Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

I think it is pretty cool to look back and see what the heck happened over the last year, especially when I feel like I was JUST looking back at 2010.  Seems like 2012 has always been a year that was WAY far in the future, but here it is, just around the bend!
Started my first full year of menu planning!  **First New Year's Resolution I ever kept!**
Started sticking to a budget to save money to replace Ryan's car & pay off school loans
Bought our first piece of furniture (all the rest we have is inherited/gifts) -- a new couch!
Got snowed in! You know it's bad when even the federal government cancels work!

Hosted our 1st Supper Club...  I made MEXICAN food (I know you're shocked!)  It was the first time I pulled out all my fancy china & crystal that we got for our wedding... all went well until the dog put his face in the sourcream :)
Celebrated Ryan's 27th Birthday
Had a long weekend at the beach & a weekend in Spartanburg for Josh & Jennifer's wedding

Helped host a wedding shower for Ryan's best bud and his fiance
I met THE PIONEER WOMAN with my sister at Ree's book signing in Georgia

Did some big projects for our backyard - new addition to deck, planted shrubs, painted the shed
Celebrated my great aunt's 90th Birthday!

  Decided to sign up with Team-in-Training for my first half-marathon
FINALLY sold the Rodeo & bought a Truck for Ryan
Had our second major mishap of homeownership & had to replace our A/C unit
Travelled to Chicago, IL and Holland, MI to celebrate the wedding of Christian & Stephanie

Celebrated with our friend's Gray & Leigh when they brought home their son from Ethiopia!
Finally got to make the Blackberry-to-iPhone switch
Watched excitedly as our GAMECOCKS rose to the top of the pack again and brought home their SECOND NCAA Baseball National Championship!

Celebrated our nephew Cooper's 1st birthday
Spent a week of vacation at the BEACH!
My friend Jenny moved back to town!

The summer of broken appliances continued with a washing machine that tried to flood our house!  Luckily we found a great deal on a new washer/dryer set at Home Depot -- our 3rd major purchase for our house.

Travelled to Charlotte to kick off the USC Football Season!
Suffered from tendonitis and had to break from training for my half marathon :(

Spent one awesome & relaxing weekend in the mountains with my college girlfriends
Resumed training and kicked it into high gear for about 6 weeks before my race.

RAN my first half-marathon in Savannah, GA!!
RESTED from all that running.
Ate TONS of food at Thanksgiving.
Decorated for Christmas... except, never got around to putting ornaments on the tree.

Celebrated the holidays by eating with pretty much everyone we knew.  And eating lots of food.  Our celebrations lasted ALL month.  
Celebrated our 2nd Anniversary with dinner at Mr. Friendly's & decided we need to go on more fancy dinner dates
Vacationed to the beach, relaxed & got all our Christmas shopping done
Spent Christmas with our families
Celebrated my 27th Birthday
Prepared to bring in the NEW YEAR!

Tons more things happened throughout the course of 2011, but I couldn't possibly remember them all. We are truly blessed and excited to see what 2012 is going to bring!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twenty Seven

On my 27th birthday, I thought I'd share 27 things you might not know about me... or you might know them already :)  In no particular order...
  • It's no secret, I'm a diet coke addict.  And I don't plan to quit!
  • I wake up early, and sort of wish my husband was a morning person, but he's not. 
  • I love a plan, a to-do list, calendars... anything organized (Read: Type A) 
  • I let my dog sleep in the bed. I thought I never would.  He usually doesn't stay all night, but most nights he is at my feet when I fall asleep. 
    •  I'm a blog stalker.  I love to get a glimpse into the lives of others through their writing on the internet
  • When I'm anxious or upset, my face and neck turn bright red.  You won't have to worry about whether you've upset me, you'll know! 
  • I love to listen to books on tape.  This started when my husband and I went on roadtrips together in college, and now I listen to books on tape nearly all the time.  I have been known to  sit in the driveway listening to a book when I've gotten to a juicy part!
  • My favorite food is mexican.  Pretty much anything that includes salsa, sour cream, and cheese is right up my alley.  
  • My second favorite food is Breakfast... undoubtedly, if I had to pick one food to eat the rest of my life, it would be breakfast (with a side of salsa). 
  • I'm the only brunette child in my family, and they once told me it was because I was switched at birth.  
  • I have more shoes than any human should possibly own. And, the shoe department is the first place I visit in any store, because I WANT MORE! 
  • My love language is Acts of Service.  This might have something to do with the fact that I really don't like to do household chores.  I enjoy gifts, but I'd love it just as much if someone came and folded all my laundry, or dusted/vacuumed my house so I didn't have to! 
  • If it was acceptable to serve chips & dip as an entree, I'd do it 
  • I consume large amounts of orange juice daily.  When I came home from college, my mom rationed it out.  It's a must-have in my fridge.
  • I hate secrets.  When someone keeps one from me, I want to figure it out ASAP.  
  • Although I spend my days making sure other people take their medicines, and take the right ones, I myself hate to take them.  This makes me just a little more sympathetic to those who I'm constantly harping on to take theirs correctly -- even my own family! 
  • I tell people that getting old must be contagious -- after all, I work with the elderly, and I always want to eat my lunch at 1130 and dinner at 530 -- however, the truth is, maybe I'm just already old at heart! 
  • Along the same lines of being old, I also love to get to bed early.  In fact, it isn't uncommon for me to jump in bed by 8:30 or occasionally, fall asleep on the couch even earlier than that! 
  • I love to roast marshmallows after we've grilled on our charcoal grill
  • I ran my first half-marathon earlier this year... I decided that day that I would love to run more half-marathons, but never want to run a full marathon.  The place in the road where the marathoners split off from us to run 12 more miles was a very scary place! 
  • I love my DVR.  Since I usually fall asleep before my favorite shows even come on, I usually end up watching them either the next morning or night.... this is alright by me because there's NO COMMERCIALS!  The two exceptions to this rule are The Bachelor and The Biggest Loser... Somehow I manage to stay up late to watch these  
  • I keep a bunch of stuff in my car.  I could probably live in there for a few days if I had to 
  • I'm the only person I know that doesn't love the Kindle.  I begged for one for Christmas last year and found out that I actually can't stand the thought of purchasing books when I can go to the library and get the real thing for free. 
  • I love to listen to music in the shower.  Luckily I'm generally alone in the house cause when there's music, chances are I'm also singing! 
  • I'd rather have flowers to plant in a pot or in the ground than fresh cut flowers... I love to plant flowers and work in the yard
  •  I love Christmas decorations & Christmas music, and I usually start decorating in mid-November to be sure we have a full month to enjoy them.  This year I never got around to putting the ornaments on our tree, but I enjoyed it with just the lights! 
  • A garbage truck once blew up in front of my house.  Not a joke. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 52!

We made it, we're in the final week of 2011, and we've menu planned all the way through!

12.26.11 - Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
12.28.11 - Dr. Pepper BBQ in Crockpot
12.29.11 - Mexican dinner at Mom's
12.30.11 - Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce
12.31.11 - New Year's Eve Celebration... definitely making Hot Corn Dip and probably a few other things!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Celebrating today the greatest gift of all, a God who left His throne in heaven to become a human child, knowing eventually He would sacrifice His life to save the world from sin.  There could be no greater love, no greater gift than this.  Wishing and praying for you a wonderful holiday and all the blessings of God's wonderful gift to man, His son.  

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called: Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

love these...

Well, i'm out on my "Christmas Break", and of course that means I'm trying to finish up my Christmas shopping (if you'll notice, a few short days ago, we had only purchased 2 gifts!  2!).  We are a little further on our way to being finished now, but still have a few things to grab.  Today I was shopping in HomeGoods and spotted these beauties....

Lamps from HomeGoods
 So, I started dreaming a little more about my front bedroom re-do... I'm looking forward to hopefully giving it a little facelift, perhaps in the spring!  The room has an antique oak bed, dresser, and bedside table.... I was thinking I might like the following for bedding in either light blue or yellow:
Pottery Barn Plaza Duvet Cover & Sham

Who knows, but I'm loving these lamps.. so maybe they will inspire me to get started on the room!  I'd love to color match the lighter blue in the lampshade for the room paint, so that's making me lean toward white bedding with yellow accents.  (I'd paint the room yellow, but this room is already WAY bright with the morning sun -- my old roommates can attest to this fact -- and yellow would be a little much with the morning sun.)

Now... back to the task at hand... finishing the Christmas shopping!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 51

Christmas week!  I decided today that we are officially on Christmas Break (since you don't get to celebrate  those things once you're a working adult in the real world) and enjoying it to the fullest.. that means eating out a lot and preparing for all the holiday meals next weekend, yum!  

12.19.11 - Pastaria 811
12.20.11 - Grilling
12.21.11 - Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
12.22.11 - TBA
12.23.11 - TBA
12.24.11 - Christmas Eve Dinner Out
12.25.11 - Christmas Dinner

Saturday, December 17, 2011

8 Days Til Christmas....

Wow, amazingly enough, there are only 8 days til Christmas.  How many gifts have we purchased?

Luckily, we are on off of work for a few days (me for a WHOLE week!), but we certainly have our work cut out for us!  We have parents, grandparents, siblings, and a nephew to shop for, not to mention each other!

Ryan's wish list was short this year, he wants a new pair of sunglasses:

Since we celebrate our anniversary, Christmas and my birthday in December, which can make buying gifts for me difficult....and for the first time in a while, I actually had lots of various things on my list, for the sake of space I won't put pics of all of it! For my kitchen..... a cast iron skillet, a metal colander, a rolling pin and a few more of my everyday china cereal bowls.  For my closet.... exercise gear for cool weather running, new running shoes, a super lightweight rain jacket, dresses to wear with tights, Kim Rogers Candice Wedges,  new jeans (thanks Mom! She already got these!), and a new purse!  For the house... bedding for our front bedroom, furniture for our front or back decks, a new back door (and labor! hint hint, brother of mine, I'll buy the door if you gift the labor!).   In the last few days, I added one thing to my list, a new coat... so I've been looking around for options, here's what I've found:

JCrew's Majesty Pea Coat

Talbot's Plush Regency Coat

AK Anne Klein Double Breasted Peacoat

I guess we have our work cut out for us over the next few days, but we'll get it all done somehow!  Hopefully very soon, our tree will be surrounded with some brightly wrapped packages!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week 50

Photo Courtesy of Brooke Turner Photography

It's our 2nd anniversary today... more about that later, but here's our menu plan for now...

12.12.11 - Anniversary Dinner Out
12.13.11 - Christmas Dinner with Work friends
12.14.11 - Pork Chops & Sweet potatoes
12.15.11 - Friendsthanksbirthgivingmas dinner with Ladd's & Mooney's - we're bringing S'Mores!
12.16.11 - Sunday School Christmas Party
12.17.11 - Dinner at the BEACH!
12.18.11 - Dinner at the BEACH!

Wow, you can definitely tell it is the holidays!  Trying to savor every single moment between now and the New Year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just watch...

Just watched this video and it was a good solid reminder of everything I'm learning this Christmas Season....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - week 49!

You can tell its the holiday season because we'll share more meals with friends and family than at home in the next few weeks...

12.5.11 - take out
12.6.11 - dinner out after my haircut
12.7.11 - homemade zuppa toscana
12.8.11 - grilling
12.9.11 - dinner with he haywards
12.10.11 - holiday dinner club at the sweetens