Friday, May 13, 2011

He Cooks! He Eats!

Wednesday night, Nathan took over the kitchen and whipped up some spaghetti for The Fam. A man who’s cute? And who also cooks? Quite a prize!

nate coo

Deftly donning his Super Man Cooking Pose.


Preparing the side dishes.

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Smiling. Son. Sitting.


Smiling Son Showing Off for Smith Sibling Sister


A Smith Sib Merry Moment followed; more pictures of that particular scene to come later._DSC0301

We have just two days left before Nathan goes back to Florida and we’re packing in the memories. Today’s memorable activity will consist of celebrating the fact that Steve turns 54 today. (Or as he puts it, “Next year, I’ll qualify for the senior citizen’s discount at McDonalds!”)

His request for a birthday meal was (get this) a hot dog buffet. Yes, you heard it here first. We are grilling hot dogs and then will provide about fifteen different toppings to choose from so that people can make a Chicago hotdog, or a Carolina hotdog or, in my case, a plain ol’ hotdog with ketchup and onion. (I’m so adventurous.)

And may I just say right here that in all the annals of the known world, there has never been a husband any better than this man I have been blessed with. Happy birthday, favorite person!


Ann Martin said, “ Love the pictures and especially the one of the "happy couple" with many more happy ones to follow within the next few months. Glad you had a safe trip. Are the fires near you? Any affect on you or the church? Been thinking about you and praying for safety with all that's happening.”

(Before I answer her question, let me just explain to the rest of you that there has been a fire burning for several days about 10-15 miles from us. It’s burned at least 20,000 acres and is not yet fully contained. One of the women in our church is a firefighter; in fact, I saw her in the grocery store yesterday buying huge quantities of fruit for all the firefighters. We have been in contact with her during the week letting her know that we’re praying for her and her colleagues.)

Ann, we can see the billows of smoke occasionally when we’re out on the beach road but really haven’t smelled much smoke at all. I guess it’s all blowing the other way since I’ve heard that people are smelling the smoke as far away as Raleigh.

Catherine said, “Congratulations Smithies! I know it was a great trip, great accomplishment. How fast it has gone by. Where will Nathan be working on his Master's? Any colleges in your area? Have a friend whose daughter is at a college on the Outer Banks. Will he be living with in laws or you after marriage? Do he and Megan have jobs lined up? We have 2 former College Dudes who are now Working Stiffs but it took a while to get them there. So much to do, so much excitement here. And, I swear, Megan look more and more like you, Becky, each time I see her pictures. You must go to the same hair dressers!”

1. Nathan’s not sure where he’ll be working on his Master’s; he only knows for sure that he’ll have to do it part-time so that he can work full time. The next couple years are going to be busy ones for him!

2. Yes, there are a number of great colleges near here but since the majority of Nathan and Meagan’s lives as a couple is Florida-based, it makes the most sense for them to look at the options there.

3. At this point, he and Meagan plan on staying with her sister and brother-in-law for a short while after they get married; thankfully, John and Joy have a large house! (Not to mention a cute baby.)

4. Nathan will continue working on Chick Fil A for a while (he just got a promotion) but is keeping his eyes open for other opportunities. Meagan will be looking for a job in her field of elementary education; however, during the summer (and during all the wedding planning) she is being nanny to two babies—one of which is her darling nephew.

Lisa Burt said, “Hello and congratulations. What subject did Nathan graduate in and what does he hope to do as a career. What an exciting time for you all. Love and prayers.”

Lisa, Nathan’s degree is a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. He’s still considering a couple options for a career but knows that he wants it to be involved in some way with helping/leading people.

In closing, I have enjoyed hearing from so many of you who have mentioned you have a child graduating or getting married this year; it’s so much fun to go through these experiences, not only as the Smith family but also as a part of a larger family.

One of the few things in life that can always be counted on is that new seasons and transitions are always right around any given corner. And how much richer it is to share those special seasons with others.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Florida Stroll

I am very ashamed (and also sorry) (and also appalled) to admit that I have not taken even one photo since Nathan has been home.

Why? I really don’t know. I think I’m just too busy drinking it all in to even think about picking up the camera.

I do promise, however, that I will get a copious quantity of photos snapped before he flies away on Sunday night. (sniff)

We have been having such a lovely time this week, with lots of laughter and memories shared amidst the fun of conversation and just plain hanging out. I must admit though, that I can’t often think about the fact that this is his last week at home because whenever I do, I immediately tear up. Better to put that knowledge on a back shelf of my heart and just focus fully on the fact that we have these final precious days together.

Even though I have fallen down on the job of taking pictures here at home, I do have a few from Florida to share.

As you can probably imagine, our visit there was packed pretty full. Of course, the main focus was Nathan’s graduation party and his graduation ceremony--all 3 1/2 hours of it. In addition, Sarah and I went with Meagan and her mom, Sheri, so that Sarah could try on her her bridesmaid dress. We also went with Nathan and Meagan to choose tuxes for all the men in the wedding party, and to look at Nathan’s wedding ring. We took a trip to the Actual Famous Gazebo where Nathan proposed and then the five us of took Saturday evening and went to downtown Disney—I will post pictures from those fun events later. Oh yeah, and we also toured the lovely church where they will be married.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the visit for me was getting to take a stroll through Nathan’s old campus.


It is such a beautiful place and I was sharing the stroll with some of my favorite people in the whole world.


I was one happy woman.


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The stroll through the campus had just a bit of a melancholy tinge for me though, because this young lady has put Southeastern on her list of Colleges to Strongly Consider.


As I watched her walk around and look at her surroundings through the eyes of a possible future student, I imagined all the emotions that I will feel when she follows her brother and flies from the nest. And then I got all teary eyed over that, as well.

Note to self: Do. Not. Think.

Even though Nathan had moved out of his dorm a few days earlier, his key still worked so he gave us a tour of his old digs.



A few minutes later, as we were walking through a building housing classrooms, Nathan and Meagan went into one of their funny routines that makes no sense to anyone but them. I must say that they are a very entertaining couple.

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And very cute, too.


Hard to believe it was just four years ago that Nathan arrived at Southeastern.


And now he’s done. Gone. Left.


He’s off to chase new horizons and follow new dreams.

And we couldn’t be more proud.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Big Day. Big Trip.

We are home!

After driving a total of 1800 miles (capped off by a 13-hour trip home yesterday), we pulled into our driveway in Manteo last night and just sighed a long, happy sigh. Safe trip, (former) College Dude in tow, many happy memories—what more could we ask?

Since I have to leave for work in just a minute and don’t have time for a longer post, I’ll just share a few pictures of Nathan’s graduation. (And for those of you who have asked, he got his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and is wanting to go into some field of helping people although he’s not sure yet which direction that will take him. He plans to start on his Master’s degree within the next few months.)

This was taken from a very long distance in a huge auditorium so it’s not real clear but it gives you a little peek at his big moment. (And may I just say that while you look at this photo you also need to imagine a whole row of friends and family screaming, cheering, clapping, hooting and hollering at ear-splitting levels. In fact, when we finally sat back down, Sarah leaned over and said, “I don’t think I’ve yelled that loud in my whole life!”)


Celebrating with his best gal. . .


. . . and his other best gal.


My favorite men.


So proud!


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A few more shots . . .