2013 – A Look Back

Highlights from 2013..

Around the World in 2013 – Know your history!! Key events from around the world for the year 2013 can be found here, here, and here.

Image courtesy of here.

Image courtesy of here.

Personal highlights

  • Finally started my own blog. Hopefully 2014 will bring more dedication to actually posting on regular basis though.
  • Really dug in to beginning “DIY/Natural homemade lifestyle”. Some recipes that I made and actually continue to use include cleaning products, facial toner (this recipe), laundry detergent, and no-poo hair routine (similar to this routine). Made first ever maxi skirt (used this tutorial) and dyed my own shorts for summer. Actually completed some crafts that I have “pinned” on Pinterest and pictured in my head including turning wooden crates to bedside tablesdoor hanger, and flower tower.
  • Had a column published in the  local newspaper. And actually was paid for it!
  • Completed 12 hours towards my Master’s degree, while still working full-time and continuing to grow in expectations/responsibilities at work.
  • Was successful at first ever public speaking engagement that was actually for my job rather than for a grade in school.
  • Quit smoking!

Jekyll Island, Georgia – first full family vacation where Ronnie Dean got to experience a full week of vacationing with my family, and my family experienced a full week of vacationing with Ronnie Dean. This included:

  • Ronnie Dean was able to truly experience my sister’s love of “birding” – as in every time she yelled at Dad to randomly pull over on the side of the highway for a picture of a “rare” bird.
  • The family experienced the Montgomery focus and dedication when discovering a new way of hobby. Ronnie and I discovered the “old school” way of catching blue crab, and Ronnie also got to walk along the beach with a homemade spotlight looking to “spear” fish. Although they have heard me talk about it, they finally experienced first hand how Ronnie Dean is like a kid on Christmas morning when discovering a new kind of “hunting”. Poor Dad did not realize that staying with his daughter and son-in-law on the beach to catch crabs would last until 2:00 in the morning.
  • This family vacation also provided Ronnie Dean’s first actual flight and the first time we actually flew together. Saw Captain Sig Hansen from Deadliest Catch tv show in the Atlanta airport – Ronnie Dean got pretty excited! 😉
  • Ronnie Dean and I discovered that no matter where we go, we can always find a fellow “redneck” to discuss fishing/hunting and the different techniques in different parts of the United States, hence the “old school” crabbing and the spear fishing.
  • Whole family went deep-sea fishing. It was fun seeing my parents and sister, especially my mom and sister, reeling in the black sea bass. They even touched the fish! And of course we have the large fish we caught at the taxidermy to go on our wall and the piece of driftwood hand chosen by Ronnie Dean on driftwood beach for the fish to be mounted on!

Hunting highlights

  • Ronnie Dean broke his bad hunting streak and got that buck he has worked towards. Plus the freezer is full of venison!
  • Got my first coyote!

Family highlights

  • Ronnie Dean and I grew our first garden. And plants actually grew!! Abundantly!! We  are loaded down with pickles and peppers still. First garden and canning adventures were a success. This also led to my first ever HOMEMADE PIZZA!! and it was actually tasty!
  • Celebrated our third year of marriage, September 18th.
  • Our slobbery bloodhound turned three, July 18th.

It has been an eventful year with lots memories made. However as with everything I saved the most important change/highlight of 2013 for last. This past year, Ronnie Dean and I made the decision that we were ready to expand our little family. I did not refill my birth control prescription for June and we made the decision to not exactly “try” but rather to quit trying to prevent it and if it happened, it happened. In all honestly, we thought it would take months for the birth control to get out my system and there was no reason to stress/rush the process. Well needless to say what we thought would probably take months to happen, actually took less than a month. (Yes, turns out I was actually pregnant when we went on that family vacation. In fact, my sister informed me last night that while on vacation, she actually asked Mom if she thought I might be pregnant!)

As of today, December 31, 2013, the last day of the 2013, I am 26 weeks and 5 days (based on my estimated due date). The baby is around 14-15 inches from crown to heal and weighs around 1.6 to 2.2 pounds. (Based upon three different pregnancy apps.)

Miss Harley Cheyenne Montgomery is expected to be here April 3, 2014.

Needless to say, 2013 was an excited year with lots of memories made and milestones. However, the year two thousand and fourteen is shaping up to be the most life-changing so far, and I for one cannot wait!

Happy Birthday Oak!

Happy Birthday Oak!! Our pretty boy is 3 years old today!!

He is goofy, loud, slobbery, wrinkly, big, stubborn, hungry, playful, hairy and a complete mess. He is our “child”, and he loves us unconditionally!

Take a look back at the past three years of the crazy, loopy, howlin’ bloodhound that we call Oak!

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” ― John GroganMarley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog

Happy Memorial Day!

Before I begin this blog post, I just want to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day!!! God bless our troops – past and present! Thank you for your service and dedication to this wonderful country!

Free image from http://howtonestforless.com/2012/05/28/happy-memorial-day-free-printables/

Free image from new blog I found here.

For the past several years, my husband and I celebrated Memorial Day weekend at the lake. This involves fighting with the pontoon to get it running after sitting still all winter, cleaning up a bit around the camper, meeting up with our “lake friends”, and working on our tans (or sunburn in my case). This year however, we decided to stick around the house, get some yard work done, and (for me) complete a D.I.Y. project that I have had my eye on. I will admit, I was a little upset at staying at home – I was really looking forward to getting out of town, swimming, and perhaps trolling some flea markets and yard sales around the lake. However, I must say I actually enjoyed just relaxing at the house on my four day weekend. This is a little what my extra long weekend involved…..

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Friday, I decided to travel to a nearby town and check out some flea markets. Although I didn’t find anything I just had to have, it was quite relaxing. I did find some elephant decor that made me think of my elephant-obsessed coworker! Her blog (www.elephantgrace.com) is actually one that helped inspire and encourage me to create my own.

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Turned some plain wood crates into new night stands for the guest bedroom. Blog post on that project coming soon!

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Warning! If you happen to get wood stain on you, your legs WILL be stained for a couple of days! Needless to say, I could not wear shorts in public for most of the weekend.

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Although my husband has gotten to go fishing several time this year, I finally got the chance to tag along! First catch of the year (for me at least)!!!

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Weeding my garden was spread out over all four days. My garden makes me so happy!!

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Radishes fresh from the garden!!

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Found this recipe for pickled radishes here and here.

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Along with my co-chefs, made some pretty awesome radish dip with this recipe.

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Of course our Sunday afternoon was planned around the big race and grilling some burgers. While my husband and friends watched NASCAR, my previously mentioned co-chefs and I built a sleeping bag tent in the kitchen!

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Oak won that wrestling match!

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Poor Oak was wore out by the end of the weekend!

Hope you had a good weekend and enjoy this short work week!!