Sunday, December 27, 2009

A White Christmas

Every year I dream of a white Christmas. And yesterday, I saw probably the closest thing to a White Christmas I'll ever see...

After a lovely Christmas with my family, my siblings, my fiance and I decided to see if there was any snow left at our small mountain cabin in NC. So, up the mountain we went. And to our great excitement there was still snow on the ground!!

pic by me

pic by me
pic by me

My fiance decided to bring along one of his Christmas presents and was practicing in the snow... I have to admit, it was pretty hot and manly seeing him throwing his throwing knives in the snow :)
So even though technically I had a white day after Christmas, I'm a happy girl!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Special Christmas Gift

I'm at the hospital right now working (well should be working, checking on patients) but I just had a moment and wanted to say Merry Christmas to all...

I just received the nicest surprised as I walked around the corner on my floor... in between pushing meds and doing my morning assessment, I ran into my fiance's parents grinning and wishing me a Merry Christmas! I just am so very blessed in my family and my future family! They live near the hospital where I work and new I had to work today and decided to surprise me with some Christmas cheer. It was so nice receiving hugs and kisses at work from my future in- laws. I am truly blessed... it was the sweetest Christmas gift I could've received this special Christmas morning.

God bless everyone on this Special Day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Open House

I've mentioned before that my family loves taking small trips to Saluda NC. And every year especially when the weather turns cold and my nose turns bright red after spending 2 minutes outside my family heads up once again to the mountains of Saluda for their annual Christmas Open House! So this past weekend, we did just that...

It is a time of snuggling up near the fireplace while drinking hot drinks up at the cabin, bundling up from head to foot in warm hats and scarfs, and drifting in and out of festive, decorated shops while nibbling on delicious food, hot cider, or wine. AND! It completely gets my Christmas loving self even more ready and excited about Christmas! (its the most wonderful time of the year, you know :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It Feels Like Home

My life has been so crazy for the past 3 weeks... I have been all over the place. I have literally been living in three different houses! The reason: My roomate got married the day after thanksgiving and instead of paying rent by myself for the next 5 months I decided to pack up all my belonging and move them to the fiance's home I'll be living in come Aptil 17th. And until then I've returned to the nest and moved back in with Mom and Dad. Plus, in between packing up the apartment and hauling it to my guy's home and trying to find a place for everything (nightmare, let me tell you, nightmare!), I've had Thanksgiving, my rommie's wedding, transformed a huge portion of my fiance's home with paint, and put up a Christmas tree...

However, the jumping from apartment to fiance's to parent's has come to and end per yesterday handing in my keys. It felt so good! And last night it felt like I'd come home while soaking in the tub I'd grown up in, chatting with mom sitting on the sink counter like the good 'ole days.

Who says you can't go home...

It feels like home to me...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Seasonal Struggle

Yesterday in the wee early hours of the morning on my way to work, I switched off my CD of Mama Mia and out blared Frosty the Snowman on my radio! What a surprise! I sat there for a moment debating whether to turn the station but before I new what was happening I was singing at the top of my lungs "They led him down the streets of town...." with a huge smile on my face (I'm a sucker for Christmas songs)!

Yes, its true... I've embraced the Christmas spirit (3 weeks before Thanksgiving!)! And I don't approve one single bit! I hate that our society jumps from Halloween to Christmas and has totally no regard for Thanksgiving. And here I am, joining in with those disregarders with greatest of enthusiasm. (sigh)

Its a huge struggle for me every single year. And I'm not exactly sure what to do about it. My problem is I can't help but jump into the holiday season when its staring me in the face everywhere I turn. So, while I don't approve, and my apologies to my Thanksgiving holiday (I still love you and you will be greatly celebrated in a couple more weeks with tons of food, love, and fellowship), BRING ON THE CHRISTMAS SONGS.

(In my defense, however, I put my foot down after the Christmas songs. No Christmas decor until AFTER Thanksgiving :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Message from Abe...

Washington, Nov 21, 1864
Dear Madam,
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
Abraham Lincoln

"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
~Aberaham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address

Monday, November 9, 2009

Owl Love

I love owls! I think it has something to do with them representing wisdom, I don't know. But how cute are these Owl Sheets from Garnet Hill! I definitely wouldn't mind breaking these out every once in a while!

Don't Get Married Until...

When I heard that my church, New Spring, was starting a series called "Don't Get Married Until..." I made sure my engaged self would be sitting in a seat bright and early Sunday morning, front row. Well, yesterday Perry spoke to all the guys out there in "Don't Get Married Until... You are Willing to be a Man". And oh, what sweet words he spoke... right into my romantic, man lovin' heart!

Yes, I like my men to be MEN. I like to see a bit of rough and tough warrior looking back at me when I see my guy. I'm a sucker for leading men that aren't afraid to dig deep, get dirty, and maybe a little on the wild side. Men like Robin Hood (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves), Maximus (Gladiator), Wolverine (Xmen), Tim Riggins (Friday Night Lights), and William Wallace make this heart go pitter patter.

So when my pastor told our guys that some of them needed to grow a pair, I might even had nodded my head slightly (yes, my PASTOR told the guys that some of them needed to grow a pair! who says that from the pulpit!?! love a guy who just speaks the truth!). "The definition of manhood in America has gotten ridiculous... and in the church it has gotten flat out goofy" he explained. And in my book Captivating that I'm still reading (and lovin) John Eldredge tells that "Women don't fear a man's strength if he is a good man. In fact, passivity might make a man "safe," but it has done untold damage to women in the long run... Men long to offer their strength on behalf of a woman." I love that!
But for the last 2 weeks during this series, I've realized how blessed I am in my guy. I've literally wanted to jump up at the end of the service and throw my arms around his neck in utter contentment! I love looking over at him after some revelation and him giving me a wink... *sigh*. So, ladies, after week 2 of this "Don't Get Married Until..." so far, so good! I'm getting the ok to wed and I'm diving in... head over heels!!! :D
"I will find you.
No matter how long it takes, no matter how
far- I will find you."
~Nathaniel to Cora in The Last of the

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Heart of a Woman

"There is something fierce in the heart of a woman..."
I have started writing this about 10 times now. I don't know where to begin ...
When I started writing this blog I had no agenda, no expectations, no theme. And as I said in my first post, I'm no great writer. I have no clever writing talent and no great message to send out to the great cosmos. I didn't and still haven't told any of my peeps about it. However, as the weeks have gone by, I must say, I've taken great satisfaction in sharing whats in my thoughts and heart on any particular day. And I do like the idea of sharing my thoughts to someone I've never known on any level and seeing if they are feeling the same way. I am thrilled that there is a small handful of ladies out there that take a peek at my thoughts from time to time. I guess I like sharing whats on my heart to the unknown. I wonder to myself, "have I made an impact on someones life today? have I cheered them up or made them smile?"
I say this to all the great women writers (and bloggers) out there who have impacted my life. Who have made me smile, who have brightened my day, given me a great idea, or made me think... I've noticed recently that I follow only female bloggers (no disrespect to all the guys out there, ya'll are great too). And I have to say how awesome, talented, and creative are we, ladies?! Every day I am inspired!
I love how God created men and women. I love seeing the stark contrast of the feminine and masculine and then also seeing how they compliment one another at the same time. Isn't that amazing!?!? I've started reading the most fascinating and interesting book called Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge and to be completely honest it just rocks!

From the heart of someone who is about to get married I feel like I am constantly and completely aware of all the unhappy relationships out there or the marriages that "went wrong" or "whats wrong with me" or "where did all the good guys go" from all my single girlfriends. So why I am enjoying this book SO much? This book is about me... about my heart. I can totally relate to it and come away feeling that much better about myself.

So to all my *unknowns* out there, today I encourage the reading of this book. It will make your day :)

You belong among the wildflowers

You belong in a boat out at sea

You belong with your love on your arm

You belong somewhere you feel free.

~Tom Petty

Friday, October 30, 2009


Thanks to Karyn over at French Charming and Brush Dance for the fab gift card of Kelly Rae Roberts wonderful artwork!! Yaye! So excited! Everyone have a great weekend and a wonderful and Happy Halloween!

First Purchase

I am happy to announce that I am now an Etsy shopper! I have officially made my first purchase from Plum Pretty Sugar's fabulous robe collection that I fell in love with a couple weeks ago! My fiance booked our honeymoon yesterday (yaye!) and I am now officially on the lookout for fab honeymoon attire I can wear in Jamaica! This item just screamed honeymoon when I saw it! Yes, no wedding dress to speak of yet but, I have a beautiful silk robe to lounge around in Jamaica. I'm a happy girl! So, again, thank you Plum Pretty Sugar for your beautiful collection! I present before you one of my newest purchases:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Depths of Despair

I'm afraid I'm In the Depths of Despair (as Anne Shirley would say). I'm in love with this J. Crew Daphne dress that has been discontinued (like 2 years ago!!) and every other dress just doesn't compare. I went looking this past Friday and no dress even came close to measuring up. I can't even find one that looks close! Oh, dear... what's a girl to do?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

6 Month Countdown

This past weekend I was given a huge dose of reality (and a bit of pre-wedding paranoia) when I was kindly reminded via my fiance that there is less than 6 months to go until my glorious wedding day commences! Yikes!! And I do say yikes only in regard that I have really got to get on the ball here (and not in regard of marrying the most handsomest, wonderfulest boy of my dreams, not to get confused). Yes, my dear girl, times-a-tick'n!

So, what have I done in the last 5 months? Well...

~I do have the boy (*sigh* yes, he's wonderful)

~ I do have the ring (*another dreamy sigh*)

~ I've got the venue

I grew up living down a long dirt road with pasture land, cows, old barns, new barns, ponds and woods. It was the perfect place to grow up! And one day I hope to build my own house out there. My sister was married in my parents home (these are a few of her pics) and while my wedding ceremony will be in a different location in the yard, I'm excited to be getting married there as well. Plus it saves on the cost!

After that it gets kinda fuzzy....

Actually I'm not giving myself enough credit. I have my photographer, same girl who did my sister's wedding, I have my caterer (lucky my boy's brother owns a Capri's, an Italian restaurant that is delish! love a connection!) and my bride's maids material and pattern picked out. Yes, I'm having them made... kinda nervous a/b that.

All in all I guess I am more worried about the small details now. Yes, details. And the small detail of MY DRESS! Haven't found "the dress" yet... kinda nervous a/b it... And what a/b all my guys suits... nope, not yet! So there are a couple more big details as well. Well, I'll be optimistic, I have plenty of time! I mean... Right?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mud Stuffing

A couple weeks ago my family and I traveled up to Saluda, NC where my grandparents retired many years ago and while neither one is able to live there now our family still frequently visits the historic "Mayberry" town and stay in their small cabin as often as we can.

During the weekend we visited nearby Hendersonville, NC where an arts festival was being held and I stumbled upon the loveliest pottery ever being displayed!! Called Mud Stuffing, created by Keith Phillips, their stuff is right up my alley!! Check out their blog too! I only wish I'd bought this 4 set of white mugs I'd seen there that I didn't see online!! I came so close. Oh, regret!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh! What Treasures I Did Find!

Its been a rainy couple weeks here in the Carolina's with a splattering of beautiful fresh autumn days in between. And, although many would disagree,I have to confess I haven't minded the rain one single bit. There is something very cosy and fally about snuggling in on a cool, dark, rainy day in my snug small apartment looking at magazines, reading Emma, and watching old movies (Of course with a cup of hot tea and my candles lit, of course!). This morning, although not raining, but recovering from another down-pour from yesterday is still very cool, damp and cloudy, still perfect to snuggle in! So after waking, eating my egg and goat cheese sandwich (my new fav invention), I eagerly settled myself on my couch and into my new Pottery Barn mag and ohhh, what treasures I did find!!

I'm constantly on the lookout for items that I can bring to my fiance's house after we wed in April b/c, although his small starter house has a certain charm to it currently, it definitely has the bachelor pad aroma as well and I am determined to smother that out and make it into our home after I move in.

So while flipping threw PB I fell head over heels for this Ashby Sleigh Bed, handcrafted using planks of spruce, durable wood, beautiful knots and in this golden color! Yes, I'm in love!

I also love, love, love this whole Benwritght Collection! Look at that sturdy table. It looks very hardy and big enough to feed a hungry crew...And while these items are too big really to fit into our small starter house it makes me dream about the day when we build our own home out in the country!! Oh, how fun is it to dream!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Autumn Leaves

(i love my home in the fall)
How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times,
they wildly fly

Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.
~Elsie Brady

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Newlywed and the Nutcase

I messed up. I made my sister cry and I don't know why. Well, I do know why... because I am a cold cow... I am a selfish, mean, cold cow. My little sister who I never see anymore, who is probably the most loving and refreshingly kind person ever, came for a visit and I really let her have it. Yes, I was cold.

A little over 4 months ago, the first of my siblings "bit the dust" so to speak and tied the knot. Someone had to be the first to go, and we were thrilled and so excited she'd found a fabulous someone! Who doesn't love a wedding!! She was the most beautiful, radiant bride in the history off all brides to walk down the isle. I may be a little bias, but I know that statement to be true. I was there; I saw her glow. Yes, she was the bride of my dreams.

However, it has been an interesting few months since that glorious day. Her marriage has changed the whole dynamics of my close nit family, more than even I had bargained for. That husband of hers has taken her away from me! AWAY FROM ME! I mean, packed up, moved to another state, locked her away, and thrown away they key. Ok, so maybe I'm being a little dramatic (a little too much Jane lately?). But apparently, I'm having a hard time handling it... I've missed her.

I miss her. When she is home she changes the whole atmosphere of the house. She has this love of life and this laugh! Well, its very fascinating to see up close. So, when she came home this past weekend for our older sister's birthday I really gave it to her. I told her exactly how I felt about the whole situation, that she had best better put forth more effort to come home more often and that she was basically on the brink of being cast out forever if she didn't change her ways! And when she started to cry I didn't even blink.

It wasn't my best moments... and I wasn't sorry for about an 3.2 minutes...

And then I was... And one phone call later all was forgiven.
But it made me think. Marriage really does change things. Your family who has been number one in your life for forever is no longer the number one. Your new family is number one. That's the way of life. That's what God intended. And its so perfect and so right. It made me realize how maybe I too need to make my future number one, my own number one.
Then God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him,
The Lord God said," It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a helper suitable for him."
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of man,
and he brought her to the man. The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man."
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother
and be united to his wife and they will become on flesh.
~Genesis 1-2~

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn's Beginning




~Stanley Horowitz

Yesterday was the first day of fall and today my sister's birthday. I always associate the two together. She actually was born on the first day of fall back in 1980 and came close to being named Autumn which I always found kind of fascinating, knowing a name you were once almost called the rest of your life.

We have always been close. Always. She is the kind of person that when I am with her, I feel more confident in myself just by her presence. She is my person. My best friend. My phone call after work to vent after a hard day, my fashionista guide through the styles of life, my spiritual role model, and the most beautiful person inside and out that I will ever know. She is the oldest of 5 siblings and a leader in every capacity. And although I have 3 sisters, she is my only big sis, for I fall in place right next to her and have stayed close by ever since.

I see her at least one or twice a week and last week on this particular visit to her home in Spartanburg we were both in crabby moods, kinda fussing at each other and short with each other after the long work day. We decided to play this game to get us in better moods and went back and forth saying reasons we love the other person. We have never done that and it was an interesting insight into how she sees me and vice versa. Here is only a couple I came up with:

  • I love how driven and goal oriented she is. She is an English high school teacher and while she's been teaching shes gotten one masters and is working on her second one currently. She then is getting her doctorate which is her educational goal. She also has a list of life goals she keeps on her refrigerator door.

  • She loves her students. She goes to most of her student's sporting events after school and was even the stat keeper of the basketball team for a couple years. She currently is in charge of the teachers' "Stan Fan Club" where they cheer on their students. She takes her kids to Europe in the summer to show them in person what they've been studying all year. She always is one of the first teachers to get to school in the morning because she is the best. She wants to be the best. And its because she really loves her students and wants them to succeed.

  • She is very wise, she is able to read a person and analyse their personality. She gets that from my dad.

  • She has great hair! She can wear it curly or straight and can have many blond highlights or wear it severely dark and it always looks great.

  • She likes to be the center ofattention. But not in an annoying way. It comes naturally that she usually is the center and she can handle it. People are drawn to her because she is a natural leader and communicator. I get nervous when I have to be the center and its easy for me not be when she is there.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Becoming Jane

Two enthusiastic members of the Jane Austen book club met together last week ready to dive head first into the head of the wonderful and talented Miss Jane Austen. For inspiration and to get things rolling: one of my favorite movies, The Jane Austen Book Club! I first saw this movie last year and fell completely in love!

My sister, the schoolteacher, and I have always been HUGE fans of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Were first introduced at a very small age to the 1940's classic version staring Greer Garson as Miss Elizabeth Bennet and I must confess our love affair with the tale never ended. From the 1995 adaptation to the newest release with Keira Knightley, my sisters and I are still enthralled with the love story between Elizabeth and Darcy. What is it about the story that makes me read the book and watch the movies over and over again? Even my fav Kathleen Kelley in You've Got Mail is hooked!

While Pride and Prejudice has stayed near and dear to my heart I am ashamed to say that I'm not as familiar with Jane's other classic novels. And so, the Jane Austin book club has commenced. Emma is first on our list and I better get reading. So let me light a candle, fix a pot of hot tea and snuggle in for the first four chapters.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Taste of Fall

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, its official. Summer is now over and fall is here! How do I know, you ask? How does someone know the exact moment summer officially ends and the fall season has arrived? Well, I have checked off all the items on my mental checklist that insures that fall has arrived. This list doesn't have to arrive in any particular order, but all must be checked before I can make such a bold statement.
No. 1: A scattering of brown leaves on the ground

A few weeks ago I went home for a little visit. I drove down the long gravel road, turned into the driveway and saw dead, brown leaves scattered over the green front lawn in front of my house. The home I grew up in sits on the edge between woods and a field. Directly behind the house there are woods, and in front strictly green grass , a fence, then open fields. At the end of summer there is enough breeze to carry a few dead leaves from the woods to the front yard. When this happens I know fall is on its way.

No. 2: A fresh crispness to the air in the morning
After hitting the snooze button at 0530 on my alarm clock this past Thursday morning I received a phone call directly after from my hospital telling me if I wished I could be down staffed and not come into work that morning. This rarely happens and I always jump at the opportunity to snuggle down into covers and fall back into slumber. Well this particular morning sleep evaded and so I put on my tenni's, stepped outside and went for a morning stroll around the track. And what a morning... BEAUTIFUL! The perfect fall morning: cool, crisp, breezy and refreshing. As I soaked in the morning air I knew fall was on its way.

No. 3: Football season has arrived

I have grown up watching my brother play football. He has played the game practically his whole life. He has given me a great appreciation for the game and I love football season!! I love everything the football season brings: tailgating, cheering for the team, cool, crisp nights in the stand. This past Saturday was my brothers first game of the season. And, although it was steamy on this particular day I knew fall is on its way.

No. 4: Labor day cookout at my parent's home
Every Labor day my parents have a cookout at the house. It all started because my brother's birthday landed on the holiday and so every year there is a cookout/birthday gathering of the family and close friends. Sometimes the event is held down at the pond with fishing and a bonfire, sometimes it is held in the front yard beside the big red barn. The evenings are perfect for the gathering because there is always a hint of coolness in the air. It kicks off the official fall cookout season and I love it!