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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

101 Things To Do In 1,001 Days

I am a natural list maker, organizer, and planner.  I’ve literally been this way for as long as I can remember.  My mother tells a story about how I alphabetized our refrigerator when I was about three or four years old.  I have continued along this list making path for all milestones, goals, dreams, events, and plans for my life ranging from planning my childhood birthday parties, listing what characteristics I hoped to find in a husband (it must have been fate that Judd met all of the items on the list when I compared him to it years after making it), planning our wedding, etc. 

Due to my list making nature it seems only natural to join my friends and family by partaking in the 101 list fun.  I believe the concept of creating a list of 101 things to accomplish in 1,001 days was originally derived by the Day Zero Project as a way to encourage people to live their lives now  instead of putting things off and to help them to meet their goals.  I think it was started as a way for an online community of people to make their lists public and hold each other accountable.  I didn’t feel the need to register my list with Day Zero because I am making it public here on The Langham Project to all of you lovely bloggy folks.  I look forward to sharing my progress and struggles with you.  This blogging community is really such a special thing. Mwwah! You guys rock.  I can’t wait to get started.

I first saw a 101 List on my friend Marcie’s blog and then on  my sister-in-law, Brenna’s, blog.  At the time that I first saw their lists I was intrigued by the concept.  I looked forward to watching their dreams and goals become realities; however, I was just starting the journey towards my Ph.D. in a four year program at the time and knew that with my school and work commitments that I would not be doing anything “extra” other than school or work for a couple of years.  I am still working on my Ph.D.  Although, now I am in the last semester of my coursework and quickly progressing towards the dissertation phase.  I am finally able to dream about a future 1,001 days (approximately 2 years and 7 months) that involves things I enjoy doing like spending time with my husband and family, taking up new hobbies, helping others, renewing myself spiritually, and becoming a happier person again.  I have learned so much from working on my Ph.D. full-time while also working full-time but it has been a constant drain (and still is) on me.  I am grateful for the opportunity to pursue this degree. I have just GOT to get out of school.  Obviously, a large part of my list consists of objectives to help me get there.

Judd and I always revisit our 10 year plan in January.  Does that make us weird?  Do any of you do that?  We have been doing so for the past four or five years.  I used our plan to help me pick some items for my 101 list.  I was a little hesitant to share all of the things included below at first.  Some just seem shallow, others too personal to share, and other list items I just wasn’t sure anyone but me would really care about.  However, since this list is for personal and public use I mustered up the courage to share it.  I do realize that there is an ultimate planner who already has my life mapped out and that I need to first put my trust in Him before all else.

How do those of you who have published 101 lists feel about the process?  What do those of you who do not have a list think about the whole concept?

I believe I have until Tuesday, October 28, 2014 to complete the tasks on my list.  The clock starts now (January 31, 2012).  Quick, cue the Jeopardy music.

(Update – I am striking through each goal as it is met.  Below you can see my progress so far.  I think I am doing pretty good.)


My 101 List

1. Purchase a new dress to wear to our FAB friend Susan's wedding

2. Attend/take lots of photos of our weekend in Seaside, FL for Susan's wedding

3. Attend/take lots of photos of our weekend in Mobile, AL for our friend Candice's wedding

4. Find a theory to use as my conceptual framework for my dissertation

5. Determine appropriate variables to analyze for my dissertation

6. Select a statistical method to analyze data for my dissertation

7. Have my prospectus meeting for my Ph.D.

8. Have my proposal (3 chapter) meeting for my Ph.D.

9. Take/pass my comprehensive exams

10. Get Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval

11. Collect data for my dissertation

12. Analyze data for my dissertation

13. Write chapter 4 of my dissertation

14. Write Chapter 5 of my dissertation

15. Have my private Ph.D. defense with my committee

16. Have my public Ph.D. defense

17. Graduate with my Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (higher education administration)

18. Have my dissertation printed and bound and my Ph.D. degree framed

19. While I am still in school, use each lunch hour to work on some aspect of my dissertation

20. After I graduate, resume lunch hour workouts in my office

21. Have a party to celebrate earning my Ph.D. and to honor my family and friends with their Ph.T. (the pushing her through degree)

22. Attain a position that requires a Ph.D. or terminal degree or one that is equivalent in pay and responsibility to a Ph.D. level position. (I think I need to say that I hope this can occur within the office where I work now.)

23. Attend Southern Association of Institutional Research (SAIR) Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. (Ask Judd to tag-along to go to Disney)

24. Save the full 20% of a down payment towards a house

25. Buy a house

26. Begin studying French with Judd

27. Travel to Europe with Judd

28. Travel with Judd to somewhere else in the U.S. besides Orlando that we've never been

29. Get a shellac (gel) manicure

30. Whiten my teeth (again)

31. Attend my high school reunion (Hoover High School, Hoover, AL - Class of 2002)

32. Launch our DIY printable invitation/stationary business (The Langham Project) on Etsy

33. Get The Langham Project (TLP) DIY Invitations/Stationary business approved with the Collegiate Licensing Company

34. Get our blog professionally designed (and potentially switched over to Wordpress if needed)

35. Offer advertising on our blog

36. Set up an email address for our TLP invitations/stationary business

37. Stop drinking dark soft drinks and stick to it

38. Get back to my high school weight and shape before having a baby (approximately 5 to 10 lbs. to lose)

39. Eat at home 5 nights in one week

40. Start a family

41. Have maternity pictures taken

42. Lose baby weight

43. Begin work on a book/article regarding the dissertation process with my peer group (The Divas)

44. Publish at least one journal article

45. Present my research at a professional conference

46. Read a book for pleasure (Not something that has anything to do with work or school)

47. Find a couples Sunday school class and attend regularly either at Shades Mountain Baptist or another church that is a better fit for us

48. Begin reading the Bible in a systematic way (so that eventually I read it from start to finish)

49. Help to organize a project with our church

50. Get life insurance

51. Get a Roth-IRA set up in my name

52. Sign up for the benefit of a flexible spending account with my employer

53. Get a new pair of eyeglasses

54. Take my mother on a Mom-and-Daughter trip

55. Take a photography class

56. Ask Judd to teach me how to use Photoshop and learn from him

57. Get a stylish camera bag

58. Purchase a sewing machine/embroidery machine

59. Ask Mom to teach me how to smock and learn from her

60. Sew a garment entirely on my own

61. Host a party at the Langham farm

62. Help my mother to update her kitchen

63. Help my mother to freshen up her front porch (new chair cushions, new door handle, paint front door, new door mat, new plants)

64. Help my mother-in-law to find bedding for the cabin at the Langham farm

65. Help my mother-in-law to find living room furniture for the cabin at the Langham farm

66. Help my in-law's to clean out the barn at the Langham farm

67. Help my father-in-law to clean out his shed and tear the old one down

68. Label, with my Grandmother's help, as many family photos as possible on my next visit to her house

69. Visit Grandmother and leave her with a week's worth of home cooked meals in her fridge/freezer

70. Visit Grandmother and leave her with a full tank of gas in her vehicle

71. Visit Grandmother and clean her whole house from top to bottom before I leave

72. Help my mother by spending an entire weekend deep cleaning her house

73. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: Judd's trip to Portugal

74. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: Charleston, SC

75. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: Boston, MA

76. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: New Orleans, LA

77. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: Our Master's graduations

78. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: Judd's two trips to Canada

79. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: Philadelphia, PA

80. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: Mardi Gras, Mobile, AL

81. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: Phoenix, AZ

82. Print photos from previous travels/adventures: Denver, CO

83. Print photos from our family's Christmas 2011

84. Make a scrapbook from our wedding that was in May of 2005 (Yeah, I know I am really late on that one)

85. Purchase a new sofa

86. Purchase bedding for our guest bedrooms

87. Make pickled okra using my Uncle Frank's recipe

88. Use the canning equipment my Uncle Frank gave me to can something

89. Find a vintage inspired office chair for our home office (preferably two chairs)

90. Take Judd ice skating since he's never been

91. Give blood

92. Go camping

93. Take a beach trip alone with Judd

94. Take a beach trip with just my FAB girlfriends

95. Take our important documents to our safe deposit box for storage

96. Frame paintings given to us by Judd's Aunt Willoweise (she is a famous watercolor artist)

97. Frame our Auburn University 2010 season football tickets (AU won the national championship that year--WAR EAGLE!)

98. Help Judd to study for and pass his last two licensure exams for professional practice as a landscape architect

99. Prepare a better way/place for us to recycle and throw away our trash

100. Add to our crystal stemware collection

101. Get a couples massage


I added a component to my list.  I wanted to include my general life goals.  Consider this my mission.  These are the things that really matter.  Hopefully, by achieving many of the list items above I will be closer to fulfilling the general goals I continually strive towards  and hope to achieve/maintain throughout my life.


General Life Goals:

·   Be a loving wife--be someone with whom Judd can continually find true companionship.

·   Be a mother who puts her children before herself. One who teaches by example.

·   Be a Christian example to my friends, family, and colleagues.

·   Be a gracious, thoughtful, and calm hostess/friend.

·   Be a leader in my professional/academic life--someone who is reliable, trustworthy, hardworking, dedicated, and capable.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Hartley Wedding Invitation

The Langham Project (TLP) - DIY Printable Invitations/Stationary request the honor of your presence at the viewing of one of its favorite DIY printable creations -- the Hartley wedding invitation.


Judd and I had the pleasure of creating a wedding invitation and custom monogram for our dear friends Hartley and Andrew.  They were kind enough to share a few photos with us of their special day to include in this post.  We were so honored to be asked to create such an important component of their wedding celebration that we named this invitation after the GORGEOUS bride.  Hartley and Andrew’s wedding was absolutely beautiful!  I love the idea of sharing photos of the actual event when revealing a new invitation or stationary creation.  I hope that it will make this post and all future posts for our TLP - DIY printable invitation/stationary business more pleasurable to read.  Let us know what you think.  Thanks so much for sharing your photos, Hartley and Andrew.

The image above is a sample of the final product that we send to our clients.  Because our business is designed for do-it-yourself printing, we offer our clients the opportunity to print their invitations with no minimum or maximum quantity for their order.  They simply receive the final order of their invitation design and are then free to print the invitations any way they prefer.  Additionally, our business approach allows our clients to print on the paper/cardstock selection of their choosing.  Once we send the final design to the customer, he or she can print the order on his or her own or have a professional printer do it.  If the client decides to have a professional print shop print their order for them, all they have to do is take the file to the print shop.

I snapped a quick photo of the printed invitation from our sample book (see below).


The happy couple’s color scheme for their September wedding was eggplant and gray.  The Hartley wedding invitation features a custom monogram with gray font.  Although, we can design the Hartley with any color font that is desired.  The invitation is 5 1/2” x 8 1/2”.    The invitation will fit in any envelope that is 5 3/4” x 8 3/4”.  The invitation is intended to be printed on off-white/cream cardstock.  Although, you could print it on white cardstock if you prefer.  We offer the Hartley wedding invitation for $45.00.


The final order can be sent in two ways.  It can be emailed to you, the customer, in its exact size or we can send it to you designed to fit two invitations on one piece of letter sized cardstock/paper.  We recommend that you purchase cardstock from the vendor of your choosing that will be the exact size of your invitation so that you do not have to do any cutting.  In this case, you would just simply change your printer settings to fit the exact size of your invitation and feed each piece of cardstock through your printer.  However, if it is easier for you to print two invitations per one regular 8 1/2” x 11” page that is also an option.  If you request your order this way, we will include a very faint guide line down the center, between the two invitations, to assist you when cutting.


Hartley and Andrew also requested a file that contained a customized combined monogram that we designed.  They used this file to add their monogram to the ceremony programs that they created themselves (shown below).  A custom monogram can be used to make a multitude of wedding crafts and future projects for the rest of the couples life together.  We offer a custom monogram for $20.00.  Although Hartley and Andrew chose to design their program themselves, if you are not up for that task, we also offer wedding program design for $45.00.


We plan to get an Etsy shop started to sell our one of a kind invitations and stationary very soon.  For now, if you are interested in ordering the Hartley, please leave us a comment on this post or send us an email at


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Let There Be Two Lights

So, the lamps that I ordered at the beginning of December finally arrived.

I ordered two Julian apothecary lamps with an antique brass finish from Ballard Design.

They were intended to go on either side of our sofa. That's where they are in the pictures. Honestly, the wall between them looks a little bare now that they are in place. Maybe if I add some framed art pieces that whole side of the living room will come together.

What do you think so far?  I imagine that I will be buried in a sea of research underneath them pretty soon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

How To: Make a Live Christmas Garland


As you may have seen in this post, we hosted our family for Christmas this year.   Judd and I really enjoyed decorating our home to celebrate the birth of our savior with the ones we love.  I made several live fir (yes, Charles, “fir” not “fur.”  LOL) garlands, wreaths, and swags in the process.  This post explains how to make a live garland. 

(Note: I was snapping pictures on the iPhone while working.  I apologize in advance for the photo quality).

Here are the things that you will need.

  • Wire Cutters
  • Floral Wire
  • Fresh greenery
  • Pruning Shears
  • Measuring Tape


I highly recommend making your garland outside or on your porch because the fir tends to shed.

First, measure the length of the area you wish to cover.  I didn’t have a measuring tape handy; so, I measured using an extension cord I already had out for Christmas lights.  Use your pruning shears to cut the tree branches in lots of straight pieces.  Make a pile of straight pieces as you cut.  Keep the wooden stem ends all going the same direction.  This makes it easier for you as you are piecing the garland together.


Next, bundle together approximately three stems of the straight pieces that you cut.  Wire the stems together. Cut the excess wire with your wire cutters.


Take two bundled pieces and join them with wire where the first bundle’s brown stems are underneath the second bundle’s green branches.


Continue this layering process until you reach half of your desired length.  Make a second long strand that is also half of the length you want to cover.  You will then join the two strands together with the exposed brown stem ends facing each other.  Wire in a way that only a minimal amount of the stems are visible.  The two strands will be joined together in the middle so that both outside edges have nice finished end points.


Next, gather a separate bundle that has greenery going in both directions. Wire it together in the middle were there is no stem showing.11


Place this smaller bundle over any exposed stems that are showing on the center of the garland where the large half strands were joined.  Wire it in place.


Your garland should now be one long piece with two nice green branch ends.  Wire leftover greenery on top of any other exposed stems.  Add a few extra pieces of wire where needed for support to keep your garland together as you move it to its desired location.


We placed our garland over our mantel.  It took two of us to carry it in the house. 



Once the garland was in place, we added white lights and tucked in white and red nandina berries, holly, and silver ball ornaments.


What do you think?  You could decorate your garland to be in keeping with your own home or Christmas decor.  Greenery looks nice with pretty much anything or any color scheme.

I have no training or real expertise in flower arranging or garland making.  That should show you that anybody is capable of making a garland on his or her own.  You can do it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We Saw Fireworks

I know what you are thinking.

And yes, we really did see fireworks.

Judd and I joined some our FAB friends to ring in the new year.  At the beginning of the evening everyone gathered at our house to watch our Auburn tigers triumph over the UVA cavaliers at the Chick-fil-a Bowl.  After the game and after watching Dick Clark and Ryan Seacreast conduct the Eastern Time Zone countdown, we drove over to the childhood home of our fab friend Jamie to experience a real life Central Time Zone countdown.

I’ve mentioned before that we always go there on New Year’s Eve.  Her parents, the Rome’s, throw a fantastic annual party. They are originally from New Orleans, LA so it is no surprise that any gathering at their house is always a good time. Our group of friends has literally been going to their New Year’s Eve party together for over a decade.  Jamie’s dad always does an amazing job assembling a real, better than most municipalities, fireworks display.  Also, he meticulously decorates their home with lights.  No, this is not a scene from the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie.


This year I shot a few short videos of the fireworks display.  I wasn’t quick enough to capture the actual ball drop.  Yes, the Rome’s have an actual countdown complete with ball drop each year.  We always have a blast.  There were so many spectators this year who walked up from all over the neighborhood to watch the show.  Our friend Chad commented that next year we should sell them all glow sticks and funnel cakes.  Hey, that’s probably not a bad idea.



This was supposed to be a picture not a video.  My phone was apparently still in video mode when it was taken.  It is tradition for us FAB girls to take two pictures in the same place each year—one on the stairs and one with the ball drop/year sign.  Jamie just had a precious baby boy so she wasn’t able to attend the party this year.  We wanted to include Jamie in spirit since she couldn’t be there in person.  After the fireworks her mom told us to go get Jamie for a picture.  She said, “She is right above the gumbo.”  I walked in to get her picture and when I was taking it off the wall one of our former high school teachers who also happened to be a guest at the party questioned my intentions and asked my name.  I think she thought I was getting wild and taking things.  I got so tickled.  I felt like she was about to give me detention. 

Here are the rest of our photos from the night.  The Rome’s hand out eye glasses with the new year on them at each party.  I particularly liked the ones this year.

I think this year was the smallest FAB turnout yet.  There were only three fab couples in attendance--The Bridwells, the Hellers (and future baby Heller), and the Langhams.









Monday, January 2, 2012

Merry New Year!

Happy New Year, Y’all!  Did your 2012 get off to a good start?  I hope so.

Judd and I had a great time ringing in the new year with our friends.  In fact, we have had lots of time for visiting with friends and family this holiday season. We hosted Christmas for the first time ever at our house.  In six years of marriage, Judd and I had never had a Christmas morning where we woke up in our own home.  We usually travel to his parents’ home, my parents’ home, or my grandmother’s house.  We were so glad to have both sides of our families together this holiday.  We understand what a blessing it is to have in-laws who are willing to spend the holidays together and that they actually enjoy each other’s company.  It was also so special to have my big brother, Bryan, home this year.  He spent a few holidays away from us due to military deployments.

Front row (L to R): Judd, Abby, Carole (Abby’s Mom), Mary Evelyn (Abby’s Grandmother), Laura (SIL), Dot (Judd’s Mom), Brenna (SIL)

Back row (L to R): Del (Abby’s Dad), Bryan, Terry (Judd’s Dad), and Colby (Judd’s younger brother)IMG_0242

Cole was thrilled to have all of his favorite people under one roof.  It’s hard to tell, but trust me, this is his excited face.  I know it doesn’t seem that much different from his happy face, sad face, or tired face. 


Judd and I had a lot of fun preparing our home for our special guests.  We lucked out when purchasing some pine garland for our front door from a local Christmas tree lot.  I asked the workers what they did with the leftover branches from where they trimmed the bottom of the trees when making our purchase.  They told me that they threw them away and that I was welcome to take as much as I wanted.  And, that I did.  Luckily, we were in Judd’s truck so I was able to take home a good bit.  I spent the next two weeks making live wreaths and garlands. I’ll do a post on how to make them soon.

Outside, we added the purchased pine garland and some white lights around our entry.  A live fir wreath hung on our door with a large deco mesh bow.  Our porch and porch swing were decorated with fir, magnolia, nandina, and holly.



I wrapped our usual blue RH outdoor pillows in burlap and tied them like presents.  I wanted a no sew project that would help our pillows fit in with the Christmas d├ęcor.  I cut two squares of burlap and folded them over the pillows like an envelope.  The ribbon helped to keep the burlap in place.  I also picked up the little pieces of tree trunk that the Christmas tree lot was cutting off of the trees.  I used them along with some greenery to decorate our front porch table.  Judd added a red bell that was his late grandmother’s.


I mentioned in my last post that I got a camera for Christmas.  It is basically the same camera my sister-in-law Brenna already had.  She and I enjoyed taking pictures together.  I was glad to get a few pointers from her.






Our mailbox was draped with a fir garland and a bow made from two different sizes of deco mesh, one solid and one striped. 


Our living room held our tree and a live garland over the mantel made of fir.  The garland had red and white nandina berries and holly tucked in throughout.  A double sided live fir wreath was hung over our mirror.



Our tree was decorated with burlap ribbon, brown, cream, tan, and mercury glass ornaments and balls, and pinecones.  We also incorporated some ornaments that are special to us.  Our tree skirt was a long piece of burlap folded in half and gathered around the trunk.  It was another quick no sew project.



Our dining room was adorned with live garlands over the china cabinet and above our corner cabinet.  The table was set with our Opal Innocence by Lenox China with our Lisomore Tall Waterford Crystal.  My mother loaned us her King Richard by Towle silver flatware to use during the holiday meals.  We used this table setting three times.  Judd and I hosted a Christmas Eve seafood feast on Saturday night.  On Christmas Day we had brunch and Christmas dinner. 

Eating seafood on Christmas Eve is a tradition with Judd’s family.  They live in a small town in south Alabama that is near the gulf coast.  His parents drove to Mobile , AL the day before coming to our house in order to fetch the freshest catch from our friends, the Atkins family.  The Atkins’ are third generation owners of Southern Fish and Oyster in Mobile.   Our buddy, Tripp Atkins, even packed a surprise in the cooler for me to use when decorating—beautiful oyster shells.  We added them to our centerpiece which consisted of clementines, apples, fir, nandina, holly, and assorted nuts.  The arrangement sat on a half barrel with some burlap underneath it.







I found a clever way to display Christmas cards from Brenna’s blog.  I think she got the idea from Pinterest.  It was so simple.  I just cut ribbon the appropriate length and gently taped it to the top and bottoms of the backside of each cabinet door.  Clothes pins held each card in place.  It was so fun to view the cards and pictures from the folks we love the most everyday in our kitchen.  Our back door which is located in our kitchen held a live fir wreath with another deco mesh bow.



Judd’s mom, Brenna, and I had a lot of fun rolling and cutting out sugar cookies.



Cole decided that watching us bake was too much work for him.  He went outside to take a nap in the sun.


I can’t seem to find the appropriate words to tell you all how much we enjoyed having our family together.  We had a lot of great quality time together.  We visited with my grandmother, played photo shoot with the new camera, worked a puzzle, ate 3 delicious meals, drank warm beverages by the fire, attended our church's Christmas Eve service as a family, and opened gifts together.  We couldn’t have asked for a better time as a family.


We had fun passing the new camera around.  I especially enjoyed it when viewing the photos for the first time.  It was fun to see the holiday from the perspective of others.  Bryan is a military broadcast journalist.  He took the next two photos.


Dot, Brenna, and I made gift tag place cards to put on each person’s glass.  I wrote a different question on the back of each tag that was to be answered at dinner.  The questions consisted of things like “what is your favorite Christmas memory or tradition, or movie, or song, etc.?”  I think it gave us all something “Christmassy” to talk about while dining.





The guys were outside most of Christmas Eve frying our delicious seafood feast.  Our friend Hunter came over that night to eat with us as well.  The meal consisted of gumbo, fried popcorn shrimp, fried jumbo shrimp, coleslaw, and seafood gumbo.  YUMMY!

From L – R: Bryan, Hunter, Terry, and Colby




Opening presents was a lot of fun.  Cole especially enjoyed his gift from his Aunt Brenna and Uncle Colby.





Mommy and daddy had a gift for Cole too.  He had a good doggy Christmas.




Judd and I both planned special gifts for our mothers.  My mother finished her doctorate in 2007 and never had her dissertation bound.  I surprised her with a hardback copy of her work.  She had no idea.  I’m pretty sure those were happy tears. 






Judd watercolored some Christmas cards of a Cardinal, his mother’s favorite bird, for her to use next year.


That pretty much sums up our Christmas 2011. Goodbye until next time.