Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Friends have been so important to me lately. They always are, but they are now more than ever. Aside from my wonderful family, they are the people who have lifted me up for the past few weeks. I cannot thank all of you enough for the prayers, calls, messages, cards, flowers, food, and everything else that you've done for me & my family. You will never know how much you have helped us through this difficult time.

I just wanted to post some photos that I recently received. The first two are from our girls' day out this past Saturday. The first one is of all of us, thanks to a sweet girl who took it for us. The second is some of us out on the ice (that picture was quite tricky, because we were all struggling not to slide away- or fall- while we were having the pic taken). I had so much fun that day! I love my girls!!

Me, Megan Lindsey, Sheena Quizon, Heather Godwin, Brittany (Reed) Holcomb & April (Fox) McClung

The second set of pics is from our women's retreat. There were so many taken, but I only included these two. Not going to bore you with all the others. I love the last one of me & Hannah!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My 26th Birthday Festivities

My 26th birthday celebration was short-lived this year because of the circumstances, but it was a good one while it lasted. We had dinner at Mom & Dad's on Thursday, January 6th. This was the last time I saw my dad. I could kick myself for not taking any more pictures than I did- especially ones with Dad in them. I haven't even looked through our Christmas pics that Zach took with his camera, but I'm hoping there are some happy ones of Dad. :)

I included a couple of pics of me opening up my gifts. The first one of me & Jonathan is one of my favorites though. (All pics were taken with my iPhone, so they may not be very clear. You get the idea anyway.)

 Me & Jon-Jon

 Eclipse and Just Dance 2! Woohoo!

 My new pink Wii controller :)

Papaw Hoyt opening his cards. His b-day is January 7th. I always like to think of myself as his awesome early birthday present. :)

I enjoyed my birthday weekend so, so much, as always. We had our church's Christian Women group retreat at The Summit here in FP. It was wonderful to say the least. We always have a great time of bonding there. The food was wonderful too. I'll post some pics of it soon!

That Sunday when I got home, Mom & Mamaw came over to our house to give me another birthday gift- my awesome cake! My best friend Anna baked & decorated this cake for me as a gift. It is absolutely beautiful and yummy too! Here is her website: Her cakes are outstanding, and her prices are great too! Please check it out!!

She knows I LOVE initials & monogramming. Bless her heart, it looks like it would take forever to do the design all over!
She is so incredibly talented!


These were a nice surprise. They were delivered here to our office yesterday. It's nice to still be receiving flowers, cards and messages in these following weeks. It brightens our day! These flowers came from the Carden family, and were arranged by Slade himself at Tiger Lily. I feel like I should be getting paid commission for these advertisements! Haha!

This past weekend was a great one. I like to think of it as my actual birthday weekend. We went to Birmingham on Saturday and spent the entire day there. Zach took me to Stix (as you know, my absolute favorite) and we enjoyed sushi & fried rice, among everything else. My wonderful friends from high school had planned a day for last weekend, but they were sweet enough to want to reschedule it so I could be included. This was the icing on the cake for me, to know that they cared enough to reschedule their day to include me. :) We met at the Pelham Civic Center & ice skated. We had planned on being there maybe 2 hours...didn't happen. I think we were all out on the ice for a total of (maybe) 30-45 minutes, and after that, we were ready to go! Haha! My legs and ankles were sore for a couple of days after. Sad. (However, I'm also the one that had a sore arm after playing Just Dance 2 on my Wii one night.) Needless to say, we were more than ready to take off our skates and head to dinner! We went to Flip Burger Boutique at The Summit. It was sooo good! I hadn't laughed that hard in a really long time, so that was nice. We took a few pics during the day, so I may have some to post later on. I've noticed I'm not very good at taking/gathering up pics, so that may need to be one of my resolutions for this new year. Anyway, I shopped my little heart out that day and got some great stuff! Zach did too, which is unusual. Good, but unusual.

On Sunday, we went to church. It was so nice to be back. I haven't returned to choir rehearsal or singing in the choir yet, but I will as soon as we're back from our vacay. I really miss it. It was a little difficult on Sunday, but I'm glad I got "that first Sunday back" behind me now. After church, we ate lunch then headed to Crossville to visit Zach's grandmother in rehab. She is doing so well! We gave her her present for her birthday, which was yesterday, and met Aunt Gail & the girls there for a visit. After we left, Zach & I, on a whim, headed to Boaz. We shopped a little more (I see a pattern here), and I tore up the GAP Outlet. I don't know if they're going out of business or just getting rid of Winter inventory, but I cleaned up! I bought actually the cardigan I'm wearing as we speak for $2.97 (and it's quite cute!), a puffy coat for $8.97, and a skirt (perfect for Hawaiian weather) for $2.97. Hello, can you say "bargain shopping" ?! :)

I hope everyone is having a great week. Zach & I are winding up our week and looking forward to our vacation coming up. It's definitely a much-needed one this year. Pray for our safe travels, and continue to pray for my family. Things are looking up, and with the help of prayers, we are all doing well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Have My Daddy's Blue Eyes...

...and I'm so thankful for that. Anytime I look in the mirror, I can see his eyes, pretty & blue. :)

I lost my dad one week ago today. It still seems unreal sometimes. I so badly want it to be. I look around my house and see all the pretty plants and flowers. I don't want these things, I just want my dad back. I want life to go back to normal, although now, we'll unfortunately have a "new normal." I'm already seeing myself being jealous of others that still have their dad, or if I read a Facebook post about someone griping about their "awful" day, I get mad. I'm mad because he will never get to enjoy his grandchildren (in this life anyway). He would have been a wonderful granddaddy. I'm mad because he won't be the Best Man in Jonathan's wedding someday. I'm mad that he never had a piece of my 26th birthday cake. I'm mad that I'm bitter. I shouldn't be this way. I don't want to be this way, but I am.

I am so thankful for all the family, friends, and countless others who have touched our lives in this last week. We have been well-fed every day (we are all eating AND sleeping well, which I am very thankful for), and we haven't had to ask for help with anything. We have had constant encouragement, and been reminded of so many promises God has given us in His word. Even with all this, it's still hard.

I don't like the quiet times. I would rather be busy from the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed (usually later than normal now). I should just let myself be in the quiet for a while and just sit & remember, but it hurts. I am cherishing the pictures and memories we have of him more than ever. At first, it hurt to look at them, but now it brings a little happiness to me. I hope that everything will be that way eventually. Maybe not soon, maybe not quickly, but eventually.

I want to thank everyone who visited us at the funeral home and attended the funeral. I only looked out into the crowd once, as we walked in, but it made my heart smile to see all the people there. Even with the awful, AWFUL weather, there were still so many there. (I won't go off on a tangent about the weather, but I will say that I hope this snow/ice will go away soon. It's not pretty anymore.)

My Zach has been awesome through all this. I don't think I could have made it through without him by my side. He took care of things at home when I was at home with Mom. My sweet momma is holding up rather well. This is her second time to go through this. That in itself is just not fair. My 90 year-old grandmother (Dad's mother) seems to be stronger than any of us. I hate that I will forever have the memory of her grieving over her son's casket, saying to all of us, "You should never have to bury your own child." Through all of this, we haven't asked God "why," we're just hoping we'll receive the answer. If not in this life, we will know in the next. I don't see how people that do not believe in God have any hope in death. I couldn't imagine not knowing the promise that we have to see him again.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then... I am strong." 2 Cor. 12:9-10. My best friend Jennifer sent me this verse. This past Thursday (the 13th) was the six year anniversary of her mother's death. I hate that we now have this in common, but it's a bond that will make our friendship even stronger. There are so many other friends of mine and people I know that are in this same group. It's not a common ground that you want to share, but it was given to us.

I guess the only thing I will leave you with is to "love each other." If you love someone, tell them. Life is so short- I didn't even realize how short it really is, or how short it can be.
Live it. It's what it's there for. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Beginnings!

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and an exciting New Year's! Zach & I thoroughly enjoyed our last day of 2010. We spent the day in Chattanooga (our office was closed that day), shopping with our Christmas gift cards (I tore up Ann Taylor LOFT, thanks to Zach's mom!), eating (at Outback, one of our favorites- yum!), and watching a movie (Little Fockers). We made it home fairly early since we left at a decent time, but I didn't make it all the way to ring in the new year. I had curled up with Daisy and a blanket while watching TV, and quickly fell asleep. Zach woke me up about one minute before midnight, just long enough for us to count it down, then after a New Year's kiss (which I still get "giddy" about), I fell asleep again. :)

Just wanted to post a quick picture that I uploaded from Facebook. There is a neat app. that lets you compile photos from your past year in a collage. I picked my favorites, so here they are!

I will make another post sometime soon. We still have Christmas pics to go through. Heck, we still have our Christmas tree up. We were both a little lazy during our time off for New Year's, and we wanted to enjoy it, so I just put up my Christmas decorations, and we left the tree for later.

A lot is going on this week, so it may be after the weekend before my next post. We visited our friends/neighbors, David & Amy, last night for a while. They just welcomed their little girl into the world, so we enjoyed getting to meet her! I held her for the longest, and Zach enjoyed hanging out with David & playing with the two boys. Tonight, we're having dinner with Mom & Dad, then our choir rehearsal starts back. Tomorrow night is our birthday day for me & Papaw Hoyt at my parents' house. This weekend is our church's Christian Women retreat at The Summit here in FP, so I'll be packing for it soon. Then, Sunday is my 26th Birthday!! After that, I have a girls' day planned with some that I graduated from high school with, and in a few more weeks is our Maui trip!!! Things are finally getting back to "normal" mode, so that's good. Christmas time is my most favorite time of year, but it's always nice to get back to the way things were. Lots of fun and exciting things happening around here! :)
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