So I haven't really written much about what's been happening around the home lately; just haven't taken the time to sit and write much. But it seems I have a little time today between laundry loads to write, so thought I'd catch anyone up who's interested.
Last time I posted anything more than a meme post, I talked about looking forward to the ladies' retreat in Nashville. It was a great weekend (well, really less than a weekend) and I hated to see it end. We heard an awesome testimony and hiked MILES from our rooms to the convention center at the Opryland Hotel. Man, that place is HUGE! I think I'd rather go there when I didn't have anything to do and could just spend some time relaxing by the pool or something. The trip home was just as wonderful as the retreat. Lots of deep discussions and challenging conversation.
Then in the middle of March, we got to celebrate some birthdays. My brother-in-law's birthday was the 13th, Brian's was the 16th, and my "nearly-niece" Heidi's birthday was also the 16th. We used the occasion as an excuse to meet up for dinner at a new-to-us place called The Mellow Mushroom (sounds psychedelic, doesn't it?). They make AWESOME pizza. It was deelish. Looking forward to a return visit!
The next week was a very special treat. Casting Crowns was in town for a concert on the 25th. I had scored 2 free tickets through a Facebook contest hosted by the local Christian radio station, WAY-FM about 2 weeks before this. Then the day before the concert, I won 2 more tickets from Mark Hall; these tickets included passes for a meet and greet before the concert. (Side note: I wonder if living in Alabama has made me more lucky... I've never been able to win anything so easily before!) I was able to give the first 2 tickets away to a friend and her daughter, and Brian and I used the last 2. The concert was one of the best I've ever been to, probably because it was much less of a concert/performance than it was just a time of worship. Before Casting Crowns sang, we heard from Caleb (Steven Curtis Chapman's sons, Caleb and Will Franklin) and Kutless.
Sprinkle in some fun family dinners on the weekends (I've been lucky enough to be able to get my sister and her husband over for at least one meal a weekend, and sometimes one of the boys will come along too). The other fun part is that she brings their new Great Dane puppy over to play with our dogs. Sully (short for Sullivan) is almost 14 weeks old now and is bigger than Campbell, but not big enough to take Rory down yet. Rory is great with him and they have a ball together. This past weekend, after they had been playing pretty intensely, we noticed things had gotten quiet and found them curled up together resting on one of the rugs. I wish we'd gotten a picture. I'll try to get one of them together soon. I have a feeling he is going to be a big boy. His paws are already larger than Rory's.
March was a month of movies as well. We saw Alice in Wonderland (meh... I wasn't all that impressed) and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. That last one was fun. We went with my sister and b-i-l to see it and everyone enjoyed it. Oh, and this past Sunday evening, we took in How to Train Your Dragon with sis/hubby, 2 of their boys, and the boys' girlfriends. I imagine we'll be getting that one on DVD eventually.
OK, this is getting long, so I'll make the rest of this quick. Halle and Joel are back at their respective music lessons again, and we're looking to get Noah started back with his guitar lessons. Emily had a visit from her best friend in CA for 4 days ; they spent 2 of them driving to MO to visit my mom and to eat dinner at Lambert's.
And now for the really big news: We spent the better part of last evening scrambling around picking up the house and getting the last of the unpacking done that we'd been avoiding in order to get ready for a visit from ..... drumroll please..... our new cleaning lady. I can keep the laundry done, the groceries bought, the meals cooked, and the kitchen semi-clean, but this house is more than I can handle, so we found someone who is coming one day a week to clean. (Brian if you are reading... stop now.) I owe my husband more than I can say for this.
So there you have it. Indeed. (Inside joke...) I'll be back with more news sooner rather than later.