"It is true that words drop away, and that the important things are often left unsaid. The important things are learned in faces, in gestures, not in our locked tongues. The true things are too big or too small, or in any case, always the wrong size to fit the template called language. "

Jeanette Winterson, found through the ever lovely Meg

oh hi

Hello again, friends. Here's a random selfie I took to Snapchat my sister a few weeks ago, just in case you forgot what I look like.

It's September. It's September and I'm not ready for it to be September. The autumn decorations are out too soon at Target and internet friends are posting too many wishlists of sweaters. Let's be real: in Texas, I don't think fall comes until like November and right now, I'm okay with that. Let's enjoy these 105 degree days while they're still here and maybe go for some late night swims to rejoice in the fact that we don't freeze our buns off when we get out of the pool yet.

August was quite the month. That list of bold intentions I posted last month has been conquered. I finished grad school with a bang, devoting a few weekends entirely to schoolwork and coming out with a 5/5 on that thesis. Hell yeah. Ben finally came home after a month at his New York base and I was weirdly nervous when I picked him up at the airport. The butterflies washed away the second I saw him and we've been getting into our new groove the past few weeks. We're in our new home, finally, and as I predicted, IKEA and Target have become our second homes as we set this new place up. It's not done, but I love it so far. Settling in and making new places ours is one of my favorite things to do.

You guys don't really care, but work has been crazy. That's the only word for it. Students moved back two weeks ago and since about a week before, it's been utter pandemonium as we got ready for them and now as we all settle in to this new building. 398 students live in this residence hall and I'm in charge of every single one of them plus the operations for the whole building and a student staff of 25 college kids. If that's not a lot for a first job, I don't know what is.

I don't know if you've heard yet, but I'm pretty much a kickboxing pro. While this is not entirely true, I have been asked if I'd like to be an instructor. After a roundhouse kick and a hell yeah, I started training for that and have some more training to do before I go live. The job pretty much consists of wearing a Britney Spears mic, punching things, and bossing people around, so I'm a natural. To be completely honest though, it was such a blessing to be asked. Ben and I had just decided that we couldn't really afford my membership once he started school, and then the next day, they were like hey, do you want to get paid to do this instead of having to pay? I'm thankful. Plus it feels pretty awesome that they saw something in me that made them want to ask if I'd join their team. I knew I wasn't doing all of those push-ups for nothing.

To sum everything up, life is good. I'm in a really good place right now and my sweet Ben is forever at my side. He's happy at his new school with his nerdy engineering classes and I'm proud of him for going back to school for another degree when he could have just forced himself to stay in a field he wasn't happy in. We're continuously learning to serve each other and are both trying really hard to love each other more than we love ourselves. Marriage isn't the easiest thing around, but it sure is worth it. 

Speaking of marriage, my husband is still cozied up in bed being a lazybones on this thunderstorm-y Labor Day, so I'm off to make him some coffee and a bagel and get that boy out of bed. I hope all of you have a nice day off!

a place to call home

In the ever-continuing spirit of documenting the good with bad pictures:

After almost three long months of living out of boxes, we finally have a real, permanent, all-ours, ready to move in to home.

Since starting to pack at the beginning of May, we've been living simply. When I say simply, I mean One-Pot-One-Pan-Three-Forks-and-Some-Ziploc-Baggies simply. An odd number of forks was poor planning, as there is an even number of us, but you get the idea. We wanted to pack it all up, get it down here, and leave it packed up until we got into our real place so the work would be kept to a minimum. You guys know how I don't like to work. The real place has been in the process of being built, as it's the residence hall that I was hired for, so they've put us up in a student apartment until it was ready. The apartment's been nice [lots of light, a dishwasher, and a front patio kind of nice], but let's be real. I'm ready to settle.

The new building is ready enough for occupancy, so says the great state of Texas. We move our stuff over on Thursday with the help of the maintenance team and a free day I get off of work [thank you, bargaining skills] and unpacking will begin PRONTO. That brand new apartment will be turned into our home in the blink of an eye. Really all it takes is a sweaty sports bra left on a doorknob [me] and some nerdy magazines on the back of the toilet [Ben], but still. Those boxes are getting emptied and thrown out of the windows. The smell of cardboard will no longer invade my nostrils. 

Thanks to the shitty job our moving company did, we have a big claims check coming our way, so I foresee many IKEA and Target trips in our future. I also see many DIY and decorating posts in this blog's future because I need someone to brag to. Thanks for forever being my audience.

August bold intentions

It's August. Somewhere in the flurry of packing-driving down & across the country-visiting family-getting to a new city-starting a new job-celebrating our first year of marriage-writing a thesis-etc, late spring and much of summer has flown by. And while the cliches are...cliche, they're true for a reason. Time goes so quickly as I get older!

I have big plans for this August. This month is going to bring about a lot of change in our already-very-different-lives and I'm excited for it all. I'm going to be bold and intentional about my August and I already started today.

inspired by Elise

1) Write my thesis & write it hard. I'm getting there. Slowly, but surely, I'm turning on my classical piano Pandora station, sitting on my couch/at my desk/on the floor and writing. I hate getting into it, but once I'm in, I love it. [This is sitting on my coffee table for inspiration]. This weekend, I will finish my rough draft, submit it to my advisor, edit it all next week, and submit it for good on August 11. And then I'm DONE. My diploma will be mailed August 31 and I'll have my Master's degree. Holy shit.

2) Cram summer into the rest of summer. As I've mentioned, we haven't had much time for summery things. Once the paper is done, I'm kicking it into high gear. We'll go for late night walks, play some more catch, make s'mores, go swimming, etc. I'm glad that it stays hot here until oh, November, because we've got some catching up to do. I want carefree days and long, lazy nights. August 2013: the month of the Quigley summer.

3) Look up. I'm doing better already with putting my phone away. As I mentioned a while ago, I deleted social media apps off of my phone in an effort to focus on what's happening in front of me. But you guys, it's actually an addiction. Since Ben's been gone [on his base in New York], I've gotten Instagram back because it's pretty, and I check Facebook and Twitter through my web browser on the phone. I still put it down and work, write, read, bike ride, etc., but it keeps me company as I go to sleep and sit around. Once Ben is home though and it's not so lonely around here, that thing is gone. I want to make people [especially my husband] feel loved, and spending all my time looking at my phone DOES NOT DO THAT.

4) Make friends. No one really warned me about how hard/weird it is to make friends as an adult. There are all of these social norms and already established groups and just all around different things about being a grown up looking for friends. However, I'm making baby steps. I like the people at work and they like me back [I think], there are some cool women at kickboxing, and we may have found a church that we like enough to get involved in. Also, I know I said no more social media, but I might be going to a blogging brunch here in Dallas hosted by some friends I met on Twitter. There are prospects on the friend front and I need to put myself out there and make things happen. I want friends. Girl friends, guy friends, couple friends, all of them. Hey, you live in Dallas and you're not lame? Let's be friends.

That's it. I have four goals this month. Let's do this.

in this world...

It's 10:30 on Sunday night and I'm almost ready to head to bed. I had a long drive home today and kickboxing is early tomorrow, so the night is winding down. I wanted to get some words out first.

This weekend I drove down to Spring by myself to visit my brother- and sister-in-law who just had their first baby. Friday afternoon, after a failed attempt to get bangs cut, I got in the car for 4 hours of traffic-laden, dusk and night driving. It wasn't my favorite experience. The night was long, as Bethany & Lee were at the hospital with baby Micah, and I had the whole house to myself. On Saturday though, it was worth it. After getting dressed and stopping for some iced coffee, I walked into the hospital room and saw my sweet family for the first time in too long. The love that I could feel in the room was overwhelming. I wonder if babies know how much they are loved when they're brand new like that; if they can feel everyone's overwhelming adoration of them. I spent the day at the hospital with Bethany, Lee & Micah, as the nurses came in and out, as Micah slept and woke up, and as the new parents subsequently slept and woke up. We got all ready to head home and I took pictures of their sweet family as they left the hospital and walked into their home for the first time as a family of three. It was a heartwarming experience to be there in the first few days of my nephew's life. I'm thankful I could be there to help out Bethany and Lee and to see them as new parents, experiencing everything for the first time. I'm thankful I could see them experiencing their son for the first times and the overwhelming new love they have for him.

Ben has been in New York at his Air Force base for the past week and he'll be there for another two and a half weeks. It's lonely here without him. I have my co-workers, who I thankfully already consider my friends, and I have my kickboxing acquaintances, but the house is quiet in a way that I never want it to be again. From boot camp, deployments, and the other minor days away, I can be alone. I even got good at being alone. But this time, it isn't for me. We've been inseparable during this move and I like him. It's not fun to be apart.

I knew this before, but I know it even more now: relationships are what this world is about. We surround ourselves with love from the ones we love and we're happy people. We thrive on the support of the people who mean something to us. I see it in my new nephew and his parents who love him, I see it in my marriage, and I see it in the friends and family who I miss like crazy back home. People are supposed to be with people and I miss my people. I love my new life down here and everything is actually going really well, but I miss my people. Every single one of them.

Taken last Saturday on our anniversary, at the John Mayer concert. He's my person.
More of my people: new daddy Lee and his baby Micah


It's been a year now.

The decision was deliberate, but easy. We'd been each other's for almost three years then and we talked about being each other's for forever. We knew we were each other's forevers. So, one bright but chilly day in early January, you drove down to New York, surprised me in Central Park, and asked me to spend my life loving you. How could I say anything but yes?

Having a wedding was a good start. We learned a lot about each other's families in those six months of planning and we learned what kind of family we'd like to be. On July 13, 2012, we threw one hell of a party. I still watch the little video message I sent you that morning and remember how I could not wait to get over there and marry the hell out of you. With flowers in my hair and the grass beneath my feet, I remember floating down that aisle, grinning like a fool, unable to look at anything besides you. We said our vows to each other that we'd written together just a few nights before and in front of God and our loved ones, we promised to choose each other for the rest of our days.

Every day since then, I have chosen you. But you've made it so easy. You've been more than I ever could have dreamed. I was trying to choose a picture for this note and it proved near impossible. Every picture from this past year tells a story of us and each story is my favorite. There are all the ones from our wedding day, so full of love. Or the hundreds of honeymoon pictures, on the beach, at dinner, on the booze cruise, so full of joy and love and beer. There's the one of the big hole in the entryway door of our first place, after we tried to force in a couch that just wouldn't fit. And then the one of us sitting on the front porch drinking beer after we decided to screw it and just wait until your dad got there. There are ones of this whole year too: of making our Halloween costumes, of date days when we just ran errands but it was so lovely, and ones of nights at home. Of Christmas forts, Valentine's burgers, & everything in between. All the ones of getting ready to move to Texas and all the ones of our adventures on the way here.

But this picture? This one is my favorite. It's not an extraordinary picture in setting or event or composition; I love it because it's none of those things. It was last Thursday, on the 4th of July, when I had the day off of work and we both had adventure in our bones. After waking up over a shared pot of coffee, we hopped on our bikes, mine still brand-new-to-me from the night before. My first bike with gears and made in the 70's, it can be tricky to ride sometimes, but you slowly taught me how, just like you always do. I love that about you: the way you sweetly teach me new things whenever you see the need, with patience and tenderness and laughter. We get each other's sense of humor and I swear, not an hour goes by that we aren't cracking each other up. I love that about us.

So, we biked around campus, yelling and laughing and running into each other on the way, with the wind in my hair and the sun on our faces. We stopped in a field along our ride, grabbed our new baseball mitts from my basket, and got to playing catch. I'm a sweat machine in this picture, but there was so much love inside of me that I swear I'm glowing. I'm a confident woman [admittedly naively confident at times], but every girl wants to hear that she's pretty sometimes and you sure do deliver. You make me feel so beautiful in every way.

But back to the picture: we threw and caught, for hours it seemed, and only with you could I have so much fun doing nothing. Only with you could I be capable of so much love. I grabbed my phone and asked if we could take a picture because it's nice being reminded of these beautiful days, of these times when I could just float away. You uncharacteristically obliged, I think because my phone hasn't made many appearances lately, and you leaned your head in towards mine. After the first picture, you said you wanted to take one without your sunglasses, so you took them off, leaned in again and smiled. If I could spend the rest of my days being the recipient of that smile, it still wouldn't be enough. That smile is everything to me.

It's been a year now that I've called you my husband. A year of learning to love you more than I love myself and a year of being amazed at the way you constantly love me. We don't get it right all of the time, but this year you have loved me more than ever and as I needed you to most. I feel known by you in the ways you love me. You know me and you love me because of it and in spite of it. I think that's what everyone is looking for, isn't it? We've found it. Every time I look at you, it's like coming home and it's the most loving home there is. I'm so glad you're the home I chose. Here's to our first year and every single one of our years to come, Benny. I love you with everything I have.

currently: late June edition

[waiting for the train into Dallas last weekend so we could go to the farmer's market]

Listening to: lots of Alexi Murdoch Pandora station. Also all of Kelly Ann's playlists. That girl has a gift of putting the perfect music together.

Reading:  Nothing fun. It's all grad school work for the next month and a half, unfortunately.

Thinking about: Our upcoming anniversary. It's almost been an entire year that we've been married, and it has been such a year. I'm thankful for having Ben as my teammate in all of this.

Watching: The construction workers right outside our windows. My building [the residence hall that I'll be in charge of & we'll live in] is still being built, and apparently the July 15 deadline isn't going to be met. I glare at the workers in hopes that they've move a  little faster.

Loving:  My mornings. As I've mentioned a bunch of times on here, I'm not a morning person. However, I enrolled in an 8-week kickboxing boot camp recently and the best time for me to go is before work. Class is at 5:15 & 6:15, so depending on my morning meetings, I go to one of those. It's MISERABLE waking up every morning, but once I get up, I love it. I love the peace of the early morning. I love getting my aggression out on a punching bag and feeling so accomplished and strong and so badass as I go. I love driving back with the Texas morning sky laid out beautifully before me. I love having time to make and eat breakfast, listening to Pandora and taking things slow before I have to walk over to work. It's only been a week, but I love it all so far.

Drinking: So much water. At the beginning of boot camp, they weighed me and took all of these measurements and then suggested a meal plan. The meal plan I'm not following really, because I'm so picky, but I am following their water suggestion. Apparently I'm supposed to be drinking 2.5 liters of water every day. I'm doing it and loving how it makes me feel, but holy cow, I have to pee so much.

Missing: My family, of course. This past weekend, I flew up to New York for my sister's graduation & party. We had a lot of fun and it was so good to see them, but it was hard to say good-bye. The hard part is now though, as I won't get to see them again until Christmas. Jessa and I shopped for her dorm room before I left and I just feel so sucky that I can't go with her to move her into college.  I love our life here so far, but I miss them all.

Not missing: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram on my phone. I was home on Friday, catching up with my family and loving on them and I couldn't stop thinking about checking my dumb phone. I was so angry with myself for being obsessed, so I grabbed my phone and deleted them all. I have to say that I do miss Instagram because I loved seeing little snapshots of everyone's life and I really liked sharing my own, but oh well. I feel free. I'm giving myself a week to see how I feel about re-installing Instagram and we'll go from there.

Looking forward to: Finishing grad school! My thesis and everything is due on August 11, which is just six weeks away. This terrifies me because I am nowhere near finishing my paper or field project, but I'll get it done. I'm just a procrastinator. I can't wait to be free. No more homework and no more stress. I'll just come home from work at the end of the day and be able to do anything I want. I can craft again! I can read good books! I can go on adventures! I'm so excited I can barely focus on getting my work done now.

I hope everyone is having a good summer so far! I know I'm not around here much, and since I recently got rid of my social media apps, I'm not really there either. If you want to chat, please feel free to e-mail me at sweetandwildchildblog {at} gmail {dot} com. I'd love to hear from you.

And as always, thanks to my sweet friend Megan [and her friend Dani] for inspiring these posts.

I'm Keeping the Glitter

It's Monday, June 3 and we're here in Texas. Is it dramatic to say that the minute we passed this sign, I felt like I was at home? Yes, it is, but I'm saying it anyways.

The past two weeks have been crazy. We finished up packing and had fun in our tiny apartment stacked full of boxes. The movers came and took all of our things as we sat on the porch reading magazines like real lazy bums. We then spent the next six days staying with my mom and then Ben's parents, hopping around from event to event: a wedding I was in, last minute meals with friends and family, a sweet goodbye party with my whole family, and days and nights spent in the sun with my parents and siblings. 

Then last Tuesday, we hit the road. I have so many sweet pictures of all of our goodbyes and of our fun trip down here, but I don't want to share them yet. I heard an idea somewhere [I think APW] about events that hold a special place in your heart, like weddings, births, special parties, etc.: when they're over, they feel too sacred to share with the world yet. They were special and magical and filled with glitter and many times, we get scared to share them and shake them in fear of shaking the glitter right off. 

Like I said, our time with family before we left was so special. That was the last time that I was around, knowing that everyone I really loved was within a half hour drive. And everyone made us feel so loved when they sent us on our way, giving us hugs and love and gifts that we never expected. It was even more heartbreaking to leave than I ever thought it would be. And then our drive down here was so much fun. We made stops along the way, some at big attractions and some at tiny little nothing towns where there were motel rooms for $19.99 in a trailer out back [yes, I am also glad that we didn't get killed]. The time Ben and I spent in the truck and out of the truck exploring this new world we'd never seen was fun and so good for us.

And now we're in Houston, spending a few days at Ben's sister and brother-in-law's new house. We're helping them get ready for their new baby and we're taking a few days to regroup on homework and moving things and then just relax. We'll head up to Dallas when our apartment is ready on Wednesday and hope that the movers are there soon with our things and then we'll get settled into that new life. Maybe by then, I'll be ready to share more about the last two weeks, but for now, I'm enjoying this in between time and I'm keeping my glitter.


It's hard to know what to say in a time like this, with so many transitions taking place and life as I know it coming to an end. It's even harder to know what to say in such a public forum, with aunts and grandmas and real life friends reading.

We leave in a week. The movers are coming tomorrow and we'll stay with our parents for six days: my mom's for a few and then his. We have a bunch of goodbye lunches and dinners and a party and then next Tuesday morning, we'll pull out of Spencerport with our truck/motorcycle/SmartCar combo and head south to Richardson, Texas.

I'm thankful for everyone that is making it hard to leave. For everyone who loves us so much that they're encouraging us even though it's going to hurt them too. After growing up in western New York for 22 years, I do have roots here. I denied it for a while, as a teenager wanting to get as far away as possible, but now I see it. I have roots in this city, the one that I've stared at from the 490 bridge a thousand times, as we've driven in to see our friends, go to dinner, visit a festival. Everywhere we go, there's someone I know and almost everywhere we go, I know how to get there. Ben doesn't believe me half of the time, but I know my way around this city. Especially after staying here for college [and meeting my husband], this place finally feels like home.

But it's time to get going. To try something new and to make a new city home. We have some time at our new place before I start my job and I think we'll take that chance to explore our new town. To go for walks and find new places to eat and to settle in. I have no doubts that we'll find our groove and we'll make that place our home too.

But for now, I'm taking everything in here. I'm taking advantage of the fact that most of my family lives within a 20 minute radius and we're spending time with everyone before we go. We said goodbye to a best friend yesterday, as he left for a summer of traveling before grad school, and I'm sure we'll say goodbye to our other friends this weekend, in the good, old-fashioned stumble across Rochester way. Right now I'm sitting on my front porch writing this as I listen to the earlybirds sing because I know that 7 am in Texas might even be too hot for this. I'm going to finish this post, walk two blocks to get coffee from my favorite cafe in town, and I'm going to come home to wake up my sweet husband and get to packing. I may not love this town enough to stick around forever, but I certainly love it enough to be sad about leaving. This place has been home for all of my years so far and how do you say goodbye to home?

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

It was a weekend full of family.
1] filled boxes
2] fitting in as a monster
 3] a deserted mall
4] mother & daughter-in-law pink pants 
5] my favorite guy

1] Packing up the apartment with my sweet grandma on Friday was somehow cathartic; I think partially because it was the first tangible step towards this next phase of our lives, and partially because my grandma is one of the few people that really gets me and loves me fiercely anyways. Spending time talking with her is always good for my heart.

2 & 3] Ben and I made it a point to go on a date Friday night. I've been working from home these past two weeks, as you know, and not really having a reason to put pants on and leave the house was really starting to get to me. Ben had an absolutely crazy week of school work that ended Friday afternoon, so we decided to get out of the damn house and do something. I put on some a new shirt, some jeans, and high heels and I felt like a new woman. Never mind the fact that the new heels gave me a wicked blister that I'm pretty sure is going to require amputating my foot. We had a dance party on the way to Outback Steakhouse, scouted out Lowe's for the best new drill for Ben to use a Christmas gift card on, and later settled into the germy movie theatre seats to take in The Great Gatsby [which was so good, by the way]. After the movie, we met one of our best friends out in the city, caught up over some beer, and wasted money on hunting video games and the dart board.

On Saturday, we slept in really late, I stuck to my commitment of running 5 days a week even though I hate weekend runs, and then we headed out for the night, stopping by my step-sister's college graduation party and going out to dinner with Ben's parents. He graduates next weekend, but will be at his Air Force base, so they wanted to celebrate ahead of time and motivate Ben for a strong last week. You know me; I consider breadsticks to be one of the best motivators out there. Din was delicious and spending time with Ben's parents was really nice too.

4 & 5] Sunday was a day of pink pants at church, burgers on the grill, and saying thank you to our mommas. We spent the day at Ben's parents, watching weird movies and doing homework, and once my mom got home from a weekend away, we visited her as well. I'm so thankful for both of these women in my life and for how loving and supportive they always are.

Now onto another week of grad work and packing up. I cannot believe that we leave two weeks from tomorrow. I move 1,500 miles away from my family in two weeks. What.

currently: late Tuesday night

A little leftover picture from after the Color Run on Saturday. I love this kid.
Thinking about: all there is to be done before our move. The movers come two weeks from tomorrow, which is beyond crazy, and our house is still very much unpacked. Thankfully, my mom found us a ton of boxes and I plan to get going on Friday, but still. I've never really packed for a move before, so this is going to be interesting.

Feeling: a little unproductive. This time off before we go is supposed to be my get-stuff-done time, but I'm not doing so hot. I have little spurts of productivity and then I just hit a wall and get distracted by wanting to be outside, getting lost in the internet, or wanting to take a nap. I'm not the best at this working from home thing.

Watching: a little tv at night. I hate that I'm getting into a reality singing show, but Ben's mom got us hooked on The Voice. That's the only show we watch when it's on and then when we have a little down time to watch tv, we go online and catch up on How I Met Your Mother, The Mindy Project, The Office, and SNL. The usual.

Reading: only grad school things. Besides the monthly Glamour & Cosmo delivered to my door, I'm still in the bubble of grad readings. That won't really change for a while, I don't think.

Looking forward to: all of our family time before we go. This weekend, one of my step-sisters is graduating from college, so I'll see everyone at her graduation party, and then we're going to dinner with Ben's parents to celebrate his graduation. Next weekend, I'll probably be with my mom & sister again, as Ben has to go to base, and the weekend after that will be seeing everyone at our going away party. And then we're gone. I'm trying really hard to focus on all of the quality time that we'll get before that.

Making me happy: my marriage with Ben. We're tackling this big move as a team and kicking ass at it. I handle the parts I'm good at, he handles the ones he's good at, and we make a really good team. He's incredibly busy right now with finishing up schoolwork before graduation next weekend, but he still makes time for me and is a really wonderful husband. I'm proud of his determination with all of this schooling, and I just really think brains are sexy. I'm in love with my husband, folks.

this weekend

... was a little crazy.

In an effort to smush in as much quality time as we can before the move, our weekends this month are packed. This one was the beginning:

Friday, we went to my mom's and had dinner with her & my sister and did a whole bunch of laundry. Mom & I went on a walk and it's always so nice to reconnect with her and to have a few hours to spend with Jessa.

Saturday, we did the Color Run! Ben and I along with my sister and our friend, Chris, signed up a few months ago and I kind of forgot about it until this week. Thankfully they were all cool with running at my slow poke pace and it was a ton of fun. We got covered in color, as it should be, and then opened our packets and doused each other in even more of that stuff. My shower afterwards was a good 40 minutes and I didn't even get it all off.
After we showered and impressed ourselves with a speed clean of the apartmet, my college roommate and her boyfriend came in from Cleveland. We spent the night telling stories from the good ol' days and wondering how in the world it's been a whole year since we graduated. [A year!].  We walked into town and ate some good barbeque and then headed downtown to hang out with the boys. It's nights like that, where we drink on the front porch, go to a bar with twinkle lights and picnic tables in the back, and end up back at the boys' playing darts, that make me want to never move past this stage of our lives.

Lacey & Jeff had to leave Sunday morning, so we said goodbye and promptly landed on the couch with coffee in our hands and last night's SNL on tv. Then it was time for our cook out! A few weeks ago, I invited all of our friends to come to the park right by our house for some football and cheeseburgers, and it turned out to be the perfect day for it. We came, ate, drank & played.  We forgot to get a group picture while everyone was still around, but we have these and these will do.

Oh and one friend does stand up comedy on Sunday nights, so a few of us went out afterwards. Really, I just brought that up because here's a picture of Ben with his motorcycle. Hot.

Thursday favorite

Yesterday was one of my favorite days this week. There's something about getting an early start to the day and being productive before the hour that you normally even finish eating breakfast. The day was spent in a meeting and then running errands: buying things and returning things and feeling so productive in my flowy dress. The sun was shining, I got compliments on my dress in literally every store, and it was one of those days where you just feel GOOD, you know?

To keep the good day going, I stopped and bought flowers on my way home. I buy flowers for myself a lot because they're so stinkin pretty and Ben doesn't really think to get them for me. That's more than okay because he washes all of our dishes and takes care of our bills and squeezes me tight and that is how he shows me he loves me. So the flower buying is up to me. Usually, a $6 grocery store bouquet of tulips is good. They're cheap and pretty and they get the job done. Yesterday, though, I wanted to get something extra pretty. I stopped at a florist, told her what I could spend and what I liked and that up there is what she came up with. They're the perfect flowers for our springtime coffee table and there's something so nice about treating yourself to pretty things. Especially when it's a random sunny Thursday and your only motivation is because you want to.

[Oh, and Ben was sweet enough to take pictures of me with my flowers. Some days I'm just not photogenic, so you don't get to see most of them, but this one is a gem. He had just said sweet things to me and that's the look of love, kids].

I like moving because...

we get to throw crap away!

Most of yesterday was spent going through the attic and the closets getting rid of stuff that we don't need to bring to Texas. My clutter-free soul loves boxing things up and sending it away. My nostalgic soul says "NO, I wore that shirt when I was 18 and kissed Ben for the first time while we were sitting on his bed watching the ending credits of Back to the Future". My boobs say "honey, you're not 18 anymore. We refuse to stop growing and that shirt will never fit us again".

Damn boobs.

catching up

As I mentioned last week, I'm officially done with work until the big move happens and I start my new job. This means I have all month long to do grad school things, start running again to be ready for sundress season, and theoretically pack. Our apartment is tiny, so I'm not exactly sure where the boxes will go once I pack, but that's something to worry about at a later date I guess. We'll make it work. We'll be living in box forts maybe.

No job also means a little more time to blog! So here's a quick little catch up post:

Last weekend, like I mentioned, Ben was out of town. I spent all weekend with my family and my sister and I did typical sister things:
 Our landlord called me last minute last Friday to let me know they were showing it to someone on Saturday morning. I had to get out of bed at Mom's early Saturday to rush home and clean, so I got the family dog into our tiny Smart car and got to tidying up the place. Agape wasn't much help, but she's cute so it was allowed.
After we didn't want a family birthday party to end on Saturday, a bunch of us went bowling. Aunt Thyra killed it the first game and my dad got serious in the second game. I got a Turkey, spent time with some family that I don't hang out with often, and drank some beer, so I'd call that a successful night. 

Mondays, Ben has class all night so I'm usually home alone. When I got home from work last week, it was still 70 degrees and beautiful out, so I took my bike for the first ride of the year along the canal. 

I locked myself out of the house one day last week, so I hung out on the front porch while Ben drove home. I don't have many pictures of our first place, so I decided to get one with the rent sign in the yard. This tiny apartment will always have a place in my heart.

So many nights last week were beautiful, so one of Ben's Air Force friends came over with his girlfriend and we had a little cook out and rode around on the motorcycles. I felt like we were in a gang, so it may be time to start wearing a bandanna.
 Wednesday was my last day of my secretary job! Like I've said before, I'm glad that I found such a nice place to work for this in-between year. They were such sweet people.
 And then Wednesday night, I cleaned up and promptly did nothing. A little break before the to-do list started was necessary.

Now that it's almost May, I'll get to writing about life currently. My big brother got married on Saturday, so hopefully I can share some of those pictures soon, and we'll see what else pops up. I'm off to go for a run. I bought a new sports bra last week, and it's one of the ones that zips up the front. I pretty much feel like a Bond girl when I'm working out, which is an even better motivator than you'd think. Happy Monday, friends!

Wednesday night

I have a sleeping husband on the couch next to me, a glass of champagne on the coffee table, and the sound of the wind blowing outside our windows. It's Wednesday night and I've been meaning to blog all week, but most of the time, the days just get away from me.

Life has been good lately. It's the ebb and flow of late winter and early spring fighting to be in charge for the day. There's beautiful, sunny days where I wear my favorite sundresses [they're all my favorite] and run errands on lunch just so I can be outside. And then cold, rainy days where I put on leggings and a sweatshirt and stay on the couch all day, doing homework and procrastinating by reading blogs. I've been wrapping things up at my job, writing papers for grad school, and mentally preparing myself for moving

On the job front, today was my last day. It was such a nice place to work, with such kind people, and true to form, they threw me a surprise going away party. I'm thankful for finding that job for this year of in-between that we had. For me, jobs are all about the environment and I couldn't have asked for a sweeter one than that.

Grad school is going well. I have a big paper due on Sunday, but my brother is getting married this weekend [!], so the plan for tomorrow is to bang that one out. My latest professor has been such an encouraging one, giving me helpful feedback and saying the kindest things about my writing. I called him today about this paper and he said "I'm not saying these things just to be kind; these are well deserved accolades". That's a morale booster if I've ever heard one. I ended work a month before we go so that I have these next few weeks to really get down to business on my field project and my thesis. Getting down to business is hard, though! I have no attention span. None. So I'm going to have to get into a schedule and really do it.

Ben was gone last weekend on a biking trip in the Adirondacks [that healthy son of a gun], so I spent the weekend at my Mom's. It was such a nice weekend, you guys. I loved my family before, but as a grown up, I get my uncles' jokes and I can have real conversations with my dad. Mom & I are starting to be friends too. I appreciate them all a thousand times more. I went to a baseball game with my dad, step-mom, and sister one night, shopped with my sister the next, relaxed Saturday morning and then went to a family party and family bowling. Then Sunday, I went on a little road trip with my mom to the church where she was speaking, and we spent the day with my sister talking and working on rehearsal dinner things. Things are so good when you have a loving family, aren't they?

That's all, really. Just a little update. I'm not sure how I feel about blogging anymore, but I like having this space and an aunt told me I'd have to write more once we move so she can stay up to date with my life. I hope everyone is having a good week. Spring is here, friends. Go enjoy it.

The Big Move

Well, there it is. Ben & I's first big move is halfway across the country to the big city of  Dallas, Texas

One [of a million] things that made me so sure about marrying Ben was that we had similar goals for our future. Ever since a trip down to San Antonio for my brother's boot camp graduation during high school, I've wanted to move to Texas. I'm not sure if it was the Texas shaped waffle makers in the hotel or the wonderful warm air that made my hair turn into a frizzy mess, but that state won me over in a matter of seconds.

In the beginning stages of dating Ben, we got to talking about the future, as people in baby relationships tend to get carried away with doing. It came up that Ben's extended family lives just outside of Houston, Texas and he's always wanted to move there too. We bonded over the fact that we hate the cold, grey winters that last for 6 months up here and it was decided that someday we'd move to the big state of Texas.

Fast forward to my great job search of 2013 and that trip down to Tennessee. We love this city and the fact that it holds all of my family and a lot of our friends, but this isn't what we want for the rest of our lives. We decided that if we didn't try to move now, we probably never would. We were scared of getting stuck in a life we didn't want up here and so every single one of those 46 jobs I applied to were somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line.

And so the end result of that search is Dallas, Texas. I got offered a job working for a company that manages residence halls at colleges across the nation and it just so happens that they wanted me to work at the University of Texas at Dallas! I accepted that job on the first day of April and now I'm going to start my career in Richardson, Texas, with my husband by my side.

I'm elated. My Master's degree [that I'll complete in August] is in Higher Education, focusing on Student Affairs. I'm passionate about Residence Life and I think that it's something I'm going to be really good at. This is a really good move to get my foot in the door and I cannot wait to start my career. Plus, it's Texas! It's warm all the time and the people are so friendly. Life is easier there: more laid back and kinder. To be honest though, I'm scared too. It is 1,500 miles away. Literally every single one of my family members lives in New York. I'm so close with them and I can't imagine a life where I don't see them constantly. Also, we know no one in Richardson. With the exception of my future boss whom I've met once, it's just going to be Ben and I alone in this big city.

It's a change. It's a big, scary, exciting change that is going to turn the course of our lives. On May 22, the movers come to pick up our things and on May 27, we're heading out for the road trip to end all road trips. In only 39 days, we're leaving the comfortable known for this new adventure and I couldn't be happier to do it with my sweet husband as my teammate.

Oh and here's a little GIF I made, but can't get to be unblurry. Oh well!

Created with Gifboom

what about our friends

The thing about having college friends stick around town for a bit after college is that it comes to an end. Right around the same time we're leaving New York, one of our best friends is doing the same, heading off for a summer of traveling and then settling at grad school. Another is already gone, back to his hometown 4 hours away, and the rest while slowly disburse at the end of summer when their lease in the city is up and life goes on.

It was at about the same time that we all realized that an era of last minute plans (barbeques, shows in dark bars, house parties and diners the morning after) was coming to an end. Ben and I are leaving town at the end of May, and one friend leaves a few days before, so we only have six weeks together, as said friend likes to point out.

That's why this weekend was so necessary. On Friday, Ben and I had a lazy night: dinner with his dad and a few hours spent watching tv. Saturday morning, we got up and putzed around, going to Lowes and Triple A and other Saturday morning things. 

But Saturday evening? Saturday evening we spent with our friends. Our far away friend drove up for the weekend, and we all reunited over bacon cheeseburgers and whiskey, and the boys threw a toga party. Togas were unnecessary, but good for the story. We spent the night drinking too much, remembering old stories, and making new ones. The next morning [or afternoon] once everyone was up and alive, we walked a few blocks in the beautiful spring air and recovered over greasy diner food.

I don't know what it's going to be like moving to a new city and making new friends, but I know that we're sure as hell going to miss the ones that we have here.