I'm So Excited!


Please tell me that when you read my blog post you instantly thought of Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell in her hot-mess melt-down moment! If you have no clue what I'm talking about, don't tell me...I'm still in denial that my age officially rounds to 30 now!


Tomorrow I am so pumped to FINALLY get the Beebs/B.Do wedding show on the road!

The next 4 days are going to be truly special, as one of my dearest friends in the entire world ties the knot with a truly great guy! Kyle and I literally were with them on their first date, and we've shared so many great moments with these two! I cannot wait to stand up there with her on her big day!
Oh, college!
I'm getting to spend the day with Beebs tomorrow doing all the girly things one must do before getting married, and I couldn't be more excited to get some good time with her in before the real wedding functions begin! I pretty much saw this girl every day for 4 years...we lived down the hall from each other for 2 and with each other for 2...to say that I miss her dearly is an understatement! 

I can't wait to blog about the whole wedding weekend! 


Here's to good friends, love, beautiful weddings, and all things wonderful!

Out and About!


When I'm not waking up at 5:30am every day, I seem to have a ton more energy...crazyyy, I know! Kyle and I are definitely taking advantage of "Summer Laura" by really being intentional about making sure we get out and about, exploring our lovely city, trying out some local "spots," and trying to be active together. And the best part is that not only are we having tons of fun, but it's also been super  healthy for our relationship! We all know that watching TV together on the couch isn't exactly what the experts have in mind when they talk about date night

We hit up a local brewery, Full Steam, which is just the coolest place ever. They have food trucks set up outset selling delicious pizza, ice-cream, and who knows what the heck else. You can bring your own food, buy from them, or just grab a beer while you park yourselves amongst the masses at one of their picnic-tables. You can bring games, play ping-pong, or just sit and socialize.  And if we had a dog, we could bring him too! Kyle and I got into a drawn-out game of Scrabble, which ended with me losing. Good thing he looks so cute when he's thinking ;)

2 of Kyle's favorite things...Scrabble & beer!
Probably why I lost...not a great selection of letters!

Last night we tried a new place called Geer Street Garden, which was just another place with such a cool atmosphere. Again, they had outdoor seating with long tables, and they just plop you down in the middle of one. We decided to be naughty and split something called "the Pile," and it was basically heaven on a plate. We had the best time devouring our food and playing the "question game," which is something we've been doing since high school..pretty much self-explanatory. Nothing fancy, but it's definitely been one of those special things in our relationship over the years! 

I have to say that these two dates are topping my list...as simple as they were! If only every night could be like these!

Get me to the beach!


Hallelujah! It is finally starting to feel like summer, and I couldn't be happier! We had such a wonderful weekend with good friends and family that I couldn't not do a post about it!

Friday was our friend, Keith's birthday, so we met a bunch of friends for a night of Mexican food (yum!) and Mini-Gold (with a side of go-cart racing and laser tags...no, we're not in middle school, but we sure can act like it!). This group of friends has been such a blessing in our lives, and we always have the best time with them!

I can't resist these types of photos! Kyle feels differently...what a good sport!

Kelly's delicious cupcakes! Nom, nom! 
Happy Birthday, Keith! 
We rolled into Wilmington Saturday afternoon, and headed straight for the Yacht Club! It was an absolutely amazing day for the beach with the perfect breeze! The waves were super rough (red flag = my booty stays above the water!), but it was nice to just get my feet wet while Kyle and his brother, much braver souls than me, fought the crazy waves! We got in a nice game of Bocce and some good beach chair relaxing before heading in to get cleaned up for dinner! 

Taking advantage of having both families in town, Kyle and I decided that we would do a joint Father's day dinner so that both families could be together and we wouldn't feel torn about who to spend time with (which is one of only non-perks to having our families be from the same town).  Both sets of parents arrived, and we enjoyed cocktails and appetizers on the upper-porch, overlooking the beach. It was twelve kinds of perfect! 

On Sunday, Kyle and I divided and conquered, each spending time with our own families for father's day! I went to church with my Mom while my Dad went to do Prison Ministry, and then we had lunch with my grandparents at their retirement community! 

Granddaddy opening his card from my Mom!
Grandmother and Mom!
Daddy and me! 
Mom, Dad, and I went to go see Rock of Ages that afternoon (cheesy, but I loved it!), and then I rejoined Kyle and his parents for dinner in downtown Wilmington at one of our favorite restaurants, Circa! We had a delicious meal and a beautiful stroll along the river, capping off a lovely father's day!

I'll take a weekend like this any time! 

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Taking Care of Business


Oh, sweet productivity! Oh, sweet summertime! How I've missed you both! I am 2 days into summer, and I am amazed at how much I have already accomplished in my personal life. During the school year, I am super productive with my teaching and grad-school responsibilities, but I definitely tend to suck it up when it comes to taking care of my personal responsibilities. Exhibit A-- laundry had not been done in this household in at least a month! Luckily, Kyle and I have plenty of clothes to get by, but I knew it was bad when Kyle told me he had to bust out his Christmas boxers on Monday. Needless to say, I did 8 loads of laundry yesterday...I'm not sure if that makes me a rockstar or just super pathetic! I guess that juries still out on that one!

Other than my accomplishments in the laundry room, I have managed to...

*go to the bank-- I know, I know! Big whoop! But, I swear getting to the bank in the school year is such a hassle (especially when it used to not have a drive-through!).  I had quite a few checks saved up for this big deposit!

*get my bridesmaids dress altered-- the best part about this was that I actually had time to research the best one in my area, and so far, I'm loving the low cost I had to pay...we'll see if they come through with some quality work!

*go to the library-- I picked up 5 books...I'm so pumped to read this summer! I got a few by Elin Hildebrand, 2 from a new author, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet that my lovey, Ash, recommended! I'll let you know if any are worth reading!

*cook a dinner-- well, I guess I should say "help" cook a dinner, but hey, it's progress! My goal this summer is to become that domestic goddess that I meant to be last summer! Better late than never!

*research "Clean Eating"-- I'm going to try it...wish me luck!

*work out every day-- I know it's only 2 days so far, but again, a big victory for me!

I know that these are things that millions of working people do every day, and I so admire everyone who can pack it all in! Teaching full-time (+ some other leadership positions) and going to grad class at night pretty much left me just trying to survive...and I think I did a pretty good job! Now, I'm excited for summer and my chance to be a more relaxed, productive me at home!

You can thank me later, Kyle!

Here's to a happy and healthy summer!

Goodbyes & Graduation


Friday was my last day of school, and man, was I a wreck! Every year, without fail, I cry on the last day of school, as do quite a few of my students. We always sit in a circle during the last 20 minutes or so, and each child shares their favorite memory, and my TA and I share our favorite memory of each student. We got about 2.5 seconds into the sharing before my students were tossing me tissues! It's a beautiful moment, and I am always overwhelmed with how proud I feel of them and how much love is present in our classroom! One of the students who I have been working so hard with all year long just broke down sobbing in the corner of the room saying that she didn't want to leave. And that's when you know that you've done your job. You've made your mark and made a difference. That's why I love my job. I also love the fact that I got an email that afternoon from one of my girls saying, "It's only been an hour but I miss you already. I want to come back to 3rd grade." Priceless. Needless to say, it was a great year and a great last day!

Right after school, Kyle, my brother, his girlfriend, and I packed up to head for Warrenton, Virginia, for our baby cousin, Anna's, graduation from high school! We are a super tight-knit family, and because Anna is the baby of the family, she's got a special place in all of our hearts! She's the only cousin that I actually got to see grow up as opposed to growing up along-side of them. I'm so proud of the person that she's grown up to be-- so friendly, kind, caring, smart, hilarious, and all things good!

She's going to William & Mary in the fall where I know she will do great things and make tons of friends!

Her graduation was quite interesting...the principal was rather long-winded and not only recognized the students with noteworthy accomplishments (one of which was Anna!), but also gave a brief bio of every staff-member's graduating child and every twin in the senior class. Did I mention we were sweating our tushies off in the blazing sun? But, it got even better when they actually starting calling names for the seniors to walk and the sound went out. They kept calling names, none of which we could hear, while the crowd chanted "We can't hear" over and over. I was dying of laughter! Luckily, Anna was one of the first to walk, and we could hear her name and cheer for her as she did the awesome point and head-nod in perfect Anna fashion!

Kyle & Me...hiding in the shade!
My cousin Kathleen & her hubs, Eric!
My brother, Bryan, and his gf, Kelly!
We did sneak out a little early during the sound-debacle and headed back to start getting set-up for Anna's graduation party, which was so much fun!

The McLeod cousins (7 originals & 2 in-laws)
We love our baby cousin!
Anna and her bff, Rachel, at their graduation party!
It was such a fun day getting to celebrate Anna's awesome high-school career!

Anna, I could not be more proud of you! I have so many memories of us together, but when I think of you, I think of laughter! You are just too fun! You have such a gift of bringing laughter and happiness to everyone you encounter! I am so excited to see what big things God has in store for you in the next chapter of your life! May you always be as confident as you were when you busted open the curtains, proclaiming, "Hellooooooooo, Phoenix!"


Almost There!


I am EXHAUSTED after a nutty day with my super-done-with-school 3rd graders, but I have to keep reminding myself that I literally have 1.5 days of school left! It doesn't seem real, even as I type it! I swear these guys just entered my classroom, and now, after spending 180 days together, they are leaving me!

I go back and forth with feeling emotional about them leaving and feeling strongly that it's their time to move on! They've grown up...they're 4th graders now! And they are certainly acting like it! But, I do love them, more than they will probably ever know! There's just something so special about being a child's teacher...like you know you've contributed an awesome piece to their life's puzzle!

So for these last couple of days, as I try to survive the chaos,  my mantra will be...

Happy Hump Day, friends!
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