Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Wow! It's been a while since I have written.  I regularly read the blogs I follow but haven't found the time to write my own lately.  I came home for Christmas break on December 10th and have been going, going, going ever since. 

On December 15th, I made a special day trip to Athens to surprise my good friend, Ashlee Culverhouse at her graduation lunch.  She graduated with a degree in photo journalism from UGA with honors. I was so proud of her! She is the BEST photographer and I feel so lucky to be friends with such a sweet person.
I met her and her family at Chops and Hops in Watkinsville.  Their burgers were delicious and the company was even better!

The next day, I returned to Valdosta to check on things at my house and to babysit for a new family.  I was particularly excited about this job because they have 2 girls and one of them is 6 months old.  I LOVE baby's and NEVER get to babysit girls! We had a ball! They were so sweet!  The next morning, I went to visit with my friend Amy, her husband, and little girl, Summer.  It was a quick visit, but fun!

Summer just went to Disney World! She didn't put Minnie down the whole time! So cute!

On the 22nd, we had our Connell Christmas with my mother's side of the family. It was held at my cousin, Tyler's house.  We had tons of food and presents. Tyler married this past fall and has two step children.  They are the center of attention now at family gatherings!  They rushed through dinner because they wanted to get to opening their presents.

Yes, this is my plate.  No, I didn't eat it all.  I wanted to b/c it was soo good!

Uncle David and older cousins opening presents.

I grabbed these books at Target for my grandma to give me.  I'm reading Kris Jenner's book right now.

Every Christmas Eve, our bank has a "Christmas Eve Breakfast".  This year, because Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday, we had our breakfast on Friday morning.  This was my 8th year attending the breakfast. It's hard to believe I have been working at Planters First that long.  I am so thankful for such a wonderful job and co-workers.  I love that we have that time to spend together as a bank family on such an important day. 

Christmas Eve afternoon was super busy for me this year. I started off by swapping gifts with my sweet Hardy children.  Our Darlene has been keeping them since the oldest, Trae, was born. My brother and  I have become very close with them. They are like our own little brother and sister.  Darlene usually starts out at their house in the mornings and ends up at ours around lunch with them.  We wouldn't have it any other way!
Kate loves to take pictures on my phone. She is in the "sticking-out-her-tongue" phase. But she is still oh so cute!

My big "Trae-Trae" in front of the tree!

After leaving the Hardy's, I went to mama's to swap gifts with Cody's girlfriend, Taylor.  I gave her a note pad, ornament, and coin purse in the Vera Bradley pattern she collects.  She loved it!  She visited a while and mama gave her her gifts.

Around 3:00, Amy, Jared, and Summer came over to exchange presents.  I gave Summer a Little Mermaid vanity, 2 dvd's, and 1 outfit.  She showed up wearing an outfit I bought her this summer at the Bailey Boy's outlet in St. Simons. She looked precious!!

Isn't that outfit the cutest?!  It had matching red and white stripped leggings to go with it!

So precious!

She loved her vanity! Amy sent this to me Christmas morning.
At 6:00, we had Christmas Eve Communion service at our church in Perry, Grace Church.  We usually go with our mom to Christmas Eve service but I wish we had gone with our dad because we didn't sing 1 Christmas song! Not even Silent Night with candles! I was so mad!  I'm very routine so this kinda upset me.  We use to go to church in Cordele during my youth days.  We made life long friends there are are still invited to our friend's (the Turton's) Christmas Eve party every year.  So we headed to Cordele after church to have dinner with them.  It was so much fun to see all of our friends that we miss so much!  We had mexican dishes and a huge dessert bar.  I only took one picture, here it is...
Chrismas will be a whole seperate post! Check back soon!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I was super excited about Halloween this year.  It was my first year in a house where I would have my very own trick or treaters (as opposed to being at home in Perry)!  I was so excited, in fact, that I bought candy over a month ago! My first trick or treater this year was a cute little witch.  She was precious and very happy to be getting lots of candy.  I wanted to take a picture to show my followers but I refrained.  That may have freaked mom out. Ha!
Here are a few of my Halloween/fall decorations....

LOVED these! I saw the idea on Pintrest.  Next year, as much as I hate it, I will use fake
pumpkins b/c these rotted about a week and a half later. :(

Coffee table.  Nevermind the project going on in the background....that's another blog. :)

Love the was these turned out.  I used reindeer moss with small pumpkins in the larger hurricane, candy corn in the medium hurricane, and pistachio nuts in the smallest hurricane.

I also spent last night trick or treating with the children I babysit in Valdosta.  I love these boys and had so much fun watching them run around the neighborhood after candy in their costumes!

My little dragon!

Me and my boys!
Hope your Halloween was as happy as mine!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Low Key Weekend...

This weekend I stayed in Valdosta.  I try not to go home unless I have something to do (which is quite often). 
Friday, I had 2 of my ADPi sisters over for dinner.  I love entertaining at my new house.  I made fajitas with rice and we had Halloween cupcakes for dessert.  The batch made 24 so I had tons left over.

Funfetti cupcakes!

I thought they turned out so cute! The best batch I've ever made!
Saturday was another lazy day. That night, I babysat my sweet baby boys I have been keeping off and on for the past year.  They are 6, 4, and 2 and are precious!  Saturday is their movie night.  They get to stay up late and eat popcorn.  I brought over cupcakes so popcorn was out this week.  We played outside and then watched It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.  Once the movie was over, we put jammies on.  While I was helping the youngest get changed, the 4 year old comes running in the room with his pj's on and asked, "Do I look cute Ms. Katie?" Precious!

Today, I spent the day with my friend's Kari and Dewayne.  Kari and I went to the Gap outlet to do a little fall shopping.  I have so many hoodies and thick sweaters and feel like I have nothing in between (at least not in my Valdosta closet).  I can always count on Gap to have great sales but today was almost as good as their Black Friday sales.  Tons of stuff was 70% off.  I bought a pea coat, 1 skirt, 2 cardigans, a layered tank, a long sleeve shirt, a dress, and a scarf for $95 saving a total of $197 with their discounts and my 20% off coupon.  AWESOME!

Excuse the un-made bed and the mess in the back ground. Still trying to get  my room in order.
Love these new fall colors I added to my wardrobe today!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

Last month, I moved into my first house in Valdosta. My previous years were spent in apartments so this was a big change for me.  I had been staying with some friends for the first part of this semester until this awesome opportunity fell in my lap (God is good).  I have never been more excited about something in my life! I absolutely love my new place! It is beautiful and I'm so proud of it!  God even blessed me with a roommate which is a huge help with the rent and is also great company!
Since I have been slack at my blogging lately, here are a few pictures of my house before I moved in.

My house it actually a duplex. Our half starts at the garage on the right.

Our huge living room and my awesome realtor!

View of the bar and kitchen from the living room.

This doorway leads to my room on the right, closet, and bathroom.

My room is an awesome size. This picture doesn't show that very well.

Half of my closet.  Couldn't get it all in there.

My shower.  I LOVE it! My tub is awesome and I love the white.
This is my favorite part of the house...the dining room. It's simply beautiful!

Foyer and front door.

Kitchen, laundry room, and door leading to the garage.

Meet Molly

My mama's birthday was August 27th and my brother and I suprised her with a puppy.  She is a yorkie and her name (after 3 days of contemplation) is Molly. 
Since our precious Maggie died (my toy poodle I was given for high school graduation) in August of 2008, we haven't felt ready to get attached again just yet.  For the past few months though, we had been talking about what breed of dog we wanted next, what color, size, etc.  I saw her birthday as the perfect time to take the "puppy plunge"!  I looked for weeks to find the perfect dog.  We initally said we wanted a mixed breed.  Mama has severe asthma and can only have non-shedding, short haired dogs.  I searched every where for any mixed breed.  I finally found a black shitzu/yorkie in Abbeville (not too far from where we live).  I went to check her out and she was precious! I thought for sure I would be back to get her but when I left, I was covered in dog hair.  Not only would this not work with mama's asthma but it also wouldn't work with my OCD. So, the search resumed.  On my way back to Valdosta, 2 weeks before mama's birthday, I remembered a lady I use to waited on when I worked at the bank that always came through the drive through with her yorkie.  She bought her from a relative in Eastman (even closer to our house).  I contacted the woman and she gave me her great aunt's number who was the breeder.  She just happend to have one girl and one boy.  Yorkies have always been a favorite breed of ours but they are usually VERY expensive.  This kind woman offered me a price I just could turn down.  I sent my brother over to check out the pup the very next day.  He sent me a picture of her and I instantly fell in love.  I explained to the breeder I wouldn't be home from school until Mama's birthday and she graciously kept her another 2 weeks for me.
It was a LONG 2 weeks knowing we were about to have a new "baby".  As silly as it sounds, I would find myself looking at the picture my brother sent me of her.  I was just so excited! 
The day finally came for me to go pick up our new family member.  After picking her up in Eastman, I took her to mama's house in Perry.  Mama luckily wasn't home when I arrived so I had time to figure out exactly how I was going to give her to her.  Cody and his girlfriend Taylor came over before mama got home.  I tied a big pink bow on our little baby and decided to put her in a decorative box we have in our house.  Once mama got home, we told her to sit down so we could give her her gift.  I ran back to my room and brought her the box with Molly inside of it.  I told mama her present was too big to wrap to give an explanation as to why I was bringing her a box she already owned.  She opened it up, saw Molly, and closed the lid back! She was in shock....and so happy.  She loved on Molly and even cried she was so happy.
I am so glad I decided to get mama a new baby.  She has really enjoyed having someone to come home to in the afternoons after work.  Molly is so sweet, calm, and playful.  She is still so tiny and loves to be held. 
Here are a few pictures of Molly from the night we gave her to mama....

Waiting to meet her mommy!

She loves her bubba!

Meeting Aunt Taylor!
Mama opening her favorite bday present ever!

She loved her!

Getting some sugar!

Molly Grace


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Very Special Weekend

So...I'm never sure if people read my blog post which is why I don't typically write that many.  I do, however, think that some things are worth documenting for yourself to go back and read at a later time even if no one reads it but you.
This is one of "those" post.
In August, my dad and I went to St. Simons.  Just the 2 of us.  We don't usually do things just the two of us, and when we do I don't really look at it as particularly special.  I guess I have, in the past, taken those times for granted. This weekend was defiantly special.
Four days before we left for our trip, my dad told my brother and I that he has prostate cancer. We were both very shocked and upset. It was the worst news I have ever had to accept.
 He is to have 3 months of chemo followed by surgery at Emory to remove his prostate and bladder.  This was particularly hard because I don't want to see my daddy sick. He is never sick and I know that he will have a year full of sickness from chemo and then will have to adjust to these parts being taken from his body.  He will be in the hospital for 10 days, out of work for 2 months, and it will be around 6 months before he feels like himself again.   
My dad loves St. Simons. It is a place that means a lot to our family and we have built many memories there. He loves to go fishing and wanted to make one more trip before he begins chemo and doesn't feel well.
We left around lunch time on Friday. We arrived at Sea Gate Inn late in the afternoon.  The condo was so beautiful!  It was right on the water so daddy wouldn't have far to go to fish.  Later that evening, we went to our favorite restaurant on the island, The Crab Trap.  We both had fried shrimp and crab stew. Very delicious! We then went over to Brunswick to visit with my older half brother and his family. 
Saturday morning daddy went fishing while I slept late. :)  We walked around the village and ate at The Sandcastle for lunch.  It is a favorite for the locals (I'm ready to be a "local").  I took daddy back to the condo so he could get his usual nap and I went back to the village to finish up my shopping.  I took a nap once I got back.  It rained later in the day so no pool for us! :(  We ate dinner at Catch 228 for the first time and it was great.  One thing we do when we go to the beach is eat well (if you couldn't tell)! :)  We then went to the village to have ice cream for dessert at St. Simons Sweets.
Sunday morning we had to check out bright and early at 10am (yes, this is early for me on the weekends). We had brunch The 4th of May (another favorite of ours). 
Basically on this trip we ate and ate.  We did have a lot of visiting time which was great. I kept telling myself all weekend to remember every second of it.  This trip with my "diddy" was so special to me and I will treasure it always.
I didn't take many pictures this particular weekend but here are the few I did take...

Going to the Crab Trap.

The beautiful sunset on our way to Brunswick.

Wonderful dinner at Catch 228.

Us at Catch 228.

Our BEAUTIFUL condo.  I loved the colors, furniture, layout, everything!

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding

Wow...I haven't written a blog in quite some time.  I just haven't found a second here lately to write.  But I felt this experience in my life was worth making time for.

My childhood friend, Sarah Lamar (who I nicknamed "Sarah G" when I was young), got married!  I was a bridesmaid and was really excited not only to stand beside my friend on the most important day of her life but because this was my first time being a bridesmaid.  I am a little obsessed with weddings so of course this was a day I had been waiting on for a while.  I felt so honored that Sarah would choose me to be apart of her day. Another thing that made the weekend even more special was that Sarah asked my mom to direct and help decorate the reception area.  It meant a lot to us both for her to include my mom in such a big way.  She did an awesome job with the decorating, just wait and see!
The wedding was held at the beautiful Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, Ga.
Here is how Sarah's wedding weekend went...

Thursday- July 28, 2011
Mama and I arrived in Young Harris pretty late (around 11).  Mom had to work until 4:00, it took forever to get all the things loaded in the car, and the drive was 4 hours. Wheww!  The mountain roads almost made me carsick.  I was dreading having to go back down them on the way home.  Once we got to the hotel, we unloaded the car, stuffed a few gift bags (Sarah wanted these for the guest who were staying at the hotel for the weekend), showed Sarah her flowers mama brought for some arrangements and off to bed we went!

Friday- July 29, 2011
Mama and I slept as late as possible.  We were so tired from going and going the day before.  Sarah's bridesmaid's luncheon was at the Tack Room on the resort grounds.  It was a stable-like building that was just beautiful.  We had a soup, sandwich, and salad lunch and it was great! I loved meeting all the other bridesmaids that I had only communicated with previously via facebook.  Sarah gave us all white button down L.L. Bean shirts with our initials monogrammed in baby blue to wear while we were getting ready for the wedding. I loved them!  She also gave us very pretty scarves! After the luncheon, some of us went back to our room to stuff gift bags and fold programs.  Mama and I ended up taking a much needed nap and then got ready for the rehearsal dinner.  The rehearsal dinner was across the street from the resort at a restaurant called, Brothers.  The food was amazing! We had steak, chicken alfredo, green beans, mac and cheese, roast with gravy, mashed potatoes, and a dessert bar. The rehearsal dinner was very sweet.  Sarah's dad, brother, and step-brother, maid of honor, and Trent's dad all gave speeches.  It was very touching and many tears were shed!

The wonderful bridesmaid's luncheon!

Friends since before kindergarden.

All the bridesmaids and Sarah

Us girls with our moms.

Rehearsal dinner. I LOVED Sarah's dress!

The happy couple!

Sarah with her good looking step bothers and sisters!

Saturday-July 30, 2011
Today is THE day! Mama got up really early and headed down to the pavilion to start decorating for the wedding. She was literally out there until about an hour before the wedding started a 6. She worked so hard and her hard work defiantly paid off.  I got to sleep a little late and then headed down stairs to meet the girls for breakfast at the restaurant.  We all then went to the bridesmaid's suite to get ready.  We all look so cute in our shirts and curlers! :)  It was fun to help each other get ready.  Sweet Tiffany rolled my hair and Laney did an amazing job fixing it for me!  After we all got ready, we helped sarah get ready and she looked so beautiful.  Ben (the photographer who is also Sarah's step brother) snapped a few pictures of us and then took pictures of Sarah and Trent seeing each other for the first time.  I wanted to watch so bad! Lol.  We then all took pictures together on the golf course.  I can't wait to see them! I know they are so beautiful! After pictures, we rode golf carts down to the Sunset Pavilion for the wedding!  It was so exciting for the moment to finally arrive! The ceremony was very sweet and very spiritual.  The senery was so beautiful!  Mountains and a golf course...can't get much prettier!  The reception was so fun! We danced the night away.  The band was wonderful and even did a special number for us bridesmaids and Sarah.  It was such a great night!

Laney and Ms. Peggy putting the finishing touches on the bride.

So beautiful!

Sarah and Trent right after they were married.

Mama did a great job on the flower arrangments that hung from the aisle chairs.

The pavilion where the reception was held.  I loved the paper lanterns!

The most delicious cake I have ever had!

Sarah getting love from her sweet step brothers.

Sweet couple enjoying their first meal together as husband and wife.

This is perhaps my favorite picture of the night.  Check me out trying to push Becca out of the way (Remember
a scene similar to this in the movie, Bride Wars?). Haha! I determined to catch the bouquet.  I wasn't sucessful. :(

This says it all.

Best friends forever.

Leaving on their cute golf cart. Decorated by my talented mother of course! :)

Sunday-July 31, 2011
Mama and I slept in as late as we could.  The beds there were SO comfy and I hated to leave them! Lol.  We had tons of stuff to pack up and finally rolled out of the resort around 2.  We ended up eating lunch at Brothers to enjoy their delicious food one more time.  We stopped a few times at different shops, the outlet mall, and a family friends house in Cummings to visit.  We finally got home around 10:30 and boy were we pooped! Getting up for work the next morning was not easy!

This weekend was amazing.  It will be one I never forget. I was so honored to be apart of it! I hope you enjoy the pictures!