Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Those Days

Here are a few things.

First: I believe Maryland drivers do not know how to merge. Because its happened twice now. There I am, entering the highway. The lady in the sedan to my left has TWO clear lanes into which she can move. But does she? Oh no. She must particularly like the far right lane....and proceeds to run me and the car behind me onto the shoulder.

Second: Apparently today was rude-impatience day at Target. I used one of my giftcards to buy another set of our dinner plates. Standing in the aisle, legs akimbo, attempting to heave this huge box into my buggy-- and let me interrupt myself here, it is called a buggy. In the South we call "grocery carts" buggies...and you Marylanders boast yourselves to be Southerners so don't look at me askance when I use the word "buggy." Instead, adopt it along with the "bless her hearts" and strong sweet tea.


I had this ridiculously heavy box in my arms. Sweat is beading on my forehead. And from behind me, I hear this noise...something akin to strangulation. I turned around in time to see a lady shoving her "buggy" around the corner in a stomping fit of exasperation since I was blocking her way past me in the aisle, apparently. Because I intentionally struggled with the box. Of course.

I quickly realized what today was shaping up to be. One of "those days"--where things go wrong, and people are rude, and drivers are oblivious.

So what'd I do? I finished my shopping, drove home (still using the GPS since I haven't completely figured my way around yet), and made a cup of coffee before finishing my tasks for the day.

Sometimes you just need to sit, pause, and take a breath.

Those are my thoughts.

image source

Rain, Wind, & Smiles

They called it a monster storm, a Frankenstorm, a giant storm that would make her mark in history. And when Sandy blew through, she certainly howled like a monster. Rain pelted our windows, and at times it seemed like the whole building would groan when the wind gusts hit. Like someone slowly turning a volume dial, the wind intensified until finally it was obvious that Sandy had arrived and was sitting on top of our home, the most unwelcome guest.

I spent the evening pretty much on top of my husband's head. Every time the wind blew, I jumped. That man must have the patience of Job because he never once got irritated with my squeals or yelps. Once in the night, we heard a loud metallic bang. I was sure a tree had fallen on the picnic area outside the condo. But when the sun finally rose the next morning and we could see what the winds had caused, there was no visible source of the sound.

My husband was like a little boy, peering out the blinds exclaiming "cool!" as the trees swayed back and forth. And, go figure, first thing in the morning he wanted to throw on rain jackets and boots to go survey the damage. I have to admit though, I was curious too. So there I went, trudging along beside in his rain jacket, which reached to my knees. He burst out laughing and said I looked like a little kid. Hey, I can't help I'm short.

Over night, our little creek had become a little river, complete with mini rapids. Limbs and trees were down left and right--some small ones, some big ones. The wind showed no discretion in which trees it toppled. Some huge ones I thought would surely ride out the storm were down, while some smaller ones still stood. I guess it depended on the ground around them and how deep their roots were. Thankfully, our little condo survived with no damage. A townhouse across the street wasn't so lucky, All the siding on one side was completely stripped. Arbitrary damage, here and there.

Later, though, after looking through the pictures I took, I noticed one that was different. A little leaf, glued to the window. The rain droplets that held the leaf to the glass formed a little smiley face. After seeing all the different wreckage, milder in our town, pitiful on the news in places like NYC, that little leaf made Mark and I laugh. During all that hectic rain and wind, God had slapped one little smiley-face leaf to our window, as if to say don't worry, it's all going to be fine. Just smile and carry on and be happy in your marriage.

So we are. =)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Our Weekend in Photos: Boo at the Zoo

Despite the approaching storm, which today has arrived in its first rainy, windy wave, this past weekend was absolutely beautiful. The day began with a thick grey sky that quickly brightened into a bright, cloudless one. Judging by Saturday's lovely weather, you'd never expect that every news station was feverishly heralding the arrival of the "monster storm." Is it just me, or do the news and weather announcers take a little too much pleasure in reporting dire situations? They sound a little too excited for my liking.

Anyway, here's another thing you sometimes don't expect: an overwhelming amount of sweetness and love when you move. Before our wedding, when I thought of moving so far from home, I anticipated some severe homesickness and pining for my Georgia mountains, friends, and family. I mean, I knew I'd be fine whenever I was with Mark. But the stints of time at home alone (looking for a job.  Bleh. Hello, anyone want to hire a smart, hard-working lady? Yes?) loomed ahead of me.

Instead, I've found that everyone so far has been incredibly welcoming, going the extra lengths to make sure Mark and I feel at home in this new state. Our Sunday meeting (no, we're not Quakers, that's just what we call our church) greets us with hearty smiles and invitations to Sunday lunch. And here's another example: this past Saturday, a busy family of six took the time to hang out with us newlyweds. So, thanks to the Skillbreds for making our first weekend at our new home and fun, adventurous one.

We headed to DC's National Zoo to take advantage of what is likely the last rays of sunshine we'll see for several days here. I haven't been to a zoo since I was about 7 years old, so I'm not sure who was more excited: me or the four Skillbred kids. To quote my husband: "I'm not sure if I married a wife or adopted a daughter."

So, I figured I would share a few photos of our weekend! Hopefully, this won't be my last blog post of the whole week. But, judging from the creaking of my windows, the wind is kicking back up, and, according to the news channel, Sandy is on her way. If we don't blow away or lose power, we'll be back tomorrow. Otherwise, enjoy the photos until we return--hopefully sooner rather than later.

Happy Monday and happy hurricane-ing! <--- yes, that is somewhat forced cheerfulness. In reality I'm pretty worried! But we're hoping for the best and prepared for the worst. That seems to be all we can do other than wait. Until next time, readers. Wish us luck, and wish Sandy some calm-down pills.

hello leaves

in the butterfly garden

przewalksi's horse

catching butterfles


the tiger walking his beat

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tied the Knot

Hello everyone!
It's been about two weeks, but Mrs. Hobbs (heehee! new name!) has finally returned to the bloggosphere. The wedding rush has officially ended, and the day turned out to be exactly everything that I hoped it would be and so much more.
That wonderful man is finally mine, and I am finally his! That should set me to kicking my heels and skipping about town, all right.

Today I want to share a sneak-peek of the photographs taken by our spectacularly talented photographer Bianca Hubble. Her website can be found here.

She made picture-taking, which could easily become tedious or monotonous, fun and stress-free. Which is saying something for us, since neither Mark or I enjoy having our pictures taken. But with a few flashes, a few clicks, and many laughs, Bianca had great pictures that effortlessly captured the moments.

And, just a side note,
her skills aren't solely limited to wedding photography.
Check our her newborn and family portrait work too!
anything you want
she can do. 

Next week I'll share updates on the newlywed life in Frederick. Until then, here are the promised photos. 
Enjoy and have a happy Friday!

Important Note: All photos below are the exclusive property of Bianca Hubble at Axsys Design Photography. The image sources can be found at the above link. 

Mark doesn't like cake, so we had his favorite apple pie as his groom's cake.

Friday, October 12, 2012

And Off We Go

So, hello readers!
The BIG DAY has finally arrived. Well, almost.
Today we're setting up the space and getting everything ready--from the white pumpkins to the table runners to the japanese lanterns to the french tip nails.

My handsome fellow arrived Thursday morning on the 6am train from Virginia. He literally took the midnight train to Georgia. As soon as I got my first hubby hug, any nervous jitters melted away. Nothing like seeing him to make me absolutely certain that my future, even thought unknown, is bright.

Today's the last day I'll be posting for about two weeks.
Wish us luck!

Here are a few peeks at my decor inspirations.
Real wedding photos soon-ish!

Bye-bye for now, and a happy weekend to you all and to us and our big new adventures ahead!
Love you all!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Morning Read: Atonement

In 2007, I saw and liked the movie. But somehow, I never got around to reading the book. Strangely enough, even as I was calmly (mostly) reading Milton, Spenser, Faulkner, Joyce, Woolf, and Co. for my undergrad... Ian McEwan's work always seemed to leer at me from the shelves with this subtle challenge. And, understand, my bias was solely based off the film adaptation of Atonement; I had never ever ever read any of his books, and yet I had this preconceived notion of sadness, depression...a general, weighty pith of gloom and deep thought.

Don't get me wrong.
Atonement is bone-wrenchingly sad. It makes your soul ache. But McEwan's prose?
Such. A. Pleasure. To my surprise, I couldn't put the book down. I carried it around in my purse to steal five minutes here and there in McEwan's finely crafted world.

I hate to use a book-review-cliche but, in my opinion, his prose really does flow. He just effortlessly moves you through a character's thoughts. Before you realize it, you've glided through four or five pages of interior monologue as thirteen-year-old Briony muses on life and consciousness and the place of herself/her Self in all this muck. And you never get bored. Or at least I didn't. You just glide effortlessly through the sentences and descriptions and details, never missing a beat.

Set in pre-World War II England, the book is about 13 year old Briony who accidentally witnesses her sister's fledgling romance with their charlady's son. Briony is just old enough to have vague notions of adult life and emotions; just old enough to realize that there is a whole world opening up before her; just old enough to feel too young to understand it.  She is just old enough to be fascinated by it and  just young enough to be scared by it. Of course, curious and confused little sister gets in the way and her actions and perceptions have ramifications that reverberate through the next fifty years.

Basically, that's the book's general plot.
But Atonement is also about story: about the disconnect between fiction, perception, and reality, about the reality we create by our perceptions, about the space between the inner space and the outer physicality.... It really pulls you through some deep arguments while all along making you fret and worry and bit your lip over the trials of these young lovers.

In short, I loved the book. It was really enjoyable (despite the sadness). And I highly recommend it, if you're looking for a thought-provoking yet approachable read.

And that's that.

---> P.S. Four days til my wedding, folks!!
I'm getting butterflies! <---

Monday, October 8, 2012

Our Weekend in Photos: Peanuts, Pumpkins, & BBQ

Just a little update: FIVE DAYS TIL MY WEDDING! =)

Okay, on to today's actual post:

This morning, for breakfast, I listened to the new Mumford&Sons while crunching into a fresh Gala from our local farmer's market. The juicy sweetness of the Gala rendering my coffee dark and bitter.

Fall distilled in a moment.

Around here, our farmers market is a source of community pride. If you come visit a Northeast Georgian in the fall, you're going to be dragged, whether against your will or no, to Jaemor Farms. Let me see if I can paint this picture for you: a ruby string of red barns sitting at the edge of apple orchards and corn fields; bins filled to overflowing with fat and misshapen pumpkins; metal drums bubbling  and smoking with boiled peanuts; dust beading in the air; vegetables and fruits laid out in their baskets and barrels, their colorful hides rubbed clean by their prideful growers.

I love seeing parents with their  kids here; is this not a perfect place to take your little one? Letting them run through the rows, picking out their favorite apples and the perfect carving pumpkin, practically sparking and brimming with little-kid-energy. "This one, daddy, no this one. No this one. No this one--Can we get both daddy?? Please, please, please."

 Saturday, my mom, my best friend, and I went to the farm to collect a few pumpkins for the wedding. Isn't that great? Wedding pumpkins! I love fall weddings for reasons like that. I can't wait to share pictures of the ones I painted and then the perfect giant ones I won't touch because they're so perfect on their own. I actually woke Saturday morning with a stress/sinus headache, but after an hour of wandering through the bins and baskets, smelling the cloyed peffume of  boiled peanuts, muscadines, and fresh apples, the headache somehow melted right away. I don't know if it was the perfect fall weather, all the smiling faces, or just being with two of my favorite people. Or the combination of all those elements.

What a better way to spend a weekend at home, right?
Can't wait to share these moments with my fiancee-to-be-husband every weekend!

A few photos to walk you through our beautiful Georgia's Jaemor Farms:

Friday, October 5, 2012

open windows + drifting thoughts

Yesterday, I lay on my bed, phone pressed to my ear, talking to my honey. Outside, the sky was that bright turquoise of autumn, the previous day's mist burned away. And just occasionally, the coolest breeze would drift like silk into the room, touching my cheek as it brushed by on its way to who knows where.

Lying there, I realized one of my favorite things about fall: open windows.

Too hot and humid, Georgia summers prevent any window-opening. So, we slam them shut in late spring and leave them locked until the first kiss of a breeze, the first splash of autumn color. Then, with a grunt and the crack and give of swollen wood, we slide them back up and let the wind rush like a gasp, an intake of breath.

Fresh air.
Crushed leaves.
The trill of cicadas and tree frogs.
A train's low lullaby as it blows through the night,
provoking the hysteria of a mother coyote and her pups.
This drifts through my open window, when the moon is waxing full.
What drifts through yours?

Happy Friday and happy fall, readers!
Enjoy your weekend hope its filled with pumpkins, s'mores, blankets, campfires, and starlight.

image sources: herehere, and here

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