Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm back...but I wish I wasn't

I truly have no words to describe my trip to Colorado. The only way I can show the beauty of what we saw is through pictures. So even though the four of us combined have a total of more than 500 pictures, I am posting a few of my favorites. About 200 of them are on my facebook page, so you can look there to see the majority of them. The pictures below were taken either on Mount Elbert or at Rocky Mountain National Park. Enjoy...I sure did!

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We went to hike up a medium sized mountain in the park. We were suggested to hike this mountain by a park ranger in order to see big horn sheep. We actually saw a ton of big horn sheep far away on top of a grassy mountain and there was actually a one mile trail/staircase to get there. We tried to go there, but realized that the trail was closed and wouldn't open until next week. Such bad timing. The trail apparently led you to where you would be within feet of the sheep. So the park ranger suggested we go up a mountain called Mt. Ida. We didn't see sheep, but we saw plenty of breath taking views!

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This is me and Justin at a point in the park where there were no people and TONS of elk roaming around.

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Bonnie took this picture...it's one of my absolute favorites!

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I mean, this is the kind of thing that you see in magazines. Not so much something that you think that you'll be doing...

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This is the four of us at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

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We all wrote our names in the snow :)

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Another good view...God I want to go back already!

Now we're off to Mount Elbert! We woke up SUPER early to climb the mountain to be sure that we would have daylight on the trip down the mountian. We had to use headlamps on the way up because it was still dark :)

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This is right before we left the hotel to drive to the mountain.

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At the trailhead getting ready to start the hike. Gotta love the headlamp action :)

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Water break!!!

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This is me and Justin right before getting to the summit of Mt. Elbert. It started snowing at the top and was FREEZING!

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This is Justin and I at the summit of the 14,433 foot mountain. Pictures do not do it justice!! It is truly unimaginable.

There are so many other pictures, but these were just a few of my favorites. I am sure that last weekend was the most fun I've had in a very very long time. I have truly never witnessed such beautiful scenery in my life and suggest that everyone needs to sneak away from the busy hustle of your life and take time to breath and enjoy what God gave us to enjoy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Almost an aunt again...but not quite

This past weekend I drove down to Birmingham on Friday after work. As soon as I got to Justin's house, he drove us over to my mom's house for dinner. Mike, my step-dad, grilled out some steaks and we got the chance to catch up since I haven't seen my mom the past 2 or 3 times that I've come home. After dinner, Justin and I went back to his house to pick up Rob and then meet up with our friends Miranda and Tara at Iron Horse to see Appetite for Destruction. Justin didn't know what the band was or why they were called that. After I explained that it was a Guns N Roses cover band, I told him that we need to start him on lessons for learning about "good music".


Miranda and I go way back to our partying days in college when we frequently went to dance clubs and danced the night away. She felt the need to relive those days and requested that the group go to Nana Funks, which is apparently a dance club downtown that I had never heard of. Justin and Rob were not too keen on this idea, but being the amazing boyfriend he is, he came anyway because he knows that I don't ever get to see Miranda and he wanted me to have fun. The time flew by at Nana Funks and we finally decided to leave at 3am. That's about the longest I have stayed out since those days back in college!! Oh yeah, and a guy at Iron Horse asked if Justin was single...he was freaked out all night and asked Rob to come to the bathroom with him every time :) Sorry baby, you know I had to throw that one in!

What I was not aware of until Sunday, was that my sister was in the hospital on Friday because there was a small scare with Lydia. Lindsey usually feels Lydia move when she eats food or drinks a soft drink, but Lindsey did both on Friday and there was no movement from Lydia, so Jeff came home and took her to the hospital. After a period of time, they found a heartbeat and she started moving again, so she's ok now. It was quite a scare for Lindsey and I know that if I had known that on Friday I would have been freaking out so I'm kind of glad I didn't find out until Sunday.

On Saturday, we did the redneck thing again, tubing on the Cahaba. This time we went with Rob, Miranda, Tara, their friend Abby, and a couple of people from Homewood. We had a group of about 10 people. We actually had to wait for about an hour or two because all the tubes were gone when we got there. We had to wait for people to get out of the river to get their tube!! This place keeps no less than maybe 500 tubes at a time, so there was a crap ton of people on the Cahaba that day. This time, no injuries for Marcie!! Can't say the same for Rob though. He flipped over on one of the rapids and was bleeding like crazy!! We were so exhausted but already told people we were going to see Lynam at Barking Kudu, so once we got out of the river (around 8pm maybe) we went back to Justin's to change. We went to eat at Hooters...who has a FABULOUS grilled cheese by the way...and then headed up to the Kudu. There was suppose to be about 10 of our friends there, however, only a couple showed up. We did the best we could to stay out for a good amount of time, but between staying out til 3am the night before and tubing in the sun all day, we couldn't do it, so we got home around 12:30.


Me and Miranda at Barking Kudu


Me and Justin eating dinner before heading to Barking Kudu...where the waitress was probably meaner to Rob than Justin and I are...


And of course the highlight of the weekend, Rob's injuries from the Cahaba. Trust me, they look worse than this. He also has a bunch of cuts on his legs.

We didn't do much on Sunday. I wanted to go to church with Justin's family, but we ended up sleeping in. I slept til about 10am, which shocked me and Justin. He hates it when I wake up early on the weekends and thinks I am not normal because no matter what day of the week it is, I usually can't sleep past 8am. Justin and I ran some errands but when I got back to the house, I had a missed call from my sister's cell phone. Now a days, when I get a call from Lindsey I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for her to tell me to drive home. There was a voicemail and it was Jeff telling me to call back. I knew this was it! He never calls me from her cell phone so I knew something was up. I called him back and he said that her contractions were very strong and less than 4-5 minutes apart, which was when the doctor said he would consider pulling Lydia out, but that they were getting another check up from the doctor at 4pm and that I shouldn't drive back to Nashville just in case. I was worried because of work so I called my manager and arranged for me to work from Justin's house on Monday so that I could be close enough to get to her if she did go into labor. It was actually nice because Rob was working and Justin flew out to Kansas at 6am, so other than Gizmo, I had no distractions. Fortunately, Lindsey made it through the night and was just discharged from the hospital. She is still having some pretty painful contractions, but they're no longer very close together. The doctor said that Lydia may not make it to her due date of 8-8-08. I am willing to bet that Lydia will be here before this time next week, which actually kind of sucks for me. Since I'm going to Colorado from Thursday to Sunday, I won't be able to see her until the next weekend at best and definitely won't be able to video the birth, but we'll just have to see when God plans on gracing us with her presence. For now, please pray for my little girl.

I leave for Colorado on Thursday!!! Bonnie, Andrew, and I are all flying into Colorado Thursday afternoon/evening and Justin is picking us up because he will already be there. We will start out pretty early on Friday to go to Rocky Mountain National Park (where we are hoping to see lots of Elk and sheep). We will be there pretty much until the sun goes down and drive to a different hotel near the mountain to spend the night. We will start our hike of Mt. Elbert at 4am (when the temperature is around 39 degrees) on Saturday. We're hoping to be at the summit before noon because that mountain is known for lightning storms at the summit around noon. Because we're starting at 4am, we're going to be using head lamps to be able to see in the dark, which should make for some interesting pictures. But, we'll also have an EXCELLENT view of sunrise from the mountain. My next post won't be until I get back from Colorado so be prepared for LOTS of pics!

Monday, July 14, 2008

CC Deville becomes a Christian!!

Those of you that aren't big into rock music may or may not know who CC Deville is, but I'm willing to bet that you all know the rock group Poison! CC Deville is the lead guitarist of the globally known group and he has recently decided to give his life to Christ! How amazing! What's even better....MY PASTOR WAS THERE FOR IT! My pastor, Pete Wilson of Cross Point Community Church in Nashville, TN was asked by CC to come backstage with some of our church elders to talk with him about things he can do to honor God through his music. Pete made a 6 minute video of his encounter with CC and his first Poison concert:





The one thing that really sticks out to me about this video is that when Pete is giving his cell phone number to the rockstar, CC asks him to promise on camera that if he calls and needs help that Pete will be there to guide him. HOW UNBELIEVABLE!! What an experience for the elders of Cross Point to live! I stole this video from .Pete's Blog.

Of course, with every victory comes a hurdle to jump over. If you look at this entry in Pete's blog, you'll notice that there were about 150 comments on the subject. That's because one reader of the blog felt the need to make negative comments about the situation that I ABSOLUTELY do not agree with. I will leave the blogger's name off of my blog for privacy purposes, but this person could not believe that a pastor of a church would dare go to a rock concert that promotes music about sex and drugs. This person believed that CC was not being genuine in his repentance and thinks that if CC were serious that he needs to let go of Poison and walk away. The fact that CC drank, cussed, and played to songs with lyrics like Poison has led this person to believe that he was not serious and scalded Pete for going to the concert.

1) Jesus doesn't need pastors and missionaries to bring people closer to God that are already Christians, He needs pastors and missionaries to bring people closer to God that do not know who Jesus is and what it is like to experience His grace. To scald Pete for going to the rock concert is insulting Jesus himself! His disciples were some of the most famous sinners in the Bible! And yet, Jesus felt that they were worthy enough to eat at the same table with Him....so why not allow pastors to reach out to the "un-reachable". It's not a challenge if you're preaching to someone who has grown up knowing Jesus from going to church when they were little. The challenge is getting someone who has never experienced faith to trust in the Lord!

2) No one on this earth is perfect. Every single one of us commits sin and on a daily basis at that! For this person to suggest that CC Deville should walk away from what has been his career for decades is hypocritical. This person says that if CC is genuine in his repentance of his sins he would leave Poison so that he doesn't commit those sins anymore. WHO ON EARTH DOESN'T COMMIT SIN???? NO ONE!!!! I'm not saying that it wouldn't be a good idea to leave the group, as it probably would make CC's walk with Christ easier, but that's not our place to determine! And seriously....to assume that a real Christian repents and then walks away from sin is just ignorance. If any of us could actually go the rest of our lives and never commit sin, then we would be on the same playing field as Jesus and that's just absurd! CC may actually be doing exactly what God wants him to be doing. If CC is saved, then he can use his influence through Poison to bring others to Christ. Can you imagine if CC decided to follow Christ and then all the Christians around him were saying "Ok, now that you've made this decision, we're going to need you to stop cussing, stop drinking, stop being a musician, stop hanging out with your friends who do drugs and have pre-marital sex, you must be in a church every Sunday and must give a lot of your fortune to a church in tithing and you must do all of this right now." How overwhelming!!! This "rule based" approach to Christianity is exactly what turns people off about religion!

I'm about to get really personal into my past experiences...I grew up going to church at either First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa with my parents, where I was baptized when I was maybe 9 or 10, or First Baptist Church in Moundville, AL where my grandparents were members. I even went to First Baptist Church of Hoover when I was in middle school and high school and went to countless numbers of mission trips and youth trips. One would say that I was an excellent christian and very secure in my faith because I went to church so much. Bottom line, I was not a true "Christian" until March 2004. I remember it like it was yesterday. The movie Passion of the Christ had just come out in February and I kept telling myself that I needed to go see it, but just kept putting it off. One night, I was driving to Birmingham from Tuscaloosa pretty late and I was in a potentially deadly car accident. I had a 2001 Honda Civic at the time and I totaled the crap out of it!

I was driving in the far left lane when a car that was in the median turned into my lane right in front of me. I was going 75 mph and had to swerve very quickly to not hit the SUV. Luckily no one was in the other lanes and I went right into the ditch on the right side of the road. I flipped my car about 8 times (according to witnesses). I do remember flipping once, but when I read the police report I was in shock that someone saw my car flip that many times. It landed on the wheels and as soon as it did I woke-up and got out of the car myself. An ambulance came to get me and took me to DCH back in Tuscaloosa. Doctors were shocked that I was alive and even more shocked that nothing was wrong with me! I had to get 7 stitches on my middle finger and all the blood vessels in my eyes were popped causing me to look like satan's spawn for several days, but other than that, no major injuries and not even a concussion!! How does one flip their car that many times and not even have a concussion?? I was in the hospital for several days and went to Birmingham after I was discharged to stay with my mom for maybe a week before returning to school.

What does this have to do with my walk to Christ? Well, if you think that I'm going to say that I saw the light when I passed out and Jesus talked to me, keep moving because that didn't happen. I can't explain it really. Something happened in me. When I got back from the hospital, something was different with me. In my car, I had a silver cross hanging from my rear view mirror. Nothing fancy, it was made of rhinestones, very cheap, probably got it from Claire's or somewhere like that, but VERY easily broken. Everything in my car was destroyed when I got in my wreck. Clean up crews found CD's that were scattered in a half mile radius. My books were in the backseat and they were shredded, all windows broken, side view mirrors torn off. Somehow, by the Grace of God, that cross remained untouched. There was one rhinestone missing out of maybe 40, but other than that, nothing touched it. How is that when everything else was destroyed and thrown from the car? That was where it started. From there I went to see Passion of the Christ and that was it for me. My life completely changed after that. Over a period of time, I stopped going out, stopped hanging out with bad influences, started going to church and for the first time, did research outside of church. I read the Bible in my spare time, particularly the New Testament. Lots of people said things. Many people told me to my face that they were proud of me only to find out that they were making fun of me behind my back. It hurt. But it didn't matter. I knew that I was doing the right thing and I had to find my place in society and until I figured that out, I couldn't hang around the same people anymore. I know who my real friends are today because of that experience.

What's the point of me telling that? Key word "over a period of time". It took some time for me to summon the courage to do those things. CC can't be expected to give everything up now and if he doesn't we should not say that he isn't genuine because that will only discourage him. He needs support, he needs prayers, and he needs friends he can talk to. CC will find his place just like I did. Do I go out? Yes. Do I drink? Sometimes, but not much. Do I cuss? Unfortunately that's one hard habit to kick. Do I still go to church? Absolutely. Do I still have a close relationship with God? Like no other...in fact, I don't believe that I have ever in my life put my future and faith in God's hands like I've done in the past 6 months. I have let go of having control and let things happen to me instead of me trying to make them happen. I have a very genuine trust in God to deliver to me the life he wants me to have. I do believe that God wants me to be happy and that the path that I am on at this moment in time is the path he meant for me to be on all along. The quicker we realize that we are sinners and that Jesus suffered so that we wouldn't have to, the better off we'll be. Does this mean that we can go all out partying and living like there's no consequences because Jesus died on the cross? Absolutely not! I do still commit sin, but the difference between my sin now and my sin before I was saved is that now I feel bad and I pray for forgiveness and the strength to not do it again. Before I did everything with zero regret.

We have to realize that we are not perfect and we have to stop judging people for their sins. When we judge others we aren't helping the case for Christ, we're hurting it! I will be praying for CC and that he does not let the judgment's of people like that to affect his walk with Christ. Those of you that are fellow followers of Christ, please pray for CC as well. He needs his brothers and sisters!

Oh and in closing about the conversation about my wreck, the driver of the SUV was accused by witnesses of being intoxicated because of the way he/she was driving, however, since so many cars stopped to make sure I was ok, the driver got away with it. My insurance has been high for the past 4 years because the accident was claimed as my fault since the driver of the SUV was never found. Also, that cross still hangs on my rear view mirror today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mountain Climbing...Here I come Elbert!!!

I think most of my family and close friends have learned that I have picked up a new hobby...Mountain Climbing! Most of this is attributable to my boyfriend Justin who also just picked up mountain climbing recently. Justin made a goal last November to go to the highpoint in each of the 50 states. When he told me that I thought that it was pretty cool and I offered to do them with him. Unfortunately for me, Justin has A LOT more time off of work than I do and he travels for work pretty frequently, so he has completed more of these than I have.

I've never thought about climbing mountains until I met Justin. I have, however, always been interested in hiking and doing things outdoors. I think I first got interested in hiking when I started watching Lost. There's just something about being outside in the woods, away from cities and people that is very peaceful and relaxing. Most people will say that hiking up a mountain is far from relaxing. Yes, it is difficult and not always fun, but yet it is still relaxing. If you have a high strung job like me that gets you constantly stressed out, getting as far away from it as you can every now and again is the best feeling in the world. It is very good exercise and the scenery is unbelievable! There are some things that you can only find deep in a national park that you will never see if you live in a big city. My big thing is waterfalls and Justin's big thing is wildlife. Whenever we go hiking or travel through a certain area, I always do some research to see if there are any good waterfalls within driving distance (or hiking distance) to where we are. Justin is obsessed with seeing wildlife. When we went to the Smoky Mountains back in May, all he could talk about was wanting to see a bear. (Yes, I know my boyfriend is nuts). I don't mind seeing wildlife, maybe not a bear, but a moose or wild horse or something that wouldn't eat me would be fun to see.

Many of these highpoints consist of nothing but driving up to a point on a mountain and do not require hiking to get to them. These are definitely the easy ones, but not really the fun ones. There are several mountains in between that are still a challenge but definitely do-able. These are the kind that are most attractive to me. Mount Washington is by far the one I look forward to climbing the most and is also Justin's favorite. He's climbed it three times already and plans on doing it again in December.


This is a picture of Justin on Mount Washington. It shows you how cold it can get and the equipment that is required to climb it...check out those sexy shoes!

Gives you an idea of how cold it is up there....

There are 3 highpoints that scare the crap out of me and honestly scare me for Justin to do them. The first is Denali in Alaska. Some people call this Mount McKinley, but it is in Denali National Park and the vast majority of people call it Denali. This mountain is a little over 20,000 feet in elevation, very comparable to Everest and is the tallest mountain in North America. This mountain has claimed the lives of 102 people since 1932. That doesn't seem like a lot, but it is 102 more than I would like for it to be when it comes to me or my boyfriend climbing this thing.



Looks pretty rough huh? It is! It takes 3 weeks to get to the summit (the peak) and back. I would really love to be able to do it, but I just don't know if I have the guts for that. However, I do absolutely plan on going to the actual national park of Denali in Alaska. There is wildlife roaming all over the 6 million acre park (that's bigger than the state of Massachusetts). And it may not be as cold as it will be on the summit of McKinley, but it is still FREEZING! Average temperatures in the summer range from 33 to 75 degrees. It would be nice if it were 75, but it is usually much colder than that.

The other mountain that I am excited to do is Mt. Rainier in Washington State. (Shout out to Garrett Kelly for climbing this bad boy....it's a doozie!) Mt. Rainier is just outside of Seattle, WA and is the 4th tallest mountain in the US at 14,410 feet. This one is not as bad as Denali as it usually only takes about 2, maybe 3 days at worst to complete. Still, the air is very cold and the hike in snow and ice is very exhausting. I am a lot more likely to climb Rainier than I am to climb Denali, but it is still a pretty big obstacle.


That's a freaking huge mountain! I really really want to do it, but if I'm going to do that, I need to do pretty much all of the ones east of Washington first!

The third and last mountain that scares me enough to not try it is in Wyoming. Gannett Peak is the 5th largest mountain in the US at 13,804 feet. The hardest thing about this mountain is the length. Roundtrip, depending on which trail you take, this hike ranges anywhere from 40-50 miles. That's a lot of walking and climbing. And on this mountain, much of the elevation gain is obtained through rock climbing, so some rock climbing experience wouldn't hurt to hit this summit. All in all, it's do-able, but Marcie will need some training to be able to have the strength to complete 50 miles of steepness with about 40 pounds on my back.


Where do we stand right now? Well, I have unfortunately only completed two highpoints. Clingman's Dome in Tennessee and Mount Cheaha in Alabama (my two home states). On July 24th I will be heading to Denver, CO. Justin will already be there for work and his friends Bonnie and Andrew are going to fly in from Houston as well. We'll be doing Mt. Elbert on Saturday, which is the 3rd largest mountain in the US at 14,433 feet. I am so pumped!! On Firiday we'll be hiking through Rocky Mountain National Park, which also has some AMAZING views!!! (And from what I hear, wildlife is all over the place there). Here's some pics of Mt. Elbert:

These pictures were actually taken by Justin when he last went to Elbert in May 2008. He was there for work so him and his dad decided to try to hike up it, but they started too late in the day and couldn't get to the top.

Isn't she gorgeous???

Justin and his dad...

Justin has completed 12 to date. (He thinks he's completed 13 because he's climbed Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina, but he didn't get to the summit, so I don't count that one). Here's a couple of pictures of Justin's adventures that make me jealous:

This is Justin at the summit of Katahdin in Maine. He went on a trip with Rob, his roommate, Bonnie, one of his best friends, and her boyfriend Andrew to do the northeastern highpoints.



On the same trip with his friends, this is Justin at the top of Mount Marcy in New York. It was apparently pretty windy....


There's nothing really interesting about this picture other than the fact that I love it! It's Justin, Rob and Andrew on the northeastern hiking trip.

Ok, call me crazy all you want, but I SO WANT TO DO THIS! Justin went skydiving a while back and I've seen the pictures and watched the video and I will do this!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July Weekend....good times...good injuries

I decided to go home for the 4th of July weekend and since my job actually gave me the 3rd and the 4th off, it was a very long weekend. I got to Justin's house around 8, but we ended up not doing anything that night. We watched a new TV show called Baby Borrowers. If you haven't seen this show, you need to watch it. It's about a bunch of 18-20 year olds that think they're ready to get married and have babies. In order to show them what it's really like, this show gives them a few days with an actual baby to take care of all on their own. When they're done with the baby they get toddlers, then teenagers, and finally, the elderly. It's really interesting! After we watched that, we rented some movies from Blockbuster and went to bed.

On Thursday morning, Justin and I ran a 5 mile trail around the Lakeshore Drive area. It's pretty awesome to have someone that will run with me. I love working out and running outside and it's really hard to find someone to do it with you, so I'm pretty lucky. After our run, Justin drove us to Mt. Cheaha in Alabama so that we could knock AL off of our list of highpoints to visit in the US. There was no hiking involved at this highpoint. Very few of the 50 states have really cool mountains to hike in order to get the highpoint. Many of them are drive ups, like Alabama was.

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Thursday night we decided to grill out with Rob, Wade and Allison. Wade and Allison brought over the new dog, Dixie, a chocolate lab puppy. She was so cute, but Gizmo felt a little threatened. She warmed up to Dixie after some time. After eating dinner, we hung out in Justin's backyard playing a game called "washers". I had never heard of this game. It's apparently an "auburn thing". Basically, you throw a ring into a box to get points....that's it. When I changed clothes before cooking, I put on my Alabama shirt that my sister bought me for my birthday (best present ever Linds). I had totally forgotten that I was in bad territory to wear that shirt. Justin immediately went to his closet and put on his Auburn shirt.

We had some fun taking some "house divided" pictures, but then changed to keep us from killing each other. Justin told me before we started dating that he swore to himself that he would never date an Alabama fan...that worked out real well for ya babe!

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On Friday (the 4th) we were suppose to go to see my nephew and take him to the pool, but the Smith's ended up double booking little man that day so we had to push our fun with him back to the next day. Instead, me and Justin and his roommate Rob decided to go to Alabama Adventure, the waterpark next to what was previously "Visionland". To our surprise, we had a TON of fun! The waterpark was by far the best! The lazy river was relaxing and the water rides were pretty awesome. Poor Rob rode everything by himself, however, he was lucky enough to get hit on by a 13 year old! I don't have any pictures of the waterpark because I couldn't bring my camera and risk getting it wet.

After the waterpark, the three of us went to the Trace Crossings pool. Justin parents live in Trace Crossings and if you read one of my first blog posts on how I met Justin, we met when we both lived in Trace Crossings, so this was a fun thing for me to do. I haven't been to that pool in over 10 years. My sister Jennifer and I literally lived at that pool while we were living in the neighborhood. Justin and I went to that pool together a couple of times back when we had our "summer of '98 crush" so it was really fun to go again. It definitely brought back so many memories :) That night we went over to see Ed and Dana (one of Justin's close friends and another friend that I hadn't seen since high school). Ed is Dana's boyfriend and he lives pretty close to Justin so we went over there to hang out and watch fireworks for the remainder of the evening.

The next day, Justin and I did our 5 mile run again, except he biked it twice for 10 miles while I ran. Afterwards we drove to Tuscaloosa to hang out with little man and grill out with my sister and her husband Jeff. We were hoping to go to the pool so I could see Anderson swim, but it was rainy and Anderson had a slight fever, so we stayed at home instead. Lindsey and I left to go to the grocery store while Jeff and Justin kept little man at the house. By the time I got back, Justin said that Anderson asked where I was several times. The little things like that make my heart melt :)

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The next day was the big day. Dana and her boyfriend Ed wanted to go tubing on the Cahaba. Justin and I had originally planned to go canoeing on the Cahaba while I was in town, but thought that the water would be too low since it hadn't rained in a while. We decided to go anyway. We got a little lost getting there since the point where you get into the Cahaba is in the middle of nowhere! This is about the most redneck thing I've ever done to date, but it was so much fun!

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Now comes the part where I almost died (well not literally, but I seriously thought I was going to). There were some rapids that we had to get down in order to continue floating down the river. Before we got in the water, we decided to tie all 5 tubes together just in case. When we got to the first rapid, Justin stood up to assess the situation to see if we could go down in our tubes or if it was too dangerous and we needed to walk around it. He stood up right in front of the drop off, but my tube kept going. I got turned around backwards and went down the rapid pulling the other 5 tubes with me. I was already halfway down the rapid before Justin had even realized that I passed him and at that point I was going so fast there wasn't really much he could do. Dana stuck it out and went down the rapids as well since she didn't have time to "jump ship". I was the only one that went backwards and because of the speed of the water, it pushed me off of my tube and I hit the bottom of the rapids (which was literally rocks covered by maybe a half a foot of water). I banged up both of my elbows and there's a huge scratch down my back.

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This is what my back looked like afterwards. Now, this is nothing compared to what it looks like now that the bruising has had time to take effect (I'll try to get a picture of it now and post it on here later). You also can't see my elbows which now both contain bruises the size of tennis balls. It was a bad fall. I was underwater getting pushed into the deep part of the river by the rapids and couldn't get my head above water. It took a little over 4 hours to go down the river. It was really fun and I would do it again even with my accident. Such an awesome weekend!

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