Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blogging Challenge - Day 6 - A Picture that Make Me Happy

It's too hard for me to pick one, so I'm going to share the four photos that encapsulate some big moments in my life over the past two years...

First comes marriage. I got married to my best friend Jason on December 20th, 2008. I am the luckiest girl ever to be married to such a Godly, fun-loving, and kind-hearted guy like Jason. I love every day that I get to spend with him.
  
Here's another pic of the day that makes me happy, since it includes the people closest to Jason and I - our families. 

 After marriage come graduation! I don't think I understood what I was undertaking at the beginning of college, but by the end, I was definitely proud and grateful for what I had accomplished and my parents who had made it possible for me to attend the University of Georgia! Here's a cool pic of me and some college friends at the arches.

After marriage and graduation comes... a much less attractive picture of Jason, my parents, and me in front of our house the day after we moved in. I have really loved having a home of our own, and making it ours. This pic represents the beginning of LOTs of DIY projects! :)
Until next time....

Blogging Challenge - Day 5 - My Siblings

Where to begin.... I have 4 amazing siblings + one-sibling-in-law, all of which I love a lot and think are the coolest...

I gotta start with Kristen, because she is the one I have known the longest, about 22 years now!
Kristen with her dog Stella
Kristen and me at my rehearsal dinner
I am so thankful to have had a sister like Kristen growing up. I have so many funny and memorable moments from our childhood that are shared with her alone. It is super fun to have a sister at all ages of life. When we were little, we played barbies, dolls, make-believe, dress-up, and everything else girlie together. Since I was the oldest, I thought I knew it all and loved to boss her around. Luckily she was a good sport about it.... most of the time. As we have grown up, we have been able to share lots more together. And the older I get, I realize that blood really is thicker than water, and my sister is one of the closest friends I will ever have. I look forward to lots more shared memories together!


A few years ago, I got the best present a girl could ever ask for, three new siblings!!!! The oldest is S, who is now 11 years old. 
S and I - 4th of July 2009

S and Jason - August 2010
S is a really cool sister who has brought qualities to our family that we never really had before. For one, she is a huge nature lover and animal lover. She also is really talented and arts and crafts. S has a very positive disposition and is fun to talk to. I have really enjoyed getting to see her grow up over the past few years into a beautiful young woman. 


Next comes L, who is now 7 years old. 
L on the family boat
L at the lake house 
L is the brother that I never had. He is one of the most kind people ever. He also loves to help out in whatever way he can. He has introduced our family to the crazy energy, clumsiness, and sweetness that is a little boy, and I love him for that. 

Last but not least in our family is S, who is now 6 years old. 
S striking a pose at the lake house
At S's dance recital

S is the new baby of the family, and is one of the most extroverted of our family members. She is the life of the party - or as my mom says "a party waiting to happen". She is very talkative and is always eager to strike up an activity or conversation. Just like L, she often has some very funny/amusing things to say about life, - part of the fun of having little kids in the fam. 

Here's a pic I like of one time when I painted their faces.... and they painted mine as well. 
Me and S and S hanging out on Kristen's (the photographers) birthday. 
Like I said in my last post, one of the perks of marrying Jason was getting new parents, and a new brother! Chris is Jason's older brother who is a designer in Houston, TX. He used to live in Atlanta so we definitely miss getting to see him more often. Luckily we are able to talk over the phone a lot and see each other at holidays. Chris is the one and only older sibling I have ever had! 
So that's all my siblings. Again, I am a very blessed girl!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blogging Challenge - Day 4 - My Parents

I'm already getting a little behind with my blogging challenge! Oh well. Today, the topic is my parents. I have pretty awesome parents.

My mom Karla grew up in the small town of Baytown, TX and went to Texas A&M where she majored in education and became a kindergarten teacher. During my first 7 years of life, we lived in Houston near her family, and made lots of memories together. Around grade school, she became a full-time mom and was always there when we needed her - whether to drive us to school, sports practice, or piano lessons, or to cook us a homemade meal. I have always been close to my mom. I think part of this is because we have very similar personalities- which often drive others in our family crazy. Some of the ways I am similar to her are: we both love to exercise (most of the time), we love to shop, we love to talk, we love to be busy/active.  There is never a dull moment around my mom.

My dad Eric grew up in Cincinnati, OH and moved to Houston, TX  - where he met my mom- for college at Rice University. He was one of the rare ones who knew what he wanted to major in from the beginning  - computer programming, and he has stuck with that profession ever since. He has always been really talented with technology, and because of that he has been my personal computer repair guy from birth. Unfortunately, none of his kids have followed in his footsteps with programming, although we still laugh about how he tried to teach me to program at the age of 5! Just like my mom, I have always known that my dad loves me unconditionally and that he has my best interests at heart.

I consider both of my parents close friends. I love hanging out with them, talking with them, doing stuff with them, and getting their advice about life. Now that I am an adult and out of the house, I realize all the things that they taught me and all the things that they provided for me. I am thankful that they taught me to love Jesus Christ at an early age, and taught me that following Him is the most important thing in life.

One thing I really admire about my parents is their parenting skills. I think they did a great job with balancing discipline, love, and instruction. I also admire that they adopted three kids while I was in college to start parenting all over again!

So, as if I wasn't already lucky enough for having these two in my life, I ALSO have great in-laws! Randy and Ruth Baareman are the new parents I inherited by marrying Jason.
Randy is a retired Air Force pilot and because of that, they are experts at moving and getting to know people in tons of new places. They have lived all over the country! They even provided packing boxes for Jason and I when we moved to Augusta! Although I met the Baareman's when they lived in Valdosta, GA, they now live in Starkville, MS. They live so close to Mississippi State University that you can see the stadium from their backyard!

Another cool fact about Randy and Ruth is that they are expert ballroom dancers. They even helped us choreograph our waltz for our wedding. I am super grateful to have such great in-laws who I also consider close friends. I know that we can look up to their marriage and Godly advice and that they will always be there for us.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blogging Challenge - Day 3 - Jason's 15 facts

So, Laura didn't want to write about me so she requested that I post 15 facts about myself.  So here are 15 unique and interesting facts about me in my inaugural blogging post.

 
  1. I love Jesus
  2. I like music
  3. I am a Physical Therapy student at Medical college of Georgia
  4. I have a problem turning anything into hand drums – this drives Laura crazy but because I love music there is usually some sort of melody, rhythm, song playing through my noggin that must be expressed.
  5. I really really really like making budget every month…it makes me happy
  6. I like exercising – not to the extent of training for a half marathon – but weight training exercises are cool because you can be creative and cardio is a must for a healthy heart.  Core training rocks!
  7. Fire = awesome.
  8. Along the same lines as fire, I’ve recently picked up pyrotechnics in the form of fireworks as a fun, colorful, loud, and entertaining evening activity/seasonal hobby.  I’m sure there will be more blog postings about my ventures and (hopefully not) failures.
  9. Dirty dishes are my nemesis…
  10. I really don’t like to wear shoes in the house.  Laura does.  Therefore my socks end up horribly dirty inside my house which is sometimes aggravating.  But Laura says her toes will get cold and she feels taller when she is wearing shoes.
  11. I really enjoy Pixar movies.  They are entertaining.
  12. I’m pretty much a giant nerd and love learning things…especially in science.  It’s pretty cool to figure out how the world around us operates
  13. Kid humor is my kind of humor
  14. I tend to think we are too much attached to technology (blogging was Laura’s idea) and that it consumes too much of our time.  I recently fasted from TV, facebook, internet, phone, etc for a week and it was amazing how much time I had to do things.  Extra time to read, study the Bible, pray, and accomplish items on my ever expanding honey-do list suddenly appeared out of nowhere.  So I think everyone should take that challenge.  It gave me great perspective on what matters in life.
  15. I’m kind of a big picture guy who likes to enjoy the present but a guy who also does not neglect the future nor forgets the past (although sometimes I drive Laura crazy because of my lack of planning.)

Blogging Challenge - Day 2 - Meaning Behind Blog Name

I think part of what held me back from blogging was my lack of a blog name. I just had no idea what to name my blog! Finally one day, I decided I really want to start one, so I elicited the help of Jason (who is much more creative than me) to help me come up with a cool idea.

We actually sat in our office for like an hour brainstorming cool names. We eventually came up with the name "Iphones and E-Flat Major" since Jason said I am a little obsessed with technology, and he is a little obsessed with music. So that was our name for like a day.

Then, I was cleaning out my purse and found a list of "cool band names" that Jason randomly thinks of from time to time (and I write down the good ones....). One of the cool names was "The Epitome of Us". So we thought that might be a cool blog name- since we aren't starting a band anytime soon....The name is pretty self-explanatory I guess, no hidden meaning, other than a blog by us, about us.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blogging Challenge - Day 1 - 15 Interesting Facts

For Day 1 - Here's a recent pic of me and my mom celebrating my 25th birthday in Augusta.

15 Interesting Facts:
  1. I used to be a really messy person. I was messy throughout my childhood, especially in High School and continued being messy in college. However, ever since I got married, something changed and I decided I wanted to be a neat freak - go figure. I still think Jason is quite confused by this. 
  2. I played the piano for about 12 years. I was pretty serious about it and practiced about 1 hour a day during high school. I even considered majoring in music. Now, I hardly play at all even though I have a beautiful piano in our house. Luckily Jason makes much use out of it!
  3. I really enjoy learning more about managing personal finances. In fact, about 80% of the time, I listen to Dave Ramsey podcasts in my car. I actually like being in charge of paying the bills, keeping track of our budget, etc. And to top it off, I used to not be very disciplined in this area. I didn't keep a checkbook until I got married. 
  4. I really like to bake stuff, but really am not all that into cooking. I'll make brownies, cakes, cheesecakes, ice cream, bread all day long - but ask me to make chicken and veggies, and I don't exactly know where to start. 
  5. One of my hobbies is real estate investing. Jason and I helped my dad get a rental house last fall, and rehabbed it for about 3 months. I have enjoyed learning about real estate through this process and would really love to get a few rental properties of my own. This is one of my big goals in life. 
  6. I was born in Houston, TX, lived there for 7 years with a lot of my mom's side of the family. Then we moved to Seattle and lived there for 7 years while my dad worked at Microsoft. Then I moved to Atlanta when I was 14 and my family has been there ever since. This is the reason I have no southern accent. 
  7. I used to write in journals and diaries all the time. Then I took about a10 year break, but am trying to revive this through my blog - since it is sooo much fun to look back and read about what you were doing back in the day...
  8. I really love business and marketing - which is why I have been in marketing roles ever since graduating from UGA in 2009. I am so thankful to God that he has been faithful to provide me with jobs during this economy, especially jobs that I have enjoyed. 
  9. I have really bad excema on my hands pretty much year round, although it does get a lot worse during the winter. One time at my first job at Johnny Rockets, one of my customers asked me if I owed a punching bag since my hands were so red! lol 
  10. I bit my fingernails until I was about 23 years old! It took wanting my nails to look good at our wedding for me to finally stop! 
  11. I really love DIY projects, whether it is home decorating, painting, rehabbing a rental house, or outdoor work. This is how I first got turned onto blogs. I have gotten a lot of ideas for our house by reading about other projects by fellow DIYers. 
  12. I have 3 adopted younger siblings: S (11), L(7), and S(6). My parents got them when I was a senior in college. I love them all so much, and am so thankful for them! It is such a blessing to see them grow up.
  13. I am currently training for a half-marathon. This is longest race I have ever trained for. So here's hoping that I don't get shin splints before race day on Thanksgiving in Atlanta. 
  14. On random occasions, I really enjoy yard work and love the results that you can see from weeding, mowing, and trimming bushes! 
  15. I have had the privilege to visit some foreign countries like Spain, Poland, China, Italy, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and St. Lucia. 
  16. I love to shop, while finding a great deal - although this probably isn't that interesting, it is true!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge

I have seen several people doing this lately, so I decided to join in on the fun! If you blog, you should consider doing it, too! 

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love (I'm changing this to "Your spouse")

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your siblings

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite tv shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-Favorite city

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-a picture 


Day 1 coming tomorrow!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What a Weekend!

We started off our weekend preparing for my parents, my sister Kristen, and her BF Matthew to come visit us in Augusta for my 25th birthday (I know, I'm a quarter-of-a-century-old, scary huh?). I managed to convince Jason to let me buy a fan for the guest bedroom (since I've been wanting to buy a fan that matched the ones in the other rooms before Lowe's ran out of them...). So anyways, we spent out Friday night cleaning, hanging up a ceiling fan, killing lots of tiny spiders (for some reason they run rampant in our house), and decorating for fall.

Here's some pics of my man hard at work:



 The next morning, Jason and I walked in the Augusta Miracle Mile with other MAU employees as we supported Breast Cancer Awareness! Here's a pic of Angela McCord, our HR manager and Brooke Hixon, our HR/Benefits Coordinator with me at the walk! - see our lovely pink MAU shirts?


Next, we rushed home to meet up with our guests, who arrived around lunchtime. Once, I saw the awesome white-chocolate cake from A Piece of Cake bakery, I knew I couldn't wait to dig in, so we had cake and opened presents after lunch.
Mom placing the 25 candles, Jason ready with the lighter
 Kristen (the real photographer) and Matthew
Gotta have a pic with mom on your b-day :)

I had an awesome birthday and got a ton of great presents that I have been wanting for awhile. Among them, a Garmin running watch (still trying to figure out how this thing works!), speakers for our desktop computer, running clothes and socks, Banana Republic clothes, and two that show my age - a Pyrex storage set and a leaf-blower (well that just shows my strange obsession for clean decks and driveways, but that's okay right?)

Then, we all went to downtown Augusta to do some shopping and riverwalk walking, which was also nice and relaxing. The weather was perfect! In Augusta, they turn all the fountains downtown pink (not orange, although that's how it looks in some of the photos) to celebrate October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we decided to have a few photo-ops at the fountain.



We also went to Bonefish Grill that night to celebrate and had a great time. The food was great, we'll definitely be going back there soon! Of course, like usual, I forgot my camera, so here are some photos from my parents' camera.





Finally, I tested out my new running equipment (heart monitor and running watch) on a run tonight. According to my schedule, I should be running about 10 right now in preparation for my half-marathon in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day. However, I got a bit of a late start and it ended up being just over 6.5 miles. I'll try to keep you all posted with how my training continues. Stay tuned!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

GOOOO DAWGS!!!!!

So, by total surprise, I was given 4 tickets and a parking pass to this week's UGA vs. Tenn. football game! I got the tickets from work since I have been helping out with a book publishing project.


Anyways, we invited our friends James and Marybeth to go with us and had a blast! Plus, to make it even better, the Dawgs won after 4 losses! We had great seats in the shade and I got to hear the band from the front side for the first time ever!

We also got to see some old college friends while we were there. We caught Teresa and Eric tailgating by the law building on North Campus and met their adorable dog. We also got to see Darryl and Brenda. Yay for seeing old friends!!!!
Planning to post pics soon! I realized that 80% of the time, I forget to take photos of things I really want to remember. I'm hoping that blogging will make me want to take more photos so I can post them. BTW, I know my posts are really short. I'm just getting used to this blogging thing!

Running and S'mores with Friends!

This week, on Thursday, I did my longest training run yet- 6.2 miles! I had tons of energy and strangely enough, I felt better than I had during my shorter run earlier in the week! Maybe I do have hope after all for running a full 13 miles!

On Friday night, we had a low-key night with Michael and Angelyn, friends from UGA who also live here in Augusta. We went to Cracker Barrel, and all enjoyed the home cookin' and delicious biscuits. Then, we came home and had s'mores Jason-style, with Reese's Peanut Butter cups instead of chocolate bars. It felt great outside in the cool fall air!







If you can't tell by this photo, Jason LOVES fire!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm about to turn 25

So, I have decided that when I turn 25 - which is in only about 2 weeks - on Oct. 16th, I will start blogging. I have always held off on blogging because I do some blogging as my job. I do marketing for MAU in Augusta, GA.

However, I am officially without excuse because I am an avid blog reader. I figured that if I was going to read about everyone else's advice, recipes, home decor tricks, and other stuff, I should share about my life as well.

So here goes, and see ya again on Oct. 16th!

Laura

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