Sunday, April 23, 2006

back to school...

man, this past week has flown by. i can't believe i'm already preparing to head back to school. but what an excellent, amazing and relaxing spring break it has been.

so sunday, after heading back in from fayetteville, we stopped at justin's family easter dinner. we had an easter egg hunt, ate out on the back deck and played croquet. pictures are up on flickr if you want to take a look. monday morning was spent getting ready for virginia beach and going back to the oil change place because i had been told that i was leaking oil on driveways everywhere i went and something must've been loose. it didn't take them too long to fix it, and then i was on my way up to see linda.

the drive itself was not horrible. i had decent directions, and for the most part, it's a very rural drive until you get into suffolk, va. then it was all congested highway and included driving through one of the big tunnels outside of norfolk. of course, it was pouring down rain the whole time, but i made it to her apartment without too much trouble. brandon was there, and it was great to catch up with both of them when we went to "cheeseburger in paradise" for dinner (yes, jimmy buffett theme).

tuesday was spent walking down to the boardwalk in virginia beach and watching all of the tourists who were desperately trying to turn the 60 degree morning into a "beach day." linda's apartment is only a mile from the beach, so we took advantage of it and walked around for most of the morning. in the afternoon, we went into norfolk and explored the waterfront area along the elizabeth river. she took me to a huge mall called the macarthur center and then to a local restaurant called kelly's tavern for dinner. i loved the "freemason historic district" the most--that's where i took these two pictures. there are more on the photo website, of course. norfolk is covered with these mermaid sculptures in all different styles and places. it was interesting to see the different styles the artists used in designing the mermaids. i also just loved the idea of having the mermaid as one of your city's mascots or whatever. i think virginia beach had dolphins everywhere--just as good, of course. :)

wrought iron work and cobblestone streets. it was just such a contrast to the busy, metropolitan business area that was just a few blocks over.

and tuesday night, we continued a tradition and watched movies and made chocolate chip cookies (while snacking on the dough some as well). though we've both come a long way over the past year since we moved out, it was still comforting to be able to spend some time together with just us. i was so happy to see where linda lived and all of the things her new city had to offer, and she really has done what she can to make it her home (though i know her heart will always be in eastern north carolina). i caught up on laundry, doctor's appointments and cleaning on thursday while also taking some time out to get a slush at sonic with katie. she and i are both in agreement that we will go crazy this summer if we don't get part time jobs or something else to do. luckily, i've already gotten confirmation that i'll be doing some tutoring this summer along with a colorguard camp at school.

there had been talk earlier in the week about going to the beach on friday with justin, his mom (debbie) and possibly his sister-in-law (melissa) and her kids. well, justin had to end up working, the kids had activities already scheduled, and it ended up just being me and debbie. both being beach people down to the core, we decided to go and made a day of it--walking around the cute little shops in beaufort, eating lunch at clawson's and spending a few hours out at fort macon. the water was chilly, but it was just warm enough to be able to get in and enjoy it without totally freezing. so after getting totally relaxed and rejuvenated for the upcoming push to the end of the school year, we headed back to greeenville. all in all, an enjoyable day with lots of great conversations. i was so excited to get back and see justin, since i hadn't spent much time with him since i left for linda's. we ticked a few things off our "to do list" this weekend, got wet running through parking lots during some major rain storms, and had a fresh home-cooked dinner last night. today was all church and softball (with our first game on tuesday, we needed to practice!)

now, just a few fun tidbits.

my upstairs neighbor is hispanic and loves to play salsa music on the weekends. at first, we thought it was a video game because the bass line sounded fairly repetitive--but we've now learned that it's just one of their favorite songs. every now and then, when the tv's off in my apartment and the music is loud in hers, i can dance around the kitchen listening to the songs.

our softball shirts are going to be pink. most of the guys were actually supportive of this. i plan on getting pink tie-dyed socks to match.

there are six weeks of school left after we get back.

i get to see maggie graduate in three weeks. i cannot wait to take pictures at the ceremony. how gorgeous is that going to be?

in two weeks, i'm taking the engagement pictures for the couple that has asked me to photograph their wedding in june. i'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well with that.

justin had never seen "mr. holland's opus" so we watched that last night. that continues to be one of my favorite movies of all time. it makes me miss performing so much that it almost hurts. notice that's just performing--not necessarily practicing. now if i didn't have issues with practicing, then maybe i'd be doing something entirely different right now.

and that's all for the moment. later, y'all :)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

spring break relaxation...

so i'm in fayetteville at the moment, uploading a few pictures and updating the blog. spring break has finally made it here, and after an abbreviated week, it's nice to sleep in, get stuff done and have a little bit of fun.

friday was a vacation day for me and justin, so after getting the oil changed, mailing off taxes and doing some shopping, we decided to take part in some traditional easter egg dying (dyeing?) anyways, we had a great time and ended up with some colorful, creative eggs. i have the standard "here's justin with the eggs" picture, and then some of my more artsy ones.

the rest will be up on flickr in a little bit.

so, now we're in fayetteville, getting ready to go to dinner with mom, grandma, alan and rachel. tomorrow will be the easter sunday service at hay street and a BIG lunch at grandma's. then we're heading back to greenville to do easter dinner at justin's mom's house, and on monday, i'll head up to virginia beach to see linda! so excited... i'll update more later. until then--happy easter!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

coasting on through...

so here we are, post-dance, post one time-consuming student, and heading into the abbreviated week before spring break. things haven't looked this good in a long time.

this past week was most likely one of the most stressful i've had thus far. i'm sure i've said it before, but this is the real deal. i had a case that was requiring about half of my time during the day, and dance decorations that were requiring the other half. not much else got done, but it was a relief to have the case resolved (although very tough to deal with) and to have friday night go so well and get so many compliments on the hard work that we all put in. as promised, i took a few pictures of my decorations. in this one, you can see the silver stars hanging from the ceiling, the tulle fabric draped from the ceiling to the windows, white lights on the window sills and around the edge of the room on the floor, and my balloon columns in the corners (in all pearlized white and silver, of course). i thought we carried out the "dream come true" theme quite well, keeping it quite elegant and celestial.

the food room also turned out well, with more stars in the windows, white lights, and table centerpieces incorporating mirrors, glass beads, and candles. notice the cake (and how much of it was not eaten). things get interesting later...i would not have been able to make it through this crazy week without my friends, including these girls (shona and jennifer), joann (with and without the e) and my new kindred spirit, lisa. lisa interviewed me when i first came to oakwood because she has a masters in marriage and family therapy, so she was the closest match to my degree to be able to talk the "technical" talk with me. she has since become one of my favorite people who always has a smile and will always tell you what she's thinking, good or bad. her honesty is refreshing, and what most people will usually hold in or save for a card, she will tell you to your face and surprise you with her sentiments and opinions. she and i think highly of each other, so compliments flow easily between us. but this week, just when i needed to hear something positive, she fulfilled that need so perfectly and sincerely that it caught me off guard. that day was a bit emotional for me anyways, but i cannot express how positive she has made this whole experience. at the end of friday night, we were able to exchange high fives and hugs, and there was no one else better to work with on this whole thing.

so--the cake. you have to understand, it was 11:30, i had just climbed up and down a ladder about 40 times to take down all of those silver stars, i was disassembling my photo booth (another popular feature this time) and everyone was packing up food, vacuuming and making sure that we left this building in the best condition possible. the problem with holding a dance in a brand new building is that technically, you can't leave holes, marks, chips, nicks, ANYTHING anywhere, cause it's brand new and they'd like it to stay that way, thank you very much. but we had this cake and it's a bunch of women and we're trying to be good and not take it home so we eat it and get fat--so we decide we should just get rid of it because there was another whole cake that hadn't even been touched. i missed the part of the conversation where this idea was suggested, but i was called in and told to bring my camera because "lisa's going to stick her face in the cake." she prepped for it, made sure that she didn't lose her will and...

SPLAT. how satisfying that must have been, to push her face into the sweet, refined sugar frosting. i had a small slice of the cake earlier in the evening, and it was good. like smooth, melty wedding or really really good birthday cake good. but we've both been working on eating better, so it was easier to ruin the cake than to take it home.

and when she came up, it really wasn't as bad as it looked. but she did have a mouthful of icing. yum!

we had the brilliant idea of going out to breakfast afterwards, but since we didn't leave the school until 12:30, i didn't get home from IHOP until almost 2. the rest of the weekend was spent recovering from staying out so late and spending the evening with scott and melissa, justin's step-brother and sister-in-law. today was spent at church, softball practice and running errands. i've got piles of laundry that need to be done, a load in the dishwasher waiting to be washed, and a floor that desperately needs to be vacuumed to get rid of all the cat hair. but that's okay--cause the dance is over, this week will be over before i know it, and the joy of spring break is calling. ahhhh.....i can hear it already....

okay, that's all for now. later, y'all.

Monday, April 03, 2006

spring forward...

it's sunny outside, and will be for another hour or two. this makes me happy. daylight savings time should make everyone happy. the world is just better when you can enjoy being outside until 8, 9 o'clock at night.

i am more exhausted that i can describe. it's the week of the formal dance, there continue to be dramatic moments at school that i must deal with, and situations where i occasionally go "i just don't know." oh, i will be happy when i have a supervisor. but otherwise, life is good. i painted and hot glued fishing line to about 100 silver stars today. imagining what it would look like when they are hanging from the ceiling at the dance is what got me through it.

it's time to switch out winter clothes for summer clothes. just as i look forward to my blue jeans and comfy sweaters in the fall, i look forward to my flip flops and sundresses in the spring. who am i kidding? i wear flip flops all year long. but the sundresses--that's the fun stuff.

got a haircut. it's short again--curly, cute, and so much easier to deal with. i'll get a picture up at some point. i get bored so easily with my hair. i've been this way since high school, pretty much, and previous to that, i had the same hairstyle for yeeeeeeears. i think i must be making up for lost time.

family get-together this weekend for my cousin meghan who's getting married in september--loved the house, great to see everyone, and learned again how to shag. shag is one of those things that is hard to find outside of the south, but it has this relaxed, laid-back feel to it that makes it look like coordinated laziness. when you first learn it, it's very precise and exact, but as it becomes more comfortable, you start shuffling your feet more than picking them up and feeling the music more than finding the beat. it's one of those things that i think is very distinct to eastern NC culture, but i had yet to take part in.

book club last week--this time it was discussing "shop girl" at a.j. mcmurphy's, and my dinner was on jennifer as payment for taking pictures last month. so much fun, as always. i love those women--they really do represent many different walks of life, but i find that talking to them is both educational and entertaining.

okay, that's it for now. later, y'all.