Saturday, April 30, 2011

Took the Plunge

I ordered a sewing machine today. 
I read a lot of reviews. 
Got completely overwhelmed.
Then took a leap and just picked one. 
This one
I can't wait to learn.
Do you think this is a doable first project?

Friday, April 29, 2011

You have been warned.

Math Man was worth the wait. 
But, (and this is probably not a surprise to you since you've been inundated for months with decorating eye candy inspiration) I also have folders full of pretty wedding images that I find inspiring as well. 
And since I stored all these images away prior to being introduced to Pinterest, I'm going to inundate you over the next few months with beautiful wedding inspiration photos that make me go "Awww." 
So, how's that for a warning?  This blog is about to take a wedding-y turn. 

p.s. Are you not yet on pinterest?  You should be.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Rest-Of-Our-Magic Weekend

Wanted to take a few minutes to record a few highlights from the rest of our weekend. 

After the proposal, and my heart stopped pounding quite so loudly in my ears, and I'd wiped away the little tears that had somehow sprung up in my eyes, and I'd grinned like a fool for a few minutes and hugged Math Man twenty more times, we called our parents.  Turns out, Math Man had tipped them off that tonight was the night and so they were waiting for our call. 

We then headed into Charleston to have dinner at Bacco.  We called Mikey (the owner and chef of Bacco and our dear friend) on the way in and let him know that Math Man's original plans to propose to me at Bacco were thwarted.  He just got excited, and with the ring in his pocket, and the sunset over the marsh, he couldn't wait! 

We arrived to glasses of celebratory proseco and then were treated to a tasting menu prepared just for us.  Salad, rissotto, pasta, fish, clams, duck, and three desserts.  And, of course, wine.  Mikey also interrupted all the diners in order to make our announcement.  Everyone cheered and toasted us and I have not stopped smiling since.

Saturday, Charleston treated us to a dose of summer.  We spent the entire day on the beach with only a brief break for a lunch of shrimp.  Poor Math Man's top of his feet were scorched--guess he missed them with the SPF 70.  We spent the evening eating out in Charleston.  Sunday, we played tourists again.  We went to the Middleton Plantation all morning and then walked around downtown Charleston in the afternoon and had sandwiches out at the riverfront park.  Even my 4.5 hour drive back Sunday evening (alone because Math Man had to go back to Charlotte while I drove to Raleigh) couldn't dampen my spirits.  I spent the entire ride on the phone and soaked up getting to tell my friends again and again the story of how-it-happened.  Sunday evening back at the apartment, I left Mr. Mason to sleep off his big weekend on the couch and made it outside for 2 miles of running without stopping.  Amazing what endorphins and pure happiness can do for you.

I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5K: 10 Days to Go

Did I mention to you that the Math Man and I running a 5K together? 

I'm sure I've at least mentioned to you how much I'm not a runner.  How running makes my lungs gasp and puff puff puff and how it makes my legs tired and ache and just generally feel like they don't want to move any more.  Oh, and sometimes I get tummy cramps. 

But I have been keeping at it.  I started with one mile.  (With some walk breaks.)  That was early February.  Let me tell you--when I finished that one mile, I called Math Man immediately to let him know.  And he (because he's awesome) told me how proud he was of me.  And then I was able to do one mile without stopping.  (Again, prompting an excited phone call.)  And then at some point, on one of our weekends together, we ran together and I went even farther than before.  Then last weekend, Math Man and I ran together and we went 2.6 miles--with only a brief perhaps 1 minute stretching break halfway through.  And then Sunday night, powered by the incredible endorphins and adrenaline from my amazing weekend, I ran 2 miles.  In a row.  No stops.  Not one. 

And in the meantime, I've been going to pilates, kick boxing, and sculpt.  Hmmm... Would you real athletes perhaps call that cross training?  I'm not sure.

But as hard as this is for me (and yes, I admit it fully, running is really really hard for me), it's nothing compared to what kids with Batten Disease have to go though.  When I've been outside running and thinking I might not even make it to the next traffic light unless I just take a rest and breath so that I can flood my leg muscles with oxygen, I think to myself, how lucky I am to have this body that works.  That I can take it for granted that when my brain tells my feet to move, they move. 

I'm no saint and sometimes I cheat and let myself quit early or cut off a few blocks that I'd planned on running when I was still inside and feeling optimistic.  And I certainly can't go out and run a marathon (well, not this month)--or even a half or a 10K.  In fact, 3 miles feels like a marathon.  It's a distance I haven't even run yet without stopping.  (well, not since college)  But I am lucky to be able to try.  Lucky to be able to work towards it.  And I did nothing to earn this ability.  This ability to work at it and improve and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I just was born that way.  I am a lucky, lucky girl.

And so, when I saw that there was a 5K race hosted by Our Boy's Journey on May 7th benefitting Batten Disease research, I knew we had to do it.  With everything that Jeremy and Brandon and Taylor overcome every single day, I can't continue to just take my luck and health and amazing, complicated human body that works for granted.  Plus, I'm sick and tired of the evilness of Batten Disease.  Sick of it.  Hate it.  Hate what it's doing to Taylor.  Hate what it's doing to other children too.  To Jeremy and Brandon.  To Tatyanna.  To Celia.  To Noah and Laine.  To Bridget.  To Jacob.  To Hayden.  And to many other children without websites.  I want it to end and I want to do my part.

Honestly, I'm a bit nervous.  I haven't run 3.1 miles consecutively in a row before without any breaks at all.  But my goal isn't any particular time.  My goal is be part of an event to bring attention to Batten Disease.  And to finish a 5K.  Preferably without stopping.  And Math Man is going to run the entire thing with me (even though 3.1 miles is no biggie to him and he could probably run the whole thing twice in the time it will take me).  And after all, if Taylor can do it, so can I. 

So wish me luck.  Even though, I know I already have it.  So, more importantly wish for an end to Batten disease.  Pray for it.  Run for it.  Give for it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It Happened.

I've titled this "It happened" because I always knew it would.  When two people are meant to be together, that is just what happens.

Yes!  Math Man and I got engaged this weekend!

Now for the story.  As much for you bloggyland, as for me, because I don't want to forget a moment of it.  (And with all the adrenaline I've had pumping through me this weekend I'm worried I might start to forget some of the details quickly)  We had a wonderful weekend in Charleston.  Friday, we spent walking Folly Beach.  We actually got all the way to the south end of the island and then it started to rain.  Mr. Mason (who never enjoys being wet) didn't seem too pleased, but Math Man and I huddled our heads close to each other under the umbrella and were glad we'd worn sneakers.  We walked quickly because we could hear thunder and we both got pretty wet, but we managed to not be cold (ah, Charleston) and we were also enjoying having the beach to ourselves.  We had lunch at Rita's (dog friendly covered patio!) and then headed back to our hotel for a quick nap (we were vacationing after all)!

We woke up, showered, and then set out to enjoy the sunshine that had finally burned the clouds away.  Math Man had brough a bottle of wine and our hotel was nice enough to provide wine glasses.  We sat (on towels to keep our butts drry) on a bench on the bluff overlooking the Ashley River and the marsh.  For a few minutes we talked with another couple there.  They told us that they were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.  We congratulated them and chatted with them a bit more before they walked off. 

Math Man and I started to talk about all our many trips to Charleston.  And then he said that I was his best friend and that if we wanted to be back celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary, we'd better get on it.  He got down on one knee and I can't even tell you what else he said.  I leaped up, almost knocked him completely down (causing Mr. Mason quite a bit of excitment), and we had a big hug.  I had tears in my eyes and just couldn't stop smiling.  At some point, while we were still hugging, he said, "You know I have a ring." 

And he did.  And it's GORGEOUS.  I love it.  But mostly, I just love him.  So very much.  I've been engaged now for not even a full four days and I am still floating on the clouds.  Smiling to myself.  Pinching myself to make sure it's real.  And spending huge amounts of time looking down at my left hand. 

I am the luckiest girl in the world.  Math Man, you are worth every single second of the wait and I cannot wait to be your wife!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Charleston for the Easter Weekend

I'm pretty excited because Math Man, Mr. Mason, and I are slipping away to our favorite place ever.  Charleston. 

And I don't want to rub it in but look where we get to stay? 

The Inn at Middleton Place is the kind of modern that I like.  It is exactly the opposite sort of place I imagine staying in in Charleston but it looks so gorgeously integrated into it's surroundings and I just can't wait to sit out on that lawn reading a book or chatting with Math Man.  And then explore the entire place grounds (it seems like the sort of place that warrants the word "grounds") with Mr. Mason. 

Just look at those huge windows.  And it's overlooking the river.  Oh, plus, fireplaces in the rooms.  (I mean, it's a bit warm for that, but still... one of my favorite things ever)

Between walking the beaches.  Eating at our favorite restaurant ever.  And exploring downtown.  I just CANNOT wait to begin this weekend.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Home Inspiration: Layout Possibilities for Our Small Guest Bedroom

Jess' Greener Life in a Small Space via Apartment Therapy
Hmmm... This post plus the one from a few days ago reveal (as if it wasn't already obvious) that I've clearly got the redecorating bug and badly.  My mind is churning over redoing the guest room.  This room with its taupe walls and green seems a bit cooler in its color scheme than the one I was liking a few days ago.  Of course, I think they're more similar than different and certainly are illuminating to me some of the things I really seem to like.  Crisp white bedding.  No matchy-matchy furniture.  Sea grass and other natural materials.  Light.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Weekend Recap

We survived the weekend tornados.  And shopped 'til we dropped.  Well, at least my mom and I did.  I realize the juxstaposition of these two events seems somewhat callous and, I promise, dear readers, I do not mean it to be.  It's just that that is what happened in my life this weekend.  I am all for recording it as it is. 

My parents got in town Friday night.  Math Man was in class in Durham and, while I miss him always and every event is always immediately improved by his presence, I have to admit really relishing the two-on-one attention from my parents.  Every child (even adult child) must feel this way sometimes, no?  We went to the dog park where Mr. Mason didn't really socialize but he did get in some good sniffing and squirrel stalking.  Then we went out for pizza (yes, the pups too) and I said yes when my dad plied my mom and I with wine.  Why yes, I suppose I will have just one more glass, thank you.  After all, wine goes so well with pizza.  We chatted and Mr. Mason enjoyed tolerated his cousin (actually, they did quite well together). 

My mom and I spent most of Saturday at the Tanger Outlets.  I did quite well and would even go so far as to say that I relished my new size (the 70% off of everything at Banana didn't hurt either).  Around 2 pm though, it got quite dark outside and the storm that had been somewhat threatening us all day, came out in full force.  After about an hour of 40 mph (on the interstate!) white nuckle driving, we made it home by 3 pm.  By 4 pm, the radio was telling us to get into the basement and Math Man had called to say he was in the basement of the MBA building.  My little apartment is basement-less, so my parents, Mr. Mason, my parents' dog Pax, and I sat knee to knee on the floor of my pantry for an hour. 

We were lucky.  We lost power and had a few moments of fright.  And afterwards, when we drove downtown looking for dinner, we realized just how close the storm had come.  And how our life moved on so seemlessly.  But for some families, life would never be the same way again.  The power of the storm and the complete devastation in just a few small pockets of this state might not be as widespread as the devastation which cut across Japan last month or brought down upon the Gulf Coast by Katrina, but for those families affected, I know it is felt just as deeply.  And will continue to be felt for a long time after the news stations move on to other stories.

Feeling undeservedly lucky.

p.s. Math Man and I ran 2.6 miles this weekend!  Only one brief stop. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Soupe d'Oignon

French Onion Soup is my jam.
Made it for the first time last night. 
Used this recipe
That Deb at SmittenKitchen really knows her stuff.
Go make it immediately. 

Home Inspiration: Peaceful Guest Bedroom

Photo found here at Apartment Therapy
I'm really loving this wroght iron bed.  Too bad I'm sure they're all like a grand.  Guess I'm just going to have to keep my craigslist eyes peeled. 

Have yall all got a fun weekend planned?  My parents are coming in town!  Mom and I are going to go hit up the Tanger outlets.  Then on Saturday evening once the Math Man is done with his classes, we'll all head out to dinner.  Mr. Mason should get lots of time in tolerating his younger (and much more exuberant) cousin Pax.  Math Man brough homebrewed beer for my dad to taste.  Should be a good time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Home Inspiration: Living Rooms

I like that I can grab images online and then type my thoughts right on top of the images to record what tickled my happy bone.  Here are a few I'm really loving (making me think that summer is coming) from the ever-expensive but classy Pottery Barn.

Photos all from Pottery Barn.  Obviously, with my comments typed on top.

Also, I'm so very grateful that Hector is now a big brother.  Baby Augustus is here.  Safe and sound.  He put up quite the fight--as his mama said "he was quite happy in his mancave"--and eventually after 34 hours of pushing, he had to make his entrance via c-section.  Now my prayers are for his mama to heal so she can get home and spend this time soaking up and getting to know her son. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DIY Inspiration: Socialite Skirt

Okay, one thing the internet is really good at is giving me loads and loads of ideas of things that I just HAVE TO make.  Ugh, seriously, I think I need a sewing machine.  This skirt is adorable and this woman's blog is just chocked full of adorable clothes she's made.  I love them all but especially this skirt.  Seriously, I would buy this in a store.  And if I made it?!?  I'd have to make it in EVERY SINGLE COLOR.  Love it.

Socialite Skirt by Elle Apparel (she even posted a tutorial on how she made it!)
p.s. As of right now, no baby yet for Hector's mom and dad.  Last I heard, after 38 hours of labor, they were prepping for a c section.  Oh sweet baby, come safely. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Home Inspiration: Painted Wallpaper

Surely I'm not crazy to want to do this?

Idea and photos found at Jones Design Company here

I mean, look how lovely it turned out:

Idea and photos found at Jones Design Company here

Seriously, I'm contemplating whether one wall with this in our bedroom (done on the dark/grey blue walls with the lighter blue which is in our master bath) would look as awesome in real life as it does in my head.  Also, I'm wondering whether I could at all pull this off without giving up the use of our bedroom for like MONTHS.  (Seriously, I have been known to be a get-it-done slacker.)  What are your thoughts?

One more photo of handpainted wallpaper (or perhaps real wallpaper that could be handpainted) for inspiration:

Photo by Ballard Designs found on Centsational Girl
In non-home decorating news, I'm babysitting Mr. Mason's little buddy Hector (the sweetest SPCA special ever) while his mom and dad are at the hospital RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE having his first human baby sibling.  Oh, sweet Hector, your life is about to be rocked.  I'm praying nonstop that this little baby will come gently into the world and I can't wait to meet him.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicago Weekend Reflections

I flew up to Chicago this weekend for no other reason than because Math Man was working there during the week and it seemed like a good excuse to see friends. 

And besides ridiculous delays getting up there (FOR NO REASON... there is a tirade about airlines somewhere in me not so far from the surface but I'm going to spare you), I had a wonderfulwonderful time. 

I'm not going to share a blow by blow with you that would be only interesting to, uhm, no one.  But I thought I would share some of the takeaways.

1.  Northwestern Law is amazing.  Seriously, in the words of one of my friends, I bleed purple.  I don't even feel one tenth as strongly about my undergrad.  I've drunk the purple kool-aid.  I beleive in "the Northwestern difference." 

2.  The people I met at Northwestern are amazing.  See point one.  Seriously, friends for life. 

3.  Chicago is amazing.  Love the city.  Love the lake.  Love the neighborhoods.  Love the restaurants. 

4.  North Carolina's weather is amazing.  I love how on Sunday, when Chicago experienced its first day in 2011 in the 80s, that everyone was outside soaking it up.  But I love how in NC, we sometimes get to take that for granted because, after all, it will probably be in the 80s tomorrow too. 

Already looking forward to my next trip back.  And, again, even with the student loans, and the economic crisis, and the fact that 2010 was probably the worst year possible to graduate from law school, counting my blessings.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Country Roads...

I woke up to an NPR special on John Denver.  I don't really know what they said about him because I was still in that state of sleepy, but I've had Country Roads in my head all day long.  So, of course, I thought I'd share:

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
Take me home, country roads

All my memories, gathered 'round her
Miners' Lady, stranger to blue water
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky
Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
Take me home, country roads

I hear her voice, in the morning hour she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And drivin' down the road I get the feeling
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday.

I might not be from West Virginia (nope, just westernish Virginia), but man that song can be added to the list of things that make me smile. 

Home Inspiration: More of my Map Obsession

photo found on Bromeliad here
Doesn't this look cool?  (the map on the wall.  I have to admit I'm not so much a fan of the funny coffee tables or the rug.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Home Inspiration: Blue, White, and ORANGE!?

What do you guys think?  I've been dead set on blue and white for the bedroom.  We have a lot of maps hanging in there now.  No headboard.  A needs-to-be repainted white dresser.  A dark wood target desk.  No curtains.  Blue walls.  A bathroom that's two shades lighter.  White duvet.  Boring.  BoringBoring!

I'm thinking we need something to pop this room up.  Without repainting.  Because I do like the blue.  And handy dandy orange is right across the color wheel.  Plus, I can't believe I haven't thought of orange-and-blue before with it practically smacking me in the face with our orange and blue Chicago Ork poster

These are the inspiration photos (because I'm not quite yet willing to show the interwebs a picture of the disaster that is our bedroom):

Photo found here on Apartment Therapy

Photo found here on Apartment Therapy
And this could be a nice print to hang on the wall.  I love the colors and I'd love it even more if it was a month that was special to us.  (ehem, wouldn't it be cute to give someone a framed print of the calendar month of their wedding?  Or perhaps a framed print to hang in a child's room of the month a baby was born.  Adorbs!) 

Paper Source Wall Art Calendar
 Also, I'm pretty obsessed with the idea of this Sincerely Yours print that I found a picture of on SF Girl By Bay.

Anyone know where I can find this print?  Also, would the wall color show through?  LOVE.

Photo found here at Re-Nest
I'm thinking that I'll repaint (still bright white) the dresser, and perhaps replace the knobs.  Perhaps with knob pulls with a bit of orange.

So sorry I don't know where this photo is from! (note the Ork poster in this room!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

I love you more than. . .

Hey, Math Man!  I love you more than When Harry Met Sally.
(The movie.  Because obviously when Harry first met Sally they didn't love each other (yet) at all.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

I love you more than. . .

I love you more than the first Spring day in Chicago.

Home Inspiration: Bed Under Stairs

How adorable is this?  I want to tuck this little under-the-stairs-bed idea away for oh I don't know, some day when I have grandchildren and a beach house.  Seriously, how cozy would it be to visit grandma and get to sleep under the stairs? 

Double Dutch, Richard Leo Johnson Photography, found on Apartment Therapy
I'm not quite sure why the top left corner of the top bed nook is a right angle but then they've done a decorative curve on the top left and right corner of the bottom bed nook.  And I think that I might go for less frilly bedding.  (although, lovely, old quilts are quite appealing to me in my going-to-grandma's house fantasy, but maybe that's because that's what we always slept under when I visited mine growing up)  It might even be fun to pain the inside back wall a different color from the white--perhaps a light blue or a soft yellow? 

Hmmm... anyone notice that I'm tucking away eventual grandchild sleeping arrangement ideas when I don't even have children yet?  Not to mention.  Am not married.  Am not even engaged.  (yet). 

It's okay, though.  A girl can dream.  And I'm meant to have grandchildren someday.  Hmmm... and also obviously a beach house.  Someday.  And besides, I can't help it if the inspiration is right in front of me.