Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fun, Fun, Fun!!!

This best describes my Saturday! Brad and I were in Huntsville and I had a jam-packed Saturday visiting with friends and family. The day got started with lunch with 2 friends, Jennifer and Emily. Jennifer is expecting her first baby, Caroline, here in the next few weeks. It was fun visiting and catching up.

Next, I slipped in a visit with my friend Rebecca. Rebecca and her husband, Billy, just bought a house about 5 minutes from Jennifer. I have been wanting to see her new house so bad! As always, what we both intended to be a 30 minute visit turned into an hour and a half - ha!! It was great! Rebecca and I talk almost everyday, but it was so great just to see her face and give her a hug, actually lots of hugs. Rebecca, your house in beautiful!

The night ended with a couples kitchen shower for Justin and Christina. It was given by Christina's mom and step-dad's Sunday school class. One of the hostesses was Mrs. Houston (the shower was actually at her house). This is special to me because Mrs. Houston hosted a shower for me when Brad and I got married (it was at her house too). It was fun getting to visit with everyone and watch Justin and Christina play games. The first game was a cake decorating game. The picture below is the final product - the chef and sous chef did great! The other game was the nearly/newly wed game with the parents and happy couple as the contestants. The questions and answers were just as funny as the real game.

Since we will be back in Huntsville next weekend, we left Ellie and Madi with Brad's parents. I miss them like crazy and can't wait to see them Friday! It won't get here soon enough!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Home Sweet Home

That is probably what my girls are thinking now that they are home. While we were in Pigeon Forge, Ellie and Madi were at the vet’s office.

When I dropped them off Thursday the receptionist who helped me was not the nicest. In fact, on the back of her shirt it read “Pain Police”. Either she had been having a rough day or she had been working at the vet’s office too long and needed to find a new job. I thought I had done a good job packing up there stuff. I only included 2 beds, one large blanket, 2 small blankets and some toys. This is major improvement if you compare it to Ellie’s first overnight trip at the vet’s office. That time I had 3 beds, 2 big blankets, 1 small blanket and a bunch of toys – all for one dog. The receptionist had the nerve to tell me she didn’t think my dogs needed all of these things and that she wanted to write our name on everything. I told her they did need the bedding and they could only write our name on the tags. Luckily, one vet had already loved on Ellie and Madi because she had a cocker spaniel herself and the technicians who came to get the girls were super nice. I told myself that if she was rude to me again on Monday I was going to say something to the vet.

So, I go to pick them up yesterday. I patiently wait my turn and see the Pain Police leaving, or so I thought. Another girl helps me and she is nice. The girls come out (we are all very excited) and the technicians help me to my car. I point out my car and to my surprise there is a dead bird in my grill. YUCK!!!!!!!!! Funny thing though – Brad and I were driving home Sunday and we hear a thud and see some feathers but didn’t really think too much of it. We thought we had run over something and thought everything was ok because no lights came on the dashboard. Well, that big thud was a bird crashing into the grill of my car.

Once we got home I washed all of the girl’s bedding and Brad gave them a bath. The rest of the evening was spent on the couch. They both were asleep in no time, snoring away.

Normally, I under the blanket and Ellie is beside me and Madi is at my feet. That is not how it played out last night. I tried to fit in between them but that did not work out very well.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wright Reunion

This weekend we went to Pigeon Forge, TN for Wright Reunion, Brad’s dad’s side of the family. Over 70 people gathered at the Valley Forge Inn to visit and spend time together. This was my first time to go to Pigeon Forge and my first time to go to the reunion. It was great!

It took us right around 8 hours to get up there and the traffic wasn’t too bad until we got to Chattanooga. I am glad Brad was driving! I enjoy driving when there isn’t any traffic, it is actually relaxing to me. But, if there is traffic then I just putt along in the right lane; Brad does such a better job.

Most of the weekend was spent visiting with family. A large room was rented for us all to hang out in. It was nice because you could come and go as you pleased and do your own thing whenever you wanted. For instance, Saturday morning Brad went hiking with his dad and cousin, Matt. I went to breakfast with the rest of the crew. When we were both done we met in the big room and visited for awhile.

If you look really hard you will see 2 points in the center of the picture (through the trees). This is The Chimneys, where Brad hiked. I took this picture while we were out driving/exploring. Also, while we were out Brad tried to show me downtown Gatlinburg. Wow, you could tell it was spring break. We were going to park and get taffy and fudge, but there were NO parking spots anywhere. Brad thought there were just as many people there as there were in NYC. If that is the case, take me back to NYC! I could handle that better than that stop and go traffic.

Two of my favorites, Grayson and Ella. Grayson is Brad's cousin Mischa's son and Ella is Brad's cousin Jamie's daughter. They are so sweet!! They loved playing with each other and the rest of the kids there. I feel like I need to explain the bath tub they are sitting in front of. This was in the meeting room. The meeting room was more like a really big suite. It had a kitchenette, dining table, 3 queen beds, couch, and of course no room in Gatlinburg would be complete with out a jacuzzi tub.

As I said, we really did our own thing all weekend long. Saturday night we ate with Pam and Joe and TGI Fridays across the street from the hotel. It was nice to not have to get out in traffic (we literally ran across the street) and it was nice to not have to wait on a table (they had an "immediate seating" sign lite up).

Going to a family reunion is a great time to learn and remember family. So, here are some things I learned:

1) Brad’s grandmother’s first name was Emily. I knew her as Me-Maw and thought her first name was Aula. Turns out she went by her middle name and her first name was Emily (Emily Aula Cowan Wright).

2) The Wright’s liked to name their kids after other family members. There are a lot of Joe’s in the family (male and female, all spelled the same way). Another example is the name Nora. Brad’s great aunt was Nora and his aunt was named after her, Nora Sue.

3) The Wright ancestry has been traced back to the 1700s – I thought this was pretty neat! One family member put together this neat book explaining it all. I thoroughly enjoyed looking through it and seeing where Brad came from.

4) Joe, Brad’s dad, is the youngest of all the first cousins and Justin is the youngest of all the 2nd cousins. Each year Joe takes a picture with the oldest living first cousin, Helen.

5) Brad did not get his height from the Wright side. It could have been from the Cowan side (Brad’s dad’s mom) or somewhere on the Nixon/Green side (Brad’s mom’s side).

This is all of the 2nd cousins that were there for picture time. I think there were actually a few more there for the reunion but they slipped out before the picture was taken. You can see Brad is a good bit taller than most in this picture.

If you get bored, check out the Valley Forge Inn's website, www.valleyforgeinn.net. You can see pictures of the rooms and the meeting room. We had a wonderful time and I know we will be going back in the future!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Friends Forever

The Eckley family came to visit this weekend and we had a great time!! They were our first friends to come down and spend a full weekend with us. They came Thursday and left just a little bit ago. It was great on Thurday to see their van when I drove up to the house! Friday Brad went to work all day but I only had to work half day. We got to eat lunch at Roly Poly, one of my favorites. After that Emily and I went shopping. It great to have some girl time. We ate a yummy Asian restaurant Friday night and then went to the Bass Pro Shop. Oh my goodness, this place was huge! I think we could have spent hours in there with all of us mesmerized.

Saturday the guys played golf at Timbercreek and Emily, Ben and I went to Fairhope. This was my first time to explore Fairhope and it was so cute! There was a neat toy store where I think Ben had a great time. Speaking of, he is so sweet. There were toy tables set up throughout the store and when Emily said it was time to go he just put up what he was playing with and was ready to go, no crying or whining. After that we went down to the pier where they have a little beach. Ben was not really a fan but it was still fun to walk around.

Friday and Saturday night we played games after dinner. Trivial Pursuit is a favorite of all of our's. Matt and Emily always kick our butts but it is still so fun!! I think we played 3 or 4 rounds of it and they won every time. We also played Nerts (this is a card game for those who do not know). This was Matt's first time to play and boy did he do good! You would have never known it was his first time. I was lucky to win one round of Nerts, while Matt won the other 2.

We had such a great time with them this weekend and hated to see them leave - I already miss them. It was so fun to explore and just catch up with one another! I know we will see them soon whether it be them coming down here or us coming up to Huntsville.

Emily and Ben at Panera for breakfast Saturday
(don't you just want to eat him up!)

We wanted to keep Ben with us but figured his grandparents probably wouldn't like that!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Whistle While You Work

Our good friends, the Eckley family (Matt, Emily and Ben), are coming to visit us this weekend; they are actually on their way right now - wahoo! Last night Brad and I were doing some last minute cleaning (we always save the floors for last). Brad loves to listen to his i-pod and sing while cleaning. Me on the other hand, can handle some music but don't really like 2 things going at once (i.e. music and tv or 2 types of music). So, I was serenaded with everything from Tom Petty to Josh Turner while I mopped the kitchen, den and study. It was great! It made me laugh though, because I could hear him above the vacuum - he was just belting out.

How do you like to clean? Do you like listening to music so you can sing along?


I thought it would be good to give an update on a few things.

1) Headboard - the 2nd one arrived last week. The first one arrived damaged (or so the box says) the last week of February. A new one had already been ordered so we now have 2.

2) Yoga - Just what I thought it would be - relaxing! It was great to stretch after being sore from bootcamp. I am still sore today, in fact I can barely walk. Yesterday Lauren and I were both moving slowly through the office. I definitely want to go back but it will not be today!

3) My old job - I didn't make it very clear that the transition to Millington is going to happen over 5 years, or so the director says. I have a feeling it will take less time as everyone finds new jobs or retires.

That's it - have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bootcamp Pilates

I learned today that these 2 words do not go together. Last week Brad and I joined the YMCA. It is only $15 a month (really free for me and $15 for Brad)!! That is awesome compared to what we paid in Huntsville. With this we have access to all of South Alabama's YMCAs. There is one close by my work and there is one in Daphne, so we are good to go.

I thought today I would try a class, Bootcamp Pilates. I did Pilates in Huntsville and it was a lot of fun. We would lay on the role in the beginning, do some breathing exercises, and rarely broke a sweat, but still got a good workout. I figured today would just be a little bit more intense but still Pilates. Boy was I wrong - it was all bootcamp!

A girl from work, Lauren, went with me. In fact, I am the one who suggested going (she normally goes to the spinning class with another girl but she couldn't go today). We walk in, get our mat and some 3 pound weights. The instructor suggested the 3 pound weights since this was our first time. My initail thought was, "I'll try this, but I think I can lift more than that" - ha. Anyway, we see people stretching and hear the instructor talking about kickboxing. Lauren and I both thought, "oh no, we didn't come for kickboxing"; that should have been our clue that pilates was not going to really happen, or at least not the pilates I know. We get started - first shoulders, then squats, biceps, one side of hips/butt, abs, and the finally the other side of hips/butt. Each body section was "sculpted" for a song - oh my goodness, what a workout! We had to leave early to get back to work but they were going to back to abs when we left and who knows what else. It was a great workout (just not what we thought going into it)!! I think we will definitely go back, just with different expectations.

Has anyone else ever had an experience like this?

Tomorrow I am trying Yoga. The schedule calls it "yoga", not "bootcamp yoga", so we will see what it s really like.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fairhope Pier

This afternoon the 4 of us went to the Fairhope pier. The weather was just perfect for an afternoon outside (mid 70s with a nice breeze). I know I had a great time walking and looking around and I think Brad and the girls did too. While we were walking Ellie wanted to go, go, go and Madi kept a steady pace (not too fast but not too slow). This was probably the furtherest we had taken Madi walking and she did great. While we were there we got many comments/compliments. They ranged from, "they're so cute", "look, they are both wearing pink", to "double trouble". This is the first time I had heard this but I might have to agree with the man who said this; these girls have us wrapped around their fingers (or should I say paws). I hope we get to have many more days at the pier.

We couldn't get Ellie turned around. She loved looking at the water and the birds.

Hair Cuts All Around

Well, for the girls that is. Friday Ellie, Madi and I all got our hair cut. When I went to pick the girls up I was amazed at how much they looked alike. Madi also looked like she had a lost a few pounds from the hair cut. Miss Michelle said the girls had similar personalities and did great for her.



The girls together

Guess who?

Sorry, no pictures of my hair cut...maybe next time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

God Works in Mysterious Ways

I found out this morning that my old job in Huntsville (a systems accountant for the Corps of Engineers) is being relocated to Millington, TN. I am in just complete shock because I love my old job, more importantly I love the people that I worked with. I can not imagine the CEFMS office in Millington and I can not imagine it with different people working there.

I could not have asked for a better boss than Linda Brooks and team leader than Sandy Eckley. These ladies are excellent leaders and taught me so much. Being a part of this group has help mold who I am today - I am getting emotional just writing this! The entire group was just the best people to work with. I miss working, eating (we did a lot of that!), chatting, exercising, just seeing their faces. Knowing they are not all going to be together any more just makes me sad. Really, it is one of those things you don't realize how good you had it until it is gone. And with this change it is really going to be gone.

Ok, enough sappy stuff. If anyone knows of any government jobs for accountants or jobs for programmers in Huntsville let me know. I know some great people who will be needing jobs. Isn't God funny - this could be me looking for a job. This is all a part of His plan. He took care of me last year and I know He will take care of rest as they search for new jobs or make decisions to retire.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Weekend Fun

This weekend my dad, Donna, and Jonathan came down for a visit. Jonathan has been in Huntsville for the past month studying for the AL Bar exam, which he took last week. He is hoping to find a job in Alabama so if you know any attorneys, let me know. Anyway, Jonathan wanted to check out Mobile to see if it might be a good place to live. We ate a lot of good seafood - Felix's on the Causeway and The Orignial Oyster House in Gulf Shores - and tried the cheese grits at both places (they were both very good; Felix's was a little more salty in my opinion, right up Brad's ally). On Saturday we ate lunch at A Spot of Tea. One of their specialities is hash browns. You can get them with everything from cheese, to peppers, to even saurkrat. After leaving stuffed, we walked around downtown Mobile. This was my first real time to do this and was neat to see all the city had to offer. After that we drove over to downtown Daphne and Fairhope. I love driving down Scenic 98! The water is right there and it is so pretty.

Overall the weekend was very relaxing. We got to spend some good time together and got to eat alot. As a side note, I thought we could try some new wine, Sauvignon Blanc. Oh my, just the smell of this turned me away! If anyone has tried this, I would love to hear about your experience.