Sunday, September 15, 2013

Date #5: Scavenger Hunt + Camping

Cool weather means one thing for us: camping.  While I'm battling yet another sinus infection, we agreed some fresh air would do us some good.  Our 2 week camping adventure this summer proved to be one of the most exciting vacations we've experienced together.  When you're campsite in NYC is outside of Brooklyn and you have to pay $10 each person for a shower, or in Washington, D.C. where we had torrential downpours for 2 days, you would have thought we could have waited a while to camp again.  With 55 degrees on the forecast, we just couldn't resist.

Date #5: Try Tent Camping

We set out to Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park Friday evening but not before I led Kaden on a scavenger hunt.  Since living in Alabama, Kaden discovered "Golden Flake" chips and if you're from Alabama, you know you can't go anywhere without a bag or two. 

Last year, we camped at Tannehill for the Texas A&M game, and when Alabama lost, we heard some crazy Alabama fan "chopping down a tree" after the game.  We were excited for the hype this year.  Let me first mention that Tannehill is known for a great RV park.  We turned the corner and you saw Alabama decorations at its finest! 

P.S. We talked to several people and they said some RV's have reserved their spots for a WHOLE MONTH for Halloween.  Obviously, the week before Halloween is the time to go to see all the decorations!

As we approached the "Primitive Camping" area, we quickly found a spot nestled behind the creek.  We spent Saturday exploring Tannehill and Daisy LOVED IT.  Living in our condo she doesn't get to experience the "country life" but this weekend she fell in love with the great outdoors.  She even jumped in the creek by herself!  She also had her 1st red wasp sting on the snout.  One trip to the Pharmacy and a bottle of Children's Benadryl, she was back to herself in no time.  

How did we watch the Alabama game?  Listening to Eli Gold, of course.  With hotdog in hand, and maybe a few smores too, we had the chance to hear the Touchdowns first at Tannehill.  All of the RV's have satellites so they are delayed about 5 seconds.  It was awesome hearing the screaming and cheering from our campsite!

On such a beautiful weekend, we couldn't help but talk about what we think Heaven will be like! We hope you enjoy your week & if you ever get a chance to visit Tannehill, definitely give it a try! 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Date #3 & #4: 1 Year, Sunset + Drive Inn Movie

 Wow! What a year it has been in our lives!  The past few weeks I have taken a "social media" break or fast.  Kaden challenged me for 1 Week to be completely free of all outside distractions.  The timing was perfect as we celebrated our 1 Year Anniversary and my 1st Day of School with 17 First Graders!!  Considering we were both so busy with the start of school, it was one of the most peaceful weeks I've experienced in a long time.  

We woke up on our Anniversary morning and made my favorite: 4 LAYER CHOCOLATE PIE
Our topper of our cake was in a deep freezer, and when the deep freezer went out, our cake went bad too.  We both love the kitchen so it was a blast making our delicious pie.

Date # 3: Watch the Sunset in your own backyard! 

In our condo, we have a wonderful back porch with plenty of room for relaxing!  Our backyard is the parking lot, so we sat in our patio furniture and watched the sunset before my 1st Day of School!  

Date #4: Go to a Drive In Movie

I've been looking forward to this Date for weeks!! When you think of Drive In Movies, I typically visualize a dirt road, concession stands, crickets chirping, & kids.  I researched Drive In Movies nearby and the closest one to Tuscaloosa was near Winfield, Alabama.  I was SO excited because one of my best friends, Kerry is from this amazing little town.  Every year Winfield has a festival called "Mule Day" where people from all over come to eat, shop, and watch a parade with Mules in it.  I went with Kerry my sophomore year of college and it was such a wonderful time.  Here is a link to Mule Day 2013

Kaden had heard about Winfield, and it lived up to his expectations when I took him to the Drive In restaurant called The Cardinal.  The Cardinal blows Sonic out of the competition.  We ordered our food + a Chocolate Milkshake that I secretly consumed the majority of it.  We pulled up to The Blue Moon Drive Inn where a stream of lights greeted us at the entrance.  Our movie of choice was "Planes," the Pixar movie about airplanes.  Kaden LOVED it because the movie contained all of the "correct lingo" for airplanes.  The main character was from Nebraska, so that was interesting to see their take on a midwestern state!  Kaden was stationed in Omaha, NE for 2 years while in the Air Force!  We have really enjoyed turning off our phones and spending quality time with each other.  It is so easy to become distracted by "what everyone else is up to" that sometimes we forget the meaning of how beneficial Date Nights can be!  Everyone have a blessed week!

"May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation-those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ-for this will brig much glory and praise to God"
Philippians 1:11

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Date #2: Wedding + Walk in the Park

My handsome Wedding Date

This weekend Kaden & I headed to Mobile for my best friends wedding! We stayed with the sweet Peacock Family and enjoyed spending time with such a wonderful family.  We woke up Saturday morning with hopes of going to the beach for the day.  After scanning the radar, we decided to explore the city of Fairhope.  I've always read about this quaint little city in various Southern Living magazines, so I was thrilled.  With limited time, we drove through and adored all the boutiques & restaurants.  We drove to the Pier that overlooks the bay.  We walked the stretch as we saw many fishermen getting settled into their day.  On our list of August dates, this week was 

Take a walk and stop for ice cream wherever you may end up!

The walk on the pier was peaceful, breezy, and the restaurant in the middle smelled like fresh hushpuppies!  After spending time on our leisure walk, we were on the hunt for ice cream.  As we were on our way to our car to head into town, guess what was parked right in front of us?  A ice cream truck!!  Many memories of my childhood include running full speed down our huge hill in hopes of catching that ice cream truck.  Kaden and I shared a Jolly Rancher Bomb Pop--Every section was a Jolly Rancher flavor!

Behind the pier were gardens of rose bushes tucked behind a huge fountain!

We ended our day date at Wintzell's Oyster House where Kaden devoured oysters, and I half heartedly tried Fish Tacos for the first time.  We drove back through Historic Route 98 to Daphne (gorgeous)


 Brody and I have been the best of friends ever since Kindergarten and his new wife Drew is precious! The wedding took place in a beautiful, center aisle church.  The celebration continued at The Ezell House where we were welcomed with a variety of savory food choices.  Kaden loves to dance, so of course we delighted in dancing the whole night.  For a brief moment, the skies seemed a little unsettling, but NO rain followed! It was a perfect evening to celebrate such a precious couple.  My Iphone camera is clearly not the best quality, but I found this picture via FB that snapped a cute moment of the newlyweds!

We had a fantastic weekend! On the ride home, we couldn't stop saying "THANK YOU JESUS" for such a beautiful weekend!!

Brody & Drew
Murph, my other best friend!
The Groom

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Date 1: Bowling with a COLORFUL Twist

Date #1
Bowling with a Colorful Twist

This idea came from The Dating Divas and we had a BLAST!  The rules were very challenging! Each person picks a M&M, and you have to follow the rules accordingly!


52 Dates

52 Dates
1 Year

Recently, I have enjoyed reading many blogs written by friends/strangers, so it encouraged me to pick back up on mine.  

So, 52 dates.  When Kaden deployed to Afghanistan last summer, I patiently waited on Skype or the phone.  I read many books last summer, but one day I was tired of reading so I started searching the internet for dates.  I have followed The Dating Divas since 2010 and they always have the BEST date ideas.  The best part of their website it they include several printables for FREE!  They were my inspiration! I searched the internet in hopes of compiling a list of 52 dates: 1 for each week of the year.  I spent several days working hard on my list and it's been in my closet for almost a year.  We moved into our new condo this past week and when I ran across them, Kaden told me to pull them out.  We will post each month on our fridge.

This year should be much better!  After being on antibiotics for over 280 days our 1st year of marriage, I had sinus surgery that has COMPLETELY changed my health.  I have never felt better.  More energy, no more coughing, and definitely no more antibiotics, I am rebounding!  Follow us on our journey as we blog about 52 Weeks of Dates!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Newlywed Newbies

Once again, I have neglected my blog that once recorded so many memories.  Kaden safely returned from Afghanistan (a second time), and we were married on a cool, cloudy and rainy day in August.  Many people have asked me how I would describe my wedding day.  Leading up to the wedding, the stress of it all: dress, music, food, etc, nearly about killed my sweet Mom and me.  I am nothing short of a handful, and when you get two personalities and two opinions thrown into the mix, things can get a little stressful.  However, my parents provided me with the most wonderful day of my life and for that I will always be grateful.  People showed us so much love during our wedding and I can assure you that every kitchen appliance, piece of furniture, lamps, pictures, and dishes have molded our marriage because not a day goes by when I don't thank God for all of the wonderful goodies we received.  I am probably the only person that can tell you exactly what each person gave us, along with their address.  Somehow, I looked at Wedding Addresses WAY to much :)

When God changes the direction of your life, we often say "Why?" "What is our purpose?"  
Kaden knew he was separating from the Air Force in September, so he had a wonderful job lined up in Augusta, Georgia.  We had a down payment for a quaint little 1950's rent house, Kaden's job was lined up and ready to go (or we thought), and I was starting the process of my teaching certificate in Georgia.  Long story short, someone didn't process Kaden's security clearances & paperwork for his new job so about a week before our wedding, we had no plan.  We didn't want to bum on my parents for possibly 3 months as we waited for paperwork to clear, so Kaden denied the job and we were left in Oneonta, with absolutely no plan.

After our return from Cancun (so beautiful I must add), we were back home with my parents, and 1 schnauzer who we both adore.  Should we wait for the Augusta job or should we find something else instead?  With our Bibles wide open and our heads bowed, we asked God to show us where to go.  We waited for 2 more weeks as we enjoyed Mom's home cooked meals.  During the waiting process, I got a call from a friend saying she could get me a low paying daycare job (hoping I would eventually find a full time job) in these hard economic times.  With faith, we took the leap, signed the lease on a apartment in Tuscaloosa, and four days later I was working with 4 year olds.  Kaden quickly found a job at a Car Wash and we were worn slap out.  

Luckily, I looked online for full time job postings in Tuscaloosa and I applied for one at a school called Walker Elementary.  I applied online, got an interview, and a week later I was employed as a 1st grade teacher.  I started November 1.  5 months later, I have been surrounded by such a wonderful and uplifting faculty and not to mention the most precious 1st grade class ever.  I have learned A TON, and I am continuing to LEARN every single day.  If I could sit down with you for 10 minutes you would understand just how precious my firsties are!

Not even a month after our 1st month of marriage, and our 1st month of working, I began to go downhill, and I mean fast.  Sinus infections, coughing, and allergies through the roof, my immune system would not fight for me.  I was in and out of the doc-in-the-box, sleeping every chance I got, and quite honest, the most miserable I have ever felt in my life.  7 rounds of antibiotics, and 2 trips to the ENT, I decided that taking antibiotics were out of the question, and I needed to find a more natural way.  A friend introduced me to a NASA certified Air Purifier (that is used on the Space Station), and I was sold immediately.  I also began taking SPARK, and AdvoCare all natural energy drink that would boost my immune system.  I would drink it every morning before work, and within 48 hours of my Air Purifier on FULL BLAST, I began to feel better.  It takes ALOT for a product to impress me, but my Air Purifier and SPARK are now my 2 children.  We recently just got back from a road trip from Texas, and Kaden and I both double checked our children on our 15 hour trip.  Kaden is now an AdvoCare representative and we are excited to improve the lifestyle of others! 

If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself.  

I am still on the road to recovery of my terrible sinuses.  I am scheduled for another ENT appointment in a week, and another round of Allergy Shots.  I am PRAYING for some type of Nasal Surgery that will give me FULL relief.  A Cat Scan should be scheduled soon.  I can't wait to tell my ENT doctor that a AIr Purifier and AdvoCare has made me better; not all of those antibiotics that were making me sick to my stomach.  Before I close, I must give a shout out to my sweet and amazing husband Kaden who has driven to CVS several times at 3 a.m. because I couldn't breathe, and heard every single complaint come out of my mouth.  He is my gem.  He is enjoying The University of Alabama where he is majoring in Computer Science and Math.  I am SO proud of my college student :)

Continue to pray for me, because there is POWER in PRAYER!  We are so blessed.  Now, we are starting to truly enjoy our marriage because I'm not the crazy lady in the back coughing up a lung.  People must think I smoke 5 packs a day :)

Friday, June 29, 2012


Considering it's nearly the 1st of July & I have updated since April, I decided to fire up my old Dell computer and write a quick post!  Things have drastically changed in the past few months. Kaden left for the 2nd time to Afghanistan on April 3, 2012.  I flew home from Nebraska, only to get stuck at the DFW airport the day the tornadoes ripped through Dallas.  Luckily, I caught a flight later than night and settled back into the routine of a long, LONG, long-distance relationship. Kaden safely arrived back at Bagram (his second home, literally).  I definitely got spoiled last deployment because we were on a great schedule, and a great Skyping schedule for that matter.  I soon realized my computer was too slow and Skype wouldn't respond, so we began talking on the phone again with the usual, "Huh, what did you say?" conversations.  I should not complain because I am thankful I can hear him at all.  Kaden quickly hopped on the schedule where he is working nights.  Keep in mind Afghanistan is 9 1/2 hours ahead of Alabama, so it basically puts us waking up and going to bed at the same time.  Overall, it has been the biggest blessing yet.  Kaden also found out that he is OFFICIALLY, yes officially... getting out of the Air Force early.  Saying that, I'm not moving to Nebraska.  Soonafter finding out the big news, Kaden was offered a job in Augusta, Georgia.  I was hesitant to even tell anyone our news simply because you never know when the military will tell you one thing, then do another.  It's all about being flexible, and that's exactly what I've become.  So, in two months if you see me writing yet another blog post about how we are really moving to Nebraska with 2 feet of snow, you'll understand that's just how the AF rolls.  It's been quite the exciting adventure though :)  

Here I am, thinking how in the world I have 49 days until I marry the most loving, supportive, and caring man alive.  I know ladies, you think the same about your man :)  When we got engaged, I was the "Oh my gosh, I'm engaged, I must have a countdown" type of girl.  So, I bought an impressive little app for a wopping 99 cents to keep me on track.  When I started the app, I was on 203 days.  Look how far we've come!  Time flies is probably the most true statement out there.  Everything is falling into place, but I just wanted to share a quick fact about my wedding that many people may not know.  Call me crazy, call it God, call me weird, call it a blessing.....

In January of 2011, I was home for the anticipated Christmas break.  I was a senior in college, about to begin my Internship with the University of Alabama.  I had just a few more days ahead until I went back to Alabama to prepare for such an exciting time in my life.  Growing up, and still to this day, I have the most vivid dreams about everything.  I can recall nearly every single detail of the dream and I believe our dreams can teach us many things.   Oh yeah, and today on Twitter...I read this fact.  "Depressing people have more vivid dreams than non-depressing people."  Considering I'm not depressed, I immediately laughed at the random fact for the day.  Anyways, back to my awesome dream....

I had been asleep for at least 4 hours when I remembered an exact part in my dream.  I was sitting somewhere looking at my Wedding program and on the front it read, "August 18, 2012."  Oh, and it was my wedding.  Somehow, I woke up and started laughing.  You mean to tell me that A. I'm not dating anyone and B. I'm getting married NEXT year?  Later, I looked at my calendar in my phone to see that 08.18.12 was on  Saturday. HA.  

Months went by and I forgot about the dream as I focused on enjoying my last semester of college.  Two short months later, I met Kaden and almost immediately fell in love.  We started dating, fell in love, and enjoyed every waking moment we had together before he deployed.  We both knew his deployment would be a test to see if God really wanted us together.  Kaden said that throughout the deployment that God told him that if we made it, I was the woman he was going to marry.  As we started talking about the future, it became very real to me that Kaden was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  As we got engaged, I eventually told Kaden about my dream that I had before I even met him.  No pressure, huh?  As we started looking at wedding dates, my heart became very open to living out my dream.  Kaden was of course 100 percent supportive of my idea and he swears it was God all the way.  Not many people were supportive of my Alabama-August-oh-my-gosh-that-is-the-hottest-part-of-the-month-Wedding, but I just laughed and smiled like any Southern girl does and said "thanks for the suggestion."  So here I am, reflecting on a wonderful 23 years on Earth blessed with a man who loves on me each and every day.  I glad I followed my heart on that simple dream, because August is shaping up to be the best month ever.  KK is getting out of the Air Force, we are getting married, honeymooning to Cancun, moving to Augusta, Georgia, and starting his job on the military base at Ft. Gordon.  

Thank you to all of you have supported us 100 percent along this journey.  It has meant the world to US  God is SO good and we give Him all the praise!