Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guess what??

I'm going to Florida!!


With Kristine!!

We were walking in the gardens yesterday, and she mentioned that she reallyreallyreally wanted to go to the beach. Well, I really really want to go the beach too. And so I said... Let's go! And from there it was a lot of What? and Really? and Are you serious? and OMG OKAY!!

So we came home and started planning. And we found this great little condo for SO CHEAP - hopefully the lady has called us back, because there was an issue with the cleaning ladies or something? So if we don't get that one - I guess we'll just head down and find a hotel once we get there. Won't be as cheap, which is sad, but oh well...

So we're going!! Yay yay yay!


Looking forward to playing in the sand this afternoon!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good morning, blog world!

And Happy Monday to all of you!

After an excellent work-weekend (love it when those happen! Two good days in a row - who would have thought??), this week is shaping up to be a good one too! Good things happen in the spring, I'm telling you.

My friend Kristine is coming to visit me today!

Us, at my rehearsal dinner

We met on the first day of college, in the dorms - she was my next-door neighbor on my freshman hall. We became very close very fast, and she was my best friend all the way through college. We've sort of grown apart in the last several years - not intentionally, but just through life in general. She's a 3rd year law student (yay her!) in Georgia, and I'm ... well, I'm here, with Mark. She was a main part of our "friend group" in college though, and Mark was always really close to her too. I'm so excited to see her! It's been such a long time since we've actually gotten to hang out and be in the same place for more than like an hour. It should be a fun week :)

I'm possibly working extra on Friday, then my normal weekend, then off to Nashville to visit Elissa's crew! So excited about that too...

I have the best people in my life, honestly. The older I get, the more I realize how powerful and valuable love and friendship are. I am so thankful for my friends and family. I am blessed beyond measure.

Oh, and HP update: just a couple chapters left in the Sorcerer's Stone, and then onto the Chamber of Secrets!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Delving into the Magical World of Harry Potter...

... for like, the 4th time. (Or so.)

Yep, you read right. I may or may not be bordering on obsession.

I've read the entire series through at least 3 times. I can't tell you how many times I've read each individual book. At this point I honestly don't really remember. I just know that I love it. Oh, how I love it. The first book was released in the US in 1998. I read it in 1999, when I was a freshman in high school. And I've grown up with Harry and Ron and Hermoine et. al. ever since. It is a deep, deep passionate love affair. At 25, I embrace my love affair with Harry Potter. I am not embarrassed. I am proud. I want to read the books again.

And so, if you're wondering where I am for the next several weeks...


...I'll be hanging out with them.

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

Once again, from the lovely lauren at the little things we do!

1. The best piece of advice I was ever given was
when my college minister told mr to tell Mark that I liked him, or get over him, because I was making myself miserable. I sort of owe my marriage to her, in a way... Thanks Fish!

2. If I had a million dollars to give to one charity I would give it to The Lyme Disease Association. Lyme Disease nearly killed my best friend, and it is a highly controvesial and inflammatory issue in the US right now. It also happens to be the fastest-growing infectious disease in the country. It is not so easily cured as you might think. It is scary. It can be life-threatening, it can be permanently debilitating. What's scariest is that the powers that be do not recognize any of these things as fact... *steps off soapbox*.

3. If I got to choose my "last meal" it would be pan-seared ahi tuna on a bed of salad greens with wasabi-vinegarette dressing, and freshly made creme brulee for dessert .

4. My hair is red! I like it. It's different. But it doesn't always like to behave....

5. If at first you don't succeed you are not a failure. Take a minute, breathe, and try it again .

6. I have always been very passionate and excitable. I'm loud. i giggle and squeal and make noises and funny faces. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. And I've only started to be okay with that in recent years.

7. Oh....and by the way.... I think that friends are a gift from God. As is laughter. And possibly ice cream... and I am thankful for all of them, and having people in my life who love me :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Birthday Recap

Today is Elissa's last day here with me :( So sad.

(We've already planned a Nashville trip for me and a visit to Chattanooga for both of us, though... We like to plot. We're like Lucy and Ethel. Or Lucy and Lucy, as Lissa's boyfriend likes to say...)


My birthday (days) in pictures!!

March 23rd: I turned 25!

We went to lunch with Andy and Suzie at Surin West - SO yummy! Here's me and Mark outside the restaurant after lunch

Mark had to go back to the library and do some reading/work, and we all headed home to eat cake. Yummy! It was a strawberry cake with cream cheese icing. (I changed shirts, because it was hot.)

Looking cheesy...

We finally got patio chairs! Now we can eat outside!

Andy and Suzie

Me and my BFF :)

Then Lissa and I headed into downtown Homewood to wander and look around. She might kill me for posting this picture, but I don't care :)

One of the places we went was Penzy's - an AMAZING spice store. If you have one in your area, you should totally check it out. I got some curry powder, some spice du provence, and some AMAZING cocoa powder. Like, God might serve it in heaven. Or make things with it. Or something. Next on my list to get there: extracts! Double strength vanilla (I DIE), almond, orange, lemon, oh my yummy goodness...

And then, that night (curses to me for not making pictures - do you guys ever do that? Not make pictures, because you're too busy actually DOING whatever you're doing to get your camera, then totally, totally regret it later?)... Matthew (Lissa's boyfriend) came over and we ate dinner together. Lissa and I made yummy pasta - we dubbed it April's Birthday Pasta, per Matthew's request for a name. It was angel hair pasta, asparagus, mushrooms, grilled chicken, and sundried tomatoes in a white wine cream sauce (complete with garlic and my new spice du provence!)

We ate outside. By candlelight. On my gorgeous patio table. With Frank Sinatra playing in the background. It seemed like something out of a movie. It was perfect.


Anyway, nothing I can do about it now, so moving on.

My birthday presents from Mark came a day late. TOTALLY worth the wait. A pretty, breezy, precious sundress from J. Crew - quintessential summer!

And a close-up of the lovely fabric. I love it! It's so pretty!

And - I finally have some cute black flip-flops! (That actually go with the dress quite well.) Aren't they cute? Thank you, dear husband, for feeding my new J. Crew addiction :)

Our plan was to go see Alice in Wonderland in 3D. That kind of didn't happen... because we shopped all day long!!

(I think I might be able to get away with posting this picture because it's worse of me than of Lissa.... squinty squinty!)

I totally said "Screw you!" to winter and wore a sweet cotton-knit sundress. And it was perfect. Perfect sun, perfect weather, perfect company :)

I bought another one of those favorite-ever bras from VS. And some jewelry from Charming Charlie's, which may or may not become my new cheap jewelry obsession... And then we went on an intense search to find Elissa a spring dress to wear on her date with the boy.

After much searching, we finally found one (PERFECT - white seersucker, looked amazing on her) only to realize that there was a tear in the seam. The nice lady (rather talkative with a rather annoying voice, but hey, if she's helpful...) gave Lissa a discount on the cute sweater she found to wear with it, and found another store close-by which had 2 of those same dresses in her size.

So I headed home to eat, and Lissa ran out and picked the other dress up.

She got home, and it wouldn't zip. Absolutely. would. not. zip. The same dress in the same size at the other store fit PERFECTLY and zipped with no problem. The new dress was mislabeled. And Matthew was on his way. Elissa had NO other appropriate clothes...

So, in a frantic scurry, I called Matthew and told him that we were having a wardrobe crisis, that Lissa had to leave and fix it and she would be back. She dashed out the door, and was leaving as Matthew pulled in. He is a good sport (I think he thinks we're funny) and she came back a little later in her cute pretty new dress (this one fit - thank GOD they had another) and looked adorable! Crisis averted!

Aren't they cute?

My friend is so pretty!

Yay for friends!

So today, I'm not sure what we'll do. I want to go to Cantina since we didn't get to go on Monday night, and I'm sad that Lissa has to leave :( But what a good birthday it has been! And, to make it even better, next week my best friend from college, Kristine, is coming to visit! Happy day! I love my friends :)

(And my sweet, sweet hubby who I get to see all the time. So glad at least he's not far away from me!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!!

That's right, blog world - I'm 25 today! Happy happy! (Or sad? Cause I'm getting older? Faster than I thought it would feel like? I've been an "adult" - out of school and with a real job - for nearly 3 years now. Crazy!)

In other news, Elissa arrived last night about the time Mark got home from class. We made chicken enchiladas (that were more cream cheese and whipping cream than enchilada - really the only reason they're called that is that they're baked and they're rolled up in tortillas. And with cheese on top. So, so bad.) We ate really late. We made yummy mojitos. Elissa and I watched Julie & Julia (one of my very favorite movies - LOVE Meryl Streep!)

And today I will make breakfast, and then make my birthday cake with my best friend (I know, I'm making my own birthday cake - but it will be good! Strawberry cake - from scratch - with cream cheese frosting! Yum!) And we will go to Surin for lunch with Andy and Suzie (also yum!) and have cake for dessert and Matthew will come for dinner and I'm making DELISH pasta tonight.

Um. Is it bad that my birthday (and possibly every day?) revolves around food?

Pictures of my lovely day to come! I hope it warms up...

Monday, March 22, 2010

O Happy Day!

Elissa is coming to visit me today!!!

Which means that I need to get up and get my butt in gear. I have a gazillion things to do before she gets here.

But it is so freaking cold. Which makes me want to stay in bed and cuddle up next to my warm, warm hubby.

Oh, the dilemmas.

Seriously though, my bathroom is a disaster. That needs to be remedied... Hope everybody has a happy Monday!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Continuation of my awesome week...

I seriously think March has been graced because of my birthday :) I have had the most wonderful past couple of weeks...

First things first - big thanks to Justine over at The Greatest Show on Earth for my new blog header! I think it looks lovely with my background!! Kudos and credit to her :)

So Mark and I did indeed stay up insanely late to attend Kelly's concert. (It's funny that I refer to it as "Kelly's" concert, because she honestly isn't even in the band...) Here are some pictures, and a video clip...

Colton and Bryce, the lead singer

With flash - The Little Foxes and Third Lobby together!

No idea what this song is called, but it's the one in the video clip :) Pretty awesome!

Bryce and Kelly

Kelly stepped it up and helped the band out - apparently their token girl who sang backup/played piano was going out of town this weekend, and so Kelly (who I think sings with Bryce at a nursing home ministry they do) said she'd fill in. And play the flute! Cause she's awesome :)

Colton is a really fantastic guitar player. (See video clip) Kelly says he's "stinkin' awesome" at everything. I think I believe her.

So proud of my little sister!!

The Little Foxes perform!

So, after the concert, we left and I slept in the car on the way home.

Annnnd - Elissa is coming tomorrow!! Which means lots of friend-love, and more birthday-ing ahead this week! We have fun fun things planned, and I am so excited :) AND it's been warm. Which makes things that much better.

I love March!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

1. Today I am wearing I'm not sure yet - probably jeans, a tank top, and my blue sweater with a bird on it. Or I may go shopping .

2. My favorite childhood food was my mom's spaghetti and my favorite food now is oh man, what a question. Ahi tuna (and most fish), Thai curry, sushi, and still anything my mother makes :)

3. A day that I am too busy to tell my husband that I love him is a day that I am too busy.

4. The last movie I saw was Alice in Wonderland (2D) and the next movie I want to see is the same movie in 3D, and also Where the Wild Things Are. I never saw it, and I think it looks great .

5. My favorite smell is vanilla extract because, it makes me think of baking and cookies and comfort and my mother .

6. A weird little quirk I have is I have (and I mean HAVE) to jiggle my leg all the time when I'm sitting down .

7. When I take personality quizzes they always say I'm A feeler. Strong, strong, strong feeler. Depending on the personality quiz, I can be a strong F, extreme blue, a golden retriever... but no matter what, I am IN TUNE with my feelings. I think this is both good and bad .

And for a quick update - we're staying with my parents another day, so Mark and I can go hear Kelly play in a band tonight! It should be fun - and then I'll sleep in the car on the way back to the 'ham, so I can get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow for work. I'm sure it will be worth it :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fun Day!!

I love hanging out with my hubby and my family :)

Last night, Mark took me out to the Back Inn Cafe for dinner - it was sooo yummy!! He had steak (stuffed with crab - he always says he loves meat stuffed with other meat...) and I had ahi tuna. I DIE. So good. That is one of the foods that I might could eat every single day and not get tired of it. (But I might have some issues with mercury...)

Here's us, before dinner, looking pretty!

(Actually, I feel like I look sort of fat or pregnant or something, but my mom insists that I don't...)

Then today, we went up to Bryan College to visit my sister and Colton and eat lunch with them and hang out, etc. We had some Mexican food for lunch (yum!) and then went and got dessert - and then we went to the playground! Here's some pictures:

Yay for fun, warm(ish) days!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Birthday #1

Be warned: this post is really picture-heavy!

Last night was my first birthday party/celebration of this year (I know, I sound really spoiled, having like 4 or so...) with my parents, my grandma, Mark, my sister, and her boyfriend Colton. It was so much fun!!

Kelly and Colton came over that evening after their classes were done. We talked and looked at Ninny's old pictures from the 1940's and 50's. Very cool.

My mom made me a really fabulous birthday cake, as always, and we had poppyseed chicken and green beans for dinner. Yummy! (That's strawberry buttercream icing on the cake - my favorite!)

I love my family. We laugh a lot :)

My mom very graciously did not put all 25 candles on the cake, just 7 ... two on top and five on bottom. She handed Colton (who is a really great photographer) her camera and he took pictures all evening, cause he's awesome like that.

the Birthday Girl! (a week early...)

After our cake festivities, it was time for presents. I opened the little box, and it had some buttons in it (so it would rattle - my mother thinks of everything) and a note, saying that I would be playing Ninny's favorite game - Wheel of Fortune! - to find clues that would lead me to my present.

We do creative celebrations :)

Playing the game... I started out sort of slowly, but then did pretty well

The three phrases I had to solve ended up saying: "Three boxes, in plain view, in the storage closet."

So into the storage closet I went, followed by my posse.

After looking at all the WRONG boxes, I finally found the right ones...

And was so, so surprised by my present!!

Back story: when Mark and I registered for china, we registered in Birmingham. A lot of our wedding guests lived in Chattanooga (where the wedding was held), and unfortunately the stores in Chattanooga did not carry the pattern that we picked out. You can see it here. Although my mom asked, the stores wouldn't order any ahead - they wanted to wait for people to place the order. And the people from my church who WOULD have bought the china were all little old ladies who didn't want to order it - they wanted to be able to put their hands and eyes on it and buy it straight from the store.

Anyway, long story short, we got a grand total of 3 place settings, plus a saucer. Not very helpful for entertaining...

So. Around Christmas, my mom and I were shopping around this neat home goods consignment boutique near my parents' house. And they had this GORGEOUS set of china - a complete set. For cheap cheap. (I mean, as an 8 place-setting of china goes...) It was ivory china, with this pretty black design around the borders - very classy looking. And I made the comment to my mom that I would love to someday be able to have a complete set of china like that.

Little did I know, she talked to my family that night, and they all pitched in, and she went back the next day and bought the whole thing for my birthday.


My mom is the best :) What an awesome birthday present for my 25th birthday!!

Here's a picture of what it looks like - I can't get the picture to turn around the right way, but this is one of the serving pieces with the salt and pepper shakers. Isn't it so pretty? I ended up with 8 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, 8 soup bowls, 12 saucers, 10 cups, a large round serving platter, a large serving bowl, this little oblong serving plate, a butter dish, a soup tureen, a sugar bowl, a gravy boat, and the salt and pepper shakers. Seriously, fantastically awesome. I love it!!

And THEN, as if that wasn't good enough - Kelly gave me her present :) I love having artsy family members/friends, because neither Mark or I are very good at drawing/painting/photog-ing/etc, etc. I get a lot of really cool presents from Kelly, because she's poor, it's less expensive to make stuff, and she's amazing.

So she did me this cool pastel (Art Deco? or something?) drawing of me and Mark from a picture I made of us, and wrote some creative and funny things about us above it. I can't wait to put it in a poster frame and figure out where I'm going to put it :)

Some of the descriptions up close :)

The upper part of it, where you can read it - so funny :) And, Colton helped!

They are so, so precious. It makes me happy :)

And then, me and Kelly and Colton and my mom played a rousing game of Taboo, at which my mom and I were pretty much crushed by Kelly and Colton :) We're usually pretty good, but they were just on a roll last night - they're on the same wavelength :) Also makes me happy!

So, I consider phase 1 of my 25th birthday to be a complete success! I was so, so surprised by the china. Now I just need a china cabinet to put it in! I love getting to spend time with my family - we are so very good at loving and laughing and celebrating, and it is so much fun.

Tonight, Mark is taking me out on a date in Chattanooga - I'm getting dressed up, so hopefully I can post a picture or two on here. Then tomorrow, we're heading to Dayton to double-date with Kelly and Colton at a Mexican place, and Kelly and I are going to trade dresses. We'll head back to Chattanooga for dinner, then head home. And next week: Elissa comes!!

My life is so good. I'm such a lucky girl :)