Our Favorite Parts of 2012!

Monday, December 31, 2012
  • We both graduated from Virginia Tech (he in May and she in December) 
  • He started a great job 
  • Celebrated 1 year together  (best year of our lives!)
  • Family moved closer (from TX to NC)
  • Announcements of three new family additions (3 nephews!)
  • We discovered The Alamo in TX and VA 
  • Had our first big-city adventure in Charlotte 
  • Flew together for the first time (amazing trip to TX)
  • Camping trips at the beach and in the mountains 
  • We both turned 22 
  • Moved to Maryland
  • Pete's beard grew in fully (no patches!)
  • Started planning our wedding 
  • Our families met each other 
  • Fell in love with Monopoly (which was short lived)
  • Made wonderful friends 
  • Survived 6 months of long distance (yay it's over!)
  • Spent our 1st Thanksgiving and Christmas together 
Most importantly we furthered our walk with God, spent ample time with family, and dreamt new hopes for our future! Happy New Year!!!!

Maryland Here We Come

Sunday, December 30, 2012
Moving day! Yes, today we packed up everything and fit it into a 17 foot U-Haul like a giant puzzle. It was freezing (29 degrees kind of freezing), but we got all the furniture and boxes tucked away for the journey to Maryland (thanks to my mom & dad for their help). And by 9 tonight we finally arrived to wait out the next twelve hours until we get the keys to our apartment.

As excited as I am, a new rush of emotion has suddenly caught up with me. It's the same sentimental emotion that I have been warding off since the week of graduation. My life is changing (in the most wonderful of ways), but nonetheless it is changing. And it chokes me up, but not because I'm not happy. Because it all happened so fast, because I am moving farther from home than I have ever been, because God blessed me so much to give me the amazing life that I have. Had you asked me five years ago where I thought I would be today, I wouldn't have described a life in a small town in Maryland where I was going to begin my career as a freelance writer as an engaged woman to the most amazing man. No, in fact it would not have been anywhere close to that. I'm glad life didn't turn out the way I thought it would those years ago, because I couldn't have planned my future any more perfectly than it is now. Of course this wasn't what I envisioned, but God knew exactly where I needed to be and what I needed to be doing. And here I am, happier than I have ever been.

Really, who moves without eating pizza...

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your long hair

Saturday, December 29, 2012
Today was a birthday celebration for a very special 3-year-old (our niece)!
She partied in style, Rapunzel style.
There was time for dress-up (Uncle Pete included).
There was time for dancing (Uncle Pete definitely included).
There was sweet baby time too.
Decorations abound, an awesome cake, 
some painting, hair decorating, and wish lanterns.
Today was perfect.

Busy Bees

Friday, December 28, 2012
The last two days have been filled with activities and to-dos. It sounds daunting, but it was actually fun. So fun in fact that our progress looks like some new apartment odds and ends, an air canon (for an annual fruitcake fling), a clean car that is ready to make the trek to Maryland, and a packed bedroom full of boxes. I know this doesn't necessarily sound like the most exciting of things, but somehow Pete and I always make our chores entertaining (plus it's an excuse to be together). And yesterday and today have been no exception.

So let me take you back to yesterday about 11:00 a.m. as Pete and I are headed out to accomplish a list of apartment needs. I can't begin to tell you how much fun I have shopping for home goods, especially kitchen supplies and that's exactly what the majority of yesterday consisted of (happy girl!). By the day's end we had gotten so many needed things and as a treat we met up with my sister and wound our way though the shelves of Barnes and Noble. The lasting chill from the outdoors was quickly warmed and swept away with a stop at the in-house Starbucks cafe and it was the perfect accompaniment to our book browsing. (If you haven't tried the Caramel Brulee Latte, I highly recommend it). After our bookstore indulgence we parted ways and Pete and I headed to Lowe's to collect project supplies (by far his favorite part of the day). Even I enjoyed being there, especially the time spent picking out our succulents and herbs for planting.

Once home, we (my sister included) rounded out our night with a puzzle. Not just any puzzle, but a 2,000 piece whopper. And three hours later we had made minimal progress, but were just as entranced with connecting joining pieces as we were at the start (jigsaw puzzle obsessed). The only things slowing us were our dropping eyes that finally won at 1:30 this morning...

...which brings me to today. Pete and I concentrated on packing up my childhood bedroom and we found some treasures, including two lava lamps (that are somehow coming to Maryland with us). Of course, we also had to try them out and make sure that about a decade of nonuse had not hindered their bubble-making abilities. Secretly it was fun to plug them back in and watch the colorful blobs float and split (shhh don't tell Pete). Late afternoon brought a break with the construction of an air cannon for the annual New Year's Day Fruitcake Fling (read all about it in January). Pete was the mastermind behind his design and also the victim of super glued fingers. From our experience not much is helpful in getting it off and that includes the following: salt, hand lotion, lemon juice, Goo-Gone, and acetone-based fingernail polish remover (the most useful). Luckily, time and a little friction did the trick and my fiance no longer has super-glue hands.

This night has been rounded off with a birthday dinner for Mama (she's a Christmas baby so we give her another day to celebrate!), more puzzle working, and now some popcorn popped in my new air popper!

For those of you wondering, this is what dried super glue on your skin looks like...

...and this is what happens when you super glue your fingers together; you have to wear the gloves you should have been wearing from the start. 

Here Comes the Bride (in about nine months)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012
I am one of those girls, yes the girl with the wedding countdown app on her phone. It currently reads 282 days until our big day (yay for the number getting smaller and smaller)! So far, this time of engagement has been a season of excitement, anticipation, and joy. Pete and I have been making to-do lists and slowly checking completed tasks off. We've been on the ball with our planning...church: check, reception venue: check, color scheme: check. I even have my dress and it's more perfect than I could have dreamed; I feel like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly rolled all into one (perfection!).

As Christmas was approaching we put our wedding planning on hold to enjoy the holiday and all that it brings. But with the new year around the corner we will begin again, full speed ahead. And I can't help but feel antsy about accomplishing everything and getting it all done in time. It's not a bad antsy, but more of a thrilled antsy because I get to delve back into wedding magazines and talk wedding ideas and decorations once more (yay!). Check out my Happily Ever After Pinterest page to see the direction we are taking for themes. Of course, stay tuned here to follow along with our DIY projects and wedding decisions!

2013 is going to be a milestone year with so many new experiences happening for Pete and I, and we really couldn't be happier!

Merry Christmas to All...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012
...and to all a goodnight!  

Santa's Coming to Town

Monday, December 24, 2012
Really, Santa is coming to town tonight and also to my house. For the past twenty-two Christmases I have been visited by Santa, and without any doubt I know that he will once again drop by my parent's, eat the goodies left out for him, and neatly place presents for me on the left side of the room. It's a tradition, and with the ever-lasting spirit of Santa always present in my parents, it's a tradition that will continue for many years to come regardless of my age. My mom is always quick to remind me that I will never be too old for Santa. And I think I would have to agree with her; I will never be too old for the magic and goodwill that he represents. So as I go to bed tonight, I know that I will get the same rush of excitement that I have gotten every Christmas Eve since I was a little girl. It's a wonderful gift my parents have given me, a gift of reliving a little piece of childhood.

A very blessed and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve

Sunday, December 23, 2012
It has been a baking kind of morning, afternoon, and evening with my family. And I am a fan of just that type of day!

And now there are lots of baked goodies like chocolate & peanut butter fudge, preacher cookies, muddie buddies, chex mix, white chocolate crushed pretzel clusters, peanut butter balls, and chocolate chip cookies. Christmas treats come once a year and I am certainly going to indulge! 

Say Cheese!

Saturday, December 22, 2012
My love got me a camera for graduation/Christmas! And if you haven't guessed, he and I played around with the camera all day today (and we wouldn't have spent it any differently). Around 3:30 we found our way to Grandmom's house for Christmas dinner with the family and our photography journey continued there...

What a wonderful day and what a wonderful family...blessed. *sigh*