Thursday, July 31, 2008

Update on the Anniversary

Well not only did my husband arrange for us to go to see Wicked in October in honor of our anniversary.....he got much more sneaky than that, in a very sweet way:0) Shortly before 10am, when I was scheduled to ride with my dad to go to Grandma's for lunch, Brad called and asked me if I had found my present. I was surprised and had to answer "no". I had been around the house all morning and had seen no signs of presents. Where could they have been?

I found out soon enough. Dad and I ended up taking the Accord to Nicholson to see Grandma. When I cranked the car, there was a CD cued up to play. It was SugarLand. Brad had bought me the new Sugarland CD. I was touched and wanted to call and thank him immediately, but my dad's presence in the car makes it where talking on the phone while driving is not smiled upon :0) , so I held off. We picked up my sister at the farm and went on to Nicholson where we had a yummy lunch including homemade hush puppies. YUM! When we were done eating, Grandma invited us to come out to her garden and see her plants. We did but we ended up wandering around the side of the house to the driveway....where all of a sudden I noticed that the Accord was no longer sporting its dealership tag on its front but a UGA Alumni tag. My hubby had changed it out. I guess I didn't notice at home since Dad was with me when we got in.

I called my most awesome, romantic husband to thank him for my presents. He told me that he loved me and also told me that there was still one more present. I had no idea where it could be.

Since then we have talked again. He told me the case for the Sugarland CD was in the console. So I went out to look at it and up underneath it was another CD I had been eager to purchase. Brad has made this anniversary so special and we haven't even spent time together yet. I love it when he comes up with these special ways to show affection on his own. I had no idea I had all of these surprises in store when I got up this morning. I thought all the celebrating of our three year anniversary would happen tomorrow night at dinner and in October. What a great way to spend one of my last days before heading back to work. What a great way to have spent the last three years!

One Title Won't Work

I have so much to talk about that I can't think of a title that would work for all of what I am writing about so I am going to have little mini blog entries.

Jog, Party of One
Last night I got back out and jogged. It was the first time since I debuted as a jogger on Sunday. On Monday, Brad had blisters. On Tuesday, it rained over two inches. Last night, he was seriously tired. I was tired of not jogging so I went on my own. I did well. I positioned jogging stints in my course at the same places I did Sunday. The only one I couldn't complete was the third one again. However, there was a good reason. I added a length of five driveways shortly before that stint so I think it was too much right together. I also added a length of five driveways immediately before getting to our house. So in truth, I think I jogged more than I did Sunday. Yay, me!
Three Great Bargains
I went shopping yesterday with Mom and my sister Suzanne. We made the regular circle around Highway 124 in Snellville. Target, Belk, Kohl's. I ended up doing very well. I got three dresses for $45. That is great because not only can I add these to my teacher wardrobe, but one of the dresses was originally $65, more than all three dresses ended up being together. Now, that is shopping.
My Classroom
I went and worked on my classroom on Tuesday. I got some arranging done but I still have work to do. That will probably push me to go tomorrow, my last day off. The fun of working with your mother in law is that you always someone to go to lunch with when you go up on these random, unscheduled days to work. To follow in the footsteps of my other teacher friends, before pictures will be posted tomorrow. Then by the end of next week, I will post after.
Most Importantly
Today marks Brad and I's three year anniversary. We went on our first date two weeks after we met. We went to a sing along with our church and two other churches in our area. Then we went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. It was a Sunday evening. By the next Thursday, I was cooking him dinner and he was cutting out laminated items for my classroom. It is hard for my mind to process that we have been together for that long but in other ways I can't believe it has been that short of a time. We both can't think of how life would be without each other and we don't really remember what it was. In honor of our third anniversary of being together, Brad bought tickets for us to go see Wicked at the Fox in October. We are also going to dinner at Johnny Carino's tomorrow night.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So Long Chester

Who is Chester? Chester is my first and only car before the recently purchased Honda Accord (still unnamed). My parents bought him for me when I went to college. He is the only car I have ever really driven, and we have been through a lot together. Going to college, first real job, marriages, first wreck, only speeding ticket. While I am super excited about my Accord, it is a little emotional to face a change after so long. My head has already made the change. Only a week or so after the Accord was here, I tried to drive Chester somewhere and by the time I got to the entrance of our neighborhood, I had to turn around because it felt so foreign. My heart will get the idea soon I am sure. It seems like it will have to do sooner rather than later.

Why do I say that?

We took Chester to Brad's parents' house on Friday. Mr. Jack took him to work yesterday and put him out with a For Sale sign. Within the first hour, there was someone interested in purchasing him. Throughout the day, there were others that inquired about him too. It was just Day One and nothing final has come down the pike. It just seems like a little fuel efficient car will go quickly in these days of high gas prices.

It will seem silly but I took pictures with Chester before his departure last Friday. He was my first car.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blog About the Jog

It is 12:15 AM and I am at my computer blogging....and I thought I couldn't get into this.

I am blogging to announce I jogged tonight. Why is this a big deal? I don't run. I run for no one. I often am quoted as saying " I am not going to run unless I am running away from something/something is chasing me." I have never run. I can walk all day long....I could probably tap dance for miles, but running has never been me. Why you might ask? I attribute it to two things:

1.) My boyfriend in the third and fourth grade, Brandon (who is still a dear friend, I went to his wedding and he went to mine), used to make fun of me when I ran. I don't even remember what he would say, but the act apparently left its mark. Luckily, my male selecting skills were honed in on and perfected with time. You have got to wonder why I stayed with the boy who poked fun at me over my athleticism or lack thereof:0) J/K

2.) It sounds stupid , but I kinda forget how to breathe when I am running and shortly after starting have always felt like I wasn't getting enough air. Not one to get closer to death any sooner than I need to, I always stopped there. Before tonight.

Brad and I have been doing really well lately about getting out to our nightly walk around the neighborhood. It is 1.5 miles around our neighborhood twice. The problem has been lately that Brad wants something more vigorous than a walk, so I decided to let jogging come into the picture tonight. The deal was I got to say when we started jogging and he would slack off when he needed to. It turned out well. We jogged in four different spots of our walk course. Out of the four times that we jogged, there was only one time where I couldn't go as far or further than Brad did when he chose to stop. It was the third time. After that, I allowed my competitive side to take over and there was no way I wasn't going to go all the way the fourth time! Overall, I think I did well and I feel our efforts more. I just reminded myself that I didn't need to compare myself to Brad. With our height differences, our gates are much different so I need to just compare me to me and him to him. I hope we can go again tomorrow.

My body is not the only thing jogging today. My mind is going like crazy! With preplanning a week away, I can't sleep. Last night, my mind was racing about how to arrange my new room. Being only half the size of a regular classroom is going to have its challenges. Tonight my brain is running laps around different organizational tactics, projects and motivation incentives I can implement in my FOCUS classroom. Sigh, I hope to be able to sleep soon.

Monday, July 21, 2008

One Week Since, One Week Left

This time last week we kept Carter, our one month old nephew, for the first time. It was great. Brad did a good job and the time went by FAST! I am hoping we get to keep him again some time soon. Since he saw us last, Carter went to his one month appointment. He is in the 90 th percentile in height and weight. 11lbs and an oz. 23 inches long. Growing boy for sure. Here is a pic of him on his Boppy ( he was really smiling up until the orange light before the flash went off)

" I have the best Aunt Meredith and Uncle Brad ever!"

With that said, this Monday brings with it the last week before Brad goes back to work. That makes me sad. I will miss having him around the house to hang out with. We have done so many enjoyable things. This week we even plan to go through the old town of Stone Mountain and conclude the day with a viewing of the Laser Show. We are so fortunate to have this month of time where we are both off to nurture and strengthen our already flourishing young relationship as husband and wife. We have the time to do silly things like play Risk ( over the course of two days), healthy things like playing Bocce ball and taking walks (3.24 miles last night), grown up things like hosting our friends over for a cookout dinner and serious things like getting both of our names on bank accounts. It is all such a blessing.

I just hope we can capture the free spirit of our summer and let it absorb into the busy-ness of our work year. Sometimes with work, Masters work and bustle of our school year activities at our church, it can become stressful and difficult at times to find time to just relax. I just pray God gives us the strength to find the little moments that can make big differences in our repoire with each other whether it be in a small smile, an embrace that lasts a little longer or a dishwasher emptied without an urging :0) This summer has actually felt longer than usual and I think it is because we have made so much of it together. I am hoping that same approach can make going back to work less painful. Now, off to enjoy that last week together!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pictures from San Antonio

Just a few pics from our trip to San Antonio -

Me in front of our New Vacation Home... just kidding.
This is one of the beautiful Victorian Homes in the King William District of San Antonio.

Us with a new friend at Sea World. The Sea World in San Antonio is the largest.
I have a thing for penguins ( and monkeys....just ask Sarah, Jen or Brad)

Brad riding his 1st bull....

Yes, it's coin operated ( We didn't put a coin in though)

Upon arrival in Texas, we headed to the Alamo.

Wearing the New Eyewear of the Stylish

(Actually Getting Ready for the 4D flick at Sea World)

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Day Shaped Up

So with the husband gone, I didn't know exactly what I would be doing with myself for the next few days. While there is still a lot of cleaning to be done upstairs, it just doesnt scream a fun time. However, today social butterfly syndrome kicked in and I was out and about for a day of enjoyment.

First, I met Mom during her lunch break and we perused Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. It was a good oppotunity to catch up with each other, and she got a chance to see my car (still unnamed) for the first time. Then while I was still in Target picking up some extra gifts for Nicole's shower, Christina called me and asked if I wanted to meet her and my one month (to the day) old nephew for an ice cream date at Marble Slab. Of course I did! So the Dillard girls and youngest man had an afternoon of fun chit-chat and outstanding ice cream. Brad will be so jealous.

Now I am home and will be registering for my next session of Masters courses. I am excited that the University has decided to launch a 5 8 week session calendar in place of their 4 10 week session calendar. While that may mean the syllabus is laid out at a more rapid pace, I will be on track to graduate no later than next summer. It makes me excited that I would be eligible to be a counselor that soon. However, I have promised my administration that I won't jump ship after just one year as FOCUS teacher. So the pay increase will have to be enough of a benefit from the completion of the Masters for awhile.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We are Back from Texas, Well I Am

We made it back from San Antonio. Our flight came in at about 9:15 pm Tuesday night. By the time Dad picked us up and got us back to our truck at his house, we didn't make it home til 11:30pm or so ( 10:30 to our Texa time oriented bodies).

The trip was amazing. While it rained more than I anticipated ( I went with KDE in college and don't remember it ever raining), the rain didn't put a damper on our travels at all. It was so nice to travel together again. Sea World in San Antonio was so impressive. I think I liked it better than Orlando. The zoo was only $9 per person and had so vast a collection of animals that it puts Atlanta's zoo to shame. We saw some beautiful Victorian homes and walked the amazing River Walk area daily. There were incredible missions built in statement of huge religious faith. We went to Schlitterbahn, the best waterpark in the world according to the Travel Channel ten years running. Some of the best things about San Antonio would have to be the traffic (or lack there of), friendliness of the people, lower levels of humidity, historic value and the food. We ate some incredible Tex Mex, Southwestern, steaks, BBQ!!!, and ice cream. It was fabulous. I was even the guest of the day at our hotel upon our arrival. We got a free pay per view movie, refreshments for the room and Hilton memorabilia for that. Anyone looking for a unique vacation experience should definitely consider San Antonio. It is not the beach and not the mountains. Even though it was my second time going, I could've easily stayed entertained even longer than the 7 days we were there. Pictures will come. (They were going to come now but I am afraid with the new camera that I may delete all the images when I try to upload them directly from the camera to the blog. So wait in anticipation for those pics early next week.)

As the title says, I am back from Texas. Brad was back ( I didn't leave him there), but he left with the youth today to go to Jacksonville, FL. He will come back on Sunday. I was invited to go chaperone as well ( they were even going to allow us to stay in the same room without youth)but I am going to have TONS of bridesmaid fun this weekend having a spend the night party with Nicole following a day of a test run of her wedding day hair and H&M shopping ( a store she introduced me to on our trip to New York in '06) and leading into her final bridal shower Sunday. Nicole and I lived together all three years I was at UGA so I am so looking forward to this, (probably) our last chance to have a girl's spend the night party without planning around husband departure on both ends. It is the ending of an era. So therefore, Chestnut Grove Hits Jacksonville had to do without Meredith this year.

Though I know we will both have great fun this weekend and I love the healthy space we give each other by having separate interests and events, it is still hard to have Brad out of the house. It was our three month anniversary of being married while we were in San Antonio. That is so hard to believe. Time has really flown! But it has all been so great. After weathering what I have in my past, what God knew I needed to go through to grow closer and more dependent on Him and to make me stronger, I know how lucky I am to have such an incredible man in my life. We have grown so much in the nine months since he proposed and the three years ( July 31st) that we have been together. I am so blessed to have been given such a wonderful gift and faith that is only strengthened by the presence of Brad in my life. God is good.

My Favorite Engagement Picture Taken A Month After Brad Proposed

Three Months Ago On The HOneymoon