Monday, July 30, 2012

Our *New* Anniversary

Last year, July 30th was a hot, sunny day in New England and I couldn't believe that I had planned an outdoor wedding that would not be rained was a miracle.

So much has transpired over the past year--I started a new job, we traveled, I had surgery on my foot, my mom had surgery on her lung, Tommie started a new job, and we moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina. It makes the wedding seem like it was much more than a year ago...which is why I wish we could do it again!

But really, even if I tried to do it all over, I couldn't guarantee the sky that day would be so blue, or that everyone I loved could be there, or that the dress I ordered on a whim would be just right, or that Maya and all the kids would be so well-behaved during the ceremony, or that my Dad would make everyone laugh so much with his speech, or that my day-of wedding planner would be so supportive, and everyone who helped us in some form would be amazing, or that I would look back and appreciate it so much that I'd even want to do it all over again. This day last year was perfect.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Housewarming Party

This past weekend marked one month since I left Massachusetts and headed south to join Tommie in Durham. We've met a lot of new people through Tommie's work and had some of them over for a housewarming party. It was nice to show off our current home, which has come a long way since the very first day when I cried because I didn't know where to put anything.

Here are people hanging out in the living room (our couch arrived just in time)...
And by "people" I also mean Maya who lasted as long as she could sitting on the floor before reclaiming her chair.
Some people braved the heat and sat outside on the patio...
Part of the set-up, of course, included lanterns hanging from the trees, but it was too light out to put candles in them...
We Tommie cooked and grilled. Here's our pulled pork and grilled chicken slider station...
And I put out snacks. I couldn't wait to use my new appetizer orbs and ceramic berry trays... 
Everyone liked going around looking at Tommie's photographs. They all seemed to have a really good time. Next time, Tommie and I will try not to strangle each other before the guests arrive. In the end, the house was full of noise and laughter and good smelling can't go wrong with that.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This Weekend Around Durham

On Saturday I bought herbs to plant in pots on our deck (basil and mint) from Durham's weekly farmer's market. Not only are they good for cooking, but they are also supposed to ward off misquotes!
We stopped for lunch at a modern French restaurant/bakery downtown: Rue Cler. Tommie had muscles and frites (fries) and I had a salad with chicken, brie, and crispy onion frites. They have unique breakfast options as well so it's a good place to go with guests who like either. The food was fresh, tasty, and affordable.

Later we stopped at Sugarland in Chapel Hill for gelato. Mango and peach for my tutti-fruity man, and blood orange and lemon for me. Always a nice treat on these hot, summer days.
Sunday morning we took Maya for a walk in Northgate Park. We drove past it the weekend before and wanted to come back to explore. The park itself is quiet and shaded with play areas, picnic tables, and a bridge over the creek. We discovered that it connects easily to a trail that follows alongside Ellerbee Creek and continues to the Museum of Life and Science and beyond. The paths are shaded and flat...Maya approved.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Around the House

Now that we have unpacked most of the boxes, the fun part of finding new furniture and decorating begins.

Here are a few things we've done around the house so far:

Sand and stain the outdoor chairs that were already here...
Put together our TV stand from World Market (we also ordered a new couch to come in a couple weeks)...
Spray paint and decorate (this mirror is from Target--I made it yellow!)...
Turn the dining room into an office (we have yet to hang up any art)...
Buy a lamp and a table to refinish from sketchy people on Craigslist...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Backyard Bugs

For the first time in our lives Tommie and I have our own backyard. It's not really "ours" since we're renting, but it's the first time we can pretend.
(Before and After)
Before the southern heat spell started, we spent some time sprucing up little bits of our very piney plot of land in Durham. Even just a little raking and sweeping makes such a difference. Of course, I have bigger plans up my sleeve involving lights and lanterns for the future.

The super-sized bugs around here don't care much for our backyard cleanup. Tommie refused to touch the leaf piles after he saw a couple baby snakes and I pointed out the giant millipedes. We have quite the ecosystem around us...with fireflies, mice, snakes, millipedes, caterpillars, roaches, jumping spiders, and lizards roaming around.
As a kid I loved bugs and I still get oddly excited when I find parents are lucky they raised me in the Northeast where bugs are "normal" size. I do have a feeling my tolerance for creepy crawlies will come in handy living in a place like this.