Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Brief Update

No phone service here but if I get up in the middle of the night there's one bar of 3G service so I can get online on my phone.

There's so much devastation that isn't being showed on the news. DH's mom thought he went to work today. No clue that no one in the county has power and nearly everything is closed. There are three areas where there's major devastation in the Harvest area (which is walking distance from here) and volunteer efforts were organized today to help people sort through debris, haul limbs and pieces of their houses to designated areas, and any other assistance they need. DH and I will be volunteering in any way possible until he goes back to work.

My parents hauled a generator here with food, ice, water, and gas yesterday. We are able to keep four families frozen food in our neighbor's freezer and have been eating together as a neighborhood since lunch on Thursday.

We did hear on our local channel tonight that they are now calling for blood donors so that's one way people can help who aren't able to donate to relief efforts or get out and volunteer with the cleanup and rebuilding.

On a happy note, we were able to coordinate running the generator to the freezer during the royal wedding. For at least a couple of hours it felt like everything was normal again.

Thoughts and prayers to all of those who have friends and family who have lost loved ones or their homes. I pray this gives us all an opportunity to reflect on what's truly important and to realize how blessed we are.

Have a great day! Hopefully I can check in during the night tomorrow!

I'm going to try to journal today so I'll have a big blog post later with more details and hopefully pictures.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend!!

Allan and I were very blessed this past weekend being able to leave Thursday night and not return until early this afternoon. Thursday night we made the relatively short trip to Allan's Mom's house (Mimi is what the grandbabies and granddogs call her). After unloading ourselves and the dogs we discussed our plans for Friday and went to bed.

Friday was a full day to say the least. We got up at 6 to drive over to ATL for the Temple Open House. Having never been inside a LDS temple myself nor having any prior knowledge of what to expect my mind was a blank canvas of sorts. I was blown away by the exquisite architecture, immense detail in the woodwork, bright white lighting that made me feel like there was sunshine inside, and sparkling crystal chandeliers. My favorite (which is no surprise) was the baptismal font on the backs of 12 white oxen. Cows and oxen are pretty similar in my book so this was quite exciting. I could not think of a better way to spend a Good Friday then being in a place where one can't help but feel closer to God. The grounds are beautiful and as I learned are open to the public during the temple's normal hours.

By this time we were starving and Allan was choosing our lunch destination as part of his birthday celebration. He saw Brazil on a sign and we were off. Fire de Brazil is a Brazilian steakhouse AKA churrascuria. It was amazing and a great price considering everything we had to eat on the buffet and the 8 meats that they brought out. After lunch we stopped by Perimeter Mall to pick up a couple of the reusable Mickey bags the Disney store gave away (I mentioned these in an earlier blog post).Allan also found a white dress shirt on sale at Express where we ran into a sweet friend from Auburn. We got dropped off in Leeds and headed over to the outlets with Adam, Jodi, and Ali. It was Ali's first trip to the outlets with Uncle Allan and Aunt Suz! I hope there are many more fun events with her in our future! Allan got a few work shirts and I got some workout clothes and a few other things that were on crazy clearance as I like to say. By the time Allan's mom picked us up we were all exhausted. Not too exhausted for some TCBY on the way home though! They stayed up and watched Tron with Adam and Jodi and I went to bed.

On Saturday we headed south to my parent's farm with a Lowe's stop on the way to pick up one of the free trees they were giving away. It's a Spruce Pine that will have to grow in a pot for awhile until it's ready for planting on the farm. Saturday afternoon was spent cleaning out flowerbeds which was an exhausting 5-hour task.

Sunday morning was great. We went to church at PBC where our family has gone since 1996. Brother Gary is the Pastor that married Allan and I so it was great to see him and his family. My two families that I babysat for so many years were there as well as several other friends (young and old) that I hadn't seen in too long. Many of the older couples that my sister and I befriended over the years have had to adjust to living alone or with their children since losing their spouse. I had the pleasure of meeting an old friend's daughter who is gorgeous! It's still strange to think of how many of my childhood friends are parents now. Sunday afternoon we did some pressure washing and Allan took Lucky and the newly shaved Sasha to the pond to swim.

Today we made a pit stop in Hoover so Allan could cut the grass. When we got home our lily and tulip that we potted Thursday had bloomed and so had our rose bush! There are lots of great pictures that are a post by themselves so keep an eye out tonight!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Family

"I've learned that there's a difference in being related and being family. Being related is just genetics. Being family is a shared respect and effort made by people that are willing to do anything for each other, and it doesn't require shared genetics. It's easy to be related. It's a lot harder to be family. Make sure to make an effort with your family. Life's too short to make up for it later."-taken from my friend C.C.

This is a lesson I've learned the hard way. Both my parents only have one living brother and their families and with my grandmother's passing this past December my sister and I have no remaining grandparents. As a child we had family dinners almost once a month (seems like everyone's birthday and holidays made this easy) at my dad's parents where my grandmother would prepare enough food to feed 4 times that many people and we would gather around the table where my grandfather would bless the meal and we would tell stories and laugh. After my grandfather passed away in 1999 these family gatherings decreased and within a couple years ended all together. My grandmother had chosen to live in an assisted living, not because she needed help doing things but because she wanted to be around other people. In the past 10 years I'm sure I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen my dad's brother's family (and my mom's brother's family). I miss those Sunday afternoons at Nee Nee and Pa's house where I was introduced to NASCAR and learned about the Alabama-Auburn rivalry. I can only imagine what our family gatherings would be like now since all four of the grandchildren are married and our two cousins and their wives have two children apiece.

We've never celebrated a single holiday or birthday with my mom's brother and his family. Our two cousins on that side are also married and have five children between them, most of whom we have never met. On my wedding day only my mom's brother and his wife were there to support me on what was surely the biggest day of my life up until this point. Something that very few people know is that as I walked down the aisle the one thought that I remember most clearly as I looked at the faces of everyone I passed is that I wish Pa was there. He always supported me and instilled in me the importance of getting a college education. It was his inspiration that drove me to finish my Master's when it seemed like my thesis would never stop needing corrections. I wasn't prepared for the fleeting sadness that this brought. After the ceremony as we greeted all of our guests I realized that my best friend's family whom I have always been close with outnumbered my own family. As I hugged his parents, grandparents, brother and sister-in-law, aunt and cousins I felt so blessed to have a big "family" even if we aren't related by blood. My "family" was there in the faces of my friends whom I had spent every college spring break with, my best girl friend who I met the day I moved into the dorm as a freshman, the many Mat Cats and wrestlers who had been there for both Allan and myself as we went through some of our most difficult times to date, and the other important people in our life standing by us always. It is this "family" that I know will be there for us as we start a family, grow old, return to Auburn for football games, take summer vacations, and experience life because it is this "family" that's been there since our wedding day spending long weekends together at the lake during football season, calling and texting just because they care, and being there for me when my grandmother passed away.

So today as Allan and I celebrate our engagement anniversary (3 years today!!!) I am grateful to my parents, sister, and non-genetic family for always being there to listen to me complain about Allan leaving his socks and shoes scattered throughout the house and stay with me or let me stay with you when Allan's out of town and you know I'm scared being alone (even though I'll never admit it). You all mean everything to me and I can say with certainty that I wouldn't be the woman I am without your friendship, guidance, and love.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Allan!!!


Today is Allan's 27th Birthday and to celebrate we are going to lunch at Smokehouse at Bridge Street. I'd love to say that this year I used restraint and didn't give Allan all his presents ahead of time but that's not the case. Allan's been needing new soccer cleats (I just won't have him running around with tape on his shoes and his feet about to pop out) since he's had one pair since living in Spain and the other for maybe longer than that.
          
These are the new Kelme soccer cleats that we found online that will work for wet and dry fields. Right now Allan has a pair for each. Didn't really intend for this to be a birthday present but they arrived yesterday so I think we can count it!



I also found a Barcelona soccer t-shirt that I gave Allan over the weekend just in time for the game last Saturday where Allan sat yelling at the computer. Apparently 1-1 was not how this one should have ended...

A couple of months ago Allan got what I was intending to be his birthday present which is a white Under Armour Auburn Football polo that he can wear to work. I'm pretty sure he's only worn it once or twice but I know it will make its way into his work attire the closer we get to football season.

For Allan to only be 27 I feel like he has already had so many wonderful adventures in life having lived in another country for two years, played so many sports on different levels, graduated from Auburn, working in a job he loves, and I like to think being married to me is pretty exciting too. I know he feels blessed to have a wonderful family and so many friends spread out all over the world.

Here's to another 27 years Allan...it only gets better from here!!! I love you!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Freebies this Week!

Today I'm going to highlight a lot of the great deals available this week sticking to the Free Stuff!

April 18-April 29 until 9AM every day-Buy one 6" sub and get one FREE. Click for more info

April 19-FREE paper at Staples. Print out this coupon and take to Staples. Then submit rebate form and it's yours for FREE!
Get this bag for FREE at Disney stores on April 22 when you bring in 5 plastic bags to recycle

April 23-FREE Tree at Lowe's Click for more info

Anytime-Print or email cards you design for FREE here

April 22-Celebrate Earth Day with Starbuck's and get a free hot or iced coffee or tea when you bring in a reusable mug or tumbler!

I'm sure there are numerous other FREE items up for grabs this week but these are the ones that I ran across that I thought you guys might be interested in. Have a great Tuesday!