Two Year Anniversary

Can you believe it’s been 2 years since we said “I Do”?  I took the day off to run some errands and such before our anniversary date.  April let me sleep in before going on a long walk.  It’s gotten pretty hot and humid down here in Knoxville, so April gets tired during her walk.  She actually sat down and panted heavily today, making our walk about 10 minutes longer than usual.


After our walk, we came home and heard a knock on the door.  At first, I thought that April had knocked something over upstairs.  But no, there was a box of flowers from my awesome husband.


I ran some errands and then came home just before Matt got home for work.  We lost power for 45 minutes due to severe thunderstorms in the area.  It got pretty stuff in the house, but luckily we didn’t lose anything in the fridge.  We went down to Market Square for dinner. It is my favorite part of Knoxville.  We ate at Bella Luna, which appears to be the only Italian restaurant in town that serves gnocchi.  It was pretty good.  Nothing to write home about, but good food and good service.  After dinner, we headed to Café 4, since I had a BOGO on their cupcakes.  YAY CUPCAKES!  We came home for cupcakes and champagne to celebrate our second anniversary, like we did at our reception.


The cupcakes were actually pretty good.  I’ve been underwhelmed by them so far, but these were moist and great frosting!

We settled in to watch a video of our reception.  It’s pretty special to us, made more so recently by the passing of my stepdad’s brother, who was the cameraman for us.  Matt doesn’t love watching himself on television, but it’s fun to see our family and friends.  It was a great Second Anniversary.  YAY!  Matt’s the best.

6 Months

Yup, it’s been over 6 months, since I’ve updated.  In that time, we’ve moved into a house, and I’ve finished the first two semesters as a PhD student.  All A’s!!  Oh yeah!

Well, I think I might try to this blogging thing again, so let’s start with a tour of the house including what we’ve been up to with decorating it. I've got to mention my favorite addition the light therapy lamp. I chose it based on this Verilux HappyLight 10,000 Lux Light Therapy Energy Lamp Amazon Review


Before (lots of unpacked boxes)




UPDATE:  Here’s a photo with pictures on the wall!!

















We painted it (Valspar Motor City Blue) and added picture frame wainscoting.  That beautiful corner china hutch was a hand-me-down from Matt’s grandmother.  I love it!  For the wainscoting, I followed this tutorial.  My only words of wisdom are: we nailed in the top of the box, then put glue on the other three pieces and moved them around until they fit.  Then we nailed them in place.  This helped when the pieces weren’t 100% exactly cut correctly.  I love the way it all turned out!






We painted the kitchen (and living room) Cincinnatian Hotel Lindner Blue.  The hallway was already painted Cincinnatian Hotel Nichols Taupe (as a Cincinnatian, I took that as a sign from God), so we kept with the same collection.  As I was painting, I was really worried that the color was too purple.  I couldn’t even sleep the night after I did it, sick with worry.  Luckily, the more I look at it, the more I love it.  Thank goodness, because taping the kitchen took 6 hours.  I don’t ever want to do that again!!  I love how the wall color goes perfectly with the countertops.






I love the way that the wall color looks with the white plantation shutters!






YUCK!  This was our first room to paint.  What a horrible faux finish!?!  We just painted it the same color as the hall way (Valspar Cincinnatian Hotel Nichols Taupe).  And that picture is something that I bought about 7 years ago, and I finally found a great place to hang it up.  YAY!






I apologize for the mess.  BUT WHO PAINTS A ROOM THAT HORRIBLE ORANGE!?!  The only excuse is if you’re a Texas Longhorns Fan.  YUCK!  Again, since the room is really open to the foyer and hallway, we painted the room Nichols taupe.






Not too much here.  We hung up some pictures and then BOUGHT NEW FURNITURE!!  We’re trying to be adults and stuff.  Both of us have been using the same dressers since college, so we splurged on some Amish solid wood dressers.  We hope to add matching nightstands and a bedframe, soon.



We truly haven’t done much other than add some towel bars.  I’m hanging up some new pictures as we speak.  Stay tuned!



A need to update the picture, but  just a full size bed.  This quilt (and the one in our bedroom) were both made by my mom.






Pretty blah.



In Tennessee, not many houses have basements, which I believe is due to the rock profile beneath the soil.  So our laundry is on the second floor. Hella convenient!



April’s favorite part.  She spends most of her time out there.  It’s not big, but big enough.  The holly trees give privacy from the neighbors.  We hope to get some patio furniture and enjoy summer evenings out there, soon.

So that’s the house.  We painted most of the first floor and none of the second (aside from patching holes).  Now that it’s nicer, we’re working a lot in the yard.

What have y’all been up to?  Fun house projects?


With our impending home ownership (closing in 3 days!), I’ve been itching to do some DIY.  Since we haven’t moved in yet, I have to focus on “non-painting the walls” activities.  After Purdue’s epic collapse against Ohio State last week (don’t even get me started on our failures this week), I decided to channel my anger into crafting.  I made an 8pm trip to Michaels for some wreath-making supplies.

Of course Pinterest is the source for all crafting inspiration these days.  My inspiration for a autumn wreath was from this pin:

So I purchased a grapevine wreath, some shiny ornaments, smaller little sparkly balls (AKA festive vase filler), and leaves.  I even found some sparkly pumpkins and gourds which were on clearance from Halloween!


When I first started to glue the ornaments on the wreath, Matt was skeptical.


That’s his skeptical face.  Or it could have been his “Anne, it’s midnight!  I’m tired!  Football is over!” face.  April just likes to use her dad’s bum as a pillow.

Anyway, after a bunch of hot gluing, here’s the final product!


I’m so pleased with it!  And even though you can’t see it very well, I love the sparkly orangey ribbon that I now have a giant spool of.  Just need to figure out what to do with it.

While I was getting my crafting on, I also made a Christmas wreath.  This one is based off of this pin:

I bought a bunch of sparkly Christmas ribbon (there’s just something about sparkles) and a foam wreath.


First I wrapped the wreath in the red sparkle ribbon for a background and made a bunch of little fabric loops.


Then came gluing, gluing, and more gluing.  Voila!


It turned out a little bit more regular than I wanted it to.  But considering I had a glue gun in one hand and a glass of wine in the other (Hey, I was mourning the loss of my football dignity), I think it looks superb!

Of course, I actually had a bunch of little fabric loops left.  So on Friday, I stopped by Joann’s to find a small wreath or something.  That’s where I found  them.  FOAM TREES!


Wouldn’t these guys look perfect with sparkly Christmas fabric loops?  Unfortunately, I only had enough to cover the small two.  But I think they look pretty festive (if not a bit chubby).


In lieu of an awkward point at the top of the tree that looked strange, I decided to abscond two of our Christmas ball ornaments to use as tree toppers.

There’s my adventure into crafting.   WOO HOO!  We’re ready to decorate our new house for the upcoming holidays!

Made anything fun lately?  Do you do crafts at midnight and then take pictures with awful lighting?

The Good Runs

Today we had one of those runs.  One of the good ones.  The kind that make the other horrible, crappy runs worth it.  Thank goodness!  I’ll be honest; our training for the half-marathon hasn’t been the greatest.  Our September was absolutely insane.  Between our weird schedules (Matt’s long days, my late classes), our living situation (being out in east bu-fu), and LOOKING FOR A HOUSE TO BUY!!, we have been crazy busy.  So we’ve done about 2/3 of the runs that we were supposed to do.  Our first runs were terrible.  I think I’m not built for running in the heat and humidity of east Tennessee.  At least, I’m not acclimated to it.  I mean, the last time I was training was January in Boston.  So our runs haven’t been the greatest, but we’ve been doing the miles (mostly). 

Anyway, yay for finally a good run!  They’ve been few and far between these days.

So about that buying a house thing, it took use about a month (and one losing out on a house) to find one that we liked.  We put an offer on it; they accepted.  We just had our inspection last week, and everything went pretty well.  We’re looking at closing in four weeks.  That’s Halloween!  I’m wondering if it’ll be a great way to meet our new neighbors.  “Hey kids!  Take a candy bar!  But first, carry this box into the house.  Thanks!”  We’re so excited to be moving in four weeks.  Four weeks left of doing our dishes by hand.  Four weeks left of doing the laundry in the garage with Matt’s car in the way.  Four weeks left of having to drive April to a place to go walking.  Four weeks left until we can unpack our boxes and find all of our kitchen utensils.  Don’t get me wrong, our situation has been convenient, but we’re so excited to be moving into our own home!  Our first home!

April is excited, too.  Her September was a bit stressful.  She’s not so happy about her short walks.  Although she loves our neighbors’ horses.  She even gave herself a hot spot and had to wear a cone for a little bit.


But now she is excited for fall (and her own backyard, that she doesn’t know about despite us telling her everyday).

portrait april 3 Fall 2012

That is her excited face.

How was your September?  Exciting things happening in October? Any good runs?

The Great Outdoors

Well, it’s definitely been an adjustment moving to Tennessee from Boston.  At the moment we are staying at a family house in the country while we look for a house to buy (an adventure unto itself).  While we are incredibly grateful for this opportunity, it means that walking April is a bit trickier.  See there’s not much of a road for our house (although there are horses to visit), so we have to drive about 15 minutes to find a decent path to give her a long walk.  However, five minutes down the road is a beautiful natural area.  The hike is pretty intense.  It’s 0.8 miles up to the overlook, and you gain 1000 feet in elevation.  The trail is pretty steep at points and then incredibly rocky.  April does pretty well at it for a short legged doggy!

My first two attempts at the hike, the bugs bothered me too much.  Two weeks ago, April and I made it to the top (thanks to Off bug spray).  Our trip up took about 1 hour and then 45 minutes on the way down.  It was definitely warmer that day.  Today, with the wonderful fall weather, Matt and I took April up to the top in 45 minutes!!  And we remembered a camera!


I feel like there should be a Lion King reference here.  “Everything the light touches is yours!”



Matt and April at the overlook!  It’s 2100 feet above sea level.



On the way back down, there were lots of people on the trail.  April decided to jump up on a rock to get out of the way.


I feel as if she’s looking down at her subjects in this picture.

The hike is really challenging, but it tuckers the puppy out!  I wish that I had more time on weekdays to take her up there more often.  Maybe we’d even condition ourselves to get faster.  It’s seriously like nature’s stairmaster at some points.

What did you do on your Sunday?

Running Shorts Sunday!

So, Matt and I will be running the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Savannah at the beginning of November.  We are two weeks into our training (two ugly weeks), and I have a dilemma.  A clothing dilemma.  See, I’ve only run in pants or capris.  If I wear shorts, the inseam of the shorts creeps up, and I get what I lovingly to refer to as “chub rub”.  It’s chafing of my inner thighs.  I’d like to blame my slender hips for this phenomenon.  The thighs just have no where to go.  My running friends that I asked for advice apparently discussed my issue on Friday night and back up my slender hip claim.

Anyway, now that we’re in Tennessee which is so humid and feels like the face of the sun at the moment, I thought that I might try shorts to keep cooler.  So I went out on a $17 limb and bought a pair of running shorts.



I maybe should have tried them on in the store, but I had to get to class.  They have a 2 1/2” inseam and felt like they had a lower waist than I am used to.  Not going to lie, I like to pull my pants up like Urkel.

So I took these babies on a test run this afternoon, and NO GO!  I only did 3 miles, before I had to cry uncle from the chub rub.  Granted I didn’t use any body glide, which might have helped, but I’m not sure.  One of my friends has recommended to me some $50 lululemon shorts.  I’m not sure if I should take the plunge, although if I buy another pair of shorts that don’t work, I might as well have spent the $50.


Does anybody else have issues with chafing?  Any suggestions for clothing?  Should I just get laser fat removal from my inner thighs?  Either that or birth a child in order to widen my hips?  Thoughts?

Where Ma Girls At?

Well two days of school complete, and I’ve now attended all of my classes.  Well, except for the seminar which apparently isn’t organized enough yet to be held.  I wish they’d told me that before I went to a completely empty lecture hall and looked like a fool (to no one).

After being here for a few weeks, one thing is for certain:  there aren’t too many women engineering students at UT.  I’ve been blessed with tons of female engineering friends at Purdue, VT, and then at my old company.  Now it seems so weird to be surrounded by men.  I mean, I’m used to being in a minority.  But it’s different when you don’t know anybody and then you walk into a packed room of 30 people and the only women in the room are you and the professor.  At least there’s that I guess.  Two of my three professors are women.  Actually, in one of my classes, I’m closer to the professor’s age than the senior undergrads in the class.  Gosh, I’m old.

Anyway, see while I’m good at making friends, I’m best at making GIRL friends.  I’ve never been a huge GUY friend person.  I am NOT PJ Franklin.  By the way, whatever happened to “My Boys”?  That was a cute show!  Plus it was set in Chicago and had awesome Chicago jokes. 

I know it’s only the second day, but I’m really hoping that we can find some friends down here.  How do you make adult friends?  Work?  Church?  Interest group?

First Day of School

Well, I’m officially a student again!  I LOVE SCHOOL!!!


While I’ve been on campus for about two weeks doing some early research stuff (that’s a technical term), today was my first day of classes.  It’s amazing how the campus suddenly has so many more people in it!  Finding a parking space in the garage was a bit more difficult, and the line for food at the union was incredibly long.

Yesterday, I visited the athletic facilities for my first workout on campus.  I realized that they were having some “Welcome Week” activities around the complex.  In the gym was FREE FOOD! (YAY COLLEGE! FREE FOOD!)  So I picked up some dinner.


Gotta love the gym giving away such healthy foods. (not!)  At least I got a free gaudy orange frisbee!!

Also going on outside the gym was a fair for the different athletic clubs for people to join.  Ah, to be back in college and participating in extracurricular activities.  I was pretty active during undergrad with the Purdue Bells (handbell group) and my sorority.   As I was looking at these clubs, I kept thinking of how my priorities have shifted.  Now my husband is my extracurricular activity . . . wait, that sounds weird.  What I mean is that when I come home at night, I want to snuggle with Matt and April, go on walks and runs with them, curl up on the couch, not necessarily rush off to some practice or meeting.  It’s not that I can’t do anything else, I’m just afraid of overextending myself.  I decided that this first semester is going to be crazy busy with three classes, research, house hunting, and half-marathon training, therefore I’ll hold off on adding too much more to the mix.

Anyway, hooray for back to school!  I felt so silly in my one and only class today.  I was the only PhD student, and when we had to say where we were from, I said “Well . . . I’m originally from Cincinnati.”  It’s been a while since having introductions of “Name, hometown, major”. 

Tomorrow is my long day of classes.  Perhaps there will be more women in those classes . . .

Did you participate in extracurriculars in college?  What about now if you’re out of college?

An Announcement!

Well we’re back from Europe.  It’s been a bit crazy around here, and there’s a reason.  We are starting to prepare for a “life-changing” event!  It’s been something that we’ve thought long and hard about, and now that the people who need to know have been informed, we can let everyone else know!


April_UT copy

Did I fool you?  Did you think we were having a baby?  I faked out a few friends that way.  It was funny!

I’m actually going to school to get my PhD!!!  AHHHH!!!!  Am I crazy?

Random thoughts:

  • I love school, so I’m excited to get back into it.
  • I’m also happy to have time to do research and learn.
  • I am nervous about joining the SEC.  BIG TEN ALL THE WAY!
  • I will not wear that gaudy orange!! Smile with tongue out
  • Okay, I just might.  We’ll see.

So we’re trying to figure out moving and all that jazz.  Our plan is to work through mid-July, and then take two weeks to move and go to the beach.  EXCITING STUFF!!

Wedding Recap: Receiving Line and Limo

Note:  All of the pictures with watermarks are taken by our photographer, Nathan Peel.

After the ceremony, we decided to have a receiving line.  I figured it was a quick way to see everyone and thank them for coming and still have the entire reception to do whatever I wanted.  Our church has a beautiful garden (and it was a gorgeous day), so we did it out there.

0152_20110521 Anne and Matt wedding copy0153_20110521 Anne and Matt wedding copy

0154_20110521 Anne and Matt wedding copy0156_20110521 Anne and Matt wedding copy

0155_20110521 Anne and Matt wedding copy


We then took some formal pictures inside and hit the road in our limo!! 




Champagne was had by a few


And Matt had a Snickers.  He wasn’t feeling so great, so he was hungry.  My bridesmaid, Brooke, said “I have a Snicker’s bar!” Matt, being the gentleman that he is, at first turned down the Snickers.  This prompted his best man to declare, “That is the first time that he has ever turned down chocolate!”  Finally he decided to take her up on the offer.  Mmmmm . . . . . tasty.


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