Cade’s Cove

Over Christmas we spend a week in the Smoky Mountains, around Pigeon Forge Tennessee. On one particular day we decided to spend our time in Cade’s Cove, a part of the National Park.

Driving through there are deer, turkey, bears, and wonderful scenery.

First, we encountered snow…

Which Adam proceeded to throw into the car…

Can anyone say trouble???

For most of the animals it was dinner time-

Now, it is time I admit something. So far- I have used zoom on these shots. But- this guy, probably would have let me pet him. Which is why I didn’t have to use zoom to get an amazing close up.

And finally, as we were leaving the Cove-

Needless to say, if you have the opportunity to go to Cade’s Cove, you definitely should. It is a great way to spend a day.


Shouting From the Roof Tops

I have previously mentioned here and there, that I am trying to get into graduate school. It is a long and drawn out process, that I am sure some of you already know about. But I am going to give you some background on how my attempts have gone.

The program I applied for requires both acceptance into the graduate school, as well as acceptance into their program. You have to have a certain GPA, and GRE scores. On top of that 3 recommendation letters and a stellar personal statement. (Especially if your Spanish classes hate you as much as mine do.)

And just when you think everything is done, it is time for interviews. A whole day dedicated to orientation and interviews. And just because it is more painful- the interviews are at the end of the day.

Then the long process of waiting begins.




Until the day comes when you get a letter in the mail from the graduate school.

You begin to freak out-

It is a small envelope?! What does that mean!?

It means that the movies are wrong boys and girls! Small envelopes do not just hold rejection letters!

They also hold the ACCEPTANCE letters!

So, celebrate, because this southern gal is going to graduate school!

From Cloud Nine,

The Southern Belle

Turn in the Tides

Yesterday started off as a normal day, but very quickly turned into a day off for me to run errands. This was a very good thing. I did a little grocery shopping, did paperwork for work, and had maintenance come by and do some work on my apartment. There was one thing that still needed to be done.

During Christmas my tire pressure light came on in my car. Well with the “arctic blast” that moved through; more like stayed; I assumed that the frigid temps were the cause of the low tire pressure. They had warned me this could happen. Before traveling back to Texas I made sure they were okay and hit the road.

Once back in town, the tire light came on and remained on. Soon the temps came back up, and the light still remained on.

Now, I haven’t told this to you before, but I absolutely despise taking my car to the dealer to have it serviced. Usually, it is assumed by all there, that because I am a woman I have no understanding of the issues I am experiencing with my car. This, as I am sure you can all imagine, drives me crazy. They can also be crude as well.

This time I knew that the car must be fixed, and sadly, my dad was far away and unable to take my car for me. I broke down and drove over to the Toyota dealership. And was immediately impressed by the amazing service I received.

The whole experience was drastically different from any I have had before, and will make it easier for me to go in the future.

So by the end of the day I had accomplished a great deal and I must say I feel pretty good about it all!

Do you have any good dealership stories?

Fun Find

While on my trip to the mountains for Christmas I discovered a wonderful company that makes cheeseball mixes, bread mixes, and several other things. Currently my favorite is their Spinach and Artichoke Mix. I love this stuff. And it is exceptionally easy to make, which places it at the top of my list!

While I can’t find the store I actually purchased mine from, I did find Voltaire’s Cup- which sells the whole line as far as I can see.

Check it out for yourself:

Christmas Quilts

There are several new babies in the family this Christmas so I had plenty of work this year. Since they have now been gifted away, I am putting the photos up!

The first: Makenna’s Quilt

Second Quilt: J.R’s Quilt

Third Quilt: Micah’s Quilt

All are now in loving homes. 

One funny story to accompany these quilts- Makenna’s has small ladybugs, which she continues to try to pick up.

The Dress

So during the Christmas break me and the bride-to-be went Maid of Honor dress shopping! Of course we also had lunch, and other shopping as well as a little gossip- Shh… don’t tell!

So I figured I could show you the fruits of our labor- I use this word loosely.

Here is the dress…

Along with the dress I will be adding a flower and possibly the sash.

There is relief in knowing the dress I will be wearing, and am ready for June to get here. But before that we have many parties and such to look forward to as well.


Things here are getting back to normal. A new semester is starting, with new classes and meetings and fun. I did have a hard time coming back though. I just wasn’t ready to say good-bye to all the free time and relaxation. There were so many good things, one being a complete surprise. Now I don’t want to say much about it- I would hate to jinks it… but I will say that I resembled Lucille Ball:

I also tend to get in trouble like Lucy as well, but that is a story for another time.

Many new things are coming, and I can feel the changes beginning. It is almost time to embark on  a new journey and while it is certainly exciting, I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m scared as well!

Hoping all your surprises are good,

The Southern Belle