lukeandmanda

The most amazing love story since Romeo and Juliet haha

Welcome Fall! An update on the Bradshaws

With most of our friends and family so far away, I wanted to provide a brief update into our lives at this very moment! It is wonderful to connect with people who are near and dear to us from all over the country, and we are so grateful that the Internet and this blog provides a brief chance to interact with those we love from all chapters of our lives- childhood, high school times, college, Army life and beyond.

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First and foremost, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary on September 1st! We spent an incredible weekend in Atlanta, GA and got to witness the union of another sweet couple–my friends from high school. Going to a wedding on your anniversary is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience because it brings so many memories rushing back from your own big day. I would definitely recommend it if you ever get the chance. We also visited the Atlanta Zoo, the Natural History Museum and had dinner at the most amazing restaurant called Canoe. It is rated as one of the top 50 romantic restaurants in the United States, and we would HIGHLY recommend it. It is right on the waterfront, so you can enjoy an after-dinner drink and dessert by the river. We also went back last weekend for the Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood. (Tickets were Luke’s anniversary gift, and the concert was LEGEND wait for it DARY. The man’s truly a phenomenal performer, and Trisha Yearwood’s American Girl took me back to my childhood in a heartbeat.)

Married life is wonderful overall. It has its ups and downs of course, and I’d be lying if I said it’s always easy. But, it is truly incredible getting to come home to the one that your heart loves each and every evening. At this point, we don’t know how we spent the first 20 years of our lives without one another! We have settled into our cute little apartment, complete with a spare bedroom and man cave, in case anyone wants to come to visit! We have been blessed with several guests so far, and if you are reading this blog, know that our home is always open to you, too. Just give us a call! I have been trying out lots of new recipes on my guinea pig husband, and he seems to think I’m not too bad of a cook. So, please stop by for a meal sometime and give me a chance to use some of my wedding dishes and crystal glasses! (I am forever grateful that I did not register for a full set of china just yet, as I have nowhere to store it! With the Army, it seems to make the most sense to build up these things over time, as things often can get broken from one move to the next.) At our next post, we may go ahead and buy a house to fill with furniture, but for now, our cute little apartment is absolutely perfect for us.

As Fall approaches, so does my (Amanda’s) 24th birthday! Ooh, I feel old these days. As I reach my six-years-from-thirty benchmark, I seem to be checking off all of those pesky little boxes one by one– college degree, marriage, full-time job, graduate school. I read somewhere that 80% of life’s major “milestones” occur before age 30! I didn’t plan it that way, but it does seem that my life is following that trajectory too. But, for those who have asked or maybe WANT to ask as we have completed our first year of marriage, kids are still a ways away for this couple! We have a few more things we’d like to check off first, but no worries–kids are definitely in the cards some day, or whenever God wills it. A fur baby might be a sooner possibility though…Just maybe. We also have several trips in the works, that we are greatly looking forward to. 😉

Luke is a Platoon Leader in the 110 Alpha Battery for Field Artillery at Fort Benning, and I recently took on the role of Co-FRG Leader for his battery. (For those of you that are not familiar with Army lingo, I am helping to lead the spouses’ organization by planning events and communicating Army information.) It is hard to believe that Luke has been stationed at Benning for nearly 2 years now. He is enjoying learning all kinds of new things in the Army, and his unit is looking forward to some field time this Fall to put some of their training to the test. As of now, there appears to be nothing in the works for an overseas assignment. We are scheduled to stay at Benning for approximately 1.5 more years, but with the Army, orders can always change. We are loving being in the South though; not too far from our families and enjoying short drives to both Atlanta and the Beach.

Speaking of the beach, we just returned from a week-long vacation in Gulf Shores. Although Hurricane Odile threw a wrench in our plans to go to Cabo San Lucas, we were blessed to get some time away from work and enjoy some R&R on the beautiful shores of south AL. We savored excellent seafood at some of the best restaurants without all of the summer crowds. With all of the kids back in school (See, I told you I felt old), it was very peaceful and quiet, but the weather was still perfect and warm–just a little chilly in the mornings and evenings. No rain at all! It was also nice to get some time with my Dad, who we don’t see as much these days. With the Army, you quickly learn that time with any friends or family members is always a blessing not to be taken for granted. I only wish that my brother could have come as well, but he is working hard at The University of Alabama so he couldn’t make the trip. Maybe we can make it back to T-town for a Bama game before he graduates! With football season in full swing, I sure miss cheering on my Tide from Bryant Denny Stadium.

Graduate school is still consuming a lot of my time, but I am happy to report that as of December, I will be halfway done with my master’s degree! I am looking forward to surpassing this milestone. With a full-time job, I am only taking one class at a time, so it is taking a bit longer than I would prefer. But, the West Virginia University Integrated Marketing and Communications program is perfect for my schedule and for Army spouse life since it is entirely online. Luke is considering getting his MBA or his Master’s Degree in Engineering, but we are trying to space out our graduate school programs a little. He may be taking the GMAT or GRE soon though, in order to be ready to start a program!

Finally, this November, we are cooking our very own Thanksgiving dinner right here in Phenix City. I already have a few recipes, but I have never cooked this important holiday meal on my own, so if you have any yummy recipes, please don’t hesitate to share! We are surely going to miss our traditional meal at home with the extended family, but we feel blessed that my Mom and some of our best friends, neighbors, and a fellow Army family can join us!

That’s it for now!  A brief update for everyone as I procrastinate brainstorm how to complete my next homework assignment.

Happy Fall, Y’all!

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