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Celebrating Three Years!

31 May

Let’s pretend I am a proactive and efficient blogger and this was actually posted Wednesday on our anniversary. Deal? Good! :)

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Today marks my third year as a Morris. It hardly seems like it’s been three whole years since our wedding day, but at the same time I can’t imagine life any other way. Being Calvin’s wife is one of the greatest blessings the Lord has ever granted me. I’m so thankful He gave us marriage as a picture of our relationship with Him and as a way to daily sanctify us to be more like Jesus.

It’s hard, no doubt about it. But no matter how hard things may be, it’s equally as rewarding. Three years surely doesn’t make me an expert, but what I do know is that we love each other and work daily to die to ourselves in order to put the other first. While it certainly isn’t perfect, it sure is beautiful.

There’s no one else I’d rather do life with; thanks for choosing me to be your bride, Calvin. I love you and can’t wait to see what this next year brings our way!

P.S. If you want to see more pictures and read all about our day, go here. And if you need a wedding photographer, we loved working with Robby Followell!

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2005 or 2012?

21 Feb

Calvin and I started dating in the Spring of our junior year of high school. It was 2005 and we were seventeen.

Since we dated for so long our families have known each other for a long time and become good friends. Coming from a family of four where there is just me and my sister, and into a family of seven where there are four brothers and one sister, is quite a different dynamic but it is so much fun! I love the relationship I’ve developed with Calvin’s siblings and I’m glad that Abby is friends with them too.

Okay, so you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with the year 2005 and 2012. Well, in 2005 Calvin and I went to our first high school dance together and in 2012 Abby and Zach went to theirs! Technically, ours was just a banquet because it was school sponsored and private Baptist schools don’t sponsor things like dances, but that just meant our parents always hosted something for us after the banquet. But this year the school didn’t sponsor anything, so the parents got together and hosted a winter ball for the juniors and seniors.

And after much back and forth with who was taking who and was so-and-so bringing a date, Abby and Zach decided they would go together as friends. Dresses were bought, tuxes were rented, and plans were made, and finally the night arrived.

Of course there were lots of pictures.

Beautiful sister!

Sibling pic + Lizzy

Proud parents

The fam.

Trying to pin the boutonniere

All the couples

Abby and Zach looking spiffy

The girls, all in blue!

The guys

One of my favs.

So pretty!

Love her.

Another fav, Instagram-style.

And just for fun…Calvin and I before our Winter formal in 2005.

Calling friends to find out where to go next for pictures with my sweet flip phone.

Yeah, we were cool.

Birthdays All Around

19 Feb

So many of you may know that the days between the end of January and early March are filled with birthdays in our family. There are six within 20 days plus three more in March! So this basically means it’s like Christmas all over again. We always get together for a big family celebration to commemorate the events.

So that’s what we did a few weekends ago.

The crowded cake

Singing

More delicious dessert

The January/February birthdays

Gift time

Calvin is pumped about our food processor!

So even though my birthday falls around the same time as so many others, I love our big gatherings and fun celebrations! Happy birthday to my Poppy, Uncle Geof, Calvin, Polly Marie, and my Nana!

Nashville + New Years

15 Jan

I mentioned in our Christmas post that my aunt, uncle and cousins moved to Nashville {well Franklin, really} in December, so of course we had to pay them a visit over the holidays! Oh, and it didn’t hurt that our Bulldogs were playing in the Music City Bowl on December 30th, either. Family + football. What else could you need?

Penny joined us on our road trip to Music City and had lots of fun playing with my cousins. It took them a little while to warm up to her, but once they did there was more fetching, chasing, and playing going around than she could handle!

On Thursday Calvin and I had lunch in downtown Franklin and enjoyed exploring the cute city. It was pretty crowded though since a lot of people were still off work for the holidays and fellow Bulldogs were steadily making their way into Nashville. Sadly, the camera was back at my aunt’s charging so there are no pictures from our little outing. But we definitely want to go back and explore more soon.

Thursday night we drove into Nashville to meet up with friends who were in town for the game. Carl graciously invited us to his apartment and then took us to a fun pool hall where I may or may not have been the reason Calvin and I won any of our games! :) It’s always fun to learn new things about your spouse, and what I learned that night was that pool is not his strong suit. He beats me at practically everything else, so don’t feel too bad for him.

Friday we enjoyed the morning playing with my cousins and left for the game later that afternoon. After encountering standstill traffic just minutes into our commute from Franklin into Nashville due to a bad accident, we worried we weren’t going to make it in time. But thankfully, after sitting in park for about 20 minutes, we were able to arrive without any other problems in plenty of time. We picked up friends from their hotel and made our way into downtown.

We spent time hanging out having a few drinks on Broadway {which had quickly become a sea of maroon; hail State} before walking over to LP Field.

We made our way up the ramp to the top section of the stadium, only to discover our tickets were for the opposite side. Someone seriously needs to do a better job of labeling the sections at the base of the ramps, or at least print the east/west gate on your tickets! Davis Wade doesn’t connect in the upper sections either, but I think they do a much better job of getting you to the right spot than LP Field. Luckily, the game wasn’t sold out, so we just found some empty seats and claimed them as our own. But unfortunately, this was a few rows in front of some very loud, annoying, and drunk Wake Forest fans who were not being very kind. Most the time I don’t have a problem with obnoxious fans because I know it’s just all part of the fun and games, but these guys were just too much. At least they’re intoxication was making their arguments very illogical. I mean what ACC team really wonders why they couldn’t play a real SEC team in a bowl game like Alabama or LSU? Hmm, I don’t know, could it be that they were preparing to play each other in the BCS National Championship?! Really, Wake Forest, really?

LP Field also didn’t do a very good job covering up the Titans logo in the end zones or making the MSU side very maroon. Another thing that just wouldn’t fly at Davis Wade, not with Bart Prather around. :)

Although, there were several times I must admit I wasn’t sure what happened to our big, bad SEC-selves. If it wasn’t for our defense, we would’ve lost the game and I can only imagine what kind of fights might’ve broken out around us. Mississippi State was definitely the favored team going into the game, but if we would have lost I’m sure the estimated 9,000 Wake Forest fans would have quickly run the 23,000 MSU fans out of Nashville. Thankfully, we hung on and pulled out a win. Whew.

After the game we went back to Carl’s apartment and celebrated with our friends. And Saturday morning we headed out to make it back to Memphis in time for a New Year’s Eve wedding!

Yes, I realize one is supposed to wear panty hose with their skirts and dresses in the winter, but it was 60 degrees on December 31st! I was celebrating!

After the wedding we went home to prepare to take ourselves back in time to celebrate the new year like it was 1959. Our friends Mary and Josh threw a Mad Men party at their house to help ring in the New Year, and they did a fantastic job!

Oh you know, just some antique phones, clocks, and cigar boxes next to a Macbook.Our lovely hostsMy classy bff with her martiniWho would guess they were born in the 90s?We even had a bartender sporting a tuxedo!Clearly, he enjoyed being served in such a high fashion.Lovely LockwoodsCalvin, I don’t think Don Draper would make such a face.I’m sad it’s so dark! We still would’ve been great friends, even in the 60s.

And at the stroke of midnight, suddenly it was 2012. Break out the dancing!

I’m sure the 1960s would not approve of such things, but hey, it’s 2012!

We had such a fun night hanging out with so many great friends being classy and goofy all at the same time. Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas To All And To All a Goodnight

12 Jan

After Mary and Luke’s wedding weekend came Thanksgiving. But due to the scarcity of pictures I have from the event, and the fact that it’s now January I think I’ll just skip to Christmas. Christmas is still a holiday full of thankfulness and blessings so it works, right?

Right.

No matter how much I say I want to keep our schedules open and stress at a minimum, December always seems to be the busiest and craziest month of the year. Scratch one weekend from the calendar because you spent it running a half marathon, and suddenly December’s holiday events have been consolidated into three weeks. I’m tired just thinking about it!

But even among all the craziness of the season, we were so thankful to be spending it with our families and friends. We attended a play with some friends. Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge was a satire based on A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life. So funny and fun!

We also celebrated my grandaddy’s birthday, saw Bellevue’s Singing Christmas Tree and attended our church’s Christmas Cantata. Theater and music was a big part of my life growing up so I always love a good excuse to see plays, concerts, and musicals.

The weekend before Christmas we went to New Albany, MS to celebrate Christmas with Calvin’s grandma and aunt, uncle, and cousins. We ate way too much delicious food, opened presents, and watched the boys play football.

They’re so thrilled I’m squishing them.

First married Christmas!

Down, set, hut!

Luke is fast.

I love this picture so much. Funny cousins.

Christmas weekend was so fun! On Christmas Eve we had brunch at my grandparent’s house and did gifts with them. They were leaving later that day to stay with my aunt, uncle, and cousins who recently moved to Nashville so we wanted to make sure we got to see them before they left. That night Calvin and I went to the Christmas Eve service at church and came home and watched Christmas with the Kranks. The Santa Claus is definitely my favorite Tim Allen Christmas movie, but we only have that on VHS and no VCR, so we went with the next best thing. Before bed he gave me new pajama pants {new pj’s on Christmas Eve is a tradition with both our families, but he was actually the only one to remember and execute it this year!} I still feel bad about that one. We went to bed like giddy, excited little kids and anxiously awaited the next morning.

Christmas morning came and we were so excited to give each other our gifts. We let Penny investigate her stocking first so she would be less interested in what we were doing. But she makes a really cute reindeer doesn’t she?!

Only I don’t think she was as thrilled.

But I think this made up for it.

Calvin opened his gifts from me: a note with instructions for downloading some design e-books he’d been wanting, a ‘Grindin’ for my State’ t-shirt designed by one of his college professors, and a new 50mm camera lens (which he immediately put on our camera and began to sing its praises). Success!

Then it was my turn. I had a few oddly shaped packages and was very curious about what they could be. He made me open something in a packing tube first and I pulled out a really awesome poster dedicated to the great city of Chicago. I love Chicago and the poster was pretty sweet, but I was a little confused as to why this was part of my Christmas present. But when I opened the second package I totally understood. He had designed and printed out a pair of Cubs tickets to signify we’re going to Chicago and a game this summer! To say I was surprised is a huge understatement.  I love that city and am an unashamed Cubs fan, but he’s never been so I’m so glad we are finally going together!

After gifts we got ready and went to his parents’ house for brunch. His mom always outdoes herself when it comes to the meal and we dined on so many yummy casseroles, cinnamon rolls, and other tasty treats until we were sufficiently stuffed. The gift exchanging time at his house is pretty chaotic. Not in like a “lots of little kids diving for presents and ripping off the paper” kind of way, but more in a “there are lots of people and lots of gifts and it’s a little overwhelming” kind of way. I’m sure the former was the sight for many years, but everyone is older now so at least there’s no present diving. We all enjoyed opening our gifts and watching everyone’s excitement over theirs. My biggest surprise was a sewing machine! I’m super intimidated but really want to learn, so we’ll see how this goes.

Andy

Seth and his sweet new hat

Tim, whom I’m sure will hate that this picture exists, but oh well. :)

Zach, aka Calvin’s look-alike.

Zach’s photography skills with the help of the new lens :)

Another one of my favorite gifts, the history of the name Morris!

Fav.

Soon we had to leave to go to my parents’ house. But not before taking some family pictures.

Smiling: most people’s idea of normal

Crazy faces: our idea of normal

At my parents’ house we enjoyed hanging out with my family and my dad’s parents, opening gifts, and a delicious meal of turkey, dressing, casseroles, and veggies. Have I mentioned how much I love holiday food? It’s all just so very good. The gift exchanges at my parents’ house was a little less chaotic, but only because there were less people there to open gifts. Normally, my younger cousins are all there and it’s much more crazy {there’s lots of present diving}, but they were in Nashville enjoying their new house and all their gifts there. My biggest surprise gift from my parents was a Kindle Fire! I was totally not expecting that, but now I use it every day.  Both of our families pitched in and bought Calvin an iPad, so that was his big gift this year {he opened it at his parents house, see picture above}. It’s all he asked for and he actually ended up ordering it himself during a Black Friday sale, so he was expecting it. We must do better at surprising him next year.

My daddy and his momma

Sister

Parents and grandparents watching the present opening

Kindle Fire!

And just as quickly as it began, Christmas was over. It’s always a little sad for me when the day comes to an end because I love spending so much time with our families making memories, having fun, and celebrating our Savior’s birth. But I’m grateful that we don’t have to wait for a certain day every year to do those things. We should be in a constant state of thankfulness for Jesus’ birth and the freedom we have in Him. And because we live in the same city as our families, we get to spend a lot of time with them throughout the year too.  We’re blessed, grateful, and humbled by all He has given us. We hope your Christmas was extra special this year and that 2012 is bringing you new beginnings and many blessings.

Mr. and Mrs. Mittwede

5 Jan

So other than the race update and a few random, quick posts I haven’t been doing a good job of keeping this blog updated with all we’ve been up to lately. Hopefully we can fix that over the next week or so. There’s so much I want to share about our holidays and all the fun things that took place in between!

But first, my sister-in-law got married! She is Calvin’s next oldest sibling and his only sister, and now she is also a wife! And if the exclamation points haven’t clued you in, I’m so very excited for them! Now we are no longer the newlyweds in the family and we’re looking forward to all the fun trips, family gatherings, and double dates to come. Except they live in Jackson, MS. So we’ll just have to have lots of mini-road trips until we can convince them to move a little further north. :)

Their wedding was such a fun celebration and a beautiful worship service that clearly showed their love for their Savior and each other. It was so great to see Calvin’s extended family and meet all of Luke’s family. Luke is the youngest of four boys and grew up in Turkey where his parents are missionaries. Since they still live there, Calvin and I had only met them once before the wedding. But the whole weekend was so fun and we’re grateful to add the Mittwedes to the family.

So how about some pictures?

Friday started with the bridesmaids luncheon at one of her maids-of-honor’s house. There was lots of yummy food and excitement for all the events to come.

The bride and hostesses

All the bridesmaids

Mother and daugher

Me and my sis-in-law, aka the bride!

We spent the afternoon finalizing all the details and welcoming family in from out of town.

The rehearsal went smoothly and then it was time for dinner. Luke’s parents did a great job with all the preparations especially for residing in another country during all the planning! They made sure to incorporate many Turkish details and traditions which made it so special.

On Saturday we arrived at the church early that afternoon and had fun getting ready together.

A special pin from Turkey

Mary was so calm and excited to see her groom!

When it was finally time for the ceremony to start we were all anxious and excited for Mary and Luke. Weddings are such a beautiful reminder of God’s love for us and how He wants our relationship to be with Him. Their ceremony was a perfect picture of this and each little detail made it so very special.

And after they said, “I do” it was time to party!

The reception was at a local country club and we enjoyed yummy food, dancing, and lots of laughs.

Sister and little brother breaking it down on the dance floor

Me and the beautiful bride

My floating head between my favorite twins!

Not sure what the look on Bethany’s face means, but I’m so glad it’s documented!

Coy: the official Morris-wedding DJ.

Sisters

More sibling love

We saw them off later that night, but my pictures didn’t turn out. Sad. :(

Here are a few other details:

Calvin drew this peacock for people to stamp their fingerprints and sign at the reception.

This was the before

And the after!

He also designed the invitations and programs, we made the peacock pens, and she had everyone leave special notes in The Giving Tree. So sentimental and sweet!

Congratulations Mary and Luke! We love you!

Meet Me in St. Louie

8 Sep

Anyone else a Meet Me in St. Louis fan? Calvin finds my ability to break into song from most any popular musical a bit strange, but who doesn’t love a good ole’ classical musical?

Anyways…

We went to St. Louis for Labor Day weekend with my parents, sister, and her friend, Shelby. My family loves baseball and they especially love them some St. Louis Cardinals. I somehow missed that trend and have been a loyal Cubs fan for as long as I can remember. And Calvin much prefers basketball and football over baseball, but thankfully my parents didn’t let let either of those things stop them from inviting us!

We arrived late Friday night and discovered our hotel was the host of American Idol auditions that weekend. This led to some of the best people-watching I’ve had in a long time. Some of the wardrobe choices were just out of control! On Saturday, Calvin and I got up and ran on the treadmill. We wanted to run outside around downtown St. Louis, but since we needed to run 5+ miles and weren’t very familiar with the area, we decided against it. While wandering around that morning though, we did manage to witness a beautiful sunrise. {Along with observing more American Idol contestants and their fascinating clothing choices. I kept trying to snap a few pictures, but there was no good opportunity to not be obvious. But trust me, there were some good ones.}

After our run we met my family at Union Station and ate breakfast while they shopped. {Union Station was an old train station, but now it’s a mall.}

And from there we wandered around downtown until we made our way back to the hotel and ate lunch at one of St. Louis’ famous pizza joints, Imo’s. And then it was time for the game. We had great seats behind home plate along the first baseline and enjoyed watching the Cardinals win against the Cincinnati Reds. {As you can see from some of the pictures, I wore a neutral shirt to this game. The Cubs were playing at the same time, but unfortunately they lost.–I promise these details are important.}

Afterwards we walked over to the park at the base of the Arch and took some pictures. It had rained off and on at the game, so the sky was a bit overcast, but it was still fun.

We spent the rest of the evening at Big Muddy Blues Festival enjoying good music, food, and drink.

This was called a Hurricane and it was so refreshing after a long day. The alcohol was just an added bonus. :)

On Sunday morning we visited the Arch and rode to the top. It wasn’t any of our first times, but it was still fun!

Yeah, so the iPhone 4 flash isn’t always that awesome… but notice the Cubs shirt!

My family made their way to the game after our trip back to the bottom, but since Calvin and I weren’t too concerned with getting there early/on-time, we walked through the museum inside the Arch and ate lunch at St. Louis Bread Company {aka, Panera}. Sunday was much cooler than Saturday and we were thankful for the awesome weather. But I was a little chilly walking to the stadium so I kept my jacket on. I promise I wasn’t trying to hide what I was wearing though! {Did you notice my Cubs shirt in the pictures? The guy checking my ticket at the stadium entrance sure did, even with my jacket on!} And I feel like this is an appropriate time to say that the Cardinals lost their game Sunday and the Cubs won! See, my game day apparel was important :)

Sunday night we drove to Calvin’s cousin and his wife’s house to hang out with them. They took us to a Scottish restaurant for dinner where we tried things like Bangers and Mash and Pub Burgers. The whole place felt very authentic, and we even had a Scottish waitress! We had a lot of fun catching up with his cousins and stayed up way past our bedtime because we were enjoying ourselves so much.

Before we left on Monday, we had breakfast at a local place they recommended called Rooster. The wait was insanely long, but it was very, very worth it. I had an apple crepe with cinnamon sugar and a side of the best bacon I’ve ever eaten. And Calvin had a St. Louis original dish called the Slinger–basically eggs, breakfast potatoes, sausage, cheese, and gravy on top of thick toast. Which some people might call a heart attack waiting to happen, but he said it was really good.

We finished our trip by wandering around the CityGarden in downtown St. Louis and taking lots of goofy pictures.

To summarize? Our Labor Day weekend was full of sightseeing, good food, lots of family time, baseball, and more yummy food…a success in my book! Was your Labor Day weekend labor free?