Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Day!

I thought I'd do a little Menu Sunday Monday, a la elefantitas alegres.  But unlike the lovely Kate over at EA, I am not nearly together enough to plan a menu for a whole week every week.  There are wayyyy too many nights where I am eating a lean cuisine over the sink because I'm lazy, or going out because I'm a fatty and I can't resist and invitation to go eat delicious fatty food.

But this week, for reasons unknown, I actually have something that almost slightly resembles a plan!

Beef Stew!

I failed to take a picture, and I didn't even make it (Mom did, and I went over and nommed all of her food like a big mooch.)  But beef stew is something I make on the regular, especially in the winter, because it's delicious and it's super easy.  So if you're looking for a dinner that requires approximately 5 minutes of effort, here you go.


  • 2 lbs. stew beef 
  • 5 cups fresh veggies 
    • To me, this usually means a pack of baby carrots, an onion, 2 packs of fresh mushrooms and 2 potatoes.  Maybe more than 5 cups.
  • 1 pkg. McCormick slow cooker beef stew seasoning
  • 1 can Campbell's golden mushroom soup.
    • I know that the McCormick recipe doesn't call for this - but DO NOT SKIP IT.  It makes your beef stew, for reals.
  • 1 1/3 cup water
     Mix water and seasoning mix in a small bowl.  Chop any large veggies (like onions and potatoes).  Throw it all in the slow cooker.  Cook it for 8 hours on low (which is the best way) or 4 hours on high if you're short on time.  PB always insists it be served with rice.  Me, I could just eat it with a spoon out of the crock pot.  Up to you. And there's dinner!

I put together this chili cornbread casserole recipe from Daisy, JD.  It did involve roasting my own red peppers, which I really didn't know how to do until I had already decided to make the stuff and bought everything.  Then the explanation she links you to on the Pioneer Woman site looked really daunting.  But I did it anyway, and it actually did work just like she said!  Not that bad.  Though my house still does smell like a giant charred pepper.  

The only modification I did to this recipe was adding a pound of cooked lean ground beef, because my family will pretty much refuse to eat any vegetarian meal for dinner.  Here's hoping it's good!

Probably going to be a leftover day. 

Barbeque chicken, green beans, and macaroni and cheese.  

Green beans = a can of Hanover green beans, heated with olive oil, a little chopped onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Barbeque chicken = chicken breast thrown in the crock pot on low for 8 hours, covered in KC Masterpiece barbeque sauce

Mac and cheese = the big blue box.  Not kidding.  Sometimes nothing else will do.

Taco Soup!

I made a big freezer batch of this for one of my friends who'll be having a baby in two weeks or so, and it makes such a giant recipe that I kept some for myself.  This is my grandmother's recipe and it is so, so easy and tastes amazing.  It also (obviously) freezes well.

Cook together:
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
Drain fat.  Put in large pot along with:
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can plain tomato sauce
  • 2 small cans Ro-Tel
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 package Ranch dressing mix
  • 2 cans white corn, drained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can water
Simmer for about 15 minutes and ta-da!  You have enough taco soup for an army. Serve it with tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream.  

See? Delicious!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


It's been awhile since I've subjected y'all to a wedding nonsense post, so today is your lucky day! Things are coming together more and more, and every time we book something else, I do a little happy dance and get more excited.  The more I plan, the more real it seems, and I never thought I'd be so excited about wedding stuff.  

We've almost picked the whole wedding party, with the exception of maybe one more groomsman and bridesmaid (we're still undecided, a little bit, and don't want to make any rash decisions.)  Over my birthday weekend, I asked our family friend Jenna to man the programs, which I'm so excited about, because I love Jenna.  And here's why:

I'll never forget this night at the lake when we were sitting around the patio table with a citronella lamp burning and putting black soot all over the table.  PB stuck his finger in it, smeared it on his face, and then did it to Jenna and she kept asking for more and more.  She is the ultimate tomboy, which is part of what makes her so hilarious and awesome, and her grandmother said, "Ohhhh she'll have to wear a dress," when I asked her to hand out programs.  To which I replied that she definitely did not have to wear a dress! She's the one person who could wear camo hunting coveralls to the wedding and I wouldn't care.

We picked our cake the other day too!  We went to two tastings, and after the first one, I was just sad.  The lady was so sweet, just the nicest person you've ever met, and I wanted to like her cake so much.  We tasted three kinds of cake - strawberry, key lime, and hummingbird.  But they were just dry and didn't even taste like anything.  Terrible, sad cake.  I have been to too many weddings where you just push the cake around on your plate because it is seriously a punishment, and I swore I would not have such at my wedding.

But after the second tasting, hope was restored.  Our cake is coming from Icing on the Edge, because we saw the proprietor at a wedding show the other weekend and she had CAKE TRUFFLES, which can only be described as MAGIC.  She gave Mom and I two each and two to take home to PB...well, PB never did see those cake truffles....whoops. But Sharon is just amazing.  She's been decorating cakes since 1980 and now she teaches Wilton classes.   She has a million Wilton and Martha Stewart books and she went through all of them with us and custom designed our cake.  Not to mention I wanted to kiss her when I tasted her strawberry cake with whipped cream filling.

Here's one of her cakes that I sort of based our design on.  Mainly though, we're just using the icing patterns from that cake. The whole thing will be round, with those icing patterns on each layer (we're having four layers total).  It's going to be white on white, like this one - but with GLITTER.  All over.  And no fondant bow on top - we're putting raspberry pink roses and perhaps a cake topper nested in there somewhere, probably a monogram one.  

And now for my favorite part - the flavors!  The big bottom layer and the top layer that we'll cut will be strawberry.  The two middle layers will be one key lime and one lemon.  I'm hungry just thinking about it.

So anywho, that's where we are on wedding planning.  Next up comes invitations and programs, and a final decision on what the bridal party is wearing.  Getting close to just eight months now!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Inception of the Golden Year!

Happily, I have officially made it to 23 as of the 23rd.  Apparently, that makes this year my golden year - I hope that holds true!  So far, I would have to agree, because I have pretty much been having a birthday week that hasn't ended yet.  How about a quick rundown, shall we? 

First, Lia came to visit!  See?  Here she is with Peggy Sue (who is that blur you'll notice in Lia's hands.)  
We had a pretty relaxing weekend - eating a ton of Japanese food (one of my favorites), watching football, and Netflix streaming, and generally just hanging out.  

This week, it's been birthday continuation!  I love it!  Last night was a big family Longhorn trip for my grandmother's birthday/my birthday, and I got my present from my grandparents - a wine fridge! Amazing!

It holds sixteen bottles and fits perfectly on my bar.  There's something about having 16 chilled bottles of wine that just makes you feel like you don't have unsolvable problems.  

Tonight, we're going to Mickey and Mooch with our friends T and J and I. Can't. Wait.  This week is Charlotte Restaurant Week, and some of the best restaurants around these parts have three courses for $30.  Now generally, I am way too much of a cheapskate to even consider paying $30 for one meal, but these are seriously some of the best restaurants we have, and I think it's an awesome deal!  So tonight, I'm looking forward to the house salad with candied walnuts, three delicious lobster tails, Charleston grits, and, perhaps what I'm most excited about - carrot cake.  Y'all, this is what all of their cakes look like - AMAZING.

You can see why I'm so excited.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

Thanks as usual to Chelsea at Roots and Rings for heading this up and Sarah at Simply Sarah for coming up with this week's questions!

1. Do you decorate for Valentine’s day?
Currently, I have up a big wooden damask printed thingymawhosit (technical term) that says LOVE. PB, ever the romantic, came home, saw it and said "Love and all that crap is great, but that thing is blocking my surround sound speaker." That's the kind of Valentine's we generally have here. But I don't let that deter me, I also have up my heart-shaped garden flag up, and my black and red "welcome" sign on the door with lovely little hearts. I just love any excuse for holiday decorations.

2. Does your desktop have a picture or computer graphic? Is it organized?
It's not organized, but it just doesn't have a lot of stuff on it. Much like a cluttered inbox, a cluttered desktop just...stresses me out. And I do have a picture - it's a foggy path with a Bible verse, Hebrews 11:1. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

3. Do you use a paper planner, electric planner or no planner at all?
I have a paper planner, a calendar in my kitchen that I try to keep updated and I love love love the Cozi system. If you haven't tried it, get your butt over there. The best thing about it is that it allows you to keep other people updated (aka control their lives via text message.) When you put in an event, you can choose which members of your family it applies to, and then you can choose to send them text reminders about events. Plus, there's an iPhone app that syncs perfectly with it and is best of all, free right now!

4. Do you change purses or bags often or stick with a good thing?
I always think to myself "this thing is raggedy, this doesn't match my outfit, I really should switch purses." But then I don't. Until I get a new one like 6 months later. It's all related to the lazy.

5. What’s your favorite YouTube Video?
This one is just amazing. It never gets old.

6. Do you use Turbo Tax or a real person to pay your taxes?
Umm considering I haven't made any money in oh, three years of law school, I really haven't had to worry much about that. But when I used to make money, I just did it myself with one of those free interwebz services.

7. How many states have you set foot (or tire) in? Which ones?

Goodness, this one was hard. Had to look at a map!

North Carolina (obvs), South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, California, DC, Maryland, New Jersey, New York...and I think that's all?

8. How many countries have you been in? Which ones?
Nowhere super fancy or far away...just here, Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas, and Belize, I'm pretty sure.

9. How many pillows are in your house? (Sleeping or decorative)
Holy crap, I never realized how many pillows I had in my house until just now. Two on the couch, two on the loveseat, four on the guest bed, five on my bed, plus probably three extras in the closets? Oh and four throw pillows I don't use because I hate them and they came with the couches. So around 20?

10. How cold is too cold for flip flops?
I hate hate hate when my feet are cold. So definitely no flip flops below 65 degrees or so. And certainly not between October and March, barring some crazy situation like being in the tropics or something. Even if we have some kind of insane heat wave (which I really wish we were having), I really feel like wearing flip flops in the winter just makes you look like you're making fun of the weather.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Yay Saturday!

Whew, today has been crazy.  Started out bright and early with a trip to try on my dress and get it altered!  Thank the dear sweet lord that my dress doesn't need a thing except about 6 inches cut off the bottom - otherwise, it fits like a glove.  So in the interest of getting things checked off the list sooner rather than during bar studying, I made an appointment to meet the alterations lady today.

It was so good to be back in my dress, since I haven't put it on since we bought it in September.  I sometimes dream that I go to put it on and I have grown to such a giantess size that my leg won't even fit in it, but thankfully those dreams did not become reality and it looks just as good as it ever did.  So that was step one.  You might remember my shoe indecision from a few months ago.  Well, upon the advice of my friend J who had just gotten married in uncomfortable shoes, and lots of other people who are practical, I decided I really needed those darn expensive flip flops.  And my sweet mom got them for me for Christmas.

But hey, the way I figure it, the hot pink heels I bought were $116.  I'm not the type to go prancing around in hot pink 4 inch peep toes on a random Tuesday.  These sandals?  I see me wearing them to dinner with a sundress every night on my honeymoon, wearing them with jeans when we get home and just generally getting 100 times more use out of them than those pink torture devices.

Anywho, that brings my story full circle - I had never tried the dress on with the shoes.  And much to my surprise, the alterations lady scoffed at me!  First, you should understand that I was not dealing with Stacy from What Not to Wear.  This lady could have been Jim Bob Duggar's more conservative grandmother.  Gray hair in a bun, long denim skirt, granny glasses.  And this frumpmuffin has the nerve to say, "Well it's just really hard to walk elegantly in flats."  And sigh about the hem and say things such as, "Well if you're really stuck on those shoes, I guess..." and "You know not all high heels are 4 inches tall, you could at least wear something lower."

Maybe she doesn't understand.  See, I dance the same at a wedding reception as I do when I am at home in my underpants with the blinds closed and Michael Jackson on the iPod.  I do not foxtrot.  I shake it.  And at my own wedding reception, I expect to do just that.  I will probably be homicidal if my feet hurt.  So the alterations nazi can bite me.  I swear I didn't have a Bridezilla moment - can you believe it?  I was quite proud of myself that I was so nice.  Do not force me into heels, woman!  I am not that girl!

But if Alterations Nazi did not please me this morning, let me tell you what did - Trader Joe's!  I know, all of you fancypants people have had TJ's for 100 years and its magic is probably no longer magic.  But for me?  Amazing.  TJ's involves a 20-30 minute drive from home, but boy is it worth it.  I've now had two TJ's trips in the last 2 weeks, and my cabinets are starting to be full of TJ's goodness.

My most favorite items that you must not miss if you are a Trader Joe's shopper:

1) Tomato Basil Bisque.
Just ate a container of this - it was amazing.  Chunks of tomato, a ton of basil, and basically perfection.

2)  All Natural Tea Tree Facial Cleansing Wipes.
Here's a word to the wise - be RULL CAREFUL not to get this stuff in your eyes when you use it.  The packaging and the naming and the all natural ingredient list would lead one to believe that the substance soaking the face pads is akin to the teardrops of fairies.  However, it is really about 50 times more potent than alcohol and you will feel that you are blinded.  I know, because I have felt such.  But the odd thing was that after I used it, my skin was clean and makeup-free but not dry!  Amazing! And perfect for the lazy girl like me who hates face-washing.

3)  Spicy Chai Latte Mix
Okay so the one drawback to this is that it's 170 calories per cup.  But it's so delicious, it's worth it for a splurge.

4)  Frozen Guiltless Indian Meals
They have several different ones in the frozen foods section, and they are all right around 300 calories.  Some are less!  And with no good place to get Indian food around here without slaving in the kitchen and making my house smell like curry, I'm very excited about having some healthy chicken tikka masala to pop in the microwave for lunches.

5)  A Fig Walked Into a Bar
These are like Fig Newtons on 'roids, yo.  The outside part is so cakey and delicious, there's more fig filling than in the Newtons, and they are only 120 glorious calories.  They also come in about five different flavor varieties if figs freak you out (in which case we can't be friends).

Mom says TJ's is like what Aldi would be if Jimmy Buffett ran it.  A statement that I would definitely agree with, except for the fact that everything is so cheap at TJ's.  No $500 Margaritaville blenders to be found!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

snowcation is over :(

I am so much better at snowcation than I am at real life. Lawyering school was back open today, so no more switching from sweatpants and Snuggie to snow clothes to bathing suit (for the hot tub) and back. I will say though, we had a fantastic time with the snow.

Day one, we took Peggy Sue out to play and produced the lovely picture you saw before. The snow was officially one wiener dog deep, so she had to sort of leap every time she wanted to run. I know her speed didn't drop below 40 miles per hour the entire time she was outside. She was also fascinated that the snow kept producing prizes, like the fantastic stick seen above.

We headed to the park for some sledding, because PB and I are actually 10 year olds. There must have been a million kids there, with the best arrangement of homemade sleds I think I have ever seen. There were people with tarps, cardboard, trashcan lids, boogie boards, and even a Superman inflatable pool float. Sledding was awesome, but boy will it make you tired. Turns out I am not really a 10 year old, but an old lady who was exhausted and freezing after 45 minutes.

Hence, spent the rest of the day in my snOMG pants, pictured above. Snow requires chili and stew - nothing else works for dinner when there's snow on the ground. Made white chili with this miraculous McCormick seasoning that I highly recommend. Throw some chicken (leftover, rotisserie, grilled, poached, even canned - it all works), beans, Ro-Tel and corn in a pot with that stuff and you have a deliciously amazing dinner in 10 minutes. Miracle in an envelope.

Day two, we decided to go much more hardcore with the snow. We went back to the park, because for the most part, there was just too much salt on the roads to produce good sledding. However, we brought our friends T and J, and we came super prepared. Mainly, I mean that I made sangria, we poured it in our leftover giant styrofoam cups with lids from Chick-Fil-A, and J and were your friendly neighborhood park wine-os. I started to understand the appeal of drinking wine from a paper bag on a park bench.

Since it iced over the snow, the park became significantly more epic. There's an absolutely giant hill that dumps into a creek, so every time you pick up to about 50 mph, there's a moment where you think you're definitely going down the eight foot drop off into the icy creek. Aaaaaand for a few people, that definitely happened. No one was hurt, but I might have been laughing a little inappropriately anyway, due to all the sangria. See in the picture below? Just beyond the amphitheater, that part before the trees that looks like a giant drop-off really is. Bet that wasn't fun.

Later in the afternoon, the neighborhood potheads came out, and I had a lovely time watching them all fall on their faces as they tried to snowboard down the hill on boogie boards and skateboards without wheels. But then we decided that probably the few parents that were left might decide they didn't like all of these shenanigans, and well, we were drinking wine out of cups ourselves, soooo, better to hightail it out of the park.

We ended up finding a dead end road with a cul de sac, which was entirely coated in ice. We really only did about 5 passes apiece down that hill though, because it was sort of a death wish. You'd go hurtling down the ice, only to jump the curb and land in a giant hill of ice-coated brush.

See? That's so pretty.

Jeez has it been hard to get back to real life though. Snow days took away all urgency I had to do anything school-related. Okay, let's be honest, did I have any urgency anyway?

Monday, January 10, 2011


That's right, kids, the pajamas inside out worked like a charm. By 6am, we had at least 4 inches of snow. And it's still snowing! I took Peggy out in it this morning and she is a) really confused about how to go about pooping in the snow (which I feel is probably fair) and b) REALLY excited about running around in it. She keeps pestering me to go out and play in it more.
So happy snow day from Peggy Sue and me!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Inside Out PJ's!!

Tomorrow is the first day of my LAST semester of law school! Let me tell you, that feels straight up awesome. For anybody else in law school, I think you'll agree with me when I say that the entirety of 3L year seems like a ginormous joke filled with things I really don't need to learn and are not applicable to the real world. So I'm ready to be DONE!

Right now though, I'm sitting here with my pajama pants on inside out, hoping for snow instead of law school. I'd never heard of this pj's-inside-out thing until 1L year at South Carolina when Lia told me about it. See, I was always told that if you wore anything, pajamas or otherwise, inside out - then the hobgoblins would get you. Don't ask me to specifically define "hobgoblin" or what "getting you" might entail, but it sounds pretty scary and I kind of feel like I'm taking a risk in the name of snow. Oh well, it's 3L year, time to live dangerously.

What I'm hoping for is a snow party tomorrow instead of law school, because I feel like that would be a pretty epic way to spend the last first official day of school ever. I'm hoping for using the snow as a cooler, sledding, snowball fights, weenie dog in the snow, and then hot tub and wine time. See, doesn't that sound better than Civil Procedure II and Alternative Dispute Resolution from 1-6?

Anywho, enough talking about snow, I fear I might jinx it. I realized I never updated y'all on Christmas, probably because I had the sinus infection of Satan and felt like poo all day, and mainly wanted to just go home and wallow on the couch. But I did get awesome stuff, which I will proceed to tell you about. The beauty of this Christmas was that PB and I had a registry, which means easy, fantastic gifting. Anytime anyone asked me what I wanted, I just referred them to the registry, which leads me to believe that everyone should have a running gift registry at all times, just because.

#1 - My Roomba.
It is humming around the room as I type and man is this thing wonderful. I have two cats, one of which is a Maine Coon and thus sheds her butt off all the time, and now a dachshund. She doesn't shed, but she has to go out all the flipping time, so that translates into me tracking in leaves and debris and all manner of yard randomness. Further, I am Captain Lazy when it comes to housework, and this is a lazy girl's dream. Amazing.

#2 - My Hoover Pet Rewind Vacuum
What can I say? It was a sucky Christmas. But y'all I was in desperate need of a vacuum that worked. And if you're not into spending approximately 83 years worth of your salary on a Dyson (because I'm not), get this thing - it works just as well as my mom's Dyson and it was like half the price. A+

#3 - This Amazing Watercolor of Lafayette Square
PB and I got engaged in Lafayette Square on 8-9-10 and my stepmom got us this awesome print of an ink and watercolor by a Savannah artist. I can't wait to hang it up!

#4 - A Goody Bag of Sephora Wondrousness
I am a giant believer in Sephora's sampler packs. I got my mom the perfume sampler last year, where you get about 50 different samples of perfume and a fifty dollar certificate to get one after you test all of them out. This year, Mom got me a sampler of about 1.3 billion different mascaras and lip glosses. AMAZING. Frontrunners so far are the Multipleye mascara and the Bare Escentuals Buxom Lip Gloss.

Okay, snow, check. Christmas recap, check. Here's the part where I ask for a giant favor!

PB and I are in one of those ridiculous "cutest couple" contests on ye olde eff bee. If we get the most votes, we win a free photography package! And I like free stuff. I am also RULL competitive and I like to win. So this is a serious deal for me. Here's how you can help me fulfill my deepest dreams:

Go to the Amy Douglas Photography page on Eff Bee, become a fan, and then like our picture! (We're the #1 picture, Meredith & Phillip). And see, now you get to stalk our pictures! Win-win. Takes two seconds. And you'll get at least 20 karma points for doing it. (Okay so I made up the whole karma points system, but I mean doing something nice has gotta get you somewhere.)

Thanks guys! And fingers crossed for snow!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Decade in Review

Saw this whole decade in review deal on Lia's blog, and figured what the heck, I'll play along. Turns out this was actually harder than you might think because apparently, I have the memory of a hamster. Sad, sad. Anywho, here's what my feeble self can remember.


In 2000, I was finishing up 7th grade. And man was I cool. I wish I had pictures to show you, because I weighed about 90 pounds, but I was already 5'4", which apparently is going to be my height forever. Yep, peaked out in 7th grade. But due to my growing so much so fast pre-7th grade, no one would buy me clothes (or especially shoes) that were my actual size. Instead, I was wearing like a size nine and a half shoe and super-long pants because everyone was convinced I was going to keep growing like Alice in Wonderland after she takes that get-big pill. And just so you know, I'm 22 now and wear a 7 1/2 shoe. An 8 on occasion. I looked like Ronald McDonald.

That was also my last year at Assemblies of God Christian school, aka That Place Where They Screw Up Your Brain Forever. Example: had a second period Bible teacher (required course every year) who would put healing oil on people's first-period gym class boo-boos. She would wave palm fronds around the classroom. She sent me to the principle's office for wearing power beads because she told me they were the tool of Satan.
Anyone remember those? They were my go-to accessory, and I'm pretty sure I had every color Claire's stocked. Told you I was cool.


I left That Place Where They Screw Up Your Brain Forever and went to public school, which my grandmother was convinced would turn me into a Satan-worshiping stripper within 15 minutes. I felt so free that year, and went down the hallways saying "crap" without fear of getting a CDC slip (Character Development Class, aka after-school detention, aka more time to screw up your mind).

Everyone else probably hated eighth grade, but because I was in public school and felt like I had just escaped Vietnam, I loved it. We had dances! I know, that was all old hat for y'all, but for me, it was amazing. I even wore a pair of pleather pants to the winter dance, I was so excited. Yep, that's right. Pleather. We also went to Disney World in the spring of that year, and we all know that Disney World is my favorite place on earth, so Mt. Pleasant Middle School was pretty much sealed as the best institution ever in my mind.


I moved on to high school, still in public school. I remember spending the first week wandering around like a lost puppy, thinking every hallway looked the same. I thought it was amazing though - going to walk around Friday night football games and giggle with friends, not having to walk with your class to lunch. I started dating a boy who was a junior, which got me a ticket to prom, which I loved. I wore a big crazy, shimmery, sparkly purple dress and had my hair up in a billion curls. I think my mother nearly had a heart attack thinking I'd come home pregnant, but I had fun and thought I was super-fancy getting to go to prom.


Sophomore/junior year - ended up on the outs with the freshman year boyfriend (doesn't everyone?) and actually started talking more to PB. That ended up with me sneaking over to his house under the guise of "doing homework" even though we never had any classes together. But that ended poorly with PB wanting to be a sophomore-in-high-school jerkface and we said mean things to each other on AIM and that was that. Went to prom with a girlfriend of mine who was a junior, drove the pink '60 Cadillac and had a lovely time.


I finally turned 16! I'm a year younger than everyone else due to skipping kindergarten (probably the most fun grade in my opinion), so getting my driver's license was a big deal. I turned 16 on a Friday, and was so crazily OCD about passing the test that I asked my friend to let me take it in her VW bug, the teeniest car ever. I passed the test - I mean, you don't grow up in the country and learn to drive at eight years old for nothing - and remember driving out of the DMV parking lot alone, thinking it was the weirdest feeling in the world.

I went to Governor's School the summer after junior year and met who would become my freshman year roommate at Carolina. People always make fun of Governor's School but it was seriously awesome. You can be selected to go in an academic or artistic area, so of course I went to be an English nerd all summer. But the state pays for you to live at Salem College for six weeks, and even though there are curfews and schedules and such that I never really had at home, as a junior in high school it felt like the most independence I'd ever had. We'd walk around Old Salem, swim in the college pool, have dance parties at night. It was too much fun.


I was organizing a blood drive, and walking around to classes that I knew would be full of juniors and seniors to sign folks up. I walked into PB's civics class and asked him to sign up, after not really talking to him much since sophomore year. He just straight up asked me for my number, and started calling me the next week. Of course, I had another boyfriend at the time, who I'd met when I was visiting my freshman year roommate/governor's school roommate. Finally, PB and I ditched our respective prom dates and decided to go together. The rest is history.


I went off to college at Carolina, rushed a sorority, wrote for the newspaper, and tried to do everything including dating PB even though he was back home, my family hated him because he wasn't a UNC frat boy, and I had zero time for anything. It was a rough year - I hated living in a room the size of a shoebox with someone else, I hated fighting 24/7 with PB and about PB, and I decided that year to go to summer school at UNC Charlotte and graduate from UNC a year early.


I finally started getting more used to UNC, and I was happier because I moved into an apartment with three girls where I had my own room. That alone did wonders for my sanity. There were still rough patches, and I came home a lot - Chapel Hill was ok, but it was never home for me and I missed home a whole lot. People wanted to call that immaturity, they wanted to call it PB's fault, they wanted to call it abnormal, but even now, I know that it just wasn't the place I needed to be forever.

I worked that summer at the Boys and Girls Club, as a camp counselor at a camp out in the country. I don't think I've ever had a better summer. It was hot, it was tiring, and I was sometimes drowning in a sea of 60 kids at a time, but it was the best job I have ever had. I got paid to hang out with kids, tie-dye t-shirts, swim, fish, canoe, and go on nature hikes. I would have paid someone else to have that job.


The year I graduated from UNC! My parents and grandparents were so excited, but I was just relieved to be done with that, but scared to death of everything else. I wanted desperately to get into Teach for America, and I applied in the fall of 2007 when I was 19. I made it all the way to the final interviews, but I didn't get it, and I cried for three days. The family sort of guilted me into law school, and I don't know how, but I ended up at South Carolina in the fall of that year. The only saving grace that year was meeting Lia - it seemed like everything else had gone to hell. I was living in the hood, yo - a product of not deciding where I was going until three weeks before classes started. I was also living in a place infested by giant, giant palmetto bugs. That is a fancy word for roach. That doesn't seem like a big deal, but living in a house full of 3-inch long roaches that fly and hiss plus going through your first year of law school will make you a complete neurotic. I decided to leave USC after that year and never look back. I'm glad I met Lia there - but the rest? Total wash.


Settled back into my ways here at home, got my house, and got happy again. Turns out that even law school is better when I'm back where I'm supposed to be. 2009 actually flew by - it was such a blur that I can't even remember much about it, seriously. Went to law school, had a good internship, moved into my house. Happy happy joy joy!


Still loving life. Went back to my internship and worked my butt off and learned a ton this summer. After that, went to Savannah with PB and got engaged after five years together! Started planning our wedding, had an engagement party, and got Peggy Sue (who I'm going to sell to the circus if she doesn't stop ringing the "go outside" bell for no reason like she's been doing the whole time I've been attempting to blog.)

And that's the past ten years! Wahoo! Happy 2011!