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!!!!!