Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grand Re-Opening!



Paper With Purpose now has a new website, therefore, we are having a Grand Re-Opening! Please go to http://www.paperwithpurpose.com/ and check it out! Also, in honor of this, today only is 10% off everything. Our online store already has some great deals this week and we will add 10% more off of that! Also, go "like" our facebook page www.facebook.com/paperwithpurpose and send others to "like" it too. Have them comment that you sent them. The people with the most friends sent will get a free beach bag for the summer. It's our biggest seller! The contest ends sunday, so send your friends! You can also get free stationery if you send brides to buy their wedding invitations from us. Thanks for being so supportive this far. We appreciate it so much! And in case you didn't already know, 10% off all our earnings until October will go towards tornado relief.



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Adventures with Sue and Graeme!

Because of the tragedy Alabama endured this week, I'm behind on this post. But I need a bright spot and hopefully some others want some fun news, so I think it's time to tell about my adventures with my Aussie family! I could write this post for DAYS and it could be REALLY long, but I'll try to keep it as simple as I can. (it is still pretty long...just a warning!)

WE HAD A BLAST and made memories to last a lifetime. This first picture pretty much sums up our 10 days together. I know Chris and I are absent in this photo, but this picture says it all. Look at the joy on Sue and Graeme's faces to have their Alabama grandbabies in their arms and look at the faces of Wells and Claire. They loved each other! The rest of the pictures will be in order of our adventures. Sorry for all the collages, but there were hundreds of photos.



After 9 years of waiting, we finally got to see each other!!! We cried at the airport and then came home to a birthday party for Sue as her birthday was the 12th of April! I think it helped the kiddos attach REAL quickly! Claire and Wells loved them instantly. The phone calls, pictures and gifts worked wonders we think :)


We wasted no time once they got here. They arrived Wednesday afternoon, and the three of us left Thursday morning for Memphis. Thank you Mom and Dad for helping with the kiddos and thanks to Chris to being number one Dad and husband so we could get away for a few days. We went to the famous Peabody hotel and watched the ducks, went to Rendevous for ribs and bbq for dinner, strolled up and down Beale Street and ended up at BB Kings Jazz club for the night (well...9:00...we were tired!). The most fun part of the night was our p.j. party afterwards in our Westin hotel room! I felt 21 again, and truly felt like no time had passed since I lived with them in Australia. And I must say, their jammies were way more fun than mine! :)



We woke up on Friday morning, went to good ole Denny's for breakfast and then we were off to Graceland. I didn't know what I would think, but I really enjoyed it. It was just so interesting to see Elvis' house, and really just learn a lot more about him. I've just never really cared!! But honestly, now I do! It was so fun! And hilarious to see how much people WORSHIP the king of music. I enjoyed people watching :). ( I know the pictures are hard to see, but click on each collage and you can see the pictures close up). It was even more fun going with Sue and Graeme because they were fans and really excited to see it all.



We were on a tight schedule to get home as tornadoes were scheduled to hit Tennessee down through Alabama from 2 on, and were set to hit birmingham around 5. Well, guess when we got into Birmingham...4:50. It was HORRIBLE the whole way home. There were many times I couldn't see in front of my face and once we got into Birmingham I was very scared. Poor Sue and Graeme didn't know what a tornado was, but they got a little glimpse. Praise the Lord they were in New York this week and didn't have to be here in the midst of the worst tornado our country has ever seen. After returning to my parents' home safely, my sweet mom and dad had cooked and we had a YUMMY dinner at their house. They were AMAZING while Sue and Graeme were here. They housed them since we had no guest bedroom and did so much for us all so we could have sweet time together. My parents fell in love with them too! :)



We woke up Saturday morning, put on our red and white, and headed to Alabama's A-Day game. I think I was more excited about this day than any other day they were here! I was so proud to show them Tuscaloosa, my dorms, my house, my sorority house, and of our course our stadium! :) Those who know me well know that I. Love. Alabama. Football. So I was THRILLED to find out they were going to be here during A-Day. They couldn't believe we had so many people at a spring game (against ourselves I may add) but it helped them to understand the passion for college football in the south, and especially at Alabama. They LOVED it and Graeme caught on to football pretty quickly. In one picture below, you will see Chris teaching some plays and rules on a napkin! I tried to explain it to Sue, but we decided we would just have fun seeing all the sights! ha! My sweet parents again kept the kids and let Chris and I take them to the zone area of Bryant Denny. Dad was a champ for giving up those tickets. So we got to enjoy drinks, food, and cool air inside! But it was a gorgeous day and perfect weather so we just sat out and got a little burned (notice the picture of Chris and Graeme with napkins on their heads). I'm so glad they got to see Tuscaloosa before the devastation. We went to hear Saban speak before and check out the picture of Graeme behind his podium on the top...hilarious!!!! (No alabama fan would dare do that without permission! we all died laughing!)



I don't have pictures of Sunday and Monday but they were packed as well. Graeme and Chris went to an Atlanta Braves game on Sunday. They are both huge baseball fans and they loved it! Sue and I also loved the fact that our hubbies got along so well. Chris truly loved him. Sue and I were going to go to church, but Claire got croup, so that was out! We went around Birmingham a little and I showed her around. We had dinner with Melinda (Chris' mom) that night and she enjoyed meeting Sue as well! Monday, my dad and Graeme played golf at The Capstone Club in vance. After many laughs of my dad picking up clubs for the first time in three years, they had a blast. That night (thank you Yaz and Papa for keeping the kids) we went to The Grill at The Club. We couldn't wait to show them Birmingham at night and we LOVE that restaurant. Tuesday we were off again! This time it was a vacation for six! Chris, the kids and I took them to Mentone, Alabama. If you are from here and haven't been, you are missing out. Although the city is full of camps and only a few restaurants and shops, the views are amazing at the mountain tops. It is just like mountains anywhere in the south. GORGEOUS. We loved our 3 bedroom cabin with a hottub. And Wells slept in a big boy bed the whole week and did great!!!! We will have to get one for him at home:).



We spent Monday afternoon and night enjoying our cabin. Tuesday, we headed up and drove 45 minutes into Chattanooga. The Tennessee aquarium was as spectacular as everyone has said. I cannot say enough positive things about it. You just HAVE to go. Chattanooga is a GREAT place to take kids (even a 1 and 2 year old). We can't wait to go back when they are older and enjoy the hands on museum and chattanooga choo choo! And don't worry...both kids came away with a prize. Wells got a shark (that he named chattanooga because he liked to say that big word) and Claire got a turtle. They are still cuddling with them at night!



Thursday we went on a drive through Little River Canyon and got out at the 8 lookouts. It was gorgeous. Who knew we had an area like that in Alabama? I went to camp in Mentone every summer for years, but of course didn't care about site seeing! Friday we headed back home to another fun grill-out at my parents house. It was a bitter sweet night as we were reminiscing on the last 9 days, but we knew the next morning was the day they would have to say good-bye. I hated it for my kids as much as I hated it for myself. In that short amount of time, they already felt like they had gained a third set of grandparents! It was precious to watch. Everyday one or both of the children still chant their famous cricket cheer, "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oy! Oy! Oy!", at any given moment!


Saturday morning brought lots of tears, but sweet memories to keep in our hearts forever. These pictures are of our last morning together.




Thank you so much Sue and Graeme for coming all the way from Australia to Alabama to spend such precious and meaningful time with us. We loved every minute with you and pray that God will give us more sweet time together in the years to come. I will leave this post with your favorite saying in the south, "Y'all come back now!"