Monday, August 30, 2010

1 down & 1825 to go (days that is)

Cony's first day of Graduate School started today and I might be more excited than he is! He had a meeting with his department the other day and he was informed he was 1 of 2 students ever to be accepted straight into the PhD program without a Master's degree. We aren't sure if it was his smarts that made it happen or the schools budget cuts. We don't really care, we're just happy it happened.

Also there is a member of the church in his program that was in my parents ward in Commerce(for all you "non-Mormon" folk, he was just in the same congregation). But any connection to Georgia works for me!


* Also I started my new job today as a tutor for an adorable 8 year old girl who has down syndrome. I'm really excited about this, because with every job I've had working with kids has taught me so much about myself. I'm looking forward to learning and growing with this experience.

I'm just really sad that our 2 month vacation has come to an end. We've had the time of our marriage this summer and I believe this is the first summer I haven't want to see go....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Sunday Secret..

Today we are very thankful to have a fridge full of fresh fruit. The house where we go swimming in the beautiful pond, has the most amazing garden I've ever seen. They also have lots of fruit trees and we count ourselves very lucky to benefit from their hard work. A few weeks ago we were able to get a bag full of peaches that were to die for and today she asked us to come over after church to get some pears, tomatoes and potatoes and I'm going to attempt to make pear butter since we have so many. (please feel free to share any recipes you may have!)



I'm also grateful she picked some flowers from her garden and let us take them home. What is it about fresh flowers that make your home feel better?

Saturday nights I get our clothes ready for church the next morning, since we need to be there early. This morning as I was getting I had a "love moment" when Cony was wearing a tie to match what I was wearing. We do it every Sunday and some are more obvious than others, and today was an obvious day. It makes me happy, cause I really like to have my pajama's and work out clothing to match or at least coordinate. It's ridiculous I know, so I'm working on it by branching out with my home decor. So far I love the eclectic feel, more than anything I've done with a place. Who knows, maybe I'll branch out with my clothing next...
Photo 1

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Look what I can do Mommy!

I've been chomping at the bit to re-finish some pieces of furniture that we have that were my grandparents. They all need some love but I started with this dresser that my dad inherited. My intention was to paint this a soft buttery color but when I sanded it down, I couldn't bring myself to cover the beautiful wood. So I went with a classic 'bring it back to it's original state' look. high-gloss and all.

Thankfully I was able to get those darn stickers off the top drawer and fix some other wood problems it had...


I like to stain wood with a piece of cloth or a sock, which ever one I have around. This go-around I used one of Cony's socks, and even had latex gloves on underneath so that this wouldn't happen... attractive uh?


Another project I tackled this week...dots! I thought this would be a great way to soften the edges in our apartment and add some warmth & color. I'm tickled with how it turned out and it cost less than $20. Plus I have lots of fabric left over for another project!

Close up. I just got a bunch of embroidery rings and had some clearance fabric cut and put it together with some fabric I already had.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Please someone explain...

Here's the preview: A few weeks ago, Cony was boss and surprised me with concert tickets to Lilith Fair. He knows how much I love Sarah McLachlan and knew it would cheer me up! (but secretly I think it was his way of saying Thank You for sticking with me up here). The concert was for August 1st, which was a Sunday and it shocked me that he even considered it much less bought the tickets. The Sunday before we had just received our callings in church and we decided last minute to take a trip to Chicago & Nauvoo since mom, Emily & Jordan would be there on their way home from Idaho. We left Nauvoo for my uncles home in Indianapolis and left much later on Saturday than we planned and made a HUGE detour home. I mean so big that we said hello to Canada and didn't get home until 5:30 in the mornin'.
Regardless of the length and mishaps of the trip we had a wonderful time. I guess we had such a great time, we. forgot. to. go. to. the. concert! We didn't realize this until 2 days later. I wanted to cry for a few reasons but most of all I HATE to waste money. It makes me sick to my stomach. Thankfully we were able to brush it off fairly easily because we realized that we were finally getting our priorities in order and if it was somewhere we needed to be, we would have remembered.

But don't ya wanna cry for me?

Until I go into our trip to the Midwest here's me and my little Jordan man that I'm missing pretty badly today...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Big Willi, Part 2

From April to September, the Big Willi host a street fair on the 3rd Thursday of each month. We were shocked to hear that some 15,000 people show up every month. This was the towns way of attracting people here in a positive way and try to rid their 'herion city' reputation. It's only a block away from our house and when we went last night I just wanted to sit there and people watch. Trust me, you would have wanted to, too.

See this Frog bridge? Frogs are everywhere in this town. The legend has it that during the French and Indian War during the night there was a horrible sound that woke everyone up. It's believed there were local Indian tribes preparing to overrun the village in the middle of the night but couldn't because of the frogs. The next day they found a very large amount of frogs either dead or dying in a pond that had been drained low by drought or a nearby mill operator. The township became the laughing stock of Connecticut for a few years after...(There are a few other versions of the story, but I like this one best.)

(excuse me while I fool around with different ways to upload photos, if you have any suggestions... please feel free to suggest away)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Big Willi, Part 1

Here it is, the town in which we live. Willimantic. We were in shock when we drove into this town and could have sworn we saw the sign 'Abandon all Hope'. That same weekend we moved in, we headed to Walmart.. which was a huge mistake because it sooo depressing! We make a joke of it now, by pumping ourselves up in the car before we walk in (but it really does help!). However, us hating WalMart is for another day.

Our favorite thing we've discovered here.. a natural springs water fountain. We fill up water jugs for the week and it's so much better than keeping up with Brita. At first we thought it was a religious symbol people were worshipping, since our town is full of Puerto Ricans we thought maybe a Saint Mary......



Another really amazing discovering is our building. Willimantic is known as the Thread City. Our building and the 2 next to us were once thriving thread mills, one of the largest in the world. In fact, these buildings were the first in the world to use electric lighting and Thomas Eddison was part owner of the mill.





Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tender Mercies

Today Cony and I spoke in church. It was special because we've never given talks together. We were given the topic 'Our Duty to God' and both feel we spoke the things that we were inspired to say. In fact it was the first talk I've ever given that I didn't question myself and think of 10 other things I could have said better.

That's not why I'm here though. I had to write an email today to my last client in Atlanta telling her that I lost all her photos when our computer AND external hard drive crashed. I not only lost those photos but photos from the wedding we shot in Florida. I think my heart stopped for a moment, but Meg quickly reminded me that we downloaded all my images on her computer before I left. We NEVER do that and the fact that she actually kept them on her computer was another miracle. Can I hear a "hallelujah"? If I would just open my eyes more, I know there are other miracles happening...

Photos were taken on UCONN's walking trail through a cow pasture. Cony is sick of being my model. Anyone else wanna come to CT to be my model??



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Home (bitter) Sweet Home

We cleaned the house the other day and decided to take some photos. For a couple of reasons...

1.) So my mom can see what I've done to the place

2.) So you can all share your design ideas with me. I have a few up my sleeve, but working with a blank "loft" style apartment is not as easy as one would think. Especially on a tight budget. (who am I kidding, I don't even have a budget!)

Please share your ideas. All ideas welcome! Later on I will share some links with my ideas. Until then...









Note: things not pictured.. the Theater and the Reading Nook

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Not sure if any of you have noticed, but we are Southerners. We're kinda proud of it too. Yet here we are in Connecticut for Cony to attend grad school at UCONN (University of Connecticut). You'll see that I will refer to where we currently are as 'The North' and our home as 'The South'. Some might not think that's grammatically correct, but in our world it is.

Besides stressing about not having jobs or student loans coming through, we've managed to find a little love for this place. We've been writing down everything we've observed or learned in the last 5 weeks. Here are a few.....

- when it rains it actually cools down

- ice cream stands are everywhere, we're talking the real deal here. Milk straight from the cow and 18% butter fat and it's delicious!

-post offices here are like churches in the South. Most are in really small old homes and literally only 1/2 mile apart.

-roads are really wide. Not for bikes.. but for snow!

- there is VERY little new construction. In fact, we've only seen 2 homes that we're built in the last 20 years. The old homes are beautiful but sadly not very well kept.

- women don't wear make-up.... need I say more?

-there are no fences to separate property lines but short rock walls. (pictures to come soon)

-no public swimming pools, only water holes... and even those close early in the summer because of contamination.

-have to pay for parking at the beach only to find rocks in the sand and water congested with nasty seaweed. Definitely not your FL beaches.

-everyone drives the speed limit.

-houses are 10-15 feet from the road and main roads at that.. you think I'm joking...

-our little town is over 78% Puerto Ricans.

-our little town is also known as 'heroin city'.

-the weather is so nice even in August that we were able to take a nap outside in the middle of the day without sweating. No joke.

-Renee Zellweger lives about 20 minutes away.

-the people are nothing like we expected them to be, in a good way. ;-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I can try & try to let things go..

Both Cony and I figured it was time to get this blog up and going again since we've moved to a foreign land called Connecticut. What better day to start this than on the 2nd anniversary that dad passed. It's been a journey. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. There's still a small part of my heart that stops every time I hear a phone ring. I never know how August 10th is going to be. Will I just be a ball of mess or have I gotten to the point where I can just celebrate my dad for who he was? If I don't cry, does that make me a bad person? If that's all I do is cry, does that make me a weak person? These are all the thoughts that go through my crazy mind and am slowly receiving the answers.

Although my life is nothing what I thought it would be by the time I was 30. I have to believe that he would be proud of me. I've taken the path that was right for me. I've experienced things that has brought me to the depths of despair and out of that despair has brought me more love that I can comprehend. Growing up having a dad coach every type of sport, you hear things that you tend to push aside. However, the slogan 'No Pain, No Gain' really does have more meaning than one.

We hope to share with you our love, our happiness and sometimes our heartache. Because let's face it, whose life is always peachy? I don't want this blog to portray anything that is not real.

I really wish I had a photo of my dad to share but since our computer AND external hard drive both crashed that's not possible. So enjoy a quote I read today..

"If you love life, life will love you back..."