Wednesday, October 30, 2013

summer highlights, part 2

Welcome to part 2!
I fell behind in my blogging over the summer, and as I was reminiscing about all of the fun times we had, I decided to basically cover all my bases and write about things I never got around to writing about.
It has turned into a multi-day (week) blogging project, going through pictures and memories and Instagram posts, but I'm finally getting there!
To sum up: I wanna go back to summertime.

Trips & Visits

We had so many fun trips and visits after school ended, like Arizona, Disneyland, more Arizona, my family in Lynchburg, and Cleveland
After that, in the actual summer months, the fun kept rolling on. 
First, my mom came for a visit! She got to meet some of our friends and we had a great time going to a peach orchard. After that, she hung out and helped one of her dear friends in anticipation of her daughter's wedding (the sister of the bride from earlier this year!) She worked on some sewing projects and errands, and I sat at work and joined in spirit.
The actual wedding was beautiful. It threatened to rain all day long, but a small window of clear skies opened up right on time for us to towel off our seats and enjoy the beautiful views of the ceremony. There were a few rumbling rolls of thunder throughout, which was kind of amazing. It was perfect!

So sweet -- her dad's dress shirt lent a heart patch for her "something blue"
(which my mom had the honor of sewing on!)

It had been such a great week of having my mom in town. I got sick while she was here, but we still managed to eat with our friends at Delicia's, have them over for chicken enchiladas (mom's specialty), go shopping in Boonsboro, and celebrate the miraculous early arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
It was especially difficult to say goodbye. The days are ticking by and we'll be moving back to Arizona before we know it -- but in the meantime, with no holidays in Arizona to look forward to, the waiting and the missing are extremely difficult. 

Our other big summer trips/visits were my friend Amber coming into town, and our more recent trips to Georgia and Charleston!


At our church tailgating party!

This summer we decided to try and figure out if it's possible to spend too much time with another couple. Our test subjects were Colin and Victoria -- or in otherwords, Victolin. Or Colinoria. 
We could never quite pinpoint a nickname for the two of them, but it seemed appropriate to give them one. Victolin kind of sounds like an evil dictator, and Colinoria definitely sounds like a disease. But we promise, we like them a lot. 
I decided to give them their own highlight because while I was compiling this, I realized pretty much everything I was writing involved them. So I might as well just get it out in the open that we occasionally spent every single day of the week with them. 

It really kicked into gear in August, though, with the Bachelorette finale. Yep. 

We had started watching the Bachelorette because Des, our favorite contestant from The Bachelor, was the star. We had to see how it turned out. And bonus: Dusty's cousin Chris was going to be one of the contestants! Which gave Dusty even more of a reason to watch, and something to say when other guys said, "Wait -- you watch the Bachelorette?"
So obviously we had to start up a "Team Chris" group, and Colin and Victoria became the second half of that fan club. We watched every week with pizza (or occasionally other food/snacks so we didn't gain 50 pounds) and pure joy. We also watched SYTYCD almost every week with them (still think Paul should have won, although darn it, if it ain't adorable that Fik-shun and Amy got to win together), but somehow The Bachelorette took the front seat of our summer entertainment.
When the finale came around, we were so invested that it became the most enjoyable/stressful/amazing TV viewing experience of our lives.
Chris had made it to the finale, and we watched with bated breath (and sometimes pillow throwing/squeals) as he proposed to Des and she said YES. Even thinking about it makes my heart start beating fast again -- it was positively thrilling, and I'm not even ashamed.
I believe this event alone solidified the Dustlin/Victolin bond forevermore. 

The other thing that we got to share with them was our love for Paris -- Victoria went to France in August with her family, and we had Colin over almost every night for dinner/games/to make sure he didn't spend his nights alone eating McDonald's. 
One of those nights we ended up talking about our silly and spontaneous travel and all of our favorite things about Paris, so he could tell Victoria where she should go while they were in the city that coming week. 
The next day, Dusty got a text from Colin -- "you're not the only ones who can be spontaneous! On my way to the DC airport!!"
We were shocked, amazed, and totally jealous - but he had up and bought a ticket to Paris to join them, totally spontaneous and last minute, and totally awesome. 
When they got back, they brought us Laduree macarons. Which if you know us at all means we felt the joy of a thousand baby unicorns.
Then later, Victoria and I had a girl's night where we attempted to make crepes and watched Ever After, because she had never seen it (travesty). We proceeded to make crepes several other times (including during one of our Bachelorette nights, I believe).

We started meeting nearly every Saturday morning for brunch downtown at Market at Main, which I loved. Downtown has always been one of my favorite places, and with them we got to explore and find new favorites, like the new little shop called Pastiche that had its grand opening a few months ago.

We went to the grand opening and snacked and drank coffee and bought a few small things.
It's such a cute store! It's made up entirely of vintage and handmade items from local artisans. Definitely the perfect kind of store for downtown!

Coolest light fixture ever made.

We'd also meet them for other meals during the week, like 1/2 off sushi on Wednesday nights or at Delicia's for yummy plantains (see part 1 of the summer highlights). 
When the J. Crew outlet in Wyndhurst had their huge closing down sale, Victoria and I went and had the best lunch break ever buying amazing clothes for ridiculously cheap.

We discovered their love for games, and spent endless late nights drinking coffee or sparkling cider floats and playing games like Catan, Dominion and Small World.
We started up an intense series of Mario Party on the N64, reliving the days of our youth.
I'm not sure if anyone else could totally appreciate all of these things, and it was the perfect way to spend the last month of our summer. 

DK, Wario, Luigi, & Yoshie 4ever 

We had been spending so much time playing Mario Party, that at one point we had some other friends over to play with us -- and there was a secret level we had never seen before, and we all got so excited that I think we frightened our other two friends, while at the same time realizing how joyous it was that we had found each other.
When we started the new level, someone was skipping through the intro, and Victoria panicked. "NO! What are you doing! Who's doing that! STOP! We haven't seen this before!"
Our other friend (the culprit) was stricken. "Oh, uh...sorry..."
Victoria is usually quite soft-spoken and sweet, but boy, when Mario Party is on the line...
It still makes me giggle.


We've had so many fun moments with our friends here. 
In August we all split a Groupon for a night of bowling! There's a big bowling alley tucked back from the road right by school, and I had never even noticed it before.
We went and played several games, and it brought back so many great memories. I love bowling!
There's something about the funky kind of nostalgia of bowling (rental shoes, 90's carpet, juke box, nachos, arcade, splitting a pitcher of soda) that makes me very happy.

Another one of my favorite summer events was that time we basically begged my friend Stephanie to teach Victoria and I how to make macarons.
We invited ourselves over, and she spoiled the crap out of us with homemade muffins, peach lavender jam, french press coffee, and amazing mint chocolate macarons. 
Like I said earlier, we were in love with all things French!

I also participated in Cara Box, and was able to meet some amazing bloggers, some of whom I still keep up with! The concept of having a pen pal seems so old-school (aka amazing), but it was so fun for me to be able to connect with other women out there... kindred spirits, if you will. I may never meet them in person, but they're kindred spirits just the same.

Our life group at church changed dramatically this summer when my friend (and our fellow life group leader) Angelica moved back to Canada to begin an Art Therapy program. We had her going away party at church, and were able to hang out with her a few more times in between her grand world traveling! (See her blog here). I miss her dearly, as she is one of the most uniquely wonderful people I have ever met.

Lastly, on the last day of summer, we were able to have a mini reunion with some friends from our first year of law school!
Two of the couples have moved away but the third couple, Stephanie and Josh, finished school this past May but have stayed in Lynchburg so we've seen them more often (hence, the macaron-making). 

When I think back to our first year, these are the faces that I see!
They were the ones who came to our parties, invited us to their parties, and loved on us and made us sad when they left us. 
The only couple missing here was Allison and Greg, who sadly were living too far away in Illinois (although that, also, has changed -- eventually I'll catch up on all of this crazy nonsense!).

We met up at Neighbor's Place for Sunday lunch. Dusty and I had never been there, but their skirt steak is delicious. I have officially said so. 

We were able to meet Audriana, Chris and Heather's little girl (who was loving those menus), as well as Erica and Phil's baby bump!
They're going to wait and see whether it's a boy or girl, so obviously the suspense is killing us. ;)
It was a beautiful day. Other than the many buzzing bees attempting to steal our lunches, we enjoyed the peaceful patio and catching up on each other's lives!
We kind of decided an annual reunion was in order, and I'm definitely on board with that idea.

Later that week we have Phil and Erica over for a game night, and we spent many hours playing and catching up with them. My heart was aching a little bit when they left our house that night.
I had forgotten how much fun we had with them, and it seems so unfair somehow that our time with them was so short! They graduated after our first year here, so we really only had second semester and most of that summer to hang out with them. One of the best memories I have is during the derecho storm, having Erica stay with us at a friend's house, finding ways to stay cool and survive the power outage!
The silver lining is that they live in Albuquerque now, and we will be able to visit them often! I'm looking forward to that.

Becoming 3Ls

Sometimes I think back to our first year here in Virginia, and all of the scary firsts -- and now here we are, dealing with all of the scary lasts! 
We had our very last Dean's Reception in August, and it officially hit us that we're 3Ls. 
Everything from here on out is the last one. 
We had our last meet and greet, our last luau, our last first day of class.

It's all a wonderful kind of panicky feeling, filled with joy and apprehension and elation and accomplishment and sweat and tears and memories. 
Despite the confusing mess of emotion, entering into our 3rd and last year of law school was definitely a summer highlight.

The Silly Details

Sometimes the little things all band together to form the big things that dominate your memory of a certain time and place.
The tiniest thing can ignite an intense reliving of a memory -- like the body spray I found in my closet that was from junior high, and as soon as I sprayed the stuff it brought on all the floral angst of church camp. 

In September, the Pumpkin Spite Latte came out -- and since it was still quite warm and occasionally humid out, I discovered the most delicious drink on planet earth. Iced coffee with 2 pumps of pumpkin spice, 2 pumps of caramel, and cream. 
Summer, you Fall-impersonating fool, you. I'll love you forever.

Foxes were a big part of summer, mostly because they are the divine creatures of Fall, and their fur is red, so beautiful. 
I started wearing #myfoxpurse the day the pumpkin spice came out, and also started wearing lots of fox things (1, 2, 3).

Then this happened:

And life was just pure, unadulterated bliss. 
Also, it was super weird. 
I somehow managed to watch that video when it was around 200,000 views, and as I'm writing currently, at 11:19am on October 30th, it's at 174,147,265 views.
I'll never understand the internet, but I'm glad it's around.

There was my discovery of green apple chapstick, and student workers infested our office space for a few months. 
I finally tracked down and bought patio furniture, and was able to enjoy glorious summer mornings on the back porch (when it wasn't raining). 
Then there was that one really weird cardigan incident

Another random but extremely delightful part of summer here that I will miss greatly are the butterfly-infested flower bushes right outside of our door.
They are swarming with butterflies during the day, and it's the most beautiful thing. Dusty and I would sometimes come home from school/work and just stare at them, enchanted.

I was also able to do some minor redecorating in the guest room and our bathroom, and our guest room is probably my favorite room in the house. It's covered in random travel memorabilia, and odds and ends that hold special meaning and memories. And the cats like it, so. They know what's up.


In progress:


Re-knobbed, via Anthropologie.
My dream of having a dresser with funky mismatched Anthro knobs is complete.

Window touches:
1) Painted brooch by Inspired Tales // Postcard from Paris
2) Souvenirs from London
3) Birthday card // Chocolate Frog box from HP World

"The Only Thing" print by Mae Chevrette on Etsy

Last but not least, I was able to take a tour of the new library being built on campus!
In otherwords, my new workplace, starting January of 2014.

I was really hoping we'd be moving in sooner than that (seeing as I'm leaving next year, and the more time spent in a window-lit office, the healthier I'll be). Even so, seeing the building in-progress was pretty exciting!
It has come a long way since I took this tour, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the building finished, and ready for me to visit the Starbucks there. Every day.

I had to borrow my boss's tennis shoes, because I was dressed quite typically in a skirt and blouse, with sandals.
The associate dean came into the office and said, "Have you seen the new building yet?"
(Looking at my feet): "Can you find a suitable pair of shoes?"

And off we went.
It was a good 2 hour tour, but I didn't mind being away from work too much.

This will be our office!

The construction zone next door that our window looks out over is going to be the new music building, so I'm not sure how much it will obstruct our views of the mountains and trees. But there is a lake on the opposite side of the building that I can easily look out onto from the terrace right outside of our offices - so I won't complain too much. 

Obviously the only other thing of importance that I will show you is the Starbucks.
Starbucks will be on that second level, and below that (I believe) will be a sushi spot and a pizza place. 
There will be a cool overhanging walkway from the second level to a ledge up against the windows for additional seating. 
I'm pretty excited to see how it all turns out!

And thus, summer ends. It is finished, but not forgotten.
Speaking of all the sad lasts, this is our last Fall season in Lynchburg. So with that in mind, I will cherish every second.
But I will hold summer in my heart, just the same.