Saturday, June 25, 2011

Getting settled in...again

It has been a good week. Since we got back into Raleigh Monday night, we have gone downtown to explore, met with a guy that has a studio, redecorated our bathroom, met with the core group, and gone swimming at Falls Lake.

Earlier in the week -- Tuesday, I think -- we put some of the gift cards to use that we got from our "going away" reception on Sunday. Our guest bathroom was transformed from red and brown to green. The walls are still khaki, but the shower curtain, floor mats, and soap dispenser are green. Pretty, huh?

We've still been eating pretty much every night with the Britts and Hollises. We can't speak for them, but I know we're not tired of it, yet. We hope it keeps going and we can start bringing other people/couples in at some point.

The promo pack for Donnie and my acoustic "band" is pretty much done. They sent the stuff off to get printed last night and we are supposed to be having a CD burning party Monday. Once we get it all back, we can start really trying to find places to play.

For some reason, I feel like Donnie's trying to replace me. It's the weirdest thing.

On Friday, CaryAnne and I went downtown and drove around until we found somewhere to eat lunch. We ended up in a cool part of town at a Mediterranean place called Shish Kabob. We both got a chicken gyro and split an order of fries. It was very good and we plan to go back.

After lunch, we drove down the street a bit and met a guy who runs a recording studio. I had contacted him through email (after I Google searched for studios in Raleigh) and he invited me to come check out his place. He showed us around and we talked some about what type of music I'd like to play on. We seemed to get along pretty well. He told me to send him a few songs that I had played on and he'd get in touch with me next week sometime. I really liked his studio and hope to get the chance to work with him.

This morning we had a core group meeting at the Meridas' house in Wake Forest. It was great to be back with everyone and worship with them. Donnie led a few songs (with me accompanying him on my new cajon) then Tony spoke and we took communion. We all ate together afterward. It was great. We've been live streaming the last two meetings at if you're interested in watching at all.

When we left the meeting, we rode over to Durham and saw Kyle and Katie Howe who were in town for a few hours. They were flying to London at 6pm and had about an 8 hour layover here today. We met them at one of their friends' apartments and talked with them for probably an hour. It was great to see them, as it always is. We're trying to talk them into moving up here. I think it's working. ;)

This evening we rode out to Falls Lake because Michael and Donnie had seen a rope swing that we wanted to go play on. We loaded up the ice chest with sandwiches and drinks and headed out. When we got there, though, we discovered that the tree that the rope swing was on had been cut down. That was a bummer. Luckily, we found another one right up the lake from it that was sufficient.

Tomorrow we are going to the Summit again. We really like it there.

Also, happy birthday to my beautiful sister, Erin. She's the hottest 28 year old I know! No, of course she didn't tell me to say that... We love her and miss her.

Anyway, come visit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Going home is hard

Over the past couple weeks, Donnie and I (mainly Donnie) have been working on a promo pack to take to some restaurants and places to try to get some gigs. It has come together pretty nicely, so far. We've recorded a four-song demo of cover songs, also. Oh, and I bought a Cajon -- a "box drum".

We went home last weekend for Brandi and Cass's wedding. It was a great wedding and was nice for us to get a chance to see all our friends and family again so quickly after our move. We decided to fly home Thursday, which cost us $10 thanks to two free one-way flights I had earned, and drive my car back up when we left. It was a good time for us to go home, too, because Aunt Jackie was in town and we got to see her. The weekend was full of wedding festivities, time with family, and hanging out with friends. It was good.

Sunday morning I played at Pinelake's Clinton campus. Mama, Daddy, and CaryAnne came up to the 11:00 service. Afterward, Chris and Maya Schopmeyer from Pinelake had planned a reception/"big box party" for us at their house. We went straight over after church and enjoyed spending some time with them and several other friends. We are so thankful for our Pinelake family and already miss them.

Sunday was also our one year anniversary. We tried to eat some of our wedding cake that we kept in the freezer, but it was pretty bad. It's been a great year, though!

It was actually really hard for us to leave everyone this time. I think that because we knew we were coming back in a couple weeks the first time we left, it wasn't as hard. This time, though, was very tough. We saw our families one more time Sunday night before we left and it got a little emotional for us. That being said, COME VISIT!

We got back to Raleigh around 7pm Monday and went over to the Hollises' to pick up Izzy. It was very nice of them to keep her while we were gone. Last night we had supper with them and the Britts and watched a movie. We had planned on playing tennis after supper but there was a wildfire somewhere and we were under an "Air Quality Alert" so we didn't chance it. Also, Donnie and Meghan decided to do yoga for us.

We're excited to meet again with the core group this weekend, especially since we missed last week's meeting. A couple of the Elders are meeting with one of the potential locations for us to have services today, I think. Pray that it goes well. We're also still looking for jobs and gigs, so we appreciate prayer for that, also.

We miss you all. Whenever you want to come visit, you have a place to stay!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Poppyseed Chicken and Putt-putt

Well hello world. This is my (CaryAnne's) first time updating the blog, so we shall see how this goes.

We started off this morning with our coffee and some reading, and then got all cleaned up and hit the town. Between the three Brookhaven/Hattiesburg families up here, we have been taking turns cooking supper pretty much every night. Let me just say it's been yummy! And super nice to not have to worry about what to cook every night. Last night Michael and Donnie made fried catfish and hushpuppies. Brett and I brought some warm brownies with vanilla ice cream with that magic shell chocolate that hardens when you put it on. Tonight, I made some super easy poppyseed chicken with hot pineapple casserole and some green beans and honey-butter biscuits. Oh yeah, we are eating good. I would say you may see us gaining a little weight, but I am proud to say Brett and I have been in the fitness center here at our apartment complex the last two nights! Go us...

Let's pause and rewind a little. Brett and Izzy were a little sleepy after we got back from shopping for tonight's food at not one grocery store, but two. As you may have seen on my Twitter/Facebook earlier, so far I'm not a Super Target girl and will never be a Food Lion girl. After today I think we are gonna mainly stick with WalMart.

Adorable, I know. We have rearranged our furniture some in the living room and it feels a lot more comfy. We also have all of our clothes finally hanging and in drawers and MOST of the boxes emptied. There are still some boxes that were labeled "JUNK" in the beginning so yeah. They may stay packed up for a little while. The only thing we are really waiting for now is the maintenance people to come put pantry shelves in. Right now most of our pantry food is on our kitchen table. Which is fine for now, but soon we shall start our Domino nights! --- (Shout out to the Bradys!!)

And here are the boys playing on our "putting green" after supper. Yeah, they played a full nine holes of golf. How you may ask? Leave it to their imaginations :). I will say they had an incredible cheerleader and encourager. Judah would say, "Weely close, weely close".

Anyway, we are about to shower after our work out and hit the sack. Check back with us soon! We love mail and emails too :).

Miss ya'll Mississippi.

Friday, June 3, 2011

And so it begins...

We made it! We are getting settled in to our new apartment in Raleigh, NC. So far, we love it here. Even though we've only been here a few days, it feels right. Sure, it's weird being so far away from home and being in a new city, but we know this is good for us.

Here's a recap of our week:

-Sunday: CaryAnne worked until 3 and when she got home we finished packing up most of the things inside the house. We had a lot more to do than we thought. We ate supper with Aunt Jackie and some family that night and stayed up until about midnight packing stuff.

-Monday: CaryAnne worked until about 3 again (yes, the day before we moved). Daddy and I went to Summit and picked up the 16" Penske truck and brought it home to load up. Cody came over and helped, which was a huge help. We had more stuff than we originally thought, so we ended up having to put several things in the back of our car for the trip and had to leave a few things behind. That night we visited with family and turned in relatively early because we planned to leave at 5am Tuesday.

-Tuesday: Travel day. We actually only left 15 minutes later than we planned, which I think was a success. We were pulling out of the driveway at 5:17am (CST). Daddy was driving the Penske with CaryAnne and me behind him. Fourteen short hours later, we arrived in Raleigh. I think we actually pulled into our apartment complex at 8:30pm (EST) and pretty much started unloading immediately. Alex came over to see us and helped get some things into our apartment, then she and CaryAnne went and got us supper from McDonald's. Michael and Donnie were going to help unload but they were on a roofing job that day and didn't get home until about 10:30. By that time, we were too tired to do anything else, and we knew they would be too. Luckily, though, we had gotten most everything in except the couch, T.V.s, some boxes, and a couple of dressers.

-Wednesday: We got up around 8 and got ready to finished unloading the truck. Michael walked over (since we're in the same complex) and helped daddy and me grab the rest of the stuff and we finished in about 30 minutes. We organized some stuff and made the apartment look halfway presentable then went out to get some things from Lowe's and Target. CaryAnne wanted to cook lunch for the Hollises and the Britts so she made sausage dogs and mac and cheese for everybody. It was delicious. For supper, we all went to a Mongolian restaurant down the road. Donnie and Meghan treated us, which was great. It's a really cool place where you pick out all your ingredients for your meal -- raw meat included -- and they cook it in front of you. We thoroughly enjoyed it. After supper we went and saw the Hollises' apartment. It was a good first full day.

- Thursday: We had a lazy morning and slept in a little because we were all still exhausted. Daddy had to fly home so we took him to the airport, which is about 20 minutes from our apartment, and saw him off. He helped out so much, we were so glad he came. After we dropped him off, we came home, cleaned up and unpacked more boxes. The lady came and hooked up our internet that evening then we went to Michael and Alex's for supper. They made Mexican food, which was great, then we sat around and watched YouTube videos until about 10:30. The girls went for a walk at some point and came back with ice cream from McDonald's. Another good day.

- Friday: Today was pretty laid back. We got up and relaxed for a while this morning then went to pick up some things for the apartment. We met Donnie and Meghan at Sam Ash (music store) and looked at cajons. They had a couple that I liked but none that I wanted to buy. We got some groceries and went home for a couple hours to get ready for the night. We had our first core group meeting with the guys from Imago Dei Church at Tony's house in Wake Forest. It was a great night with new friends and good food. We had a short meeting and got to know each other a little bit better. We're excited to hear more about everything with the church as we continue to meet each week.

It's been a long, good week. We absolutely miss home, and all that comes with it, but we are so excited about being here. You should all come visit!