Monthly Archives: October 2015

cruising, wedding, and ringing in 2015

andy and I were booked for a cruise for may 2014.  we were so excited to be planning another vacation and then 2 unexpected things happened.  1. dad crushed his heel not long before we were to leave and 2. we got a wedding invitation to kendra and cliff’s wedding for right after Christmas – and they were getting married on a cruise.

we knew that we wouldn’t be able to go on two cruises in one year and we didn’t know if my dad was going to have surgery and I didn’t want to be that far away from home if he did.  so we called the cruise line and got our reservation changed.  one of the best decisions we made.  we got to go on a perfect vacation, see a wonderful marriage of two amazing people, and ring in the new year in style!

our boat was leaving from fort lauderdale, fl on sunday so we got up early Saturday morning (before the sun) and loaded up dad’s truck and away we went.

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we made it to fl and met up with my brother and blair for dinner.

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we made it to the port sunday after killing time shopping and driving around.  we went through security and after dad got his new knife taken away from him (he got it back when we got back) we boarded the boat.  there is something about walking through the walk way and to the boat.

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we loved our room.  it was a little bigger than the room we had on the last cruise.  we had a love seat in our room.  (I think my parents were jealous).  they were around the corner and down the hall from us in a room that only had a chair (because of a connecting door).  and like last time, we had a port hole in our room so we could watch the waves and the ocean.

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the wedding was different.  I had never been to a wedding on a cruise with the captain officiating.  we went to the chapel and had champagne while we waiting on the ceremony to start and once all the parties where there, we watched as two wonderful people exchanged vows and rings.

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(playing with editing a little bit)

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(back to the wedding)

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to the beautiful reception

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the first stop on the cruise was to the grand caymens.  we did our own self walking tour right around the port.  we didn’t stray too far but we did a little bit of shopping.  I love all of the towel animals.

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we made a point to try to go to all of the shows.  on our first cruise we didn’t get to many of them and we talked about wanting to make sure that we did on this cruise.

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kendra arranged for us to all sit in the same area at meal times.  we had a little trouble getting into the group since we transferred cruises, but we finally got it fixed to where we were sitting in the same area as the group.  we were at a small table with another couple from the wedding group.  allison and chris.  we had a good time with them (hopefully they did with us as well).

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we enjoyed after dinner festivities around the boat.

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the next port was jamaica.  we knew our room was close to where we got off the boat so I put my book in the window so that we could find our room.  we walked around inside the port area, but we also went outside the gate and walked around a little bit.

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after dinner we were invited to join the group in new year’s festivities.  they reserved the bridge for our group only.  it was so much fun to be with everyone (and to not be in the crowd below).  we definitely brought in the new year in style.

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the next stop was haiti

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that night we took our towel animal and dressed him up so our cabin attendant could see his elephant dressed up.

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they had the farewell show

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the wait staff did their farewell song/dance.  we loved our waiter, francis!  someone ordered “nothing” for dessert and this is what he brought out!

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when we got back to the room we noticed that the elephant had a few more decorations.

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some random photos around the boat.

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we went to an ice show – on the boat!  there was an ice rink!  it was a cute show and it was really done well.

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view from our room

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one of the shows had a violinist followed by a comedian.

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some group photos

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the marriage game!  hilarious!

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some photos of our room!  ignore the name behind the curtain!

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we had so much fun on vacation.  it was hard to narrow down the pictures to post the ones that i did.  looking back through all of them made me miss our trip.  but it brought up a lot of memories.  it was a wonderful wedding and festivities!  we were so lucky to be able to ring in the new year and start 2015 on a cruise.

we were sad to leave.

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we are planning another cruise for 2018 – I hope!

me, andy, and otis

just a few random pictures of us three from 2014 (mostly I think).

andy in my new donkey hat.

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this is the view I have of otis on all of our trips.

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otis loves “cozy monster” (not staged).

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otis loved when we opened the windows.  he stood there for an hour smelling the fall air.  when his legs got tired he jumped on the bed and laid with his head aimed at the window.

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otis laying on the couch with his head near the open door.  catching the sunlight.  his old soulful eyes.

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date night

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otis emptied his toy box, trying to find the perfect toy.

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at my grandmothers.

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fluffy and wet hair

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snuggled in the bed.

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we bought him a dog bed so that when we board him he won’t have to just lay on a blanket.  (he gets stiff because he is old).I wanted him to get used to the bed before we took it, in hopes that he wouldn’t shred it while he was at “camp.”  at first he wouldn’t have anything to do with it, so we put it in the chair he always laid in…he started laying in it and likes it!

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when you don’t have teeth to hold your tongue in your mouth…

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I got out of bed and otis took my place.

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otis in his sweater saying “it’s cold!”

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I love these two!

gcpc 2014 recap

it seems only fitting that on a sunday i do a recap of the youth group from 2014.

a look back at our youth group.  a lot of the middle school events aren’t captured because I am mostly with the high school youth.  it is always fun to look back and see how the youth have changed physically, but also to remember the events and see how they have changed on the inside as well.

we went to resurrection in january.  it was cold.

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youth sunday happened.  cleo our 2014 senior gave the message.

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lawn part to kick off the school year

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church picnic at locust springs.  there were two donkeys that wondered in to say hello.

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we had a high school lock in on Halloween night…it snowed.  the next morning i woke up at 5 and took a picture.  luckily it didn’t stick around long.

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we went to montreat in july.  i love montreat (it is a thin place – we have been told).  i am sure the kids hate my camera…but i enjoy it and so they put up with it.  i know that in a lot of the pictures they kids aren’t smiling…apparently it is a game that we play.  they act like they are miserable and i allow it (they do have to smile for a few photos).  they really are having fun – i promise.  bob retired.  we miss bob!

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took a group of kids to charlotte to carowinds.  andy got sick (didn’t puke – but pretty sure he wanted to).  i road boo blaster and shot some monsters.  it was a short but fun trip.

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high school progressive dinner.  i enjoy taking group photos, but just start taking the pictures and keep taking them and see how long they will put up with it.  sometimes i act like i am taking pictures but am really doing a video.  they are always such good sports.

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middle school bon fire at the farm.  it was huge.  it was a hot fire.

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we went and helped at gifts for kids (and played a little too).

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just a taste of 2014.

chasing the moon

sept 2014 we went to the beach for a long weekend.  it was nice to get away.

we played the tag game (we killed it – but i don’t know where the finished one is for photo proof).  we made a detour and went through columbia, sc so that we could eat qdoba.  it was amazing and worth the side trip!

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we stayed where we stayed when i was in high school and a group of us (me, andy, erik, Katie, ron) went over spring break.  it was a fun reminder of the past.

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as the sun went down we chased the moon all the way to the beach.  it was huge!  i spent much longer than i would like to admit trying to get pictures of it.

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not too bad for taking pictures while driving down the road.  when we got to our hotel the moon was beautiful over the ocean.

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we went to bed with a full moon and woke up to a beautiful morning and coffee!

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we got to see a wedding while we were there.  andy made me leave before the second one started!

we went to some of our favorite places to eat while we were there.

burro loco.

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drunken jacks.  where we sat and watched goat island until our table was ready.

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we tried out the pirates voyage.  it was very cute.  we loved looking at the animals before the show and the pre show.

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we went shopping, we saw fish and andy wanted a unicorn head.  we also went and played putt putt.

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it was a wonderful end to the crazy summer.

north carolina Christmas 2014

some photos from Christmas in charlotte (2014).

ellen cheesing for the camera

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cj (i don’t know what is up with the snowflake headband)

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andy reading three donkeys and a donkey to cj.

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presents and cake!

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group photo (didn’t know which one I liked better)!

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always great to see family.

tennessee Christmas 2014

this past Christmas we started a new tradition.  we went and picked our own tree (from a tree lot – in front of a big lots).  ok so we didn’t go out to a farm and cut one down, but we walked around the millions (hundreds) of trees and saw them standing tall and walked all the way around them.  we picked our tree and home we went!  (a little dark and bad – but I wanted to remember the occasion)!

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the hardest part of dealing with a tree is otis.  when we bring it in otis thinks that it is his tree.  he gets so excited and we crush his hopes and dreams because we establish quickly that it isn’t his!  but he likes to help andy put the lights on the tree and check it out.

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I love Christmas.  it has really become my favorite time.  I love the decorating, the movies (including, to andy’s annoyance, the hallmark Christmas movies), the books, the excitement in kids….just about everything.

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this past year otis did good and stayed out of the gifts like he does each year. he was; however, horrible about using the tree skirt as a sled around the room.  he would get a running start and come flying around the corner and slide the skirt to the middle of the room.

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otis loves presents

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andy and jack decided to do ugly sweater Christmas so we put otis in a sweater as well.  the thing is otis loves his sweater!

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it is always nice to see family!

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out takes of trying to get a picture of the little cousins.  it was hilarious.

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lucas was really excited about the snow globe in the box.  he kept pulling the box closer and closer.

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otis got dressed in a small tree skirt and a joker/elf collar.

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we made our wreath this year.  we also added to our Christmas yard art!

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otis was also so helpful when I was trying to wrap gifts.  he also tried to get andy to love his sweater as much as he loves his!

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Christmas 2014 was the end of an era.  that was the last Christmas morning I would wake up in that house.  ever since I can remember we would be in greeneville on Christmas eve and I would wake up in that house each Christmas morning.  now that we have our own house (if you didn’t know – surprise) I will wake up Christmas morning somewhere new.  andy has said several times that I can go over there and sleep.  so I am nervous and excited about this new change of events!  (in a few months I will let you know how it went).

catching up: 2014 shenanigans

HELLO!  since I have been away a lot has happened (ok nothing too exciting, but I live in a town with no target, so I mean go with me on this).  since my computer died, I have finally replaced it and with that came trying to get all of my photos organized.  I didn’t realize how bad it was…but it was bad.  so now I am finally ready to start posting again.  now let me warn you that the next few post might bore you to tears.  I have done several posts that are just a quick catch up but there are certain events (like Christmas and vacation) that will have their own post.  here is the first of a lot to come in the next few days.  welcome to the end of 2014!

posted in random order.

may race in charlotte: sky and hanging out

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cj learning to play andy’s new harmonica (and ellen completely mortified)

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we also took a day off in may 2014 and went to the knoxville zoo.  we have so much fun when we go.  we didn’t know that we were going on the school day so we were there with a billion elementary school kids.  but the exciting thing we did was feed the giraffes!  (also we got locked in the gift shop because a kid went missing – the eventually let us leave, so we assume they found him).

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we were lucky to that we were able to go to the band perry concert.

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we also got to see 38 special and go back stage to meet the band (we got autographs and picks).

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a building was dedicated in ann’s name at the fair ground.  the expo building (her home away from home).

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work photos.  I found these amazing stress guys that when squeezed their eyes popped out a little.  well it didn’t take long before they were loved a little too hard and they both popped.  we used super glue and paperclips to “fix” them.  mine has since lost its hair and is full of holes…bethany’s is semi ok.

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 also last year bethany asked me to join her on a wonderful adventure, and I was stupid enough to go along with her.  we joined a crossfit beginners class.  it was torture.  I cried.  she missed the hardest night so she didn’t cry.  we dropped out.

august bristol trip.  if you get out of bed someone takes your pillow.  otis doing the “captain morgan” but his knee was sprained.

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we went to the October race in charlotte. Otis has his bed but sometimes we turn around and he is on our luggage.  he also tries to get in the front seat so I see his sweet face the entire time.

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 there is a concrete bunny at the house.  I came home one day and noticed it had been decorated by my dad.  dad and andy were taking bets to see if I noticed it.  yes I did.

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we had snow and it was cold.  for a while I was living with a wooly mountain man.

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a stray kitten showed up.  I thought we would end up with it because I felt bad.  but we found it a good home.

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we went to a yard sale and saw a dog come up and we both said that looks like rufas!  about that time we heard the people talking about that dog came to visit again.  I asked if it was theirs and they said no.  I asked if it lived on a specific street and they said yes.  I told them it was my cousins dog so we took him home.  bought a rug because he was muddy.  we wrapped him up bought a dvd and away we went.  he loved his ride.

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went to ghs homecoming.

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I woke up one morning and went to work and in the yard not far from my car was a raccoon.  he was cute but it was day light so I made noise and scared him off except he didn’t run away from me, he just kind of moved like a slug away from me.  the next day I get a text from andy with a photo of this little guy asking if we can keep it.  the same raccoon sitting outside in the middle of the day.  now I know that doesn’t automatically say that he is rabid (I did research) but he was sick. I asked andy if he called animal control and he said no why?!  so I made him call and no one came.  so I called my cousin and asked him about this raccoon.  I asked if he thought he was sick.  I described his behavior and he said yes he thought it was sick.  so we had our first encounter with a sick wild animal.

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 I will admit I am a little scared of cats (depending on the cat – very scared terrified).  I am not scared of my mom’s cats but they can be a handful.  on one visit I woke up with ashes in my hair and UT taking a bath on my suitcase.

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Otis helped with some sewing projects.  he seemed mostly bored but happy to have a soft place to lay.

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I hope to have Christmas posts up soon as well.

yay for catching up and getting organized!