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 www.coronado7.com, 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.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blast From the Past

The other day, I was thinking about where I was at this time last year. I had just finished my last real semester of college and was about to start student teaching at a high school in Abilene. Frankly, I was terrified. College was pretty much over for me and most of my friends were about to move away, leaving me behind in Abilene. Moreover, I wasn't even sure if teaching was right for me. I've wanted to be a school teacher as long as I can remember, but I was lukewarm toward my education classes at ACU. Despite being indoctrinated with copious amounts of pedagogy and classroom management tips, I still wasn't convinced that I would enjoy being a teacher. (Did you education majors like my use of "pedagogy"?) So, I began student teaching with the attitude of, "This may not be the right career for me, but at least it'll be something I can cross off the list." But that all changed when I got into the classroom. Student teaching was incredible, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. I taught an amazing group of kids and worked flawlessly with my cooperating teacher. I even cried on my last day; I felt like I was losing my "babies".

Today at Target I ran into one of the Seniors that I student taught. I was wielding my cart down the candle aisle when I heard, "Miss Utley!" Anyone who's ever been a teacher knows how quickly your head turns when you hear that! She gave me a big hug and introduced me to her mom, who was with her. She's now a college student and all grown up, and talking with her reminded me of how much I miss teaching.

I'm about to start my second semester of grad school at ACU, and I love where I'm at. I'm enamored with the topics I'm studying, so much so that I've bounced around the idea of becoming a professor instead of a school teacher. But I second-guessed all that today when I ran into my former student.

So, where will I be in 18 months? Beginning my Ph.D program? About to start my first year of teaching public school? Who's knows, but I've got time to figure it out...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

So, Erin Has A Blog Now

Yes, I've finally succumbed to the blogging world. I figured it was about time I jumped on the bandwagon.

But more importantly, Brendan and I tied the knot about ten days ago, and we're settling into our little duplex here in Abilene. We honeymooned in Disney World, which was in-credible, and now we're back to reality. Brendan went back to work today, so it'll be just me around the house until school starts next week. But really, I'm kind of enjoying it. Deep down I love being by myself, and it's been nice to decompress from the whirlwind of wedding/honeymoon and start tackling the many, many wedding gifts waiting to be unpacked. Our place is coming together nicely, and I'll post pictures when we don't have empty walls and boxes littering the floor.