Monday, May 30, 2011

Gone Fishin’

One of the things to do on my 101 list in 1,001 days is to go fishing with Colby. I’ve been several times with him, but I had yet to record it on the blog or take pictures of the event.


He’s such a sweet husband. He invited me to go along with him and one of our friends just so I could get some sun. They use the air boat to bow fish, which looks like a terribly hard sport from an outsider. Somehow though, they always seem to bring fish home.


Unfortunately though, just as soon as we got out there it seemed, we had our first injury of the day. He was a trooper though and continued on. If it had been me though, we would have turned the boat right around and went home. Good thing it wasn’t me!


I always try to come prepared for a long day of fishing.

This is what you see…

Sunblock * Towel * Hair brush * Pringles * Magazines * Koozie

When you’re on the river, it’s great for the first little bit, but after a while you get tired and start looking for things to do {eat or read}.


The river is so low right now that it is as clear as can be. You can see straight to the bottom. There were so many times I just wanted to jump off the boat and walk through the water. The sand was clean, and so was the water. Perfect for a girl like myself! I may or may not be particular about the water I swim in….just saying.

This is just a video of us riding around in the boat. I tried to capture some footage of them shooting some fish, but my battery went dead before I could. Maybe next time!

All you’re seeing in the video is us trolling around in the water looking for fish. Clearly they hadn’t seen any at this point. I’m sure it’s quite a sight for those not accustomed to seeing this.

Either way…One more thing off the list! I am actually kind of excited about getting to do this more often this summer. We’re both benefiting from the boat that way =)

Memorial Day

Memorial Day Table

As much as I would love to tell you that this is the table that I set for my guests today, that would be a flat out lie. Instead, I’ll be spending my first official day off for summer at the house getting some things together for grad school and possibly cleaning.

I’d much rather have this amazing table set in my backyard though. I can see it now, the table would be set, the yard would be fenced in, and of course the table would be sitting upon my newly built deck. Unfortunately though, it’s all a dream.

For all of you though that are having Memorial Day festivities or can use these ideas for other patriotic holidays such as the 4th of July, here are some useful ideas that I found while searching Pinterest {my new favorite website}.


How great is this wreath?!?! It is just my style. Simple, but classy. What’s even better about it is that it only needs three items to form it! Lovely!

Memorial Day Inspiration

Which are your favorites? Mine are… 2 * 3 * 5 * 6

I see some easy, but statement makers in those.


Isn’t this just cute and festive? I would love to pack up all of my decor into my camper to set up at a campsite to enjoy with family and friends.

Am I the only one who would love to re-decorate a vintage camper of some sort? How much fun would that be?!?! Tons for me!

Memorial Day flags

Let’s not forget though why we are really getting the chance to celebrate on this three day weekend. It’s not just to give you an extra day off. It’s not to grill out and BBQ with your friends and neighbors. It’s to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country’s freedom.

It humbles me to know that a complete stranger to me is out on the front lines doing his or her best to protect me, a person they don’t even know. These are the strongest and most courageous people in our country.

They’ve given up their life, the people they know and love, and everything else they know that is comfortable to them to protect the citizens of our country. That is an amazing person! I would never have the strength to do not even one of those things.

When you’re out today, I challenge you to say thank you to someone who has served our country, to say thank you to a fallen soldier’s family member, or even say thank you to a current serviceman by whatever way of communication you can.

They’re who we’re really celebrating!

Happy Memorial Day!

Be Careful!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Finally…the birthday party!

Whew! May has been one crazy month! I never knew that it would be near as busy and as crazy as the beginning of school, but the good news is that I made it through my first year. The even better news is that I’ll be back next year!

I’ve had so much on my mind to blog about, but I have either been too busy or too tired to do it. Apparently though, after reading some other blogs {and their sparse posts}, I’ve found that May is a crazy month for lots of people. It doesn’t help that most of the blogs I read are of other teachers or people who have children.

Now….I have been promising a post about more of the details of the birthday party for quite some time. I finally sorted through all of the pictures and edited them a bit.

For those of you who don’t know {or don’t remember}, my sister and I planned a Candy Shoppe birthday party for my sweet niece since she was celebrating being a whole 3 years old!


Some of the party plans just didn’t happen due to the crazy wind we had that day. Wind + birthday party decor outside = BIG PROBLEM! Oh, well! Things can’t always run as smoothly as one would like!

So, here are the details of the entire shindig…

The Candy

We had the tables set with potted flowers and galvanized tins full of different kinds of candy to hold down the tablecloths.


At the gift table, we set up a place for the gifts for the birthday girl, as well as a place for the gifts to go home with all of the terrific guests.

Gift Table 2

All of the kids took home gum ball machines {found at the Dollar Tree}. Since most of the kids were under the age of 5, gum wasn’t the appropriate choice of candy. Therefore, skittles were chosen instead.

Not only did they receive a gum ball machine, they also took home a box of candy which had a whole variety of choices.

The Food

The birthday refreshments were kept very simple since the birthday party started a good bit after lunch.

The menu included:

Cupcakes * Cake * Chips & Dip * Doritos * Chocolate Chip Cookies * Oreos * Drinks of all Kinds * Popsicles


The Games

Numero Uno: The Guessing Game

What is better than a game of guessing how many skittles are in the jar?!?! Our winner? Mary, the future mother-in-law of my sister!


We used die cuts from the Dollar Tree that were in a variety of birthday shapes for the guests to write their name and guess on.

Numero Dos: Lollipop Grove


The kids used the rings to throw around the lollipops {or their heads or arms or other useful body parts}. When you have a bunch of 3,4, and 5 year olds running around it is best to just let them go and let them decide how they want to play. They enjoy it better that way I think.

Numero Tres: Gumdrop Mountain


With some poster board, tempera paint, spray glue, craft sticks,  and glitter, we made gum drops that were used to throw balls through. Once again, kids will be kids. Let them have a blast with it {however they choose to play}!

Numero Cuatro: Sweet Shoppe Photo Booth

Sweet Shoppe

I have to give props to my good friend, Laurie, once again. Ya’ll, the girl came over to my house one evening and spray painted this for me until 8:30 on night. By that time, she was doing it by my one outside light with the wind not in her favor.

Not only was it a photo booth, but it was a restaurant and a house. It was probably more than that with the imaginations I saw. This is a must for this kind of birthday party. Your kids will have a ball!

The Decor

Aside from everything else at the party, I hung this awesome garland out from a couple of different trees. I found the garland at the Dollar Tree {and I may have stocked up for future uses}.


I had big plans for this garland, but once again that darn wind decided against me and made it where I could only put a couple up until I completely quit fighting it and gave in.

In addition to the garland hanging around, I also hung this canvas that I had Laurie paint for me as well.


For all of you who are impressed, she’s coming to an etsy shop very soon!

The best part about this piece of decor is that it decorated my door and was also a gift to my dear niece who can now hang it up in her bedroom.

If you would like to view the entire album from the party, you can click on the picture below.


Party Details

If you would like to use the printables for your own birthday party, click here to go to the website where I found a checklist and the printables.

Hope everyone has a nice Memorial Day weekend!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Love and I

Today I received these…


From this handsome man right here….

julie cottrell photography 91

all because we’re celebrating our one year anniversary tomorrow!

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already been married a year! Time flies by when you’re having a good time!

Did you notice that there was only one red rose in the entire bouquet? How thoughtful is that!

He’s a good man, and I’m glad he’s mine. He’s what makes my day complete. Heck, he’s what makes my life complete!

I love you, dear!



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Birthday Girl!

And the birthday girl is the incredibly sweet and crazy girl right here! Aly {who will officially be three tomorrow}!


She’s why I’ve been absent from the blogging world….that and being incredibly exhausted from life in general.

Party Details

We’ve {as in we, I mean my sister and I} have been planning a Sweet Shoppe birthday party for quite some time. This week has been the week to pull it all together, which entailed working several nights to get everything done. We worked the day of the party right until just about start time.


It was worth it though! Everything turned out cute as can be! I’m still editing the pictures, but I will give you a sneak peek. I can’t wait to be back and show you the rest!


In the mean time, be patient. My posts will likely be few and in between until the end of next week. What is so special about next week?

I’ll tell you. It’s the last week of school. No one told me that the last two weeks of school would be as tough as the first two weeks. Geez! At least I’ve survived the first year!

julie cottrell photography 10

Not to mention…next weekend will make it ONE YEAR for my incredibly wonderful husband and I. One official year of marriage. The year that should have been the hardest has been reached.

What a year of firsts!

The hardest year of teaching and marriage = Success!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Heart Sings!

Over the past two or three{ish} years, Colby and I have worked very hard to improve our house by renovating it and putting the finishing touches on it. Well, all of the finishing touches have not been put on it yet, but it has made drastic improvement!

Don’t believe me??? Take a look at what our house once was…

house before

Now take a look at it now!


It’s not done yet though! I still have big plans for it {as in summer to-do list kind of plans}!


Happy Saturday!

Oh, and I can’t forget…




Go on over to Lemon Fields of Daisies and wish her a happy birthday!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Doing Some Good

The school year is approaching quickly, and I must say that it couldn’t come at a better time. It now seems that the days and weeks are getting longer and longer. The kids are tired, and frankly so am I.

The silver lining is that there are officially 23 full days left until the kids will be out of school, which means there are only 17 days left of regular school days! Can I get a whoop, whoop?!?!?

While I prepared for school this week today, I also made time to do a little good in the world. As everyone knows by now, tornadoes devastated the South this past week.

tornado Photo by: Maggie Crutchfield of destruction brought on by the tornado in Tuscaloosa

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as I sat on the couch watching the tornado sweep through Birmingham after I had just heard of all of the damage it had done in Tuscaloosa. Worry for my BIL and SIL {and her family} took over me as I imagined the worst happening. Prayer after prayer went up until I finally knew that they had made it ok through the storm.

tornado 2 Photo by: Maggie Crutchfield of Chevron in Tuscaloosa

My worry then turned to my SIL’s nearly 90 year old grandmother who lives by herself. The tornado was heading straight for her town. Luckily, grandmother made it out just fine as well and had some help from a family member, which was such a relief. Until I knew the storm was over for her though, I was texting storm information that I knew to my SIL, so she could relay it to her grandmother. Like I said though, God looked over them all and kept them safe from the storm, and for that I am very thankful.

Seeing as how the devastation destroyed so many homes and left people with nearly nothing to their name, I felt compelled to provide something even if it wasn’t a lot. Every little bit helps. When I know that I am way more fortunate than them at this point, I think as a Christian it is my duty to help others and spread God’s word at the same time.


While thinking of what I could do in addition to getting supplies, I came up with the idea of attaching a label to the supplies I was sending. You can see it below:


I’m not sure if anyone will ever see the labels, but if one person sees it and it provides them the strength to keep going when the going gets tough, then it is TOTALLY worth it.

While this is still fresh on our minds right now, let’s not forget these people in the coming weeks. There are still going to be many people left homeless and will still need supplies. If you haven’t been able to help yet, help as soon as you can. It won’t be too late for quite a while.

If you’re not able to provide supplies or a monetary donation to various organizations helping, simply pray. Prayers work miracles!