Monday, March 10, 2014


23 will always be a memorable birthday for me, I am sure. It started out great, forecasts for flurries in the afternoon, a lunch date with a sweet friend, coworkers who brought me flowers and cake. Amazing. I woke up, Skyped with my mom and opened their gifts like I always did when I was a kid, and headed off to work.

By the time it reached 12:45, my friend and I were finishing up lunch and our lattes (by the way, lavender latte? Insane.) and it had just started to snow. I guess all of Durham got the memo that it was going to be a bad one, because between dropping her off at her apartment and getting on the road ten minutes later, I found myself in a traffic jam that would last for four hours. Mind you, my new drive to work usually takes me 20 minutes tops. So crazy! Things got pretty desperate in my Civic when my gas light came on three and a half hours into my trek, but thank Jesus I made it home to poor Brandon, who had run to the store to get a few supplies just in case our power went out (and a ton of stuff for an AMAZING birthday dinner), and had been waiting outside of my apartment for me to get there for over an hour. Like I said, it was real crazy out there.

When we finally did make it inside and warm, the day got so much better. We enjoyed the snow from the comfort of my couch, ate tuna tataki (our absolute favorite) and smores (my favorite) and watched the world outside get more and more white as the night went on. We drank hot cocoa and watched movies. From that point on, it was perfect.

It's crazy thinking about all of the things that will happen this year while I'm 23! B and I will get married, move into our first apartment, get a dog (please??) and figure out what life as a Goodman looks like. I am so so grateful, remembering where I was this time last year and knowing where I will be next year this time. Even though I succumb to stress like every other human ever, I am so grateful for this life, for this time.



Monday, March 3, 2014


I hear what you're saying. You're all like, "Abby. It's March. You're like three weeks late on this snowpocalypse thing." I hear ya. Life happens. I still really really love snow! It's true. Despite the fact that on the day of this great snowpocalypse, I got stuck in my car on the highway for four and a half hours trying to get home ON MY BIRTHDAY and it was horrible. Snow and I made up quickly. It's just so pretty!

I am definitely one of those weirdos who legitimately loves the winter. I love the calm and the peace and the beauty of a fresh snow. The world seems to move a little bit slower when it snows, and it's really nice.

Before the great snowpocalypse, during our first snow of the season, B and I went outside for an adventure. Duke Forest is seriously so beautiful all the time, but blanketed in a fresh powdery blanket? Bliss. Also my car may have almost spun out on the way to get those pictures. It's fine.

ALSO please notice the sequence where B is being so nice with the snow and then the next picture where you see smudgy mascara and a mean mug. That punk hit me in the face with a snowball. Also not pictured: Abby totally biting it trying to climb up a snowy hill. Face first. In the snow. It was awesome.

That has been kind of the theme of life lately. Totalling wiping out on your face and having the ability to brush it off and keep going. Eventually you will both laugh, and it'll be awesome.

It's getting frosty outside again, and B and a friend and I are headed out to a fancy dinner at Lantern thanks to a raffle! No other way I want to warm up and pray for spring than with some fancy Asian food. Yes.

Love from this side of the world!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

lunch: shrimp noodle bowl

The other day I was home from work, not feeling so good. I wanted something warm and comforting and fast for lunch, because my energy was a little low. This noodle bowl did the trick with a couple of super simple steps!

Shrimp Noodle Bowl
Serves 1 (or two small portions)

4 oz. rice noodles
1/2 cup broccoli slaw (mine was from Trader Joes)
3 tbs. soyaki (or your favorite teriyaki sauce)
6-8 precooked shrimp

1. Boil water and cook the rice noodles according to package directions (mine took 6 minutes).
2. In a medium-sized pan, toss the broccoli slaw with 1 tbs. vegetable oil until bright green and just a little tender over medium/medium high heat.
3. Add the noodles, shrimp and soyaki and toss to coat, letting it cook until heated through and noodles begin to absorb the sauce.

Serve in a big bowl with sesame seeds, sriracha, and seaweed flakes.

Enjoy this quick lunch,


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

good things // 1

A new year, a new perspective on good things. This past weekend was productive in the best kind of way! I woke up, fully rested for the first time in ages, and decided to make banana bread. It's one of my few "family recipes" so I'm a little reluctant to share, but maybe I will someday!

B and I then spent all morning/early afternoon addressing our save the dates, which came in the mail last week! It wasn't very glamorous, but it was good time together. We also spent Saturday evening at a marriage prep seminar at our church! #gomarriage

Some good things I've been loving this week:

I ran across this pin this week - an awesome reminder.

We recently registered for a juicer, and since then I feel like I have been seeing juicing articles all over the blogosphere! This one is interesting. Anybody want to buy me that juicer early to kickstart my wedding diet? :)

Still on the search for the perfect veil, and swooning over the veils at Twigs & Honey

I'm reading a chronological Bible reading plan right now and am about halfway through Genesis (I think I may be behind), and some crazy stuff goes on in there, y'all. It's so interesting to think that Sarah and Abraham were considered righteous when you look at all of the ways they were so sinful.

Getting excited for this conference this weekend! Durham friends, who's going with me?!

Stay warm and safe out there, everyone! New recipe coming tomorrow! :)



Thursday, January 16, 2014

that awkward post

...When I haven't been on the blog in a good three weeks. I have good reasons, though.

2014 began with a lot of activity in Chapel Hill. Brandon had what was in my mind a "minor surgery" to have a cyst removed that was bothering him. Turns out, "minor surgery" does not mean "minor recovery" and just now he is getting back to his normal schedule of moving around, going to class, etc. I am so glad that I was able to be there with him through it and even still as he keeps getting better, but it has been hard sometimes.

On the 3rd, I had orientation at a brand new job. I kind of kept quiet that I was leaving my other job on purpose, because for a little bit I wasn't totally sure what was coming next, and if I'm being honest, a little (ok, a lot more than a little) insecure about it. I started working with this amazing family in Chapel Hill in the meantime working as a sort of nanny, mostly personal assistant/chef, and they were a huge blessing. But during December, I got offered a position at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. It's an amazing opportunity. I didn't realize as a student that moving here for love would be totally worth it no matter what I was doing, but that not hating waking up every morning to go to work is really really important too. If you're an undergrad in any sort of situation like that, know that it matters. What you do every day affects your life, your mood, your emotions, your perspective. It seems obvious, maybe I'm the only one who had a hard time understanding that. But there it is. And I feel 1000x better not being so miserable. The commute doesn't suck either. Not one bit.

But I have been BUSY. The past two weeks I have gone from work to my nanny family for a few hours to Brandon for a while, and getting home around 10 every night. They are all good things, and I don't want to complain. Change has always been stressful, ever since I was a little kid. I can remember my parents coaching me through all sorts of change, and I still don't like it always. So the fact that MLK Day is on Monday is totally, totally fine with me. This year is already teaching me some hard, necessary lessons and hit me with some things I couldn't even imagine were going to be hard to deal with. But I am really looking forward to being in my apartment for a while, cooking a dinner that is just for me, and catching up on the things that make my life go a little bit better. Also, my Christmas tree is still up. So it might be time for that to happen.

Jesus has been necessary. But Jesus has also showed up.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Belated Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I had planned on writing this post a few days ago, but my couch has some very strong pulls these days. My bad.

This year for Christmas I am at home in Orlando spending some restful time with family, and loving every second of it. It has been great for eating too much chocolate, stitching, knitting, gym time, and spending time with this family of mine. Ever since my brother got married, our Christmas traditions have changed a little, but I know next year things are going to change again with a new addition to the Hardaway and Goodman clans, and so I'm trying to really be present in this time playing games with my family at night, watching TV with my dad in the afternoons, snuggling with my cat. It's good. It's real good.

2014 is going to be an amazing year. The other night I was working on our save the dates with my sister in law and I just got so excited typing out our wedding date! Eeee! There is so much to be done still, but I feel so wonderful going into 2014 and the last six months of our engagement with a date, a venue, a caterer, and a dress (!!!!!!)! That will be a funny story to share on this blog someday for sure.

I'm also thinking a lot about new year's resolutions and the projects (besides the wedding projects) that I want to be taking on in 2014. So far I've considered a chronological bible reading plan, a weekly crochet plan, and a year-long knitting goal (this year, I'm taking on socks).

I'd love to hear about y'alls new years resolutions, and if you have any recommendations based on goals you've taken on!

Lots of love from sunny FL for a few more days,


Thursday, December 19, 2013

DC Magic

This weekend was full of DC magic. My sister flew up from Tallahassee on Friday night, I drove up from CH, and we spent the weekend with my brother, who lives up there.

It was an awesome time. The last time I was in DC was over a year ago for fall break, and it had been at least four years for Carrie. She majorly geeked out at the Lincoln Memorial and we spent all day in cold and dreary weather hiking around to the monuments and the Smithsonians. It was a real adventure and we loved every minute of it.

The highlight of the trip for me was definitely seeing Julia Child's kitchen at the American History Museum. Before her death, Julia donated nearly all of the pieces of her kitchen from her Cambridge home to the museum, which is a near exact replica of what her kitchen would have looked like, including her raised countertops (Julia was 6' 2", after all). It was wonderful to finally get to see it, as last fall when I visited the exhibit was under construction, to my extreme disappointment. It did not disappoint, and I took more pictures on my phone (since my camera died the moment we got to the exhibit, of course) than I would care to admit. It was awesome.

On Sunday, we walked around and got brunch in Georgetown, including a trip to Georgetown Cupcake, by far still the best cupcake I've ever had, and then I drove back home. It's always hard to say goodbye to family, especially when it was such a wonderful weekend, but I am excited to see everyone again in just a few short days going home for Christmas!

In denial about all the presents I still have to make and loving every minute of it,

Abby :)