Posts Tagged 'birthday'

the rest of daniel’s birthday week and my announcement

Is it really already Saturday???  Wow – time flies when it’s your last week of summer break!  

I hope that y’all had a great week and a fun Friday night!

Daniel and I have had a fun week celebrating his birthday (even though he says it’s “just another day” – psh).  For his birthday dinner, he requested chicken and cheese enchiladas, so that’s what I made.  I wanted to make him some type of summer dessert, so I bought some fresh peaches and made a couple of individual peach pies.  I didn’t really have a recipe, so I was surprised with how delicious they turned out to be!

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served hot with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful until we got around to Friday.  I had an early morning haircut appointment (nothing new – just a trim) and then came home to tell Daniel what I had planned for us.  I had told him to not make any plans for the whole day because I had something up my sleeve!  We grabbed lunch at Panera before hitting the road for Memphis.  One of our best friends recently moved to Memphis, so we stopped and chilled with him for a couple hours.  It was SO GOOD to catch up with him!  We did a little shopping and then decided to go to the Cooper Young district to walk around.  Our first stop was Cafe Ole, and then we ended up going to Cortona for dinner.  It’s a contemporary Italian restaurant, and oh my gosh, the food was incredible.  It started with fresh bread and herb compound butter that was delicious.  I asked our server for his recommendation on dinner because I was having a very hard time deciding what to order.  I went with his suggestion and it was one of the best Italian dishes I’ve had in my entire life (seriously!).  I ordered the chicken and asparagus ravioli with walnut cream, pesto, pine nuts, and fresh shaved Reggianno cheese.  I can’t even begin to explain how scrumptious this meal was.  All of the pastas (and pizza crusts) are homemade with imported Italian flour.  Yeah.  It was to die for.  Usually I don’t like to order the same thing at a restaurant, but I would totally get the exact same thing the next time I go.  Daniel ordered the grouper special, and the fish was incredibly fresh and the sides were quite tasty as well.  I wanted to order dessert so badly, but I was already overly full (and it was worth it).  After that, we drove to a cool place in Germantown to hang out for a bit before heading back home.  It was such a fun night, and it was great to be able to spend that much time celebrating Daniel’s birthday.

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sorry for the fuzzy phone pic

Okay, now on to that announcement…

Remember when I said that I was officially training for my first half marathon?  Well, my training has been sidetracked for several reasons over the past month (vacation, the ridiculous TN heat, and some digestive issues), and there is no way I can be ready to run 13.1 miles for the Chicago half marathon in September.  SO, I decided to find another half that was a bit later.  My cousin and her husband told me about the Go Commando half in Clarksville, TN (near Fort Campbell military base).  It’s October 20, so that gives me quite a bit of extra time to train AND hopefully it will be much cooler!!!!  I went ahead and registered for it, so I am officially signed up to run my first half!!!  Since I’m going back to work next week, my schedule will be much more consistent, so I can get settled into a training routine.  I am very excited!  I really hope they have tshirts that say something like “I went commando for 13.1” hahaha.  Wouldn’t that be funny?  Anyway – I’m a little disappointed about not going to Chicago, but this will definitely be better for me.  I’ve got to get back into my long runs on the weekends. 

 

Daniel is at the duck blind drawing this morning, and this afternoon we are going to church for a bit to work on setting up for tomorrow’s service.  I hope y’all have a great Saturday!

much love,

natalie

so tell me…

What did you do for your last birthday?  

Anybody have a race coming up soon?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Happy birthday to my sweet husband!

 

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I have to brag on him – he has an amazingly strong faith AND the boy cooks, cleans, gardens, works so very hard, and always gives 110% in everything.

 

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He treats me like a princess.

 

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He puts up with my difficult ways and all of my nonsense.

 

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He makes me smile and laugh every day.

 

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And – he is a total hottie. 

 

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I’ll post about his birthday present later this week – hopefully he will like it!

much love,

natalie

putting the suitcase away

I’m back!  After several weeks of traveling, house sitting, and more traveling, I am finally putting my suitcase away (that is, once I actually unpack it).

I have had so much fun this summer, but it seems impossible that tomorrow is the last day of July AND that this is my last week of summer break.  Where did it go?!

Last Wednesday I headed out to Nashville to spend the night before flying to Ohio on Thursday.  My first stop was Fleet Feet to get new running shoes!!!  Aren’t they awesome?!?!?!

Newshoes

That night, I met up with my mom and another girl and we went for dinner at this great little place called The Yellow Porch.  We didn’t go until 9 and we definitely missed the big crowd because we were seated immediately.  All of our food was wonderful, but the caprese salad stole the show.  

Nashdress

 

Ypcaprese

On Thursday morning, my mom and I went to a little place called Marche for a delicious breakfast before heading to the airport.  I ordered flax toast with fresh ricotta, peaches, and honey and a fried egg on the side.    Mom ordered one fried egg and the savory crepe of the day, which was potato, lemon, and mint.  Of course, we split our food and everything was delicious!

Peachesricottatoast

We flew to Columbus where my sweet cousin Laurel picked us up.  She had to go back to work, but dropped us at Easton to shop for a couple hours.  After a somewhat successful shopping trip and grabbing a light bite to eat, she picked us back up and we headed to her lovely home.  My amazing blogger friend, Lindsay from In Sweetness and in Health, lives nearby and came to meet us for dinner.  Lindsay and I connected through Kristen and got to know one another through our Bible study and countless emails and texts.  She is incredibly sweet, thoughtful, and caring.  If you don’t read her blog, you definitely should!  It was so much fun to finally meet her in person, and it really felt like I was just seeing an old friend.  We chatted the night away and enjoyed a scrumptious dinner at a cool pizzeria called Harvest.  I can’t wait until we can meet up again!

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Late that night, we rode with my cousin to a little place outside Toledo.  We were there to celebrate with my mom’s oldest sister – 29 years of being cancer-free!  We joined in on all the food prep on Friday and also had a great time catching up on everyone’s life!  The party was Friday night, and it was a blast.  The food was great, and the DJ played a great mix of music until midnight.  Needless to say, when I wasn’t explaining my southern accent (those Ohio people thought it was so funny and kept asking me where I was from haha), I was dancing the night away.  It was a great night celebrating my aunt’s health and life.

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On Saturday we spent the day at my aunt’s lovely home eating leftovers and watching my little cousins swim and play.  All too soon we were headed to the Detroit airport to catch our flight back to Nashville.  We drove straight from the airport to meet my cousin and her husband at The Cheesecake Factory (I had never been!) for dinner.  Oh my gosh – that menu is quite overwhelming!  I ordered a glass of skinny sangria, farro salad, and salmon rolls.  I couldn’t finish my meal, and ordering dessert was out of the question.  I guess I’ll have to go back sometime to get some cheesecake!  

Farrosalad

After crashing that night (I slept in the exact spot where Steve McNair was murdered – pretty cool, huh? – it’s actually a really nice apartment!), I got up the next morning and headed to my favorite place – Trader Joe’s!  I stocked up on everything I needed (and a few extra items…dark chocolate coconut bonbons…mmmm) and then headed home.  As soon as I walked in the door, I gave Daniel a quick kiss and then my mom’s other sister (from Texas) stopped by with her husband, one of her daughters and her grandson.  They were in town for a high school reunion, and it was so good to catch up with them!  When everyone left, the only thing I wanted to do was hang out with Daniel and take a nap haha.  Instead, I headed off to tumbling with my cheerleaders (who are truly amazing, by the way).  Once back home, we chilled for a bit and then I convinced Daniel to take me to Sonic for 1/2 price shakes.  I got a mini vanilla caramel hot fudge shake, and it was perfect.  After that, we both crashed!

Okay, enough of this rambling!  I hope that y’all had a great weekend!!!!!!!!!  I have an announcement later this week, so be watching for it!

much love,

natalie

so tell me…

Do you unpack your suitcase as soon as you get home, or do you put if off?

Do you see your family often (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins)?

Ahhhh….Saturday

It’s the weekend!  We made it!!!

It was a crazy week, but it was all worth it.

Last night, my cheerleaders amazed the crowd at our homecoming basketball game.  Everyone went crazy during and after their awesome routine (which can be seen here or here).  I am incredibly proud of them.  Just like we’ve talked about before, hard work pays

As much as I love homecoming week, I am thankful that it is all over. Smile

 

Today is a very special day!  We are having a party to celebrate my sweet little cousin’s second birthday!

It’s hard to believe that this little baby…

daniel and new baby chase

is now such a big boy!

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I hope that you enjoy your Saturday!  I’m off to party with the birthday boy!

Birthday Week Recap

It’s October, and that means my birthday month celebration is officially over.  But now that October is here, I can start celebrating our anniversary!  There is ALWAYS a reason to celebrate!

Last weekend, we had a little bonfire shindig for my bday and my cousin’s bday.  The weather was perfectly crisp and, as always, we had a blast.

My sweet cousin Annie put all the food into picnic baskets – she is so creative. 

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Aren’t the “cakes” adorable?  My mom made these rice krispie treat cakes for us, and we ate pretty much ALL of them.  They were addictive.

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She also made me my own special one made with Fiber One. 

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At work on Monday, my students sang to me and my cheerleaders sang to me in Spanish (I’m not sure why they sang in Spanish, but it was fun!).  My sweet coworkers surprised me with an amazing Edible Arrangement package of chocolate covered apples and strawberries.  They said they knew to get me something healthy, but wanted me to “have a little fun” so they put chocolate on it hahaha.  They are such a blessing in my life!

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Monday night was Blacklight Zumba, which is SO MUCH FUN, but made for a late night.  Quite a crowd comes out for blacklight, and we always have a super sweaty and fun workout dance party. 

blacklight zumba

The rest of the week was filled with work, Zumba, practice, working out (including my first bodyrock workout! loved it!), and spending time with Daniel.  We went to a wedding for our friends last night, and it was a beautiful ceremony and reception. 

*BONUS – I went looking for a new dress to wear to the wedding, and I found this little number on sale at Marshall’s for under TWENTY bucks!  SWEET!*

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Today was church, lunch, grocery shopping, food prep, and of course, football!  I’m hoping that frozen yogurt is in the works for tonight too.

I hope y’all had a fantastic week!  I’m off work this Friday and next Monday – anyone want to come hang out with me???? 

Have you ever done bodyrock workouts? 

I think I am hooked!  I’m planning those for my non-training days this week.

Let the Celebrating Begin!

This weekend has been full of celebrations!  Friday night was a wedding reception, Saturday night was a wedding and reception, and today was a day to remember and celebrate our heroes and our freedom. 

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Daniel heading out to drive one of the firetrucks in a Sept. 11 memorial

Friday night was a wedding celebration for two of our close friends (more like family).  Their outdoor reception could not have been more perfect.  Mason jar glasses with customizable name tags, live music, delectable food…what more could you ask for?  I danced all night (and my feet just loved me for it), and it was truly amazing to get to share such a special time with my friends. 

mike and tara's reception

Saturday night, my brother was the best man in his best friend’s wedding.  In case you didn’t know, my brother started losing weight last November, and this past Thursday he hit the 100 pound weight loss mark.  I am so incredibly proud of him (blog post on his journey soon to come), and he looked so handsome in his suit at the wedding!

tippett's wedding

As I announced last week, this is my birthday month.  Last night, Daniel surprised me with an early birthday/anniversary present…

REBEL

REBEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I cannot explain how ecstatic this makes me!

As soon as we got home from church and grocery shopping today, I read the instruction manual and started taking pictures (okay, maybe I snapped several before reading the manual).  I have been taking pictures ALL.DAY.LONG and I love it!  I am already completely obsessed with it. 

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Clyde’s photo shoot

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Harley’s photo shoot – love this one!

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Mom and Dad – aren’t they cute?!

Obviously, this is my birthday present, anniversary gift (we don’t usually do anniversary gifts, though), and Christmas present.  Have I ever mentioned that Daniel is the best gift giver ever?  Literally – the first gift he bought for me was in December 2002 when we started dating, and I cannot think of one thing he got me that I haven’t loved.  Pretty impressive if you ask me.  He continues to amaze me with his thoughtfulness. 

Tonight we had a small cookout at my cousin’s house.  We roasted hot dogs and made s’mores (my favorite!) around the fire. 

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mmmm…perfection

The boys had a blast, and they gave me PLENTY of opportunities to use my new camera.  They are just so adorable!

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this little one loves s’mores!

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“driving” the 4 wheeler

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hot dogs are awesome

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streeeeeeetch!

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big bite!

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what buttons can I push?

Another great weekend – so blessed!  I hope all of you enjoyed your weekend as well, and that you took some time to reflect and count your blessings.  It’s hard to complain when we have so much for which we can be thankful.  Have a FABULOUS week!

Goals for this week: post more than once a week (terrible blogger award should definitely go to me!), take a bazillion pictures with my new camera, eat CLEAN (no sugary and sodium-filled junk), yoga twice this week, and an extra amount of laughter each day!

What are your goals this week???

My Favorite Holiday

When asked their favorite holiday, most people say Christmas, Thanksgiving, or 4th of July.  I love all holidays, but my favorite has always been Labor Day.  Sure, I get a day off work which makes for a short work week, but even without that, it would still be my choice holiday.

labor day

When I shared this with my students on Friday, they could not understand why anyone would choose Labor Day over Christmas or Thanksgiving.  I then asked them if they knew why we even celebrated this holiday…and the resounding “WHY???” let me know they did not.  I explained that the reason we celebrate Labor Day as a holiday is because……it’s the kickoff of my birthday month!!! 

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old photo from my 21st birthday celebration

I know, I really shouldn’t take advantage of the fact that 7th graders do not understand sarcasm, but sometimes it is too hard to pass up the opportunity! 

Reasons I love Labor Day:

  • On Friday night, my cousins and I stay up ALL NIGHT LONG cooking bbq shoulders and hanging out – there are always crazy hilarious stories that emerge as a result of this night!

bbq

  • Dove hunting!  We hunt Saturday and Monday, and if we get enough doves, we beg Daniel to cook them in his famous secret marinade for us.

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  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!!  V-O-L-S GO VOLS GO!  Even though our game was only on ppv this weekend, we watched several different college games throughout the day.  There is nothing like football in the south. *I also got to wear my cute UT shirt*

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  • Sales – I used to go shopping with my mom on Labor Day weekend (before I knew they were having the cousin bbq party without me).  We still go run out to a few stores, and I can find several good deals online!

labor day sale

  • It really IS the kickoff of my birthday month!  Yes, I celebrate all month!

Labor Day also means that fall is almost here and that cooler weather is coming!  On Saturday, it was 99 degrees here, but today the high is only 72!  YAY!!!

Another fun thing I did this weekend was meeting my mom for a MUCH NEEDED pedicure!  I think I may be the ONLY person to get a pedicure and go hunting in the same day haha. 

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It just means I’m well rounded, right?  Or as my friend Amber says…I’m diverse.

What did you do this Labor Day weekend?

On top of all the fun I’ve already mentioned, I also went to see The Help (FINALLY!).  It was a wonderful movie, but, as always, the book was better. 

 


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