Thursday, April 16, 2009

Now I'm Only 15 Posts Behind...

Well, as the title suggests I am trying to make up for the complete dearth of postings from the XY co-owner of this blog. As I have been reminded by my lovely wife several times I have been talking about blogging for weeks now. Well I finally have something big enough (although I'm not sure how big many people would consider 11.4 lbs) to get my lazy tail/fingers off the couch.
So much has happened since the latest post by Ann that I don't know where to begin. I know there are those of you asking for info on our latest furry addition (Mills(er)) but I have chosen to write this chronologically. So first things first.

As Ann mentioned in her last post we were able to go up to Nashville for Singarama a couple of weekends ago and thoroughly enjoyed our whirlwind time there. We left immediately after I got off work Fri and were able to get there in time to eat dinner with both of our families at the Smith compound before heading to the show. I always enjoy it when both sides of the family will put aside their constant bickering and sit down for a meal together (obviously kidding here). That is truly something that Ann and I are both thankful for - our families get along very well and I know my folks and brothers and sister in law were very grateful to V and C for hosting the crew. Not only was my family there, but the Cincinatti Smiths (Grady and Jeanie) were also in attendance to see their son Andrew in the show that night as well.

So after dinner we all piled in way too many cars and headed over to Lipscomb to enjoy corny joke making at its best. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to see the re-done Willard Collins Alumni Auditorium, drop what you are doing/holding/etc (unless it is a small child or grenade) and go see the new Purple Palace of Performance. They really did a fantastic job with the remodel and I look forward to many years of enjoyably performances there.
Saturday morning Andrea had a "hair appointment" - this is language that I would clearly not use unless I was married. I always thought you went to a barber shop or got a hair cut, but apparently they are termed "appointments" now. Anyway, after getting her sleek new look (which I love) we met my folks, Granddma Eva and Grandaddy Wayne, and Aunt Kay for lunch. It was great getting to see all of them, and I'm hoping to get to go to Columbia maybe in a few weeks while Ann is doing wedding stuff with Sarah Rummage.

We went to the Sat night show of Sing-to-your-mama that night and were smart enough to leave after the last group so that we could make it back to Birmingham before it got too too late. The reason we didn't stay was that the young marrieds class from our church were all going out to eat the next day and we really wanted be there, not to mention the fact that week from Durham, NC was coming up (if that last little bit didn't make sense, just remember my undying hatred for all things from that town and see if it isn't a perfect euphamism for the traditional phrase).

As Ann mentioned in her last post I successfully passed my Qualifying Exam and am now hopefully only about a year away from finishing my PhD. To "Qualify" each student in our department must do about a 45 min to 1 hr presentation on their research and then submit to questioning from anyone at the public presentation, followed by a private exam by the members on their committee. The easiest thing I could relate the experience to was pledging believe it or not. When my committee was going around the room questioning me it was difficult not to flashback to the unmistakable voice of Josh Maxwell saying "Hardison? I thought he already pledged?" or Justin Bagwell's "Pledge brothers come to meeeeee." Anyway, after it was over they informed me I had passed and, Lord willing, was on track to graduate next spring.
My week was pretty much over, but Ann's was just beginning. She had taken a test on the day before, on Monday, and still had to skills validations at the end of the week, not to mention two papers due. Thankfully I am married to an industrious, intelligent woman who had already completed the papers weeks before and had been studying along for the test and validations. I'll let her go into more detail about the validations since it is her area of expertise but here is a brief description. Using either mannequins or a partner all the nursing students are required to demonstrate specific skill sets like giving injections, taking vital signs, etc. This week they were being tested over installing a catheter (ouch) and doing a complete physical assessment. She of course passed with flying colors and made an A on her test, so a banner week for our small family.

So on to the more exciting news - for those regular readers of ours (shout out to St. Lou, soon to be LA) it is old news that we have been thinking about getting a dog for a while. Well as GW so memorably claimed - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! On Fri, April 10. Andrea and I adopted a wonderful 10-11 month old MaltiPoo (Maltese-Poodle mix) named Alexis who we are calling Lexi. We got her from a small dog rescue society called Little Bits Rescue here in Birmingham and she is perfect for us. For a relatively small fee we got a dog that has had all her shots, been fixed, doesn't shed (neither poodles nor malteses do - important for an allergy sufferer like Ann) and is the perfect size for apartment living. We cannot be more happy with our newest roommate! They rescued her off the street and we are so happy that we could give her a new home. She is 11.4 lbs and is not expected to get any bigger. She is mostly white with a little bit of brown as you can see in the pics. She loves going outside for walks which we usually do 2 times a day and cannot get enough of her rawhide bone (best $.96 I ever spent!). As if she wasn't perfect enough already, she is practically already house-trained. She'll go over and stand by the door to be taken outside and has only had two accidents in the whole week that we have had her. You'll see in the photos that she still has the sutures and staples from being fixed but those will come out this Fri or Sat and she will be ready for a bath!

To wrap this long meandering post up, I am so thankful for my wife and the life that I lead and all of our friends that we are able to see from time to time, both here and in all points north and south (here's looking at you Pensacola - CMW looks like a keeper).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


On the way up to Nashville this past weekend, I came up with a fun activity to help pass the time... We play games a lot in the car....Would you Rather, The "Fun" 20 questions game, states and capitols, etc... This time I decided that Matthew and I were to name our Favorites. So here goes...for those of you that know us well, you may be surprised, or not at all!

Combined Favorite Movies
Tommy Boy
Dark Knight
Mama Mia
Love Actually
The Sting

Matthew's Favorite Movies
Forrest Gump
Dark Knight
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Star Trek VI (gross!)
Empire Strikes Back..I think you can see a trend :)

Andrea's Favorite Movies
Sound of Music
To Kill a Mockingbird
When Harry Met Sally
Remember the Titans

Favorite Combined Songs
Bones- The Killers
Read my Mind- The Killers
Reckless Abandon- Blink 182
Deeper than the Holler- Randy Travis
Online-Brad Paisley
Anything ABBA!

Matthew's Favorite Songs
Sweet Child of Mine- Guns and Roses
Thunderstruck- ACDC
The Boxer- Paul Simon
Since You've Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson
Higher and Higher- The Killers

Andrea's Favorite Songs
Ain't Goin Down till the Sun Comes Up- Garth Brooks
Believin- Journey
You Give Love a Bad Name- BonJovi
Joy to the World- 3 Dog Night
Anything Brad Paisley or Billy Joel!

Favorite Kid's Movies Combined
Lion King
Peter Pan
Toy Story
the Sandlot

Matthew's Favorite Kid's Movies
Jungle Book
Great Mouse Detective
Robin Hood
Sword and the Stone
Muppets Christmas Carol

Andrea's Favorite Kid's Movies
Robin Hood
Care Bears
Little Mermaid
The Parent Trap- the original of course!
Favorite TV shows Combined
Grey's Anatomy

West Wing
Dirty Jobs
Arrested Development

Desperate Housewives
Home Improvement
Dawson's Creek....i know i know

Matthew's Favorite Books
Atlas Shrugged
Harry Potter
Spock's World
David Copperfield
Chronicles of Narnia

Andrea's Favorite Books
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Firm
Pride and Prejudice
Harry Potter
Crime and Punishment

That's all we could fit in on that trip, maybe we'll have a Favorites Part 2 later... the jury is still out for my last favorite movie and song... I'm just not ready to commit those spots yet :)

In other Hardison news.... Matthew passed his qualifier... he is now officially a doctoral candidate and I am so proud of him! He is of course relieved for it to be over....only 6 months now until the next committee meeting. Happy Thursday!

P.S. It's still my other half's turn to blog :)