July 31, 2009

It's Friday Night....

It's been a whirlwind week....and it was an early morning at work, trying to get caught up from being out this week. I got home from work, and took my time winding down. I painted my toes a really weird shade of purple, chatted with LB, and got ready to go out on the town. I haven't "been out" in Santa Barbara since I moved here.

Brett and I decided to have dinner at Pascucci. Every time I walk by this place, I find myself being turned towards the wonderfully garlic flavor, and was excited to finally get to eat here.

After dinner, we went to Dargan's to meet up with the crowd that was celebrating Vanessa's birthday!! The house band played Happy Birthday while everyone there sang along, as they brought out a dessert for the birthday girl.

If I hadn't been so pooped from the week, I might have joined them for the dancing that ensued afterwards. Hope you had a great night celebrating, Vanessa!! :)

July 29, 2009

September 14, 1914 - July 23, 2009

This afternoon was Papa Sneed's funeral.

He was 94 years old.
He met Grandma, and married her 2 days after his 25th birthday - a requirement from her parents that he had to be 25.
He loved Grandma to the last day of her life, November 23, 2003.
He loved the Lord every day of his life.

I wish I had known him better, but I'm thankful for knowing him at all. I'm thankful to have learned more about him from the Pastor that performed his service. I'm thankful that he was loved, and by so many people.

I'm thankful that he and Grandma are together again, and that he's saying "How do?" to every one that went before him.

As I said goodbye to Papa Sneed today, I am reminded that, as a believer, it won't be our last meeting, and I'll see him again. I'm so glad that I was able to be there to celebrate Papa Sneed's life in Bedford.

Poplar Forest

Thanks to my Dad, Mom and Taylor, we had something planned for Wednesday morning. We got up early to head out to Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson's other home (not Monticello) in Bedford County. He escaped the British who were trying to capture him during the Revolutionary War, and hid out in a cabin there for 3 months in 1781. He then retired to this home whenever he wanted some peace and quiet.

The home was designed by him with influence from Andrea Palladio. The main part of the house is octagonal in shape, with 2 of the front rooms also being that shape. The middle room was the dining area with 20 foot ceilings.

It's been lived in by 2 families since the Jeffersons. The corporation that purchased it for the purposes of restoring it back to its original condition got it back after 1980, and have been working on it for 25 years.

We had a great time exploring the grounds of Poplar Forest and learning more about the history of our country!!

July 28, 2009

The Longest Tuesday

We landed in Charlotte at 545am this morning. After getting settled with our lovely Dodge Cruiser rental, we were on our way to Bedford. We hadn't eaten much, so when I saw a sign for a Bob Evans, I got giddy and had to stop. My memory might not be 100% accurate, but for some reason when I think of road trips between Pittsburgh, or Voorhees, to Virginia, I remember Bob Evans. Well, that and Wendy's.

I think that they've done some updating because the restaurant was a lot nicer than I remember, but that's not always a bad thing. Our waitress, a really sweet older lady, recommended the Farmer's Choice Breakfast....and that is exactly what I ordered. Two eggs, two pieces of french toast, sausage links (not patties), and a side of grits. Yummm-y! Brett had some meat breakfast burrito thing.

We were back on the road.....and 4 hours later, we were pulling into Bedford. It was a beautiful drive through NC and VA to get there. If only we were more awake to enjoy it!!

We met up with my parents and Taylor at the Super 8 in Bedford. They went off to see the beautiful Peaks of Otter and grab a bite to eat, while we had to get a little bit of shut eye.

After a quick nap, Brett and I went out to explore Bedford. First stop was the D Day Memorial. We read about The Bedford Boys and the D Day invasion on the beaches in Germany.

After, we drove through Bedford, past Papa Sneed and Grandma's old house, and the Elks Home. I've only been to Bedford a hand full of times in my entire life, but there is something peaceful about the town...and how it feels like it hasn't been that long every time I'm back there. It was a little sad to see how the new owners of the house haven't taken care of it as PS and G did. Even though it was rundown, the sun porch was windowed in, and the weeping willow tree in the side yard was gone - it didn't change the fond memories of the time we did visit Bedford.

After finding a new part of Bedford that I hadn't seen before....the part that has all the fast food restaurants....we grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to get ready for the evening viewing.

We got ready and headed over to the funeral home. We were here in the same spot in 2003 for Grandma's viewing. Even though that wasn't that long ago, I'm not sure I was paying attention, because I hardly recall being there. I recognized a few faces, and met some new people. Overall had some great conversations with people that respected and loved Papa Sneed. When one of the ladies from the Elks Home was telling me how when Papa Sneed would come to choir practice, in the end, he forgot the words, but always had the melodies. I did my best to hold back the tears. They went on about what a sweet man he was, and how he was a true Elk. I'm not sure exactly what that entailed but it was wonderful to hear a great story about him, and that so many people came to honor him. He lived 94 years, and each one was full of life and love for the Lord.

We took a few family photos before taking off for the night. Funny story - Taylor said to me afterwards that Brendan and Bill were talking about how much Brooke and I look alike. I hadn't ever thought that before...but now looking at some of these pictures, I do see the resemblance. We've both been told that we look like Grandma...so I guess that is where it's from. :)

A few of us went to grab dinner at our favorite restaurant in Bedford - Olde Liberty Station.

It was a great day honoring Papa Sneed, and getting to spend some time with family that we never get to see.

July 27, 2009


When we were looking at flights to get to VA in time for the upcoming week, the best flight option was to leave on Monday night from Santa Barbara, and arrive in NC on Tuesday morning at 6am.

Well, this is my first redeye flight....and I'm hoping that we can get some sleep on the plane so we can be bright eyed and bushy tailed when we finally get into VA on Tuesday afternoon. Here's to wishing.

July 26, 2009

The Hui Family Story

I met Leslie and Jeremy a few months before Molly joined us. Leslie was one of the cutest pregnant women I'd ever seen. We were all anxious to meet the little one growing inside her. Little Miss Molly waited a while to grace us with her presence...but it was worth it, at least I think. She's perfect.

I got to meet Molly a few weeks ago, and spend some time with the Huie family. This was my first time to ever tell a newborn story. When I first walked into their home, I was thrilled that we were there. How neat for me to be telling the beginning of their story in their home. As I wasn't really sure what to be doing with such a little baby, most of the time I was saying "I'm not sure what babies can do at this age....", so I mostly just sat back and watched Leslie and Jeremy be Mom and Dad to Molly. It was really beautiful to see, and I was smiling the whole time I was capturing their family story.

Leslie - I'm glad that I got to spend time with your family!! Molly is beautiful. I hope you like your story.

To see more of this beautiful family, watch the slideshow.

July 25, 2009

A Perfect Saturday

It was such a beautiful day today, that I refused to sit inside!! Brett and Kyle came over to get me, and the three of us had a great afternoon.

We hopped on the bikes, and made our first stop at Sam's to grab ourselves some lunch. Back on the peds, we made our way down the hill to Shoreline Park, pulled ourselves up a spot on the grass, and grubbed.

The skies were blue, the sun was out, the people were having picnics, parties, walking their dogs, and all around enjoying the wonderful Santa Barbara day. There were sailboat races going on in the ocean, the wind was blowing, and we were loving all of it.

Kyle loves it when I take pictures of him....I mean, LOVES it. HA!!! So, when he got ahold of the camera, he was being silly, and got a whole lot of shots of nothing....BUT, the one on the right was one that he did catch, and well, besides my big bum being the focus of the picture, I rather like it. :) Way to go, Kyle!

After we'd eaten and sat for a bit, we got out the frisbee. I've never been good at this. As easy as it seems to throwing it, there is definitely technique involved. We gathered that I am not what you would call "athletic"...not in the slightest.....so I got some lessons, and at least 4 of the 20+ throws that I did were decent. I got this little video at the end of our fun of the boys, doing it all the right way.

We packed up and got back on the bikes for the long haul home. Almost the entire way there, I probably pedaled under 10 times. Even though it's very slight, it's all downhill to the park. Which means, that it's all UPhill on the way back. Shoreline has the slightest incline all the way back to Cliff. And it's HARD. I pushed through, and got to the top of the hill without stopping. Mind you, this might not seem like a big accomplishment....but for me....it is.

We crossed over Cliff, turned the corner behind Albertson's, and I was off. Last time I did this, I stopped a few times, even got off and walked my bike a bit. This time, I was determined to make it. I got up the first hill, legs were already hurting, but got up a bit of speed before turning the corner to get up Kenwood to my street.

Oh.my.legs!!! Yes, seriously, I was in pain. BUT.....I kept on going. Brett was behind me the whole time saying "just keep pedaling...doesn't matter how fast you're going, just don't stop.". I think that part of me wanted to just prove to him that I'm not a total wimp, but I kept pedaling. I was breathing so heavy it was embarrassing, but I made it. I made it all the way to my driveway before I hopped off and stopped. My legs nearly gave out from under me as soon as they hit the ground. My heart was beating so fast I was sure Brett and Kyle could hear it.

When I walked into the house, Erik was sitting on the couch, and I think he had real concern that something was wrong with me!! After a bit, I caught my breath back, my heart returned to it's regular pace, and everything was back to normal. ;) I know I'm going to pay for it tomorrow.....but maybe next time it won't be as difficult.

We were sitting trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the evening. We made a trip to Lazy Acres for some smoothies and food. When we got back, the boys decided to go check out TVs again, this time at Sears. I decided to stay home this time...I can only take so much. They came back a little while later with a new toy. Nice! :)

While they were gone, I put out some flowers. The yellow ones were from Erik (Danielle told him about Papa Sneed, and he brought them for me.....she's got a keeper I tell you), the sunflowers I picked today from Laura's garden. As I was putting them together, and setting the table tonight, I felt like Laura. Even Brett commented as I was swapping out the placemats a few times until I found the perfect combination. I guess she's rubbing off on me. :)

Brett cooked up some steaks. I picked some squash and zucchini from the garden this afternoon for us to cook up too. And oh, the salad.....the yummy lettuce....also straight from the garden. Laura's garden that she planted just two months ago is on fire....and it's so cool. I just can't get over how we have all this food right on the side of our house!! :)

It was a really superb day. I even got a little sun!! I'm absolutely pooped and I'm going to bed now!! Thanks Brett and Kyle for a fantastic Saturday!!

July 24, 2009

Garlic Birds, PBnC and TVs galore!

Brett, Kyle and I traveled out to IV tonight to check out Woodstock's Pizza in Isla Vista. IV is the main area around UCSB, where most of the college dorms and apartment complexes are. Just driving around IV, it reminded me of College Station. Funny enough, right across the street is the original Freebirds - which I used to think was founded in College Station actually.

When we first walked in, I saw the menu, and my choice was for the IV Classic. The boys wanted the Garlic Bird. We flipped a coin and ended up getting the one with chicken. After it showed up at the table, I was glad for the way the coin landed. Our pizza - Creamy Garlic Sauce, Grilled Chicken, 'Shrooms, Red Onions, Fresh Tomatoes - was delicious!!! :)

Brett had his eye on the PBnC as soon as we walked in. He and Kyle thoroughly enjoyed the Peanut Butter & Chocolate Pie. It was a little bit too rich for me, but I was told to next time try the CinnaBread!!

Yum, yum!! We spent quite a bit of time after dinner in Best Buy. The boys were checking out new TVs. I think it was worse than going shopping with women. They looked at every single one, compared each, checked out the remotes, etc, etc, etc. I walked around the entire store, and finally found myself some seats to chill out on. I felt like a man sitting outside of the dressing room at a woman's clothing store. :)

July 23, 2009

At Peace

We'd been keeping a close watch on my grandfather, Papa Sneed, over the last few days. For the people that I was able to share this with, thank you for your prayers for him, and my family. It means so much.

Earlier tonight I got a call from my Mom that Papa Sneed had passed.

There's been a range of emotions in my heart and head over the last few days. But tonight, as I read 1 Corinthians 15, I am at peace knowing that I will get to see Papa Sneed again someday. I know that Papa Sneed has been called home to be with the Lord, and I know that Grandma was there waiting to greet him.

Please continue to keep my family in your prayers.