Monday, November 29, 2010
But I digress...
The question is: real tree or fake tree?
Keep in mind I haven't done any research (i.e. googled it) or anything, but I thought I'd share my thought process going into this holiday season.
Pros- They smell awesome. Really really awesome.
They look prettier than fake trees (to me).
It feels like Christmas when I have a real tree.
Cons- They shed needles all over the place.
I'm always scared my dogs will try to pee on real trees (even though they never have).
How environmentally friendly is it to have a real tree? (This is what I need to google more).
Pros- They're way cheaper in the long run. If you take good care of them...
Cons - They don't smell anything like awesome.
Way less pretty than real trees (to me).
Maybe my dogs will use a fake tree as a chew toy?!
I have no idea what fake trees impact on the environment is. I feel sure they aren't biodegradable, nor can they be turned into mulch. Even I know that.
What on earth are these things made of anyway?
What have you or your family decided? Real tree or fake tree? Why?
If you are going for a real tree, and you live in the good ol' LG, I do know of a farm where you can cut down your own tree, and pet their cows, horses and yes people, llamas. You just let me know if you need directions.
While you're thinking about all this, turn on your favorite Christmas music and drink something warm - it's Christmas time!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Thanksgiving might just be my favorite holiday. I love to eat. And Thanksgiving is the time of year I can guarantee my favorite food will be abundant. Between now and Christmas, I will most likely eat my own body weight in dressing. Oh it's so delicious. But I also love that Thanksgiving doesn't have the same expectations that other holidays do. I know on Thanksgiving, I'll watch the Macy's parade, eat a lot and hang out with family and friends. I might take a nap, I might be forced to watch some football, but I'll definitely laugh. I love how full I feel on Thanksgiving - of joy, not just dressing. I think the best word for it is comfortable. So give thanks and enjoying being stuffed!
What's your favorite part of Thanksgiving?
Friday, November 12, 2010
What I actually mean is, we're back to Georiga. For good. Long story short - we had some family emergencies and re-examined our priorities and realized that we needed to be much closer to our families pretty much immediately. So that's what we did. After rushing down when Derek's little brother got put in the hospital we drove back to DC, packed up all our stuff, and were back in GA in a matter of 3 days.
I can't say that we miss it. We wanted a big adventure, and we wanted to feel like we were really doing something with our lives. We're over that now. I know we would have always wondered "what if" if we hadn't moved to DC, but we'll never have to wonder that again. We hated taking an hour to an hour and a half to get absolutely anywhere. We hated how expensive everything was. We hated that nothing was convenient. There were great things about the city, but we didn't get to experience most of them because of where we lived. I spent 3+ hours a day in my car. I never drove further than 16 miles in a day. It was frustrating.
We're getting settled in here. We got a new house that we L-O-V-E! I'm working back at the college, but in a different position than before, and Derek is still interviewing for several jobs. It definitely feels like home though.
Our whole perspective changed throughout all of this so we're definitely glad we had this whole experience. We're so glad to be back near the people we love and we can't wait for what's in store for us next!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Tomorrow I'll have my first full day of work at the Church where I'm going to start working out the plan for starting a college ministry. I'm so excited to start planning and designing and searching out God's will for GWU and The United Church.
Derek has an introductory interview today for an internship. He interviewed with the intern coordinator today and he'll be recommended to different department heads based on his skills and he'll have a second interview sometime soon. He's so ready to get this internship set up.
In other news, our new toilet is being installed right now (praise God!) and I am typing this post on my brand new netbook. It's so tiny and cute! I'm still getting used to the smaller keyboard, but it's going to be great for lugging around the city since it's only 2.5 lbs! This and the new Sharpie pens I bought made me super excited for school.
Thanks for all your support with the whole apartment issue. It's nice to have a place to vent to everyone I'd probably tell anyway without having to repeat it a million times.
Well, it's off to play with the new computer some more and think of a super awesome 2 word team name for trivia next week (there's a prize for the best one). Suggestions are welcome!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I promise you, this is the short version of the story:
We were supposed to move into our basement apartment last Saturday. 3 hours before we were supposed to pull up to our new house, we got a call from the homeowners saying it wasn't ready yet. So, we gave them another day and assumed everything would be ready when we arrived on Sunday. We spent money on a hotel. We stressed out our dogs. It wasn't ready Sunday either, but we moved in anyway. None of the baseboards were down, switches and outlets weren't covered, the stove didn't work, we had no cable or internet (even though they had it upstairs)the closet wasn't finished, there were holes in the ceiling, etc, etc, etc. Since moving in, we've found out that the washer and dryer were faulty, the plumbing was all screwed up and consequently our bathroom and kitchen flooded, the stove finally got hooked up only to find out that the reason it had been unhooked in the first place is that one of the burners is stuck to "on" and could kill us at any moment. One week after moving in, the stove still doesn't work, some of the baseboards still aren't down, there's now water under the floor in our kitchen, and right this moment we don't have a toilet. The toilet problem should be fixed tonight though.
It's been rough. If we had anywhere else to go we probably would have. I've cried quite a bit and it's certainly been stressful. Things are starting to improve but we're already counting down the months until we can move.
The only thing that has been really good is that I started work this Wednesday at The United Church, where I am the Minister to College Students and Young Adults. I get to build a college ministry from scratch which is both exciting and daunting. But the church has been incredible in the few days I've been working there. They've really embraced Derek and I and we're glad to have that connection here in this big, strange city.
We like life in DC so far though. There's so much to do and see which is always exciting. We know if we can get all of the issues with our apartment taken care of, we'll really enjoy living here.
I'll be in contact quite a bit more from now on... at least I'll try. Don't forget about me far away friends.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
This whole thing is a little hard to process. I'm excited, but I'm also so nervous. I'm a little scared. I am very anxious. On one hand, I get to do so many things I've always wanted to. I get to live in a city with a million things to do and see! I get to ride the Metro everyday. I get to live in a city that is full of cultural diversity. I get to go back to school and get a Master's degree. But I'll also be 12 hours away from everything and everyone that I'm familiar with. I'll probably get lost a lot. I'm scared we won't have any friends.
The next few days will be an emotional roller coaster for me. My natural instinct is to avoid situations like this. Normally, I just wouldn't think about the fact that this is the last time I'll see some people for quite some time. But I want to remember this. I want people to know how much I love and appreciate them. I'm not good at letting people know those things but I'm trying to be conscious of it this time.
So, if I haven't told you already, I'll miss you and I love you and I hope we keep in touch. Visit me. I want people to visit. Unless I don't know you and you're some stranger who reads my blog, in which case thank you for reading but please don't come to my house :)
Monday, July 19, 2010
People keep asking if I've started counting down the days. I hadn't until this morning. 19. In 19 days I will no longer live in Georgia. I'm excited, and nervous and a little sad. Moving day will be here before I know it.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
We traveled to DC last week to look for an apartment. It was interesting. We were supposed to tour four places. Before we even left our hotel to start the search two of them cancelled on us. The apartments had been taken. We were kind of freaking out. Mostly I was freaking out. Derek was ridiculously calm. We toured the smallest and most expensive of the apartments that we had planned to look at. It was $1175 per month for 486 sq. ft. It had a blue bath tub and toilet. But it was also two blocks from the waterfront, and you could see the Washington Monument from the balcony. The Smithsonian was blocks away. We LOVED the neighborhood. But there was no way we could justify spending that much money. Unless we had to, which at that point seemed like it might be the case.
That was Tuesday afternoon, and we weren't seeing the other place until Wednesday night and we were leaving Thursday morning. It was a basement apartment just across the Maryland border in Silver Spring. The homeowner offered to pick us up at our hotel. She brought one of her adorable dogs with her. She kept warning us that they were still renovating since they'd still bought the house so we'd have to use our imagination. I was still not prepared. The apartment had no floor or ceiling and few walls. I am not a person who has good concepts of space. Holy crap. But she walked us through and talked about all the plans. It had a big fenced in back yard for our dogs. It was incredibly affordable. It had more that 486 sq. ft. And an actual bedroom. We couldn't pass it up. Before we left that night we signed the lease.
We can't wait! The homeowners are incredibly friendly and are event letting us pick out some of the paint colors before they paint the walls (which by the way, now exist). It's going to be such a different experience. We're close to the metro, and shopping, and a real city with awesome stuff to do. We're moving up August 6th so come visit us anytime after that. I mean that. We'd love to have you! Unless I don't actually know you and then that would be weird.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I need one of each. Just leave a comment if you want to buy me these and I'll happily accept. Thanks.
2. This blog because oh my gosh this women is so funny that I have literally almost peed my pants several times from reading her blog. She never disappoints in being really crude, completely honest, and hilarious. I love her.
One thing I'm not endorsing today is Michael Buble. For some reason Pandora thinks that I want to hear multiple songs by him. I don't. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what band I said I like that made Pandora think I would want to listen to Michael Buble. Or Savage Garden. Or Bon Jovi. I'm not interested in any of that. But I may have listened to the Justin Beiber song it played earlier. That kid is like crack for my ears.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Anyway, what's been going on in the life of the Baldridge's lately you ask? Well, my first instinct is to say not much. Does that happen to you? People ask you what's been going on and you just respond, not much, even if that's not true and you've had 1 million things happening lately. So weird.
Several things have actually been happening lately. I've been working for the Census, and boy-oh-boy are there some stories to tell from that. Yesterday alone I saw a man kill a 4.5 foot snake, an Osama Bin Laden doll nailed to someone's front door and a man in nothing but his very form fitting underwear. Can you tell I'm working in the country?! As weird as it may be sometimes, I think it's definitely worth the extra money.
Derek's been in charge of the TV station where he works for the past week as well. One of his assignments was to get the station running a live web stream of their programming. They've been working on this for a while, and he finally got it done (cause he's awesome and all you know). So that's right, you can now watch Exercise with Emily at 9:30 am and 1:00 pm every weekday just by clicking here and clicking play. You're welcome former LaGrangians.
We also have a roommate! Our fabulous friend McKendrick is going to live with us for the summer, and we're super excited about it. The dogs still freak out every time he comes in the door, but they do that for everyone.
As far as DC goes, Derek's been offered 1 internship already and we're sure there are more to come. We have no place to live, but I'm looking and emailing people quite regularly. But we are less than 3 full months away from moving and soooooo excited!
So what's going on with you?
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
We have representatives from local and national environmental groups set up tables to educate people (and usually give away free water bottles or something!) We have a table set up from 10,000 villages to buy beautiful fair trade products. We usually have a couple of hybrid cars on show. And we always have our local bike shop here with bikes for sale and demonstrations. But this year, I'm most excited because they're doing free bike repairs! My bike has been out of commission for sometime because one of the tires went all wonky (that's a technical term) on me and I haven't gotten it fixed yet. I never ride my bike because I'm not very brave when it comes to riding in the road and (come closer I need to whisper this) Derek never learned how to ride a bike so it's no fun riding by myself. Also my lack of stamina and total inability to breath after riding really deters me from doing so. I'm going to sell the bike before I move, but it makes sense to get the tire fixed to make the most money.
So those are my plans for earth day - save money and have tons of fun! What are your plans?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
But imagine my surprise when I did look over today and not only do I have a new follower, she happens to be one of my BFF's who has a blog and DIDN'T TELL ME! Which is fine, I'll forgive her. But you should really go check out her blog because A) she's fabulous in real life B) her blog is way more interesting than mine (I'll work on that) and C) this lady can help you save big bucks! I hope that one day I can be as good at saving money as she is. I'm amazed at how much money she saves. She is my guru. Though I'll never be quite as good as coupon clipping as she is because I usually don't plan before going to the grocery store, or if I do I might forget to make a list or actually print out coupons. I'm working on it. Her blog is teaching me well.
So go, visit, and learn!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Thankfully, the interviewers got the point that I can be articulate and I'm passionate and mostly, I'm excited about the work that Wesley Theological Seminary is doing to prepare people for ministry. I got a good scholarship that's worth almost 2/3's of tuition! It's so wonderful just to know what's available and what Derek and I are dealing with as far as funding my theological education is concerned.
I was pretty disappointed though that when I got the call about my scholarship, they said nothing about being an Urban Fellow. After visiting Wesley and seeing the amazing work that the Urban Fellows are doing I was so excited about it. I knew the spots were limited, but I was just hoping that I would be one of the lucky students who were picked. When I didn't hear that I'd been chosen I was so disappointed.
Good for me, the notification that I have been chosen to be an Urban Fellow came this past Friday! I will be a part of the 2nd cohort of students who will be working on a Community Based Action Research Project and Cooperate Praxis Projects. This program is really focused on tying together theological education and the implementation of those practices at the same time. It's going to be amazing (and it's definitely going to make this blog more interesting!).
Now we just have to find a place to live... if you hear of any inexpensive, dog friendly, Metro accessible apartments in the DC area just let me know.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Our trip was great! It was rainy and gross pretty much the whole time we were there, but we still really enjoyed it. We got to tour around a see some great sites while we were there too. I think it was the perfect intro to DC for Derek!
The first day we got there we mostly just learned more about Wesley (Theological Seminary that is) and I had some meetings and stuff I had to go to. Derek was left to fend for himself that night and a good part of the next day, but he survived!
The second day I went on a tour of Wesley's "presence" at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church where they have an amazing intentional community for some students to live in. I, and 13 other students, also went to meet with the current Urban Fellows which are a group of students that are selected for this program each year, and work within the Mount Vernon Square and surrounding neighborhoods to focus on available outreach in those communities. That was the program I was interviewing for and I was desperately hoping to get into. It was amazing to meet with them and to learn more about all of the work they're doing.
But hands down, my favorite place we visited that day was The United Methodist Building (pictured)
which houses the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society where I hope to work one day! It's located directly next to the Supreme Court (pictured below) and it's the only non-government owned building on all of Capitol Hill. It was wonderful and I absolutely loved it!
That night we went on a trolley tour of the city(but my flash was being funny so I don't have any nighttime pictures) which was beautiful. It was fun to see Derek's reaction to all of this stuff for the first time.
Monday, March 8, 2010
- Derek's first flight. Ever. I'm so stinking excited about it. I love flying! Which is weird, because I HATE heights, but flying doesn't scare me at all. I can't wait to see the expression on his face when we fly for the first time!
- Our first trip to DC together. It's actually Derek's first trip to DC at all. I've visited several times and (technically) lived there for 4 days. (Long story for another day). It's such an exciting and wonderful city and I'm just praying that Derek likes it as much as I think he will!
- Our first visit to my seminary! I've been before, many moons ago, when I was a junior in undergrad. They've made some changes and I can't wait to see what it looks like now and show Derek where I'll be every day for the next 3 years!
We're flying up early Friday morning and staying until Sunday evening for a Scholarship Competition. I'm really trying to focus on the fun travel part of it, and less on the "holy crap whatever happens this weekend will determine a lot about the future for us" part. No matter what happens, we're moving to DC in August. I'm starting seminary at Wesley in August. But it would be awesome if I could have a great scholarship while I'm there. It would let me breathe a little easier. Secretly I want to ask that you'll pray for me to win, but that's really wrong, so I'll just ask that you pray. A lot if you get the chance.
Whatever happens I know God is at work in me and in these plans so I'm not too scared, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a little naseuous if I think about it too much.
I'm planning to take plenty of photos (send me a text and remind me to do that every once and a while) to post on here when I get back. Also, I'll be updating on Twitter so feel free to follow me www.twitter.com/abaldridge !
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Since I only teased you yesterday with a little snippet of the plan I thought I could go ahead and give you a few details on the whole, moving 10 hours away thing.
What we know:
- We are moving to Washington, DC.
- I'll go to seminary and get a Master's of Divinity with a focus on Urban Ministry.
- Our dogs will go with us.
- Derek will be doing this great internship program the first semester we are there, which will hopefully lead to great contacts for a job!
- I've already qualified for at least a 1/3 of tuition scholarship. We'll be going up in mid March for a Scholarship Competition so I can hopefully get more scholarships!
- We'll go up again at the end of June/beginning of July to find an apartment.
- We'll move right around the middle of August. (In my head it's planned for August 14th. We could try to move on the 13th, but that's Friday the 13th and even though I'm not normally supersticious I'd rather not chance that.)
- We have to save every single penny possible between now and then.
- In my head a lot of things are planned that could change completely.
- I am so excited about this I could burst.
What we don't know:
- Where we'll live.
- Where we'll work.
- Where we'll park (seriously, that's hard in DC).
- How much of our stuff we'll actualy be able to fit inside what is sure to be a teeny tiny apartment.
- If we'll like it ( I mean, I think we will, but there's no telling until we get there)
- Where we'll be able to find jobs.
- If we'll have friends (please God let us have friends!)
- If we'll decide to make it our permanent home.
And so many other things. My brain is constantly swimming with thoughts about this whole process. From big picture things to the smallest of details I think and rethink and think some more about this incredible, exciting, wonderul adventure that I get to go on with my favorite person in the whole world. And of course these two bundles of cute: