Day 1

I think I am actually going to do it.

sweat. pain. shortness of breath. cramps. carbs. more sweat. fatigue. and maybe a change in diet.

can you guess?

I am going to run a half marathon!

There is a girlfriend at work who asked me a few weeks ago, and after she did, several others followed! Erica Fair, Sarah Fair, and possibly Beth Lovelace! :) It is going to be a great time.

Valarie and I are going to do the one in Nashville. I hear there are less hills and you get live music :) Not that I will actually be listening to it, because I am a rule breaker and like to run with my ipod.

The training technically starts in January, but Erica and I are running the Jingle Bell 5k this Saturday so I started training today. I ran 3.2 miles in either 32 or 34 minutes… i could tell you better if the treadmill would not have turned off on me at 30:00……..

that was miserable.

Yes, I know a 10 minute mile is slow but that is the first time I have run since….. pre-wedding…. so let’s say MAY.


I am going to be keeping track of my training on one of my pages; I didn’t want to clog up my blog with running and time/weight posts.

If any of you want to join us in our training let me know.


Every time I am with you, it’s a Holiday.

After finally uploading pictures from my camera after a couple of months, I was  inspired to write about something.
Yes,  I have one solid, constant, forever family by blood, and they will always be my closest and my favorite, but as time goes on my family is growing by leaps and bounds.
I have my Northern Family, my extended family, my in Laws, my outlaws, and of course my friends I love so much it’s almost better than family— if it were possible

And believe it or not I was able to see them ALL all over the last 4 holidays and it was wonderful.

I spent thanksgiving with the Welch family in Indiana. This is the second time lately I have gotten to hang out with my sister and the more time I get to be around her, the more I wish I was around her all along. I think we are going to be great friends :) —For all of you who don’t know my sister and I have not lived in the same place since I was about ten… she went off to college and then we moved to TN and she didn’t come :(
Both of our weddings have brought us close together. I am extremely blessed.

The clothing in this next picture was NOT planned… needless to say a few of us changed our outfits after the picture was taken.

great minds think alike

Christmas this year was about 4 holidays in one. I was so excited to induct Josh into his first ever Christmas Eve Eve at Momma Harris’ House. Every year she cooks tons of yummy foods and we watch movies. I loved having him there this year, and it sure beats texting him the whole time.

Then, Josh and I had Christmas eve with my immediate family in Chattanooga and woke up to a white Christmas as we drove through the snow to get back to Josh’s family in Seymour for Christmas Day. It was wonderful to be with them, they are great in-laws, and my parents came up for the fun too.

Families United :)

Oh it’s not over….

Then, Josh got to experience his first Jigga Christmas with the girls — and Chase :)  The guys are officially jiggas and I love that every time the girls send a message their names are on it :)

Jigga Christmas

Ashley was not able to make it :( but she was there in spirit… if you look closely you can see her left of Josh and Megan.

Jigga Christmas 2011

We rang in the new year in Roanoke, Virgina with my close friend and first college roommate Becky [Wood] Blankenship. She and Mike just had their first child, a healthy young man named Luke so we scooted on down there to meet him and catch up with them.

Even when we have not seen them in months Josh will start laughing out loud at something Becky did or a story she told a year ago, lol that is how funny she is.

Luke and his mommy

In January we got to see my long lost best friend Emily [Nix} Sneed. She is the kind of friend (Becky is this way too) that you can go months without talking to and when you get a hold of each other there is no bitterness and it is like you never skipped a beat.  [somehow I got off without taking a picture… that is very unlike me]

Josh’s birthday was about three disasters in one and I feel like a terrible wife to be… but I did somehow come out with a yummy tasting [although ridiculous looking cake].

Let’s just say I had to recover from someone eating half his cake the day I was going to finish making it and then give it to him. I had about 30 minutes to create this masterpiece:

Josh's cake- post surgery

Ashley’s Birthday: I cannot do it justice by telling the stories from the weekend, so you don’t get any… see facebook for the visual retelling.

Sing it or Wing it: New Zealand edition

The fun continued on with Valentines day at the Gala with our close friends Brett and Lee Ridens. We got to dress up for dinner, drinks, an auction and dancing.

At the Valentine's Gala

This post was just a really long way of saying, no matter what I do, or where I do it, when I am with my closest friends and the love of my life, I am happy. I am so blessed to have great relationships and such caring and wonderful individuals surrounding me.

Thank you.

I love these people

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.

Rocky Top!


Tailgating is pretty much my favorite thing this time of year. Especially in the spot we have. I love the grass filled with dozens of my friends. I also have friends with great personalities who are up for almost anything! So when Kat and I scream, “GET OVER HERE WE NEED YOU FOR THE BASE OF OUR PYRYMID!” The guys actually do it! haha and it normally doesn’t take much convincing. I think I am really lucky to have the friends I do. I know that’s all I talk about these days but I am just really really thankful and I do not take them for granted. They are honest, funny, reliable and just really cool.

And that makes me happy.

Manafo and Eric pretty much make us a feast every week. The first week was breakfast omelets and cinnamon rolls, fruit sausage, biscuits and more. It was so delicious! The second week against Florida we had gator, cookies, wings, hot dogs, hamburgers, more cookies haha

I could go on ranting about food but I am starting to get hungry. Just know if you haven’t been tailgating with your close friends in the shady grass, you need to start.

She shoots, and scores!!!


Able (the top scorer on my soccer team) was not here on Sunday for the game so I got pushed up as forward. Everyone joked that I had to carry his load since he was missing (which is normally at least a hat trick) so we knew that wasn’t quite possible. I did play hard and somehow believe it or not was the first to score!!! Matt shot and missed and I chipped it over the keepers head for our first goal! I was super excited and the guys were really encouraging. I played forward the rest of the game and was so exhausted.

Kat also scored and it was beautiful. For all who don’t know Kat is the reason I am even on this team and truly a best friend. She is so good to me and always there for me when I really need her. (Even if it means getting up at 8am on a Sunday morning or making herself watch UT football when she really isn’t in the mood).

She told me the other day how she was thinking about how much we argued but still how close we were. We do bicker a lot, like an old married couple most of the time and sometimes we actually hurt each others feelings but we always come back to one another loving even more than we did the day before. We are both outgoing and funny but still have very different personalities. Its hard to remember how different people react differently to different things but I am learning to take that into consideration when I am with her. She and another best friend of mine are the two people I care about the most here in Ktown and both have personalities I love and want to keep around forever.Kat said even though we argued and it stunk, she wouldn’t trade it for the world. It isn’t fun when we fight but I guess she would rather fight with me than have peace and boring life without me.: )It made me happy. Yes it stinks we fight but she cant imagine her life without me in it :) awwwww *the crowd sighs* what a good friend and I love her.

80’s Cocktail Party


These girls and many that are not pictured are an answered prayer. This is from my 80’s party Friday night. It is so crazy to look at this group of girls as I wonder, where did they all come from? I say that because a year ago I had a birthday party in which I had two girl friends there… TWO! I can’t even tell you how many guys were there, maybe twenty. Don’t get me wrong I love my guy friends and they are so good to me, but I really craved and needed girl friends. I am so blessed to have not only quantity but quality. God has answered a huge prayer by placing amazing women in his likeness into my life. Surrounding myself with strong Christian girls has been a desire and need of mine that God has fulfilled and I am so thankful. I am also so glad all my friends are almost as crazy as I am and terrific sports who will dress like fools just because I ask them too!

Thank you everyone who helped me with the house and the party (especially Jaime, Becky, Katie and Kristen!). As I said you guys are true friends and a real blessing! I couldn’t do it without you


soccer with friends

I am trying to focus on all the things that make me happy. Being active and working out definitely help. That’s not just me though, that’s everyone. Something about releasing endorphins and making you feel happier. Who knows. But Sunday was a great day for me. And the fact that it rained somehow, only made it better.

I love soccer and I love my team. There is something about being a part of a team, where people count of you, respect you and want the same thing you do…to win!

I really do like a team. I don’t know what it is but I love being out there. Many of my worries disappear and all I am thinking about is where I am going to go next. (or the ball or the man I am marking) but you get my drift. It is nice to have a mental vacation for those 90 minutes where your biggest worry is if the ball is going to get past you or not.

This to me is better than running because my worries don’t go away when I run, they actually surface. I have those 45 minutes to think about anything and everything and although it may be good for me, it is not always a happy experience. So at least with soccer my mind is at ease. I am amongst friends, and I am happy.

Praise God for recreational sports!

These are our fans. There are even more behind me but two pictures are enough.
I am kind of jealous of them. Well not them but the spouse they are there supporting. How cool is it that they have no other place they would rather be than watching their husband/wife play a ridiculous game of soccer… in the rain. That is so special and something to admire. I hope one day I have that.

Busy social calendar = bad diet days

I have been so bad with blogging but I’ll give you a quick update of what you missed:
(not of just food, but everything)

Thursday I did averagely well on my diet. I did have a piece of Aubrey’s birthday cake and some Nutter Butters (again) but I did dance the night away as Sassy Ann’s with Katie, Aaron and Brett, so I know I burnt that crap off. There is no way I burn less than 200 calories an hour shakin my wanie fanie (funky song funky song)

Friday I worked late (well like 6:45) and then met up with Taylor at the park. I ate healthy all day except for TAYLOR MADE ME go to McDonalds with him and I somehow ended up with fries… ahhhhhhhhhh! I know! I don’t even like fries!!! But we did walk all the way there and back from Worlds Fair so that burns a lot of calories right? And we laughed a whole lot so that burns even more. He is on this I refuse to drive my car thing so we were walking everywhere. (Good for us) I am excited though because I just got my bike back from the church and Jaime Ketchen, Ben Fair and Taylor Brown all said we could go riding.

Deep thought side noted: While we were at McDonalds Taylor and I talked about my meanness (I fussed at Kat and felt bad so I asked him if I was a bia and doomed for life…)
He said I wasn’t a bia.
Naturally you are quicker to anger with the people you are the closest to. And you aren’t afraid to show it.
He gave me some really good advice to think about. He said that part of that is just how I am, but a way to work on my attitude and behavior, is when things really peeve me off, I almost need to take myself out of the situation and be like this is making ME mad, but what does the actual situation look like? Is it a big deal? Why am I so upset? Am I being selfish by only thinking about how I feel? I need to remember that I tend to over react and take that into consideration. Instead of automatically reacting to a situation, I need to respond in a way that takes my feelings and the others into account.

Saturday was really bad…. I’m not gonna lie… I had a fantastic omelet at the tailgate though. We all got there at like 9 (make it 10 for me because I walked from BFE) and Eric make omelets from scratch! Personalized! Anything we wanted in them! mmmm so good. And we had cantaloupe, grapes, cinnamon rolls, sausage, hash brows, biscuits, and much more! Now I didn’t eat all that I was just braggin on Monafo’s tailgate. Everyone was there and it was so great. Even Jesse was in town (my best friend Kat’s boyfriend) so it was overall a perfect day. Channing, Sara, Brett, Kat, Jesse, Matt, VInce, Rebecca, Jen, Corey, Megan. Who could ask for anything more? :)

Very impressive. Pictures to come. I didn’t have my camera but everybody else took plenty.
And we made a pyrimid.