Friday, May 31, 2013

Memorial Day and Quantico

This week, my parents and I went up to Quantico, VA to watch my baby brother graduate from the Basic School, the US Marine Corps' six month training program for all Marine officers. I cannot express how proud I am of the Johnson, and can't wait to watch his journey as he goes through flight training, and then his next steps as a Marine.

Yay bubsy!!
Good-lookin' family, if you ask me. 

I envy him in many ways, but especially because he has known since he was about 10 years old what he's wanted to do with his life. What an incredible gift! Lately, I've been struggling with what and how I want to go through life, where to live and what career path I want to take, contemplating each decision and scaling how happy it will make me. My brother (and so many other military members) feels called to serve something greater than himself, and each step brings him closer to fulfilling the path that God has set out for him.

I whole-heartedly admire and appreciate everything our troops do for us. Just one 60 Minutes segment about our guys and gals in the Middle East and I'm a basket case of emotions. I cannot fathom that way of life, and I'm thankful that some Americans would sacrifice so much for our freedom.

I hope you had an amazing Memorial Day weekend, and remember every day what a blessing it is to live in this country.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I'm Apparently Obsessed with Animals

So much is coming up on my calendar that I feel like Cady when Aaron Samuels invited her to Chris's Halloween party!! My dad's birthday party is tonight -- hello free wine; on Monday I'm on my way to DC/NoVa for my brother's graduation from TBS and quality (but not enough) time with my DC betches; Mumford and Sons concert with one of my faves; and Paris exactly one month from tomorrow!! Exciting times, indeed.

In the meantime, I was browsing the photos on my phone earlier to refresh my memory about what I've been doing lately (yes, I forget that easily), and it would appear that I do nothing except take photos of animals in my life. I love dogs, and cats are pretty cool I guess, and I'm going to be the crazy dog/cat lady as soon as is humanly (animaly?) possible. And you know what? I ain't even mad.

So give yourself a wee little break on this Friday before a 3-day weekend, and check out these adorable animals that I've been around lately. Because every blog needs an animal post, and this is my one and only, I promise. Probably.

Before leaving Knoxville, this little guy and I spent some quality time together.

My grandparents' cat, Miss Kitty. Look at those eyes.

My grandmother with Miss Kitty and Mimi.

Owl eggs that we found out at the lake. Technically not animals yet, but use your imagination. 

Louis is literally Bryan from "Family Guy." He is in love with my mom. 

And this photo I couldn't resist. That's my cousin on the couch, and that's our other dog, Suzette. They are almost in the exact same position and I thought it was hilarious. Sorry I'm not sorry. 

My brother's cat, Dr. Greensky, after forcing him to look at me. Crazy bastard.

Alright, I will subject you to no more. Have a nice long weekend!! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Moral of the Story: The Great Gatsby still takes my breath away.

1. I saw The Great Gatsby today, and oh my goodness. It's everything you've come to expect from Baz Luhrmann. It's is so aesthetically beautiful and romantic and juxtaposes perfectly with the tragedy of a man trying to hold on to a lost hope. Tobey Maguire was such a great choice for Nick Carraway. He plays the wonderful observer grappling with the grand world of Gatsby. And Leo is obvi amazing. I'm so glad they didn't skip over the last, perfect and elusive sentence: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

2. I can't wait for a slew of other summer movies -- here's Refinery 29's sick list of a bunch of summer blockbusters that look pretty great.

3. I can't get enough of sandals right now. I got these babies from Target this week, and I'll probably be in them all summer long. 

4. I went to Perini's Steakhouse the other week (GO if you're ever in or around Abilene!) and discovered this new wine called Garbo. It is amazing. If you like any kind of red wine, this is the one for you.

5. Mother's Day is Sunday, and I'm increasingly grateful for the strong and beautiful mothers in my family and in my life, especially my own. Love you, Mama bear!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

...Or the sweetness of the grass in Tennessee

This past weekend, I decided very last-minute to go to Knoxville, TN for my cousin's wedding. I had only been to Tennessee once in college to visit a friend at Sewanee. As per usual, I was excited to go to a place I had never been before.

Knoxville is really cool. A college town in every sense of the phrase (the other UT makes Knoxville its home), it has an eclectic downtown area, the beautiful Tennessee river running right through it, and gorgeous greenery that we would only dare to dream of in West Texas.

Most of the time was spent with family, which is always fun, but we did get to explore the city a little bit. The rehearsal dinner was at Calhoun's on the river, evidently sort of an institutional BBQ place, and it was phenomenal. The rest of the weekend was spent traipsing around, succeeding in finding other amazing places to eat (and drink).

Plus, who doesn't love a wedding? Especially when the venue is beautiful, the food is delicious, the band is rockin', and the couple is visibly in love.

All in all, a great weekend, and I'd go back in a heartbeat.

My dad and I loved all the dogs they had...

...which was seven. SEVEN DOGS. I was in Heaven.

Lunch at the Tin Roof, which was less of a lunch place and more of a dive bar. Oh well.
After dancing up a storm at the reception.
Sending them off with some sparkle.