Thursday, July 2, 2015

"I took my love, I took it down."

Good day, friends!

It is a good day.  Mainly because I am sipping an iced vanilla "java chai."  Which, is the fancy name for a "dirty chai" from Java Baba's in picturesque Ludlow, VT.  I was there this morning and I didn't have anything to eat before I left, and suddenly it was like noon and I was super hungry and I had been to this cute little coffee stop before, so I decided to head back over and get some coffee and a much needed bagel.  Java Chai is very good!  Bagel was good, too!  I had a toasted onion bagel with veggie cream cheese.  It was very onion-y.

So, what's new?  Hm.  Probably some stuff is new since last night we talked.

I am back on my old computer!  Great news.  I think I told you my old hard drive pretty much crapped out.  It was a scary time.  Well, we replaced the hard drive!  And upgraded!  Got myself a new, shiny 500 gig now!  So, we replaced it just fine, but there was nothing on it.  So, we had to take it back to the Apple store and have them load on the Yosemite OS.  That was FREE and took about 15 minutes.  Then, we had bought a "hard drive sled" on Amazon which we put to good use last night.  You plug your old hard drive directly into the hard drive sled, and it extracts all the information onto the new hard drive.  It was pretty cray.  It's supposed to work a little better than if the hard drive was still in the computer because it doesn't have to go "through anything else" in order to get the data.  It's like, right there.  It's confusing, I know and I'm probably explaining it in the worst way possible.  But, you just have to open your mind to all the spaces of the computer.  Like, put on "Tommy" and back up your hard drive.  Haha.

But!  Now it's pretty much like I have a new computer!  It's running great so far, so that's good.  We didn't transfer over everything... just pretty much all my music, pictures and documents.

This morning when I hooked up my iPhone to the computer it was all confused because it wasn't the same iTunes as it had been connected to before... so, I had to erase all the music off my phone to re-sync it with the new iTunes.  Again, I don't understand, I just do what the pop up messages tell me.  But, I already had all my music in "the cloud," (wherever that is/whatever that means) so, it should be an easy re-download.  It just means losing all my playlists.  Which I hold very near and dear to my heart, so it's a tough loss.  So far I have only uploaded the most important music to my iPhone:  Taylor Swift, Crash Kings, Fleetwood Mac, and Celine Dion.  Obvi.

SHEESH - enough computer talk, am I right?!  I don't even understand half the things I am saying so whyyyyy am I talking this long about it?!?!?

Our house is being repainted!  It's kind of a nuisance, but also kind of cool!!!!  And it's lookin' great!

That's the half and half!  OoOOOOoOOOOoooo it's gonna look so pretty once it's all done!!!!  

That's Ted getting the front done.  I have no idea how that thing is balanced...

Front is done!!!!!!  I just love our house!  Oh.. and in case you saw a glimpse of a floral summer wreath on the front door and wanted a close up......

That is the pretty wreath I made!  I think it turned out quite nice.  I like making wreaths!  Maybe it's in my future again!  Certainly for fall, at least.  

Let's see.  I'm still reading.  I think when I last updated I had just finished In Cold Blood... and then I promptly moved onto another murder story, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith.  Man, it's pretty violent.  I wish I hadn't read two murder books right in a row.  It's a good book, though.  But just.... bloody.  Actually it's overdue now, so I better finish it up and return it.  

I started "running!"  I don't know why I put that in quotes, because I'm actually doing it.  It's not fake running.  I just can't give myself too much credit because that's how I am.  I'm not really sure what came over me one day talking to Kara, but she was telling me about running and I kinda thought, "I could probably do that."  So, I downloaded the Couch to 5K app (it's free!) and have started doing it! I pretty much could't walk after doing the first day.  MAN, running is hard!  It's like really MOVING with all your muscles!  Yeah the first day was hard but I kinda kept thinking, "this day is gonna be the hardest," and that kept me going.  

The second time was better.  I felt really good about everything.  And I had done 35 minutes of yoga beforehand, so I was super stretched and everything.  Which helped.  Third day, still good.  My quads were on fire afterwards.  Fourth day - WORST!!!!!!  Holy crap my ANKLES!  I could barely walk.  It was bad.  So, I'm taking a few days of rest per Dr. Kara's orders.  I need better sneakers.  I'm just wearing sneaks I got at Target in New Orleans last January.  Also, I need both my big toes cut right off.  MAN that pain is bad.  I blame 13 years of ballet for my 80 year old feet on a 29 year old body.  It's a rare day when I don't get sharp pains shooting through my bunions.  It's a nice image, I know. 

Anyways.  I guess I like running so far.  And it's kind of making me realize how powerful your mind is.  Like, when I'm out of breath and sweating like crazy and wanna stop, I just tell myself, "no, you can keep going."  And.... I do.  It makes me think, 'why can't I use this mind-power on all aspects of my life?'  Who knows.  But, at least with running...... really the hardest part is walking out the door.  For me, anyways.  So, we'll see.  My "goal" is to maybe run a 5k someday.  Maybe someday at the end of the summer, who knows!  

Let's see.  

What's that?  You want to see some pictures of Ruby, you say?  Oh!  No problem!  That's a great idea.  

This is photo proof she's the prettiest cat in the Universe.  Did I tell you Ruby had a bad cold recently?  Oh, it was so sad!  She slept for pretty much five days straight!  I barely saw her.  No cuddling.  She came down to eat, and that was it.  We brought her to the doctor like on day 3 because I was so worried.  They said it was really bizarre that an indoor cat would get that sick, but it's possible!  Poor girl!  She was so stuffy :(  But, she was purring like a little purr machine at the vet, so that was good.  The vet was like, "Her heart and lungs sound good... but she's purring so loud it's hard to hear anything else!"  And then Ruby gave her a kiss on her eye.  It was really cute.  And the vet (I think her name was Dr. Meghan..) said, "that's the first kiss from a kitty all day!"  They had a special bond.  It's just because Ruby is the sweetest thing ever!

Here she is tending to her catnip plant.  It's the really tall one.  Ruby's mom (that's me) accidentally almost killed the catnip plant a while back... so then worked extra hard at bringing it back to life.  Now it's growing quite well and has blossoms!  Ruby loves it!  

Aw.  That was nice.  

An update:  we have a new coffee maker and it works quite well and as of yet, as not become overrun with an ant colony.  Success!  

I'll show you some more pictures if you want.  If you don't want... well, I guess you can stop reading.

First of all!!!!!!!!  KARA GRADUATED FROM RADIOGRAPHY SCHOOL!!!!!!!!  She's an X-RAY TECH NOW!!!!!!  So, you guys should head over to her and get some x-rays.  

This is taken during the graduation ceremony.  You can see Kara, directly under the arrow.  She looks great!  

Then, HEY!!!!  It's a graduate!  It was a nice ceremony.  Although, it seemed like lots of weight was placed on GPA's which I did not appreciate cause those things are going out of style fast.  But, the ceremony also included a celebrity.... the grandson of L.L. Bean was there!  That was pretty cool!  Apparently him and his wife have done a ton of work in the community college system in Maine and they received an award!  Awesome! 

Will you look at that cool grad?  Congratulations, Kara!  

#sisters #soulmates

That's my mom, Kara and me in Boston drinking cappuccinos!  Duh!  We went for an overnight for my mom's birthday!  Girls' trip!  So much fun!  We rode the Swan Boats the next day!

Gotta love those swans. 

Another exciting thing that has happened this summer is we saw Neko Case perform at Prescott Park!  

She was incredible!!!!!!  I would recommend her to ANYONE!  Full of energy and she just has an amazing voice.  I was a little familiar with her solo stuff but mostly familiar with her as being in The New Pornographers.  They are a special band to me because I listened to their whole 'Challengers' record on a CD that Aliya made for me while I drove through the big snow storm of 2007.  It was a scary, emotional day, but I got through it with their calming sound.  And, to this day, if I have to drive through a snow storm, I put on that record.  :)  New England, folks, gotta get used to it somehow.  

Okay.  That's all for now I think.   I'm meeting up with Emily and David tonight!!!!!  They are in town and we are overdue for some good hanging out!!!!  Can't wait! 

Have a good rest of the week, friends!  Hopefully you have a day off for either Canada Day or the Fourth of July.  If you do, enjoy!  We will celebrate by going to the Old Home Day Parade in our town.  :)

Be well,

Goodbye, neighbor.   <3

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"It's been a long time, now I'm coming back home."

Um, hi!!  Hope this isn't awkward or anything.  WHY AM I SO BAD AT BLOGGING ALL OF A SUDDEN???  Member when you guys were all like, "OMG WHY IS SHE POSTING 13 TIMES A DAY?!?!?"  Now it's like, 3 years in between each post.

Lots of stuff has happened.

--  I am now 29!  The last year of my twenties.  I started freaking out about this around 24 February.  (you'll note 25 Feb is my birthday.)  It's really scary for some reason.  I think it seems like once you hit 30, things need to get serious.  Like, I still haven't figured out who I am or what I want to do.  Will I ever figure it out?  How do you know what you want?

It's a stressful time for a 29-year old girl living in Vermont.  (That's me.)

--  I am no longer working at Planned Parenthood.  Changes!  Crazy changes!  I still fully haven't accepted this as a part of my life....... which is okay, maybe.  I was really sad and angry while I was still working there and now I still feel sad and angry about not working there.  I think it'll all come together in the long run.  Everything happens for a reason.  No regrets.  Still think they're an amazing organization doing amazing things.

--  I'm listening to The Beatles now which is something I rarely do.  I'm enjoying it.

--  Had to go out to Mike's in Hartland this morning to get coffee because our coffee maker is broken!  Sad, sad time.  I was going to make coffee last weekend and noticed there were ants pretty much covering the whole thing.  I thought, "hm, that's weird."  We had a bad ant takeover of the house like the first week of May, but I did some deep cleaning, some cold hard killing, and some peppermint oil spraying and they left!  Had to put all our toothbrushes and toothpastes in plastic ziplock bags because the ants were EVERYWHERE!  It was cray!  Sprayed the whole bathroom down with vinegar.  And they really weren't a problem anymore.  Until Sunday.  When, after thinking, "hm, that's weird," I opened up the back of the coffee maker to find a giant ant nest inside.  THAT'S RIGHT.  A giant ant nest.  With a billion ants carrying around eggs and nest pieces and whatever else they carry.  My next thought was, "okay I'm gonna make Ben deal with this."

I started making breakfast like normal.  Ben came down and I told him about the ant nest.  He was in shock.  How could this have happened without us noticing?!  It had only been a week since we last made coffee!  So, he brought the coffee maker over to the sink and drowned all the ants, scrubbed out of the back of it real good.  However, during this process some part inside must have gotten wet, because now it won't turn on.  Which, I was a LITTLE bit hoping for... because I don't know if I could make coffee after seeing that ant nest in there.

Anyways, my allergies were real bad this morning, I had a sinus headache, and it was freezing inside the house and I just wanted a hot cup of coffee.  So, I knew I had a few dollars in my wallet so I drove to Mike's and got the maple french roast coffee that Speeder and Earl's makes.  It's delish.  I'm enjoying it right now :)

And we'll probably go out sometime this week to buy a new coffee maker.

--  If we are friends on Facebook or Instagram you may have noticed that Ben and I took an epic cross-country road trip back in April/May!!  It was a semi-spontaneous adventure with the purpose being to see the country and to see Ben's family!!  It was a pretty incredible time.  Major cities/landmarks we hit were:
- Chicago
- The Badlands
- Mt. Rushmore
- Devil's Tower
- Yellowstone National Park
-  Idaho Falls, ID
- Craters of the Moon
- Boise, ID
- Twin Falls, ID
- Antelope Island, UT
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Dead Horse Point
- Arches National Park
- Santa Fe, NM
- Austin, TX
- Avery Island, LA
- New Orleans, LA
- Waffle House
- Fair Hope, AL
- Great Smoky Mountains
- Brooklyn, NY

WOW!  The whole trip was like, "WHAT!"  I just couldn't believe it was actually happening.  You'll also notice three of those major cities happen to be where some of my amazing college roommates live!!!  So I got to see Kerianne and Noel, Elizabeth and Noah, Aliya and Eric, and Joe!  It was wonderful.

We had wanted to go on a long road trip together for a while.  We just love being together and love going on adventures, so it only made sense.  It was a lot of really long driving days... some days like, 16 or 17 hours in the Prius.  But, there were also some relaxing days.  Time spent with family was great.  I got to meet a lot of Ben's family I had never met before :)  And I also got to meet my three adorable nephews who affectionately called me Aunti Jewelry, which I was not opposed to.  It was so fun.

I wish I could post a crap ton of photos, but UGHHH my computer is a lot under the weather right now.  (I'm actually posting from Ben's computer...sshhhh!)  So, none of my photos are available to me.  Hopefully I'll get them posted sometime soon.  The computer needs a hard drive replacement, which we ordered yesterday from Amazon.  EEK!  We've been "backing up" the computer for almost a week and nothing is happening, so we'll probably need to take it to a data recovery person.  Too bad the virus people from Hampshire College weren't at my beck and call... Those guys rocked.

Anyways, the trip was amazing.  It really is, "America the Beautiful."  But only in terms of scenery.  My favorite scenery though, was seeing little Ruby again after coming home!!  She missed us so much.

OH!  I wanted to tell you about one of the things we did on the trip, which I mentioned in the list above:  WAFFLE HOUSE.  I had never been to a Waffle House before, but I was completely intrigued by them because I had always imagined they were haunted!  Like, I had this idea our waitress would be a zombie or something and it would be full of haunted patrons eating haunted food.  Like, "once you go in you can never leave..." or something.  But - none of this was true.  It was a scenario I created in my mind!  It was delicious!  I had a waffle!  We all had waffles!  It was pretty much just like being at a Denny's or IHOP in terms of decor and atmosphere and waitstaff.  Everything was normal.  I would recommend it to you and I would go there again.

If you go to a Waffle House or have been there in the past, post a comment or send me an email about your experience!  Anybody have any hauntings there?

-- I've been reading some books!  I just finished 'In Cold Blood,' last night.  It was intense.  I had seen the movie, 'Capote,' back in 2006 (you may think that link goes to the IMDB page about the movie... but NOPE!  It goes to my Livejournal entry about when I went to see the movie by myself!  Duh!  And I said, "It makes me really want to read the book now!"  And now, EIGHT years later - I finally have!)  and completely loved it.  So when my dad said he was going to re-read the book, I said, "I'll read it too and we can have a mini book club!"  Which is what happened!  I had to get a library card first.  Which required absolutely no proof that I live in Hartland!  I was shocked.  They just let anybody get books there!  I love it!

I got two books!
- In Cold Blood
- Under the Banner of Heaven

The second book is written by Jon Krakauer - Hampshire grad!! - and is also about a brutal murder.  I was wondering with Ben the other night, "I wonder if there's a limit on how many murder books you can check out at a time.."  It's kind of strange.. I haven't read a book for pleasure in a while and then the two first ones I get are about horrific crimes.  My next read will be Lena Dunham's autobiography for sure.

Anyways.  Reading 'In Cold Blood' was very unsettling to me.  I knew the whole story about how Truman Capote fell into a deep alcoholic depression and could never write another book afterwards, and how he maybe became too close to the criminals and how maybe he empathized with them too much.... but it was all really creepy.  He describes the murders a couple different ways, referenced them obviously a whole bunch, really gives you a good sense for what happened.  But then when the killers are executed, suddenly the book is over.  In a way, it makes sense because essentially the story is over.  Killers caught, in prison, and executed.  But, in another way, it made me feel like they were "getting the easy way out" or something.  Because we didn't have to dwell on it the same way we did with the innocent family.  I don't know.  Yes, that part comes at the end of the book because of chronology... But I wonder if he had put it at the beginning and ended with the family's murder if it would have been a different read.  Sort of like a book told backwards.  Benjamin Button style.

I don't know.  Whatever way you paint the story, it's still horrific and terrifying and tragic.  But - I also couldn't put the book down once I started it.  I read after that Capote had over 8,000 pages of notes on the case.  Incredible.

I'll probably pick the other book up later today.  About people killing "in the name of God."  Should also be horrific and scary.

-- Anyways.  What else can I tell you??  My coffee is gone now.  It was just right.  So warm and good.  Although my feet are freezing.

-- Been watching a lot of TV!  I'm not sure if I have mentioned this... but I started watching Hart of Dixie back in November and finally finished the series in March.  I was very embarrassed to admit to the world (and myself) that I was totally obsessed with this show.  But I was.  I LOVED it.  It was just a really silly, nice show.  There was no violence, no swearing, no stress.  That's what I like.  Just small-town drama and lots of hilarious hijinks.  After the show ended, I didn't really know what to do with myself.  I was empty inside.  So here's what I have watched/caught up on:
- Girls (season 4)
- Downton Abbey (season 5)
- Finding Carter (season 1, season 2 airing now)
- Grace and Frankie (season 1)
- New Girl (season 4)
- Broad City (season 1 (twice), and season 2)

I've been productive, as you can see.  Really enjoyed Grace and Frankie, which is a Netflix original.  And TOTALLY loved Broad City which is soo funny.  I also watched about 10 straight hours of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon one night when I was up with a nasty stomach bug.  It made things a little easier.

-- Alright!  I think that's it for now.  This has been longer than I imagined and now I'm hungry.

So!  Please keep me updated on all your wonderful lives!  I really do miss staying in touch with the blog.  I know I say this every time, but I'll try and blog more.

Also, one of my favorite Beatles songs might be, 'We Can Work it Out.'  Good stuff.  And somehow, in Ben's gigantic collection of Beatles songs, 'Rocky Raccoon' has managed to play FOUR times.  I mean, what's up with that?!  (Josh Delano civic oration reference there.  To Josh, if he's reading, or to Maria, if she's reading."

Hope you all have great rest of the weeks!  I think mine will be pretty good, hopefully.  Going to have dinner with some friends tonight and meet their new baby cows.

Take care, friends!  Talk to you again soon.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

"and i don't know how it gets better than this..."

Wow!  Hi folks!  Hi friends!! 

I've been alone a lot lately.  Naturally this leads to me feeling depressed and sad and generally just overall melancholy.  But then I thought, "Hey - I could BLOG!  Then I'd get to see all my old blog friends and I'd probably start to feel better about myself." 

HENCE: this blog post.  I feel better already!!!!!  I thought I'd give you a pretty huge update about everything in my life.  And then hopefully (since I'm alone a lot) we can become regular friends again. 

Let's jump right in?  Let's!  There will be a lot of photo evidence in this section.  Not because I think you won't believe me, but just because I want you to feel like you haven't missed out on anything.


I know!  I got married!  I still can't believe it either.  And we were just so excited about it that we had not one, but TWO weddings!  Even crazier. 


That's the only picture of me and Ben together on our wedding day!  haha.  And this was before we were actually married.  Oh well.  

Me and Kara!  

Ben's mom made me this beautiful coral dress!  It was absolutely perfect.  We were married on an airfield in Greenland, NH.  It was the place where Ben officially became my boyfriend about one year earlier.  I know, ONE YEAR!  What can I say.... when you know, you know.  Every day since we met has been better than the day before. 

So, we had two weddings.  The first wedding was quite small and only included immediate family.  The second wedding was bigger and included lots and lots of our beautiful, amazing friends and also all our family.  Oh, it was spectacular.  

Let me tell you about it.

We got married (again) here:

It's the Artist's Bridge in Newry, Maine.  Cool, right?!  Yeah!  We wanted to get married on a covered bridge and then found this perfect one.  It's such a beautiful spot.  

We had our reception here:

WOW!  Right???  How pretty!  It's The Bethel Inn, in Bethel, Maine.  (When you're in that back room with the giant wall of window, you totally feel like you're on the Titanic.  Trust me.)  

It was the most beautiful place!  The reception was in that round room at the end.  The dining rooms were so beautiful that we didn't really have to do any decorating, which was exactly what we wanted.  

We did have gorgeous centerpieces:

And there were lights wrapped around the grapevine wreathes:

Cool, right?!?!!?  The wedding was navigation themed!  We came up with the idea of globe bowls a while back, but didn't think it would happen multiple times because..... have you ever bought a globe before?!?!!?!?  THEY ARE SO DAMN EXPENSIVE IT'S CRAY!!!!!!!  We LITERALLY found the cheapest globes available to humans.  Found them at Toys R Us.  Amazing.  And we were totally stealth about it too, because the deal was you got free shipping on your orders over $50, but there was a limit of four globes per order.  And we needed five!  So we placed TWO orders and got free shipping on both of them!  #WHAMBAM  #brillz  Ben split them in two to make bowls and we spent $100 on the apples and oranges that we filled them with.  It actually came out perfect.  Oranges and mint leaves and apples and cinnamon.  And we PICKED the apples with MARIA two days before the wedding.  

Oh, that wedding.  It was actually one of the most fun times ever.  I wish Future Julie would have gone and told Super Stressed Out Julie that because I was seriously thinking the whole event would crumble to the ground and we'd be making our guests help and pick up the pieces to try and make it a fun time.  BUT, that didn't happen.  Amazingly enough, everything went super smoothly.  

We picked the flowers for our bouquets:

They were absolutely gorgeous.  There is this farm in Bethel that has a pick-your-own flower garden!  So me, Kara and Maria trudged through the grass and spiders and picked out these gems.  

And they made perfect bouquets:

Kara, Me, Alana (my sister in law!), Maria (BFF!)  BRIDESMAIDS!!!!!!!!  


That wasn't the wedding day, but the day I got the dress in the mail!!!!  Ordered it from ModCloth.  Amazing.  It was pretty much the perfect dress, obvi.  

Evans family!!!  Look how handsome we are!!!  

Newest member of the Evans family!!!  (Meaning Ben.)

Newest member of the Carling family!!  (That's me!!)  We've got:  Zach, Lauren, Johanna, Ben, Julie, Ben's mom, Ben's dad, and Alana.  Wonderful, beautiful people.  I am so lucky to have them all!!  

Luckiest of all.

Wanna talk about having cold feet on your wedding day??  Let me tell you.  It was cold and rainy allllll day long.  But I was determined to get photos of us with the bridge in the background.  Our photographer Chet was a great guy.  A TROOPER.  He climbed down there with us.  Friends, that ground was not dry.  That rock was definitely slippery.  Great photos, though!

 Great!  I love it!

Oh, what a great time.  Got to see all my friends which was so amazing.  

Joe, Elizabeth, Aliya and Kerianne were ALL THERE!!!!!!  

Girls Dinner Night ladies... Kara, Jen and Meg.

So many people came from so many parts of the country to celebrate with us.  I felt so loved, I thought my heart might explode.

love love love.  

Then!  We had our honeymoon.  We went to the Dominican Republic:

Because, duh.  I needed a big, straw hat OBVI.  And big designer sunglasses.  Check.  

The one thing that I did not realize about the DR was how many stray cats there are.  In case you don't know this: there are stray cats everywhere.  

Let me explain this photo to you:  IT IS A BUNDLE OF KITTENS SLEEPING TOGETHER ON A CHAIR.  

Kittens sleeping under the trees.

 Little kitten on the steps!

KITTEN NURSING.  This was our view from our room.  A mom cat nursing a little kitten.  This little kitten was running around making teeny tiny meows over and over and over.  Suddenly, mama cat came running up to it, she gave the little one a few kisses and then started nursing him!!!  Literally this happened in real life.  I seriously BURST into sobbing tears when I saw this.  Like, could not contain myself.  It was SO CUTE and I missed Ruby Tuesday SO MUCH.  Oh man, too much to take in.

This was the closest we came to getting all the resort cats in one photo.  I think there were seven total.  I think in the future Ben and I will write a children's book about a family of cats that lives at a tropical resort.  And all the friendly people they meet on their adventures. 

So, those are pretty much all our honeymoon photos! Haha.  We pretty much spent the whole time taking pictures of cats.  

And also amazing selfies with my new shades:


Loved it!  Such a great wedding, such a great honeymoon.  


I married Ben.  He's in the Navy:

He's so handsome!  I figured of all the life updates, the part where I married a sailor is the most unbelievable.  Right?  Pretty much.

But it's true.  Also unbelievable is the outfit that Ben is wearing is actually BLUE.  Not black.  I know... it doesn't make any sense.  Craziest thing you'll read all day.

I still work with Planned Parenthood! 

Me in my Planned Parenthood sunglasses!!! 

Friday gang at work!  Amazingly, we all had the same mustache this day.  Fridays are usually slow...

WE LIVE IN VERMONT!  We live there because that's where Ben is stationed.  It's pretty incredible... I'm living in basically the same area I lived when I worked at Hannah House.  So, we moved here and I already knew the area and I already had friends here.  And literally the day he told me that's where we were moving, a job opened up at the Planned Parenthood up there.  (I was already working for Planned Parenthood in Maine.)  I pretty much just transferred over there and it's been pretty amazing.  

This is our house:

All decked out for Halloween!  Amazingly enough, our pumpkins didn't get smashed!  Even though I had a nightmare about it!!!  We definitely have the most beautiful house in the world.  There is much more of the house, but you get the idea.  It was the first schoolhouse in the town.  And that's, PRETTY COOL.  

We've made some pretty amazing friends up here.  Ben's hosting a trivia night at the restaurant across the street, which is super fun.  


Ya know, whatevs.  All that practice wearing fake glasses FINALLY paid off!!!!  But seriously, I needed glasses.  I still need them.  I actually have to make an appointment at my eye doctor for an eye exam because I fear my eyes are getting even worse!  I mean, can you blame my eyes?  They've seen some pretty amazing things in their days... they're just like, "c'mon, we're getting tired."

Ruby Tuesday is still the cutest and best cat on the whole planet.  But, no surprises there.


We had lots of great times with Kara this summer!  She came to visit a lot which was so wonderful:

We had a campfire in our yard one night.  And we made smores with peanut butter cups instead of regular chocolate.  Prepare yourself, because it will blow your mind.

Kara on my shoulder, hahaha.  So silly.  Good times at the Hartland Dam. 

Oh yeah.  We have lots of fun.  

 I decided to include this last photo from the campfire night because of two reasons:

1.  The creepy look on Kara's face
2.  The amazing article of clothing that Kara is wearing

So, for Kara's birthday we went to the Harpoon Brewery BBQ Championship Festival... (it was called something like that..)

That's all of us at the BBQ fest.  Ben, Julie, Mom, Kara, Carl and Jen.  So there's this radio station there and they have an entire table full of Taylor Swift merch.  Immediately we are drawn to the table.  There's some game that you can play and if you win, you get to pick out some Swift Gear.  So naturally it's Kara's birthday, so we all play the game to try and win her something.  Nobody wins, but my mom convinces the radio guys to give her some Swift Stuff anyways because it's her birthday.  So, she picks out this sweatshirt that says, "LIKE EVER" on it.  At first we didn't get it...... But then it hit us!  "We are never, ever, ever getting back together!  Like, ever!"  Yeah, it's amazing.  And when she pulls it out of the bag, it's not a sweatshirt but like, the softest sweater you'll ever touch.  It's like a fine cashmere Taylor Swift sweater.  So amazing.

Speaking of Taylor Swift.....

Welcome to New York.  Currently OBSESSED with this song.  Off her new record, 1989.  I'm sure you've heard all about it.  Kara and I are going to try to go see her in Foxborough, MA when she comes in July.  Last time was pretty epic....

Yes, we made t-shirts that said, 'Speak Now,' which was the name of the current record she had out.  And they definitely said, 'SWIFT' on the back.  I recently found those black sunglasses.  I still like them. 

I remember when I bought those Taylor Swift concert tickets, I had barely listened to any of her songs.  I was very hesitant to agree to go with her.  From that time, up until the concert, I spent hours, days even, listening to all the Taylor Swift records and songs.  The 'Taylor Swift literature,' as Ben would say.  I quickly realized that I could relate to all her songs.  It felt like she was writing all those lyrics for me specifically.  Sometimes I still feel like that.  In a good way.  

In case you haven't seen this recent SNL gem, please take a look.   You're welcome.

HMMMMMM are there any other updates I should talk about?  That might be everything?  Everything major, anyways.  

You guys think I should keep updating the blog?  You think anyone will read it?  Do I still have interesting/not-interesting things to say??  Eh, we'll see I guess.  In the traditional blog fashion, it's taken me a total of about three hours over two different days to complete this blog post.  

Oh, also.. I'm trying to get back into Twitter.  Just FYI.  Anyone else still on Twitter?  Amazingly, it seems like people still use it.  I kinda thought it was going out of style.  I signed up like five years ago.  

Something that's crazy... I'm starting to realize how much time is going by.  Like, I think as you get older/become a real adult, you realize that time goes by in years.  I mean, yes, that's how time works.  It just all of a sudden it becomes more apparent.  

Like, my TEN YEAR high school reunion is in a few weeks.  For some reason, that doesn't seem nearly as crazy as the fact that I graduated from college SIX YEARS AGO.  It's like, I knew I went to high school a long time ago.  But I still feel like a 'recent graduate' of college.  But, I'm not.  Not at all.  

I mean, I've done a lot in six years...... I guess?????  Maybe not!  Not as much as other people.  Feels like I'm still searching for something meaningful.  

"Meaning is not in things, but in between them."

I guess you could say that.  But, still.  Sometimes it feels really weird to be back in the Upper Valley.  Like, living here again.  I think because when I lived here the first time, I was pretty much by myself.  It's a very isolating place and I was happy to leave.  But, now I'm back here.  I'm married up here.  Ruby is back here.  Ruby hates I-89 more than any of us.  It's just so strange.  It's such a strange area to live in, then leave, then live in again.  Part of me keeps thinking that there's something I'm missing... Or something about this place that's right in front of my face and I can't see it.  

Part of me still feels like Belle in the field...  Part of me feels like I always will.

Alright, friends.  I think that's all for now.  Let me know if anyone reads this?  OK great!

Everybody have a great rest to your weekend.  And a fulfilling week ahead.  I will try also.  

this is the part when i break free
cause i can't resist it no more,

Captain Julie
(yes, i chose to close this entry with Ariana Grande lyrics.  #ballin  #girlcansing)