April 29, 2014

Nashville Bound!

You can go ahead and mark your calendars, Friday I'm headed north.

We're going to Nashville!!

I cannot wait for the girls to get to my apartment all bright eyed and bushy tailed Friday morning. This has been a trip we have been talking about for ages, but  never really put on the books to finally do. Now it's finally happening. I love spending time with these ladies, and who better to do a road trip with that them? The only downside to this trip is we'll be missing Denise, who will be moving apartments that weekend, and Kassi who has moved to New York to peruse her career with Army Football operations at West Point.

So far we have planned to stay two nights and take in as many sights and sounds of music city as we can. The only requirement so far I have, is that a piano bar is involved--no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Believe it or not, I don't have a single show scouted out to go too yet. Maybe that's a good thing so that I'll be open to hearing someone that I haven't already. Like I ever object to that? :)

Any who, what do you guys suggest?! Food, entertainment, night life.. the works! I don't want to miss out on all the hidden gems!

April 28, 2014

Birthday Weekend Recap (Without many pictures)

First, let me start by apologizing for my hiatus last week. I've been crazy busy at work (where I normally do my blogging), and then after I get off, the last thing I want to think about is staring at the computer again.. But I'm back! :)

This weekend has easily been the busiest one I've had in months. This Spring-time weather has me in such a great mood and ready to go out and enjoy it. I'm just loving it. How I managed to make it through this weekend with so few pictures to show, I don't know. I'm sorry for that too. I promise to get better.

Friday night after work, we went out to celebrate my college roommate's birthday that was Thursday. I met up with the rest of my roommates, her parents, and some of her friends from home to surprise her. Her boyfriend chose to take her to an Atlanta staple, The Real Chow Baby, and for us to all meet them there to surprise her for dinner. I was excited to make my own stir fry, and even more excited to surprise her! She caught us off guard when they arrived, so we weren't prepared to capture the moment, but let me tell you, she had no idea and was so, so surprised.

Saturday was another busy day. I got up bright and early to meet my aunt and uncle to go to yard sales. He fixes up old houses to rent and/or sale, so they love finding things for a bargain to help flip them. I have been looking for little odds and ends that I could use for my new apartment. They've invited me several times to join them, but our schedules just weren't ever able to line up until this weekend. I found a few things that I think I can use--a basket and a huge mirror, both for $1 each! You can't beat that anywhere. They also brought my new license that was mailed to my parents house last week. I'm so excited to finally have it on my car!

That night, Billy came and picked me up and we went to celebrate my sweet friend, Rachel's wedding. Some things you need to know about this wedding: She is a music business "Jane of all trades" and he is a professional musician. They both live in Nashville. If anything about this wedding was certain, it was that there was going to be great music! They walked down the isle and had their first dance to songs he had written for her.. uh adorable much? The food and the band at the reception were easily the best I've ever experienced. It was so hard to leave such a fun wedding, but we had more love to celebrate.

We had a "house warming" party to get to for one of Billy's fellow coaches. We knew we had to get there quick, and so we ruf eachshed over to the address we were given. Come to find out, there are to roads by the same name within 15 minutes o other, so we spent 30 mins driving around this neighborhood looking for the house unable to find it. I wasn't a happy camper. I do not like not knowing where I'm at, and Billy is the world's worst at navigating from the passenger seat. Well finally found where we were supposed to be, about 4 minutes too late.. You see, the house warming party was more of a ruse to get friends and family over to be there when he popped the question to his girlfriend! At least we got there to celebrate with everyone and to catch up before another season of Summer baseball begins.

Sunday - I turned 25!
Yep, Sunday was my birthday!! Billy took me to my favorite mexican place lunch and to pick out a those brown wedges I had been drooling over. He also told me that He'd buy me the prints that I want to hang over the bed at the new place. Apparently someone had been reading my wish list. Also included in those birthday presents was a promise to take me up to a winery in Dahlonega to go wine tasting before the season got started up. He knows I've been wanting to go for quite some time now.

I feel like I should have gotten more dressed up for a birthday lunch.. 
After a quick nap and a walk for the dog, we went and met some friends at Lobster House for Sushi for dinner. Birthdays are all about the food and presents, right?
But seriously? How did I not take my camera or remember to use my phone? I am kicking myself in the butt today. The only picture I have of myself on my birthday is of no make up and plain ole tshirt, is this what old age is like? Oh well. Just know we had delicious sushi, and I had some pretty great company to come and celebrate with me.

This weekend, we'll continue to celebrating in Nashville, TN and I cannot wait!!

April 23, 2014

I'm moving!!

Yep, it's official. I'm moving!!! 

..only right down the road, but it's still a move nonetheless. I expected my move announcement to be much further in distance, but not just yet--maybe in the next year or two. The apartment I've been living in for the past two years has decided to drastically up the monthly rent. I'm talking by $100 per MONTH! Not that I can't afford it if I had no other option but to stay, it's the principle. And that's a lot of money I could be spending on clothes instead.. $1,200 to be exact. Besides, the apartment is not worth that much money. If you ask Billy, he'd say it's like an old woman with a lot of plastic surgery. The stuff you see is pretty and new, but the guts are old--I don't have modern conveniences like garbage disposal or ceiling fans, the entrance gate is never shut, furnace/ac unit that has gone out at least 3 times, and (those that follow me on twitter can attest) the power is constantly going out. Did I mention it can occasionally be sketch because of the gate being open at all hours of the day and night?

In turn, I found a much larger apartment off the busy highway in a quite neighborhood for less money than my current rent. The reviews I'm reading on the community and my experience touring it and driving through just checking the place out at night have been of the highest caliber so far. I'm not near as fond of the layout of the apartment as I am with my current one, but beggars can't be choosers. However, everything else is much better than what I've got now. You win some, you lose some.

Now the hardest part is going to be waiting seeing as I don't get the keys for another 3 weeks. The even harder part is going to be not blowing the bank on new decor, because we all know that the struggle to not buy all new everything during a move is real. So horray for a new address!

April 19, 2014

in a round about way.. life is too short

I grew up in a family who was always well connected to their roots--at least on my mom's side. I grew up in a family that was so close, even the extended family. I was brought up with my cousins and even second-cousins. My grandmother was my babysitter and my preschool. My great-grandmother lived next door to her in the house my grandmother was raised in. My aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles, and as well as first, second, and third cousins (plus a few double cousins.. yes, I have double cousins. No, it's not weird nor are we in Alabama) were all in the same neighborhood.

Every day in the summer after I learned how to ride a bike, I would get the mail for my grandparents, and then ride next door and pick up my Nanny's and take it to her. She would talk for hours and hours and tell me stories of years ago. I guess this was where my old soul and respect for the elderly was formed. There were times my grandmother had to come find me because I had been gone so long listening to her stories. I never really just sat and thought about all those stories she told me and considered how were real they were. She has been gone for 14 years now, and I can still remember her stories and the way her house smelled like the snuff she dipped. Long story short, I've always known so much about my mom's family and all of these stories of long ago. My dad's, not so much, but that's another story for another day.

Fast forward to present day; I am home for Easter, which also coincides with what would have been my granddaddy's 83rd birthday. This is the first since his passing in January. I spent the night with my grandma, we all take turns staying with her to keep her company since he passed. She spent the morning telling new old stories looking through old pictures--some I had seen before, others I hadn't.  This was one of the pictures I saw:

My granddaddy at age 16.
I'd never seen a picture of him this young. I never knew that he looked so handsome. The only other picture I could remember of him so young was from their wedding day.She was 16 and lied and said she was 18 so she could marry him. He was 21 at that time, I believe. I'd looked through so many other pictures that I'd never seen before and saw so many houses and people that I grew up with and around. I saw pictures of them first starting their lives together, and listened to her stories of just how happy she was regardless of how little they had. She said, "I didn't know that keeping house was work. I loved it. It was like playing to me. I was just so happy. He was happy." 

I just stopped and stared. It was in that exact moment that it dawned on me how fast life changes. I've always known them and I've heard countless stories of them from yester-year, but I never really stopped to think that at one point, they haven't always been they way that I've only known them. Once upon a time, they were young and these stories I always hear about weren't so old. 

 It's hard to think, the woman that helped raise me once had hair that was a color other than grey. The man that I remember being so frail and lost in his last days, actually once was a young strong man that could fix or do anything. They were young and so in love once--just like I am now. They weren't always grandparents or great grandparents. There was a time they were kids too. My grandma was 24 once too, I mean, really think about that for a second, and actually let that sink in. They were young once,  and these pictures I see in black and white, were once lived in color. Just like them, one day, life as I know it now, will be decades old and the memories we are making today will be the "remember way back when.." stories.

It's so hard to really wrap my head around how fast time has really passed by. Hearing my grandmother's stories about when she was little and how things used to be.. how simple things used to be. It's so just so different from how things are today. I hear her heartache when she talks about when they were first married and how they used to be young.  I still see how much she loves that teenage boy from 1953 as much as she loved the 82 year old man he lived to be. It's so hard to think that their love story is close to and end. It really got me thinking, 60 years isn't long enough to love someone.  We really don't cherish life while we have it. I need to start remembering these days, because I only have once to live my twenties. I want to have a life I look back with and smile with wonder. 

Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every,every minute? -Our Town 

April 14, 2014

5 things I've learned from Billy

Sunday afternoon, I accompanied Billy to one of his lesson's. He was running late, so I told him I'd sit it out until he was finished. I honestly didn't mind since the weather was so beautiful. I just watched Billy work with his catcher for about an hour. I may be biased, but he is so good at what he does. He loves the kids he works with. He loves watching them learn. Heck, I love watching them learn. I realized sitting in that driveway that I have learned so much from him myself.

Now, I may not claim to actually posses such a virtue, but I do, in fact, now understand what it is like to be patient. Anyone that know Billy agrees, that he is one of the most patient individuals you will ever meet. On the other end of the spectrum, I am possibly the most impatient person you will ever met. He takes so much time with every person who asks something from him, no matter how ridiculous some of the requests may be. He keeps his cool no matter what the circumstance, and I learn a little more from him everyday that I don't have to be hot-headed and short tempered all the time. It's a hard lesson I'm still learning.

I always considered my self to be loyal and selfless, but Billy has also taught me so much more than I already knew. No matter what the circumstance, he will never turn his back on you. ever. He is constantly doing people favors, going out of his way, regardless of how busy he is. If he can help it, he will never tell someone no or let them down. Sometimes it bothers me that he will put someone else's best interest above his own (and sometimes mine). However, I am proud and that he is so loyal and selfless, and I realize that I should strive to give more to others as well.

"It's not that big of a deal" is a term constantly getting thrown my direction. Though I can have a go-with-the-flow kind of attitude, on the flip side, I can also be very structured and hate when things do not go as intended. I can sometimes lose my cool over the littlest things, like where we go to dinner for example. He's really taught me that sometimes the biggest mountains I make for myself can in actuality just be tiny mole hills. I just need to take a step back, and realize that sometimes it's nothing worth getting my feathers ruffled over, because it's all going to be fine in the end.

Above all else, Billy taught me what I really deserve in a man. I never was really in a long term relationship until I met Billy. Not that I didn't want to be in one, because I did. I just always chased after guys that weren't ready for that. Looking back, I chased after a bunch of losers and blamed my lack of relationships on me not being good enough rather than them just being terrible human beings. I was constantly getting my heart broken by the same guy. Or I was treated like crap over and over again by the rest, and I thought nothing of it. I just thought, "well, if that's what it takes to have a boyfriend then sure." {Desperate much?} Billy came into my life right about the time that I had decided that I was comfortable in my own skin and that I was able to have a happy, incredible life without having a guy's help. He shows me every single day how I should be treated. He goes above and beyond to make me happy. He does things that I didn't think guys did anymore. He is so caring, thoughtful, and kind. He lifts me up an makes me feel so special just by smiling and winking. Even when I feel like I'm the lowest priority, I realize I am still treated with so much respect and love. I constantly have people tell me how great he is to me, and just what an all around great guy he is. Its truly special hearing it from people who see on their own from the outside perspective how well he treats me and how kind he is to all others around us.

April 8, 2014

Birthday Wishlist

My birthday is quickly approaching, and I can hardly wait!! Why it isn't a national holiday yet, I really don't know, but it really should be. This year I turn a whopping 25! When did I grow up? For those of you still frantically searching for the perfect gift to commemorate my turning of a century old, here is my ever growing wish list!

1. A digital SRL Camera - I haven't really done a lot of research as to what kind or model I want. I have been a pretty faithful canon user for many, many years. However, I'm not objecting to a Nikon either.
2. A large area Rug - Specially this one, this one, or this one for the new apartment I'm moving into in May.
3. A pair of brown wedges - Why I don't own a pair already, I don't know. I'm specicially gawking over this pair of Steve Maddens. I wear a size 6 for when you go shopping for me. ;)
4. A Console Table - Again, for my new pad. Currently my TV sits on the mantle, which unfortunately won't be making the move with me.
5 Nude Flats - I have nude pumps, but those are not conducive to the amount of walking I do everyday at work.
6. The Katie Daisy Ball Jar Print - Actually I want two prints by this artist: This adorable Mason Jar print (11x14) and What A Wonderful World (8x10). The mason jar print was actually one of the inspirations for my new blog design. I plan on plan on putting these on a decorative shelf over my bed.
7. New License Plate - Every year, I tell my parents I want the taxes for my car paid for. It's been my birthday gift from them every year since I was 16 and got a car. Thoughtful of them, right? I mean, what says "Happy birthday to me" like having to fork over a couple hundred bucks to pay the taxes on your car every year.This year I'm upgrading to the new Braves License plate the state of Georgia put out.

April 7, 2014

Weekend Recap: Romas & Laura's wedding + an impromptu trip to the mountains

As I told you last week, Friday two of our dear friends tied the knot! They got married at the BEAUTIFUL Mill at Yellow River in Porterdale. This was probably one of the most beautifully decorated venues I have seen in a while--absolutely stunning! Believe it or not, it didn't rain like the forecast said, thank goodness! 

It was so, so good getting to spend time with our TE family again and to celebrate with Romas and Laura! They were so adorable and so happy. 

I may be biased, but I'm pretty sure I had the biggest hunk of a date there. 

I may or may not have snagged this picture from Ashley

Saturday, we made a very last second decision to go to the Cabin for the afternoon and night. Like literally split second..
"Well, we could go to the cabin"
"okay, let me finish this load of laundry.."
kind of conversation. After Billy's practice we hopped in the truck and headed for that old dirt road that leads over the side of a mountain. Fresh mountain air never felt so good! We had a great hike with the puppies, got some of the routine yard work done, and planted some fresh wildflowers in the bed next to the mailbox. Sunday we made another quick hike, let the dogs swim in the creek, and then gave them baths before we headed to lunch at Colonel Poole's on our way back to the city. I cannot wait for Summer to get here so there will be lots more trips to the cabin that will hopefully involve a much more extended stay. 

The Valley on our way over the back road. These are Cold and Rich Mountains.

I picked these pretties from the field. They smelled so nice sitting on the table in the kitchen.

April Goals

So basically, I completely  sucked it up in the "goals" department. Let's face it, March was a crummy month to have any desire to get anything done.

March Goals
  • Launch new blog name and domain -- I can't wait to share it with you all. I am so excited
  • Finish and Unveil new design
  • Complete a DIY project and post about it
  • Go out for a spontaneous dinner with a friend 
  • Take a day trip and do something new
  • Gain 5 new followers
  • Spring clean my apartment
  • Try a new recipe
  • Visit my grandparents
  • Purchase a go-to spring top
  • Do my ab exercises at least 3 times a week

April Goals
  • Start repainting furniture for new apartment
  • Gain 5 new followers
  • post at least twice a week
  • Learn how to repair the tear in my floor before move out and I get charged for it.
  • Take a day trip and do something new
  • Go out for a spontaneous dinner with a friend
  • Try a new recipe
  • Begin purging for move

April 4, 2014

Happies & Crappies

Holy cow, was this the longest week ever or what?! I almost feel like nothing has been going my way. My new years resolution (not that I had any intentions of actually keeping up with it) was to try to be more positive so let's look at the bright side of ll the bad things that have been going on

Crappies: Monday someone hit a traffic barrel and threw it into my lane. I had zero time to react and I wasn't able to move to another lane because of another car. I clipped it with my passenger side mirror and watched the plastic and glass fly past me via my rearview. Needless to say, I'm not a happy camper.
Happies: I was able to get the parts to me in a day's time without having to pay exrta for a rush shipping fee. The dealership was so nice and helpful. I've never had a good experience with a car dealership before. They even helped me install it for free! Kudos to my new new found friends at the Mazda dealership!

Crappies: The How I Met Your Mother series finale was also Monday. I love this show. It ranks up there with Friends when it comes to good quality sitcoms. I am so sad to see it go.
Happies: Believe it or not, I may have been the only person who was satisfied with the ending. I'm not going to say any more than that so not to spoil it for those who haven't gotten there yet.

Crappies: One of Billy's fellow coaches (affectionately known as his other significant other) is getting married tonight! The crappie, it's not only going to rain, but we're going to have ourselves a good old fashion Georgia Spring time thunderstorm
Happies: I am so excited to see these two tie the knot. I just LOVE the both of them to pieces! I'm also a sucker for a beautiful wedding!! Not to mention, I get to see all of my favorite members of our Team Elite Baseball family! It goes without saying that we have the best of times when we all get together! I am already getting a little footloose thinking about dancing the night away. Oh how I love dancing at weddings and parties!

Crappies: I had to make a LOT of changes to my social media websites last night
Happies: I have finally officially launched my new blog name, design, and domain!! I am officially Baseball Laces & Southern Graces! How exciting!! :D
I cannot sing Jana Tolman's praises enough! She has been so sweet, patient, and just plain good at what she does. I completely recommend her to anyone who plans to undertake a name change or just spruce up what you currently have!
So now that you're in the neighborhood, reach over to the right and grab yourself a button and throw it on your sidebar! If you do, let me know so I can do the same for yours!!


DIY Easter Wreath

Billy's fellow coach just purchased his first house. As a house warming gift, I told him I'd make him his first wreath! This is probably one of the easiest crafts I have ever undertaken--anyone can do it. And did I mention, it's crazy cheap!? This is the second one I've made and it was still just as easy the second time as it was the first time when I was just winging it. So here we go. 

2 Dozen Plastic Eggs (I especially love getting a mix sizes)
2 or 3 Bags of Green Easter Grass 
Styrofoam wreath cut-out (If they have a green shade available, pick that one)
Hot Glue Gun 
Lots of Hot Glue Sticks

 Start by taking a small, hand sized clump of easter grass. You can tell how simple this project is by the use of the word clump. It doesn't have to be exact. If you put too much, you can spread it out. If you put too little, you can always top it off with an extra layer! Using your hot glue gun, affix the grass to the wreath. Be sure to not forget the two sides as well.

I like to work in sections. This way it's easier to make sure the grass is evenly distributed and not all clumped together one one side. It's also easier to apply it to the wreath before the glue cools.

In about 45 minutes (and a few burned fingers) later this is the look we're going for!

 After you get the wreath itself completed, the next step is to glue on the plastic eggs. I take extra precaution and glue the eggs shut. There's nothing more tacky than decor that's missing pieces. I've found it's easiest to run a very THIN ring of hot glue around the inside of the egg. I always pick the side of the egg which, when pushed together, will have the outside lip. They just pop together so much easier when you use that side.

oooooh so thin line of glue. Hardly enough to see.. or maybe it's the fact it's out of focus?
 Next just slap on the glue onto the side you want to go face down. I also make sure I follow the middle crack and seal that baby up. There's pretty much no such thing as too much glue on this step. Now place the eggs onto the wreath.

Glue ribbon on to the back of the wreath to your desired height you wish it to hang from. After the glue dries, and you are able to hang it. You can snip all the fly away pieces of grass if you are OCD like me.