lukeandmanda

The most amazing love story since Romeo and Juliet haha

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

The start of something new

As I sit writing this from my T-town college apartment, it is comforting to know that Luke is FINALLY just a hop, a skip and  a jump away from me in Columbus. It’s amazing to think that he is just three hours away and after class in the morning, I will be heading to join him for his Hail and Farewell at Fort Benning (a celebration to welcome us to his new unit over Mexican food!). I am very excited to see what Columbus has to offer in the way of fajitas, nachos, and quesadillas- three of my favorites.

Luke is adjusting to life in Columbus rather well I think. He has just finished in-processing, so he will begin a month-long training course starting next week. I am kind of getting used to seeing him every weekend now at long last. I’ve been spoiling him a bit (probably too much for his own good), so I don’t know what he’ll do with himself when I head off to Spain in a couple of months. haha jk. Seriously though, I cooked for him, cleaned his apartment and finished his laundry up last weekend, and bought him ingredients on Sunday to cook himself easy-to-make recipes all week so that he will stop eating canned ravioli and protein shakes and actually get some nutrients! I’d have to say, I am being a pretty good fiancee at the moment haha Luke joked with me last weekend and called me Suzy Homemaker, which he likes to do on occasion, but I have been enjoying taking care of him a bit now that he is finally in the same region.

"Doing laundry" at Luke's

“Doing laundry” at Luke’s

OK, so as you can see, the laundry part didn’t exactly turn out as planned. Since his dryer is broken, we took all of his laundry up to the laundromat to wash and dry them. We paid $10 for the three loads only to find out that THEIR dryers are broken too. (Come to think of it, some of our friends said their dryer in Columbus is broken too…Weird Georgia dryers)..Anyway, since we used up ALL of our quarters by this point, we turned Luke’s entire apartment into a hang-dry rack. We laughed for a while over this pretty scene!

Other than the laundry mishap, the weekend wasn’t terribly eventful; instead it was NORMAL, STABLE and WONDERFUL. Luke headed up to Atlanta for two days to become re-certified as a soccer referee. He plans to ref games on week nights and during his down time on weekends this Spring, so he passed his certification test with flying colors (which I knew he would!) I was excited to surprise him with an athletic workout type shirt to take to “soccer camp” only to find out that he would just be sitting in a classroom all day studying for the test. Oh well..At least he got a new shirt out of it!

It’s not all domestic chores and boredom on my end either though. Let me assure you that I have been extraordinarily busy preparing to graduate and working on Alpine Living. That magazine (happily) consumes hours and hours of every day, and you can ask Luke that we barely talk on weekdays lately. The sad part is, I actually ENJOY the work. I am such a nerd and am loving being an international travel magazine editor. We leave in less than 6 weeks and I am sooo excited I could scream! I have never been to Europe before and am greatly looking forward to this new adventure. And of course wedding planning has been consuming time as well, although not as much as you would think. Getting the all-inclusive package from our venue has helped a lot, and there is not much to do until Mom and I head up to Nashville in February for the food and cake tasting and to meet with the florist. It is hard to believe that our wedding is really just 7 months away now!

I cannot promise a ton of blog posts between now and Spain with my busy schedule, but I will try to post updates periodically so that you (whoever you are..that weird collective you that implies SOMEONE is reading this blog) don’t think that we dropped off the planet! I can say that we are both very ready to be married and begin our lives as husband and wife. Luke looked at me some time over the past weekend and told me that we are going to be just fine because no matter what we will always have each other and our own little family and that makes everything perfect! That made me so incredibly happy, you just wouldn’t believe it. That man always says the sweetest things. And yes, beginning this Army adventure together is scary and uncertain for a Type A-mega planner like myself (trust me, I’d be the one to make myself a To-Do list for the next 10 years and stick to it line by line), but God had a better plan for me. By forcing me to leave my bubble of comfort (Aka the illusion of control, planning, figuring out MY version of a picture-perfect life with a stable permanent address), God has opened the doors to something so much better. I look forward to the adventures that the Army has for us in the future and the people that he will bring into our lives as we travel around wherever the Army may send us. The important thing is that at the end of the day, wherever we are and whatever we find ourselves doing, we are (mostly) together now and we are in this for the long haul.

End Soap Box.

More soon :]

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Bring On 2013!

So I have not posted on this blog in quite some time because Luke and I have been extraordinarily busy loving life, so this will be something of a mega update/synopsis of our last month or so. What have we been up to, you may ask?

  • I aced my finals and somehow pulled off all A’s for the semester, including an A+ in science. Still not sure how I managed the science grade, but I’ll take it.
  • I battled the flu during finals week and the following week and despite being sick, started my SMDC internship back up for the holidays.
  • Luke finished up his Palidin course and drove 12 hours straight through the night from Oklahoma to come see me in Huntsville.
  • Luke, Cassie Wells, and I attended the wedding of one of my childhood friends, Whitney Pirtle, and her new husband, Josh Gravelle, in Savannah, TN.
Luke and I at Whitney and Josh's wedding

Luke and I at Whitney and Josh’s wedding

Cassie and I, Dec. 15, 2012

Cassie and I, Dec. 15, 2012

  • We watched my cousin’s son, Jaxon,(and our ring bearer) open his Christmas gifts early since we were heading up to North Carolina to visit Luke’s family for Christmas. It’s so fun to have a baby in the family again!
  • Luke moved all of his stuff into his new apartment at Fort Benning! We consider ourselves extremely blessed to be the proud new owners of a hand-me-down double bed, kitchen table, couch, coffee table, chest, and various other misc. household items. The generosity of our family is greatly appreciated as we are just starting out, although I must admit, I look forward to possibly replacing these things, piece by piece, once we get married and find out what our first home will look like! If only furniture weren’t so expensive…
  • Our families met for the first time at Cafe Berlin in Huntsville…and no one killed anyone!
  • We traveled up to Hickory, NC to spend 8 days with Luke’s family for Christmas. During this time, we saw his old friends Jon and Garrett and their respective girlfriends, the sweet Sherrill family, the Goforths, and of course, all of Luke’s family. I finally got to meet the infamous Uncle Howard, and we all had a blast playing cards, eating good food, and catching up over the holidays.
Bradshaw family Christmas tree 2012

Bradshaw family Christmas tree 2012

Christmas Eve service

Christmas Eve service

Merry Christmas from the future Mr. and Mrs. :]

Merry Christmas from the future Mr. and Mrs. :]

Opening gifts at Grandma Reid's' house

Opening gifts at Grandma Reid’s’ house

  • Luke took me on an awesome date (our first in nearly two months because we have been so busy!) We ate at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and then played putt putt at an indoor ice cream shoppe/dairy putting green course thing. It was lots of fun.
  • Luke, Hannah and I attempted to make homemade Christmas cookies. I say the word “homemade” loosely. Epic fail!
  • Luke took his brothers, Jacob and Samuel, to watch the Panthers play, and I went to church with his parents and Milos’s lovely girlfriend, Lauren Oakley. So happy I got the chance to meet her, and all I have to say is- Milos, if you are reading this, don’t let this one get away! She is adorable.
  • We headed back to Huntsville so that I could finish working at SMDC, and celebrated New Year’s Eve with my MOH and her boyfriend. We lost track of time actually, and hurriedly searched for the ball drop on TV with less than a minute to spare. Luckily, we found it just in time (darn Eastern time zone!) and I shared a wonderful first kiss of 2013 with my handsome fiance.
New Year's Eve!

New Year’s Eve!

So glad we got to ring in the New Year with two of our best friends. Such a fun night!

So glad we got to ring in the New Year with two of our best friends. Such a fun night!

  • Luke headed down to Benning to start his new job, and I finished up a few last details on the Technical Center website and did some last-minute cramming for my GACE tests. (teacher certification tests in Elementary Education for my new job with Teach for America).
  • I took my tests in Atlanta, and I THINK I passed them. They were old-fashioned, paper-#2 pencil tests though, so I won’t technically know for 3 more weeks.
  • I visited Luke in Georgia for the first time, and Mr. Aristotle Alviso made us some delicious homemade lasagna that took him hours to prepare. We greatly enjoyed this feast with Mr. Bill Choate! It was wonderful seeing these two guys again (two of Luke’s groomsmen), since I had not seen them since West Point graduation day in May.
  • Luke showed me the technical intricacies of playing Halo 4, and I snoozed on his couch.
  • We finished registering at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Sears and Target! Yay for teamwork.
  • I had a lovely SMDC farewell luncheon at Cantino Loredo, hosted by Ms. Joanna Brunson. They presented me with a framed letter from the director, thanking me for my service, and a gorgeous leather planner to use in my new teaching job. I am definitely going to miss the staff in the Technical Center Business Management Office and Concepts Analysis Lab.
Ms. Joanna and I, Cantino Loredo 2013

Ms. Joanna and I, Cantino Loredo 2013

  • I started school on Wednesday and already have mountains of work to do, writing articles for Business Executive and preparing for my trip to Spain with Alpine Living. T-minus 2 months until departure, and we have a LOT to do, but I am looking forward to it.
  • Luke came down to Tuscaloosa for the weekend, and we spent a fairly chill weekend hanging out together. I made beef stew for him, we watched Alabama narrowly beat Tennessee in basketball, visited a few antique stores looking at furniture/tea sets/decanters we can’t afford, went to church, had lunch at O’Charley’s, met with our wedding photographer and then relaxed and watched “How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days.”
  • I had dinner with the lovely Lauren Killen FINALLY at long last, after several weeks of separation. She made me try real apple cider. It was delicious, I must say.

That about sums it up, folks! This next week should prove to be fairly busy for both Luke and I, as we settle into our new routines at Benning and UA, respectively. We plan to head to Savannah, GA next weekend for a Martin Luther King celebratory road trip with Lauren Killen, Jess and Will, so I am definitely looking forward to that. Is it Friday yet? In the mean time, I plan to catch up with my little, Jessica Evers, and my other little, Grace Haggemann this week, as well as my old roomie, Lauren Hendrix Sprinkle. Can’t wait for some girls’ nights to hopefully make the time pass more quickly until I can see my love again.

I will add that you may have noticed that this post is a bit sparse on pictures…It’s because I honestly have not been taking many. I have left the camera at home more and made a conscious effort to live in the moment instead. It is amazing how much of life that you miss when you are constantly behind the lens of a camera, attempting to capture every moment. However,  I do miss taking pictures, and I definitely wish I had more of the holidays, looking back. So, I promise to post lots of pictures of Savannah and of course, Spain, college graduation, and all of the other exciting events that will be coming along this year.

So, with that being said, Bring On 2013!

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