Saturday, February 28

Hamilton Christmas in January

Christmas with the Hamiltons, my Mom’s side of the family, was on January 10th this year. We gathered at my parent’s house in Tuscaloosa to play games and open presents. Here are some pictures of this fabulous event.

Colton and Jared opening presents on the couch

Papa modeling his presents

Aunt Teresa and Uncle Andy quickly pose while handing out presents
Codie and Colton (Codie had her wisdom teeth taken out a few days before, she doesn't even have chipmunk checks!)

Great Grandma and Ashley (my cousin)
My cousin Chase and his cutie girlfriend, Taylor
Me and my cousin Calli Jean

Codie with her boyfriend Wes (not Will)
Jessie Dean and her husband, Alex

All the cousins, Grandmother, Grandaddy and Grandma took a trillion pictures but this was the best one from my camera.
(Clint, Codie, Wes, Jared, me, Ashley, Grandma, half of Grandmother, Grandaddy, Taylor, Jessica, Alex, Bobby, Chase, Calli, Luke, and Colton)

Just in case you were wondering what we were doing in between these trillion pictures :)
(Clint, Codie, Wes, Jared, me, Ashley, Taylor, Jessica, Alex, Bobby, Chase, Calli, Luke, and Colton)

Friday, February 27

The Shack

So I finished reading the Shack by William P. Young last month and although I didn't agree with every aspect of it I really liked it! It showed the different characteristics of God in unfamiliar ways.
One of my favorite chapters is about forgiveness. The main character in this book doesn't know how to forgive his daughter's killer. The killer didn't ask to be forgiven and the main character feels that if he does forgive the killer it's like he is betraying his daughter’s memory. God (in the book) explains to the main character that forgiveness is something he’ll have to decide to do daily and that his anger will still be there but after a time of consistently deciding to forgive this killer one day the anger will leave too. It goes on to talk about the difference between forgiveness, relationship and trust, I love the way this is worded so simply, this is a quote from the book that really impacted me and I just wanted to share it with you:

“…forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.”
– William P. Young, The Shack

Now the book covers many other layers of forgiveness but these few sentences really stood out to me. Read the book to find out more! :)

Thursday, February 26

25 Random things I noted on FB

Here are 25 random things about me, enjoy! :)

1. Even when I’m in the worst of moods my husband can always make me smile!
2. I like to drink out of two straws!
3. My high school nick names is Rocky! So, don’t cross me on a bridge!
4. Watching Big Love on HBO is one of my guilty pleasures! (I love the characters, especially Nikki!)
5. I love chatting with my girlfriends about nothing and everything for HOURS!
6. In my day to day life I can usually find at least one moment to reference FRIENDS!
7. My PERFECT days have been spent riding horses at SawGrass!
8. I love to spot actors in random movies and ask “do you know what else they play on?”… my husband is growing tired of this game!
9. I think I would be good at Quidditch! … I read all 7 Harry Potters in 3 months and am now having withdrawals! I can’t wait until the 6th movie comes out! ( )
10. I love my cousins; we always have a BLAST together and make up silly things to laugh about… God bless Kurt! Whip crack away! You’re WEIRD!!
11. I love the Gilmore Girls but am disappointed in how they ended the show! Right Calli?
12. I do NOT sleep on a pillow!
13. I google EVERTHING!
14. The best conversations happen when riding horses with your friends!
15. Sushi and cheesy fries (from Outback) are my two comfort foods!! Yes, I have eaten them together! :)
16. Church’s of Christ are NONdenominational, there are no TWO COC exactly the same!!!! COC is “autonomous, not denominational, and purposefully do not maintain an ecclesiastical hierarchy or doctrinal council, it is not unusual to find variations from congregation to congregation." ( … I am a COC girl! And married a COC boy!
17. I love having conversation with kids! They love to be listened to and say the most insightful things! My neighbor’s kids have come over, knocked on our back door and asked “Mr. Jared can Mrs. Rachel come out and play!” They are so much FUN!!
18. I love to ski! (snow and water)
19. NUMBER ONE pet peeve, people who reek of hypocrisy!
20. If people would just bust out in song and dance at random like in old movies it would solve all the countries problems to date… guaranteed! I love old movies!! Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, all Doris Day’s movies, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Gone with the Wind, High Society…
21. I don’t remember life before DVRs! Or how anyone can watch TV without it!
22. I use to swim with my horses in the pond behind the house I grew up in! I couldn’t tell you how many times I have fallen off, been thrown off, been bucked off, and been stepped on but so far I haven’t broken anything! It is a miracle I lived through my young teen years riding horses in the woods!
23. I love Broadway musicals!! I’m seeing Wicked for the second time in April!
24. I totally believe Miami understands me when I talk to her! She is so smart!
25. I want to ski dive before 2010!! Anyone want to join me?

Wednesday, February 25

A Day Away from the City!

Ryan and Stephanie Garrett joined Leah, Codie and me on a fun trip to SawGrass Sunday.
Our day began when Leah and I met Ryan and Steph at Ryan’s parent’s house. The Garrett’s are so great! They always welcome me with a smile and any kind of soft drink I want! We caught up with them for a chat, talking politics and the economy, and then we were off to Tuscaloosa to meet up with my cousin Codie. Taco Casa is the obvious chosen meeting spot so we had a quick lunch too, a mild combination burrito with extra sour cream, a small messy nachos and a large Mt. Dew! (Taco Casa has the BEST ice!)
After our delicious meal we were off. We arrived at SawGrass, layered up in the lodge, and then gathered in the barn.
Catching 5 horses is no easy task but surprisingly 3 were a sinch, while the other 2 horses we planned to ride bolted to the other side of the pasture! To save time, Leah helped me saddle the 3 we already caught. She put on her first bridle, yeah Leah!! (On the horse I mean) :)
Leah, Ryan and Steph went on ahead of us and took a short ride while Codie and I went to catch our stubborn horses, Dapple Gray and Black Jack, who had ventured a good half mile away. Bringing a scoop of feed was a must to entice the horses. Cisco came straight to us but he is still fragile from foundering a few months ago so we couldn’t ride him, then Black Jack followed. I caught Black Jack pretty easily with the halter while Codie distracted Cisco and Dapple Gray. Dapple Gray was getting a little to aggressive for Codie to catch him and Black Jack is a little skittish so we just took Black Jack back to the barn and came back out for Dapple Gray. Right when we got to where they were Cisco, Dapple Gray and Buddy went flying by back toward the barn… I thought, SERIOUSLY! Thankfully, catching Dapple Gray back at the barn wasn’t hard and we saddled them just in time to join our three friends on their adventure.

Stephanie rode Comet again. Some History… she rode him last year when the grounds were really wet. They were going pretty fast around a tree when Comet’s legs slipped underneath him and he fell on his chest which sent Stephanie flying over his head landing on her chest on the only patch of grass left in that field. I think it scared me more then it scared her!

Ryan rode Whiskey. Whiskey is pretty old and I usually feel comfortable putting anyone on him but he had acted up on their short ride… so he must have been in a dominant mood! In the first few minutes of riding he aggressively wanted to take the lead which was perfectly fine with me! So after walking straight into a barb wired fence he acted perfect!

Leah rode Red, my Dad’s favorite horse, who has become the most dominant horse in the pasture which also makes him the fattest horse!

Codie rode Dapple Gray who has one of the best gaits of all the horses! He also likes to walk at all the other horses’ butts! (Dapple use to wear the dominant crown in the pasture but Red is now the king!)

I rode Black Jack although there in no proof… someone has to be behind the camera! There is my shadow at least! :)

Here is Codie, Steph and Ryan riding head to butt!

Steph's a pro!

Here we are headed west young man!

A blurry shot of Leah and the SawGrass scenery.
After our ride we untacked the horses and cleaned up the barn a bit. Then we were off to have another fabulous mild combination burrito with extra sour cream, a small messy nachos and a large Mt. Dew at Taco Casa!
I loved spending time with Steph and Ryan, they headed back to Nashville after our tasty meal, and my cool cousin Codie, and my handy helping roommate!
Getting away from the city was nice and I hardly minded how chilly it was b/c it was so beautiful!

Tuesday, February 17

A Diaper Wreath for Baby Hardy

Whitney Hardy’s baby shower was full of games, laughter and silliness! I love spending time with the CORE group ladies we always have so much fun! For the shower I made a diaper wreath for baby Hardy. I found the directions by googling “Diaper Wreath” and found several websites that basically all said the same things.
  • Buy a wreath mold for the size wreath you desire at a store like Michael's

  • Unfold the diapers, so they make a long rectangle. Don't unfold the wing parts, just unfold the main crease along the bottom. (I used infant size diapers)

  • Wrap the diaper around the wreath, so that the crease is towards the middle of the ring and the top of the diaper sticks out away from the middle. Place a clear rubber band around the top of the diaper to secure it to the wreath. Don’t try to wrap it around multiple times, like you would for hair. Just once will do. (Since I used smaller diapers I wrapped tow separate bands around each)

  • Add the rest of the diapers. There are two ways to do this:
    Overlap each following diaper onto the previous diaper, to create a smooth, slightly swirled look for the end result. When you get to the final diaper, you will have to undo the elastic from the top of the first one, so that you can slide the last diaper underneath the edge. (This is how I did it) Or... Squish each diaper up against the side of the previous one, making a bunched appearance. While this looks a bit less finished, it does have the bonus of not having to do anything special for the final diaper.

  • Continue adding diapers until the entire ring is covered.

  • Decorate the wreath with ribbons. (I used blue and brown b/c that was the theme we used for the shower)

  • Attach the gifts. With ribbon by curling the ribbon or crisscrossing the ribbon and tying on the back.

  • Add whatever special touches you want, and present a personal and handy gift to the mom-to-be! (I added letters I painted that says “a Hardy Boy”)

**These directions I got from the following website… visit the link and see the pictures that go with the directions.**

Here is the finished product of "a Hardy Boy" wreath! I had a lot of fun making it!
The beautiful flowers and yummy dinner

Here is the cake Laura made, isn't it fabulous!!

The baby blue mints that Ashley made were a special touch and the ribbon Jessa tied to the wine glasses are the same that I used on parts of the wreath! I'm lovin' the unplanned coordination!

Campbell, Maghan's dog, really wanted to join the party!

Hostesses with the Mommy-to-be ( I stole this from Ashley's blog... thanks girl!)

(Top L-R Ashley Cosby, Jamie Grizzle, Whitney Hardy, Bethany Faucett, Martina Penter, Laura Davis; Bottom L-R Maghan Craig, me, Jessa Mullen)

Friday, February 13

Darn that Doggy Deed

Some facts Leah shared with me and some I found as we are trying to deal with Toby’s natural urges while Miami is in heat! (Should you have a weak stomach for doggy deed detailed information please stop reading NOW!)

  1. What is the Heat/Season/Estrus Cycle and how long does it last? – (a) Proestrus: Begins with the signs of bleeding from the Vagina. On average, will last between four and nine days. You will normally see an enlarged vulva, and excessive urination. Persistence of Male Dogs will increase but she is yet to mate with anyone. (b) Estrus: Is when the female dog is able to become pregnant and will mate with another dog. Discharge from the vagina tends to be more yellow than red blood. The female dog will mate with anyone at this stage, which lasts, on average, for four to thirteen days. (c) The average is three weeks or 21-days every 6 months. In some dogs, it lasts only two weeks while others go four weeks. The highest chance of pregnancy occurs during the middle of that cycle.

  2. A male dog can smell a female dog in heat up to 3 miles away and they suffer! (I truly feel sorry for Toby, I know he is so confused!)

  3. Some females are very determined to not be bred, and will attack the male viciously (hopefully this describes Miami, sorry Toby). Other females will breed with every dog in the neighborhood if they are given the opportunity to do so.

  4. Do not take her for walks at all, but keep her confined to the fenced back yard for the whole time. The reason for this is that she will urinate frequently while on a walk, just to let the boys know she is available. The males will pick up the scent and follow her trail to your home. You really don't want a motley collection of canine suitors hanging around your house. (CRAP! Wish I had read this yesterday! I took Miami and Toby for a walk last night thinking that it would release tension… that wasn’t the best idea!! Sorry neighbors!)

Miami started two weeks ago on Thursday which is when I put her first diaper on! Toby has only been constantly licking but not much deed action until this Wednesday night when he relentlessly was deeding the air, licking and whining. Because of the whining Leah took Toby upstairs really early but he got back at her by keeping her up all night howling for Miami! Last night Leah had plans to eat dinner with a friend so I had a plan to distract the dogs! When I got home I put Miami’s collar on Toby and allowed Miami to walk about 7 feet in front of us with no leash (she is very obedient so I knew she would mind me during our physical exertion). Toby just followed her in full strength all around the neighborhood smelling and marking wherever she leaked! When we got back to the house I kept him on a leash while I put Miami’s diaper back on. This walk had not tired him very much at all! So, I had planned to give them each a bath and Toby was first! In the bath Toby was very good as long as Miami stayed in the room with us! I then dried his hair and he remained fairly calm. Then Miami’s turn to take a bath… Toby tried to jump in the bath with her but I made him sit beside me the whole time and he obeyed. After I got them dry and fairly calm we sat down to watch Private Practice, Miami on my left and Toby laying on my right. Each time Toby would whine I held his snout shut and said ”no sir!” It would work after the second or third “no sir” so we had some very pleasant couch time UNTIL… I pulled my cover on me and felt something moist! Hum… put the blanket in the washing machine and decided to test to see if that moistness that was not urine came from him. Miami has a diaper on so why not put a diaper on “Sir Humps A lot” and see if that might calm him down or maybe just distract him from his need to do the deed… this really did make a lot of since at the time but looking back now I realize it was a bit silly!

Here is a video of my big failure of the night! I originally made this video b/c when Miami first gets her diaper on she walks really funny… I had no intention of “torturing” poor Toby… I just wanted Leah to see him walk funny! ;(

In this video Toby gets his freedom… notice right after I take off the diaper he starts to do the deed to the air near Miami… if you can’t understand what I’m saying in the video I said “Toby you want this back on, now quit!”

Hopefully I will not be posting about hybrids on the way but I wonder how much a HavaJack would go for? :)