Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Move

Well hello again, blog world! It's been six days since my last post, and it's been a LONG six days (to say the least!).

I can happily report that we are in our new home in Charlotte and all is well. Here's a sneak peek at our cute new home...J found this all on his own, and I'm must admit, he did a fantastic job.

We're loving the new house. It has a great big back yard and our pups are in heaven out there. We are a little weary about Rosie out there because we know she could jump the fence, but so far so good. We're keeping a close eye on her.

So now, if you're feeling up for it, let me tell you about our move. It was the weekend from hell, to put it nicely. I want to have this documented, mostly for us. I'm sure one day we might actually be able to read this and laugh. Let's break it down in bullet points, shall we?
  • Thursday afternoon we got a call from Budget Trucks (we had reserved a 24ft. truck with them for Saturday) letting us know that they had NOTHING for us. They offered us no options and we had to scramble to find a new truck. If you're ever looking to rent a truck, I'd steer clear of this Budget.
  • We find a 20ft. truck online through U-haul that is in Saluda, VA. This truck which was about 70 miles away, was the best we could come up in such short notice.
  • Due to tunnel traffic, this little adventure to get our truck took about 4 hours round trip. J arrived from Charlotte at 2pm, I picked him up at the airport and we left immediately to get our truck. If you know anything about Hampton Roads, you know that it's a dumb idea to go through the bridge tunnel on a Friday afternoon. Thanks for the help Budget.
  • The place in the Saluda where we picked up our truck was, I kid you not, someone's trailer home + 6 stray cats+ junk cars all over the lawn + a bunch of U-Hauls. It was a super strange experience, but we were grateful they had a truck. Even if it was smaller than we would have liked.
  • Saturday morning our movers were set to arrive to load up the truck at 9AM. At 8:45AM they call and let us know that all 3 movers called in "sick." I think it's more like all 3 went out Friday night and were too hungover to work, but that's just my personal opinion. Either way, it was going to be 1PM when they could send a second crew to our home. A pain, but we could still work around this.
  • At 12:50PM we get a second call from the movers telling they are "waiting" on another customer before they can come to our house. It will now be 2:30 when they can arrive. By 2:30, they really meant 4:25....yes, that's right, our movers who were supposed to arrive at 9AM, showed up at 4:25PM. They compensated by giving us $10 off/hour, but honestly, that wasn't enough to make us happy. J was supposed to drive the truck down to NC on Saturday night while I went to Richmond to get the dogs, and I was planning to head down Sunday morning. Things didn't really end up going down like this.
  • Around 6:30PM, the movers tell us there's no way all our belongings will fit into the truck. Remember how we had originally reserved a 24ft. truck but Budget screwed us over and the best we could find in 24 hours was a 20ft. truck? Yeah....that would be why our belongings didn't fit.
  • We have AMAZING friends who were out of town for the night who let us crash at their place on Saturday night. At least we had a real bed to sleep in! J called our Charlotte movers on Sunday evening and rescheduled them for Monday morning (they were supposed to unload us Sunday morning).
  • Sunday morning he had to drive to another town to pick up a 12ft. U-Haul trailer. Here's the problem with moving in our neighborhood. We lived on a block that was a one way street with TWO churches. Two churches who have no parking other than street parking. That meant J had to maneuver this truck around a PACKED and narrow street of cars. God bless him and his amazing driving skills.
  • Finally, around 1:30PM on Sunday, we had packed up the trailer, finished all the last little details in the house and we were ready to go. After driving to Richmond to pic up the dogs, I was on my way to Charlotte by 5:30PM on Sunday evening.
  • By 10PM on Sunday evening, we were both in Charlotte and happy campers. Our Charlotte movers arrived EARLY on Monday morning and moved us in quickly. They were one of the few good and positive things about this move. I would hire those guys again in a heartbeat.
And there you have it! That was our moving weekend in a nutshell (sort of....that was probably a lot bigger than a nutshell!). It was quite awful, but again, we're here and happy and now settling into our new life. The unpacking is going well, and we're hoping to start cooking again soon. Life is good!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

celebrating my dad

This past Sunday, in the midst of my packing frenzy, the dogs and I took a quick trip up to Richmond to see my family and celebrate Father's Day + my dad's birthday which was Monday. It was a quick trip but a nice one.

My dad and Me

My mom had quite the spread for dinner. London broil, steamed shrimp with Old Bay seasoning, a cucumber and tomato salad, and baked potatoes. I was so full at the end of this meal. I know it was my dad's big day, but I feel like I made out pretty well with this meal!

And to top it all off, she made the best cake. It was an ice cream sandwich cake and it did NOT disappoint! Here is the recipe she used. Instead of using regular ice cream sandwiches in hers, she bought the kind that have peanut butter icing in the middle. This just added a whole 'nother element to it. I have been dreaming about it all week!

It was definitely a quick trip, but a nice one!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My new favorite blog!

I want to introduce you to my sweet and wonderful friend, Megen. You might remember her from her baby shower that I went to back in November. We met sophomore year at JMU when we lived on the same hall. She's one of those amazing friends who I can go months without talking to and then we get together again and it's like no time has passed. I am so grateful for our friendship.

Megen's wedding, summer 2007

BUT, the reason I'm writing about Megen this morning is to share her adorable blog with all of you, Our Life with Miley. Megen has always had an eye for beautiful design, and I get so excited when she posts on her blog so I can see about her newest project at her house. She's creative and thrifty, and it all looks amazing. Let me give you an idea of what I'm talking about:

Amazing, right? I would love to hire her to decorate my new home in Charlotte!

She also happens to have one of the cutest baby boys I've ever seen. He's the other reason I like visiting her blog!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Last Day

Today is the last day of school.

That means summer is here (hooray!), but it also means it's time to say goodbye to my wonderful workplace.

I am full of mixed emotions this week. I am normally ecstatic over the last week of school, and this year while I feel some of that excitement, I also feel pretty sad. I've only been at this school for 3 years, but the people here have been so important to me. I consider some of them to be very dear friends.

I get asked almost everyday if I'm excited about the move, and of course I say yes! I am thrilled for a new chapter, new adventures. But it is so hard to leave a place that you love. I guess I should consider that to be a blessing. It almost takes me back to college or high school. In both of those scenarios, I was excited for my future and what it held, but it filled me with sadness to leave a place that was "home" for the past few years. I suppose I can look at those situations and remind myself how things worked out. In each of those, I moved on to new adventures that blessed me in new ways. I can only hope that this next adventure works out that well for me.

So today as I say goodbye to my sweet kids and welcome summer vacation with open arms, I'll be doing it with a tear in my eye. How I ever found a school to work in that was filled with SUCH fabulous people, I'll never know. My first year of teaching was anything but a good year. But I moved on. I applied to just about every school within 30 miles of me, and somehow, the stars aligned and I found a school where I would meet some of my closest friends. I am so fortunate.

....time for my next step!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Baby "Spud's" Shower

My very best friend and teaching partner at school is having a baby girl in July. We've laughed her whole pregnancy because all she has wanted to eat has been potatoes. There have been days where she's come into the lunch room with a baked potato and a side of tater tots. Mom and Dad haven't decided on a name for the baby yet, so you can only imagine all the names we've been calling this baby girl: Tater, Tater Tot, Mrs. Potato Head, and my personal favorite...Spud!

This past Friday we threw a surprise shower for my friend and it could not have been a more perfect night. As I'm sure you can tell from the pictures, we went with a potato theme. We had a baked potato bar and the most amazing cake. I was the lucky one who got to call and order it. The lady on the other end of the phone at the bakery definitely thought I was crazy!

We had one fabulous set up for the baked potato bar. One teacher brought the BEST topping that I'd never had before, but plan to make again for my potatoes. It was just sour cream and horseradish, but oh my was DELICIOUS!

Our hostess, who also happens to be the world's greatest drink mixer, made Crack Babies (so appropriate for a shower, right?). Apparently they're a favorite drink of Kate Middleton...or so the internets claim. This drink was SO delicious. Pureed strawberries, champagne, vodka, and passion fruit juice. It was the perfect drink for summer. Here's a link to the recipe. I didn't get a picture of the pitcher, but you can see it in the glasses here...

Seriously...make this drink this summer! It was so so good!

And finally, a picture of my fabulous, wonderful, I love them so stinking much 5th grade team.

I am so excited about Charlotte, but I am so sad to be leaving these 5 women. They are all AMAZING teachers who have taught me so much. And they help make my job very fun. I could go on and on. I'll save it for another post! It also makes me sad to know I won't be here when Baby Spud arrives. All the more reason to plan a trip back, I suppose!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu Monday...2 pasta dishes

I'd be lying if I said I've been cooking a lot lately. Instead, it's been quite the opposite, which you may have noticed from my lack of a Menu Monday post last week. Lots of eating out to see friends for one last time before the move, end of the year parties, and then a lot of nights where I find myself packing for hours on end and grabbing something quick from the freezer. However, in the past two weeks I did manage to cook two real meals. Nothing special but two easy and tasty meals.

Pasta with Butter, Mint, and Peas

This could not be any easier. Just mix some pasta, about a tablespoon of butter, a cup of frozen peas (cooked, obviously), and some mint (straight from the garden, thankyouverymuch!). I topped it with a little bit of garlic powder and some grated parmesan. The mint made it taste so fresh. Great summer pasta dish.

Pasta and "Awesome" Sauce

Another easy one. I buy a large can of whole tomatoes. Put them on low heat with any of your favorite spices (I like oregano, garlic powder, and basil). Mash the tomatoes up and then add in the most important ingredient...BUTTER! Add in about 2 tablespoons of butter (or more!) and leave on low heat for at least an hour. You want them just barely simmering. Serve over pasta and top with grated parmesan. Again, delicious and easy. It also always leaves me with tons of leftovers.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

life at the moment

I think I need to do a bullet style catch-up post. So much has been going on, I want to make sure I have it all documented!

  • We move in 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS. It's starting to kick in that Norfolk won't be my home anymore. This city that I pretty much hated for my first year has grown on me over the course of four years. I have some posts coming up that will be my own mini tribute to this city!
  • Still no job or job leads, but I'm remaining hopeful.
  • Only five more days of school until summer! While I'm very happy for summer, I am super sad to be leaving behind my school. I have been so blessed there for the past three years.
  • Packing is coming along nicely. This past weekend while J was home we got some MAJOR work done in the garage and took a ton of stuff to the local children's hospital thrift store. It feels so nice to purge.
  • I am completely addicted to pinterest. Big surprise there.
  • I purchased a bed spread! Thanks for all of your help and comments on my post last week. Once I'm moved in and we're a little settled down there, I'll reveal which one we chose.
  • Rosie has turned out to be the strangest dog I've ever owned. We love her to pieces, but she does some of the goofiest things. She hates for me to talk on the phone and the minute I sit down to talk, she likes to sit right in front of me and "talk." I should try to find a way to get this on video!
  • I've been a horrible reader in 2011. I have a big list of books I'd like to read over the summer.
  • Did I mention that there's just five more days until summer vacation??!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

For the FNL fans...

I'm here.

Life is INSANE right now. But I'm here.

I have a bunch of little posts I have been wanting to post, but again, my time is limited right now.

With that said, I just want to post these two interviews real quick. Y'all know how much I ADORE Friday Night Lights. It's no secret that it's been my obsession for 5 years now.

Kyle Chandler (COACH TAYLOR!) is in Super 8 coming out this week and he's been making the rounds on the talk shows this week. I might just love him in real life as I do on the show. What a likable guy!

In the beginning he says, "Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can't Lose." LOVE!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bedding Help!

Thanks to pinterest and our upcoming move, I am totally itching to redo our bedroom. Right now we have very dark brown furniture with a brown quilt on the bed. I have green curtains but that's the only color we've got in there.

In our new home, we can paint the walls whatever color we'd like, and I'm not up for painting the furniture, but I am all about some new bedding. I've found so many pretty duvets that I like, but J hates duvets. Something about the way they get messed up (?) really bugs him. So that meant I had to find comforters and quilts. So...this is where I'd like your opinion! I've found some beautiful choices and I'd like to hear what your choice would be + what color you'd paint the walls with these choices. Some of you are so good with this home decor thing and I'd love any and all advice you have.

Here are my choices:
Choice A

Barcelona Quilt from Garnet Hill
$248 + $38 for each sham

Love the bedding, not loving the price.

(For the next two, I want to point out that I checked both of these out in person and was really impressed with the quality).

Choice B

Target Spring Damask Bedding
$89.99 for bedding and shams
Really like it, but I'm at a huge loss for wall and curtain colors with this.

Choice C

Target Daffodil Maura Bedding
$89.99 for comforter and shams

I really love it. I've been coveting yellow bedding for awhile. Now that's it's time to make the purchase I can't decide. These rooms (here, here, here, and here) have all pushed me to go with yellow.

Choice D

West Elm Hand Blocked Saree Striped Quilt
$99 for quilt and $19 for shams

Another take on yellow...I think this could be jazzed up so much with patterned curtains and some fun pillows.

So there ya have it. I had found a few others I really liked, but decided against them because they were too dark. I want my bedding to be light because our furniture is already so dark. Please feel free to leave any helpful advice or suggestions you may have! I want to hear it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

welcome june

It is officially June which means it's officially time to pack up this house so I can be living in North Carolina by the end of the month. At this time next month, I'll be an North Carolina resident. Crazy!

This month will include a lot of cleaning. A lot of organizing.
A lot of purging. A good ol' fashioned yard sale.
I have a lot to get done.

J ordered us about a million and one boxes from used cardboard boxes. And my goal is to do at least a few boxes a night. I figure if I slowly chip away at it, it won't be all too terrible that last week as I tie up loose ends around here. School gets out on June 17 and I'm giving myself an extra week to clean and pack. Our official move date will likely be the 25th. Only 25 days people!

Any great packing tips for this very unorganized girl? I'm labeling my boxes for the first time ever which I think will help a great deal. I'm considering looking for a good deal on a house cleaner to clean everything after we're out for good. Anyone else suggest this? Or would you call it a waste of money? I just don't know if I'm up for a deep, heavy cleaning after all my belongings are gone and on their way to NC. Ughhhh....moving is the worst.

But I suppose the end result will be worthwhile. We're pretty excited to start exploring a new city and state!