An Ashville weekend

Long story short, there was an administrative oversight that kept J from graduating in May. I wanted to celebrate my first semester being done, and we needed to get away from Atlanta in the face of disappointment, so off to Ashville we went! It was cold, but that did not damper the fun (except for hiking). We stayed at an air bnb, which may be our last, but the views were delightful (and there were turkeys who came by every day!). We toured Biltmore, had lots of beer, some tasty meals, a failed hike, and a nice river walk. On our way back to Atlanta we stopped at DuPont National Forest for one of the most beautiful hikes of my life—so many waterfalls!! It was delightful to get away and have time with my love!

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About our failed hike…in true T-family fashion, we arrived at our vacation destination to nothing but rain. One morning J checked the weather and saw that there was a break in the rain, so we eagerly went to hike a trail he found off the Blue Ridge Parkway. J was driving up and as were going up the mountain the temperatures kept dropping and dropping. While I had packed us for chilly weather, I did not pack us for winter weather. I told J that if it was below 40 I didn’t feel comfortable hiking in the gear we were wearing and J blew off my comment. We got higher up the mountain and I asked J, “what are those white things on the mountain” and he said “oh just flowers.” Well, we get to the mountain and get into an active snowstorm. Those “white things” were snow. The car said 32 outside. We go to the trail station and they said the road is closed up ahead and it’s only getting worse! We take some pics, and then hightailed it (safely and slowly) back down the mountain to warmth (and more rain).

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Snow storm. In May.

Breweries visited: Lexington Avenue Brewery, One World Brewing, New Belgium, Oyster House (an Oyster beer!), Wicked Weed (x2), Burial, Twin Leaf, and Green Man. My absolute favorite was New Belgium, and J’s favorite was Wicked Weed (hence the 2 visits).

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That cherry beer…all the heart eyes.

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Photo above: Joe demolished me in EACH of those games on EVERY round.

Restaurants visited: Bouchon French Bistro, Stable Café at Biltmore, and The Admiral. Bouchon was AMAZING. The service was delightful, and I tried mussels there (and fell in love). J and I shared a BBQ meat plate at Stable Café that was super tasty. I found the Admiral to be extremely over-rated. The food was good, but the service and atmosphere were extremely lacking.

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Spring 2017 PCB

We were supposed to have a couples beach trip with our dear friends Kelli and Seth, but ½ of the couple got called away to work, but fortunantly Kelli still made the trek down to PCB!

J and I stopped on the way down to PCB to see his parents in Albany. My requests that we be sure to leave by 8 were unheeded and we hit the road to PCB around 9. Y’all. It. Was. The. Most. Exhausting. Drive. Ever. I was driving (because of the two of us, I was the most awake one. And that is as terrifying as you think) and the roads down are long and straight and two-lane highways. J and I were chatting, I was pulling over to run around the car, and I have NEVER been so happy to be to PCB as when we got there. I was insistent on stopping at Wal-Mart on the way in to get coffee and come Friday morning, that was the best decision ever.

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Good morning, beautiful sunrise.

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Good afternoon, clear cold water.

We got the house ready and went to see Grandma before Kelli arrived. Kelli arrived late afternoon (beating us to the house because we were back at Wal-Mart buying more than coffee) and we had fun hanging out before going for oysters! We go to a local place for oysters, and we got there during happy hour. We ordered a round of Shock-tops (HUGE plastic solo cups for $1) and then we also requested some water. When the server went, “Is a bottle okay,” aka, not free, we all turned our noses up and said we’d stick with our beer. The establishments free flowing liquor was further highlighted when the table behind us got happy hour wine and the wine came in the same size solo cups as our beer. We got back to the house and I fell asleep at the table playing a game #typical.

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The next morning was breakfast, beach, lunch, snacky dinner, games, and Moana. Sunday came too soon and we were sad to go home (and even sadder to drive home through a monsoon). It was a great weekend, and we cannot wait for our couple’s trip this fall!

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How else should ice cream get down to the beach?

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My handsome one.

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Drive home!

Easter 2017 Weekend

On Friday night I convinced hubby who was exhausted to take a walk with me around the neighborhood and it ended up being one of our favorite parts of the weekend. While we were dating and engaged, we talked about all the after dinner walks we would take together once we finally lived together and that sadly has not happened as much as we dreamed it would. Anywho, after our walk we made some popcorn and watched Moana (again).

On Saturday morning I slept in till about 8 and then hustled to the farmer’s Market and Walmart. The farmer’s market was a freaking zoo (and I suspect full of lots of newbies…aka, do not leave your cart unattended in that store!) and then met a friend who shared some of her extra plant goodies that she picked up. When I got home I unloaded then started cooking for Easter brunch, cooking and doing laundry, and working on our garden! And in the blink of an eye, 8 hours went by (nice rhyme, eh?) When J got home from his errands (school, oil change, gym) we had dinner al fresco.

Sunday we went to early church and then went home to relax and study before brunch. The brunch menu was: carrot soup, fruit salad, asparagus salad, peach stuffed French toast, and “carrot-patch” brownies. Our friends brought mimosas and we had a fun 3 hours of conversation and food. After brunch J cleaned up, I studied, rested, and then made dinner (veggie bowls).

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Weekend Update | March 31/April 1

On Friday night we braved the traffic to meet up with my bestie and her hubs in the west part of town. We started at Ormsbys, where J got beat at pool and I hit the bullseye in darts. After we each took our turn on The Walking Dead pinball machine we travelled to JCT kitchen for oysters and cocktails, before rounding out our evening at BarTaco for a nightcap taco and cocktail (well, for the girls. The boys stopped well before this). Considering most Friday nights I’m passed out by 9:30, it was a pretty big deal to be out past midnight!

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Saturday morning was painful (see cocktails from night before) but J dragged me out of bed to go to the grocery store before it got too bad. Well, it was plenty bad at 10:00 a.m. and after breakfast at Chick-fil-a (which J prefers. over any breakfast I make, and was necessary for me after the night before), we went to Kroger—the only place we could get too easily. After groceries J exclaimed “honey, let’s stop at Home Depot to look at patio furniture” and an hour later we found ourselves with our patio furniture selection. When we went to load it up in the car we were disappointed to see that the chairs did not fit. Instead of driving J’s car home to get mine, J said “we don’t live too far from here” and then took off carrying the chairs for home.

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When he passed me in traffic I did what any good wife would do and took PLENTY of pictures of him carrying the chairs down Piedmont. After lunch and chores we cleaned ourselves up and met our friends to see Beauty and the Beast and it was the BEST! It was so visually stunning that I could not tear my eyes away for a moment, less I miss something wonderful. After the movie we grabbed some snacks and then headed home.

Sunday brought with it church, homework, a 2 hour walk, and dinner (Skinny Taste enchiladas!). Lovely weekend with the best of people!

That time the bridge fell.

So I feel like I witnessed one of those defining events that happen in big cities. Like, in 20 years my children might say, “mom, what was it like when the interstate collapsed in Atlanta?” And my response will be “it was weird. And it sucked.” But I won’t use the word “sucked” because I hope to use better vernacular by the time I have children (so I can in good faith get onto them for using poor word choices). I disgress.

But yes. The bridge fell a quarter of a mile from our house and we are 5 days into the aftermath. For posterity sake I think it will be intriguing to have a record of “where I was” when it happened, so here we go:

On Thursdays I take a gym class with my friend, and that night (known as “the night the bridge fell”) the instructor ran really, really late. He ran so late that we walked out of class and went shopping instead. We both wanted to find some dresses (and found NONE), and I needed to find my Mr. a bday present. We shopped around and lingered for about 20 minutes past we usually do. My friend drives us and when we were leaving (after grumbling about paying for parking because we ran so late) I looked over and saw a TON of cars stopped on 85 and commented “weird.” We got onto the road, then hit a TON of traffic on West Peachtree. We were grumbling about the traffic, and I was perplexed to see the GPS saying home was 6 miles away when I knew it to be only 3. Then our phones blew up. Jamie’s finance called her right when one of J’s friends called me. After saying hello I was greeted with “where are you?” I commented “I’m in some bad traffic on West Peachtree” and he goes, “I was calling because the bridge just fell by your house.” W.H.A.T.?!?!?!?! I then immediately launched into panic mode of thinking, “why are you calling me and not J?!” He then heard my tone and quickly shared that he called J first (who had no clue what was happening), who was safely at home, and that his phone was dying and J wanted him to call me to check on me (and share my location).

I looked into the awful traffic and asked my friend if she’d be cool with me bouncing to the MARTA station that was about 2 blocks behind us and after assuring me I was not being a terrible human being, I bolted home. Riding up MARTA was surreal. 85 South into the city was completely empty, and on 85 North cars were at a standstill with their drivers walking around the interstate. As soon as I got off the train I could smell the smoke in the air and saw the power out around my area. The traffic lights were out so when it came time to cross the road, I waited for someone else to get to the crosswalk; after someone else arrived I turned to him and said, “safety in numbers, let’s go” and had a buddy to run across the street with. I got home, called my BFF and greeted her with “turn on the news” and went to our balcony. We could easily see the smoke and lights, and that night eagerly watched the news on Twitter for updates.

The next morning J left early for work and I took myself to MARTA. Crossing the North Avenue bridge over the connector was spooky, as the volume was dramatically reduced. On Friday night we went to meet some friends at a location about 3 miles from our house and we spent over an hour in the car to go those few miles. They beat us to the restaurant and they were coming from Marietta.

Traffic was awful the entire time the bridge was being rebuilt. We again, live very close to it, and had to do a lot of rerouting (and sitting in traffic). We were THRILLED (as was the rest of the city) when construction was done (early!) and the bridge reopened. I knew a lot of people who said “oh, I’m going to wait to drive across the bridge” and my response was “let’s go.” Of course, my attitude is helped by being married to a traffic engineer who knows some of the ins and outs of bridge building!

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Usually not a hole there.

Grad school is HARD.

Here is a PSA for anyone fresh out of college who is thinking about grad school: GO AHEAD AND ENROLL AND GET IT OVER.

For anyone a decade + out: be prepared friends. It. Is. Hard.

Here were my musings while studying for the GRE:

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Best weekend.

Early last week the Mr. texted me at work and asked that I take Friday off for a “no-work and no-school day.” I resisted at first (because #dumb) but then wised up and asked for a day off. On Thursday night when I got home we ran out to Kroger and I (literally) jumped with joy when I saw Moana available in the machine. We had ran to Kroger to just pick up a can of biscuits to have with breakfast, but after a turn in the grocery store J left with a suitcase of Terrapin and an additional 6-pack and 2 different types of cheeses.

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Bye work, see ya next week.

We woke up leisurely on Friday and had breakfast. We then rented bikes to bike the Beltline, going first to Krog for snacks and a beer, then doing Freedom Parkway, then going to Victory Sandwich Bar for lunch. We turned our bikes in and stopped to pick up a pizza at Antico’s before relaxing with a movie at home (and bemoaning our aches and pains). On Saturay we did our homework and ran errands together; typical, but nice to be together.

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Melting my slushy for me.

On Sunday after churh we went to Athens to visit some of J’s friends (it was weird to travel to Athens to see his friends, as that is usually “my” spot), where we had fun hanging out and playing some games.

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I lost so badly. As always in (ANY) game with the Mr. 

Marching Onwards (Goal Setting)

I’ve been in a bit of a funk. Work is not what I thought it would be at this point, and grad school is kicking my a. Instead of getting fired up, I got worn down. I stopped making goals, lost my grit, and became a generally angry person. With March brought some sparks. I’m tired of feeling like my life is living me, instead of me living my life.

One of my favorite quotes is “what can you start today that in a year you will wish you started today?” I know in a year I’ll wish that I am deeper in my relationship with the Lord. That J and I are thriving in our marriage. That I am more fit. THAT I AM PASSING GRAD SCHOOL. To be at that point means that today I need to make actions to get there.

So I am changing things up. I have started a new nightly routine and paired it with a morning routine, and that includes time with the Lord. J and I are breaking up with our cell phones in order to have more time with one another while at home. I am posting my weekly health-ish goals (thanks for the inspiration Fran). I am back to mapping out my days and making loose monthly goals. Cheers to Marching onwards in March (hehe).

February 2017 Highlight Reel

Here is our February 2017 highlight reel:

  • We celebrated our second Valentine’s Day as married people! J had class on Valentine’s Day so we used a gift card to Seasons 52 the Friday before, and I gifted J a new back-pack while he gave me roses.
  • Grad school was really, really hard.
  • I introduced some different friends to Your DeKalb Farmer’s Market.
  • J and I met some friends for jazz at the High, and then went to a restaurant that served the biggest pork chop we’ve ever seen (J and I ate on it for multiple meals).
  • I got to hear Jimmy Carter, and it was just as delightful as I thought it would be. Y’all! He and his wifey have been married for over 60 year and they still like each other! Nearly TWO entire diseases have been eradicated from the planet under his direction! He’s still spry at nearly 90! And he attributes everything to his faith. (If you cannot tell, I’m a Jimmy fan).
  • J, his brother, and his dad went to the College Football Hall of Fame while my MIL and I got our nails done and used our gift card to Bed, Bath, and Beyond from Christmas. It was lovely! I also discovered a new one to get your nails done and I’m hooked—it involves powder and no UV lights, strengthens your nails and looks like gel. SOLD.

A Colorado Weekend (January 2017)

J and I were both saddened when we learned that J’s best friend was moving out to Colorado with his wife. One thing that took a bit of the sting out was that his friends were moving to prime ski country. As previously mentioned J is a good skier, and visions of skiing in Colorado began dancing in his head with the announcement of their move. When the idea was launched of a trip out there J leaped on it, and we found ourselves heading out west!

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We and 4 other friends all descended into Denver around midnight on a Thursday night and after collecting our rental boat, I mean Suburban, we drove into Colorado Springs. By “we” I mean J, who rented the car in such a way that he was the only authorized driver. We enjoyed all the bells and whistles of the suburban and gratefully arrived to Colorado Springs at the B family home and passed out immediately. The next morning we dragged ourselves out of bed, marveled at their view of the mountains, I fell in love with their kitty, then we packed up and headed out!

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Our first stop was Garden of the Gods, and it was beautiful. We grabbed Mexican food after lunch then headed up to Breckinridge! We were split between two cars and our car had a blast taking photos and enjoying good conversations. After a while the temperatures got colder and colder (until we got to negatives!), the elevation got higher and higher, and the snow deeper and deeper. We grabbed our rental skis in Frisco and then went to the cabin! After dinner everyone fell asleep pretty quickly.

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The next morning we geared up for the slopes, or slope, in my case. Two members of our party had never skied before and I was terrified, so we started on the bunny slope (which was bigger than anything I tried in NC). After a panic or two, J’s friend coached me through skiing and after a while I got the hang of it! I knew that a lift ticket would be a waste of money for me because I was still far from 100% (or even a solid 50%), so after lunch the guys went to the slopes and a friend stayed with me on the bunny slope for hours. When my knee started to hurt I called it a day and we went back home to shower before the guys came back. For dinner that night we went to Breckinridge and had burgers, followed by beer and conversation back at the cabin. A few of us went into the hot tub and I got to experience my hair freezing solid where it got wet when I got into the tub.

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Saturday came round and almost everyone went skiing, save 3 of us. Us who stayed behind read, chatted, and started sipping on beer around noon. Everyone had a great day! When the skiers came back we all choose to order pizza, so we had another fun night of dinner and conversation. I elected to not go into the hot tub (see: frozen hair) so I played bartender for those enjoying the hot tub.

Sunday came too soon and after breakfast we went back to Breckinridge to check out the snow sculpture competition. We were looking forward to hanging out in Denver, but we got stuck in horrible traffic on the way in and had to go right to the airport. It was a great trip with wonderful people, and J & I can’t wait to go back (and I’m even excited to ski again!).