Thursday, November 29, 2012

First Things First.

I've seen this on a couple blogs recently and thought it was fun!

1. First thing you do when you wake up in the morning.
Look at the clock and pray that it's not time to get up.  Then, I usually check my email on my phone and the weather to help select an appropriate outfit for the day.

2. First thing you reach for when you open the fridge.
These days, it's juice.  My fave is Simply Orange with Pineapple-- this stuff is YUMMY.

3. First things you do when you go to the gym.
Scan my keycard and fill up my water bottle.

4. First thing you do you when you get home from work?
Kiss my handsome husband.  :)

5. First car.
A 1995 Nissan.  I got it when I was 16 and had it until I was 21.  It was not the car I originally wanted, but it turned out to be a great one.

6. First car accident / traffic violation.
Oh, it didn't take long.  I think the first thing was on our way to school, my brother and I were fussing with each other (which was pretty normal).  I was looking at him not the road and swerved off the side of the road and hit a mailbox.  Fun times.

7. First thing you wanted to be when you grew up.
Probably a teacher, but that didn't last very long.

8. First choice beverage.
Totally depends on my mood.  Right now, I could go for a huge bottle of water.

9. First choice breakfast.
Pancakes with fruit.

10. First choice dessert.
Cupcakes.  Gigi's Cupcakes to be precise. 

11. First song that comes to mind…
"Summer Lovin'"-- Seriously, I've had this song in my head for the last two days for some completely unknown reason.

12. First major purchase?
When I was in law school, I bought a super nice and expensive tv.  It was the first thing that I had to make payments on.

13. First job:
Babysitting.  Like every other woman my age probably.

14. First time you flew on a plane.
When I was in the 4th grade, my family went on vacation to St. Thomas, USVI.  It was awesome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wedding Wednesday-- Rehearsal.

I don't even know how to start describing our wedding weekend.  It was stressful and wonderful and emotional and nothing like I imagined and absolutely perfect.  It all got going on Thursday when most of Donny's family and our other out of town guests arrived.  We spent pretty much all of Thursday visiting with people who were arriving.  We did finally get some quality time just the two of us-- we stayed up late playing parcheesi and watching Paul Blart: Mall Cop.  It was so great.
Friday, Donny took his family to explore the city.  I seriously considered going by myself to see Skyfall to get a few hours of solitude and relaxation, but I didn't. Instead, I ran all the errands that I needed to, including picking up Donny's (surprise) groom's cake and taking it to our rehearsal dinner site at our church.  My mom and her BFF Terry were there getting it set up and decorated.  Terry has been such a blessing to Donny and me.  Over the last year, she and her husband (who work for an airline) have gotten us several buddy passes so that we could fly back and forth for super cheap.  And for the rehearsal dinner, she bought all these fresh flowers and arranged them and helped decorate the room, not allowing us to reimburse her.  She even made me a rehearsal bouquet when we realized I didn't have one since I never had a real bridal shower!  
I helped my mom and Terry set up the room for a while before heading to the hotel to visit some more folks who had flown in and drop off the rest of the OOT bags.  I made a quick pit stop at Walmart (where I found Donny and his family and had a momentary mental breakdown over everything that was left to do) before going home.  Shortly after arriving home, my MOH arrived to take me for a mani/pedi with my mom, Donny's sisters, and my friend Khrystal.  Seeing my fragile state, she made me some "special" orange juice.  Best.MOH.Ever.  

Our mani/pedis took slightly longer than we all anticipated, so we had to hurry to the chapel and were still a few minutes late.  Oops!  At least we weren't the last ones to arrive-- some of our out of towner wedding parties folks got a little lost...  But we all finally made it there and got the party started.  Our wedding planner, Jamie, got everything going pretty quickly.  (Thanks to Monica and Jodi for being our photographers for the evening!!)
I love this money shot of Brandon's neck tattoo...  ;)

The rehearsal didn't take long at all.  It's pretty simple-- we all walk in and stand there while the minster talks, then we all leave.  Easy peasy.  Then it was time to eat!  (And thank goodness-- I hadn't eaten hardly all day.)  Once everyone got to the church for dinner, I revealed Donny's surprise groom's cake!  He didn't want to cut it, so I'd say that was a success.  :)
The whole table display, including lots of pictures of us.

My dad started things off with what he called a "mini-sermon," but was really some great thoughts and lessons on marriage.

Then we ate and watched a slideshow that my mom had put together of pictures of both Donny and me growing up plus "our story."  It was so cool, and took so much work for her.  We really loved and appreciated it.  After dinner, we gave our wedding party their gifts and hung out with friends and family for a while.
I have no idea what happened between these two photos,
but April didn't find it as funny as Emily and I did apparently.
Me with my grandma
Our out of town friends, including Jodi and Rachel!
Me and Donny's sister Kristi

It was such a fun night with some of my favorite people who I don't get to see very often.  I was so glad to get some time to visit with them, but it still wasn't enough.  Everyone needs to come back to NC when there isn't a wedding for me to be preoccupied with!  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our Christmas Tree.

Our Christmas decorations are still a work in progress, but the very first thing we did was get our tree up!  I looooooove walking in the house and smelling the fresh pine scent.  Best smell ever.  

Donny put his train around the bottom, which actually works.  It's really cool.  And presents are starting to get wrapped and put under there!  Most of the ornaments on the tree have no special meaning-- just decoration.  But we did have a few special ones:

Snowmen First Christmas-- we got this a few weeks ago in the mountains, 
and I absolutely love it.  SO cute.

2012 Our First Christmas-- fairly self explanatory 

H-- a gift from my parents for our new last name 

And the Starbucks holiday cup!

And our tree topper is a big "H" that we had at the wedding. It's a simple craft letter from Hobby Lobby spray painted shiny silver.  I love it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend Update.

Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favorite times of the year, and 2012 was no different.  We were really busy this weekend, but we had a lot of fun.

Thursday,  Donny and I went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving like I normally do.  We had good food and a great time with the whole crew.  

Thursday night, Donny went shopping at the Black Friday sales at midnight while I was sound asleep in the bed.  He found some good deals, but so did I when I went shopping online Friday morning.  #winning!  

Friday, I was prepared for a quiet and lazy day.  But then I ended up having to pick up some of my Christmas purchases at a store Greensboro.  So around lunchtime, we got ready to go out when I got an email from our wedding photographer that our pictures were ready!  And they sent me to a link of the online gallery.  So then we couldn't very well leave the house until we had looked at all 621 of them!  I absolutely love them!!  This one is one of my favorites:

Since we were on our way to Greensboro anyway, we stopped by the photographers' place and picked up our disc from them.  Trying to get through the shopping center was a nightmare!  Last year, I had no trouble after lunch, but not this year.  But, I finally got what I needed, and we made it home safely. 

Then we went out and got our Christmas tree!!  I didn't get a real tree last year, but holy cow prices have gone up since two years ago.  We paid the exorbitant amount and took our beautiful tree home.  I was nervous about decorating the tree without my mother, who is a Christmas tree decorating genius.  But I think Donny and I did just fine on our own this year.  :)   I even wrapped a gift to put under it so it didn't look so naked.  Haha.

Saturday, my boss had given us tickets to the Wake Forest-Vanderbilt game.  My parents, some friends of ours, and the two of us went.  And we made it to halftime...  It was so cold and so windy that we were all pretty much done.  (Not to mention that Vandy was absolutely killing Wake Forest.)    

Sunday was a pretty low-key day.  We went to church, had our usual Sunday lunch at my grandma's, showed off our wedding photos, and spent some quality time at Target before coming home to relax.  

All in all, a pretty great holiday weekend!  How was everyone else's long weekend??  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Back to the Real World.

Well, the inevitable has happened.  The wedding and honeymoon are over, and real life has resumed.  Fortunately, it's really only two days before I another mini-vacay is here!  Obviously, there will be many wedding/honeymoon posts to come, but here is a sneak peek of the wedding.  :)  

The wedding was perfect, and the honeymoon in Jamaica was wonderful.  The view from our room was gorgeous.  I didn't want to leave!

My co-workers are so sweet.  At least if I had to come back to work today, it was to such a warm welcome.  :)

A welcome back sign made of my old business cards with my old name.  Lol

I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and catching up on blogs.  Although with 600+ posts while I was gone, that might take a while.  Did I miss any big news??  Hope everyone has a great (short) week!  :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Guest Post-- Planning a No-Gift Christmas.

Thanks to Micah for being a guest poster for me this week while I'm in sunny Jamaica!  Y'all show her some love!  :)

First of all, a big thanks to Katie for letting me guest post on her blog.  My name is Micah, and you can find my random ramblings and music gushings over at Unabashedly Me ( Also, congratulations to her and Donny on their wedding.  Funny story – I was reading Katie’s blog and following Donny on Twitter without knowing they were a couple. It took me a long time to figure that out. Maybe I’m just slow. Either way, I adore them both and wish them all the best.

Now, let’s get down to business. I need some ideas, folks.

I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but my mind is already on Christmas. This is not to say I won’t enjoy Turkey Day.  I certainly will – good food, football and family time are three of my favorite things. But thanks to my love of Christmas music, holiday movies on ABC Family and Hallmark and all the red and green retail displays, I’ve already begun thinking about December 25.

When I was younger, making a Christmas list was easy. There were so many things I wanted, and I believed I deserved and would receive lots of presents each year. This wasn’t too far off.  My parents have always been very good to my brother and me during the holidays.

I remember waiting impatiently for the JC Penney Christmas catalog to arrive in the mail. Then my brother and I would take turns poring over it, making impossibly long wishlists for my parents each year. I would sometimes even include the page number of the item (you know, in case they didn’t know what I was referring to). Naturally, I believed the more items I put on the list, the more things I would find under the tree on Christmas money.  Ha ha.  I guess you could say I was an optimist.

As I’ve gotten older, it’s become a lot harder to give my parents suggestions for gifts. I’m particular about clothes, and with my weight-loss, it’s actually hard to tell what size I’m in right now.  I don’t need any more DVDs, even though there are certainly many I want. I don’t need any more things for my house. I probably have too much as it is.  Honestly, most things I want or need, I can buy for myself. And if I can’t/won’t buy it for myself, then I don’t feel like I can ask my parents to do so.

This year, my family is considering skipping a gift-heavy holiday. But we still want to make the most of Christmas.  So what can we do instead?

One gift each
Instead of buying several things for each other, maybe we could each buy one thing for each family member. Maybe even set a spending limit or a theme. We’d still save money and we’d each have three gifts to open. I love shopping for others, so this would keep things fun (yet inexpensive) for me.

Family vacation
In recent years, I’ve suggested to my mom that we nix the gifts and go on a family vacation. A family vacation won’t happen this year (for a variety of reasons), but maybe someday soon. We haven’t been on a real trip – the four of us – since I was a teenager. My brother and I are both still single, but that might not be the case for many more years. We should make the most of family time while it’s still just the four of us.

“Adopt” a family, child or senior citizen
You know those Angel Trees in the stores? They have families, kids and senior citizens on them.  When I lived in Texas and didn’t get home every year for Christmas, I always felt a little sorry for myself. Then I saw those trees. Instead of throwing myself a pity party, I would pick one or two off the tree and go shopping for them. I love giving, and knowing I was making someone’s holiday a little brighter made my own brighter as well.

Volunteer at a Christmas dinner
Every now and then, you’ll find organizations or businesses who serve a free dinner on Christmas Day. It’s not just for those who are in need, but it’s often a place for those who would otherwise be alone on the holiday for one reason or another. Those dinners always need volunteers – cooks, servers, drivers, etc.

Christmas isn’t all about what’s under the tree. We all know this. But it seems that’s what causes the most stress for people during the holidays. And stress is definitely not on my holiday wishlist. I’m looking forward to trying something different this year, and maybe even starting a new tradition for years to come.

Do you have any ideas for my family?

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today I'm marrying the love of my life-- the man I know that God brought to me.  (Or if we're being technical, the man that God took me to.) 

I couldn't be happier or more excited to start the rest of our lives together today.

Donny-- I love you so much.  You really are my lobster.  :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's Okay...

Its Ok Thursdays

... that my house is not 100% ready for company, and our first arrivals are two hours away.

... that I wanted to punch our office receptionist in the face when she asked me if Donny and I had a pre-nup.  (I didn't though...)

... that I have forgotten to line up guest bloggers while I'm on my honeymoon next week.  Who wants to help me out and get me a post by tomorrow??  :)

... that I'm BEYOND ready to get to Jamaica.  Sun, sand, 85 degree weather, no work emails or phone calls... sounds heavenly!

... that I have no motivation at work today.  It's wedding weekend, and I'm ready to go!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wedding Wednesday-- Bachelorette Weekend!

Wow, I am delinquent in posting about my bachelorette weekend!!  It was in SEPTEMBER, y'all.  But regardless, it was such a blast!

Jen, April, and I hit the road Friday (September 21...) around lunch and headed to Myrtle Beach to meet up with Emily, Sara, and Rebekah, who were already there getting things "ready for our arrival."

We walked into the oceanfront condo to find the place totally decked out for a bachelorette bash!

Each girl had a beach bag of goodies thanks to my awesome MOH Emily.

"Katie" confetti!

Each bedroom was a baseball base, and of course mine was home plate.

The dining room table (aka-- Penis Central) was 3rd.
And yes, those are penis straws...

First thing I did was take a quick walk on the beach!  I love the beach SO MUCH, and it was gorgeous weather.  Perfection.

After I came back from my walk and after everyone got settled in, we got ready for dinner.

My bachelorette chariot

We went to Rioz, a Brazilian steakhouse.  It was so good (although no Texas de Brazil...)!

Meat... good.

Please note how we're all using penis straws.  In public...

After dinner, we went back to the condo for some cake!  The cake was DELICOUS.  It was coconut (yes, that's toasted coconut on top...) and dairy-free.

Am I the only one who thinks it looks more like an acorn than a penis?
Whatever... It was yummy.

Then, it was time for nighttime putt-putt (I refuse to call it miniature golf).  Imagine six women who have had multiple glasses of champagne wandering around Jungle Golf with sunglasses on and music provided by one's iPhone in her back pocket, and you can get a glimpse of our evening.  One of the pictures on the left in this collage is Emily and me after we had collapsed in giggles on the 8th hole over something that we found hilarious.  We also stumbled upon a guy who was at the beach for his bachelor weekend!  

Baby zebra!

Saturday morning, I woke up early.  The ocean and beach are just so gorgeous early in the morning that I don't want to stay in bed and miss it.

Emily wasn't far behind me, so we started making breakfast for the crew.  And as it turned out, our condo didn't have a pan to make pancakes.  So, she made them on a cookie sheet on the stovetop.  Still turned out delicious.

We spent the rest of the day on Saturday at the beach, soaking up sun and relaxing.  And of course, I forgot to put sunscreen on the back of my legs.  They may have gotten slightly pink...

In the early afternoon, Jen and I went back up to the room for a minute to discover that our dishwasher had leaked all over the kitchen!  Fortunately, housekeeping was on our floor, so they came right over and cleaned it up.

Sara had to leave on Saturday and get home, so before she left, we had to do presents and the game that Emily had created.   

Emily made this board and "Katie" and "Donny" paper dolls!!  Y'all, this is the cutest thing ever.  I still have it sitting out in my house.  She had asked Donny questions, and I of course had to guess his answers.  He was the pitcher, and I was the batter running the bases.  Each question was either a single, double, triple, or home run.  

The penalty for a wrong answer was a penis jello shot.

I protested when I got this question wrong because Donny gave the wrong answer!  We met on the 21st!  And the crazy part is that he does actually know that.  Lol.

After presents and the game, it was pinata time!  April had put together this pinata with all sorts of goodies in it.  It took us a LONG time to finally break it open!  But then he hung there decapitated for the rest of the weekend...

Then it was time to hit the town!  We went to dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise and had the worst waitress ever.  After dinner, we went to Broadway at the Beach for a scavenger hunt, which turned out hilarious.  There were AT LEAST five other bachelorette parties there that night too.

Part of the scavenger hunt was to find someone named Donny, and we did!
Although he's not even remotely as hot as my Donny.

Y'all, I'm old.  By the time the clock struck midnight, this bride-to-be was ready to go home and go to sleep.  So, we did.  I think I was asleep by 1am.  What a party animal, right?

Sunday, I got up and took a last walk on the beach before we all came back home to NC.  It was a fantastic weekend with my girls.  I'm so blessed to have such good friends who have celebrated with me and helped make my engagement so special.