Month: May 2013

The daily grind

They say that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  If that’s the case, then I am becoming very dull, indeed.  Ever since I came to Albany, it seems that all I’ve been doing has been work.  I’ve been working for my dad’s medical transport business, and I often feel as if I’m trying to do the work of 2 or 3 people all by my lonesome.  I’m doing scheduling, and billing, and filing, and handling the phone, and administrative stuff, and yada yada yada….oh, and on top of that, I’m also driving an average of 3-4 hours every single day.  It’s been so unbelievably exhausting…but hey, at least I can’t complain about being bored!
I have been able to do a few things outside of work.  I went to Matt and Hope’s piano recital – they have really progressed by leaps and bounds!  I was super impressed.  Also, my first weekend back was Mother’s Day weekend, so the whole family (including my grandmother) went down to Pensacola for the weekend.  The kids and I had some little gifts and cards for mom and Grammie, and we had a nice dinner together, and basically just enjoyed each other’s company.  I went with Dad and the kids to the naval aviation museum, which was really fascinating.  Seeing all of the different planes was cool enough, but we also got to go on a hands-on science-y tour that was part of the museum which was super interesting.  I really enjoyed it. 

On Sunday, we went to church with the Chatraws, our old paster and his wife from when we went to Cornerstone Church in Americus, a loooong time ago.  That was wonderful seeing and catching up with them….strange how little they’ve changed!  Josh made a comment as we were driving down there, saying something to the effect of, “I can just feel the stress melting away the farther we get from Albany.”  I couldn’t agree more, and I think it was exactly what our family needed.  Because it was right back to the grind when we got back Sunday night!  It’s times like these when I’m so very grateful for my friends and family who keep me grounded, and remind me of God’s faithfulness when I’m apt to forget it.

Finals Week Highlights

I’m done!  I have officially finished my first year of graduate school!  Let me tell you what, it was quite a ride!  But the last week or so or classes I didn’t really actually have much schoolwork to do – I’m happy to report that the mind-numbing amount of work I did before finals week finally paid off, and my finals week was quite relaxing.  So I made up for some lost time, doing all of the things that I had neglected to do throughout the course of the semester.  Here are some of the highlights:
I went camping with my dad the weekend before finals.  I think the two of us had two very different experiences.  For me, I had a blast – I really enjoy camping, but hadn’t been in years, so it was a nice change, and great spending some quality time with my dad.  But my dad’s perspective, however, was that there was a hole in the tent over his head.  Poor man.  It poured most of the night, and add to that the fact that he didn’t have a water-repellant sleeping bag, but rather one that absorbed all of that excess moisture in the air, and he had quite a rough night that evening.  We ended up waking up really early in the morning and just heading back – at least then he was dry, even if he wasn’t well-rested!
I also got to see a musical performance of The Mask of Zorro with my friend Amy.  To psych myself up for it, I watched the movie the night before, which was excellent.  But the musical just blew me away.  It had beautiful singing, and energetic dancing, and pithy humor, and sonorous Spanish, incredible costumes…it really had everything.  I was left breathless on more than one occasion.  I’m definitely getting the Georgia Tech student art pass next year!
My friends Jonathan and Jessica invited me to see a double feature at one of the last remaining drive-in movie theaters in the country.  We brought food and chairs and got there early to just talk and hang out – Jess and I did our nails, lol.  I had never been to a drive-in theater before, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even despite the threat of rain that drove us into our cars for a while.  But even then, they play the sound through a radio station, so we could still enjoy the movie just fine :).
Of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do some dancing, too.  I caught the last bit of the Thursday night dance after Zorro ended, and that was a lot of fun.  I almost didn’t go, but in the end I’m very glad that I did.  But even better than the dance on Thursday, was the workshop on Saturday.  Now, I had been to dance workshops before – they’re always good and I learn a lot, but there’s nothing really that unique about them.  This one, however, was different.  It was called “The Art of the Steal,” and was specifically tailored to teach people how to steal someone else’s partner in the middle of a dance without disrupting the flow of the music or the dancers.  So there was a lot of group partnering instead of pairs, and weird rotations, and all in all everyone just had a grand time.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and learned a heck of a lot.  
My last night in Atlanta, I went out to dinner with Jonathan and Jessica and some friends of theirs to celebrate his graduation from Tech.  The place we went to was called Buca di Beppo, and their trademark thing is that they take all of their guests through the kitchen before seating them – way cool!! Anyway, I got back to Albany just in time on Sunday to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday celebration with the family.  I was glad I made it back for that.  And now I’m in Albany for the summer!  For now, at least.  Who knows where I’ll be in a couple of weeks! 🙂

Old friends and new family

A few weeks ago, my family came up to Atlanta for a very special occasion.  A dear family friend of ours, a lady from our old church who we’ve known for years and years, was……you guessed it…..getting married!!  Seems to be popular these days, lol.  Tamara and I always had a special relationship.  When I was in middle school, I would always tell her that she was my “favorite adult.”  I think she thought I was joking, but I meant it in all seriousness.  On the other hand, I was one of the few kids who, in Tamara’s words, “didn’t scare her.”  I’m assuming that’s a compliment.  Hahaha.

Anyway, Tamara got married a little bit north of Atlanta, so my family came up and stayed with me, and then we all went up to the wedding together.  It was wonderful, but also soooooooo weird.  There were all of these people from my old church that I hadn’t seen in eons.  It was a blast from the past, for sure.  But I so enjoyed catching up with them.  I was really grateful that I got to go.  And of course, the wedding was lovely.  I’m sure it doesn’t come as a shock to hear that I caught the bouquet – again!  This is the fifth bouquet I’ve caught in the last year, and the fourth one in a row!  Really makes me question the validity of the assumption that whoever catches the bouquet will be the next one to get married….lol ;).

But anyway, back to the wedding…I was particularly impressed by the fact that Tamara made her own cake – and it was beautiful! I always love weddings….especially when I particularly love the people getting married! 😉  Plus, bonus points, Tamara has moved to the outskirts of Atlanta with her new husband, so I’m gonna get to see much more of her in the future!! 🙂

Tamara made this – isn’t it beautiful??

My baby brothers!!  Not so baby anymore….

I made Josh dance with me.  It was a hard-fought battle.  Lol

Spending time with my family while they were here for the wedding was also quite a treat.  It was a brief visit, but good.  We all camped out on the floor of my apartment – definitely a bonding experience! 🙂  And Chris and Julia got to come by briefly, along with their newest addition, a little kitten named Moose.  As you can see below, it seems that everyone has fallen in love with baby Moose.

This semester has been one of extremes.  Heartache and excitement, pain and wonder, stress and joy, despair and triumph.  But through it all, the Lord and the wonderful family and friends that He was given me have brought me through it all.  I can’t say that I’ve been strong throughout it all…but in our weaknesses He is strong, and God has certainly not failed me in that regard.  I’ll have one more update from school, and then I’ll be moving on to the next exciting chapter of my life!  I’m super excited to see what He teaches me :).