Sunday, September 18, 2011


Okay, so maybe I've watched one too many episodes of The First 48, Criminal Minds, CSI, and Dateline. While making me super paranoid, they've also taught me to be observant and aware of my surroundings.  For example, if I see someone sketch, I try to remember everything about them...just in case.

Well, today, I had a little experience at Ingles.  Yep.  I thought someone was going to kidnap Pickens.  Hey, it can happen, right?

So, I'm sure this is me just being completely paranoid, but this man was acting SUPER sketchy when I pulled in the parking lot.  He was walking across the lane, returning his cart and I had to stop to let him pass so that I could pull in the spot (no, this isn't the sketchy part.)  I think the look on his face was what made me a little weary of him.  Well, I pull in and he just stands there at the cart return behind my car for an awkwardly long time.  So, I don't get out of my car.  Then...he goes back and gets in his car that was parked one car down from mine.  I decide to wait until he pulls off to get out of the car.  He doesn't pull off.  So, I do the whole 'act like I'm on my cell phone' thing (I know, I'm a loser).  Anyway, he STILL doesn't pull off after like 5 minutes of a lot of 'fake talk' on my cell phone.  I'm thinking, "Who acts this awkward in an Ingles parking lot??  I know, I know.  I'm acting pretty awkward myself.  At this point, I was not about to get out of my car because I'd have to walk by him.  After he refused to leave, I decided I'd just leave and go somewhere else.  Oh, but wait.  As soon as I pull out of my parking spot, HE pulls out behind me.  Totally freaked out at this point.  Luckily, I get to pull out of the parking lot quickly, and he gets stuck by traffic.  I drive really fast so that I can get out of his sight, and I turn down some random road so that he won't know where I went.  I just kind of drive slow to give him time to go past, then I turn around and head back to Ingles.  I know this sounds SUPER lame of me, but hey, better to be safe than sorry, right?!    

For those of you wondering, "What would you have done if he had followed you from the parking lot?"  Well, he would have followed me right to the police station...just like my mama taught me!

So, for all you home-intruders out there in blog land, you should be warned, I have a shotgun and a knife within reach at all times, and...if I just came from work, I may even have a box cutter in my back pocket.   WATCH. OUT.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gone too soon...

You never think something bad is going to happen to one of your friends.  You always hear about bad things happening to people, but it is always someone that you knew of, but didn't have any real connection to.  That wasn't the case this morning.

I was online this morning and kept seeing posts about the Stephens family...and if you are from Morganton, one family comes to your mind.  I was praying that it wasn't Lee's family.  Worse.  It was Lee.  After doing a little more researching, I found out that he had died in a car accident early this morning.  My heart started pounding so loud I could hear it and my eyes flooded with tears.  There is no way this happened to such an amazing guy is all I kept thinking.  That, and about his unbelievable smile.  He was the type of friend that you can go a year without talking to, then see him at a Freedom basketball game and pick up right where you left off.  I can honestly say, he was one of the most genuine guys I have ever met.  We are all better for having known him.  He will truly be missed.

To the Stephens family-  my prayers are with you.  I hope you find comfort in the fact that Lee touched so many people's lives and will continue to do so as we carry his memory with us every day.

            Love you, Lee.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Forever Friends

How did I get so lucky to find such a strong and loyal group of friends?  

Two weeks ago, I went to the beach with these girls, and of course, had the BEST time.  I hate that my favorite twins, Emily & Carrie, couldn't be there.  We missed you so much!  

These six girls are the best friends any one could ever ask for.  They are so kind, funny, loyal, and honest.  We are all each other's biggest fans.We don't have to talk every day or even every week.  We know we are here for each other and we can always pick up right where we left off.     

I think what makes our group of friends so special is that we all have very different personalities.
Coley is the 'glue' that holds our group together.  When it comes to being loyal and loving with every ounce of you, Coley's got it down pat.  She is best friends with each one of us and we can always count on her to bring us all together when we haven't spoken or seen each other in a while.  If it was possible, she would be every one of our maids of honor.  So far, she's 2 for 3.  Not too shabby.    

Kelly...oh Kelly.  She is the funniest person I've ever met, hands down.  We always know we will probably end up being sore from laughing when she is around.  There is never a dull moment.  She brings such a brightness and excitement to our friendship.  What I love most about her, is she's not embarrassed or ashamed to talk about ANYTHING, which makes for some very interesting ocean-side conversations. 

Lindsey- our 'smart' friend.  She is the kind of girl that all high-school teachers stress about having in their class, because chances are, she's going to be smarter than you.  Lindsey is so kind-hearted and has such a positive outlook on life.  You can't help but be happy when she's around.  She is so down to earth and everyone who meets her loves her instantly.

Carrie amazes me daily with her strength.  I love that she does not let her diabetes define her.  She never complains and she takes on every struggle with that beautiful smile of hers.  My favorite thing about Carrie is how she makes you feel when you walk through the door, waiting with her arms wide open.  It's like she knows you are there before you even knock.

Caroline...aka Shannon Miller.  Caroline and I have been friends since we were five.  We spent a lot of time in my back yard digging holes to China and doing gymnastics.  I like to give her all the credit for my successes in cheerleading.  She taught me everything I know, since Forest Hill wasn't cool enough to have sports and Oak Hill did.  Caroline is my partner in crime when we are together, especially when we call Coley out...(sorry Coley!)  She is our most 'worldly' and 'independent' friend.  Her brave adventures always make for some great stories.

Emily, sweet Emily.  Her strong devotion to God is so admirable.  She is such a strong person and handles everything with her faith.  She makes us all want to be the best people we can be.  Whenever we email the group with a problem, we can always count on her to make us feel better and let us know she's praying for us.  My favorite thing about Emily is our friendly rice?

I want these girls to know how much they mean to me and how much they've helped me through some hard times the past several years.  It is my wish that everyone in this world finds friends as true as you all are.  We've made it through many years of ups and downs and our friendship never once wavered and I know it never will.  I love you all to the moon and back!   

"Best friends are the real fairy tales of life.  They've been there since once upon a time and will stay there until forever after."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

All quiet on the Pickens front...

There hasn't been much happening here at Pickens Plantation recently...

Clay and I have been adjusting to him staying in Atlanta during the week and leaving me here to hold down the fort.  Thank goodness he came home one night this week to change my oil and mow...I hate to think about what would have happened if he had let me use our "new to us" riding lawn mower.  I would have ended up in a ditch, the woods, or through the shed or fence.  I'm glad he knows me well enough to know better.

Last weekend we went to Heath Springs to stay with Clay's family.  His sister, Kelly, had her baby shower on Sunday.  Baby Bailey will be making her appearance in just a few short weeks!  I am so excited to be an aunt for the 4th time!  Every time I go visit his family, I realize how truly lucky I am to have such an amazing 2nd family. 

On the school front, everything is going well.  I am about a week and a half away from being finished with 2 of my pre-requisites.  They have been tough, but I've learned a lot!  I'm sure my family is sick of hearing all of my "facts of the day" that I have learned in my nutrition class!  Although it is tough cramming 2 classes into 5 weeks, I am so thankful that I don't have to drag out statistics for 3 months!  Awful.

Moving on to more exciting news, my sister, her husband, and Zoey have moved back from California!  I know you all know how happy I am to have them back.  Donna and Zoey flew out to stay with me while Matt and his dad drove all their stuff back from Santa Monica.  Zoey is just the sweetest little girl, with so much personality.  Everything she does makes you smile.  It is a great feeling knowing they are now only a car ride away, instead of a flight away!     

Welcome back Matt, Donna, and Zoey! 
We love you!                   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Exciting times...

Coley is here for the week (to save me from my boredom) and she ran across this great article that gave me the last little "you're doing the right thing" nudge I needed:  11 Things to Know at 25(ish).

Of course it's hard to go to back to school, become jobless, and change careers at 25ish, but apparently I'm not the only one and it just might not be as scary as it seems.

This was my favorite part of the article:
Now is the time to figure out what kind of work you love to do. What are you good at? What makes you feel alive? What do you dream about? You can go back to school now, switch directions entirely. You can work for almost nothing, or live in another country or volunteer long hours for something that moves you. There will be a time when finances and schedules make this a little trickier, so do it now. Try it, apply for it, get up and do it.
Pretty insightful, huh?

Even more exciting than going back to school is the fact that my sister, her husband, and my niece are moving from California to Raleigh in 6 days!  I haven't seen them since Thanksgiving so needless to say, I am ecstatic.  It is going to be bittersweet to see how much my sweet little Zoey has grown and changed over the past 7 months, but I am so happy that I am going to get to be present in her life now.  Not only have I missed my niece terribly, but I've missed my sister more than you could imagine.  It has been so hard to have her so far away through some of the most important times in both of our lives...going off to college, graduation, cheering at college football games, new loves, babies being born, wedding showers, holidays, birthdays, deaths, and all the every day things that you want your family to be a part of.  Even though we couldn't always be together in person because of the distance, there is no doubt our hearts were always together.  I can't wait for all the fun times that will most certainly be had now that my family is back together on the east coast!  


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Tomorrow is the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.  I will make that 40 minute drive one more time, pack up my things, and leave my classroom, some of my best friends, and 17 little lives that I hope I've made a difference in.

The way I feel is nothing less than the epitome of bittersweet.  I am happy, relieved, sad, and scared all at once.  I am so sad to leave what I've grown to know the past 3 years.  I am even more sad to leave the amazing friends I've made...Susan, Megan, Keri, and Adrienne.  Without those girls, I couldn't have done it.  I know this isn't goodbye, but I'm sad I won't pass them in the hall or 'live' beside them anymore.  On the other hand, I am so excited to start the next chapter in my life.  I pray for strength, courage, and guidance as I switch from teacher to student.  I pray for the opportunity to learn the things that will lead me to a job that I love.    

With this change, comes many goodbyes.  I hate goodbyes.  I hate saying bye to Clay when he leaves for work. I hate saying bye to my mama when I leave home.  I hate saying goodbye to my sister and my niece when I know I won't see them for another 6 months.  I hate saying goodbye to my girls after an amazing weekend together.  Today, I got a little taste of 'goodbye' as I had to tell one of the sweetest little boys I've ever met goodbye.  This same little boy is going into surgery tomorrow morning to have biopsies taken to confirm the doctor's diagnosis of Crohn's Disease.  As I hugged his mother with tears streaming down both of our faces, trying to console her and tell her that everything will be alright, I looked at that sweet little face beginning to walk down the hall, and thought "THIS is why I became a teacher."  At the same time, I also thought, "this is why I'm going to be a nurse."  What I would give to be the nurse that gets to hold his hand and comfort him as he gets ready for his surgery.  Students like this, and students like my sweet girls from last year are exactly why I did this for three years  I did it for them.  Not for the state department of education, not for the administration, not for anyone but them.

So, it is with a slightly heavy heart that I say goodbye to education and hello to the amazing opportunities that are to come.  


Thursday, May 26, 2011

You've got to be kidding me...

On Inside Edition tonight, they said that 4 out of 10 men have a "gene" for cheating.  Seriously?  Clearly, the doctor who discovered this gene is a cheater and just looking for an excuse.  If this is true, can cheating be cured or managed with medicine?  Does anyone else find this as completely absurd as I do??  Let's not give men an excuse to be idiots.  How about we just call it like it is and blame it on their selfishness and ego instead.  :o)    

Inside Edition also said these are signs your man might cheat:
-SAT scores- studies show that high intelligence is linked to monogamy...duh- smart men know better than to cheat on us! ;o)
-Middle aged men are more likely to cheat.
-Guys who are adventurous tend to cheat.

Moral of the story-  Date a guy that is smart, old, and boring.  

Hope this gives all of you single ladies some renewed faith in men!  :-/  Yikes!

PS-  I'm glad I found a good one.  ;o)

Monday, May 16, 2011

THIS is why I hate bees...

So, my knee is scraped, my head is throbbing, and I'm pretty sure I broke a bone in my hand.

What happened might you ask?

Well, I had a run-in with a wasp, or a "wost" as my sweet husband calls them.

I went out to the shop to get Hank, like I do every day.  Only today, there was a wasp building a little hive on the door.  If only I had seen him before he saw me.  I go in, no problem.  Come out, shut the door and suddenly I feel something (a wasp) in my hair and something that feels like a bite (a sting).  Yep, I got stung on the top of my head, all while trying to hold Hank by the collar because I didn't have his leash.  I am in a furry, panicking, trying to get the bee out of my hair.  Then, I start running, get ahead of my feet, and fall...HARD...with Hank's collar still in my hand.  I scrape my knee and my hand and I'm pretty sure I have a broken bone because my palm is super swollen and in pain.  So I put Hank in the car and try to figure out what to do next because my keys are still in the lock, I can't get in my house, and I am not about to go near that door.

As if you aren't amused enough already, it gets better.  Better than me falling?  Oh yes.

I stand there, by the car, looking in at Hank wishing that he could help me out somehow or give me some advice.  Round 1...I walk up to the door and try to sneak up and its as if the bee sees me coming.  So, he swoops down off the hive and tries to sting me again.  I run back to the car.  Round 2.  I see a water bottle in the car....grab the water bottle, hide behind the door with one foot in, and throw it as hard as I can at the door.  Of course, I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, so naturally, I missed the nest.  Round 3...I see a stick.  I throw it.  Miss.  I see another one, throw it, miss.  Then I debate whether or not to get close enough to the door to grab the stick and bottle and throw them again.  Nah, too scared.  Round 4...I grab a rock..throw it, ding the door and knock the black paint off.  Oops.  No more rocks.  Round 5....I grab the floor mat, yep.  That's right, the floor mat.  I put it over my head (go ahead, laugh) and sneak up to the door.  I get scared, and go back to the car.  It's like the bee is waiting on me.  I look at Hank, still nothin'.  He's so confused.  Round 6...I go back...and my heart is beating a million beats a second.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I am deathly afraid of bees.  I FREAK out (obviously).  So, I put the floor mat back over my head, stand with my back up against the shop, as if I'm a navy seal or FBI or something, and inch towards the door.  Of course, I couldn't get the key out.  So, I have to turn it every which way because I had left it mid-lock when I was being attacked the first time.  I can't get it out with my left hand so I switch the mat to the my left hand, trying to keep it between me and the bee.  After a couple hard tugs, I get the key out and what does the bee do?  Swarm at me again.  What the heck is up with this bee?  I just want to get my key and leave you alone!  So, I get the key, try to fight off the bee with the floor mat, breathe a huge sigh of relief when I get away...without falling, and PRAY that I'm not allergic to wasps.

All I can say is, it's a good thing I got Hank out before I got stung, because he would have been staying in there until Clay got home.

First up on the agenda when Clay gets home...pick up the water bottle that I was too scared to get and KILL.THE.BEE.

You're welcome.  Go ahead and laugh, I would too.              



Monday, May 9, 2011


On Sunday, we celebrated the most important women in the world...moms.

For those of you that know my mama, you know she is the sweetest and kindest woman in the world.  She puts others before herself, always.  As I've gotten older, I've come to truly appreciate the amazing woman she is.  She is the most selfless person I've ever met and would do anything for anyone.  She loves her family and sticks by us through thick and thin.  My mama has had more heartache than anyone deserves and she meets every challenge with style and grace.  I admire her more than she could ever imagine.                    

Mama, I hope to be HALF the woman you are one day.  I love you so much and I hope you never forget how much you are loved, admired, and appreciated by everyone who knows you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Big changes...

Since Clay and I have been together, there have been tons of changes.  New jobs (x4), new cities, getting married, a new dog, buying a house, etc.  Well, what fun would it be if we didn't throw one more change in the mix?!

Some of you already know this, but I am not going to be teaching next year.  I know, I know.  (Insert gasp here for some of you.)  I made the decision a while back that I wanted to go back to school for nursing.  In college, I initially wanted to go into nursing, but PC didn't have that program.  Anyone who has went to PC knows, once you get there, it is really hard to leave.  So, I didn't leave.  Instead, I stuck it out in a major I wasn't so sure about.  I taught for 3 years but now it's time to find out who I am really supposed to be.  My family and friends knew that it would be just a matter of time because all along they thought I was meant to do something else.  To all those who told me this years ago, here ya go..."You were right."  Never doubt what your mama tells you...she's going to be right.  Period.

I'm sure some of you are asking, "Why nursing?"  Well, obviously the desire to help people.  Also, science was the only thing in school that I was interested in and actually learned instead of just memorizing for a test.  The main reason for my career change, which I don't think anyone knows, is the nurses at Grace Hospital that took such good care of my daddy when he was dying.  I watched as they came in, gave him his medicine, and did EVERYTHING they could to make him comfortable.  They were so reliable and they quickly became a constant in a situation that was ever changing.  I remember my sister asking them what they would do when we were faced with the choice of switching over to Hospice care.  They were straight-forward and honest and gave us the advice we so desperately needed but hated to hear.  Let him go.  We trusted them and knew how invested they had become in our family and what we were going through.  I want to be that for someone one day.  Someone that a heartbroken family can cry with when things go wrong and rejoice with when things go the way they had hoped.  So, to those nurses, thank you not only for treating my daddy as if he were your own, but for helping me see who I am meant to be.

Love you daddy...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Green thumb? Yeah right.

Well, there isn't a whole lot going down with the Johnsons this week...

Clay is still making the 2 hour trek to Atlanta for work every day.  He loves his job which is a blessing and somehow makes up for the 4 hours he spends in the car.  He even got to shoot skeet all day on Friday!   

Last Saturday was gorgeous so we spent the day outside doing yard work...Clay mowed, I picked weeds in the flower beds by the pool.  Being the avid "worker-outer" that I am, my hamstrings were so sore Sunday morning from bending over and picking weeds all afternoon.  Sad, huh?  I prefer mowing...I'll save the weeds for Clay next time.  We went to Lowe's and I bought some seeds and a rose bush...we'll see how that works out once it gets warm and stays warm enough to plant them.  I have a 'whatever the opposite of green is' thumb.  I think I've killed every plant I've ever tried to take care of.  I even killed a whole line of bushes once.  I thought I was just cutting some vines off of them.  Obviously I cut a little more than I was supposed to.  Oops!  Luckily it wasn't here...I'm staying away from our bushes.  No pruning for me.  I'll save that for Clay too- weeds and pruning.  I need all the women in my family to come down all at once and teach me how to garden because I have no clue what I'm doing. 

Ahh!  How could I forget to blog about this??

Coley & I dream of becoming famous singers, so we figured the best way for us to begin our careers and achieve super-stardom would be to write a song.  We're serious, by the way.  The idea for our song came from the conversation we were having about the new furniture Clay & I just bought.  I was telling her how rustic it looked and that even Clay's mounted deer head would look good on the wall.  Yeah, I was as shocked as you are right now that I actually said that.  So was Coley.  Her response was the inspiration for our song.  "What has that boy done to you?"  Yep, we're going to write a song about a city girl trading in her high heels for 'Muck' boots.  Some of the topics that will be covered in the song are bassmasters, fishing, deer stands, and bird dogs.  It should be a hit.  We'll keep you updated on the progress.  I know the anticipation is killing you already...don't worry.  We're going to get started on it this weekend.  :o) 

Thursday, March 10, 2011


So you know the Grey's episode where the conversation consists of "seriously?" back and forth?  That was my conversation with Clay the night we found out he had a job offer.  It doesn't sound that bad, except for it was 2 days after we closed on our house in Pickens and the job was in Atlanta.  2 days.  Perfect timing...just perfect.

We knew all along there was a potential job offer that may come available in the future.  Little did we know, it was going to be sooner rather than later.  We were just so excited about owning our own home that we let it overshadow the fact that maybe we should wait and see what happens with this job.  It may seem like we had a really tough decision to make, but we didn't.  The job came with a 50% pay raise and is one step away from the job he ultimately wants.  In this economy, you can't exactly tell someone no when they come to you.  It wasn't hard for me to tell him he should take the job, regardless if I knew I would only see him an hour in the evenings before he had to go to bed every day, or not at all if he chose to get a place in Atlanta.  I just knew that the job was exactly what he wanted and that he would be happy there.  If he's happy, I'm happy, no matter how far away he is.

Distance seems to be a recurring theme throughout our relationship.  At first, he was at Clemson, I was at PC.  Next, I was in Mauldin, SC and he was in Fayetteville, NC.  Then, I was in Greenville and he was in Columbus, Ga.  When we got married, he immediately got a job offer with a company out of Piedmont, and even though it wasn't what he wanted and the pay wasn't great, we jumped at the chance to actually live with each other and not 4 hours away.  Now it seems as if he is going to have to find a place in Atlanta.  We thought he might could deal with the 5 hours of driving every day, but it's just too exhausting.  So once again, we are probably going to be apart...which I don't wish on ANY couple.  I do believe that distance makes the heart grow fonder and that everything will be the way it should be, eventually.  Maybe we should have added "no matter how far" to our vows...

All I know is I love this man and would do anything and go anywhere for him.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm so glad you were born...



I am so happy that I am the one you chose.  You make my life better in ways that you couldn't even imagine.  You make all the happy times worth it and all the sad times easier.  I will never understand how I got so lucky, but until I do, I will thank God every day for allowing me to know love so deeply.

I love you,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I know this won't last... cleaning habits.

I guess being in a new home and actually owning it has actually made me like cleaning, well at least washing the dishes.  I don't know if it's the view of our back yard from the window above the sink or singing to Lady A at the top of my lungs while doing the dishes (you're welcome for that visual).  For those of you that know me, you know that I am not the cleanest person...not.even.close.  You'd be proud of me!  I've even been hand washing the dishes instead of using the dishwasher!  I'm finally starting to feel a little domesticated.  I think that actually owning the house has made all the difference in the world as far as my attitude towards cleaning goes.

Some of my favorite moments so far:

1.  Singing at the top of my lungs to Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum while noone is here.  This house has great acoustics!  For those of you that don't know dream is to be a singer.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?!
2.  Watching Hank run at full speed around our back yard.
3.  The game of 'hide from the neighbor so you don't have to talk for 30 minutes' that I play every afternoon when I get home...well, actually every single time I step out of my door.  He is just very friendly.  He even asked if anyone needed to use his spare bedroom when we had so much company this weekend!  We almost offered Coley up...but decided against it.
4.  The view from my kitchen window.  :o) 
5.  Pulling up to OUR house everyday after school.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My husband caught on fire...

OK- so that sounds a bit dramatic, but it's true.  He was welding at work and caught his pant leg on fire!  

a HUGE thanks...

Finally!  We got all moved into our new house thanks to our amazing friends and family!  We couldn't have done it without you.  Thank you Angel, Hannah, Grayson, Coley, Mama, Anne Marie, and Karl for helping us move into our house and start making it a home.  Clay & I are so grateful for you and your generosity.  We know how valuable your time is and to give it up to help us means so much to us.  We owe you BIG time!

Moving went much more smoothly than I had imagined it would.  It didn't seem like we had that much stuff...until we started to pack it all.  When we went to pick up the U-Haul I thought I had reserved one that was MUCH too big.  Oh boy.  I was w-r-o-n-g.  We filled up all 24 feet of that thing.  It's amazing how much stuff you accumulate in such a short amount of time!  I am going to make a conscious effort to minimize the things that we don't use so that the next time we move (hopefully in a LONG time) will be even easier than it was this time around.  Step 1-  only one junk drawer.  Step 2- unpack every box- find a place for everything and throw it away if you can't find an appropriate space for it!

Things we learned from moving:  
1.  Throw stuff away. Seriously, if something has been sitting in a box you didn't unpack from the last time you moved, toss it.  Clay & I both had stuff still in boxes from when we moved into our last house when we got married!  I've gone through most of mine, but I can't say the same about my better half.  
2.  Visit, rent a truck, and save time & money on gas.  Best idea we I had.
3.  Bribe friends and family to help. (can I just say one more time that y'all are amazing!?)
4.  Call and arrange all of the power/internet/water/cable transfers ahead of time because usually it can't be done the day you call!
5.  It's okay if everything isn't decorated the way you want it in the first week.
6.  Take before & after pictures...they'll be fun to look back at!
7.  Making small talk with the cable guy is awkward, especially when he calls you on your cell phone from outside your house to read the satellite signal numbers to him.
8.  Bring home the paint swatches because they look much different in your house.  :-/  Goodbye pink shabby room, hello lilac!
9.  Breathe.  Enjoy it.  Don't stress!

Thanks again to our family and friends for making this such a smooth move!  We love you!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

For the following reasons...

...I am in LOVE with small towns...

1.  You can get where you need to go fast.  There is nothing better than knowing you can actually get to the other side of town in less than 5 minutes.  Trying to go less than a mile in Greenville traffic can take 5 minutes itself or more.  For example, I knew I only had a few minutes to get to City Hall in downtown Pickens yesterday, completely forgetting that 'downtown' consists of a couple streets and a couple lights.  By the time I reminded myself I wasn't in downtown Greenville, I was there.  Which leads me to reason....
2.  The people are so nice it almost makes you feel guilty.  In bigger cities, people have their own agendas, things they have to do, etc.  Other's feelings and needs often get pushed to the side in our own haste to do what we need to get done.  The ladies at the Corner Cafe were so sweet to Clay and me.  One lady walked up while Clay and I were talking about whether or not we would be able to 'customize' our order and swap something for something else.  Without hesitation, she simply says, "You can do anything you want in here."  Something as simple as that is so nice when you are used to going places that it takes an act of congress to change something on your order.  My second encounter with the friendly folk of Pickens, was with the woman I spoke to at City Hall yesterday about getting our water turned on.  She was the sweetest lady.  I walked in there about 10 minutes before they closed.  I just knew that we wouldn't get our water turned on because I was so late getting there and they stop taking work orders at 4:00.  But, being the kind lady she was, she sent the worker over to my house that very second, literally, he followed me home, to turn our water on for us so we wouldn't have to wait until the next day...and I didn't even have to ask her.  So nice.
3.  More room to run & play. (that was from Hank)
4.  Price of land and property.  With Clay growing up with land, a pond, and shops/buildings to go "fiddle" around with stuff and work on his 'projects' with his dad, it was inevitable that we would have to move out of the city and find our own piece of land.  City life just wasn't cutting it for this country boy.  I totally agree.  Being from a small town myself, I've always wanted to go back to that kind of living eventually.  It's nice to be away from the constant hustle and bustle of a city, even if it has a fairly small-town feel like Greenville does.  With Hank, we just needed more space.  A hunting dog should not have to be kept inside as much as he has to with us living here.  At our new house, he has a whole fenced in back yard and an area where Clay can work with him on pointing birds and all that other boy/hunting stuff.  Moral of the story- if you want any kind of land, at a reasonable price, you will probably have to move to a small town where the prices are actually reasonable.  We sacrificed a little on the size of our new home to have the extra land and the shop, which is completely worth it.  We have all the room we need, for now. :o)
5.  Whether you need a dentist, radiator shop, doctor, gas station, Domino's, fine dining restaurant, dollar tree, lawyer, bank- it is all within 2 miles.  Literally.  I can get to any of those things in less than 4 or 5 minutes.  It's amazing.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a city, but my heart belongs in a small town...

Monday, February 14, 2011

So blessed...

I want to start by saying, Happy Valentine's Day!  It is my prayer that everyone experiences the kind of love that I've found.  The love of my amazing husband, family, and friends is what makes all the tough times in life worth it at the end of each day.  It is what keeps me going and I am so incredibly blessed.

Today was a very special day, not only because of Valentine's Day but we bought our VERY FIRST HOUSE!!!  Clay and I could not be more excited to begin the next chapter of our life.  This blog is intended to document our journey and keep all of the people we love up-to-date with all the latest renovations and decorating that goes on!

We were so excited to be able to get started on the house today.  Luckily, we were both able to take the day off so we could do some unpacking and painting after our closing.  Everything went well with the closing and we were at our new house by 11:00 am!  We unpacked some things, took a walk around our property, and just enjoyed being in our new house together.  For lunch, I wanted to embrace the small town of Pickens and go to some cute little diner downtown.  Clay wanted to go to Pizza Inn.  I won.  We found a spot that will most definitely be a weekly dinner spot for us...Corner Cafe.  For those of you that have never been, you are in for a treat.  Friendly staff, amazing (aka greasy) food.  After lunch we went to Lowe's and picked out paint colors for our bedroom and our 'shabby chic' room.  We chose 'tiara' pink for the shabby room and 'hot springs' (blueish-greenish) for our bedroom.  We started painting our room tonight and it looks great!  We are hoping to get some more things moved in and some more painting finished throughout the week, so there will definitely be more updates!

P.S.  Clay won battle #2- what to eat for dinner...we had Pizza Inn.  It was de-lish.