Friday, July 31, 2015

Carpet and Tile.... A Patio Project

Most of us have them. That one project around the house that just really needs to happen. It's the eye sore. Ours happens to be out back patio. Grey carpet covering slick, pink tile. When it rains, the tile is a huge hazard. The easiest solution was to lay down some carpet to step on. That worked well for Ryan's grandparents because they really didn't walk on it a lot.

Once we moved in, the carpet took a beating. We are outdoor people and we used the area a lot. So the poor carpet started ripping, bunching up and got very dirty in just a matter of weeks. Ryan and I knew that we had to do something different.

We cleared the patio, removed the carpet and cleaned the tile. 

It helps if you have kids to help too....

We were left with a clean area to work with.

I picked up some concrete paint and Ryan added in sand for texture. Madison rolled the first coat and Ryan came behind sprinkling the sand. After it dried completely, we scraped the patio to knock down some of the texture (because it was a little too rough on my bare feet). Then we came back with a final coat of paint. 

The patio looks so much better! We wanted an easy, affordable solution to our tile problems. In the future, we plan to do something different out here but for now we have eliminated the tripping and slipping problems. Plus, it just looks cleaner and we can enjoy it more now! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015


I feel like we've been on a rollercoaster this week. The past two days have been filled with so many emotions. We've said goodbye to a lot. 

On Tuesday morning, we said goodbye to Ryan's grandfather. He was laid to rest in our national cemetery and the service was beautiful. 

We went to lunch together and anxiously awaited our closing appointment. Everything just kinda collided on the same day. 

My in-laws hung out with the kids while Ryan and I went to closing. It was one of those moments where we couldn't actually believe it was finally happening. It seems like we waited so long for this day. And we no longer own two homes.

We joined back up and visited the memorial in Chattanooga for the four Marines and one Navy soldiers. It was overwhelming to see the love and support from the community. So many people have honored the fallen and we were proud to be a part of that.

I've felt a range of emotions the last couple of days. Sadness, joy, hope, peace..... Just so much. I want to tell you our home story and I am working on it this week. It's such an amazing story to be told and I want to get the words just right. I also have a health update and can't wait to share that as well. I'm working on getting my feet under me this week, so hang in there and I promise to catch you up with everything. And......

since stopping the steroid treatments...... I am 9 pounds lighter! Check back tomorrow.... Lots of new stuff coming! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

We've had an eventful few days around here. This week Ryan's grandfather went home to be with the Lord. We expected it and knew it was coming, but saying goodbye is never easy. He was an amazing man that we are dearly going to miss.

Times like these remind us to cherish the little things.... Like a certain five year old sneaking into the bed in the middle of the night. He had bad dreams and wanted to snuggle up to his daddy. I woke the next morning and he was smack dab in the middle of the bed sprawled out.

Even after a restless night, he was bright eyed and bushy tailed. He's so funny in the morning...

This past week, we dusted and cleaned the old house in preparation for the final walk through before closing. It was a little weird walking out the door for the very last time. I was surprised over the mixed feelings I had closing the door for the last time.

I felt excitement for this process to be over, but a little sadness too. I brought my baby home from the hospital. I've spent so many holidays there. Ryan and I have laughed and cried there. Just done life there. I didn't expect to feel that.

We visited a car show this weekend and had a blast. All of us love gorgeous cars. My husband has so much car knowledge it's almost unbelievable. Just so many facts!

And I dread the day this one turns 16.... He's got a love of cars just like his daddy.

Saturday morning Caleb and I went to breakfast together. He's the only kid I know who requests tomato juice to drink for breakfast and we got plenty of stares from approving older adults. Total mom win!

We signed up for football too and he is so excited! Last year was fun, but his motor skills have developed a lot more this year and we can't wait to cheer him on.

Saturday night was our annual Father/Daughter date night. We always attend the NRA dinner. We've been six years and won guns 5 of those years. I'd say we have a pretty good streak.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nooga Strong - Zumba® Strong #noogastrong #Chattanooga

I've got an exciting announcement for my local readers! I am joining up with some amazing Zumba® fitness instructors to raise money for our hometown. Y'all have already seen the news and know what happened to our beautiful city of Chattanooga, but now we want to band together to bring hope, support and encouragement for all involved.

If you're local, please come on out and join us! I'd love to meet you too!

"New to ZUMBA®, never tried, loyal student or fellow ZUMBA® instructor......or just to show your support!

Here is a great opportunity to see some of Chattanooga and surrounding areas most beloved ZUMBA® Instructors presenting in one location at one event and all for a very worthy cause. All donations go to the families of our fallen heroes.

Dance....don't dance...fellowship... or just check out what ZUMBA® is pick!

This event is:
"ZUMBA® doing what ZUMBA® does.....changing dance at a time......"

 #noogastrong #Chattanooga

If you care to help, please spread the word and share this post! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


The steroid "high" lasted a day. Yep, one full glorious day. But I am so thankful for that day. It prepared me to tackle this week a little more gracefully. 

With the tragedy in Chattanooga last week, I only got in one Zumba® class. This week we returned in our red, white and blue to show support for the city we love. Getting in a good workout did wonders for my mind. There's nothing quite like getting together with my girls and shaking off all the stress of the week. 

I received my blood work and it's confirmed that my numbers are worse. My EBV is fully active and my doctor is ready to proceed with transfusions. Not fabulous news, but that's completely okay. Just knowing that I am almost finished with steroids is simply a relief. I have a wonderful support system of family, friends, and Zumba® gals. I have had so much encouragement and love this week and it's all I could possibly ask for. Just when I am having a very difficult moment through this process, God sends someone along that brightens my day. I am truly blessed even in the toughest times. 

I've just got a whole bunch of random lately. But then again life feels so random right now. 

Our patio project is coming along slowly because of all this stinkin' pop up rain we have right now. I am just so excited to see it finished and the rain pops up at the worst times! Once I see a glimpse of the potential of a project I get so impatient to see it done. It already looks a million times better than what it did last week and I am getting desperate to see it complete! I want our patio to be a relaxing area for outdoor family meals. 

Hopefully I can share the patio area with you this week! Complete difference!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Weekend Roundup

I'm through the roughest part of the steroid treatment this week. I'm in the "up" part of the treatment finally and it feels much better. I've got a little more energy coming out of the weekend and I am hoping to keep rolling with it. On Friday night, I soaked in a hot Epsom salt bath for about 30 minutes and it helped with my swelling considerably. I also lost about four pounds of fluid retention over the weekend. Much, much better, y'all! I have one more injection, tapering down steroids, and another doctor visit this week. Seriously hoping for better results this time! I will continue the hot baths and drinking plenty of water. It makes such a difference.

As a result of the increased energy, I jumped into the kitchen. Our neighbors have given us lots of tomatoes and I had been craving my mama's tomato pie. There's nothing better than a warm tomato pie with fresh ingredients. It's not low fat, it's not awesomely healthy, but it is fabulous. I enjoyed every little bite! Apparently my entire family did too.

You could definitely lighten this recipe up with low fat cheese. You can find the recipe for tomato pie {HERE}. My stepdaughter and husband aren't fans of cooked tomatoes, but both chowed down on this.

Later on we enjoyed a fire and smores. It was just a relaxing way to kick off our weekend. We have thoroughly enjoyed living out in the country. There's just something about being outdoors and seeing so many stars at night.

Saturday morning we tried out breakfast at Steak N Shake. You can easily eat Whole 30 here. They have side orders of eggs, hashbrowns and salsa.

Breakfast with this cutie is always entertaining. He comes out with the craziest things sometimes. There is never a dull moment.

I feel like most of my day centers around questioning whether or not this child is actually listening to anything I say. He's wide open at all times and it is complete chaos.

Ryan and I decided to tackle a much needed project at the house. It was pretty much him and my stepdaughter doing it, but I cannot wait to show you what we did! You know how sometimes you have a serious eyesore around the house and it just grates on every nerve you have? Yeah, we totally got rid of it this weekend.

Meanwhile I was able to conquer all of the laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, mowing, and several organizing projects. It was the most productive I've felt in a while and that just felt amazing. Clutter and mess just really drain and stress me out, so snuggling into fresh clean sheets at the end of a long day was so peaceful!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Random Updates

  • I'm still in a state of shock over my community. There's just so much disbelief that this could happen right here in my city. Ryan and I couldn't imagine a better place to live and call home. We want to raise our family here. Nothing this week can change that for us. I am just so proud to live in a beautiful city standing together against evil. 
  • Through all of this, I am amazed to see so many pray! Some days you feel so alone as a Christian. You often wonder if the country as a whole is too far gone to go to the Lord in prayer. Weeks like this show me that not all hope is lost. 
  • I am experiencing a lot of swelling during my steroid treatments this week. Everything is just so puffy and yucky. Hey....Those sock lines around my ankles are super cute. 
  • That led me to researching extended use of steroids. I have been treated with steroids several times over the past four months. That certainly isn't fabulous. The side effects from long term treatment can result in adrenal issues (Well, goodbye metabolism....I wondered where it had gone....), muscle fatigue (Oh, yeah.... Those days that I know I could workout harder and I couldn't understand why my body just can't), and weight gain (great......). 
  • I am now experimenting with conquering the side effects. I obviously cannot stop treatment, but that doesn't mean I have to lie down and accept the rest of it. I'm still trying some things, but I will update with any success I find. 
  • I have worked hard to accept my body for what it is this week. I realize that my body is sick and I have to care for it better right now. I know my husband loves me just the way I am, any way I am. At the end of the day, that is what matters. He loves and accepts me at any size. I am working on accepting my puffier self gracefully. My biggest fear is regaining the weight I've lost. This illness is bringing out a lot of panic since nothing seems to help with the weight loss at this point. 
  • I have no energy, but my mind is stuffed full of potential songs to choreograph. My stepdaughter and I jump in the car and play music constantly. I have to admit that she's given me plenty of new stuff to work on. I would never have considered some of the music without her. I now have a huge rush of inspiration and I am dying to play around with it. 
  • We are hoping and praying that we can close on our old house next week. This has been such a drawn out experience for everyone involved and I just really would like to see some closure soon. 
  • I've scheduled some much needed downtime for our family. Our vacation is approaching and I am just so ready to have my butt planted in the sand. I found out a very dear friend will be visiting me one of those days and I am just so thrilled. We are both determined to embrace life fully and have fun in the process. So that leaves her driving about six hours one way, me driving 7, and us converging in the middle. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pray For Chattanooga

Y'all know I'm a Chattanooga girl. My hometown is gorgeous and full of life. Today the unthinkable happened. An individual filled with hatred and evil attacked innocent people. 

Image Via

Despite his efforts our community has shown resilience, love, and strength. This beautiful city will not allow acts of cruelty or terrorism. We will not bend in times of trouble and chaos. We do not break.

Join me in prayer for our city, our home, our people. Pray for those killed by a coward. Pray for those injured today. Pray for their families. Pray for the police officers and emergency personnel who risked their lives to protect ours. Pray for the family of the shooter.

I am proud to be Chattanooga Strong and I thank God for a country that is joining us in prayer today. Tonight my husband and I are hugging our family a little tighter and thanking the Lord for keeping us safe.

I'm Ready

Before I share tons of pictures with y'all, I want to take a moment to thank you for all of the support and encouragement on yesterday's post. I have had so many messages, comments, and texts from many of you since I shared things here. I am blessed to have so many people supporting me through the good, the bad, and the crazy. It means so much to me that y'all took the time out of your day to write to me. Thank you so very much and it was very needed.

We had an evening of boating with our family this week. We are definitely a water lovin' family. 

The kids enjoyed riding the tube around the lake and swimming.

I honestly think they had more fun trying to wrestle each other off the tube, my husband included. Sometimes he's the biggest kid I have.

I love seeing these guys spend time together. Ryan is a great father and those two boys are so much like him it's pitiful. 

We've learned that the girls have to stick together to survive the boys this summer.

I had some questions about continuing with the Whole 30 approach to eating while I am battling this sickness. I do actually want to continue, but finding the time and energy to food prep and plan is a struggle right now. I know deep down it is not that hard, but my emotions are clouding that judgement. I get so run down sometimes that I just really feel like I need an Oreo or cheese. I run to my comfort foods when I am feeling blah. And that is one hundred percent on me. Yes, I really do know better. But some days, the emotions win. I've had a few too many days like that. There's really no excuse for it other than the fact that I made the wrong food choices. And those food choices are absolutely not helping me in any way. When I put junk in, I know I will get junk out. I know many of you are battling with making consistent bad food choices too and I want you to know that it happens. But we have a choice to make now. We can either let it spiral out of control or we can buckle back down.

So, let's take things one day at a time. Let's make the right choices just for today and we can build on that tomorrow. You ready too?


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