Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Happenings...

Just a couple of items from the month of December that I haven't blogged about...

First, Andy and I were able to go to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.  Shout-out to Andy's dad--thanks for the tickets!  I, of course, was psyched to go because the game was only an hour or so away--thanks to living in Rome.  And the SEC game in the last few years has gotten to be a much bigger deal--the winner was expected to go to the National Championship, as you know.  So, needless to say, these games are pretty exciting.  We got there early, went to the SEC par-tay, and ate lots of uber-healthy food. :)


Cool tickets, right?


The obligatory game picture.  I only wish you could see the ridiculously annoying lady behind us.  The ENTIRE game she yelled, "GO BAMA!  DEEE-FENSE!  OOO-FENSE!" in the most raspy, give-you-an-immediate-migraine sort of way.  Our only break was when she went to get more food/drink or went to the bathroom.


View from our seats.

I think we all know how the game ended, so, yes, Andy was perfectly pleased with the outcome.  And I got a cool t-shirt.  Everyone was happy, happy, happy!

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I also finally broke down and ordered Christmas cards to send out.  Let me go ahead and preface the card conversation by saying that I almost decided not to do cards this year at all.  It has been such a wild ride this fall, and to be honest, Andy and I would be voted least likely to become "Holiday Cheer-Meisters" this year.  Our only Christmas decor in the apartment?  A holiday scented Yankee candle.  I know, I know.  Lumps of coal for us.  We aren't even getting each other gifts this year--gasp!  

It's just that when you live in a cramped  apartment with your junk everywhere, you just don't want to add to the stuff.  We both decided that if/when we get in a house, we can pull the "I want to buy this for the house--for my Christmas."  Even if it is June.  Color me green and Grinchy, but that deal works for me--and means I have fewer gifts to buy!  We WILL be buying our little guy a few things--already have him a Harry Potter-ish sweater and I'm sure some sorts of toys and bones will make it into his imaginary stocking (have NO clue where the stockings are packed--maybe fill a large sock?).

All of this to say, I didn't even want to pay the money to purchase the Christmas cards, address them, and pay to send them when I knew it was already panning out to be a weird holiday season.  So we ordered the smallest package available and basically sent them to immediate family members.  I apologize in advance if a card did not make it to you--but just know that my own mom barely received one (kidding, Mom!).  We love all of you, but are cheap and lazy.  So consider this your card for the season from the Bozeman clan...


The front full of random shots from this year...


And the back.  I loved the yellows and reds!

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On another note, we received some good news last night, and we feel positive that we are moving in a good direction on Project Get-Out-Of-The-Apartment-And-Get-Our-Junk-Out-Of-Storage.  But as we see everyday on the news and in our world, nothing is ever guaranteed.  We shall see!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Patio Furniture...

Over the Thanksgiving Break, I stopped in a Catalog Returns Outlet store.  They bring in items that have been returned to stores whether purchased through a catalog or online.  The items at times can be damaged, but not always.  I'm sure we've all purchased something on the internet at one time or another that didn't exactly fit our fancy and we returned it.  Thus, the Catalog Returns Outlet.  

I always try to get in there when I am visiting my parents because I occasionally can find really amazing deals.  The last time I stopped in, they were running a Black Friday special.  So all items that were already discounted had an additional 30% off.  While perusing, I found a patio set that I just fell in love with.  I had looked at several of their patio sets before, but had never seen them as discounted as they were on this particular day.  So even though Andy and I are living in an apartment, and even though we are not in a house yet, I went ahead and bit the bullet.

Here is the set...
 And here is one of the chairs (minus the bottom cushion) in our overly crowded living room...


I like the durability of the plastic wicker, and I think the lighter cushions won't show sun fading as badly.  Hopefully we will have a patio soon for this set to call home.  Fingers crossed!

***If you have a moment, say a quick prayer for Andy's sweet granddad who is in the hospital at this time.  We are hoping he is better soon.  It's no fun to be sick at the holidays!***

Monday, December 17, 2012

Held

I feel heavy today.  Since Friday's events unraveled, thoughts have flooded my mind about school safety, "what would I do?", how small my kindergartners really are, the bravery shown by educators, the evil that exists in our sinful world, the terror parents must have faced waiting to find whether their children were safe, the faith that parents put in our schools to safely house their most precious possessions, the choice made to target the youngest--the babies--in a K-4 school, and so much more.  My mind cannot process it all.  

My thoughts, of course, have also wandered to my personal action plan in my classroom.  Being a kindergarten teacher, my classroom lies very close to the front office and front doors.  What would I do?  How quickly could I react to an emergency?  How long would it take me to switch my thinking from teaching phonics to saving my students' lives?  How would I keep my little ones calm?  Should we hide?  Should we run?  The only answer I know for sure is this:  Would I risk my life for my students?  Without a moment's hesitation...Yes.  Why?  Because they are so, so small.  Their entire lives (minus five years) lie ahead of them.  They are the future--they are the good.  Save the children.

As any teacher knows, each year the students in your classroom become "yours" in many ways.  Your name rests next to theirs on rosters, field trip forms, class photographs, etc.  As teachers, we spend more time with these children during their waking hours than their parents do.  We learn their quirks, their favorite things, their favorite books, their dreams, their hopes, and so much more.  And above all, especially this year (teaching kindergarten), I have learned how truly innocent and helpless these same students really are.  They are completely entrusted to my care for the hours of the school day.  It is my duty, my job, to keep these small people protected--to ensure that they are safely returned to their parents each afternoon.

Did I completely understand this when I signed up for my first education courses in college?  No.  Did I really realize this when I took my first teaching position?  No.  I don't know that I fully comprehended this task until this past Friday.  I pray that this new found knowledge makes me see my students differently.  Perhaps I will be more patient, more loving, more forgiving in my classroom.  Simply because I know.  I know in a very different way than before.  I would risk my life to protect them.

I thank God for the teachers and administrators that showed so much bravery at Sandy Hook.  I pray God's peace and comfort rests soundly on the families who lost loved ones, and may He hold them in His embrace.  The words of a song entitled "Held" by Natalie Grant have given me great comfort these past few days when grappling with the "why?" questions.  I'll end with the lyrics...

Two months is too little, they let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling


Who told us we’d be rescued

What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We’re asking why this happens to us


Who have died to live, it’s unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive


This is what it is to be loved and to know

That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held


This hand is bitterness

We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow


This is what it means to be held

How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive


This is what it is to be loved and to know

That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Thirtieth and Third...

Let's start the updating with Andy's 30th birthday...

Although I had planned for some time to throw Andy a big surprise party or something equally fun to celebrate his 30th year--we sort of moved states and both started new jobs along the way.  Throwing a surprise party in another state and somehow getting Andy there for it without him knowing, as well as picking a weekend he would not be working, just didn't seem feasible.  So on to Plan B.  I decided to still attempt to include family and friends in surprising him...just in a different way.  I asked everyone to send me a special thought, memory, or general well-wishing to add to a 30th Birthday Book I was creating online.  I also asked for pictures so that I could add those in along the way.  Well, the friends and family came through in a big way and the birthday book was a huge success.  Although Andy's birthday was right smack in the middle of Duncan's surgery fiasco, I think he really enjoyed looking through the book.  It was a great reminder that though we have moved away from many of our family and friends, Andy is very loved and highly though of.  It was actually pretty neat putting the book together and seeing the sweet stories and kind thoughts regarding the Hubs.  As if I didn't already know he was a pretty sweet catch, it only helped to validate it. :)

The Birthday Book

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Along with Andy's 30th birthday celebration, we celebrated something else around here...  our 3rd wedding anniversary!  

A shot from our hike...nice hand in the way, huh?

With all of the craziness this year, we decided to get away to the mountains with our recently healed pup.  

The new sock monkey sweater that made the trip with us...

We ventured to the Blue Ridge mountains as I had found an adorable, newer cabin just a few miles from town.  

The view from our room...

We had such a great time.  We realized just how much we really needed the trip once we got there.  We read, we shopped in the little town of Blue Ridge (adorable), and we went on a short hike.  I, of course, had caught some sort of cold at school, so trying one of Andy's famous "oh, it's just 4 miles one way" hikes didn't seem like a good idea.  

Our cabin...

We had our official anniversary dinner at a restaurant called "Harvest on  Main" and it was delicious.  We could not have asked for more relaxation, better views, or better weather.  

Duncan thought the leather coffee table was a landing pad for him.  He stayed here with "Blurble the Turtle" most of the weekend.

And having our baby pup there with us wasn't so bad either.

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Last but not least, I wanted to reference a post from somewhere around a year ago.  I wrote it looking back over our second year of marriage.  I was looking through my blog archives for a picture recently and found it.  A couple of lines have haunted me a bit ever since... 

What will our third year hold?  Well, we aren't really sure.  But we will say there are NO plans to move any time soon.  Duncan said he's through with relocating, and what he says goes.

Wow.  When I read it, I almost laughed out loud.  How sure we were approximately one year ago that we had everything figured out and we were staying put.  


I remember that feeling of finally being settled, loving our home, looking forward to the holidays, and just knowing...knowing...that we were going to be there for a long time.  And yet here I sit in another state blogging from an apartment while Andy finishes up some things at the hospital.  Do you know who else was likely amused approximately one year ago as I confidently typed those words?  More than likely our God was... 

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,  but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21


My purpose is not to get preachy, my friends.  But to share what I have been taught in a large way in our third year of marriage.  Andy and I are planners by nature...both oldest children attempting to have everything figured out.  There is nothing inherently wrong with planning things out, but I think we now realize that things can change.  After all, life doesn't come with crystal balls, does it?  I am so thankful that our hearts and minds were opened to moving and changing the plans that we had for our lives.  


We have been blessed by the changes (though it's not always been easy) in many ways, and I thank God that He knows far better than we do where our path needs to go.  In short, plan...but be open to new opportunities.  

That being said, we have recently decided to try our hand at a new opportunity...home ownership in Rome!  We are very early on in the process, so no details to be shared at this point.  We are excited about the prospect of spreading out in a home again, having all of our junk together in one place, and having a place for friends and family to come and visit.  Details to come as Andy and I are ready to share them.  As many of you know, lots of things have to come together when buying a home...wish us luck!