Friday, December 30, 2011

Two Christmases

Well, it was a different kind of Christmas this year. I felt so different about it this year and all I can think is it was because of our little baby boy coming in January. Gifts didn't seem important. I had to work on Christmas Day. In fact, I read the Christmas story in Luke in my car the morning I had to work and it impacted me more than ever. I'm so glad our time with family was well spent and we kept the important things in the forefront. Our festivities started out Christmas Eve, during which we got together with Chris' family. Lots of food and good family time! I wish I had taken some pictures but that didn't happen much this holiday. My family came from middle Tennessee Christmas night. It's funny because we had some miscommunication about dinner and we needed to find something for Christmas dinner. Someone suggested ordering pizza which sounded good to everyone else. Do you know how many pizza places are open Christmas night? You guessed In fact there were only 2 restaurants that we could find open-Waffle House and McDonald's. Well, we got some hamburgers and chicken nuggets and sat around the table to our Christmas dinner. It was classic! I did get some pictures of that night. 

 Tess, the Christmas Wonder-pup

 Emily's new apron.

We had some great family time and definitely had a Christmas that we will remember!

On a totally different note, We are almost finished with the nursery! Photos will follow, of course. Here is a photo of our next project, the dresser which will be Jackson's changing table. It's a piece from the 1950's and belonged to Chris' grandparents and they gave it to us free! Yes, it's seen better days, but with a little sandpaper, paint, hardware, and TLC, it's going to look beautiful!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas to you! I'm saying this a wee bit early because I'll be working tomorrow. We will NOT be dwelling on that, however! Today we will be finishing up the cookie baking, sausage toast making, cleaning, and present wrapping, our last gift having been bought last night. We like to leave things down to the wire around here! 
I hope you and your family have a wonderfully blessed holiday weekend.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Special Day

Happy Birthday to my One and Only!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband. I could not ask for a better best friend in the whole wide world. He cooks us dinner on the days I have to work. He's an awesome snuggle-bear. He takes care of me and provides for our family. He's done an awesome job on the beadboard. He can fix anything. He holds me when I need to be held. He does his own ironing. :) He's going to be the best daddy in the world!

I love you, Christopher Hughes!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This Christmas

What, Santa isn't real? ;) 
This holiday for us is definitely shaping up to be a different one. For one, I have to WORK on Christmas Day. This should be illegal. I am of firm belief that hospitals should be closed at least a week at Christmas. Oh well, this does bring about another Christmas development. My family is coming to Knoxville for Christmas!! I can't even describe how excited I am about this. We have always traveled for Christmas and it is so nice to have the people I love coming here! I am, however, taking volunteers for anyone who wants to come help me clean house. Hurry, this offer won't last.

Anyway...our shopping is about halfway done and our preparations are about halfway, um not really begun. Am I worried? Not really, I'm feeling that this Christmas, we are focusing on our time together and family. Kind of refreshing, although I'm feeling next Christmas might be a little busier with an 11-month-old included in the festivities. I can't wait for that either. This is a no-lose situation.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Wishes

All I want for my birthday/Christmas/New Year's:

one healthy baby boy, ETA approximately 6 weeks from today.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lovely December

I do love December. It's always been a great month for me with Christmas and my birthday. Then Chris came along with his December 22nd birthday. We celebrate all month. This year especially I am hoping the month flies by even faster than usual. When the 26th comes around, the day after Christmas, I will be 36 weeks...exactly 1 month from my due date! Let me tell you, this little baby boy is what we are looking forward to around here! I didn't know it was possible to feel this much love for someone I haven't even met!
So, welcome December and all it's loveliness. However, this season, you've got nothing on January!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Aren't most weekends in the Fall crazy-busy? Last weekend was for us. I'm telling you, I just love the time from October through December. Wouldn't it be nice if some of the fun was shared with dreary February? Secretly, I am ready to put up our tree! Practicality has won out so far, though, and I have to work several 12 hour days before Thanksgiving, so next Sunday will probably be the day for the tree! I'm so excited to decorate our new house. We've never had a mantel to decorate before. Don't you just love a good Christmasey mantel?? Anyway, back to our weekend...

I love these girls! Our friends Rachel and Keith were married Friday night. It was a beautiful, personal ceremony. May God bless their marriage!

A few weeks ago we agreed to leave right after the wedding and drive up to Frozen Head State Park for a weekend of camping. I love camping and I was so excited, but something told me that Chris and I should just commit to one night instead of two. Well, that was a good decision. Don't get me wrong, we had a blast. However, 29 weeks pregnant + the coldest night of this season = potential for disaster. I just have to say that at 4 am on Saturday morning when a.) I was wrapped up like a mummy b.) I was still frozen even though I was a mummy c.) I had to pee d.) I had leg cramps, wrapped up like a mummy, in a tight sleeping bag---I almost bailed! Haha! If my sweet husband hadn't helped me get out of (roll out of) the tent to get to the potty, helped me get (roll) back in, and helped me get warm after that, a meltdown may have occurred. Nuclear

Aside from the whole nighttime/sleeping thing, we had a great time. A beautiful site by the creek, great friends, ladderball, and yummy food--I really do love camping. I was fine with leaving the 2nd night to everyone else, though.:)

On Sunday was our baby shower at church. I feel so overwhelmed and blessed by all the people who came and showed their love and support for us. Jackson is going to have an amazing church family to grow up with and we are more than thankful for that.
 Noah's Ark!
 Have you ever seen such an adorable diaper cake? Just look at that baby elephant.
Future Mommy and Grandmommies. :)

I finally took a photo of the crepe myrtle in our backyard. If you remember the "burning bush" from Friday's post, this is his sister. Sadly, the burning bush lost his leaves this week so I had to settle for the slightly less brilliant, less full, sister. She's not so bad herself, though. Too bad the photo doesn't do her justice!

Thank you God for this beautiful time of year and all its blessings!

Friday, November 11, 2011


11 things I am thankful for today:

1. The crepe myrtle that looked like the "burning bush" in our backyard this morning. With the beautiful red and orange colors + the morning sunshine-gorgeous. Should have taken a picture. 
2. A job that allows me to have days off to recuperate and get done what I need to.
3. A husband who has never forgotten, even for a day, to make sure I know he loves me. 
4. Weddings-I love weddings. So excited for Keith and Rachel's tonight!
5. Baby kicks-Jackson lets me know daily that he is still in there and I never get tired of those.
6. Newborns-my friend Jamie's little 6 pound, not very many ounces Leah who was born this week. She sounds like a little lamb when she cries!
7. Sleeping in. I don't need to explain, do I?
8. Mamas. My mama is coming in on Sunday and I can't even explain how good it is to be able to just "be" with her.
9. Fall-I am watching the leaves fall outside against the bright blue sky-best time of year. 
10. Chocolate-especially the little bag of chocolate chips I found in the pantry when I was getting out my baking ingredients. :)

11. My God who makes His presence known even amongst my fears and anxiety. I guess I really can't ever be thankful enough.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Teeny Nursery Sneak Peak

Jackson's nursery is coming together but we've still got a lot of work to do! It's looking great, though, and I just wanted to give you a preview, especially for those asking about it. 

There you go, that 2nd picture gives an honest description of our current state of construction. Fortunately, the paint, which is navy if you can't tell from the picture, is done. The biggest project now is the beadboard and Chris is working so hard to get that finished. It's coming together!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Perfect Fall Day

Chris and I had a great weekend, but it was sure topped off by a wonderful Sunday with each other and with friends. Update: we went to Vandy on Friday for a check-up for Chris and the Dr. says that he is progressing and looks to be improving! Such a blessing and answer to prayers. Back to Sunday...after an encouraging and challenging church service and a fun lunch with friends, we came back to church for trunk or treat. So fun to see all those kids and families from the community!

When we got home, Chris built a fire in the fireplace so we could warm up after a chilly afternoon outside. We were going to carve both our big pumpkins, but stopped after one, our "J" pumpkin for our little punkin' on the way. Can't wait for next Halloween!

Then we roasted pumpkin seeds, something we have never attempted.

We flavored them 2 different ways, each very characteristic of us. Chris made the garlicky, salty ones and mine the sweet, sticky ones.

Just a fun night with church family, friends, and my best buddy. Too bad Fall goes so fast. I could use a couple more weeks!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Puppy Love

Have you ever loved a dog? Chris and I have. If you've loved one, you will understand what I'm talking about. If not, then just take my word for it. Chris and I had The Best Dog in the Whole Wide World for 6 1/2 years. We adopted our Bailey-boy 6 years ago when he was 6 weeks old. Who could have left this adorable little ball of fur at the adoption center:

There has never been and never will be another dog like Bailey. He was polite, waiting to be given permission to eat that pizza crust. He was scared of the vacuum cleaner, the broom, exercise balls, the Vet (thermometer), the sprinkler, bathtime, and people with hats on. However, if someone rang the doorbell, watch out! He would sound like he was coming through the door-great for scaring away salespeople! By all means, don't let a cat walk through his yard or a dog walk by on his road. He wouldn't chase a frisbee and he wouldn't fetch worth a darn. However, all it took was one time for him to lean against you while you were sitting or nuzzle his nose in your hand and you were hooked. He lived for walks and trips to the park.

2 weeks ago I noticed some bruising on his belly when we were playing in the yard. I took him to the vet and to make a long story short, after many tests and visits, it was determined that he either had a fungal infection or later-stage cancer. How could this be? Our six-year-old puppy at heart who looked completely normal was sick! Anyway, we started treating for the fungal infection and hoped it wasn't cancer. He may have been a little lazier over the past couple of weeks, but he just seemed so normal.

Yesterday, our Bailey-boy passed away. It breaks my heart to type that line. I'll spare you the details, but we are so thankful that Chris came home at lunchtime to be with our puppy.  2 weeks we knew he was sick and now this. Shocked, heartbroken. What a lonely absence in our house.

OK, I have to move on. If you didn't know Bailey, I want you to know a little bit about him because, yes, he was the best dog in the world. Here are some pics of our best buddy.

He would take any chance he got to sneak a few minutes in our bed!

He LOVED hiking and camping. The first time we took him camping we worried about how he would behave in the tent. Well, he came in, curled up in a corner, and slept like a baby.

Trips and walks were the highlight of his life. Say the word trip and he was in the car ready to go. He lived to go on walks.

He went everywhere with us. He was just so good. This was the bridge at Grandfather Mountain. Bailey was terrified, but because he was with his beloved Chris, with shaky legs he made it to the other side.

He also made it his life's duty to rid every toy he was every given of its stuffing. He wouldn't rest until every last bit was strewn across the floor. We went through a box of his old toys yesterday, mostly consisting of stuffed animal carcasses.

This was last Wednesday night, we were in the garage with Chris who was working on beadboard for Jackson's bedroom.
What a pretty boy.

It is so weird to come downstairs and not find him laying in the sun coming through the windows with one eye/ear always on the door. Or not finding him on his favorite spot on the landing of the stairs. Or not being greeted by a happy face and wagging tail when you come in from a long day of work. Or to not be able to watch him chase crows and squirrels in the backyard, fully convinced each time that this was the time he was going to get one. Or to know for the past 6 years that you could go to bed and feel safe because Bailey would never let anyone in to hurt us. Or to simply feel that warm body leaning up against you, perfectly content to be petted and loved.

Bailey-boy, we miss you and we always will. I'm sure there will be other dogs and we know Jackson will love to have a puppy to grow up with. There will never be another one like you, though. Not another one with soft, velvety ears that I loved to pull on quite like yours, who cocked his head in that adorable way when we spoke and looked for all the world like you might open your mouth at any time and talk to us. We will move on and can't wait for that exciting bundle coming in January. We wish you could have met him and know you would have protected him. Our house will never quite be the same without you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Really Here!

Much of the time Fall technically arrives in Tennessee but Summer weather is still holding on. Not this year! It actually feels and smells like Fall around here! This is definitely one of my favorite times of the year but with all the activities it seems to go so fast! Does it seem that way to you? 
Anyway, I've been cleaning today and my vacuum cleaner actually died on me. It may have overheated because it started right back up again in about 20 minutes. However, my cleaning concentration was broken and I haven't gotten quite back into my groove yet. Please tell me this happens to you sometimes.
Newsworthy...If you haven't heard, Baby H now officially has a name! This is the ONLY name Chris and I even remotely agreed upon and we had a solid agreement on this one...Coming in January, 2012-Jackson Wade Hughes! I love it and I think it is a good, strong name. He has celebrated his name by starting to move around and "kick" in the form of little pokes to my belly. I have definitely been waiting for this to happen and I will be so excited when Chris gets to feel it too!
Houseworthy...My mom was here this weekend and actually helped me with some motivation on starting to get the nursery in order. This had to begin with an excavation of the actual room from the mound of boxes which were being stored there. These were boxes of things that actually did not have a "place" to go in our house. I am not very talented at organization and often boxes like this perplex me so that they don't actually move anywhere for a while. Sometimes a long while. Anyway, those boxes are finally in the unpacking, organization, and moving stage and I'm feeling quite a bit better about the nursery. I mean, it's not like we have a deadline or anything. ;) We have the crib, we have picked out the bedding, and I think we have a paint color. I can't wait to see this room take shape and will certainly post some photos!
Meanwhile, here is the project that I mentioned I was working on a few weeks (months?) ago-our collage wall. I love how it turned out and I'm not really even bothered by the empty frames (they had to get out of our floor!). I'm sure they will be filled by someone special here in the next few months! Also included are some updated progress photos of the living room that some of you have been asking for.

 Our collage wall! Much more difficult to hang than I imagined, but it's done! The room you see in the distance is the dining room (red and gold paint). Our plan for that is a farmhouse table and Georgian Green (Benjamin Moore) for the wall color. (Paint color stolen from my sister's house!)

We've still got a lot to go but I'm already loving the feel of this room. Quite a change from the reds and golds that I usually gravitate toward. Imagine with me, if you will, hardwood floors, soft, flowing curtains at the windows, and possibly a re-tiled fireplace. Am I dreaming? Yes. Those are the projects we want to accomplish when we have the time. And oh yes, the money.:) Maybe my fairy-godmother will pay us a visit. Until then, I am so happy with our home and excited more about the new things to come!