Road trip: Back to reality

So pretty

So pretty

So, I was browsing my Google Reader today when it hit me: hey, I totally have a blog I’ve neglected since Christmas. We’re going to just go ahead and blame that on the Post-Holidays Funk. Do y’all go through that? I had a really bad case of it this year — it’s that funk you get into when you get back to the real world after spending a week or so in the warm, caring embrace of family.

Of course, the fact that the sun is REFUSING to shine here in D.C. probably has something to do with that.

But no matter. I’m sorry for neglecting y’all. Did you have a nice holiday? Mine was excellent — so excellent, in fact, that it was hard to get on the plane to come back.

If you had to leave these two goofballs, though, would you?

I can just hear Mom: "Y'all are going to break that chair in a minute."

I can just hear Mom: “Y’all are going to break that chair in a minute.”

My Christmas was fantastic. My big surprise this year was a KitchenAid stand mixer (cue my squeals of joy, y’all) in a beautiful tangerine shade. I’m not sure how it’s going to get up to my house in D.C., but it will. Oh, it will.

And then I will bake ALL OF THE THINGS.

Mwahahaha.

As part of “quality family time at home,” I went out with my parents to feed the cattle on Sunday. There, I was reunited with my show heifer from sixth grade, Mary. She’s one of the few cows that will still let you touch her.

In the background, Daddy's yelling, "She's not going to pose!  Take the dang picture!"

In the background, Daddy’s yelling, “She’s not going to pose! Take the dang picture!”

It was great to get back home for a while. I don’t know when I’m going to be able to get back to east Tennessee, and that saddens me. (This is one of the major drawbacks of not keeping a car in the city). I’m already searching Etsy prints to bring Tennessee to me.

For now, though, it’s back to real life in D.C. The Inauguration is on Monday, which means I’m going home tomorrow night and won’t be leaving my neighborhood for any reason until Tuesday morning. You couldn’t pay me to try and fight the crowds on Monday morning.

That’s definitely my Daddy’s influence coming out in me.

But on one final note, I met a Ralph Lauren model over Christmas. And I took a picture. Want to see it?

Okay, so maybe he's just a model in his own mind.

Okay, so maybe he’s just a model in his own mind.

Hope everyone is able to kick the January blues! If you have any tips, send ’em my way!

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Ode to a little brother

It’s the 17th of August. Today’s a very special day.

You wanna know why?

It’s because of this.

This is a thing now

This has a name. It’s name is Ross. What is a Ross, you might ask?

Well, he’s the little brother in the Family of Virginia.

We were so cute… what happened?

There’s no chicken and egg theory in our family — I came first, therefore I am the most important; the Alpha Child, so to speak. However, on a day like today, I can cede the spotlight to the random blonde on my family tree.

Proof that curly hair runs in the family… blonde hair — not so much

I think everyone who grew up with a younger sibling can attest that there are times that you just want to beat the living snot out of them simply for existing. Younger siblings — especially little brothers — often seem to make it their personal mission to be as ANNOYING as possible.

My grandmother still has this picture on her keychain.

But, despite that, you still love them fiercely.

Fact: both my brother and I took pictures like this at the same age. Mine’s much cuter, obviously.

They’ve got their game faces on.

Ross has many talents that have matured over the years. For example, fish tremble in fear when he approaches with his rod and reel.

They don’t call him Ross “Bill Dance” Houston for nothing, y’all.

The hat is totally vintage.

And that talent has only matured over the years.

He had to battle this monster for hours

But that talent is nothing compared to his prowess on the soccer field. Pelé reincarnated (except you know, the real Pelé isn’t dead yet) in the form of a precocious little blonde.

This was before he forgot how to smile in pictures

But all little boys must grow up (sorry, the Peter Pan thing only works in children’s stories), and so he went from an all-star on the local level…

He learned that stiff arm technique from me.

To playing soccer for the University of Alabama.

I try to ignore the scarlet (crimson) letter on his shoulder…

And, of course, he loves his big sister. In fact, I’m his favorite family member! (Sorry, Lauren and Jett!)

We re-enacted this at his graduation… I had to jump to get over his shoulders.

We always make a statement wherever we go…

Much to Mom’s chagrin, we still haven’t learned how to take a “normal” picture together.

Now, I’m sure y’all are thrilled to be looking through old family photos — but there is a point to this post and it’s not just to showcase my awesome baby brother.

Today, August 17th, marks my baby brother’s 19th trip around the sun. At the risk of sounding like an old fogie (ughhhh, don’t want to think about my next birthday), it’s been fun watching this little ball of blonde fluff (makes him sound like a kitten) grow up into a pretty awesome guy.

Showing our Tennessee pride at Christmas

What I’m trying to say is this — Happy birthday, little brother! At the risk of inflating your ego even more (is that possible?), you’re pretty awesome.

And I love you.