Kristin and Lee

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The past month...back to reality now

Yes, I do know that our blogging has been nonexistent since the beginning of December (mainly because the few that read have made sure I'm aware of the absence) BUT here is a very small recap of our life since the last post! Let's see what you've missed...

My Pinterest-inspired candy cane nails

Our first year of Christmas cards

My big sister's birthday dinner

Christmas with the Coons (my mom's side of the family)

Christmas Eve

Our newest piece of furniture for the new home

New Year's Eve in Nashville

...and my birthday dinner....




...and fun... ALL!

Back to our normal programming now, so tune in for more detailed updates! Hopefully, there will be more photos from now on since I'll be taking my own instead of stealing (like above) from the sister's blog and online pics! Thanks for reading (or mainly looking).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On the SEVENTH day of Christmas...

That's right, I skipped a few days of Christmas this week! What a let down, huh? WELL, I think Lee's having the flu, mono, and possibly salmonella at once (we are just waiting on lab work for the last certainty) was definitely a "let down" as well. That would be the reason we haven't been blogging. Lee has been busy running from bathroom to couch to bathroom to bed, etc. I have been busy chasing him with medication and a thermometer...and the occasional garbage can just in case! I've washed the sheets and blankets everyday and sprayed down every inch of furniture with Solumel and Soluguard and I've been popping those Activate pills like crazy to boost my immune system! We have not had a full night's sleep since Sunday and, let me tell ya, we look rough! When we went to the doctor, the nurse said "Umm...which one gets the shot?" OUCH! ha. Monday was the first doctor's visit and Lee found out he had mono and flu. Well, the women in his life stepped up as always...

Sissy brought over 2 types of juice, 2 types of sprite, 2 types of crackers, and 3 boxes of over-the-counter meds

I decided it was time for some blankets fresh from the dryer and some Christmas movies with the Christmas lights plugged in during the day. This was our first set...of course, it was mainly Lee trying to rest/sleep and me making sure he didn't get worse. Nonetheless, the Santa Clause series is one of my favorites.

The next day (Tuesday) was pretty much spent the same way. Daddy took me to pick up lunch and dinner (soup for Lee of course) and that was SO appreciated since nothing we have to cook is very light and soothing...oops. This morning (Wednesday), Lee woke up (for the 10th time I believe during the night) and had a fever again (101.1 to be exact). I called Russ for a doctor's opinion and then we called the doctor he visited Monday. He had us return around 9:00 for more tests and discovered Lee may very well have been exposed to salmonella from the Mexican restaurant...we will see. The PLUS for this morning was the snow! The flakes were huge and beautiful! Nevermind that it is already melted :(

So, that has been our last few days of Christmas. Hopefully, after the THREE bags of fluids Dr. Tucker ran to rehydrate Lee, we will be better tomorrow and will have a much better EIGHTH day of Christmas! Until then, pray for "baby lee" as his mom and Sissy call him!

"Do NOT take my picture, Kristin..."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On the FOURTH day of Christmas...

On the FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, we relaxed and enjoyed some more holiday preparation! My day began by emptying the dishwasher from all of the mess I made yesterday (I know, we missed church this morning! BUT we will do better next Sunday ;) ). Soon enough, Rhonda and Lee were awake, and Rhonda made herself some coffee (I know, I was an awful hostess). While she was searching my cabinets for sweetener, she found an EMPTY set of cabinets... 3 of them! We were both shocked. I quickly fixed that, however, because I had been upset at the fact that my winter dishes were hidden away in the utility room over the microwave anyway. Perfect cabinet space for them right above the matching cookie jar and mugs:

Meanwhile, Lee headed outside early to finish up his shop and show us how proud he was of "his space" by hanging a Mississippi State flag by the door. Can you find it?! ha. It's so tiny and cute and perfect for his storage shed. He was pretty excited about the whole idea!

After "Oooing" and "Aaahing," I headed back inside for minor touches. I set the tables with my red and khaki dinner napkins and adorned them with my favorite Christmas touch - the Santa napkin rings Mawmaw hand painted for each of us to have one day! They are adorable and special for so many is a sideways look at why I'm in love with them:

Next on our list was to hang our OWL "Happy Holidays" that Daddy gave me 2 years ago that I absolutely had a fit over! We found the perfect spot and I swear this thing was made specifically for this house. Love it!

Once I completed some little tasks for the house, Rhonda asked if I would mind making several bows for wreaths and her mailbox. Of course, I happily did so (but she will have to attach them to the actual wreaths since they are REAL wreaths and I'm highly allergic). Next, she pulled out this cute little guy. This snowman is 25 years old this year (same as Lee). Rhonda's grandmother and grandfather bought her this snowman for Lee's first Christmas and she had it in their yard just a few houses down from where Lee and I live now! SMALL WORLD! Anyway, we got a little sentimental talking about how special he was and how Rhonda wanted to get him a "facelift" for his birthday! Well, she came to the right place because I was happy to oblige (partly because I love to paint and mostly because I love her and Lee and how special it was to them). Here is the finished product! Sorry I didn't take a "before" photo but I guess you can imagine if it was made in '86 that it had some minor wear and tear.

After finishing her Christmas projects, Rhonda whipped the vacuum up to clean up our mess before I could even stop her. Then she treated us to a lazy Sunday afternoon lunch of pizza while I made some classic rotel dip to go with it! Meanwhile, Lee utilized our free trial of Sunday NFL Ticket to get us the Vikings and Broncos on DirectTV...nice and relaxing football and pizza (little did I know my baby brother was stuck watching the game via iPhone updates...he should come stay more often):

Tebow played an awesome game btw...

After watching the game, listening to Lee snore (oops. I mean breathe), and a few phone conversations with missing family members, I decided to paint my nails for Christmas with a red glittery polish Santa had stuffed in my stocking a couple years ago! He obviously shops with Melaleuca too :)

Maybe I shouldn't have posted this picture, because it seems my feet ran everyone out of the room today. Rhonda was packing her things and headed for the car and Lee had left the room to take care of things in the back of the house. HA! Oh well, I think I did a great job considering I can't afford any of these nice spa pedicures I keep seeing people post about on facebook!

Rhonda took some last minute photos of our outside lights and Christmas decor (presumably to send to Sissy, her sister) and was off to Jackson again. Lee and I will be having spaghetti for dinner and I'm actually pretty pumped about it. Quick and easy and delicious it will be. I'm thinking I shall also end the weekend with a Christmas movie...just need to decide which one it will be (probably depends on whether I will be watching alone or with the hubs). Well, there you have it! Our 4th day of Christmas has almost come and gone...what will happen tomorrow?!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Third Day of Christmas...

Well, today is SATURDAY and the 3rd day of our Christmas! Let's see...I started out the day by making biscuits (out of the can if we are being honest) for the hubs and he was pretty excited...let me just say that if you need a quick breakfast idea, go for the Pillsbury large biscuits with old fashioned butter flavor. No jelly OR butter required. Next, we made a dashing trip to WalMart for wax paper and a lock for our storage shed out back. When we were leaving the house, we finally checked our mailbox for the first time and look what we found! Our first Christmas card of the year! And SO cute! I mean, Christmas, wedded bliss, and Bully? doesn't get any better than that!

After that, I began baking while Lee worked on opening his eyes and catching up on sports since he hadn't watched SportsCenter in the 9 hours that he was sleeping ;). I made peanut butter balls (Lee's favorite) for the first time EVER! I forgot a step and, to me, they're a little dry, but he disagrees...

By the time I let those cool, it was time to come up with something for lunch and I knew just the trick! We were having chili for sure. I made the chili in about 15 minutes and sprinkled the toppings just in time for Lee to take a break from putting the new lock on the storage unit:

After enjoying ALL of our chili, it was back to baking for me! I went on to make my personal favorite..."bumpy cookies," as Megan and I call them (also known as cereal clusters). However, I forgot to put the Almond extract in...again, I feel that they are just a little off...Need I tell you not to bake when your mind is elsewhere?! Not a good idea. I will say that they still taste pretty dang good though and Lee agrees.

Next on my list of goodies was "no-bake cookies" for Lee. I do not care for the oat-filled, peanut butter and chocolate combination but the hubby is pretty set in his ways and likes them A LOT. Therefore, they went on the list of Christmas cookies for this year.

We still stuck to our regular cookies as well...the classic tea cake cookies that the family drools over. The recipe was actually from my former babysitter and we have adopted it like we invented the notion of teacakes! Below, you will also see what is left (3 to be exact) of a new addition - snickerdoodle cookies! Lee claims these have replaced my previously mentioned favorites for now. Pretty tasty.

My last venture for the day was to tackle the "lemonade cookie!" Umm...LOVE IT! Rhonda and I are definite's a mixture of tangy lemon flavor and sweet sugar sprinkled on top. The cookie is light and fluffy and pretty perfect.

Where was Lee during all this you may ask?...He was setting up shop. Literally. He cleaned out, hung things, and put a padlock on his new shop out back! Joe, Lee's grandmother's boyfriend, had generously given us some goodies from his huge stash of tools and supplies and Lee sorted through them and rearranged everything so that he can find them as soon as he needs them! He thoroughly enjoys tedious tasks such as this. Here is a photo I snuck in while he was rifling through some things. After this photo, I had to escape with my allergy-prone self since Rhonda was sweeping and the dust was flying everywhere! ha

Yes, I mentioned Rhonda, my mother-in-law! She came to visit again! She has been great with our new house and coming to visit (maybe because she has a place to sleep now instead of driving back and forth...or maybe just because she loves us so much ;) ). Either way, she hardly ever comes without "happies" and today was no exception. She gave me the adorable wine bottle with Christmas lights and Christmas stopper you see below. It is the perfect addition to my kitchen decor for the holidays! Love it!

After all of this, we settled into our P.J.'s with cookies and an SEC championship game. Lee wore his bully reindeer pants Rhonda found at Steinmart this year, so naturally I decided to cheer on the BULLDOGS (from Georgia). I was pretty happy with my pick for the first half, but Les Miles must have channeled some type of genius during his halftime speech because LSU came back to win the game 42-10 (I think). So much for that! Now, we will just have to see whether Alabama will get a rematch with them at the National Championship or if Oklahoma State will pull out a ticket to play in the game after tonight!

During all the commotion, we did not forget about our 3rd meal so no worries! Rhonda treated us to Mi Toro and WHEW! We are stuffed now...but happy and stuffed. We are watching Oklahoma v. Oklahoma State and waiting on the Mississippi State basketball game to come on since Daddy and Dustin are in Starkville for the event! After that, who knows?! All I can say is that Rhonda brought some old Christmas classics for she and I if our man goes to bed early AGAIN! The three of us are Snuggled in with full stomachs, Christmas lights, blankets, and some football and basketball...that's how we are ending our THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS! Tomorrow will make FOUR...time flies when you're loving life!

Friday, December 2, 2011

On the 2nd day of Christmas...

...On the second day of Christmas, this is what I did...
First thing this Friday morning, I woke up and made myself presentable for the first time since I started decorating my parents' house (and let me tell you, I look different when I dress Mama says "It's one extreme or the other with you"). I headed to the Smith house to finish up some things. I went to Ginger's to get two swags for the garage door (yes, we forgot those in all the bustle the other day). Found the perfect pair made by Jenny Cameron and took them home to make a few minor adjustments to match the wreaths. Daddy and I hung them and I tied wire to the back of the other four wreaths so that he could hang them today and finish up the outside before the party tonight. Then, Mama and Daddy treated Lee and I to Mike's for lunch (our usual date). From there, I ran by to pick up Mawmaw and deliver her to Vi's Fashions where she gets her hair done religiously! Afterward, it was off to Belk and WalMart for some last minute Christmas shopping since my Melaleuca check came in ;). I racked up on some great sales and great items for family and was so proud when I showed Lee SOME of my finds for the day! I then returned to the parents' to deliver some hooks for the back of the house..let's not even talk about the fact that I forgot them on my first trip to WalMart and had to turn around. Daddy decided to use the old wreaths from the front of the house on the doors and window out back! Then it was back to my nest to see the hubs. He was cleaning out our storage unit and restocking the shelves in an organized fashion. After he finished that and replaced a couple of lights that had gone out in our yard, we headed to WalMart AGAIN! This time, to get groceries and supplies for my baking fest I will be having tomorrow. Let's just say you will get a sugar high if you come within 10 miles of my house tomorrow...just a head's up.

small visual...yes, you see eggnog, buttermilk, and lots of chocolate :)

Post-shopping, we decided to drop the cold items back by the house and head to The Green Mango for some Thai food I have been craving lately. Had a great meal and are now back in our snug home with the Christmas lights plugged in and Criminal Minds on the TV! It's Friday night and the second day of Christmas at the Tull house! Tomorrow is a new day...and it's SATURDAY!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

OUR first day of Christmas..

Some of you are thinking "Oh, no she didn't...there are only 12 days of Christmas!" That's O.K, Santa was obviously thinking the same thing in my above photo. Well, let me just tell you that "Yes, I did." Why can't Christmas last 25 days?! I mean, granted, it's nothing compared to the 55 days of Christmas that retailers get by putting Christmas out before Halloween candy goes on sale, but I'll take what I can get. Now that we've gone over that and everyone understands we will be blogging based on the above notion, let me just tell you about my first day of Christmas! First thing, I got out of bed (I know, shocker!) and took my mom the cake she had donated to my meal for Lee's dad. It was divine but after our large portioned meal, we could only finish 2 pieces between the four of us. She, on the other hand, can use this cake to feed the masses tomorrow night at the First Baptist staff dinner. I also sneaked in a small plate of homemade goodies just for my number 1 fan :) After that, I rearranged some decorations she had put out without me there (that's a no-no when you ask me to decorate...different eyes mean different styles which means things will not mesh well's all about cohesiveness, people). Then, my dad came by to pick me up (after first trying to pick me up at my own misunderstanding if you can imagine that in my family) to go to Jackson, TN where we were to get garland. Just garland. Flocked, pre-lit garland I had requested if I were to finish decorating their home for the holidays. We called ahead and asked Trees n Trends to hold the 4 strands of garland for a quick pick-up... Oh, but you see this store was heavenly...they had flocked wreaths to match...not only one for the door, but for all four of the front windows. "You can't just get one flocked wreath, Daddy, they should all match..." Well, unlike some men, he did agree (although he might have rethought at the register) and we decided to get 5 wreaths and 4 strands of the garland we came for. Well, the ribbon from last year just would not do next to these fluffy clouds of greenery! Daddy knowingly asked if we were done or we needed something else "now that we're committed." I sighed and probably mumbled the words "Hobby Lobby." Everyone dreads the name it seems except me. In fact, my eyes light up just by typing the words. Well, they let me down in the Christmas 50% ribbon section BUT I didn't let that stop the venture. We found exactly what we needed in the wedding and floral section...(not 50% off but at Hobby Lobby's everyday low prices ;) ). To make a long trip short, we ended up leaving this store with 3 ornaments for the door wreath and 5 rolls of ribbon in order to accomplish my task. Next was a trip to TGIFriday's for a quick lunch. After all, this trip was supposed to be fast and we were only going because it was on the way to visit a sweet church member with Alzheimer's who is in a nursing facility there. The lunch was great and so was Daddy's visit with Ms. Nelson. Afterward, my sister and I were on the phone discussing Christmas cards and how many I could afford. Let's just say my initial number was 10! That doesn't even cover our family in case you were wondering! She was arguing in her sisterly concerned voice when Daddy piped up and said "How much are these things anyway?!" I told him and I could swear he almost snickered that I couldn't afford them...especially after the new house, couch set, and furniture I had been stocking up on. Well, he decided 30 cards would be his payment for my doing the decorations...I'll take it! The cards are so cute and so US! Don't be offended if you don't get one please because like I said, we got 30...still only family and maybe a former roommate or two will see our first cards! BUT Megan and I have our plan for next year, so just hold a spot for our card in 2012. Next, it was back to Corinth where Daddy dropped me off at home and I finished the outside decorations while touching up some of the inside arrangements. He was off to Memphis to visit another church member in the hospital...Yes, you heard right. The man took me to TN with him, brought me back to MS, then returned to TN. He loves me...and these church members! Now, I am back in my warm new nest while Lee is putting the last bit of lights on our tree. We are patiently waiting on Daddy to return from Memphis around 7:30 and take us to Pizza Inn so we can support a local group sending disabled children to Disney World! So fun and such a blessing that we can be a part of that! If you're reading this in Corinth tonight, the fundraiser ends at 8 tonight so run on over and grab a pizza for tonight or save it for lunch tomorrow! Anyway, that was my first day of Christmas...exciting, busy, cold, and so special for the time spent with family. What did you do on this first day of Christmas?! I'll leave you with some pictures while you ponder...

Front door wreath

Horrible phone picture of the overall look without the porch lights even on..

Front steps

...and again..

Daddy's job is to hang these tomorrow :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holidays without our Nonnie

I realize this title itself seems depressing and something that might not need to occupy an entire post, BUT Nonnie has been on my heart so much already this season and, like I told you in the beginning, this is Lee and my own little web space where we can do as we please ;). That said, as I was wrapping Pops' gifts last night after Lee's dad and girlfriend left the house, I realized this was the first year I wouldn't wrap a gift for our precious Nonnie. It hit me like....well there is really no comparison... the sadness that comes with remembering a loved one also comes with this sense of peace, happiness, and thankfulness. As tears were flowing, I wasn't making my "ugly crying face." I wasn't having to catch my breath or blubber about it to Lee. In fact, I really don't even know that he realized anything was going on. As i was brought to tears by the fact that this would be our first Christmas without her and that things were changing before we could stop it, I was also thinking how much she would LOVE the gift I was wrapping for Pops, how beautiful she would think the paper and bows were (even if they weren't...because you see, we were PERFECT in her eyes - just ask Mama and Daddy because she told them all the time), how happy she would be that Christmas was coming even earlier for the Coons this year, how proud she would be of my cousin who does not thrive for entertaining and cooking but hosted a huge thanksgiving this year simply so we could all be together and share our love and laughter with Nonnie's sweetheart. I thought about her "Hmmm"s and her famous bubble baths she made for us while she found all kinds of things in our ears (elephants, money, giraffes, etc.). I thought about her last days when she could barely lift her head in the right direction but was able to tell Mama and Uncle Howard she "loved them too." I thought about she and Pops riding bikes in Jackson when it was safe to do so at any time of day. I thought of her LOVE of picture taking/posing when she was younger and how Megan has definitely inherited that trait. I thought about her tendency toward ADD when it came to cleaning and preparing the house or meals and how Mama absolutely cornered that area of her personality (proof of that came this week while I tried to "help" her decorate her home for the FBC staff dinner...let's just say she had one task and it took her both days, but the floor was vacuumed at every drop of glitter). I considered my love for old movies as I watched "Gone with the Wind" the other night and realized she was pretty enamored with them as well. I thought about how Lee and I try our best to live up to Nonnie and Pops' legacy with our flame that started burning when we were 15 just like them. I know Lee isn't blood, but I could swear he inherited Pops' sweet tendencies toward the women in his life and his silent leadership. Lastly, I thought of Dustin and how his humor is SO COON (Nonnie and Pops' last name)! He and Uncle Howard have a ball together and it's no wonder...they both take after the Coons' ability to make any situation lighter...even if by accident. You see, it was a different kind of came with a realization that Nonnie will be here this Christmas...she will be in Megan's poses, Mama's vacuuming, Dustin's jokes and expressions, Clancy's motherly instincts and sacrifice, in Daddy's comments remembering things she used to do or say, in Lee and Russ's sweet spirits, and in our love that grows deeper each year. She will be in Pops' eyes, where she always was. So I don't think this post was depressing or out of place on our blog...I think it is just what I needed to be thankful for those who are still here and to be happy for those who are in heaven..probably riding bikes safely again and awaiting our arrival. Anyway, those were my thoughts last night and as I woke up EARLY this morning so there you have it! Merry holidays! Almost December!