About Me

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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Season of Thanks

I really hesitated when trying to decide whether or not to write a post about Monday night - but since I use this blog not just for others to read but to put down my own thoughts as a sort of digital journal, I figured I might as well.

It also serves to let anyone who is curious as to what happened read my account - it gets a little stressful recounting it over and over and over...I've had far too many people telling me how close a call it was and how much worse it could have been and honestly that is still really unsettling to hear. I am well aware (and will probably always be) of how much worse it could have been. So....

On Monday night, I was on the way home from work and I was hit by an 18-wheeler. I was in the right lane and the 18-wheeler was in the left lane...but he decided to move into my lane, while I was still right beside him. I ran off the road a bit to avoid being completely side-swiped, ran over some gravel that caused me to wobble and drove back onto the road, where the back end of the 18-wheeler struck the front end of my car, sending me back off the road.

Part of my front end was on one side of the median and myself and the rest of the car were on the other side. The 18-wheeler did not stop; they did not look back and so it was classified by the Virginia Highway Patrol as a hit and run. There were cops involved, a report was filed and my Dad and I hung out on the side of a highway until almost midnight on Monday night. There were marks on the frame of my car made from burnt rubber...where the 18-wheeler's tires came up onto the frame of my car when it hit me.

The cops seem to think the driver of the 18-wheeler may not have even known he'd hit me - I don't know that I believe that but it doesn't really matter at this point. I'm more than alright even though my car is not. We still don't know whether it will be totaled or not, so while we play that waiting game I'll be driving a rental.

A few pictures from the night of the accident.

It's amazing - in the lighting of this picture, the car almost doesn't look damaged...

Just a couple bumps & bruises...that's all I ended up with. 
So - now I wait and see what will happen. I'll cruise around in my rental and may or may not be shopping for a new car for Christmas.

I know that I'll remember this for what will most likely amount to forever and know that the Lord was watching out for me on Monday night.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wintry Weather

What a week - Monday dawned rainy and cold...and the wind would just about cut you in half when it whipped around the corner of the house! Happily, I was off on Monday so I battened down the hatches and bundled up because I did not want to blow away! I have to say, I don't know why but Watson seems absolutely invigorated by the cold and as much as I don't want to be out in the cold, he seems to want to run wild through the 15 degree breezes...

I can't wait to see what he thinks when there are a couple feet of snow. He might think again...

The only pretty part of Monday...the glorious sunset.

The real deal hot chocolate - so delicious on a frigid Monday night.
On Tuesday evening, our sweet little Jimmy visited with us after school and when I came in from work, even though I only got to spend about thirty minutes with him...we had a grand time. We watched the lights on my Christmas tree twinkling and talked about all the different ornaments hanging on the tree. It's so much fun to see the wonder that Christmas trees inspire in kids - as soon as Jimmy saw the sparkling lights on my Christmas tree, he softly said "oooohhhh". Christmas is always magical but seeing it through a child's eyes makes it even more filled with wonder. After playing some rounds of Fruit Ninja, it was time for Jimmy to head home.

In between rounds of Fruit Ninja...I didn't actually play, I just got to watch. Ha-ha!

A new favorite spot to nap? Up against my leg on the recliner.

Some frosty fronds of grass! 

Some Wednesday afternoon cat-baiting...cats just make him come unglued!

See? A good place to nap; in the middle of the recliner. 
One of the things that I've gotten involved in as an extension of my parent's and the church I attend is something called Kitchen of Hope. Four area churches feed the homeless people in the area on each Thursday; our church has the third Thursday of every month. It's always interesting to bustle around in the kitchen and this past week was no different. My friend's baby girl, Amelia has been coming right along ever since she was born and this past week she decided to help me serve the chicken - ha-ha! Okay, so she obviously didn't really help me serve the chicken but she did hang out in her carrier and try to grab the tongs I was serving chicken with and try to grab pieces of chicken....she couldn't help it, she just wanted a bite!

Ready to serve up some chicken, mashed potatoes & green beans!

Bundled up in her car seat, with the new car seat cover. She was pretty amused...

As always, begging for a bite of something yummy!

Apparently this is par for the course in Winter when you make a supply run to Lowe's.
We decorated our house for Christmas on Saturday because we'll be out of town the week of Thanksgiving. I spent the day in and out of the house, helping when I could. I went for a job interview on Saturday morning (fingers crossed...actually, everything crossed) and I had to work Saturday night but when I came home, the house had been transformed into an absolute Christmas wonderland filled with trees (four so far) and snowmen and penguins. There was even a little hoot owl touch that I added to the windows above the front door...because every house needs a little extra hoot owl.

Some Happy Holiday hoot owls to greet guests.

The Christmas miracle that I returned home to after work on Saturday!

Someone helping with the decorating....sort of.
Well - that's all for this week. I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week! How does time pass so quickly?

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Haze of Greeting Cards, Glitter and Upheaval

Time doesn't ever move the way you expect it to - I was more busy this past week than I've been in the past several weeks...which you would think would make the time fly by, but last week seems like it was longer than usual. Even with time moving a bit more slowly last week, things are starting to build to the rush of the holiday season and I for one couldn't be more excited.

A rear-view mirror sunset on the way to work on Monday night.

Veteran's Day - flags flying all over the place.
Tuesday provided a bit of adventure in the form of a little bit of a road trip through the small towns of Upperville and Middleburg en route to Dulles International Airport to pick up my Mom from her weekend jaunt to Nashville. The ride was a nice chance to see some Autumn color, we had some delicious BBQ for lunch and we had a chance to wander the aisles of Wegmans to grab some groceries. The real adventure was as we headed home and got a little too up close and personal with a buck that I have labeled as Bambi's Dad on Steroids. As we drove up the road toward the Interstate, I happened to look to the right hand side of the road and saw a deer that was so close to the car that my Mom could have reached out the window and tapped it on the head. I was fairly certain that it would keep right on walking towards us and into the road...but it just stopped and stood there. Regardless, it was enough to make me let out a yelp!

Wegmans is one of my favorite places in Virginia....ha-ha!

A certain little beggar wanted a bite of my Wegman's cookie.

I don't know what he kept hearing but on Wednesday morning, he kept looking out the window with these wide, shocked eyes!

Chestnut Praline Latte - it's no joke. It's delicious.

Bible study is always better with a sweet baby snuggled against you.
As my title suggests and my earlier writing references, I spent a LOT of time at work this week. I was selling cards and Christmas spirit 6 of the 7 days this week. I would have never imagined that there was so much glitter involved in greeting cards but I swear, I feel like every time I left work I was covered in a thick layer of the stuff. While I'm grateful to have my part-time job, I am also diligently praying that a full-time job will make itself available pretty quickly...preferably one that doesn't involve glitter.

A throwback to the weekend in the National Park.

Cold weather is becoming more prevalent every day; it's only a matter of time before the first snow falls. Watson says he'll be fine as long as he can hang on to this blanket....

Delicious hot tea....one of the many ways to combat the chill in the air!
I spent Saturday having lunch with my parents and some friends we have known since...well, since before I was born. We had lunch at Hunter's Head Tavern which is one of my new favorite spots to eat in the area; it's a tavern that serves traditional English fare and is housed in a building that is almost as old as the great state of Virginia itself. The food is always delicious and we enjoyed walking around Upperville after we ate. I spent my Saturday evening at work, getting regular football game score updates (so sad...oh well...) from my family. All in all, a nice Saturday.

Not quite a marshmallow world, but it's certainly getting frosty...

Hot brown - toast topped with slices & bacon, covered with a beer cheese sauce. Yum!

Just a pretty site in the sweet little town of Upperville.

Bundled up for a brisk Saturday night walk!

Sunday morning goofiness!

My 5 foot tall, in perfect condition $18 Christmas tree. Love it!
So - that's all for now. I've been feeling a bit under the weather (where does that saying come from??) today; maybe it's all the drizzly rain and cold we've had these past 24 hours. Either way, I'm going to cozy up and hunker down for the rest of this Monday.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Seven Weeks

Another week...another week. These weeks always pass so quickly; there are only seven and a half weeks left in 2014!! Can you even believe that? While you're wrapping your head around that revelation, I'll share some photos from the past week.

Did you vote? I did - first time as a Virginia voter!

My first red cup of the season...Peppermint Mocha to sip during Book Club.

Long Branch by night...only slightly spooky.
The season has passed for ghost stories and spooky tales but I suppose I have a little anecdote that is slightly creepy. My Mom and I went to the first meeting of the Long Branch Plantation book club and I am thoroughly convinced that almost all the houses in this area that aren't brand new are most likely haunted out of the wazoo! There is far too much history and blood shed in the state of Virginia for most of the state not to be haunted...but I digress.. While we were all sitting around the table in the elegant and historical dining room of Long Branch on Tuesday night, from somewhere in the house came the sound of a door shutting. As we were the only people in the whole house, my eyes got big and I whispered to one of the employees of the house "is this place haunted?" She grinned and looked at her fellow employee and said "did you hear that?" and the girl just smiled. So...who (or what) closed the door? No clue but there are thirteen more meetings of the book club...so who knows what else I (we) might hear?

Always begging for food. 

And sometimes getting lucky enough to get a bite...
The week itself was by in a flash and I apparently was busy applying for jobs, reading, taking part in general busyness and working...I didn't take very many pictures. The weekend was where I really got into taking the pictures. My Dad and I spent Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon in the national park and quite a few pictures came out of those explorations. I don't suppose I have too many stories from that, but I do have the pictures. So...enjoy!

Cinnamon Roll pancakes - basically the best thing ever.

Sticks in the ground for measuring the depth of the eventual snowfall...

The color was already gone at higher elevations...but the view looking into the valley...

A selfie with Dad at Skyland Lodge.

Getting much too cracked up posing with a statue of Harry F. Byrd at Big Meadows Lodge

A screech owl! How cool is he?

Slightly uncomfortable being so close to the edge...

Icicles on the edge of the tunnel....it's getting quite chilly in the mountains!

Amelia was not feeling the Sunday morning selfie...

She was very interested in all the people at church...& Jimmy was interested in photo-bombing us with his He-Man...

Getting in a quick cat nap during the sermon.

We hiked to Fort Windham rocks on Sunday afternoon. Watson is an excellent hiker...

Amazing views, everywhere you look.

Oblivious to the stunning view right behind him - sniffing leaves is far more interesting.

The King of the log, patrolling his log kingdom!

Inspecting the crack in the rocks...

Sunset in the Shenandoah National Park

Pumpkin cheesecake - the perfect end to a wonderful week!
So - only a few stories this week, but plenty of photos. Also, a reminder...there are only seven and a half weeks left in the year. Which means that there are only about six weeks to Christmas; you'd better get shopping!