Saturday, December 31, 2011


I heard this on the radio the other day as I was driving around my hometown. It just put a smile on my face and thought it's worth a listen on New Year's Eve. 

Rod Stewart, Forever Young

2011 wrap up

2011 was a hell of a year. I suppose things are supposed to change frequently in your 20s, but I think this year certainly saw a bit more change than usual. 

Here are some of the highlights:

Started 2011 with weekend at a bed and breakfast with past boyfriend
Interviewed at UNC- Chapel Hill for graduate school
Was accepted to 6/7 schools I applied to
Threw a big brunch for some girl friends 
Vacationed for a week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Hot tubbed on the roof of a friend's apt overlooking the Capitol
Two trips to NYC
Decided to attend UNC- Chapel Hill for my MPH. Go Heels! 
Turned 26 
Watched the Royal Wedding 
Dad was in the hospital
Sailed on the Potomac River 
Volunteered at the Arlington Free Clinic
Family vacation to the Jersey Shore 
Heart broken for the first time 
Left my job of 3 years 
Moved away from DC 

Moved into my own apartment in North Carolina
Started graduate school 
Threw my sister's bridal shower and bachelorette party
Sister got married 
Went to first UNC football and basketball games 
Threw my first tailgate
Started volunteering at a clinic in North Carolina
Went to Virginia Tech for a football game with some friends 
Made awesome new friends
Decided to go to the Dominican Republic as a medical interpreter 
Saw 2 plays 
Some dating
Went on a Santa themed pub crawl 
Finished my first semester, had Christmas at home and caught up with friends 

Some things are bigger than others on that list, but overall those were the major events that came to mind. With the way that last year turned out, I don't think I can possibly guess what next year is going to look like, but I have hope. And faith. Hope for the future, for possibility and chances. Faith in myself, in my friends, and the idea that everything will somehow be all right. Actually, even better than all right-- AMAZING.

Happy New Year!!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I talk about friends a lot. By the ripe age of 26, I feel lucky to have met so many amazing people that I am lucky enough to call friends. I've found some of them in the usual places like school, and others I have found on stage, through failed romances, or during summer camp. Tonight I had the pleasure of dinner with some former colleagues. To just call them colleagues would be the understatement of the year. I have gone to visit work friends twice since I have been back in the DC area for my break. Each time I have left feeling really warm inside. Like my heart is smiling. I miss these people. It's also much more enjoyable to spend time when them when the focus isn't deadlines and meetings, but sharing our lives and how they have transformed, and yet felt comfort in the fact that even as things change, sometimes in the most important ways, we do not. 

In the absence of a big love in my life right now, this friend love has been the thing that makes my heart swell. I saw girls this week that I have known for thirteen years. People move and get jobs and married, but a few days a year we forgot the things that push us physically apart and allow the laughter and past to hold us together. It's nice. It's also good to remember that not all love is romantic, and from what I have seen, the non-romantic love has had some serious staying power. 

Big kisses to the universe for sending wonderful people my way. 

PS- Check out this little gem. Oh you know, just Zooey and Joseph hanging out, playing music. (If anyone knows them, tell them to invite me next time. I am accepting new friends!)

independent woman

I am choosing to believe that the fact that on Christmas morning I opened up a power drill from my father, who said, "Your sister got a husband this year, you get a drill!" means that he recognizes that maybe I am on a different track in life and am learning to handle things on my own (from hanging pictures to paying for school) instead of a small hint that a husband in a box will only substitute for the real thing for so long. 

Yes, I will go with the first. 

(I already knew the second.)

Friday, December 23, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

There are wrapped presents. There is an tall tree with colorful lights and an angel on top in my parent's living room. There is laughter and a full house now with my sister and her new husband here. I made a family ElfYourself video and there was hearty chuckling from my dad. There are leisurely meals over bottles of wine and discussion of which holiday classics to watch tomorrow, and maybe the next day. There are inside jokes. There is music and singing (mostly by me.) There is warmth. 

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

christmas dog!

One of the perks of being home is getting to hang out with my parent's dog. She is just so adorable and cuddly that I am cooing over her everyday. Or dressing her up in a ridiculous fashion. What better time (Ok, maybe Halloween) than Christmas to make your dog look silly cute? 

(She does not look very happy about that bow.) 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

this is the new year

I think by now we've established how much I love music. This morning I came across this video by Ian Axel which is just so happy and cheerful you won't be able to help but smile. It seems like perfect timing as the year is drawing to a close. 

Lyrics Preview: 
Say everything you've always wanted
be not afraid of who you really are
cause in the end we have each other
and that's at least one thing worth living for

And I would give the world to you. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Sometimes in life you get days where all the pieces come together. The weather, the company, the spirit. These days are rare, but when they happen everything seems right in the world. Life feels like it is happening just like it should. 

Fireplaces and peppermint icing just add to the magic.

Friday, December 16, 2011

not yet

I finished finals on Tuesday (hooray!) but them came down with a horrible cold. I have just been a sniffly sneezy mess! I planned to stay in Chapel Hill for a few days after exams to hang out and have fun, but mostly I've been napping, running last minute errands, and laying low. Today is starting to look up though! I'm not quite as miserable feeling, which is great because I have a dinner to go to tonight, followed by a Lizzy Ross Band show at Local 506. She's a Chapel Hill local who I've seen a few times and is friends of a friend. Just adore her. (Listen to "Not Yet")  

The song is somewhat pertinent in my life right now:

All in good time,
that’s what they tell me.
You only learn if you keep going.
But the deeper we “go,” the deeper I fall,
even though I’ve got no way of knowing…
no way to know where this is going…
not yet.

I'll leave you with that ;) Happy Friday! What are your plans tonight?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

to be humans or gods

Today I was talking with a gentleman. Somehow the topic landed on politicians and infidelity and what the reasons are behind so many scandals of men in power. This lead to a discussion of marriage. I tend to be a bit of a marriage cynic. I have no reason to be. My parents have a wonderful relationship, my friends that have gotten married have chosen great partners. I just look at the bigger picture and see everything from the Kardashian divorce to Anthony Weiner creeping on women when his wife is pregnant and it just scares me. The risk of failure is great and the stakes are so high. Eeek. 

But as we were talking he noted that people look at divorce and infidelity scandals and think we should just drop the bar. Just let these famous people get on with their professional lives and ignore the personal. And then he said something that stopped me in my tracks: Just because humans continue to fall short of the ideal, it doesn't mean we should abandon the ideal. We are human afterall, but shouldn't we have something to aim for? 

Wow. That's been rolling around my head today. And for the first time in a while, it made me feel like maybe my hope of marriage and partnership wasn't lost. I like goals. I like having something to shoot for.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

sit back down where you belong, in the corner of my bar with your high heels on

I have mentioned the Crunkleton before. It is my most favorite bar in Chapel Hill, but with cocktails running around $12 a piece, I have to go sparingly. Last night was another end of semester celebration with some friends in my program, so bottoms up, of course had to be somewhere most fabulous. 

I was dressed in black fishnets, a black 3/4 sleeve dress with a big wide belt around the middle, high heels, big dangly earrings, and my hair up in a loose updo. It was a night for dress up. A night to feel like an adult instead of a student. 

The bar was relatively empty, so we were chatting it up with the bar tender who put something new to drink in front of me every time I turned around. There is just something about holding a cocktail that makes me feel like a lady. 

Around midnight, the bartender comes over and says, "Hey, those guys at the end of the bar want to buy you a drink. They are UNC's male soccer coaches and just won the national soccer championship."

I politely declined the drink, because, of course I was "leaving at any minute!" but as the night went on our two groups combined, and I found myself, sitting at the corner of the bar with my high heels on chatting it up with some UNC celebrities. (It's a funny thing when you realize you are closer in age to coaches now than players.) They were completely nice gentleman and around 2am we all parted ways. I may never see them again, but it was a fun evening had by all. I love this town.

Monday, December 12, 2011

jigsaw puzzle

I used to write about relationships. That came easy to me. I was recently talking to someone who said to me, "One of the things that impresses me is how thoughtful you are. Not in the way where you are running around baking cookies for people all the time, but you look at situations from every angle. You weigh pros and cons. You may not always be perfect, but even in times when you mess up, you seriously consider what you could do to be better next time." 

I was pretty profoundly touched when I heard that. I often feel like all these thoughts I have running around in my head are just there to drive me crazy. But I want to believe that they are like the pieces of a puzzle scattered on a table and I am constantly working to put it together to make a picture that makes sense. 

I know how to be a girlfriend. I can meet parents, cook nice meals, be reliable, and plan romantic events with the best of them. I know how to be single. My life revolves around friends and family. I push myself to go hiking, or running, or throw dinner parties and drink cocktails. I am good at that too. It's the middle ground I am not so good at. Dating makes me feel like the scattered pieces of the puzzle. What are the rules to the game? Do they change as you get older? How do you maintain that cool and confident air about yourself when you just crave someone holding you at night as you fall asleep? Are those things really at odds? Isn't it a human need to be touched and appreciated? 

When I feel unsettled about something my thinking is on overdrive. Against my original plans for this blog, I may start writing more about that thought process. Whether or not I am seriously dating someone, I have always considered the relationships in my life, be it friends, family, or classmates, (and occasionally romantic interest) to be tops. They are the things that occupy the real estate in my brain. Maybe it's just best to accept that. Because who are we without the ones we love? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

gonna wish i had a storm warning

This song is getting me through all the craziness of exams. 

Be the force of nature. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

she dances

She dances to the moonlight as the constellations watch her movements.
They shine their golden dust on her, as her body sings the melody of love.
She’s hungry to feel, to give, to be the supernatural man-made star.
The illuminated wonders of a girl that doesn’t know...

From here

Sunday, December 4, 2011

girl talk

Girlfriend #1: I love my bed. It is sooo comfortable. 

Me: I'm neutral on mine. It does have flannel sheets on it right now, so it's pretty cozy at least. 

Girlfriend #2: I don't really like mine that much. Mostly because its just me in it. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

christmas wish list

I am 26 years old, but I still make a Christmas list for my parents. I find that as I get older I don't want things like, oh, American Girl Dolls, but instead down pillows. Here are a few things on my wish list: 

-Flannel sheets (Is there anything more cozy in the winter?)
-Everything is Illuminated (I've heard this is a great book.) 
-Clinique black honey lip gloss 
-A kitchen scale 
-Decent metal measuring cups
-Tall brown leather boots (I found a pair I loved and my Mom let me get them early :)!) 
-Raincoat with a hood

I know, I have gotten so boring and practical in my old age. What is on your wish list??