Looking back a year ago, I would have never thought I would be where I am today. I was thousands of miles away from home, broke, lonely and missing my family, friends, dog, the south, friendly smiles, southern accents and charm, the food and so much more.

Flying back home, from California to good ole Carolina, I had a peaceful, calm feeling. I felt like God truly gave me the courage and directed my path to get to Cali, but I also knew deep down that He had a plan for me to come home when I did.  I am SO glad that I got that experience to live far away and try new experiences.  Looking back, I can see now that timing is everything and that there are no coincidences in life. I couldn’t see God’s path at the time but nowadays I can see it clearly. You see, I didn’t know it then but, he had a precious gift waiting for me at home.

I flew home on Thursday, May 24, 2012. I was so excited to see my family and friends and last but certainly not least, my darling little dog, Belle.  I decided that before I got back to work, I wanted to spend a few days with my Mom down at the beach.  It was Memorial Day weekend, so we got to spend a few days together, relaxing on her balcony, watching the boats go by, drinking wine and catching up.

The Tuesday After I came home, my mom asked if I wanted to go out to lunch the next day with her Co-worker, Sheila, and her son Brian. Like I’ve said before, I thought it was going to be so awkward but it wasn’t at all. I can still remember what he was wearing that day and what I thought leaving that lunch (Which was, OMG I HOPE HE CALLS ME).  Anyways… if you haven’t figured out what that gift from God I was talking about was , it was Brian.  May 30, 2012… we consider that our first date, even if it was with our Moms.  I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that I met my love less than a week later from coming home from California.

This past weekend we got engaged and I could not be happier to call him my fiancé and my future husband. So here’s how it all went down.  We went to our favorite date place, Murrells Inlet and had dinner at Bovines. We then took a little walk on the boardwalk to “our” spot, where we always get the BEST rum punch’s (I can never remember the name of the place but it looks like a little tiki hut). In the background, I could hear the thunder rolling, which if you know me at all, you know, I’m TERRIFIED OF THUNDERSTORMS!!

Well, we went walking anyways for a little while with our drinks but it was clear that it was going to down pour any minute. All the sudden, out of nowhere, Brian pulls me into this little alcove off the boardwalk and gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him. I was shocked.  As soon as I said YES, the bottom fell out.  We ran into Bubba’s Love Shack dripping wet, where we ran into some awesome ladies that we had met earlier in the night. We told them that we had just gotten engaged. They were so genuinely happy for us and made us feel so special and they even had the band play a special song for the two of us to dance to.

God works in mysterious ways and his timing is always the best timing.

Brianand Lauren



Summmaaa Timeee

“Summertime and the livin’s easy”……Well for most people.  For those of us involved in the homeowner’s association industry, pool season is in full effect. Be sure and make time for fun this summer! Take a dive into the many events going on and plunge into the incredible summer “hot” spots thatNorth Carolina has to offer!

Barbeques, fireworks and red, white and blue all come to mind when thinking of the 4th of July. Celebrating our day of independence is the epitome of summer and finding the perfect spot to watch fireworks is crucial. One of the most unique spots in NC is the 15th annual Battleship Blast, which can be viewed primarily in downtown Wilmington. Noted as Coastal Living’s 10 Spots to Celebrate the Fourth and recent recipient of Southeast Tourism Society’s award of Top 20 things to due in July, this fireworks show surely wont disappoint. Visit for details!

From the coast to the mountains there is always something happening around the state. Go share the fun at the 33rd annual Bele Chere Festival in downtown Asheville on July 29-31. Bele Chere is known as the largest free street festival in the southeast and is perfect for all ages.  Enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery while listening to live original music. Also be sure and stop by the numerous arts and craft vendors that travel from all over the country to bring their unique, one of kind pieces of art to take home and make your own. To find out more information about the Bele Chere Festival, visit www.

Here’s some juicy news…The 26th annual Watermelon Festival which is held in Fair Bluff, NC is going to be taking place July 16-24! “Simple to grow. Simple to Buy. Simple to Eat. Watermelon” is their motto.  So, being there is just that simple!  All things watermelon is the theme, from the watermelon eating contest to spiting seed contest, this festival will be some sweet fun. The festival will include a parade, car show and also Teen Miss and Queen Pageants. It all began in 1986, when two best friends, Monroe Enzor, Sr. and A.J. Worley, wanted a new hobby and they picked growing watermelons. This festival has been going ever since! Visit for more information. Don’t miss this mouth-watering event!

On a sweltering summer day, we all need the perfect spot to cool off. Whether it is in a pool, lake or on the beach, by the water is where we all want to be! A remarkable place to be is on the Dan River in StokesCounty.  Float down the river in an inner tube, canoe or kayak, whichever you chose is surely to be a relaxing enjoyable ride. A fun and affordable adventure, floating the Dan Riveris the perfect way to unwind and cool down on Saturday after a long week in the office. Visit to find out directions and information.

With so many events and festivals going on in the summer in the incredible state of NC, there is sure to be something going on for every individual’s interest. Go to for a complete listing of everything going on around the state as well as your hometown.