Monday, December 26, 2011

Welcoming Harper Elizabeth

Some girlfriends and I recently threw a baby shower for a dear high school friend. She now lives in Florida so it was so much fun to be able to catch up outside of our annual summer beach trip, and join in celebrating the soon-to-arrive baby girl, Harper Elizabeth. Morgan has always be a super sweet friend and it meant a lot to us to be able to help give her things she and her wonderful husband could use with the birth of their first child. Since the shower was the first weekend of December, we couldn't do a Fall theme, we didn't necessarily want to do a Christmas theme, so we opted for more of a Winter theme. This is was easy for me due to my obsession with all things "woodsy" and had much of the decor already. Here are some pictures from the wonderful afternoon and Alana's gorgeous house.

We served a Peppermint Stick Punch to go with the wintery theme. I found the recipe via Pinterest and was nervous about not trying it out before the shower. Luckily, it turned out DELICIOUS! You can find the here (except we substituted the peppermint stick ice cream with white mint chocolate chip).

The diaper cake! Thanks goes out to Mr. Hubs for pinning most of the diapers for me after I rolled them. That was a time consuming task, but well worth it! I think the diaper cake came out fantastic!

We cannot wait for you to come into the world, Harper!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Two months later...

Wow. So I totally just started this new blog to keep up with life's happenings, but it is quite apparent that I haven't done much keeping up. More like falling way behind. But I also promised that this would not be something that would become a burden; instead, something for me to use as a memory preserver whenever I get a chance to sit and just.think.
Now that I get to do that, I am frantically trying to see what all has been going on since almost 2 months ago! Geez...
OK, well, thanks to being OCD and a list-checker, I can look back at my purse calendar and all of a sudden, it's an "A-ha!" moment.
The beginning of October was super busy- no one I have checked out. Our precious bubba, Copper, turned ONE on the 7th. I don't know how much he liked his birthday present (I ordered him a precious burlap stocking to join mom and dad's on the mantle this year) but I did give him some puppy ice cream which he loved! I was wanting to throw him a party (I know, ridiculous my hubs says. But I am an event planner all the way so any excuse to plan and I am in!), but decided to wait until summer when his new girlfriend, Molly (a labradoodle) turns one. :)

My little tribute from work to Copper on his birthday... bored, much?

Eating his burfday pupscream. And loving it.

Copper's precious birthday present from his mommy.

The next day, our friends Hannah and Denton got married. It was a beautiful wedding, beautiful bride and great reception at the Matt Jones Art Gallery. Denton grew up with my husband and was in our wedding. I actually knew Hannah in college before either Chris or Denton came into the picture so it was another one of those fateful things.

Me and my best friend of 10 years!

October 10th was our 2 year wedding anniversary! CANNOT believe it has already been 2 years!!! Time flies when you are having fun. I thoroughly enjoyed our anniversary. I took the day off from work so Chris and I could just hang out. We went shopping and wound up getting him some clothes from Saks and me a pair of Frye boots I had on my wardrobe wishlist. So I was a happy gal. I liked even more that we didn't do gifts necessarily. Instead, we just browsed and bought things we liked. We then ate dinner at Flemings for the first time ever. Cannot believe we have never eaten there- I swear it was one of the best meals I have ever had. We were both floored that we have been missing out on this place. So the evening ended with us stuffed, content and sleepy. So it was a nice uneventful day of just being together.
The next week: 24 hour virus that had me on my butt for 2 days crying for my mommy. Not kidding. The perks of working in schools...
And then all of the other weekends have been consumed by orange and blue, grilled meat and a handful of Auburn Tiger wins and losses. We actually went to the Auburn versus Florida game. It was my first time down to my alma mater this year and I had a great time. I just love being down there. Its so nostaligic and bittersweet at the same time because so much has changed in just a few years of me being gone. I have changed, grown up, moved on. And the loveliest village has done the same. But either way, I will always love it and know that I can create new memories of that place with my own kids one day...
We also spent a wonderful Saturday with our friends Mandy and Jared. They had some friends over and all of the kids they are making! It was good to see them all... we all went to high school together many years ago so it is nice to catch up. Here are some pics from Auburn weekends this season (and one from me and the girls on my trip to the Alabama/LSU game just for fun)...

Mandy and my obsession: her son, Jake.

Precious Piper playing for the camera. We told her to "Be Gangsta" and this is what we got.
Pretty spot on, eh? :)

Delaney, the cutest little cheerleader, and youngest stunter I have ever met.

And how could I have missed Halloween? HELLO!? Only one of my favorite times. I love getting goofy and wasting a night away laughing at myself. Here is proof of that in 2011:

Boom. We were treasure trolls. We found bodysuits from a local dance apparel store, found matching tutus and wigs online and I made the belly jewels with glitter foam, a button & some hot glue. Not gonna lie, they turned out fantastic. We didn't want to take them off! :)

Snookie and, err, something. He didn't even know what he was.

Hubs and Jax from Sons of Anarchy, our FAV show!

C. Vines as Michael Jackson. Love it.

And of course, no Halloween is complete without Copper in his Jack-o-lantern costume!
Seriously, could he be any cuter?!?!

So that is October in a recap!

Monday, September 5, 2011

lake martin meets copper

Our friends invited us a month ago on a last minute trip to their family home on Lake Martin. Um, Duh we are in!! Not only is their house gorgeous and soooo what I want to retire in, but Lake Martin is my favorite spot besides the beach. Also, there are rare occasions these days that The Mitchell's lake house is actually free on a weekend Chris is home. So we packed our bags and headed to the lake... with Copper in tow. He has horrible car anxiety so I never get to take him anywhere. I feel bad because he is almost one and hasn't really gotten to experience interaction with many people and animals outside of our home. So we decided to take the chance and pack him in the car with us.
Best decision, ever.
We got to the lake and The Mitchell's dog, Ringo was there. Ringo and Copper are bff. Luckily, Ringo has more energy than he knows what to do with so he could keep up with an excited little puppy. We went on a late night boat ride and Copper fell in love with the water. He wanted to stand with his paws drapped over the back of the boat the whole time. Even when his little legs got tired, he wouldn't rest for long before it was back up to the seat to let his ears flap in the wind. So weird coming from a dog who hates the car, or the window down. Saturday morning Chris and I had to drive over to Auburn for his brother's graduation from Building Science (Go Pat!). Right when we got into town, I received a picture message. It was a picture of Copper. Swimming. In the middle of the lake. I about died. It said that noone had even coerced him. He waded in and just started swimming... and that he was an excellent swimmer! I was two things: 1. so excited that I finally had a dog that enjoyed the water, swimming and playing fetch; and 2. A little sad that I missed his first swim. It's like missing your child's first steps!! :)
We hurried back to the lake around lunch so Chris could continue cooking his boston butt for dinner. The pups swam all day and we all just hung out and enjoyed each other's company. Sheri is back from Australia with her boyfriend, John, so we got to spend a lot of good convo time with them. I LOVE going there!!
Sunday, most people left early but a few of us stayed for Sunday Funday. We rode around on the boat all day, taking in the April tornado damage and drooling over massive, beautiful homes. After getting pizza from Chuck's Marina for lunch, we anchored at a little island to let the dogs cool off in the water. This weekend was Monkey See, Monkey Do for Copper and Ringo. Which I loved, because at the island, Ringo taught Copper the art of fetching sticks out in the lake. Copper slept the entire way home and went straight to bed when we got back. I think he literally slept for most of the next 3 days. I am so grateful for having wonderful friends, wonderful places to spend time together, and wonderful puppies!!!

Here are some pictures of the lake house (true life: I am obsessed) and our August trip to the lake!

There are only a few pictures of the lake house but you can get the idea of why I adore it so.

I just love this house. Everything about it. The floor to ceiling cedar walls, the green colored window panes & baseboards, & all the rustic decor in between.
And this cathedral arch sofa table? I melted the moment I saw it.

Check out this gorge master bathroom, would ya?

 This is one of the many guest rooms. But I wanted to share this amazing headboard.
The picture doesn't do it justice!

And here are some pictures of Copper the day he met the water...

Swimming out to meet Ringo and the stick.

 My precious pup is not so attractive when soaking wet...
but he couldn't care less about his looks at the moment!

Taking a break from paddling with the hubs.

I love love love him in his lifejacket. He obviously didn't need it, but he is somewhat on the lazier side of doghood so he enjoyed not having to work.

I could definitely get used to having this backdrop every evening. But I am thankful to have friends who will share it with us! Copper says thank you as well! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

mista chris and jenny jen take jamaica

Chris and I forked up a lot of the money for our Oct. 2009 nuptials. Due to that and the fact that my career is in education, we decided to wait on our honeymoon and go when I didn't have to take sick days. So, July 2010 couldn't come soon enough! When it did arrive, we were off to Couples Tower Isle Resort in Ochos Rios, Jamaica. I knew that I was in for a pretty fun trip. Not only were we going somewhere tropical, which is where we are both happiest, but we are also a pretty vibrant and social couple so I knew we would wind up meeting a lot of folks and having a blast. This definitely happened.
Chris was a huge fan of the swim up bar, as was I because I could be in the shade, in the water, and around everyone else all at once. Chris loved it because it was a place for him to talk someone's ear off and have easy access to alcohol. If you know Chris, this does not come as a surprise...

Me reading Better Homes and Gardens at the swim up bar

As beautful as the beach was, I can't say we sat on it more than once. I was a bit obsessed with my lounge chair on the bluff, overlooking the water from an elevated spot. It gave me access to a nice breeze that would put me to sleep daily. Plus, it was pretty close to the soft-serve ice cream machine I would hit up daily (I will own this!) on my way to check emails and get some A/C during the heat of the day.
The staff at Tower Isle was amazing. So friendly, so helpful, and I loved that they remembered our names and would actually call us out for conversation when we would pass them in the lobby. Our fav bellhop, Byron, called us Mista Chris and Jenny Jen in a good, heavy Jamaican accent.

Here we are with Byron as we waited for the bus to pick us up and take us to the airport, headed home. :(

The Activities Coordinator, Michael, was one of our other favorites. An 18 year-old who had gone to school full time and spent every free hour working at Tower Isle for the last few years. Michael had great communication skills, excelent speech, was unbelievably athletic and looked like Usher, to beat. Chris gawked at him everyday, especially when he tried to get Chris to play volleyball. We are pretty sure Michael fit Barbie's body measurements, with the addition of a 6 pack and bulging biceps. Michael was finishing up his last summer at Tower Isle before heading to the states on a football scholarship to Iowa State. He wound up eating dinner with us a few nights and made Chris get on stage during Friday night's Beach party to do a traditional Jamaican dance.

Chris, an audience hog, then decided to breath fire.

We spent that evening dining with four couples we met the day we got to Tower Isle. They were all such friendly people. I loved that only one other couple was our age and the rest closer to our parents' age. It was nice to be able to enjoy the company of different generations- and it not seem out of the ordinary at all. Everyone is on the same page in Jamaica!

We went snorkeling one day- I didn't do too hot. I absolutely loved the sealife, but for some reason got a little queasy on the boat heading out, and something about the waves slapping me in the head while I tried not to panic while breathing into a tube. I lost my orientation, and then my breakfast. Not fun. So needless to say, I didn't dare try scubadiving.

The piano bar was a hit. I am a music fanatic and enjoyed singing along to songs I love and adore here in my home country. There was even had an Auburn/Alabama fight song rivalry at one point (can you acually go anywhere without this happening?!). We didn't get involved with that one.

             This devil is the Bob Marley. And I do believe it was the cause of what happened next...


We went on the Catamaran cruise one evening and had a blast.

We visited all the restaurants once, but found ourselves wanting the buffet for the rest of the week. I wasn't up for long waits and slim menus. The buffets were wonderful and I could get whatever I wanted (and it was usually more along the lines of things I would normally eat- I am not a cultured diner and could live off of chicken and rice).

We had such a fabulous time and cannot wait to go back! Beautiful, isn't it?!

I was drinking a dirty banana in this pic. to.die.for.

The housing here was unbelievably poor. You have your extra wealthy but those homes are all in a secluded area. I love the looks of the architecture and colors, but from close up, these homes are nothing but shambles.

Gorgeous, right!? You can kind of see my little cliff that I loved by the pool in this picture (behind the far right palm tree)

This is where I took the best nap of my entire life. No joke.

Below is a picture of paradise the day we were going home. :(

Chris's favorite spot? Chattin' up some strangers in the swim up bar. Shocker? I didn't think so.

Conkshell man! He would paddle out every evening and come back with these amazing conk shells.

I just had to have one. Last day there, Chris gave in and bought me a shell and Conk man taught me how to make a foghorn sound out of it. At the time, cool. Now? The shell is a nice keepsake but doubtful that I will ever whistle out of it again.

It was such a fun trip and I am happy to have been able to spend it with hubs. I hated saying goodbye to Jamaica, but as Byron said, "It tis not goodbye, Jenny jen. But, until next time. Yea, mon."