Kitchen {after}

You may remember this post from last summer. At some point this past winter we “finished” the kitchen. We spend a great deal of time in this room, and it is in the main part of our house where we pass thru many times during the day. Here is the “after” picture.

Completed Kitchen

 

Advertisements

We’re back!

… in the blog world! Lately it seems that all posts could be titled “Catching Up.” I sit down to post pictures and write something, but never finish. I thought this would change once summer was here, but I’m still having trouble finding time to share a few snip-its of life.

Spring was busy! In April we celebrated our first anniversary, birthdays, and a baby shower for a friend. We traveled a lot on the weekends in May to the lake and our niece’s baptism. While at home we’ve been working on house projects and started our summer garden.

Wedding cake {a year old}

T-bird’s Birthday!

Patton serenading Katherine – her first trip to Birmingham

My 30th Birthday

Katherine’s Baptism

Since summer has started I’ve traveled to Mississippi twice, had eye muscle surgery, and we took a spontaneous trip to the beach. The trips were relaxing, however the eye surgery not so much. I was able to catch up on sleep and stay away from the summer project to-do list. I’m still in the midst of the 2-6 week recovery. Thankfully I feel back to normal and I’m past the 2 week no lifting over 10 pounds restriction. I’m amazed at how the brain works as it is training my eyes to work correctly. Each day gets better. I was a little worried the day after surgery when I saw 2 separate images of everything… including 2 husbands!

Beach 2012

Some of our inside house projects are still not complete and were put on the back burner when the weather was ready for planting. Most of our focus and attention has been on the outside, including the screen porch we have added to our back entrance. We both enjoy the outdoors and are looking forward to having an outdoor space to relax and dine.

Patton and I have been enjoying farm to table meals around here. Patton can create just about anything from things we have around the house and rarely looks at a recipe. I on the other hand get excited when I come across a recipe that doesn’t need a trip to the grocery because we have the ingredients right here in our backyard. Our garden has doubled in size since last year and our focus this year was to use our own compost to plant. We also have been investing in plants that will produce year after year- strawberries (planted in 2011), blueberries (planted in 2012), asparagus (planted in 2012), and herbs- rosemary and thyme (planted in 2011). Our fig tree (already on the property) continues to produce beautiful figs. They have just started to ripen. They don’t last long and have to be eaten shortly after being picked. We always look forward to the couple of weeks we get to enjoy them.

Garden in the early stages {May}

Catching up

I can’t believe how much time has passed since I last blogged! It’s been so long that I’m not sure where to start. Here’s a brief recap- Over the past couple of months we have spent a good bit of time in Mississippi celebrating the arrival of our niece, Katherine. She arrived December 15th and was a healthy 8 lbs. 5 oz. She’s precious! We are thankful for modern technology, so we can watch her grow!

sweet Katherine

Patton and I celebrated our first Christmas married. It was a sweet time of beginning our own traditions and focusing on the birth of our Savior.

First Christmas {look at the white door}

We are still working on projects around the house. For the most part, the upstairs part of the house that we live in is finished. So it only makes sense to start a new project! A couple of months ago we began working on the “addition” which includes a mudroom, stairwell, and 2 closets. It’s been slow moving with all of the rain we’ve had. We’re finally past the part where weather makes or breaks a day of work. We’re also finishing the downstairs which will give us an office, another bedroom and bathroom. I’m thankful for my handy husband and his ability to manage this ongoing project.

sliding door from sunroom to great room {replaced the white door}

the addition

Fall

What beautiful weather we had this past weekend! My favorite season is here! The past month has given us snip-its of cooler weather, so we’ve been enjoying lots of time on the deck and sunporch. It’s nice not having to fight the heat and mosquitoes! We are still harvesting a few things from summer, and we’re excited that some of our winter crop is sprouting.

Summer Crop

Great homemade pancake recipe

 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking power
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
2 tbsp. almond oil

Just doing a little afternoon yard work.

The next phase of home renovations is underway! Stay tuned for more updates…

The Help, home projects & a giveaway!

What a wonderful Labor Day weekend! My parents were here. I love when they come visit! After they left we had a day off, but the weather was terrible so we stayed inside most of the day.

Then we decided to go see The Help. I hate we haven’t see it before now, but with school starting up there has not been any time to go see it. The Help hits close to home. It was mainly filmed in Greenwood, MS, my second hometown, and some was filmed in my hometown, Jackson. It was exciting to recognize just about every scene of the movie from Hilly’s house on the Boulevard to Baptist Town where Minny and Aibileen live and the storefronts of Howard Street in Greenwood and Fondren in Jackson. Also, another fun sidenote… my uncle, Tim, was briefly in the movie. His face appears in the banquet scene. The first shot was clear and then it was blurred out, but we could still tell it was him! Also, when the book is being put in the window he is riding a bike down the street. All subtle and usually unnoticed, but not this time! It was hard to focus on these 2 scenes because I was so wrapped up in the storyline but knew he was about to appear. We can’t wait to buy this movie so we can pause it and pay attention to more details of these familiar places.

Just because summer has ended and school has started back doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy on the home front. The past 5 months at our home have been full of projects! I have an extremely motivated husband. We’ve had a blast working together to make our house a home.  When we moved it was pretty easy to know where the furniture we own would go, but the biggest challenge has been what to do with all of the blank walls. We have many creative friends and family who have contributed to the art in our home. Every piece hanging is an original piece from someone we know, but we still had some blank space we wanted to fill. Pallet shelves have been our latest project. We hung two of them in our sunroom. I love where we chose to hang them because they can be seen from different rooms of the house.

We’d love to give a pallet shelf away! If you would like one of these for your home you may enter this giveaway by Sunday, September 18th at midnight. All you have to do is comment on this post! A winner will be chosen at random and will be announced Monday, September 19th. Good luck!

Catching up

 

Celebrating 4 months of marriage

The past several weeks have been a little hectic. Some of it has been relaxing and other parts a little chaotic. Here’s a brief recap… We took a trip to Jackson to celebrate my mom’s birthday. The next weekend we went to the lake with friends to say goodbye to summer and welcome the beginning of the school year. School started so I’ve put in some long hours. It’s been tiring, but I think I’m getting back into the swing of things. We had the privilege of attending a wedding celebration for a dear friend who just returned from a year in Afghanistan. While there I got to catch up with another precious friend from a memorable summer working at camp. It was such a treat for all 3 of us to be together again! My parents came to visit this weekend. That too was a treat! We’ve been cooking, projecting, and just enjoying each other’s company. Patton’s parents joined us for ribs, fried okra, green tomatoes, and eggplant from the garden. It was a fun night!

Weekend at the lake

Dad & Patton putting together the new lawnmower

Date night to Sam Bush

Janice, Jenna, and I

Nightly visitor in the garden

This guy hung out on our deck for a few weeks

There's another... that makes 3

Figgylicious

Our figs are rolling in! What a sweet treat! I like figs by themselves, but it’s also fun to cook them up in different ways. Over the past week we’ve been experimenting in the kitchen. My favorite so far is prosciutto wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese. They were figgylicious!

Goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes

Handsome husband hands wrapping figs in prosciutto

Brushing in olive oil getting them ready for the grill

Delicious flavor in every bite!

Fig pizza

Fig BBQ sauce

Fig BBQ ribs

Honeymooning

Patton and I went to the beach and lake for a few days the week we got married in April. We saved our “real” honeymoon til summer, so we could get away for a long week. We decided to stay closer to home and enjoy the mountains in western North Carolina. It was a great week away! We had a blast!

Wish this wasn't blurry. It has potential to be cute, but the waiter couldn't make our camera {auto} focus 😦

Chimney Rock

Whitewater Falls

Rainbow Falls

Patton sitting in the air pocket {Turtle Back Falls}. Love the new zoom lens on our camera! I got a lot of up close shots of Patton's reactions to this fun adventure!

There were a few moments of panic, but he waved his foot around to let me know he was ok!

The waterfall shot! We have one of these stretched out arm shots in front of every waterfall! hah!

Biltmore

Max Patch

Honeymooning on the Appalachian Trail {for my WOAC girls!}

Camping

Destruction & Recovery

Before we left on our trip we noticed something eating things in our garden. At first it was just some leaves on some flowers and then it was parts of plants. Deer roam in the woods behind our house so we just assumed they found our garden even though we haven’t seen deer since we first moved in.

One afternoon we spotted what was enjoying our garden…

An enormous GROUNDHOG!

Neither one of us know much about groundhogs, but after reading up on them there wasn’t much we could do except get rid of him. We have spent too much time, money, and effort in our garden to let the gopher win. But how were we going to catch him? He lives under the shed, is too big for the trap, and loves any kind of vegetation.

When we returned from our trip we were excited to see the progress of our garden since we hadn’t seen it in 8 days. Sadly, many plants had been nibbled on. Some can be salvaged, but the gopher has to go. We thought we probably wouldn’t see him for a few days or weeks, and he would definitely leave his mark. But to our surprise this wasn’t the case.

I glanced out the window and saw the huge, furry animal. Patton grabbed the gun and in one shot the groundhog is gone!

I was ready to post about the groundhog last week, but the story continues. We were sharing the groundhog story with Patton’s grandparents and Aupaw said, “If there’s one, there’s two.” Well, he was right…

We spotted another groundhog {in the pouring down rain} mowing down the beans. Patton tried to get outside to take care of him, but the he was spooked and ran away. The groundhog came back about an hour later and Patton hit him in the first shot. We’re hoping that’s it!

So now we are nursing the garden back to health. The recent rain has helped a lot! The beans are finished and the squash is close to its end, but the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers are growing. Our figs are coming in now! We had grilled figs wrapped in havarti and bacon last night… delicious! Goat cheese is the best option, but we used what we had. Can’t wait to do some more things in the kitchen with our figs!