Thursday, April 29, 2010

College Reflections

In the past, I have posted semester wrap-ups with reflections on my coursework, big events, special memories, etc.  Since this is my last semester as an undergraduate, I find it fitting to reflect on my college experience as a whole.  In many ways I find it hard to believe that I'm graduating in a week.  I've dreamed of going to Carolina my whole life.  It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I was worrying about my application essay and recommendation letters.  I remember how excited and proud I felt as I opened my acceptance package the day it came in the mail.  I remember my mom calling to tell me that I had gotten the Teaching Fellows to UNC and thinking, "This is too good to be true."  And here I am now, donning my Carolina blue cap and gown, getting ready for graduation.

I remember arriving at suite in Parker Dorm, excited about starting college, yet so sad about leaving home.  My suitemates have become my closest friends... and I still go home every weekend. :)

I have loved almost every minute of my education (face it... some classes are not so great).  I've had wonderful professors and classes - Dr. Talbert in History of Rome, Dr. Williams in African American History to 1865, and Dr. Leloudis, my senior history thesis mentor.  I've read wonderful books and learned so much.

I've learned about history & education, geology & geography, politics & economics, art & literature, religion & country music.  I voted in my first presidential election.  I wrecked my first car.  I got engaged.  I rushed Franklin St. after a National Championship.  I saw two of my closest friends get married.  I learned how to cook.  I started a blog.  I got way too little sleep.  But most of all, I grew as a person and continued on my walk with God.

It feels so good to accomplish your dreams, but it kind of leaves you with an empty feeling - like, what's next?  You see, going to Carolina has always been one of my life goals, its something that has played a huge role in defining who I am and what makes me "me."  Now that it's time to graduate, its time to move on to other dreams - getting married, starting a family, establishing a career... but, that doesn't mean I'm willing to give up my title as a "Carolina Girl." 

Next week I will walk into Kenan Stadium for my commencement ceremony.  I will have officially earned a Bachelor of Arts in History.  I will be a month away from starting my masters and a little more than a year away from getting married.  I can hardly believe any of it.  I'm not nervous or scared about the future, but I can't decide if I'm sad or excited about the present.  It's kind of like how I felt when my parents dropped me off at college - excited about the future, but sad about leaving the past behind.

laura ann

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Ceremony Music!

This week's topic is Ceremony Music!  Parker & I blessed to have close friends, Carrie & Beaty, not only mentor us, but also sing at our wedding!  These two are awesome people and their hearts are on fire for the Lord. 

This photograph, taken by Ginny Corbett, is of Carrie & Beaty with their son Davis when she was pregnant with their daughter, Hallie Grace.  They are such a gorgeous family!

Anyways, I'm convinced that they could sing "Old McDonald had a Farm" at the wedding and it would sound good.  They've recorded two Contemporary Christian albums & if you're interested in buying them - which you should be - message me and I'll hook you up!

Parker & I are planning to have them sing while we light the unity candle, but we're having a hard time finding the perfect song.  We want something Christian rather than secular, something short (or that can be shortened), and something that Carrie & Beaty can sing together.  There is the potential for having them sing two songs if we can't decide on one - one during the seating of the mothers/lighting of the family candles and one while Parker & I light the unity candle.  Finally, we will have a pianist and Beaty can also play the guitar.

So here are four songs that we like:
"Be Thou My Vision," a traditional hymn
"When I Say I Do" by Matthew West
"To Have and To Hold" by Christian Bautista
"A Page is Turned" by Bebo Norman

You can listen to them here:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Once you listen, scroll to the top right sidebar and vote on which one you think we should use!  Thanks for helpin' a girl out! :)

Last week's poll results for "Did you follow the 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' tradition?"  Drum roll please.......

The YESES have it - looks like y'all are some traditional brides!  "Yeah!" got 5 votes, and "Nope!" got 1.

Thanks for stopping by this week's Wedding Wednesday!  Love y'all!
laura ann

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meet Jaws' Family

Disclaimer: The photos in this post were taken by a cell phone at night, and therefore do not have the best quality.  Why is it that the best things happen when I do not have my camera nearby??


Did you get my hint from yesterday about waiting with "baited" breath?  Well, Saturday night at the beach, we went fishing on the pier.  But get this, we caught SHARKS!  Crazy, right?

There were hundreds of them swimming around!  I bet we caught 20 or more.

I mean, it was ridiculous.  I'm never getting in the ocean again.  Ever.  They were so close to shore! Candice & I had a particularly good time catching sharks and pulling them in ourselves (well, with the help of each other that is)... She was even brave enough to hold one of hers, see?

And when I say brave enough, I do not mean she did not scream bloody murder.  Because she definitely did.  I'm pretty sure we provided tons of entertainment to everyone around us.

I, however, was not crazy enough to hold one of mine up for pictures!  (Who do you think I am??)  I was very content giving the "thumbs up" while Parker held my shark and Mrs. Lydia snapped the picture!! Haha!

We threw most of the sharks back, but we gave a couple to some of the folks around us who asked for them.  Did you know people actually eat sharks??  Yeah, well, they do.  We asked one guy what he did with them and he told us how to cut 'em up, which led Parker & Jacob to test it out.  The following conversation will blow your mind:

Candice: What if there's a live fish inside it?
Me: There isn't going to be anything living inside it you goof.
Jacob: Whoa, there is something moving around in there.
Parker: They're baby sharks!
Candice: OMG let me see!
Me: No way!
(Everyone around us gathers)
Candice: It's like biology class!!
Mrs. Lydia: You should tell your kids about this in class on Monday!!
Me: OMG you just gave a shark a C-section!
Candice: Aww look at those babies!!
Me: Don't touch them!
Candice: What's that thing??
Parker: It's their sacks.
Candice: Oh my gosh I can't believe this.
Me: Put them close together so I can get a family picture.

...and taa-daa!

Is that cool or what??!!  What are the odds of us finding three ready-to-be-birthed babies in the one shark we cut up??

As we left, I snapped a picture of this sign...

Umm.. oops.
laura ann

Monday, April 26, 2010

Eye Update & Relay among other things...

Hello and Happy Monday dear friends!  I hope today finds you well after a long and wonderful weekend!  This weekend we went to one of my favorite annual events, Relay for Life.  I love being able to walk around and catch up with friends and family!  I also love supporting my sweet mom in her survivor walk!

(Mom, just so you know, I definitely chose the picture that you looked best in, even though I looked way better in the other one.... don't say I never do anything for you :) haha)

There were no pictures with Weston because he was running around somewhere playing with his friends.  Speaking of Weston, his eye is still BLACK.

Geez Louise!  Doesn't that make your eye hurt??!! 

Weston also had a baseball game one night. His team added another win to their record...

...and he had two stellar hits!  (I'm thinking he might need a black eye every game?? Just kiddin')

Then we went to the beach with Parker's parents, brother, & sister-in-law.  I have a separate post about those adventures coming tomorrow... but here's a hint: You should be waiting with "baited" breath!

Other than that, I'm getting ready for a crazy week with Parker closing on our first home (tomorrow), my last day of undergraduate classes (Wednesday), two finals (Saturday), and cleaning and moving furniture into our condo (Saturday, Sunday, Monday).  

Deep breath.  Here goes nothing!
laura ann

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wedding Wednesday is here again!

Welcome to Wedding Wednesday! I'm so glad you stopped by because today's topic is the great tradition of "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue... and a sixpence in your shoe!"  My friend Georgina who is getting married in July did a post about the tradition, and you can read all about it [here].
I've already chose three of the "somethings" as you can see in the photo above.  My something old is my Grandma Sue's pearl necklace that I inherited when she passed away last year.  I love them and cherish the sentiments that they represent.  My something new is my engagement ring or my dress or my shoes... there are plenty of options.  My something blue is going to be the garter that my mom wore at her wedding.  We found it in a box with all her wedding momentos including her shoes, the guestbook (told you it gets put in the attic), and bouquet.  I hope to wear her veil too (if it goes with my dress that I haven't picked out yet).  As for something borrowed... any ideas?  I guess if I wear her veil that will be something borrowed, but if I don't... what should I do?  Sure the garter will be borrowed, but you can let one thing count for two somethings!  That's like cheating tradition! Ha!

I also need a sixpence for my shoe - does anyone know where I can get one?  My friend Katherine bought hers at a flea market, but I think I can get them at AVA Formals, a dress boutique in a nearby town.  Any other ideas?

Doesn't it give you warm fuzzies to think about the sentimental details?  No?  Ok, maybe that's just me.

Poll question for the week: Did you follow the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" tradition?  I can't wait to see how "traditional" y'all are!!

Results from last weeks poll are as follows:
Formal china with 3 votes, Informal china with 8, and No china with 1.

Just curious, for those of you who think formal over informal china, what is your reasoning?  Help me make an informed decision!!!   :)

And finally, for your viewing pleasure a video clip I found on facebook!  Enjoy!
laura ann

Monday, April 19, 2010

Holy Smolies! Look at that eye!

Weston was playing basketball this morning before school started.  He got hit in the eye by accident and two hours later it was as black as it could be!  He's proud of it, in fact he said, "I'm a man now!" HAHAHA  Don't worry, Mom took him to the doctor to make sure it was ok.  The doctor told her to expect it to get worse over the next two weeks! Whoa, can you imagine???

laura ann

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Registry

Welcome to Wedding Wednesday!  This week's topic - Registries!  Where to register? What to register for?  China or no china?  What items belong and what items do not.  Things are going to be a bit different this week as I hope to generate more discussion/advice... because I have NO clue where to start. :)
So I guess I'll start with a list (because I'm all about lists, remember?)

- Where do you think we should register?  Our options are: Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Target, Walmart, Belk, A Proper Setting... and thats about it.

- How many places should we register? (I know of people who registered at 1-2 places and people who registered at like 5... I think more than 2 is TOO much)

- What is something we MUST register for?  Something you use all the time, couldn't live without, so glad you have kind of thing.  (Mr. Coffee TeaMaker is my 2 cents, but luckily we already have one!)

- What is the craziest thing you've ever seen on a wedding registry?  (We had some friends who registered for a 32" flat screen... needless to say, it was still on the list when we bought their gift.  Haha!)

- And lastly, china or no china?  While I see us entertaining a lot, I don't know that it'll be formal entertaining...  BUT china is nice to have, right?  Another con is the size of our kitchen (tiny) is not conducive to holding unused items such as china.  Maybe we should do informal china??  What do you suggest?

Ok!  Thanks in advance! :) 

(You like how I just did a whole post asking for advice without really saying anything??? haha Maybe this post should be called "I need help on Wedding Wednesday!!!!")

And before I forget.... Drum roll please for last week's poll results on "What color bouquets?":
1st place - Blue (8 votes)
2nd place - Pink (6 votes)
3rd place - Purple (3 votes)
4th place - Peach (2 votes)

Can I just say this poll made my decision much harder!?!? Haha!  I might just have to rethink my plans for bouquets...  We might be revisiting this topic later.

This week's poll: China or no china?  Or informal china??  That is the question...
laura ann

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mission Yard Sale: Failed.

This morning, Parker, my mom, and I got up before sunrise and implemented Mission Yard Sale.  It was such a failure.  First, we left the newspaper at home, so we had to rely on memory and luck (bad idea).  Not only that, but we left Josie Garmin (my GPS) at home too. (I had taken it out of my car when it got towed after my wreck).  The best yard sale was only one street away from my parents' house, but we didn't buy anything.  They had a nice mirror and lamp, but alas, I didn't buy either.  We were hoping to find a TV stand... no such luck.  We went home empty handed.

Moral of the story: Yard sales are NOT for me.  Too early on a Saturday morning.  I'll just stick with Craigslist thank you very much.

Apologies for no visual evidence in the form of pictures.  You can thank me later. :-)
laura ann

Thursday, April 8, 2010


... I went to Mexico over Spring Break with my sweet college friends.

They were so kind that they made sure I was tucked in tight at night.

And properly protected from the sun with a sombrero.  So appropriate for Mexico! :)

But I wonder why I didn't get to be in this picture:

Now that would've been suh-weet!

Oh man.  I wish.
laura ann

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Bouquets!!

Welcome to Wedding Wednesday where all things wedding are found, discussed, debated, and decided!

Thanks for the ideas about the reception decor - please let me know if you think of something in the next 14 months!  Still seems like forever doesn't it?

Anyways, this week's discussion is about bouquets!  I like peonies, hydrangeas, and roses. 
Problem is, what color flowers??  My roomate, Lauren, left me this message:
Laura you are awesome…just thought I would let you know…..and I think that you should have black flowers for your bouquet in addition to booger colored table clothes and I think that all your bridesmaids should or wear sequined bathing suits to save on money and you should have the wedding in a big swimming pool and instead of wearing a wedding dress you should get a white shell bikini and Parker should just wear a bow tie and a black speedo….. and for party favors you should give everyone a pair of swimmies. that is all :)
I don't think I'll take her advice on the black flowers... or well anything for that matter! Ha!  What color do you think?  Remember, we're having light blue bridesmaid dresses!  So the choices that I found likable are pink, peach, purple, and light blue/seige.  Take your pick on this week's poll!  There will also be an option for "other" so if you like a different color, leave a comment on your suggestion!

Can't wait to "hear" what you think!
laura ann

Monday, April 5, 2010


Well I hope you had a wonderful Easter!  Mine was eventful to say the least!  I was on my way back to Chapel Hill from my parent's house yesterday evening, burning up Hwy 264 like always.... when an older red pick-up truck merged off of exit 63, totally oblivious to me.

I was in the right lane with a couple of cars in front of me and 3 cars in the left lane right beside me, so needless to say, I had no where to go in order to get out of this guy's way.  I honked my horn, slowed down, eased over as much as possible, but he came right on over.  At this time, I lost control, spun around, and ended up in the median.  The bunghole (as my dad would say) never stopped.

However, some other nice people saw it happen and pulled over immediately to make sure I was okay.  There were like 4-5 cars that pulled over. Three sweet people stayed with me until my parents, Parker, his mom, and the patrolman got there.  We were all shocked that no other cars were hit in the process, because like I said, there were a ton of cars cruising along in that area.  We did not get his license plate number unfortunately.

All I could say was "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God... please don't let me hit the median... Oh God Oh God Oh God... keep me safe keep me safe OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD"  The longest 30 seconds of my life!!  When I finally stopped, my windshield wipers were on (comic relief???), my sunglasses had flown across the car, and my mountain dew was spilled in my lap (not cool).  I was not hurt - in fact, I pushed my car door open, got out, and walked around.  I was pretty rattled, and I started crying when I called my dad and Parker while one of the witnesses called the cops.

Just a minor bruise and scratch, and some serious soreness today.  Oh yeah, and some red ant bites I got after stepping in an ant hill.  (Seriously, I know) I am so sad about my sweet little car :(  Last night, my dad flipped through the car ads and found another '98 Camry and I asked him if I could have it (it was just like mine, with like 2x the miles) and he said "Um, I think we'll get you something a little newer."

The irony of it all - my mom just got cleared to drive (first time since July) last week & my car just had an inspection and tire alignment done ON FRIDAY.  I'm driving her car back to Chapel Hill today, and my granddad brought my grandma's old car over this morning for my mom to drive temporarily.  My sweet little car is at the shop on the tow truck :(

OH, and the tow truck man asked matter-of-factly, "Did you fall asleep or were you on the phone?"  Rude.

Thankfully, I'm okay!
laura ann