Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011, the Year in Review

There are so many things to look forward to in 2012 and I am certainly getting excited about many of them. But 2011 was the absolute best year I can it will be difficult to top!
It was hard to narrow down (and I admittedly cheated) but here are my top 11 moments of 2011:

1. Buying and settling in to our first home!

2. January weekend in Charleston, celebrating engagements (and all of the other engagement parties and showers that would follow!)

3. Ellen's 22nd birthday -- and our first (but certainly not last) dinner party at 1327

4. Easter weekend with White and Frazier grandparents

5. Ellen's college graduation weekend -- in particular, favorite moment was her Seussical rendition of the class' history

6. seeing New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys in concert. yep. that's right.

7. Bachelorette weekend with my favorite girls at Sullivans Island

8. sneaky wedding portrait -- to and from Spartanburg in a day with the whole family!

9. picking out our first Christmas tree and cutting it down ourselves, during Thanksgiving week (and thanks to Carl Frazier for the saw which we will use for years to come to cut the bottom of the tree to save!)

10. I'm going to cheat and combo moments -- witnessing the marriage of Meredith and Tyler, Hadley and Hollis, Chris and Anna, Meg and Garrison, and most recently, Ben and Kat (and celebrating many other happy couples from a distance!)

11. and of course...committing all that I am and all that I have to THIS guy

Thankful for 2011 and looking forward to what 2012 will hold (spoiler alert: a honeymoon to Ireland, some graduations, a big birthday or two and at least one wedding are already on the books!)


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas With Love

Our first married Christmas was incredible - we started some new traditions, continued participating in some family ones and overall had a ball seeing family, eating and exchanging gifts. But -- my favorite part of Christmas is always GIVING gifts -- so here are some of my favorites I got to give this year.

As should have been expected...we made good use of the incredible photos from Meredith Daniels Photography for our Christmas gifts. Check out a few of the DIY (do-it-yourself) gifts that family members received:

Mom looking through the wedding photo book we gave to all of the parents and grandparents; these were a HUGE hit! These were of course only sort of DIY, we put them together on Snapfish.

Jason received this framed photo of our first dance, with lyrics to the song we danced to "You are the Best Thing" by Ray Lamontagne.

Dad got one too, with the lyrics for Dylan's Forever Young -- which he also used for our toast during the reception! (Jason's mom Kim got one of her and Jason dancing as well and yes -- I learned that from Pinterest!)

Tried out making fresh salsa for the first time. Will keep working on perfecting that...and then maybe you'll get some next year!

Ellen received this shadow box with little pieces of her Meredith College graduation weekend that I had hung on to since May in hopes of surprising her.

and a FAVORITE gift to give to the parents -- an ornament with our wedding invitation inside!

I hope your Christmas was filled with love and joy -- and plenty of great gift giving.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Because It's There"

Tonight, thanks to Ellen, Jason and I got to have a fun little date night in downtown Raleigh. Ellen passed on some gifted tickets to Martinis to the Max at the Marbles museum in downtown Raleigh.

On the 2nd Thursday of each month, the IMAX theater at Marbles hosts a cocktail hour followed by a documentary film showing. This month, the film was "The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest." Jason was thrilled about seeing snow IMAX style and watching this film on a subject he loved. I was just excited about the marbletinis.

So we dressed up a bit and headed to downtown. The marbletinis were alright -- but the film: it told a riveting story. There were actually two intertwined stories: the story of George Mallory, the man who could have been the first person to summit Everest and Conrad Anker who found his body in tact 75 years later and then went on to retrace his steps.

The original story is an incredible tale, that somehow I hadn't ever heard.

One of the most fascinating segments was the retelling of an interview Mallory did when preparing for one of his three expeditions to Everest. When asked by a New York Times reporter why he would want to climb Mount Everest, Mallory is said to have replied "Because it's there."

This baffled me. It inspired me. If I'm honest: it made me feel a little inadequate. I have set about making boundaries for my work and personal life, for my faith and friends. I have certainly come up with multitudes of reasons why I could not physically push myself: the workout is too long, it's too cold out, there is more work to be done, etc. But not Mallory. With no creature comforts, no end in sight and at whatever cost - he was going to climb that mountain. And not because no one else had or because everyone else had or because someone told him to or not to...simply because it was there.

I am baffled. inspired. feeling a little inadequate. What can I accomplish...? where will I go...?What will I feel compelled to because it's there?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Blur

So, it is probably unnecessary to name the busyness that has kept me from blogging these past few months. Instead of apologizing from my absence from the blogosphere, I'll just name that I was hard at work on putting the finishing touches on our wedding, which took place last weekend and move on.

It seems that time was marked with "before the wedding" and "after the wedding." The month before the wedding was a flurry of finishing up DIY projects (which would not have been possible without Ellen, my DIY partner-in-crime). The week before the wedding I fit in a special date with Mom, Pop, Ellen and Jason. A few days before the wedding the Frazier Fab Four made our way west and soaked up time together while running errands.

Then last Saturday, with the most beautiful weather in the most beautiful spot in Black Mountain we said our vows and exchanged rings.

We served communion to our family and dear friends.

We danced and celebrated til our feet hurt.

And then Jason and I spent three days post-wedding relaxing in an incredible house just outside of Black Mountain with this view:

It was every bit of the blur that I had been warned about. And I'll try to recount the details now that we are in the "after the wedding" part. Already some of it will come flooding back as we pour over the photos and open gifts as we settle in to this new, not-so-strange married life -- and in the midst of all of that, I know that the moment I certainly won't forget is the moment that inspired this blog to begin with. The moment not caught up in the rest of the blur; the moment when we spoke aloud the vows that were long ago written on our hearts: with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor and cherish you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

the truth shall make you odd

It's surprising how little we had in common when we first started dating. Jason was a biology major. I was a religion major. He was a freshman. I was a senior. He was from South Carolina and I from North Carolina. By the end of the first month of us dating, he had switched his major (to religion...which I take full credit for, thank you) but I was no longer at Wofford - the one thing that at the time had tied us together.

If you know me, you won't believe that in fact, during those first few weeks, I was the skeptic. Jason is the realist amongst us and I the romantic but at the time, he was the one who gave our relationship a shot.

Fast forward to summer of 2011 and as we prepare to merge 2 sets of furniture, dishes and hobby paraphenelia (mostly Jason's of course), an interesting merger has been our libraries. And I intentionally use the term library. We each come with 4 years of religion major books from Wofford and now a graduate collection as well. And I also have some additions from the library of Carl Frazier. As I unloaded Jason's books in to our office the other day, I started to see some similarities and upon a brief investigation, found this:

Those are two and sometimes three copies of the same books...all of them books on aspects of religion. We also each have copies of Catcher in the Rye and other literary classics And, perhaps my favorite, we each have our own copy of the Collected Works of Flannery O'Connor. This may start to sound like some academic snobbery and some of you might now roll your eyes but noticing this collection of the same books got me to thinking about the conversations that Jason and I have that give such energy to the day-to-day grind convos. I am so grateful that we have similar interests in academia but am even more grateful that we come and go from those conversations with enough open mindedness that we can disagree. Religion can be an incredibly personal topic and debates over truth and Truth can wedge a divide between people. Perhaps it is odd that we talk about these things but one more thing I have learned from Jason: to embrace the label "odd."

Flannery once said that "you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd." I couldn't agree more.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Recipe for A Perfect Marriage

One of my resolutions for 2011 was to try 52 new recipes -- I think at last count, I was at about I have some work to do in the second half of the year. As Jason and I have worked at that resolution we have tried some new favorites...and some duds. This past weekend, these Wofford girls helped me out with finding some new favorites by hosting a kitchen shower for me in Chapel Hill. We did a little basic math while together and realized that we have now been friends with one another for almost ten years!

Meg, Hadley, me, Meredith, Virginia and Katie

The weather was perfect, the food was delicious and so thoughtfully all of my favorites (including a cheese ball, of course) and the company was the best part. This year is spoiling me on seeing these girls - we'll only go six days between festivities this time as we will reconvene in Charleston this weekend for the wedding of Chris and Anna!

Sidenote: one of the best parts about wedding planning for me has been figuring out host/hostess gifts for parties. This one was my favorite thus far!

Olive oil from Italy (fitting for this crew) and painted measuring spoons

Back to the shower: in addition to some of my dishes and serving ware, I also received recipes for soon-to-be favorite dishes. The most important (and cheesiest) recipe was for the Perfect Marriage:

3 cups of love

4 spoonfuls of hope

2 cups of warmth

2 spoonfuls of tenderness

1 cup of forgiveness (*with instructions to add more as necessary)

1 pint of faith

1 cup of friendship

1 barrel of laughter

Mix together evenly and enjoy!

We had a chuckle over the how cheesy this was...but if you come to visit sometime soon, you will probably find this recipe framed and hanging in my kitchen so that I have a nice reminder (and maybe Jason will take a glance at it every now and then too).

cherish...oh and, mazel tov.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

As for Me and My House...

This little townhouse was busting at the seams this weekend...filled with friends and family as our engagement was celebrated (thanks to some fabulous bridesmaids!) and I loved every minute of it. Even the minutes that involved the hot water going, the 10 p.m. dinner (a little later than I had planned) and the 3rd dishwasher run in the same day.

But it got me thinking, that I haven't shared with the blog world the photos of this house I am so proud of! This house has quickly become a haven and I have loved inviting friends in, showing hospitality, sharing a meal and making it feel more like home. I really enjoy the work of finding just the right thing for the corners that need it. So -- at the risk of too much showmanship....I thought I would share photos of our little place in the world.

One view of the Living Room

A favorite feature: the built-in bookshelves

Music Corner

Our Dining Room

View of Breakfast Nook and Bakers Rack

Breakfast Nook, complete with re-covered chairs!

Jason calls this Dec-organizing


Guest Room Guest-Ready

Master Bath

Two views of the Master Bedroom

So me and my house...we will continue to welcome any who want to visit and share in the hospitality and a meal. Even if you have to wait until 10 p.m.