Monday, October 27, 2008

Leonardo da Vinci exhibit / Flint River PBC 200th Anniversary Meeting

This past weekend, after attending the 200th anniversary meeting of Flint River PBC, John and I went to the Birmingham Museum of Art to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit: Drawings from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin. We thought this might be our only weekend to see it, and it will be leaving the museum on November 9th. So, we headed to Birmingham after lunch and arrived at the museum around 3:45. The wait was approximately 30 minutes, and the museum was closing at 5:00. The wait went by fairly quickly, although we got behind a couple who preferred to spend the entire time in a public smooch session. My goodness. I could say more on that, but I'll try to refrain myself.

The exhibit itself was absolutely marvelous. It included several of his sketches: a portrait sketch that was probably practice for his Virgin of the Rocks painting; human anatomy sketches, and horse anatomy sketches. The walls and frames were unique, because he drew on both sides of the paper. They had to create a way to show both sides. Also on display was Leonardo's Codex on the Flight of Birds. It was fascinating to see his attention to detail, as well as precision. When using metalpoint to draw, he couldn't erase! Beside each sketch was a little paragraph with some info about it. I found it interesting that several of the sketches were practice for paintings that he began but didn't finish. Everything was VERY small, too. They gave us a magnifying glass when entering the exhibit to aid us. I didn't realize this, but John said even the Mona Lisa is very small, compared to how we typically think of it.

It was a wonderful experience. The drawings have never traveled outside of Italy before in a group, and they are only coming to the U.S. to Birmingham and San Franciso. And one of the nicest parts - it was FREE!

It was a great end to a wonderful Saturday. The meeting was a great blessing. I traveled up to Huntsville on Friday night with Josh & Sam, and I met John there. It had been several years since I had the opportunity to visit at Flint River, and I loved getting to visit with all the sweet people up there, as well as see several other friends from various places. It was a wonderful celebration of a group of people meeting together in the same area for 200 years! As Elder Gene Thomas commented in his church history on Saturday morning, that means Flint River PBC was meeting before Alabama was even a state!! Several ministers were in attendance, and I felt that the common theme in several of the messages was continuing forward and how to ensure the church is there for another 200 years. I particularly enjoyed Elder David Montgomery's message on "Witnessing and Waiting". He used the example of his children on a long trip from Texas to GA and another trip to Maryland. On the way to GA, his son asked him over and over, "Are we there yet?" On the way to Maryland, he managed to wait all the way to NC before stating that he knew that they weren't there yet, but that he sure did hate the car, the seatbelt, etc., and if he didn't get out of that car soon, he thought he would just die. Elder Montgomery responded by saying, "Try playing a game, or taking a nap, or reading, or talking to me and your mom. It won't make the trip any faster, but it will seem to go by faster." He related that to our wait for the Lord to come back. By witnessing, it won't make it get here any sooner, but it will seem to make the time go by faster. He also brought out a lot of other good points about witnessing to others about what we believe.

What a blessing to be able to celebrate 200 years, and if the Lord doesn't return before then, I sure hope future generations can say they are excited to be celebrating 400 years.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We're At That Age

Laura and I are at that age. Wedding after wedding...seriously. I think this is probably # 6 or 7 for me this year. But I love it!

If you are a follower of Kitchen Talk then you probably know my friends from Auburn, Brigette and Swafford. This weekend I had the privilege of attending their wedding and it was most definitely a celebration! These kids are just great for each other and two of the most godly people I know. I admire their relationship and am so happy for them both. So that is what the next "couple" of pictures are all about.

Brigette Lesch and Daniel Swafford Wedding

I love this picture! They are married and off to the honeymoon!
I've never seen this before. We tossed lavender at the bride and groom as they left. Our hands smelled like soapy flower goodness afterwards.
Brigette's 7 real bridesmaids
Morgan, Lou, and Bridge being goofy while waiting to take pictures.
Me and Pam
Brigette and Swafford dancing at the reception (took place at the Historic Rucker Place)
Dancing! This was difficult because the band was jazz/swing. It seriously sounded like the same song over and over again. But we improvised and danced like they were playing 90's music.

Roommates! (me and morgan)
Lou, Bridget, and Catie Anne
Yep! 7 real bridesmaids and 10 honorary bridesmaids! Crazy, yes but lots of fun. So of our group, Catie Anne was a real bridesmaid and me, Lou, Bridget, and Morgan were all honorary. Swafford only had 7 guys if you were wondering but also had 3 ushers that were friends of ours.
The cake! I always make sure to get a picture of because well I love wedding cakes!

Overall, a great time! Especially nice to have a reunion with college friends. We all live in different cities now and life just doesn't afford us many opportunities to hang out. I miss them. On a happy note though, Mr. and Mrs. Swafford will be living in Birmingham. Hopefully we will get to see each other occasionally.

Katie Leach and Jeff Johnston Wedding
This was a really sweet wedding. Family photo beforehand.
Jeff, Katie, and the bridesmaids. (All of which were from Jasper I might add)
Again, the cake!

My favorite parts of this wedding were 1) acapella singing, mary-John singing, and Maggie playing the cello (basically the music) 2) bottled coke at the reception 3) Mr. Leach crying more than was so sweet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Komen Race for the Cure

This past Saturday a group of us participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Birmingham, AL. We participated for the first time last year, running/walking in support particularly for Queen Shenaynay over at the Beehive, and also for all the other women we know and love who have had breast cancer.

The race starts at 9:00, and we tried to be there between 8:00 and 8:30. I learned that next year, we will definitely need to be there around 7:30. Several of us met at Table and I's apartment and rode to the race together. We ate bagels and had juice to get us going. And of course, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get some pics on the way.

We managed to get a quick photo of our group, but I think it is missing a couple of people. Brother Bucky managed to take a quick nap before heading off to walk.

There were 10,000 + people there this year. Maybe as many as 13,000. Unfortunately, our group got seperated, so we weren't able to all walk together. But we all had a great time and had some great stories afterwards. For example, John and I thought we were about to see a fight break out, between two women! The lady in front of us whipped out a cigarette and started smoking while walking. (Yes, yes. We all considered the irony and desperately wanted to ask her, "what are you thinking?") Well, the lady to our left started coughing exaggeratively (don't know if that is a word, but it fits). Then, she started talking to the lady about how she has asthma and what does she think she's doing walking for breast cancer research and smoking at the same time and why doesn't she just go smoke in a room all by herself and kill all the brain cells she wants...on and on and on. It was crazy. But, she finally hushed.

Sis. Lauretta did a good deed during the race. She had just got started walking when she saw a little boy crying and screaming. So, she went over to him and he had lost his mother. They guessed he was about 5. So, she told every police officer she saw the situation and gave them her phone number. Finally, they caught up with the mother somewhere in the middle of mile 2 or 3.

So, that story makes this picture even funnier. After the race, we saw a mother and child strapped together. That child wasn't going anywhere. That's the way to do it.

Great friends. Great cause. Great day.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


This incident happened a couple of weeks ago, but I was just reminded of it reading Amy's post over at Shadows and Dust.

As Hurricane Ike prepared to cross Galveston, TX, one of the companies we have to call occasionally at work had to be evacuated/relocated temporarily. I did not realize the company was based in Galveston and tried calling them regarding a question.

The following took place:


"We're sorry but the (company name) customer service center is temporarily unavailable."

In shock and somewhat dismay over not being able to get my question answered, my natural response was...


(Not too loud mind you. I work in a cubicle. So it was only slightly exaggerated and exasperated of a sound. Anyways, it's not like someone is on the other's just a recording...)

To which someone responded:

"Yes. I'm sorry. Please try your call again later."

In shock at someone actually responding to me, I quickly put the phone back on the hook, and started laughing, beginning to tell my co-worker the story. Who would have thought it?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Swimming...It's not as easy as it looks

In addition to the yoga I've been doing over the last couple of weeks, I have now added swimming to my weekly workout. On Mondays, to be specific. The pool at the YMCA is open year-round, and it's heated, which is a plus for me. I don't do cold water. (As in, nun-uh, ain't gonna happen.)

Let me tell you, Michael Phelps and the other Olympians made it look way too easy. I was never on the swim team, but I know the freestyle stroke and back stroke, and a very, very poor breast stroke. After 50 yards (which is one lap down and back), I was panting. It really increases your heart rate! In my very unexpertise opinion, I think it has something to do with the breathing (besides all the other work your body is doing!). In yoga, you are supposed to be very focused on your breathing, taking deep breaths in and out through your nose. Even when I used to run (also very, very poorly for anyone that knows me), I was told to try and stay focused on your breathing, in and out through your nose, very steady. But with swimming, it's a whole different ballgame, because you're holding your breath, and then breathing very quickly. I haven't quite got used to it. I was explaining my problem to Brett on Sunday night, and he suggested breathing every 3 strokes. I tried it, and it did help, but it's just going to take some getting used to. And, getting back in shape wouldn't hurt either.

All in all, though, it's a lot of fun. It's a really quick workout, and something I enjoy. I can't imagine what it takes to swim all day, like Michael Phelps does. I certainly have a greater appreciation for everything the Olympians accomplished. Here's to all of you.