Friday, September 13, 2013

My Friday Five

Phew! What a week! I was pretty happy to see Friday roll around, even if our actual relaxing time this weekend will be limited. Our schedules this week have been absolutely packed and I think we both need a break from trying to balance everything and keep everything in order. But a lot of good, fun things emerged from the craziness of our calendars:
  • Mike survived Campout - and won/purchased his season pass to the upcoming Duke basketball season! I took this photo Saturday morning when some of the wives delivered coffee and donuts right around the time the sun was rising. I'm pretty happy this is only something that happens once a year!
  • My Daddy stayed with us Sunday night and we all enjoyed Sunday supper together. I made carbonara (with fresh pasta, of course) with an arugula salad on the side. Mike could barely keep his eyes open during dinner, but managed to stay awake all the way to the end of Breaking Bad!
  • See that photo? That's my little cherry tomato plant! I bought it in July for just a few dollars, marked down because it was nearly dead. I've never had a garden before (though I have successfully killed a cactus) so I figured I couldn't do it much more harm. But with lots of sunshine and water, the plant recovered and blossomed! I found one little tomato on Tuesday morning, then four more today!
  • I started golf lessons this week (I told you this week was crazy!) - Wednesday mornings before work, for the next month, I'll be working on my swing. Golfing with Mike has been one of the things I have enjoyed most about moving down here; I just look forward to a day when I might actually be decent :-)
  • Book Club started this week! I've always secretly wanted to be in a book club and, as it turns out, lots of wives and girlfriends here at Duke have as well! It was a fun night of mostly sitting around talking and drinking wine, though we did manage to select our books for the remainder of the school year. I'm pretty terrible about making time for pleasure reading, so I'm looking forward to having an excuse to do so, and not feel guilty about it.
I hope you all have a super relaxing weekend - the weather is just a little bit cooler here today, so Gonzo and I have enjoyed some time on the patio. Be sure to check back early next week - I have a surprise I can't wait to share with you!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Friday Five: Week of September 1, 2013

Another week has flown by and suddenly it's Friday - it's Friday and I've let another week slip by without writing anything in this space. A week may not seem like a long time to some, but I have so much I want to share, so many stories and photos on just waiting for me to find the time to organize them and hit publish. I'm finding that even with the glorious, slower pace of our life here in North Carolina, there are still only so many hours in the day. And when those hours are filled with jobs, school, everyday life, and trying to find a moment to be still and be together - there just isn't enough time to do everything. I'm learning, slowly, to let go and be okay with that.

  • This week, Mike and I both had a few days off for prepping for the new semester (Mike) and Labor Day (me). While we both had lots of work to do, we carved out time to step away from our computers and books to enjoy the sunshine. We played golf, enjoyed a cocktail by the pool, and took Gonzo on a little play date.
  • We also finally walked the Al Buehler (WaDuke) trail! We took Gonzo along for the three miles, watching intently all the while to make sure he could handle it. Having grown up with large dogs, I was worried it would be too much his little 25 pound body! But he loved every minute on the trail - so many scents and squirrels! This photo was taken around the second mile - pure joy! And he slept for a full day afterwards!
  • Suddenly I find myself in a place where my little photography business is gaining some momentum. Inquiries, bookings, meeting local photographers. I am humbled and feeling so blessed.
  • Campout is this weekend! Mike will head-off with his team this evening to spend the weekend camping out in hopes to be selected from a lottery for the ability to purchase a season ticket to Duke Basketball. It's been so much fun watching the team get organized for the weekend and watch Mike - always the planner - packing his bags with all potentially necessary equipment.
  • With my calendar suddenly starting to become booked with photography sessions, I have been forced to sit back and really evaluate parts of my marketing. While I know it is necessary and important to do this, sometimes it can also be really hard - especially when your gut tells you to take a path that is different from other photographers you admire. I'm trying to take my time with these decisions, trust my instinct, and not waste time dwelling on something that may seem so simple down the road.

Happy Weekend!

P.S. Thank you Caustic Casanova for sending this beautiful bouquet of flowers! They brightened up the whole week!

Friday, August 30, 2013

My Friday Five: Week of August 25, 2013

It was hard to narrow down my choices this week! I had to earmark some things I wanted to share until next week, when they have had a chance to develop a bit more. Between a great week and looking forward to a few days off with Mike, it's hard not to feel like everything has been wonderful and inspiring!

  • Podcasts! Life savers for my commute to and from the restaurant each week. I never really appreciated them in New York - with needing to concentrate on impatient commuters and shoving myself onto the 6 train every morning - but now that I have a peaceful 25 minutes each way, they have been a great addition to my day! I started with The Splendid Table and added in This American Life at a friend's suggestion this week.
  • I'm pretty sure I need to place a bulk order for these cards. We love you North Carolina, but your parking leaves something to be desired.
  • Pizza nights every Thursday. Homemade Pizza - fresh and bubbling from the oven. A husband who looks forward to that specific dinner all week long. A dog who makes a dive for the crust, all the while knowing he will be scolded and banded from the dinner table. A little taste of New York from our oven.
  • Today on the golf course, I think I finally accepted that I'm a beginner and learning. Every time we go to the range or play a new course, I think and hope that I should suddenly become a phenomenal golfer. Maybe it's because I want to be great at it, or that I think I should be great at it - but mostly it's just because I'm a perfectionist. But today I celebrated the fact that not only did I do well enough to actually keep track of my score for the whole 18 holes, but also that I knocked 10 strokes off my score from last month. Small steps.
  • Yep, that's right, we went golfing on a Friday! Mike just wrapped up his first "mini-mester" and I was off today. Mike has lots of studying and I have lots of projects to work on, but we took today off completely, together.

Happy Labor Day Weekend all! XOXO

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Friday Five

Week of August 18, 2013

The days and weeks seem to be flying! Suddenly we've been in in North Carolina for almost two months and Mike is about to wrap up his very first classes in business school. I'm trying to soak it all in - I am so in love with our life here that I've already had moments of sadness, knowing that we won't be here forever. But looking out onto our patio this past Sunday, Gonzo reminded me to soak up every minute of happiness here, instead of wasting time being sad about leaving! Here are my Friday Five:

  • Planning for Campout (what students do for a chance at season tickets to Duke Basketball) started on Sunday! Since I'm not a student, I'll be able to come and go as I please (meaning I get to sleep in my own bed in air-conditioning :-) but can't wait to see this weekend in action! And Mike's team put together a PowerPoint for planning logistics for the weekend!
  • I baked my very first loaves of bread in our new kitchen! I so loved baking breads in pastry school, but doing so in our old apartment's toaster oven just wasn't a possibility. Homemade bread is so wonderful and it made it's way into most of our meals this week - on it's own with a good salad, the hearty core of BLTs, and every morning smeared with avocado, alongside eggs and juicy peaches.
  • Mike received his first grades back from school - if they had come in the form of a report card, it would be proudly displayed on the refrigerator right now!
  • On Sunday night, Mike and I were watching Breaking Bad when the baby on the show began to cry (I'm not giving anything away!). Gonzo immediately woke up from sleeping in between us on the couch and ran over to the TV. His forehead wrinkled up and he tilted his head back and forth, in between looking back at us with concern. Both of our hearts were melted immediately!
  • Driving home from work yesterday, I was thinking how originally I had been a bit apprehensive to take the job at the restaurant. I had applied for another job in May that I wanted (or thought I wanted) so, so badly. I was a finalist for the position, but I wasn't offered the job - the first time I had ever interviewed for a job and been turned down. I was crushed - in fact, this is the first time I've told anyone but Mike and a close co-worker. But now I see that there was a different plan for me, something better waiting that I didn't even know about yet. I'm so grateful to be in a place where I truly LOVE my job. I need to be better about planning and worrying less and trusting the road of life a little bit more.

Happy Weekend!