Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the story of us...part 3

The transparency continues...today's entry...THE PROPOSAL.

To catch you up a bit from the first kiss, Matt says I continued to woo him, but I secretly think it was the other way around. He graduated from GWU and moved on to Greensboro to start his first year as a Young Life intern while I stayed back to finish my last year of school. Being in love back then was so sweet, fun, and fresh don't you just wish you could have bottled up that goodness and then pull it out on a rainy day. Man that would have been nice over these past 8 years, once again this is why I write.

So it's my senior year I am about to go home for Christmas vacation several of my best friends are engaged, including two of my 3 roommates, needless to say that was all we talked about, there were wedding magazines on every side table in our apartment. I wanted to be engaged soooooo bad it hurt, it's funny how sometimes we focus more on a prize than a life time of togetherness, but I digress.

The story...it was Saturday December 9th, 2000. Matt had come to visit me for the weekend and one of my roommates let him into my apartment early that morning and he woke me up. He told me to dress warm and he would be back in 30 minutes. I had a hunch this was the day the magic was going to finally happen and you have to know a little fact about me...I dream big. So I put on about 5 layers of clothing convinced he was taking me to Boone or someplace of the like to go skiing for the day and then pop my ring on me at the top of a mountain.

So he came back and I waddled out to his car, dressed and ready for the day. We drove to a mountain much closer than Boone, a part of Kings Mountain, we hiked up a small trail and found a spot that looked over a valley and my sweetie busted out a container with warm hot chocolate and muffins. There we sat, it was beautiful and delicious I might add. Then he took out a spiral bound notebook, if you know anything about Matt know that when he wants to be serious or ponder there is a spiral bound notebook somewhere nearby. So he said we should make a list of the ways God had been faithful in our relationship in the past year and a half. There were many ways, remember it was a long road for me getting to this point, this relationship, but that is another story for another day. So my left hand is out ready for the prize, so perfect this was, I sat and smiled and waited. And then Matt packed up his stuff and said ok lets go.

What?!! I thought and we headed back towards school and he drove towards the baseball fields. Another Matt fact, he likes to be in the woods and he had a favorite spot that he would venture to, so we went to the spot. And sat down, what's next I wondered and out of his bag this time came a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. And he then proceeded to serve both to me and I for him and then we prayed a little and I thought this is quite possibly the holiest thing we could ever do, once again the left hand was out and ready. And then he did it again, packed up his stuff and said come on let's go.

So we get back in the car and he says ok, there's one more place I want to take you today, down by the creek. There was this tiny little creek a couple of miles away from school that fed into the Broad River. We had gone there a few times, but at this point in the day I have convinced myself that this is not the day that we were going to get engaged, because I dream big remember and what in the world would tiny little creek have to do with this special day.

So we get out walk down to the creek bank and Matt is messing with his fishing lure and pole. It is important to note that I am pouting at this point, picking at a dirt pile with a stick, real mature yeah, I know. Well Matt casts his line into the water and then hands the pole to me and says I want you to reel it in. Sure whatever I say, and I do. Guess what was at the end of the fishing line on a thing that looked like a paper clip...my engagement ring!!!!! He got down on both knees and said something like "I'm all out of tricks, but I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Whitney, will you marry me?"

Guess what...I said Yes!

I'm celebrating this special gift again today by linking up at Chatting at the Sky!
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Little Boo!

Ollie has many nicknames at our house: little O, little boo, Olls, Ollsie, Ollsie Walsie, bunchers and sweet boy!
I snapped the pics the other night at Country Park, for these his nickname should be, "his holiness." Look at those heavenly rays shining down!

We sure love you little boo!
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Friday, June 26, 2009


Umm, this was on the blog earlier, not sure what happended, but here you go!
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Field Trip!!!

Yesterday Ollie and I went on a field trip with our best buddies, Kristen and John. First we stopped in Elon at Schmidt Park, I didn't take any pictures but this is the biggest playground I have ever seen in my life, so fun!! Then we headed over to City Park in Burlington, this park has so many fun things to do for little kiddos. We rode on the train a few times, and on the carousel. The boys rode on some miniature trucks and on the mini boats. The best part about this field trip is that it is so inexpensive, on a normal day the tickets are 75 cents but on Thursdays they are only 50 cents. We enjoyed ourselves so much and then found a shady spot for a picnic lunch. I know one little boy who would love to go back very soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the story of us...part 2

Matt's graduation from GWU 2000!

Last week I started letting you into a bit of our story. Today I continue with...the first kiss.

Matt and I had had our fair share of well not so healthy relationships prior to our relationship. In fact that is how I knew he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with because this one was so different, but I am jumping ahead here...back to the kiss.

So we decided because of our past "stuff" that we wanted to wait to kiss. So we snuggled and nuzzled a lot. We wanted to build the foundation of our relationship on words and not emotions. Prude you might think but it felt right for us and I really wasn't sure if we would ever kiss you know like until our wedding day maybe. Don't laugh there were people in our circle of friends in college who actually pulled this off.

On March 28, 2000, my 21st birthday (six months into our relationship,) we took part in some birthday festivities and then went over to our school's observatory. This was a place where we frequented, you could sit outside on a blanket and see the stars and constellations so clearly. It was a peaceful spot we frequented often back in those days. Matt kept getting closer and closer to me and I kept scooting away thinking, what is he doing, we're not kissing! But then he leaned in and managed to put a pop kiss on me. It was cute, sweet, innocent. I was still thinking no we're not doing this, sweetie.

So we headed back to my dorm room and as I was getting out of his car he asked me if we should try it again. Maybe it was emotions or the ability to throw the "rules" out the window or maybe it was Jesus but what took place after that was the most beautiful, warm, delicious kiss I have ever had in my life. I remember my head felt a little spinny afterwards, spinny in a good way. What a gift, what a memory!

Why am I writing these memories, certainly not to boast or compare...right after Ollie was born I was talking with one of my colleagues at school about how hard it had felt to connect with Matt since Ollie's appearance. She said, "Whitney, a day will come when you won't even be able to remember your life before your children." This is why I write, I don't want to forget, this stuff is too good!

Oh, and I'm linking up today at my friend Emily's blog party, check out some more fun posts here!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To the Daddys!

Happy Father's Day...to Ollie's Daddy!
...to my Daddy!
...to Matt's Daddy!

You are loved!!!!
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

first week in pics...

I cannot tell you how happy I've been having a few days off from work, summertime is good for the soul. Here are a few pics of what went on around our house this week. We played dress up by pulling out Ollie's Halloween ninja costume. He hi-yad around the house for a while...he is really getting into the pretend play thing...so fun!
We did practice our letters, as mentioned earlier that was a goal for the summer, ah-hem, not sure how that will work out but we're gonna give it our best shot!
I worked on a few projects around the house, one of which was making these lovely mason jar candle thingys. You can see them modeled here at night then well during the day. Our friends Millie and Justin have them on their back porch and I just think they are the cutest things. I put ours up to be more like a lighting source above our porch table.
And this will probably be one of my favorite projects for the summer. I successfully pulled off a Daddy/ Son twinsy outfit day. Now that Ollie and I get dressed after Matt leaves for work, the twinsy sky is the limit! All in all it has been a fun week. I am so incredibly thankful that I have a job where I get to take off work for 2 months, what a blessing for our family!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

the story of us...

Matt sitting by the lake at GWU sometime around 1999.

I've got a little bit of free time this summer so I thought I would share a few pieces of our (mine and Matt's) love story with you. We are 3 weeks shy of our 8th wedding anniversary, hard to believe.

Matt and I went to Gardner-Webb University for college. I remember the first time I saw him. It was in the caf, he was standing by the microwave and I was sitting at a table with all my girlfriends. I was a sophomore and he was a junior. "Who's that" I asked one of the girls at the table, oh that's Matt Hannam she said, he's from Lynchburg, Va. We both remarked on his cuteness and went on eating our salads with french fries on the side (so typical of a college girl.)

Fast forward a year it was now my junior year and his senior year. Fall semester I was sitting in a science class, Oceanography and Meteorology (my 2nd time in the class, yes I needed it for my major.) And in he walked, he'll tell the story that he tried to sit by me, but I grabbed the seat closest to the front...I had to pass this time.

Everyday in the class we would walk outside to the flag poll in the middle of the quad to "observe" the weather. And after a few days of walking outside he strummed up a conversation that went something like this, "hi" he said, "hi" I said back. We smiled and walked back into class. A few weeks later I saw him at a campus ministry thing and afterwards he asked me to go for a walk.

And so it began...it is important to note that I was still real new to the whole Jesus thing. Matt on the other hand had been walking for a while. So for about a month we walked, we talked (on the phone, on AIM, through email, went for car rides.) He lived off campus so we weren't really together every waking moment, although my sweet roommate Lacey might tell the story differently. I made sure I had a quiet time everyday, b/c I knew he would ask. I tried to direct our conversations on "holy" things because that's what I thought he wanted.

And then one night after a football game he asked me if I wanted to go for a drive. So we got some coffee and headed off, then he pulled the car over ( I think in a church parking lot...there were a lot of those in Boiling Springs.) And he simply said, "Whitney, I have loved hanging out with you and I might even could see myself marrying you one day, but I think God just wants us to be friends."

You might be saying to yourself, oh no not that speech. But what happened after that I will never forget, I took off the veil of trying to be religious or holy and just...was...me. Friends I thought, hey I can do friends. And that was the night our relationship began. As I've told this story countless times over the years to Young Life friends, Matt had to break up with me to get me to fall in love with him.

Moral of this story...just be yourself, not who you think others want you to be, you never know what might happen.

How about joining me in telling your love story, I would love to hear it!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 180!

Last photo session... work it, own it! I call it summer sassy!
Last group photo minus Jordan who was taking the shot (only 10 of my kids showed up today.)
Last wave of farewell!
Last time the wheels on the bus go round and round...out of our parking lot...well for a little while at least! Happy summer people!
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

raise your hand...

this photo seriously is in the grace community church directory circa 2002!

...if you think Matt should bring back zippycanoe.com! If you click on his name on my blog it just re-directs you back to this one. He says I blog about everything he would blog about. I say we are cut from different cloth; he is like plaid and I am more like toile. What do you say...bring it back...bring it back...bring it back!!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

one tent + two friends = fun

Ollie's best bud John came over for a visit tonight. After dinner we pulled out the tent and boy the fun they had. They tickled and laughed and ran in and out about 50 times.
Yes, I did attempt to climb into the tent to snap these shots, nothing like on the site journalism.
And when the "camping" expedition was finished they ran into the back yard and climbed onto the john boat. And I had to to do a double take because what I saw in my backyard was not a baby but a big boy playing with his best friend...and that was a crazy feeling!
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I say...

Ollie talks non-stop these days...indeed he is a man of many words. Like this afternoon he wanted to color while I was doing the dishes. He kept saying "I doing my artwork, I doing my artwork!" I had to snap a few pictures of him being... well him.

Left handed precision...
Moved on down to the floor...
He often says " I say ____ Mommy" where he repeats what he just said, I guess to hear it again. But there are no limits to the things that come out as well. In the car tonight he said, "I see the tower" when he saw the water tower on Friendly Ave. He was rubbing his eyes later and when Matt asked him what was wrong he said, "my eyeball is bleeding." Don't worry it wasn't, my personal favorite phrase takes place when you ask him why, he responds with "because" and then gives his answer. It's fun to see his brain working and his personality being one of kind, just the way Jesus made him.
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

6 more days...

As I walked in from picking up some stuff off the back porch just a few minutes ago, I saw a tiny little bug dazzle himself in my backyard. And I felt it...summer is upon us. I love lightning bugs or fireflies as some people call them. They remind me of summer, their presence tonight beckoned to me for things to come and reminded me of a sweet memory.

When I was little, say 6 or 7, my Nonnie and Papa (my mom's parents) starting taking me on trips to visit our family in various locations around the south. I remember one trip we took to Florida, I think, and this was the first time I remember ever paying attention to lightning bugs as my Nonnie taught me and my cousins how to catch them in a jar. We would catch them and then run into the house into the bathroom (usually the only room without windows) and see the little critters light up the room. The book pictured above by this incredible children's author Patricia Polacco reminds me of such adventures. I love reading this book to my kids at school and will one day read it to my sweet Ollie and show him how to catch lightning in a jar.

I am drawing a close to the end of my 8th year of teaching...hard to believe. In 6 short (hopefully not long) days I will once again get to be stay at home Whitney. I can't wait. I wouldn't be lying if I told you I had a list of things I want Ollie and I to do that is a mile long, well at least a couple of inches...like teaching him his letters, tie-dying t-shirts, going to the pool daily, cleaning our house from top to bottom including the fridge, sorting the never ending tubs of old Ollie clothes in hopes to consign in the fall, having meals with friends, taking naps, and the list goes on.

But seeing that lighting bug tonight was such a sweet reminder that summer is a time for a break, to make memories and have fun whether or not my to do list gets crossed off.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

G is for garden

We planted a small garden this year. And it has been quite the family project. Ollie loves to help water it every night. I love to sit and pull the weeds, it's relaxing for me in some kind of non-thinking kind of way. Pretty soon we'll be able to have a first harvest. I can't wait to walk out in the yard and just grab a warm tomato for tomato sandwich, yum! The string beans are looking pretty good.
The lettuce is looking scrumptious.
The carrots are popping up.
And the garderners tasted their first bite of lettuce tonight. Growing a garden is toddler tested and family approved!
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