Monday, June 30

I've been keeping a secret...

It's a big one. And I've been terrible about keeping it. Because I have never been one to live my life in the slow lane, the #johnsonandersonadventures are about to change in a big way.
The Anderson fraternal twin boys, yes fraternal twin boys, will be making their way into the world smack in the heart of Alabama football season, in the middle of September.
Twin! Boys! Holy! Shit! Nothing to do but laugh at this point.
After the initial shock wore off for some, if it will ever wear off for me I do not know, the entire Johnson/Rubin/Anderson family has fully embraced this new normal.

I'm definitely excited, and I definitely had fun messing with my Momma doing a little "gender reveal."  
Her twin boys oh-shit! face
There are still so many uncertainties, so many things I have no flipping clue about. I find new things to worry about every single day. Like the babies aren't even here yet and I'm worried about buying them each a car for their 16th birthday, might be an example.

Don’t even get me started on the whole mess of actually being pregnant. So many things about the miracle of life really, really suck. I had a really rough time for the first four months or so, but now I think I’m cruising along, relatively speaking. I still hurt pretty much all over, all the time. And I still struggle with the wearing elastic waist pants on a daily basis thing—but my god! Those things are like manna from heaven on my widening body.

I don't know what the future will hold. I don't know what it's going to be like tomorrow, next week or next year. But I do know that I am surrounded by love and that's all I can ask for.
I have a feeling these twins are going to love the people twins.
Well, that and a few more hours in the day to more adequately adjust my pure barre to cookie eating ratio. Yes, I'm still keeping up with my daily pure barre routine, because I really need the exercise AND the cookies to keep me sane. 

Special thanks goes out to my sweet friend Shelby for taking these fun pictures of me and hue studio for having some floaty preggo friendly tops in their massive sale last week. 

Monday, June 23

Currently (Vol. II)

Linking up with Jenna and the Mama Collective girls for a little update.
Thinking about: Still working on the house. I made a big dent in getting our bedroom and closet a little more organized (another big bag to Goodwill! Yay!) But it still feels like the house is a bloody mess. I know I just need to let it go and be fine with "whatever" but I am really struggling with wanting it to look, be, a certain way. Apparently, I am a little bit of a control freak and when Mark puts things away it gives me serious anxiety. Go figure. This is going to be a long process, but it's looking better after every weekend. Still need a few things here and there, but the master bed and bath are basically done! Victory is mine!

Reading: A backlog of People magazines from like May. I should probably be ashamed, but honestly, I like the book reviews and sometimes they have really good recipes. It's also helping to clean off my growing stack on the coffee table.

Listening to: World Cup soccer, barking dogs and my own thoughts. Lately, and I don't know why, I've been tuning out a lot of "noise." I still have the radio on in my car, but I don't think I actually hear it most of the time. Sometimes I just really appreciate the silence. I think that comes from too many years of living alone. I go through phases; it's either all silence or the radio/tv/ipod constantly. Right now, I am firmly in the silence phase.

Watching: I haven't gotten really into a show lately, so I'm on the hunt for recommendations. Something I could binge watch on Netflix would be nice! It seems I stick to my standby favorite Criminal Minds, when I have some time to kill eating lunch, folding laundry, etc. However, Mark and I did watch a movie this last week we both loved, which god! what a rarity!, starring, ironically, Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

 Runner, Runner was action filled for Mark and had some witty dialogue for me.  Since we watched it via Showtime On Demand, it was nice to have a "movie night" without it costing anything. I definitely suggest you watch it, if the opportunity presents itself. It didn't get rave reviews from the critics, but we liked it. Full disclosure: this is by no means a chick flick, or chick flick pretending to be dude friendly. It’s a movie about online gambling set in Costa Rica. It gets a little violent at times.

 Thankful for: 2/7ths of my little family tuckered out after getting some baths in the summer heat. The fact that one of the cushion covers was in the wash just makes this picture that much better. Please note how desperately I need to order a new couch. I mean hello ugly mother in law hand me down, YUCK! 

Wednesday, June 18


Is it just me, or do you hear Dolly Parton's voice singing, "workin' nine to five," every time someone asks you about your 9 to 5 life? No? Just me? Okay, moooooving on.

Today I am linking up with Sarah for the #9to5TotalSocial to talk about one of my favorite things: the glam life of #WoodsBarbie.

Venus Trapped in Mars

If you're new around here, you might not know what I do for a living. I'm a writer and magazine editor, sometimes crappy photographer and social media poster. I work for a small trade magazine publishing firm that puts out seven different magazines in the forest products industry. What does that mean, exactly? 
That's me down in the center, but I bet you figured that out.
I'm responsible for contributing feature articles, photos and columns to all seven magazines. I also "shepherd" one of the magazines, which means I am responsible for culling the entire thing together every month. So I read every page about three million times over, write the editorial at the front, check the pictures and hassle the other writers and PR people to get their stuff in on time. Along with a few others, I contribute to each magazines' blog, Facebook and Twitter. I also run a Facebook and Twitter just for #thehardhatdiaries related adventures. Each month I also put out an e-newsletter relating to two of the magazines. Holy crap, written out like this, little #WoodsBarbie has quite the list of responsibilities. Did I mention I was the only girl in the department? And one of the few women in the industry? I am. 

 HOWEVER, thanks to this job, I get to travel. A lot. All over the world. It's actually sometimes awesome. Sometimes it isn’t, but sometimes, it really is. Setting my own schedule, traveling the backwoods of this country (and spreading my wings all the way to Finland) has given me a lot of opportunities that others can only dream of. While I might complain about my job, I am very fortunate to not have to sit in a cubicle all day, every day, 52 weeks a year. 

In the past three years I've been… 
All over the South and learned that we are in fact, living stereotypes sometimes.
This is a real place in Mississippi.
 To Michigan to discover that while you need a jacket no matter the time of year, it definitely does not suck up there.
I just couldn't get over the gorgeous blue sky!
Operated countless pieces of heavy machinery and power equipment, to further solidify the personal belief that I am in fact, a total badass.
There is also video, if you need more proof.
On the trip of a lifetime to Finland, where I realized sometimes a charmed life isn’t what you thought it might be, but that doesn’t make it any less charmed. I also realized I would like to move to Europe pretty much as soon as possible.
Literally on top of the world
My "9 to 5" isn't like most peoples, in fact on the road, it can sometimes be 6 to 3! I love what I do, even if it means doing something I never thought I would. Because what little aspiring writer from Atlanta dreams of being around this all the time?

Friday, June 13

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites
It's been one of those long weeks. You know the ones that seem to drag on, and on, and on. But, as always, I still found some time to do some all mighty Internet surfin'.

Here's what I've been favoriting this week:

OneThe article from Total Sorority Move: Why Our Entire Generation Needs An Ass Kicking, Pronto. I'm not usually a TSM reader, I (luckily?) grew out of that phase of my life, but this really was well said.

For example, "Why does our generation need a wake up call? Because most young people in America are selfish, lazy, and think Jimmy Johns should deliver sandwiches directly into their mouths. (Actually wait, that's a great idea). Most young Americans think they can ride the coattails of previous, hardworking generation." I mean can I get an amen here? Spend five minutes and read the post, I swear you'll be nodding right along.

Two Umm, this. No caption needed. (Available for sale here.)
Three— Along the same lines as above, this is a no caption needed as well.
Four—I'm still obsessed with our wedding photos. Which, our photographer just got to me a few days ago, so it's totally okay to obsess right?

Wednesday, June 11

Mountain Weekend (Blue Ridge, Ga.)

This past weekend Mark turned ninety, so to celebrate we went for an early bird special dinner. Just kidding! Though, Saturday was actually his birthday and me being the traveler and reveler I am, decided we needed to have a little getaway for his birthday! 

After doing a little digging around, I settled on Blue Ridge, Ga. for a little two day, one night adventure. Before I get too into the details I should explain a few things. One: Mark is a very avid fly fisherman. Like avid as in we have former record holding stuffed fish in our hallway. Two: I love to tool around in a bathing suit reading a book. Meaning, we have quickly realized that “going fishing” is a fun activity for us both.
I also enjoy all the little friends I make while fishing, like these gorgeous iridescent blue butterflies.
The drive was easy, about fourish hours each way. On the way up Friday night we stopped off in Atlanta and hung out with my parents for dinner and spent the night in the same bed under my parents’ roof, which was really weird for me. Saturday we continued on, enjoying the drive.

Apparently, and I say apparently because I have absolutely no clue about fly fishing, fish or rivers, the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge is one of the best places to trout fish in the South. Mark had a blast. We fished in a few different areas over the two days and he was able to catch quite a few. He even got some new flies at the fly fishing store. And of course there were a few fishing related wrapped gifts from home. I'm such a sucker for a theme. 
We stayed at an in-town B&B, which was perfect for us. We were able to walk to dinner Saturday night at a fabulous outdoor restaurant, enjoy some good food and good music. It was a really relaxed and fun birthday.
 Sunday we woke up to the best muffins ever and fished some more before a quick walk around town and lunch. Sadly, after we ate we were on our way home. It wasn’t nearly a long enough weekend. Blue Ridge definitely had a lot to offer, if you like being outside. The water was a little too cold for my tastes, but lots of folks enjoyed tubing down.
The shops in town had some very cute pieces, and we came VERYCLOSE to buying a new side table for our bedroom, but in the end decided against it. Side note: one of my biggest pet peeves is all these new “restorers” and “furniture savers.” I too can go to a yard sale, buy a table, some chalk paint and sandpaper. Doesn’t make your table worth $70 or vintage. 

For the price, distance and enjoyment we had, I see lots of quick trips to Blue Ridge in our future. Plus, you really can’t beat this view.

Monday, June 9

Currently (Vol. I)

One of my favorite things about getting back into blogging is discovering new blogs to follow, which is how I came upon the Currently. linkup, and I love the idea.
I want to be better about documenting daily life around here, as every day is never the same. Well, except my standing 5:30pm date with Pure Barre Montgomery, and that Grace continues to wake up at 6:30am every day, barking with a passion to go outside, to then bark at a tree in the backyard.

Thinking about: How badly I want to finish redecorating our house. I started with the bathroom and bedroom when I first moved in, but over the last two weeks I’ve been working on the front yard and patio. I never seem to have enough hours in the day (or money in the bank) to get everything exactly how I want it. I do know that I want to get our house basically decorated by August 1st. Currently, our house looks like a mash of someone having just moved in, the lobby of a fifty-year-old Republican’s law office and a twenty something threw her shoes all around. Super cute y’all! (eyeroll)

Reading: Yesterday I finished Summer Blowout by Claire Cook and L-O-V-E-D it—not sure what to start next. I’m on the waiting list at the library for some suggestions I got from friends, but it looks like it will be another random off the shelf selection for this week. I’ve also got a stack of magazines I need to make my way through.

Listening to: Georgia country! I finally got my alternative rock-loving curmudgeon to listen to some Georgia country and he liked it! It helped that over the weekend, while celebrating his birthday in the beautiful mountain town of Blue Ridge, Ga., the restaurant we chose for dinner Saturday night had a really great Georgia country guitarist.

Watching: Daily fix of Criminal Minds during lunch never gets old. God bless you A&E for that 12-2 block of some of my favorite crime fighters.

Thankful for: My momma, who on a very stressful Monday morning gave me the advice I needed, and has taught me so much by example, I might actually make a decent grown up one day.

Monday, June 2

Meet me! (an ALWB Foodie Friday contributor)

1. Name & Birthday: My name is Jessica Johnson Anderson (though that last part is a totally new thing!) and I am a February baby! February 4th to be exact.

2. How long have you been blogging? I've been at it on and off since 2009.

3. What is your favorite part of being a blogger and why? As a writer and editor I don't always get to write exactly what I want to—don't get me wrong, I love my job. In fact, I have a writer's dream publishing job. Sorta. But, I also want to share recipes, DIY projects I've roped my stepdad or husband into helping me with and little pieces of my heart. Having my blog has allowed me to do that.

 4. Why did you start blogging? It was actually a requirement in one of my college English classes! And over the years, I've kept it going.

5. Tell us a little about your family. Well, I've got this shiny new husband, Mark, and he's pretty neat, when he's not snoring of course. Together, we have four rescue furkids: Walcott, 7ish, a German Shorthaired Pointer that is the clumsiest dog I've ever seen; Grace Kelly, 9ish, a Chihuahua mix with one helluva personality; Alberta, 4ish, a Pitbull mix that I found after the tornado in Tuscaloosa on 4-27-11 and her littermate, Sipsey. We also have a grey rabbit, Smokey Rabbie the Rabbit, she sort of has an identity crisis going on with her name. Mark has two children from his previous marriage, Virginia, 11, and Charles, 8, and while they aren't exactly my kids, they are pretty awesome and we all have a lot fun.

6. Where are you from? I'm a Georgia peach, through and through—born and raised in Atlanta, Ga. where both sets of my parents still live. However, when I moved to Tuscaloosa for my freshman year of college (and then stayed for a few more years…) I knew Alabama would become my home as well. I currently reside in the Heart of Dixie, our state's capital.

7. What is your greatest achievement? Ohh, this is a toughie. I think it might have to be my move to Montgomery. That was an adventure from start to finish. Not many people can say they moved to a city where they literally knew not a single person and in three years have some good friends and a husband!  

8. If you could live anywhere where would it be and why? Paris. Hands down. Because why the hell not.

 9. Favorite Movie? The American President, no contest. I can recite pretty much every single line of dialogue.

10. Favorite Music/Song? I like country; I like pop; I like rap; I like rock. I love the Grateful Dead, thanks to my Dad's influence. I’ll pretty much listen to anything and enjoy it, with the exception of Gospel or the Praise/Contemporary Christian type music—just not my cup of tea.

11. What are your hobbies? I love to read, do Pure Barre, craft, hang out with my family, shop, walk my dogs and travel. I really love to travel.

12. What inspires you? The women I call my friends and family. No two of them are exactly alike, and without them, I'd be half the person I am today.

13. Favorite Color? Pink. Or turquoise. Or crimson and white. Or black. Anything but orange, really.

14. What is your dream job? The one I've got? Honestly, I don’t know. I would love to finish my PhD, work for a publication and teach every now and then.

15. What are you looking forward to most in 2014? Christmas! It will be Mark and I's first actual Christmas day together and I just have a feeling it will be magical. Other than that, we've already gone on our "big" vacation for the year, so I'm looking forward to planning the 2015 edition in a few months!

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