Saturday, July 3, 2010

Date Night!

A couple weeks ago Allie and I got to talking about how I needed to take some initiative, make decisions, and take her out on dates. A few days later I received a promotional email from Texas Motor Speedway about their "Summer Stampede" series and I thought to myself "PERFECT!" I opted to wait and go this past week because they were shooting off fireworks which is something else that Allie loves and we haven't experienced together.
It was a surprise date, Allie knew we were going out, but no idea what we doing or where we were going. I thought for sure that she was going to figure out where we were going as soon as I got on 1171. Luckily, Allie was on the phone and we never stopped for food so we had to drive past the speedway to get something to eat, which aided in throwing her off as to our destination. Needless to say, she had no idea that's where we were going until we did a u-turn to head back to the track.
The speedway's "Summer Stampede" is a series of local drivers racing Legends cars on TMS's quarter-mile track, every Thursday, all summer. It makes for a cheap date because its only five bucks a person to get in! For those of you who aren't in the know about Legends cars, they are 1/5 scaled 1920s and 30s coupes and wagons, powered by a 1300cc Yamaha motorcycle engine. We had a blast, even though the fireworks were not the best display ever, haha. Several accidents and one blown engine happened over the course of eight races. I highly recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to go and support their local drivers. By the time we left, Allie was wanting to get me one so I could go race, too!Bandolero cars (kinda like a super go-kart)
Legends cars
Kinda gives an idea of the size of a Legends car
Not Kyle Busch fans, but it was a Cup car on display and I love me some NASCAR

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Not-so Engagement Photo Shoot

Due to the fact that Allie and I got married after only being engaged for a month and a half, we never had the chance to have any professional "engagement pictures". Personally, I don't believe that I'm very photogenic, so I'm not a big fan of being in pictures. Allie on the other hand loves attention and being in the spotlight. As her daddy always said, "Head to toe, she's in the show!" I went along with Allie's desire for professional photos, and this is what the result was. Thanks to David & Andrea Johnson of Johnson Photography, Inc of Charlotte, NC for their patience and talent! Here's a few of the pictures that I kinda liked.Hope you enjoyed them!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Down on the Farm! Thanksgiving 2008

I'm sure everyone has family traditions for holidays, mine being no different. It usually involves all of my siblings heading to my parents for a big ol' buffet. This particular year my younger brother, Fat, was working for a corn maze called Aww Shucks.
Well down at Aww Shucks, there was not only a maze, but also a petting zoo of farm animals and hayrides. Fat was a fairly competent employee (the owners favorite, not to brag) and had keys to everything there. The owner allowed Fat to take us all down to the farm and show us around, even though they were technically closed. We all enjoyed an amazing lunch prepared by my mom and sisters, then piled in the cars and headed off to see the little animals. After playing with all the little critters, Fat even taught all of us guys how to drive a big John Deere. It was good times!
Cooking in the driveway
Everyone eatin' some grub
Charlotte didn't get her way
Teachin' the injun how to drive a tractor
Baby bro is a smooth operator...even if he is drinkin' and drivin'!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Windhorst, Kansas, May 2009

For the first adventure with my family, my loving wife (then girlfriend) rode in my parents' Explorer from Charlotte, NC to Little Rock, AR. My younger brother and I were at National Camping School for the BSA and would rendezvous with Allie, mom, dad, and Skeezer in Little Rock the next day (Friday). On Saturday morning we all got up and drove from Little Rock to Dodge City, KS. On the way to Dodge, we stopped in Greensburg and looked at the town which was completely destroyed in a EF5 tornado.

I'm sure everyone is wondering why on Earth would anyone want to spend time in Kansas, with it being mind-numbingly flat and a huge lack of things to do. All of that aside, my great-grandparents were some of the founding citizens of the town of Windhorst, just outside of Dodge City. We went out there for a family reunion and a school reunion for anyone who attended the school in Windhorst. My grandma was the last of our family to attend the school and coincidently both reunions fell on the same day, so we started at one and then went to the next. The old school burned down some time ago, but they had the reunion/cookout inside the old foundation of the school. They also unveiled a marble monument with all of the graduates of the Windhorst School. Down the road from the school is the cemetary for the town, and I'm pretty much related by blood or marriage to every person buried inside those gates. Allie was a trooper and hung out with my crazy family for the entire weekend and didn't complain once! If I didn't know by that point, that would have been the sure-fire sign that she was a keeper! To this day, when we pass a car on the highway with Kansas plates or see the Jayhawks on tv, I'll catch Allie sayin' "I miss Kansas."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ocean Isle Beach, July 2009

2009 had to be one of the best summers of my life. I went from Texas to the Outer Banks of NC, Arkansas to Kansas, back to Texas. From Texas I headed back to North Carolina and then to Virginia for my summer job. Now, given that my summer "job" was more like vacation, its hard to say that my trip to OIB was a vacation, but technically it was. I had taken a week off of my "job" to go to the beach with Allie's family. We had fun in the sun, did some deep sea fishing, and even got engaged. That's right, this is when the love of my life agreed to marry me!
Early in the week, Wade (the neighbor across the street) took us out on the Atlantic to wrangle in some fish. Wade and his son were seasoned veterans of the deep sea fishing craft, so as we got "bites" we alternated who would reel them in. The official count for the day was 13 king mackeral, 2 spanish mackeral, 2 sand sharks, and a barracuda. I had the pleasure of bringing in the 'cuda, and let me tell you, he fought me every inch of the line. Allie said I had it coming since I waited for everyone else to bring one in before I took my turn. This little venture actually perked an interest in fishing. Its way more fun and physically demanding than Jeff Foxworthy makes it out to be.

For all of the sappy people out there, the proposal went like this. Two weeks before heading to OIB, I was in San Marcos, TX for the wedding of Allie's long-time BFF, Erin. I asked Erin to dance and after complimenting her on how gorgeous she was and what a good time her wedding had been, I asked her for some insight. I told her I was planning on asking Allie to marry me, but wasn't sure when the best time would be. It was a toss up between the OIB trip and her birthday. Erin did not hesitate and said "the beach, for sure!" Now that I knew when, I needed some paternal permission. You guessed it, I had "the talk" with Allie's dad at Erin's reception. Classy move, right? (Did I mention this was only the second time I'd ever seen her parents?) Anyway, Pat gave me green light, and now all I had to do was get a ring and figure out what I would say.

All week at the beach I tried to convince Allie we should just go to the courthouse and get hitched, but she wanted a ring and engagement. I responded that maybe when she was older she could have all of that, clearly hinting at her birthday. When I decided on what to say, I asked Allie if we could go for a walk on the beach. She obliged and after a few short delays, off we went. We walked along the moon-lit beach talking about our potential futures together. I quickly switched conversation to how special OIB was to us, and how seeing as it was the first place I told her I loved her, it was only fitting that be the place to propose to her. Dropped to one knee, asked her what needed to be asked and I think its pretty obvious what her response was. Needless to say, that trip helped me get where I am today, happily married. This is also why Ocean Isle Beach will always have a special place in my heart. :)