Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's a Handmade Holiday at my house!

I made most of the gifts we are giving this year. I'm pretty happy with most of them. I just hope the recipients are just as excited to get something I made rather than something I bought.
For Trae's niece and nephew we may have gone overboard. We bought them both something and I made them both something special. For Trae's nephew, I made a pillowcase from a panel of Cars fabric.
I attached it to an extra pillowcase I had from a previous project. I found a checkered flag patterned fabric and made a border for the top of the pillowcase and then I quilted a few sections of the picture to make sure the 2 cases stayed together. I hope my favorite 2 year old boy loves it!
Side 1:

Side 2: 

This is the only decent picture I got of the quilting: 

For Trae's niece, I made her a tutu! I have been planning on doing this since her and her mom came to visit us this past summer. She is such a little girly drama queen and loves to play. I chose bright pink and purple tulle for the tutu and gathered it at the elastic waistband. It definitely does not look professional, but it is only for playing!! I also sewed a really pretty soft ribbon at the top to cover the sewing. I really like this and I hope she does too! I also hope her mom doesn't mind if I encourage the girlyness!
Yes, it stands up on its own!! I hope that is the sign of a good tutu!

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Porch dog?

Who knew?!
We have recently discovered, Bella wants the front door open, all the time. She likes to be able to go outside and come in whenever she pleases. She also likes to be inside with which ever human is here with her and look outside to enjoy this beautiful warm fall weather we are having. Normally, she just sleeps on the couch or bed all day. But she has decided she likes to be outside whenever she can. Its cute.
If I close the door, she wants to go in and out every 5 mintues. But, if I leave the door open, she is perfectly happy. I like a perfectly happy dog.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Back to Food

Since my quilt is done and I am getting more inspired to cook really good food, I will discuss my latest indulgent find at our local grocery store. Sometimes you buy the store brand item trying to save money and it just is not the same as the name brand item that you are craving. Then there are other times the store brand knocks it out of the park! This is one of those times.
Our local grocery store chain is Kroger. Out west, Smith's is the same company. I love Kroger. Good prices, good produce and meats.
We love ice cream. We love good ice cream with great mix ins too.
Kroger has recently started selling upscale ice cream from their own brand. Because Trae loves peanut butter almost as much as he loves me, I picked up the triple peanut butter flavor to try.
It is amazing. Peanut butter flavored ice cream would be really good. But they put large ribbons of peanut butter and huge chunks of peanut butter cups in it. Delicious! If you like peanut butter, get this.

Look at all of that delicious peanut butter goodness! I know I didn't make this concoction, but I'll take grocery store help any day to have deliciousness!
My mom got the New York Style Pumpkin Cheesecake flavor. It is equally legit and delicious in its own right! Get that one too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Is that what I think it is?

Yes, that is my finished quilt. After only 19 months of working on this thing it is now complete! I am so excited to be done working on it. It is not hanging over my head just waiting to be finished. The fabric is Heather Bailey's Pop Garden. The backing and binding is all Paisley blue from the Pop Garden line. Since I am without a big fancy quilting sewing machine and sending it to a long arm was entirely too expensive for my budget, I hand quilted in simple straight lines. I like the simplicity of the quilting and how it does not compete with the variety and business of the fabric.
I am really happy with the way it came out. I may not do another hand quilted one for a long time.

Please enjoy the pictures!! I worked so hard! Yay!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Masters Research Project

Yes. I will be beginning my master's research project this semester and will be working on it until I graduate. Lots of work, but I have the opportunity to have our research published at the end of it all! That is actually pretty enticing to me. I am not sure what our specific topic and direction our project will go.
In other news, Trae and I will be starting P90X in the next few weeks. We are both extremely excited about that. Of course, that might dwindle after day 1. Trae wants to bulk up and I would love to loose a little softness. We have family that has had success with this particular program. I an interested to see if Trae and I can really do this program together. For this program, we have purchased 3 sets of dumbbells, and pull up bar, and push up handles. More to come on how this goes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I have two more weeks of school for the summer semester, followed by 1 week of break and then back to the grind for the fall semester. I have a few projects for the break. I am absolutely determined to finish my quilt over the break. My sister has commissioned my sewing skills for a large body pillow cover for her apartment at school. I am ready for a break. This semester has not been bad at all. It has been a nice change from hard core nose in the books to paper writing and research of journal articles.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Trae in Mississippi!

He made it! He has a job now in Jackson. And he is registering for fall classes tomorrow at a local 4-year school! YAY to all of this! I can not tell you how amazing and complete I feel with him and Bella here with me.
Three weeks ago, we had professional portraits done for our 5th anniversary! I am so excited to see how they come out. It rained and we got in the lake, on purpose! Really really can not wait to see them!
Other than this great news, our life is great. We are being so patient on God. I don't think we have ever been this patient waiting for God's plan and direction for us to be revealed. I also think we are being blessed tremendously by it! There are a few things yet to be worked out, like a place to live, which is a major thing. Somehow, we are at peace and feel that we are where we are supposed to be and letting God lead.
School is good. I am so thankful for this semi-easy and non-stressful semester after the previous 2 crazy intense semesters I have had.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Design

After trying to fix my blog title font problems, I decided it was just to difficult to fix it. I tried this for several hours before giving up. Oh well. This is so much simpler and less fun, but oh well. I really liked the old design, but I guess this is a little more grown up.

Trae is in Jackson! YAY. He is applying and interviewing for jobs here in the area.

Our house went on the market this past week.

We are trying to decide if we can afford to get another place here and where that might be.

I am super stoked about all of these things that are happening.
Please being praying for a enjoyable well paying job and for the house to sell!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This house thing is really getting old...

I mean it this time. It is not looking good for Trae to work in the southern area for his next contract, like we were hoping, expecting and needing. This is getting bad. I need to sell a house. NOW. And I need prayer. Someone in agreement with me about this house ordeal and just lifting me up to be strong so that we can both get through this period without going incredibly insane.
On another note, summer has not arrived in the California central valley, so the beautiful pool right outside my door eludes me. The sun shines, but the cool wind, not breeze, dares me to test it and try to enjoy the warm weather. I tried, I was brave. I failed and returned outside fully dressed determined to at least enjoy the brightness of the sun. I haven't been in the pool once.
I am still enjoying being with my husband here in California. I fly back Sunday to return to school. I am excited about getting to the summer in Mississippi so that I can start skiing! I am also terribly sad that I will not be bringing my love back with me. In the mean time, Bella and I are walking every day, and trying to enjoy ourselves.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sunning and Resting

I am in the middle of a three week break from school. I am loving it!! Back in California for the break.
I did great this past semester. Hopefully from here on out, my classes will be less studying and more projects.
Great news: Trae's last day in California is June 4! Woo hoo! That means he will be back in the south working from now on. I am so excited to live with my husband again on a regular basis.
This week, Trae and I went to Berkeley for a certification course for him. This was our first trip to Berkeley, and most likely our last. I must say, I was a little wierded out when we first got there. A totally different vibe in that city than I had ever experienced anywhere else. I like to think that I am a pretty well traveled girl for my age. I have been all over the south, up to the Northeast, Colombia, South America, and we have been in California for a while now. I have never felt more uneasy about my surroundings than I did when I was in Berkeley. I can't even say it was due to what I saw or what the people were like. The uneasy feeling simply came from the spirit of the place. The harbour was more my pace, so I spent most of my time there instead of in town or on campus. One incredible event I did take part in while in Berkeley simply made the trip worth it. I caught the mobile cupcake bakery!! I saw this big line of people waiting near a small truck. As I got closer, I realize this truck is selling gourmet cupcakes. Yes, I believe this truck was parked on the same street that I parked on was God's perfect plan for my day! Yummy!
I did get to see the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time while I was there. I saw it from the harbour. Overall, the trip to Berkeley was ok, I am sure Trae, and myself, prefer Tahoe for short trips here in California.
I have been taking advantage of the pool and sun while Trae has been working. Very relaxing with Pina Coladas! This is probably what my next two weeks will be like as well. I am very excited about this.
On that note, let me get back to my magazines, sunshine and cocktails!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Crawfish Boil Time!

It is a beautiful Saturday in Central Mississippi. I have been inside studying Neuroanatomy this morning. But now, I am headed to a Crawfish Boil!! Yay! In case some of you do not know what a crawfish boil is all about, I shall explain.
This is not just a meal experience, this is a social event. A very large pot of boiling water gets mixed with crab boil, a blend of spices and flavorings that makes shell fish delicious. To this pot, live crawfish, potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage, mushrooms, and pretty much any variety of food that sounds good. This all cooks down and is then strained and poured over many newspaper covered tables. Droves of people then stand around these tables and shells the crawfish tail to devour the tail meat. Scrumptious! Some, as crazy as it sounds, suck the head of the crawfish once the meat has been removed. Inside the head is a dense concentration of the spices of the crab boil. I can't really tell you what I love about a good crawfish boil. Whether it is the people you meet and get to know while standing and shelling crawfish, the actual food itself, being outside, the combination of all of these things makes for a fun time.
So I am off, to eat crawfish, have a beer, sit in the sun, and hangout with good friends! I hope you all have experienced this crazy thing and if not, take the next opportunity to do so!
By the way, Trae hates crawfish. So I will not subject him to this when he is here and makes me not feel guilty about going to one while he is not here!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter

I watched the Passion of the Christ today.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ahhhh! Spring Break!

After 3 weeks of nose to the grind, unending studying of neuroanatomy, pediatric case studies, and 18 pages of task analysis, I finally have a break! But don't worry, I will have plenty of school work to keep me busy during my "break". I have 4 group projects to work on, a book report (I know, a book report in grad school, not quite what I expected), and an individual project to work on. Trae flies in on Wednesday. We will drive to North Carolina for his sister's wedding. I am very excited about seeing his family. It has been a long time since we have been up to the mountains.

Tomorrow, I will help clean house. Amazingly, I am almost looking forward to cleaning. I haven't been a part of the cleaning for a while. I have been a bad tenant. Looking forward for a short reprieve of tests. I think I will make chocolate waffles Sunday morning! Yummy, I can't wait.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

No rest.

I am so busy. It is crazy ridiculous. I did not do any school work 2 weeks ago while Trae was in town and I am making up for it now. Oh well! My spring break is next week also. But for me, it will not be much of a break, I will be getting caught back up and trying to get ahead for 4 projects due after spring break! I know, I am crazy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Best Husband. .

I just have to brag about the amazing husband I have. Yesterday was his last day in his current assignment in California. Tomorrow he will be leaving CA headed for Telluride, CO for a 10 day ski trip that has been planned for a while. I am so excited he will be going somewhere new to ski and I hope it dumps buckets while he is there! From Telluride, he will drive here to be with me for about a week. I am so excited about seeing him, obviously!
Yesterday was my 26th birthday! I just have to show you what showed up at my door yesterday.
These came today. He didn't know why but they had to come separately!
I don't feel bad about eating 3 of them immediately upon opening the box!!! I am sorry I didn't get a picture of the full box though!! Oh well! I just couldn't wait!

He is the best. I can't wait to see him. I can't wait to hold him! He can make me feel like the most special person in the world and he doesn't even have to be in the same state as me! Amazing!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Camille / My 100th Post!

So this is my 100th post on this blog. In the beginning, 100 posts seemed so distant and unreachable. I guess I just didn't think I would have enough subject matter to write about for 100 posts. Now it seems that I just started it and I can recall all the posts I have written and what they are about.

Tomorrow, February 5th, is my baby sister's 20th birthday. My oh my! I remember asking for a younger sibling when I was about 4, assuring my parents that it did not matter to me if it was a boy or a girl. Well when I was six, I got Camille, my new baby sister. I think it was only a year or so after she was born that I informed my parents that I had made a mistake in requesting such a thing as a sibling and that she was ruining my life! I let her exist in my world growing up, but mainly, she got in my way and into all of my stuff. It wasn't until after I left home for college that I realized what a cool girl she is. Over the years we have spent more time together as we both have become adults. I have come to realize something over this time. I need her.
I need her to make sure I don't walk out of the house looking like a color-blind train wreck.
I need her accessories and shirts so that my mundane monotonous wardrobe has a little spice every now and then.
I need her to go with me to new places when I am afraid I am not socially apt to make it on my own in a new crowd.
I need her to help me make fun of our mom and dad when they say something hilarious.
I need to share all of our family inside jokes with her.
I need her to be with me when I am having a bad day without Trae, whether I need to talk or not.
I need her so that I can be cool by association.
I need her hugs.
I need her smile.
I need her laugh.
I need her humor.
I need her imagination and love of all things bright and colorful.
I need her to know that I am proud of her and that I love her more than she will ever know.

Happy Birthday Camille!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Long Distance Church

I had the most amazing epiphany this morning at church. One of mine and Trae's most favorite things to do when we are together is going to church. Since we have been apart for some time, I can't even remember the last time we were at the same church for a service. This is terribly sad. The church that I am going to with my family in Mississippi is a very large church. It is very similar to the church Trae and I attend when we are together, but just not quite perfect. But for now, this church is feeding me and keeping me straight. By the time the sanctuary empties, the book store in the church already has the sermon on CD. Today I thought how nice it would be if I got the CD for Trae and sent it to him so that we could be hearing the same message and we could discuss it, just like we would if we were actually in the sanctuary at the same time. I am not sure what was keeping me from thinking of this before, it's not as if this is a complex solution. Oh well.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dear MS Governor

I normally do not post about political issues or happenings. But there is one particular issue which I have been specifically disgusted and impatient with for about as long as I can remember. Growing up, I lived and went to school about 10 minutes from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. It is incredibly large with numerous buildings and the typical fences you would expect to find at a prison. The high school I went to was one of the smaller school systems in my district and there was no real town, therefore, no real city taxes dedicated to our small school. Our school was equipped with a full computer lab only in my sophomore year of high school. With the cinder block walls, cold temperatures were felt pretty quickly indoors. Of course there was always heat in the winter and a/c in the summer. Don't get me wrong. The obvious architectural and structural simplicities of my school had no effect on my academic success and I have no horror memories due to the building itself. Every time I would ride with my mom somewhere that required us to drive by the prison, I remember thinking that the prison looked much more kept up than my school. Sad.
I said all of that to tell you about what I read in our state newspaper this morning. We all know that many state governments are cutting budgets due to the economy. This morning in my state paper is an article about the most recent budget cuts our state governor has made. So far, the total cut tallies are as follows: K-12 Education- $195.3 M; Higher Education- $74.5 M; Department of Corrections- $26.6 M. So, total educations cuts come to $269.8 M. Total Dept. of Corrections cuts are $26.6 M. Does this strike anyone else as unbelievable, unacceptable, and just wrong? I do not know how much money is still in the budget for each department, however if cuts need to be taken, I find it ludicrous that education endures more cuts than our corrections department.
The article mentions that due to these cuts the governor is working with the department of corrections to prevent the prison system from having to release thousands of inmates. THOUSANDS!!! I'm sorry, was that a misprint? Release thousands of inmates, give our already struggling school system less money, and make it harder for young adults to go to college. This is a brilliant plan already (please note my heavy sarcasm).
Ever since I was that little girl wanting to tour the prison to see if it was nicer than my school, I have had the opinion that inmates should live in meager housing, grow their own food, and not get any real luxuries of the outside world that you and I enjoy. By luxuries, I mean they should not have access to television, magazines, gourmet meals, movies, plush beds, and cozy living conditions. Of course everyone should have access to clean, working toilet and shower facilities. However, working on a farm, with large amounts of manual labor full of tasks and goals is a much more appropriate and laborious than a day of watching TV, lifting weights, playing video games, playing games, or simply sitting in a cell. Perhaps if crops were grown on such a farm as this, they could be sold to the general public or soup kitchens or even given to the needy so that it benefits someone other than themselves and might even bring in a small profit. Wouldn't you feel that you had actually accomplished something with manual labor than just exercising and playing basketball all day? Would you think twice about committing a crime if you knew the punishment would be days on end of hard manual work outside with only the bare necessities? I just had to get that off my chest.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


These are some of my favorite Trae Bane quotes.

1. "She carries my heart in her carry-on houndstooth bag." - When I left this January to come back to Mississippi to start this semester of school.

2. "Miss you more than I want to ski." - Today he said this. He has a ski trip planned in a few weeks, after which he is coming here. This is big, he loves to ski! He hasn't been skiing too much this year.

3. "I love you more than bacon!" - This boy loves bacon!! He eats it just about everyday!

He doesn't have to tell me these things. I know that he loves me more than bacon, and that I have his heart, and that he would rather be with me than skiing. But the way he says it to me in such an original way makes me melt. It is more special than the first time he told me he loves me when one of his special and unique sentiments finds its way to me. I am not creative enough to come up with one of these clever sayings. Oh well, he knows I need and love him too much to say.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Neuro/Kines Semester Week 1

This semester will be better than last semester, I hope. I am really praying that this semester is not any harder or time consuming than last semester. I think I will enjoy this one a little better. The 2 doozy classes are Neuroanatomy (anatomy of the brain and spinal cord) and kinesiology (study of body movement). Neuro will be the most difficult of the semester I think, but I am ready. I also have to read Charles Dickens' Great Expectations this semester! Not sure where I am going to fit that in! Trae has also enrolled in 12 hours of online classes! We will both be busy with classwork and reading this semester.
This week I have begun my serious getting in shape routine. Eating smaller portions, more often, less carbs, and more proteins with an exercise plan I found in the Women's Health Magazine. I am really feeling good and liking it so far. I am determined to stick with it all semester. I am in a wedding in March and Trae and I are having our first set of real professional pictures taken since our wedding taken in June. I am so very excited about the pictures. So these reasons are pushing me to stay committed to my get in shape kick!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh my...

I am in Mississippi again. I start my spring semester tomorrow at OT school. I am looking forward to seeing my friends tomorrow, however, yesterday and today were a little tough. I flew out of Sacramento yesterday afternoon and arrived in Jackson at 10 pm. I quilted in first class on my first flight just to try to get my mind off leaving Trae. It only delayed the inevitable cry fest. That happened this morning at church!! Perfect! But if you can't cry at church where can you cry? I was thinking about why it was so hard to leave Trae and be without him. Other than the really simple explanation of being his wife and really really enjoying being with him. I was thinking about more specifically what makes me so sad. I am pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that we are soul mates. Because he is my match, my half, my partner, the person that completes my sentences, my thoughts and can anticipate my actions. We can look at each other from across the room in different conversations and I know what he is thinking and he can do the same. Why would my heart and soul not be sad not to be physically with him every day? I guess I just needed to air that out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Today is the day Alabama plays for their 13th NCAA Football National Championship and I couldn't be more excited!!! I love this game and Bama! ESPN will be on all day in the background as I await Trae's arrival home from work and make delicious goodies to eat during the game. In honor of their achievements so far, I will let you all know the words to our fight song, they one that is played after every touchdown!

Yea Alabama!
Drown 'em Tide, every football fan's behind you, hit your stride.
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave.
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
And if a man starts to weaken, that's a shame,
'Cause Bama's pluck and grit have writ her name in Crimson Flame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on men, remember the Rose Bowl, we'll win then. SO!
Roll on to victory hit your stride, you're Dixie's football pride Crimson Tide!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Trader Joe's, Oh How I Love Thee!

One of the things that I enjoy most about coming to California is the abundance of Trader Joe's stores. There is one only about 15 miles from the town Trae is in. For my Mississippi friends who may not be familiar with Trader Joe's, because the closest one is in Atlanta, Trader Joe's is a wonderful place. It makes me smile just walking in the front door. It is a grocery store, basically, a lot like Whole Foods. But you will not find many items made by a popular or well known brand. Instead, they sell Trader Joe's brand of EVERYTHING! Meat, produce, bread, baking needs, frozen veggies, canned veggies, frozen pizzas, desserts, chips, cereal, cookies, dairy, spices, and just about every other item you could possible imagine, only there is one brand to choose from. But don't be alarmed that if you shop here, there is a limited variety, oh no! Trader Joe's brand is the most delicious brand I have tried in numerous food varieties. They have my favorite cereal, granola, cookies, bread, frozen veggies, frozen desserts, pita chips, spices, boxed macaroni and cheese, and wine.

Last time I went, I got a box of frozen chocolate croissants. I thought, these will be good for breakfast. The box instructs you to let proof and rise for 9 hours or overnight. I was a little disappointed that it would take that long, but the disappointment soon faded when I took a bite of that big beautiful croissant. It was delicious. It very well could have come from a pastry shop where they make croissants by hand everyday. You know how some frozen foods come out of the oven or pot and they just don't really taste fresh? They don't taste bad, they just don't taste fresh? Well this is not like that at all. These croissants were delicious!!! Fresh, buttery and flaky. The 9 hour wait is definitely worth it, and I would definitely serve them if I had company over. They were impressive.

Probably what I love most about Trader Joe's is that the prices are so reasonable, actually, cheap! Inside and outside the store are some clever and very cute hand written signs about specials and certain products. All the employees wear shirts that have some kind of Hawaiian design on them. They are always nice and helpful. I am trying to figure out how to get a bunch of my staples back to Mississippi when I leave California this time. My mom is also a Trader Joe fan. There are a few staples that she only likes from there. I definitely am going on Friday with my granola, pita chips, and some cookies on my list to make it back to Mississippi. I may have to buy an insulated bag so I can get my frozen croissants back home! I have written TJ's to inquire why there isn't one in MS yet. I have not gotten a response, but maybe one day there will be one in the Jackson area. I miss it when I am not here in California.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mt. Shasta

Trae and I have taken a road trip. We are in Northern California in a town called Yreka. I must comment that despite the surface friendly people we have encountered, there is something amiss here. We both just have a funny feeling about this town. Not sure what it is but oh well. The area is beautiful. It is just outside of a National Forest where Mt. Shasta is. It is a beautiful volcano covered in snow. Tomorrow we will leave here and head back down south via the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). We came to Yreka to check out a truck Trae is looking at purchasing. We figured it was a good excuse to see another part of the state we have not been to.
I have been a busy little bee trying to finish the quilting on my quilt while I have been here. Just last night I got done with one section and thought I only had one more section left to go and then I can start the binding! Well little did I know I have 4 more sections left! Hopefully I can get most of it done before I leave.
For all of the displaced Southerners out there. Polenta can be substituted for grits when necessary. Just add more liquid!! It won't be exactly the same, but it will do in a pinch!