Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I am terrified of getting the H1N1 virus. Terrified to pieces. Not that it would kill me, because I don't think it would ... but I'm a total wimp when it comes to being sick. Especially with something awful like that. I just would not handle it well.

I really, really, really, REALLY hope I don't get it....

(We also can't do without my income right now, which is another problem...)


(This was prompted by an article I just saw about a pregnant woman dying of it. Yikes. Glad I'm not pregnant right now as well...)

Fall is here!!!

It is nearly 8am, and it's about 50 degrees outside. This makes me happy! Yay for fall!!! (And I'm off today, so I actually get to be outside and enjoy it...)

I love fall. I love all the seasons, except winter, and winter has Christmas, so I can't not love that... I just don't like January very much. Or February (except for Valentine's day.) I love spring because it's new. I love the sun-kissed warmth that seeps into my bones when I go outside that first spring day, and the LIFE I feel during the spring. It's probably my favorite season of all. I love summer because it's bright and sunny and pretty, and I also LOVE summer clothes the most :) I love winter because of Christmas, and the holiday season leading up to it.

But for me, fall holds this ... nostalgic feeling, I guess. I'm not sure why. It's not a sad feeling, though I always feel like I should be back at Samford by now... but it's a time of remembering for me. I think it's something about the crispness in the air, the warm golden colors ... I don't know, maybe it holds tradition or something, but I feel different in the fall than I do any other time of year. I slow down. In the spring, I'm giddy, and I HAVE TO BE OUTSIDE. In the fall ... my thoughts slow. My soul calms. I have long talks with good friends over pumpkin spice anything, I get to see family more, I think more than I talk ... I don't know. It's a very intangible feeling. Almost sad ... but not. I've missed it. I'm glad it's back :)

(Sadly, I can't claim to have taken this picture - it's in Chattanooga, the Southern Belle on the TN River...)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lots of random thoughts tonight ...

Things That Are Good :)

-I love it when my kitty cuddles with me on the couch. She looks like she's hugging me right now.
-I have the best hubby ever :)
-I want to go to nashville right now and visit with elissa and all her friends. I miss her like crazy...
-I am currently on a huge Ingrid Michaelson kick. "You and I" is my fave...
oh let's get rich and buy our parents homes in the south of France
let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters and teach them how to dance
let's get rich and build a house on a mountain making everybody look like ants
from way up there, you and i, you and i

love it. :)
-my sister might just be quite literally the coolest person i know. she dressed up like michael jackson for spirit week at her school. how awesome is that?
-it was fall today. I loved it, even though i only spent a total of maybe 8 minutes outside (walking into work, and out of work...) through the window, it looked gorgeous :)

I love my car. I LOVE it. We have been blessed to be able to make some excellent "investment" type purchases lately (like, not food, which gets eaten and then it's gone and doesn't last....). Like our wonderful, beautiful, uber supportive, amazing bed! And my super-awesome little zippy car :) Life is indeed good here in Birmingham.

I don't think I've talked about that enough, actually. How good of a decision it was to come here. Life is better than it has been in quite a long while - we have the same amount of money (small...), but we're so, so happy here. I really miss my unit in chattanooga, and i really miss my family ... but I'm so happy being here. It's so good. Mark's school is going really well :) He's so smart, I knew it would, but it's nice to have him doing what he likes and happy and all that jazz again. We still love where we live, we're close to friends, we've found a church, we're making connections. It's good. I'm soaking it up while I can...

And speaking of soaking while we can ... I need to go get some sleep.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

happy :)

What a good day I have had!

-slept in
-lunch with hubby
-bought my car (first time financing something EVER!)
-came home, made pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing - yummy!!!!
-went over to Andy and Suzie's, played with Emma the puppy :)
-went for a drive to the grocery store

I'm about to fix dinner for the four of us (me, mark, andy, suzie), and then we're going to the dollar theater to see The Goods. The boys picked that one - we'll see how it is :)

And church tomorrow!! Yay for this weekend!!

my car timeline

My journey in cars:

This was my first car. The Chevrolet Corsica. (it was, incidentally, Kelly's first car as well.) It ran. Sort of.

We bought it from my grandma's sweet next door neighbors for super cheap, and it served me well... it even got me through my first two years of college. But it was ugly. And had overheating problems. And I was glad to be done with it, when I got:

Polly the Passat!! It was a wonderful gift from my parents (namely, my dad), who just called me out of the blue while I was at school and said that he'd just bought me a new car! (Well ... new to me, she was a 2002.)

I had her I think 3 years, and here she is sitting at a cabin right outside of Gatlinburg where Mark and I took a mini-vacay :) I LOVED this car. She was dependable, reliable, and super fun to drive. Mark liked her too.

And then one day, when we were moving into our duplex in Harrison, we had gotten some paint from Lowes. We were on Hwy. 58, coming home, when this lady 2 cars in front of us stopped basically in the middle of the road. The person behind her swerved, the person behind them (and right in front of us) slammed on their brakes, and slammed on his. Unfortunately, the large F150 that was behind us did NOT slam on his brakes, but instead slammed into us. By some miracle, Mark managed not to hit the person in front of us, and we were all okay. The truck had a ding on its bumper. My entire trunk was dented in.

After waiting a week, the insurance company called and said the car was totalled. I was devastated. I wanted them to fix her. I still wish they had...

But instead, we went car-shopping, and ended up with...

A Taurus.

Now, just a little background on me and cars: I am not picky. I like cars that run, I don't particularly need a fancy car. I like cars with small turn radii, and that are cute, and that's pretty much it. I really am not picky at all. Except for that I don't like tauruses. Never have. Never will. I also don't like red cars. Never have, never will. So of course, what was the only thing we could find? A red Taurus. We got it for cheap. It had lots of miles on it when we got it, it had scratches, and part of the paint was peeling. But we needed money worse than we needed a nice car, so we kept a bit of the money left over from our insurance money. It's had quite a few problems in the last several months - and it's old. And I'm just about done with all that, and Mark is way past that point.

So today, we're going to Donahoo Auto, and getting this:

My new car!!

You can go here:

to see the rest of the photos. I don't know if anything will replace my old Passat, but this one might just come close :) I love it! I'm so excited to get to have a car I actually like again. It's not super fancy or loaded or anything, but it does have clicky keys, which I'm super excited about, and it does have heated mirrors, which is nice, and I have a CD player again (I know, WAY behind the times...) It also gets like 30-32 miles to the gallon on the hwy, which is WONDERFUL!! Hopefully this one will last us a long, long time - I'd really like to keep it until it just totally dies, or we like win the lottery or something.

I can't wait to drive it!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

thoughts on the morning

Just a quick post before I head out to work...

I love this time of morning, when everything is still quiet and asleep. It's like when I would have to stay over at work for a class or something, and the walk down to starbucks was like this. Still. Peaceful. At rest. It's a nice way to begin the day. I love being awake at this time, rather than so tired my eyes are about to fall out of my head. Granted, my 5:20 alarm clock is unpleasant. How much I'd rather sleep till 7! (Yes, after about 2 or 3 days of waking at normal human hours, I am once again a morning girl!) But once I'm up, it's nice. I like it.

So good morning, all :) Hope everyone has a splendid Friday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


So, it isn't completely official yet, but we've put a deposit down on a car :)

She's a 2005 Jetta. She's silver. She's wonderful. This is a picture of what she looks like (not of her ... but of one of her twins.)

Soooooo excited!! She drives fabulously, and she's pretty and nice and new and she only has 51,000 miles! And she needs a name. (It's a she because she's too cute to be a boy.)

I'll post pictures when i actually get her

Fingers crossed...


I might have found a car (that I will love for forever)....


We will see. Hope with me.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Again

First official day ... and it went great :)

In other news ... I ran yesterday. Tried to increase my distance - did not go well. I got a horrible stitch in my side that didn't go away the entire time, I couldn't run as far as I really was supposed to, and it hurt so bad this morning after sleeping on it all night that I literally could barely stand up straight. My abs were spasming. It was crazy. 13 miles seems like an awfully long way at this point....

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Last night, Mark and I (and Chip, Suzie's brother) helped Andy and her move into their new apartment - right across the street from us! Suzie didn't get back from Gulf Port until about 10pm, so you can imagine that we were sort of glad that they don't have quite as much stuff as we do :) She also brought their puppy home - her name is Emma Caroline, and she is the cutest thing to walk the earth.


She's itty bitty - maybe 3-ish pounds? And she has this huge personality, and she's so playful and loves to run and scamper all over the place, and she also loves to cuddle in your lap :) We're her godparents, and we get babysitting rights today while Andy and Suzie go to Chattanooga to get furniture from my parents' house.

It's been a crazy week - rain, rain, rain has just compounded everything. Running is going pretty well, but we've had to skip several days due to the nasty weather. In the last week, I've done some work stuff, run four days, had my car break, got it fixed, looking for a new one, cooked, cleaned, did loads of laundry, moved Andy and Suzie in - it's been super busy. But I like it that way :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

the search is on

Today, I got a reprieve from my 6am wake-up call. So what time did I wake up? Oh yes. 6:00 on the dot :) My internal alarm clock has now been set - I just hope that when I have to switch that 6 for a 5, it doesn't reset itself...

So what are we doing this fine morning, with no intention of getting up for another couple hours? Well ... Mark is still snoozing away, but I am searching for cars.

That's right. We're looking. Currently, I have a 2001 Ford Taurus that I have never liked very much. Back about a year and a half ago, my precious VW Passat, which I loved dearly, got totaled when a too-big pickup rammed into the back of us. I DESPERATELY wanted them to fix it ... but no go. Instead, they gave us a check. Between my 12-hour shifts and the time-limit on the rental, we didn't have a whole lot of time to car-shop, so we ended up with my current car. It's okay. It runs. It's fine. But it isn't fun to drive at all, and it (now) has a TON of miles on it. Almost 200,000, in fact. And we drive my car everywhere, because Mark's is falling apart and has no air condition. (And still, he loves it. I don't understand.) We've also had to repair my car like 3 different times in the last several months, and we've spent more on it than it's worth, and Mark decided it was time for a new-to-us car. So. I'm looking...

What I really want is this:

Or this:

But we'll see. We're not in a huge rush this time, thankfully, so we can be a little pickier. And hopefully I'll get something that I really like this time...

Now it's off to the grocery store for me...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Since when do I get up this early?

Good morning, all! Yes, I am indeed posting before 7AM, and yes, this is new for me :) Third day in a row that I've gotten up and gotten ready at 6:00 in the morning - when I'm normally praying for dayshift to hurry along and get to the unit (shout out to my nightshift people! Hi Casey and Brandy!)

I must say, it is really nice to feel like a normal person again. I don't see how 8-5 desk job people do it week in, week out, but I do think I'll enjoy being on dayshift. We've skipped running two days now because of general tiredness and Mark had a headache, and rain, but the plan is to start back up this afternoon after I get off, which hopefully will work out as planned.

Andy starts his job today, and they'll move into their apartment in a couple weeks. And as a surprise, Suzie's sister bought them a puppy!!!! She is ADORABLE - she's a King Charles spaniel and looks a bit like this:

She's staying at Suzie's mom's house for the time being, but will move into their place when they do :) SO PRECIOUS!!!!

Alright ... time to head for work, bright and early in the morning - hope everybody has a great day!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Red-less red velvet...

I'm sitting here on the couch with my sweet kitty and Andy. Mark is in class, and Suzie is napping. It's a quiet evening around here ... I like it this way. It's about to be not quiet, because I've got to leave my comfy seat and go get cupcake liners to make not-red red velvet cupcakes (because Mark hates red velvet cake, but apparently only because it's red.) I desperately wanted to make these yummy-sounding pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing, but there is no pumpkin puree in the city of Birmingham, and I am far too lazy to actually buy a pumpkin, bake it, scoop it, and puree it myself. So red-less red velvet it is, then.

Running, so far, has been good. All two days of it, anyway. Today is one of our break days, partly cause I'm tired, and partly cause it's rainy. But we're all enjoying it, and seem to be handling it well. Not that this week is hard or anything. So we'll see as we increase the distance, I guess.

So really, my life is pretty boring, but pretty awesome right now. We've played a lot of Rock Band on the XBOX, and I've gotten pretty good - I'm up to Hard on most of the guitar parts (not the super hard songs, though), and I even tried expert on one. Did not go well. We've eaten a lot of Krispy Kreme donuts, which is bad for everyone, and I've been cooking a ton lately. Andy starts his job on Wednesday, and Suzie's waiting to hear back on one, and they are moving into an apartment at the end of the month (in the same complex as ours!! Yay!!) So things are good. I'm happy. I'm going to like it here :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Community :)

I've been back in Birmingham for 3 days now, and it is lovely :) Andy and Suzie are still staying with us, and will be for a few more weeks until they get in their own place. I haven't had community like this in a long time, living with friends, eating good food together, socializing, staying up WAY too late... It's been wonderful :)

We started running today, too. Week one is pretty decent - basically it's a mile, alternating running and walking between every 1/8 mile, so it's not particularly intense. Still got out of breath though - I'm ridiculously out of shape. I didn't get a headache for once, which was nice. (Usually I get a really pounding headache when I run.)

Mark and I are going on a date tonight, too, which will be nice - our celebratory "April's back for good" dinner date :) Will be fun, and yummy - we're going to Bonefish Grill to eat!

And now, pictures of our escapades:

The other night, Andy, Suzie and I engaged in a long game of Rock Band and stayed up till like 4 am. A few pictures to document our rock star-dom... (and my new haircut, which you can't see very well here.)

Suzie, also known as "Rhonda," on the drums

Andy rockin' the bass :)

Aww :) I like having married friends!!

And, the biggest news of this post...

Our bed came!!!!!! Here it is, made up pretty :)

And how it looks finished, with our mismatched bedside tables that we will hopefully be replacing soon.

I LOVE it. It's so nice, and pretty, and exactly what I wanted. A nice bed (headboard, footboard, the like) is something I never thought I'd have (sort of like matching living room furniture ... maybe someday...), but here it is in my bedroom!! Great investment - we'll be keeping this thing until it literally falls apart. So pretty!!!! I'm excited :)

So now, save patio chairs and matching bedside tables, our home is finally complete. It's a good feeling. Andy and Suzie will be moving right across the street in the other section of our apartment complex, so we will have instant, nearby community, and Suzie and I will be able to do lots of things together (hopefully our schedules won't conflict completely...) Life is looking pretty good for us here. I'll miss Chattanooga and my job there and my family, but I'm really glad that I'm here now :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

leavin' on a jet plane, don't know when i'll be back again...

It was my last night, and it was fantastic. Great friends, great food, lots of hugs, some excitement, some sadness.

I'll miss you guys.

The next time you hear from me, I'll be in Birmingham.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ready to go...

Mark is here with me in Chattanooga. So nice to have him here!

I'm getting so impatient to be back in Birmingham. 5 more days here, total, and it's going to be fun - I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow with Mark, and then Sunday night I think my mom and I are seeing Julie and Julia, and then Monday morning we're having girls' day. And Wednesday will be my last night. I'm so ready.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back in Chattanooga....

I'm back for work for the last time. (Not back for the last time, much to the assured relief of my family and friends here.)

We finally got our box springs today - still waiting on the bed. Seriously, it's been over a month now - I'm getting impatient. We've paid for it on the credit card already, and I want to be sleeping in it! Pictures to come as soon as we get it.

Andy and Suzie are settling in pretty well, it seems like - Andy's job searching right now, and Suzie is trying frantically to get her paper done, and is going to ask for another extension probably next week, since she had so much stuff happen during the writing process. (She had the flu for over a week, then all her research got locked in the library when it closed, unannounced, for a long weekend, and then some of their luggage got lost for a day, not to mention moving halfway across the world.... So. Hopefully they'll grant that, and she can get it done.

Mark's school is going really well so far - he got a B+ on his first paper!! Yay for him!!!! He seems to be enjoying his classes, and has picked his topics for his two major papers this semester (he just has to talk with his advisors about them before he starts the research.) He's coming to visit tomorrow, and will be here through Sunday :) That will make my week go a bit easier, I think.

It's crazy to think that in 7 days, my life is going to change. I'm hoping it's going to be a change for the better - definitely better hours, seeing my hubby a LOT more often, getting my house in the shape I want it ... It sounds excellent. And now that we have our good friends back in town, we have people to do things with, and split the cost of things with :) Suzie loves to entertain as much as I do, so that will be a lot of fun for us. It'll be nice to have somebody to have coffee and scrapbook and do fun crafty things with :) I'm really excited about the prospects of what our lives are going to be like.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

one more week

Tomorrow, early in the morning, I have to return to Chattanooga. I mean no offense to any family members or co-workers who may be reading this ... but I am not excited about it. Leaving my blissful, daytime, bright, happy world here, and going back to work the vampire shift for 6 days is just not looking so peachy to me. Positives: Mark is coming to visit, and we're getting our hair cut on Saturday. Our family is exchanging names for Christmas, and talking/thinking about the holidays always makes me happy. Monday is my day with Mommy, which will be fun. Wednesday night, my last night at work, they're having a party for me. But even with all that, I'm just ready to move on.

And on the other hand, I'm not. It's so. weird. to think about leaving. It's the only unit I've ever known. It feels like home to me, and my co-workers feel an awful lot like family. I will miss them like you wouldn't believe. I'm nervous about starting the new job. Will they like me? Will I be good enough? I feel like I'm teetering at the edge of a cliff, and will jump next week, and I'm either going to fly, or fall. It's a scary place to be, a little bit.

I also hate to leave Andy and Suzie - it's been so, so good, being with them again - it makes Birmingham feel even more like home. But, soon enough. I just need to be patient.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

our friends are home!!

Andy and Suzie arrived in Birmingham this afternoon. They flew all day long, halfway across the world, from England to Ireland to Chicago to Birmingham, and Andy's luggage got left in Chicago. They're delivering it in the morning, hopefully.

Tonight, after Mark got back from class, we ate taco soup and had homemade mojitos (which were amazing ... yum yum yum!!) Tomorrow, Andy's picking up applications, we're eating at Chik-Fil-A (cause they don't have those in England), and Suzie and I are making chocolate chip cookies for the boys.

I've missed them like crazy. I'm so glad they're back. Friends are such a happy thing to have around :)