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!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Other Half

I like to take these little blog posts and write about things that I want to express, but don't always wish to broadcast. A blog posit isn't a Facebook status update, or a mass email to all my friends, it's a little side room of my internet identity that is seldom accessed by others. I quite like this opportunity! It's fun to share with just a handful of people! And so today, that's what I plan on doing. Sharing a little bit of me that I won't be broadcasting else where.

Here it goes.

You know those little family secrets that everyone seems to have? The ones that are rarely spoken about, the ones you didn't realize were such a big deal when you were 10? Well, we have one. It wasn't a bad secret, or a really exciting secret - but I always knew not to mention it, not to talk about it.

As I got older, I stopped one day and realized ... hey, this IS a big deal. I need to know MORE.

What was the big secret? I had a half-sister, Sonja who was adopted by another family years before I was born. This may not seem like that much to those people with full siblings, but to someone who always wanted a brother or sister, it was HUGE. Sadly, as quickly as I learned I had a sister out there, I also learned that she passed away years ago. Since we never met, it's hard to say I miss her, but every now and then I reflect on it and wonder what it would have been like to know her. I never asked any more questions, I just let it go and time passed like it always does.

This year, I realized that if there was anything I can do, it's research. After all, it's kind of my profession. I went to college and then graduate school learning how to research. Why hadn't I tried to find out more about my half-sister before now?

I looked and looked and researched and finally had the name of the newspaper who had the article on her car accident in their file. I called, but the branch had given those archives to the library - they gave me the number. I never called it. It's odd that I was right on the edge of knowing more, maybe even getting a picture, but I didn't take the next step. Somewhere inside, I thought that if I did, and it was a dead end, then the chance of knowing more would be gone. Over time, I lost the phone number and forgot the name of the library.

Every now and then, I would google my half-sister's name, just in case. One of these times, something came up. It was a web link with a photo of her grave-site, along with the matching birth and death dates that I knew, and a brief note about her being killed in a car accident on the way home from church on Easter Sunday.

I contacted the woman who had posted the link about Sonja and our information all matched up. She even knew the side of the story that I knew, the side that wasn't in the papers. It turns out she was a close family friend and still keeps in contact with them. She was going to send me a picture of Sonja.

I was in the car with Shawn driving down Capital Blvd last week when the email came through with my half-sister's picture. Before I knew it, the file had downloaded and I saw a face staring back at me from my iPhone. A face I had wondered about for a decade.

The picture was faded and old, but beyond the sepia tone, I could see just a hint of my dad and it made me smile. It was many years too late, but I finally had a sister. I am grateful to now have a beautiful face to put to a memorized name.

Though Sonja's is a sad story, it inspires me to appreciate the time I have, and to love those around me as much as I can! It's a story that I've always been interested in sharing, but there never really is quite the right time to talk about long-lost siblings, is there?

I hope everyone out there, (all half-dozen who read this) can be reminded of how special family is, and how valuable siblings can be. Please enjoy them and love them every single day and thank the good Lord you've been given the opportunity to share life together! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

As I reflected on Veteran's Day today, my mind inevitably wandered to my dad. His favorite place on earth was Camp Perry, a military base in Ohio. I googled Camp Perry, and eventually I wound up at an article published online a few years ago that linked to my dad's name - this little spotlight just made me smile. I remember the funeral at Camp Perry, accept my mom and I witnessed it separated from the crowd, up in a tower down one of the ranges, so that we could have the very best view of the skydiver carrying the American flag, swirling in the air with colorful smoke shooting from his specialized boots. One boot carried red dust which drew streaks of color in the sky, the other boot emitted a lighter, more faint gray line.   In this boot, were the ashes of my father. The colors mixed and swirled together as the skydiver careened to the group, the American flag he was carrying whipping in the wind. The 21-gun salute and bugler ended the ceremony and although it's a sad memory, it's one I am certainly grateful to have.

Today, and every other day I am grateful for our Veterans and all of their sacrifices for our Freedom. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010


I've always had a love of buildings, spaces, design, expression and aesthetic. Early on, it was my love of classical architecture, statues and poetry that led me to major in Classical Civilizations ... I wanted to learn what inspired them to be so great that they in turn became inspirations to the rest of history. When I finished my undergraduate, I looked for a way to apply my focus in history to the buildings themselves. To me spaces and structures spoke, and it was important that those who could hear them would stand up to speak on their behalf. I spent the next two years pursuing my Masters with a focus on Historic Preservation, which has lead me to where I am now, working for a local nonprofit and serving to advocate for the historic built environment.

During my last year in graduate school, I took a class on the History of Furniture ... we took a trip to the Hickory Furniture Market and I was HOOKED. Where had this been all my life when I constantly rearranged my bedroom as a child, when I sketched layouts of every apartment I lived in, and drooled over a side chair in the store window? Needless to say, I've been trying to get more and more daily inspiration (not that I have the money to implement it) but that isn't what matters, right?! Sometimes it's a blending of classical elements that I love, or an unexpected light fixture ...

I mean ... how could you see this chandelier and NOT have something to say about it? More often than not I am just enthralled with modern design that is playful or pays allegiance to historical precedent; whether it's text printed on linen, architectural elements used indoors, even family portraits displayed in all their glory ... love it! 

In my own home, beyond the high end interiors I drool over, my biggest inspiration is surrounding myself with things that mean something to me: from an old wooden cross my aunt brought back from Ethiopia, to a small heart-shaped box filled with memories of my father, to the amazing hand-made bowl my hubby and I picked up on our honeymoon in Ireland.

As I move beyond the excitement of planning a wedding, I'm looking forward to making our house a home together, and continuing the hunt for inspiration!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

All in a day's work ...

Just prior to the wedding and honeymoon, I had another big event - this one for the company I work for. We held our annual awards banquet, known as the Anthemion Awards on September 20th. So much went into the event, it felt like a second wedding (minus the excitement of me being in a big white dress and all that jazz). So much work went into preparing for it! - from the award presentation boards, to setting up the room, preparing the guest list, donation spreadsheets, countless phone calls and one very difficult maneuvering session where I managed to cram 11 full-size professional display easels into my car ... It went very well and everyone enjoyed a great evening, but boy am I glad it's behind us! :) Now, to prepare for next year!!

The presentation boards I made by hand for each award winner ... lots of work but they turned out so well it was worth it! :) 

This is a close up of one of our award winner boards; this little gem was renovated and is now used as a bridal dress shop! (I loved this particular errand! So many pretty things inside and I got to take pictures of it!) 

We had a full house - every seat at the Irregardless Cafe was filled with supporters and award winners! 

The best part of the night is that my sweetie got to join me! He helped out at the front door and then enjoyed the show while I took pictures - it was fun to have him see what I do!

After the party was over and the guests had left ... it was up to Shawn and I to get all of the easels back into the car, but finally - we did it!! 

Irish Fancies

I sat at work today, with my iPod on shuffle and a familiar song came on. "Heave Away" by the Fables isn't known that well to many people, but it ever after we used it during our wedding for the Irish Dollar Dance, the song had etched itself into a favorite memory of mine. After spending our honeymoon in Ireland, the sound of Irish music brings me back to those magical days that Shawn and I spent there.  Here are a few of my favorites memories in no particular order: 

Favorite Memory #1: Arriving in Ireland to find that the rental car Shawn choose was smaller than my Mini Cooper! It actually worked perfectly for us because if Shawn had trouble parking, he could just pick it up and move it to where it needed to be! ... only kidding.

Favorite Memory #2: Taking a "Viking" tour of Dublin ... this included us screeeeeaaaming at a variety of people on the street a) those carrying coffee b) those holding a map [there were a TON of these!] and c) happy couples ... our driver would slowly sneak up behind people and give the signal and the whole bus would give our best Viking yell! ... 

Favorite Memory #3: Napping in St. Stephen's Green in the middle of Dublin. After a sleepless night on the plane, and a full morning of touring, we were exhausted and instead of going back to the B&B ... we decided to do as the locals did - and sleep in the park! Fabulous weather, beautiful view ... great sleep!

 Favorite Memory #4: Dublin in the evening. Every now and then I LOVE to be in the middle of a city, the vibrancy of a downtown like this is just beautiful! 

Favorite Memory #5: Irish Coffee with Berna. Our favorite B&B in Ireland was with the amazing Berna who made us Irish Coffee when we arrived, lit the fire and sat down with us to chat ... Irish hospitality! 

Favorite Memory #6: Carriage ride around Ross Castle. This experience is what I dreamed of when I thought of Ireland, and it didn't disappoint! We enjoy talking with our Irish guide as he drove us around the property and told us about his life in Killarney. 

Favorite Memory #7: Shawn. That's it - just Shawn. He is the best travel companion and always keeps me entertained - the honeymoon was no exception! 

Favorite Memory #8: Horse-back riding on the beach ... There were so many things I loved about this experience - seeing Shawn's face light up when he got on a horse for the first time is one of them! He was grinning and laughing for 2 hours straight on this trip! The views we saw were staggeringly beautiful, the water was a vivd teal and the seagrass that had washed up on the beach was a bold rust color ... everywhere we looked was mother nature in all her glory! 

Favorite Memory #9: An unplanned night in Ennis. After a long day, we decided not to go to the big banquet we had planned on and instead to enjoy a night alone together - what a FABuLOUS decision that was! We ventured into the amazing town of Ennis, where we found this inspiring restaurant called the Cloister ... delicious food, stunning ambience and since it was a weekday - GREAT service because we were one of the only ones there! So romantic! We capped the night with a Guinness in the pub next door and traditional music ... be still my heart! 

Favorite Memory #10: The Cliffs of Moher. This place was the single most beautiful site I've ever seen. Shawn and I spent 2 hours here, just staring at this 800 foot cliff and knowing that pictures would never do it justice. The natural beauty of this place is so powerful it's almost spiritual and truly undefinable. When we finally make it back to Ireland, we've promised ourselves to make a trip here. Can't wait! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween with the Adams Family

As I eagerly await our first pumpkin carving together, I took a little time to practice on one of our "artificial" pumpkins. I thought that without the pumpkin goo mess, it would be soooo much easier ... 2 broken mini-carving knives later ... I realized it can by just as messy as little foam pieces dot our living room floor, and just as frustrating (mistakes happen just the same!) but it's still just as rewarding to see a finished carving all lit up! :)

Wedding Daze

I blinked my eyes and all of the wedding preparation was over. It was time to make some memories that I'd retell for the rest of my life; after 19 months of waiting ... the big day was finally here: September 25th ... our wedding day. For a little taste of the wedding, see the short video below!

Boone Hall Wedding from BRITESIDE PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

It happened in a flurry, in a flash of sparkle and feather. Snapshots of streaming sunshine, ancient oak trees and sweaty friends remain vivid in my mind. It was nothing that I expected and everything I hoped for. I completely enjoyed planning and designing for the wedding, but I am so happy it's all behind me. Now comes the fun of waiting for the wedding pictures and enjoying the holidays with my new hubby. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cornhole Conquered

As part of our wedding crafts (and well, because we wanted some type of entertainment when grilling out!) Shawn and I set to work to make our own cornhole boards this summer! The process took longer than we expected because once I was in the thick of painting (and yellow took 4 coats to cover!) I just had to do it right ... this meant I had to suffer through inhaling WAY to many paint fumes and a few long evenings of sitting on a hard wood floor ... but they turned out AWESOME!

We want our wedding to be laid back and fun, so we decided to bring our cornhole boards for the cocktail hour to encourage guests to relax a bit and enjoy the outdoor scenery that we've come to love from Charleston! One more task down ... dozens to go!  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wooden Pallet Inspiration

With the realization that our wedding is getting closer (8 weekends for me to prepare - WHAT?!), I've put the preparation of my wedding crafts into overdrive. Yesterday, Shawn and I found a listing on Craig's List for free wooden pallets to anyone who would take them from a furniture store out in Cary. Although he rolled his eyes, Shawn went with me (and brought his new tools) to salvage some wood for a wedding DIY.

This is how they started:

After a feverish burst of creative energy, I produced these wooden signs that we'll be using throughout the wedding/surrounding area:

The "parking" and "wedding" signs will be cut to point the way for our guests, the "ceremony" sign helps to divert everyone around the reception area to the waterside ceremony, and the "Mr." & "Mrs." signs will be hung on the back of our chairs ... completely excited that these bad boys cost us NOTHING ... aside from the paint and a splinter in my finger. 

Next up: an update on our AMAZING corn-hole boards for the cocktail hour! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Showered with Love!

Had an amazing wedding shower last weekend thrown by Shawn's family in New Bern. It was an interesting twist on showers because it was for both Shawn and I - that means gifts that range from slow-cookers to shop-vacs. So blessed to have such special people in our lives, the outpouring of support was amazing and we were so honored! 

The adorable table-scape ... LOVED it! Not sure how they knew about my obsession for damask patterns but they got it spot-on!

The future Mr. and Mrs. Adams ... a little over 3 months to go! 

They put together this fun game where our guests would try to guess which one of us had particular stories or experiences growing up! 

Needless to say it led to more than a few embarrassing yet funny stories.

... this little nighty sprang up as a surprise in the middle of present opening ... 

Paula Deen even made an appearance! My favorite Southern Belle! 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rainy Wedding Day

With all of the nasty rain we've been having this week, I've begun to think about the very real potential of a soggy wedding day for Shawn and I this September. Yes, we chose to have a wedding on the coast in the middle of hurricane season. (and NOT the hockey team that Shawn so loves.)

Thankfully,  even though our wedding ceremony and reception have the feel of outdoors, both are fully covered - so even if it does rain cats and dogs ... it'll just add a sense of romance - the kind of romance that includes love all around you, candles flickering and drizzle hitting a tin roof. (Plus, our venue Boone Hall Plantation, is where that wonderfully memorable scene from the Notebook was filmed - the one where Noah and Ally embrace in the pouring rain ... be still my heart.)

If it's going to rain on a girl's wedding day, it makes things so much better if it's the same rain at the same location of a storm in a Hollywood romance.

Just to make myself feel better I bought some adorable rain-boots like these below (shot by our wedding photographer at another one of her weddings). My purple boots will help me to embrace the day - regardless of weather. (but no, they will not make an appearance if the weather is fine ... I have some sassy high heels that are much preferred :)

Even if it's bright and sunny, I'll be taking my purple boots on our honeymoon to Ireland where they are SURE to get some use. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Springtime!!!

It's officially Springtime! Beautiful flowers, baby animals, warm weather. 

God is good. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Baseball Season

Oh how I love baseball season!!! - not because I'm a sports freak (I would really rather watch a romantic movie any day) ... but because it signals the end of Hockey season. I won't have to sit through another 3 hour block of time watching the 'Canes play until after Shawn and I return home from our honeymoon (wonderful timing, right?) ... ahhh sweet sweet baseball season, welcome back my friend. I prefer you in the beautiful weather with dip n dots and hot dogs to sitting on the couch bored out of my mind for the 3rd night in a week, sulking over the gray winter months that keep me indoors.

To mark this fabulous transition, we went out to see a baseball game in Winston-Salem with Mike and Danielle ... nice weather, happy people, dance- numbers and free t-shirts (not that I actually managed to snag a t-shirt, but the opportunity was there!), and a big WIN for the home team = happy Perry.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Two Birds - One Stone!

Since I've been trying to save costs in my wedding planning, I have been looking to find ways to incorporate decor items that I plan on using at my wedding in our apartment and vis versa. Since the wedding is a reflection of us anyway, many of the items I have around the house (globes, vintage photos, aged books, bronze keys) are going to be used at the wedding in some form or another. It also goes a long way in allowing me to feel less guilty pouring money into stuff for the wedding if I remind myself that I can reuse some of it around the house. One of my favorite examples is my new picture frame!

I painted it a lighter version of the beautiful teal that I'm using at the wedding and put in one of our engagement pictures. Love it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sigh of Relief

The end of March marked the end to one and a half years of stress and worry over my M.A. comprehensive exams. All of our time spent studying history since we entered the program was tested on a single day, with four typed papers, each of which took 90 minutes. Needless to say, my classmates and I had dreaded what we called "Comps" ever since we were first told they would be a requirement to graduate.

Whenever I would work on wedding planning, I always had this dark little cloud called Comps that would remind me not to get too excited - that there was still a big hurdle in my way before I could sit back, relax and enjoy being a bride. When we sat down at the computers in our campus lab on the morning of the exam, I couldn't believe how anxious I was to open the manilla envelope with the questions I would have to answer. (We had to prepare to answer virtually any question on American History that our professors could throw at us, and not just answer it but to develop a 6-8 page paper about it from memory!)

I had already finished my first paper on "How radical was the American Revolution? Consider the point of view of revolutionaries and disenfranchised groups, and explain how historians have disagreed over time" and was half way through with my second paper on "How has academic theory and architectural history intersected (or not) with applied historic preservation? What are the historical and historiographical roots of intersection and/or division between academics and preservationists?" when ....


Can you believe it?! We had prepared for literally almost YEARS for this exam and nearly halfway through the power in our computer lab went out. For a split-second we all (about 30 of us) sat in darkness, as gasps broke what had been a constant sound of typing. In the end, about half the class had lost their papers (campus computer labs delete all files when restarted) - thank the good Lord I was given the foresight to email myself a copy just in case something happened! *Whew!* It was traumatic to say the least, but when I walked out those doors I was a free woman!! :) Hooray!!!

I still have my big paper to work on, and a presentation at the end of April but I feel so relieved to be finished with that exam. :) I've already ordered my rehearsal dinner gown to celebrate! Now it's off to Charleston on Friday to try on the wedding gown I ordered for the first time! No more sample try-ons! This time she's all mine! I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wedding shoes!

I grapple with showing off my wedding details or keeping them all a secret, and then I realized that I can count the number of people that read this blog on one hand ... so I figure, it's safe.

My new wedding shoes arrived in the mail today from the wonderful And by new, I mean the most recent of three completely different pairs that I've ordered since I got engaged last March. Of all 3 these are the most comfortable and pose the least amount of threat of being horrible out-dated and hideous in 5 years. Luckily, I have time to decide .... Zappos has a 365 day return policy ... swoon.

The iPhone camera does them little justice, but in general they are fabulously sparkly and surprisingly comfortable (who am I kidding, they aren't flip flops) ... and will look just DIVINE when I add a pop of purple feathers to the front of them.

I fell in love with the hearts on the soles, they are actually the no slip-grips inlaid in the shoe! Tooooo cute. It brought joy to my day which has been filled with studying for my big comprehensive exams on the 26th. Right now they're sitting on top of my giant stack of textbooks, reminding me that not only is there a light at the end of the tunnel, but there are some seriously fab shoes waiting for me to wear them when I'm finished with school and am ready to marry my hunny!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

God Winks

There is a book out there called "When God Winks" ... and it explains all of those little joys, serendipitous meetings, and unfathomable coincidences as little reminders that this big 'ol scary world is also filled with the love of God. The author, Squire Rushnell explains that these "GodWinks" are swift answers to prayers at just the right moment, even if those prayers have gone unsaid. Rushnell puts it this way:

A godwink is what some people would call a coincidence, an answered prayer, or simply an experience where you'd say, "Wow, what are the odds of that!" Think about when you were a kid and someone you loved gave you a little wink across the dining room table...Mom or Dad or Grandma. You didn't say "What do you mean by that?" You knew. It meant: "Hey kid, I'm thinking about you right now." That's what a godwink is too: a message of reassurance from above, directly to you, out of six billion people on the planet, saying "Hey kid...I'm thinking of you! Keep the faith! You're never alone."

I like to think that these same types of experiences can also be longer then the brief and fleeting happiness of getting the front row parking spot, or being late for your plane, which has also been delayed. Sometimes, they last for longer periods of pure joy. We can all think of those times we've had, when nothing was going wrong, everyone was healthy and our cups runneth over. Perhaps it was a wedding day, a particularly amazing weekend with the family, seeing a child born or moving into the perfect little home with a man you love.

A year ago today, Shawn and I enjoyed one of those times - in Charleston on our engagement weekend. Despite a weekend rainstorm that threatened overhead the whole weekend, the rain held off and Shawn proposed to me on Middleton Plantation, beneath the giant oak tree. It was wonderful and it seemed an entire world away from all the fuss of real life. Eating breakfast with Shawn the following morning overlooking a river and spending the morning playing with a baby sheep who was all to willing to let us pet her was one of my most prized memories. More GodWinks in the year to come? Yes, please! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I can't help but grin whenever I look at this adorable picture, and so I thought I would share it. Enjoy the sweet happiness of puppy love. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Job Hunt

Since graduation is officially only 65 days away, I've been on a pretty fierce job hunt in the last few weeks.  Last year I couldn't WAIT to graduate because it meant:

- graduating with Masters
- getting a real job
- moving to a new city
- buying a house
- finishing the planning for my September wedding!
- get married
- begin life

Now that the time is so close, that picture seems to be changing.

After calling 32 preservation organizations, I have spoken with:

6 people who encouraged me in my search, but told me they didn't have any jobs.
3 rude secretaries. 
10 answering machines.
2 directors who had full out discussions with me on the future of preservation.
7 people who tell me there are "no jobs" but ask for my resume.
1 person tell me it's okay to wait tables.
1 person who suggested a different field entirely.
2 foundations who had potential jobs and liked my resume, but lost funding.

Now it seems the outlook may look something like this:
- graduate with Masters
- work retail job
- continue living in small 500 square foot apartment
- volunteer at Preservation organization
- get married
- find part time preservation job

All in all, the second version isn't bad at all now that I see it written out. It just seems like if I can't get a job with my new degree before the wedding, I don't really feel like a responsible adult! I want to feel like the last 2 years were worth the effort and stress and being turned away so many times it is flat out disheartening. At what point am I supposed to give up on finding a paid preservation job and try to find ANY job.

 In the long run, everyone has encouraged me that even though it may take awhile, I'll find something eventually. Until then, I'll focus on finishing my degree and getting my name out there.

... and if I have to stay in this tiny apartment, I WILL be painting a wall or two, I don't care what Shawn says.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


When I graduated high school, the following song was played at our ceremony:

"Grew up in a small town
And when the rain would fall down
I'd just stare out my window
Dreaming of what could be
And if I'd end up happy
I would pray

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly.
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky.
Make a wish, take a chance,
Make a change, and break away.
Out of the darkness and into the sun.
But I won't forget all the ones that I love.
I'll take a risk, take a chance,
Make a change, and break away

Wanna feel the warm breeze
Sleep under a palm tree
Feel the rush of the ocean
Get onboard a fast train
Travel on a jetplane
Far away
And break away."

I loved the song, but it took on new resonance when I returned back to Fayetteville this past weekend to speak at my old High School. To begin the weekend, I met an old friend for a 1:30pm lunch and we didn't leave till nearly 6pm. Our Smithfield's teas where refilled numerous times, and we spoke about everything from weddings and marriages to children years down the road. I remember having the same conversations with her when we were in 7th grade, and now our "husbands" aren't unnamed, faceless men - they're real, honest, hardworking, godfearin', friendly blokes who have committed their lives to us.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the pulls of a hometown, the things I miss and the memorable qualities of where I'm from. This week, I was reminded of how far many of us have come, and the amazing things that came to us because we took a risk and left for the unknown. 

When I stood in front of the high school students who now sit in the desks I once sat in, I was suddenly reminded of how blessed I've been to have made such a smooth transition between student and professional. I remember how scary and yet exciting leaving all of those things behind to pursue college was. It's eerily similar to the way life feels now, as I sit on the brink of graduation throwing myself out into the dark unknown of my future career. I can't wait to see how things will turn out, I know God has a plan for it all! In the mean time, it's fun to think of all the possibilities that might be! :) Here's to hoping my future employer finds me sooner rather than later!!! 

"Anything is possible, if the future is unknown."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mini Cooper's Bad Day

This is my Mini Cooper. She's only 5 months old. Last week, she was attacked for no good reason, I can't even imagine how scared she must of been ... oh wait - yes I can. I was there, scared right along with her.

.... before Shawn and I went to bed, he heard a loud noise and looked out the window - no, it wasn't a squirrel fight, or even the crash of a bird dying in mid air and hitting Shawn's sunroof - it was a man up to his waist INSIDE MY CAR, his feet were even off the ground! Was this really happening?! Before I knew what was going on, Shawn was out the front door - no shoes or shirt on - just pajama pants, running after the vandal. Thankfully, Shawn keeps himself impressively buff and he scared the man, who jumped in his idling truck and peeled out. With broken glass all over the parking spot, and my GPS missing from the window, it was not a fun scene. We called the police, had to file a report (even ride in the back of a squad car to identify two poor hand-cuffed men that drove a similar car, but were not the vandals.) and in the morning, after only 3 hours of sleep, CSI arrived to take fingerprints. Thankfully, we realized the GPS was still dangling from its cord, and nothing was actually stolen - aside from the suction cup that stuck it to my window - seriously? The suction cup? Good luck with that.

I'm sure this bad boy will rake in $3 on the street.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I never thought growing up in a rural area of North Carolina, surrounded by fields of cotton and cows, that I would ever find virtue in such a simple way of life. Through high school and beyond I was so happy to get out of Fayetteville, and the lesser known region of Gray's Creek where I was raised. With one of the worst crime rates on the eastern seaboard and a 25 minute drive to the nearest shopping outlet, no one ever raised their eyebrows in jealousy over my hometown like they often did for those from Charleston, Savannah, Boston, even Raleigh or Asheville. Yet over the past few years when I return for holidays or to visit my mother, I've found myself smiling as the tall buildings fade and the open landscape spreads open its arm in welcome.

Although I'm certain after years of living closer to larger cities, I could never quite do without them, I've developed an appreciation for the quieter, slower way of life when it's needed. I'm not yet sure where my career as a preservationist will lead me, but I do know that some part of me will always see Carolina as my home. The tall pine trees and azaleas in the front yard of the house I grew up in remain as steady as ever. The bench that sits in their shade continues to endure the seasons and is often a resting place for snow, pine needles, fallen flowers and lazy cats ... and sometimes I nostalgic 20-something.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The dress has been hunted down, found, and captured!

After trying on something close to 80 dresses, I finally chose the one I will be wearing on my wedding day! (It only took me 10 months of searching - glad I had a long engagement!) I found my special dress when I happened to have my mom and aunt with me (who have only come on 2 of about 16 trips to dress stores). I had a dress that I liked and I wanted to show mom, to make it look beautiful and to show her that it was the best choice, so I brought her in and choose 4 other random (and completely different) dresses to make the one I was interested in stand out. While I was jabbering to the sales lady as she helped me get dressed, I looked in the mirror and one of the "randoms" I chose completely shocked me! It was nothing like I had been looking for (maybe why it took me so long) and the total opposite of what I had picked out, but it screamed plantation, and it screamed "Perry!" Although it took me a number of months to get the courage to buy it, I finally took the plunge! I feel so beautiful and I wish I had more than one day to wear it!

I'm so grateful that my last and final decision for the wedding has been made before classes start back for the Spring semester! Although I still have all the little loose ends to tie up in the next few months, I'm going to need as much as time as possible dedicated to my Comprehensive exams and thesis ... I don't know what I'm looking forward to more at this point - the wedding or finishing with grad school!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When I dream of my wedding day...

When I dream of my wedding day, I don't always picture me in a big white dress, meandering down an aisle while all eyes are on me, ooing over the dress (that I FINALLY picked out!). For me, I have a different vision....

I picture my future husband at the end. Smiling back at me with his red hair highlighted by the light from the sunset, a huge smile and sparkling green eyes. I picture the wedding and ceremony as terribly exciting and all too brief.

Finally, I picture waking up next to my best friend and hopping a plane to Ireland. Yes, two of the most exciting (and unexpectedly fun) decisions have been my groom's attire and the honeymoon.

When looking through men's attire, I fell in love with the cutaway jacket, or morning coat. While some people say their dress finds them, this suit found me. It screamed of turn-of-the-century English gentleman. Throw it on the man of my dreams, Mr. Shawn Adams and it's all too perfect. Completely and utterly looking forward to seeing him standing there at the end of the aisle in it with that beautiful teal tie. After the best evening of my life, I simply can't wait to spend a week traveling the Irish countryside as the new Mrs. Adams with my brand new hubby by my side!

... I really need to put down the romance novels. It can't be healthy to have read 4 since classes ended in December.