Engagement Pictures!

I finally have all of our engagement pictures back (not that Ben took a particularly long time, I am just impatient!) and I am so excited to show a few of my favs with y'all!

Side note: If you are in the DC/MD area and need a photographer, check Ben out - he is AMAZING! He will travel as well, he came down for the day to Cville to do ours. His parents live in the area and he has been my friend well, since forever, so it was so much fun just to hang out with him again!

Some of these were taken on "grounds" at UVA, and the others were taken on the Downtown Mall - a neat city block area where Stuart's office is. I am a tried and true Hokie, but I do have a special place in my heart for Cville (thank goodness because we just bought a house here, ha).

 Don't hate me because I am beautiful. Bahahaha.

I am so thrilled with the way these turned out - a big thanks to Ben and to my bff Heather, who came up and helped me get ready, as well as helped our photographer! Ben even got a shot of all 3 of us for me to have :)



Nothing makes me more upset than senseless tragedy. Lives lost for no reason other than someone else's sick and hurtful choices. My heart breaks for Boston, just like it did for Newtown and Aurora and Oklahoma City and all of the other towns, cities, counties and states that have to endure heartbreak, media invasion, stigmatism and still manage to come out on the beautiful side of hope. And Boston will, and the running community will. They will find the hope of tomorrow with the still bitter sting of loss. But they will never forget. 

Today is the 6th anniversary of my town's senseless tragedy. No tragedy and no experience can compare to one another, and I am certainly not trying to compare. But I cannot let this day go by without acknowledging the tragedy and beauty to come out of my favorite place on earth. Below is a repost of my thoughts from last year, and although I didn't get to run this year, my feelings have not changed. 

"I ask each of you to take the time to be a Hokie this week. Appreciate life a little more, take in every moment around you, count your blessings, tell the people around you that you love them, slow down, remember what's truly important in life … And live for those 32 that do not have that chance anymore."

I cannot believe it has been five years. 

Five years ago today I was sitting in my high school senior government class, anxiously anticipating college. The next four years of my life. The biggest change I could have faced thus far in my life. And 300 miles away, someone was changing my college forever.

You all know the details, some more than others of that awful day. I cannot imagine having been there. Waking up to snow flurries and going back to sleep or getting up and making it to class made all the difference that day. I can't imagine waking up to a text message telling me to turn on the tv or hearing whispers in class and hiding under a desk in Torg, watching the Swat team swarm campus. I can't imagine being in Norris Hall that day, or in A-J or a parent of a student or a student or anyone other than who I was. Simply a girl whose entire childhood revolved around that school in the mountain. That girl whose family vacation money was spent in the walls of a football stadium and around the Duckpond and in the Litton-Reeves parking lot. A girl who knew the magic of the orange and maroon color combination and who felt the heartbeat of the Hokie Nation. Who was proud to wear the iconic VT on a t-shirt or a sweatshirt and knew what a Hokie is, or was. I can't place myself there and I never,ever want to take away from anyone who was. 

32 white balloons in honor of those fallen.

I have never known a college experience without a memorial, or a candlelight vigil, or a 3.2 mile run in honor of the 32 on April 16th. I have never attended a class on April 16th. I have never been able to tell someone where I attend school that hasn't asked me if I was there, as if that would make their approach to me different in someway. Maybe they'd be more reserved, talk quieter, avoid asking more questions, I honestly have no idea. I usually answer a quick no, and we move on with our conversation. 

Orange and maroon balloons for the Hokie nation.

I know my Virginia Tech. The place where we have had two smaller-scale tragedies since that day. Two tragedies in combination with that day that have caused my beloved school to be called "cursed" by a local newspaper reporter without a sense of tact or a knowledge of how strong our community can be when it is attacked. 

Before the 3.2 run.

I know my Virginia Tech, post April 16th Virginia Tech. The resilient community that cleaned up the aftermath of this awful, tragic, horrible day with nothing but grace, respect and the drive to better ourselves in honor of our Hokies. I can think of no one else I'd rather be and no other community I would rather be a part of. 

Crossing the finish line.

I ran on Saturday, I will stop for the moment of silence tomorrow and attend the vigil tomorrow night. I will neVer forgeT. I will watch Nikki GioVanni read the poem and I will cry with chills every time I hear "Lets Go Hokies" chanted in Cassell afterwards. I will stop and pray and remember those students, who were younger than I am now, who lost their lives that day. I won't ever pretend like I was there and lived through that experience in Blacksburg that day, but I won't ever forget this day in my own life. I am a part of a community that was incredibly resilient. I am a part of a community that stood together and stands together and will continue to after I leave this place in four short weeks. I am a Hokie.


Friday Letters

Happy Friday!

Its that time again - linking up for Friday Letters with Sweet Ashley!

Dear Hallie Faith, You have by far been my favorite part of 2013. I can't wait to snuggle your sweet face this weekend. Keep on bein sweet to your momma and daddy :). 

Dear friends, Charlotte reminded me that I should probably find my blog on Bloglovin and give you the option to continue following, so here's the link! Follow my blog with Bloglovin :)

Dear weather, Thanks for being awesome this week. I have really enjoyed throwing on dresses and being super comfy at work. And my hair has enjoyed its break from the blow dryer. Kisses!

Dear jeweler, You better bring my engagement ring back ASAP. And safe and sound and beautiful. I know one of the prongs is loose - so fix it and take care of my baby please!

Dear self, TAKE SOME PICTURES! Your posts are boring without them!!! Also - get a spray tan. These white legs are scaring all your students to death!

Enjoy your weekend friends!


Meet My New Favorite Person Ever

Some pretty big things have been going on the past few days and I feel like I need to document it! Well, by pretty big things, I mean one big BEAUTIFUL PERFECT thing.

Meet Miss Hallie - my bff/sistafriend/collegeroomie's little baby girl.

And no, none of us knew she was coming - not even her Momma and Daddy! But that is their story to tell in their own time :). 

Nicole, her momma and Josh, her daddy have just been amazing, especially considering everything happening so quickly. You know I rushed down there the second I found out she was here and I was so sad to leave her after only a few days of snuggling. I showed up to the hospital in a sweatshirt and norts with no makeup y'all... there was my precious "niece" to see - ain't nobody got time ta change!

She is absolutely perfect in every way and I am so incredibly smitten with her. It feels like she should have been here all along :).

And I am so incredibly proud of my bff y'all - she has been the BEST momma. She was meant to be Miss Hallie's momma all along and that is abundantly clear. Hallie already has her daddy wrapped around her finger too.

I just love her SO SO SO much and I am so glad I get to be a part of her life. I cannot wait to watch her grow up!

Happy Wednesday friends!


Engagement Picture Weekend

Happy Sunday night! Does anyone else dread Sunday nights as much as I do? I think we should have five day weekends and two day work weeks ;).

But this weekend was awesome! My bff/one of my bridesmaids came up Friday night to help me get ready and get outfits and stuff together for our engagement pictures on Saturday. We took her straight to Mellow (of course) for dinner ANNNDD it was nice enough to sit outside!!

We spent the rest of Friday night working on some props for our pictures (to come ;) ), and getting outfits together. Saturday AM we got up and got our nails done and just hung out for a bit. Bonus - this place was right by Stuart's apartment and the shellac was cheap and they did a great job. I was pleased. I wanted to go natural and this color was called "Beau" which was quite fitting for the days events spent with my Beau!

Unfortunately, we got a call from our photographer (who I adore!) that Carter Mountain, where we had planned to take our photos, is closed through next weekend. I panicked at first, talked to mama and still decided to have our pictures that day. Stuart didn't care either way, but since Ben was already down from Maryland (DC/NOVA/MD girls, he is AWESOME) for the weekend for our pictures, I wanted to go ahead and get the majority done. He is a UVA grad whose parents and sister live in the area so he told me we could run up to the mountain one weekend and just get some shots the next time he is back in the area.

Fortunately it was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day - we couldn't have asked for any better weather. We trekked around grounds (UVA's campus) and to the downtown mall for some shots. I cannot wait to see them! Hev took this one of Ben shooting some shots for us :).

She was such a trooper all weekend and I am so thankful for a friend that is willing to give up a weekend to spend time helping me out with stuff. Thanks again Hev! We headed to Plaza for some well deserved drinks after we were done with the pictures. I think we spent about 2 1/2 hours walking all over Cville!

This morning we got up and grabbed breakfast on the Corner before driving around Rugby Rd. and looking for Hev's sorority house (she was a ZTA) and her boyfriends frat house (PIKE) before she headed out of town. 

Today has consisted of a TJ Maxx trip, some Target parusing and Froyo for dinner. It has been nice enough to drive with the windows down and I am a happy camper :)

I can't wait to get back some of the professional shots and share them with you!


Friday Letters!

Linking up with Miss Ashley - the new BOY momma!

Dear Friday, THANK YOU FOR COMING! I have been waiting for you ALL week. Now if you could send May 1st my way, that would be great :)

Dear engagement pics, Make me us look super awesome (not that S needs any help with his adorable self). And tell the weather to cooperate. I want lots of things to frame in our new house!!

Dear house, Keep on keepin on. This has been pretty smooth thus far and I would super appreciate it if it would continue. You are the cutest house and I can't wait to decorate you :). Could you tell your current owners to leave the wine and the wine rack ;)?

Dear BFF, thanks for coming up this weekend even though you are fighting a cold! You know I can't get myself together enough to actually look good for these pics, so you are saving these photos from sure disaster. I might even throw in some Bodo's to say thank you :).

Dear Fiance, I can't wait to walk down the aisle to you in less than 7 months! This is gonna be the best of all the adventures Boots. AHHHH! (Ps, this is my FAVORITE picture of you eva. I am so lucky!)

Happy Friday Friends!!



I know I said some things were a bit cray while I was gone, but the biggest one of all is...


(insert picture here, except I don't have any pictures of my own yet - soon enough!)

It has been so quick thus far. Wednesday night I got an email from a realitor that has a website I had been following for a while and this PERFECT townhouse popped up. I immediately sent it to Stuart and he liked it as well. I emailed the realitor and we were set up to view it on Thursday night.

Walking around, I could see us there. Plus it has REAL HARDWOOD FLOORS. I died. I also told my dad that 5 times on the phone when we were driving home that night.

There is a little burger bar with TVs within walking distance that will be PERFECT for watching college football and basketball, a grocery store, a Subway and some other restaurants across the street and it is almost perfectly halfway between my work and Stuarts.

It also has a TWO CAR GARAGE. All my girls who park outside when it is nasty snowy cold, can I get an amen? AMEN!

It also has this wonderful soaking tub in the Master en suite. LOVE!

It has 3 bedrooms, plus a bonus room downstairs so it is definitely something we can grow into... with like a dog at some point. 

GOD IS SO GOOD Y'ALL. I had gotten to the point where I didn't think we were going to be able to buy something because the market up here is still pretty expensive but the perfect thing came along. And the timing couldn't be better.

I will try not to become TOO obsessed but my goodness I am IN LOVE!

Don't worry... we still have plenty of other things (cough wedding cough) for me to talk about  'round here!

Happy Wednesday y'all!


The One Where I Am Back!

Hi friends :)

Long time no chat! It was nice taking a break from the blog, but I have so much I want to catch up. Big things are happening over here!!

First of all, Happy Belated Easter. He is risen! Amen? Amen.

A little picture catch should be sufficient for now:

We did some unintentional matching and watched some UVA basketball at the JPJ.

We spent some time with family (are they not the CUTEST? I DIE!)

I got a snow day FINALLY :)

The Tech football schedule was released and we are ALL CLEAR ON THE WEDDING DATE (UVA has a game that day but my wonderful fiance has allowed us to still get married that day... I just have to go to more UVA games than Tech games this year. Compromise!)

We celebrated my college roomie's first bridal shower!

It finally started to feel like spring so we took a little walk to grounds one night and I took this picture. I already printed it - it is one of my favs!

We celebrated my best friends 25th birthday with a little surprise party for her!

We kicked off Easter with a bunny cake, as always!

And we spent Easter at church celebrating Jesus and with our families :)

I can't wait to dive back in and share some more wedding details and some other news with y'all!

Happy Monday friends!