Sunday, October 19, 2008


Yes, it has been awhile since I last posted. School has overcome me the past 2-3 weeks and has not allowed me any free time. The only fun things I have done in the past 2-3 weeks are go to my parents house to watch the AL game and go to dinner with our great friends, Joe and Kathryn at Jackson's in Homewood. My family keeps that place in business, so if you are ever there, look for a Collins/Hollinhead. Yes, my life is so painfully boring. The only thing that helps is to remember I only have ONE semester left after this one!!! I thought it would never come and that Clayton and I would be in student debt forever! Of course, that was never going to happen, but now there is an end in sight for both of us, which selfishly means, another paycheck. Haha!

Nothing that fabulous has been going on lately. Clayton is, once again, at drill this weekend and will be home any minute. Thankfully, this is the last time he will go until December.

To change up the pace of this blog, I have been asked to complete a list of 15 things that I am not afraid or embarrassed to admit, thanks to my best friend, Melissa Echols.
  1. I am a very controlling person, in all aspects of the word. Everything in my house has a place and I get really upset if it is moved. I also hate change, whether it be a daily schedule or life changes. When change occurs, it typically falls on Clayton or my mom to "fix it." I don't show my true colors to many people, but when I do, I'm a handful!
  2. I love to hoard things. I always have and always will. When I was little, I would refuse to buy just one of something (books, notepads, Barbies, etc.) Instead, I would have to get multiples of things, then only play with one. To this day, I still do this! I will buy new clothes then refuse to wear them for months at a time!
  3. I am very dependent on others. This is actually something I have been working on for a few years, and I am doing so much better on it! However, I still feel the need to be on the phone whenever I'm in the car by myself.
  4. I have never met any other siblings that are as close in age as my brother and me. We are about 11 monts apart, meaning that my mom got pregnant with my brother 1 MONTH after she had me. We are Irish twins! Can anyone beat this?
  5. I love to make people feel awkward or embarrassed. I do this by asking random questions, like "Would you rather..." I think I am known for this by all of my social circles.
  6. I can't stand watching movies, commercials, etc. with sick, hurt, or sad animals. This is especially true with dogs. I break down into hysterical sobs. One of Clayton's favorite stories of me involves this. One Sunday afternoon, I was in our room studying and watching Air Bud, while he was in the den watching something else. While coming back to check on me, he discovered that I was crying really hard. Of course, he thought I was just really stressed with school. But in fact, I was crying over Air Bud because he little boy left him on an island and was yelling at him. To this day, I still cannot watch that movie!
  7. Other than Clayton (who is by far my best friend) my mom is my best friend. There is not a day that we don't talk on the phone or see each other. We tell each other everything and love to spend hours and hours together just doing nothing. It is so special when you can have this relationship with a parent, especially when you are no longer a child.
  8. If I werent in school and money was no option, Clayton and I would already be pregnant or be trying to get pregnant. Now, don't be shocked! We will not be getting pregnant anytime soon! However, we talk about it all the time, have our children's names picked out, and dream of the days when we will have lots of babies running around!
  9. This kind of goes along with the last confession. I do not want to be a stay at home mom. I feel selfish when I say that, but I really don't think I would be happy doing that. Yes, I want to spend lots of time with my children, but I would be so bored just staying at home. Best scenario, my mom will retire and watch my children in the morning and I would come home in the early afternoon!
  10. Clayton and I are yet to find the perfect church for us. As most of you know, I grew up Methodist and Clayton grew up Catholic. After researching it a lot and doing much praying, we have decided that we want to raise our children in the Methodist church; however, we don't want to just go to the church where I grew up. We have tried a lot of churches in Birmingham, but have not quite made a choice. This is actually one things we are struggling with right now because it is so important to be part of a church community. I grew up in my church, and even though it was a really big church, most people knew my family. I want the same experience for my children. We are always taking suggestions, if you would like to offer them to us!
  11. I love the show, Jon and Kate Plus 8, so much. If you know me at all, you know that a lot of my conversations involve this family. It really is an unhealthy obsession! I frequently talk about them like they are my own children and feel like I really know them. Don't worry, I would never steal them though! Haha!
  12. I love arts and crats and anything crafty! I wish I was better at it and would love to be taught how to recover furniture, smock, sew, and refinish furniture like a professional.
  13. I sometimes think that I should be a baker/cake decorator instead of being an occupational therapist. I love to bake and make anything sweet. I got this from my Nanna, who used to make all types of cakes before her arthritis prevented her from continuing. I would love to open my own business on the side, if possible.
  14. I'm a people pleaser. I have always wanted to fit in with different groups and never wanted to be different. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. I would definitely be the person who would "jump off a bridge because my friends did it." This is another thing that I try to work on.
  15. Despite my need to please others, I hold grudges. I think this is one of my worst traits. It doesn't matter who it is and the time that has passed since the event occurred, but I never seem to forget when others hurt me. I have prayed many hours about this, but I still seem to hold grudges. I really hate this about myself.

And that is it! Those are my 15 things, so please don't look at me differently or judge! =) I would love to see this from others!

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our Angels!

Obviously I am really stalling in doing my school work. This is my third post of the day! Ridiculous! Oh well.... I wanted to do a short post on our dogs because I realized I have never posted or talked about them. This is crazy because our lives really are centered around these dogs and anyone who knows us knows that we are always talking about them. The picture above is Clay and Cecilia, our niece, with our dogs last Christmas. As you can see, they are both so well-mannered (Yes, it took FOREVER!!!) and they are both so great with children. Cecilia loves them so much, and everytime she sees them, she can't wait to play with them. This is definitely a great thing for us for when we have children. Many times, Clay and I will make up stories about how our future children will yank on their ears and tails and laugh about how the dogs will just sit there and let them.
This is Bella. She is a yellow lab and is 2 years old. If you do the math, you will realize that her age matches up to how long we have been married. Any guesses why??? YES! She was Clay's wedding present to me. After we got back from our honeymoon, we picked Bella up the next day and then left for Oklahoma that day. She has been with us through thick and thin and through MANY tears. I don't know about Clayton, but I would have never gotten through living in Oklahoma for a year if it weren't for Bella. She has definitely kept us on our toes and always makes us laugh. She loves to cuddle and have her belly rubbed. She also is our circus dog! She knows lots of tricks and is always willing to show them to you. This picture shows her best because she knows how to look pitiful to make you pet her. It's all in the eyebrows.....

This baby is our Charlotte! Charlotte is 1 year old and is our rambunctious puppy. We adopted her from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society when she was 5 months old so Bella could have a friend to play with. At the time, Bella was very lonely and would lick her paws until they bled. Our vet said it was a lot of anxiety and boredom, and thought we should get another dog to keep her company. Since we have gotten Charlotte, Bella has definitely cut down on the licking and loves her so much! Charlotte is very different from Bella in that she is a lot more timid and hesitant to be around new people. We suspect that she was abused as a puppy. It has been really hard to discipline her because she just shakes when we pop her or yell at her. Also, she will growl at new men that come to our house (especially if they have hats on.) She would never do anything to them, but it can be alarming to new visitors. We have worked really hard with her and she is finally starting to listen to commands and stop growling (although she loves to bark.) She is not the best with tricks, but loves to play frisbee with Bella. They both are soo good at jumping to get the frisbee and will do these flip-like jumps in the air. It's hilarious.

Okay, this post turned out a lot longer than I thought! Whoops! Hope you enjoyed my post on our girls and if you have a dog, they would love to play with them anytime!

My first redo project!

This is actually a very late post...about 2 months, which shows you I really don't have a lot of extra time! Since our camera is all messed up, I wanted to go ahead and make this post before something else happens to it. I also am delaying doing some much needed studying. Oh well!

Okay, our first do-it-yourself project was to refinish this bookshelf that Clayton's dad built for him when he was growing up. It's original state just had a thick layer of polyurathane (sp?) on it and was just a cherry color. After starting grad school, I realized that I needed some bookshelves to hold my thousands of dollars worth of textbooks. Before buying a new one, I wanted to see if we could refinish this old bookshelf, which would be cheaper and would still allow us to keep this special piece of furniture.

Here is the original bookshelf.As you can see, we had already sanded off the gloss, but this is basically what it looked like. Here is the after! After sanding it, we painted on a gray primer (a few coats) and then did a few coats of black, semigloss paint. In addition, we added bead board to the back of the bookshelf to give it a back. We painted the bead board the same color as our trim on our crowned molding. For a first project, I think we did pretty good!In addition to painting the bookshelf, we also got three backets for extra storage. These are great because we have so many little things that have nowhere to go, such as checks, stationary, labels, etc. I just got these at Hobby Lobby during a week that had all baskets for 50% off. All together, they were less than $20, which is a great deal for such nice baskets!Here is the finished product in it's current location. Since we have no children and there is no need to have two guest bedrooms, we made one of the additional bedrooms into an office. I frequently need a room where I can just shut the door and study so I can block out outside noises. As you can see, the bookshelf did a great job of holding my many many textbooks and binders for OT school (everything on these shelves are for OT school.)I thought it would be nice to show you our other addition to our office. We purchased this desk about 6 months ago from AAFES, which is the military mall. If you have any family members or have a great friend that would allow you to log into their account, you should check it out. It has great furniture you would find at any furniture store, but it is a lot cheaper. You pay no tax (because it is a military website) and many times, the furniture is already so much cheaper than you would get it at a normal store. The other new buy in this picture is my favorite item in the house: My damask chair! We got this chair from Pier 1 (as you can guess is my favorite store.) I had been eyeing it for months and months. I knew I wanted it, but didn't have anywhere to put it in our house (we don't use these colors anywhere else in the house.) So in deciding to redecorate the office, I centered all design decisions around this chair. So far, I am loving everything we have done!

This week in a glance!

Since I am not frequent in my posts, I decided that I would just do a week wrap up when I don't have a lot of time to post! This week was definitely one of those weeks. We both have been so busy with work and school that we haven't had much time to think! Here are some things that went on this week:
  • Clayton went back to work after being at his yearly, two-week tour with the Air Force in Montgomery. We are both so glad he is back home and can get back into the normal swing of things. However, as all of you know (hopefully...) the market has been CRAZY the past few weeks, so work has also been equally as stressful. Thankfully, Smith Barney (primarily Citi) is doing pretty good in the grand scheme of things, so Clay is not looking at losing his job. They were a little disappointed that they didn't get to buy Wachovia, which Clay was excited about.
  • Clayton left this morning (it's Saturday) to go back to Montgomery for drill for the Air Force. He always has to go the first weekend of the month for the weekend. It was just unfortunate that it was the week after he got back from drill! Of course, he was dreading this weekend and really wanted to be home (So did I!) I just spoke with him, though, and he said the day is going good and he is really busy.
  • This week has also been equally crazy for me! School hasn't been too busy this semester up until these past two weeks. I just have so many projects due in the next month and I feel like I just can't catch up. For all of my friends, be prepared to not see me until Christmas, haha.
  • I went to my second day at UAB in the acute care unit, and I just continue to love it. It is really great when God shows you that you do have the strength to do things that you thought were too hard for you. I never thought I could work with adults, much less older adults. Since I have been at UAB, I have just loved listening to their stories and how their lives have changed as a result of disease, trauma, or impairment. As I mentioned last week, this really might be an option for me in the future, once I get some much needed work experience. I love how fast-paced it is and how you get to see so many different diagnoses. I get bored VERY easily and thrive on chaos. The acute care definitely delivers each week!
  • Clayton and my camera finally had it this week. I was trying to take pictures of our Halloween outside decorations and realized that it was broke for good. Guess it's a good thing that Christmas is coming around! So this means, most of my posts will be without pictures over the next couple of months.
  • My mom and dad are leaving for Canada next week, which is so exciting for them! Please pray that they have a safe trip and get to see so many great things there!

I guess that is really it. Tonight I am going to a wedding Fiesta shower for a great friend from OT school. She has really been so uplifting to me during my year and a half in school and has become a great friend!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Is anyone else watching the debate right now? I AM! If you are unsure of who you are going to vote for in this election, then PLEASE turn it to the debate right now! It is so important that you are informed on all of the issues before you place your vote on November 4th. Don't just vote for who your parents tell you to vote for, for who your husband/wife will vote for, or what party is popular in your state. Really take time to think about what you believe should be taken care of by the government and find out which candidate matches your beliefs. I'm not telling you to vote a certain way (although, if you know me at all, you know who I would LOVE for you to vote for.) All I am telling you to do is be smart in your vote, don't throw your vote away, and don't just settle for "not voting because you could care less."

If you care less about this election, then don't complain about what happens with our country!