Thursday, June 21, 2012


i know this is late, but here it is.
for about six months, kyle, his family and i planned a surprise retirement party for his mother, ruby dyer. i'm sure a lot of you already know that, because you were there, but out of fear of her finding out before party time, i didn't write about it early, and things have been crazy so i'm just now getting to post it. kyle and i didn't see our dining room table for weeks because it was covered in party planning essentials. we scanned hundreds of photos, invited the whole town of wayne and then some, made invitations and sent them out, and planned decorations and favors down to the last detail. and with a lot of help (thank you everyone. seriously couldn't have done it without you), we gave ruby and about 150 other people a really fun party. here are some photos.

i couldn't have been happier with how things turned out. at one point i was cursing those pennant banners and paper flowers, but when we got back from changing clothes and people started arriving and the music was playing, i got so excited i could have cried. which i did later when ruby got up to speak. with tears running down her face, she said "no one would have loved this more than mother." and that's when i went into ugly cry territory. i so wish mamaw adkins could have been there. she really would have loved every second of it. 

several people spoke about having ruby for a teacher, or in dean's case, a sister, over the years. her brother said "all of you are up here talking about what ruby can do, well i'm going to tell you some things she can't do." his hilarious stories of growing up with ruby made us all double over in our seats and it was much needed comic relief in such a bittersweet situation. 

wayne high school will never be the same. and as sad as it sounds, journalism schools will suffer because of it. having ruby in class pushed them ahead of everyone else. i went into journalism school at 17 years old knowing just as much as the college seniors, and sometimes, the professors. one of the speakers, bryce wallace, said when he got to college, all of his journalism classes were just refresher courses, because ruby had already taught him everything he needed to know to be a journalist. so true. 

ruby didn't just teach about journalism or english, though. she has touched so many people by teaching them about life, too. she made people better. she pushed you as a kid because she knew you had it in you to be great. she believed in you when you felt like no one else did. she inspired thousands while she taught. i know she will continue to teach and push and believe in and inspire others, she just wont be standing behind a desk.

501 won't be her's anymore, but it will always hold my best memories from high school and will forever be attributed to where i found who i wanted to be. it is because of what happened behind those doors with ruby as my leader that i went to journalism school, found my passion for writing and design and feel confident enough to post blog posts at all.

i loved throwing this party with kyle and his family. we worked really hard because she deserves it and she taught us how. 

i love you, mrs. dyer. happy retirement. :)


Monday, June 18, 2012


yes. that kind of engagement.
here's the dets. 

we left for vacation on wednesday afternoon and drove to bald head island (well, to the ferry) where my family had already been for a couple of days. we arrived late that night, had some snacks and beer, and got excited for the next day of beach time. 

we spent the next day in the sand and sun, only going in to eat a quick lunch. my family had planned to cook out that night, and apparently it was also supposed to be my engagement dinner. my cousin haley jo's boyfriend austin grilled for hours. (thanks, austin!) after a quick trip back to the house to change clothes, i helped my cousins chop and peel vegetables to grill. haley jo kept me very busy preparing dishes while kyle was out at the beach. he had told my aunt diana that he would ask me when the sun was right. my cousin jessica sent me out to the beach a little later and said kyle wanted me out there. he was sitting with my uncle josh, who casually got up and headed back to the house. kyle walked a little while and then he asked me. the sun was just right.

afterward, ya know, after i said yes, my family showed up with champagne. we took a million more photos to add to the ones jessica and my sister had been secretly snapping during the whole thing, while haley and my brother spied and cried. then we ate, partied and danced around like crazies, and in between glasses of champagne and slices of cake, we changed our facebook status like any good social networking people. it was great and seriously the most perfect engagement day i could have asked for. 

i know things like this usually sound corny and silly when you tell them to other people, and maybe it does, but really, it wasn't at all. it wasn't over the top. it was simple, romantic and wonderful, and i'm so thankful that my family was there. there were people missing that i wish could have been there, too, but really, it was great. i liked that kyle asked me with them there, but not really there. they were watching from afar, so we were able to have our moment alone first, then celebrate after. perfect combination.

when he asked me, i just hugged him and cried, and he said "you didn't even look at the ring." too funny. but when i did look at it…dear lord

the most important part of the ring is that the diamond was my great-grandmother's. so not only is the most special piece of jewelry that i will ever receive, it is twice as special because it was her diamond and he gave it to me. also, it is the exact ring i have been lusting after for about a year. it is absolutely perfect.

i'm just so thankful for everything that has happened this week and that kyle is in my life at all. there is so much to plan and do in the next few months, but i am so excited. of course the wedding will be fun, but the real excitement is the marriage part. it's the right time for us now. a year ago, kyle and i would sort of laugh about being married. like "psht! married?!" but now, it feels so natural.

i'm ready for a real life with him and for our many adventures to come.