Red buds

Monday, March 30, 2015

Around this time every year, I start to feel this wave of excitement growing inside me.

Spring is around the corner.

Yes, I know that technically Spring is already here and has been for more than a week. But two days ago we had snowflakes falling from the sky, so for me, the vernal equinox means nothing. 

In my mind, the first true mark of springtime is not the little crocuses and jonquils poking their brightly colored heads out of the ground. It's not the return of the morning songbirds or evening peepers.  

The real sign lies within the tips of the trees.

Red buds.

Red buds mean that Spring has finally arrived. 

As we were driving back this weekend from spending time with family in Delaware, I spent most of the trip home gazing out the window at the trees that lined the roadside. As we passed farm after farm, I smiled, because in the distance, while the trees look barren to most, I could see the faintest hint of red emerging from their limbs. That fiery fringe was a welcome sight.

The wait is almost over. 

Irish Strollin'

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's become a bit of a tradition for Mike and I and our two good friends, Matt and Ali, to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at one of Baltimore's best parties of the year - the Federal Hill Irish Stroll.

This is our third year shamrockin' and rollin' through the city all decked out in green and much to our surprise, each year has become increasingly more fun!

We don't often venture into Fed Hill very much - when we head into the city it's mostly either to PowerPlant or Fells Point - but we love using these bar crawls as an excuse to check out some of the awesome hot spots we don't usually visit.

We kicked off the crawl at No Way Jose, spent a couple hours dancing (there may have even been a little jigging) at Stalking Horse, grabbed some crushes at Ryleigh's Oyster, and then made our way over to Mother's for some outdoor shenanigans. (While we mostly went for the drink specials, the food at these places is pretty out of this world too, in case you are looking for a good place to eat in the city!)

We had planned to hit Ropewalk Tavern as our last stop but the weather this year was kind of crappy and so most of the bars - especially popular ones like Ropewalk - were packed to capacity. There were insanely long wait times for almost all of the other bars, too, so we figured we would give our legs a break and just stay put.

Overall, the day was a roaring success! We thoroughly enjoyed spending an entire Saturday hanging out and pretending to be Irish! If you ever find yourself in the Baltimore area on St. Patty's Day and aren't opposed to day drinking, I highly recommend checking it out!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Monday, March 16, 2015


If I had to choose a single word to describe how I've been feeling recently, it would without a doubt be "overwhelmed."

I think I've gotten much better at hiding it, too (even from myself) because until this morning, I didn't realize how much was going on in my head.

I really hate the feeling when you're juggling like 20 important things and you see them all up in the air, spinning above your head, and you get that terrible feeling in your gut because you just know that before long, one of them is going to come crashing down. And once one falls, the rest slowly follow until you are sitting in a giant mess of responsibilities you couldn't handle.

My mom always used to tell me when I got this feeling, it meant that it was time to throw something off the raft. It was time to take down one of those responsibilities and hand it back to the person who gave it to you. I've always loved that idea because most of the time, it worked for me. I was always able to find a way to lighten my load and secure some breathing room.

The problem is right now, I can't get rid of anything. Work is extremely important. School is extremely important. All of the responsibilities that I've got spinning right now simply cannot be returned.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do, other than hope that I can find a way to make it through, I guess. Hopefully in the coming weeks, I'll be able to cross some things off my list and ease the stress, but until then, if you need me, I'll just be over here juggling...

The Things Money Can't Buy

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"As you get older, you find out that true happiness is not in how much money you make or how many degrees you have or how big your house is or how fancy your car is. It's finding peace and joy and a calmness in your life that will soon become the most important thing to you. Your family is what matters to you, love is what matters to you. Things that are of quality, not of quantity."

The photos above are totally random, I know, but they mean so much to me that I had to find a way to include them on my blog.

Despite February and March being some of the nastiest and most exhausting winter months, they also happen to hold the birthdays of two of my favorite people - my mom and dad.

Most years, I am totally worn out around this time and I think my parents typically share that sentiment since we usually only do something small to celebrate. There's no big presents or trips or parties. There's not really much hoopla at all. Only a small cake and a home cooked meal is all we really do to mark the occasion. It's not that their birthdays aren't significant or special, we just always kind of go through the motions and watch as another year quietly slips away.

This year, while the size of our celebrations remained the same, somehow, they felt so much bigger and the moments so much richer.

Maybe it's because over the past couple of years we've really started to understand just how short life is and how important family, friends, love, and laughter truly are. Maybe it's because of my grandparents' failing health that serves as a constant reminder to treat every moment we're breathing as if it could be our last. Maybe it's because we are so incredibly lucky to have some of our good friends who had moved away ten years ago back in our lives and it brought back all of those sweet memories of my childhood.

Maybe it's all of those things.

Regardless, these last few weeks have been so special to me.

I'll never forget laughing ourselves to tears, sharing our favorite meals together, telling stories and reminiscing, having maybe a little too much wine, and making these memories. I feel so incredibly rich and immensely fortunate to have so many special people in my life. I hope that I can continue to grow in gratitude and remind myself that love is and always will be spelled t-i-m-e not s-t-u-f-f.

Snowy Weekends

Sunday, March 8, 2015

As I've gotten older, I've realized how much more laid back our weekends have become.

While we still like to party here and there, it seems our habits have dramatically changed. A few years ago, our Friday nights (and Saturday nights, too) almost always involved a giant bar tab, some loud night club, and a bedtime no earlier than 2:00am.

Maybe it's because we've matured a little (or we're just more fiscally responsible and don't handle hangovers as well) but I have really come to love our relatively quiet Friday nights in.

This past Friday, on a whim, we decided to build a big bonfire and invite a couple of friends over to enjoy some hot dogs, beer, and s'mores outside. While it was only 19 degrees out, it was so much fun keeping warm and toasty by the fire, having a couple of drinks, and just generally enjoying the peace and quiet that snow storms bring.

It was incredibly relaxing under the stars on such a clear night. And we even had our own "natural" cooler to keep our beer and wine chilled! Although, after a while, it started to freeze which we thought was a good sign to go inside.

I know that winter is coming to an end soon, what with daylight savings starting and all, and I'm definitely not upset about it, but I have to say, I could get used to mixing a little summertime with our snow days!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!