Monday, October 3, 2011

Photo Collage of Summer... Is it over already?

Hi everyone!  It has been a wild and crazy summer in East Tennessee.  In fact, it's hard to believe that summer has come and gone and it is now time for fall!  It is so hard to believe the apple candles are burning and the fall wreath is already on the front door.  We had such an amazing summer... so amazing in fact that I haven't blogged since JUNE!  There have been so many great things happen between June and now that I really don't even know where to start...

Our puppies have gone from average sized puppies to HUGE puppies!  Whitley weighed in last week at 105 pounds and Emma at 56 pounds.
Emma's favorite trick.

Tired pup.

They are still loving every day of day care and sleeping great at night.  They are both starting to calm down and turn into even lazier couch potatoes than they already were.

They have also been very busy this summer!  They stole the show at the Jonesborough Dog Jog and Emma made the front page of the Jonesborough paper.
Roscoe...full sized Dane. 

Family Photo.
Brian has brought them to several races over the summer and they have been on multiple hikes throughout the mountains.  They went on their first trip to the beach in Charleston.  Whitley jumped right in and attacked the waves while Emma chose to watch from a distance.
Blue Hole.

Too wet for Miss Emma.

Sniffin' around.

Their next order of business is obedience school for six weeks... which is so bitter sweet.  They will go to a farm for six weeks and get strict lessons on sitting, staying, walking on a leash, and not jumping. It will be so quiet and lonely without them but will certainly be worth the pay off in the end.  No one loves a wild pup that is the size of a pony!

We celebrated the 4th in Jonesborough and watched the fireworks from our porch.  We had some very dear friends over for a cookout and then I took off to run the Red White and Boom 4 Miler!

The pups obviously were dressed for the occasion.

And the fireworks were beautiful.

We also did a little bit of diving this summer.  Brian and I went to a course to get certified as advanced open water divers.  We did our first set of dives at a rock quarry south of Knoxville and our second set at a local lake.

It was a lot of fun but I think we're sort of done with training dives for a while... Cozumel sounds like much more fun!

I was able to run the Crazy 8's this year which is the worlds fastest 8K race!  Several runners from Kenya fly in to the tri-cities to run this specific race since it holds the world record for the fastest 8K.  Brian was watching and said that the Kenyan runners came by him at a dead sprint!

We have been able to spend some quality time with good friends this summer.  We have been to several cookouts and had a few fun nights out!

Such a lady.


First kiss!
Beautiful Lauren.

The Girls.
Smilin' boys.

We are so blessed to have such amazing people in our lives!

In July, my mom and I took a road trip to Goldsboro, NC for my best friends wedding!

Meet Ashley...

She and I met when my family and I moved to North Carolina.  I was in the third grade and we ended up being in the same class.  From the day we met we were together all the time!  She is one of the most beautiful people I know... inside and out.  To say that we have been through it all together would be an understatement.  She is the person in my life that I can call, without having talked in six months, and pick up like we talked yesterday.  She has been at every major event in my life and there was nothing that could have caused me to miss this wedding.  Not only are Ashley and I best friends but so are our Mom's.  So Mom flew into Bristol and we loaded up and headed south.

It was so special to be able to spend her special day right by her side.

We started out with pedicures and lunch... obviously!

Then to the rehearsal dinner...

And finally the big day!

I was in charge of the guest book which was so fun and I had a perfect view of the ceremony!  Ashley and Carl were married under a huge tree at Walnut Creek (which is where we used to live) overlooking the lake and golf course.  It was pretty much the perfect setting...
Mom and me at the guestbook. 
The first look...always my favorite picture!
Smiling as usual.

Lots of love right there.

Not a dry eye in the house.
The kiss.

This one says it all.

The bride and groom!

Waiting to be announced!

Mom and me at the reception.

 The decorations and flowers were amazing!  Love the idea of lemons and limes in water with flowers...

 It was so nice to be able to catch up with old friends.

We celebrated the rest of the night with wine and dancing... though I tried to limit the wine so I could be in charge of gift duty!

This picture makes me smile.
I actually met her fiance for the first time the weekend of her wedding.  I have to admit that I am one of the most protective people when it comes to my friends and their significant others... but I was blown away!  They are the perfect match for each other and I could not be happier for the two of them.  They are going to have such a beautiful life that I cannot wait to witness.

Cheers to Ashley and Carl!!

The weekend following the wedding Brian and I loaded up with Whitley and Emma and headed south to Charleston, SC for a weekend with friends.  When I started PA school my goal was to fly through the two years so I could move on with life.  Little did I know that I would meet a group of girls that would become some of my closest friends.  We see each other as often as we can but always make it a priority once a year to have a girls beach weekend.  This year we decided to extend the invitation to the boys also!

We spent a great day at the beach... perfect weather, perfect set up, and most importantly perfect company!

The ladies lounged in the water...

And the boys grilled hot dogs.

We had a pop up canopy, sangria, a disposable trash can, beach chairs, and sunscreen... what more could you need!

We ended the night with raw oysters from an oyster bar and an amazing dinner!

I am counting down the months until next years beach trip... but in the meantime I'm hoping for a wine weekend!  These girls really are priceless.

Brian traded the good ole' Hyundai in for a new Jeep! He has been spending lots of time picking out new bumpers, wheels, tires, and other fun toys!

The pups are pretty much in paradise when they ride in the Jeep. Especially compared to their trips in the Prius!

Somewhere along the way we were able to squeeze in a day trip of rafting.  We went with Wahoo Adventures and were able to raft along the Nolichucky River which is the river that The Last of the Mohicans was filmed on.

It was a beautiful sunny day and of course Brian decided since we had made it down the river without falling in that he should just go ahead and throw me in...

The water actually felt GREAT!

Towards the end of August I headed to Los Angeles for a board review course.  I don't actually have to certify again for several years but I figured it would help to have a little refresher.  It was actually my first trip to the west coast!  It was so beautiful... but definitely very different.  I about passed out when I went into the gas station to buy a Coke Zero and it was $3.25!  Haha... I guess I was just a little surprised!

It was a great trip but I missed Brian and my pups like crazy.  I was happy to come home and get back into my routine... which has also changed since June.

I have decided to make a small career change and switch from orthopedics to emergency medicine.  I started my new job in early September and I am loving it!  It is such a big change... but a good change.  It is certainly humbling to be taken out of a comfortable situation and thrown into a field that is pretty unfamiliar.  I'm learning everyday though and things are starting to get easier!  I do have to "phone a friend" quite a bit... so thankful for Brian!

We were able to take a short weekend trip to Boone, NC for the High Country Beer Festival.  We had a great time as always!  We ate dinner at a restaurant called The Gamekeeper... if you're ever in the area it is a "must".  They serve all wild game and we had the elk and ostrich.  It was pretty amazing!

More exciting news is that one of my other best friends just got engaged a couple weeks ago!!

Meet Jess...

Jess and I became best friends when I moved back to Illinois from North Carolina in the sixth grade.  When I walked in to my classroom for the first time she volunteered to give up her seat because the class was full!  That day was a great representation of her... she is so genuine and so selfless!  She truly has a heart of gold.

When she called to tell me she was engaged I was sitting on an outside patio of a Mexican restaurant and literally let out a squeal that silenced the entire patio!  Needless to say I was just a little excited.  She and Brent are getting married in May so there will be lots of exciting showers and bachelorette parties to attend!

I'm so excited to get to be part of her special day...

This summer has been jam packed with weekend trips, finishing up with some coursework, starting a new job, keeping up with the pups, and running!  I started running in March and have been shocked at how addicting it is.  I have always had people tell me that once you start running you will fall in love with it. Honestly... I thought they were crazy!  But there really is a lot of truth to it...

This past weekend Brian and I flew to Orlando to meet my parents for the Disney Wine and Dine Half-Marathon.  For those of you who know me well you know that this is a huge deal for me!  I started running in March and my first one mile run took me 14 minutes and I really thought I was going to die- Literally.
The crew.

Dad holding up the ball!

I sure do love these two.

I've come a long way since then and I'm so thankful for all of the support I've had.  Brian has been at every singe race (unless he was working) to cheer me on!  I have gotten numerous messages from family and friends that have been so inspiring and it is so great to know that there are people out there pushing for me!
My perfect cheerleader.  Love this guy!
I was able to start and finish the half marathon keeping a steady pace throughout.  I was able to run the entire race and I felt good most of the way... mile 11-12 was a bit painful! 
Fireworks for a 10PM start!
It was such an achievement to cross that finish line knowing that I had tackled something that again took me a little bit outside of my comfort zone!

Everyone signed the banner!
Even my babies!
My parents and Brian were standing at the entrance to Epcot with a huge sign!  There is one word to describe the way the entire situation made me feel... BLESSED (in every aspect of life).  Running has given me a goal and a time for myself to reflect on my day, my next week, and my next several years of life.

 If you aren't a runner you really should give it a chance!

Well... this has been our summer.  We have been on the go constantly and it looks like the trend will continue!  Next weekend its off to Arkansas to spend some quality time with Brian's family and to try out our season tickets at the Arkansas-Auburn game and at the end of the month we're heading to Cozumel for a diving trip with Brian's sister and her husband.  Lots of great things coming up!  Let's also not forget that the Cards, Hogs, and Illini are all doing great this year which makes for a fun fall season! Now... I'm off to switch out the apple candles for  the pumpkin (I'm not allowed to do the switch out until October 1st- per Brian)!

Our backyard.

"And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
- Romans 5:3-5


  1. Love the new post and all of the pictures of course! It looks like such a fun summer! Congratulations on your half marathon! That is such an accomplishment! :)

  2. Love Love Love your blog!!! Decided I would become a follower of yours. :) You are a wonderful writer and have such sweet posts too. Just thought I would let you know that I love your work!

  3. I love that card! With the women in it! Great quote!

  4. Thanks for the sweet comments, girls!! The blog is so fun to do. It's definitely not perfect... but neither are we :) Hope you all have a great week!