Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa's Workshop

 I apologize for taking so long to post again, but things have been rather hectic around here! As Mitchell starts UPT tomorrow, I thought now was as good a time as any to update everyone on what's been happening in the Etheridge household.

Over the past few weeks, Mitchell has been building a lovely buffet table for our home! He had been wanting to build something for a rather long time now and I just happened to stumble upon this amazing wood working website through Pintrest! This site has TONS of free plans for all kinds of different wood working projects ranging from beginner to advanced builders. I casually mentioned that I liked this particular table and within 24 hours we were on our way to Home Depot! Here are some photos of the building process...


The first cut! Nice BCGs huh ;)
Getting there.

Almost done!
After the stain and paint! 
All done!!!

For our first project, it turned out pretty well I think! We are still working on the drawers, as you can see they are a little lopsided. If you've ever built anything, you know that making your own drawers is a very tricky process (or at least it has been for us). And we also need to paint the feet ;)  I'm also planning on "antiquing" it after the paint has about a week to dry. I'll post a completed photo once the table is completely done! It's fits perfectly in our little home and I'm so proud of my sweet husband who built this as my Christmas present! It was certainly a learning process for us both, but it was a ton of fun making it.

Other than spending the past few weeks making this little beauty, we have been busy this holiday season! Mitchell has been working and getting ready to begin UPT tomorrow (Yipee) and I too have been working a good deal at the store. We are both so so very excited that we are going home in less than a week and look forward to spending the holidays with our friends and family back in Georgia! Any and all prayers and thoughts would be greatly appreciated as Mitchell and I both prepare for what is sure to be a crazy, fun, ands stressful year as he begins pilot training in less than 24 hours. Happy Holidays to all! 


The Etheridges

P.S. A HUGE Congratulations to the Emerys who just found out they are having a sweet little addition to their family! So happy for you both ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

First Christmas In Heaven

A dear friend of my mother's sent this to Mitchell and I today. It brought tears of joy to my eyes and made me think of how happy she must be celebrating her first Christmas in heaven. Some of you may find this a little corny, but it touched me so much I wanted to share it with you all....

First Christmas In Heaven
I've had my first Christmas in Heaven
A glorious wonderful day!
I stood with saints of the ages
Who found Christ, the Truth, and the Way

I sang the glad songs of redemption,
How Jesus to Bethlehem came,
And how they had called His name Jesus,
That all might be saved through His name.

We sang once again with the angels,
The song that they sang that blest morn,
When shepherds first heard the glad story
That Jesus, the Saviour, was born.

O, dear one, I wish you had been here:
No Christmas on earth could compare
With all the rapture and glory
We witness in Heaven so fair.

You know how I always loved Christmas;
It seemed such a wonderful day,
With all of my loved ones around me,
The children so happy and gay.

Yes, now I can see why I loved it,
And, Oh, what a joy it will be,
When all of my loved ones are with me,
To share in the glories I see.

So dear ones on earth, here's my greeting:
Look up till the day dawn appears,
And, Oh, what a Christmas awaits us,
Beyond all our partings and tears.
~Author Unknown~

Last Christmas with my sweet mother! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Casserole Galore

As promised here is my post about the delicious green bean casserole that Mitchell and I made for Thanksgiving! It was very easy and scrumptious, if I do say so myself ;) If there is one thing that I love about Paula Deen's recipes it's that they are very exact. Meaning, we never even have to change a single thing when following them, so we followed this one to a tee as usual! My only suggestion is that you eat it while the day you make it, it doesn't keep well and doesn't heat up well as a leftover....I found that out the hard way. Anyways, here are some photos and the recipe...

1   2.8-ounce can French-fried onion rings
1   10 3/4-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups sliced green beans
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onions
1/3   stick butter
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and House Seasoning to taste.  Stir well.  Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

I spy a Winston!

The green beans in the chicken broth!

The sautéing onions (we also added a little garlic) 

All mixed together to cook!

A big thank you to my sweet mother-in-law who gave us the beautiful casserole serving dish as a shower gift you see above! This was the first time we have used it since we got married and it was perfect! I hope everyone is enjoying the first day of December! Only 24 more days till Christmas, yippee!!

Oh, and P.S. Mitchell and I ARE going home for the holidays!! We are so so so excited to spend time with family and friends before all the UPT craziness really begins. Thanks so much to Mitchell's parents and my dad for helping us make this happen, can't wait to see you all :)

The Etheridges

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tis The Season

Now that Thanksgiving is over the hubs and I are so so excited to start decorating! Growing up, Christmas wasn't really a huge deal in the Mitchell household so I never really looked all that forward to the Christmas season. However, once I became apart of the Etheridge clan I inherited the obsession with the holiday season! Therefore, the instant we could get away with decorating, we began ;) The first thing I did was make a wreath. I've been wanting to make you one for ages and once I found a cheap wreath at Wal-Mart I got to it...

After I sprayed the wreath with "Snow"

Fake Snow


I bought some Martha Stewart plastic ornaments(I know, you're not surprised are you?) and some berry decoration at Home Depot. Then I simply tied the ornaments onto the wreath with flower wire after Mitchell wrapped the whole thing with lights! I think it came out pretty well for my first wreath. 

We also put up some Christmas lights on the house, which was the part that Mitchell was most excited about....

First time putting up lights!!

We are both so excited that the holidays are finally here! Hopefully we will be going to get our tree tomorrow or maybe next Sunday. As soon as we get it up and decorated I will post pictures for all to see ;) Although we left over 1/2 of our Christmas decorations at home in Georgia (boooo) hopefully it will turn out ok! Happy Holidays to all!!

The Etheridges

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Whole Lot of Food and Even More Thankfulness

Mitchell and I were so blessed to spend Thanksgiving with one of my sweet friends, her husband, and family yesterday! They were so kind and invited us over, knowing that we couldn't share the holiday with our family back home. The food was amazing! The menu was complete with fresh cranberries, stuffing, turkey, smoked ham, green bean casserole, and much much more. Mitchell and I made the green bean casserole (which I will post about at another time) and the chocolate pecan pie. I got both recipes from Paula Deen's website and both were simply delicious! The best part was, they each only took about 5-10 minutes tops to prepare and then we just popped them into the oven. Here's the recipe for the chocolate pecan pie which I recommend to anyone...

1   (9-inch) unbaked "deep dish" pie shell
2 cup pecan halves
3   large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon good-quality bourbon
3 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
Cover bottom of pie crust with pecans. 
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and melted butter. Add the corn syrup, sugar, bourbon and the chopped chocolate. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into the pie shell over the pecans and place on a heavy-duty cookie sheet. 
Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for an additional 25 minutes or until pie is set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

And here are some photos that I took while making mine. I always like visuals when I'm cooking so I know what things are supposed to look like along the way ;)
Step 1: Place pecans in bottom of pie crust

Step 2: Mix all other ingredients

Step 3: Pour mixed ingredients into pie filling!
Pecans will rise to the top.

All done!!!
As you can see this recipe was super easy and it is SO yummy! It will certainly be a staple in the Etheridge household every Thanksgiving from now on! The only thing that I did differently from the recipe was that I used a "deep dish" pie crust. The first time I made it it overflowed with just the regular pie crust. This size was perfect! 

Here are also some photos we took yesterday while cooking and spending the morning at home with Winston...

Making Green Bean Casserole! 
Our first Thanksgiving as the Mr. & Mrs. :)

Mitchell and I are both so very thankful that we were able to spend our Thanksgiving together as a married couple even though we couldn't be with our families in Georgia! As far as things that I am thankful for this year, I don't even know where to begin. Although this past year was both the best and worst year of my life, God has truly shown me that I have so very much to be thankful for. I am thankful for such amazing and faithful friends and family that have surrounded both Mitchell and I with love and prayers after the death of my sweet mother and for their unrelenting support. I am also so thankful for such an amazing husband who has been through both the best of times and the worst of times with me over the past year and who has always been such a strong support system in my life. My mothers death has shown me to be thankful every single day, not just on holidays, for the people in my life and to make sure that I make the most of every never know when it may be your last.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving! Sending love to all our friends and family we couldn't see this holiday season :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

If there ever comes a day...

Missing my sweet mamma a little more
than usual today.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Office

Here are the photos of the office wall that I promised! After being inspired by a friend that did something similar, Mitchell and I set out to make one of the walls in the office a white board. We figured it would be a great thing to have once UPT starts and we also needed an excuse to get rid of the clutter in there and make the room usable. Here are some photos we took during the process of making the wall fixture....

The wall "before". Also notice the picture wall to the
left that I posed about earlier this week!

Besides the panel board, these were the only other
supplies that we needed to put it up.
Before it was hung

Handy Hubs!

The wall "After". Also notice the curtains
I spoke about in my last post.

Finally done! Please ignore the state of my hair...

All in all it was a very easy project and I think Mitchell will really love having a white board wall to use once he has to start studying for pilot training. He calls the office his "man cave" now and Winston already loves hanging out in there with him!

Speaking of Winston, we broke down and bought him a doggie door the other day for the sliding glass door to the back yard. We figured with Mitchell having to head back to work and me working now it would be a good thing for him to be able to come and go as he pleases when we aren't home. He loves it now that he's gotten over the fear of the oh so scary flapping door!

Winston's new door!

Mitchell had to head back to his job this week, meaning the same one he had before he went to IFS. We aren't super excited about it, but we know God has a reason behind sending him back instead of letting him spend some time at home before UPT begins. Other than that, I've been working a good bit lately which has been exhausting and honestly a little more than I signed up for. Hopefully things will get better though, prayers are greatly appreciated that I can bulldoze my way through the holidays which I am sure are going to be a busy time at the store. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend before Thanksgiving! On a final note this is what I'm going to attempt to make tonight, and if all goes well I'll be making it again next week for Thanksgiving :)

Paula Deen's Chocolate Pecan Pie! I mean, what
girl from the south doesn't know how to make
a pecan pie?! Wish me luck!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back In The Saddle

Well, this past week and weekend were  eventful so I'm glad I finally have something interesting to post about! Mitchell is finally back from IFS (yippee) and our family is whole once again! He finished up last Wednesday and was back by the end of the week. Mitchell passed IFS with flying colors and is now just awaiting pilot training to begin on December 21st!

Winston was so very excited
to see his daddy!

Our Saturday tradition of pancakes for breakfast!
My hubs is always so sweet
and puts some chocolate chips in mine :)

Other than Mitchell returning from cold and snowy Colorado we had a busy weekend doing things around the house! We finally happily finished cleaning out the office which wasn't even useable when he left for training. We figured it would be a good idea to make Mitchell a "study room" with UPT starting soon and to be honest he just wanted a "man cave." I'll post more about this room later, but we fixed it up real nice with some curtains I got at Ross for super cheap, some pictures we had been meaning to hang for ages, and by setting up his desk! We also made a dry-erase board that takes up one whole wall that I'll post pictures of later! 

The USAFA photo wall we made
with Mitchell's diploma in the middle! 

All in all we spent our weekend eating lots of unhealthy food (sorry diet) and fixing up the house! We also hung the curtains in our bedroom which I'll post a photo of with the white dry-erase board.

This week doesn't really hold much for the Etheridge family. I am working a few days and doing lots of school work while Mitchell begins checking off his list of To Do's before UPT begins and spending time with Winston while I'm at work :)

We are also so very very excited that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up! After a trip to Home Depot yesterday, where we purchased some Christmas lights, we can hardly wait to put up decorations. However, we are trying to be good and at least wait until Thanksgiving is over before we start hanging things up for the holidays! 

On a final note, here is some yummy Pumpkin Bread I made tonight...mmmmm I'm so ready for the holidays :)


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Adios Colorado

I am very proud to announce that Mitchell just completed and passed his check ride a few hours ago, wooo hooo! We are both SO excited that he is done and has officially passed IFS :) Everyone's prayers and thoughts helped a great deal and luckily the weather held out today and yesterday even though it was supposed to rain/snow the past two days! He should be heading home tomorrow morning (finally) and be back late tomorrow night or early Thursday afternoon. Here's a photo from when he soloed the other day that I meant to share in my last post....

I'm such a proud wife :)

For those of you that have been concerned about Winston, he is doing much better today :) He seems to be over his sickness, or whatever it was, and is back to his usual self! Thanks everyone for checking up on him via text and Facebook posts. He certainly knows he is one loved pup! That's all the exciting news for now and I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far!

Winston on an early morning walk!
I've been trying to get him out and about
every morning before I go to
work if I can!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy Halloween

Here are the photos of the cute little Halloween luminaries I made the other week before I left to come home! Yes I realize it's almost a week after Halloween, but better late than never right?! Anyways here are the photos I took...

Most the supplies you will need! Minus the
paintbrushes and the mason jars.

After the first coat of paint!

Ta Da! Glossed up and ready to go!
As you can tell they were super easy to make and turned our really well! I used a small foam brush to paint the jars and then a fine point art brush to paint the faces. The orange paint didn't cover as well as I had hoped but the green did really well. Here is the link for the original posting I found this project through! Thanks Pintrest ;)

For those that would like an update on what's been going on with the Etheridge's, I am still here in Del Rio all on my lonesome with little Winston. Mitchell should have been done today but due to bad weather and just plain bad luck he won't be back till most likely the end of next week. It also looks like the weather is supposed to be pretty bad on Monday and Tuesday in Colorado, meaning no flights those days. So, that could end up pushing his graduation date back even further. We are both struggling at this point to stay positive and upbeat. It simply feels like they are doing everything they can up there to keep him longer :( Prayers would be greatly appreciated for a quick trip out of there this coming week! 

Little Winston seems to be coming down with something as well. Ever since last night he has been very "mopey" and simply won't move on his own. I had to literally carry him to bed last night. I'm hoping he is just really sad and missing his daddy a lot and that it isn't something more serious.

Other than that I'm just trying to keep myself busy with work, school, and friends and hoping that Mitchell can get back home to his family soon. We miss him so much but are so proud :) That's all for now!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Southern Hospitality

Hi everyone! I apologize for my absence but I have been travelling all about over the past week and a half, hence my lack of posting. Last week I travelled up to San Antonio to spend the day with a good friend and then left from there to head back to Georgia for a little while. I was so happy to spend this past weekend up in Atlanta with my lovely friend Lauren, and it was so wonderful to catch up, veg out, and watch chick flicks ALL weekend! We also got to eat at a pretty awesome restaurant called Paces on 88th thanks to an awesome gift card Lauren had. This place was phenomenal! Other than that I have been hanging out here in Macon most of this past week visiting with old friends and new family members :) Dad and I went up to see my sister and her family yesterday. We had a great time visiting with them and spending time with the kids. I don't get to see them that often so it was really great to just be able to sit and chat and catch up with all of them! Tomorrow is of course the always traditional UGA vs. FL game, so we are planning on spending the day at a family friends house to celebrate and watch some good ole' southern football! GO DAWGS! Other than that there really isn't too much going on. Here are some photos from this past week...

Lauren took me to the oh so wonderful Trader
Joe's! It felt so good to be reunited ;) I LOVE
and miss this place dearly!

Fall in the south is always so gorgeous!
I miss the lovely weather and changing trees.
Is there any place more gorgeous that GA during
fall? I've yet to find another state as beautiful!
 Sorry I don't have more photos. The camera took up too much room in my carry on so I had to leave it behind sadly. For those of you who are wondering about Winston and Kitty, they are doing just fine. Winston has been staying with some friends while I have been out of town and other than being a little "mopey" he seems to be just fine. I am more than ready to get back to my sweet little guy soon though! Kitty is being looked in on occasionally as well and is doing great and is as fat as ever.

Last but not least Mitchell is still plugging away at IFS in Colorado. He has been so lucky and has only had one "bad" weather day since he has been there and for those of you that know about Colorado and it's awful and unpredictable weather that is a miracle! He is doing really well and is on track to be done by the end of next week as long as the weather stays good (woo hoo)! He double turned today (meaning he got two flights in one day) and has been flying almost every single day. Prayers and thoughts as he finishes up this coming week would be greatly appreciated! I am so ready for him to be home!

I know many people have asked and wondered how being home has been for me. To be honest it has been pretty hard. Being at home is the hardest part for me, being in my mother's home and knowing she should still be there. It brings back so many memories and thoughts of what could have been that it is almost overbearing at times. Being away from the house is a lot easier and I have found so much comfort in spending time at Mitchell's parents home and with my sweet sweet friend Elyssa who is also in Macon now. I don't know what I would have done without them here while I have been home. Their constant love and support has been unfaltering and so very comforting over the past week. As much as I have enjoyed getting to see those that I love while being here in Georgia, I am ready to get back to Texas to see my sweet little Winston and be away from the memories that surround our home here in Macon. I would like to thank those of you that have sent so many comforting texts and facebook messages while I have been here comforting me and praying for me. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such amazing, Godly, and loving people and I love each and every one of you!

I promise I will blog again soon, and I will include the mason jar Halloween craft I did and how it turned out! Here is a teaser photo ;)

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Little Bit of Paint Sure Does Wonders

I decided yesterday was as good as any to get to painting the scuffed and rather oddly painted side vanity table we have in the hall! So, I went out to Home Depot and picked out a color, thanks to the lovely advice of my sweet friend Nichole, and also picked up some knobs for the drawers at the last minute while I was walking to the register. Mitchell had been complaining for ages about not being able to open the drawers properly so I figured it was a little splurge he would be happy about (luckily they were only $4.50 each). I am beyond happy with the way it turned out! You would not even believe that it's the same table and it looks SO much better than that nasty pink and white :) Here are some before and afters....

Eww...that's the only word I can now
think of to describe this table as it was.

After! I went with a light grey with a
blue tint to it! It's from the Martha
Stewart line of paint naturally ;)

Yay for new knobs! These are Martha as well!
Ta Da! 100X better than before!

I also bought the cute little silver lantern at Ross yesterday which was a purchase I was rather proud of! It's also very nice to be able to open and use the drawers now. Note, I'm getting a better candle to go into the lantern, but I didn't have time to get to Wal-Mart to get one. All in all it only took me about 2 hours total to paint and cost only $24 including the knobs, even though I only really used 1/3 of the paint can and have plenty left over for other projects. 

Other than accomplishing this DIY project, which I'm very proud of myself for doing, I met up with an extended family member from Mitchell's side of the family! Mitchell's aunt has a niece that is engaged to another UPT student here at Laughlin and she was in town visiting for the weekend. They were so sweet and invited me to go to church with them in town and then we went out for lunch afterwards! It was so nice to meet some "new" family members and also get to try out a new church! I will be taking Mitchell back as soon as he gets home from IFS. Both of them were some of the sweetest people I've met and I truly wish them the best of luck as they head off to Charleston for their first assignment after UPT!

For those of you interested in his progress at IFS, he's currently still in the academic portion until tomorrow. He heads up in the air a little after 1 tomorrow afternoon, so any and all prayers are greatly appreciated :) He's not to stressed out at this point and just ready to get up in the plane and out of the classroom, which he's been holed up in since last week. Winston and I miss him tons but are already so very proud of the progress he's making. I'll be sure and give everyone an update as soon as his first week of flying is over!

That's all for now! I'm not done with the halloween lanterns I'm painting as I forgot to get some of the supplies, but I will post some photos once I'm done...promise :)