Saturday, February 27, 2010

Things to be Happy About - February Edition

Another month has come and is almost gone (come Monday), so as we close February I wanted to post my favorite things to be happy about from my daily calendar. If you didn't read my previous post on this topic, click here to catch up and read the "January Edition".

Here are my February things to be happy about...


  • A spotless house - Boy do I love a perfectly clean house from top to bottom


  • Knowing where everything is - Being insanely organized, this is a given and wonderful


  • Penguins diving - John loves penguins and we've seen our share at aquariums - such fun animals


  • A fail-proof recipe - One of those classics that you know will be absolutely delicious every single time


  • Wind Chimes - I love the sound of these on a back porch or hanging from a storefront


  • Reorganizing your desk - I can't get enough...whether at home or at work, it's always nice to give my desk a makeover and re-straightening

  • A one-traffic-light town - small towns are so delightful


  • A touching Valentine's card - I received such a wonderful one this year you can see here toward the bottom

  • Sleeping in - I don't get to do this very often, but man does it feel nice


  • Working to music - I have my radio going softly everyday at work at it keeps me going

  • Getting under a blanket - I love the warmth of a snuggly blanket and always keep one nearby


  • Much-needed relief - Getting help with something, taking a break, having a day off, finishing a big task or project...anything that calms things down and relives some stress


  • Tomato Juice - I love tomato juice, but I don't buy it at home, however I always get in when I fly on a plane...that or ginger ale - strange, but I love those two drinks when I fly



  • Milk and cookies - is there any explanation needed? What is better than warm chocolate chip cookies and cold milk for dunking?


  • Batter and frosting bowls - I grew up licking beaters, spatulas and leftovers in the bowl with all the baking around me and I still do it to this day...John loves it too!


  • Quilters - I have such admiration for women who quilt - it's such a wonderful talent and quilts are treasures. I hate that it's an art that seems to be fading, but quilts hold such wonderful memories...plus quilting and sewing remind me of my grandmothers


  • Stationery stores - I have a deep drawer full of stationery, cards, post cards, note cards...you name it, I LOVE stationery!


  • Blowing a kiss - As John stands and waves to me when I leave for work every morning, he blows me a kiss or two - perfect way to say goodbye for the day


  • Delicious aromas from the kitchen - Yum...the smell of something good cooking or baking

  • An early start - I'm more of an "early bird" and work better in the mornings...while it's nice to sleep in from time to time there's nothing like getting an early start on a day

  • A new car smell - I think everyone loves this smell

  • All-day pajamas - We've had a few Saturdays where we've stayed in our pajamas or lounge clothes all day - so very comfy

  • Turkey and dressing - Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Obviously this reminds me of that special day...plus I love it eat it and make it!

  • Sunday naps - We usually take a nap every single Sunday, pretty soon after lunch. Some our longer than others, but it's so nice and relaxing on a Sunday afternoon
I hope that you find something to be happy about today and everyday! I'm looking forward to reading all of the ideas in March on my calendar - wow, is it March already?

Have a great first week of March - Easter is just about a month away!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Friday, February 19, 2010

Birthdays, Anniversary & Valentine's Day

February is a BIG month for us! Both of our birthdays, our anniversary and Valentine's Day are all within the first two weeks of February. It can get crazy, but it's so much fun year after year celebrating our lives and our love. I turned 31 on the 5th, John turned 33 on the 9th and we celebrated 7 years of wedded bliss on the 8th.

Because of these events, we shared some fun meals together, enjoyed birthday cake and birthday peanut butter pie, were showered with cards and gifts from family and friends, exchanged cards and gifts from each other and looked through all of our wedding photos. For Valentine's Day, we stayed at home to celebrate. We decided not to get each other a gift this year (especially with already getting birthday and anniversary gifts), but instead to make each other a card with the various craft supplies we had at home. The cards were fun to make and all the more special. We made chili for dinner and heart shaped brownies for dessert. I even made heart ice cubes to go in our drinks. After dinner, we watched "Fireproof". If you have not seen this movie, you MUST - run, don't walk to get this movie! Especially if you are married - it is an amazing movie. I could do a whole other blog post on "Fireproof" and "The Love Dare"...perhaps I will soon. We are actually going tonight to pick up the Fireproof couples devotional kit - so exciting! We do a marriage devotional once a week so we are going to start this series next week. We are really looking forward to it!

Nevertheless, here is a random mix of pictures from our February celebrations (just a few of MANY we took)...

On another note, we are now in the season of Lent - for the next 40 days. We don't typically "give up" anything for Lent, but we decided to make a change during the Lenten season and hopefully it'll become a new routine. Since it's just the two of us, we've gotten in a habit of eating in front of the TV every night - either at our counter or at a card table in the living room. It's not the worst thing in the world obviously, but we've decided that from now until Easter we are going to sit in our dining room to eat dinner and visit with one another. Like I said, hopefully we'll eat in there more often going forward. We do eat in there some, but not as often as I'd like. I'm ALL about eating dinner at the table as a family, but we've just gotten in the habit of watching TV while we eat. We've recently made some changes to the dining room that you can read about here.

Tonight is "grocery night" for us. If you missed my post on that, you can catch up here. Tomorrow we will be cleaning house and cooking to host our "Dinner for Eight" group from church tomorrow night then we have church and other "to dos" on Sunday - should be a nice weekend!

Have yourselves a wonderful weekend!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Treasure Tubs

We are sentimental people - especially when it comes to our love and life shared together. We have been "together" for eight years and married for seven. In that time, we have saved EVERYTHING we have given each other. The picture above is of our "treasure tubs". We each have one.
In these tubs are various things that serve as a memory of our time spent together. There are cards, notes, letters, movie ticket stubs, deflated balloons, cards from flowers, birthday candles, ziplock bags from lunches, tickets to several events, programs, miniature golf score cards, empty candy boxes and wrappers, receipts...and the list goes on and on. As we exchange, collect and enjoy these items year after year, they go in these tubs.

We try to go through them once a year - take a trip down memory lane and look back through all of our memories and tangible reminders of how wonderful our life has been together. It brings laughs and tears! We went through our treasure tubs about a week ago on a Saturday. We spent 3-4 hours in our living room floor going through all of the items we had in our tubs and playing "Remember when...". Some stories had us saying "Awwww" with warmth in our hearts and other stories had us laughing hysterically. We also made a list of all of the movies we had ticket stubs from (every movie we have seen together) and our list was about 70 movies long - WOW. We also both made a stack of the cards we had given each other and as you can tell, we have quite a collection...
Here is a picture of the living room floor as we started getting things out and going through all of it. It was so much fun and a great way to keep the memories alive and well.
Our treasure tubs stay on the shelf in our bedroom closet and we drop things in them throughout the year. We've already added birthday, anniversary and Valentine cards from 2010. We may eventually have to get bigger tubs to fit all of our treasures!

What a fun time that was and I cannot wait to go through these again next year and relive all of our amazing memories together.

Until we meet again...
Riley

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let is Snow!

Welcome to snowy Dallas! They were predicting MAYBE an inch of snow. Well, John went out and measured this morning and we have 7". It's been nice to spend some time indoors and look out at the snow, but we went out and played in it as well - fun times! Instead of a snowman, we built a snow bunny. John even had a snowball fight with some of the neighborhood kids. All of the schools are closed around here and all is quiet. The snow is just beautiful - it snowed for almost 24 hours straight. It's not snowing anymore, but still super cold and cloudy. We have some plans "out and about" this weekend, but I think the weather should be clearing up. Enjoy a few pictures...





We also have lots of birthday and anniversary pictures to share, but those will come at another time so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful weekend from the winter wonderland!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

Today I am celebrating my fabulous husband John. Happy 33rd Birthday, my dear! You are the love of my life and I'm thankful that God blessed this world by bringing you into it. I wish you the happiest of birthdays and I look forward to our evening together.

The birthday boy has requested a homemade pizza and peanut butter pie for dinner - along with cards and gifts, should be a fun time!

Until we meet again...
Riley

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lucky 7 ~ Happy Anniversary to Us!

Hip Hip Hooray - it's our 7th Anniversary today! Words cannot describe how wonderful our marriage is and how much God has blessed us over these past 7 years. It's truly amazing how God brought us together and how he continues to help us make our marriage better and stronger on a daily basis. We are SO happy and SO in love, but we know that we have only just begun. Our relationship and friendship is truly a dream come true!

We have plans to go out for dinner and then we will go back home and open cards and gifts that we have received in the mail and from each other. Also, every year on our anniversary we look at our wedding scrapbook, wedding pictures and also watch our wedding video. It so nice to remember that wonderful day! We are looking forward to our evening together. To my husband ~ I'm so thankful to be your bride! In my years of praying, waiting and hoping for that right guy to become my husband, I never imagined I would be blessed with someone as incredible as you! I am blessed beyond measure by being Mrs. Ussery and I thank you for the care and love you show me EVERY SINGLE DAY! Not a day goes by that you don't make me feel cherished and special. I love our life together and I love you so very much. I cannot wait for all of the anniversaries to come that we will celebrate together. You are some kind of wonderful! Happy Anniversary, John Douglas Ussery.

Also today, we want to wish our nephew Isaac a very Happy 9th Birthday! That's right, we got married on Isaac's birthday. He was our ring bearer and turned 2 on our wedding today and today he is 9 - wow! They actually got school canceled today because of weather...what is better than a "snow day" on your birthday? We love you very much Isaac and hope you have a Happy Birthday!

Have a great week!
Until we meet again,
Riley

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Anniversary Eve

Tomorrow, we celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary! That means at this time seven years ago, we were preparing for our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. It was such a fun night filled with anticipation. Seven years ago today, we were engaged to be married and excited for our wedding day... This picture isn't the best quality, but it shows us at the end of the rehearsal - all smiles with "Bride" and "Groom" nametags. We are looking forward to celebrating our anniversary tomorrow and have some plans together for the evening!

Until we meet again...
Riley

Friday, February 5, 2010

BIRTHDAY GIRL


HOORAY, it's my birthday! 31 years ago today, at 9:30am - my Mom gave birth to 7 pound, 15 ounce and 22" long - ME!

I love birthdays! Yes, I'm getting older and I still find it hard to believe I'm in my 30s, but I am beyond blessed and I enjoy celebrating another year of life that God has given me. And the fact that my birthday is on a Friday - what's better than that?

My day started about 5:25am with my sweet husband snuggling with me in bed and singing "Happy Birthday"! The morning thus far has been filled with many phone calls and texts from dear family and friends - thank you all so very much! It means a great deal to me and will make my birthday extra special. I also got a coupon from Starbucks for a free coffee on my birthday so I pulled in there on my way to work for a vanilla latte - mmmm.

Tonight, John is taking me out to dinner to a place called Edohana (which is a hibachi style place) and is incredibly yummy. He has also ordered a birthday cake for me that is a surprise so we will enjoy that once we are back home, as well as open cards and gifts. We plan to watch a movie after that - a great start to the weekend.

Our anniversary and John's birthday are in the coming days. Add in the Super Bowl and it will be a fun weekend celebrating all sorts of wonderful things. I can hardly wait...

Have a wonderful February 5th!
Until we meet again,
Riley

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dining Room Update

We've been working on making a few changes in our dining room. It was already a nice space, but we wanted to add a few more things ~ specifically more chairs, a buffet table, a mirror and a vinyl wall decal. I wanted a buffet table for more storage space for kitchen/dining/serving items and the table needed some decor above it to fill up the wall space. We only have four dining table chairs, but we wanted to have eight for when we have family, friends and other guests over. We are hosting our "Dinner for Eight" group later this month, so it'll be great to have chairs for everyone. We spent last Saturday morning working on getting everything in place. Here are a couple of pictures of what the space looked like BEFORE...
And here are some AFTER pictures...

We are so glad to have this project finished and enjoy our dining room more. Thanks for letting us share!

Until we meet again...
Riley