10 years ago...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

On Sunday, it will be exactly 10 years since I graduated from high school. Which is completely crazy and mind-blowing and induces a certain feeling of...old. In some ways, it feels like a mere blink of an eye. And in others, I can't believe it's only been 10 years.

Where did I think I would be in 10 years, at 28 years old? If I had written it down - which knowing me, I am positive I did at some point - these are the things I would have had on my "where do you see yourself in 10 years?" list: 

1. Graduated from college
2. Possibly hold a graduate degree
3. Work in an advertising agency
4. Married 
5. With children 
6. Still "Best Friends" (since "Bestie" wasn't yet a word in 2003) with Lesley 
7. Live somewhere other than my hometown 
8. Homeowner 

And where am I now? Let's see how well 2003 Kristin predicted the 2013 Kristin: 

1. Graduated from college - check! 
2. Possibly hold a graduate degree - yep! 
3. Work in an advertising agency - been there, not doing it again! 
4. Married - that's Mrs. to you! 
5. With children - not yet...do the furbabies count? 
6. Still "Best Friends" with Lesley - always! 
7. Live somewhere other than my hometown - yes, although I'm not sure I would have guessed South Carolina! 
8. Homeowner - yep, and about to put our first house on the market and shop for home #2! 

Lesley and I, stylin' in our awards and medals at graduation

Other things I definitely would not have thought about at age 18 to put on that list? But some o the things I'm the proudest of? Finding and keeping friends in new cities, a few times over (and about to start that process again). Meeting and marrying the most handsome, smart, God-loving man I've ever met. Finding my way in my career as a marketing professional and trusting my instincts that brought me to my current - and very awesome - position. Making family a priority. 

I won't even begin to go into the roller coaster of the last 10 years, but I will say this: I have been blessed, and the Lord says that the best is still yet to come. So to all the new high school grads out there: the best is yet to be! Congratulations Class of 2013!
Look at this little graduate! Sniff!

The coach's wife!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Big news!

After 4 months of doing the long-distance marriage thing, with Alex in Macon, Georgia as a GA for the Mercer golf team, and me in Greenville, the end is finally here. (And not just because I was sick of it.) It's because my hubby is the new Assistant Men's Golf Coach at the University of South Carolina! Hooray!

It's pretty awesome that not only is Alex returning to his Alma Mater to coach, but USC is a fantastic D-I school, and it's in the SEC (the best conference around. Sorry to you ACC fans out there ;) Plus, we get to stay in the great state of South Carolina!

We have been hoping that this scenario would play out, but of course had no idea if we would be moving across the country or staying right where we are. Right now, we are feeling very blessed and excited for this opportunity, although it means we will be selling our home, leaving our friends and my job, and our church, and relocating to Columbia, SC. But you know what? God provides and He leads. He has led us to this opportunity, and I know the rest will fall into place.

If you think of it, please remember Alex and I in your prayers as we enter this time of transition: that we can sell our house quickly and find a comparable home in Columbia; that I can find a job I love just as much; that the summer of packing and moving and changing goes as smoothly as it can.

We are planning to get our house on the market as soon as possible, but I will be staying at my job through the end of July. Alex begins work immediately, so he will be in between Columbia and Greenville for the summer. The good thing is the cities are only about 1.5 hours apart.

We're super excited and blessed to have this great new beginning to look forward to! I could not be more proud of my husband. He is going to ROCK this job.

High Five for Friday and a LONG weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

There's a lot going on right now. But I have SO  much to be thankful for, especially after the horrifying Monday that the people of Moore, Oklahoma had and the devastation they have felt in the days after the tornado ripped through their lives. It felt right to do a High Five for Friday link-up today with things that remind me how blessed I am!

1. We're leaving for our Italy trip in 5 weeks. I am so pumped! So when I saw these emails come through last night, it made me smile and got me even more pumped!

 2. It's Memorial Day weekend, which means it's a long weekend and the official beginning of sweet summertime. We dusted off our deck furniture and busted out the citronella a few nights ago!

 3. We have 4 weddings coming up in June (in a 3-week span). I love wedding season!

 4. I have been sick this week, with a Crohn's flair (a minor one, but still - yucko) and then I got a fever on Wednesday and stayed home from work, where I got to snuggle my pups all day in bed. But I am feeling better now, got some more steroids from the doc for my flair-up, and I am thankful I was home on Wednesday instead of at work when I got some news...

5. Which is the fifth thing I'm thankful for today. I can't say what it is quite yet, but should be able to spill the beans in a few days! Exciting times, my friends. Here's a hint:

Now that you're good and confused, have a very happy Memorial Day weekend! (Don't forget to wear sunscreen!)

 photo H54Fbutton-triangle_zps678b65ba.jpg

Another first! {and Happy Friday!}

Friday, May 17, 2013

This morning, I commuted to work from another state - definitely something I've never done. I drove from my mom's place in the NC mountians to my office in downtown Greenville, SC. It's only an hour drive, but saying I commuted from one state to another sounds more impressive :)

As a native Floridian, I still sometimes get excited over little things - such as being able to get to the next state in under an hour - that I could never do growing up in South Florida. Heck, Cuba was closer than Georgia.

Anywho - this view wasn't a bad way to start my Friday!

The sun coming up over the mountains - the view from the bathroom where I was getting ready this morning!

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

I did something I've never done...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Have you ever had your hair done - cut, colored, styled, whatever - and been so unhappy with it that you went back to the stylist and asked them to fix it?

Well yesterday, I had to do that.

See, I wasn't completely unsatisfied with my hair. Actually, I think the majority of my cut (I don't get it colored) looked great and it was just what I asked for.

[Back story: I had long hair that I had grown out for years, then after we got married, I cut it - cliche, I know. And I kept cutting it a little shorter each time until it was shoulder length, a long bob. All in all, have cut about 8-9 inches from the length. I have been keeping it short because it is easier, takes less time to dry, and my hubby is one of the 12 men on earth who prefer short-ish hair to long hair. But I suddenly have developed an insane craving to have my long hair back, like, yesterday. Which is why I haven't had it trimmed since January. Until last week.]

When I went for a cut last Thursday, I asked the stylist (who was new to me - I went to a new stylist and salon for the first time) for a teeny amount to come off the length - just enough to shed the split ends - and to create some layers around my face and in the back to get rid of some of the heaviness of the blunt cut, now that it's past my shoulders.

Selfies are so awkward...
She did what I asked. But she kept cutting it on the right side, and saying how she couldn't believe how much longer it was on that side and that it must have just grown out weird.

Lo and behold, I get home to admire myself in the mirror, and what do I see? The right side is now noticeably SHORTER. Like a half inch to one inch shorter.

I knew that it was probably only noticeable to me, but it bothered me. And since I don't plan to get another cut for several months, it needed to be fixed for my sanity. 

I called the salon on Saturday and explained I just needed 5 minutes for her to fix it. They were super nice about it. When I got there yesterday, I thought it was going to be awkward. But my stylist was so nice and apologetic and made it really easy.

My point is, I almost didn't call back because I didn't want to hurt my stylist's feelings and I hate complaining. But that would have been ridiculous! I paid $50 for a haircut. She is there to make me happy. And it turns out it's not that big of a deal.

Problem solved. Now to get it long again... Suggestions for how to make hair grow??

Mother's Day in the mountains

Monday, May 13, 2013

the new swing at the cabin! Appropriate :)
I got to spend Mother's Day weekend with my mom and my Nana, something I wouldn't normally have the opportunity to do. But now that mom has a place in the mountains just 45 minutes from me, I get to see her a lot more, and my grandparents flew in for the weekend (and my step-dad's parents and aunt, too). We had a cabin full of family!

We took them all to the Biltmore Estate on Saturday to see the Festival of Flowers, and those who hadn't ever been toured Biltmore House, too. Other than that, we did a lot of eating, even more talking, and even more wine-drinking. It was a nice weekend to catch up and be with loved ones.

Three generations at the Biltmore Festival of Flowers
The Biltmore Estate's Festival of Flowers
As fun as it was, it made me realize, as it often does when I see my grandparents, how hard it is to watch them age. My Papa has always been of strong and sound mind and body, but both are starting to fail him. Especially his memory. It's tough to watch someone who you've always known as a tough cattle rancher to actually start to seem...old. And my Nana, who's still sharp as a tack, has a hard time getting around and depends on a cane or walker now. Taking her on a short walk around the gardens at the Biltmore was tough.

But watching my Mom handle them is amazing. It makes me realize what an incredibly caring and strong mother - and daughter - she is. It can't be easy to see your parents age and start to struggle. I only hope that one day I will be as patient and caring as she is.

I didn't mean for this to turn into a sad post - sorry! Getting older is a fact of life, I know. But it stinks. It scares me. 

Anyway - I loved, loved, loved being able to tell both my Mom and Nana "Happy Mother's Day!" in person. It's not something I take for granted! I hope all you mommies had a great Mom's Day, and that you all got to tell your Mom how much you love her.

We had four dogs in the cabin (and 8 adults!) Full house.

Why I started blogging

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I blog {obviously} and so do probably 90% of my readers. Why blog and put it all out there? Why say things publicly on the big, bad World Wide Web that you might not even as candidly talk about with your real-life girlfriends?

Hooah and Hiccups

I started this blog January 1, 2012 as a way to keep up with what was happening day-to-day. I was a newlywed - we got married July 9, 2011 - and I thought it would be cute to chronicle our new life together. I used to journal a lot, in high school and college, but stopped when life got busy with work and marriage and all that jazz. I thought a blog would be a good way to write it all down, as to not forget the little things in life along with the biggest events, and to have it all in one place. But what I didn't expect was to grow to love reading other blogs and keeping up with all of your little things and big events, too. 

I'm not a fashion blogger, a DIY blogger, a coupon blogger, or a health blogger, but all of those things are wrapped into Young & Southern from time to time. Most of all, the reason I started my blog is still the heart of it. My hope is to keep it going for a long, long time and be able to read back on that time when Alex and I went to DC for a whirlwind weekend or about the long process of finally being diagnosed with Crohn's. Because these are the little (and sometimes big) things in life I don't want to forget the details of. So thanks for reading Young & Southern along with me. xoxo

Nothing like a concert in the freezing rain...in May...

Monday, May 6, 2013

This weather is really wearing me out. Why is it so cold? And the rain won't stop! Isn't Memorial Day this month?! Ready for my dresses and white pants, yo.

I know I have nothing to complain about when compared to the Northern peeps who keep getting snow and actually cold temps, as opposed to chillier-than-normal and rain. But still.


Tailgating before the concert, when we were still dry!
Alex and I never go to concerts. We love music, and for the most part, love the same kind of music. But it's rare than we hear of a show coming to town that we both really want to see and it's worth the money. A few weeks ago, I got an email from Living Social about a concert in Columbia (1.5 hours from us) this past Saturday, May 4th. The lineup was Kacey Musgraves (okay sure, I can take her or leave her), Eli Young Band (like), Zac Brown Band (love) and Kenny Chesney (almost a country legend). The best part was that a set of 2 tickets was only $49. Yes, puh-lease!

Since A's hometown is only about 45 minutes from Columbia, we decided to turn it into a weekend with the in-laws and celebrate Mother's Day with his Mom a week early. And they watched the pups while we went to the concert: always a plus!

Zac Brown Band - they are SOOO good live!

When I bought the tickets, I had visions of sweat and sunburns since the concert was outdoors in Williams-Brice stadium, our seats were on the upper deck, and it began at 5pm. Could I have been more wrong? Instead of a sundress and sandals, I was bundled in every layer of clothing I had packed for the weekend, which wasn't much, with a raincoat on top for the rain that wouldn't get the heck out of Columbia. We didn't see the sun all day!

Kenny Chesney - the last pic my iPhone could muster before dying...
But despite the crummy weather, the large concentration of camouflage jackets, the drunken underage girls dancing on the bleachers, and the rednecks smoking in the crowd, it was actually a ton of fun. If you ever get the chance to see ZBB live, DO IT. They are amazing. The other acts were really good too, and who doesn't like at least one of KC's songs? I'm glad we toughed it out in the name of country music!

And WHERE IS THE SUNSHINE? Still waiting on spring in South Carolina!

May: new month, new challenge

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!

My April challenge, which was to spend at least 30 minutes outside at a time at least 4 days a week, was a bust. Not totally, but I found it to be a true challenge (imagine that) for something that should have been so easy. I really only had time for it on the weekends; after work, once I'm done running errands or getting my treadmill on, all I want to do is sit on the couch with my pups. And, it rained a lot in April. (Maybe there is some truth to the "April Showers bring May Flowers" thing?)

Anyway, today begins a new month and brings with it a new challenge. This month, my challenge to myself is something I should do every day anyway: I am going to floss every. single. day. 

Now, don't judge. You probably don't floss every day, either. And if you do, I am very, very impressed - for real.

I'm hoping this will get me in the habit of doing it every night. I just forget most of the time, or I think of it when I'm done brushing my teeth and, ew, who wants to floss after brushing??

So wish me luck and good dental health! 

Here's a re-cap of my monthly challenges so far in 2013:
  • January: get rid of something every day
  • February: track and log my calories (still going!) and get on the treadmill on a regular basis (still doing this, too!)
  • March: begin CouchTo5k program (still going strong! Jogging 3 days a week)
  • April: spend at least 30 minutes outside at least 4 days a week (I'm trying to make more of an effort to spend time outside)
  • May: floss every day!

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