Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving.  I know we did.  I am pretty sure I could have skipped meals for two days and my body would have still thought it was full.  My family is wonderful.  We always have a big group for Thanksgiving, probably had 25-30 this year.  A big group of people means LOTS of good food.  My favorite is my Aunt Jackie's chocolate fudge.  I am pretty sure I almost made myself sick on it this year.  Everyone brings a side and a dessert.  Yummy yummy.  

My side item is my Granny's dressing/stuffing.  As she got older and it was harder for her to stand for long periods of time, I started going to her house the day before Thanksgiving and helping her make her dressing.  It is made from scratch and it is probably the only thing in the world I can make without measuring a thing.  I taste and eyeball each ingredient.  I do it the way we used to make it, even though it isn't exactly the original way.  The original way was made with real eggs and the way we made it was with egg beaters (my Granny had high ME).  So, I made it the day before, and I actually messed up a batch of it.  I grabbed Southwestern egg beaters instead of the original ones.  I noticed of course after I poured and smelled it.  YUCKY!!!  I got really mad and went to the store bought all the ingredients again and started over.  I really was more sad than mad.  In all the years I have been making it with her and now the two years I have been making it on my own I have never messed up.  I will say this, the do over batch was the best I have ever made.  In my opinion.   

So we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family and Saturday night had some friends over to the house for a little football watching and a game night.  It was a great way to end the holiday.  

Now, my house is ready for Christmas.  It is decorated and the lights are up on the outside of the house and Christmas music is playing.  Yes, while I work I play Christmas music.  It puts me in the best mood no matter what.  I will be doing a little Christmas count down.  I will share all my favorite things about Christmas over the next 24 days.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hawaii Day 3

There is one thing you have to see in Hawaii if you only have time to see one thing.  Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor is a great historical location.  Our third day in Hawaii, my family went to Pearl Harbor.  Michael and I went the first time we were in Hawaii, but they have updated and change a lot of things, so we knew we had to go again.  I have once piece of advice if you are planning to go to Pearl Harbor....arrive EARLY.  Going to the Arizona Memorial is free.  Yes FREE.  They hand out cards if you want to go to the Memorial and it has a time stamped on the back.  We arrived a little before 8:00AM and our time was 9:45PM.  Don't worry about finding something to do with that time.  They have changed the area and there is so much to see.  The area is updated and beautiful.  So, we walked around the area.  We checked out submarine information and looked at anchors and all kinds of interesting things.  When it was our time, we went into a theater and were shown a documentary about the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.  It makes things somber and then they load you up on a boat and take you to the memorial.  The saddest parts of the memorial are knowing the men on the Arizona were never brought to the surface and the fact that oil is stilling leaking from underneath.      

You can really look through and see things


All who died

Oil coming to the surface

Arizona Memorial
After our tour over to the Arizona, the family went over to the Missouri.  The Missouri, or Might Mo, is the last Battleship ever to be launched and decommissioned.  She was also the location where Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces ending World War II.  Now that you have a little historical information on the ship, let me tell me my personal opinion.  I have now seen this huge ship twice now.  It is very cool.  Especially if you like history.  They have tours of the entire ship, and tours of just a few decks.  Michael and I have done both.  The longer tour is awesome and was super fun.  I think my parents got a lot out of the shorter tour.  I knew a few more bits of information that I learned from the first tour, that I was able to share with them.  I also learned a few things I hadn't learned in the first tour.  So overall I recommend taking the tour and seeing the Missouri.  
Big guns

Where the Japanese surrendered

Mom, Dad, and Eric hanging out on the top deck

View from the top deck of the Missouri

Resting our feet

We were pretty exhausted from all of our walking around that I decided we would take my parents over to see Hickam Air Force base.  Michael and I stayed at our friend's house on base and they wanted to see where they lived.  We decided to take everyone to their house to relax before our next big adventure.  Our plans for the evening were to go to Paradise Cove.  Paradise Cove is a luau.  It is very amazing.  We were apart of the deluxe package.  This package gets you the VIP treatment.  HAHA!  Well it gets you free drinks, front row seats, table service, pictures, and a souvenir.  So, really you get nothing.  On Oahu, this is the Luau you have to attend.  They have great dancers, and the food is good.       

Dad won a prize

Waiting for the show to start

Making head pieces.

Babies and More...

No, I am not about to announce we are expecting.  That would be crazy.  I do have several friends who are pregnant, which is very fun and exciting.  My best friend, who we just recently went to see in Hawaii is preggers.  The last time Michael and I went to see them she was also preggers.  I think it is a theme.  Right now she is about a month away from having her second baby.  A BOY!!  I am super excited, because that means I get to be an Auntie again.  Her little girl is so fun and adorable and really is one of the closest kiddos to Michael and I.  Even thought she lives halfway across the world/country, I still refer to her as my niece.  Trust me when I say that little girl knows who her Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Michael are and she definitely took a liking to her Uncle Michael while in Hawaii.  So of course, when I learned of this baby and learned it was a BOY I got very excited.  I think boys are so much fun.  Girls are fun too, but boys are just super fun.  I grew up in a family of all boys, so I am a lot bias.  I was a tom boy, so I know how to deal with boys better than little girls.  I have improved on my girliness over the years, so I am not as bad as I once was, but I still enjoy sports and don't mind getting dirty.

Enough about me...back to my wonderful friend.  When we were in Hawaii she asked that I take some maternity pictures for her.  I am by no means an expert photographer, but I do know how to take pictures.  One morning, we got up early and went out to snap some pictures for her and baby boy.  She has a name picked out, but I am not sure if she has fully revealed the name, so I will just refer to him as Baby Boy.  It was a lot of fun taking pictures for her.  She does some photography herself, and I know it isn't fun being on the other side of the camera, so we just tried to have fun with it.  My broken computer is being shipped off...stupid computers...but I did get some pictures done for her before it left.  Let me know what you think of her maternity pictures.  I took several belly pictures, but I feel those are personal and have decided not to share them.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Last week, I spend 4 days in Virginia.  Not the DC area of Virginia, but middle of no where, two hours to any airport, middle of no where.  The hotel/resort I stay at was very nice.  Getting to the hotel and flying into the area, not so much fun. 

Since, I travel a good amount, I am used to problems along the way.  Last week, I left on a Tuesday.  Whenever I woke up Tuesday it was raining.  Not a whole lot but it was still raining.  I grabbed my suitcase and drove the 30 minutes from my house to the airport.  At about the halfway point to the airport the rain started coming down really hard and I started to notice lightning.  I don’t mind flying when it is raining.  Rain doesn’t normally delay flights.  Lightning on the other hand delays flights.  I was a little worried because my connection was only 40 minutes.  Yikes!  But, at the airport my flight was showing on time.  I never believe this, mainly because sometimes they don’t show a delay until it is already past delayed.  Sitting in the airport, the flight next to me got canceled.  Great, I was thinking, we are next.  The gate agent told everyone the plane had be struck by lightning not once but twice while landing and now could not be used.  Awesome!  At that point I started my please don’t be delayed please don’t be canceled speech.  I was flying into an airport that has two flights a day from Chicago, and the last one arrives at midnight.  (plus two hour drive=no fun).  My flight ended up delayed, of course!!! While in the air all I could think about is how I am wet, because of the downpour in Arkansas and the three inches of water in the parking lot, and how I am going to miss my connection and be stuck in Chicago. 

If you ever fly then you know that they usually come on closer to your arrival city and tell you your connecting gate information.  Our arrival gate was G18 and my departing gate was G17.  All I could think was this is a miracle.  I literally got off my flight and walked straight into the boarding line of my next flight.  Of course, at this point, all I could think about was my luggage is not going to make this flight.  The connection is too tight.  Even though the planes were next to each other, I just knew.  So, when I landed in Charlottesville, Virginia I was was not surprised one bit to not see my luggage.  The only problem was now I have to drive to this hotel two hours away with no clothes or anything.  This was the worst trip for the airline to have delayed my bag.  The hotel I was staying at has a dress code for dinner.  Ladies in dresses or suit, and men must wear ties and jackets.  Great.  I am in jeans and tennis shoes.  When I got to the hotel I spoke with American Airlines about my lost bag, which at this point they didn’t know where it was at in Chicago.  How do you not know?  Well, I explained my situation to the nice lady and she allotted me some money to go make a few purchases.  Great new stuff.  The only problem I had with this, was that I was at least an hour from any store, Wal-mart, Target, department stores…NOTHING.  So I went to the shops in the resort, which scared me a little because I am a picky shopper.  But, they had some actually really cute clothes.  I was able to get a few items to help me survive until my bag arrive the next day.

The hotel was beautiful and the grounds of the resort were wonderful.  They had horseback riding and fishing and apparently even have a ski slope.  Michael will be going to this conference with me next year.  It snowed there the last night and I woke up to a little blanket of snow, it was more like a sheet than a blanket, but it was still nice.  I have to thank American Airlines for always taking good care of me and ensuring I have something to wear.  This is why I only fly American and no other airline.  We have a wonderful relationship!        

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!!

Today is my Dad’s birthday!! He is officially getting old…haha! Not really! I used to say old was however old my Grandparents were, and since I unfortunately don’t have any of those anymore I guess I will have to say old is some number beyond my parents age.  My Dad is a great man and I am definitely my father’s daughter and a daddy’s little girl.  Forever and always.  So HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! Hope next year is just as good as this year if not better.



Monday, November 7, 2011

Hawaii Day 1 & 2

Sorry for this major delay…work traveling and hard drive problems has delayed these, but hopefully I will be sharing more over the next two weeks.

Our first day in Hawaii was also our travel day.  Traveling to Hawaii requires an 8 hour flight from Dallas to Honolulu.  Traveling with 5 people takes a little more time than traveling alone.  Once we finally arrived after our long long flight, it was around dinnertime.  My very gracious friend and her husband picked us up at the airport with the traditional lei greeting.  Then we drove to Waikiki, where my parents and brother were staying at the Outrigger Waikiki.  The Outrigger has a wonderful little restaurant with a beach patio that has a wonderful view.  We went there to eat and watch the sunset.  Since it was Saturday night they had live music playing, which just made my parents and brother’s first impression perfect.  After dinner we all crashed.  The 5 hour time difference, along with a long day of planes, makes for an exhausted family.

HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-15-11_3872.NEFHere are my wonderful parents, enjoying the new Hawaiian view.HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-15-11_3873.NEFMichael and I happy to finally arrive!!HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-15-11_3865.NEFMy friend and her family…Schuylia is noticing the airplanes and telling us.

Sunday was our first real day of fun.  Michael, Shane, and my brother Eric got up early Sunday to go swim with sharks.  YIKES!!  They went with the North Shore Shark Adventures tour group.  It was a big group of people.  They went to the North Shore Harbor and then the boat took them out a couple of miles, not so far that they couldn’t see the shore.  The boys said the water were so rough people were getting sick.  They felt a little green but none of them got sick.  They got to go into a cage for 20 minutes while sharks swam all around them.  When the second group got into the water and they didn’t get near the amount of time the boys did because the water was so rough the cage broke off.  They brought everyone back to the harbor.  I think the boys were grateful, since it was so rough, but it was still a blast!!


While the boys were out enjoying shark time.  Veronica and I had girlfriend time in bed talking and laughing.  I snuck into her room after the boys left and we got to hang out.  It was extra fun because she is 7 months pregnant and I got to talk and feel the new little man.  After a little friend time, we got up and went to pick up my parents in Waikiki.  We drove out to meet the boys on the North Shore for a beach day.  I love the North Shore beaches.  It is so beautiful just to drive the coast along the North Shore and watch the surfers.  We hung out on the beach for a few hours before heading to lunch at Breakers.  It is a little bar and grill in Haleiwa.  You can find it in a little shopping area, which also has a great coffee house.  They make an ice cream mocha drink that we all enjoyed for dessert.   

HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3887.NEFMy Dad testing out the waters, and Skye in the background.HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3934.NEFThe view off the North Shore.HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3941.NEFMy little buddy ready to swim…she has NO fear.HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3945.NEFMichael here enjoying our beach day.

After lunch we decided to drive up the coast of the North Shore and stopped to take in the view and get some wonderful photos.  We stopped at a beach that is very popular for snorkeling.  We didn’t snorkel but we definitely did some exploring.  This was a lot of fun for my parents to see the most beautiful side of Oahu.  The pictures speak for themselves.

HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3954.NEFMichael and I with this great miniature tree garden behind us.HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3956.NEFPreggers!!  HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3972.NEFFamily photo time!HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3976.NEFVeronica and I self-portrait.  With 6 people to take it we took it upon ourselves to do it.HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3980.NEFHere is my super cute hubby, exploring the sharp rocks!HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_3990.NEFSiblings…well…kind of.  Veronica, myself, and my brother.HawaiiFamilyTrip_10-16-11_4028.NEFTide pools that are good for snorkeling.

About Us

My photo
Michael and I have been together since 2006. We met in college at the University of Arkansas and began our life together. We bought a house and moved to Fayetteville from the Chicagoland area in November 2009. We were married in 2010 and had our first child, a boy, in 2013. Our favorite thing to do together is travel and we have gotten the opportunity to go to lots of fun places. We are working, breathing, playful parents. Our fur baby and child are the center of our crazy life, but we wouldn't have it any other way.