Thursday, July 31, 2008

UH Athletes in Olympics

I just got an email from my friend Kim S. from grad school. She is back living and working in Hawai'i after being home on the East Coast for a while. She was letting me know that a girl who was there when we were there is going to be starting for the US Olympic Women's Volleyball team. In fact, I was this girl's Teaching Assistant in World History. Kim Willoughby was a superstar athlete at UH and it will be fun to watch her next month. I know volleyball isn't the major sport at most of your alma maters, but at UH fans packed out the stadium to watch both men's and women's volleyball. Very exciting to watch these impressive athletes. Here are some others from UH that will represent the US in Beijing:

Hawai'i is contributing starters to the Olympics in: Men's Volleyball (Clay Stanley); Women's Volleyball (Robyn Ah-Mow, Heather Bown, Kim Willoughby), Women's Soccer (Natasha Kai), Men's Water Polo (Brooks, the goalie), and men's Decathalon (Brian Clay). Not bad for a state with 1.3 million residents.

Here's a picture of Kim & me in the Manoa Valley taken when I was in Hawaii this past January. This is not the volleyball player Kim, this is my fellow grad student & friend Kim:

Monday, July 28, 2008

My girlfriend, April, just tagged me with this, so I'll play along:

A. attached or single? very attached

B. best friend? Jason

C. cake or pie? chocolate pie

D. day of choice? Saturday

E. essential item? right now it's my body pillow

F. favorite color? Yellow

G. gummy bears or worms? neither

H. hometown? born in Ozark, AL - grew up in Montgomery

I. favorite indulgence? Pedicure & Mellow Yellow

J. january or july? July, I'm a warm weather person

K. kids? 3.5

L. life isn't complete without? downtime (and my family, of course)

M. marriage date? August 14, 2004

O. oranges or apples? both

P. phobias? heights & bugs

Q. quotes? "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life". John 3:16

R. reasons to smile? when Eli lays his head on my shoulder

S. season of choice? Spring

U. unknown fact about me? I've been to the Soup Nazi in NYC, and the
guy in front of me got kicked out of line (no soup for him)

V. vegetable? I love most every vegetable

W. worst habits? Oh, I have so many...

X. x-ray or ultrasound? that is a dumb question that doesn't even make sense.

Y. your favorite food(s)? ribeye steak, anything Italian, chocolate

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Baby Girl Walker has a Name!

Jason and I have finally decided on a name for Baby Girl Walker. Her name will be Margaret Jane Walker. Margaret was my paternal grandmother's name and Jane is Jason's mother's name. We plan to call her Margaret, although I'm sure those close to her might use an occasional Margaret Jane or Maggie Jane.
She will arrive in about 6 weeks. I am still feeling great, although it is getting harder for me to move my big body around. And the heat...OHHHH, the heat!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Slowly But Surely

Just wanted to update all of you who have inquired and are keeping up...Eli took two steps last Saturday and one step today. He has really not shown any interest in walking up to this point. He'll stand in the middle of a room and drink from his cup or clap his hands, then he'll sit back down. Maybe he's ready to walk now that he's pushing 14 months. I'll keep ya posted!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Family Connections

This is my cousin Tammy, pictured with Jason (I would only let family get that close;) Tammy and I have been friends for about10 years. When I moved back home after living in Hawaii, it was Tammy that introduced me to her cousin Jason - or as she has always called him her: Cute Cousin Jason, or CCJ. So, my friend Tammy is now my cousin Tammy, isn't that fun?! Jason and I actually had our first date after attending Tammy's wedding rehearsal dinner back in October of 2003.
This is Thomas, Tammy's brother. Thomas and I became friends when he moved back to Montgomery in the late 1990s after living in California. Thomas is a III, so the family calls him T3. I still call him Thomas. He was the gracious host of our soiree tonight.

Tammy and I were pregnant with our boys at the same time, they are one week apart! Tam's husband is a Cajun, thus little Michael Paul's beautiful dark skin, hair, and eyes. He and Eli hardly look like cousins, huh? Tammy and her husband Paul live in Kentucky where he is a pastor. Paul wasn't able to make this trip, we all missed him.
This is Tammy and Thomas' dad, Tom. Tom is a II, so he has several nicknames including Tom 2 & Tom Tom. Tom 2 lives in New Zealand, so when he is in town it is always cause for big family get togethers. One of Tom 2's specialties is what he calls Bama Burgers - loaded with garlic and other tasty spices. He made these tonight over at T3's house:
Here's a pic of Hugh & Grant with their cousin Mallory. This is Tammy's daughter. Mallory brought BGW some beautiful dresses!
Here are some friends of ours, the Solt's. Nobody wanted to miss the Bama Burgers.

After everyone enjoyed their Bama Burgers and Cindy's incredible homemade chocolate pie (Cindy is the pretty blonde on the front right of the pic), the group settled in for a round or two of Dominoes. Good times!

All in the Family

Eli's cousin Michael Paul is in town. We all met up down in Hayneville last night for some swimming and family time.
This is Tom, Michael's grandfather swimming with the boys:
Our Aunt Carole had a new bathroom added onto her house. She calls it the Super Loo and after you see these pictures, I think you'll know why!
On the far left is a Koi Pond and all the plants are real:
Carole designed this herself from an old baker's rack. The wash basin is so beautiful:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Same Old Lang Syne

When I worked in DC I made some of the best friends I've had in my lifetime. After several of us left the big city, we used to have an annual reunion back in DC, which was great fun. In fact, one of our reunions was the inspiration for the title of this blog entry. Seems I remember Cass and I singing every word to the Dan Fogleberg song as we left the National Mall headed to the Metro after celebrating New Year's Eve 1999 with Will Smith and Sam Watterson -- oh, and Wolf Blitzer -- at the base of the Lincoln Memorial (only in DC can you get such an odd combination of celebs).
Now we are all gone from inside the beltway, and live in very different places, so our get togethers are different, but still a priority. Today I got to see Cassondra (the aforementioned Cass). She is from north Alabama, but now she and her husband and two children live in Indianapolis. She was down this week visiting her parents so we met up in Birmingham today for lunch and a visit. She brought 8 month old Will, her youngest, and I brought Eli - just 5 months older. It was great to see her. It's funny how different our lives are now compared to what they were when we first met. From single girls working for a Senator on Capitol Hill to happy wives and mothers living in suburbia trying to keep our sanity as we raise babies. Life just keeps getting better and better. And who knows, maybe one day we'll perform Same Old Lang Syne once again in our nation's capital.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summertime Fun

I recently got to spend a couple of days at the lake with two of my best girlfriends, Christy & Kim. We've been friends since junior high school. We have 7 boys amongst us -- so yes, they're also excited that I'm having a girl. We figure she'll be shared three ways!

The boys are watching the fish in this shot:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July

We had a very nice 4th of July up at the lake. Jason, Eli, & I got there Thursday night. Mother and Daddy were there and kept Eli for Jason and I to go out on a nice date night. We went to Sinclair's restaurant at Kowaliga, right on the water and less than 5 minutes from the lake house. We had a delicious meal -- I had the parmesean crusted trout and Jason had the ribeye. The place was packed because of the holiday so that made it fun too. Friday morning we went to watch the boat parade. Anyone can enter, you just have to decorate your boat. Eli enjoyed watching the parade and fell asleep on the way home. That afternoon we boated up to Chimney Rock to watch the jumpers. Chimney Rock, as it is called by the locals, has a spot about 60 feet up that folks jump from. There are also lower jump spots for the kids and less daring adults. That afternoon we had a feast of ribs, grilled corn, baked beans, slaw, tomatoes, sweet tea, key lime pie and cheesecake!
I spent most of the weekend in the water swimming, nice to be weightless and so mobile! I did a fair amount of boat riding too. During our ride up to Chimney Rock there were tons of boats on the water, making it a very choppy ride. After riding all afternoon holding onto my stomach so as not to have a baby pop out 2 months early, we decided my boat riding days are over for a little while!
We do not have any pictures of the fireworks from Friday night, but they were spectacular -- considered one of the best shows in the southeast. Our entire crowd hopped on the boat and watched the show from the water just around the corner from our house. I stayed behind since Eli was sleeping, plus we were curious how well we could see the fireworks from our pier. I was not disappointed. I was able to see 90% of the fireworks and they were right over the trees of our slough. The rest of our group was right under them, but the pier view was excellent as well.
It was a great holiday!

Eli celebrating the 4th!
Our cousins Sonya & Ray joined us for the fun:
The boat parade at Children's Harbor:
Boat parade with Kowaliga Bridge in the background:
Eli enjoying his first boat parade:

Chimney Rock:Cousin Sonya and her daughter Annabelle in matching suits:

Darryl grilling the delicious ribs:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008