Calm before the storm

August has been a breath of fresh air for Bradley and me.  The wedding and all of the following celebrations took their toll on us.  August was a chance to recover and spend time together without feeling surrounded by a million other obligations.  I am genuinely grateful for the lazy weekends and the acceptance that it can be powerful to do nothing.  With that being said, the pace is set to quicken after this weekend.

To give you a general rundown of what to expect in upcoming posts:

  • Next weekend I am mountain bound to spend some time with my favorite unsociable social worker, Betsy.  Her family affectionately refers to their cabin as “Cloud 9” and I couldn’t agree more.  Prepare yourselves for lots of cliche mountain pictures, especially since this will likely be my last mountain visit of the year.  
  • The following weekend will be spent with the beautiful Hillary in my home while Bradley runs off to Georgia to celebrate the start of dove season with his family. I typically tag along but, with Reese pregnant (or so we likely suspect), we decided she would be better off staying at home this year.  

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I can’t wait to live under the same roof as her again – even if for just a few days.
  • The following weekend is the annual Girls’ Trip with Carrie, Sarah, Katrina, Bonnie, Rachel, and Bubba/Kate (I’ll tell you the story of Kate’s nickname later).  We have typically gone to Asheville, but Sarah recommended we check out Lake Gaston this year Bless her for making this recommendation – I would likely travel 123,487 hours to spend time with my gals but the six hour drive to Asheville was posing some logistical problems for a girl who just started a new job and has no PTO.  We rented a sweet lake house that comes with two kayaks!  I am excited to have an excuse to lounge in the last of the summer sun with my favorite women.
  • Bradley and I are hosting a “Farewell Summer” party at our house the next weekend.  It is also the Isle of Wight County Fair and Parmalee is playing!  Who are we kidding – I just want a fried oreo.  Doesn’t matter much what the music sounds like.
  • We are anticipating that we will have a brand new litter of puppies by the following weekend.  Granted, we won’t confirm that Reese is pregnant until August 25 but we have noticed some major changes in our sweet Reese.  Her appetite is all over the place, her mood is just as unpredictable, she is not as energetic, and she will sometimes go to an empty room to sit by herself.  Our baby girl has NEVER been the type of dog to seek isolation.  And I watched her lazily gallop across the yard with little interest during a game of fetch.  For a dog that was trained to retrieve, that is shocking. So while we can’t say for certain that she is pregnant, our guts are telling us that something is different.  With a gestation period of about 2 months, we’ve counted out the 60 days and it lands us on the week of September 18.  Good gosh that will be soon.
Pictures of our sweet Reese as a puppy – hard to believe that our baby girl is about to (probably) be a momma!  I took these pictures from Bryan, Bradley’s cousin and original Reese owner.
  • October is full of volunteering for the local “Hog Jog,” cheering on my friends at the Tough Mudder in North Carolina, and turning it blue for the Tar Heels during Homecoming weekend with my favorite faces.  
  • And everyone knows that once November hits, you are in the thralls of holiday madness.  

So if I wanted to enjoy a weekend nap, last weekend was the chance to do it!

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I’m sure people in town think we are hooligans because we let our dogs off leash.  The scandal!

Per the recent trend, we did not have much scheduled for this weekend.  We enjoyed a lazy dinner of leftovers on Friday before heading downtown for a walk with the girls.  There was a live band in the town square that helped serenade our walk.  Despite disrupting a nest of wasps and getting stung, it was a beautiful summer night. (Sting update:  it itches.  A ton.  It is almost all I can think about.)

My friend, Adin, was moving this weekend into her new town home (yay!) so I stole the truck for the afternoon and traveled west to Williamsburg.  Bradley was originally voluntold that he would need to help with the move, but he ended up having a work thing he had to tend to.  (There are only two people that Bradley does not say “No” to:  me and his boss.  And since the boss essentially ensures that we can pay the mortgage, I let him win every now and then.)  After helping Adin for a bit, I returned home and waited for Bradley before we drove to Virginia Beach to pick up a desk I found on Craigslist.  I am in love with this piece of furniture!  I’ve been itching for a desk to put in our bedroom so that I have a more formal space to store my stationary and to write my blogs.  The problem with desks is twofold:  they are expensive and, despite the price, don’t come with lots of storage options.  I took to Craigslist to see what was available and finally stumbled upon this gem.  It is made of solid wood, has pull handles that I adore, and comes with plenty of drawers to keep all of my goodies.  I am going to slap on a coat of paint, replace the marble slab in the middle, and have already picked out a chair ( came from Target – thank you wedding gift cards!).  I won’t really have time to start working on the desk until October.  I’m hoping I can get the paint done in a weekend and  Bradley has several pieces of gorgeous quartersawn (he made me put this word in here but I honestly don’t know what it means) white oak wood that he is using to build our bedroom suite.  I’ve requested that be used to replace the marble to help tie the desk to the rest of the furniture (more on that later).  This desk is going to be perfect!!!

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This is the Craigslist picture – could use some loving from a duster but is otherwise in amazing shape! 

We returned home from our Virginia Beach adventure and settled down for a delicious dinner of grilled shrimp with green beans and roasted potatoes from the Farmer’s Market.  It wasn’t chicken, so it was amazing.  

Sunday was our three month anniversary since getting married.  While we are not normally the type of couple to keep track of such things (there is still much debate about when we actually started dating because neither one of us were really paying attention at the time), it was nice to have something to celebrate.  We travelled to Suffolk where we watched Lucky Logan, snagged a few steaks from Harris Teeter (readers will remember that Bradley was not a fan of the steaks offered in town), and went home to celebrate with a warm dinner.  Bradley was adamant that we eat the same meal.  I think our dinners have felt less whole (no pun intended) for him since I started Whole30.  It doesn’t quite feel like a family dinner if we are eating something different.  I can see what he means.  It was nice to prepare the dinner together and to share it together.  And there are much fewer dishes to wash when you are only preparing one meal as opposed to two!   We gobbled up our steaks before taking the girls on a walk.  I love those evening walks.  It reminds me of the walks I used to take after dinner with my mother.

A few more pictures from our Friday night:  the window display outside of the Christmas Store, the giant statues outside of Smithfield Foods, the view from the dock (right before we got swarmed and stung), and “The Birth of Ham.

In other news:

  • I’ve got to learn how to take pictures.  I’ve been taking them on my phone and/or downloading them from Facebook and Instagram.  If I am going to do this blog, I need to do it right.  The pictures can really help bring the words to life but some of my pictures feel lazy (at least to me, the world’s toughest critic).  I have the camera – I just need to figure out how to use it!  When I first started this blog, I reached out to a high-school friend, Julianna, for recommendations.  She has such an eye for photography and videography that I felt confident she would make a solid recommendation that wouldn’t break the bank.  She nailed it.  (Check out her website to see what projects she is working on!)  It is now up to me to actually use the darn thing!  Any recommendations on some editing software would also be appreciated!  I’m a beginner so I don’t need something over the top.  User friendly!  I did purchase a new camera strap as a way to spice up the camera a bit.  This strap got good reviews because it is made more like a scarf than a strap.  People swear that it doesn’t cause as much chaffing on your neck.  I just got it so I obviously don’t have a clue, but I’ll keep you posted!  I envision that my mountain adventure this weekend will be a great time to play around with it!

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Purchased this beauty from Amazon:  “YIER Scarf Camera Strap”
  • I’ve got my first two Junior League events this week.  One is a shopping social at Loft (my most favorite place to shop!) on Monday and then a general membership meeting on Wednesday.  I’m taking the plunge.  I have got to find my people here instead of always looking South.  It’s time to actually make Virginia my home.
  • We have committed to working on our bedroom as our next house project.  We have put time and energy into every room in the house except for our room.  The current furniture is odds and ends from our previous lives and looks the part.  We have a pretty large room and the space is being wasted.  Our current plan is to have Bradley build a set of matching bedside tables with a white base and white oak top.  We will use a light stain on the oak since I’m looking to keep the room a little lighter.  He is also going to build a new dresser using the same color scheme of white on the bottom with a white oak top.  We are currently envisioning “his and hers” drawers with two columns of drawers.  The current wardrobe that was gifted from my mother  will be painted white and I’m hoping to use a little bit of the white oak to help make the doors a little more interesting.  One of Bradley’s friends has a set of old porch posts that Bradley is going to take a look at.  If they are in good shape, he is hoping to use those to build a four post bed.  The posts will be white with the oak making up the middle parts.  Finally, we have the desk (as I previously mentioned) that will have a touch of the wood in the middle.  The white oak will help tie all of the furniture together so that is looks more like a bedroom suite and less like a flea market sale.  The white is to help keep the bedroom lighter and gives me more freedom to play around with darker accents without dragging down the whole room.  I’m currently thinking of a bed quilt that is yellow and navy.  That is subject to change because my opinions so frequently do.  I’m just excited for my first ever grown-up bedroom.

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To conclude:  your favorite DIY couple is back!

 

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