Oops…

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Ummm… sooo… it’s been a while. My most sincere apologies. There are no excuses, but I will say this: life has been busy. And crazy. And so. much. has. happened.

So here’s a quick rundown:

OMG… snow! And more snow. Snow until April 28, in fact.

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April 28. In case you were ever wondering… this is what bullshit looks like.

Corey quit his job and started a new one.

New job is in Halifax… two and a half hours away.

So guess what?!?

WE’RE MOVING!!!

OMG… we have to sell our house! And find a new one! And pack everything we own! And throw shit away! OMG OMG OMG!

But first! We must get away from this snow… Helllooooo Punta Cana!

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Paradise.

Goodbye Punta Cana. ūüė¶

Home sweet home, and hello Mud Season!

And now, this week, it’s FINALLY spring. The sun is shining, the grass is turning green, and I’ve left my jacket in the closet all. week. long.

THANK YOU GOD.

So anyway, that’s what’s going on in our life. And my brain can only handle so much at once, so unfortunately, this blog has suffered. And I apologize for that. I promise I’ve got some awesome things coming down the pike for you. My friend C over at Sunsets on Piers. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. has inspired me to switch things up a bit over here, so I’m working on a plan for that.

In the meantime, hang tight. This Southern Belle isn’t going anywhere, and this Northern Life¬†is about to get SUPER EXCITING!!! Can’t wait to share more with you all about our move to Halifax!

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Epic Snow Adventure

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Remember that time I showed you pictures of MIT’s snow mountain, and we all oohed and aahed over how big it was? (If you don’t remember, read here).

Photo Credit: Tom Geary; Source: Boston Globe

Photo Credit: Tom Geary; Source: Boston Globe

Well, MIT ain’t got nothin’ on Moncton’s Snow Dump! Yes, I said “snow dump,” as in, a landfill for snow. Because when you’ve got 10 feet of snow on the ground, you’ve gotta put it somewhere.

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Photo Source: CTV Atlantic

I’ve been hearing about this snow dump for weeks, and I’m going to be honest – the statistics made it hard for me to pick my jaw up off the floor. More than 16,000 loads of snow have been relocated to the dump since January 27. That’s nearly 450 dump trucks FULL of snow A DAY. That’s insane.

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So being the annoying tourist that I am, and loving all things “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” (hello giant ball of twine!), I just had to see it. I mean, how often does a girl from Kentucky get to visit a MOUNTAIN of snow?!? (Apparently, if she lives in Canada, every year if she wants.) Corey finally got sick of my begging and took me out on an EPIC SNOW ADVENTURE last night to see not one but TWO of our fair city’s THREE snow dumps.

And because this blog is all about a Southern Girl living a Northern Life, you get to enjoy the pictures.

We also took the time to cross of another item on the Winter Bucket List. Go Ice Skating – check!

I had hoped my ice skating experience would look a little something like this:

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It didn’t. Not at all.¬†But thank goodness it wasn’t this:

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All in all, we had a great time, and we’ll look forward to going skating again next winter. Because let’s face it… spring is just around the corner, right? RIGHT?!?

Learn to Snow Shoe – CHECK!

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Yesterday, we went snowshoeing. I won’t bore ¬†you with the details, because I know you’re only interested in the proof, but I will say this: I really enjoyed it, and I think we’re going to invest in a couple pairs of our own.

Special thanks to the City of Moncton for encouraging residents to live healthy and active lives Рeven in the winter! The Snow Motion event and free snowshoe rental was awesome!!!

Open Letter to Kentucky

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At the risk of sounding like a COMPLETE bitch, I’m sharing with you an open letter I’ve written to Kentucky, a state that is completely kick ass until it snows.

Just a little background for you: on Monday, February 16, 2015, it snowed in Kentucky. Accumulation totals were estimated between 9 and 16 inches across the state. People literally freaked the $@%* out.

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I sure do hope everyone stocked up on milk and eggs…

Dear Kentucky,

Please stop referring to your most recent snowstorm¬†snow fall as “Snowmageddon.” You’re embarrassing yourself. And me. Seriously, the people of Boston are laughing at you from the top of the “Alps of MIT.”

Photo Credit: Tom Geary; Source: Boston Globe

Photo Credit: Tom Gearty; Source: Boston Globe

And don’t even get me started on what they’re saying in Canada.

Out of my way, bitches!

Out of my way, bitches!

Now don’t get me wrong, I realize that 10 inches of snow is a lot to handle. And I understand that you don’t have the equipment to deal with the onslaught of snow you’re receiving. And¬†I’m down with any excuse for a good snow day week. But I think you’re throwing around the term “Snowmageddon” a little loosely.

Ponder these statistics:

-Since January 23, it has snowed a total of 90.5 inches in Boston, Massachusetts. 32 inches in one January storm, and 58.5 inches in SIX storms over the last three weeks of February. They’re setting records in Boston, and it has nothing to do with football.

-Moncton, New Brunswick has been slammed by FIVE blizzards in the past FOUR weeks and is dealing with more than 120 inches of snow. Snow banks are in excess of 9 feet, and roads are down to one lane in many areas of the city. On Sunday, every single highway in the province was CLOSED.

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Chew on that for a minute, Kentucky. 

If you want to see a real Snowmageddon, check out these pics…¬†

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A road used to be there. Somewhere under all. that. snow.

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The sign says STOP, and the snow says NO WAY!!!

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Even the plow guy was like, “Holy shit! I gotta get a picture of this!!!” And so he got out of his tractor and took a selfie.

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Pretty soon, you won’t be able to see my TWO STORY house from the road! #snowmageddon

So my dear, Kentucky, I beg of you – stop talking about Snowmageddon. You wouldn’t know Snowmageddon if it slapped you in the face. Seriously, you look ridiculous.

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Photo Credit: kentucky.com

All my love (forever and ever),
Lauren

PS – when the flowers are blooming in March and you’re looking all gorgeous dressed in Spring, you can make fun of me for living in Canada. Until then, I’ll just be up here rolling my eyes at your “State of Emergency.”

For more storm pics, check out the following:

CBC News: The National

Buzzfeed: Here’s What Happened in Canada Last Night

Rick Mercer: Winter Hammers East Coast

YouTube: Boston Blizzard 2015 #Snowlapse

Buzzfeed: How Insane the Snow is in New England

The Song Remembers When

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In honor of last week’s Garth Brooks show in Boston (which I’m still processing), here’s a post about music…

“Even if the whole world has forgotten, the song remembers when.” Ain’t that the truth?! Especially when it comes to country music.¬†There’s a song for every story and a story for every song. But it’s these songs that make time stand still for me.

— “Eagle When She Flies” by Dolly Parton – When I was a little girl, I’d spend weeks at a time with my Mamaw in the summer. We’d read books and watch Matlock, and she’d cook all my favorites. She’d take me shopping or swimming or to the park, and we always made sure we had Dolly’s Eagle When She Flies album playing in the tape deck. We knew every word to every song, and we’d sing at the top of our lungs driving all over town. This song was my favorite on the album, and it will always remind me of my Mamaw.

— “Shameless” by Garth Brooks – The summer I turned 17, I met a boy, and I fell in love with him dancing under the stars to this song.¬†When we broke up and my heart was still raw, I couldn’t bear listening to it, even though it was one of my favorites. After a while, my heart healed and I moved on, and even though it’s been years since we said “goodbye, I still think of that boy¬†every time I hear this song.

— “Somewhere in the Sun” by Kenny Chesney – Spring Break 2006. I flew down to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, with five friends, and we spent the week in paradise – sailing, sunning, and swimming. It was the best vacation I’ve ever taken in my life. KC’s Be As You Are album served as our soundtrack this week, and this song was our anthem. “Oh I wish I was there tonight, on Jost Van Dyke…”

— ¬†Soulmate by Josh Turner – When Corey and I were planning our wedding, he was adamant that our first dance as husband and wife be to this song. I’d never heard it before, but of course, I loved it. I surprised him on our wedding day with this recording during¬†our first dance. I will never forget the look on his face when he heard those first few words. At first he was upset with the DJ for playing the wrong song, but then he realized it was me singing… that smile! I’m smiling just writing about it.

—¬†My Old Kentucky Home by John Prine – Derby Day is bigger than Christmas in Kentucky, and for me, it’s the day when I feel most homesick for my beloved Bluegrass. This song fills me with pride and brings me to tears, and every time I hear it, time stops. For just a moment. And in that moment I can smell my mama’s perfume, and I can taste the sweet tea, and I can hear that Southern twang, and I can see the blue grass blowing in the wind, and I can feel the love from all those I’ve left behind.

That’s what a song can do. Especially a country song. It can make time stand still. It can take you back to another place in another life. It brings back memories you thought were forgotten. And it makes sure that the things worth remembering will always stay tucked away inside your heart.

I’m Shipping Up to Boston

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I’m a sucker for historic cities, and for Americans, Boston is about as historic as you can get. Lucky for me, we live just a day’s drive from The Cradle of Liberty, so I can get my historic fix pretty much whenever I want. Lucky for Corey, the New England Patriots call Boston home, so he can get his football fix while I’m fan girling Paul Revere.

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Or Sam Adams… you know, whoever’s available.¬†

But I don’t reserve my swooning for historical figures. I had bigger fish to fry, and a certain boy bander to stalk¬†see (again). Let me introduce you to Donnie Wahlberg:

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*sigh* I was not about to pass up the opportunity to eat at the restaurant Donnie owns with his brothers, and Corey likes to indulge me, so we hit the road to Hingham for lunch at Wahlburgers¬†with the hopes that A&E would be filming their hit reality TV show of the same name. My hopes, not Corey’s.

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They weren’t filming, but the trip wasn’t a waste. The food was AH-MAY-ZING and crazy inexpensive. We stuffed ourselves with burgers and milkshakes and tater tots and onion rings, and I bought a tee shirt. Mission accomplished. Success.

We waddled out to the car, and just as I was getting in, I saw the unmistakable ball cap/collared shirt/sweater combo of Donnie’s brother, Paul through the window of Alma Nove, his restaurant across the street. What if Donnie’s in there?!? I panicked. I did NOT come all this way to miss this opportunity, but I was also not about to go into this beautiful upscale restaurant without buying anything. And I was STUFFED.

But there we were… having dessert at Alma Nove. Shoving the most delicious Bourbon Banana Pudding Cake into my mouth. Hoping the buttons on my jeans would last until we made our way back to the car. And nearly hyperventilating at being in the same room as one of the Wahlberg brothers. It was glorious.

Back in Boston, we rested up for our evening. We’d planned to go downtown to ice skate on the Frog Pond, but after lunch, neither one of us was confident in our ability to move, much less skate on ice.

And then it was time to head downtown for the event I’d been anticipating for months. Nay, YEARS. Garth Brooks. In concert. Talk about fan girling. From teleporting onto the stage to laying it down for “Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up;” from “Two of a Kind” to “Shameless;” from “The Dance” to “The Thunder Rolls,” Garth Brooks delivered. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I sang. All the hits, most of my favorites… “The Kitchen Sink” show, he called it. I could have jammed with him all night long. It was amazing. Simply amazing. Number 1 on my Top 10 concerts… can’t wait to see him again (some day).

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And then our weekend was over. We hit the road in an effort to outrun Winter Storm Juno, but not before Corey had his Patriots fix with a visit to Boston’s City Hall for the Super Bowl Send Off Rally. It was FREEZING cold, but so. much. fun.¬†I’ve officially moved over to the Dark Side, and I’m not ashamed to say, “I’m a Pats Fan.” What?!? This is what happens when you move to the Northeast… they brainwash you. And I’m okay with that.

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Go Pats!!! DO YOUR JOB!

Get Snowed In… and Other Updates

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*yawn, stretch* Oh hello world! So glad to see you’re still turning while I’ve been stuck in hibernation mode. I told you guys back in December that this would happen, and despite all my protests to the contrary, here I am watching winter happen from the cozy of my couch.

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So far, the only item I’ve managed to check off my Winter Bucket List is “Get Snowed In.” And that happened yesterday.

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Thanks Winter Storm Juno.

Of course, you might also say that trudging through the snowy streets of Boston is the equivalent of learning to snow shoe, and in that case, check that one off too. More later on our trip to Beantown, as it will be a highlight of this season… maybe the whole year.

So while my Winter Bucket List may be struggling, my New Year’s “Resolutions”¬†are going strong! Here’s an update:

Read 30 Books (at least)

So far I’ve only read two, but they were WHOPPERS – 1000+ pages each! I’m knee deep in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and there’s no stopping me until I finish all eight books! I’ve thought of setting the series aside for a bit so I can read some other things, but I just can’t. I’m invested, and I MUST know what happens to Claire and Jaime. I must.

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Once I’ve finished Book 4 (which I started yesterday), I’ll do a mid-point review and post it here for y’all to read. You know, just in case you care as much as I do.

Learn a New Instrument

Okay, confession. Haven’t even bought a harmonica yet. I’m ashamed. BUT I have done some research, and I know ROUGHLY what model I want and how much it’s going to cost me. Just need to put on my snow pants and brave the cold and snow and ice and winter… maybe this will be a summertime goal?

Which Harmonica To Buy? The Best & Worst for Beginners 

Send Mail More Often

Three birthday cards went in the mail this weekend!!! This is HUGE folks. Most of the time, I’m frantically sending “Happy Birthday” messages on Facebook at 11:59 p.m… you know, just so it doesn’t have to be a “Happy (belated) Birthday” post. So to get three cards in the mail with 2+ weeks to spare? It’s huge. And there’s still more to come!!! My calendar is COVERED in “Send Card” reminders, and I don’t plan to stop with birthdays. Random cards and letters are on their way too!

Learn French

Daily French lessons are happening, and my French notebook is filling up FAST!

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Jinxie is learning French too!

Score a Freelance Writing Gig

This goal is the biggest and scariest goal of all, and it’s going to take me some time to achieve it. It’s still a priority, and I’m still working toward it, and I will make it happen in 2015. Stay tuned.

So there you have it… I promised I’d let you hold me accountable on both the Winter Bucket List and my New Year’s “Resolutions.” For the most part, I’m doing really well with both, but I’ll accept a kick in the pants for the few things I’ve let slide. But only if you’ve stuck to your own… have you?!?