Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall is Here

It's been forever and a day since I last blogged.

It feels like I have a lot going on in my life, but at the same time it feels like I have nothing going on in my life.

That's my deep, philosophical thought for the day.

We have a carport project currently underway. I'll post plenty of before and after pictures once it is completed, but here's an idea of what Brian has done so far.

We've cut down 10 of the 50,000 trees in our yard...

Remember the parking pad last year when we first moved in?

Here it is again at the height of pollen season...

Here it is after significant tree removal... You can finally see a glimmer of sunlight....

 Here's where we are as of today...

I wish I had more to share, but my creative energy just hasn't been flowing recently.

Also, there's a bulldog growling at me from under the table.

I think someone is ready for dinner.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Women on Target

I'm finally getting back into the groove of things after a busy few days.

Brian and I had a wonderful trip to the Outerbanks. We mostly relaxed at the house and spent time with friends and family. We completed a 1,000 piece puzzle, which occupied quite a bit of our time! Otis got to play in the ocean. Brian and I kayaked at sunset. It was a nice escape from reality.

Walking Otis to the beach 


I think Otis is still recovering. He's been asleep for the past four days. 

It seems like we've been going non-stop ever since we got home! Brian is working on building a carport, so that project is now underway. On Sunday, I took an NRA first steps pistol course "Women on Target" at Wake County Firearms Training Center. It was my first time shooting and going to a range.

It was a great experience! 

I'm sure I could have gone to the range with Brian and he would have taught me everything, but I think it was better to have the in-depth course with female instructors. I don't think Brian would have been very patient with me. :-)

I definitely feel a lot more comfortable with guns now. I had ZERO knowledge prior to this course. Beforehand, if we ever had an intruder in our house, I would never have even considered self-defense. 

The class also helped get rid of my extreme fear of guns. Our instructor equated firearms to automobiles - it's good to have a healthy fear, since both have the potential to be deadly weapons. It all depends on being safe and responsible. :-)

We shot at about 20 yards. I shot a .22 caliber and a 9mm semi-automatic.

I think I need more practice!

Friday, September 6, 2013

OBX Get Ready

Tomorrow I head to the Outerbanks with the crew.

10 years strong!

You can read about  past trips...
Here and Here

This year Otis is coming with me. Last night, I asked him if he was ready for the beach....

"I've never been more ready."

Once we get there, I'll be turning off my phone. I also won't be blogging. I'll be sure to tell you all about my trip once I get back!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

101 in 1001

Hi Folks,

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the blog Em for Marvelous. (I actually got to meet the blogger last Friday night at a party, but that's another blog post for another day!) On her blog, Emily shared her list of 101 things to do in 1001 days.

Come to find out, it's actually a pretty common theme in the blogging world. Just Google "101 in 1001."

I like the idea so much that I have made a list of my very own.

So here goes nothin'....

Start Date: September 5, 2013
End Date: June 2, 2016
Goals Complete: 35/101
Last Updated: September 8, 2015
1.       Have hardwood floors professionally cleaned/waxed or do it myself  (2015, purchased steamer)
2.       Have windows professionally cleaned (9/18/14)
3.       Acquire all of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks (Ina Garten), The Art of French Cooking (Julia Child), “How to Eat” and “How to Be a Domestic Godess” (Nigella Lawson)
4.       Make at least one recipe from each cookbook mentioned above
5.       Hang wall maps with pins for each travel destination – 3 maps total (NC, US, World)
6.       Make buttermilk biscuits from scratch
7.       Organize my iPhotos
8.       Organize/decorate the back bedroom  (11/3/2013)
9.       Paint the rock at our driveway entrance (5/4/13 - ordered an address sign instead of paint)
10.   Get a bar or some piece of furniture for living room (bar completed April 2015)
11.   Re-organize my closet (August 2014)
12.   Add a light to my closet
13.   Add ceiling fans to all bedrooms (10/30/2013)
14.   Buy a Longhorn Steer head mount for over the mantle (12/14/2013)
15.   Make homemade ice cream (5/31/14)
16.   Buy a Christmas tree
17.   Try 5 new cake recipes (2/5)

Friends & Family
18.   Host a wine and cheese party
19.   Make a new friend
20.   Re-ignite the book club  (1/26/14)
21.   Have a dinner party  (1/10/14)
22.   Join Wake County Republican Women’s Club and attend an event
23.   Have a “sister day” (6/7/14)
24.   Have lunch or dinner with my Grandma
25.   Meet a new neighbor  (block party on 11/15/14)
26.   Send a fun, unexpected package to a friend (2/14/15)
27.   Send ten cards to people for reasons other than birthday or holiday
28.   Participate in a Bible Study

29.   Go on a Segway tour of Raleigh
30.   Attempt stand up paddle boarding  (3/3/14)
31.   Take a flight lesson  (7/19/14)
32.   Ride in a helicopter (3/2/14)
33.   Kayak with Otis
34.   Spend a day on Haw River
35.   Stand on Chimney Rock
36.   Visit a winery I’ve never been to
37.   Visit a brewery I’ve never been to
38.   Visit three small towns in NC that I’ve never been to (1/3 - Morganton)
39.   Complete a 1,000 piece puzzle (I’ve got my eyes on this one)  (9/9/2013)
40.   Go skiing  (2/13/15)
41.   Play 9 holes of golf (6/10/14)
42.   Go to an amusement park (10/4/2014)
43.   Go apple picking
44.   Walk around Elon’s campus and pay a visit to M202, C203, and Magnolia Court
45.   Go to a food truck rodeo  (9/6/15)
46.   Eat at an Ashley Christensen restaurant
47.   See Alison Krauss in concert
48.   Go to the zoo (6/7/14)
49.   Do an all day Fury adventure in Key West
50.   Have ice cream at Maple View Farm
51.   Attempt snowboarding
52.   Take an off-season trip to Topsail with Otis
53.   Get a mani/pedi  (7/3/14)
54.   Go to a fashion show

55.   Learn to shoot a gun  (9/15/2013)
56.   Learn to shag dance
57.   Go to three museums (1/3)
58.   Learn to French braid my hair
59.   Purchase DSLR camera
60.   Learn how to photograph in manual mode (“Shoot Fly Shoot”)

Read & Write
61.   Re-read The Power of a Praying Wife (30 consecutive days)
62.   Read 3 professional development books (1/3)
63.   Read 3 marriage/relationship books (3/3 completed August 2014)
64.   Read 3 fashion-related books (1/3)
65.   Re-read Life of Pi, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, and She’s Come Undone
66.   Read the entire Bible
67.   Read a religious text other than the Bible (the Koran or Book of Mormon)
68.   Write in a journal once/month for 12 consecutive months
69.   Submit an essay to Southern Living
70.   Write 10 positive Google reviews (6/10)
71.   Label all of my blog posts
72.   Leave a comment on 10 different blogs I regularly read (4/10)
73.   Update my resume  (10/31/2013)

74.   Sponsor a child from HFHC for one year
75.   Donate my prom dress  (4/4/14)
76.   Volunteer my time for an elderly person
77.   Buy a Christmas gift for someone who doesn't expect it
78.   Babysit for a couple so that they can go on a date
79.   Buy my Grandma a really nice birthday gift (12/11/2013)
80.   Take 25 things in my house to Goodwill (preferably clothes) (11/3/2013)
81.   Donate blood
82.   Participate in five MS fundraising events (2/5)
83.   Buy the order for the person behind me in the drive-thru  (11/19/2013)

84.   Start contributing to a Roth IRA
85.   Put $25 into savings each time I complete something on this list

86.  Go on a spontaneous weekend getaway
87.   Plan and execute this year’s Christmas gift  (12/23/2013)
88.   Couples Spa at the Grove Park Inn
89.   Have a steak throwdown 
90.   Go on a progressive dinner date
91.   Find a church we both like in Raleigh
92.   Write Brian a new list of “10 thing I Love About You” with no repeats from my first list (March 2015)

Health & Fitness
93.   Complete P90X
94.   Run a 10K
95.   Do one pull-up
96.   Go to the dentist  (11/26/2013)
97.   Try a fitness class I’ve never done (6/2/14)

98.   Meet the Pioneer Woman
99.   Visit the Hamptons
100.  Visit another country
101. Write a book

So when I have no plans for the upcoming weekend, I now have 101 ideas. No excuse for ever saying "I'm bored."

If you make a list, I would love to see it. Please share.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Best Childhood Movies

These are a few of the most memorable movies from my childhood:

Does anyone else remember these?!
I definitely need to find these on DVD in case I ever have kids. I don't want them to miss out.

What are the most memorable movies from your childhood?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Otis' Big Swimming Debut

About a week ago, I saw that there was a Photobucket virus covering my entire website.

I initially thought it was due to copyright infringement because I had recently stolen a photo from Google image.

Turns out it wasn't.

I deleted that blog post with the stolen photo, but the virus was still there.

So I went to the Photobucket website to get help. I discovered that if you have more than 2,000 hits to your blog in one month, you must pay to upgrade your Photobucket account.

2,000 hits in one month! Wow. I wasn't even mad about the virus anymore or mad that I would need to pay for an upgrade. I was just impressed that my blog was so darn popular!

Turns out it isn't.

About an hour later, I got an e-mail from my blog designer at The Cutest Blog on the Block. She informed me that her account had been hacked, which subsequently caused a virus on all the blogs she had ever created.

So that was that.

In other news, we took Otis to a swim lesson at Lap it Up in Durham yesterday. It was a lot of fun!

Due to his awkward body shape and his BMI, we had a tough time finding the right life jacket.

In the end, it took him wearing two life jackets in order to successfully stay afloat.

All photos courtesy of Lap It Up