In Case You Were Wondering…

Since the engagement a couple weeks ago, I’ve been on wedding planning alert, except between the hours of 8-6, Mondays-through-Friday. Some of the things I’m working on are the wedding website (via TheKnot.com), filling up my wedding binder and trying to nail down the important details — which isn’t easy when your Mom is 3,000 miles away on one coast and your fiancé is on a boat in the middle of an ocean somewhere.

One thing that G and I are trying to do is write down the stories of us to share while they’re fresh in our minds. He’s been working on the Proposal story (since my part begins about 3/4 of the way through his!), which I can’t wait to share. First though, we’ll give you a little taste of how we met:

– late July, 2008 –

[G] I had been looking to find a soccer team to play on for the summer but didn’t know anyone around the Jacksonville area so I used craigslist and found a coed team.  About a week after my 23rd birthday I attended a party at the team captain’s house to celebrate the end of the season.
[L] About three months after I moved to Jacksonville (in 2008), I attended a young professional’s happy hour event. The host group, Social Spirits, also supported sports teams in the area rec leagues. I was invited to join the group’s soccer team when the new season started and gladly accepted the offer. The team captain invited me over for a team barbecue so I could meet the team members while they celebrated the end of the season and start of a new one. I didn’t know anyone else who would be there, but figured I had nothing to lose by going. (Best decision of my life)
[G] I think the first time I saw Lauren was when she was in the living room talking to some of the other girls on the team.  I thought she was cute but I wasn’t really trying to hit on her…at first.
[L] I first saw Garrett when he was in the backyard, playing with two little boys. Based on the other introductions I had just made, I assumed the kids were his (there were a few families there) and tried to figure out what girl at the party was with him. Garrett was one of the two cute guys I had noticed at the party, so I was a little bummed until I realized a) the kids weren’t his and b) he was alone at the party. The afternoon barbecue continued late into the night as we all played games and got to know each other.
[G] We soon started talking and flirting as the afternoon turned in night.  As the night came to a close I decided to make a move and go in for the kiss which she completely denied me.  I was undeterred by this and got my kiss in the end.
[L] As the evening went on Garrett and I flirted over board games and switched phone numbers. When he tried to kiss me as the party wound down, I denied him at first…but his crooked smile and cleverness wore me down by the end of the night.
[G] The next day I had duty but I told her I would call which of course I did.  Our second date was extremely romantic…we went to see The Dark Knight at the movie theater after she cooked me dinner!  I held her hand the entire way through and I haven’t wanted to stop since.
[L] The next day I went to mass and said a few extra prayers, asking God to let this guy be one who actually called when he said he would, and to “let me keep him around for awhile.” We had our first date the next night and soon after Garrett’s friends were teasing him that he would end up marrying me. Fast forward 18 months and here we are!
I’ll post the wedding website link on the blog when we’ve added all the important details that we need to share…but in the meantime, if you have any tips on weddings, planning or resources please leave a comment on this post!
In Case You Were Wondering…

Best Moments of 2008: PGA TOUR Highlights Edition

In end of the year spirit, I’m going to try a series of posts titled Best Moments of 2008, recapping the best of what I’ve done and experienced this year. I’m hoping it keeps me entertained enough to get back into blogging mode!If you have any suggestions (themes or actual moments), leave them in the comments.

I don’t just work for the PGA Tour, I’m also a fan!

In the spirit of continuing with the video posts I’ve been adding lately (I can write, I just haven’t), here are my favorite Best of 2008 videos from the PGA Tour’s YouTube channel.

I had a great time re-living some of the highlights from my first season at the TOUR through these Best of ’08 highlights. I also like the features on Sergio Garcia, Anthony Kim and Vijay Singh, each recapping their stellar seasons.

At PGATOUR.com, many of the staffers wrote about what they’ll remember about 2008. Since my first choice, stalking watching Sergio win the PLAYERS in person, was already spoken for, I wrote about the emergence of Camilo Villegas through the season. I first met, and watched, him during PLAYERS week, and he just got better throughout the season. The PGATOUR.com editors really polished my story (thanks y’all!) and you can read it here.

Best Moments of 2008: PGA TOUR Highlights Edition

Election ’08 – Do the Math

My biggest peeve with the upcoming election is people who are basing decisions by what they think they know. To them I say, the world is changing. A Democratic position from 50, 20 or even 10 years isn’t the same as it is today. Neither is the Republican position. The economy has changed, the American culture has changed, technology has changed. Both candidates are advocating change through their campaigns, but I think only one has the ability to get America up to speed with the present and prepare for the future.

Whether you’re red, blue or purple, please take the next 20 days to educate yourself and speak to your decision. Read through the media lens and then read the words of Obama and McCain, on their websites. Watch the debate tonight and then watch all the debates again (play bingo!). Have conversations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and provide factual answers. And take advantage of the onslaught of information providers, like the Obama Tax Calculator, that we’re sure to see more of before November 4th.

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Election ’08 – Do the Math

Let the Madness Begin

It’s March — one of my favorite months, for a few reasons. Best holiday (St. Paddy’s day); Spring begins; I’m usually traveling (this year is no exception); and March Madness!

I wanted to post some of my picks, but won’t go through the whole bracket for sake of time.

My final four picks are: North Carolina, Georgetown, Pitt and UCLA
In the final game, I want to see Georgetown & UCLA duke it out, with Hibbert & co. prevailing. I love the thought of matching up Hibbert and Love in the post and letting those two go to battle with a title on the line. (So does this guy) I read a USA Today story about Georgetown, and its leaders Hibbert and Wallace, last week en route to Florida, and thought it captured the spirit of those two men, and their teammates well. I think they’re poised and ready to go deep into the tournament, and surprise a few people on the way.

As a former sports reporter, I like to find the potential story-line matchups, and that’s evident in my picks. In the West bracket, I have UCLA and Duke matching up in the Elite Eight. It’s the Oregon connection — Kevin Love and Kyle Singler. Just doesn’t seem like a basketball season without that match up, whether it was in the Oregon HS state championships or now in the NCAA Tourney. Might be the last season us Oregon basketball fans get to see it, if K-Love does go pro after the season.

Pitt v. UCLA in the Final Four. I know that picking Pitt might be a long shot, having to get out of a bracket ahead of Texas, Memphis and Stanford. UCLA, as long as they stay healthy, should be fine to win the West. When these two teams go head-to-head, the story line will shift to the coaches — the master, Ben Howland, vs. the protege, Jamie Dixon. This story previewed their first coaching matchup, last year in the Sweet 16 (UCLA won, 64-55). The coaches started together at Northern Arizona (my alma mater, go Jacks!), and coached at Pittsburgh together before Howland went west to UCL. How can I not hope for another rematch?
Even though I like Georgetown in the tourney, I’m not exactly sure what I’m cheering for when I say “Go Hoyas!” That is, until I found this guide to NCAA team nicknames. I’ll keep posting links to good stories and thoughts during the tournament. Make sure to do the same in the comments as we go.

Check out my bracket on Facebook and let me know if you agree, or disagree, with any of my picks.

Let the Madness Begin