCN4414 DSCN4415 DSCN4417 DSCN4421 DSCN4422 DSCN4424 DSCN4430 DSCN4441 DSCN4447 DSCN4448 DSCN4449 DSCN4461 DSCN4484 edit DSCN4487 - edit DSCN4490 DSCN4493 DSCN4495 - edit

the next stop was haiti

DSCN4498 DSCN4500 DSCN4502 DSCN4505 DSCN4506 DSCN4514 DSCN4518 DSCN4520 DSCN4521 DSCN4522 DSCN4525 DSCN4529 DSCN4536 DSCN4537 DSCN4539 DSCN4542 DSCN4544 DSCN4546 DSCN4550 DSCN4553 DSCN4556 DSCN4557 DSCN4562 DSCN4563 DSCN4583 DSCN4585 DSCN4588 DSCN4593 DSCN4594 DSCN4595 DSCN4599 DSCN4600 DSCN4602 DSCN4610 DSCN4611 DSCN4614 DSCN4620 DSCN4624 DSCN4633 DSCN4634 DSCN4636 DSCN4637 DSCN4638 DSCN4640 DSCN4646 DSCN4650 DSCN4653 DSCN4657 DSCN4674 DSCN4677 DSCN4696 DSCN4698

that night we took our towel animal and dressed him up so our cabin attendant could see his elephant dressed up.


they had the farewell show

DSCN4715 DSCN4717 DSCN4721 DSCN4727

the wait staff did their farewell song/dance.  we loved our waiter, francis!  someone ordered “nothing” for dessert and this is what he brought out!

DSCN4731 DSCN4732

when we got back to the room we noticed that the elephant had a few more decorations.

DSCN4734 DSCN4748

some random photos around the boat.

DSCN4783 DSCN4786 DSCN4787 DSCN4790 DSCN4792 DSCN4797

we went to an ice show – on the boat!  there was an ice rink!  it was a cute show and it was really done well.

DSCN4812 edit DSCN4813 DSCN4818 DSCN4821 DSCN4824 DSCN4828 DSCN4835 DSCN4840 DSCN4843

view from our room


one of the shows had a violinist followed by a comedian.

DSCN4861 DSCN4863 DSCN4872 DSCN4877 DSCN4881

some group photos

DSCN4891 DSCN4893 DSCN4895

the marriage game!  hilarious!


some photos of our room!  ignore the name behind the curtain!

DSCN4905 DSCN4906 DSCN4909 DSCN4912 DSCN4917

we had so much fun on vacation.  it was hard to narrow down the pictures to post the ones that i did.  looking back through all of them made me miss our trip.  but it brought up a lot of memories.  it was a wonderful wedding and festivities!  we were so lucky to be able to ring in the new year and start 2015 on a cruise.

we were sad to leave.

DSCN4918 - edit

we are planning another cruise for 2018 – I hope!

me, andy, and otis

just a few random pictures of us three from 2014 (mostly I think).

andy in my new donkey hat.

phone dump7-2-14 189

this is the view I have of otis on all of our trips.

phone dump7-2-14 234

otis loves “cozy monster” (not staged).

phone dump7-2-14 354

otis loved when we opened the windows.  he stood there for an hour smelling the fall air.  when his legs got tired he jumped on the bed and laid with his head aimed at the window.

phone dump7-2-14 358

otis laying on the couch with his head near the open door.  catching the sunlight.  his old soulful eyes.

DSCN6721DSCN6708 DSCN6725 DSCN6730

date night

IMG_1085 IMG_1090

otis emptied his toy box, trying to find the perfect toy.


at my grandmothers.


fluffy and wet hair

IMG_0692 IMG_0705

snuggled in the bed.


we bought him a dog bed so that when we board him he won’t have to just lay on a blanket.  (he gets stiff because he is old).I wanted him to get used to the bed before we took it, in hopes that he wouldn’t shred it while he was at “camp.”  at first he wouldn’t have anything to do with it, so we put it in the chair he always laid in…he started laying in it and likes it!


when you don’t have teeth to hold your tongue in your mouth…

IMG_1360 IMG_1664

I got out of bed and otis took my place.


otis in his sweater saying “it’s cold!”


I love these two!

gcpc 2014 recap

it seems only fitting that on a sunday i do a recap of the youth group from 2014.

a look back at our youth group.  a lot of the middle school events aren’t captured because I am mostly with the high school youth.  it is always fun to look back and see how the youth have changed physically, but also to remember the events and see how they have changed on the inside as well.

we went to resurrection in january.  it was cold.

DSCN8002 DSCN8003

youth sunday happened.  cleo our 2014 senior gave the message.

DSCN8541 DSCN8559

lawn part to kick off the school year

DSCN1717 DSCN1722 DSCN1736 DSCN1740 DSCN1757

church picnic at locust springs.  there were two donkeys that wondered in to say hello.

DSCN1786 DSCN1790 DSCN1798 DSCN1844 DSCN1919 DSCN1935 DSCN1940 DSCN1951 IMG_0702

we had a high school lock in on Halloween night…it snowed.  the next morning i woke up at 5 and took a picture.  luckily it didn’t stick around long.


we went to montreat in july.  i love montreat (it is a thin place – we have been told).  i am sure the kids hate my camera…but i enjoy it and so they put up with it.  i know that in a lot of the pictures they kids aren’t smiling…apparently it is a game that we play.  they act like they are miserable and i allow it (they do have to smile for a few photos).  they really are having fun – i promise.  bob retired.  we miss bob!

DSCN1396 DSCN1397 DSCN1409 DSCN1415 DSCN1426 DSCN1431 DSCN1436 DSCN1460 DSCN1466 DSCN1468 DSCN1476 DSCN1482 DSCN1488 DSCN1521 DSCN1556 DSCN1568 DSCN1631 DSCN1633 DSCN1635 DSCN1639 DSCN1641 DSCN1642 DSCN1649

took a group of kids to charlotte to carowinds.  andy got sick (didn’t puke – but pretty sure he wanted to).  i road boo blaster and shot some monsters.  it was a short but fun trip.

DSCN2688 DSCN2696 DSCN2717 DSCN2733 DSCN2746 DSCN2756 DSCN2780 DSCN2783 DSCN2787 DSCN2789 IMG_0966 IMG_0969

high school progressive dinner.  i enjoy taking group photos, but just start taking the pictures and keep taking them and see how long they will put up with it.  sometimes i act like i am taking pictures but am really doing a video.  they are always such good sports.

IMG_1434 IMG_1435 IMG_1437 IMG_1439 IMG_1449 IMG_1451 IMG_1455

middle school bon fire at the farm.  it was huge.  it was a hot fire.

DSCN2858 DSCN2860 DSCN2861

we went and helped at gifts for kids (and played a little too).

IMG_1378 IMG_1381 IMG_1387 IMG_1392

just a taste of 2014.

chasing the moon

sept 2014 we went to the beach for a long weekend.  it was nice to get away.

we played the tag game (we killed it – but i don’t know where the finished one is for photo proof).  we made a detour and went through columbia, sc so that we could eat qdoba.  it was amazing and worth the side trip!

IMG_0780 IMG_0787 IMG_0783

we stayed where we stayed when i was in high school and a group of us (me, andy, erik, Katie, ron) went over spring break.  it was a fun reminder of the past.


as the sun went down we chased the moon all the way to the beach.  it was huge!  i spent much longer than i would like to admit trying to get pictures of it.

DSCN2256 DSCN2258 DSCN2259 DSCN2260 DSCN2268

not too bad for taking pictures while driving down the road.  when we got to our hotel the moon was beautiful over the ocean.


we went to bed with a full moon and woke up to a beautiful morning and coffee!

DSCN2280 DSCN2281 DSCN2283 DSCN2286 DSCN2287 DSCN2290 DSCN2441 DSCN2442 DSCN2446

we got to see a wedding while we were there.  andy made me leave before the second one started!

we went to some of our favorite places to eat while we were there.

burro loco.


drunken jacks.  where we sat and watched goat island until our table was ready.

IMG_0877 IMG_0876

we tried out the pirates voyage.  it was very cute.  we loved looking at the animals before the show and the pre show.

IMG_0856IMG_0828 IMG_0847

IMG_0865IMG_0859 IMG_0858IMG_0874

we went shopping, we saw fish and andy wanted a unicorn head.  we also went and played putt putt.

IMG_0811 IMG_0819


IMG_0879 IMG_0880 IMG_0882

it was a wonderful end to the crazy summer.

north carolina Christmas 2014

some photos from Christmas in charlotte (2014).

ellen cheesing for the camera

DSCN3494 DSCN3496

cj (i don’t know what is up with the snowflake headband)


andy reading three donkeys and a donkey to cj.

DSCN3508 DSCN3509

presents and cake!

DSCN3510 DSCN3512 DSCN3513 DSCN3514 DSCN3515 DSCN3516 DSCN3520 DSCN3522 DSCN3527 DSCN3532 DSCN3537 DSCN3550

group photo (didn’t know which one I liked better)!

DSCN3569 DSCN3570

always great to see family.

tennessee Christmas 2014

this past Christmas we started a new tradition.  we went and picked our own tree (from a tree lot – in front of a big lots).  ok so we didn’t go out to a farm and cut one down, but we walked around the millions (hundreds) of trees and saw them standing tall and walked all the way around them.  we picked our tree and home we went!  (a little dark and bad – but I wanted to remember the occasion)!


the hardest part of dealing with a tree is otis.  when we bring it in otis thinks that it is his tree.  he gets so excited and we crush his hopes and dreams because we establish quickly that it isn’t his!  but he likes to help andy put the lights on the tree and check it out.

IMG_1344 IMG_1347 IMG_1353 IMG_1356

I love Christmas.  it has really become my favorite time.  I love the decorating, the movies (including, to andy’s annoyance, the hallmark Christmas movies), the books, the excitement in kids….just about everything.

DSCN3417 DSCN3418 DSCN3421 DSCN3423 DSCN3427 DSCN3428 DSCN3430 DSCN3431 DSCN3432 DSCN3433 DSCN3434 DSCN3435 DSCN3436 DSCN3437

this past year otis did good and stayed out of the gifts like he does each year. he was; however, horrible about using the tree skirt as a sled around the room.  he would get a running start and come flying around the corner and slide the skirt to the middle of the room.

DSCN3174 DSCN3175 DSCN3397 DSCN3399 IMG_1370 IMG_1395 IMG_1542

otis loves presents

DSCN3402 DSCN3411

andy and jack decided to do ugly sweater Christmas so we put otis in a sweater as well.  the thing is otis loves his sweater!

DSCN3446 DSCN3456 DSCN3459

it is always nice to see family!

DSCN3462 DSCN3464 DSCN3465

out takes of trying to get a picture of the little cousins.  it was hilarious.

DSCN3466 DSCN3467 DSCN3468 DSCN3469 DSCN3471 DSCN3474 DSCN3475 DSCN3477 DSCN3481

lucas was really excited about the snow globe in the box.  he kept pulling the box closer and closer.

DSCN3485 DSCN3490

otis got dressed in a small tree skirt and a joker/elf collar.

IMG_1340 IMG_1407

we made our wreath this year.  we also added to our Christmas yard art!

IMG_1420 IMG_1425 IMG_1428

otis was also so helpful when I was trying to wrap gifts.  he also tried to get andy to love his sweater as much as he loves his!

IMG_1483 IMG_1538

Christmas 2014 was the end of an era.  that was the last Christmas morning I would wake up in that house.  ever since I can remember we would be in greeneville on Christmas eve and I would wake up in that house each Christmas morning.  now that we have our own house (if you didn’t know – surprise) I will wake up Christmas morning somewhere new.  andy has said several times that I can go over there and sleep.  so I am nervous and excited about this new change of events!  (in a few months I will let you know how it went).

catching up: 2014 shenanigans

HELLO!  since I have been away a lot has happened (ok nothing too exciting, but I live in a town with no target, so I mean go with me on this).  since my computer died, I have finally replaced it and with that came trying to get all of my photos organized.  I didn’t realize how bad it was…but it was bad.  so now I am finally ready to start posting again.  now let me warn you that the next few post might bore you to tears.  I have done several posts that are just a quick catch up but there are certain events (like Christmas and vacation) that will have their own post.  here is the first of a lot to come in the next few days.  welcome to the end of 2014!

posted in random order.

may race in charlotte: sky and hanging out

phone dump7-2-14 393 phone dump7-2-14 399

DSCN0415 DSCN0418 DSCN0419

cj learning to play andy’s new harmonica (and ellen completely mortified)

DSCN0429 DSCN0432 DSCN0436

we also took a day off in may 2014 and went to the knoxville zoo.  we have so much fun when we go.  we didn’t know that we were going on the school day so we were there with a billion elementary school kids.  but the exciting thing we did was feed the giraffes!  (also we got locked in the gift shop because a kid went missing – the eventually let us leave, so we assume they found him).

DSCN9600 - Copy DSCN9668 - Copy DSCN9669 - Copy DSCN9686 - Copy DSCN9707 - Copy DSCN9773 - Copy DSCN9840 DSCN9857 - Copy DSCN9890 DSCN9911 - Copy DSCN9923 - Copy DSCN9930 - Copy DSCN9932 - Copy

we were lucky to that we were able to go to the band perry concert.

DSCN1124 DSCN1153 DSCN1214 DSCN1217 DSCN1220 DSCN1227 DSCN1233 DSCN1246 DSCN1251 DSCN1255 DSCN1266 DSCN1270 DSCN1290 DSCN1294 DSCN1295 DSCN1296 DSCN1297 DSCN1298

we also got to see 38 special and go back stage to meet the band (we got autographs and picks).

DSCN2060DSCN2065DSCN2069DSCN2056 DSCN2083 DSCN2084 DSCN2098 DSCN2099 DSCN2128 DSCN2132 DSCN2135 DSCN2140 DSCN2152IMG_0706 IMG_3754

a building was dedicated in ann’s name at the fair ground.  the expo building (her home away from home).

DSCN1981 DSCN1986 DSCN1989 DSCN1990 DSCN1998 DSCN2008 DSCN2026

work photos.  I found these amazing stress guys that when squeezed their eyes popped out a little.  well it didn’t take long before they were loved a little too hard and they both popped.  we used super glue and paperclips to “fix” them.  mine has since lost its hair and is full of holes…bethany’s is semi ok.

IMG_0676 IMG_0677 IMG_0678 IMG_0961

 also last year bethany asked me to join her on a wonderful adventure, and I was stupid enough to go along with her.  we joined a crossfit beginners class.  it was torture.  I cried.  she missed the hardest night so she didn’t cry.  we dropped out.

august bristol trip.  if you get out of bed someone takes your pillow.  otis doing the “captain morgan” but his knee was sprained.

IMG_0716 IMG_0717IMG_0723

we went to the October race in charlotte. Otis has his bed but sometimes we turn around and he is on our luggage.  he also tries to get in the front seat so I see his sweet face the entire time.

IMG_1017 IMG_1026 IMG_1034

IMG_1041 IMG_1042 IMG_1043 DSCN2803 DSCN2804 DSCN2811 IMG_1047 IMG_1048


 there is a concrete bunny at the house.  I came home one day and noticed it had been decorated by my dad.  dad and andy were taking bets to see if I noticed it.  yes I did.

phone dump7-2-14 182

we had snow and it was cold.  for a while I was living with a wooly mountain man.

phone dump7-2-14 129 phone dump7-2-14 131 phone dump7-2-14 133

phone dump7-2-14 148

a stray kitten showed up.  I thought we would end up with it because I felt bad.  but we found it a good home.

IMG_0946 IMG_0947

we went to a yard sale and saw a dog come up and we both said that looks like rufas!  about that time we heard the people talking about that dog came to visit again.  I asked if it was theirs and they said no.  I asked if it lived on a specific street and they said yes.  I told them it was my cousins dog so we took him home.  bought a rug because he was muddy.  we wrapped him up bought a dvd and away we went.  he loved his ride.


went to ghs homecoming.

DSCN2521 DSCN2522 DSCN2526 DSCN2527 DSCN2528 DSCN2531 DSCN2563 DSCN2564 DSCN2573

I woke up one morning and went to work and in the yard not far from my car was a raccoon.  he was cute but it was day light so I made noise and scared him off except he didn’t run away from me, he just kind of moved like a slug away from me.  the next day I get a text from andy with a photo of this little guy asking if we can keep it.  the same raccoon sitting outside in the middle of the day.  now I know that doesn’t automatically say that he is rabid (I did research) but he was sick. I asked andy if he called animal control and he said no why?!  so I made him call and no one came.  so I called my cousin and asked him about this raccoon.  I asked if he thought he was sick.  I described his behavior and he said yes he thought it was sick.  so we had our first encounter with a sick wild animal.

DSCN3161 DSCN3163 DSCN3167

 I will admit I am a little scared of cats (depending on the cat – very scared terrified).  I am not scared of my mom’s cats but they can be a handful.  on one visit I woke up with ashes in my hair and UT taking a bath on my suitcase.

IMG_1545 IMG_1548

Otis helped with some sewing projects.  he seemed mostly bored but happy to have a soft place to lay.

IMG_1235 IMG_1239

I hope to have Christmas posts up soon as well.

yay for catching up and getting organized!