A quick recap of our weekend...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday... was Good Friday, and we both worked. However, we had big plans for the evening. I left work early, and the Mr actually got off on time. We quickly downed some dinner and got ready for our evening with Jerry Seinfeld.

Y'all might remember that seeing Jerry was my gift to the Mr for our one year anniversary. It was also our last one year anniversary celebration. We had a great time laughing the night away. Jerry's opening act was Tom Papa, and he was hilarious. He really got the crowd laughing, and I felt left the stage waaay too soon. Then Jerry came out. Some of the funniest things he talked about, coffee and coffee shops, sketchers shapeups, and hydrating. At the end of the show, he let the audience ask a few questions. It was a great show to see, and if you get a chance, definitely get tickets! But, if he's not coming anyway near you, just click here.


Saturday... morning we attempted to sleep in, however, we knew we had a few things to take care of so we got on up. After a quick home cooked breakfast, we decided to take my vehicle to get the oil changed before the Mr had to meet a couple at the office for work. Well, the Bama traffic was awful, ALL day! We had to take back roads just to get to the dealership. And our afternoon of errands that should have taken about 2 hours... yeah, it took 6 hours! CRAZY! Just take a look at this traffic on I-65... backed up and crawling in both directions.

We did have lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants since we were on the back roads, and it was delicious!!

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing catch up on laundry and getting the Mr's clothes ready for a busy work week. And getting our clothes ready for Easter morning.


Sunday... we got ready for Easter service at a new church. (I'll have a post soon on why we are still on the church hunt.) We didn't go out and buy new outfits for Easter this year. I wore the same Easter dress from last year, and the Mr wore the same Easter shirt from last year. New city, no one knew the difference. =)

The service was good, but long. But one point the pastor made was one I wanted to share with you.... just like you need a receipt to walk out of Sam's proving you've already paid for your items.... Jesus is your receipt. He has already paid for your sins!!

After the church service, we went to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch. Surprisingly we were in and out in 40 minutes. Then it was time to head back home for pjs and movies. We watched Hope Springs, and only watched the first 40 minutes of Young Adult... we turned it off because we really couldn't get in to it.

We have plans to grill tonight, and watch our favorite reality Sunday TV shows. And of course, we will call it an early bedtime.

How was your Easter weekend?

the Friday five — link up # 13 and {Giveaway}

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lucky number 13!! Why is it lucky? Cause I'm hosting a giveaway, y'all!! That's right! I'm excited to bring some luck to this sometimes unlucky number. You can enter at the bottom of this post!

the Sowell life

the Sowell life's Friday five...

1) {Just Another Manic Monday} For some of you, this might seem ridiculous or a bit extreme, and I'll give you this... you are entitled to your own opinion. However, Monday around 2 p.m. I started trying to reach my husband and couldn't get him. This went on until after 6 that evening. If you've been living under a rock and not really reading this blog, then you might not realize how close the Mr and I are. We talk multiple times throughout the day, and even have lunch together most days. Well, when I got home with dinner Monday evening and the Mr wasn't home, I was a little concerned. You see, he always calls or texts me if he will be home later than 5. And I knew he was in Tuscaloosa at lunch and hadn't heard if he had made it back or not. After I couldn't get him on either cell phone or work, I figured maybe one of his co-workers would know something. No one had any answers for me, so I panicked. I became very emotional and honestly, didn't know what to do. After I went to his office to see an empty parking lot, I drove back home, and while I was turning in our subdivision the phone rang. It was him. Y'all I was so happy, mad, glad, you name it, every emotion one can feel, I felt at that exact moment. He was only 5 minutes from the house at a customer's, and the appointment lasted much longer than expected. AND his phones were in the truck. Once he got home and saw how upset I was, I think it hit him. I thought the worst, that he hadn't made it back from Tuscaloosa. But, I'm so happy and relieved that he is okay, and now, the cell doesn't stay in the truck.

2) {Spring Where Are You?} Brrr.... Can y'all believe Alabama saw snow flurries on Tuesday? #notevenkidding The high was 45 and it felt like 37... this was in the afternoon mind you, not early in the morning. I know I'll be complaining about the temps in the 90s soon, but can't we just stick with highs in the 60s and be done with it?!

3) {Early Bedtime} I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but the Mr and Mrs like to go to bed early. I'm pretty sure I get it from my dad, but the older I get, the more I just want to get in the bed waaaay before 10. And Wednesday night, might be the earliest I've gone to bed this year.

4) {Here Ducky Ducky} We have a pond at the front of our subdivision entrance, and we also have ducks. They aren't the cutest things, but I love their little walk. And yes, this would be right up there with my love for the penguin walk!

5) {ONE WEEK} One week y'all until I'm in Houston visiting sweet friends!! However, I just wanted y'all to know that #theFridayfive link up will happen next Friday. I might be on a jet plane headed west, but the link up will go on as planned! 

And here are a few things that I'm looking forward to this weekend...
• a night with Jerry Seinfeld
• starting to pack for my Houston trip
• sleeping in
• relaxing
• enjoy quality time with the Mr

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

a whole lotta thankfulness...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I'm thankful for...

• my husband • love • family • faith • health • friends • our home • the future • beautiful flowers • nail polish • makeup • hair appointments • cooking utensils • a husband who grocery shops • my iphone • puppies • reese's peanut butter cups • burlap • southern living magazine • afternoons on the porch • laughter • answered prayers • my salvation • text messages • my job • reality tv • twitter • life lessons • strawberry jelly beans • target • blogs • cornbread • smiles • sunny days • sweet memories • mississippi state football • the color yellow • music • diet pepsi • fried chicken • hot showers • my favorite pillow • a full pantry • clean laundry • marriage • future trips • fall • holidays • a husband who is home every night • the food network • the beach • the mountains • photography • candles • xm radio • lazy days • freshly cut grass • the sweet sound of laughter from kids • my blue eyes • my dishwasher  • pizza delivery • dvr • road trips • our sweet southern life • massages • date nights • rainy days • snow • days we can sleep in • pancakes • chapstick • air conditioning • heat • sweet blessings • the little things • blog friends • friends who are now sisters • instagram • peace • happiness • potato soup • the bearded men • inside jokes • penguins • mcalisters deli • dreams • life • y'all •

linking up with my girl Ryan...

Sometimes you just have to shake your head...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

and VENT!

Ever read something, see something, or think of something that just makes you shake your head in disbelief? Well, that's what this post is all about... And some of these might offend some, but hey, it's my blog, and I'll blog about it if I want to!

Chewing with your mouth open... I just don't get it. Why do people do this?! Who taught you to be obnoxious when you eat? Stop it! Seriously, stop it! And this is adults and children alike!

Blog Hops... Hey, before y'all start throwing darts at me, just listen. I love a good ole blog hop. I enjoy finding new bloggers to follow. What I don't love is that I actually "follow the rules" and it seems that a lot of bloggers do not. Oh, and when the person(s) who are hosting the blog hop doesn't follow you after they've just told you that you have to follow them to participate in the blog hop... yeah, why would I help promote your blog hop on my blog or on twitter when you don't even follow your participates? ***Note, this isn't all blog hops, just a few.***

Blog Posts...  that ALWAYS have a giveaway listed, but you've got to like and follow umpteen thousand people before you even really have a chance to win. Well, let me tell you.... #aintnobodygottimeforthat. I'll enter, and do the ones I already follow, but that's it! Some of us work, and while your giveaway looks wonderful, and I'd love to win... I really don't have time to go follow and like all 20+ bloggers. OH and the fact that I don't Facebook.

However, I will tell y'all that I'll have a giveaway on the blog Friday, and gasp, if you truly follow and read my blog, you'll have no issue with how to enter. Why? Because y'all already follow ME, comment on MY posts, and tweet ME. So there you have it. Easy peasy! Why can't they all be like that? #sigh...
Drivers who annoy me... I'm talking about the ones who deliberately make morning and afternoon commutes a living nightmare. The ones who get outta line to go up to the front where we are all trying to get on at the interstate and beg to be let in. No more! Mrs Nice has left the building, or vehicle I should say. I refuse to let anyone in anymore. You can wait like the rest of us do. I don't even care if I know you.... cause believe me, if I know you, you'll hear from me later. Learn patience and sit like the rest of us, cause this traffic thing happens every single day.

Boy, I feel better!
Anyone else have anything they need to vent today?!
Feel free to let loose in the comment section below!

Jellybeans, a Jar of Junk Food, and a Juice Bottle

Saturday morning, our doorbell rang with the postal worker standing at the door with a package in tow... my first #carabox had arrived!! #whoohoo

Excitement flowed over me, because I had no clue what would be in the box. I was like a little kid at Christmas.

My box came from Kaitlyn in Iowa. And she was so sweet to send me a letter with the package, and even included a "love" red card. She explained that her mom would always leave them for her to read before school because her mom left for work before she was up. The cards have inspiration/heart-warming quotes, and now she leaves them for her boyfriend to carry on the tradition. She even included the website where you can buy them, and I can't wait to check out all the inspiring things on their website. You can check it out, too, by clicking here.

After I read my letter, I got to see the rest of my goodies!

a jar of junk food filled with jolly rancher gummies and reese's eggs
a bag of jelly beans
a bottle for juice

Thank you so much Kaitlyn for such a thoughtful #carabox. I had so much fun getting stuff together for my girl, Jess, and can't wait to see how much she loves hers!

If you are interested in #carabox... click here.

DIY Recipe Book

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Y'all I'm excited to have Kalyn taking over the Sowell life today. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I need to make a recipe book, but I didn't know where to start. Well, Kalyn said she would be happy to tell me how she did hers, and would even like to share it with y'all. So... without further ado... here's Kalyn.


Hello everyone! I am Kalyn and I blog over at Love.Laughter.Happily Ever After. I journal all my OCD and ADHD rambling thoughts of faith, amateur photography, completing my degree, the joys of having a Pinterest obsession on a Dollar Tree budget, and a little here and there about being a new wife. 

I am so thankful for this opportunity to take over The Sowell Life and guest post today for Joy! I am so thankful to have met Joy in this big ‘ole blog world through the Alabama blogging network. Not only do we both live in Alabama, we also live within 30 minutes of each other! Joy and I became real life friends during February after this blate (blogger date) and I have such a hopeful heart for all that will be shared in the future. Joy has such an amazing southern heart! I am especially thankful that she has allowed me to share a few secrets via my newest family recipe book with you all today.  

When you get married your entire life changes in many wonderful ways. Your family grows with the addition of in-laws, the holidays become busier, you travel a little more a little bit farther over the weekends, your schedule is always jam packed, and there is always a slight chance of adopting new recipes. You may even gain a few pounds, as well. For us, we may or may not have gained a lot of pounds in the last nine months of wedded bliss. 

Since every family has favorite recipes and traditions that go along with the recipes, it is always nice to gather those around the holidays. I have tried many different ones within the last few months and some I will continue to use. Others are going to be stashed away forever! Gathering your family recipes into a homemade book makes a wonderful gift for family members. Or, if you are like me and try to organize everything, this little tutorial on making your own recipe book will jump start your family keepsake to preserve the yummy traditions of your family. Hopefully, these recipes will be ones that are passed down for years to come. 

Things You Will Need: 
  • Medium Size Photo Album with sleeves on each side (Sleeves should be 4x5)
  • Family Recipes
  • Photographs of Family and Cooked Dishes
  • Recipe Cards, Size 4x5
  • Tell your family that you are creating a recipe book. Have them gather old recipes, pictures, and write the story of where they received the recipe on the backs. If you are creating a general recipe book, you can gather the same information for a wedding recipe/kitchen shower, church potluck, or Pinterest board.
  • Write out the recipes on the 4x5 cards. 
  • Should you create a family recipe book, design the title on the front cover of the book. Since my husband and I are newlyweds, I made our recipe book very general for everyday use. I left the cover plain and included a wedding photo since it was our first collection of recipes to use as newlyweds. 
  • Place the recipe on the right side of the photo page at the top. 
  • On the adjacent side of the photo page include the photo, story of where the recipe originated, or original handwritten recipe. Also, should you not have either of these ideas to include you can put of photo or small story of you and your loved ones enjoying this prepared dish for the first time. 
  • Continue this throughout the photo album until each page is completed.

This photo album turned recipe book is a great reminder of where you came from and all those traditions associated with each dish.Additionally, putting together your own recipe book can help yo to organize that mixed up cabinet or drawer. Or, you can even think about giving this as a gift at the next dinner party or holiday family gathering. Finally, once you gather, organize, and start this book know that there are many other options out there for binding, color coding, decorating, and personalizing. I recently have started working on a recipe binder that I can carry with me that includes pockets for a grocery list and coupons. I hope to share that post with you in the future. 

As you can tell, I actually made a recipe binder with wedding photos. My LSU friends hosted a kitchen and recipe shower which called for gifts that included recipes and a kitchen gadget. It really turned out well to use those gifts with shower and wedding photos when preparing the information for this binder. 

My mother gave me the Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball Recipe, which is a fan favorite in our home. Tony's parents have given us many recipes. From Apply Dumplings to Corn Flake Candy and Jingle Bell Pizza, we certainly are stocked with the majority of dessert recipes. However, I have copied many of my Pinterest Kitchen Recipes Board to cards. If you would like to view additional dinner recipes that I have previously posted on, click here. 

According to my Maid of Honor and dear friend, Laura, these recipe cards can be found at Target or Hallmark for $8. She is the one who got me recipe hooked :) #muchothanks

Also, I recently have started working on a recipe binder that I can carry with me that includes pockets for a grocery list and coupons. I received it as a gift from the most influential person in my life. I hope to share that post with you in the future. 

Thank you so much for reading today, friends! I hope you all have a wonderful day! I would love to have you visit my little corner of blogsphere and say hi! I enjoy meeting new bloggers, establishing relationships, and finding awesome blogs to read. Love, Laughter, Happily Ever After can be found on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+Instagram, Pinterest, and Bloglovin'

As always, until next time- Happy Blogging!  

Thank you Kalyn for sharing your DIY Recipe Book! I'm so blessed to have met you, and actually "know" you! Now, who's ready to work on their Recipe Book?!

What would you regret?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Today's topic is pretty deep... are you ready for this?

My girls, Kalyn and Lauren, host a link up every Monday called "Coffee and Conversation" and today's topic is...

What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life? ?

Coffee & Conversation

Okay, first I'll like to say that I don't care who you are, there is at least once thing in your life that you regret doing. We shouldn't have regrets, but we all do. Thankfully, we grow wiser with age and learn from those things that we regret. Sometimes there is no way of making those regrets right again, but it's how you choose to move forward that makes you a better person today.

There's a few things I would regret in my life if I never had them...

• Having a relationship with Jesus Christ... First, if you don't have this relationship I'm about to speak about... email me and ask me how you, too, can be in a relationship with Him. I know not all share my views on religion, and I'm okay with that. But, I can also tell you I'm not ashamed being a Christian, or being baptist. While we may not have found our home church here in the Ham, I can tell you that you don't have to be inside the church every time it's open to be a Christian. The relationship with Him has to be on a personal level in my book. I can't imagine not having Him to talk to, and being able to bring it all to Him. He alone can give you a certain peace that no one else can, just by talking to Him through prayer. And, how sweet it is to know that when our time on earth is done, we will have a place in heaven with Him. Without a doubt, my life would not be the same without my relationship with Him.

• Being married... Let me just say, that I waited a looong time before I was introduced to the man God made for me. 27 years to be exact. While I watched others get married or be in wonderful relationships, I kept wondering when my time would come. Well, when it happened, when I met the Mr (before he was the Mr), I knew my life would never be the same without him. And, let me clear something up.... a real marriage is not what is portrayed in movies. Yes, marriage is amazing... but it's not always the fairytale. And honestly, why would you want it to be? Life is full of wonderful surprises, and some heartbreaks, and having someone (mine happens to be my better half) to share all those happy and sad moments with... well, it means more that anything in this world. My husband is my best friend. And being married to him is one of the best things that has happened in my life.

• Being active in our families... We consider our families important. I will tell you that the Mr and I are our own little family, and we come first, but we also have two other families that we think are important as well. And that's my mom and dad, and his mom and dad. And on my side, I still have grandparents living. Why would you not want to be a part of their lives? They raised you, and provided for you, and then once you move out, or move away, you just forget about them? In every family there comes a time when one or more of the family members are mad at each other. It's called life, and most of the time family members are so much alike that this is bound to happen. But, a word of advice... GET OVER IT. Life is too short to let something hold you back from being a part of each others lives. Forgive and forget, move forward, move on, nothing in life should keep you from spending time with family.

• Living life to the fullest... I don't do as good of a job at this as I could. But, I do try. It's hard not to keep a grudge when someone hurts you, or you feel that they just "have it out for you" but as my husband who explains it best says, the more you go on with your life, and keep your head up, the more it hurts them because you aren't stooping to their level. Well said, my love, well said! So don't live with the regret of letting someone keep you from living your life to the fullest. 

Have You Ever Seen The Rain...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I can answer that question... uhhh yeah! It's been raining over half of the weekend. But, that's okay, because it's still been a wonderful weekend!

Friday... After work, I came home to cook with the Mr. We had so much fun making a mess in the kitchen, and in the end... we cooked up a pretty delicious meal. Sometimes I really wish there was a secret hidden camera so y'all could see all the fun that we have cooking together.

We got in the bed kinda early, but were awaken early in the morning to rumbles of thunder. We stayed up for about an hour before we crashed again, and then woke up around 9. Here's the best part, 10 glorious hours of sleep. Not in a row, but still 10 hours of sleep is pretty awesome for us!


Saturday... Once we finally got up, I got busy working on the laundry before I headed out to my hair appointment. Sometimes the best therapy a girl can get is a few hours at the salon. And walking out after getting a dye job and three inches cut off, it just makes you feel like a new woman.

While I was gone, the Mr went to the grocery store to buy all the things we needed for our double date later that evening with The Denney's. They were in town for their daughter's dance competition, and afterwards, they came out to the house for dinner and conversation. We always have the best time together, and the laughter is a constant. The Mr cooked filets on the grill, and I cooked twice baked potatoes. We also had salads and rolls. And sadly, after about three and a half hours, it was time to say goodbye. BUT, they promise to come back, son!


Sunday... We decided to spend some time just he and I. We watched a couple of movies... one was Rock of Ages and I must tell you, it was not what the Mr was thinking it was. I'm still laughing at his reaction to this "musical."

There may or may not have been naps during the afternoon while more movies, and other TV shows were on.

And we like to wind down the weekend by having dinner early and relaxing. So I started homemade lasagna around 4:30... but when I got everything out, we were out of lasagna noodles. #failureonmypart But I saw that we had bow tie pasta and penne pasta in the pantry, so I substituted with the penne pasta! End result... we loved it! You can find my recipe by clicking here.

Well, that was our sweet, southern weekend. What did all did y'all do?

Our meal plan for the week includes: crockpot roast, potato soup, grilled chicken, burgers, and spaghetti.

I Love My Post — Blog Hop {Co Host}

Friday, March 22, 2013

I love my post 

Welcome to the I Love My Post blog hop where we invite you to link up your favorite post of the week to show off, and hopefully receive some love from the others partaking in the hop!

If you have never participated in a hop, they are really simple to get the hang of... all you need to do is 'hop' around and, hopefully find some new great reads!

The Rules are simple. 
1. Check out and follow the hosts and co-hosts. Leave them a comment if you would like them to follow back. 
2. Choose at least 3 other blogs and hop on over and leave them some love, plus let them know how you found them - I'm sure they would love it if you followed as well! 
3. Have Fun and come back next week.

Please just don't link up and click off... to make this successful everyone needs to hop around!

Your Host’s this week are: 
Sarah from Life in a Break Down
Bex from Futures 

Our lovely co-hosts are: 
Kristyn from Carolina Fireflies
Julie from Just Julie
Aqeela from Aqeela MUA
Joy from The Sowell Life

We would love it if you would tweet, share on facebook or place our button on your blog, the more sharing we can get happening the bigger this hop can become!

Life in a Break Down
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.lifeinabreakdown.com/" title="Life in a Break Down"><img src="http://imageshack.us/a/img268/1971/ilovemypostnew.jpg" alt="Life in a Break Down" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

This week's Featured Blogger is: Joy from The Sowell Life.
The Sowell Life - takes you into the world of Joy and her husband giving you a glimpse into their life in the Southern US. Find out all about their love for each other, wedding, family and friends in this really sweet blog. ~ Sarah

If you fancy being next week’s featured blogger make sure you follow all the rules give your hosts and co-hosts a follow, and Sarah could be emailing you next week to come and feature with us.


We are currently recruiting Co-Hosts if you would like to join us as one, send Sarah an email. 

the Friday five — link up #12

We made it through another week, y'all! However, it's been a roller coaster of a week. First with nasty weather on Monday, and then the cold came and took it's place after it was gone. Brrrr... it's cold again! How has your week been? I'm so happy you're here to link up!!

the Sowell life

the Sowell life's Friday five...

1) {Mar Belle Visits Again} Sunday afternoon, once we got home and settled in from our one year anniversary trip, we welcomed little MB and my mom to our house while dad was away on business. Mom brought some of her day lilies from her yard to plant in ours, and I can't wait to see them bloom! And check out all the cuteness little MB showered on us! It's almost too much to handle! =)

2) {Guatemala Recap} Back in February, my dad went with some others in his company to Guatemala to help them set up lines for electricity to the people who live on the mountain. Yes, it's still hard for me to understand that a lot of people still don't have power and running water in other countries. We have it so good here, y'all! Anyway, Monday night, he came back to our house to have dinner and show us the pictures from his trip. And I'm so glad we ate (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans) before he showed me the pictures of his meals, and what they cooked those meals out of... no wonder he lost 10 pounds while he was there. #gross

3) {MB and her Greenies} So, I've mentioned before just how much little Mar Belle LOVES her greenies, and MUST have one before bed every night. Well, she found out where we had the bag Monday night. And these videos are hilarious. Just picture her saying... "mom, see here they are... just get me one already!"

4) {Taco Night} Why is it the simplest of meals are sometimes my most favorite? Gosh, I love these tacos!!!

5) {Laziness} Yep, it's been one of those weeks... a week that has gotten longer as the days have gone by. And last night, I just wanted to sit, relax, and not cook. Ha... totally not like me, but sometimes you just need one of those nights? #amirightoramiright So we ordered out pizza from Papa John's. 

And here are a few things that I'm looking forward to this weekend...
• hair appointment on Saturday
• visiting with friends
• sleeping in
• relaxing
• enjoy quality time with the Mr

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

Rocky Top Tennessee

Thursday, March 21, 2013

When we were looking for a place to celebrate our one year anniversary, we kept saying, "it needs to be close" and "somewhere that we've never explored." Well, while doing some research, we decided that Chattanooga, TN was the place for us. It's two hours away, and both of us had only passed through there on the interstate, we had never really spent time in the "Scenic City." So, Chattanooga it was!

Friday, we both left work around lunch to go home to pack, and get on the road. The weekend before, we had made reservations at The Chattanoogan Hotel for our accommodations. It's in the heart of downtown, and it was perfect for walking to area restaurants and taking in the beautiful mountains from our room. The hotel also had a surprise waiting on us after dinner Friday night... chocolate covered strawberries and jelly beans!

OH, and we chose to valet park. And watching those guys literally break out in a full run to go get our vehicle both days was priceless. And, they also had great recommendations for places to eat around the hotel.

Our first night there, we decided to take one of the valet guys suggestion and try out a local burger joint, Urban Stack. It was just two blocks from the hotel, and the weather was perfect for a stroll with the Mr. Urban Stack is known for their "Killer Burgers & Manly Drinks" so we both decided to try both out! Of course, I think the Mr's burgers was the one they really considered a "killer." It was basically two burgers in one. I think they called it the Big Mike?! And y'all, he almost finished it. It was hilarious to watch. Overall, we enjoyed everything. I had the sweet potato fries with my burger, and the Mr had regular fries with chipotle ketchup, and it definitely had a kick.

The next morning, we got up moving. And just let me say... there's nothing like YOUR bed. And that's all I'll say about that. =) We had the breakfast buffet at the hotel before we left headed to the Tennessee Aquarium. It was only about a mile from our hotel, but we chose to drive because we knew we would want to go other places after our first stop. And wouldn't you know there was a wreck at the road we needed to turn on to get to the aquarium. So over the bridge we went. And y'all we ended up on top of the mountain over looking the river and downtown Chattanooga. It was a beautiful site!

Once we got to the aquarium and paid $9 to park, yep... that was a shocker, we got our tickets. And I had seen online that you could get backstage passes to see different parts of the aquarium and view the animals up close and personal. But when we tried to get them online, the date we wanted wasn't clickable. So while we were getting our tickets that morning, I asked the lady and she said, well... it's free today due to Spring Break. #score So we headed over to sign up to see the penguins. And the lady proceeded to tell us that it was for ages 6 and up. Well, hello, we are definitely over 6! Ha! So she said, okay, y'all have fun. Let's just say, I love me some penguins!! I think their walk is hilarious. Plus, we got to learn a lot about them that we didn't already know from Mr Poppers Penguins. =)

And, because I couldn't bare to not share these with y'all too! Here are the videos I took on vine...

Did I mention just how much I love penguins?! 

And, yes, there were plenty of others that we saw, and some reptiles that I freaked out about. Maybe I can get the Mr to blog about that one day soon. But without going into my panic attack, here are some more of the things we saw...

For lunch, we took one of my co-workers suggestions and ate at The Boathouse. It's on the river, and the food was delicious!

The rest of the afternoon, we went shopping. Yes, shopping!! It was nice to stroll around without a place to be, just enjoying the time together. We even saw a local animal adoption agency having a big adoption day, so we went over to love on some of the babies. 

That evening, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We took one of the valet guys suggestions, and walked a few blocks to Public House for dinner. The weather was perfect to sit outside and enjoy the view. And, I might add that this was the best meal of our trip. Everything was perfect, except that the portions were rather large. The Mr and I could have shared a meal, but we were both wanting to try an assortment of items on the menu. He ordered the filet with mashed potatoes and beans, and I ordered their fried chicken, with their homemade two cheese mac and cheese. Y'all, the chicken was soaked in sweet tea overnight before it was fried, and dear heavens, it was DIVINE!! And his steak was incredible. Possibly the best steak I've ever eaten.

We woke up early on Sunday morning, and decided to come on home (wearing green of course). The two hour trip was a quick one, and we ended up back in the Ham around 11:30. So we stopped by The Summit and enjoyed one of our favorite restaurants... The Cheesecake Factory. We tried something different this time though — their loaded baked potato soup and grilled chicken salad, and y'all we didn't even have cheesecake! #wemusthavebeensickorsomething And, we even stopped by one of my favorite stores for a little purchase!

Chattanooga was the perfect place to visit for our one year anniversary trip. And, we've decided we will be going back soon. It was so relaxing, and enjoyable... plus there are a lot more restaurants we were told about that we didn't even get a chance to try! And, I must give credit where credit is due... a huge thank you to the Mr for making this anniversary one we will never forget! Anniversary Year Two... here we come! 

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