we think a lot

this is how it works.
photos and words from a human bean who likes:
twirling, cats, stripes, raspberries, dresses with pockets,
boats, puzzles, babies, summertime, and carbs.

when i was little, we’d go to parks all the time.  at least once a week.  we had one right across the street from our house, but we’d spend thursdays driving all over the place to find a new patch of grass and set of swings to hang out at.  (for those of you wondering - this is how homeschoolers ~get socialized.~~  not everyone.  but that’s what happened with us.)  

point is, all those million zillion hours spent at parks has made me a pretty good picnicker.  my mom packed for kids: peanut butter sandwiches, baby carrots, a banana apiece, milk quickly losing its fresh coldness despite being in the cooler.  it was great, don’t get me wrong, it was functional, and it set me up for the best kind of picnics.

picnics where you pick the BEST places you know, and gather together the BEST food you know, and take the BEST people you know and sit and eat. the boy and i went to redbud.  i hoped that the redbuds and the dogwoods would be doing their thing and the forest would be totally lit up - and they were - but the rest of the trees hadn’t quite made it past brown and into green so it wasn’t exactly how i wanted it.  now that it’s rained (and rained and rained) i’ll go back and it’ll be even better than i remember.  can’t wait for swimming season.  anyway, boy and i brought sandwiches (homemade bread and all decked out with all the delicious sandwich things you could imagine) and salt and vinegar chips and raspberries and a cider for me and a pilsner for him.  we sat at a picnic table with the sun shining so warm and new on our shoulders and when we finished i waded in and the water was cold but it’ll be ready soon.

zoe is a fellow homeschooler, a fellow picnic connoisseur.  we dined on tortilla chips and fresh guacamole, apples and lemonade,  dessert was brownie bites topped with strawberries and whipped cream.  she slept, i was too hot to sleep so i read (80 degrees and too hot to sleep, heaven help me come real summer!), and we sat and people watched for at least an hour.  the gardens were packed, it was a beautiful weekend, and everyone had brought their kid, some kind of ball or frisbee (one lucky bunch was given soft plastic swords and allowed to whack one another until they got bored and started pushing each other over instead), and maybe a dog.  one boy started going with a diabolo (i think?) and he was INCREDIBLE.  i’ve seen them used at summer camp, but he was so crazy good - two at a time, tossing them into the air and catching them back, practically breakdancing with this strange yoyo thing still somehow spinning on its string.

in between there were other weekend things - babysitting, going out to franklin street, bagels at panera, a little mile run - but the picnics were my favorite.  simultaneously sunning and eating, what more could a girl ask for?  i hope that this summer is filled to the brim with picnics, picnics with all the best food in all the best places with all the best people, and i hope that your summer is too.

macs these days have way cooler photobooth filters

macs these days have way cooler photobooth filters

one of the awesome things I’ve learning dating the boy is that a lot of things are not hard to cook. bread? easy. stir fry? no problem. we put so many different weird ingredients on our sandwiches, and even those taste better and more adventurous than any kind of sandwich I’d had before him. and what’s easier than a sandwich?

the answer might be pasta. I don’t have much substantial dinner food in my house right now, but I ALWAYS have pasta. and today I happened to have tortellini, bought during a late night run to harris teeter when we ran down the aisles and grabbed everything that looked good at that moment. it didn’t make it into a pot that night, so it sat in my fridge, already cut open and threatening to expire. 

so that’s the tortellini. that’s not the exciting part, I already knew how to do tortellini. the part I didn’t know was how incredibly easy it is to make sauce. the steps are: put a crap ton of butter in a pan. add whatever you can find in your kitchen that you want to eat with tortellini. in my case, these ingredients were: garlic, basil, cherry tomatoes, spinach, red pepper flakes, and avocado, added to the pan in roughly that order (except the avocado, that doesn’t need to be heated). my only tip for this one is make sure the garlic hangs out in the butter for a long time. but you know what? easy peasy, made with ingredients that go bad quickly, and freaking delicious. I give myself 10/10 stars for this one.

one of the awesome things I’ve learning dating the boy is that a lot of things are not hard to cook. bread? easy. stir fry? no problem. we put so many different weird ingredients on our sandwiches, and even those taste better and more adventurous than any kind of sandwich I’d had before him. and what’s easier than a sandwich?

the answer might be pasta. I don’t have much substantial dinner food in my house right now, but I ALWAYS have pasta. and today I happened to have tortellini, bought during a late night run to harris teeter when we ran down the aisles and grabbed everything that looked good at that moment. it didn’t make it into a pot that night, so it sat in my fridge, already cut open and threatening to expire.

so that’s the tortellini. that’s not the exciting part, I already knew how to do tortellini. the part I didn’t know was how incredibly easy it is to make sauce. the steps are: put a crap ton of butter in a pan. add whatever you can find in your kitchen that you want to eat with tortellini. in my case, these ingredients were: garlic, basil, cherry tomatoes, spinach, red pepper flakes, and avocado, added to the pan in roughly that order (except the avocado, that doesn’t need to be heated). my only tip for this one is make sure the garlic hangs out in the butter for a long time. but you know what? easy peasy, made with ingredients that go bad quickly, and freaking delicious. I give myself 10/10 stars for this one.

“Do you like to slide?” His voice was eager.Stair rails! Did he suspect me? I forced a sigh. “No, Majesty. I’m terrified of heights.”"Oh." His polite tone had returned."I wish I could enjoy it. This fear of heights is an affliction."He nodded, a show of sympathy but not much interest. I was losing him."Especially," I added, "as I’ve grown taller.”

“Do you like to slide?” His voice was eager.
Stair rails! Did he suspect me? I forced a sigh. “No, Majesty. I’m terrified of heights.”
"Oh." His polite tone had returned.
"I wish I could enjoy it. This fear of heights is an affliction."
He nodded, a show of sympathy but not much interest. I was losing him.
"Especially," I added, "as I’ve grown taller.”

dahlia asked if i wanted to see twenty one pilots, i’d heard one of their songs on the radio once, but i had liked it and i’m down to see pretty much anything, so we went, and it was AMAZING.  we were in the middle of the crowd, so we could see basically nothing, but it was jam packed and we made friends (and not friends) and one of them twirled me around and the music was just everywhere and i was so, so happy

the faces of two successful 5k runners! couldn’t have done it without this chica or this 5k program. my legs are still sore but we never stopped running :)

the faces of two successful 5k runners! couldn’t have done it without this chica or this 5k program. my legs are still sore but we never stopped running :)

"No matter what kind of night you’re having, morning always wins."

"No matter what kind of night you’re having, morning always wins."

anniversarugbyghosttentrevalbemarle

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happy first year together flowers, the envy of all the ladies (and probably the dudes as well) at work. we followed the steps of our first date, drinks at OCSC, pizza at the standard. we improved upon that by going to the muppets afterwards, and it hasn’t gotten the best reviews but we had a great time. i’ll tell you what though, that boy is a good one.

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saturday was a rugby day, a two and a half hour drive to charlotte, they beat the crap out of the other team, 29-5 anyway. i love it, love the momentum of the game, pacing the field up and down with the other players on the sidelines.

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the forecast called for crazy thunderstorms but all we got was a few patches of rain before and after the game. i came fully prepared though (giant yellow raincoat not pictured), which meant i got to stomp around in puddles while the team warmed up.

after the game, we all headed over to this bar called kennedy’s, which was just like the bar we go to in chapel hill except they put us out on their big covered porch. we hung out with our team and the other team. it’s always strange to me how friendly everyone gets after being so aggressive and nasty and shit-talking. but it was good fun! the boy and i are at a point where we don’t need to be next to each other all the time - i can go off and talk to whoever and be totally fine/comfortable without him even though they’re his friends, so we both can do our own thing a little and a together thing a little and it’s a really nice balance.

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this rugby dude and me maaay have taken a tiny cat nap in the back of a two-door volkswagen rabbit. yikes. don’t know why my sleeping face is so dang grumpy.

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the day continues! dahlia and i walked over to cat’s cradle to see holy ghost tent revival - fun fun fun! the opening acts, morning brigade and matt phillips and the philharmonics, were great too. the boy jammed his leg during the match, so we sat on some stools to the side, which was a different concert experience than what i’m used to, but we still had a blast. one of my dancing buddies was there too, and he twirled me around during one of the fast songs.

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my mama! she and i drove baaack out west to albemarle to visit with my grandparents. we saw driving miss daisy, which was excellent, really great acting and the guy that played morgan freeman’s character was only 22, wow. after the play, my grandpa said does anyone want ice cream? and nobody can say no to ice cream when their grandfather asks, so we went to the little gas station where he likes to get ice cream and got scoops of it and ate it in the car.

my days are so full that each weekend comes fairly quickly, and i try to fill it to the brim with adventures and friends. and this weekend? i’d say it was a success :)

I am not a runner. I don’t know if I ever will be a runner. I was the second slowest eighth grader to run a mile. I pouted my way around the track in high school with braces on my knees while the gym teacher and the rest of the class waited. I’ve started and stopped couch to 5k programs again and again. But lately, I’ve been running. 
Honestly, it helps a lot that the boy runs. I’m competitive enough to want to be good at something he’s good at (although it doesn’t come naturally to me like it seems to for him, 6’2 and all legs is not fair). It helps that I live in a place where I can walk out my front door and go. It helps that this time around, I’m not trying to build stamina on a treadmill, which feels so different and gets SO boring. I’m running a 5k in a little over a week with Aileen, and I’m feeling really excited and confident. Today I ran 2.75 miles. It took half an hour, but I’m trying to build distance before I build speed. Speed will come. 
It’s amazing to me how quickly the workouts add up. Granted, I do 3-4 of them a week, but it was not long ago that I couldn’t run more than a minute and a half at a time. No joke. 
The changes I’ve noticed are small, but they’re coming. Minor physical things - a couple pounds gone, all of last year’s shorts fit when I pulled them out of storage - feeling more proud of myself with the longer workouts, starting to let my head clear and not focus solely on how much I hate running in that moment (starting at minute 14 today, I hated running. but that’s 14 minutes of running I didn’t hate.). I like the changes that I’ve seen and felt.
This post is meant to be a little braggy, because I’ve worked really hard to get to this point, but mostly encouraging. I am not a runner, but I run. So maybe if you are also not a runner, you can run too.

I am not a runner. I don’t know if I ever will be a runner. I was the second slowest eighth grader to run a mile. I pouted my way around the track in high school with braces on my knees while the gym teacher and the rest of the class waited. I’ve started and stopped couch to 5k programs again and again. But lately, I’ve been running.
Honestly, it helps a lot that the boy runs. I’m competitive enough to want to be good at something he’s good at (although it doesn’t come naturally to me like it seems to for him, 6’2 and all legs is not fair). It helps that I live in a place where I can walk out my front door and go. It helps that this time around, I’m not trying to build stamina on a treadmill, which feels so different and gets SO boring. I’m running a 5k in a little over a week with Aileen, and I’m feeling really excited and confident. Today I ran 2.75 miles. It took half an hour, but I’m trying to build distance before I build speed. Speed will come.
It’s amazing to me how quickly the workouts add up. Granted, I do 3-4 of them a week, but it was not long ago that I couldn’t run more than a minute and a half at a time. No joke.
The changes I’ve noticed are small, but they’re coming. Minor physical things - a couple pounds gone, all of last year’s shorts fit when I pulled them out of storage - feeling more proud of myself with the longer workouts, starting to let my head clear and not focus solely on how much I hate running in that moment (starting at minute 14 today, I hated running. but that’s 14 minutes of running I didn’t hate.). I like the changes that I’ve seen and felt.
This post is meant to be a little braggy, because I’ve worked really hard to get to this point, but mostly encouraging. I am not a runner, but I run. So maybe if you are also not a runner, you can run too.

you know how some weekends just fall into place?  everything goes right and it’s beautiful and you love everything - this was one of those.  friday was a rugby day, for a change, and the warriors pummeled the other team, and we went out and got drinks at this bar that i used to completely hate but they’d replaced the carpet with laminate and just being there with so many people i enjoyed made it the best place i could be right then (except for a place with food - anywhere anyone suggested, i was DOWN).  we went back to the boy’s house and my fantastic friend zoe came over and we wound up lighting flour on fire off the front porch (ps it works).  saturday was just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous, and i rode my bike all over the place, the farmer’s market, the grocery store, the botanical gardens for some reading and eating and a little dozy nap.  i saw the grand budapest hotel, which was SO wes anderson and SO great and voldemort totally rocks it, as does everybody else.  afterwards i went to the boy’s friend’s house for a little dumb and dumber and hard cider.  in the morning we got breakfast at elmo’s (sweet potato pancakes, yes please!) and then it got gloomy as heck.  i went to the pottery studio and took home the cutest little bowls (!!!) and glazed the last couple of things i’d made.  then yoga, and i have to say that i usually get super bored during yoga, but this time i stayed really engaged and felt like i got a lot out of it (my shoulders and hamstrings are still mad at me).  that night we made PIZZA, one blt with the spinach and tomato raw on top and one raspberry brie.  it was so so satisfying.  this coming weekend is going to be a whirlwind - back and forth to the greater charlotte area TWICE - so it was nice to spend some days being busy and happy at home.
love,
a

you know how some weekends just fall into place?  everything goes right and it’s beautiful and you love everything - this was one of those.  friday was a rugby day, for a change, and the warriors pummeled the other team, and we went out and got drinks at this bar that i used to completely hate but they’d replaced the carpet with laminate and just being there with so many people i enjoyed made it the best place i could be right then (except for a place with food - anywhere anyone suggested, i was DOWN).  we went back to the boy’s house and my fantastic friend zoe came over and we wound up lighting flour on fire off the front porch (ps it works).  saturday was just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous, and i rode my bike all over the place, the farmer’s market, the grocery store, the botanical gardens for some reading and eating and a little dozy nap.  i saw the grand budapest hotel, which was SO wes anderson and SO great and voldemort totally rocks it, as does everybody else.  afterwards i went to the boy’s friend’s house for a little dumb and dumber and hard cider.  in the morning we got breakfast at elmo’s (sweet potato pancakes, yes please!) and then it got gloomy as heck.  i went to the pottery studio and took home the cutest little bowls (!!!) and glazed the last couple of things i’d made.  then yoga, and i have to say that i usually get super bored during yoga, but this time i stayed really engaged and felt like i got a lot out of it (my shoulders and hamstrings are still mad at me).  that night we made PIZZA, one blt with the spinach and tomato raw on top and one raspberry brie.  it was so so satisfying.  this coming weekend is going to be a whirlwind - back and forth to the greater charlotte area TWICE - so it was nice to spend some days being busy and happy at home.

love,

a