Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Recap

I can't believe this year is over! It's been a year of new beginnings for us, and it's great to look back and see how far we have come.

January, February, March:

I started my new job! (Ok, well technically my first day was December 30th, but close enough) I had signed up with a temp agency in December and they needed someone to fill in last minute the Monday after Christmas. I jumped on it and I'm so glad I did! I love my job, it's seriously a wonderful place to work and I feel so blessed to have it!

In February I started on my fitness journey. A friend of mine had been posting a lot on Facebook about her progress with Beachbody programs and I was amazed at her transformation! After a stressful couple of years I had let my weight creep up and I just didn't feel good. It was time for a change. So I started the 21 Day Fix with her and a group of ladies on Facebook. It was hard at first, changing pretty much everything about my diet and exercise, but then I started to see results and I was hooked!

We also took a trip to St. Augustine and went to the Lighthouse for the first time:

April, May, June:
In April my brother got married! And we got to do the cake for them, which was so much fun! 

We also took a trip to St. Simons, where we got married 8 years ago (wow, we're old!): 

In May we took a trip to Fernandina Beach: 

And in June I turned 31! 

We also took a trip to Tulsa and got to see Adam's family, including our darling niece and nephew!

July, August, September: 

In July we celebrated the 4th with friends: 

And we celebrated Adam's half birthday (because having a December birthday kinda stinks, no one is in town or available for birthday parties):

In August I started this blog

And we celebrated our 8th Anniversary at this beautiful place: 

September was the start of another, um, interesting season of Florida Gators football.

And we took our trip to Disney

October, November, December: 
(Almost done! Believe me, I'm as relieved as you are. This post is A BEAST)

In October we made cakes, watched football, dressed a dog as a pumpkin, played Dorothy, spent a weekend solo (but with my friends Ben and Jerry), went to the fair, and went to the beach (because why not the beach in October?) 

November was Thanksgiving (Thank you Captain Obvious) for two and finally getting pictures for our Christmas card taken: 

And last but not least, December was a flurry of Christmas parties, food, the Nutcracker, baking, family, and fun (Wahhh, I don't want it to be over)!

Wow, when I look at it all together like that, I feel so grateful for such a wonderful, fun-filled year! And a little tired...but mostly grateful! 

I'm really excited for the new year, I have some goals in mind (of course), some things I want to continue from 2014 and some things I want to start in 2015 (but more on that tomorrow). But right now it's good to look back on a year full of fun and blessings. Cheers to 2014! 

And if you actually made it through all that, seriously, thank you. Because I almost didn't make it through myself. 

Linking up with Bella and Lisa! 

Bella And The City

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Recap

Ok, I'm really going to try to control my picture posting with this one, because this could easily get ridiculous. Plus a good percentage of my pictures are of my dogs in pajamas and opening their Christmas presents. I think I'm officially a crazy dog lady.

Christmas Eve I got off at noon so I went by the store on the way home to grab one more gift and met Adam at our favorite burger spot for lunch. Then I went by Target to get groceries for the next day. That evening we watched A Christmas Carol, ordered pizza, and wrapped each other's presents. I also dressed the pups up in their Christmas PJ's and took too many pictures of them.

Our stockings :: Our new ornaments :: Our "fireplace" (on TV)

Christmas morning we got up and cooked a big breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, and sausage. 

Then it was time for presents! My sweetie did good! Here's a few of my goodies: 

New tote bag for work and gorgeous jewelry! 

We let our babies open their presents: 

My brother and SIL came over and we had a great time with them! 

Friday I had to go back to work, but at least it was really quiet and slow! I did a lot of reading that day. That evening we went to dinner with my BFF and her family. Saturday and Sunday I stayed home and did a lot of relaxing, cleaning and straightening the house, and reading. I also worked on pictures for my Influenster blog post, coming soon! 

I did go to Kohl's on Sunday and got a really good deal on a new black purse and change purse! Since my old black purse was literally falling apart I had to throw it away the other day. I found this one on clearance and I had a $10 off coupon! Love deals like that. 

Monday is a rude awakening but I'm SO happy for another day and half off this week! How was your Christmas? 

P.S. One more picture of Hurley in his Christmas sweater. I had to. 

Linking up! 

B ~ Loved Boston
Showered With Design

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you have a truly wonderful Christmas with lots of family, food, laughter, and fun! I will be taking a break from blogging for the next few days to soak in all of the Christmas awesomeness, but I will see you all on Monday! In the meantime, I wanted to simply leave you with the words of one of my favorite Christmas songs, and it seems especially fitting on Christmas Eve, as I reflect on the One sent to this world as a light in darkness, a peace in chaos, and a Savior in desperation. May this season bring you His peace and true joy.

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking

How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting

Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger

How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home

Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven's silence

Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us

Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy

Perfect Son of God

Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world

Love the Here and Now

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Card Swap!

Isn't snail mail the greatest?? Well, as long as it's not bills or "Guess what, it's time to pay registration on your car tags again, yay!"

FUN snail mail seems to be a dying art. I guess that's why getting Christmas cards in the mail each year still makes me giddy, and why even though it can be a lot to get done, I try to send cards out from us each year. Plus you get to make your guy dress up (ish) and take the cute couple picture, and he can't complain (much...)

When The Sequin Notebook announced their Holiday Card Swap I was so excited to send and receive a card from a new blogging friend! Kind of like a "pen pal"! I was paired up with Karen of Run Wright and I was so excited to read her blog and get to know her better! She sent me the CUTEST card, just look at it: 

Look at the widdle people, and their scarves, and their presents, and the widdle santa hat! Squee! Ahem, ok, sorry. Seriously though, isn't it great? I love it!

And what I love the most is that I met a new friend and I am so excited to continue to read her blog in the coming year and get to know her! 

Then I opened the card from the lovely ladies at The Sequin Notebook, and OMG at the pretty and the sparkles and the fun! 

Head over to their blog for the link-up and to get a much better look at the card and the photo shoot! So girly and fun, now I want to do a photo shoot with my BFF! 

So I think I really want to bring snail mail back (Kind of like bringing sexy back, only not). I'd really like to make one of my New Year's Resolutions to send more snail mail. Even if it's only one card a month, each to a different friend. Wouldn't it be fun to get a cute little note in the mail, just because? Or even a box of goodies or girly things, like nail polish, cute headbands, or some pretty pens? I think that would certainly brighten my day, so I'd like to be more intentional about that and make sure I am letting people know that I'm thinking about them, and that I care. 

Thanks so much to the gals at The Sequin Notebook for hosting the card swap, I had so much fun participating and I can't wait for the next swap! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekend Recap: The one with all the Christmas and the baking

Happy Monday all! I am SO excited to get one and a half days off this week! Counting down to Wednesday at noon! 

Before I get into my weekend I must say Happiest of Birthdays to my sweet guy, Adam! He means the world to me, and he really is the best guy a girl could ask for! Love you sweetie!!

This weekend was fun and relaxing, and probably felt the most "Christmasy" to me so far this season.  We went to the Nutcracker, I finished up my shopping for Adam and some friends, drank waaay to much peppermint coffee, did some baking for the neighbors and my coworkers, went to the Christmas service at church, and made up for all the Christmas movies I hadn't watched yet.

Friday night was the Nutcracker with my best friend and her family. It was downtown, which is always loads of fun to navigate with all of those awesome one way streets and all. The ballet was beautiful and it was so neat to watch it because I used to dance as a kid, it brought back so many memories! It made me want to take a class again. But me in those tights and leotards now is a scary thought...

Me and Adam with my BFF's parents, we've known each other forever so they're like family! 
My BFF, her husband, and daughter (don't mind his wide open eyes, the flash was really bright!)

Saturday I spent most of the day finishing up the shopping for Adam. (I am so excited to give him his presents!) Then I went home and started some baking:

It was also an awesome mail day in which I received Christmas cards from the card swap I participated in, (more on that tomorrow) and my Influenster Frosty VoxBox (more on that later)!

Sunday I slept in for the first time in weeks, it was fabulous! We had a relaxing day at home and I finished up my baking (Ok, more like mixing, heating and microwaving, although you do bake the pretzels):

P.S. For the Buckeyes the only thing I do different than that recipe is that I add paraffin wax to the chocolate so it hardens to a shell and you don't have to keep them refrigerated. 

Sunday evening was church, such an awesome message and service! We normally go to church on Thursday nights, (our church has multiple services but they are the same message so you can go to the one that works best for you) but weren't able to go Thursday. I really enjoyed this service, it's much smaller than Thursday night's which I really enjoyed.

The only downside to this weekend is that I have done something to my back and it hates me, so it's been so painful all weekend and every time I climb out of bed or get up from the couch I groan like a 90 year old woman, which let me tell you, is SUPER attractive. I think I'm going to have to find time somewhere to get to the chiropractor, because it is NOT getting better. I'm getting old people!

Well, that was wordy! Thanks for reading all of that babbling! How was your weekend?

Bella And The City
B ~ Loved Boston

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Favorites: Christmas Movie Edition

Are you sick of my Christmas posts yet? I feel like I have a limited time to get them all in so I'm throwing it all out there! Today I thought I would share my all time favorite Christmas movies! I have SO many favorites and it was hard to narrow them down, but if I had to choose 5 favorites, it would be these:

1. A Christmas Carol (1951) and Muppet Christmas Carol

I know I'm already cheating, including two in one, but these are tied for first! They are my all time favorite versions of the Christmas Carol because they were my dad's favorite and we loved watching them together! 

2. Elf

I mean who doesn't love this movie?? It's an instant classic, it's hilarious, and there's a character named Mr. Narwhal. I rest my case. 

3. Christmas in Connecticut

This movie. So much awesome. I feel like this one may not be as well known as some of the other old  Christmas movies, but it's so funny and well written! If you haven't seen it, you must! 

4. The Santa Clause

They're all cute, but the first one is my favorite! We have this on VHS. Yes, those black rectangular things you used to have to rewind. Some day maybe we will buy a copy on DVD. Or even Blu ray! Baby steps, baby steps. 

5. Rankin Bass Christmas Classics

Ok, I'm kind of cheating again on this one, but I love them all! It's just not Christmas until we've watched these! 

Honorable mentions are White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Jingle All The Way, Miracle on 34th Street, and I KNOW I'm forgetting some. I just pretty much love all Christmas movies. 

What are your favorite Christmas movies?