Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One Year In The Books :-)

On March 19th, 2012, Patrick and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary :-) Wow, did that year FLY! Often times throughout the year we've been told "The first year is the hardest year, if you can make it through that first year, you can make it through anything." Honestly, if that was the hard part, than the rest of our lives together should be a walk in the park because we had a wonderful year! I'm surprised it wasn't tougher, living together for the first time, and in a new city with no family and few friends...it could have been a recipe for disaster...but in this year I've learned that wherever we are together is my home. Good or bad, as long as we're together we can get through it!

Living together it's hard to pull off surprises for each other...I had been working on Patrick's anniversary gift late at night while Patrick was sleeping, and had planned to put the finishing touches on it on our anniversary while Patrick was working out. Much to my surprise Patrick surprised me at midnight with my gift...he told me he had a "snack" for us and needed our Wilton Armetale love birds dish for it...when I went to grab it from the china cabinet I found a box and a card sitting inside. Here is the homemade card from my love...he makes the best cards! 
And what was in the box you ask?! Try another wedding band to complete my engagement ring!!!!! So much for the "paper" we were supposed to give each other for year one! He told me he had it since he purchased my wedding band and didn't want to hold onto it any longer lol! Him holding onto it for a year shocks me...Patrick is all about "do you want this gift early" while I'm the complete opposite and like to make the actual occasion special with gifts. Here's my wedding ring all complete...he did such a beautiful job with it all! 

My gift to Patrick wasn't quite so glamorous, but I thought it was thoughtful...I framed one of our wedding photos and wrote the lyrics to our wedding song on the surrounding mat...thanks pinterest for the creative idea :-)

Patrick and I decided to do something that we've never done together to celebrate our special day...we went horseback riding! Patrick grew up with horses so he had been riding before, me however, I had never been. I was a little nervous as they brought out my horse, Buck. They told me not to be scared by the name - haha! Buck is an old pro and is the most requested horse at the stable because he is so good with beginner riders. Here's me and Buck!

Patrick got placed with Patch...an intermediate horse who came trotting over to us with hay in his mouth - haha! I couldn't help but think "what a match made in heaven" - lol! Then as we got going Patch stopped to take care of some business - lol - and then I really thought they were two peas in a pod! But, Patch was much lazier then my hubs. Patch was very slow moving and temperamental. When our instructor tried to get him going faster Patch kicked her horse! Kinda scary to watch! Here's Patrick and Patch...

The ride was beautiful! We went into the woods and over some creeks. It was kinda muddy though and apparently horses dislike mud. They would much rather brush up against trees and bushes then walk through the mud...which got me in a little bit of trouble...on our way home I swatted a bug off my neck which Patrick identified as a tick!!!! Fortunately I got it off before it attached and we didn't find any others when we got home. Patrick kept singing me the Brad Paisley song "I wanna check you for ticks" haha!

I was about to become a full-blown cowgirl up until the tick incident...guess I'm better off as I am...we did have a great time though :-)

What would the evening of March 19th be without another wardrobe malfunction?! I asked Patrick to help me out and iron my new shirt for me...well the iron was too hot and he cinched the fabric! Like last year, I decided to not let the unexpected get me down. I wore my new shirt and strategically held my clutch over the wrinkle when standing...and nobody could tell a thing while I was sitting. I don't know what it is about the evening of March 19th! What are the chances that two years in a row I'd have a wardrobe malfunction?!?!?!?!

We did dinner at Stoney River, one of our favorite restaurants in Nashville. It was so yummy!

After we had a makeshift wedding cake for dessert since our cake is still in our freezer in Pittsburgh! I was able to pack the decorations, but the cake, not so much! Our wedding cake kicked this makeshift cakes butt...so not as yummy as our cake but we had fun none the less ;-)

The traditional wedding gift for year one is a clock so Patrick and I are going to make one once we move into our new house and know what color scheme we want to use. We have a neat idea for it, so I'll share a little tutorial with y'all once we make it. 

Year one was so memorable for us...I can't wait to see what God has in store for us for year two! :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Habitat For Humanity

Just before Christmas, Patrick and I met a woman at a White Elephant Party who just so happened to work for Habitat For Humanity. This woman was so enthusiastic about her job that her excitement was contagious and Patrick and I couldn't help but ask how we could get involved. She gave us her card and told us building would start up again in the spring. We put her card in our desk drawer for safe keeping but soon forgot about it. It wasn't until we were doing some spring cleaning that we stumbled upon that business card again. After a few e-mails and a quick visit to her office, Patrick and I found ourselves on a job site helping to build a house today! What a cool experience! 

Habitat houses go up in 4 weeks...amazing right?! This particular house was in it's second week of building so the base of the house was already up when we got there. Today we worked to put up all the siding, put in the front and back doors, put up the the ceiling of the roof, and the inside of the home was cocked and insulated. Here is a picture of some of the work taking place early on in the morning...you can see the siding going up...

Patrick and I were first put to work finding all the studs and marking them evenly. This had to be done so that the siding could go up. This was time consuming because the studs were in different places in the top of the house. After, we were told to tape all the seams...including the top of the house...so you see that blue line going down the front of the house?! Yeah, I put that 2nd one up there! It was a long ways up there on a ladder for someone who is terrified of heights! Patrick was then recruited to do some heavy hammering...he was hammering away for hours!

While he did that I got recruited to again go high up on a ladder and weatherproof the front of the house by applying Typar House Wrap. This stuff supposedly reduces the risk of moisture damage and mold growth. My partner measured it while I cut it out with a razor then we both worked together to nail it up there...

By chance, our friend Tim had also met someone from Habitat and had planned to get involved, so we requested to be on the same site as him. We also brought along Patrick's brother, Andrew, who is in town visiting us while on his Spring Break. These two got partnered up and got to work with a bunch of power tools...something Patrick was very envious of as we found studs together lol.

After lunch the 4 of us got to work together on the siding which was fun!

I won't lie, the guys did more of the work there...I was more of a helping hand, while they did the heavy lifting AKA using the nail gun!

While I didn't use the nail gun, I did however use a miter saw!
Yeah buddy! I also used a circular saw which was scary as all getup...today I faced a load of fears!

The new homeowner, Rose, was there helping with the build...what a sweetheart! She works in a nursing home and has two little girls...I was so humbled to be helping her build their new home!

Patrick and I enjoyed Rose and Habitat For Humanity so much that we plan on going back to continue with the building of this home next weekend! I also plan on getting involved with the Ladies Build next month, which has only women on the work site! If you are looking for a great way to get involved in the community and a great organization to get involved with, check out Habitat For Humanity! It was such an awesome experience for us! :-) 

Friday, March 9, 2012

26 on the 26th

26th marked my 26th Birthday...a milestone with the dates and age being the same! I remember being much younger and always anticipating turning 26 on the 26th of February, but as it drew nearer it wasn't quite as entertaining of a thought haha.

Because Patrick and I were at the PAO Conference the weekend of my Birthday we decided to stay in Orlando and hit up Disney World! This was just what I needed since it's very hard to feel old in a place like that! I loved this slogan they had around the park...fitting!

We first visited Magic Kingdom...a staple! 

The park was chilly and overcast so not many people were there (well, for Disney World) The longest we waited in line for a ride there was 20 minutes which was awesome! We got through the park in no time since a good bit of it was shut down due to the rebuilding of Fantasyland...this included the flying Dumbo ride, which made me so sad! The new Fantasyland looks very cook though! They are building areas dedicated to Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid in addition to Storybook Circus (Where Dumbo will go!) Below are some pictures from our day at Magic Kingdom :-) 

We spent the rest of the day and night at Epcot. 

This was my first visit to Epcot and it was quite fascinating! I wish we could have spent more time there. If you are ever there, wait in line for 'Soarin'...we had to wait 40 minutes, but it was really worth the wait! 

One of the most exciting parts of the day happened at Epcot...I had a moment with Minnie Mouse! There was a 40 minute line to meet her so I went to snap a photo through the window and she noticed, waved and posed! I felt so special - haha! 

I loved all the Epcot Countries! I wish we had seen them in the daylight...it would have been like touring the world in a day :-) We had to rush through them to get to our dinner reservations in "Japan" - lol 

I was more than a little mortified when the waitress brought out the chef hat I had to wear while the restaurant sang me "Happy Birthday" - lol! But when in Rome...

Patrick bet me I wouldn't keep the hat on for the rest of the night...I won :-) The fireworks at Epcot were out of this world amazing! The parade and fireworks show at Magic Kingdom is something to see, but so are the fireworks at Epcot! Much more mature, but very wonderful! We were able to capture some great fireworks photos!

The next day we flew out late so we were able to fit a half day in at Animal Kingdom...another park I had not been to prior. 

If you are ever here, definitely do the safari...best way to see lots of the animals like...

I love monkeys and could watch them play all day every day! They were so active that day!

Is this not the most beautiful animal you've ever seen?! Gorgeous! 

We got some great action shots of the tigers as well! 

Disney was awesome, but in my opinion wayyyyy over priced. I get it, they do it because they can, but it's just ridiculous! The parks are all something to see, so much detail and beauty. Really, no other amusement park compares visually. My only complaint was our room...we stayed in the Disney Port Orleans Resort, which isn't the creme de la creme, but wasn't the bottom of the totem pole either. Here's the deal, if you're going to put "Resort" at the end, it better live up to the expectations of a resort, and quite frankly, it didn't. The towels and linens were so rough and mattress and pillows were unbelievably hard. Plus it had no closet! What hotel room doesn't have a closet?! It was decorated cute and very quaint plus it was in a nice quiet area...but that is about all the good I can say about it. I just can't believe for the money you shell out how bad those accommodations were. I feel like it should have been called Disney Port Orleans Motel...just my opinion though. Y'all know I keep it real and honest on my blog! 

My Birthday was a very very special day! A big, huge thank you to my hubby who did such a good job of making it such a magical day! My big gift was a professional grade camera (it just came yesterday!) and a book on "How To Photograph Anything"...so be on the lookout for a possible photography business in the near future :-) Maggie Bailey Photography has a nice ring to it doesn't it?! We shall see...! 

Until next time...