Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saying Goodbye

This past week, Steve and I had to say goodbye to our good friends from Jackson. Steve worked with Jake on many projects at work, while Jennifer and I bonded over house decor, shopping, and other girly things. We would try to meet up at least once a week for lunch with the husbands, and then an afternoon of chatting while the husbands went back to work.

You may remember this post when we went to St. Louis with them back in September. We also got to travel with them for a work trip to Cincinnati where I got to introduce Jennifer to the wonderful world of Ikea.

Needless to say, we have many fond memories with these two which is why I am sad to see them leave. With the selling of Pringles to a new company, they decided to pursue a different career opportunity landing them in Kentucky.

It's amazing how close Jennifer and I got in such a short amount of time. She has truly been a blessing to me while I've been in Tennessee and will miss our weekly lunches and chats. We've already made plans to go on a yearly weekend trip together (well the women have decided and the men have accepted).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Family, Fun, & Birthday

My parents came down to visit Steve and I two weekends ago. They arrived on Sunday (June 12) just after church. My dad left the next day, leaving mom to stay all week with us. During her visit, she helped me babysit, took a trip to Memphis, and started to pack up the house. It was really nice to have her here and show her what my day to day life looks like.

Everyone knows how crazy I am about my family and that I travel up to Indiana to see them quite a bit; however, this is only the 2nd time she has been to visit me in Tennessee! Who knows, it may be the last time (with our impending move ahead). It was also nice to have my mom all to myself :). We even were able to have a couple "mommy & me dates" including a lunch at Red Robin & saw "Water for Elephants".

We left Tennessee Friday morning (which also happened to be my birthday-- nothing like spending 8 hours in a car!). Unfortunately, Steve did not make the trip with us. He said he's still "carred up" from the Colorado drive. I drove the first couple hours (in the rain, which I hate) and then my mom drove the rest (I told her I'd switch back but I think she enjoys being in charge in a car).

We arrived to my parents' house were my sister and her 3 girls had decorated the kitchen (Twilight themed- no doubt) & threw me a little "surprise" party. I had already known they were coming over & planning on staying the night, the decorations were the surprise. However, I know my sister all too well & knew there would be Twilight decorations at some point over the weekend.

On Saturday, lots of people were in and out of the house. My brother & his wife dropped their baby off in the morning for my mom to babysit. Grandpa arrived at some point and we had a little cookout. After lunch, my sister, nieces, and Grandpa left, leaving the house quiet with just my parents, other sister, baby, and myself. (I told you lots of people were in and out, it gets confusing even if you were present). In the evening, my bestest friend Megan and her boyfriend Joel came over for a visit. Joel got to experience his first evening with the Willis family. He came out unscathed, so I guess it was a good evening (my family has a reputation of crazy first impressions -- go figure).

Sunday was spent honoring my dad and Grandpa. We went out to eat after church and then made a quick visit to see Pappaw in the nursing home. Once we got home, all craziness broke out. The men all huddled at the kitchen table playing computer games all afternoon (Steve was even involved in the gaming, playing online from Tennessee). I spent a few hours playing "American Girls" with my nieces in the newly cleaned out basement. That evening, we had a big cookout (In attendance: Mom, Dad, Sara, Ryan, Lori, Joe, Liz, Charlotte, Chris, Amber, Emily, Allie, Gabbie, Grandpa, and myself, whew!). After eating, we enjoyed watching the Adams girls play in the hot tub & then fool around with poppers in the back yard. Eventually, the house cleared out & I convinced Amber & girls to stay the night again (it didn't take too much convincing).

I was originally supposed to return to Jackson on Monday, but I stuck around one more day in order to hang out with my really good friend April. She and I have started a tradition of movie nights (dating back 3 years?) that usually include Chinese food.

I drove by myself back to Jackson on Tuesday. Needless to say, it was a full trip & I am now tuckered out.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Job Offer -- not what you think. . .

At this point in our situation, you'd expect a post about a job offer to be about Steve; however, it's about me. Earlier this week I got a call from Jackson Madison County Schools, asking me to stay on as a full time first grade teacher for next year. The position is at the same school that I did my 6-week sub.

It was really hard to turn down the offer. Not knowing when we are moving is killing me; however, I know without a doubt we'll be out of Jackson by November. It wouldn't be fair to have accepted the job for a few months for them to have to find someone else.

It's especially hard to turn down a teaching job when my whole year of subbing was working towards an offer for next year. After subbing all different grades in Jackson, I discovered that I truly loved working with the elementary age. Since I don't have a license for elementary, the school would have given me a temporary license and helped me achieve a permanent one.

Oh well, God has different plans for us. I just got to keep telling myself that. All in His time, all in His plan.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A New Car

After much research, many test drives, and lots of whining (on my part), we purchased our first new car! It's a 2011 Nissan Versa Hatchback SL.

We arrived at the dealership in Memphis around 5:30, and drove off the lot a little after 8. We got the car in Memphis because Steve did online research and negotiations with different dealerships. We were hoping for a different color, but we couldn't turn down the price we got with the black one.

Originally, we were going to by a Hyundai Elantra; however, over Memorial Day weekend, we test drove the Versa and fell in love. It is very spacious, huge windows (meaning huge visibility!), and easy to get in and out of. It's mpg ranges from 28-40, which sealed the deal for us.

The Versa comes in 2 different designs. You can get just the Versa which is a 4 door car with a basic trunk or you can get the Versa hatchback. I had been begging Steve for a crossover (suv style car but on a car chassis) and we felt the Versa hatchback was the best of both worlds. You get the mpg as a car, but the space and appearance of the crossover.

The inside is charcoal (or black with grey features). The seats are a durable cloth while the doors are lined with leather. We went with the SL version for it's better gas mileage, and the leather and details on the car come with the SL. I still can't get over how spacious the inside is. Everyone knows that Steve is a very tall fellow. While test driving, I sat behind his seat and still had a foot of extra leg room (something that is very rare!). The top of the car is also higher than most which allows for extra head room as well as easier access into the car.

Needless to say, I am thrilled to finally have a car I can call my own (well, Steve and I are sharing it, so technically it's not mine, but a girl can dream) and I am equally thrilled that we got the car that we did!