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Tuesday, July 26

Do you remember this chick?

I've written about Jodi before. She's currently in Houston undergoing treatment for leukemia. She and her sister Jami (from Bowling Adventures) are both from South Carolina. Jami just got back to SC from Houston; she was donating stem cells for her sister.

On Monday Jodi checks in for a month at MD Anderson to undergo another round of chemo and ultimately receive a stem cell transplant on Aug. 8. Per her Caring Bridge journal, they expect this round of chemo to the nastiest yet, and basically she's going to feel pretty yucky all of next week.

The hospital calls the day she receives her transplant her "Re-Birthday." So I was wondering if each of you would be up for mailing her a re-birthday card sometime next week. We can't make the side effects of the medicine go away or make her transplant recovery happen any faster or smoother, but we can try to brighten her week up as much as possible...and I think showering Jodi with re-birthday love would be a great way to do that.

You can find her mailing address at the top of her Caring Bridge page, or if you'd like me to send it to you, comment below and I will email it to you (provided that your email is enabled).
Also, if you live in the Carolinas, here's info on the next fundraiser for Jodi. It's Saturday, July 30, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Howard's on Main in Greenwood.
Please come and help support Jodi Oliver and have fun while doing so! We are raising money to help her cover her medical bills while receiving treatments for Leukemia.

Jodi will be having her transplant on August 1...what a perfect reason to celebrate Jodi!

Jodi's friend Clay Sprouse will be there providing some wonderful entertainment along with another band, City of Gold. We will also have "Jodi is a Rockstar" t-shirts for sale and koozies.

Local businesses have donated items for our auction, some of the items include:2 loads of sod from Super Sod and Landscape Supply. a grill from Lowe's, an oil painting from Karen Johnson, a photography session, massage gift cards, plants and flowers, and a few other things. We are lucky enough that several business have donated items so far, so please come and see if you would like to purchase anything. The auction should be fun...we have a live auctioneer lined up to help us out! If you would like to donate something for the Auction please email Jami Bowling at

I want to thank Howard so much for letting us use Howard's on Main! Hope to see lots of people there to support Jodi!!

There will be a minimum of a $5 donation/cover charge to attend. Proceeds go to Jodi :)

Thanks so much, lovelies!

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Monday, July 25

Before I get into telling you about my adventures this weekend, I want to touch on two things.
James Estrin/The New York Times
First, I've written before about my support of marriage equality, regardless of sexual orientation. It put an absolute smile on my face this morning to see this New York Times blog post about Cheryle Rudd and Kitty Lambert, who were one of the first same-sex couples to be married this weekend. The mayor of Niagra Falls declare them legally wed just minutes after midnight.
Image borrowed from Mary's blog
Second, please keep my high school classmate Mary in your thoughts and prayers today. She is the widow of TJ Dudley, the Marine that I wrote about earlier this month. Today is the day that her husband would have come home if he had lived. Mary's strength over the last three weeks has absolutely amazed me. She had the courage to write about her perspective of the events, and her blog post has had more than 19,000 hits.

Okay, now on to the first Ladies Adventure Club stunt.

On Friday about lunchtime, I got a FB invitation to go skydiving. My friend Carolyn had purchased passes to take her siblings as a Christmas present, and they had had to postpone because of poor weather. The passes were due to expire and none of her siblings could make it, so Carolyn put it out there to her friends because she really wanted to do this.

Now I will be the first person to tell you that skydiving isn't normally something that I would see myself doing; I'm actually a little afraid of heights, but it was Friday afternoon, and I figured the opportunity to go for free wouldn't come around a second time. So what the hell?

I was nervous all of Friday afternoon, but Saturday I just woke up excited. Since my Prius gets awesome gas mileage, I offered to drive. I took the car to get washed and vacuumed and headed to Carolyn's. We stopped to pick up a third friend, Kate (not the same Kate who just got engaged), and we hit the road.

About an hour later, we arrived at Skydive Carolina and got checked in. We had quite a wait before we could jump. So we got checked in, grabbed some lunch and found a shady tree to sit under while we waited for our training class.  While we waited, we got to see a lot of other divers, which only served to build excitement.

We took our training class, which was about a 15 minute video, and about 45 minutes after that, we met our tandem jump instructors and they helped us get suited up for the jump.

My instructor's name is Gene. He was super-cool and friendly. He also graduated from Clemson, but since he was responsible for keeping me alive, I decided it would be best not to hold that against him.

On the flight up, I started to get really nervous. I was about to jump from a perfectly good airplane! I looked at Carolyn, and said "What the hell was I thinking?"

At that point Gene started pointing out the clouds and explaining how the shapes and movement are made. I can't even describe how beautiful it was. The top of clouds look so different from the bottom, and I guess I had never noticed them on commercial flights before. You can see all this movement and patterns. The clouds have a lot of topography on top, whereas from the ground, they are essentially flat.

Before we knew it, we were at 10,000 feet, and it was time to go. Gene connected the hooks (one at each shoulder and on either side of my waist) and helped me get my helmet and goggles on.

We were at the back of the plane so I wound up jumping last. First there were two individual divers. It was wild to see them step out of the plane into nothing but air. Then Kate and her instructor were out before I could see her go because we were sliding along the benches to the door. I saw Carolyn go with her instructor, but it didn't really register because now I was at the door of an airplane, looking down at clouds and the ground waaaay below me. My stomach is in knots again just thinking about it.

When you jump tandem, you squat down as low as you can and your instructor rocks your three times before you rock out the down. You essentially somersault into the air and free fall at 120 mph for about 50 seconds before you. All I know is that I was looking out the door and then we were falling.

It was such a shock that I didn't scream. I was just trying to remember how to breathe. Carolyn and Kate said that the free fall was more of a rush than scary. I don't know about that. It was terrifying, but in a thrilling way. And that 50 seconds was about the longest 50 seconds of my life. We didn't pay for videography, so I'm going to borrow a few photos from the company's FB page.

Miss South Carolina coincidentally jumped the same day we did, so she still looks great.
Photos from Skydive Carolina FB page

Once the parachute opens, you're just gliding and lazing along in the air. That part was really relaxing. Gene pointed out another airfield below us, where there were antique airplanes flown, a B-52 from World War II and a yellow bi-plane from the 1930s. And he let me hold the parachute straps for a while so I could steer us. LOL. I found I don't really have the upper body strength to do much of anything besides hang on.

The landing actually went a lot smoother than I thought it would. From the ground, it looked like sudden drop for about the last 50 feet or so that should be accompanied with a big "thump!" But it actually was more of a graceful swoop down, no stomach-flipping necessary. You lift you feet as high as you can so the instructors feet touch down first.

Gene had told me that the wind would probably drag us backward, and it did for maybe 8-10 feet, but there were people on the ground to grab us and anchor us, and we both landed on our feet.

Once I was on the ground, a couple people told me I looked stunned and kept asking if I was alright. I think it was probably from spending all day in the heat. Once my stomach got out of my throat and back to where it belonged and I had a Gatorade, I felt a lot better.

The verdict is that I'm glad I got over my fear and joined the adventure. It was an awesome experience. I'm definitely hoping to take the Mister one day and do it again.

The next Ladies Adventure Club trip is camping and whitewater rafting. I have done this before, and I cannot wait!

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Sunday, July 24


1. At the top of my Happy List this week was a girls' adventure yesterday. If you follow me on twitter, then you already know what we headed off to do, but if not, I'll be sharing pictures tomorrow. We've kind of started a Ladies Adventure Club. Our next trip is camping and whitewater rafting.

2. Haircut! My SIL Mireya sent me this cute photo of Katie Holmes as a suggestion.

Source: None via Aubrey on Pinterest
And using that for inspiration, this is what we got:
I'm loving how short it is again, and it feels so much better in this summer heat.

3. My bestest Kate got engaged! Her boyfriend proposed on a recent trip to the Grand Canyon - a beautiful backdrop and a beautiful ring.

4. Cherries are in season and on sale. Yum!

5.  I'm getting a newer laptop. I love my little 13-inch Powerbook, but she is long in the tooth. The Mister is giving me his Powerbook because he got a Macbook Pro from his dad. It's little bigger and newer than mine, which is a reason to celebrate. Next time I get the newer computer. =)

Do you want to play along? Be sure to click the button at the top of the post to link your Happy List up with Mamarazzi.

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Friday, July 22

Because confession is good for the soul.

I confess...

This morning I woke up not feeling so well. The Mister brought some kind of cruddy sickness into our house last week. I thought for a few minutes about not going in at the office today.

But guess what? When you own the business, you better be pretty sick to not go in. Because the work just doesn't get done least not in my office.

So I came on in. And I'm glad I did because I'd rather be here today not feeling well than be here on Saturday feeling great.

I confess...

I have an appointment for a haircut tomorrow. Every time I have a hair appointment I think about cutting all my hair off. Tomorrow I'm actually going to do it.

It's been over 100 degrees every day this week. Long hair just doesn't cut it anymore. (Pun intended...hehe)

The last time I cut all my hair off, it was right before we had our engagement photos.
Chi Photography
Yesterday, the Mister told me he was never crazy about that haircut. So now I need new ideas. Anyone want to email me some cute short haircut ideas? I definitely need them, and I could use the distraction as it's Friday.

I confess...

We've skipped grocery shopping the past two weeks because we're trying to clear the freezer and cupboards out. So meals this week have consisted of things like macaroni with hot dogs and stir fry with rice, which is fine as long. We're lucky that we don't have to eat like that all the time.

Tomorrow morning, however, there will be grocery shopping. Because I'm out of coffee creamer. And the Mister and I both know that Aubrey with no coffee is no fun at all.

I confess...

I'm kind of glad that the cupboards pretty much bare because that means that I can get us back on track with the healthy eating situation. And don't worry. For those of you who keep sending "I miss following your training" motivations on Daily Mile, I plan to be back on the workout track too.

I'd really like to slim up for my birthday party in a few weeks. I mean really, if I have to turn 30 29 again, I may as well look fabulous doing it.

I confess...

Speaking of my 30th birthday. Earlier this year, I wrote a 30 before 30 list. I looked back over it, and I accomplished about two of the tasks. And I'm okay with that because looking back on the last six months, I've done plenty of other things that bring me happiness. So I guess I'm officially turning the list into a bucket list.

So what do you have to confess this week? If you want to play along, be sure to click the button at the top of the post and link your confessional up with Mamarazzi.
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Wednesday, July 20

This is the first time that I'm participating in We Want to Know Wednesdays, which is hosted by Mamarazzi and new co-host Alicia aka Queso.


{1} What would you do with an extra $1000 a month?
 As much as I would like to splurge, the Mister and I have just done an overhaul on our budgets. So I would probably put about half in retirement savings and the other half toward paying the cars off sooner.

{2} What category of blogger do you think you best fall under?
My blog started as a wedding blog, but it has quickly evolved into a general following of our day-to-day lives. I don't think it has a specific focus...well, I do talk a lot about shoes. =)

{3} What is your go to solution when you are having a bad hair day?
On a work day, it goes up in a bun. If I don't have to be at work, I'll probably just put a hat on.

{4} If you were a Crayon, what color would you be?
Probably red or orange to match my hot temper.

{5} They say love is in the little things. What is a little thing someone does to show you love?
The Mister makes me a cup of coffee every morning. I'm quite a hear when I've first woke up, and this really helps me start the day off right.

If you want to play along, be sure to grab the button and link up with Mamarazzi and Queso.
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Tuesday, July 19

I'm guest blogging for Jami at Bowling Adventures today while she's in Houston donating stem cells for her sister Jodi.
image via weheartit

Go visit her blog to see my favorite ways to beat the summer heat and to let Jami and Jodi know that they are rock stars.

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Monday, July 18


Hi everyone...sorry about the brief blogging hiatus. The last two weeks were hard ones, and I don't like to spread a lot of sadness on my blog.

Which is all the more reason for me to participate in Mamarazzi's Happy List this week. It really is important to count and be thankful for all the little blessings in our lives and focus on the positive. Here's what is making me smile these days:

1. Finishing all the Harry Potter books in time to go see the movie with the Mister. I thoroughly enjoyed going on a dinner and a movie date, and I thought the final movie was really well done.

2. Spending Saturday afternoon at the pool with the Mister and his family. I got to play all afternoon with one of our nieces who is 2 1/2 years old. You can't not smile around a child that age.

3. Rearranging our bedroom furniture. We moved my bookshelves so that now I have a little reading nook, which has been wonderful.

4. Watermelon from our garden. Yum, yum, yum.

5. New shoes. This pair arrived from Shoe Dazzle last week. I'm really looking forward to going out in these babies.

Want to play along? Be sure to click the button at the top of the post to link your Happy List up with Mamarazzi.

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Friday, July 8

image via weheartit
All mortal beings, which God brought forth, die the same
Man is not exempt
All will inevitably end as the dust from whence we came
It matters not of age
Do not mourn me if I should fall in a foreign land
Think this of my passing
In a far-off field a finer soil mixed with the foreign sand
A dust that is American
A dust that laughed, cried, and loved as an American
On this plot there shall be
A little piece of America, a patch for the free man
Which no oppressor can take
From this soil grows grass shimmering a little greener
Brilliant emerald ramparts
A Breeze whisping White Poppies with scent a little sweeter
Flowers towards heaven
Mourn not my terrible death but celebrate my cause in life
Viewed noble or not
I would have sacrificed and gave all that I had to give
Not to make man good
But only to let the good man live.
Aaron Seesan

This poem was written by 1st Lt. Aaron Seesan while he was a senior in high school. Six years later, Aaron died in combat in Iraq.

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Source: Marine Corps FB page
I was going to do Friday Confessions today, but I just got news that is so much more important.

One of my high school classmates was killed yesterday morning in Afghanistan during his sixth deployment. He was a proud soldier in the Marines, and he was due to come home later this month.

His wife and I also graduated together. They have three children together. When he was home between deployments, he was a volunteer firefighter.

Please keep wife, children, parents and family in your prayers and thoughts. This is a reminder to me to be thankful for the men and women who serve our country daily at great personal risk and for their families.

Update: Local news story - Fort Mill Times

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Thursday, July 7

I read in the local paper last week that our zoo had a baby spectacled owl, and I immediately asked the Mister if we could go see it.

The Riverbanks Zoo is really large. There are over 2,000 animals there. There are also 70 acres of botanical gardens to visit (which is another post altogether). We have a membership at the zoo; so on Monday morning, off we went. We usually try to get there right when it opens to avoid the heat and crowds.

The little guy is as big as his parents at eight weeks old. As he reached maturity, his feathers will turn brown. Doesn't he remind you of Hedwig from Harry Potter?

My two favorite exhibits to visit are the koala and the lorikeets. We arrived early enough during this visit to see the koalas awake. They're usually asleep since they're nocturnal. In the lorikeet pen, you can sometimes get the birds to perch on your shoulder or arm, but no luck this visit.

These guys were pretty interactive this visit. The horned bill kept following us along the walkway with his mouthful of leaves, and the crowned cranes kept displaying their feathers and running along to catch worms. I really enjoy the zoo first thing in the morning because all the animals are having breakfast.

I had a good time watching this baby baboon. He was clearly in the mood to play, and all the others wanted to nap in the heat. He was also nursing on his mother, who is right behind him.

Our zoo has a kangaroo walkabout where you can walk right in the exhibit. But the kangaroos are always against the fence from the pathway as they can get. I'd love to see them moving around during a visit, but we haven't gotten there at the right time yet.

The meerkats were my new favorite place to visit. They were having so much fun burrowing around. The display information said that "teenagers" are posted around the outsides of the burrows to keep an eye on the babysitters.

I also took pictures in the elephants and gorilla exhibits, but they must not have saved properly.

The Mister and I just hit the highlights, and when the really animals (the crowds of tourists) started piling in and the temperatures got to about 97 degree, we'd decided it was time to head out.

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Wednesday, July 6

A neighbor of mine recently thought of my blog when he was emailed these funny shoes. They were too silly not to share.

For the record, none of these shoes are invited to visit my closet.

I was not provided with a source for these images. My apologies for not providing a link.
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