Thursday, May 22, 2008

Weddings= Good Friends and Good Times

While I was home this April, my friend from Asheboro and Meredith College roommate, Miss Dee Dee Edwards (know to most as just, Dee), got married. Weddings are always lots of fun to go to, but this one in particular ranked up on my favorites list.

It really was great to see all of my Sweet Suite Girls (my college suitemates). Since graduating, getting us all together has been super difficult and if it does happen, we are lucky to get more than dinner. Luckily this weekend, we got to spend from Friday afternoon until the wedding end on Saturday night. From the moment everyone pulled into my driveway, life was back to normal, talking all at once and laughing hysterically at anything and everything.

That day we had a full schedule starting with a bridesmaid luncheon, nails, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and then dress and hair preparations for the following day.

The day of the wedding seemed to go perfect--everyone was super happy, the weather was great, the Bride was gorgeous, and we even got to break out the Big Booty song--a tradition starting at my own wedding that I hope will carry to Tara's this summer!

It was also great to see everyone else from both Atown and college that I haven't seen in so long. It was almost like being at my own wedding all over again, but this time, not being the bride I actually got to talk to everyone and find out what people are doing. It wasn't even until Dee was getting ready to throw the bouquet and leave that i realized i hadn't sat down or gotten anything to eat or drink during the whole reception!

If only I didn't have to say goodbye to my sweet girls at the end, it would have been a perfect weekend.
MC Girls

Me and Meggo

Our Norm

Tara, Me, Amanda, Meg, and Mary

Jump Shot

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Things I miss from home...

Living in HI definitely has it perks, but going home really reminds of me of some things that I miss--some that i am constantly aware of and others are very subtle and only after i have experienced them again do i realize i have even missed them at all.

For starters, its the food. And this is a big one--one I am constantly aware of. I miss good fast food, like chick-fil-a. I miss Bo's cajun fried chicken biscuits for breakfast. I miss being able to order sweet tea whenever i want it. I miss really good, cheap mexican food where the queso dip is white like it should be. I miss Olive Garden--everything about it....the salad, breadsticks, steak gorgonzola alfredo, stuffed chicken marsala, etc. I miss deli's. There is nothing like being out running errands and shopping and being able to stop at a Bear Rock or Panera Bread, or any other deli for that matter and eat a good quality sandwich. There is only so much Subway a girl can take. I miss Sir Pizza, ham and onion or on occasion ham and pineapple, no cheese, extra sauce and ranch dressing. I miss cobblers, pies and cakes that aren't made out of tropical fruits, coconuts, and stuffed with beans and mochi. I miss eastern NC barbecue, home cooked meat loaf, mashed potatoes and green beans, and I miss Rock-Ola Southwest Pasta. Obviously, i can not fulfill all cravings when I go home or else I would have to purchase two airline tickets just to get back home...but it is still fun trying!

I miss always seeing someone you know when you walk into a public place.

I miss how great a hot shower feels after waking up freezing cold.

I miss the birds singing outside my window in the morning.

I miss backyards and frontyards and driveways and houses with more than 4 rooms.

I miss friendly, southern-talkin people.

I miss being able to drive over 55 mph.

I miss Target, Walmarts with groceries, Bed Bath and Beyond, Belks, Express, and the Dollar Store.

I miss dressing up for church and listening to the choir.

I miss thunderstorms.

I miss gardens and eating fresh vegetables anytime I want.

I miss fried okra (i guess that should have gone under the food category).

I miss how running to the corner store would only take 10 minutes instead of 2 hours.

I miss the occasional cold and rainy day where that was enough excuse to spend the day inside reading and watching movies.

I miss seeing animals outside--horses, cows, deer, squirrels, etc.

I miss driving for hours on backwoods country roads, losing yourself to the music and the simple beauty of the land.

And of course it goes without saying i miss all my loved ones...but this blog is for things, not people. And all ya'll should know I miss you the most!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Embracing the Fleur de Lis

My trip home started with a detour the great LA, and I mean the state not the city. This was my first time in LA and it was almost exactly as everyone described--hot, dirty, sticky, and backwoods. But to its defense, it does have a certain charm and a culture of people unlike anywhere else I have been.

Although it's great to visit new places, the real reason for the visit was to see one of my high school best friends, Katie. She and her husband have been living there (in Lafayette) for the past year and a half working with their church and starting a community center and renovating an old Victorian home in the hopes to one day turn it into a children's home. They have done some amazing work there, and it was awesome to see what all they have done.

I flew into New Orleans, where Katie and her friend Kristie picked me up and showed me around New Orleans. Honestly, after an afternoon there I was about done. We did walk go see the major tourist sights, ie: Jackson Square, and rummaged through some antique shops. Though I never had the chance to see the city pre-Katrina so i can't really compare, all i saw were a lot of dilapidated buildings, tent cities, homeless walking the streets, and trashy stores and bars.

After leaving NOLA, Lafayette and St. Martinville were much easier to like. Katie took me to see Cajun dancing, the Tabasco Factory, and try the drive-thru daiquiri bars (i still can't believe that is actually legal!). The people were very nice and the old churches and bayou reminded me of being placed in the midst of the Awakening--kinda surreal.

The Fleur de Lis to LA, is kinda like that silly confederate flag is to a lot of the South. It is absolutely everywhere. I saw it on windows, dishes, tassels, clothes, pillows, jewelry, and they even have enough ornaments to make your own fleur de lis tree after the Christmas season is over. But, somehow i made it out of LA without one fleur de lis item...this is purely by mistake i assure you, and when i realized this i was in the Lafayette airport with its one gift shop that smelled so much like vomit i had to forgo all efforts to secure a fleur de lis souvenir. Oh well, life goes on!

Katie and Tim's house was also amazing, and i didn't even realize until i had left that i never took any pictures of it. I really enjoyed helping Katie pick out things for the house, and could i have, i would have liked to just stay with them and help them out with their house and community center. And also, it was wonderful just getting to spend time with such a good friend. I have said it many times before but i am really so lucky to have such wonderful friends. Even after not living in the same town for almost 6 years now, we are still just as close as ever and can pick up right where we left off. And even though i am loving living my own adventure, the hardest part will always be being so far away from the ones i love.
So sad we have to part.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back in Action

After a slight hiatus from real life I am back and feeling great. Since the beginning of April I have been visiting friends and family on the mainland, enjoying wonderful Bojangles and Chick-Fil-A, been in a wedding, playing Hawaiian tourist with my friends and celebrating my brithday (or maybe i should say birthday week!). I have lots of wonderful pictures of all my adventures on my Picasa pics page. The link is on the righthand side of this screen, so go check them out. Over the next week or so I will catch you all up on everthing I have done.

Mike has also been super busy. I have been bugging him for a blog as well, (not that i have any right--since i am so behind myself). He is currently taking college classes, which he has been doing off and on since being in Hawaii. He is attending an online college, Thomas Edison State College, that is perfect for military students--the faculty are very flexible with soldiers and their demanding work schedules. Still, as can be imagined school and work have been keeping him super busy. So we will have to forgive his lapse in blog updates! He has actually spent the last week in Kuwait at an Ammo Warrant Officer Conference. He has gotten to meet lots of new people and make new contacts, as well as see some old friends from prior deployments, schools and duty stations. This has been a nice break for him, but he reported back to me today saying he is ready to take all his new information and get back to work! Although i tend to pic on his nerdy tendencies, that's one thing i love about my hubby! He is one of the hardest workers i know and is 100% dedicated to everything he does.

As for me, like i said things are going really well. Going home was a nice break from some of the pressures and realities here that I seem to get so used to I hardly even notice until I am away from it all. Being a miltary wife has many great benefits, but it can be certainly be rough on the emotions. There's nothing that can describe what it's like to get an email about a soldier being wounded or killed and then having to send it out to the rest of your unit families--the relief you feel for it not being you, and the sadness for the families who are just like you. There is also no way to describe how it feels to know that there will always be these huge chunks of your life that person you have given your entire life to will never understand or be able share with you. So, again needless to say, the break from reality was much needed.

Since being back in the great Aloha State, my friends and I have spent as much time having fun as possible. We have hiked and beached, stayed in a beautiful hotel, rode trollies, gotten makeovers, eaten at wonderful restaurants, cheered at triathalons, had dance parties, and dinner nights and birthday parites. Just livin' it up you could say until I start my next long term sub position. Then after that the company starts rollin' in for the summer starting with my Amanda, at the end of June and I am super excited!

Updates: Carrie has gone home to SC to see her brother get married and then meet her Hubby Mark for his RR~ we are so excited for you Carrie! Have a great time and enjoy every minute of it!

My cousins Jeremy and Buffy's second child, Ruby Lee was born today 8lbs 10oz. and very cute! Congratulations!

Also, my other cousins Marybeth and Mike went into labor today with their first child, Madison. So Congratulations to them as well! What a great day!