Thursday, June 30, 2011

Settling In

Sometimes I sit and *shudder* reflect (my teaching friends will understand why I loathe the word) on my life the past few months. A few months ago I was living alone in a terribly outdated (Josh would say dangerous) rental house working at a place that offered me no support as a new teacher and told me I was a failure because I did not say what they wanted to hear. I now live in a beautiful home with my husband, anticipating the start of my new position as a science teacher in a middle school 10 minutes from my house where the principal offered me the job at the end of my interview.

I'll admit, though I tried to be incredibly optimistic, there were quite a few times where I felt without hope. How could God leave me out to dry? He allows us to find a beautiful home that we love, and right after we close I find out I don't have a job anymore. If that doesn't seem like an insult, I don't know what does. However, God knew if He did not provide a very deliberate way out of that place that I would have never left because of the great women I worked with. The school I am moving to is going to be a place of support, of structure, and where the focus is not to please the powers above but to focus on the achievement and success of the students. That's what I'm in this for after all!

I'm enjoying my time at home. After forgetting his lunch his first day back to work, I've been getting up with my sweetie to make sure he gets his coffee and doesn't forget his lunch again :). During the day I'm trying to tackle one room at a time to get things put away where we want. The dogs are contributing to the decorating by scattering the floor with the fuzzy guts of their toys. Sometimes I feel like it's NEVER going to get done, but then there are other times; like Tuesday when I spent the entire day clearing out our closet and reorganizing that I realize the boxes will eventually be gone and we will be officially moved in. Getting stuff hung up on the walls will help too. Any decorating tips, websites, or whatever you'd like to share are definitely welcome!!!!

Pictures are coming soon of our new bedroom suit and the newly cleaned and organized closet! My younger sister is getting married this weekend, so it's now crunch time for us to get ready for her big day. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and awesome July 4th weekend!!!!!

Until next time,

Monday, June 27, 2011


Tonight I am type-typing away in my new, sooo cozy, comfortable bed and surrounded by the incredibly beautiful (pictures will come!) mahogany bedroom suit Josh's wonderful parents bought us. It was a surprise wedding present for me. Josh knew about it. We came home from our honeymoon- I was anticipating a dreadful clearing out of junk from the bedroom floor left due to my hurry to be on time for my own wedding. Instead, I opened the door to my our bedroom to find a stunning new queen sized bed with brand new furniture. All I could do was look at Josh and cry out of surprise and happiness. I could go on and on, but tonight's blog post is about some very special souvenirs we brought home from our honeymoon.

One of the most exciting stops for me was at The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. I was hoping to find a special ornament that could serve as a memento of this special time in our lives. What we ended up choosing was better than what I could have ever hoped for; because they are the beginning of not only our little family, but a tradition. :)

We could not resist this sweet paw print for our babies. We missed them for sure!

We decided on a girl moose and boy moose!! Plus, our wedding date on the bottom!
With the names and years on our new little ornaments, I'm hoping they will become a yearly tradition that will cover our Christmas tree years down the road. And who knows, maybe in a couple years we will have to upgrade to 3 or 4 moose instead of just two. :)

While we were waiting on my favorite souvenir from the trip, Josh left my side with 51 cents and came back with this! I've always loved flattening pennies as little souvenirs and it's super cool that the first one I ever got as a child I did in Gatlinburg; which is where we were when he made this one. It will stay with me forever.


Call me sentimental, but I have ALWAYS wanted one of these! I gave Josh my sweetest smile and asked him if we could have one. He was more than obliging and we picked out the shape of wood and I got to tell the nice (albeit scary-looking) wood carving man what I wanted it to say. Now, I'm not so sure we are going to be able to hang it on our vinyl siding, but I'm hoping we can figure something out to hang it near our front door. It really made me proud and helped me feel like an Atkins! (Cause trust me, this name change thing is weird!)

We have lots of pictures that I can't wait to cherish and look back on as we remember this very sweet time of our lives, but these are the souvenirs that mean the most to me. Since they are so special I thought I'd share them with y'all. Enjoy!

Until next time,
-Mrs. A :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Life is Oh So Good!

I have to say that the past week of my life has felt like a big blur. It seems like only hours ago my stepmom and I were attempting all nighters to get everything for the wedding done. She was a bit more successful than I was. I also have to say that our wedding day was INCREDIBLE; and would not have been as beautiful as it was without the help of my amazing family and friends! At the end of this post will be a few picture previews my oh-so-talented Uncle Duane Heaton took on the big day!

Josh and I have had the BEST time on our honeymoon. He's currently out picking up Ruby Tuesday's to Go for supper while I hold down the fort in our hotel room. :) Actually, I was finishing up a nap but found myself unable to sleep after he left. Our first few days as husband and wife have been awesome!

We started our adventure off by cozying up Saturday night and Sunday in a little mountain condo in Columbus, NC. Thank you so much to Josh's friend McKrae for loaning it to us!! With no cable and cell signal it was the perfect way to begin our honeymoon. Nothing but each other! It was very sweet.

Monday Josh surprised me by taking me through the Blue Ridge Parkway!!! I had never been before and he knew how much I wanted to go. Sweet hubby. :) I got some breathtaking photos and after an hour or so we realized we had gone the wrong way!!! Looking on the bright side, we pulled out the gps and trekked our way through North Carolina on a journey that made some great memories and stories to tell. A few hours later than anticipated, we made it to our hotel in Pigeon Forge, TN. It has been fun to be the super cheesy newlywed couple with the jacuzzi in our room and arms around each other everywhere we go.

Our time in Pigeon Forge has been SO FUN! Tuesday we ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel, punched out coupons (I'm sure our waitress thought we were seriously over zealous tourists!) for different attractions, and then Josh laid another surprise on me: he took me shopping for new clothes!!!!!! You guys don't understand- the last time I have gone and spent money on lots of new clothes was the beginning of college; a LONG time ago. For him to be so thoughtful really meant a lot. So, new clothes (and one pair of super cute shoes!) in tow, we made our way to Starbucks, the Christmas Place (where we got some special items you will hear plenty about later), and off to the Gallery of Light where we got a free 11X14 Thomas Kinkade print thanks to our handy dandy tourist coupons, and ended our day by getting an Old Time photo done. Josh was a '20's gangster and I was a flapper; the picture is fabulous! We picked up some Mellow Mushroom pizza and retired to our hotel room, satisfied and exhausted from such a great day.

Today we spent getting breakfast at IHOP and then driving on over to Gatlinburg for the day. We perused the shops on the main road in Gatlinburg for a while. We picked up some surprises for my little sister getting married in a week, as well as a sercy for dogsitting our pups while we're away. We then rode the skylift, got a wooden sign for our front door (pictures to come!) and made our way back to the car. We've now spent the afternoon and evening snuggling, napping, and enjoying our last days of relaxation before it's back to reality!

Boo is back with our grub now, so it's time to chow down. Lots of pictures will be posted soon!!!

Much love,
Mrs. Andrea Atkins  :D
The kiss!

We just couldn't stop smooching!
Sweet, QUIET, moment.
The cake. :)
Mr. & Mrs.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

T minus 9....

NINE days until 'I do!'

YAY!!!!! I wish I had time to do a for real, from the heart, full of witty phrases blog entry; however being that we are SO CLOSE to D-day... I'm afraid I don't!

What I can tell is that we are SOOO EXCITED!!!!!!

So hang on tight... lots more to come soon!