Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where's My Sparkle?

Just got home a bit ago from the movies. What did I see? Of course nothing other than Sex & the City 2! It was everything I hoped for and more, which I was glad as I was hearing some mixed reviews from friends. It was long and jam packed with amazing clothes. It was a in a different country and a very good "escape" movie. Of course Carrie, even married, was just as fabulous as ever.

I really just wish I could live inside of SATC. The only sucky thing about the movie was realizing just how non-fabulous life is at the moment. As Carrie referred to the her & Big's marriage as "needing to add back the sparkle," I've realized I need some more sparkle back in my life. Just reaching a temporary lull, especially in this busy week. While I have complained about having nothing to do, now I've had this "busy" week. But I guess when I'm doing a lot of things without much purpose or passion it doesn't matter that I'm busy because rather than being fulfilling, it's just downright tiring.

I'm working on starting to go through all my stuff and what I'll need to take to move to Columbia in July, and thinking ahead has definitely lifted my spirits. After having my own place and a separate life from home it's just hard to revert back without feeling like I'm taking a step back in life. I think when it gets down to the core of it I just really miss college. I miss being carefree and going places on a whim, and actually having places to go to. I miss going out. I miss being social. I miss living with my best friends, and I really miss meeting new people.

The upside on moments like this is realizing what I do want in my life. I do want to live somewhere busy and full of people. I do want a big closet. I do want to be in a profession where I'm constantly working with and meeting new people. I do want to be constantly learning everyday and getting new tasks to put onto my goals list.

While I love summer I'm secretly wishing for a fast forward to July so that I can move and get things started again--being stagnant is killing me. The worst part is it's only been just barely a month so far. Luckily I have many fun things on my agenda, and many great friends to keep me company until then!

Time to get some shut eye so I can be a bit more "sparkly" tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Will Work for Wine

Well friends it's actually shaping up to be quite a busy week for me! Didn't think I'd really say that this summer. The couple that I babysit for needed me everyday this week and as well my Uncle needed a lot of help out at the vineyard and just around the yard. In addition one of my sorority sisters, Brittany is coming to visit and we're going to NYC on Sunday to see Glee on tour...so excited!

So as earlier stated my Aunt & Uncle have a vineyard at their house that they started last year. Last Spring my family and some other family friends helped them get all of the plants in the ground and it's just gotten busier from there. You can check out the webpage for Point O' Grape here.

My Aunt & Uncle at the vineyard
I really want to make t-shirts....and wine bottle koozies! How fabulous would that be? They don't actually have a winery but will be selling their grapes to a different business in the county to make the wine. This will be the first year of grapes so I'm anxiously awaiting when we'll have the first bottle of wine to taste!

They have eleven rows of vines and I'm pretty bad at perception but I'd have to say they're maybe 100 ft. or longer. That's a lot of grapes!

This year I've been working over there every week. I've learned a lot about the care that the vines need, with pruning and making sure they grow down and not up. Learning that each year the vines sprout a "renewal shoot" which will be where grapes will grow the next year. Also they're flowers before they are grapes, cute little white buds that are just starting to sprout. What I really find fascinating is how the vines reach out and grab onto anything/everything including itself. The dang little tendrils that catch and hold onto things are a beast when they harden into wood.

I've been getting in touch with mother nature this summer it seems. I've also been cutting the grass at my Uncle's. Sounds easy? Well that's not the case my friend! They've got a lot of land and it takes about three hours to mow the whole thing. I am grateful though because I'm getting paid to help out over there which is nice considering I don't really have a job this summer.

I can't believe it's 7:30pm and I'm already wiped out. I guess that's what the gym, working outdoors, babysitting & cooking dinner for the fam will do to ya! Going to go grab some Rita's Italian Ice with my sister and enjoy the rest of the evening.

Blue skies & sunshine,
Anna


Monday, May 24, 2010

Wedding Season Kickoff

This past weekend myself and four of my girlfriends from high school drove down to Newport News, VA to see our good friend Cindy walk down the aisle to become Mrs. Paul Clegg! She was an absolutely beautiful bride and the wedding was lovely. Cindy and her husband (so weird to say!) both attended Christopher Newport University which is in Newport News.





Their ceremony was held in the rotunda of their campus library. It's funny to think about being married in your campus library because Randall at UNCW is not anything too special. This library was gorgeous and seemed fairly new. The guests were seated in a circle around the rotunda and then there was a large staircase that came down from both the left and right and met in the middle in front of where all the guests sat. The bridal party came down the steps, then Cindy & Paul who stood in the middle of the circular floor with the pastor. The bridal party then filled in behind standing in front of the steps. It was so different and really made for a unique and intimate setting where we were up close & personal with Cindy & Paul.

We all really seemed to enjoy it, Cindy was absolutely gorgeous and the whole wedding & reception really reflected her and her personality. The bridesmaids wore adorable "little black dresses" that are ones that can actually be rationalized as something they'll all "wear again."Which is usually promised to many.

bridesmaids but never really achieved. They all carried yellow gerber daises and wore black peep-toe heels. The groomsmen wore yellow vests and ties. Loved it all!

We moved onto the reception which was back at the Marriott where we were also staying. It was also a convention center with lots of space which made for a great location. We of course were first to arrive at the cocktail hour out in the hallway and enjoyed some snacks, wine, and time to grill questions with one of our friend's (who was in the bridal party) boyfriends we were finally able to meet.


After a few glasses we were able to move inside to the reception area to anxiously await the arrival of the bride and groom. The table center pieces were so cute and of course followed the black, white & yellow theme. Cindy & Paul came in and did an elegant first dance, their dance lessons surely paid off!

Then after the father/daughter, mother/son dance Cindy's dad gave a little toast & blessing before really kicking-off the reception. It was the sweetest thing and I think every female in that room was misty eyed as he confessed that himself and Cindy's mom had been praying for Paul for 23 years. That since the day Cindy was born they were praying for the good man that would come along that she would marry.

We ended up being seated with some friends of the groom. Paul is a hockey player and played at CNU, meaning that many of his teammates attended the wedding. Our table's remaining seats were filled with teammates as well as the table behind us, and we definitely caused a scene doing a major photo shoot! The food was delicious, we had chicken with a yummy roasted red pepper sauce and I'm still so mad that I did not get a picture of the cake which was so adorable!


It's crazy to think that a few of my friends are now married and have started this whole new life with their significant others. I guess it makes me feel older, but at the same time makes me realize how young we really still are. I couldn't in a million years imagine being married right now, however I am happy to attend all of their wedding and share in their special days. As well I am using all of this wedding-going to start figuring out what I do and do not want at my own wedding one day...I've got some plans in the works!

We went out to continue the celebration of Cindy & Paul's wedding as our hotel was conveniently located within walking distance of some fun establishments and then as per usual ordered an onion pizza (staple within my group of friends, although one really despises onions). We got up early the next morning and drove down to Nina's house in Kure Beach to enjoy some girl time. Even though the weather was yucky it was nice to get away and watch the five hour madness for the series finale of LOST.

Well friends it was quite the weekend and since I have high hopes of getting up for spinning tomorrow morning I think I'm going to get myself in bed. I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend and had a great start to the week today!

Blue skies & sunshine,
Anna

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Well folks, after a nice little break from the computer I of course have many updates about the past week! Went to Kure Beach, NC to help my best friend's family set up their beach house, enjoy the sun and have some down time. It was fabulous, and clearly from my beach time I've decided to do a little construction with the blog to get into the summer mood!

First adventure upon getting there was meeting the lovely gentleman of Island Lock & Key who had to come and get us into the house and make us a new key as the correct one was left at home in MD, six hours away. They were quite the characters, and taught us that the most important tool in their business was a bucket to squat on while fidgeting with the door knob. Not kidding. As we waited for our keys we enjoyed a nice beverage at The Fat Pelican in Carolina Beach.



We got a little bit too much sun, though you've always got to have that one burn of the season. I'm just hoping I'll be away from lobster and back to golden for a my friend Cindy's wedding this weekend...we shall see. Speaking of the wedding in order to find something to wear I was inspired to clean out my closet tonight and organize my 70+ dresses. I did pretty well organizing into the categories of:
-Sundresses
-Strapless sundresses
-Work/business dresses
-Dressy dresses
-Casual dresses
-Lilly Pulitzer
-Tunic/shirt dresses

Clearly by the title of the post and the content in it I'm all over the place. Maybe that's a sign that I should go to bed? The sheets are definitely calling my name as I'm getting up for a 9:00am spinning class at the gym tomorrow...should be interesting. Hopefully my life will be a bit more interesting this week and I'll have some good stories for later. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You can shake the sand from your flip-flips, but never from your soul

I will be leaving you for a few days to go down to Carolina Beach, just south of Wilmington, NC where I went to school. My best friend's family recently purchased a house down there and I'm going to go down to help them get things set up and (of course) go to the beach! I'm super excited for my first beach trip of the year, it's really starting to sink in (finally somehow) that I don't live at the beach anymore. Gosh I was really spoiled during undergrad and I wish I had taken advantage of it even more.

The forecast is looking pretty decent, and hopefully I'll be able to finally get some color back and stop looking like Edward Cullen whenever I walk outside. I've packed my favorite sundresses and a million other things. After packing/unpacking at least once a week this past year I was really excited to stop doing that. After a week and three days of being home I just packed again. I don't think I'll ever be able to escape packing, thankfully it's for pleasure now and I don't have to worry about weight limits!

I'm sure that I'll have some great stories and things to share upon coming back from the beach. I may try and update some from my phone because we all know I am overly addicted to the internet. However I am very much looking forward to enjoying some new books, the over 500 new songs I loaded onto my iPod today, and the good company of some of my favorite people. I'm also lucky to get to run in to a good friend who will be coming to town at the same time, and get to see my college roommates--should be a wonderful vacation. And one that I deserve after this year.

Have a lovely rest of the week blog friends!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Glimpse of Retirement

This summer hiatus thing just ain't too bad. Well I am getting slightly restless (and really wish I had a large source of income) I really can't complain about the past week. Yes, it's only been a week and two days since I've been home--feels like a month.

I'm starting to think this is what retirement must be like, kind of maybe? Let's look at an average (ok I know only based on 9 days but it's pretty constant) day for me now:

I wake up, putter around a bit, then I go to the gym. Come back have some breakfast. Then some days I go to my Uncle's and help out working in the vineyard or around the yard. Other days I will put on a fresh bathing suit and go layout and read for a few hours. Somewhere intermixed I probably watch at least 2-3 episodes of LOST online. On Fridays I babysit for a few hours.

I wait for the siblings and parents to come home from school and work respectively, then sometimes we have a family dinner. If not I graze around the kitchen. After dinner I typically watch another few episodes of LOST. If it's Tuesday, Glee, or Thursday is Grey's Anatomy. On occasion I hang out with friends in the evening for a few hours after dinner. Typically I'm in bed around 11pm and am back up around 8am to start it all over again.

It's actually really nice. I'm also going on weekly trips to the library. I'm renting approximately every decent CD in the Calvert County library system to import to my iTunes, and thanks to my new librarian friend I can look at the monthly "new additions" to the library's selection.

via Emily Giffin
Also using the library to catch up on lots of good books I wanted to read this year but couldn't stand to fork over the money for at the airport. I did give into my temptations a few times though and it was well worth it! I just picked up the last Emily Giffin that I've yet to read, Baby Proof.

Considering how much I fell in love with her other books I've read, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Love the One You're With...I'm pretty pumped. Should be good for a beach read later this week!

Hope everybody had a lovely Monday!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What's In Your Backpack?

Ok so now I feel like I may be getting a little post happy, but the yard sale jazz was written this afternoon and just published like a few minutes ago. After turning to the computer all year to spit out my thoughts after constantly being by myself at night I feel like it's going to take me a while to revert back to old habits. The good part is more for you to read?

I just finished watching Up In the Air (yes I sat at home on Saturday night and watched a movie with the rents--this is Calvert County) and I'm sad that I did not see this movie sooner. Well in a way I'm also glad. I believe if I had seen this movie at any point throughout this year I most likely would have been bawling at the end. Honestly, I probably would have cried throughout the whole movie.

Crazy how a movie can hit home so many times. How each airport in each different city George Clooney's character, Ryan, went to, I could tell my parents about it. Crazy (more like just weird) that I got so excited to see the Detroit airport, my favorite. Sad that I use the same methodology to pick security lines, and also sad the comfort that I get from checking into the airport with ease while watching families and less-frequent travelers fumble with their belongings.

If you haven't seen the movie (which I hope you'll consider viewing by the end of this post) Ryan does some seminars on "emptying your backpack." Here's a little sneak preview:

How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you're carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life... you start with the little things. The shelves, the drawers, the knickknacks, then you start adding larger stuff. Clothes, tabletop appliances, lamps, your TV... the backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. You go bigger. Your couch, your car, your home... I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office... and then you move into the people you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your brothers, your sisters, your children, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack, feel the weight of that bag. Make no mistake your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. All those negotiations and arguments and secrets, the compromises. The slower we move the faster we die. Make no mistake, moving is living. Some animals were meant to carry each other to live symbiotically over a lifetime. Star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not swans. We are sharks.

I love this. I thrive on this. This may come surprising to those of you who know I have more clutter in my life than I know how to deal with. I have been trying to clean out my backpack for so long and can't seem to do it. I'm hoping once I really move away from home and finally have a stable place to keep my belongings I will achieve this. But more than with belongings I find this so real about relationships.

After spending eight months on the road without a single solitary person I have a relationship with I sure found out who was important in my life. I found the people who were going to return my calls, answer my texts, respond to my emails/wall posts/etc. I found the people in my life who are worth the effort, and worth the time investment in keeping and maintaining a relationship.

What was really neat was seeing some people step up to the plate and do amazing. They went above & beyond my expectations. They are some true keepers.

Another thing I really found was how sad it is to see the people who slipped through the cracks. People whom in college I couldn't go a day without talking to, that this year I didn't even talk to once a week, that I maybe talked to a few times a month. That change is scary, unsettling, and real. But after a year of it, unfortunately I let go and tossed a few more people out of my backpack.

Now I'm not dumping anyone out on the side of the road, but removing them from the top priority section. I've realized you can't spend time trying to keep connections that aren't firing back on the other ends. You can't just cut them, but sometimes you have to stop triggering. Keep the connection, it'll still get use, but wait for the signal instead of constantly sending it with no response.

So I guess if you're out there reading this and we're friends, I'd love to hear from you. If we don't talk every day, every week, or even once a month I probably still think about you all the time and hope you're doing well. Drop a line, especially now because for the next three months I have plenty of time to catch up on your life!

"Yard Sale Etiquette" yes I did just use both of these words in one phrase

I write you after a tiring day. While I thought after this past year of never sleeping in past 8:00am and constantly waking before the sun to make my way to the airport for flights too early for any human, I could spend my first Saturday at home doing what I missed: sleeping. I was wrong.

This morning, on my first Saturday unemployed by my sorority, in my own house, with my own bed, I woke up at 4:00am.

Ok, ok, so yes I am complaining about the early rise but it was for a good cause. Every year my group of friends from home lead by my dear friend Brittany M. have a Relay for Life team for the county's RFL in the summer. The main fundraiser of this team is the annual yard sale. Keyword being "the" my friends, hence the bold. This is not your mama's regular ole' yard sale.

It began by collecting massive amounts of stuff from friends, families, neighbors, co-workers, heck anyone trying to get rid of stuff. It evolved to collecting the aftermath of the community yard sale held in Brittany's parents neighborhood. What it turned into was a small shop set up on the side of 260 today, and will be posted back up tomorrow.

I mean I've seen a yard sale in my day, my family has had one before, we used to have a big one at our church every year to raise money for an annual mission trip to Arkansas; this YS (like the new abbrev, or I guess you'd have to say acronym?) my friend defies all rules. We had huge tarps divided into sections like a real store. Home furnishings, children's toys, decorations, kitchen ware, electronics, and last but not least: clothes. More clothes than I've seen outside of a store. Ok wait that's a lie, probably as many clothes as I own (which if you know me that is a lot) all laid out on tables. Many tables.

The trick seems to be to get to yard sales when those hosting are in fact still setting up. If you're the first buyer, to buy the absolute most bizarre pieces for sale, and to try and buy everything for $.50 each; whether it be an exercise bike or a slinky. It's all about the bargain. Personally I'd prefer someone to bring me a pile of the junk they'd like to purchase and let me give them a price of $10 for it all. But what we decided was that the common yard saler is there for the the thrill of the sale. For the bargain. For bragging rights that they bought a slightly used crock pot for $1.00. Not a whole pile of stuff for a discounted price.

Moral of the story if you're going to have a yard sale
-Get up early
-Make sure you armed with coffee
-Bring hand sanitizer (large mistake of today)
-Separate "stuff" into categories
-Try to sell everything, but also don't let stuff go underpriced

Also, if one of your customers gives you a huge box of bagged carrots from the store, just take them. Throw them into that "pile" of discount for the rest of your customers. You may just be making someone's day you can go home and say "Honey, I bought these two huge bags of carrotts for $1." Even if it was at a yard sale on the side of 260.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A new chapter, a new blog

I've realized although I usually need a great deal of editing--which I'll go and give a shout out to one of my good friends Caitlin who edits everything I ever write--I'd have to say I'm a decent writer. While maybe I'm not the best with words, I believe I grab peoples attention and I've got some pretty good content. I have some pretty interesting things happen in my life, and from the different Facebook & Twitter updates I make it seems like other people seem to find my life entertaining as well.

After spending a year on the road as a traveling consultant for my sorority, Tri Sigma, and keeping a blog of my adventures along the way, I've decided to stick with it and move on to a personal blog for however long this may last. I had a blast and such a unique experience this past year, but as I have been trying to think about the different parts of my life that have made me who I am, I am really starting to refer to everything as chapters of the wonderful novel I am writing: my life.

When I moved after fifth grade I thought it was the end of the of world, when high school ended I thought things were changing forever, when college ended...well hell I was just scared! Then I made it out there for an entire year, in numerous airports, countless layovers, different beds every week, and leaning on a group of amazing women I came to call my best friends. With each change I felt like things were ending, though I now know just the chapters were ending. You can always go back and re-read the great chapters of your life. You'll always be able to bring characters back into new chapters. However, you do have to remember that some characters are meant to stick around for just a chapter or two. But you must continue if you ever want to reach the last chapter, the most desired chapter, the happily ever after.

So that is what I'm going to do. I just finished an amazing chapter. One of those chapters that is chock full of great detail, adventure, and an intense story in itself. I've closed it up to entertain a nice short story while at home for the summer. Then my next big chapter will write it's first page in August when I begin graduate school. I can't wait for the next chapter, I can't wait to see all that this summer's short story has in store, and I'm excited to blog every step of the way!