This Christmas has already been so so different and possibly more fun than any Christmas in the past, and it isn’t even here yet!

First off, this is Josh and my first Christmas together. I went shopping AFTER Christmas last year to get most of our decorations, and the rest, well, we can all thank Pinterest. So I have decorated the house, the tree, the kitchen table, and on top of that, never, ever, like in my whole life, have I ever sent Christmas cards. ever.

and this year I did :)

I enjoyed making them so much. From the pictures, to the word web, to the writing on the outside of the envelope. It is just my thing. We sent 60 this year and I have a feeling that # is going to be a one time thing. I just figured since this was the year we got married and so much has changed; it was the appropriate year to go overboard.

I first started out with a picture form all the “big events” this year, but it was just too many images; so, I went with wedding pictures and one of us in the snow. :)

The first few I addressed, I sent out normal; but I wanted to add a little more personality to them so I did. Some people might hate me when they open their card, but I might have sprinkled in the TINIEST bit of glitter. Finally, to top it all off, Christmas lights were needed around the return address.

Okay, that’s it. I promise.

I am so excited for everyone to get them!

oh! I forgot to tell you about our Christmas tree experience! That will have to wait. We are going to Nama’s to get Sushi with friends.

Until then, in short:

We came.

We saw.

We Conquored.


Jingle Bell run for Arthritis

Erica asked me a few weeks ago to run the jingle bell run in Knoxville, TN to help support those suffering with arthritis. I ran for my mommy and she ran for Mamaw Spoonemore.

The best part about this run is exactly what you would think… the jingle! Everyone participating was there with bells on.

On their shoes, their wrists, their shirts, their hats and heads; it was so much fun and by the end I hardly even noticed I was jiggling with each step :)

It was a bit on the cold side, which slowed both of us down, but seeings as we just started training the week before, we both did really well. My goal was to end in under 30 minutes and the official timer game me exactly that. 30:00. Now I know technically it was even better time than that since when you first cross the start line you are still walking until people get more spread out.  All in all, it was a good race, and I am looking forward to training and getting in shape for the REAL race in April.

Although it may look like I am smiling, I believe that is a cringe of misery.

xdf  We were a lot happier when it warmed up and we were headed into The Brewery to eat :)

Christmas Tradition #1

So I went to the gym today for the first time in… mmmm a month maybe?? No matter how long, it was obviously too long because when I walked in the door the guy at the front desk said, “wow… long time no see…”

Yeah… that’s never a good sign. I did however decide not to wait until New Years to start training for my half marathon. Although I only ran two miles today, it felt good to exercise. I missed it. It makes me feel so much better about my self.

I don’t think I will ever get enough of the song “Dear Bobbie” by Yellowcard. It is so good and I can listen to it over and over struggling all the while to not tear up. That has nothing to do with anything but it just came on my ipod and made my stop typing long enough to listen. Here, have one yourself:

I was lucky enough to celebrate Christmas this year three times so I am going to blog about them over the course of a few days so they all get the attention they deserve. Although it was early, the Jigga Chick Christmas must come first. Now most of you are probably saying Jigga what?!?! which is the normal response. For all of you who don’t know, I have three best friends that I have had for years (at least ten or more) and we call ourselves the jigga chicks. Now this is not so often verbally or publicly announced but it is kindof a well known fact among our close friends and family. The four of us, just… well, go together. If I am out people ask where Ashley is. If LaBrina is out, people ask where Tami is (we come on two’s too) it just works out :) It’s a long top secret story on how the name came about, so I will leave that out.

Not all the way back, but back enough

Not all the way back, but back enough

Ashley Harris has been my best friend since the 6th grade. I met her while I was still home schooled and playing with the Middle Valley Basketball team. She was my rival. I was somehow the top scorer in the league and she was number two. Nowadays, neither one of us should be anywhere near a basketball; but then, we were all-stars! (Chubby red faced and confused all stars that is:).  Anyhow, Ashley and I have been close for as long as I can remember. Tami and LaBrina are best friends and became some of our best friends in high school. The four of us have been close ever since. Each year we get together for each others birthdays and always Christmas at one of our houses. We also try to squeeze in a vacation or other fun activities but with new careers, relationships and a minimum of 70 miles between any of us, it is often difficult. But 5 times a year is guaranteed and the last of 08 was Jigga Christmas.

december-2008-032-mediumAshley came from Atlanta, LaBrina from Soddy Daisy and I of course came from Knoxville. We all met at Tami’s house in Dalton, GA. We each bring and cook something different. This year we had a casserole extravaganza and it was all delicious. We bumped elbows in the kitchen and all shared one oven.  

december-christmas-2008-013Melanie Poole, yet again, blessed us each with a wonderful over stuffed stocking of homemade candies, candles and many many other goodies. She is so good to us and we are all so thankful.

A sneak peak of Brina on the front porch

A sneak peak of Brina on the front porch

After dinner we talked and of course stayed up late catching up on jobs, dreams, loves, hates, stories, fears, memories and eventfully got ran off to bed by the rain. (We were sitting on the front porch after Tami went to bed so we would not be loud and wake up her or the puppy.) It was altogether wonderful and I wish we were 17 again so we would be at each others houses nearly every other night doing nothing or everything together.

Opening Momma Poole's gifts

Opening Momma Poole's gifts

I love and miss them.

After all, they are my three best friends.

Just one more shot of the *i deserve to be the picture on a puzzle* puppy

Just one more shot of the *i deserve to be the picture on a puzzle* puppy

Student Teaching, small group and Salsa!!

Oak Rudge High School

Oak Ridge High School

This is where I am going to be spending most of my time next semester! I had the privilege to visit my mentor teachers (all three of them) last week and take a tour of the newly remodeled high school. It looks fantastic. I think I may get lost in the halls a few times the first few days so we will see how that goes.

I already know I will be teaching The Odyssey and Romeo and Juliet in my Sophomore English class. I am real nervous but super excited. If any of my teacher friends out there have any ideas for either please feel free to toss those my direction.

I am not quite sure yet how I am going to pull this off and still be a good friend, daughter, nanny, girlfriend and athlete. I know I will be super busy. I plan on going to some of the Basketball games especially Powell vs. ORHS on January 15th so if anyone wants to come watch, I’ll be there!!


Unrelated, we had out small group Christmas last week!!

I have grown to love each and every one of these girls (and Alice who is not pictured) with all my heart. The 5 of us met downtown at The Brewery for dinner then stopped in The Mast General Store before we went into Market Square to take a few pictures! We had a “give away something you already had” Christmas gift exchange and I loved it. Sarah Davis ended up with my stuff, which was all just silly and I got homemade cookies from Kyle Webb and Chistin Rhyne! They were so yummy! After buying a million Christmas gifts this was a great idea and saved us all time and money but we still got new stuff!

Ashley finally got Salsa!! Yes, she named her Maltipoo Salsa, haha and it is the CUTEST puppy I have ever seen. I took over twenty pictures of just the dog but I am at the Cole’s right now so we will all have to settle for the one I took on my phone. She is so sweet and soft and little! I am slightly evil though because I think it’s adorable to blow in her face because she paws at you and yelps and rubs her eyes with her tiny paws; it’s just so cute!!


On the less adorable side, she whined all night last night and kept us up. Hopefully Ashley has better luck with her tonight.

catching up and bragging on my great friends!

I have been busy with school preparation (grad school finals and I just found out I am student teaching at Oak Ridge High school starting in January!), party planning, paperwork, cleaning and nannying. I did have an excellent Christmas party last week with many of favorite friends from Knoxville. I always stress out before any gathering because I am trying to cook, clean, shop and shower all while making and receiving phone calls regarding last minute details and normally with never enough time because I work so late! Yikes! It’s exhausting.

I must also thank Jaime Ketchen because she always comes to my rescue at least once during every party and I am so greatful. She brought over Christmas mugs, CD’s, food, drinks, wine glasses, games and her helping hands to aid in the kitchen! What a great friend! I am very thankful for all of you who helped and just showed up! I love spending time and catching up with all of you. Thank you for helping me clean up and prepare. I love my friends!

More pictures from the party to come!