Friday, December 30, 2011

3 generations

What? You don't see the family resemblance??? *wink*

Thursday, December 29, 2011

oh happy day!

Every day, even the most mundane, are worthy of picture taking and celebrating when you're with those who live 2,500 miles away!

We took my parents to the BEST pizza joint in Lake Norman -- so glad they loved the food and atmosphere just as much as we do!
That evening we baked cookies while the guys watched basketball on tv. Then we all watched The Holiday on our new Blu-ray player.

Note to self:
Go out to dinner, drink two bottles of wine and then take my parents to Target. While liquored up and having fun the other night they bought us a Blu-ray player, The Holiday and a few other things I so slighly slid into their shopping cart. I mean, have you ever seen a more funny gravy boat? My mom and I just about peed ourselves we were laughing so hard when we saw it... on clearance *gee, wonder why* so clearly it had to go home with us! And no matter how old I am, I willalways toss a pack of gum for myself into my mom's cart and hope she doesn't catch me :)

Girl time at Trader Joes, Fresh Market and Harris Teeter. When did I get old enough for girl time to turn into grocery shopping?

It's our thing to always get a pedicure when we're together. This time we got our nails done too! I miss mundane mother daughter time...

Later on in my parents visit we walked around Birkdale Village, popped into some stores to check out the after Christmas deals and enjoyed a bottled of wine together at the wine bar.

Ahhhhhh, this is just so much fun having my parents in town! G*d damn it, can they just move to NC already!?!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

asheville, nc at christmas time

We took my parents to the mountains for a memorable day of Christmas festivities and together time.

The town of Black Mountain is just about as cute as they come and the Veranda Cafe is one of our favorite restaurants that we've discovered since moving to North Carolina. The atmosphere is cute and cozy whereas the food is out of this world. Regardless of what day or time of year we go, it's one of those locals lunch spots that's always crowded and has a wait. Their soups and sandwiches are what Bryan dreams of!

We headed to downtown Asheville to walk around, pop into the stores, buy some fresh produce and grab a glass of wine at the historic Grove Arcade wine bar.

We concluded our day admiring the Christmas decor, the massive signature fireplaces and National Gingerbread House Competition displays at the Grove Park Inn. Lastly we enjoyed a festive dinner and 2 bottles of wine before we hopped in the car and headed home.

Love Love Love having my parents in North Carolina with us!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

the eagle... err, DOG has landed!

She's baaaaaack!
We met our little Cali, along with my parents, in the airport last Tuesday night.
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee... I am SO happy !!!

* sniffing around her backyard

My biggest fear was that Cali wasn't going to remember us this time.
It had been 4 months.
That's a long time in dog years!

I had anxiety... pit in the stomach anxiety... all day leading up to her arrival.
What if she didn't remember me?

* in the airport

But she did!
And she was excited!!

She peed all over me in excitement and it made Bry and I so happy.

Love that little face!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas

Love, Us

Gaylord Opryland - Nashville, TN - December 2011

Grove Park Inn - Asheville, NC - Dec. 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

twas the night before christmas... a different version

Twas the night before Christmas,
He lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house,
Made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney,
With presents to give,
And to see just who,
In this home, did live.

I looked all about,
A strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents,
Not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle,
Just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures,
Of far distant lands.

With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought,
Came through my mind.

For this house was different,
It was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier,
Once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping,
Silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor,
In this one bedroom home.

The face was so gentle,
The room in disorder,
Not how I pictured,
A true British soldier.

Was this the hero,
Of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho,
The floor for a bed?

I realised the families,
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers,
Who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grownups would celebrate,
A bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom,
Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder,
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve,
In a land far from home.

The very thought brought,
A tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees,
And started to cry.

The soldier awakened,
And I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry,
This life is my choice;

I fight for freedom,
I don't ask for more,
My life is my God,
My country, my corps."

The soldier rolled over,
And drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it,
I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still,
And we both shivered,
From the cold night's chill.

I did not want to leave,
On that cold, dark, night,
This guardian of honor,
So willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over,
With a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, "carry on Santa,
It's Christmas day, all is secure."

One look at my watch,
And I knew he was right.
"Merry Christmas my friend,
And to all a good night."

This poem was written by a Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

our past month at a glance: weeks 12-16

Over the past 4 weeks we have driven from Point A to Point L for a total of just over 2,700 miles.

Point A: Hattiesburg, MS
Point B: Oxford, MS
Point C: Tupelo, MS
Point D: Greenville, SC
Point E: Charlotte, NC
Point F: Atlanta, GA
Point G: Warner Robins, GA
Point H: Clearwater Beach, FL
Point I: Tampa, FL
Point J: Nashville, TN
Point K: Auburn, AL
Point L: Atlanta, GA

Every mile is a memory!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

little miss cali returns to us today

Just like birds fly south for the winter, Cali flies west for the fall... every year. Today is the much anticipated day that our little baby comes home to us. Today is the day I get small fry back in my arms. I am so excited I am counting the hours until I see that little face coming down the escalator in the airport tonight!

This is the last time Bryan saw Cali. She was cuddling up on his lap, hoping to take a nap... too bad Bryan had to leave for the airport a few days later.
*mid August

This is the last time I saw Cali -- at the airport... she was about to head inside to hop on her cross country, 1st class flight out to Orange County. Spoiled pooch for sure! I cried like a baby as I drove home that day...
*mid August

Monday, December 19, 2011

auburn and atlanta: fly by

Our time in both Auburn and Atlanta was quick.

We drove from Nashville to Auburn last Wednesday to work the USF @ Auburn basketball game that evening.

The next day we drove to Atlanta and worked the Thursday night Falcons game.

Both locations were a whirlwind and we were more than okay with that!

Auburn, AL

the old National Championship trophy
the oldest rivalry in college football is between Auburn and Georgia. This is the trophy that Auburn won at their 1st meeting many moons ago
modern day National Championship trophy

Atlanta, GA - my friend, Jeremiah, worked with us!