Thursday, March 17, 2011

40 days without.....

So, I have never been a huge fan of giving up anything - not even during Lent.  If you know me at all, you have realized that self control is not by biggest strength - remember my post about dieting??!  But, I admire those that feel compelled to restrain from things, especially during the season of Lent.  I never tried in the past, mostly because I couldn't think of anything to give up that would not make me totally insane:
Coffee? Right, that's not happening! 
Dessert or chocolate? Sure, that's doable for someone like me who eats dessert first, just in case!  
Alcohol? No thanks, I think I'll save that torture for being pregnant. 
This year, if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right, and I wanted what I gave up to truly mean something.  Lent is the season of reflecting on Jesus' life and his sacrifice for us.  It was not until last Thursday, on my day off, that I had a brilliant idea - I would give up TV in the bedroom for lent.  I love to have the TV on when I am home - it is a source of noise and comfort for me.  It makes me feel like someone is there with me.  I have grown accustomed to falling asleep to the TV every night - I won't let Brent turn it off (or fall asleep before me), until I am ready (or already in sleepland).  I knew this was perfect because, honestly, we all watch way too much TV - and by TV, I mean mindless programs that don't benefit us at all.  It sucks us in - like Lifetime Movies. 
I also confess there was a much larger reason for giving up TV in the bedroom.  After feeling very stale in my house of 5 years (yes, that's a long time), I felt we needed some change.  I had already reconfigured the living room as many possible ways as could be imagined, so that room was off limits.  But the bedroom....the glorious bedroom!!  It had not changed since we moved in!  We had painted the walls, but never has the room been rearranged.  After taking apart my bed-set, moving large and heavy pieces of furniture, I finally had the room just perfect.  It was beautiful - a new layout, some pieces of furniture switched out for others - a whole new perspective!  I was very proud of myself, and all my hard work. 
But there as one little problem - the cable jack.  Oops!  I had not realized that one, small placement of an outlet would make such a big difference in where we put the TV.  Said "jack" was all the way across the room....... next to my nightstand.  Keep in mind that I had slaved all day and had not showered since the morning prior, so the thought of going to the store, buying a cable cord long enough to go around the room (and don't forget the task of concealing this hideous beast), was just enough to send me into orbit at this point.  Plus, if you ask me, a TV looks a bit tacky in a nicely decorated room.  It stands out.  So there, in my sweat soiled t-shirt, gym shorts, and clogs, I had the divine revelation that I would give up TV in the bedroom.  (Notice that "I" here really means "we" since Brent and I most obviously share the same bedroom.)
All kidding aside, I knew it was the right thing to help me reflect on the season.  Patrly because I felt a sense of panic and knew that this would be hard for me.  And also, because I noticed several books piled under the bed when I was moving it that had not been read or finished yet.
It has been one week without TV.  One week of reading, and then turning out the lights and falling asleep - just as God intended it to be.  I must say, I am sleeping better, and have already finished one book.  Brent, reluctantly, is still on the same book, and asked me yesterday, "How many days are in Lent?"
40 days, so 33 more........:)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gettin hitched....

Saturday, my family and I traveled down to Richfield for a wedding.  For those of you unfamiliar with Stanly County, Richfield is the home of some of my dearest skiing friends - the Almond's, the Barringer's (two generations now!), the Culp's, and the ever infamous, Tommy James.  We knew we were in for a great day - it's not often that the skiing family actually sees each other in the winter months, let alone fully clothed and not wearing skis!  It is always so great to reconnect before the summer starts - where we see each other every weekend traveling from tournament to tournament.  And this day was no exception - congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Treece Barringer!
Their wedding was pleasantly down to earth - local bluegrass musicians at the ceremony (why didn't I thnk of that!), good stick to your ribs food at the reception, and intimate setting.  I felt lucky, and honored, to be invited, since I knew they were planning a small venue.  I have known Treece for over 15 years - we grew up in the skiing world together.  I remember tournaments at Clear Lake in the 90's where I was scared to death to use the porta-pottys, all because Treece and some other boys decided that it was funny to shake and rock them while courageous fools were using them.  Thankfully, Treece has come a long way since then! He and his dad, Bill, have graciously let me ski with them during the summer, and I have grown very fond of the whole Badin Lake crew over the last 10 years.  If I could get Brent to move further west, I would. 

One of the highlights of the wedding (besides when one of the grooms almost passed out and had to walk out of the church for a few minutes - no names, Tommy!), was the homily.  This is where the officiant gives some sort of advice to the new couple.  I don't remember mine, but I am sure it was inspiring and close to what was said on Saturday - that marriage has responsibilities (shocker - marriage is a responsibility??)   So many people (mostly women) are obsessed with getting married, but there is a difference between getting married, and being married.  Marriage is hard, it's not all tingles and first time jitters.  It's not always a feeling, it's a decision.  I love my husband, but yes, there are times when I want to strangle him (not really, but it sounds funny, right?)  Whenever brides come into the store to discuss purchasing their gown or bridesmaid dresses from J. Crew, I always tell them not to stress about the day - it's only a few hours, and no one really remembers it anyway.  They spend so much time on details - their outrageously expensive dress, the colors, theme, table decor, yada yada yada!  Come on - why not stress about the fact that you are committing to someone - actually just ONE person, for the rest of your life.  Once you're married, you can't return it, exchange it for a new one, etc....  It's not like that new dress you just had to have, and now regret blowing your whole paycheck on.  So much emphasis is placed on the wedding day, and it really makes me sick.  Honestly, is it necessary, and even responsible, to throw thousands of dollars away on a party?  And do people really care?  Maybe invest in the food and drink - that's all your guests really care about anyway.  They don't care about your hair or your dress - sure, they'll ooh and aah as you come down the aisle, but they are not going to discuss years later (or even days later) how the groom's cumberbunds were such a stunning shade of lavender.  Come on girls, get it together!  Does anyone else feel so strongly about the absurdity of weddings these days?  Don't even get me started on the pre-wedding festivities that start months before, where you ask your whole wedding party to chunk down their hard earned dollars and time going from shower to shower and outlandish bachelorette weekends.
Perhaps, I'll stop while I'm ahead, and leave you with some pictures of the day:)  I've probably offended several people by now, and I do apologize.

Congratulations, friends!   
Don't forget - nothing easy is ever worth having!

A Night at the DPAC

This past weekend went by a bit to fast for me, so I decided to carry it out until Monday.  I worked Sunday and Monday, and was at wedding all day Saturday.  I splurged and actually stayed out until almost 11 on a week night - I know, reign me in!  My friend and neighbor, Kate, had tickets to Garrison Keillor that her husband so graciously offered her (I think it was no surprise that he did not want to attend).  So, I happily jumped at the chance to get out for a drink and some live entertainment, albeit I had no clue who Garrison Keillor was.  Let me retract, I had heard once or twice before of the Prairie Home Companion show, and had a foggy memory of listening to something about Lake Wobegon as a child.  Needless to say, Kate and I were a bit worried that we wouldn't get any of the jokes at all, we coined ourselves "the kids" as soon as we walked into the DPAC and noticed we were the only ones with natural hair color (or any hair at all).
But we were pleasantly surprised - Keillor was funny, witty, an excellent story teller, and talented singer.  I could give credit to my delicious Belgium beer from Tyler's, devoured beforehand, but we really did have a wonderful time! Thanks, Daniel, for sacrificing your tickets:)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter Wonderland.....

Last week, Brent and I bundled up with my parents for a small getaway to Woodstock, Vermont.  My parents had been there in 1974, for their honeymoon, but had not returned since.  Woodstock is a quaint New England town that has a reputation for it's covered bridges, beautiful landscapes, and upscale dining and shopping.  It was a town made just for me - country charm meets modern conveniences.
The Kedron Valley Inn, our room was located on the second floor -the 2 right windows were ours.

Hands down, the Kedron was awesome!  Our room was the perfect blend of antiques and comfort.  My next house will also have a fireplace in almost every room.

Driving in the northeast in the snow is nothing like we southerners make it out to be.  The roads are almost always scraped, and people don't freak out.  (sorry, but southerners tend to be a bit dramatic about cooler precip).  There are these nuisances called frost heaves, though.  These are gigantic seapholes, followed by bumps, all along the road where water freezes underneath the surface.  This makes for a very bumpy ride, and one should not try drinking coffee on the commute to work if your road has these.  I learned the hard way.  My father actually thought it would be funny to drive fast on these roads, as if the curves don't make carsickness closer to reality.  My advice - leave in plenty of time, don't plan on leisurely drinking coffee, and buckle yourselves down!

I did not take a lot of pictures, but here are a few from the trip.

frozen river that runs through town

wouldn't it be nice to live in one of the houses that backs up to this river?

New England is known for it's covered bridges - how awesome to have this part of your everyday commute to work?!

I love that the houses still had greenery up AFTER Christmas (gasp!).  I imagine if I could do this is the south and get away with it, I would!

Downtown Woodstock

New residence for the Talley's???

While we were there, we took advantage of the 4 feet of snow on the ground with some cross country skiing and downhill.  I had gone cross country skiing twice before - once in New Hampshire when I was 10, the other last year during one of our "snowstorms" with a neighbor in Woodcroft (yes, we cross country skied on the walking trails - in public.)  I don't mean to sound snotty, but I'm kind of good.  I must have a frosty talent because I am a natural at cross country:)  Brent was a bit too ambitious for his own good, and immediately realized that cross country did not equal downhill skiing.  He got the hang of it, eventually.   We ventured to a mom and pop snow ski area just 5 minutes away - Suicide Six.  The service was exceptional, the people were super friendly, and the conditions were actually pretty good.
Dinner at the Tavern, Kedron Valley Inn....notice the huge fireplace behind us - so cozy!

It was an awesome trip, and I did not want to leave.  (Albeit, I was anxious to come home and snuggle with my animals) We were greeted at RDU with 70 plus degree temperatures, ugh...  Where has my winter gone - don't you guys know how hot and humid it will be ALL SUMMER LONG......????????????????????


If my readers are anything like me (and that is to assume that I have "readers"), than you've probably been wondering where I am.  Where are the new posts?  Where are the pictures?  Well, I was out of town for a bit, but after that there really is no excuse!  I could say that I am extremely busy at work, or that my kids are taking up all my time, etc...etc.....  But we all know those aren't true!

Truth be told, I have lots of ideas roaming around my head - great and witty topics to post on.  I think I just haven't had the nerve to tackle them yet. Something that has consumed me since October has been my job(s).  I currently work 2 jobs - one at a local college, and the other at J. Crew.  I was a Personal Shopper for the Crew, but recently stepped back down to a regular sales position.  This was a good decision, and I immediately knew it by the peace I felt.  I loved selling clothes, but I also felt a bit like the "girl at the corner in the red dress" - if you know what I mean.  I was fine selling to people who were already in the store, but I had a really hard time getting people into the store who don't normally shop there - and that was my role.  I was constantly worried that I was not doing what I needed to do in that position (and I wasn't!), all the while trying to do another part time job.  A friend, and manager, told me that he would rather me be happy in a lesser role than unhappy in the one I was in.  Wise words - so bear with me while I take the pay decrease and hand in my fancy business cards!