Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hello 2010...

First of all, I need to begin with apologizing for how incredibly awful my blog looks! Eek. I tried to change it up and obviously did a botched job. Shealy, can you help me when I get back to Auburn?

Next, I'm sort of "skipping over" Christmas because my camera is with Justin in Mexico and that is where my pictures are...

Lastly, I wanted to leave a sort of tribute to 2009. It was our first full year of marriage, a time when we learned a lot about ourselves, what it means to put God at the center of a marriage, and we have made a lot of wonderful memories! So, here it goes...

At the beginning of 2009, Justin and I came back to Auburn ready for a new year with one another. We were recharged from a great Christmas break and still very much learning what it meant to be "newly weds". Over the course of the next few months, we began praying over where God would have us, if we should purchase a home or continue to rent, and preparing for a tough 10 weeks of Justin being gone doing research. We enjoyed a lot of fun times together, doing things we enjoy like working out, jogging, watching movies, and ready several good books.

In March, the Fab 5 had our 1 annual beach retreat weekend in OIB which was wonderful! Justin and I actually really love our car rides together because all you can really do is sing and talk, so it's a great time to "catch up" and talk about in depth things..something that is easy to put off when you have the distractions of t.v. and internet after work every evening.

The spring came and went very quickly and before we new it, it was the first weekend of May and Justin was off to the Outer Banks of NC to begin his first field season. Though our last weekend was eventful and I had a blast celebrating Martha's Bachelorette Weekend in Wilmington and spending time with Jillian, the next 10 weeks would be very trying emotionally, as well as rewarding in seeing how much God provides!

May went by quickly with school ending and my new position of assistant volleyball coach began. I really enjoyed seeing the progress my students had made over the course of my first year teaching and I definitely felt like I had learned a tremendous amount about what it takes to be a teacher. Over Memerial Day I spent time with the Thomas' at Lake Martin and summer officially began. I decided to teach summer school to give me something to do during the mornings, as well as make a little extra money, so that's what I did. My daily routine turned into school from 8-11, lunch, work out, time at the pool, and the relaxation. I quickly began to see how lonely one can get living by themselves and being off for the summer! Thankfully, I had amazing friends to step up and invite me into their homes, often nightly, allowing me to feel like a part of their families. God truly provided for me!

During this time, Justin was working hard growing a grungy beard and collecting scat, being chased by bears and living with mice, seriously! Our new marriage consisted of frequent phone calls and emails. The old addage goes, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

As I read great books, became obsessed with Pilates and The Shred, and officially had my own room at other married couples homes, June quickly came and went and it was time for me to head to NC for a whole month! During this time, I was able to celebrate in the weddings of Beth and Lam and Marth and Tom, as well as have 2 family vacations, 1 with my family in Tennessee and one with Justin's family at Holden Beach. Justin also celebrated his 23 birthday and we celebrated our first anniversary while in Wilmington! We enjoyed a night on the town eating at Slice of Life where we had our first date and ending with dessert at the Little Dipper!

Before we could leave NC, we had to pick up our first addition to our family, sweet Mason. What a ride that has been! We finally returned to AL to move into our new house (which God opened up to us to RENT, not buy), with a lot more room and a nice yard for Mason to play in. My new school year began and so did volleyball season.

August-October truly is a whirlwind. With tournaments on the weekends and often 2-3 games a week, Justin and I quickly learned about prioritizing things in our marriage and I also learned a lot about putting my teaching and coaching in perspective. I loved this season however, getting to know the girls, seeing them improve and challenge themselves, and making great friends in my fellow coaches! (I also celebrated my 24th birthday as well as having family visit a few times that fall. We also enjoyed the changing of seasons and of course, FOOTBALL SEASON!)

As fall really began, life finally began to slow down a bit for the Dellinger house hold. Justin and I have continued to challenge one another in God's Word, as well as learn a lot about ourselves and how to love God first, then our spouses. It tends to work a lot better that way. As 2009 has quickly came to a close, we have enjoyed spending holidays with family and friends and being reminded of how faithful God is. During a time of economical uncertainty, we have stable jobs, good health, and new life lessons we are learning every day.

I don't believe in saying that 1 particular season of life is best, for that season will indeed be the best. Every season has it's ups and downs, it's hard times, and it's wonderful times, and 2009 is a year to remember. Justin and I have shared many memories and a year full of lessons I hope to carry through out the rest of our lives. Indeed, hello 2010!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

I can not believe it's already Christmas time. I've been teaching my students about different traditions and religions this month and it's been so neat to go over what everyone is celebrating this time of year. We have discussed the smells of Christmas such as pine, cinnamon, and peppermint. We have gone over symbols of Christmas such as trees, lights, nativity scenes, gifts, and poinsettias. And, of course ,we've talked about our favorite sounds of Christmas like the ringing of bells at all the shopping centers and Christmas songs being played in our favorite stores and on the radio.

Personally, my favorite Christmas tradition growing up was our car ride to Mamaw and Papaw's house. We always left from Mimmie and Pawpaw's house. We would usually eat breakfast with them and Pawpaw would check my Daddy's oil and he and Mimmie would stand on the front porch waving good bye, no matter how cold, until we were out of sight. The 6 hour drive would begin for the Lamb family, off to Tennessee. We would usually fight over calling Mamaw and telling her we were on our way. We would sing Christmas carols and play car games and Momma, Jill, and I would have girl snuggling time while Daddy and Zach navigated in the front. Though we tended to almost always have a family fight during that long car ride, I always loved that part of Christmas!

Justin and I have started our own Dellinger traditions! We decorate the day we get back from Thanksgiving with our families and we try and attend all the Christmas festivities at church. We also have been lighting candles on the mantle and turning off all the lights in the living room but the tree at night and snuggling with each other and Mason. It's so nice and peaceful! We also have Christmas goodies we are planning to make for family and friends.

I can not post all this about traditions without discussing the most important part of Christmas, the birth of our Savior. The community of Forestdale, near our house, has Bible verses displayed in everyone's front yard with a beautiful Navity painting in the middle of the community! How could we celebrate family, friends, gifts and all the wonderful things about this time of year without recognizing Jesus Christ, our Lord and His birthday. What a precious gift we have been given and what a wonderful time of year we have to celebrate with the people we love the most!

This really is the most wonderful time of year!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So Much to be Thankful For...

Us Girls
Jill after Mason ate her cake...

The damage...

We had such a nice Thanksgiving break this year. With Justin having the whole week off with the University, I went ahead and took advantage of my personal days and took Monday and Tuesday off. We were able to spend the whole week at home! Justin and I made it to my parents house around 1:00 am Saturday morning and were exhausted. We didn't get a lot of sleep due to Mason stirring around quite a bit since he was in a new place. But, we woke up Saturday and Justin and Zach took Mason over to Uncle Dave's to play while Mom, Jill, and I went with Jill to get her hair done and get lunch at our favorite restaurant, Something Different. It was so great to finally just be around the table talking and giggling with my Mom and sister. After lunch we went home to cook and got ready for our big Thanksgiving Celebration at church. This was when Mason decided to take advantage of Jill's Italian Cream Cake cooling on the counter...needless to say, he had a tummy ache! It was so funny though!

On Sunday, we enjoyed a very nice service at my Dad's church, which is growing in wonderful ways, and had a great meal. No one even noticed that Mason had nibbled on the ends of the cake once we iced it, haha!

Over the next few days we continued to enjoy catching up with family and friends, including Jillian playing little nurse and checking all of our blood pressures and our blood sugar.

When were were at the Dellinger's, we continued to enjoy family! We are so blessed to have wonderful Christian homes with families that love us! Thank you Lord...we could not ask for more!