Category Archives: DIY

Two Yearniversary

Two years ago we got married under the oak tree in our backyard.


We did everything for our little wedding with our own hands (and lots of help from family!) and it was everything I hoped it would be. It also happened to be freezing that day, but I didn’t even notice.


We got the flowers the day before from Publix, dinnerware from Ikea, and set up one big table on our back porch.



My sweet neighbor and mother-in-law made home made apple and pumpkin pies.


We have been on a lot of adventures together.
Some include climbing roofs and looking out over the Tennessee river in North Alabama.

Lake Guntersville State Park in Alabama overlooks the Tennessee River.

Lake Guntersville State Park in Alabama overlooks the Tennessee River.

Some include hanging out in some really, really dirty bathhouses in campgrounds.

Believes there are spiders near.

Believes there are spiders near.


Fears no oil.

Fears no oil.

Fishing all the while. . .

Windcreek State Park

Windcreek State Park



Sometimes we worked outside until 4 am in a blizzard.



On a lift, freeze cold air flows all around your feet. The increased surface area leads to faster frostbite. In case you were wondering.

On a lift, freezing cold air flows all around your feet. The increased surface area leads to faster frostbite. In case you were wondering.


Also brr.

Also brr.

Sometimes we take road trips and come home with new family members.

Finley's first car ride.

Finley’s first car ride.

Some adventures are not so fun. Being jobless for months. Sick kids in the hospital. Inevitable family drama.


Did I mention we go fishing?

The club can't even handle me right now.

The club can’t even handle me right now.

Sometimes we go on dates to Taco Bell and see how much money we can spend, because it seems like no matter how hungry you are, you can’t spend more than $25 at Taco Bell.

Sometimes we sit in our car in a parking lot and talk and talk and talk. These conversations usually start with, “I have an idea for a business.” I roll my eyes and Travis continues. And we dream.
Always together.

Andy’s milkshakes. Dairy Queen runs. Come sit on the back porch with me. Let’s watch a West Wing. Wanna walk the dogs? I have an idea for a blog post. Trying new recipes. Wanna go garage-sale-ing?

In these recent weeks in a season of uncertainty when we have struggled so forcefully to survive, we held each other up and cried and prayed together. Literally holding each other up.

There’s no one else I’d rather do life with.

Me too, baby . . . me too . . .


Our Friends

Okay.  I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years in various places.  So, for the next 2 minutes, just allow me to be somebody else and completely pick on my beautiful wife.  And sister.  And their friend.  And friends.

Because, like millions of people in America, Gilly (my wife), Emily (my sister), and countless other women (and non-traditional male)-type friends of theirs have taken on a near obsession with Young House Love.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say this – I like YHL.  They’re smart, they’re great writers, and they definitely know their stuff.  End disclosure.

Because my wife and sister, on a recent double date with their husbands, spent at least an HOUR discussing John and Sherry, and how Clara is growing up so fast, and how the new house is better/worse/different than the old house, which was actually the middle house because the old house is now two houses removed.

We’ve read the YHL book.  If Sher-dog paints her front door red, within two weeks we’re buying a gallon of “Farmhouse Apple.”  If they install an exotic, eco-friendly, subfloor, we investigate it at great length (despite the fact that subfloors aren’t, you know, really ever used in Florida).

Oh, we keep up with Bower Power, too, but YHL is where it’s at.  I can walk in one evening and say “hey, let’s reorganize the garage” and, like she’s got a giant database already accessed, she spins her macbook around and says “here’s what John and Sherry did . . . ”

John and Sherry.  It’s gotten to the point where they are referred to so much that I’ve just taken to explaining them to our friends as “our friends” John and Sherry.  Oh.  What’s that?  No.  We’ve never actually met them.  No.  They don’t know we exist.  Um.  Well.  They’re bloggers that Em follows.

What’s worse is now I do it . . . I’m at work, and this conversation ensues:

My boss:  “So, we’re thinking of building a deck on the back of our house”

Me:  (don’t do it.  Don’t.  She’ll think you’re nuts)

Me:  (seriously man.  You’ll sound like a crazy person)

Me (blurting): “Oh, John and Sherry just did that . . .”

My boss:  “Who are John and Sherry?”

John and Sherry.  Our friends.