Friday, April 30, 2010

Movie Report

Sorry I haven't posted in a long while, things at work have been picking up and I am trying to keep up. We have another two day weekend together and the weatherman is promising warm weather so maybe a trip to the beach?!?! Please? :) Until then here's my review of our current favorite movie.

   I was slightly opposed to seeing this when I just saw the previews it looked like just another guy movie with way too much hype. On the advice of my then future mother-in-law I hesitantly agreed to see Avatar on the condition that J owed me a movie of my choice the next time. I LOVED IT! Great movie for men and women alike. There is a good flow and steady stream of interesting plot line. An even balance of action and heart warming culture to have you loving the natives of Pandora. I highly suggest seeing this. It is also worth seeing in theater as the 3D is pretty amazing and adds a lot to the experience. We have since gone to see it at the IMAX theater as well, while it was amazing I am not sure how much better it was than 3D at the other theater. I was however a bit distracted because a bug landed on me early on (I thought a kid threw popcorn at me at first) and was consumed with fear of more bugs... have you been in IMAX theaters? You can't just change chairs easily everyone is sitting close... seriously steep seating. I am happy to report there were no more bugs but it did diminish my experience. Although the older gentleman next to me was so cute to watch. He clapped, laughed, and responded at all the perfect moments! I love happy old people, I hope to be one someday!
Have you seen Avatar? What did you think? Any other good movies?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Date Day

   Since we haven't done much of anything exciting lately we decided today was the day for an outing! We went for a quick lunch and then headed over to see the new boardwalk!
This is at the center looking south.

And at the north end looking at the pier.

As promised the new camera = more pics of us together.

After the boardwalk we stopped and had ice cream at Kirks on 25th and then went to Barefoot Landing. There we walked around and searched for animals more than looking at the shops. And there was a lot...

Make way for ducklings! We had to make sure we fed them. By the way ever noticed that the duck food there is insanely over priced. At Broadway it is only twenty-five cents per handful at Barefoot Landing it is fifty cents per handful. Jim at this point was officially on an alligator hunt.

There were many turtles all over the place and they were quite aggressive even with the HUGE catfish. Still no alligator yet. Although Jim thought every stick that stuck out of the water was cause for a pause and further inspection.

They have a display of tigers. You can have your pictures taken with them for a hefty price. This helps fund their habitat that they go home to and where they spend most of their time. They are using the proceeds to benefit many wildlife projects. The tigers layed around for the longest time then the one got up and began "following" a little girl as she walked back and forth in front of the window. We thought maybe it was the pink.... until a second couple walked up with kids and they were attracted to those children as well. Good thing for the glass... I think it may have been time for kitty lunch. In this picture the white lion went up to the resting red tiger and swatted at him. It was cute to see them do things similar to things Scarlet does. Then seeing their paw size... I don't think Tucker would like that play as much.

At last the elusive alligator. Jim spotted this just past where some turtles were relaxing on a patch of dirt. We finished the night with a trip to the mall. For the perfect finish Jim made burritos!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


   Just a note to let you know I changed the comment settings so anyone can post a comment... I didn't realize it was difficult until Jim tried to comment and couldn't! :)

Another Great Gift

   Remember when I told you about my Weatherman? Yea, still LOVE that thing but thought I would tell you about another interesting item we got. This one was purchased by J with some gift cards that we got. We were at Kohls to look for something so we decided to check out the house stuff section since we had some gift cards from the recent bridal shower. While looking around Jim found a shower radio made by Sharper Image.
     J was actually excited about this & really wanted it. I know this because he began justifying the reasons we should have this to me. Now if your husband/boyfriend/fiance is anything like mine you know that excitement while shopping is rare, (unless we are at Bass Pro Shop) so of course I agreed. I was a bit skeptical about how well it would work in the shower or how long it would hold itself to the shower wall. It has become one of my favorite things. You just put your MP3 player on the dock that sits on your bathroom counter. The fog free part doesn't really last but you can wipe it off easy & I read somewhere if you put a little shampoo on the mirror it helps. It also has a digital clock so if you are on a time crunch it reminds you when you've become too distracted by the music. I even keep it on when I am drying my hair and putting on makeup so that my other ipod dock can stay in the kitchen. The only other thing I think this needs is a waterproof remote or button to allow you to skip through songs without exiting the shower.
     Hopefully soon I'll be able to show you what we're doing with all those picture frames from Pottery Barn (Seriously can I just have the whole catalog?!).  But I am patiently awaiting the arrival of our wedding pictures.... who am I kidding I go to the mail box each day hopeful. Have you looked at our pictures yet on David's Wedding Photography? I LOVE THE PICTURES & can't wait to see the rest. Our home may double as a gallery for them for awhile. There are some in both the blog and featured galleries (p.s. I have the song on their website memorized now! Tell me it's not one that sticks in your head).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Comes with the Territory

  So my other post about Sunday reminded me of a few other things that I have learned in the past year and eight months (aka since Jim started recruit school here). There are a few things that come along with being the wife/significant other of a firefighter. Like so many other things there are pros and cons.
    Most obviously your firefighter will be gone 1/3 (or more if he gets overtime) of the time. This includes weekends, holidays, & special occasions including birthdays and anniversaries. Or just to be home with you when you've had a bad day & need a hug.. Get used to counting days by threes (or A,B,C). This makes planning holidays not very fun, I am not looking forward to planning where and how we'll get to our first Christmas with his schedule and family all over the place. On the other hand 1/3 of the time you have complete control of the remote, dinner, & sleep! No struggling for blankets & the dog responds much better when you push him back to his side of the bed (he also takes up considerably less space too). It's also a little harder to go to work when you didn't see them all weekend and they are sleeping in when you're walking out the door.
     Be prepared for the laundry.... boys naturally sweat more add to that the extreme heat of a fire and smoke smell. The most frustrating thing for me is finishing the laundry and finding another pile of work clothes, that oh by the way can't be mixed with "normal" clothes. Positive... you have an excuse to tell your fireman to do their own laundry. Hopefully if he's as great as mine he'll go ahead and do some other laundry while he's at it, maybe even load the dishwasher and run the vacuum? :)
     While your fireman has a well respected job and you get a great response when people ask you what your spouse/SO does that respect is well deserved. For a long time Jim and I debated (and by debated I mean he suggested and I repeatedly said NO) having a scanner in our house. Jim thought it would be nice for me to be able to hear what was going on when he is working. This may work for some but not a worry wart like me. I know at times I may be over protective but I've heard the horror stories (we do NOT watch Ladder 49 in our house I bawl every time). Then during recruit school they shared the story of Engine 40 and Jim shared it with me.
     Yes, that was a fire engine. Amazingly everyone survived.  I know there is a lesson and; there is always a possibility but truly I would never have even thought of this on my own.
     Last year Jim responded to a structure fire in Conway right across from my office. So I walked over, I would get to see him in action for the first time. Exciting right? WRONG! One of the first things I saw was a tall, blue helmeted fireman (paramedics have blue helmets here) going toward the doorway and this fire was "rocking". That was enough for me. I went back to my office and worked & fretted (more fretting than working) till he called me (it took more than 3 hours to get a call!). Another morning Jim called on his way home to let me know that he was okay but during a structure fire his ear and arm had been burned a little. I immediately pictured the worst. They were not too bad; the arm scared and the ear had some problems healing & infection due to low blood flow to the area. Nothing to major but it left an impression. Why didn't his hood work? What if it was his face next time? I kinda like his face. This past Sunday I was surprised to not feel the anxiousness I had experienced before. Just being on scene and knowing the guys he was working with better helped. They aren't just guys who like the rush of the fire, they are trained and experienced men who have families too. So get to know your fireman's co-workers. And maybe I'll get that scanner after all so I can show up to every scene. :)

What do you think? Would we make a good addition to HCFR?

I would like a mini version as I feel this is a bit too big for me to drive.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Nice Sunday Drive

     This past Sunday Jim and I spent a nice relaxing day together. We woke up, ate breakfast, & sat around the house for a little bit. Eventually we ate lunch at Sam's Club (great prices for tons of food, perfect for my bottomless pit of a husband), walked around and looked at all the many house & garden things that I want so badly. After leaving Sam's we took a nice Sunday drive to look at all the houses so I can daydream about using those things I was drooling over at Sam's. We were out near Jim's station and stopped by to say "hi" and find out where a house was when a structure fire was toned out nearby. Of course we had to follow. On the way there Jim reassured me that he would stay in the truck and just watch with me.

 Once we got to the house there was a fully engulfed structure... I imagined the pouting look and disappointment (structure fires are rare luckily) and told Jim to go help (he just happened to have his gear in the truck). From the look on his face I knew that is what he was hoping for, although if I had asked he would have stayed. Of all days for me to not have my new camera (or Jim to have my old one) this was it... so I was stuck taking pics from where he parked the truck with his phone. I watched as the far away firemen fought the fire and squinted to try to see my blue helmeted man in action (medics wear blue helmets here). Bouncing back and forth between looking at the group in front of and behind the home I picked out one particularly tall fireman as Jim.  The best feeling had to be when I saw him walking back towards me huge smile on his dirty face. 

   We finished our drive and looked at enough houses to keep me planning for weeks, when we came home Jim made me homemade chicken nuggets (with my version of breading, this was of some debate). I think I may be able to pull the I waited for you to fight a fire card one more time... but I am saving it for requesting a chick flick on date night I think.... :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Team Horry

      It is that time again, my husband is a health food obsessed, work out crazed, pain and soreness ridden, only one topic to discuss Firefighter Combat Challenge team member.  I had briefly forgotten all the time and effort it involved...practices that started at 2 hours per day and became 3 or 4 hours closer to the world competition in Vegas last November, the inability to find a suitable cuddling position that did not induce pain due to soreness (I couldn't begin to count my lectures on ways to alleviate lactic acid build up). There are so many things I could complain about but after the first competition in Monroe, NC last year I understood. Well not completely but enough.
     I was fortunate enough to be able to take the three hour journey to the middle of nowhere NC with another firefighter wife & their daughter. What we thought was going to be a two and a half hour trip turned out to be three hours, not ideal with a toddler on board and a dying dvd player (honestly she was grumpy but I couldn't blame her I was done with it too) .  Oddly enough when it started raining the toddler was totally happy to talk about everything it was raining on, believe me I took notes for when we have toddlers on road trips. The next day we went to the course to watch the guys and sat through humid beating sun (there was no available shade) mixed with sudden down pours and avoiding red ants. The Team Horry guys did great and we were amazed to see the times of the teams get faster and faster as the day progressed. While it wasn't the most exciting trip I have ever taken, it was fun to get to see the guys compete & win!  There were several more competitions throughout the year. One here in MB which was great since there was no travel time. Another out of state where Team Horry won the team award and placed first, second, and third in the individual times (J won third). Then it was time for them to go to Vegas for the world competition. Unfortunately due to planning and paying for  a wedding I was unable to attend this year & J was gone for nine days! When J called he always had a lot of stories about who he'd met and what they had done. It was difficult for me to not be able to watch and see how he did and know immediately. Team Horry placed 9th... IN THE WORLD! :) 
     J took some time off with planning the wedding this year, which was quite the blessing because I think I would have lost my mind otherwise. He's back to practicing with the team again and although I remember the frustrations it's hard to not be excited for him. He has such fun going to practice and killer workouts, taunting each other, and the competitive spirit of the team. This year the world competition will be here in Myrtle Beach so I  won't miss out, although I am a little bummed I don't have a good excuse to go to Vegas. I may be a little biased but I think MB is the perfect place for worlds. I hope to be able to go to all of his competitions this year & hopefully celebrate a lot more wins!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Movie Night

   J and I went to the movies last night and decided to go to a movie we could both agree on. So we chose Date Night with Steve Carell & Tina Fey. I completely encourage you to see this move.... it has good, fun humor not the gross humor. I don't want to over share and ruin the movie for you but I did laugh out loud several times (sorry J) :)

   I am also looking forward to

Letters to Juliet &

Sex & the City 2
Also if there is anyone who would like to go see these "girl" movies with me let me know, for some reason I don't think it's likely J will be anxious to go see them with me. There were many others that we saw previews to but I can't remember them now without my movie memorizer here with me. ;)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fur Babies!

    Since the wedding and staycation are over there hasn't been a whole lot of exciting stuff going on here in our house. We have done some rearranging of furniture and hanging of pictures, but there is more to do and I have another blog planned about that. I thought I would take this down time to share a little bit about our fur babies!
  We have a three year old cocker spaniel named Tucker Ledeux who thinks he is a human and is a big baby (by choice, I know it's my fault).  We had wanted to name him Ledeux at first but that was difficult to call or yell and the only shortened version we could think of was Dewy which didn't work for us. Tucker has always been a cuddler, was instantly attached, and despite our lack of training is an amazingly well behaved dog. We are most proud that he can go for a walk without a leash and he stays with us. He is however becoming more and more territorial. He used to never bark at all and now if people walk past our house the walking path outside he will race to the edge of the pond to let them know this is his space, he'll also bark at them from any window if he is stuck inside. And heaven forbid anyone knock on our door! If he is out for a walk he is super friendly to both people and other animals thankfully. He's also quite the ham and sits and poses for pictures!
     Our newest addition is named Scarlet. My boss had found her outside one of the homes of a family she was seeing and took pity on her and brought her to the office.
Isn't she just so cute? Tell me how you could not take that home. Poor thing was covered in fleas, had one tick, and limped when she walked (right hind leg) and was only around 7 weeks old. We had a lot of worries early on about whether or not she would make it. She originally did not care much for Tucker but he is a sweet puppy and she quickly became ruler of our house. We had originally named her Belle (this was my first female pet and I was channeling my inner 8 year old). "Belle" quickly proved she was not going to be a sweet little girly kitten, she climbed our shirts to sit on our shoulders (giving us lots of scratches), attacked any and all moving objects (including us), and wrestled and played with Tucker. We began searching for more appropriate name for her. With our OSU background we chose Scarlet which is shortened to Scar for all the scars she has given us! While she and Tucker are now pretty equal, at about 8:30-9 every night they chase each other around for twenty minutes to a half hour, she is definitely a cat and does things in her time and her way. 

Scarlet laying in her favorite napping spot.
Tucker enjoying a car ride!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Change of Heart

    While riding in the truck the other day J was doing his usual flipping through the ipod not finishing any songs when he came upon a few songs from back in the day. This made me think about what my priorities were back then and how funny it seems that I have changed my perception on so many topics. The thing that strikes me most was this was not ten years ago or even five... this was three years ago or less. I was (and in many ways still am) very independent, I had no desire to conform to the typical expectations of a housewife (the ability to cook, clean & willingness to view our relationship as a partnership was on my checklist when dating). I saw myself as a career woman, I am passionate about my job and saw myself working with some organization promoting the rights of individuals who have disabilities or increasing awareness & developing programs. 
     Changing my last name felt like a betrayal to my family and the person that I have become and the name I had made for myself. Now here we are and I have a new last name. Although I kept mine. I have 4 names now, makes for a long signature & two lines on my drivers license. I actually like it, I am able to use both at work or when necessary to make things less confusing and ease the transition. Even better J & share a last name and call each other Mr. & Mrs. which is still a novelty for us. Since I was able to keep my maiden name this was not too harsh of a change but it was one that I was unsure of until the last minute. J had a strong opinion about this as well and definitely wanted me to take his last name and was against hyphenating.
    Now to the bigger and more dramatic changes in point of view. We have lately been discussing children. You know when, how many, and what we would like to accomplish beforehand. One of our biggest goals now is to become financially stable enough so that I may stay home with our kids until they go to school. If that is not completely possible we would like to work out a system where they only have to be in daycare/preschool part time with J and I working out a schedule to achieve that. I think the biggest difference is that at my current job I see families who do things both ways. While I respect and understand putting your child in daycare and even suggest that children go at least part time to preschool for social interaction and learning to be in a school setting and taking direction in a group, I see so many opportunities that I would like to have with my own children. I want to be the one teaching them to cut, paint, & glue. I want to take them to museums, library story hour, the beach, and all sorts of fun adventures to share the world and love of knowledge with them. It is absolutely amazing to see children discover and learn new things I would hate to miss out on that! There are also considerably fewer "nice" daycares/preschools in this area. Having done several practicums in what I think are some of the best preschool programs there are (seriously check out the Sophie Rogers Lab School) it is hard to not have some strong opinions about the way a program should be run or how best to encourage childrens' learning.
    One thing has remained... I still feel that a marriage should be a partnership. Luckily J is quite the cook and doesn't have any trouble helping with the cleaning (even if he doesn't always do things my way). We have also discussed and are in agreement that when we have children we will both be active in taking care of them even if we are able to work it out where I am able to stay home with them, it will never be solely my responsibility.
   How have your opinions about career, family, & the future changed? What are your opinions on name changing & childcare? Does your significant other help with cooking or house work or would you expect this of your future SO?

When You Find the One You Just Know

      Now that you know we have a happily ever after I thought I'd go back and share a little about the journey to this point. So they say when you've found the one you'll just know. I have to say that about three years ago I was seriously doubting that I would KNOW if I had the right guy unless he had a large neon sign. You all know that I met J while line dancing. Neither of us left the bar that night KNOWING what was in store, but there was a night not long after that we both realized it was going to be something different.
       J had been invited over to my close friend's house for a cook out and to hang out. He also happened to be about 45 minutes later than he said he would be (I hate to be late!). I seriously worried for a little bit that he would not be coming and had had enough of hanging out with me with my friends. He finally showed much to my relief (I hadn't scared him off yet) and as always was a great participant.  After dinner and hanging out we decided to head over to Nyoh's for a little bit to line dance. J came with me so that we could ride together (ie he could drive so that I could have a drink or two).
     Since I was wearing shorts and t-shirt I decided to go home to change my clothes. He waited patiently in the living room and admired my cousin's decorating (he loves the western/rustic theme) while I changed. It just so happened that my friend had given me this sort of chain letter type bread mix that had to be mixed and shaken twice each day. For some reason I felt that right before walking out the door was the appropriate time to do this. Wrong, the ziplock back did not like being turned upside down and the entirety of it's contents spilled on my computer keyboard, desk and was dripping towards the floor! J quickly helped me use some towels to clean up the mess. All I could think was this guy must think I am a total scatter brain. J noticed all the pictures of my family on my wall and talked to me briefly about them. It was about that point that he kissed me! It was the perfect first kiss not too sudden and akward and not too much. (stomach butterflies!) We then left the apartment and went to Nyohs.
     When we got to Nyoh's there weren't many others there, so after talking with friends for a bit we all left and went home. J drove me back to my apartment and once we got out of the truck I didn't really want him to leave.... so we stood there leaning against his truck and talked.... and talked... and talked. We talked until 4 am! We talked about just about everything and I got to hug him 5 times, and he kissed my forehead about 4 times, I also stepped on his toes 7 times (he learned early I'm not graceful). I was a little anxious about whether or not he would try to kiss me again or if I was supposed to try to kiss him but didn't want him to think that was all there was to this. I am fairly certain that at several points I was not fully awake but remember thinking that I could see myself staying with this guy. I also got a  sharp pain in my neck trying to look up at him while we were talking... he is so tall. Somehow we finally said goodnight and although I was incredibly tired I bounced up the stairs and into my room. I am not sure how J made the 15 minute drive home without falling asleep because as soon as I got in bed I was out.
This picture was taken much later but I like it so much and it was at Nyoh's!
When did you know? Or if you haven't found your one what do you think it will take for you to "know" or do you even believe in that?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Not So Exciting Adventures

    So now we are into the not so exciting part of being a married couple. Gifts and cards have stopped arriving (Although I have a package coming from Pottery Barn with my gift card purchases!) This Tuesday I started back to work and it doesn't seem like I ever left or caught up! We changed bank accounts, more name changes & beneficiary changes (sorry parents you are no longer getting the money if one of us dies). All very thrilling things let me tell you, and Jim had one form... I have to have my marriage certificate, ID, plus forms! Talk about things that are easier for men!
    Since both of our parents had gotten food and supplies that they did not want to take home we had not yet had to do any grocery shopping since the wedding. Last night as we ate our poorly thrown together dinner (different things for each of us) we realized it was time to do the dreaded food shop. We did however get ourselves a membership to Sams Club before the wedding to enable me to order our flowers in bulk (we made all the bouquets and flower centerpieces!) so we decided to do our first shop in bulk. We were pretty much out of everything so we decided to do that before we were tempted to hit up the little stores to buy the things that are a better deal there. We were able to get almost everything on our list (and a few extras) except fresh veggies and dog food. We got to go up and down most of the aisles to check out what all they have for future reference. By the end we were so sick of weaving around people(we will in the future go at a less congested time/day) and pushing a massive oversized cart. Okay maybe that was me, they don't turn as well when they have huge bags of kitty litter on the bottom. Now I know why my mom never wanted me to ride on the front of her cart.
   So we headed to Target where we picked up dog food for Tucker & Scarlet (yes our cat eats dog food, we tried to feed her cat food, the vet says its fine & she hasn't barked yet), some thank you cards, and we were done, veggies will have to wait for another day. Once we got home and unloaded our giant sized purchases (& briefly joked about feeling small when using the large shampoo & conditioner).  I had finally talked J into addressing the cards when he got a call into work..... sitting here now I remember that the iphone has an application that allows you to call fake call yourself. Hmmmm....
     Other than that we are just battling the insane pollen that occurs this time of year. No joke a blanket of yellow on everything (that is not dirt on my car that is pollen!). My first spring here I could not figure out where it was coming from since I didn't park under a tree... no need it covers EVERYTHING. Literally you can see a layer of it on pavement and all. Just waiting on the first big rain to wash it away and with the recent rise in humidity (I can tell b/c my hair is curling like crazy) that will hopefully come soon. I am done with allergies both mine and the children I work with. Poor little kiddos sneezing, red eyes, and snot all over the place. Although I am now unconsciously aware of the different colors clear= okay just allergies, greenish-yellow= now that's a cold and I don't want it! I also find myself noting raspy breathing and the sounds of a cough. (I love my kids but fear their germs!)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Weatherman

     As many women I have difficulty deciding what to wear in the morning... however; unlike other women my problem does not stem (entirely) from not being able to choose between outfits but rather because I have never been good at dressing appropriately for the weather. When I was in middle and high school my dad would let me know what the weather would be like and what type of clothing that related to, he eventually was even able to modify it to my low tolerance of being cold. As you can imagine this did not work very well when I left to go to college. With Ohio's crazy weather and entering and exiting buildings dressing in layers was completely acceptable and necessary. I was NOT prepared for the more consistent yet ever changing South Carolina weather. Here instead of fluctuating a million times each day the fluctuation happens throughout the week or month but holds steady for the day. No more can I leave the house in a hurry, forget my jacket and count on it to warm up... it doesn't happen people! So if I make a wardrobe mistake I am stuck freezing or sweating it out all day :(
    So one of the things I was most excited about registering for was the Weather Channel Weatherman! This little gadget is like my dad in compact electronic form! It gives you the indoor & outdoor temperatures, time, date, sunrise & sunset times, & probably a million more things that I don't know about. It's best feature is it has a little picture of a man who shows you what the appropriate attire for the weather should be! He literally has outfits ranging from swim trunks and a beach chair to winter coat, hat, and scarf! Tell me this was not made just for me! So this was one of the first items to come off of our registry, I  bounced with excitement when I saw that it was "fulfilled". I convinced myself my dad must have gotten it for me as a birthday present.... but my birthday came and went and it didn't arrive. We moved apartments so I double checked that I had updated our address on the registry and worried that maybe I didn't update it in time and my weatherman was out there somewhere in registry gift limbo, I've heard the horror stories (I also temporarily considered not moving before the wedding due to this). Time went on, Christmas & my bridal shower came and went... no weather man. Maybe someone got it and returned it or canceled their order... would the registry update something like that?! With all the wedding craziness (yes, craziness... planning a wedding with no one to help within 10 hours except the groom is not something I would recommend, I love you J you were a big help but I needed a girl) I forgot about my weatherman for a moment. But then... on Sunday when opening gifts with our parents... there it was! YEAY! No seriously I think I may have squealed. It has a monitor (not sure of the technical term) that is mounted outside that receives updates from The Weather Channel (or whoever) and also relays the outdoor temperatures and conditions to the indoor monitor/display. I haven't figured it all out ( I need my dad or J to look at it, program it, and educate me)... but I LOVE it. Now if I could just get apple to start allowing you to sort and listen to songs based on their tempo all of my electronic wishes will have been fulfilled!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Signs of spring

The weather lately has been consistantly beautiful! I am so glad we are done with the roller coaster weather, although I am not looking forward to the insane humidity and returning to my car after a visit and being knocked back by the heat escaping my car. Anyways with spring and warmer weather comes so many great things, long car rides with the windows down, trips to the beach, and the influx of animals that have been laying low all winter. This influx has brought something new this year with living in a new apartment. Our apartment has a lovely view of a pond behind our house that is teeming with wildlife. We have seen many ducks, a crane or two, two turtles, some tiny fish, and as of late mass amounts of frogs. The other night when I came home I about tripped on several that were lingering in the hallway. This influx now happens every night and they make enough noise to drown out any passing traffic. Now these are nothing compared to the very large frog that greeted us when we moved in.

   There was also the egg coloring for Easter! Which always reminds me of family egg hunts at my grandma Mc's house and searching the house for where the Easter bunny hid my basket. Jim and I colored eggs when he got home on Sunday... I had picked up two egg coloring kits. One normal one by Duddley and a glitter paint one by Paas (I recommend the Duddley brand as it had a lot more fun stuff including the wax crayon). Since the glitter one had paint only we dipped the eggs in colors and then painted them and added glitter (okay only I added glitter but I handed them to Jim when I was done to have him put them in the drying container).

   Jim and I took a couple of trips to the beach to hang out. Soak up some vitamin sunshine and search for shells. The water was a bit too cool for much water play (although now that it has been in the 80's and humid I am crossing my fingers for a beach trip this weekend and hopefully getting in the water). And last but not least a picture of Scarlet soaking up some sunshine & fresh air just because she's so cute! What are your favorite signs of spring?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Adventures in Wilmington

 Now for the most exciting adventure yet! Thursday we went to Wilmington, NC to be tourists and to do our trash the dress (here  after refered to as TTD) shoot with David from David's Wedding Photography. I was pretty excited about this as afterall it was a road trip with Jim and I had serious ideas about these TTD pictures and how they would be displayed in my home (They would of course be amazing!). If you don't already know I am not a big fan of "tradition" and "norms" and didn't really mind the idea of getting my dress a bit dirty, wet, or covered in sand (my future daughter will probably be just as opinionated as I am and want her very own dress).                                                                                                                  The road trip started off in our usual fashion me harassing Jim by snapping pictures of him as he drives and Jim shuffling through his ipod and doing his own little dances to keep me entertained. Unfortunately I missed
 snapping a shot of the Welcome to North Carolina sign. :( I was trying to find
out where to go once we got to Wilmington (there wasn't any preplan for this trip except we knew we were meeting up with David to do the TTD shoot. It actually was not a painfully long ride or difficult to find our way around Wilmington (much better experience than the Charleston trip). There wasn't even time enough for me to start the "Are we there yet?" impatient questions.  Just driving in town we saw so many beautiful buildings, statues, and fountains. I LOVE the old beautiful buildings and churches.
    We made our way to the Cape Fear Museum on Market Street (by the way a great place to start if you haven't researched your trip to Wilmington). When we arrived we were informed that due to some recent updating their largest exhibit would not be opening until the following day so we could look around at no charge! The very nice woman explained the open exhibits and gave us a few "coins" to put in the jukebox upstairs. We were unfortunately there at the same time as a large group of middle school students and decided to make our way in the opposite direction in an effort to be able to look at the displays at our own pace. They had great displays of local ecosystems. There were also displays following local history, from the civil war,WWII, progress relating to segregation, to history of local buildings and events. The best part however was the huge prehistoric sloth  that was discovered just down the road from the museum. This thing had foot long claws! He probably needed them as he couldn't move very fast and is a little large to hide in/behind/ or under many things.
    Next we headed down to the River Walk where they have a lot of little art shops and coffee and tea houses. From here you could see across the river to see the Battleship North Carolina. We decided to take a walk around since we had been unable to find the Serpent and Reptile museum and had an hour still till it was time to meet David. When we made our way around the block we found the museum we had been looking for! Inside there were alligators, snakes, and lizards... oh my! (In my personal opinion worse than lions, tigers, and bears.... you do not see these on cute little kids clothes).  There were alligators that looked fake except that we could see his tounge move as he was breathing, snakes longer than school buses, and lizards. One in particular I was ready to take home as he really seemed to want out of his "cage" and the sign said they weren't dangerous to humans. (I could have talked Jim into it had it been an option, how do you think we ened up with Tucker & Scarlet?!)

     Now it was time for the best part of the day! I got to wear my dress again and take pictures all over again! We started out in down town Wilmington walking around with our own personal paparatzzi, I'm not going to lie at first I was a little uncomfortable with people staring but after a few people made nice comments I relaxed a bit more. We stopped by the River Room and met a few of David's fellow photographers. They have a great facility for having small events that overlooks the river. One of the guys even offered to let us pose with his really great car! We stopped to listen to a guy play his guitar and sing while his friend played the drums on a bucket (the guitar and singing= good, could have done without the bucket drums). We noticed that the fence was covered in all these hanging keys and debated on their purpose for being there, our only guess is it had something to do with the brand new construction going on there. If anyone does know the real meaning behind it please let us know! We did debate  that it would be a nice idea to hang your spare key there and memorize it's placement if you lived nearby, could be handy... or dangerous. Next we stopped to have some coffee or in my case a smoothie and chatted with David a bit. Then we walked down by the river walk where Jim ATTACKED me in a display of public affection! All those years of not being allowed to display affection have left a lasting impression, having an audience didn't make it any easier.  We then headed to the Wrightsville beach to take the big plunge. The water was cold but not nearly as bad as I was prepared for, although I guess Jim and David disagree (there was a comment I wasn't privy to until just yesterday relating to when the boys would no longer be able to tolerate the water temperature, nice honey). It was fun though and there are some really great pictures! My favorite part was sitting in the sand cuddling together! Jim is such a comfy body pillow! :)  We cannot say enough great things about David and couldn't be more happy with the pictures we have seen so far!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Adventures in Myrtle Beach


     In our first week as newlyweds we had a lot of fun adventures. Our first fun ( going to the socaial security office doesn't count, that was not fun) activity was a trip to Anderson Park where Jim proposed. While it was a beautiful sunny day it was cold due to some intense wind. And as we all know I do not tolerate the cold very well. We did snap some photos of ourselves and the spot where Jim proposed before retreating to the car in search of more warm activities, I distinctly remember feeling like he was never going to and I just wanted time to hurry up so I could be engaged and start planning
our wedding. Hard to believe it's been nine months We both had some
 purchases we were looking forward to making and set off to find the
 intended items.
   After some serious shopping we were STARVING and decided to try something neither of us had ever had before! Jim flipped a coin to decide where and then decided he would prefer the other option more so we ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise (their crabcake sandwiches= YUM!). There we briefly debated taking Molly the flamingo on our trash the dress shoot in an attempt to win a trip to Las Vegas... but decided against that as we didn't want her to steal the spot light.
   Later we went putt putting at Captain Hooks. On our first real date Jim had taken me putt putting and used the faulty course to get ahead and we ended up with a tie, it has been a rivalry since. We spent a lot of the waiting our turn taking the most random pictures and attempting to figure out the various functions of our new camera (unsuccessfully).I think we may have annoyed the couple in front of us with our photo
shoot and mass amounts of hugging, but hey this is our "honeymoon" we're allowed to hug in public! Ultimately Jim won, by a tiny margin of course (8 strokes). We got one of those coins that the machine presses flat and stamps an image on (I HAD to have one for our scrapbook, thank you J for allowing me these little things.).... I chose the "I love you" coin and needed two attmpts to figure out how to work the machine. So we came home with an "I love you" and a dinosaur (why not a pirate or ship I don't know, this was a Peter Pan themed putt putt course).  We headed home to watch a movie and get some much needed sleep, this would be the first of three nights that I fell asleep during the first 20 minutes of a movie, I think I may have been a bit tired.
    Next up we travel to Wilmington, NC for some sight seeing and our trash the dress shoot with David from David's Wedding Photography!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

1 Week Anniversary

As of today we have been married a whole week! Going back to work is not going to be easy after a week of getting to hang out and do whatever for a whole week. We got a lot accomplished, we legally changed my name on most necessary documents, bought new toys, went to the beach, ate great food, had pictures taken, played putt putt (J won) and have tried to get our home back in some sort of order ( I will probably be working on this more today). We get quite the kick out of calling each other "husband" or "wife" and staring at/taking pictures of our rings.

There were a few times during the engagement when I wondered if all the stress, time, and money was worth it. I was afraid that after all my building up and expectations would leave me sad or let down afterwards, you know those events that you look forward to for years and think will be life altering or defining and end up just being a ceremony that feels redundant (see also: turning 18, prom, graduations). I was also afraid that since I was doing a lot of the projects myself in order to attain my vision and maintain our budget that it may turn out looking like a three year old did most of the work. Although there were some minor speed bumps as a whole I could not have asked for anything more except that those who were unable to attend could have been there (Maybe a little more sleep the few days before).

I had expected to get nervous before but ended up just being impatient for things to start once I was ready. There are so many things that you expect to see and notice and I really didn't. I don't remember seeing anyone as I walked down the aisle, just not being able to stop smiling. At one point I made myself turn and look at everyone there supporting us and another to look at Jim in his tux instead of just his face, although it was my favorite part. Jim and I have joked repeatedly that we are going to need to ask Jamie for a copy of what he said as we only remember bits and pieces (I am so glad we didn't have to memorize our own vows). I lost all sense of time and thankfully instead of seeming like it flew by I thought it went at just the right pace, there was a good mix of seeing family and holding Jim's hand, dancing, and talking. Not everything went exactly as planned but it all worked out so well, we had such a great time, and now I'm married to my best friend! We are looking forward to new adventures and as always I have big plans. I hope to keep you all updated with photos from my new camera and this blog!