Bummer of a weekend, friends

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Well, this weekend did not go quite as I'd hoped and planned. I ended up going to the ER on Saturday afternoon instead of hanging with my brother and hubby watching football. It wasn't anything too serious, just some sharp stomach pains and some other yucky symptoms - but enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.

A little background: I have been having all kinds if GI issues for about the last 14 months and have been seeking treatment for a year. So far, Crohn's and colon cancer have been ruled out, and I've been told my symptoms do not indicate a gallbladder or appendix issue or a food allergy. I have had a colonoscopy, a CT scan and boatloads of bloodwork. But everything looks normal on paper. Only I know that these symptoms are not normal by any means. My doctors agree, but can't seem to pin it down.

Anyway, my upper stomach started hurting last week, but it was making me nauseous more than anything else.
But by Friday afternoon, I started having sharp pains every now and then. I felt like I literally had a ball in my stomach right below my ribs. By the time I picked my brother up at the airport Friday night, and then picked Alex up at the airport an hour later, I was feeling pretty miserable. I thought some greasy food would help, but Bojangles did not end up being my friend.

I tried to hang with my brother and hubs for as long as possible, but went to bed in hopes that it would go away. At this point, it was a consistent sharp pain that wouldn't stop and I was in tears. Alex asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, but I was hopeful it would lessen throughout the night.

I was feeling a little better on Saturday morning, but not good enough. I wavered back and forth on whether or not to go to the ER, and finally decided that I needed to go.

The ER doc told me that he wasn't going to be able to diagnose it if my GI hadn't been able to, but he was able to hook me up with some painkillers and anti-nausea meds to help me out. God bless my sweet husband for keeping on top of the nurses to get what I needed (and for missing the first half of the South Carolina game driving all over Greenville to find a 24-hour pharmacy so we could fill my scripts!).

The bottom line is that I feel better today thanks to the cocktail of medicines I was prescribed. I already have an endoscopy and colonoscopy scheduled for Nov. 2, but I am going to try to get those moved up to as soon as possible.

Needless to say, I did not feel up to apple picking today - major bummer. I was SO looking forward to it. Maybe next weekend (crossing my fingers!). Alex and I did have a nice drive through the mountains today as we had to drop off my brother at the TN/NC line on the Appalachian Trail for a 6-day hike. Good thing all I had to do was ride along - I definitely cannot drive on these meds, and certainly not on those mountain roads!

I'm hoping for a better, healthier week and most of all, for some answers. Praying that God gives my docs the insight and knowledge to give me a correct diagnosis and treatment plan!

My first Blog swap!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Autumn over at "Mrs." in the Making recently hosted and organized a little Bloggie Swap. It was my first package swap, and it was so fun! I'm definitely looking forward to doing more! 

Mrs. in the Making

The theme of this swap was Jewelry...ohhhh yeah! Possibly my favorite thing on the planet other than donuts and cupcakes.

I was paired with Ali from All Things Pink and Sparkly and really enjoyed getting to know her over the emails we exchanged! She is a sweetheart. As if her blog name didn't give away exactly what her jewelry style is, I also had the chance to ask some questions about the types of jewelry she often wears and she did the same.

I was so excited to get my little package in the mail! She sent three things: two adorable, sparkly cocktail rings, and this awesome necklace:

Ali: you hit the nail on the head. I love how this necklace is simple but interesting, and pairs with my fall wardrobe perfectly with it's rose-gold and bronzy hues. Thanks girl!

Can't wait for the next swap! And a BIG thanks to Autumn for organizing it!

Friday's Letters

Hey there - we made it to Friday! I really can't complain, I've had a pretty laid-back week. You know how some weeks are crazy and you feel like you don't even have time to pee, and then some weeks you can actually cross everything off your to-do list? Mine has been more like the latter, thankfully. I can always appreciate a week like that because then you don't have to play catch-up on the weekend!

We are going to be in town this weekend, yay! Last one in town for several weeks, but that's okay. Lots to look forward to!


Dear little brother: I'm excited to see you tonight and this weekend! But PLEASE be careful hiking the AT this week. I hope you packed your Bear Scare. Dear stomach pains: why, why, WHY?? Please leave me the heck alone! Can't you just react to one of the many medications we've tried over the last year already? Dear Mom: thanks for your donation of your Southwest Rapid Rewards points to buy our return flights for my Reunion weekend. You are the BEST! Dear closet: you are depressing me lately. I know this isn't what you really are (completely anyway), but all I see is the same old sweaters I've had for a few years now and jeans that I cannot wear to work. I guess I'll have to go shopping...Dear Sunday: please don't rain too much, k? In case you haven't heard, it's apple picking day and it's kinda a big deal. Dear husband: YAY for your training ending today! Come home already! Your girls are missing you BIG TIME!

Have a fantastic weekend!

It's OK Thursday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm proud to report that this week has {so far} gone by quickly for me. Which is surprising because it started off with a vacay-hangover (you know, when you feel like you've been drinking but it's really just the toll that airports take on your body) as well as a giant blister on the bottom of my foot from all that walking we did in DC. Which is still there, BTW.


It's Thursday!
Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...
  • to be a little freaked out that we still don't have a DJ booked for the class reunion in 4 weeks. And I am in charge. Yep. (We'll have an iPod on standby if needed...)
  • to be thrilled with how my Fall decor on the front porch is coming along. All I need are some pumpkins and mums and I'll post pics!
  • to miss my husband this week while he's been at training...but to enjoy the break from cooking dinner ;) Cereal it is!
  • to be terrified that there are allegedly not one, but TWO packs of coyotes roaming my little suburban neighborhood at night! Seriously, we don't live in the boondocks - what is going on??
  • to feel like I need to get a move-on with Christmas shopping. I'm stressin'. For realz. 
  • to feel overwhelmed when I look at my calendar for the next few weeks. We only have like 2 weekends in town between now and Thanksgiving. Fun times ahead, but dang. 
  • to feel like I have nothing to wear but my closet is full. Tale as old as time. 
  • to be pretty pumped that hubby gets his first new paycheck next week :)
  • to feel the need to pin ridiculous numbers of apple recipes in preparation for apple picking this weekend
Hope you have one fantastic day!

A weekend in DC: ruby slippers, our future home, cupcakes and football

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We had a very quick trip to our nation's capital this weekend and, whew, what a whirlwind it was!

Alex has training for his new job up in Baltimore this weekend, so I decided to join him in the DC area the weekend before because, well, why not? Frankly, this is the time to take spontaneous weekend trips (and by "this is the time" I mean before we have children to contend with) and we need to take advantage of opportunities like this more often.

We left Greenville on Friday night around 8pm. Although it was a direct flight, it was slightly delayed, and by the time we got our rental car (which took a lot longer than it should have), we weren't on our way from BWI to DC until almost 11.

We then proceeded to drive in circles in DC because Siri lied to us about our hotel's whereabouts (my Siri is seriously not bright, y'all. Anyone else have this problem?). When we located our hotel, the very lovely St. Gregory (and thanks to Priceline, very affordable), their parking garage was filled so we had to venture to the nearby Marriott to park. Which is all fine and well, except when I found out parking at our hotel would have cost us $18 a day, and the Marriott's was $36 a day. Ouch.

Needless to say, when we finally settled into our hotel room, we were wiped out and didn't even venture out to have a drink. #OldFolks

We knew Saturday was going to be a very full day, so we got up early and set out on foot. First stop? To say hello to our future home, of course! Oh hey, White House.

We had brunch at the nearby W, and then struck out down the Mall for the Capital. Pausing for a photo-op, this really took me back to my 8th grade field trip, because this is the same spot where we took our big group photo with 50 13- and 14-year olds in matching hoodies. So 1999!

Making the loop up the Mall, we crossed over to two of the Smithsonians: the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of American History. Natural History is a cool one, because it has dinosaurs! (Imagine me saying this Jurassic Park-style: DINO-sauuurss!). It also has the Hope Diamond, which, hello, is any girl's favorite thing in the place.

The American History museum is actually my favorite of the Smithsonians that I've been to. It has a little bit of everything: the history of our country, the wars that shaped our nation, artifacts from different periods in time. Some of the things you'll find here are the real ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland herself, the original Star Spangled Banner (wow - very, very moving), and a 2nd-generation Apple iPod. For real. If you want to get a grasp on American History and culture and basically all that we are as a country, just spend a few hours in these walls.

After we had reached our cultural capacity for the day, we continued on the Mall toward the Washington Monument. We stopped in the WWII Memorial and made a loop around to see the Jefferson Memorial from afar, passed through the Vietnam Memorial, and took a quick glance at the Lincoln Memorial.

There are so many memorials, it's hard to see them all. And I will be honest that my feet were hurting by this point (as were Alex's), despite the fact that I had worn very practical flats. It was also much warmer than we thought and stayed in the upper 80s most of the day. After all that walking in the sun, we were both parched and starving. We had literally been walking for about 5 hours straight without so much as sitting down for a second. We started back toward our hotel and popped in a Portuguese restaurant for a late (3:30-ish) lunch along the way.

After a brief stop into the hotel room to change shoes and catch the first few minutes of the South Carolina/Missouri game (priorities, people), we struck out toward Georgetown. The walk to Georgetown was about a mile and a straight shot, and the sun was beginning its descent so it was actually a very pleasant walk. Georgetown is so cute - the architecture and streets are very charming. Plus there are tons of restaurants, shops, bars, and bakeries. Not least of all: Georgetown Cupcake from the TLC show DC Cupcakes!

I think I literally squealed with delight when I saw that the line for cupcakes was only about 20 people long. Alex's response: "We have to wait in line? For cupcakes??" Um yes dear, we do. Our wait time was probably about 15 minutes and then we were inside and staring at the gloriousness that is Georgetown Cupcake. Just look at those puppies!!

We ordered 4: Red Velvet, Chocolate Birthday, Peanut Butter Fudge, and Bananas Foster. The Bananas Foster was a gametime decision and WOW, what a good one. DELISH!! We got our cupcakes to go, all wrapped up in a pretty pink box, then started a leisurely stroll back in the general direction of our hotel. But I wasn't leaving Georgetown without a quick stop in H&M (Greenville doesn't have one, so I had to seize the opportunity, you know what I'm sayin'?). After a wild dash around the store for "necessities", I checked out and we started our stroll again.

We were soon sidetracked by a bar that was hoppin' (it was nearly 7pm, after all), and we spotted several TVs with SEC football on them. Jackpot! What meant to be one beer turned into a few, and before we knew it, we had made friends with a young couple from Toronto and two girls who were working on the Hill. I love making random acquaintances on vacay!

Around 8pm, we figured it was time to head back to the hotel for real and made it back by 8:30. A quick wardrobe change and we were out the door again. We ate dinner at an Irish restaurant on Dupont Circle, a quick 3-block walk from the hotel. On the way home, we popped into a bar that had looked interesting and sports-bar-y by day, but when we got inside, it was in full-on club mode. We both felt old but managed to hang for a little while (they did have a football game on. Granted, it was muted due to the jams pulsing through the places, but it worked). By 11pm, we were struggling to stay upright due to our aching feet and the spirits. So hotel-bound it was!

Sunday was the day dedicated to the Redskins-Bengals game (which is one reason why A really couldn't get  upset over standing in line for cupcakes and making an H&M run!). We got up, grabbed some breakfast, packed up the car and headed to Maryland (haha that sounds like it's SO far away from where we were) for the game.

Although it was my first 'Skins game, it was not my first NFL game. I grew up a Dolphins fan, and I even went to the Super Bowl a few years back in Miami. However, it was still a bit of a culture shock for me. I am used to college football tailgating, specifically, SEC college football tailgating and attire. Where were the dresses? The matching tents/tablecloths/chairs/grills/coolers/coozies ensembles? Everything seemed to be the same general colors - burgundy and gold - but tailgating in a wide open parking lot just doesn't feel the same as tailgating in a nook of a beautiful college campus. I'm sure it's still fun. Just not as picturesque. Just my two cents.

Anyway, after I got past the masses of official NFL jerseys I saw in the parking lot, we entered the stadium and settled into our seats. Of course, there was some stadium food action (I tell you, there was absolutely no healthy eating option in the place. Oh well...guess I HAD to get a hot dog. And a pretzel. And beer).

We were in the upper deck but our seats were still pretty sweet. The weather on gameday was absolutely PERFECT: about 68 degrees and breezy. This Southern girl was a little chilly in the shade. But it was so nice to watch a game and not sweat to death!

Sadly, the Redskins lost the game, but we still had a great time and I know Alex loved being there! He never gets to see the 'Skins live (but you can bet that we have the NFL Sunday ticket thingy for an exorbitant price).

From the stadium, we went straight to the airport so I could catch my flight and Alex could catch his shuttle (actually, his limo - excuse me) to training. I kissed him goodbye, told him good luck, and in a few hours I was on my way home to sweet South Carolina.

Like I said - a whirlwind of a trip! But a great one, no doubt.
We definitely have to do weekends away more often! :)

DC for the weekend + Friday's Letters

Friday, September 21, 2012

Looking forward to a weekend in our Nation's Capital!

Tonight we are heading up to DC for the weekend and I'm super pumped. The last time I was there, I was 14 and on my 8th grade field trip. Somehow I think I will be seeing the city in a completely different light now...

The reason for the quick trip? Alex has training for his new job in Baltimore next week, and we have been talking about taking a little trip to DC for a while now. We're both museum nerds, and Alex is a major history buff. But if I want to be honest, the real reason we're going is because the Redskins game is at home this week, and A is a huge 'Skins fan. So there you have it!

We get in late tonight, so we'll probably just have time for some late night food and a few drinks. We'll really only have Saturday to explore, sight see, and - most importantly - eat. I've gotten some great recommendations on restaurants and, uh, wow, I might come home unable to wear pants. Everything sounds so delicious. Sunday will be dedicated to the tailgating and football, then I fly home and leave my man up there for his training!

And onto Friday's Letters with Adventures of Newlyweds!


Dear DC: prepare yourself. I am coming and I'm hungry. My husband and I are looking for a good time, mmmmkay?  Georgetown Cupcakes: I adore your show. And you decorate your cupcakes really, really cute. So I'd love it if your lines were not super-duper long this weekend...  Dear Ellie: I still feel guilty for not knowing your birthday was last Friday until 2 days later. But happy birthday, sweet puppy!  Dear Revolution: I think I like you? I'm a hard one to win over on new TV series, especially anything remotely near sci-fi. But you left me with a lot of questions and I can't stop thinking about you!  Dear new followers: welcome and thank you! Really, thank you. It means a lot :)  Dear Gators: just keep winning! We have a long, hard road ahead of us this year, but you're off to a great start.  Dear Study: you're looking good with your new desk. I think the hubs is digging you, too. Which is good since you are now his home office. Dear husband: congrats on wrapping up your first week at the new job! I love you!
 Dear Fall: as of tomorrow, officially, welcome!

Hope you all have one fantastic weekend!

It's OK Thursday

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Whew, we've made it to Thursday. The weekend is in sight! :)

Its Ok Thursdays

Linking up again for It's OK Thursday!

It's OK....
  • to forget your dog's First Birthday (read all about that fail here)
  • that I might be more excited to get a cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes this weekend while in DC than I am about seeing the monuments, Smithsonian, etc.
  • to be in a recipe rut for dinners. I need some inspiration. 
  • to frequently pin recipes (see above) but not follow through and buy the ingredients.
  • to despise some of the Pinterest recipes I have actually followed through with (do NOT make the Halloween bark that is on my "Autumn Days" board - unless you want to go into a diabetic coma. That stuff is way too sweet and my white chocolate weirdly would not melt, so the whole thing was a fail)
  • to end up buying a Halloween door decoration instead of making a wreath as planned. But for $6.99? I can't make a wreath for that! 
  • to pack the same thing for lunch almost every single day
  •  to do the 'ole wardrobe switcheroo while it's still fairly warm out. I'm just tired of all my summer stuff. 
Hope you all have a fab Thursday! 

The Versatile Blogger Award! And my nominees are...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Exciting news, y'all: I have been nominated for my first blog award! :)
Brittany at This Beautiful Life nominated me - what a sweetheart! Thanks girl!
Now I will tell you - I tried to track down the origin of this sucker, but no dice. I did find another award that goes by the same name, but the logo was different...I dunno. 
But I am still super pumped! Thanks again for the nod, Brittany!

Here are the "rules":
  1. Nominate up to 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging. 
  2. Let the nominated bloggers know that they have been nominated for this award. 
  3. Share 7 random facts about yourself. 
  4. Thank the blogger who has nominated you in a blog post linking back to their blog. 
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.
So here we go!

7 Random Facts About Me:
  1. I used to show dairy cows in 4-H
  2. I Studied Abroad 3 times while in college & grad school
  3. I don't like nuts in my baked goods (even though I like nuts and I definitely like baked goods...)
  4. I've broken both of my arms, though thankfully not at the same time
  5. I love beautiful, quality stationery and paper...so much that I had to stop buying it. But I'm running a little low on notecards: time to stock up!
  6. I grew up in a Baptist church, but got married in and am now a member of a Presbyterian church that we love.
  7. I have to read before I go to bed, even if only for 5 minutes. Unless it's extremely late (which these days is anything past midnight, ha!)
On to the wonderful blogs {and their owners} that I have nominated! 
I chose these ladies because I feel like they're kindred spirits of mine 
(and they're all newlyweds or sorta newly-wedded like myself!)

Fun stuff!

Happy 1st Birthday, Ellie! (a few days late...)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

So it turns out that we are horrible, no-good, pathetic puppy parents.
Well, we forgot our youngest's birthday. Typical thing to do to the youngest child, I know.
We're terrible, I know. I KNOW.

It was an innocent, honest mistake. Really.
I knew Ellie's birthday was coming up, and I knew it was in September.
I even *thought* I knew the date.

As we were rearranging the study on Sunday, I came across the papers from her breeder.
Which I had been planning to find, to double-check her birthday. You know, to be sure.
So imagine how low I felt when I see that her birthday was not the 19th, like I thought.
Nope, it was Septmber 14th.
Last Friday.


So we had to go all out to make up for out lack of celebration on her special day.
No child of mine is going to miss out on a birthday celebration.

I bought her a special pupcake and real pupcakes cupcakes for Alex and I (um, we wanted to celebrate, too!). I even bought tiny biscuits for Penny to partake in the festivities.

We lit a candle and sang happy birthday to the Birthday Girl!
We also gave her a new toy, which is allegedly a "Level 10" on the indestructible chart.
Hmm. We'll see about that.

I can't believe she is already One! I guess she isn't technically a puppy anymore.
Although someone told me that Goldens are puppies for more like 2 years.
Seems about right.
Regardless, she is so much fun. And I can't imagine our family without her. 

Let's take a little trip down memory lane, Ellie Mae style!

A look back at her beginning in our home is here - she was sooooo flippin' cute, y'all. There is nothing like a Golden Retriever puppy.

Here are some of my favorite shots of her so far:

Happy first Birthday, Ellie! May you have many, many more. Thank you for being such a wonderful, important and irreplaceable part of our family! We love you, pretty girl.

Show and Tell Monday: High School

Monday, September 17, 2012

Today I am doing a new link-up for me: Show and Tell Monday! This week's questions are all about high school, which is appropriate since my reunion is coming up!

1. Tell us what kind of student you were in high school {popular, nerd, sport obsessed, choir, etc}.
I ran with the "in crowd," I suppose you could say. But I was in a lot of different clubs and activities, so I was friendly with a lot of different groups: the 4-H crowd, the Beta Club/National Honor Society peeps, my fellow cheerleaders, the yearbook staff, etc. If there's one word to describe me in high school, it would be "busy" - I was in so many clubs/activities/extracurriculars that I rarely got home before 5pm, and school got out at 2:05. It makes me tired to think about it!
2. Share with us some high school pictures. We know you have them somewhere.
Oh high school. Gotta love those early-2000's fashions, right?
BFF Lesley and I Sophomore year
Junior year cheerleading pic
Senior prom!
My Senior portrait
With my family at graduation 

3. Tell us about your school. Private? Public? How many in graduating class? Mascots? School colors?
My  high school was public and I graduated with about 300 people. However, I will also say that this was and still is the only high school in my entire county. So although I had a decent sized graduating class, we were the only seniors for a 40-mile radius! (which was kinda cool). Our colors were purple and gold  (not to be confused with purple and yellow) and our mascot was a Brahman. If you have no idea what that is, as I suspect you don't, google it and you will get an idea of the kind of small town from which I hail :)

4. Tell us about some of your favorite memories of high school. Or what stands out the most? Any teachers? Specific classes?
For me, high school was so. much. fun. I have a lot of good memories. My first day of high school stands out: I was nervous, excited, anxious, self-conscious, etc. But I was also really looking forward to a new beginning! I remember everything about that day: what I wore (black pants and red 3/4 sleeve shirt, my hair long and straight); how I was standing around in the morning before class desperately looking for a familiar face; being SO happy when I finally located that familiar face; what I ate for lunch (stood in long line for the school lunch and kept repeating "I am definitely bringing my lunch tomorrow!" which I did, and for almost every other day for the rest of the year); and everything else about that day!

On the flip side, another vivid memory was what we called "Class Day" - it's the day at the end of each year when you move up a class in terms of title (sophomore, junior, senior, etc). It's usually held the last day of classes before exams. Class Day my Senior Year was emotional - I think that was the day it sunk in that graduation was really happening and life as we knew it was about to end. I was Class President, which meant I had to "pass" the title of Senior Class to the class behind us. There were a lot of tears that day. Of sadness? Joy? Relief? Probably a little of everything. It was definitely a bittersweet day.

5. Tell us a piece of advice you would pass on to your children or any child entering high school.
I'll tell my children to be kind to everyone. It breaks my heart to heart about all these bullying tragedies that happen [future children: if you ever even attempt to bully, you don't even want to KNOW what this girl will do to you!]. Be friendly to everyone and don't get wrapped up in the pettiness that so often defines friendships, classmates, and high school altogether.
High school can be an awkward and a confusing time, but everyone is going through it at the same time. Some girls will, ahem, "develop" (as my mom used to say) sooner than others [I was not one of those girls], and some boys will hit a growth spurt and be tall and muscular before the other guys. But emotionally, everyone is on par with each other. 
Finally, do what your heart tells you to do, whether that's in the kinds of activities you pursue, the friends you keep, or matters of the heart. Don't leave with regrets, and that works both ways: what you choose to do and what you choose not to do. You only get one shot at high school, so make the most of those special years.

Weekend Plans & Friday's Letters

Friday, September 14, 2012

I don't know about you, but this week has c r e p t by for me. I guess it was the two 4-day work weeks I had in a row that spoiled me? Don't know. Anyway, today is FRIDAY so that is something to get excited about for sure!

This weekend, we have a few little social outings on our calendar. I am helping to host a baby shower this afternoon for a sweet friend and former co-worker. It's her second baby, and she's having another precious little girl almost exactly 2 years after her first! In terms of seasonal clothing, how lucky can you get?? (I always think about the practical side of things like that...)

On Saturday, we are heading to Columbia for the South Carolina game. It's a 7pm kick-off, thank goodness, because even with the lovely weather we've had lately, day games are generally just not as much fun, you know what I'm sayin'? I am going to sport my cute new garnet and black chevron dress that is exactly like the orange and blue dress I wore to the Gator game a few weeks ago. If it works, it works, am I right?

Sunday will be the day we get our home office all situated, since Alex will be working from home quite a bit in his new job. We already had a whitewash desk and bookshelves in our Study, but we wanted to add another (larger) desk for all his work stuff. You know, so he can stay organized. That makes me giggle...if there's one thing he struggles with, it's organization. But I'm willing to give him the tools! So we bought this corner desk from Pottery Barn
(squee!! I have been lusting over it for some time now):

It probably will never look anywhere near as perfect in our house as it does in the PB catalog (does it ever?!). The real trick will be fitting it into the room with all of our existing furniture, as it's a little larger than anticipated. But hey! Just more room for Alex to use in getting all organized and everything. [stay tuned to see if that happens...love you, honey!]

Anyhoo, lots to look forward to this weekend!
It's the freakin' weekend, baby I'm about to have me some fun! 
 (remember that jam?)


It's also time for Friday's Letters!


Dear Alex: I hope you enjoy this weekend - your last before you start your job next week! I'm excited and nervous for you but know you will do great. Dear beautiful new desk: please fit in the study. Dear mother nature: thank you for this gorgeous weather you have been showing lately! But why do I have the sneaking suspicion that you will throw us at least one more heat wave before fall really arrives? Dear furbabies: with Daddy's new job, you are going to be home alone...all day...everyday. I'm really sorry about that. I feel bad thinking about it. Dear job: I really, really do love you. You have been such a blessing in so many ways! Dear chambray shirt: so glad I found you, dear! Who knew you (or one of your cousins) would be so difficult to track down and purchase? Dear tailgate drinks, dips, snacks et al: Tomorrow, we meet again. I will try to resist you, so please respect my wishes and try not to tempt me with your highly caloric but mighty tasty selves.

What are your plans for the weekend?
Have a great one, peeps! 

It's OK Thursday

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's time again for It's OK Thursday!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK....
  • to be really sad that the drama and trashiness that is Bachelor Bad is over until next summer
  • to decide on a whim that I'm going to paint a room this weekend. What? It could happen. And then to already decide that we are not going to do it.
  • to wear the same dress in a different color to the South Carolina game this weekend as I did to the Gator game 2 weeks ago (but the dress is suuuuuuuper cute and my in-laws got it for me!)
  • that I have already started thinking about our Christmas Card design/theme
  • to buy a new pair of sunglasses at the end of the summer
  • to pin nursery ideas even though we're not even close to having kids
  • to be extra picky with my wedding album design (I have sent it back multiple times for tweaks, which is why we still don't have it 14 months after the fact)
  • that the deck and fence staining is still not quite complete...and we started before Memorial Day...but the hubs is working on it today! God bless him.
  • to prefer to wear slightly wrinkled clothes over getting the ironing board, iron, and starch out in the morning. I hate ironing.
  • to be disappointed when I went in Greenville's new "Christmas Tree Shops" for the first time. Ever been to one? It is NOT what it sounds like.
  • to be dying to wear cute fall clothes like these:
    but then I realize I can't wear jeans to work anymore. DANG IT. I am going to freeze this year. 
Tomorrow is Friday, y'all! :)

My last days as a professional golfer's wife

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Big changes are a-comin' to our house. A week from today, Alex will be working in medical sales and will be leaving behind his 7-year-long career as a professional golfer.

What, you didn't know my hubs was a baller?

It's true. He has been a pro since graduating from college in 2005. Although almost every little boy probably dreams of playing in the NFL or in the major leagues, not a ton (I would guess) dream about playing golf for a living. It's pretty hilarious that Alex was part of the majority and dreamed about playing professional baseball, not golf. In fact, playing golf professionally wasn't even something he really considered until late in college, when his showings on the University of South Carolina's golf team and then his finishes in amateur tournaments suggested that maybe he should do more with his skills than hit the links on Sundays with the boys while drinking beer.

So for the last 7 years, that's what he's been doing. But trust me, it's not as glamorous as it sounds. Although he has played in several PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour (the former Web.com Tour)  events, he has spent the most time working his butt off on mini-tours. Playing on mini-tours is essentially like playing in the minor leagues of baseball. Except that you can't just get called up when someone gets hurt or something. Other than a few sponsor exemptions and "Monday Qualifiers" to get in the bigger tour events, the way to work yourself permanently to your Tour Card is to go to Q-School, a grueling multi-stage process in which you compete for a handful of spots on Tour against every other PGA-hopeful in the world. No pressure.

Alex has had some amazing successes and accomplishments in his professional golf career. Although I am NOT a golfer (learning to play is on my list for this year!), I swear the moment I started to fall in love with him was when I saw him hit a golf ball off a tee for the first time. He seemed to be in his element: so confident, such impressive skill, and he looked hot in a Titlelist hat with his preppy polo and sweater get-up. Swoon.

One of his most memorable successes - probably THE most memorable - was when he was killing it in the inaugural McGladrey Classic, a PGA Tour event at Sea Island, Georgia in 2010. The day of the third round, he was in the top 10 for most of the day. I was freaking out - freaking out, I tell ya. I was so nervous that I could barely look at him because I just knew I would make him nervous (although he probably would have been just fine, steady as he is!). Even though he didn't finish in the top 10, it was easily the most fun I've ever had watching him play (if you count a mild heart attack as fun, ha!), and come on, how many guys can say they were competing for a win on the PGA Tour? It was awesome. (Sidenote: he proposed 5 days later. BEST. WEEK. EVER.)

Signing autographs for his adoring fans at the McGladrey Classic :)

After Alex and I got married, I think his priorities changed a little bit, and he started enjoying golf and all that comes with it - the miles and miles of traveling, nights away from home, playing in the pouring rain or freezing cold - a little bit less. It was tougher for him to be on the road for days or even weeks at a time. He must have just missed me and my home cooked meals. ;) We started talking about "if" he changed careers, what he would do with this life. These conversations became more and frequent, and throughout the course of this year, if became less of an "if" and more of a "when." Needless to say, there were some tears, there were some arguments, there were some dreams (we could actually take a vacay in the summer without worrying about tour schedules!), there were many heart-to-hearts, and there were a lot of prayers.

This decision has not come easy for me or for Alex. We have been praying about this for almost a year now. I didn't want him to give it up too soon and have regrets down the road or, worse, subconsciously resent me or our future family in any way. But I also didn't want him to do it for too long to the point where he was miserable, or didn't want to touch a golf club ever again, or miss out on a potential job opportunity that could make him really happy.

At the PGA event in Sea Island

I think most people might think he's crazy for giving up playing golf for a living. Even typing that, that job sounds ridiculously awesome, doesn't it? As much as I am looking forward to having him here every weekend and not nervously waiting on his phone call after each round, I will miss a lot of things, too. I'll miss compulsively checking the online scoring website for any updates on his score. I will miss walking 18 holes alongside him as he competes. I will miss fun weekends where we get up with the sun and spend the day on the course during a tourney. I will even miss being able to brag on him (since he is too humble to do it himself) and when people ask what he does, being able to say that my husband "plays golf professionally" (because again, it sounds pretty dang impressive).

But what I look forward to is bragging on him about his undying work ethic, his dedication, his smarts and his successes in a new career. I am so proud of him for making this very difficult decision and following his heart, for leaving the only career he has ever known and starting anew. I have so much respect for him. I know he will do GREAT things in this new position and beyond.

Golf has been a huge part of Alex's identity, and his identity to me. But there is one reason I love him more than anyone on the planet: his heart. And nothing can change his heart, golf or no golf. 

5 Crazy Weeks

Friday, September 7, 2012

I mentioned in one of my last posts that I was kinda happy that Labor Day had passed as the last few weeks have been insane!
It's funny because usually - at least for me - August is pretty slow.
Usually, vacations and weekends away are winding down.
School is starting (only affects me by way of the traffic madness).
Generally, I'm just gearing up for football season because that is when the weekends really get going for me.

Not so much this year.
This year, August was nutso.

You might recall that from July 10-August 9, we were having our Essentials Only Month, so we didn't really do anything that month except count our pennies (lame but pretty much the truth).
Then, BAM.
August got here and we didn't stop.

Here is a run-down of the last 5 weeks:
  1. August 3-5, I went to Dallas for my sorority, Sigma Phi Lambda, for the national officer training. I serve on the Alumnae Association Board of Directors so we had a Board meeting out there. It was super fun but super exhausting to be around hundreds of college girls all weekend!
  2. August 10-12, I went to Florida for Lesley's baby shower. It was a whirlwind trip and I only spent about 32 hours in the sunshine state. Another fun but tiring weekend!
  3. August 17-19, we hosted some out-of-town friends for the weekend. It was great to see them and we had a lot of fun wining and dining all weekend. 
  4. August 24-26, we went down to south Georgia for a lake weekend with 3 other couples. So fun! And so nice to be on the water :) I love me a lake, boys. 
  5. August 31-Sept. 3, we went to Gainesville, Florida for Labor Day weekend/Gator football kick-off/my birthday. That pretty much says it all as to why I am still tired from last weekend!
So yes, this weekend, I will have a nice, relaxing time.
I can't wait.
I plan to do lots of this:
and this:

Yes ma'am. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday's Letters

Wow...I can't believe it's Friday already! This week flew for me. Just a perk of having Monday off. I have a great appreciation for national holidays that fall on Monday (unlike the Fourth of July this year...Wednesday?? Bleh).

Anyway, it's time for Friday's Letters!


Dear Friday: thank you for being you. You're pretty awesome. Dear Pottery Barn: why must thou tempt thee with everything in thy catalogs? I freaking love you and your overpriced decor. Dear bed: I am looking forward to spending more hours with you tonight than I have in a long time. Dear calorie counter app: sometimes I just want to delete you. But it's best if I don't. Dear Ellie: please don't wake up too early tomorrow, k? Mommy wants to sleep in. Dear Penny: you look like a little lion right now with your hair all crazy and shiz. I like it but you're getting groomed on Monday, ya hear? Dear DNC: glad you're over...let's just get on with this election, please? Dear treadmill: sorry if you haven't felt the love this week. I just haven't felt like giving it. Dear New Followers: YAY! Thanks for the follow! I hope I am entertaining enough to keep you, well, entertained :)  Dear husband: So excited about your good news this week! I love you! I'm super pumped for you and for us!!

It's OK Thursday!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Linking up with Neely again at A Complete Waste of Makeup for It's OK Thursday!
Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK....
  • to like Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Latte better than Starbucks' version (and DD's is half the price)
  • to talk a big talk about getting my fall decorations out of the attic, and then when I did last night, I stuck them all in a corner because, let's face it, it's only Sept. 6
  • to send my husband alone to the football game this weekend...I need sleep and rest, people. And he will have friends there so he won't be allllll alone. 
  • to be happy that we are past Labor Day weekend - it means that my crazy couple of weeks of traveling and insanity, as fun as they were, are over! 
  • that my gastroenterologists (plural) still aren't sure what's wrong with me (actually, wait. That's NOT okay. But I know they're trying). 
  • that I want to buy a ton of fall-scented candles and soaps at Bath and Body Works, but there's no way I will ever use them all before Christmas and then it will be time to buy the Christmas versions
  • that I am already planning what kind of treat and toy to get for Ellie for her first birthday in a few weeks and I would like to get a cute "1st Birthday" hat for her to wear. Ya know, for the pics.
  • to look forward to a Saturday of staying in my PJs until 11, watching the Today Show until it's time for ESPN College Gameday (features Texas A&M v. UF this week - watch it!!), then do responsible things like vacuum and clean the bathroom

Have a great Thursday, everyone! And if you like what you read - please follow my blog! :)

A few days in God's country

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We got back last night from a long weekend in Gainesville, Florida, also known as God's Country ("God must be a Gator too - he made the sun orange and the sky blue"). I spent 6 years there while I was an undergrad and then a grad student. The place is very near and dear to my heart.

My besties Lesley and Lindsey live there, so every time I make it down to Gainesville, it's like all of my favorite things are rolled into one awesome weekend. Unfortunately, there just never seems to be enough time.

However, the drive to God's Country, as you might imagine, is not short. It takes about 7 hours to get from Greenville to Gainesville. You  may have caught my post on Friday of my adorable pups in the car on the way down. That pic was taken like an hour after we hit the road. I was still feeling chipper. But after hour 4 or 5, my butt goes numb, my back starts hurting like I am at least 50 years older than I am, and I start to get sleepy (esp if Alex is listening to ESPN radio and they aren't talking about the Gators)  but I can't flippin' sleep. Ugh. Anyway, it was totally worth the trip to see my very best friends!

We arrived at Lesley and Chris's house around 6 where we were staying for the weekend. Shortly after arrival, the hubs surprised me with an early birthday gift! It was carefully and thoughtfully wrapped in a...FedEx envelope. I was confused. But I opened it and found the cutest, most Gatoriffic dress EVER! Blue and white chevron stripe with orange trim. LOVE. (A pic of it is below). See, I may have dropped a hint that I liked it when I saw it advertised in a store email...but when my sweet husband went all over Greenville trying to find it for me, the local stores only had Clemson and USC colored dresses (the nerve). So he tracked down the maker, ordered it from their website, and had it shipped to Lesley's so I could wear it to the game!
Ready annnnnnnddddd: **awwwwwwww**
Yep, he is the best!!

Shortly thereafter, we kicked off the weekend with a trip to Blue Highway Pizza (so delish) for some pizza (duh) and a few celebratory drinks. Only soda for the pregnant one on the right, though!

Cheers! Me and my Besties on Gator Football eve

After dinner, we went back to Lesley's and just hung out and caught up. My mom, stepdad Dave, and brother John Louis were also staying at Lesley's this weekend, with their dog Jaybird, so we had a total of 7 adults and 4 dogs under one roof. It was a little bit loud and a lot crazy. But Lesley handled it very well, especially for someone who's 7 months pregnant! Alex and I slept on an air mattress in the nursery. And let me tell you, that nursery is PRESH. So adorable I can't even handle it. (I suck and didn't get a pic of it!! Sorry).

Saturday, we woke up and lazied around eating banana muffins, croissants and cinnamon rolls. Yes, we were carb loading if anyone asks. We needed the energy for the day at hand: college football, bay-bay! Mom, with her recently-broken arm, and Lesley with her in utero child, stayed behind while the rest of us embarked on our journey toward The Swamp. For those of you who know Gainesville, you know The Swamp means two things: a restaurant/bar and the most amazing stadium in college football. We went to both.

Hanging at The Swamp (restaurant, that is)
Some spinach dip, chicken wings, a few Lady Gators (my fave specialty cocktail) and a few buckets of beer later, we were headed to the other Swamp. The one that really matters.

Outside The Swamp restaurant, across from campus. You're never
too old to have someone attempt bunny ears on you I guess...
And then there was the game. Yes, it was a Win. No, it wasn't too pretty and it was against Bowling Green. We need to step it up, boys. Like, yesterday. That's all I'm going to say about that.

After the game, Mom and Dave took us out to my favorite place in Gainesville, Tapas and Tinis. They have great food, but I'm not gonna lie, the real reason to go there is the martini list. Ahhhh-mazing. (We went to countless Ladies Nights there while in college and grad school...$5 martinis on those nights...so yummy...and so dangerous when you have class the next morning). This also happens to be the place where Alex and I went on our first date! See, I told you it was my favorite.

Enjoying a 'tini at Tapas and Tinis.
This is where magic began, people. 
On Sunday morning we were lazy again. Then we did cake and presents for my birthday a day early since my mom was leaving. I got some pretty sweet gifts, inculding a monogrammed clutch and cute earrings (Alex), two cute dresses (Les and Lin), and a smattering of gift cards (mom and Dave). My girls, my mom, and my husband know me well!! Then we went out to lunch, then I did some shopping with Lindsey. It was fun to have girl time - we never get to just hang anymore! Sunday night, we went to Dragonfly downtown, where they have the best sushi in the world. For real. It is so dang good.

At Dragonfly, home of the best sushi ever
And just like that, it was Monday, my actual birthday. After such a fun weekend, I was sad that Monday had arrived and it didn't feel like my birthday. Plus, birthdays confuse me: you go to bed at a certain age and wake up the next morning a year older. Weird. 

After a delicious breakfast complete with a birthday mimosa at the Flying Biscuit, I said goodbye to my Gainesville peeps and reminded Lesley that the next time I saw her, she would be a mother. Crazy talk! But true! Then we loaded up our stuff and the fur kids and were on our way back to sweet South Carolina. 

Spending most of the day in the car was not what I really wanted to do on the anni of my birth, but that's the price I paid for a whole weekend of doing what I DID want, so I was okay with that. When we finally got home around 7pm, we were pooped. We grabbed a pizza, had a beer, watched Bachelor Pad, and I opened all my sweet birthday cards that had come in the mail. I also opened my gift from my in-laws: they got me the same super-cute Gator dress but in garnet and black for Gamecock games! So don't be surprised when you see me in the same dress all. season. long.  :)

It was a fantastic weekend. We might not be as crazy as we used to, but I'm just as tired nonetheless. You know what that tells me? We are getting old. When it comes to a good time, it doesn't matter what you do, it's who you do it with that makes all the difference. 

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