300 long shoals rd. apt. 7m

well, i am no longer a home owner. hallelujah! selling from another state is such a hassel. thank goodness i have such a great mom! (and dad) so i can no longer claim a franklin, tn address as home. onto arden. so i figured now i would finally put some pics of our apartment up here. however... they are pics from when we first moved in. so here is apartment 7m.

the entry way.

the dining room.

the living room (to the left) and barley and the entrance of our room (to the right). with dave in the window.

the spare room (aka doggy headquarters).

so that's it. it is a very beige, blank canvas, which we have colored with our belongings. i will have some updated photos of it soon. now we are just enjoying the sunshine and fresh air through the screen door because though it is over 80 degrees outside, it is still not hot enough to make us clothes the door. :)


quick update and fashion show

hey. not much going on around here. just working and living life as normal. we (and mom as power of attorney) close on the condo tomorrow! yeah!! some recent family news is that we have a new little cousin. she is bailey kay conkin. born to mark and mary. her birthday is june 22. she weighed in at 5#12oz and was 19 inches long. everyone is doing well. we hope to visit with them soon.

jay passed his oral examination boards for north carolina so he is "officially" a paramedic in north carolina. even though he was before. i am in the process of switching my nursing license over to north carolina. so much to do! i start back to night shift next week. i am looking forward to that... i don't function well getting up so early in the morning.

on another note, the other day, the dogs decided to dress up. they found an old shirt and put it on and posed for the camera!

don't they look great?! haha i am still trudging on with my knitting. i am still so slow. sweet courtney, i hope your little blankent turns out okay! i am doing my best. speaking of sweet little courtney, she is actually growing like a week. she is 5 months old now, and i am sure she is getting bigger every day.

well, i guess that is it. we visited family in kingsport last weekend and will see more this coming weekend in knoxville. summer is just beginning!


dog (and cat) days of summer

so i haven't written much about the crazy animals since we got here. so here is animal day. right now the dogs are wrestling, teeth bared, in the floor and dave has taken solace up here on the couch with me.

told you they had teeth out. the dogs have been good, mostly. barley is so almost house-trained. she has random accidents. but none in 7 days. knock on wood! no really, do it. knock on some wood for me. but she has just realized that her crate is sort of her house so she will go and sleep in it at random times. cotton did that when she was a puppy, too. and, speaking of sleeping, before we moved, we discovered dave in his favorite sleeping place... barley's puppy bed. i guess he thought we would never catch him, because it was after we had gone to bed, but we had to get up for something and there he was.

and, in keeping with things from before we moved, after the movers moved the couch, we found quite a collection of toys that the couch stole from the dogs. we left them just as we found them.

too bad the dogs weren't there. they would have had a field day with all the toys that they knew existed and could smell but couldn't reach. it's been 20 minutes and they are still wrestling. soon they will realize they are hungry. for the most part, though, cotton and barley just lay quietly and play with toys. yesterday, however, barley felt it necessary to lay quietly on all the toys.

so that's it. a day in the life of barley, cotton, and dave. not much but playing and sleeping, and for dave, hiding from barley and cotton.


craggy gardens

yesterday jay and i had a day off together so we decided to do some outdoor things. good thing we got a semi-early start. we had some nice thunderstorms yesterday afternoon. we went north on the blue ridge parkway () and up to craggy gardens.

there is a forest fire in the linville gorge (which is about 75 miles from craggy.) so the air was slightly smoky and the view wasn't as nice as it could have been... but we still enjoyed our time out. it had lightly rained just before we got to craggy so the air smelled like rain instead of smoke. so come along on our short hike (about 0.7 miles up). it was steep at times, but not bad for a short hike.

we started up the path to craggy pinnacle. because of the elevation, the temperature was only about 56 degrees up there. the rhododendron is blooming so as we walked amidst its branches, we heard the faint and constant hum of the bumblebees enjoying sweet nectar.

one thing that is noticeable is that trees do not grow very tall up in the higher elevations. we passed some old birch trees that had been there for years, growing out of rocks. one had been blown down in the wind, but still continued to grow. only it grew sideways with its branches still reaching upwards for the sun.

we continued up and up the path, enjoying the glimpses of views along the way. there are lots of beautiful flowers to see on the way up to the pinnacle.

we made it to a fork in the road. we could choose the summit overlook or the lower overlook. jay had been told to check them both out, so we decided to continue our trek upwards to the summit overlook. at this point we could actually see the sky beyond the branches. it didn't take long to get to the summit... and despite the clounds and smoky fog, the views weren't bad at all.

ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES! (unless God starts them, like the one in linville gorge.)

after a few minutes and a breather at the top of the summit, we headed back down to the lower overlook. not as much to see down below, but i did find a flower growing in the middle of a rock. nature is just amazing!

we made our way back down and decided to drive up to mt. mitchell. it began to rain as we made our way up there so we didn't have a lot of photo opportunities. one we did have was at their little restaurant. they had a sign...

and here is the view. not much with the clouds and showers. but we aren't complaining b/c we really need the rain. it helped dissipate the smoky smell, too.

it really is quite beautiful here. we are enjoying our changing scenic views and a bit of a different lifestyle. things are just a little more laid back around here. it's a nice change. we are finally adjusted to the time change, i think. it is still weird that the news and everything comes on so late but you still have to get up just as early. i should be on nights in another week or so. work is going well. i am really enjoying learning new things. jay isn't loving his new work so much, but he has a few other options out there so we are staying optimistic. we close on the condo june 29th. yeah! i guess that is about it on our end. email and catch us up on you!


apparently dogs can go in state parks but not national ones. or something to the effect of being opposite of what i said the other night. :)


our saturday (6/9)

so jay and i hadn't had a day off together in awhile so saturday was it. (although i am already done with my work week... gotta love 3 twelves) ok. so we decided to go find some new things and take the dogs, too. well, dogs can go to national forests but not state parks. so we went to the pisgah national forest. we entered down in brevard (about 20 miles away). and we had heard about and seen pictures of "sliding rock," which is a huge, natural sloped rock that people slide down into a small pool.

so there it is. we didn't try it out this time. but we did wade down in the river/creek (body of water!) and let the dogs swim. they were quite well behaved. they did have to stay on their leashes, but they had a great time. barley loves the water just as much as cotton. only cotton calms down in water and barley gets wild. total personality changes for these two!

so after we left sliding rock, we headed for the blue ridge parkway for a scenic drive back to asheville. the mountain laurel is in bloom, so the drive was sprinkled with lots of pink and purple hues. (the rhododendron aren't quite in bloom yet, but i will be sure to post pictures of that, too.) we stopped here to catch the view.

the sky was sparkling blue with no clouds in the sky...

the laurel was softly pink...

we drove around the parkway and made it back to asheville. we came home, fed the dogs their dinner and jay and i went to get our own. we went over to the east side of town... where there are also some great views. and on our way back home we explored some neighborhoods... where houses are way out of our price range. and here is why... this would be the view off the back porch.

yeah, not cheap. but it is fun to dream. and after writing this (being tired after working 36 hours already this week) i realized our 9 month anniversary was saturday. so we had a lovely day. i can't believe we've been married 9 months already. time flies. everything, while not smoothly, is moving forward with the selling of the condo. we owe most of that to mom. she has been our savior. but we should close on the 29th of this month so that is good. work for me is good. jay's isn't turning out to be what he was told it would be so we are looking into other options there, but sticking with the current job for now until something better comes along, which should be sooner than later. guess that's it for now. sleep is now in my future!


(g)old friends

"make new friends, but keep the old. one is silver and the other's gold."

these are the best friends a girl could have. through thick and thin, near or far, we have remained as close as friends can. we had one more good (mexican!) dinner together before jay and i left to come over here to asheville.

on the far left is mandy. i met mandy in 6th grade at a church camp and we have been friends ever since. she was the first of us to get married (to rich). and the first to have babies. she has two. richie, who stayed home, and little harrison, whom i am holding. i was privileged to be at harrison's delivery as his very first nurse. mandy has been a constant friend and always eager to help answer questions or give advice. she is trustworthy and honest. i will miss our lunches, mandy!

next to me on the right is becca. she is the little sister of rachel (far right). we became friends because of rachel.... we will get to her story next. becca is the most out-going of the four of us. (is that a good way to say it?) she is always full of energy and great ideas. she is an excellent baker. one day i hope she will open her own bakery. :) becca just got married in may to brad. it was a beautiful wedding! i could ask becca anything- from a normal every day question to something completely off the wall with no return judgement and i usually got an honest answer. i am so glad, beck, that you and rachel are sisters!

and rachel. as mentioned above, on the far right. rachel and i go way on back to kindergarten. we were best friends then and still are. we can always pick up where we left off and it seems as though no time has past. she has always been a constant and inspiring friend. she is brilliant and strives for excellence in all she does, which shows in her work and the rest of her life, too. rachel has been married a little over a year to mark, who is a great match for her. it is amazing to think that rach and i have been friends for almost 23 years. i am blessed for that.

so these girls are my constant, golden friends. it doesn't matter that we have miles between us. it won't matter when we see each other again. it will always seem as if no time has passed at all. we can begin where we left off and carry on with life.

"make new friends, but keep the old. one is silver and the other's gold."


sweet baby courtney!

samantha just sent some new pictures. here is my sweet little niece, courtney. she is 4 1/2 months old now. a whopping 12#. :) lots of personality. i am sure she misses her favorite aunt. i miss her, too. the last picture includes her new friend, darly the hippo. she got her at vandy when she had some tests done recently (which are all fine) and now darly must be near her at all times.

happy june!

okay. so it has been over a week since i wrote. i can't believe that. it has flown. i have been working this week on my floor at the hospital. mother-baby. it is family-centered care for mom and baby together. since where i worked before was family-centered, it was also mommy sleep friendly, too. but here they very much encourage babies staying with moms as much as possible. doing tests and procedures in the room. i didn't think i would like it, but i actually do. i am learning about feeling and checking a fundus. fun. so long as everyone is "well" then it's ok. haha in a perfect world... but i was able to do some things today and get "checked off" on them so i can function more on my own and am becoming more comfortable with the mom/adult side of things. so that is how this week has been. i am soooo not a day shift person. the personalities here aren't so bad on days but it is really hard for me to get up at 530am. so it'll be good to get to nights- which will be 2-3 more weeks. the dogs have been going to doggy day care. sounds crazy, but they can go and run around and play all day and not be cooped up in a crate. it is less than $30/day for both dogs to go. so we are lovin' that. and when they come home they are exhausted! which is great, too. they get to socialize and get exercise. important for biggo doggies. we still have some boxes laying around. hope to get to those this weekend and put them in storage so we can walk without walking into cardboard. i guess that's about it. not much else going on around here. we have a contract on the condo and a back up if something happens with the first one. so hopefully that will continue to work out. selling a house is a pain. i had no idea. so we are really hoping it will be over soon. if all goes well, we will close the end of the month. ok. think that is all. i feel bad i haven't put any pics up lately. so here is one. that doesn't have anything to do with anything!