Category Archives: Celebrations

Hello, Strangers

I’m not going to apologize for my long absence from this blog.  I’ve said it before, this is for me, so I’m not going to feel any sort of guilt about my life getting busy and not spending as much time here.

There’s also not a real point to this post, I figured I’d just brain dump some of what’s gone on in my life since March when I last posted.

So, we made it through tax season.  Andrew survived another busy season, and our home and lives didn’t fall apart in the process.  We owed lots of taxes this year due to some poor planning, but we’re planning better for next year.

NC voted at the beginning of May for a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage.  I’m disappointed in our state.  We need to do more to educate people on legislation that they’re voting on.  There were a lot of people who said after the vote that they didn’t fully understand the amendment.

Emma was sick last week.  She’s way better now, but last week she was a pitiful mess.  She spent Wednesday at the Vet’s office (we LOVE our vet) and has a collection of medications now.  She’s almost back to herself.

This weekend Andrew and Emma and I went up to Richmond for our friend’s birthday.  Another friend also came up, and we had a great time hanging out with them.  On Saturday, we went to the River Rock festival on the James River in Richmond and we got to see the Sylvan GO camper trailer that I’ve wanted to see in person.  And y’all, this thing is as cool in person as it looks in pictures.  I figured that they probably used a really wide angle lens to take their stock photos, and that it wouldn’t be that big.  But I was wrong, it’s really that big.  Very cool, I want one, but I also want the time and energy to use it.


Andrew also survived spring semester of Grad school, and summer classes are well underway.  He’s only taking one class this summer, and I think we’re both ready for the break that begins at the end of June.

This coming weekend includes the 2 year anniversary of my mom’s death.  That day is also Andrew’s birthday.  I don’t know yet what our weekend plan is, it’s a hard one to plan.  We want to do something with my dad, but I also don’t want to totally monopolize Andrew’s birthday weekend.

My garden is growing, except my bell peppers aren’t doing well.  I can’t really figure out why they’re not growing.  The plants are still about 8″ tall, but they’re flowering.  Hopefully they’ll shoot up soon.  My squash and tomatoes and herbs are doing really well.  Even our lettuce and spinach is still doing well.


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Filed under Celebrations, Fun, General, Life, Travel

Come right over! Happy 100th Birthday, Girl Scouts!

On March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Low “Daisy” called a friend and famously said “Come right over! I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!”  And they did.

Today the Girl Scouts of the USA have an uncountable number of Alumnae.  If you’re one of them and want to reconnect go to and share your story, or reconnect with Scouts geographically or through common interests.  You never really quit being a Girl Scout.

And if you weren’t a Girl Scout, and you’re thinking “Oh yeah, I like their cookies” or “What’s the big deal? It’s just camping!” then man, I’m sorry, but you have no idea.

Girl Scouting is about so much more than cookies.  Cookies are about so much more than fundraising.  It’s about empowering girls, and women, to take responsibility and control of their lives.  Selling cookies teaches girls about fiscal responsibility, it helps them interact with strangers, it teaches marketing skills that are transferrable to a workplace.  Camping doesn’t teach girls that they don’t need a light switch and a toilet that flushes, it teaches them that they really can do ANYTHING they want to do, that they can take care of themselves.  Singing teaches about listening, and working together and how to just plain have fun, even if all you’re doing is walking.  Badgework teaches leadership, and how to have the confidence to try something new.

I do a lot of boating facilitating for scouts, and one of my favorite things to do with a group of young high schoolers is to have them flip their canoe over in the middle of the lake and then teach them to get back in it while they’re out there.  It’s tough, don’t get me wrong, but when those 14 and 15 year olds realize that they can get themselves in a precarious position stuck in the middle of a lake, and then take care of themselves and make it right (and right side up) again, it empowers them! It’s amazing to see the transformation that can happen over the course of a few hours.  That quiet girl in the back of the group becomes the hero, she BEAMS with confidence.  That’s what Girl Scouting is about.

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

That’s the current Girl Scout mission statement.  How true it is.  Thank you, Juliette Gordon Low, for believing in us.

Some more links for you:

Like to sing? Come to the 100th anniversary sing along in Washington DC this June!

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Filed under Celebrations, Friendship, Fun, Girl Scout

And so it begins

The long stretch until football season begins again.  How many days?  Too many.

Spring games will happen soon, right?

The football dynamic in our house is weird.  Andrew doesn’t care for the game at all.  He’d rather watch boxing or Animal Planet and ignore football all together.   I’m not a die hard fan of a particular team (although I am partial to the Carolina Panthers and there are a few teams I really don’t care for) but I love to watch.

Our kitchen “Menu” board became the party announcement board this weekend.

Like I said, there are a few teams I don’t much care for.

This year, some college friends of ours came over to watch this Sunday’s “big” game with us.  It was so much fun.  I really miss these people, and all the time we spent together when we were still all in Greenville in school.  It was great to have everyone together.  The sad part is that most of us live in the greater Wake County area, but still don’t see each other.

Regardless, a good time was had by all.  And most of us were happy with the results of the game.


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Filed under Celebrations, Friendship, Fun

I have an Intermediate dog.

Tonight was Emma’s Graduation night.  Emma graduated (with colors, although I’m not sure they were flying) from intermediate obedience class at our local PetSmart.  (I never know if it’s supposed to be PetsMart or PetSmart, but I think it’s the second one.)

Check out her hat! (she’s not amused by the hat)

Our usual trainer was out under mysterious circumstances that might be emergency surgery, and the new (to us) girl was tough!  She timed our “sit-stay” and “down-stay” and all that, it’s hard to sit still for a full minute when you’re not even six months old and you’re at your favorite place with all your friends.

Andrew hadn’t been to class in a couple weeks, and even he was impressed with Emma’s “heel” and she was a champ at waiting at the door.  I’m super proud of her tonight!  We’re taking a break before we start the advanced class.  Andrew’ll be busy with tax season, and I’m going to be traveling for work.  Plus, we want the trainer to have a chance to recover and come back, we like her style, and hope she’s feeling better soon!

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Filed under Celebrations, Emma

Happy Christmas

I hope your Christmas was filled with food and friends and family and laughter and enough alcohol to make it through without screaming.  Mine was, and for that I’m really thankful.  I helped Daddy host 23 people today for Christmas lunch at his house.  It went as well as it possibly could.  A little hectic in certain moments, minimally awkward, lots of leftovers.

And now, it’s almost 1am.  I know it’s because of all the emotions of the day, and because I’m exhausted, but I miss my Mom so terribly I can hardly breathe.  I missed her all day yesterday, when I was working in the kitchen, by myself, no idle chatter or “can you pass me that cutting board” to keep me company.  I’ve missed her all month, as we planned out the menu and the seating arrangements.  I missed her when I was trying to decide if it was really okay to skip the tablecloths this year and just use the runners and cloth napkins.  I missed her when the third relative said “How about I bring sweet potato casserole?” and I couldn’t figure out how to say that it was already covered.  I missed her when we were Christmas shopping, this was the year of “the perfect gift for mom”.  But now that the meal is over and the leftovers packed away it’s all crashing down on me.


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Filed under Celebrations, Challenges, Family, Food, Friendship

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

I know, I know, it’s December.  But I want to tell y’all about my Thanksgiving.  I’ll say that I didn’t want my Thanksgiving post to get lost among all of the Thanksgiving posts last week, so I saved it until now.  Yeah, that’s it.

We spend Thanksgiving with Andrew’s family.  Partially because I don’t want to travel to the event my family goes to, and partially because I put my foot down about where we’re spending Christmas (my dad’s house) so Thanksgiving is flexible.  This year, we spent Thursday with Andrew’s Dad’s extended family and then Friday was at our house.

Andrew’s sister came in to town for the holiday (she lives in California), which is unusual because she only comes around a couple times a year.  She was upset that we all (Sister, MIL, FIL, Andrew and I) wouldn’t be together on Thursday, so I volunteered to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for the five of us on Friday.  It just so happens that “host a family dinner for a major holiday” is one of my day zero items, and you’ll remember that I just got a new stove, so I was actually glad for the opportunity.

By some Thanksgiving miracle the turkey, vegetables (all 4), gravy, cranberry sauce and everything all managed to be finished and ready to put on the table at the same time.  It was amazing.  They were also just in time for SIL and MIL to get into a screaming fight and MIL to storm out in tears.  Yay.

I’ve heard people tell about family fights at holidays and I always thought “No one really does that.  No one would actually yell at a family member in someone else’s home and then storm out of a meal.”  Well, I guess people really do that.  SIL apologized to me later and I kind of brushed it off.  I didn’t know what to say in response.  It really ruined the mood for the meal.  No one really talked much after that.  Then I ducked back into the kitchen to make dessert, afterwards MIL washed half the dishes and over-loaded the dishwasher with the other half and then everyone left.

I guess it’s not unusual to have some good and some bad at a family gathering like that.  I’m just not use to that kind of thing.  My family doesn’t yell, especially when not in the privacy of one’s own home.  I really like my ILs, I’m lucky.  But learning new family dynamics is hard.

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Filed under Celebrations, Family, Food, Life

Puppy Class Graduation

A few weeks ago I posted about how we were taking our puppy Emma to puppy class.  It’s been a few short weeks, and tonight was graduation!

Emma’s been great all the way through class.  She’s a champ at “sit” and “wait” and has a hilarious “down”, it’s like she dives at the floor – it cracks me up every time.  “Stay” is hard for a wiggly little puppy like her.  And “loose leash walking”, walking on a leash without pulling, is tough for us all.  She’s the best in class at “leave it”, amazes me every time.  We’ve had a great time in class, and I’m sad to see it end.

We plan on continuing her training.  We’re taking a short break before starting the intermediate class.  Emma has a few things going on in her life, she’s teething, and soon we’ll set up the appointment for her spay surgery.  We also have a few things going on, with the holdiays coming up and my busy season at work imminent.  But I do recommend the PetSmart trainer, Sarah, at the Apex location.  She’s great.  Emma loves her, we appreciate her knowledge and helpfulness.  We’ve had a great time in class.

Emma has even made friends.  She especially loves a labradoodle in the class.  We joke that they’re “dating”.  They like to go dancing.


And check out that huge puppy in the background.  He’s an English Mastiff, six months old.  He’s going to be in the intermediate class with us too.  I can’t wait to see how big he gets.  He’s such a sweetheart.

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Filed under Celebrations, Emma, Fun