Monday, October 29, 2007

A Heart Divided

Saturday, I took off work and Justin and I drove to Auburn to watch the Tigers take on Ole Miss. We followed our friends Camron and Martina to where Martina’s parents tailgate, and stayed there a for a few hours before the game. The food was great, and a huge thanks to the Juarez family for making us feel so welcome!
As an Alabama fan, there is just something a little uncomfortable about cheering for Auburn. Now, I’m not an Auburn-hater as most other Bama fans are. In fact, Auburn is my second favorite team of all time (sorry Harding, you are a close third J). Justin graduated from Auburn and most of our close friends are Auburn grads, so I made a decision long ago that I would cheer for Auburn because they represent the great state of Alabama. I also have come to the conclusion that I would like them to win every single game of their season UNTIL the Iron Bowl. If both teams were undefeated, then it would be the biggest game of the year! ESPN Game Day at the Alabama/Auburn game with both teams coming in undefeated would just be a dream come true… especially if Alabama comes out on top! So, when they aren’t playing each other, I have NO problem enthusiasticly and sincerely cheering for Auburn. This theory is almost completely contradictory to most other hard-core Alabama fans, who wish the Auburn campus would be completely destroyed by a tornado. In my opinion, my philosophy makes me no less of an Alabama fan.

Nevertheless, pulling for AU at Jordan Hare is different than pulling for them on TV. I felt more like a traitor to my roots. So, when the announcer cried, “TOUCHDOWN, AUBURN!” I actually heard in my head, “TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA!” At times, I pretended that my shakers were crimson and white, rather than orange and blue. And twice, I accidentaly cheered for Ole Miss just because their colors are so similar to the Bama colors! But, I was genuinely intrigued by Nova, the eagle who flies from the flag pole to the 50-yard-line. I got a tear in my eye during the National Anthem (as I always do). I actively participated and cheered and shook the shaker in perfect beat to the Auburn fight song. I even left the game with a little “Bodda Getta” stuck in my head.

Call me a traitor, say I’m not a TRUE Alabama fan, but my conclusion is this. I will go back to Auburn if the opportunity seeks me out. I will pull for Auburn again (although never against Alabama… just to make myself clear). But I now know to expect to be a bit uneasy… just a bit out of my comfort zone. But I won't let that uneasiness keep me from having a good time!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Broadcasting LIVE over the "Pee"-A

The names of the places and people in this story have NOT been changed to protect the innocent.

It's Sunday morning at Homewood church of Christ. Kevin Kilpatrick, our worship minister, has just led us through a wonderful worship service of songs conditioning our hearts and minds for a lesson on leaning on God. Our preaching minister, Craig greets the church and begins his lesson. At that point, a few of us heard what sounded a bit like static or perhaps running water through the speakers. This might have gone un-noticed by the majority, but Craig pointed it out to the people running the sound and video.

"Somebody's got their microphone turned on!" Craig exclaims in a sing-song, nany-nany-boo-boo way.

At that very moment, the entire church hears that sound of hmmm, what shall I call it? There's just no way around it! So, the entire church hears that sound of "tee-tee" falling into a toilet - a steady stream splashing into the bowl of water below.

"Okay, cut everybody off but me!" Craig says, not knowing if it's Kevin, or any of the 8 others who sing on the praise team (including me). It was obvious what had just occured and the church began to giggle. Craig eggs us on by saying when the person comes in, that we should all clap. He was only halfway kidding, so when Kevin (our worship minister) walked in the back door, the church erupted in applause. Kevin was still clueless until he sat down with his wife, Lyn, who put her arm around him and told him the news. He lowered his head, shrugged his shoulders, then stood and waved like a beauty queen to the church. Of course, more laughter. Kevin announced afterwards that he is starting an "Embarrassment Support Ministry" to begin meeting next week.

Isn't it great to be a part of a body of believers that can laugh with their brothers and sisters! The best part was that it didn't stop the young engaged couple who came forward together to commit their life to Christ in baptism. What a great Sunday! The angels were certainly laughing while they were rejoicing!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Welcome Home Thomas and Ella!

My good friend and work partner, Kate, brought two precious babies into the world on Wednesday, October 17th.
James Thomas Giffin
born at 4:59 pm
5 pounds, 13 ounces
18 inches long

and
Ella Simone Giffin
born at 5:07 pm
5 pounds, 9 ounces
18 3/4 inches long

The babies and Kate came home yesterday, and I got to hold them last night. They are both gorgeous, as you can see from the pictures, and Kate is doing great. She and her husband John are gearing up for a few months of very little sleep! Can't wait to watch these little ones grow!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A walk through Ross Bridge

Justin and I are finally getting settled into our new home in Ross Bridge. The inside of the house isn't yet picture-worthy, but I thought I'd give you a taste of the community through photos that I took this week. We LOVE our new neighborhood. It's the kind of place where people sit on front porches, drink sweet tea, and say hello to each other... my kind of place.
This is the main entrance to the community from Ross Bridge Parkway. We are 11 miles from downtown Birmingham, 7 minutes from our church, and within 10-20 minutes of most of our friends and family!
The first thing you see when you pull in is the Welcome Center on the right. Here, you can tour the history of Ross Bridge, and get directions to the model homes, if you are interested in living in Ross Bridge. Residents can also use this building for free to host events! We are hosting our first party there in November for Shawn and Marla, my sister-in-law's brother who married her best friend. Hilary is planning most everything from Mobile, but everyone is staying at the resort and having the party here at the Welcome Center!
Just past the Welcome Center is Ross Park. It is home to the community pool and playground. Justin and I live on the street that runs alongside the park.
This is the poolhouse and part of the play area. This place is packed on the week ends!
Looking at the pool from the entryway. You can reserve the pavillion for parties any time!

This is a shot of the pool area. On the side not shown here is the pavillion, kiddie pool and a splash pad where water shoots up from about 8 fountains in all different directions. That's our street that you can see behind the pool. You can just barely see our home at the end (it's yellow).
From the Ross Park, you can look down Grand Avenue and see the Ross Bridge Renaissance Golf Resort and Spa. This resort has 259 plush rooms with breathtaking views, 2 restaurants, a salt-water pool with a waterfall and slide, and so much more. The spa has been ranked as one of the best spas in the country! As a Ross Bridge resident, we get 20% off spa visits and 10% off food at the restaurants! Unfortunately (for some), no discounts on golf.
The course here is the 3rd longest in the entire world, and is the crown jewel of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Each year, we host the Senior PGA tour, Regions Charity Classic, which always brings famous golfers to our neighborhood. If you (or your hubby) likes to play golf, come stay with us! In addition to the Ross Bridge course, the Oxmoor Valley RTJ course is just outside Ross Bridge. There are two 18-hole courses there!
And last, but certainly not least, is our home. We never realized how much we would love our front porch and our neighbors. We are here to stay for a while, so you can write this address down in ink...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Marriage Celebration in Athens

Weekend before last, Justin and I drove to Athens, Alabama for a party in honor of one of Justin's best friends, Keith. Justin and Keith have been best friends since 2nd grade when Justin moved to Gulf Shores. They lived in the same neighborhood and grew up practically as brothers. They even lived together in Auburn and in Birmingham before Justin bought a house about a year before we got married. Kim came into the picture shortly after I did, and she and Keith have dated ever since. Over the summer, they tied the knot in Jamaica, and had a party for friends and family in Athens, AL on September 29th. The weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor reception, and the band's music selection was fabulous. We enjoyed seeing Keith's family and visiting with old friends... and new!

Now this is where it gets crazy. I have been playing Bunko for about a year and a half with a very random group of girls from all around Birmingham. My friend, Lexy invited her friend Meredith to join us. Meredith and Lexy went to school together at Mississippi State. So, Meredith and I had known each other for about a year when I saw her picture on Keith's MySpace page! What I didn't know, is that Kim is Meredith's step-sister!!!

The wedding party in Athens was actually held at the home where Meredith grew up, so it was neat to see her socially in a setting totally UN-related to Bunko. Lori (Keith's sister), Meredith, and I posing for a picture as things were winding down. Keith finally made it to the stage to play the guitar with the band, and Kim's friend's husband serenaded the couple as they danced... or at least tried to. Justin and I finally made it back to Birmingham around 3:00am (it's a 2 hour drive), but we had such a nice time.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wide awake and talking about my "Man"

I must have a severely abnormal reaction to medication. First of all, I despise going to the doctor. Nothing against doctors, but I feel like it's a total waste of time to sit in a waiting room for hours only to see a doctor for a few minutes. I usually treat myself to over-the-counter meds and vitamins when I'm sick... because I never EVER get sick. I can't recall a time I ever missed work because I was sick! Anyway, I've been fighting a sore throat AND a urinary track infection now for over a week. I've been taking vitamins and OTC's, but I don't seem to be getting better. In fact, I bought a thermometer for the first time in my LIFE yesterday to try to self-diagnose. In a big move for me, I went to see a doctor this afternoon. I even left work an hour early! Gasp! The doctor prescribed me about 4 drugs... only 2 of which I actually filled, because I also hate drugs. I chose to fill the decongestant and the antibiotic. I chose not to fill the pain meds for the UTI (I'm tough) and the prescription cough pills. Well, it seems to come into mind that I took some sort of drugs last winter and I was up all night. I didn't really think about it this evening when I popped the 2 drugs after having them filled. So here I am, 2:45 in the morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I tried to go to bed, but finally gave up after about an hour and a half of staring into the blackness trying to get comfortable. Maybe it's because my body isn't used to prescription strength drugs, or maybe it's the drugs. I'm taking Zyrtec-D and Sulfamethoxazole (whatever that is!). Anyone share the same experience?

So, while I'm up, I figured I'd respond to Lindsey's tag about "my man." So, here goes!
1. Who is your man? Justin William Hardy (AKA Justin the Great).
2. How long have you been together? We've been together for 5 years, but married for 2.5.
3. How long did you date? We dated for 2 years, and were engaged for 8 loooooong months.
4. How old is your man? 29 (but he'll be 30 next month... I bring this up as often as possible)
5. Who eats more? We both eat a lot, but Justin will always finish my plate if there's anything left!
6. Who said "I love you" first? Justin. He pulled the car over on the interstate and said that he couldn't wait any longer to tell me he loved me. Of course, I told him I loved him, too.
7. Who is taller? Justin
8. Who sings better? I do. Justin is a good singer at church, but he totally sings the melody and follows along. He can't really CARRY the tune, or harmonize.
9. Who is smarter? We are both smart in different areas. Justin has an engineering mind, so he is totally math and numbers and business (these skills, PLUS a personality is rare). I think I'm smarter than he is in people relations and in sports!!!
10. Whose temper is worse? Justin's, but I have my moments.
11. Who does the laundry? Whoever needs clean clothes the most... sad, I know.
12. Who takes out the garbage? Mostly Justin, but I will if it needs it and he's not around.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Justin likes to claim the we don't have "sides," so we switch up for now. Tonight, I'm supposed to be sound asleep on the left side. Last week, it was the right.
14. Who pays the bills? Justin... every single one. I HATE bills (even more than I hate going to the doctor).
15. Who is better with the computer? Justin is great at keeping viruses out, but he can't blog! ;-)
16. Who mows the lawn? The lawn guys... although we're considering purchasing a mower all our own.
17. Who cooks dinner? Cook? Oh, that's something we always say we'll get around to doing one day, but we never do. In fact, we had a conversation about that just tonight.
18. Who drives when you are together? Justin.... 100% of the time.
19. Who pays when you go out? Justin.
20. Who is most stubborn? Justin... again, I have my moments of passion as well.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? I am... every time.
22. Whose parents do you see the most? We see my parents more often because they live here and we go to church together. But when we do see Justin's parents, we actually stay at their home, so we spend a lot of TIME with them.
23. Who kissed who first? Justin kissed me first... there was some serious magic going on that night!
24. Who asked who out? He asked me.
25. Who proposed? Justin (a very good story by the way... for another time)
26. Who is more sensitive? I am, hands down.
27. Who has more friends? Justin has a few close friends that he sees quite often. I get together with big groups of friends a lot... maybe it's a girl thing. I also talk to my friends on the phone(old and new) MUCH more often than he does, but he still has a group of guys from high school that he thinks of like brothers.
28. Who has more siblings? Justin. He is the baby of 5. I have one younger brother.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? That would have to be Justin.

So, at this point, I'm supposed to tag others. So, Amber, Kristy, Stacy, and Katherine I'd like to see your posts about your man! Hannah, I would have tagged you, but Lindsey already did!

P.S. We had a really fun week end, but I'm waiting on pics from my friend before posting. Hopefully I'll get them soon!