Monday, November 26, 2012

Just call me Martha....Martha Stewart that is!

 I am SOOO kidding! As you continue reading you will understand. Last Christmas Hugh bought me a sewing machine and it wasn't until this LAST weekend that I did anything with it. I wanted one so I could make crafty things for the home! Hugh's mom showed me some of the basics when she was here and I was off! My starter project was a heating pad. After my first stitch (shown below) the thread came out. It took me (and Hugh) 45 minutes to figure out i was turning the hand wheel the wrong way to get it threaded correctly! Now should we talk about this stitch? Yeah, let's not....

After I got over that hurdle I was off and the finished project was a success. I filled it with rice (pour some good smelling oil on the rice) throw it in the microwave for 90 seconds and you have a great heating pad!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


My first Thanksgiving as a married woman!  We were in VA for the holiday and Hugh's parents, brother and aunt came and stayed with us for a few days. It was so nice being with family. This was the first time I ever cooked a turkey OR even a Thanksgiving meal. I researched the menu and selected dishes that had great reviews and it did not disappoint. The turkey was moist and we had cranberry salad, a sweet potato dish, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing  and a green bean casserole. It was yummy.
It was a great weekend to reflect on ALL the things to be thankful for. God has given me so much! This year has been an abundance of blessing and I am so grateful! 

Monday, November 19, 2012


I absolutely LOVE my husband! I got back last Thursday after being back in California for 10 days and walked into the house with the above signs. On the back of each note Hugh had written me little notes on why he was glad to have his wife back! :) Seriously HOW ROMANTIC! :) THEN on the counter he had a envelope with a gift card and a note to pack my bags because he was taking me away for the weekend.

He planned our weekend away in Richmond which is a little over two hours. We left Friday afternoon and got there around 4:00. We got checked into our hotel, went to dinner and then  a movie. On Saturday, we went shopping and Maggiano's for dinner! There was even a Hobby Lobby which I got SO EXCITED about. That was a learning experience as Hugh and I came to the full realization that we have different tastes! :)

Saturday night we had a night at home and continued watching LOST. We started this on our honeymoon and just finished season 4. We have settled on a church Heritage Baptist and decided on a sunday school. This is exciting as Hugh and I are starting to make church friends! :) We invited our leaders over next Sunday after church for lunch, It was such a fun weekend and I was reminded time and time again what a blessing marriage is and what a bigger blessing HUGH is! 

Virginia here we come...

Who would of thought we would end up in Lynchburg, VA....NOT ME! :) I can honestly say without a doubt I know this is where God wanted us! The day we got back from our honeymoon we realized we weren't supposed to stay in California and the Lord was making it very clear that we would be headed to Virginia.
The same day we got back I got the flu! Horrible flu! Can I just tell you how thankful I was to be married and having the flu?! I remembered the previous year getting the flu, I was all alone, so sick and just laying on the couch crying! I remember praying and asking the Lord to bring me a husband who would be by my side in these times. A year I was laying on the couch SICK, and my husband was laying next to me, hugging me and reading the bible to me to encourage me. FOR REAL....doesn't get much better than that! I started crying and told Hugh about my prayer the year before and how thankful I was that he was there with me. Truly a blessing.
When I went back to work two days later I talked to my boss and he asked me to stay on staff and try working remotely.  I would fly back and forth as needed and the next week was finalizing those plans. God has been so good in this process. Not only were we quickly moving across the Country but I got to keep my job with TMC which I TRULY LOVE! Blessing after blessing.
The move across Country with my best friend was so great. We had a big group of friends come and help us pack up on a Friday night and we took off around 8 PM. We drove straight through to Texas and stayed with our friends Brady and Megan Schenk. So fun to see them in their home. Then Sunday morning we left early and drove straight to TN.
 Monday morning we drove about 4 hours and got to spend the day with my sister and her family. That was fun! Then on Tuesday we made it to Lynchburg. We drove straight to our apartment (which we had never seen) and I LOVE it! We even had about 8 guys show up to help us move in! The first week was so great making a home with Hugh! We would unpack, run errands and just spent time together. It was such a great time. We've been here a few months already and I can't believe how fast the time has flown. I am so grateful for this time with Hugh and the way the Lord has directed our steps. God is So SO SOOO GOOD!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Three words....BEST. TIME. EVER. We ended up staying in Los Angeles the first two nights. On Saturday, we hadn't packed for our cruise and thought since our whole family was still in the area that we would head back to Santa Clarita to say goodbye to them. On Sunday Hampton and Abby picked us up at the hotel to take us to the port for our cruise. It was so fun to get to go away with my husband for the first time and get to spend a whole week TOGETHER!!!!

We ended up taking a 6 night cruise to Mexico. Hugh and I were wondering if that was going to be too long to be on the boat but it wasn't. We had tons of fun. On the boat we would take cards to the deck and play games, went to a couple shows, we borrowed the season of  "Lost" from our friends and we would watch hours of "Lost" every day and we read. It was such a sweet time. We were in Cabo two days and one of those days we went off the ship and took a boat tour and rented a jet ski. Then the fourth day we stopped in Puerto Vallarta. We ended up going on a tour of the city. It was a lot of fun. We went to the jungle and all around the city.

The best part was just being away with the person I get to spend my life with. We laughed a lot and just ENJOYED being together and not having to say goodbye! I'm married to my BFF!!!! Love it!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Hugh and I got married at 7:00 pm in our friend's backyard. It was so special. Our wedding party walked down to "Great is they Faithfulness" by Cece Winans and I walked down to "You and I" by Steve Wonder (sung by Michael Buble'). 

Our good friend, mentor and my boss Mark Tatlock married us! In pre-marital counseling we had to write our own covenant to each other and we decided to use them for our vows in our wedding. I really liked this as it made things so personal for Hugh and I. We also shared communion for the first time as husband and wife. This was probably my favorite part of the whole ceremony. WAIT...i take that back....the first kiss was my favorite! :) I am so thankful to be Mrs. Hugh Jackson!
And I couldn't forget the cutest kids neices and nephews!
McClain.....THAT FACE!
My Girls!

I think Hugh and I win the award for the shortest reception!  We personally dismissed everyone from the wedding so we could say hello to everyone. We knew that we wouldn't be able to spend time with each person that came so this was our way of getting to thank everyone.  Once that was done,  we cut the cake and had the wedding party speeches. MY favorite was my sister's. She wrote words to the tune "Isn't she Lovely" by Steve Wonder and sang it to us.  We Loved it!

Not too long after this we took off! One of the ONLY things Hugh wanted for our wedding was to drive away in a cool car! We were able to do so! :) Here we are getting ready to leave as Mr. and Mrs. Jackson!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I have been given a blessing in SIX new brothers and sister and a new set of parents! I love them. I have known the Jackson family for many years and have grown to love each one of them. During wedding week we did family pictures with my side and Hugh's side. Lots of laughter trying to get that many people together for a picture. I LOVE our FAMILY!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wedding Day

What a beautiful day it was. I woke up about 7:30 am and my bridesmaids arrived at my house around 10:00 AM. We all got ready together in my house. My good friend Holly was with me all day making sure I was taken care of, she did my make up, got me to where I needed to be and helped with any last minute things that came up. 5 days before my wedding I was in my good friend Steffi's wedding and she gave me this awesome monogram robe that I got to wear! I loved it (I love you Steffi)!
It was such a chill morning and I loved being with my people I love so dearly. I was so excited to see Hugh though! I was ready to get the wedding going so I could go and start my new life as a married woman!
Hugh surprised me with flowers, a very sweet card and he had given me a watch I had been wanting. (the card made me cry.....I was so close to being Mrs. Hugh Jackson!)  
Then there was the first look! I remember standing in the house with my sisters, looking out and seeing Hugh walk to the gazebo and I just stopped and started crying. I was overcome with thankfulness that I was about to see the man I was going to marry on our wedding day! The following are pictures of our first look...

Here are a couple more favorites....

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wedding Week

We got married the week of July 4th which was GREAT. We both had time off from work and it made it easy for our families to travel to California for the wedding. It was so fun having all of Hugh's and my family here for the week. Both my sister and brother were able to bring their whole families which meant so much to Hugh and I. (traveling with kids isn't always the most fun! :) We are thankful they were such troopers. The picture above is a get together we had a couple days before the wedding. My sister's didn't get to come to my showers so we had a get together when they got here. It was so fun.

The fourth of July both of our families got together and had a pool party at my house. My landlord's let us use their back yard and we swam, played basketball and hung out all afternoon and evening. My BF Voda had come in Tuesday, Summer was able to come, my aunt and uncle from Iowa and Hugh's friend from AZ. IT was one bug party. We had a great time and everyone got along so well. This was the first meeting of all the families. We really had a good time and enjoyed one another.

Thursday was the rehearsal. Leading up to this it was quite stressful. I think by 11:00 AM I had received over 30 phone calls or texts. We had a great time at the rehearsal just being able to celebrate with our friends!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I would love to say how much I loved engagement and planning a wedding but I didn't. It was a hard time. I was never the girl who had her wedding all planned out and knew exactly what she wanted. I simply didn't care about all the details. My sister had just moved to Washington and my mom was half way across the Country so I just had to buckle down and make decisions. One thing I can say about this time is I truly have the best friends. My friend Heidi designed my invitations and programs, Summer helped me coordinate things, Ken and his favorite assistant Lynn (my favorite too) did our pictures, Erika and Mark let us get married in their backyard (in addition to doing our pre-marital AND this includes the long walks Erika would take with me to help me keep things in perspective!) My mom and dad sacrificed to give me the wedding I wanted, my sister in law Becca would call me once a week to make sure I was doing OK and there are SO MANY more people and things that  I could name that blest Hugh and I.

Hugh was working in Malibu at this time, we were serving on high school staff, it was a busy time at work and here I was planning a wedding when all I wanted to do was marry my best friend. I would not trade a thing and our wedding day was great! My favorite part is! In fact, I don't even want to talk about engagement anymore.....the best stuff was ahead! The following are some of our favorite engagement photos...

Our Engagment

How we got engaged

The back story: Hugh's birthday is March 11th. About a month before his birthday Hampton approached me and asked what I thought about throwing a surprise birthday party for Hugh. I agreed and thought it would be a great idea. I started inviting his friends and had planned the party for Saturday, March10th. Hugh wanted to celebrate his birthday on the 10th since we had church on Sunday and were taking a class in the evening. We made plans to go to Santa Barbara for the day. I told him we were having his birthday dinner with his siblings Saturday night and had to be back by 7:00 pm. in order to throw him his surprise party.
The day of the engagement Hugh texted me at 8:30 am and asked if I wanted to go whale watching.( I didn't think it was weird as I knew he was looking for things for us to do. I also see deals all the time for whale watching). When I got to his house he said he found a special in Newport Beach so we would be heading there for the day. On the drive down there he said it's been on his bucket list to rent a boat and he found a special rate so he wanted to stop and see if  any boats were available for us to rent. When we got to Newport we picked up Chipotle for lunch then headed to the boat place. He was able to rent us a boat for two hours. Once we got on the water we drove around looking at all the beautiful boats and homes and just talked. About a hour and a half into the boat ride he told me to take some pictures of some sea lions and when I turned back around he was facing me and told me he had to ask me a question. I looked at him and saw him holding the ring. I dropped my head and started crying as I couldn't believe it was happening! He was hugging me and told me I hadn't answered him and I reminded him that he never asked me his question! :) He asked me to be his wife in which I said YES!!!
It was such a special day for us. After that we ended up hopping on another boat for whale watching and then headed back to my house for his surprise birthday party. When we walked in everyone yelled surprise and I asked Hugh if he knew. He told me yes and when I looked at everyone I realized my friends were there too. Hugh had planned his surprise party knowing it would really be an engagment party. It was a day I will always remember. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A New Beginning

After much prodding from some family and friends I am going to attempt blogging once again. For me, it's been a great way to keep everyone updated on life. Oh how life has changed since I last blogged. God has been so kind to me! The name of this blog post is "A New Beginning" because that is where I am right now.

For years, I wondered and prayed who the Lord would have for me to marry as this has been a desire of mine. The Lord has given me the biggest blessing in Hugh! For the last 8 years Hugh has been one of my closest friends and was like family to me. I never would of thought this is who the Lord would have for me but  he had different plans.....I am so glad He did! We started dating September of 2011, were engaged in March of 2012 and married July of 2012.

Once we got back from our honeymoon we decided that the Lord was directing us to Lynchburg, VA so Hugh could begin law school. Everything came together so perfectly and 10 days later we were moving across Country. SO MANY STORIES to tell regarding the Lord's provision, lessons learned and life in VA.  I will get there!

For now, I will leave with God is so so so SO GOOD! I truly am Happy Hollie and outside of knowing I get to spend eternity in heaven with the Lord I am married to My FAVORITE person ever! I am so thankful for all the trials, tribulations and joys that have come my way which has prepared me and molded me for this time. Stay tuned....