Thursday, August 29, 2013

Throwback Thursday: So There's This Guy (Part 6)

How We Met
Roommate Conversation
The Movie Night
Are You Seeing Anyone?


The day that Carson asked me to the formal, I emailed my sister. I think that I was overwhelmed. Kind of excited, but also very surprised. I wanted to think nothing of it, but since we weren't friends (and I really still didn't know his last name), it was something I thought about a lot. It was weird. But anyway, I'm glad that I did write this email, because now I have a record of some of my initial reaction, even if it was typed in an email.

From: Lindsay
To: Becca
Subject: So there's this guy...
So, you remember that guy's house we went to on Friday night? Well, he's lately been asking Molly, Erica and I to do things because we seemed like neat people and he wanted to get to know us. Like seriously, REALLY lately, like in the past couple weeks (this would be why he mentioned that we were the ones invited to the movie night).

Today, I was walking out of the computer lab when Carson stopped me (that's his name). He asked me if I had a second to talk and I said yes. So we stood off to the side and he said he had two questions for me and not to get weirded out. His first question was "Are you seeing anyone; the guys upstairs?" and I laughed (but only to myself because that would be mean). Then he asked his second question - "would you go to the Spring Formal and the dance afterwards with me?" I'll admit, I was a little shocked. But I said yes. And he said "cool!" And then he went downstairs and I went to the library and told Molly and Erica and they looked at each other and they said "WE KNEW HE WOULD!" (but I didn't have a clue) and Molly told me later that she'd prayed that someone would ask me (we talked about it a week ago and I said I'd be the last person someone would ask - ha). And then she said that she and Erica have thought for awhile that he liked me. And that during break he asked them if people took dates to the formal and if it was weird and then they knew he was going to ask me. 
So. Weird. 

From Becca:

I'm so happy. Carson was an awesome guy. I could tell just from the little bit of time we were around him on Friday. That is so exciting. I'm smiling so big, I think it made my whole day. :) When is the Spring Formal?

From Lindsay:
Love the response. You're funny. 
It's not until May 2 so that's another reason it took me by surprise.

From Becca:
He's getting a claim on you early :)

From Lindsay:
I guess you're right. Go him. 
By the way, I don't like him. I don't know if that wasn't conveyed in anything. I seriously never talked to the guy before three weeks ago. 
(that's why it's so weird).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Flying Colors

You probably haven't grasped the importance of the GRE test from the posts written here, and that's entirely my fault. For weeks - no, MONTHS - we have been thinking about this test (it's short for Graduate Record Examinations).

It's been one of those things that we think about so often that sometimes I have to say "Carson, we need to talk about something else" because we really discuss it THAT often. Carson has spent most days this summer reading and studying a variety of things in addition to working full-time labor jobs as well as his part-time research assistant-ship. You might say that his plate has been a bit full.

Carson took this test initially in the Spring of 2011 and scored fairly high, although to talk to him you might think he failed it. Since his scores weren't quite satisfactorily high enough for him, he's been preparing to take it again for an incredibly long time. Why? Well, he's getting ready to apply for PhD programs for Fall 2014.

He studied for so long (I believe he began studying in January, but REALLY buckled down once the spring semester ended) because his desire was to continue taking (free) practice tests until he achieved the desired score. The "desired" score was a number that a school mentioned when he asked if there was anything he could do to waive the application fee (you won't know unless you ask). 

All of that background wouldn't have been necessary if I'd kept you in the loop. 

On the 17th of August, Carson took the GRE for the second time. He continued to study and take practice tests that week and added a few "superfoods" to his diet in hopes that they would help him focus during the test. I was out with friends when he finished the test (I know - sounds rude, right?) but asked him to call and tell me how he did. 

I got a cryptic text that said "I am all that is man" which caused me to assume that he was pleased with the score. I called him and he didn't answer (he went out with friends too, after all, so I wasn't THAT terrible), so I called him a couple more times and guess what? He got a BETTER score than was required for that one school. As he would definitely say - "boo ya"

99th percentile. He's a smart one. 

I just thought I'd brag about Carson a little bit because he really studies SO hard and works so much. He's the most diligent student I've ever met, going so far as to read the recommended readings AND the books for the professors he's working for (he sort of works as a teacher's assistant, so sometimes he teaches a class or two) AND work a full-time summer job AND study like crazy. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Clear Path

A year ago, we walked the campus of John Carroll University for the first time and thought, "Well, here goes nothing!" We've truly felt that a lot in the last year and a half, as schools made decisions based on Carson's applications, determining the next place we would live, sealing our fate.

All along the way, though Carson sent applications far and wide, our prayer was "PLEASE MAKE THIS CLEAR!"

John Carroll was the last place we thought we'd go. Carson happened upon the school on the internet, having never heard about it. He got halfway through the application and forgot to fill out the rest. The only reason that he finished applying was because someone from the school called him.

But when decision letters had reached our inbox (I was incredibly disappointed to find out that they aren't all real letters - especially because application costs were not cheap), the options were limited. Carson hoped to attend a funded program because - let's be honest - money for school is not a small matter. And we are not wealthy people. Schools offered partial funding, unpaid assistant-ships, or no funding at all.

"That one school in Ohio"  interviewed Carson over the phone for a position in the Religious Studies department as a graduate assistant. He got a good feeling about the school from that conversation, and when they let him know that he would receive full funding and a small stipend, it didn't take long to say yes.

Though there were many, many little worries and decisions needing to be made (jobs! house! church!), we felt that relocating to Cleveland was a very clear choice, even if it was our original last choice.

As we made the drive from Spokane to Cleveland, I found myself thinking many, many times how great it would be to turn the car around and head back to our old life. I loved Spokane and if given the chance, I'd move back there. But the truth was that we prayed over and over again for God to make the next steps obvious. He didn't open up a position at Gonzaga University, a similar-to-JCU school four blocks from Moody's campus in Spokane. He led us to Ohio.

As we're praying about the next steps (the list for PhD applications is being finalized!), this feels especially relevant again. Does God know where we'll be in a year (crazy!) from now? He does. And it might be Ohio still or it might be on the far side of the moon or in a top-of-the-list school or at a school we still haven't heard of. We don't know, He does know and knowing that He will lead is especially comforting.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Gallery

Last fall, Carson went to a conference and left me alone. I got a lot done that weekend, making crafts, preparing dinners for the next week and cleaning my house. 

I also did a lot of decorating. Not a LOT, but I definitely hung things on the walls. I really don't like bare walls. They don't feel homey to me. I don't even notice them in other people's homes, but they drive me nuts in mine. That's why my house probably looks to you like a lot of chaos - there's stuff on the walls in every room. 

Anyway, at that time, we still didn't have a couch in our living room, so it was basically an empty space with boxes of decorative pillows and a sad rocking chair. There are windows, the entryway, a fireplace and doorways into other rooms on all the other walls, but there's one long wall with nothing on it. Poor lonely little room. 

So at approximately midnight one of the nights he was gone, I gathered a bunch of pictures and stuck them on the wall, so they filled it up. 

It was meant to fill a space and be a temporary part of our wall.
But although I loved the happy reminders of friends and family, I didn't like that pictures fell off, or that it made the room look messy, or that it was basically my face a million different times (Carson doesn't take as many pictures as I do... shocking, I know). 

So one day, I decided I'd had enough.
 I'm not sure what exactly motivated me, but my plans for a nap after work went out the window and I gathered spare frames and laid them out on the floor to make an arrangement. That proved a bit difficult, so I hung one of the canvases on the wall, then arranged the others around it and kept hanging until I liked it. 

It's imperfect and off-centered and I didn't have the time to do a really good job so there's a little blue poster putty hanging out in between the frames, but I love it. 

And that's that. Except later on, I bought some spray paint to make the frames all black. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Story: Are You Seeing Anyone? (Part 5)

Part One: Background
Part Two: How We Met
Part Three: The Roommate Conversation
Part Four: The Movie Night


It was March 11th, a Wednesday. I had been twenty years old for two days and I was wearing a new green sweater my mom had purchased for my birthday. I remember what my hair looked like too, because bobby pins kept trying to worm their way out of my head, and because I got a compliment on it from my friend Becky.

I had a presentation in my speech class that morning. We were supposed to give a "eulogy" for someone we knew and loved - someone who wasn't necessarily dead yet. It felt weird - strange, to speak about someone as if they were gone when they weren't. I talked about my dad, describing what he did, who he was and why I loved and respected him. I'm sure I have the speech somewhere, but I'm also quite certain that it was written last minute and is therefore not a great tribute. Sorry, Dad!

We had chapel on Wednesdays, in between the 7:45-10:35 morning classes and the 12:15-3:00 afternoon ones. I had classes all day on Wednesdays and they were my two least favorites that semester (not entirely true - I didn't like my Thursday morning class either) so Wednesdays were a long and tiring day.

It was a worship chapel that morning, and we spent the entire chapel time singing praises. I wouldn't remember that if it weren't for remembering all the people in front of me with their hands raised high in the air. Carson was one of them, standing in front of the stage. I can't pretend that I remember what he was wearing, but if I were to guess, he had on that bright blue North Face jacket that he loves and still wears.

After chapel, I ate lunch (and if I'm going to guess on that, I'm going to say that we were running late that morning so I grabbed a jar of peanut butter and a spoon. I have terrible eating habits.) and then went to class, where I sat in between Molly and Erica as usual. Carson sat at the table in front of ours, as usual, and we watched movie clips, as usual.

On break, I left my roommates and went to check my student box in the computer lab. I checked my email while I was there, then decided to go to the library to find Erica and Molly.
I hadn't noticed, but Carson had been waiting outside the door for me. I also didn't notice at first that he looked nervous.

"Hey, Lindsay", he tried to sound casual.

"Yes?" said I, unsuspecting.

"Could we talk for a second? I wanted to ask you something". We stepped out of the way of foot traffic, standing next to the library drop-box across from the computer lab.

"I was just wondering. Are you, um, uh... seeing anyone?"

I was a little thrown off. "Nooo", I said.

"Oh good. You know the formal coming up in a few weeks?"


"Would you like to, uh, you know, go with me?"

"Sure", I said uneasily. One can say nothing but yes in such a situation.

He began to talk details, like tickets, the dance afterward, attire. I don't remember exactly what he said, but after awkwardly talking about it, he said he had to go downstairs (he was checking to see when tickets would be available, but he didn't tell me that till later).

I continued on my way toward the library, located my roommates, and shared the story with them.

They shared a glance before saying, "We KNEW it! He was talking to some people about the formal after you left the classroom and we just KNEW that he was going to ask you!"

Molly and Erica, if you happen to be reading, I still don't believe you. Glory hogs.

After class, I somehow lost track of the roommates and when I came out of the library, looking for them, I ran into Carson. He was happy to make small talk until they found me, so he started talking about my dad. "He's a mechanic, right?" he asked. I was confused until I realized that he had a roommate who was in my speech class and had heard that my dad works at a car dealership. I then wondered what else his roommates had shared with him from speech class - no doubt that was how he'd found out several things about me.

My roommates and I spent the rest of the day in our apartment talking about that strange event. How I didn't really like Carson, how they KNEW he liked me, how I thought he was just trying to be nice, how awkward the formal would be, how odd that he'd asked me two months in advance...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to Cut Your Hair

I was going through posts that I hadn't published yet and found this one...


I haven't had a real haircut in almost a year, and since that time, my hair has been thinned out and grown back a little strange, I have quite a few split ends, and overall, it's probably a good idea to get a haircut. Here's the thing though: I hate almost every haircut I get, so I never go back to the same person. 
Needless to say, my hair hasn't been looking spectacular, but I have to wear it up for work, so it doesn't bother me on a regular basis. I've evened up the ends a little, cut my bangs here and there, and put a few layers in the front over the past few months, but I knew that I could use a real trim. 

So I asked around for recommendations, and nobody knew a good hairstylist. So then I googled for instructions and found a YouTube video that was very easy and straightforward. I can't remember what I typed in to find it, so I can't link to it, but here's what I did. 

I straightened my hair. I have think, naturally wavy hair and I think that wetting my hair before it's cut is probably why I've disliked my past haircuts. So I straightened it... this is midway through.

And this is what we were working with. Uneven ends, and since I lost a lot of hair last summer, the ends were pretty thin. I began with a thin bottom section of hair and brought it to the front.

I used my fingers to guide the scissors on one side of my hair, then grabbed the second section and cut it at the same place I'd snipped the first hair off.

And this is what came of that (it was even, I promise) - so much better!

I then continued straightening and cutting layer by layer, brushing my hair to the front and using that bottom layer of hair as my guide.

This picture from the back is not accurate, because I know that it wasn't uneven at the end, but maybe this was taken halfway through? Either way, I probably need to get layers cut into it by someone who knows what they're doing. Also, I don't wear it straight, so "mostly even" works.
(I took a sort of better picture of it straightened later...)

I don't like my hair stick-straight (I think it's too long to look good that way on me), so I curled it with my straightener. That's the only way I curl my hair and it takes five minutes and stays all day. I didn't use hairspray because I wanted my hair to fall out a little bit and just look like a nice wave later.

I finished that up with a waterfall braid in the back because I was feeling fancy.

I only cut off about two inches (in some places I didn't cut that much; I was just evening things out), so even I can barely tell. One of my regular customers noticed one day when my hair was in a ponytail though: "Oh, you cut off your hair for summer, huh?" "Um, I guess so. It was really just a trim." "Well that's a shame. I really liked it long!" I wasn't sure what to say to that!

I would do this again, most definitely. Number one, because I don't mind getting mad at myself for a bad haircut, but I really hate spending money and then being dissatisfied with the results. And secondly, it was really easy to do and not as scary as cutting hair when it's wet. I cut Carson's hair nine times out of ten, but this was a thousand times easier (probably because you can make mistakes and no one will know on my hair). 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Old Sheldon Church

I've been writing about our story here and there recently and haven't gotten to this part in the installment, but here's a spoiler alert: we got engaged four years ago.

When I tell people that it was at an old church ruin, I'm not entirely sure what crosses their mind, but unless they're from Beaufort, they don't seem to understand that it was HERE.
This is one of the most beautiful places to visit in my hometown. In fact, the reason that Carson proposed there is because it's a place I talked about when I was telling him about where I was from. He thought that it was so special to me that he might as well give me a reason to consider it really special. 

While we were in Beaufort, I bribed Jillian into taking pictures for us there. Well, actually I didn't bribe her, but I did ask, and plus, she's been our official photographer once before (I just looked for those pictures and realized I didn't post them, which is a shame because I love them so much - they were taken in an apple orchard in Spokane). She agreed and took WAY more pictures than the... I don't know, three? that I'd imagined. I love so many of them so now you get to love them too... and in case you're wondering, yes I do feel a little like a crazy person posting a million pictures of us here... but I'm used to it at this point and you likely are too. 

We arrived here and there were no people - score! But moments after I snapped the above picture, two families taking what looked like Christmas card photos and one group of high school tourists showed up... so we weren't alone but Jillian was creative.

This is where Carson proposed... well actually it was more in that sunny part, but the light wasn't good, so imagine us two steps to our left.

I have no idea how anyone can carry a baby in a car seat. Poor Graceanna nearly bit the dust when I tried. So heavy. 

I just thought this one was funny... we look like we're playing hide and seek.

I think we just weren't supposed to be smiling, but I look angry. Sorry, Carson!

Jillian took more, but I "limited" myself to "just these". Thanks, Jillian!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Cleveland Chapter

Dear Cleveland,
Can you believe it? We have lived in you for a year now.

One year ago, shortly after midnight, we were pulling into a city near you, getting some shut-eye after the longest road trip of our lives. After a too-short sleep, we'd pull ourselves out of bed and see you, the real you, for the first time. We'd drive down the street where we now live, past our house, because we didn't recognize it (oops), and unlock the door to our new home and new life. 

At first, we weren't sure what we thought of you. Our first impression was admittedly rather bad. We chose the wrong street to go down as we progressed toward that first view of our new home... a road that was more pot-holey than the rest, and that's saying a lot. We endured a short bout of warm weather, the tail-end of summertime, without any friends and without a real sense of what the city had to offer. You seemed interesting, but we weren't sure how to enjoy you. 

And then winter began and... well, I hated you. Carson loves cold weather, so he was fine, but I detested the chill brought on by the humidity from your stupid lake, the unplowed streets, the dark early mornings and dark early evenings. Every mean thing I've heard about Cleveland (and there are a lot) rang true in my heart, just because it was cold and gray and ugly outside. I hated the promise of warmth in March and the dashing of my dreams over and over again as snow continued to fall well into April. I started to like you... and then it hovered around 40 degrees and 40 degrees might as well be -40, because it's still too cold to do anything. 

But then... May. May had a few days of chill, but many more of sunshine and warmth. The coldness of my heart toward you, Cleveland, thawed out, bit by bit. I began to think that maybe there was a little charm in your pothole-studded streets. Trees began to bloom, flowers finally appeared and I saw what other people saw. I heard about concerts and days with food trucks and arts festivals. I visited the Metroparks, the zoo, a Tribe game and heard about all sorts of wonderful things that happen in you when it's warm. I explored a little more. 

And then, Cleveland, then what did I say? 
I said that I liked living here. That's right, you won me over. Oh, it's no Spokane (sorry!) and it's not the South (sorry again), but something about this place is certainly rather captivating. The lake, while not my saltwater ocean, certainly looks rather like one, since you can't see to the other side. And the zoo, well, we didn't have one in Spokane and that's kind of neat. And you're a city with a lot of parks, which Spokane has too, and I love that. There are thunderstorms, which Carson can't get enough of, warm summer nights, which I like, community events, which feel sort of homey and now we know people. And Cleveland, that's really what makes you so special. Because we moved here a year ago, we met so many people that we love. We've made good friends, gone on fun outings, hosted community group, and planned trips with people we didn't know a year ago. 

There are parts of you that I will not miss, when the time comes: mostly winter, but that's the way it's going to be. But there are parts about you, people who live here, things to see and do, that I will most certainly look back on, fondly, at whatever time the Cleveland Chapter closes. 

Looking forward to at least another, but please be easy on me with the soon-impending winter! 

Our street, day one.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Our Story: The Movie Night (Part 4)


"Hey, do you guys want to get together and watch this movie sometime?"

I looked up from my syllabus and met the eyes of the incredibly friendly guy in the blue North Face, glancing at my roommates for a response. He was turned around in his seat and seemed intent on making this happen.

"Sure, Carson", we agreed, "that could be fun".

"Great, I think I can rent it from the Gonzaga library. Would next Friday work for all of you?"

The movie was Gattaca, a sci-fi film we'd seen a portion of in class. We were in Research Writing and one of the assignments that the professors had chosen for the class was that we would research a topic in a film, book or song and discuss its more redeemable qualities for our final paper. There was a little more to it than that, but each week we'd watch several short clips of movies or listen to song lyrics and then discuss them.

Already being avid movie-watchers, my roommates and I had found some gems from this class. It got my roommate Erica and I hooked onto the TV show LOST, which we would later spend hours watching over Spring break (and then I quit in the middle of season 4 and haven't finished the series). We were always up for a new movie.

The next Thursday night, two weeks since our interaction with Carson, my little sister Becca came to visit for a few days, so she tagged along with me as I went to class, explored downtown Spokane, and went to a Passover Sedar at school on Friday.

After the Sedar, we planned to go to Carson's to watch Gattaca. Others had heard of the plans, so they joined us at his place for the movie. I want to say that there were over twenty people present. We piled on the couch and around the living room on the floor. People dragged chairs in and sat on the arms of the couch. It was crowded.

Carson was a great host. After everyone was settled, he stood up and introduced the movie, apologized for not previewing it "just in case" there was anything sketchy. Then he went into the kitchen and spent most of the movie making cookies and things for everyone else as they watched.

When we got home (if I remember correctly, our ride was someone's big truck, and we put way more people than we should have in the cab), Becca was really impressed with Carson and kept talking about it when we got back to my apartment. "Mhmm, yep, he's a nice guy", I responded (I might have said more, but I can't remember).

Becca was there for my 20th birthday and had brought a box of birthday gifts from home. The roommates woke me up early to an apartment decorated and smelling like breakfast (I believe that it was cinnamon rolls), which we ate as I opened gifts. 

Later that day, we dropped Becca off at the airport. My birthday was on a Monday, and at that time, Moody didn't hold classes on Mondays, so my roommates spent the entire day spoiling me with surprise after surprise. They capped off the evening by throwing a backpack over my head and "kidnapping" me, taking me to Tomato Street, one of my very favorite Spokane restaurants.

It snowed on my birthday. Before that point, I thought snow stopped at the end of February. Poor, poor South Carolinian. 

Me, Amanda, Erica and Molly

The birthday thing doesn't really play into the story too much, but in case you wanted to know where we were in life, here you go.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

South Carolina Trip, Part Two

The first part of our trip can be found here.

On Sunday morning, we went to church. Carson and I rode with Dad, while Mom and Scott drove together. This is an important thing to mention because it was all part of "the plan". Dad thought that the plan was to go to Grandmama and Granddaddy's house for lunch and a boat ride. Everyone else knew that the boat plan was merely an excuse to keep Dad out of the house. In fact, the reason we went to Charleston the day before is so that we wouldn't go to Grandmama and Granddaddy's so that we could go on Sunday.
Dad didn't know that, so he planned a big trip for everyone in the family to go out... only Becca suddenly "couldn't", Scott didn't want to, and Mom "wasn't feeling well". A disappointed Dad called Granddaddy with the sad news on Sunday morning. He didn't notice that Granddaddy didn't seem surprised...

After we left church, Mom texted me "it's all on you now" and I prayed that we wouldn't get stuck on a sandbar or blurt out the surprise.
For all accounts and purposes, it seemed very like a normal day on the boat (some of these pictures are stretched out and I don't know why!)

We got to the sandbar, which was more crowded than we'd seen it, anchored the boat, and then Carson, Dad and Granddaddy began scraping barnacles off it, so Grandmama and I went ahead and ate. Then more barnacle scraping happened, a little swim... a nice lazy Sunday afternoon.

I cut the watermelon and no one got hurt.

And then we started back, because Carson and I "had dinner plans with Jillian and Gary" - we technically DID, since they were going to be at the party and there was going to be dinner there, but it was still a lie.

We saw porpoises on the way back.

And watched an Osprey catch a fish.

And I drove the boat back and parked it on the first try - something I haven't attempted in at least five years.

Since Carson and supposedly had plans, we cleaned up and got dressed for dinner, but Dad could not be persuaded to shower or to change clothes. Even Granddaddy and Grandmama tried to convince him that there was time, but he said that there was no need. Clearly, he had no idea about the party to come.

As we drove back to the house, I got increasingly nervous. I'm not sure why, but it was the same kind of nervousness I get when playing something like hide-and-seek... adrenaline, I guess.

We started down the driveway, and then this happened. He turned a corner and people were there with signs. He realized then what was going on and here's a video of that moment. I think he handled the surprise very graciously... but I understand the shock. I should also note that I was holding my iPhone in one hand for the video and my camera in the other for pictures so the video gets a little shaky. The pictures aren't great, either, but I'm still thankful I captured the moment in both ways.

He really was surprised. Really, really surprised. And yes, the first thing he did was shower. He kept shaking his head in shock and saying "Great day... great day..."

Daisy decided to sit down... right in the middle of the buffet line. Parties don't bother her. 

And this was the amazing cake - chocolate on one side, vanilla on the other. That's supposed to be a little Oscar (Dad's favorite dog) on the lawnmower.

Look at those little mooches...

Mom with her great-nephew, Luke

And Dad and Granddaddy admiring the little dog. Note the matching shirts.

We finally got a family picture - Carson, Lindsay, Dad, Mom, Scott, Becca, Thomas. Dogs not included.

My flowergirls are all grown up!

The Kipes stayed after the party to chat and hang out. Graceanna has the best hair.

"Uncle" Carson and "Aunt" Lindsay love Graceanna!

And Oscar loves Dad.

The next morning, I spent a little time going through my old room. I found this phone which was not my first phone, but looks like it belongs in a technology museum at this point - it's funny how fast those things change!

Carson spent the day studying. I know this picture makes Daisy's eyes look scary, but without this flash, she didn't show up.

And Oscar whined until I let him go on the porch of my old room.

Later on, Jillian, little Graceanna and I headed into Beaufort to meet up with Emily. We met at Palm and Moon Bagel, which was an old favorite. My dear Brooke used to work there in high school, and once upon a time, we "kidnapped" Emily and took her there for her birthday. Anyway, we got there a little earlier than Emily and spent the time taking pictures and entertaining the little one.

Blowing kisses... most of the time, she blew kisses from her ear.

I conned Jillian into taking our pictures at Old Sheldon Church and so she did that before we dropped her off at home. Graceanna sat in her little seat and stared at us, confused.

That evening, we sort of hung out and did nothing in particular for awhile. Mom worked in her studio, Dad and Carson sat and talked, we had dinner, I spent time talking with Scott... it was a nice laid back last night. 

We left by 7 the next morning, a more decent time to get on the road. We hit South of the Border for gas and laughs, since Carson hadn't even heard of it before and it's so darn touristy.

We also stopped by UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke - since they were on the way, it didn't hurt to stop by a couple of potential schools. We will see!

It was sad to leave and we are looking forward to the next trip! We hope to get it in before the end of the year!
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