baby birds

Every spring my mom hangs big ferns on her front porch.  And every year it never fails that a bird or two or three will find the perfect spot in one of those ferns to build a nest and lay eggs.  This is actually the second batch that has hatched (the first little ones have already flown the coop).  I snuck an up close look while mama bird was away and snapped some photos.  Aren't they precious?!  I can't wait for them to grow up and learn to fly - they are such amazing creatures.


memorial day weekend

Jason and I both had a three day weekend for Memorial Day, woohoo!  That meant we got to spend the whole weekend hanging out.  The weather was gorgeous, which gave us the opportunity to get in plenty of pool time at my mom's house.  These photos were from Sunday when we brought Jack along with us.  He loves the water and also loves my brother Ryan!  

It was so nice to be able to relax and go with the flow without any set plans.  We were able to enjoy dinner and a movie one evening with some great friends.  We finally watched the Hunger Games - I know, it came out like a million years ago.  I have read the first two books, so I have been dying to see it and just as I have heard, it did not disappoint.

I would also like to take a moment to say thank you to all the men and women who have served in the military.  Our country is forever in debt to the sacrifices you have made and continue to make.  Thank you!!

florida, part II

 Like I said in my last post, the main reason for our Florida trip was to see my brother-in-law's high school graduation.  We are so proud of Reuben for reaching this milestone in his life.  His plans for the future are to join the Navy, big kudos to him for making this huge decision.  The graduation ceremony itself was quick and painless - thankfully, because we were sitting on bleachers.  For having 300+ students, they really flew through the program.  There was a chance of rain too, so we were so glad the weather held out for us.
Briana, Kelly, Emily and Reuben
 The day after graduation, we had a lunch for Reuben and three of his friends that he grew up with since they were wee little kids.  They didn't all end up going to the same high school, but they have remained close friends throughout.  I think that is so special and I hope they all stay in touch as they move onto the next chapter of their lives. 
We ate at River Rocks, which was delicious. I should have taken a photo of my food, but I was so hungry that I just scarfed it down without a second thought.  I got fish tacos and french fries - yum! They also put a congrats message on the marque, which was really cool (although they spelled Reuben wrong with Rubin).

Congrats grads! And good luck with all that you do!


florida, part I

Jason and I hopped on a flight to Florida this past weekend to attend my brother-in-law's high school graduation.  Besides celebrating this special event, we knew we wanted to get in some much needed beach time.  So one morning we decided to sneak off to the sand and have a little ocean-side date.  The beach was nearly empty, and after snapping some photos, we just sat next to each other, talked and enjoyed each other's company as we listened to the waves break on the shore.  

Our lives have been pretty hectic and out of whack for the past month or so.  It was almost as if God gave us this moment to get out of the fast lane and regroup and reconnect as a married couple.  It was truly amazing and incredibly refreshing to have this time.  We even managed to sneak in some beach yoga.  For real.  Just what the doctor ordered.

happy birthday, sis!

This past weekend my sister celebrated her 29th birthday.  That's right, it's the start of the official countdown to the big three-zero!  She sent me this video of my niece a couple weeks ago - Adelynn is a spitting image of my sister.  Boy I can't wait to see them in just a few short weeks.

Happy Birthday, Ashley!!

happy birthday, hubby!

our first official pool day a couple weekends ago::courtesy of Jason's instagram (@jasoncastro)

Today Jason has finally caught up with me again and turned 27 years old.  That's right my friends, I am a real life cougar.  Even if it's only by 3 months.  Jason is really pretty fortunate, because I test out the age for a few months and tell him how it is.  If it's not all that great, we can just skip his birthday so he doesn't have to get older.  So far everything has been pretty good.  And for some reason I don't think Jason would ever be willing to skip his birthday...he always likes to milk it for a few days, which is fine with me.  Mostly because I always do the same.

Happy Birthday babe! I think 27 is going to be pretty great.

mother's day

Cancun 2010

Yesterday was Mother's Day and it was a pretty good day.  Jason and I went over to my mom's house early in the morning and made breakfast.  Since we are sort of on a student's budget these days, we thought this was a great alternative to eating out.  Plus we were able to hang out for a few hours instead of just being in and out of a restaurant.  It was a win-win if you ask me.  

Although my mom and I have our ups and downs, I will always be grateful to have her in my life.  Nothing else will ever be able to fill the spot a mother has in your heart.  Love you mom!


Today turned out to be a difficult day. From the moment I got up, I couldn't focus. Choosing my outfit seemed to be an insurmountable task and making a lunch for work was out of the question. There was a constant ball of anxiety in the middle of my chest and I felt as though I could burst into tears at any moment. To be honest, it took me a few hours to realize why I was having such a rough time.  I really didn't think today would hit me this hard; but in reality, even just writing this out is heart breaking. I lost my dad in November 2005 and today would have been his 69th birthday. I miss him.

My brother lost his best friend almost a month ago, and that hit me hard today too. It all just doesn't seem fair. The impossible question of "why?" can be so haunting.  I know there is no satisfying answer out there. Losing someone you love has got to be the hardest thing in life to go through, at least so far in my life it has been.

Grief is a lifelong process. There are highs and lows and thankfully, for me, as time goes on the lows are fewer and far between. I will never, can never, forget those that are now gone. But thankfully it is easier to think of all the good times and be grateful for all the good things that person brought to my life. My dad taught me so many things, and helped to shape me into the responsible woman I am today. I only wish he could see how well I've done, I know he would be proud. I can't wait to see him again one day.

Happy birthday, dad. I love you.

local honey is no joke

This past weekend, Lindsay and I went to the Chattanooga Market, which is one of my favorite summertime events.  I don't always have something particular in mind I am looking for, but this time around my shopping list consisted of one very important item: local honey.  Last year I was told that it was the best cure for allergies (Allegra doesn't begin to touch my itchy eyes and nose), and boy did it turn out to be true.  This stuff is nothing short of amazing.  With the pollen count holding steady on "high," I figured it was overdue for me to get a jar - only $8, can't beat it!

Afterwards we enjoyed lunch at Greenlife and lots of girl talk.  Don't you just love a great afternoon with your bestie?!  Thanks Linds for a great day :)


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