Friday, December 31, 2010

The eve of a new resolution...

Drew and I are 5 hours and 53 minutes away from January 1st, 2011, and I still don't know what the new New Year's resolution is going to be. Crazy? Perhaps. Having lived through a year of "resolution" - and a darn hard one at that - a wiser soul might suggest that we give ourselves a reprieve. Or at least lighten the load considerably (how does, "I'm giving up green polka dotted socks for a year" sound?!). But I'm a glutton for punishment, so: onward ho! Let's pick another toughie!

Maybe after a little bubbly tonight - perhaps a lot of bubbly - my brain productivity will be operating at peak capacity and I'll come up with a smashing resolution. You doubt that too, eh?

*In confidence, so do I.*

But by hook or crook, I'm going to have a resolution tomorrow. Stay tuned. And happy happy New Year!!!

Remembering last year's festivities (see above)!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The snow lay on the ground

For years, my fondest wish has been for a white Christmas. And just for the record, a white dusting doesn't count. My ninth Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it finally happened.

The alarm clock jostled us into the world of fa-la-la-la-la's at half past six on Christmas morning. Talk about early. The older my family has gotten (read: the baby of the family is thirteen this year), the later we open gifts. This is fine with me, as Midnight Mass usually keeps folks up until two in the morning anyway.

This year, however, we were spending Christmas morning with Drew's much younger family (read: the youngest member is two). Our usually inquisitive felines wouldn't even leave their cozy nests to greet us at such an unholy hour. Toting bags full of presents, we crept out into the chilly morning. We saw a few flurries dart past the windshield as Drew steered the car towards the nearest gas station. Tank full, Drew and I headed to his parents' home, where we were joined by his siblings and a handful of nephews and a niece for a present opening extravaganza. As the wrapping paper pile grew, so did the snow. Drew, knowing how much the white stuff excited me, kept pointing towards the window. "See the snow? See? See?!"

By 9:45, we had hit the road. I was worried that if we waited too long, we wouldn't get to the second stop. My parents' home is only twenty minutes away (Drew's sister Mandy and her family were heading up to Nashville, while his brother Russ and his wife were driving to Gauley Bridge in West Virginia - we definitely got the short trip!). But what usually takes fifteen minutes ended up taking us an hour. Honestly, I can't believe we made it on the white, slippery roads. On the last leg of the trip, we almost got hit by an oncoming, careening car that ended up in someone's front yard. Our cats are still very disappointed that we weren't snowed in with them. Luckily, they don't hold grudges for long. Trixie was miffed for all of twelve seconds, while Tupelo - at twenty minutes - nursed her grudge a little longer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm a thinkin', I'm a thinkin'

I'm seeing an end in sight - I kid you not, it's a light winking at me after I've trudged down a narrow, twisted tunnel - and I wonder, is it wrong to be...well, excited? I want a pair of black boots badly. And seriously, I don't think anyone's even heard of plastic sheet protectors outside of China. But the part of me that's been at this for twelve months feels bad for being happy. After all, if we stuck it out for a year, why not two? Or three? Or forever?

Friends have asked us what we're planning on doing after this year is up. I've given everyone a very non-committal answer because honestly, I had no clue. But the juices have started to bubble and I think I may finally have an answer.

TBA ("bubbling" doesn't signify completion - a prolonged exposure to high temperatures may be required before a result is reached)...

These are pictures from a shoot I did with Drew back in the fall. After getting plenty of white stuff recently, it was fun digging out photos of Western North Carolina's gorgeous display of reds, yellows, and oranges.

This is Drew's pensive, model expression. ;) He adamantly dislikes being the subject of photo shoots, yet patiently (and sometimes with the kookiest expressions - see above) puts up with my camera in his face. I love this guy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bargain hunter

At first I was going to pretend that nothing happened. Just to see if you noticed. But then two, three days went by and I realized this was serious business. Who makes a commitment to blog daily, then jumps off the boat? To be perfectly candid, I completely forgot. :(

On another note, I re-discovered consignment shopping (always a wonderful option because Drew and I created a China exemption when it comes to consignment). It comes and goes with me, and today, it was totally on! I've been craving a pair of black flats for months now. Back in the day when Sam & Libby ballet flats were the "in" thing, I had several pairs. Remember them? Soft leather shoes with a ridiculous bow on the top that came in soft pastels, gold, and silver? Oh, those babies were comfortable.

Flats are back in style (go figure) and I've been wanting another pair, but it seems like every time I pick one up it's m.i.c. Drew and I ducked into Plato's Closet today (I was ready for a night of shopping, he wanted nothing better than an evening at home, so we compromised and made it a short night out) and he asks curiously why I don't buy shoes from a consignment store.

"They're so much cheaper," he says, studying a price tag and no doubt thinking of all my expensive heels, wedges, sandals, sneakers galore lined up in our tiny closet. Usually, I'm a little squeamish when it comes to previously owned shoes. My bare feet in someone else's shoes? When there are all those grimy foot conditions? Yuck. But desperation calls for unique measures and I carefully studied all my options. Unfortunately, I didn't find any cute flats in my size. Calling all size 8 1/2 ladies: I DID find a sexy pair of black books, Brazilian made and leather, for only $16! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw "leather upper." For only $16? Crazy. I left the store with a beautiful white and gray patterned dress - 3/4 sleeves, a rounded neckline, and made of soft, clingy material - for $14. My good friend Chesnee's wedding is coming up in January (as well as a certain someone's anniversary on Monday!) and I do believe I'm set.

Reminiscing about my Sam & Libby flats inspired me to put up this picture from back in the day.

Monday, December 6, 2010


The bad thing about deciding to blog every. single. day. is that I might not always have something to say. I checked the tag on my sweater today and it said "Made in Chian." Hmmm...did someone get their "a" and "n" mixed up? Or did I miss the welcome party for the newest country of Chian???

The light is perfect in this picture. And Marmaduke is wonderfully cute.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Iiiiiiiiii'm dreaming of a Chiiiiiiiii-nese puuuuuurse!

It's sno-o-o-o-o-w-ing!

I wanted to walk to Mass this morning (the Basilica is only four or five blocks away). But as Drew and I are not exactly the most punctual people in the world, we decided instead to clump down the stairs to my car. I'm tugging on a car door handle, Drew's yanking away on the other side. Nothing. The doors are frozen shut. So we walked. Trekking past the Indigo Hotel was especially brutal - when temperatures drop, an especially vicious wind tunnel forms there. It's all good, as I'm willing to suffer a little pain for the beautiful white stuff.

Oh, I had a China-related dream last night. Can you tell we've been at this for way too long? In my dream, Giedre and I are at Minx Boutique downtown and we're eying a dress? Purse? Mmmm, maybe it was a pair of shoes? Something sparkly bluish purple that we both want. It's made in China. Guess who walks out of the store with it? It was only a dream, but I remember being so upset. The item was CUTE, darn it, and I couldn't even buy it in my dream!

I love how expressive people are in candid photos. It's as if each person's inner soul is revealed randomly throughout her lifetime, but only for seconds at a time. A photographer has the capability to capture that second, suspending it in time. These are from a graduation shoot I did with Giedre, Chesnee, and Emily this afternoon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Michael says...

I’ve decided to round 2010 out with a bang. By this, I mean that I propose to faithfully blog for the next 28 days of December. ALL 28 days (You may be wondering what happened to the first three days of December…they disappeared into a black hole. No joke.). After eleven months, I realized the other day that I only have 50 odd posts to show for it. That is truly sad and pathetic.

So I am correcting my wayward self; bringing it firmly back on track.

I don’t have much to report as far as today’s embargo goes. It’s 5PM on Saturday and we haven’t left the apartment yet. Oh, bliss! It’s one of “those” days - a gray, rainy Saturday, its dreariness accentuated by the skeletal arms of naked trees that lift high towards heaven. I slept in late, then subjected my abs to a grueling workout of P90X, cleaned the apartment in pajamas, and felt irritation when Trix jumped on my freshly vacuumed couch.

On Thursday, however (yep, that black hole day…), I had two China moments: I discovered that my Starbucks holiday-themed paper cup was made in the U.S. Huzzah! Then that evening’s episode of “The Office” was about China, but in a very random sort of way. The episode began with Michael walking up to Pam’s desk, picking up one object after the other,and announcing, “Made in China, made in China, made in China.”

Awesome beginning. Where is this going? I wondered. Michael is upset that America is losing its coveted, “greatest-country-in-the-world” spot to China. He wows everyone with a few (for once) correct facts about China, even stumping the office smart guy, Oscar. The moral of the story: America is still great; in fact, it’s wonderful enough for its citizens to decide whether they want to do something about China or not.

Alas, Office, you disappoint yet again.