Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Virginia Is For Summers!

Now that Fall is trying to make its appearance, I thought I'd tell you about our Summer!

We started July with a couple of fun things. Since Damion was off work for a couple of days for Independence Day, we headed out on Monday morning to take a drive. I used to love doing this with my parents when I was growing up, and in Louisiana when Damion would drive me around and show me different places. This time, it was for both of us. I've been to Richmond before, but it's been a while! We stopped in a little down near us for some yummy homemade doughnuts, and then we were off! (We did get to have a quick stop for fuel and see my Cousin Emily, her husband Royce, and their three girls! It was quick, but family hugs are always nice!)

Once we got to Richmond, we really didn't have much of an agenda except that we wanted to try a place we saw on TV for lunch - Sally Bell's! Before we went, we drove through town checking out our options for the afternoon. There were several museums that caught our attention! Unfortunately, I started feeling pretty bad during our drive (that bummer headache thing...), and while I hoped a little lunch would help, things weren't looking great. We decided not to push ourselves and just drive a bit more to relax. I got to show Damion one of my favorite buildings in Richmond - one I've always noticed any time I've driven through! Turns out, its the train station! I love the architecture! It reminds me of Eastern Europe. We drove around a bit more and then decided to go ahead and start our way back. My sweet hubby was kind to care for me when I felt like I had ruined everything about our day. Wahhhh!

Boxed Lunches are their thing!

Isn't it so pretty?!

Let's go with a fresh start the next day - July 4th! Moving here has been great for us in so many ways, but one of the best perks is having great friends in our town.. well, I guess we're in THEIR town. Ha! Jarrod and Dawn, and their kiddos, invited us over to grill out and shoot some fireworks. I didn't get many photos (mostly we played on Snapchat while we waited for the sky to get dark .. lol), but that's okay. It was a fun time! Later in the week, my Mom, Sister, and Niece came up for a few hours! It was nice to show them our home, the town we're in now, and have a yummy lunch together. We definitely miss Damion's family in Louisiana, but it's nice to be close to mine again, too.

Mama with her Fajita Steam Facial. :o)

A few days later, we were traveling again! Damion accompanied me to Weyer's Cave, VA for a day-long oil event. It was kind of a cross between a conference and a training session. It was nice to see a few folks from my team there! Yay! I got to check out the new Savvy Minerals makeup from Young Living and spend some time learning from some of our leaders. It was a whirlwind trip, but I feel like we're famous for those. Ha! It was a really pretty drive, and we always enjoy just getting away together for a day or two.



At the end of the month, I got another chance to get my hands on some of the new makeup! My friend, Julie, and I attended a session of the Beauty+Brains Tour! We came fresh-faced and ready to try out the products. I'm a super pro, as you can tell. LOL! Afterward, we enjoyed a quick dinner at Chuy's. It was spicy, but delicious!

August was pretty laid back, but we had a few fun things going on. I had some friends over for a 'Mex+Mix' with our oils. Yummy Taco Night, Margaritas, and some DIY time with our oils.

A couple of days later, it was time to celebrate Dawn! YAY! I've missed celebrating birthdays with my friends! 5 of us got together at Kings in North Hills. We had a delicious dinner and then headed over to their bowling lanes. I was doing well at first, but things slacked off for me. Ha! That's okay, though, because Dawn won! :o)

We got back together with the Tucks to watch the Mayweather-McGregor boxing match. Goodness gracious! I've never watched a full match before, and definitely didn't know there would be so many other fights before the main event. LOL! We were dragging to get out of bed for church the next morning, but it was a fun night again.

September has been easy going, thankfully. We have really been spending a lot of time praying for one another, praying about the church we've been visiting, and hanging out doing things together in the evenings. Damion and I love to play cards and board games. We like to cook together, and I'm even learning to play Xbox games with him. That hobby of his is not something I've ever been bothered by. He's careful to make sure that I don't have any expectations of his time and he makes sure that I am not put off by it every time. I usually just watch him play, click around on my phone, or even watch TV on my iPad. But, he's been finding games to share with me, and that's been fun! We haven't played "our game" (WoW - I think most people know our story by now. haha) in quite a while, so this has been nice for us to do together again.

I'm still so bad at most games, but I have had fun with Minecraft!
He's teaching me Borderlands 2, too.

I've had a few more oily events this month, too. I went to Knightdale with Julie to host a table for Hodge Road Elementary's Color Run - a fundraiser for their school. I also held a "101"-type class here at my house. I got to meet a couple more friends from the area, so that's nice!

Last Wednesday, my friend texted me in the evening and directly asked me about going to the gym together the next day. We have a local community center with a free gym that's available to use. Damion and I went to check it out soon after we moved here, but neither one of us have ever been to use it. I have a "history" with going to the gym, and knew that I'd love going back.. and of course, would love to work on my health in that way again, but going by yourself just isn't always the easiest or funnest thing to do. So, while I was nervous and anxious about doing this again, I am so thankful that she initiated! Yesterday made 4 visits (in the last 6 days) for us! Wahoo! We do have bigger goals, personal goals, etc., but we're working on going three times a week together. I'm excited to have this back in my life, and would love your encouragement and prayers.

This weekend, we will wrap up the month by traveling to Tennessee to spend the weekend with my family. I'm not mad at all about being in the Knoxville area the weekend of the home game against Georgia (:o)), but I am sad that we won't be at the stadium. Maybe I can convince Damion to drive me by there so I can get out and cheer! #GoVols! It will be a really quick trip, but I'm excited to see my family and get over to those mountains I love so much.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Spring In Virginia!

We worked on getting the house unpacked, trying to get settled in as quickly as we could since Damion started work just a couple of days after we arrived at our new home. Having my Mother-In-Law, plus friends around to help was great! After working into our new routine... we started to think about things we'd be missing out on. Like Gumbo! So, we made our own. :o) I'll confess... it was my first time doing it! Living in Louisiana spoils you on having to always make things like that because everyone else just does it for you! :o) We ordered some roux, and I picked up some Andouille from a little market. We worked on it together, but He did most of the hard work over the stove. Haha! I did make the potato salad, though! Everything was SO good! Damion and I both felt like it was one of the best gumbos we had ever had! I'm sure we are biased, but just thinking back on that experience and seeing the photos makes me want to make another one!

Next up, I wanted to start taking Damion to places that I missed doing the year that he lived in Raleigh before we got married. One of those was Las Margaritas in Wake Forest! This little underground (literally, you have to walk down stairs by the street to get in) Mexican restaurant is right by Southeastern where I went to college/seminary. For those of you who know what I'm talking about (man, it had been a LONG time since I went there!), it looks the same! And the food was just as delicious. I waited a long time to go on a date with a boy here. ;o)

Next up, Easter! We spent the afternoon with our friends, Dawn and Jarrod - they were gracious hosts to include us in their family afternoon gathering. Lots of yummy food, sweet kiddos playing outside, and a little target practice in the yard. Country livin' up here!

I spent the last week in April away from home for the week because my Mom invited me to go to the beach with her. It was a little chilly all week long, but plenty of pretty afternoons, lots of relaxing, and we even got to have dinner with her sister, my Aunt Lora, who was visiting the area with a few of her friends, too!

Take me back to the breezy beach naptimes anytime!

While we were at the beach, this cutie nephew turned 7!
I can't believe how much he's grown! <3

I drove back home on Saturday, stopping off in Knightdale to spend some time with some friends, playing and creating goodies with our oils!

And then it was May! More oil goodness! My friends Kate, Nina and I set up a booth at Meet In The Street in Wake Forest. It was fun to hang out with those ladies for the day and meet/see some friends who stopped by!

Damion drove down to see us, too.. he got to explore a bit more of the event (man, its really grown over the years!!). Cousin's Maine Lobster food truck was there! He and I have wanted to try their food ever since we saw them on Shark Tank a few years ago! Delicious!

Also exciting for my family, in May, is that my sister graduated from nursing school! This has been a long-time dream of hers, one she started over 20 years ago! She finished up at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC.. so proud and so excited for her!

Unfortunately, because of the rain, we weren't all able to attend the ceremony indoors, but thankfully, the live stream went off without a hitch! Go Stephanie!!

Proud Hubby Eric! And happy Damion and Nicole who found out about this little sushi spot that's right by my parents' house! YUM! That's something else we had been missing since we moved.

My niece and I, early in the morning.. lol, there to celebrate her Mama's graduation!
And yes.. she's that much taller than me at age 13. :o(

More time spent with the funny big 7-year-old nephew!
Love that silly Reece's antics!

On our way back to Virginia, we headed to a quick family lunch for Mother's Day.

May ended with a Memorial Day weekend event here in our town. It was the 35th Annual Summerfest! There's a parade, vendors (Nina and I were set up again with our oils and her jewelry), and more yummy food - including Stew and BBQ from the Fire Department. YUM!
The Tuck Family leading things off in the parade!

My cutie fella helping me deal with the heat of the day.

Our little setup!
Thanks to my Mama for the tent and chairs for the day!

And then it was JUNE! And in this family, that means BIRTHDAY MONTH!! Not only do both Damion (2nd) and I (13th) have June Birthdays, but so does his Aunt Michelle (4th) and his Mawmaw (14th). We missed being able to see them for their special days!

So thankful for the ways that this man pours out for me every day. 
He even had to work on his birthday! <3
His big 29!
Thank you to The Tuck's for popping over for a quick ice cream cake/cheesecake birthday party!
Damion's mom also got to hang out with us for a day or two, too! YAY!

On Sunday after church, we went for a birthday steak lunch. :o)

The following weekend, I got to fill up my friend-cup again! Not only did I have a quick hug from my girl, Carmine at DCDEE, but I got to meet this handsome fella! Sweet Dominic! His funny brother warmed up to me after about 2.5 seconds, after waking up from a nap. Hilarious!

Love that Luca boy!

That same evening, I got to spend time with these ladies!
Patty, Amy, and Lisa have been friends of mine for 18 years!
Amy was in town on her way to the beach with her family, so we snagged her for the evening to play games and get some dinner. They were sweet to surprise me with cupcakes for my birthday!

And the next day, my sweet hubby got me a whole collection of goodies!
Some favorite snacks and chocolate, my copy of Beauty and the Beast (<3 <3 <3), a super pretty hummingbird feeder (which he promptly put outside for me before I could include it in the photo), a new can cooler, and my very first firearm! That's right folks, I'm packing heat these days..
my very own Red Ryder BB Gun!
He took me outside to show me how to shoot it. LOL!
(and I haven't used it since, but you never know when you might need one. :o))

And for myself:
I picked out these things for myself. :o)
A new wall rack for my oils, a chainmail scrubber for my cast iron (thank you, Veronique!), and a new planner to start my summer with! It goes from July '17-December '18, and it is
THE CUTEST PLANNER EVERRRR! I'm having a lot of fun with it already!

It was also an exciting week in my business because it was CONVENTION WEEK!
I am going to try my best to go in-person next year.. it starts on my 39th birthday! Eeeek!
They released a ton of new products!
(Above - Seedlings! (the new baby product line), a new oil blend, a new diffuser (which runs up to 10 hours... I WANT!), three new supplements, a Mineral Sunscreen, After Sun Spray, and EPA Approved Bug Repellant. PLUSSSSS... (below): A MAKEUP LINE!
Gimme all the things!

I spent Father's Day weekend back in Hickory taking care of my sister's dog while they started their Florida vacation. I got to hang out with my niece and nephew one afternoon, too!

And then I got to see one of my dearest and long-time friends, Marie! Her sweet boy is SUCH a cutie, and we had a fun time playing together. <3

While I was in Hickory, Damion got to hang out with his brother, Dustin, and their cousin, Dylan, who drove up from Louisiana for a quick boys weekend.
(look what Damion found while cutting our grass.. we have berries! (accidentally).. lol)

Their weekend started with a little bit of sleeping in. Those boys drove a long way!
Too bad neither of them used the guest bed. lol... they were too tired to realize we had one.

They spent the day on Saturday around Raleigh, visiting an expo at the fairgrounds, walking around downtown, and enjoying food at Chuck's, including burgers and Super Spicy Ginger beer. Damion made his famous Mahi Tacos for the guys, too! I'm sad I missed out on them this time! Sunday, they explored World of Sports in the next town over, playing around at the arcade and bowling! I'm sorry I missed seeing the guys, but I'm glad they got to hang out together for a couple of days!

Have I mentioned the views from our bedroom window at our house? Man, I love looking out there! <3 The left is an evening shot, and the right is just about a week ago one morning when Damion was leaving for work at 5:45 a.m. WOW! <3
(just a couple of days ago, Damion and I were looking through our phones at the same time.. and we realized that we both took photos of that morning sunrise that day. we're the cutest. ;o))

(his version from outside.. love it!)

See? The cutest! Haha
This was our date-night shot of hanging out with friends last weekend.
Be sure and check out The Nostalgics, y'all! Brian and Justin have been playing together since high school.. they're so good! The food at Real McCoy's was delicious, and seeing friends is always fun!

Yay Friends! Love being close enough to see these ladies more often again!