Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Home Improvements

This weekend we undertook a major project: re organizing the guest room closet.

Remember that Friends episode where Chandler opens that closet and Monica has things shoved in everywhere and stacked to the ceiling?...that's kind of what it looked like.

Really we had to make room for more stuff because of our second home improvement project. (the fact that Austin had no closet space anywhere in our apartment may have factored in as well...whoops.)

So, we instituted way more drawers:

This is all of my craft stuff, WOO, I finally have a ribbon drawer! (This is a life long dream, yeah Martha)
But, what were we making space for, you may be asking?

A Washer and Dryer!!! Wooooo! No more laundromats for this crew. Overall, a very productive last couple of days.  :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Classes for Bings

For those of you who have not met our beagle Bingley, this is typically what you will see when you walk into our apartment...or he will be trying to lick your feet, and get acquainted with you - his new best friend.
Overall, he is pretty well behaved...I taught him sit, lay down, stay, rollover, and the ever popular "bang bang" trick (where he plays dead) when he was still a little puppy. Lately, we have been thinking about some ongoing cognitive development...we think it would be good for him...Plus he will get to play with some other pups...I know, I know, I have been studying education for too long, no worries, we are still aware that he is a dog.

So, we are enrolling him in Doggy School, aka Beginners Obedience, at "Pawtropolis" here in Athens. Tonight is our first session for seven weeks. Wow. And get this: tonight is a "Parent's Orientation." He is not even coming with us! We will see how this goes! Look forward to reports on our progress in the future :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Advice for the Day...

Keep it Simple.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

An attempt at equality...

between the wedding blog and this one...see me balance? lol.


We were pretty excited, and for those who don't believe how big football is here in Georgia, check out this socialization:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So...a wedding!

The most avid of readers will notice to that there is a new section on the sidebar: "The Wedding Planning"

Eventually this will include more links, like to our wedding web page...when we get to it...but for now it includes my new, wedding planning only blog (!)

I know. I may be crazy. And a tad bit excited.

BUT, we wanted to preserve this blog for the long haul, and I don't want to muddy it up with my wedding planning craziness...just updates and such.

Therefore, if you are interested in following the wedding planning more so than wedding updates...check out the new one: See the Bride Blog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Additions to the Blog Roll...

Quick update!

Dan Maz,
Holdin it down in Hampton Roads...

Dana Duncan Photography, my sorority sister who has an awesome photography business!

The Holdens, another sorority sister's family adventures

Check 'em out!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Too Much Cute.

Y'all will NOT believe this:

So my mom called me yesterday afternoon to let me know that Austin and I got engaged exactly 30 years and 1 day after my parents!

September 4, 1978 and September 5, 2008. Isn't that insanity???

They were also high school sweethearts and got engaged, unlike us, the September of their senior year of high school and then were married January 5, 1980 (a year and a couple of months later)...3 kids and 28 years later, here we are!

So...I don't have ANY pictures of my parents together by themselves --and as my mother is not the most technologically savvy and I inherited my procrastination from dad -- I figured a family photo was better than holding off until they can send me one.

Comment Issue Resolved!

I know that a couple of you have alerted me to the inability to comment on the blog...and I am pretty sure I have it fixed, after some advice from others more blog savvy than I, so feel free to comment away!!

I have no idea why the other setting wasn't working, but I set it up in Beta Blogger so that may have been why...in any case, it works now...Leave some love :)

Big Changes in Life

In addition to Austin's most recent purchase (<3) we also made another 'life decision'...

As many of you know, in February of last year we mourned the loss of Elizabeth (named by Corey) - Austin's 2004 White Chevy Cavalier with no automatic locks, windows, or cruise control...

ok so some of us ::coughcoughAustincough:: may have mourned the loss a bit more than others ::coughmecough::

In any case, with him heading off to OCS so soon after that we decided to wait on another car purchase, but was a major to do upon graduation.

So without further ado I introduce you to the newest member of the Brawford/Gage fleet (unnamed as of yet):

It is a 2004 Limited Edition Jeep Grand Cherokee that we purchased with only 36,000 miles on it...woo...we love it.

I know, I know, an SUV with gas prices like this? yes. The space is FABULOUS.

Also, seeing as I primarily drive it, not the wanna be racecar driver Ensign Gage, the gas mileage is not so bad ;)

Any name ideas?

P.S. My '99 Civic, Maria (named by Shelby) is still going strong! Woo!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Love, Love, Loveity Love Love Love

Wow everyone! Thank you so much for all the love and congratulations via your blogs, phone calls, emails and everything else!!! We are so blessed to have you all in our life and are feeling very loved.

We wanted to take a second to congratulate another recently engaged couple - Dustin and Adele!!!

I feel like singing "Love is in the Air" a little bit...

I also wanted to point out that the "Cross Country Adventure" recap series is still continuing, but since I started writing them and saved them all as drafts before I had pictures to add, they keep their original posting date - which means they will appear below the engagement story and new updates like this one :)

Thanks for reading and being all around fabulous friends!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We're Engaged!

I am sure that most of you have heard the news, but in case you haven't...We're getting married!!!

Austin proposed to me on Friday, September 5. While we have known for a while that we were "it" for each other, this new official declaring of spending the rest of our lives together is...so different, yet so the same...we just keep giggling at each other when we think about it or I catch sight of my ring.

It has been a very happy couple of days here in Athens, Georgia :)

So here is the story:
Friday night was supposed to be date night for us. We have both been kinda busy doing our own things since we have been home, so we decided that Friday night would be a good night. I offhandedly suggested it when he picked me up from work earlier this week...

Courtney: "Hey, how about if we go out to dinner on Friday...it could be like a date, haha"

Austin: "Ok, that sounds nice...do you want to go to Harry Bissett's? I know you have wanted to go back there for a while..."

Courtney: "Ooooh, that would be fun" (mentally congratulates herself on maneuvering into this awesome night and dinner to follow and thanks the Lord that the Navy pays more than Target)

So, all the while little did I know that he had it all planned out, had been ring shopping since we got home, and in the last two weeks had been designing my ring with a local jeweler!

We had such a great day hanging out on Friday! We started with friends at the pool in our complex, came back and played the Wii, drank some wine, and just had a cool hang out day...

Again, little did I know when he "ran in" to work in his whites, he had really picked up the ring!

Later that night I was getting ready for our reservations, which were for 6:30...around about 6:10, he starts rushing me...

Austin: "Come on Court! We are going to be late, what are you doing in there?"

Courtney: "I am coming! I am coming!" (as she runs out the bedroom door, gracefully hopping on one heeled foot as she tugs on the other shoe, scrambling for her purse and phone and applying lipgloss)

Austin: "You got everything?"

Courtney: "Yup I am good! Come on!" (She sprints for the door)

Austin (from inside the bedroom): "Hey Court, wait! You forgot something!"

Courtney (whirling around a tad bit indignantly, thinking "No I didn't!", sprints back toward the bedroom): "What did I forget?"

Austin: "This." (proceeds to get down on one knee and propose)

After crying buckets of tears and a lot of "Are you for real right now?!?"s, I of course accepted, and that was that, we were engaged! AHHHH! I don't remember much of what he actually said because my mind was reeling - which is exactly what he wanted. He says that he wanted to surprise me, and have "that look in my eye of complete shock" which he accomplished :)

We went to dinner after that and only called one person before dinner - my mom. He said that he had called my dad earlier in the week and asked for permission, and made my dad promise not to tell her so that I could call and tell her the news!

So the call was made, more tears followed and we finally went into dinner, where we proceeded to grin like idiots at each other and giggle all the more. It was fabulous. No one knew, except us, it was our moment.

After dinner of course, we called and texted everyone we loved and adored to share the happy news...our friend Kat, who had spent all day with us at the pool, happened to be driving across town when she heard and came by to share in our joy, and some champagne and was nice enough to snap these photos:

Cheese...goodness...why, oh why can't I be a pretty crier???
A little more composed :)
The first picture of my ring!
So there it is, there's the story of how almost 8 years of dating my best friend has come to the point of calling each other 'our betrothed' and other ridiculously gag inducing names that we have come up with in the last 48 hours :)

We are so excited to start planning a wedding celebration that will truly be a celebration of love and friendship, and feel so blessed that so many have shared in our happiness already!

For the inquiring minds (i.e. my girlfriends), my ring is a one of a kind design that Austin helped with, is so unique and absolutely perfect for me. It is so elegant and delicate (not that I consider myself to be either of those traits, lol). It has a round stone in the middle and two pear shaped stones on either side...

I am in love with it and I can't imagine wearing anything else for the rest of my life.

Without further ado, here is a pic I quickly snagged that doesn't even begin to do its real-life sparkle justice.

Current Mood in the Brawford/Gage household: ecstatic.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cross Country Adventure Recap Part 8: NC fly by and back to Athens

Luckily for me, my sorority big sister and husband live just a little off of the direct route from Virgina to Athens!!

They are always gracious enough to let this crazy rag tag band breeze through their impeccable household, and typically provide us with an awesome home cooked meal and a lot of relaxation.

The big news this time though was that my big sis is going to be a mommy!!!

While I had known about this since I was in Wisconsin...I had yet to see her baby bump! Here are some very forced photos in the morning before she headed to work for your enjoyment :)

Aren't they precious??? ;)

I know she will LOVE me for posting these...but hey...for posterity's sake I owed this to y'all...lol...

Her blog is over on the blog roll if you would like to check out some more up to date pics as she is now halfway through her pregnancy with her daughter, Emma Grace!

So that's that! The cross country recap!!! woooooooo!

You can probably still expect some retro posting to catch up but at least this series is over...phew!

Cross Country Adventure Recap Part 7: Back in VA!

When we got back to VA we were so happy to be able to spend time with some of our friends! Corey, Daniel, Dan, Adam, all sorts of OSL fun abounded, as well as some reunions with our college friends! I especially loved meeting my sorority grandbig sis' new baby Blair Ann :)

We were also happy to be reunited with this face:

Bingley had some adventures this summer too, living with Haley and Justin in Richmond, VA. One of these adventures included meeting some new friends as pictured below...

as well as helping Justin in the new yard...

So, as you can see we all had a crazy summer!

One last stop on the recap and we are back up to speed...can you stand anymore? ;)

Cross Country Adventure Recap Part 6: My Birthday!

Ok so this is a quick post, because I just realized that NO pictures exist of my birthday this year!

We met up with Leslie, Haley and Justin early on in the morning and decided to explore Providence before they had to head to Boston to catch their flight home.

We mainly explored the awesome mall there and the movie theater where I finally got to see The Dark Knight...yay!

I do have a picture though, of my present from Austin:

I am such a lucky girl :)

Cross Country Adventure Recap Part 5: Exploring Newport

After we got Austin changed, we set out to have lunch and explore Newport!

After lunch and walking around Newport for a while shopping here and there, Leslie suggested that we go on a boat tour of the harbor! Awesome idea!

Personally stoked to see some of the amazing mansions in Newport, via their waterfront, we boarded the boat...where there was a bar! Yahtzee!

Not only was there a bar, but they were stocked with Landshark thanks to a Jimmy Buffet concert that night...

And tons of life jackets for drunkards...should anything disastrous happen...

Which all equals a very happy and cheesy reunited couple hanging out on the lawn furniture provided to sit on down below...

We were all so excited!!! Right? Wrong.

Approximately 20 seconds after pulling away from the dock:

The poor kid hadn't sat down without anyone screaming at him about it in 14 weeks. Heat, a comfy seat, nice people and the gentle rocking motion of a boat in a harbor seemed to equal a quick formula of a nap for Ensign Gage...

Here is a recap of what he missed during his siesta:

Boats in the harbor...

The set up for the Jimmy Buffet concert...the tour guide/boat captain said they get tons of people for big concerts hanging out off shore on air mattresses, floaties and boats to listen to the music for free...

Next OSL Beach House anyone? It is only accessible by boat...let's take it to the next level.

This is where Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis spent her formative years...

Oooh, pretty.

Our new summer home...

Crazy, eh? If those lotto numbers would only hit...

More to come!

Cross Country Adventure Recap Part 4: Class Graduation Ceremony

In between the private commissioning and the class ceremony, we got to walk around a little:


But then we were off to get our seats in the surprisingly hot RI sun.

 They entered and the ceremony went on for a long time, we were able to get some really good shots (by 'we' I mean Haley of course) because they awkwardly invited friends and family out onto the field in the middle of the ceremony to get closeup shots.

 The commander spoke, they marched around the field a whole lot and then it was over! Wooo!

 Class Photos

Then everyone lined up for their first salutes :)

The people that had basically made these guys lives a living hell were lined up and prepared to salute them for the first time...in exchange the newly commissioned officers gave them a silver dollar, which you can read more about here. Austin's silver dollars were from the first salutes that he had given other officers during his time there. He still has one, because he thinks that the first person actually in the fleet to salute him deserves one as much as the structured ceremony participants.

Once that was over it was time for more pictures and getting Austin back into some civvies!
 (Austin showing off his scissor war wound and  how deep the scissors actually went in...the whole part showing beyond his hand is how deep it went!...nice farmer's tan ;)...)

Break from the Recap

Ok so...I know I have been a HUGE slacker lately regarding the blog, but in my defense...things have been busy at the Brawford/Gage household, at least for me.

Austin on the other hand has been able to go check in every morning and then return home to play with the Wii and dog...those are your taxpayer dollars at work! Today however, he is transitioning from O-Harping to being a Stash Officer at the Supply School...what this means is that now he will be on rotation for watches, etc. and doing a bit more work, but all right here in Athens.

He has had a stream of OCS buddies coming through town, which has been fun...especially since he has someone to relive stories with! Connor, who stayed with us while he was in town, will be moving in next weekend to his apartment here in Athens and Hayes will be moving down the weekend after. Austin is pretty excited about having some buddies in town.

Other than that, things have been rolling right along...I have allotted time for tomorrow morning for mass updates to the blog, so look out. :)

In the mean time, here are the new additions to the blogroll...the lovely blogs of three people I have been pestering to start them for a long while and who are now kicking my butt at the updating game:

  1. Tricia: one of the lovely interns from Madison this summer who is now enjoying life in the Student Affairs program at the University of South Carolina...check her out at http://sweett-tk.blogspot.com/
  2. The Hrudowskys: my lovely grand big sis from ZTA Michelle who is married to Nick and just had a little girl, Blair, in June. They live in VA Beach...check them out at http://hrudowskyfamily.blogspot.com/
  3. The Rollands: my uber lovely big sister from ZTA Diana who is married to Allen and is expecting her little girl, Emma Grace, in January. They live in Morganton, NC...check them out at http://darollands.blogspot.com/

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