Sunday, January 30, 2011

so it's been a while

It's been a few weeks since my last post. I'm still alive. I've just been really busy. I feel like the last four weeks have been the busiest ever since I started working at WKU.  We're very close to the first phase of the new website launch. It's happening on February 1- this week! I've been working extra long and hard to help build the site. The last week has been a blur. I don't think there's been room for much other than work, and when I wasn't working I was thinking about work. There are several others that are a lot more involved than me, and they've worked longer and harder. We're all ready and excited for the work to be completed. It's going to be a huge improvement, so yay phase I is finally almost done! There's going to be lots more to do over the next nine months as the rest of the campus converts to the new content management system. I hope it goes smoothly.

I did get a break from work-work this morning though. That was a blessing. Chris and I got to serve our Sunday School class at Burton Memorial with breakfast, which is always fun. We got to hear a great message about being delivered from slavery and how God always keeps his promises. Then, we got to serve in the baby nursery during worship.  It was a treat to hold the babies- even though they were fussy at times. They were pretty sweet when they were sleeping.

Monday, January 17, 2011

happy MLK day

It was nice to have an extra day off with my husband.  We had breakfast, finished cleaning up the apartment, and ate more pinto beans for lunch (we're nearing the end of the pot- trying to finish them up before we have to be around people again).  I read for a bit while he played his upright bass.  Then, we went our separate ways to get a few things done.  He went to have coffee with our buddy Will and to practice with Lopez for their next gig. I think it's tomorrow night.  I went to see about getting a pair of pants hemmed and to have a cavity filled.  Since I had time, I also stopped by a couple of stores. 

As usual, the cavity filling was bearable, but not comfortable.  They numbed my mouth with a topical medication. Then the dentist came in to give me the shot.  It was in the far left corner on the bottom, which I feel is a less sensitive spot. As I found out, it's perfect for numbing both the top and bottom on that side.  Then they left me reclined in the chair for about twenty or thirty minutes while the medicine numbed my mouth. It felt like a really long time.  Before the dentist started drilling he said, "Let me know if you feel anything, and I'll give you some more medication. I want to make sure you don't feel a thing! Sound good?"  "Perfect!" I mumbled through the spit sucker. Of course, not wanting to appear needy or whiney, I let them drill on even though within a few seconds, it was starting to really hurt.  I kept thinking it would be over soon, but those few moments went on and on.  In reality, I am sure that he didn't drill long at all. It just felt like forever.  I suppose I could have stopped him for more meds, but I was being impatient. I felt like I had already been waiting too long, and I figured it would be over soon anyway.  I could feel my face getting red, I guess from the shock of the pain.  Usually my eyes tear up, but luckily, that didn't happen.  The dentist finished drilling it out, and told me I did a great job.  He could probably tell that it hurt! He left the exam room to care for his next patient, and his assistant finished up the filling. Ouch! Happy MLK Day to me.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

this past week

I got a haircut. It's a little short, but I've definitely had it cut shorter. I think I like it better.

I got to see my family again this past weekend for Lola's baptism and Genevieve's 2nd birthday party.  I got to hold Lola a lot. She's a fussy girl, but she's still pretty sweet. I forgot my camera this weekend, so I couldn't take pictures of the kiddos. I'll have to get some the next time I see them. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Asheville Vacation

Two days after Christmas my husband and I packed up for a trip to North Carolina. We visited there after a big snow storm, so we saw lots of beautiful white mountains!  We stayed at a cute Bed & Breakfast, and enjoyed our time off. I had never stayed at a B&B before, but I must say, I liked it.  I don't know if I would choose that type of lodging for every vacation because you give up a little privacy and time, but I would certainly do it again. 

While in Asheville we explored downtown, the Biltmore Estate including the house, winery, farm and shops. We spent the better part of two days at the Biltmore, but we also saw the North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville Art Museum, Colburn Earth Science Museum, Biltmore Village and Biltmore Town Square Park. It was a full four days!

The Biltmore was still decorated for Christmas. It was huge and beautiful! I can't believe that it was built for ONE family. I wish they would let you take photos inside, but they don't want anyone trying to recreate this masterpiece.  

Asheville is kind of a hippie town, but it's fun. I would definitely visit there again. We played a game called "count the Subarus", but shortly after we started playing, we realized we had no right to play it since there were almost as may Jettas driving around.

 Getting into North Carolina. The traffic got bad shortly after taking this due to the snow that covered one lane of I-40.

 Claw foot tub:)  The reason I chose the room! I know. I'm silly.

 The Biltmore House

 In front of the Biltmore.

 Can you see me in this photo? Chris backed far away to try to capture the huge house in the photo.

This city knows their wine.  I still have some Christmas At Biltmore that hasn't been opened in the fridge. I thought I might bust it out on New Year's Eve, but I conked out early that night.

This was at French Broad Chocolates. They had half off bottles of wine and live music on Wednesday night, so we went. They were slammed. People love hot chocolate and wine.

Hiking in the North Carolina Arboretum

 My favorite picture of Chris the weatherman.

  Yummy dinner at Mellow Mushroom.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas came and went part 2

The second half of our Christmas adventure was shorter.  In the afternoon, Chris and I left Elizabethtown for Henderson to visit my family.  Leigh Ann had her party spread as usual, complete with shrimp cocktail, buffalo wings, hot dip and corn chips, veggies, wine, chocolates, turkey, ham, festive colored jello shots, and the list goes on. The jello shots were a bit much for me, but the party food was delicious.  We ate and then opened gifts. It was a mad house. There were kids everywhere. Our family has gotten so big. And to think, my parents still have two younger kids that live at home. I can only imagine how crazy it's going to get once Austin & Sarah and Chris & I start having kids. Or when Jared and Jason get married. It's only going to get crazier!  After presents, Austin and Sarah went to her parents and Jamie, Kenny, Genevieve and Lola went home. That made a little room for everyone to stretch out. Dad then got the crazy idea to go on a mule ride to see the progress on his barn and the cows. He wanted to go around the cow fence, into the woods, and around the pond- IN THE DARK AND THE SNOW!  I refused, but was pushed out of the door with Melay (who also seemed to think it was a good idea). Luckily, the mule wouldn't start in the freezing weather, so we went for a walk instead. Afterward, it was time for bed.  The next day, Leigh Ann made another great meal for breakfast before church. That afternoon we went to my dad's family Christmas gathering and ate some more.  We stayed a while, then left for a short stop in Bowling Green before leaving for vacation.

My camera card was getting full by this part of the weekend, so I didn't take as many pictures.

 Chris pretending to be asleep at the wheel. Not funny.

 On our way to Henderson.

 Yay...driving on Christmas. Not our favorite part of holiday.

 Showing off the new earrings.

 Lola's first Christmas.

 Genevieve was ready to open gifts!

 She will be two years old this week.

 Dad on Christmas.

 Charis and her new Christmas puppy, Noel. The Nichols girls really, really wanted a REAL puppy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas came and went part 1

Christmas was super busy, but it included a lot of fun and excitement as usual. It's funny how busy Christmas is once you're married. The last two Christmases have been crazy. I guess it makes sense since your family basically doubles in size.

We started our Christmas Thursday afternoon when we drove up to Elizabethtown. I met one of my best friends, Joanna for lunch. We actually drove up a day early to meet up with her. Chris' dad, stepmother, stepbrother and stepsister live up there. We spent Thursday night, Christmas Eve and Christmas morning/early afternoon there. Niki, Chris' sister had come in from Jackson, Mississippi for her Christmas break from school. His stepmother made a wonderful lasagna Christmas Eve dinner (and a tasty Christmas morning brunch). We enjoyed opening presents from each other after dinner. Then, we all went to Christmas Eve worship service at Grace Heartland Church, Chris' home church at 7:00 p.m.  The snow started coming down around the time we got out, 8:00 p.m. Chris, his sister and I slid home in the car, washed some dishes and headed back out in the mess to attend music practice at 10:00 p.m. and Christmas Eve worship service at Valley Creek Baptist Church at 11:00 p.m. Chris and Niki were both asked to play music at this service.  They're good friend, Josh is the worship leader, and this is the church that Niki served before heading to Jackson, Mississippi for seminary in the fall.  Chris' dad and stepmother were going to attend the service after dropping off the kids with their dad, but the weather had become inclement. After they slid home in their truck, they were done with driving for the evening. Christmas Eve turned into Christmas day during worship, and the music and sermon about how the Christmas story is about obedience was beautiful and convicting. We walked out of church to see more snow. Luckily, the roads were a little better than they were when we were driving there. Bits and pieces had been salted and scraped. Chris carefully drove back to his parent's house.  We made it the edge of their yard, but with the road at both a curve and a downward slope, we slid slightly off the road and into the yard. We peeled out a bit in the snow, were stuck for a moment, then made it back onto the road. We inched our way into the driveway. FINALLY at his parent's home safe! Praise God!

Once everyone had gone off to bed (a long winter's nap), Chris and I had middle-of-the-night private time of opening gifts. He got a fun guitar pedal that he wanted, and I got a beautiful pair of crystal earrings.  Thanks, Chris!

 Niki and I on Christmas Eve.

 Lori's beautiful table before Christmas Eve dinner.

 Chris and Niki played a little joke on Joshua. Can you figure out what they did?
That's right. They hid his real gifts and wrapped his underwear for him to open.  The Carter's have a dark sense of humor.  They like to momentarily steal Christmas joy.

 Opening gifts on Christmas Eve.

 Chris' Christmas joy is still visible on his face when he opens gifts. He's like a kid on Christmas. I love it!

 Elizabeth's gift to Keith.

 Joshua showing off his loot.

 Worship at Valley Creek.

 What we woke up to on Christmas morning.

 The Carter's beautiful backyard.