Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas in the 'Hood!

Michael and I volunteered to be one of the host houses for our Neighborhood Progressive Christmas Party on Saturday, and it was AWESOME! It also gave us a really good excuse to get our house cleaned up and all our Christmas decorating done!

Here are some pics of the decorations! And let me disclaim this post by saying I did all this decorating myself. (I know, usually I'm a hawt mess, but I feel like it looked somewhat pretty! Not Pottery Barn or Metropolitan Home pretty, but pretty nonetheless!) Dang, Martha Stewart doesn't have anything on the Martins!

The outside view from the street... Sorry, this is really hard to see, and my camera is pretty crappy, and the picture taker is questionable as well.

The front door. That tree to the left is pissing me off because one strand of lights is burned out. Why does that always happen?

My grandmother had a nativity scene when I was little, and I used to love that thing. Michael's mom got us this one for Christmas a couple of years ago. I can never quite get the hang of how to position the playas so that it doesn't look like everyone is checking out the camel instead of baby Jesus.

I love this little piece of furniture. It belonged to my Mom and Dad way back in the day, and I think it even belonged to my grandparents before that. So anyway, it was in my parents basement, (those of you that have seen that basement know how scary that is...) and my mom had it refinished in this cool red color. I think it's my favorite piece of furniture in the house!

I think we did a really good job with the tree this year. No comment about the lack of presents under said tree...

Okay, heres my favorite part. I saw this picture in Southern Living Magazine where someone had pulled off a bunch of magnolia leaves and put them on their mantle with all different sizes of candles and I thought it was gorgeous! Bentley didn't think there was any way that I could pull this off with my hot mess decorating skills. I'm thinking it looks pretty good. PS- Thanks Michael for stealing all those leaves off our neighbors magnolia tree. I knew there was a good reason that I married you!
I think it came together pretty nicely, right?
Okay, so enough of that. Let's move on to the PARTY!
There were three host houses in the neighborhood, and then at the end of the night, everyone went to one house for dessert and champagne! The problem with this type of party is that if you've got a good first house, nobody wants to leave to go to the next house! I must say, I think we had a pretty fun first house!

Even Beaudog and Reese got in on the fun! Here's Beaudog telling Reese that he thinks its an awesome idea that shes using a dinner napkin for a blanket!

I must admit, Beaudog and Reese were at the late night party after the dessert party. You know how they like to roll.

So, that's the extent of our Christmas decorating and neighborhood party. I'm pretty pleased! But, now since I've put all this work into it, I'm wanting to host another party! Oh, well, next weekend is right around the corner!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Deck the Halls, Ya'll!

Michael, Beaudog and I went Christmas Tree Shopping on Saturday, and I think we picked a perfect tree! (Beaudog is not as excited about the tree as he looks...he was really checking out all the other doggies at the tree lot.) Stay tuned for more posts and pics as we get the house decorated - we're in a mad dash because we're hosting our neighborhood Christmas Party at the house in a couple of weeks!

Monday, November 24, 2008

All My Single Ladies!!!

Okay, so we're not really single, but we are ladies, and we love a good girls night out on the town!
So Saturday night; Leigh, Lisa and I ventured out on the scene while Michael hosted a poker game for the boys. We had such a fun, fun, fun time!

We started out with some cocktails, makeup, and hairstyling at the house - clearly, we thought we were going to the prom. (Old married ladies don't get out much) While we were getting ready, we had a dance party featuring Sasha Fierce, thus the title of this post. Watch out ya'll... we are so learning those moves and we will be breaking them out at the next event we are all at. If you're not familiar - I urge you to check Beyonce and her badness out via this link.

We started out the evening at The Rockford. Dang, I always forget about that place, and every time I go, it is always soooooo good! And soooooo cheap for such good eats! I had the grilled pimento cheese sammie with mashed potatoes as my side item. Highly recommended to all of you next time you're there.

The pretty ladies at dinner!

The pretty ladies at The Hibernian. This is where a little bit of Sasha Fierce comes out in all of us and we are starting the rally cry for "All The Single Ladies"

Here we are drinking down some red bulls and throwing up our gang sign. Some may call this a different sign, we're just idiots and that's the only sign we all knew. Shocker. HAHAHA!

Our honorary "Single Lady" - Brad! Where is Leigh-bo? Oop! There she is!

I love how excited Brad looks to be hanging with us. Maybe that's why he wouldn't let us come back to his house for late night! Whats up with that, Brad!? I think he had clearly had enough of those red-bull drinking "single ladies"...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Trendy New Look for Hickory Holler?

So, I was bored with the way the blog was looking. It was kinda sad and didn't have much Pizazz (insert jazz hands here)

Any thoughts or feedback on the new look? I'm digging it....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blue Monday...

Why so blue? Cause my dang husband is in VEGAS, and I'm in Raleigh!! Yes, I know he's there for work, but still! What kind of "business trip" is a 7 day trip to Las Vegas?

Watch out, Vegas... cause next year Mr. Martin's "assistant" is going too!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Welcome to the 'hood, Reese!

She's finally here! Reese Harmon Beltrone arrived yesterday at 5:23 weighing in at 7lbs and 13oz!
Michael and I went over to Rex to visit the happy family during lunch today. She is the sweetest little thing, and I'm not believeing such a big baby was hanging out in tiny Stephanie's belly!
The parents are totally in love with their new little bundle and we are soooo excited for them!
Congrats, Beltrones! And Congrats Reese - at a little over 25 hours old, you are officially the youngest baby to ever be featured on the "hickory holler"! I can't wait for you to get a little older so you can walk up the street to hang out with Aunt T and Uncle Michael! (We'll make sure we've got plenty of junk food and sodas that we won't tell your parents about!)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Facebook Junkie?

So when everyone was talking about the merits of "social networking" sites, such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. I kept saying, "No, Not for me... I'm a blogger" (whatever). Well, after much prodding and being told that all the cool kids are on Facebook, I relented and got myself a Facebook page.

DANG! I'm so addicted! And so is Michael!! We can't stay off that thing! I've re-connected with some people I haven't seen since my last brownie scout meeting at the Hildebran United Methodist Church in 1979! Michael somehow found his first "crush" from his elementary school days (I must say, I'm a much better catch), and we've both been able to catch up to some peeps we haven't seen since moving away from Hickory!

My only concern is that we're so up on the facebook, we're glued to our laptops from the minute we walk in the house until it's time to go to bed every night! This has to stop or the only way we're ever going to talk to each other is through writing on each others Facebook page! WRONG!

Any advice on ground rules? Say, only 1 hour of facebook a day - between the hours of 7-8pm? Only Facebook every other day and then limit the time spent? What's a Facebook Junkie to do???

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Mad Shout Outs and Props to our good friends, Lisa and Stephen Bentley! Today is their 4th Anniversary!

We love you guys and hope you have an AWESOME Anniversary! WHOOT WHOOT!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wasting Away in Margaritaville!

Well maybe not Margaritaville, but I'd say Puerto Vallarta was pretty darn close!
We were down there for Michael's Presidents Club Awards Trip, and it was freaking awesome! Lots of great food, lots of lounging by the pool, meeting some awesome co-workers from around the country and lots and lots of tropical beverages and mixed in for good measure.
We stayed at the Grand Velas resort in Nuevo Vallarta (I guess its a 'burb of PV?) and let me tell you, I've never been to a nicer resort. Absolutely GORGEOUS! I'll let the pics speak for themselves. And as for Presidents Club?? Oh yeah, that made for a pretty good incentive to work our tails off to get back there next year!

The view from our balcony
A differnt view from our balcony, this is one of the outdoor cafes where they served some of the best food I've ever tasted! It's right next door to the pool, and for real, when you asked Lorenzo to bring you a BLT, some cheese quesadillas, even a spicy tuna roll... they fixed it right up and he would bring it right over to your pool chair! The view from said pool chair...
My husband Top Gunning it with some of the boys from WR Starkey. Okay, maybe Top Gun is a stretch (Michael's knees are still scabbed up from the beach volleyball experience)
Buenos Dios, Grand Velas - we will definitely be BACK!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adios Amigos!

Miguel and I leave bright and early tomorrow for our little "Mexican Getaway". (I like to call him Miguel instead of Michael in the spirit of all things South of the Border.)
Stay tuned... I'm sure I'll have plenty of pics and funny stories to report when we get back.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baby Fiesta - Ole'!

With Jon & Stephanie's baby girl due in about 3 weeks, last weekend, several of us hosted a Mexican themed baby shower for the Beltrones down at the Murray house!
They are huge fans of Mexican food, so we decided the theme should be a Mexican Fiesta to welcome the arrival of the new little Senorita! We had awesome tacos, burritos, nachos and all the Margaritas anyone could wish for! Here's the "momma to be" checking out the selection. Doesn't the spread look nice on the Murray's new dining room table?

A great time was had by all, and Steph & Jon gave all us hostesses some of those really cool vintage aprons as hostess gifts! Here are all the girls looking like they know their way around the kitchen. So, Baby Beltrone will be here before you know it, and we can't wait to welcome another sweet baby girl to the neighborhood! Congrats Jon & Steph, we can't wait to meet her!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Dang ya'll, I know I owe you a post or two. It's been a busy week, and I've got lots to blog about.

We co-hosted a great baby shower for our good friends Jon & Steph last weekend, and I haven't even had time to take a second glance at the pics to get them posted. The shower was great fun, and the gifts were awesome, so I'll catch ya'll up to that soon.

My fam is also coming to town tonight from the big city of Hickory, so I've been busy cleaning and grocery shopping to get ready for their arrival. I don't think they would be too excited to just munch on wheat thins and hummus which is about all I had in the refrig.

Michael and I are also getting ready for a little vacay to Mexico next week, so I totally need to be doing some laundry and packing some bags!

I promise promise promise to post tomorrow.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday - The Good and The Bad

Let's get the bad out of the way first - What has happened to my Pirates? Another dismal performance on Saturday as we got it handed to us by a top-notch Houston team. I guess what Skip Holtz says is right... When you're up on top, everyone is gunning for you.

Boys - I need ya'll to pull it together and pull it together quick! Get your mental game on and let's rally! I want to head to Memphis on New Years for the Liberty Bowl! You can do it! ARRRGGHHH!

Heres the good! but kinda sad, but really good!
One of the coolest chicks I know is packing up her game and headin' out west - GO MELANIE!

Melanie and I worked together at Micromass Communications and from the day she started work there, it was never a dull moment! That girl is mad funny, super creative (she even came up with a pseudo-sorority for the lame-o account we all worked on) and one of the most amazing peeps I know.
Mel had a little "going away" party at the Blue Martini on Saturday night so everyone could get together to give her a proper farewell before she and "Pearl" (her SUV) hit the road this week for the drive to Denver.

Some of the posse from MMC - Karen, Melanie, Ashely, me and Emily

Melanie, I'm gonna miss you like crazy. All your funny stories, your crazy ringtones, your mad skillz at Flip Cup & Catch Phrase, and your sick love for Tarheel basketball. Get your ass out there and have a blast. I expect you to know some Denver Broncos by the time Michael and I come out there to visit this winter. Love you, sis!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pirate Ship Runs Ashore - We'll be back out to sea soon!

Disappointed? You better believe it! Crushed? Yep, you've got it! Did I see it coming? I hate to say it, but I kinda did.

The NC State vs. ECU rivalry is HUGE. So huge, that it makes no difference that the Wolfpack is the worst team in the ACC this season, and it makes no difference that ECU was looking amazing the first three games of the season and had a chance to really make a big impact and get a chance at a BCS bowl game during the Holidays! This game is about heart, and the team that wants it most is the team that wins!

Bottom Line- The Wolfpack brought it on Saturday. They were ready for us and had something to prove. They looked great, and I hope that this win inspires them to do great things with the rest of their season.

I also hope that the Wolfpack win inspires the Pirates to get right back out there this Saturday against Houston and earn that place in the Top 25.

You better believe we'll be there, and I'll be wearing that purple like its my JOB!! Pinkney - you're still our man!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm not afraid to blog about the loss on Saturday

As embarrassed and disappointed as I am, I refuse to sweep our devastating loss to the Wolfpack under the rug. I will be blogging later today - so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finally! New O2 Fitness Opens

After a much anticipated wait, the new O2 Fitness at I-540 and Falls of Neuse is complete!! It opened at 5:30 this morning, and was PACKED!
The facility is absolutely gorgeous. So much so, that I really wanted to stay longer and work out a little more... okay, that's a total lie, but it really is MAD GORGEOUS in there!

Check out this massive cardio space! Lisa and I told Denis they need to hang some prints on the wall or something. I'm sure he's taking our design advice to heart. I bet he got right on the phone and ordered something to go up there.

And here's another thing that I thought was so crafty. It's like a wall of inspiration right when you walk in. My favorite quote on there..."Love Doesn't Need Handles" BOOYAH!! That'll make you think twice before stopping at Dunkin Doughnuts on your way to work! HA!

So anyway, if you aren't a member of a gym, take some time to go check out O2. It really is the, and they are offering all kinds of sign up specials right now. If you do sign up, ask for Denis and make sure I get the credit. I'm all about trying to refer some peeps so I can score a new gym bag, yo!!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Wow!!! What a weekend for college football! With the threat of Hurricane Hanna still bearing down on Eastern NC, we packed the ponchos and got ready to weather the storm of Pat White and the WVU Mountaineers Saturday at the ECU/ WVU game in Greenville.

Dag, ya'll - the Pirates look GOOD!!! I mean, we look #14 in the rankings GOOD!!

Allycen and Ashley, Mark and Ramsey came up from Wilmington to get the party started, and even though the tailgate fields didn't open until 3 hours prior to game time, we still got our pre-game on!

Ashley and Allycen, in all their WVU get-up.

Michael and Ash debate the goodness of Crown vs. a cold beer on a hot Saturday.

I know I've talked about how BRUTAL the WVU fans are, they're not very polite to visiting teams that come to Morgantown, and you're lucky to escape that place with your life, not to mention your furniture (they like to burn things, ya see...) Well, the Pirate Nation was much more receptive to the WVU fans and we were glad to see they braved the weather to come out to watch the Pirates shut down their Heisman hopeful.

Terry Holland asked that Pirate fans be receptive and open their tailgates to Mountaineer peeps and not ask them to "Walk the Plank". Okay, whatever... you know the Martin's always have an open door policy, and here's two of the greatest Mountain Men I've ever met! They were super cool, and tailgated with us before and after the game. (PS - He's been growing that beard for about 6 years - I asked him.)

Okay, so everyone knew the game was on ESPN, right? Well, did ya'll know ESPN travels by pimped out bus?? Oh, they sure do...

And if you ask nicely enough, the bus driver will let you get on said bus and will take your picture on the pimped out leather sofa.

Then, he will ask you nicely to get off the pimped out bus with the pimped out leather sofa before he calls "SECURITY!"

Okay- so the game was a blast and the Pirates beat down the Mountaineers - final score 24 - 3.

Downtown Greenville - the afterparty!!! WHOOT WHOOT!!

Ash & Allycen, ya'll kick a$$, and we love ya'll to pieces! Had a blast with ya'll and can't wait to do it again.

Michael and I will be taking a much deserved weekend off from football this weekend. ECU takes on Tulane Saturday in New Orleans. I'll be watching on TV, but chilling from the big city of HKY. Shoo, I'm glad. The last two weekends have done this old lady in! This girl needs some rest!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Good Lord, ya'll! So sorry for the delay in posting! It's been a long week recovering from the Pirates victory over the Hokies last weekend!
We've made it a tradition to celebrate the start of college football with a road trip with the Bentleys to watch the ECU/VT matchup! This is turning out to be a GREAT rivalry for ECU and Virginia Tech - the fans are all super excited and it's probably the best show of good sportsmanship that you'll see all season. I've never been to another game where the fans are so nice to one another and all the heckling and hollering is in such good nature! (I'm sure this won't be the case this weekend when the WV Mountaineers bring the redneck to GREENVILLE)
Last year, the game was played in Blacksburg, VA, and this year it moved to a neutral site - Bank of America stadium in Charlotte! It was a packed house and weather couldn't have been nicer!!
We met up with Lisa's dad and uncle, our friend Dave, my brother and his friend Jeremy, and some of Lisa's friends from VT, and Stephen's friend Jesse. Awesome tailgate, but shooooo - all that Orange and Maroon made me nervous!! Here's something cool though - the VT fans have this tradition of a drinking game to that ACDC song "Thunder" - okay, so try this at your next tailgate, house party, or wedding reception. Play the song as loud as possible, (preferably out of the speaker box set up in the back of a big truck) and each time the word "Thunder" is said, you take a drink. No shizz, it'll get you through 2 beers in one song! I LOVE THAT! I think it's my new favorite drinking game!

Here's Lisa & her Dad & Uncle

My brother giving his "Coaches Corner" Synopsis to anyone who would listen Toasting with "Hokie D" Tonya & Michael - look for this shot on our Christmas card this year.

"Tonya in the middle, where she at? In the middle"

Jeffery & Tonya posing for Vickie's new desk portrait of her "babies" - You know what they say about taking the kids out of Burke County, but you can't take the Burke County out of the kids. Stephen and Jesse before the madness starts - trust me, it starts to get really, really ugly once the game starts and the mini bottles make a guest appearance! It's all fun and games with the canned beer right now.
Okay- so tailgating over - the game starts and it was AWESOME!!!
Here's Baby and T-Dawg getting greasy at HALFTIME! I love that you can get a box of Bojangles Chicken at halftime! (Our trainer would love that too... that we're not only consuming hundreds of empty calories in beer, but also noshing on fried chicken - AHHHH YEAH!)

There was so much excitement in that stadium, and everyone was on their feet. The Pirates looked awesome, and the final score was 27-22!!

And even though the troops are starting to look like this, we know it's time to rally.

So, after the game, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and take it back out downtown - cause yeah, that's how we roll...

The Bentley's and a Bucket o' Beer!Not sure how the night goes from here.....

To here???

What a GREAT weekend! Thanks to the Bentley's for getting our 2nd annual "Kick-Ass Kick-Off" started right! We love ya'll and can't wait for next year!
We're heading to Greenville tomorrow morning to meet up with Ally & Ash, Bill and Allyson and get right up in the middle of Hurricane Hanna! The Pirates take on the Mountaineers at 4:30 and it's another sell-out ballgame. Come on, Pirates.... let's pull out another W!!!