Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Well, its been almost a week and a half and I am still in utter shock. I can't even believe I am writing a blog on this topic right now...


Thats right....
Andrew proposed.

And I said YES.

Surprised?? So was I! Here is the story.

Andrew signed up to do the New Orleans Half Ironman race for his second year in a row, and we had been excited about our upcoming trip to NOLA for some time. We had a great time at the race last year and we just couldn't wait to go back for another fun weekend. So, Friday morning after we dropped Cosmo off at the vet, we headed to Jackson. We hopped out of one car and into another and drove down to NO with Andrew's parents. The four of us enjoyed walking around on Friday night and had a great dinner at Deanie's. On Saturday morning, we met up with our friends Alex and Lianne and we all took a trolley ride through the beautiful Garden District. We had lunch and went to UNO to set up the bike transition for the race. We went to Palm Sunday mass at the beautiful St. Patrick's church and then went to dinner for Andrew's pre race meal. The trip had been great, relaxed, and fun. I was staying in the same hotel room with Andrew and his parents for these two nights before the race and they never even gave me a HINT or did anything that would give me a reason to be suspicious of anything. So....Sunday morning comes, we wake up at 5:30am, it is a typical race day routine. We have it down pat by now. We put on our Team Harris hats and shirts, got our coffee and our cameras, and headed out to the race to cheer Andrew on. Nothing out of the ordinary.

The race was underway (after a very disappointing swim cancellation). My parents were planning on coming down to New Orleans on Sunday to support Andrew. I called them and told them they needed to hurry up and get down there because the swim got cancelled and Andrew's finish time would be earlier. So they headed on down, and I never thought twice about them coming for any other reason than to support Andrew. They have come to some of his races before and it just didn't send up any red flags for me...

So, we are all standing there in Jackson Square, watching for Andrew to come running towards the finish line. Eventually we spot him coming down the shoot, giving high fives to everyone on the side lines and making quite a grand finish. I raced down to the shoot exit to see him and congratulate him on all of his hard work that he had just done for 4 hours and 48 minutes. As I expected, he was pretty winded and needed to sit down and drink some gatorade. I know how Andrew works and usually he just needs to be left alone for a few minutes after a race so I was just going to step back and give him his time. But my mom had other plans! She grabbed my camera from me and told me to go over to Andrew so she could get our picture together. I told her that he really doesnt like to be bothered and that we needed to wait a little while to get pictures. She absolutely insisted that I go over there, so I did. Andrew was already bent down on the ground, because hey, he just did an ironman and he needed to take a breather! At some point during all of this, his sweet, secret-keeping mother went over and slipped him the ring. When I went over to him, he held the ring up and asked me to marry him! The rest is a blur. I am pretty sure I said yes...we have it all on video so we might need to go back and watch it closely just to be sure :)

Anyhow...WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!! I have a beautiful ring on my finger that I still cannot stop staring at, and I am counting the days until May 19th, 2012 when I get to marry my best friend and the love of my life. I simply could not be happier or more blessed.

I had to keep a secret until Monday night because I wanted to surprise all of my sorority sisters at my candlelight. I have never kept such a big secret in my life! I saw several of my friends that day, and even spent hours with Martha Ann and I didn't let anything slip! I was pretty proud of myself...and it was so worth it to see the suprised smiles and tears on my friend's faces when I blew out that candle! Priceless memories.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our special day!

I am so appreciative of all the excitement and happiness that our friends and family have showered us with over the past week. You all mean so much to us and I thank you for your love and support!

Let the wedding planning begin!! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Brown Eyed Girl

Well, our little girl will be turning 5 months old this weekend. My, how time flies.
I am astonished at how much as Cosmo has grown up when I look at her recent pictures and then peek back to her puppy pictures. She is now weighing in at a healthy 25 pounds...which means we have put 20 pounds of meat on that girls bones since we got her!

Sad news...Cosmo lost her "girl parts" today :(
She is currently at the MSU Vet Clinic in Starkville, while Andrew and I are spending the weekend in New Orleans for his half Ironman race on Sunday. We are such mean parents! She had her surgery on Friday morning and so she should be partially healed up by the time we pick her back up on Monday.

Poor baby girl.

I am missing her a LOT. I thought I'd share some of her most recent pictures. She has grown SO much and has these beautiful, to die for brown eyes.

Hopefully Cosmo girl will have a speedy recovery and hopefully she will forgive us for leaving her at the vet all weekend!

As for now, we are enjoying our "free" time this weekend in New Orleans with Andrew's parents. We got in town around 5 today and enjoyed a nice dinner out at Deanie's together. We will play around town tomorrow and then we will be cheering Andrew on in the race on Sunday!


Monday, April 4, 2011


I've been trying to play with my camera whenever I get a chance because there is so much to learn and I feel like I have only just barely skimmed the surface! Here are some shots of pretty spring flowers that I took the other day. I figured that its a great time to post these since it is so yucky and stormy outside right now.


21-21-21: Andrew's Birthday Triathlon

On March 23, Andrew's 21st birthday, he completed a 21 themed triathlon to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. I blogged about it in a previous post, but if you would like to know more, feel free to visit Andrew's page at:

Here are some photos that I took during the day's activities. Andrew started bright and early (at 6am) at the pool in the Sanderson Center. His first leg of the triathlon was a 2.1 mile swim...

I counted all 74 laps!

He did a great job and completed the swim in a little over an hour. Wasting no time, he hopped on the bike accompanied by his good friend, Alex. They knocked out the 21 mile bike ride in no time despite having pretty strong head winds!

Our great friend Alex and Andrew's fellow triathlete -- coming to keep Andrew company on the bike ride!

After the bike was the run...the most dreaded part of the day! 21 miles is a very long way after you have already spent over 2 hours swimming and biking!

Shout out to Travis....this guy had never run more than 6 miles in his life, and he somehow ran ALL 21 miles with Andrew! That's a dedicated friend!

Running out at North Farm during the first quarter of the run

A few miles through campus...

At shortly after 1pm, the triathlon was complete.

Andrew successfully swam, biked, and ran all 44.1 miles!
When he finished, he was so hungry and so we went straight to Sonic....he got a Route 44 slush, a hot dog, and an ice cream cone. A couple of hours later, we went to meet Alex and Lianne at Mugshots where Andrew ate a huge hamburger, fries, and had lots of beer. When you burn a few thousand calories in a triathlon, you get to eat whatever you want! It was a fun day and I really enjoyed driving all over Starkville to catch Andrew at different points to take pictures and cheer him on. I am so very, very proud of Andrew!

As of today, he has raised nearly $1800 for the SOWF. His fundraising page will stay open for the next couple of months, so it is not too late to donate and help him reach his goal of $2100 (keeping with the 21 theme). Check out the link at the top of the post to get donation information.

Congratulations, Andrew --- it was definitely a 21st birthday to remember! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Three Year Throwback

March 29th, 2008 - March 29th, 2011 = today is our 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!
I am so unbelievably happy and beyond blessed to be able to call Andrew Harris mine. I cannot believe that three years have passed since we have started dating during senior year at St. Joe. So much has happened in the past 3 years! I took the time today to look through some of my old pictures and it was so good to take a trip back down memory lane. Here are a few throwbacks..

Senior Prom 2008 - what a handsome date he was :)

This picture is from a weekend that I will never forget. We were seniors in high school and we came up and stayed with Andrew's brother and his fiance, now wife, Laura for Super Bulldog Weekend. This is the weekend that we started dating! A couple of months later, we both started school at MSU together!

This was after we had been dating for a few months. This was August 8th, 2008 - James and Laura's wedding!
 Since we have been dating, James and Laura have gotten married, and so have Allie and Brandon.  Matthew and Allyson had John, and James and Laura had Stelling. Andrew's family has totally adopted me as part of their family and I am so happy that I got to be a part of all of these special occasions. Andrew is part of our family now too and we are just so blessed to have such great families who love and support us!

This was at "My Tie", our first Chi O date party. Fun fun night, one of the many occasions where we danced the night away...one of our favorite things to do together!

Another date party freshman year...oh, the memories of Freshman year!

This was on our one year anniversary. We took a weekend trip to Memphis and toured St. Jude, went to the zoo, and saw a Mavericks game. This is our anniversary dinner at the Melting Pot. I will never forget that anniversary...we were so excited....one year was a big deal!

Over these past 3 years, I have become an official triathlon girlfriend. I am Andrew's cheerleader and #1 fan! And I do a pretty darn good job at it, if I do say so myself. This is us at Andrew's first half Ironman in New Orleans, April 2010. We will be going back to NOLA in two weeks for his second half Iron! So proud of him!!

This was at the beach when we went with Andrew's brothers and their wives. I will never forget that beach trip. I am so thankful for Matthew and Allyson and James and Laura who have all treated me like a member of the family since the very start!

Goofing off...what we do best!! Andrew's sense of humor is one of the things that I love most about him. He keeps me laughing ALL of the time.

Puppy parents :) Having this little "baby" has brought us so much joy and has brought us closer...nothing like sharing responsibilites of cleaning up tee tee accidents......sooo romantic :)

One of the many weekends spent tailgating and enjoying MSU football! Lots of priceless memories from MSU.
I could literally post a thousand pictures and try and go through all our memories...but no pictures or words can really capture the love that Andrew and I share. (I warned you that this blog would be cheesy!! I wasnt kidding!)

I prayed for years and years, starting when I was very young, that God would prepare the perfect man for me. I have always felt that my prayers were answered the day that Andrew came into my life. I thank God for Andrew each day, usually numerous times a day. I love him more and more each day. He is without a doubt my best friend. He is the first one I call when I am excited or upset, and he is my rock. God has given us these three wonderful years so far, and I cant wait to see what is in store for our future!

I love you Andrew! Happy Anniversary!!!

P.S. - The next post will be about Andrew's 21st birthday triathlon...details and pictures will hopefully make it up a little later this week! He did such a great job! The website is still up for donations.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Magnificent March

As of 7:55pm on March 12, 2011, Mr. and Mrs. Stringer are man and wife!!
My sister is now "Mrs. Allie Stringer"...and she has a HUSBAND!! I just cant wrap my mind around it!
I could not be happier for Allie and Brandon. We could not have chosen a better man for her and I am glad to call him my brother in law!

The wedding weekend was a BLAST to say the least. We had wayyyy to much fun. Here is a little picture recap of some of the weekend happenings.

St. Peter's Cathedral in downtown Jackson where the wedding ceremony took place.

On Friday, all of the girls got treated to mani's and pedi's at Aqua the Day Spa in Renaissance.

My mom's two sisters, Sharon and Becky, got to come in from Texas for the weekend. They got to spend the day at the spa with us. It was such a treat to have them here for the long weekend!

Mom and Dad before the wedding rehearsal outside of Smith Park.
Allie and I can only hope that our marriages will turn out as good as our parents has...they are going strong at 32 years of marriage! They are such great examples for us.

One of my favorite pictures of the weekend! It will probably be our Christmas card :)

The beautiful bride to be before the rehearsal.

Our family at the rehearsal dinner. Look how happy we all are!!

Allie and Brandon at the rehearsal dinner!

My handsome date!!

Here are some pictures from the actual wedding day, but I don't have many. I dont have a single one from the reception because I tend to miss out on a lot of action when I have my camera in hand, so I chose to leave it back in the hotel room so I wouldnt miss out on any fun. More pictures from the ceremony and reception will come when we get them back from the photographer.
Allie's pretty cake!! I didn't have any, but everyone said it was so yummy! 

The precious topper that went on the groom's cake. Look at the detail! That is Brandon's bulldog, Hank, and a small replication on his actual grill!!

Those are just a few of my favorite shots from the weekend. Trust me, I have about two hundred more and I could go on and on about the wedding for days. I have to brag on my sister. She was bridal perfection. She looked stunning and flawless. She was calm and peaceful and so cool and collected. I really cannot imagine a more perfect bride. Everything came together so nicely without a hitch. Friends and family came from all over to celebrate with us. We danced all night long, and my parents even stayed up until 5am if that gives you any indication of how much fun we had!

I was so honored to be able to stand next to my sister on the altar while she said her vows to the man that she loves with all of her heart. There is no doubt in my mind that she and Brandon were made for eachother and that they will spend a long happy life together forever! The newlyweds spent their honeymoon in San Antonio and they had a blast!! They are now back home and back to work, but happy as ever!

While the newlyweds were off on their trip, Andrew, Cosmo, and I took a trip of our own! We packed our bags and drove for about 12 hours, all the way to North Carolina for the week! Andrew's brother and sister in law, Matthew and Allyson, opened their home to us for the week and we got to spend great time with them and their precious two year old, John. They live in Wilmington, right on the North Carolina coast, which is such a neat town, and we had a great time exploring downtown and the beaches!
This is on the Cape Fear River. We had lunch at a restaurant called Elijah's that was right off the water.

This is the Oceanic on Wrightsville Beach. Matthew and Allyson took us here to celebrate Andrew's birthday early and to congratualte me for getting accepted into OT school (I found out while we were in NC!)

Outside of the Oceanic on Wrightsville beach

Playing around at Carolina beach. John and Cosmo were not afraid to get in the water, but it was wayyy to chilly for me!

This is at Hugh McRae park in Wilmington. It is so beautiful and there is so much to look at and do...and it was dog friendly :)

Cosmo definitely enjoyed the beach. Or maybe she just enjoys anything that has to do with a tennis ball?

Looking at the USS North Carolina from across the Cape Fear River

Good ole quality time at Matthew and Allyson's house. We had the most fun just hanging out with them at home! The boys are making brownies in this picture...HA! We visited, cooked, played The Office trivia game, watched tv, and just hung out. It was great to be able to relax and catch up with them!

What is cuter than a little boy in underwear playing in the ocean???
Keep in mind that this water is literally freezing. He went from jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt all the way down to just his underwear! We had such a fun time and lots of laughs while watching this little naked boy play "chase" with the waves.

Well, that is pretty much a recap of our spring break! I am so thankful for all of our friends and family who made the wedding so special, and I cannot thank Matthew and Allyson enough for letting us come visit.

Hope you all had a great spring break.....now its back to the grind. Happy Monday!!