2009 was a big year for Emily and I! Emily graduated, I was elected president and we got engaged! 2009 definitely went out with a bang. Through the end of November to the end of December we went to five Christmas parties and six family Christmas celebrations! It was a lot!
Our Christmas celebrations went something like this (I am sure that I am leaving something out). On the Saturday before Christmas we went to the Barnett Family Christmas in Athens. It turned into an all day affair! Then, Emily came to Athens on the 23rd and we did the Priest Family Christmas on Christmas Eve. Emily left Athens and went to Nashville on Christmas Eve so she could wake up there on Christmas morning. She did Christmas morning with her family and I did Christmas morning with my Mom. Next, I went to Nashville on Christmas Day. Emily and family had already visited her Grandmother Martin and when I got there we went to see her Grandmother Young! Then, we had Christmas dinner with her parents! To conclude the evening, Emily and I went to the beautiful Opryland Hotel and saw all the Christmas decorations! Whoo! We survived and it was all so much fun!
The tree was 75% of the regular price, which was a great deal. We got to the register and the cashier had no clue what she was doing, so she gave us 75% off of the mark down price, so we got the tree for $15. Our cashmere pine will be adorning our living room next year!
Later in the afternoon on the 26th I had the urge to go see the Tennessee State Capitol Building. I have to check up on my future office building ever once in a while! I got my picture taken outside of the Governor's office window and I think I sent Emily over the edge as you will see in the picture of her. Probably a little more politics that she can handle!
Our next big event was New Years! We were invited to be part of the official UT party at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on New Years Eve. We went down to Atlanta on the 30th and had dinner with UT President Simek, UT VP Hank Dye and his wife Margaret, and our dear friends Lofton Stuart and Jon Brock at a neat little restaurant in downtown Atlanta.
On New Years Eve, we had breakfast at a rather eccentric place downtown and then toured the World of Coke, which was a really cool experience. Emily has a real fear of people in costumes, but she managed to take this one picture with the Coke bear!
We had an early dinner with the official party and then we were off to be with the masses at the Georgia Dome! We had great seats almost on the 50 yard line, but the crowd around us was out of control to say the least. The guy I sat by screamed so loud I could not even hear by the end of the game! Tennessee lost which was very painful to see, but we still had a great time in Atlanta. After the game was over, we just barely got back to the hotel in time to enjoy a bottle of champagne and ring in the New Year!
January 3 was my birthday! It is hard for me to believe that I am 22 . . . getting old! Emily did a great job planning for my birthday and I had a terrific day. She gave me some of the best gifts I could have ever gotten, including a yearly subscription to the Chattanooga Times Free Press (I love reading newspapers), a new umbrella, a great book on Andrew Jackson that I had been wanting for a long time, two new ties and some nasal strips that I am to cheap to buy! For dinner we went to P.F. Changs, which was very good! She really out did herself and I had an amazing day! We are going to Athens on Saturday to celebrate my birthday with the family and to have a joint little birthday party that we do every year with Nanny.
Emily and I are excited about 2010, because it is our wedding year and the official start to the rest of our lives together! Happy New Year! -TSF