Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Settling In

I know its been a while since I've posted something. I've been super busy! We ran the 5K at the Hoover Met last Saturday. It was pretty much the most unorganized thing I have ever done. Basically, you could either do a one mile walk or the 5K run. Most of the people there were doing the walk instead of the 5K. You would think that the people running the 5K would either go a different route than the one mile walkers, or at least go before their walk started. Nope. Everyone started at the same time. Justin and Rob and I were all walking behind a marching band and finally Rob decided to run around them and just follow the orange cones. Justin and I stayed behind the band to try and figure out what to do. As soon as we saw others passing them too, we made a run for it as well. We ended up having to ask several people which route was the route for the 5K runners and NO ONE seemed to know. How do you organize an event and not know where the track is? At least put up signs that say "5K runners this way". They told us to follow the orange cones, but there were orange cones everywhere in the parking lot. We finally figured it out, but there was no way we could time our progress.

We also went to the Birmingham Baron's baseball game last Thursday where I saw TONS of people that I hadn't seen in years. Justin and Rob have been getting the backyard ready for football season. They hung Rob's plasma on the brick wall outside and bought a mini-fridge and bar with bar chairs. They played PlayStation pretty much all day Saturday.

Our friends Seth and Bob came over Saturday night and we all decided to go to Iron Horse to see Fly By Radio play. I haven't seen Seth since high school and Bob since college so it was great to see them again and we all had such a blast at Iron Horse that night. The next day, Justin and I went to Oak Mountain State Park to go to the petting zoo and see Peavine Falls. It was still kind of rainy because of Fay so we couldn't go horseback riding, which is what I REALLY wanted to do.

My mom wanted me and Justin to come over to her new house for dinner on Monday night. My step-brother Todd and his wife Susan were there as well. We grilled out and ate some cookie cake :) I just wish I would have gotten to see my little man and little girl.

I start my job today at BMSS (I don't have to go in until 1:30). I'm sure I will have many interesting stories after this weekend since its the opening of football season. Saturday will be a HUGE day around this house :) ROLL TIDE BABY!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

So much to little time

There is so much going on with me right now! Every single time I look at my calendar for the rest of the year I have to take a deep breath. I literally have something going on almost every weekend until after New Years. How sad is that? Most importantly though, I AM MOVING HOME TOMORROW!!! I am so unbelievably excited. I have one last talk with HR at 3:30 and then I'm going home to put everything in my car and drive back down south! I'm leaving my furniture and other "big" things in my apartment until the lease is up on November 30th. I've got a few trips planned to come back to Nashville, so it would be nice to have a bed to sleep in and a free place to stay.

The following Monday, my mother is having a "Welcome Home" dinner for me as well as her and Mike. I say her and Mike because even though I am permanently moving back to Birmingham, they are moving into their new house that Mike just got done building the weekend before, so it's really a "Welcome Home" for all of us. All of my mothers children are desperately praying that this is the last house they will live in. My mother and Mike got married on 3-2-01 and have lived in 6 houses since then. Mike's a builder in Alabama so its convenient for them (and for me when I build my house).

I will start my new job that Wednesday. The next weekend is labor day and is the only weekend that we don't have something huge planned, which is strange because it's a holiday weekend when most people plan things. My dirty sanchez will be turning 25 on the 29th (HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARINA!!). Football season kicks off on the 30th. BAMA is playing Clemson and Auburn is playing Louisiana Monroe. More than likely, there will be a rather large party at the house. Naturally, I will be the only BAMA fan there...but I don't care. We're planning on cooking for everyone and playing "washers", a rather dumb yet amusing game, that Auburn people play a lot. We might go to the pool or do something small on Labor Day, but I doubt we'll be traveling anywhere.

The next weekend is BAMA vs. Tulane and Auburn vs. Southern Miss. Justin asked me to go with him to Auburn to actually go to the game. He already wants me to go to the Auburn vs. Vandy game in Nashville with him and now he wants me to actually go into the Lion's Den. He might be pushing it...but I guess I'll do it since he's so good to me and has done numerous other things for me such as helping me move up three flights of stairs with no help from anyone else :) At some point I will have to buy the "House Divided" car tag...

The next weekend is going to be MY FAVORITE WEEKEND!!! My entire family is going to the beach. My step-dad rented an 8br/6ba house on the beach with a pool for the week. Unfortunately for me and Justin, we can't come until Thursday when everyone else is coming on Wednesday. The last time we were all together like this was probably Christmas. It will be my mom and Mike, Lindsey and Jeff with Anderson and Lydia, Jennifer and Jeff, Susan and Todd, Mike's nephew Shaun and his family, and me and Justin. Justin is actually going to be flying into Pensacola on Thursday (hopefully...this is still in the works right now). I'll be leaving after work on Thursday to drive to FL's highpoint (since Justin's already done it). From the highpoint, I will pick Justin up at the airport and then go meet the family late Thursday night. That's still leaves us 2 1/2 days at a private beach so that makes me happy :)

I could do this for every weekend till Christmas but that would make for a really long blog entry and I need to get back to work. (I needed a brief break from auditing benefit plans for a just a minute).


Thursday, August 14, 2008

5K's, 10K's, and Marathons

So I just registered for the Vulcan Run in Birmingham, AL today. This run is one of the most popular runs in the state and I am very excited about it. I have lots of friends that do 5K's and 10K's and such and its always something I've wanted to do, but just never done it or felt like getting in shape enough to do one. This time I'm actually going to do it and train for it. Vulcan Run is a 10K race, which means its about 6.22 miles. I've run that on a treadmill before (though it has been a while) so I feel confident I can do it again.

I'm planning on running several 5K's before the 10K run (a 5K is about 3.11 miles). However, I would LOVE for my 10K to be a training for the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham. Marathons are 26 miles and a few hundred yards or so. I've never done a marathon before and, like most marathoners, will be happy just to cross the finish line. I don't know if I can handle the full marathon though, so I am planning on doing the Mercedes half-marathon in February 2009, which is 13 miles. Justin is planning on doing the half-marathon as well so it will definitely be convienient to have a training buddy. The downside is that January through March is a busy time of year for me (those dreadful 10-12 hour workdays) so it is going to be unbelievably hard to keep up a workout schedule to make sure I stay in shape right before the race. We'll see how it goes though. I've already created my marathon training schedule which I start doing on September 15, 2008. I plan on running 5 days a week with Saturday and Sunday being my big runs for the week. It's a 20 week long training before the big race!

The Vulcan Run is on Saturday, November 1st. Stop by and see us :)

**Shout out to Lauren Owens Kelly, who tried to get me to run 5K's with her while she was still living in Birmingham and to Lillian Quarles, who tried to get me to run the Music City half-marathon in Nashville with her. Love you both and sorry it took me so long to get into the marathoning :)

And, interestingly enough, this years Vulcan Run is sponsered by JRAG, a company that my step-brother's wife works for. Susan if you weren't preggers then you would be running with me, whether you liked it or not!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sweet Home Alabama....Lord I'm Coming Home To You

Ok, well let's face it, I'm with the Lord no matter where I live. BUT I AM MOVING HOME TO MY SWEET HOME OF ALABAMA!!! I accepted an offer on Friday afternoon to work as a Senior Accountant at a local CPA firm located in Riverchase. I was always planning on moving back to Birmingham at some point. I was planning on doing it in June 2009, however certain situations occurred causing me to want to go home sooner than that.

First off, I miss my nephew like crazy. I see him often now, but not as much as I want to. I hate keeping up with Anderson through my sister's blog. Pictures and some videos don't do justice for spending time with little man. Secondly, my brand new niece was born on July 25, 2008. I started looking for a job before Lydia was born, but as her due date got closer, I started getting impatient. Also a rather large factor was Justin. When you love someone as much as we love each other, it becomes unbearable to spend so much time away from them. Justin and I started out seeing each other every other weekend. As time passed, we couldn't go a single weekend without him coming to Nashville or me going to Birmingham. With gas prices where they are, it was getting too expensive for either of us to be traveling that much.

Most of my close friends and family know that I was originally planning on moving to New York City this summer. I had a couple of interviews and even had a few girlfriends that were planning on moving there as well and we were all going to live together. New York is my sanctuary. I do not know why I have such and obsession with it, but it is definitely the one city in the US that has my whole heart. I've been several times and never want to leave once I get there. When me and my mom went last November, we even looked at several apartments in the Queens and Brooklyn area. The whole purpose of taking her to NYC was to make her feel better about me moving so far away. She felt much better when she realized that I knew the city like the back of my hand, even though she said she wouldn't visit often because she hated it :) That dream was a very hard one to let go of. I still wish there was some way I could have what I have in Birmingham in NYC. As much as I love the city and the atmosphere up there, my family means more to me. I cannot imagine giving up Justin to live there and seeing Anderson and Lydia only a couple of times a year.

Needless to say, I am very happy about my decision to move home. I look forward to taking Anderson for a weekend so that Lindsey and Jeff can have some time to themselves and to Lydia. I am so excited to be able to take him to the zoo or the McWane Center in Birmingham. I'll be able to see Justin on a daily basis and have girls nights with the people that know me best. AND I WON'T HAVE TO TRAVEL TO DO IT!!

My last day at BDO Seidman will be on August 20th and I will be moving on the morning of the 21st. I won't actually start my job until the 27th which is good because it will give me some time to get Alabama things (license plate, new license, etc). I am VERY excited to be joining this firm. I can hardly contain my excitement, but will miss so much about Nashville.

I couldn't have made it through my time in Nashville without my friend Lillian. She was definitely a godsend when she moved here this year. She is one of my best friends and it sucks to think that I can't just call her up and go to lunch one day. But I already have two trips planned to come back to Nashville, so I know I will see her on both of those. My roommate Edria has also been amazing and completely understanding through this entire process. I feel absolutely horrible just leaving her here by herself, but she knows that I have to do this. And of course my work friends have been unbelievable, especially one in particular. Dennika has been my closest alliance at work and I will miss her so much. She and I had so much in common because of our religious beliefs and also because she has a little boy that is almost one, so we exchanged baby stories often. I will miss her dearly.

Justin came to Nashville this weekend and didn't even realize that it would be his last time coming to Nashville while I was living here until he was already half way here. We spent the weekend together enjoying our last time to have to travel to see each other. Every now and again he would say "Babe you're moving home" or I would say it to him. I can't wait to get home....only 11 days left :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Little girls are angels from God

I got to meet my brand new one week old niece today. I came into Birmingham yesterday and drove to Tuscaloosa very early this morning to spend the entire day with Lydia and Anderson. Lydia is the most beautiful little girl in the world. Yeah I know, I'm a little bias, but that's ok. She is a spitting image of her mother's side of the family (which is great, because Anderson looked nothing like her and everything like his daddy). Lydia has my sister Jennifer's curly black hair from when she was a baby. She also has my nose and Lindsey's mouth/lips. She's been a very good baby all day. She's had several visitors today and it hasn't really gotten to her. She doesn't cry much, just sleeps and eats like clockwork.

Her eyes open pretty often and she is a very curious baby. She's constantly looking around her and I swear she even smiled at me (of course my mom and Lindsey seem to think that is only because she had gas). Lydia was born on Friday, July 25 at 5:31pm. Unfortunately for me, I was in Colorado when she was born. It was very hard for me when I found out Lindsey had given birth. I was literally watching a moose eat grass with Justin when I got the news. All I could do was cry. I was so upset that I wasn't there. Jeff and Lindsey wanted me to film the birth and I desperately wanted to as well. She was 7lbs. 14 oz. and was 19 1/4 inches long. Such perfection for such a small person.
Anderson absolutely loves his "baby sista". He is constantly loving on her and kissing her every chance he gets. He usually kisses her head, but will sometimes kiss her arms or her feet. It really is the cutest thing in the world to watch. He loves her so much already!
She sleeps so much and is the smallest thing I have ever seen!! God truly has put a major blessing on the Smith family and I know that they thank Him everyday for his blessings. I thank God everyday to have such a wonderful and healthy niece and nephew. I only wish I could see them more often.
Oh and Lindsey and I decided that she looks amazing in green!!! With her dark hair and skin color, a light mint green looks the best on her so far :)
Of course we can't forget about the little man. Little man is having to make many adjustments getting use to the 4th addition to the family. The one thing he will never have to worry about is getting attention from his Auntie M. I couldn't love this little boy more if he were my own.

Please continue to keep the Smith's in your prayers as Lindsey is about to have to conquer the world next week when Jeff returns to work and she is left with a newborn who feeds every three hours, a two year old that is not capable of relaxing, and a stomach that is recovering from a major surgery. She will certainly have her hands full and this is all new territory to her. Please keep them both in your prayers since neither of them has gotten a full night's sleep in days and even weeks. These children are my life....