Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lazy days and busy times

One thing I realized a while back (and am more reminded of now) is that I LOVE being busy. Honestly, if I'm not busy I'm lazy. There really isn't much of a middle ground for me. I love having things to do and places to go even if there isn't much time in the day to do those things. Lately I haven't had much going on and have just been lazy! I mean, LAZY! When I get home from work I pretty much park it on the sofa (with my cuddle bug featured to the right) under the blanket and try my darndest not to move until bedtime. It's so bad that I will hold "it" until the very last possible second and then run to the restroom to minimize the amount of cold air that I come in contact with. Jon will get up from time to time. This is my cue to ask for anything I may need because, well, of course he's already up so why should I move from under the blanket and get my own nail file or bottle of water or phone. Haha...I guess I figure one day I won't be able to glue myself to the sofa after work so I'll embrace it now, right? That's what I'll tell myself, but hey...I just admitted to being lazy. Isn't that worth something?

I do enjoy being slightly lazy from time to time but I really do thrive on being busy. I'm looking forward to holiday festivities coming up (and coming quickly might I add) and everything else we have planned. Oh, side note: I also love plans. But, that's a subject for a different, yet similar blog posting. After Christmas we've got the house closing (wohoo!!!), then moving/ unpacking, then we have friends from Tampa coming into town...yes, our first house guests less than two days after moving, but...as I've said...I love it because it means I'll be busy! Then you've got New Year's festivities and in a few weeks after that we're going on a cruise! I'm looking forward to EVERYTHING coming up. I love being busy, having house guests, our new house, spending time with my family, seeing my sweet little niece and I love having plans.

I hate moving.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gainful employment

So, I've officially made it through my first week of my new job. I have to say it's interesting that after a week I really only know maybe 15% more than I did going into it. Hmm...is that a problem? I really don't know. It's funny because I don't think anyone really knows how to explain things to me that I'm supposed to be doing or be in charge of. So, I'm trying to gather as much random information as possible and maybe I'll be able to arrange it into an order that makes sense to me. I really do think that I'm going to enjoy it though. It's a lot of the same stuff I was doing but more on the management/operational side of things. However, I'm not JUST a cube monkey. I actually get to interact with people too which is nice. My boss seems super cool which is refreshing and everyone has been very welcoming. The egos don't seem to be out of control as they can sometimes be in work settings. I think overall it's going to be a good fit...that is, once I figure out what I actually do, Ha.

On another note, we're inching closer and closer to our closing date! The paperwork required has been quite excessive and slightly invasive but hopefully, come December it'll all be worth it when we're chillin' in our amazing house in front of a nice fire sippin' on hot tea. Well, tea sounds better but really...coffee or wine is a little more realistic for us. Up until the past week or so I've tried to keep an arms-length distance between me and the house just in case it didn't actually happen. However, the closer it gets and the more people we tell the more real it feels. I've started imagining what it's going to look like with all our furniture set-up. I've been planning housewarming open houses/parties and designing invitations. I've actually bought a couple things that I wanted for the house too. It's getting exciting! I'm trying to not let it take the excitement away from Christmas because as I said in an earlier post, I LOVE Christmas, but...I figure I'm just getting excited about the best Christmas present I'll ever get, right?

I'm attaching an image of the Christmas card we decided on since obviously 50 cards is not enough for me to get them out to both family AND friends. Merry Christmas from the Rays!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tomorrow's the big day!

Looks like it's already here! I'm starting my new J.O.B. tomorrow and it actually seems a little strange. I feel like it's been a long time coming but it's just always a little nerve-wracking to start something new. With the temp job I didn't feel like it was actual employment so I didn't ever get that nervous feeling. But, tomorrow is going to feel strange. A new job and new people to get to know. Not to mention, my boss called last week to let me know that tomorrow is the office Christmas lunch outing. So, I'm being thrown to the wolves on my very first day! Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

'Tis the Season

I am officially in the Christmas spirit! I love that the radio stations are playing Christmas music and that everything is glowing with lights. I love that you can see Christmas trees in the windows of houses as you drive by. I have had a good time decorating the house and took pictures of everything! Each thing just makes such a difference in the overall feel of the house! I love how everything sparkles and is so festive. Plus, it's finally cold enough outside to feel like the holiday season. Now, if only it could snow a little. I would love to see a white Christmas! Well, let's clarify....on the grass but not on the roads seeing as we will probably be driving between home, Norcross and Fayetteville a lot again this holiday.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

So thankful this year

I am thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving. I really don't know how it could be any better right now. Things are just going well and this Thanksgiving Jon and I got to stay in Atlanta AND manage to see all of our family. We started the week/weekend off with a trip to my parent's house to see my brother, sister-in law and niece on Wednesday night when they got into town. We got a chance to kick it off right with a little relaxation and a couple glasses of sangria. I had been pretty sick on Tuesday and Wednesday so I was in need of some R&R after the workday, a brief stint cooking and just simply trying to get over a nasty cold. Thursday we started out gorging ourselves on fantastic food at my parents house with the whole Crowe clan. Once everyone started drifting into turkey coma there we headed to Fayetteville to eat yet another Thanksgiving meal with the Rays. Jon's brothers and family hadn't all been together for a holiday in something like 4 years so this was quite a special holiday. We pretty much hung out there the rest of the weekend with trips back home to sleep at night and spend some time with the pups (who probably felt like this was the worst holiday of their lives). Also, on Friday we got to kidnap Lane, my brother's little girl, and take her to play with the other 4 kids at the Rays. It was a learning experience with the car seat installation....now I understand the reasoning behind getting separate bases for each car. It's not that it was hard, but just a pain getting it perfectly tight. But, we had lots of fun and she had a blast playing with Cami (Jon's brother Bill's little 3 year old girl). I loved getting to be the "go to" comfort person for her. And of course, I can't get enough of the way she says "Aunt Amanda." I realized that I failed miserably with the picture taking this holiday. I don't think I got a single picture. Ooops. Maybe I can ask around to see if anyone else managed to capture any moments. Now, off to decorate for Christmas! Side note: I refused to take part in any Christmas festivities until Thanksgiving has passed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coming soon to a mailbox near you!

I'm hoping to send out our 2010 Christmas cards very soon.....I've been adamant about not starting Christmas rituals, activities, shopping and decorating until after Thanksgiving! I just hate that we skip straight from Halloween to Christmas these days. But, I won't harp on that subject.

Back to Christmas cards..... I never thought I'd be a Christmas card (and am definitely not the letter writing/bragging) type, but I really loved giving and receiving Christmas cards last year, so I think it's gonna stick. I kinda used Christmas cards as a way to send wedding thank you's last year but this year it's just all about saying Merry Christmas! I had a little trouble trying to pick out the picture this year since last year I was spoiled with having an abundance of wedding pictures, but Jon and I decided to just venture out in the backyard with the tripod and dogs and capture a quick picture of our little family. Then it was the next step, picking out the design!

That's a process all in itself. I had so much trouble narrowing it down to 4 different designs that worked well with our pictures, took votes from my parents and Jon and then decided to keep it simple this year. We ended up with a very simple, one picture card. I figured I would stay away from the collage options so that people didn't think it was the "Jon and Amanda" show. But, they turned out cute and simple. I'm excited to get them and send them out soon!

Last year I stumbled across Shutterfly and now pretty much use them for everything. Last year I ordered photo books (http://www.shutterfly.com/photo-books) of engagements pictures, bridal portraits, wedding pictures and the honeymoon. They're really great as coffee table books and we tend to look at them more in the book format than we would if they were stuck somewhere in an album or even worse...on a CD! We also gave Mom and Dad Ray and the Mom and Dad Crowe a personalized wedding book last year for Christmas. While I was at it I also ordered a personalized calendar (http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars) and of course, the Christmas cards (http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationary/christmas-photo-cards). I was extremely happy with how they all turned out and the quality and will be ordering both Christmas cards and moving announcements from Shutterfly very soon! I added a couple pictures of ones we liked but ultimately decided against. Aren't they cute? Of course I couldn't ruin the surprise!

Oh, and if you want to get 50 free Christmas cards and try out Shutterfly this year than go to http://bit.ly/sfly2010! I did! Thanks Ashley :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Life's exciting in the Ray house lately

So, I feel like I say this at the beginning of every blog post now, but I can't believe I haven't been blogging more! There have been so many things happening and so many things to talk about. I guess I'll have to give the short and sweet version.

First things first.... number 1: I have a J.O.B. I started a while ago working a "temp to hire" position in the Accounting department, specifically Accounts Payable, at a law firm and was pretty much banking on it turning into something so I stopped the job hunt to see where it could take me. I'm working there now and like the work okay, but it is an accounting department (aka boring) and there's just not much room for growth in the position. So.....last week a friend of mine and previous co-worker recommended another position to me and I figured "why not see where it goes?" I interviewed for it and within 24 hours had an offer! I'm really excited about this position and can't wait to start after Thanksgiving. It's still in the general property management field but a completely different position (in the corporate office working in corporate housing). So, it's nice to know that I'm feeding off my prior knowledge and experience but taking a better path within the industry. I'm really pretty excited about it and think it will be a good move for me. Oh, and I forgot the best part! NO SATURDAYS!! I looooooovve having Saturday to do whatever I want. I've been getting so much more time with Jon and have really enjoyed having the extra quality time to do things together. Jon and I have been able to take the dogs to the dog park almost every Saturday and I love it! Actually, this leads me into number 2 on the list of things to talk about.

Number 2: We're buying a house!! Jon and I had been at the dog park one Saturday morning and just made the off-handed comment that we should look in the neighborhoods around the park. So, being my crazy, Zillow-app-loving self I started looking once we got home. I found an absolutely beautiful house within walking distance to the park and HAD to go see it. We scheduled a viewing and fell in love! We had been looking in the general area and fell in love with a different house just a few streets over, but this house is absolutely phenomenal!! It puts the other house that we loved so much to shame AND the morning we viewed the house they dropped the listing price, so of course it was meant to be! A couple days later we put an offer down, came to a good meeting ground with a few counteroffers, and are now UNDER CONTRACT on our first home! If all things go well we should be getting the keys on December 27th, so Merry Christmas to us!! Keep your fingers crossed for us because this house is dreamy and has plently of room for growing ;-) and entertaining guests and it'd be heartbreaking for it to fall through.

Well, I think I did a decent job covering the hot happenings in the life of the Rays recently but I will try to get back in the habit of blogging someday so that I don't have to continue doing these "recap" postings. I'll leave you with a picture of us in front of the house. :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sneak Peak

This past weekend was jam-packed! Along with all the Halloween festivities we had football Saturday, out of town friends in town and a Sunday photo shoot! On Friday we enjoyed the company of my rafting buddy Chad and his wife Rachel with a trip to Sweetwater and dinner at Taco Mac. After dinner I honestly, was exhausted and wasn't sure if we were going to make it out of not, but...we did! So, that night we got dressed up and headed to Lisa's house party. I'm glad that it didn't turn into a night of bar hopping because I just don't think I could've handled it. Actually, since we're on that subject...I don't think I like bars anymore. I mean, they're crowded, people are drunk, they're loud, you have to fight to get a drink, they wreak of smoke, and I often find myself screaming to (aka. tying to carry on a conversation) with the same 5 people that we came there with. I dunno, maybe I'm just lame but I'd rather have those 5 people come to the house for drinks and conversation..without the screaming. Okay, back to the topic. Jon was pretty pumped to break out his costume which I have to say was pretty awesome. This year he was sold on being Captain America so...I went from there and decided that I'd be a "superhero" too so...Super'wo'man it was! Meet Captain America and Superwoman:

We used the same costumes on Saturday for another house party/ night out with a group of Jon's buddies. Notice how I skipped over Saturday afternoon?? Yea...I'm gonna try to forget about yet another UGA loss of the season. Maybe it's a re-building year? Maybe we need new coaches? Maybe we need to keep our players out of jail and on the field? I dunno...but it's not looking good for dawgs fans these days. All I have an opinion on is: Keep Richt! What woulod I do without my weekly dose of his beauty? HA...just kidding. Well, but really he keeps my interest. Plus, who's better anyways? Who could Georgia get that would be able to turn our team around faster? Enough about that. I'm an Alabama fan for the rest of the season. :-)

On Sunday I photographed Kate who is 7 months pregnant and had a great time! I got some great shots and to top it off it was a beautiful day! Here is a sneak peak of a couple shots...I'll reveal more later (after mom and dad-to-be get to see them all)!

Now, off to bed to try to sleep off whatever this gunk that I've got now is, yuck!....
**coughing**

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm still alive



I'm not quite sure why I haven't been on here (I mean, it's not like I don't have the time). But, I'm back! I'm gonna try to be better about blogging again even if I've lost my followers due to my MIA behavior. I guess my excuse will be that I really don't have that much going on right now to blog about. However, that's not true! Let's see: since my last blog we had our one year anniversary(!), went to the Bahamas on a long-awaited cruise, the fall season came and we've been able to enjoy some fall activities, we've visited family, family has visited us, football season arrived which means we've been able to go to Athens a few times AND I found out I'm going to be an aunt again :-)! Lot's of exciting things happening for sure. I guess my day-to-day routine at this point is pretty much non-existent but I live for the weekends. During the week it tends to be a little boring and consists of lots of TV, running errands, and cleaning the house. I definitely find myself talking to the dogs throughout the week! However, I keep Jon busy on the weekends (probably a little too busy for his taste). I'm sure he'll be happy when I get out of the house and to work during the week so that we can spend a little more time relaxing on the weekends again, but I haven't had weekends to do fun things since college, so I'm taking full advantage now!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Send me babies and families!

Christmas cards will need to be ordered within the next couple months (believe it or not) and I'm your girl for the PHOTO this year!! I just put together a website/blog for Amanda Ray Photography! Go check it out! You can get to it from "My Blog List" below or just go to http://amandarayphotography.blogspot.com/! I'll be adding to it over time as I learn more about the technical capabilities and of course I'll be adding pictures along the way too, but I think it's off to a great start! Also, become a fan over there too! If you're following here I fully expect you to follow there and give me some support on the web :-)

I need to catch everyone up one what's going on in the life of Amanda Ray, but it'll have to wait for a different day since it's entirely too late. Wait! I can pretty much sum everything up now....sleep, sofa time, Law and Order:SVU, flip to TLC, "ew...who would want a home birth filmed and then broadcast on TV?", flip to HGTV, eat lunch, "ugh, I gotta get out of the house!", Target, World Market, TJ Maxx, wait for Jon to get home, dinner, hang out, REPEAT! Yea, I'm getting a little stir crazy but still wouldn't trade the place I'm in now for anything I used to have (well...money is excluded from that statement). And because of that little evil green monster...anyone who has any type of job lead please send it my way! I'm open to a lot as long as it doesn't require nights or weekends and requires some use of a brain :-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ahh...I love the beach!

So, I'm a little delayed in writing this but quite frankly I needed a vacation from our vacation. I'm really not quite sure why because it was nothing but relaxing. No where to be, no reason to skip the afternoon nap, no schedule and just pure beach time! We had a great time! We had been away from the beach for too long. I think I've forever been spoiled by living in Tampa and crave beach time now more than ever! As a matter of fact I used to always say that when we won the lottery I'd choose a mountain cabin over a beach place. I'm not sure if I'm completely convinced that a beach place would be preferable but it's definitely a close competition. Then again, I guess if we win the lottery we could get both!

The beginning of the trip was a little sketchy. I made it to the gate with just enough time to spare to run to the restroom and board the plane when they called me and then it all began. My seat partner comes in while I'm talking to Jon and announces that "she's not too crazy" and that "I'm lucky to have her next to me". Well, I hate to say it but anyone that says they're not crazy usually are the nuttiest people out there. And, she was! I wish I had a video recorder on for the long 2.5 hour flight to really be able to share my pain but instead I'll have to try my best to explain. Actually, I'll just list why she's crazy....1. I know waaaayyyy too much about her (her whole life story, the fact that her uterus was so thin after her 4th kid that it was transparent, the story behind her daughter losing her virginity, I mean...waaayyy too much!) 2. She had premonitions of my life and had strong opinions about them 3. She wouldn't stop talking 4. She started crying at least 3 times and 5. She kept touching me and would not let me look out the window (and went so far as to reach across me and shut the shade). Needless to say the flight was less than desirable AND to top it all off I was so eager to get off the plane that I left my book (with my ID) in the magazine pocket. I thought I was gonna read it but was not really allowed to and just didn't think about it on my way running off the plane. Well, to get home I pretty much need it because I didn't have another form of ID on me.

UUUGH! Nothing like a frustrating way to start a "relaxing" vacation. Well, after realizing I left it on the plane and a couple calls to Airtran trying to track it down I reached Dolores! A freakin' life saver and sooo sweet! She went above and beyond and didn't send me to the automated voicemail at the corporate office that the first lady did. The first lady told me to call a number (which had a wrong extension) and leave a detailed voicemail with the loss prevention department in Atlanta and when they collected stuff from the plane they would ship it to Atlanta and I could retrieve it...if it was there. Well, I'm sorry, that's not helpful! I thought this was my only option so I called and she gave me a bogus extension. So, I called back and that's where Dolores came in! She went down to the gate since the plane was still there, talked to them, called me back to say they found a book but wanted to make sure it was mine. Once the staff brought the book to the office she called me and said "I've got your book AND your driver's license is in it just like you thought!" Well, great! Then...she offered to bring it out to me at the airport so I didn't have to park! What an angel! I need to write Airtran a letter about her and how great she is! Well, at that point we were relieved and knew I could get home now (as if it would be bad to be stuck at the beach), but...cheers to finding the ID! Let the vacation begin! Basically we had great food, great friends, great weather and an awesome vacation! It was a successful Watson-Ray Labor Day!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Donations accepted

So, Jon and I have been house hunting and stumbled upon some amazing houses! We really are narrowing down the style house that we like, what we want to pay and where that all puts us. We have been focusing on staying inside the perimeter (or as close as possible) seeing as we're in a great city that has a lot to offer and would love to be able to do those things without a major commute. The nice thing that we discovered is that there are definitely houses out there that we love. I can't wait to buy something that's OURS. I mean, I feel like a brat because we have an awesome house now but I want it to be ours, you know? If anyone wants to contribute to the "buy Jon and Amanda a house" fund we will happily accept; until then I'll keep playing the lottery and hoping to hit the jackpot.

In other news...I'm still looking for a job and am crossing my fingers that something happens soon. I never thought I could get bored staying at home, but I definitely have! If you have anything that you could recommend to me I'll take that too (in lieu of donations to the house fund)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Music!!

I've added music! I know some people don't want music to start playing the second they go to a webpage (especially if you're browsing at work), but I just love music and think it just gives the blog a different and new element. I refrained from adding too many songs and made it work on shuffle so maybe you won't have to hear the same song every time you visit. If the general consensus is a "no" to the music then I can make it something you have to actually click on to start listening. I'm also toying around with different tunes that would be good for my background music on the upcoming photography website....I'm thinking something David Gray and possibly the "Dream" song on the playlist now. So, let me know, I love opinions! Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ample time

Let's see, so it's been about two weeks since I've blogged and about two weeks since I've worked. One would think that since I have nothing to do I would have plenty of time to write. I used to be so good about writing at least every other day and it's definitely tapered off to more like once every week or two.
Honestly, not too much has been happening since the last entry besides hanging out with friends and spending time at home with the hubby. I traveled with Jon for a week and since then I've pretty much occupied my time with window shopping, soul searching, and being a good old-fashioned house wife. To elaborate...the window shopping is a bad habit. I have to get out of the house at some point in the day and my favorite go-to places seem to be HomeGoods, IKEA and Target. I'm pretty sure I've mentally re-decorated the entire house AND found where I can buy everything that I imagined. Yes, I need a job before I start decorating the neighbors house too! The soul searching has led to the biggest decision and because I don't have time to share my entire train of thought nor want to share the contents of my soul on blogger, the summary is that I have decided to forgo returning to school. I could see myself being a nurse but not myself being a student for three or more years before getting to that point. So, I am currently looking for a job that I will love, a job helping others, a job in which I will have my weekends back, a job that will leave me time for my family and photography, and a job that makes me feel good about myself. At this point I pretty much am a good ole housewife! I cook dinner, keep the house clean, do the laundry, run the errands (you know, dropping off the dry cleaning, taking the dogs to get their nails clipped...the fun stuff that can only happen during daytime hours) and search for jobs between it all. I'm not gonna lie...I'm kinda livin' the life while Jon brings home the bacon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The joys of unemployment

So, I never thought that I would be so happy to be unemployed. It was such a major relief to have my last day, to have my Saturday to relax and my Friday to hang out without the thought of going to work the next day, to have the chance to travel with Jon on his business trips (we're in Nashville now) and mostly just no stress. I don't really get it because my job was not supposed to be stressful but it caused me so much tension and unhappiness. It has been awesome having a fabulous husband who supports me no matter what and really just wants me to be happy. Well, good job baby...I'm much happier! My advice to everyone out there: You only live once, you spend more time at your job per day than with those you love and if your job starts affecting your mentality, spirit, and happiness....it's NOT worth it! I know that it's hard to give up the income (believe me, this is my biggest struggle) but everyone deserves happiness.

Now, on to the stress that's still in my life...the plan was to go to school. Everything looked great and if you know me well you know that I completely over thought, sketched out and analyzed every possibility with school....or so I thought. Well, the kink in the road is here....I never thought that the classes I would need to take could be full and unavailable. Ugh...I really do not want to be in school for the next four years but really want the end result that school will bring! The actual program is 16 months, not bad right? Well, I've got some prerequisites that I still need to take to be able to start the nursing program. That's the tricky part. They build off of each other, are only offered certain semesters, only offered at certain times (and labs at another), and are unavailable for this semester. I mean, it's just a mess because it's all such a gamble anyways. I could start taking pre-reqs, apply, not get in, be in school for much longer than anticipated, hate it once I get started. There are so many factors working together that it makes me very nervous. Maybe I should just start looking for a job that I will love. One that helps others, one that will make me feel good about myself, one that won't require working weekends and one that has advancement opportunities. That would be great. Nursing is that, but just seems so far away all of a sudden.

Picture: I'm on a business trip with Jon in Tennessee this week. First stop, Nashville. This is our awesome view from our downtown hotel (within walking distance to Broadway too)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The cat's out!

Wow...I can't believe it's taken me this long to catch up and start writing about the past few weeks and my BIG news, but let's re-cap quickly:

Since my last post I have...
  • traveled to Alabama to see my family
  • gone to the Stone Mountain lazer show for the first time in years
  • almost pulled an all-nighter for no good reason
  • had weekend company (Jim, Daneel, and Olivia)
  • gotten some new camera equpiment that I looove
  • quit my job!!
  • OFFICIALLY DECIDED TO GO BACK TO NURSING SCHOOL

It's been crazy but absolutely wonderful!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grandma and Lane

video

I just LOVE her giggle and love these two so much! (I wish I could figure out how to flip this but I figure everyone can just use their neck on this one)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The mostly family reunion

I am counting down the days until this weekend (Sunday really). I wasn't able to snag this weekend off due to conflicts with vacation time and all, but Jon and I are heading to Alabama...yup, for you Georgians it's the state you pick on next door.
Side note: It's interesting how I never know what to claim. I'm born and half-raised in Alabama, my whole family is from there and most still live there. I call Georgia home (since my parents live here), I've lived here basically since 4th grade and went to college here so I suppose I'm an FAlaGeorgian....mostly Georgia, still some Alabama in the blood and a little Florida sunshine in my heart.
Anyways...back on topic...Jon and I are heading over to Alabama for a long weekend trip. I'm really excited about it and can't wait for Jon to see "home". I can't wait to spend some time with my precious baby neice and then see my long-lost family (and maybe some not so long-long ones too). I have been the worst granddaughter in the world and have not seen my grandma in over 2 years. Let's just say I have my reasons and excuses with living so far away, having limited funds, and only having one weekend off a month. However, I've been away too long and can't wait to see her! This weekend is going to be great too because I'm getting to see my Ohio family at the same time! I haven't seen them in even longer! For various reasons it's probably been 5 years since I've seen my cousin and 2 years since I've seen my aunt and uncle. Plus, all this is even more exciting because my cousin and I both got married and the spouses have not been introduced to the rest of the family yet. Should be fun...as long as Jon behaves! :-) I'm excited about some good family time, showing Jon around parts of Alabama and childhood memories and being on "vacation" until next Friday! Peace out kids!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This is pretty awesome

This little handheld 'computer' never ceases to amaze me. The
technology behind it is just crazy. I couldn't have even imagined
something like this less than 10 years ago when I was carrying around
my huge NOKIA phone thinking I was something special. I mean...I
remember dressing it up in a cow faceplate and flashing antenna.
Ahh...the teenage coolness and crazy advanced technology of today. Can
you imagine what things will be like 10 years from NOW?

Sent from Amanda Ray's iPhone

Friday, June 25, 2010

A good feeling

There's just something about getting EVERYTHING done in a day that's so relieving. I love going home knowing that when I arrive the next day there won't be anything left over from the day before. Unfortunately, this rarely happens in the property management business. But, today....it did and it makes me happy!

Another good feeling: I got my car detailed and waxed and it's back to it's old Sexy6 status. That makes me happy (besides the fact that it immediately rained), but nonetheless it looks SOOO much better! Now if only I can get Jon to stop putting his shoes on my dash and keep Bailey's muddy paw prints off my back seat we'd be good for quite some time!

My final good feeling: paying off my credit card! Not that it was ever a "problem", but it has turned into such a nuisance to me where we get within $100 of paying it off and somehow put $50 on it here, $60 on it there and voile! we're back at $500! Well, no more! It's paid off and is making its way into a frozen container of water. That's right...I'm freezing my credit card! In case of emergency: hot water will melt it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thoughts

Lets see....I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post. I need to get better about this. I need to get some energy back. I need to take better care of myself. I need to exercise more. Actually, we took the dogs on a long walk the other night and it felt great. My arm is kinda sore, but only from a tetanus shot, not actually any physical activity. It looks like I'm gonna have quite a few shots over the course of the next year (and forever really). I wish I could elaborate as to why. I can't wait to let the cat out of the bag. I am excited for the future. The future makes me nervous. I am so much of a planner and control freak that this is a big step for me to just go with it. I'm excited about the upcoming month with 'vacations' and friends in town. I wish I didn't have to work weekends and was allowed to take my vacation when I want. I can't wait to see my extended family and my grandma (even though she won't remember...I will). I'm so excited for Jim and Daneel to come visit us in the ATL. I'm gonna convince them to move here. We're gonna buy cute houses in the same neighborhood and start a business together. I can't wait to buy a house and make it "ours." I am obsessed with getting new living furniture (not Big Lots college furniture or furniture Jon picked out pre-us). I love the Pottery Barn look but refuse to spend the money. I hate that money has such control on people's lives and wish there was more to go around for everyone. I wish no one ever had to worry about money or really had any worries. I hope we have a great life. I have a great life now. I wish I wasn't so cranky sometimes. I wish Jon wasn't so cranky sometimes and I wish I had more down time. I can't wait to go home and have dinner with Brittany Brown...she makes me laugh.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The "junk drawer" turned box and basket

You know how everyone has a "junk drawer"? It's the place where everything gathers. We're talking mail, coupons, pens, chapstick, batteries, receipts, ipod cords, pocket change...pretty much anything. I'm sure everyones junk drawer is a little different. Ours basically ends up being the things listed above that were on the table when we had company coming over and not enough time to truly organize or put away. It started out as a box that was added to in a moment of hurry to get the house presentable and somehow has morphed into a completely full box AND a basket in two different closets. I had been talking about cleaning this thing out and truly putting things where they belonged for quite some time and finally, last night I had a moment. I made the decision to just make it happen and boy does it feel good to have everything organized and an empty junk basket (I threw away the box).

I do wish that my moment had come to me at a different time, but it still was a pretty decent time to make it happen. Jon's brother Bill and his kids are in town for the week and we decided to invite them over for a night at our house. Bill came over last night with Aiden. We ordered pizza and Uncle Jon and Aiden played a various number of video games throughout the night. We only had a couple of controllers and the games only allowed so many players so I decided to sit this video gaming session out. The boys seemed to be having so much fun so I started my little project. I finished up, enjoyed a glass (actually two glasses) of wine and we crashed around midnight. All in all a good night...good company, fun family, tasty wine and a productive night at home!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock and roll

We spent the weekend in Nashville, TN and I have to say....we both really liked it! There's a river running through the city, a decent skyline, cool nightlife scene, culture, and mostly for me...LOTS OF COUNTRY MUSIC! Jon and I always like to play the game of 'could we live here?' and we both actually said 'yes' on this one. Of course, Jon still wants to make it to a big city someday and I wouldn't mind it either. We do differ on NYC. I just don't think I'm a New York kind of girl. I'm not into high fashion, don't wear heels everywhere and generally don't feel a draw to pay thousands in rent for a box of an apartment. Plus, New York's the kind of place that I would always rather visit. Now, Boston is a definite yes and Chicago is a possibility. I'm kinda picky and limited in my opinions of where we could go. I tend to like a little slower paced and Jon likes the bustling city life (at least until there's a little one to worry about). I don't necessarily see us staying in Atlanta forever (sorry, mom) since that really wouldn't do much for his career, but don't want to just move anywhere when we leave it all behind. We've got it pretty nice right now...families closeby, great group of friends, awesome house and a pretty awesome set-up with Atlanta. It'd be difficult to leave, but...I try to always keep an open mind to possibilities. I'm glad we can now add another city to the list of places we'll agree on. Not that there are really insurance opportunities in Nashville, but still...it's nice to have places we both like (even if only to visit). I just like traveling and seeing new places.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm gonna make it happen

Okay, so I think since swimsuit season is here and I generally just feel lazy I'm gonna set a goal. My goal is to slowly add back exercise into my routine. I don't really know where exercise escaped my routine, but it definitely did somewhere between becoming an "adult" and getting a big girl job and becoming a lazy, married woman. But, I just don't feel healthy...not to mention the some 30 pounds or so since college. I will say that one pro to being tall is the ability to pull off weight gain. I will ALSO say that one con to being tall is the ability to pull off weight gain. The few pounds here or there have definitely added up and it makes me lazy. It's amazing how lack of exercise and a extra pounds can affect your energy level. It's almost a lose-lose, or a catch 22, or a irony of sort. I don't have the energy to exercise, but the lack of exercise leads to weight gain and weight wain leads to lack of energy...therefore...start the cycle again. It really is bad. Well, my first steps....take the dogs on a walk every night after work and if it's raining...get on the elliptical! I need to whoop this butt into shape (well, I guess I AM a shape....Round!). But, I figure slow and steady wins the race when it comes to adding back activity/ exercise into my life. We'll start slow so that it becomes more routine and enjoyable and then go from there.

On another note, I'm feeling quite productive on the home-front. I managed to come home (mind you an hour and a half late), take the dogs for a walk (see above...we're 3 days in so far), cook dinner, clean the kitchen from counters to dishes, empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, feed the dogs, do the rest of the laundry (now everything's clean down to towels, underwear, sheets and all), sweep the entire house (which as a lot of you know is quite a task with two dogs, lots of visitors and ALL hardwoods), dust the house, dust the baseboards, and now update the blog. I'm quite proud of myself if you can't tell. But, really...cleaning is such a task and once I got started I figured I might as well keep going. Tomorrow I'll attempt to clean the other bathroom and actually enjoy myself on my days off! Tomorrow we're Nashville bound! Yeehaw!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Water Bearer

I don't think I could be more of an Aquarius! I'm not really "into" this whole astrology thing but have always been intriqued by the traits and personality assessments. I have always said that I was an Aquarius through and through only because I can't get enough of water! I love the natural beauty in all bodies of water. I love lakes, rivers, oceans, and waterfalls. I crave water! If it's been a while I yern for it. I even told Jon this week that I could move up to Lake Lanier (or Hiawassee since it's got the lake AND mountains...that's what dreams are made of). I would love the peace and serenity of enjoying my cup of morning coffee sitting on the water's edge. I would love being able to see the sun reflecting off the water every day and let's get real...I would LOVE going out for a cruise on the boat with the wind in my hair, sun shining and water spraying. Ahh....maybe one day.....

Here's my personality profile based on my birthday of February 4th!

Aquarius - Ruled by Uranus : [Jan 21 - Feb 18]
• Slogan: I know, therefore am.
• Polar or Opposite sign: Leo
• Colour: All the colours of the rainbow
• The Water Bearer always thinks fifty years ahead in time

Aquarius Traits
Positive Traits
• Friendly and humanitarian
• Honest and loyal
• Original and inventive
• Independent and intellectual
Negative Traits
• Intractable and contrary
• Perverse and unpredictable
• Unemotional and detached

Aquarius Likes : fame and recognition, personal privacy, rainbows, dreams, magic, change for its own sake, eccentricity, surprises, and living within their means despite the many temptations which constantly surround them every waking moment.

Aquarius Dislikes : emotion and intimacy, people who show off, being taken for granted, being pinned down, violence and fighting, and senseless or purposeless extravagance of any sort.

Important Parameters
Lucky Number - 2
Lucky Color - Red
Lucky Flower - Snowdrop, foxglove, gentian
Lucky Gemstone - Amethyst
Lucky Day - Thursday

General features
A typical Aquarius has the attribute of intense desire to communicate. You are a bit tactless and rude if you don't learn to moderate your constant broadcasting around those whose opinions may be a bit more on the conservative side. You are interesting and attractive. You can be shy, sensitive, gentle and patient or enthusiastic and lively with a tendency to be exhibitionists. Both types are strong willed and forceful in its own way. You are very opinionated with strong convictions and fight for what you believe. You are farsighted and innovative. You are generally without prejudice and quite tolerant of others' point of view. They are good listeners, and care deeply for their friends. To people they are not close to however, they can be somewhat detached. The Aquarius sun sign is true blue and loyal. They are one of the first to sign up to serve their country, and will give their lives defending her.You are truly humane and known to be frank and outspoken. You are refined and idealistic, romantic and practical, personable and likable person. Being quick in mind and responding, you love activity and are quite reasonable in that. They can be counted on to come up with original ideas. They make good designers and inventors as well as musicians. These intellectuals excel in the arts as well as the technical trades. You cherish and guard your independence and are a strange mixture of caring concern and cool detachment. You will go out of your way to help when needed but will never get emotionally involved.

What do you think? I think it's pretty spot on.
The good and the bad...it's me.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Sure you can do it by yourself, it'll only take 15 minutes"

So, I've been antsy and anxious about the lack of privacy in our living room lately. I think it all came to head the last time Jon went out of town. Since we moved in we've just had sheers over the main picture window in the living room. I mean, it's been this way since December but one day I just decided that it was time. It was getting to me thinking about the idea of 'they can see you but you can't see them.' Creepy, I know! Especially when you're home alone, sitting on the couch with your wimpy pups, watching TV (which 'they' could be watching too), playing on the computer and it just hits you! Scary!! And unnerving! So, I really wanted blinds but just knew that the blinds to cover this window were going to be expensive and why would we want to pour money into someone else's house? Well, last week I took a trip to Lowe's and sure enough, they said it would need to have custom blinds. Custom= expensive. However, being me and the type of person that doesn't like the word no and especially when it's something that is on the very forefront of my mind, I was going to make it happen! I went back and measured again and this time in three sections. The middle window and two smaller side windows. Surely it'll be under $100, right? Well, it was! $3.00 for the small, simple, basic vinyl side window blinds and $29.00 for the big window! Definitely worth it! So, I came home with blinds....this is just where the story starts...

Who knew that blinds could be part of the "trials and tribulations" of marriage? It started out as such an exciting thing (I know...blinds, exciting, I'm old) and turned into a nightmare! The lady at Lowe's said "sure you can do it yourself, it'll only take 15 minutes." Well, sure if you are mounting the blinds to drywall or own a drill! Needless to say, Jon HAD to get involved, we both got frustrated and ended the night with a middle blind barely hanging (due to my misjudgement of bracket placement) and uncovered side windows. The next day we picked up where we left off with a little trip to Wal-Mart for a high powered screwdriver and VOILE!, done in 15 minutes! Now, if only we could learn to laugh about these things during the catastophe, and not just afterwards, installing blinds and other "home duties" would be much easier.

I think I'm on a hunt for inexpensive, pretty curtains. Or, what's your opinion? The window is very nice and has character. It's a nice, paned, triple picture window with thick molding from the 1950's. Does it need curtains? Drapes would add some color I suppose.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just to see you smile

(Just to see you smile) I'd do anything that you wanted me to.... And all is said and done I'd never count the cost.... It's worth all thats lost.... Just to see you smile....LOVE IT!

I have to say that this is my all time favorite Tim McGraw song and he definitely played it on Saturday night! We had such a good time and I absolutely love Tim McGraw! Oh! Not to mention Lady Antebellum was there too! There's just something about good country music, shared with good people, all enjoyed while hanging out barefoot on the grass that makes me SO happy! Before you say something like, "barefoot? What? No Boots?" Believe me, I had my cowboy(girl) boots on before we walked in, but who can resist soft green grass between your toes? Not this girl! I just love the freeing feel of being barefoot. It's funny because I immediately kick my shoes off when I get home and keep them off as much as I can! Jon is the exact opposite and has been known to be "that guy" that wears socks and flip flops (complete with the excess sock being jammed between his big toe and long toe to accommodate the thong on his flop, ew and ouch) just to resist being barefoot. Not to mention, he walks around the house ALL the time in shoes, usually flip flops, but still! He walks up to the bed in flip flops and leaves them by the side of the bed when he lies down and slides them back on once he gets up in the morning! WHAT?! He's crazy!

This weekend was great! I'm still thinking about how I loved having my Saturday afternoon free (we had lunch and an afternoon beer on the patio :-)) and having Eric, Enslen and Lane in town made it even better! I love being close to them again and being able to see family more often. It was fun going to the concert with EandE and having a chance to hang out in such a fun atmosphere. I think we are gonna have a great life together! I can't wait for family vacations with our kids, Eric, Jason, me and our families! I think we need to start an annual family beach vacay. Maybe we could get the Lamberths (Eric's in-laws) and the Rays in on it too....that'd be so much fun! Oh!! Did I mention that Lane knows my name now? It melts my heart and I love being Aunt 'Manda. She's gonna be stiff competition for our future babies!

Moral to the story: I hate shoes, love my family and LOVE Tim McGraw!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Waiting Game

Why did we give it that name? It’s not a game. Games are fun and the ‘waiting game" is not fun! I feel like I’ve been playing this so-called waiting game for different things consistently for the past two years. I mean, you know…I’ve been playing it my whole life but it used to be for things like my next chance to play with my best friend or the next school day or my next test. Lately in life it’s changed to things like waiting for the love of my life and once he was found, waiting for the ring, and then after that, it was waiting until our wedding day and then waiting to hear about the move, and now it’s even another waiting game! All the other "waiting games" I’ve played lately have been positive and exciting. This waiting game has an awesome and positive end but the actual waiting part is REALLY hard. I’m excited about the end to this game.

As I’m writing this I’m thinking about how there will always be some sort of "waiting game" in life. This is just the beginning of it all. Down the road I’ll be waiting on telling people that we’re turning into a true family and then we’ll wait to meet our bundle of joy and then after that we’ll be waiting for each little milestone to happen. I guess waiting is good, it means there is anticipation. If there was nothing to anticipate what would be the fun in life? Plus….isn’t this life all one big waiting game for the next life? The life we were all meant to have?

Deep, I know.

Chicken Butt.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Idiocracy

I'm gonna try to keep this as "nice" as possible, but...why are some people so dumb? Here in the apartment industry we thrive on those who actually follow instructions, those who don't ask stupid questions, those who realize that they live in an apartment and do not own it, those who do not want special recognition for something that is expected, and those that mostly resemble some sort of common sense or intelligence. Ahhh......that's all for now.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Reason, Season, Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,
whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.


-poem by Aleksandra Lachut

You know I've been thinking about this lately and it is definitely true, but...WHY do we have to have "season or reason" friends? If these people come into our lives and make a difference than why can't they stay a part of our lives? What is it that tears friends apart or leads us in opposite directions? I know that life happens and paths take you different directions sometimes but why can't those paths continue to cross? And how can we look back at our lives and wonder why some people are not still in it? You know...I miss some of those people who were "reason or season" friends. I want more "lifetime" friends. Is that so much to ask for? Can you have too many friends? Is that why? Do you get to a certain quota? I'm writing this to say that from now on I want "lifetime" friends...I'm finished with "reason or season" friends and if you were once in my life than I still want you to be in my life. There's still so much life that's yet to happen and I want those who have known me from all stages to be involved even if you were a "reason or season" friend...let's make it a "lifetime" thing!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I love you mom!

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”

-Washington Irving

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kick me while I'm down

I feel like maybe it's just that I've had a lot going on lately with work, the possibilities for change and getting things in order, but I feel like I never get everything done or everything accomplished at the end of the day. Not that I'm stressed out but sometimes life just throws a few too many curve balls at once. The curve ball that I'm thinking about right now is my first speeding ticket since 2006 with a value of $185!! I just feel like we are always treading water with money. We're trying to pay off ALL of our debt before August to open up more possibilities for me and every time I think we're about to do it something like this happens! I hate getting paid on Friday and by the next Tuesday everything being gone! I'm not really complaining about the amount of the paycheck and actually think we're both good with money(DISCLAIMER), but I just hate the feeling of never being able to get ahead. The feeling of being stagnant and not moving forward to a bigger goal. I don't know....maybe it's just me but I have a problem with planning and looking forward to the next big thing or the next step. The next step in mind for us is right now is SAVING money! Sigh...this is what happens when I pay a pointless $200 to the Georgia government on one tab while I blog on the other...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy Birthday baby!

Wow...I need to get better about this blogging thing! I feel like I've been so tired and busy this week. I mean, nothing out of the ordinary or anything. Just working, sleeping, and eating and doing it all over again the next day. I need to try to gather my thoughts on this thing more often. It's slightly therapetic and my hubby tends to think I'm funny so....it keeps me wanting to write.

Now...the thoughts....date night and Jon's "over the hill" birthday!

On Thursday night we were planning to go to Mary Poppins because we had free tickets and who doesn't like getting dressed up and heading to the Fox, right? Well, we decided that we'd go to Mary Poppins when we had kids and re-routed to a nice Italian dinner date night. I think it was a much better decision in the end. We went to this place close to the Fox called Barronda (where Jon had previously had an awful date, not with me of course) and it was amazing! We had a great bottle of wine, calamari, awesome pasta dishes and even Tiramisu! Man was it nice to have a real date night and awesome dinner too. I think since moving to Atlanta Jon and I have forgotten that we still need to do real date nights instead of always opting to hang out with friends. But, that being said...it's nice to have close friends again and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Jon is offically 28 YEARS OLD!! So old! I mean, before you know it he's going to be bald and I'm gonna be so senile I won't remember how old we really are. Plus, we need to start making babies before his little swimmers (or my chicks) dry up and it can't happen. Haha....I'm totally kidding baby (sorta)! I actually can't believe how old we are but I'm looking forward to what's still to come. Sometimes I don't feel like we are old enough to actually be 28 and 26! I remember when that seemed so old and honestly, I feel like we're still young and figuring things out. Will we always feel like that? Is there a turning point to where you feel like you've got it all together. I think this is why they say "you'll never be ready" for kids. Maybe it's because of this same feeling of never being "settled".

For Jon's birthday Chad and I scored some awesome seats at the Braves game! I'll add some pictures below. But, we were 8 rows behind the right-handed batter's box! I think it was a success and all of us had a great time, including the birthday boy! It was definitely awesome....my only complaint.....I wish I had ordered the hot dog and bypassed the nachos. :-)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Oh the possibilities...

You know, I've been pretty happy lately about the possibilities in life. Sometimes I feel like I'm at a dead-end with where I am right now or feel like I'm in my "middle school" years and such. But, this week I've realized that our possibilities are actually endless and that makes me really happy!! You know what else makes me happy.....
Jon's finally home! He was out of town all week and I'm just so glad to have him back! Plus, he was in Tampa without me and that's just not fair!

Oh, also...Fridays and margaritas make me uber happy!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What a weekend!

This weekend we made a trip to Clarkesville, GA for Jarrod and Julia's wedding. It was a fun but LONG weekend. We got up there on Friday after a morning of pampering with Kelly and the festivities began. I'm pretty sure I managed to have a drink in hand all weekend and I'm not sure that my 26 year old self can handle many of "those" weekends anymore. It was beautiful weather this weekend and it made for a great outdoor wedding. I would add pictures but sadly left BOTH of my cameras at home. I am still so upset about it! Maybe someone will post some on facebook soon and I can steal and share them here. :-(

On another note....we got back to Atlanta and had an 'anything but relaxing' Sunday afternoon. We decided to grab some food in Norcross on our way home and swing by the show the parents our new digs and got bombarded with an old co-worker of my moms. So, an hour later we FINALLY got home. I changed to PJs, grabbed a blanket and headed for the couch. After laying there for a moment I get a knock on the back door. I'm thinking..."why would someone be knocking on the back door?" Well...because it's our landlord, who happens to also be our next door neighbor, holding Bailey covered in blood! What the hell? I mean, I'm not sure what exactly happened to her still but she has a gash on her ear and was absolutely covered in blood and it wouldn't stop bleeding! All I was thinking about was taking a nap and cuddling with the pups and now this!?! Well, I think she's fine. We were finally able to stop the bleeding and get her to calm down so that it had time to clot but this was the LAST thing we wanted to deal with on Sunday. I think we may have avoided the emergency room and a dog wearing a cone for the next week but if we hadn't been able to this would've been what our weekend tab looked like.....

$260 gray suit for wedding
$400 two nights stay at the bed and breakfast
$40 eyebrow wax and mani/pedi
$50 premium gas for the CX
$50 beer and wine
$100 chewed laptop power adaptor
$50 replacement rug with blood drops
$10 replacement washclothes from blood cleanup
$30 replacement shower curtain from blood smears
$50 replacement Rainbow sandals from blood drops
$30 replacement shower curtain from blood smears
$200 emergency vet trip
___________________________________________

$1270.00 grand total...geez... how about priceless? There's nothing like sharing a great wedding weekend with friends. However, I could've passed on the dog drama. Oh well.....trying to stay positive.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Mazda family...ZOOM Zoom

Jon and I are the proud owners of not one, but TWO Mazda vehicles now! As you know from the previous post we were in the market for a new car and came to the most practical decision. Jon may have not ended up with his pretnetious Beamer but rather a very nice, fully loaded CX-7. I have stood by the fact that we need an SUV. I know that they guzzle gas and that we don't NEED one for a family or anything but it just makes more sense. Why buy a car when you already have one. I like the idea of having a vehicle for all purposes. If we want to save on gas and only need "car" space then we have the 6. If we plan on taking the dogs and having any other company with us than we take the CX. It just makes the most all-around sense. Plus, we were about to trade two perfectly fine cars for two different cars. Basically Jon would've traded an SUV for a car and me a car for SUV. Makes NO sense! So, last night we went looking for me a CX-7. We found a great deal on one with all the bells and whistles. Jon wasn't sure why I didn't instantly fall in love with it. I explained how I become very attached to my cars and wasn't quite ready to get rid of mine but how we needed an SUV. Anyways, the whole thing clicked. Jon would get the CX-7. This would satisfy him with a car with upgrades and a smoother ride and we would actually both like driving each other's cars. The deal I made....if we get an unexpected surprise than I would take the "family SUV" and he could trade mine for a BMW. But for now we will enjoy our practical decision and lower car payments.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The itch

BMW's and babies. These two things have been the two most talked about things for Jon and I this week. To explain a little bit, we rode with Erik (who just bought a BMW) and Kate on Saturday to the G-Day game in Athens. Well, ever since then Jon's been talking about nothing other than how to get a BMW. Originally I thought it was an awful idea. I mean he has a perfectly suitable and new car! Com'mon', he just got it last summer and it's an '08!! If anyone should get a new car it should be me! I've had the same car since 2006! Now, that being said....I talked Jon out of the BMW option last summer in hopes that he would fall in love with the Xterra because it just made more sense and it's just not happening as planned. Everytime he sees a BMW he brings it up again. He's broken me down. So, I told him that he could get the BMW as long as we didn't lose money in the whole deal and he couldn't tell me I couldn't do the same. Fair, right? I think so. Plus, I'd look really hot driving that BMW. :-)

Now, onto babies.....we had a little scare. Without disclosing too many details (because no one reading this should know that much about my private parts and what's happenin' down there) all the signs pointed to us being pregnant! Exciting, but perhaps a little sooner than planned. It was nice thinking that we could be though. We started throwing out names, which room the nursery would go in, how cute Jon and baby Ray would look in the Beamer, how we'd celebrate his/her birthday (since he/she would be a Christmas baby), and every other way in which life would change. I'm not gonna lie, it was kind of fun to think about since so many people around us are having babies. However, we just got married in October! So, on that note I want to let everyone know that we have plans to go on a kickass Southern Caribbean cruise for our one year anniversary and I will be sipping on Pina Colodas while everyone else is changing diapers (j/k, sorta).

P.S. Why are babies so cute and tempting? I will personally blame Daneel and Amy for having cute little boogers, thanks guys! Thanks for giving the newlyweds the baby itch!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Welcome to baby J!!

Liam Duval Jennings was born on April 11, 2010 at 10:52PM! He was 8 lbs, 5 oz and 21 1/2 inches long and absolutely precious! But, there's a funny, frustrating, and bittersweet story behind all this. I have probably been talking about taking pictures of Amy and the baby bump for the past 6 months and finally found a Sunday where we were both free to do so. Well, I called Amy on Saturday night and specifically told her to squeeze her legs together and keep little J in for at least another night (he wasn't due until the 20th....I didn't think I was askign a lot) so that I could get some maternity pictures of her. Well, SHE DIDN'T! I got what I thought was a joke of a text that morning saying that they were on the way to the hospital because her water broke. I started laughing and thought it was a good joke and that we'd still be having our photo session and lunch together. Nope! No joke....she was in the hospital and little Liam arrived 15 hours later! Geez...good timing Amy! Just kidding. I just think it's funny how it all happened. The nice thing for Amy is that she didn't have to go back to school after spring break, good and perfect timing for her. However, it looks like she'll need to get pregnant again and I'll take pictures of her that go-around. Plus, baby pictures are cuter anyways, right? Oh...another idea.....someone else needs to get knocked up! Who's next?

Jon and I (and my parents) got to see baby Liam yesterday and he's precious....see......

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

House decor and adult stuff

I think it's interesting how when you're younger it's all about the clothes and every extra bit of money you run across you spend on clothing and accessories and now all I want to buy is stuff for the house! I mean, don't get me wrong I still buy summer dresses (my other weakness) but I am always thinking about ways to spruce up the house. Jon and I have some nice stuff and have invested a little bit of money here or there on furniture or decor but most of our stuff was just combined and made work when we moved in together. I think it's time to make some enhancements and not a hodge podge of his and hers but OURS. Here are some pictures that show ideas I have.......


Okay….this is for the "hospital bed". We already have the white quilt. I just thought it might make it more inviting for a nice fluffy comforter to be thrown on the bottom of it. Plus…notice the red walls…I love it!
This is what I want in our bathroom. I kinda stole this idea from the interior designer here at Post. She always puts real curtains in the bathroom with the rod set at the very top of the ceiling and it just puts such a spin on the room. Plus, we have nice blue and brown towels now and I could completely change the look with this fabric hanging.
This is what I imagine our guest bedroom looking like. Nice fluffy white bedding with lots of textures and neutral tones with these green and white flowers on the wall. I'd also throw a black and white accent pillow in the mix. Maybe some green paint? Or change it up all together and do blue walls? Maybe not though. Keep in mind that our room would look different because we have a black rod iron bed. But, focus on the all white bedding....I found one that I love at Target but can't find a way to post it.
This is our living room! I have been eyeing this rug for quite some time now. It's at Target and it's just awesome. I love the colors and the pattern..... it's just a little pricey for a Target rug with dogs in the house. But, I'm getting sick of absolutely no rug and all hardwoods. And last but not least....the couch! I love the simple, clean lines of a traditional beige sofa. I think I'd also do an oversized chair with this and pick a shade darker than this.

One thing I wish we could do is paint! I can I guess but I refuse to pour money into a rental house. Maybe when we have our own house I'll add some color back into our lives.

I passed!

I have officially completed my Photography 101 class! I must say that I learned quite a bit and feel like I can take much better pictures now. I got pretty decent reviews of my photos on my final critique and only wish that I had more time to really scout out interesting subject matter for the photos I showed in class. I really do feel like once you know the basics of how to manipulate your photos it's all about having an 'eye' for photography. People have told me I have what it takes so hopefully I can actually make something of all this! How awesome would it be to tell people that I was a PHOTOGRAPHER?!?! I think I want to concentrate on people and portrait photography. I do love taking pictures of landscapes too; nature and water always make a good photograph (Boy am I a sucker for water!). However, the money is all made when you deal with people. Anyone want to be my test subject? That is....until I'm a professional and I have to charge :-)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nothing better to kick off the warm weather season like....

Easter and Baseball! Sunday was filled with family time and good eatin'! You know, it's bad how (even though our families are 15 and 45 minutes away) going to see them seems like such a task. Sometimes all I want to do on a Sunday is relax around the house in my grubby clothes and hang out with our 'little' family. However, before mom gets sad....I love spending time with them! It always makes it worth it once I get up the energy to actually make the trip. We hadn't seen Jon's family in a couple months so that was definitely nice. Not to mention they have this fabulous front porch and it was the perfect weather to enjoy a glass of sweet tea (or wine) while rocking in a chair and catching up. We had a marathon day and managed to make the trek from South Atlanta to North Atlanta (and of course back home later) to see my parents too. My dad grilled out, mom made a really good summer salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and corn and we finished the night off with my favorite movie "Sweet Home Alabama". I mean, I know it's not the best cinematic flick ever made but it's just so cute. My favorite line...Jake: "Why'd you wanna marry me anyway? Melanie: "So I can kiss you anytime I want." Of course this is all said in a very southern twang and I absolutely love it! I sometimes wish I had a more southern accent and grew up in a small town. It just looks like they had so much fun and everyone knows everyone! I guess there are pros and cons.

So, onto Baseball....
A group of us got tickets for the season home opener and made it an all day event. We met up around noon and made our way down to ole' Turner Field. We managed to get set up right by the entrance with a table for games, a grill and lots of food! It ended up being great because we had a few different groups of people who joined in on the pre-game fun and made for a great tailgate. The game was good...as you all probably know, the Braves won! And....Heyward hit a pretty nice homer too. Jon is in LOVE with baseball and I'm pretty sure was getting annoyed that I wasn't jumping up and down screaming but after a day of drinking and being nasty, sweaty and hot I wasn't quite in the jumping and screaming energetic mood. That being said...I really did have a great time! But, thank goodness most of the games are evening ones for the rest of season. I'm gonna push for those next time! I love summer nights and Jon loves baseball...sounds like a perfect time!

Wow, that was long...I need to try to update this thing daily to keep from having short novels.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lots to talk about

Okay, so I haven't been good about blogging this week. Let's have a little recap. Monday was rough. The first day back after a long weekend just isn't my cup of tea. However, also on Monday I spoke with a recruiter about a great (or what I thought was...that's covered later) job as a newborn photographer at Northside and I rocked the interview so that made Monday much better. Tuesday I got a speeding ticket on my way to work so that's $125 down the drain for going 40 in a 30 zone. Tuesday night was my second to last photography class and it was good but I'm supposed to take 7 of the best pictures I've ever taken and I don't know when I can make it happen (working Saturdays stinks). Wednesday we met up with Dan and Amy for dinner and drinks (for everyone but preggo). I can't wait to meet baby Jennings soon! Thursday I talked Jon into going for sushi which was fabulous but I had a mini meltdown about jobs/careers etc. So now, to elaborate on the let down photography job. I happened to google the company and how much the photographers make to know what I was getting myself into. The way they explained the compensation to me actually sounded like it had potential for decent money. Not only would the money be comparable for only 4 days of work but it would be a great opportunity to expand into clients for my own company AND it would combine all my interests (photography, sales, families AND babies). But, no. The company has horrible reviews from all angles. I mean....employees and customers. No one is happy with them. They tell you that you make a base hourly wage AND commisson on sales but that has lies embedded. Plus, no one is happy with the photographs and customer service. Basically it's a scam, so I'm back to square one. Who knows what I'll do. Sigh. Friday started out at the gynocologist, enough said, but turned out awesome! We managed to rally everyone for not only Happy Hour but also an impromptu flip cup tournament at the house! I love the fact that we have a house to entertain and beds to crash in if need be. I'm so happy for amazing weather and a screen porch too! Hmm...I think that sums it all up! Maybe I'll re-visit this weekend and elaborate more on life :-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

We're back and back to everyday life

I wish life was one permanent vacation with great friends. We had such a good time hanging out with Jim and Daneel (and I couldn't ever forget Olivia) this past weekend and it's a shame that it had to end. We drove back yesterday and were both back to work today. I think we both would've loved another day or relaxation after this weekend. Oh well, back to work has to happen eventually anyways. I did get good news for a Monday so it made it a little more bearable but for some reason I just couldn't concentrate on ANY work today. Instead of writing (since I'm exhausted and Jon's already left me for bed) I'll post some picture to show a bit of the weekend.




Thursday, March 25, 2010

I get to see JDO!

I have FINALLY after 7 straight working weekends reached my THREE-DAY WEEKEND off and even managed to add another day on top of that, so...we're off to Orlando! I'm so excited because we're going to see Olivia for the first time! Olivia was born in December and we're just now getting a chance to go visit some great friends(Jim and Daneel) and introduce Olivia to her favorite Aunt and Uncle. Speaking of great friends...Kelly is coming to hold down the Ray fort and we couldn't be more appreicative. She was willing to come to the house to watch the little redhead and short stuff for the weekend! I mean, that boarding stuff for TWO dogs now is just ridiculous! Plus, they will be so much happier hanging out at home with good company. I hope they're not too much trouble. It also gave me a great excuse to clean the house! Somehow I'm sitting here at almost 3am and am not tired after a very long day of work, errands, grocery shopping (for some special snacks for Kelly), cleaning house, laundry AND packing. So I sit her writing on my blog one last time before our weekend mini-vacay while Jon plays some old school Final Fantasy game on wii. Maybe I should consider going to bed and gearing up for a fun-filled weekend ahead.....Goodnight!