Wednesday, December 30, 2009

31st Birthday

Yesterday was my 31st birthday. It was such a great one! My very favorite, of course, was 3 years ago when I had just gotten engaged the day before, but this was definitely up there with the best. I pretty much had a day of doing what I wanted to do, which is a rarity with so much to get done all the time. I started out by going to get a manicure and pedicure. It was so relaxing! I got black paint on my toenails just for fun. Then, my friend, Katie, treated me to lunch at a great restaurant called The Blue Plate. It was very unique and had a great atmosphere. It was so good to spend some time with her in person rather than just talking to her on the phone. She is due with her first baby in about a month, so I helped her organize her nursery after lunch. It looks great so far and it's pretty much ready, but she has been blessed and received lots of gifts so there is alot to organize. After that, I met Chad's family for a quick game of bowling. I did horrible and came in dead last on my team, but I didn't let that ruin my day (even though I'm really competitive). Chad was going to take me to dinner and we had a little time to kill so he took me to the mall!! He never goes shopping with me because he despises it, so it was quite a treat and I loved every minute of it. Then, Chad took me to a nice Mexican restaurant for dinner and we got to have a conversation without the TV on, it was so nice!! When we got back to Chad's grandparents house his family had a cookie cake waiting for me along with birthday presents. They spoil me and always make my birthday special! I got more of my china, stemware, and flatware, which I'm trying to collect. Chad got me a massage gift card and some beautiful pearl earrings that he picked out all on his own! It was so nice to have the day off and spend it with friends and family doing whatever I wanted.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Party

Tonight we had our Core Group over for a Christmas Celebration. We had such a good time visiting with them and we ate come yummy food from Zoe's. It is always so good to get together with them and just catch up with one another.

Chad and I are looking forward to only 5 more days of school and then being out for 2 weeks! We have been so busy lately and barely even get to see each other. We are looking forward to spending some time together over the break with no stress. We are both like 2 different people when we are not in school. It is always a great time for us.

I hope to update again soon because I have been so bad at posting lately. Until then, I hope you enjoy our new Christmas theme.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yard of the Month

I finally got our pictures downloaded from the last few months. I will have to do one post at a time because right now I'm too overwhelmed with the amount of topics to write about. The first topic up is Yard of the Month. We got Yard of the Month in our neighborhood for the month of September! Here is our sign:

One morning I walked outside to put something in the mailbox before leaving for work and I saw the sign in our yard. I was so excited! Chad had already left for work so I called him right away to tell him. Later that day, I remembered reading in our neighborhood newsletter that if you get Yard of the Month then you get a $50.00 gift card. That night when Chad was home and I was not home yet, a lady from our Homeowner's Association knocked on our door and gave Chad a $50.00 check. They are very prompt because the sign was out of our yard on Sept. 30th.

We were both so proud of this award because we have worked very hard on our yard throughout the last year.

Check back soon because there is more to come!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Fall!

It has been way too long! I really need to download some pictures because we have had lots going on that needs to be shared. I'm gonna try really hard this week to get some pictures downloaded to share. School is in full swing and busier than ever for both of us. In August I went to Dallas for a wedding shower for my new sister-in-law. Then, we traveled to Dallas in October for my brother's wedding. Plus, we got Yard of the Month in our neighborhood in September! We were so excited and glad that our hard work paid off.

It just got cold here on Friday and has lasted through the weekend. We can feel the winter coming! It's a nice change.

Check back soon! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the new background.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Almost Back to School

We are back from our last vacation of the summer! We were in Hilton Head, South Carolina last week with Chad's family and had a great time. While there we played games, went on bike rides, got a tan, relaxed, had a luau, and ate some great food.

Now that we are back we have been working hard to get the rest of Chad's paperwork filled out and turned in and trying to get his classroom ready. Tomorrow is our first official workday, so our summer if officially over. It sure was a great one though!

We will be busy the next few weeks with school stuff, but I will try to update when I can!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Other News

Now that I got the Costa Rica update posted, there are a few other updates that we would like to share.

1. After being home from Costa Rica for 2 days, we went to my mom and stepdad's house in Atlanta for the week of July 4th. My sister, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew were there as well. We got to meet our niece and nephew for the first time! It was so great to meet them, they are both precious children.

Greg is 12 years old and all BOY! He loves sports, video games, riding his bike, and pretty much anything outside. He really liked Chad because he is so active and Chad can hang in there with him. One thing Greg does not like to do is eat. He is a very, very picky eater. He puts me to shame in that category.

Then, there is Izabella, or Bella as we call her. She just melts my heart, especially when she calls me "Aunt Tawa." She seemed to cling to me at first and even though I would like to think that she loves me the most, I know it's really because I was a new face. She just turned 3 years old and is very tall and mature for her age. She is tall and skinny and has light brown hair, just like I did when I was a child. My sister thinks she looks like she could be my child, and I don't deny it. Bella is sooooo smart, mischievous, and manipulative for her age. She is a girly girl and loves to wear flip-flops. She loves to be held and loved on.

I just love these kids, they fit into our family just perfectly and add another great aspect to our time together!

While in Atlanta, we went to the pool several times, went hiking, shopping, ran the Peachtree Road Race, watched fireworks, and ate, ate, ate. It was great!

2. Chad got a job! It is amazing how God worked it out just perfectly. He will be teaching Biology and coaching girls track at Shades Valley High School next year. It is a Jefferson County High School and the feeder High School for my school. So, eventually, Chad will have some of my students in his classes. He went in for an interview in mid-June. To be honest, he was not really excited about the interview, but when he called me after it was over I could tell he felt differently. He felt really comfortable with the principal during the interview. The princial told him that she would probably contact him later that day. I was shocked! I have never heard of a principal saying that, especially that early in the summer. I knew they mut have really liked him (but who wouldn't?). Low and behold, she called later that afternoon to offer him the job! It's still amazing to me how it all worked out and I know this is where God wants him right now. Now he is trying to figure out how to get his teaching certificate so he will be qualified for other positions. I'm ready for him to get into his classroom so I can get all this stuff out of my house! I can only take it for so long.

3. We have been home now for about a week and a half. Last Friday, Chad woke up and decided it was time to clean out the garage. That has been our latest project. We hung more shelves and used hooks on the walls to hang some other things up. We also used hooks to hang our bikes from the ceiling and that made a huge difference in giving us more room. It looks really nice and I hope we keep it that way! In the process, we also decided to hang another shelf in our laundry room for extra storage space and that made a big difference as well. It's all neat and organized. That also led us to clean out our "junk drawer" in the kitchen. You know, we all have one of those where you just throw things in. I just need to get some baskets and that will be looking great. We are hoping to do some more home improvements this fall. We'll share them when we do!

We still have one more beach vacation coming up! We are going to Hilton Head with Chad's family. We are excited! I will give an update when we return.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Costa Rica

We returned from Costa Rica! It was so much fun and we highly recommend it as a vacation destination. It is a 4 hour plane ride from Atlanta to Liberia and then we only had a 45 minute drive to our hotel. It was nice to not spend our whole day traveling and we got there with plenty of time to tour the hotel and grounds before it got dark. There was so much to do in Costa Rica, we could have easily stayed there a few more days. We stayed at the Paradisus Playa Conchal, which is an all-inclusive resort right on the beach on the Pacific side of the country.

The resort was beautiful, had great food, and lots of things to do. All the rooms were suites situated in small villas. We had a sitting area, minibar, bathroom, and our "bedroom" that was up two stairs in our suite. The room was very quaint and romantic.

The resort was spread out and required alot of walking. We didn't mind at all because it was so pretty and we were able to see many "critters" during our walks. We saw iguanas, something that looked like a cross between a raccoon and an anteater, squirrels that looked different than the ones we have here, and a variety of birds.

There was 24 hour room service and many restaurants open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We tried all of the restaurants at least once and we were very impressed. For dinner, there was a buffet open each night, or there were 3 specialty restaurants that required reservations. There was an Italian, Mexican, and Asian Restaurant and all of them were wonderful. We liked the Italian restaurant so much that we went twice. Each restuarant was very "up-scale" and offered many appetizers, entrees, and of course dessert. Since it was all-inclusive, we just couldn't help ourselves! We went a litle overboard a few times, but it was worth it!

The resort also had free activities such as: bike tours, kayak tours, sunset boat cruise, bike rentals, kayak rentals, canopy, exercise classes, dance classes, etc. Even though we wanted to do a few of these activities, we just ran out of time. We did go on the sunset boat cruise though and it was awesome! We also participated in water aerobics class 2 different days while we were at the pool.

We went on two excursions away from the hotel. The first one was an ATV/Canopy Tour. First, we rode our ATV's to the canopy. It was a good introduction canopy tour and nice because we were alone with our tour guides. Then, we rode the ATV's for 2 more hours on dirt roads. It was neat to see the daily lives of the people that live there. We saw some school children walking and riding their bikes to school and 2 boys raced Chad on their bikes. We rode by the beach for a while and got to stop and take pictures. We also saw howler monkeys during that time. There were a ton of them together in several trees and some had babies on their backs. Our second excursion was our favorite day of the entire trip. It was called "Adrenaline Adventure Combo" and boy was it a combo! We were gone from 6:30am -6:00pm that day. First, we drove about 2 1/2 hours to a canopy tour. It took an hour and a half to complete the canopy tour. It was built around a canyon and we went back and forth over the canyon on the zipline. At one point we were lowered down 25 meters into the canyon, did a "Tarzan" swing back over the canyon, and the rock climbed back up the canyon. Also, there was a section where we had to rock climb horizontally to the next line. It was so much fun! I was glad when it was over though because my nerves were pretty much shot! For those that know me, it was very scary for me, but I did it all. Chad was loving every minute of it, he is such a dare devil. Next, we went on an hour horseback ride to a waterfall, where we got to jump off a rock into the waterfall. Then, we had lunch, and we to a "Costa Rican" spa for the rest of the day. At the "spa" we went in a sauna for 10 minutes, took a mud bath, let it dry, and rinsed off in a freezing cold shower. It was supposed to be good for our skin, but I'm not sure about that. Then, we went to a hot springs, where the water is naturally heated from the lava in a nearby volcano. The whole day we had a tour guide that taught us alot about the Costa Rican culture.

While we were there I treated myself to the spa and Chad played golf on the course at our hotel.

Even though we went during the rainy season, the weather was not too bad. When we first arrived, it was very hot and humid and I was worried that the whole week would be like that. Luckily, that was the worst day! It was very warm during the day, but we got at least a short rain shower each afternoon. Two afternoons we got thunderstorms. The resort provided us with an umbrella in our room, which was convenient.

We had a great time! It is so nice to escape the stresses of daily life and refocus, relax, and rest. We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Summer!

We just love the summer, but why does it always go by so fast! We have been busy, busy since the last post so now we have lots to update about. I hope you enjoy the new template, I thought we needed something summery with bright colors for this time of year.

First, I would like to update you on my newest sewing ventures. I took my grandmothers sewing machine to a local sewing machine store and was able to get all the parts I was missing. While I was there, the lady told me about introduction sewing classes for my machine. I was able to attend a 2 hour class a few weeks ago and learn some basic things about the machine that I did not already know. It was wonderful! My newest project is learning how to applique, which was much easier than I thought it would be. I made some kitchen towels with a personalized applique for a thank you gift. I would not recommend starting with the letter "S" because it is probably the hardest one, but I didn't have a choice. I bought some cellophane bags at Michael's and wrapped them up with a ribbon.

That is all I have time for right now, but check back soon for updates on our Costa Rica trip and my new niece and nephew!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


did I wake up so early on my first day of summer? That is so frustrating to me sometimes, but at least I can take a nap later if I want. I woke up at 7:15 this morning, which is my first day of summer. I know this is not early for some of you that have children, but it is early for me when I want to sleep in, and I didn't go to bed that early last night.

It has been a while since I posted, so there is alot to tell about:

1. It's SUMMER! Yea! This is always such a great time for us because both of our schedules allow us to spend lots of time together in the summer and it's so great for our relationship. Plus, we are both in very good moods all the time because we are not stressed out from work. While we have a very busy schedule already this summer, all the things we have planned are fun things that we choose to do and don't have to do. As I've said before, we will be going to Costa Rica this summer! We will also be going to Hilton Head for a week with Chad's family, meeting our niece and nephew for the first time, running the Peachtree Road Race with my mom, and having several visitors throughout the summer.

2. My Memaw passed away on April 24th, 2009. The entire family was there for her funeral and it was so good for us to all be together to honor her and celebrate her life. While we were all there we got to take some of her sewing items since we were all together to divide it up. My sister and I are sharing her sewing/embroidery machine and I got to take it home for now since Teah has her hands full with being a new mom. It is so special to me to have some things that belong to her and I know she would be so happy that my sister and I enjoy sewing. Hopefully, I will come to love it as much as she did and be even half a talented as she was.

3. Chad lost his job at Samford a few weeks ago. The new Head Coach, who has been there for about a year, decided he wanted to start over with all his "own" coaching staff. So, he let all 3 of his assistants go. Chad is taking it pretty well considering he LOVED coaching at Samford and he probably would have stayed there forever if he could have. He is now looking at his options. We know that God has a plan for his career and it does not include Samford at this time. Please pray that God would provide something that Chad would love just as much, but would also allow him to spend more time at home and get rewarded finacially for all his experience, certifications, and hard work.

Those are our big updates since the last post. I am hostessing a baby shower tomorrow so today I will spend most of my time planning for it and making sure we have everything we need. I do have to go back to school on Tuesday for a teacher workday, but that is no big deal. I already have all my work done so it will be an easy day. Chad is at the Regional Track Meet this weekend and will not be back until Sunday evening. This is his last track meet at Samford, he has 1 athlete competing so he wanted to go support him. Please continue to pray for him in his job search.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Assistant Coach of the Year Nominee

Chad is one of the top 5 nominees for Assistant Coach of the Year at Samford. I'm soooooooo proud of him and I'm glad he is finally being recognized by other people for his hard work and dedication. He does work so hard and puts so much into his job because he loves coaching and he loves Samford. A banquet will be held on Monday, April 27th to reveal the winner. Even if he doesn't win, he is already the winner in my heart! Good luck Chad!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Final Product...

Here is a picture of my latest creation. I just love it! I sewed it together about 2 weeks ago and all I had left to do was sew the button holes and buttons on. Well, I thought that would be easy, but the buttonholes turned out to be very difficult to do on my machine. I had to play around with my machine a bit, but I finally got it and they ended up looking great and being pretty easy to make after some practice.
I hope to make many more of these in the future! I already bought some fabric to make for my new foster niece (more on that later). I have a similar pattern for a boy, but with shorts of course. Hopefully I will be brave enough to try some with trim, pockets, and other decorations.

I know my grandmother would be very proud of me and I wish I could share it with her. She is the first one that inspired me to want to sew and she and my grandfather bought me my sewing machine a few years ago for Christmas. She also gave me lots of sewing items to get me started.

For those that don't know or have not heard, my grandmother is not doing well. She was moved into a nursing home on Jan. 31st of this year and since then has gone downhill quickly. Her alzheimers is progressing at a very quick pace. She had a seizure about two weeks ago and has not been the same since. She is unresponsive and is not eating. The doctors have recommended that hospice be called in. Please pray for her to be comfortable and pain free. Also, pray for my grandfather during the difficult time.

On a happy note...I have a new foster niece and nephew!! Teah and Ryan have been foster parents for a few weeks now and they LOVE it! I am very excited for them and I can tell how much happier Teah is already. To read more about them, look at their blog. The link is on the left side of my blog under The Doyle Family. Izabella (Bella) will turn 4 in about a month and Greg is 12. It has been so much fun to hear about them so far.

Chad is on his way back from a track meet right now. I had a nice relaxing day today. I worked out with a friend this morning, went to the grocery store, worked a little around the house, and sewed for several hours. It was nice to have a large amount of time to devote to sewing, I sure feel like I got alot done.

Tomorrow is Easter and we are excited to be able to go to our church for the first time on Easter. It is such a wonderful day to celebrate Christ's resurrection. I just made us a reservation for a lunch buffet tomorrow after church!

Sorry for the long update all at once. I'm off to bed now!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New and Improved Front Yard

Here is what we did last weekend:

First we (meaning Chad) tilled the soil. It was so funny watching him because the tiller was so powerful that it nearly pulled him across the yard at first. He did a great job!
I forgot to take a real before picture, but this shows mostly what it looked like before.

This is after all the tilling took place. We found some wires that ran right along the driveway so we dug them up, dug a trench, and reburied them deeper in the soil.

Chad the tiller man.

Chad decided that I was a better raker. Since he did the tilling my job was raking. That sure did make my back sore!

We finally got all the soil evened out and had a mess to clean up.

This picture shows what the yard looked like after we laid the sod and trimmed the edges. As you can see we also made a small flowerbed around the mailbox. We thought it would give our house a little more curb appeal.

The final product a week later and after lots of rain.

Here is our yard now. We are very proud of all the work we have put into it. I planted flowers around the mailbox, but we are still looking for something to line it with. We are thinking maybe some small rocks. Also, we can't wait for our grass to turn green, it is still dormant right now. We still need to plant some annuals in the flowerbed by the house and that will give it some more color. Even though it was hard work and took a long time, we enjoyed doing it together and learning as we went!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sewing Project

I thought I would share my latest sewing project. I made some burp cloths for a friend in our Core Group that just had a baby. Actually, I bought the actual burp cloths and then decorated them. The green one with brown polka dots is made with ribbon and then piping on each side of the ribbon. The piping was a little difficult to work with, but it turned our really cute. The one in the middle is made with polka dot fabric with rick rack around all the edges. I used stitch witchery to make the fabric stick to the burp cloth. That one was the easiest to make in my opinion, but it was also the last one I made so I felt like I had the hang of it. The blue striped one is the first one I made with a little help from a friend and I really like it as well.

It was difficult to find cute ribbon and fabric for boys! I didn't want it to look too girly. I already have some very cute things for some girl burp cloths so I'm looking forward to making some soon.
I have moved everything up to my new sewing room, which is just an old desk in one of our guest bedrooms. It is already much easier to get in there and sew since it's already set up. Before, I had to pull the sewing machine out and set it up everytime I wanted to sew. It should be much easier now. I just need to organize all my things so I can find them easily.
Hopefully, my next project will be a little girl's jumper. I'm a little scared about making clothes, but I'm going to give it a try. I'll post a picture when I do it!
Just a little spring break update...this afternoon Chad and I worked a little in the yard. We sprayed something to kill all our grass/weeds in the front and backyard. Our plan is to till the soil on Friday and then lay sod on Sat. We'll see how it goes! I also pruned all our plants in the front yard, watered them really well, and pulled our potted plants out of the garage. It already looks so much better! I'll update this weekend on what all we were able to accomplish.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Break

This week Chad and I are both on Spring Break! While he will still have to work, we are hoping we will be able to enjoy a few days at home working around the house and on our yard. Since he is away so much on the weekends we don't have much time to work together around the house. Our yard is still in need of some serious attention!

Chad had a track meet today at Birmingham Southern College, here in Birmingham. It rained ALL day long! I went out there for about 6 hours and had to leave before it was over. They were running really behind the schedule and I just couldn't sit out in the rain any longer. I have been home for about 2 hours and he just called and he is still at the meet and the last field event is just starting! I think I may take a nap while I wait for him.

Hopefully we will be able to relax a little and get some much needed rest this week, but also be able to get some work done. It's always nice to have time to spend with him since he is gone so much on the weekends.

On a side note...we finally got our wedding album last week! We are so excited to finally have it and be able to show it to friends and family.

Costa Rica Here We Come...

After researching for over a month and for at least 40 hours we have booked our vacation for this summer to Costa Rica! We will be there for our 2 year anniversary in June. We are really excited about getting away and having time to enjoy each other without the distractions of daily life. Check out our hotel at:
While we are there we are planning on doing a zipline through the rain forest, hiking up a volcano, relaxing at the pool and beach, enjoying the spa and golf course, and possibly some other fun excursions!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Planning a Vacation...

Chad and I are trying to plan a vacation for our anniversary at the end of June. We have been talking about it since November, but I have had a hard time convincing Chad to do some research with me. We would love any suggestions. Our requriements are:
1. Outside the United States (even Canada, Central or South America)
2. Somewhere we could not go once we have kids or somewhere we would not bring our children
3. Outdoor activities/day trips (Chad loves the outdoors)
4. I would like to stay in a nice hotel (all-inclusive possibly)
5. Within our budget (of course)
Other than that we are pretty open. I would like to go somewhere warm and beachy since it is the summer, but that is not a must. Please help!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cleaning Out the Guest Room Part 2...

This morning I got to sleep in and it was so nice! Chad is away at a track meet until late tonight and I have some free time to get some things done today. A few weekends ago I cleaned out our guest bedroom closet and now it's time to organize our files. That is my goal for today. Hopefully I will get in there and get busy and get it all done. I just LOVE getting organized, but I have been procrastinating because I never seem to have enough time to get started. I prefer to have a full 1-2 days to complete a large project like this so that I can get it all done and not have to come back and finish later. So, we'll see how far I get!

Jenny Wilson

When we got back to Birmingham after Christmas, we were at the mall trying to exchange one of our Christmas presents and ran into Jenny Wilson. For those of you that know Jenny Wilson, that is all I have to say. I'm sure you have a smile on your face already. She is a few years older than me and ran with us at Samford. She is probably the sweetest person I have ever met in my life and took care of me my freshman year at Samford. She has been living in Birmingham for the past 3 1/2 years and just finished Physical Therapy School at U.A.B. I can't believe I never knew she was here. We also figured out that she was in Birmingham when we got married and could have come to our wedding if we would have been in touch at the time. I met up with her on Thursday night and we had dinner and talked for several hours. It was so good to see her and catch up on her life. Hopefully, we will continue to stay in touch and see each other often.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Random Post

I haven't posted in a while and I have a few random pictures that I would like to share.

This is the puzzle we completed at Christmas only to find that we were missing a piece. We brought it with us to Chattanooga and started it there. When it was time to go to Atlanta Chad decided he just could not leave it or take it apart yet because we had made some progress. So, we transported it to Atlanta with us. Even though we tried really hard, we were not able to complete it before we had to go home. So, we then transported it back to Birmingham with us. The night after we got home we finally finished it. We were sad to find out that we lost one piece in all of the transporting. If you are is Jelly Belly jelly beans. Wow! It was difficult!

Last year I decided I really wanted a nativity scene since I did not have one yet. After looking for one I finally gave up because I could not find one that I liked. Chad suprised me and bought me the basic pieces in the Willow Tree set for Christmas. This Christmas I got the other pieces to complete the set. I absolutely love it!

The girls in my Core Group took me (and Susan) out to celebrate our birthdays. We had a nice dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. They have been such a blessing and I am enjoying getting to know them even better. Pictured below are: Susan, Karen, Me, Dana, and Hayley (with baby #2 on the way)

After Thanksgiving, Chad and I bought a 50" plasma TV. That was our Christmas present to each other this year. Doesn't it look like Oprah is in our living room? We have really enjoyed it so far! We also purchased a media center since our new TV would not fit in our other entertainment center. We bought it from Home Decorators, which is the same place we purchased our desk and file cabinet from over the summer. I'm really impressed with the media stand, especially for the price. Plus, it really opens up our living room without the taller entertainment center.

Hopefully, we will have something better to share soon!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Year...

The new year has begun! I can't believe it is 2009 already. We made it home from our Christmas travels, took down all our decorations, and are back in the swing of things with work.

I spent much of the day today trying to organize some things around the house and find a new home for some of our Christmas presents. Chad was away most of the day with recruits. We are looking forward to an afternoon together tomorrow between church and dinner out with friends.

After looking at the calendar today, the next 6 months are already looking busy for us. My goal is to be productive with my time, especially on the weekends so I can continue to organize and clean out some things in our house. I hope to be able to use my time wisely when Chad is gone to track meets on the weekends.

I already can't wait for the summer when things will be more relaxed and we will have more time to spend together again.