Monday, December 29, 2008

365 Days

Brendan and I celebrate our one-year anniversary today, which is surreal. I can't believe it's been a year. My life before I married Brendan seems a million miles away, but it still feels like we haven't been married that long. Exactly one year ago, I was sitting in the hair salon getting my hair and make-up done with my bridesmaids, so ready to get to the church to see Brendan. The next morning, we flew to Disney World for a fantastic honeymoon. Brendan and I were talking the other day about our plans for New Year's Eve this year, and we agreed that nothing we'd do would be as exciting as New Year's Eve last year.

I'll probably be way too sentimental today, but I don't care. While it feels good to be sentimental about events like your wedding, I know it's not everything. It's so tempting to hold every memory of our marriage up to our wedding day to see how they compare. While one needs to cherish those special events, it's important to look to the future and make more memories, which is what I look forward to doing year after year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I finished my second-to-last semester of grad school, and that's a wonderful feeling! I turned in my 111 grades yesterday afternoon, and now I'm home free; I'm still riding that end-of-the-semester, everything's-turned-in high. I still have to work on schoolwork over the break, though. I need to compile my booklist for Comps and start reading so I can be ahead of my reading schedule when the spring semester begins.

Since Brendan is working right up until Christmas Eve, and I'll run out of things to do pretty quickly in Abilene, I'm making a short trip to San Antonio on Thursday and coming back on Monday. Leaving Brendan for four days won't be fun, but it'll be good to see my parents and take care of some last minute Christmas shopping at a real mall.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Home for the Holidays


Here's a picture of our first-ever Christmas tree! The ornaments are a little sparse, but that's because I'm too cheap to buy any new ones. I figure we'll collect more ornaments over the years, which will make decorating the tree even more special.

I know my updates have been sporadic lately, but end-of-semester papers have currently taken over my life. I think I can hear an evil laugh from them in the background somewhere... Thankfully everything will be finished and turned in very soon, and I can finally enjoy a well-deserved rest.

We'll be in Abilene for most of my break from school (except for two quick trips to Sugar Land and San Antonio to have Christmas with family), since Brendan's work has mandatory black-out days for the holidays (lasting from Thanksgiving to New Year's) where no one can use their vacation time or take off. Don't feel sorry for me, though. While Brendan's at work I plan on sleeping in, watching copious amounts of CSI, and finally reading books that I chose to read. Ahhhh. I also intend to visit some out-of-town friends, and hang out with my parents in San Antonio for a few days.

Let the countdown begin!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Brendan and I bought our first Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago, and it's standing proudly and beautifully -- albeit shortly, since it's only four feet tall -- in the corner of our little duplex. Its only adornments are a tiny, red tree skirt, a silver star tree topper, and one little ornament that's currently situated right in the middle. The tree's current dearth of ornaments has occurred because I'm too cheap to buy any new ones. My parents are giving me my childhood ornaments from their tree when we see them over Thanksgiving, though, so the lone ornament will soon have some friends.

The tree's singular ornament is one Brendan and I brought home from our honeymoon almost a year ago. We wanted to buy a Christmas ornament to remember our honeymoon by, and we found this adorable one at a Christmas shop in Downtown Disney. I love it, and I was so excited to finally remove it from its box and gingerly place in on the tree's sturdiest branch.

It feels weird to be celebrating our first Christmas when we've been married for almost a year, and it will be fun to have one more "first" before we hit the one-year mark. But no matter how long we've been married, placing that Minnie and Micky ornament on the tree will be just as special as it was the first time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How Long

Obama was just declared the winner of the general election, and I'm so proud of him and our country. However, part of me is deeply sad tonight; I'm reminded that for one more election cycle our nation won't have a female president.

I hope someday we'll break that highest glass ceiling.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby GIRL Backett

It turns out that my baby intuition was wrong, but that's okay!

Today, Brendan and I found out that Tom and Natalie are having a girl! We don't know her name yet, but we're both beyond excited. This whole baby thing is becoming more and more real every time we find out something new about this little person.

Another wonderful thing is that I'm going to be this little girl's only aunt. Tom's brother isn't married, so she'll have two uncles and only one aunt. Ha! Take that, Brendan.

I still haven't decided what I want her to call me instead of "Aunt Erin", but I've got about five months to figure it out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cake Wrecks

Pretty much everyone who knows me well is aware of my undying love for cake. Well, I've recently discovered the most amazing blog called Cake Wrecks. The site showcases professional cakes that have gone horribly, hilariously wrong. Check it out; it'll brighten your day, and you'll never look at a store-bought cake the same way again.

One of the delightful Cake Wrecks

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Teaching Tales

Several of my friends who are teachers have posted funny blogs about their students, so I thought I'd do the same, even though my kiddos are college students.

On Friday, the kids (I call them "kids," even though they're 18) were in an unusually good mood. I teach at 1:00 p.m. MWF, so by the end of the week they're pretty dead; they had just turned in a major paper the class before, so they were still riding that "My paper is all turned in!" high. I must give a brief bit of back story before I continue... Most days I'm in the classroom by 12:45 so I can set up my lesson and meet the kids as they wander in, and everyday I lock the door at 1:00 so I won't have kids ambling in at five-after.

However, I was running late on Friday. I planned to facilitate an in-class activity with a DVD clip, and I was borrowing the DVD from another professor who teaches at noon. So, in the process of meeting her after her class and procuring the DVD, I arrived at my classroom at 12:58. I didn't realize how late I was, and as soon as I walked into the room all 17 of my students were staring me in the face. I smiled and apologized for being late, and one of my students jokingly replied, "We were about to lock the door on you!" I kindly thanked them for their vigilance and began teaching. It's nice to know that my kids noticed -- and cared -- when I wasn't there.

In the middle of my lesson, one student interrupted me by asking, "Ms. Voss, are you sick?" I answered yes and told them that I have an icky sinus infection. "Oh, Ms. Voss," a number of students replied, "you need to go home and get some rest so you can feel better! It's alright with us if you cancel class today... anything we can do to help you get well." I smiled and thanked them for their "kindness," and continued on with my lesson.

Those little moments when my students show that they care about me as their teacher -- even if they have weird ways of showing it -- make it all worth it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Count 'Em... Six

I got some exciting news this morning when I went for my normal dentist check-up: I have six cavities. Yaaay! Going in I knew that I probably had one cavity, but certainly not six. I'm kind of embarrassed by it, too. I mean, I'm 23! It's not like I go around eating candy all day like a small child and never taking care of my teeth. The dentist told me I had pretty teeth, though, so that softened the blow a bit.

While the dentist was informing me of the cavity count, I seriously flashed back to a seven-year-old Erin leaned back in that wonky chair with the dentist telling me not to eat too much sugar and to always brush my teeth.

At least I'm getting everything taken care of in two deeply-numbed visits, and then this cavity nightmare will be over.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

State of the Union

The Birdcage airs on cable every Saturday.

If you close your eyes, Sarah Palin sounds exactly like Frances McDormand's character in Fargo.

Every time you watch 60 Minutes, you learn about a horrible new way you can die.

You know who always has a good haircut? Jennifer Aniston.

You can never go wrong with To Kill a Mockingbird.

This is how a three-year-old will tell a knock-knock joke:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
I've got a bug in my pocket!

You can wear flip-flops every day of the winter in San Antonio.

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups.

It's a bad idea to get on the monorail going the opposite direction from your terminal at the DFW airport when you're trying to reach your gate.

No one is too old to enjoy Disney World.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nine Months and Counting

Brendan and I will celebrate nine months of marriage tomorrow. Wow. That's a long time; we're only three months shy of the one-year mark. Before I tied the knot, all my married friends told me that once we were married I'd love Brendan more than ever. And that's very true; I never thought I could be this close to another person. I also learned that you won't really discover those little eccentricities about someone (say, that he is incapable of not leaving his shoes in the middle of the living room floor) until you've lived with him.

But the most important lesson marriage has taught me is how to be unselfish. If Brendan wants to eat at a restaurant that I don't particularly like, I let it go because I know it will make him happy. I'm the messy one in the relationship (big surprise), but I'll intentionally try to keep the house clutter-free because it's important to him.

And Brendan does the same things for me. He knows that I'm an obsessive recycler, and he'll go out of his way to recycle something even when its inconvenient. He'll suggest going to McKay's for lunch because he knows how much I love their cupcakes.

I can be a pretty selfish person, but I'm willing to take one for the team because I'd rather Brendan be happy instead of me. That's the magic of marriage.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Baby Brackett

I'm going to be an aunt! Brendan's sister Natalie and her husband Tom are expecting their first child in April, and I am beyond excited. Brendan and I found out at the beginning of August, but we weren't technically allowed to tell anyone until Natalie was in her second trimester. I've waited for so long to tell everyone, and I finally got to put the news up on Facebook for the whole world to see.

The baby will be the first niece/nephew for both Brendan and me. I haven't even met this little person, but I already love it so much. I can't wait to start buying baby clothes and toys. And the best part is, I get to play with a snugly little baby! I'm not too crazy about the name "Aunt Erin," though; the words kind of run together and sound like "Anne Taryn." Maybe I'll be the cool aunt and come up with an original nickname.

I predict that the baby will be a boy. It's just a feeling.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Four Weeks Down

I'm about four weeks into the new school year, and things are going well. Teaching my 111 class is fun, and the kids are great for the most part, but the semester has also been very stressful. It's difficult balancing being a teacher with being a student, and preparing for one "job" can sometimes take a backseat to the other.

My little 111 students turned in their very first paper yesterday, and no one turned it in late! I was so proud of them. I think that they think I'm a little scatterbrained and too excited about English (which is probably true of me in real life), but they know that I want them to succeed and that I won't be a pushover. They're a really sweet class, and I don't have any troublemakers. (I hope I haven't jinxed myself by writing that...)

While it can be stressful planning my 111 class and keeping up with my work as a grad student, I do enjoy teaching. Every now and then I'll have a rough day teaching where I'll think to myself, "I don't know what I'm doing!" But most of the time, I'm glad I'm a teacher.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm a Dork

That, of course, is no secret. But the most recent reason I am a dork is because yesterday I bought an autumn wreath for our front door. It may be a little early for fall decorations, and the weather in Abilene certainly does not feel autumnal, but Target is already selling Halloween candy and decorations, so I guess that makes it okay -- or at least that's how I rationalized it.

I really like it. I think it communicates to our neighbors, "Hey, we have a wreath on our door; we're friendly people. And we like to decorate a little too much for holidays."

Ain't it purty?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

111, Here I Come

I teach my first English 111 class tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. Eeek! My syllabus is printed and ready to go. I have my lesson planned for the first day. I'm about as nervous as I am excited, which is a lot. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Breaking Up is Hard To Do

This week, I took a major step in my personal life. I broke up with my purse. It was large and boxy, made of soft, colorful canvas. I bought it last summer, and it lasted me through many milestones in my life. It had become like an appendage and was by my side through my engagement, my first year of grad school, and almost eight months of marriage. It's in most of our honeymoon pictures, a small stripe of green and white stretched across my body. It was cavernous and could easily fit my camera or a small shopping bag, in addition to it's everyday contents.

But, it was time to move on. Eventually the dirt began to show, and I wasn't proud of it anymore; it began to feel kind of ugly. Even my mother, the least-critical person in the world, would say every time she saw me, "Honey, when are you going to replace that purse?"

Goodbye, old friend.
Enjoy your stay at the retirement home (a.k.a. Goodwill).

I was at Target the other day, and I decided that this was the day to move on. So, I hesitantly walked down the aisles of purses until I found one that I could get used to. It's smaller, less summer-y and, dare I say, more mature(?). I'm still getting used to the new one. I keep forgetting that I have to unbutton the top (unlike my old one), and I'll mindlessly try to jam my hand in there when the flap is closed, without success. Its belly is much smaller, too, but that's probably a good thing; I really didn't need to haul a knapsack around with me.

Mama's got a brand new bag.

When you get a new purse, it's a little hard to let go of the old one because of all the memories it symbolizes. This new purse will carry me through my second(!) year of grad school, my one-year anniversary, graduation, and my first real job. I'm ready to start that journey.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Family Affair

We had a whirlwind weekend with lots of family in town. On Friday Brendan's mom, aunt, and uncle drove to Abilene for a long weekend. Brendan's cousin Victor just graduated with his Ph.D and was hired to work at ACU in the fall, so we threw a party for him on Friday night. The rest of the weekend was filled with shopping, a trip to Chuck. E. Cheese (wow, I had forgotten how bad their pizza is), lots and lots of food, and copious amounts of the Olympics. We got to show off our little duplex, too, so that was nice. They left on Tuesday morning; I do love seeing family, but it was an exhausting weekend. Victor and his wife and kids are wonderful, so it will be nice to have some family in town.

School starts a week from Monday, and I think I'm ready. It's weird to think that I'm about to start my last year as a student (minus that Ph.D I've been thinking about), and my last year at ACU. I'm so ready to finish, so ready not to have 20-page papers due, but I will miss this place. All the second-year English grad students (woah... I'm a second-year grad student...) have formed this tight-knit group of wonderful, slightly-nerdy people trying to wade through grad school together. We've been through a lot and shared some wonderful experiences, and I'll be sad to leave them.

Today is my last day at work, which is a little sad. I really enjoyed working at the Camps office this summer; it was the perfect summer job, and I worked with some great people. I'm using next week to prepare for classes and to plan my English 111 class. That's right, I'm teaching a college class in the fall; all the second-year grad students are encouraged to teach a freshman Composition class. Why did I sign up to do this? I want to be a teacher more than anything, but I admit I'm pretty terrified. This is college, people! I go through periods where I'm really excited about my class, but then I'll get nervous. Oh, well. Student teaching equipped me with valuable experience, and the seniors I taught during student teaching are pretty much at the same cognitive level as my new freshmen. We'll see how the semester goes.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wonderful Wedding Weekend

Brendan and I spent the weekend in Ohio for Clay and Heather's wedding, and it was so wonderful. We flew out late Thursday morning and arrived in time for dinner, so we (my parents, grandmothers, aunt and uncle, cousins, Brendan, and I) ate at this really interesting and delicious Mennonite restaurant. Almost everything on the menu was homemade, and it sure tasted like it. We saw quite a few Amish and Mennonite families while we were there, and I think they're fascinating. Central Ohio houses one of the largest Amish/Mennonite communities in the country; there's even a "buggy lane" on the road so that Amish families can drive their horse-and-buggy around town.

My beautiful mama and me

Hangin' out at the rehearsal dinner

On Friday afternoon, we helped set up for the rehearsal dinner and the reception. The rehearsal dinner later that evening was one of the funnest ones I've ever been to. Heather's parents own a coffee shop in Coshocton, and it was the perfect place for a rehearsal dinner. They shut down the coffee house for the evening, and dinner was very small and intimate. After dinner, we busted out the karaoke. My cousin Brittany and I tore it up with our renditions of "Goodbye Earl" and "Wannabe." It was so hilarious seeing my family members belt out karaoke.

Spice Girls, Utley-style

Brendan rocking the house

Good looks run in the family.

The next day, I was up bright and early for my hair appointment and left Brendan sleeping in the hotel room. Guys always have it so easy with weddings. The girls have to get up extra-early to assemble their hair, make-up, dresses, etc., while the guys simply have to put on a tux and head out the door. Seriously.

The ceremony was lovely, and my dad performed the service. He also married Brendan and me, so it was very special for our family. I was a groom's attendant and stood on the boys' side, which was really cool. I had never been in a wedding before, so that was a neat experience to have. It was interesting, though, because since I stood on Clay's side during the ceremony I was in the pictures with all the groomsmen. I definitely stood out!

The reception was awesome. It was a big dinner-and-dancing reception, which I love. I even managed to drag Brendan onto the dance floor for a few songs. Brendan's not a big dancer, and his philosophy of dancing is to intentionally act stupid rather than try to dance and fail, so there was lots of "white boy" dancing from Brendan.

Chillin' at the reception - I'm wearing clothes, I promise!

Beautiful bride

Dancing with bro

It was weird seeing a wedding ring on my brother's finger. I'm glad that he's so happy.

We flew back home on Sunday afternoon, and I was a little sad to leave. I had so much fun, and it felt so good to spend time with my family.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


On Thursday morning, Brendan and I will fly to Coshocton, Ohio, for Clay and Heather's wedding! I can't believe it's almost here. They got engaged a few days before Brendan and I were married, so it feels unreal that their wedding is only days away. (That means Brendan and I have been married for seven months! Weird.) I just want to get to Ohio. I'm so excited about the weekend that I want to start packing, but I'm forcing myself to wait one more day before piling everything into my suitcase. I can't wait to see my family and start enjoying all the wedding festivities. We're having karaoke at the rehearsal dinner, so I've been thinking long and hard about what I want to sing.

The other day, I was in David's Bridal trying to find some earrings for my bridesmaid dress. (Actually, it's a groom's attendant dress; I'm standing on Clay's side, which I think is wonderful.) I walked into the store and felt a little bit smothered by all the veils and guest books and puffy dresses. Brendan was with me, and on the way out I told him, "I am so glad that I'm done with being engaged."

I was talking to Clay the other day, asking him about the wedding, and he told me this story that he'd heard from an older woman at his church. Her daughter, engaged and very stressed out about wedding planning, said, "Mom, I thought being engaged was supposed to be fun!" The mom replied, "No dear, being engaged is awful, but after the wedding life is so wonderful." Yep, that sounds about right.

The smitten kittens

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Corners Always Get You

Today, I smacked my foot on the corner of the entertainment center while doing cartwheels in the living room. For anyone who knows me well, this is not surprising.

I was watching TV before Brendan came home from work, and two little girls were doing cartwheels in their backyard. I thought to myself, "I used to be able to do cartwheels right and left when I was a kid. I wonder if I can still do one."

It turns out that I can still do a cartwheel... just not in the middle of the living room.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Needle Is Never a Good Sign

I'm lying flat on my back thanks to a blindly-painful shot given to me at the doctor's office this evening. Thank you, sinus infection. You give such wonderful gifts.

On a lighter note, it's T-minus 48 hours until the Fat Tuesday Reunion! On Thursday, five of my closest college friends and I will head to Lake Travis for a much-needed girls' weekend. It's been about a year since our diaspora after college, and I'm so ready to spend some time with these girls. I have no doubt that the weekend will involve laughter, gossip, and lots and lots of food. The latter is a given; I mean, just look at our name.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Looking for Alaska

No, I'm not talking the about the state, but rather John Green's fantastic novel Looking for Alaska. The book came highly recommended by many of my friends, and since I love Young Adult lit I put it on my reading list. It thoroughly exceeded my expectations. Looking for Alaska is heartbreaking, yet so beautiful and such a pleasure to read. Even if you're not a fan of YA lit, you need to read this book because it perfectly captures the feelings of real love and loss.

In other news, I'm going to San Antonio for the weekend! I'll be getting my bridesmaid dress altered, doing some shopping with mom, and catching up with the fam. Unfortunately Brendan won't be able to come because tomorrow is iDay at the AT&T Store with the launch of the new iPhone, but he'll stay super-busy with work all weekend.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I'm a Big Kid Now

For the first time in my life, I'm beginning to feel like an adult. I graduated from college, started grad school, got married, and am financially independent. I can't sleep in past 9:30 in the morning, and riding those scary roller coasters at Six Flags make me feel as if I'm going to black out.

So, I've tried to channel all that adult-ness into my morning cereal. I've always been a cereal girl; I turn my nose up at bagels, Poptarts, and any other breakfast food that I can't pour milk on and eat with a spoon. And don't even think about convincing me to go without breakfast - do you want to see me pass out before 10:30?

Over the last several months, I've tried to wean my palate off the sugary kiddie cereals that are so near and dear to my heart and move on to more substantial adult cereals: Kashi, Raisin Bran, Fiber One. However, my heart just isn't in it. (Have you ever tried Fiber One? "Twigs" have no place in one's cereal, even if they are fiber-y.) So, it's back to the old tried and true - Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs. I figure all that peanut butter makes it a little healthier than Cocoa Pebbles, right? Right?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Book Withdrawals

I just finished my first pleasure-reading book of the summer, Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. I've been gnawing on this book since the middle of May, and now that I've finished it I'm experiencing book withdrawals. Maybe it's the English nerd in me, but whenever I finish a book in which I have become emotionally invested, and have become so familiar with the characters that I feel as if I know them, I mourn the book just a tiny bit when I come to the end. I think to myself, "There has to be more. It can't be over!" Only meaningful books do this to me, though. I always felt this way after I finished a Harry Potter book.

And what book, you ask, will I move on to next? John Green's Looking for Alaska. As much as I loved Into Thin Air, as much as I didn't want the book to end, it was pretty depressing. I need some fiction to perk me up.

You know you want to read it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Love Story

Brendan and I will celebrate our six-month wedding anniversary at the end of June, and that's just crazy. I can't believe the time has gone by so fast. Part of me feels like we just tied the knot a couple of months ago, but I can't seem to remember what my life was like before he was my husband, as if he was always part of it. You know what I mean?

So, with all of this six-month nostalgia in the air, I've been thinking about love stories, the way people find each other and decide to stay together. Some couples have sweeping, romantic, movie-quality love stories, while others meet and marry with less fanfare. Brendan and I are one of the fanfare-free couples. Our courtship was fairly simple: my cousin introduced us, Brendan asked me to his fraternity's formal, and pretty soon we fell in love.

I've always been a little bit jealous of couples who have really great love stories. Some friends of ours are eloping in Hawaii this weekend for a beach-front wedding. Wow. Another couple we know started dating when they were in the same summer school class, and they were married before the fall semester began. My brother Clay and his fiance Heather have an extraordinary love story, too. They met at a conference in Austin when he was living in Tucson and she was in Seattle. They exchanged phone numbers and dated long-distance for about a year before he moved up to Washington. They're getting married in August.

Our love story may never make a good romantic-comedy, but I've still found my happy ending.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Baby Girl Utley

My cousin Shane and his wife Stacy delivered their first child this evening, a girl named Laedin Grace Utley. She is the first baby to be born out of all the cousins, so we're all very excited. Stacy is recovering well, and Miss Laeden is healthy and beautiful. When I was younger, I used to think that delivering babies was no big deal, but now I'm thankful when babies and mothers have healthy, normal births without complications.

I can't wait to see her! Brendan and I will be heading to Weatherford in a few weeks to visit, and there's nothing like snuggling with a tiny baby.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Few Weeks in the Life of Erin

Lately, nothing in my life has been so exciting that I felt the need to blog about it. Summer officially started, so I guess that's something. Listed below are some (semi-)exciting happenings in the life of Erin.

1. I started my summer job. It's an office job, so there's lots of typing and fielding phone calls and filing involved, nothing too stressful, which is nice a change after a crazy semester. I work with some fun people, too, and they make the day go by quicker. And Kayla works across campus, so it's been fun running into her periodically.

2. David Cook is the new American Idol! Yesss.

3. Brendan is moving up to cell phones at work. He's been selling internet for almost a year, and last week he found out that he'll be transitioning to selling cell phones. He's been wanting to move into cell phones for a while now, and I'm really proud of him. He'll be in the Metroplex for training during the first three weeks of June, so I'll be visiting him on the weekends - anything to get out of Abilene. It'll get pretty boring around the duplex during the weekdays, but I'll pass the time by going to bed early (a guilty pleasure of mine), watching lots of CSI, and catching up on some Into Thin Air (which is fantastic!).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So Keep on Comin', these Lines on the Road

As I survey the ground for ants,
Looking for a place to sit and read,
I'm reminded of the streets of my hometown
And how they're much like this concrete that's warm beneath my feet.

And how I'm all wrapped up in my mother's face,
With a touch of my father just up around the eyes,
And the sound of my brother's laugh,
But more wrapped up in what binds our ever-distant lives.

But if I must go,
Things I trust will be better off without me.
But I don't want to know,
'Cause life is better off a mystery.

I love these lyrics. They just seem to fit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Idolatry, Part III

It's finally come down to this: a David vs. David showdown. Wahoo! I've been waiting for this for months now.

I'm officially endorsing David Cook, just in case you were wondering.

Friday, May 9, 2008


I'm officially one-half of a master (of English)! School is finished for the semester, and I start my summer job bright and early on Monday. I don't know what to do with myself now that school is out. I honestly can't remember the last time I had absolutely nothing to do. Sure, there were times this semester that I had free time because I chose to procrastinate, but this time my days are a blank slate. It's a weird feeling.

This school year has gone even better than I imagined. When I started grad school last semester, I wasn't sure what to expect. During undergrad, I had been residing over in English Education Land for so long that I hadn't taken a real English class in three semesters, and I wondered if I could make it. I also worried about making new friends. Fat Tuesday had disbanded, and three members of the group moved to different corners of Texas. Even though two other girls stayed in Abilene, I knew things wouldn't be the same. My first week of grad school was terrifying, and the initial transition was pretty rough. But I finally hit my stride mid-semester, and it's been a wonderful (albeit sometimes stressful) ride. I am so blessed to have made so many wonderful new friends. I successfully made it through two semesters of grad school, and I'm so proud of myself and my scholarship. Only two semesters to go!

Wanna know one of the best parts of my new-found freedom? Now I get to read what I want to read! First on the list: Into Thin Air by John Krakauer.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Brendan proposed one year ago today, and it was a day that began a wonderful journey in our lives together. I remember how giddy I was on the night he proposed; it all felt so surreal. I had an honest-to-goodness engagement ring on my hand! At work the next day I squealed, "I'm engaged!" to every person I ran into. I could finally buy wedding magazines without feeling like a loser, and it was both exciting and scary to realize that I had eight months to plan a wedding.

I can't believe it's already been a year. This year has been more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.

So, in honor of our engagement-iversary, here's the story of how Brendan proposed.

By the end of April 2007, I had a good feeling the ring was coming; I just didn't know when. Brendan and I met my parents in Dallas the weekend before we got engaged, and on the drive back to Abilene, Brendan asked if we could stop by his sister's house in Fort Worth to "pick up some pants" that his mom had sent him. "Um, whatever," I thought. "He's got to be up to something." We stopped to pick up the pants, and I had an inkling he had the ring. But I still had no idea when the proposal would come.

At ACU as an undergrad, I was part of a six-person group called Fat Tuesday. The six of us were best friends, and we always shared meals together on Tuesday nights. On Tuesday, May 1, the girls suggested we go to Monk's coffee shop after dinner. I wasn’t too crazy about going, but I knew Brendan was working late that night, so I decided to go so I could kill some time before he got off. We were there for quite a while, just talking and having girl time. Suddenly, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around, and Brendan was standing right beside me. For a split-second I thought, “What’s he doing here? He knew I was having girl time tonight!” Then I saw the flowers in his hand, and he asked me to take a walk with him. By then, I knew what was coming. It was so surreal walking out of the coffee shop knowing I was about to be proposed to.

Brendan led me by the hand to a beautiful waterfall in downtown Abilene. He got down on one knee, told me he loved me, and asked me to marry him. When we got back to the coffee shop, my sweet friends had all signed an engagement card for us. It turns out that Brendan was in cahoots with them the whole time. Together they planned going to Monk's after dinner so Brendan could surprise me after he got off work. The fact that he involved my friends made the proposal so much more special.

Then, Brendan drove me back to his house, which was decked out with rose petals and candlelight. He had even bought a cake, which he knows is my very favorite dessert. The night was so wonderful, and it was even more special because Brendan took me completely by surprise.

Out on the town for our four-month wedding anniversary

Monday, April 28, 2008

Good Times Never Seemed So Good

Tomorrow's gonna be a great day. Do you know why?

1. Brendan and I celebrate our four-month wedding anniversary.
2. It's Neil Diamond night on American Idol.

It can't get any better than that.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh, the Joys of Coffee

I've been thinking a lot about student teaching lately. Exactly one year ago this week I tearfully finished up my last day at a local high school, and I'm meeting up with my cooperating teacher in a few days to catch up. I can't wait. As I was reminiscing, I remembered this rather hilarious incident from my student teaching days that I just had to share.

My cooperating teacher and I had a standing appointment with the coffee pot in the teacher's workroom everyday before school. We'd pour our coffee (which I usually needed after waking up at 6:00 a.m.), she'd check her box, and we'd head to first period.

One morning she was running late and didn't have time to run her morning errands, so she asked me to check her box, retrieve the day's copies, and bring her some coffee while she taught class. So, I dutifully visited the copy room, grabbed the mail from her box, and ventured to the coffee machine.

My hands were full with mail and copies, and I attempted to balance everything under my arms as I poured the coffee into a Styrofoam cup. I say "attempted" for a reason. Somewhere in the process, I poured an entire carafe of coffee onto the floor while aiming for that little cup. The liquid showed dark brown against the blue carpet and quickly formed a stain the size of a large beach ball. I immediately looked to my left and right, and thankfully I was the only person in the workroom. I was slightly panicking at this point, thinking through the best way to explain how exactly I managed to pour a full pitcher of coffee on the floor, when something came to me.

I peeked into the secretary's office next door and quietly said, "Um, someone spilled some coffee on the floor in the workroom. I just wanted to let you know."

"Oh dear!" she replied. "Thank you for telling me. We'll get someone right on that."

The stain remained on the floor for the rest of the semester.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Next Two Weeks

School is raining down on me. Seriously.

I have about ten days to finish and turn in a total of 35 pages in papers, and create and present a ten-minute PowerPoint show. My only consolation is that it'll all be over after those ten horrid days.

It's times like these that a fast-forward button on life would be pretty darn useful.

Friday, April 18, 2008

9 Things You May Not Know About Me

1. In middle school, I was in band for a brief period. I wanted so badly to play the flute, because all the cool girls played flute, but I got stuck with the baritone horn, thanks to my band instructor; he said my big lips prevented me from playing it. I was crushed, but I ending up being darn good on the baritone.

2. I love poodles. My family has always had poodles, and they're such wonderful pets. Call me an old lady, but I really want to have one when Brendan and I get a dog.

3. I have really small toenails. I mean, freakishly-small toenails. Whenever I get a pedicure, the nail person always gives me a funny look and laughs when she first sees my feet.

4. The children's book Love You Forever makes me cry every single time.

5. In high school I played a Puerto Rican in West Side Story, if you can believe that. They only cast me for the role because I could sing, so I was Consuelo, the blond-haired, green-eyed Puerto Rican.

6. I love yoga. I started practicing it in college when I took a summer course, and I've loved it ever since. Some day, I'd love to be a licensed yoga teacher and teach some classes part-time.

7. I judge people by their poor grammar. Not in a mean way, but it really bugs me when people mess up things like "I" and "me" or "who" and "whom;" it's like nails on a chalk board. I guess that's why I became an English major.

8. I'm a forensic science nerd. I'm obsessed with shows like CSI and Medical Detectives, and as weird as it sounds I'm fascinated by stuff like that. I could never be a forensic scientist in real life, though, because the tedium of cataloging a crime scene and the like would drive me crazy; I'm a very macro person and can't handle small, detail-oriented tasks.

9. I'm obsessed with cake. Really, I am. Some people crave chips and salsa or ice cream; I crave cake. It's my very favorite dessert. Naturally, our wedding cake was very important to me. The cake is one of the best parts of a wedding, and I can't stand it when I wait in line at a reception, only to receive a lousy piece of cake. So, we visited about six places for wedding cake until we finally found the one that was up to my standards. And it was perfect!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Idolatry, Part II

Pardon my brief digression into American Idol territory...

A few notes from watching Idol last night:

David Cook = And he gets extra points in my book for singing my favorite Mariah song.

Kristy Lee Cook = Gone. Golly, I hope so.

David Archuleta = The new American Idol, according to my calculations. And I think I'm okay with that. You can conquer the world with the power of millions of squealing teenage girls behind you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

I got caught in an utter deluge today.

If you've ever lived in (or been remotely near) West Texas, you know how unpredictable and ridiculous the weather is. Outside your window, the blue sky will be dotted with wispy white clouds, letting through soft, dappled sunlight. And then, ten minutes later, the sky will redden with dust and the wind will thrash about, producing what looks like the Second Coming. I experienced something very similar as I left class today.

As I walked out of the Ad building, I noticed through the window that it was raining. "No biggie," I thought, "I can get a little wet since I don't have anywhere to be." It was as if the rain heard me, because I opened the door and walked into a complete downpour. The cold, splashy run to my car was miserable, and after I had triumphantly shut the car door I could still feel driplets of water running down my back. What's worse, right as I turned into the driveway the rain completely stopped, and the sun was out again. Sigh.

I walked in the door literally soaked to the skin. Brendan gave me a funny look because outside it was sunny and dry, but I looked like a wet dog. My hair was as wet as if I had just stepped out of the shower, and my clothes stuck to me like pancake syrup on skin. Inky rivulets ran down my cheeks as my mascara bled. I think my purse is still drying out.

Thanks, Abilene. That's one thing I won't miss when I leave you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Three things I learned from tonight's American Idol:

1. When Dolly Parton is in a room, everyone else looks sort of drab.

2. Ryan Seacrest can make a sobbing, heartbroken contestant smile and sing her (or his) heart out.

3. America's a sucker for a pretty girl who sings country music (for better, or for worse).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Summer, Summer, Summertime

Summer is on the horizon, and I'm so ready for a break. In about 1.5 months I'll be one-half of a Master (of English), which means only one more year left of school! In honor of the impending holiday, I'm counting down the top-five things I'm looking forward to this summer.

1. Abilene in the summertime - I love Abilene in the summer months, and this will be my third summer to spend in town. During the school year, Abilene is filled with thousands of college students flitting around. Most of them clear out in the summer, and the town magically becomes calm and laid-back.

2. Cajun Cones - Anyone who's lived in Abilene knows how awesome these snow cones are. These are not your typical snow cones, mind you. They are hand-made in a tiny shack in the United parking lot, and offer such flavors as Fuzzy Navel, Old-Fashioned Ice Cream, and I Don't Know But It's Good. (And they always give you extra syrup if you ask, which earns points in my book.) More than anything, though, summer to me means Cajun Cones with Brendan. It's our place during the summer, usually in conjunction with the park, to goof off and spend time together.

3. My summer job - I'm working a full-time office job on campus this summer, which will be a welcome change of pace from the erratic hours, classes, and homework of this semester. I'm so excited that I can leave work at work at not have to bring anything home.

4. Clay and Heather's wedding - My big brother is getting married on
August 2! Heather is a wonderful woman who'll make an excellent addition to our family. I'm a groom's attendant, meaning I'll stand on Clay's side. I think that's pretty awesome.

5. Our first married vacation - "But wait," you protest, "what about your honeymoon!" Technically our honeymoon was our first trip together, but anyone who's actually been on a honeymoon knows that it's not your typical vacation. When you leave for your honeymoon you tell yourself, "This must be the most amazing vacation ever! We must do as much as we can so we can have the best time ever, and take as many pictures as humanly possible so we can remember it as the best vacation ever!!"

Consequently our honeymoon, while wonderful, was busy. At Disney World I kept thinking, "We have to keep moving and doing things, because I have to make memories!" For our next vacation, I'm looking forward to sleeping in, not having a schedule, and just enjoying my husband.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Family Mooch Week: A Look Back

Brendan and I had a wonderful Spring Break with our families! We left early on Monday morning for Sugar Land and spent the day bumming around town with his parents and doing a little shopping. I had wedding credit left to spend and thoroughly enjoyed bringing home bag-fuls of stuff without spending a penny. We hung out with our good friends Landon and Aja all day on Tuesday, and on Wednesday we took it easy around the house. Just so you know, I have no pictures of our stay in Sugar Land because I just plain forgot to take any. But I do have some of San Antonio. Speaking of...

We arrived in San Antonio around lunchtime on Thursday. I did a little shopping with my mom, and we hung out with my parents that night. On Friday we went to the Witte Museum downtown and saw this really cool -- but very creepy -- exhibit called Our Body: The Universe Within. It's basically a knock-off of Body Worlds (if you've heard of that), and it showed human bodies that have been plastinated and posed to reveal the intricacies of the human body -- muscles, nerves, and all. It was pretty intense, but overall I enjoyed it. Saturday we visited the Zoo, which was wonderful. I hadn't been to the San Antonio Zoo since high school, and it was so much fun going back with Brendan. My grandmother came down for a lovely Easter Sunday, and we headed back that night. Overall, it was a very relaxing and fun trip.

Sprinkles cupcakes! If you've never had a Sprinkles cupcake, you are missing out on one of the joys of life. When visiting my old roommate Stephanie last month we went to the Sprinkles cupcake bakery in Dallas, and that cupcake changed my life. Seriously. They only have a handful of locations in the entire country, but I found their cupcake mix in Williams-Sonoma and made them in San Antonio. Mine were almost as good as the real thing. Let me tell you about the icing, so you can really understand these cupcakes. The recipe calls for two sticks of butter and about four cups of powdered sugar. Wow.

This is my puppy dog, Abby! Brendan and I aren't allowed to have a dog at out current place, so it's always fun and entertaining to have her around when we're home. Playing with her makes me realize how much I miss having a dog.

Doesn't he make a beautiful butterfly? This was taken at the Zoo.

Yes, that is a bird on my head. At the Zoo, we visited an aviary with live birds flitting around, and you can feed them nectar in little Dixie cups. One decided to perch right on my head for about two minutes.

Our friends Brandi and P.A. got married on Friday, so we trekked downtown for their beautiful wedding. This was our first wedding to attend since getting married ourselves, and weddings mean so much more now. As I watched Brandi walk down the aisle, I was reminded of the emotions I felt on my own wedding day, and it brought everything back. I remember how excited I was to walk down the aisle to Brendan; he was all I could see. Weddings are more special now because I remember how much I loved Brendan on that day, and how I love him even more now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

An Open Letter to Chocolate upon the Conclusion of Lent

Dearest Chocolate,

It's been so very long. I must admit, there were times during your absence that I wondered if we could ever rekindle our relationship. But the wait is over, and I have you back in my hands once again. You must have questioned my affection for you when I declared that I couldn't see you for forty long days, but it was because of my deep love for you that I had to let you go. But I promise from this day forward to make you daily a part of my life.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Days Are Here Again

Good news! Brendan's recovery has gone very smoothly. He felt well enough to go back to work yesterday, so Family Mooch Week is back on track! We're leaving tomorrow morning for Sugar Land, and I'm really looking forward to getting out of Abilene and visiting our families.

I've already confessed my penchant for estate/garage sale shopping, and I just have to brag about my latest finds. Brendan and I have needed new lamps since we moved in, but retail-priced ones are ridiculously expensive, even at discount stores. I've been making do with an old one from my dorm days, but poor Brendan didn't have one and has been mooching off the light from my lamp during bedtime reading. Our church put on a giant garage sale this weekend, so I woke up very early on Friday to get my hands on some discount lamps, and found these beauties for a total of $7. The lampshades that came with them were heinous, so Brendan and I made a trip to Target to replace them. Here are the results!

My lamp! Brendan picked out the lamp shade; he's so stylish.

And here we have Brendan's lamp. I think it looks very Parisian.

So, funny story about the lamps... we took the lamp bases to Target so we could pick out just the right shades. The two bases were in my cart, which I was wielding down the shampoo aisle, when a woman stopped me and asked, "Where did you get those lamps!" I feebly replied, "Umm, at a garage sale..." She looked mildly amused and walked away. I must admit, I felt like a loser at that moment, but in hindsight I should have triumphantly bragged about my finds and responded, "But I got them for $7!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

There's Nothing Like a Drugged-Up Husband

Brendan's getting his wisdom teeth taken out tomorrow morning at 10:30, so if you feel like it please send happy thoughts and prayers our way. He's pretty nervous about it, and although I love my husband like crazy, I can't say I'm excited about playing nurse for a moaning grown man for the next few days. Oh, and just for your amusement, I'll post some chipmunky pictures of Brendan soon! Aren't I a good little wife? :)

One last thing... I'm an unashamed American Idol watcher, and I am not happy about tonight's elimination. Kristy Lee Cook must go home now!

Our two month-iversary dinner at Olive Garden

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Family Mooch Week

My Spring Break begins next week, and I really need it; I'm very ready for some time off from all the monotony of weekly readings and papers. We originally planned on Brendan taking the entire week off for Family Mooch Week (as I've dubbed it) and spending several days with each set of parents. But unfortunately (for Brendan), he's having his wisdom teeth out on Thursday, so an abbreviated Family Mooch Week starts on Wednesday! We're leaving that morning for Sugar Land and heading to San Antonio on Friday. I'm excited about our little adventure!

Also, I'm really looking forward to spending Easter with my parents. I've made pilgrimages to San Antonio for Easter every spring since my first year of college, and my visit has sort of become a tradition. Every year, my mom and I shop ourselves to exhaustion for new spring clothes at La Cantera and North Star Mall. Easter Baskets, courtesy of the Easter Bunny (a.k.a. my mom), "magically" appear by the fireplace when I awaken on Sunday morning, with Mom chirping, "Erin, the Easter Bunny came!" And I gorge at Sunday lunch on whatever vice I happened to give up for Lent (This year it's chocolate. Pray for my waste-line once Lent is over). I'm glad Brendan can share in these family traditions.
And I've already warned him about the Easter Baskets.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

All That Jazz

Brendan and I are heading to Fort Worth this weekend to see the musical Chicago! His sweet sister Natalie and brother-in-law Tom gave us the tickets as a Christmas present, and the four of us are going to the matinée show on Sunday afternoon. Brendan and I are huge musical lovers, so we're really looking forward to the show. Also, it'll be nice to get out of Abilene since we've had so much family in town the last few weeks. I love spending time with Natalie and Tom, and I can't tell you how excited I am to do some shopping at a real mall.

Musicals are also very special to us. Some couples share concerts, sporting events, or restaurants; we share musicals. Chicago will be the fourth musical we've seen since we've been together (the dinky ones that come to Abilene don't count), and each one corresponds to a unique point in our relationship.

Les Miserables - We saw Les Miz in June 2006 in Dallas for our three-month dating anniversary.

RENT- In March 2007, we saw RENT in Fort Worth to celebrate our one-year dating anniversary.

Wicked - We saw Wicked in Dallas in April 2007, and Brendan proposed three days later. He sneakily got the ring from his sister then, too!

And now Chicago will be our first musical as a married couple. It also happens to correspond nicely with our two-month wedding anniversary!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Forcing Creativity

In an assignment for my American Autobiography class, I'm supposed to write a five-page Creative Non-Fiction piece (a.k.a. autobiography) of an event that has shaped my life. Against my will, I've decided to write about my grandfather's death almost two years ago. I was hesitant at first to pick that event because a woman writing about the death of a family member felt so overdone. Honestly, I tried to pick another topic, I really did, but this one just kept coming back to me. This is my first-ever foray into creative writing at the college level (I wrote tortured love poems in middle school, but who didn't?), and quite frankly I'm scared. I don't want to mess this up, especially a topic so close to my heart that it's still painful to talk about.

But here I am, poring over the first draft of what I hope will be a meaningful piece to me. When I'm finished, I want to give it to my grandmother. I want her to know that he's just as much a part of my life now as he was back then.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In Your Pants

A friend introduced me to this hilarious video blog (or vlog, if you will) made by two unusually-funny brothers. One brother rightly asserts that every book title would be better if we added "in your pants" to the end.

So, I went around my home library and selected a few titles that benefit from the "in your pants" rule.

Their Eyes Were Watching God in your pants

Journey Into New Worlds in your pants

Into the Wild in your pants

The Gendered Pulpit in your pants

To Kill A Mockingbird in your pants

Holes in your pants

Little Women in your pants

I suggest you do the same to your own bookshelves; you'll be amazed at the (inappropriate) hilarity you'll find.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Five Things I'm Thankful For

1. Brendan James Voss
2. Fat Tuesday
3. My brother
4. The friends I've made at grad school
5. Highland Church

Friday, February 8, 2008

Duplex, Sweet Duplex

Since Brendan and I moved in, we've worked hard on giving our place a total face-lift, and I think we succeeded. Here (finally!) are some pictures of our little home.

Here's our lovely living room. I'm an estate sale junkie, so almost all of the furniture in this room came from estate sales. I like to think of it as pre-owned...

More living room. And for the record, Brendan arranged the lovely display of candle holders in the back left corner all by himself, but if you asked him about it, he'd tell you he just "put them there."

And here's the entryway. Can you tell what time it was when I took the picture?

Time for the bathroom. I really love our shower curtain, and I officially apologize for the crooked picture!

And now we're on to the kitchen! Here's our (very) little kitchen table.

Just a random shot of the counter.

I just love our cute little cabinet. Can you tell I like fake fruit?

I thought this one looked cool, so I had to throw it in.

Our guest bedroom is still under construction, but here's a little taste. The little blue pillow is my favorite.

Ta da! Here's our bedroom and our new mattress. The mattress is higher than normal because it's a pillow top, so I have to give a little leap to get up on the bed. But it's a small price to pay for fluffy wonderfulness.

One last picture, I promise. We celebrated our one month-iversary at Road House with some yummy steaks!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thanks... I Think

The other day, I was thinking out loud to Brendan as to whether or not I was weird enough to be an English major. His response? "Well, I think you're weird enough."

Gee. Thanks.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Time For A Camp Out

Our new mattress is coming tomorrow! It's a big, fluffy, glorious Euro Top. We ordered it at Haverty's earlier this week, and it's being delivered tomorrow morning. There's a great big blank space in our bedroom because we've already moved our old bed into the Guest Room (it's officially no longer the Junk Room!). Brendan and I have been sleeping in the other room for the last day or two because we just wanted to get the old bed moved and out of the way. Sleeping in the Guest Room kind of feels like a camp out when you were a little kid, you know, where you'd rather sleep on the floor of your bedroom on a sleeping bag instead of in your own bed. I am beyond ready for a new mattress because I've had our current one since college, which was a hand-me-down from someone else. I'll post official duplex pictures once the new bed is in place and we get the Guest Room all prettied up.

We saw the Harlem Globetrotters last night at Moody for Brendan's birthday, which was really fun! I had never seen them before. Needless to say they beat the Generals, but I was hoping for a few more antics. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy One Month-iversary!

Exactly one month ago today I was standing right outside the church doors, ready to walk down the aisle to my Brendan. This past month has been better than I could have ever imagined. I thought dating Brendan was awesome, but being married to him is so much better. The other day we were sitting together on the couch watching a movie when I suddenly thought, "We live together! This is awesome!" Living together is one of my favorite things about being married because we don't have to stay up late to be together. When we were dating, I can remember staying out until three in the morning because we didn't want to say good-night. Now we're old people and go to bed pretty early because we can say good-night and stay together.

Thursday is Brendan's birthday, and he'll be a whopping 25. He's officially too old to be on The Real World; I told him to apply sooner, but he just didn't listen. We're going to the Harlem Globetrotters that night, which should be fun. It's really random that they're coming to Abilene!

On the wedding picture front, the proofs are officially online! I'm not able to post any on the blog as of yet, but you can see them at, and enter erin+brendan2 for the Customer Login. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Girls' Night Out

Tonight was the most fun I've had in a while. I got together with two of my very favorite people, Kayla and Em, to have some girl time. We originally planned on going to Cold Stone, but since it's about thirty degrees outside, we opted for something a little warmer. We were at Starbucks for a while, just catching up and laughing. The three of us have been so busy with school and work that we haven't been able to get together since I got back from the honeymoon. It felt so good to spend time with them. They're my last connection to college, part of a six-person group called Fat Tuesday. The six of us, including me, spent almost every Tuesday night during the last two years of college together. We took turns cooking meals at each other's houses, spent untold hours laughing and being silly together, and provided support systems for each other during hard times. Brendan even involved them in his proposal. Since graduation in May, we've gradually scattered across Texas; Kalyn has a home in Frisco, Carolyn's teaching in Lewisville, and Brittany's studying law in Lubbock. In the summer, Em and Kayla will also move away, leaving me in Abilene. As hard as it will be to let them go, I think I'm okay with it. We six obviously can't live in the same town together forever, but we have that kind of connection where, even if we haven't seen or spoken to each other in months, that relationship is just the same. I'm very blessed.

I'm going home this weekend to look at wedding pictures! Brendan can't come because he couldn't get off work, so I'm heading home tomorrow morning to San Antonio. I'll definitely miss him, but at the same time it'll be nice to spend some one-on-one time with my mom and dad. Also, I'll have a chance to spend some of the wedding credit that's been burning up in my wallet for some things that we didn't get from our registries. Pots and pans, here we come!

I've been itching to get some pictures of the duplex on here, but unfortunately our place is still under construction. Almost all of our stuff is unpacked and in its place, but we still have a few things to do like hang pictures and the like. Also, our guest room is currently the Junk Room. We're planning on buying a mattress for our bedroom and moving our current bed into the Guest Room (its new name). As soon as that happens and we get the room all nice and pretty, I'll get some official duplex pictures posted. So, to satisfy your hunger, here's a picture of the dinner table from the first real meal we ate at the house. Hopefully I'll have some real wedding pics to put up here when I get back!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Very Disney Honeymoon

It's been almost two weeks since we got back from our honeymoon, so I figured it was about time to post a few pictures. Disney World was a-mazing, and going through all these pictures has made me miss it already! We stayed at the BoardWalk Inn, which was so nice, and we were spoiled with a king size bed. We have a queen at home, and for the first couple of nights back we were both annoyed with each other for taking up too much room :)

These were our "Just Married" buttons. We got them when we checked into our hotel, and they got us hooked up. We wore them everyday, and all the park employees, and even random people, would come up to us and say "Congratulations" and ask how long we'd been married. We got to go to the front of the line on some of the rides, and we even got free food once. It was awesome! We felt so special all week.

Like the 3D glasses? We rode so many awesome rides and ate at some incredible restaurants while we were at the park. Disney World really was the perfect place to honeymoon because there was so much to do, and we didn't have to do too much if we didn't want to. This picture is from Mickey's PhilharMagic.

Here we are waiting for our dinner at Cinderella Castle! Our Just Married Buttons got us hooked up, and we had one of the best tables in the house. We sat right by the window at the front of the castle, and we had a great view of the Carousel and part of the Magic Kingdom.

The park was decorated so cute for Christmas! I had heard Disney goes all out for the holidays, and the park was covered with lights and wreaths and all sorts of Christmas stuff. They must leave them up for a while because everything was still up when we left on January 6.

We gave our best "tired" face to the camera. As much fun as the trip was, it was exhausting! We walked everywhere all day. New Year's Eve was especially exhausting because we had to get to the park pretty early and stay there. From what the employees told us, New Year's Eve is the busiest day at Disney World, and they shut the parks down at capacity mid-day because there are just so many people. On New Year's Eve day the park was packed; everyone was literally shoulder-to-shoulder. New Year's at Disney World was incredible, though! There was an amazing fireworks display!

This picture is from our dinner at Victoria and Albert's! Victoria and Albert's is located inside the nicest hotel in Disney World, and it's the only five-star restaurant in Florida. Brendan couldn't even get in unless he wore a suit. We ate a six-course meal, which was in-credible. I'm not even sure what some of the stuff I ate was, but it tasted good!

I promise we did *not* wear these around, but I had to get a picture with them. We saw a lot of couples wearing the top hat and veil around the park, but that sure wasn't for us. It just seems like saying, "Look at me! Talk to me! I just got married!" But they are kinda cute.

We had so so much fun on our honeymoon, and we can't wait to go back to Disney World some day. It kind of calls to you. But life here in Abilene is pretty awesome, too.