Merlot & van Gogh

Well y’all, we have made it to April! It’s my birthday month (and seemingly everybody else’s.) I don’t know what happened 9 months prior to April in 1988-89, but apparently it was a doozy. July 4th is my best guess. #merica

I celebrated the first April birthday to come my way with a great group of ladies at a local paint and BYOB place called Merlot and van Gogh. Thankfully for me, the place was about 100 yards from my apartment and I just got into my painting clothes, snagged my bottle of wine from the fridge and walked up the street for the festivities. (I will miss you perfectly located Nook of mine.) We stopped in Burke Street Pizza for a slice before the party. Fun Fact: I hate pizza, but I can kill an order of garlic knots real quick. Once it was time, we walked next door for our painting class!

Dianne is Marc’s step-mother, and a total godsend when it comes to this whole Marines thing, so I was super excited when she asked me to join in on her birthday party with her friends.

I would highly recommend going to any and all of these classes if you get the chance. I have painted before, and of course craft around here and there, but it was so much fun for those who have never picked up a paint brush to those who know how to mix their own paint.
I didn’t get a before picture, because I didn’t think you needed to see a white canvas. This is after all of the background was complete.

inished product!


me, Marc’s sister, Dianne, Libby (step-sister)

It was a great experience! If you live in the Winston area I suggest you check it out, it was a ton of fun. If you get 10 of your friends together, you get a private party and you get to pick your painting, but they also offer a lot of other classes where you can join in the fun with strangers (no) and adventure with your painting.

Thanks for including me in your birthday this year Dianne!


Not So Little Anymore

Today is the day that my baby brother turns 18!

In all of his 90′s glory

Jacob told me he didn’t think that I would write him a happy birthday post, so here I am to prove him wrong. (Because I motivate myself to prove others wrong.)

One of my favorite posts ever was actually written about my little brother. If you would like to take a trip down memory lane and read How to Live with Your Little Brother, be my guest. It’s quite funny, and gives you some insight to the torture I have been subjected to the past now 18 years of my life.

This is how I feel about him being my brother sometimes (okay most of the time)

and this is how he feels about it

Even though he drives me crazy, he is still my little brother. Happy 18th Birthday you butt sniffer.




Well hey strangers!

I am sitting in a Starbucks in Pinehurst, NC, getting ready to go check in to The Holly Inn for my first E.A Morris Fellowship retreat! It’s a beautiful day here, and I am pumped for this first retreat. We are all staying in the historic city of Pinehurst, and I feel way fancy. haha My dad has already tried to get me to get him a discount on course #2. (Ever heard of the U.S Open?)

A lot has been happening over in my neck of the woods. I am very thankful for being able to stay unrealistically busy over the past several weeks. A sore spot in my busy life came a few weeks ago when I found out my landlords will not let me re-sign my lease for the next year. When approached about re-signing my lease, I asked for a 6-month or 12-month with potential military out clause. I would have loved to sign for another year, but once the landlords knew of my potential to break the lease they would not let me re-sign. I know, I know… right after I show you what the nook looks like, I will be moving AGAIN! It’s the story of my life.

I went to The Melting Pot for the first time for Marc’s step-sisters birthday dinner. It was an experience to say the least! We were there for three hours, and had a heated debate over whether or not our waiter looked like “Jack” Leonardo DiCaprio or “Growing Pains” Leo. I voted Jack. It was just what the doctor ordered.

I have also gotten several letters! I have never stalked somebody more in my life than the mailman those first three weeks until my first letter. Poor mail man. Marc is doing great, but it’s very frowned upon to post updates on the internet. So just know he is doing great, and we are down to 9 weeks!

I cut five inches off my hair! Yup, sure did. It’s right at my collar bone now. I didn’t mean to, but I cut it right where it looks like it’s in that awkward growing out phase. Go me, but I am not going to cut it any shorter. haha I am just going to let it grow and get healthy. It’s been 6-8 months since I cut my hair, and it was starting to look bad. Since my boyfriend isn’t anywhere near me, and can’t even see what it looks like… I figured why not cut it? haha I’m sure y’all will see a picture after I selfie myself to death at my retreat this weekend.

I also started coaching a U8 girls soccer team! They are the most precious little girls, and I am not sure why I haven’t started coaching before this season. Our jerseys are dark green, and so they named themselves the Shamrocks! Our first game is tomorrow morning, so I won’t be able to make it. Thankfully, I am coaching with my really good friend Mary Catherine and she is going to lead the Shamrocks to their hopeful first victory! These littles don’t know how to play soccer at all. I wish I could see them run around and kick in a game setting. Teaching them how to throw in this week during practice was quite comical. Coach MC has “special spray paint” when sprayed on your shoes make your feet stick to the ground. I have no doubt she will have to whip that out tomorrow during the game.

Well, I have to go check into the Holly Inn and get ready for our formal dinner tonight at The Carolina Hotel. This Fellowship is looking better and better as the days go by!

Until next time,


10 Things I love about my Dad (but make fun of him for)

Today is my Dad’s birthday! He is turning 51! I know, I got a young dad. Too bad when Jacob is 24 you’re going to be like 80. ;)

I was inspired by Thought Catalouges article “13 Things Dad’s Pretend they Hate (but secretly love).” So this is my “10 Things I Actually Love about My Dad (but always make fun of him for).”

#10 - His collegiate affiliation confusion - I am 100% certain my dad only wears NCSU gear because he knew I would kill him if he didn’t. He came home one day all proud that he got a NCSU pull over… my mom got it from Goodwill for like $3.00. But he does it for me, which is the sweetest. NC State still beat WVU in the Champs Sports Bowl, no matter what Uncle Philip says. They would do it again. So there.

#9 – That he falls asleep in doctors offices – This one time, I had to go to the dermatologist, and the doctor there creeped me out beyond all beyond. I had to take the appointment with him, because I lived in DC and needed to be seen by a doctor stat. I asked my dad to come with me and he did, and when I walked out of the back, I found him PASSED OUT snoring in the waiting area. hahahaha omg it was the best moment of my life. I have uploaded pictures from my phone and cleaned out my photos on my phone multiple times… but this gem will never be deleted.

#8 - The way he tells stories - It has gotten the point he has told the same story so many times he can keep a straight face, so while everybody else has tears spilling out of their eyes from laughing so hard. He keeps it together while he talks about how he convinced me to believe during one of his drug launches that they were going to fill a rocket full of medicine that would explode over the world and cure the world of asthma. So much so, I went to school the next day and requested it for prayer. I believed this from 6th grade until he told me the truth… when I was a sophomore in college. And let’s not get started on the Aunt Carol stories.

#7  His “uniform” – My dad has worn the same sweater for the past 25 years. It got so bad we bought him a new sweater, exactly the same as the old one thinking he would get rid of the old one. Wrong, he wears the new one under the old one. He also gets a new pair of slippers for Christmas, because well, no uniform is complete without bedroom slippers. Also, insert the pajama pants that are pulled up higher than Steve Urkel.

#6 His Pajamas - They really do deserve their own number after all the making fun of him we do about his pj’s. My Dad always wears the silliest of pajamas. My all time favorites are the Smurf pajamas. Yes, my father owns fleece smurf pajamas. The first time Marc came over to meet him, I called him and said “please do not wear your smurf pajamas.” Don’t worry, he didn’t wear the smurfs… he changed into the candy canes.

#5 How he tells time - My dad doesn’t tell time, he exaggerates plus/minus 5 hours. “Hey Dad, what time is it?” “It’s 5:30pm.” *checks my phone and it’s 4:45* “Hey Dad, when do we need to leave?” “5 minutes” *ready in 10 minutes… Dad still in his uniform* “Hey dad, when does {insert this event here} start?” “At 6:00pm” *checks event website… event starts at 7:30pm* This happens daily.

#4 THREE SECOND RULE OR DIE – If you follow a car closer than three seconds they are going to slam on their breaks and you will die. But does he really always follow the three second rule? No. (You really don’t.) I’m pretty sure he only says it when he knows we are paying attention. I’ll look up from my iPod for a second (I can only take so much talk radio), and all of a sudden, “do you notice that I am following the three second rule?” Yes, Dad. “Always make sure when you are following car you follow the three second rule.” Yes, Dad.” And do not ever go more than five miles over the speed limit, ever. Ever.

#3  When he has to cook dinner - He orders pizza or he makes egg drop soup. I think he has upgraded to a third meal of heating up frozen chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries. 

#2 He watches iCarly – Like the Nickelodeon TV show, iCarly. I haven’t caught him watching this in a while, but it was always one of my favorite things to tease him about. “It really is a good show, Katelyn.” 

#1 That is favorite song is Who Let the Dogs out by the Baha Men - In case you need a refresher. He bought the CD, y’all. BOUGHT THE CD. He claims it’s because he needed a song for Jacob’s soccer team pump up song, but he is lying. He loves that song.

The honorable mention includes the fact that he has a handy dandy iPhone, but never takes it with him ANYWHERE. There is going to be a day when I actually am in an emergency you know.

So happy birthday to the worlds best dad! Thank for all of the encouraging emails, always going to sports games with me, being my personal accountant (even when I get married I will call you first), my handy man, my main mover, taking care of Sadie always, and somebody I can always talk to about the hard stuff.

I love you! Now go back to being a Papa.


Busy, Busy, Busy

I guess WordPress had thought I had been away too long and sent me an email saying I need to blog! Whoops. Sorry boss.

Anyways, I have been keeping myself insanely busy. March is the kick-start to swim lessons for me, and I have about 250 kids in swim lessons this month. Come May and June I will have close to 400! So with Spring coming, and everybody trying to learn how to swim before the pools open, I have been extremely busy. Not that I mind, but it doesn’t leave much room for blogging! I have been writing a lot more on paper, and it’s an experience that I dearly miss. I am so very happy it was one of my goals for 2014 and I am actually doing it!

This weekend was a big weekend for me. The first weekend flying solo, and it was my good friends birthday party. We went to a Brett Eldredge concert in the area, and her mother got all of us meet and greet tickets! What a way to spend my first Friday. I saw Brett a year ago when he opened for Gloriana in Winston-Salem, but this time he was the headliner. He was so much taller than I was expecting him to be. He walked in and I had to tilt my head back to see him!

This was the first time I had ever really met a musical celebrity. I have had several meet and greets with Nicholas Sparks, but not this kind of celebrity. We had a blast during the concert, but it took Brett until 11pm to get on stage, and we were there at 8:30pm for the meet and greet. I was to the point of asking my little brother to come and get me! I was about to drop. I went with a lot of my old college friends. This is a story for a different day, but it had been three years since I had seen or talked to a couple of them. It ended up being the highlight of my night just feeling like a part of my soul had mended a little bit.

Saturday was spent working and getting ready to head downtown for Kim’s birthday again. We had way too much fun, and I didn’t get any pictures. Whoops. I have been trying to spend a lot more time “in the moment” and even though I am seriously enjoying being in the moment, I do kind of wish I had some pictures. I have the memories, not sure if anybody needs to see the pictures.

Sunday was spent brunching with Marc’s step mom, step sister and our good mutual friend Brown. We have decided that our weekly countdown is going to be Sunday Brunch. That my friends is not a bad way to countdown. We are attempting to go to a different brunch spot for the entire 13 weeks. If you know of any great brunch spots in Winston-Salem let me know! We have already hit Fourth St. Filling Station and Hutch and Harris. Both were great brunches! I love brunch. It’s perfect really. You get to sleep in, but still eat breakfast foods. What more do you need in life. Nothing. I tell you, nothing. Except that mimosa.

We are celebrating child literacy this week with Dr. Suess at the YMCA. The Cat in the Hat even stopped by for a visit, and I thought it was too cute not to share. My friend Dylan is the sports intern at the Y I work for, and he always is the one that gets chosen to dress up. He has also been the Easter Bunny and and Elf.

Onto the next busy week!


a big life change: USMC Edition

I haven’t really talked about the relationship that I got myself into back in October. It’s been “my little secret” from blogland when it comes to those details. But something happened yesterday, it was kind of life changing. Not kind of, but really.

Marc left Sunday morning for Parris Island, SC, in hopes to becoming a United States Marine after his 13 week stay. And it already sucks. A whopping 10 hours went by before I started writing him a letter, and decided then I was going to write this here blog and talk to my blog pals. (I didn’t post this yesterday, because I worried about sounding too idk… whatever, but then I decided it’s my blog.)

I had it all planned out until I started typing. I guess first things first, meet Marc. Yes, it’s Marc with a ‘c’. It took me a while to get used to, and everybody still spells it with a ‘k’. This picture was taken right before I drove him to the recruitment office and said goodbye. This picture is everything.


Was saying goodbye to him hard? Yes. Was watching him walk to the recruiters car and not looking over at me because he knew he would break down, hard? YES.

But to me, the hardest part of all of this is knowing the above picture was the last snapshot of “our life that was.” No longer are we going to be the couple that makes macaroni for dinner in The Nook and binge watch Dexter on Netflix. There will be no more casual Sunday afternoon naps passed out on the couch because it’s too cold to do anything outside. No more trips to the park with Sadie. I am sure some of those will happen over the course of time, but it’s not longer our life. It won’t happen here. It’s no longer the day-to-day, mundane things that made up the life we created together as a couple. Late night Taco Bell runs? Is there even a Taco Bell near every Marine Corps base around the world? I don’t think so. (Pretty sad thing to think about.)

I prepared for yesterday every single day of our relationship. Marc was enlisted before we met. This was always the plan. Since the day I realized we were going to be together for a good long while, I have reminded myself daily for what was to come. The thing is, I did all of this preparing for when I said goodbye. I had it in my mind that I wasn’t going to cry. That I was going to be strong. That I was pretty much the picture perfect Marine girlfriend that he wanted me to be, and I wanted to be brave. I wanted Marc to be proud of me just like I was of him. What I didn’t mentally prepare for was the moment I walked out of the mall. I didn’t prepare for the moment of comfort his mother gave me in the waiting area, so much so it caused me to break down into the first tears of the day. I didn’t prepare to be called and asked how I was doing way more than I desired. Most of all, I didn’t prepare for the silence. There is no phone buzzing with “I love you” popping up on the screen. There is no laughter when I make a stupid joke or when he does a silly dance. It’s just Sadie and me. I knew it would happen, but I just wasn’t prepared for that. The what comes after makes the goodbye feel like a piece of cake.

That is what my life was before I met him. Sit at home on Sunday night, drink a glass of wine, blog, snuggle with my Sadie Muffin. My life was good. I loved that life. I wanted that life. It was the life I thought I could have been content with… then I met Marc. He is quiet, he is shy, is a total nerd, he is very passive, he is the exact opposite of me, but he filled my life. I didn’t prepare for the emptiness.

Many of you might be saying suck it up, it’s not that big of a deal. And to you I say something my mother would not approve of. It could possibly start with an ‘f’ and end with a ‘u’. :) This whole him being gone for boot camp is going to be easy compared to deployments, stations and all of the other Marine Corps stuff we will eventually have to put up with. (And to anybody that says 13 weeks with no talking and just writing letters really “isn’t that bad” or “that’s kind of sweet, nobody writes letters anymore”… I say, send your boyfriend or husband away for 13 weeks and try it yourself. When you do, get back to me.)

Once he graduates from Parris Island he comes home for 10 days before he leaves again. After that 10 day leave, he heads to Camp Lejeune for infantry training. That lasts 8 weeks. Immediately following Infantry School (assuming the training camp isn’t back logged) Marc will head to Recon School in hopes to becoming the best of the best in the Marine Corps. This training is much more intense and is compared to Navy Seals. This will last 12 weeks. So. Marc is gone for 13 weeks, comes home for 10 days and leaves for 20 weeks. Once his training is over, he will be stationed somewhere in the world. I can promise you it will not be Winston-Salem, NC.

Granted, I chose this life, and I will continue choosing it, but I just had this ah-ha moment about my future. This is my life now. When you blog, you kind of write about your life. Now do I want to be the whiny girl that complains about being alone all of the time? No. Marc got me a really pretty leather wrapped journal for Valentines Day for those rants. But for the foreseeable future, the Marines takes up a big chunk of this thing called my life.

Onto my next adventure. Hoorah.


Class of 2014

When I graduated in 2011 from NC State University, I hated, I mean loathed that I was going to have to graduate in the year 2011. I mean, it’s better than 2013 (anything is better than 2013), but 2011 just made my skin crawl. My dad pointed out that 2011 added up equals 4, so it’s an even number that I could live with. Adding it up to 4 is a lot better than another year of student loans! ;)

But I am finally going to get to be a part of a graduating class in an EVEN year. High school 2007… really? College 2011… double ew.

So I guess with all of this talk, I guess I should just come out and say that I was offered a spot in E.A Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders Class of 2014!

They told us they would let us know by the end of this week, and the end of the week it was. Right around 3:30pm on Friday afternoon I got an email letting me know my acceptance into the program. I don’t know how many they ended up accepting, but I am one of them, so it’s honestly nothing I am too concerned about.

I have already been connecting with other people from the Fellowship via LinkedIn. Let me just say, that I have not been on LinkedIn in quite some time. Like maybe a year to a year and a half. An entire day was spent frantically updating my page so they didn’t think I was still some intern in Burr’s office from 2010.

So what does this Fellowship mean? I know you are all dying to know, and I have explained it so much it’s practically become my elevator speech. It’s a Fellowship program in addition to my job. That means I work full-time where ever I am employed on top of the Fellowship. There is a one year commitment to the Fellowship. (You can see my panic rising at the words year long commitment.) There are three Fellowship Retreats across the state of North Carolina that are required as Fellows, and the E.A Morris Foundation does cover all travel and retreat cost. In addition to the required retreats, I choose 3-4 other leadership related events/seminars to go to throughout the year. Those costs are also covered. The big shebang of the Fellowship my community project. I find out more about this later, but I just know it’s a community project.

The Fellowship is a part of the E.A Morris Foundation sponsored by the John Locke Foundation which is a think-tank here in North Carolina. Though the fellowship is about leadership, there will definitely be a focus on non-profit conservative values in business and leadership practice.

So for those who are still confused… I am going to go on trips and meet lots of really cool people that share a similar political view (and maybe some cool people that don’t). Oh, and I don’t have to pay for it.

I am really excited about this opportunity and 2014 is shaping up to be quite the year.


p.s I accepted my offer. duh.

A New Opportunity

I am in Raleigh, North Carolina, this weekend as a finalist for the E.A Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders.

My interview is in 15 minutes, and I am sitting here typing up a blog post instead of preparing. I just don’t know how much more I can prepare. I have looked up everything I could on policy I want to discuss, my dress is ironed and my hot pink lipstick as been applied. How else am I supposed to calm these nerves of mine? Write. That’s how.

In the less than 24 hours I have been here, I have learned a lot about myself. I first applied for this Fellowship back in late 2012 when I was planning my return from Washington DC. I was little young for the Fellowship last year. You must be 25-35 to be considered, and at 22 I wasn’t going to make the cut. To my surprise this year, I was contacted by the Foundation and was asked to resubmit my application to the program. You know when people say they will save your application and will contact you at a later date? Yeah, the ones you don’t believe. Well it actually happened this time. I hadn’t even put a second thought to the Fellowship for 2014. Politics hadn’t been my genre for a year. Did they know that? I didn’t think I stood a chance, so I didn’t even bother reapplying. When I was contacted, I realized how much I wanted to be a part of this program. Now I sit in my most comfortable hotel bed, writing a blog post, and in 15 minutes I’m going to ride the elevator downstairs in the heels I am so over for my final interview.

I arrived in Raleigh last night 20 minutes before cut-off. Some might say that is cutting it close, but to those that know me are pleasantly surprised at my punctuality. I look around the room and did not know a single soul. The bellman offers me a warm chocolate oatmeal cookie that I DECLINE for some reason that only God can understand and am handed my room key. During the entire drive I was so nervous I would have to share a room. Katelyn Garlow does not do strangers. Luckily, when I opened the door it was to my own hotel room, and I do love sleeping in my own hotel room. I change, reapply my brand-new-please-help-me-be-confident hot pink lipstick, twirl my hair into a bun, and am ready for action. I strut my stuff down stairs into the reception area and start to make my rounds. I try to get into some conversations, but it’s just not working. I freeze. I am completely terrified. I feel panic rising in my chest. I take my cranberry vodka from the bartender and try to casually walk back to the elevators before anybody can see my ankles locking in my heels and my nerves shaking. I panicked. I have never panicked before like that in a social situation. I own social situations. I could not understand for the life of me why I froze. Now everybody is going to remember me as the girl that got her vodka and went to drink it by herself. Or was anybody going to remember me at all?

I don’t know how I made it back to my room walking in heels. I had a serious case of tunnel vision, and tried to get into the wrong hotel room, twice. Panic took over. I was sitting on my bed shaking, I couldn’t even get a coherent iMessage out on my phone. While I was sitting there I was thinking to myself that I didn’t belong here. I don’t work in politics anymore, hell, I didn’t even watch the State of the Union. I thought I looked ugly. I thought I was stupid and nobody would want to talk to me, or even worse, that I wouldn’t have anything to contribute to the conversation.

Honestly, I have never in my life felt such an overwhelming sensation of self doubt. It was a horrible, gut wrenching experience, but it lead to something bigger. It helped me grow in who I am. Sure, I might be the youngest one here. Sure, I might not work in the political arena at this moment. Sure, I might be up against District Court Judges, members of the General Assembly, and campaign managers. But I was told something that made me put those heels back on, get my shit together, and walk back downstairs.

I made it just as far as they did. We are all finalists. We are not separated by our job titles, but by our capacity to lead. You might be a District Court Judge, and I might work for the YMCA, but we both are leaders. That’s what matters here.

With my cranberry vodka in hand, I walked up to a group of older men watching the Duke v. Syracuse game. If there is anything I can do well, it is talk sports. I finally found something I was comfortable doing, watching ACC basketball with grandpas. The first hand I shook was the President of the Board of Directors for the E.A Morris Fellowship. Thank you college basketball.

To steady my hands, I went and grabbed a cheese plate. I didn’t want to eat it, I just needed something to hold. A prop in my attempt to be genuine. While at the table putting three crackers, and three cheese cubes on a plate, I ran into some other finalists. There are a lot of finalists from Winston-Salem, one just so happens to be my real life neighbor. “Are you the girl with the golden retriever?” Why yes, yes I am.

Then once dinner started, I found a table full of misfits like myself and sat down next to a man who ran for State Senate in 2012, a woman who did her graduate and PhD studies in Hungary, a petite white woman who runs the Durham Black Republicans, and then myself… a Program Director for the YMCA. And you know what? People love the YMCA. I was so terrified that people would look down on me for my job. That I wasn’t going to be good enough to these people. The moment “The Y” slipped my lips, every person I talked to had a story about how the YMCA has affected them, about what a great organization I work for, and how they are glad somebody with such community influence was finalist for this Fellowship. That hot pink lipstick sure paid for itself. I was still nervous, but I had confidence. I was feeling like my old self. The one that could walk into a room full of 25 strangers, and come out with 25 friends.

It’s hard taking a sabbatical from politics like I have, and then enter the arena full-force. Last night, February 1st, marked one year since I began working for the YMCA, and one year out of politics. One lap around the sun was all it took. It was necessary break, something I desperately needed if I ever wanted to get back into the political spectrum. When I left DC I was tired, I was drained of all my political wanting. I was defeated. Defeat is never a good feeling.

I just finished my interview. (You know I couldn’t have written all of this in 15 minutes) One of her questions was, “what do you want to get out of this Fellowship?” And I responded with, “opportunities.” I talked with her about how when I was working in Washington that opportunities were getting thrown at me left and right. I am still getting job prospects in DC while I am living in NC. That is how abundant opportunities are in DC. But how in North Carolina, there are those same opportunities, almost just as many, but you have to search for them. You have to do the work. You have to find what your passion is and seek out the best fit for you. The reason there are so many jobs in DC is because people take them, don’t like them, and then throw them away. Here, in this fellowship, I want to get to the seed of my passions. I want to figure out what exactly I want to do in politics. In Washington, I worked with activists, I was a ghost writer, I picked apart policy and wrote on the benefits or detriments of every House bill you could imagine. The list goes on and on.

That stopped me in my tracks. I flew from A to Z. I didn’t take the necessary steps to find out my B. That caused met to lose my sense of C through Y. This Fellowship, if I am accepted into the program will help me find my B, and will help me execute my C through Y. And then, just maybe, I can go on to change the world. (or just my little slice of North Carolina)

And I’ll do it in my hot pink lipstick.


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Finally: The Nook

So, I moved into my current apartment back at the beginning of July. I am now getting around to giving you a tour. Every time I wanted to do a tour, my apartment would be destroyed, it was raining and the light was terrible, or I just couldn’t get it together.

The stars aligned this weekend, because I went into psycho cleaning mode, it was a beautiful day, and I felt like taking some pictures. You’re welcome.

Now finally, let me introduce you to The Nook. This is how it would look if you were taking a real “tour” in my glorified hallway of an apartment.

Welcome. (Yes, that mat is filthy. For some reason dog hair attracts to it like a magnet that the vacuum can’t even help.)

My apartment is in an old house that was quartered into one bedroom/one bathroom apartments.

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I finally upgraded to real life adulthood with that TV this Christmas. I still don’t have cable, but my blue ray player streams Netflix and Hulu Plus, so I am still sitting kind of pretty. Then after five long strides, you make it into my bedroom. The living room is very narrow (if you can’t tell) but I think I have it set up nicely. Where the cart is in the above picture is where my Christmas was until… yesterday.
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I like pictures, obviously.
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Even though they are miniature, I am very thankful to have a washer and dryer in my apartment. My small table is on loan from a family friend, but if I am being honest… that’s the first time a pile of clean clothes hasn’t been on top of it in weeks. Just a few more steps and you make it to the infamous place where the cat fell through my ceiling.
And I built those shelves over my toilet, and I followed the directions and had to use my screw driver. I am pretty impressed with myself, please be impressed with me, too.

Then we go through my back door to a wonderful back deck. Thankfully, the landlord is making repairs on this deck. It was kind of… not up to code until about last week. I feel much safer on it now, and I am pretty sure it is thanks to my neighbor who used to work in construction. He might have called the landlord and said “fix the deck or I call my friend who will come inspect this deck, and all of your properties.” The deck is now being fixed. Hence the different colors of wood. Just because he is fixing it, doesn’t mean he had to stain it to match.
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Hope you enjoyed seeing my little space. I am quite proud of it, and it’s starting to feel like a mini home. Maybe, just maybe I will live here for longer than one lease agreement! (As my mom and dad scream, YES!)


2014: Looking Forward

I have been trying to put together a list of goals for 2014 to keep me in check for the upcoming year. I did not make any goals last year, and that didn’t turn out too well. I am really hoping that 2014 is all I want it to be.

To lead off, saving is my number priority in 2014. Even though I stick to a tight budget, and put money in my savings account, it always seems like there just isn’t quite enough to do all of those fun things I want to do here-and-there throughout the year. Last week I put out a “savings jar” for fun things coming up in 2014. I don’t really want to spend it this year though, I want to make it to the end of the year and plan a great vacation or use it to buy myself something special that would ordinarily be way out of my reach. (aka – snowboarding trip out West.)

Drink more water is also at the top of the list. There is no way I could give up the nectar of the gods, Dr. Pepper, to save my life. I really couldn’t, and to be honest, I don’t want to. What I want to do is make an effort to drink more water and limit the amount of Dr. Pepper I do drink. Once I finished the Whole 30, my eating habits stayed healthy, but I went straight back to Dr. Pepper. It wasn’t pretty… I was drinking a lot of soda. There are days at work where I think I will kill somebody if I don’t get my hands on a soda, and so I go get one. But instead of driving to Sonic and getting a Route 66 with no ice to maximize my Dr. Pepper intake, I drive to the Dollar Tree and get a 16oz. I here my nutrition angel Sally harping in my ear “it’s all about moderation!”

Along with the healthy theme, I am going under “Operation Get Hot” in 2014. I by no means think I am ugly, it’s just a fun play on words for me to get through boot camp. While Marc is away training to fight wars, I am going to train to fight fat. Get it? haha. He will be gone for the majority of 2014 for basic training, infantry training and recon training, as well as any other training he needs for his job in recon. That gives me lots of time to work on my muscles, and working on my muscles is exactly what I am going to do. Not only will it help me pass the time, but it will help me look good by the time he comes home! haha I know it’s silly, but sometimes you just gotta do silly things to get through the hard ones.

Another fitness goal, run a half. I was going to register for the Rock N’ Roll Half in Raleigh coming up in April, but I was asked to be in a friends wedding that weekend. That makes that race a no-go, but the next day my friend Lindsey sent me an email for a trail half in April the weekend of my 25th birthday. So training for this half is another way to keep busy and succeed in OGH. I am not even going to make the goal of running it 100%. If I walk… I walk. The goal is to train for something, and complete it. If it’s in an hour and a half I will be happy, if it’s in three hours, I will be just as happy.

There are also some things I want to learn in 2014. I want to learn how to quilt. I want to learn Spanish. I want to learn Adobe Illustrator. Learn all of the things! I didn’t touch my coveted sewing machine ONCE in 2013. That is a shame. I want to be a quilter and I want to be able to make things for myself and others than hold meaning.

Also, I want to write more. Not blog more, which wouldn’t hurt, but write more. I have a lot of pretty journals to write in, but I never take the time to sit down with pen and paper to write in them. This year is going to be a special one, I can just feel it, and I want to make sure I have it all written down to reflect on in years to come.

Last but not least, use my DSLR more. Those camera’s aren’t cheap, and they don’t need to be stuck in a bag in my closet.

Those are some lofty goals, but I am sure if I put my mind to them I will succeed in each and every one. Now, does anybody know how to quilt that wouldn’t mind showing me? Love you, mean it.