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1. Our attention span is now less than that of a goldfishHumans have become so obsessed with portable devices and overwhelmed by content that we now have attention spans shorter than that of the previously jokingly juxtaposed goldfish. In 2000 the average attention span was 12 seconds, but this has now fallen to just eight. The goldfish is believed to be able to maintain a solid nine. Awesome.

2. Find Out What Your Name Would be if You Were Born Today: An interesting Time Magazine tool tells you what your name would be if you were born today, and then all the way back to the 1890’s. Apparently I turned into a boy in the 20’s and 30’s?

  • Caitlin was the 44th most popular girl’s name in 1988 (the year I was born)
  • My name today would be: Claire
  • My 2000’s name is: Laura
  • My 1990’s name is: Paige
  • My 1980’s name is : Kathleen
  • My 1970’s name is: Carolyn
  • My 1960’s name is: Joan
  • My 1950’s name is: Lynn
  • My 1940’s name is: Rosemary
  • My 1930’s name is: Billie
  • My 1920’s name is: Willie
  • My 1910’s name is: Rosa
  • My 1900’s name is: Dora
  • My 1890’s name is: Sallie

3. Wells Fargo Tournament: This is one of our favorite weekends of the year and will be our 4th annual. We had just started dating the first year we went and had the best time. I look forward to this weekend just because all the great memories we make (and seeing Rory and Adam Scott isn’t too bad either…)

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4.Unroll.Me: I have a secondary email that I use when buying things, subscribing to things, etc. because of all the emails that tend to flood your inbox after doing the aforementioned activities. My yahoo account now gets over 100 emails a day, mostly all junk. Unroll.me is the easiest way to manage your inbox. Unsubscribe from unwanted email subscriptions, discover new ones and organize them all in one place. AHHH!

5. Custom Wedding Dress: Not sure if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I am getting my wedding dress made by a custom dress maker. I went this week for my first fitting. We have a lot of tweaks to make, but it was so special for my mom and sister to be there. My sister won’t probably see the dress again until it’s final so I was glad she got to be there to see the first iteration. Things are finally starting to feel real!!!

Wedding Wednesday: Premarital Counseling

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We are both very excited that my childhood Pastor Steve will be officiating our wedding. He also officiated my sisters wedding which is pretty cool that we’re “keeping it in the family”. We will complete two or three premarital counseling sessions with him once we get closer to October. While I’m sure they will be insightful and helpful, we both felt like we needed some more substantial counseling prior to the big day.

Let me preface this all by saying that Matt and I both agree we have a very solid relationship. We have done almost everything possible to ensure we are set-up for a lifetime of happiness. I think a lot of people automatically assume there is trouble in paradise if you’re seeing a counselor. The way I think of it is this…we invest in our health, we invest in our finances, we’ve invested in our education, we invest in our friends and family, we invest in our careers…why would we not do all that we can to invest in our marriage as well?

If you ever google “Premarital Counseling Dilworth” you will be bombarded by the amount of results that are returned. So how do you pick the “right” counselor? Many times this is where a good recommendation from a friend comes in. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any, so we started from scratch. It’s hard to know if you’ll connect with a counselor and it’s really hard to tell from their website or a brief conversation. You often won’t know if there is “chemistry” until you go to a few sessions. A good counselor will let you know if he/she doesn’t think they are the right fit for you. We ended up going to a guy we knew very little about with the agreement that if he wasn’t the right fit, we would find someone else. So far we have been impressed. You can also get a list of in-network doctors from your insurance company, and also http://www.psychologytoday.com has a great “Find a Therapist” tool.

Our first session was very introductory so that we could get to know the counselor and vice versa. He asked a lot of great questions. Some I knew the answer to right away, and some that really made me think. One question that really stands out was when he asked “Why get married? In today’s society it’s completely OK to live with someone, or buy a house, or even have a child without being married. So why are you choosing to get married?”. He also asked “Why Matt?” and “Why Caitlin?”. I make it a point to tell Matt all the reasons I love him, but know that I often fall short on this. I know Matt loves me with his entire heart, but it was really cool to hear him verbalize why he does.

Our therapist has 8 or so main topics we will cover; everything from finances to parenting, to sex, household chores, relationships with in-laws, communication and trust. I know we’ve had a lot of conversations around these topics, but I think it will be good to have a third party really push us. Our therapist had some really great points that I thought I would share:

  • 67% of arguments that couples have DON’T have a resolution….meaning cooperation is the key here. Also, keep small things small
  • 95% of marriages that end, end within their first 6 years
  • We all have an “emotional bank account” – for every one “withdraw” you take from your partner, it requires five “deposits”

I think we both walked into the session with a bit a hesitation. For Matt, he thought we would leave the session with a list of reasons why our relationship wasn’t solid, or loopholes the therapist found, or tough conversations that needed to be had. We both walked away with a completely different view. We walked away feeling like our relationship is just as solid (and maybe even more) than we had thought. Our therapist really applauded us for coming to counseling before there are issues. Most couples he see’s are in the midst of life changing decisions and/or a lot of heartbreak and pain. He also suggested we come back to see him once or a twice a year once we are married to check-in and recalibrate if needed. All in all, it was a great experience and I know I’m already looking forward to our next session.

Your smartphone may be tracking your every move

There are many advantages of not leaving the house until 8:30am (now if only I could convince my boss of this), one of which is catching the latest Rossen Report on The Today Show.

This week Jeff reported that Apple and Android phones have a setting that could be tracking your every move, location by location, and the exact times you were there. This setting is buried deep down in the phone and I didn’t even know it existed. Probably one of the terms I agreed to without reading a single word. Upon locating this setting, my top 4 locations were:

  • Work
  • Home
  • Hilliard
  • Bad Daddy’s

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Pretty darn accurate……Also scary, why I have had more visits to work than I have home??

To disable this setting on the phone follow the following steps: Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations > Slide Frequent Locations to “off” position

Friday5

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It has been quite some time since I participated in this fun game…so here we go:

1. Kentucky Derby: Looking forward to celebrating our fourth Derby together. The first year unfortunately fell the day after Cinco de Mayo which might as well be Cinco de Hangover. I spent the entire day laid up on the couch betting (& barfing). Luckily my maturity has greatly increased since then as I try to become a classy & functioning part of society. Getting my own Jefferson Cups might have been the highlight of my 2013…This year we are having a few friends over and have some fun betting games planned {come on big money, momma needs some wedding money}. Which horse are you feeling lucky about?

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2. Weekend at Home: Before last weekend we hadn’t had a weekend in town without something to do in 6 weeks. Scatter in work travel in between that and you get one homesick little CMH. This weekend we are in town with very few plans except for a few wedding appointments and I could not be any happier. Home is where the heart is.

3. Bad Daddy’s: Did you all see that Bad Daddy’s was sold to a Colorado-based restaurant group for $21 million?? Please just promise not to tinker with my tots and milkshake.

4. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros: I started listening to this Pandora station after a suggestion from my hair dresser. I heard this song while driving back from Atlanta and can’t stop listening to it. Great station to listen to at work if you aren’t in a Hip Hop BBQ mood.

5. CharlotteFive: CharlotteFive is a the Charlotte version of The Skimm. Each morning at 7am CharlotteFive publishes the top 5 news and entertainment stories to get you up-to-date on all the QC happenings. You can visit their website or have their newsletter automatically delivered to your inbox. Great way to stay in-the-know.

 

 

Wedding Wednesday: Honeymooning

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It seems like we’ve tackled almost every wedding project under the sun except for planning our honeymoon. Which is actually really insane when you think about it since that is one of the most fun parts of this whole process! We’ve both done a little research but keep going back to the same dilemma…

All of our married friends have told us how exhausted we will be after all of the wedding festivities and to pick a relaxing destination. To us, a tropical vacation with not much to do sounds fantastic. But then I remember who I am, and a busy-bee like me has a hard time sitting for an hour, let alone an entire week. The pro’s of going somewhere tropical is that most are a close plane ride away, they are relatively affordable, and will still have warm weather in October.

BUT…

The other part of me keeps telling myself that it’s our honeymoon, the once in a lifetime trip that we’ll never be able to do once we have a house and kids. Maybe I’ve been brainwashed by the marketing departments at The Knot, but there is a valid point to that. We don’t whats in the cards for us in the future and if we will ever have the time and money to do a big trip again. When you think of it like that, the options are endless. I would love to do Italy, Indonesia, Africa or Greece. But I know how much of a whirlwind a cross-Atlantic trip can be. We have gone on two week-long trips to Europe and were exhausted by the end. The flights are usually 9+ hours and then all of the smaller flights, trains, planes and buses required to get to your destinations.

I fully understand that this is a totally a First World Problem…and at the end of they day if we ended up at the Treehouse Vineyards in Monroe, North Carolina I would be fine because its a week away with my husband. But I also feel the pressure to start booking flights and accommodations since we’re almost to the 5 month mark! Would love to hear about your fabulous vacation destinations!

Citristrip FAIL

In college I had a kitchen table and four chairs that I painted black, which at the time seemed like a good idea. It has been in storage the last five years because I haven’t had the space in my condo. Now that we are moving into a new {grown-up} place, it’s probably time we stop eating on the sofa and on an hard surface.

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We don’t anticipate being in our new place very long, so the table is just temporary until we are in our forever home and have the time and money to find a table we love. In the meantime, I figured I would stain the black college table a “mature” dark walnut. I googled many different solutions to removing paint from wood and repeatedly saw Citristrip. According to everything I read, you paint on the Citristrip gel, let it simmer for a bit, and then take a plastic scraper and the paint magically peels right off – hah!

Lucky for me, I’m engaged to my very own Ty Pennington who graciously helped (AKA is still wondering how he got roped into this) me with this project. He layered on the Citristrip and then went on a run (because that’s what you have to do when you’re on a wedding diet and you accidentally eat pizza and a milkshake the night before) while it worked its magic…

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I honestly think I ran faster because I was so excited to come back and see the table. In my imagination, the paint had already begun to peel itself off, leaving very little for us to actually do once we got back. Again….hah! Matt began to scrape the paint, and it wouldn’t even budge.

This picture shows the progress that was made after thirty solid minutes of Matt scraping with all of his might. We even used a metal scraper instead of plastic like the bottle suggested. Such a bummer!

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We decided to put on another really thick coat and let it sit for another 30 minutes. We came back outside, and again, no progress had really been made. A few hours and $40 down the drain, this is what the table looks like. At least you can see some wood now, right?

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We both were really frustrated that the product didn’t work like it did in all of the YouTube videos we watched. Our next plan of attack is to borrow an electric sander (Thanks Smit family!) and go that route.  Right now the couch and coffee table doesn’t look so bad. As always, we are very open to suggestions!

How Charlotte’s Neighborhoods Got Their Names

Pretty interesting! via

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Wonder how Myers Park or NoDa became Myers Park and NoDa? To track down these answers, we enlisted the help of Thomas Hanchett, local Charlotte, North Carolina historian and author of the book Sorting Out the New South City. 

Of course, this list isn’t comprehensive. Some neighborhoods didn’t make the list because their etymologies were obvious (we’re looking at you South End and University City), and some were omitted because there’s no reliable information (why does no one know where Chantilly originated?). But we’ve dug up some fun historical facts that explain where your neighborhood got its name—and possibly its personality.

1. ARBORETUM

Charlotte’s Arboretum neighborhood surrounds the eponymous shopping center (location of the city’s first Wal-Mart), which opened in 1989. The center and the neighborhood were named for the large quantity of trees that were in the area prior to its development.

2. BALLANTYNE

Just outside the I-485 loop, this neighborhood is one of the city’s newer additions. It was originally farmland and a large family hunting preserve until Charlottean Smoky Bissell purchased the land (around 2,000 acres) for development in 1995 and named it after his aunt, Barbara Ballantyne.

3. BIDDLEVILLE

© James Willamor

This community is home to the historically black college, Johnson C. Smith University, which was formerly Biddle University. The school—and ultimately the neighborhood—were named for Major Henry J. Biddle, an officer in the Union Army who died during the Civil War. His wife, Mary Biddle, donated funding in his honor to help found the college.

4. BLAKENEY

This South Charlotte neighborhood and shopping complex takes its name from James A. Blakeney. After his father, a South Carolina native, was killed during the Civil War, his mother resettled with her children in the Blakeney area in 1883. The family accumulated considerable holdings in the area, and the James A. Blakeney House, constructed in 1901, is still in the neighborhood—and currently for sale for $1.5 million.

5. CHERRY

© James Willamor

Historically, this small neighborhood has also been called Cherryton or Cherrytown. “It may have been an old plantation slave quarters,” says historian Thomas Hanchett. “Its name is said to have come from the cherry trees that once grew on its hillsides.”

6. COTSWOLD

© James Willamor

This neighborhood derived its name from the Cotswold Village Shops located at the intersection of Randolph and Sharon Amity Roads. The shops, which were once Cotswold Mall, were named for the charming Cotswolds area in England.

7. DILWORTH

© James Willamor

Edward Dilworth Latta, a traveling salesman from New York, moved to Charlotte in 1876. In 1890 he joined with Charlotte’s mayor and four other investors to develop the city’s first street car suburb. Latta also created Dilworth’s Latta Park, which was originally an amusement park designed to draw city dwellers to see the neighborhood before it was developed. “He was a very modest man,” says Hanchett. “From what I know, he never named anything Edward.”

8. EASTOVER

Prior to 1927, the land on the east side of Providence Road was primarily two dairy farms. At that time, Charlotte’s E.C. Griffith Company began creating an upscale new suburb aptly named for its location to the east of much of the city’s previously developed suburbs.

9. ELIZABETH

© James Willamor

When Charles B. King established a small Lutheran college for women in 1897, he named it after his mother-in-law, Anne Elizabeth Watts, because Watts’ husband, a tobacco businessman, had provided much of the funding for the school. The neighborhood takes its name from Elizabeth College, which stood on the present-day site of Presbyterian Hospital.

10. FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH WARDS

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By the 1850s the village of Charlotte had grown large enough that it needed to be separated into four political wards. A quadrant was made with the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets at its center. Charlotte officially ended the ward voting system in 1945, but the names of the center city neighborhoods stuck.

11. FREEMOREWEST

Want proof that Charlotte is still a young city? The name of this neighborhood, just outside of Uptown, has only been coined in the last several years. Named for Freedom Drive, Morehead Street, and the west side, its one of Charlotte’s fastest growing urban neighborhoods.

12. GRIER HEIGHTS

Arthur S. Grier was an influential African American leader in Charlotte during the segregation era. He was the owner of Grier’s Grocery on Monroe Road, and he built his home—which still stands—across the street from the store in 1922. Several business ventures later, Grier developed the land behind his home into the area that became known first as Griertown and later as Grier Heights.

13. MYERS PARK

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Charlotte resident Colonel William R. Myers is known for donating the land for the area’s first African American college, Biddle College (now Johnson C. Smith University) as well as Myers Street School, the city’s first public school for African Americans. His son, J.S. “Jack” Myers, came into his inheritance, which included 306 acres of then farmland, at the age of 26. Jack Myers accumulated more than 1000 acres, on which he created tree-lined roads and planted flowers, earning it the nickname “Myers Park.”

14. NODA

© James Willamor

The first question most people ask about this eclectic arts district is where it got its funny name. It’s short for “North Davidson,” the street that runs through its center. Architect Russell Pound originally coined the name in the early 1990s.

15. PLAZA MIDWOOD

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While this east Charlotte area has plenty of historic roots, it wasn’t formally recognized as a neighborhood until 1973 when two residents decided to form a community organization. They coined the name by combining the area’s most notable residential street, The Plaza, with one of its larger subdivisions, Midwood.

16. SOUTHPARK

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Today, SouthPark is one of the city’s most sought-after and upscale neighborhoods. But it was only with the arrival of SouthPark Mall in 1970 that Charlotte residents began to flock to this spot, which was once former North Carolina Governor Cameron Morrison’s 3,000-acre farm. The mall, titled for its picturesque location south of town, was the neighborhood’s namesake.

17. STARMOUNT

Like much of the South Boulevard corridor of Charlotte, this neighborhood was established in the latter part of the 20th century. Now it’s one of South Charlotte’s largest neighborhoods, but the initial construction spread from Starbrook Drive, which lent its name to the development.

18. STEELE CREEK

Not surprisingly, this neighborhood is named after the small creek that runs through it. The origin of the creek’s name is a little less certain, but it’s believed that the Steele family were Scotch-Irish settlers who came to the area in the early 18th century.

19. WASHINGTON HEIGHTS

This neighborhood, which opened as a streetcar suburb in 1913, was originally planned as a suburb for the city’s middle-income African American residents and named in honor of Booker T. Washington.

20. WILMORE

© James Willamor

This area was originally home to the Wilson and Moore farms. Hence, when it was converted into another one of the city’s streetcar neighborhoods in the early 20th century, the names were combined for Wilmore.

Q2 2015 Goals

It’s that time again! Although we are already halfway through April, here are my Q2 goals. Lots of wedding planning to be done!

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  • Book wedding photographer
  • Take engagement pictures
  • Book honeymoon
  • Order wedding invitations
  • Finish wedding website
  • Find a place for us to live
  • Read “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
  • Clean out my closets
  • Plant herb garden
  • Sand and Repaint Kitchen Table
  • Go to a  Hilliard class 4x a week
  • Hike Crowder’s Mountain

Wedding Wednesday: Our Engagement Party

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This past weekend we celebrated our Engagement Party. To say that it was absolutely perfect would be an understatement. Multiple times I looked around the room and thought to myself, “wow, we are so lucky! There is a room full of people that love us a whole lot”.

We used Wedding Paper Divas for our invitations. WPD is always having some sort of sale or discount if you are thinking about ordering from them. They were very easy to work with and our invites came very quickly. WPD is owned by Shutterfly which has a distribution center in Fort Mill. We chose navy and gold since those are some of the colors we are incorporating in the wedding.

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It is my dream to be a good calligrapher, but until that day happens, clear labels for the win! We downloaded a great calligraphy font from 1001freefonts.com and printed labels with our guests addresses as well as return address labels. This saved a lot of time and was totally worth the few dollars it cost for Kinkos to do them. I’m sure it would be easy enough to do them on your own printer, but neither one of us felt like experimenting with that.

 

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IMG_0600We chose to have the party at The Ashton in South End. It was the perfect venue choice. Many of our friends live in the area, and for those who stayed uptown, it was quick ride down on the light rail. The Ashton has a very large indoor area to rent and a great outdoor patio with amazing views of the city.

 

My mom decided to take on the challenge of catering the party herself. Is there anything that lady can’t do? She truly is Wonder Woman. She planned a menu full of great hors d’oevres and incorporated many of our favorite things including Chic-fil-A nuggets and a family friends famous Blue Cheese Dip. She decorated the space with hints of gold and white including pom-pom balls that hung from the ceiling. My mother-in-law did a great job of making two large flower arrangements that sat on the food and dessert table. We hired a bartender to help serve and replenish food; one of the better ideas we had. He was awesome and did all of the dirty work so that we could enjoy the party.

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My family, Matt’s family, and my sister’s in-laws

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Matt’s Family

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Momma + Me

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Deltas!

 

Bridesmaids!

Bridesmaids!

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Blake + Brittany & Kathleen + Brandon

 

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Brittany & Kathleen

 

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My dad’s best friends children…basically my cousins

 

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Uncle Richard

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Dustin & Caroline

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My sisters in-laws

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My dad and my sisters father-in-law

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Chelsea + Kendall

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Jason + Chelsea

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The Davis Family

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Someone snuck in the Sweet Water…

It’s all fun and games until someone breaks out the Selfie Stick. Leave it to my sister (aka the life of the party) to bring one…

 

The Selfie Stick made a second appearance at the bar after the party…probably should have left that bad boy at home but the pictures are hilarious!

 

It is hard to put into words the gratitude that we feel for those who made it to our party. We both have small extended families but feel fortunate enough to consider many of our close friends as family members. It means the world to us for the people that traveled far distances to be there to celebrate us. For those who live near, it means just as much. There were a lot of people who helped my mom set-up before the event and those who stayed late to help us clean up. My parents and Matt’s parents both put a lot of time, energy, and money into the party, and we are forever grateful for that. This is an event we will never forget! Can’t wait for October 10th!