Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The competition

Well, here she is, folks. The reining Gnome Lady.

She better watch her back; that's all I'm sayin'. I will eventually own this street. It's clearly inevitable.

And when I'm finally crowned the Gnome Lady, I won't let any of my cherished darlings fall on their faces and carelessly leave them there, defenseless, just because they're the weaker ones on the fringe. (Click on the picture to take a closer look at her helpless, neglected, sorry-excuse-for-a village.) Oh no. In my Gnome-topia, all will be treated equal. I will actually deserve the title. My gnomes will be happy! They'll be honored to call me their Lady! Ahem.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A long distance hug

Look what my sweet mama just sent to my office!

She's miles and miles and hours and hours away from me, but still finds a way to give me a hug when I need it. She always knows how to make me feel special. Nothin' beats a mama's love...

(Sorry the picture isn't very good quality. Since it was a surprise, I had to rely on my cell phone's photography skills. You still get the point.)

I love you, Mom!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bad Case of the Mondays

Blah. I'm in a bad mood. Is that even allowed? I feel like it's not really allowed for me to ever actually be crabby, since it's literally my job (as a receptionist) to have a friendly smile on my face 100% of the time and kindly greet clients and coworkers all day, every day. But that's exactly what I am today. Crabby.

[pic via]

Maybe it's just a bad case of the Mondays (C'mon. Who doesn't love Office Space??), but I'm not motivated at all. Not even to blog, which is usually my joyful escape at work. And I have a couple different blog posts ready to go just waiting around in my head, including a great visit with my niece and nephew from over a week ago. Man, a Case of the Mondays + Complete Procrastination = Total Slacker. 

Oh well. We're all entitled to a bad day, right? Even people who actually get paid to be happy and cheerful? I can just be real for a day, right? Even on my own blog, where I want people to always and only perceive me as joyful and loving and completely aware of all of God's love and blessings? You guys won't judge me for keeping my "Everything is Peachy Keen Smiley Face" mask on the floor for a day, will ya? Sometimes, I just don't know if I have the energy to pick it up and put on the show.

I want to be real. I want to be transparent. I want to be genuine... So, for today, no happy-go-lucky blog posts to pretend like all is hunky dory. Maybe tomorrow I'll have the energy and be in a better mood. But today, this is all ya get. Sorry 'bout that.

Luckily, however, even when life catches up with us and it doesn't happen to be as awesome as we'd like, it's such a comfort to know that God is still right beside me, no matter what. Whether I'm genuinely happy, faking happy, or not even trying to pretend, He'll never leave me, or ever love me any less.

Ahhh... that feels nice...

Now, this is the point at which I list all of the blessings and great things in my life to convince myself that nothing is really wrong, and I'm just fine. Talk myself out of any crabbiness. But seriously, don' Please just take it for granted that I am completely aware that God is great, and that my life is full of goodness and blessings. I know many people have much harder lives and more difficult truths to deal with than I do. I fully understand that God will take care of me and everything will always work out in the end. But, just for today, I'm gunna let the crabby, frustrated, discouraged, real self out for a little breather. Just for a minute.

Ahhh... that feels nice, too...

Okay, thanks for still being my friend, today, even when I'm not a whole lot of fun to be around. It really means a lot to me. Really.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

HP7 Countdown continues

I'm hyperventilating.

So intense! So suspenseful! So action-packed! Oh, it's gunna be good!

Gnomeo, Gnomeo

Oh, you just get ready for this! I'm pretty positive this movie was created specifically for me. Now, I don't generally try to make broad, egocentric assumptions like that, but I'm pretty sure that it's absolutely true in this particular case.

I mean, seriously? This is going to be completely awesome! And, who was right? I so told you that they come alive when we're not looking, just like in the Potterverse!

BTW, did you notice the new addition to my blog in the top right corner? Now, thanks to Shabby Blogs, even my online home has a little welcoming gnome!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumn is here!

Today is officially the first day of Fall!

[pic via]
This is my very favorite season of them all. I love the crisp, cool air, the smells, the tastes, the sweatshirts and gloves, the activities, and especially all the memories of this time of year. Feeling the temperature begin to change outside makes me feel all warm and cozy on the inside. 

[pic via]
But my most favorite part of Fall is the blessing of being able to watch God paint His canvas all different colors with broad, masterful strokes. I am in awe of His majesty and am so honored that He would exemplify His glory to us in all the shades of red, yellow, orange, and brown that He so brilliantly adds to His creation as the seasons change. Sometimes I can't believe He loves us so much.

Autumn is most definitely my favorite time of the year. What an incredible blessing it is.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OK Go with some Dog Tricks

OK Go was pretty much the first band to go viral, which means they made a name for themselves by simply putting videos on youtube, without any marketing or mass media release and gained popularity by "word of mouth" online. All of their videos, which often consist of elaborate, unedited routines filmed in only one long take, are pretty ridiculously awesome.

Their most recent youtube release ups the ante with some help from a few canine friends.

First of all, how can you complete that whole sequence in one take? Think about the practice! Sheesh.

Second, how can you have that many pups in the same room and not only avoid a dog fight, but also train them well enough to perform such a perfect routine? There  must be some pretty terrific dog handlers right offscreen. I'm jussayin.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Goin' bananas

On our last bunch of bananas, I didn't take much notice to the Chiquita Banana sticker until Brad pointed it out to me.

He said, "I think Chiquita had a hidden camera in my house growing up, because that's exactly what my dad used to do every time we ate bananas! They must have finally embraced the reality of what people actually do with those stickers."

I hope you guys have a great weekend! Feel free to go a little bananas!

Brad and I are heading to Illinois to visit our niece and nephew! (Oh, and their parents, too.) It's been since Easter when we saw them last, and I've about hit my limit before I start having withdrawals.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Puppy Pics

We all know that Chester is the cutest and smartest and sweetest and overall best dog in America. That's a given. But wait until you see these puppy pictures I came across recently! They're from 2006, about a month after we got him. I remember, at the time, being sad that we didn't get any pictures of him "as a puppy" and he was "all big and grown up already." Wow, was I ever wrong! He's such a baby! I do wish, however, that we had gotten some pics of him when we very first got him, and he was small enough to sit in Brad's hands.

(Yeah, I know, we were babies, too. This was a year after we got married, and a month after we graduated from college and moved to Nashville on our own to pursue "adulthood.")

I can't believe how stinking cute he was as a puppy! Admit it. You've fallen in love with him all over again, haven't you? I know my heart's a-meltin'.

He might be bigger now, and all grown up, but that yellow squeaky guy will forever be his toy of choice, and he definitely still loves to sit on my lap. Oh, who am I kidding? No matter how big Chester gets, he'll always be my little baby!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wolf Shirts

So, you know how when the boys all get together, things always seem to get out of hand? And things that normal people think are merely jokes somehow become reality? Well, for some time now, they've all been completely obsessed with wolf shirts. Don't ask me; I seriously don't get it. They talk about them all the time, look for them on people at Walmart, speculate about who possibly has one hiding in their closet. They even plan to make basketball jersies with wolves on them.

The night of the Bacon Extravaganza, while the Bacon Explosion was cooking, they passed the hours away by  looking up Wolf Shirts on Amazon and reading multiple reviews that proclaim the wolf shirts give them special powers. What??

So, of course, Kris (the photoshop pro) had to doctor up a picture of the gang holding their pride and joy. Feast your eyes on this beauty: the Three Wolf Moon shirt, as modeled by our boys.

Kris was kind enough to also edit one of the girls. He appropriately selected the Loving Wolves shirt for the ladies.

Honestly, I totally don't get it. But whatever floats their boats, I guess. Nevertheless, It is nice to know that they'll always keep us laughing.

Seriously, our friends are the best.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baby Princess

Seriously, have you ever seen a sweeter baby girl?

These are Layla's Newborn pictures.

She turns 2 weeks old tomorrow(!), and she's already looking a lot different, but these pictures are just too stinking sweet not to share. They make my heart fall all apart. I can't wait to watch her (and Charlie) grow up!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hill Ridge Mascot

Isn't Sheldon the cutest? He's the Hill Ridge Community mascot. (Is he a chipmunk? A squirrel? We've never quite decided. He's simply Sheldon.) He just "showed up out of the blue one day" [ahem] and has been sporadically visiting among our three houses ever since. 

Interestingly enough, he seems to only travel during the stealth of night. After a lengthy stay at one house, he'll randomly show up at a different one; he's never been spotted in the same place twice. As time has gone on, his resting places of choice have become sneakier and sneakier, making him even harder to locate. The phrase, "Hey, where's Sheldon hanging out, these days??" has been asked many a time in the Hill Ridge Hood.

He did, however, come out of hiding to welcome Layla Grace home with a couple balloons and a note. That Sheldon is just so very thoughtful and considerate. 

Sheldon has never ventured inside any of our homes before. Until today, that is. Let me just say, if you go on vacation and leave your key with us to take care of your cat while you're gone, upon your return, you better not be surprised to see a visitor all wrapped up in cellophane when you open your fridge. I'm jussayin...

Welcome home!!

The rest of the crew may not necessarily appreciate my efforts to out-gnome the Gnome Lady, but we're all in full agreeance about Sheldon being the welcome, beloved mascot of the Hood.

Oh, the joys and blessings of living right next to your best friends...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beyond Blessed turns 2

Two years ago today, I blogged my first post, ever. I seriously can't believe it's been that long. I can't even believe it's been one year since my first blogoversary. My, how time flies.

As I blow out my little "2" candle, I'm realizing how much I truly appreciate this blog. I'm really glad that I have it and keep up with it. I don't know how it is from the other end as a reader, but as the writer, I have a lot of fun chronicling our life and putting Mehaffey anecdotes down "on paper." I like sharing our events and adventures with friends and family, and it's fun for me to later look back at the posts and pictures and remember them fondly.

I feel like this blog has helped me to better appreciate the simple things that make up our life. It has helped me to step back and look at who we are and what we're about. It has provided an avenue for me to kind of view our life from the outside looking in. And it has encouraged me to make a point to do things that are more "blog worthy," which is to say, being purposeful about spending time doing things that are worth making memories of, worth telling stories about.

I'm not sure how long I'll author Beyond Blessed. I'm not sure I realized when I first started it that  I'd even keep it up for two years. But I definitely don't have any intentions of abandoning my online scrapbook anytime soon. Over the past 24 months, it has become part of who I am. Part of my Story. Definitely part of how I tell my Story.

No matter how long I add to this Mehaffey Chronicle, or how often I post a new entry, I'll never stop being Beyond Blessed. Even though not everything is always peachy keen, and we have our own struggles and trials and valleys and failures (regardless of whether or not those make it onto the blog), I will never forget that I'm blessed beyond measure. My husband and my family and my friends and my dog (what?) will always be blessings to me. And I know that every blessing comes from my Father Above. Even the blessing of this blog and the relationships it has helped me build.

I pray I'll never forget that; that I'll never stop thanking Him and praising His Name. God is so good, and I am Beyond Blessed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I love Taylor

Just in case you didn't know.

This video has been out for two whole weeks, and I'm ashamed to say that I just saw it for the first time today. Anyway, just in case you're as behind as I am, here is my special treat to you.

I seriously love her, and her approach to love: even though it's not always easy, and it can be scary at times, and may not always be the fairytale you dreamed of, the love itself is a fairytale, and it will come through for you in the end. I love that she loves love so much and believes in it so strongly. I love it.

I can't wait for her new album to come out next month and to see what other stories she tells through her songs. ♥

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just the three of us

As I mentioned before, Brad and I went on a little (7-mile) hike over Labor Day weekend at the Savage Gulf in the Cumberland Plateau. It was a little over an hour away, but it was totally worth the drive to share this experience with each other. (Besides, Brad let me listen to two different Taylor albums the whole way there and back. Holla!)

The weather was absolutely beautiful, and some of the trees were even starting to change and their leaves falling! I couldn't believe the look and feel and even smell of Autumn already!

We spent  hours just walking through nature together. Of course, we took advantage of God's special photo ops at every chance.

There is this little crack in the earth called the Stone Door. Rumor has it, the Indians used to travel this course to transport food, water, and supplies from one end of the gulf to the other, since its natural steps were the only path connecting the top of the bluff with the bottom.

The view from the top was incredible. The Cumberland Plateau is funny, because it really does look like God just chopped the tops off of a bunch of mountains.

More of the beautiful view over the canyon.

You know we had to take a million pictures of ourselves (with a little help from some nice strangers).

Seriously, there were cliffs and ledges everywhere. Some of them were absolutely terrifying to be near. There were no rails or anything. We were just supposed to be responsible enough to be careful. Yikes.

Brad packed us a little lunch that we ate on top of the cliff. It was the best view we've ever had at a meal. (Even if it was super cold out there in the wide open with no forest to block the wind.)

Brad searched all day for a suitable walking stick, and it wasn't until there were only twenty minutes left in our hike that he found a perfect one. But don't worry, he spent plenty of breaks "whittling" sticks with his knife. I guess boys just do some boy things that I'll never understand...

Overall, it was a terrific day with my favorite man, surrounded by God's glory and presence through His creation. The scenery was breathtaking, the photo ops were lots of fun, and the hours of undivided attention allowed for some really great conversations and discussions.

I really enjoy times when it's just the Three of us.

PS. I know some of those collages make the individual pictures pretty small, but you can click on them and they'll enlarge. You can even click on it again to zoom in if you're just dying to see our faces even closer up!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Au Naturel

In case you haven't noticed, I've decided to go Au Naturel. I'm no longer spending all that time blowdrying and straightening my hair in the mornings. I figure it's time to embrace what God has given me, and let the curls loose.

It's new for me. Not just letting them flow, but actually having the curls, at all. My hair has always been straight as a board. When I was a little girl, I could just comb it after the shower and walk to school with it wet, and it'd eventually dry nice and straight all on its own. However, as I got older, I started blowdrying my hair in order to be more presentable. Around college time, I noticed that it was getting frizzy.

Thanks to that frizz, I've flat-ironed my hair every morning for years and years. It started out only being necessary in my bangs, then the frizz worked its way around my face, and it wasn't too long until I needed to tackle my entire head with the hair straightener. While it was definitely annoying to have to go through so much work to make it look decent, I never really thought much of it. It was just the way my hair acted.

That was until we got rained on over a year ago. With no comb handy to go through it, and no way of drying it, within minutes it scrunched right up into little waves with such ease that you'd have thought it was trained to do just so. I was shocked. Whose hair was this on my head??

 I've spent the last year in denial, still drying and straightening it each morning. (FYI, I'm a creature of habit and generally don't easily embrace change.) But I've had about enough of that. The constant heat was really damaging my hair; the time that the primping consumed started to get on my nerves; and fighting with the Southern summer humidity that was counteracting all my hard work was simply driving me crazy.

So, there ya have it. In an effort to accept who God has made me, and an attempt to look more like my girl crush, Taylor Swift, and to enable me to be lazy and enjoy 20 more minutes of sleep in the morning, I now have wavy hair. As an added bonus, when I don't feel like messing with it at all, I can just throw it up in a ponytail, and with one or two strategically placed bobby pins,  the waves make it look like an updo I spent all kinds of time on! Sneaky holla!

It's different every day, because it never really does the same thing twice. And I'm sure I'll still straighten it occasionally. But, from here on out, the waves will be the norm rather than the exception. It's kind of like a whole new hair 'do, only for free! Sweet deal.
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