Monday, December 30, 2013

For There Your Heart Will Be Update

Most of you remember my post from a year back when I showed pictures of when my in-laws house burned down.  Although it has been a tough year for all of us, especially my in-laws, we have learned that time marches on.  We were truly blessed by the wonderful family and friends that supported us through the journey.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all of the prayers.  We could not have done it without you.

Right after the fire occurred, the Millings were in shock, needless to say.  All they had were the clothes on their back and each other.  Immediately, the blessings began to flow in.  Mr. Milling's boss owned a farmhouse in Madison that no one was living in that he offered for them to stay in until they found a more permanent home.  The house that they stayed in just happened to be previously owned by Dr. Perry.  You don't know Dr. Perry?  He is the father of a fairly popular band.  I think it is something like The Band Perry... or something like that : ) Neat side note.

Friends and family gathered clothes, money, and gift cards for the Millings to help rebuild what they had lost.  The community took it upon themselves to clean anything that was salvageable.  So many pictures and memories were saved due to their quick action.  Every little piece of the Milling's past that was saved was a small gift from God.  While the they were in the farmhouse, they decided they liked the area and needed a new start.  They bought a lot and began to build a new dream home.  Here are a few pictures of the new home sweet home:

New home!!!  They have built a beautiful 5 bedrooms with 4 1/2 bath house.  Yes, it is for two people, but Mrs. Lisa created rooms that I have never heard of before.  They have the Master bedroom, of course, guest bedroom, and an upstairs guest suite.  The other bedrooms have become a workout room and a sitting room.  They have an additional room that is their office.  I never knew I needed so many rooms, but now I want some that I can name.  I want my own work out room and maybe a craft room and a gift wrapping room and a painting room and... I digress.
Peacock tree!!  We were at the Millings for
Christmas morning.  This tree was given to the
Millings right after the fire.  Some friends had
bought a tree the previous year to give to
someone in need of one the next year.  It
meant so much to my in-laws!
Look at all of these presents!  They filled the area beneath
the tree and had to wrap around into the dining room.

Dining room: Everything was picked by Mrs. Lisa and
Mr. David carries out her vision.  They are a
pretty serious design team.
China cabinet: most of Mrs. Lisa's china
was found in the old home's remains.  It
was washed and returned to its original

Breakfast anyone??  I learned very quickly that it is a
Christmas tradition for Mr. David to make cinnamon
rolls for breakfast.  This year's version were fantastic!

Mrs. Lisa was able to stop running around for a brief photo-op
 with Matt.

Anna with her Christmas coffee!

Beautiful mantle with a Pottery barn nativity scene that the
 Millings weregiven last Christmas post fire.

Do you see all of those bows? Yes, these were on all of
the gifts under the tree.  I felt like I was at another wedding
shower.  I certainly haven't opened that many presents since
that time.

This is what Mrs. Lisa calls the Holding room, I think.  It is
in the same area as the kitchen and has a fantastic view of the
woods out the back of their house.

Sorry about the lighting in this picture.  It does not give
this room justice.  This is part of the guest suite that is over
the garage.  To the left of the picture is a half stair that leads
to a big guest bed.  The Millings had Anna staying with
them, so I didn't want to invade the bedroom area.

Master bedroom: I love the color palette Mrs. Lisa chose!
The gray is so soothing and classy. 

Master bathroom with a huge tub and his and hers sinks

I am completely jealous of their shower!

This year, Matt and I had the holiday season so easy!  We are going to get spoiled.  We typically do Christmas eve with my family, Christmas morning with Matt's family, Christmas lunch with my family, and Christmas dinner with Matt's family.  The driving back and forth was getting crazy, and Matt and I were never able to just enjoy the holiday.  We were always worried about getting to the next event in time.  But this year, since my brothers, Jonathan and Jeff, were not here for Christmas, my mom decided not to do a big Christmas lunch.  The Millings invited them to eat at their house with all of us.  I cannot tell you how much easier it was on us.  Like I said, we are going to get spoiled!  We all had such a good time and the food was delicious.  Here are a few memories from the easiest Christmas of my married life:

Peeples family relaxing after a very large lunch.  I think
it is nap time!

Brother/sister time

I think this was the first time Mrs. Lisa sat down that day.

Christmas ladies!

The men claimed the couch in the name of men everywhere

I am so thankful for two wonderful sets of parents that love
us and have accepted the changes that a marriage can
bring.  I love that we don't have two families; we have
one large one.

Merry Milling Christmas!!  XOXO Matt
and Emilee

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!!

I feel like it has been forever since my last blog post... because it has!  With 2013 coming to a close, I have been thinking over what all has happened this past year.  It has definitely been a year of transition, but I feel that all years should be.  I don't ever want to look back on a year of my life where I see no personal growth.  What a waste of a year it would be!

Let's see, what all happened this past year??  A little over a year ago, my in-laws experienced a great loss when their house was engulfed in flames, and they were forced to rebuild memories that were lost.  A few months ago, they moved into a beautiful home that they personally designed.  Although they lost what they thought was their dream, God has richly blessed them throughout this painful process.  I have been wanting to post pictures of their new house, but if I know my Mother-in-love, I need to wait until it is just right. She is having a housewarming party this week, so be expecting pictures soon!

My older brother graduated from medical school and is the first of us to get the sought after Dr. in front of their name.  He matched in Psychiatry up in New Hampshire and lets just say the weather is slightly different from Mississippi's.  This will be our first year to not all be together at Christmas which makes me sad, but my middle brother is flying up there to spend the holiday with him which makes me happy that they will be together.

Matt's hobby of forging his own knives has really hit off over the past year, and I can't be more proud of him.  I am always blown away by how he is not just good at things; he takes it to the next level and becomes the best he can be at it.  He is constantly researching new techniques and trying to hone his skills.  If you want to check out his site, it is  He and his forging buddies take in all the money they make on the knives and invest it in furthering their business, so the knives keep getting better and better.  Every girl likes bragging on their man, and it is just a bonus when the hobby is as masculine as forging!  Ok, here's a teaser pic of my favorite knife he has made:

This past year has provided me with so many new experiences and has really thrown me out of my comfort zone.  I am in my last year of dental school and decided to try to get a residency position in pediatric dentistry.  Ever since I worked at a pediatric dental office, it has been something that I wanted, but there have been so many things I had to accomplish before I could see if God would open that door for me.  I have been traveling all over the southeast to visit programs.  I won't find out if I got a spot until the end of January, but I already feel like I have hit the jackpot.  Whether I end up getting a residency spot or not, I am so blessed to be able to do what I love, which is to work with and help those around me.  This is one reason why I thank God daily that I have my sight, so I can continue in dentistry.  Not a day goes by where I don't think about when I lost my vision in one eye, and not a day goes by that I don't thank God for the ability to see.

Now that it is the Christmas season, I have really gotten the urge to decorate.  As I was going through our decorations, I realized a few things were missing.  We had been storing some of our decorations at Matt's parents house, so I think they are ashes now.  All of the decorations that we had left were a few silver and gold balls.  Time to go shopping!!!!  I didn't want to just buy some ornaments; I wanted to make the tree exactly the way I envisioned it in my mind.  With Matt being such an outdoorsman, we have created a more woodsy theme in our house, so I wanted the ornaments to match but add a little glitz.  Here are a few ornaments I just whipped up in my spare time :)

I had some leftover craft pearls that I hot glued to a gold ball.
It near about killed me, so I only have one.  It was certainly a labor of love!

Speaking of love, Matt helped me make these simple, elegant ornaments.
Just white balls, stamps, and black ink.  Once we stamped the balls,
we put them in muffin tins and baked them at 200 degrees until the ink was set.
These are some of my favorites!  They were the easiest and most
sparkly ornaments that I made.  Just some clear stones, a little
hot glue, and a glass ornament.  They look fantastic with the twinkle

These little guys add to the rustic flare.  Once again, just glass
balls with a medium size twine wrapped around it.  The twine is
held in place with hot glue.

I had some left over burlap that I twisted and turned into our
tree topper.

Here is the final product!  Although I am supposed to be studying for my National Boards, I can't help but stare at my tree all day long.  I am obsessed with how it turned out.  We threw in a few red berries for a pop of color.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

We had the pleasure of having Matt's and my sister over for some Christmas pics and hot chocolate.  She brought her sweet boyfriend with her to man the camera.  You think when you get older, it would be easier to get a lovely, sweet Christmas picture, but that was not the case.  Here are a few of our attempts.

We can't forget lil Tipsy, our classy holiday elf!

Anna and Derek: they are not used to being the ones in front of
the camera.  Smile!!


Someone was a Grinch about getting his picture made, and
that someone was not me!

Please don't judge.  His fake smile is not the best look for him.

I am not sure why this is, but Matt cannot take pictures without
yawning!  It's like he stops breathing or something.

Stop pushing!!

Christmas is my favorite!  I am so excited!!!

May all your days be happy and bright and may all of your Christmases be bright!

 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:14

~~Merry Christmas from the Millings~~

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Momma's Pork Chops

What comes to mind when you think about home cooked meals?  Do you think green bean casserole? Red beans and rice?  Sunday roast?  I think about my mom's pork chops.  Since I come from a large family, finding a dinner that we all liked was difficult.  We had several favorites: roast beef with rice, turkey and gravy (which for some reason we called "Munchkin Meat"), and these pork chops.  My Mom always worked so hard to make meals that we liked and wanted dinner time to be family time.  I didn't realize until I was older how rare sit down dinners were to other families.  I will always appreciate my Mom taking the time to make dinner every night, so thank you, Mommie!  It brought us all together and created so many memories.  These pork chops are super easy and made with non-intimidating ingredients.  It is a perfect meal  for someone who is new to cooking and wants to blow their spouse away!  These are my Momma's Pork Chops:

Momma's Pork Chops

Delicious smells fill my kitchen.  I begin to reminisce over old memories of family dinners, saying Grace, stumping Dad with things we learned at school, chewing with our mouth open, drinking our milk, and thanking Mom for making dinner.  

Eww... mom, not Brussels sprouts!!  Actually, my mom never made us eat Brussels sprouts, but I wanted to give it a try.  Matt has always disliked anything "cabbage-y."  That sounds like a challenge to me!
I removed the outer leaves that had yellowed slightly.  The large sprouts, I cut in half and the small ones, I left whole.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees then tossed the sprouts with salt, pepper, and olive oil. 

I placed the sprouts cut side down initially to brown the bottoms.

After about twenty minutes, I flipped the Brussel sprouts.  Look at the beautiful brown color that has developed!

I let the sprouts roast for another 10-15 minutes.  This allowed the sprouts to develop a fantastically rich taste for such a disliked veggie.  You really should give it a try.  If you don't like Brussel sprouts this way then you just plain don't like them.  Btw... if you are wondering, Matt did like them!

While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, measure out 1 cup of rice.  I chose brown rice, so I used a little over 2 cups of water to cook it in.

Now that everything else is cooking, it is time to get to Momma's pork chops!  Take about 1/2 a cup of flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp of black pepper.  

Mix everything together on a plate.  This will be enough to coat four pork chops.

I used bone-in pork chops because that is what Momma used.  The bone adds flavor to the meat and keeps it juicy.  Pork has a tendency to dry out if it cooks too long.  I have found that the bone-in kind stay juicier, but for my dear friends that don't eat meat off the bone, feel free to use boneless pork chops.

Place each pork chop in the flour mixture

And coat it lightly on each side of the chop.

Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a large skillet to medium high heat.  

Cook the pork chops on each side for about four minutes until they are cooked through.  

Remove the chops from the pan and let them rest on a plate.  See all those yummies at the bottom of the pan?  That, my friends, is called flavor!

Yay!  Rice is done!  Dinner is almost ready.

Take your rice and add it to the pan you cooked the pork chops in.  Stir the rice and scrape up all of those brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

Serve up your delicious Mom and kid approved meal.  This meal brings back so many memories to me, and I hope it inspires you to create a few of your own.

Brussels sprouts:
1/2 lb of brussels sprouts
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1 TBSP olive oil

1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 cup of water
1/2 TBSP of butter

Pork Chops:
4 bone-in pork chops, trimmed of fat
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 tsp of pepper
1-2 TBSP of olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and trim your Brussels sprouts of any yellow leaves.  Cut the large sprouts in half and leave the small ones whole. Place them on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Put your sprouts cut side down and place the cookie sheet in the oven.

Boil the 2 1/4 cups of water and add the rice and butter.  Cook until tender.

While the sprouts and rice are cooking, start working on your pork chops.  Bring your olive oil to medium high heat in a large skillet.  On a plate mix the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Coat each pork chop in the flour mixture and add the chops to the hot oil.  Cook the chops for about 4 minutes on each side or until they are just cooked through.  Remove the chops from the pan and allow them to rest.  Take your rice and add it to the pan you cooked the chops in.  Stir the rice and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Enjoy!!