Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Better late than never.....10 Years Later

So, I know that it has been almost a month since I went home (to Valdosta) for my ten year high school reunion but I promise that I just now have had a minute to sit down and write about it. Honestly, as I am writing this now, I have been awake for over 27 hours, so bear with me.

So I worked all night on Monday night, April 28th then came home and packed and rested (for my own personal record, so I remember years from now.....this was one of the most awkward afternoons ever!!) and left that evening to drive home. It's about a 4 hour drive to Quitman, to my Grandparent's house. This is my absolute favorite drive in the world. I can't decide if it is really as beautiful as I think, if the weather really does get better and the grass greener or if I really just love going home so much. I guess it doesn't matter, I just love it. This one was particularly wonderful. Naturally, I started thinking back to ten years ago.

You have to know (and, yes, I am aware that I have covered this before....luckily, it's my blog and I can write whatever I want as many times as I want ;^) that I loved high school. There were only fifteen people in my little Christian, private school and that most of us went to school together for most of our lives. Most of them were more like family than just friends. At my reunion I got to see some people that I haven't gotten to see in years. I also got to meet some of their spouces and children that I had never even seen.

The first part of the week that I was there I got to spend some wonderful time with my family and some friends (including little Avie, who had just come home from the hospital!!). On Friday I went out to the school and there was a wonderful dedication with the entire school for Adam. Two of our old teachers were there (in uniform might I add...way to go Brad and Mr. Nelson!) and we put a new flag up and dedicated a bronze plaque. It was really nice for all of the kids who are basically living the same lives that we were ten plus years ago to get to hear what they had to say and remember Adam. I don't pass many flags, hear many patriotic songs, or the pledge of allegiance when I don't think about him. We all really missed him and wished he could have been there that weekend.

On Saturday some of us from the class met at the park and had a picnic while the kids played on the park equitment. That night we all met at Austin's (a steak house...not sure if it's a chain or not, I've only eated there in Valdosta) There was Melissa (Lee) and her husband John, Nikki (Copeland) and her husband Ryan, Patience (used to be McMullen, her husband Brad is the principal at one of the local high schools and he had to be at their prom that night so she was my "plus one" ;^), Matt Malone and his wife, Nick Smith and his wife, and Justin Lightsey and his wife were all there. We had seen Claire at the memorial but she had told us that she wasn't going to be able to make it to the dinner. Amy, Kristen, Justin, Blake and Rachael weren't able to make it. We had the back room and when we walked in they had all these round tables set up. Instead of sitting at three different tables (and let's all be honest, probably yelling back and forth :) we pulled three together and all sat together. It was so fun!! Seriously, I laughed so hard and I am pretty sure we scared that waiters! I forgot how funny we all were when we got together!

Instead of getting all mushy and sharing my feelings, I thought I would share some of my memories from high school.

~We used to get together on Monday nights and watch wrestling. Seriously, some of the girls got into it more than the boys. I personally loved Sting, when he had the white face paint :^)

~One time our girl's basketball team lost by 100....not they scored 100 on usm they BEAT us BY 100. It gets worse, one time we didn't score at all. It has to be said in our defense, that we only played three quarters due to an injury that held up the game(by request I am not going into details with that can thank me later Audrey!). I still remember both of these games, who we played, and where we played.

~Before ballgames, we all went over to the Norman's house and ate baked potato's then all the girls would go into their office and sing around the piano. Ok, now that I typed that out, I realize how "Little House on the Prarie" it sounds but, it's true. And, we always sang 'The Rose', please don't ask because I have no idea.

(I must break in here and ask WHY are all the things I am remembering, NOT things that I feel I can publish on the internet, even after ten years??? However, they are bringing me so much joy that I am actually sitting here crying I have been laughing so hard!!)

~One time on our way home from a birthday party we had just dropped someone off and before a stop sign we ran over those bumps in the road. You know, the ones where there are lots of little bumps and the make an annoying sound when you go over them? There are usually about three of them before a stop sign. I can't tell you exactly what they are, because I still don't know. Anyways, we had gone over some and someone asked what they were for. Rachael piped up and in perfect Rachael fashion said that she always thought that they were for blind people that know so they knew when they were coming up on a stop sign. I have to tell you, in her defense, that she was one of the smartest people in our class. She just had "blonde moments" Whoo. Always good for a laugh.

~For some reason, now unknown to me, Burt Copeland (who was our basketball coach and teacher) nicknamed me 'Track Cow' The funny thing is that I was in no way a cow, I wasn't fat, and the only time I ever ran track was one year when he made everyone that was on the team run track in the off season. I hate to run. Who knows.

Allright, I have found this a lot harder to do than I thought I would. For one reason, as I have already explained, even though it has been 10 years, I don't feel that a lot of our stories are blogger appropriate. Or, they are really long and require too much pre-explaining. Plus, it HAS been over ten years! Actually, I am posting this on May 22, 2008 and I am almost positive that our graduation was on May 22, 1998. Is it weird that I just teared up when I typed that? What in the world? It's 2:04 and I'll bet I was awake this time two years ago, ironically, tearing up too. Not because I was sad, because I was excited about graduating, just like all seniors are. The difference is, as excited as I was about all that lay ahead, I knew what I was losing. For any of you that are reading this that added to my experience that was high school, thank you. I believe that there is no one in the world who has better memories from that time in their life than I do.

Pictures to come when I find what I did with my camera......

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Life couldn't be any better.

First of all, I know that saying it out loud probably will probably jinx but it has to be said (or typed, as it may be). I actually really do believe that life couldn't be any better and I just came to that realization (better late than never!) First of all, I have to tell you HOW I came to that realization. Wednesday night Leigh and I went to watch the Biscuits (the Montgomery AA baseball team) after 5:30 service and met up with a friend of ours, someone that had just graduated with Leigh last May. I asked him how he was enjoying the "grown-up" life. He answered me that it was actually great and, without even thinking, I replyed, "just wait. it really isn't all that it is cracked up to be." That is when he asked me what wasn't so great about it. That's when I realized just how slow I am.

My life is GREAT! Too close almost to perfect! First, is there ANY way that I could have a better family? Don't even bother answering. I know as well as I know anything that I do! I would be blessed immeasurably if that was the only thing I had in my life! (More to come on that subject) Second, I also am blessed with the best friends! This is easily provable. For any of you that know some of the not-so-great parts of my life you know how great my friends are. They are certainly, without a doubt, placed in my life directly by God and are too numerous to even try to name. And to tie the first two together, most of my family doubles as friends! On top of those two things (as if anyone deserves anymore), I have a job that I almost never hate and very often love that pays me well enough to pay the bills. I live in a great house in the best little neighborhood. I have almost perfect health and so does my family (something that I will never again take for granted!) and very close to no real drama in my life!

Why do we as humans always seem to jump to see only the bad. As I write this, I literally cannot think why I even answered that way! Don't get me wrong, I LOVED college, just like I loved high school and had a great childhood, but time marches on and I LOVE my life now! Now here is where the blog gets a little lengthy. I need to elaborate on my wonderful friends and family.

As most of you know, I am going to the Philippines on a mission trip with my dad, grandparents, and a cousin this summer. It is something I have always planned on doing and somewhere where I am really needed. This is a quick synopsis of what happened. When planning for the trip I had to make a budget of how much money I needed to raise. I looked up airline tickets about 3 months ago and budgeted a little over the $1200 it said that my ticket would cost. When I went to buy the ticket two weeks ago, the ticket was $1900!!! Where in the world was I going to come up with the almost $700 I needed SO quickly! My quite brilliant aunt (a shout out to KaKa =^) came up with a great idea while I was down there! She gave me some money to help and said, I didn't even know that you were going! She told me I should let more peole know that I was going via mail and e mail.

So, when I got home I planned a lot of overtime (trying to do as much as I could myself) and wrote a letter. I sent it out to the Palmer clan (my extended family that includes family going back to my great great granparents' 12 children's decendents) and a few friends from home and church. I sent them out Tuesday morning when I got off work, would you believe that I got a check in the mail from a friend THE VERY NEXT DAY!!! Here we are less than a week since then and I almost already have the entire amount! It is something that I would have to have seen with my own eyes to believe! Almost all of it has come in less than $50 incriments and a lot of it has come from people that I haven't even seen in years! I have chill bumps and tears in my eyes just telling you about it. If that doesn't convince you that A) I do indeed have the best friends and family in the world and B) in the power of God, I don't know what would!

In winding up, I can't let Mother's Day pass without mentioning some very important people. One of the best things about my childhood was how many "Mothers" I was blessed with. We grew up very close to my aunts and NaNa on my dad's side so they played more of a motherly role than they did a grandmother/aunt role. I can't imagine who I would be today without the influence of my ginGin, KaKa, and NaNa in my life. They are three of the strongest Christian women and best mothers in the world! Next, my Grandma Garner exemplifies everyhting that Proverbs 31 speaks of. My life is certainly better for just having knowing her and blessed beyond what words can define to have her as my Grandmother. She raised two women who actually couldn't be any better mothers if their children had come with a manual. there is no way that happens by fluke. The last but, certainly not least, is my Momma. Those of you who have known us since I was a child know that I gave this woman as hard of a time as a child can give a parent. I was rude, bull headed, and a brat at almost every turn. She deserved much better. But, just as I was coming to see her with that almost perfect 20/20 heinsight (sp?) she suffered from her stroke. I remember drving up to Chattanooga just praying that I would get a chance to do things different. Of course, I haven't had a chance to be a better kid growing up (I am still working a few kinks out of my time machine!) but God did give me a second chance to tell my mom how wonderful she is. I still fail at times but I do try. I know now that I could not have had a better mom. She always has prayed for us, guided us, taught us, and loved us. Anything good that I am, I have to attribute to her. I honestly believe that if I ever become a mom, if I can be half of what she was, my children will have it pretty good. Happy Mother's day to my Mom and to all of the Mother's who have and still do play such a huge roll in my life! Thank you!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Catching Up

Since I am currently killing some time at GinGin's and she is the one who gives me the most grief about my lack of blogging skills I thought that I would try to update real quick. I don't know how many of you have ever seen the VH1 show "Best Week Ever" but that is the show that I would pick to describe my life last week. I worked Weds, Thurs, and Fri nights and at 7 o'clock Saturday morning I was rolling up I65! I picked up Daddy in Chattanooga and we were off to the Orange and White game in Knoxville! (I can't even imagine it but for any of you who might not know that is the game they have on the last Saturdays of spring practice at Ut. They have it in Neyland stadium and open it up so you can meet and greet with the players and coaches....all for free!) We got there about lunch time (we stopped anf got $5 footlongs....I could write a entire post on those alone! ;^) and went straight to the 'Vol Walk' which is where the players, coaches, and staff walk from the field house to the stadium, with litersally thousands of people in orange lining the street. Then we watched that game and then did a little shopping! We all got new '08 Lady Vols National Championship shirts! After we were through in Knoxville it was back down to Trenton where we met Mom, Louise, and Dirt for Dad's birthday meal at his favorite restaurant. We had some of the best steak and shrimp ever! Sunday we went to church with the parents and Louise and Dirt had to leave but it was a great weekend and Daddy even got a 32" plasma screen tv that he has been wanting! Monday I got up and got ready and as soon as dad was through on the radio (for those of you who don't know, he has a morning show that he does for the local station)he cam home and picked me up and we were off to Atlanta! Yay! This was actually dad's birthday so he got to pick the spot we ate at... (there was no question where he would pick...) Varsity's! For those of you who have never had the pleasure, it is the greatest hot dog place in the world, right off the interstate in Atlanta! Lisa met us there and we had such a good time. Then me and Dad did a little more shopping before heading over to Turner Field for the Braves game! We had the best seats ever! We were on the same level as the suites, it was covered, and the walkway was inside! There was a panini stand, a pasta bar, ect. but no stinking funnel cakes!! I had to seetle for boiled peanuts :^) It was a great game and the Braves dominated the Nationals! Then it was back to Trenton. Tuesday morning we got up and headed to just south of Nashville where my great great uncle and his family live. His son in law is my dentist and I use my teeth cleaning as an excuse every six months to work in some family time. We all went to this great chinese resaurant afterwards that I couldn't fully enjoy because half of my face was numb. It made for hysterical pictures though! Wednesday me, Mom, and Dad all played tourist in Chattanooga and went to Rock City, Ruby Falls, and the Incline Railroad! It was GREAT!
Whew! That was quite a synopsis but it should buy me a little time until I can get back home and tell you about this trip!