November 10, 2009

Little Stories

A lot is going on at our house these days. We have been working diligently on Hattie's room. We have had a couple of showers so the living room is full of some wonderful things! We went to an all day child birthing class last weekend. And I have been gathering stories and advice from friends and family. Add some crazy dreams, and I think I have enough goodies for a new post!

Stories from my mom:

*Her water broke when she was pregnant with Rob. When they went to the hospital and he arrived about 6 hours later. This makes me feel good, genetically I hope I deliver quickly!

*Her water did not break with me, but when she went to the hospital, the doctor broke it for her and I arrived 15 minutes later. WOW!

*One of our births, she was awake through the night with contractions. She paced, laid down, walked, took a shower and shaved her legs, then called her doctor at 6 am because she didn't want to bother him during the night. He told her to get her booty to the hospital! (Does this sound like me? I think so!)

*The day of the other birth, my dad was doing some work under the house. When she went into active labor, she had to figure out how to signal him so he could crawl out and take her to the hospital.

Stories from Ellis's mom:

*She flew cross country from Michigan to LAX with a 6 month old and Ellis's dad was 4 hours late picking her up. How scary! To be without a cell phone (Hello! 1975!), in an airport with a little baby, and thinking your ride ditched you! YIKES!

Dreams I have had:

*There have been several dreams involving animals. Usually I am saving people or children from HUGE snakes (like 15 feet long and 6 inches wide), mountain lions, alligators. I am sure this means something.

*I had a NIGHTMARE! I dreamed that I was 32 and pregnant and back in middle school! Seriously, this was a nightmare for me! I couldn't make any friends, no one talked to me. It was so sad!

*Last week (Week 33) I had my first dream that Hattie was actually here! In all of my previous dreams, I have still been pregnant. I dreamed that I was already home but had not met her yet. Finally I was able to hold her and it was wonderful!

*Last week I also had my first labor dream. I was in the hospital and pushing and working hard, trying to get Hattie here safe and sound!

(This is a "New born" onesie. The tag says for weights 5 - 8 lbs. Right now, according to, Hattie is 4.75 lbs. So technically, this might fit her!)

August 24, 2009

Letter to Hattie

Dear Hattie,

This journey has been a lot of fun! I enjoy thinking about you growing inside my belly. It is the most amazing thing! I imagine you sleeping, kicking around, and listening to my voice and your daddy's voice. When you are kicking, I always say, "That is my little soccer player, just like her mommy!" Your daddy can't wait until he can feel your kicks and movements. He is so jealous that I am the only one who can feel you so far. But he talks to you every day! Sometimes he tells you secrets that I can't hear. When I ask him what he said, he replies, "It is just between us."

Every week I read about how you are growing. I get so excited over all the little milestones! This week, for instance, you are 11 inches long from head to rump. I always pull out my ruler to envision how big you are. And you are right at a pound! You are the size of a large mango this week! And 23 weeks along. Over half way!

I imagine many days ahead of us full of fun and activities. I want to go on walks and jogs with you, take you to the park. Your daddy is already talking about getting a trailer for his bike so you can go on bike rides with him! We will talk about letters and numbers together. And I can't wait to teach you about travel and maps and the world. There is so much out there for us to do together! And the beach! I can't wait to see your face the first time you feel sand between your toes! Will you like it? Or will it be too squishy for you?

My hopes and dreams for you are that you will have a happy childhood, full of love. But I want you to grow and be your own person, too. I want you to be confident and I want you to love yourself. I want you to love how you are not like other people. That being your own person is more important that being a cookie-cutter, stamp of someone else. I want you to find friends who love you for who you are. And I want you to be a good friend to others; compassionate, helpful, courteous, patient. Learning how to be a good friend is important, because sometimes it will be hard to talk to me and your dad. But having a good friend can make all the difference. I dream of you having goals and dreams of your own. I hope that you have the strength and perseverance to tackle your college major and do something that you are truly interested in, find a career path that fits you and you are passionate about.

I love you and I can't wait to meet you! I am looking forward to lots of laughs and happiness in our future!


August 13, 2009

Pology Cookies

I am posting this little blog here and on our Book Club blog. The idea of Pology Cake or Cookies comes from the book that we read in July, Shelter Me. Check it out! It is a great read!

Last Friday, I had an ultrasound scheduled so we could find out the gender of our baby. Ellis and I were super excited. As a matter of fact, Ellis's sister planned her vacation around this ultrasound and Ellis's birthday rafting trip down the Hiwassee. She had been visiting from Northern Ohio for two weeks. It was getting a little long (and she was missing her hubby) so she had contemplated going home earlier in the week. But knowing that we had this ultrasound coming up, she decided to stay.

In addition, Ellis took the entire day off, as did I, for this special day. Since Ellis is working 5 10 hour days, he was losing 10 hours of over time to see our little one. When I made the appointment, I did not know that this day was a big in-service day for the school system, so it was a big deal that I was missing it, too.

We arrived at the doctor's office promptly at 9:20, our appt time. Cassie, Ellis's sister, had her car packed so she could leave after we found out about the baby. Since the flyer from the doctor's office said that we could only have 2 guests, I had a close friend meet us at the office to sit in the waiting room with our nephew, Matthew. So, I had a big entourage. Me, Ellis, Cassie, Mattie, and Andrea.

When I checked in, I was told that the ultrasound machine was down. The office decided on Thursday to not call me and tell me this because I had an appointment to see a doctor anyway.

Wow. I was pretty floored. If I had known on Thursday evening, I would have probably sent Ellis on to work, helped Cassie get an early start on the road to OH, and let Andrea sleep in. At that point, I became the "squeaky wheel." I talked to two of the ladies in the business office about any other possibilities for this ultrasound taking place today. At first, there seemed to be another option, but it quickly dissolved. Then, when we went to see the doctor, I explained that we had a lot of schedules that were changed and altered for these people to be there with me that day.

Ok, the truth is... I was pushy. But in a nice, Southern way.

Finally, another doctor's office gave our technician permission to use their machine. We quickly drove over to this other office and quietly snuck in to their ultrasound room. All of the drama was worth it when we found out that we were having a little girl!

I was so thankful that the doctor's office worked with us that I vowed to make them some cookies for my next visit.

We did get to see little Hattie Humphres on Friday, but the machine that we viewed her on was not as superior as the machine at my doctor's office. So, I was called on Monday morning to set up a follow-up ultrasound. The purpose of this big ultrasound was to measure the baby and determine how the baby was doing, growing, and to have an opportunity to video our remarkable little girl. So, my follow-up was scheduled for Wednesday.

On Tuesday, after work, I stopped at the grocery and picked up some fresh ingredients for cookies for the ultrasound technician and the ladies in the office. As I was baking, I thought, "Are these Pology Cookies?" I was thankful for all that the people in the office did for me. So I wanted to let them know that it was important to me. I don't think I was mean. I was just firm. But in some way, I think these were some Pology Cookies for rocking the boat (not my normal M.O.).

When I gave them to my ultrasound technician, she was very pleased. As a matter of fact, she said, "That just makes my day!"

And that was worth it. I like Pology Cookies. There is something special about baking them and thinking about who you are making them for. Sending positive thoughts through food. I like it!

August 6, 2009

How things change...

Two weeks ago I wrote about my brown dress and how people were noticing that I was changing. I wore the same dress again yesterday and had a few more comments. One in particular was that I looked like I was carrying high, so it must be a boy.... We'll find that out tomorrow!

Here are the pics of me in that little brown dress:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I had Ellis take this picture in the living room to show off the entire baby bump. Look at that lil' fella! It is no wonder that none of my regular pants fit me! Thank goodness for forgiving cotton and stretchy waist bands! Before I know it, even the clothes that are comfortable now will be tight and bothering me. But, it is pretty fun along the way, too!

August 5, 2009

Who is this baby going to be?

The last 5 months have been an adventure, for sure! Partially because I have never been pregnant before. Partially because being pregnant hasn't stopped Ellis and me from doing a lot of fun things. So far, the baby has...

Gone snow skiing..... and had some of the best powder of my life!

Run a half marathon.... ok, so it was a run/walk, but we still finished! Booya!

Cheered Daddy on for his first Muddy Buddy.... and loved every minute of it!

Visited Peggy and Bob in Gatlinburg .... and watched 4th of July fireworks!

Spent two weeks with Cousin Mattie... and had a blast!

Went rafting down the Hiwassee.... not recommended for the faint of heart!

Watched the Chattanooga Lookouts spank the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx.... and sat behind a guy who won a World Series for the Dodgers!

All in all, it has been a great 5 months. Who knows what these little adventures will lead our little baby to do when he or she is older!!

July 23, 2009

Baby Bump!

Here I am, 19 weeks along! I am nearly half way! They say that most pregnancies are 40 weeks, but some people do deliver around 36 to 38. So, I am close to the halfway point! It is pretty wild! In some ways, the anticipation makes it go slow, but in other ways, I can't believe that I am considered to be 5 months pregnant (just barely). I don't totally understand the calculations. Some web sites say one thing while another site says something else.

But what I do know is....

When I was getting ready for work this morning, I decided to wear a pair of khaki capris that I haven't worn in two or three weeks. I do remember that the last time I wore them they were a little tight and uncomfortable. I have been wearing lots of cotton dresses and a couple of maternity pants and skirts. So this was the first time in a little while that I tried to put on some regular clothes. I couldn't even zip them up! WHA? I have only gained 2 pounds (according to my last weigh in on the Wii Fit). But my body must be moving those two pounds to one exact place! In all my years of Weight Watchers, I never gained two pounds and clothes didn't FIT. This is totally new to me. Well, all of it is pretty new to me.

On Tuesday, I was wearing a cute little brown dress with an empire waistline. I had more comments that single day about "showing" than I had received so far. At first I was convienced that it was the dress. Then Ellis reminded me.... "You are PREGNANT. You have a BABY inside you. It is not the dress. It is the BABY." Oh, yeah. I forgot!

So, what do you think? Am I showing?

June 29, 2009

15 1/2 Weeks!

I had the best intentions to keep up with a weekly post, but I haven't been doing too well. I will try to do better! ;) Summer tends to be my busiest time of the year at work. I have done really well... not missed a day due to pregnancy symptoms. I have been late, staying home and trying to get over the nausea. My biggest troubles have been nausea in the morning, about 30 minutes after I eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast and then in the evenings, around dinner time. I also had a lot of fatigue in the first trimester. I would come home from work, lay on the couch, and not be able to move for hours. Poor Ellis! He would have to fend for himself for dinner because nothing sounded good to me and I didn't have the energy to cook anything for him.

Now that we are entering the second trimester, I am slowly noticing more energy. Still not enough to make myself go to the gym. But I cooked dinner three nights last week! Did laundry and put new sheets on the bed, too! I am still feeling the familiar upset stomach. And, sadly, I had my first throw-up episode on Saturday. It had been a while since I had eaten, nothing was cooking, so I have no idea what the trigger was. Just all of a sudden I started feeling it and had to run to the bathroom. Actually, at work last week I had a similar episode, but just ended up dry heaving over the toilet.

Now that I have shared some of the most LOVELY aspects of my pregnancy so far, here are a few better, lighter, nicer things:

*On June 12th, we had our first ultrasound. We saw our little one squirming and playing and having a good time. It was so sweet! We did get two pictures from the ultrasound that I have been carrying around in my purse. If you see me and I don't offer to show them to you, ask and I will gladly pull them out! I don't have the images on my computer, otherwise I would post them on the blog. We were also able to hear the heart beat. It was very strong and steady!

*On June 18th, I felt the smallest, tiniest flutter. I haven't felt it since, but I am convinced that it was our little one.

*On June 20th, I noticed the first change in my body that I knew for sure was due to the baby. My pants have been getting tighter, but I could not visually see a difference really. On the morning of the 20th, I was hopping in the shower and thought that I was looking a little "PG" when I glanced in the mirror. Then, I flexed my stomach muscles. Just to "hold it in," like I was taught to do as a little girl. Nothing happened. My belly stayed the same. THAT was big difference for me.

*Our next ultrasound appointment is scheduled for Friday, July 10th. Ellis's mom and step dad might be in town and able to go with us to the appointment. I will try to get pictures to post from that appointment!

May 19, 2009

9.5 Weeks Along!

I am surprised that I am already 9 and a half weeks along! Well, actually, I am not EXACTLY sure how far along I am because I still haven't seen my doctor yet. This Thursday is the day! I have been checking out information on for pregnancy info and guidance. They have an on-line calculator that told us how far along I was. So we have been basing it on that.

The website has been really neat to follow. Every week it sends me an e-mail about how far along and what is going on with our baby. Here is what it says about week 9:

The embryo measures about 0.9 inches (2.3cm) to 1.2 inches (3cm) from crown to rump, or the size of a strawberry. The arms and legs are longer, and the fingers might be a little swollen where the touch pads are forming. The head is more erect and neck is more developed. Your baby now moves its body and limbs, and this movement can be visible during an ultrasound, but you won't be able to feel it yet.

Another site says that the baby is the size of a grape. Regardless, it is small but certainly growing!

This week I noticed that some of my pants that are normally loose are getting tighter. Almost uncomfortable. It is hard to think about a little grape or strawberry being big enough to make my pants get tight! When I told this to Ellis he said, "But your uterus is the size of a grapefruit!" Oh! Well, in that case, I can handle my pants getting tighter!

May 15, 2009

Park City Trip - April 2009

We headed to Park City on April 1st this year. We had a ton of fun and spent some great time with Rob, Andrea, and the Renners. We also had 11 inches of GREAT SNOW! Here are a few pics from that trip.

Ellis grew a big o' beard to keep his face warm!

Rob took us on some sweet jumps!

Check out the blue skies! Our days of skiing were gorgeous!

This was on our first day out. Joel, Ellis, and I were skiing in some SWEET powder!

We had a blast! I think that was some of the best snow I have ever skied in! It was a great trip!

May 14, 2009


So, when we found out that we were having a baby, December seemed so far away! When I called my doctor's office to schedule my first appointment, I was disappointed that they did not want to see me for another 4 weeks! It might as well have been waiting for December!

When I called, I asked for a Friday appointment. Ellis is off on Fridays and I knew that he would want to go with me. So, on April 20th I scheduled my first appointment for Friday, May 15th. Since that time, Ellis's work schedule has changed a bit. There are some deadlines coming up so he is having to work 5 days for the next 6 weeks or so. So last week, in an effort to make it easier for Ellis to attend the appointment, I called to see if I could get a Friday afternoon appointment instead. But, they didn't have any because they are closed on Friday afternoons. (I am sure the doctors work plenty hard during weekend deliveries so that having a Friday afternoon is a nice treat!)

After all the finagling, imagine my surprise when I received a call on Wednesday confirming my appointment on THURSDAY. I was a little distraut at first, but then I decided that I would rather hear my baby's heart beat earlier rather than later. Ellis checked with his boss and made the necessary adjustment so that he could come in late on Thursday rather than Friday due to the appointment change.

THEN, (the scheduling drama continues) this morning Ellis enjoyed sleeping in. Getting up at 5:40 every morning can be tough. But sleeping in until 9:00 and looking forward to our first appointment wasn't exactly what happened. At 8:35 I received a call that my doctor had called in sick. And that they were having to move around all of her appointments. The next time she could see me will be NEXT Thursday at 2:30. I tried to get squeezed in with another doctor today, but the only time open was at 3....which would essentially mean that Ellis might as well take the whole day off. Since he is working over time hours, that just didn't make sense. At least with our new appointment time, he can go in to work and leave early and be done for the day.

So here we are.... waiting some more. One more week until our next appointment. At least we only have seven more months to wait!

April 21, 2009

Magnetic Prestidigitation - by Ellis


Those of you that ever made their way to our house on 8th street will probably remember the scores of magnetic poetry that covered our old refrigerator. When we moved out (over a year now), we took down the old magnets and they are somewhere, in some box, in the new house... I think. The last renters had their own fridge, so we moved the old gal to the new garage where she sat in the corner. The fridge has been a great backup; holding extra drinks, ketchup packets, nearly empty pickle jars and the like. We bought some shrimp at some point and the freezer really started to smell... Crap, could I digress ANY further from the actual story?


Tamara and I were cleaning the beast last weekend (Easter weekend), and there was a lone word we missed. It had, for just over a year, clung unassuming to the bottom of the door to the freezer. Tamara found it, handed it to me, and continued cleaning. I almost just tossed it, but instead, hoping to reunite the lil guy with its family, I put it in my wallet and continued scraping dried egg from the underside of a tempered sea of hazy glass. Seriously, I think I found 3 tiny chunks of dried egg on every square inch of that thing. I swear an Egg McMuffin had pooped in there or something.

So here I am today, putting a post-it into my wallet, when my little lost friend is staring at me... clinging to the very spot I laid him, waiting for a morsel of life-changing news to be delivered.

God, I'm happy.

April 20, 2009

Imagonnabeapaw - A Message from Ellis

Good GREAT Monday morning!

Some of you know, some of you don't... But now you all will!

This weekend afforded me a great surprise...

A wee baby infiltrates the Humphres house! Like a trojan horse!

If the online calculators are indeed correct (and who wouldn't trust the internet?), I shall be indoctrinated into fatherhood, kicking, screaming and all sorts of nasty things on or around December 19!

If calculations are correct, baby's first heartbeat will be Sunday(ish)!


*Artists representation not to scale

How it came about....

Back in January, I was talking to my good friends Melanie and Andrea about the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon. I haven't run in a few years but I really wanted to start running again. This is a big race and a big distance. But both Melanie and Andrea assured me that if I followed the running schedule that I could take on this race. I made the decision soon after reading the book The Alchemist and I felt like running such a big race was part of my "Personal Legend."

The process has been wonderful! Melanie and I meet up to run every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. We have been following the Hal Higdon's Beginner Training Schedule. I have totally enjoyed it and I finish every run feeling very proud of myself! And it doesn't hurt that I have lost about 12 pounds in the process, too! Also, Melanie and I have run about 130 miles since the beginning of February. Wow! I can't believe it!

Our race is this coming Saturday, April 25th. We had our longest run, to date, last Saturday, April 18th. As you can imagine, running together affords us a chance to talk about a lot of stuff. Everything from in-laws (mine are AWESOME!) to bodily functions issues (please don't ask!) to kids. Melanie and her husband, Joel, have two wonderful children. And I have thoroughly enjoyed the stories of Daphne's princess obsession and Micah's experiences on the pee wee football team. Melanie and Joel are great parents and being friends with them has helped me realize that parenthood is full of rewards and fun, not just disciple and laundry.

On our Saturday run, Melanie and I were a little quiet. It was strange. I think we had acutally run out of things to talk about. A few miles in, we started talking about kids. Melanie always says, "I can't wait to meet your kids!" After running for a while, I admitted that I couldn't remember EXACTLY when my last period was. I vividly remember that in January, it started the day after my birthday. In February it started the day after Valentines. For some reason, I think I had a light period right around March 14th. Obviously, I wasn't super late or anything.

Melanie told me that she found out she was pregnant at Chick-Fil-A. She said that she and her mom were driving around and got a PG test and stopped there for lunch. She then told me that Joel was a waiter at O'Charley's and was working that night. She went there to have dinner in his section and took him a little rattle as a gift to signal to him that he was going to be a father. I thought that was such a cute idea! It got me to thinking that if and when I am PG, I will have to do something funny or cute so Ellis could tell everyone how he found out.

When I got home from our 10 mile run, I was hot and stinky and sweaty. Ellis was playing Call of Duty on his Xbox so I decided to just jump in the shower and get cleaned up while he was playing his game. Before I got in the shower, I decided to dig out the pregnancy test my mom gave to me about a year ago. She brought it to me from the lab, just a little something to have on hand as needed.

I really didn't expect anything. I really didn't. But something happened. Two stripes immediately appeared. Clearly. Quickly. I am pregnant.

I spent about 15 minutes in the shower quietly thinking and holding on to my little secret. No one else in the world knew at that moment but me.

At the end of my shower, Ellis came in and started shaving off his huge beard. It had gotten pretty wild. And I was happy to see it transform from a large, furry, red rug to a small little patch of bristle. I had left the PG test on the counter and he hadn't noticed yet.

I quickly snuck into his closet and found an old undershirt. Then I went to the kitchen with some markers and scribbled out a message. I couldn't stop smiling. I threw a little skirt on and headed to the bathroom.

Ellis looked up from his handy work (his beard was nearly gone) and I watched a variety of feeling fleet across his face. His first words were, "Is this a joke?" Followed quickly by, "Are you kidding me?!" The faster, "Are you joking?"

All I could do is laugh. And shake my head, and squeeze out a "It's true!"

March 11, 2009

In 15 days....

In 15 days Ellis and I will have been married for 5 years! It surprises me every time I think about it. Partially because I feel like we have been together for a life time. I don't clearly remember life before Ellis. There are flashes of roommates, college, travel. But so much of my life now revolves around him. 5 years also surprises me because I think that kind of sounds like a long time. In some ways, I feel like we are living the same lives we had the first year of marriage. In other ways, I realize that a lot has changed. We have had a lot of great experiences in the last 5 years.

Here are a few of our adventures and experiences:

1. Honeymoon in Park City

2. Yellowstone National Park in August 2004
3. Yellowstone National Park in September 2005
4. Florida March 2005
5. Park City 2006 - 2007 - three visits by Tamara

6. Florida June 2008
7. Park City December 2008

8. We travel to Michigan every Christmas and try to visit one other time each year.

Life Changes
1. Married March 27, 2004

2. Tamara wrecked her car in July 2004
3. Chewy was adopted October 2004
4. Ellis left CPC in November 2006
5. Ellis worked at Trails End in Park City Nov 2006 - April 2007
6. Ellis has been working at Mohawk since May 2007
7. Tamara tragically lost her gallbladder in August 2007
8. February 2008, moved to Robinhood Drive and started renting the 8th Street house
9. Bought Robinhood in June 2008

Fun Memories
* Riverbends with Ellis
* Ellis taking pictures in downtown Chattanooga
* Camping trips and hikes
* Taking small airplane rides over the Tennessee Valley
* Pirates for Halloweens
* Dirty feet after cleaning off the fences at 8th Street
* Funyacking on the Ocoee
* Ellis talking in his sleep
* Ellis dream sequences
* Ellis driving heavy machinery
* "Rollin' Down the Highway" - Ellis
* Air Show in Chattanooga
* IKEA visits and Ellis begging to leave
* Junkman's Daughter
* Relaxing in our new house
* Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, and other TV shows we secretly love
* Ellis fixing a flat tire
* Ellis fixing my car

* Ellis and his tool belt (RAWR!)
* Scarlet O'Haras, Buttery Nipples, Gin and Ginger Ale, and 7 &7s
* Laughing

* Laughing a lot

* Laughing until I accidentally peed my pants.... oops.
* Excited Ellis running through the house.
* Spending time with the Harem
* Spending time with the 8th Street Family Band
* Spending time with AKB
* Meeting new friends and hanging w/ the Lyons
* Moving Mari, Mo, AKB, and ourselves
* Yard Sales

There is no one else I would rather spend the rest of my life with. I never knew that being married would be this wonderful, because I am married to my best friend. He knows me better than I know myself. He is amazing!

March 2, 2009

More Carpet Pics

Putting in new carpet is HARD WORK! Seriously! We had to move all of our furniture out of the rooms we were carpeted. In addition, that meant having to pack up all of our trinkets, knickknacks, TVs, cables and cords, movies, and stuff. It was tough! Ellis and I also decided that we would remove the old carpet our selves to save some money. So here are some more pictures of that process.

Just a reminder.... we started out with BLUE carpet. Isn't it lovely?!?

We moved all of the furniture out of our bedroom two nights before the new carpet came in. And I just couldn't miss two days of the Today Show, now could I? Ellis was so nice and put together this fancy set up for me! Big TV at the foot of the bed, nice! Chewy seemed interested in this new development.

My toes on the blue carpet in the living room. There was a little wear and tear over the course of 24 years!

Our blue carpet in the dining room. And no, that is not our permanent dining room table. It has been great for wrapping Christmas gifts and stuff. But if will NOT be there forever.... just until I find the perfect table! Do you like our new paint?

Our blue carpet in the living room! Check out my new living room lamp! Sweet! (Oh, and we were watching Showtime's Dexter. I love that show!)

After we moved all of the furniture and started pulling up the carpet, we had to be a little silly. Ellis took some pictures of me on the floor.

(Notice the outlets that are in our floor. We'll talk more about those later!)

Chewy had to see what was going on. Very curious!

I even got a little kiss on the cheek from her!

I think I was getting ready to start a dance routine.... maybe a cartwheel.... I don't know. Once we moved all of the furniture, that area near the piano was FULL of couches and cushions! You couldn't even go through that area.

Before the carpet could be installed, Ellis needed to move the floor outlet. The current location did not work with how we had our furniture arranged. The outlet appeared to be in the middle of our floor. We wanted it to be under the couch so it had to be moved about 3 feet towards the front door.

To do this, Ellis donned his overalls, work boots, and head lamp then crawled under our house. He was a dirty mess when it was over!

He had to start by finding the new spot for the outlet. Chewy was acting as his supervisor.

She offers encouragement as needed during these big projects. She must have been whispering a little hint in his ear.

Once Ellis was under the house, we had to remove the old outlet.

I stayed in the house and helped Ellis from above. Sometimes passing his little drill through the hole. I must have trimmed Chewy's nails while I was helping Ellis. What can I say, I multi-task like a pro!

Chewy tried to help, too!

Ellis's new headlamp came in VERY handy during this project!

Isn't he cute!!!!???

It was so funny to see him working through a hole in the floor.

Chewy was really trying to figure out what was going on.

In the end, Ellis did a great job with the outlet. The new position is perfect and we haven't had a single problem with it. Go Ellis!!

First Tennessee

February 26, 2009

Running Again

Six years ago my good friends Marishell and Andrea inspired me to start running. I began a simple little program to train for a 5K. For those Americans reading this, that is a 3.1 mile race. My program was really easy. Basically I ran about 4 or 5 times a week for 20 minutes. The first week I ran 1 minute and then would walk 1 minute. The second week I ran 2 minutes and walked 1 minute. Eventually I was running 10 minutes with a 1 minute break, then I was running for 20 minutes nonstop!

In the summer of 2003 I lost about 30 pounds and ran in 4 or so races. My first race was a 1 mile fun run while Mari and Andrea ran a 10K. I came in 5th place and brought home a little mug saying "5th Place." I still use it! I ran a 2 mile bridge run and was the second place female but there were no awards for that one. Boo. I still have all of my race bibs. It was a great summer.

Then, as luck would have it, I got sick and had mono. Being under the weather, planning a wedding, and in the middle of winter, I stopped running. And I gained weight. I was a chubby bunny for sure!

Now, 6 years later, my workouts have consisted of lots of time on the elliptical machine in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 I participated in a 4 week Boot Camp three or four times. And I went to spin class like a fiend! Now, 2009 dawned with me ready to find a personal legend.

I decided that my personal legend was going to be running in the Country Music Half Marathon. I love remembering the excitement of race day. The challenges. The crowds of people. And the fun times with my gals after we finished running. I have been missing it for six years! My great friend Melanie and I have been following a simple 12 week program for beginners. I am amazed that in four weeks we have run 37.5 miles! We have a 3.5 mile run this afternoon and that will put us over 40 miles this month!

The Half Marathon is a big deal. 13.1 miles. Since I wasn't running before we started the training, the idea of running the whole thing is daunting. So my goal for this race is not a time issue. I am not telling myself that I want to run it in 3 and a half hours or anything like that. My goal is to simply finish. If I have to walk here and there, I am totally ok with that. I just want to do it!

Our run yesterday was a nice, easy run. We only had to run 2 miles. And we rocked it out! We ran 1.5 without stopping. We walked a short distance (it was hilly!) then finished strong! I am so proud of us!

Another motivation for me has been my Nike+ that Ellis bought me for my birthday in January. It is a little microchip that you attach to your running shoe. Then there is a little plug that I attach to my Nano. It sends data back and forth and tracks our distance, time, speed, and calories burned. Then, I load the info to the website. It has been great to see all of our runs and watch our progress. Check out my "Mini Me" at the bottom of this blog to see my progress!

February 13, 2009

Carpet Installation!

We finally had the new carpet installed! YAY! It looks so different. I love it! It is all subdued, warm, and cozy! Here are some pics from the actual installation.

Here is the living room. Check out all the tools it takes to install carpet! Including this really hot iron thingy. It smelled just like a glue gun!

It was neat watching the sunlight come in on the carpet. The browns looks different at different times of the day, depending on the sun light.

I love how you can see the pattern in this shot. Ellis describes it as being like the weave in linen. I just think it is cool. I have never seen carpet like this before! And I love being unique!

This is the carpet in our bedroom. It is hard to see it in this pic. It is multicolored, light khaki mixed with browns. And it is a frieze. It is the new shag. I love it! Our room looks fantastic!

February 3, 2009

Carpet is COMING!

First, I have to totally apologize for these pics. There are a few from Ellis's phone camera and a few from mine. And my phone camera is terrible! Stupid Nextel/Sprint phone!

This is what our living room looked like when we moved in. Actually, we had already replaced the dining room light fixture. It is pretty, isn't it! As soon as I took this picture, I started tearing the wallpaper off!

This is the same angle last night. Since it was night time and we had the light on, it is really bright! But you can tell that the wall paper is gone. And you can see that the blue carpet is gone!

And here is the other side of the room. This is the living room area. I was a little surprised by the dust beneath the carpet and pad. Ellis and I decided that the pad was disintegrating a little bit. I guess that is what happens after 24 years!

This morning, I took a couple more pictures. These are from my crappy phone. We moved the love seat to in front of the TV so we could watch some stuff that we DVR'ed before bed. Notice how we just cut around the TV and left a carpet rug! We aren't going to move it until we have to!

In the morning light, you can see the chandelier. Isn't it pretty? One day I will find a dining table to go under it. The wall with the four windows was painted "Macadamia." The wall with the one wall is just wall paper backing. The area above that is "Kaffe." I will have Ellis take some pictures with his camera soon so you can see the colors better.

Tonight we are going to work on removing the carpet in our bedroom. We moved several pieces of furniture last night. Tonight we will just have to move the night stands and take down our bed. It looks so funny being so empty!

As usual, Chewy has been actively involved with the renovation process. She instantly missed the carpet. She had nothing to dig her claws in as she raced across the huge, empty room. I think Chewy was actually abducted by her evil twin. She scratched me, meowed a lot, and climbed all over the furniture all night. I think I snapped a picture of her body snatcher. You can tell by the glowing, lifeless eyes. This is a picture of PURE EVIL! BEWARE!