Friday, March 23, 2012

fiesta, fiesta

This month has flown by- I can't believe it's almost April! I was able to spend a week recently in South Carolina for work and was able to help celebrate Hannah and Jason with a fun fiesta in Columbia. I am so excited about Hannah's July wedding, and we had the best time kicking off her party season at the Cantina 76. I've never hosted a party outside someone's home, but it proved to be easy and fairly prep-free, other than helping Bec with flowers and dessert presentation. And a few tissue poms!

loved this chalk board and pretty pink tulips- I got the cute invitation from Polka Dot Design online

the happy couple

we had perfect porch weather

Bec's delicious desserts- cake balls with Funfetti cake (Hannah's favorite), butter squares, and a a great brownie, chocolate chip and oreo concoction

Mary Rose toasting Hannah and Jason

love this girl- roommate, long-time tennis partner and dear friend

Suzanne's mom had these pinatas in her party collection- they added a fun touch

all the hostesses- Bec, Mary Rose, me, Hannah, Jess, Jenn B., and Jenn D.

Hannah's immediate family

we were chatting about what kind of dog Jess could get, and she was trying out a handbag-sized option

Heyward St. roommates

The party was a ton of fun, and it was great to see so many good friends! Can't wait to have everyone together again for Hannah and Jason's big day in just a few months.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Hunter wasn't supposed to ours. He was a Valentine's Day gift gone wrong. When I was a senior in high school, I got the grand idea to give Derek, my boyfriend at the time, a puppy. He had wanted one, and still living at home because he was in high school as well, had confirmed with his mother that he could, in fact, have a dog. At least he said he had.

We decided to adopt a dog from the Humane Society, and he went with me to pick one out. I was drawn to the little lab mixes, but he was quickly sold on Hunter. Hunter was a little, quiet strawberry blond mutt who kept towards the back of his little cage. He was sweet and calm, and his personality seemed to match that of my high school love. My dear friend April and I went back to pick Hunter up the next week, and we laughed recently about the fact that they let this puppy go with two 17 year old girls. I really can't remember if my parents signed off on the adoption. But $55 later, he was ours.

And then, for a few weeks, he lived with Derek. But after a few accidents in the house, he was returned to the Davis family. And thank goodness he was. He became a wonderful friend, and won the hearts of a cat family. He loved french fries (who doesn't?) and served as the chief cat herder and disciplinarian. He happily rode with my dad to get breakfast on Saturday mornings and got his own biscuit. He loved house guests, even if they didn't particularly love him, and begged for their attention by sitting on their feet. He was always on the portly side due to all the french fries and chicken biscuits (ahem, Dad) but was never self-conscious in the least. Most of his life he wore a orange Clemson orange palmetto tree collar, and he got very disturbed if you took it off. He had an emotional sixth sense and paid us extra attention if we were sad or hurting.

For the past 13 years, he was as much a part of the family as any of us were. In fact, he was much cheaper than me and my brothers and never talked back to my parents, so he may have very well been the favorite child. And yesterday morning, my poor parents had to make the difficult decision to put him down.

Hunter was hit by a car on Thursday, which left him with a broken tailbone. He did ok at the vet while on IV meds, but when my parents took him home Friday night, it was obvious he was in a great deal of pain and wasn't getting better. They couldn't bear to see him hurt anymore and went back to the vet early Saturday morning. He passed away painlessly with both of them beside him.

I haven't been able to talk to either of them yet without our conversation ending in tears. Hunter and my dad were incredibly close, and Hunter kept him company this summer after he had his knee replaced. It hurts my heart especially to think how much my dad is missing him.

My dad has two brothers, and both of their sweet dogs, Scruffy and Coffee, have both passed away in the past month and a half. They also were older dogs and much loved by their families. I think we all started thinking that Hunter might not have much time left with us when we heard about the others, but we certainly didn't think it would be this soon. It has been a hard, hard thing to experience.

Hunter, you were much loved and the best dog a family could ask for. We will miss you old friend.

Hunter and Jackson, at my parent's house during a visit from Kim and Jackson in fall 2009- Hunter loved having Jackson down on his level

Hunter was being a little camera shy- with Jeff, my cousin Alyx and Will on Christmas Day 2007

Dad and Hunter, March 2008

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

90 years young

We celebrated the birthday of a very special man this past weekend. Richard's great-uncle turned 90 on Saturday, and Richard and I joined his family in Nashville for a fun party weekend. Uncle Bill was a '44 Tiger- part of the Clemson cadet class that had their education interrupted by World War II. Uncle Bill spent some time in Europe during the War, then returned to Clemson to finish his degree in Mechanical Engineering. He lost several classmates in the War, and I think their legacy is just one of the many things that makes Clemson so special.

Uncle Bill married Richard's grandfather's sister, Phalba, 60+ years ago. They both grew up in Spartanburg, but they've lived in Brentwood, Tennessee most of their adult lives. It was evident at his birthday party just how many friends they've made through their church and community involvements. Uncle Bill's birthday party was held at the Heritage, the senior community where he and Aunt Phalba now live, and the parlor was full of well-wishers.

Uncle Bill after blowing out his candles

a shot of the party crowd- they were all so sweet and welcoming to us and clearly appreciated being invited to the big event!

loved seeing my favorite sister-in-law

the Webb trio

poor husband was so tired- we flew out early Saturday morning, and he'd been up all Friday night at the hospital

the family- Les, cousin Karen, Uncle Bill, Aunt Phalba, cousin William, Richard's dad and mom, Suzanne, me and Richard

On Saturday night, Richard's cousin William was kind to take us down to Broadway. We went the The Stage, where Country Strong was filmed, and to Paradise Park, where one can get carnival food along with their adult beverage.
waiting to get into the packed Stage

the scene at The Stage was so different than that at evening spots in DC- it was kind of refreshing to see a more casual crowd

We got to join Aunt Phalba and Uncle Bill at their church Sunday morning, for a sweet time of worship. Several of the birthday party-goers were there as well, and we enjoyed seeing and talking to them again. We had lunch with the fam at the Heritage, which is quite an impressive facility. The art studio, dining room, library, etc. would make anyone want to retire there!

with our honorary grandparents

We couldn't leave Nashville without a few more touristy stops, so we spent the afternoon at the Opryland Hotel and had an amazing dinner at the Loveless Cafe. I'd read about it in Southern Living, and it absolutely lived up to the hype! Their biscuits, hashbrown casserole and chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting was to die for!

boat tour at the Opryland

Richard's dinner at the Loveless Cafe- meatloaf, fried green tomatoes, mac and cheese and hashbrown casserole

the Loveless Cafe was originally a motel, and the cafe and shops have carried that theme

Uncle Bill didn't know that anyone from the Webb family was coming, and he told us that us being there ranked among the best surprises in his lifetime. That's quite a compliment from someone who as lived as full of a life as he has!

P.S. Obviously I am having some font issues. The spacing and size change mid-post, despite appearing the same when I am composing and editing. Any ideas how to fix this? I don't use a Blogger template, but this is a new problem. Help!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

beautiful day in DC

So thankful that spring is (almost) here! Love the warmer weather, abundant sunshine and pretty blooms budding!

the botanical gardens are right around the corner from our office- and there is currently a gorgeous orchid display there