Well we waited almost the traditional amount of time to tell majority of our friends and family we were expecting. It just so happened that the start of my second trimester fell around the same time that Joey was scheduled to have surgery at Shands for his back. So we knew we wouldn’t be seeing too many people while he was recovering, so we decided to take the opportunity to throw a little shin dig for Joey’s bday that was also disguised as his last hoorah before surgery.

We struggled with how to announce at the party, we wanted to tell everyone all at once, but everything just seemed so dramatic or cheesy. In the end, we decided to let our pups spread the news. I whipped up a couple of doggie bandanas, and ironed on the message that they were each getting a baby. It wasn’t perfect, our printer ran out of colored ink in the middle so one of them looks a little funky, but in the end it did the trick.
In the middle of the party, once most of the guests had arrived,  I pulled the dogs aside, popped on their bandanas and we let them loose. A couple of people screamed, I think Summer was the first to spot the twin part though, and catch on! haha. Then people really started to squeal.

It was so much fun, and I’m so glad we did it that way. The dogs seemed to really enjoy everyone’s excitement too, even though they didn’t really get why. Unfortunately in all the excitement, I didn’t get any pics of the dogs. Luckily, Summer did and has graciously shared a couple with me!! 🙂

It was still a little early, so we asked everyone not to post to social media just yet.
party day

The following weekend Joey’s Aunt Carol and Uncle John came to visit on Joey’s actual birthday. They had never seen our new house, and we were so excited to share the news with them when we got to the soon-to-be nursery on the house tour! 🙂 They were thrilled and we had a lovely weekend together, we even went to Wakulla Springs!


Excitement pretty much stalled for a bit after this, we went to Shands the following weekend and had Joey’s surgery. It went great, but it was hard for both of us. I had just started the second trimester, but was not feeling any extra energy boosts that  I had been promised, and he of course had just had major surgery so we were a pretty lethargic pair for a bit. But slowly but surely, Joey was back on his feet, and doing much better. The timing of the surgery really couldn’t have been better!

I didn’t post anything to social media for quite awhile, mostly because we were busy, and because we couldn’t decide how to announce it. Finally one day we just bit the bullet and made a silly little meme to throw out there. I think it was cute, and it did the job, and most importantly my mom was thrilled that she could finally share our news. 🙂
Announcement 1_edited-3

I think that ultrasound was from week 13. We had a LOT of ultrasounds. Which was great, we were very fortunate because I know most people only get to see their little ones a handful of times. But we seriously had one at every appointment, which was a lot, considering we were seeing our OB every 4 weeks and a maternal fetal medicine specialist every 6. Then of course the closer we got to our due date, the more frequent the appointments became. So we had a good amount. I’ll only share my favorites here I promise. Also, the earlier ones are the best, once they get bigger it’s hard to see much.

Above: Baby B on the left, and Baby A on the right at 15 weeks.

Maternal fetal medicine was both interesting and stressful. Our OB refers everyone to a specialist for a first appointment, and then again for an anatomy scan which is the gender appointment. But because we were having twins that upped us to a “high risk” status, so that meant that we had to see them more frequently. Our doctor was an old nerdy guy with a really dry sense of humor. He was nice, but not particularly friendly. Our first appointment was overwhelming. We went into his office, and he handed us a sheet with a bunch of numbers, it was a statistical sheet of the odds of genetic disorders by maternal age. He crossed everything out and doubled it because it was twins. He spoke quickly and technically and it was very overwhelming. Walking us through every possible disorder and our odds and what it meant if testing showed these disorders. I understand why he went through this with us, but it was so quick and technical that if our results did show something wrong, I would have needed him to start all over from the beginning because it all went right over our head and just made us more nervous.

Above: Baby A on the left, and baby B on the right. 19 weeks

Thankfully, our scan showed that they appeared normal, and later testing also went well. At one point the specialist said I had the “bloodwork of an 18 year old.” Thanks Doc, you know how to make a girl blush…lol.

Week 19 was a big one, we saw both our OB and our maternal fetal medicine specialist that week. But the exciting part was that we found out the genders. 🙂

Baby A was a boy!! And baby B was a….

GIRL! One of each!

We were thrilled! We’d both suspected it was one of each, I’d had very few tell tale symptoms. I craved both salty and sweet, and just didn’t really have a strong feeling one way or another so I felt like they must be crossing each other out. I think statistically it’s more likely for fraternals to be boy/girl too but that’s just something I read somewhere, I have no idea if it’s actually true.

Either way, we were pumped and happy that our babies were healthy, and excited to know we were going to have a boy and a girl to complete our family!

Long time no see…

It’s been a long time since I last posted…a little over a year and a half?!?! Downright shameful. But we’ve had a lot going on, so I have a lot to catch you up on. Honestly, I don’t even remember what we were up to before April of 2015, so I guess I’ll start with the most important news:

positive pg test

I got pregnant!! It was crazy exciting and we anxiously awaited our first visit with the OB to confirm our pregnancy. Of course they don’t want you to come in before 7 or 8 weeks, and I took a test really early (like probably earlier than I should have-a week before I was even due for that time of the month) so it felt like EONS before our appointment. In reality it was about a month, because I think our appointment was 7 weeks on the nose (according to my calculations anyway).

We found out right before Mothers Day, and we were going to Tampa to see Joey’s parents. It was really early to tell, but we couldn’t let this opportunity go by. 🙂 We bought his mom a “grandmother” charm for her pandora bracelet and gave it to her for mothers day. She was confused, but his dad finally got it, and began bawling. It was cute. 🙂

We rushed home that night, and had my parents over for dinner. My mom’s gift came in the form of this onesie that I quickly put together.
grandma onesie

My favorite is this action shot of them opening it! I wish we’d gotten an action shot of Joey’s parents. I think  Joey tried to video it with his phone but I don’t think it turned out.
mom and dad baby announcement

It was a hit! On both counts!
Not long after, this sweet angel Suzanna, my best friend’s daughter was born.

I was able to be at the hospital during the labor and delivery (although not present for the delivery of course, but I got to see her pretty soon after!) I wouldn’t have missed this event for the world, and it was a good introduction to how the L & D wing works and the women’s pavillion in general. It was SO hard not telling everyone then, but it was Suzanna’s special day. But it almost killed me keeping it quiet. lol.

Joey and I went to visit the new family a few days later and held and loved on our new “niece.” It was Joey’s first time holding a newborn. He was scared, haha, but handled it like a champ.

And this is when told Julia and Matt. We just couldn’t hold it in anymore. (Actually now that I think about it, this is out of order, Suzanna was born just before Mothers Day, and we visited just before we left for Tampa…so Julia and Matt were the first to know our news…but shush don’t tell our parents…haha. JK our parents are probably the only people that read this blog.)

FINALLY the day came, and first thing was first, they sent us off for an ultrasound with a technician before we saw the doctor.  And this is what we saw:

Week 7 A and B2_cropped

Yes…you are seeing that right…there are two 🙂 A and B. I saw it immediately and started crying and cursing and laughing all simultaneously. Joey thought something was wrong because he was watching my face instead of the screen (and cause he’s a dude and up until this point hadn’t paid attention to other people’s sonograms before and didn’t really know what he was looking at). Then the tech said TWINS!!! And suddenly he understood my reaction.

The funny and weird part about this is that just a few days before the ultrasound I started to worry that there were two. I had at least two conversations with friends about it, one with my work wife Megan where I mentioned I feared there were two…and she told me I was silly. Then the day before the ultrasound I took the day off to spend with my best friend Julia while she was on maternity leave. I asked her, “is it weird that I have this irrational fear there will be two in there?”
“No,” she responded, “Matt and I had that same fear while we were in the waiting room just before that first ultrasound…I think it’s normal.  I’m sure there’s only one in there.”

I told Joey about it that night, that night before. We laughed nervously about it, I’m not sure the thought had crossed his mind yet. The next day was a shock. I was glad we had the foresight to take the day off of work. Our OB was gleeful about it, twins are pretty common these days, but spontaneous twins (meaning without the aid of fertility drugs or treatments) are still pretty rare she told us. But they tend to have better outcomes, and easier pregnancies, she told us. We asked if they were fraternal or identical (that is all we knew to ask about twins at the time) and she said that they were in two separate sacs, which was good news because when they share a sac they can steal nutrients from each other and have problems. She said it was impossible to know for sure if they were fraternal or identical because they could have been identical initially but later split into two sacs. Or if they were fraternal they could have come from two eggs and always lived in two sacs. The only way to know was DNA testing, or if they were mixed genders then they would for sure be fraternal (I didn’t know this until we were pregnant with twins, but identicals are either boy/boy or girl/girl, boy/girl are always fraternal. Which makes sense if you think about it, but I hadn’t spent much time thinking about it. I’m sure I’ve asked people like our friend Jane the dumb question of whether her boy/girl twins were identical or not.)

Aside from this though, truly, the rest of the appointment was a blur. We were still trying to absorb the magnitude of what was ahead of us. My mom knew we had the appointment and of course wanted me to call her immediately when it was over. But this was big news. And I wanted to tell her in person. So I called my mom told her it went well, we were pregnant and everything was fine and healthy, and set up plans for dinner with my parents to show them the ultrasound.

We of course also called Joey’s parents since they live in Tampa and we wouldn’t be able to see them in person. Joey sent his parents the picture right after the ultrasound but they didn’t see it till later because they were busy. Naturally, they were pumped!

Since we were really still processing the twin info, and almost no one knew about the pregnancy, we were dying to show off our babies and talk it through some more. haha. So we dropped by Julia’s since she was home on maternity leave. I had to show her that yes in fact there WERE two in there. haha. She laughed so hard, and was a good sport about us just dropping by like that. In fact, around that time, Matt called and Julia told him the news and he immediately left work for lunch, and came to see us too. haha. We could see a little bit of terror in their eyes for us though, as they were still navigating the waters of a newborn and couldn’t imagine having two of them. We really couldn’t imagine it either.

We then went to lunch, and to a movie. Again, I’m so glad we took the whole day off work. Recently I was trying to remember what movie we saw, like I said the whole day was a blur, I couldn’t remember to save my life, but luckily  Joey did. It was The Avengers: Age of Ultron. So there you go babies, that’s what we saw. 🙂 Clearly it was super memorable.

This photo is really nothing special without context, but we got to the theater kind of early, and just sat there and read as much online as we could about twins. Frantically trying to absorb as much as possible. I may have started a secret twins board on pinterest while we were waiting there…

Joey Theatre

Later that night, we went to my parents for dinner and showed my parents the ultrasound without saying anything. My dad looked at it for a long time without saying anything. Really scrutinizing it. You could tell he knew something was wrong with it, but didn’t want to say anything. My mom remarked that they look a lot different than when Justin and I were little. lol. We told them that was because there were two, baby A and baby B. My parents about died. For the first 24 hours my mom said she just repeated the word twins over and over again. haha. I can validate that at least for the two hours we were there that that’s pretty much all she said. 🙂 My dad finally told her later that it just meant twice the fun.

This is when my mom reminded me that twins run on her side of the family. Both on her mom and her dad’s side. So from there we pretty much knew they were likely to be fraternal no matter the sexes. Never in my life did I think it would be a possibility that I’d have twins. It took several weeks for this knowledge bomb to sink in.

Next up…how we told everyone else, and about a thousand ultrasound photos. 🙂



In other news…

Not too much has been going on at the Meyer Manor lately. Work, work, and more work really. But we did bite the bullet and buy a new couch!!!! What??? I know, we’re crazy, we have two crazy destructive dogs that are the very reason why we had to replace our old couch, and then we went out and bought a new one?? Couch that is, not dog, we’re not THAT crazy!! haha.

Here’s an example about why we needed a new couch…
Lady in couch

You see where Lady’s foot kind of disappears there in the pic? That’s because her foot is INSIDE of our couch. Legitimately inside. She ripped the seam out of the middle of the entire cushion, and likes to hide things in there…like bones and other fun stuff. Also, on a regular basis there was white tufts of fluff from the couch, tumbling across our wood floors with the rest of the dog hair tumbleweeds. It was getting real bad. You may also notice the duct tape on the far right side corner of the loveseat…sigh. We are officially rednecks.

Fun story about that loveseat…it was the first piece of furniture we bought as a couple. Joey had bought a couch cheap from an old roomate, we both really liked the look of it, it wasn’t real leather, but it looked nice and was comfy. I really wanted to find a love seat or chairs or something to match it. The roomate told us he had bought the couch originally from Big Lots, to which we were like “Big Lots sells furniture???” YES, my friends, Big Lots does sell furniture. Cheap furniture and it’s pretty well made too, or at least as well made as anything else you can buy lately, Ashley and Signature brands. Well, as fate would have it, our Big Lots had 1 loveseat left, and it was on clearance because it was being discontinued. We celebrated our good fortune, and then when they brought it to us from the storage room Joey had the good sense to unwrap it and check it all out. Thank goodness he did, because it had a giant rip in the fabric across the back. It looked like someone had taken a box cutter to it. Womp Womp. I almost cried.

Instead, I called every Big Lots within 100 or so miles. Marianna had one and would hold it for 1 hour. So I threw Joey in the car (begrudgenly I might add. I think it may have been the first time I had ever made him drop everything and drive an hour plus for a deal…but it wasn’t and most certainly wouldn’t be the last). The one there was in perfect condition and it fit perfectly in our townhouse (and future house). It was my second favorite thing we bought in Marianna. Second? You ask… The first is this guy:
Bowtie🙂 I never get tired of looking at baby pictures of Chief. I wish we had known Lady as a baby.

Anywho… After having the couch 8 + years (not including the time that it was owned by other college age dudes previously), and the love seat for at least 4, it was time to retire the set. Especially since they had endured hopefully the worst of the puppy years of our dogs (I say this while knocking on a lot of wood!!)

We had actually planned to buy another one from Big Lots, we had one picked out and everything…but it wasn’t in stock and we didn’t want to order it sight unseen…So when our friends Julia and Matt told us that they had bought a new one at Turner’s Budget Furniture here in Tally, well we told ourselves it couldn’t hurt to check it out…we don’t have to buy right now…haha. Famous last words.

We fell in love with this one:
Couch in StoreBut then we decided to get a little crazy and order it in fabric instead of leather. They had this material as an option that was fabric, but it kind of looked and felt like leather in texture. It appeared to have good wipe-ability which is important with our dirty beasts. It’s hard to describe, you really have to feel it to understand. But they told us it would breathe better than the faux leather does (which was Joey’s biggest complaint) and with the easy clean, AND the extra stain guard treatment and insurance, we said let’s do it!! So we did, we ordered it and we waited anxiously for 8 weeks for it to be delivered.

Finally it came, and it’s pretty great!

COuch 1It’s definitely comfy, and seems to be holding up pretty well to the dogs. It is a LOT bigger though, and taller than our previous couches so it took me a little while to decide if I liked it or not. Visually it still overwhelms me a little with it’s height and size, but it’s growing on my by the day.

Couch 2 Especially when it holds up to our everyday life so well. It’s already endured multiple wine spills, and a dog war or two, and it hasn’t stained or had any weird booze smells, and best of all, no tooth marks from the big golden baby. Hooray!! For these reasons alone, I kind of want to hug it and high five ourselves everyday for choosing this fabric.

Joey says it’s working better for his back, and the dogs definitely approve. It’s perfect for them to lay back and watch their Dog TV stories.
Dogs on couch

Although Lady says it needs more pillows…
Demon dogAnd while it didn’t arrive quite the way I had envisioned it would in my head, I’m pretty happy with the durability and the purchase as a whole. We feel like we’ve officially arrived as grownups, and it’s nice to not have to strategically place pillows and blankets over holes, rips, and duct tape when company comes. lol. It’s the little things in life right?

Chief and JuliaEven though we increased our seating potential by another extra seat, Chief still feels that it’s important to sit on the laps of our guests to ensure no one gets TOO comfortable, except him of course. Thanks for being a good sport Aunt Julia! 🙂

All in all, we are all pretty pleased, and we’re seeing the house come together a little more every month!! 🙂

Chief Fluffybottom turns 2!!

Whew I’m late on this! Like super duper late. Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long, I’ll try to do better! I’ll make it up to you by showering you with adorable puppy photos in this post.
Chief Party Hat

Chief turned 2 on May 25, 2014 (told you I’m late lol), and we celebrated the momentous occasion with a little family party. There were party hats…which Lady didn’t quite understand as depicted below…
Lady Party HatBut they were a pretty adorable pair when we could get them to stay still. Lady’s face KILLS me in this photo below…seriously, I crack up every time I see it.
Dogs in Party HatsThere were also fancy treats…which apparently smell as good as they taste…
Birthday Chief 2We’ve gotten them those bone shaped cookies with pink and blue icing once before, and they were a big hit! Lady ran away with hers and slowly ate it, saving the pink half for last. So a big birthday like 2 called for lots of gourmet treats!!
Birthday chief 1They didn’t quite know what to make of the sprinkles, but in all they went pretty quickly so I think they were at least up to their standards…haha.

Lady jump Overall, it was a very fun day, and we’re so blessed to have these beautiful babies in our lives. Shortly after his birthday we took Chief in to see his surgeon for his one year follow-up and we were told that he is doing AWESOME! That his hip looks great, and his other hip is looking great too, and we likely won’t have any problems with that until he’s very old, but that he shouldn’t need surgery again! So we were very happy with this news!! I can’t believe it’s been a year since that surgery, but as stressful as it was, I would do it all over again for my Chieffy. 🙂 But luckily it sounds like we won’t have to! Woohoo! Happy Birthday buddy!!


Mail Time

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but our mailbox is a hot mess.
Mailbox2Ok, it’s actually a really nice mailbox, a heavy metal one, large enough to hold small packages without screaming “giant mailbox”. And I’m sure at some point it was really gorgeous, but now it’s covered in mildew which blends in with the hunter green color it is painted, but probably grosses our mailman out. Also the metal numbers were falling off and sad and I couldn’t find replacement numbers for them anywhere that matched.

One day we’d like to upgrade to a brick surround mailbox (we’re one of the only ones on our street that doesn’t have a brick one), but the one we have is perfectly fine for now, at least with a little sprucing up. So I attacked it with some black spray paint. 🙂 Our front door and shutters are black, so the green mailbox always kind of bothered me. The project was simple enough, Joey took apart the pieces that he could for me, like the little red flag and the pull on the front, which I spray painted seperately before reattaching to the finished box. But I spray painted the rest just in place, it was easier than trying to take it out and reinstall it.

Red Flag

Red Flag

I started by cleaning the box with just some regular old Lysol wipes…and then once it was dry sprayed a coat of Rustoleum primer. An hour later I was able to spray with a semi-gloss coat of black paint. It instantly improved our look. 🙂
Mailbox after1

The project was really easy and straightforward…but I have a couple of tips if you try this at home:
Tip #1 use your phone camera instead of your fancy camera when taking blog shots for this one…otherwise your neighbors may judge you for taking photos of your ugly mailbox. This may or may not of happened to me…but now our neighbor Bob across the street thinks I’m a crazy person.

Tip #2 Keep your spray paints seperated…I was doing another side project at the same time, and managed to place the bottle of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray next to the Black spray bottle, and definitely sprayed a coat of ORB on our mailbox as a second coat. Sigh…the really sad part is, I didn’t even notice until I was halfway through the second coat…lol.

Tip #3 If it’s overcast outside…don’t attempt this project. About 5 minutes after I sprayed the mailbox with ORB, it started to rain. At that point I went inside and told Joey we might be getting the brick mailbox sooner than we planned…haha. Luckily it was just a light rain and didn’t seem to affect the finish. Later I just went out and dried it and applied a 3rd coat, this time in black. 🙂

I’m very pleased with the outcome. Joey’s a little upset with my paint choices…he never noticed there was a fleur-de-lis on the front until I painted it, and now he’s devastated that our mailbox not only has the Saints symbol, but it’s also black and gold. Which is apparently unacceptable in our Buccaneer household. Although I can safely say there will never be a pirate flag on our mailbox, we’re not that big of fans. 🙂Mailbox after2_edited-1

Life Lately

Well once again it’s been awhile since I’ve checked in here…sorry about that…Things got crazy busy with work for both of us after the holidays and we both just kind of have been vegging when we get home both on the week nights and week-ends.

There has been a lot of this going on lately

There has been a lot of this going on lately

But I’m pleased to announce that all that hard work has certainly paid off, because Joey got a HUGE promotion at work!!! I’m so proud of him, and I know he’s really honored and pumped about it. Although now he’s even busier than he was before, which I’m not sure we anticipated was possible…but apparently it is. 🙂

It’s been about a month since he started in the new position, and I think we’re finally getting adjusted to the craziness. So hopefully there will be less vegging and more productivity in our future.

Especially since spring feels like it’s coming finally! We’ve had a really cold winter, and even earlier this month we thought we were actually going to have some snow! Sadly…we mostly just had freezing rain and icy roads…it was miserable and we had to go to work still, so it was overall really disappointing.

Lady waiting for snow

Lady waiting for snow

The dogs are settling down a bit, but still rowdy. They’re happy that it’s warming up and they’ve been playing (aka digging) in the backyard a lot lately. They’re also getting really good at snuggling. Sometimes even each other like the photo below:
SpooningI still can’t believe I was able to document this moment before Lady growled at him and army crawled away from him. lol. But all in all, other than work we’re pretty boring these days.

I’ve got a few projects we managed to get under our belt this year so far, so I’ll be sharing those very soon! 🙂 More posts to come, please don’t give up on me even though I’m so sparatic with my posting cycle!

Lady window

Happy Holidays

Christmas CardMerry Christmas from the Meyer family! This is our Christmas card this year, that of course won’t be delivered this year until AFTER Christmas…Sorry family and friends. Don’t ever use Walgreens as your print source unless you’re going for fashionably late Christmas cards of course.
Our cards were not delivered until the end of the day on Christmas Eve…Thanks Walgreens!

Sigh…so they won’t even go out in the mail until after Christmas. But that’s o.k. it’s the thought that counts right? 🙂

Anyway, we’re spending this morning with my parents and my brother and then hitting the road to spend the rest of the week in Land O’ Lakes with Joey’s family. We hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday with their loved ones and that Santa treats you all as though you are on the “nice list”! 🙂

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…

Well Thanksgiving came and went, and we were so busy that I never got around to taking many pictures, which is sad since we had lots of wonderful family in town and I failed to document it. 😦

I did manage to document this awesome cheese ball turkey that my aunt Janet made though!

I did manage to document this awesome cheese ball turkey that my aunt Janet made though!

Joey’s parents came up and stayed with us for a few days, and we had a wonderful weekend together! My uncle Gary and aunt MaryAnn came down this year for Thanksgiving as well, which was nice! And then of course we had our usual crowd, in total I think we had 15 people this year.
Jess and DebeeBecause Thanksgiving came so late this year I started getting itchy to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving was even upon us. So the day before Turkey day I cracked and we hung wreaths on the windows of the front of the house. They had just come in the mail, and I was soo excited to get them that we just had to put them up!

I love this addition, and plan to step it up next year with candles in all of the windows and maybe adding some LED lights to the wreaths.
dogs with wreathWe also added some net lights to the bushes in the front of the house. At least the bushes on one side of the house…haha. Our house is odd and has no outlets outside in the front or sides, so we’re limited when it comes to putting up Christmas lights. So we decided since it was so late this year to just throw on some net lights and call it a day. Next year we plan to have an electrician come out and install some outlets so we can light the bushes on the other side of the house, and maybe add some icicles to the roofline.

I picked up these luminaries last year at Goodwill, they were really sad and pathetic before they got a nice coat of silver and gold spray paint perked them up!

I picked up these luminaries last year at Goodwill, they were really sad and pathetic before they got a nice coat of silver and gold spray paint perked them up!

We didn’t do much decorating at all the first year in the house, we were still adjusting to having Chief, and tired from all the events in 2012. So this year I was really pumped to decorate, and I plan to continue to add a little more each year for the next few years.
Living Room

We got the flu in the second week of December though, so we lost steam about half way through. Luckily we got the outdoor lights and the tree lit and indoors before the flu officially hit, but our tree didn’t get decorated until just last weekend. And we didn’t even bother with putting on all of the ornaments…just the ones that we truly loved and have sentimental value with. Partially because we just weren’t feeling up to it, and partially because I didn’t want to put any ornaments too low for fear the dogs would get them.

So far they’ve been ok with the tree, much better than we thought they would be. But they also don’t get much in the way of unsupervised opportunities for destruction, so I can’t give them too much credit. Lady has slinked around the tree a few times which makes me nervous, but so far so good, she’s so agile that sometimes I think she does stuff like that to test her skills. If Chief attempted something like that, the tree would certainly come crashing down and he would wind up twisted up in lights. lol. Poor baby lives his life like a bull in a china shop, and doesn’t know the meaning of the word gentle or grace.

We had our friend Jaclyn take some holiday pictures, she interned awhile back with our wedding photographers that we love, and we were so thankful that she was willing to take some shots of us! Although trying to get our dogs to sit still long enough to be photographed was pretty comical. Lady mostly cooperated, Chief on the other hand took a little more work, and we have some pretty funny outtakes. But Jaclyn was very patient, and took some great shots so we’re very happy and thankful that she was willing to do that for us! We didn’t have any pictures as a “family” so it’s nice to finally have some. We need to work on the dogs with the “stay” command before we attempt something like that again though. 🙂

Would have been a great pic if Chief wasn't being a goober!

Would have been a great pic if Chief wasn’t being a goober!

We’re finally starting to feel better so it’s nice to feel like DOING stuff again, and not just laying around in bed. But speaking of laying around in bed, our dogs have been SUPER snuggly lately. Its been a nice change of pace…
Sleeping ChiefSleeping LadyThat’s about all that’s been going on around here…we’re just gearing up for the holidays! Hope you are all having a safe and merry holiday season as well!! 🙂
Christmas Stockings

Forgotten Cookies

Well it’s very near the holidays, and it’s getting to be that time of year again when I crave one of my favorite cookie recipes (to eat and to prepare) so I decided to make a few batches to share with our co-workers.
Forgotten Cookies 9I don’t usually share recipes on my blog, but this one is so good and so easy, that I felt guilty not sharing it. Forgotten cookies are seriously one of the oldest and easiest recipes in the book! But if you’re unfamiliar with them, they are basically little meringue cookies that melt in your mouth and deliver a yummy crunch of chocolate and/or nuts.

Here is the basic recipe:
2 egg whites
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (any flavor)
1 cup nuts (if desired)
Forgotten Cookies 1

The first thing to do is preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and then line a cookie sheet with foil (shiny side down).

My highly sophisticated method of separating egg whites

My highly sophisticated method of separating egg whites

Next step is to beat the egg whites until foamy,  I’ve found it’s best to use a stand mixer if you have it, but definitely an electric mixer either way!

Beat the eggs until foamy

Beat the eggs until foamy

Then you gradually add the sugar to the egg whites, and then continue to beat them on high until the mixture forms stiff peaks (this is critical or they’ll come out runny and won’t harden).

This is a "stiff peak" But think less dirty and more delicious..

This is a “stiff peak” But think less dirty and more delicious..

Next, add the vanilla and the chocolate and/or nuts and just kind of fold them in.
Forgotten Cookies 4Then you drop them by the teaspoonful onto the foil lined pan. No need to space them too far apart, they don’t expand or anything.
Forgotten Cookies 7Once you’re done, put them in the preheated oven and promptly turn it off. Then
forget about them! Leave them in the closed oven overnight (no peaking or they’ll crack!!) and in the morning pull them out and put them in an airtight container until you’re ready to eat!
Usually I’m a purist and I just go with old faithful semi-sweet chocolate chips and no nuts (because I’m against adding healthy things to cookies). But this year I made not only the semi-sweet chocolate ones but also experimented with chocolate mint chips (AMAZING and I highly recommend!! Makes them even more Christmasy) and white chocolate chips (these turned out ok, but I think I prefer mint chocolate chip or regular semi-sweet). But use whatever you like! It’s all delicious!

Halloween Party

I’m very late to post this…but to be fair, some traumatic events occurred at our Halloween party this year, so it took this long for me to be able to write this post. Ok… that’s a bit dramatic, I’m also lazy…you have to take that into account too. 🙂
smittysThe month of October flew by this year, and all of the weekends seemed to be spoken for by Florida State football games. Lots of home games this October. That and Halloween was on a Thursday this year…so Julia and I decided that our Halloween party should be a little low key this year, especially since we were scheduling it on a Friday night before an FSU home game. So we decided to go with a dinner party this year, with a subtle witches and wizards theme.
trioDecorating was easy this year, since we spent so much time last year collecting lots of Halloween items. We decided that we should make ahead the items for dinner, so we went with a vegetable lasagna (Julia) and a baked ziti with meat sauce (me) stuff that would be easy to heat up, along with salad and bread of course.

We rented tables and chairs so we could all sit together, and boarded the dogs so that we could light candles unafraid of them getting knocked over and setting fire. And four hours before the party we looked at each other and said, ” Can it really be? Can we really be done with setting up this early?” Famous last words….haha.

tableYes we were done with the set up and decoration…we prepared as well as we could have and had time to get ready and have a glass of wine before the guests even arrived! It was a dream…and felt too good to be true….it was. For some doom was to come upon us later in the night.
table scape

Shane and Lex

Shane and Lex

We used a backdrop this year, for a photobooth type of photo. I’m pretty happy with this addition, I think it’ll be a keeper. I think I got everyone but Jaime and Shiloh, which is sad because they had AMAZING costumes this year! They were voodoo queen and voodoo doll. Loved it, especially because we’re waay into American Horror Story this year!!

Rosanne and Mike

Rosanne and Mike

Adam & Judi

Adam & Judi

Matt & Jaclyn

Matt & Jaclyn



BillingtonsMore pics, sorry this one is going to be heavy on the pictures for a bit…




SpellsConsole tablemantelfoodboo2You may have noticed a theme with the candles…we went a little heavy with the candles this year…we initially planned to do this outside, but then it rained so we moved to the living room as depicted above…

And we thought it would be fine since our dogs were boarded, so surely the amount of candles we had lit would be fine…four grown adults had approved it, combined with Martha Stewart endorsing the cheesecloth candle combo…

Well my friends, let this be a lesson to all of us that you should not play with fire…because while we were all gathered in the kitchen, preparing to make our plates and sit down to dinner…a shrill scream blasted through the air…the fire alarm.

We ran into the living room and all of the tables were ON FIRE! It was the scariest thing ever to see our living room in a blaze. Joey ran in and fearlessly began batting at the flames, and everyone kind of froze for a minute watching before we all kicked it in gear and started filling up cups of water to throw on the flames. Wasn’t really the best idea…all that really accomplished was a giant mess of an aftermath, but in the end, the flames were all extinguished, and we were all ok.

We were so very lucky though that no one was hurt, and that the house was ok. The tables suffered a bit of a scorching, but they all still work fine (although we’re still waiting for that bill from the party rental company-thank goodness I’m friends with the owner lol). Nothing or anyone was harmed other than the tables, a couple of the rental chairs, and unfortunately our floors suffered a scorch mark or two, or three…haha. But nothing that can’t be buffed out and refinished later on down the road when we care enough/don’t have doggies and babies doing their own damage to them. So probably whenever we go to sell…haha.

All in all, our ego suffered the most damage, but we’re recovering and hoping that one day it will be a funny story. In the meantime I’m trying to embrace the imperfections in the floors like everything else in our home… chalking it up to memories and reminders of how blessed we are everyday to be safe, healthy and have a beautiful roof over our heads.