Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Yes, I know it has been so long since I have posted.  For some reason when I am in travel mode I am also in blog mode.  I am now challenging myself to blog once a week...let's see how long that lasts ha!!

So here is what is new in the life of Katy...

Since getting back from Montana I have had no energy. I guess I just wore myself out and it has been so hard to be productive even though I have a lot to accomplish in the next few weeks. I have had my share of lazy days, but also have done alot too!  I went to a fabulous hoedown and duh wore overalls (my favorite!!)

 I bought a suit for interviews.  I interviewed with 5 different retail pharmacy's (keep your fingers crossed I get a job...especially Publix!!)  I went to see Julia on her birthday in Murfreesboro.

 I picked up shifts at a few different Walgreens to work every weekend until Christmas :) I have had lots of coffee dates with people to catch up on life.  I love just love coffee and friends!! I've worked on my 615 project ALOT and met with my professor. (still have a long way to go)  I got my teeth cleaned (thanks Mom!)  And I went home for Thanksgiving...

Thanksgiving was wonderful!!  I was able to go home on Tuesday and spend a few days with the family.  Some of the highlights included teaching my mom some new dances moves...the wobble, the catdaddy, and the dougie.  I would like to thank youtube for helping us in this en devour.  Susan is down a dancing pro!!  We had so much fun dancing around the living room that night!!
On Wednesday night the whole fam was sitting around when my dad asked if we wanted to go "clubbing".  Phillip  and I were like, seriously?!  Yes, he was serious ha!!  I was game, but Philboy vetoed the instead we played some Wii-bowling and Just Dance :)
On Thursday my extended family came up for lunch.  We had a blast catching up, eating yummy food, and once again playing the Wii.  All eleven of us where gathered around as we took turns dancing, playing tennis, and bowling.

 Afterwards we all moised over to the movie theater to watch Courageous.  I highly recommend!! It is a fantastic movie encouraging men to be Godly fathers and husbands :)  Here is the trailer...

Now I am back at my apartment with my sweet little Christmas tree set up and working on my 615 project.  Only 4 more days until I have to turn it in...yikes!!  It has been so hard to get this puppy done.  Senioritis is setting in and it can't yet... I have a lot more to accomplish before May 18th (GRADUATION DAY!!)

Well that is what is new with me...see you a week :)

"May the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." -Numbers 6:24-26

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Home Sweet Home

November 7th

Our last day on the road.  Praise him!  This trip has been wonderful, but I am wore out and ready to get back.  The trip from Dallas to Birmingham is a solid 11 hours, but thankfully I get to be dropped off in Memphis which is only 7 hours into the trip.  My car was in Jackson during our adventure out west so I had to come get it before I could go back to Birmingham.  So my parents brought my car to my grandma’s house this past weekend so that she could come meet me as we drove through. 

I didn’t realize I had missed my car so much until I saw her.  Deidra is the best car ever!!  Don’t get me wrong, I loved driving Chad’s big F-150 and Lindsay’s Camry, but I LOVE my Honda Accord.  I didn’t even mind my drive from Memphis to Jackson because it drove so well.  Whoop whoop!!

The drive from Dallas from Memphis went well, but we were crammed in like sardines in a can.  Actually on the first leg I was in the passenger seat and I had to hold my back pack in my lap the whole time.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.   I drove the second leg of the trip into Memphis since I know the area the best.  We made it to our meeting spot with my grandma around 4:45.  Perfect timing!!

After we moved my stuff into my car, the girls headed out to get back on the road to Birmingham.  Then Memaw and I went to a fun little Mexican restaurant nearby.  It was tasty and good to catch up with her.  After dinner we headed over to visit with my cousins.  It was so fun to see them and to hang out before I got on the road to head to Jackson!

Now I am home sweet home!! When I got back I couldn’t wait and first off I gave my parents gifts I had picked up on the way.  I bought them a bottle of huckleberry wine to share, a hand made vase for my dad, and a pair of earrings for my mom.  I would say it was a success!  They seemed to like all of the gifts :)   Well off to bed!

Old Friends

November 6th

Happy Sunday in Dallas!  Today I got the privilege to spend the day with some good friends who live in Denton, TX.  Last night I had talked to my Younglife leader and friend Cat to see if she was free on Sunday.  She was and Lindsay was sweet to let me take her car out to Denton.  I drove over in time to make the 11:15 service of the Village Church who is pastored by Matt Chandler (my fav!!).  The service was great.  Matt taught from Galatians 4 about the beautiful picture of adoption, both in the literal sense of what we think of and that of God adopting each of us through Christ. 

 "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave,but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."
(Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)

After church Cat and I went to pick up lunch for us and Jess her roommate and Stephanie Grisham (aka Grish).  We all ate over at Cat’s and were able to catch up.  It was so fun to hang out with them and laugh about way back when.  Oh the fun we had back in the day ha!

Around 4:30 I went to go visit another friend, Bailey.  Bailey and I have known each other since kindergarden and our families have been friends forever.  Earlier that morning I had texted her to see if she would want a visitor. I hadn’t told her I would be in town because I didn’t know if it would work out or not.  But good news, it did!!  I went over to her apartment for a while then we went to grab a quick bite to eat before I had to head back into Dallas.

When I got back to the big D I waited for about 5 minutes for Lindsay, Brittny, and Amanda to get back from the late service of the Village at the Dallas campus.  They picked me up to go get some fro-yo with some of Amanda’s friends.  It was a grand time!!  What a good day!!

Fort Worth

November 5th
Happy Birthday Philboy!  Today my “younger” brother turned 22.  I can’t honestly say little brother because he is a good 6 inches taller than me ha!  Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY…wish I could be home to celebrate!

Well to celebrate Phillip’s birthday, I slept in and then hung out with the crew.  Chad and Allison took us down to the Fort Worth Stockyard.  Fort Worth has two sides to it…the old and new.  The Stockyard is where back in the day and still today, people would come to “stock the yard” with cattle and different farm critters.  Our first stop was at the famous Cooper’s BBQ.  When you walk in you pick from all of these impressive pieces of meat, then pick up a few sides, and a drink.  I have never seen such big pieces of meat!  It was tasty.  Here is a picture of all of us eating…

After lunch we hit the Stockyard.  We walked into some neat stores and we even took a picture with a longhorn.  I got the pleasure to sit in the saddle while the rest stood beside.  Neat experience!!
After touring and walking around the Stockyard we headed back to Chad and Allison’s house.  First task we had to accomplish was moving all of our stuff from the truck to Lindsay’s car.  As Brittny described it, this was going to be a “dramatic” incident.  We have way to much stuff for 3 people to ride in a Camry.  Whew.  The ride back is going to be interesting to say the least. 

After packing up the car it was football and margarita time.  Chad has this nifty marg machine that he wanted to show us while Allison was making chili.  So Chad hooked us up with some strong margs and we were set to watch the LSU vs AL game.  It was a great game for those of yall who missed it.  LSU won in overtime.  (I was cheering for them, yay!)

Welcome to Texas

November 4th
What an early morning…I got up at 4:45 Santa Fe time.  Whew!  Then after getting all of our stuff into the truck and getting our coffee and breakfast, we were out the door and on the road.  We drove, and drove, and drove, and drove.  One nice bit about this trip was the GPS somehow shaved 2 hours off the time.  So we went in thinking it would be an 11 hour drive into a 9 hour drive.  Much better!!

We rolled into Fort Worth around 4:30pm.  Just in time to stop and get the truck washed up and detailed.  We wanted to return the truck all nice and pretty.  Speaking of the truck, we had promised that when we returned the truck would have a name.  Here is the winner… Ridesatthedoor.  I know what you are thinking…what!?  It is an Indian last name that I had a blonde moment with out on the res.  Naturally it should be the trucks new name.  (the story is written in an earlier post if you are interested)

We finally got to Chad and Allison’s house around 6:30 where we hung out with Allison and the pups, Willy and Bella.  When Chad got home he took to this fabulous Italian restaurant, Piola.  It was delicious!! I had the best eggplant parmesan.  Yum!  After dinner we went to a pub nearby his house to get a drink.  Actually we had gone down town to go to some place, but B had forgotten her wallet thus no id.   The people there wouldn’t let her in without it.  The ironic part of it all is that she was the oldest of the group.  Ha!

Tonight was such a fun night getting to know Chad and Allison.  It was full of laughter and good food.  One funny moment I will not forget was us driving downtown with Chad being the tour guide.  He had some 90s music bumpin on the radio and he stopped his tour to say what does this song make you want to do.  I yelled out WIGGLE!  It was just one of those songs with a good beat and that was the first word that came to mind. Ha!  It was funny and the rest of the weekend, wiggle was the catch phrase! :) 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Santa Fe

November 3rd
Hello Santa Fe!!  This morning the lovely Fairfield Inn provided a scrumptious breakfast and all you could want coffee.  Best way to start the day.  After we filled up and showered up, we were out the door ready to explore the city.

Our first and actually only major stop was downtown, the Santa Fe Plaza.  It is several blocks of Southwestern designed buildings filled with shops, vendors, restaurants, businesses, art galleries, and historic land marks.  It was fabulous to explore. 

We went inside the St. Francis Catheral and took a long gander.  I really enjoyed it and I surprised myself on how much Catholic knowledge I remembered from my early days of attending the Catholic church.   There is just so much tradition, history, and beauty to Catholic churches.   However, doctrinally I do not align myself with their doctrines anymore…I just like to admire their buildings :)  Oh look at these post cards I found in the gift shop… who doesn’t love a good nun joke!?

We also did some major window shopping along with some actual purchases.  By the end of the day I can say that I am the proud owner of a nifty wooden cross, a pair of turquoise earrings, and a Navajo carved “good luck Kitchen Chicken.”  My favorite is by far the chicken.  When I get back to the Ham everyone is invited to come see this beauty.  Hopefully by then I will have a clever name for this yellow and turquoise gem :) (Suggestions welcome!)  Oh and mom you may have gotten something out of this shopping trip in the plaza… get ready!!

In the midst of our shopping, lunch time hit and our stomachs agreed.  We asked a local where we should eat and she told us about the Shed.  It is a hole in the wall southwestern style place.  It was delish.  I got a taco and an enchilada with their hot green chile sauce.  It was a great break to sit and enjoy the atmosphere and some good food.  Mexican is by far my favorite :)

After making my wallet hurt and walking the plaza up and down a million times, we decided it would be nice to go see a movie.  We went and saw Moneyball.  I highly recommend.  It was a great movie!!

Well now we are about to hit the hay because tomorrow is going to be a very LONG and tiring day  and we have to leave by 6am.  Yikes!!  Dallas here we come!!

Oh but first check out these grizzly bear fur gloves...CRAZY! They may not look like it in the picture, but they are HUGE.  Grizzly sized!

On the road again...

November 2nd
Sad to say, but it is time for us to leave the cozy Park City, UT.  We hit the road around 9am to find frosty, icy roads.  I was glad Lindsay was driving.  I do not want to be responsible for driving on ice with Chad’s nice truck.  So I was more than content to be the navigator.

Since Denver and parts of Wyoming were being hit with huge amounts of snow, we decided to take the back highway routes instead of the major interstates.  This way we went South right away AND we would be crossing near the Four Corners.  Win win situation!

When we first hit the mountains, about 1.5 hours in, we ran into a traffic jam.  A car had run off the road due to the ice, which then backed up both sides of the road.  We sat there for a good 45 minutes at least.
Then we drove and we drove and we drove.  Then Brittny took over driving.  She drove the roughest part of the trip.  The roads were extremely bumpy and super windy.   Brit did a fabulous job.  As she drove and I navigated, we jammed out to some soulfull R&B, rap, and old school pop songs.  Thank you Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, and John Legend!!

Then we made the best stop of the day…THE FOUR CORNERS!!  It is awesome because you can stand, sit, do a backbend (I definitiely did this), or just whatever in four different states at one time.  I was in Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado at the same time.  Awesome!  Also they had great little booths of arts and crafts.  I may have bought a few things made by a sweet Navajo lady.  Dad, get excited because one of these is for you :)

After our fun stop, we were back on the road.  We finally arrived in Santa Fe around 11pm.  We were all pooped and ready for bed at this point.  Thank you Fairfield Inn for a great night sleep!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Snow Day

November 1st

It’s snowing!! This morning I when I woke up and looked outside I was pleasantly surprised to see WHITE everywhere!!  The funny part is I knew it was supposed to, but you cannot help but get excited when you see it.  Growing up in the South will do that to you.  I guess it is the fact that as a kid you never had to go to school when you saw or had the possibility of snow…so now I still get excited when I see it and today we had our own little Snow Day :) 

Today we were absolutely boring.  I got up, drank some coffee, sat by the fire, wrote a few emails, then went to the pool with Lindsay.  We stayed until we were so pruny it was unbearable ha!  Afterwards we ordered some take-out and watched a movie.  Then I went down to check out the gym for a bit while Brit and Linds stayed in the room. 
So yea lazy day… but it has been so nice!

Happy Halloween

October 31st
Happy Halloween and PTL for Park City.  This morning I slept in real late.  Lindsay and I shared a room and both of us woke up semi early but thought the other was asleep so we kept going back to sleep off and on.  We did this until 11 because neither of us wanted to get up until the other did.  Ha!  I finally got up and then a few minutes later so did Lindsay.

Right after we had gotten up and drank some coffee, Harold’s friend Karen contacted us to see if we would like to go hiking with her and her friend.  Of course we said yes!   We quickly got ready and headed out to Gorgoza’s hill to meet up.

The hike was BEAUTIFUL but in such a different way compared to Montana.  A of all, no snow!  B of all, not as much green.  C of all, more inclines and altitude. Naturally Park City is at a higher elevation, so Karen warned us to drink lots of water and to just take it easy if the altitude starts to get to us.

We had such a good time hiking!  Karen and Sharie (I think?)  were so sweet and so fun to hike with.  The hike took a little over 2 hours, so not bad at all.  After we hiked, we headed downtown to Main Street to check out some of the Halloween festivities.  There were kids galore all dressed up and running around begging for candy.  Also everyone had brought their dogs and dressed them up for a dog parade.  It was so fun.  My favorite costume was a dog dressed as a chia pet.  Haha!!

We then headed back to the hotel to shower before we went to dinner at Butcher’s.  Karen and Sharie had recommended it and we had a coupon.  It was pretty good :)  Then after dinner we went into Salt Lake City to go to “America’s #1 Haunted House.”  Unfortunately we had misinformed at what time it closed.  So when we rolled up they told us they had just stopped letting people in.  YIKES!  Fortunately since we had bought our tickets on line they felt sorry and let us go in.  It was awesome.  At one point we were stuck in a room with zombies and couldn’t find a way out.  For a good 5 minutes we were wandering around and bumping into creepy zombies.  They were really good actors too! 

We got home a little after midnight.  We were all wide awake, so we popped in a movie.  We didn’t end up going to bed until 3:30am…whoops! 
Good day :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rags to Riches

To begin the trek back to the south, we left Browning around 8am.  The Lord blessed us with a gorgeous sunrise to send us on our way.  As I have said a thousand times, it was BEAUTIFUL!!

To start out the driving, Brittny took the first leg.  She drove us for a few hours to Dillon, MT where we made a gas stop.  Then it was time for me to take over.  I actually drove the rest of the way.  It was an easy drive, but now I am plum tuckered out.  I guess the combo of yesterday’s hike, not much sleep, and hours of driving will do that to you.   Oh and here our pictures from entering into Idaho and Utah. 

Around 7pm we finally rolled into Park City, UT.  This town is so nice!!  I guess when you have had the Olympics, it has to be ha!  Well when we checked into the resort, we got a pleasant surprise.  Our room had gotten upgraded to this shmancy two bedroom, full kitchen suite.  The night before a guy had been very rude to Brittny when she called to let them know we would be past check in before we arrived.  I guess the manager felt bad for us and bumped us up.  No complaints here.  This place is spectacular.  I will try to take some pictures to show this puppy off :)

I can’t wake up tomorrow and drink a big cup of coffee on the porch and gaze out at the mountains.  Ahhhh! The life!  Also this is major culture shock.  Browning was almost third world-ish and this is like life of the rich and famous.  Crazy!!  

Bears, Bears....

October 29th
Wow, what an amazing day!  First off I would like to play a song for you…

So yea, I bet you know what we saw today…BEARS!!!  Well we started the day around 7:45am when Kerry came to pick Lindsay and me up from the trailer.  We made him make a coffee stop at the gas station and then we were off to hike Many Glaciers.

As we drove into the park we stopped several times to take pictures.  Also we were on the lookout for animals.  Well as we drove into an area where some summer cabins were, we got quite the surprise…GRIZZLEY BEARS!!  Yes ma’am, a sow and three cubs.   They had just walked out from a hiking trail and were rubbing on some logs.  (Bears have itchy skin too!)  They were soooo cute, but I was so thankful we were in a truck and not in the middle of a trail.  We followed them for a while and took lots of pictures.  We even chatted it up with a park ranger as we watched them graze in the woods looking for food.  I could not have planned a better way to see grizzly bears…standing behind a truck that is behind a park ranger truck, taking pictures :)

After we took a bajillion pictures, we decided it was time to hike.  So Linds and I followed Kerry down towards a trail.  After a few minutes of walking we saw some moose tracks, so we off roaded it and followed the tracks down to a lake.  The lake was beautiful, but we didn’t get to see a moose :(  Oh well.  We then got back on the trail and went on our way.  Along the trail Kerry noticed a few mountain sheep, goats, and even a boar griz bear (a boy one) up on the mountain ridges.  Kerry had brought all of his high tech photography equipment so we were able to zoom in and see them.  It was sweet.

Also on the trails we stopped off at a few different lakes (Red Rock, Bullmoose,… ).  We also saw a gorgeous waterfall called Red Rock Falls.  Parts of it has iced over which made it look like a winter wonderland.  Actually as you can see from the pictures, there was a good bit of snow.  I felt like I was walking through the North Pole and that at any minute Buddy the Elf or Santa may pop out.  Ha!!  Being up here in the cold weather has put me in the Christmas spirit, too bad it is just Halloween ha!!

We got done hiking close to 4pm.  As we were heading out we ran back into the sow and her cubs as they were walking a lot the mountain ridge near the road.  Along with a few other on lookers, we watched them graze for food and eventually come down off the mountain.  They were not scared at all that 15ish people were standing around, taking pictures as they walked right in front of us on the road.  INCREDIBLE!!! Man, what a day!!

After our exciting day of hiking, Kerry dropped us off at the trailer.   The rest of the night we were pretty boring.  We just did laundry and packed up all of our stuff.  Unfortunately this adventure in Montana had to end.  In some ways I am so excited to get back to Jackson and Birmingham, but in others I never want to leave.  This month has been incredible and I am so thankful for each moment of it!!