Saturday, December 20, 2008

In the Christmas Spirit....

Well, we made it, and we're in the upstate!! YAY!!

It is SO good to be here, and as beautiful and wonderful as Charleston truly is, nothing beats the upstate. Honestly. 

We rolled into town Wednesday evening around 10 o'clock and we parked the Penske truck because after 3 hours of loading, we just didn't have the energy to unload in the same day!! We made it back safely; it was a pretty uneventful trip with no major problems. Jonathan's mom and dad have a basement room with all the furnishings -shower, kitchen area, sleeping area- so that is where we are staying for the 3 or so weeks that we are here. It's a pretty good set-up and functions pretty much as our very own house. It's very private, and sometimes I forget that we're adjacent to the rest of the house!!! We are very thankful that we could have it to stay in (I think it could possibly be the same size as our house in Charleston, ha!!), and they worked so hard to get it ready and make it "homey." It looks great and we are so appreciative!! 
Jonathan spent all of Thursday, along with the help of his dad (I snuck out to do wedding things with Bekah.....we had a GREAT time and I'm even more pumped about this wedding now!!), unloading everything in my parents' storage unit, his parents' attic, and the basement room. I was very thankful that they did this and I didn't even have to lift a finger!! :) So as of right now, there are tubs and all sorts of things taking up space in our living area (mainly lots of clothes), but only because we've got to sort through it to decide what needs to be kept out for Italy. Oh boy. 
But the main thing is, we're settled in. In familiar surroundings, with family and friends, for the Holidays. And we're oh SO very excited!!! :)

Speaking of the Holidays, we had our 1st Family Christmas get together last night. It was the Mauldin get together, which is all of Jonathan's mom's immediate family (about 13 of us) and we had the best time, but even better, the BEST food!! Jonathan's Grandmother can COOK!!!! Whew baby!! Plus, we let the kids have their time opening presents (ages 12, 8, and 8) and that is always priceless. I love it.
I was also able to get some time in to visit Calhoun yesterday with the most fabulous Jennifer Turner, and it was AWESOME to see all those bright, smiling familiar faces. I was reminded of why I adore that school so much. I loved getting to see everyone, especially some of my babies from last year!!! Incredible. Jennifer and I grabbed lunch together at Fatz Cafe afterwards, and she treated me, which was not necessary, but VERY sweet of her!! :) The conversation was awesome and encouraging -as it always is with J.Turner- and we had such a great time!! She is a true friend, and I am so thankful for her!! As far as I'm concerned, everyone should have a Jennifer Turner!!! 

So now, I am officially in the Christmas mood....officially!!! My favorite cousin, Shannon arrives from Texas today and I cannot wait. Both sets of parents' houses are decorated so beautifully for Christmas, and of course, the first time I headed over to the my parents' house, mama was baking poppyseed bread so even the aroma filling the house was so fitting!! We've got just a few more Christmas gifts to get for family and another family get together tonight which will be followed by many more!! And the Larges will get into town Wednesday night and I cannot wait!! :)
So being in this Christmas spirit, I wanted to leave you with something to help get you in the holiday spirit if you're not already. One is a video of a remake of the song, "Singing in the Rain" originally sung by Gene Kelly, but in this instance, sung by Usher. "Singing in the Rain" is a favorite of mine as far as regular music is concerned because I wish I could live every day to the lyrics of that song. We saw this on a Christmas special last holiday season, and it was amazing. So amazing that I think everyone needs to see it so I'm sharing it!! The other 2 are Christmas songs. Two songs that are probably on my list of top 5 Christmas songs of all time. The first is "Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child," sung by John Legend. It's currently my Christmas ringtone for whenever anyone calls, and it's just got so much soul. In a very uplifting way, it reminds you of what this time of year is really about. I love it!!! The second one is probably my #1 most favorite Christmas song, EVER. It's "Baby it's Cold Outside," sung by Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart. As many of you know, this song has been sung by various artists, but this version truly is the best. Hands down. I love, love, love this song. I've been listening to the Christmas music non-stop, as I'm sure many of you have, and this one is the one that I play over and over and over. 

If this video and songs doesn't get you into the Christmas spirit, I don't know what will. Enjoy!! 

Usher....singing in the rain!!! 

John Legend...."Jesus, What a Wonderful Child"

And my ALL TIME fav.....Dolly and Rod with "Baby, it's Cold Outside!!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Moving on...

Well, this is it. 
Today is our LAST day in Charleston.

I can't believe it. It seems like we JUST got here yesterday. It's been SO much fun, and school has been VERY challenging, but we've had some wonderful experiences and a great time!! This time in Charleston has allowed us to grow even closer, which I didn't think was possible because we were already so close. It's as if we've fallen in love all over again, but this time for new, different reasons!! Very exciting. 

I'm spending the day boxing and wrapping and stuffing and packing....blah, blah, blah. THIS is my LEAST favorite part about moving. If we've got to do it, I just want to be done with it and back in the upstate with it all unloaded and done. 

We decided to spend Saturday being "tourists" in the city (since the semester really hasn't allowed for us to do many "Charleston-y" things) and had a GREAT time!! We ate at touristy restaurants, went to The Market and the Christmas market in Marion Square, went to my favorite Candy Shop, and just took in as much of the city as we could for one last time as true residents. We'll probably try to grab a quick, cheap dinner at a favorite place of ours close by the house tonight, for old times sake.

In Charleston Place Hotel with one of the beautiful trees....we look a bit awkward because the guy who took the picture was so random and I wasn't sure if I should smile or what!!

Being that my parents are SO awesome and always doing more for us than they should, my dad rented us a Penske truck for our move. We'll pick it up tomorrow morning at 9 AM in West Ashley and then Jonathan's Dad and Papa are driving up together to be our 3rd driver back (in addition to Jonathan driving the truck to the upstate, we also have both of our cars to drive back so we had to have enough drivers). We plan to have everything packed, so they'll help us load it all into the truck, and then we'll head on out. Hopefully it won't be too late in the afternoon so that we can unload it all when we get to the upstate. We hope to leave Charleston around 1 or 2 PM. 

So, that's it. This part of our year of traveling is complete. On to the next adventure...Genoa, Italy. Oh, I am so excited. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

His and Hers :)

If you know me in the least, you know that I usually own and operate with a pretty junked up phone. It never seems to do anything right, and I am constantly having to apologize to family and friends for my poor excuse of a phone. 
Last Sunday it did something oh so new and different....I received a week's worth of text messages all at once. I know. Wonderful. My phone was beeping for 30 or so straight incoming texts. Fun, fun!! Then the very next morning, I put my phone on silent for work and it was fine. Just fine. No immediate problems. Well. I went to get it out to check it after work that day, and the screen was all whacked out. I couldn't read anything because all the colors were melting together and it looked like something straight out of the 70's. 

There was SO much going on last week with Jonathan's FINAL presentation so I put the phone issue on the back burner; plus I've always kind of said that if it weren't COMPLETELY necessary, I could just go without a cell phone period. I just don't really like phones. I'd much rather see the people I love in person....but of course that's not realistic, so alas, I must have one. 

With moving coming up, Jonathan and I were going to be needing all of the plastic tubs we had used to move down to Charleston to move back to the upstate. Fortunately a VERY wonderful couple from Whitefield, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, were going to be making a trip down from the upstate and offered to bring us these plastic tubs (THANK YOU Larry and Carol Lee....we appreciate it SO much!!)......I say all of that to say......I needed a phone so that I might get in touch with them to meet up and get the tubs. Since Jonathan was understandably preoccupied and living in studio, I trekked on over to Verizon Thursday evening to figure out what was to be done. 
My phone had done something very similar this past summer right before we got married and they just replaced it with a new phone. I had hoped to do this again, but quickly found out that since my phone is SO old (the original RAZR, ugh, HATE that phone) the warranty ran out in August, and they were going to charge me $50 BUCKS to fix/replace it!!! I'm thinking, "Ugh, NO! 50 smackaroos is TOO much!!!!".......but with going to Europe for a whole semester, Jonathan and I knew we were going to have to make phone decisions/plans, so now was the opportunity to do just that. 
So I call my hubby while at Verizon, give the technical support lady my phone so she can answer all of his questions regarding cellular usage outside of the States, and then patiently waited for my husband to decide what we should do. So, turns out, it was cheaper to get a newer, more advanced phone that would be capable in Europe instead of paying $50 BUCKS (I'm sorry, this just baffled me) to replace an old junked up phone. 

For the record, as much as I have always proclaimed that having a phone wasn't necessary, I didn't need anything fancy, something just to receive and dial out, blah, blah, blah.....I have never LOVED a phone more than the new one that Jonathan picked out for me!!! It's the nicest, fanciest phone I've ever owned and I even promised the Verizon saleslady that I was going to take VERY good care of it (something I haven't done so well in the past). 
It's the new LG enV2 and I'm not going to's slick rick. Jonathan has the original Voyager, but when I left Verizon, he made me immediately head over to studio to let him play with it!!! and toys!!! He was a bit jealous I think, but he was SO excited that our phones are now so similar and said that it was like "His and Hers" phones!!!

He took this picture and said it was specifically for posting on the blog about the new phone. :) He says we are "LG Buddies" now....very cute. I've always known that man was the one for me!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Beautiful, historical, inspirational city...

This evening I had to make a trip, as I like to say, "out of the city" and into West Ashley. As you know, there is the Cooper River Bridge off the peninsula and into Mt. Pleasant, but there are obviously other bridges leading to other areas outside of the city. We rarely ever go out to Mt. P. unless it is Sunday and we're headed to church. So in turn, we rarely ever go over the "Big" bridge that most people relate to when they think of Charleston. 

But that's not my favorite bridge anyways. The bridge that takes you out of downtown and into West Ashley, James Island, and Folly Beach will be THE bridge I remember when I look back on our time in Charleston. Man oh man, I LOVE that bridge....but more than just the bridge, it's the VIEW. It overlooks of course, the water, but the Charleston City Marina (it's actually nicknamed the MegaDock) is located at water's edge so this is what you see as you cross over the water to come into downtown. It is spectacular. The picture posted doesn't do it justice (plus, it's much prettier at night). The boats are big and beautiful, and always lined up perfectly across the water. Nighttime is breathtaking. I have found myself many times, as I've been coming across the bridge, almost have a wreck and topple right over the bridge into the water because I couldn't take my eyes off the sight. At night all of the boats are spread out across the water in just the right spots and they have a small light that you can see on atop of each one. When you look at it, it looks just like the night sky in the mountains; millions of stars blanketing the sky....but in this case the water. And there's always a calming wind that's over the water and I promise, from my car as I cross over that tall bridge, I can see the water rippling.

It's luminous and beautiful and I hope I never lose that picture in my mind as long as I live because it's a memory I have from being a newlywed with my precious husband in one of the most beautiful, historic cities. 

So. In driving over my favorite bridge tonight, I'm inspired to do a "Top 10" --Favorite things from downtown Charleston Living-- that will explain -although extremely excited about our next traveling adventure- why I will miss city living so very, very much.

10.10 minutes from the beach. 'Nuff said. 
9. Weekend market in Marion Square and the Battery.
8. Starbucks is less than a mile from home.
7. Riding my bike to do all my errands.
6. Being able to walk everywhere. Everywhere.
5. In turn, only having to fill up on gas once every month.
4. Having only a 2 minute walk to work, which is literally across the street from home.
3. Such a diverse selection of restaurants, you could live here for a year before you eat at the same place twice.
2. The feeling of being so close to the water, seeing all the beautiful boats, and the city lights at night.
1. The history, preservation, and southern charm within the city that makes you PROUD to be from SC. 

Also, there is a song that I have listened to over and over this semester that excites me to my core. I have pretty much self proclaimed it my theme song for our "semester in Charleston." I don't even know what it is about the song. It's by Coldplay (which if you know me, you know pretty much all of their songs excite me to the core....definitely in my Top 5 of all time favorite bands) and there are no lyrics, just music. It was actually part of the wedding video that Jonathan's parents made and showed at our Rehearsal dinner, and I think there's a connection that I make in relation to our relationship through the years (it's also currently the ringtone for whenever he calls me).
It just overwhelms me with so many feelings. And I know every time I hear "Life in Technicolor" for the rest of our lives, I will immediately think back to this time in our lives!! :) 

Yeah. So...I love this city. And will miss it dearly, but have much to look back on and remember that I know will make me smile. Places, walks, talks, dinners, movies, experiences. So many memories the newlyweds made in such a beautiful, historical city.
I know we'll never forget the first 5 months of our marriage and living in downtown Charleston. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Goodbye November.....WELCOME DECEMBER!!!

Well, hello there!!! :) :)

It's been almost a month since I last posted....but November was not very nice to me. I caught whatever bug was going around (congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and a cough that could make your mama wince) and it truly did last a good 3 to 4 weeks. Ridiculous. I'm still taking Mucinex every morning and every night....maybe my body is addicted?? Let's hope not!! :)

My grandpa (my dad's dad) passed away the Sunday night before Thanksgiving and Jonathan and I were thankful that although a difficult situation, we would be able to be at the services since we had already planned to be upstate for the break, and they were held the day before Thanksgiving. I appreciate everyone who sent such kind words of encouragement and spoke to me personally about our loss. It was comforting to know that others cared, and for that I am very grateful. :)
It was hard; anytime you lose someone you love there is pain. But, I think, for the most part we all had a peace about his passing. He lived a long and fruitful life. 7 children, 12 grandchildren, and 16 What a blessing to have such a large family to turn to in times of sorrow. I think he would be proud of what we have all become today. There is no doubt, I know he is in God's arms now and fishing the days away!!! 

Me and my grandpa on Father's Day 2008 

So although November was harsh on my immune system and brought a tough loss with it, we did manage to enjoy an upstate Thanksgiving break. It was SO relaxing and the timing was just perfect. Knowing that the last 2 weeks of Jonathan's 1st semester of graduate school would be immediately after the holiday, we had to take advantage of every minute to get ready for the end of the hardest semester of Jonathan's udergrad/grad
career thus far. Daddy and Mama Edens went to Mississippi to be with Rebekah, so we spent the holiday in Pelzer with Daddy and Mama Moore. We got into town that Tuesday night around 11 PM and were able to spend a couple of hours with them before they left. We missed all 3 of them terribly, but can't wait for Christmas when the WHOLE family can all be together again!!! :)
Basically, we slept, ate, showered, and watched football over the break. I did manage to squeeze in some shopping (I know; imagine that!! Ha!!) with my mom and aunt Rita on Black Friday. We ate at Cracker Barrell at 6:30 AM and then shopped for a good 6 hours. Sad thing is, there really weren't that many good deals so we didn't buy too much.
All in all, the break was WONDERFUL and when Sunday evening rolled around we did not want to leave. It's amazing how even after being married, we can still find such comfort in being with our parents and in familiar surroundings. I never thought I would say it in a million years, but when we rolled into town that Tuesday night, we passed the Bi-Lo, and I exclaimed, "I love Pelzer!!!" Ha!!!

THE spread on Thanksgiving Day at my mom and dad's house

I know Jonathan desperately needed the break. I will be SO glad when the school part of this semester is over and I can finally have my husband back. It's funny....we actually saw each other more before we were married!! But I know this is just temporary; and in a mere 5 days it will all be over. I'm not going to lie; getting married and jumping immediately into graduate school (and not just any grad school, but graduate school for architecture) has not been an easy feat on a young, newlywed couple.
We have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't and have grown as husband and wife. Although it has really tested our marriage early on, I think I can speak for both of us when I say we came out on the winning side. And although what seemed at the time as something we may have not been able to overcome, I am so thankful for this semester and for God putting us here and at this time. I didn't think it was possible, because I have always known that Jonathan and I have a very special relationship that was set apart, but we are now stronger than ever. I know that we can always rely not only on God, but can also rely on one another to help bring the other through whatever life throws us.
In saying that, let me also say that we, as a couple, are FAR from perfect and will never be perfect. We each have our traits that are not so wonderful, but I think it's the being NOT perfect that makes it wonderful. I think that God can pour His blessings on the most imperfect husband and wife as long as they seek Him together, always, in all that they do. He'll work out all the other stuff. And looking back over the semester, did we always do the right thing? NO. Did we always make the right decisions? Goodness NO. Did we always handle the situation and speak to one another as we should have? Probably not. But I can't help but smile when I look back on the memories and experiences we shared in the first 5 months of our marriage in such a historical, beautiful city as Charleston. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us. My only prayer is that, in the days to come, we strive to glorify Him each and every day in our words, actions, and relationship with one another.

On the swings, downtown Charleston 2008

So, November ended and we GLADLY welcomed in December. After getting back Sunday night, I am more than ready for the Christmas season. I, like most of you, am listening to the Christmas music 24/7 and cannot help but sing at the top of my lungs. I want to watch holiday classics, bake cookies, drink Starbucks, hot chocolate, sit by the fire, spend time with family and friends and finally relax (and spend time with) my husband. We only had 2 weeks left in our adorable Charleston home, but I couldn't help myself and first thing getting off work Monday, I had to go buy the necessary materials and make a wreath to put on the front door.
I cannot believe that at this point we only have 10 days in Charleston left. I'm SO sad, and will miss downtown Charleston living a whole lot, and it's been an amazing experience, but we're ready for the next adventure.

Us with our Christmas Wreath 2008

And speaking of that, this is going to be a BUSY month for us!!! We're packing it all up on Wednesday the 17th to head upsate for about 3 weeks, and then its holiday parties, a Christmas shower, an anniversary party, and spending every last minute we can with family and friends before we make the move to Europe for the next 5 months!!
There is so much to do to get ready, but bring on another amazing adventure for the Edens!!! We are going to miss the States and everyone SO very much, but 2nd to our wedding day, I have never been more excited and anticipated anything before in my life!!!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as they will be very much needed in the months to come!!! :) We appreciate it so much and feel so blessed by the love and support that we know we have from family and friends.

Until next time, arrivederci amori!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sickly, sickly, oh so sickly.....

Blahhhhhh. That's how I feel today.

I haven't felt this bad in a while. SO sore throat, hurts my ears when I swallow, runny nose, and a constant headache. Annnnnnnd, my tummy hurts too.
So, needless to say, I have spent the MAJORITY of this beautiful Sunday (which is now dark out) inside bundled up, doped up on ThermaFlu, in my bed. :(

At least Kate came up from Columbia for the 1st part of the weekend and we had a BLAST!!! :) Friday night the 2 of us and Lydz and Jordan went to the Low Country Fair and it was TOO much fun!!! :) And then Saturday, Kate, Lydia, and I had the best time trying to squeeze as much downtown Charleston fun in as we could before Kate had to leave around 4 to head back to Cola to babysit. We had an awesome breakfast outside at Kudu (an amazing coffee house up the street from the Edens' house), then we walked over to studio so they could see where Jonathan spends all of his waking hours (he had been there since 9 AM that morning). He gave them the tour of studio and the wood shop and we introduced them to all his classmates. Then we walked from there down to the marina and looked at all the fabulous boats, hoping someone would just let us have theirs!! :) Ha!!! Then on to Norm's for pizza and wings for lunch. Yummm-y. Then we had to head back to the house so that Kate could shower and leave for babysitting. :(
We must have walked a good 5 or so miles!! It was awesome and the perfect weather!!! It was beautiful in must have been at least 70 degrees!! least I was able to enjoy Saturday. And I had SO many things I wanted/needed to get done today before another work week begins. Oh well. I think to get fully feeling better I'll just stay right where I'm at.

Monday, November 3, 2008

6th Folder 6th Picture

Ok. I was tagged by the fabulous Jennifer Turner to do this, and it is really interesting to see what it turns out being!!! 

So, here it is.... (I'm having some technical difficulties with uploading images, which I think may have to do with my limit of total size/pictures I can add, so therefore it's really small)

Kate and Alice checking out the kitchen of our cabin just as we arrived for our 2nd Annual Girls Mountain Weekend.

We had just come in and unloaded the car completely of all of our stuff, and I think they were already planning some yummy meals for the weekend!!! GREAT times!!! :)

So, now I tag Rebekah Edens and Ashley Large!! Ya'll had better do it!!! And, no MUST post the 6th picture in the 6th folder of your MY PICTURES folder. No matter what the picture is!!! :) Have fun!!! 

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just to let you know....

Just wanted all of the blogging world to know that I have the BEST papa and mama in-law in the WORLD. 
I am so blessed and know that I take them for granted....they are wonderful to Jonathan and me and we wouldn't be where we are today without them. :) I am also pretty sure that my in-laws are WAY better than all of yours!! Hehe!! ;) 
They sent us a small package that we received in the mail today (PERFECT since it IS HALLOWEEN!!!) consisting of some of Jonathan's mail that he still receives there in Belton, and Sandra (because she's probably one of the most creative, thoughtful people I know) managed to sneak in a precious, sweeter than sweet card that made me cry when I read it (and also included some necessary goodies and not so necessary goodies....shame, shame on you two for sending us the latter....we don't want that from ya'll, but THANK YOU). 

So anyways, that's all I wanted ya'll to know for now. That, and..................................................................................

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you enjoy my most FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR as much as we're going to!!!!!! :) :) Stay safe and SPOOKtackular!!!! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will" -Otis Redding

***Before I begin, let me officially start by saying that I never use this blog as my own, personal platform (I see nothing wrong with that at all, I just never do it) but after having done much reflection over the past week, and more specifically tonight, I feel that in order to organize my thoughts, I really need to blog them.***

So, here goes....

Those lyrics have been sung by many men. Originally, Otis Redding, who I saw most fit to accredit them. Later sung by Sam Cooke, and most recently by Gavin DeGraw (with whom most of you might relate). These lyrics are absolutely PERFECT in summarizing the way I feel -no, strike that- my heart for the situation that our country is presently in. 

First and foremost, let it be known that throughout this entire election, I have in NO way shown my affection/hate, advocacy/adversary, or stance towards either candidate. If you're a part of the Facebook Era, young or old, you're quite aware of a way to proclaim YOU through such things as "Bumper Stickers" and "Flair." I have been sent (by fellow Facebook-ers) the aforementioned, both proclaiming Obama/McCain as well as denouncing Obama/McCain, but have simply ignored this and moved on. 
I WILL add, that in the very beginning, although having NEVER been "HIP, HIP HOORAY, YAY McCAIN" I did poorly choose to put effort into negating Obama....but quickly shut my mouth having known nothing about what either candidate stood for. Besides of course, what I chose to pick up on from other adults' conversations, not doing any research on the candidates myself. 
I backed up and tried to ignore the election that was inevitable. I simply did not make the effort to do the research or watch most of the debates, and merely continued to sit back quietly, listening to those around me share their thoughts. That is why I feel, for my own sanity, and for the importance of the upcoming election day, to finally get my thoughts out there. 

***Extensive internet and TV research that I've spent time doing over the past week goes into these reflections***

Here's what I got. 
My heart aches. 
Our country is not in a financial/economic crisis. It is not in an oil-supply related crisis. It is not in a tax related crisis.
It is in a state in which faith, prayer, and guidance are necessary to a country that once stood united under God and under His truths. We, as a nation, have lost it and cannot gain it back through any earthly man. I admire our current president for so many reasons and would say, I like George W (so many do not), but even a man as he couldn't have gotten our country where it's called to be and should be. NO man ever up for Commander in Chief of the United States will EVER save our great nation. Only God can do that. 

My heart is so heavy and so burdened by this election. 

I feel like I can't even form a sentence or make sense of this. 

Before I give you my stance on both candidates, let me say that I choose neither. HOWEVER, I know the importance of voting -not just in helping make a lasting decision in our country, but the simple freedom I am exercising in doing so- and therefore must "choose the lesser of two evils." I see good and bad in both, and if you strongly disagree with something, please remember to be nice in your comments. Because again, I stress that I am in no way pursuing you towards the vote of either candidate. I am simply sharing my thoughts because I need to get them out there. 

(-) too young
(-) naive about a nation that he feels is FILLED with good people when, unfortunately, it's just not anymore, relying on THIS to bring us back in many conditions to where we used to be 
(-) does not have a realistic economic plan -some people work very hard for their earnings and to get where they are- you can't simply just take that away
(+) has an eager attitude to better our country -which IS important, because he does have a clear view in mind of the direction he'd like to take the nation in the next 4 years if elected
(+) a very intelligent man, yes, I believe him to be very smart and he carries an overall positive attitude that the country is in a dire need for 
(+) is a family man, and has a visible, real relationship with his wife, and values her opinion, and this seems like such a tiny positive, when really, a very revealing one. 

(-) too old
(-) does not have a realistic tax plan, and has made it far too simple, when taxes will inevitably and unfortunately always exist and always be complex
(-) a bitter, old man, negative attitude, that can and WILL directly effect the state of our nation 
(+) knows the direction in which the Iraq war MUST go and realizes direct pull out would result in terrorism on American soil
(+) believes in breaking away from foreign countries in our dependence of oil, something that can, in turn, effect the economy
(+) believes in protecting the morals and values that follow suit with that of our forefathers 

Just a few points that stick out in my mind, but definitely not all of them. As you can see, again I say, it is a choice of the "lesser of two evils." 

Obama's claim to fame for his campaign slogan is, "Change. Vote for Change." To him, it's been all about "a change you can believe in." That is why I felt Mr. Redding's lyrics so fitting for how I felt. I don't know if Obama is right. I don't know if he has a change we can believe in. But, I DO know this. No matter the outcome, things ARE going to change. A change is gonna come. Yes it will. 
What kind of a change?? That, I am not sure of. 

Regardless, it doesn't matter WHO you vote for, please just VOTE. And, I also ask you (as I'm TELLING myself as well), PRAY. Spend time truly praying in the next couple of days, as we lead up to what I am sure will go down in history books as one of the most defining moments in our nation's history. Pray not that one candidate will win over the other, but pray for our country. Pray for our people as we all make this choice. Pray for our leaders. Pray that God will save us, as only He can. I urge you, beg you, pray. 
And no matter the outcome, remember: he who wins will be leader of OUR country. So please, even if you disagree with your nation's choice, respect him. And pray for him. Because we will need it. And so will he. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

Brrrr, baby brrr!!!

So.....apparently, whilst I was away in the upstate this weekend, fall and VERY cold weather arrived to Charleston!!! YAY!!! I'm talking, straight up hoodie wearing, see your breath in the mornings, wind blowing, give you chills kind of cold weather. 

***I've been wearing the same hoodie for 2 days straight now***

Well. You can imagine an OLDER home (as we have) with NO central heating and air can get bitterly, down to your bones cold. It has been colder IN our home than out. 
However, this is not a problem. Because....our home came stocked with 3 electrical space heaters (sadly though only 1 of the 3 work....which we discovered after putting them through trial runs in the kitchen to figure out exactly how they work). 
So, we've put the 1 working heater in our bedroom tonight, getting the room all warm and cozy for when we hit the hay, but eventually found that it kept tripping our breaker (about every 15 minutes). Problem??? No way!! Not for us....we just got out an extra cord strip to plug into the wall to then plug the heater into and more outages!!! :) I type this I am warm and cozy, snug as a bug in a rug in our bed with not a chill in a single bone in my body (HUGE difference from last night). I love our little heater sitting so nicely at the foot of our bed. And I am reminded of several things tonight:
1. I love our OLD, little Charleston home to pieces.
2. THIS is what being married is all about. Tripping breakers and all. The whole heater experience with Jonny was probably more fun to us than anyone ever having gone through a similar experience.
3. Being a newlywed and having next to nothing in such a historical city is, from what I can tell, forming some of the best memories and stories that Jonathan and I will one day share with our children and our grandchildren.
4. I am so blessed. And I love being married. And I am so thankful for my sweet, hard-working, loving, considerate, architectural husband. But I don't tell him nearly enough. 

With that being said.....goodnight. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Can you feel Fall?

I arrived to the upsate, specifically Pelzer, this evening to celebrate the sister's 30th (haha, jk jk ash) birthday with our parents. Drive was good, very uneventful, -unless you count watching/listening/being entertained by Robert and his undying devotion to pester his wife to pieces...TOO funny.....I haven't laughed that hard in a while- we had Rush's for dinner in the car while passing through Columbia, and arrived to Robinwood around 10 o'clock.

The most amazing things happened.

I turned into the back entrance of the neighborhood (coming from New Hope) although I almost always use the main entrance. We were stopping by to have a late snack with our aunt Nan and uncle Joe because we hadn't seen them in quite some time and they live on this entrance side. Well, although I shouldn't, but because I am so familiar with it, I always drive WAY too fast, especially through the hilly parts. If you've ever been in Robinwood, it's shaped like a U, and has a main hill on both that goes up and one that goes down. Well the one that goes down is on the side of where my aunt and uncle live.

And it's especially fun if you drive down it fast. Real fast. Well. Back to this amazing thing. I'm doing all my usual quirks as previously described, and as I hit the bottom of the hill I see it. Leaves. All sorts of leaves. Tons of them. Brown ones. Red ones. Orange ones. Yellow ones.

It was beautiful. The wind from my car blew them into the air like a child blowing dandelion seeds and each single leaf whirled all around the car falling gracefully back to the ground. It was a moment. Only a moment that can happen in fall, and more specifically, in the upstate of South Carolina (ie - NOT Charleston). I sighed a HUGE sigh, and simply said, "Ahhhh."
It happened once more while headed to our parents' house, driving far too fast on the other hill. Again, another "Ahhhh" worthy moment.

Another amazing thing. I got ready for bed with the bathroom window opened and felt -I remind you what can only be felt in the upstate of South Carolina- a cool, crisp air come through and fill the bathroom and my bedroom like a canopy of sheer happiness.

I stood there and just breathed it all in for a good minute or so.

Man. There ain't nothing else like it.
This weekend is going to be FALLishly good. I can just tell.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Visits and Fall Breaks :)

Hello :)

So....I know I didn't quite get those pictures posted....sorry. I'll get them up eventually. :)

A week between posts seems to be my normalcy....that's a good time frame I think.....don't you??? :)
In addition, I will say that I have really been trying to cut down on my internet usage. This was something that a VERY good friend of mine, Miss Jennifer Turner, inspired me to do through her post, What does discipline mean to you (whether she realizes it or not). Check it out. It's very encouraging, and it really has caused me to evaluate how much time I spend either checking email, on facebook, blogging, surfing the net, or just editing and playing with my pictures. I have been able to do really well so far, and I am beginning to see how much time it really can take up....if you allow it to do so.
And I've been using that time for things that actually need to get done. Overall, I'm very pleased so far. :)

Not much has been going on around the Edens' household lately.

As you probably remember, mama and daddy Edens were here to visit us for the weekend!!! :) We had the best time!!! Besides the DISGUSTING weather (it rained ALL w/end and it was SO windy....we tried to take some quality pictures of me and the hubby in beautiful downtown Charleston, but I'll be surprised if ANY of them look was a MESS!!) everything went really well. We ate a TON.....seriously. I don't know that I have ever eaten that much in one weekend!! We were STUFFED after EVERY meal!!! That's mainly what we Jestine's on Friday night, East Bay Crab Shack Saturday for lunch, Blue Rose Cafe for Saturday dinner, and Joe Pasta for Sunday dinner. We did (hopefully) walk all that off Saturday as we walked all through downtown and to the City Gallery at Waterfront Park to show off Jonathan's installation. That night we watched the original, The Birds, by Alfred Hitchcock which I had never seen before. It was very strange and creepy, but I enjoyed it a lot. Sunday we did manage to get our full little bellies over to Mt. P to hear Preacher Buster at E.Coop. He is so good! Jerry and Sandra both really enjoyed hearing him so we were glad. :) They didn't have a lot of time to hang out after lunch on Sunday and they headed home shortly after. We were sad to see them go because it was a thoroughly relaxed weekend and we had such a sweet time together!! AND, Sandra brought me a BEAUTIFUL fall wreath for the front door, but I think it's going to take some talking into with my hubby so we can put it up!! :) :)

Fall Break was nicely spent for me and Jonny. Sunday night we went to see Quarantine over on James Island, which I would NOT recommend....unless you have a man by your side so that you can hide your head throughout the movie. Don't ask Jonathan though...he loved it. Of course. :) It was very suspenseful, very gross, and very scary!!! However, we hadn't been to the movies in FOREVER -probably MONTHS ago- so it was a really nice date!!! :) Plus we each got a kids snack full of popcorn, a small drink, and gummies which I always enjoy. We had the best time!!
Monday was my favorite day though!! I have been CRAVING some sushi (LOVE, LOVE it) so we walked around downtown for a bit, then headed over to Sushi Hiro for lunch and had the Tempura Seafood and Crab and Philadelphia rolls. Mmmmm, yummy!! I am STILL craving it!!! Afterwards we walked around some more, then came home to chill for awhile before heading out that night to run some errands. The new Ben Folds CD came out and of course Jonny was about to burst to get it. So we headed to Best Buy to take care of that, then over to Wally World for the necessities (milk, light bulbs, etc.). Then, because my hubby LOVES me, he took me to Barnes and Noble and treated me to not only a Pumpkin Spice Frapp, but also the new Rosie Thomas CD!!! He is too good to me. :) We listened all the way home and then some!!

Tuesday was catch-up day. I'm telling ya, architecture NEVER ends....even on break!! I helped Jonny do some work later in the afternoon, but first we went to the college laundromat just down the street from home to take care of a TON load of laundry (judge not....I am GREAT at laundry, but we don't own a washer or dryer and this task can become difficult). He gave up 3 hours of his day to help me take care of this (which by myself would have taken about 8+ hours...c'mon ladies, you know!!) and we had 8 loads washing at one time!!! We spent a whole lot of quarters, but had a blast!! Who knew that going to the laundromat with your husband and doing laundry could be so much fun!??! That night I made us a DE-licious pot of salmon stew with all the fixings (you know...ketchup, cayenne pepper, saltines, bread and butter pickles) and we about popped. It was VERY good!!!

The rest of this week has been pretty uneventful....just working and taking care of things that need to be taken care of!! :) I don't have many pictures from fall break (we tried to just relax....I LOVE, LOVE to take pictures, but sometimes feel that it's an appendage to my I laid off for the first time ever) but I do have a couple I can share from the Edens' visit. :)

Hope your Thursday has been terrific......if it hasn't, do something to make it terrific RIGHT NOW!!! Even if it's just a great conversation with someone you love. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The days get away from me so quickly....

Oh my!!!
I'm so sorry!!!!
I'm tellin' ya......things have been SO busy around here lately......but GOOD, FUN busy!!!! :) :)

I can't believe, however, that it's been a good 3 weeks since I last posted!!! I hate that I let time get the best of me. :(

Alrighty then, this post will be a quick (yeah right....if you know me in the least, then you know that nothing I say OR type is ever "quick...." I am a woman of MANY words!!) debriefing to bring you up-to-date. Here it goes.....

2. We have been traveling. A lot. This past weekend was the first weekend that we were at home in Charleston since mid September! The first weekend trip was to see a very dear friend of ours, Miss Haley Busby (now Blake, YAY!!) get married to her precious fiancée (now husband, YAY!!) Brandon. Their wedding was GORGEOUS...I hope to post some pictures because the place was truly picture perfect and Haley was amazing. They chose to use fall colors and the weather could not have suited it all any better. We had an absolute wonderful time!! Congrats again to Mr. and Mrs. Blake!!!! :)
In this same weekend we actually left Charleston on a Friday evening around 6:30 and headed to Columbia to visit my BIC and bestest friend Kate. We met her and her awesome galpals as well as our AWESOME and long time friend Brad (who is somehow surviving his first semester of medical school without ANY sleep) out at 5 points for the Gavin DeGraw concert (also the same concert in which Travis Barker and DJ AM opened and later had their horrific crash as they left Columbia). We got some grub afterwards at a place called Salty Nuts which was interesting. Kate so graciously let Jonathan and I stay with her that night (NO RELATIONS Kate....we promise!! Ha!!!) so that all 3 of us could carpool to Haley's wedding the next day.
We left Cola Saturday morning in Jonathan's dad's itty bitty pick-up truck (which was a TON of fun considering how small and the fact that there were 3 of us....we can make anything a BLAST!!!) and dropped it off at the Edens' house to fit into a more comfortable seating arrangement for the rest of our trip up to Haley's wedding (another hour and a half to two hour drive up to Cullowhee, NC). However, because my mama and daddy-in-law are more incredible than I could ever give them credit for, they let us shower and get ready while there, and Sandra couldn't have us leave before having a true, fresh from the garden, home cooked meal!!! I mean, really, she whipped it up in less than half an hour....dessert too. She's unbelievable and it was DE-licious. :)
After the wedding, we headed back to Easley where we dropped Kate off by her parents and hung out a while and talked w/ Mr. Bill and Mrs. Sue. They are so great! Mr. Bill even let us borrow their bike rack so that we could bring our bikes back to Charleston!! If you'd like to see the wonderful Whitlocks head on over to my hubby's blog and check out the post The Whitlocks.
We then went to the Moore's and got there around 10 o'clock. We spent just a little while talking w/ Mama Moore -because she was still up- before heading to bed. The plan was to go to church the next morning, but after having spent almost the same amount of time IN a car as OUT, we overslept. We then had lunch w/ both sets of parents at Applebee's (a J and L Edens favorite), spent some time getting the bikes ready to go, met the Whitlocks to get Kate back, then headed back to Columbia and Charleston.
Needless to say, it was a GREAT w/end, but BUSY, on the move, and sped by far too quickly.

3. Speaking of those bikes that we brought back home on that bike rack from Mr. Bill....our new family motto is: "I ride my bike at night." If I've learned anything about Charleston living, it's that you can't live here and NOT have a bike!! It's the BEST (and ONLY) way to get around!!! We are loving every fast pedaling, back light flashing, gear changing, bum hurting moment. And we really do ride them mostly at night!! During the weekends we'll go out in the mornings, or we'll use them to get to destinations around downtown, but we do try and ride down King to the battery every night and back. I've got to say it's my absolute favorite thing to do with my husband. Man I love it.

4. Okay, so the following weekend we had yet, another wedding. Our good friend Josh Boltinhouse (aka BHouse) and Elizabeth were getting married in Rock Hill and Jonathan was a groomsman. We left Charleston this time on Thursday afternoon so that we could get to the hotel in time for Jonathan to do a "bachelor night" with Josh and the rest of the groomsmen. We booked the hotel from Thursday to Saturday and took part in all the fun and exciting wedding festivities the bride and groom had planned. Friday consisted of some shopping and lunching, Friday night was the rehearsal dinner which was by far the most fun I have EVER had....they had a DJ and we shook our boo-tay's for about 3 or so hours.....and Saturday was the BIG day!! Elizabeth was gorgeous, the wedding was SO sweet, and the reception food was awesome!!! All in all, we had a stellar time.
The wedding didn't start until 6 PM and since my parents had come into Charleston for the weekend (I had spent the week prior to all this traveling cleaning the house from TOP to BOTTOM to get it ready for was the first time they would be seeing it) we decided to drive back after the reception as opposed to staying another night in Rock Hill. Not a good idea, but a necessary one.
We left around 10:40 and drove and drove and drove, with Jonathan BARELY able to stay awake, before we FINALLY hit a rest area around midnight just on to 26. We decided to pull in and set our phone alarms for 1 AM, but didn't awake until 2 AM. Somehow we managed to stay awake and finish out the trip rolling into 132 Smith at 4 AM exactly. Talk about ridiculously TIRED. I don't even remember walking from the car to the house, but I do know we didn't bother to unload the car and went STRAIGHT to bed.

5. Family. We LOVE our families and we are HUGE family fans. So....we drove back Saturday night because my parents (and they brought my fabulous aunt Rita) were in town....we woke up WAY too early Sunday morning (8:30....that's right.....only about 4 hours of sleep) and finally unloaded the car and got ready for lunch with the Moore's and the Large's. We were also supposed to take "family" pictures (you know the drill....white tops, khaki bottoms, on the beach) per my mother's request, but Jonathan and I just could not get it together because we were SO tired!!
My parents got here and FINALLY got to see our place (which I was SO excited about) and they LOVED it!!! My mom especially loved my table top decorations on the kitchen table (which I KNEW she would....I get the decorating bug from her) and made over them!!!! I love that I know her so well. :) We again had lunch at Jestine's, just because it's that awesome. If you'll remember, I've posted about this Southern goodness before, and Ashley and I couldn't let our parents miss out on this amazing experience. After lunch we all came back to our place and played Rock Band for a bit before they had to head back to the upstate. :( I do have pictures though and it's hilarious!!!
Speaking of family, Jonathan's mom and dad are coming to visit us this weekend. They helped us when we first moved in, so they've seen the place, but when it was bare and not all fixed up. I am MORE than excited about their visit; getting to show off our freshly decorated home and all sorts of exciting things that I know we'll do while they're here!!!! I can't wait!!! :)

6. Speaking of all that showing off, I plan to post several pictures of our home. I sent an email out to friends and family almost 2 months ago promising these shortly after, and did not follow up!! If you've ever "made" and decorated a home with your significant other, you know that you DON'T move in and everything "just comes together." It definitely takes time, energy, and money to get your house to where you want it....especially with decorating. Since we don't have much time in our very first home :(, due to moving in December, we had to really work hard to make it all come together. And we finally achieved everything we wanted out of it about 2 weeks ago....while we were in the midst of traveling so much.....hince the reason for not having posted or emailed any pictures yet.
We LOVE this house and just about everyday find one of us saying how much we'll miss it when we have to move. It's very old and very little, but has so much character and Charleston heritage in it. It really is the most adorable, perfect house ever. :)

7. We have a friend who likes to hang out on our front porch and I have self named him Chas. He is the CUTEST kitten (besides our sweet Sissy of course) ever!!! He usually only comes around early in the morning or in the evenings, so, although he doesn't have a collar, I still think he belongs to someone. We have a lot of college kids on our street in and in our little complex area, and he has every sign that would mean he belongs to someone around here fitting that description. I do a very bad thing when he comes....I give him sandwich meat, aka-turkey. My husband was not so happy with me when he discovered this, but it hasn't had that "stray cat" affect on Chas, so, more proof that I think he already has a family. He does make for a good visitor though since we couldn't bring Sissy with us. :( I do have some pictures of Chas, so I'll share.

8. My car. I told you I would update you. So....a WHOLE lot of frustration. Long story short they had my car for over a month, would not return our phone calls when we called to check on it, we finally were able to go get it the Wednesday before we were leaving for Josh and Elizabeth's wedding only to find out that they hadn't fixed one whole side of the car (ridiculous, I know)!! We had to leave it, and we were FINALLY able to get it the Sunday when we got back. Whew. Oh did STILL have a headlight that didn't work. Oh well. I got my car back and that's all that matters. :)

9. As you know, Fall is here. And, if you'll remember from a previous post about Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino, I expressed to you not only my love for the aforementioned drink, but my tremendous heart for the season itself, Fall. It took it a while to get here -and hearing all of you upstater's brag about that smell and feel that you get from Fall that cannot even be explained through words was TORTURE- but it did reach Charleston!!! :) The leaves changing and falling doesn't really happen here, so I'm extremely sad about that (they just fall to the turning), but that crisp, cool air is running through my veins and I take as many deep breaths as possible as I walk outside everyday to take in every moment of Fall that I possibly can. I wish it were fall ALL year round. Really.
Lydz and I have planned a Halloween party for Halloween night, so hopefully that will fulfill some of my yearning, but nothing will compare to Jones' bonfire, tons of candy, Fall Festival at church, and salmon stew w/ the family at Jute's. I did manage to pick up a flyer from work today concerning a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and hay ride out on John's Island, so maybe we'll check that out. But nothing will beat Callaham's. :(
So, as you can see we're making the best of Fall and All Hallow's Eve in the low country. I've decorated the house with just a few simple decorations and candles (only because my husband won't let me go tacky everywhere) and we're watching all SORTS of old and cheesy horror movies OnDemand as often as possible. It's actually been really great and I've still got all those heart filled emotions that I get during this time of year. :) The holiday season is what YOU make of it, and I'm still as happy as a lark when my favorite time of year comes!!!
My Halloween/month of October is everyone else's Christmas/month of December. Seriously. People think I am CRAZY when I tell them Halloween is my favorite holiday....moreso than Christmas even. Really. I'm not evil or anything, I just like it the best. :)

Alright. I know. That was too long. And if you read it all, I'm impressed. And I hope you did, but would understand if you didn't. :) I promise next time I won't wait so long to write again!!! :) :)
Happy Fall, Ya'll!!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pictures from this past weekend.....

The front of the mansion from outside. I know. It's ridiculous. 

Our amazing chicken nachos we had for lunch on Saturday. 

                             All dressed up for the Gala!!

A romantic CELEBRATION dinner for 2!!! :)