Thursday, January 31, 2008

We need one of these

I think that I need one of these, a GPS navigator, to help me find my way around. My friend Amy has one. My friend Pableaux has one. And I'm always lost...what better birthday present? This, or a wall of cereal.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jockey's Ridge

Here we are, at our favorite place in the Outer Banks.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brian!

Today is our brother-in-law's birthday. Happy birthday, Brian, from your tone-deaf relatives! (Excuse me: Ned says he's not tone deaf.)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Outer Banks: Last Day

Before we headed to the airport, we visited the place where all this airline stuff got started: Kitty Hawk. Here we are, with the sign (so you can tell that we really were there), and standing in front of a replica of the first model airplane. It is a replica, and here's why: the brothers were so excited by their first success that they left the plane outside during lunch, forgetting to tie it down, and the wind picked it up and destroyed it while they were eating. So much for genius.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Outer Banks: Day Seven

Ned had the day off. I also had to give myself the day off, because a wreck on the island knocked out Internet service for all of us until earlier this evening. We took the opportunity to go to Jockey's Ridge and enjoy the dunes (largest natural sand dunes on the East Coast). We also checked out the aquarium and had lunch at Blue Point, a restaurant owned by SFA member Sam McGann. Fun day.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Outer Banks: Day Six

So today was very busy -- Ned had a presentation and demonstration, and I had an airport run. These photos were from our Monday adventures, but they could very well have been from today. It is FREEZING here. Note my beach attire. Also note Ned's fun: throwing sticks at the water...only to hear them clatter because it's frozen and they land on top.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Outer Banks: Day Five

Today Ned and I went to the pier at lunch. This is the pier operated by the Army Corps of Engineers in Duck, NC. It's 1200 feet long, stretching out into the ocean. It's also very cold and covered by seagulls -- it felt like a Hitchcock movie.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Outer Banks: Day Four

I worked. Ned worked. Evening ended with seafood pizza and meetings. Kathryn and I shopped for the dinner we'll host tomorrow night: 110 guests at our beach house. I'm making the appetizers for the chefs, plus we'll help with general prep: salads, breads, etc. Nothing is as much fun as batch cooking!

Here's a photo of Ned. We really are working while we're here!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Outer Banks: Day Three

Today Ned worked, from about 10 a.m. until late afternoon. I explored on my own, enjoyed a few hours in a coffee shop and local bookstore, and came home for an early nap. This life of leisure will not continue tomorrow, as I'll have to work (today I had the holiday). After his work, Ned came out with me to see the highlights of my exploration: another beautiful lighthouse, the northern section of the Outer Banks, a fenced area where wild horses roam (though we saw none), and a drive-by of a new Harris Teeter grocery store that I'm dying to try out (I know, I know...beach development=BAD, but I make exceptions for a Harris Teeter). This evening was one of good conversation, cold beer, and fabulous hamburgers from a local chain called Five Guys. We were going to go to the Dairy Queen, where they had a 2-for-1 Blizzard special, but we got there half an hour after it closed. I have not felt such disappointment in a long time. I vowed that we'll be back...tomorrow, actually.

We haven't eaten much fresh seafood yet, Chase, but Wednesday night we'll cook fish and shrimp and tons of other foods for hungry conference attendees (about 100 of them). I'm making appetizers for the chef team that'll prep all day Wednesday: deviled eggs and pimiento cheese. Yum.

Today's photos include yet another lighthouse, and the contraption that's responsible for bringing us here: a floating causeway, one of the projects Ned's been working to design.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Where are we, and where did we go?

Here's a map, courtesy of Ned.

Outer Banks, Day Two: Lighthouses

On Day Two, we really were in the Outer Banks. Ned had the day off; it's the only day that we'll be here that we can tour together. We drove about 150 miles, first to Mass at a Catholic Church with a parking lot full of water and a vestibule with the largest indoor statue of Mary I've ever seen. Next we set out on a long day's drive, heading south, down the Outer Banks. We checked out the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and even went to the Lost Colony of Roanoke (though we were never really lost--whew!) The evening ended with a trip to a fabulous Harris Teeter for beer and chips for the big game -- Giants and Packers, two teams playing in a frozen tundra with Mississippi quarterbacks. Tomorrow, we'll head to Duck. So get ready -- there's an entire week of vacation photos on the horizon.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Outer Banks, Day One

Our week in North Carolina began with a snowy morning in Jackson, MS and a snowy afternoon in Virginia Beach, VA (all this, for a week in North Carolina). We took the tour, courtesy of Uncle Jamie -- our YOUNGEST uncle. Here we are, freezing to death for the last minute photo before Ned and I hopped in the car for our two hour commute to the Outer Banks. More updates all week. Hold your breath (really, don't).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oh, how I long for a gravy boat

I thought that when couples got married, they got lots of sugars & creamers and gravy boats. Isn't that the joke? Everybody gives you the "special pieces" to your dishes, but nobody gives you dinner plates off which to eat? Well, for us, it's different. We were fortunate to get place settings for twelve, but we seem to be missing the gravy boat.

Tonight's Wednesday, china night (as many of our friends know), and I've spent hours cooking the perfect roast with gravy. But now that we're about to serve it, I realize that I don't own the gravy boat for my china! (I'm still not sure what all we have and don't have.) A special request has been made to the Easter Bunny for this missing piece of the puzzle, and tonight we'll serve gravy out of a Pyrex measuring cup -- while we drink out of Waterford crystal. Such is the wackiness of our china night routine.

Monday, January 14, 2008

This is where my husband works...

Thanks to our friend Amy for pointing us to this treasure. Just when did the government find these pins acceptable, I wonder?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A trip to Texas wine country

Day 2 and Austin is great fun. Here we are at the winery where Jessica and Marvin got engaged. This morning: breakfast tacos. For lunch, a Whole Foods extravaganza. And tonight, BBQ in Lockhart. Next week: Wyatt's Gym.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ned!

The thirtieth birthday was a good one, or so it seemed. Ned got 30 beers for his 30 years. Plus a surprise trip to Austin and a new programmable coffee maker. And there were no tears. Only smiles. And ice cream in the face.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Today, 29...Tomorrow, 30

Here's Ned...enjoying his last morning in his twenties. The breakfast bowl you see there is BooBerry. Now that Ned's a married man living in his own house, he eats junkie cereal with impunity.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I am a winner!

After three nights of vigilantly trying to beat RickyRugs in final bidding on eBay, I've done it! Ned and I are the proud owners of a rug for our living room. The best part was when they confirmed that I won with my bid in the final 10 seconds. I got a message with the subject "You're a winner." Definitely beats those "You've been outbid" (read: You're a loser) messages I got in the last ten attempts to buy us a rug.

It's not the favorite rug I've seen on eBay, but it's mine. I'm a winner.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hometown Contests

Cutest married couples...that's the contest of the week in Valdosta. No kidding:

Prizes include dinner out, a gift certificate for flowers, and a night at an area hotel. Wouldn't you just feel goofy cashing that in?

Geaux Tigers!

It's Monday night on National Street. We've just finished a jambalaya feast. I'm watching the game in the living room. Ned's in the back of the house, trying to cope with my fervent Tiger fandom. If we win, I want to drive across the river/state line and buy a hurricane from the drive-thru bar. Actually, it's not really a drive-thru bar. It's a drive-to-the-end-and-make-a-three-point-turn-and-drive-back-out-kind-of-bar. Ned's not keen on the idea.

Other news today: license plates cost more in Vicksburg than in kidding. Our Zingerman's order arrived today. We'll be eating a lot of bread dipped in olive oil this week. I agreed to host cocktails and hors d'oeuvres for next Friday's progressive dinner with Ned's office mates. It'll be a fun way to meet new people, and it'll give us a hard deadline for finally unpacking the rest of our stuff! Ned and I have failed to win two rugs on eBay today, despite our bid-at-the-last-minute strategy. Maybe we need a new strategy. I e-mailed with my cousin Rachel this morning about details for planning her wedding, scheduled for September 13. Not too terribly long ago, I was the flower girl in her mom's wedding (see photo of me, unhappy about wearing a bonnet).

Ned turns 30 on Friday. We'll head out on his birthday for a weekend trip -- but he doesn't know where. I thought that a birthday surprise might distract him from the momentary sadness that overwhelms you when you leave your twenties. (I speak from experience.)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Our first lazy Saturday

This is the very first Saturday since we were married, way back in August, that we've spent an entire weekend at our home. We started out lazily, sleeping late. Then the day picked up, as I discovered the joys of shopping on eBay (who knew you could buy a rug for $0.99?). Ned installed a screen door off the kitchen porch, we made our first stock-the-kitchen mega shopping trip (Ned guessed the total cost within a dollar), and I made us catfish for dinner. I've lived in Mississippi eight years and this was my first catfish dish. That's a big deal, since I married a boy from the Delta. Ned said it was good; maybe it'll be the first of many. Or, at least, the first of 8, since we bought the "family pack" of filets. US Farm Raised, of course.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Lunch, anyone?

Ned and I found this fabulous lunch spot while driving around Vicksburg this past Sunday. Appetizing advertisement, no?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Monument to the Bird Dog

On the way home from Valdosta at Christmas, I drove Ned by the monument to the bird dog. These are the kinds of dogs I like...the kind that never need to be fed or walked!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Lists for '07 and '08

As 2007 drew to a close, here's what we learned in the final 24 hours:
--The answer to the question, "Is THIS what it's gonna be like?" is "Yes, THIS is what it's like."
--Our fabulous new knives are very, very sharp. They slice onions as neatly and cleanly as they sliced Mary Beth's left thumb.
--Just when you think you've finished unpacking, a new box is sure to appear.

As 2008 begins, here's what we've learned in the first 24 hours:
--All the kids on our street got firecrackers for New Year's Day, and there must not be school tomorrow.
--Enjoying china night with the Waterford might one day be fun, but right now every move at the table is nerve wracking.
--If anything can doom an undefeated season, buying Hawaii Warrior t-shirts for all the Lasseters is sure to do it.