Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Paige Photography...

Check out Layla's picture folder again...I have added some of Paige's cute!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Here's Layla helping Rusty put up the lights.

This year was an unusual year for us at Christmas. First, we happily got our house painted..yay! So there wasn't much done in the way of lights at our house. Second, I had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, oh the joys of nursing. But that didn't stop the celebrating!

Early Christmas week Rusty and I spent some time with his family over dinner. We also attended a Christmas party hosted by our friend Rachel. On Christmas Eve after work Rusty and I opened our presents to each other which were modest...our gifts this year were Layla and painting our house! Christmas night we had Paige and Nolan over for a scary movie and then last night Mom cooked us a big Christmas dinner and we opened presents there.

At Rachel's Christmas party with Michael and Michelle!

All in all, Christmas was different this year but I was humbled by the fact that there was no one for me to visit in the hospital and that all of my immediate family is in good health.

Reindeer 5K at Fort DeSoto

Mid-December we camped at Fort DeSoto in Tampa for our annual Reindeer 5K Run. We were joined by Paige, Grant, Savanah and Savanah's cousin Sean. Once again, it was a very cold and windy convenient. Actually, it worked out for the best because we moved from our inside, no-view campsite to, pretty much the best campsite ever made! We then had a spot right on the water with a beautiful view of the sunsets!

The 5K was another story. I was unable to run due to my continuing knee problems. Rusty stayed by my side for support, never mind the very cold, long run he didn't mind avoiding! So, Grant, Paige, Sean and Savanah were our runners!

Unlike other camping trips, we did no cooking! We were lucky enough to have Savanah as our guide to St. Pete again. We visited our favorite Mexican restaurant, Carmelita's and Savanah's parents had a BBQ for us on Sunday before returning home...yum!

This would be our last time seeing Savanah for awhile since she is off for a Transatlantic crossing with her parents in their boat...such fun! That will last December-early February. After that, she returns for another year in Austin with the Americorps...!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Savanah comes to visit!

Our friend Savanah is home for the holidays from Texas! She came to visit a few days and joined us at Crash-a-Rama and the UCF game! Really enjoyed having her here!! Check out the photos!

Next weekend we are off to the Reindeer Run at Fort Desoto for our annual 5K!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday Rusty and I entertained about 20 close friends for a Pre-Thanksgiving celebration. We are so lucky to have such a great group of friends. Everyone brought a dish and I cooked the ham. Everything was great and Layla was pretty well behaved meeting everyone!

Today we had family come to celebrate the holiday at our place. It is great to have a nice home to entertain in and be proud of. Rusty and I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lori's Shower

Wednesday I held a baby shower for a friend from work, Lori! She is expecting a girl around early January! We had lots of good food, like always when the girls from work get together! I can't wait to welcome the new baby Kaitlyn!

Yesterday Rusty and I went to the humane society looking for a dog. It was sad and seemed like there were many dogs that had come from abusive homes so we continued looking! We found Layla from a local no-kill, Pet Rescue by Judy. We were lucky enough to talk to the foster mom to learn a little more about her. She took great care of her. Layla is an Austrailian Shepard/Lab mix as best they can tell! She is 3-4 months old and has a great temperment and is learning simple commands so fast!

There are more pictures posted of the shower and the puppy so check them out!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election 2008

Today, finally the elections are over. I am happy to be free from the constant commercials but more than that, I am proud to be an American. No matter who was victorious in this election, or who will be in each successive term, the fact remains that we are so blessed to live in a country were we vote and we can make a difference.

I was so touched by both canidates speeches. I felt they both spoke from the heart and that their love for this country is true and strong. I hope that we can come together across party lines, as a nation and rebuild our country, and I know we will.

"Tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama, I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president.

And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history, we make history."

John McCain, Election Night 2008

"This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can."

Barack Obama, Election Night 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Blue Springs Camping Trip

This weekend Rusty and I went camping at Blue Springs. The first night was Halloween and we were joined by Paige, Rachel and Grant. The second night Tim and Zac came out! The weather was beautiful with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.

The best part about the trip was our encounters with the manatees. The spring stays 72 degrees year round and the manatees come to the spring for the relatively warm water in the winters. There were 8 manatee in one area and a few others scattered throughout the spring. Before leaving today we were brave enough to take a dip and swim up to the spring head. Since you aren't allowed to swim with the manatee, we waited until they swam off and made our way up. When we reached the spring there were 4 more manatees there. One of them was particularly curious and swam right up to us!

Already looking forward to our next trip in December for the Reindeer Run 5K in St. Petersburg! (Better get training!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Last night Rusty and I had some friends over to celebrate Halloween early with some pumpkin carving. We searched for the perfect pumpkin (turns out Publix has the best deal....large pumpkins for $6) just in case you were wondering! Then chose our stencil or free handed our design. After carving we were so proud we took a ton of pictures. Somehow, the girls were much more interested in this part than the boys. After carving we watched football and I baked the pumpkin seeds....yumm! Friday we're headed to Blue Springs for some camping! Good thing our weather's been nice!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October update

Rusty and I have fallen into a routine of work, eat, sleep, repeat! Although, we do have some news to report.

First, Rusty has installed a turbo kit on his Focus. It makes his car much faster and he says it will save us on gas too because it is more efficient. I guess we'll see the difference driving it makes : ) In all, he is very pleased with it since he no longer has his truck or a mustang to fix up. Meanwhile, I'm still in my '98 Sentra waiting on the funds to come together for a new car. Feels like I'll be waiting awhile....

We have also purchased our first real set of furniture for the living room. Don't get us wrong, the hand-me-downs were great but we felt after 3 1/2 years of living together, both of our graduations, and purchasing a home, that we deserved it!
Also around the home, we embarked on a weekend home improvement project 2 weeks ago that is still in progress! We decided to tear out the caulk in the master bath and replace it because it was getting moldy. After tearing it out, we realized the grout would need to come out, the wall would need time to dry, and we'd get the pleasure of re-doing it in this 4 year old home. I guess that's what being a homeowner is all about! We hope to re-tile the bathrooms and kitchen and paint the exterior this "winter."

Paige has also shared her pictures from Jessica and Adam's Wedding with me. She's got a real talent and is considering making her own webpage and business cards. I think that would be a really fun thing to do though college and maybe as a career! Her pictures are posted in one of our photo albums...Check them out!
Speaking of Paige, she just attended her Senior Homecoming. It's hard to believe she is a senior this year! I feel like I was just there minutes ago! Here is one of many beautiful pictures of her...(I think the camera loves her!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Adam and Jessica's Wedding

Bride and Groom

On September 20th we attended Rusty's cousin Jessica's wedding. Earlier that day, Paige had a 5K race, we took the 1 hr ride home, quickly got ready and headed across town!

Me with Ms. Photographer!

Paige and I went early to help Jessica get ready. Jessica and Adam hired Paige as their photographer so she was there snapping photos! Right now the prints are still be edited (all 600 photos!) but we'll be showing some of her best off soon! These shots are from Patti (so many turned out great!)

Loving this one! Bridesmaid Kandi, with her daughter (and flower girl), Taylor!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mike and Michelle's Shower

My friend Rachel and I hosted a baby shower for our friends Mike and Michelle. They are expecting their first son, Michael John in mid to late October. It was also part nursing school reunion! We also decided it would be fun to invite dad along too so we had a co-ed shower! Although, boys were still out numbered 4 to 10+ but I think everyone had a good time.


We had a bar-b-q cook out with hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, blue punch (that turned purple thanks to some frozen BLUEberries!), plenty of cupcakes and cookies to go around twice! I was happy to host this shower in preparation for hosting my next shower in November for a friend at work, Lori!

This weekend we will be attending Rusty's cousin Jessica's wedding. Paige is going to be the photographer so I'm very excited about that. She has real talent and I think we will have a great time!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Austin, Texas

Last weekend Rusty and I spent the weekend in Austin, Texas. We were so excited about this not only because it was someplace that we had never been, but also because we were going to visit our friend Savanah. She was a college roommate from my sophomore year at UCF and after graduation, moved to Austin to be part of the AmeriCorps!

Once in Texas we saw the sun for the first time in almost a week. Hurricane Fay had been causing so much wind and rain the dry heat was almost welcomed! Although we didn't see 100+ degrees, it still got pretty hot!

On this trip we visited the state capitol, took a dip in Hamilton pool (a really cool grotto), went to a festivl for Mexican dance, hiked a portion of the 8 mile GreenBelt along a dried up riverbed, watched the bats take flight off the South Congress Bridge and met a few new people too! All in all we had a really great time and enjoyed our stay in Austin. Can't wait to have Savanah come visit us in Orlando!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August update

August has been a pretty busy month! I was lucky to have some time off of work and did a lot of things that needed attention around the house. I also attended the Grass Roots Initiative program with the Nurse Practice Council at work. It is a really great group that stands for shared governance in the work place. Our project for Grass Roots involves building teamwork on a unit of 75 nurses! It will be a feat but I'm excited to be a part of a group at work making changes to better the workplace.

In between my conference for Grass Roots and working I took a week off and have now finished painting every room in the house! I also have put some finishing touches on decorating the house. This is really fun for me but it means that Rusty has work to to hanging chandeliers, mirrors, and curtain rods after he gets home from work. He's been really great about helping out and supporting my creative outlets! Check out some photos on our photo page...

Besides all that we have really enjoyed the Olympics this year and spent many nights staying up late to watch gymnastics, running, diving, volleyball, and many more sports.

Also happy to note that our house (and wobbly fence, below) survived it's first hurricane/tropical storm. For us, it wasn't much more than a constant rain with some wind. We were lucky to get away with just that!

Up next: This weekend Rusty and I are eagerly awaiting our trip to Texas to visit our friend Savanah. More later...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


This past weekend Rusty and I enjoyed a getaway to Sarasota. We spent 2 nights by the beach and did nothing except relax! We explored Siesta Key and Longboat Key, where we dropped in on some friends of the family, the Murphys. The Gulf of Mexico, which Rusty calls the Lake of Mexico was of course, not very wavy but warm and beautiful all the same. Ahh, here's to life without a whole lot of responsibility!

Monday, July 14, 2008


This weekend we were lucky enough to enjoy a Royal Carribean cruise to the Bahamas! We joined Rusty's parents and a close friend Patti works with, Mrs. Ivey (we missed you Donna!). We had a very relaxing 3 days at sea!

Rachel's Birthday Camping Trip

Rachel's birthday trip to Ichetucknee Springs was in late June. Rachel and I headed up first, as we had the day off. We arrived well before we predicted the afternoon thunderstorms would start. Unfortunately, just as we arrived it down poured for hours! We set up this awesome tarp cover in the pouring rain. It was genius really (if we say so ourselves!) We battled giant spiders, pouring rain and limited supplies to set up this rain cover for 4 tents! Luckily, the pouring rain stopped before everyone else got there and we actually only got a few sprinkles the rest of the weekend! Here's to dry camping!
The rest of the trip was spent hanging out with Mike and Michelle (6 months pregnant!) and Grant! We spent a few hours floating down the spring on our rafts, enjoying the sunshine (and sprinkles!)

Monday, June 23, 2008


I decided it was time for a haircut. As you can see my new cut is pretty short! Fortunately, my hair was just long enough to donate to Locks of Love! I cut 10 inches off my do! Loving the short hair for summertime!

Feels like summer!

All of our plants have started to bloom! I thought the flowers were so pretty and wanted to share....

Truck demolition!

Last weekend Rusty decided the bed should come out of the truck. His dad came over with a welder and an engine hoist, lifted the bed off of the truck and then cut it into little pieces. It was a very interesting process and I think the neighbors were pretty curious. In any case, now the truck fits into the garage! finally! Now the real work can begin on the truck. The next step will be to install the airbag suspension and cut the frame to make this long bed truck into a short bed!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Housewarming and birthdays...

On Sunday we had friends over to show off the house and all the changes we have made so far. We also celebrated Rusty's 25th birthday!! It is always great to know how many great friends we have supporting us!
Also, I have added some before and after pictures of the yard work as well as some additional pictures to the house folder....check it out!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tennessee Vacation

After the craziness of moving, Rusty and I made our getaway to Tennessee for our annual vacation. We spent a week enjoying the beautiful weather and mountains! We had a busy but also relaxing week. We spent 2 days hiking though the mountains, went white water rafting, horseback riding, shopping and much more! It was a much needed break for us and we really enjoyed our time there! Flip though the album for tons of pictures!

Our first home!

Our most exciting news is that Rusty and I have bought our first home! We are so excited to finally have a place to call our own and stop renting! We closed on the house in late April and quickly painted inside and moved in a few days later. The home is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with nice vaulted ceilings. There are many things we love about the house like the big bath tub and double sink in the master bath but we are looking forward to making some improvements as well!

Someday, we would like to put a back porch on, paint the exterior and change the linoleum to tile! For now, we have been very busy fixing up the front yard and getting settled! We have some pictures posted of the house but soon we will have some before and afters to show all the hard work we have done!

Kara's Graduation!

At the beginning of May my good frined Kara graduated from the UCF nurisng program! What an accomplishment. I was able to sit with her family and watch her graduate at the nursing pinning ceremony. This definitly brought back a lot of memories for me! It's hard to believe it's been a year since my graduation!! In June, Kara will be moving to Tennessee to work as an RN at UT medical center. So excited for her but sad to see her go!

Let's play ball!

This spring Rusty joined a softball league with some of the guys at work. He used to play baseball in high school (as many of you know) and was a very good ball player. Slow pitch soft ball was a little hard to get used to at first but he has really started to play well! Most importanly, it's been a good way to get back into doing something he really loves.

The first season ended a few weeks ago (a total of 4 teams playing each other several times!), and their new season just started! This time, they will be playing 5 other teams so that should keep things interesting!

To the beach with the family!

Well, it's been quite awhile since this was updated but so much has happened since then so here we go:

In April we got a visit from my Uncle Doug and Aunt Kristi and my cousin, Robert. We were fortunate enough to get to spend a day at the beach with them. Paige and I showed them around Cocoa Beach and we had a great time :) Check out the Beach 2008 folder for more photos!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Trip to Vermont

Rusty and I have recently returned from a long awaited trip to visit my dad and Jim in Vermont! We have been so wrapped up with buying a house, this was a much needed get away!

Here I am with the sign to dad's place!

We flew in to Burlington and stayed with dad the first night. The next day we hopped in the car and headed to NYC! We toured the area of Manhattan for 2 days and even got to stay at the Marriott in Times Square. It's really neat to see things on TV and know, hey! I was there!! We saw the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Rockefeller center, Central Park, and much more.

While in Vermont, Rusty and I were able to check out Lake Champlain where the infamous "Champ" is said to live. This was especially exciting for Rusty who has been a believer for years! We also toured Ben & Jerry's, Teddy Bear Factor and the local ECHO science center. For our last day in Vermont, we spent a day at the slopes with my dad! What a trip, we had a great time!

Thanks again Dad and Jim!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

WildMan Triathalon

Well, it's been awhile! Not much happened in February except an amazing Valentine's Day dinner cooked by Rusty and enjoyed by me after a long day at work! When I came he had a delicious 4 course meal prepared! Yum!

Here we are out by the lake for a photo op after the race!

This past weekend, Paige, Grant and I raced in our first of many triathalons! It was a 400 meter swim, 20 kilometer bike and 2.75 mile run...whew! None of use REALLY trained like we should have but all had a great time! Paige, once again, finished first with a time of 1hr 35 minutes! I finished in 1hr 47minutes and Grant finished in right at 2hours. It was a great experience and we are already talking about our next one!

In the coming month I don't think we'll have much to report on since Rusty and I are planning on buying our first home. It has been a tough road so far. We have lost a couple of our favorites due to the sellers not being willing or able to meet us half way, not to mention being beat out on some great deals by other buyers!! We have an offer in for another home in a great neighborhood...Hope this one works out! In the meantime we will continue packing!!

More later!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Monster Truck Show

This weekend Rusty and I went to the Monster Truck Show at the Citrus Bowl. This is something we used to do every year when we first started dating but have missed the last several years! When we first went I remember thinking that even though it was a redneck-fest it was so much FUN!

It was pretty adventurous because not only did we get nosebleed seats, it rained on and off all night! We were covered with big winter jackets and towels and actually managed to stay pretty dry!

In the picture below were Rusty and my favorite trucks. The one on the lower left is Monster Mutt, complete with tail, ears and even a tongue that went in and out of his mouth when he was driving around! My favorite is lower right, El Toro Loco...complete with horns! All in all we had a great time!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Alexander Springs Camping Adventure

Mike, Michelle and Rachel joined Rusty and I for another camping trip to Alexander. We did a lot of relaxing Saturday morning and afternoon. We even set up a croquet course! Later on we went on a hike and were chased back to our site when rain threatened. Little did we know it was a huge cold front with tornado warnings associated with it!! We hunkered down and the storm blew through leaving 40 degree weather Sunday morning! Such fun...!

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Years!

On New Years Eve Rusty and I celebrated the new year with our closest friends. We were joined by Grant, Kara and Rachel. I worked that day and sadly was dozing off around 11:45. What a party animal!

Here's to another year of health and happiness! Hello 2008!


Here's Rusty doing the lights on our Christmas tree!

Rusty and I enjoyed a nice Christmas Eve and Day with family this year. As it happened, my preceptors at work had the holdiays year I won't be so lucky to have Thanksgiving and Christmas off in the same year.

Christmas Eve we spent time with both families, having lunch with my mom, grandma and siblings, including Robert home from a second tour in Iraq! Then we went to Rusty's grandparents who were in town for the holidays, for dinner. Talk about eating.... That evening Rusty and I opened our gifts to each other, a nice quiet end to our busy day.

Here's my family Christmas morning!

Christmas Day we slept in, went to my Mom's to open gifts, then to Rusty's parents then to the Grandparents for an early dinner (and more gifts!). We were also pleased to meet Rusty's parents new addition to the family, Webster. He is the cutest puppy!

Here's Rusty with Webster!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Reindeer Run and camping at Ft. DeSoto!

Here we all are watching the sunset (minus Paige, our photographer!)

On the weekend of December 8th we went camping at Fort DeSoto in St. Petersburgh. This is the weekend of the Reindeer Run at the St. Pete Times Forum that we did last year. Rusty and I were joined by Grant, Paige and Savanah.

Friday we arrived and set up after sunset. We turned in early since we had to get up at 6am to run the 5K! Paige smoked us all, as usual with about a 27 minute run. Savanah finished second and Grant made amazing time at 35 minutes, a 10 minute improvement from last year! Rusty and I finished together around the 40 minute mark! Phew...we've got some work to do for next year!

Then we came back to camp and took showers and napped in the grass for hours (at least I did!) Paige was soo bored! Savanah was able to stay for the marshmellow roast but had to leave EARLY Sunday morning for a flight to Austin to check out her new place for the Americore next year! So excited for her!

Sunday we packed up to go home after an amazing weekend!