November 26, 2011

Friends Thanksgiving

In years past, our friends have gotten together for a Halloween party. This year though Halloween snuck up on us and we didn't get anything planned in time. Instead, we decided that we would put together a Friends Thanksgiving. Being that Sam and I are the only ones without kids, we decided that it would be easier to have the get together at our house and everyone would bring a Thanksgiving style dish. Tyler and Rachel brought the best turkey I have ever eaten, which is saying something because I don't really like turkey that is not deli know I like the processed stuff! :) It was a beautiful, juicy turkey.

To complete the meal, we had mac and cheese, green beans, broccoli and rice casserole, sweet potatoes, and rolls.

I forgot to take a picture of the dessert table, but for dessert we had pumpkin pie, chess pie, pecan pie, no bake oatmeal cookies, and chocolate chip cookies. It was all delicious!

Our group is growing quickly with all the kids getting added to the mix.

We found out tonight that friends of ours are expecting their second baby! :) A little boy to be exact! YAY!!

We have had a whirlwind of a Thanksgiving this year, but it has been great! We have one more to go tomorrow with the Claud family and then we will be in full Christmas mode!

November 20, 2011


It is that time of year again when people begin to reflect on the things that they are most thankful to have in their lives. As I read through several people's daily postings on Facebook, I began to think about the things that I am really thankful for. While I believe that people really are thankful to be in a size smaller pair of jeans, let's face it ladies..we all get excited when a smaller size fits, I think about what really matters. Yes, it is nice that this year I don't feel like I look like a can of biscuits getting ready to pop out of its little canister, but is that really what I am MOST thankful for?

I am thankful to have a husband, who loves me for being who I am. A husband who tells me every morning I am beautiful, even when I feel like I look my worst. A husband who can make me laugh when all I really want to do is cry. A husband who is blunt and real with me. A husband who motivates and encourages me to do the things I want to do.

I am thankful for old and new friends. Over the past year, Sam and I have found some new friendships. We have also grown closer with old friends.

I am thankful for new additions. This not only is applying to my new nephew, Boone, but also to the many additions that are coming by way of our friends. Our get togethers have taken on a new excitement that is for sure.

I am thankful for family. For parents that love and support us no matter what. For sisters who are there for us, who make us laugh, and sometimes make us mad. For nieces that can bring a smile to our face the moment they say "Hi Uncle Samuel! Hi Aunt Holly!" For two brother in laws that are loving and caring husbands and daddies!

This year though I am MOST thankful for a God who protects, loves, and heals in His plan. While we might not ever understand why it was not in God's plan to allow us to spend more holidays with Sam's dad, we are thankful for the healing that God provides overtime. I am thankful that we can celebrate and be thankful for the family that we have here on Earth, but still have faith that we will one day get to sit with one another again! I am thankful that God protected my uncle this week as he went through a quadruple by-pass surgery. I am thankful he was with doctors when he had a heart attack. I am thankful that the surgery went well. I am thankful that I get to spend more holidays with him, nagging at him over anything and everything I can. We have that special relationship that a niece and uncle can have. It started long, long ago, but I guess I'll have to play nice for a little while so he can get into shape.

This year, be thankful for the family that you have sitting around your table whether big or small. Be thankful that you are healthy. Be thankful you have a home and a job even if it is not your dream home or job. This year, be thankful for a God who has a plan for you in this upcoming year!

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

October 22, 2011

Zumba Madness

I have never been that person who can stick to a workout plan. I have tried for years to keep to something. Each time I would start something, I would quickly stop it due to always finding something that can take its place. Almost a year ago now I started taking Zumba classes. Dancing has never been something that I am good at or felt comfortable doing. I was extremely nervous about doing it, but I had SO MUCH FUN that first night that I haven't stopped going. I actually plan around Zumba classes instead of replacing that time with something else. I hate when I have to miss it. I think y'all get the point.

Today they had a Zumbathon in Clarksville, so of course I had to do it. We had a team from our gym go and I must say..we were the best group there. Not only because I have a biased opinion, but we were also the largest group!

Amanda, Libby, and I went out last night to find a good outfit to wear. We were called the Pleasant View Angels because our instructors name is Angel. Pretty nifty huh? Anyways we decided what better way to represent our team than to wear angel wings. This was a great idea until two out of three of ours broke. :/ It all lasted long enough for us to get a picture and then they were gone. It was a tiring day, but we loved it! It was so much fun! We shook and danced our booties off!

Sam and Steve took off for the South Carolina vs North Carolina game this weekend. North Carolina lost, but they still have a great time from what I hear. We've all had a pretty busy weekend, but it was a blast!

October 10, 2011

Birthday Getaway

Last year, Sam and I took a weekend away with Amanda and Steve to celebrate Steve's birthday and to get some away time. Well, this year we decided to have a repeat weekend getaway not only to celebrate Steve's birthday, but because we ALL needed to get some space from the world at home and hideaway in the mountains. I am sad that my Fall Day Break is over now, but it was an amazingly fun weekend!

The Shrewsbury's with the Birthday Boy!
Happy Birthday Steve-O!

We got in late on Friday night and just enjoyed some quality time in the hot tub. On Saturday, we went to eat in Gatlinburg and took on the climb to Clingman's Dome. We have been working on our physical fitness, so what better way to continue that trend than to workout by climbing a mountain! :) On our trek up, we saw a bear cub and bear poop. It was pretty cool I must say. I haven't seen a bear in all the times that I have been to the mountains so I was pretty excited. It was a hard and tiring climb but so worth it! You could see for miles and was B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.! Our God is awesome! Love seeing His beautiful work.

Sam and I before the climb.

Steve and Amanda before the climb.

The group together at the top! We made it! :)

We stopped by Chimney Top on our way back down, but didn't make it too far before we just decided to take a picture by the water and head back. We were exhausted!

We made our way back to the cabin to rest up, get ready for dinner, and then back to relax in the hot tub once again to end the night.

Sunday was spent shopping in Tanger Outlet. Love that place. It is a must visit whenever we go to Gatlinburg. We all actually had luck too which normally doesn't happen. We had a night in after an early dinner and enjoyed the night with Sunday night football and some hot tub time. Well funny story...we accidently made the hot tub go to sleep so the temperature held at 90* all day, so it was actually a cold tub. We ran hot water in the jaccuzzi tub and all four sat in the tub until the boys decided that they had to figure out how to get the water to warm up. It was a pretty funny sight to say the least. Finally, the water got warm enough to feel like a warm bath at least, so we hopped in to end the night.

It was a weekend of laughs that was much needed for all of us, although it flew by! Until next year I suppose...

October 5, 2011

Special Delivery

The long awaited arrival of our little nephew finally came September 4th! We thought he would be an August baby, but my nephew and I get to celebrate our birthdays exactly a week apart! :) We had a good time of family bonding as we awaited the arrival of our little nephew..plenty of laughs for sure! It could have been due to lack of consciousness or we are just that funny! :)

For nine months, our nephew was baby no name. We were not going to be told his name until he was born. At almost 1 in the morning, we were presented the precious "little" boy named Boone Avery Hampton! I use little lightly because he weighed 9 lbs 5 oz.

He is absolutely beautiful..or handsome! :) He has a huge family that are all about spoiling and loving on him.
Proud Aunt Holly and Aunt Libby. (Aunt Moriah visited with Boone before we got there.)

Uncle Sam and Aunt Holly with Boone

Congratulations to Regina and Michael! Your "little" boy is absolutely precious!

August 10, 2011

Results are In

Well people, the anniversary date has come and gone. Let me first give the disclaimer that I left my camera in the truck and we took the car for our date night, so unfortunately there aren't pictures of our night. This is a pretty sad thing considering we were both looking pretty fine if I might say so myself! :)

Okay, now on to our night since I know you are anxiously awaiting to find out! ;)Sam made reservations at a restaurant in Germantown called City House. It was hard to find and looked a little run down from the outside, but I guess you have to go with the saying of don't judge a book by it's cover because it was good! I had a pizza and Sam had a sirloin, but I am pretty sure that just about anything on the menu was good. After dinner, we had more reservations to hit. We had dessert at the Melting Pot which was FABULOUS!! I am not a huge dessert person, but I could eat that fondu goodness any day!

We had such a great night! Now..what will the days of year four bring us? Who knows.

August 4, 2011


We are fast approaching that day three years ago when we committed to spending the rest of our lives together. Good times and bad times. Rich or poor. Sickness or health. Man have we covered all of these already many times and it's only been three years. :) It is so amazing to see where we started three years ago to where we are now. We argue and disagree sometimes. We hurt each others feelings sometimes. We laugh at each other and at ourselves a lot. We do not have a perfect relationship, but we do have a relationship that refuses to be complacent. We have talked several times over the past three years of our goals that we have for our marriage. Every time we agree that we want to continue to grow and learn about each other.

We started out in a one bedroom apartment. If you didn't have to start out this way, you definitely missed out on some get to know you time. When you only have one bedroom and one bathroom, there's really nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide. Literally, Sam once tried to surprise me with a movie night and you know where I was put while he set it the bathroom. Told you..nowhere to hide..... but the bathroom. Now we are blessed to be homeowners, although sometimes we miss the closeness that the one bedroom brought us. It was tight, but we didn't have anywhere to go but to be with each other. I am thankful for the other TV that the move brought us because I can only take ESPN for so long and I begin to lose it! :)

We have had so many learning experiences over the past three years and there are so many more to come! We had to learn first and foremost how to live with each other! That was a little difficult, but we got the hang of it. Clothes in the hamper..toilet seat down..toilet paper must fall to the back not over the top (hard for me to catch on) is one I am still struggling with. We have learned over the past year how manage with both of us working full time jobs. This was an adjustment for both of us too! Overall, we have learned how blessed we are! We are truly, truly blessed and it is all due to the family and friends that God has given us! You guys are the best!

We celebrated year one with a trip to Florida and St. Louis. (separately of course)

We celebrated year two with a trip to Atlanta, Georgia and Huntsville, Alabama. (separately of course!) No picture available from Huntsville.. :(

We celebrated year three ______??????____________. The next post will reveal the answer to that question. I will find that out tomorrow on our surprise dinner date! :)

July 30, 2011

Vacation Shrewsbury Style

This year we decided to vacation a little differently. You see, this year we took our very first Shrewsbury family vacation. Mrs. Terri, my wonderful mother in law, (no lie she really is awesome) decided that she wanted to get away with all of her kids and grandkids. We planned in May to take off the second week of July and head out to Hilton Head. It was a little rocky there right at the end as to whether or not we were going to actually go. Real estate can sure be up in the air, but after weeks of getting closings pushed back and an endless night before vacation time of moving out of a house into a new house, we made it! Sam and I got very little sleep. There are two things that I have learned while vacationing or traveling with Sam. One is that we leave early. He doesn't like traveling during the majority of a day if he doesn't have to. Two is that you hold your need of bathroom breaks and make yourself have a bladder of steel! Being able to do these things makes traveling much easier in this household! We spent the week together in an amazing house! We really did have a great time together. The girls are so darn cute!

Calyn asked us all week to swim with her. On our last night we finally got in the pool. It was a little small for all of us to get in, but we made it work!

This was our last day at the beach...and it rained. :(

Beautiful Shrewsbury family if I may say so myself!

Building sand castles was Calyn's favorite thing to do at the beach. We also taught her how to ride the waves.

Aunt and Uncle picture with our nieces!

Ready to start the trek home.

Sam and I took a date day and traveled to Savannah, Georgia. It was only 45 minutes away and was a perfect day. Well, aside for the downpour of rain that would happen every few hours, but it was still beautiful there. We were both pretty intrigued by the trees. We got a picture in one of the many park like areas.

I'd say for the first real family vacation it was pretty successful. There are not many families that can be put in one house and not be hanging each other up by their toenails by the end of the week..but I am glad to say that no hanging by toenails, hair pulling, or name calling occurred on this vacation! :)

June 29, 2011


I have never considered myself artistic. I remember dreading art class in elementary school because I was never quite as good as the person sitting next to me. I do remember always being asked to write everyone's work down for them in their agendas because they liked my handwriting though...which did help boost my artistic self-esteem some..I guess. Okay Okay that's really beside the point. The point is that I have always wanted to be artistic, but never felt comfortable even trying to be. Well..out of shear boredom of how plain Jane our house feels and having absolutely nothing to do these days. I'm not complaining about that..just saying that there is only so much to do before you start to get bored. I guess if I was smart I would be getting ready for the school year, but I am just not quite ready for that SO I have been working on some projects for the house.

First up is a painting that I did based off of a painting that my friend Kim sent to me from another blog that she follows. I decided to put my ability to look at a picture and interpret it to my own taste to the test. My friend Amanda took the day off of work because she was jealous of my time off....I mean because her youngest was sick and needed to go to the doctor. :) HA!! I am SOO Funny!! Anyways..we decided to work on some projects that have been on our to-do lists. I decided to suck it up and get started on the huge blank slate before me.

Here is how it all went down...
First I drew the branches with a paint pen.

Then I started making a lot of dots.

Then I made even more dots.

Then I was finished and it looked like this:

Overall I think it went pretty well. I would show you how awesome it looks in the living room and how it adds so much to the space...BUT I can't because it's not on the wall. It is laying on our guest bed waiting to be put up. Sorry any guests that would like to stay can't because there is a huge canvas staying in your spot. When it does get put up though..I will share the final result!

Now on to the next project...

I have been wanting to go to Sips-N-Strokes for FOREVER! The last time that I had the opportunity to go I couldn't, which was a big bummer, but I was determined to go again. I had had my eye on a painting that I thought look super super cute and signed myself up to go. Little did I know that I was signing for one of the harder paintings that they offer. The good news is that I didn't take a picture of what the original looked like so my painting is going to look awesome to you guys!

The beginning of the night...

Break time for a photo opt :) We weren't feeling too awesome about our painting abilities at this point.

Middle of the night...

We are finished!! Although we are not insane artists with some deeply hidden talent, we enjoyed ourselves and had many many laughs throughout the process!

Here's a close up of my masterpiece:

One thing is for sure though and that is that I am one messy painter!

This painting, again has not yet made it to its home home, but it is closer than the other masterpiece I created! ;) This painting is going into our newly painted office. Here are some before and afters of our office. It was touch up painted before we moved in and looked AWFUL so we painted it this weekend. I like it I do believe!





Hope you guys like it too!

June 7, 2011


I am not a runner. I actually have been a hater of running for some time now. I think it stems back from my cheering days when I had to run all the time and it just stunk! Well...I have really been working on my attitude toward running. I am working toward having a well rounded workout and I feel like my cardio is best when I run. There was a 5K on Memorial Day in Pleasant View. On Friday, I decided what the hey...let's give it a try. I couldn't even run a full mile. I hadn't ran/walked more than one mile. I just thought...well if anything I will run what I can and walk the rest. Luckily, I had some accountability partners to run with me. Libby and Amanda have been my workout partners. We keep each other in best we can. Some of us are pretty stubborn..cough! :) We took off bright and early and while we did not run the whole thing..we FINISHED IT!

I did really well for the most part. I was feeling good. I was accomplishing something. I was so close to the finish line when out of no where...I threw up! lol It was a pretty nice way to finish the race if I may say so myself! :)

We are thinking about trying another 5K to try to beat our time. By the way..the winner won the thing in 16:33 minutes. That's a 5 minute mile. He was from Kenya. That's all you need to know.

End of An Era

It has finally happened. All Claud children have graduated from high school. After seven years of graduations (although mine included two Claud's), I am happy to announce that we will not have to sit through another one until little baby no name graduates from kindergarten, if his school even does that.(Sad to say that many public schools don't do kindergarten graduations anymore!) Otherwise, we have at least 17 to 18 years of rest until then. :) Libby has finished her high school career!! She is extremely excited to leave the past behind her, both good and bad, and see what lies ahead.


We are VERY proud of you! You have the most contagious laugh and are a beautiful young woman. You hold your head high and do not let little things get to you! It has taken me years to be able to do that..and still struggle sometimes. You are so confident in yourself and what you want to do with the start to grown-up life. I am very very proud to have gotten so close to my little in age..but bigger in height sister! :)

A few pointers that I learned from my college days...
*Go to sporting events of some kind. It makes your college experience better...even though some teams might suck!
*Don't eat Easy Mac all the time. Yes, it is an easy, cheap meal...but you will gain the freshman 15 pretty easy on that diet. (I had trouble eating it for awhile after I left TTU.)
*Wal-Mart is not a cool hangout unless you are a college redneck.
*Do your homework, but don't let it consume you. Have fun!
*If you need home, we are just a call away. I was tempted many times to pack up and come home, but a call always worked.
*There is a gym. It is nice to hang out in. Some people think you should actually use the equipment. I always just got on it for about 5 minutes and considered it a job well done. Thanks to you...I am much better in this area!
*If a teacher offers extra credit, DO it!! It will help you in the long run..unless you have all A's. You will just be an overachiever if that be the case! :)
* is a great source to see which teachers you want to sign up for. It helps when you have choices. If you don't have choices are you're screwed.

Most importantly, remember your family is here for you no matter what. You will be expected to come home and see baby no name and see me...and the rest of your family of course. I will need a pick me up from my personal trainer every now and then so you can't stay gone all the time!

We love you and are so very very proud of your accomplishments. Now...if I could just get your abs....