Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'll be home for Christmas

When we were young, we would always go to Grandmama's house for Christmas.  It was an ordeal and we loved all of it.  Mama and Daddy would pack up the cars (yes, two cars -- one for the kids and one for the dog and the gifts.  We never guessed that Santa's sleigh was a white mini-van.) and head down the road to Castalia, NC.  The drive was only about 15-20 minutes and when we got there, we knew it was Christmas.  There were cookies and pies and cakes all around and we were careful to be on our best bahavior and in bed early to be sure that Santa would stop by.  And of course, no matter whether we made it to bed exactly on time or not, all our gifts were beautifully arranged when we woke up on Christmas day.  Christmas was filled with Daddy finding batteries for our toys, lots of playing, visiting Grandma and Pa in the years that they were with us, and then heading back home. 
Bryce and I have never spent Christmas together and I am so excited to get to do that this year.  And this weekend we begin all the festivities with a bang.  Looking forward so much for Christmas and New Year - for time to spend with family, to reflect on the birth of our Savior, and just to take some time to relax. 
Merry Christmas, y'all!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas

Confession:  I like arts and crafts.  I really like making things that are pretty and special that I will be able to use or give away to others.  But I have been so busy lately, that my crafting has become almost non-existent.  I recently re-activated my pinterest account though, and wanted to try a few easy projects just in time for Christmas so I made some special filled glass ornaments for our tree.  (We don't have a tree this Christmas since there's not room in our living room now, but I fully intend on buying lots of fun decorations on December 26 this year...)  Until then though,  little beauties are filling bowls around our apartment:
Both of these projects took about 10 minutes each.  For this one, I just used a simple paper cutter to cut straight, thin strips from our wedding invitation.  Because they were printed on heavy cardstock, the curls were really easy - I just wrapped each strip around an ink pen and tucked it in the ornament.  I love the way you can see bits and pieces from our special day.

This one is just as straight-forward as it sounds:  I dumped sand from our honeymoon in Cancun into an ornament and sealed off the top.  I love it. 
I have every intention of adding some ribbon and a little more glitz to each of these in the days to come, but for now, I'm just happy to have made a new craft. 


I don't think it's a secret that I didn't make this. This was actually a gift to us from one of my co-workers and it's real. I love it and wish I could make it stay as beautiful as it is now for the years to come.
Seems strange that Christmas is just over a week away.
Merry Christmas from us to you!
Mrs. C

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A big, comfy couch

If you've been in any of my living rooms since Christmas 2009, you've seen this little gem:
I got this loveseat kind of on a whim after seeing it listed on Craigslist for just $25.  It was in Chapel Hill, I was in Chapel Hill and planning to go to grad school after graduation, thought I might need a couch and had access to a truck since Ruthanne's then boyfriend (now husband) was visiting. 
Three years later, and I still really love that couch.  It was the first piece of furniture I ever bought, and I'm happy to say we still use it. 
At the end of the day though, it's still just a loveseat.  It is really too short to take a good nap on.  We needed wanted to get a couch.  A big, neutral colored (as to match the beauty above), in good enough shape to use at least as long as the loveseat, doesn't cost an arm and a leg, couch. 
And so, after much searching, we are happy to have added a new little gem to our home -- a great big, Bryce can stretch out and still have room on it, neutral colored, comfy, couch. 

Welcome home, little couch.

Monday, December 3, 2012

About this whole blogging thing...

I am just not very good at keeping up with this thing.  I've been doing some work on it though (notice the new, more fun background and layout), and I'm hoping to at least do updates every once and a while with the fun things we are doing these days. 

The truth is, we do really fun things.  We have a really great family and we have really great friends.  I just forget to write about all of it. 

So there it is, I know I've made the promise a hundred at least three times in this blog about being more consistent with it, so I'm not making any new promises here.  But after some fun adventures lately, and the Thanksgiving holiday we just had and Christmas and New Year coming up, the blog is on my mind.  So hopefully, I'll be posting more often. 

We'll see...

Until next time,

Friday, August 10, 2012

We are Still Alive...and now We're MARRIED!

My goodness what a wild ride we've been on!  I haven't blogged in over 2 months, but don't you worry your little head -- I am constantly thinking of things that need to be updated on the blog.  The problem with blogging that I seem to have though, is that when I have time to blog, there's not much to blog about and when there are things to blog about, I'm so busy doing those things, I don't have time to blog about them. 

But at the end of the day, I started this blog leading up to the wedding mostly hoping to use it after we were married to update our friends, family, and anyone else who just finds our lives interesting enough to read about on the new adventures that we are on as we have embarked on this forever journey called marriage. 

So without further introduction, this is what we've been up to:

Traveled to Emerald Isle with the most wonderful girls for my bachelorette weekend:

Married the man of my dreams:

Celebrated for a week in Cancun:

Came home to our [not so well put together] first apartment together:

Started a new job. 

Cooked our first meal together as marrieds:

Went whitewater rafting (my first time!) and ropes climbing with the family: (There no photographic evidence of this.)

And finally, we have really started making this place a home and are settling into our new lives as husband and wife more and more everyday.  I will always tell anyone that I have truly truly been blessed beyond measure.  Married life is really more wonderful than anything I could have ever imagined.  I'm blessed by B every single day and it is my highest honor here on Earth to be his bride. 

Every single one of the above deserves a full post and I am making every effort to make that happen in the days and weeks to come. 

So, if you were wondering -- we are alive...and well...just busy. 

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Jam

*Disclaimer:  I know they are a teenage boy band.  I know that I'm an adult. 

BUT, this song is really just my jam.  I love that it is so fun, catchy, and upbeat.  And, if you're in the car with me when it comes home, get ready for the windows down, music up, and a quick sing-a-long. 

I'm also listening to country music on the regular again now that it's windows down season.

In other news, I am still trying to think of bridesmaid gift ideas.


Until next time,

Out with the Old, In with the New

Two summers ago, I got the most wonderful sandals.  What I mean by most wonderful is that I wear them almost everyday of the spring/summer/fall.  I wear them with jeans and shorts, skirts, dresses, everything.  And after all that, they are beyond ready to be replaced.  If you could see them up close, you would see that the soles are literally separating from the shoe.  The picture does not do justice to the shape they are actually in.

So, after months and months of searching and going back and forth and thanks to a lovely buy one get one 50% of coupon from Target, I finally got new ones. 

So, welcome home, new shoes!  Of course, I also got another pair (for 50% off), but these are the important ones.

Love a good deal...especially when it translates into new shoes in my closet. 

Also, the Lakers are out of the playoffs as of last night.  What a great day!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

I have been on quite the little hiatus from this blog world these days!  It's not because I've forgotten, or even that I haven't had anything exciting to write about.  In fact, I have had so many exciting things to write about that I just haven't had time to post.

Since Abigail turned 22 (in my last post), I have finished up my classes for my MPA degree and have taken two of my three finals.  I have just one more take-home exam and a final paper, both of which will be done by next Thursday and then I will graduate on May 12!!!!!  

Bryce and I also visited with our videographers to pick up all of our baby pictures and to see the work they have done on our rehearsal dinner video.  I can't show it yet, but let me just say, it was well worth the money to pay someone to put it together for us.  They really did a great job capturing our families, friends, and the two of us and I'm certain that my mom is going to cry. 

On Thursday we finished our dance classes and are pretty much pros by this point.  Not quite, but we can carry our own.

Then this past weekend I took my bridal portraits on the lovely campus of UNC.  Those are more secretive than the video, but this picture of the Old Well was snapped by my photographer just before I arrived.  Needless to say, I am so excited to see all of the pictures.  I should also give a HUGE shout out to my mom for all of her help with everything that day.  I do not know what I would have done without her. 

On Sunday, my wonderful college roommate came to visit and I got to spend yet another day in Chapel Hill before returning back to reality and finishing up these exams. 

Two weeks is just too long not to post on here.  Here's what you have to look forward to in the coming days (and those posts will have pictures):

Pictures from this past weekend's visit with BB
Abigail's graduation from UNC-G!!!
Cupcakes from Sweet Meg's
Wedding planning
Graduation from NCSU

Moral of the story:  blogs are way more fun when updated frequently.  I'm working on it. 

Until next time,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Abigail!

Today's post is dedicated to my sister, Abigail, who is turning 22 today!  That still sounds crazy to me. 

I've always been a proud sister and cannot remember my life before Abigail.  Literally.  Abigail is truly one of my best friends.  We have been through the best of times and the worst of times and I am so thankful to have her as one of my sisters. 

She has been my confidant, my voice of reason, the keeper of my secrets, and my oldest friend. 

This year is extra special because in just a few weeks, Abigail will be graduating from UNC-G with a degree in Elementary Education and will become the most wonderful teacher (tied with my parents, of course.)  She has known for her whole life that she wanted to be a teacher and is a wonder in the classroom. 

Abigail, I love you more than words and I am beyond proud of all that you have and continue to become.  Many lives have been made better because of you.  I know because I'm one. 

Happy Birthday, Miss. 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Fiesta Dress and Other News

What a busy, but productive weekend we had last weekend!  On Saturday, Bryce and I went to some of our favorite little treasure troves, Durham Rescue Mission and Goodwill.  We don't go shopping very often, but when we do, I always love to stop by these thrift stores to see what's in.  At the end of the day, I think that these organizations provide helpful services to people in our communities, and they provide me with treasure hunts and great deals when I find something I like. 

This weekend was no different.  I actually found a few things that I wanted -- a new chair (which I was very sad to leave at the Rescue Mission), and new dresses.  Unfortunately though, we only had $6 in cash, so I could only have one.  Below is the picture of the dress that I have affectionately dubbed as the "Fiesta Dress" and although I really did love it, I ended up being way more practical and getting a black jersey (material, not style) dress that I will wear pretty regularly, I'm sure. 

See what I'm saying -- Party in a Dress!  This was also a great find, because it reminded me that I have not shared the fun news about where we are going for our honeymoon:  CANCUN!  I am so excited for the sun and sand that I can hardly stand it.  I am so looking forward to starting our married life with such a wonderful vacation!  (I actually told Bryce that if he bought me this dress, I would wear it to our honeymoon.  He wasn't convinced.)  Regardless, I can't think of a better dress to make this blog announcement in. 

We were also able to visit with Abigail, my sister whose birthday is coming up this week (stay tuned...), our pastor for some sweet pre-marriage counseling and Bible study, and with our wedding coordinator. 

I am so thankful to be getting things done, but I am really looking forward to being able to relax.  (continue the graduation countdown...)

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Weekend with the Fam

This past weekend, I was able to visit my lovely hometown for a wonderful family filled Easter weekend.  When we were all little, we used to get new dresses, lots of Easter candy, the whole works.  Now that we are all living in different places and doing our own things, we are just really happy to be together, celebrating Jesus.  Save the chocolate bunnies.  (Although Daddy did convince Mama to buy us each a box of Whoppers...)

That doesn't stop us from the getting the annual Easter picture with all of the kids.  (We usually take a whole series of these pictures, with multiple combinations and some with our parents, but this year the babies of the bunch (My sister on left and brother). As such, this is the only picture from the weekend.)  You can't tell it in this picture, but Brittany is in some pretty serious pain from having her tonsils removed earlier in the week.  

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I adore my family.  It is not that often that we are all in the house at the same time anymore and boy, do I cherish those days when we are.  Let's be best friends forever. 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Wedding Shoes and Dance Lessons

I finally found my wedding shoes!!!  This little blog post just cannot do justice to how excited I am.  I have gone back and forth between colored shoes and white shoes, finding heels that will be comfortable all night, and not too tall for my dress, and ones that I feel comfortable paying for -- although, I'll confess, I was willing to pay for the right pair of heels -- for months. 

I decided to use some of my time at home this past weekend to get some shopping done for the wedding and shoes were pretty close to the top of my list.  I am so happy to report that not only did I find a charming pair of heels, but I also found them on clearance for just $15.   The pair they had was black though, so I asked the sales lady to check in other stores so that I might get them when I came back to Raleigh.  Apparently, the Rocky Mount store was the only one that had them listed on clearance.  They were full price everywhere else.  So with that, I special ordered the right pair to the Rocky Mount store.   I'll take that 70% off anyday of the week. 
Also, Bryce and I started dance lessons last week.  We are officially learning to shag and have a wonderful little class to help.  Even though our wedding entertainment won't be all beach music, you can count on a nice little rendition of Carolina Girls and I am excited the Bryce and I will be able to dance along.  I am so excited for us to be learning something new together.  Neither of us have taken dance classes before, so this is definitely a new adventure for us.  I can't wait to show off our sweet dance moves in just 82 days! 

Until next time,

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Birthday, Brittany!

Today's post is special because it is dedicated to my college roommate of all four years -- Brittany, affectionately known as BB. 

When I first met Brittany, she had just moved in and I was coming back from marching band practice.  Our conversation was literally in passing as I grabbed my things to go take a shower before going to our band dinner.  Little did either of us know at the time, that that was the start of a beautiful friendship.

Living together for four years taught us a lot and while we didn't do everything together, it was BB that I saw both first and last almost everyday.  We have certainly had our fair share of laughs and cries, random dance parties, and guitar hero.  We have traveled together, visited with families, and even gotten into a few arguments now and then. 

Regardless though, I am happy that I got stuck with you. 

Happy Birthday, Brittany! 


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Budgeting Bride & Her Thrifty Groom

I am a very strong believer in stewardship and with that comes quite a bit of thrift.  It helps to have a fiance that gets just as excited to find great deals as I do. 

As such, planning this wedding has been quite the adventure.  I'm not complaining though.  Having a budget has helped us really think about what our priorities are and what we are willing to do without.  I'll have the wedding I've always dreamed of.  It will be as beautiful and celebratory, fun and romantic as the next.  It will capture our personalities and be a treat for our guests.  But, it will not cost as much as we make in a year because as wonderful and special as that day is, we have our whole lives ahead of us. 

SO, last night Bryce surprised me with a little treat -- a great big box full of votive candle holders that he got for free from someone who recently got married on Craigslist. 

This is no joke. 

Welcome home little votive holders!
I am so thankful for Bryce and all of the ways that he looks out for us and helps me to have all I've dreamed of...without breaking the bank.  (He also scored the deal for us to have all of our save the dates printed for free several months ago.)  What a keeper. 

Happy thrifting!!

Until next time,

Also, the national championship game was last I don't know anyone who was pulling for Kentucky. My brackets went out the window a long time ago though. There's always next year, I guess.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Creamy Pudding Dip

I missed the boat early on with Pinterest.  To be honest, I just didn't get it.  And now I'm finding myself pinning all kinds of fun recipes and crafty projects I want to try. 

And today, I tried my very first pinterest recipe:  Creamy Pudding Frosting and let me just say, it is taking some serious self control on my part not to eat it all straight out of the bowl. 

The recipe is so simple.  Mix instant pudding with 1/2 of the recommended amount of water until it starts to thicken and fold in whipped cream (I used the whole container) until smooth.  That's it.  10 minutes to delicious. 


Monday, March 26, 2012

Engagement Pictures

A couple of weekends ago, lovey and I had the opportunity to spend a few hours on UNC's campus taking engagement pictures.  A HUGE THANK YOU to our dear friends, for being willing to spend the afternoon with us and get these pictures taken.  They were so generous to shoot them for us (and believe me, they shot a lot) and we are so excited to have these beautiful pictures before our wedding. 

Until next time,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Counting the Days

If you've known Bryce and I for any length of time, you know how important counting days are to us.  As I am wrapping up my final semester of graduate school, I have found myself more than ever, counting the days. 

So, today there are:

52 days until I graduate!
86 days until Bryce moves into our new apartment (Which means that we found and put a deposit on an apartment.  I am so excited, I can hardly stand it to be honest.  But, don't count on me to put any details about location online.  I can say though, that it is a lovely 2 bedroom townhouse and I'll be sure to post pictues once we get there.)

and finally...

100 days until I become Mrs. C.  Cannot.Wait. 

and if anyone is wondering, today is day 1,482 of our relationship.  On the one hand, it's just a number.  One the otherhand, that number represents some of the best days I've spent.  I'll tell anyone who asks, I have been and continue to be incredibly blessed and I'm so thankful. 

Until next time,

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bracketology 2012

With just two hours to spare before tip off, my brackets are complete.  But, before you say anything, there are a few things I'd like to point out. 

1.  I am not a betting girl and I am not in any bracket challenge competitions.  That said, I won't be throwing things if the teams I chose don't win. 

2.  I picked Duke to win twice.  This is the first year I've ever picked Duke to move past the first round.  I usually have them losing on principle, but I thought this year that I would be more realistic. 

3.  The thing I am most interested in is that UNC wins.  I'm excited to see John Henson back in play and look forward to some great basketball games in the next few weeks. 

Until next time,

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring is Here!

And I could not be more excited!  This time of the year always makes me happy and this year, especially so.  This year, spring means bridal showers and parties with friends,  engagement pictures and bridal portraits, shopping for and putting the final touches on the wedding plans, GRADUATION, and a great big countdown to OUR WEDDING!! 

This is the view from my front porch as I am writing this: 

Suffice it to say that I am getting a bad case of Spring Fever, and the only cure is a little more sunshine. 

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Leap Year in Review

If we're friends on facebook, it's likely that you've seen all of this.  But, since we are still in the introductory phase of this blog, I thought it appropriate to catch you up first on our adventures over the past year. 

Bryce and I officially started dating on February 29, 2008.  So, I had been eagerly waiting to see what we would do to celebrate this year since it was our first anniversary that we could celebrate on Leap Day.  Bryce planned the whole date and it turned out to be the most perfect, thoughtful, and romantic date I could have imagined. 

We went on a mini-trip to Chapel Hill, making our first stop at Granville Towers.  I was so confused at first until Bryce pulled an index card from his pocket with a hint.  What followed was a delightful walk around campus guided by these incredible index card reminders of some of the most fun things that we did during our time at Carolina.  (Note:  these are just the highlights)

Day 0:  February 29, 2008:  Outside of my old dorm room -- the place Bryce asked me to be his girlfriend.

Granville South 2705

Day 17:  March 17, 2008:  Red Robin -- our first dinner date.  We've been here for every anniversary since.

Day 243:  October 29, 2008:  The Intramural Fields -- This was our eight month celebration and Bryce had a soccer game.  He surprised me at the game by wearing a jersey with the number 8 and "Bryce and ML" on the name spot.  What a lovey. 

We spent so many fun nights here playing midnight soccer, or me watching Jungle Juice (Bryce's IM) team play soccer and football.

Day 746:  March 16, 2010:  Carmichael Auditorium:  We watched our last home game as students at UNC here.  Although we got to go to Detroit and watch the National Championship in 2009 (Day 402), the 2010 season was more short lived in the NIT Tournament.  Regardless, love my Tar Heels. 

Day -15:  February 14, 2008:  Gardner Hall Room 106 -- After an elaborate Valentine's Day Banquet for all of the girls on our hall, Bryce asked me to be his Valentine.  I was SO excited, I forgot everything I had studied about my econ quiz that was immediately following.  I scored a 20/100 on that exam.  I still don't remember what it was about, but I'm thankful it was only 2% of my grade.  I got my Valentine though. 

And right there is where it happened:  the lowest grade of my college career. 

Day 436:  May 10, 2009 & Day 800:  May 9, 2010:  Kenan Stadium -- Our graduation dates!  (Yes, Bryce graduated twice in four years.)

You can't see because it is so dark, but this is where we got engaged!

Day 1,234:  July 17, 2011:  South Building steps -- This is where Bryce proposed to me.  That story is equally as charming, and available on our wedding website:  Bryce and ML

Jerseys.  We've taken this picture every year for the past four years.  :)

 Basically, I am marrying the most incredible man.