Thursday, June 30, 2011

Playing with the new camera

This evening I took the new camera out around the house to take some shots. 

My favorite from the evening.  (A flood light with the setting sun shining light along it's edges.)

These three were taken on the front porch...
 
 I'm loving my new camera and can't wait to take more pictures this weekend!

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Thursday Thoughts





Why is it that so many people try to be someone else other than themselves?  Life is too short to live your life wishing you had what they have or try to copy their every move.  If we were all meant to be and do the same thing as everyone else, imagine how boring life and this world would be.  Just as it says — you are an original!  Make sure people see you as an original and not a copy cat.









Everyone says it, "if I only knew then what I know now."  And it's true.  Can you imagine what your life would have been like ten years ago if you knew what you know today.  Life is a lesson — each day we learn a new one and become a better person from it.  Some of the lessons I have learned have shaped me to the person I am today and I'm thankful for them.  Life is a journey — embrace it every day.





    



Have you ever thought about your daily actions?  My mom always said, "actions speak louder than words."  Whatever it is you do:  receptionist, manager, cashier, salesman/saleswomen, etc. — you have the ability to make a difference.  Whether it is by smiling to brighten someone else's day or by making the right decision that effects your employees... you are making a difference.  What you put into something is what you will get out of it.  (Yes, I'm preaching to myself here.)  So, step up to the challenge and make it happen — not just for you, but for everyone else.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Beautiful sunset in Mississippi.
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A question I wasn't prepared for

I realized yesterday that my license expired on my birthday. And what I thought was going to be a long wait turned out to be a quick and painless trip.  However, the question I was asked — I didn't have an answer to give. 

"Do you want to be an organ donor?

I'm pretty sure the officer behind the counter wondered why I had a puzzled look on my face, but that was the first time I have had that question asked of me.  I replied, "I don't know?!"  And some of you may think that's crazy to not know, and that I should have been able to reply with an answer — However, I couldn't say yes or no.  For a few minutes there was silence and he said, "you don't have to answer yes or no today" and that I could come back in and have it changed at anytime.

Now, please don't judge me, but I'm still having a hard time deciding this.  First of all, Terry and I both agree that this is something that we should both discuss with each other.  Which we plan to do... but I would love to know your opinion.  Yes or No?  And how did you decide your answer.  Yes, I know this is something that I have to decide for myself, but I would like your thoughts, too.

I've known of people who have been donors after an accident and I've heard of people who have received an organ from someone, but it's not something that I have known first hand.

Did you say yes to that question when you were asked at the DMV office?  Did you say no?  If you haven't been asked yet, what will you say??  I'm curious to know if anyone else experienced the same feeling of not knowing when they were asked as I did.

I look forward to reading your comments.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The big 3-0 day

I survived, turning 30 that is.  It really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  After having fun Friday and Saturday with friends it was time to celebrate with the family.  Saturday before the party, Terry informed me that we had plans Sunday evening and Monday.  He surprised me with dinner at MIKO Steakhouse and a night's stay at Pearl River Resort to lounge around the pool for my actual birthday.  So, we packed a bag, who am I kidding, we had 4, yes 4 bags for one night.

Sunday morning before we left the house — Terry called me out of the bathroom where I was getting ready to come see this...


I'm always asking Terry "where are my pancakes" and since I've never asked him to "make me pancakes," he just bought me the box and said, "here is your pancakes."  Gotta love his sense of humor.

Sunday at lunch, we celebrated with the Sowell's.  Judy cooked my favorite meal and even had a yummy cheesecake made for my birthday.  I swear, it melted in my mouth — it was that good and that creamy!  As if the meal and the cheesecake wasn't enough, his parents and his brother's family gave me gift cards.  I can't wait to spend them!

We left their house headed straight to the casino.  And we had planned to head to the pool after checking in, however, the events from the days before had me exhausted and all I wanted to do was nap.  So, Terry let me sleep until it was time to get ready for our dinner at MIKO Steakhouse.  The food was divine, as always, and we even enjoyed a dessert together.  It was wayyyy too big for us to finish off, but we tried...

I'll start from the bottom: brownie, ice cream, brownie, whipped cream with a caramelized sugar sculpture.
Monday, my actual birthday.  We got up and went down to the pool to relax and soak up some rays.  After we laughed at a few of the folks "sunbathing" (this couple was putting lemon in their hair and on his chest hair — I'm not talking about the juice, I'm talking about the entire lemon after he pealed it!) we went back up to the room to shower to get ready to leave.  Before we left, we had lunch at The Villa.

Once home, Terry unloaded the truck and gave me my birthday present.  I was completely shocked when I opened the box!!

New camera and camera bag!
He got me a new camera that is awesome and a new camera bag!!  I couldn't believe it when I opened it.  And, of course, the sweetest card!

We brought it with us last night to dinner at Weidmann's.  It takes wonderful pictures.  These pictures were taken with the new camera...

Terry and I enjoying Weidmann's.
My sweet parents.
Before leaving our wonderful dinner at Weidmann's.
Well, this picture would have been perfect if mom's eyes weren't closed!!

My dad asked me if I felt any older last night and I told him, no.  The only thing different is the fact that I want and feel like I need to take a nap every day.  Dad said, "welcome to my world."  =)

The past four days have been a blast celebrating my birthday.  Thank you all for your birthday wishes!  And now, the countdown is on til Terry's!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

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Recap of 30th Birthday Party

For some reason, blogger decided to delete over 2/3's of my post last night.  After working on it for over an hour — I just decided to go to bed.  

So, let's try this again!!

I'm still loving 30 on this the day after my birthday, although, I'm exhausted.  Guess "old age" is catching up with me. 

Saturday, June 25th, Terry threw me a 30th birthday party at Angie and Mark's house.  It was a great way to celebrate and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Enjoy ALL the pictures!  lol

Ready to celebrate with friends.
Group shot (minus Derek because he was taking the pic) before we ate.
Terry and me with the wonderful host and hostess!!
Getting birthday sugars from my love.

The cake Terry surprised me with made by Carol Fanning.
Me and Abby after eating outside and glistening.
Me and bubba (my brother, Brian)
Jeremy, me and Kristen
Dylan, Elizabeth and me
Jeremy and Kristen Hill — they left their newborn baby with the grands to come out and celebrate with me.
Dylan and Elizabeth Anderson — all of Elizabeth's family was in town, but they came and celebrated with me.
Hated to cut the beautiful cake, but it tasted SOOO good!
The guys of the party — minus Mark.
The girls of the party.

Terry — thank you for making sure my 30th birthday was fun and exciting.  You thought of everything and made sure I stayed smiling.  I enjoyed being spoiled all weekend long and appreciate all the extras you did for me.  You are the best and I'm fortunate and overjoyed to call you mine!  I love you, always!!!

Angie and Mark — thank you for hosting my party.  Your home is amazingly beautiful and you both are the true meaning of Southern Hospitality.  Terry and I are so happy to have such a beautiful, loving couple as best friends.  We couldn't ask for two better people to enjoy life with.  Angie — thank you for going the extra mile for me.  Ten years as best friends as you know me like the palm of your hand!  Mark — even though it was 100 degrees, you still stood over that grill and made some mean burgers!!  We love you both.  Thanks again y'all (even Reggie and Biscuit) for everything!

Abby, Elizabeth, Dylan, Brian, Jeremy, Kristen & Derek — I know y'all all had other places you could have been, but you chose to help me celebrate my birthday.  Your friendships are like non other and I was so happy to celebrate and laugh with y'all all night.  Thanks for showing this girl how much she is loved. 

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Monday, June 27, 2011

30th Birthday Party

According to everyone who has turned the big 3-0 before me, they have said it was hard to take.  Well, so far, I've loved turning 30!!  It did make me look at my life and see what I have been through, what I've accomplished and realize what means the most to me.  It also makes me appreciate everything a little more and know exactly what I want in life.

Terry wanted to throw me a surprise birthday party, so he and Angie got together to make it happen.  Only, the cat was out of the bag about a week before when they needed my opinion on something.  So, this past Saturday night — we went to Angie and Mark's house to celebrate my birthday with my closest friends!  Honestly, it was the best party ever with laughter, good food and wonderful memories!  Enjoy the pictures! 

Mark and Angie (the wonderful host and hostess) with Terry and me
Getting some birthday sugar from my love.
Ready to celebrate with our closet friends.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Starting the 30th birthday celebration

Today, we kicked off my weekend long birthday celebration.  The countdown is on til Monday and the big 3-0!  Lauren and Asa came to Meridian to take me to lunch and help me celebrate.  I got to pick the place — Cracker Barrel, because we love that place!

When I pulled up behind their vehicle, I was handed these!  Aren't they beautiful!!


While we were waiting on our food, I opened my gifts.


Thank you Cristal for designing my birthday gifts and thank you Lauren for knowing exactly what I like!  To see her work, click here.

And here is a close up of my red velvet cupcake from Gigi's!!


Thank you Lauren and Asa for coming to take me out for my first celebration!!!  I love y'all!!!



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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Could I spare a minute of your time?

I'm passionate about a lot of things, and one of those things happens to be loving dogs.  At least once a week along one of my drives, I will pass a dog on the side of the road.  It hurts my heart to see them.  However, I keep driving and pray they have a home and do not get hit.

But, if Ashley Owen Hill was to pass that dog, she would turn around and see what she could do to help.  It's her number one passion and you can click here to read why she started this rescue.  Whether it's giving them some food and water or picking them up and taking them back to her Lucky Dog Rescue — she makes sure that dog is cared for, no matter what kind of shape the dog is in!

Today, I'm asking you to give me one minute of your time.  Care2 is giving away $15,000 to "America's Favorite Animal Shelter" and Lucky Dog Rescue could be the winner.  As of last night, Lucky Dog Rescue was 2,000 votes behind the shelter in 1st place.  So, if you will — click here and vote for Lucky Dog Rescue.  You will be asked to give your name and email address.  After you submit your ballot, they will send you an email to confirm your vote.  PLEASE, confirm your vote.  That is the only way it counts.


The rescue pups at Lucky Dog thank you, Ashley Owen Hill thanks you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  And, if you want to give me an early birthday present — share this blog with your fellow blog followers so we can get even more votes for Lucky Dog Rescue!

Thanks y'all!!! 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blueberry Pound Cake

While visiting Mathis Peaches & Produce yesterday, I picked up some blueberries to make this recipe.

Blueberry Pound Cake





Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (6-ounce) carton lemon low-fat yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cooking spray
1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional)
4 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.
Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 tablespoons flour and blueberries in a small bowl, and toss well. Combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in blueberry mixture and vanilla; pour cake batter into a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan coated with cooking spray.  Place pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan.

Optional — Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle over warm cake. Cut with a serrated knife.


Enjoy, y'all!!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer means fresh peaches

Long, hot summer days usually leave us craving for something refreshing, and to satisfy those cravings, Mathis Peaches and Produce in north Clarke County has something for everyone.

For more than 30 years, the Mathis family has been producing peaches in Clarke County on their forty acres and for the past eleven years, their store off Highway 45 South, has been making their customers happy with the selection of their peaches and other fresh produce.



"Peaches, tomatoes, watermelons and shelled peas and butter beans are the biggest sellers,” said Lisa Smith.  She and her brother, Randy Mathis, run the business on Highway 45 South and HWY 19 North.  The extreme cold snaps this past winter and the lack of rain hasn't stopped their peaches from growing strong.  Smith said they sell over 75 bushels of peaches a day and they can't keep up with the demand for shelled peas and butter beans.  The peas and butter beans come from Georgia, but are shelled at the HWY 45 South location.


Along with peaches, tomatoes and watermelons — they also have a huge selection of other fruits and vegetables.


And, they even sell their homemade canned goods in a wide variety of flavors.


Not everyone has a green thumb or the acreage to grow a garden or fruit orchard, but after a short drive to Mathis Peaches and Produce — you can enjoy the refreshing tastes of summer.  They are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at both locations.





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