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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Monday, August 31, 2015

Catching Curve Balls

What a week - seriously...can I just say, what a week. *sigh* I'm sure we've all had those weeks that are both good and bad at the same time; weeks that prove to be both a blessing and...well, not a curse but not a blessing...all at once. This past week was one of those weeks - filled with both good memories made and remembering good memories made in the past.

Weeks also play out very differently than we plan them and this week was certainly a fine example of that. As I type this, I was supposed to be soaking up the sun on the last day of a week long trip to the beach with my co-workers, but life happens and while the past week involved a road trip, it was of a different sort - there was no beach involved and not a whole lot of relaxation achieved, but it was a good week all the same. Just in a much different way.
Watson & his baseball cookie that's as big as him - talk about a home run!

Monday evening walk on the golf course - it sure helps to have pretty scenery to walk in!
My Dad received a call on Monday afternoon that his Mother was not doing well; hospice had been called and my Mamaw would probably not be with us for much longer. She passed away early Tuesday morning and our lives were thrown into a rush of packing, parceling the dog off to the kennel and making the 13 hour drive to Mississippi on Tuesday afternoon. I have a wonderful job, run by equally wonderful people and so everything with my office worked out so easily - having a good job with great people really does make such a difference in life - I didn't know what that difference was until I started my job in March, but it's such a blessing. Truly.

Breezing through Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon....

Watson playing his heart out at Cavalier Kennels - he is such a good dog!
Watson was taken to Cavalier Kennels on Tuesday morning; thankfully they had an opening for him for almost the whole week and based on pictures and reports, he did just fine. I was a nervous wreck leaving him for a full week...especially so suddenly, but he appears to have rolled with the punches like a champ. He always does, I don't know why I expected any different! We stopped for the night in Fort Payne, Alabama and set out on Wednesday morning for the most eventful 3.5 hours of driving I've experienced in quite some time...

Coffee - there is never a time when coffee isn't a good idea.
Our drive started pleasantly enough; we only had a little over three hours left to go and the day was nice and sunny...and cool! Alabama in August and it was cool; who knew it was even possible??? The first hiccup came when my Aunt called to let my Mom know that they were admitting my Nanny into the hospital; her acute bronchitis was getting out of hand and it required hospitalization to tackle and defeat the stuff. So now we were going to be splitting the week between the funeral home and the hospital - yikes! The second bit of fun came in the form of crazy roadside workers in Alabama...

A road crew was busily clearing limbs from some roadside trees as we cruised through Greene County, AL (yep, I know the county...) and bits of limb debris were littering the road ahead. As we cruised past the crew at 70 miles per hour, a limb the size of my arm came flying from the trees, rocketing straight for the windshield and slammed into it with a loud BANG! The only explanation for it not shattering the front windshield is divine intervention because I threw my hands up to block my face...just waiting for impact. 

I called the Alabama Department of Transportation and reported the incident; hence my knowing the name of the county, ha-ha! My Dad also stopped and talked with a State Trooper who asked about reporting the incident...but since there was minimal damage (a small dent in the hood & sap smeared on the windshield) he declined. Shortly before we rolled into Meridian, the 18 wheeler ahead of us lost it's tire, slinging chunks of rubber our way and causing us to have to quickly cruise into the other lane and away from the path of the projectiles. I'd never been so glad to get out of a car in my life!

I didn't think I'd be back here so soon...
I'm standing on my tip toes...because she's taller than me! Stop growing people!
After a quick lunch at my Uncle's house, we parted ways - my Dad with his brother to go plan things out at the funeral home and my Mom and I to the hospital to see my Nanny. She was hooked up to oxygen but I knew pretty quickly that she'd be just fine because she was her same sassy and fierce self, laughing and chatting in between our jokes and trying not to clothesline herself on her oxygen line when she hopped in and out of the bed.

My other little "sister" stopped by the hospital on the way home from school and visited with us for awhile; I hadn't seen her in months and she's almost a high school graduate and she's driving her own car and she makes me feel SO old. Plus, she's taller than me and I don't really think that's fair. Granted, it seems like everybody is taller than me...so whatever. Ha-ha! When all was said and done, we all met back up and headed for Columbus, AFB to stay with my sister and I finally got to see her house! She's made quite the happy home for herself and I must say, she has a good eye when it comes to decorating - her house is so cute!

Is it really only Wednesday? I'm tired already...
Early Thursday morning my Dad headed back to Meridian to help with more arrangements; my Mom and I stayed in Columbus to wait for Lindsey to be done with her workday so all three of us could head back to Meridian as well. While we waited for Lindsey's work day to end, we busied ourselves just fine in and around Columbus - we started the day with a 4 mile walk (yep - 4 miles people), then met Lindsey to relax outside her work building for a bit. I finally got to experience lunch at Proffitt's Porch, which I've heard so much about (and yes, very yummy) and I also got to make some purchases at Deep South Pout, another place I've heard so much about from Lindsey. When Lindsey was all set to go around 2:30, we headed back down (up/out/across...) the road to Meridian to visit my Nanny again, meet up with my Dad and spend the night in Meridian....and get to catch up with one of my best friends, Nickolee.

Thursday smiles in the cool(ish) MS weather...

Happy to see this girl again - I do miss her so!

The view from Proffitt's Porch - it would have been mean to also share a picture of my yummy food.
Friday...like almost every day this week was a complete whirlwind. We remembered my sweet Mamaw on Friday morning and I saw so many family members and friends who offered kind words and shared sweet memories of my Mamaw. I had some flashbacks early in the morning before we left for the funeral home - it was so strange to look out across the yard and see the place I used to live. So different but in some ways, not that changed at all. The sweet church ladies at Midway fed our family so well and loved on us before we parted ways again - my Dad to pick up plants and finalize things with the funeral home, the three of us ladies to visit my Nanny at the hospital again. We headed out of Meridian and back to Columbus around 5:30 and had supper at Huck's Place before all falling into the bed exhausted.

Did I really live over there for almost 4 years?

Lindsey was a big fan of the homemade Sourdough bread that a sweet church lady made...this was when she was on her 3rd piece.

Friday night dinner at Huck's Place - some seriously good food.

Saturday we really just tried to relax and spend some time together before the unavoidable 13 hour drive on Sunday...but if you know us, you know we can't just sit still and relax. Relaxing for us involves exploring and since we were only 25 minutes from Starkville, we headed over to Bulldog Country for the morning. Saturday was definitely my cheat day - between to die for Raspberry Peach biscuits at the Biscuit Lady, a Pimento and Cheese Panini at Oby's and of course, Bop's Custard...I almost made myself sick indulging in some deep South goodness. I also indulged in a tiny #15 MSU jersey for Watson to wear on football game days - I know he's going to look great! 

Raspberry Peach Biscuit - Pimento & Cheese Panini - Bops's Custard...
The Biscuit Lady Bucket List - who has she served so far?

A plantation in Columbus; Byrn Bella!
We ended the unexpected week together with good news and a cook-out! My Nanny called my Mom on Saturday afternoon to let her know she would be going home from the hospital on Sunday; an answered prayer for sure! We headed down to the little lake on the Air Force base (I think it should really be called a pond...) and grilled some hamburgers for supper and just generally goofed off; I was busy announcing and shouting the Nationals score updates throughout supper - much to my families' delight. Actually, they were probably like "please shut up already" but they were too kind to say it. Ha-ha! We ended the night and the week on a high note, planning our upcoming trip to London!

Sunset after supper by the lake.
We left Lindsey's at 6:30 on Sunday morning and started the long(ish) and thankfully uneventful drive back home to Virginia. I narrated the Washington Nationals game as we cruised through the end of Tennessee and into Virginia - they won - and played several levels of Angry Birds 2. We made good time; only 3 gas stops and 1 major food stop...we cruised through Woodstock, VA around 7:30 and grabbed gas and supper from Burger King before the last thirty mile push up the interstate and rolled into the driveway around 8:15! I was so happy to be home and especially happy to see my sweet Watson again - and he seemed just as happy to see us, even if he did give us a look or two, ha-ha!

The Peach State!

Home Sweet Home State - so glad to be reunited with Virginia!

Watson was less than impressed with his Dak Prescott jersey...
So - there was my week in a nutshell. So much happened in what seems like such a short time - and now another week that is packed to the brim with things to do has started. I'm so thankful for time with family, even under the grim circumstances; I'm also thankful for sweet memories that I was able to share with family and friends. This week certainly threw a curve ball...but I think I managed to catch it and make a couple good plays, what do you think?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Let's Do the Time Warp - August

So - I feel like I sort of started something with this whole Time Warp thing. I suppose since I started something, I should see it through, right? Who am I kidding - I completely love this whole blast from the past thing! Looking back and seeing memories made, what's not to love?

August 2015
Rosemont + Tea = a splendid afternoon!
Nationals Park - my happy place.
Freedom Fireworks at the Park.
Sunsets in the Shenandoah National Park.
Unexpected visits...
This Year - Oh August, you were a (mostly) good month! The month started off with a delicious and delightful afternoon Tea at Rosemont Manor in Berryville; just 20 minutes (or so) across the valley. A trip to DC and Nationals Park was probably a highlight for me, even with a loss for the Nationals. Exploring the mountainous countryside on the weekends was also fun. The month ended on a sad note as my Mamaw passed away and we closed out the month remembering what a wonderful grandma she was.

August 2014
Watson bonded immediately with our California cousins - he loves his family!
Outside Morven Park in the August heat.
First time to ever go into Ikea - in love immediately!
My little flower lover.
Riding the Tilt-A-Whirl at the Shenandoah County Fair
One Year Ago - It seems like we always like to cram August full...maybe we are trying to get all we can out of Summer while it lasts? Our California cousins came to visit in early August; Watson was in love with them immediately! We spent Sunday afternoon exploring Morven Park, home of VA governor Westmoreland Davis...it was basically one of the most breathtaking houses ever. I went to Ikea for the first time and was hooked from the minute I walked in the door and we rounded out the month with a trip to the Shenandoah County Fair.

August 2013
The movies with McKenna on a summer afternoon!
Being a little too sassy with these sunglasses...

Picking up this hobo from the airport....

Remembering my Pops - always!
Family - the most important thing.
Two Years Ago - A tumultuous month, to be sure. The month started with movie dates and me taking maybe one too many selfies. My families' life changed forever in August of 2013 as well; my sweet Pops passed away near the end of the month and our family came together to remember what a wonderful Father and Grandfather (among many other things) he had been to us all. 

August 2012
Right on target with little to no practice - amazing!
Someone learned to stick his tongue out...
It rained until it just couldn't rain anymore....
Three Years Ago - I couldn't find much from August of 2012; I guess it was just life as usual. Sometimes the day to day of living doesn't offer much to look back on - and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I did learn that I was something of a natural with a bow and arrow; much to my friend's shock...since he thought he'd take me down with ease.

August 2011
Watson making himself right at home in our new home.
Watching my favorite cheerleader in action!
Putting my artistic skills to good use, ha-ha!
Always adding to my little home!
Four Years Ago - What can I say, I guess I was just enjoying Summer in the South...which in my opinion involves a LOT of indoor activities. I was also just getting settled in to my new home; Watson of course loved getting settled in too! My Mom and I tried our hand at painting (I think we were both pretty good) and I cheered on my favorite cheerleader at one of her first football games! Of course plenty of shopping was done to spruce up my new home!

August 2010
Oblivious to the giant whale about to eat us...
Panama City Beach with Kristen, Lisa & Kayla.
Wasting away again in Margaritaville...
The beautiful beach!
My sweet munchkin!
Five Years Ago - I think it's obvious what stands out from five years ago...my trip to the beach to celebrate graduating from college! I spent a week in Panama City, Florida with sweet friends from college: Kayla, Kristen and Lisa and we enjoyed eating good food, working on our tans and just having a blast before the "real world" came knocking. Of course I included a picture of Watson, because...hello, have you seen how cute he is?

August 2009
Six Years Ago - I cannot find anything from August of 2009 - not a single picture. It was the start of my last year at USM & I guess I didn't start documenting things until September, ha-ha!

August 2008
The effects of Hurricane Dolly felt as we wrapped up our time in San Antonio
Always with the Sonic drinks...always.
Seven Years Ago - Back in the day...back when Summer was still a thing that involved being lazy and having nothing to do all day. Those were the days! David and I obviously made Sonic runs on the weekends; he had to have some Peach Tea! My Mom and I started the month of August in San Antonio and it started with a bang; Hurricane Dolly blew through the day before we were set to leave and left everything strewn around and soaked. Whoosh!

August 2007
Dinner at the Cherokee Grill
Waiting on the haunts on our Gatlinburg Ghost Tour
The babbling brook...
Lindsey is so little...she grew up so fast!
Eight Years Ago - We are getting on back in time...Lindsey was looking pretty wee! I also couldn't find a whole lot from August, eight years ago but I know my Mom, Lindsey and I took a trip to Gatlinburg together before school started for the year. If I had to guess, I'd say the reason Jeffrey wasn't with us is because he was somewhere overseas....Iraq or Saudi Arabia seem like valid possibilities. So, we Summerlin ladies spent early August soaking up all the beauty (and ghost stories) that the Tennessee Smokies had to offer!

August 2006
Alabama Adventure with the Youth Group - I think I was a chaperon. Eeek!
Sibling pictures - so fantastic!
My cake for my going away party...off to MSU!
Do I look terrified? I was.
Nine Years Ago - Oh my goodness. The number one thing that stands out to me from nine years ago? I spent a semester at Mississippi State and learned a valuable life lesson: don't feel like you have to go to college somewhere just because you grew up cheering for them. I can honestly say that August through December of 2009 were not my favorite months. I did get to serve as a chaperon for a youth trip for the first time...that's a little scary too, right? Ha!

August 2005
A bridesmaid for my cousin's wedding...
Just relaxing after the festivities...
Ten Years Ago - The farther back I go, the less I find! I'm sure that's not shocking at all, right? My eldest cousin got married in August...ten years ago. I was one of her bridesmaids and so we spent the weekend on the MS Gulf Coast celebrating all things marital. She isn't celebrating an anniversary this year...but I do remember that weekend fondly since our whole family was together in one place for a whole weekend! 

August 2004
At a West Lauderdale football game with sweet baby Laurel!
Ready to go somewhere - although I have no idea where I was headed...
Eleven Years Ago - First of all...wow, I miss my long hair! Second...how did I ever think I was fat?? I have no clue what I was up to eleven years ago, besides starting my second year of college at MCC. I'm fairly certain I spent all my time studying for school (hehehe - right.), socializing with friends and baby-sitting one of my favorite little people - Laurel. Who by the way...is almost twelve? Oh my gosh, no way!

August 2003
Twelve Years Ago - I've got nothing. No clue. I'd just graduated from high school and I was probably living the terrified life of trying to figure out my first semester of college. Ha!

August 2002
The first day of my Senior year - look at that attitude. Yikes!
And to think - I thought I was fat, ha-ha!
Thirteen Years Ago - I was a Senior in high school. Just typing that makes me feel ancient...WOW. I was young and had a whole year ahead of me to make memories and take in all the fun that high school had to offer. I'm sure there was a football game thrown in there for good measure and probably plenty of mischief with my best friend Nickolee, especially since we could leave campus every day at 1:30! Oh the freedom of youth...

And - that's all she wrote. All I've got. I could only make it thirteen years back in time for this one. Perhaps September will prove to be more fruitful? Only time will tell!

In loving memory of the best Mamaw a girl could have.