Thankfulness on Thursday

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our problems are really our blessings if we use them to grow stronger.  #lifelessons
{I'm thankful} the weather wasn't as bad as it could have been here yesterday.

{I'm thankful} for all these questions y'all have given us to answer. Have you given us yours, yet?! There's still time, and you can comment here, tweet me or email the questions!

{I'm thankful} today is the last day of January. I know I've mentioned it before, but January isn't one of my favorite months. 

{I'm thankful} we will have enough sense to not allow our future children to ever be treated like Abby treats those girls and their moms on #dancemoms. While I love to watch the show, the verbal abuse going on during that hour makes my blood pressure boil!

{I'm thankful} I got to talk to a best friend yesterday, even if only for a few minutes on the phone. =)

{I'm thankful} I finally found an address book. The Mr has been laughing at me since I said I wanted one (he thinks I should just put them in my iPhone). But I love being able to write them all down and have them handy when I need them. I enjoy the smallest things, y'all. And yes, it took me 4 days to find one in this town (thanks CVS). Yep, even Target let me down! =(

{I'm thankful} a sweet friend sent me an email with the sweetest news yesterday. I love being able to thank God for another answered prayer!

{I'm thankful} to be sponsoring my first blog!! Go over and check out Breanna's giveaway going on right now! 

What are you thankful for today? I'm linking up with Ryan, and you should, too!

Loved and Lovely

On my soapbox...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ever have things that just seem to bother you, and every time you see it or hear it again, it just strikes a nerve with you. Well, here are a few that drive me crazy!


— Chewing with your mouth open. Seriously, why would you do this?
1) The smacking sound alone makes me lose my appetite.
2) No one wants to see your food getting smaller and smaller.
3) It's called manners.
Did I mention how annoying that smacking sound is? And, I'm one of those people who will call you out on it, so stop it! Please.

Not using your blinker. I'm not sure why they even put them on vehicles anymore, because 90% of the folks here in Alabama do. not. use. them. I don't understand why... is it the little clicking sound that bothers you? Whatever the reason, they really should be used because it this crazy rush hour traffic that we have, it's nice to know when someone is fixin to make a move!

— Putting your makeup on in the car. And during morning rush hour at that! A couple of things:
1) Get up early enough to do this before you leave the house because I can only image what your steering wheel looks like after you've applied all that "liquid foundation" (yes, y'all, I've seen it) and I'm sure you have powder all over your shirt, too.
2) I'll be honest, I will apply lipstick in the vehicle while I'm driving, but that doesn't take my attention off of the traffic in front of me. I can't even imagine putting all my makeup on in the vehicle. I'm pretty sure I'd have mascara and eye liner everywhere but where it needs to be.

— Not sending thank you notes. Y'all know how much I love cards — I love to send them and receive them. I just can't seem to understand why people starting thinking it was okay to not send thank you notes. If people take the time to do something nice for you, why not let them know it by sending them a personal note? Maybe I'm just old school, but a text, instagram or twitter acknowledgment is not the only way to say thanks! (BTW, I'm so thankful to those of you who do still send thank you notes.)

— Using the phrase, "praying for you" and not meaning it. We've all said it, and I can't help but wonder how many people actually mean it, or do it when they say it. I'll admit, I've been guilty of this in the past. And if we are all honest with ourselves, we've all been guilty of it. However since the New Year began, I've been writing in my prayer journal. No, I don't write every night, but I do write at least 4 or 5 times a week. (Most of the time more times than that, but that's my average.) This has been huge for me because I do actually mention those I say that to, every night in my prayers. I know why I'm praying for them, and God does too. And my reason for mentioning this is... if you say it, do it. Plain and simple.
What's something that just seems to drive you crazy?! Linking up with Shanna...

And have you given us your question for our upcoming blog post?!


Wordless Wednesday

Gotta love a beautiful January day in Alabama. This was taken this past Sunday afternoon...

What do you want to know about us?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I've seen people do these question and answer posts, and considering that I have a few new followers, I thought it would be fun to get questions from y'all for me and the Mr to answer. I'll take questions until Friday evening, and we will try to work on answering them this weekend to post next week. Not sure if it will be a vlog or just a regular ole post, but we will answer them! =)

You can leave questions for us in a comment below, on twitter, or by emailing us! You can ask me, the Mr or both of us. Just specify. I can't wait to hear your questions, and I promise to make the Mr play along. ;)

Darby already gave me a question (maybe she'll give us more) for the Mr... "What's your favorite part about being married to Joy?" Boy, I can't wait to hear that answer! ;)
What are you waiting for? Ask away!

Things that make me smile, and laugh out loud...

Take for instance, whenever I hear this song, I immediately visualize this in my mind...

I love bulldogs, and this baby cracks me up (especially that paw)...


Poor baby didn't know he was doing wrong...

I also love to smile at y'alls instagram pictures. Why — cause y'all are either posting pictures of your babies, pups, travels or food! =) Fun times. Do y'all follow me? Look me up... joyhsowell

Our weekend in an instagram...

Monday, January 28, 2013

I love any day that starts with "S"...

Earn the respect of others by having the audacity to be yourself. #lifelessons

{Friday} evening the Mr and I had a date night at Johnny Rays. Before we moved here I would come visit him during while he was working here and we would enjoy dates at Johnny Rays. It reminds me of a mom and pops diner, but the food is BBQ, and other yummies! We shared some fried pickles for an appetizer, and then he had wings and cheese fries while I enjoyed BBQ chicken nachos! YUM!

After we got home from our dinner date, we caught up on American Idol from the DVR. And wow, what's the deal with Nicki? If she's going to be this way all season, then we just might not continue watching. But from what I saw... there is going to be some great talent this year. However, we always love the ones who really think they can sing, but wow, they really can't carry a tune.

Before we headed to bed, I changed my nail color. And this time I decided to forgo the usual nail colors I use, and add a little sparkle (It's Bouquet With Me) over (Already Famous) for the weekend! 

{Saturday} morning we couldn't sleep in. Not because we didn't want to, cause I would have given anything to be able to sleep past 6:30! So we got on up and I made the Mr's favorite breakfast... cheesy browns (hash browns smothered with cheese) and pigs in a blanket. And I know y'all are jealous of these fancy paper plates! ;)

After breakfast, we got hard at it working on projects around the house. You could say that the cleaning fairy and the project fairy visited us, but I'll just say it was me and the Mr. We got new front porch lights for Christmas from Papaw and Mrs. Betty, and the Mr put them up, and replaced our doorbell. =)

I had found a recipe over on Stephanie's blog for Hot Sausage Dip, and we decided to try it out for an afternoon snack. (No lunch due to a big breakfast, and an upcoming bigger dinner!)

After our snack, we went out to run a few errands. His preferred place to shop: Lowes. My preferred place to shop: Target! Ha! We both got what we wanted while we were out!

OH and if you've never had a shake from Steak N Shake. GET ONE! We both got chocolate ones, but they have a red velvet that I'm thinking I'll need to try next! =)

That evening, I made my homemade lasagna. One word... YUM!

{Sunday} morning we actually slept in. Of course, I was medicated due to a tooth ache. Errrr!!!! And yes, it's one of the ones they worked on last Wednesday. Guess I'll be calling the dentist first thing this morning. =(

Once we did get out of bed, I did make our usual cinnamon roll breakfast of champions. And then I curled right back up in the recliner. It was nice to sit and look around at a clean house! 

Unfortunately, I had ironed waiting on me for the afternoon. Can't have the Mr going to work not looking professional.

And the weather felt like a spring day, so we decided to make the most of it and enjoy grilling outside on the deck. Yay for burgers and homemade french fries.

Of course, Bravo kept us entertained throughout the evening with reality TV, and then it was early to bed for us.

How was your weekend? Ready to get this work week started? I pray it's a good week for us all!

BTW... we are excited about our meal plan for this week!!

Our weekly meal plan...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Here is a look at our weekly meal plan for this last week of January. Man, where did January go?! I talked about how we meal plan in my last post if you are interested in doing it, too.

{SUNDAY} Since it's so nice out, we are going to enjoy grilling on the deck. Burgers and homemade french fries it is!

{MONDAY} It's still suppose to be really nice out even after we get home from work. Grilled chicken, loaded mashed potatoes and baked beans will be wonderful after a long Monday at work.

{TUESDAY} Homemade spaghetti, cause we love it, and it's quick and easy!

{WEDNESDAY} It's suppose to be rainy and nasty, so a crock pot meal is in the works. Loaded Potato Soup. New recipe we are trying out.

{THURSDAY} The temperature drops, so comfort food is needed to keep us warm. Homemade Beef Stew and cornbread! YUM-O!

{FRIDAY} Date night!! Whoo Hoo!!!!

What are y'all planning to have this week? I'm already starting to plan our Super Bowl menu for next Sunday!! Any recipes you think we should try?!

Meal Planning....

Okay, I've mentioned it before, but I feel like sometimes people might not understand how we meal plan, or how we sometimes fail doing it, too. So, this is just a brief rundown on how #theSowelllife meal plans.

One day during the weekend (usually Saturday), I sit down with the calendar and put pen to paper on what our week/weeks looks like ahead. Do we have something going on one evening? Are we going out of town for the weekend? All of that effects our dinner some nights. The nights we have something going on or one of us is going to be late coming in that night, I write down "take out." And usually the day before we go out of town, that evening is full of packing and cleaning the house up (laundry, taking the trash out, etc) so that would be a "take out" night as well.

After those days have been marked, I start with the nitty gritty... 

• What are some of the foods we love, and don't mind eating once a week.
• What did we have last week that we don't want to repeat again this week.
• What do we have in the fridge or freezer that needs to be used up first.
• New recipes... do we have all the ingredients?
• Anything we've been craving?
• What's the weather going to be like? Soups, grilling, etc.

Then it's all about not having the same thing day after day... 

• We don't like leftovers unless it's something we can make sandwiches out of the next day.
• We try not to have the same kind of foods back to back. (i.e. italian/spaghetti noodles, chicken, beef)

And this is how we sometimes fail at meal planning...

• Someone gets sick and doesn't feel like cooking (me).
• Unexpected dinner dates with out of town guests.
• Just not in the mood for what we have planned (me again).
• We're out of something we need, and neither one of us wants to head to the grocery store (the Mr).

Well, that's how we meal plan. Have any questions or suggestions for us? And let me know what you think...

the Friday five — link up

Friday, January 25, 2013

For some this was a "short week" however, the Mr and I worked all. five. days. But it wasn't too bad!
Life never gets easier. You just get stronger. #lifelessons
If you are here to link up with #theFridayfive, welcome! The link up is at the bottom of the post. If you don't mind, please grab my button and put it in your post somewhere. I'd love it if you did. And if you don't want to place the button in your post, just please mention the Friday five and link it back to here! =)

the Sowell life

the Sowell life's Friday five...

1) Monday was grocery shopping night. Go ahead and say it with me.... UGH! The last time we really grocery shopped was December 31st. So you can just image the list. Since we meal plan, I know exactly what I'm going after and it makes life a lot easier. Of course, once I got to the cashier, she made a remark that "I was buying the store out." I kindly explained that we don't grocery shop every week, and that we meal plan. Then she wanted to know more about my plan of action. By the time the guy was wheeling my groceries out to the car, she was calling me "the smartest shopper she'd ever met." However, I wouldn't go that far! HA! And since it was kinda cold out, the sweet man told me to go ahead and get in my ride to stay warm, and that he would take care of getting everything in the vehicle. Sweet! Don't panic, but this was our bill... Hey, I think it's pretty good for three weeks of groceries.

2) Seeing fellow Mississippi State fans in what I call "Bama land" just makes my heart smile. Seriously, I love seeing all the State stickers on vehicles in front of me. It's like we share a special bond. HA! Well, one that shows we won't be bullied into becoming a Bama fan. I'm proud to be a State fan, always and forever! Oh yeah, #hailstate! Now, how many months til August?!

3) I hung our Mardi Gras wreath up this week. I felt like the door needed a little color, and these greens, purples, golds and yellows definitely make the door brighter and welcoming. Sorry the picture isn't the best color... I shot it at dusk with my iPhone. Yeah, I should have known better! 

4) I went back to the dentist on Wednesday morning, and after over three hours in the chair... I was done. Well, done with that part. When my crowns come in I'll have to go back and have them put in, and then make another appointment for more work. Errrr.  I woke up Thursday morning to find my lips were bruised and swollen, and I could barely open my mouth. Yeah, and y'all wonder why I despise going to the dentist?! 

5) The Mr cooked for me Thursday night. That's not something that normally takes place in our home. Now, he might help me cook, but it's rare that he takes over and does it all. But he did, and it was delicious!! I had to cut the steak up pretty small to be able to eat it since my mouth is still swollen and bruised, but it didn't matter how big or small the bites... IT WAS SOOO YUMMY! Thanks honey for the best dinner of the week!

Well, that's the Sowell life's #theFridayfive... ready to link up?! I can't wait to see what y'all are posting about today!

And Happy Weekend y'all!!

Thankful Thursday

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.  #lifelessons
{I'm thankful} the Mr knows exactly how to cheer me up or help me stop the tears from flowing. I'm guaranteed that after two minutes of him being near me when he realizes I'm upset, I'll be laughing.

{I'm thankful} to have found a new bloggy friend in the Bham area! Yay for Nadine!!

{I'm thankful} it's not pitch black when I leave work now. You forget just how much that little bit of daylight helps you mood on the drive home. Somehow it gives me just a tad bit of energy to get things done when I arrive home.

{I'm thankful} we have a "sleep in" weekend coming up. I could use some beauty rest. 

{I'm thankful} for Darbs who checks in on my progress with my prayer journal. But I'm even more proud and grateful that I can tell her I'm still doing it and enjoying it!

{I'm thankful} our office is currently now stocking not just diet pepsi, but caffeine free diet pepsi in the fridge. Since I'm the only one who drinks it, it makes me feel even more part of our company family!

{I'm thankful} for take out, and the fact that they bring it out to your vehicle. Silly, I know, but it's nice to not have to get out of the vehicle when it's raining or freezing cold. And yes, the tip reflects what the weather is doing! Ha!

What are you thankful for today? I'm linking up with Ryan, and you should, too!

Loved and Lovely

Randomness about yours truly

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole. #lifelessons
(and now I just want a donut!)
Today's Random Wednesday is all about ME. And, of course, I'm linking up with Shanna.

1) I hate mayonnaise. I don't like the smell, the texture, or the taste.

2) I could drink Diet Pepsi 24/7 as long as it's caffeine free. 

3) I'm an office supply snob. Yes, you read that correctly. I like certain pens, highlighters, paper clips, etc. I refuse to use the cheap/crappy ones, so I purchase my own. 

4) Every time a dog is on a commercial, I ask the Mr can we get one. (I'm a sucker for cute dogs!)

5) I'm obsessed with organizing and planning. Problem is, I'm running out of time during the day to get stuff done.

6) I could eat McAlisters Deli everyday for lunch, however the Mr will only agree to it once a week.

7) I've found out a good bit about folks from twitter... especially when they post cuss words (I mean you are literally typing it out), and then later post about relying on God. Contradict much? With that being said, I've found some wonderful tweets from my tweeps that inspire me throughout the day.

8) I love to cook, and try new recipes. But if it calls for onions or tomatoes, you can pretty much guess that I either leave them out, or I don't make it at all.

9) I have a least 10 different colors of red OPI fingernail polish. I mean, there's different reds for the four seasons, right?! 

10) I love our little life in Alabama. Honestly, I was nervous about the move... a new city, a new job, new people, but I truly believe this was the best move we could have ever made. We love our life here, and I love that we are making memories together, here.

That's just a little randomness about ME!


Wordless Wednesday...

And our wedding/honeymoon/reception is being featured over at let them eat cake with Rebecca.
Be sure y'all check it out!

Fee Fi Fo Fum...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

As I mentioned in yesterday's weekend update, we went to see the nieces in their MLT play Saturday. And if you couldn't tell from the post title — the play was Jack and Beanstalk.

This wasn't the girls first rodeo in theater, and it showed. Hannah's facial expressions made us realize that she just might have been made for this. And Emma, well, she laughed most of the time while she was on stage which proved to me that she really was having fun! =)

Judy had us front and center so I could take some pictures during the play. Sit back and enjoy...

Emma's big debut...

Hannah's big debut...

We thought the girls were great! And I think they were a little bit excited to see Uncle Terry and Aunt Joy...

Thanks to Judy (mil) for getting us tickets and great seats. 

The girls said they had a ball performing in the play, but they didn't have to tell us — we could clearly see the fun they were having before, during and after.

Our weekend in an instagram...

Monday, January 21, 2013

The weekend was spent catching up with family and friends in Mississippi!

{Friday} evening we met my parents at one of our favorite restaurants in Meridian, Ole Farm Beef House. We had a twenty minute wait once we arrived, but that didn't matter. One thing about going back to your hometown... you run into EVERYBODY. So while we were waiting to be seated, and once we sat down at our table, we had conversations with folks around us. I love their cheese soup and salad bar, and their entrees are just as good!

•••You won't see any pictures of food in this post. This might be the first weekend post that doesn't include any food pictures. Gasp!•••

Once we arrived at my parents house, I got to love on my girl, Mar Belle!

After I had my lovin... she went straight to the Mr to get belly rubs. Honestly, I'm pretty sure she loves him more than me these days. =)

Now, one of my favorite past times of living at my parent's house was the fireplace. I could always be found laying on the carpet in front of it with my feet on the hearth warming them up. Well, I got to do that this weekend!

Before we went to bed, my dad took little MB out and she bout froze to death! So she came in and got in her spot on the couch under the blanket. When we couldn't find her, I said, "where's Mar Belle?" and this was what I found...

{Saturday} morning found us up and at em to head back to town for MLT's youth production that our nieces were in. They were so cute, and I'll have post dedicated just to it tomorrow. (I couldn't pick just a few pictures!)

Before headed back to my parent's house, we had lunch at El Norte, and stopped and shopped at a few of our favorite stores.

We hadn't seen my granny since Christmas, so that afternoon we drove to see them. We decided to have a friendly game of checkers. But let's just say, the game got intense at times. And Terry swears that Granny cheats. Ha!

And as we were leaving, we saw the prettiest sunset looking back...

That evening, mom asked what we wanted for dinner. I, of course, asked for fried chicken, mashed potatoes, peas and cornbread. But she also made deer steak for the guys. And speaking of deer, dad killed a 6 point.

After a busy day, I crashed on the couch. I was exhausted... but somebody else wasn't...

{Sunday} morning found us waking to twelve, yep, twelve glorious hours of sleep. It was very much needed!!! After we said our see ya laters to my family we headed to the Mr's parents house for an early lunch and to visit.

And a few short hours after that we were back on the road headed home. Of course, our arrival at home was greeted with laundry, an empty fridge and two tired Sowell's. The laundry was taken care of, but the grocery store will wait until later today. Don't worry, the list for the store was made and so was the menu for the week. We ordered pizza for dinner, and watched our realty tv before hitting the bed early again. 

And that was our weekend, y'all. I feel like I need another one asap, but it's always good to go back to Mississippi to visit.

How was your weekend? Got anything wonderful planned for the week? I hope y'all have a wonderful week!!

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