Lori V.

Apr 042015

So, lately I have been in a blog slump.  I mean, I have all these amazing posts that I write every morning in the shower, and promptly forget about 5 minutes later.  Anyone else do this?  

So here is a little “what’s going on” for you!

Lately I am reading…

I just finished “Fixer Upper” by Mary Kay Andrews.  Great book!  I love all the books of hers that I have read so far.  Problem is, I have read nearly everything she has written in the last 4 months.  =(

Currently I am reading House Witch by Katie Schickel.  I rarely grab books when they first come out…I let them garner some media and then read the reviews.  I grabbed this one right away when I saw it on the shelf and read the excerpt one night at the library.  So good so far!

Lately I am listening to…

I have my old standby’s on my youtube playlist, such as Kenny Chesney, Zach Brown and Miranda Lambert.  I also love Rhianna/Kayne/Paul McCartney’s newest song “Four-Five Seconds” and I LOVE Budapest by George Ezra.  I think it is so catchy, and it took me almost 2 weeks to figure out the name/artist after hearing it on the radio with Allison one Friday afternoon.

Lately I have tried….

Hot Rolling my hair….its a work in progress, I’m not too good at it, and it looks good for about 20 minutes until I step outside and oh hello humidity!

Miyabi Jr’s – it was pretty yummy, and between Patrick and I we had enough leftover for me to have lunch the next day.  It was basically “fast food hibachi”, but it was delicious.

NYX Butter Lipstick in Pops.  I got this in my Ipsy bag, and it is my new favorite color.  It glides on so smoothly, and is such a refreshing color.  I was pleased that I got this full sized lipstick in my monthly Ipsy bag.  

Speaking of Ipsy…I tried Ipsy for the first time last month and LOVED everything I got in my bag!  Its $10 a month, and you receive 4-5 make-up items, some full size, some sample size.  In March I got a full sized lipstick, eye highlighter pencil,  hair serum (sample size), eye shadow duo, and a eye shadow brush.  You can click HERE to try Ipsy for yourself!

Apr 032015

Thanks to  Meghan over at Champagne & Suburbs for this cute post idea!  Helps me tremendously since I have sort of been in a blogging rut lately!



Four Nicknames:

Boo – my dad started calling me this as a baby, and while I don’t hear it very often anymore its still always going to be mine.

Hori Horton - so when I was little, I apparently could say “L” sounds very well, so I said Hori instead of Lori.

LP - nickname from one of my coworkers.  Don’t ever google your name, and then tell your coworkers the hilarious story of how there is another person named Lori Vann who goes by the name Lucious Peaches and resides in a Texas correctional facility.  So there’s that.

 Lawry - nickname that Brayden sometimes calls me, and I’m not even sure where it came from.

Four Jobs I’ve Had:

Daycare Teacher – went from working with 2 yr olds, to 3 yr olds to working in the front office.  This job stressed me out beyond belief, but I met some awesome ladies working here!

Bridal Registry Consultant - worked for May Company Dept stores working with brides to complete their wedding registries.  Also sold fancy china, crystal and silver (and other housewares).  Loved this job!  My first and only job I had when we lived in California.

Concession Stand at Hadad’s – made the food, flirted with the life guards and security guys and had an awesome summer.  Got paid decent money, and worked with a bunch of my friends.  Worked here summer before my senior year of  high school.

Substitute Teacher -  this job solidified why I think teachers are amazing human beings who deserve to be paid a hell of a lot more than they currently are!

Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once:

The Blindside – one of my favorite movies of all time.

National Treasure Book of Secrets - love this movie

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation – every Christmas, multiple times

Thirteen Going on Thirty - Jennifer Garner is amazing in this one.  I could watch it over and over.

Four Things In My Purse:

Big League Chew bubblegum – because I have a boy that plays baseball.

My Planner - because I have an obsession with my planner.

Sunglasses – cannot live without these, the older I get the more I realize I need them.

Chapstick, Lipstick and Mascara - never leave the house without them!

Four Places I’ve Visited (in completely random order)

Nashville, TN - as a kid we went here and went to Opryland (now closed), the Grand Old Opry, and various museums.  It was awesome and I would love to go back as an adult!   (hint,hint Patrick – grownups vacation?)

Savannah, GA - one of my most favorite cities to visit.  Beautiful squares, charming houses, the riverfront.  Love it all.  I was blessed to only live about an hour away from downtown Savannah for 3 years, so we got to visit often!

Washington, DC - another one of my favorite places!   I love all the history, the power and the politics that boom in this city.  The beautiful, yet haunting quiet of Arlington.  I want to take the kids soon to this place I got to spend a lot of time in during my childhood!

Los Angeles, CA – went here to visit twice with my parents when they came out to San Diego to visit us.  We did some movie/TV studio tours, including the Days of Our Lives set.  Loved it!  We went to a Dodgers game and saw the Hollywood sign too!

Four Things I Don’t Eat:

Squid or Octopus – gross.  Other than that, I will eat just about anything.  Patrick swears he is going to get me to eat squirrel, but the jury is still out on that one.  I am leaning towards a NO!

Four Places On My Travel Bucket List:
Europe,  Dominican Republic, Turks & Caicos, India - basically, I just love to travel!  I would love to go back to the Dominican Republic.  I went after I graduated high school on a mission trip and truly enjoyed the bit of down time we did get at the beach.   Patrick and I have talked about going on a cruise, so maybe we can hit up Turks & Caicos on a cruise.  I’d love to go to India, and really experience the culture there.  And Europe – because, why not?

Four TV Shows I Watch:

Madam Secretary - I have missed a few episodes of this, but it is a good show I enjoy watching.  I hope to catch up this summer!

Blue Bloods – Donnie Wahlberg & Tom Selleck, need I say more?

Criminal Minds -  really because I want to be the woman that Derrick Morgan calls baby girl.

Scandal – Olivia Pope is someone I’d really like to have in my village. I need a little bad-assery in my life. White Hats ya’ll!

Four Things to Look Forward to In 2015:

Road Trips - Out oft’ cancelled/postponed anniversary trip to Charleston will happen this year.  Going to mama’s to take the kiddos to the beach will happen.  I am sure we will travel a little bit for baseball too.

Patrick & I - more road trips, more laughter, more time together.

High School - I am looking forward to seeing Katie start high school, and all the fun that comes along with that.

Sports - baseball, football.  lots of sports in 2015.

Mar 282015

Its been one of those weeks around here.  It started out ok, because Patrick is home and I am glad for that.  But something was just OFF about this week.  I don’t know if its the weather (rainy, hot, cold, rainy, freeze?), or the pollen (we don’t like you go away).  Here are the highlights of my week!


IMG_20150322_160436Sunday – Jonathan was supposed to have a baseball game, but the rain prevented that from happening.  The kids were with their dad, so I hung out with Patrick and Bray.  We went to, where else – sporting goods stores.  We hit up Dick’s Sporting Goods. Of course, we also hit the Golfsmith Store, where I snagged my favorite leather chair that I always head to when we go there, and played candy crush while the boys tested golf clubs.  Then, dinner and the Carolina women’s basketball game. It was great, and they beat Syracuse by almost 30 points, advancing to the Sweet 16!   To the left is a photo of my view from my favorite leather chair.  I can see the putting green, and a few of the larger rooms where you can test drivers.  We spend enough time visiting this place that yes, I head straight for the chairs when we get there.

Monday – not much exciting happening this day, quick dinner with the kids, and bed early.  





Tuesday – Jonathan had a baseball game!

Wednesday – Jonathan had another baseball game (a makeup game from last week’s rained out game).  The coach finally let him play catcher, but of course he didn’t have his own equipment, he had to borrow another kids.  They lost both games this week after coming from behind to tie it up.  They played so good though!

Patrick and I went to dinner after the game at iHop, ran around Walmart and then came home and he crashed on the couch.  I watched Criminal Minds and what in the world was that episode?  That was a very big curve ball thrown in at the end, and totally NOT what I was expecting.  




received_10152645842101790Thursday – just another day.  Work wasn’t too crazy busy, and the weather was decent.  Came home and cooked the kids dinner, Jonathan played outside with a friend.  Watched a little of Grey’s Anatomy, and was happy to see that Derek told the lady to not kiss him.  Glad to see one couple not completely demolished by adultry.  I was also glad to see April smiling!   

Friday – hopefully a slower day at work, and more of working on my digitizing project.   Catching up on Hart of Dixie and then Blue Bloods on TV tonight.  And of course, supporting the Lady Gamecocks as they take on UNC in the women’s sweet 16 round of the NCAA finals.  Follow along with all the photos like the one to the left by searching the #oneNCAA hashtag on twitter or on facebook.  Gamecocks Online also has a whole album posted on facebook where they encouraged people to take photos with the #oneNCAA logo and share them online.  We are so proud of our girls!!

Jonathan has a game at 9am tomorrow, and Brayden has games tomorrow at 1pm and 5pm.  So, guess where I will be spending my morning?    Katie is running the color run tomorrow with Cassie (her dad’s girlfriend), so hopefully she has a great time at her first 5K!  Just wish it was going to be warmer!!

Cheers to a good weekend!


Mar 212015

 Read Part 1 here….

The next morning after our 1st date, we emailed each other saying how we both had enjoyed the date and we both asked what our first impressions of each other were.  Obviously they were both positive, since 2 years later – we are still together.  We didn’t end up working it out to go on our 2nd date for almost a month.  Our 2nd date was on Wednesday March 20th, 2013.  We ended up going to San Jose (local mexican food), and then headed to Target & World Market.  We held hands and he kissed me randomly in Target, on one of the toy aisles.  I knew then laughing with him in Target that I was falling hard for him.   I hadn’t felt that secure and happy in a very long time.

The next day on March 21st, we texted off and on all day.  I sent him a text that said “so after 2 dates and countless hours on the phone & talking online, do you think we should make it official?”.   He immediately sent me a text back that said “hold on” and my heart dropped – OMG, he doesn’t want to, how humilating!.   My phone then rang and it was him.  I contemplated not answering…..but I did.  He said “hey” like he always does and I immediately apologized for the text and started to say that I understood and he cut me off and said “I just didn’t want to do it over text” and somehow in the next 5 minutes of conversation we decided to “make it official” and began this journey.  

And of course, we made it facebook official…LOL

facebook official

And our friends & family went crazy with happiness.  It was really sweet the number of messages, likes and texts I got following that post!

553024_10151624964171790_1521387046_nWe often joke that he is the quiet to my crazy, whereas I have a larger personality, and I tend to be a little louder – he is quiet and more reserved.  We balance each other.   He handles my insecurities, my anxiety and my “crazy” with grace and his sweet personality.  He often tells me everything will work out, and I often don’t believe him, but secretly, I know he is right (ssshhh…don’t tell him I said that!).  He was my rock when my job was eliminated in athletics, and I had to move onto a new one.  He has never once given up on me, even when I want to give up on myself.

We will never say that our relationship is perfect, or without flaws & troubles – because lets face it, nothing is ever perfect.  Have we had some rocky weeks – yes.  Have I questioned everything a time or two – I am willing to admit yes.   However, I will quickly tell you that I will fight for our relationship, and I hope that Patrick can say the same.  We have both been married before, and we know what we do and don’t want.  We agree that we are a team, and that our relationship is going to take work – and we are both willing to work for it. 


I look forward to millions more kisses, hundreds of road trips playing silly games, sideways glances and punch-a-bug.  I look forward to dozens more ball games, late dinners, and lunches on the run.  I look forward to quiet evenings on the couch, and screaming gamedays at Williams-Brice.   I look forward to dance recitals, baseball practice, school award days and watching you hold hands with our kids.   With kids ranging from 5 to 13, we have a lot of years of school left!   Thank you for converting me to a Gamecock, to introducing me to your family, and taking me to my first college football game.  Thank you for ALWAYS including my children, and for allowing me to be such a big part of Braydens life.

 I cannot thank you enough for the happy you have brought to my life.   I look forward to the day when we can finally formally blend our families, and be able to come home to each other everyday.   And  I look forward to waking up to you for the rest of my life.



Mar 202015

Prefacing this by saying, this is NOT the story most people know.  A good handful of people know, and I don’t even know why I kept it a secret for so long.  I guess I didn’t want to deal with the negative people, or the people saying “I can’t believe you met someone online” and then asking 10 more questions!  I am pretty candid and laugh about it now that I actually met someone online, and now 2 years later we have this amazing & strong relationship.


Back in November 2012, when I was planning on moving to South Carolina, a very sweet girlfriend of mine “forced” me to sign up for match.com.   I did it thinking she was completely nuts, but signed up, uploaded some photos, wrote a funny bio and waited….and waited.  Basically, I did it as a dare from her.   Everyday my assistant and I would take a look at my daily matches and typically laugh our butts off at what match.com thought my matches would be.   She got me a 3 month membership, which meant I could search and email back and forth with guys.  I got a few “winks” and got a few funny emails.  There are always some total creepers on there, but still fun. I talked to a few people here and there, had a few dates, actually made a few friends that I still talk to over 2 years later.   A few total duds that were fun for a dinner out, but never called again (or I turned down 2nd dates).     Then one day a week or so before my subscription ended in February 2013,  a guy popped up on my matches that I thought was cute. pawpaws phone pictures 262  I read over his profile and thought “what the hey, I got nothing to lose” and I sent him a “wink”.   A few hours later or maybe a day, can’t remember – I got a wink back.   Because I had the app, I immediately sent him an email introducing myself.  Got an email back, and this began a few more days of back and forth.  Finally one day, I got the notice that my subscription was ending (meaning, no more ability to email this guy through the match system).  So, I emailed him and basically said “look, my subscription is about to end, if you want to keep talking to me, find me on facebook.”   Not that long after that, a friend request from Patrick popped up.  

I had just started a job at USC, and my mom was visiting.   At night after the kids went to bed she and I would sit and watch TV and play on our laptops.  I would log onto facebook and talk to him.  This went on a few days, and I gave him my phone number.  The next morning, he called me about 7:30 when I was on the way to work.  I immediately sent him to voicemail (yes, he knows i did this).  I was thinking “oh my gawd, what did I do giving this guy my number, why is he calling me at 7:30am???”.   That night, I didn’t mention the call and we talk for a few minutes.  We played 20 questions for the most part, getting to know each other slowly.    The next day, he called again at 7:30 and I thought “surely he is nuts, nope” and sent him to voicemail.  On the 3rd day of him calling, I answered quietly, still very nervous.  He was upbeat and immediately said “hey!” and asked me how I was.  He said “I thought I’d call you on the way into work, since we have no interruptions.’   I immediately melted and thought that had to be the sweetest thing.  He has called me nearly every single morning since then on the way into work (2 years later).

We finally worked it out that our first date was Sunday evening, February 24.  We decided to meet at Ruby Tuesday in West Columbia.  I remember getting there a few minutes early, and parking so I was facing the entrance so I could see him pull in.  A couple minute wait and I see him pull up, and I am pretty sure I wanted to throw up – why was this so nerve-wracking???   I took a deep breaths, put on a smile and walked towards him.  He was as cute in person as he was in the photos, and to this day I can tell you exactly what he was wearing (and vaguely remember what I was wearing).  He gave me a quick hug and we went on into the restaurant.   We took our time ordering, chit-chatting about this and that.  We both acknowledge now that we were nervous, and we laugh about it.  We talked about our jobs, our kids, places we liked to visit and just talked.   At one point he got up to go to the salad bar and I quickly texted Lynsay (my sister in law) under the table and said “this is never going to work, he is so quiet compared to me”.  She encouraged me to enjoy the date and see where it led.   We finished our dinner and shared dessert.  I honestly didn’t want to leave, but knew I needed to go to Walmart and get ready for work in the morning.  I told him I needed to head to Walmart, and he decided to come with me.   

I think we spent an hour walking around Walmart – smelling suntan lotion in one department, looking at movies in another, and throwing balls in the toy section.  Finally, I got what I needed and we checked out.  We walked out together and he helped me put my items in the car.  Finally I turned to him, and the nervous was back!  We gave each other another hug, and a small kiss and went on home.  I think we texted later to say we had both made it home, and to tell each other good night.

Part 2 – coming tomorrow…


Mar 192015


    Its been one of those weeks.  I had a headache from Sunday through today.  I’m not sure if its a change in the weather, or what’s going on.  I have cut a significant amount of caffiene from my diet and am drinking tons more water!   Also, drinking water helps when you have a cute cup like this! (Michael’s Craft Store for $5)  

I actually bought a monogram to go on the opposite side of it from an Etsy shop called Carolina Peach Impressions.  The shop is actually owned by a Marine wife friend of mine, and she does some adorable stuff.  I cannot wait to get the monogram in the mail to add to my cup!   

Speaking of baseball, the boys both had games on Sunday.  Jonathan had his 1st real game of the season, and Brayden had a one day tournament.  Unfortunately, both lost their games.  Jonathan sort of had an off day hitting, where Brayden had an amazing day hitting.   Brayden also pitched that day, and Jonathan did a great job fielding.  It was such a beautiful day, so warm and great to be outside!

Patrick is in India this week, and thankfully Allison has allowed me to use her iPad to facetime with him.  We were able to talk for about 15 minutes.  It was nice to be able to look at him while we were talking, versus just talking on the telephone.  Thank goodness for technology!  Today we had a harder time because he has moved to a more remote office location, and the wireless is not as good.  We did get to see each other for a few minutes, and then it timed out.  After 3 tries, he gave up.  

I got my Ipsy GlamBag this week and I am completely in love.  $10 a month for makeup delivered to my door.  Yes please!    I got an amazing shade of NYX Butter Lipstick and a few other things = win.  Totally worth the $10, and the cute bag it came in now is in my purse holding all my pens & planner tags.  Double-win!

Hopefully the rest of this week will go quickly, so I can get Patrick home with me again!  I miss him when he is gone, but know that the time apart is good for us!

Today’s post is brought to you by the Carolina leprechaun (spotted near the School of Business on St. Patricks Day)





Mar 132015

So, I have talked a lot in the past about how much Patrick and I love Charleston.  We have been there once at a couple (took my kids to the beach), and been separately dozens of times.  We plan to go back next month for our anniversary.  Here are 5 things from our list of  ”things we want to do”!



1.  Bowens Island Seafood (Patrick’s choice)

You won’t find anything fancy here, as this is a paper plates, plastic solo cups, order at the counter kind of place.  It gets pretty decent reviews on both Yelp & Urban Spoon.   Seems pretty famous for all you can eat oysters and other fried seafood.  The prices seem reasonable as well.  Will report back how it is if we end up there.

2.  Hominy Grill or Lowcountry Bistro (a tie: Lori’s choice)

I really just want shrimp and grits, lets be real.  I am not picky about where I get them from either.

The menu for Hominy Grill makes my mouth water reading it!  Lots of low-country items, fresh ingredients and daily specials. In reading the menu and the reviews, this maybe a great spot for lunch one day.

Both get great reviews on both Yelp & Urban Spoon – which is always a plus.  You have the naysayers, but that’s with anything out there.  Some people are never happy.

Lowcountry Bistro however, has gotten some amazing reviews for their shrimp and grits, which in the photos I saw posted online by various diners, they look – AH-MAZ-ING!   Other folks raved about their salads and their desserts – strawberry creme brulee anyone?



3.  The Ravenel Bridge and the Mount Pleasant Pier (bridge: all Patrick!  pier: both of us).

Patrick mentioned the pier to me and I went to find it online and think its a beautiful spot.  It even has swings!    The bridge, I am not a fan of it.  He mentioned pulling over on the side, and I think I told him I would beat him.  He said, he would pull over and get out taking the keys with him.  My response “if I have to get out of the car to come after you, there better be a proposal waiting for me.”  Not a fan of the bridge, as it is so incredibly high.    From what I have read, the views of sunset from the pier are pretty incredible!   Patrick will also take great delight into making me go across this bridge, multiple times….for no reason whatsoever.  Last trip down there, we went across it – to get gas….when there were perfectly good stations on the “mainland” side!


4.   City Market, the Battery and Waterfront Park (both of us)

These are our “go to” places to walk when we go to Charleston.  We love city market, even if we aren’t buying anything, I love looking at the prints in the various stalls.  I also love watching the women design and make their sweetgrass baskets for selling. Parts of it are air conditioned, which makes for a nice walk on a hot day.  The battery is a beautiful walk, and the park with gazebo is beautiful.  Its a refreshing walk along the water.  The Waterfront park just down from the battery also has a wonderful pier with swings, great spot for picture taking!   There is also a fountain & water feature close by that kids can play in.

5.  Firefly Distillery & the Charleston Tea Plantation (both of us)

This is something we have looked at doing for awhile.  I keep coming back to both places because tours of both locations are free (which is a great thing when you are budgeting a trip like this!).   Even better is that Firefly is part of Irvin House Vineyards.  For $5 you can get a tasting of all of the varieties of wine they create there (5) and  a wine glass too!   You are also welcome to stroll through the vineyard on a self-guided tour.   At Firefly you can get tasting of several varieties for $6, and tours of the Distillery are also free.   The Charleston Tea Plantation is not that far away, and also offers free tours of their factory.  They also offer a trolley tour of the plantation for $10 per person.



Mar 092015

The word control freak has such a negative connotation, and it in general is a negative sounding word. I mean really, it sounds terrible.

This is the moment that I admit that sometimes I am a control freak.  I spent the last 5 years of my marriage in an ever spiraling out of control state.  Not knowing when things would come screeching to a halt, when would the house sell, when could I move on?  It was terrifying and I didn’t like it at all.   

I like order, and I thrive on routine.  I love chaos in small doses.  I am a fixer and a people pleaser.  I fix problems, and appreciate immediate resolutions to problems or situations.  I also genuinely appreciate having a plan (especially if the plan is how to fix a problem or situation).

My realization of how bad I am sometimes came the other day, in the midst of a Friday afternoon at work.  See, Patrick and I have been planning a trip to Charleston for our anniversary for about a year.  We were supposed to for our first anniversary (in 2014). Of course, “life” got in the way in the form of 2 kids playing baseball, 3 kids in school,  Patrick’s travel schedule for work and of course, money.   We rescheduled for June 2014, then it was August and finally September.  When September fell through due to hotel complications, I all but gave up on the trip.  Clearly we were not meant to go on this trip.  Fast forward to 2015 – again, we decide to go on our anniversary weekend, March 19-21.  I was so excited and spent more time than I should looking up events that weekend, places to visit and eat and things that we wanted to see.  Hotel rooms were booked at a great discount.  I waited and prayed that maybe this time would work out.  We need the time away from everything to focus on each other.  I also secretly worried so much that I convinced myself that it was not going to happen.  Patrick kept saying it would work out and probably got seriously annoyed with my constant worry.

On Friday, March 6th, I was sitting at work when I got a text from Patrick:

“I got some sorta bad news”

My first thought was not our trip to Charleston.  I thought something was wrong when it came to this weekends baseball schedule, or another work trip for him interfering with an awards banquet he was to attend with me.  I immediately called him and he said what I had for weeks feared.  ”We have to postpone out trip, I have to go to India”.   I was crushed, another reschedule and the 2nd missed anniversary (1st he was playing golf out of town).   We talked a few more minutes and the conversation went back and forth “what’s 2 weeks later”, “no we can’t go then, that’s Easter and we have to go to Walhalla”, “ok, book it for 2 weeks after that”.   Hotel rooms were rebooked for April 17-19.  I am calmer at this point, its not like he has a choice about this trip and he seems as disappointed as I am over these changes.

I sit back in my chair, still sad and a little disappointed when I remember that his ex-wife is taking a work trip in April.  I text her and she sends me a text back that confirms my fear again.  She has to leave on a day we had planned to be gone.  I call Patrick back, upset that we will have to make even more changes.  Patrick, in his normal way calmly says “give me time, and I will work something out”.  I instinctively go to that place where I want to be the fixer, and I want immediately resolutions.  I want a fix, why can’t he tell me how we are going to fix this, what are we going to do, we are going to have to reschedule again – all these thoughts are in my head and I send myself towards a completely anxiety induced meltdown.   Instead of verbalizing all those thoughts, I say fine and we hang up, I stew about it for the next hour or so.   

The need to control the situation, to “fix” it, to make sure it all goes to plan – its all chaos and I don’t do chaos well.

I brought it up again last night, and again he calming told me that I needed to relax, and that it will all work out.  He said that I needed to give him some time and he will find a way.

Giving up control is hard, especially when it is something you want so badly to happen.  I have to learn to trust that he will make the decision that is right for us (and for the kids), and that he will find a way for us to have our trip and this time together as a couple.

Mar 052015

I am blessed with a huge and amazing group of women that I call my friends, my sisters and my girls.  I have put out the call for guest posters on my blog, and I am so excited with the number of friends who want to! 

You will see friends from across the US from Hawaii to Ohio and all points in between.   Be kind to them, please comment on their posts and give them all some love! 

If you would like to guest post, please let me know!