Monday, December 31, 2012


I've always liked photography but I'm loving my newly acquired skills from the classes I took. I'm more than thankful my friend Kristin pushed me to take photography classes with her. Not only did it give me something to take my mind off the deployment when Lee first left but it kept me busy developing a passion of mine.
I'm really inspired by lifestyle photography. Photography that tells a story. I want people to look at my pictures and be able to determine my subject's personality or the story of a particular event; be it a family, decorated room or birth. I still have lots to learn but I'm having fun doing so! My little cousin had my glasses the other night and I took some really cute pictures of her. She has a hard time sitting still but I think I captured her personality quite well.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

holiday magic

With Lee in Afghanistan and hearing THIS news, I must say I conquered a wave emotions during the Christmas holiday. However, so many good cherishable memories did happen and for that I am truly grateful.
Gunner's sweet momma and my cousin surprised me by dressing Gunner in this precious shirt on Christmas Eve. His momma was holding him when I went up to give him kisses hello. I tugged at his shirt and read it outloud nonchalantly and immediately ugly cried on the spot. It was just the cutest thing and such a sweet moment. Gosh. Makes me tear up just thinking about it!
The Saturday before Christmas is ALWAYS a fun day with my momma and Grandma. We go to lunch and then stop by our favorite shops we like to frequent when I'm in town. Before heading back to my parent's house, we stopped by the pet store to get the dogs some Christmas treats and some of our own at a nearby yogurt place that's new in town that I hadn't tried yet. (We're a crazy family that loves ice cream all year round...even in the coldest of months.)
During the day we took all of our gifts to my aunt and uncle's house where all 17 of us spend the night Christmas Eve after a party at my parent's home that evening. We stopped and got everyone's stockings at my Grandma's house where they are stored beforehand. Mom said Grandma cried when she saw Lee's monogrammed stocking. I did too.
But a good cure all is Grandma's Sweet Tea. Man, that's the good stuff. I've starting drinking 1/2 sweet and 1/2 unsweet just like my dad.
And this is random, but don't we have a great Santa in our mall? He's so personable too. He was leaving the mall behind me one day when a mother and her small boy were walking out too. I could tell the mother was in a hurry but the small boy had his eye's glued on Santa. Santa told the boy he liked his blue tennis shoes and after that the mother's whole demeanor relaxed. It was like she was brought back to Earth from her preoccupied self. They all held hands as they walked down the sidewalk with the boy in the middle. Santa explained that it was time for him to get back to the North Pole for the night and he was waiting for the reindeer to fly his sleigh around the building. He bid them farewell and thanked the little boy for being good all year round. You should have seen that small boy's smile. It was contagious. It was the sweetest, biggest smile ever. The mom's smile was too. Here's our Santa with a baby of a friend of mine.

our CHRISTMAS photo

This is our 5th Christmas as a married couple and we have done photo cards each year. I keep our photo cards in a special box and it sure is sweet to reference old cards every Christmas season. I hope to do something more with them in the future but for now they're keeping safe in a pretty box. This year's card:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

more sneaker wedge eye candy

steady my heart

Remember THIS post? My biological mother went back to her husband today declaring her move a fresh new chapter for them both but I'm afraid it's the same sad story I have seen on repeat. I can only pray that I am terribly wrong as I will always wish her an abundance of happiness. Her reasoning stings like a bee and her spoken judgements towards my response to her move is predictable but still unfathomable.
Nonetheless, after years of worry and constant support I've decided to remove myself from the drama as Lee and I look to create a family of our own when he returns. I forgave years ago and my childhood pastor taught me that I don't have to forget but now I have given up on making any sense of it all. I simply don't want to be associated with anything surrounding his name any longer. I can't.
Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
1 Cor. 15:33
Before I could tell time I felt like it was my duty to be an adult and be her rock. Careful to say the right things and ensure her that everything would be OK.
Scarcely active in my life, she has always wanted more from me and I've always wondered how she could be so bold as to ask such a thing from me. Maybe one day she'll understand what she needs to be fulfilled.
I hope to have children of my own one day and I'll need to be the adult for them. It's time to focus on what makes me happy and that situation just isn't it.
Mercy. I sure have gotten real with y'all this year. Cheers to the new year. Hope it comes quick. I'm ready to make it the best one yet!

Friday, December 21, 2012


"OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin has declared Friday, December 21, 2012, as a day of remembrance in Oklahoma for the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting.  The governor’s proclamation asks Oklahomans to observe the day of remembrance with a moment of silence, reflection or prayer.
Governor Fallin issued the proclamation at the request of Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, who is asking other states to join Connecticut in observing a day of remembrance Friday for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
“As Oklahomans, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims, their families and the entire community of Newtown, Connecticut,” Fallin said. “I encourage all Oklahomans to take time to observe this day with a moment of silence, a moment of prayer or reflection for the families and innocent victims of this horrible tragedy.”
Additionally, the governor encourages Oklahomans to join her in wearing green Friday, the Sandy Hook school color, in remembrance of the fallen."

See ya'll on Wednesday, December 26th. Have a very Merry Christmas and hold your loved ones tight.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

sneaker wedge

I know some of you are all "that's one trend I'm passing on" but I personally love the sneaker wedge. It's the perfect combo of comfty and elevated for an all day adventure when you're on your feet. I have high arches so wearing a flat is sometimes not as comfortable as wearing a heel and I prefer a wedge if I'm running around long. But enough of the comfortable excuses, I love how cute they look dressed up or down.

You can pay $640 like a lot of the celebs are doing, $150 which sounds a lot better or on sale for $30 like I did since they're super trendy. I there really that much of a difference??? Got 'em on my lunch hour today! Can't wait to hear what my family has to say about them when I go home for Christmas...

not asking for much

The last couple of nights have been rough. As I drive home from work listening to holiday tunes, I have these magical Christmas fantasies of Santa providing Lee with R&R that allows him to come home for Christmas. I visualize my reaction. Like what he will smell like. How his hand would feel clasp into mine again? Should I clean the house just in case? And then I snap out of it and turn into a damn cry baby. And then my mood is set for the night. Crikey. Hopefully I'm not the only Army wife that does that.
My dad was watching an old movie the other night and the lead actress in the movie is one of our favorites. He sent me a clip of the movie and I feel like she's singing directly to me. Judy does that. She's that good.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

fishtail braid

Thank you Lauren Conrad for teaching me how to fishtail my hair. Excited that it's finally long enough! However, it was a lot messier than this by the time I got to work but I like I like messy.
Her video is super easy to follow.

elf success

We sponsor 50 of the 900+ kids in our county that are in Oklahoma's state care. This year I was invited to view ALL of their Dear Santa lists fulfilled. Row after row of tables displayed organized clothes and toys labeled for each child. Observing our 50 combined with the other donations completely overwhelmed me with emotion to see our project come together on a much larger scale. It’s very cool to see what happens after you make your donation. It’s incredible, really.
The philosophy of Project Elf is that for once these children should be able to ask for what they want, no matter how silly it may seem, and get exactly what they wish. Christmas can be a sad and lonely time for a child in and out of foster care. Many children are away from their families, they have had numerous disappointments in their young lives and have little hope that things will change. By fulfilling one small wish they have for Christmas, the message of love and hope is gifted. This is hands down my most favorite thing to coordinate for my company. These pictures don't do the experience of seeing all the donations for the 1st time justice. The feeling of generosity in our community when you see this room is much grander in person.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

delayed wknd deets

I went to my aunt's pinning! RN to BSN! So proud of her for going back to school. I love my auntie so much. I spent many a school nights with her growing up when my parent's traveled for work, etc. This is me with my auntie and cousin (her daughter), Brandi.
I spent time with Lee's family this past weekend. Lee and I normally do Christmas with my family Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day travel to his hometown. Since Lee is gone, I wanted to avoid traveling and being by myself Christmas Day so I had Christmas with his family in advance. It was blatantly obvious that Lee was missing from the fun but we made the most of it by scheduling a Skype date so he could see everyone! My niece and I were hungry and impatiently waiting for everyone to arrive at Nana's Saturday night so I occupied her with my camera.

Coop dressed for the occasion.
Nana got Cooper a Snuggie!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Day 200 of this dang deployment. DH left June 1st for pre-mob. Today I'm in my hometown for the funeral of a family friend and blogging from my phone. I got to town too early to park and too late to do much else so I'm tanking up at a gas station. This is a super quick trip because I'm heading back home for a birthday dinner with my BFF after the service. I'll actually be on the road longer than I am in town but at least I get to see my family! Wishing Lee were here...
I'll blog more later if I can.

Friday, December 14, 2012

new bag

I finally got a bag for my camera. It's taken me forever because I want one that doesn't look like a camera bag...but can also hold my camera with the lens attached. Yeah! New camera bag for 35 bones. The chain hangs like this on both sides. Love.
I like the compartment options. I have my battery packed for the weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

house crash

The other night I went to a Christmas party and the home was beautifully decorated. I didn't take a lot of pictures because it just wasn't appropriate with the setting but I did sneak a few for you. HeeHeeHee
You could walk around the fireplace and also enjoy the fire from both the great room and in the dining room. Love the old school felt stockings the hostess had crafted over the years.
I liked how the console behind the couch was decorated too.

And OMG those lights were perfect above the table in the dining room. Not to mention how perfect the table was set for the holiday...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

faux fur

I've been oggling beds with fur blankets forever now. Obsession first started when I ran across this image.
I even mimicked the pillow fight image above the bed by having a photo of Lee and I having a pillow fight blown up to frame above our own bed! Remember, I showed it to you HERE?
Well now I'm not so much into our bright Kate Spade comforter that I so desperately had to have. Maybe it's the cold dreary weather but my design aesthetic this season is heavy on the warm eclectic vibe now. Plus, it doesn't help that I come across these gorgeous furs all.the.time.
I have a soft faux fur throw in the living room now but I'm looking for a king size faux fur throw now!

and then some

Thought I would bring you up to speed and then some seeing how I missed a couple posts since the weekend. Thankfully, I have been keeping busy! Not gonna lie, my heart is a little crushed that Lee isn't here. I'm struggling but I know a lot of other people are worse off during the holidays so I'm keeping my chin up. Lee sent me these festive flowers to my office on Monday:
This past weekend I kept busy preparing for my big Project Elf gift drop. I shop for all the lists that aren't selected by my company's employees on my company credit card. It's fun but also stressful when you can't find something on a kid's Dear Santa list. I went to Toys R' Us, three WalMart stores, Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Academy Sports, JCPenney's, Buckle, Finish Line and Aeropostale to fulfill the lists. Whew. I was beat.
But then I go home to dump all the gifts our employees and I purchased on my living room floor to sort by each kid's control number. It's a mess when I do but I've got my routine down pat.
I label large trash bags by control number and line the bags in numerical order on the floor. I then add each child's desired gifts to their bag. When all gifts are bagged, I carry them to my garage and create a LARGE mountain of bags.
Yesterday myself and a coworker (that has a large truck) hauled all the gifts from my garage to the designated gift drop for our community.  DHS will then gather ALL gifts and prepare them for pick up by foster families or placement home parents to come get their child's bag. This ensures all kids in Oklahoma's state care will receive a Christmas. I'm going to go to the viewing when they have ALL the donated gifts sorted before pickup. My company sponsors 50 of our state's kids and there are 900+ kids sponsored in our county. I haven't been to a gift viewing due to scheduling conflicts in the past but I def want to go this year. I've heard it's incredible. I'll be sure to take a pic when I do.

Speaking of pictures...Kimberly and Rusty came over to the house for me to take their Christmas card photo. I enjoyed putting my new photog skills to work on my buddies!  Here's a few favorites from my backyard: