Monday, December 24, 2012

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

I can't believe that it is already Christmas Eve! This month has flown by!

Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I'll admit, I love Christmas decorations! (I'm pretty sure I get that from my paternal grandmother. Gran Gran loved decorating for the holidays!)

Anyway, this is our first Christmas in our new house, and Jackie has done such a wonderful job decorating. I thought I'd take a little time to show off her hard work.

Let's start in the yard...

We both love Christmas Vacation, and we certainly tried to channel our inner Griswold when we decorated the house. Unlike Clark Griswold, I have a paralyzing fear of heights. That meant I would only go so far up the ladder, but I still think it turned our great.

To make the little Christmas trees, we borrowed some tomato cages from my Mom. We wrapped 2 strands of lights on each, and staked them into the ground.

We also overestimated how many lights we'd need, so Jackie said, "Let's decorate the ground!"

I was skeptical at first, but I think it turned out great! We are one of the brightest houses in our neighborhood!

We're already coming up with decorating plans for next year, and my friend Keith has said he'll help do the roof. Christmas 2013 will blow your mind!

Moving to the front door, you'll see our snowman face that I saw at Homestead Hollow's October show. I fell in love with it, and was able to convince Jackie that I had to have it for our house. Luckily, she agreed! I also love that the woman at the booth understands the proper use of the apostrophe and knew not to include it.
This is our entryway table. We've collected these decorations at a bunch of different places, and we love it! The Nativity is the most recent addition. We scored it at Hobby Lobby the other day, and it was 50% off! (Of course, most of the store is 50% off at any point in time...not that I'm complaining!)

To display our Christmas cards, Jackie made this Pinterest-inspired card tree out of yard sticks and miniature clothespins. I love it! The only problem is that we underestimated how many cards we'd receive...
So the newest ones are now taped to the bar.
I'm really loving our hearth. Jackie did a fantastic job! We had the Grinch window painted by one of our craft show neighbors. The vine tree and balls were made by our crafting friends Cliff and Elizabeth. The wooden deer was also a Homestead Hollow find. The big Santa hat was a recent find at Hobby Lobby. I loved it at first sight. I'm so glad Jackie let me get it!
Here's a view of our tree, Grinch, and leg lamp! Love it!
 Jackie surprised me with the leg lamp a couple of weeks ago. Watching A Christmas Story has been a Finklea family tradition for years. And who can resist the soft glow of electric sex in the window?
 Our Grinch was made by our craft show friends Bobby and Wanda. Mom had one for several years, and after Jackie and I got married, I wanted to get one of my own. Everyone that has come to the house love it!
 Next up is the tree. I have a thing for Christmas tree ornaments, and many of ours are Hallmark's Star Trek ornaments, but there's also a bunch of Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story ones. There's also a ton of other pop culture ornaments. I absolutely love our tree!
 Here are some of the new additions this year. First up is the house from A Christmas Story. It lights up and talks!
 We got this ornament to ornament when we were in New York back in March. I love this little reminder of a wonderful trip!
 We got this one to commemorate our first Christmas in our new house. This ornament is a reminder of God's faithfulness. The second year of our marriage was very difficult, but the Lord had a plan for us. He blessed us with a beautiful home that has been a wonderful place for us to gather with our loved ones.
Jackie and I also made some Christmas cookies. These are just a few of all of the ones we made. Lesson learned: don't quit my day job to become a cookie decorator.

Jackie and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior! Surround yourself with loved ones, lots of laughter, and good food.

Merry Christmas from the Finkleas!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall 2012 Photo Shoot

I'm still trying to get back in the swing of blogging more than just once every few months. I really do want to be a better blogger. Honest.

Anyway, Jackie and I had some pictures taken Sunday. Other than our church directory photos, we haven't had any nice pictures taken of us since our wedding. Jackie's cousin Haley is a great photographer, and we went to the University of Montevallo for the shoot.

For November, it was a warm day, but Jackie was determined to wear her sweater. I also wore my fleece vest, but it certainly wasn't needed. I was just hoping that I didn't break a sweat.

Here are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Field Trip to FOX 6 WBRC and UM Update

This week I took my TV newscast production class for a tour of FOX 6's station in Birmingham. We have a couple of alums from our program working there, and one of them reached out to me about the opportunity for a tour.

I also invited our video engineering class, which is taught by Dr. John Hoerner, to come along.

Melynda, the alum that contacted me about the tour, works there as a web producer. She gave us a tour of what will be their new newsroom. (It's just a big empty room right now.) We also got to see their temporary digs in the sales department, which is doubling as a newsroom space.

We also got to tour their studio, which was renovated in recent years with the transition to HD. Mickey Ferguson, the morning meteorologist, is also a UM Mass Comm alum. He took time to speak to the students, and he even put us on TV during their noon show!

Mickey Ferguson (far left) posing with our Mass Comm students
Dr. Hoerner was also able to talk with some folks about some internship possibilities for our students in coming semesters. We also got to go out behind the station to look at their news vehicles and stand under the iconic WBRC sign that overlooks downtown Birmingham.

The tour was a lot of fun, and the students really enjoyed getting to see how the professionals do it!

Picture from last year's field trip.
And I must admit, it did feel a little strange to go to FOX 6. As many of you know, I used to work at NBC 13, which is right next door. Kinda made me feel like I was cheating on my 13 family, but to be fair, I did take my class there last year. Remember this -->?

Meanwhile, back on campus... we've been really busy with Falcon Fever and Falcon Weekly. Both shows have really been coming along great this semester. I'm so proud of all of our students. They work so hard, and I hope their hard work is paying off.

Here are some pictures from the studio from the past several weeks.
Kasey and Michael on the set for Falcon Fever.
Bird's eye view of the studio

Coleman and Sarah on set for Falcon Weekly, the campus newscast
Jolyn demonstrating how keywall works.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hit the Road, Fat, and Don't You Come Back!

Jackie and I started going back to the gym week before last. We did really good going and doing cardio every day. Then we went on a church mission trip last week, and now it's hard getting back in the swing of things.

This is the type of running machine I imagine Chuck to be.
I've been wanting to start back jogging/walking (jolking?) since we moved into our new house. A friend of mine, Chuck, posts his runs on Facebook, and I always think to myself, "Man, I wish I had Chuck's dedication." Chuck is a running machine. Well, this morning, I decided that today was the day! It was time to hit the pavement! I got out of bed, put on my jogging clothes...and got back in bed. I know, it was pathetic.

After a few minutes, I asked myself, "What are you doing? Get up! GO! Chuck would run. You should, too!" So I rolled out of bed, did some stretches, and grabbed my iPhone. As I was heading out the door, I opened the Sporty Pal exercise app, which tracks how long and how far you go. "Hit the road, Fat," I thought, " And don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more!"

Our neighborhood forms a ribbon shape, which is 1.25 miles round trip. It's also much higher on the upper part of the ribbon, and that's where our house is. As I started, it's downhill.
This is kinda what our neighborhood looks like.

"This is so easy!" I thought, flying down the hill. Thanks, gravity! I turned at the 1 intersection in the neighborhood and jogged down to the entrance, back up to the intersection, and down the cul-de-sac where the town homes are. Halfway back to the intersection from the cul-de-sac, I had to slow down to walk for a bit. After about 30 seconds I started jogging back to the intersection. I was still feeling good at that point...until I reached the intersection. To get back to the house, it was all uphill--up a steep hill. Stupid gravity.

This is the type of running machine I imagine myself to be. ;)
I caved in. I had to walk back up the hill, huffing and puffing the whole way. I'm sure it wasn't a pretty sight for the neighbors.

When I got back to the front door, I looked at my phone to check the Sporty Pal app. That's when I realized that I forgot to hit START. #Fail

At least I know I did 1.25 miles. I am not a running machine.

But my loop around the neighborhood means I lapped everyone still sitting on the couch. #Winning

Sunday, May 6, 2012

So... it's been a while. And that's OK!

I'm back!
Well, that kind of makes it sound like I've been off traveling the globe on some grand adventure for many months, but in reality, life in general has been a grand adventure that hasn't left much time for the old blog lately.

Here's a quick recap of what we've been up to:
In March, we went to New York City, celebrated my 27th birthday, bought a house, and moved everything to the new house in about 24 hours. Needless to say, we've been busy.
View of the NYC skyline from the pier where our hotel was in Jersey City.
Jackie and I met Ann Curry on the TODAY Show plaza!
At the Statue of Liberty!
My computer also died during the first part of April and was sent off for the Apple geniuses to tinker with. Turns out the logic board was fried, so they replaced it, the graphics card, the LCD screen, and my bad battery! Finally got it back two weeks later.  Basically, it's a new computer (except for the hard drive, which they said was OK).

We also had a great weekend of Kettle Korn at the Bloomin' Festival in Cullman. 

Kettle Korning in Cullman

Nom nom nom
My semester at UM also wrapped up, and I attended my first graduation as a teacher. I don't think it has sunk in that some of the familiar faces in our building won't be back in the fall. Guess that's just something I'll have to get used to as a teacher...
Me and my Newscast Production class. Great group of students!
Lots has happened with us lately, and I promise to sit and catch up on the blog sometime soon. I just wanted to pop in now to say hello (and alleviate any fears that I may have fallen off the face of the earth).

And I've resolved that I'm not going to apologize for being a bad blogger anymore. I'll blog when I blog, and that's OK. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We're Moving!!!

Well, the cat's out of the bag. (Actually, he's in a box...) We're moving back to Calera! We love our new house! Can't wait to start a new chapter of our lives together!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sitting at the Doc-in-a-Box...

I know it's been a while since I've blogged last, but we've been really busy lately. (I'm sure that opening sentence is the most-written sentence in the blogosphere...) However, that seems to have caught up with Jackie, who has been sick all week. Now I'm sitting at Chelsea Urgent Care with her as she waits to see the doctor. Since I played all of my turns on Words with Friends, I thought this would be a good way to pass the time while I concentrate on shallow breathing (so I won't breath in the germs).

Work has been going well. Classes are in full swing, and we are doing a lot of exciting things in Mass Comm. We've gotten a fresh coat of paint in the studio, moved the news set, moved the green screen, and we've also gotten some new high-tech toys! I've also started out departmental Facebook page. So be sure to like the University of Montevallo Department of Communication! Also, things are going well with the text book I helped write, and it should be available this summer!

On a related note, my own school work has been going extremely well. I passed my PhD comps last week! So now it's on to the dissertation. I hope to graduate by the end of 2012, and I'm on track to do it! Finally, I'll be Dr. Finklea! The comps were one of the hardest things I've ever done academically. The questions were tough, and I did't feel great about my answers. When I went in for my defense, I was so nervous! But all of my committee members really liked my answers. We talked for about an hour, and then I had to step out into the hallway while the voted on whether to pass me. I was feeling pretty good about it at that point, but I was still nervous. When they called me back in, my chair told me I passed. I was SO relieved! All the stress that I'd been carrying around for months was lifted off my shoulders. I am so thankful for such great friends and family that lifted me up in prayer through the entire process. I could feel the Lord with me during the defense. Thanks again to everyone for praying for me!

In other news, Jackie and I are gearing up for our week-long trip to NYC for the NBS convention, which is only about a month away! We are really excited! Neither of us has ever been to the Big Apple, so it will certainly be an adventure! I wish we were also going to Vegas, but I didn't a paper to submit to BEA this year. Maybe next year...

Well, I guess that's about it for now. I'm still waiting for Jackie to come out from the exam room. She must be bored back there because she just sent me a text. Talk to y'all soon... or in a month or so. :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Breaking News about Friday the 13th!

According to Fox 6, "Friday the 13th usually falls on a Friday."

Good to know.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello 20-Dozen!

Wow, I can't believe that 2012 is already here! Seems like just yesterday we were worried about the year 2000 and Y2K computer crash...

Of course, now we're a dozen years later, and many folks are freaking out about the Mayan calendar ending. I guess some things never change...

One of the other things that doesn't seem to change is my weight. One brief year ago, I started this blog to track my progress as I set out to lose weight. And over the course of the last 12 months, not much changed. Sure, we joined the gym (and sometimes hated it), tried Zumba, ran jogged the Rumpshaker 5K, tried the 6-Week Body Makeover...and ultimately, I'm still the same weight that I was twelve months ago. So much for 2011 being a year of physical transformation, huh?

Of course, I guess I should be grateful. At least my weight is the same as it was a year ago, and it didn't go up!

That said, Jackie and I are starting over. Hello 20-Dozen! I'm Bruce Finklea, and we're going to have a great time during the next 12 months!

On the weight loss front, we're going to go back to Weight Watchers, and we've already gone back to the gym. We both want to get in better shape before we start thinking about Finkleas: The Next Generation. So 2012 is the year that we're going to be getting ourselves ready to become parents.

Also, 2012 is the year that I will become a doctor! I've got my PhD comps coming up at the end of the month, and then it's on to the dissertation (which I'm really excited about!).

We also hope that 20-Dozen will be the year that we buy our own home. We're really excited (and nervous) about the thought of becoming homeowners. We've prayed a lot about it, and we feel like the Lord has prepared us to make this step. We just pray that the home-buying process goes smoothly.

As always, I'll try to keep y'all updated on everything.

I hope all of you have a prosperous New Year! And if all goes well, my post to usher in 20-Baker's-Dozen will be filled with many happy memories!