Sunday, May 15, 2011

There must be something in the water....

I have decided that there must be something in the water...So I'm drinking diet coke and coffee.

I could fill up a whole sheet of lined notebook paper with names of people that I know that are pregnant or have had their baby this year!  And what a blessing.  I'm so excited for Jay and me, when its our time.  But right now, I'm loving watching and learning from our friends...

Some special Prego Shout Outs should go to....

Kaitlin Godfrey and her hubs Brad just found out that they are expecting their first bundle of joy on Nov 19th!  Congrats to them.  Kaitlin, you are gonna be so cute pregnant!  (I would link your name to your blog, but I'm not an advanced blogger and could use some tips please ma'am! :) )

Rebecca Laughlin, a friend and coworker, is expecting her second son in September of this year...and she spends most of every day going through baby boy names...This is me and Becca coming back from lunch with ICEES. 

Next, Heather Simpson and her husband are expecting their first.....set of TWINS!  So, a double congratulations is in order.  Heather is in my prayers as she is at home on bedrest, but I know that everything will be worth going through when she sees her cute babies this September!

I could name many many more, but I will conclude my shoutouts with a Congrats to a very close friend and her husband...Sharon and Adam Coker!  This is me holding their beautiful Lillian Christine Coker:
May 9, 2011

So, this year, I hope to be busy taking lessons and going to baby showers!  Congratulations again ladies!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trip two: Florence, AL

Florence, AL....random, right?  But not to us!

There are so many awesome things about my parents, and their marriage is one that I constantly look to for guidance.

In 1969, weddings were either performed barefoot in a field or couples eloped, according to my mother.  She was getting her master's in concert piano at the University of Mississippi, and my father was a recent business graduate/auditor for the US Army.  My father was friends with a music teacher at Ole Miss and was first introduced to my mother through a one way glass practice room, where he would come and watch her practice...(kinda creepy, but cute!)  According to both of them, the first date did not go well and so they each went their separate ways. 
I am told that it was eventually my Aunt Margaret (mom's sister) that convinced Mom to go out with Dad again... This time went much better and before their three month courtship had a chance to think, Dad popped the question!  When I asked my mom what was going through her head when he asked, she said, "well, I was just thinking that if I say no, this man will be gone from my life forever...and that would make me really sad".  Hahahaha!  I love it.  So she said yes.  The next decision was "where" and "when", and I'm not sure how exactly the decision was decided, but apparently alot of their other college friends were making this same decision. 
(Background:  My dad's mother, my grandmother, was an integral part of passing the law in MS where a marriage license would have a three day waiting period before one could be
My parents, along with my Aunt Margaret and her long-time fiance Uncle Bill, headed for Florence, AL to elope!  When they arrived at the courthouse around 8 pm, the judge had JUST left to go home because he had a "party at his home that evening"--said the secretary.  In a magical moment of desperation, my dad dropped my mom, uncle and aunt off at a restaurant to grab a bite to eat while he drove around the town looking for a house. with alot of cars. that looked like it belonged to a judge.  Not kidding.  And when he thought that he found it, he walked up to the front door and asked to speak to the judge.  The judge was so impressed with his....persistance?...that he left his dinner party, drove to the courthouse and married my mother to my father AND my aunt to my uncle!  Fairy tale.  I love it.
The even more "fun" part of this whole event was that they had to drive back to Oxford, Jackson TN, Biloxi and FL that night.  They all had jobs and classes to attend!  No honeymoon...just a loooooong drive and a few awkward phone calls to some parents.

All that to be said, I'm thankful that Jay appreciates stories like these.  He listens with an open heart and loves them just as much as I do.  It's amazing.  So when I was on (i <3 it), I could NOT pass up the opportunity when a trip to Florence, AL presented itself.

We drove the 5 1/2 hours from Jackson, MS to the Marriott Shoals:
An ammmmmaaaazing the middle of NOwhere.  Its a resort overlooking Wilson Lake, which my dad says is known for its small mouth bass...
The first day when we arrived, we enjoyed our first couples massage in their amazing spa.  Each dressing room had your own attendant that waited on you hand and foot...mimosas, cookies, granola, ice water, cold towel, hot towel...anything.  It was awkward, but so much fun.  And I usually talk throughout my entire massage, but I remained completely quiet so that Jay could enjoy his massage.  Yay me! :)

We drove around downtown Florence and the surrounding areas that night.  We stopped at their local mall for some bath & body works lotion I needed and wound up having a "date night" at the which I completely dominated Jay in skee ball...anyway...our prize from the arcade just HAD to be our prop for a professional photoshoot that we had when we returned to the room. 
*The following images are the best of the unedited originals.

The next day, we journeyed out for our touristy fun!  We visited Helen Keller's birthplace, which was totally cool.  We visited it along with 4 classes of second graders...which was NOT cool! Haha it wasn't that bad. But we did make the absolute best of it and had a blast! 

The famous water pump where Ann taught Helen how to spell W-A-T-E-R in to her hand.

The next stop on ours, AND the second graders' sightseeing trip was the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.  The AL Music Hall of Fame includes an awesome collection of music memorabilia, one of the band Alabama's old tour buses, and a recording room where you can sing with a track and they will record it to a cd for you.  (We came home with our own version of Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd on a cd for ten dollars. What a souvenir. Ha!)

Our sightseeing then took us to a very special place....

Where my parents were married!  My mother didn't recognize it when I emailed her a picture...She said that "her mind was on too many other things" ha!  But my dad recognized it right away.  Amazing!  Over fourty years ago, a commitment was made that turned in to our family.  It made me tear up just being there with the man that will continue with me in this life that never would have been, if this courthouse were not here...if that judge wasn't having a party that night, and if my dad had just given up after one date. on the agenda was food!  We stopped at Trowbridges which is a diner in town that has been there since 1918 (and could have been where my mom, aunt and uncle ate that night).  The diner serves hot dogs, chili, sandwiches and ice cream.  Well, here's the menu:

The glass coke bottles were dwarfed in Jay's hands!   It was like, one sip for him.

That afternoon, we swam in the pool, slid down their waterslide even though it was freezing, and even sat in the whirlpool for awhile.  It was so relaxing to just play.  

Jay taking his turn. :)

Our last night, we ate at the resort's 360 Grille that is 22 stories in the air and revolves a complete circle while you dine.  Jay and I enjoyed the chef's 5 course tasting menu and we dined for THREE HOURS...  We had a blast.  The food was outstanding and worth it.

 That's the shadow of the 360 Grille from our table.
This is the Wilson Dam.  Wilson Lake to your left!

The drive to and from Florence was beautiful.  At one point we were actually in the foothills of the Smokies looking at some gorgeous scenery.  I can't wait to go back Florence, AL.  Maybe next time we can convince the folks to go with us and reminisce!