Monday, June 9, 2014

Dipping My Toe...

So, it's been a while. (To say the least--really, it's been almost exactly 11 months.)

I've wanted to get back into blogging for a while, but haven't quite known what to say. Then, randomly, my page count exploded literally overnight. I guess that's my cue. Things have been up in the air for a while and life's thrown a few curveballs. I have several posts drafted that maybe I'll start to address again, but now, it's nice to just get something out there.

This summer will definitely be interesting. There are a few projects (a lot) around the house that we are trying to get finished up finally and I've recently decided not to try and find a job. That's been terrifying. I'm looking at graduating in two years with no ideas or plans. Next summer, I'll be going abroad so I realized that right now, I need to be at home, soaking up every last moment with my family that I can before I get tossed out into the real world.

Yep, terrifying.

Still, it's given me the chance to put together the biggest to-do list in the history of the world (you think I'm exaggerating) and to get to spend some time with my favorite people in the world.

That said, if you're in the area and need some pet or baby sitting? I'm your girl.

Whew, this feels good.

xo.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Biffle-Sis.

I didn't want to bother my Facebook friends with this, so I figured this was the perfect space to get all sappy.

It's my best friend's birthday today. In January, we'll have been friends for 17 years. She's now known me longer than most people--including my younger sisters--and to say that Amanda and I have been through everything together would be an understatement. This past year has been one of our toughest yet, but I'm proud to say that somehow, we've made it work. (Feel free to make a relationship/dating joke at any point now. I promise, they've been made before.)

Speaking of, in high school, we were even given a couple name. Brimanda. We've heard the Siamese twin joke too. In one day, four different people asked us if we were sisters. Two more asked if we were twins.

I think we answered yes.

This girl is basically my polar opposite (aside from the looks). I prefer to think of her as my other half. Amanda describes us as emotional lesbian lovers. Whatever. She's an art major, whereas I just want to take writing classes until I graduate. She flourishes in the summer, I count down the days until I can wear sweaters again. I love to drive and she loves to let me. Roller coasters terrify her. She can fall asleep anywhere. She journals her life through pictures and I often forget I have a camera. She's an extrovert, I'm a massive introvert. I'd rather listen to an adult conversation while she's on the floor with the kids. She cries over most movies; if a movie makes me cry, it's a keeper.


We balance each other.

Both of us live to read. Both of us internalize our emotions like it's our job. Both of us have travel bucket lists. We both like to craft (except she's light years better). We're both cheapos (which makes for more creative activities). We can marathon Disney movies like professionals. We both love our family--and each other's.

Both of us can't imagine life without the other.

I'm desperately missing her today.

Congratulations on your 19 travels around the sun, beautiful. Wish I could celebrate with you.
Happy birthday, A.

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 23

There's been a lot going on around here this week. I've discovered that aside from writing, this is my go-to stress relief. Also, I just like to overshare. -shrugs-
  • Last week, I cut off all my hair. Well, really just a lot of it. I hadn't exactly planned to--and it's been a big adjustment. It definitely took a few days for me to get used to it--and a few days more to figure out why it's been such a big change--and why I've had such an emotional connection to it.
    I was sitting in class the day after I had my hair cut and the prof was calling on people. I purposely looked down at the desk and waited for my hair to fall forward and hide my face. The surprise of that thought may have made me actually look up. Holy shiz, was not expecting that.
    So this past week has been me coming to terms with that idea and how it feels to be...revealed. It's been harder than I was expecting. But I'm getting used to it. Maybe.
  • One of my dearest, sweetest friends has left for the beach for the entire summer and told my friend and I that we could ride her horses while she was gone. I've only been able to go once so far...but the summer isn't over yet! I'm so excited and it seems like a good way to get back into the stable swing before I [hopefully!] start taking lessons again in the fall (the thought of it makes me want to cry a little bit with happiness).
  • The novel that I'm writing with Brit is going really well. Because we both kind of fizzled out last time, we decided to really plan it out this go-round. So far, it's been incredibly inspiring. We're both incredibly pumped (still!) and it's basically taken over our lives. I'm not complaining.

I occasionally get a little OCD. (:
  • Last weekend was Allie's birthday, so I headed down to Charlotte to celebrate with her and some of her friends from high school. It was a fabulous night--we practically closed down South Park by just hanging out and visiting. I've missed her desperately. 
    • also, it was my first time driving through downtown Charlotte alone...and I didn't cry. which is more than I can say for my first solo drive in Atlanta. (I sobbed. Holy goodness, it was terrifying.)
  • Our French exchange student, √Čline, is here! Her sister stayed with us two years ago and then Mom and I stayed with her family in Paris last year. It's fantastic to have her here and I know it's going to be an incredible three weeks. We all volunteered at the local soup kitchen yesterday and she was a total champ. It's overwhelming--even when you speak the language, but she jumped right in to help and was a pro!
  • As of Tuesday morning, I am officially done with Spanish II! Spanish III starts Monday...so right now, I'm enjoying my little "vacation". Every time I get the urge to look ahead in the book (bc, yes, that's the kind of person I am), I squash it. There'll be more than enough time to do that in the next 5 weeks. 
  • The real reason I wrote this was because I remembered a phone call this morning...that I was supposed to have Wednesday afternoon. With finals and our various plans and activities and the three different families that I'm house/pet-sitting for this week, it completely slipped my mind. When I remembered this morning, I frantically emailed the woman and started beating myself up. Why didn't I set a reminder, why didn't I tell my mom so she could remind me, why didn't I... It was not fun. Or helpful.
    So, I emailed her, apologized and decided to stop blaming myself (because really, what's going to change now?). Then I put on a dress, because apparently that's what makes me feel better, and my big girl pants, and felt better. It's not fixed and I still feel horrible and completely unprofessional, but...there's nothing I can do about it now. Oh well.
Off to go cuddle some kitties to make myself feel better. Pet-sitting's the best--all of the cuddles with none of the permanent responsibility. Let's just say, I'm a fan.

xo, B.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Waiting.

I keep waiting for something exciting to happen. Something worth blogging about...something "blog-worthy". Nothing's coming. Yet.
I'm forcing encouraging myself to realize that this doesn't mean I don't have anything to say. Maybe exciting things are happening. Even if it's just little stuff.


  • Amanda is now at camp for the next month and a half ish. She's going to be a phenomenal counselor and all those campers are darn lucky to get to spend a week working with my best friend.


  • Daddy's officially on summer break (really, ISS? Took y'all long enough) and with his help, house construction projects are getting underway! 
  • (I feel like I should type this in all caps.) My best writing buddy, Brit, and I have re-started knocked to the ground and are painfully re-building a novel that we started together. We Skyped for a planning sesh the other night and after three hours and five pages of notes on a Google Doc, we're both getting started.
  • I'm 10 days away from being DONE with Spanish II and the first summer session! Just five weeks after that, and I will forever be done with my foreign language requirement.
  • Thanks to Mackenzie over at Design Darling, I've gotten the travel bug again. It would make my life if I could figure out how to spend a weekend in Charleston before heading back to school. Ugh, Paris, I miss you so.



    •  If you're not friends with me on FB, you might not have known this, but last Tuesday, Maylen turned 14. I celebrated by taking obnoxious amounts of iPhone pictures and refraining from posting/sharing embarrassing stories. Love you, baby sis.




    • Our French exchange student flies in this coming Sunday! Mom and I stayed with her family last summer and we hosted her older sister the summer before that; it'll be great to see her again. We're all pumped.
    • Saturday was the 8th Annual Backyard Ballistics Day with our homeschool group/extended NC family. We basically sat outside for hours and hours, blowing stuff up, crocheting, eating and visiting. It was Happy Soul kinda stuff.


    • It's finally hydrangea season around here (jk, it's actually almost over) and I've had to actually resist going into people's yards to ooh and ahh over their bushes. Ours are still fairly small, but they still make me smile.

    Exciting or not, life-changing or not, life is continuing on in our sleepy, little town. I got stuck behind a tractor today and also passed a goat farm, who had just let all their kids out to romp in the front field. It may be a far cry from Paris, London, or even Chapel Hill, but sometimes, Catawba County, I'm a fan of you.



    xoxo, B.

    Thursday, May 30, 2013

    Home

    I'm kind of in love with being back home. I miss the Hill and my friends dearly (and being able to walk to just about everything was nice too)--but right here is definitely where I need to be right now.

    Because it doesn't feel quite real yet, I've been walking along making a mental list of some of the little things that I adore about being back home:

    • the curve just off 70 on St. Pauls Ch Rd: it has all of those < < < signs, warning you about this "curve", but you can always tell if the people ahead of you are locals. we know not to brake in this tiny little baby curve.
      • Maylen and I were doing errands the other day and I explained to her about the importance of this curve. then we had fun finding the locals from the interlopers. what can I say? we're easy to please.
    • evening walks. Mama and I have started taking the dogs for walks after dinner and it's nice just to be out in the neighborhood. there are still a few people out and about and even more people sitting on their porches, just watching the world go by. it's lovely. (I like to point out all of the beautiful houses and we talk architecture. nerdy and we love it.)


    • my high school friends. it's so wonderful to see them again. graduation was last week and I still haven't quite recovered. I was so emotional and full of so much pride. I'm kind of in love with them all.

    • my family. it's just nice to be back in the house--it almost feels like I'm in high school again. there's a rhythm that's not quite communicated over the phone and Skype and on my two visits home a semester. 
      • fun fact: we're currently working our way through all the seasons of Friends (or rewatching, in my parents' case.) and every time we get a new disc from Netflix, we don't watch it until all of us can sit down and watch every episode. #shameless
    • time with my bff...fffffffff. I've desperately missed Amanda and it's so nice to get to have my "other half" back. we still finish each other's sentences. we're still loud and a little obnoxious. as she would say: "whateva."

    Yep, I'm a fan of you, summer. Thanks for being here.

    xo, B.

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

    For The Kids

    Because I'm about to inundate your Facebook news feeds, I decided that I owed everyone a reason for why I'm about to shamelessly beg for your money. No, wait, don't go anywhere--it's for a good cause, I promise.

    This semester, I'm raising money for Dance Marathon, which is a student-run philanthropic organization here on campus--the largest one, in fact. Each year, they host a 24-hour dance marathon to raise money for the NC Children's Hospital. Let's be honest, at first, I only signed up to dance because who doesn't want to reenact this epic Gilmore Girls episode?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtP-nNqgoOU&list=UL

    But on Saturday, as Allie and I dragged ourselves out of bed, cursed the cold, and participated a 5K for DM, I got the opportunity to hear from a parent and child, who had both personally been affected and helped by Dance Marathon, I was surprised by how much her story mirrored my own.

    Her father spoke to all the runners after his experience with the Children's Hospital and the 107 days he and his wife spent there with their daughter. Hearing his perspective made me realize for the first time what my parents must have gone through with their 52 days in the hospital with me. I thought about the emotional, mental and physical toll this takes on parents and I know that mine spent 1, 248 hours eating take out, sleeping in uncomfortable chairs and watching me to make sure I was still breathing--because there were times when I wasn't. My parents made it through those 7 weeks and 3 days with the support of family, friends, doctors, nurses and groups like Dance Marathon.

    As a public institution, the NC Children's Hospital only receives 6% of it's budget from the state, so the money from DM truly makes a difference. Over 15 years, this single organization has donated over 3.3 million dollars to this institution which serves over 70,000 children from right here in North Carolina. The efforts of Dance Marathon have improved the Neonatal Critical Care Unit, one much like where I spent the first month and a half of my life, and begun the hospital's first pediatric palliative care program (I will fully admit to tearing up just at those words), as well as providing funds for smaller projects, like a program that brings hot meals for parents who have a child undergoing treatment at the hospital, so they don't have to worry about getting it themselves.

    A lot of times, when you donate to a cause, you don't know where it's going. For this, I promise you, 100% of the fundraising total from Dance Marathon goes right to a building approximately six blocks up the road from my dorm.

    So, yes, I'm asking you for money. I'm asking you to help me improve the life of a child and their family, who have much more important things to worry about than where their next meal is coming from or if their child is getting the best care. This way, we can help reassure those fears.

    If you have an extra dollar or two, please donate here: http://www.crowdrise.com/theflashmobuncdance2013/fundraiser/briannenarey

    If not, please send up a prayer, good thought, support, love--to all those families spending their holidays seasons right up the road from me.



    For The Kids,
    Bri

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    November, Part Two

    I'm learning that I'm not so good at daily blogging. As in, I constantly forget. So, weekly? Sounds good to me!

    November 8: I'm thankful for chill bosses (yes, I said that) and understanding what's actually happening in Latin (or understanding the homework, anyway)! Totally something I could get used to.

    November 9: Today, I'm thankful for ALL of my amazing friends here. I have met so many people that I never dreamed I would have so much in common with. I'm also thankful that I got to spend my Friday night celebrating Carson's birthday with these awesome people:


    November 10: I'm thankful for football! (But really, when am I not?) I'm also grateful that if anyone had to stomp us...it was the GA Tech jackets and not State. It's all about putting things in perspective, sometimes.


    November 11: On Veteran's Day, I am always reminded of how thankful I am for my dearest cousins and grandfather who have all served in the military. I'm always thankful for everyone who helps, serves or protects our beautiful country in some way or another.
    (Honorable Mentions for today: Allie, who lets me crash her Notebook watching party and Devin, the best RA ever, who never fails to make me laugh.)

    November 12: I'm thankful for UNC CLD-FLI and the friends I made and the things I learned through this program.
    (More Honorable Mentions: (help! I'm overflowing with thanks.) re-watching The Lion King and all the amazing childhood memories that were all brought back.)

    November 13: Today, I'm beyond thankful for that feeling of accomplishment and the thought that maybe, just maybe, studying helps. And lights at the end of tunnels (read: the beautiful afternoon after a test). That's nice too.

    November 14: Why has someone on this campus not started selling buttons that say: "I survived the great UNC registration of _________ 20___"? Along those lines: I am thankful that I survived the great UNC registration of spring 2013 and even getting some of the classes that I wanted!

    What are YOU thankful for today? There's always something, even if finding it requires a little searching. (:
    ~B