Hi! Here’s my first pass at this once a month blogging thing. I think I like it and it was nice to gradually add to the post throughout the month. Takes the pressure off, ya know? Hopefully I’ll have some house updates to share soon! In the meantime, here’s what happened in November.
Although it wasn’t technically in November, it is worth mentioning that Jonathan and I spent our first night in the “Beck Bungalow” on Halloween night!
The house was still an absolute wreck, but we brought a mattress in from the shed, ordered a pizza, and sat out on our front porch with a few bags of candy. This ended up being such a sweet way for us to meet so many of our new neighbors as they brought their kids around trick-or-treating. Everyone was so welcoming and I felt particularly overwhelmed with kindness when a neighbor brought over food from a party they had been hosting, apologizing for not realizing we had moved in already, regretting that they hadn’t been able to invite us to the party. Such a small gesture, but it made us feel so welcomed into our new community.
This month we had our first house guest! Our friend Michael was in Charlotte interviewing for a residency at Carolina’s Medical Center (CMC) and we loved having him in town to go out to dinner (Bad Daddy’s!) and spend the night. We didn’t have much to offer in terms of accommodations – just a mattress on the floor – but it made us so excited to host out of town guests once the house is in a little better shape.
Jonathan’s parents and my mom graciously made the drive to Charlotte several times this month to help us around the house. My mom and I washed all the windows, inside and out. We unpacked all of our wedding gifts and, thanks to mold from the basement, washed them all by hand. We unfortunately found lots of mold on everything from suede shoes to wooden spatulas, so all of those things went to the trash. I think I threw away 9 pairs of shoes. :( Jonathan and his dad installed cabinets, bathroom backsplash, and even baseboards! The house looks so much more complete with baseboards and I am loving it.
One morning there was a knock at the door and I opened it to find an older gentleman that I did not recognize. To my surprise, it was the man that used to own the house! He came right in and gave me some of the house’s history — he and his wife lived there for 36 years! I think he liked some of the changes, but he did ask where lots of things were, “What happened to that shelf? Why did you get rid of the refrigerator? I hope you didn’t cut down my rhododendron bush!” Jonathan and I are planning to have him and his wife over for dinner some time next month.
This month I read “The Stranger Beside Me” by Ann Rule, which I found to be utterly disturbing. Ann Rule is a true crime writer who was contracted to write a book on a case of missing girls back in the seventies. When Ted Bundy became the prime suspect in the serial murder case, Ann was shocked because she actually was friends with Ted and had worked with him at a previous job. Talk about a crazy coincidence. I read it because it was on a list of books recommended for people who liked the podcast Serial but it was a little too much for me.
In the middle of the month we took a Saturday off from our house duties and made a day trip to Chapel Hill to watch UNC play Miami. When I was a little girl my dad took me to basketball and football games in Chapel Hill, I visited my siblings at college there, and Jonathan proposed to me on campus. So even though I didn’t go to school at UNC, Chapel Hill is still one of my “happy places.”
My brother always hosts a great tailgate, and this time he did a bunch of mini sandwiches – burgers, bbq, pimento cheese, buffalo chicken, etc… It was so nice to take a day off from house work and enjoy the beautiful fall weather with family and friends. Plus, the Heels won, so it was an all around great day.
I took two trips to the mountains of Virginia in November. The first of which was for a girls’ weekend with two of my friends from college, Kara and Laney. We sat around the fire, drank wine, went antiquing, laughed, watched movies, etc… I hate living in different cities than all of my best friends but it’s so sweet when you can spend time together!
The second trip to VA was for Thanksgiving with my side of the family. Jonathan and I went up on Wednesday night and stayed until Friday afternoon. It was great to have the whole fam in one place for more than a couple of hours! Everyone brought a dish, but we also all worked together in the kitchen to make some more things on Thanksgiving day. It was a lot of fun!
We spent the weekend after Thanksgiving in Durham with Jonathan’s family which was also great. It worked out well that they were planning on having Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday this year, so splitting our first holiday as a married couple was pretty painless! Jonathan’s sister Allison hosted the meal and we loved eating on the back deck while watching football around a fire.
Last, but certainly not least, we celebrated Jonathan’s birthday at the end of the month! The big two-eight. I surprised him with dinner at Beef ‘N’ Bottle, a small steakhouse here in Charlotte. It looks so unassuming and honestly run down from the outside, but the food was delicious and the service was excellent. Happy Birthday, JB!