Monday, December 29, 2008

Mount Washington/Boston Trip

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to update the blog. SO MUCH has been going on since we got back from our trip to the northeast. First of all, in case you didn't see the weather up north the weekend we were gone, there was a snow storm coming into the northeast at the exact time we were up there. New Hampshire had already gotten a little over a foot of snow right before we got there and the day we climbed the mountain it was predicted that they would get 12-18 more inches!!!

We had such a blast! Unfortunately for us, we were not able to make it to the summit because of how bad the weather was, but we at least got to treeline, a little over half-way up. To my surprise, I was not cold at all. I started the hike wearing pretty much everything except for my outer layer parka jacket. After about 10 minutes of hiking, I stripped down to barely any layers. The mountain was beautiful! Snow covered all the trees and there hadn't been too much wind, so the snow just rested peacefully on the limbs. The winter trail up the mountain had just opened that day, which was a disadvantage for us. None of the snow was really packed down and it's harder to hike through over a foot of snow flakes than you think. It would have been easier to walk with the crampons on straight ice than to do what we did. The trail was literally steeper than a staircase, if that's even possible. Much steeper than Elbert in Colorado. It was excruciatingly painful for me, not because my muscles hurt, but because I was apparently experiencing "boot bash", as the guides called it. The double plastic boots were rubbing up against my already fragile shins and it got to where it was too hard to walk. I wouldn't have been able to make it to the summit even if the weather wasn't bad. I had several stress fractures in both of my legs from when I danced in college and I'm not so sure they ever completely healed. They still hurt from time to time when I run and they definitely were hurting when the boot bash started happening.


The boots that were killing my shins


Justin was excited to show my mom this picture...."avalanche danger - HIGH, avalanche danger - HIGH....". No matter what trail we went on, the avalanche danger was high. Mom actually took it pretty well, but only because she didn't see it until after I came back in one piece.


Hiking up the trail


The entire hike below treeline looked like this. Absolutely amazing!


My brother-in-law, Aeron, hiking up the steepest part of the trail. You can kind of tell how steep it is based on where I am taking the picture, then Aeron's location in front of me, then the guide's location in front of him. All three of us are literally on a staircase!


This is when we made it to treeline. We stopped to grab some lunch while our guide, Charlie, tried to adjust my boots to where they wouldn't hurt. It didn't happen though, they never stopped hurting.


On the way back down is when the 12-18 inches started falling. And it was falling FAST! You can barely even tell that this is me!


Me, Justin and Aeron on the way back down the mountain

Shockingly enough as it is, none of us were very sore the next day. The only thing that was hurting on me was my shins. None of my muscles hurt which is rather unusual after climbing a mountain. The next day the four of us drove over to Boston, MA to enjoy the history of the city. We stayed at the Hilton in downtown Boston. We went to places like Cheers Bar, Quincy Market, Boston Common, etc.


This is the two of us before we left North Conway, NH. We're standing in front of parts of the Presidential Range. You can only see a little of Mt. Washington in the background because it's covered in fog.


This is at Cheers. We were walking around Boston at night and it was FREEZING!!! Much colder than the mountain, but then again we were better equipped with clothing on the mountain. We didn't really intend to eat at Cheers, we were just going to stop by and see it, but we were so freezing that we need some time inside to warm up. So we ordered some appetizers and drinks to keep us warm.

The 2nd day in Boston is when we decided to do the 2 1/2 mile walk on the Freedom Trail. We did a much better job of preparing ourselves for the cold this time! The freedom trail started at Boston Common and went 2 1/2 miles all the way to Bunker Hill. We followed a red painted line on the sidewalk, which also got VERY complicated given that most of the sidewalks were covered in snow or ice, but we seemed to manage ok. Please excuse the lack of pictures. I have SO MANY from Boston, but I don't have the time to post them all. See my facebook profile if you want to see all of them.


This is what we were following on the roads


This is me and Justin inside Liberty Hotel. This hotel use to be Boston's very first jail. Some of the cells were still inside the hotel. Very cool stuff!


This is me (even though you can hardly see me) in front of the Christmas tree at the Quincy Market. It was HUGE and gorgeous!!


Where Justin is standing is the exact spot where the Boston Massacre started.


This is us at the Park Street Graveyard. This is one of Boston's very first graveyards and holds the remains of some VERY famous people such as John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, victims of the Boston Massacre, and many many more.


This is Paul Revere's house from the 1800's. It's been turned into a museum and trust me when I say it's not as big on the inside as it looks.


If you're like me and you're a huge fan of the history of America, you probably loved the movie National Treasure. At the end of the first movie, when Ben and his gang are trapped beneath Trinity Church in New York, Ben tells Ian that the next clue is in Old North Church in Boston. That it was where lanterns were hung to signal that the British were coming. One lantern if the British were coming by land, two lanterns if they were coming by sea. There were two lanterns hung here in April 1775 and they were hung on either side of the steeple. We were also able to go inside this church and it was absolutely beautiful!


This was the monument erected to symbolize the Battle at Bunker Hill. I learned while looking at the information on it that the hill was actually not called Bunker Hill, it was called Breed's Hill. I'm still a little unsure to why it was called "Battle of Bunker Hill" if it was Breed's Hill that the battle was fought on.


This is me and Justin inside the building beneath the Bunker Hill monument.

The next day we drove back to Providence, RI to head back to Birmingham. On the way, Justin and I decided to go to the Rhode Island highpoint, just so we could mark it off our lists. RI highpoint is called Jerimoth Hill and is only 821 feet in elevation.


We had such a blast and it was such an awesome weekend! It took a while for me to catch up because as soon as we got back it was already Christmas Eve! We went to St. Mark's 11:00pm service Christmas Eve night and on Christmas Day spent the entire day with his family. We all went to see Four Christmases. HILARIOUS!!! The next day we spent at my mom's house. It's been a super busy week needless to say. We're headed for Gatlinburg, TN for New Years on Wednesday morning at 7:30am. I have a lot to do in two days :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weather on Mt. Washington - 3 Days Out

I'm posting this one a little late in the day...sorry! I was super busy today at work and as soon as I came home we had to get ready for my firms Christmas party that was tonight at the Wynfrey Hotel!

After we came home, Justin wanted to start packing for Mt. Washington, so we packed! He wanted me to try on all my clothes to make sure everything fit and that I had everything I needed. So I did.....and all I have to say is.... guys have NOTHING to worry about when it comes to me having enough clothes to keep warm. Yes, that is me!

Weather on the summit of Mt. Washington, December 18th, 2008 4:15pm (5:15pm Eastern):

Temperature: 2.9 degrees F

Wind Speed: 66.7 mph

Wind Chill: -30 degrees F

Prediction on December 21st, 2008:

Temperature: High 0 degrees F, low -5 degrees F

Wind Speed: 15 degrees F

Wind Chill: -13 degrees F

Precipitation Chance: 10% chance of snow

Justin is going nuts right now. He's really hoping that this prediction actually happens. To have only 15 mph winds with only a 10% chance of snow makes the chances of good visibility at the top very good. Hopefully this is the weather we'll get :) Though I am sure it will drastically change tomorrow, as it has done everyday for the past 4 days. In 24 hours we'll be dead asleep getting ready to wake up at 4am to head to the airport with Jennifer and Aeron!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bad Blogger - Lots of updates ahead!

I stole my headline from my buddy Lauren because it is applying to me now :) I've had so much going on and I haven't really had time to write about my updates. I've only made two posts in December. One was only a video of my nephew and the other was about Thanksgiving. Is it just me or is December FLYING by??? Anyway, me and several of my friends ran the Jingle Bell Run on December 6, 2008. My firm, BMSS, runs it every year and this year we had the largest team in Birmingham, and the second largest team nationally!!! WOW!!! We also ended up raising the most money for the Arthritis Foundation this year. We were very pleased at how many people donated and took the time to run with us on Saturday, especially since it was FREEZING that day! Here are some pics from the event:

This is everyone that ran with my firms team. There was actually more people than this, but this was all we could find after the run was over.

These are some of my favorite people :)

Me and Justin right before the race started

The girls!

So after the Jingle Bell Run, Justin and I went over to Trevor and Tiffany's to watch the SEC Championship game. Also, Devin had to shave his head. Apparently a long time ago, Trevor and Devin made a bet that whoever lost the AU/GA game, the losing fan had to shave their head. Since Devin is the Auburn fan, he was the one that got buzzed! Of course they didn't do it right when the game happened because Ashley wanted him to wait until after their engagement pictures. Since their engagement pictures were right before the start of the championship game, Devin's head got shaved when the game was over!

Trevor shaving Devin's head on his back porch

The girls watching the game

Soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Lobdell

Fast forward to the next weekend, Tiffany had her Christmas shower and I, along with two other ladies, hosted a reunion for the Hoover High School Buccanettes.

Her mom made adorable!!!

I was in love with her doormat. Tiffany got some EXCELLENT gifts at this shower!!!

The four of us after Tiff opened all her presents!

After Tiffany's shower, I headed to a restaurant in downtown Birmingham called 26. Myself along with Erin Cork Autrey and Jennifer Brooks Robertson hosted a reunion for some of our favorite girls from back in the day. Our Buccanette reunion could have included many many years of several different girls, but we chose to narrow our invite list down to girls that were graduated high school from 2000 - 2002. We called this the "glory years" of our experience of high school dance team and even our coach, Tanya Brock, said that the team was the absolute best it had ever been and would ever be in the future during that time period. We spent literally all of our time together throughout our four years at Hoover and even though we all went our different ways, it was still like old times when we all caught up with each other.

Kristen is now married to Blake Kelley and they have a 5 month old son named Landen. If you live in Alabama and don't know Haleigh Stidham, you must have been under a rock when she took our state into the top 10 at the Miss USA Pageant as Miss Alabama. She is now engaged and is getting married in June 2009.

Jennifer and I both went on to dance in college. She joined Tiger Pause (though now it's Tiger Paws) at Auburn University while I was dancing with the Crimson Cabaret at University of Alabama. Jenn is now married to Jaye and lives at the beach in South Alabama.

Tanya has retired from teaching and is now a stay at home mom with her 3 precious boys. Jennifer, my sister, as you know lives in Tampa and got married to Jeff in September 2007. Vanessa is also married to a man named Scott. Everyone has grown up so much and we are all so different from the way we were in high school, but yet, we've all remained the same :)

We will most certainly be having another reunion again soon. Hopefully next time the people that live out of town and couldn't make it will be able to make it and we can see everyone. Overall, it was a fabulous weekend! Justin jokingly got mad because I literally didn't see him this weekend. Tiff and I went to see The Day The Earth Stood Still on Friday night and then Saturday I had her shower in the afternoon and the reunion at night and on Sunday, my mother and I are going to see the Rockettes. It was my Christmas present to her. Needless to say, I barely got to see my boyfriend this weekend :( But I am SUPER pumped about next weekend!!! Friday is our 8 month anniversary. I cannot believe it has been 8 months! I swear it's like we just started dating! Saturday is our flight to Rhode Island. His sister (who also use to be a Buccanette) and her husband are coming with us now so we'll definitely have a great time! And for those of you that freaked about us climbing the mountain in the "world's worst weather", you can rest at ease. Mrs. Morris has literally forced her son to get a guide to take us up the mountain. So there will be a professional climber with us just in case something goes wrong.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I know I'm posting these kind of late, but I've been busy the past couple of days. On Thanksgiving day, Justin and I went to his parents house and had an amazing meal!! I think it is hilarious how picky all of us are. I've been made fun of by many family and friends for how picky I am. Justin himself is also picky, but not as picky as I am. However his dad is just as picky as me. Mrs. Morris laughed because no matter what she cooked the three of us wouldn't eat everything cooked. Oh yeah, and I was lucky enough to be able to see my Nashville BFF Lil!!! She was driving to Tuscaloosa to be with her family and stopped through Birmingham just to see me and Justin.

Anyway, after our meal Justin and his dad pulled out their Christmas tree and his mom and I fluffed the tree branches to cover all the holes created from being in a box for a year. After pulling up the tree, Justin was asked to help his dad with his car and then again to set up a sewing machine table for his mom. They really put him to work! While he was setting up the sewing machine, his dad was showing me their pictures from Israel. They went a while back for the second time and they had a blast. Mrs. Morris always makes a photo album for everything and she had already showed me the album for their first trip and she was in the process of making the album of this trip. The things they saw and the places they went made me so jealous. I've always wanted to go over there to tour the birthplace of Jesus and follow his footsteps through Jerusalem. They went to places like the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed the famous prayer before the soldiers were led to him by Judas to start the crucifixion process. They also went to the site where Jesus was actually crucified. I think a church has been built there now, but you can go into the basement of the church and put your hands where the cross went and say a prayer. It's some really powerful stuff!!! Hopefully one day Justin and I can take that trip with his parents and the church.

The day after Thanksgiving we went to my mom's house in Chelsea to have yet another Thanksgiving meal. My step-brother Todd and his wife Susan were there along with several of Todd's close friends that he's grown up with. My two favorite people were there....yep, Anderson and Lydia. Obviously mommy and daddy were there too. I feel bad sometimes because I get so excited to see the kids that Lindsey might feel left out. Sorry Linds! Here's some pics from our time at my mom's house:

Me and Sue!! She's so preggers now and it's NOTHING but belly! Little Bastian is due sometime mid-February. Please pray that Susan has a safe delivery. I know that she is very nervous about the actual birth part! And I do not know why she is pointing at my belly....there's nothing in mine....I PROMISE!

This is me and little Lydia. She's at that really fun age where she is smiling all the time and making all kinds of noises. I am willing to bet that this little one will be sitting up on her own before Christmas. I'd put my money on it!

Anderson and Justin were just "chillin" on the back porch. He gave Justin a kiss on the adorable!

Me and my momma!!!

Me and Justin

This is actually not on Thanksgiving. This is on Iron Bowl day! Justin and I decided to watch the game in separate houses for obvious reasons! Good thing we did! Plus my mom was watching Anderson and Lydia and so I thought it would be a good opportunity to hang out with them without a lot of people around.

They are so unbelievably precious!!!

Such a sweet little baby!

I got a kiss on the cheek too!

Of course, we're supporting our team!