Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary, to Us!

Caution: This is one of those cheesy love posts. Read at your own risk!

Four years ago today I married the love of my life in the LDS Washington D.C. temple in Kensington, Maryland.

It's hard to believe it was four years ago. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun. Sadly, I am across the country visiting my family, so we are celebrating our anniversary late this year (to the tune of a Coldplay concert, not too shabby). Since I can't be with him today, I thought I'd do this little tribute to Katie and Chadwick:

Wow. We look twelve. Don't be fooled. This was actually midway through my sophomore year of college when Chad and I started dating. Awwwwww! How precious.

This photo is evidence that Chad doesn't give up. Even though one of my roommates told him I hated him, and that, I quote, "You'll never be able to date her, but if you try really hard, she might be your friend again," he worked really hard to dissolve a HUGE misunderstanding, we started dating, and at the end of the school year he convinced me to come see him in North Carolina the summer before I left for London. Looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking! I went to North Carolina to see a guy who wasn't even officially my boyfriend, and met his entire family. I should have been scared out of my mind, and I kind of was, once my plane landed in Raleigh and I really started thinking about it. I remember waiting for my luggage and wishing I could get back on the plane. Luckily, it was the best trip ever. It was after this trip that I knew I was really in love with him, that perfectly enough I was also in love with his family, and that I wanted to marry him someday.

This is us, right before I left for London. Spending a semester abroad, right after you decide you're in love with someone, creates a sticky situation. It was hard to go, but it was one of those great blessings in disguise. Remember how my trip to North Carolina helped me realize I wanted to marry Chad? I'm pretty sure me being gone for 4 months convinced Chad he wanted to marry me. It was a long semester of time differences, expensive phone calls, emails, letters, videos, pictures, and MSN messenger.

When I flew back from London, we got to start dating in the same physical space again (always a good idea, if you've already made up your mind you're eventually going to marry a person).

This was Chad and me in April of 2005, the day he asked my dad for permission to marry me. Luckily, my dad is probably the least intimidating man in the world, so it wasn't too hard.

One of our engagement photos.

These were taken on our honeymoon in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Four years ago today I made the best decision of my life. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful man to share forever with. Four years later he is still making me smile, still making me laugh. I can't wait to see what adventure we'll get to experience together next.

Happy 4th Anniversary, Bebe Dish!

Monday, July 20, 2009

World Wide Photo Walk

On Friday, Chad found out about something called the world wide photo walk and asked me if I'd like to go. Basically, it's a free event where photographers meet up in locations all over the world and spend a day taking pictures. We found out there were a few locations in our area that were participating, and so we opted to join in on the fun. On Saturday morning, we drove up to Beaufort (strangely, I had never been to Beaufort before Callie came, and now I've gone twice in two weeks) and spent the morning alongside other photographers. This is a group shot of most of the people who came:

I enjoy taking pictures, but I'm far from a pro, so I thought it would be a little intimidating. I was pleasantly surprised and had a great time. These are some of my favorites that I captured at the event:

And some of Chad's:

We had a lot of fun just spending the day together (plus there was some amazing seafood to be had at lunch). I think we'll definitely do it again next year.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reasons I'm Not Yet a Published Author

There are a variety of reasons, probably the most prevalent being my laziness. I HAVE been writing, but I'm not nearly as far along as I'd like to say I am. Still, I feel like making an effort is better than not, and I think I'll be proud of myself for writing anything by the end of the summer, even if it's not a completed novel (Do I really need to post a photo of the empty sleeves of Oreos?) Before you really think that I'm a completely sorry woman who has nothing to show for her summer thus far, feast your eyes on the extremely LONG tale below. Warning: a lot of this has been a LONG time coming. Sorry.

In June . . .

1. I said goodbye to all of my darling students. (And really, when you look at the pictures, there is no contesting how adorable they are. I know that most of you are thinking that adorable is a word that should be reserved for use when describing elementary students, and it probably should, but I think my students are darling. Almost, gazing at these photos makes me miss them. Then I remember--6:00 alarm clocks+lesson plans+grading does not equal as much fun as no set alarm clock time+no lesson plans+no grading.)

2. Chad celebrated his 27th birthday. Happy belated birthday, Bebe Dish!

3. Chad's baby brother, Cameron, graduated from Kinston High School. We were lucky enough to sit in the gymnasium bleachers for two hours for the blessed event. Luckily we love Booba, or I don't know if my back could have handled it. Really, all sarcasm aside, we are so proud of him! Life isn't going to feel the same when he leaves for college in the fall. Even though he'll be close by at ECU, it's just going to feel strange without as much Booba.

4. We were in a car accident (please, let's not relive THOSE photos) and battled with an insurance company to pay off our loan so we could purchase a new car. Eventually, because my husband is a lot less nice on the phone than I am (in a good way), and Chad's uncle Craig has amazing car hook-ups, all the agonizing phone calls came to an end and we bought the car we affectionately refer to as Mazda Bebe 2.0 (again, we're quite creative with our car names):

5. We "put up" corn. Regretfully, I have no pictures of this occasion. All I can tell you is it was two days of shucking, cleaning, boiling, cutting, and freezer bag stuffing. Although, eating fresh corn on the cob for a few days was definitely worth it.

6. We were the official photographers for Chad's cousin, Heather's, wedding.

7. We tenderly cared for our tomato plants, pepper plants, and fresh herbs, and even were lucky enough to harvest our first cherry tomato about a week ago:

(Now, something is eating said tomatoes, and I'm not sure what. All I know is Sevin dust--which boasted that it killed 100 different kinds of insects--hasn't done the trick. It's a real bummer, but I've started to pick them a bit early, and let them ripen inside to help alleviate the problem)

8. We met a new friend, Ernest, and confirmed that buying a dog right now is probably not the best idea.

9. Meredith and Mackenzie arrived just in time to make the end of June the best ever!

In July, thus far . . .

1. I spent every moment possible with this little Priss Pot and her mom:

and have been reminded that being an Aunt is most definitely the most amazing thing EVER! Despite our best efforts, she didn't start walking while she was here, but she's definitely close. I also got to watch Chad teach our niece that every creature in the animal kingdom makes a dog noise, as he "read" to her--which is why I have this look on my face:

2. I savored spending five days with one of my oldest friends, who was sweet enough to fly out to see me. Callie and I had a blast, and I was reminded of how thankful I am for good friends who have made me the person I am today. While she was here we took a day trip to Beaufort, a quaint, little, fishing village. We stopped in New Bern on the way back. We had a great time window shopping, eating yummy food, and catching up. I think by the end of the day I'd almost convinced Callie to move here, but she'll have to convince her fiance before we can turn her into a southern gal.

Callie and me in New Bern on a dock that said, "No Trespassing."

We also took advantage of Lauren and Tyler's hospitality (and the hospitality of her very generous mom), and we spent a couple of days at Atlantic Beach. We stayed at the cottage and went tubing in the sound. I grew up going tubing, but it was always on a lake. Plus, I've always been on a tube with an actual spot in the middle where you can use your legs to brace yourself. This tube was completely flat, which meant all you had to save you was pure upper body strength, which we all know I have a lot of. I wasn't sure what to expect when we headed off into the waves, so I made sure Cameron and William went first:

Then, Callie and I gave it a shot:

I love this shot, because you can tell by the look of pure terror on my face that I'm starting to regret my decision of hopping on the tube in the first place.

As soon as we took off, I started shouting, "Callie, this is not like the lake! This is not like the lake!" It's so much choppier in the sound because there are natural waves already, not to mention what was being created by my brother-in-law driving the boat. Luckily, we both survived. I could not stop laughing and so it made it that much harder to hold on. I'll tell you what, between the laughter, clinging on for dear life, and the amount of exertion it takes to get back on the tube after you fall, that is one heck of a workout. It was so much fun!

Lauren and William on the tube.

And of course, no beach trip would be complete without pure, relaxing, beach time. We soaked up some sun, Callie dug for shells with her toes (she's quite skilled at fancy foot work), and the water was so calm and perfect, that we also spent some time swimming. Joy, Bruce, Meredith, and Mackenzie also drove down for the day, which made things even more fun.

Little Miss Priss Pot also liked the beach:

3. I was lucky enough to have two of my best friends with me at the same time in the same place (something that doesn't happen very often now that we're all old and grown up). A lot of people lose touch with the friends who kept them sane in high school. I am proud to say that I still feel very close to a lot of the people I spent my adolescence with. Even though we all live in different places and have busy lives, and we don't get to see each other, and in some cases even talk to each other, very much, I love them. Lacey, who became my friend the first day we met, sitting next to each other in kindergarten, drove up from Raleigh so she could spend an afternoon with Callie while she was here. We went through old photo albums, reminisced over old stories, and had a great time together. I tried to scan an old photo of the three of us together in high school, but I'll have to add that later, after Chad can help me figure it out. For now, here are the self-portraits from our reunion.

It's been a great June, and a great July so far. I think it can only get better, since I'm headed out to Utah next week to see my family. While there, I will be joining them on a joy ride up to Washington to reunite with long, lost family members I haven't seen since I got married almost FOUR YEARS AGO! There have been numerous new arrivals added to my family that I haven't even met since living on the east coast. Life's pretty grand.

Sadly, the summer is flying by. I think I could get used to this not working thing, which is a little bit scary. The end of summer will be here before you know it. Until then, I plan on soaking up every possible minute of freedom.
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