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

Saturday Morning Junk Patrol

Whenever we go to the lake, I take every available opportunity to make the thirty minute drive into Mountain Home to check out the farmer’s market, yard sales, and flea markets. This past Saturday, while Ronnie and his brother fished, I took advantage of having a few hours to do whatever I pleased. So when the boys pulled down to the lake at 6:30 Saturday morning, me and Hailey (my brother-in-law’s girlfriend) took off for Mountain Home to see what we could find.

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Cappuccino anyone??

After a quick trip through McDonald’s drive through (I was really needing caffeine and was craving my caramel mocha!) we stopped by the Mountain Home farmer’s market.  First purchase of the day – fresh strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, freshly baked banana bread and AWESOME homemade guacamole and salsa! I also completely forgot to take pictures of these finds as I was too overwhelmed with the thought of eating it all right there in the parking lot of the farmer’s market. I’ll do better next time! 😉

As we had a few hours to burn, we decided to just drive around and whip the truck down any road that had a yard sale sign posted. We also threw in some flea markets  along the way.

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This was a tent set up in the middle of town named The Weathered Window. Check out their Facebook page. Apparently, they set up once a month and we picked the perfect weekend! Although I didn’t buy anything, the items at this place were perfect inspiration for future craft ideas!

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More Inspiration from The Weathered Window!

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Inspiration for a pillow (The Weathered Window), outdoor plant (yard sale), and patriotic quilting (Mountain Home flea market)!

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Awesome wood piece at The Weathered Window.

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Loving this ladder at The Weathered Window. Now to find my own wooden ladder…..

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When I found a box full of old chicken feeders, I was interested but not sure of what I would use them all for. But when the lady told me I could have them all for $1……SOLD! Can you guess what I have been searching all over Pinterest for this week? 😉

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Possible Planter???

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Mail Holder???

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Utensil Holder??

 

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Can you tell which shirt cost $1 at a flea market, and which one I bought at the department store??? Yea, me neither —SOLD!

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Just another addition to my burlap sack collection!

When we got done shopping, we met up with the boys and spent the rest of the day on the lake!

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Silly Husband!

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Me and Hailey

20130611-212839.jpg“On the pontoon.. Makin’ waves and catchin’ rays up on the roof.. Jumpin’ off the back, don’t act like you don’t want to.. Party in slow motion.. Out here in the open.. Mmmmmmmm…motorboatin” — faboulous lyrics from “Pontoon”, Little Big Town

 Family + Junk Patrol + Farmer’s Market + Lake Time + Cold Drinks = PERFECTION!

Outdoor Oasis

With the dawn of Pinterest, it seems as though you can get ideas and instructions for almost anything. I can get inspired from my couch as I click-through that nifty app on my phone. However, the absolute best inspiration and my favorite type of “research” involves family.

Below are pictures from the yard of one of my aunts. She is a Master Gardener and my go-to for flower questions. She is the one who came over and helped plant my front flower bed when we first bought our house. Every trip to her house includes a stroll through her yard. Her use of flowers, pots, plants, and decor motivates and inspires me as I create my own backyard oasis.

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Love the different aspects of color and types of containers she uses. I absolutely love her red deck with the water feature and planted containers all over.

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These were some of my favorite flowers I found. I am inspired by all of the different colors and textures my aunt uses throughout her landscaping.

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She ties in ornaments, tables, and rocks to provide places to sit and walk through all of the flower beds.

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Just another example of the several types of colors and plants she incorporates.

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Besides providing a beautiful picture, this tree was also home to two bird nests, with one being a hummingbird nest!

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This has to be my favorite yard ornament ever!

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As I smell the flowers, you can see my sister photographing everything in sight!

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Aunt Cindy includes different aspects throughout her flowerbeds, including several rock pathways such as this one.

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This is part of the border separating her property from her neighbors.

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These awesome pots lined the steps leading up to her back door on her deck. I must have something like this whenever we finally build on our back deck!

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Yet another seating area in my aunt’s yard. These are hanging from a tree with seating below. Can you guess what I will be on the lookout for on future flea market trips!?

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Even Dad enjoys strolling through the flower beds and yard, as my sister is still photographing everything in sight in the background. I do believe he wished we would focus more on the flowers and less on taking pictures of him!

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My aunt always likes to share some plants as well. Here is a crepe myrtle that she gave me for my yard.

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She also loaded me down with some gardening books!

Hopefully this has inspired you as much as it did me!!