donut day.


This morning Woody and Jim from the 107.5 The River morning show stopped by LifeWay to deliver Krispy Kreme coffee, donuts, and some office supplies for me and my coworkers. I entered a contest on their Web site to win breakfast for me and my coworkers … and I won! I was really surprised when Jim called me last night; I had almost forgot I even entered! My coworkers were happy to partake. Three dozen donuts goes very quickly around here.

I feel like I've had a slightly higher than normal percentage of contest wins in my lifetime. Not a ton, but a nice spattering of them. Nate's car will probably be the next big thing to go on us … maybe I should go on The Price Is Right! :)


woo hoo!

Quick post ... Nate and I are off to see Bon Iver at Ryman Auditorium. We're excited! Check out his music here.

Also I won a radio contest! A few weeks ago I signed up with 107.5 The River to win an office invasion ... I completely forgot about it until they called me today and announced they'll be showing up tomorrow morning with donuts, coffee, and office supplies for me and my coworkers! Yeah!


wedding photos!

We got them! Here's all 440 wedding photos ... our photographer has 4GB of more unedited photos, but here's a good start.

To view the Picasa album, go here: Nate & Alyssa's Wedding


sneak peek.

We got our wedding photos today! Dani Braden did such a great job. (We highly recommend her!) Here are just a few. We will be sharing more over the next week.

Absolutely beautiful bouquets by Fresh by CarryAnn. I loved them!

Nate and his groomsmen. This is their most serious one.

We're married!

Still loving marriage two weeks in. Quick story ... Nate is learning what it's like to go to bed at 9 p.m. I'm really pretty worthless past 8:30. Last night we sat down to watch a movie and I stretched out on the couch and was out. Nate finished the movie and then pulled up YouTube videos of kittens on the TV in an attempt to wake me up. I thought it was pretty funny when he told me today. You watch one YouTube video of a cat, and before you know it five hours have gone by and you've seen about 480 videos of kittens.

More later!



My sister was my matron of honor at the wedding. She gave a toast at the reception which was so great! It was touching and funny. She used my blog posts to tell Nate all about me. Check it out!

Thanks, Erica, for the wonderful and creative toast! It was great. :)


macro wednesday.

 Nate reading one of my articles.

We had some leftover candy from the reception, including gummi bears.
There's Miles in the background. The black fur pile on the rug. He's so cute. 

Pistachios courtesy of Nana Ruth

Edamame ... we discussed whether or not you are supposed to eat the pods. We decided no. You pull them apart and eat the beans inside. Edamame is green soybeans. They were very tasty!

Tonight we FaceTime-d with Nate's sister, Caitlin, and her husband, Andy. They live in St. Louis now. We received a card from them in the mail today. I love the artwork on it. We're going to try to make it to St. Louis soon to visit them.

Life feels much more simple with no wedding planning to do.


ten in.

Ten days into marriage and I still find myself thinking, I wonder if Nate is going to come over after he gets off work tonight. Oh, yeah! He lives here now! It's the best.

St. Augustine was pretty great. I fell asleep on the beach late Monday morning with my hands under my head and woke up with a pretty intense burn. Who knew you could burn your armpits and eyelids? Needless to say, we took the next couple of days soaking in aloe, touring around the historic district, and watching Redbox movies. We went back on Thursday with an umbrella and beach chairs, free rentals from our bed & breakfast. If you're ever in St. Augustine, I highly recommend the Bayfront Westcott House. It was wonderful.

This afternoon when I got home from work, I called the gas company. We've been putting it off for months, and I don't know why. There's a gas lantern out by the driveway that is shut off, but you can smell gas anyway. I said, "I can smell gas." The operator said, "How long have you smelled it?" "Oh, I don't know. A couple of months." "What? This is a very dangerous situation. Do not go outside in the area of the leak. Do not start your car in the area. Do not light a flame. I will put you through to emergency." Turns out there was a leaky valve. We don't use the lantern, so the gas guy disconnected it and capped the pipe. Glad that's over with.

Last night was the first time I made dinner as a wife. :) I found a spread in the most recent issue of Real Simple magazine that described 10 recipes using boneless chicken breast. I cooked chicken with salt and pepper in olive oil, then layered it on a slice of French bread with sliced tomatoes, slices of mozzarella cheese, and basil, and then broiled it to melt the cheese. It was pretty good. It was fun planning out meals for the next two weeks. When wedding planning got down to the wire, we were eating out a lot.

I'm convinced there's no question you can't answer via Google. Before you interrupt someone else with a question, Google it. I've learned how to replace a shower diverter, cut Nate's hair, and what time was that friend's wedding, again? Nate's been coming home with achy feet. He's got this huge boney lump on his right foot and another forming on his left. They've been there awhile. All his jobs since college have included long periods of standing. Poor guy. I am pretty sure he has metatarsal-cuneiform exostosis. Hopefully we can give him some relief by finding better footwear. The surgical option does not look like it would be any fun.

I was very excited this week to find out that I can mail in my forms and documents to the Social Security Administration for my new card instead of going to the office and standing in line for who knows how long. First that, then the driver's license, then the fun of discovering every other place my name is written down. At least they have it right on my office door. :)

I love being married,


nice day for a white wedding.


Nate and I got married a week ago in Nashville. We don't have many pictures yet (except what our guests took) so here is a brief overview of the day. I really liked our programs; they were very similar (same font!) to our invitations, and they were simple. I printed them at FedEx Office and they even cut them to size.

Me and the flower girls, Ellie and Sarah. They are Nate's cousins. We took tons of photos before the wedding so we wouldn't have to take them between the ceremony and reception. I had a list of exactly who I wanted to be in each family/wedding party photo, so my bridesmaid Anne read the list and directed people and it went very smoothly. We got done in record time and Nate and I went off to take some photos outdoors (and got a little sweaty) before the ceremony. Fortunately it was very cool in the church. 

Nate's coworker, Dani Braden, was our photographer, and another coworker, Amanda, did hair. My coworker, Katy, picked up the bouquets and boutonnieres from Fresh by Carry Ann in Mt. Juliet. She did a great job! This photo doesn't show the flowers very well, but they were so beautiful. I was very happy with them.

At the reception, we had a table set up with an instant camera. It was so fun looking at pictures our guests took of themselves when we got home. We had plenty of film left, so we took the camera with us on our honeymoon and took photos all over St. Augustine, Florida. The only bad thing about that is we have no digital photos to share online, but these will make a great photo book.

Ryan and Alicia. I don't have very many pictures yet so I took a lot of these from the ones Ryan posted on Facebook. We fond the decorative paper at Michael's, and the string and mini clothespins are from save-on-crafts.com. 

I made name plates for me and Nate out of Scrabble tiles. When Nate still lived in Louisville, we played Scrabble against each other online. I never really got into Scrabble before I met Nate, but it is one of our favorite games.

We had a dessert reception. Provence Breads & Cafe did some of our desserts. They were delicious! Nate's mom and I also went to Sam's Club and picked up lots of fruit, cream puffs, cheesecake squares, and other cute little desserts.

Neither of us are big fans of cake, so we got a small cake to cut at the reception. I painted clay pots white and added an aqua ribbon. On Thursday before the wedding, we went to Home Depot and bought all types of flowers to pot in them. I liked it better than cut flowers because they didn't die after a few hours. We were able to borrow Christmas lights from friends at church, and we found paper lanterns for $1 each at Dollar Tree. They used AAA batteries and lit up! Another friend from church loaned us more than 100 little candles in glass holders. It was perfect.

Some church friends at the reception. Our friends and family were such a help in decorating. The Jones soda was one of my favorite touches. On each table we had baking cups filled with candy ... Hot Tamales, Skittles, gummi bears, and chocolate covered raisins. There were extra chocolate covered raisins which I, of course, confiscated and finished off while we were getting our hair done and waiting for the ceremony to begin. :)

Caitlin, Nate's sister, waves us off. With July 9 being so close to July 4, we thought it would be really fun to leave the reception to sparklers. We didn't exactly test out the sparklers beforehand, and they turned out to be a little smokey (and according to some guests they burned your hands pretty quickly) but it was still cool and fun.

It was kind of a blur, but we really enjoyed it. We spent most of last week totally exhausted! I had no problem sleeping in which is a huge accomplishment for me. St. Augustine was fun and relaxing. On Tuesday we went to a salon and I cut my hair. Several inches off ... it was too hot! I had been growing it out for the wedding up-do but I was ready for something new.

We've officially been married for a week! And someone told us that Nate's mom insisted in putting the rehearsal dinner leftovers in our freezer ... we are really excited about eating Baja Burrito tacos for lunch today, but what are we going to do with these 225 tortillas?! And all of these cheesecake bites and cream puffs? We might have to put our post-wedding diet on hold.

Nate is back to work this evening and I am sorting through dozens of work e-mails. I'll be sharing more photos as we get them.

Happily Mrs. Nathan Jones,


mrs. jones


Nate and I were extremely blessed by friends and family on Saturday as we celebrated our marriage.
We just got home from St. Augustine, FL this evening. I will blog more on the wedding this weekend.



Alright, maybe I'm crazy for blogging on my wedding day, but it's early and my bridesmaids are still asleep. I've got a couple hours.

Yesterday was the big decoration and rehearsal day. I met my friend Tonya at the church at 9:30 a.m. and we got to work. Family joined us throughout the day and we managed to get everything set up by about 3 p.m. We rushed home to get ready for a 4 p.m. rehearsal.

The rehearsal went smoothly and dinner was catered in from Baja Burrito, our favorite place to eat in Nashville. If you've never been, go. If you need a caterer, they did an excellent job. We had a taco bar set up. They brought a giant supply of chips and lots of queso. Lots and lots of queso. Everyone at the rehearsal dinner stood up and said how they knew us and then told a story they remember about me, Nate, or both of us. The priceless tales came from Nate's two cousins, Ellie and Sarah, who are also our flower girls.

Sarah: "I remember one time when we surprised Nana Ruth for her birthday and Nathan came and he had a really big beard."

Ellie: "I also remember Nana Ruth's birthday and when Nathan came he was really big and we were scared."

Last night the bridesmaids came over for a couple hours after the rehearsal dinner. My sister Erica had asked Nate 16 questions, and I had to guess how she answered them. I got all of them right! Well, except for one. But I think Nate was just too embarrassed to tell my sister what his answer would really be. Everything from what I was wearing on our first date, to shoe sizes, to what I would buy if someone gave me $10 (ice cream sandwiches), Nate and I know each other pretty well. :)

Today will be a blur as everything comes together for a 3 p.m. ceremony. I love the way the reception decorations turned out. We have a Polaroid table where people can take their pictures and then clip them up to some twine with mini clothespins. I'm so excited. It's so fun to see so many family and friends. Well, I've got to start getting things together to be at the church in an hour and a half for hair. I won't blog again until after the honeymoon. For now, here are some pictures from Thursday and Friday:

Potting flowers for centerpieces. (Me, Karen, Geoff, Marissa)

Geoff and I putting together a TV stand.

Andrew, Andy, Michael, Caitlin, Geoff, Marissa, Andrew, me, Lyle at our house

Entry table at church with programs and frame to sign

Karen, Mark, Lisa, Caitlin, and Hannah helping decorate

Tonya and I before decorating

Almost finished decorating!

My brother, me, and Marissa after the rehearsal dinner

The Jones family and me, Clarissa, and Anne

8 hours away from being Mrs. Jones,


✓ done and done.

My brother at the Parthenon
I'm surprised I'm finding time to blog; everything the last two days has been a blur! Today was busy. Nate's mom came over at 9:30 a.m. and we headed out to get some shopping done. We hit Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Aldi, and Sam's Club. At Sam's Club we loaded the cart with desserts and fruit for the reception. Then we drove it all to the church to put it in the fridge and freezer. My brother and his girlfriend, Marissa, flew into Nashville today and we met up with them back at the house.

After lunch, it started to rain. It started to pour. I still had a couple of errands to run but we stayed inside while the rain came down. The FedEx guy (I felt so sorry for him) wheeled a large package up to the front porch in the rain. It was another wedding gift, a TV stand! Our TV has been on the floor forever, so we spent the afternoon putting it together. When the rain stopped, we paused the project and went to Home Depot for flowers for the centerpieces. I decorated 20 small pots by painting them white and adding aqua ribbon. We got several different kinds of flowers in pinks and yellows, including Gerber daisies. Karen and Marissa and Dad helped me pot them and they look so great. We also went to Walmart to find fishing line. I picked up a cake stand and small cake as well.

Nate and  his groomsmen moved a lot of the decorations out of the house and to the church. Tomorrow we are going to go to the church in the morning to decorate. My mom, Mark, Anne, and Clarissa are flying in tomorrow morning. I can't wait to see them. Hopefully the decorating won't take too long so we have a little time to relax before the rehearsal and dinner.

Tonight Dad, Karen, Marissa, Geoff, and I went to Corky's BBQ for dinner. It was good. Then we drove downtown so Geoff and Marissa could see the Parthenon. We also drove up Broadway and pointed out where I work and let them take in all the lights and sounds of Music City. We are all worn out. They all went back to their hotel, and I am ready for bed. Nate and the boys were supposed to be camping out tonight, but because of the rain they decided to cook out and maybe sleep on drier ground. Basically everything is done. We'll decorate, do the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner tomorrow, and get hitched on Saturday. It's supposed to rain tomorrow which will drop the temps a little for Saturday. Good deal and good night.



Nate's cousin, Sarah
Whew, was this really just the first day off work before the wedding? I woke up early and started off packing up my car with some wedding things to take to the church. I met my friend Tonya there at 9 a.m. and we spent and hour thinking through decorations. We got some good ideas and I headed to the car wash. I had already washed my car, but the July 4th fireworks in my neighborhood were so intense that the next morning I woke up to find paper shrapnel covering every inch of my Versa. I took it through the automatic and vacuumed it. I tossed some trash into the dumpster and headed back to the car. Locked. Locked. Locked. Locked. Every door. I put my hands in my pockets to get the keys ... and they weren't there. After a frantic self-patdown, I peered inside to see my keys laying on the passenger seat. They must have fallen out while I leaned in to vacuum the floorboards.

The first thing I did was call Nate. He didn't answer. Nate has a copy of my car key, but he wouldn't get off work for another three hours, so he couldn't really help me anyway. I have a sticker on my windshield with the number for my Liberty Mutual roadside assistance. I called them and they said they would send out someone from Pop-a-Lock. An automated call informed me the wait time was 1 hour. Great. So I sat, stood, leaned, squatted, slumped next to my car for the next hour and ten minutes until a guy finally pulled up, popped my door open, and rushed to his next call. No cost. Insurance covered it. It put a wrench in my day but a free fix helped.

Nate's family arrived this evening. His parents and sister drove, and his aunt, grandma, and cousins flew in from Denver. They came over and Nate and Michael (a groomsman) grilled up hot dogs and hamburgers. There were 13 people in my house ... the most we've ever had. We put the sectional to good use. Miles was a little freaked out and because of some allergies, he spent the evening in the bedroom.

I am ready to crash! Nate's mom is coming over in the morning and we're going to go out and look for flowers to pot and desserts and fruit for the reception. Nate and I are going to blink and we'll be married!



I'm excited for this upcoming week. I'm only working Tuesday and the rest of the time, I'll be running the race to Saturday. I wouldn't say I'm very stressed out, but a little bit. Nate could probably give a more accurate description of my stress levels based on how many times I've had a breakdown in the last few days, but I think everything will come together just fine.

Yesterday morning I woke up and thought, I'm going to finish painting the bathroom this morning. I know, I know. I talked to my mom on the phone, and she said, "I can't believe you're painting your bathroom a week before the wedding!" But it was partly painted and I wanted to just get it done. And most of my to-do list now is just little details, so painting was a gratifying task that yielded visible results. I like to see progress. Thanks to a free quart of Glidden paint I signed up for a received in the mail, I painted the bathroom for $5 (the cost of the paint tray/rollers/brushes set) plus the cost of the painter's tape ... a less than $10 project, and it looks so much better.

As you can see in the photo, Miles likes chewing holes in the blinds. And the bathroom is the least damaged room in the house. After the honeymoon, all of our windows will be getting cat-resistant treatments. Now I am more confident in my painting abilities, because this was really my first painting experience. I helped paint a room at church, and I will probably never again paint alone. The bathroom was small, but it took forever! We have to paint over some not extremely attractive yellow walls in both bedrooms, and I'll find a time Nate is around to help.

Also yesterday, I put up a clock we got as a wedding gift. It was large enough to position to cover the hole where the older, smaller clock hung and to cover the two big screws in the wall where I botched an attempt at hanging a shelf.

Friday night, we put wedding planning aside and had a date night. Probably our last date night as an unmarried couple. I made spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner, then we went to the movie theater at 100 Oaks Mall and saw Larry Crowne. It wasn't bad; we laughed a lot. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are probably by favorite actor/actress. We usually watch movies via Netflix or Redbox or the dollar theater, where it costs just $3 for us to see something a little older on the big screen. I probably drive Nate crazy because I think in numbers sometimes. New movies are a treat; we could see seven movies at the dollar theater for the price of one movie at 100 Oaks.

We were out putting Nate's Tennessee license plate on his car when my neighbor, Margaret, came walking up the street with her dog. I introduced her to Nate and told her we were getting married on Saturday. I'm not sure Margaret always hears everything I say. Sometimes you have to yell and she just smiles and nods her head. She heard me though and said she was happy for me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I think she is about four and a half feet tall, so I had to bend way down. It was pretty funny seeing her stand next to Nate.

Hard to believe we're getting married in 6 days! Yay!

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