I found myself reading a random blog today and wanted to share this blogger's perspective on friendship. After graduating, getting married and moving away, Jesse and I thought we had everything together and were starting our lives in Birmingham. What a surprise to find ourselves back in Starkville again. This surprising past year has been such a blessing to us -- and to me especially due to my friends. I feel like I was graciously given one more year of precious time with friends nearby... ones in Starkville and ones who are close enough to visit. I look back so happily at the unexpected blessings the Lord gave me this extra year.

Now, there are many things that are getting me through this upcoming week -- of course Jesse's return and a puppy, but ALSO the celebration of a wedding!!! Anna Crain and John Clemmer are tying the knot this Saturday and I am so excited! So looking forward to celebrating with them and the gigantic reunion that the wedding will bring! I'll leave you with the blurb from the blog that started all of this nostalgia... and a video - trust me, you dont want to miss it.

"Friends, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Some friends bring a bellyache full of laughter while some bring a soothing word that will calm most any trauma. Some bring a scripture during a time of hardship or stress while others simply allow you to vent and sometimes join in. Some offer a soft cushy shoulder to cry on while others may offer a little bony shoulder to lean on. Some bring a meal over when you are down or sick while others lift you up in prayer. Some call you weekly to check up while you may see others once a year but it seems like you've been together the whole time. No matter what kind of friend you have...they are special.

Friendships are a precious gift from God."

Ok, so please don't kill me for posting this video -- it makes me really happy!!!


Just Keep Running!

Hello again!  So, a few weeks ago I did a little blurb about the idea of running a half marathon.  Well, almost 4 weeks later, I am well into my training!  Well, kinda.  Although the final goal is a half marathon, I can't think about that yet! (Seriously, I cannot even imagine running for over 2 hours straight.... seriously?? What crazy person does that?)   I have smaller goals set in place leading me up to the main goal.  While Mary was still in town, we were training buddies, but alas, she has moved to Memphis.  I do have to say, it is a lot harder to run by yourself.  I'm definitely getting some serious "me time" on these runs.  It's getting time to update the ipod shuffle, because honestly Justin Timberlake and Jonezetta aren't cutting it anymore. 

First up:

I am really excited about it!  By this point, we will be running over 3 miles, but it will be a great start!  Mainly, I'm excited to get to see Memphis friends - going to make a weekend of it!  I wonder how many Elvis impersonators we will see that day?!


The Vulcan Run 10k Run in Birmingham, AL
November 6

So their website wouldn't let me copy the logo - boo. But this run I am particularly excited about.  I know this map is a little small, but if you know Birmingahm, you'll see the course goes RIGHT by our old apartment on 5 points, and it also goes right through where I used to run in Birmingham-- through Rushton, Rhodes, and Caldwell Parks.  Rhodes was my particular favorite because it was the dog park. Jesse and I used to sit and watch the doggies play and imagine about the day we would bring our dog here.  Caldwell was where we kicked off March for Babies.  I just might cry when I get to that point in the run. At this point in our training, we will be running more than 6.whatever miles, but it should still be a challenge since Bham is notoriously hilly.  Looking at the map, it should be a pretty fun run!

Final Race:

As I said before, I cannot imagine this day.  But I am really looking forward to crossing this finish line!  And it is the day before my 24th birthday, so that will be fun!  This all begins and ends in Memphis.  

Honestly, the reason I wanted to blog about this tonight is because I needed some motivation for my run in the morning.  This whole experience will be the most physically challenging thing I have ever done, and I am really enjoying it. I have run one 5k so far - last October with Laura Zumwalt and had a blast:

I tried another 5k last November, but my knee gave me problems, so I had to walk most of it.  Thankfully, my Aleve regimen has been working, so no knee problems yet!  Keeping my fingers crossed. That would be a huge bummer.

Alright, well I'm getting up at 5:30 in the morning for my run.  Wish me luck!


We've got some news! We're expecting...

... a puppy!

Gotcha!  Haha   We are so excited to announce that we are getting a female yellow labrador retriever! My sister and brother-in-law's dog had puppies, so of course couldn't resist one of these adorable pups.  We don't know exactly which one we are getting, but Jesse is bringing her home in 2 weeks- so not only will I get my husband back but I'll get a puppy too!  Talk about a happy girl!!

Here are some pictures from Mary, Anna and I playing with some of the litter:
If you're a squealer, get ready because they are adorable!

This could be a problem!

Caught this little guy asleep!

So there they are! We are so thrilled to bring one of the gals home!  If you have any ideas on names, we are still trying to decide. 

This past weekend, Jesse and I met up for the last time before he comes home!  July is absolutely flying by.  We met in Cleveland, which is about 30 minutes outside of Chattanooga, where Kristian and George live and played with the pups some more!

Ashlyn loves the puppies

On Friday we made our way to Atlanta to go to IKEA and to see the Braves play!

On the road again!

Our first stop in ATL was IKEA.  Now, I have ALWAYS wanted to go to IKEA but have never had the chance, so you can imagine how excited I was.  We had lunch there when we first arrived and spent the next 3 hours wandering around.  This place was awesome! We are definitely going back after we move to get some things for the house.  I wanted so many things, but sadly we were in my car... and we are about to move - so the less to move, the better!  We just might rent a U-Haul for the way home next time. ;)  What we got: a $10 duvet cover, a $15 duvet cover, a $10 wine rack, two 43 cent dog bowls, and we picked up a $20 coffee table for Kelley.  

After dragging ourselves from IKEA, we made our way to check in our hotel, freshen up, then make our way to the marta station so we could go to Turner Field to see the Braves play the Milwaukee Brewers!

At the game :)

Awesome cheap seats!

This boy is pretty serious about some baseball -- especially when the Braves are playing.

We lucked out and went on a night that they had fireworks after the game sponsored by Publix!  Thanks Publix! Oh how I miss thee.  (If you know me, you know that Publix is on the list of things that I miss about Birmingham. haha)  Even though they lost, this was a great way to end a great day.

The next day we woke up and made our way back to Cleveland.  We spent the afternoon with family and bought some things for the pup:  collar, leash, dog bones, treats, a 40 lb bag of food.... that's a good start, right?  After some errands, we ate at Olive Garden (can't get enough salad and breadsticks!) with this little princess:

The next morning, I got up early to do my run for the day. (In case you are wondering, the running is going great!  Right on schedule and loving it! I think this half marathon in December is really going to happen!)   After the run and a cool down, George made beignets so good that I thought I was here.  After breakfast we went here for white water rafting, except we decided to try out a 2 man kayak instead and had a blast! I love spending the day on the river... makes me wish we lived somewhere that it could be a regular thing.  Here's a pic of the gang once we got back to the outfitters:

Overall, it was a WONDERFUL weekend!  Puppies, IKEA, baseball, rafting- doesn't get much better than that!  If you are still reading, thanks for hanging in there.  I know its been a long time since I have updated this. Next on the list - PACK.  Uhh.... I'm so sick of packing and moving but I can't wait to make this new place our home!  Hope you have a great week!