Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Goals Revisited

I posted some goals earlier this month and just wanted to revisit what we accomplished. December was so good to us. Not only was it so special to celebrate our first married Christmas together, but it was also really good family time. A lot of the month was spent traveling between North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and it was completely worth it to spend time with both our families. I'm sure things will change in the years to come and new traditions will be made, but I'd say our first married Christmas was a huge success. 
I'm currently working through Lara Casey's 2014 Goal Setting. I'm excited to see where that will take me. I'm sure there will be post on it soon.

1. Address, stamp, and send our first Christmas cards
 We did it! I made the cards myself using picmonkey and zazzle. Being the perfectionist that I am, there were some things I would have changed, but overall they turned out really well. I'm already thinking of ideas for next years Christmas card!

2. Decorate our apartment for our first married Christmas
 Done! I wasn't sure what it would be like decorating an apartment, but it was so much fun. After a few initial disagreements about whose way was the "right" way {in other words: I'm stubborn and don't like change} we got everything worked out. I've loved coming home every night to Christmas tree smells and decorations everywhere. I'm so not looking forward to taking everything down :( Nothing wrong with having Christmas decorations up all year long. Right?

3. Set our marriage goals for 2013: yup, setting a goal to set goals
 This deserves half a cross out. We're planning on sitting down and writing these either tomorrow or on our 5 hour drive home on Wednesday. Either way these will be made, and I will be sharing.

4. Go look at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music and drinking hot chocolate
We did this a few times. Nothing makes my heart happy like Christmas lights especially obnoxious ones. If we're getting really specific, we ended up drinking apple cider instead of hot chocolate, but it still counts.

5.  Remember what this season is really about and read through She Reads Truth's Emmanuel
Unfortunately, I didn't keep up with this like I hoped I would. I'm not even going to attempt any lame excuses because the truth is I just dropped the ball completely. Doing better with keep up with devotional is definitely a goal for the 2014 both personally and as a couple.

Wishing you all a very very happy New Year! 

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Monday, December 30, 2013

A Look Back on 2013: Part Two

You can find part one here
Beginning a new year is always so exciting time, but I've really enjoyed looking back on 2013. I still can't believe how full of a year it had been. The first half of 2013 was mostly wedding planning and preparation. The second half of the year was focused on learning about marriage and enjoying being newlyweds. I've got to be honest, I'm a little emotional with this year coming to an end. It's been an incredible year. I'll never forget all the good memories we have made in 2013 and I can't wait to see what 2014 will bring.


-I started my job. It's been a huge blessing and I love being able to contribute to our income; however, it's also been incredibly difficult.

-That time we didn't run the Peachtree Road Race because it was suppose to storm, but never did. First time my dad missed running it in 35 years :(

-Our first married date night


-Mom, Sis and I went to Hilton Head to celebrate Sis getting married!


-This little blog was born

-I completed and documented my first DIY project


-Sis got married!! Prettiest wedding ever!

-James and I went on our annual apple picking trip

-I recapped our wedding and loved reliving all our favorite details

Other posts:


-We had the whole family together for Thanksgiving

-James and I survived our first married UGA/GT game. Thankfully, we didn't sit together and thankfully UGA pulled out a win
-We decorated for our first married Christmas

-We celebrated my birthday at The Iberian Pig and had the yummiest dinner

-Our annual picture in our Christmas Jammies

Other posts:

2013 was such a sweet year. Here's to hoping 2014 is just a wonderful!

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Here's to Six Months

Happy Monday sweet friends!!
Christmas is only 2 days away which means today is my birthday! I have a love/hate relationship with being a "Christmas baby," but that's a topic for another day. We have fun things planned for today, so right now I'm a very happy Christmas baby!!

As of yesterday James and I have been married six months!
It's been six months since I woke up and spent sweet morning moments with just my mom and sister before everything got crazy. Six months since I laughed with my closest friends all together in one room. Six months since I rode on a carriage with just my dad talking about football because what else do you talk about when you're about to get married. Six months since I stood behind two big doors shaking uncontrollably with my dad's hand on my arm telling me to just breath. Six months since those doors opened and everything was okay. It's been six months since I made the promise of forever to a man I'm a huge fan of!
Six months ago I had no idea what the next six months would hold. I had no idea how good the good days would be, or how tough a few days would be. I had no idea my husband would sing all the words to my favorite songs wrong. I didn't know he would ask me to dance whenever I'm in the kitchen making dinner. I had no idea how selfish and stubborn I would be, and I didn't know something that would make me cry one minute would make me laugh the next. I didn't know just how important it would be to lean on God.
I'm so very thankful for these last six months. I'm thankful for the silly times and the hard times. I'm thankful for the times we laugh until cry, and even for the times we argue because learn more about ourselves and each other. I'm thankful I know James' "buttons" and even more thankful when I don't push them on purpose! I'm most thankful that God brought this incredible man into my life and that I get to know what this kind of love feels like.

Here's to the next six months!
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Look Back on 2013: Part One

It's hard to believe 2013 is coming to a close. This time last year, I was overwhelmed with anticipation of what the year would bring. I knew 2013 was going to be big! I was sure that the year would last forever and June would never come. Now, here I sit at the end of December wondering how it all went so fast. For obvious reasons, 2013 will always hold a special place in my heart, but it will for not so obvious reasons too. It was a year of firsts and a few "lasts," and I can honestly say I laughed and cried more this year than I ever have.
I apologize for all the instagram photos. Before this little blog was born I took most of my pictures with my phone. I'm annoyingly obsessed with deleting pictures right after I take them, so the only ones I have now come straight from instagram.


-Even though I didn't want to {I was afraid I'd ruin them} I took Sis and Micah's engagement pictures. I have lots of critiques about the pictures, but I'm glad I did it. Still waiting to get paid for that one ;)

 -We spent New Year's on Hilton Head Island in matching t-shits...

...and celebrated my sweet momma's birthday with 60 letters written by everyone who loves her.


-We did a lot of wedding planning

Vanilla cake with raspberry fillings and almond icing was the jam!


-Sis and I had our first wedding shower. It only made sense that it would be a "sister's shower."
Check out those glasses!



-Celebrated James' birthday with a Braves game and Holman Finch burgers. Seriously, there aren't words for all the wonderfulness in that burger.

- James' parents threw us a couple's shower at their house

-Sis and I {and friends} studied, took, and passed our licensing exam. We never have to open that purple book again!


-After 3 years of classes, studying, and internships we graduated with our Master's!

-My sweet bridesmaids threw me an "around the house" wedding shower

-My sister {and mom} planned an incredible Bachelorette weekend for me and my bridesmaids; complete with surprises from the "Bachelorette Fairies," a sunset dinner, and oh so much fun!

-We took our last "family of four" trip to Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC


-Oh, I don't know... we just got married!

-Then we spent an incredible week in Mexico on our honeymoon

And there is the first half of the year! Those first six months hold some incredible memories. Looking back on it all I'm overwhelmed with how wonderful our friends and family were during those months of preparation and planning. I leaned pretty heavily on my family and a few very special friends as I got started on my career path and prepared my heart for forever {thank you, you know who you are :) }. The next six months are focused on learning about marriage and beginning our life together, but more on that later :)  

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Blogmopolitan Quiz

I first saw this "Blogmopolitan Quiz" over at Jenni's blog Frankly My Dear {if you don't know her check her out! She's awesome!} and I was intrigued. When I use to read Cosmo the celebrity quizzes were my favorite part. I would answer all the question myself and pretend like people cared. I was in college; I thought the world revolved me. 
Well, now Erin at Two Thirds Hazel has given me that chance for real!

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Now you try!
If you wanna play along too, head over to her blog and link-up!

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend Photo Dump


Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Hey, I participated! That's what counts. Right?
It actually ended up being a lot more fun than I thought to "dress up." I'd do it again. I may get super crazy next time and find a really ugly sweater! We also did a "White Elephant" gift exchange. I came home with "batteries (toy not included)". At least it wasn't bacon soap! 

The whole group and some adorably ugly sweaters.


We spent the day with James' family baking cookies and decorating their house for Christmas. We made "Babies can't do this" aka sugar cookies. James has a sister who is 3 years younger than he is. When he was little he would tell her "babies can't do this" whenever they made Christmas cookies (never mind that she couldn't even talk yet, but he's always been a bit bossy :). The name stuck.

And of course I couldn't leave this one out... 
Yup, I love that man...


Is Fantasy Football over yet?!?

Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend!!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Five on Friday, Vol. 11

I took the week off blogging because I've been crazy busy with work, but I'm back linking up with Darci, April, Christina, and Natasha.
Even though this has been a crazy week with work and getting sick, I've got to be honest, it's been nice taking a few days off. Something about this season makes me want to put my computer down and spend more time with James and family. Kelsea is doing a great series over on her blog about being intentional this Christmas seasons. If you haven't checked it out yet you definitely should!

{O N E}

Our wedding was featured on Grey Likes Weddings!
It's was so exciting to see our wedding and our story in print!

{T W O}

Target has some awesome chalkboard gift tags! While they may not be super practical, I think they're adorable! I don't know about y'all but wrapping Christmas presents makes my heart so happy!

{T H R E E}

April posted this incredible looking dinner earlier this week. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to try it. It did not disappoint! I've struggled finding a kale recipe I can really get excited about, but this is it! The only time I ever eat black-eyed peas is on New Years for a year of good luck. Even though I love them I've never thought to make them any other time. I couldn't stop eating these and will most definitely make them again soon! Oh ya, and the chicken was super yummy too. This one will be added to the dinner rotation.

{F O U R}

We got this Nativity Scene as a wedding present. I didn't realize how awesome of a present it was until I set it up last week. I absolutely love it and will have a hard time taking it down after Christmas.
 Note: Baby Jesus stays hidden until Christmas day!

{F I V E}

She Reads Truth really nailed it this Advent Season with their Emmanuel study. I've really enjoyed it so far, and love being reminded about what this season is really about.

Happy Weekend sweet friends!
We're going to a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party tonight. Normally I'm super lame and don't dress up for things like this, but James made me I picked up a semi-tacky sweater  this one time. I'll be rocking it with pride... hopefully!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Yummy Drink Recipe

Y'all, I may be the worst secret keeper ever! I just get too excited and want everyone else to be excited with me! Case in point: I bought a present for James back in July and I wanted to give it to him right then so he could be so excited with me! I had to wrap it in Christmas paper and hid it from myself. It's under the tree now, but it taunts me everyday. 
Want another example? I promised myself I wouldn't post this drink recipe until after Christmas because it's part of a present for my mom. Well, the awful secret keeper strikes again because I just can't wait! So, mom if you're reading this, even though you promised not to, stop!

I lived in Charleston for two and a half years while attending the College of Charleston. Not only is it the greatest city ever, but it also has incredible restaurants. One of those restaurants is Cypress. It's been a while since I've eaten there, and even though I'm sure the food is incredible I can't remember because everything is overshadowed by their Lavender Martini! Seriously, my favorite drink ever; lavender and vanilla go together perfectly. After we found dried lavender, James surprised me and researched the exact recipe Cypress uses, and because I love y'all I have to share it with you too!
This is a super easy drink recipe if you have all the ingredients; however, it can be difficult finding lavender. We found it in a little local store, but it also looks like you may be able to find it at Whole Foods, on Amazon, or you can dry it yourself. If you've never tried Lavender it's unique. It's hard to describe how lavender tastes other than to say it tastes how it smells in a really good way. You can read more about it here if you're unsure, but still curious.

Lavender Martini

Recipe from Food&Wine

1 1/2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz. Lavender Syrup*
        3 oz. Simple Syrup
        2 tsp. Dried Lavender
    • Start by making the simple syrup: 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring sugar and water to a boil, simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool completely. Can store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
    • Make the Lavender Syrup: In a small saucepan, heat the Simple Syrup (3 oz). Add the dried lavender (2 tsp), then remove from the heat. Let cool, strain and refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days.
    • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, lemon juice and Lavender Syrup and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. *James made my drink with 3/4 oz. of the lavender syrup because I'm obsessed
    • Serve and Enjoy!
Have you tried lavender before? What other flavors do you like in drinks?

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Five on Friday, Vol. 10

Happy Friday!
Linking up today with the wonderful Christina, Darci, Natasha, and April

{O N E}

Charlie the Christmas Tree is up and decorated! It's been fun decorating the apartment together for our first married Christmas. My mom has been doing a huge fancy tree for years now, so it was fun to pull out some of my old childhood ornaments, that I haven't seen in years, and use those to decorate our tree.

{T W O}

We sent out all our Christmas cards this past week! As much as I love all the adorable options from tinyprints and minted, it just wasn't in the budget this year. Instead, I designed the card on picmonkey and printed them from zazzle. We opted to send postcards, so we just wrote a message on the back and they were done! It was so much fun designing the card myself, and I've already started thinking about different designs for next years card!

{T H R E E}

I've mentioned on here a bunch that I'm a self confessed Starbucks addict. Grande skinny vanilla latte is my jam! We got a Starbucks Verismo as a wedding present, so I've been making lattes in the morning to try and satisfy my caffeine fix. Let's be real though, it just hasn't been the same... until now! This week I found this wonderfulness! Now I can bring the skinny vanilla back into my latte! All is right in the world again :)

{F O U R}

I want so badly to share with y'all all the incredibleness that is this drink, but I can't... yet. Trust me when I say it's completely worth the wait and totally game changing!

{F I V E}

I. Can't. Wait. Unfortunately I couldn't watch it last night because we were at James' work Christmas party, but you better believe I recorded it and will be camping out on the couch today to watch it!
"The hills are alive..."
The husband is so excited to hear me singing these songs all weekend! Be glad you're just reading :)

We have a busy/fun weekend plan with Christmas parties and family!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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