Sunday, March 20, 2011

4 Years and Going Strong... Armstrong-style!

Sunny Spring is here!

What a wonderful new day, today!  It's Sunday, and just the beginning of this much needed, long-awaited Spring Break week.  It's the warmest it's been in months.  God has blessed us with this beautiful Sunny day with perfect 77 degree weather.  The 'bunny bush' outside or back porch even has bright pink blooms all over it!  Our windows & back door are all open and it's just a wonderful day!

The 'Bunny Bush' has blooms!
Our newest bunny friend, a White Rabbit!
The Bush in it's glory

It's been a crazy long semester already, mostly busy making the Arties happen (the Oscar-like Award Show for JBU Art students).  But it finally happened last Thursday the 10th, and seemed to be a we feel like our semester can actually begin now!  Sadly to say our housework & some studies got sorely neglected with all the planning and other responsibilities.  So it's soo nice to now have a whole week off where we can get back on track with everything.  And today I'm really enjoying doing laundry and housework with this sunny breeze wafting through the house. 

In other big news, Andrew and I just celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary this Saint Patrick's Day!  It was Thursday, so we had school, but it started out with a really nice chapel service with some beautiful Celtic inspired worship songs, that really blessed my heart that morning. The spirit really moved, and it was beautiful.  They played 'Be Though My Vision' which was the song I walked down the aisle to, towards my waiting Groom, 4 years earlier...I cried a little singing it again that morning.  And props to the worship team that day, it may have been the best chapel band I've heard yet (props to Sned on flute, and Katie Poteet on keyboard!).

My Present
In the middle of the day Andrew thoroughly surprised me with a new lens for our 7D!  We wen to get our campus mail and had a package slip (I was totally not expecting), I figured my mom sent something.  The postoffice ladies saw me coming and acted all funny and conspicuously tried to stall me while they took awhile getting my package.  They brought out a B&H box (!), they had clearly just tied a purple ribbon around.  I was so clueless, but super excited to get something from the well-known camera/video equipment store in NY.  Only other people get stuff from them, not little old us!  At first I thought the package must have been sent with some note for the mail room people to 'wrap w/ ribbon upon arrival,' but had no idea how we would be getting something from B&H.  And it took me way too long to realize it was a present from Andrew to me, and he had come in earlier asking the ladies to put the ribbon on it for him.  Anyway, it was an awesome surprise!  He knows I love trying to take nature/wildlife photos of all the creatures around our home here in the Natural State, but with our short lenses it's been frustrating.  So he got me a great Canon zoom lens, a UV filter (we always keep one on our lenses to protect the glass), and a lens bag to protect it, since it won't fit in our current tiny camera bag that just holds our 7D & short prime lens.  (Now I have all the more need for one of these I wrote about in my last post!)
        So it was a great present from a really thoughtful husband who knew just the kind of thing I'd be really excited about!  I know he'd been working lots of long hours this month that helped save up for this, so he deserves some accolades for his awesomeness!


His Present
For Andrew's gift (a much harder guy to buy for), I wasn't nearly so extravagant, but he'd been wanting a folding knife (basically a big pocket knife), so I cleaned up, organized, and re-stocked his grip bag (production tool bag) so it was all nice and ready to use for upcoming film shoots, and put 2 brand new pocket knives inside.  One of the better ones I knew he'd been eyeing, and a smaller one that looked just as nice (but was a lot less expensive) and a great deal.  I figured he could keep the little one in the grip bag as just another tool for convenience but carry around the nice one like he wanted.  And I threw in a new green carabiner with a tiny compass attached, since the one on his keys had been roughed up and now silver from wear.
        He was happy with his more humble gifts, and I was happy that he also decided to finally cash in my old gift offer from earlier this year.  One of our earlier holidays I gave him a homemade gift 'coupon' good for a new complete, professional grip belt of his choice (tool belt for on-set camera crew, etc.) So this weekend he did some research and picked out his new belt and all the essential trimmings to fill it with, and ordered that, so it should be here this week (we're both pretty excited about that new gift of his).  We're both all set to do some serious filmmaking now!  And I guess this year's gifts kinda show how nerdy we are about being excited to get film equipment as presents :)

front of the Grip bag
back of bag

Anyway once school was all done for the day (around 7p) we went into Fayetteville for dinner at Red Lobster (thanks, Grace Bible Church, for my send-off gift card there from last Summer); Yum!  But that's not where the Anniversary festivities ended!

Once the school week was officially over (pretty late Friday night) we had one more thing to go. Yesterday Andrew took us to the Wild Wilderness Drivethrough Safari in Gentry!  For $10 bucks each, it was a really awesome day trip!  It was his great idea for us to go and make a day of it, packing a picnic, and bringing the new lens to practice with on all the wild animals :)
        It was a great idea, and he was so sweet to think of it.  This place has a 4 mile drivethrough full of all kinds of amazing exotic (and more domestic) wildlife that just hang out all around the driving trail, and you can drive it as many times as you want!  We took our time driving through once, while I took lots of pictures of the creatures.  Then we got out to enjoy the walk-through parts where there were pettable animals (including the red kangaroos!), and some more up close, in pens & cages. Then we got back in the car to drive it again while enjoying our packed lunch of grapes, gouda, summer sausage, and wheat water was fun to go back through a while later when we saw different animals in different places.  We actually went through a 3rd time before leaving because we still hadn't spotted Andrew's favorite animal, the Red Fox...he was elusive, because we never did spot him.  But after the 3rd drive 'round we headed home since it was around their late 3p feeding when they're less active.  And we'd had a good fill of animal wildlife by that point anyway. I'll be sure to post soon with some of the great shots we were able to get with my new lens and all those cute animals!

So it has been a wonderful last few days of enjoying eachother and celebrating our marriage. Somehow I feel like 4 years is kindof a big deal, like we've really stuck through this and have made it past early newlywed-ness.  We're for real, official, and know we will make it last many more (not that there was any question to begin with).  I'm the most excited to finally start life 'for real' together now that we'll be done with college life this Summer.  I'm going to graduate in May, and Andrew will just have a few more hours to finish over the summer somehow (maybe even online), and we'll get to move back to Texas and get lives, and careers, and hopefully a home really started. Wish us luck!  And thanks for sticking with me, reading this long update, and waiting long periods between posts for any actual news from us :)

Love you guys!


  1. Happy Anniversary again! Sounds like you both had a wonderful couple of days!


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