Monday, November 25, 2013


I had big plans this weekend to clean, hang out with Emma, and get out my Christmas decorations......but our generous neighbors offered us tickets to the UNC game, and since I had not been all year, and we had free babysitting (aka grandparents), I said "to heck with our cleaning and organizing plans, let's do it!"  It didn't hurt that our tickets were in the Blue Zone.....but not the concourse level, the UPPER level...and make sure you read that with a bit of snoot and your nose pointing in the upward direction:)  Our friends have season tickets in the concourse level, so we were all excited to see what $$$$$$ extra would bring us.

First, I loved our seats....they were right in the front row of the upper level, directly behind the goal post.  I also loved that I could see everyone below - Lord knows, I love to people watch.

The food options were a bit more extensive, from what I've been told.  And there were hardly no kids. This sounded awesome until I thought, if I bring Emma....will I get dirty looks from everyone?  The inside part was also much smaller in the upper level as compared with the concourse level.  My favorite part - hot cocoa and alcohol.  Plus, I felt super cool and important with my lanyard, laminated ticket around my neck.

We went down below (to hang out with the concourse level peeps) for the second half....and I think it is safe to say, I would NEVER watch any of the game if we had tickets there.  I ran into about 15 people I knew down there, literally.  First, I saw two sets of ski friends - one family that I see quite often, and another that I had not seen in about 8 years.  The Williams kids are all grown and in or out of college now.  I feel super old and I am kicking myself for not getting any photos....

A lot of our friends also have season tickets here, so it was nice to catch up with them...and clearly we didn't care about the game because we were winning by like a qua-trillion.

I also ran into a "blog friend" - hi Carrie!  I call her that, because there are those people that you just don't see much in person, but connect with through blogs.  It was nice to have a real-live conversation - with all the friends I saw Saturday.  Too often, we get caught up in Facebook and "liking" statuses and too busy to really hang out in real life, and it's sad.  I hate that I know more about people by Facebook then by actually seeing or talking with them.  As much as I love social media, that is such a down side.

We were really grateful to Clint and Brittni for inviting us to the game....and left feeling really jealous inspired to look into tickets in the Blue Zone.  After all, that's how I like to watch football - inside if I want to be, with food, drinks, and friends.  Ironically, our Sunday sermon centered on being a slave to affluence (including money) and I was slapped once again with reality.  And at the end of the day, I ended up missing this little munchkin something fierce.  Football games are fun, and much needed time away is good, but it took up our entire day...and when you don't get to see your kids all week because you stings!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Slowing Down

Every year, about this time, I get a bit sentimental.  

Normally, fall signifies a slowing down for me - I am not travelling for skiing, or in registration and advising period for work.  And life just seems to flutter by at a more leisurely pace.  I spend more time enjoying doing nothing, and not stressing about what I should be doing.  I start to think more seriously about goals I have in my life, how I want to spend my time.  

Of course, now that I have Emma, the way I spend my time is a bit different.  Every aspect of my life is changed - from the day to day routine to the bigger, planned activities.  I find myself doing the same thing over and over, and not really enjoying it all, or appreciating who is doing it with me. 

This week, Brent had 3 days off work.  At first, I was bummed because there was no way I could take off. The past month has been the most busy at work I have ever had.  I have seen close to 150 students for 30 minute plus advising sessions (saying the same thing over and over...these are your lib ed classes, this is how many credits you need to graduate, have you thought of a major? are you struggling in any classes? this is how you the how to video.....) I was starting to have nightmares about different classes we were offering for the spring.  I was falling asleep on the couch, sitting up, at 8:30pm - just drained.  Then, this week was registration - so I helped troubleshoot 500 of our students and their various registration problems.  So, in short, there was no way I was taking off to spend time with Brent during his days off...but it was actually a blessing.  Brent was able to take Emma to school and pick her up (which meant I could actually wrap things up at 5pm and not race home like a crazy woman, instead of dropping everything at 4:45 and making a mad dash to the parking lot).  He had dinner made, the house taken care of, and a glass of wine for me when I walked into the house.  It was amazing, and really made my week more bearable.  I would have loved to have spent the time with him, but it was nice to just play one role at a time this week.  He even finished painting our trim and walls in the living room.  So now, I have a newly painted house to enjoy:)

As work has slowed down, I can now appreciate this season.  I have such fond memories of fall and winter.  There is something about a grey day and brightly colored leaves rustling around around you.  I don't mind the cloudy skies in the fall, it always seems to make the colors "pop" even more.  I look forward to the sun setting earlier, and warm meals for dinner followed by snuggling on a big, comfy couch.  I look forward to bundling up for a walk, and having more sidewalk to myself, as others aren't brave enough to go out when it gets colder.  

But this time also signifies a re-awakening for me.  I hate this, but when life slows down, I think.. 

I'll finally work on myself - I will read more, pray more, do more devotions, try and be a more God-centered woman...  

I am so ashamed, because I know that when I need to work on those things most is when life is chaotic and busy.  And of course, every fall I think these things and then life gets busy and I fall back into the same patterns.  I don't stop to enjoy what God has given me, I rush around and over-obligate myself with parties and errands that don't make me a better person.  We get dragged into numerous family and friend obligations every weekend, all while trying to maintain some sense of sanity in the holidays.  I run around trying to find a present just to have a present, with no thought or meaning in it, only so that I can check it off the list.  I stress out, and miss the entire meaning of the seasons completely.  With Thanksgiving being so late this year, it will be even more chaotic.  Did you know there are only 4 weekends between the 2 holidays this year...less than 27 days.  As I write this, I can feel myself getting worked up, wondering how I will get through it. Fall and winter are meant to be times of reflection and slowing down - I think it's inherent in the colder weather.  It's God's ways of telling us to relax, take a deep breath, enjoy the foliage, and spend time with family.   

No matter what life throws at me these next few months, I am determined to enjoy life.  I have a beautiful daughter and a beyond supportive husband.  This fall, we will be "...listening for the 'still small voice.'"  (1 Kings 19-11-13)

"Slow down. Take a deep breath. What's the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? But you say, 'I can't help it. I'm addicted to alien gods. I can't quit."
Jeremiah 2:25

Thursday, November 7, 2013


A friend invited me to go to Spree with her a few Saturdays ago in downtown Raleigh.  I remember when the JLDOC did a Holiday Market, so I was definitely game for this larger event.  Plus, my favorite shop, Haley and the Hound, was going to have a booth there (so it was a no-brainer!)  We paid the $15 fee to get in before the masses (including strollers!) and it is so worth it.  I HATE crowds, and hate anxiety shopping - you know the kind where you feel like people are pushing and shoving and lines are long and you can't walk down the aisle...???

Here's a snapshot of my day....and I apologize in advance for the blurry pictures (I was too busy shopping!)

Looking down....this is only one side!

I would love to make something like this for all my jewelry.
Photo: Fabulous fall! (Some pattern variations) we have 4 XL, 4 medium. $34 shipped. Post size, email, in or out of NC
Another top to add to my collection - love the fall colors in this one!

Another blogger friend (that I ran into there!) told me to check out the CPKidz booth - and I am so glad I did!  Their prices were reasonable and they monogrammed ON. THE. SPOT.  I can't believe I walked out with ONLY one outfit from there.... (my husband, on the other hand, is eternally grateful!)

Emma's Haley and the Hound dress collection - minus the one that we have that is matching.....these are so cute and when they are too small as dresses, they make excellent tops.  Did I mention they are also only $18 each?????

Such a horrible picture...but the camo dress with bows and lace trim was a MUST...and the corduroy monogrammed romper for Emma from CPKidz is my new fave!

Photo: We are all set up and ready for Spree in Raleigh! Come see us!
These are the 2 women from Haley and the Hound - Jada and Booth....I borrowed this from their Facebook page (I am NOT so crazy as to ask them to pose or get their autograph....or am I???)  I just LOVE their stuff, and would buy everything if I could!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Twinsies...sort of

Because Emma looks so much like Brent, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to have matching dresses with my little girl. 

A special thanks to Haley and the Hound in Morehead City for making such cute, unique, fashionable, and affordable clothes for Emma and I.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pumpkin Shopping

A few weekends ago, we ventured on our first fall pumpkin trip with Emma.  We had heard good things about Ganyard Hill Farms, so we decided to go there.  We were certainly not prepared for the chaos/fun that awaited us.  There were kids and families EVERYWHERE.  Yes, we went on a Sunday morning (skipping church!), so it was a weekend, but still super crowded.  It was a lot of fun, so I recommend it, but maybe for a weekday......if you get overwhelmed by tons of people like I do:)

Emma was more concerned with this giant blue tarp than anything else.  Here, she is running beside it, but most of our time there was spent running on top of it.

the hayride.....

the giant blue tarp - instant entertainment

attempt #459 of a family shot

The selection for picking pumpkins was a bit scarce....we managed to find a few after some long scavenging...

Emma was still a little young for some of the activities, especially with so many older kids running around.  But we will definitely go back next year!