This is a very strange time of the year.... its the time that we all look backward and forward at the same time. We often find ourselves thankful for the good times and bad, yet look forward to new things to come. 2010 was a pretty steady year for us, especially compared to 2009, and for that we are very thankful! We both pushed forward into our graduate programs, Jesse scored an internship this summer with the National Parks Service, Kelley joined us in Starkvegas, I got a great job recruiting students to the best school in the state, Jesse got a GA position on campus, we moved into a house, got our puppy, Maggie, and I ran a half marathon. There's really not too much to complain about in 2010. We are so so very blessed and are so thankful for the Lord's provision on our lives. I am so thankful for Jesse and the love and support he gives me. I can't believe we are coming up on 2 years of marriage. Praise to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever!
***********WARNING: This is a long post.*************
So, one of my favorite things about my job is the 2 weeks that I get off during the Christmas holidays! However, during this break, only about 2 1/2 days were spent in Starkville - the rest was spent on the road visiting friends and family. I wish I had pictures from our time in Madison, but I have lost my camera and we didn't get our new one until the day before we left. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) We had a great time celebrating my Mom's 60th birthday, Christmas, and spending time with my sisters and their precious families. Sadly, we left a member of our little family in Madison... Maggie. She is now with Kristian and George in Chattanooga at obedience training. We are hoping to get her back sometime mid-January. We miss her so much!
The pictures pick up on our way to the Gatlinburg area to spend Christmas with Jesse's family.
Leaving the good ole Golden Triangle...
We spent the first day walking around Gatlinburg. Many memories from Youth for Christ trips came flooding back while walking the streets! I spent the days after Christmas here 5 years in a row. Wish I could scan in all the pictures I have in this photo booth!
We ate dinner that night at the Apple Barn. If you have not been, then GO!
REALLY excited about family vacay, apparently!
While you are visiting the Apple Barn, make sure you eat here!
Christmas Eve was a treat! We spent it at George Vanderbilt's lovely home, Biltmore (if you can call it that... more like castle).
Christmas morning brought SNOW! White Christmas!
Our baby christmas tree. You make do when you are at a condo! We had a nice morning opening presents and spending time with family. Jesse's mom is making me a quilt that I am so excited about!
The next two days were spent spending christmas money at the outlets. No pictures necessary, I'm sure you can imagine.
The last day of the trip, we drove through beautiful Cades Cove. I rode my bike around this 11 mile loop as a kid one summer, so it was a treat to see it covered in snow...
... that is until the traffic stopped moving. At first we thought it was just some people up ahead looking at deer ( I mean, really, come to Mississippi and you will see plenty of deer), but turns out there was an accident about 4 or 5 miles ahead of us. We were stuck. 6 adults in a Ford F-150 extended cab. Jesse, John, and I in the backseat. For 6 hours. 6 hours. Talk about quality family time.
We left the park after sunset, but just before, we snapped one final shot from our trip. Call me silly, but "purple mountains majesty" came to mind as we looked upon this beautiful place. God's creation is beautiful.
After Gatlinburg, we spent New Years with our friends (who are family to us) in Memphis! I don't really know why we don't have any pictures from this. I guess we were just having too much fun! This was our first New Years since we have been together that we spent with friends, so that was a treat. We ran in the New Year with COWBELLS and a Gator Bowl Victory! Go DAWGS!
Oh and before I forgot, we have two of Maggie's Christmas presents waiting at home for her return. We stopped through Mantachie, MS and picked up two kitties! Introducing:
Below is Roobidoo, the crazy one. He is so playful and fun!
and here is Jack (or Sailor Jack, Happy Jack, Creepy Jack, whatever you want to call him) When he has things his way he is perched on your shoulder like a parrot.
I put up this picture of Jack next to an average sized throw pillow to show you how SMALL these kitties are! They are 6 months old... can you believe it?
I think Maggie will have fun when she gets home. All of our animals are quite the cuddlers, so I'm sure very soon I will have a picture similar to this one below, just with a yellow lab snuggled in the middle.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
**New Year's Resolution: BLOG MORE!**