Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

summer books

Here's what I've been reading this summer:

Great American classic, right?  This is one of the few books I remember enjoying during high school so I decided to read it again this summer.  Especially since The Great Gatsby is coming out within the next six months, with Leo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire!  It's a quick read, maybe you should revisit high school too :)

This is such a precious book.  It's definitely something on an elementary school level but my Aunt Cissy gave it to me because of our sweet Dixie.  It was a cute, simple read and I highly recommend it to you!  You could definitely read it yourself or if you have a child in elementary school, it would be a nice book to read to them, like maybe a chapter a night or something.  Check it out :) (If you are reading this to your child, the only thing I have to warn is that there are hints toward the mom having left the family because of her drinking.  Other than that it's good to go.)

This book was wonderful!  It's written by the author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood so I knew it would be pretty great.  I love it because it is written from a woman's point of view (Cally Lily Ponder, go figure), you follow her from childhood into her thirties and it's set in the South.  Doesn't get much better.  This is a book where I definitely got pulled in emotionally, which means both laughing and crying throughout the entire thing.  Another book that I highly recommend.  Don't be intimidated by it's size (almost 400 pages), I read the entire thing at the beach in between talking, playing cards, tanning and drinking so you can do it too!

Now don't think I've gone all goth or that I'm into really creepy things just by the titles and book covers of the two books above.  They are GREAT!  They're the first two books in the Sookie Stackhouse series, which are the books that True Blood is based on.  I love the show but I had to slow down because it was really dark and sometimes a bit too much for me.  I'm happy to say that the books are only a fraction of all the "darkness" that's in the show.  The books are really more mystery and thriller and not so much...ummm...HBO.  I really don't know how to word that any better.  I feel like HBO over-sexualizes and over-dramatizes things.  But hey, it's TV and I guess they have to get their ratings somehow, right?  Don't get me wrong, I still love the show and it's still extremely addicting.  And the books are very addicting too!  I had to make myself not pick up the third one since I have some other books that I have to read that kind of have a time limit.  If this is any indication on how great these books are; I read the majority of the first one in 24 hours and only slowed down because I had to go to work.  The second one was finished within 48 hours.  Very addicting, very exciting and very quick reads.  Lot's of "very"s but totally deserving!  I feel super nerdy with these books because 1) I get great joy comparing the differences between the books and the show and 2)They are total fantasy books; before Twilight never would I ever think that I would've been into fantasy, ha!  Vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, maenads...the list goes on with the new types of characters they have.  You should get your hands on this series ASAP :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

your daily quote

The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.

Abigail Van Buren

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

wilmington and dinner w/donna

I think this is my last beach/NC related post.  Two weeks ago we were able to make it to Wilmington (my birthplace and one of my absolutely favorite places in the world) for some shopping and a wonderful dinner and drinks with my Aunt Donna.  It was so great to be out and about in Wilmington, it's a size-able city and a beach town all wrapped up into one.  Pretty much a dream place for me to live.  We shopped around and found great deals then joined Donna at Dockside for dinner and later The Oceanic for drinks.  Fun fact: The Oceanic is located on Wrightsville Beach which is where John proposed to me!  So sweet :)  It was great to see Donna and spend some sweet time with her.  Thanks for meeting up with us, it was truly a treat!!

in the car before we got our shop on!

sister sister

the other sisters

the whole group

sassy girls

The Oceanic, what a beautiful place

Monday, August 20, 2012

your daily quote

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

the graduate wife

It's about to get real here, again.

Being the wife of a graduate student isn't easy.  People don't understand when I say that John worked all weekend.  And by all weekend I mean, often the only time we get together during a weekend is dinner and a Redbox movie on a Saturday night and he works during the movie.  It's no joke when I tell people that when we first moved here and John started school (at that time he was enrolled in classes and doing research) I pretty much didn't have a husband.  He worked all the time.  He ate dinner in his (home) office.  During the semester of his quals (qualifying exams: tests/presentations/and the like that PhD students have to endure just to make sure they're "fit for the program") I could count on my two hands how many times we ate dinner together.  It's just a different world, y'all.  And up until I met my friend Anna there was no one to talk to about it, no one that actually understood.  It's nice now to have her and another friend who has lived through it and is now on the other side.  But it can still feel extremely isolating.  Like when you clean your house and run errands all day by yourself (cough cough, what I did today).  And you don't want to ask for recognition for those menial tasks because HELLO he's upstairs working on all his work stuff (technical terms here, people) the entire time and then he'll still be doing it long after you go to bed.  That's just how it is.  And it has taken awhile to accept that.  But back to what I was is isolating and super lonely sometimes.  Which is why I'm a little pissed at myself right now.  Because I just googled "graduate school wives" and up pops a blog about women who are married to grad students and are sharing their experiences.  I mean really?  Why didn't I do that earlier?  I'm hoping that it will be a promising blog (I've only scanned a few posts because it's nearly my bedtime) and that I can feel connected to this community of women.  I've already teared up at some of the things just scanning.  And then I came across this article and no, John isn't in chiropractic school but everything that it said rang true to my heart and I just cried a little in front of my computer.  I'm not saying any of this for sympathy, trust me.  I'm just putting it out there for the other graduate school wives that may find this and for anyone who knows one, maybe pass that blog along.  It may be helpful and hopefully they'll find a little encouragement.

the beach times

So we don't have a lot of pictures from our time actually spent on the beach but I think it's because we were too busy lounging around in the sun, reading, drinking, eating, talking and what not.  Here's the two Katie sent me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I feel like I rarely share my true, deep thoughts on this blog so I figured I'd fill you guys in today...

Today I just feel blessed.  Which is a really great feeling.  I always know that I'm blessed; I mean I was created by a God who loves me, I'm healthy, I have a loving husband and two fantastic families, a roof over my head, great friends, a precious dog, a job I love, the list goes on...but today I feel exceptionally blessed.

I woke up this morning (late morning) and made my breakfast, nothing special, just eggs and toast.  I lit a candle and watched some TV.  Then I took Dixie for our usual walk.  Nothing out of the ordinary, but the entire time I just felt so peaceful and blessed.  And I'm really thankful for days, moments even, like that.  Those are really special little treasures and I intend to store them up and remember them on a dark day.

Because the dark days come so easily and too frequently.  It's so easy to think what "could've been", like if we didn't live here, where would we be?  If John wasn't in school up here, would I be in school somewhere else?  Would I have a different career?  Would we have children now?  Would we be closer to family?  And I think those thoughts and feel those feelings more deeply after I've recently spent time with family (which would be right about now).  Those thoughts can be very overwhelming.

Then I just have to remember that God has us here for a reason, whatever reason that may be, and I have to trust that we're doing the right thing.  And oh by the way, we still have the rest of our lives ahead of us.  Like I said, it's easy for me to get caught up in negative thoughts because aren't they just easier to come by than positive ones?  That's sad to me.  So today I'm going to keep feeling blessed and soak in the peaceful feeling that's consuming me right now.  And I encourage you to do the same.  Whatever situation you may be in right now, I hope that you will embrace happiness and peace.  Hugs and kisses to all of my readers :)

your daily quote

found here

Friday, August 17, 2012

friday night (as in 2 fridays ago)

Two Fridays ago (has it really been that long?), I flew into RDU and was greeted by my sweet sister and her best friend (and my most loyal blog reader), Sterling!  It was so precious, they were waiting for me as I came down the escalator with a sign to greet me!  Then we all screamed and hugged like idiots and scared those around us.  I loved it :)  After that we all went out for Mexican because we are all equally obsessed with Mexican food and hung out the rest of the night around Katie's apartment.  A wonderful time was had by all, thanks y'all!!

in the car before we left the airport!

me and Katie at dinner

Sterling and his date at dinner :)

the only one that looks good in this pic is Katie but I don't have any others to document the time at her apartment (sorry Sterling)

your daily quote

found here

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

the time my fam went to lynyrd skynyrd

For Father's Day we got my dad tickets to go see Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers.  It just so happened to work out that we were going to be in NC at the time so the whole family got tickets.  Unfortunately, John wasn't able to make the trip with me so he gave his ticket to Abby and although I'm sad he couldn't make it, I'm really happy she was able to come!  We did do a shout out for John during Simple Man (his favorite Skynyrd song).  Y'all, this concert was amazing!  The people tailgating were a show in and of themselves!  But really, the music was incredible.  I thought I was going to enjoy the Allman Bros more (mostly because of their jam band type music) but I actually had a blast during Lynyrd Skynyrd and mellowed out during Allman Bros (and maybe dozed off a little, not for lack of excitement but more for the lulling sounds of their jams and extreme exhaustion).  It was even more special because of the people I was with!  Let me tell you, my family is a fun concert crowd (as long as we all like the artists)!  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!  Here's some pics :)

family tailgating

the spread, thanks Mom!

we. are. family!

we had to pose with a rebel flag, i mean it IS lynyrd skynyrd

kinda dark, but the whole group :)

me and the birthday boy (well, it was his birthday eve)

Mom and her girls


sister sister

fam at the beginning of the concert

to Dad!!

At the end of the night.  We were pretty exhausted...and stinky.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

summer breeeeeze

Makes me feel nice.  Ugh, I hate that summer is wrapping up soon.  It's definitely my favorite season of all time.  Like if you could just put Christmas in summer then my life would be complete and I'd be happy forever and long as it was summer.  Anyway, I've been a traveling girl, y'all.  I went on down to NC for over a week and I'm back now and getting into the groove of things.  John just got back tonight from a TN visit and man, was I missing that husband of mine.  Coming home to an empty house is real sad so I'm glad he's home again.  I have a ton more to post.  I'll break down the vacation in a few posts because there's like a million pics (I know, I was a little shocked too!  But like half of them are from Katie's iPhone so don't think I've started documenting absolutely everything.)  I also have some book reviews, movie reviews and just stuff going on in life so stay posted.  Just get ready for some binge blogging (probably starting tomorrow night).  But for now I'll leave you with this pic: 

The fam rocking out at Lynyrd Skynyrd/Allman Brothers.  Yeah, it was pretty awesome.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

your daily quote

The most beautiful voice in the world is that of an educated Southern woman.

Winston Churchill

Friday, August 3, 2012

your daily quote

Sometimes you have to be apart from the people you love, but that doesn’t make you love them any less. Sometimes it makes you love them more.

Nicholas Sparks

(I'm about to be with some of the ones I love so, yay!!)