Thursday, July 31, 2008

Random Thoughts

Some things we've been up to lately...

1. I saw Mamma Mia! last weekend. I didn't have a lot of expectations for it after reading some of the reviews, so I was not disappointed. It was silly at times, strange at other times, but overall an enjoyable movie. I'm sure it was better in the theater than it will be at home, so I'm glad I saw it. Someone described it to me as being "like a two-hour vacation," and that's completely true. But who doesn't need that every once in awhile?

2. My husband shaved his head yesterday! He's been wanting to for awhile, but was nervous about how it would turn out. I encouraged it; I've wondered what he might look like if he loses his hair one day, so it's like a sneak peak. I haven't really seen it yet...I was asleep when he got home last night and he was asleep when I left this morning, so I couldn't get a good look. His head is pretty white though, so a little sun might help!

3. My sister has been home for a little over a week, but she leaves tomorrow going back to Mobile. It's been nice having her around, even though we haven't done much. I'm hoping to get to go down there to visit before too long. Mobile is really starting to grow on me too! Jeremy and I will definitely go visit when we go down for my work conference in October, but maybe I can squeeze in a weekend before then.

4. We've had some drama in the youth group in the last week or so. Those kids continue to surprise me! Along those lines, though, our new pastor is awesome. He and his family have already livened up the church, and they are fitting in very well. I think he is going to challenge us like we've never experienced before, but we need that to continue to grow...even if it's hard sometimes.

5. We had to make an unexpected purchase this week, but it turned out okay. The lawnmower quit on Monday, and it was going to cost at least a few hundred dollars to repair it. Jeremy has been dying for a new mower, and it actually made more sense to go buy one, rather than put money into an old one and have something else go wrong next month. The one we had was old, but we got more than our money's worth out of it over the last couple of years. So, on Monday night, we made the trip to Lowe's and purchased a brand-new bright green John Deere. We were able to finance it with zero interest for a year, which was nice. That will allow us to pay for it over the next couple of months when Jeremy goes back to his part-time job at the high school. (That allows us a lot of flex money during the school year!) I did learn that just asking for zero percent interest rates when making a major purchase usually works...good to know for the future!

That's really about it at the moment. We have an anniversary coming up in less than two weeks, but we have no major plans for that yet. Money is a little tight until we go back to our respective second jobs, and we aren't really big on gifts anyway. We'll most likely have a nice dinner out and maybe actually go to a movie or something, which is a rarity with our schedules. Whatever we do, I'm excited to be celebrating our two years of marriage!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Recent movies

The absolute laziness of this past weekend allowed me to check another movie off my list of classic movies. Saturday morning when the dogs woke me up bright and early (they don't have any concept of the weekend and so continue to demand their regular 6:30 am feeding), I decided to settle in on the couch and take in the latest gem awaiting me. This time I watched Brief Encounter, from 1946. It was a very mild portrayal of a passionate affair between two strangers who randomly met at a train station in England. The word I would use to describe the movie itself is "charming." That's what comes to mind when I think of the way the intimacy was only hinted about and all the things the couple left unsaid. It's an great example of the changes in the film industry from then to now...nothing is left unsaid or unseen anymore. The story itself was simple, but poignant and emotional. You could feel the anguish as she sits at home with her kind husband, knowing her lover is on his way to Africa and she will never see him again...and worst of all, that she will never be able to tell a soul about her pain. I am really enjoying the discovery of these great old movies, and I can't wait to decide on my next pick!

Sunday afternoon, Jeremy and I skipped ahead a few decades (we get netflix two at a time, so I usually get one classic for me and a current movie for us to watch together). We watched Definitely, Maybe, which I have to say was one of the better movies I've seen in awhile. The story is told in a creative and entertaining way...a dad, who's going through a divorce, tells his daughter the story of how he got together with her mother, but he changes the names so the daughter can guess which one turns out to be her mother. It's definitely different, sort of similar to How I Met Your Mother, and the daughter is played by the fabulous Abigail Breslin. Jeremy and I both liked it, which is pretty unusual, but it's nice when we agree occasionally. : )

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Recap of early July

We had a great trip to the beach and made it back safely. We got to spend some time with my sister, who has been there all summer with Summer Beach Project. She's been working as a lifeguard at Shipwreck Island waterpark and staying very busy with all sorts of projects, bible studies, etc. The "hotel" they are staying in (ok, it's actually a motor inn!) is quite cramped, so she stayed two nights with us. I would be scrambling for a night away too, if I was staying in a room with 5 other girls! Anyway, we visited with Laura, spent an afternoon with a friend of Jeremy's and his family, relaxed and read by the pool, and ate a ton of excellent food. Successful vacation! I have to say that Panama City has changed a lot since the last time I was there (May 2002). For so long, Panama City has had the party place reputation, and the last time I was there it certainly lived up to that reputation. However, it seems that they are making a conscious effort to return to a more family-friendly atmosphere, and it seems to be working. The majority of the lower-end strip motels have been turned into condos, and most places seem to require a minimum age of 25 to check in. The "strip," while still packed and slow-moving nearly all the time, was not full of drunk teenagers hanging out of car windows or riding in the back of trucks. I am sure there is more of that going on during Spring Break and senior trip time, but overall, we found PCB very laid-back and family-friendly. The new dining and shopping locale, Pier Park, was very nice and we went there at some point almost every day. It's similar to Bridge Street in Huntsville, but a little bigger. The only drawback was that most of the shops closed at 9. We tend to eat dinner pretty late on vacation, so a couple of nights we were left without many options for entertainment after dinner. We did venture over to Apalachicola on Saturday, where we spent the afternoon exploring and taking pictures. There is a very old cemetery right in downtown, and it was interesting to walk around and take in the history contained there. My favorite part was reading the inscriptions on the markers...kind of morbid, I know, but it's fascinating. Some of them dated back to before the Civil War. You can't find that just anywhere! Here are a few pictures from our trip:

Dinner at The Backporch with my sister and a friend of hers.

View of the beach from our balcony, with a storm coming in.

Spending the afternoon by the pool with Laura.
The week we got back from the beach was the week of the 4th of July, so I had a very short week. Jeremy worked on the 4th, so my mom, my aunt, and my cousin came to Huntsville. We did some bargain-shopping (Big Lots!) and had dinner. That evening, I learned just how much the people in my neighborhood love this holiday. Several people in our neighborhood shot fireworks, and I have to say, it was just as good as any professional show I've seen! I can't imagine the money they spent on fireworks, but I sat in the backyard and enjoyed them for two full hours. Chloe (our Eskimo Spitz) loved it because I was letting her run around the yard and bark her little heart out at them, but Petey Grace (my black-eyed shelter dog) was absolutely terrified of the fireworks. She refused to come outside after they started, and she sat at the backdoor the whole time so she could keep her eyes on us. The one time I coaxed (okay, pushed) her out the door, she jumped up in my lap in the lawn chair. Have I mentioned that she is not a small dog? She's about 30 pounds and very long-legged, so the image of her trying to curl up on my lap in the lawn chair she would barely fit in alone was quite comical. Apparently some of the neighborhood kids had leftovers from the 4th, because all weekend they shot small fireworks periodically. Poor Petey Grace was scared to go outside for days, but I think she's finally gotten over it.
So that's what has been going on in our lives lately. Nothing too exciting, just enjoying the summer as much as we can around our work schedules. We did have a pool party for the youth group on Sunday afternoon, which was a lot of fun, but tiring. The weather had been iffy all morning, but it held off for two hours, just for us! was cloudy just before we got there, and it was raining less than thirty minutes after we left. God knew we needed that fellowship, I guess!