Fall Family Tradition

I’m in Raleigh again this week training and am missing my Tar Heel some kind of fierce.  I know I signed up for this when I accepted a traveling position, but I guess I thought it would be easier to spend five days and four nights apart.  It really is anything but easy.  I am a worrier, too, and so when I can’t reach the Tar Heel during my breaks, I immediately assume the absolute worst and my mind spirals out of control imagining my life without him.  It is AWFUL!.  Fortunately, these weeks in Raleigh are insanely busy and I rarely have time to let my mind wander to such horrible thoughts.  I am lucky if my mind gets to wander at all, actually. But these intense work conditions are my strong suit.  I thrive on challenges and staying busy, so it all works out in the end. 

But no matter how busy I am, I always make time for the important stuff.  I may have mentioned a few hundred times here on the blog that my favorite time of year is the fall.  I love everything about it.  The weather, the colors, the fair, college football season,  the smell of apple cider (even if it’s coming from a candle) hanging in the air.  And there is one more big, round, and orange reason I love the fall.  PuMpKiNs!  Naturally, with such a heightened affinity for all things Autumnal, I am hosting Pumpkin Fest 2011 at our home in Georgia this year.

The Tar Heel and I  will partake in some of the best Pumpkin Goodness and Fall Fun this glorious season has to offer.  Pumpkin Fest 2011 will include Pumpkin Pickin, Carve-Off, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, and featuring a fall music lineup consisting of “Autumn Leaves,” “September Song,” and probably a little James Taylor just because. I can’t think of another artist that reminds me more of glorious fall in my home state, the lovely Land of the Pines.  And since I decided to decorate our home September 1st this year, I think we may have to add a few hundred more mini pumpkins for the occasion. I am getting excited just thinking about it.  I decided to build this little gem for fun to send to the Tar Heel.  I think he may have thought I was kidding , but I was being oh-so-serious.

Bring on the PUMPKINS!  -PF 2011

Sweet Savannah

Since my days of being a “housewife” are coming to an end, the Tar Heel and I have been taking advantage of every opportunity to enjoy our beautiful city until I go back to work.  It is really perfect timing since the Tar Heel also just recently started a position with the City of Savannah, and we actually saw one of his projects from his first week on TV today when we were leaving the house.  It was so exciting!  He works at the City Hall of Savannah and it is such a breathtakingly beautiful building.  I got to visit his office last week and his co-worker sweetly promised to take us up inside the gold rotunda during my next visit.  I love visiting downtown and the riverfront.  I mean seriously, how awesome is it that we get to see this sunset every evening?

Android photo by the Tar Heel!

More and more I am simply in awe of our life here.  Just today we decided to drive to Hilton Head Island, about 45 minutes away for an impromptu visit.  We stopped for dinner at a local place and our hostess asked where we were from and we both replied “Savannah.”  That was the first time neither of us followed it up with “… but we just moved from NC.”  Finally, Savannah is really becoming home to us.

We recently found the most perfect spot at Tybee Island.  It has awesome parking and a nearly hidden beach access which means a nearly private beach.  We have enjoyed every moment there and cherish living only 15.5 miles from a beautiful, sandy beach.  Every single visit to Tybee also requires a stop at the Sugar Shack for a cone of Snicker Ripple for me, and Orange sherbet for my Tar Heel. On Saturday we spent another beautiful day at Tybee where the Tar Heel did a little surf fishing.  Within the first 20 seconds of casting his line, he caught a pretty little baby shark.  He also made an adorable new friend at the beach as well.  It was so cute to watch his new little buddy ask him question after question and the Tar Heel entertained each and every one.  What a sweet husband I have… :)

Another beautiful Android shot by the Tar Heel!

There is no place like our Sweet Savannah, and we are so blessed to be here together!


Today, the Tar Heel and I took full advantage of our blessed opportunity to live in Savannah.  It wasn’t until today that we really realized how amazing it is to be here in Savannah–and not just from the aesthetic perspective of living in a place so breathtaking that you have to remind yourself that the beauty surrounding you is not just a dream.  But in the rare sort of way that only few places in the world will ever have the means and opportunity to provide. We had the absolute honor of attending one of SCAD Fashion 2011‘s events (which was held free and open to the public);  A Conversation with André Leon Talley, Manolo Blahnik and Eric Wilson of the New York Times.

Being a self-proclaimed Shoe Girl, you can imagine my supreme joy when I found out that Mr. Blahnik would be SCAD Fashion 2011‘s special guest and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, which coincidentally meant he would be in my town for one weekend.  For one weekend I would live in the same place as this world-renown shoe designer (shoe artist is more appropriate), not to mention my favorite shoe designer of shoes I may never be able to afford but absolutely adore and admire for their artistic beauty as much as their fashion ‘statement’.  To say I was excited would be an understatement when the Tar Heel and I casually walked past a poster at Lucas Theatre, announcing  a public forum event featuring Manolo Blahnik, hosted by SCAD.  Knowing my deep disappointment at not being able to come by tickets to the paramount event of SCAD Fashion week, the SCAD Fashion show, the Tar Heel was determined to make sure I was in the front row of the forum with my beloved Blahnik.

When the Tar Heel sets his mind to something, absolutely nothing can change it, and such was true today at the forum as we sat a mere four to five feet from Manolo Blahnik, front and center in the first row of the Lucas Theatre.  Manolo spoke about his experience in getting started in the shoe design industry, some fifty years ago, and of his experience with maintaining his desire to design a shoe for the “Audrey Hepburn” woman.  Mr. Blahnik was incredibly humorous, and even more humble of his success.  My favorite part was when the moderator, Eric Wilson of the New York Times, asked Mr. Blahnik in what moment he realized he had truly “made it” as a designer and Manolo, in true perfectionist fashion, replied that he didn’t think he had made it yet, because he is always trying to make something better.

A man after my own heart, that one.

Some shots from the day, courtesy of my amazingly talented and wonderful husband, Dustin Gurley.

Shoe check.

Eric Wilson of the New York Times, the famed Manolo Blahnik, and André Leon Talley, Vogue Contributor and SCAD Board of Trustees member

Discussing an original Manolo Blahnik sketch.

The fascinating Mr. Manolo Blahnik.

Visiting the gallery after the forum.

Manolos from the set of Sex and the City featuring the iconic ‘Something Blue’ shoes.

More Manolo’s

Is it any coincidence that the shoe in the wall of Manolo Blahnik boxes is Red? I think not.  Every girl deserves a good pair of RED heels.

Spring days

We have so many wonderful updates, I’m not sure where to begin!  The Tar Heel and I are slowly but surely settling in together and figuring out this whole marriage thing.  It is simply amazing to me how much we have learned about each other over the last few weeks, and even more amazing how much we think alike.  We find ourselves often thinking the exact same thing at the same time and we never even have to say anything aloud. It is kind of creepy.  It happened before when we were dating, but never to this extent nor this often!  We have to just laugh at how eerily similar we think from time to time.

Last Thursday I went home to NC for three days to present my final master’s thesis equivalent, a research study my partner Kelly and I have worked on for the last year.  It is amazing to think that three years of work (2 years of classes and one year of research) came down to one, 45-minute presentation.  Kind of scary!  But, after our practice presentation Tuesday night we received rave reviews of our research project and results, so we felt much more comfortable presenting to Campbell faculty on Thursday night for our final presentation.  I am so excited to say the final presentation went well, and I am officially done with my first master’s degree!  I can hardly wait until May 13th when I get to walk across the stage and receive my hood and new, shiny degree.

The Tar Heel and I have enjoyed finding our place in this new city and I am finally making new friends!  A couple of weeks ago I joined the local Pi Phi Alumnae club here in Savannah and I have met the sweetest ladies.  I attended a Panhellenic Luncheon where fifteen sororities were present, with Pi Phi being one of the largest sororities represented.  Both the Tar Heel and I were invited to so many homes for dinner and churches to visit with these new Pi Phi sisters after that day, and it was a wonderful reminder of why I joined the organization.

Being in Savannah has been the most wonderful experience for the artistic side of me.  I have always had an interest in art and I love that the Tar Heel has such an incredible appreciation for the arts as well.  We have even started collecting interesting pieces and we have acquired some amazing artwork.  And every single weekend there is something going on in Savannah that is centered around the arts.  This past weekend we went to the SCAD Sidewalk Art show in Forsyth Park.  It was aaaaamazing!  The Tar Heel had to take advantage of the many photo ops, and I had to take advantage of the opportunity to wear my floppy hat for the first time this spring.  It was beautiful!

The next time I post, I hope to share good news regarding a job I am interviewing for this Monday.  Please please please say a prayer for me! :)