Sunday, May 27, 2012

A New Addition

Yesterday, we got a chance to meet the newest addition to our family. He’s a sweet little baby, but not the human kind.

Meet our little man…


We’re still tossing around names for the little guy, so Colby and I decided that we’d announce his name once he is officially home with us. Right now he’s three weeks, so he’s got a little while to go before he joins us. I can’t tell you how much in love with him we already are.

For those of you who might be wondering, he’s a Red-Tri Australian Shepherd. Basically, that means that he is red, white, and has a touch of tan/copper color on him.

The best thing? He already loves his mama!



When he gets older, he’ll look something similar to this guy here. Just as a side note, their hair is usually much longer, but they had just been cut short for this lovely hot summer weather.


I can’t wait for him to finally be with us. Colby and I have never owned a dog together, so this should be interesting. Fun fact….we’re getting a fence because of this sweet little guy. When we see him again, he’s probably going to be a big fur ball, and I can hardly contain my excitement.

Until then….


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

To My Love and Two Years

On this very day two years ago, I was preparing for one of the biggest moments in my life. On this day, I married my love, who has been more than amazing to me.

His support is never-ending.

julie cottrell photography 10

His love for me seems to grow each and every day.

julie cottrell photography 25b

He eats my cooking {even when it is chicken….again}.

julie cottrell photography 35

He makes me enjoy life more and shows me how to live life to the fullest.

julie cottrell photography 100

He helps make my seriousness disappear and just let loose.

julie cottrell photography 197

He’s the reason for making me laugh on a daily basis.

julie cottrell photography 240b

He loves me just the way I am.

julie cottrell photography 19

Happy Two Year Anniversary, My Love!

Our second year of marriage has been even better than the first. I’m sure this is a trend that will continue on throughout our marriage. Thanks for all you do for me! I couldn’t do it without you.

Photos By the Wonderful Julie Cottrell

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just a Dreamin’….

Do you ever think about where you might live if you didn’t live where you do now? From time to time, I think about it. It’s mostly when I’m dreaming of taking a vacation somewhere that isn’t going to happen. This time the dreaming is more than likely due to my addiction to Nicholas Sparks books in their relaxing setting of various locations on the North Carolina coast.

Here’s my opinion about books. I love to read them, but then I hate when the story is over. I seem to put every emotion I have into a book and am so let down when the book ends despite if it had the ending I had hoped or not. I re-watched The Vow this weekend, and the ending wasn’t quite as awful as I remembered in theaters. I guess I was too into it during the theaters, too. Anyhow…in the movie, Leo asks Paige what her favorite book is and how it makes her feel when she first reads it. When the book’s over though, you wish you could get those feelings and excitement back that you had from first reading it. That’s exactly how I feel when I read a book. If you’re looking for a good read, my suggestions are all Nicholas Sparks. So far, I’ve read Safe Haven, The Rescue, The Lucky One, The Choice, Dear John, The Notebook, and The Wedding. All will pull at your heartstrings in their own different ways. Right now, I’m reading A Bend in the Road. I’ll let you know how it is.

All of that is beside the point though….I’ve gotten a bit off track.

If things were different in your life, where would you dream of living? What makes you dream of living in that place?

For me, it’s the coast of South Carolina. There’s so much to love about it. Where do I even begin? Prepare yourself because this list is going to be totally random, but all things that have drawn me in.

{1}      Live oaks….everywhere. It just makes everything a bit more romantic when you’re in the midst of low hanging

           branches of a live oak tree.

Boone Hall

{2}      A combination of southern comfort food and seafood. Geez? Is there anything more scrumptious than shrimp and



{3}      Historic charm. It’s in the architecture & the atmosphere.


{4}      The coast. Oh, how I would love to live by the water and watch the boats come in and out. Sail boats in particular.

           I’m in love with them really.


{5}      Small town feel. Just like where I live now, I’d want to live in a part of the coast that reflected small town living

           where there are hole in the wall places to eat and everyone knows your business, but friends and family are still the

           basis of everyday living.

Can you blame me? Doesn’t it look like the perfect place to live? Charleston is beautiful, but it isn’t exactly where I’d want to live. Somewhere close by with a slow-paced life sounds just perfect though. It’s all dreams though. It might be my next vacation spot though. I’ll be the first to tell you that I do not adapt well to change, so moving to a place where I knew no one or where anything was would completely terrify me. Instead, I’m quite satisfied here in my small town close to my family and friends. After all, those are two aspects of my life that will always come first.

It doesn’t hurt to dream though!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

To all of you moms….

Happy Late Mother’s Day! I hope your children treated you on your special day.

I am so thankful for such amazing women in my life. They have been great role models for me throughout my life and have taught me so much. To them, I am continuously grateful!

These women are examples of terrific mothers. Even though all of their children have moved out, their job never ends. These four women are four of the most important women in my life, and I could not ask for more from them.


My mom



My late grandmother {Merle Ball…aka Mawmaw}



My maternal grandmother {Nita Dawkins….aka Grandmama}



Dot Langham {MIL}


In church on Sunday, we honored all of the mothers. The preacher asked all of the mothers to come to the front of the church, so we could pray over them. Now, keep in mind that we go to a relatively small church. Every woman in the entire church came to the front…except for me. It was quite pathetic to be sitting there and to be addressed as part of the men in the church. My time will come soon enough though.

There is a particularly special woman in our church that we all hold dear to our hearts. If I became someone like her one day, I would be quite satisfied with myself. She’s funny, smart, caring, and loves the Lord. Overall, she is an example to each and every woman at our church, and we are so grateful to have her in our church and sharing her wisdom and humor with the rest of us. I think I could speak for the whole church in saying thank you to this lovely lady!

Meet Mrs. Rea!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fish with Friends

A few weeks ago, Colby invited a couple of his co-workers to join us at the family farm to enjoy the day fishing and end it with a delicious meal. I can honestly say that we did just that. The best days to me are are the days where you can just spend the day enjoying someone else’s company while soaking up the sun.

Other than the boys, Jason’s wife was the best fisher-woman of the day. She was the only one of the three women who caught a fish, and I didn’t even try. I try to stay behind the camera. She was definitely a trooper and hung in there….even when she wasn’t “jerking” it the right way! Ha!



She was better off sticking with the rod and reel. Even for a trainer like herself, the bow was too much. However, I’ll give it to her that she tried. It’s more than I would ever do.


Sterling and Sara joined us as well, and we were so grateful for their amazing coleslaw and baked beans that they contributed for supper. It’s never a good thing to get two teachers together because that’s what we’re destined to talk about. Teaching takes over your life, and sometimes it’s hard to think about anything else other than that…..even when you try.

P.S. We’re super excited about their new baby girl, Penelope, that will be making her official appearance into this world sometime in August! Congrats!


And, what’s a little fishing without the in-laws? They stopped by and threw a few casts as well. You seriously could not ask for better in-laws. I’m not sure how to relate to people who have the dreaded in-law relationship because I’ve been so blessed.



After a fabulous meal that everyone contributed to, we packed up and headed home. You can’t leave the farm though without a formal goodbye from the cows.


I hope that I’ll be able to spend several more evenings out at the farm during my summer off.

No phone. No internet. Just you and the Lord. And sunshine.

It’s the best way to relax!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Number Two- Check!

Way back when, I wrote out a 101 list. It’s actually 101 things to do in 1,001 days. You can actually track my progress by clicking on the button in the sidebar. Slowly, but surely, I have been crossing things off of the list. As time has changed, so have my goals. Some of the goals don’t really apply or won’t happen before the deadline. I’ve already decided that in January of next year that I would recreate my list once again. I might include some of the goals that I didn’t accomplish, and I’ll probably take some of them off completely. In the mean time though, I am going to continue to work through it.

I can now say that I have marked off number two on the 101 List and number three on my 12 House Goals for 2012.

Want a hint?

IMG_4069    IMG_4075

We finally got the patio added on to the back of the house. Our original plans were to have a deck, but through persuasion of my husband, patio it was!

Phase One

Phase 2

Then, the big day came!

Steps to Concrete

It was amazing to see how it all worked. I can honestly say that I had never seen this done, so it was all quite fascinating to me.




And finally….

Phase Three

This is all I’m going to show you for now. When you see it again, I hope it will be a totally transformed space. I have big plans for these two new spaces at our home! All in all, I’m proud to now have this marked off of my list. I hope to share a great deal of other big home news once things start falling into place.

Until then…

Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Spy…


When Colby and I were on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains, it became an obsession of mine to locate barns with quilt patterns adhered to them. Why, you ask? On our way up there, I was reading my Southern Living magazine only to find an article on that very thing. Without reading it, I probably wouldn’t have paid it much attention.

Just as soon as I had finished reading it, we rode into Townsend, Tennessee. That’s when I started getting really excited because I really did not expect to stumble upon one at all, let alone so quickly. What better place to put it than the Smoky Mountain Visitor’s Center!


After doing a little research, I found that this pattern is called “Crossed Squares”.

Colby and I were driving some back roads later on in the trip after making our way back from North Carolina. We were merely depending on the GPS, while praying that we would make it back to land we were familiar with. I couldn’t believe what I saw on our way back, but before I tell you, I’ll show you this….


As we were driving, Colby spotted this quilt pattern up ahead. After I wrestled the camera out of my bag to take a quick picture, there was no time for rolling down windows and such. I was so excited we had found another, and I stared down each and every barn for the rest of the trip to find some more. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful.

There’s actually something quite funny about this “Coxcomb” quilt pattern! It sits on the land of Bush Brothers and Company….as in Bush’s Baked Beans. You know the company. It’s the one with the secret recipe and their dog named Duke. I actually did not know this until I just recently looked it up to do this post. However, what I did know is that I caught a quick glance of a small blue sign after we had seen this barn. The blue sign said Bush Brothers and Company, and at that time I didn’t know what to think about it. Come to find out, the Bush’s Baked Beans plant was ahead with the giant can of beans for doors to the plant and a visitor’s center on the right hand side of the road. Who knew?

It’s funny what you find when you’re just trying to get from one place to another!

If you want to know more about this trail if you’re visiting the Smokies, click here. It’s so much fun to search for them! On top of that, it exposes you to the beautiful side of rural life and many historical structures.