things i loved about last week

I had a great time last week. It was the first time that Josh and I have woken up at our house on Christmas morning. Ever. As in, we've been married for six and a half years and always been at someone else's house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I must say that I quite enjoyed this year. It was so fun to be able to talk about what traditions we wanted for our (growing) family. What will we do? What will we eat? But above all, how will we make sure the day is focused on Jesus?

We woke up and had a delicious and healthy breakfast of coffee and cinnamon rolls. Then we sat together and prayed. We praised the Lord for His goodness, faithfulness, constant provision and mercy. We spoke of His blessing to us with our little girl we're expecting in April. We sat in awe of the gift of His Son, born over 2000 years ago. It was a good and rich time for us.

We did manage to open a few gifts, and it was quite a strange transition from the birth of Christ to tearing open wrapping paper. I'd love to hear how y'all manage this transition!

We packed up the car and headed to the Jones Farm in Hendersonville, NC where we were greeted with this:

I think its my first white Christmas ever!

I hope that y'all enjoyed a break from the everyday routine and were able to really tune into Christmas.

For a child has been born--for us!
the gift of a son--for us!
Isaiah 9:6


tis the season

Josh and I are both in the land of the living (and walking and working). Its been two weeks since his surgery and I'm not exactly sure where those 14 days went, but I'll do my best to summarize:

Day One post surgery:
I expected Josh to look like this:
Reality was a bit more like this:
oh the restorative powers of a little debbie cake!

Day Six post surgery:
Young Life conference at Windy Gap.
Yes, that was the time with all the snow and ice at camp.
Yes, we managed to navigate it without serious injury (praise the Lord!)

Day 10 post surgery:
I left Josh at home to head to Charlotte to see the Nutcracker with Chelsea and Allie. We go see it every year and it was really good to keep up the tradition. The girls managed to distract me from feeling guilty about leaving Josh at home!

Day 13 post surgery:
We had Josh's first appointment with Dr. Hoenig. After taking a look at Josh's newest xrays and removing stitches, Josh was cleared to walk without crutches and to increase his rehab.
First order of business: head to Charlotte to see Handel's Messiah at the Knight Theater:

So here we are.....six months pregnant, rehabing a torn ACL and focusing on the best time of the year. We are remembering all the Lord has done for us, is doing for us and will do for us. We are extra excited to celebrate Him this year!


the patient

Dear Friends and Family!
Sorry its been so long!! I've been so covered up between work, Windy Gap and Josh's surgery.
Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on the patient.
Josh had his ACL surgery Wednesday morning in Spartanburg, SC. The surgery went smoothly and quickly. We were back to our house by the early afternoon. Josh has been recouping, recovering and rehabbing well. The surgery staff gave us several machines to help reduce the swelling and pain; they've been working great!
The future looks bright. Josh starts offical rehab tomorrow and will continue for the next three months. Hopefully we'll get him outside on a bike in early Spring.
Thanks so much for your prayers and well wishes. We both feel very loved!


back to college

I loved college. The freedom, friends, fun and of courses the classes (sure, sure.) One of the fun things about about Clemson University was Tigeroar, the men's a cappella group. I can hear the sighs and jeers already....but trust me, these guys were great. Take a look at some of their work:

ahhhh, the good 'ole days
makes me want to go and see them in concert


in the spirit

How does your family get in the spirit of Thanksgiving? Do you make a list of all the things you're thankful for? Bake some of your famous side dishes? Hit the mall in the wee hours of the morning?

Or maybe you're like my friend Donald and you film a commercial. He's the one in the red body paint with "Go" on his chest. Promise he's normal y'all.

See, look how cute he and his sweet wife Laura are! I'm definitely thankful for my friends!!


are you prepared?

are you prepared for black friday shopping. time for a few last minute exercises:



I'm about to go home and take a nap, because I went to the Harry Potter premier last night with my YL girls. I got to the theater around 10:45pm and the show started at 12midnight. Yeah.....I'm usually in bed by 10:45pm. I knew it was going to be an interesting night, but seriously folks, how many times do I need to remind myself that I can't keep up with college kids anymore???

My GWU girls are great and I had so much fun with them. I made little premier bags for the girls, complete with homemade popcorn, candy and wands. The night was a big hit!

Aaaaaand, now home for a nap!


mrs thrifty

I've been trying, over the course of the last year, to reinvent my style. Previously, I had rocked the whole preppy-but-plain 1990s JCrew look. You know, pink chinos and a white boatneck tshirt. Then I got married, gained a bunch of weight, and had to rock the whole get-my-fat-butt-to-the-gym-so-all-i-wear-are-workout-clothes look. After my weight loss (I'm a proud WW girl) my friends Lindsey Lee and Chelsea had a wee bit of a fashion intervention with me (picture What Not To Wear only not so mean.)

The outcome was fantastic. The two girls purged about 1/2 my clothes, reminding me why they didn't work for my body or new style, filled in the holes is my now bare wardrobe and made a photo book of all the ways I could wear my new items. I felt like a combination of style-moron and celebrity.

And now I'm pregnant. And slowly working my way out of my cute clothes. I want to maintain my new style, but I'm not sure how to work it with the whole quickly-expanding-waistline thing. Every time I've gone shopping this fall (ok, all 2 times) I just seem stuck......well, I can't buy that because it'll only fit for like a minute, and I can't even think about buying this because even though I love it I won't be able to wear it for the next 9 months.

And yesterday it hit me: SHOES. I can keep my style though my pregnancy with cute shoes. I'm gonna rock the whole leggings and tunic top/dress/long shirt thing for as long as I can, and fabulous boots are going to be a necessity. I'm happy to say that my boots from http://www.gojane.com/ are still holding up:

The brown beauties go with just about everything I own and they fit perfectly with my whole attempt to capture the feminine-twist-on-boho look. But I've been on the hunt for some black boots too. I've scoured countless department stores, Ross, TJ Maxx and have been so disappointed.....not so much with the selection, but about finding a boot that I'd love but not cry over the pricetag.

And then I found them:

Zaney, by Steve Madden $89

I was trying desperately to stay under my self-imposed $50 budget, but was having such a hard time. I knew I could find a pair of boot as great as my brown ones if I just looked hard enough (those boots were only $35 including tax and shipping!)

Just as I was starting to justify the $89 price tag, I found the boots at DSW for $59.95! I quickly added them to my online cart and was about to enter my credit card info, when it hit me: internet discount codes! I did a quick search for "dsw coupons" and found a free shipping code and a 30% off code! The grand total for my boots ended up being $45.22!

I think I'll take myself out for a latte to celebrate being under my $50 limit! But, if I make some coffee at home, maybe I can find a fabulous scarf with that remaining $4.78.........


josh's knee update

We met with Josh's doctor last Friday and found out that yes, Josh's ACL is indeed torn. Here's what his knee looks like (although this isn't his actual MRI)

Fortunately, the damage to the rest of his knee was minimal and wouldn't require any additional treatment. However, what will require some additional treatment is the shorts that they asked Josh to wear for the Xrays they took of his knee:

looking so sassy, my dear.

We've got a slammed packed schedule for the next couple of weeks, so we've got his surgery scheduled for the beginning of December. Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers!


sounds good to me

step 1) watch this video:

step 2) go here to order the album

sounds like a good idea to me


Bionic Man

Oh how I love my sweet husband Josh. He loves Jesus and is so funny, kind, generous, handsome, athletic, talented....I could go on and on.

Oh, and he's also nearly bionic. He's broken 21 bones and currently has a titanium rod in his right leg. And now we get to add a new ACL to the mix. That's right, Josh tore the ACL in his left knee on Tuesday while at Young Life. Its a little fuzzy on the details, but I heard it might involve jumping over a couch. (This is why you don't jump on the furniture kids.)

We spent most of the day Wednesday at my dad's office. He was able to diagnose Josh pretty quickly and the MRI confirmed that the ACL was indeed torn. The radiologist and sports medicine specialist will take a look at the MRI and hopefully we'll have an idea of how to proceed soon.

Josh called me on the way home from Young Life on Tuesday to fill me in on the injury. I met him at the garage to help him bring things in from his car. I wasn't prepared to see this:

apparently it was an 80s theme Young Life club
we're pretty sure that the tightness of the jeans helped prevent further injury to his knee
your thoughts?


holiday decor

We barely made it to Halloween on time this year. Let me set the scene: I'd just run a half-marathon and we attempted to register for baby stuff. I was exhausted and completely overwhelmed at how much stuff babies seem to require. We arrived home to see children trick-or-treating when it finally hit us: we'd forgotten Halloween.

I mean, its not like we're purposely avoiding the holiday all-together. It just doesn't really sit that high on my list of priorities.

So, Josh dropped me off at the house and ran to the grocery store to buy some candy and a pumpkin (no, we hadn't even gotten around to buying a pumpkin!)

We tossed the pumpkin on the front porch and managed to rip open a bag of candy with literally seconds to spare before the hoards surrounded us.

yay for Josh saving the day.

i'm not exactly sure how "ornamental strawberries" fit into Halloween decor?
and yes, this is all still sitting on our front porch
with the tags still on
now that's how you spell classy, folks.


baby girl jones

That's right friends, we're having a little girl!!!

We just left our 18 week check-up with a clean bill of health. I'm not sure of the technical terminology, but everything is good and where it should be. Praise the Lord! (I tried to follow what the sonographer was saying and pointing too, but all the grey and black started blending together, kind of like some weird Magic Eye poster.)

Here are some fun pictures from the babe's first photo shoot:

that foot looks like a runner's foot to me!

baby yoga

Thanks so much for sharing in our excitement! We can't wait to meet our little one in April!


why i y

Sometimes I ask myself, "Why the heck am I going to workout INSIDE?"

Then I remind myself that no one offers an outdoor Zumba class. (Although I would sign up in a heartbeat!)

Most days, after I've drug myself to the YMCA after work and survived lifting weights or a group exercise I pat myself on the back. Its kind of the only encouragement I get for attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unless you count this beauty:

this is totally unedited, straight out of my point and shoot camera
ok, YMCA, i get it
your sunsets are pretty
see you tomorrow


they're done!

We have new floors....or newly finished floors, whatever. All I know is that we have furniture back in the house and the fridge is no longer in the garage. Oh, the simple joys of home ownership!


race rundown

The Spinx Half Marathon was great! The course was beautiful, the weather was chilly and the company was fantastic!

We checked into our hotel in downtown Greenville, SC and went to scout out the race course and pick up my bib and race packet. Both the start and finish were going to be near the Greenville Drive stadium and I was excited to see the layout. On our way to the stadium we heard firetruck sirens. I made some comment about how 5 o'clock traffic was so bad downtown that people better hope they never need an ambulance or firetruck because it would take forever to get there. After a quick laugh we were promptly boxed in by four firetrucks:

I did not take this as a good omen for the race.

We met my college roommate Maury and her husband John for dinner. I don't have a picture to document how I proceeded to eat my way through downtown Greenville on Saturday night, but that was because I was too busy giggling with Maury and, well, eating.

We got up bright and early, although I guess it should be called dark and early since the sun didn't actually make an appearance for much later. I loved being able to stay downtown, it was such a treat to be able to grab breakfast on the way to the start line that was only 1 mile away!

We arrived at the stadium where I made Josh take a mini photo shoot. He was a great sport.

This is the babe's second half-marathon.
I'm so proud of our little one.

The course was perfect. A few rolling hills, a few steep hills and 6ish miles next to the river. I got to see parts of Greenville that I'd never visited before and got to run through some of my favorite parts too. Its so cool to be able to run through a big city and not have to worry about traffic!

While I really enjoyed the course and weather, it was a tough race. I was able to run 10 miles without much pain, but my left knee really started to hurt miles 10-13. I had to put my pride in the back seat and start a combination of running and walking to the finish line. It was hard to think I wouldn't even be able to make a 2 hr 30 min goal pace (which is slow folks.) I reminded myself that this race wasn't about me or a time or what other people thought....it was about spending time in what the Lord has created for us, doing what the Lord has given us to enjoy with the people the Lord has blessed us with. So I settled in, talked to the babe, sang some songs (out loud....sorry to those people around me at mile 11, it was kind of tragic) and enjoyed myself.

I made some friends on those last few miles, those run/walkers are super encouraging. I was able to give Josh a big smile on mile 13:

I kind of felt like Ricky Bobby in this picture
"I don't know what to do with my hands"

BY FAR, the coolest part of the race was mile 13.1. We entered the Greenville Drive stadium and got to run on the warning track and finish on home plate!

I seriously considered sliding into home plate.
But then I thought about how I didn't really know how to slide.
And what if I ended up like three feet short of the plate or something?

Josh, my sweet husband and sag extraordinaire, took me out for brunch after the race. He is so good to me!

I'm not sure what the next six months of running will look like for me. I have a few 5ks lined up that I'd like to do, but I'm not sure if I've got another half marathon in me. I love the excitement, training and camaraderie, but it was tough this time! So, for now, I've entered into my post-race-season-recovery-plan. It envolves some strength training, Zumba, Yoga, light runs and speed work. But friends, if you've got a fun race planned, please let me know!!


new plans for personal records

My race is coming up this weekend and its got me thinking about what to expect. Will I have to crawl across the finish line? Will I set a personal record? Will I be able to smile for the cameras?

I LOVED my frist and second half-marathons. My first was in Charlotte, NC and was thrilling. My second was in Ridgecrest, NC and I set a personal record 2:05:48. But my last half marathon, Virginia Beach, was disappointing....I'd pulled a muscle in my back and was hurting the whole race. My time was so bad I'm not even mentioning it on here. I did manage to pull out a weak smile for the finish line cameras:

The race was equal parts humbling and exhausting, but I managed to finish. And I crossed the finish line with my newest running partner:

That's right friends.....I'm pregnant. 16 weeks pregnant to be exact. We found out just a few days before the VA Beach race. My doctor cleared me for the race, but had serious reservations about my marathon plans.

Fast forward 8 weeks to today: I'm feeling great! Other than being more tired than usual, I really haven't had any negative pregnancy symptoms. The marathon is off the table for this weekend, but I will be hauling my ever expanding waitline to the half-marathon instead. So, if you see a chubby girl huffing and puffing please cheer me on....or give me a ride back to the hotel.

I don't plan on a personal record for this race. I do plan to really enjoy this race. I'll slow down (most of which I can't help anyways) and enjoy the weather, scenery and people. I'll take pictures to remind our little babe of his/her second half-marathon that we've run together. And I'll hold hands with my husband in the city where we fell in love.

I'm not sure what I'll do with the medal from this weekend's race. Maybe I'll display it next to my numbers from the Virginia Beach race. I definitely saved that ticket.....I especially love the note under "medical history."


new favorite thing

I'm not exactly sure how Oprah got started on her whole "Favorite Things" list. Maybe its because she's wealthy, or famous, or because people just give her a whole bunch of things for her to pretend that she likes. Well, whatever the reason, I would like to introduce you to one of my new favorite things.

For the past three years I have been a huge fan of Chanel's Rose Sand lipgloss. It gives just the right amount of shine color. And it makes me feel like a movie star because I'm wearing $27 lipgloss; which, lets face it girls, is a bit ridiculous.

For my birthday this year (the big 28 for those of you keeping track) I was on the search for the perfect new, non-$27, lipgloss....which made Josh oh-so-excited. Yesterday I stumbled into Sephora, cursed myself for not spending more time there, and started the search for the perfect shade, gloss and staying power.

And then I found it:

I didn't really know much about Smashbox other than its where Lo Bosworth worked on The Hills. But I was floored when I checked out the fall collection. The colors for cheeks, eye and lip where fantastic. I wanted one in every color. I quickly tabulated my $9876987605 bill....and decided a single $18 lipgloss was more in my budget. But what color to choose? Did I want a sheer or a shimmer? The choices fashion puts upon us. Mercy!

As I held two $18 lipglosses in my hand, wondering if the manager might give me a free one since its my birthday, I saw it: The Smashbox Wish

The colors included in this discounted holiday package are insane. I love every single one and how they'll carry me through fall, winter and even into spring! Now, don't get all freaked out by the purply and gold looking small glosses.....they are super sheer and fully fabulous. Trust me. I'm a back-to-basics kind of girls when it comes to lip color, you definitely won't see be pulling a deep-red-fall-lip-look....because while that look is fantastic, it makes me look like a vampire (or something else that's really pale)

And, can we talk about the value please? I mean, y'all know how I love a deal. But come on! At $29 they are practically giving these away!

And if you aren't into lips, or you've already got a favorite lip-color you just can't part with, check out their other Holiday Wish Package looks: primer, eyes and pencils. Trust me, they are all gonna be fabulous!


the non-volunteered guest blogger: Chelsea

I'm mostly sorry that I use my friends and family (and sometimes random people I don't know) for inspiration for my blog posts. They really never know what I might say or write about them. I guess I should put out a formal memo: hey y'all, if you talk to me, email me, do anything in front of me I may/probably put it on my blog. (hey, taylor----does that cover me, legally?)

I just got this JOY of an email from my friend Chelsea.

Let me set the scene....Chelsea and I work near computers, pretty much all day. We send each other emails. Lots of emails actually. Sometimes they are heartfelt pleas, moaning about life, fabulous blogs or funny little quirks.
But today I got a real gem.
*you should also know that Liam, as referred to in her email, is her cat.

From: chelsea***@******.org
To: ptlblair@hotmail.com
Subject: Thanks, Mr. Shelby
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 10:56:55 -0400

So. Thanks to Phillip Shelby and his awesome novel-writing skills, I feel like 100% crap this morning. I’ve been reading his kick-ass book “Days of Drums” and it is so so good. Total government conspiracy. All these twists and quirks and I totally don’t have the ending figured (although I’m really hoping the main character lives to tell about it). I finally made myself go to sleep last night around 1:00am. The first thing I was aware of this morning when I woke up breathless and terrified from a nightmare about assassins chasing me was how much my head hurt. And yes, it still does. About to drink some tea and take some Advil. I love these kind of books, but I shouldn’t read them before I fall asleep.

P.S. My mom helped outrun the assassins last night. She was surprisingly calm, even though she asked me if taking Liam was necessary. (Um, YES.) When they showed up, however, she wasn’t there anymore. Some other guy was. And he told me to fight them with a big ceramic candle pillar I have and my mattress (cause that’s easy to maneuver). Unfortunately that wasn’t sufficient and one of them clocked me with a club in the head. That’s when I woke up. No wonder my head hurts.


And that, my dear friends, is the highlight of my day.


better than new

Josh and I have lived in our house for almost 5 years. And we've needed to refinish our hardwood floors for the last 4 years.

We built our house 5 years ago, so the floors are still new......but while Josh (and our friend Grant) busted their tails to do the best job possible finishing the floors, they've always needed more polyurethane.

From this distance, the floors actually look kind of good. But distance really enhances most beauty, don't you think? Up close you can see the water damage, scratches and dust bunnies large enough to scare away grown men.

We moved all the furniture out of our downstairs (along with the help of Brett and my girls from Bible study) and prepared for a three day sanding, polishing and buffing fest. Five days later they are still working on our floors. As with all things subcontractor related I'm trying to control my frustration (not working), focus on the positive (not happening) and enjoy the benefits of the situation (what are they exactly?).

Josh has certainly enjoyed the floor project and all its annoyances....you know why? Exhibit A:

he comes up with a reason to eat out for every meal.

We hope to be able to eat in our own home soon. Keep you fingers crossed that Derrick finishes today!!


fair weather

We wait for it all year long. Folks take out loans to attend. Its a vital part of the Roctober events at our house:

The Cleveland County Fair

Most folks go to the fair several times during the blessed week that its in town. Sadly, I was only able to make it last Wednesday night. We met up with some of our friends from Gardner-Webb to celebrate, ride some scarily built rides, cheer on the pig races and eat ourselves silly (roasted corn, elephant ears, turkey legs and fried oreos of course!)

Spencer and Josh
because nothing says The Fair (or Fred Flintstone) quite like a giant turkey leg

Amy and I at the pig races
yes, it was an actual pig race
yes, our hats say "Pigs go best with Texas Pete"
yes, the race was sponsored by Alston Bridges BBQ
only in Shelby, folks!


psssst, he vants to suck your bloooooood!

Chelsea and I went to the opening night of Dracula this past weekend. It was fantastic! I've loved each ballet we've attended, but this was something more. I'm not sure if it was the choreography (Mark Godden), the more serious nature of the ballet (as opposed to Cinderella) or having met a some of the dancers a few weeks ago. Regardless, I want to go back and take more friends---maybe even drag Josh along.

see, the vampires glowed just like in Twilight
just kidding. they didn't even wear fangs. (which was a little disappointing!)

One of the many reasons that I love Chelsea is that she's so dynamic. She can bum it with me and class it up for life in the city, giggle at a romantic comedy but loves the drama, can work a crowded room or spend the evening with a small group of friends. But last weekend she bested me........

yes. she brought vampire teeth to Dracula
here's a close-up....its real close

well, i did warn you that it was close.
guess i should have also mentioned unflattering too

Thank goodness for good friends, fall weather and vampire teeth.


from the bottom of his heart

Josh went to Colorado a few weeks ago to fly-fish with a friend. That friend, thankfully, was not me. I was hanging out in Norfolk, VA with my friend Allison. (FYI, exploring a new city and shopping beats fishing any day of the week.)

When Josh travels without me he usually brings home a little circe. You know, just a little gift to show me how he thought about me while we were apart. While Allison and I were in VA, I stopped and picked up some GUs and nutritionals for Josh to use on his long bike rides. I wanted to show him that not only was I thinking about him, but also wanted to encourage him in one of his favorite hobbies.

What did Josh bring back for me? Mexican Jumping Beans:

Because, you know, nothing says I-love-you-from-the-bottom-of-my-heart-and-am-thinking-of-you-often quite like freaky beans.


oh, the pain

This is my sister Lauren and her husband Jon. They are supercute, successful, talented and currently flying to Greece. ugggggggggh. I kind of hate them both right now.

Lauren and Jon in Cabo.
not pictured: me

Jon and Lauren in NYC.
again, not pictured: me

There seems to be a theme here......hmmmmm, Lauren and Jon going to super-sweet locations without their favorite tag-a-long. I mean, do they not know what they're missing?!?!? I'd like to argue that I'm adventurous, provide excellent conversation, always willing to dance, am great for witty banter, asking for discounts, getting the locals all riled up, am willing to pretend to be a guest at a nicer hotel that we're actually staying in and I'm always up for a dare.

Ok, so I don't speak any other languages (besides the international language of fashion, which seriously: what else is there) and may bring a little unwanted attention, but really guys---I'm the most fun travel accessory. promise :)

Images by Freepik