Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life Without Facebook, Part 2

Today marks the halfway point in Lent, meaning there are only three weeks and four days left until I can log into Facebook again. Surprisingly, I’m doing okay without Facebook in my life, but I think it’s because I’ve been supplementing with other social media outlets like Tumblr and Twitter. The thing is, I find myself participating in the same morning routine with Tumblr that I did with Facebook; alarm goes off, check any emails that may have come in overnight, then immediately look at Tumblr (or Twitter, but usually Tumblr). Afterward, I read the little book I got at church.

Part of the reason I gave up Facebook is because I noticed how much time I was spending there via the app on my phone or on the site itself. I decided not to give up all of social media because I wanted to still be active on Twitter. I use Twitter as a personal branding tool and a way to learn more about social media and health care since both are career interests of mine. I only follow a handful of people on Tumblr (about 15 or so), so I figured staying involved there wouldn’t be an issue. However, it has become clear to me that Tumblr has become my crutch, my way to find out what’s going on with people.

I’m definitely glad I decided to give up Facebook for Lent; in fact, I don’t really even miss it anymore. At the same time, I sort of feel like I’m cheating since I’ve been spending time on Tumblr. I know it’s not the same thing –Tumblr is a blogging site whereas Facebook is, well, Facebook –but it feels like I’m defeating the whole purpose of wanting stay away from Facebook in the first place.

While I knew before Lent that life can and will go on without Facebook, I’ve realized that I’ve placed a certain level of importance on social media and I want it to be a part of my life. Maybe my relationship (yes, relationship I think is an appropriate word) with Facebook was bordering on extreme but I enjoyed the way it made me feel connected to people. Isn’t that the point of a social network?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Life Without Facebook

I was totally against Facebook when it became available at Virginia Tech in 2005 (I think that was the year); I thought it was stupid, creepy and I wanted no part of it. Of course, curiosity and peer pressure got the best of me and I reluctantly signed up. In the beginning it wasn’t all that exciting to me, but as Facebook became available at other schools, I became more interested. I started finding people from my childhood I had lost touch with due to my family moving from New Jersey to Virginia and was able to connect with people I had met while attending East Carolina University.

Fast forward six years later and some might call me an addict. I have the Facebook app on my phone and checking people’s status updates is one of the first things I do when I wake up in the morning. When there is a lull in my workload at the office, I’m using Facebook on my phone to see what other people are up to. Someone got engaged? Definitely have to check out Facebook to see if there are pictures of the ring. Someone broke up? Had a baby? Experienced some other life event that interests me? I’m on Facebook checking it out. Wow, writing this all out really does make me out to be an addict, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, I’ve decided to give up Facebook for Lent. Forty days and 40 nights with no access to other people’s lives, photos, etc. I’ve removed the app from the main screen of my phone (but not from my phone altogether because it was preloaded on my Android and thus, unremovable –kinda creepy right?), and no longer have a tab open on my home computer’s browser dedicated to Facebook. Now I’m not the most religious person but since I’ll have a few extra minutes in the morning from not looking at Facebook, I’ve decided to read from a little book of prayers I picked up from church on Ash Wednesday. If I find I have some time at work during the day, I’ll fight the urge to look at Facebook by researching something else on the Internet, like stuff about Lent or the Bible (or cars or potential vacation spots).

So far, and it’s only been about a day and a half, I’ve done okay. However, it was really hard last night while watching the Hokies beat Georgia Tech, not to get on my computer and see what people were up to, a usual habit of mine during the evenings. I wonder if I’ll get to the point Brad has reached, giving up Facebook completely and deactivating my account, calling Facebook a social disease. I guess I will find out in 30-something plus days!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Turpins Are Moving to Richmond!

Yes what you're reading is true: Lindsay and Eric are moving to Richmond! I honestly never thought the day would come but after everything that has happened, both Lindsay and Eric are ready for a change. I know Eric was nervous about asking for a transfer at work but thankfully his boss (and his boss' boss) said it was okay. What's crazy is that this has all happened in the past two weeks!
Last weekend, the Turpins came to Richmond to house hunt and invited us along to get our opinion and advice. We looked at seven houses but ultimately they fell in love with the house I knew they would; the house our friends Niem and Nina put on the market since moving to California.  Lindsay was so cute when she saw the house saying she loved it so much she felt sick. We didn't stay long before we headed back to the Realtor's office so they could make an offer. To make the deal that much sweeter, after a little negotiating, their offer was accepted later in the evening!
Now the fun begins! Eric, Lindsay and Lane will be back on Tuesday for the home inspection and then plan to hang around the rest of the day. They close on March 11 and will move down here shortly after. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have them here. While I will miss going away for the weekend to see them, it will be so much more convenient having them close. I cannot wait to see what fun is in store for the four (er five) of us!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I was gone for a minute, now I'm back again

Happy New Year!! I cannot believe it's 2011 and that I haven't posted since November 16, but I have been incredibly busy! Let me briefly bring you up to speed on all that I've been up to since my last post.

Thanksgiving (November 25, 2010) - Brad and I spent Thanksgiving with our friends Eric and Lindsay. Lindsay is my friend who was involved in a tragic car accident in October. The boys deep fried our turkey and Lindsay and I made all of the side dishes, it was amazing. Brad and I were finally able to meet Lindsay and Eric's son, Lane. He is absolutely adorable and growing so well. Here are some pictures:

Sleeping angel

Bath time!

Brad and his Godson
QualityNet Conference (November 30-December 2, 2010) - Right after Thanksgiving I headed to Baltimore, Md. for a work conference. I thought this year's conference would be a little less stressful than last year but I was so wrong! I worked very long days on very little sleep and without three square meals each day. The conference was exhausting but was very successful.

Brad's 30th Birthday (December 11, 2010) - Although Brad told me he didn't want to do anything for his 30th birthday, his sister Lisa and I schemed the whole week before to plan a small surprise party for him. It was SO hard to keep a secret but I did it and Brad was totally surprised. We had the party catered by a friend of Lisa's who made some of Brad's favorite foods and we got a cake made that looked like an X-Box controller. Check it out:

Christmas (December 25, 2010) - Brad and I spent Christmas with my parents in Northern Virginia. After all of the craziness of work and the holiday season, it was nice to relax, sleep in and be spoiled by my parents. It was also nice to catch up with friends, some who I hadn't seen since college. Pictures from our mini-vacation are below:

Santa Delilah

My gift from my sister; a Hokie inspired lap top cover!

The girls; my parent's dog Lucy and Delilah

 New Year's Eve (December 31, 2010) -  After a few days in back in Richmond, Brad and I traveled to Eric and Lindsay's for New Year's Eve. Lindsay and Eric cooked us dinner (beef burgundy with bread and salad) and I made us dessert (blueberry cheesecake bites). As we were sitting down to dinner, Eric opened a bottle of champagne, looked at Lane and said "I hope one day you have friends as good as our to spend New Year's Eve with." He almost made me cry! Check out some cutie cute pics of Lane (and one of Eric during our whipped cream fight)!!

While 2010 had its ups and downs, overall it was a good year. I'm looking forward to all that 2011 has to offer and hope to be better about sharing it all with you!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday"

Ah yes, 50 Cent, today IS my birthday and I spent the day wine tasting in enemy territory, a.k.a. Charlottesville, with Brad. Despite today's beautiful scenery, neither Brad nor I took any pictures!

Our first stop was to Jefferson Vineyards on the original vineyard of Thomas Jefferson. Of the three wineries we visited, Jefferson Vineyards definitely had the best wines. We were greeted by a sorority girl proudly displaying her Delta Zeta sweatshirt and settled at the bar in front of one of the wine tasting staffers, an energetic older man. I can honestly say I liked every single wine we had the opportunity to taste except for the Rose. I don't typically like Rose wines so that wasn't much of a surprise. As part of my birthday gift, Brad offered to purchase a bottle of wine so we went home with their easy drinking Vin Rouge.

After a quick stop to our friend's new apartment, we moved on to Blenheim Vineyards owned by Dave Matthews. Brad and I had been wanting to visit Blenheim for quite some time, but I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. Not only was it incredibly crowded and the service wasn't that great, the atmosphere wasn't what I was expecting. They did have a fabulous deck overlooking the vineyard with a beautiful view of the mountains, but since we hadn't planned to drink or eat there we didn't take advantage. Despite the spotty service, I did like their chardonnay and took a bottle home with me.

Our last stop was to Sugarleaf Vineyards which was featured on the Real Housewives of D.C. The reviews on Google looked promising but again, I was slightly disappointed. I already knew the drive to the winery would be sketchy; a single lane dirt road leads you to the "estate" and if you come upon another car, it makes for an awkward situation. When we were inside the tasting room it was pretty crowded. Unlike the other wineries, Sugarleaf charges a wine tasting fee plus tax as well as an additional fee if you want the glass. Bottles of wine are pricey too, ranging anywhere from $23 to $40. Only want a glass of wine? You might as well buy a bottle as you'll be paying $8-9 a glass. Brad made a point that since they are a small winery they need to make money; to me, the quality of their wines did not warrant the cost. We tasted several white wines and a couple of reds, one of which I considered taking home, but we left empty-handed, deciding to save our money for dinner.

We had originally planned to have dinner in Charlottesville and I had gathered several suggestions from friends, but I had taken my car in for service and since they're not open on Sunday (and close at 5 p.m.), we had to get back so I could pick it up. Instead, we decided to have dinner at The Hill Cafe Three Monkeys which is where we are headed in a few minutes.

Today was a great day, despite some of the disappointments at the wineries. I received tons of text and Facebook messages from friends and family and got to spend lots of time with Brad. Brad's 30th birthday is coming up soon and we might be going to Las Vegas to celebrate, stay tuned!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Witch -  Circa 1987
Wizard - Circa 1991ish?
Wizard and Bear - Circa 1991ish
Birthday Present - Circa 1993
Birthday Present and Little Red Riding Hood - Circa 1993
In honor of Halloween I thought I'd share some photos of me and my sister through the years. Our mom is awesome and made every single one of our costumes (dad helped too!). We had some pretty cool costume ideas, like the birthday present and the refrigerator (wish I had pictures of that one, it was awesome!) and my mom (and dad) helped turn our ideas into reality.
I have so many good memories of Halloween. First, there was the town Halloween parade (which is part of the reason we came up with some neat costume ideas) where we would parade around the high school auditorium and hope that the judges would award one of us with a trophy. Despite our well-executed costumes, neither one of us ever took home a prize.
Then there was Mischief Night, the night before Halloween. In the North, the night before Halloween means mischievous teens pull pranks like throwing rolls of toilet paper in trees, smashing pumpkins, spraying shaving cream on car windshields and pulling other pranks on friends and neighbors. Although my sister and I never participated in any of the mischief, it was always fun to wake up the next morning to see what had been done. We hated when the vandals got our pumpkins though.
The day/night of Halloween was always fun, too. At our house we had a scary green mask with a wrinkled, wart face and crazy, curly black and white hair we called Mr. Greenhead who we would dress in our parents old clothes and put out on our front porch.  When I was really young (see witch photo, circa 1987) my mom would take me trick-or-treating before she left for work in the late afternoon. As my sister and I got older, our dad would take us as soon as it got dark. We would bring back pillowcases full of candy, then dump out the contents on our living room rug and sort through every piece.

Now, Halloween isn't quite what it used to be. The people in my neighborhood don't usually leave their lights on for Trick-or-Treaters (much less decorate their houses), so at most we get 4-6 kids. Older kids are discouraged from Trick-or-Treating, and towns and neighborhoods decide when people should celebrate Halloween if it's during the week or on a Sunday. I'm thankful I grew up in a town that always celebrated Halloween and in a family that did fun Halloween activities together. I hope to continue the tradition when I have kids one day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

UPDATE: Emotional Rollercoaster

I'm sure many of you are wondering about my friend Lindsay and her little boy Lane, and thankfully I have good news to share. Lindsay is being discharged today after three weeks in the hospital. She will have someone come to her home several times a week to help her with physical therapy and eventually she'll go to an outpatient program. Lane is also doing well, but he'll need to spend at least another one to two weeks in the hospital as he is having a little trouble breathing without extra oxygen. This isn't a cause for concern however, since Lane is considered a premie.

New details have also emerged about the accident. When the ambulance driver first talked to the police officer he told him that he was programming the address of his next stop into his GPS. During his second interview though, he told the officer that he had been having a migraine all day and that he had repeatedly blacked out and that is what happened right before the accident. The officer determined that the more likely scenario is that the passenger of the ambulance was programming the GPS and the driver was watching him and was distracted. It has also been determined that the ambulance's traffic signal had been red for quite some time when he ran through. Despite his distraction, the driver will not be charged with vehicular manslaughter because he did not have the intent to kill, but will probably face a lesser charge, possibly vehicular homicide, which is a felony and can carry jail time.

Lindsay, her husband Eric and their son Lane still have a long road ahead of them but they are getting better every day.