Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Graduation Completed.

(Pic taken from Jen's page... thanks :))
Deep breath. School year 2005-2006 is finally completed. Today was my last day of work, and I feel complete closure with the class of '06 after graduation last night. I told myself this last year, but I forgot, so I am reminding myself again this year: I need to always remember the positive, sentimental feeling that I get at graduation. It's those types of feelings, and bringing them to mind, that get me through rough times. I have been down about my job lately, and last night reminded me why I was in education. The smiles on those kids faces are priceless. They are so proud of themselves and so appreciative of their teachers--especially the ones who know they barely made it (i.e. needing a 79 on the final exam to pass the class and making an 80... I had three of those) and that they owe you big time. For the past two years, I have been a "line leader" for the ceremony, and while it can be quite chaotic, it is so cool to get to see and wave and hug every kid as they are about to walk on the stage for their "big moment"--for some, the biggest moment of their lives... Warm fuzzy, definitely! I am excited about my summer away, and I'll be ready for a brand new crop of students and a new school year come August...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Circa 1999

7 years ago, 3 friends and I embarked on a summer adventure to Charleston, South Carolina. We sublet an apartment from some College of Charleston girls(see pink building picture), took off from our respective colleges (none of which were the same), and made a life for ourselves in this spectacular city. We all got jobs, worked as little as possible to pay the bills, and enjoyed every facet of the city, beaches, and surrounding areas. We made a list of all the things that we wanted to do during our time there, checked them off one by one, and had a blast doing every single thing. There were more good times than bad, and the summer of 1999 was a defining time in my life and in my friendships with these women. I absolutely fell in love with the city and have since then read every book I can find that is set there. (Pat Conroy being my all-time favorite author!) Since our adventure there, I have only been back to visit once, but I have thought about it so often...

In just a few days, Patrick and I are going to Charleston!!! We have had our trip planned for several months now, and we cannot wait. I am going to get to do all the romantic things with him that I dreamed of doing with someone I loved that summer... :) We have a list of restaurants in which to dine, places to visit and tour, and walks to take. I can't wait to show him the Citadel, the CoC, the beautiful antebellum homes, Rainbow Row, Isle of Palms, Folley Beach, and so much more!!! We are staying at a Bed and Breakfast on the Battery (pictured below), and our view is amazing. I'll try to take some good pictures and post them when we get back!

Monday, May 22, 2006

puppy dogs and codes

Well... Patrick and I have been doing a lot of thinking, praying, researching, and we think we are ready to add a puppy dog to our family! What in the world!!! Since Patrick has yucky allergies, we need a dog who won't shed or bother his sinuses. We have decided on getting a Bichon Frise. Sugar Sweet, my cousin's dog, has greatly influenced our decision, and we spoke today with the owner of her parents. Our "Maggie" will be born in 2 weeks, and we'll get her in 9 weeks if all goes as planned. I really miss my "Cassie," and I love my sister's "Sadie," and I'm going to be obsessed with my sweet little "Maggie."

In other news, we went to see The DaVinci Code this weekend. It was a good thriller with cool cinematography tricks. There has been so much controversy about first the novel, and now the movie. When I was doing campus ministry at The University of Alabama, this book was all the rage because it was shaking so many people's faith. I was particularly interested in the book since I was in the middle of my Masters in Biblical Studies. The truth is that the book is purely fiction, and while interesting, it is based on inaccuracies and simple fallacies. We heard a sermon yesterday on "Cracking the DaVinci Code," and I was worried that it was going to be one of those, "Christians should stay away from this movie and boycott it lalalala stuff." It wasn't. I appreciated Buddy's approach. He said from the start that he had read the book and seen the movie. He gave our members some facts to help dialogue with those who might be struggling with some of the ideas that were presented. Then, he focused on how people today aren't influenced as much by Christian or non-Christian evidences as much as they are by watching others live out their faith with authenticity. I agree completely, and I recommend the movie. Then, call me and let's talk about it over coffee or tea...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

So close I can taste it...

Summer, come quick! I have 3 more "pseudo" work days, and then summer will have arrived. Thank the Lord, it couldn't come at a better time. This weekend has felt like summer. I've just felt more relaxed, spent some time outside, and enjoyed life. I've also had a chance to reflect and gather some thoughts and goals for how I want to use these 10 weeks of my life with no Lee High...
1. Time with family. We have a trip planned to Louisville to spend time with the Crawfords, a week in Nashville with the Deans, and an end-of-summer trip to Atlanta with the Crawford, Dean, Meek clan. I'm sure missing my family, so this chunk of time is extremely valuable to me. 2. Vaca... And that's coming quick. Patrick and I will be spending the last few days of May in my favorite city in the US, Charleston. More to come on that later...
3. Get in shape. I'm sick of eating crap and feeling bloaty and lethargic. I WILL do something about it this summer... Get ready, Ash and Aiden, I'll be calling...
4. Get back on track spiritually. I've been stuck and stagnant for too long. I'm ready to live the joy of my Lord. I'm excited about my new "Kristy Crawford" Bible that Patrick got me for "Teacher Appreciation Week" and 7 months of marriage. I'm also excited about a Beth Moore study that I'm planning to be a part of this summer on Thursday nights. It's Patriarchs, and my mom said it was excellent. Any of you Fungomery girls who are interested, let me know, and we'll make a girls' night out of it.
5. Read and Write. I have my list of books for the summer that I'll share with any of you who are interested, and I have an article for Teen Life Ministries that is long overdue. Sorry, Al. It's on "The Value of Women in Ministry."
6. Get Tan! Last summer I hardly used our pool. This summer, it will be a daily occurence. Come swim with me!
7. Use our home and my time for ministry and fellowship. I'm planning Mondays with Landmark teen girls, different age groups each week, swimming, or shopping, or lunching... I hope to have friends and reach-out friends over for cookouts and pool parties too.
8. Friend time. My DLHS homegirls are coming one weekend in June to send Kelly off to Japan, celebrate Andrea's pregnancy, Mindy's new motherhood experiences, and get caught up on our babies and marriages, jobs and interestes and lives in general. Can't wait!!! I'm also looking forward to time with my friends here who I see so rarely.
9. Youth Ministry! I'm going to Cozumel with the Landmark teens. It's my second year to go and work with Ciudad de Angeles. We have a great group going this year, and I can't wait.
10. Cook. I got some great cookbooks as wedding presents, and I'm excited about trying new recipes... Get ready, Patty Crawdy!
11. Learn Spanish. See #9. Last year in Cozumel, I just smiled and giggled. This year I hope to communicate a little better...

Think that's enough? Well, I am excited, and I hope that my excitement drives this! I hope everyone is getting excited about summer...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Grey's Anatomy... whoa!

Anybody see the finale last night? What did you think? Who should she choose? What about Izzy? thoughts, predictions, opinions welcomed. I was floored... and a little embarassed at one point... I think I'm going to watch it again right now!

(BTW, I'm home early today because our school had to let out due to backed up raw sewage! What in the world...)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

little here... little there...

I haven't had much to say this week. It seems like a lot has happened, but I've been too tired to even try to articulate it here on this blog... So, here is my week in a list.

1. Research Papers completed!!! This has been a major highlight of my week. Toward the end, the grading went faster because the papers were worse. Sad, but true.
2. Personal/Mental health day... I took Wednesday off because I couldn't deal with the jungle 5 whole days this week. It was a great day that started off with a rainy morning spent reading in the bed, a lunch date with Patrick, Mother's Day card and gift shopping, and a rainiy afternoon at Starbucks... grading research papers...
3. Babies Galore!!! First 3 new expectant mothers... now 4 new little friends! Amy Hall Reynolds is now the proud mother of Rylee Grace Reynolds; Katie Stewart Holliday gave "little Robert" a little sister, Lillian Louise Holliday (Lilly); Jennifer Corwin Brewer gave birth to little Davis Brewer; and my sweet little Shar'keia gave birth to a sweet little girl with a full head of hair! Plus, we had a baby shower for a teacher at school... babies, babies, babies!
4. I did something I never thought I would do... (see #3) I went to visit one of my 17-year-old students at the hospital after giving birth. Sweet Shar'keia, who is not only my student but also my wonderful teacher's aide, had a baby girl Thursday afternoon. I took her some "Baby's first books" to the hospital and was greeted by a room full of young women and babies. She was adorable... She will be a wonderful mother... I pray for her and that her life will be blessed. She has taken a rough path, but she is smart and kind and motivated. Her mother made me cry.
5. Read three books: A Moveable Feast, White Hot, and Promise Me. I'm currently zipping through Annie Freemen's Fabulous Traveling Funeral. Good stuff.
6. Visited the Adullum House. Last night our LIFEgroup went to the Adullum House, an orphanage/foster home that cares for children whose mothers are in Tutwiler Prison. There are 26 kids there. Last night, we cleaned the rooms and bathrooms, did laundry, and held babies. The older kids were out on a "field trip," so we had the 9 youngest to play with, feed bottles, and burp. It was truly humbling.
7. Slept in. After falling asleep last night on Kevin and Britani's floor, this morning Patrick and I slept LATE. We woke to a rainy Saturday morning, and we have just enjoyed our day together. What a blessing!

Next week my main goal is to live out my faith. I felt negative last week. Tired. Drained. I pray that my joy will shine through this upcoming week to everyone I come across. God has been good to me. I need to remember that.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Baby Fever

So, the saying really is true: Things come in 3's. On the same day, I had 3 friends (extremely close friends, at that) call to tell me that they are pregnant! What in the world?! All three of these women are spectacular, and they will all make incredible, Godly mothers. I just want to know their babies! I am not ready to have a baby. I'm not. But whoa...

Thursday, May 04, 2006


So, it went something like this... I'm sitting in my classroom talking to my fun, funky, smart, creative friend/coworker about how I've been enjoying my afternoons at Barnes & Noble, drinking a cup of green tea and reading a chapter of A Moveable Feast (continuing in my literary obsession with Hemingway, I am). She asked why I had not bought the book, and I told her my hangup about buying lots of books, my feelings about Trade Books and the library, and that I had to really LOVE a book to buy it for full price. We continued on in our conversation and said our good-byes for the day. (She leaves after 5th period.)

Fast-forward to 7th period. I'm sitting in the library with my class as they take their STAR reading tests, and in my lap falls a wrapped package with a sweet card. I turned around to my friend, and she said, "I hope you don't mind... but I couldn't stand the thought of you not having a book that you absolutely love." STINKIN' MADE MY WHOLE WEEK! (p.s. Barnes & Noble has the coolest wrapping paper ever!)

What an awesome Random Act of Kindness... It really got me thinking about taking the time to notice things in people I am around, what they like, what they need. It made me think about becoming a better friend to those who have befriended me so selflessly. So, I thought I'd open up a conversation... What are some random kindnesses that have been shown to you? What are some things that you've done, or would like to do, for those around you?

Thank you so much, Carrie! Love you, girl...

My Hemingway quote of the day... "Do not worry. You have always written before, and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." ~my inspiration for the moment...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My weekend=My "new" kitchen!

So...this post is to inform you of how Patrick and I, along with our dear friends Britani and Kevin, spent our weekend--redoing the kitchen!!! Please indulge me with some before and after photos:
Ok, so notice the beautiful fruit wallpaper, the mongo fan/light fixture, the overwhelming 80's feel... (If you can't tell, click the image so that you can see it all on a detailed level.) Now, let me just preface all these details by emphasizing how grateful I am to have a house, a kitchen, etc... I was determined to not jump in and change anything when we first bought the house because of several reasons: 1)Most of our available funds went toward the down payment; 2) My sister got married a month later; 3)I then planned a wedding and got married. In addition, I wanted to spend some time in the house and decide what was important to me and unimportant. The kitchen was fine and spacious, but as the months went on, I became certain of one thing: The fruit had to go! So, our weekend went as follows:

1. Choosing a paint color: Home Depot's "Shy Blossom," a pleasant green hue that both brightens and calms the room.

2. Removing the existing wall fungus (consisting of 4, and in some places 5, layers of wallpaper). This process consisted of renting a steamer, scraping, sanding, using emulsifying glue, spacling (sp), sanding some more, and, sigh, FINALLY painting. Actually, the painting turned out to be the easiest part...

3. Replacing our white ceramic plastic knobs with knobs with a dull nickel finish.

4. Changing out light fixtures (Patrick, again, impressed me with his handyman skills).

5. Purchasing new kitchen chairs (on sale at Pier 1) to go with our lovely hand-me-down ratan table base from the beloved parentals

6. Purchasing chair cushions (again at Pier 1)

7. Purchasing a curtain valance

8. Purchasing some wall art to complete the overall mood of the room... And TADA!!!

Well, it may not be quite Trading Spaces, but we are very pleased. Come over, and we'll cook you dinner! One note: We definitely underestimated how long this project would take... so if you ever consider putting up wallpaper, call me so that I can talk you out of it. We are going to take some time off before Project number 2...