Thursday, January 24, 2013

MOH speech.... 2.5 years later

My sister got married in 2010 and I was the Matron of Honor. The moment they got engaged I worked my tail off trying to make sure her wedding plans were perfect. From the dress to the showers, I wanted to be a part of all of it.
Sure, things weren’t always smooth sailing. We would get irritated at each other and sometimes we failed in the communication department, but I was so excited for her!
For the most part, there aren’t any regrets or hard feelings through the roller coaster of 2009/2010 wedding planning.
For the most part.
I have ONE huge regret. To this day, it bothers me and I wish I could do a do-over.
After the cake cutting, they asked if anyone wanted to give the couple a toast. Claire turned to me with the do-you-want-to-say-anything look and I froze. Full on, couldn’t think, dry mouth – frozen.
If you know me I’m not shy and I can talk forever, so why couldn’t I get it together? Was it the crowd, the exhaustion, or the pure lack of preparation? I don’t know, but I regret not saying ANYTHING.
Well, thankfully I have a blog…. So here is my Matron of Honor Speech…. 2.5 years later.
   -----------------------------

Claire & Chris,
I want you to know that I love you both more than words can possibly say. I have gotten to share in your joy, heartache, frustration, and excitement for the last 7 years (almost 10 now). I have gotten to see you grow from high school sweethearts, to college sweethearts, to husband and wife.
Claire – we have been through so much together and even though we weren’t always the bests of friends, we were there for each other. You have become such a beautiful woman and I am so proud to call you my sister. And you look absolutely stunning today.
Chris – I could not have asked for a better brother. I remember the first time I ever met you, and call me crazy but I knew you were different. There is something about you that just draws people to you and they want to know you. You are everything I would wish for my sister to find in a husband.
Even though there has been much joy today, my heart aches because Dad couldn’t be here to see the two of you fall in love and get married but I know one thing – Claire, Dad would approve of Chris. They would have shared an unparallel passion Gamecock football, money, and a good ole debate. ;) I know Dad is smiling down on the two of you with such pride and happiness.
So today, on your wedding day, I pray that y’all will have a lifetime of blessings, joy, and love together. Vincent and I are here for you both and we can’t wait for what the future holds. I love you both very much.

ML


southern sweet tea



So, apparently I make the BEST sweet tea. I’m not being vain, I have literally had 20 people say
my tea is delish. It took me a while to “find” the right way to make tea. I always felt like homemade tea just didn’t taste as good as it does in some restaurants (i.e. Chick-fil-a, Grouchos, Rushs – can you tell I’m from the South?)
I’ve given the recipe to a few friends and family and now I am sharing it with you!

What you need:
·         Medium pot
·         4 Tetley tea bags – round ones
·         1 ½ cups of sugar
·         Teaspoon of Baking Soda
·         1 gallon tea pitcher
·         water

Here we go:
1.       In a medium pot, fill ¾ of the way with water (mine is about 6 cups of water)
2.       Place 4 Tetley tea in the pot
3.       Bring to a boil and let it boil for about a minute.
4.       While you are waiting for the water to boil, put 1 ½ cups of sugar into the tea pitcher.
5.       Fill the pitcher with enough hot water to cover the sugar. Stir mixture to help the sugar dissolve.
6.       Take a teaspoon of Baking Soda and mix it with the sugar water.
7.       After the tea boils, remove from heat and set a timer for 20 minutes.
8.       After the timer goes off, pour the tea into the sugar mixture and stir well.
9.       Fill the rest of the pitcher with cold water and place in fridge!

 
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Alternate way:
1.       In a medium pot, fill ¾ of the way with water (mine is about 6 cups of water)
2.       Bring to a boil and let it boil for about a minute.
3.       While you are waiting for the water to boil, put 1 ½ cups of sugar into the tea pitcher.
4.       Fill the pitcher with enough hot water to cover the sugar. Stir mixture to help the sugar dissolve.
5.       Take a teaspoon of Baking Soda and mix it with the sugar water.
6.       After the tea boils, remove from heat and transfer to a heat safe glass pitcher.
7.       Place 4 Tetley bags in the pitcher with the boiling water and set a timer for 20 minutes.
8.       After the timer goes off, pour the tea into the sugar mixture and stir well.
9.       Fill the rest of the pitcher with cold water and place in fridge!

For some reason transferring it to a glass pitcher to steep makes the tea taste amazing, but it’s another thing to get dirty and takes more effort.

Another thing: I got the Baking Soda tip from my grandmother. Her tea always tasted amazing and she said it was the Soda ;)


Friday, January 11, 2013

fun finds friday!

It's FRIDAY!
**cue jumping up and down on bed **

I have seen some other bloggers do a fun-find-Friday and I want to join in! So fun!

Anyway - here are my finds for the week!

These PJ bottoms called Punjammies. "PUNJAMMIES™ are created in after-care facilities for women who have been rescued, released or escaped from a life of forced prostitution." (from their site).

They are beautiful, affordable, and a great cause.


I have been OBSESSED with raw diamonds lately. I have no idea why but I find them beautiful. They are imperfect and unique.


This camera. It shoots wide and adds a certain wimsy to photos. Adore.


Lastly, there is this monogram sweater. That I want realllllly bad. For $40 too! You can't beat that!



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

student loan nightmare

Today, I can across this article in Cosmo, “The Debt Crisis No One is Talking About.”

Basically it was about student loan debt. These girls are $25,000, $50,000, and even $95,000 in the hole when it comes to student loans. Not to mention, statistically women have more loan debt and make less than their male counterparts (disgusting.)
What. A. Nightmare.
If you know me, I am a moderate feminist. I think woman are just as capable as men and I don’t think we live in a 1950s gender-type society. I do have ONE major traditional role belief – the man should work, the woman should stay home. Okay, now before anyone jumps on me for saying that hear me out.
I think the main squeeze should work, be the breadwinner, the macho-money-maker. I don’t HAVE to stay at home, but I think I have the right to if I want too. When I said I do, the main squeeze knew that mean, “I do, you work.” Luckily, the main squeeze agreed. My mother was a full-time working mom and it worked for her. My sister and I turned out pretty decent so there is clearly nothing wrong with a working mom and I will keep doing my photography, because let’s face it – I will need it to keep from going insane.
Anywho, going back to the student loan debt (again, what. a. freaking. nightmare) – I feel so bad for all these people. Accumulating so much debt, it will take them YEARS to pay off.  I didn’t go to college - mostly because I couldn’t find something worth all that time and money. If you know me, you know I’m A.D.D. and don’t want to be tied down to anything for too long. I just don’t see the point in spending $50,000+ for a degree especially since I’d like to stay at home with our kids one day.  I have no desire of adding insane-amount-of-student-loan-debt to my resume anytime soon. Plus, I don’t want to waste my time
Thankfully, the main squeeze is a disabled veteran and gets all the awesome benefits of the GI Bill. When he graduates in 2014 with his Masters in Accounting we will have $0 student loan debt.
Yup. Zero. Zilch. Nadda.
We are obviously so grateful for this, but I still sit there and think of how unfair it is for millions of college students. They aren’t like me. They want the degree. They have the career plan. They want to continue their education. They will be in debt for a very long time.
I don’t have any solutions or more opinions. I just feel sad for these college students and I feel blessed that the main squeeze and I don’t have to worry about this icky debt.
See, even Maddi is sad for all those in stinky debt :(



dose of inspiration






Thursday, January 3, 2013

goodbye 2012

It’s seems to be a blogger tradition to post a year-end “review” but as I sat here thinking about it, not a whole lot has changed in the last year for me. Sure, there have been events, both happy and sad. There have been high points and low points. There have been mistakes and hard choices… but at the end of 2012, I am right where I started the year. Same job, same house, same silly dogs, same husband… same, same, same….
And I am NOT saying “same” in a bad or sad way…. just… same…
A sadness sort of washes over me when I think about the last year and I will not miss 2012… it was far from memorable.
I am glad I got to go visit my two best friends… but it just made me miss them more.
I am glad my photography business is picking up… but I started to feel burned out and uninspired.
I am glad Vincent got a job… but I don’t like that we have to live separate for 3 months.
I am glad my family is healthy and happy… but I worry about the comings years.
…. There are a lot of “buts.”

I’ve become sort of an introvert/homebody. I’ve struggled with making friends, really for the first time in my life. I’ve gained 10 pounds as a result of being a homebody. I’ve lost a lot of my confidence. I’ve been very sad.
I read 2 Corinthians 4:18 the other day – “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but one what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
I get that our life here on earth is temporary but it doesn’t make the day-to-day stuff any easier.
So in the bloggin’ world of reviews and resolutions, I just want 2013 to be memorable.

I want to be happy.
I want to be confident.
I want to soar on wings like eagles..