Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29th

At 7 in the morning on December 29th Danny and I climbing into the equipment truck and started the 6-hour journey to Jacksonville, FL for the Gator Bowl. The ride wasn’t too bad, but then again I wasn’t the one driving. I tried my best to stay awake the whole time and keep Danny company, but I wasn’t always so successful.

We arrived at the hotel around 1 o’clock and got the keys to our room. Did I mention that our hotel was on the beach? It was sooo pretty. I had dressed in sweats for the ride in the truck and wasn’t expecting the weather to be a beautiful 70 degrees when we arrived. As soon as we sat down in the room Danny had to go take the truck to the band’s first practice of the trip. I decided to stay behind and get ready for the staff dinner later that night.

The staff dinner was amazing. There are no words to describe how wonderful the food was, or the company. It was held at Matthew’s Restaurant in a beautiful private room. Everyone really enjoyed themselves. I know I did. Dr. Spede gave everyone a framed picture of the football players running down the hill. Ours is sitting proudly on the shelf in the game room.

On Tuesday, Tiger Band performed at Universal Studios and in return we all got free tickets to go into the parks. We spent the day in lines for the major roller coasters in Islands of Adventure and Universal. It was quite entertaining to hear Jeff Norman yell out, “Hey! Turn the lights back on!” during the Mummy ride. Danny and I rode in the front of both of the dueling dragons roller coasters. What a rush! We left the park early and started the 2 and a half hour drive back to the hotel. Again, I was supposed to be the one keeping Danny awake, but instead he spent more time trying to keep me awake. It had been a long day.

A pep rally and the Gator Bowl Parade were scheduled for Wednesday. The pep rally consisted of the entire band being squished into a spot way too small for them and all of the auxiliaries complaining about it. It happens at every pep rally and yet they always expect one year there will be enough room for them all to perform comfortably.

Danny told me the parade had been shortened since he marched it back in the day, but we found out it was still 2 miles long. That’s about 1 and a half miles too long for me. We hung around where the busses parked while Tiger Band went off to parade. We did get to see the Budweiser horse team. They really are beautiful creatures. Danny got a little carried away with the pictures, but who can blame him?

New Year’s Eve was pretty disappointing for us. No one was up for partying on the beach, so after a quick walk in the cold Danny and I went back to the room. We had stopped at a grocery store and bought cheap (and really awful tasting) champagne. I had about one glass and was done for. I fell asleep at 11 and Danny didn’t even wake me up at midnight for a kiss. I felt so bad for doing that to him. Hopefully this won’t affect how our year pans out.

Game day started off with a bang, but unfortunately ended in a loss. I have to say it was a very exciting game though. I actually paid attention nearly the entire time. The Tigers did give it a very good try. At the end of the game I went to the bathroom hoping to change the mojo, but sadly it didn’t help. Oh well, here’s to hoping for a better season next year.

After the game we loaded the truck and headed back to South Carolina. We arrived around midnight and happily crashed in our own bed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25th

Before I tell you about Christmas morning, I need to tell you another little story first… The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Danny and I went to the Food Lion down the street to get our Tom turkeys. As we walked in there was the first batch of freshly cut Christmas trees. Danny asked if we could get two while we were there. I told him let’s wait until tomorrow because it will be pay day and we’ll actually have the money. He tried to convince me to put it on the credit card, but I held firm. During the car ride home Danny announced that he was going to wake me up early the next morning so we could go get the trees before work. I laughed, said “yea right,” and thought he couldn’t be serious.

Our two trees in the back of Danny's truck

At 6:30 Wednesday morning Danny woke me up by jumping on the bed yelling, “Christmas trees!! Christmas trees!!” Reluctantly, I got out of bed and we went and got our trees at 7 in the morning. This is the level of excitement Danny had just for getting our Christmas trees.

Danny excited to have his trees

Actual Christmas morning on the other hand was a different story. In the past we had opened presents with my parents and brother on Christmas Eve so that we could go to Greenville on Christmas morning to open gifts with them. This year my brother announced that he refused to open gifts early because it was no fun waking up Christmas morning and have nothing to do. Since we had to do presents with both families in one day, the day needed to start early. We determined that we would be at my parents’ house by 7:30 so we could get on the road to Greenville around 9ish.

The alarm went off at 6:30 and I got up and started coffee. Danny was still in bed. I tried to get him up but he just ignored me. At 6:45 I tried to shake him, no luck. At 7 I tried again, no luck and pretty grumpy. At this point I got annoyed and just sat in the living room watching tv. I heard his phone go off and it was my dad. Danny told him he was up and then I heard the shower turn on. Are you kidding me? I wanted to open presents and he was taking a shower first?! After Danny got out of the shower I then took a shower because I wasn’t going to be the only one sitting in my pjs still. We finally began opening presents at 7:45, fifteen minutes past the time we were supposed to already be at my parents’ house. Casey called me about then with a, “Merry Christmas! Where the hell are you?” Apparently mom and daddy wouldn’t let him start until we got there which I thought was pretty funny.

Once Danny actually woke up we had a pretty good Christmas. I got lots of Coca-Cola things for my kitchen, the best being a custom cover for my Kitchenaid mixer made out of Coca-Cola material. Danny got a large rolling toolbox from me. At 8:30 we had made it to my parents’ house and began the festivities there. There was tons of stuff and I loved all of it. Daddy got a Wii because he’s addicted to Casey’s. Mom got an electronic book reader thingy. Casey got rock band. Danny got his own Wii. I got the jewelry box I had been wanting. I think we left the house for Greenville around 10…just a bit later than we had hoped for but oh well it’s Christmas!

Daddy with his black lab wine bottle holder

Mom with the wedding scrapbook I made her

The beautiful lab picture my parents gave us

Danny with his new tools!

Happy couple

December 25th

After all the excitement in Chapin we headed to Greenville for more Christmas fun. As we walked in the door Ashley greeted us bouncing up and down. She had already begun opening her presents, but of course was ready for more. Ashley had the job of crawling under the Christmas tree to get the presents and pass them out to everyone. It was quite cute to see her bottom-up under the tree.

We gave Ashley a princess sparkly coloring book for her color wonder along with this giant stuffed dog. It is nearly as big as her and perfect for sleeping on. She immediately threw it on the floor and laid on top of it, then it was onto the next present.

Eric got a bib that said, "No more silent nights" which Kathy put on him right then and there. He was dressed in a Santa suit so the bib fit quite perfectly. We also gave him this ADORABLE footie-jumper-whatchamacallit. It's light brown and really soft. The hood has little antlers on it, the bum has a deer tail, and the bottoms of the footies have hoof prints on them. If you put a little red on his nose he'd be Rudolf!

Kevin got a new tennis bag and Kathy got a pewter school bus frame that holds school pictures from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Danny's dad, Gil, is part of the American Legion so I found a set of 8 American Legion magazines from the 1930s. He was amazed when I told him I got them off ebay, actually Kevin and Kathy's presents came off ebay too. Isn't ebay wonderful?

Danny's mom, Harriette, also received a wedding scrapbook. She had been asking for pictures so she could scrapbook the wedding herself, but I held off because I wanted to make scrapbooks for both mothers for Christmas.

When the dust had settled and all the wrapping paper had been cleared away, Ashley helped Harriette and Kathy make fudge cookies and Danny and Kevin disappeared into the back room. Danny had brought his new Wii and the boys stayed in the back room for the next three hours playing Mario Kart. Kevin was holding Eric while he was playing and when Kevin and Danny got excited and started yelling, Eric started to cry.

Later that night Danny and I went to see the movie Marley and Me. There were no tickets available for the show we planned on seeing, so we bought tickets for the next show and decided to drive around for a bit to pass the time. Since it was Christmas no stores were open, but Roper Mountain was. I had never been before so Danny took me through it. You can drive through the park and look at all the Christmas lights they have set up. The biggest is the star they have set up that you can see up on Roper Mountain. You can see it miles away. After that we drove through some new neighborhoods and then back to see the movie. It was a really great movie, but I recommend bringing tissues if you plan to go see it. When the credits started playing at the end of the movie you could here lots of people sniffling. It was very heartwarming though.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13th

The weekend of the 13th Danny and I traveled to the great metropolis of Hartsville, SC to visit with our friends Matt, Robin, and Robin’s grandparents. It had been awhile since we last visited Nana and Papa, probably since last summer, so the visit was well overdue. We arrived there Friday evening and were greeted with open arms like we were one of their own. It always feels great to visit since Nana reminds me a lot of my own grandmother.

On Saturday we woke up bright and early (and I do mean early, 6:30 to be exact) and went to Carolina Lunch for breakfast. You know you’re in a small town when everyone can greet you as you walk in the door and the waitress knows your order by heart. After breakfast, and lots of coffee for me, we went to a farm sale. While a farm sale doesn’t exactly suit my fancy, Danny had fun drooling over all of the big toys. When we got back from the sale Danny, Robin, and Matt went horseback riding and I took a nap.

Sunday, the day started off with a trip to Huddle House and then it was off to the Boykin Christmas Parade. Papa had been asked to drive his mule team with the wagon in the parade. I thought I was going to be able to watch the parade, but instead we were in it! I must say from what I did see the Boykin Christmas Parade is quite interesting. Santa and Mrs. Claus were riding on a sofa attached to a giant fork lift…very classy. There is always a new experience when we go to Hartsville…

Duke and Daisy were all dressed up for Christmas

Puddles was festive too!

The horse had reindeer antlers on

One of the "floats"

Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

December 6th

This past Saturday Danny and I went to our first Christmas party of the season. It was hosted by our friends Jessica and her boyfriend Bryan. I was a little weary because I didn’t recognize many people on the guest list, but we ended up having a blast! The Antleys were there (Jason, Kristen, and Jennifer) which always make for a fun and interesting evening. I could listen to Jason tell stories all night long. Jason and another guy there, Ryan, were very comical that night. The funny part is that they both happen to be studying to be Lutheran preachers. You don’t expect preachers to cut up as much as they did but it sure makes me want to go hear them preach!

There was an ornament exchange at the party. We brought a football playing Santa, which Jen ended up with, and we left with a glass angel. I was very excited to add this to our tree. It has a story behind it unlike our other ornaments that we just bought at a store. I hope to have more ornament exchanges in the future.

I’d really love to have a Christmas party at our house this year, but unfortunately we just don’t have any time. This weekend, we are going to Hartsville to visit Matt, Robin, and her grandparents (as well as pick up a free freezer!). Next weekend, we are having Tim, Lynn, the girls, Bobby, and Patty over for dinner. We want to show them the house since we’ve moved in. They are the family that owns the house we are renting. We had planned on having a huge party to celebrate the house being finished but it just never happened. Time has flown by so fast!

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1st

I had the best time decorating the house for Christmas this year. As you read in a previous blog we put up two trees this year. One was our Clemson tree in the game room and the other was a more traditional tree in the living room. I also made my own lighted garland to decorate the mantel with and a wreath for the front door. I love Christmas!

Our traditional tree in the living room

The mantel decorated with my homemade garland and our stockings

Our dining room table decorated with my Aunt's red table cloth and our new Christmas runner

My Coca-Cola tree in the kitchen!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22nd

A couple of weeks ago Danny and I invited the neighbors over for dinner to show off the house and how everything looks since we started this project months ago. I must say the house looked quite cozy with all of the Christmas decorations everywhere. Lynn commented that she had never seen the house decorated for the holidays before. I would have loved to light a fire to add to the atmosphere, but we've had a hot spell and it was nearly 65 out that night.

Danny made his famous fried chicken and mashed potatoes and I helped by steaming some broccoli and making cornbread. Apparently the cornbread was quite a hit. I used the cornmeal that Bobby and Patty had given to us when we went to see them grind their homemade grits and cornmeal. The recipe was just something I found online, but now it will forever be Desiree's famous homemade cornbread. Hooray for making something people love!

Santa stopped by the house early and left some presents for the girls, Taylor and Jordan. Taylor received a gingerbread tree kit and a stocking full of Hannah Montana school supplies and Jordan received a gingerbread house kit and a stocking full of High School Musical school supplies. After dinner Lynn gave them the go ahead to go and play with all the new stuff. They were amused for the rest of the night. I wish Christmas shopping was that easy for everyone.

Jordan and Taylor opening their presents from Santa

Showing off the loot!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

the beginning

Since this is the first post, I'll see if I can give a brief rundown of what's been happening in our lives...he we go.

Danny and I were married at The Wilhite House in Anderson, SC on May 10th, 2008. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Everything went perfectly thanks to the owners of the house, Lori and Jim Monroe. They took care of everything for us so we could enjoy the company of our friends and family that traveled all that way to see us. By the end of the night, the reception had turned into one big party – just the way we like it!

For our honeymoon we traveled to Las Vegas and spent a week trying to see EVERYTHING. There is so much to see and do there that we needed a vacation from our vacation! To hit the highlights we went to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, saw the Bellagio fountains from the Eiffel Tower at Paris, went on the roller coaster in New York, New York, saw the Cirque du Soliel show Zumanity, lost maybe $8 in slot machines, rented a motorcycle and drove out to the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon, and walked what seemed like 5 miles a day to see everything in between.

When we got back from our honeymoon, I started my new job at FB Johnston Graphics in Chapin, SC. They print products for two different markets, OEM and A&SP. All you really need to know about OEM and A&SP is that OEM is boring labels mostly for machinery and A&SP is fun marketing products (it stands for advertising and sales promotion). I’m a customer service representative on the A&SP side and enjoy it (most of the time). I handle projects that deal a lot with fast food advertising. I never thought my first job out of college would be so close to home, but it worked out quite nicely. I really love the option of being able to have lunch with my mom every now and then.

Danny’s two year anniversary with Crowson-Stone Printing is this January. He ran an HP Indigo 5000 Press for a little while, but now is the go-to guy for all sorts. If it won’t run, won’t fit, can’t find it, or don’t understand it, Danny is the person they go to. It’s a position that is very hands on and mechanical which fits him quite well.

Up until the end of October, Danny and I had been living in Essex Park (now called Lexington Station) off of Broad River Road in Columbia. For those of you who know Broad River, and more specifically that section of apartments on Longcreek Drive off Broad River, you are well aware of how…unsafe…it can be. For those of you who don’t know I would never recommend living there. We were counting down the days until we could move out of that area.

As luck would have it we were presented with the opportunity to rent a house in Irmo. We were told that the house needed a lot of work, but anything had to be better than we were at. The house was built in 1954 and was the home of the owner’s grandfather. There are only 4 houses on this street and they all belong to the same family. Lynn and Tim and their two girls live in one, Lynn’s brother and his family live in another, Lynn’s parents live in the third, and Lynn’s grandparents lived in the fourth. Since the grandparents passing the house has been shut up for a few years and was in need of some major TLC. Beginning of September the demolition began and we worked many many hours until move in day on October 25th. The entire house was gutted and we went from there. I will have to dedicate an entry just to the house and show pictures of the progress we made and what it looks like now. To put it simply, we love it!

Danny and I hosted our first Thanksgiving in the house this past week. Danny fried two delicious turkeys and I, along with the help of my mom, prepared all the side dishes. It was so nice to have everyone together to enjoy the holiday. I’d say it was a very successful Thanksgiving. The house was all decorated and there was a fire going, very enjoyable.

So that's us in a nutshell. I plan to come back and elaborate some more on some of the topics and post pictures so keep checking!