Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sweet Friendships

So I went back to see the last time that I was in March. Six months isn't terrible, right? Let's be honest, I started this blog knowing I wasn't about to be the person who makes money off their blog!

So for those of you who don't know, here is a quick update on the Harrelsons. My last day as the Youth Director in Aliceville, AL was August 8. It was very bittersweet. There are so many people we will miss, our "kids", as we like to call them, the most. Over a month after leaving, it still feels strange not going to Pep Rallys and Football games (which they are dominating in this year) or preparing lessons about the gospel.

We had about a month off before John started work in Birmingham, so we went to visit Lan, Jennifer, and Aaron in Houston,TX. This was my first time to Houston, and in case you were wondering, it's a long drive. We went through 2 books on tape! (I now can appreciate how frequently y'all make it back for football games.) We had a great time exploring Houston, shopping, going to the brewery, celebrating birthdays, and just getting to see what their lives are like in Houston!

Friday night we met up with Aaron and Ally. It was so good to finally meet her! (They are now engaged--Congrats!)It felt like old times and was so refreshing to all be together again. The Lord certainly brings his blessings in a community of friends.

We went to St. Arnold brewery on Saturday afternoon. I am definitely not a beer conosour, but there were several of those there! Every Saturday, this brewery opens it's doors for a few hours. People bring their lunch, cards, etc. and camp out for the afternoon and drink beer. You pay for 3 tokens and get to taste all of their different beers. We enjoyed hanging out, talking to the couple next to us who just happened to work there and were very informative, and playing Phase 10 (though I am sad we never actually finished our game.)

 The old roomies, minus Ben.

 Jennifer and me

 Happy birthday to me! This is the first year that we have spent my birthday together!

 Jennifer and Lan. Such a great picture of the two of them!
 We toured Houston's oldest brewery!

Later that night, we met up with Aaron and several of his friends to celebrate his birthday. We ate at a delicious pizza joint and went out for a bit. I think we are getting old because it was loud, crowded, and we didn't stay long!

Birthday buddies!

Lan had a business trip that he had to go on and since it was on the way home for us, John hopped in and went with him! Jennifer and I thought our time was better spent in Houston watching Downton Abbey and going to the Outlet stores--so fun!

After our visit to Houston, we spent some time in Jackson, TN with my family. It was the second time I had been home this calendar year. It was good to relax and spend some time with the family. We packed up the trailer (huge covered trailer we never thought we could fill up), headed to Aliceville to collect our belongings there, stopped by Cottondale to pick up a few things (at this point the trailer was almost overflowing), and unloaded in Birmingham. Everything went SO smoothly thanks to our families and my youth kids who helped.

A few weeks later, my good friend, Jessica Frank came to visit from Ohio. We became good friends when we roomed together in Colorado while we both attended Focus on the Family Leaderiship Institute. I am so glad that we have remained such good friends even though we hardly ever get to see each other!

Davenport's Pizza Palace

 We went up to the Vulcan where John helped give both of us a history lesson on Birmingham!

 When you climb the Vulcan...yes, we went up all of those stairs instead of taking the elevator--that's one way to help work off some of that pizza--you see a beautiful view downtown Birmingham.

We helped pick out several of the hospitals that Jess could come work for. You know you want to live in the south where you are free to add "y'all" to your vocabulary!

The next morning, John's dad and brother-in-law came over to work on the shed that we are building in our backyard. Jess, Laine (John's sister), Mary Paige (Laine's baby), and I went to Pepper's Place Farmers Market. It's such a neat event with live music, art work, garden inspirations, and of course wonderful fresh vegetables!

Pepper's Place Farmer's Market

For those of you who don't know Jess, she LOVES flowers. We looked back through the pictures from Colorado and you could always tell the pictures that Jess took because they were mostly of wildflowers! So, knowing that, we had to go to the Botanical Gardens. (Plus it's free that that's always a reason to go!)

 This spider was SO big! I hope I never find one in my house! I thought it's markings and web were pretty unique though. I can appreciate it from a distance!

We enjoyed relaxing, cooking, watching The Big Bang Theory way too much, and catching up on life! She is such a sweet blessing from the Lord!

So...when I sat down, I meant to do an update on the house because I have had several people ask me to blog about it. Well, I hate to disappoint, but it will have to be another post. I keep saying that I want to wait until I have everything just perfect. I have come to realize that it's always going to be a work in progress, so I my next blog post I will do on the house!