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How Time Flies!

I cannot believe it’s been since July that I posted. I’m a bad blogger now apparently. But that’s what happens when you get promoted to full time at work, so you’re working all the time and then trying to balance housekeeping, feeding both family and friends, baking, traveling, and trying to see your husband all at the same time!

The biggest news I have is… (not a baby) A TEACHING JOB! Hooray! Starting next month, I’ll be teaching 3rd grade math and science! I’m mostly excited about having a Smartboard in my room. I cannot believe I’m actually a real teacher now. I’ll have to leave Dick’s eventually, which makes me terribly sad. Being the worrier I am, of course I’m terrified that I’ll lose all my friends I have now. 😦

The second biggest news is… A HOUSE! Les and I are moving in December to our first non-apartment (but still renting) abode. Best of all, it has a beautiful yard! Welcome back, bonfires and as many people as we can cram into the house and carport! I’m so extremely excited, oh my goodness. We’ve never really lived anywhere that we can use the yard for whatever we want, or crank the music/movies as loud as we want, plant flowers, paint, really decorate. It has been so fun picking out paint colors and watching Les do to our own home what he does for a living.

In other news, it is becoming a beautiful Autumn here. I can still wear tshirts and flip flops, but I need hoodies in the morning and at night, which is perfect because they are soooo wonderful. The leaves are starting to turn and delicious coffees everywhere.  It’s also Fair Time here at NC State. We went last week and stuffed ourselves with fair food. Delicioussssss.


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Busy busy busy

The time that has passed between the last post and now has been full of really ups and really downs. My grandmother had a heart attack and a stroke, I became a full-time employee at work, and I have baked a LOT. Not just for other people. I actually made cupcakes just for Les and myself. I feel like I have been running around like a crazy person for the past two months.

In the very near future, Les and I (along with Michael and Brittani) are going to start teaching two youth Sunday schools! We are so excited. It’s been way too long since we were involved with a youth group. It’s sad to think about something that was a daily part of your life can just go away and leave a hole. We were so involved in Kentucky and here, we’ve just had a terrible longing to be part of it but haven’t really had a chance to make it happen. I’m so glad we’re back in!

Raleigh’s heat continues to amaze me. It was 105 today. With humidity. Even inside the store it was ridiculous. I went to eat lunch around 2 and it was smothering and painful outside just walking to the car. I’m beginning to be ready for fall weather and food. Chili and pumpkin foods specifically. Having friends with pools has been such a wonderful thing. So is having a fridge that continuously holds gallons of sweet tea!


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14-year-olds, Cakes, and Work.

All that without sleep. And being sick. That’s been me the past two weeks. I seriously may have died sometime between the last post and now. Is this real life?

So speaking of cake. I made a Miller Lite can cake for my beloved little David’s 21st birthday. Originally, I planned on a simple, 2-layer cake with some peanut butter frosting. But no. David had to go and get allll creative and desire a cake shaped like a can. And not just a regular can. He wanted a can filled with peanut butter and jelly. A “tuuuuubbbeee of jellyyyy!” So I made it happen, because I love him. It weighed about 11 pounds, had over a pound and a half of peanut butter, 2 pounds of powdered sugar, over a pound of fondant… it was a miraculous cake. I had never used fondant or cake spray paint before, but I think I did a pretty nice job just diving in without any practice!

It’s a beauty, right? lol

We had our nephew at our house for almost two weeks. I cannot believe this kid is already 14, is 6’2, and wears a size 14 shoe. Between him and Les, they drank about 4 gallons of milk. I have already begun praying that if I get the two boys I want, that the Lord provides us with enough money to be able to feed them! Teenage boys have bottomless stomachs.

Today I have the first real day off in about three weeks. We’ve either had to go home for the weekend or I’ve been too busy to actually do whatever I want on the few days I have had off. I have two REAL days off this week, and Thursday? GOING TO THA BEACH! But just for the day. Next week we’re going for real, for five whole gorgeous, amazing, wonderful days!

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Where You Came From

We got to go home for Easter this year and I seriously cannot describe how full my heart felt to sit in the same church with my family. It’s been a few years since that was able to happen. I am so incredibly humbled and thankful that I will be able to be in Heaven with my family, that I’ll see their faces and be able to be in the presence of my Jesus with them. I definitely do not deserve such a beautiful gift.

One of the days we were in Tennessee, I drove to my old stomping grounds in Johnson City to meet a friend for coffee. I haven’t been back there by myself since I’ve been married. Since we moved to Raleigh, I’ve thought a lot about those years I spent in and around that city during college. I can remember sometimes just driving around the backroads and down the main strip. I’d have the windows down and my radio on, the music playing and building the soundtrack to my memories. I’d have one flip flop on and that foot on the gas – the other shoe off and that foot up on the dash – my hair down and blowing around. I had no idea who I was going be, aside from a teacher and most likely Les’s wife. Going back to some of those roads was really nice, especially since I did become Les’s wife. 🙂

We also got to go visit our Clear Creek people. I will unashamedly admit that when we turned onto our old road and went around the first curve, nostalgia hit me full force and I absolutely bawled. Everything came flooding back – driving on that same road and going to our apartment for the first time, grocery trips, bonfires, impromptu cookouts and visits, cooking with my girlfriends and talking in the kitchen, sitting on our porch… wow. Les was such a good husband and didn’t say a word.

It’s funny to go back to where you’ve lived a life. You’re sad and grateful and laughing and crying all at the same time. Mostly grateful.

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It’s been a while since I posted pictures of things I’m baking, so I figured it was time for an update. Sunday is one of my dearest friend’s birthday, so I decided to make him a cake. Not just any cake would do, though. He’s been a Tarheel fan basically since birth and could tell you anything you ever wanted to know about UNC. So, obviously, it had to be a Carolina cake. I decided I wanted to make it chocolate, so I tried a new recipe and it was OH SO worth it. Absolutely delicious. I will be making it again! But this is about Birthday Boy’s cake, so here we go…


I really love how it looks like very fluffy scrambled eggs
when you cream butter and sugar.


I got really messy. Batter and cocoa powder everywhere.


I nailed the Carolina blue. Les was so proud. He kept coming to admire it.


One of my favorite parts of making any cake – putting the layers together.


I would love for you to click this for a closer look.
I outlined the logo then went back and star filled the inside.
Super time consuming but SO worth the payoff!


I added Happy Birthday and a chocolate Tarheel that I didn’t make.
Don’t think I’m that good!


Finished! Birthday boy LOVED it.

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Life is Music is Life

I have never really written about this anywhere, but today I watched “The Last Song” and it really made me nostalgic. I grew up surrounded by music.  My parents raised me on classic rock. My first memorable concert complete with souvenirs was Foreigner (technically Sammy Kershaw was my first, but I remember nothing about it).  I was a rather dramatic child who was known to break into song at any time.

In sixth grade I decided to join band. Of course I wanted to play percussion. That’s when I met one of the three most influential men of my life. Mr. Collier scared me at first. He was extremely gruff and demanding. He smoked like a freight train. He threatened to tie us up by our toenails and burn our houses down. I ended up loving that man as much as I loved my own grandfather. He believed in me – I was the only girl who played drums from sixth grade until I was a junior. He made me take lessons and told me I was going to be something great. He gave me confidence and helped bring me out of my shell. He introduced me to great men like Coltrane and Armstrong and Miller. He made me fall head over heels in love with real jazz. Showed me how to be a real musician. He pushed me hard. There just aren’t enough words to describe how much he meant to me. When he died, the world lost a great man.

I get curious looks a lot when people look through my music. Everything’s there… rock, hip hop, opera, jazz, metal, country. I will listen to anything at least once.  I seriously can’t imagine my life without music. I mean, I married a musician. We have an entire closet full of guitars and a keyboard. We’ve got a drumset in our office that we bought just after we got engaged. It’s common to hear music in several rooms at the same time here in our house. We spent way more time picking all the music for our wedding than we did for anything else! I mean, who else have you ever heard of who had hymns, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and Smashing Pumpkins in their wedding?

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Growing. Up.

So my 25th birthday is just 12 short days away. I’ve been thinking.

I feel more like myself than I ever have before. Is this an ongoing thing as you get older? You just keep becoming more like the person you really are? It’s like getting married, then moving, then moving again, has peeled layers of paint off me.

I like the person I’m becoming. I’m a lot more fun to be now than I was, say, 10 years ago. Somehow, I think I like growing up in my 20’s better than I did when I was little! It’s like I’m doing it backwards now. When I was little, I grew taller (no short jokes). Now that I’m older I’m growing up on the inside. I try more stuff, I’ve made more friends, I’ve learned a lot. Ha, that sounds like a description for a toddler at daycare! Speaking of toddlers, I feel a lot like a kid. In a good way, I guess. I have played more games this past year than I’ve ever played before. I think we ask everybody at least once while they’re here at our house if they want to play a game.

This may sound conceited, but I love that I am known for my cooking. My entire childhood and adolescence was spent being surrounded by a family of wonderful cooks and I desperately wanted to be that when I grew up. When I was about 12, I noticed how much food my Mamaw would make for our weekly family Sunday dinners. I thought she must be crazy (but trust me, I was thankful for it)!  The older I get, the more  I realize that that massive amount of food every week wasn’t just food – it was a physical representation of Mamaw loving all of us. There’s just something about making something that someone you love will eat and enjoy. I guess I’m the crazy one now.

I love that I’ll be celebrating my birthday in two states again this year. It’s not because I get multiple parties (like the spoiled 11-year-old that I am) but that I get to spend time with my friends here in North Carolina AND I get to see my family! That’s something else I’ve learned in the past two years… I would rather be able to see your face and have a good time with you than to get any kind of present (except maybe the food kind or the book kind). I think that’s why I really enjoy having people at my house.

So yeah. I still like this growing up stuff.

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