Monday, June 9, 2014

No place like home...

A couple weeks back I went home for Memorial Weekend, and boy was it just what I needed! Going home is a break from the 'real world' - I'm up in the mountains, I'm with family, there's good food, calm weather, beautiful surroundings, and barely any cell/data service. It's a time where I get to be a 'kid' again - Mom and Dad cook the best meals, I hang out in my pajamas, watch movies, hang out with my parents and siblings...I get to sit on the front porch sipping a beer with Mom or throw out a blanket in the front yard (never realized how much I would miss having a yard until I didn't have one) to read and enjoy a picnic of Dad's's a mental and physical break and I get to spend time with my family - I *love* it!! I hadn't been home since last Memorial Day, so this time was much-needed...and here, of course, are all the pictures:

I started off my week home in my 'home away from home': Chapel Hill. Stopped in Durham for lunch to catch up with an old friend, Laura (we went to high school together - can you believe that was nearly a decade ago???). We opted for the 'sweet tea sangria' (what can I say: I'm from the south) to go with our tapas at Mateo

It had been 5 years since we'd seen each other!

Mmmmmmm mussels

Kale salad

Our delicious smorgasbord

I think these are quite possibly the best churros I've ever had...


Cheers to mini-reunions 

I love this shot - Laura's husband Andy took it

A stop in Durham wouldn't be complete without a visit to Parker and Otis...

...and no visit to Parker and Otis would be complete without having their grilled pimento cheese sandwich (with bacon, of course)


The next morning I visited an old college standby, Elmo's Diner, for brunch with A Terry (red velvet pancakes FTW)

4 years since we last hung out and it felt like yesterday...

After catching up with Alex, I gave myself a little tour of campus :) 

I <3 UNC

Bell Tower

State flower - the dogwood

I'm so lucky I got to catch up with Mr. McCombs!!! He taught my Calc II class freshman year and we've been buds ever since

Another college haunt - gotta get the blueberry beer at Top-o

So glad I got to catch up with these two lovebirds! I can't wait for Alex and Sam's wedding!!!

Aaaaaaaaand the customary Bojangles shot...don't worry, there was a Boberry biscuit for dessert ;-)


Love him to pieces :-D

He may be going on 10, but he's still just as cute as when he was little

Baby bro :)

MOM MADE BREAKFAST!!!!! Biscuits and gravy, grits, and eggs OH MY WORD

I got to visit Mom's new office for the first time - so jealous of her view and space! I'd never get any work done though...I'd be too busy staring out the window and daydreaming...

Olivia came home too! The gang's all here!

Benjamin helping Dad get the grill ready (apple branches added in to flavor the pork)

People say we look alike...

Grill Master and Grill Master, Jr.

Awwww yeah


We be silly....


And more silly...


Oh my sweet goodness it's homemade BBQ...

Pretty sissy

Picnic time!!!

Tator salad, bbq, and slaw - can't beat it

Family picnic :)

We love each other <3

And then it was time for a nap....

Dad's specialty - biscuits and cocoa gravy

More bbq time ;-)

Benjamin had a piano recital while I was there - I can't believe how much he's progressed!

Ms. Corinne - the most patient, kind, gentle, and caring piano teacher I've ever come across.

*THIS LOOK* - the one she gets of pure joy watching her students play - is my absolute favorite!!!

Sisters :)

I got to meet  up with Lacey in Asheville and see Donovan!

Such a happy baby


I did school with Benjamin...brought me straight back to my days of homeschooling :)

Summer treats with the baby bro at DT's

Quiet morning

Wonderful way to round out my trip home - morning devotions on the front porch watching the sun rise. 

Back to work - new desk decor!

Treated myself to lilies (flowers make me oh so happy)

I decided to try to make my workout fun (since I detest running) and did reps on the playground!


Newest obsession - Joia's Grapefruit Chamomile & Cardamom soda (and I don't even like grapefruit!)

Starting off my morning right - God and coffee :)

Last weekend I got to do double babysitting duty - these kiddos during the day and then Marin that evening!

Isn't he precious??

Fun times at Frog Pond - there was an outdoor club teaching people how to cast a fly fish rod, so they both tried it

Loved the carousel so much we did it again - he was SO HAPPY to get to ride the dragon

Tired pup...

Dinnertime with Mare-bear!

Storytime and then bed....

I've never gotten anything else from Life Alive - always go for the Goddess without broccoli and add in avocado and egg

I've seen it all...square marshmallows for easier s'moring

Late night gym sesh with Ashley

As beautiful as home is, there's just something about the city that blows my mind

Fun times with Gloria at the Riverwalk Festival!

She learned how to make an oragami crane

And last (but not least) I made Strawberry Lavender Scones for a brunch I went to yesterday...I added my own 'twist' by topping them with honey-whipped butter (ah-mazing)

I've had so much fun these past few weeks with the gorgeous weather, hanging out with friends and family, and cooking/eating up a storm! Love me some summertime....
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