Posts Tagged ‘UVA’

Yesterday, it was rainy, dark and February. Today, is bright, sunny and March. Hallelujah! I decided I’d make everything in this hodge-podge-of-a-post fresh and sunny, too.

Ahhh, sunshine!

Yep, Ryan and I spent a long weekend in Siesta Key, Florida last week. We also went there last February with the Galls (you can read all about it here). And this year didn’t disappoint either. Heated pools, ice cream shops within walking distance, 75 degrees… I was a happy girl.

And while returning to Virginia did not exactly have the same level of excitement and anticipation as getting off the plane in Florida, I am constantly reminded by how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful and culturally rich area.

I decided to go for a walk on the Lawn this morning. This picture was taken around 9am. It amazes me that in the year 2012, with 20,000 students attending the University, you can still walk on the Lawn and be the only soul on it (okay, I saw a few people, but not many). It’s just downright magical. I’d like to think that even with all the construction and development, all the noise pollution, all the short-shorts and beer cans; on mornings like this, the light coming through the trees on the Lawn might look just like it did to Jefferson hundreds of years ago.

And, I have another reason to happy this morning (as if I needed another!). New art! Sitting at my favorite coffee shop, Cafe Cubano, early in February, I couldn’t help but notice Cory Gibson’s artwork. The abstract prints spoke to me, and (I could hardly believe it) the pieces were very  affordably priced. I snatched up one of them and asked if he had any other prints, not included in the installation, that I might see. And, of course, I snatched up one of those, too. Good things are better in pairs.

I’ve been playing with where I’ll put them. Maybe a mantel arrangement, like this, from one of my favorite Apartment Therapy home tours ever.

I’ll be back soon with some music updates (woohoo!). Until then, I hope everyone has a fantastic March.


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We had the best time this weekend with our besties, Ethan and Allison. The weekend started off with Ethan and Allison rolling up to their old townhome (now rental property) to discover that their small back yard had become a small jungle. So, we packed up the lunch I had prepared and brought it to them.

Sitting in their empty kitchen on their countertops cracking open some Coors Lights in the afternoon was actually a lot more fun than sitting around a table. We had sandwiches, fruit salad, five-cheese chips (the best!), and chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

Oh, and I made a little welcome basket for E&A to make them feel a little but more at home— since we have a one bedroom, anybody that stays over has to sleep in our living room (not the best accommodations). I packaged up some of the chocolate chip cookies I had made the day before, threw in some fresh towels and some soap (I always seem to forget soap/ body wash when traveling), and it seemed to make the living room a bit homier.

We had a fantastic time just shootin’ the breeze, sitting out on the porch under a fan for most of the afternoon. We eventually headed inside where we had dinner. Because it was graduation weekend at U.Va., we knew it would be virtually impossible to go anywhere without a reservation. And, the absolute, best place you could possibly want to go in Cville on graduation weekend would be C&O. And because there was no hope of us going to C&O, we decided to create a C&O menu inspired by their to-die-for steak chinoise. We had sesame-ginger grilled flank steak; basil mashed potatoes; roasted broccoli; and of course, chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I have to say, I don’t think anyone was missing C&O…. the dinner was bangin’!!!

This morning we just lounged, had brunch at Cafe Cubano, and strolled the mall— it just doesn’t get old for us. Then, we lounged some more and finally packed E&A up for their trip home. I thought I would use this time to exercise my new photography knowledge but I totally failed by forgetting the most important rule— if you’re lighting sucks, move your subjects! Unfortunately, this occurred to me as the Dodsons were pulling out of the drive way. Bummer. At least we got to capture a bit of the weekend. Hope everybody else’s weekends were filled with as much love and laughter.

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Sunday Brunch

It’s almost the weekend which, I believe, warrants a fun picture.

On Sunday, my cousin, Amy, came to visit Cville which gave me and Matt (also a cousin) a chance to grab brunch with her. It was so fun catching up and hearing about both of their adventures at Mary Wash and U.Va. We are also secretly planning a next-generation Gerrard compound in Cville, though, perhaps, not-so-secret if I’m posting it here. Muahahaha. Yay to Amy and Matty visiting! Can’t wait for more cousin reunions.

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I’m so happy to be able to post that one of my best friends, Jenn McDaniel, recently got engaged to her boyfriend, Brodie Downs! This is a pic of Jenn and Brodie shortly after they met… I think this was taken in June of ’07.

Brodie had planned to pop the question during a trip they had scheduled to Haiti, but after snow kept their flight from getting out, he had to resort to Plan B and ended up popping the question back at home here in Charlottesville on December 26th.

Jenn and I met each other at U.Va. when I was going through rush as a 2nd year. I ended up pledging AXO, where Jenn was already a member, and we got to know each other through some common classes we were taking. Then, at the end of fourth year, when everyone was trying to decide what to do and where to move, Jenn and I figured out that we were both planning to stay in Charlottesville, so we decided to live together. Thus began, our three-year run, if you will, in River Run (the subdivision we were living in). Jenn and I did so much together those three years: walks in the neighborhood, Tuesday nights at South Street, watching cheesy chick-flicks together, NBC 29 parties, countless dinners and conversations, and everything in between. I was so blessed that Jenn could stand beside me as I got married, and now, I’m so happy to be a part of Jenn’s big day!

Note: Contrary to the title of this blog post “Jenn and Brodie!” this montage should probably be named “Jenn and Maria!”. What can I say, the groom always gets slighted!

Me and Jenn at Monticello.

Out at Mellow. One of my favorite pics of us!

And, here’s one of my favorite, favorite candid shots from my wedding. Photo by Liz Hough.

And, here’s all “my girls”– minus Mel! Love this one, too!

You can see more photos of our wedding here and here.

I know the entire celebration is going to be so joyous and beautiful… I can’t wait for the big day! Congrats Jenn and Brodie!

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I thought I’d post some pics (now that I’m trying to take my camera with me everywhere) of the UVA/ UR game this past weekend. We were so happy that Ryan’s friends from undergrad, Jeff and Dana, could come and visit— we had so much fun hanging out with them! The game was definitely all the talk about town: UVA’s first game of the season with a new coach (that we stole from the team we’re playing for the first game).

The weather was absolutely beautiful. It seems in perfect timing (yet at the same time long overdue!) that the first few days of September have ushered in the most beautiful fall weather. We are keeping our windows open and trying to soak up as much of the brisk breezes and the crispy leaves popping underneath our feet before it goes away.

One thing that was not my favorite about this game. #1. Ryan nor I has ever paid for UVA game tickets (they, historically at least, have been pretty easy to come by, especially when I was working for UVA), however, for this game, we waited so long to decide to go and there was so much buzz about the game that we ended up having to buy tickets at the good ol’ fashioned box office. #2. In my life, never have we had such terrible seats. I guess that’s what you get when you wait til the last minute. Though, even for someone like me who’s scared of heights, I have to admit it was kind of fun sitting in the highest seats in the stadium… it was sort of like high school or something, thinking you’re really cool for having the highest seats (and being furthest from the parents).

Here’s the cool kids—Ryan, E & A. Hangin’ in the highest seats in the house.

Dana, Jeff and Ry— a.k.a. the UR contingency.

Ry, watching the game with the mountains on the horizon.

Me and Ry.

So, over the eight or so hours that we spent with Jeff and Dana on Saturday, they were unfortunately exposed to many of the exciting, tedious, neuroticspecial details that fill my life. One which is at the forefront of my mind: how I am going to not kill my orchid. So, I naturally explained my tactics to them and filled them in on the orchid blooming cycle. And, Jeff, finding himself very concerned about my orchid and very eager to help me make this blog a smashing success, suggested that I post my orchid progress and that I perhaps begin to blog about “caring for my orchid.” I don’t think I will take it that far— I’m just not sure if blogging about horticulture is my thing, but I’ll share my orchid progress, so long as it’s pretty and I don’t begin to kill it. So, here’s my orchid one day after I brought it home, which involved letting it sit overnight next to a cold window (apparently the temperature drop at night helps the orchid bloom). I already have two… almost three new blooms!

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