Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gamecock Banner

Let me be clear from the beginning. I went to a Division II school called Angelo State University which just so happens to be in my hometown of San Angelo, Texas. I received a full-ride scholarship upon my high school graduation & thought that I would be a dummy to not accept it. I had a wonderful 4 years there & wouldn't trade my college experience for anything. It was perfect for me. I know how deep college colors run in the students that attend them and it's great to have pride & hope in your school & athletic departments.

With that said, there are a couple of things, voluntary or involuntary, that happen naturally upon getting married. One of these things is the expectation to adopt endless amounts of support & excitement over all things football & college mascot. My husband went to school at the University of South Carolina. Their mascot is the Gamecock, & if you aren't quite sure what a gamecock is, it is a fighting rooster that is usually shortened to 'fighting cock'.

Now, as most men do, my husband loves to deck himself out in Gamecock gear when at all possible. I thought he only owned collegiate t-shirts/hoodies & had nothing else in his closet when we first started dating. His habit of wearing such clothing almost caused my best friend to tell me 'heck no, he's not the one' just because during her first impression of him, he was wearing a shirt & backwards hat that said COCKS across the front. She gave him the benefit of the doubt and later asked me concernedly, "why is he wearing a shirt with that on it?!". I giggled and told her it was his mascot and she was dumbfounded at why a college would choose such a thing to represent them. My answer, "it's just as good as any I guess & if you think about it, the inappropriate t-shirt & bumper sticker slogans are endless. " Ha.

Since we started dating, we have seen several home games in South Carolina & have been there to cheer them on through the good and the bad. The baseball team is so talented that they have won the College World Series two years in a row. That's a feat, for sure! Once again, we were right there glued to our t.v. through every pitch. It's fun to have faith in a team & I'm glad we've had the opportunity to see these teams in action.

Over the past 5.5 years, I have become a big USC Gamecock fan. I have purchased several pieces of Gamecock paraphernalia for my closet now too. We look forward to the fall with anticipation as the football season kicks off & this year I wanted to do something special to decorate and pep us up. I saw this super cute mantel banner on My Blessed Life last spring & thought it would be fun to attempt for my sporty mantel. I also made this before my hubby returned from his training in AR so he would be surprised and happy about it when he got home.This is how it turned out:

I really like how the different prints on the papers turned out. 

The flag in the middle is a scrap from one of Chad's something-or-others that 
he cut the emblem off of, so I found it a new home. 

The football paper makes me happy. I underestimated how long this process would take for 11 letters. It took a full naptime for the little lady (about 3 hours), lots of patience, about 17 glue sticks, & a small scissor blister from having to cut the letters out by hand (because I don't have a Silhouette or Cricut machine and YES, I am jealous of you who do...birthday gift from someone??...
it's coming up in October so ya might wanna start saving, ha). 

A picture of our family at last year's game, our Gamecock garden gnome & Kennady's Carolina teddy bear she got from Uncle Chris for Christmas last year adorn the rest of the mantel.

The hubby was super pumped about my decor & is soooo excited that this weekend kicks off the season! Let's go Gamecocks!! :)

I want to know, which team/school do you support & how do you prep for the football season?!

Fence Me In (why don't ya?!)

We have BIG plans around here, people. BIG PLANS! These plans include the addition of all things YARDY. Yes, I made that word up because I couldn't think of anything better. We have been living in our new house since April of 2010. So after doing some math, you may see that we have been here for a great 15 months. As a result of deployments, TDY's, & the challenge of saving money, we have chosen to wait until now to improve our newly built home, more specifically the yard & fence. What I didn't realize until now is the process of events that has to happen in a specific order for it all to 'come together' just right. So, if you wonder what we've been up to since the party a couple of weekends ago, this is what we've been doing.

We live on an acre which is 43,560 square feet to be exact. That's a lot of space, ya'll. We have staked out the corners, done the math, calculated materials & have them scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. We've picked out 3 lovely Cedar Elm trees from a tree farm down the road & are so excited about getting them put in. The Dig Tess (not a typo) people have been called and scheduled to come mark our cable, water, & utility lines to prevent any digging problems. My family is coming in this Thursday evening to spend the Labor Day weekend with us doing true, manly labor by building our fence. Luckily, we have an agreement to pay them in beer & food, so we are saving a bundle & everyone is still happy with us (thanks fam!)! We then had to get the dirt guy in line to build the yard up & potentially erect a retaining wall for us across the front of our house right before our waterway(ditch) begins. On top of that, we have the irrigation guy in line to hook us up with some organized water squirters (yay for extremely high water bills!!). So, to sum all of that up, we have:

*Dig Tess coming between now & Thurs. at noon.
*Trees delivered & planted Thursday afternoon.
*Family arriving Thursday evening & working through Monday to build a fence.
*Dirt dumped and spread on Friday.
*Irrigation & retaining wall installation next Tuesday.
*Grass seed blown in during the coming weeks.

Can we say, INSANE?! (and EXPENSIVE?!)
My goodness, this stuff has already drained me just thinking about it and it really hasn't even started yet. It will feel so great to have it all done & to see the finished product in just a week from now! We can't wait and I will definitely be posting pictures as the process takes place.

When we moved in, there were already two Live Oak trees planted in the front yard. Unfortunately they ended up dying (super sucks) and they have been 'deadly decorating' our front landscape ever since. I am happy to say that they have officially been chopped down (as of yesterday) & I have all kinds of fun project ideas that I plan on using the trees & pieces for. I will keep you updated with those as I eventually get them done. It's awesome to be able to make something out of nothing, right?! Wish us luck!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Angry Birds Birthday Bash

Hello All!
  I am happy to report that my hubby's surprise Angry Bird birthday party went off without a hitch! My family came into town & we had a lot of friends attend & it couldn't have been better. I think he really enjoyed himself and was very appreciative that everyone worked hard to gather for his birthday. He has been deployed for the summers of '08, '09, & '10 & was temporary duty in AR this whole summer, so needless to say, it's been AWHILE since he has been able to celebrate his birthday in style like the rest of us have. Later he told me that it's been since his 18th birthday that he's had a real party. Kinda sad considering he's a very young (hehe) 34 already!

I really worked hard on decorations for this party. I chose the Angry Bird theme since he has loves playing it & it's so 'in' right now. My birds, in my opinion, turned out so.darn.cute. I chose to mix two different methods that I found online to make them. I took inspiration from Martha Stewart's PomPoms & used the printable Angry Birds faces template found at The Party Animal.

For the cupcake toppers & bottoms, I used the free printable found on Your LifEvents. So awesome how these turned out & using them saved me time on making a fancier cake. I mean, who doesn't love a cupcake, after all?!

Here are my lovely angry pompom birds:

The Green Pig:

Blue Bird:

White Bird:

Red Bird:

Black & Yellow Birds:

My little lady enjoying her newest tissue paper friends post-party. She thought they were so funny!

A little extra decoration...made of wrapped curtain rod boxes & jute:

My birthday boy hubby in front of my homemade banner:

I made this banner with cardstock, curvy scissors, jute, a glue stick, printed letters from Word, & the Angry Bird prints found on a 'how to draw' Angry Birds website. 
I took the picture before straightening the letters out...silly me. :)

An easy front door box & balloon decoration:

Me & the man in front of his banner:

 The 'spread' sponsored by the yellow bird: 

One more added craft that I thought of one day in the shower...don't act like some of your best ideas don't come to you while you're washing your hair, ha. I created this print in Word, printed it & framed it for the viewing pleasure of my guests. I thought it was a cute play on words. :)

It was a great party & the Angry Birds brought so much personality to the evening. I got him the t-shirt for $10 at JCPenney & he said he was going to wear it to bed that night. Ha. Great times, fun crafts, good theme parties. Gotta love it!

Happy Birthday hubs! :)

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 up           party!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hubby Returns

I just wanted to express my happiness over the home return of the hubs. He gets here tomorrow, which happens to be his birthday, & I CANNOT wait to have him in my arms again. Getting a queen size bed to yourself is totally overrated after the first couple days of sprawling out. Believe me, it gets colder and colder as the days pass.

I am so proud of him and the extreme amount of dedication & persistence that going through J-school called for. He is a shining example of someone who is focused & goal-oriented. We have so much to be thankful for and one of those things is definitely having a husband/daddy that loves us more than anything & is sickened by the separation that the Air Force occasionally forces upon us as a family. We always make it through though & I'm glad that tomorrow, our world goes back to normal which I feel is PERFECT. He is my knight in musty C-130 flight suits...and I LOVE him so.

Hubby, congrats on finishing your Master's & officially becoming a C-130J Pilot over the summer. I don't know how you do it, but it's wonderful to be holding your hand while you do.  And Happy Early Birthday, hot boy! :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Is that WATER I see?

As many of you may know, the weather conditions in Texas this year have been dryer than my cracked heels on a sandal-wearing day. Seriously, moisture can be found NOWHERE. What little moisture that was present in our lakes, ponds, and rivers is no longer. It has officially evaporated in the 60+ consecutive days of 100+ temperatures and we were all thinking that hell had made itself known within the Texas borders. It is HOT here. But luckily, as everyone always says..."at least it's a DRY heat!". Ha. Dry heat my butt. As soon as I walk outside, there's not much 'dry' about me. Sweat everywhere, ya'll. Gross, I know.

Luckily, God decided to answer some prayers that were probably more like beg sessions. The houses were shifting, the ground was breaking, the fish were dying, the bugs were coming indoor, the cattle were dying of thirst, & my goodness, don't get me started on the dust storms. A couple of days ago, moisture fell from the Heavens and completely renewed our land, cleansed our souls (not a stretch), and provided a much-needed relief from the heat. The ground was soaked, the air was cool, & for the first time in MONTHS, there were water puddles and that wonderful smell of rain was so breathable. You could see a huge difference in everyone's attitude & we were all so thankful for the refreshment. A total of 5 inches fell in my hometown of San Angelo (that's more in two days than in 8 months). We received a good 2+ inches here in A-town and the ground is still wet in places. Hallelujah & thank you Lord for that rain. We don't want to be greedy, but any more that you can spare, we WILL TAKE IT! :-)

After the second day of raining, we walked outside to see a gushing line of water escaping from a pipe near our water meter. We live on an acre, so our meter is far from our house and halfway between ours and the neighbor's home. My super nice neighbor tried to turn our water off and failed because what we thought was a problem with my meter turned out to be a huge leak in one of the main pipes leading to our meters. Luckily that turned out to not be our problem or else we would have been charged for all of that water. NO thanks! It was running for hours before it was noticed & things were double muddy to prove it. After about 6 calls, I got a couple of water pros to come out for service and we were without water for 4 hours that night. I have to give them credit because they were out there in the dark with a tractor digging and sealing until midnight & voila, it was all fixed. They did leave a huge mess though, so I may have to get on someone for that.

On a lighter and happier note, Chad is returning this Thursday from his AR training and we are so excited! I cannot wait to have him home again so life can return back to normal. It's been six months since we have lived in our own home together and this has been a long-awaited return. Thursday just so happens to be his birthday, so WHAT A PRESENT! Speaking of present, I have some shopping to do, though I have NO IDEA what I'm going to get him. If anyone has any good ideas for gifts, I'd love to hear them, ASAP! Ha.

Besides that, I don't have much else other than this little anecdote. The other day when I was deep cleaning our very dusty and dirty house, I came across what looked like a curled up scorpion along the baseboard in my bedroom (freaky!!). Turns out it must have been sleeping, because as soon as I touched it to throw it away with a thick wad of toilet paper, it came a'crawling toward me. NOT COOL. I quickly got a high heel (useful for killing critters, ya know) and squealed my way through stabbing it to death. I even scared Kennady with my squealing, so for that I feel bad. But for the stabbing, not so much. It was officially dead after a triple check and it quickly went swimming down my toilet forever. Problem solved with just a little bit of trauma to both mommy and baby. For the record if it's not obvious, I.Hate.Scorpions. THE END.

Bloys Campmeeting

I have a lot to catch you all up on, but I'm going to have to start with one thing at a time (to save you from having to suffer through the longest blog post EVER). I will start with what is one of my favorite experiences ever... Bloys Campmeeting.

Our trip to West Texas was so great. I was a little scared that all of the traveling recently would drive my little lady (or myself) to insanity. She was a trooper as usual though & we made it there on Wednesday and stayed until Sunday afternoon. I'll give you a quick, small back-story as to what campmeeting is and why it is so important to me. It started 122 years ago (no, that is not a typo) by Dr. W.B. Bloys (my best friend Nicole's great-great grandfather) in a mountain cove located between Ft. Davis & Valentine, Texas. Back in the horse-drawn carriage days, the cattle ranchers would have the preacher/pastor/priest travel to their ranches a couple of times a year to hear the gospel. As it was difficult to travel back then, they decided to have an annual campmeeting where all of the surrounding ranch families would gather for a week of worship, teachings, & fellowship. From the days of tents, horse-drawn carriages, & a gathering of approximately 47 people,  blossomed a tin cabin campground, an attendance of around 2000 people, & a holy experience like no other.

I have been going with Nicole & her family since I was 5. Because of a family reunion in Washington, D.C. and mine and Chad's honeymoon, I have had to miss 2 since then. This year marked my 20th year of attendance & it was just as special as ever. Some of the most wonderful things about campmeeting are getting to see the same families every year. The children have grown a year older and inches to boot. There is no tv or Internet which allows for some amazing naps, book reading, or anything else that soothes you. Sitting on the balcony in a Papasan chair while the rain clinks down onto the tin roof carrying a cool breeze might be one of my favorite things to do, ever. At campmeeting, the conversation is always sincere and sometimes deep. Laying underneath the west Texas sky is unreal. In one evening, we laid back and saw at least 30 shooting stars. The Milky Way is so bright and beautiful you feel like you are in it (which technically, we are). But still, the quietest moments, the darkest nights, & the cleanest air are just a few of the things that I appreciate so much out there. Even the smell of dirt and mustiness get me giddy there. It is impossible not to see the beauty of our God and his works when you are surrounded by a nature that speaks & sunsets that light up the mountain skies. You can feel God's presence & the worship is some of the best & most intimate I've ever experienced. To say it in a few short words, I.Love.Campmeeting.

Nicole & I used to cry in the car as we drove away because back then, a year felt like an eternity and there were so many special things we didn't want to leave out there. I had my first real kiss there (At church camp, yes. Don't judge me. Ha.) with someone who is still one of my best friends (pic below, hehe). I climbed my first mountain & went through my first bat cave there. I had my first major water balloon fights out there & some of those were epic. Every year, I come closer to Jesus while being out there & it is so refreshing.

I am so thankful and excited for Kennady and that I get to share the experience with her. She got to mingle with other kids, play in the dirt, blow bubbles, swing her little heart out, & enjoy all things that make being there special. It was so fun & I think if we continue to attend, it will become one of her favorite experiences too.

This link shows a picture taken from the bat cave down to about a quarter of the campgrounds. The rest are a couple of pictures from this year. It brings warm and fuzzies to my heart to see these pictures and to remember the memories. I am so thankful that my best friend and her family were so thoughtful so many years ago, to include me on an experience so special & to continue to invite me every year. It's truly something I could never repay them for.

Just a swingin'.
One of my new favorite pictures.
Silly little princess.
Besties...that's Nicole on the right of course.

Precious little cowgirl in the making.
So sweet. That's all for now. I'll be back soon to continue playing catch-up!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tequila turned Classy...

All of the craft blogs I've been following have really helped me to look at objects, furniture pieces, and scraps of all things wooden, paper, or fabric in a different light these days. My mind will go nuts with ideas when I see stuff that resembles any of the great and creative works I've found on websites and Pinterest. It's exciting and fun to know that there are no boundaries to creativity. So, I am proud to say that I actually came up with something creative to upcycle ALL.BY.MYSELF. Yes, it's true. I'm a fan of it, but feel free to let me know what YOU think!

My family has a huge reunion at the lake every summer where we all pile into one house, sleep almost on top of each other (not in an incest-y way, but in a 'we can't seem to find a reasonably priced/large home big enough to sleep 26 people' kind of way), jam out with guitars & sing terribly at the tops of our lungs, all while drinking a little drink.  One of my brothers is a big fan of Patron Tequila. He brings a handle of it every year and it's always a hit. When the bottle finally ran dry (ok, it really didn't take THAT long...there were 16 of-age people present after all...), I decided it was a really cool bottle. With a little sticker-picking and glue-removal, I thought 'this could be super cute'. Almost like something that could be seen at Pottery Barn...minus the Patron inscription of course. :)

Here is my new flower vase in all of its glory. By the way, did I mention it was free to me? Even more AWESOME.

The Bottle BEFORE
The Bottle AFTER

So bright & fun!
Tequila turned classy! 

Well, that's all I have for now. Thanks for stopping by!

I've linked up to Tatertots & Jello, a place that steals the majority of my weekend as I thumb through fun and creative projects!