Monday, August 31, 2015

A Much Needed Vacation

K and I love the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg TN area. It is where we got married, honeymooned (2008), and returned in 2009, 2013, and now 2015. Every trip we have made a different adventure. This time was definitely no exception. We did a few things that I thought we would never do...considering we are very indoorsy people (I think I just made up a new word.)

But, before I get into our fun adventure, I have to say this: I strongly urge couples to take a vacation together...ALONE. I know many of you have kids and I understand the want to be close to them. But I think it's so vital to a marriage to even just take a couple of days to get away together. Something to get away from your everyday life and routine in order to reconnect as a couple. No responsibilities or big decisions except where you will get some tasty food. It is amazing what a little trip away together will do for not only yourself, but for your marriage. It's not that troubles disappear or responsibilities aren't important, but it's nice to get away from the demands of life. While you are there, try some new food and definitely do something you have never tried before. But most of all, have lots of fun. This trip not only refreshed us as I am approaching a new school year with my 3 year old class, but it also rejuvenated our marriage. It was exactly what we needed. So I wanted to share some pictures with you:

Our Cabin:

Can you tell we are LSU fans?

We relaxed in those recliners every night after a fun filled day. Some day I think we will buy a recliner to put in our living room. There were two in the cabin!!

There was a place recently built called The Island that had amazing little specialty shops (one called Kyrptonite filled with superhero memorabilia that my nerdy husband and I loved) and a 200 ft Ferris wheel with closed in air conditioned rides. It was amazing!!

We ate some amazingly great food!!

Pot Roast at Old Mill Restaurant

Apple Fritters at The Apple Barn

Bacon Burger at Smoky Mountain Brewery

Our new adventure: ATV ride on a mountain trail!

 K and I aren't outdoor people. But we are from South Louisiana where 4 wheeler riding is a past love of mine. I used to love to go mud riding when I was a kid. This takes our southern ride to a whole different level. We were taken up rocky, steep, and wet terrain and through streams. We ended on the bluff of the mountain and although the view was foggy because of rain, it was completely worth it! The ride back was so much fun!! We loved it!

Our second new adventure: Zip lining!

I will be honest, I was not looking forward to doing this. K really wanted to try it, so I very reluctantly agreed to it since he was going to try the ATV ride. After the first line, I was done. I didn't like it. Our guides were amazing, I just didn't like the feeling of loss of control. K, on the other hand, loved it!! He did all 9 lines and even went upside down!! Can you believe it??

Hillbilly Golf:

Thanks to the encouragement of my sister (check out her awesome makeup blog and her fun and informative life experience blog), I definitely want to shed some light on traditions. I think traditions are very important for a couple. I know I am big about it. It wasn't something very big with my family, so I wanted to make sure K and I make traditions. Why? Because it is fun and you are able to revisit memories while creating new ones. When we travel together, especially to Tennessee, we have many traditions since we started for our honeymoon in 2008. 

Our TN traditions:

1) We always play the license plate game. We find different license plates along our journey as a competition. K almost always wins because I use a long drive to catch up on reading, but it is so fun seeing the different areas visiting with us. I even found Hawaii this last trip!

2) We always make a stop at No Way Jose's. It's a little Mexican restaurant we first stopped at with another couple who had joined us for our wedding trip. We love Mexican food and this restaurant is very authentic and has great tasting food.

3) Putt Putt Golf is a must. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have so many different courses to try and since our first TN trip, we have went to at least one. This time we revisited Hillbilly Golf, which consists of traveling by cart up the mountain and playing putt putt golf down the mountain. We always make it a lot of fun!

4) We make a stop at Smoky Mountain Brewery for some good old fashioned bar food. They have the best burgers and calzones!

5) Every time we are in the area, there are two shops that we have to stop at, one for me and one for him. For me, it's the Christmas Place. It's a huge building that transforms into a north pole like atmosphere and will make you think of Christmas even on the hottest of days! And K always visits Gatlinburg's China Bazaar. It has various swords and daggers. He has a small collection of swords and knives.

6) There are three things we always come back with from our travels: a shot glass for K, a key chain and an ornament of where we have been for me. 

And finally, I have to talk about hiccups. Every vacation is not without some snags and troubles. This time, we did have a few. At first, it seemed nothing was going right. Our cabin wasn't ready when we got there and the A/C went out. But the owner was amazing and quickly handled it and we only had to sleep one night in a hotel room that she took care of. I caught a bad allergy in my eyes that affected our morning ATV ride, but the guide graciously rescheduled us that afternoon and we missed an all rain morning ride! How do we handle these hiccups? I will admit, at times I thought our trip was not going to be so great. I was discouraged. But, with the encouragement of K and lots of praying, everything turned out great and we had an amazing trip! 

I hope you enjoyed our pictures and stories from our adventures! Until next time, have a great day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Embrace the Differences...

I think my brain is taking a vacation. It's possible that it's because in 4 days, K and I will finally be taking a much needed vacation. He told me last night if we could, he would have the car packed and ready to go and we would already be on our way...but of course there are things to finish this week like work.

We try to take a vacation once a year. Last year with so much going on, it didn't happen. So we were determined to go somewhere this year. Many things cropped up, but we are leaving for our favorite place, Gatlinburg TN, on Saturday!!  This will be our third time going and each time we have made a different trip. This time we will be riding ATV's, going to a cave, and even may try zip lining! I will definitely have a post about it with pictures!

Until then, I still need something to blog about so I thought I would post some interesting differences about K and me. We have a lot in common and enjoy spending time together and doing fun things together. We both have a love for classic rock music and action movies. Dr Pepper and sweet tea are both our favorite drinks and we share many favorite T.V. shows. But, like every couple we have many differences. Here are some differences that you may find interesting:

  1. Although I am a very organized person, I can be a bit messy with a few things. I squeeze the toothpaste in the center. I don't care how I squeeze it as long as it comes out. K on the other hand, will squeeze very neatly from the bottom and get every last drop out of it. If I am not getting anymore toothpaste out, it's in the garbage.
  2. I tend to leave doors open. I will leave the closet or pantry door with a crack in it. I didn't know this until recently, but it drives K crazy. He just goes behind me and shuts it.
  3. K loves tomatoes...I hate them.
  4. I get hot easily and love having the fan on...K, on the other hand, is always cold.
  5. I am a spending money is already spent before I get it. K still has money from Christmas (and gift cards from his birthday!) he hasn't spent yet.
  6. I love the beach and love to swim...K doesn't know how to swim.
  7. K loves sci-fi movies as I love chick flicks. Both of us don't like watching the other. Although, I have finally surrendered and am watching the Star Wars movies with him. (It only took 15 years for him to get me to do it.)
  8. I LOVE country music. I grew up listening to it and can listen to it all day. K only likes some older country. At times. He is much more of a hard rock fan. (Which I do like also. Never did before though.)
  9. K loves biscuits, but I love cinnamon rolls.
  10. I love shrimp any kind of way. Grilled, fried, sauteed, boiled...K does not.

What about you? What makes you and your spouse different? Any that you share with us? Until next time, have a great day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust

I grew up on their music. I was in grade school and Glycerine was a song I listened to daily and in high school No Doubt was a band I loved to crank really loud during the 90's. So when I found out the lead singers of my favorite bands, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, were married, I knew they would be rock solid (see what I did there?). 20 years later, (has it really been 20 years since we experienced the Spice Girls, Saved by the Bell, Rugrats, and Clueless?  AS IF!!) I have a wide variety of music interests and that includes country music. I love to listen to country and know plenty of the old and current artists.

I have been very disappointed with entertainment news lately. First it was Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert who called it quits after 4 years of marriage. Especially after they had said divorce was never an option. Then this morning I turn on the television to find out that Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale are getting a divorce after 20+ years, along with Reba McIntire and her husband of 25+ years. I understand that touring and the entertainment world is full of its hardships...but isn't marriage worth working on? Is a career really more important than making sure you have a happy marriage that lasts?? Everyone has dreams and I am a firm believer in pursuing them, but when you get married, pursue them together. I don't know what happened in these situations and it's definitely their business not mine, it just seems to be an epidemic. Every time I turn on the news, another couple has fallen prey to divorce and has called it quits.

I know that there are situations that divorce is unavoidable. I know a few people where that was the only option that was presented to them, know matter what they tried. So, it happens...

So for this post, I want to share with you what makes K and I's marriage special...things that make it divorce proof and I pray that you can use some of these tips for your marriage. And just maybe there will be more marriages out there that will stand firm and make it work...
  1. There is no plan B. We will work through matter what
  2. When we have a problem...we go to God with it and we trust him to handle it and get us through it
  3. We forgive each other...EVERY TIME.
  4. We laugh.  A LOT.
  5. We trust each other and don't hide anything from each other...or lie to each other. That isn't an option
  6. We do things together and have fun together. We date each other...often. It didn't stop when we got married
  7. We trust God through good and bad times
  8. We lean on each other for everything
  9. We pray together (the couple that prays together, stays together)
  10. We say I love you...daily
Until next time...have a great day!