Reunited in Charlotte

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Two of my very best friends from college live in Charlotte, NC and I have never been, which is pretty crazy. I was beyond excited to finally visit the Queen City and play with Anna and Natalie - it had been 6 months since I last saw Anna and almost a year since I've seen Natalie.

I arrived Friday evening, and our first stop was the Charlotte Checkers game. They're a minor league hockey team, and I was shocked at how crowded it was. I'm pretty sure this was my first (semi) pro hockey game, and even though I'm not really into the sport we got to witness a pretty brutal fight - so that was fun!

After the game, we went to BlackFinn Saloon for dinner and drinks with some other friends.

Saturday morning we woke up, got brunch and then went shopping. Princess Natalie was a little worn out, and decided to sleep through some of our stops.

Natalie had to go to Shelby, NC for her brother's birthday dinner, so Anna and I continued to shop then came home for a nap where I got to watch CABLE TV! I have missed Bravo so much. After pulling ourselves together, we went to get a quick manicure and then grabbed dinner with Matt Melvin at Paco's Tacos. It was delish!

How amazing does the Firestarter look? I am a sucker for anything jalapeno-related, but my disgust for tequila overpowers my love for jalapenos. I'm sure if I drank tequila this would have been amazing.

After dinner, we met up with Natalie at Angry Ale's and Andrew Blair's, which are their go-to bars, and I was excited to finally get to partake. Warning: We took a lot of pictures last night, so get ready. And I'm not even including all of them.

Mel is the best bartender at Angry Ale's. And so famous.


And what's a Saturday night without a late-night trip to McDonald's? Here's our awesome cab driver, Gibril. Can't you tell he loved us?

It was seriously one of the best weekends, ever. We always have so much fun together, and I wish we all lived in the same city! Actually, that would probably be very dangerous. But still! Can't wait for our next rendezvous.

40 days & 40 nights

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, which I have participated in since I can remember. And as long as I can remember, I've always given up some type of food: candy, meat, fried foods, flamin' hot cheetos, snack foods, chips and salsa, etc. Adam never participates because he said that girls only do it to provide some will power so they can lose weight. Of course, when he first told me this I got super offended and told him that was not why I did it. But eventually I realized he was right (I hate don't like when he's right). Is there really anything we can do on earth that even comes close to what Jesus did? Nope.

So this year I decided to use Lent as an opportunity to try to change a habit I don't like about myself. I used to pride myself on never 'hating' anyone because I thought the word was just so final and harsh. However, since I started working I realized that 'hate' is now a main word in my vocabulary. I say it. A lot. And I hate don't like it.

From now until Easter I will be making a conscious effort to STOP using the word 'hate' forever! And so far it's SUPER hard.

Wish me luck!

Grandpa Blumenkamp's Funeral

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Disclaimer: I have had this blog drafted since we returned from St. Louis a week and a half ago. I really wanted to include some of the bible verses from the funeral, among other things, but now I can't remember. So here's what I can remember from the weekend we spent celebrating his life.

On Wednesday, February 8 we received the news that Adam's grandpa had passed away. We knew it was coming, but didn't know it would happen to fast. He hasn't been well for quite some time, and was ready to head home to Heaven. Adam was able to call and say goodbye to him the week before, which was very special.

We arrived in St. Louis that Saturday afternoon, and were able to spend the remainder of the day visiting with family. I wanted to help with dinner, so Debbie put me in charge of the salad (because who can honestly mess up a salad?). All I had to do was mix two types of lettuce, add Provel cheese (we are in St. Louis) and black olives. Leave it up to me to cut my finger open with the black olives. It wasn't a bad cut, but leave it to me to cut myself while making a salad.

While it was a sad occasion that the whole family was together, it was wonderful to see everyone. Grandma was surrounded by the people who love her and Grandpa the most. The visitation occurred after church on Sunday, and it was unreal how many people showed up to lend their support to Grandma and the rest of the family. The line was literally out the door for hours! It was so amazing to see how many lives he truly touched.

The funeral took place on Monday morning, and many of his grandchildren spoke or sang in his honor. Adam wrote something for the Reflection portion of the funeral service, and just about ripped everyone's heart out. It was so touching, and straight from the heart.

We attended the burial at Jackson Barracks National Cemetery, and it was so moving. I had never been to a military burial, and was surprised to see how much they do for every service man or woman when they pass. They played taps, performed a gun salute, and there were two Marines on hand to fold the flag and give it to Grandma. It really was so beautiful.

We will all miss him, but are glad he is out of pain and hanging out with the big guy upstairs. Prayers for Grandma would be much appreciated as she transitions to life without Grandpa (physically) around anymore.

We love you!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

(GACE =  Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators)

He can now teach math in the state of Georgia! This is so amazing for so many reasons, but mainly because now he can apply for math teaching jobs and (fingers crossed!) start teaching in the fall. As awesome as it is that he is currently a community baseball coach at Lassiter, he can now start pursuing his dream of becoming a high school teacher and baseball coach!

Adam has always been good at standardized testing (hello, 1250 SAT score), but he was pretty nervous about the GACE. Of course, he passed with flying colors, and it was such a relief to see that all of his studying paid off. I am so, so proud of him and so very excited for him.

I wish I had a picture of him running around, screaming and flailing his arms when he found out last night, but I was doing it, too. And Ruthie doesn't know how to work a camera, yet. So I will instead leave you with this picture of us at Meagan and Nathan's wedding, because we were kind of doing the same thing last night.

GO ADAM!!!!!

Super Bowl XLVI

Monday, February 6, 2012

Adam and I have been looking forward to this past weekend for months. We were throwing a Super Bowl party at our new place, and were really stoked to finally show off our new digs. And to top it all off, Matelyn came in town! 

Adam is in the middle of baseball tryouts, so he has been at the field until about 10pm everyday. I hate not seeing much of him at night, but he is really loving it which makes me super happy. Since I was all alone on Friday night, I made the trek down to Midtown to join Matelyn, Jared, Xavier and Lindsay for a drink a Tin Lizzy's.

I'm currently training for my first half marathon on April 22, and last week was my first official week of training. I polished off the week with a 4.2 mile run on Saturday and I was so proud of myself. I'm starting to think that maybe this half marathon won't actually kill me. Maybe.

The rest of Saturday was spent cleaning and prepping for the Super Bowl party, and then Mate and I headed over to the 'rents house for dinner and drinks. It's always a fun night with Karen and Matt, and Saturday was no exception. We had a delish dinner at Bistro VG and then had a nightcap (my dad's words, not mine) at Aspen's. Mate and I headed back over to our house to pick up Adam, and then we finished the night at The Place. A super sketchy bar right by our house with an average clientele age of about 55. BEST PEOPLE WATCHING.

Adam barely slept on Saturday night, because Sunday was his Christmas morning. He was ridiculously excited about this Super Bowl party which actually worked in my favor because he was more than willing to help me finish clean up and get ready. I think I watched about 2 minutes of the actual game, but had a great time catching up with friends.

My little brother would kill me if he knew I was going to post this picture, but it's just too adorable to pass up. He threw a Super Bowl party on Sunday, and asked this lovely little lady to prom during halftime.That delish cookie cake says "Will you go to prom with me?" SO CUTE.

It was another wonderful weekend with family and friends, and Adam and I continue to be beyond blessed with such amazing people in our lives.