“Livin’ on Tulsa Time”

What a year it’s been! Exactly one year ago we began to unpack our lives and settled into a new home here in Oklahoma. The year delivered a whirlwind (both literally and figuratively) of events: our first tornado scare, getting published in TulsaPeople Magazine, learning the two-step together, meeting Trisha Yearwood (twice!), starting a new job, singing our hearts out at more country concerts than we could keep track of, becoming OK Women Bloggers’ Blogger of the Month, weekend escapes into the country, and so much more. Here are just a few of my favorite memories from our 1st year as new “Okies.”

Kind people, great food, and breathtaking landscapes are all too common out here. It’s safe to say that this part of the country has done wonders for our soul.

Here’s to the next adventures yet to come. We’re ready for ya, Oklahoma! Meanwhile, click on over to my post “Oklahoma’s like…”  to read of the senses that this beautiful land delivered us as newcomers just one year ago.

Ragnar SoCal – 6 Days To Go

There’s a moment when we realize we’re pushing ourselves way past comfortable and we’ve reached a fearful uncertainty. We all know that feeling when pushing ourselves in a workout, a new job, or simply trying to balance a million responsibilities. It happens from time to time, right about when my adrenaline has whittled away into reality and my nerves begin to spike from thoughts like, “Can I really do this?”

This time next week I’m faced with a physical challenge that I’m about to do for a 2nd time. It usually hits me when my feet and legs start aching, my breathing goes from on-point to playing catch up, I look around at totally new surroundings, and fear tries to take over. That’s when I think to myself:

What am I dooooooooing!?!

And juuuust as I start to over think it, I hear a distant sound of cowbells ringing, the van’s horn honking, and my teammates cheering me on.

Oh yeah! Right. I can do this. I’ve totally go this! Just keep going…

Ragnar.

It’s a team oriented running race unlike any other I’ve attempted before. Ragnar Relays are races with teams made up of 12 runners split up into 2 vans. Each runner will take on 3 legs over the course of 30+ hours. Each team, through a rotation of 36 legs, will run approximately 200 miles. Ragnar Relays are held all over the nation in and around various cities from East to West, North to South. Here’s a perfect (and quick) video explaining what happens:

In October 2013 I ran my 1st Ragnar Relay with my fellow Washington College alumnae (shout out to my GEORGE’S GIRLS!) from Chattanooga, TN to Nashville, TN. It was freezing. We were exhausted and sleep deprived. I lost feeling in my toes. But…we loved every minute of it! Why? Because it pushed us WAY out of our comfort zones; along streets we’d never traveled, air we’d never breathed, and sights we had never seen in our beautiful nation. It forced us to trust in ourselves, our teammates, and to have faith that the journey we signed up for was the journey itself.

Here’s a quick slideshow of my favorite memories the 1st time I did this amazing journey:

For some runners, 15 miles in 30 hours is no biggie. For others…like me…it’s kiiiiiind of a big deal. Because, I’m not just running 3+, then 5+, then 4+ miles per leg…the race packs in little to no sleep. But I’m tellin ya’ll…please believe me when I say: it’s worth it 🙂

I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see these incredible girls again, to decorate our vans, run along side the Pacific Ocean in Southern Cali at all hours of the day and night, laugh uncontrollably, absorb new senses along the coast, take about a million photos, and of course – push myself into a new journey.

Will you follow along and cheer for us!? We would LOVE that! Our team name is “George’s Girls” ’cause good ‘ol George Washington co-founded our beautiful alma mater, Washington College. He’s the man. You can follow us on instagram, twitter, and facebook via #georgesgirls between Thursday – Saturday. We’ll keep you in the loop with how we’re doing! 😉

Thirty One

It’s my 31st birthday today! I’m spending the day with my hubby. He’s my favorite person 🙂 We’re exploring Austin, TX all weekend and are having the time of our lives!

A weekend getaway to a new place often heightens my senses to the world around me. The air, sights, and sounds all stand out a bit stronger because it’s new and different. That got me thinking – I hope I take enough time to appreciate the little things that I adore in life. I used to be better at that.

Throughout high school and college I’d escape for a few minutes (or hours) and add to a list of what I loved. Totally random things…like…how people tilt their head when they eat a taco, or a much needed outburst of laughter after something has gone horribly wrong and that poor moment needs some comedic relief. Before I knew it, my list had exceeded 1,400 things. The sad truth is that I have no idea where that book is now. But the idea of doing that, of writing down the little things that I love about life, well I think today’s a brilliant day to bring it back.

So, in honor of my 31st, here are 31 little random things that I love:

  1. Snuggling with my yellow lab, Stella.
  2. Stovetop popcorn.
  3. The entire experience of walking around an Anthropologie store.
  4. Slowly sipping red wine on a cold night.
  5. The 1st cup of coffee in the morning.
  6. Finishing a long run.
  7. Writing.
  8. Star gazing.
  9. Small town America.
  10. Getting positive results from using little pockets of time wisely.
  11. Country music.
  12. Cowgirl boots.
  13. An unforgettable culinary experience.
  14. Dark chocolate.
  15. Laughter from my favorite people.
  16. The distant smell of a campfire.
  17. Swivel chairs.
  18. HGTV & The Food Network.
  19. Needed hugs.
  20. A new dress.
  21. Baking.
  22. Stained glass windows.
  23. Coffee shops.
  24. Windows open, kinda weather.
  25. Sushi.
  26. Getting asked to take strangers’ group photos.
  27. When a baby smiles or yawns.
  28. Zumba. 
  29. Hearing perfectly beautiful harmony sung a cappella.
  30. People who don’t complain, appreciate life, and embrace each day.
  31. Choosing happiness.

More than any of these, more than anything in the world in fact, I love and adore my family and friends over all. I’m a very lucky lady to have such joy surrounding me all the time. Not quite sure how I got so lucky, but I thank God everyday for y’all.

So…what’s on your list?!

Happy day, friends!

Oklahoma’s like…

I adore Oklahoma. Sean and I had a lovely, but long, road trip out West from where we lived near Washington, D.C. Once we crossed the final state boarder into Oklahoma we were in awe of its beauty and instant serenity. We chose to live in Owasso, and have been here only just a few weeks now.

It already feels like home.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to best describe this unique state of the country…state of our lives…state of mind. It only feels right to describe it from the heart of it all – my senses. I hope this provides a brief perspective of what Oklahoma feels like to a newcomer:

It’s the  feeling…

…of a comfortable breeze brushing your newly Southwestern sunburnt skin every minute of the day.

…of a dry September heat. It’s a heat that packs a “Welcome to Oklahoma” punch to pale newcomers from out East.

…of holding Sean’s hand as we take in this much needed change in our lives.

It’s the sight…

…of white puffy clouds against a baby blue canvas; straight out of the opening of a Simpsons episode.

…of the sun bursting through the clouds while setting over a calm lake, uninterrupted by an endless breeze.

…of nodding heads, open doors, and smiling faces saying “Mornin!” and “Hey there!”

It’s the taste…

…of sweet, smoky, slowly roasted barbecue.

…of locally grown and soulfully seasoned vegetables.

…of a perfectly strengthened mocha latte from my new favorite coffee house.

It’s the sound…

…of patience. Anyone know that sound? It’s standing in line without hearing complaints. It’s listening whole heartedly to a stranger’s story without thinking of where you need to be or how time may be ticking away. It’s accidently spending too much time looking at my GPS after a traffic lighted turns from red to green…and no one beeps at me.

…of roosters crowin’, cows mooin’, and horses snufflin’ early in the mornin’.

…of…(go ahead and giggle)…the wind as it comes sweeping down the plains. Literally. The musical Oklahoma! doesn’t lie.

It’s the scent…

…of torched hickory wood smoking up a pork shoulder all…day…long.

…of grateful growth from the grass after a much needed rain.

…of nearby campfires surrounded by celebrations of a new season and reunited friendships.

 

What a beautiful land to live in. We’re mighty glad we came here.

So that’s what I’ve discovered so far. More updates to come 🙂

Big hugs,

Katherine

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This Old House

I’ve been awfully reminiscent lately of the past 2 years and 8 months in our 1st home together. Showing the house to prospective renters, I find myself wanting to point out every single beautiful quality of the home like a proud mother when asked to describe her child. There’s just so much about this house that I’ve loved. I can’t help but write about it as we prepare to leave.

This house is where Sean proposed. Did I ever tell you that story? We found this beautiful place thanks to our awesome realtor, Jenni Davies (hi Jenni!), back in November 2011. We had been dating for 2 years and Sean was moving back from Salisbury, MD to the D.C. area. He wanted to own his first house (…and our first home…) so I came along for the house hunt, knowing that it was “our” decision even though we didn’t plan to live together until we were engaged. When we found it we were thrilled. Sean’s offer was accepted and I took a half day off from work to go cheer him on at the Remax office in Olney, MD as he signed on his first house! So that day…on Wednesday, November 29th…after getting the keys to the house we decided to go see it again. We wandered into each vacant room and discussed where to put his furniture. It was getting late, and I reminded him that I was treating him to dinner to celebrate. As we got ready to leave he ran upstairs to “turn off the lights.” A minute later he was still up there…and I hear him scream “WOOAH! Katherine you’ve gotta see this! Come up here!” I ran upstairs and turned right into what’s now our bedroom.

There he was – my handsome boyfriend.

On one knee.

Grinning from ear to ear with love and hope in his eyes.

Hands out, holding a perfectly beautiful solitaire round cut diamond, preciously waiting in it’s little box for me…

…for ME!

Y’all…I lost it.

This is where most girls would smile, gasp, and have a sweet little single tear streaming down their face while waiting for her Prince Charming to ask the question of a lifetime. But me? Oh I screamed! Knees dropped to the floor. I think I somehow crawled over to him. Bawling. Said “YES!” two or three times before he even said anything. And it even took a minute for me to calm my heart rate down.

TOTAL MESS. Total surprise. It was perfect.

I finally let him talk 🙂

What he said brought tears to my eyes all over again. Though I said “YES!” already, he also got a chance to “ask” anyway.

“………..say it again.” I said with a huge smile.

I just loved hearing him say “Katherine Wilson, will you marry me?”

And of course, for the 5th time, I said yes.

Laughter and smooches later we just sat there on the floor of this old house and took a moment to look around at our home, and realized that this was the beginning of us. This was where “growing old together” would begin. We called our families (which brought on even more tears of joy!) while sitting on those wooden floors, talking and laughing as our excited voices echoed throughout the empty rooms and hallways.

And that, my friends, is one of the many reasons that this house is so special to us.

It’s where I celebrated my 30th birthday. It’s where our friends and family from out of town came to see the nation’s capital (and us!). It’s where, and why, “Newlie” was started! It’s where my culinary experiments grew into a love of cooking. It’s where Stella and Sean play fetch every morning before he goes to work.

It’s a beautiful place, and I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world having lived in this home. Sean reminded me last night that it’s not the house, it’s us that has made our time together so special. While I know that deep down it was helpful to hear that; to break the bond with a house that needs to provide shelter and memories to another couple now. So, as we box up our lives and prepare to leave for Oklahoma in 9 days, we bring with us the memories of this old house and are eager to see what adventures are in store for our next chapter in “the sooner state.”

Thanks for the read, dear friends. I’ll leave you with a little collage of some fun photos from the past couple years taken in “this old house” below.

Katherine

Packin’ & Plannin’

Sean & I have a seemingly endless list of “to do’s” lately: packing, cleaning, errands….followed by more packing, cleaning, and errands. It started off with the typical stress of attempting to organize and de-clutter a home that’s accumulated years of dusty papers, old clothes that we haven’t worn in years, etc. Thankfully, the stress is dwindling as I’ve started to see more clearly again; that it’s all for the best. It really is.

Apart from the fact that we’re continuing our little lives in a brand new, beautiful, part of our great country, I’m realizing what a happy time moving can be when I choose to see it from its best angle. This past week has evoked a million positive memories from our past; the video I put together from my cross-country bike trip in 2007, Sean’s baseball cards and family photos, letters from my Grandmama over the years, medals from high school and college crew races, and so much more. How lucky we are to have a life like this! It’s so easy to remember what we need to do, what we’re doing wrong, and what we should do better. But what I’ve loved about this time of packing is (apart from throwing non-keepsakes into donate and trash piles…’cause that’s a pretty sweet feeling on its own) has been revisiting these memories and organizing them so that we can reach them again when we need it most.

But then, there’s also the part of packing that gets all-consuming and exhausting. Like, when our house is filled with cardboard boxes, paint, spackle, tools, dust, packing tape, 863 pens, 72 un-accompanied socks, enough change to buy our groceries for the next month…oh, I could just go on and on! I’ve learned via this “newlie” (yay!) found happiness in packing that it’s best to give myself time to do something fun each day to break it all up. Tonight, it’s dinner in Annapolis with my girls. This morning, it was playing frisbee with Stella on our front lawn, talking to my mama and sister on the phone, annnnnd planning our road trip in about 6 weeks!!!

This is where YOU come in. I need your advice! I found the awesome site, Roadtrippers, which helps you plan your upcoming road trip. Check out the map I’ve pasted below to show you our planned stops.. You can click on it to make it larger. We’re hoping to do this in 3 or 4 days:

  1. Day 1: Silver Spring, MD to Newburg, MD – first stop to see Sean’s parents
  2. Day 2: Newburg, MD to Black Mountain, NC – next stop to see my parents
  3. Day 3: Black Mountain, NC to Nashville, TN – onward and westward! Hoping to get dinner in downtown Nashville, and for us to see a show at the Grand Ol’ Opry. I’ve been to Nashville & Opry once before and LOVED it. Can’t wait to re-visit w/ Sean! Any dinner suggestions in Nashville?!
  4. Day 4: Nashville, TN to Memphis, TN to Little Rock, AR to Tulsa, OK! – thinking we could do this all in a day (see the hours in between each destination below on the left). Any lunch or sightseeing suggestions for Memphis? What about sightseeing suggestions for a quick hour/so in Little Rock?

Road Trip to Tulsa!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions, friends!!! I can’t wait for this little adventure, followed by the big adventure of living in Oklahoma!

I’ll get back to packing now.

Big hugs, and happy Saturday.

We’re moving to…

This post packs some news with a lil’ punch. Are y’all ready for this?

We’re moving!

Last month Sean came home with some news of an opportunity to relocate within the company he works for. This news prompted a solid 30 seconds of silence from me to contemplate what he just said (that’s a long time for me to not talk…trust me). So we turned off the T.V., poured a couple drinks, ignored any chores (hah…twist MY arm!), and really took time to let this opportunity sink in.

We didn’t have to say yes. It was just a really great opportunity for his career…and a location that we never considered, but knew we’d love. We were totally in! Pretty excited about it actually…but were we crazy?!

Many couples our age who live in such an exciting area like D.C. would be like “Hhhhaaaaaaaayyl no!” to this type of move. But for a while now we’ve been dreaming of open land, a significant decrease in traffic, and more simply – just someplace new and different in our beautiful country. We also realized that this is falling into our lives at a time where we don’t have kids, we’re still young (30’s better still count as young), and we don’t know when an opportunity like this will come our way again.

So you’re probably like…”KATHERINE…omg seriously, just tell us where you’re moving!!!”

Hehe…okay.

Watch the first 30 seconds of the video below to get the grand announcement:

Surprise!!! Now I’d like to poll your reaction:

 

So that’s our big news.

As of this August, so less than 3 months, we’ll be all packed up and headed across the country to Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is huge for us!!! Here’s the very little that I knew about Oklahoma when I said “…sure!” last month:

  • Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, lives there! Think we could become BFF’s? We’ll see.
  • Tornadoes. Tornadoes. Tornadoes. Are you following me on Instagram yet? I have a feeling that my posts of the weather are about to get MUCH more exciting.
  • Cowgirl boots! I own one pair. I’m totally in love with them and feel severely out of place when I wear them around here in MD sometimes. Not for long!

That’s about all I knew at first. But now, day by day I’m learning a ton about “the Sooner state” and plan to post more as the countdown to this exciting adventure draws near.

It was an easy decision in some ways, but really difficult in others. Our family and friends mean the WORLD to us, and 90% of them are all here along the east coast, accessible within a day’s drive. Luckily as we’ve started to share this news, everyone has been incredibly supportive and can’t wait to visit! This support has given us the affirmation that we’ve needed. It also means that my time working as the D.C.-area Regional Admissions Counselor for The Culinary Institute of America will come to a close this year as my position is territory based. I have loved working for such an incredible school and will always be an enthusiastic little cheerleader for the world’s best culinary college. That said – the hunt is on to find my next professional venue. More news on that front one day!

In the meantime – I’ll take ANY moving advice I can get. I feel like 3 months is a good amount of time to pack, search for a rental in OK, prepare to be a landlord for our home here in MD, find a great new job for myself, and while we’re at it…plan one heck of an amazing cross country road trip in August! Any advice? Words of wisdom?! Throw ’em at me and comment below!

Thanks for hearing our big news, friends. 🙂

 

Dear Tennessee

Dear Tennessee,

You have some of the most kind hearted people I’ve ever met. You set a weary, tightly wound traveler from D.C. at ease even despite her calendar’s limited time for relaxing. Thank you for not letting me witness one single moment of road rage from your drivers (D.C. – you could learn a thing or two from Tennessee!).

Thank you for allowing my fellow Washington College alumnae and I to run up and down your rolling hills, to take in the most glorious star-lit night run we’ve ever witnessed, and to cheer our hearts out while aggressively ringing our cowbells for each teammate running. Thank you to those Ragnar Relay volunteers who stood outside all hours of the night in freezing temperatures, shining a light of hope at the end of our long and exhausting legs. Thank you to those two middle/elementary schools that let our runners sleep on their gymnasium floors and use real bathrooms.

Thank you for your aspiring chefs who are crazy excited about our sensational food industry, with wide eyes and ears for my dear CIA.

And let’s not forget country music. Thank you for live music everywhere I went. Thank you for your head-over-heels love of America through each country song I hear. Including this airport terminal…with live music….I love it!

My soul is restored thanks to this amazing week! I hope to see you again soon, Tennessee.

Big hugs,

Katherine

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Culinary Heaven: Thomas Keller Day

name tagThis week was straight up incredible. No other way to say it. I’ve just completed the first week of training for my new job with The Culinary Institute of America as their new “Capital Area Regional Admissions Counselor.” I’ll be fortunate enough to work from my home office where I live in Maryland/the greater D.C. area.

I’m currently halfway through my full immersion into learning who and what this great school is all about; what the food tastes like (tough life, I know), how and why the students’ schedules are arranged, what the classes look and feel like, how their rolling admissions process works, how to maneuver a new database, how to connect with many crucial offices (financial aid, marketing, etc.) that will help with each new student’s transition, and so much more. I’m very grateful for this time in order to better relay this perspective of campus to our future students and chefs.

As a result of my training, this week was packed with out-of-this-world cuisine on campus, daily tastings, demonstrations, observations, and many meetings. The staff, students, and remarkable Chef Instructors are all incredibly welcoming and friendly. I instantly felt at home. Even more so than I had anticipated. I can’t even begin to explain how lovely that feels, knowing that this was a pretty life changing decision to leave GMU for “the CIA.” It’s just so great to feel “home” already.

So, what was first?! Below is the first of the many highlights of what happened during my first week:

“Thomas Keller Day”

Like…as in THE Thomas Keller – voted the best and most influential Chef in America – world-renowned author and restaurateur – owner of Per Se (New York, NY) and The French Laundry (Napa Valley, CA) – just to name a few of his 47394032 accomplishments. So, what about him? He was there, at the CIA, on my first day. What a way to dive right into the world of all-things-culinary with a visit from Thomas Keller himself! The CIA rolled out the red carpet with an extraordinary day to celebrate his influence in the industry. Students were preciously sitting on the edge of their seats in their perfectly pressed chef whites while listening and taking notes from just about every word he had to say.

The afternoon portion of his visit was my personal favorite. Everyone on campus was told that he was going to perform a cooking demo. Pretty cool, right? So I walked in with two of my new co-workers (special shout out to Bob and Nicole!) and we were invited to sit in the front row…um, haha…YES that’s just fine with me! So there we were, waiting for the “cooking demo” to start. We were handed a Playbill, which then prompted a few perplexed faces. As the lights dimmed, Thomas Keller and his team from The French Laundry came on to stage, one by one…but something was different…this was no ordinary demo…they were suddenly re-enacting a classic night in their kitchen. This play-like format was an amazing surprise to the entire audience. I had chills! We literally had a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes in what has been noted as one of the BEST restaurants in the WORLD. Every few minutes the chefs (or “actors” in this case) would freeze as the lights dimmed, and a solo light then dramatically shined on select speakers who work with Chef Keller’s inspiration and production: the gardener in Napa Valley, the fisherman in Maine, the farmers all over the country, the bakers who produce some of the world’s finest chocolates and hearth-baked breads, and many others. It was so humbling to hear from each of their perspectives; what it takes to whole heartedly nurture the food that we prepare, appreciate (hopefully), and consume each day. I was nearly tearing up at times hearing the love and adoration for their career and collaboration that this great industry boasts. “Get it together, Katherine!” I thought to myself, “It’s your first day!”

If you’re as excited about this production as I was, then I suggest you read more about it here: http://www.ciachef.edu/thomas-keller-day-release/. Also, here’s a slide show of photos that the CIA took as well (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield) – look for me in one of those photos…I’m in there! Front row, side section:

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There’s a million other things that I want to write about from my inspiring first week, but I’ve realized that it’s worthy of other posts. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, happy Saturday 🙂

Key West: Part II

So, ya like how I left you all on the edge of your seats for six months, wondering when “Key West: Part II” was finally gonna be posted? Some of you may have even wondered if I was still alive. No posts for half a year? Who is this girl?! So sorry about that delay. My excuses? Travel/event season for work, holidays, and … there was something else … shoot what was it? Oh right … I got MARRIED!!! Waaahoooo! Happiest I’ve ever been in my life! I’ll be writing about all of my marriage happiness, the wedding, the days proceeding the big day, our honeymoon in Hawaii, etc. within the next week or two.

For now, it’s time to wrap up my Key West chapter last summer. If you’re forgetting where I left off, just take a little look at “Key West: Part I” to bring you up to speed.

FRIDAY

bike ride

This was, without question, my favorite day in Key West. The fact that it was a Friday had nothing to do with the day’s bliss because, in Key West, everyday is Friday at 5:00. One word that made the day so special for the five of us: bicycles. We each rented a bike for the day thanks to our hotel. It was so refreshing to self propel our day from one beautiful neighborhood in Key West, to the next. At our own pace, and on our own time, we fell even more in love with this place. Here’s a quick video I attempted to document as we began the morning:

I know that video is nothin’ special, just a few girls cycling through town, but believe me – it was total meditation for us. Starting that day off with a simple cycle through town while the rest of the world was at work (and far far away) meant so much to us.

butterfly

Our first destination started with breakfast at “La Te Da” which was so scrumptious! Really nice place to grab breakfast/brunch and it’s in an adorable part of town.

After breakfast we cycled over to a butterfly conservatory close by. BEST IDEA EVER!!! Which one of you girls thought of that one? I honestly can’t remember who brought it up, but that was so amazing! The photo to the right is pretty much the only photo out of, ohhhhh I don’t know like 743,048,309,483,908 photos that I took where a butterfly stayed still for me. Those little butterfly spirits are just too free for my iPhone to catch up with. If you decide to give it a try, I think it was only about $10 or less, and it’s at The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. It was magical. Plus, it was a perfect escape from the sporadic rain fall that Key West so commonly gets in the summer.

Next? We moseyed down the street a little further to find the “Southern-most Point” rumored to be a must-see. Well, yea…we found it…along with a lovely long line of tourists waiting to take their photo infront of it. Pppshhhh…we’re not those kinds of tourists! Instead we re-routed off to a side street where a vendor was selling freshly drilled coconuts with a straw. Yes please! It was a true taste of paradise. I plopped that into my bicycle basket and we were off again.

Hannah recommended that we check out the nearby state park – sweet! This was such a great ride as we wove in an out of residential roads on our way to “Fort Zachary Taylor State Park Beach.” We parked our bikes by the beach and jumped in the ocean before cycling around the park a bit more. As we left the park and made our way back into town, we realized there was one thing that we hadn’t tried yet. This was the hot topic of the trip after Kaitlin mentioned it…something that we HAD to experience: Key Lime Pie on a stick. Are you ready for this?! It’s exactly what it sounds like – key lime pie, frozen on a stick. SO GOOD!!! The key lime pie is frozen with a gram cracker crust, then the whole thing is stuck onto a stick and covered in chocolate. Seriously…..so…. incredibly….delicious.

Key Lime Pie on a stick photo (8)

We eventually made our way “home” to the Sheraton. After we all enjoyed a little resting by the beach, then resting in the AC w/ a little trashy TV and a side of goldfish crackers, and of course followed by Pinteresting, Instagraming, Facebooking, and deciding what we wanted to do that night – we were ready to take on Key West again.

This time we kicked off the night a little further from the touristy “Duval Street” and decided to enjoy a more local bar called “The Green Parrot.” LOVED THIS PLACE!!! Totally an easy going local bar with a ton of spirit and love for Key West all packed in there. The rest of that night was pretty classic – we’ll never forget the hilarious series of events that unfolded. Too many to even remember. My personal favorite memory was when we started the Cupid Shuffle (one of my favorite dances) in a side alley, and then proceeded to invite the rest of Key West to join us. Before we knew it – this impromptu dance party was being video taped, cheered for, and uploaded to YouTube in minutes. We were on fire. Cupid Shuffle – we made you proud!

SATURDAY

Lobster Taco - so delicious, not so nutritious ;)
Lobster Taco!

Saturday was our last full day in Key West, but there was something going on down on Duval Street that brightened up our spirits. What could it be? LOBSTERFEST!!!!!!!! How lucky we were to be in Key West only for a few days…which just so happend to hit their annual week of “everything-lobster.” Oh my gosh. Grilled lobster on a stick, lobster salads, lobster sandwiches, lobster tacos! So delicious, and a perfect send off.

After enjoying some more coconuts freshly cut for us by a nice man with a machete, we went back to enjoy a little more beach time and then to get ready for our dinner happy hour cruise!

Womp womp…the dinner cruise was unfortunately canceled due to the storm coming in. Luckily they gave us a full refund and let us still hop onboard for a little photo:

boat photo

The good news? We ended up having SO MUCH FUN on our final night out, despite the cruise cancelation. We grabbed some drinks around the corner before dinner time and watched the storm come and go. One drink after another, more and more “life chats” were accomplished (love catching up on life with these girls), our laughter grew louder and happier by the minute, Chop and Hannah were suddenly corn hole champions thanks to a game the bar was hosting, and we were the happiest ladies on earth. A lesson I’ve learned over the years though – drinks can be great, but drinks without food…watch yourself! With our new friends Bob and Cameron in tow, we went right into finding a perfect spot for dinner at this awesome restaurant/karaoke combination. See for yourself as the next two hours unfolded:

margs & karaoke

Looks like I’m about to spill my drink, doesn’t it? Well I did. Totally did. Margarita on the lap. Can’t take me anywhere!

cheering

singing

sun morning beach

SUNDAY

Saying goodbye to this place was tough. It’s pure paradise here, and I can’t wait to go back. This trip will go down in the books as one of my favorite vacations of all time. Kaitlin, Kendall, Chop, and Hannah – I’m so lucky to have friends like you in my life, and I can’t wait to keep these adventures going strong, even into our 90’s. Oh yes…maybe into our 100’s…oh it’s happening.

This last photo was our final beach time before hoping on the plane and heading back to Maryland. I came home to Sean with no voice, a nice little tan, about 490348230 photos, amazing memories, strengthened and renewed friendships, and a “newlie” peaceful soul.

Thank you, Key West. I can’t wait to go back!!!!!

So, like I said in “Part I”…have you booked your flight to Key West yet?!

Happy vacationing.

Key West: Part I

Have you ever been to Key West? If you have, then you already know that it’s nothing short of sensational. That’s the best word I can find to summarize the unbelievably refreshing and recharging vacation that my friends and I experienced last week.

As much as I love and adore my job, it’s been an insanely busy summer, and year. I really needed a break. And to speak for Kaitlin, Kendall, Christine (but we call her “Chop”), and Hannah…they needed it just as much. There’s something I can’t leave unsaid about our little group of 5 before I get into the glorious details of this trip: we aggressively love life. No other way to say it. We dance like crazy when any good song comes on. We “cheers” with our coffee, our mojitos, even our chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick. We chat it up with nice strangers to celebrate how diversely beautiful each “newlie” discovered place is. We take 483279432 pictures to remember how much we fell in love with every moment of our trip. We’re even still talking about how delicious the little airline cookies “Biscoff” were, and are contemplating having a “Biscoff” tea party down the road. Long story short – life is SO worth celebrating: and these girls are my beautiful friends who “get it.” So, now for the highlights. I’m splitting this trip into two posts: Key West: Part I includes the first two days. Part II is the last 3. Are yoouuuu readyyyy?!

WEDNESDAY

We flew into Key West with the biggest smile on our faces…even before getting off the plane:

We completely fell in love with our hotel room/suite at the Sheraton. STAY THERE if you’re ever wondering where to stay. It’s right across from the beach, and only about 2 miles from the main strip of town. The hotel has a free shuttle running every hour to & from Duval Street. We kicked off the first few hours with delicious fish tachos and drinks at Schooner Warf. Then we wandered around Duval Street and fell in love with every classic and brightly colored shop, restaurant and bar that we passed by.

Hopped the shuttle back home to enjoy some pool side relaxation at the hotel. Then we got ready for our first night out. Getting ready with your girls is…well it’s just part of being a girl. Hair dryer in the back ground, someone’s needing exactly 3 bobby pins, someone’s making coffee to get energized for the night, someone’s trying on 4 different outfits before going back to the 1st, someone’s putting on make up, someone’s checking Facebook, someone’s uploading Instagram photos, and we’re all feeling the excitement of Key West that night. And then, in all of our glory of bright Key West colors…we’re ready. We head back into town and kick off the night with Cuban food (El Meson de Pepe) at a lovely little outside table, seated next to some glorious live music. Within minutes, the alley is crowded with passersby as they can’t help but dance along. We’re in love with Key West already. THEN my mojito and our shared plates of melt-in-your-mouth food came: 

The rest of the night was spent dancing around town…but sadly also being turned down from bars because I had accidentally lost my drivers license at the BWI Security Check Point. WAY TO GO KATH! True story of a traveler’s problem in effect. Thank goodness it was turned in that day. I adore BWI airport for their lovely call to me the next day, telling me it was found. Bad news? We couldn’t get into a single place without my ID. Now, I’m twenty eight years old…well over the limit, but I’ve gotta give props to Key West for being so strict. Luckily a photo copy of my passport got me through the week. Thank you to Caroline Davis for sending me a copy from home!!! She saved our vacation 🙂

THURSDAY

Today was easy, breezy, beautiful. BEACH TIME – Hand stand attempts. Reading (shout out to Beth Kephart Books!!! If you’re looking for a GREAT read, then buy Small Damages). Real fruit smoothies from side street stands. Attempting the stand up paddleboard experience for the first time (LOVED IT!). Watching a gorgeously non-threatening storm come in from miles away. Laying in the sun with a little music in my ears and feeling perfectly content with my life. All of that was our morning:

And the beat kept on as we rolled back over to Duval Street for some lunch. One word: AMIGOS. SOOO GOOD! I ordered the “Skinny burrito” which is essentially just everything but the tortilla, and we also got …not just coke-a-cola…but “Mexicoke” which excludes high fructose corn syrup. Much better for you…and SOOOOO delicious!

Later that evening we got all glamorous for our second night out. Mallory Square was apparently a hot spot for watching the sun go down. It’s a Key West MUST to visit Mallory Square at sunset. As we strolled along the square we saw tons of street performers, side street vendors, and hundreds of happy visitors mulling about. One older man had his microphone all set up with space for background singers behind him. On his mic he gave our little group a shout out, and invited us to sing with him….uhhh YEAAAH!!!! Why the heck not?! Back up singers indeed. We were suddenly rockstar sensations. People were gathering around us, iPhone videos on record, cameras out, and cheering in order. We echoed him as he led us in “Day light come and me wann’go home.”

Poor Kendall was blocked by him in that photo, but all in all, it was a perfect moment that life treated us to. Special thanks to that random, lovely women who took photos of us with my camera. I practically threw it at her as we ran up to sing with him and she knew exactly what to do. I just love people!!! Moving on to the greatest street performer of all time. This dude performed the classics: high standing uni-cycle, juggling knives, then juggling knives with fire, making jokes (but his were actually good!), and keeping the audience on edge the whole time:

Later into the night we went to one of our favorite bars, Sloppy Joe’s, for dancing and drinks…while dancing…and did I mention we love to dance? Live music fills the soul of Key West, and that Thursday night was no exception:

Part II coming soon…stay tuned my friends! Have you booked your flight to Key West yet?!?!

Thank you’s & Love you’s

I’m not quite sure how to start this one.
How do you explain a weekend like that, filled with that much love and celebration?
I’m gonna give it a try…

Friday, July 27th 2012

Evening

My glowing, British as ever, soon-to-be-retired father has turned 66. If you haven’t gotten to know the Doctor Reverend Victor Munn Wilson, you should. Yes, I’m his daughter and a little biased, but good gracious he’s an amazing human being. He truly was born for his role as a dedicated and heartfelt Pastor, for his role as the best father that my sister and I could’ve ever asked for, for his role as a loving husband to my beautiful southern belle of a momma, and for his role as a very good friend to all others who have touched his heart and made him roar with laughter over the years. Sean and I raced up to Pennsylvania to join Mom and Carolyn (my sister who had flown in from SC that afternoon) to celebrate his birthday on the night of London’s Olympic opening ceremony. What a night for him. Sean and I bought him a new book about natural navigation (the stars, wind, moon, animal tracks) and how nature can guide your way. Pretty interesting stuff, and something that fits with his upcoming retirement quite well. We also bought him one of those book clips that lights up the page. He’ll spend hours reading, learning, and soaking up every last bit of knowledge from books…now he has something to keep the light on for him! And last but not least…cigars. Happy retirement, Dad.

Saturday, July 28th 2012

Morning

7:30 a.m. I awoke with WAY too much joy in my heart to fall back asleep. “Get up, Katherine,” I told myself. So I tip-toed along the creaky hardwood floor as the rest of the house kept sleeping. Both carefully and thoughtfully I crept down the stairs, knowing that this would be my last full day in my childhood home. Mom & Dad will be moving to their new, beautiful home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in only a few days. In the kitchen I turn to the coffee pot, and it’s FULL! Carolyn’s been here! She sneaks around from the dining room into the kitchen and we hug, giggle, and jump right into discussing the craziness of this home of ours no longer being “ours” anymore. The next hour, I got to FINALLY catch up, face to face with my sister. I miss her. She and I are so similar, and it’s very hard to live so far away from her, her beautiful children and her wonderful husband. We catch up over coffee, face to face, for the first time in a long time. Then….we decided to take a walk. The walk lead us all throughout the towns of Devon and Berwyn, and I’m pretty sure that we woke up all of its residents with our unstoppable laughter. Discussing anything from my upcoming wedding, to her precious children, and somehow even over to what our ideal karaoke song would be if given the opportunity to proudly belt it out in public. We decided to take our walk on a breathtaking detour through Jenkins Arboretum before heading back home. If you haven’t been…please go. It’s such an uplifting place.

 Afternoon

My Pennsylvania Bridal Shower. “So THIS is what it feels like to be a bride!” I thought to myself. What a feeling. Momma, Carolyn, Cynthia, all of my lovely ladies of St. John’s Church who were there, my very dear friends who live in Pennsylvania, and my sweet ladies of Maryland’s Eastern Shore who drove up for this…I can’t thank you enough for that special afternoon. Between all of the love, the hugs, the sweet words of best wishes and wisdom, the laughter, and the BEAUTIFUL gifts…I was a hot mess!!! I really did try to keep my tears of love and thankfulness back, but it wasn’t possible. The tears started to attempt a breakout right around the time that Cynthia, a dear friend of our family and the sensational lady who hosted this shower, offered a prayer before the luncheon. My friends who have known me for years, my family, my Pediatritian growing up, my Confirmation Class mentor, my Sunday School teachers, and many more of my inspirations had taken over the entire living room, holding hands in prayer. “Amen” was said softly in unison between all of these dear ladies, only to look up at my teary eyes. It was gonna be that kind of day. So much love and appreciation that I can’t keep it in!

My next moment was brought on by my Momma. I can’t imagine life without a Mother like her. She has taught me that “happiness is a choice,” that joyfulness doesn’t need to be kept in a socially appropriate cage (if you’re joyful, girrrrlll you let it SHINE!), how to be a lady, how to be sassy but classy, and of course…how to be proud of the woman that I am. Something happend to me when I opened up her present, my very first FULL set of our very own china pattern…but I just broke down. It was the most beautiful mother to daughter gift, and it seemed to symbolize so much between us. I love you, Momma!

Many moments of explosive laughter, tears of joy, and numerous hugs later, Sean came in and stole the hearts of all ages in there. Luckily, he already has mine 🙂

Evening

After coming home to rest, sorting through piles and piles of our Grandmother’s linens, and Momma’s keep sakes, we all gathered for “the last supper” at the table. Dad to my left, Sean to my right. Momma by the window’s side of the head of the table, and Carolyn across from me. I’ll miss those meals in that room, but the beautiful thing about family is that there will be many more meals…the room is simply its venue. I’ll be just fine.

Around 8 o’clock we met up with friends in the PA area for drinks at Berwyn Tavern. It was such a refreshing night between a beautifully random assortment of my favorite people. Love you guys.

Sunday, July 30th 2012 

How do you get ready for your father’s final sermon, and a final service with the church that watched you grow up since you were 7 years old? It was weird that morning, getting ready for the last time. Everything appeared the same. Mom’s precious arrangement of breakfast for us was messed up as we ran through in the kitchen like mayhem that morning. The iron was hot and ready to go, typically only used by mom since she can iron even the most difficult pattern without a single wrinkle. Someone’s in the shower, someone else has the hair drier going, someone smells toast burning, and someone else is searching for their car keys. I guess that usual Sunday morning mayhem (at least when Carolyn and I were living there) made the sad morning feel a bit more comforted.

Between walking into church, the hugs from members passing out bulletins, and the jam-packed pews on that summer’s morning … it got to Carolyn first. I saw it in her eyes, it was going to be a tearful goodbye that morning. We sat in the front row (not usual for us, but it was kind of fitting for that final service). I was SO proud and grateful to have my handsome Sean holding my hand that morning. He’s such a rock for me. He truly loves that church too, and it meant so much to my family and the congregation that he was there. Dad’s sermon was … perfect. I don’t know how else to describe it. But you wanna know who describes it perfectly? Award winning author, and dear friend to our family, Beth Kephart, in her beautiful post: A final Sunday with the Wilsons. Read it. And please, read everything she has ever written if you haven’t already. She’s sensational. I will say one thing about Dad’s sermon though…and Beth says this too in her post…he took a careful pause at the right moment of his final farewell, looked down at mom, his “Janie-belle,” and said:

Jane, will you grow old with me?

“Love you’s, and “thank you’s” to all of you who were up there this past weekend. Wherever you are with your life (retirement, grad school, new jobs, uncertain but exciting new paths, etc.), thank you for being apart of mine.

Goodbye, 515 Forest Hills…thanks for being my home for over 20 years

Happy living, loving, and laughing!

 

A Classical Commute

Well hello there! How are you this fine evening? How was your commute home for those of you that have one? Mine was…lovely…actually. I usually don’t say that, but tonight is a new night.

My evening commute has recently gotten more and more tough on me. The morning drive from Silver Spring, Maryland down around the beltway, West on route 66 and up along Chain Bridge Rd into Fairfax, Virginia in the morning – perfectly fine. A little traffic getting started, but for the most part, I’m used to the 45 minute drive. Door to door it takes up about 1 full hour as I MUST (and this is a genuine ‘must’) stop for my usual morning coffee. Let’s please just pause for a moment for me to say: “I love you, George Mason University’s on-campus Starbucks, I reeeeally love you!” It’s the drive home that gets to me. I know I’m not the only one in D.C. feeling my pain here: I leave the office around 5:05…5:15…around that time, then I begin my reverse route only to find that my darling roads haven’t lost their popularity. Everyone has joined in the classic D.C. rush hour shuffle. For a while, I just tried to not let the full hour and a half (sometimes 2 hours) get to me. That didn’t last as long as I would’ve liked. It’s just frustrating sometimes, knowing that I have to sit through this every day, Monday through Friday. I just want to be HOME!

So, what’s different?

Shortly after Sean and I got engaged (wwweeeee!!! The excitement to say that will never ever dwindle), my Dad sent me a gift: “A Bride’s Guide To Wedding Music” as he’s a Presbyterian Minister, and has run more than the fair share of weddings in his life time. He LOVES classical music, and knows a thing or two about the classics when it comes to wedding music. I’ve listened to these CD’s before, but never in the car. For some reason, this morning as I settled into my car to leave for work, I decided to run back in to the house to retrieve this block of three CD’s. Good call, Katherine….good call.

On my way home I popped these bad boys into my CD player, one after the other, and suddenly fell into a feeling of complete and total peace. Pure happiness. As one woman (straight from heaven, I assume), sang Ave Maria with every ounce of love in her voice I noticed that no worries were in my mind. No “what did I forget to do’s” would float through my head…only her song. Numerous songs, an hour and a half, and a much more peaceful Katherine later – I was home. My precious, smiling fiance greeted me with open arms and I was home….and happy. I plan to listen to this much more often.

Thank you, beautiful music. My commute is now a classical one 🙂

As for the rest of the evening? It gets better! The “newlie” happy post-commute girl that I am decided to cook myself and Sean a delicious dinner. Wanna seeeeee?

SOOOOO YUMMY!!! And HEALTHY! I cooked Tilapia over the stove with fresh lemon juice, a little olive oil, garlic, salt, and capers. For sides I cooked brown rice and steamed broccoli. LOVED it! I recommend that meal for summer-like nights like these, where you’re in the mood to cook, in the mood to be happy, and in the mood to stay classy.

You stay classy, Newlie readers 😉

 

Coming home.

“Home.”

I think it’s safe to say that once each of us went away to college, our lives graciously began to adopt numerous meanings of this word. Sometimes I simply just love to say it: “hoooome.” I bet you probably love to say it. Oh heck, even E.T. loved to say it! There’s just something within that word that attaches our heart to a person, place or thing where we can reunite with who we are, where we came from, and then maybe even evaluate where it is we’re going…maybe…but for the most part it’s just good to be home.

I love coming home to Sean, Stella, and our beautiful new house every day. I love coming home to Chestertown, Maryland where I can catch up with good friends, and reminisce over my blissful years at Washington College. I love my weekly chats over the phone with my sensational sister who lives in South Carolina, and how even AT&T can provide a momentary home for us as we update on life that week. I love growing closer with Sean’s family each year, and calling both their family and house another true home for me as well. I love catching up with good friends over drinks and dinner – when our laughter, reassuring smiles, and life updates transform the restaurant into our own little home for a few hours. And of course…my parents: Victor and Jane Wilson. Have you met Vic and Jane? Why they each don’t make ABC News’ Person of the Week on a continuous basis is beyond me. They’re truly sensational people and I’m lucky enough to call them home as well. This past weekend, Sean & I went home to see them. A few things to know about coming home to see The Wilsons: expect a call (or two…and maybe a precious email as well) telling you how excited they are to see you soon. Then there’s the entrance into their driveway – you have to honk the horn with happiness multiple times so that the two of them know you’ve arrived. They then lovingly run outside, arms wide open, Momma signing “weeee!!” with joy, Dad is just beaming with happiness, and both are ready to bring you in for “supper.” You walk in the door (which is always covered with a “WELCOME HOME ___(insert your name)___!!!” sign, by the way) and you then soak up the aroma of both a clean home, and the delicious supper that Momma has waiting for you. And then the weekend just gets better and better! Here’s what we did:

Dad, Sean and I all explored Philadelphia on Saturday (St. Patty’s Day). It was such a beautiful day outside, and especially beautiful to have time to catch up with Dad. Wandering the energetic streets of Philadelphia was very refreshing. Here are a few of my favorite photos that Sean (Sean Mason Photography!!!) took:

Hilarious man outside of Reading Terminal Market who called me “Kat,” and proceeded to sing a blues song on the spot for me. I loved it!
Matching father and son on St. Patty’s Day.
Bicycle tricks outside of Boathouse Row
Phenomenal indoor market with any kind of freshly prepared food you can possibly crave!

Going along with the notion of coming “home,” we decided to take a cab over to Boathouse Row, where my love for rowing, running, and teamwork was born. In high school, I rowed 6 days a week for the Conestoga High School’s Varsity Crew team. Both this team and sport did more for my character those years in high school than I’ll ever be able to truly articulate. We were able to stroll through “Bachelors Boathouse” where it all started for me. Running up to the erg room – I challenged Sean to an ergometer race:

“Oh it’s ON Mason!”
Can we say “competitive?” I guess I got excited. Sean’s definitely in shock…and laughing.
We were always called twins in high school. So good to see my twin!

 

Well, THAT was exhausting. It reminded me why I never liked to erg…only to row.

Moving on! We later headed home and relaxed with a little March Madness T.V., followed by a DELICIOUS meal made by Momma: pork chop casserole, stuffed potatoes, green beans, and biscuits. It’s a good think I attempted a work out earlier that day – because this was a  true form of deliciousness to be tackled. It was out of this world! Later, Sean and I grabbed a few drinks with one of my good friends from high school, Sarah Baker, who currently lives and works close by to my parents. As we both said later – we really needed that!

Catching up with a good friend who you rarely get to see is a very rewarding sense of “home” that we all need every now and then. It’s a beautiful reminder that despite life moving and changing at a rapid rate, the special people in your life will always still be there even when their lives are changing just as much.

That same realization came after we attended church this morning. St. John’s Presbyterian Church has watched my sister and I grow up for over 20 years now. TWENTY YEARS! What a true home that church has been for us as well. My dad’s sermon was, as always, exquisite. His words of wisdom, poetic connections, and enthusiasm for life will bring you home immediately.

After church we came home for even more home-cooked meals…this one my mom just whipped up in about 10 minutes:

White Bean and Turkey Chilli with corn bread and a side salad. LOVE YOU MOMMA!

It was a phenomenal weekend. Sean and I couldn’t thank my parents enough for such a great trip. It was good to be home. And now…it’s good to be home in MD! On the way home today I saw a Pinterest inspiration: putting salads into “Mason” jars for pre-made lunches, ready for the week. LOVE IT!!! So I did it. I actually followed through with a Pinterest inspiration, rather than just re-pinning it for the sake of making my Pinterest Boards look cooler. What kind of salad did I DARE create? I’m so glad you asked…

  • Feta cheese
  • Mozzarella chese
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Arugula
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • AVOCADOS!!! (key ingredient)
I’m ready to chop 5 days worth of those veggies like a mad woman…

 

I DID IT!!! Lookout lunch room at Mason’s Office of Admissions…a soon to be Mrs. Mason is coming your way with veggie-filled Mason jars!

Well, now that I’ve successfully written probably the longest post so far. I think I’ll call it a night. Where and who ever you are – lots of hugs and sleep tight! Thank you for reading, and make sure you recapture plenty of your “homes” this week with those you love.

Day Off (Part I)

Ever need a day to yourself when the rest of the world is working? One that frees you from work, an agenda, and permits your heart and soul to truly define the day?

Today is my day.

That’s right! I have the day off. “HOLLERRRR!” What to dooo!? Well, last weekend was spent in both Westchester County and Long Island, NY for work, so I intend to smush a weekend full of my wish list adventures into today. Special shout out to my AMAZING team (Andrew Bunting, Daniel Zimmet, and Mark Mansdoerfer) who I traveled with. Our mission was to host two admitted student receptions in those areas over the weekend. It was a TOTAL success!

Today’s post will come in two parts:

1) Part I: What I want to do with my day.

2) Part II: What I actually accomplished (both productive, and delightfully unproductive). I’ll deliver Part II after New Girl tonight, so stay tuned. Both for that show (9 p.m. on Fox) and for my little day off report that is 😉 And just because I’m excited…let’s take a little looksie at a preview of tonight’s show:

A day off is typically a day to sleep in and do nothing if your schedule allows for it, am I right? Well, not today. I have a wish list of all-things-delightful to accomplish, and I intend to takle it head-on. Not an agenda…just a wish list:

  • My day-off breakfast. Tales of this deliciousness coming soon.
  • Target time! I’m convinced that shopping at Target is one of the greatest things in life. I have things to buy, Starbucks coffee to enjoy, discounts to get excited over, and new decoration ideas to be inspired by.
  • A clean house. I adore coming home to a clean home…and call me old fashioned, but seeing the smile on Sean’s face when he comes home from work and the entire house is clean (this only happens when I’ve had the day off – don’t be fooled), is priceless.
  • Running with Stella. Remember when I was a rockstar last weekend? If not, read my last post! I need to keep up the athleticism, and today just so happens to be beautiful again. SO beautiful, in fact, that the sunshine just smacks a smile right on your face the moment you step outside. It’s time to exercise.
  • Wedding Wishes. 9 months from our wedding day may seem like an eternity, but the list of things to both plan, and RE-plan is growing by the minute. News on that later.
  • Pinterest. I mean let’s be honest, we all know it’s going to happen. Might as well add it to the list so that I can feel especially productive later!
  • Cupcakes! I love to bake. Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, anyone? I think it’s gonna happen. Work friends at Mason’s Office of Admissions – if you cheer me on in this task… you’ll be “sweetly” rewarded when I return tomorrow!
  • New recipe. I’m loving the ideas in one of my new recipe cookbooks. Tales of this deliciousness coming soon as well.
  • Cute new dress. I LOVE dresses, and would love a new one. Let’s see if I can fit this task in as well.

Oh my…it’s already 10:43 a.m….time to go. Who’s excited!? THIS GIRL!

Stay tuned.