Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ode to Whole Foods


This morning, I drove down to our community Whole Foods Market. I decided not to walk, despite it only being 3 blocks away, because I was planning on buying quite a few groceries.

Every time I walk in this store, I feel like I'm in grocery store paradise. Seriously. There are fresh flowers and fresh produce at the entrance that welcomes you with glorious scents. I walked around and got the things I came for (bananas, cantaloupe, milk, Kashi cereal, sliced chicken breast) and a few other things (some Clif bars, Kashi crackers, Better'n Peanut Butter). This store makes me love going grocery shopping. The atmosphere is inviting and just walking in the store makes you feel like you are healthier. :) And their produce is the best I have ever had from any store. It is so fresh that you feel like you are eating it right from the farm!

I love Whole Foods and am so glad that we have one so close to our home. If you have one near you, please enjoy it as much as I do!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Birthday weekend phlog

Some pictures of Matt's birthday weekend...













A Wonderful Weekend!

We have enjoyed having the weekend off and it has flown by! Let me catch you all up. Matt's parents flew into New Orleans Friday late morning and Matt picked them up while I worked with the girls. Matt spent most of the day with his parents showing them around the city. Friday night we had a birthday party for Matt with the girls and his parents. It was lots of fun and we were glad that his parents got to spend some time with the girls that we spend our lives with. We enjoyed pizza, cake, and ice cream together.

Saturday we took Matt's parents down the the French Quarter and walked around for about 8 hours--shopping, eating biegnets and drinking frozen cafe au lait, shopping some more, eating dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, and riding the ferry across the Mississippi. It was a wonderful day, but we were all exhausted after walking around so much!

This morning, we went to Redeemer Presbyterian Church and enjoyed the service. Matt & I really feel called to this church. It is a wonderful, smaller, community based church and there are great opportunities for us to get plugged in there. This church is filled with young people and couples and we feel like this would be a great community to be involved in. We're hoping to get to go to their small groups soon and really get started on building some relationships here.

We then ventured to New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood for lunch and it was delicious! We are glad we tried it out because it is now one of my favorite places to eat! I ate my favorite New Orleans meal of red beans and rice while Matt enjoyed his favorite of a roast beef po-boy. If any of you come visit us here, we'll definitely be taking you there to eat!

We took Matt's parents to the airport a little while ago and now we are glad to be home relaxing and preparing for this week. At this moment, it doesn't look like we have a really busy week, but all that can change any minute.

Hope you all had a blessed Sunday and got to praise some Jesus! :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Matthew!

Happy Birthday to my sweet husband, my best friend, my soulmate. I love you!



Thursday, July 26, 2007

Waiting on the Weekend!

Most of you know that this has been a long, crazy week for Matt & I. We've had a million and one appointments, staffings, incidents, and attitudes to deal with. We are greatly looking forward to this weekend--it will be our first weekend off since we got here (we only get one weekend off a month). There are a few reasons why we are excited about this weekend:

1. Tomorrow is Matt's birthday! He'll be 25. Man, we're getting old!
2. Matt's parents are flying in tomorrow to visit us for the weekend. We can't wait to see them and do some touristy things with them. This will be the first time for Matt's mom to see our house and everything so we are pretty excited!
3. Since we are not working this weekend, we get to go to any church we want! We've been wanted to try out this church, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, and finally get to go! We're hoping we'll like it enough to get plugged into their small groups. We desperately need friends and fellowship and hope this church is what God has in His plan for us!

All in all, we are pumped about having two days off in a row!

In other news, I went to orientation for grad school (Southern University at New Orleans)and am excited about that as well. I'm only going part-time b/c our job is so demanding. I'll be in class on Mondays from 8:30am-2:30pm. I had the option to take the two classes online but I decided that I really needed some socialization and grounding since these are my first classes of grad school. Classes start August 13th and I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

One heck of a day!



Here's my day.

I start out getting up early to take one of our girls to her court hearing (across the river). Let me just tell you that court hearings are not fun. We waited for 3 hours just for this conversation...
Judge: "How are you doing in your placement?"
Girl: "Good."
Judge: "How long have you been there?"
Girl: "Three weeks."
Judge: "Okay, I'd like to see you again in 90 days."
The end. And the bad thing is, you can't have cell phones in the court building so you are sitting there twiddling your thumbs waiting to see the judge.

Later on, Matt & I were taking the girls over to the main office because we have to meet with a staff member and pick up some documents. Here I am driving this huge 15 passenger van down Magazine Street (which is narrow and there are cars parked on the sides) and I get in a wreck. My first wreck ever--with 4 teenage girls in the car. I was turning left and there was a Yukon parked on the corner of the curb and another car stopped in the middle of the street (not on the right side where they were supposed to be)going the opposite direction and I'm trying to squeeze between the two cars. Needless to say, I was not successful. I knocked the driver's side mirror off of the Yukon. Matt went into the restaurant on the corner to find the driver of the Yukon. The driver was quite mad. The driver of the Yukon and Matt exchanged information while I called the police. Matt told the other guy not to leave and what do you think he did? He left of course! So, we (Matt, our 4 girls, and I) sit in the van waiting for the police and we have the a/c blasting b/c it is HOT outside and then our van engine dies. Gosh...what else could happen?! So, I walked back to the house with the girls (we were right near the house) and Matt waited for the cop. While Matt waits for the cop, he decides to get our car and try to jump the van. It doesn't work...the jumper cables catch fire. At this point I'm really ready for our day to be over! Anyway, the cop comes and says he isn't going to file a report b/c the other guy left and that's good for us. End of that event. Later we find out that the guy has been calling our main office asking when he can get his mirror fixed. Should've stayed at the scene, dude.

My day is not over here, it's only 2 pm and I have to take one of our girls back across the river for a doctor's appointment. I drop her off and am trying to think about what I should do that would make me happy. There is no doubt in my mind where I am heading...Starbucks. I needed (yes needed, not wanted) a venti coffee light frappaccino and a slice of pumpkin loaf. And that's exactly what I got. And I sat there in Starbucks by myself enjoying a little bit of heaven on earth. It was quite glorious. I thank God for Starbucks on days like this (and every other day). :) After I finish at Starbucks I'm driving down the road exploring and what do I find? Target and Ross! Man, I was really happy. I enjoy both stores for a little while and then head back to pick up my girl. My little outing was just what I needed after all that happened today. God truly knows when a girl needs an two hours to her self.

So, that's my day. Other things happened tonight but nothing to blog about.

I did want to share about a cd that I've been loving lately...Lincoln Brewster's, Let the Praises Ring. We bought this cd two weeks ago and it is fabulous. Many of the songs on this cd are songs that we sang at Westminster, so it is makes my heart very happy to hear them again and blast them in the car. And I just love praising my Jesus. So, check it out!

Okay, I'm really done now.

Monday, July 23, 2007

the search continues

Matt & I spent 6 hours of our day today searching Southeast Louisiana for the perfect dog for our family. We went to 6 animal shelters and 1 pet shop with no luck. We saw a few that we really liked but they were already on hold for someone else to adopt. Sad. So, the search will continue.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

All you lurkers

It's time for all you lurkers to show me you're out there! I want to know who's reading my blog, so leave me a comment! Click the comments link at the bottom of the post and leave me some love! If you don't have blogger, just click other and write your name. I'm just curious to who is out there! Thanks guys!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

tired of wal-mart

Imagine spending 2 hours of your Saturday afternoon in Wal-Mart with 5 teenage girls (that act like 2 year olds) and spending $350 on food and $150 on personal items. I'm exhausted! Don't think I want to go to Wal-Mart for a while.

Happy Birthday to my bestest, Kelly!

This post is dedicated to the greatest friend I could ever hope for.

Kelly & I have known each other since I was a freshman at Winthrop. We met as cherubs in Alpha Omega and soon developed our friendship out of AO. We spent our college years together and then Kelly & Paul got married the month after Matt & I. They soon became our "married friends".

Kelly is one of those friends that I can tell anything too. We have laughed together and cried together. We have shared our joy and our pain. One of my most precious memories is on the night before my wedding, Kelly spent the night with me and we laid in my bed talking until 5 am. We shared our lives that night and gained a bond which will never fade.

I am so thankful for Kelly. It has been very hard moving 11 hours away from her. I know that we will continue to be the best of friends for the rest of our lives. We have plans to have kids and raise them together and grow old together. No matter what distance is between us, I know that this friendship will last.

Kelly--I hope that you have a wonderful birthday and wish I was there to celebrate with you. You are my forever friend and I am so blessed by you! I love you!







The honeymoon is OVER!

Matt & I experienced our first Girls Town fight last night. We heard two of our girls yelling profanity at each other so we walk in the room and there they are on the floor pounding each other (and this was not some sissy girl fight, they had pure rage in them). Matt & I attempt to use the training we received on restraints but it didn't quite work out like it did in practice. One girl ended up punching Matt in the face and attempting to choke him. Everybody is okay and we called our program director and he came over and helped us work everything out. Whew--teenage girl drama!

We also got a new girl yesterday.

And we're going to the SPCA today to hopefully find a dog we like. :)

There's been a whole lot going on!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The search begins

Matt & I are on the hunt. For a dog. A bulldog. Or any other dog that has a smushed in face and lots of wrinkles. :) We have been talking about this for a while and decided to start looking for the perfect addition to our family. Yes, we may be crazy because we want to add a dog to the household mix of two adults, five teenage girls and two cats. What can I say...we like animals and to have a busy house! At first, I was going to try and surprise Matt with a puppy for his birthday (the 27th) but it was just too difficult to try and pull off. We'll keep you updated if we have an addition to our family!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tales of a Day Off

We had the day off today. This is typically how we spend our days off: sleep in, get up around 11am, go out shopping and to lunch, come home, take a nap, go back out for dinner and maybe a little more shopping, come home by 9pm, clean the house a little, go to bed. We continued our day off traditions today.

We were quite excited about driving around today because we got to use Matt's new GPS system he bought for Sammy Santa Fe. Matt bought a TomTom 700 and it is really cool! It is very accurate and we are loving not having to use a map when going everywhere! We decided that we wanted to be adventurous and try to find a new Wal-Mart, so we enter Wal-Mart into the TomTom and off we go. We get to the Wal-Mart and it is boarded up--never reopened after the storm. Yet another place we go to that is boarded up. I think we have to go to at least one boarded up business a week. It must be in the newcomers to New Orleans guide book. :)

Then we decide we're going to a Wal-Mart we know is open. On the way we stop at O'Henrys for lunch and it was great. We walked in and it is one of those restaurants where you throw the peanut shells on the floor, so we knew we were going to like it. We both ordered steakburgers and they were delicious! It was a nice change to all the cajun food we've been eating lately. Then we headed to Wal-Mart. Our mission for today was to find pictures and frames to decorate our living room (upstairs). We were very successful and found some Van Gogh pictures that we liked.

Next stop, Home Depot for a new mailbox. The mailbox we have leaks and every time it rains (i.e. every day) our mail gets soaked. Matt & I couldn't decide on one we both liked at Home Depot, so we then went to Lowe's. We had our first rooftop parking experience at Lowe's (many of the stores here have extra parking on the roof). We walked in Lowe's and the drama began. Matt wanted a "sturdy" mailbox (which I classified as industrial and not homey) and I wanted a "pretty" mailbox (which Matt classified as not sturdy enough to keep the rain out). We ended up walking out empty handed because we just couldn't find a compromise. The mailbox search will continue.

We spent the rest of the day taking naps, playing on the computer, cleaning the apartment, and doing other boring things.

We have a busy, busy day tomorrow. Lots of things to get done for the girls and lots of appointments to take them too, etc. We're also going to take them skating tomorrow night. The fun continues.

Anyway

I find this song inspiring.

Anyway (Martina McBride)

You can spend your whole life building something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach and you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway, I do it anyway

This world�s gone crazy and it's hard to believe that tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart, for all the right reasons, and in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway, I do it anyway

You can pour your soul out singing a song you believe in that tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway, sing it anyway

I sing, I dream, I love, anyway

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Funny

Something funny happened this morning. Here's Matt's version of the story.

Recently i noticed that the front yard was going to need my expertise again. Well today July 18th the man came back asking for our assistant. I informed him again that she does not work as often as she used to. Well he decided to talk to me today. He stated that he had spoken to our assistant a little while ago and she stated our business was low on money and an Old man down stairs was going to be mowing the lawn now. He then went on to say "i saw that the old man had cut it but he did a &*%#$ (bad word) job....It looked like *%$#*!" At this point i simply shook my head and as the man went on and on about how bad the yard looked after "the old man" (ME) had cut the lawn. So the man left and i turn around and there is Sarah and one of our girls rolling on the ground laughing. Funny stuff :c). Guess ill try to do better next time.

6020 Magazine blog

My fabulous husband decided to make a blog for our house and blog about his adventures fixing it up! I'm sure you all will enjoy it! Check it out: http://6020magazine.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

my sweet geriatric cat

Here are some pictures my dad sent me of my sweet Tigger...my 22 year old cat that is spending his "retirement" in Lake Waccamaw with my parents.


the grown-up world...

Sarah's take:
Sometimes being a grown-up just sucks, you know? Matt & I have been going back and forth trying to get our title for our Santa Fe so that we can get our Louisiana license tag. We made it quite confusing b/c we bought the car & then moved to Louisiana a few weeks later. If all of the paperwork would have been done right, everything would be okay. BUT our title went from the Chester DMV in SC, to being lost, to the DMV in Kentucky (who knows why?!). Matt has been calling around from Carmax to all these different DMVs for almost a month now and nobody has known what to do. Finally, someone tells us that we need to pay our SC taxes and then we can transfer the title to LA. We have to do all of this without the SC people knowing that we now live in LA. If we didn't transfer the title and just paid our new taxes in LA it would cost us $3000 because of late fees (which we couldn't have done anything about). We had to fax all of this stuff to the SC DMV and will pay those taxes and then get our title sent to LA. We will still have to pay LA taxes which will probably be over $700 (Orleans parish is the most expensive parish to live in). I'll be glad when all this is over and we can drive around with a LA license plate. We are currently driving around with an expired temporary North Carolina tag. To sum it all up, being an adult sucks sometimes!

Matt's Take:
So Sarah and I need a Louisiana license plate (Sarah has been online picking out the perfect one since before we had a New Orleans address). Well in order to get a Louisiana license plate we have to have a copy of our title. So I called the Lean holder..Bank of America..and they said they did not even have my account set up yet. So now I've been Calling around to many people (some of who may really be in India with all the outsourcing going on in America) Trying to find the Title to our new car...Sammy Santa Fe...I started by calling Car Max Winston Salem, NC to Car Max Greenville, SC to Chester DMV (they are the ones that process all titles..GO CHESTER!!) No one knew where my title was or what i should do..But they did know how to give out lots of phone numbers. So i gave up to just "wait on it" (as Bank of America told me to). Today i get a call from Car Max Winston Salem asking for our Kentucky Address. I informed them i never had lived there and did not plan to. I reexplained to them that i live in LA and moved and she stopped me and said "Oh I remember you"(persistence does pay off). Now we have found that since no one was on the same page about where we live and need to regiester the car then we have waited so long that we owe like $3,000 in fees and pentaties if we regiester correctly. Well the lady at CarMax told me the loop hole..pay my SC taxes then transfer the registration to LA and pay taxes there. Hopefully that will be less than $3000.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rain on me!

It's raining again. The roof is leaking again. Matt was on the back patio cleaning the grill (that we were going to use tonight) and the ground near him got struck by lightening. Matt said a shock went through him and he was very numb and out of it for a couple minutes. Thank the Lord that he's okay. Guess we're not grilling out tonight.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Or not!

We didn't make it to the skating rink.

We were on the way to ACE to cash a check for one of our girls and our van starting jumping & shaking & the oil light came on. We got to ACE & Matt put some oil in it and we thought it would be okay. Not so. We *barely* make it home with our van shaking, smoking and going S-L-O-W-L-Y down Magazine Street (it wouldn't go above 15 mph)! To make matters worse, on the way home along came a bad thunderstorm! The bottom literally fell out of the sky! We get in the house and find a huge leak in the office ceiling and for some crazy reason our office blinds fell down. Obviously, we weren't supposed to go skating today. So, now Matt took the girls (in our car) to go rent a movie and we're going to relax at the house.

Ahhh, the randomness of life!

another first

I encountered another first of group care last night--taking a girl to the Emergency Room. We were actually in and out in a little less than 3 hours!!! It is so weird that I am a "guardian" and have to sign all the paperwork, get the prescriptions, etc. Makes me feel old! I am the guardian for 5 teenage girls! Whew!

This morning, Matt & I cooked breakfast for the girls. We made waffles & bacon. Yum! We'll be going to the skating rink in a little while. It'll be a fun Saturday!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

the Lord has done great things!

I was asked by a good friend of mine to write a letter to her teenage daughter (who I also love dearly) that would tell her what Christ has done in my life and what I hope for her future in Christ. I thought I would share it with you all.

I don’t even know where to begin. Christ has not only impacted my life, He has changed my life forever! Growing up in a Christian home was such a blessing, but Christ was not real to me until later in my teenage years. Yes, I knew all the stuff—“talked the talk” and pretended to “walk the walk” but it was all a fa├žade. It took five years of darkness, depression, hopelessness, loneliness, and desperation before I finally realized that there was a God who loved me for who I was and had a purpose for my life. Looking back, I would not change a thing. I would not give up a single minute of that pain that I went through because it helped me come to know the reality is that I have a Savior who loves me even when I am hurting. In the seven years since then, I have learned so much and continue to grow daily. Not to say that life has been perfect since then, because it surely has not been. Even though life is not perfect, God has a perfect plan for our lives. “’For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11) There are good days and bad days, but I know that the Lord has me in the palm of His hand and will never let me go. That is where trusting Him comes into play. Every day I have to let go of my selfish desires, and trust Him with my life. And I’m going to be honest—it’s not easy. We have to press on! “…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14). We have to press past our failures and hurtful past. We have to press forward. We have to press toward the goal that God has placed before us.

My prayer for you is that you will come to know the awesome love of the Savior who knows you in your joy and in your pain. I pray that you will seek Him with all of your heart and desire to know Him more and more. I pray that in the hard times, and there will be many, that you will press on and know that you will be blessed for it. I encourage you to surround yourself with those who love the Lord and will encourage you in your walk with Christ. Fellowship and accountability with fellow believers is key in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and a bold servant of Christ. Do not be afraid to be an outcast and follow the calling that you have been given. You will be blessed by serving the Lord.

There are so many other things I wish I could share with you. There is no way that I can sum up what God has done for me and how incredible He is in just one letter. That is where the Bible comes in! I pray that you will study His Word and make it your own. Apply it to your life and live by it. It is God’s gift to us.

Most of all, I pray that you will fall in love with our sweet, sweet Savior and realize that He loves you beyond what you can ever imagine. I am going to leave you with my life verse: “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” (Isaiah 26:8). I want you to have that same desire.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Whew!

I just survived my first encounter with the non-compliant, yelling, doorslamming, teenage girl in our home. This will be one of many--and I had to deal with it all alone since Matt wasn't home. Praise the Lord I made it through! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Life is good, but different.

Matt and I have come to the conclusion that life is very good here in New Orleans, it's just very different! For example:

*The food: Everything is hot & spicy or fried. They put Creole seasoning or hot peppers in every food you can imagine. For example, tonight we had cream corn with our chicken and rice and what was in it...HOT sausage! Matt & I are learning to eat (not necessarily like or enjoy) hot peppers, onions, and tomatoes because they are in everything!

*The dress: It's just a different culture. I took a girl to a court hearing last week and saw a mother bringing her teenage daughter to court and the daughter was wearing a tube top that showed everything and some short shorts. And that's pretty normal.

*The music: All we listen to is rap & R & B, well, in our household anyway. Ask us any songs by Ciara, Usher, Rhianna, R. Kelly, Shop Boyz, etc and we'll bust out in song. In the three weeks that we have been here we have seen Shop Boyz, Ciara, & Ludacris all in concert. You will be suprised when we come back to SC because we will be ballin'! haha

*The weather: First, let me say that it's H-O-T! South Carolina heat is nothing compared to Gulf Coast/Bayou heat! We walk outside and the sweat comes rolling down our faces. Matt & I went for a walk/jog yesterday and I have never sweat that much in my life! It also rains a lot here--but it's random thunderstorms. It will be sunny all day long and then we have a really bad thunderstorm for 30 minutes. The weird thing is that the sky is still light & kind of sunny when it rains.

*The driving: The roads are awful! Sooooo bumpy and uneven! Traffic is always bad--it takes at least 30 minutes to get anywhere. Also, mapquest is not quite accurate in this city! Mapquest will tell you to turn where there is no street or tell you to turn on the wrong streets...we have about 5 New Orleans maps that we switch back and forth using depending on where we are going. A lot of the streets still do not have street signs up (since Katrina) so that makes things difficult as well. Another thing is that there are a million streets with the same name...Jefferson Avenue, Jefferson Highway, Jefferson Drive...and none of these roads are remotely near eachother! Even driving to the grocery store is an adventure here!

*The talk: People talk SO differently here. It's not just the accent, it's how fast they talk. Matt & I are constantly asking our girls to repeat themselves until we can understand what they are saying. They use a lot of different terms and phrases as well, such as "buku", "stay at", "neutral ground", "braketag", and the list goes on and on.

To sum it all up--we love living here but are adjusting to the culture!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

phlog (photo blog)

Here are some pictures from the Essence Music Festival.

Ludacris


Ciara


Way up at the top of the Superdome (it was scary climbing those stairs and sitting up there)!


I met the Geico Gecko!


This is how close we got to Bobby Valentino.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Call me a liar.

Okay, I lied. I did have something to blog about today.

We took the girls shopping today...not just to one mall, but to two malls! Matt & I did not walk out empty handed from either mall. Here are some things we left with:

*a Tervis Tumbler with a fleur de lis on it: Bed Bath & Beyond (I have been wanting one of these for quite a while and was going to buy it off the internet, but it was cheaper here!)
*two pairs of khaki cargo shorts for Matt: JC Penney
*vitamins, a kitchen scrub brush, cat litter, and a few other things I can't remember: Target (yes, the 2 story Target that is connected to the mall)
*a green shirt, a pink shirt, and a cute belt: American Eagle (the shirts were only $7--the belt was not on sale but it was too cute to pass up)
*beignets and a Sprite: Cafe du Monde (it's impossible to pass up beignets in this city)
*a Life is Good shirt, stress ball, & a spinning top: Discovery Channel Store (they are closing and everything was on sale!)

I think that's all we got. Let me tell you though, EVERY store at the mall is having huge summer clearance sales! I mean a lot of them are 50%-60% off! I'm sure the mall near you is having sales too, so the shopping junkie in me is urging you to check out the sales and let me know what you find!

Yummyness!

Matt & I made spaghetti & meatballs tonight for dinner. The meatballs were DELICIOUS!

That's about all I have to say today, besides the fact that I'm tired and ready for the day off on Monday.

Friday, July 06, 2007

the unexpected.

I thought yesterday was going to be a boring, uneventful day and I wouldn't have anything to blog about. I was wrong.

We got a call from our supervisor about 9 am and he told us that he was coming to the house in about an hour to do an intake--we were getting a new girl. We were quite excited to experience our first intake and about getting the new girl. Everything went well and the transition has been smooth so far. During the intake, we find out that we have tickets to the Essence Music Festival that night...holla! We also got tickets to attend some of the seminars going on yesterday afternoon. So--we went along with the boys residential home and went to the seminars. We had a nice time there and got to hear some inspirational speakers: the Lt. Governor of Louisiana, Marion Wright Edelman (the founder of the Children's Defense Fund) and a few other speakers. We also got to see Bobby Valentino and the girls got his autograph. Last night we went to the concert and got to hear Ciara, Ludacris, and some others that I don't know who they were (hehe). The concert was held at the Superdome. This was Matt's & my first time to the Superdome and it is a very bittersweet place. Just to know that so many people suffered and died there during Katrina breaks my heart. But the Dome is also a symbol of renewal and hope for this city. We sat almost at the very top of the Dome and it was very scary! The seats on the top level are very steep and it makes you feel like you could just fall forward at the drop of a hat. We got some pictures that I'll post later. Anyway, the concert was fun and our girls had a great time. So, we went from having absolutely nothing on the calendar to having a very busy day! That's how life goes in this house!

In other news, I am SO glad to have cable again. I am addicted to TLC (especially Bringing Home Baby) and Matt is addicted to the Discovery Channel (Dirty Jobs and Myth Busters). We feel like we are living in luxery! Now, if we only had DVR...I missed the first episode of Big Brother last night. Oh the sacrifices I make for Ciara and Ludacris.

Oh, my parents and brother just got two new kittens. They are absolutely precious and had to post their picture!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A rainy Independence Day

Here's what's been going on with us.

One of our assistants was nice enough to take the two girls we had left in the home (the others were on home visits) home for the holiday. She took them about 3 pm yesterday and will bring them back later tonight. So, Matt & I have been relaxing and shopping a lot in the past day. Last night we went to explore a new mall, Lakeside. It was a nice mall with a mix of nicer stores (J. Crew, Banana Republic, Coach, etc.) and average stores (Old Navy, American Eagle, Aeropostale). We enjoyed shopping and Matt ended up buying a few things. We also had beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde in the mall. Yum!

We slept in this morning and then headed over to the Friendship House about 11 am. They were supposed to have a cookout, but no one showed up from the community, so we just hung out with everyone. It was fun just hanging out with people and not worrying about our girls. Later on we went to Target (yes, the 2 story one) and Sears. We walked out of Target empty handed (that is a rare occurance), but I got some bermuda shorts and a skirt at Sears.

We came home and took a nap and now we're just being lazy. Actually, we're watching Cops and it's a special on Mardi Gras in New Orleans--they're arresting all these people who are fighting. We have a lot to look forward to! We can't wait for our first Mardi Gras!

Monday, July 02, 2007

4 hours of waiting...for a piece of plastic!i

Here's our adventures of the rest of this morning/afternoon.

Matt & I headed to the DMV to get our Louisiana licenses. We can't get our tag for our car yet b/c our lienholder still hasn't made up the title (that's another story). First we look up a DMV location online and find one. We go to find it and we do, but it's closed...never reopened after the storm. That seems to happen to us a lot; we find the place we need to go and it's all boarded up. Anyway, we go to another DMV and have to stand in line to get a number to wait in line. While we're waiting in line, we run into the only non-work-related people we know the the city--our friends Kay, Karina, and Melanie. Melanie was coming to take the driving test. How random is that?! Anyway, we wait...and wait...and wait some more...then Matt leaves to get some lunch from McDonald's...and we wait some more. We finally got our licenses after what 12 hours of waiting, which in reality was only 4 hours. We wanted to get a pic of us outside of the DMV to put up on the blog, but we didn't have our camera and Karina left before we got done. So, Karina was nice enough to take a couple pics of the sign for us. :)

After we left the DMV we headed to the carwash (our car was filthy from the trip down) and to the mall. I got a peanutbuttercup gelato milkshake at this place in the mall called Piccomolo (yes Kelly, the same place we got gelato before). It was delicious.

So, here I am, back at home. Matt & I are about to hang some more shelves and pictures on the walls. It's gonna take us a while to get everything settled.




Thanks for the pics, Karina!

Locked out!

Funny story.

Matt & I got locked out of our apartment just now. My keys were in my jeans from yesterday. Matt had come down and switched key rings from his "work keys" to his "personal keys". Matt had put what he thought was an apartment key on his personal keys so he comes downstairs and finds out that it is not an apartment key. So, we're locked out. Matt comes up with the brilliant idea to take the door off of the hinges. So, we just spent about 15 minutes hammering the bolts out of the hinges and took the door off. It was quite an experience, but we finally got in! Here are some pics of our entertaining morning. :)






P.S. WE HAVE THE DAY OFF! HOLLA!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Weekend of fun!


How can you not love this furball?


Peaches loves the bathtub!


Our kitties love their new bathroom!


Shop Boyz--"Party like a rockstar"


My first time peeling shrimp...I'm not so sure about this!


Cool pic Matt took of the Superdome.


Some of our friends worked at the tattoo station. So, we decided to brand ourselves with Hornets tattoos.


Matt celebrating the Hornets first draft pick! (I love this pic!)


Matt & I at the New Orleans Hornets Draft Party!