31 May 2010

I love Mississippi

Yes, it's true-I love it here! This was affirmed today as Brian and I took a picnic out to Noxubee, the wildlife refuge outside of Starkville. Being a hazy day, there were a lot of people out fishing. But not swimming nor letting their small dogs run around, because there are some huge alligators out there that would like a tasty snack.

Back to the picnic. Some friends of ours gave us this handy-dandy picnic basket for a wedding present-it is legit! Two plastic plates, real forks, knives, and spoons, as well as cloth napkins, plastic (durable) wine glasses, and a cork screw-awesome! We put it to good use. As we were driving/walking around Noxubee, we saw some interesting things. Artifact 1: people fishing with cane poles. Yep, didn't know people still did that, but we actually saw a girl making one-it was interesting! Then as we were leaving, we saw a car swerve over to the side of the road and man hopped out of his car. There was something large in the road, so we slowed down to see what it was...a huge, scary, snapping turtle! Not something you want to play around with! Oh, but he popped up the back of his SUV, got out a towel, and threw it over the turtle. Next thing you know, he's giving me and Brian a lesson on how to catch a snapping turtle. (we stayed in the car...I've seen what those things can do!) Turns out, if you throw a towel over the turtle, step on the shell (not too much pressure), grab the tail, and hold the turle at an arm's legnth, then you can catch a snapping turtle! Try it and let me know how it goes for you...

So other than our two cultural spottings today, I also realized that Mississippi has taught me a lot while I've been here. While people pick on this dear ole state quite a bit (I hear we're kind of fat...), there's a lot of good here too! I think it has most importantly taught me to slow down and enjoy where I am and who I'm with, and that this aspect of time, friends, and family is more important than money, worldly possessions, and status. I've taken on a new life-perspective thanks to my time here, and for that, I am grateful!

In our daily news, Brian is currently cleaning house (he's earning lots of husband points right now) and I'm locked in the library studying. No, classes have not started yet. I'm studying for my "get out of grad school exams" (aka, Comprehensive exams) which I have to take on Wednesday. It's 8 hours long, all to answer 4 questions! Hooray! I'm going to go ahead and assure you that I will NOT be in there that long. Partly due to the fact that if I can't get my point across in under an hour, well, I must not know what I'm talking about...let's hope that doesn't happen! Basically it's 4 questions from four of my major classes that I've taken in grad school. I'm feeling good about all but one...my research class. I just was not born to do research and state null, directional, non-directional, deductive, or inductive hypotheses...no, gracias!

Brian and I got back to work successfully last week and I start class on Thursday-the end is in sight! Having a bit of a class fiasco with my last course, but more on that later...still no concrete decision. Meanwhile, Brian and I are trying to enjoy our last three weeks in Starkville, which means I'll probably have some more tearful mornings in church, with my friends, and probably in the grocery store. (Not really...let's hope not at least.) While I've known this move was coming for a long time, it never really hits you until it is upon you. I feel like the Lord is constantly reassuring me of the last big change in my life--coming to college. I was so anxious about so many things-finding friends, finding a church, enjoying life-and he was so faithful in all of those things! I would have never imagined my life being as rich and blessed as it is now 5 years ago, so I know I can rest in His providence again during this life change...I just forget that sometimes! Hope everyone is doing well-love and miss you all!

26 May 2010

Marriage...11 days in

Well hello! I have to say, I have been looking forward to this day for some time now. "What day?" You might ask. The 11th day of marriage of course! Actually, the day I get to (officially) start the blog! But so far, the 11th day of marriage has been grrreat. So great that Brian even made dinner. This is due to the fact that I got called into work...which also means that I forgot I was supposed to work today, and my co-worker called me and asked where I was...guess the vacation has to end at some point! They weren't too harsh on me though...my boss, co-worker Megan, and I talked wedding/honeymoon for about 45 minutes-it was a good time.

Speaking of the wedding/honeymoon...IT ALL WAS SUCH A BLAST! If you had any part, big or small, in any of the wedding, thank you with all my heart! It was pretty much the most fun day of my life, mostly due to the fact that I was surrounded by everyone that I love! The ceremony was wonderful (big shout out to my amazing pastors/friends, Joey and Jon), none of the wedding party fainted, and we managed to throw a pretty amazing party afterwards, if I do say so myself. I have about 300 favorite moments from the day...probably should write those down! To name a few: seeing Brian, all of my bridesmaids, Stacey saving the day on my hair-do, communion in the morning, the "water-dancing" in the fountain, the boys serenading me to the Top Gun song, catching up with friends, Jai Ho... I should probably stop, because I keep thinking of more!

For the honeymoon, we went to the El Dorado Royale resort on the Riviera Maya (south of Cancun) in Mexico. It was phenomenal. All-inclusive, the bar opened at 9 AM, the breakfast was amazing, the beach was perfecta, as were the pools, and the staff were so incredibly friendly. We spent our days waking up early, going to eat a huge breakfast, working out (yes, but only twice!), swimming, applying lots of sunscreen to Brian, reading, and relaxing! And eating 4-course dinners. Yum. Brian usually ate 5-courses...I didn't because I usually didn't like one of the options...ha! Typical, I know. We also saw lots of iguanas!

We also got to go to Xel-Ha (Shell-ha), which is a huge cove that the ocean feeds into. We went snorkeling and I only got a little scared when a massive fish swam right at me. I promptly hid behind my lifesize GI Joe. He scared it away. Thanks, honey! We also jumped off some cliffs, walked the entire property, and helped a grandma and her 9 month old grandson cross a floating bridge. A floating bridge in Mexico means a bridge made out of hard plastic floats chained together, with guardrails only every 8-10 feet. Brian pushed the baby, I held onto grandma. May I offer some advice? Don't take a 9 month old to Mexico, ok? Or at least not to an outdoor water recreational area...or attempt to cross a looong floating bridge.

Once we got back, we headed to Tupelo for Foster and Laura's wedding! Brian was a groomsman, and we got to see some of our dear MSU friends and spend a lot of good quality time with them, which was amazing. We're all scattered now, so it was wonderful to catch up! Laura looked amazing and we're all jealous of her and Foster, as they're honeymooning in Italy. And in case you didn't know, that's where he proposed too...uber-romantic :)

Sunday we arrived back to Starkvegas, and ever since we've been cleaning up, setting up house, doing loads of laundry, grocery shopping, and getting back to work! I'm currently procrastinating from studying for my Comprehensive ("get out of grad school") exams, which are next Wednesday...it's hard to get into school-mode after all the festivities! I'm thinking some Bop's might help...Also talking to some dear friends tonight (Paul, my WB, and Gena Kennedy!) also helped me to add onto my procrastination... We also went to Columbus Air Force Base today and I am now officially a military wife with my own ID and health care! Watch out!

Well, I've gone on for long enough now...thanks for sticking with this-more to come later! This is fun!