February 24, 2012


A couple weekends ago, I headed up to Ashburn, VA, for Chelsea's bridal shower!  Chelsea is the sister of my best friend, Molly, and some of you who read my old blog might remember her engagement pictures that I took and posted here.  Well, not long after that, Chelsea called me up and asked me to be their wedding photographer!  I'm so, so excited and absolutely cannot wait for the day to get here.  And, I'm very blessed to have this lady backing me up!  

But, back to the shower.  Molly and Chelsea's sister, Emily, planned and decorated the entire shower, and y'all, if this isn't Pinterest-worthy, then I don't know what is.  She clearly poured her heart into it, and not only were the decorations fabulous, but the food, which both Molly and her mom helped with, was to die for.  Enjoy these images from Chelsea's very special day!

That's Chelsea on the left and Molly on the right.  Would you believe they're actually twins?!?

One of Molly's lovely contributions to the shower was a plant with paper leaves.  Each guest could write her advice for a happy marriage on the leaf, and at the end, I promise the thing looked like a real plant!  It was brilliant.

As with all small children, Molly was determined to make a friend out of the flowergirl.  I'd call this a success.

Later on, after the guests had gone home, Ryan stopped by to read some of the cards and help Chelsea carry the gifts over to the apartment they'll share after they're married.  We're down to a matter of weeks!

Congratulations, you two.  I couldn't be more thrilled to be part of your big day, and I just adore the mess out of you!

February 22, 2012


If you're like me, you prefer your blogs full of brightly-colored pictures and clever commentary, and generally, that's what I like to post myself.  But sometimes, usually in the car on my way to work, I catch my brain making some sweeping statement about ways I've changed over the years or things I've learned recently, and I always categorize them in some weird, compartmentalized corner called, "Here's What I Know."  (Yes, in my head, I occasionally have what sound like PSAs.)  And since some people tell me they like my wordier posts, I thought I'd write one every now and again (on a Wednesday since it makes the title sound nice) about something life has taught me recently.

So, here's today's:  I'm learning how to gently and amicably declutter.

Mom, before you get excited, no, that does not mean I'm donating my whole dresser to Goodwill.  I'm still very much a material pack-rat, and no Costco roll of garbage bags is going to tear me from my 11th grade "Hello, Dolly!" t-shirt.

But, I've noticed in the years since I left college that I have more than a few noisy Facebook friends.  The good news is that I'm pretty sure none of them read this blog.  The advantage to Twitter has always been an asymmetrical "friendship", wherein I can follow and unfollow people at my leisure, and generally, that activity can go unnoticed a lot longer.  But, I don't have to do it often since I'm unlikely to start following someone I think is going to be typing out 140-character puffs of smoke on the reg.

But, here's the thing:  Barring some horribly offensive rant about God or politics or anything that might make me want to physically flip a table, I have a policy against de-friending people.  It's your prerogative if you want to shout from the rooftops how much you love Duke University, right after Carolina loses to them, despite the fact that you never went to college and arbitrarily chose to hate a school you would have loved had you attended.  I'll keep you around.  And if you want to post three articles a day, everyday, explaining why we should vote against a legal definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, I'll agree with you, but I'll still think you're obnoxious.  And if you want to post the millionth picture of your ultrasound that I've seen this year (it's February, people), then by golly, I will marvel alongside you at how big your baby already is.  And we'll still be friends, because at some point in time, you cared about me or I cared about you enough to want to keep up with your life, and I think falling out of touch is a silly reason to remove all traces of you from my life.  Even if you're no longer there everyday, chances are I still have a fond memory of you, and if you pop up every year on my birthday list, I get to feel the annual warm fuzzy of that memory again.

But I reserve the right to limit the number of posts that show up on my News Feed.  If your status updates read more like a stream of consciousness than periodic statements about something that happened that week, I'm going to assume you're alone in your apartment and that this is a one-sided conversation we'd actually be having if I were there.  Since I am not, we're gonna go ahead and limit your appearance on my homepage, but don't worry, you still have every bit of access to my profile, I will still think of you fondly, and I will hope that we actually have that conversation face-to-face at some point.  But you will never know.

I do these things not so I can simply limit how often you show up, but also because I want to continue to think of you fondly.  Because of the church I grew up in, where I went to school, and where I've lived since then, there are quite a few distinct groups of people in my life who tend to hold fast to common opinions, sometimes at the expense of social media etiquette.  While I respect their rights to express them as early and as often as possible, I'd just rather see you outside your house doing something about it, not posting support for your side on Facebook.  So, by silencing you, I get to pretend you're doing just that.

I'm not one of those people who ever threatened to leave Facebook or Twitter or any other media platform, because when it comes to friends, this ENFJ has a pretty addictive personality.  I not only love those sites, I don't actually know what I'd do without them.  But every habit needs a little self-policing, and let's just say that keeping up with it makes me really happy we're friends.

February 21, 2012


I say "baby cousin," but she's really not a baby!  She just happens to be the youngest of my seven first cousins. And I can't believe she's engaged!  Her brother and I were texting the night it happened, and he said the requisite, "I remember when she was born..."

I don't, but I do remember her being very, very small!

I haven't met her fiance, Jake, yet, but my aunt and uncle love him, and he seems to fit right into the family!  Both Jake and Cianne are from Southern Virginia, but they met while working at Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters, which is a Christian outdoors camp in Andrews, NC.  From what I hear, Cianne kept him waiting for a while before she officially started dating him, for which I give her a virtual high-five.  ;)

Cianne is a second year at the University of Virginia, so they'll wait until she's graduated to get married, but, as college flies by, I know the time will, too!

Can't wait for their big day!  Love you, Ci Ci!

February 17, 2012


A couple months after buying an insane number of frames at Ikea and combing through Pinterest and my hard drive for my favorite little prints and pictures, I finally have my gallery wall up!  

I took these pictures at night, so the lighting is more than awful, but I'm so happy with how it turned out!  

And, here's a little tip:  Instead of punching a bunch of holes in the wall trying to figure out the arrangement I liked, I used PowerPoint shapes in the dimensions of my frames to move the "pictures" around before I hung them.

Plus, I knew I loved Martha Stewart's technique of placing frames above and below an imaginary center line, so I used that as a starting point.

Plus, this project was so inexpensive!  Ikea frames are lovely, but exceptionally affordable, and I got all those pictures printed by Snapfish for $15.  Seriously.

Happy Friday!

February 15, 2012


Mmmm, yes, people.  Takin' it all the way back to New Year's Eve.  (But I do hope y'all had an extra heart-y Valentine's Day!)

So, New Year's Eve rolled around just a couple weeks after I moved away from DC, and a couple of my friends/coworkers up there were Virginia alumni.  So, we decided at my going-away party to try to take a road trip down to Hotlanta for the game!  A few things about me: 1. There aren't very many things I like more than road trips.  The radio, the people-watching on the highway, the logistics of it all... oh, I'm in heaven!  2.  I will very rarely turn down a road trip to go see a football game.  I know they say it's the journey, not the destination, but in this case, I think it's both.  3.  ACC vs. SEC?  Done deal.

Plus, I knew I'd be missing them a little by then, so we made it happen!  Keith, Ryan, and Hannah drove down from DC on the 30th, and we spent the night in Raleigh and took off to Atlanta early the next morning.  My sweet AAA discount got us a pretty affordable hotel near Buckhead, and we headed downtown about as soon as we got there!

Of course, that means we rode the Marta.  I had lived in Atlanta as a child, between the ages of 5 and 10, so I remembered riding it pretty well, and my parents especially remember how sketchy it was.  It turned out to be fine, especially with so many football fans riding it, but I didn't let my friends get on the train without telling them that this was NOT the DC Metro and that I would gladly leave them if they started a fight.

But, we got to Midtown in one piece.  And we even found a few Virginia fans to eat dinner with at Mellow Mushroom, so we made some new friends, too.  No requisite facebook friending took place, but I'm sure they are well and they live on in my heart.

I couldn't take my fancy schmancy camera into the Georgia Dome, and I wasn't an iPhone owner at the time, so I have this one picture to share with you from Keith's phone.


Anyway, Virginia got a good start, but couldn't manage to keep up with the reigning national champion (who is surprised?), so, against everything I believe in, we left in the third quarter.  To be honest, we didn't want to be on the Marta or walking around somewhere when 2012 hit, so we (miraculously) ended up in a less-than-crowded restaurant in Buckhead five minutes before midnight.  Long enough for me to reminisce about the previous New Year's Eve and still have time to blow a kiss at Ryan Seacrest.

By 2:00 AM, we were bone-tired, and the Marta was shutting down, so we called it a night.  And then we made the loooooong trip up I-85 the next day, but don't worry, we stopped at Cracker Barrel.

Happy Belated 2012!

February 13, 2012


A couple weeks ago, I headed up to DC for the weekend to help my sweet friend, Amy, celebrate her last weeks as a single lady!  (Cue Beyonce.)  And since she's getting married this Saturday (aaaahhhhh!), I thought we'd do a little recap.

Megan organized it all and flew down from Michigan just for the event!  (p.s. Megan is super important now and  gets her own articles in nifty online news websites.)  So, Amy, Lauren, Molly, and I met her at the metro (which we quickly abandoned because it is slower than dial-up internet) and headed to U Street!  Before we got in a taxi, we decorated Amy down in the bowels of Clarendon metro station.  Like good friends do.

Also, all these pictures are from my phone, so they are, of course, Pulitzer Prize worthy.

We did a little car-dancing in the taxi...

And then we got to the restaurant!  We ate at El Centro, which was delicious and very green.  Literally.  Not organically.

I heart my work twin. 

In case you were wondering, that tiara does, in fact, light up.  And the lights on it are red, yellow, and green, so technically, it can also direct traffic.  For ten bucks, not too shabby.  

I also super-cropped this picture because there's an awkward salsa stain south of my neck that the world doesn't need to see.  So instead, let's focus on our glowy iPhone eyes.

This picture gets me every time.  Amy scooted off to the bathroom for a little bit, and we started to notice that it was taking her a long time to come back.  But when we scanned the crowd for a second, we found the veil.  Schmoozing with the bartender.  It's a veritable bachelorette Where's Waldo.

I can't remember the details, but this guy said something about frequenting a bar in Baltimore called "Bad Decisions".  I think that's when Amy's well-adjusted and appropriately judgmental friends decided we needed to call it a night.

After that, I think Amy experimented with putting the veil over her face, Kate Middleton-style, and then we cabbed it back to Clarendon in one piece.  It was a fabulous night, and we laughed so hard about it at brunch the next day!

Love you, Miss Amy!