Monday, December 31, 2007

The 3000 Mile Road Trip

Our 3000 mile road trip started with an 11.5 hour drive from Charlotte to Steelville, MO to visit Audrey's family at her parents home. With our camera dying we didn't get too many pictures but we had to capture the favorite past time of chopping down trees and playing in the woods.

Matt chopping down a tree using an axe. It was part of his Crossfit workout.

Dana, Matt and Boyd try to take down a tree by some force of their own.

Audrey's mom lined us all up for our individual family photos...easier than trying to get everyone (all 25+) of us in one photo together.

After time in Steelville, we traveled 9 hours up north to Minneapolis to visit with Matt's family. I am not sure we were really prepared for the cold weather we experienced but we did get to take part in some winter activities we don't see much of in FL or North Carolina.

Audrey was tuckered after days of traveling and spending time with family. She crashed on the coach after opening presents.

Matt got Audrey a Nintendo DS for Christmas with the Brain Age game. Dominic and Jaden also each had one, so we were competing together on Mario Cart via wireless connection between them. They definitely had me beat.

We had the opportunity to go snow tubing while we were up in Minneapolis. It was a lot of fun but we got extremely cold very quickly. Below our some pictures.

We both had the opportunity to go snow shoeing which was something neither of us had done. It included some snow shoe running, snow ball fights, and lots of laughs.

Matt's sister, Annie, got a snowball to the face and the remnants of the snow stuck to her eye lashes.

Matt's mom on the right, with cousin Andy with Sam following, and Theresa and Lisa and Matt taking up the rear.

We ended our time in Minneapolis with a bonfire to warm us up amidst the single digit weather.

We had a wonderful trip and were blessed with great weather, safety, and so many amazing memories with our families. We don't have much going on for our New Years Eve except to recover from our long trip and get ready for 2008.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

a SURPRISE Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, We decided to stay here in Charlotte and attempt to cook our own Turkey together with all the fixin's. Matt did an outstanding job of planning the entire menu and we spent most of the day cooking. Even though I was enjoying our time together and the time we had to relax together, I was missing our friends and family.

The SURPRISE came when my friend Katie flew up from Florida to surprise me for the Thanksgiving weekend. It was an amazing time. We had a lot of good laughs and no trip would be complete without at least one hike up a mountain.

Saturday after our hike, we cut down a Christmas tree at Penland Tree Farm in York, South Carolina. It wasn't very eventful since we arrived after hours, had to beg to get in, ran out into the field in the dark and cut down one of the first trees we saw, strapped it to the top of my car, and hurried home. You could tell we picked the tree in the dark b/c it looks more like a diamond than a triangle- but we love it just the same and it smells up the home wonderfully. Katie and I spent the rest of the weekend decorating it.

Below our pictures of our weekend!

My little helper who wasn't such a help. The threats of electrocution weren't making it through to her.

And the not so finished Christmas tree...I have since finished putting up the ornaments.
More pictures hopefully to come of Matt and I and the wishbone from the Turkey...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Yard Clean up

When we moved into our home, the back yard was cluttered with 15 years of underbrush, leaves, dead trees, stumps, vines, etc. I didn't take "before" pictures but this is after a full weekend of cleaning up yard debris which resulted in over 30 bags of leaves and huge piles of branches. But the results were exactly what we were looking for. We have big plans to hang a hammock and have a shade garden, bird feeders and bird houses, and just a shaded serene place to relax.

The pictures below are the one corner of the yard we cleaned up. There is plenty more to be pruned in other parts of the yard, so this is just the beginning.

This is the back corner of the yard looking up to the house which is slightly off to the right. Before we cleaned it out, you couldn't walk through it.

Our property is nearly 0.8 acres, and only a small part of it is fenced off, so the picture below shows the rest of the property beyond the fence that we plan leaving natural.

This is the debris we still have left to take to the curb for the garbage men. we are trying to place it out there in stages so they don't get completely overwhelmed. We have met more neighbors with all our clean up b/c they keep commenting on all our trash! It has become the common conversation piece.

Dad- this is for you... Matt has been chopping wood and even seeking out more dead trees on our property in order for us to build fires and stay warm while our heat is getting fixed. He even tried to stack it like you although I don't think I ever saw the measuring stick and not sure the dimensions are quite right for making a proper cord, but none the less, we are working hard to make you proud :)

And we even have kindling...and a few pencils- my specialty when chopping wood into splinters instead of logs.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Autumn colors and another Hike!

The fall colors are starting to appear here in North Carolina and so we took a hike over the weekend to check it out!! Matt came home this past weekend to surprise me and our friend Thomas is staying with us- so the three of us spent Saturday afternoon enjoying the beautiful autumn weather.
Matt and Thomas took time standing a top the giant rock for the ultimate view. My lack of grace is enough of an excuse to keep me from climbing too high upon rocks in which the only thing between me and and the ground is a couple thousand feet.

Thomas is deep meditation or maybe just trying to find the easiest way back down!

It was awesome to have Matt home this past weekend. WHAT an awesome surprise. We enjoyed our time outdoors and can't wait until his traveling slows down a little.

As you can see from all our pictures on our blog- our favorite past time is hiking the mountains in NC.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Halloween

Halloween is nearly here and Matt and I ventured out to the local pumpkin patch to find ourselves a perfect pumpkin for carving. We walked through rows of pumpkins to pick out the one that we wanted.

And well, pumpkin carving would not be complete without first utilizing the pumpkin as a workout device.

The finished product!!! bOO- scary, huh?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I have heard horror stories of movers and how your belongings are never quite the same after the move. WELL, I haven't gotten through all of the boxes, but at least in the kitchen the packers took NO chances that anything would break and here are pictures to prove it. All this stuffing came from this small box and the second picture is me trying to put the stuffing back into the box after I unwrapped everything. I stood on that stuffing and couldn't get it back in there. It was overflowing. I couldn't figure out how they had gotten it all packed in there much along with kitchen items. I even found myself laughing at times as to how I would unroll layers and layers of stuffing to uncover tupperware or pens. Can't say it is environmentally friendly but I am sure when it comes to that or broken china, they error on the side of the china.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Our New Home

This is our new home. We absolutely love it. Below is a little tour of what it looks like inside...without furniture. The furniture will be coming tomorrow.

This is the foyer. to the left is the dining room and to the right is the formal living room and den.The room below will hold my piano, the bookshelves and some seating. The room in the back will be Matt's office.
This is the living room which looks out to the backyard and a side entrance to the deck.

This is our kitchen that is going to be one of our first projects. It needs remodeling...if you couldn't tell from the island put in backwards by the original owner!

All the bedrooms are upstairs. I am standing with the master bedroom to my back, a room to the left at top of stairs and bathroom directly across from it. The washer and dryer are upstairs as well as 3 other rooms down the hallway.

This is Matt's garage that he is very excited about. The high ceilings are perfect for hanging rings and ropes for his CrossFit workouts.

The deck overlooks the wooded backyard. It is so quiet and serene. It goes a little while back into the woods so one of our projects will be to clean up some of the "natural" setting by picking up tree limbs, leaves, etc. The wooded part of the yard has some boulders that make for some great landscaping. I am planning for gardens and hammocks while Matt is going to be busy chopping wood for the fireplace.

We have plenty of room for visitors so we are looking fwd to friends and family coming by to say hello. We miss you all, but God has been good and we have been blessed above and beyond anything we deserve through this entire process. Thank you for your prayers.