Monday, January 31, 2011

January, goodbye. February, let's call this a fresh start.

January 2011 has been a shitty month.  It's unfortunate really.  I wanted a great start to this new year.  In spite of all my gratitude this month, it's time for me to vent.  Terrible/annoying/frustrating happenings of my month:
  • Two major breakdowns related to work
  • Constant overload of stress related to everything piled on the plate of my life
  • Not being able to close on our house (not for good, just this month)
  • D's car breaking down on his way to Athens
  • Ridiculous unexpected costs related to fixing said car
  • Mounting frustration in my job and not being able to see a light at the end of the tunnel
  • Snow days that end up equating to more work for me in the long run
  • Inconsistent running due to said stress
I feel like I could go on further, but I'm afraid I'm becoming redundant.

[New day, new month, new beginning]

So I'm wiping the slate clean and starting over.  Tomorrow begins the fresh new month of February and I intend to embrace it head on.  I still have just as much on my plate, but I need to focus on the positive.
  • We WILL close on our house this month 
  • The month of love and almost marks one year of marriage for D and I
  • Tax returns (fingers crossed)
  • Praxis (teaching test) scores (although this could be good or bad)
  • Stout fest at the Raleigh Times on Valentines Day...what better way to spend Valentines than with a grilled cheddar, avocado, and tomato sandwich, huge salad with the best balsamic, and Terrapin Wake N Bake
  • Registering for my first 5k of 2011
It's time.  I am starting to consider getting the 30 day shred which I hear so many people talk of.  I'm not seeing too much weight loss with my running and think I need to devote more time to toning.  If you've tried it (or have another cheap DVD/program you use), let me know.  I'm still going to maintain my gym membership, but figured I may be more efficient with toning at home.

February, let's try this again...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I am graceful.

First and most importantly, it's ALMOST FRIDAY!  Whew.  What a relief.  Although as I type this, I think about my friend Claire who is a stay at home mom.  Fridays probably don't mean the same thing when you are literally doing your job 24/7.  I'm grateful for the fact that I do get some break from my job.  Even when I take home work at least I don't have to be around the students all that time.  And over summer break, I'll have a complete escape.  I am lucky.

One Wednesday, D and I were lucky enough to go to an Allagash beer dinner at the Busy Bee in Raleigh.  I always feel a bit weird taking food pictures when I am surrounded by people I don't know at a beer dinner.  I didn't get any pictures from the dinner, but I did come away one a couple temporary souvenirs.  I dressed nice since I relish those times I can utilize fancy dresses and heels.  After about six high gravity beers, you can get to feeling pretty nice.  On the way out, I loudly gracefully fell down the stairs.  I mean, feet out from under me and I'm pretty sure I slid down a couple steps.  Luckily those beers did have me feeling pretty wonderful and I laughed it off with a couple of people.  I woke up the next morning (feeling fine although like possibly some of that beer was still in my system) with a massive blue and green bruise on my arm.  I also felt some pain in my ass.  I yi yi.  The bruise made writing on the overhead a bit tricky and painful.  And I had no one to show the bruise to!  D left to go out of town and I was by my lonesome.  I don't think a picture would show it very well, but I figured you all might get a laugh out of my drunkeness clumsiness. 

I'll be working on some quality posts this weekend. Happy Friday :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


To escape from negativity and embrace the positive side of this week...
  • I get to sleep in an extra hour or so on Thursday and attend a teacher improvement seminar (which equals a day away from middle schoolers)
  • D asked me to go to a beer dinner tonight
  • Beer dinners are our only exception for meat during No Meat January
  • 4 day week with the students
  • Only one IEP meeting this week
  • Computer lab with my Language Arts classes = extra time to prepare for IEP meetings
  • Two of my students were "fast tracked" to the high school = proud of them but so happy to reduce class sizes by even two
  • It's almost February
  • I have lesson plans tentatively planned out for the week
  • Next week is a 4 day week for me too
  • Friday is a short day with my 7th graders
  • I'm feeling better
  • Pay day is Friday
It really is all about the small things. I have lots to be grateful for.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Calling all vegetarians!

I haven't done many any food posts from this year's No-Meat January.  Mainly because I'm so stressed out that 1) D cooks a meal for us and I typically don't photo-document that; 2) I pick up a $5 cheese pizza from down the street; or 3) I just forget.  Stress will do it to you.  Last year, we made lots of delicious new meals.  This year we have mostly been re-doing those recipes.  One area that we have scoured a bit more this year is the vegetarian sections at our grocery stores. 

One of our fav finds is Quorn.

Quorn has been around in the UK since 1985 (yeah, who knew there were vegetarians then?!  I kid, I kid).  Quorn is made from a protein from the fungi family and is binded together with egg and some other stuff.  It's supposed to be, obviously, high in protein and low in fat.  D and I are skeptical when it comes to fake meats.  I mean have you ever tried the fake bacon?!  There is no substitute for that fatty, delicious meat.  Quorn is actually pretty good though!  We've only tried the Chik'n Tenders, which are like chunked chicken.  I'm trying them again tonight in my Chicken Salsa Verde Bake.  Quorn has lots of other items I want to try though.

D just learned how to make some delicious (yet fattening) tofu, and we found some decent fake sausage.  Oh and these...

...have made way into my life.  There is an American version, and they are delish!  I've never been a hot dog fan, so this is the best of both worlds!  What I don't like is the fact that fake meats are more expensive than real meats.  Grrr! 

We also tried the mostly vegetarian restaurant here in Raleigh, Remedy Diner.  It was delicious.  It does not have the variety that The Grit in Athens has, but it left me wanting to go back for more.  They have an awesome 24/7 breakfast menu that I have to try!  I can't wait to try a couple of the middle eastern restaurants here that have some great veggie options.

So far this has been a successful No-Meat January.  I'm pretty happy that I have found more meat alternatives, since I lean more towards vegetarian than not.  Don't get me wrong...I'm totally looking forward to a heaping pile of bacon sooner than later :)

What are your favorite vegetarian recipes?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why doesn't the world stop when you're sick?

Oh man.  I woke up on Saturday feeling all kinds of crappy.  Sore throat.  Headache.  Body ache.  Stuffy nose.  That kind of head cold that insists you don't even think about crawling out of bed.  Boo.  I've been choking down Thera-flu, ibuprofen, allergy pills, you name it.  Sunday morning came and I felt worse.  Tossing and turning every night does not make things better.  Life just doesn't stop though.  Student grades have to be entered on Monday.  This means I have to grade.  I have to go to school and enter grades on Monday.  I have to go talk to teachers about a student meeting I have on Wednesday.  I have to prepare for and participate in the meeting Wednesday or it'll take me double the time to reschedule and get everyone to attend. 

Life doesn't stop.  Work doesn't stop. 

On a positive note, I was browsing shopbop for a bit today (what else is there to do when you're sick and have already watched enough Weeds to make you dizzy?).  I found a couple of guilty pleasures that I'm totally putting on my wish list (before they sell out that is).

[Sauce Gaga Middle School Tee, $32, on sale - ok you know I have an obsession with Gaga.  Love this.  They also have one for Blair from GG]

Then I browsed over at J Crew...
[Always pocket cardigan,  $29.99 - desperately hoping this one is still available in my size as of Friday, pay day only available in XX-small]

[This whole outfit is to-die-for, but specifically the Felted Wool Mini.  $69.50 is a bit out of my price range but they do have my size!]

But then there are things like this calling my name...

[Last minute AND cheap trip to San Fran!]

[Saving up for Spain next winter!]

For whatever reason, the will/need to travel is overcoming my desire for more clothing, shoes, and accessories!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Friday, January 21, 2011

In case you haven't heard me mention it enough times...

...I've been quite broke for approximately the past year.  I won't bore you again with the details about why.  Needless to say, I am getting pretty antsy to close on our house in a week and start having some money to play around with again.  Aside from saving money so I can travel more, I have some "necessities" on my list for pay day.  Surprisingly, my first necessity is not clothing related.

[via weheartit]

It's a hair cut!  I've never been too good about keeping up with routine hair stylings.  I prefer to go to a high-end salon for the quality, but I can't afford that every two months.  I started going every 4-6 months to get a trim and update my highlights.  The last time I went was in February/early March before D and I got married.  I am dying.  My split ends look pathetic/sad/depressing.  My highlights are equally drab.  My friend, it is time.  Unfortunately, I am not sure if the spare money will be available with my Feburary pay check coming in at the end of January, but if not I will be scheduling an appointment asap at the end of Feb.

After moving to Raleigh, it was difficult to consider a new salon/hair stylist.  Back in Athens, I had been with my same stylist for 5 years.  I moved when she moved to a different salon.  Since Athens is still within a do-able driving distance, I've considered getting my hair done there.  But I think the switch needs to be made.

With a hair cut, I have been thinking since the summer about chopping my hair off.  I spent years growing it out.  I have really thin, fine hair, so it always looked a little flat and stringy long.  I think my hair has matured over time though.  It's got body and umph now.  It took me a lot of time to grow it so long, but I felt as a teacher I needed a more "mature" look.  First, I wanted to donate to locks of love.

Then I found out they won't take colored/dyed hair :(  Much to my dismay!  So I'm going from this:

[circa October 2010]

to something like this....

[Not too drastic, a bit off the ends and some shorter bangs.  Via weheartit]


[Even shorter, but still blonde]

But then I see gorgeous pictures like this that make me want to hold on to my long locks...

My goal in life should just be to have hair and a body exactly like Blake Lively.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Road trippin'

FINALLY!  A happy post :)  I did get lost in a little negativity last night and wrote a note about how miserable this job is making me.  But...enough of that for now.  Spring break is quickly approaching!  As difficult as this first full year of teaching has felt so far, I should count myself lucky for the amount of time I get (and certainly will relish in this summer) off.

D and I have been throwing around spring break travel ideas for months now.  I mean I've been desperately longing for a vacation since September!  Once we officially close on the house and get a bit of tax refund money, I'm going to have ants in my pants to get out of this town.  Since D still has work obligations, one of the ideas we've thrown out is that of a road trip.

D has a beer event in Virginia at the end of my spring break.  We've contemplated driving up to Philly (I've yet to go while he has visited two times now) then up to NYC then back down to VA to round it out.  As much as I'm dreaming of being back on a plane, this trip sounds like a winner.  Since D has the event, I'm 95% sure this is what we are going to do. 

I've been dreaming of NYC for quite a while now.  That would certainly allow me to mark off a few items on my 101 in 1001 list!  We'd catch a Broadway show and eat at some fabulous restaurants.  I think the hardest part would be leaving feeling like we haven't accomplished enough...since the city is so enormous!  I'd love to take D to see a live show of some sort.

One thing I hadn't thought of is where we would leave our car.  There's no way I would brave NY traffic/parking to see the city.  Taxis!  We should take parking costs into consideration.  Here's to hoping that this works out!  Goodness knows I need a break!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I yi yi.

This has been the month from hell. I really miss blogging regularly, but I'm so busy/stressed/overwhelmed. When I get home, finish doing more work, work out, eat, etc. I'm so pooped out. Tonight, I'm watching a little Weeds (why did it take so long to pick it back up!!) and drinking a little wine...after I finished my work that is. Sigh...bear with me!

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Celebrate success.

After yesterday's depressing post, something my friend Claire (from Beak Tweets) stuck with me.  She mentioned that she's not letting her weight/mood affect her since she knows she's trying.  She's working on running 4-5 times a week just like me.  I really shouldn't let it get me down.  I am working, and I should be proud of that.  Isn't that the biggest frustration of losing weight for us?  The slow, slow process. 

January is a busy, crazy month.  Snow storms hit the south.  We had a 10:00 release on Monday and a non-snow day (ice day?) today.  It's been a nice little extended weekend, but I am really not looking forward to rescheduling meetings that are due.  It's going to be a LONG remainder of the month.  To be honest, I'm struggling to maintain my sanity half the time.  I spent all of my holiday today working on college course work, planning my lesson plans, and working on beginning teacher requirements for my county (which are bullshit in my opinion).  This is turning into yet another complaining/vent session.  I came in with not much of a post topic in mind.  But...let me celebrate some of the successes I plan to make this year.

[To celebrate one year of marriage]

[Gaining the keys and becoming first-time homeowners]

 [Hopefully making our first trip to New York during my spring break]

 [Booking our next overseas flight]

 [Moving on to an elementary school position]

 [Just making it to tomorrow...]

Monday, January 10, 2011

The slump.

My brain has been thinking hard about this.  I always start a new year with a resolve to work out again.  I go through the spurts.  This summer, when I had lots of free time and was broke, I worked my ass out like no tomorrow.  I started slacking off when I got back in to the stress and hectic-ness that is teaching.  I read something where someone said they love New Year's because it's like a new slate, a fresh beginning.  That is it too!  I love being able to start the year off right with new goals and commitments (even if I don't always follow through with them).   I'm getting off topic though.

I love reading fashion blogs.  I don't consider myself the most fashionable and feel that I have to dress based on more comfort than style on most days.  It doesn't help that I've had no fashion budget within the past year.  For me, fashion blogs start to get depressing after a while.  I feel that I surround myself with beautiful, skinny girls.  Of course there is not a thing wrong with being skinny.  It just doesn't help me to really love myself and the body I have.  Not loving myself and my body (or the clothes in my closet) has negatively affected my attitude within the past...3 years?  I haven't really been happy with my body in quite a while.  I need to change that.  I can change that.  I need to make this a lifestyle change.  I can't keep going through the spurts.  As so many women and girls are scared to do, I'm throwing out my weight for accountability.  On January 3, when I started over again, I started at 139 pounds.  This is high for my height.  It's not the highest I've been in the past three years, but certainly not the lowest.  My goal is to get back down to 120.  I can do it.  Running will help.  I've cut out drinking during the week (unless I replace it with a non-drinking weekend day) and am trying to count my calories again.  

I believe this became more of a venting session.  Every woman has qualms with her body and her looks.  I'll never be a "fashion blogger," and I don't want to be.  I do want to be confident and happy with myself...and isn't that everyone's ultimate goal?  Clothes exude that confidence for some of us, creativeness for others.  For me, it's fitting into that size 6 pair of jeans. I got this!  Sort of an off base posting...  On the positive side and to show how much I do love reading my fashion blogs, here are some of my fav fashion bloggers!

Kara from Destined for Now.  How cute is she?!  Kara makes a lot of her own clothing pieces.  She has such a cute sense of style.  She a teacher in-progress, and I attempt to utilize her as my inspiration for school-appropriate outfits.

Carrie from this free bird.  I sort of have a girl crush on Carrie.  She really is a free bird.  I adore her casual and fun fashion.  Her openness in writing makes you feel like you have an immediate connection with can just relate.

Jentine from my edit.  Jentine is a thrifter extraordinaire!  I feel like her fashion is so original.  She has so much variety in her outfits.  She's just stunning.  When I build up the fashion budget, I will be coveting some of her outfits.

These are just a few of my many favs.  Who are your fav fashion bloggers?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy first 2011 hump day.

Does that title quite make sense?  It's the first hump day of 2011 and from the looks of today, it's going to be one looooooong year.  Here's to hoping it's a good long year though!  D started off his day rough...leaving the GPS, his phone charger, and wallet in my car.  This meant he had to drive an hour, round trip, out of the way to my car before making the trek to Athens.  Now that's pretty frustrating.  I've had an exhausting day.  It seemed like one thing after another went wrong!  But hey, I'm only 5 days into the new year.  I can't start being negative already!

[As exhausted as I am...I've got some things to look forward to this evening! Via weheartit]
We're still holding strong on No-Meat January (although I'm considering being bad and getting a couple bean burritos from Taco Bell after today).  D got a kettle with a gift card he got for Christmas.  We've been using that thing like crazy!  It's been wonderful for the coffee press I got him for Christmas.  He started boiling water in it for some green tea at night after dinner.  I've never been much of a tea fan (unless it's southern style sweet tea).  The first night he tried it, I wasn't down and didn't even try a sip.  Last night, I tried it and was in heaven!  

We drink the Lipton tea pictured above (mainly because it's been sitting in our cabinet for years), but it is delicious!  I'm already planning to make myself some tonight!  We all know the health benefits of tea, especially green tea.  He using just a tad bit of Sweet N Low to sweeten it, but I'm open to other options.  I'm not a huge Sweet N Low fan, but honey just doesn't make it sweet enough for me.  I found that it was perfect for after dinner because it makes you feel more full (less likely to snack the night away on sweets) and hits that sweet tooth.  I may just become a tea drinker after all...

 [more weheartit]

What are your favorite teas?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The little runner who WILL.

Aside from working on my 101 in 1001 list, my primary goal is to RUN

I mentioned before that I wanted to try and run a 5k per month to keep myself on the bandwagon.  I don't handle weather very well though.  I am going to sign up for my next 5k as of March.  I'm starting to train tomorrow.  After I get some more 5ks under my belt, I'm contemplating training for a half marathon.  That may be a lofty goal.  I definitely need to ensure that I can stay focused with the 5ks for now.  I need to hold myself accountable to follow my schedule.  I'm hoping this leads to some shedding of pounds too.

Oh and No-Meat January has begun and is in full swing!  Update on that later!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

101 in 1001 :: Another review.

I took another look at my 101 in 1001 list.  I seriously feel like this is so much better than the bucket list I started a while back (although I still want to update my bucket list for those big ticket items).  I mean it could be years before I marked something off on the bucket list.  With the 101 in 1001, I get to mark things off almost monthly.  I'm confident that once we get to really mark off the buying a house notch, many other things will come.  Buying a house is such a huge immediate cost (down payments, closing, inspections, appraisals, moving, etc.) that I'll be more than happy to have it all done with come Feb (fingers crossed).  In order to not make resolutions and start 2011 out on the right foot (by focusing on my little goals), let me review my list!

**PURPLE = completed**

Start date:  September 1, 2010
End date:  May 30, 2013


1. Buy a house
     -In progress as of September/October 2010
2. Buy something from Etsy
3. Get another tattoo
[Better/healed picture should be to come 12/21/2010]
4. Buy a new piece of jewelry that I’ll wear for years
5. See Kathy Griffin live
6. Get a new pair of glasses
7. Buy one full-priced piece from Anthropologie
8. Meet up with KD in a city and see Lady Gaga again
9. Buy a pair of TOMS
10. Spend a day eating/shopping/reading alone in public
11. Buy a bicycle
12. Get a couples massage
13. Buy a new piece of furniture
14. Buy my dad tickets to see Jimmy Buffett
15. Treat D to a fancy dinner anywhere on me
16. Have a spa day
17. Buy a fabulous pair of jeans in a smaller size (once I get there)
18. Get a bikini wax
19. Buy a blazer
[AND it was thrifted! 10/2010]


20. Make a special anniversary gift for the hubby
21. Put together an awesome thrifted outfit
22. Grow something edible
23. Finish a puzzle
[Oh yes.  Charlie Brown.  It was a toughie.  12/2010.  Bring on the Vincent Van Gogh puzzle D got me for xmas.]
24. Finish writing another 101 list at the end of the 1001 days
25. Make a sewing box
26. Make a photobook of wedding pictures
27. Start a list of places I want to see/travel
28. Make a photobook of Europe trip
29. Start a compost pile
30. Make homemade sangria
31. Bake bread
32. Make a homemade pesto or hummus

33. Send flowers to someone
34. Sponsor a child at Christmas
35. Donate blood
36. Eliminate all clothes that I haven’t worn since moving to Raleigh and donate them
37. Donate to Locks of Love
38. Volunteer somewhere
39. Buy someone a "Just Because" gift
40.  Give a loan on Kiva
41. Buy a lesson or class for someone
42. Donate all my old glasses
43. Donate at least 10 items from Raleigh Rescues Urgent Needs List (0/10)


44. Don't eat fast food for a month
45. Put away $25 for every goal completed
46. Take a sign language class
47. Have bi-weekly date nights with the hubby without cell phones (0/64)
     -Not completely happening.  We're working on it though!
48. Run another 5K  (10/31/2010)
49. Pay off my credit cards
     -Only about 5 more months!!
50. Get to my goal weight and maintain
51. Put something in savings every single month (0/32)
     -Definitely!  D and I have been saving like crazy.  I'll continue even if it's $10.
52. Start a 401K
53. Have sex in 20 new places (0/20)
54. Back up all pictures and documents on my laptop
55. Call my grandma at least once per month (0/32)
     -Definitely in progress and my grandma loves it :)
56. Make at least one new recipe per month (0/32)
57. Create a budget and stick to it
58. Go to the dentist regularly (every 6 months)
59. Play with the dogs outside at least once per month (4/32)
60. Purchase a piece of art for our home
61. Invite a new friend out for coffee/shopping/a meal (9/2010)
62. Purchase new bed sheets and comforter for our room


63. Ride in a hot air balloon
64. Visit NYC with KD & CAP in Winter 2011
65. Buy last minute airline tickets for a getaway
66. Eat at a renowned restaurant
67. Visit 3 of the 1000 Places to go Before You Die (0/3)
68. See a play on Broadway
69. Go to Spain/Greece
70. Visit KayD in Boston
71. Visit KD in Birmingham
72. Take a road trip
73. Visit my M-A kids who got adopted
74. Do an extreme activity in another country
75. Go to a winery tour
76. Go to a museum I've never been to before
77.  See a concert in another country
78. Go on 30 of the “60 hikes within 60 miles: Raleigh”  (0/30)
79. Eat 3 things I've never tried before
80. Visit 3 states I’ve never been before (0/3)
81. Bike the Greenway – past the sketchy areas
82. Eat at 10 new restaurants in Raleigh (1/10)
     -One that I can think of (12/2010), probably more


83. Identify 101 things that make me happy
84. Read at least 25 books from the 101 Books to Read Before You Die list  (10/25)
     -Ten out of the 25 as of 12/2010I've updated on most of them.
85. Bake a new dessert from scratch
86. Join a club
87. Watch all IMDB's Top 250 Movies
     -I've definitely got some time and work to do here.  69 movies watched as of 12/2010
88. Make a meal entirely from food bought at the farmers market
89. Convince D to participate in a race with me
90. Learn to make a new mixed drink
91. Sleep in the nude
92. Try 25 new sex positions (0/25)
93. Go skinny dipping
94. Send a postcard to PostSecret
95. Play kickball on a team
96. Wear heels 2x per month (0/64)
     -I think I've been accomplishing this on!
97. Be a vegan for a week
98. Go skiing
99. Go bowling
100. Stop watching TV for one week at home
     -Technically I've completed this one but if we include Netflix and online shows, nope.
101. Donate $5 to charity for each goal I don't finish

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 :: In review.

Cue the typical 2010 reflection post.  I don't even care.  It's wonderful to go back and reflect upon all the exciting things that happened this year!  It was a huge and exciting year for D and I.


D and I started off the year right with "No-meat January."  Above are a few of the dishes we made.  January was a good month of eating healthy, working out, and wedding planning.

We also received and mailed out wedding celebration/announcements this month!  I was FINALLY offered a teaching job and in North Carolina!


D and I started house/apartment hunting in Raleigh this month.  I already started slacking on working out!  I did have my Bachelorette Party (which for some reason, I CAN NOT find pictures from!  Ladies, email them to me if you have them!).  Sadly, some of my lovlies did not get to come, but it ended up being a wonderful weekend in this little cabin...


This was the biggest and busiest month ever!

 On March 4, D and I got "married" at the court house.  He bought me a bouquet :) Quotations on married because we don't officially consider that our wedding day.

We spent a wonderful honeymoon week in Aruba and had our private ceremony on March 8.

And then literally the day we returned from our honeymoon, I trekked it up to Raleigh, our new home, in a packed full car with the kitties.  We roughed it in a cold house with no furniture for 2 weeks.  See above...the kitties curled up together on our trusty air mattress. 

Finally, I drove back down to Athens for the next two weekends to plan and participate in our wedding celebration on March 27.  What a month :)


D made his official move to NC!  And I got in a wreck and got a new car...

We had a crazy, unpacked house.  I was still loving life and my new job as a teacher.  I made some healthy goals I didn't follow through with, gave into a fad, and gave my two cents on quite a lot of subjects.


D and I went on our first camping trip in NC in May.  It was relaxing and wonderful...although we definitely left the sleeping bags at home.  Haha :)

We also celebrated D's birthday and spent our first weekend on the NC beaches. We finally joined the YMCA too!


Honestly, not much happened in June.  I was ready for school to get out, sad from not having enough money for anything.  We were still just getting to know Raleigh.  And so began the summer of no pay!


We continued to beach it up on weekends at the NC coast and celebrated the 4th of July at the Raleigh fairgrounds.

My sister came to visit me in Raleigh, we had friends visit us in Raleigh, and D and I braved it in the woods with his grandparents.


I celebrated my birthday with D in Roanoke, VA.  We started looking at houses, and I started getting my classroom ready for school!


We found our house and started getting things in motion!


CAPM got married in October and I ran my second 5k with my new friend JA.


D and I made some really delish meals, I finished my first puzzle (in a very long time!), and had lots of new developments on the work frontier.


This deserves a separate post in itself since I haven't updated in a bit, but the highlights include...

 Making pizza and having fun with friends back down in GA

 Our first white Christmas in GA since the 1880s!

 D's parents' barn...such a beautiful sight.

 Merry Christmas to me...I finally got my wedding tattoo :)  At this point is wasn't healed and my skin was irritated from the tape.  Already brainstorming my next one!

 Shared wonderful drinks and time and...

 ...bonfires with more friends in Athens

And I re-taught/learned how to crochet.  My grandma Wall would be proud.

Such a wonderful, exciting and fun year of many firsts.  I'm a lucky girl.  I can't wait to see what this next year brings.  I'll be updating my 101 in 1001 list soon!


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