Thursday, October 10, 2013

Apple Picking.

We went to the apple orchard this past weekend. Not because any of us can eat the huge amount of apples we picked, and certainly not because I even like apples that aren't Gala, but because it's one of our fall traditions. In the spring we go to the maple sugar shack and in the fall we go apple picking. It's just that simple.

There are three couples that make our group of adventurers. TC, Tyler and Mike have been friends forever and of the wives I am the only new-comer since I've only been hanging around for about eight years. So yeah, they all go way back and they're all pretty great people.

Our little traditions have been going on for several years now and over the years we've added a couple of kids to the mix. Mike and Christina have the coolest four year old in town and Tyler and Carla have the cutest two year old plus another one on the way.

We missed our annual apple picking trip last year which means that the last two times we've been to the orchard Carla has been in her third trimester. Since TC and I only have pups, we luck out and fill the role of the cool aunt/uncle who's entire existence revolves around playing, running and generally causing trouble with the kiddos.

It's a good role for TC, especially since he's basically a giant ten year-old himself.

The best part of our little excursion is, of course, the tractor ride out to the orchard. Only this year the tractor drove in a big circle and then dropped us off at the edge of the orchard, not 30 yards from where our cars were parked. While we did get jipped on the ride, it gave us plenty of field to lounge around in. Let's face it, we're only a little bit there for the apples and mostly there just as something fun to do that let's us all hang out for a bit in the sunshine.

So we did. We filled our bags with apples and then hung out in the sun. Gwen's favorite thing to do is walk and when she wants you to follow her she waves her hand in a pattern that is very similar to the Miss America wave (you know the one I'm talking about?). We take turns dutifully following her nowhere, and she is happy. Annaleigh on the other hand walks right up to you and says "Chase me!" So we do. Until TC puts his toes on her feet, leaving her completely paralyzed until she eventually collapses in giggles on the grass. The whole process takes less than a minute and may be the most fun game ever invented.

The other fun game is being super short and having a super tall dad. Do you know what that equals? Having your own personal elevator up into the trees. This new concept took apple picking to a whole new level. Literally. Everyone knows that the best apples are way up high.

After lounging in the sun and turning blades of grass into whistles and eating enough apples to make ourselves sick we finally headed back to the store for to find the perfect pumpkins.

Obviously, we had no trouble. On our walk back we decided that all of these freshly picked apples were going to need a good home - in the shape of apple pie and/or apple crisp. Naturally, we would need to have a little dinner party this weekend in order to create the perfect atmosphere in which to serve the apple pie.

So that's the plan for this weekend. Except I don't like apple pie, which means Christina is going to have to make me my own mini apple-less pie with nothing but brown sugar and cinnamon.

Sounds delicious.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Perfect Weekend.

This weekend was as close to perfect as they come. The weather was the epitome of fall - clear, crisp blue skies and trees that are absolutely on fire. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen the evidence.

It was the kind of weekend where anything on the to do list was thrown out the window in the name of fun. It was just too good to pass up. And with a long winter right around the corner, I've been feeling very I-don't-care-what-we-should-be-doing-let's-go-have-fun-ish. I hate to say it, but generally I see the weekend as catch-up time when I can be productive and get things together. For whatever reason, lately I've been trying to keep up during the weekend to eliminate the need for catch-up during the weekend. That frees up time to enjoy the weekend as it is truly meant to be - time for fun and a little bit of rest.

We packed in so much this weekend that it feels like forever since I've been at work. And this week is only a three day week because Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend. Five days off work? Yes please.

Friday night we spent under the stars around the fire. Saturday started at the market for breakfast and coffee as a meeting point to head out to the apple orchard. Right from there we hit the woods with more friends and the dogs and then ended the day watching Tennessee football and finished the evening with a small party. Today brought sleeping in, a late breakfast and then a trip to the park with Carla to get some shots of her baby belly. Just seven short weeks and her second little one will be here. Is it wrong that I'm hoping she goes into labor at our American Thanksgiving party? I think that would make for a really great story.

I hope you managed to do something fun this weekend too!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Virtual Glass of Wine. (or cup of coffee)

If we were having a glass of wine (or a cup of coffee) I would tell you...

That...this whole buying a house process is intense. TC and I are happy to say that the inspection is over and the financing is all approved too. It looks as if the road to officially owning our forever home is full of green lights and will be ours at the end of November!

I can't wait to give y'all the full tour.

That...I've just finished up editing two photo sessions and have two more scheduled for this weekend.

Meet sweet Molly. She was so much fun to photograph and her cute little face just melts my heart.

I'm thinking that if these sessions all go as well as I hope than I may finally make myself a little Facebook page. Or maybe something on a different platform. Maybe another blog. To me, it's a big move and I want to be ready to commit to making myself a little business.

(seriously, how cute are the lamb ears?)

The extremist in me wants everything to be perfect and gorgeous and have a beautiful professional web page and tons of fancy equipment...but the realist says to start small and just start!

But then there is the chicken in me who says what if it doesn't work? What if no one likes my page? What if I don't have time?

I need the chicken to be quiet and go back to the farm. Please and thank you.

That...along with the gym wagon, I also seem to have fallen off the blogging wagon. I'm not sure how or why, but I have. There has been so much going on lately that I just can't seem to get it on the blog. In all fairness, most of the chaos isn't remotely interesting. So, you're welcome.

On the other hand, I am envisioning lots of fun projects and DIY with the new house which will make for some good blogging. Seriously, it's got some kickin' country/80's motif going on - I see some more painting in my future. So much yellow...

So, tell me. Is there anything that you've wanted to do but have been too scared of failure to even try?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

One Shade Of Grey.

You know what's fun about painting? You get to see just how dirty the tops of your door frames are. It's lovely really. Don't look up there. You'll be forced to spend the next month cleaning and wondering how you've managed to live in such squalor all this time.

TC and I currently live in an apartment that is in a big tri-plex that we own. There are three floors, each with an apartment. We rent the first and third floors and live on the second floor. It's a pretty basic apartment - two bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, dining room and living room. I've lived here for almost three years and do you know how many times I've painted the entire apartment? Four. FOUR. That's like eight million gallons of paint and five thousand paint brushes.

The place was all kinds of horrible when I moved in - shades of red and orange in the living area with a random beige kitchen and chocolate bathroom thrown in for good measure. So I painted most of it tan. And hated it. So then I painted it green. Then mint green. And really hated that. So now it's grey.

Grey, grey, grey. The entire place is now a beautiful light grey. In the past three days I've painted every inch of the apartment except the living room. That's on the docket for tomorrow.

I haven't completely lost my mind. No, we've just bought another house and are now trying to rent our apartment. I've learned that apartments rent better when everything is a nice bright neutral. Nobody wants my baby blue kitchen or pea green bedroom.

Oh, man. I'm making my house sound like a deranged rainbow ransacked it. 

Anyway, the other part of the reason that I paint more than anyone else on the planet is because I love doing it. Yes, I love the feeling of a fresh, clean room. But what I really love is putting on my headphones and completely zoning out for hours on end. The music makes me happy. I have an epic playlist that is full of all my favorite songs and I know every single word. My bad taste in music knows no bounds and I have a memory of steel...especially for song lyrics. 

For the past million years my two friends, Allison and Morgan, and I have been playing a game called Lyric Badass. The rules are simple. When an old high school song comes on my iPod I text the two of them a line from the song. They have to think quickly to figure out the song and then get back to me with next line to the song. The first correct answer gets to be the reigning badass. Ridiculous, right? But oh so much fun. We play sporadically - usually when I'm either painting or on a road trip or anything else that lets me listen to music for extended periods of time. 

For instance, we haven't played in months and Allison and I haven't talked in weeks but tonight when I sent a text that only said, "Cause I'm cooler than a polar bear's toenail..." it took her about two seconds to come back with the next line by Outkast. It's amazing how well those high school memories imbed themselves in music and stay with you forever. 

I really should make a trophy for our little game. Or maybe a crown! With jewels!

Oh, maybe I can make a paper crown and paint it with all the left over wall colors I have in the basement...

See, I knew that baby blue from the kitchen would come in handy again.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hey T.C.

Just a quick note as a shout out to TC.

Honey, you're my favorite. I am one lucky girl.

He's really the best and I'm thankful for him every single second of the day... Even when I forget to act like I am.

(And no, mom. Nothing is wrong. Nothing dramatic has happened. Can't a girl just say she's thankful?)

(And I refuse to spell 'favorite' the Canadian way. There is no 'u' in favorite, color, neighbor or any other word that contains an 'or.' If you want to be my favorite, it will be the American spelling. Favourite -it looks funny, right?)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Be sure to do something fun!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


The sailing season, along with summer, is slowing trickling away and morphing into fall. Much to my dismay. 

But fall is off to a nice start. A few last sailing sessions. A new house. Another teaching certificate, finally. Fresh apples. New reading glasses. Maybe even some pumpkin patching and hay rides? That would make my day.

It's late. Plus, it's only Tuesday and I'm already exhausted enough for Friday. So, I'll give you some of my favorite photos from our last sailing outing on Out of the Blue.

She's a good boat. Twenty four feet long and she sails fast. John, Tyler and TC had a blast getting her going in the wind.

Pay attention to the angle of the boat versus the horizon. That's how you can tell how fast we're going. 

It's also worth mentioning that I've really been enjoying my new lens (16-35mm L f/2.8). It's making photography more fun than I ever thought possible.

Enjoy the tour of our final sail for the year!

^^ she's a good boat. ^^

^^ always keep your head underneath the boom. ^^

^^ TC rocking some fine 80's aviators. ^^

^^ TC at the helm. god help us all. ^^

^^ captain John. ^^

^^ visiting the lasers. ^^

^^ sitting ballast. the most fun way to ride. ^^

^^ tacking and ducking under the boom. ^^

^^ flying the spinnaker downwind. ^^

^^ the crew. ^^

^^ coiling a line properly is an art form. ^^

^^ wishing he had his own sailboat. ^^

^^ Tyler's turn driving. ^^

^^ land ho! ^^

^^ "let's try not to hit ground again, guys." ^^

^^ so many lines. so little time. ^^

^^ lovin' life. ^^

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Highlights.

Are you still there? I'm sorry for my m.i.a-ness last week. Life gets busy sometimes! I love it when things are busy. It makes me feel good. I got a lot done and spent lots of quality time on the phone with some of my favorite people.

I knew this weekend was going to be a doozy and I was ready for it. To start it off the right way, TC and I celebrated on Friday night because bubbly is always necessary when your offer on a house is accepted. We sat on the porch sipping champagne and talking about everything we were excited for. "What is your favorite part of the house?" he would ask. "All of it," I told him.

Every last piece of it, to be honest. I can't wait.

I'm trying to sleep more at night and feel more alive in the morning. With a photo session on the docket for Saturday morning I wanted to be ready. I woke up with time to spare and was able to enjoy two cups of coffee and a good book before heading out to the park. Plus, a little social networking never killed anybody.

I worked with this family last year and the four kids are so adorable and so energetic. I literally sprinted after them for ninety minutes and worked up a good sweat. My reward? Two delicious jars of homemade strawberry and peach jam. Can't beat that with a stick.

To keep the good times rolling I put my camera up and headed to meet TC and our realtor. We've been ready to buy a house for a while now and are fortunate enough to be in a position where time isn't an issue. We've simply been waiting patiently for the perfect house to come along. After some negotiation and a few signatures it looks like we'll be moving in at the end of November. Between American Thanksgiving and our closing date, that's going to be an exciting weekend.

From there I went to a baby shower to welcome the newest addition to TC's family. Sweet little Matt slept through the entire thing and missed out on the best cake I've ever tasted. He seemed to peaceful that I just couldn't bring myself to tell him what he was missing out on.

My beloved Tennessee Volunteers had a big weekend too. I've yet to meet a Canadian that gives a damn about college football but that doesn't stop me from wearing my orange every Saturday. Even TC has learned that he's better off putting on his shirt and acting like he cares. Bless his heart, I love that man almost as much as I love Tennessee football.

We had a party to go to Saturday night and I still managed to meet my goal of getting plenty of sleep. As usual we woke up today and headed to our weekly breakfast with Carla, Tyler and Gwen. Eggs Benny were calling my name and who am I to say no?

I made up for it with a solid workout in the afternoon and then sabotaged the whole thing with a bag of popcorn because I just can't stop myself. Seriously. I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store in a popcorn trance. My hand just wouldn't stop shoveling it into my mouth. It's a problem.

This week is looking super busy too - lots of painting, photo editing, work, and exercise.

Good thing I bought an extra bag of popcorn.