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Archive for posts tagged with ‘Us’

Ten on Tuesday #25

Thoughtfully penned on April 6th, 2010 and generally concerning childhood, Meme, Ten on Tuesday, Us

It’s time for another edition of Ten on Tuesday. I didn’t participate last week because I ran out of time before we went to the zoo and never got back to the post. But it’s always fun to answer the wide range of questions that show up in each week’s list.

So, here we go…

1. If you could travel back in time, would you? What decade would you visit?
If I were to time travel, I would probably go to the 1920′s. I’m not really sure why; it just sounds like an interesting time to visit. However, the whole idea of time travel kind of weirds me out, so quite possibly I would just stay home.

2. What was your best Halloween costume? (fun to make? most creative?)
I’m not a big Halloween person, but we always had a costume contest at my work in Knoxville; one year I went as a bunch of grapes and won the contest. I also won a school costume contest in middle school when I dressed up as a crazy doctor.

3. Do you like your name? If you weren’t called by your name, what would you want to be called?
I do like my name. It isn’t very common, and after 31 years it’s just me. :-) When I was young (early elementary school) I hated my name and wanted to change it to something like Sarah (something common).

4. In the past year, what is the BEST recipe you made. Please share it!
Wow, that’s a tough one; I cook a lot and am regularly trying new recipes. One of our family favorites is Apple Cake, and then, of course, there’s Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls, and my favorite Strawberry Cake. I’ve made several good savory recipes this year, too. It’s.just.too.hard.to.pick.one!

5. Look around – what is the nearest object or picture hanging on the wall?

A deep red and white floral print canvas.

6. What was the last movie you saw in a theater? Would you recommend it?
Matt and I never go to the theater anymore. The last movie I saw was Julie & Julia with my best friends. I would recommend it, although, I didn’t like it nearly as much when I saw it again after reading the books it is based on.

7. Did you go to summer camp? Will you/do you send your kids to camp?
I did and I didn’t. I went to church camp the first time in 4th or 5th grade and pretty much hated it. I didn’t go to camp again until I started going as a counselor in high school. I also did basketball camp several years and an honors symposium/camp thing before my Senior year in high school. My kids are still way to young for camp, but I will send them in the future if they want to go.

8. What kind of ringtone do you have?
Right now it’s one of the preloaded ringtones called vid kid. I really need to load some music so I can have a better ringtone.

9. Where is the farthest away from home you have ever been?
Paris when I was a Freshman in high school.

10. Has anyone ever written a song or a poem for or about you?

Yep. Matt wrote me a song for our first Valentine’s Day together.

Let me know if you decide to play along. I would enjoy reading your answers.

Thanks, Chelsea, for hosting!

Our mountain vacation

Thoughtfully penned on October 22nd, 2009 and generally concerning Us, Vacation

Last week the kids and I had the opportunity to visit the Smoky Mountains (specifically Pigeon Forge) with my parents and nephews. My Dad was kind enough to come to West TN to pick us up so that I wasn’t on the road alone with both kids during the 7ish hour trip.

We headed East on Friday morning and met my brother about lunch time to pick up his boys before making the last bit of the journey. When we got into Pigeon Forge Friday afternoon, we checked into the hotel and took the kids to the indoor pool to enjoy a swim after being cooped up in the car for several hours. Little wasn’t wild about the pool (as I expected), but she enjoyed sitting on the steps with her Bebe and watching her cousins swim and wrestle around in the water (the boys are 12 and 8 years old).

Saturday was M’s day (M is the 12 year old) since that was the only day he was going to be with us (for some reason he thought it would be more fun to spend the week at the beach with his best friend than to spend the weekend with his grandparents and aunt). We ended up at a place called WonderWorks which is a kind of hands-on museum/interactive attraction. It has all kinds of “exhibits” that range from a climbing wall to stacking blocks with robotic arms, computer quizzes (anything from weather to space travel), a bubble lab, and a lot more. It was quite interesting (although quite busy since it was a rainy day), and the kids (all four of them) really enjoyed it, and so did the adults. Boo’s favorite part was pushing all the buttons he could reach, and Little really liked the bubble lab and the computerized painting station. We swam some more Saturday, and Little was brave enough to get in the water with me, although she held on very, very tightly the whole time.

Sunday we spent the day at Dollywood. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ride anything! Aunt L and Uncle J met us for the day, and Little and Boo really liked getting to spend some time with them (we hadn’t seen them since Christmas). Little rode the kiddie coaster with Aunt L and L (her 8 year old cousin), and Little and Boo both rode the Rockin’ Roadway cars and loved it. After the kiddie coaster, Little wasn’t too sure about the other kids’ rides, but Boo rode the Piggy Parade and Lucky Ducky (both just go around in a circle). After those two Little said, “I think there’s some other rides that go around in a circle that Boo can ride.” As in, “I’m not going to ride them, but Boo seems to be having fun!” It was a fun day wandering around the park, watching the kids enjoy themselves, and spending time with my brother and SIL. And I got to eat chili-cheese ribbon fries…yum!

Monday we loaded up and went into Gatlinburg to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. I had heard a lot of good things about the aquarium but had never visited. When we first walked in there was a HUGE tank of fish, and it would have been worth admission just to see Little and Boo’s faces when they saw that! We spent about 4 hours winding our way through the tanks of fish, lizards, and frogs. There is a section of “valves” that have wheels the kids can turn and my two would have spent hours right there. Little, although very hesitant in the beginning, really liked the “moving sidewalk” that carries you through a huge course of tunnel tanks containing sharks, schools of fish, stingrays, and various other sea creatures. It was really neat to see the sharks and HUGE stingrays swimming over and alongside of you. Little’s favorite parts were the ginormous stingrays (both in the tunnel tanks and the stingray tank) and a statue of a blue marlin with a fish impaled on it’s spear.

Monday afternoon/evening we swam again and Little went as far as sitting on the side of the pool and “jumping” into my arms. I was very proud of how brave she was in the pool because she has always been pretty terrified of water that is over her head! Boo on the other hand thought he could swim on his own and was constantly trying to get away from whoever held him. I let go of him a couple of times and let him go under thinking it would show him that he needed to be held, but he wasn’t buying it. He came up spitting and sputtering and was ready to go again. That boy is fearless.

Tuesday morning we went on a trolley ride and then Grandad took Little and L mini golfing and to the arcade while Bebe, Boo, and I did a little shopping. Boo ate up the trolley ride (he was very excited to ride the “choo choo”), and Little loved mini golf. I’m told she uses a croquet swing instead of a golf swing, but it must be effective since she shot a hole-in-one on one hole. Then we loaded everyone up and headed back to my parents’ house for Tuesday night before Grandad brought me and the kids home on Wednesday.

We had a few rough times (Little and Boo were tired, clingy, and missing their Daddy by the end of the trip), but it was definitely worth it. It is so much fun to see the looks of discovery on the kids faces when they experience something new and the looks of delight when they are having a great time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. It would have been better if Matt could have joined us, but we all had a great time!

For the birthday boy

Thoughtfully penned on August 4th, 2008 and generally concerning Us

Today Matt celebrates one of the big ones – the big 3-0.  Happy birthday to the man who has blessed my life in so many ways, to the man who is such a loving father to our children, to the man who loves me even when I don’t feel very loveable.  I hope we celebrate many, many more big birthdays together.  I am so proud to be your wife.

Memories of Granny and Papa’s farm

Thoughtfully penned on July 9th, 2008 and generally concerning childhood, Family, Grandparents, Of games and good things, Us

As I was writing the posts last week about our trip to Granny and Papa’s house, memories kept surfacing of the times we’ve spent there.

The memories for Matt go back to the beginning.  He remembers when the land was just that, land, filled with trees and potential.  He remembers the steps along the way to completing the house and Granny and Papa making the move out there.  He has fond childhood memories of summer visits, playing in the creek, fishing in the pond, and walking in the woods.  He always said he wished he could spend the whole summer at Granny and Papa’s instead of only a week.

There are also lots of memories that we’ve made there together.  My first visit was just over 10 years ago.  Matt and I had only been dating a few months, and he took me to meet his grandparents while we were in town for Spring Break from college.  I fell in love with his grandparents and their place immediately and am very thankful that I’m still visiting a decade later and have so many good times to reflect on.

This was the place we were married.  In the kitchen we ate chicken salad sandwiches as we waited for time for the ceremony.  In Granny’s huge garden we were photographed with our families.  Under a rose arbor we pledged our love for each other as we said our vows.

This was the place we made our first home.  The first two months of our married life we lived in the little house on Granny and Papa’s property (originally built for Matt’s great-grandmother).  We would come home in the evenings to find fresh picked tomatoes sitting on our back porch railing; we would go into the garden to pick corn from the stalk and blueberries straight from the bush.  We would go down the driveway every Thursday evening to sit on the screened porch and chat.  It was a special season in our life for many reasons, not the least of which was Matt finally getting to spend the whole summer at Granny and Papa’s house.

And now we have memories there with our children.  Little standing beside the Christmas tree.  A trip to play in the creek with her Daddy.  Boo in Papa’s lap.  Granny and Papa loving our children like they’ve always loved Matt.

I am thankful for all the memories we’ve created on the farm and especially with Granny and Papa.  It is sad to see it go, but it will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Happy Anniversary! (a day late)

Thoughtfully penned on May 27th, 2008 and generally concerning Us

Yesterday, marked the seventh anniversary of Matt’s and my marriage.  A lot has changed since we got married at the ripe old age of 22, but we’ve come through those changes together and our marriage is only stronger for it.  We’ve had our share of ups and downs, but the good times far outweigh the bad.  We’ve stuck together and entrusted our marriage to God, and we are blessed beyond measure.

God has given me a loving, tender, God-seeking man and my life is so much better for having you in it.  You are a wonderful husband, a wonderful father, and a wonderful friend.  I can’t imagine how my life might be if our paths hadn’t crossed all those years ago.

Seven years, six moves, three cities, two kids later; and I’m more in love with you than ever.  Happy anniversary, Matt!

Giving Thanks, Day 2: Matt

Thoughtfully penned on November 2nd, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Giving Thanks, Us

Today, like everyday, I give thanks for my husband.

Matt and I met just over 10 years ago in our first class (Monday, 8 am, American History) Freshman year of college. If you ask him the first thing he remembers about me he will tell you that I laughed at him one day in class. Although I don’t recall the incident that he does, I do know that he made an impression on me immediately. Through 6.5 years of marriage we have shared wonderful times, wonderful dreams, and wonderful adventures. We’ve also shared difficult times like all couples, but I prefer to dwell on the good.

I am thankful that Matt is a loving man and loves me even when I’m hard to love. I am thankful that we have enjoyed 10 years together and are looking forward to many more. I am thankful that he is a hardworking man who longs to care for his family to the best of his ability. I am thankful that Matt is an honest man and a man of integrity. I am thankful for his quiet strength. I am thankful for his deep thoughtfulness and intellect. I am thankful that he is a man of principles and values and will stand for what he believes in. And most of all, I am thankful that he seeks the face of God for in all things.

To Matt (I know you’re reading) – I love you and am so very thankful for you, our marriage, and our family.

We’re on the move

Thoughtfully penned on June 29th, 2007 and generally concerning Family, Goals, House, Summer Fun, Us, You're moving again?

Matt has worked in the University of Tennessee system since he completed his Master’s degree four years ago. A few months ago he decided that he liked the idea of leaving academia for the private sector, and we embarked on a season of prayer and conversation about his job.

The first weekend in June, Matt spent a copious amount of time preparing his resume and Pushcart Labs, his web portfolio. His hard work paid off when he submitted a resume the following Tuesday and received an e-mail reply within hours. On Wednesday morning he spoke with the CEO of the company, on Wednesday afternoon he spoke with the person he will be working alongside, and by Wednesday evening he had an interview scheduled for Wednesday the 20th.

This job opportunity was one reason our trip last week was a bit hectic. We headed to Nashville on Tuesday afternoon, Matt interviewed for the position on Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday afternoon he was offered and accepted the job over the phone as we drove to his parents’ house in Georgia.

We spent time Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – around wedding preparations, family time, rehearsal dinner, wedding, etc – doing online research on places to live; Nashville is my hometown, so it made things a bit easier in that we knew the areas where we wanted to focus our search. We are planning to rent for a couple of years; I’m sure finding an apartment is much easier than trying to find and buy a house long distance and on short notice. Early Monday morning we left Georgia headed back to Nashville hoping to find a place we liked that would be available in the time frame we needed.

Through God’s provision, the second complex on our list had three bedroom apartments available when we need to move. Our unit has close to the same square footage as our current house, an open floor plan in the kitchen/living room/family room/dining room, a large balcony, and a big master bath (something we’ve not had before). The complex has multiple pools, including an indoor pool that is open year round, and other nice amenities. We feel very blessed to have found a place so quickly, and that, so far anyway, things have gone smoothly.

The next task, when we returned home, was finding a realtor and getting our house on the market. Matt was able to get in touch with someone Tuesday afternoon, we met with her last night, and our listing should go up today. We are hopeful that we will sell quickly as we are in a great school district and our house lists for under $150,000, both of which are a bit difficult to come by in our area. The realtor seemed confidant that we should sell with no problem (but she’s paid to say that, isn’t she?); she said that though the market as a whole is pretty bad right now the market for “first-time” homes is still moving well.

Whatever happens, we know that God is sovereign over all and trust that He knows how everything will turn out in the end. We have been, and continue to be, prayerful through the process and are trying to be intentional toward making this about God’s righteousness and glory, not about our wants. It will be nice to move close to family, it will be nice for Matt to be in a job doing something for which he has a passion, it will be nice to see what happens in our lives as a result of this change; but if God is not glorified through us and through this, what have we really accomplished?

Happy Father’s Day!

Thoughtfully penned on June 17th, 2007 and generally concerning childhood, E, Family, Grandparents, Legacy, Us

I am a Daddy’s girl, through and through; as a child I believed I could do anything as long as Daddy was close by. I had faith that if I slipped, he would catch me; if I was hurt, he would make it better; if I needed him, he would come running. I knew that he loved me in a big way and that nothing would change that.

I believe that Little feels this way about Matt. She can’t yet verbalize it, but you can already see it in her eyes; she knows she can rely on him. She is blessed to have the best kind of Daddy – the kind that fears God and only wants the best for his baby girl.

Happy father’s day and I love you to the two most important men in my life!

A girl and her Daddy, hard at work


Little with my Daddy

Six years

Thoughtfully penned on May 26th, 2007 and generally concerning Us

Six years ago today we gathered with family and friends to celebrate.

Six years ago today we stood under a rose arbor in Granny’s garden.

Six years ago today we promised to love, honor, and cherish each other as long as we live.

Six years ago today we embarked upon an adventure not knowing where it would take us.

Six years ago today I had no idea how great these six years would be.

I love you even more today than I did six years ago.

Happy anniversary, Matt!