Thursday, February 26, 2009


Like I said in my previous post, watching Justin finish the half-marathon two weeks ago got me itching to run a race since the last time I did it was the 5K in December. Yes, it gets VERY addicting and even though it's only been two months since my last race, I need another one to at least be planned for! So Justin and I got to talking and have decided to sign up for the "Statue to Statue" 15K on April 18, 2009. I will say it is odd to go straight for a 15K (9.3 miles) after not running any races in a couple of months (four months by then), but I'm going to start running long runs on Saturdays. Not to mention daylight savings is about to kick in so we'll have more daylight!! The race runs from Vulcan statue to Liberty Park's statue (hence the name of the race).

Start of the race is at the Vulcan Statue

And it ends at Miss Liberty's feet!

Something else Justin and I finally planned is our trip for our one year anniversary. Our anniversary is April 19th, but due to every weekend being full with weddings and showers, we had to delay it until May 15th. We originally wanted to go backpacking through the Grand Canyon, but that was going to be a little too expensive for the time period that we're doing the trip in. Instead, we are going to knock out 5 state highpoints off our list! We'll be hitting the Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia highpoints AND we'll get one full day and night in Washington DC!!! With all those states it does look like we're going all over the place, however, all the highpoints for those states are located close together. I think the longest one is four hours from another highpoint, so there will be a lot of driving, but they're closer together than you probably think they are.

By the time May rolls around, we'll both be so ready to have a weekend away together since we barely see each other now due to my work schedule and also because right when my busy season is over we'll be spending every weekend at showers or weddings for a month and a half and any free time we do have we'll be planning our own wedding, so it will be nice to get away from all of it to celebrate the last time we can call April 19th our anniversary :) That weekend is the official halfway mark to our wedding too! It's 2 1/2 months from now to May 15th and then another 2 1/2 months from then til our wedding day! It is sneaking up so fast and there is still so much to do! This Friday we are finishing our registry at Bed, Bath & Beyond and next weekend we'll probably start our registry at Macy's. He'll do his own registry at Home Depot or Lowe's....I prefer not to be there for that :)

My first shower is on April 21st and it's my kitchen shower. It's being hosted by two of my dearest friends, Kelly Owens and Lissa Hines. Kelly is the mother of two of my bridesmaids and Kelly has been like my second mom for I don't even know how long! I use to have my own bedroom in their house! Lissa lived across the street from me in Trace Crossings back in high school. Lissa is in the Trace Crossings Bunco group and my mom STILL goes to those gossip meetings even though she doesn't live there anymore. They usually meet once a month on Tuesday nights so the Bunco in April will be at Lissa's house, but it won't be Bunco, it will be my shower :) These are the women that I have grown up around in Trace Crossings and I love that I get to have a shower there, especially since that was where Justin and I first met! Ah the memories.....

Today's Prayer Requests:

1) My anonymous friend that I keep praying for. She's so close to finding her way. Pray that she has the strength to accept God's plan for her life and move on.

2) My friend at work, Alison Cook, just found out that her future mother-in-law was in a bad car accident the other day and had to have staples in her head. She's ok, but they had to shave her head and she's still in a little pain. Pray for her recovery.

3) All of my friends that are getting married in 2009. I now realize how stressful wedding planning can be and I pray that all of my friends keep calm and have fun with this process, including me!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mercedes Marathon

Work is getting crazy busy for me since I'm now working 60 hour weeks so I'll do my best to update the blog, but I'm definitely running low on free time these days so forgive me! Justin, Bonnie and Abby ran the Mercedes half-marathon last weekend and my friend Margaret and I woke up at the crack of dawn to make sure that we could hit certain spots to see them while running. We first went to B&A Warehouse where the 3.5 mile marker was (and is also the site of our wedding reception) and then went to Starbucks in Five Points where the 7.5 mile marker was and finally met them at the finish line by the Boutwell Auditorium.

I wasn't able to take many pictures, but here's some that I did take:

This is Justin coming through B&A at 3.5 miles

Abby and Bonnie getting to B&A

That would be Bonnie's "I can't believe you idiots convinced me to do this" face!

Justin rounding the corner at 5 Points at 7.5 miles

Abby still in a fabulously good mood after stopping at 5 points for a water break

My baby crossing the finish line in 1 hour 53 minutes!

Me and my future hubby

For those of you that don't know, I was training for this race but stopped my training in November. The main reason I stopped training is because I was being a little too hard on myself when making my training schedules and I was doing long runs all the time as opposed to once a week (which is suggested by trainers) and I ended up gaining a ton of muscle in my legs, causing me to gain weight and I wasn't ok with that. On top of that, daylight savings kicked in to where it was dark at like 5:30 so I was never able to run outside during the week because it was always dark and finally, my busy season started in January and I wouldn't have had any free time to train the last 6 weeks before the race.

I've accepted that I'll never do the Mercedes Marathon, mainly because of the timing, but after seeing those three finish the race, it got me craving to do one so badly. So Justin and I found two that we are contemplating between to run. One is the Virginia Beach half-marathon in September. The timing would be perfect for training and it's at the beach...always a plus :) The other one is Nashville's Music City Marathon in October. We'll do one of those, we just haven't decided which one yet.

Prayer Requests for today:

1) Justin, Sam and Yarbrough - The boys have traveled to Wisconsin this weekend to do some ice fishing. Please pray that nothing happens to them while they're there or on the flights coming back.

2) Susan and Todd Carroll - My step-brother and his wife Susan have a brand new baby, as of TODAY, named Bastion. Please pray that they step into their new parent roles with strength.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Off to Hawaii...

Yesterday I had to go to Tuscaloosa after work to do some recruiting of college students looking for internships or full time positions. We had such a great time! I love UA's recruiting group! Anyway, moving on to the point of today's post....I got an email while there that I checked on my phone and I didn't have a lot of time to read it, but it was from Justin and it looked like an itinerary. Sure enough, it was our flight schedule for our honeymoon! Justin booked our flights last night and I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited to go to Hawaii!

Justin and I played with the idea of going to several different honeymoon locations. We thought about Fiji, Tahiti, a Mediterranean cruise to see Rome and Greece, but we ended up choosing Hawaii. There's a million things to do on all of the islands and as outdoorsy as Justin and I are, we really wanted to go there specifically for the hiking and waterfalls and scuba diving and snorkeling and helicopter tours and sea kayaking and zip lining and horseback riding on the beach and volcanoes....I could go on forever doing this! Not to mention it definitely helps us knock Hawaii's highpoint off our list of state highpoints!

Our flight leaves on July 26th at 6:45 am (I know I's super super early, but Justin and I don't mind). We fly to Atlanta from Birmingham and then directly from Atlanta to Honolulu. We're staying in Honolulu for two nights so we can soak up as much as we can from that island and then the remaining 7 nights will be spent in Maui, even though there will be trips to other islands using inter-island flights. We don't leave Hawaii until August 4th at 8:55pm. We travel overnight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, CA, then from LA to Atlanta and finally Atlanta back to Birmingham. Wanna know the best part of all of it????


It's pretty awesome to have a boyfriend and future father-in-law who travel all the time and are important people to Delta :) There are two flights in particular that I am SO EXCITED about! The first is the flight from Atlanta to Honolulu. This is on a 747, the double-decker planes, and our seats are upstairs!!! It's an awesome plane and both of us are so excited about it!

This is a picture of Delta's 747. We'll be in those windows on the 2nd floor where there are only 24 seats total!!!

Even better than the 747 is the 777. Our flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta is on a 777, which looks no different on the outside than any other plane, but they just upgraded the first class seats in the Delta 777's. Allow me to show you what they look like now:

HECK YEAH BABY!!! Justin and I actually chose to sit on the left side of the plane (right side of this picture) so that we could get a window seat, so technically we'll be in front or behind each other instead of next to each other. These seats lean all the way back into beds!!! You have your own person monitor to watch TV and access to over 40 movies!! The way home will DEFINITELY be a treat :)

Both of our siblings went to Hawaii on their honeymoons and both rave about how great it was. There is just so much stuff to do there! I told Justin to make sure that he gives me at least 3 days of relaxation by the pool/beach at the hotel just so that I don't come home exhausted!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Support my friend Lauren

So my friend Lauren is running her first half-marathon in Seattle in June 2009. She's just built up her website and has a goal of raising $2,800. If you have time, stop by her site to donate to her cause :) I'm rooting for you Lauren!!!

Amelia Strauss...OUR PHOTOGRAPHER!!!

We have finally made our decision and booked Amelia Strauss as our photographer!!! I'm so excited! I absolutely ADORED Amelia's work and it was soooooooo me :) It's very photo journalistic and contemporary, it isn't really the traditional wedding stuff. We will definitely still take many traditional pics, but the majority of our wedding album will consist of these very unique and modern photos.

Amelia will be with us all day on July 25th. She'll be at the bridesmaid brunch at my mother's house that morning capturing all the girls getting hair and makeup done and she will then follow us to the church for wedding party pictures. She is even going to follow Justin and I when we leave the ceremony and take pictures of us going into our hotel at Tutwiler in downtown Birmingham. I looked at TONS of photographers and no one's work that I saw could hold a candle to hers and I am so excited to see what she can do with our big day :)

Funny side note - Amelia was a member of the University of Alabama's Dance Team in the late 90's...just a little something we have in common!

Amelia's Website:

Amelia's Blog:

This is definitely one of my favorite pictures she's done in the past. This is also the homepage to her website. I can't wait to work with her!