Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fall Beauty at Home

Just a little Point Breeze Photography from the Thanksgiving Day weekend:





Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Thanksgiving Ten

#1


We have finally reached the end of our countdown. Welcome to Thanksgiving Eve, and another little something that I am thankful for.

Despite a request to blog about my thankfulness for leggings, I think I’m going to take another route. (Even though, I must admit, leggings may just be the perfect attire when indulging in a grand Thanksgiving Day feast…)

Today, I am ever so grateful and thankful for my husband, Adrian. He is everything I ever wished for and more in a man, and I am so thankful to be married to him. This is our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple, and it probably won’t be any different than last year, but that’s ok. Now is the time when we’ll start making our own little traditions, whether intentionally or not. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather create a tradition with either.



Without getting too sappy on anyone, I love my husband and thank God every day that he brought us together! 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, enjoy every minute of it!

The Thanksgiving Ten

#2


It’s just 2 days from Thanksgiving and you want to know what I am thankful for? My family.

Yes, it’s a given, most people are thankful for their families, but not all. Some people aren’t lucky enough to have strong family bonds. But I am, and the holiday season just brings us together that much more. This is my first thanksgiving as a married woman, so not only am I out of the house, but my little brother moved to Florida this year too for school. So Thanksgiving really will be a true gathering of our family back on our home turf; Milestown Oak Lane. :)

Our family doesn’t have any solid traditions for Thanksgiving, but we do have a few things that never change. Typically myself, my grandfather and my brother dress up for dinner. Nothing too formal, but we always tend to dress nicely for the meal, and no matter how hard we try to get everyone else to do it too, someone winds up coming to the dinner table in a denim tuxedo or their comfy sweatpants and apron…but I won’t mention any names. We always say we’re going to watch the Macys parade, but that only lasts for about 5 minutes. And the one thing that we definitely do every year?! Drive my mother insane by standing around in the kitchen while she cooks. It drives her crazy and it never fails, we end up migrating to the kitchen and goofing off with my dad just enough to get under her skin.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Thanksgiving Ten

Just days away from Thanksgiving, we've reached:

#3

Today I am thankful for creative writing.  Without it, I don't think I would have ever made it through school.  It took every ounce of focus and energy I had to read a textbook, and honestly once I was finished my assigned reading, I had thought of 15 other things, and totally skimmed the words without actually reading them.  Without creative writing we wouldn't have some of the best books in the world. 

Without creativity, there is no escape from reality which is what we're all really looking for anyway.  That's why we watch TV, go to the movies, download catchy pop songs and read fiction books.  Even some of the greatest stories based on 'actual events' have been embellished for dramatic effect.

This post is likely inspired by my recent trip to the pit known as the Lexington Park movie theatre to see the most recent installment of the Harry Potter Series.  It's a great example of how successfully and entertaining creative writing can be.  I used to work at a day camp for kids, and I'll never forget talking with my fellow counselors and discussing how important it was to let the kids have some unplanned time to use the things around them, especially their imaginations, and come up with something fun and entertaining to do.



A mind is a beautiful thing to waste, so let it run free once and a while and do a little creative writing, you might be surprised at what you come up with!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Thanksgiving Ten (x2)

I had a feeling this was going to happen.  I was so psyched for the weekend I ran out of time to blog on Saturday.  But that's ok, because I'll just conjure up a double dose of thankfulness today.

#4

There is so much to be thankful for on Sundays.  Just the fact that it is a Sunday should be reason enough; but not for me.  Today I am especially thankful for the season of Fall.  There isn't much prettier than the leaves changing colors, the wind drying out and the temperature dropping.  Layers are in style and you know the holiday season is right around the corner.



With Thanksgiving just 4 days away, I have a feeling the next two months are going to fly by.  But I am going to make a conscious effort to enjoy every minute of, because it's my most favorite time of year.  I'm ready for Mariah Carey Christmas songs, beautifully lit trees with delicately wrapped presents underneath, and hopefully a little snow along the way as well...:)



#5

On Saturday, 11.20.2010, my Dad was recognized for his accomplishments during his years playing softball in St. Mary's County and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  And for this I am thankful.  He truly is a deserving of this award, and I'm not just saying that because he is my Dad.  He was an outstanding athlete his whole life, especially excelling at baseball.  Winning Golden Glove awards in high school and through out the years, he had opportunities to play at a higher level, but chose a simpler life here in St. Mary's, starting a family and doing what he loved, working the water.  So he started playing softball and really made a name for himself as a power hitter and 1st baseman.


He hasn't played in several years due to surgeries and a little thing called life, but he still makes time every now and then to ride down to Capt. Sams and catch a good ball game.  I'm very thankful my dad was honored by the league and inducted into hall of fame, because I can't think of anyone who should be in there more.  Congrats, Jeb!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Thanksgiving Ten

#6


I am about to get pretty ‘deep’ people, so bare with me…

Six days away from Thanksgiving, and today I am thankful for God. Seems backwards, since typically when you give thanks you are giving it to Him, but whatever I’m still thankful for the Big Guy today. When I think about the things I love and cherish most, they are all gifts from God. Each time I see a breathtaking sunrise or a tree with its leaves so bright and plentiful, I stop and try to capture that moment, exactly as it is and preserve it with my camera. Just recently though I started thinking about how I wouldn’t have anything to photograph if it weren’t for Him. God creates so many beautiful moments, whether they are in nature or an act of love someone shares with another.

Even though I don’t make it to Church every Sunday, I am still so thankful that I have a God to believe in and that he continues to bless us each and every day through the air we breathe, the beautiful landscapes surrounding us and the people we love.





[Just a few shots of what God has blessed me with.  My beautiful family, the prettiest land in St. Mary's County and my adoring husband!]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Thanksgiving Ten

The Thanksgiving Ten on the 18th day of November.


#7

The weather is certainly a sign of the times.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  I love thanksgiving because it's a chance for families to come together and spend time around the dinner table, something that is very rare these days.  Too many families rely on fast food meals on the go and don't get that quality, uninterrupted time with each other that is so important.

I'm not real sure if this qualifies as something that I can be thankful for, but I'm going to try and make it work.  Today I am thankful for family values.  Some people still have them, others not so much.  But for the ones who do, I truly appreciate your attempts to keep some class and old school values in the lives of your families.  No matter how busy we were, how much homework we had, or who was fighting with who, my family always made time for dinner together.  No TV, no radio, and no silence.  We'd talk about our day and upcoming events, nothing fancy.  But it was so important.  My parents knew what we were interested in, what we hated, and who we were friends with that week.  Just enough to be involved yet not overbearing.

So thank you to all of the people out there who appreciate the effort it takes to have a family meal together and understand its invaluable rewards.  Family values appear to becoming a thing of the past, but not in this household!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Thanksgiving Ten

Still counting down to Thanksgiving Day and something I am thankful for along the way.


#8

Today I am thankful for something very simple, but so comforting.  My bed.  My dear old bed has been around since I was in college, and it's been through the ringer.  Two different Towson apartments, back home to Bushwood, and now it resides in our peaceful cottage here in Coltons Point.  I'm thankful for it because it's been a very long day, and we all know that nothing feels better than a comfy bed.  Right now it's topped off with the beautiful quilt I received as a wedding gift from Bubba's grandmother.  A perfect combination for a relaxing and soothing evening.

Not the longest or most exciting thing to be thankful for, but I believe that everyone deserves a good bed.  One that will comfort them in times of confusion, warm them after a long hard winter day, or just serve as a personal escape from reality, even if it is only for a few short hours...

Now if you'll excuse me, something is calling my name...Goodnight :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Thanksgiving Ten

The countdown to Thanksgiving continues...9 days away and what I happen to be thankful for today, even if it is a little silly!

#9.

11.16.2010 – Today, I am thankful for Taylor Swift. Before you start cringing or rolling your eyes, give me a chance to explain. I’ve always been a little skeptical of Miss Swift. I’d be quick to dislike her songs, but after a few more listens it would be my new ring tone. I just couldn’t help but like her music. She was somewhat of a fresh breath of air in the country industry, along with the likes of Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. But I was still hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. I mean this girl was asking for it, being a young celebrity and wearing her heart 100% on her sleeve. She was bound to be swallowed whole by the entertainment industry.

But somehow she’s managed to stay true to her roots. One of the most popular performers out there, in the country scene AND mainstream she’s still got her head on her shoulders and her heart on her sleeve. As usual I heard the song, “Mine” off her new album Speak Now and thought, “geesh, she’s washed up already…all her music sounds the same.” But then it happened again; the more I listened, the more hooked I was. It really is a well written song with a catchy tune. Curiosity peeked, I made my way to the iTunes store (yes, I’m one of only 2 people I know that actually download music LEGALLY!) and purchased the entire Speak Now album.



The girl didn’t let me down either. The album is great and filled with heartfelt songs about boys, life, challenges and more boys. I worried about her, thinking that wearing your heart on your sleeve at such a young age could backfire and cause her a lot of grief and ridicule, but it seems to have done just the opposite. Her music is full of truth and emotion that you’ve got to respect. So many ‘artists’ are shoved in a studio because they have the tiniest bit of talent and parents with very deep pockets, and sing meaningless lyrics about the club or ‘love’, the studio auto-tunes the hell out of them and then jam them down your throat all packaged together in a skanky little marketing scheme. But not Taylor Swift, she’s authentic, and you can tell just by listening to her music. She’s still young and there is time for her to be influenced by the horrors of Hollywood…but she helped me get through my drive to work this morning with a smile on my face!

Personal favorites of the new album: Dear John, Speak Now, and Never Grow Up

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Thanksgiving Ten

Counting down the days until Thanksgiving by stating one thing I am thankful for everyday until Turkey Day arrives.


#10.

11.15.2010 - Today I am thankful for proud Americans. A nationwide issue hit close to home today as the ‘Westboro Baptist Church’ targeted the funeral of 19 year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Terry Honeycutt, killed during duty in Afghanistan, this morning in La Plata, MD. To prevent you from googling this ‘Church’ out of curiosity, I will give you a short synopsis on the views of this organization. They consider themselves extreme Baptists who originated in Topeka, Kansas. They believe that God now hates America because we accept the homosexual lifestyle. And because God now hates America, he is taking his wrath out on our U.S. Soldiers. They then picket and protest at funerals for fallen soldiers with signs that read, “God Hates Fags”, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and so on…

Absolutely Repulsive.

But like I said, I am thankful today for proud Americans. Southern Maryland truly represented our country with dignity and pride this morning as a sea of red, white and blue lined the roadside of route 301 holding their American flags, protecting the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Honeycutt from the disgrace that is the ‘Westboro Baptist Church’.

Southern Maryland, you’ve made me proud and I’m thankful for people like you.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Beautiful Day Out

November is arguably one of the most beautiful times of year in Maryland.  The leaves are changing and the sun is shining bright.  On a whim, my mom sister and I decided to go out and see some of November's beauty in other areas of Maryland.  You never know what's out there until you go and explore.  That was our theory by the end of the day.

After a very stimulating trip to Ikea in College Park, we decided to drive to the old town of Ellicott City.  Talk about charm.  What a beautiful and yuppy town.  There were countless shops with vintage accessories and furniture as well as top-notch art galleries and country stores.  Good thing I was toting my favorite toy around with me :)

At the start of the trip, we took Gallent Green Road, which isn't one we normally take, but we did find this sweet old store right at the railroad crossing.


Old town Ellicott City is quite the diamond in the rough.  The rolling hills of the old mill village is very picturesque and unusual just outside of the hustle and bustle of the city.



Hope you all are enjoying the fabulous November weather this weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Details, Details...

So it’s no secret that I recently got married, and now that I have my professional wedding photos back, I thought I’d share some of our special little details. We worked really hard to make our wedding truly represent us as a couple. Not just things I like, and not just things he like, but a perfect combination of us both. Together. My mom and I kept finding ourselves referring to my “theme” as Woodsy-Bling.

First things first; our invitations. Never a fan of receiving a wedding invitation with 2 or 3 envelopes and more tissue paper than you know what to do with, Bubba and I decided we wanted something simple and to the point, but pretty as well. Thanks to one of the greatest sites ever created, www.etsy.com, we found VO Handmade who had the perfect design for us. With a few minor edits we were ready to roll in no time!


We decided to get a little crafty for some of our d├ęcor in order to save money, but also to put a personal touch on the day as well. Ever hear someone say, “what did you grow up in a barn?!” well, my dear husband takes no offense to that, in fact he is proud to say he basically grew up in a barn. Obviously he lived in a house, but growing up on a farm he spent a lot of time outside, and yes, in barns. (Scary, but true fact: as a boy Bubba actually fell out of the top of a barn while helping hang tobacco. Scared out of their minds, they rushed him to the hospital and he walked away only with a sore back and a bruise…lucky boy!!) ANYWAY, we decide to make several different signs out of old barn wood and our colors to place around the reception incase our guests were looking for something and weren’t sure where to go.


Another homemade touch, which I really owe all to my mother, was our card box display. She ordered a specially made chest from some Amish folks in Ohio that would double as a memory box/hope chest after it served its purpose at the wedding. Beautifully crafted, and almost reminiscent of a treasure chest, she topped it off with 2 very unique finds. During her travels to Ross, she found what she likes to call, Mr. and Mrs. Owl. With a little help from my grandfather, they were decked out in black bow-tie and pretty white veil overlooking the beautiful cards our guests brought for us.


A very personal project that I just couldn’t leave out was the inclusion a type of homage to our parents and grandparents, and their love for each other and for us. Inspired by my best friend Amanda who thought of the idea, I decided to get a photo of my parents, both sets of grandparents, and Bubba’s parents and both sets of grandparents on their wedding days. Easier said than done considering weddings weren’t as elaborate or “planned” as they are today, so finding photos of the grandparents was difficult. But we compromised and got some great pictures of them in their younger days, put them around one of our engagement photos, and picked out quotes about love that we felt described the relationship between each couple perfectly. Using my scrapbooking skills I fancied up the quotes and tied them to trimmed down old tobacco sticks that were tied together using the type of twine tobacco farmers used.


 On to my next project, which I still get excited about just thinking of it. My coveted “Glittering Oyster Shell Candles”. I’m sure you’re thinking, WTF is that?! But since we were going for the whole Woodsy Bling theme, I had to include something outdoorsy that my family was known for. We had plenty of tobacco representation, and now it was time for the Morris family tradition of working the water to take center stage. Oysters are a neat creature. You can eat them, they sometimes produce pearls, and every now and then you find one that has a deep purple and black pattern on the inside. Ironic our colors were purple and black…So I decided to enhance these everyday oyster shells by adding some purple and black glitter around the inside edge and placing purple and black candles in the center of each one to give the tables to proper lighting needed.


A small, personal detail for three special men in the Hill family was somewhat of a surprise gift from me. Again, thanks to etsy.com my vision was able to become a reality. Avid rabbit hunters and beagle lovers, running dogs is a tradition in the Hill family that doesn’t seem to be dying off anytime soon. So I had three handmade felt beagles made in Lithuania no less, and incorporated into their boutonnieres.


 Saving more money, and enjoying doing crafty projects, we also handmade our name cards for each guest. These name cards doubled as part of our wish tree creation we wanted to use instead of a guest book. Hole punchers, sharpie markers, ribbon and glitter paint galore, they may have been the most time consuming project, but they were certainly worth it in the end. Especially once the guests found the wish “tree” that Bubba and my dad created out of some birch tree limbs placed in a lovely and affordable large vase from Ross, fully donned with strands of purple and clear ‘crystals’ and beads.



Nothing is better than having a mother-in-law who is also an extremely talented baker. And she was kind enough to bake not only our main wedding cake, but the groom’s cake AND other additional cakes in case there wasn’t enough. Trust me, there was plenty, but as good as they all were, they didn’t last long! Our wedding cake was actually something we saw online that we felt really fit our wedding perfectly. A traditional, three-tiered cake, but with little forest details all around the edges of it. And the groom’s cake…well it pretty much “took the cake”. Sorry, I know I’m super cheesy. She was able to make a chocolate cake that looked like a tobacco bed, with specially carved little tobacco leaves and everything. She is amazing!




Our favors were very representative of us as well, with small black boxes of homemade trail mix inside and a black and white photograph taken by yours truly on the outside and small little deer trinkets on top of a pretty little marble. Different, but us to a T.
We put a lot of effort into our wedding day to make sure it represented us well, and hopefully if you were there, you will agree that you really got a feel for Bubba and Mindy throughout the day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Point Breeze Photography

The hubs and I just couldn't stay in the house this weekend with the sun shining so bright.  So we decided to go for a 'Sunday Drive' down a few back roads.  Of course I brought my camera and was able to get a few good shots of the beautiful day God had blessed us with.

Here are a few pictures of the Newtowne Neck State Park in Compton, Maryland.  I didn't realize it was a park now, but it was a great surprise for a few chilly shots.





Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Kind Heart

I had quite the 7th district day on Saturday. I picked up my best friend, who is now a resident of Pennsylvania but happened to be home this weekend, and we made our way to the one and only Abell’s Diner. I’ve told you about Abell’s before, and they are still just as good as ever. I’m pretty sure the menu hasn’t changed in 25 years, but that’s ok, because they have the best breakfast around, and a pretty mean lunch menu too. With a recent paint job and a few new windows, Abell’s Diner is now a little more up-to-date then it had been.

Then later that evening my mom and sister joined me at basket bingo at the 7th district rescue squad. We won absolutely nothing, except a few extra calories thanks to the delicious desserts they had, but it was all for a good cause, so I can’t complain too much.

Another reason I’m not complaining? Because we got to visit with one of the first neighbors I ever had. No I don’t remember her since I was a newborn when we lived next door, but she remembered my sister and I. A kind woman in her 90’s, she is everything I hope to be when I am her age. She volunteers the majority of her time to good causes and when she’s not doing that, she’s taking care of her husband who is also in his 90’s and not in the best of health. Still driving and still doing for others, this woman has a heart of gold, and I truly believe that is the key to a long and happy life. She is an inspiration for those who are searching for something to fulfill their lives.

Upon telling her that I’d just gotten married and that we’re living in Colton’s Point, she smiled and hugged me and said, “I was wondering who lived there now! You’ve got some great neighbors.” And she’s right about that…the neighbors she is referring to actually left a delicious bowl of soup on our stoop last week, and came over to witness some very important paperwork we were filling out too. But more on that exciting news later…All this talk about neighbors opened the door to the sweetest comment I’ve heard in some time. Because this woman and her husband live on the road my father grew up on and owned the house my parents rented as newlyweds and new parents, I knew exactly what she was talking about. “There are a lot of new people moving down here into the 7th, so I’m glad to hear you’re living down here too. You know, it’s a shame, because all these new people, they just aren’t as nice as we are.” To read this you may think, well that’s a snobby comment, but to know this woman, you’d understand what she was saying. “You know, if I wasn’t so old and had the energy I’d try to organize something for the neighborhood, you know, well I guess block party isn’t the right word, but something like that so we can all get to know each other. But I just don’t have the time…” And she was 100% genuine in wanting to know all her new neighbors.

It made me want to throw a block party in our neighborhood, but with the cold weather coming in, it may not happen for awhile. Thank you to this wonderful and special woman who was able to inspire me to be a better person just in the 15 minutes we spent chatting with her. If the world were made up of more people like her, it would most certainly be a better place.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Hunter's Widow...


This for all you ladies out there who find themselves home alone every evening of the week and will always wake up alone Saturday mornings because your man is out hunting. September marks the beginning of every hunter’s widow season, and its more common of a problem than one would believe. I’ve recently found that I have “sister-widows” out there (for lack of a better term) and we all are in the same boat.


Their focus shifts and never returns during the cold fall and winter months, leaving us with a lot of alone time on our hands. Am I complaining? Certainly not, I like my along time just as much as the next girl, but it can get old after awhile. The extra clothes in the laundry basket that have to be washed with their own special “scent away” detergent, the lack of a handy-man being around the house when something breaks, the incessant chatter about points, ruts, marks and trails, it’s trying. So what do we do in order to make it through?

We take advantage of the time they spend ‘frolic-ing’ in the woods and indulge ourselves. Of course we all ‘indulge’ in different things. For example, I can finally watch all of the chic-flicks I love so much without hearing any complaining or snoring! I also use the time to catch up on a good book or two! Other ‘widowed’ ladies use the time to throw themselves into home improvement projects. Ceiling fans, new wall colors, the possibilities are endless.



Are you a Hunter’s Widow too? If so you’ll understand the love/hate relationship we have with it. Love the time we get to ourselves, but hate the lack of husband after the first few months. This may seem silly, especially compared to the women with husbands overseas fighting for our freedom, but when we sit down and look at it we have some commonalities. Same goes for those of you out there married to a man with a booming business that requires him to travel a lot. Or perhaps you’re married to a professional athlete who’s on the road all the time. Ok, well odds are if you’re reading this you aren’t married to a professional athlete, but hey, you never know…

Regardless, we love and miss our men, but not in a sappy pathetic way, so we catch up on all the girly things we can during these few, cold months! I believe a club should be in the works…one where we can share ideas and fun things to do…hmm, I wonder if this could catch on…