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A Wedding, and New Zealand!

Life has been very good — and very busy! — over the last few months. First up — my sister got married this weekend!

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The ceremony took place at my family’s stables, with reception in my parents’ backyard. It was lovely and filled with light, but best of all it was filled with family!

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Here’s me with some of my cousins (and an aunt!) up in Nashville two days before the wedding. Most of the family flew into Nashville the first night so we went up and stayed with them, and partied on Broadway. Let’s just say much fun was had by all, and leave it at that.

My family is big, and loud, and full of love (and partying!). One of my favorite parts of the wedding reception was dancing down a line of clapping relatives and getting goofy with it. The photographer was snapping away like mad so I should have some delightfully ridiculous photographs to show you eventually.

New Zealand

Long story short, my sister (not the one who got married) has an opportunity to live with and learn from an amazing horsewoman in New Zealand who has stayed with our family before, so I agreed to accompany my sister over to New Zealand and get her settled in for her two-month-long stay. We leave in two weeks!

This will be my first real out of the country experience (I went to Canada once as a kid, before they required passports, so that doesn’t really count) and I’m thrilled nearly almost unto death!

Any followers in New Zealand, or Sydney for that matter? My sister and I have a 13-hour layover in Sydney and we’re doing a whirlwind tour!

Writing

Except for an interlude for the wedding, writing is going very well! I’m working on edits for Cobworld and still brainstorming on Shotgun Girl, but it’s all taking form. I was hoping to be able to work on Shotgun Girl for NaNoWarmUp, but unfortunately with the edits and the traveling (!!!!!) I don’t think that will take place. But here’s the current playlist for Shotgun Girl if you’re curious!

Talk to you soon!

<3, Savannah

PS: Here’s a ‘before and after’ on my wedding hair! The hairspray/teasing combo gave me hard little hair nuggets that took two shampoos, a hair mask, and brushing in the shower to get it all out! Worth it though :)

wedding hair

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The Happiest Day of My Life

Saturday was the happiest day of my life… well, so far anyway :-) These are my top 3 moments:

First, Chris graduated!

chris and sav grad smallAfter six years of hard work and sacrifice… the late nights, the family events skipped, the constant pressure and stress, the leisure time clouded by the need to study, the daily commute, not getting home until 10PM… after all that my favorite person in the world finally graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree!

We were in the very back of the room. The graduates entered and we could see Chris looking around for us, but it wasn’t until he got to his seat that he looked back, and me being so tall of course I waved and he saw us, and his face lit up in this gleeful grin, and that was awesome, but hearing his name get called was even better. I was squirming like a puppy, and his sister and I jumped up and down and shrieked like maniacs.

Most of his entire extended family was able to come down for Alabama and be with us. The ceremony was short and sweet, and we all took bunches of pictures afterwards. Even though the singer forgot the words to the national anthem, and the announcer of names said all of them like he was announcing for professional wrestling (I’m not kidding. It was kind of amazing), it was just a perfect graduation, a perfect morning.

And then we got to party!

We had over thirty of our nearest and dearest out to Chris’s sister’s house for a pool party in celebration of Chris’s graduation. I wore a bikini for the first time and played pool volleyball, which is actually what I had just been doing when Chris gathered everyone together, presumably to make a little speech, and then cut the cake.

Chris talked for a minute about how glad he was everyone could be here, and how excited he was to graduate, then asked me to join him up in front of everyone. He said some very endearing things about how I’ve supported him through this process, and then…

Favorite moment #2:

AHHHHHHH!!!! WE’RE ENGAGED!!!!!

party engagementWe had discussed getting engaged after he graduated, and had actually specifically discussed NOT doing it at the party (at my insistence) because that day was supposed to be all about Chris… but secretly I was hoping for it!

It was so wonderful to get to celebrate with all the central people to our lives (minus some family and friends who unfortunately due to distance or prior obligations could not be with us that day).

And my third favorite moment of the day…

Chris and I reclined on adirondacks by the glowing pool during a glorious pink sunset. We hadn’t slept well the night before, and the day had been exhilarating and exhausting. I was slipping in and out of consciousness. The gazebo was lit up with string lights, and a little fire pit was going, with the last of the party guests sitting around it.

It was truly just a great, great day.

<3, Savannah

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To Live Up to the Spirit That Is In Me

to live up to the spirit that is in meThis image has been the cover to my Pinterest board about life and writing ever since it was created. Some people have boards about life advice, and some people have boards for writing, but for me the two are so interconnected I didn’t want to separate them.

I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot these days. I’ve been looking over my past posts, and particularly drafts of posts chronicling the long journey towards publication. I’ve had a lot of internal ups and downs, and when I’m finally able to make that exciting announcement about a book deal, I want to be able to share with you how I felt in those moments of hope or despair.

These days, however, mostly what I feel is calm. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, and today I’d like to talk a little bit about that journey.

When I stepped down from Pub Crawl two years ago, I felt lost. I knew I needed out–out from the cycle of talking about writing instead of actually writing, out from the hamster wheel of social media, out from the sense that I was failing, stagnant, unwanted. I didn’t know it then but I’d reached a plateau with my writing, and the only way I knew how to fix it was to go back to my roots. I needed to be alone, to break my habit of watching TV instead of reading, to focus on me and my writing journey instead of constantly comparing myself to others.

Continue reading “To Live Up to the Spirit That Is In Me”

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Stop the Holidays, I Want to Get Off (With GIFs!)

I love the holidays. I love decorating and singing holiday songs and eating caloric food and visiting family.

But the day after the actual event I am done. DONE, do you hear me?

This December was a flurry of activity, with my writing, work, and personal life all swirling together. In case you weren’t aware, I’m in a leadership role in my day job, and act as the coordinator for a lot of our company events. Let’s break this down:

December Week 1

Turned in ACORAS to my agent! Celebrate! Indulge in guilt-free television-watching sessions and internet surfing!

Begin to think guiltily about ACORAS 2, which I officially started for NaNoWriMo and stopped working on in order to not over-stimulate the story.

Week 2

Even though I’d been planning for it all year, scrambled this week to fill the final details on the annual company Christmas party! Have first stress migraine.

At party receive recognition reward in front of all staff. Ride in limo.

Week 3

I was in NYC again! This time Chris went with me! It was a structured event so we had no free time to see friends or family (though I did sneak in half an hour with Sammy Bina while I was supposed to be touring the World Trade Center Memorial Center).

If you’ll recall, I was in NYC basically the same weekend last year, so it was a lot of dejavu. I still didn’t have time to see the NYC Public Library (it’s on my bucket list), but Chris and I had a wonderful time at the stuff we did get to do, which included eating at fabulous restaurants, giggling so hard we cried at WICKED on Broadway, eating the best pizza and cannolis I have ever had from some hole in the wall place, and buying way too many scarves in Chinatown.

Week 3

Our family Christmas party! We had a Godfather theme this year, so we served home-made meatballs and spaghetti sauce, home-made bruschetta, and made our own meat trays and caprese! We bought way too much food and have agreed to tone it down for next year, which is a total relief because preparing all that was exhausting.

Week 4

Christmas!! We spent every spare minute with family. Chris gifted me with all of our much-wished-for camping gear, so we will finally be able to go camping together as soon as the weather warms! Speaking of weather, it managed to sleet/snow here the day after Christmas, which is sort of a Christmas miracle. I’ll take it.

We went fox hunting with my family, but it was miserable cold, and we weren’t allowed to keep the car on or talk at all because we had to listen to the radio and for the hounds. It was awful.

This Week!

I’m sick, but finally back at work and on a regular schedule. It is such a relief to be ‘back to normal’ after a month of deviation. We are dieting and running again, I will be able to write more in the evenings, and we will take more steps towards finishing the updates on the house.

Goals for 2013

  • Sign a book deal. This one isn’t really up to me at this point, but it would be nice to do :-)
  • Finish the second sleeping beauty story. I loved having a month off in December because it showed me how much I can’t help developing stories. The second book is coming alive in ways it totally didn’t when under the deadline of NaNoWriMo. I’m very excited to turn it into another work I’m incredibly proud of.
  • Run in a 5K. Chris and I didn’t run in December at all, but we’re back on it starting tonight!
  • Hit my goal weight. We really have this diet and exercise thing down pat, it’s just a matter of sticking to the process. I’m excited for the progress I know will come.
  • Update my crafting blog twice a month.

Oh, what’s that? Crafting blog? Yes, I craft. I am a crafter. I just love making stuff with my hands, but I feel weird about sharing that stuff on here since you guys aren’t here for that. So, I’ve decided to separate out the projects, and if you’re interested you can follow along at Paper & Teal. It’s something I’m just getting started, but I should have some of my past projects up there soon, and I’m doing a new one with Chris this weekend.

2013 here we come!

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What about you? What are you up to/what are your goals for 2013? Leave a link to your blog if you’ve already blogged about it!

<3, Savannah

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Things I’m Up To and Into

First, I want you to know I’m working on subsequent articles about social issues related to beauty, makeup, weight, etc., but I’m trying to move slow with them so I’m certain of my position and how I want to talk about this stuff. Glad to know you guys are as interested in it as I am :-)

Here are some things I’m doing now:

Writing. It’s been a bad few weeks, writing-wise. I’ve been stuck and unsatisfied, but it worked out, like it always does. I took a few steps back and just let my characters play around, and broke through my obstacles. Just asking myself, ‘how are they feeling in this scene? What do they want right now?’ really, really helps. I’m considering making posters of writer’s-block-breaking questions like this.

So ACORAS is moving forward, and I’m tinkering in my mind with a few side projects.

Running. Chris and I ran THREE MILES on Saturday! Whaaaat! Full disclosure: I only made it 2.25 before I had to stop and walk, but I finished strong!

Planning for Halloween. I’m attending a conference in early October in Atlanta, GA, and there’s going to be a costume ball! This year I’m going as Persephone when she’s Queen of the Underworld. My vision was big, black, and gauzy. Here are some of the inspiration photos:

   

I’ve also ordered a black wedding veil, and my sewing-talented mother is getting involved, so I can’t wait to show you all the final product. What are you going as for Halloween?

Last year I felt pretty lackluster about Halloween and autumn in general, so this year I avoided thinking about it so I’d feel ready to do it big!

I’m really loving this Martha Stewart Halloween Handbook. Picked it up at the magazine rack at the grocery store.

You can see my other Halloween plans here on my Pinterest board.

Preparing for Christmas. Every year Chris and I throw a party at our house for our two families. This year we went with a Godfather theme. Here’s the party invitation:

The menu includes  Chris’s Nana’s meatball recipe, home-made baguettes for custom crustinis, and home-made cannolis. Chris tested out the cannoli recipe at my parent’s house this weekend and they were so good. We made them with Kahlua filling ;-)

My color theme for Christmas this year is light green and silver. You can see my decorating ideas here on my Pinterest Christmas board.

…Have I mentioned that I love holidays?

Take special note of this pin. I’m currently making it in white and green.

DIY. Speaking of Pinterest, it led me to discover tons of DIY projects that rip off Anthropologie decorations. If you’re like me, you love Anthro but don’t want to pay the high price. Now you don’t have to. Special thanks to this blog, my new favorite.

Music. I’m adding music all the time to the ACORAS playlist, if you were interested. The latest piece is this absolutely beautiful instrumental piece from one of my favorite calming music artists, Liquid Mind. It literally made me cry. Do you know how rare that is?

I’m also loving Little Talks from Of Monsters and Men. I designed an animated music video for it in my head that is about ACORAS. What? You do it, too.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Chris and my dog Bella wrestling on the floor:

What are you doing for Halloween? What are you into lately? Got any Christmas plans yet?

<3, Savannah