Monthly Archives: July 2014

Favorite Posts: July 2014

Wow, July flew by! I’m finally getting into a groove at work now that I’m 2 months in, and Derek’s been in Wilmington on his OBGYN rotation for 4 weeks now (2 more to go!). I also started my first of 12 weeks of half marathon training. Next month will be a busy one, too. I take my licensing exam, we’re going to celebrate Derek’s birthday, we have friends visiting from out-of-town, and Derek will start his family medicine rotation. We may also have an announcement on Saturday. 🙂  Never a dull moment here.

Here are my favorite posts from July 2014:

Character Cannot Be Developed In Ease and Quiet (technically June, but I didn’t get to include it on my last favorites post)

There Is A Sacredness In Tears

Wilmington Weekend Recap

5 Questions

Take Along the Tarter Sauce {Fun Friday}

Wedding {Part 3}: The Reception


P.S. For all my nerds out there, today is Harry Potter’s 34th birthday. Just thought you should know.

Wedding {Part 3}: The Reception

It’s time for the final wedding recap post! If you haven’t already seen them, Part 1 covers getting ready and a few bride and groom portraits, and Part 2 covers the first look and ceremony.

After we hopped in the 1954 Bentley, we took a brief drive around downtown Lexington before arriving at the reception location. Lexington was hosting its own Comic-Con, and we received well wishes people dressed in some crazy costumes as we rode around.  We had a blast driving around, and it gave Derek and I the opportunity to be alone and take a breather before the reception.

Our reception was at the Historic Round Barn at the Red Mile. The Red Mile is a harness racing track, and the barn was built in the late 1800s. Our gifts were actually collected and put into one of the historic horse carriages that they have on site.


Historic Round Barn at the Red Mile

We took pictures with the entire wedding party and as an officially married couple when we got there.


The beautiful ladies.

My bridesmaids looked absolutely gorgeous! From left to right: Logan, Elisa (Derek’s sister), Amy (my cousin), Katy, Jenna (Maid of Honor), and Randi (Derek’s sister).


The handsome gents.

The guys were looking pretty fly, too. From left to right: Patrick, Stephen, Jesse, Will (my cousin), Josh (Derek’s brother and Best Man), Garrin, Evan, and Jared (my brother).


As my friend Katy put it, “America’s Next Top Bridal Party.”


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After the pictures, we headed into the reception space. We paired up our bridal party (including the always entertaining pairing of Stephen and Garrin) and sent them into the reception dancing to “Bring Em Out” by T.I. (which not-so-coincidentally happens to be the music used at UNC basketball games :)).

It was awesome to see all the months of planning come together at the reception. The barn and the decorations were stunning!


Can you believe our family friend Ms. Kim made this cake? She did an amazing job!


Bride and groom champagne glasses.


We used coral hydrangeas in large mint julep cups for our centerpieces. (Another Kentucky touch.)


We put out coozies and soft drinks for favors. We had Ale-8-One from Kentucky and Cheerwine from North Carolina.




Instead of a regular guest book, we had everyone sign a bourbon barrel head. We have it on display in our house now.

After introductions, we had a buffet with a Southern menu. We started out with mini hot browns and beer cheese with veggies and crackers as a passed appetizers during the cocktail hour. The main dishes at dinner were shrimp ‘n’ grits and beef brisket. Sides included broccoli salad, mixed green salad, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. NOM. Bayou Bluegrass Catering provided our food for the evening, and they were fantastic. The food was delicious. People are still telling me how much they enjoyed it.

After dinner, we did toasts and cake cutting. Jenna is not a fan of public speaking, but she powered through the nerves. Her speech was incredibly touching. I cried then, and it makes me tear up thinking about it now. We may not be blood-related, but she’s my sister.


Jenna giving her maid of honor toast.

Josh’s toast was the perfect mix of humor and heart. It meant a lot to both of us, and I’m excited to have another brother!


Josh giving his best man speech.

Derek decided to stuff the cake in my face instead of being nice, and I retaliated. It resulted in one of my favorite pictures of the night.


Vengeance is mine!

After toasts and cake, it was time to dance and party!! Derek and I danced to “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. The song was one of Derek’s few requests for the wedding and it was perfect.


My dad and I danced to one of our favorites, “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (what a name!).  For both the father-daughter and mother-son dances, we asked other fathers and daughters and mothers and sons to join us on the dance floor after the first minute or so.

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Derek and his mom danced to Luther Vandross’ song “Always and Forever.”


We got everyone dancing after that!

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My parents were dancing machines.

After much dancing, we took a brief break for the bouquet and garter toss. Katy, one of my bridesmaids and oldest friends, caught the bouquet. Her reaction was priceless!

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The garter toss was equally entertaining. The looks of devastation/disbelief on the guys’ faces are hilarious.

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We danced for a while longer, and then wrapped things up with James Taylor’s classic “Carolina In My Mind.” 


We hopped on a party bus with our wedding party and headed out to bars downtown until 2am. It was an exhausting, wonderful, amazing day. Marrying Derek made it the best day of my life, but the celebration with our friends and family is something that I will treasure forever.

4 Bridges Training {Week 1}

Today is my first official day of half-marathon training! From now on, I will be posting my training plan at the beginning of each week. I am loosely following Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 Half-Marathon Training Plan. This will be my 3rd half-marathon, but I took a hiatus from running consistently since my wedding in March. I am essentially starting over. I have also found that running 4 days a week is best for me both physically and mentally. In the past, I have had trouble with plantar fascists and my IT band, and I tend to get bored running more than 4 days per week. So here goes week 1!

4 Bridges Half-Marathon Training – Week 1

Monday: Strength and stretch


Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: 2 miles

Thursday: 3 miles + strength


Friday: Rest

Saturday: Cross-train for 30 minutes

Sunday: 4 miles

Nobody Need Wait a Single Moment

Hope your week is off to a good start! I had another great weekend in Wilmington. In addition to spending time with Derek after  week apart, my best friend Jenna came down to spend the day at the beach. It doesn’t get much better than a gorgeous day on the beach with my husband and best friend.

Last Monday I was out of coffee at home (the horror!), so I went to the coffee shop in the hospital to get an oh-so-necessary caffeine fix.  While I was waiting in line, I heard the most beautiful music. The VA hospital I work in is always bustling, but I swear everyone stopped in awe of the music coming from the piano in the lobby. A veteran was playing, and he was completely immersed in the movement of his fingers across the keys. When he finished, everyone applauded. A few hospital staff members and other veterans shook his hand. Whether routine or emergent, visits to the hospital make many people anxious, and the beautiful music that gentleman played was likely a welcome and soothing distraction for many individuals. It was a wonderful reminder that simple, spontaneous decisions can make another person’s day that much brighter.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

Take Along the Tarter Sauce {Fun Friday}

Happy Friday! I hope the week treated you well. I’m off to Wilmington again to visit Derek. We’re halfway through his rotation! Only 3 more weeks of living apart. 🙂

Welcome to another edition of Fun Friday!

What I’m about to share will confirm that I am my mother’s daughter. My mom is a big fan of Life’s Little Instructions Books, and for some odd reason she always kept them in the bathrooms. I grew up getting one or two sentence life advice in the bathroom. Weird, right? Well, my mom gave me one, and guess where it resides? Yes, in my bathroom. Glad I can carry on this bizarre tradition. Anyway, today’s advice is kind of quirky and made me laugh, so I thought I’d share it with y’all.


I cannot wait to tell someone to take along the tarter sauce.

Have you ever wondered what the velociraptors in Jurassic Park were actually thinking? (Wow, this post keeps getting weirder.) Me either, but the comic below shows what Jurassic Park may have been like from their perspective.


Poor, innocent velociraptor. Those things terrified/fascinated me as a kid. Did you know there is a 4th Jurassic Park movie coming out next summer? Chris Pratt, whom I love from Parks and Rec, is the lead character. And let me just tell you, he looks SO GOOD.


Oh hey there Chris Pratt.

Since we’re on the topic of Chris Pratt, I will share one of my favorite scenes from Parks and Rec.  Chris Pratt’s character Andy Dwyer forgot to pay the cable bill, and a group of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) campaign donors have gathered to watch a televised debate. Andy takes it upon himself to provide entertainment while Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) steals the neighbor’s cable.

Love that character.

On an unrelated note, I listen to NPR on my way to work every morning, and I heard an amazing piece this week. Ted Stanley, founder and former CEO of MBI Inc., is giving $650 MILLION to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The money will be used for psychiatric research that focuses on genetic contributions to mental illness.

Ted Stanley’s experience with mental illness in his personal life inspired him to make this incredible gift. His son Jonathan Stanley was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychosis when he was 19 years old. Fortunately Jonathan responded well to lithium and went on to complete college and law school. However, the Stanley family recognizes that other families and individuals aren’t so lucky. Some individuals do not respond to medications as well or without devastating side effects. Jonathan Stanley had this to say about his father’s donations, “A lot of rich families – a good chunk of this huge amount of money that’s going to Broad – would’ve ended up in my bank account. All I can say is my family got it right.” Indeed they did.

Have a great weekend!


5 Questions

I’ve decided to add a just-for-fun post into the mix every once in a while in which I answer 5 random questions. I’ve seen other bloggers make similar posts, and I always enjoy them. Hope you enjoy it too!

1. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

I despise putting clothes away after I wash them. I don’t mind doing the laundry, but the clean clothes sit around for a few days before I finally will myself to put them away. No idea why I hate it so much.

2. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?

This is an easy one. Hermione Granger. She’s brilliant, witty, loyal, and brave, AND she’s wizard.

3. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?

I would definitely never be mistaken for her, but several people say I remind them (in looks and personality) of Victoria (aka Ashley Williams) from How I Met Your Mother. I’m always happy when I get that comparison because Victoria was my favorite potential mother until they committed character assassination with that terrible “leave him at the altar” storyline. I don’t really see the physical resemblance, but I’m certainly flattered.


4. What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?

I went to see The Fault In Our Stars with my friend Caroline a few weeks ago, and I cried several times during the movie. It was a great movie though!

5. What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

I don’t remember what I bought after getting my first paycheck ever, but the first thing I purchased with my first paycheck from the VA was a toaster. Yes, a toaster. I’m cool like that.

Please feel free to comment with your own answers below. I’d love to read them!

The Most Authentic Thing About Us

For last week’s quote I wrote about tears as a sign of grief and love. While I certainly see people experience loss, I am also privileged to see people respond to suffering in extraordinary ways. The Ben Okri quote below encapsulates why I believe that people are capable of doing great things despite their disease, addiction, loss, grief, or circumstances.

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering.” – Ben Okri

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