How Kahlua saved my life.


When I started talking about adopting a dog I wasn’t convinced it was the best idea. That was before I came across Carolina Hearts Aussie Rescue. After seeing the dogs on the website and submitting and application I knew adopting an Australian Shepherd was what I should do. Mom, Savannah and I had an Aussie when I was younger and she was the best dog we could have adopted. The process was long, but after a couple of months I drove to Salisbury, N.C. to meet my baby girl, Kahlua. They told me she was a very hyper dog, but that day when I met her she was calm and sweet. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The first couple of weeks after I adopted Kahlua she would wake me up at 7 a.m. every morning and wouldn’t calm down until about 10 p.m. every night. She was a full time job. It took me some time to learn how to handle her and all that comes with her excitement. I’m not going to lie, at first I was overwhelmed. I have loved her from the moment I saw her, but the non-stop playing and running was wearing me out.

One day Kahlua and I were at the dog park and she was playing fetch, which is her full-time job. She kept bringing the ball back, dropping it at my feet and nudging me. I threw the ball and as she trotted back to me the look on her face made my heart melt. The look of pure joy I saw in her eyes and smile made me realize why God brought her to me – to bring that joy into my everyday life.

Everyone had their opinions of why I shouldn’t adopt a dog before I brought Kahlua home. What about graduate school? What if you don’t have time to take care of her? What if she’s too much to handle? But regardless of those things I wanted her.

Fast forward a month or so and I packed up everything I own, Kahlua, Princess Baby and Mr. Tinkles and moved 400 miles away from home to attend Georgetown University. Now, when you first hear about a 24-year-old taking three animals with her on such a big move I bet you have a concerned look on your face, but after being here about a month I know that Kahlua has saved my life.

I only know a handful of people up here so far, and most of them work during the day. I have classes three nights a week, so sometimes I spend my days alone without speaking to a single person face-to-face. But thanks to Kahlua I’m up, I’m doing things, I’m leaving the apartment, I’m smiling, I’m laughing, I’m happy. She doesn’t let me sleep all day. She doesn’t let me lay on the couch watching TV for hours at a time. Kahlua is up, active and always wanting to do something fun. We spend our days on long walks, playing tug-of-war, going to the dog park and occasionally going shopping for new toys. We are always playing, even if I’m doing homework or studying. I can be cooking dinner, but we are still playing a mini game of fetch. I can be on the phone with my mom or boyfriend, but we are playing tug-of-war. She has taken an introverted person who has struggled with depression almost her entire life and brought laughter and happiness in a difficult time.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little lonely, just wanting to get out of the apartment. Without Kahlua I know I would lose my mind. I would spend my days sitting here alone watching TV, not talking to a single human. The best part is, she doesn’t even know how happy she makes me. She has no idea that her early morning wake up calls (which are now closer to about 8 or 9 a.m.) with her slobbery toys are the highlight of my day and that her constant need to go is bringing light into my life every day.

Falling in love.

Saying that my first full week of classes has been perfect would be an understatement. All of the things I worried about are no longer an issue, and I am so excited to really dig into my classes and see what the semester holds. I’m falling in love with this city, university and all of the people who I have had the pleasure to meet and talk to over the course of the weeks I have been here, not to mention my short trip home to see my friends and family who I’ve been missing. Shout out to Ashley Mitzel Dillard! Your wedding was gorgeous, just like you.

Video journalism was the class I was, by far, the most nervous about attending. I’m a pen and paper kind of girl, so the thought of having to shoot and edit something terrified me. Plus, the broadcast class I took at UNC Charlotte was awful. After the first class my feelings completely changed, and video journalism might be the class I’m most excited about now. Having the opportunity to create a small documentary-type project about something, anything I feel is important excites me to no end. (As I finish projects for all of my classes I’ll post them on here for y’all to check out) Not to mention the teacher seems pretty awesome. All of my teachers seem to be pretty cool and like their classes are going to be extremely interesting, which would fit nicely with the rest of what I’ve experienced in DC.

Yesterday I was on the metro. I’ve met a lot of people on the metro – drunk law student, cute little boy who wouldn’t stop blowing me kisses, all kinds – but the best was yesterday. I step onto the metro and a man is trying to find a pen, and the lady in the seat in front of him is halfway listening to him. She’s mainly focused on the conversation she’s having with the lady next to her. Over and over again he says, “let me get that number.” I think prior to me walking up on the conversation he had given her his number. She says, “I’ll call you when you get rid of that girlfriend.” He just laughs like she’s kidding, which I don’t think she was, then proceeds to go on about how he’s going to take her out somewhere “real nice.” The whole time she is doing that thing all of us girls do when we are flattered and want to flirt back but know better. She was listening to every word he said, but was pretending to have something better to do. Well about two stops in he stands up to get off the metro and says, “Oh, girl, I’m going to be thinking about you all night.” Her response, which made me laugh (kind of loud) was, “You’ll be with your girlfriend all night.” Maybe it’s not that funny if you weren’t there, but I almost DIED laughing.

I’m hoping next week to finally bust out my bicycle and go exploring a little. I’ll take a lot of pictures for everyone, just don’t tell my mom until after I’m back. The thought of me on my bike makes her very nervous.

Until next time. <3

Towed, dog park, Capitol and a $5,000 bottle of wine.

Every box is unpacked and every decoration is hung. I am officially moved into my new apartment, and it’s perfect. I am so in love with every aspect of my apartment complex.

IMG_2576Mom and I started the week off with a rocky start. After we woke up Monday morning we realized my car had been towed. The complex is very strict with parking, and my temporary pass expired a day before I thought it would. After talked to the property manager we had the $160 fee waved. It was a short drive to pick up Cinnamon (my car). Momma expected me to be really upset when she told me, but, like I told her, there are worse things that can happen. We shouldn’t get upset over every little thing that doesn’t go smoothly.

After picking up the car we headed to the dog park with little Kahlua to let her stretch her legs a little. She’s obsessed with playing fetch and has been dying to get out of the apartment and run around. Everything has been a little overwhelming for her and the kitties, but they have been adjusting nicely. Everyone is starting to become familiar with all of the new things, new people and new noises. Kahlua barks at almost everyone when we go outside, especially dogs, but once she has the chance to sniff them and see they are okay she calms down a lot. She’s been making all kinds of friends.

We wrapped up Monday by going into the city for some Mexican food, and mom wanted to see the capitol. It was nice to finally get into DC and walk around a little, just relax and enjoy the day. There are so many things left on my to-do list, it’s just nice to get away for a little while and not think about all of the things I still need to accomplish. I’ve been trying to take my list one item at a time, but sometimes it can be overwhelming.


The night ended perfectly, though, with a trip to Total Wine, which is right next to my apartment. That might be a little dangerous. But we picked up a wine rack and a couple bottles of wine for the week. If there’s one thing the Choate women all agree on it’s wine and how we can’t live without it. While at the store we saw a $5,000 bottle of wine. Mom and I just want to taste it to see what makes it so expensive. We convinced Savannah we bought it and drank it without her. She was upset to say the least. She hates being left out of things like that. :)

I’m not sure what today has in store for us, but I know it’s going to be a new adventure in my new home. I can’t wait to venture out and see what else DC and Alexandria have in store for me.

Four days.

The amount of anxiety that comes along with moving 400 miles from home is something I never knew could exist. I feel like there are a million things to do, but at the same time I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to do next. Excitement and dread fill me all at once, and then I end up walking in circles around the house for a good two hours accomplishing nothing.

Saturday was 100 percent the best way to spend the last weekend of my time in Charlotte (except Hal wasn’t there, which made me sad). Some of my best girl friends came over and we just hung out and playing board games all night. I needed a little reminding that no matter how long we go without seeing each other nothing will ever change. We can go two years and barely speak, but the second we are together it’s like we are back in high school putting on face paint about to fork Dave’s yard. Leaving those I love behind has been the hardest part, but now I feel slightly better. I honestly have the best friends on the planet. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for each other, and knowing I have that kind of support system fills me with more joy than I have ever known. I have truly been blessed in life.


I have called this amazing city my home for 24 years, and I will always be a Carolina Girl. I’m going to have to learn how to navigate around Virginia and D.C., find a new grocery store, change my pharmacy, find a new vet for my babies – all things that sound so trivial, but make the change even more of a big deal.

An update on the actual move – I officially have an apartment in Alexandria, Virginia. I’m pretty excited about getting there on Friday and finally starting to move everything in. There isn’t anything I enjoy more than “setting up my nest” as my mom calls it.

If these four days fly by nearly as fast as the past four months – it feels like yesterday I was accepted into the program – then I’m not really sure what I’m going to do. There are so many people I want to see and so many things I need to accomplish. Part of me doesn’t want to leave, but the other part is so excited and so ready to start on my new adventure. <3

Home sweet home.

It’s official – I’m all moved in at my mom’s house. Well, my things are all packed up in the garage. I’ll be there for a few weeks until I make the move to Washington, D.C. (move date still to be decided)


The first night sleeping there (Saturday) was weird. It’s going to take some adjusting to get used to sleeping there again, I typically can’t sleep well when I’m somewhere new, but I think I will adjust. I like having people to hang out with on a regular basis. All I have to do is walk upstairs and there are so many puppies and people to hang out with. But at the end of the day I’m really excited to move past these next couple of weeks and make my way up to D.C. Patience definitely isn’t high on my list of virtues, but I’ll survive. There’s still so much to accomplish before I leave, so many items on my to-do list.

Next on the list, going away party this coming Saturday. To say I’m excited to see my friends would be an understatement.

Apartment searching: Day 1

We are about to head out for day two of the apartment hunt, and I am exhausted. I’m relieved that today we will be driving to places in Virginia and Maryland rather than walking all over D.C. It’s been nearly two years since I graduated from college, and I’ve already forgotten how tiring it is walking everywhere. That is definitely something it’s going to take a lot of getting used to.

Good news is we did find one reasonably priced place that I liked yesterday. It’s close to the main campus of Georgetown and a bit of a hike to the graduate school, but I really liked it. And it was in a pretty area. Today we are going to look at places outside of the city to see if there is anything we like. I’m not sure if I would rather live in or out of the city, but I guess it depends on the place. We are going to start in Virginia and work our way around to Maryland. I think I’ve convinced mom to get crab legs for dinner, but we will see how that holds out. You haven’t seen picky when it comes to choosing a restaurant.

Well, off we go.

The hunt begins.

My mom and I are leaving Wednesday night to head up to the DC area and begin our apartment hunt. We have two days to find a place I can afford and my mom finds suitable. Some would say this is an impossible task. There is only one way to find out.

As the weeks count down to when I will be leaving on my new adventure I’ve started really paying attention to the things I will miss the most. At the top of the list, of course, is my wonderful family. There are so many days when I need a break from the day, and all I have to do is call up my mom or Dave for lunch or dinner and the day becomes so much better. If I’ve had a rough day I just text Haley or Maria to hang out, go grab drinks or ride bikes with Maria. It’s going to be a 6 hour drive to do those things now. Nearly all of my best friends have been in my life for about 10 years. It’s safe to say that I rarely bring new friends into my life, so I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do with them being so far away. I know I will make new friends, and I will visit Charlotte and they will come to DC. It just won’t be the same, and it’s making me a little sad.

Mom keeps mentioning how she wants to go on a vacation, and while I love the beach, I really don’t want to leave this amazing city until I have to. I have lived in Charlotte my entire life, and often complained about how little there is to do, how everything is so spread out and so much more. But the truth is I love being a Charlotte native, I love being a Carolina girl. That’s not going to change, but it’s going to be hard adjusting to living somewhere else. When I say I’m moving everyone has a piece of advice, and everyone knows someone who lives in the DC area. Everyone. If you don’t believe me ask people you know or meet. I know the intentions are all well, but trying to remember everything everyone says it’s becoming a little overwhelming. I’m a different kind of person. I like to be alone, until I don’t. It’s hard for me to make friends because of this. The amazing group of people I’ve decided to surround myself with understand that I’m rarely in the mood to go out, and often prefer doing more low key things. It’s hard to find people who understand you aren’t being rude when you say no to going out because you would rather hang out with your cats and read one book non-stop until it’s complete.

FriendsI guess what it comes down to is, I am so excited to move and start school and begin life in a whole new place. It’s something I’ve never done, and it’s about time I’m pushed out of my comfort zone. But as the time gets closer it’s hard not to be overwhelmed with how much I am going to miss the people who are really important to me. I’m not an emotional person, for the most part, but when I think about how Haley can’t just come over when I’m having a moment, or Maria can’t meet me after work to ride bikes, or Sav can’t bring the pups over for a night of painting and hanging out, or Dave can’t just drive 20 minutes to meet me for lunch, or I can’t just stop by mom’s work to surprise her, it nearly brings me to tears.

My friends are more than your average friends, they are family. No matter what happens in life my best friends will always be there, and I know when I really need them there isn’t anything that can stop them from making the trip to DC. It’s just a lot of change at one time, and it really makes you appreciate the little things and the time you have with the people you love.