Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I want to note a few things (mostly random) that happened in 2009 that I will most likely forget one day. I'm hoping that this will allow us to look back and see how our lives have changed.
January: Ringing in 2009 at Tommy's lake house. Attending various Gym Dog meets.
February: Valentine's Day at Wildfire. Started my blog!
March: I got glasses...a sign of aging. ugh. Long weekend in Asheville and saw the Jeff Dunham show.
April: Mike sold his car - one car payment gone. Woo Hoo!
May: Mauri's bachelorette party weekend in Florida. Mauri's wedding. Meredith's wedding. Visiting family in Florida. (May was by far our busiest month this year)
June: Mike/Jess's wedding. Recovering from all the traveling mentioned from May.
July: Peachtree Road Race. Got new furniture for our living room.
August: Nothing comes to mind except a lot of work. It was year end at my old job.
September: Georgia football. Started a new job.
October: Celebrated one year of marriage. Vacationed in San Francisco. Brittney's wedding.
November: Paid my car off - no more car payments for our house!
December: Tacky sweater Christmas party at Ashley's. Got a new TV for the living room. Natalie, Josh and Madalyn visiting for almost the whole month!
Cheers to 2009! It was a great year but I'm looking forward to 2010!
I'm planning to do another post for my 2010 goals...just to make them public. Because, lets face it, if I don't make them public then I will slack and another year will go by and I won't have accomplished anything.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
It seems like yesterday that we were making our rounds for Thanksgiving. We always make it to all three houses for Christmas. I can't imagine not seeing everyone.
Like every year we started out at my Mom's house on Christmas Eve. We had delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and some goood red wine. Then, after dinner, we opened gifts. We left my Mom's house around 10:30 and headed to church. Yes, that's right. We battled the AWFUL rain and wind to go to Midnight Mass. When we finally got home it was almost 1:30! I was completely zonked out!
Christmas morning came bright and early when the alarm went off at 7am. We made some coffee, loaded up the rest of the presents and headed down to the in-laws' house. We spent the morning spending some quality time with family, telling stories and laughing ALOT...because that's just what we do. :) After exchanging some gifts we said our goodbyes, doled out hugs, said "Merry Christmas" and then jumped into the car to make the 95 mile trek to Athens.
Apparently, I did not get enough sleep the previous night because I completely fell asleep in the car. Which, is something I NEVER do. My loving husband, thought it would be funny to snap a picture of me, from his camera phone. I guess I didn't know just how tired I was because it was a VERY embarrassing picture of me with my head tilted back and my mouth wide open. The kind of open where you hope there's no creepy crawly bugs around because they would surely find that warm opening and....GAG! I deleted it immediately.
We spent a few hours relaxing, visiting and a few more presents were exchanged before we jumped back into the car (again!) and came home to sleep in our bed.
So there you have it...Tour de Georgia (approximately 160 miles). It was worth every mile. Our Christmas was wonderful. :)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Please slow down. You are going by too fast. I haven't had time to buy Christmas presents for my family yet; and Christmas is NEXT WEEK!
I really hope that everyone else is behind in Christmas shopping. All of my blog friends have reported that they are finished, so I'm starting to get worried. I have no idea how this month got so packed with activities. If we're not running to a friend's Christmas party, we're going to a football banquet, or a family Christmas lunch/dinner, or I'm hosting a baby shower (which was sooo much fun) or trying to stalk my best friend who is in town and see her baby, or.....a thousand other things.
So far I've been shopping on my lunch hour...which usually leads to the following due to heavy traffic around Perimeter Mall: 20 minutes to get in my car at my office, drive, fight for a parking space and get into the mall. 10 minutes to find what I'm looking for and pay. Heaven forbid, I have to make a hard decision like "should I get her the blue one or the green one? Blue one or green one?" because I am the WORST decision maker when in a time crunch. Then it's another 30 minutes to get back to the office.
When I was young I use to think my Mom was crazy for saying "I wish there were more hours in the day" but now, I get it.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Since we got all new ornaments for the living room tree, all of our 'normal' ornaments are on the tree in the foyer. These ornamaents consist of hand-me-downs, gifts, and a few vacation ornaments. The San Francisco ornament is our newest addition. :)
I hope to snag a few smaller Christmas trees after Christmas. I really would like to get one for our Master bedroom next year...and maybe a tiny one to put in a bathroom...or maybe a kids room/nursery one day. :)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Hot Chocolate...I haven't ever had eggnog. So, therefore, I do not like it. HA!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa wraps the presents but when I was a little girl, he left them unwrapped and ready for me to tear open.
3. Colored lights or white? White lights.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope, but I should. I love to kiss (mike that is).
5. When do you decorate for Christmas? Usually a few days after Thanksgiving.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert? Turkey. I love a good turkey. Side dish would either be mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole or mac-n-cheese.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Waking up and running to see if Santa came and then running to wake up my parents.
8. When and how, did you learn the truth about Santa? Hmmm, I don't know if it was ever really confirmed. I got a bean bag once and it had 'soot' on it from where Santa had to shove it down the fireplace. So, I'm still a believe because I KNOW my Mom didn't shove that big ole bean bag down the fireplace.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? This year is the first year that we have 2 Christmas trees. The one in our living room is a real tree and this year we decided that we would have a 'formal/decorative' tree. The color scheme is brown, bronze, gold, champagne and some glittery ones too. The smaller tree is in our foyer and is decorated with all of our other ornaments - like the ones we got as wedding gifts, places that we've visited or ones that were on last years Christmas gifts.
11. Snow. Love it or hate it? Love it. Love it. Love it.
12. Can you ice skate? I'm not sure. I've never had ice skates on my feet. But, if its anything like roller skating...that would be a big fat NO! Maybe Mike could teach me...I hear he has mad roller skating skills. ;)
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No way. There have been a gazillion favorite gifts. You see, this is what happens when you are a spoiled child. All of your gifts are your favorite.
14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you? Spending time with my family.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? My great-grandmother, Maw-maw's pound cake. It is delicious. If not that then a chocolate pie thingy my mom makes...but hasn't made in a while. (hint hint, mom)
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Christmas Eve with my Mom's side of the family. This tradition has been going for as long as I can remember.
17. What tops your tree? An angel!
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Tis better to give than to receive!
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. I'm pretty sure that's the only one I know all the words to (that are the correct words).
20. Candy canes. Yuck or yum? Yum.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Afterwards, I was determined to find a way to get a picture with David Crowder. So, we waited and waited and then we spotted a line forming. As soon as I saw everyone in the line putting stickers on, I knew exactly what was going on. You had to have a sticker to get to the exclusive meet and greet. We didn't have stickers. :( I thought for sure that if we just lingered at the back of the line that they would let us in, even without stickers.
But guess what! It worked! I got to meet the band. I talked to them. I shook their hands. I told them that I loved their music. And then I got my picture! I don't think I've stopped smiling ever since. For the rest of the night I kept thinking "Oh my gosh! I can't believe I met David Crowder!" They were SO nice. I LOVE them!
After I skipped to the car saying "I can't believe I got a picture! I met David Crowder! I can't believe I got a picture! I met David Crowder!" we went to Felini's and pigged out on some pizza.
I hear that Eclipse comes out June 30th. Girls...are you in for another midnight movie this summer? I can't wait. I'm already giddy excited.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Well, yesterday I came across a french toast casserole recipe. I thought it would be great to try it out for our Sunday breakfast. So, this morning we popped it into the oven but it ended up being a disaster. I used the wrong size pan so it didn't cook evenly. Bummer. Maybe I'll try it again another weekend and follow the directions.
After breakfast we sat down and re-evaluated our finances. Around noon Mike ended up having to leave to go play golf (he lives a hard life I tell you) and I plopped down in the chair and started watching tv. When Mike came back home he realized that I had not moved. Not.one.single.inch. I have not showered. I have not brushed my teeth. And, I am still in my pajamas. We are not going to Publix. Instead, we are eating popcorn for supper.
Everyone deserves to have a lazy day every once in a while, right?
I love my life. Life is so good. :)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Apparently, Bank of America is going to start charging their customers somewhere between $29-$99 a month if you pay your credit card bill in full every month. And CitiGroup (who I have always heard should be avoided like the plague) is going to take it a step further and is supposedly requiring that you put a minimum amount on your credit card (either on a monthly basis or yearly basis -- I can't remember) AND slap you with a fee if you pay it in full. With as many laws and regulations we have in this amazing country, how is this not illegal?
So, let me get this right. I'm going to get charged for paying my bills? This is the most absurd thing I have ever heard in my life. If this is the truth ---Bank of America and CitiGroup --- you're stupid.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday night we had a date night. We went to the Cheesecake Factory and split some nachos, sipped some Sangria and shared a piece of peanut butter cup ripple (or something like that) cheesecake. It was awesome...and worth every calorie. HA!
Saturday morning we met up with our friend Scott and Whitney at the outlet mall. Went into a couple of stores and then we all went to the Dahlonega Gold Rush Festival. It was rainy so it wasn't the greatest of weather but we were in good company. We met up with Ashley and her parents. I had a footlong corndog, a hot chocolate and half of a funnel cake. I figured I blew my diet the night before so why hold back on the funnel cake. :) Saturday night Ashley, Whitney and Scott all came back to our house for dinner. It was an impromtu occasion, but those are always my favorite. I was determined to make Taco Soup (because I had bought all the stuff for it earlier that week) so I made the soup and everyone else grilled something. The taco soup turned out pretty yummy. It's kind of like a chili...but with taco seasoning. It was very good!
Sunday was a pseudo lazy day. Mike went to play golf and I slept in. Around noon time I decided I had better get up and do something productive, so I cleaned our bathroom and did some laundry. I had an urge to bake a cake, so I made a Butterfinger Cake. It is DELICIOUS! I got it from Kelly's Korner Recipe Blog and I would definitely recommend trying it out sometime. It sure is tasty! We ended our Sunday with a piece of cake and a decaf Irish coffee (we used the Buena Vista recipe).
I love the weekends!
I asked Mike if he wanted to dance. This was his response...he wasn't feeling well. :( Despite this picture, he did have fun. ;)
Lisa, Brittney and I.
It was a beautiful wedding and we had lots of fun! Thanks for having us!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
We were happy to offically be in Georiga, happy to ride nice clean Marta back to our car, and even more happy to stop by Burger King and eat dinner for $5 (for both of us).
There's nothing better than walking into your home and taking a deep breath, inhaling that 'my home' smell. I love to travel, but I think the best part is coming home and sleeping in your own bed.
After our chocolate fix, we hailed a cab and headed to North Beach. The North Beach area/neighborhood is the San Francisco's "Little Italy." I pulled our my handy dandy Frommer's book and we did a self guided tour. We weren't as impressed with this self guided tour as it was more of a historical tour (look at this building on the right...it survived the fire of 1906.....check out the lobby of this building - it also survived the fire of 1906, etc.) and it also took us through the seedy strip club area. When we'd had enough of the history lesson we decided to have lunch at Calzones. We sat on the sidewalk and shared some garlic french fries and Italian pot stickers. It was delightful.
After lunch we traveled by foot to Washington Square - it's a park in front of the Saints Peter and Paul Church. One cool fact that we learned was that this is where Joe DiMaggio married his first wife and then later he came here with wifey Marilyn Monroe to take wedding pictures (they got married at City Hall because he'd been divorced). It was a beautiful church.
The first sip warmed us right up. We got the recipe and we plan on trying to make our own at home.
We decided that we would take part in the Celler 360's Wine 101 class. It's basically, just a free wine tasting. We tried ALL of these wines.
Not really, we tasted 4 wines. This was us at the end of the class.
After the wine class, we were craving some sushi, so we headed over to Sanraku. This was another Frommer's suggestion and we thought it was just OK. It was considered to be an inexpensive place...but it was probably equivalent to the most we've ever paid for sushi in Atlanta (and not nearly as good). While we were waiting for a table, Mike spotted a man wearing a badge that said "All Access". Mike asked the man, who he caddied for and he said "Geoff Ogilvy...how'd you know I'm a caddy?" Mike then pointed to the man's badge. It just so happened that The President's Cup (a golf tournament) was taking place in San Francisco and Geoff Ogilvy's caddie was eating at the same place as us. The next day we saw the same man on TV, standing just a few feet from Tiger Woods. Pretty neat, huh?
Saturday, October 10, 2009
This was our sweet ride. :) We loved it. It was small but rest be assured that this car can scoot!
Our first adventure before finding our way to the coast was to drive down Lombard Street (the crookedest street in America). It was a total tourist trap, but it was fun. Too bad the picture doesn't show how crooked it really is.
Finally made it to the coast!
Pictures along the way...
Friday, October 9, 2009
Day 3 was spent out in the wine country. If you're ever looking for a good recommendation check out Wine Country Limos. They provided snacks (cheese and fruit) along with juice and water and they also provided a lunch for us. In addition, we had great company (only 3 other couples).
Our morning started out by making a stop at Vista Point and then a quick ride through Sausalito. Good Morning Golden Gate Bridge!
Our first stop was the Jacuzzi Family Vineyard in Sonoma. This was probably our most favorite place. The wine's were exceptional --- we even bought a bottle (2007 Nero D'Avola) and it's being shipped home. Can't wait for it to get here and to pour a glass with a nice juicy steak. We also did an olive oil tasting and we bought a bottle of that too (The Olive Press Basil Parmesan Dipping Oil).
Our second stop was the Roche Carneros Estate Winery in Sonoma. I really liked the atmosphere of this one. It almost had a dude ranch feel --- I wish I had taken pictures, but I forgot. We tasted two wines outside at a picnic table and then went inside to taste two more. It was here that we were able to do a barrel tasting, which was very exciting. We bought a bottle of wine from here too (2007 Carneros Estate Chardonnay). After we finished the wine tastings we walked down a few doors into a cheese deli and sampled a bunch of cheese. They were soooo good! But, I'm a little biased...I LOVE cheese. Always have.
Our third stop was the Madonna Estate in Napa. We thought that the wine here was just OK -- not loving it enough to pay for shipping. After we finished the wine tasting we went outside and our limo bus driver had a nice picnic lunch set up for us. Here we are all enjoying our lunch in the sunshine:
The couple in the front on the right were from San Antonio (Roxanne and Allen), the couple in the back on the right were from Michigan (Marge and Eugene), and the couple in the front on the left (Madelyn and Sean) were from Ireland. Sean was a witty man --- when I asked him if it was true if the first year of marriage is the hardest, he grinned and in his Irish accent said, "Oh no, it's the next 45 years." And when we were all introducing ourselves, Sean said "Sean, you know, like Sean Connery" with a wink.
Our last stop was the Hagafen Winery in Napa. We also thought that these wines were just OK, however, the White House seems to think they are much better than just OK. Hagafen Wines have been served in the White House since Reagan was in office. And have been included with dinners when the Prime Minister of Israel visits (Hagafen is a Jewish winery). I didn't get any good pictures here either.
In summary, we are big fans of Sonoma wines. They made us oooh and aaah. The reds had a ton of flavor. Big, bold, and little spicy. The whites were smooth and will be wonderful with a pork dish or great just because glass. And while we thought the Napa wines were just OK...it might of had something to do with the fact that we had those after several tastings --- so maybe our taste buds were just a little tipsy. ;) Given the opportunity to do it again...I'd hope on that bus anytime.