Saturday, December 31, 2011

So, how did that whole “2011 Wish List” turn out?

There is SO much I want to catch you up on! I haven’t taken the time to post about any of this stuff, but I still want to tell you about my Christmas, gush about how my happy relationship, brag about the great sex I've been having and announce that the procedure I had just before Christmas successfully got rid of my kidney stones. Things are good…between enjoying the last few weeks and recovering from surgery, I haven’t taken the time to write. I will. But for now…I must reflect on 2011 for a minute.

You might remember I posted my Wish List for 2011 around this time last year. It only makes sense to check in on those wishes.

The List

Fall in love
This is happening. I dated a ton this year and despite the ups and downs, the heartbreak, the frustration, the sometimes irresponsible or bad decisions, I enjoyed the process as always. Then I went on a date in October and met a great guy.

Get back in shape and stay that way
I fell off the wagon a few times, but overall, I think I accomplished this one. Do I always think I should be eating better and working out more? Of course, but as long as I stay pretty consistent, I’m happy with this one.

Take more weekend trips
I’m so happy to say I definitely accomplished this! The proof is in the photos!

March - Jacksonville, FL for my cousin's bachelorette party
March - Tampa, FL for the Zac Brown Band/Kenny Chesney concert
April - Buffalo, NY to visit my sister, niece and nephew
May - St. Pete, FL with the girls
May - Stillwater, MN with the family for my cousin's wedding

July - Anaheim, CA for work but was also super fun!
September - Traverse City, MI to visit my cousin
November - Savannah, GA with the girls
Find a new job that makes me happy
Success! The best part is that I didn’t even have to leave the company I worked for. In March, I was lucky enough to get a huge promotion and be part of a huge shift in our company structure and work environment. Very exciting!

I dropped the ball on this one. I have so much respect for people who make the time to do this on a regular basis.

Cook more (or attempt to anyway)
Haha…nope. Despite buying a Crock Pot at the beginning of the year and constantly pinning recipes on Pinterest, I did NOT cook more this year. What is it going to take to get me going on this one?

Go camping (I’ve been wanting to go for years!)
I never went camping. Booo.

Stay out of the hospital. This means no kidney stones or rare throat infections. Just be healthy.
Well, if you follow my blog at all, you know this didn’t come true. Unfortunately, being prone to kidney stones means getting rid of them once doesn’t mean they won’t come back. Between that and breaking my finger in kickball (I know…) I can’t say that I stayed out of the hospital/doctor office as much as I wanted to. Luckily this last kidney stone procedure was successful and as long as no new ones develop, 2012 should be much better in that regard!

Overall, I’d say I was pretty successful where it counts. I’ve learned that health issues and tragedies are part of life. You can do all the right things and bad things might still happen, you just have to roll with it and not let it define you.

I’ll be ringing in 2012 with the man in my life. We are getting dressed up and going to a party his boss is throwing. 2011 is ending on a joyful note and I know 2012 will be fabulous in ways I can’t even imagine.

Do I have a wish list for 2012? I don’t. I don’t even have a resolution. Of course there are things I’d like to improve on like saving money, eating better and reading more, but I don’t really have any specific resolutions.

And since I am blogging at the very last minute, I need to start getting ready! What are your NYE plans? Any resolutions?

I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Oh, There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

There’s no place like home for the holidays. Truer words have never been spoken, or sang, for that matter. Nothing beats the feeling of walking into my parents’ house for the weekend to celebrate Christmas. I had another surgery to get rid of my kidney stones this week, so I am still recovering and in a lot of pain. I am not feeling 100%, but I couldn’t care less.
I spent last night watching Christmas movies with my parents, this morning shopping with my brother and mom and the afternoon wrapping gifts and baking with my mom. This is the first year in a very long time I am having a boyfriend join us for Christmas. I am so excited for it! I couldn’t ask for much more than to be surrounded by the ones I love this Christmas.

I hope you’re all just as lucky to be with your loved ones. Have a very merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Little Holiday Cheer

Christmas is just three weeks away and I haven’t purchased one gift. It’s funny…I’ve talked so much about how much of a holiday-fanatic I am, but I have never been good about getting my shopping done in a timely manner. You can bet I’ve been all over the Christmas music, decorating my tree and planning which cookie recipe I’ll be baking this year, but I have not been on top of the gift game. To be honest, due to my growing mountain of medical bills, I’m keeping the gifts to a minimum this year. Lucky for me, I was raised to not put a whole lot of emphasis on the gifts, anyway. I absolutely love the holiday season, but for several reasons that don’t include what I’ll be buying for others or wishing for myself.

I think we all get a little wrapped up in the stress of buying the perfect gifts for our loved ones and it’s inevitable that we all have a few things on our wish list. It’s to be expected. When that stress and anxiety starts to creep up on me, I focus on the things I love about this season. We all need to remind ourselves of these things sometimes. These are some of my favorite things about the holidays, quotes, songs, etc. These things make me so very happy during this time of year...

Love Actually. I absolutely love this movie. It's the perfect combination of romantic and Christmas-y without being cheesy. I will watch this at least once before Christmas. 

My thoughts exactly. An important reminder.

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies. I'm making these tomorrow. Baking = one of my favorite things about the holidays.

Love him. Love him even more when he's singing Christmas music. 

my tree :)
It doesn't get more perfect than decorating the tree with Christmas music playing in the background. Relaxing at home with the lights on and candles lit makes me one very happy girl.

The anticipation of spending the holiday with my family. There is nothing quite like sitting around the tree on Christmas morning with these amazing people. I can’t wait for it.

What is helping you get in the holiday spirit this year?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Why I Loved November

Happy December! As usual, it never ceases to amaze me how fast time flies. I can’t believe it is December already. It’s weird…I feel like the older you get, the faster the weeks and months go by. I remember counting down to Christmas when I was younger. It felt like it would never get here! Now, I want time to slow down because I want to find time to do everything I need and want to do and enjoy every minute of it. I do try and enjoy and soak in every moment, but it’s December 1st, and just like every other month, I find myself wondering where the time has gone.

Before we dive right into the holidays and all the fun that is going to come with it, I want to catch you up on my life. Compared to last year, this November has been beyond wonderful. Let me give you the highlights:

Like I bragged about in this post, a few weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Savannah with a few of my girlfriends. I had only been to Savannah for a few hours before when I was in high school, so I was really excited to explore the city with the girls. First of all, can I just say how wonderful it is that Savannah allows open containers? The phrase “Would you like a to-go cup for your beer?” was just delightful to hear at the restaurants and we obviously responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” every time. The weekend was an absolute blast. We explored the city, ate at some really awesome places, (we even got reservations at Paula Deen’s restaurant, which was absolutely delightful) and even went on a walking ghost tour/pub crawl. The weather was beautiful and it was so nice to get away with my friends.
Shopping around Savannah
At Paula Deen's
You may have already read my super cheesy post about Thanksgiving, so I won’t get into all that again. My Thanksgiving was so full of family and happiness. I have a lot to be thankful for and it was nice to celebrate that with the people I love.

Not only did I spend the day at my parents’ house, I planned to spend the entire weekend there and get some major relaxation and downtime in. To be honest, there were times I was a little antsy not doing anything, but I truly needed to force myself to slow down and spend a few days reading, relaxing and spending time with my parents. I came back to Orlando feeling calm and rejuvenated. I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving, too!
December is going to busy and super fun and I can’t wait for Christmas. I’m really hoping I can get my house decorated this weekend. I keep finding so many great holiday ideas on Pinterest so I am definitely inspired to get the ball rolling.

What unique ideas do you all have for decorating this season?