Tuesday, August 26, 2008

11 Days and Counting...

Well at the repeated request of my blog-mate I am finally putting on a new post. I apologize to those of you who check this often hoping to find a new post and have been disappointed (Happy Acres Manager). While there are many topics I could cover, and probably will, let's hit the big one first - as of the time of this sentence there are 11 days, 6 hours, and 55 minutes until the big event and I couldn't be more excited! This is the last week that I have to spend in Birmingham by myself so to me I am only counting down until Fri. Ann will be driving down then to bring her car leave here and then we will be going back up to Nashville at some point that weekend to make the last final push for the wedding.

I started packing last night for the honeymoon and by started packing I mean I'm pretty much done. I only have to get a few more little things before I can call it done - sunscreen, aloe for sunburns, etc. So I think its a bit of an understatement to say I am ready to be relaxing on the beach in Jamaica! Which brings me to my next point - please everyone be praying for good weather during the week we are there. Ann is a little worried because it is hurricane season that we will get rained on but we both agree it'll be fun no matter what the weather. In fact I wouldn't mind a shower an afternoon or two - then I wouldn't feel guilty about staying inside to take a nap and "wasting" the sunshine. The name of the resort we are going to is Sandal's Whitehouse. Some friends of our just went there about a month and a half ago for their honeymoon and they loved it. I called Stephen when he and Jill got back (you can read about their wedding in a previous blog) and grilled him on what to expect and what not to miss, etc. so that Ann and I would be able to get all we could out of our week.

So that is all the excitement of the future, but what about the excitement of the recent past...The Olympics!!! I love the olympics and I have been blessed with a fiance who is as much in love with them as I am. I has been so great to get to watch most of the big events with her usually I was in Nashville but she was down here last week and we got to see some big volleyball games together). I love almost all the sports but my favorites are swimming and gymnastics. Clearly the big stories this year were Phelps (who may be the greatest athlete of all time in my opinion) and the six 3-year-olds that comprised the Chinese women's gymnastics team. I mean come on, there is no way those girls were anywhere close to 16! Anyway, I think we can all agree that there was no more exciting performance than watching the 20k speed-walking medal, right? I know that when I'm watching people run extremely long distances for hours on end I'm constantly thinking to myself "If only they were going a whole lot slower and looked like those people that go to the mall at 4 in the morning!" Seriously, IOC, I think it's time to trim some of the fat, I know you are getting rid of softball and baseball but why not cut out some of the more ridiculous event and add back something cool like tug-of-war or motorcycle jousting?

Anyway one of the real highlights for me of this year's olympics was like I said, getting to watch most of it with Andrea. I am so looking forward to being married and her being here in Birmingham I spent an hour last night hanging up her clothes and arranging closet space for her in the house...and loved every minute of it. Well, that is it for me for this post, if we're really ambitious we might get one more in before the wedding but we'll be sure to do a joint, long one upon our return!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The BIG 2-5!

Happy Birthday Matthew! We have had a marvelous weekend celebrating Matthew's birthday.... a very busy weekend I might add. Matthew was able to come up early this weekend so we were able to spend time with lots of people and get some errands done and out of the way, which was fantastic! Wednesday night we got to go hang out with Benj at his new home. Funny story there: Benjamin has a separate closet for his polo attire that keeps his "ordinary" clothes out of the way. Guess we know where those hard-earned Dolly dollars are going ;), just kidding Benj. It was fun getting to hang out with Benjamin and his roommates for a couple of hours.

Friday, Matthew and I went to get our marriage license! Yes, it's official. We expected to be caught in long lines at the county clerks office, but fortunately we walked straight in and the whole process took about 15 minutes! We spent the rest of the day taking inventory of our wedding gifts and returning any gifts that we had doubles of. We were very proud of how productive we were! But most importantly, Friday was of course 08/08/08. I cannot tell you how much of an Olympics junkie I am. My dad and I watched every night of the trials for goodness sakes, swimming and track, so this was a big deal. I don't know what it is that I love about it so much, but I'm obsessed. So on Friday night, dad grilled out some hamburgers, and we all sat down to watch the incredible opening ceremonies in Beijing. After dinner, Matthew and I headed over to our friends Adam and Katie Beth Allen's apartment to hang out with JD, Steve and Jill, and Blake and Julie. We spent most of the night wondering just when the United States was going to come into the stadium....I mean good grief; I never thought they were going to light that torch!

Saturday morning I had to get up for a mother/daughter shower that was being thrown in my honor at the home of one of my very good high school friends. This shower was so fun because it was for all of my good friends from church and high school and their moms. It is such a blessing that I have been friends with these girls for so long, and I cannot imagine what my life would be like without them. Of course the life of the party was Emma Mankin, my three year old flower girl who is a fireball! She has more energy than three kids her age put together. She loved being the entertainment and center of attention. I cannot wait to see what she does at the wedding!

Matthew was able to go to meet his parents for breakfast on Saturday morning while they were in town. Sadly, I was not able to go, but we will see them soon at the wedding! I was glad that Matthew got to see his parents for his birthday.

Sunday was birthday lunch and welcome lunch! Clearly it was celebration for Matthew's birthday but also a welcome to Laura's friend Yuri from Mexico! Laura Klapheke is my sister's best friend (more famously known as the brown-eyed child of our family). Laura and Ashley became friends about 5 years ago after my sister pledged Pi Delta, and she has basically been a part of our family since then. She is an added blessing and an extra dose of sarcasm at the Sunday dinner table (who thought we could handle more). For the next year Laura will be teaching English to kids in Mexico while Yuri is teaching Laura's kids Spanish here! What an awesome experience for Laura, but we are so sad that she is going to be gone for ten months! Mom had an excellent spread for lunch that included Smith family favorites: brisket, squash casserole, okra, twice-baked potatoes, and baked beans. Clearly the best part was dessert: a German chocolate cake ordered from Puffy Muffin in Matthew's honor and homemade butterfinger ice cream!

Matthew was able to get off for his birthday on Monday, so we were able to spend it together! We were pretty lazy all day, but Monday night I took him to dinner downtown at Demos (one of our favorite places in Nashville). We ate A LOT! It was the perfect ending to a great weekend. Happy Birthday Matthew....I love you!

By the way....tell me you didn't see the men's 4x100 meter swimming relay....INCREDIBLE!