Wednesday, June 30, 2010

congratulations are in order

My sister Brittney has worked so incredibly hard her first year at BYU. She wanted to apply to the nursing program, which is easily one of the hardest programs to be accepted to at the school. Brad and I kept telling her that it was all about her grades. I wish I had had someone constantly nagging me about my grades my freshman year of college, but I digress. It was not an easy road for her. She got stressed out a lot, she missed out on fun activities with her friends, and she got homesick. But it was all worth it in the end, because she just got accepted to


Halloween 2007. Dressed as a nurse. (Elizabeth is Tinkerbell.)

She's definitely earned it! Not a lot of people get in on their first try, but Brittney did. She's so excited, and we're so excited for her.

Congratulations little sister!

 love, Brad & Courtney

Friday, June 25, 2010

puppy on the way and Daddy's Birthday

 I mentioned in my last post that Brad told me if I got a job here in Atlanta he would get me a puppy. What more motivation does a girl need? Well, I'll be posting pictures of a new puppy soon because ...


Stay tuned for cute puppy news.

Also, today is my daddy's birthday. He's 39 (at least that what he tells everyone). It's funny, because I remember when he used to tell everyone he was 29. Then all of a sudden he jumped 10 years in age. I guess 29 just wasn't all that believable anymore.

Happy Birthday

to the first love of my life!

On a side note, I made a super cute curtain for our bathroom doorway. There was no door or partition of any kind between the bedroom and the bathroom, so when the bathroom light came on it lit up the bedroom as well. I decided to fix that problem. My sweet mother-in-law Susie and one of her good friends took me fabric shopping all day last Saturday, and I finally found something that I liked that went well with the colors in our room. Check it out: 
I think it looks pretty good if I do say so myself. The only problem is that there's no air vent in that bathroom/closet area at all, so it tends to get pretty hot. During the day we tie this curtain back with a ribbon like so:
Here's a close-up of what the fabric looks like:

love, Brad & Courtney

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our Life Since Provo

A couple days before we left Provo, I got really brave and decided to cut 4 inches off my hair and get bangs! Afterwards I, of course, regretted it and missed every one of those inches. Brad continually assured me that my hair was still long and lovely. He, of course, was right. I decided I wanted my bangs to swoop a little more across my forehead, so instead of going back to the salon to have my stylist fix them Brad convinced me to let him cut my hair, which I swore would never happen. But here's the proof:

After training my hair to part in a different direction, I finally learned to accept my new bangs. Brad did a wonderful job cutting them, but bangs just aren't my thing. Needless to say, I will be growing these bangs back out. Maybe in the next couple days I'll get brave enough to post a picture of the new do.

It rains like 3 days out of the year in Provo, and just our luck, the day we moved was one of those 3 days. At the end of May it's still really cold outside, so the rain was freezing. Luckily we had some great friends from our married ward who came over and helped us pack the truck. Then we were off to Colorado to visit Lori and Jared and Neil, Valeri, Chloe, and Ryan. Valeri was an absolute sweetheart and took one year anniversary pics for us. Here's just one of the many fabulous photos:
Check out more of her stuff




After our short stop in Colorado we began our long journey south. Once again we had unfortunate luck after only a couple hours on the road. Out in the middle of nowhere Nebraska we got a flat tire, and by flat I mean completely destroyed.
Thank goodness it was only our trailer carrying the car and not on the truck. We called the customer service line and were on hold for about 25 minutes until they finally gave us our options. Option #1: Wait for an undisclosed multiple number of hours until someone from Budget Truck Rental can come with a spare OR option #2: Drive down the road 3/4 of a mile to the car shop and have them replace the tire. I cannot even express have incredibly grateful I was that we got a flat tire where we did. I highly doubt that it was just coincidence that we got off on an exit with the only car shop in the entire state (that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but we were seriously in the middle of nowhere with no civilization anywhere close). We carefully drove the mile down the road as we agitated the cars behind by driving 20 in a 50 mph zone. The tire was replaced in 10 minutes and we were back on the road.

We drove through Kansas all in one day (that's about 10 hours in case you were wondering), stopped at a rest area in Kansas City, MO, and slept in the back of the moving truck. It was quite the adventure and new camping experience. We pulled into Nashville, TN and decided to stop at my friend Lindsey's house for the night. The next morning we drove to my parents' home in Knoxville - 3 hours further. We stayed the night then stole my brother and sister and drove to Atlanta. Thank goodness for Thomas and Elizabeth being willing to help us move. We got everything out of the truck and into our apartment in about 2 or 3 hours. With just me and Brad it would have taken us all day. Finally everything is in order so we jump in the shower only to discover the instantly obvious lack of hot water. Brad, the handyman that he is, goes to the hot water heater closet and tries to turn the handle that won't turn. That's right, the door is locked. No key we were given at check-in fits the lock. Really? Is there seriously a door in our house we don't have access to? We call the maintenance guy who comes hours later to show us how to open the door with a screwdriver. Apparently they lock the door for child safety.

Thomas and Elizabeth had never been to Olympic Park, so we took them there to see the water rings show.

Two days after moving in and having hardly anything unpacked we drove another 6 hours down to Florida for a family vacation with Brad's grandparents. Pensacola was gorgeous, and we were lucky enough to get on the beaches before the oil did.
Beautiful clear water. No oil in sight.

We relaxed, hung out on the beach, and built a drippy sand castle complete with its own pool:
We were sad to leave Florida and the awesome beach weather but so glad to get back home and finally have some stability.

Brittney, another of my sister's, came to visit us just last week. My family is absolutely crazy about baseball, so Brad and I decided to take her to a Braves game. Knowing our luck, which has been evidenced and eluded to throughout this post, something had to go wrong. So what went wrong, you ask? The game got rain delayed for 2 1/2 hours! It didn't start until 9:30 pm. We could only stay until the 4th inning because Brad had work the next morning. But in order to keep us entertained the good folks at Turner Field put the Yankees Phillies game on the big screen for us. Go Yankees! They won that game by the way!

Brad has started his new job and is really liking it. He's still in training right now, which is never fun, but he likes the people he works with. He's also one mile from home, which is fabulous! He also got a sweet new pair of nice church shoes from his wonderful wife for Father's Day. No, he's not a father and won't be anytime soon. It was just an excuse to get him these shoes he wanted.

 I'm still on the look for jobs, so hopefully I'll find one soon. I've been bribed with a puppy. If I get a job, I get a puppy, so everyone pray I find a job soon!

Our life since Provo has been full of adventure, family, and a little bad luck. We miss Cafe Rio, but are loving Atlanta and being so close to home.

love, Brad & Courtney

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tapping Into My Creative Side

I recently saw a super cute beach towel swim suit cover-up online and decided to make it. I figured (a) I have a brand new, wonderfully working sewing machine and (b) I don't have a job yet so I have all day today to get it done. It's so easy to make and is so practical too. My amateur tutorial follows:

Start off with a beach towel (about 60"x30"). I got this one at Target for $6.

Next you'll need to measure around your bust and hips to see where to hem the towel. I did this by simply wrapping the towel loosely around myself, pinning it, then making sure I could get it off. You'll only need to hem one edge. Your bottom and top edge are already hemmed, thanks to the nature of your fabric being a towel. 

Cut the excess fabric off (making sure to leave enough room to hem the edge). The hemmed edge in this picture was just the end of the towel, so I hemmed my new edge to match this one.

 Now you're going to do some shirring. Don't get intimidated. It's super easy. But first you'll need some elastic thread. I got mine at JoAnn's (found in the elastic section). I shirred 10 rows that were pretty spread apart and used 3 packages of the elastic thread, so just keep in mind how many rows you want to shir and plan accordingly. If you're not sure how to shir or even what it is click HERE. This fabulous tutorial on shirring and elastic thread is how I learned the skill. In order to shir your towel you'll need to turn it right side out since the elastic thread is placed only in the bobbin. Here's a quick look at what my shirring looked like:

Next you need some straps. I had a lot of towel left over after measuring and cutting it to my size, so I just used that to make the straps. I kind of just eyeballed how long they would need to be by looking at the straps on one of my tank-tops. The beauty of this is that you can make this dress however you want and in a way that will fit you best.

Next you'll need to hem your straps and sew them onto your dress. You also could attach the straps before the shirring if that would work better for you. After the straps are on you only have two more step! Turn the dress inside out and steam the shirring (aka the elastic thread) with your iron. This will make the elastic bunch up quite a lot, but the fabric will still stretch back to it's original size when you put it on. Here's the top of the dress after the steaming:

Finally, your last step is to admire yourself in your awesome new swim suit cover-up! Good job on making something so incredibly cute!

love, Brad & Courtney

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One Year Down, Eternity To Go

Almost one month after the fact, I'm finally blogging about our one year anniversary. For this special day we were in San Diego at the end of our California road trip. We visited the San Diego temple and participated in a couple sealings to help us remember the sacred promises we made to each other a year earlier.
Later that afternoon, we decided to take a trip down to Mexico to get some authentic Mexican tacos that Brad has been craving for 4 years! We were only there for a couple hours, which was plenty long enough for me. I finally know what Brad felt like before he learned Spanish. I was completely lost and had no idea what was going on. Thank goodness for a husband who is still fluent!
We also celebrated our anniversary once we got to Las Vegas. We went out to dinner at the RainForest Cafe in the MGM Grand. That was probably the coolest place we have ever eaten dinner. It really looked like a rain forest, complete with animals.

I cannot even describe how grateful I am to have such a wonderful husband who loves me so dearly. Brad is my everything. When we got married I gave him a list of 100 things that I loved about him; since then I've added probably 1000 more. I really never thought I could love him anymore, but everyday I find that I'm falling for him all over again. I really lucked out with this one! This past year has gone faster than I could have ever imagined that it would, but I can't wait to spend the rest of forever with the one person who loves me more than life itself.

love, Brad & Courtney