Monday, December 31, 2012

A 2012 Highlight

I'll admit this year wasn't crazy exciting. I don't feel like this was my best year or a year that I really lived. This may also be because I hope for really big exciting adventurous things in 2013. But before we skip on to 2013, I will say that my favorite thing about this year was getting our little fur man. You, my little friend, are amazing. I love you dude!!
Thanks for making 2012 special for me and Brandon, you're the man!


Christmas Memories 2012

Merry Christmas friends! It's been so nice to be away and enjoy the holidays with Brandon's family and my own. We are so grateful for our awesome family and the (over) abundance of gifts we received. Each year I say that if I didn't get one thing I would be happy. After moving ten hours away spending time with family has become something I cherish so much. I would take more visits over gifts any day, especially with our upcoming move out of the country.
My favorite thing about this Christmas was sitting by the Christmas tree hearing my mom tell stories of Christmases when we were little and how hectic playing Santa was.
The funniest thing was our annual game of Balderdash. My brother-in-law comes up with the most hilarious/ridiculous definitions and then we quote him for the rest of the year.
With all the joy comes a little sadness. This might be the last Christmas with our dog Rudy that we got 15 years ago on Christmas Eve. I hate to think about it, but we all know that his days are numbered. Christmas also makes me miss my Grandma Norma. She made our stockings and I love their uniqueness. I feel like it will be wrong to ever split the four of them up.
I realized during the holidays the different little joys the internet brings. I gifted two handmade items from a shop that I found through Instagram and I received one from the same shop from my brother. It makes me so happy because I love supporting handmade. Note to self: Next year be sure to take advantage of the cyber Monday deals handmade shops offer.
I also made the BEST buttermilk pancakes from a recipe shared by Shelley. Not kidding. If you stop reading now to jot down this recipe and forget to come back, I don't care. Go write it down, and then make them. Now. It blows my mind the little joys internet friends bring. They just make your life better and the people in your life too if you make awesome recipes they share.
Of course Tag man loved playing with his cousin Buoy all weekend but he sure was worn out when they left today. That little man is wiped out.
I'll be flying solo for five weeks while BD is overseas for the start of our new adventure in Japan. Thank goodness Japanese Santa stopped here. He brought jet lag medicine, chopsticks, and chopstick trainers. Yep, going to need those.
I also felt like I needed to break in my new toy from BD with a post. He is way to good to me.
So here I am again documenting some of our life for anyone interested. To all of my new friends made through the world wide web, THANK YOU for sharing your life with me and so many others. I hope you ALL had a merry Christmas and that the new year will be full of great memories for you and your families.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sew Busy

My writing here has come to an all time slow. For me this used to be a place I would come to document what has been going on in our life, where we are living, and the ups and downs of baseball life. Although we are moving to Japan in the coming months and that will provide plenty of stories to write about, this little spot here has lost its luster.

I used to love blogging and the community that comes with it. I liked being a blogger and taking pictures of everything I cook, paint, sew, or craft's exhausting and I haven't found near as much joy in it as I used to. I find that I get SO caught up in how many followers, page views, etc. I'm not saying it's wrong to do that because I realize that blogging for many is a business and those things are important to succeed. For me,it drives me crazy. It brings out the worst in me and I pretty much hate the blog monster I turn into. This slow down has helped me realize this and I am going to try to focus on only writing when I feel like it. 

Since I've had so much extra time you probably wonder what I've been doing. We have slowly been updating rooms/spaces in our little home, teaching a Sunday school class, Christmas shopping, signing Japanese baseball contracts, and sewing. I have spent SO much time making fun things and this time lots of them are for me.

For so long I was trying to make my sewing successful and profitable and it just wasn't working for me. I'd get frustrated and start to see sewing as a job instead of a hobby. I see other bloggers making it work and I give you so much credit because it isn't easy. So instead of sewing for others, I started sewing for me, things that I needed or wanted that I knew I could make. I've discovered an even deeper love than I had before. I have found several sewing blogs and immersed myself in reading and learning tips and technique. 

My stocking via imagine gnats / Brandon and Tag's still unfinished (oops)

tiny fur vest for bff's baby girl - via See Kate Sew

a little Christmas dress - pattern via Shwin Designs

fancy baby bubble skirt - via handmadebabyclothes

denim dress - via laurendarlings

new favorite dressy sweatshirt - via laurendarlings

Those are some of the projects that I have LOVED working on over the past few weeks. I hope that you are having a stress free holiday season and are able to enjoy time with family and friends.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Anniversary Surprise 1

I didn't mean to leave you hanging for so long, but I just needed to be away from the blog for a while. Before I was telling you about our anniversary and the sweet surprises my husband gave to me. I have such a thoughtful guy. I know they are hard to come by. Brandon hijacked our wedding photo CD and mailed it to my sister to have her make it into a photo album! I had no idea and was so surprised and happy (I cried) when I opened it. It reminded me that even though all the planning was stressful, having those memories in hard copy to look at everyday is so special to me. Thanks sisters, and awesome husband of mine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Exciting News!!

We have known since September that something was going to change in the baseball department of our lives, we just weren't sure what. The last few weeks we have been working out the offer and details of where we will be playing next season. 

We are moving to JAPAN! We will be there from February until the season ends in October. It is so exciting and a little bit scary at the same time. Knowing we are venturing overseas together will make this move seem a little less intimidating. Again I realize the importance of blogging and will for sure be documenting this new chapter in our lives.  We are so thankful for this exciting opportunity and for having both of our families support making this huge decision. 


Monday, November 12, 2012

A Wedding, Birthday, and Anniversary

I realized the importance of blogging this weekend. I really, really enjoy being able to know exactly when things happened and figure out exactly where time goes. Two weekends ago we celebrated one of my good friends getting married, my husband turning 28, and our one year wedding anniversary. Phew.  

The morning of the wedding I made breakfast for some of my favorite friends that still live in Columbia, my family, and another friend in from California for the wedding. Like always, time flew and it seemed like I barely got to see them at all.

The wedding was amazing. I couldn't be happier for my sweet friend and her husband. Not to mention how amazingly beautiful she was. It was also Brandon's birthday and I gave him the option to skip out on the reception. He still came to the reception with me...and so did the football game. He dodged out for the dancing part which was fine with me because he would be embarrassed by my moves. My friend Stefany and I served cupcakes that turned your teeth/lips/tongue blue. He He. The Bride gifted us these adorable aprons. Obviously I loved it because I had been making my own very similar. It was so fun to be on the receiving end of a handmade gift that I love. 

In between the wedding and the reception we did a bit of birthday/anniversary celebrating. I had him take me to the grocery store to buy him a peanut butter cream pie and candles. I'm not near as sneaky as he is because he surprised me with an anniversary gift, which I will share in our anniversary celebration post up next.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Ridin' Dirty

Tag man here! Mom has been hoggin' the bloggin' but not tonight. She is glued to the weather channel like a nerd to a chess board. Oh wait that's her too. I don't know what her obsession with chess and backgammon is lately. Nerd. This weather channel is starting to get on my nerves. I think I feel the same way about this, as Mom feels about Dad watching the outdoor channel or football.

Hellooooo, cute puppy here that loves to play fetch and you're going to play games?

Whatever. Anyway while she is "busy" I decided that I will share what has been going on around here. Nothing much of anything actually. Okay there was a kitty cat that was hanging around and I was really starting to like her. Mom and Dad did not. She is my excuse not to use the bathroom outside, because you know, I'd rather play with her. 

Today mom drove me to the vet. She let me sit shot gun. But I was in my cage so that ruined the cool factor. I like to walk around the car and puke a bunch of times because I get car sick. She apparently does not like that. At the vet I got a shot (OUCH) and then she got some 'medicine' to help with car sickness because tomorrow.... we are going to MISSOURI! I saw mom packing up my sweaters so I'm guessing it's going to be a wee bit cold. I'm just 4 lb 6 oz of fun and I'm ready to ride. Yes I weight that much. Don't make fat jokes mom and dad have beat you to it. I guess I don't get any more Cheetos. 

Friday and Saturday we are going to a different city. I get to meet Uncle Jake, Uncle Brandon, and Aunt Karla along with some of mommy's best friends. To me this means I will get LOTS of loving. Then they are going to leave me with my uncles while they go to a wedding and I've heard good things about the dudes. Pretty sure we are going to par-tay. Or they are going to party, I'll just be cute and cuddly and snooze. They should know I'm a chick magnet so if they are trying to impress the ladies invite them over Saturday. I'll be your wing dog. It's a thing. Look it up.

Well, it's time to go chew a bone, lick myself, or beg for some Cheetos. My life rules.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nothing Important

Ugh, today I'm a bit under the weather. Right before bed I got sick and today I decided I just need to relax on the couch until I feel better. Of course I have several things I want to be doing like sewing, helping paint our new shed, or getting ready for our fall festival at church, but I just don't feel up to it. Yesterday we had chicken noodle soup for dinner and I joked that if I ever get sick they have to make it for me. Way to jinx yourself Lauren, today I'm having soup again.

Brandon says I could pull off Tina Fey. What do you think?  I've been told before that I sound exactly like Sarah Palin. I guess if I cut some bangs and put in a french twist my Halloween costume is finished. I think maybe that would have been a better costume for 2008. Missed the boat on that one.

My dog, oh my dog. I think he needs to post here again soon. It's been awhile and I know he loves it. For now he is loving his new clothes and toy box. 

The other night I wanted to learn to play chess. I've played before but it's been a long time. Brandon gave me a quick refresher lesson and whooped my tail. I hope we can make this a regular thing. The chess playing, not the tail whooping.

Finally, I've been trying to keep our house a little more organized than usual. I got out some decorations the other night and tried to homey it up. I am kinda loving it and hopefully we can get our spare room cleaned and organized and into the storage shed before it's time to decorate for Christmas. 

That's all I've got. Time for some more soup and a nap to get back up to par. I'm beyond excited to be traveling to Missouri TUESDAY to see all my favorite people and celebrate one of my dear friends getting married. Seriously so excited to see my family and friends. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Up In The Air

Sometimes I end up in situations where I stop and wonder how I ended up there. For example, this past weekend we went flying in a little bitty plane over the local area. Our dear friend who sang in our wedding parents used to own a plane. Then they sold it back to the man they bought it from but throughout the years they have always let each other borrow it. Our friend was needing aerial photos of their church and the day she was supposed to go was too windy. She called Brandon and I and asked us if we wanted to go. 

I tried to surprise Brandon and tell him it was a little gift for our anniversary that is coming up in about two weeks, because I have no clue what to get the man. He weaseled it out of me like always and changed his hunting plans for the next day. It ended up being the best weekend we've had in a long time. 

I've told you before we live really close to his Grandmother and parent's and now you can get a better idea of what I mean. One big happy country living family. 

From where I stand. 
The world is so big yet so small.
Afternoon movies are the best.
Pumpkins aren't as easy to glitter up as I thought.
Dishes are endless.
Mexican food always hits the spot.
Falling asleep on the couch is all its cracked up to be. 

Have a great week. 


Linking up with Mallorie.

Friday, October 19, 2012

An Alabama Fall

I have NOTHING in our home that represents fall or Halloween. It's a bit depressing but I'm hoping to change that this weekend maybe some glitter and some pumpkins can fix that. Brandon and his dad have been building us a shed. This means we will be transforming our storage room back into the guest room. I already feel a huge relief for when we can get stuff put away. Little trips to take them sweet tea have let me get some fresh air and let Mr. Tag run off some energy. Any pecan pie lovers out there? This is where they start, the pecan tree out back. 


Also....if you know how to remove the white border around my photos I would greatly appreciate it if you inform me how, thank you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From Where I Stand

From where I stand..I do NOT consider myself stylish or fashionable. I wear what's comfy to me. The only time I put on clothes that aren't my favorite yoga pants is to go to church on Sundays. Even during the week when I run to the grocery store or to run errands it usually goes as far as jeans and a t-shirt. 

I spend way to much time on Pinterest swooning over all the amazing outfits wanting to go shopping all the time to get new clothes. Clothes that I don't need to buy and money I don't have to spend. I have a closet with plenty of clothes, although yes some of it is outdated but it's full and if I try a littler harder I can piece together some outfits.

I've said before that I'd rather spend money on fabric than go shopping. So the other day as I was sewing I decided to try my hand at making another skirt. A skirt that wasn't a ten minute maxi or out of jersey knit. So I began with no pattern but an idea in mind. It didn't end well at almost two in the morning. I had worked so hard and then sewing on the waistband went all wrong at the very end. I threw it aside adding it to my projects-that-didn't-work stack and went to bed.

A few days later, I pulled it back out and got the seam ripper. After 20 minutes of ripping out stitches I re-assembled my skirt into something I can wear. Then I dug through my closet to find a top or two to pair with my new skirt and wa-lah, a new outfit was born.

I wore my new skirt Sunday and during Sunday school I had a conversation with another women about things. Literally things, like clothes, houses, cars, money, etc. Then she said something that I probably won't forget .
"It doesn't matter if you wear Armani or thrift store finds, your spirit will show through no matter what." 

She said exactly what I needed to hear. Things of this earth can be taken and destroyed but my spirit, my feelings, my actions, my words, and how I make others feel are what people will remember.


Matthew 6:19-21
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Linking up here and here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Truth About Nascar

First things first, if you didn't watch that video you should so stop reading and click the play button.

Sunday we went to Talladega, AL for my very first ever Nascar experience. I LOVED it. The only experience I've had before featured Will Ferrell and John C. Riley, you know the one. 

Raelynn belted out the National Anthem.
My favorite part was when the Big Rig comes flying down the track with the American Flag. I got chills and almost started crying it was so awesome. 
Kevin James was the Grand Marshal and announced the engine start
Tony Stewart caused the big one. Watch here.
I was scared for the wives.
We ate the best fried pickles.
Enjoyed the chilly race.
And jammed to Florida Georgia Line the whole way home.

I could get used to NASCAR! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oh Just Some Things

Let's chat a minute. Right now, I'm snuggled on the couch in my new favorite NASCAR sweatshirt as my freshly bathed pup sleeps beside me. I just made a hot cup of my favorite pumpkin coffee. I have on game 2 of the Cardinals/Washington battle of the NLDS. My other half is gone helping coach a little league game and I find myself extremely grateful for this evening and its simplicity, it's normalcy. 

As more time passes that we are home, the more like a normal marriage I feel we have. This past week we hung pictures in our living room. Most of them were gifts for our wedding which was nearly a year ago, finally some progress. Saturday morning we headed to the flea market, then napped all afternoon and I made a junky meal of macaroni and hot wings and we watched Avengers. Sunday we normally head to church, but this week we headed to my very first NASCAR race and I will tell you I fell in love. It's not like any other sporting event and I'll share more on that this week at some point. 

I felt guilty all weekend about never reopening shop like I said I would on Friday. I am starting to let that guilt slip away. Some how each time I feel ready to try again to make my handmade business work, I get feelings of doubt. I question myself and if I have what it takes to do all of it on my own. The sewing I can do. I can package and ship items. I can even photograph them and list them online. But doing it all is extremely challenging. 

CARDS WIN! The Voice it is. Man I love this show. 

Back to what I was saying. It's hard work and I'm the one to have to do it. For right now, again like I've said before, maybe online selling is not for me. Even though I always think I can do it and talk myself into it, it just never feels right. With Christmas right around the corner there are several local holiday boutiques and I feel like that is where I should spend focus my time. I just hope you all know that if you ever want or need something you've seen before, don't hesitate to ask. 

Finally, our pup. Words can't describe my little fur ball best friend. I flipping LOVE him! I tell him several times a day and I always find myself asking Brandon if he thinks Tag knows how much we love him. I sure hope he knows. I love that he follows me everywhere and even helps with laundry. I prayed for this little guy. As we were searching for a puppy I remember asking for the perfect little dog for our family and I'm positive he is our answered prayer. 

That's all my friends. Check back for thoughts and pictures on Talladega!