Thursday, May 31, 2012

It was me and you

Look at this pretty girl.  It's her birthday.  I'd like to send a big "thank you" her way for introducing me to Flip Cameras, Pinterest, and BodyRock this year.  A bigger "thank you" for always saying the right thing at just the right time.  An even bigger "thank you" for being my huckleberry and saving grace.  Always.

I love that The New Yorker cover from our birth day must have been drawn just for us.  Look at us: riding all of life's ups and downs together.  
Photo found here 

Finally, remember, I rejected Cyndi Lauper's True Colors because this was, and always will be, our song.

Happy Birthday, sista.

Sending love and hugs,

Happy Birthday ladies!

I will always remember our Freshman year when we had Home Room together (at least, I think it was Freshman year).  I hated the days you'd have field hockey games because you'd wear your uniforms and I wouldn't be able to tell you apart.  I'm so glad that our friendship has grown so much over the past 15 years. 

I hope you both have a wonderful birthday! I wish I was there to celebrate with you!


One Minute Older...

If you're lost, you can look and you will find me,
time after time.
If you fall I will catch you--I'll be waiting,
time after time.
--Cyndi Lauper

I have a secret for you. Today I turn 30 years old. And I share this monumental day with the best twin sister in the world.

Luckily, LC is one minute older so while that seemed like a perk when she hit double digits first...or 16 first...or even 21, now who is laughing, Twin?

I have another secret for you. LC doesn't like Cyndi Lauper. I once told LC that True Colors was our song. She rolled her eyes.

But the chorus of Time After Time is really quite beautiful. And in this case, very true. When you're angry, or sad, or happy...I'll be by your side. When you have good news to share or need to vent, or if you want to skype to show me your most recent shopping purchases, I'll be there.

Time after time.

Happy Birthday, LC! Here is to our next decade. Always together.



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sibling Fun

A few weeks ago, my very sweet sister and brother-in-law visited the District for a little sibling fun. We spent the evening hopping from one bar to the next, feasting on the famous Ben's Chili Bowl, and sharing a lot of laughs. Throw in a jumbo slice and a tequila shot and you know it was a night to remember.

Thanks so much for coming! Love you guys so much!



Love Is Like A Novel, Read The Blessed Pages...

Well, well, well... long time no blog huh? I've been half busy/half on a break up with this blog BUT the other night I was out at a bar when one of our BIGGEST (only?) blog fans inquired why I haven't been writing. I took that as a sign (and NOT a drunken rant, it was clearly his plea to have more of my AWESOME writing in his life!!!!) so here I am- filling your day with a useless, boring post! You're welcome :)

Today's post is very near and dear to my heart. It's all about one of my most favoritiest things EVER in the entire world: BOOKS! <here's where you clap in excitement>

I heart books. I read more than almost anyone else I know. I do own a kindle, but I'm still terrified that most technology is going to kill me in my sleep someday so I hardly use it. I even love the smell of books! Some would call this "nerdy" (myself included) but a good book makes me incredibly happy!!! I happened upon this website the other day and collected a few lil doo-dads for all you fellow book lovers out there. Think of it as my kind of porn.
Dream Room

This is my motto.
At first I was confused/concerned, and then I was like "Totally!"
Gentlemen, take note
Hey teeny, tiny book necklaces! You rule!

True Confession: my greatest fear about getting older is how little time I have left to read.

If I had more wall space, this would be MINE!!!!

Pictured Above: Mindy's future child. Or Mindy herself in 1983. Take your pick.

A map of fictional places I wish I could visit. For reals, I "eeeeeeeee"'d out loud in excitement when I saw this.
That's it. Surely we're all in agreement that I need a 12-Step program to deal with my odd book addiction. I'll await your intervention. In the mean time: 11/22/63 by Stephen King??? SO GOOD!!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

What My Twenties Taught Me

After Kate blogged about  what her 20s taught her , I thought I’d continue the series.  The three-O is quickly approaching and I’ve had some time to reflect on what I’ve learned over the last ten years. 

When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.  I searched online, unsuccessfully, for a while trying to find a video of Bill Rancic talking to his wife, Giuliana, about his views on God’s plans.  Bill says, “Whatever God has planned, He has planned.  We’ve got to surrender ourselves to the Big Man above and believe that He knows what is best for us.  If you do that, then you’ll live in peace and harmony.”  Couldn’t. Agree. More.  A big thank you to Bill Rancic for eloquently verbalizing exactly what I feel. 

Everything happens for a reason.  My early twenties were not my favorite.  I was stuck at a dreaded (my opinion) college wishing my life away.  With a few exceptions (mostly my wonderful husband and  Kate , my huckleberry and saving grace), I didn’t have a support system at college, and I started “looking up” for guidance.  As my relationship with God deepened, I started to be thankful for everything I had in my life, which quickly took my mind off of the things I thought I was missing.  Now, after many years, I realize that my time at college brought me two new and endless relationships: one with one husband and one with God.   

Quoting Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” During those forget-worthy college years, when I felt completely disconnected to almost everyone around me, I grew into a stronger person who wasn’t willing to compromise my beliefs and personality to “fit in” with others.  Because of this, I’ve come to truly appreciate who I am, as well as, my dear high school friends who unconditionally accepted me for this. 

My parents are saints.  Everyday I discover another twenty reasons why I am in complete awe of them and what they did/sacrificed to raise me and my siblings.
Work Hard. I’ve learned that I should work hard for myself and my family, not for extra money, attention, or praise. 

Enjoy life.  Life is too short to go through it dreading my days.  I want to surround myself with the people, things, and activities I enjoy. 

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  I won’t force my opinion on others, and I won’t change my opinion for others. 

 (I’m still working on this one.)  Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean I have to eat or drink it. 

Take care of my teeth and body.  Exercise my body and brain.  Enjoy the simple moments in life.  Enough said.

And, the best thing I’ve learned in my twenties: In my relationships with others, whether it is in my day-to-day life or in the heat of an argument, sometimes I have to choose to love others.  All relationships have their ups and downs.  No relationship is glamorous all the time.  It is in the choice to continue to love that will help get back the magical and complete partnerships that makes all the work worth while.  I will never look back and regret loving too much. 

So, what’s on the schedule for the next ten years?  Hopefully, in the midst of long days and short years, pinching pennies and making memories, I’ll also remember to take time to breath in, enjoy and savor this enchanting life that I’ve been given. 

Hugs to our followers (especially those that made it all the way to the end!),


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sleeping Beauty, Part II

This post is a follow-up from a post, Sleeping Beauty, I made back in August 2011.  Goosey has been fighting her afternoon nap (she may be ready to give it up, but I love having an hour during the day to actually accomplish something, i.e., this blog post).  So, during one day this week, when she just did not want to nap, I let her hang out and occupy herself in her room.  Everything seemed to be going really well until we had to make a 30-minute drive that evening.  Just like their mother, the kids fall asleep within 15 minutes of riding in a car.  So, when we got home, I woke Goosey up, carried her into the house, and put her down so I could do the same for Maverick, who was still in the car.  I came back in and found Goosey like this,

curled up on the steps, sans pants, napping away.

I guess she's not quite ready to give up that afternoon nap after all.

Hugs to our followers (especially the lovers of naps!),

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My heart is melting!

If only I can sleep this soundly...especially when they cry at night!

I just love those floppy ears.  They officially have names! We've named the boy Duke after my husbands love of Duke University (grr) and the mascot of my undergrad alma mater the James Madison Duke dog.  The girl is named Abbey after Westminster Abbey--one our favorite places that we visited on our honeymoon. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy "early" birthday to me!

I just had the biggest surprise ever today! I took the day off to go furniture shopping with my husband in High Point, NC.  We stopped for lunch and then hit the road to come home. I was thinking that we'd sneak in a quick trip to the outlets on the way home.  My husband started to take some back roads but I'm not very familiar with the area so I didn't know that we were going the complete opposite of home!  After a little bit of driving in the country I was getting so frustrated with him!  Just as I was about to get furious with him he pulls up to a house and said we're making a quick stop to get your birthday present.  What?? My birthday isn't for weeks!  Then I see this cute little face peering at me from the yard.

And then I saw this cute little guy with her.

At first I was afraid Joe was going to make me choose. Then I realized that I got both! Talk about a huge surprise! We'd been talking about getting a dog later this summer but I didn't realize that he'd been doing all this work for months! They are adorable!

Our lives are forever different! Let's hope the first night goes as well as it can!


Thursday, May 17, 2012


Emily Maynard from The Bachelor 2011 Season 15 with Brad Womack

I told myself I wouldn't watch. I didn't want to get sucked into another show. But, Emily Maynard is just so darn...likeable!

Not too long along, I took a bread making cooking class which was amazingly helpful.. What can I say? Yeast scares me. So this weekend, I'm going to attempt these Ham and Cheese Pretzel bites. They will either be amazing...or a total flop.

Lately, I've been feeling a wee bit homesick for Pennsylvania. It actually makes me want to give up my little apartment, say goodbye to the district, and buy a cottage house which I would fashion exactly like this gorgeous home.



Monday, May 14, 2012

A (good) reason to entertain!

Yesterday we celebrated Mother's day with my husbands grandmother, mom, and sister. It was a great day (other than the random rain shower...grr) to spend with family.  My sister-in-law's kids are absolutely adorable and wore my husband out by the end of the day.  Here are some of the goodies I made.
Mmm...Oreo good.

I added some homemade oatmeal cookies--Granny's favorite!

All packaged up and pretty.  Aren't they cute?

Yum! I tried out a new decorating technique. I loved the the way it turned out!

This was a vanilla cake with butter cream frosting.

This one was a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. I LOVED this cake.

The only thing that would have made yesterday better was if my own mom and dad were with us to celebrate.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day

Dear Mom,

Everyday I'm thankful for all my blessings and you can bet your bottom dollar, you're always getting a special shout out for being so wonderful.

I don't know how you do it, but you have a knack for always saying the right thing. I'm amazed how you know when we need a phone call, or a hug, or a sounding board, or even a batch of your delicious granola bars. Those are things that only a mom knows.

I know I wasn't always the easiest child to raise. In those teenage years, I was stubborn and argumentative and maybe even sometimes a little moody. Even in those time Especially in those times, you loved me unconditionally and you guided me to be the best person I could be.

I admire you for your character, the life you lead, the sacrifices you've made and the abundant love you show to all of us everyday. Love you a bushel and a peck!


Check out last year's letter to my mom here!

Friday, May 11, 2012



I've been reading this book and although it had a very slow start, now, I can't seem to get my nose out of it.

I've been lunching on a modified version of this hearty sausage and barley soup. I can't take credit for it since it was made by my mother but I highly recommend it for you all you soup-lovers out there. Scratch that...I'd recommend it to all you soup-haters out there. It'll make you a believer.

I've been drinking hot lemon water because of this post. A little natural cleanser never hurt anyone.

And dreaming of one day owning a cutie pie just like this:
Banjo the Labradoodle Pictures 755783


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thank you Mom

I saw this video on the news this morning and it made me tear up a little. For anyone who was an athlete growing up this will probably resonate for you. I know it did for me.

Thanks Mom for all the early morning practices, long weekend tournaments, and boring games that you had to endure.  It made me a better person and I owe a lot of that to you.

Happy Mother's day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

What My 20s Taught Me

My mom and me. Easter 2012
my 26th birthday celebration with some of my very best (and oldest) friends
My 28th birthday celebration

Today I'm linking up with this wonderful series over at Fairy Tales Are True about what my 20s have taught me. The timing of this is actually quite perfect seeing as I'm on the brink of celebrating my 30th birthday later this month. And celebrate I will! My 20s were amazing but I'm confident it keeps getting better.

It's funny now...looking back on the last decade. I would love to introduce 29 year old self to 22 year old self and impart some wisdom on that young girl. I may even laugh at my younger self a little all the plans I had. All the worries I had!  Life is so much different now than I expected it to be at 30. But that's ok because my 20s taught me to be a better person and prepared me for what lies ahead.

In no particular order:

Worrying gets you nowhere. Instead I learned to put my energy into prayer and hard work.

I once heard my dad give the advice, "Forgive. Forgive. Forgive." As someone who frequently harbored grudges, it took me a lot of time and practice to really understand this. My, how right my dad was! And how much peace I felt when I really learned to forgive.

Wear sunscreen. No one needs to be that tan.

Watch your words. In moments of anger or hurt, I'm always thankful for the times I held my tongue until I could appropriately share my feelings or deliver feedback. Some of my biggest regrets in life involve nasty things that escaped my mouth that I could never take back.

You're so much stronger than you think you are. Sometimes we're tested. Sometimes life isn't fair. But those circumstances really do add character and make us into better people.

Parents and grandparents are amazing gifts. In my 20s, I really started to hear what they were saying. I wanted to absorb every tiny detail that I could so I could carry them with me wherever I go.

Tell. The. Truth. Always. It's a matter of integrity and respect.

Define your own happiness. I've wasted so much time trying to keep up with the Joneses. Slow down.

Find the extraordinary in ordinary things. On New Years Eve, a common practice of mine is writing down my five favorite memories from that year. Most of the time, those memories are simple things. A special phone conversation. A funny moment at the bank.  A holiday spent with my family.

 Thanks for reading! And a challenge to anyone who wants to share...what did you learn in your 20s?



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Busy in the kitchen

Well, not really but I did have a good productive day in the kitchen this past weekend. It felt like it had been a while since I've had a chance to bake something new. It was wonderful!

First on the list were some homemade granola bars. I found the recipe online and can't find the link to it anywhere. I'm hoping that it's on my printout at home.  It was a super easy recipe--quick cooking oats, crispy rice cereal mixed with honey, butter and brown sugar. I love that i know exactly what ingredients are in them and that I can customize it to suit my tastes.  I decided for a s'mores bar so I added mini chocolate chips and mallow-bits to my bars.  Next time I'm going to add peanut butter chips and peanuts for Joe.  The options are endless! 

I cut them up into bars and wrapped them in plastic wrap so that they were easy to grab-and-go.

Next up were some adorable mini meatloaf cupcakes. I have seen variations of this all over the place so you can use any meatloaf recipe that you prefer. I put them in silicon cupcake molds but you could just put them straight into a greased cupcake pan.  Next time I'm going to try them in my mini cupcake pan. I want to see if they'll hold up well enough. If they do they would make adorable appetizers.  It was a fun and festive way to serve a somewhat boring meal.

If I do this again I'd take the time to put the mashed potatoes in a piping bag so that they would look pretty swirled. 

It was fun to try something new.  I have a few more things on my list to try courtesy of Pinterest.  The homemade Greek yogurt very much intrigues me. That may be a weekend project.  If it's cheaper and tastes just as good--I'm sold!

Happy cooking.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I spy with my little eye

a fluffy baby bunny!

Do you see him?

Maybe you need a closeup.

How about now?

So stinking cute.  His mama was nearby keeping a close eye on him. 

Just another evening sitting on our back porch. I love our new house.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dream Team

If I was a billionaire, I would probably pay a million dollars to have dinner with these two.  

Photo found here
Let me rephrase that.  Since I'm not remotely close to a billionaire, so I would pay my share of the bill to have dinner with Amy and Will (or at least go for the "reach" when the bill comes).  Add in Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Carell and I think I would be laughing for years to come!

Hugs to our followers,