Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Eli & MJ

Eli was 3 weeks past his 1st birthday in this picture and Margaret Jane is about 3 weeks shy of her 1st birthday in her picture. Always interesting to compare:

Monday, August 24, 2009

My girl is growing up!

Margaret Jane will be one year old in a couple of weeks. For her birthday, her Mama Jane & RaRa bought her a new pink and brown car seat! Jason got her adjusted in the seat today and we cannot wait to get it in the car. MJ hasn't been the best at taking long car trips. She does good for about thirty minutes, then she often melts down. And it gets ugly. She screams relentlessly until we arrive at our desitination. The last time I went on a trip with her I swore would be the last time I go on a trip with her! But, now that she's got a new seat I am confident the next trip will be a different story. In the last picture below she was still strapped in her seat and we all walked off. She wanted OUT of the seat so she could play with her brother...and as you can see when she wants something she can make it quite clear!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A gift of the woods

Jason and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last Friday, August 14. We decided we wanted to take a getaway to commemorate this special event. Since the traditional gift for the 5th anniversary is wood, Jason took me to the woods. Well, the mountains actually but they were surrounded by beautiful wooded areas!
We went to Highlands, NC. It is a quaint little town founded in the 1880s tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is located just over the Georgia line in the southwest corner of North Carolina. The town is located at 4100 ft above sea level so the air was cool and light - a nice respite from the August heat in Montgomery. We spent our days hiking, shopping, and sightseeing and spent our evenings eating at wonderful restaurants then retiring to our back porch to enjoy a roaring fire.
The home we stayed in belongs to Jimmy & Gloria Creel, Jimmy is Jason's dad's first cousin. The Creel's were so kind and generous to allow us to enjoy their mountain retreat. The house was built in the 1920's and refurbished in the 1990's after a fire. With 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, we had plenty of room to relax and enjoy ourselves.
The first morning we arrived Jason got up early and headed out to the back porch. I was still in bed and heard Jason BOUNDING up the stairs talking excitedly. He told me I had to come downstairs to see the bear in our yard! Sure enough there was a 500lb black bear walking by our back porch! I grabbed the camera and took a couple of pictures out of the window which didn't turn out too good, but enough to prove we really saw a bear! He didn't find anything to eat at our house so he went next door, stood up on his back legs and knocked down the neighbors birdfeeder and ate the contents! It was very exciting.
The evenings were so nice and cool it was a great opportunity to sleep with the windows open. The first night I laid there in the bed trying to pretend not to hear the LOUD crickets and frogs. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and said, "If they're going to do that all night we've got to close those windows!" This city girl needs quiet in order to sleep!
Some of our favorite cousins, Ray & Sonya Abner, drove up from the Atlanta area and spent a couple of days with us. It was fun to get to visit with them and we all enjoyed exploring the area together. We had lots of fun adventures I'll expound on with the picture below.
We were NOT ready to leave on Sunday. We stood in the house coming up with reasons why we should stay, but we finally dragged ourselves away and decided we must return to the mountains sometime soon!

Jason & I in front of Dry Falls, you can walk behind the falls without getting wet, thus the name.
A mountain butterfly:
Jason & Ronda:

This is the Log Cabin restaurant, located in Highlands. We had our anniversary meal here:5th anniversary picture! We've taken a picture every year at our anniversary dinner, except I JUST realized we didn't take a picture last year. I was 8.5 months pregnant with Margaret Jane and I guess I didn't think about taking my camera or I didn't want to remember how I looked!
This is the beautiful Episcopal church located on Main St., Highlands. Of course all of the major Protestant denominations are represented on Main St. And of course the Baptists have the least attractive church - that seems to happen a lot.
The Creel home:
Our cousins Ray & Sonya. This picture was taken before dinner on Saturday night, we went to Paoletti's Italian restaurant. The food was delicious, but OH the service was excellent. Love good service.
Jason & Ronda in front of Dry Falls:
This is the view of downtown Highlands as seen from atop Sunset Rock. Jason and I enjoyed a picnic lunch here one day:
We hiked Whiteside Mountain, a mile straight up. The hike itself was beautiful and of course the view was wonderful. We got a light rain about the time we reached the top. We had the mountain to ourselves, so Jason had to take the picture for us.

Ronda in front of Little Slipper Rock:
We hiked the mountain sitting behind this neat little house:
Our black bear walking down the driveway!
Everyone needs a fireplace on the back porch! We sat our here every night enjoying the cool weather and checking our emails!
This is the living room of the house:
Just before we started up the mountain we ate lunch at the Cupboard Cafe in Dillard, GA. I LOVE a meat & three! Country fried steak, collards, black eyed peas, fried okra, mashed potatoes, fried green tomatoes, and cornbread. YUMMMMMMM.
Ray & Sonya:
The view from behind Dry Falls:
Main Street, Highlands:

Our favorite restaurant in Montgomery is Sinclair's. It used to be a gas station. We passed this old gas station in the mountains which is now a candy/gift shop and they have the same Sinclair logo as our restaurant in Montgomery. Thought that was neat!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Margaret Jane's Favorite Snack

A Southern Delicacy

Don't get me wrong, having four kids is wonderful, a blessing to be exact. However, there isn't much down time in our lives and certainly very little time for Jason and I to spend time together...alone. So, last night Jason and I got to enjoy a RARE night at home without any kids. We did not accomplish a thing except for cooking a delicious supper together. I had picked up a rotisserie chicken earlier in the day at Costco, so we combined that with some creamed corn, black eyed peas, and fried green tomatoes for a meal that would impress even the most discriminating of Southern tastes. Jason made the fried green tomatoes, his first time to try it. They were simply marvelous. We enjoyed our meal outside on our beautiful porch overlooking our new pergola. All just wonderful! Next time you'll have to come join us, ya hear?