16 October 2015

Flex Friday

It's Flex Friday!
And by "flex," I mean that I'm on call for work, not "flexing," as in showing off my fantastic arm muscles.
Which aren't actually so fantastic, since I just started back with CrossFit after a two-year hiatus.
It hurts to walk.
Anyway, since I'm on call, just sitting around waiting, I figured it would be a good time to update the blog so you all don't think Mississippi swallowed me whole and spit me out into Deliverance country.
Plus, if work today is anything like work yesterday, I should be getting called in at any second. Bananas!
I realize that I haven't really posted anything about our move to Mississippi other than talking about Matt's new position as a high school AD. If you follow me on facebook you've seen all the pictures (ad nauseum, I know) of our house, so I won't post any more on here.
Plus, random Internet stalkers. 'Nough said.
I have had the best two weeks ever!
First, Mom and dad were just here for several days and we had a fantastic time. I haven't seen them since February, so we were able to catch up on everything and show them the area...they've never been to the Gulf Coast.
I think their exact words to my husband were "Where do you keep dragging our daughter??"
They were pleasantly surprised. We're actually closer to the water here than when we lived in Florida...about 0.5 miles vs three miles...haha!
When I got home from work on Sunday, they were here!!
This pretty much sums up our visit:
We're so weird. But honestly, Slap Ya Momma's has some pretty decent BBQ, and it was fun for them to eat outside, facing the Gulf, in October.
This is actually my favorite picture...together again watching our Cardinals!
It was fun trying to get everyone in for a selfie. Good times.
I cannot even begin to explain how good it was to see mom and dad. I was very sad driving home from work yesterday and not seeing their car in the driveway anymore, but I found sweet little notes and gifts on the counter from my momma, and that made me smile.
Even though I'm almost 35, I still need my parents!
The week before my parent's visit, I got to see my very best friend! Sarah and I haven't seen each other since her wedding, for crying out loud. YEARS!!! We had a little meet-up in New Orleans, roughly an hour drive for me.
We may or may not have had a massive crying/hugging/laughing/jumping-up-and-down session on the sidewalk in the middle of the city.
Her husband was graciously silent and let us get it all out while we caused a scene. But it's New Orleans, so we kind of fit right in.
And of course, when showing friends around the city, and you grow up in a funeral home and things like this are ingrained in your blood, you just have to do a cemetery tour! We chose Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 as our destination, primarily because it's in the Garden District and we wanted to find Peyton Manning's house.
Correction: I wanted to find Peyton Manning's house. And maybe stay there. Forever.
Hi. My name is Addie Walters and I have a slight addiction.
Anyway, you can really only get into the old city cemeteries by tour anymore, due to the Archdiocese setting hours and limits because of stupid, idiotic people vandalizing the property.
We went through the group Save Our Cemeteries, one of the only non-profit tour groups in the city that serves to preserve and protect the historic cemeteries of New Orleans. We felt our $15 tickets were going to a great cause.
Save Our Cemeteries began in 1974 in response to a the potential destruction of the wall vaults of St. Louis Cemetery No. 2. Today, the non-profit organization is dedicated to the preservation of the 31 historic cemeteries of New Orleans. Save Our Cemeteries offers regular cemetery tours, lectures and programming for members and the general public, and does restoration of abandoned tombs.
It was an excellent tour. If you ever have a chance to go, try to get Michael as your guide. He was fantastic! The tour was absolutely full of interesting bits of history and local lore.

We started out at the marker for "My Pretty Betty." If you look close, it's the marker for a young child. Kind of a melancholy way to start the tour, but hey. It's a cemetery. What did we expect?
How about this one? City fire departments would buy entire tombs for their men. The detail of the relief carved into the top is amazing.


 When I die, please put pearls on my grave!

This one has a great story. This is known as the "Secret Garden," and entombs four friends who grew up together and started a secret society in New Orleans. Rumor has it that they went around and did secret good deeds, kept records and keys and codes, and upon their death required their heirs to burn all their paperwork and make it seem like they've never existed. 

This empty spot was used in the movie Double Jeopardy with Ashley Judd. Remember the tomb she was locked in and broke out of? This is where they built it. Pretty cool.  

Hauntingly beautiful. 

If you're in any way familiar with Anne Rice, Lafayette Cemetery is where she buried her characters, namely the Vampire Lestat from the Vampire Chronicles (Interview with the Vampire, if you've seen the movie but not read the books) as well as the Mayfair Witches. They're all here. Well, fictionally, anyway.
Funny story...before the tour we went inside a little corner mall to use the bathroom, and of course, Sarah and I were immediately drawn to a little tiny bookstore right inside the front door. During the tour, Michael told us that that bookstore is the personal favorite of Anne Rice - that's where she holds all of her book signings!
So of course we had to go back and take pictures, acting like the starstruck tourists that we were.

This book title made me laugh so hard. And now I want to read it. 

I think we could have stayed in there for hours, but after a 2 hour cemetery tour and becoming faint from the smell of new books, we decided it was time for lunch.
The Milk Bar!
Such a fun little hole-in-the-wall place right by one of the city hospitals. It was packed with medical-type people grabbing lunch on the run...it made me happy to be out of scrubs for the day to play Happy Tourist.


I had a delicious little ham, cheese and tomato sandwich on a toasted croissant. We were tempted by all the shake choices, but wanted to save room for - what else? - beignets at CafĂ© duMonde in the French Quarter. Plus a trip to Whole Foods, since Mississippi doesn't believe in the power of organic, snooty hipster groceries yet.
Best part? I now know my way fairly well around NOLA. And we didn't get mugged. Or hit up for dollars by scam people on the sidewalks.
I wish I could have taken my parents on the cemetery tour when they were here, but we got so busy seeing the Mississippi Gulf Coast and our new neighborhood that we ran out of time. Plus, with dad coming off both a knee surgery and a back surgery, probably not the best idea right now.
However, Dad did ask if we could stop at all the local funeral homes and fire departments so he could trade stories and t-shirts.
Mom and I said a big old fatty NO.
Plus, he had wayyyyy too much fun relaxing (read: napping) on the back deck while mom and I shopped. This is officially Jim Eaton's Relaxation Spot.
Today I love: Open windows, pumpkin coffee and snuggling with the pups while we watch Parks and Rec reruns until my phone rings to come into work.

31 August 2015

Life as an AD's Wife

So I guess we're going with this post-every-two-months theme, and now I'm cutting it close on the last day of August.


We're officially moved.

House is done, boxes are unpacked, new jobs started.

I know, the same old song and dance I usually post about this time of year, on a rolling three-to-five year schedule.

You know what's amazing?

When we lived up in Hattiesburg three years ago (after Missouri, before Florida, sheesh!) we would drive down to the Mississippi coast and daydream about how fabulous it would be to live in this little cute town called Ocean Springs.

Well. Be careful what you pray for, cause look out OS, here we are!

The poor lady at the DMV, after looking at all the states I've held a driver's license, started to thank me for my husband's service to our country.

Seriously. Whenever people hear all the places we've lived, they either think 1) Military or 2) On the run from the law.

I always have to go into an hour long diatribe about how Matt was a high school baseball coach, but baseball isn't what it used to be (thanks, travel ball!) and now he's an athletic director and now we're lugging a piano halfway across the country and I can't find my towels and the dogs are carsick.

I refuse to move again.

Unless there are mountains involved. And snow. And Alaska.

Anyway, we're here. It feels kind of like we never left Mississippi. I picked up my "Yes Sir" and "Yes Ma'm" and "Y'all come back now, you hear??" like I never stopped saying it, cause in Florida they give you looks for doing that.

One thing that's fantastic is that we're so much closer to family now, and we've already had visitors. When you live in Florida, everyone says they're going to come visit you and the beach and have a great time, but it never happens, because your husband moved you basically to the outskirts of Miami and it takes a year and a half of planning for anyone to make it down that far into the state.

And Miami is scary.

Ok, I'm exaggerating. We weren't that far. But Miami is scary.

Give me my little house on the marsh. Quiet and private after crazy-busy 12 hour shifts or ball games. Just me, my husband and dogs, and the rapidly-multiplying family of nutria on the banks right out our backyard.

Oh, and the ball games? So....did you know that Athletic Directors go to WAY more games than coaches do? Remember my "I'm a sports widow, woe is me" posts during baseball season?

Please. Child's play. I had no clue.

But you know what? This is the absolute happiest I've ever seen him. He's right in his element, telling other people what to do, cause Lord knows he can't pull that with me.

Just kidding.

But not really.

Honestly, he's awesome. He's fair, he's honest, he loves the idea of running a very successful athletic program, and he's more OCD than I am. The man's a walking spreadsheet of budgets and statistics. He's in his element, and I'm so proud of him.

And I have to say it's a LOT less stressful sitting in the stands at a game as the Athletic Director's wife than it was as the coach's wife. A lot. Plus he'll smile and talk to me. Bonus.

Here's to a great start in Mississippi!

Today I love: Lots of coffee after a rough three shifts at work. Coffee with more coffee. And a side of coffee.