Weekend Getaway

Ever feel the urge to get away? Last weekend, West and I got to satisfy that urge with a overnight trip to Charlotte to see one of our favorite little families. Upon driving up to their home, we were met curbside by this little man:

Melissa and Tyler invited us over for dinner, and while they were finishing getting things together, Ethan shared this yummy salsa his mom made.

He also gave us a tour of the house (he wasn’t home the last time we visited, so he didn’t know we’d already seen it). In case you forgot, they live in the cutest townhome in downtown Charlotte. West and I are green with envy 🙂 They had hung pictures up / rearranged some things since we visited in the summer, and it was even cuter!

Melissa and Tyler made us individual quesadillas that were so gooooood.

While we ate, we talked and listened to records in their living room. Then, before E went to bed, he read us a story.

Since West and I are pretty much like 60, we were yawning like crazy around 10:30; we said goodbye and headed to sleep at the DoubleTree near the airport, which, by the way, is really depressing feeling even though it says it’s 3.5 stars (but don’t worry, we pricelined it, Dad ;)).

Sleeping in a king bed, however, was absolutely amazing. West and I have a double at home, and I think one of our goals for next year is to save enough for a queen because it is SMALL. Before we knew it, it was time to wake and run!

Melissa and me looking our best before our run. ha-ha.

West looks equally out of it. Melissa took us on a run through her neighborhood area. Downtown seriously has some beautiful neighborhoods; of course, we would have to sale our first born (or maybe all future children) to afford to live there, but it was a gorgeous place to run, despite the 40 degree weather.

As we ran, Tyler coached Ethan on some photo skills with our camera. Here’s one of his shots:

After running, we were starving, so West and I headed back once again to shower and grab some brunch. Even though Melissa tried to sway us to eat at the Original Pancake House (is that right, Melissa?), we couldn’t resist the call of the Flying Biscuit.

I can’t move away from my fascination with carbs, so I ordered the goat cheese grits, potatoes, two over-medium eggs and one of their fluffy biscuits.

West ordered sort of the same thing, except no potatoes and add meat.

His also came with a side of decadent french toast.

I was so full after the meal I had trouble breathing. No joke.

After brunch, we met up with T & M one more time for a trip to IKEA! West and I had been saving some money to purchase a futon for our back bedroom so that I could hang out with him while he worked on website design stuff and so our future visitors would have a place to sleep.

We took our time testing our choices and finally settled on what we wanted by the time we ran back into our friends.

IKEA was a mad house on Saturday because apparently ALL of Charlotte had received this $25 coupon.

We were very nervous about our purchases because we knew that length-wise, we were pressing our luck with getting the futon in the car.

I got more and more nervous as we waited in line for like 20 minutes.

Once everything was paid for, we enlisted Tyler and Melissa’s help to getting everything in the car. Thank the Lord they were there!

While we thought about letting the boxes hang out the trunk, we ended up shoving it all into the car (30 minutes later), which, though uncomfortable, felt safer to me.

We said goodbye to our favorite Charlotte family that we had so much fun with. I am just waiting for Melissa to tell me that I can start praying for jobs for them in Greenville. 🙂

Then, it was the tight ride back to G-ville.

Yes, there is a mattress on our heads. We laughed the whole way home. hahahaha.

We worked hard to get it done before the football game came on that night.

Ta-da! Ryan refused to move, claiming he was too busy on the interwebs.

We are now ready for visitors; contact us today to reserve your stay 😉

I’m not sure what it was about last weekend, but West and I agreed that it was the longest, most relaxing, most fun weekend we had enjoyed in a loooonnng time. I’m hoping we get away one more time before the year’s out for my b-day!


First 5k and Halloween

Since July, West and I have been training for our first 5k, and this weekend we finally got to race! We picked up our packets the night before, which included these snazzy shirts.

West did some research and found out that it is apparently a newbie faux pas to wear the race shirt to the actual race, so we didn’t wear them the day of 🙂

We woke up around 6:00 am on Saturday, fueled up with some coffee and p. butter smothered bagels, and headed downtown to get in place.

Our race numbers! We got to watch the Half – Marathon and the Kid Fun Run start. Those babies looked so cute! And before we knew it, it was time for us to start.

The course was pretty hilly in comparison to what I’d been running, and it was way colder than anything I’d ran in before. While I don’t know that warmer weather would have resulted in a better race time, I do think warmer weather would have resulted in a more enjoyable race. It was HARD.

But we finished with a final chip time of 29:23 – 37 seconds faster than my goal! West, of course, wasn’t even winded, but I’m so glad we ran our first one together! We already have plans to run the Cooper River Bridge Run in March (which will bump our mileage up to 10k), and West definitely wants to run the half-marathon next year.

Before this summer, I had never ran longer than a mile and a half in my ENTIRE life and certainly not at a 9:30-mile pace. I’m proof that it’s never too late to pick up running!

After the race, we headed to feed our growling tummies at Stax.

West had grabbed a turkey + cheese sandwich after the race (I was too nauseated to eat, ha), but he was still starving. He ordered the biggest omelet and ate every bit of it!

I was in carb + dairy heaven with this two egg, cheese grit, and potato breakfast plate. When we were done, we headed back to the apt to collapse into an afternoon of Breaking Bad on the couch.

We had to recoup because we had a Halloween party to attend, which included


Bread-shaped spiders

Victorian Industrial Ghosts

And Best Friend necklaces.

West and I did attempt to dress up as Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper, but most people just thought we were hipsters or ourselves, which is actually kind of funny since West was totally wearing mom jeans. haha.

Costume fail. We’ll do better next year and take pictures; I promise.

Shows, Fairs, and Deer

A few weekends ago, West and I drove 10 hours to see friends, the fair, and family. We started the weekend by driving to Charleston after work because West had a show in downtown.

(Photo Cred Idea: Gabby)

There was an important meeting in the boardroom before the show.

This was a very monumental show because all the girlfriends were there! Beauts.

After the show, we drove all the way up to my parent’s house in North Carolina so we could go to the Cleveland County Fair with my mom and little sister.

The famous water wheel.

It wasn’t too crowded when we got there, but it was packed by the time we left! Prepare yourself for a massive amount of fair food and fun pictures. 🙂

Fries with salt & apple cider vinegar. My favorite!

I am aware that this is not an ideal picture of any of us, but this is the only one that was snapped of all 3 out of 4 Tinnin women that were present that day 🙂

Grilled corn on the cob

After the homemade potato chips, we started to feel a little like this . . .

so we took a break to look at some livestock.

Baby horsies.

Then, mom paid West a dollar to milk a cow. It took him awhile, but he eventually got it. He even got some milk out of it (ha. ha.)!

We played some games, starting with the classic Fat Albert.

You place your bet on a color, and if the white rat (Albert) runs in the whole of your color, you win tokens. When I was a kid, though, I really think you won money, which is way better than dirty stuffed animals.

West also tried to win a prize by throwing dimes in cups.

He may have hit someone with a dime…

Hope also played her first game of BINGO.

But she lost.

While I won’t get on any of the rides, I love their retro looks.

After all that walking, we had an appetite for fried pickles,

which kept us full as we walked through the exhibition halls filled with award-winning can goods

and HUGE produce.

I wonder how many pumpkin spiced lattes those would make… 🙂 I really can’t wait until I have enough yard for a garden so I can enter one of these competitions!

We left the fair after a few more undocumented eats (a corndog and chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick [and yes, I felt sick.]) and headed back to the hills where these guys met us.

Goats apparently now run free at the camp, and they are not scared to approach people. Later, West had the opportunity to help Caleb with a deer, so he suited up in some of my dad’s gear (fyi: I don’t think my dad has ever hunted, and I have no idea why he has all this camo).

The deer…

West lasted about 45 minutes, and then he got too nauseated and had to come back inside. I swear he had no color in his face for like an hour. lol.

It was such a fun-filled weekend, and I’m glad that after last year’s disappointment I finally had good fair food again. 🙂

Moonlight Movies

Sometimes, I feel like I spend every waking moment inside four walls. But one night a week, I experience the relief of real air and green things when we run through downtown Greenville’s parks. On one of these recent runs, we decided to take advantage of the cooling weather and downtown’s Moonlight Movies.

After the run, we went to spread our blankets and claim our spots.

We unpacked all sorts of picnic goodies…

And tried to snap a few photos before it turned dark.

We settled in for what we thought was the Nutty Professor (the original, folks) but what turned into the Wizard of Oz. No wonder there were a MILLION children running around WAY past their bedtimes.

I thought we could make it through the movie, but we ended up having to say goodbye to Shannon and Daniel because we just got tooooooo sleepy.

I wish that Greenvile hosted the Moonlight Movies throughout the summer, but I suppose it is dreadfully hot some nights. Looking forward to hopefully making it through an entire film next year…

Year of the Wedding

West and I aren’t the only couple in his family to unite this year. We attended his cousin Wimberly’s wedding last month, and his cousin Matt is getting married this month. I took pictures the weekend of Wimberly’s wedding, thinking I would share it on the blog, and here we are a month later with no pictures to be seen. Let’s change that.

His whole family (minus Amanda & Chris – missed ya’ll!) came up for the wedding, and we had them over for brunch on Saturday.

I made my first frittata, which included potatoes, bacon, spinach, and cheese among a few other things. West made our favorite cheese grits (we use a mix of stock, half-n-half, and water for the base for extra flava), and I cut some fresh berries since everything else in our meal looked like it might give you a heart attack. 🙂

The family!

Carol and Mason, I apologize that your heads are cut off. Poloriods have a very narrow shooting range. Next time, get closer. K?

Grandmama, Jack, and West

Kelly & Lisa

After brunch, the family headed back to Fountain Inn to get ready for the wedding and their wedding duties. West and lounged around and then headed up a bit later to be seated front and center.

It was a very sweet wedding! I wish I could have snapped a better photo, but Carol and West chastised me for even taking that one.

On to the reception – West had a show, so he wasn’t able to go and enjoy the delicious food and cakes. I took one for the team and stayed behind so that at least one of us was there 😉

Her aunt made her cake, and it was beautiful! The main cake was covered in hand-formed dogwood flowers.

They also had her aunt make various smaller cakes. I think I tried the butter pecan, and it was seriously one of the best cakes I have ever put in my mouth (Mom, you would have been in wedding cake heaven!).

I loved their cake table – such a great idea. Here’s a picture of the cake woman busy at work.

West’s Aunt Jan and her sweet daughter Carly about to snag some cake!

After filling up, everyone hit the dance floor. Carol and Jackson know how to cut a rug: see below.

A quick shot of Jan and Carol coming off the dance floor…

…and some of the happiest newlyweds I have seen.

Going to weddings after actually getting married is so different than before – it’s so much more special, and we’re so thankful that Nick and Wimberly let us be apart of their special day 🙂

I Green Clean?

As a wedding gift, my friend Heather gave me many of the ingredients needed to make my own “green” cleaners along with recipes. We’ve been busy, and I haven’t really done any heavy duty cleaning since we’ve only been in our place for a month. But, I decided last Monday to finally put all this stuff together and get my clean on.

I will admit that I think the whole green movement is partly a fear-related marketing scheme. However, do you understand how cost effective it is to make your OWN cleaning products? What you see in that picture above equals a lifetime supply of Windex. I promise you.

I used the following recipes, and after cleaning with them, I can attest that they work quite well.

Tub Cleaner
Pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. Easy peasy, right?

Window Cleaner
Put 1/2 t liquid detergent, 3 T vinegar, and 2 C water into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and spray away. (Notes from Heather: The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.)

All Purpose Cleaner
Combine 1/2 t washing soda, a dab of liquid soap and two cups of hot water in a spray bottle, shake and use. Pretty dang simple, huh?

There you have it. Now you can be green (or just cheap), too. I think Heather has just supplied me with all the ingredients I’ll ever need to clean our home for the rest of my life. (I love you, my hippy little child.)

Gettin’ that Degree

Last weekend, I walked across the stage to pick up that diploma that I desperately hope was not gained in vain.

With the parents. They said they didn’t deserve a picture since they didn’t pay for this one. However, they did put up with some pretty serious melt downs during student teaching.

Ready to get outta there. It was good to see my school friends one more time, but this graduation felt SO different than undergrad. I did not feel that accomplished. And my diploma doesn’t even say summa cum laude. What.A.Waste.

But afterwards, the parents took West & me out to PF Changs in Charlotte, where I ordered my beloved eggplant (I’m forever indebted to you, Laura Brown).

Then, West and I hopped back in the car, which was just a little warm…

to head over to see our newlywed friends: Tyler & Melissa!

This is them doing their “band pose.” They look way too cool, right?

They live in a super cute townhome in downtown Charlotte, which we got to tour while visiting. While E was away, we got to see their other child, LuLu, the spinx.

I just love Melissa so much, and it was so nice to see her for a few hours in her new home. I love that we are sort of at the same place in our lives-I just wish we lived closer! Here’s to hoping its in our future.

West had to play a show in Charlotte, but I made him take me to Cantina 1511 before it started.

This is the second time we’ve been here, and the second time West hasn’t eaten anything. (In the picture below he is absolutely mortified that I used the flash. I really embarrass him with flash pictures in public.)

Last time we were here, he was getting over the flu and a hole in his stomach from taking too much medicine without eating. This time, he ate stupid pizza beforehand because he didn’t think we were going out. Communication problems. We’re working on it.

I ordered exactly what we tried to split last time: Tacos Marco Polo. Seriously amazing.

We hurried back to Amos so West could get show ready while I read a book in the car (turning into a grandma, I know). After the concert, I watched as the boys packed up so we could drive back to G-ville.

Jordan and Harrison. Working hard or hardly working? heh. heh.

My husband manhandling those merch boxes.

I think Jordan wants me to tell you that their new CD came out this year, and it’s pretty much the best ever. Listen to some of it here. My favorites are About Rain, Too, Grass Grows Green & Hands in the Dirt.

We made it home before 2am, so I’d say it was a successful day.