Wednesday, June 26, 2013

back from the 'banks

Oops, thought this was scheduled to post on Monday, my bad y'all.....

We got back yesterday from Nags Head, and had a great time. Going to the beach with almost 20 people is always an adventure, but a fun one. Sawyer had a blast playing in the sand, running back and forth between the beach and the pool and being totally spoiled by Josh's entire family.

view for the week!
weirdest thing? the curtains in our bedroom at the beach house were the exact same curtains i have in my office at work haha, it's like even when I get away, I can't get away.

tiring out his daddy
playing in the big hole
accidentally stole a soccer ball from one of the district's middle schools during Relay for Life and oops, it ended up at the beach with us!

One thing you can count on in the OBX is good eatin'! We enjoyed all kinds of food at our favorite place such as Tortuga's Lie, Outer Banks Brewing Station and of course ice cream at Fat Boyz.

Josh & I also celebrated our anniversary (a little late) at the OBX by visiting Owen's Restaurant, so delicious.
Anniversary Outfit
you can never go wrong in Lilly & Jacks.

We had an amazing trip and it was so nice get away for awhile with our family!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

big decisions and a new job.

I am making a career change

I turned in my notice at work a few weeks ago and agreed to stay on to launch the district’s new website, but come July I will no longer be with the school system, nor will I even be a Communications & Community Relations Coordinator.

After a lot of thought, prayer and worry – Josh and I decided that it would be the best for our family, my health and our life in general if I left the district and took advantage of an opportunity that God placed in our laps.

So, where am I going?

DuckRabbit Brewery, a local brewery that has been established for around 10 years and has beer in 7 states.

Not to be official taste-tester (how awesome would that be) or  a brewer, but to re-organize their office, help the owner (who I knew in my previous life as a reporter) with filing, shipping, receiving, website stuff, payroll, and just about everything he needs done in the office.  I also plan on finally going back to school to get my master’s online since my position hours will be 7a-3p. My alma mater, East Carolina University, has a great online grad program in English and Professional Communications and I plan on attempting to start the program in the Spring.

It’s going to be different.

I won’t have late night meetings or events and I won’t have to do the schmoozing and hob-knobbing that being a communications professional requires, but my new position will have its challenges as well. I will have to flex my math skills a little more and get used to working in an un-airconditioned space (since the office is part of the warehouse/brewery). I will however be wearing a more casual wardrobe in my new position (I forsee lots of monogrammed t-shirts and skinnies).

I am very excited about this new adventure and look forward to not being “on call” constantly and being tied to a cell phone/laptop on vacations, weekends and evenings. So, please be praying with me and my family as we start this next step. 

Monday, June 17, 2013


I will be away all week long this week in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina (also, don't get any ideas of robbing our house weirdos, we have a house sitter) so I am going to be MIA for awhile. 

In the meantime, enjoy some of my top favorite "beach" songs...

Friday, June 14, 2013

no worries, no problem

Today, as I sat stuck in traffic (or well, our version of traffic in Tarboro which is a stoplight with more than 10 cars waiting) due to a closed left turn lane I realized that four years ago at this time I was on a flight bound for St. Lucia. And then I almost cried.

What would I give to be back at the Sandals Regency La Toc for a week enjoying fine dining, beaches with no screaming children, exciting excursions and a giant bed for just me and Josh (no wiggly Sawyer, his blankey and three stuffed animals). In St. Lucia, any time we'd tell someone at the resort "thank you" for something like bringing our food or holding a door for us, they'd say "no worries, no problem". What a way to live.


On our honeymoon we enjoyed Japanese, British, Italian, French, Caribbean and several other different kinds of cuisines. We ate until we couldn't to make sure we got our money's worth since it was all inclusive!
Josh and me at the "La Toc" the french restaurant
The Pavilion, which had a buffet for breakfast and lunch then you could come in and order things for supper while enjoying the shows, loved that it was indoors and outdoors
Josh and I before eating at Kimonos
Josh enjoying a drink at the Arizona Grill, which had food ALL the time.
Josh even surprised me one night with a moon-lit dinner on the beach, just the two of us with our own personal waiter.
our table with out little menus
in our private cabana :)
We did several excursions including a horse-back trail ride that ended with a beach barbecue (that sadly my stomach did NOT agree with), zip-lining through the rain-forest and a Land and Sea Adventure where we toured botanical gardens, explored the Piton mountains and the sulfur spring and enjoyed snorkeling off the catamaran.
horse-back riding (this was before my stomach rebelled against the unusual food)

silly snorkelers, my mask was WAY too big
In front of the Sulfur springs (stinky, stinky)
The resort also had plenty of fun activities, every night there was an amazing show that we could listen to from outside by the pool or at a table inside and they had water equipment to rent too.

enjoying a fire show one night
listening to the steel drums, sitting pool side.
 Josh and I also splurged on an absolutely mind-blowing massage package called the "Scrub-A-Dub-Rub" where we got a couples massage accompanied by an exfoliation that ended with a dip in an amazing bubble and flower filled jacuzzi. 

It was so amazing, even if I was rocking my knee brace. 
note the knee brace, so sexy.
Since 2009 we've taken exactly two trips by ourselves that lasted more than two nights - one to Grove Park Inn for New Year's Eve 2011 (read here, here & here) and one to Durham for the Food Truck Rodeo (read here and here). Any other vacays have been with our families (since those are usually the only kinds we can afford). However, I realize how blessed we are to take vacations at all, though I will admit that I secretly dream of selling every thing I own and running off with our family to an island - Sawyer would be a precious little beach bum baby, don't you think?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

in the beginning

Today is my and Josh's fourth anniversary. It doesn't seem like four years ago that I limped down the aisle to marry him!

But before there was a wedding, there were four years of dating......

Josh and I were talking about our first date the other week and while I can tell you that we went and saw "Meet the Fockers" and that Josh got oil from popcorn all over his jeans, the most memorable part of the first date isn't the date itself, it's more how it actually came to be.

It all started in a hospital. We'd hung out before this, but our first REAL date started not even with me, but with my mother, my phone & hospital visit.

You see, on Dec. 24, 2004 I woke up with a headache that hurt worse than anything I have ever experienced before. I felt like I couldn't move my body, not only because it hurt so much, but because it was like my brain wasn't connected to my limbs. My little sister, who was 11 at the time was sleeping in my bed with me and heard me moaning and gasping from pain. She went screaming down the stairs to my parents who rushed to me. I could barely concentrate enough to even explain what was wrong without getting the overwhelming urge to puke from the pain. So, to the hospital we went.

My dad flew into the emergency department and explained what was going on, I was so out of it and so nauseous from the pain that I don't even remember driving or getting to the hospital. The doctors immediately thought I had meningitis and start doing all kinds of tests including a lovely spinal tap (that I do remember).

that needle right there? yeah it was in my back.

Well, word had traveled (small town, remember?) that I was in the hospital and Josh heard from his cousin Denise (also my mom's college roommate and best friend) that I was there.

So, he called my cell phone. Thinking that I'd be the one to answer (not like I was high on morphine and other crazy drugs or anything) to check on me, and ask me to go out on a real live date some time after Christmas.

My mother answered.

Josh stammered through a "hey, uhhh how's Lauren doing" convo and actually asked my mom if I could go get dinner one night with him once I, you know, got out of the hospital and all. Mama said, "I'm sure she'd be happy to, I'll have her call you after we figure out what's going on with her."

Turns out? I had some sort of viral thing, I got sent home with strict order to stay horizontal the rest of the next day (not easy to do on Christmas morning, trust me) to avoid a horrible headache from the spinal tap.

I called Josh the second I was vertical, and obviously, we lived happily ever after (or at least, our version of happily ever after).

Read about our engagement story here or our first (awkward) "i love you" here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

what i'm lovin'

I'm linking up with Jamie @ This Kind of Love for "What I'm Loving Wednesday"

....that I am going to have some super awesome news to share with y'all soon (and no, i'm not pregnant)

....that I am finally get to see my best friend Hope's new house this weekend (and her and her sweet baby bump)
her new place!

....this house that will be our home next week for the entire week in the OBX.

....this bathing suit I ordered for the beach next week

...the sunshine is finally showing here instead of the nasty rain that lingered too long earlier this week
my yard, the giant puddle.
..."Blowin' Smoke" by Kacey Musgraves - don't know why, but it's been on repeat lately.

...and as always - this little determined face.
Sawyer can not figure out how to roll up his little measuring tape with his tool set

Friday, June 7, 2013

books on books on books

some of my books on display (finally)
My love affair with reading started with The Babysitter's Club. 
In fact, my love for writing and my early dreams to someday be a writer all began with Ann M. Martin and every series she ever wrote. I devoured these books and owned every single one of them. I had the super-specials (which were longer stories and therefore lasted longer yay!), the spin-off series, the mystery novels, the movie and even the computer game!

When I finished reading those and felt like I was "too old" for the babysitters club, I moved on to Ann M. Martin's next venture, "The California Diaries". These stories were a little more mature and were all about Dawn's friends in California. They dealt with issues like eating disorders and death and high school parties, in fact I remember passing around the book "Maggie" to my friends when we thought on of our friends had anorexia in 8th grade (she didn't).
Then I got to high school and college and I dove into a ton of great book series. This is where a problem started. 
Gossip Girl/The Au Pairs/Gingerbread/Georgia Nicholson/The Luxe
Inside Girl/It Girl/The A-List

I would pack an entire suitcase of books for vacation and spend ALL of my money on books before I even reached the vacation spot.

When I first got a Kindle I was terrified that I would miss the feel of a book in my hand or not enjoy reading on a screen instead of from a page, but my wonderful Kindle has been the best thing ever. No more having to find an open book store at 11pm  to find the next book in a series because I just had to know what was going to happen next (yes, that has really happened before). Now, I just have to download the next book - if it's out yet otherwise I just suffer.

I now take my Kindle in my purse with me just about everywhere versus an entire suitcase full of books. Not to mention Kindle books are usually MUCH cheaper than the print versions.

For a complete list of great books I've read (and some not-so-great), you can always check out the Shelfari app at the bottom of my blog!

Read anything good lately?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

senior superlatives.

if you follow me on Instagram, you saw this photo today taken from my senior year ('05 baby) yearbook:

There is so much to say about this that I think I will just provide a bullet list.
  • no, me and Taquoris did not plan to both be wearing black & pink that day, it just happened. #iswear
  • yes, I was a flirt. a big one. I won't deny it. (in fact some may use another words besides flirt...)
  • I had a body wave in my hair. A legit body wave, hence the curl. 
  • We are sitting on the window ledge of the press box by the football field. Because obviously that's a cool location for a "biggest flirt" picture. 
  • You can't see it very well, but I have on a watch that is really a watch face on a big ribbon that I tied into a bow, I changed ribbons to match outfits
Were you given a senior superlative?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

the banquet is over.

Remember that retirement banquet I kept talking about that I had so much to do for at work? Well it happened last Thursday and I am so happy that it is over. I really enjoy the planning and the decorating and crafting for the event, but dealing with ticket sales, making sure every retiree has a place (even those that forget to register) and doing the MC-ing for the event isn't as much fun.

We also had some hiccups along the way. The linens I ordered to rent weren't available (don't even get me start on that), so instead of 18 black & white striped overlays and 18 solid black floor lengnth tablecloths for my 18 tables, I had 9 black overlays and 13 white floor length tablecloths. The president of the community college let me use 5 of their floor length white cloths and I just had to mix up between just white tables and tables with black overlays.

Thankfully, it is all over. Here are some pictures from the event (featuring those DIY glittery mason jars & candles I did). And yes, I am still finding gold glitter in weird places.

Now all I have left that is "big" at work is our upcoming launch of a new website. That in itself is a three person job, let me tell you....