Good Riddence, 2008

I have never been so happy to ring in the new year. I was glad to see 2008 go. It wasn’t all bad, as Joe reminds me, but it’s filled with the sadness and frustration of infertility plus the loss of my first cat, so I’m definitely ready to move on. This year is going to be great. In just two months, we should be pregnant!

We had a low-key New Year’s Eve. We met Joe’s parents at their cabin in Blue Ridge, Ga., and headed out to the neighborhood where all their friends live for a party. There were fireworks and sparklers which were fun, but Joe and I didn’t stay long because my ankle and knee started acting up. I was in so much pain that I was close to tears. Joe’s dad dropped us off and headed back, and we got into our pj’s and relaxed.

DSC_0027

About 30 minutes later, though, Joe’s parents showed up. It turns out that by the time Joe’s dad had gotten back, most of the people at the party had left and the rest were packing up. Joe’s mom said if she had realized the party was dead, she would have come back with us! So, instead of hanging out downstairs by ourselves, we all rang in the new year together and watched the ball drop online. That made me happy because I have never missed a year watching the ball drop, and I was bummed about missing it this year. To me, that is New Year’s Eve. And, of course, we broke out the party hats that Joe and I had brought.

DSC_0071

DSC_0043

DSC_0046

DSC_0049

The next day, we were all up relatively early considering we had stayed up until 1 a.m. (I can’t remember the last time I was up past 11 p.m.!). I relaxed in the living room with Twilight, my mil’s laptop and my leg propped up (per my mil’s orders!) while the boys made pretzels. It was entertaining to watch, and the pretzels were really good!

new years

new years

And Joe tried to impress me with his dance moves.

new years

new years

We had the traditional Southern New Year’s Day lunch: collard greens for money (I was actually telling Joe he needed to eat a lot of these when I fell and sprained my ankle during our hike), black-eyed peas and rice for luck, and meat. It was delicious. My mil’s such a great cook!

new years

And, no trip to the cabin is complete without a nap. It’s hard not to fall asleep because it’s just so relaxing.

new years

new years
(Joe’s a little grumpy when he wakes up!)

So, how did you guys celebrate the new year, and what are you looking forward to in 2009?

2008 in Review

There were some months in 2008 when things were pretty quiet and others that were quite eventful, whether it be trips we took or losing one of our precious cats. That’s what makes it all balance out, though. I can’t wait to see what 2009 has in store for us!

January
Our first mother-daughter shopping excursion to the outlet mall in Calhoun with my mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I can’t believe it’s been a year since that! We’ll definitely need to make more of an effort to have more mother-daughter outings in 2009.

And, Joe started his first blog, Fitness Geek. Again, I can’t believe it’s already been a year!

February
I started my own business! Sure, the beginning of an economic downturn wasn’t the best time, but I’ve gotten my name out there and will be working more on that in the next year.

And, the cats started The Biggest Loser: Feline Edition program. We discovered that they did pretty well for a while but really weren’t that big into losing weight.

MarchA tornado hit Cartersville and came thisclose to hitting our station. We could see it from our studio in downtown as it rolled through. It was one of the scariest things I’ve experienced but great for journalism. I forsee our coverage winning a Gabby.

Joe put my name on the truck at Wes-man’s for the second year in a row, and we continued our tradition of enjoying my birthday breakfast there.

In the sports world, I did my first NCAA bracket (and finished in the top!) and drafted a kick butt fantasy baseball team which almost won my league but wound up taking second.

April
I had my 10-year high school reunion. Yikes! It was amazing how people really hadn’t changed since high school. Everyone looked and acted the same. Maybe things will be different in another 10 years.

Joe was included in a list of people who had recently passed away at his synagogue.

Joe and I spent a weekend in Savannah. It was my first time in south Georgia, and it was fun seeing the historic squares and river as well as Georgia Southern University in Statesboro where Joe went to college.

May
Joe got a new job! He was hired as the Director of Marketing at the new science museum here in Cartersville. He traded his 2+ hour commute for a 15 minute one and hasn’t missed a day of working in Atlanta.

Two of my siblings graduated from college. My brother, Ryan, graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and my sister, Lisa, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

My brother got an offer to teach at a school in Taiwan for two years, and he and my sister-in-law decided to accept the job and move.

Joe ran his first half marathon with a finishing time of 2:24:34. I was one proud wifey!

June
One of my stories won a Gabby award from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters! It was the second year in a row that something I wrote won an award.

We surprised Joe’s dad at the cabin for Father’s Day (and almost got shot since he thought someone had broken in) and finished the weekend with a family reunion at my parents’ house.

I was on a panel of journalists interviewing candidates in the July primary election during a political debate. I was nervous, but it went really well and was a lot of fun.

July
This was the worst month for me. My cat, Julius, died from a heart condition. He was only 6 years old. The pain has gotten easier, but I still miss him immensely each day.

And, Ryan, Ori and Harry left for their two-year stint in Taiwan. Ryan and I were never super close, but it was still hard to watch them go.

We did have some good times in July, though. We went to New York to take in a game at Shea Stadium during its last season. The trip was so much fun…until Joe busted his head open and had to have it stapled, that is! 🙂

August
We added a member to our family. We adopted Calliie, a callico kitten, from the Etowah Valley Humane Society. She’s awesome and active, and she’s really helped us get over losing Julius.

Joe won first place in the science fiction category of the Bulwar-Lytton Fiction Contest, which is geared toward finding the worst writing in the world.

We went to Joe’s 10-year high school reunion. It was a lot of fun to meet his high school friends, and we had a blast.

Joe launched his photography business, Joe Schulman Photography!

September
Joe and my brother, Randy, ran their first race together on Labor Day. It was Randy’s first race in years, and they had a lot of fun.

We celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We didn’t go anywhere this year since we were taking a long trip to Ohio later in the month, so we opted for a nice, low-key celebration at home.

My nephew, Harrison, turned 1. It’s amazing how fast that first year went by. It seems like just yesterday he was born!

We went to Ohio for Joe’s best friend’s wedding and hit two baseball stadiums while we were there — the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians, the latter of which I somehow forgot to write about!

October
Joe turned 29!

Joe and Randy set a new record for the Southern Shuffle — fastest *parrots* to cross the finish line!

My sister-in-law and I went to the New Kids on the Block concert in Atlanta. It was just like their original tour except now we were all legal. It was so much fun!

November
Our country elected its first Black president.

Joe went with a group of WWII veterans to Washington D.C. to see the WWII Memorial.

I completed my first 5k. I can’t really run because of the arthritis in my knees, but I walked it, and I even managed to run the last 1/2 mile or so. I definitely couldn’t have run any more than that because the pain started to set in, but it was nice to finish it running.

December
We threw our first annual Redneck Wine Tasting Party. It was a blast!

My brother, Randy, graduated from Southern Adventist University. Now, all us kids are college graduates!

The Atlanta Falcons made the playoffs!!

I sprained my ankle taking a tumble down Pine Mountain and am still recovering. Ouch!

What are some of your favorite memories of 2008, and what are you looking forward to in 2009?

Happy Holidays

I am always *so* ready to be home after holiday traveling. We always have a great time with our families, but by the time we leave I am definitely ready to be home with my cats and sleeping in my own bed.

Our travels for Thanksgiving began Thursday morning. I had to work, so we left from the station and headed to my parents’ house. We visited and helped finish the preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, and then sat down for a nice dinner with my grandparents and parents. It was fun just hanging out and talking.

After lunch, we headed back across the driveway to my parents’ house where Joe and I vegged out and watched tv for the rest of the afternoon. That evening, headed to the movie theater — our Thanksgiving Day tradition — and saw “Transporter 3”, which we really liked.

On Friday, Joe and I headed out to the mall after breakfast. We hadn’t planned on going shopping because I hate dealing with crowds, but I found a winter coat at J.C. Penney on sale from $180 to $40 and, since I needed a coat, I decided I couldn’t let that deal pass by. Then, we hit Barnes and Noble and McKay, the fabulous used bookstore in Chattanooga, and came away with enough books to last for a year.

After our shopping excursion, we packed up our things and left to go to Joe’s parents’ cabin in Blue Ridge. We discovered the last time we drove from the cabin to my parents’ house that it’s a pretty straight shot from Cleveland, Tenn., where my parents live. You hit Georgia not too far past the Ocoee River in Polk County, and Blue Ridge is about another 20 minutes or so from there. Plus, one side of the main street going through Copperhill, Tenn. is in Tennesse and the other is in Georgia. Of course, being the dorks that we are, we had to get pictures.

me in two states

There were a lot of people at the cabin when we arrived — 14 to be exact. It was hectic, but it was great. Nana was there along with her brother and sister-in-law from South Carolina and their daughter, son-in-law and grandson; and Nana’s brother-in-law and his wife were there from Florida, as were their son and his partner, who live in Atlanta. And, of course, Joe’s parents, and Rachel and Dave were there. It was a great gathering.

thanksgiving

thanksgiving

thanksgiving

We had fun, but we were glad to escape to a family friend’s house where we were staying. The next day, we took a group picture before people started leaving. It’s hard to corral that many people, but we did it and got a great picture.

thanksgiving

On Saturday night, Joe and I headed back to meet some friends in Kennesaw. Joe’s best friend Philip and his wife, Nayeli, were visiting from Arizona, and we hadn’t seen them in a year or so. Joe’s other friend Jon and his wife, Michelle, came too. The three guys hadn’t been together since our wedding!

jon, joe, phil

friends

And yes, I was the odd person out in the picture since my hubby took it. Ha! It was a great weekend, but I was very happy to get home. That is until I tried to download our pictures and found out that our card reader had stopped reading. Luckily, we got that fixed by Sunday night and now all is well in our world.

Cartersville’s Newest Morning Show Hosts

It’s going to be a Schulman overload on my station’s morning show on Friday. Our morning show host will be gone, so Joe and I are doing the show for the first hour. I was a little hesitant to do it on my own because, well, I’m not nearly as funny and witty as Kevin is, but I figured I’d be fine doing it with Joe. He’s funny enough for the both of us. Here’s the promo we made for it, which will run tomorrow.

bmn-promo-10-31-08

In other news, I’m leaving here in about 30 minutes to head to Duluth to meet up with my sister-in-law for the New Kids on the Block concert. I cannot even tell you how excited I am. It’s going to be a fun night — a long night, but most definitely a fun one. At least I have something to cover tomorrow night so I will be able to come in to work late. Now, I just hope I can roll out of bed in time for my weigh in.

Ohio Weekend, Part 1: The Colonel and the Cincinnati Reds

Good afternoon! We pulled into the driveway at 6 a.m. and were up 5 hours later to head to Emory for my ultrasound. Needless to say, we are exhausted. Joe’s taking a quick power nap but, since we have to be up around 5 anyway to get ready to head to Kiwanis, I probably won’t join him. Quick, hour-long naps make me even more tired!

Since we had *such* a full weekend and took about 700 pictures, I thought I’d break up our trip into several posts. We left Wednesday after work and headed up to Collegedale to watch my brother’s softball game and meet his new girlfriend. We like her a lot!

DSC_0324

DSC_0308

DSC_0329

We headed out of town Thursday morning, and what should have taken us about 6 hours to get to Cincinnati took about 8 with the various stops we made. It’s ok, though, because we got to go to the original KFC and see where it all began.

DSC_0326

And, of course, we had to pose for pictures with Col. Sanders himself.

DSC_0329

DSC_0335

IMG_0081

We decided that Kentucky is one state we would *never* want to live in. We didn’t think anywhere could be as bad as south Georgia, but Kentucky proved us wrong. There was absolutely nothing there. It was a very boring drive. And, we discovered that Kentucky is quite proud of being southern.

florence, ky

We arrived in Cincinnati with just enough time to check in at our hotel, drop off our bags and head to the stadium. It was very difficult to find The Great American Ball Park because, well, the signs were all faded. And, they told you to turn when you really needed to go straight. It was all very confusing. But, we made it, and we fell in love with the stadium. It is so much more open than Turner Field.

a view of cincinnati

the great american ball park

the great american ball park

IMG_0100

The stadium is about two blocks from the Cincinnati Bengals stadium, so we we walked down there before the game to take a few pictures.

the cincinnati bengals stadium

The Reds lost that game, but we still had a blast. Coming up next: our stay in Warren (oh the stories I have to share) and the wedding!

The Ugly Gift Party

This weekend, Joe and I came up with our best idea yet: we’re going to host an ugly gift party! While we were looking at all the stuff we have piled in our carport (thank you parents who pile boxes in our cars when we have no room for them), we started talking about how hardly anyone we invited bought off our registries and thinking about the horrendous gifts we got for our wedding (i.e., a palm tree platter, a grape leaf hot plate). We’re talking seriously bad, people. One of these days, I’ll dig them out of our storage room and take a picture.

So, we decided to throw an ugly gift party with a white elephant-type exchange. We’re going to invite our friends and have them bring the worst gift they’ve ever received. We’ll eat. We’ll drink. We’ll mock the gifts. And then, we’ll play that fun game where you pick a gift, either from the table or the person who picked ahead of you. And then, everyone will trek home with a new horrible gift.

Sounds like fun, right? I seriously can’t wait. Now, share with us! What are some of the horrible gifts you’re received?