Thursday, 30 June 2011

Ahhhh, Romance (a man, a woman, and a boat)


I'm kind of at a loss as to what to post now, so I'll give you some romantic history. :)

Dh and I met teaching in SC.


He was actually the first person I met, and I moved into his apartment and lived with his stuff while he was moving out. He drove tour buses in the summers and was leaving on a trip for a week, so I just lived with his junk (and dog) while he was gone. Who knew?!?

We were both in bad relationships which ended. Our first kiss was during a Hurricane Party we had at his new house. In SC, we got out of school if the word "hurricane" was even mentioned. So what do a bunch of 20-somethings do--have a party! It didn't even rain!

Anyway, that didn't last, and we were just friends for a while. We started dating again a few months later and have been together ever since.

Most of our first dates involved water skiing. Dh taught me how to ski and eventually to slalom ski (one ski). We used to go to the lake with his friend Kevin, who actually had a boat. In 1997, DH bought a ski boat that we dubbed my "engagement boat."

On March 27, 1998, after a particularly hideous week at school, we decided to play hooky and stay home on that Friday. We were going to go to the lake and ride around, but the boat wasn't running, so instead we decided to grill hot dogs and drink margaritas. While we were cooking, I was sitting in the boat, and DH came up and asked me "Do you want a real ring to go with your boat?" and he pulled out a diamond ring. Romance is not his thing, so this is as good as it gets.

We were married December 5, 1998 in my hometown in a big 'ol Southern style wedding. While we lived in SC, a lot of our free time was spent going from gig to gig. He played with local band as the lead guitarist. The first gig he took me to was at a lesbian bar, which was a blast!

(this is from last year at a group reunion)
We moved to GA in 2000 to be closer to his family and to raise our pay. We decided we wanted to have children in 1999. Well, that didn't happen like we planned. We went through IF treatment after IF treatment (11 IUIs and 1 IVF) only to have 2 m/c. We changed our plan and decided that adoption was a way to grow our family. In August of 2003, we finished our paperwork and sent off our dossier to Kazakhstan.

In September 2003, DH was diagnosed with germ cell cancer. With our adoption cancelled, our focus was on him. Germ Cell Cancer is a rare cancer that generally strikes men between the ages of 29-35. Dh was 34. It tends to form as testicular cancer, but DH's formed as a large tumor behind his sternum that wrapped around the Superior Vena Cava (vein that runs from your head to your heart). The only reason we caught it was that he woke up swollen and Chris Farley-looking from the neck up. He underwent chemo and was pronounced cancer free in December 2003. He was considered "cured" in 2008 (5 year mark).

(not his xray, just one I found on Google images of Germ Cell Cancer)

In December, we had the surprise of our lives when we found out I was pregnant with Porter. We got a lot of tasteless jokes that insinuated I had an affair. Some people don't know when to shut their mouths. Porter was born in August of 2004, Nolan in September of 2008, and Julianna in November 2010. Apparently we fixed whatever IF issues we had!

So, there you have it

A man, a woman, and a boat--Romance at its best! :)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What I do

When it's not summer, I teach high school English.  I'm beginning my 16th year, and I love it just as much as I did when I began in 1996.  Yes, that just aged me. :)

This is my school.

Right at the right edge of the picture is where a window starts.  That's my classroom.  My school is considered one of the best performing small high schools in GA, which says a lot since most of our students are poor, and we don't get a lot of community support.  We do a lot with very few resources.

I teach Gifted American Lit, AP English Language, and this coming year, British Lit (not happy about this).  I LOVE American Literature.  Brits use too many words to say something, BUT, since I had no say so, and my principal's son will be a senior, I get to teach Brit Lit for the majority of my day this coming year.


When I was 17, I took a Teacher Cadet class in high school, and I knew that I had found what I was good at.  Add to that, I get to talk about my favorite subject all day long, and I'm a pretty happy person.  My students recognize this, and while they may not love literature the way I do, they at least appreciate that I know what I'm talking about and am passionate about it.

When people find out that I teach English, I usually get one of two responses:

Response 1:  Oh, so I need to watch my grammar around you.

Response 2:  So, what's your favorite book?

Response 1 earns an internal eye roll because I've heard it so often.

Response 2, I can't answer.  I have TONS of favorite books, usually depending on what period of my life I read them.  So, bear with me, here are a few:

The Secret Garden

This is one of my favorite books from childhood.  I loved the idea of having a secret place that you tended to and that blossomed into beauty.

The Boxcar Children

My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Clark, read to us every day, and this is one of the books she read.  I fell in love with it.  My best friend and I used to play "boxcar children" in the bushes around her house.

The Return of the Native

I had a fantastic senior English teacher in high school, and because of him (and the slight crush I had on him), I fell in love with this book.  I wanted to be Eustacia Vye.  I'm not a huge Hardy fan, now, but I was then.

The Alchemist

I read The Alchemist for the first time when I was going through our IF journey, and the fable of following your dream really spoke to me.

And, if you really want to get me going, ask me about Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Faulkner, etc.

So, that's what I do for 10 months of the year.  I love my job.  And while I dream of opening a book store/fabric shop/shoe shop/ice cream parlor one day, this will do for now. ;)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Treehouse (for Erin)

When Porter was 4, Dh wanted to get him a drum set for Christmas.  I wanted to get him a treehouse.  I won.

Under Construction--Dh designed and built it.

He was so proud!  It has a telescope, ship's wheel, and bench.

Life Inside My Home

Well, like all of you, it's a little crazy!  Right now, it's less so, but come the first week of August, CRAZY kicks back into full speed.

Kind of like this. LOL!

That was Nolan when he was about 8mos old.  He had the best hair!  I dressed him as Einstein for Halloween that year.

We have two cats that live inside, Circe and Chloe.  They are sisters from the same litter.  Dh and I got them a month after we got married.  We picked out Circe, and that weekend, we had a little too much to drink and decided to get her a friend so she wouldn't be lonely.  I remembered and came home with Chloe who was the runt of the litter and had a goopy eye infection.  DH was like WTH?!?  My girls are on the big side and both weigh about 22lbs.

This is Circe.  She's the more tolerant of the two, even though both are like grumpy old women.

This is Chloe.  She despises most people other than DH and me.  My dad had to help me take both of them to the vet one time.  He still talks about the trauma.

Here are some pictures of the rest of the house.

Ignore the junk on the bed!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Ok, I'm back . . . :)

I got my camera to work, so here are some more house pictures for today.  Again, the front of the house.

This is the view of our front yard.

The right side of the house and our corn garden that won't produce anything this year.

Around the left side of our house.  I love this Magnolia tree!

This is part of the backyard with the barn/shed.

The other side of the backyard with the swingset and treehouse.
One of our gardens.  This one has beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. in it.

This is Ruby.  She just showed up one day and was dubbed Red Dog.  After awhile, we decided that she needed a proper name and since she was already Red Dog, she became Ruby.

This is Piper.  He joined us from the Humane Society for Porter's 3rd birthday.  He ALWAYS carries a leaf around in his mouth. 

DH is determined to cut the grass today, but he got caught in a brief shower.

Porter with part of his Hot Wheels track.  He tries to build them as big and intricate as he can get! :)  This one drops into water (that's what he's holding).

Goldfish thief Nolan.  Nolan likes food.  Let me re-phrase that, Nolan LOVES food, all kinds.  He says, "I taste?"

and last but not least, Julianna is taking in the world. 

  Ok, that's it for today.  I've got to go vacuum. LOL! :)

Whoohoo, It's My Week! Welcome to Griffin, GA!

We live in the smallish town of Griffin, GA, which is considered middle GA.  We're about 40min-1hr south of Atlanta (depends on traffic).  Dh and I moved here in 2005, right after Porter turned 1.  Before that, we lived in Locust Grove, GA, and in Chester, SC.

Griffin is a nice town to live in; it's not too rural and not too citified. :)  We live in the rural section of the county, which is fine with us.  We like not having close neighbors.

This is a picture of down town taken off Google images. 

This is one of my favorite signs in Griffin.  It makes me laugh every time.

We LOVE our house.  I'll have pictures to post as soon as I can figure out why my laptop isn't recognizing my USB cable.  When we were house hunting, we wanted an old farmhouse that didn't need much work.  Our realtor laughed at us.  I found it while doing a search one day.  Our house was built in 1858 and bought by a contractor for his crew to work on in the winter.  They completely remodeled and updated the interior and added the upstairs.  It was PERFECT for us.

This is an old picture that I posted the other day, too.

As for a day in the life, well, it's summer, so things are pretty laid back.  Dh and I are both home for 2 months, which is so nice.  We generally just work around the house and run errands.  Today, Porter and I went to Lowes and the grocery store.  This evening, we will probably go for a bike ride if it's not raining (it is right now).

I'll see what pics I can come up with in a minute. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Anyone out there?

Ok, just checking to see if I can get in since I have next week. :)

Anyone out there??

Just thought I'd put something up as the first post and to make sure everyone can see!!