Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Things

First off, I'll start with the disclaimer that I did not take enough pictures during Christmas. You know when sometimes you're too busy hanging out with the people you love, stuffing your face, drinking all the wine and just generally loving life to take pictures? Yeah, that was me. Sorry I'm not sorry.

Friday: I got drinks with my friend Travis at the Bison. The trashiest bar ever, but it's .6 miles from my house. Then I ran into Marcus, Joe, Ryan and John which I guess says a lot about the level of class our group of friends share. And then I ran into half my high school which I guess says a lot about the level of class of Raleigh, in general. Oh well, it was a blast!

Saturday: I headed to the basketball game with my dad! We had a Coaches Circle event and chowed down on some biscuits before PJ achieved a career high. My dad has a weird bond with PJ because they went to the same high school, so he was happy. I was supposed to go to a friend's party after that, but I felt my throat getting scratchy and called it a night.

Sunday: Caroline, Meghan, Lauren and I had brunch at Meghan's house. We sipped mimosas and had a delicious spread of food. I love those girls! Lauren and I then headed over to her parents' house. Here is our official Christmas picture just for more people to say we look like a couple.

Monday was Christmas Eve! Lauren and I grabbed lunch and got Christmas cards for Joe. Here is the one I got him. It sings, too.

Also on Christmas Eve, two of my closest friends Ryan and Micaela got engaged. I'm so excited for them and so proud of Ryan for picking out this stunner of a ring. I didn't know he had it in him.

After that I headed to mom's and the festivities commenced. Every year we cook all of the fattening stuff and none of the stuff we don't want since it's just the two of us. That means massive leftovers. Which means dressing (I know, I know, I'm the only person in America who doesn't stay stuffing, but I'm not changing it, so get off  me) and macaroni and cheese for breakfast. Again, sorry I'm not sorry.

Christmas Day: Mom and I opened presents. She was way too generous! Some highlights: a new tv, Frye boots, clothes, glasses, books, the list goes on. She always spoils me. I gave her this painting I did of Tucker. She loved it!

After that, I headed to dad's where the generosity continued! Some highlights: a wine cooler, a Tory Burch bag, clothes and more. My brother and I gave my dad and Lisa awesome tickets to the Eric Clapton concert (thanks again, Joe) and they loved them!

Later in the day we headed to Po's to spend time with the family. It was a great afternoon! Christmas night I met up with some friends for drinks and to exchange presents. I racked up with a Clairisonic Mia, compression socks and more!

Yesterday I worked from home and was generally lazy to try to kick this cold. I'm at work for two days this week before heading to Charlotte Saturday morning for New Years! Joe moved there a few months ago and Marcus moves soon so they are looking forward to showing all of us their new city (and my new weekend hangout haha). 

I hope you all had wonderful Christmases filled to the brim with family, friends, fellowship, food, joy, laughter and peace! My house is still a mess from Christmas, but I'm making a conscious effort to remember what this season is truly about and enjoying every second of it. 

Love love! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Photo Bomb

Saturday night, the Lauren's and I had a girls' night. We got all prettied up and headed to Durham to visit our friend Kevin who was hosting a "12 Bars of Christmas" tour. We knew better than to try to go to 12 bars, but we made an appearance at two!

Doesn't Lauren's shower curtain make a perfect photo backdrop? 

I was also on puppy duty this weekend. Can your heart even handle all this cuteness? A puppy and a pumpkin!!!

After mom and I ran last night (a nice 2.8 mile loop), I headed to my dad's to celebrate his birthday.
Birthday poem! 

Hello Goodberry's cake. Yum.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting old isn't THAT bad

Okay so I am the first to hop on the "Ughh I'm getting so old" bandwagon. I mean at 26, I already have to watch what I eat more than I used to, I recently lost the young alumni discount season ticket rate at Carolina and staying out until 2 a.m. is a mighty feat and can only happen once in a blue moon.

That being said, I've recently been reminded that getting old isn't all that bad. A few reasons:

  • Your friends are doing big things. It's so cool to see people you love getting into fields they love or getting out of fields they don't love to discover their next big thing. It's also cool when said friends can get you awesome lower level tickets to a concert you know your dad is dying to go to for the same price you would pay for nosebleed seats. (Okay, that got specific. Thanks, Joe!)
  • You actually get the whole endorphins from exercise thing and sometimes have the desire to workout just to feel good and not to fit into that dress you have to wear next week. (Though that's not to say I won't be increasing my mileage that week between Christmas and New Year's. A girl can feel good AND want to fit in her dress at the same time.) 
  • Christmas shopping is fun when you can buy the people you love the things you want to buy them. (Even if that means January and February are spent eating ramen noodles.)
  • You can say "I love you" at will. This is a big one for me. I'm one of those people that is full of love and has never ever had a problem saying it. I say it to the people I love like 50 times a day. That being said, not everyone was brought up the same way I was (Hi, Mom!) and therefore save that word for special occasions. I like that people aren't worried about being vulnerable or looking lame or feeling awkward as much now. 
  • You learn what's worth it and what's not. Worrying about some things (alright, most things) is just not worth the time, energy or stress it caused. Period. End of story.
I'll add more as I think of them. What about you? What are the things you like about getting old(er)? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Looks Gross, Tastes Delish

What is that disgusting looking concoction, you ask? Bananas foster overnight oats and omgyall they are amazing! I start by making the base for any of my overnight oats (I don't measure, but it's some combination of rolled oats, lowfat vanilla yogurt - sorry I'm not on the greek yogurt bandwagon y'all, don't shoot - chia seeds and milk) and then add to it a quick skillet mixture of margarine (smart balance, butter, whatev), one banana and brown sugar.  It gets all caramel-y delicious over night and in the morning tastes just like the decadent dessert. Yum.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Moments of Comfort

Today at lunch I went to the Advent service at  church. During the season of Advent, we have short church services on Thursday at lunchtime. I look forward to them each year.

Today's service was a little different. It incorporated several moments of silence. For me, personally, the first one was great. I chatted with God (I really do talk to God like he is my friend. It's not that I'm trying to diminish His power or greatness in anyway. I fully acknowledge it and appreciate it and am in awe of it. But I talk to God as much as I talk to my friends and family. He's someone I feel comfortable with and who brings me peace and He knows my heart and all of my thoughts so I think it's okay) and felt so at peace. 

During the second moment of silence, we were asked to look at an image. It was a painting with abstract looking angels, and to be honest, it wasn't doing much for me. I sat there, looking, waiting for something, but no dice. And then someone's digital watch started beeping. I smiled immediately.

My grandfather died over the summer. It wasn't unexpected, but it was hard for all of us and I miss him often. I've had other family members die before and I miss them terribly, but I was so much more involved in this death that it still resonates with me (sometimes in a scary way, truthfully) daily. When my grandmother on the other side of the family died my freshman year of college, it was sudden and unexpected. My mom and I hit the road immediately and attended her funeral. My mom and her three sisters sorted out the details of her house, will, belongings, etc., and I was pretty much allowed to be what I was - a sad grandchild.

When my grandfather died over the summer, it was a little different. He was taken to a rehab center early in the year and though it was never said explicitly, we all sort of knew he would die there. Because he was there for a long time and I visited him often, because I'm older, and because of my relationship with my grandmother, I was very involved in the whole process - so much so that I was holding his hand when he died.

Even when my grandfather was really bad and unable to talk, he refused to take off his watch. He would get upset with the rehab facility attendants if they tried to remove it. The watch would beep at certain times throughout the day - I think initially they were reminders for him to take his medicine. He refused to take off that watch and he was buried in that watch. At the visitation, we even heard the beeps from his watch - it was a bittersweet moment that made us all cry and laugh.

So when I heard those beeps today, I smiled. I smiled because the moment didn't have to be about the painting, but it was a moment of a silence that meant something. I know it's easy to call it a coincidence, but part of me thinks it's more. Part of me thinks God (or Big, my grandfather, or both of them in cahoots) sends you little signs like that to let you know people are okay, things are okay and to make you smile. 

That's the second one of those moments I've had in less than year. Shortly after Christmas last year, my mom and I had to put my baby boy, my puppy, Tucker, down. I know I've written about it here before, but when we went to the vet, it was pouring. Terrential downpour style  And when we left after putting him down, the sun came through the clouds so brightly. I've never seen such a quick turnaround from awful weather to beautiful weather. And at that moment, I felt God (and Tuck!) were telling me Tuck was okay, that we did the right thing and that they were watching over us.

I thank God for moments like that, moments of comfort that give us peace.

Hair Question

Okay, I need your help on a totally superficial question. I've been growing my hair out for a while now. It's super fine, but I love the idea of long hair. I can't decide if it looks too thin and stringy though! Which do you like better?

Long? Here is it half up, half down. (Sorry for the weird self-portrait. I was sitting in traffic yesterday and bored!)

Or short? This is from a Christmas party last year.

Comment and let me know! Please and thank you. :)

Christmas Spirit!

I'm almost finished decorating for Christmas! I still need to decorate my Christmas tree and I'm waiting on some lights I ordered from Amazon to arrive to decorate my front porch (no outlets on front porch = need battery operated lights), but here are some shots! 

Last night, my brother had his first band concert at school. It was amazing and really got me in the Christmas spirit. It featured bands of all levels - from my Nicholas's beginning band to a wind ensemble. I don't think a big grin ever left my brother's face. He even got to do a little skit where he left during a song and pretended to read a magazine at the front of the stage. The band director stopped the music and asked if he was bored and needed more cowbell! Nicholas then went back and played cowbell for that song. It was too cute. At the end there was a sing-a-long of all the classic Christmas songs. I loved it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blogging Decision

As you've noticed (well, my sweet family and friends that read this blog), I've been rather sparse in my appearances here lately. So it's time for a decision. I either need to buck up, make this blog everything I want it to be - a forum to share with readers, a community to engage with others, or accept that this will mostly be a personal journal that the aforementioned few sweet family and friends read. 

I've decided it's time to get a little more serious about this blog. Now, I don't think I'll ever become a professional blogger, but I'm ready to put more time into this. More time into the design, more time into the content and more time into gaining and engaging with readers.

I know one of the reasons I struggle with content is because I have too much content. This blog isn't strictly healthy eating or lifestyle or fashion or sports. I know it would be easier if I narrowed it down to a specific category, but that's not me and I don't think that's most people. I'm the girl who will go on a run and then eat a massive chocolate sundae. I'm the girl who carefully picks out what dress, jewelry and accessories to wear to a football game, but can also recite the stats of each player on the team. Most people I know don't fit into one category and I won't try to make this blog, either. I will try to give you more content, more engaging content and hopefully, there is something out there for each of you.

So, if you're out there, please comment. Tell me what you'd like to read about, what you've hated in the past, what you've loved and how your day is going. Seriously. I'm here, I'm ready to listen, I'm ready to talk and I'm ready to work. Most of all, I'm ready to create a community here.