Friday, August 29, 2014

Best of Friday

Happy Friday!!

Best Song to Have Stuck in Your Head:  Okay, I cannot believe I just heard this song this past weekend.  I have been jamming out to Karmin's "Acapella."  Yep.  I have been listening and singing it all week long!!!  On the bus, in the shower, everywhere!  If you haven't heard it, check it out below!

Best Netflix Binge:  This is an oldie, but a goodie!!  I have always loved Criminal Minds, but I have never been able to catch it from season one onward!!  That is exactly what I have been doing all week long.  Any free time I have, I pop on Criminal Minds!!  Love love love!

Best Excitement:  I got a new car!!  Yes, it is true!  And this one is not as old as I am!  Joshua bought me a 2005 Ford Explorer, and it is beautiful.  It is birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and graduation gift wrapped into one sweet ride!  It is the first car in my name, and I am now an official auto insurance holder!  Excitement shall!

Hope you all have had an amazing week and are looking forward to an awesome weekend!!  Any exciting plans???  Like I said, let me know!!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Things I'm Learning

Hello Friends!

So is it really only Thursday?????  Whaaaatt??  It feels like it should be Friday already.  And we thought Wednesday was hump day.  Have you ever had those weeks that just go on, and on, and on?? Yes?  Yes.  This is one of those weeks for us.  It just keeps going.  But through the course of the week, I have learned some pretty cool things (trust me, nothing life changing so don't get too excited).

1.  I was scrolling through one of Haley's posts from this week (or last) on The Blue Dishes (which is now a dot com I might add), and I stumbled on a post about doing this closet challenge thing.  I am going to let you in on a little secret: That is not actually what it is called.  It is called Capsule Wardrobe, and you can read a little more about it at this link (Thank's Haley for finding it!).  Essentially, it is the idea that you clear your closet of all but 37 items, and you wear those 37 items for the whole season!!!  So example, fall is around the corner.  You would pack up all your clothes, except for your 37 pieces, and you would refrain from shopping (at all!!) until the last two weeks of the season.  However, your shopping is limited to items you can wear for the upcoming season.  I am ALWAYS standing in my closet thinking, "I have nothing to wear!"  I kind of really want to try this capsule thing, because I like the idea of being a minimalist (let me be clear: I am NOT currently anywhere close to being a minimalist!).  Still, interesting idea!

2.  Somehow I went from Haley's blog to a new blog that I really like reading.  Oaks & Oats.  I really like it!!  One of the things I read about was this thing called thredUP.  I might be the only person in the world who has not heard of this, but I think it is totally awesome!!  It is like an online Plato's Closet!!  You sign up with your email, and shop around for clothes and accessories!  It is totally awesome.  If you follow this link, thredUP will give you a $10 discount on your first purchase!  I logged on and immediately found things that I liked!  So much for Capsule Closet?  I am still going to try to do that slowly, but first the rest of my life have to be a little more organized!  In the meantime, I think this thredUP will be fun! 

3.  Remember how I have been so pumped about Zumba?  Remember how I was in that wreck?  Yes well, the thing about bruised ribs is that if you don't let them heal, they hurt worse!  What does this mean?  It means I actually overdid it at Zumba on Monday!!  I actually hurt myself worse!  So I am learning patience.  I want to be fit and healthy now, but I am not.  I have to take my baby steps to get there.  Josh and I both do.  This is part of my recovery from the wreck: healing.  While I am totally bummed, I am okay knowing that I can get back into this as soon as my body is ready.  Until then?  Advil and books!  

What have you learned this week?  Any new groundbreaking secrets?  Like I said, let me know!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Year, New Goals

Happy Tuesday friends!  

I hope you all are having a great first full week of classes!  Josh and I have been on a wild ride the past two weeks.  You are my friends, so I feel like I owe you a little bit of an explanation.  I have been holding out on you.  Two weeks ago, Josh and I were in a wreck.  It wasn't serious, but the airbags did deploy and the battery fried the computer.  I ended up bruising two ribs, and I had some burns on my arms from the airbags.  Also a nasty bruise where my seatbelt got me.  A couple hours after the wreck, I fell off my ottoman while trying to light my candles.  From that I had a serious bruise on my butt, and I think I hurt my tailbone.  Needless to say, the truck was totaled, and we were seriously bruised and upset.  In the weeks since, we have recovered, so don't worry about us friends.

Since the wreck, Josh and I have been doing a lot of talking about all sorts of things.  I have told y'all my plan to lose weight through Zumba, and believe it or not, it is working!  I actually lost five pounds last week!!  I went to Zumba all three times last week, and I already and feeling the burn from this weeks sessions!  I have also discovered my favorite sweet treat!!  Yoplait 100 Calorie Greek Yogurt.  Yep.  I absolutely love it!  It is so much more creamy than Chobani, and I just love it!  I have also been eating my salads religiously, and drinking so much water!  Eventually the inches will start melting away!  Just keep your fingers crossed!

Another goal this school year is to get organized!  I am a messy person.  Seriously.  I am the person who cannot keep up with anything!!  That is problematic when exams roll around, and I cannot find all my notes.  This year though, I am labeling!  A lot.  And I am keeping a very tight watch on where I put my notes.  The key to graduation is organization and good grades!!  I want both!!  I am also ready to seriously clean the whole apartment!  That sounds simple right?  But it is not!!  I have all my stuff, all my roommate's stuff, and Josh keeps all of his stuff here too!!!  I have too much stuff and not enough room, and this does not even count the things in my truck!  Yes, I said it.  In my truck!  Maybe labeling my school work is a good start though.  Eventually I will be able to clean up my home!  My incentive is to show you all my NCSU Football decor!  Good incentive right?

My third goal?  Be a better at doing things I enjoy.  It is important that you keep things you like to do in your life, especially when you are sharing it with another human being.  I love Joshua.  He means the world to me.  But I cannot love him the way he needs me to if I don't love myself first.  Part of that is being happy, and the only person who make you happy is you.  You have to retain what you love, and bring it together with the person you love.  Josh thinks that I am beautiful and sexy just the way I am, but he knows I am not happy with me.  That is why we are losing weight together.  I make useless decorations all the time.  Josh knows I am amazing at it, but he still makes a point of telling me every time I create something new.  This is important.  He is my biggest fan, and I am his.  That is a really special bond!!  I couldn't imagine not having his support, so for both of us, I have to be better at doing things I enjoy!  On that note, Josh actually reads my blog so with his birthday coming up, I can't post what I am currently crafting.  I can sneak you a peek though, and keep him guessing until the 5th!  

With the start of the new school year, what are your new goals?  Like I said, let me know!


Thursday, August 21, 2014


Hello Everyone!!

I hope everyone's first day of class was AWESOME!!  Well, maybe.  It's Thursday, which means tomorrow is Friday (the weekend), and today is picture time!!  I found some really cool pictures this week and they are old and new(er).  Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do!

So this picture is FUN!  July 2010, I volunteered as a leader for Mission Camp at Laurel Ridge.  I went up to the mountain without a church, but Yadkinville United Methodist immediately adopted my little Moravian self as a member of their team.  We had an AMAZING time, and I think we all learned so much.  I know I learned so much about these kids!!  I love them all, and I am constantly FB creeping them!  In this picture, Kelly is (obviously) on my back.  We shared a mirror and she was so much taller than me in 2010, that I could be in front of her and she would stand behind me and still see over me!!  You will notice, Kelly has a screw in her mouth.  Our team was so efficient that we actually did two projects.  We built a 90 foot wheelchair ramp in about 2 1/2 days, so this was actually our second project on the third day.  About Day 2, Kelly learned how to use her tongue to stick screws up her nose.  Laugh in horror because you know you want to.  She was careful, and we never saw any injuries.  We became awesome builders and totally aquatinted with power tools galore!  So much love, and so much God time, it was amazing!! 

This is November 2011, as it says in the sign.  It was my first Ladies in Red concert, and we were the magnificent seven!!  It was so much fun and we were sooooo sexy!  This picture was actually taken at the NCSU GLBT Cabaret.  We sang and had an amazing evening, and we exchanged Grains of Time horror stories!!  So fun!!  I miss these ladies so much, but this is a wonderful memory!

This is an oldie, but a goodie!!  This was July of 2008!!  Laurel Ridge Senior High Camp, my senior year.  The girl on my right is Jennie, and this was her freshman summer.  The girl on my left is Nikki and she and I have been friends since we were toddlers.  I met Jennie Day 1 and I absolutely loved her!  Immediate connection!!  Nikki sang this beautiful song on the first day, and Jennie and I fell in love with it.  We three decided to sing it for the Talent Show on Wednesday night.  We practiced at the Northern Overlook, and we figured out a three-part harmony.  The song: Seminole Wind.  This is one of the only pictures of us singing at the Talent Show, and we were stunning!!  I listen to the song now and reminisce about this wonderful moment with these stunning ladies!  If I ever find a video of us singing, I will let you know!

What pictures bring on your nostalgia?  Like I said, let me know!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Hello friends!

Last week, I posted ten things that I was excited about/wanted to discuss.  As I was doing last week's post I was like, I can totally find ten this to blog about every week!!!  When I sat down at my computer this week I was like, no, no I can't.  So today we are going to do a Tuesday five???  I think we will call it Tuesday Win!

1.  This is a half win.  I am super excited about school starting tomorrow/super bummed summer is over.  Where did the time go?? :'(

2.  I am currently cleaning my apartment so that I can do a tour for you.  After all, that is what friends do, right?

3.  I finally finished some "Football Season" decorating in my apartment!!  Here is a glimpse of NCSU Football!  More to come!

4.  I am super pumped about getting my gym on this week!  I am hoping that by the time my engagement pictures roll around, I will already be slimming down. (Side Note: I am so proud to say that my fiance reads my blog!!  YAY!  Last week when he read my #tbt post, he commented on how "sexy" I looked in my black sweater picture...that is now my new goal!!  lol)

5.  And finally...I am having craft night tonight with my friend Tori which I am super excited about (I have a craft up my sleeve) and Thursday night, B and I are watching my FAVORITE MOVIE...pause for effect...Ever After!!  Love, love, love!!

What are some of your Tuesday wins?  Like I said, let me know!


Monday, August 18, 2014


Happy Monday!

I hope everyone has had a great summer.  It is hard to believe that NCSU classes start on Wednesday. Crazy to believe actually!  As this fall semester rolls around, I am super excited to realize that this is my last first day of fall classes.  Unless I fail something this semester (which we are going to try to avoid like the plague), I should be walking across that stage in May.  That is a big scary, exciting thought.  What new adventures will come my way?  Starting classes is normally not super exciting, but starting a new degree in a new college department really is super exciting!  New people, new classes, new ideas, etc.  It should be much better than engineering!!!

Another thing I am looking forward too is actually kind of interesting.  I have been reading a lot about these Birchbox things.  If you know what they are then you are one step ahead of me.  From what I can tell, you subscribe and they send you one box a month with samples of products.  In the women's box, I should find makeup and skincare stuff, but I have heard healthy snacks are included.  I don't know.  I read about it in my friend Haley's awesome blog post yesterday, and finally decided to bite the bullet and try this out.  My box ships (for free) on August 24, so I will keep you posted!
New this fall: Joshua and I have couple friends!!!  This sounds silly, but really it is hard to find.  We have friends that have significant others, but that is not the same.  Couple friends are where you make friends as a couple, not as individuals.  The strange thing is, Robert and I have been friends since infancy, but we lost touch throughout the college years, and when we finally reconnect, I was with Josh, and Robert was already married to his wife, Brianna.  We reconnect as couples, so it is working as couple friends!  We have not had couple friends in over a year now, so it is really exciting to find friends that we have a lot in common with.  This is more than just interests though.  We are in similar places, they have been married two years and Joshua and I are engaged (which I think I should tell you that story sometime).  We are young, in Raleigh away from out families, and I think we deal with very similar couple issues.  Anyway, we are all already looking forward to weekly get togethers this fall, and I am super pumped to be building what seems to be an amazing friendship with both of them!  I will have to post about our adventures as well!!

One final thing this fall: On October 3, 2014, Joshua and I will have exactly 365 days until we become Mr. & Mrs. Hauser!!  Silly, I know (unless you are engaged and then you TOTALLY understand!!), but this is exciting.  We are getting so close to embarking on our biggest adventure yet!!  As things come together, I will update you.  Once we start getting advice, I will let you know about that too!  One day at a time, right?

What are your new adventures this fall?  Like I said, let me know!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Best of Friday

It's Friday!  
Here are some of the best things of my week!

Best Sweet Treat: This is my favorite treat, and that it all it can ever be; a treat!  When I flew out to California in March, I discovered how much my great-aunt and I really have in common.  We went to grocery store and had ALL the same favorites.  When it came time to pick out a treat for us, she suggested her favorite and I was like "Sure!"  And thus, the affection for Häagen-Dazs Sea Salt Caramel Gelato was born.  It is wonderful!  It is however a little on the heavy calorie end.  270 calories for 1/2 cup.  But worth it.  When zumba starts back up, I will not be allowed to eat this, but until then... :)

Best Summer Netflix Binge:  This show is one that I have just recently become OBSESSED with!  Last summer, I watched all nine seasons of Grey's Anatomy.  Legit!  Nine seasons!  So after spending a wonderful summer with Shonda Rhimes, I decided a second one couldn't hurt!  So I have officially become hooked on Scandal.  

Yes, Shonda Rhimes - you are in fact amazing!!!  I LOVE THIS SHOW.  Of course I am only starting season 3, but I will be watching this nonstop to prepare for the season 4 premiere in September. 

Best Morning Cup: I love coffee!!  I love, love, love coffee!  I feel like a good morning, starts with a good cup of joe.  I recently discovered Folger's Mocha Swirl K-cup edition.  I absolutely love it!  It smells like chocolate, and that is perfect.  


What are some of your favorite finds this week?  Like I said, let me know!


Thursday, August 14, 2014


Happy Thursday friends!!

Every Thursday, all my friends post the #tbt pictures, and I never, ever participate.  I have too many wonderful pictures to choose from, but they all come with funny stories as well!  So I have decided to post a couple here, and explain the love, and humor behind them.  After all, it's my blog, so I make the rules!  :)  

1.  Several of these pictures will include my friend Brianna, because we always have an interesting adventure up our sleeve!!  This below is from a shopping trip that Brianna and I took in January 2010.  We originally met two weeks before freshman year started in 2008 at ESCAPE Camp.  This camp was for female engineers.  I think B is one of the few from that camp that actually graduated as an engineer.  Oops!  Anyway, this was THE shopping trip where I tried on a blue top (not pictured here) and B told me to "take that off, you look stumpy!"  Yes, my best friend called me "stumpy" and she is still my best friend.  That is what best friends do though.  They tell you the truth, in a way that you will understand it!  It will not always be nice, but it will always be true and said with love.  B & I swore that if we lost five more pounds, we would come back and buy these outfits.  Four and half very fat years later - we do not even own these outfits!!!  We NEVER went back, or lost five more pounds!  I would CUT OFF MY LEG to be that skinny again!!  Lesson Learned?  BUY THE OUTFIT!!!!!!  lol Just kidding.  Take pictures of it instead!

2.  Okay, don't freak out!!  That is indeed a snake in my hair!  As a kid, I was terrified of snakes.  Scared s***less you might say!  I would have nightmares about them.  I would dream I was eaten by one.  It was bad.  So as a sophomore in college, I decided to conquer my fears, and get one.  Yep.  I went extreme.  I bought a yearling corn snake, and named her Odie (I thought she was a boy).  This picture was taken in May 2010, and I still have her!  She cannot, however, still fit on my head.  She has grown tremendously, although at five years old, I think we are done growing.  Last time I check, she was about 54 inches long.  Almost as long as I am tall!  But here?  Here she was about ten inches.  She was a BABY!  My how the years have flown!

3.  It is good to see that I can still make that face!  Haha!  This picture is again featuring Brianna and this time we are having an adventure at the WISE Semiformal.  I took Brianna as my date!!  Ah, April 2010!  That was so much fun!  In the picture below, B is posing for her beauty shot and I am describing how I felt.  Legit!  We had been dancing, and running around like crazy people, and someone said, "Describe how you feel."  That is what I did.  No, there was no alcohol involved, and only a little bit of sleep deprivation!  Always remember the good times!

4.  Here is a picture that I really enjoyed!  This was taken the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2007!  This is my mom Tracie, my sister Merritt, my oldest cousin Kourtney, and my older cousin Kadie!  We use to have the really awesome tradition of always going to my Maw Maw's house for cookie baking on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  We would bake Moravian sugar cookies, and listen to Christmas music, and just generally be a family.  A few years ago, some members of our family decided this was no longer a tradition that they wanted to keep alive.  While I am still sad that we let this 65 year old tradition die, I am already making plans to incorporate it into my family one day.  When Josh and I get married and have a living area all to ourselves, we will invite our family to come to our home, and bake Moravian sugar cookies, sing, share and enjoy each other.  It will be chaotic, and it will be messy, and we will be exhausted the Saturday afterward, but it will be because we spent time with the people we love.  We all go through periods in our life where it feels as though something will always be the same, and then all at once, it will change or cease to exist.  Still, some traditions are worth keeping, even if, for a few years, you have to let them go.  Don't worry though, I will bring this back to life!

5.  Last but not least, a final picture of me and Brianna!!  This picture was taken in September of 2009, right after B and I re-met/really became friends!  We both have on our "10 Reasons to Be An Engineer" shirt, and I painted our faces for a football game.  This is the game where we road the bus. BIG MISTAKE!!  If you would like to get to the game, the bus is not the way to go.  We are loaded onto buses like sardines.  Anyway, this was the time before Smart phones had really taken off, and neither B nor I had one.  So we were working with nothing this day, because you do not take your laptop to the game!  We could not for the life of us figure out where the buses picked up, or what time they picked up.  We missed the first bus by maybe about five minutes.  We watched it pass us as we were walking toward it.  Silly us, we thought the buses ran on a better schedule.  Nope.  45 minutes later, another bus finally showed up.  Hundreds of people were left behind, but B and I were ruthless.  After I fell on someone, we got to sit down.  We ended up getting to the game about an hour after it had started, and therefore had nose-bleed seats.  I really don't remember the game, because we were in with the tailgaters that had been a little too drunk to make it on time.  I know we sang, and cheers, but whether we won or played well?  I don't know!  lol  It was a great adventure either way!

What are some of your favorite #tbt memories?  Do you have some crazy pictures with friends?  What are the stories included with your pictures?  Like I said, let me know!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday Ten

Hello friends!  

Today I am going to do something I would like to do more often: Blog about normal, non-important, fun things.  I feel like I am always trying to get some point across with my posts, but today, today is fun!  Also, I am trying to blog more often!!  So today, I am going to post ten things that I have either been thinking about, doing, reading, etc.!  Be excited!

  1. I really miss the beach, but I am totally ready for fall!  
Source: Flickr
2. With fall comes two very important things that I am also excited about.  One of them is pumpkin spiced everything!!  Especially pumpkin muffins!

Source: Ella Claire Inspired
3.  The second very important "fall excitement" is Wolfpack Football!!  Here are pictures of the posters I recently hung on my entrance wall!

4.  Since it is almost fall, I really want to try my hand at making homemade granola!  I tried a few years ago, and it was awful - but maybe I can change that!

Source: Dashing Dish
5.  Speaking of homemade things - I am currently into cobblers.  I think they are amazing!!  I also try to tell myself they are okay for you, because they have fruit.  :/

Source: Kevin {&} Amanda
6.  Joshua and I recently realized that we have about 15 months until our wedding, which is only 15 months to lose about 55 pounds each.  That is 110 pounds together, which is, in fact, a small human.  My plan?  Go to zumba every day!!!  I am looking forward to NCSU zumba classes starting back up!!

Source: Mama Mia
7.  Speaking of classes starting up, this is my first semester as an agriculture major at State, and I am feeling a mix of nervousness and excitement!  I hope I am a good Ag kid!

Source: NCSU Ag T-Shirt
8.  Right now, I am currently reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty!  The going is slow at the moment, but I really like her stuff - hopefully this will be a good read!

Source: Oprah
9.  I am super excited about Ladies Night at Wine & Design - Raleigh!!!  If I didn't invite you already, you are now officially invited!!

Source: Wine & Design
10.  I was reading one of my friend's proposal stories today, and I am reminded of how super excited I am to marry my best friend!  I realize that it is still over a year away, but y'all...I am soooo excited!!

What are you excited about this week?  Is something new you have discovered and are dying to dish! Like I said, let me know!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Brushstroke Therapy

Being creative is in my genes!  It comes from my great-grandfather, down through my mother's side to me.  All of my family have nifty, crafty ideas and we all create beautiful works of art.  But that is really what art is anyway.  Beautiful!  Recently, my roommate Rachel and I went to Wine & Design in Raleigh.  I found W&D through a friend on Facebook.  She recently got married and for her Bachelorette Party, she went with everyone to W&D.  I love to paint!  I just bought a birdhouse yesterday to paint and hang up outside for my birds.  That being said, I felt like W&D was a no brainer!  I begged Rachel to come with me, and she finally relented!  She was a little nervous because she had never painted before, and she had some idea that her painting had to be perfect.  But perfection is in the eye of the beholder or in this case, the person with the alcohol and paint brush!

When we arrived, this was all that was on the canvas given to us.  Almost completely blank!
When we got to W&D, we simply signed in and sat down.  We talked and chit chatted with other individuals, and looking around the room, I think Rachel felt some pressure.  W&D is completely filled with beautiful paintings!  I think the paintings are amazing, and easy to recreate, but for someone picking up the brush for the first time, they can be a little intimidating!  Our instructor (Mr. Ed) stood in front of us and gave us the rules of the game: There are no rules to this game other than have fun!  Best rule ever!!  I quickly set to painting.  When I paint, I get in my zone.  It is hard for me to think about anything else, other than how I feel the colors are looking.  Rachel had some initial questions, but as the evening went on, she entered her own "painting zombie zone."  When we reached the halfway mark, and Mr. Ed told everyone to take a break, we were both amazed with not only how amazing our paintings looked, but also how amazing everyone else's looked!

My painting is on the left, and Rachel's is on the right.  Both these paintings are different and yet still extremely beautiful! 
One of my friends, Sidney, just posted on her blog, about how she needed to focus on progress, not perfection.  I think she is totally right.  We all need to focus on progress and not perfection.  I wish I had graduated as an engineer in four years, but the truth is, it took me sin years to progress out of something I didn't really like, and into agriculture, a place I am already calling home.  Rachel wanted her painting to be perfect, but as the evening went on, she realized that the progress she made was more beautiful than she could have imagined.  We all get a little too wrapped up in the final product, and when we do, we miss the little messy parts of the journey.  And that is what life is: a journey.  Everyone's journey is different, and everyone's painting is beautiful!  Progress is the perfection that we need, and the journey is what we laugh about for years to come!

These are the finished products of everyone that night!  All of them are absolutely beautiful!!  Check out me and Rachel in the yellow circle! :)
Needless to say, Rachel and I had an amazing time at W&D!  So much so, that we have planned a Ladies Night for several of our friends.  We are actually all piling in there on Thursday for the "College Night" edition.  I am painting an NCSU wolf, and Rachel is painting the NCSU Bell Tower.  I would show you what they are supposed to look like, but they won't look like that.  They will be our own creations in every sense of the word!  And we will hang them proudly around the apartment!

A closer look at mine and Rachel's paintings!  Aren't they amazing??
After all, our paintings will remind us of the amazing time we had together, laughing, painting and sharing!  We won't be roommates forever, but we totally will be painting buddies!

How do you express yourself creatively?  Do you enjoy the journey as much as you want to?  Like I said, let me know!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Who Are You?

Every summer consists of one of those quintessential summer vacations. They typically consist of trips to the beach, trips to Florida, trip abroad, etc.  Mine and Josh's summer consisted of not one trip, but two!  First we travelled to Florida and experienced all of the wonders of Walt Disney World.  This was not a vacation though, as Josh is quick to point out.  Florida was an experience!  Our second trip?  The beach!!!  Believe you me, it was indeed everything a vacation could have ever wished to be.  Our first day there was a little rainy with rough waters, but our second day was the closest thing to paradise I think we could have asked for.  Blue skies, blue-green water, white-ish sands, everything South Carolina beaches have to offer and more!  

This is the view walking from the beach clubhouse to the ocean!
One of my favorite things to do at the beach is to set up my beach chair right next to my mom, and talk.  If you know me personally, you know I am the queen of "Death by Talking."  Hence the reason for a blog - half of you never knew I could write too (Oh no!  Two word-y outlets!)!  My mom and I talk about almost everything.  We just talk.  We talk about boys/men/boys-who-think-they-are-men.  And we talk about life.  Life as it is.  I mean, there are 28 years between my mom and I, but some days, it feels like so much less time.  One of the things we talked about at the beach was how old I am getting.  Seriously!  Neither of us can believe that I am turning 24 in September and I will be 25 next year when Josh and I get married.  To me, that seems so old, and I don't think I feel that old.  As we were talking about age, my mom said something that really struck me.  She said that 24 is an age where you know who you are, and you are trying to change it.  She said 52 (her age) is an age where you know who you are, and you don't care what people think about it.  At first, I was a little put off - I mean, I am who I am and I am quite proud of that.  Then I took a step back, and thought about it.  
I know who I am, but I am trying to tweak things about me.  For example, I want to be more neat and organized.  Truth is: I am not neat or organized.  I actually cried the other night to Josh about how it upset me so that I can not seem to stay on top of the mess I create.  I CRIED ABOUT IT!!  I am working hard to change that, but maybe I am looking at it wrong.  Maybe it is not me I need to change - maybe it is my attitude toward cleaning.  Anyway - side note.  Another thing I am trying to edit is my blogging.  I created a beautiful website, and then jumped to Blogger to begin the journey again.  I wish, wish, wish my pictures were light and beautiful but the truth is, they are like me.  When I was 13, I decided I didn't want to be a brunette anymore.  I wanted to dye my hair blond, like platinum blond.  So I did.  And I kept dying my hair blond for years and years and years.  Then, about four years ago, I had boy troubles and decided to do something drastic to my hair.  I dyed it brown!  Deep brown!  Turns out it was actually my natural color and I didn't know (of course as many times as I dyed my hair, I figured I was probably gray-headed)!  I loved it!  I personally believe that I am a totally dark beauty, but that is just me.  Point is - I was trying to change something that turned out to be second rate to the real thing.  
Josh is putting my sunhat on and making me look silly!
I think Josh looks more silly in my hat than I do!  Good thing I love him!
What does this have to do with the beach?  Absolute nothing!!  This was a moment in my life, and it just happened to occur at the beach, and sense a brain-scan is not a good picture, I decided beach pictures were!  :)

The view off the pier in Garden City, SC!
I am not always going to feel like I am something that I don't want to be, but I have to make the steps to get there.  I have to be more proactive in accepting myself for what I am and also what I am not.  I am not neat.  I am not timely.  I am not always sure of what is going on around me, and I tend to hide behind Josh and his in-your-face personality when I get nervous.  I am not wild.  And that is okay.  I am me.  I make large messes appear out of thin air.  I have such good intentions to be on time.  I plan to write a blog post everyday, it just doesn't happen that way.  I am me.  I might be 28 years away from being 52, but maybe I should act like I am 52 now.  After all, I am who I am!

Our vacation was perfectly imperfect.  I created such a big mess that my sister couldn't even get into the closet on my side of the room.  Josh got burnt like nobody's business.  I found a beautiful whole sand dollar that just dried out and cracked for no reason.  We had a magnificent time, and that is really all that matters.  But BONUS!  I caught up on some much needed sleep!!!! 

How is your summer treating you?  Do you agree with being happy with who you are, or do you wish you could change some things?  Like I said, let me know!


Friday, August 1, 2014


One summer, several years ago, I had a very crappy summer job.  I think we have all had those jobs where we thought, "Surely work won't be like this all the time!"  Some days, I would literally show up to my job, and my boss would tell me they didn't need me, and send me home.  There is a whole story there, but all you need to know is I spent the summer trying to make as much money as I could so that I could buy gas to drive to work and be sent home about ten minutes after arriving.  What did I do?  Well I grew up on a farm, and I was living at home, so I became a kind of farmhand.  I picked blackberries and blueberries and sold them.  It was a long, long summer, but it was really critical to my personal growth.

That has to be one of the worst sounds in the entire world!  The "plunk" of a blueberry hitting the bottom of an empty bucket.  Deafening.  For a long time after that summer, I didn't really like the taste of blueberries.  I knew what work came with them.  There is no fast way to pick blueberries, unless you have big hands.  Let me let you in on a little secret: My hands are tiny!  Seriously!  Josh tells me all the time!  I have no way to pick a large clump of blueberries in a single grab!!  So I pick them slowly.  Typically in clumps of three, maybe four.  I started that summer by nibbling blueberries as I picked, but I later realized that was cutting into my profits.  And my time!  

Not only do people like blueberries, but so do birds and bees!  Birds and bees eat their blueberries for free and bees do not like to have their blueberry treat interrupted by someone who is trying to steal blueberries from them.  As someone who is very allergic to bees, I really did not enjoy fighting them for berries.  I had to outwit my competitors.  My strategy?  Wake up before the bees!  I spent most of that summer with my alarm set for 4:00 a.m.  With typically almost two and half hours to sunrise, I normally could pick a gallon or two before I started competing with the bees.  

Like I said, that was several years ago, but last weekend when I walked out to the bushes to pick two quarts for me and Josh, it all came flooding back.  Especially with the deafening "plunk!"  The dismay of tiny hands.  The buzzing of busy bees.  Everything.  Life lessons smack you when you are least expecting it.  God has a way of taking small moments and making them bigger than we could ever imagine.  During this hard summer, I could only think about how desolate I was, and how much I hated my stupid job!  Now, I laugh at how the cows would "help" me pick blackberries, and how my dad's coworkers bought blueberries from me because the genuinely wanted to help me out.  I had to ask my parents for gas money on more than one occasion so that I could drive to work, and I have to laugh now that I went in for a job and came out with something totally different.  I somehow wound up on as a marketing adviser for a political party that I did not agree with, and I did a pretty good job.  I look back at how I learned that I could sell and market, something that I am doing now.  While all of the bad of blueberry picking comes back, so does all of the good.

Picking blueberries is peaceful.  You are able to focus on what is going on in your life.  As I was picking blueberries, I was thinking of wedding plans, vacation ideas, and reviewing the weekend and its many adventures.  I was thinking of riding on the boat, and the message given in church that morning.  I was thinking about life, and, while my nimble fingers slowly plunked the blueberries into the buckets, I was thinking about making blueberry treats for my love.  I was also composing this blog in my head, but that's not important!  Picking blueberries give you a chance to take a step back, and relax.  I had a high school boyfriend one time that would come to the farm to pick blueberries, just for fun.  

Josh and I are counting down the days to when we can come home for good.  We are eager to be back closer to our families, and start building our own farm and lives.  Together, we are counting down the days until we become "Mr. & Mrs. Hauser," and we are planning our journey there together.  Monday, I fixed a blueberry crisp, and, in my humble opinion, it was amazing.  It was like tasting home.  I slaved over picking those berries, and they turned out perfect in my crisp.  I recently finished Bread & Wine and I have to agree with Shauna.  Food is a powerful tool and a powerful connector.  It brings us together, and brings peace to tiny moments.  That crisp did not survive the day, but it is something that we enjoyed together.  A small token of joy and happiness.  A small bite of life.  Blueberries have that effect.  They bring back the nostalgia of that memorable summer that happened long, long ago.      
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