Monday, August 30, 2010

"Home Sweet Home"

I love being home. I really do. There is something so nice about spending time where I grew up with my mom and dad. I always regress a little, okay, who am I kidding, I regress a LOT when I'm "home." Whenever I hit my parent's neighborhood, Greystone, I always feel nostalgic and think back to the many times I drove that road and pulled up to their house. It's comforting! Living in NC, I don't see hills and green landscaping like I do in WV. West Virginia is such a beautiful state.

I've enjoyed spending time with my mom and dad, as well as my sister's Shannon, Courtney, and of course my little sis, Dominique. It's normal for me to have a libation (my dad's verbiage) with my dad when I come home. So when I got into town Friday night, my dad, little sis, and I had some family talk over a couple drinks at the Lakehouse. Then once we got home, of course my dad stuffed me full of sweets! If you haven't tried the new Reese's Klondike bars then you had better! So good!!! :)

Saturday afternoon, my mom and sister, Courtney went out shopping, so Dad took Dom and I out to lunch at Red Lobster. I haven't eaten there in years! Good food and conversation. Only thing I missed was the sweet tea. :-/ Oh well, what am I gonna do about it?! I made plans with my oldest sister Shannon to have dinner that night and hit the town. So that night, Shannon, Courtney and I went out for dinner, and later for a drink.

Shannon and I at Muriale's

Sister <3

Courtney and Dominique

My sister, Courtney has been fighting a sickness so she opted out of going to the Vintage Room for a drink. After we dropped her off, we stopped at Shannon's townhouse for a few. I love going to her house. It always smells like cinnamon and feels so cozy. Below are pictures from Shannon's townhouse and the from the Vintage Room.

Pretty Sisters!

Just a quick pic!

I actually felt old compared to my sister Shannon who is 8 years older than me. I was yawning and ready for bed at 11:30. Shannon wasn't the least bit sleepy. My question of the night was, "When did I become such an old soul?!" Oh well, I'll blame it on the fact that I was going to church the next day.....even though it was the 11:00 AM service. hehe.....

This afternoon was relaxing. Courtney made lunch for the family and we all had a chance to just hang out. Later Dominique and I went out to her favorite sushi restaurant Agawa, and then met up with my dad for about an hour. It's been a great trip so far. I'm sad it's coming to a close. But it's not over yet! I still have to have lunch with an old friend and meet my little brother in Huntington Tuesday evening for dinner. One thing I can say for sure about this trip is I have definitely eaten well! :) I'm going on a major diet when I get home. But that's a whole other blog! In the meantime, check out these pics! :)

Best dad! :)

Dom loves the LOVE roll. Not a "first date" roll. Not exactly sure how you would eat this lady-like?

Green Tea.

Cheryl--mom :)

Oh my gosh I love them so much!!

My little brother attends Marshall University. He was recently sworn in as a member of the Marshall University Board of Governors . He's the handsome one on the far left. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Good Times! :D

I've been in West Virginia for a week now. My days have been packed full of family and I'm grateful for it too. I'm really fortunate to be blessed with the family I have. Sure, all families have their issues and drama, but I am so lucky to have 5 sisters: Shannon, Jaclyn, Meredith, Courtney, and Dominique, my amazing little brother, Roy (he goes by Edward to those not family, but I just can't break the habit and call him Edward too), and of course my mom and dad, Roy and Cheryl.

Since I last blogged, I've left Charleston and journeyed 2 1/2 hours to my parents home in Morgantown. I left Charleston Friday evening, but not before spending some Q.T. time with two great friends Billy and Travis, and my sisters Meredith and Dominique. Dominique came into town Tuesday evening with Billy and Travis. They had returned home from a beach/camping trip in Maryland. I was looking forward to seeing the guys and also Dominique, none of which I had seen since Christmas. On Wednesday, I headed over to Bill and Travis's place to have lunch with them and my little sister, Dominique. It was the first I had been to their apartment which is about 3 times bigger than my apt in Raleigh and a heck of a lot cheaper! After getting the grand tour ;) we walked over to a favorite restaurant The Bluegrass Kitchen. Lunch was filled with laughs and plenty of silliness! Check out some pics!

Dominique and I taking a quick pic before heading out the door for lunch.

Billy weighs like 5 lbs according to Dominique.

Travis and Billy at Bluegrass Kitchen. They have been together for 5 years.


After lunch we all went back to Bill and Trav's and hung out. It had been so long since we just sat around and laughed. I have really good memories hanging out at Billy's old apartment on South High Street in Morgantown back in 2005. It was just like old times! I love my friends. So after a few hours Dominique and I took off to hit the mall and then to head over to Meredith's house since Dominique hadn't seen Meredith yet.

Later in the evening, Dominique and I had dinner together at Leonoro's. Dominique and I were of course loud and rowdy, and I told our server it was our first date! Haha.....sick Ash/Dom humor! The rest of the night was spent at The Red Carpet bar with Billy and Travis drinking cheap buckets of Pabst Blue Ribbon. It was far from "red carpet" glamor, but we had a great time! I didn't get to bed until after 3am. It was a lot of fun! Billy and Travis tell the best stories. They could have you rolling on the floor telling a story about a sock. :)


Billy and Dominique

I love my Travy!

Pretty ladies!

On Thursday, Meredith, Dominique, and I went to Beau Tea Full Moments Tea Room for high tea. Wow, talk about a great time! I loved every minute of it! My sister Meredith treated Dominique and me. Meredith has a heart of gold. I have never done high tea before. Check out the photos.

Dominique, Me, and Meredith

Would you like a spot of tea?

Dessert time!

The food was so yummy!

The tea room was super cute!

best sisters!

On Friday Dominique and I left Charleston and headed up to Morgantown for more family adventures. More on that later!! :0) But first, a few extra pics from Charleston!

Waiting on our Starbucks treat.

Dominique with Armani

One last picture with Bill and Trav.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Country Roads Take Me Home

So here I am. I'm "home" in West Virginia. I arrived yesterday (Sunday) around 2:30. I'm at my sister, Meredith's townhouse with her and my brother-in-law, Brent. They have opened their home to me and I feel right at home. They live in Charleston. It was a "quickish" 5 hour drive from my apartment in Raleigh. The drive was actually pretty good. I made sure I was prepared for all three of the toll booths. My family ALWAYS reminds me to have cash for the tolls after I traveled to WV two Thanksgivings ago with no cash. It's kind of a joke now. I didn't have a cent when I made it to the tolls and had to hand over my drivers license and get an IOU voucher. Not once, but three separate times! And, keep in mind this was Thanksgiving weekend and the traffic was NUTS. I'm sure me holding up the line didn't please too many folks! And the employees working the booths were not exactly cheerful to me. So yes, I had my money to get through the tolls. I also, really kept an eye on my speed. I'm a bit of a speed demon and the cops were out in full force. A speeding ticket is the last thing I need!

When I got to Meredith's house she was nowhere to be found! Her and Brent were out running errands. But, my mom was there and so we got to have some good "mother daughter" time to hang out! She had dropped my brother off at his school at Marshall University and stopped through to see me on her way back to Morgantown. It was great seeing her. It's also great seeing Meredith too. She looked so beautiful when she walked in her Sunday's best church clothes. I really missed her! I was especially looking forward to this trip because Meredith has the cutest Bishon Frise puppies I hadn't met yet. Their names are Armani and Versace. Take a look a some shots I snapped!

Meredith with Armani and Versace. She is a great mom to her pups!

The boys LOVE to lick!

Me with Armani.

It's fun being around her doggies because I'm such a cat person. I'm not used to being around such rambunctious animals. They are filled with so much life and ENERGY. I'm in total love with them. So overall, the first day of my family vacation has been great. My little sister, Dominique will be coming to Charleston on Wednesday to stay with me until Saturday when we'll make the 2 1/2 hour trek to my parent's house in Morgantown. I'm looking forward to it! I'll not only get to see my mom and dad, but also my sisters, Courtney and Shannon. It's sure to be a great time. I'll have lots more to share as the week moves on. I love my family! :0)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy 27th Birthday To Me! :)

August 7th has come and gone. I'm one year older and none the wiser. Ha! I've never been a huge fan of birthdays. I can even remember as a kid it really just seemed like another day, much as it does now that I'm an adult. What I don't like about birthdays isn't so much the number, but what saddens me is how quickly my life is passing me by. My dad has always said when you're younger you can associate things in your life by your age. For example, when a song came out. I can remember No Doubt's Don't Speak came out when I was 12 years old in 7th grade and when Dr. Dre's Chronic 2001 album came out I was 17 and a senior in high school. My sister Dominique, my old friend Katie, and I listened to those explicit lyrics many a mornings on our way to school in her red Jeep. I can remember where I was when Princess Diane died. I was 14 years old. A freshman in high school babysitting Alex Banks. Or even what I wore to my college graduation in December 2004 when I was 21. But as I get older, everything seems to blur together. I've been in my career as a teacher going on 6 years. All the years seems to mesh together and I even find it hard to remember the names of some of students I had back in my first year of teaching 3rd grade. I guess why I get bummed with birthdays is because I want to remember all that's happened in my life. My dad was right though, once you start your career, and you're doing the same things day in and day out, you lose track of your life.

Enough of the depressing stuff, and lets move on to my 27th birthday fun! My birthday was Saturday, but my boyfriend Jeff took me to a great restaurant in Cary Friday night. We ate at Bistro 64. I love getting dressed up for a fancy pants meal! My steak was great and I highly recommend it to all if you're looking for a romantic spot for a nice, quiet dinner. On Saturday when I woke up, I opened all my presents. As I get older the present start coming in the mail from all my siblings and parents. A few of the things I got: a GPS (I'm no longer living in the dark age of map quest!) some beautiful jewelry, a book by one of my favorite authors, Nicholas Sparks, and multi-vitamins because now that I'm old I need to start protecting my bones :0). Later, after a tasty breakfast of blueberry waffles, I began my search for my birthday gift to myself. Being tax free weekend and all and having a 5 year old computer that has been a headache since I bought it, I treated myself to a new Toshiba laptop. Happy birthday to me! I had a really good lunch at Cameron Bar and Grill, with a most awesome pint of my favorite summertime beer, Sam Adams Summer Ale. To wrap up my 27th, Jeff made chimichangas for dinner and got me a birthday cake. All in all it was a great day. One of the highlights was the 7 phone calls from my family singing Happy Birthday to me. I just know that 27 is going to be a great year. I'm a glass is half full kind of gal and I know life's got a lot of great things in store for myself and my amazing family this year!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

An Idea

I've been wanting to write a blog for as long as I can remember. I've always admired those that take the time to write about "stuff" going on. Whether it be about politics, religion, or just a blog about family, I've always liked to be able to look into the life of others. My problem is I don't know much about politics and religion, and I'm not a wife or a mom so I can't dote about my hubby or kids. So then what do I write about? I've always been guilty of being very hard on myself. I've heard it more than once from my good friend Angie. So I'm stepping out and starting my own blog. Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to write about? I don't feel that I'm all that interesting, after all. I'm just a single, 26 year old woman with a cat. Let's hope I don't bore y'all to tears, but instead keep you coming back for more! :)