Monday, December 31, 2007

I have no idea who the intended audience was when this quote was written. But when I came across it awhile back I immediately felt like it was speaking to God. I love quotes and bible verses.. and I love when they're used with pictures or pieces of art. In fact, I have an entire album at home filled with bible verses attached to photographs. Zach and I took this picture this weekend and it reminded me of this quote.
Today is Bear's 7 week old birthday... which is exciting because he's healthy, growing, and adapting very well to our home. But it's also a little scary because it means he has to go to the vet for his first set of shots. Zach is off work and is taking him today at 11:00. I'll be waiting by the phone to see how things went. Hopefully, he'll forgive us for the vet visit tonight when we take him to Tori and Lee's. Tori and Lee live on a big piece of land and have two dogs. Tonight, they'll all be able to run and play while the adults celebrate New Years! I'm so excited, and I'm pretty sure Bear will love it too.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I love date night!! About once a month, Zach and I fix ourselves up and go out on a real date. This Saturday, we started out by doing a little shopping with our Christmas money. Afterwards we went to Ruby Tuesday's for dessert and drinks. I ordered the double chocolate cake. Zach got the strawberry cream puff. We finished the night off by going to the late-showing of "P.S. I Love You." As soon as we left the movie, I said to Zach "We're buying that." It was the ultimate girl movie.. and so good! Of course, I took pictures the whole night. Zach was such a good sport.

I LOVE my husband so much!!! I hope we continue to date as long as we're alive.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler...

I'm not a painter, sculpter, or musician... but I love all sorts of art. Over the past couple of months, I've discovered a passion for two things that bring out my artistic side: photography and cooking. I'm not even sure that I'm any good at either, but it just feels so good to create something that started as nothing. This weekend, I decided to make Gumbo for the first time. Well, that put me in the ridiculousy cheezy mood to create an entire "New Orleans theme" weekend. Saturday, Zach and I had gumbo for lunch. It was surprisingly quite good. I used smoked sausage, shrimp, crab, rice, onions, peppers, celery, and a variety of spices. We made enough to eat for days. Then this afternoon, I decided to give Zach the ultimate New Orleans experience. He has never been to the Crescent City, so I had to make beignets! I cheated- and bought the mix from the store- but still, they tasted just like the ones from Cafe Du Monde. Of course, we had to whip up a couple of lattes to make the experience complete. It was so much fun!

We had such a good time with Josh and Jessica Friday night. We ate chili, the guys talked about sports, Jess and I talked about decorating, and we all talked about dog-training techniques. Jess and Josh are somewhere in the Caribbean right now enjoying a week off from work. Their plane left early Saturday morning, so they couldn't stay as long as we would've liked. But the few hours we had was wonderful. I'm already looking forward to the next time we all get together.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A little something to remember this Christmas by. I love you guys!

10 hours left...

Until I get to see Jessica! Jessica has been one of my best friends since the 5th grade. We both graduated from Ridgeway High School in Memphis. She was my sanity through all the tests, pep rallies, homecomings, school dances, and boyfriends. In fact, she is STILL my sanity.. only now through job changes, wedding planning, bill paying, and everything else that comes with being a grown-up. We have SOOO many memories, it would take hours to talk about what this woman means to me. Jess left Memphis about 2 months ago to move to Knoxville to be with this crazy guy, Josh. Josh is Jess' boyfriend and is SO perfect for her. I'm so happy she found someone just as loving, generous, kind.. and crazy as her! They're in town for Christmas and tonight they're coming to our house. I've missed her like crazy over the past couple of months.. and I can't wait to catch up!
We'll forgive them for their taste in SEC football. :)

As most of you know, my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew are working in Central Asia. They couldn't be here in the U.S. for Christmas this year. Our family traditions were definitely NOT the same without them. Today, they finally emailed us some of their Christmas photos. You can tell by the pictures they had a warm and festive Christmas. I'm so happy, but these pictures make me miss them all even more. Here are a few of the pictures they sent. You can also read more on Dan and Tami's blog or Zeke's blog. I miss you guys!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Shackelford Christmas 2007

One of my favorite things in the world is when my entire family gets together. There's something about being in the same room with my brothers, sister, parents, grandparents, nephews and in-laws. This year, Tami, Dan and Zeke couldn't be here. We missed them like crazy, but still tried to enjoy the holiday. As usual, Mom went a little crazy with the presents. We all went home spoiled, but appreciative of Mom and Dad's generosity.

Zach had to work Christmas Eve morning, so Mom and Tori came with me to get Bear. We picked him up from a town called Friendship, TN- about an hour and a half from our house. Like always, our little road trip was filled with goofiness and laughter. Tori and I took pictures, but Mom wouldn't let us take any of her (but if you look real close- you can see her behind Tori in the second picture). In all seriousness, I'm REALLY blessed to have my sister and Mom both living within a half hour from me. I love days like this!

He's Here!

We're so excited!!! Bear made it to our home just in time for Christmas. We're so impressed with how calm and well-behaved he is. He cried all night the first night, but last night he slept all night. He's only had two small accidents in the home, and about 20 successful bathroom trips outside. He loves to chew, but we're working hard to keep a close eye on him. It should be quite an adventure, but right now, we're loving every minute of it.
Several of Zach's high school friend's were in Guntersville last weekend. We both had such a good time catching up with AB, John, Emily, and dozens others. In fact, I even got to meet Zach's high school basketball coach for the first time. He was as awesome as Zach had always described. We stayed with John Lecroy while we were in town. I got to spend a lot of time with his future wife, Jackie. She was SOOO much fun. I wish she lived closer. She's one of those people who you instantly connect with. I'm looking forward to getting to know her better over the years to come.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sweet Home Alabama...

What a weekend! Zach and I just returned home from a WONDERFUL weekend in Guntersville, AL. Zach has to work for a few hours tomorrow, so we drove to Alabama Friday night and stayed until late this afternoon. Today, the entire Wiggs clan woke up early and went to church. Afterwards, we all got together for lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon throwing the football, laughing, and catching up. It was nice getting some "girl-time" in with Ms. Irene and Shandy. I love those women!! And this time, there was a new girl in the group. Little Kaya! We've only been gone for a few hours and we already miss them!

Friday, December 21, 2007

We took our new camera to our small group meeting on Wednesday night. Joanna and Zach got a little carried away taking random pictures of everything and everybody. Needless to say, I had a lot of deleting to do later that evening. :)

Wednesday's meeting was especially neat because of our bible study. God's presence was obviously in the room. I think we all left with new realizations and with the knowledge that God is asking much more from us than we are currently giving. I think we were all challenged by the possiblities of what God may be calling us to do... and what we may be currently ignoring or justifying. It is so wonderful to have met so many people who desire to know God and serve him faithfully. This group has become like a family to me. I'm excited about the things God has in store for us this coming year.

These are just a few of the 16 million pictures Jo and Zach took. :)

It's here!

Christmas is officially here! Zach and I had the BEST night last night. We finished wrapping all of our gifts. I made cookies and chess squares, and Zach played with our new camera. It was one of those evenings that just felt perfectly "Christmasy." The only thing that was missing was egg nog and Christmas carols. Of course, it's the best feeling when everything is finished and now all that's left is to enjoy the next few days. We leave for Guntersville today and will be with his family until Sunday. We'll be back in Memphis with my parents and siblings on Monday and Tuesday. Of course, there will be plenty of pictures to follow. But first, here's a few taken from our wonderful night of holiday bliss!