1. Blessings: Every time I come back home, it hits me how blessed I am. Right now I'm sitting in my air conditioned bedroom that I have all to myself. I am listening to music on my own laptop. I can hear Rebecca using the electric mixer while making chocolate pound cake downstairs. I have a letter on my bed from Addison that I've already read three or four times. Our house is bright and clean and welcoming. I am happy.
2. Barnes and Noble: While we were on vacation, the Evans family stayed in our house. When I came home, I found a gift card to Barnes and Noble on my bed from them! I love B&N. Whenever I walk in, it's like I hear thousands and thousands of little voices whispering: "Pick me!" "No, over here!" "Please, somebody read me!" "I just want to be loved! Is that too much to ask?" And I just want to buy everything and then take them all to the cafe in the back of the store and drink hot chocolate as I read all of them, one by one.
3. A week in England: Our last week in the UK can be described with three words: Chaos. Bliss. Family. My family, Granny, and Uncle Quint's family (Uncle Simon's family visited daily, since they lived quite close) stayed at Wash Farm, a large, yellow house in the middle of the Suffolk countryside. No phone service. No internet. We woke up in the morning to the sound of horses whinnying and, more often than not, rain tapping on the roof. I felt like I was living in Longbourn, and I just knew that, at any second, I would look out the window and see Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy riding up the road and hear Mrs. Bennett shrieking for us to come down this instant. Needless to say, I took plenty of pictures:
This is Wash Farm. The top left window is the room that I shared with Rebecca and Rachel. It had a large wardrobe and a fireplace.
This is the view from our window.
It was very stormy for a few days, but between showers we managed to get outside and feed the horses and play a family game of kickball. When it was raining, we played Bananagrams, went to see Harry Potter 7.5, watched the Women's World Cup Final (so tragic), and ate TONS of food.
This is cousin Emily. Isn't she adorable? With her big eyes and rich, brown hair, Emily looks more like Rachel's sister than I do!
This is Charlotte, Emily's younger sister. I love this girl! She cracks me up with her unique sense of humor. She made up a dance to Price Tag by Jessie J. She is always cheerful and trying to make everyone laugh.
Spitting is dangerous. Please, protect yourself and those around you.
Look at my beautiful family!
This is Audley End, a mansion built to entertain royalty, particularly James I, and was at one time home to General Cornwallis. We visited on our last day in England, and really enjoyed touring the rooms, looking at the extensive portrait collection, and exploring the libraries (there were several). There were over 11,000 books in the entire house, including a beautiful, 7-volume version of the King James Bible. (I didn't take this picture. The weather certainly wasn't as nice as this when we were there!)
4. My Man: Addison comes to visit in a week from tomorrow! I am so excited for him to come and meet my family. I've planned out all sorts of fun, get-to-know-Virginia activities including visits to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and, of course, Busch Gardens! One of my co-workers from last summer is giving us two of her passes because she's sweet like that. I just hope Addison doesn't melt away from all the humidity!
5. Weddings: We came home to find four, yes FOUR, wedding announcements in the mail. Can you believe it! Needless to say, my new pink dress will be getting a lot of use in this next month!