Alina Sewing and Design

Smoky Mountain Honeymoon

This was the view from the bed. Um, awesome to wake up to!

Outside of our cabin in Sevierville, TN…and my smokin’ hot husband (sorry)

This picture was actually meant to show how steep the drop-off was behind our driveway. It did not succeed, but you can see a bit of how high we were and our view!

Christmas “village”

We antiqued.

We went sight-seeing.

One morning, we woke up to this…I took this from inside of the cabin’s loft. Seriously amazing!
We went horseback riding. (See?? He IS a cowboy…)
We went ziplining.

We went hiking.

We did some more sightseeing.

We did some (a lot of) eating. (And we got a free dessert for being newlyweds.) 🙂

We went zorbing. (See below video if you don’t know what that is!)


Zorbing in the Smoky Mountains from Alina Strain on Vimeo.

We did some more eating.

Some more antiquing.

Some shopping (@ Mast General Store in Knoxville).

And some flying.

Basically, we came, we saw, we did and we loved it all. Easily the best week of my life; not because of anything we did necessarily, but because I had an entire week of the Mr. all to myself with zero distractions, zero stresses, zero work/school, zero to-do lists…just one solid (almost) week of pure, simple quality time. This week, “real” life started again. It’s certainly an adjustment as I start working again (which means I’m at home alone) and he’s started his neurology rotation (…which means I’m at home alone for 10-12+ hours a day…), but we’ll get into a routine, I’ll make new friends and rekindle old friendships in this new-old city, and we’ll figure out the ebb and flow of life and marriage. Today, I chose to have an attitude of gratefulness (yesterday was a rough one) and expectancy. My love, in his honest love for me, reminded me that God has a plan in all of the struggles and that I needed to suck it up. He is right. My attitude is purely what it is by my own control, so this morning, I hit a “reset” button and determined to refocus, choose a better attitude and go to God first for strength (that’s not my husband’s job either).

Whew. Didn’t see all that coming…so to end on a happy note, we got some teaser pics from our photographer! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Visit her at Jackie Cooper Photo.





Renovation Station: OKC

Last month we took a weekend trip down to Oklahoma City to see my mom’s side of the family. My cousin had just returned from his Army deployment to Korea and it was my first time to see him in two years!
I had told my mom about my trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore here in KC (read about that here). She’s been telling me about OKC’s version, Renovation Station for awhile, so I was excited to see what it had to offer.
Let me just start by saying that it was COMPLETELY different! Ours was full of outdated appliances, furniture, light fixtures, etc. Theirs was stocked to the brim with overstocked tools, paint, tile, rugs, [nice] furniture, [mostly] current light fixtures, doors…you name it, they have it. Seriously awesome!
Here’s what I walked out with:

A 12×12 plastic dropcloth, a 1.5-inch putty knife (a really nice and flexible one, I might add), three Caulk Singles (I have a plan for these), a wire brush and scraper, and a can of Krylon spray paint.

The best part is what I spent:
Plastic drop cloth: $1.41

1.5-inch metal putty knife: $1.31
Krylon spray paint:$1.29
Caulk singles: $.35/each
Wire brush: $1.31
Total cost: 6.90 (after taxes)
Yep. $6.90 for all of that! You can’t even get a metal putty knife for that at Home Depot! And that would barely buy one can of spray paint. So, if you’re ever in the downtown OKC area, stop by Renovation Station.

Chicago: a Sneak Preview

We are back from Chicago and I’m completely exhausted. EX-HAU-STED. We had three days and we packed them to the BRIM. It was a great girls trip and I’m excited to share some pictures and stories, but I’ll leave you with a sneak preview for now. So tired. Captions will have to do for now. 🙂


Hotel room

Coffee shops = happiness for us 🙂

Navy Pier

The “Bean”

The Chicago Theatre

The view from the top of Sears Tower

The Ledge on top of Sears Tower…a glass box 103 floors and 1,353 feet above the city (!!)

The “L”

Giordano’s

Crown Fountain @ Millennium Park

Magnificent Mile

IKEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chicago at night!

Chicago, you did not disappoint.

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