Friday, December 30, 2011

Tis the Season!

Tomorrow is the last day of 2011.  Um, whoa.  When did that happen?

Anyway, we had a great Christmas.  Lots of parties, lots of family & friends, lots of food comas, and lots of running around.  On the 23rd, Brett and I hosted a family Christmas party at our new house for my side of the family.  We jam-packed about 20 people into our house to celebrate the holiday.  I'd say it was a success!  We were so busy entertaining that I forgot to take any photos.  Except for this one...


That's the veggie Christmas wreath I made!  I'm very proud of it... I felt very 'Martha Stewart'.

On Christmas Eve, we spent the day hanging out at my parent's house.  We played games, had a great dinner, and relaxed.  Oh, we also put together about 50 luminary candle bags for the front of their house.  Pretty outcome!


When we got home that night, Brett and I exchanged our gifts!  We always exchange gifts with each other on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas day because we have too many people to see and too many places to go on actual Christmas day.  Exchanging on Christmas Eve lets us relax and spend some time alone together.  We went easy on the gift giving for each other this year since we just bought our house (along with a brand new washer/dryer and dishwasher...).  Here's Brett's gifts all wrapped up by the tree!

    
The meaning behind all the "this" tags is because there was a common theme for all his gifts.  I got him a bunch of mountain biking accessories like biking socks and sweatbands and also a bottle of Stone Brewery's Arrogant Bastard beer.  And then the big box was a Stone Brewery mountain biking jersey that he had been eying up when we went to the brewery in California in September.  See the connection??  I know, I'm clever.  If there's two things my husband loves (besides ME of course!), it's beer and mountain biking.  So I think he enjoyed these gifts.  Right, BABE?!

We also watched "Elf" on Christmas Eve after exchanging gifts.  But we only made it about 15 minutes into the movie before we both passed out on the couch...


Christmas morning was spent at my parent's house with my parents and siblings (and Riley).  I always love how my Mom decorates their house.  It's so Christmasy!  The stockings have been growing in number over the last couple years... and I like it that way!


We got Lee & Jess headlamps for Christmas and they LOVE them!  And Yes, their dog Riley is wearing his Christmas sweater.

After spending Christmas morning with my family, we headed up to Erie to spend some time with Brett's family.  With two little nephews in the mix, it makes Christmas time and opening gifts so much more fun.  Everything excites them.  I didn't take many photos while there, but I snap these two of little Andrew.  Is he not the cutest thing ever?!

  
Cue heart melting... NOW.  I love this picture of Brett and Andrew.  So cute!  We stayed in Erie until Tuesday, then headed back to Pittsburgh because I had to work Wednesday through Friday... Boooo.  We also got to see Alan (Brett's Best Man from our wedding) for a brief couple hours Tuesday night when we got home, which was a pleasant surprise.  

And this is what's getting me through these couple days of work (while it seems like everyone else has the whole week off!)...


Tomorrow we are heading down to Lee & Jess's to spend New Years Eve at a huge party downtown in DC with Third Eye Blind and 5,000 of my closest friends!  I can't wait!!  Recap to follow...

Happy New Year!!*

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!
Relax, have fun, & enjoy it!*


{Photo by Brett - 2008}

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's the Holiday Season


Guess what!  Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of the start of this little ol' blog.  I can't believe that I've been blogging for 2 years.  I love it.  Though, I will admit that I've been a pretty bad blogger lately.  Life is pretty crazy.  I barely have time to eat, let alone blog these days.  The combination of buying a new house, starting a new job, and partaking in everything that has to do with the holidays has left me with very little free time.  Luckily, all these things consuming my days are fun things. :)

In the mist of all the craziness, this past Saturday we went to a wedding to celebrate the marriage of our two good friends from college, Anna and Max.  What a FUN wedding.  We got to see a ton of college friends that we haven't seen in years and it was a blast.  We realized that we really need to make a point to get together with these people more often.

Other than that, we are just trying to finish up our Christmas shopping and finalize our plans for the holiday weekend.  Oh, and making sure I spend as much time as possible staring at this beautiful Christmas tree.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Tree Adventure 2011

We found it!  We found it!
The perfect Christmas tree.
Here's a little video documenting our adventure...

 

Now it's really Christmas time!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Christmas Tree Day!


It is officially the Christmas season and life is sweet!

...the Christmas decorations are out on display...
...the only music being listened to is Christmas music...
...cinnamon is being added to my coffee every morning...
...gold sparkle nail polish is all that's being worn...
...the smell of cinnamon pine cones is filling the house...
...annnnd...

...we are going to get our Christmas tree today!!

Here's to hoping we find the perfect one.
Happy weekend, everyone!*

(PS - Be sure to check out last year's Christmas tree adventure!)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Memory of the Moment

So... every once in a while, a random memory will pop into my head completely out of nowhere.  It's usually a really specific memory of being in a certain place, at a certain time, doing or saying certain things.  Does this happen to anyone else?  Am I talking complete gibberish?

Annnnyway, these little random memories are usually very happy ones and bring a smile to my face.  So I thought I might start sharing them on the blog... just whenever a random happy memory pops into my mind.  A lot of times, I have photos relating to those little memories too.  So I'll probably post a photo or two, accompanying my little trip down memory lane.  So here we go:

*******

Happy Memory of the Moment


September 2011.  Brett and I.  Sitting at the LAX airport at 5am, waiting for our flight home to Pittsburgh.  Starbucks coffee.  Cinnamon coffee cake for me and blueberry muffin for Brett.  We were reminiscing about the wonderful vacation we just had in Southern California.  We were dreaming about the future and our potential entrepreneurial ideas.  We were talking of our plans to make an offer on the house that we now own (!!).  And all the while, I was thinking about how happy I was to be sitting across from my best friend and knowing that everything we go through, we get to go through together.  It was a quiet and content morning and all was right with the world.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lately...

Lately my life has been consumed by 'new homeowner tasks'... hence my random & sporadic absences from the blogging world.  Ever since we officially got the keys to our new house, we have been going & going nonstop.  Packing and cleaning and moving and unpacking and organizing.  And then all the random home projects.  Installing overhead lights, painting kitchen cabinets, making & putting up shelves, breaking down a billion empty boxes so we can throw them out, and the list goes on and on.  All this while still managing to fit in normal things like working, eating, and sleeping.  It's a little overwhelming, but we are having fun with it!  It's such an exciting time!

So since I don't have time to blog everyday,
here is my photo attempt at filling you in on my life recently...


Row 1:
Packing fuel in the form of cinnamon rolls
Moving out of this old house & into our very own home!
A lovely bag my Mom got me last Christmas that I just found
Obsessing over Panera's adorable holiday coffee cups

Row 2:
Eating dinner on the floor of our new empty house on the night we got the keys
Fudge covered ice cream cones for dessert
Pretty morning sunrises
Loving this gold nail polish for the holiday season

Row 3:
Our new kitchen island that we are obsessed with
Indulging in the usual: pizza & beer at Market District
Drinking my first peppermint mocha of the season
Our first home cooked meal in our new kitchen
(and eating it on the island since we have no light in the dining room yet)

Row 4:
My cutesy little nephews on Thanksgiving in Erie
Organizing all of my Toms Shoes in our new house
Cooking dinner at 11pm because we have no other time to
And last but not least, cooking dinner by headlamp...
because Brett was installing a light & had to shut off the power - awesome

So that about sums up my life lately...
Random, but I'm enjoying it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Isn't this photo the best?  Love it.
I hope you all are spending the long holiday weekend with your families
and taking a moment to stop and think of all the things you are thankful for.
I know I am.

And I must say...
life is good, really good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Boxes & Boxes & More Boxes

{This is our old house on moving day}
{Hopefully photos of our new house coming soon!}

All of our stuff is officially in our new house!  And I officially have no time for anything other than.... work, unpacking, organizing, and sleeping (just a little bit).  If I disappear, chances are I am buried beneath five bazillion boxes.  Chances are good.  

If I do manage to escape the boxes, Brett and I will be heading to Erie on Wednesday night to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Hehers & run in the 10K Turkey Trot race Thanksgiving morning!  I've been running my little heart out lately, so hopefully I do well.  I'm just praying it's not raining/snowing/freezing on race morning.  Here's to hoping.  Then, it's back to Pittsburgh to celebrate Thanksgiving again on Saturday with my side of the family.  Yes, Brett and I eat TWO Thanksgiving dinners every year... hence the running.

Anyone else celebrate the holidays multiple times with different families?
Or are we the only crazy ones?!

Friday, November 18, 2011

We are officially HOMEOWNERS!


It's official, we are HOMEOWNERS!!

On Monday night, we had our closing and got the keys!
We raced over to our new spankin' house,
popped champagne, and drank it on the empty kitchen floor
while smiling at each other with the biggest, cheesiest grins.
It was a moment I will never forget. :)

...
Now, comes the actual moving part...
 here we go!

(Sorry for the bad quality iPhone photo...)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hazelnut Coffee & Christmas Music (Shh!)




Shh, don't tell Brett...*
but I started listening to Christmas music in my car this morning!!

It was so chilly outside...
I went to Panera and got a hazelnut coffee,
then got back in my car,
and just couldn't control myself...
I mean, the coffee cup was basically telling me to!
I put on a Pandora Christmas station
and cruised down the road,
sipping my warm coffee and humming along.
It was a woooonderful drive to work :)
 
(*Brett claims that it is illegal to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. PSHH!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Ju!!


Happy Birthday to my bestest friend, Ju!!

I am so lucky to be able to call my best friend also my sister-in-law.
Ju, I hope you are having a PERFECT day!!

Can't wait to see you over Thanksgiving!!
:)



(Photo - Jess & I on my wedding day - Ju (Jess) was my Maid of Honor)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Updates


So it's been a little quite 'round these parts lately.  I haven't had much time to blog, but for good reason!  Actually for a couple good reasons...

1.  I got a new job!  I left my previous position of 2 1/2 years as an Accountant at the University of Pittsburgh and took a new similar job as an Accountant with UPMC.  I still do similar things and work with a lot of the same offices since Pitt and UPMC work together, I'm just in a new department.  I was feeling uninspired with my old position and decided that some change would be good, so I started applying to other positions.  Within about a month, I was being offered a new position with a nice salary increase and an office with windows!  Windows excite me.  It's the little things, people...  I've now been at my new position for a little over 2 weeks.  So far, so good!  

2.  We're buying a house!  Yes, yes, yes.  You may recall long ago, when I mentioned that Brett and I were starting to look into the house buying process.  Well, after looking for over a year, we finally found a house we adore!  Yes, we were very picky.  It's a 2 story home with 4 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths.  It's in a great area, on a cute little dead-end street.  We are scheduled to close Mid-November (so close!) and seriously cannot wait.  We’ve been renting for the past 5 years, so this will be our very first purchased home and we’re so excited to make it our own.  And we’ll be all moved in for just in time for the Christmas season.  Ahh, I can't wait.

So now you understand what has been stealing all of my blogging time!  Some pretty big (but AWESOME) life changes.  Things are falling nicely into place.  Slowly but surely I will be getting back into my blogging routine.  But please bare with me until then!  I can't wait to be blogging from our very own HOME! :)

Life is good.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Adventure is out there!"

I can't believe it's already been over a month since our Southern California vacation.  I was looking through my drafts of posts and realized I never finished blogging about it.  We had such a great little getaway and we're already dreaming about our next adventure.  But until then, some more California vacation photos will have to do... :)

 First day in California - Stopped at the Bruery for some tastings.

San Clemente is a great surf spot.
Brett surfed every day, all day.
And for being from Pennsylvania, he was damn good!

 I attempted surfing once...
but mostly just relaxed on the beach and took a billion pictures :)

 We are beer geeks (Brett made me that way).
So we made sure to go to Stone Brewery...
which was AWESOME (separate blog post coming for this place!)

Spent a looooot of time hanging out at the beach.
No plans, no worries, no work = heaven

 We stayed in the cutest little beach rental.
It had a grill & full kitchen, which we definitely took advantage of.

 Walking down to the pier...
San Clemente at night is beautiful.

View from out on the pier in the ocean.

 There was froyo...ohhh, there was froyo!

San Clemente... gorgeous when the sun comes out!

 One of my favorite days.
Exploring the coast of California...

 Overlook in Dana Point

We packed a little picnic and ate it right here.
We had the place to ourselves :)


 California is beautiful.

 I love him :)

 Strolling along the pier in San Clemente before dinner

 Happy hour on the pier in San Clemente!
Watching the sunset and all the surfers below us.

 Bagels & coffee from the Bagel Shack.
I still dream about this bagel, YUM.

 Headed into the desert and mountains for some exploring...
and I found Bigfoot!!

 Amazing views...

And sooo windy!

 :)

What a skyline...

 The desert was beautiful...
but so so hot.

Moments before Brett got completely attacked by a cactus...

 I am not a red meat kind of person...
but I'm pretty sure we ate In & Out burgers at least 3 times on this vacation
and they were DELICIOUS.

 Biking along the beach in Santa Monica on our last day of vacation.

 I like him a lot :)

 Oh, hiiii!

 Gorgeous sunset on the last day of vacation.

Studly husband :)

Bye bye California.
You were fun, as always!

Ahh, putting this post together makes me miss this trip so much.  One of my favorite things in the entire world is traveling and going on adventures with Brett.  Being able to explore and discover this big world together makes me so giddy.  I think no matter, throughout our lives together, we will always find ways and make time to travel.  And of course, we're already dreaming of our next exploration...

"Adventure is out there!"