Thursday, April 17, 2014

Oh Wow!

Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day. I am just in a great mood today! 

It might have something to do with TJ coming to town last night. And that we got to cook dinner together and then we went to see Captain America, which was just okay but we got to whisper in a movie theater together. And we both had oatmeal for breakfast this morning. Yes, mine was enjoyed at the office and TJ got to eat his at my kitchen table but still... it makes me happy to have him close by and know that at the end of the day I get to come home to him. 

It might also have something to do with the fact that tomorrow we are heading up to my parents house to join my sister, whom I don't see even close to often enough, and her boyfriend for Easter weekend. And there will be Easter baskets and that precious time with my favorite people. And  I just might get to dye some eggs and I definitely will get to eat some deviled eggs which is one of my favorite foods. 

And I'm still filled up from yesterday's fun group text with 3 of my best friends, catching up and chatting about upcoming visits and plans and swapping selfies so we could all see each other right then and pretend we were hanging out together. We are all scattered hither and tither but I hope and pray that we always find ways back together. For weddings and birthdays and lake weekends and just "whatever excuse we need" weekends to be friends forever. 

Life just feels so very full right now. Of love and friendship and happy things to cheer about in each day. 

(And if you watch Friends you know exactly what episode this pic is from- it's one of my faves.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nine Things I Need

1.  A warm bath, candles, and to be able to finish my book. 

2. Popcorn and an icy coke, except I gave up soda for Lent.

3. Spring break, summer vacation, anything! Some sort of loonng break from work. 

4. A nap would be nice. But I would settle for a Netflix binge on the couch.

5. Tic-tacs, but only in multiples of two. (apparently 'N' is also for slightly neurotic...)

6. Family face to face time. More please. Now please.

7. No more metro delays and world peace. 

8. Motivation to do things (other than netflix binge) after a harrying day at the office.

9. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

*So I kinda Jesus juked myself at the end there. So what? It's Easter week. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Memphis Wedding

As I briefly already mentioned I was out of town for a long weekend in Memphis. TJ was the best man in a college friend's wedding and I got to be his date! One of my old roommates was also a bridesmaid and she played a role in setting up the bride and groom and may also have been involved in bringing TJ and I together...

But perhaps that's a post for a different day. Anyway... I flew down to Memphis Thursday after work. TJ was already there doing groomsmen things and, as I've mentioned twice already on here, he met me at the hotel with a slab of ribs. It was the perfect kick-off to a perfectly Memphis weekend.

We started the next day off with a bang- we saw the ducks! If you don't know what I'm talking about click here. It was actually the only thing (outside of wedding obligations) that we had on our schedule for the day. So we were happy to set aside time in our morning to wait for a gaggle of ducks to march across the roof of their Peabody home, get on the elevator and then walk across the red carpet and into the fountain. These are some lucky ducks, they have a cushy life and there was quite the crowd gathered to gawk at them (and the official Duck Master).

After the ducks did their thing we headed to lunch at McEwens with the groom and another couple. I had a yummy chicken salad sandwich and helped myself to some of TJ's friend okra. We decided to walk around some afterwards and made our way to Beale Street, which is basically a tamer version of Bourbon Street (or so I'm told). We had a drink outside in the sun and chatted up the upcoming nuptials with a calm and collected groom. Oh, and did I mention the weather was the bomb!? My freckles came out a little more in force across my nose and it just felt like my face was saying "finally!"

We then headed back for a nap before TJ had to head to the rehearsal. He practiced his  best man speech before he left and then I started getting ready for the dinner myself. I love getting dressed up. Dressing is half the fun of a night out for me and I was excited to wear a new dress and heels. The dinner took place at Flight which was really yummy. I enjoyed shrimp and grits and some of TJ's pork tenderloin (we ate a lot of pork this weekend). TJ's speech was actually the best best man speech I've had the pleasure of hearing and it was his first time giving one. Not too long, and funny and personal without being awkward or inappropriate in front of the family. (Some of them can be just so darn painful... hah.)
After dinner we headed back to Beale Street. In the evenings they card you to even come on to the street and the scene is definitely wilder but their was some good live music and it was a warm evening so we enjoyed meandering around and people watching. TJ had been handed the rings at the rehearsal dinner so he was anxious to not have them in his pocket for too long. 

The next day TJ had groomsmen responsibilities to attend to so I answered some work emails, and then took myself out for a stroll and to pick up lunch and a big sweet tea. It wasn't too long before it was time to start getting ready for the wedding. The only people I really knew at the wedding were all in the wedding party so I had to make some friends on the shuttle to the church and during the beautiful ceremony and cocktail hour while they all took pictures.

Luckily the venue was fantastic and there was plenty to see and plenty of yummy food to distract me until my date arrived. On one side there was all Southern style foods. Mini barbecue sliders, different types of deviled eggs, like bloody mary and crawfish, plus a lobster mac and cheese bar. And on the other side there was an international food display with bang bang shrimp served with chopsticks in mini Chinese take out boxes, and chorizo empanadas. I just kept going back and forth for more. 

Soon the bride and groom arrived to kick off the dancing and before long they were passing out flip flops to the girls. TJ and I took a break and snapped the only (non-photobooth) picture of the two of us that evening and then before we knew it, it was time to line up with sparklers, my favorite type of wedding exit, and send the newlyweds on their way.. 
I love celebrating weddings. They always make me tear up and the two of them just beamed the whole night through.

The next day we decided to walk off some of the previous night's treats and head down to the waterfront, peak over at Arkansas. We then hopped on the trolley, which is super adorable and convenient and headed back to Central BBQ, because one rack of ribs is just not enough when you're in Memphis.
Central BBQ happens to be right next to the National Civil Rights Museum so we wandered around the historic spot while we waited for our friends to arrive. The museum is located at The Lorraine Hotel where Martin Luther King Junior was shot. The balcony, the cars parked outside are all forever preserved right where so much history happened. We didn't actually go inside since we had flights to catch and lunch to eat but it was still really something to see. 
So back to the BBQ. Now I know Rendezvous gets a lot of press for being the best in Memphis but I have to say that I love the atmosphere and the food at Central BBQ more! We sat outside on the patio and TJ and I split a half dry/half wet rack with collard greens, cole slaw, potato salad, and onion rings on the side. I also got a large sweet tea which came with a plastic cup that I was excited to take home. 
I refilled my sweet tea, snapped a couple pics with my old roommate/bestie and then TJ and I relunctantly headed to the airport. It was such a fun weekend and I felt like I really got a good taste of Memphis. I definitely want to go back and see some of the stuff we missed like Graceland and Sun Studios and probably a few more barbecue places...Until then though, I've had more than my fair share of ribs for this month. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's the Little Things

Whenever TJ and I part ways after a visit I'll sometimes find chocolate or treat on my bed. And he always drops me off at the airport with a snack which helps when you have to sprint between connections.
(He's also been known to have chocolate cake or ribs waiting for me when I arrive...)

I also like to leave little sweet reminders for him. That way, after I've gone he has little pieces of me to help with all of the distance between us.

For instance... he is sure to find long strands of blonde hair stuck to all his clothes.

I make sure to pick off all my nail polish on his couch while watching TV. 

I "borrow" t-shirts to sleep in and forget to return them. 

And I "accidentally" leave my shampoo, conditioner in his shower. 

Just to name a few.

It's the little things that make the saying goodbye not quite so hard right? ;) 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Forgotten Letter K

So I kinda thought Friday was Saturday and I forgot to prepare a post for the letter K.  In between wedding festivities yesterday TJ and I tried to brainstorm some words for a potential post. We came up with Krispy Kreme, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and just kidding. 

Anyway, the day got away from me and I apologize. Tis the nature of this a-z challenge.

So forgive me for the late post because instead of blogging we were kissing at the photo booth, and kicking off our shoes on the dance floor. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Just Checking In

I'm out of town this weekend in Memphis for a wedding so blogging is proving to be a little tricky. But I just wanted to pop in and share a few pics of what I left behind in D.C.

Yesterday was beautiful. The city was beautiful.
I had organized a little afternoon outing for some of the attorneys where I work and it was such a nice escape from the office. I accompanied them to the Phillips Collection to see the new "Made in America" exhibit. It had been a while since I'd visited any galleries so I was looking forward to getting out of the office and wondering around with my nose too close to the painting so I can see the details, the thick paint, the layers that I love so much.

The exhibit fills all three floors of the building and features an impressive collection of American artists and it was simply a refreshing and relaxing way to spend my lunch break.
The Rothko Room- which has a very tranquil, spiritual quality to it. 
Bradley Walker Tomlin, No.8. Love that if you look at this for a little longer the seemingly random placed brushstrokes become rhythmic and reasonable. 
Clyfford Still, 1950-B. I liked this one because it was dark and creepy and the black looks like the profile of a face. 
I like to get just a little too close to see all that thick, gloppy paint. 
This painting by Willem de Kooning is called Asheville after the North Carolina town which just endeared it to me. 
Ben Kahn's Still Music is simply fantastic. I love the chaotic music stands and chairs. 
And even though it wasn't part of the Made In America exhibit I couldn't resist spending time staring at this Degas, I just love the subject. 

Feeling much more relaxed I took the long way back to the office, enjoying the sunshine and the blooms finally opening and I topped it off with some frozen yogurt from Pinkberry. 
The rest of the afternoon passed quickly and then I was on my way to the airport. Arriving in Memphis I was quickly greeted by TJ who had so sweetly brought me a half rack of ribs from Central BBQ. That boy, he knows the way to my heart. It was just the perfect start to a fun weekend! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

If I could visit England with you...

Sometimes I daydream about visiting England again. It's been quite a while since I've been back and I would love to travel there with a certain someone. I wonder if I'd remember my way around. Would it feel like home? Would I feel like I'd never left or like I'd been gone too long?

I would promise to hold it together and not be a blubbering mess the whole time.
I would immediately break that promise upon landing at Heathrow airpot.

As we wait to collect our bags I would tell you about landing here that first time long ago. About the tears then, how different it felt, the fog I was in.

I would insist on driving and you would keep your fingers crossed that I remembered how.
As we journey towards home I would point out all the sheep, the thatched roofs, the names of passing villages where friends used to live.

We would stay in our family's old village, at our family's favourite pub and I would lose it all over again the second we pulled into the gravel drive. We would venture downstairs for a pint, and some chips of course, and I would hope to open your eyes to the perfect dipping combination that is ketchup and English mayonnaise.

After a bite, rain or shine, I would drag you through town, hurriedly down the high street, past the familiar and the new shops, Marks and Spencers, Boots, Fishers, and I would yammer on the whole way until we reached my house.
And we would stand in front of the low stone wall with the purple flowers exploding from it and I would point out my bedroom window and seriously contemplate sneaking around back to check out the garden. You would talk me out it, no illegal activities abroad, but we would still peak over the fence. And I would console myself with the promise of a curry that evening.

We would take the longer way back into town, through the commons, the worn trails lined with a green carpet of ferns. I would tell you about that Halloween where my friends and I got into a tussle with some rough townies, and I would tell you about picnics with friends by the duck pond, and point out where the late bus would drop me off after school. How it would be dark at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

We would have the best Indian food of your life, as promised, and then fall asleep that night not caring that the sent of curry lingers long after we've left this most favorite restaurant of mine. The next day we would fight our jet lag and head out to do all the touristy things since you've never been before. But we would also visit my high school, and the other villages outside of the city where I took ballet classes, and we'd walk all over and we'd take pictures together in places where I lived and grew and changed. And I'd think how surreal it all was to visit with you. And you'd get tired of hearing the same stories I've already told you a hundred times before.
We'd probably be in sweaters and I would be in rain boots the whole time but I wouldn't mind one bit.
And when that English sun did break through, you'd see there's nothing prettier.
We'd duck in and out of pubs and warm ourselves with Cornish pasties and a pint.
I'd drag you into my favorite stores in Covent Garden.
I'd make you try all my favorite foods, dispelling the myth that England has rubbish food one tourist at a time, because it's just not true.
I would put on my best British accent and pretend to be a local.
And leaving would break my heart all over again.
But I'd be leaving with you which is always preferable to staying somewhere without you.
It's a whole other adventure in itself.
Oh, but if only I could take you across the pond with me...