Wow... I knew it had been awhile since I posted (Hey, life gets crazy sometimes!) but I had no idea it had been since before Thanksgiving. Yikes! Let me present you with a super brief monthly regurgitation of life and my anticipations for the near future.
The end of November was marked most notedly by our trip to Indiana for Thanksgiving, Gearry's first time back in the Hoosier State since June and mine since the end of July. Although we debated over making the trip since we only had four days and couldn't fly because of the dogs, we decided we missed everyone too much and decided that it was worth 24 hours of driving to spend essentially three days with family and friends. I can't remember many of the details of the trip at this point, but I know there was lots of good food, lots of complaining about the cold weather, and lots of good quality time with family. Well, as much as you can fit into three days, anyway. The trip was pretty exhausting and the drive back monumentally long and traffic-jammed, but all-in-all it was worth it.
That time between Thanksgiving and Christmas break always seems incredibly short, especially for teachers and students since winter break tends to be pretty lengthy. The beginning of December flew by, me keeping very busy at St. Andrew's and Gearry keeping very busy at the Culinary Institute. Before long, it was time to once again jump in the car and head back to Indiana for winter break. This time, however, we were jumping into our new car, which made the trip slightly more exciting. Just a few days before we left we decided to finally chuck Gearry's Cobalt, which had seen its better days as a commuter car for his long commutes from Lake Monroe to French Lick every day. We purchased our first "grown up" car, a new Subaru Forester. We've both always loved Subarus and it was really easy for us to agree upon a car. I have to admit, the 750 mile or so trip back to Indiana was much more pleasurable in a vehicle with so much more room! It will be great to have this spring and beyond for all the outdoor activities we enjoy, like camping, kayaking, beach-bumming, etc.
I LOVE that Gearry and I are both now on academic schedules, so that we could have a nice, long, relaxing visit instead of the rushed experience at Thanksgiving. We were in Indiana from December 18th - December 29th. Even in this length of time it was surprisingly difficult to fit in all we wanted to do and all the people we wanted to see, but I think we found a nice balance of going & doing and staying & relaxing. We stayed with Gearry's parents for the first half of the trip and mine for the second half. We enjoyed seeing the Christmas snow, but had to keep ourselves from complaining about the cold too much this time around ;) A wonderful time was had with family and friends and our departure date came too soon.
We wanted to make it back to Georgia for New Year's Eve so that we could celebrate the New Year with fireworks on the beach at Tybee. Curled up in a blanket watching the fireworks explode off the pier, with the waves crashing between the fireworks' booms, was the perfect way to send out 2010 and welcome 2011, a year in which we are hoping for a lot beyond our control.
January was puncuated for me by lots of sickness. I don't have the world's best immunity system, but working with such young children every day this year has completely reaked havoc on my body. I love it, and I love them, but man I have endured cold after cold after cold!
The big thing in January was Gearry's trip to Charleston with his culinary team for their American Culinary Federation state competition. I was ecstatic when Gearry texted me to let me know that they won! Next weekend they will be heading to the U.S. regional competition in Atlanta where they will compete against teams from 6 states (including Gearry's alma mater, Sullivan University). They are, of course, hoping to avenge their title from last year and head to nationals, which will be held in Dallas.
Last weekend was the Tybee Half-Marathon, which I've been anticipating since the fall. I was so excited that Gearry could actually go with me, since there have been very few athletic events (rowing, running, triathlons, etc.) that he has gotten to go to and support me. I felt pretty strong at the outset and for the first few miles, but my nasty knee problems started kicking in around mile 6, and by miles 8-9 I was in excruciating pain. Luckily I pushed through the pain and the monsoon rain and even shaved 3 minutes off my last half-marathon finish time, but I can't even describe the knee pain. I felt pretty good endurance/fitness-wise, so that gives me hope that if I can eventually get my knee issues hammered out, I may eventually be able to do a full marathon. Right now, though, I'm feeling pretty satisfied with halfs! Next one will be the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon in early November. I think I have even convinced Gearry to do this one with me!
In other life news, things are pretty good in general -- we really don't have anything to complain about in the whole scheme of things -- but we find ourselves increasingly frustrated by our housing situation and are continually hoping and praying that things change for the better soon. We still have not sold our condo and, therefore, are still in housing limbo and still paying for two different places to live, only one of which is actually being lived in. We're wasting a ton of money and we are missing out on tons of great deals here and we are starting to go crazy living in this one-bedroom guest house. It feels like we've taken a huge step backward in the housing sense, and we hate the uncertainty of having no idea what's going to happen and when. It doesn't feel like we can get truly settled here because we are in a temporary space. Our lease runs through June, so if the condo hasn't sold by then... I don't know.