Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I don't know about any one else out there, but ever since I changed my email address I've had a heck of a time updating my blogger. It links to your google account so since I got a new Google email I constantly have to sign in and back out whenever I want to update. After a while it just gets really frustrating! I've tried to transfer over the blog, but to no avail. This left me with leaving blogger and restarting my own blog on Wordpress.org - please me sure to head on over and check it out!

I have a brand spankin' new blog that needs some love! From now on, I'll be updating my posts over there, so please add our link as a favorite and be sure to visit back for updates!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Leave Me

If you have just 5 minutes to spare, this short film is really touching and so original I just HAD to share it. 

Leave Me from Ryan Dunlap on Vimeo.

It really makes you stop for a moment and appreciate that special someone you have in your life. It is a little sad though, isn't it? Let's use the premise of re-experiencing pictures, without the sad undertone (it was a beautiful film ... but just as heartbreaking as the first few scenes of UP... haven't seen it? It really is a beautiful movie, here's the scene I'm referring to: UP Movie Scene

If I were to jump back through moments that were captured in my photographs here are a few of the ones I'd choose: (These aren't moments that I want to change at all, just ones that I'd be more than happy to enjoy all over again.) Here they are, in no particular order: 

September 25, 2010: 6:30pm
Wedding Day.

This photo isn't anything special. It isn't one that I've framed or that I put in our wedding album, but it's a moment in time when all was right in our little world. The ceremony was over and we had just completed our pictures together, we were on our way back to the wedding party and prepared to kick off the reception. If I could go back, I would remind myself not to rush through it, but to stop for just a minute, close my eyes and take it all in. Even though it seemed to be over in the blink of an eye, I still remember the warmth of the sun, the breeze on the dock during our vows, and the dark ride away from the venue after it was all over with my head resting on Shawn's shoulder. 

October 2, 2010: 1:30pm
Drive from Ennis to Kilmihil, Ireland. Honeymoon. 

We were on our Honeymoon in Ireland, the first time we had ever traveled out of the country together and we were soaking up every minute of it. The trip wasn't all rainbows (although we saw our fair share of those) - we had moments when we weren't sure where we were going, when we misunderstood the customs, when we "lost" half of the money we brought with us (don't worry, we found it in our luggage 2 weeks after getting home). 

I also remember being absolutely and purely happy standing on an open, grassy hill, hours from the nearest city - we were taking a seldom traveled road on the east coast of Ireland on our way to Kilmihil (where my family can be traced back to). It was one of the most beautiful views we came across and it was that much more special because it was the land where my ancestors had lived for generations. The pictures I have in my living room of the McMahons seemed more real standing on the same hills they had seen centuries before. 

It was unequivocally the trip of a lifetime. 

Spring 1998: Early Afternoon
Awards Ceremony for Young Authors Contest

I was in middle school, and along with all of the other self-conscious 11 year olds in the room, I was so caught up in the few seconds it would take me to walk up to the stage and accept my award for a poem I had written earlier that year, I could think about little else. I was so nervous, I just wanted it to be over. After it was concluded, my dad and I went outside, but before we left we stopped for a picture. I don't remember much, or if we even found someone to take a picture of us together, what I do remember is taking this photo.

The fact that I managed to use my mom's 35mm camera at all is a miracle in-and-of itself. What is even more rare, is that I snapped a picture of my dad really smiling (he was more of a rough-and-tough "no-I-won't-smile" type of guy). That's why I love this picture, he was REALLY smiling because he was actually happy, proud of his daughter. LOVE THIS. 

Fort Campbell, Kentucky

The reverse side of this old picture reads:

"Phil & Marcie. Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 1951. Mike & I drove down for a weekend visit - saw you for the first time - also first time we saw Phil as a paratrooper."

This photo was sent to my grandma (Marcie), from my great-aunt Madge. It is VERY small (only 2inx3in), but it shows my adorable grandma in her 20s posing for the camera on the banks of a river [you can click on the picture to make it larger]. It was the first time my grandfather introduced her to the family and she was beautiful. It reminds me of the first time I was really introduced to Shawn's family, standing on the beach on the outer banks of NC. It seems like such a special moment caught in time; I wonder what it would be like to have been on that riverbank with them? 

What are some of the photos that you'd jump back to if you could? Are there any that you would want to stay in? 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Be still my heart ...

I was enjoying my weekly viewing of "America's Next Top Model" last night when I glance over to the floor on the other side of the living room and see THIS:

My sweet Shawn was lying on the floor with Finnegan and Lexie (does this mean they weren't interested in TYRA?). My little fur family was so adorable I just had to take a picture before Finn started chasing the cat around the house...

Usually, this is all I get to see ... still cute nonetheless. Can you tell that Shawn really wanted a dog??

In the future I'm looking forward to looking over and seeing Finn and Lexie sleeping all snuggled up WITHOUT encouragement from Shawn and I.

In the mean time, I am R.E.A.L.L.Y loving the warmer weather ... and just in time for my birthday! Shawn and I are hoping to head out to the Raleigh Road outdoor theater this weekend.

 Shawn really wants to see Limitless (I think he has a small man-crush on Bradley Cooper) since it's playing there this weekend ...

... but I'm hoping I can convince him to take me again at the end of the month to see a double-feature of Hop and Rio ... too cute!

Seriously ... $6 for TWO movies that you get to enjoy either in your own car or sitting outside on a blanket? That means stretching out your legs, and not having to hear/smell the stranger next to you that also came to see the movie ... summertime here I come! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Journey from Kennel to a Forever Home

Last weekend, Shawn and I took hope our sweet bundle of joy - a 64lb bouncing boy who is becoming the perfect addition to our little family. As new parents to our greyhound, we read all the books and prepared ourselves for the possibility of a destructive transition from his old life to the new one in his "forever home." Also like new parents we were EXCITED!!!! Through our excitement we are documenting our experience with our sweet Finnegan, the good, the bad and the stinky. We knew we would probably get little sleep his first night home, and understood there would likely be puddles and piles of little accidents. 

In reality, we came home with an incredibly sweet Finnegan who has had ZERO accidents in the house so far, who sleeps through the night and has only let out the faintest whine when he appears to be bored. Although he has been a little worried about all of the changes, Finn is being the perfect poster-boy for greyhound adoption. 

As a retired racer, Finn isn't familiar with all of the intricacies of living in a house as opposed to a kennel - his entire life has been spent in a kennel or the racetrack ... so we've been helping him through things like: 

Learning How to use the DOG BED! 

Mirrors are not as fun as REAL greyhounds:

Kitties are FRIENDS not FOOD! 

Stuffed toys can become friends faster than kitties can:

Next up.... learning how to climb stairs! Stay tuned ... 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Finnegan, Begin Again!

Last weekend Shawn and I packed up our bags and hit the road on our way to Project Racing Home, a Greyhound adoption organization in Randleman, NC.

The group takes in retired racers from all over the east coast, they have a great kennel with kind and knowledgeable staff.  On our way we were nervous and excited to meet the dogs at PRH, and after we arrived we were taken to a back pen where we met various lovable dogs looking for a forever home. After meeting them all, we took two on a walk and quickly realized that one special boy had won our hearts!


We decided that the sweet, friendly, loving brown-eyed gentleman would be the newest member of our family and I went to grab my camera to get some photos before we headed home to prepare our house for Finnegan's arrival. As I walked away from Shawn and a kennel manager to get my camera, sweet Finn followed me ... how cute! I gave him a pat on the head and continued to walk away ... he kept following... my heart melted. 

Finnegan was a racer at the Daytona Beach Greyhound Track where he raced in roughly 40 races, his last one being just after Thanksgiving 2010. The greyhound racing industry breeds approximately 50,000 puppies each year. Of these animals, only 15,000 actually become racing dogs. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the treatment and cruelty of race dogs or dejected greyhound puppies that never become racers ... regardless of the side you fall on, everyone can agree that these beautiful dogs deserve to be in a home where they are loved and appreciated. We certainly hope we can provide our new boy with as much love as he can handle! 

Because he was a racer, Finnegan will be entering the house-pet world with puppy-eyes which means we will be working with him to learn how to climb stairs, ride in a car, recognize mirrors and glass (they often run into glass doors or out glass windows!), and develop a friendship with Lexie-Mae.
We cannot wait to get Finnegan home! We are so honored to be able to take in a retired racer and to give a dog like Finn the chance to begin again ... So many challenges will come with owning a Greyhound, but we are up for it and eagerly anticipating his arrival!

To learn more about Project Racing Home, please visit www.GetaGrey.com

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lexie Mae and the Couch-Scratching Saga

Lexie-Mae is THE sweetest cat ever, my wonderful little furball ... but she has VERY sharp nails! I really couldn't consider declawing her, but her accidental scratches that were caused when jumping on our expensive leather couch started to become a big problem! How could I keep Lexie from ruining my prized furniture?

See pictures below of Lexie-Mae loving her couch time ...

Lexie showing off her super sharp dragon-claw nails! eeek!

So what was our solution to the kitty-scratch problem?

Solution: Softpaws! 

I am so thrilled with this great alternative to declawing that I just had to share! Softpaws are thin caps that go right over sharp-claws - they come in tons of colors and Lexie hasn't even seemed to notice! I would never do it just because it's cute (even though it is!), but if a cat owner is faced with the possibility of declawing - clearly this is the perfect alternative.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Deserving of Preserving

Just two months ago, I vowed to blog more, and here I am ... over a month since I last posted. Well, I may have neglected my personal blog, but I have been actively adding and updating another blog of mine: www.DeservingofPreserving.com 

For quite some time, I've been working on this site on my own and allowing it to develop slowly; I've recently added new authors to the site and I am excited for it to grow more and more. One of the goals of Deserving of Preserving is to bridge the gap between the field of preservation or historic site management and the public-at-large, so I figured why not let my friends and family in on what I'm doing with my life as a preservationist. Please check it out and let me know what you think! If you're new to preservation, I suggest visiting our "Special Series" tab and checking out Preservation Inspiration! 

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Is there a cure for wanderlust? As I lay awake at night thinking of rolling green hills and the ruins of castles, I begin to think that though my mind is happy to wander the hours away on images of Ireland, I highly doubt it's good for me.

Ever since our honeymoon to Ireland, a trip I had always dreamed of, I haven't been able to get it out of my brain for too long. I've been hoping it would fade, as it still may, but as of now I am desperately longing to return to the Green Isle. I try to remind myself of their struggling government, crippled economy and non-existent job market, but pictures of cobbled streets, staggering cliffs and friendly locals creep back in.

As I teeter on the edge of another weekend's end, waiting to enter back into the real world I contemplate another woman over in Ireland. Of everyone out there, there must be one girl over in Ireland dreaming of crossing the Atlantic to come to the United States; does she dream of the opportunities, or the sparkle of New York City?

Unless someone in Ireland is over there wanting to trade places for a bit (and yes, I am up for it!), I'll have to find all of the things I love about where I am here in Raleigh, which is actually a pretty length list! Shawn and I decided to do something new, or go somewhere we hadn't yet been to once a week. So far, we've been to the North Carolina Museum of History:

and then yesterday we finally made it to the Raleigh Times Bar downtown:

which, in case you didn't already know, is on the site where the Raleigh Times Newspaper was published ... fish & chips AND restoration of a historic structure? Be still my heart. Maybe we aren't too far from the heart of Ireland after-all.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Blog Facelift

Every now and then the ol' blog needs a little touch up. To encourage me to write in here a little more, I had some fun with redesigning Up and Adams. Too bad it isn't this easy (and cheap!) to redesign my living room!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Corner

Mom bought Shawn and I one of my favorite Christmas gifts thus far ... (it doesn't matter that I picked it out, does it?) ... a new side chair for our living room! No one really seemed to "get" the rocking chair we had next to our couch, and I just LOVE the french script that matches the rest of our decor perfectly! 

I love the touch of whimsey it adds to the space! ... It's also sitting next to my favorite Christmas picture on the end table ... a little shot of my dad and I in Santa hats during my very first Christmas! :) What a happy little corner!!