Monday, April 27, 2015

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things - A Few Updates

Between trying to make time for the gym, the kitchen remodel, two back-to-back trips, last minute vacation changes, work, puppy class with Pippa, feeling sick, and everything else going on, April has been a fairly crazy month!

I've somehow managed to stay sane just taking everything one day at a time (or one hour at a time). Surprisingly, I haven't gotten too overwhelmed, which is somewhat uncharacteristic for me when dealing with stress. :-) I will be happy to see May arrive, because our weekends look free and I can get back into the swing of things.

During the kitchen remodel, we got in the habit of eating out most meals. Once the appliances were hooked back up and we were free to use the kitchen, I thought I would be motivated to cook, but I wasn't. I finally had time to sit down yesterday and look through recipes and plan out some meals. I made a big, much-needed grocery store trip. I definitely feel more motivated now that I have a fully stocked kitchen and some dinner ideas up my sleeve!

I definitely am planning to be more mindful of cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other house chores. I've let these things fall to the wayside a bit during these crazy weeks. No more excuses! :-)

I'm excited for things to hopefully settle down here soon. I think (and hope) we're wrapping up all major house projects for the year. I have a ton of blog posts to write, so you should be seeing more frequent updates.

Our house is looking very Spring-y. The azaleas look great....for now. Unfortunately those blooms never last very long.

While I love this season, I'm ready for some hotter days.

Check back in soon for our completed kitchen remodel pictures!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy Birthday to Brian!

Today is one of the best days ever because it was the day Brian was born!!!!

We've made a lot of memories over the last 6 years. I'm going to try my best to come up with thirty three.

1. Do you remember that time you came to the Mill Creek Invitational with some blonde chick and I was part of the wait staff that served you and your date dinner? You may not have ever known this, but I was so nervous/embarrassed, especially when I had to bus the tables in front of you!

2. Our first Facebook message:

3. After our first date, you were leaving that morning for Mustang Week at Myrtle Beach and I definitely invited myself to come along on the trip.

4. Our first trip to the mountains. Walking around that one-stoplight town.

5. ZMax Dragway for your 28th birthday.

6. Charlotte (on my 23rd birthday) and we stayed at Dave Jewell's house. You, Ben, and Dave came home with girls from the bar at 2am and were being SO LOUD while I was trying to sleep. I was not a happy camper! :)

7. Lots of movie nights in the condo, back when we used to share a couch.

8. Superbowl parties with Left Right Center halftime games.

9. Epic July 4th weekend, minus the part when you said "I love my cars more than I love you," and I drunk cried for an hour.

10. PBR towers at O'Malleys.

11. When Ben lived with you for a couple years and we cooked dinner every week night in the tiny condo kitchen.

12. When you gave Robin from next door your old TV and he dropped it on his foot!!!

13. Picking out our first puppy. You picked Otis and I was so mad at you because I didn't get my way.

14. Sharky's back when it was cigarette smoke, our favorite bartenders, and the regulars.

15. Our one year of dating anniversary at Sullivan's. I thought it was such a huge milestone!

16. Going to Charleston and eating at Moe's Southwest Grill.

17. Your MC Chris phase.

18. Bar golf in downtown Raleigh for your birthday.

19. When I went three years without realizing we were sleeping on a futon.

20. Eating at Denny's after we got married.

21. Walking into our empty house for the first time and finally agreeing!!!

22-27. Our first trip to Annapolis. Your parents took us to their favorite Italian spot. Coffee at 49 West. Beers at Ram's Head. Drinks at Heroes. Ice cream at Storm Brothers. I was ready to pack up and move right then!

28. When we went to Victory Baptist, that tiny, one-room church, and I made us late and you refused to go inside.

29. All the car shows.

30. Loggerhead's in Wilmington after the Avett Brother's concert.

31. Las Vegas and the Wizard of Oz slot. George's reaction when he'd land on Glenda the Good Witch.

32. When you won me a goldfish at the State Fair and made us stop at Wal-Mart at midnight to buy a tank.

33. When I was 22 and you were 27, and we blinked and it was 6 years later.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Florida Keys - April 2015

I'm sitting outside tonight with a very different view.

While I definitely miss the ocean, I'm glad to be home and reunited with our dogs!

This trip turned out quite different from what we had in mind back in February. Unfortunately, at the last minute, our friend Brandon had to back out of going due to work obligations. We were definitely bummed. Brandon is one of our best friends and he definitely brings the party with him wherever he goes.

Once Brandon wasn't coming, we changed up our agenda and decided not to do Key West. We stayed in Marathon and spent most of our time relaxing around the house, interspersed with a few fun activities.

We took a boat to Pigeon Key Island and learned all about the island's history. We also went kayaking and visited the new aquarium. Most mornings I laid out by the ocean and read my new book, "Maude," which was SO DARN GOOD I couldn't put it down. I also discovered my new favorite beach bar, Burdine's. The food and atmosphere were perfect!

So while this wasn't exactly the Florida Keys vacation I had originally envisioned, it turned out to be rather enjoyable. Once I have more time, I need to update my FL Keys vacation guide. We've done so many fun things over the years!

Here's a few pics from this trip:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Finished the New Testament!

When we were in college, my best friend Meg gave me a Bible.

She's not very religious (or maybe not religious at all...I'll have to ask her next time I see her), but she had bought a cute black and pink Bible at Barnes & Noble. A few weeks later, she handed it to me and said "Here you go. You can have this. I tried to read it, but it's really boring."

LOL! I love Meg's honesty.

Even though I had been a Christian since I was a little girl, I didn't actually have a Bible of my own at the time, and it wasn't until last July that I picked up that Bible and started reading it every morning.

Slowly but surely, morning by morning, I finally finished the entire New Testament!

I was really proud of myself when I got to the end. It may have taken nine months, but I wasn't on any timeline, so I didn't care.

And of course, there were lots of mornings when I couldn't bring myself to read the New Testament. My love for Ecclesiastes is just too strong, so that's where I usually gravitate.

My favorite New Testament verse has always been the verse about "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain 'move' and it will move....", but I did find a new verse that I don't think I had ever seen until just recently:

"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." John 21:25

That verse is the very last sentence of John. It's pretty great, in my opinion. :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Foyer Light

Remember when I said 2015 will be my year?!

Well, we're off to a good start.

Duke National Champions, baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We went with a friend to watch the game at Lynwood Grill and the bar was packed. There's so much energy and enthusiasm for college basketball here in the Triangle - I love it! Brian and I have watched Duke every step of the way leading up to that moment, so it was really special watching them win the title.

In other news, the kitchen remodel is almost complete! The bar will be installed this week and I'll take some pictures of the finished product. I'm so happy with the changes we've made and I think it will look really great when it's done.

Brian and I have had our eye on a new light for our foyer for the past two years. This specific light was on our Amazon wishlist and we finally broke down and ordered it a few weeks ago (it came from Ballard Designs, since it's no longer available on Amazon).

Brian did the installation on Good Friday, since he had the day off work.

This was the light we used to have in the foyer:

I actually liked the old one too, but I think the new one is a little more unique.