Monday, February 23, 2009

Count Down.

194 DAYS, 5 HOURS and 2 MINUTES.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Counting Down.

198 DAYS, 20 HOURS and 54 MINUTES.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentines Day Weekend

On Saturday I took Paula to the Satilla River for our first canoe trip together. We spent a few hours on the river, covered about 2 miles and had a picnic consisting of peanut butter and honey sandwiches on homemade bread, carrot sticks, bananas and Oreos.

Cypress Swamp/The Satilla River

On our trip back to Brunswick we stopped at a sketchy little place called Club Ponderosa on Burnt Fort Rd. (As far as we could tell, there is no actual "burnt fort"). The clerk at the counter told me that they were setting up for a Valens-tine day party...
Anyway, this sign was out front.

Club Ponderosa
White Oak, Georgia

Later that night (after showering and cleaning up) we went to our favorite Thai restaurant (Tuptim Thai on US Route 341) in Brunswick for a romantic candlelight dinner where we exchanged the traditional flowers, balloons, cards, chocolates and so on...


Eliot VanOtteren

Monday, February 9, 2009

What we've been up to.

As you can tell by the fact that we've fallen off the face of the earth the past few months, we've been really busy.
But, busy is a good thing at this point! We're working hard to make plans not only for the wedding, but what we're going to be doing afterwards.
And, so far we know that we're moving to Brunswick after we both finish school this summer. (And we're going to look at apartments next weekend!!) Pretty exciting!
We'll also have some engagement pictures soon, hopefully!

Less than seven months now.. we're getting closer!

Paula Faulkenberry

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Return To The Count Down.

208 DAYS, 6 HOURS and 2 MINUTES.


Keep your eyes peeled for up and coming updates...

Eliot VanOtteren & Paula Faulkenberry

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We finally decided!

Take a look at the "Wedding Details" section in the right column for updated wedding info...

Eliot VanOtteren

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Counting Down.

338 DAYS, 2 HOURS and 20 MINUTES.

UGA Wesley

Check out for a look into Paula's life as a Wesley Foundation Intern.

Eliot VanOtteren

Monday, September 29, 2008

Keeping Up With the Times

So, there has been way too much going on to just write one post. But I'll start here anyway. We are absolutely loving being only an hour apart. Last weekend we got to go to Wesley's staff prom. It was awesome. Anywhere that plays the Electric Slide is already awesome, then add in Olive Garden and some of the best people ever, and there you go. We had a great time. The following day, we went to Memorial Park and let my pet turtle, James, go back into the wild. Eliot caught him for me about a year ago when he was tiny, and now he's at least three times as big. So, although it's sad, it's for the best that he has a lake now instead of a 10-gallon tank.

Then, last Thursday we met in Athens and left for South Carolina. The trip itself was quite an adventure. We stopped at a gas station that was overrun by cars. We stopped and interviewed the people there for Eliot's photojournalism class. You should see this-- it's pretty awesome. (You can see it on his blog here

Friday morning we got to see Zach's (Eliot's brother) graduation from Marine bootcamp. It was great to be there, and we are all extremely proud of him. There should be some pictures of the ceremony on Eliot's blog soon.
It was a great weekend.


PS-- Some exciting news coming up in the next post... Get ready!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Athens/709 Cherokee Ave SE/SCADATL

I arrived in Athens on Friday afternoon of this past week. That night Paula and I made homemade spaghetti sauce and she made a strawberry cheesecake, from scratch! For Saturday lunch she took me out for Sushi, and that night we grilled out. I did the burgers while she made the french fries (not the frozen soggy sort, but whole potatoes fried in a pot of grease type of fries). She spent a large portion of the evening cooking several meals (chicken and rice, tortellini with chicken and fried veggies, leftover spaghetti and cheesecake, and a few extra burgers from the cookout) to tide me over during my first week of classes in Atlanta. On Sunday morning I made french toast and scrambled eggs. Sunday night was Five Guys Burgers.

We have been eating like royalty.

On Sunday evening Paula and I drove to Atlanta. I have since gained a new house, and three new roommates, or rather... they have gained me. The new place is directly across from Grant Park on Cherokee Ave SE. It is a great area. The park is awesome, and there is a zoo right across the street!

I misread my schedule and missed my first math class this morning... not a great start. But, I am going to hit the ground running at for 1 o'clock speech class.

More updates to come...

Eliot VanOtteren

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Neglect: For our readers

Many of you may have been wondering... what happened to Eliot and Paula? Did they die? Are they still engaged? Has Facebook taken over? May it never be so...

I would like to take a minute to explain our lack of web presence as of late.

As many of you know, Paula started school and a full-time internship early last month, I had surgery, spent 10 days in Mexico, and have been frantically packing for my coming quarter in Atlanta (coming quite soon I might add). We have both been job searching and up until recently it had been almost a month since we had seen each other, oh how we miss the summer. So as you can imagine, any free time either of us have had has been dedicated to each other... by way of cell phone unfortunately (we are both well versed in long term relating).

So in short... we are glad to be back online.

I posted two recent photos from our first attempt at engagement photos. There will be more to come, and next time we will actually have a photographer rather than just a tripod and a timer.

Keep your eyes peeled.

Wedding plans are coming along smoothly... you will hear much more of that in the days to come.

Eliot VanOtteren

Engagement Pictures.

The Avenue of Oaks, St. Simons Island, GA.
Sunday, August 31, 2008.

Counting Down.

360 Days.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

An Update on Life

We picked a reception place! It's on St Simons, right by the ocean, and it's going to be beautiful! As for other things.. the search for the dress continues, and all other aspects are still a long list of options! That makes it fun though, we can pick out one thing at a time.
As for us,
Eliot's in Mexico right now with his friend Jimmie. They'll be there all this week. Hopefully we can put up some pictures soon of where they went, it sounds like it's awesome. Luckily, everyone from home made it through this past week without getting hit by a hurricane. And me, I'm still up in Athens. School and Wesley both started this past week, so my life is a type of busy I've never known before. I love it though. We had over a thousand people come to Wesley's first service last week, it was amazing! I am so excited to see how that all progresses this year. I also started a job working at a nursery on Sunday mornings. Today was my first day.
That's about all I have for now, but life is good, and going by fast! We are still counting down, and getting more excited about what is coming up!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Counting Down.

1 YEAR, 0 MONTHS, and 22 DAYS.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Counting Down.

1 YEAR, 0 MONTHS and 24 DAYS.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Counting Down.

1 YEAR, 0 MONTHS and 26 DAYS.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Eliot had surgery at 6 this morning for a herniated disk in his back. It went really well, according to the surgeon, and Eliot can already tell a difference. It will take a couple of days for the pain from the surgery itself to go away before we can really see the biggest change. This has been a long process, as you can see from the past two weeks of postings. But, thanks so much to all of you who have been encouraging and praying for him through all this. We'll keep you updated with the progress!

We found out on Wednesday afternoon when Eliot's surgery was going to be early Friday morning, so I packed on Wednesday night and left after Wesley training on Thursday.
The trip down was kind of an adventure in itself. There was a system of severe thunderstorms going South towards Athens, a severe storm going through Middle Georgia, and then another severe storm at home. So, I had to leave in a hurry from Athens, to get on the road before the first storm hit, and then try to outrun it. As I was leaving, branches were blowing into the road, and there was a big black wall of clouds behind me. Somehow, I ended up avoiding all three storms (barely!) and got home in time to see Eliot before going home.

Got up at 3:30am and got ready to go. Eliot, his mom, and I left for Savannah at about 4:30. We got to the surgery center at around 6, and he went into surgery preparation from there. Like I mentioned before, the surgery went really well!
After staying for couple more hours, we were released but told to stay the night somewhere in Savannah. So, we've been camping out in a nearby hotel for the rest of the day. Eliot is supposed to try to get up and walk a little every two hours, so we've made several trips up and down the hall. The three of us had an awesome take-out dinner from Olive Garden, and have been watching the Olympics since. Also, we've had a couple visitors from SCAD during the day, and many phone calls checking in.

It's been a long day, and now we're all ready to get some sleep.
More updates soon!

Fishing at Epworth this summer

The following videos are here to document our first fishing trip of the summer, and second fishing trip ever. By the end of that day, we caught 9 sharks between the two of us. Since then, we have gone fishing several more times, and I have become much more willing to actually touch the bait myself.

To see more videos of Eliot and I fishing click here.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Counting Down & Updates.

1 Year, 0 Months and 28 Days.

Paula is coming home tonight.

I am having surgery in the morning.

We are hopefully going to look at a reception site on Saturday.

I'm sure I will have more to say about all of these events after they happen. It's been a little dry around here lately as I am coming up on having been in bed for 2 and half weeks. I have been so happy to have Paula's company via the telephone over the past several days that she has been gone. We are readjusting to long term relating, and man are we looking forward to that day...

-Eliot VanOtteren

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Counting Down.

1 YEAR, 1 MONTH and 0 DAYS.

395 DAYS
9503 HOURS
570222 MINUTES

34213332 SECONDS

Monday, August 4, 2008

Counting Down.

1 YEAR, 1 MONTH and 1 DAYS.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Counting Down.

1 YEAR, 1 MONTH and 2 DAYS.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

And one more thing...

I thought I might add that it is not only our eleven-monthiversary, but also our one week engage-iversary!
In other words, we got engaged a week ago today!



So, as you know.. we have a date now!! It makes everything all the more exciting! Also, I think 09/05/09 has a pretty good ring to it. So, now we have about 13 more months to plan this thing! I'm looking forward to all of them. As of two days ago, I'm back in Athens for my last full school year. I'm graduating early, as some of you know already, due to over-working myself a little too much my freshman and sophomore year and taking AP classes in high school. So, I'll be a college grad as of August of next year. This year, I'm going to be interning at UGA's Wesley Foundation as well as taking classes. We just started training on Friday! This year is probably going to be the most active year of my life so far. But, I am entirely ready to go into it! I can't think of a better way to make the most of my last year in college. Another great thing is, as of September, Eliot will be in school in Atlanta! One hour away is much better than four from Savannah, or five and a half from Brunswick!
So, here's to our last year in college, and everything good that comes with it!


Counting Down.

1 YEAR, 1 MONTH and 3 DAYS.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Eleven-Monthiversary.

Paula and I have been what some call "an item" for 11 months as of right now. This date, Saturday, August 2, 2008 presents somewhat of a dilemma due to the fact that it technically signifies that we have been "dating" for 11 months. But, we are no longer boyfriend and girlfriend (titles which I do not miss) as the word "dating" suggests.

The point is, that Paula and I have been "Paula and I" for exactly 11 months today.

-Eliot VanOtteren

Counting Down.

1 YEAR, 1 MONTH and 4 DAYS.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Aforementioned "Date":

Eliot Glenn VanOtteren has pledged to wed Paula Diane Faulkenberry on the evening of Saturday, September 5, 2009.

Save the date.

-Eliot VanOtteren

Putting it all Together

First of all, I cannot wait to marry Eliot VanOtteren! I am equally proud of him, and am continually and increasingly blessed to have him in my life! I will be the happiest person in the world on that day.


The past few days have been awesome. Like Eliot said, we've gotten into a whole lot of planning. We really have a good idea of what it will look like and be like now! I started looking at dresses a few days ago, and wow.. a few years ago I thought shopping for prom dresses was about as good as shopping got, but that's wasn't even close! It's been so much fun.
On a side note: I wish I could show you all the first wedding dress I ever tried on. That one didn't go so well, I looked like a disco ball on top of a cupcake.... But other than that, it was wonderful and I saw/tried on some really beautiful dresses!
I am so excited to see how everything comes together over the next year!

And speaking of over the next year, I'm currently loading up my car to go back to Athens. I'm starting my internship with Wesley tomorrow. I'm really excited, but also sad to leave. This summer went by so fast. But, again I am so blessed to have someone who will support me in the things I do, even from hundreds of miles away.


A Date.

Will be coming soon...

-Eliot VanOtteren

An Interjection.

I have never been more proud of, nor grateful for any one person; nor have I known a servant's heart like the one I have found in my sweet Paula.

-Eliot VanOtteren

Summer's End.

Our goal, since Saturday, has been to lay out a general budget for our wedding before Paula returns to Athens. I am proud to announce that she is hitting the road tomorrow and not only do we already have a budget, but we have already mutually decided on the church, the reception site, the wedding party and the minister. Not bad for a couple of rookies, right? Now we can just wait it out... until next year, I'm sure all of the details will fall into place. We've got nothing to sweat about.

Everything will be perfect.

-Eliot VanOtteren

Monday, July 28, 2008

The GP: Inception

(photo: Chris Moncus/GP)

This is a picture of us at The Gathering Place on St Simon's Island a week from yesterday, Sunday, July, 20, 2008. At this point I had already bought the ring, it was being re-sized and it was killing me that I couldn't give it to her.

The Gathering Place is a very special place for Paula and I. We met at dinner before GP at a restaurant called Mullet Bay and later that Summer Paula began to invite me to go to Waffle House with her and her friends after GP, which is now a tradition for us. Much of our early relationship revolved around The Gathering Place. Those were exciting times...

-Eliot VanOtteren

Engagement: Day 3.

It is 3:18pm. I woke up about 20 minutes ago, ate some leftover pizza and an ice cream bar, and now here I lay. I had been asleep for 13 hours. I started in on a double dose of nerve pain medicine yesterday, on top of the hydrocodone and muscle relaxers that have already been effecting my psyche. Last night's sleep was somewhat similar to an acid trip... I think.

Mrs. Faulkenberry (who will soon be my Mother-in-Law) took the day off to spend time with her daughter (my fiance) before she returns to Athens for Wesley internship training on Wednesday. The two of them took a road trip to Savannah to go shopping and try on wedding dresses. As an old folk singer once wrote... The times, they are a-changin'...

My mother, Drew and Bekah headed North on the road this morning towards Ohio, the homeland. I am extremely disappointed that Paula and I could not tag along. So, Dad and I are here alone for a week, and I'm still stuck in bed.

This has been a brief summary of the most recent segment of my life. And now, I will return to my drug induced, hallucinatory sleep.

In spite of it all,
the whole thing is still perfect.
I thank God for his perfect timing.

-Eliot VanOtteren

The Proposal: from Paula's perspective

As a little background… as Eliot mentioned, he had hurt his back earlier that week. So, keep in mind he’d been stuck in bed for about 5 days at this point. I’d told him before that if he couldn't sleep to call me back…

So, I get a phone call at about 4:45am Saturday morning. Eliot said he was anxious to get out of his house, and was tired of being stuck inside, and that he couldn’t sleep. (Which I find out later, is all part of the plan…) He wanted me to come get him and go see the sunrise at the beach. After about ten minutes of convincing (and 9 more minutes of sleeping) I got up and went to get him. I had been stuck in bed for a couple weeks earlier this summer, so I could definitely identify with the feeling of needing to get out and just do something. So, at this point, I didn’t expect what was coming next…

When I got there, he came out to the car with a backpack packed. I didn’t think much of it, because the last time we did this, we were lacking a few things.
**Story behind this: Earlier in the year, when I was home for a weekend, Eliot called at about 4 in the morning, and was at this spot on the beach already. He couldn’t sleep and decided to go out there, so he called me and I got up and joined him. It was awesome… so, so pretty out there, and one of my favorite things we had done so far!
AND... to back up a little more, this is the same place on the beach where we were when he asked me to be his girlfriend almost a year ago.
And, it has always been my favorite place on the island.

Anyway, he came out with the backpack full of stuff, and got in the car. When we got there, we laid out a blanket on the boardwalk and watched the sunrise from there. (By the way, it was an awesome sunrise! We’ll have to put more pictures up soon.)
The sun was close to coming up, we stood up, and he asked if I would take a (short) walk with him. So, we got up and walked a few steps down the beach to the same place we were standing when we started dating. He started off by repeating some of the same conversation from that night… then continued, and got down on one knee. It was perfect, I can’t even describe. He asked, I said yes (of course!) and that was it!

Afterwards, we found some people on the beach to take our picture, and of course told all of them what had just happened! We got some Starbucks through the drive-through (and got to yell “We just got engaged!!” in the ordering speaker.) Then we went to Epworth (another significant place) and made some more phone calls. At this point, it was about 7:15 in the morning, so we ended up making a few wake-up calls. But they’ll forgive us, because WE’RE ENGAGED NOW!

It really was perfect.


The Hyphen.

How do you feel about...
Paula Diane Faulkenberry-VanOtteren
-Eliot VanOtteren

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Proposal (Plan C): from Eliot's perspective.

4:00 am: I woke up, gathered a flashlight, my Bible, a Starbucks gift card (donated by Doreen Sigman) my medicine, a blanket and pillow, and the ring. I put all of these items in a backpack, except the ring of course, which went in my back pocket for safe keeping and easy access.

4:45 am: I called Paula. who woke up (barely), answered the phone and offered a rather gruff "Good morning". I asked her if she would be willing to come pick me up and take me somewhere to get out of the house and out of bed, which I had been laying in for 4 days straight (herniated L5S1, don't ask... it sucks). Paula nearly unintelligibly responded with "Really? Can't I just go back to bed for like 10 more minutes?", to which I agreed.

4:59 am: I called her back in 9 minutes and after much coaxing she got out of bed and came to my house. While she was on the way we agreed (I say "agreed", but this was all part of my scheme) to go to Goulds Inlet on St. Simon's Island and watch the sunrise. This would be a nice break from my bed, beautiful scenery, local territory, and a very special place for Paula and I.

5:30 am: Paula arrived at my house. I grabbed the previously prepared backpack, double checked my pocket for the ring, and limped to meet her in the driveway. We kissed, and off we went, Paula was none the wiser.

5:50 am: We arrived at Goulds Inlet, I checked to make sure that the pier was not occupied by early morning fishermen, spread out our blanket and we promptly laid down (at this point my back was fairly ailing). It was a low tide and the water was calm. The sun would not rise until 6:40 am EST.

6:30 am: I asked Paula if she would be willing to take a short walk on the beach with me (emphasis on short). She gladly took my hand and we headed down the beach to where I had asked her if she would be my girlfriend (nearly 11 months ago). We stopped, I hesitated for a moment, took both her hands in mine and gave a speech about commitment, love, TITLES, etc...

6:45 am: I then swiftly took to one knee, pulled the box out of my back pocket and opened it to reveal the ring. Looking up, I said to a then drop-jawed girlfriend, " Paula Faulkenberry, would you do me the great honor of being my wife... will you marry me?" Obviously, she said yes, and the rest is history.


-Eliot VanOtteren

Oh yeah... the sunrise was awesome as well. Scroll down for pictures!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We're Engaged!

Paula Diane Faulkenberry was engaged to Eliot Glenn VanOtteren on July 26, 2008 at 6:45 am at Gould's Inlet on East Beach, St Simons Island.

The lovely ring.

-Eliot VanOtteren