Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

"For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given,
and the government shall be upon his shoulders.
And his name shall be called
the Mighty God,
the Everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace."
~Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Leaving On a Jet Plane...

I'm about to close up shop here at work & hop on a plane for Cali! I can't quite believe it's already the 23rd of December. This month has been absolutely nuts for us - I've kind of felt like I was in college again with the non-stop craziness. But somehow it's the 23rd, and somehow I got everything (I hope) packed last night, and somehow even made it in to work (relatively) on time this morning. Now if we can just make it through our lay-over in Denver without getting stuck...

Anyway, I may not be blogging much (or at all) until we get back after the New Year. So if you don't hear from me before then, I wish you all a wonderful & RESTFUL Christmas & a very happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008


There's something about Christmastime that makes one a bit nostalgic. And I love to be nostalgic. As the "Days to Christmas" clock winds down - and rather quickly I might add - I am reminded of many Christmas's past.

20 years ago...I was 4, and I'm sure soaking in every bit of Christmas. That might have been the year we got a brand new toy kitchen - complete with a "working" coffee maker (okay, so it just "made" water, but I loved it). Or it might have been the year we got some really cool sweat bands (it was 1988 after all...), and Kelsey & I proceeded to do laps around the house as we "worked out" - with cookies in hand, of course. Whatever the gifts, I do know that I was with my whole family in our cozy home in Maysville, celebrating the story spelled out in the nativity scene we had setting on top of the television. And Kelsey put baby Jesus on the roof.

10 years ago...I was 14 and a freshman in high school. By this time I had grown to love many of our family traditions - celebrating Mom's birthday on Christmas Eve, then going to church for the candle-light service. Mom was usually disappointed at the end because we hadn't sang Silent Night - and you're just supposed to sing Silent Night on Christmas Eve at the candle-light service, okay? Then we'd head over to some friends to celebrate Mom & Christmas Eve - and I was possibly dating one of the "friends" that came over (that should say probably...or just take that word out...). Kelsey & I had a long-standing tradition by this point of sleeping together on Christmas Eve so we'd be sure to wake each other up bright and early to gather around the tree, read the Christmas story together from Dad's KJV Bible, and then share the morning together opening gifts, eating Mom's famous Christmas brunch, and enjoying whatever gifts we received that year.

5 years ago...I was 19 and a sophomore in college. By this time I had met a guy named Dan, but I'm quite sure he didn't know my name yet :-) I spent another lovely Christmas at home with my family, this time in our new home out in the country (we'd lived there for a few years already). Still soaking in the traditions, including an all-day Christmas at Grandpa & Grandma's with the best food in the world and my dear cousins & aunts & uncles gathered together for a short time.
3 years ago...I was 21 and engaged to the man of my dreams. We were less than 3 months away from our wedding and spent our last Christmas apart - he in California, and I in Missouri. It would be the last Christmas with just the 4 of us, Mom, Dad, Kelsey & me. I distinctly remember sitting around the breakfast table that morning after opening our gifts and realizing that this would never be quite the same again.

2 years ago...I spent my first Christmas away from home with Dan's family out in California. While there were certainly moments of homesickness, it was also a sweet time as I spent my first Christmas with my husband and was able to experience new traditions as I stepped into the Johnston family. My mother-in-law was especially gracious as she made extra efforts to incorporate some of my traditions into their Christmas as well - including Christmas brunch and cereal potatoes. I also experienced my first WARM Christmas, decorated palm trees, and laying out at the beach on Christmas Eve...certainly not all bad :-)

1 year ago...Dan & I traveled home to Missouri and were thrilled to see lots and lots of snow. It was Dan's first Christmas away from home and his first time to experience the Carroll family traditions - which include a slightly (translate: incredibly) slower pace than Johnstons are accustomed to. We revelled in the rest, drinking lots of coffee while chatting away with Mom & Dad and watching the peaceful snow. Kelsey's fiance joined us as well, and for the first time, we really had the "whole" family together.

And this year we are just a few days away from hopping on a plane to head to sunny California once again. I'll miss my family dearly, but I'll learn more about being a Johnston as I spend some much needed time with Dan's family. I'm so thankful for the wonderful man I am able to call my husband, and though Christmas will never be quite the same as it used to be, I am thankful that I'm always able to bring "home" with me as Dan & I spend Christmas together.

There is one thing, though, that never changes - Christmas itself is ALWAYS about God wrapping himself in swaddling clothes in the tiny form of baby Jesus. I am so thankful that some things never change.

Note: Mom or Dad, if you have any pictures from the earlier years, feel free to send them :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

Man oh man has it been a busy couple of weeks! I really don't have much time at the moment, but just thought I'd throw up a couple pics my office staff took this morning:
And now with jazz hands! glad I work in a fun place :-) I sure do spend a lot of time with these folks.
That's all I've got for now, friends. Hopefully I'll have time for a real update soon!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Why am I always COLD?!?

Seriously...I'm in my office right now with my space heater blasting, and I'm still freezing! Why must I always dress for the arctic? Why must I always be uncomfortable cold no matter where I go?

Now, if I'm going to be outside during the winter months, I expect this. I bundle up, dress in layers, throw on a muff...whatever. I'm okay with that. But must I wear long underwear to work? Should I really have to bring a wool blanket to church with me? Is it really necessary to sit through a movie with mittens on?

I think I have my mother's curse. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go find a cup of hot chocolate and try to unthaw.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Grandpa's Handiwork

Back in September when Dan & I first made the decision on our townhome, we mentioned to my Grandpa that we would have a cute little front porch. Dan hinted that we would love some rocking chairs to fill that spot, and Grandpa said he'd never built a rocking chair before. We were at their house on a quick trip home, and before long Grandpa quietly got up from the supper table and headed back to his shop. He came back with a wood-working layout for some beautiful adorondeck chairs like the ones he had recently made for their new patio. "Those would be wonderful!" we said enthusiastically, though we added they might be a little big - we'd have to check. So he said he'd see what he could do.

Last week when we were home, Grandpa took us out back to his shop to see these:

Petite adorondeck ROCKING chairs! He smiled quietly while we admired his handiwork, quick to point out a few little flaws he saw (I didn't see any) and said he hoped they'd work.

Hoped they'd work? They're beautiful! And they fit our little front porch perfectly. Grandpa, I'm not sure if I believe you when you say you've never made a rocking chair before. Maybe my old rocking horse was all the practice you needed :-)

My favorite part is that there is a stamp underneath that says:

Not everything comes from China! Grandma didn't work on these particular chairs, but we have enough of her handiwork around the house that she can claim whatever she wants to. Plus, I have some pillows for my couch on order from her. I can't wait to see how those turn out!

Are we blessed or what? Thanks again, Grandpa AJ, for the beautiful gift!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Ahhh....home. Dan & I were able to spend some much-needed time at home with my family in Missouri over Thanksgiving. It sort of felt like indulging in a package of double-stuffed oreos after having given them up for Lent (not that I've ever done that...). It was beautiful.

This time we drove and were able to pick up my sister Kelsey & her husband Brent on the way. We arrived home at 3:30 AM...not a typo...on Wednesday morning, but it was wonderful to wake-up at HOME that morning. There's something about waking up in your childhood room with mom & dad puttering around downstairs that just can't be beat. It kind of makes me long for the days when I would toss my clothes into a hamper and they would magically re-appear...clean, folded, and sometimes even back in their proper drawer. Those were the days.

Anyway...I digress. Our trip was filled with much rest, even more food, and wonderful time with family. We spent Thanksgiving Day at my Grandparents with my extended family, feasting on Grandma's delicious cooking (and Mom's rolls) and catching up. I even got to sit at the grown-up table this year...although Grandpa ended up at the kid's table, so I guess I'm really not sure how this works after all. We took a few pictures, but I'm going to have to wait on my Dad to send them as we misplaced our camera until the end of the trip. Bummer.
We also spent some wonderful time with Paige & Torri, playing Wii, raking leaves, poking at a snake (eek!), and even riding around town...with Paige driving! How did that happen? Man I miss those girls.

We also spent a couple nights partaking in one of my Dad's birthday gifts - Centennial. It's a mini-series based on a crazy-long book by James Michener, but it's also one of my Dad's favorite things in life. I mean really - we grew up on this stuff. When Dad turns on the French accent like Pasquinel, we know we've lost him. Anyway, it really is a classic, and if you're looking for a nice romantic trek through our nation's history, I'd highly recommend it. Maybe I should devote a whole post to this - I'm getting a little carried away.

As always, the time went way to quickly. Knowing I won't be home for Christmas made leaving that much more difficult, but it also made me savor the time. How thankful I am for a family like mine.

I left a lot out here, but perhaps that will encourage me to post a bit more this week. I have high expectations for the month of December :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Small Town or Big City?

For some reason this week I have been reminded again of the innumerable differences between a small town and big city. Even though I have lived in the city for 2 1/2 years now, I'm just not a city girl. And I'm quite convinced that even if I were to spend the rest of my life here, I would likely never truly become one. Not that there's anything wrong with being a city girl! I mean, truly, I wish I had a little more of it in me at times.

Let me give you a few examples of my city life incompetence. For starters, I drive this:

Our truck is wonderful for camping adventures, hauling wood, extra storage, etc. It is not all that wonderful, however, for parking in parking garages. Or spots designed specifically for compact cars. Or for merging. Or backing up. You get my point. And while I pride myself on being one of very few females I know here who drive trucks, most days I think something like this would be preferable:

Secondly, there's the whole locking doors thing. I'm still not used to that. When I suggested to Dan the other day that maybe we wouldn't have to lock up every time we walk in or out of our home, he looked at me like a crazy person! I just miss getting home and walking right on in the door without having to fumble through 10 different keys. I understand the point (trust me Mom, I lock everything), but I'm just saying...I miss the days when I used to leave the keys in my ignition.

Now here's something I love about living in a city - ACCESS. I have access to pretty much anything I could conceivably want or need, at pretty much any time I happen to have a hankerin (that's a word here). I have tried some rather exotic recipes over the past couple of years simply because I can find all sorts of crazy stuff at the grocery store. My small-town grocery store in Maysville - Dungy's Supermarket - didn't tend to carry much in the ethnic department. Unless you count tortillas.

On the flip side, I really miss the personal touch when I do go shopping. The other day I fought with a machine just to try and return a silly DVD. As I stood there and waited on technology, I thought to myself - if I had rented this from Dungy's, I would have just walked in, said hello to the clerk (who's first name I would know), they would have thanked me by name and asked how my Mom was doing. Or my cat. And they probably would have remembered which movie it was that I had rented.

Another reason I just don't think I'll ever be a city girl: the other day my coworker sought me out to tell me there was a dead possum outside. He was supposed to take care of it - and asked me how I would do it. And I actually gave him advice on how I would dispose of a dead possum.

Maybe next week a co-worker will ask me where I find such cute, trendy shoes...not likely. Sigh.

So what about you? Do you prefer a small town or a big city? And please, let me know if you have any pointers for this poor country girl. Please.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?

This past week just disappeared. Dan went to Iowa last weekend for a friend's wedding up in South Dakota and got to see all sorts of dear friends from college. I was only a little bit jealous that he got to go and I stayed here, but I tried to make the most of it. That is until I came down with this dang cold. I hate colds. I woke up last Sunday feeling like I'd been run over by a truck. So I stayed home, curled up on the couch, and read nearly all day.

Dan got home Sunday night, but Monday I felt worse than the day before and decided I just couldn't handle a day at the office. Day #2 at home on the couch with a book. Not too shabby. What did I read, you might ask? This delightful book:

It's a memoir written about her spiritual journey - from her Jewish upbringing split between her non-practicing Jewish father and lapsed Baptist mother (who divorced early on), through her decision to become an orthodox Jew, and eventually to Christ drawing her to himself in very unconvential ways. She writes about the beauty of litergy and religious calendars and the ways in which she is able to draw from her Jewish heritage as she begins her new life as a Christian. It's a beautiful book, and not only did it remind me that Christianity looks different on different people, it also challenged me to think about my faith intellectually - something I've rarely been challenged to do since college.

Thanks for loaning me the book, Kelsey!

Just a few thoughts for this morning and a little catch up from last week. I'll try and get back on track this week - now if I could just shake this dumb cold.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Love Tennessee

I'm still wrestling with my thoughts today, but thought I'd throw up a post that was a little on the lighter side today. I just walked to the mailbox a little while ago and was struck once again by how much I love Tennessee. It is absolutely GORGEOUS here this time of year, and the best part is, it will probably stay this way (or at least above freezing) for quite some time.
Did I mention I walked to the jeans & a t-shirt? Without a jacket? Or a parka?

I'm not sure, but my guess is that it's not quite this warm back in Iowa. Or even Missouri for that matter. And while I love my midwest home and will brag about my sturdy roots to anyone who asks, I'll be honest...I don't miss the 5 months of hibernation.

Here's a bit of a visual for comparison:


Okay, the Iowa picture probably isn't from November. But it could have been! I'm just saying - it's really nice here. And I like nice weather.

Hope the weather is nice wherever you are today!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Just Not Sure

I'm just not sure what to think today. I'm not sure what to feel. I am disappointed, confused, a bit fearful...I'm a whole modge-podge of emotions, really. I share many of Jenny's sentiments that she shared this morning. I know that God is the same today as He was yesterday and that His hand was in this election just as much as it was in the past election that went the way I wanted it to go, but the fleshy part of me has a hard time accepting that as comfort (if I'm really honest).

I was, however, both convicted & comforted as I read Beth Moore's blog this morning. My Mom also encouraged me in this way, reminding me of how much hate has been spewed towards Bush by those like the Hollywood elite. I do not want to spend the next 4 years harboring bitterness towards a man that I believe I am called to respect. For the past 8 years, republicans have grown weary of liberals who refuse to "reach across the aisle" and play in the sandbox with the rest of us. Now it's our turn to act like adults and do our part to continue making this great nation even greater by learning to work together and rising above the example that has been set for us. More importantly, as Christians we are called to both love our neighbors (even if they voted for the other ticket) and submit to the authority God sets up - and I'm pretty sure that includes our president.

Also, there was a victory last night for conservative Christians - Proposition 8 in California passed! Praise the Lord there are still plenty of people (even in the liberal state of Cali) who believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man & woman.

I have a lot of other thoughts running through my head right now, and I have a feeling it will take awhile to sort them all out. But for now, I'll leave you with a quote my Dad sent me today as well as a verse to chew on. How grateful I am that I am first and foremost a citizen of an ETERNAL Kingdom and the daughter of a King who will reign with justice & righteousness forever!

"Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary." ~Isaiah 8:12-14a

"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times." ~George Washington

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Only a Few Hours Left...

Get out and vote!

I am ever-so thankful today for the freedoms that we have in this great nation. And I am even more thankful that I know Who holds our future - regardless of the outcome of this race.

"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders." Deuteronomy 33:12

Monday, November 3, 2008

John Piper's Heart in the 2008 Election

I'm not sure I completely agree with all of this, but it certainly was a good gut-check for me - particularly the last little bit of it. What do you think?

I already cast my vote last week during early voting, so now it's time to PRAY for this great nation and this pivitol election!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

My office celebrated today with a little costume competition. Here are the participants below:(a cowboy, pj's, a partially-ready bride [note the veil], Jim from the Office [only he copped out, just like the real Jim did last night...and he wore a name tag that said "Hello, my name is Dave"...his name is really Josh], and Ben dressed as Josh)
And just for the record, I won this year! The winning costume....a Q-tip. What were your costumes this year?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Wonderful Weekend

Sorry for that little hiatus there - I get so busy reading other people's blogs that I forget to update my own sometimes! I did want to share about the fabulous weekend I was able to share with some of my very favorite people (sorry, but I'm allowed to be biased when it comes to family). Last Thursday evening, Mom, Paige, Torri, Kelsey & Brent all descended upon our lovely new home in Nashville and we were able to spend 3+ delightful days together.

For those of you who don't know, Paige & Torri are basically like my little sisters. My Mom stayed at home with my sister & I until we went to school when she started babysitting full-time in our home. Paige started coming when she was just 6-weeks old, and two years later Torri followed suit. Now, 16 years later (are you really 16, Paige? I still can't quite believe that!), they're pretty much family and we can't really imagine what life would be like without the Blythes. Needless to say, I was THRILLED when Mom told me there was a chance that she might be able to come visit...and Paige & Torri might be able to come with her! It also just so happened that Kelsey was on her fall break (or whatever they call it), so she & Brent quickly made plans to join the fun as well. Unfortunately my Dad had to work - wish you could have joined us, Buddy! Although you might have had to sleep outside...
We packed a lot into our 3 short days together - a trip to the Opry Land Hotel, some mini-golf & bumper, I mean go-karts, lots of ball games for P&T and the guys, LOTS of food, and even a quick tour of downtown Nashville including the Wild Horse Saloon (see pic below with the horse). It was wonderful to be able to have a place for everyone to stay for a few days (even if we were cozy!) and I drank up every moment we were together.

We conquered mini-golf. Brent won...and I got second (just for the record).

Hanging out at the park (Mom was apparently cold).

All the kids.

They wore him out - and that takes some energy!

We kept everyone fed.

Elvis & ????

Wild Horse Saloon

Even though I have come to love Nashville and Dan & I both know that this is where we're meant to be for right now, times like this make me long to be closer to home & those I love. But because they are few and far between, these times are incredibly precious to me and I am learning to charish the moments together that they may carry me through the hours and days and years away. Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away - I'll see you all again very soon!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Brooke Fraser - Shadowfeet

This video goes with the post below - I just can't figure out how to switch them! So go read the next post, then come back and listen to this wonderful song. No cheating!

I Had Forgotten...

How much I love this book! I stayed home from work the other day with a doozy of a cold, and since we did not yet have internet or cable hooked up in our new place, I had nothing to distract me from this fantastic story. The Great Divorce is a C.S. Lewis story about Heaven & Hell, one that I've read several times now and would probably put near the very top of my list of favorite books ever. If you've never read it, I don't want to ruin it for you, but please...go find it now. It's beautiful and thought provoking and easy to read and simply delightful.

It also reminded me how much I love Brooke Fraser and her song Shadowfeet. If you've read the book, you'll see the connections throughout. I especially love the line "But I've heard rumors of True Reality, whispers of a well-lit way." Such a beautiful picture of what we know to be true - a True Reality in Heaven that is more real than anything we could ever experience on earth! I've posted the lyrics below if you're curious:


Walking,stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home,a land that i've never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
and i have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you
Theres distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way

You make all things new


When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

P.S. I can't figure out how to post the YouTube video right here, so it's in a post above this one if you're interested.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crisis Averted

Today is Boss's Day. I stumbled upon this information earlier this week by chance and quickly alerted my coworkers who also have bosses, in order to make sure that we were all on the same page and that no one was embarrassed when one coworker showed up with a gift for their boss and they didn't have one. This was Monday. Apparently somewhere between Monday and Thursday that little tip I so kindly passed on to my colleagues completely escaped by brain and I was the brilliant employee who showed up today without a gift for my boss. Awesome.

Fortunately I discovered my dilemma soon after arriving at work and quickly ran down the hall to make sure that no one presented their boss's gift before I had mine (what am I, 12?). I then ran out the door without any sort of plan other than to find something, ANYTHING, for my boss (who, by the way, REALLY appreciates these sorts of things...). And I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kroger for carrying everything one needs in a situation like this. I grabbed a pretty bouquet, found a Thank-you card (do they make boss cards?) and some of her favorite candy and headed back to the office.

It worked brilliantly. I even found some curling ribbon somewhere buried in our supply of birthday decor, tied up the candy and delivered the gift as if it had been planned all along. My boss even told me it made her day. Like my title says...crisis averted.

By the way...when is non-boss's day? And what would you call that, anyway?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Exploring the Natchez Trace

Dan & I had a wonderful weekend getting away and exploring a bit of the beautiful state of Tennessee. We left Saturday morning, hoping to find lots of antique shops to search through but instead we stumbled upon more yard sales than I've ever seen in one place in my entire life. I didn't get any pictures, but I was just baffled by the quantity of junk laid out for consumption. We didn't find any of the pieces we were looking for, but we did come away with a lovely rocking chair for just $25. It was a lovely addition to our camp set-up!We eventually made our way over to the Natchez Trace, which is an absolutely gorgeous drive and historical to boot (it roughly follows an old frontier road that stretched from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi on the Gulf Coast). I remember driving a stretch of it as a kid one summer when we were on vacation. Kelsey was quite sure Dad had really gotten us lost that time, and we began to celebrate each time we saw another sign of human life (or was that the trip to Montana...). While on that trip, we stopped at the death place of Meriweather Lewis - a small cabin where he apparantly committed suicide, and a monument that now stands at his grave...morbid, I know. Well, believe it or not, there is also a campground at this historic spot, and Dan and I picked the very day of Lewis's death - 199 years later - to camp here (thanks, Dad, for filling us in on that detail). It's a little weird, I know...but hey, the campground was free!
It was a little warmer than we anticipated, but we still needed some wood. Dan found some & managed to borrow an axe, and went to town on chopping (saving a little for our new fireplace!).
As one older man walked by he commented, "It warms ya twice, doesn't it?" Fitting.I was kind of proud of the bed-making job in our tent...just thought I'd throw in a picture of my hard work too!

On Sunday, after Dan made a fabulous breakfast of bacon & eggs, we packed up and headed back North. Since we had all day, we were able to explore many of the stops along the historic route. We even made it to the falls, Dad - during daylight! Here are a few more pictures of our explorations:

The beautiful drive!

We were on a trail we thought was totally "legal"...until we found this.

A part of the original trace.

One stop included an old tobacco barn.

All in all, we had a wonderful time and enjoyed the beauty of Tennessee in the fall. Even though there was plenty of work to do at home, this really was exactly what we just take a deep breath, enjoy some time together, and be reminded of the beauty of God.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Out for the weekend...

Friday afternoon is finally here! This has been an incredibly long week, and I feel like we simply have not stopped going since we began the moving process. Anyway, we're headed out tomorrow for a nice getaway - camping & antique shopping! We're both ready to get out of the city for a bit, and you simply cannot beat this weather for camping. Should be a good time. I'll try and get some pictures up on Monday. But until this - have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our Move - In Pictures

Finally, the camera & the chord have made it to the same place at the same time - and I have pictures to share! We are officially moved into our new place and stayed there for the first time Saturday night. And we love it! Of course, there is still lots to be done, but we're just taking it a little at a time and enjoying our new home and the abundance of space. Here are a few pictures from last week as we made the transition:
Please, come on in!

I decided on an apple green for our little breakfast nook. It turned out pretty bright, but I like it! (Dan was pretty proud of his work, as you can see)

Here is my wonderful new kitchen in looks much better than this now! I think nearly everything has found a home in this room...which wasn't too hard with all of those cabinets, and of course...

a PANTRY!!! Okay, now you may think I'm a little over excited about a closet with some shelving, but please note the photo above. I brought ALL of this from our other place. Seriously...where did I put it all?! This continues to baffle me. I mean seriously - all of my cabinets are full, too!

Here is our lovely blue wall in the living room (with the fireplace!), as well as our new furniture. I LOVE how this color turned out - it looks even better in the daylight! Our furniture is gone now - there's a long story there involving some holes & bad packaging - but we should be getting our replacements tomorrow.

Our "master" bathroom - with a garden tub! The fact that I have to put a description before the bathroom in order to differentiate from the other 2 in the house still seems crazy to me. And I really like this garden tub, as you can see :-)

Taking a break from all of the hard work for a little treat from Sonic. We'll miss having that right across the street! But I'll definitely trade that for a Walmart AND Kroger right around the corner. Yeah!

I don't really think this one even needs a caption. Although he did want to get rid of my cowboy hat. Can we take a vote on this please?

Yes, I can sleep pretty much anywhere anytime. Even on a plastic-wrapped couch in the middle of moving chaos.

Wrapping things up at our old place. As exciting as we are about the new - it was a little sad to say goodbye to our cozy little apartment. It's been a wonderful place for us these last 2 1/2 years.

Our guest bedroom - unpacking headquarters at the moment.

I have my own washer & dryer!! We bought these from some friends of ours and were able to get them in on Saturday. If you ever want to get excited about doing laundry, just spend a couple of years doing laundry in a community laundry room, and then realize that you can do your own laundry in your own home any time you want. It's pretty amazing.

Here's a view of the living room this morning - we're getting things put together bit by bit. I'll have more updates as we progress, but for now - welcome to our new home!