Out with the OLD...

I've found that being a bank teller is especially rough on the shoes...standing/walking around all day can really put some strain on your feet. I knew my feet were taking a beating...but check out what I did to my shoes.

Shoes BEFORE (please notice the heel is in its normal position, allowing one to stand normally)...

Shoes AFTER 4 months of being a teller and undergoing continuous wear....

Seriously. This is what I'm walking around in today.

Guess that means its time to buy new shoes. :)


My week in a nutshell...

I picked Gabe up from the airport on Friday night! Finally we will be starting our new "normal" life together!! Since he's home I'm certainly not wasting more than 5 minutes sitting at my computer...so here's how I fared on my to do list:

*Thoroughly clean the condo...check!
*Pack up all Christmas decorations...check!
*Experiment and cook a new dish...no check here. I made soups and ate leftovers all week. It was nice to take a little break from all the cooking and cleaning required. :)
*Call Gabe....check check check!
*Finish the last 2 Twilight books...half check. I finished the 3rd book but had I started on the last one (800+ pages) there's no way I would have accomplished anything else this week. :)
*Catch up the blog with Christmas and New Years posts....check!
*Miss Gabe....BIG check!
*Complete at least one wedding scrapbook page....no check here either. I didn't feel like creating another mess to clean up lol.
*Write a letter to Sara in Madagascar...check! Just gotta put it in the mail.
*Phone dates with some girlfriends to catch up on life...sadly no check here. I called and texted...but no calls back. Do I smell funny?
*Get back to P90X and BRING IT...quasi-check. I did a little....but I just wasn't feeling so motivated this week.
*Call Gabe and tell him I miss him....again...a BIG CHECK! I missed that man like CrAzY!

So...after the first day or two when I quit mourning over missing Gabe I actually got some stuff done and the week passed much more quickly. Now he's home and I'm going to spend the rest of the evening cuddled right up next to him! See you later!


Party like it's...2010!

As hard as it may be to believe another year has passed, and as hard as it is to get used to writing 2010 on everything...here we are.

I'm SO excited about this year...for all the great things in store for us. Gabe's new job (which = totally *new* life for both of us!!), exploring Fort Myers, my cousin Katie's wedding, our first wedding anniversary...and so much more we can't even dream of yet!

During the last week of the year, Al and Teri (Gabe's parents) came down to Fort Myers to stay with us. Gabe was off work, so they all took their boat out during the week and went fishing while I went to work. Somebody's gotta bring home the bacon, right?

So here's a few pictures of their fishing adventures. [I didn't bother to take pictures while I was at work...it wasn't nearly this exciting haha]

Thankfully he didn't go through with this action.

We spent the evenings playing cards and eating dinners. I cooked a couple nights....pictured below is rocky top chicken, asparagus with a balsamic butter sauce and a fresh salad! :)

and the last evening, we went out to one of my FaVoRiTe new restaurants, the Elephant Bar. Of course we had to take a picture with the cool background...

We brought in the New Year at home, deciding to avoid the cold outside and the traffic. We had a nice view of some fireworks from our condo balcony.

And finally--this is our first picture together of the year! Bring it on 2010!!

Our first Christmas as *Mr. and Mrs.*

Gabe's coming home tonight...so I've gotta do this blog post to check it off my To Do list before he arrives!! :)

Christmas 2009 was a wonderful, relaxing holiday, despite all the traveling we did. I was able to get off work on Christmas Eve, which helped us get up to Jax a little earlier than we would have otherwise. It was the first time we'd been in Orange Park since September...so it was nice to be home. Well...we thought it was nice...until we hit traffic getting onto Blanding Blvd. Then we didn't miss it so much haha.

Anyway...we went to the Christmas Eve service with the family, then headed back to our house for the Good/Williams/Burns/Bedenbaugh Christmas celebration! We had (wayyy too much) yummy food and then exchanged gifts. The boys did their usual "buy-each-other-the-same-gift-on-purpose-and-act-surprised" deal. Katie got me a sweet lunch bag for work and a really neat photo frame to match our living room! :)

Here's a few pictures of the evening...

Mr. and Mrs. Bedenbaugh <3

The Goods and Bedenbaughs (please note Buffy's super stylish hoodie)

Cousin lovin...

Then it was PAJAMA TIME! I've been waiting for Gabe to experience the matching PJs for a long time and the day finally arrived. This year's style were "Pajama Grams" in their cute lil packages.

The boys were "fatigued" and very...manly...in their green PJs.

And here's everybody...gotta love it!

After Christmas morning at the Good house...we headed out to Lake City for the Tuggle/Bedenbaugh Christmas! We spent some time out in the field (where Gabe and I got engaged) shooting skeet and just hanging out. Here's me and my new sister...she's kinda crazy. lol. But so am I...so its great! :)

Uncle Gabe playing with Ethan! :)

And of course our newest nephew...Jack Lucas.

We spent the rest of the weekend at the Bedenbaugh house...just hanging out, watching movies, (and reading Twilight...shhh). Then it was back to Fort Myers on Sunday after a nice service at Abundant Grace.

So...we had a very wonderful Christmas. Got some great gifts (we both got diploma frames...pics to come...and I got a new computer! yay!) and lots of great fellowship with our friends and family. We are SO blessed to have doubled our families this year, we couldn't ask for more!


Celine says it best...

"All byyyy myyyysellllllf. Don't wanna be all by myyyyyself anymore..."

As you know...Gabe is in Denver this week...and I am in Fort Myers. And it is killing me. I thought it would be okay because I've been used to him not getting home until 10 PM every night, but I think that these days, when it hits 10 PM and I know he's not going to be walking through the door any time soon...it just breaks my heart. I really never dreamed it would be so difficult. I mean...we did long distance for the last 3 summers and various other vacations and mission trips without even talking to each other. But this is down right hard.

I guess it's because of the "oneness" that comes with marriage...it's different. Now when he's away...I truly am missing part of myself. It's so interesting to see how our relationship has changed over the years!

I'm doing alright though. Thank goodness I'm a pretty independant woman or I'd be a real basketcase. I've had work and dentist appointments and other chores and stuff to fill my time, but I can not WAIT for my man to be back home on Friday!!

So that's my pity party for the day.

Man...I can't end a post feeling sorry for myself.
On that note--I have been so so blessed and have so much to be thankful for. The sweetest man in the world is MINE and he IS coming back on Friday. After that...we are going to have every evening and weekend and holiday to be together. It's seriously like a dream come true...I can't even imagine what that kind of married life is like! But I'm excited!
I have so many sweet friends and precious family who have been praying for me and chatting with me on the phone to help me avoid loneliness.
I have a roof over my head and *heater* to keep me warm during this coldest week ever in Fort Myers.
And of course I have a loving Father in Heaven pursuing me with his unconditional, unending love. It doesn't get any better than that folks.


You are now entering...the Twilight Zone

Ok...so I admit. I'm hooked on the Twilight books. I just finished a 600+ page book (Eclipse) in 2 days. Thank you Stephanie Meyer.

So much for my fancy to do list...that's all I've been accomplishing lately since I've been in the Twilight Zone. I put this off for a long time because I couldn't fathom actually being interested in fiction books about vampires and werewolves...but I must say I'm glad this one sucked me in. Meyer is an excellent author and really knows how to keep the reader's interest. It's nearly impossible to put these books down.

On that note...I've decided not to start reading the final book in the series until later this week. I need a life back for at least a day so I can tackle some other things on my ever growing LiSt.

It's been nice to escape the fact that my hubby is not coming home every night this week by delving into a good book--but alas--productivity awaits.

In other news...(before I started reading Eclipse) I finished up one of the best books I've ever read-- "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. It is a retelling of the book of Hosea...the story of a man who rescues and marries a prostitute and loves her with a truly unconditional love despite her resistance. It was so incredible to read about the lifestyle of such a woman, and to understand better the torments that so many must experience. The woman in the book never had a man show her love that wasn't purely selfish and empty, never knew what it was like to truly be served by another person, never knew how to give real love in return without fear of the consequences. It was truly heartbreaking.
But of course...the beauty comes with the way this man fights for her, brings her back when she runs away, the way he loves her and shows her Jesus...until she finally begins to understand. Of course it is not until she encounters the Lord that she can fully know the depths of love--but what a beautiful image it is when she meets the real Lover of her Soul.
It definitely gave me something to meditate on this week. How often do we forget how wide, how deep is the love of Jesus? WE are the wretched sinners: constantly pushing Him away, fighting for the only sinful way we know to live, refusing to listen and giving in to our own weaknesses. Yet, he LOVES us. He PURSUES us. We just need to stop and take it all in sometimes. What great mercy we have received.

Until next time...


Home Alone: Fort Myers

No boobie traps or schemes to kill stupid burglars here...just me alone in Fort Myers for a whole WEEK! I took Gabe to the airport today and sent him off to Denver, Colorado for a week of training for his new job. It's awesome because it signifies our new beginning and gives me hope for all the evenings and weekends we will get to spend together...but unfortunately it means I have sleep alone for a week. Bummer. And its the coldest it's ever been in Fort Myers this week too.
At least I have my new Gator Snuggie to keep me warm.

Gabe's gonna be freezing in Colorado too...the low is 9 degrees on Wednesday. He'll probably be experiencing snow for the first time this week and I'm bummed I can't be there with him. We did get him outfitted for the cold weather. Jacket, scarf, gloves...

That is how you wear a scarf right? Okay...take two.

And you can't forget the long johns!

I suggested he leave them hanging out like that. I think his new employer would be very impressed to say the least.

Anyway. So...he's on a plane and I'm here holding down the home front. So I don't lose my mind...here's my "to do" list for the week. I'll write again when Gabe get's back and we'll see how I did. :)

In no particular order:

*Thoroughly clean the condo
*Pack up all Christmas decorations
*Experiment and cook a new dish
*Call Gabe
*Finish the last 2 Twilight books (I'm hooked so this one should be easy to do!)
*Catch up the blog with Christmas and New Years posts
*Miss Gabe
*Complete at least one wedding scrapbook page (I've only done my bridal showers and honeymoon...eek. lots to do there)
*Write a letter to Sara in Madagascar.
*Phone dates with some girlfriends to catch up on life!
*Get back to P90X and BRING IT! Only 5 weeks left!
*Call Gabe and tell him I miss him.

I think that's all for now. I don't want to get too ambitious here. So...here I go...