Catching up with the Hills

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas just passed and we received a plethora of Christmas cards. Most of which were absolutely adorable and included some special blessing or wish with a quote or scripture to match the season. At the end: a simple signature from the sender. Some included a picture or two... But our favorites... were the letter senders. A few select individuals sent a letter in place of a Christmas card. With these, we were able to quickly catch up with the friends and family we rarely get to chat with. What a novel idea. I got to feeling a little inspired & thought we need to send a update letter of our own! Eventually the idea evolved into this blog. Hopefully, if we can stay committed to our communication with you, we will regularly update the blog with any new tidbit you may care to know about our adventures. The entries below have been back-dated so that they appear in order. They are merely snapshots, severely lacking in detail, in order to give you a brief synopsis of our first 7 months together. Maybe one day I'll get a chance to update with details :) Hope you enjoy Keeping up with the Hills. 

I thank my God every time I remember you.

- - Philippians 1:3

Mom's 50th Bday!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Can you believe my hot mom is 50? I know right? Most can't. She's just way too hot. I'm glad I got her genes. So in celebration of Mom's birthday, all of us kids headed down to Dallas for a long weekend! We stayed with Devin & Katie in their beautiful new home. We arrived on Friday. Saturday morning, I woke up with a stomach bug and ended up spending most of my morning getting rid of my dinner. Yikes. After an eventful morning (attempting to convince my family I was NOT pregnant), we had family Christmas! Mom had shipped a PLETHORA of gifts down to Texas, and Katie & Devin made a fantabulous Christmas dinner. Sunday we had family pictures and then did a scavenger hunt around Dallas!  We had Hibashi for dinner and spent the evening playing games as a family. Then it was Brian's turn with the same stomach bug :) It was a new kind of Christmas... a week early and with no snow... but it was wonderful :) 

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
Mother Teresa

Girls Trip to The Big Apple

Sunday, October 9, 2011

You all wouldn't believe what my sweet hubby did for me this week. Well.. let me back up. A few months ago, some girls in my small group decided to take a trip to New York City over fall break. A girls only weekend trip sounded AWESOME! I can't remember the last girls trip I had! Unfortunately, when I 
approached Brian, he reminded me that we are currently working to pay down debt and a random weekend trip just wasn't in the game-plan. I was disappointed, but I'm sincerely excited about our debt snowball (if you're familiar with Dave Ramsey), so I let it go. Well, this week, I received a sweet card in the mail... it was from Brian... and inside he told me to have fun in NYC! WOO HOO! He had sneakily added me into the trip with the girls, paying for my plane ticket and making arrangements with my friends. 
We had an awesome time in NYC! We stayed with Katie's sister in Spanish Harlem & PACKED our three days with a TON of walking and sightseeing. We walked Central Park, shopped 5th Avenue, took a boat tour, saw a Broadway show (Sister Act), hung in Times Square, and visited McGees (the inspiration for How I Met Your Mother) Chinatown, Little Italy, Ground Zero, and Brooklyn.

Us in Times Square

Us at the Top of the Rock

Mr. & Mrs. Josh Frey

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yet another wedding this year! This time, our good friends Josh & Jennifer tied the knot. Brian & Josh have known each other since MIDDLE SCHOOL! They went to college together at UK, and were both in Phi Sig, and now they work together at LEP and remain good friends, of course. Jennifer and I hit it off instantly, which is a good thing since we are often in need of girl-allies at frequent boy functions (UFC nights, especially). Brian and I have seen Josh & Jennifer's relationship grow from the crush-stage and were both part of their wedding party, which was incredibly special. Jennifer had a fabulous wedding, a neat photo booth, and an AWESOME after party! :) Congrats Freys!
Josh & his Boys
Jennifer & her Girls

Mr. & Mrs. Devin Montgomery

Saturday, September 10, 2011

WOOOO HOOOO!!!! On 9-10-11, we got a new sister in the Montgomery clan! We are so excited to have Katie in our family now. Their wedding was beautiful, and full of little surprises. It was so neat to see so much of our family come together, and to see my baby brother with a WIFE! We both were attendants in the wedding, which made it extra special. I can tell Katie worked so hard on all of the details, and the whole day was PERFECT! Congrats, Devin & Katie! 
Mr. & Mrs. Devin Montgomery

New Classroom

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This year, I left Knox County to begin teaching in Hamblen County. The job change was inspired by the marriage & move and to avoid the 2-hr round trip commute every day. However, changing to Hamblen County has been an awesome choice for SO MANY reasons. I wasn't super thrilled with my job in Knox County. While I loved the people I worked with, and all of my students, I just didn't stay busy enough to keep from being bored much of the day, plus I was the only ELL teacher in my building and was often cooped up in my little corner of the building with not much adult contact! Hamblen county has been a big change!! At West Elementary, we have more than 120 students on our daily case-load. I share a classroom full time with a good friend, Mary Beth, who also happens to be a friend from church AND in my weekly small group. And in addition, Katie Hudson is with us half day! For those of you who don't know Katie, you SHOULD. She has played a very important role in my life. Not only was she a college roommate, and introduced me to Hamblen county & the current position I'm in, AND was one of the best bridesmaids ever... she is ALSO responsible for my new last name! Katie introduced me to Brian a few years ago.. and the rest is history. So it's been SO fabulous working with these two girls every day.

The pictures here are from a our celebration at the end of our Around the World unit. Katie represented Mexico & we ate tamales & atole. Mary Beth represented China & we had rice. And I was Africa :) We ate Chapati (which Katie and I learned to make during our trip to Africa two summers ago). We have 29 1st graders and 31 kindergarteners! They had a BLAST.
Denise showing children Chapati
Ms. Hudson (Katie) introducing
today's itinerary to first grade.

Mary Beth (Miss Zink) reviewing Asia


Sunday, July 17, 2011

B & D with Premier parents,
David & Vickie Gleason
Next stop this summer: Dallas, TX. Every year, Premier Designs has a huge Rally. All of the jewelers in the country are invited to gather in Dallas, TX! This was a first rally for both Brian and Brittany (my wonderful sister in law and Premier daughter). Brian jumped right in the supportive husband role and Brittany even got to walk the stage for her first award recognition at rally. GO Bs!
Emily (PD Sis), Denise, & Brittany

We had so much fun and were so inspired by the wonderful leadership there. It was awesome to be able to stay with Devin & Katie, who now live in the Dallas area... This is also where we first suspected that we should be expecting a new baby! No... not ours.. poor Brittany was SO sick the whole time. It wasn't long before we learned that Avaya was the cause! Woo Hoo!

Vegas, Baby!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Recently, Brian's company started a tradition of an annual company trip. Their first trip, two years ago, was to Miami, Florida. I didn't get to go for several reasons... but this year, I wasn't missing out! This July was my first ever visit to Las Vegas, NV! It was awesome. We spent most of our time sightseeing. I was amazed at how much there is to see and do (outside of gambling & drinking) in Vegas! We saw The Lion King, visited different hotels (where I met Dick Butkus), took a trip to the Grand Canyon, rented a cabana by an AWESOME pool/club combination, and had an absolute blast getting to know Brian's co-workers. Even better, we had friends and family come visit from California! Orleatha and Chris flew in to hang out for a few days, which was absolutely phenomenal. I also arranged with Tamara a surprise visit from her, Steph, and Gram! Brian was definitely surprised.

Tam, Steph, Brian, Chris, Me, & Orleatha!

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting....

The LEP gang

Mr. & Mrs. Josh Hutson!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Less than a week after we returned from our honeymoon, we got busy preparing for yet another wedding! My roommate of four years, and one of my fabulous bridesmaids, Rachel Jett, married Josh Hutson! Woo Hoo! It was so exciting to see Rachel get married. It was especially neat to room with her throughout the entire crushing/courting/engagemetn process... from the very first fall... And we got to go through it all together! Our relationships were almost parallel in timing. Rachel & Josh's wedding was incredibly sweet, inundated with personal touches. We had so much fun and are incredibly happy for Rachel and Josh. He's one lucky guy! 
Rachel & Josh Hutson

Honeymoon to Antigua

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Marriage started our with the most amazing honeymoon ever.. to the breathtaking island of Antigua! Brian planned the entire trip, leaving me completely surprised. I didn't know our honeymoon destination until we arrived at our layover in Miami. He did FABULOUS. We stayed at the beautiful Sandals Grand and had the time of our lives! We were completely pampered and stayed very busy the whole time... 9 days, 4 excursions, 3 trips into town, and 2 spa visits... exquisite!
Overlooking Antigua from Shirley Heights
Visiting sister island, Barbuda

Our Wedding

Saturday, May 28, 2011

On May 28 we got MARRIED!!! Our wedding was absolutely phenomenal. Of course, being the girliest of girls, I started day dreaming about my wedding years before I even met Brian. Inspired by The Wedding Planner, I knew I wanted an outdoor, evening wedding, as formal as we could make it. We stressed about the weather, but it was totally perfect. So many of our friends and family came to join us for a full weekend of events. Of course there were a few hangups - a few family cars were destroyed by a hail storm on Thursday... and the midnight taco bar ran out of tacos before midnight (sorry about that - I blame the caterer) but other than that - mission accomplished! We'll be married 7 months tomorrow. 
The siblings (L-R): Russ, Devin, DJ, Brian, Denise, Katie, Brittany

The Bridal Party
Back to Front, Left to Right:
Josh Frey
Tommy Hollingsworth, Jon Muscutt, Darrell Hill, Devin Montgomery, Jamie Westerfield, Russ Hill, Jason Fowler
Katie Hudson, Katie O'Neill (now Montgomery), Rachel Jett (now Hutson), Orleatha Smith
Krystle Occleshaw, Nicole Sloan, Brittany Montgomery, Latrice Harris
Mr. & Mrs. Brian Keith Hill.

Mr. & Mrs. Brian K Hill :)

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs