Farewell 2010!

This year really kicked my butt. It was a struggle both physically and emotionally. But it wasn't all bad. The addition of little Wentworth to our family, a second year of an incredible marriage to my very best friend, memories made with life long friends, a new job or two, self discovery, finding a place (and people) to share with and much more.

On this day last year I had two seemingly simple goals for the year. The first was to finish the Disney Princess Half Marathon and I will never forget the feeling of crossing that finish line. The amount of time and effort I put into training, dedication like I have never before shown to myself, and the sense of accomplishment was one of the most memorable moments of the year.

The second was to successfully make a baby. Luckily that one came with a roll-over policy and can just continue on to 2011.

My hopes for the new year are simple. A little piece of mind, strength as we continue trying to conceive, and another year of unending love between the hubs and I. This is going to be our year, I just know it. I truly hope this year brings nothing but happiness to all of you!

Goodbye 2010...

A wedding weekend

The weekend before Christmas the hubs and I headed down to Boca Raton for my brother-in-law and his lovely ladies wedding extravaganza. I will let the pictures do most of the talking :)

We stayed with my in-laws at an incredible hotel.
our room

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner at a delicious Brazilian restaurant called Zed451. There was endless amounts of meat ["that's what she said"] and it's possible that I spent a good chunk of the night giving the hubs little cousins piggy back rides around the park across the street, good thing I wore flats.
sis-in-law & me // hubs and his momma

Saturday morning and afternoon was spent playing on the beach and enjoying time with family. It was a very rainy day but we didn't let that stop us.

After playing in the rain for a bit it was time to get everyone ready for the big event. And I must say that everyone looked stunning!
the groom & his momma and the result of a rainy day

And then there was the wedding. It was full of love and happiness. Everything a wedding should be. Also, there was almost a fire thanks to bad candle placement. I think it should be a sign of good luck since a napkin caught on fire during the mine and the hubs first dance :)
glowing bride // internet approved preacher/brother-inlaw

Sunday morning we all gathered again for a huge buffet breakfast complete with live music and champagne. We then had to pack up and head back to reality where we have portioned controlled meat and OJ with our breakfast.

We were so thankful for that time with family and to celebrate not only a new marriage but also the fact that they're expecting a little girl in a few short months. The family is growing and it's such a great thing!

The Gift of Giving

One night in mid November a group of my girlfriends and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to do about a gift exchange for Christmas this year. We threw around ideas about secret santa but agreed that we are all terrible at keeping secrets from each other. white elephant? ornament exchange? cookie baking? There were just so many options.

We each had a couple of beers and continued brainstorming (that my friends is how genius ideas are born). Then someone came up with the best suggestion yet. She suggested we pull together the money we would have spent on gifts for each other and get things for people who need it more than we do. That's when we came up with the idea for our baskets.

There are six of us girls so we split up into two's and each pair picked a hospital. Together we created baskets to be brought to patients/families at each hospital. We had one basket for Arnold Palmer, the local childrens hospital. It was filled with coloring books, a snuggly teddy bear, travel games, cozy blankets, fuzzy socks, and much more. We also had a basket for Winnie Palmer, the mother/baby hospital. This basket was stocked with blankets, bibs, bottles, tons of clothes, towels, nipple shields, and everything else you could imagine a mother with nothing would need for her brand new baby.

The last basket we gave was the one I chose with my partner. This basket was in no way the most fun to assemble but it meant a lot to me. Our basket was for a family in the ICU. We used the same baskets that were once given to my family and I as we hoped and prayed for my dads recovery. We filled the baskets with snacks, blankets, a small pillow, a travel kit with toothbrushes and toothpaste, plenty of tissues, and an inspirational card. I remember how much it meant to my family to receive such necessities. I hope that whoever the basket went to is now home with the loved one they were waiting for that night.
On the night we all got together to deliver our baskets we were all having a crummy day. But it's amazing how giving can turn all of that around. We went out for drinks and cupcakes afterward and all agreed this would become our annual Christmas "party." Although lately I have been thinking, why wait for next Christmas?

This Christmas...

well, it rocked. My mom and brother came over early on Christmas Eve and we baked cookies while my poor hubs worked.
When the hubs got home the cooking began. As well as the eating. Oooooh the eating. I may have mentioned a time or two before that my husband is one heck of a cook but he outdid himself yet again.
After eating came presents. One in particular stood out above the rest :)
We drove around looking at Christmas lights while bundled up in blankets and sipping on hot chocolate with Christmas music blaring on the radio. And then changed into our Christmas jammies that we get every year and watched Christmas Vacation before heading to bed.
Christmas day was filled with presents from Santa, banana pancakes, movie watching, and corn hole (that's a Christmas in Florida). All while remaining in our pj's.
Can you tell who won?

I hope you all had an equally amazing holiday!

Merry Christmas!

We hope you all are enjoying time with family and friends.
Have a very merry Christmas!


Whew. The past week has been a whirl wind. Christmas cheer was spread, parties were had, family was celebrated, and there was a bit of disappointment sprinkled in there as well. There is so much to share about fancy champagne breakfasts and baskets full of love, but not today. I have been running on empty and today I just need to recover. And by recover I mean eat some chocolate, drink some wine, fold laundry and watch Lifetime Christmas movies.

After a pregnancy false alarm that teased my poor fragile heart and some other issues with my body I just need a little break. I will return after Christmas (which is only a few days away. eek!) with lots of stories and pictures to make up for my absence. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday week and a very Merry Christmas!

Just in case...

Dear Santa,

I'm not sure if you remember me or not, it's been a while. But I am the girl who sent you letters with hand drawn pictures next to each item on my list and left a bag of carrot sticks next to your cookies and milk each Christmas Eve for the reindeer. Sorry about all those nights I made you late for your rounds because I kept sneaking out of bed to try and catch a glimpse of you.

Before I get started on my list for the year I feel like I need to give a big thank you for that Sega Gamegear you got me back in the early 90's. It totally rocked. Also you should know that I have gotten over that one Christmas when you didn't bring me a baby seal even though I promised that when he outgrew the bath tub I would convince my parents to get us a swimming pool to his liking. In hindsight I can see how that was smart thinking on your part.

I know you're a busy guy and making a request a week before the big day is pretty rude so I am actually going to put in a request for next Christmas. I thought you might appreciate my advance notice and clever planning. I only want one thing. A baby. A real baby though, not like the ones you used to bring me with arms that only bent at the shoulder and heads that could turn all the way around. Let me clarify, just in case, I do not want a baby whose head spins 360 degrees. I don't have any specific requests, a boy or girl would be fantastic. I would just like him/her to be healthy and I would prefer if they grew in my belly.

Don't forget that they take nine months to grow so you should probably start working your magic right after Christmas so we don't push it too close to next Christmas. You know how I hate to be late.

I also feel the need to mention that I would like my hubs to be the father. This is not a request for a sperm donation or for you to in any way father my future child. Just a little magic dust would suffice.


Holidays = Baking

Whether it's for a friends Christmas party, a cookie exchange at work, or a lovely little gift for the neighbors. Cookies are everywhere around the holidays. Sure, there are a ton of cutely decorated ones at the grocery store you could pick up on your way but if you really want to impress, homemade is the way to go (or at least partially homemade).

So far I have made two batches of homemade goodies and have plans for more on Christmas Eve. I wanted to share these super easy and delicious recipes. One is an oldie but goodie and the other is something new and very scrumptious!

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
48 chocolate kisses

Directions: Heat oven to 375 and remove wrappers from kisses. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until blended. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking soda and salt; then gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar, place on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Immediately press a kiss into the center of each cookie. Remove from sheet and onto wire rack to cool. Then stuff in your face and enjoy :)

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (this is where the whole partially made part comes in)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp mint extract
6-8 drops of green food coloring
1 egg
1 cup creme de menthe (I made it without this because they didn't have any at Target)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Directions: Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food coloring and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks. Drop teaspoon size chunks of dough 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool 3 minutes and then move to wire rack and serve warm. So yummy! They were a crowd favorite at work! Also, the dough looks like mint chocolate chip ice cream!

Goodness, I just love a reason to bake! I just have one request. Whatever you do, do not, I repeat do NOT let your husband bake. Or this might happen...
That? Oh that is supposed to be brownies. As in, made from a box brownies. We tried to eat them. We even cut pieces out of the center thinking that maybe it would be magically better than the corner. But it wasn't. Poor guy, he really tried. He must have left out an ingredient because... well you see what happened. A brick. And no the hubs didn't shank the "brownies" before dumping them in the trash, he just likes to pose with knives.

What are some of your favorites holiday cookies?

Steppin' Out Saturday 12.11.10

sweater: American Eagle circa 2006
tank: American Eagle
jeans: Aerie skinny
boots: Kohls
purse: Nine West
source of energy: Dunkin Donuts iced caramel coffee

Did I mention I worked at American Eagle for a few years and currently do floorsets for Aerie? You probably couldn't guess, it's not like I wear a lot of their clothes or anything.

We finished ALL of our Christmas shopping today! It feels so nice to be done. All of our presents are neatly wrapped and waiting under our tree to be passed out to friends and family. Call me crazy but I absolutely love wrapping presents. Bows, ribbons, name tags, coordinating wrapping paper, and way too much tape. The finished product is so pretty that I cringe a little when it finally gets ripped open. But that's the whole point right?

Have you finished your shopping yet? Are you someone that puts it off to the very last second or one of those crazy people that were done in August?

Voice Memo

**warning: there is a good amount of mushy-ness in this post. to avoid puking, don't stare directly at the screen**

A couple of weeks ago I was having a bad day. Nothing serious, just a bunch of little things. I was at work, on my break and felt on the verge of tears (I totally blame those hormones in the lovely drugs I'm taking... that's my story and I'm sticking to it). That's no good. You can't cry at work, especially when you're still the new girl. So I called the hubs and he calmed me down, made me laugh, and sent me back to work with a huge grin on my face.

When I got home that day I told him that as silly as it sounds, just hearing his voice makes me feel better on days like that. I start to realize how insignificant the thing I'm getting upset over is and suddenly remember that I'm pumping hormones into my body that make me all sensitive (which must be why I'm upset over this in the first place). And instead of responding to my statement (which was pretty darn sweet in my opinion) he walks right past me. Hmph. Well, that's not exactly the response I thought he was going to have.

Then I realize that he was walking towards my phone. I thought he was changing his number in there to direct me to some help hotline instead of his work number. But then he starts talking and I realized he was recording voice memos on my phone. They were completely silly and filled with inside jokes and I love you's. I just stared at him. He said, "Just in case I don't get to the phone in time."

Damn. I've got a good one here folks.

Today, I started to get upset over nothing again (maybe I do need that hotlines number after all?) and couldn't get through to him at work (how dare he work hard for the money). So I just played one of those voice memos and instantly started laughing.

Now if only I could get him to record a "I'm sorry honey. You're right and I was wrong. I worship the ground you walk on." THEN the world would be a perfect place.

A Christmas Card Story

This is the Christmas card we sent out this year.
I really like it but it's not exactly what I envisioned when setting up this little scene. That's what I get though for trying to work with these wild animals.

The vision was to have them sneaking "cookies" (remember those dog treats I made?) off of the plate. And sneak cookies off the plate they did. Just not at the same time. Or when the camera was ready. Here are a few outtakes:
Those uncooperative little boogers. Why do they have to be so darn cute?

Boomer took the sneaking part a little too seriously and would snatch one off the plate and then make a run for it. Then of course, little Wentworth would run after him because he doesn't care about the plateful of cookies in front of him. Nope, he only wants the one that Boomer has in his mouth. The hubs and I were laughing the whole time. Not just at how silly our pups are but also at how silly I am. Did I really think they would do exactly as I planned?

Did you take a Christmas card photo this year? If so I want to see it! I love seeing everyones festive family photos :)

A little Christmas cheer

Today was one of those days. You know, the ones that end in a fat lip and require a large glass of wine in order to recover from. Yeah. So instead of complaining about my day and getting myself all worked up again I am going to spread some of the Christmas spirit. Better right?

In case you were curious, no those aren't magical Christmas lights shinning on our house to make it look bright green. Our house actually is bright green. Like crayola crayon green. Like a shamrock. At least it's festive right?

Christmas decorations make me smile. And that is a much better way to end my day as opposed to a whine-fest.

Steppin' Out Saturday 12.4.10

Last night was the Christmas party for the hubs work. This is the first company party we have attended since the hubs has been at his current job and it was a lot of fun! Ok, I admit that maybe I was initially super excited because I had an excuse to buy a new dress but still. The party was held at the new Amway Center (you know, where the Magic kick some butt). There were cocktails, sparkly dresses, yummy pastas, men with Christmas-y ties, and a large display of desserts and coffee (aka the way to my heart).
dress & adorable flats: Francesca's Collections
scarf: NY & Co.
wristlet: Forever 21

I feel like I need a disclaimer on this look a little bit. The hair and face look a bit disheveled because I just finished a twelve hour shift at the hospital and definitely got ready in the bathroom of our break room under terrible lighting. But don't those shoes make it all ok? I wish you could see them better because I am pretty sure they are the cutest flats ever seen.

This little ensemble will be reappearing in a few short weeks for my brother-in-laws wedding :)

Goodness. The hubs is too handsome for words. I am one lucky lady.

These pictures were taken on the terrace over looking downtown Orlando. Such a pretty view, they did such a great job with the new arena. Also, if you are reading this from somewhere cold, possibly with snow on the ground, please try not to hate me too much right now. If it helps, I am totally jealous of your snow.... sometimes.

Five Question Friday 12.3.10

1. What's on the top of your holiday list and why?!

Right now I am in desperate need of some new make-up. I have never been a big spender when it comes to make-up and it shows. I would love some good quality stuff. Maybe that's a strange thing to be at the top of my list but I wont buy it for myself so I'm hoping someone else will. ::cough, cough hubs::

2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?

I don't know that I have one favorite that really sticks out. So instead I will tell you about the first Christmas gifts I got from the hubs.

Beauty & the Beast on DVD and a Jim Edmonds bobble head statue. Most girls may want jewelry and expensive bags but those gifts were just perfect for me. We had only been dating a few short weeks and he already knew me so well :)

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?

Haha still working on that one. I'll get back to you once I figure it out myself.

4. When do you put up your tree?

As soon as possible. I was ready after Halloween this year but the hubs talked me into waiting until Thanksgiving passed. I respected the turkey but two days later the Christmas decorations took over the house.

5. What is your favorite Holiday?

Honestly, I love all holidays. Halloween and Christmas being the top two but really they all have something different to love about them. Being able to act like a kid again on both Christmas and Halloween, family gathering over amazing food that has been slaved over all day for Thanksgiving, the decorations, fireworks and bbq's on the fourth, festive clothes & dishes. I could go on all day.

Have a great weekend everyone!

O Christmas Tree

Our tree is up, the house smells of pepperminty goodness, our stockings are hung, and tomorrow morning we are expecting a cold front. Perfection.
Last year we were given this tree by a friend of my momma's and this is the first time we were able to set it up. I love it! It can't compare to a real tree but it does have many charming attributes: it was free, it doesn't need to be watered, it's tall and full, and it's ours.
We saw these lovely pup ornaments at Target and couldn't resist getting one to represent each of our little beasts. And we will make our annual trip to Downtown Disney soon to pick out our ornament for the year (a tradition we started for our first tree together).

To show how far we have come (tree wise) take a look back at our Christmas trees the past two years (because I can't find a picture of our first tree):
2008: The year before this (aka the picture that disappeared) we only had the construction paper chain, snowflakes, and "star". All handmade of course, I know it's hard to tell. But in '08 we added lights ("ooo") and three real ornaments ("ahhhh"). We also threw a pillow case halfway over the base of the tree. You know, to keep it classy.

2009: An actual star! And it lights up too! We are moving up in the world as you can see. A tree skirt was also purchased along with more ornaments. The paper decorations didn't make the move from our tiny apartment into our new house but I did save a few :)

Now we have a tree that fits our house and looks pretty great in my opinion. Stay tuned for more Christmas-y fun to come!

Steppin' Out Saturday 11.27.10

Our Saturday was spent decorating the house and annoying our neighbors with the blaring of our Christmas music. I just love this time of year.

top: American Eagle
jeans: Old Navy
shoes: Kohls

More pictures of the Christmas decor to come but for now I leave you with an adorable picture of my little reindeer and my new bangs (which I don't know if I like yet).

Giving Thanks w/ the in-laws

I don't have any horrifically hilarious in-law stories for you. No casseroles caught on fire, there was no hair pulling or tears, the pups refrained from chowing down on the turkey, and everyone got along. Sorry to disappoint but my in-laws pretty much rock.

Instead we enjoyed some quality time with the hubs parents. We played with ate stone crab legs and saw my pregnant, soon to be sister in-law for the first time since she has had an adorable baby bump.
Mojitos were made by the pitcher. Food was consumed in large quantities. I watched the hubs shuck (is it shuck? or maybe chuck? no that can't be it...) oysters with his dad, which was quite a sight to see! Those little boogers are not as easy to get into as they make it look on tv.
The food was delicious, the company was lovely, the weather was beautiful, and the whole day was great. I hope you all had as happy a Thanksgiving as we did :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Two years ago today I lost my daddy. And I found out I was pregnant. Let's just say that November 25th is a date that I will never forget. This year Thanksgiving is happening simultaneously with a day that brings so many emotions for me. There isn't a day in the year that I need to be reminded even more that I have many things to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for:
- twenty-two years with an amazing father
- two pups that drive me crazy and keep me sane all at the same time
- a family that loves me
- friends who support me
- a yummy cup of coffee
- having a job
- lazy sundays
- a husband that rocks my socks
- wearing pj's until sunset
- chocolate & dr. pepper (especially together)
- all of you. your kind words, well wishes, and prayers
- a thanksgiving feast
- a good book
- cool weather and warm sweaters
- the strength to see the good in situations
- the faith to know everything will work out the way it's supposed to. eventually

Honestly there are so many things I am thankful for that I could fill the pages of a novel if given the chance. So I will just stop myself there before I get carried away. The point is, I am thankful. Very thankful.

Wordless Wednesday (at the in-laws)

Mojitos made by my father in-law. Starting the holiday off right :)
Did I mention I my in-laws are awesome?


Last night, I went to see the newest Harry Potter movie!!

(Don't give me that look guys!)

My bestie and I worked all day (did I mention I work with my bestie now?) and then went straight to the theater two whole days after its opening. We usually see the midnight showing so this was a long time to wait for a couple of nerds like us.

It was really good! The only semi-complaint I have is that it ended abruptly. But I knew it would because, duh, it's cutting off in the middle of the book. Now I can't wait for my next HP installment. Maybe another trip to Harry Potter World is in order?
And now I must go to sleep, I have been up past my regularly scheduled bedtime too many times this week!

ps- i like twilight too. and no i'm not actually thirteen.


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