Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our 1st Married Christmas!

This year was mine and Aaron's first Christmas as a married couple! :) I really enjoyed being able to spend this time together. Last year we got a tree after Christmas (on sale) so we got to put up our very own tree this year. Newton especially loved when we were decorating the tree because he loved chewing on the ornaments. Since Aaron and I were going to be in Memphis on Christmas day celebrating with our families we decided that Christmas eve would be our very own Christmas day. The night before we had pizza and cookies while we curled up on the couch to watch a Christmas movie. (and The Office) I wasn't really in the mood for a classic, so we rented Fred Claus instead. Unfortunately, I was a bit sleepy.. so I didn't make it through tons of the movie.. go figure. On Christmas morning we got up and made cinnamon rolls (the cream cheese icing ones... yummy!) then opened all our wonderful gifts. Aaron and I think too much alike and both got each other Wii points. I used mine to download Sonic the Hedgehog 2! - from my Sega days. I also got some nice gloves, candy, some digital scrapbooking software (which I am soo excited about, but it hasn't come in yet) and an ipod docking station/cd player (which I get to pick out sometime.. Aaron wasn't sure which size I wanted). Aaron got some nice clothes, some new Wii games, a new Wii controller and some nice random stocking stuffers, like dress socks and gum :) All in all we had a wonderful "Christmas" morning together. Afterwards we just hung out watching tv and playing games on the Wii. You can't beat that kind of morning...

Aaron putting up our Christmas tree

Newton chewing on the ornaments.

Our festive table.

Newton's 1st Christmas!

Photo op in front of our tree before heading to Memphis.

Complete Our 1st Married Christmas album

Monday, December 29, 2008

Howell Family Newsletter

I have a pretty creative father-in-law. Each year he does their Christmas newsletter to the tune of a Christmas song, which is quite amazing. This year he decided to keep it a little simple with a Christmas poem. I think it's awesome!

'Twas the night before Christmas
and both of the Howells
Were reflective while stirring
about in the house

With the children all married
and gone from the nest,
Byron said to Jeanette,
"We are certainly blest."

Alan, Rachel still live in
North Mozambique's heat.
But pictures of Abby and
Ellie are sweet!

In March Andrew, Krystle
expect a new boy.
Papa B and dear Nettie
live close. What a joy!

Aaron's married to Erin.
It happened in May.
Now they're living in Nashville.
Not too far away!

To our family and friends -
in our hearts, out of sight:
"Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good night!"

Gray Extended Family Christmas

So now that it is after Christmas.. I guess I should get started on all my Christmas blog updates. Last weekend Aaron and I traveled to Memphis for my family get together. When we arrived on Saturday morning, the first thing we heard was gun shots. Any other person might have been concerned.. but I knew it was my family. Shortly thereafter my cousin asked me if Aaron and I wanted to shoot guns... so we did. It was quite hilarious. We both knocked some cans down, so I guess we weren't too bad. Afterwards we had a big family dinner and got to open our presents! Aaron and I got James a transformers toy. Not so sure it was the perfect gift for him. It took us 20 mins to get it out of the package and another 30 mins to get them transformed the first time. Hopefully he will figure it out. Later that day most people crashed for a couple of hours while a few of us played some games. Aaron slept next to the tree with the transformers box.. he looks just like a little kid. That evening we played around with the web cams on the laptops. James got a real kick out of it.










Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ice, Ice Baby

This past weekend was quite busy with tons of little things going on as well as Christmas shopping.. which by the way is crazy! I spent 45 mins in the toy department at Walmart and still didn't find what I wanted. Not sure if it was because they didn't have it or just due to the mass chaos and my lack of experience in the toy department. Anyways, along with all that, Saturday was also the Howell-Mehaffey Christmas extravaganza! First we went to dinner at Shogun, an awesome Japanese Steakhouse. We ate so much food I thought I was going to explode, but it was sooo yummy. Japanese Steakhouses are now part of my favorite types of restaurants. Too bad, it's a very rare occurrence to go.
After dinner we surprised the Mehaffey's (well Mindy was the one jumping for joy) with going to see ICE at Opryland. For those of you who don't know what ICE is, you should really check it out. The theme has been the Grinch for the last 10 years or so, but looks like it will be rethemed for next year. Basically it's a huge exhibit based on the Grinch with tons of different scenes all made of ice. Per the sign, 2 million lbs of fun! It was really neat to see all the different scenes and of course to take pictures of it all. In one room there are two huge ice slides. We were doing pretty good with the cold until we got in there. It was mainly due to just standing there in line waiting for our turn, oh yeah and the 6-9 degree temperature. By the time we were done our toes were barely bending, making walking a little difficult. Outside seemed quite enjoyable!
Afterwards we came back to our apartment and watched the old school clay-mation version of Rudolph.. the one with the island of misfit toys. I used to watch that movie all the time growing up. During the movie Mindy and I construction a gingerbread house (from a kit of course... we'll have to branch out more next time). I think it turned out pretty good... from the top view at least. :) Oh how I love spending the holidays with friends!
video

Cookies and the Griswolds

What's Christmas without decorating cookies and watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? Definitely not quite as much fun! Aaron and I were able to spend some good 'ole Holiday time with some friends from church on Friday and we had a blast. Beth had already made cookies and set out icing and decorative pieces for us to have fun with. Mindy and I went first on the decorating which was probably a bad idea for everyone behind us since we spent forever making little decorations on our cookies. Everyone else seemed quite content with just spreading some icing on, but we went all out. In the end I had to scrape some of the icing off so it wouldn't be too rich to eat! After cookies we cuddled up on the couches around the fireplace and watched the movie. I have to say that it had been way too long since I had last seen it... I didn't quite remember how completely ridiculous it was!

Monday, December 15, 2008

White Fluffy Snow

So Nashville got its' 1st snow last week! We were all pretty excited about it! When I left the city, it was just white rain.. kinda nasty, but still exciting. However, once I was approaching our apartment complex I was noticing that it was actually snowing! The front lawns and rooftops were dusted with beautiful white fluffy snow! I was so excited to get home and introduce Newton to it! There was one minor incident that held me back. For those who have been to our apartment, you know that pretty steep hill right in front of our building? Well, I was just crusing along, not even thinking about how dumb it would be to try to drive up the hill and so I got stuck. I tried reversing but my car was just slip sliding all over the place. So I just waited patiently for the husband to get home and take care of it. It was quite tricky.. but he managed with no dings to any vehicle. After we parked at the BOTTOM of the hill, we had to hike up (I was in heels sliding all over the place). Then we were finally able to take Newton out to enjoy the snow. Here are a few of the pictures!

He wasn't quite sure about it at first, but then he loved it!

He doesn't really like to look at cameras....

Aaron liked throwing snow at Newton!

Celebration with my LU girls!!

Happy Birthday Rachel! :) My sister turned 21 on December 2nd, but I was in Atlanta and she was soon to be heading to Honduras so we were unable to celebrate for a week. I have adopted some of Rachel's Lipscomb friends as my own, plus there are those who are friends from back home. We all got together to celebrate Rachel's birthday and Lydia's graduation! Way-to-go Lydia, even though we are incredibly sad you are moving so far away. :( We decided to eat at Maggianos, which was incredible. I'm sure the waiter thought we were crazy, however he did recite some love birthday poem to Rachel at the end of the night. All-in-all we had a wonderful time!

Me and Lydia, the soon to be college graduate and Mrs. Farmer

I absolutely love my beautiful sister!!

Birthday celebration!!

They devoured the cake.... it was quite scary to seem some of those girls attack!

The Birthday poem that the waiter recited to Rachel:
By Christina Georgina Rossetti

MY heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’s shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a daïs of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

Turkey Day

So I know this is crazy late.. but life is crazy, that is my excuse. So Aaron and I really enjoyed being able to spend some time in Memphis with the family and with friends for the holidays. We of course took Newton along who was still overwhelmingly excited about Aero (Aaron's parent's dog) and would constantly jump in her face. I think Byron (father-in-law) really enjoyed Newton.. he was always holding him, maybe he was just concerned about what Newton would do otherwise. Thanksgiving day we headed to Florence, AL with Aaron's family to celebrate, spend time together, and of course to make the yearly craft. Jeanette (mother-in-law) puts together a craft every year, for the ladies of course, and they are always great. This year we made our very own photo display tray, themed for the Christmas holiday season. I had such a hard time making a decision on colors and ribbons! Luckily, I (and Krystle) have the inside connection so I was able to make 3 this year! :)

Jenny with baby Spencer... adorable

making the craft!

my first finished board... quite cute. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spokes and Weavers

Relief, the exam is over!! (for now) whoo hoo! So Aaron and I are both in Memphis now for the rest of the week soaking up as much time as possible with family and friends. My mother-in-law made her famous Snow on the Mountain dish for dinner which was de-lish! Too bad Aaron missed it.. we saved him some though. :) After church I got to go out with some of my long-time and dearest friends. We just went to Chili's and had dessert, but it was so awesome to spend time with everyone. I sure do miss our times together, which seems to be less and less as we are all growing up, getting jobs, spending holidays with significant others, etc... Hopefully we will be able to have our annual Christmas get together/reunion before the craziness starts all over again.



On another note, I put some of my crafty skills (what little I have anyways) to use a few weekends ago and tried my hand at basket making. My aunt gets together with some friends from work and others every once in a while and makes baskets, so I decided to join in on a beginners class. I think mine turned out quite well for a beginner. It definitely has some rough spots though. Guess I'll have to give it another shot sometime...



Here are a few pictures of the work in progress:

video

Let the holidays begin!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Such a Nightmare...

Well… it’s been awhile since I last posted and with good reason. I am currently trying (not sure how well it is going) to conqueror my worst nightmare.. the CPA exam. This thing has been looming over me for way too long and it’s about time I get it knocked out!! I only wish there were more hours in the day and that I could function on 3 hours of sleep or none at all. However, that doesn’t seem to be how my life operates. It seems that I am sleepier than usual which makes studying so much more of a challenge. I have refused to do any cooking for the past 2 weeks so Aaron and I have been living off leftovers, take out, pizza, etc… all the good stuff. One of these days I’ll get back into running and cooking but for now it’s just bad-for-me food, lots of studying, lots of caffeine, and no exercise.

This week I have been lucky to be able to work in Franklin. I am always willing to have a client out here. I love being near my aunt and my wonderful husband. I always wanted to be able to go to lunch with Aaron and this week would have been perfect except… now we have a puppy. Aaron goes home on his lunch break to check on Newton and grab a quick snack so we aren’t able to go out to eat. I was able to go home on Tuesday with him, so that was nice. Today I was able to have lunch with my aunt at Steak ‘N Shake!! I always enjoy being able to spend time with her even if it’s only for a short while.

However, lunch is also where reality started to sink in. I started thinking about the test and how important it is for me to pass because if I don’t then I could lose my FAR credit.. which would be horrible.. and then I could lose my BEC credit.. which is also horrible. My brain was in overdrive and I was sent into a sudden panic. I became a bit jittery and it was so difficult for me to focus on anything else. I just wanted to whip out my note cards and start studying at work. Hopefully tonight I will be able to crank out some good studying and calm myself down a little bit. It just seems that no matter how much I study for this test, I’m never going to understand it enough to pass. I guess we’ll see….

Anyways, here’s to a hopefully productive weekend of studying…

On a good note, once this exam is done on Tuesday I will be able to enjoy my holidays worry free. Aaron and I are spending Thanksgiving in Memphis with the fams (however, it is specifically the Howell’s year) and will be traveling to Florence, AL on T-day. I am so excited about our double-date night with Andrew and Krystle, spending time with Maggie who I miss soooo much it makes me want to cry, spending time with our wonderful families, making crafts, sleeping in, and of course eating lots of great food.

So here I go...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Our little chore...

So Aaron and I got a new little (and by little, I really mean big) chore this weekend. We got a precious little cockapoo. We named him Newton after the great Sir Isaac Newton of course. Aaron wanted to name him Isaac, but I wasn't digging the old man name. We absolutely love him. He's been so much fun so far. We are still having to work real hard to get him trained and I am sure that it's going to last for awhile, but he is doing great. He definitely adds constant entertainment to our lives.
My little cousin, James came over to meet the puppy and he was so ecstatic about Newton. They became instant friends. Funny story... when James heard that we had gotten a "child" he responded with, "That's not fair! They're supposed to love me!" haha what a ham.



Twist & Shout

I know this is a little late.. but I needed to share some Halloween pictures! This year Aaron and I dressed up to represent the Twister game. It was quite cute, especially for finding out the day before that we were going to a costume party. The Moltz were having a big 'ole get together in which they announced there was a bun in the oven via their costumes.. check it out below. How cute!! There were a lot of fun and clever costumes.. along with some very disturbing ones.



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