i love flip flops.

who doesn't love flip-flops in the summer time?  if you just answered "me" as in "i don't" then maybe we shouldn't be friends.  just kidding.  seriously, though, they're easy, usually fairly inexpensive, and a fabulous excuse for getting pampering pedicures.  and it's a fashionable way to be almost barefoot while still meeting the "must wear shoes" requirement of almost every existing establishment.  

don't even ask me to count how many pairs i have.  and while sandals are not the same as flip-flops, between the two, i have way more than i need, i'm sure.  i have a few cheap pairs from old navy, a few old, yet comfy teva flip-flops, my favorite chaco flips (and a pair of sandals), a bejeweled pair of havianas from my travels to brazil that i purchased from one of our portuguese interpreters, dressy flips/sandals... and my newest pair that i love already:

could they be any cuter?  can you tell what's on the ribbon? why, yellow labs, of course.  i love that they are neutral in color and the soles are a dark barley brown with sweet yellow cottons on the ribbons.  my friend shirin was kind enough to order them for me when she placed her last order at l.l. bean as she gets free shipping and sales tax. (and free monogramming, but as i have my own personal monogrammer, i.e.  mom!, i don't really see a need for that.)  want to check out these flip-flops for yourself?  these aren't the only patterns/colors, either.  just click super cute flip-flops and see them for yourselves.  

do you have a favorite brand or style of flip-flop?  i'd love to hear.  happy summer!


blue ridge parkway

we took a short trip up on the parkway yesterday in the fj40.  there was a rockslide on the southbound side so it was closed 6 miles up from our starting point, but it was still a nice drive.  (for those of you who know, that's the side that goes towards mt. pisgah.  they say one lane will be open by july.  i guess we'll see.)  it was a little bit cooler up there, but we really didn't get high enough to notice a difference.  the laurel and rhododendron is blooming, too.  we're hoping to get up to craggy pinnacle soon and hike and see all the flowers. maybe next week.   can't complain, though.  yesterday was a beautiful day.


fetch (v.)to go or come after and bring or take back

barley's not the best at fetching.  i mean, she is a labrador retriever, you'd think retrieving/fetching would be something she'd be good at.  well,  she will often go and stop.  or she will go and bring halfway back.  she's finally starting to get better at the going and bringing all the way back.  for most of her life she hasn't had a choice because cotton is always the (dominant) one who controls the fetching.  although now cotton seems to be distracted (by eating grass and smelling every single smell in our yard) and so barley gets her chance.  and she's so cute when she fetches. 

off she goes

(doesn't our cypress look good this year?)

and we made it halfway back.  let's try again.

yeah barley!  here she comes!

let's try again...

and guess who fetched this one?  yep.  i did.

i ♥ her sweet face!

go barley!

Marshall family reunion.

last weekend we headed to kingsport (tn) for a reunion.  we always joke it doesn't matter what weekend is chosen but it is always the "hottest weekend of the year so far."  always.  this year it was humid and rained off and on all day so it was muggy and miserable outside.  but we survived.  jay's mamaw stella turned 80 in may and they planned a surprise party tied in with the reunion.  she definitely was surprised.  lots of family came in that usually doesn't come so everyone had a good time catching up and visiting.

getting things ready

kids, young and old, catching crawfish

here comes mamaw!

stella catching up with her cousins

the day began with the "old farts/young bucks" golf tournament.  the young bucks made a comeback this year and won!  the plaque is running out of room.

cousins:  scotty, amber, christopher and nathan (scotty's oldest)

we always finish up the weekend with breakfast at the golden corral.  they don't do much well, but they can do breakfast.  well, it's decent, anyway.  stella and kyle (her brother) love it so we always go with their choice.  it's one last chance to get everyone together to visit and catch up before everyone heads back to their homes.  we had a great visit this year (and jay and i ate way too much pal's) and maybe next year it'll be cooler.  much much cooler outside.  


this and that.

so i guess it's less than obvious that i have been neglecting the blog a bit.  well, it isn't intentional.  it just happens to be that not much is going on around here lately.  and you know, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  it's been hot.  we've had rain/thunderstorms most afternoons over the last month.  of course, when there is rain there are often rainbows.

we work.  jay is finishing up his spring quarter of school.  (actually right now as i type this.)  and he has been working part-time in retail and is getting back on an ambulance most recently.  i am working weekends at the hospital (yes, more pay, too) and my longest stretch off of work is now only 3 days.  i have had a major knitting project (hannah grace's blanket) and some small ones (sweet baby hats) so my fingers have been busy with those instead of typing out blog posts.  i know.  excuses, excuses.

jay has also been busy (and our garage has been full) restoring a 1975 FJ40 land cruiser.  we've had it about 7 months and it has gone from this

to this

to this

to the finished product.  Are you ready?

yes, he totally "posed" it in the front yard.  looks good though, right?  he's also determined to teach me how to drive a manual transmission vehicle.  let's just say i'm a slow learner.  i blame it on sleep deprivation and being a girl who's used to easy automatic driving.  3 pedals and a shifter is just too much to coordinate.  maybe one day.

and with the car work comes other new skills for jay.  he's learning how to weld a bit, too.  ready to see what he did for practice?  i call it modern art... ha!  i am a proud wife.

my new skills have been in making sweet flowers to adorn sweet baby hats.  i love how this one turned out for baby ava.  she got a newborn size, while sweet hannah grace got herself a preemie size.  ava's doesn't quite fit yet, and hannah's is still a bit big, too, but she looks awfully cute, don't you think?

if you aren't able to tell, sweet hannah grace is home with her mom, dad, and sweet labrador "big sisters" aiko and aggie.  want to see how they're doing?  head to becca's blog for updates!

and what post wouldn't be complete without a picture of sweet cotton and barley?  cotton gets distracted easily now during our fetching games so after 3 years, barley has finally learned how to play fetch.  she is so cute trotting (or racing) back with the tennis ball in her mouth.  maybe if we can have a rainless morning and/or afternoon, i can capture a picture.  until then you can just enjoy a picture of the sweet sisters sharing some sleepy afternoon nap love.


i know, i know...

i have been totally MIA.  sorry.  just been in a blogging slump, well, most of this year.  i promise pictures of the dogs and updates on us soon.  thanks for stopping by!