Friday, January 3, 2014

The Best Time of the Year...

So it has been quite some time since the last post but it has been quite busy!  The past couple weeks were spent enjoying my vacation with family and friends.

The Friday before Christmas Joe and I packed up my car, dropped off Roxie at Joe's parent's house, and hit the road to Greenville to spend some time with my family.  We got in fairly late, so we slept in Saturday before starting some Christmas fun.  My mom had quite a lot to bake so the day was filled with mixing dough for cookies and cakes and spending some family time.  We also had a lot of wedding stuff to do so I started addressing invitations, picked out wedding party gifts, and balanced our budgets.  Courtney came over to enjoy dinner with the family and as always, it was great to see her.  The day was over before we knew it and we called it an early night to catch up on much needed sleep.

Sunday morning we got up early and went to church.  After church I went on a walk with my parents before taking a quick nap myself.  After nap time we enjoyed an amazing meal, and of course Courtney joined.  We had our standard country fried steak Sunday dinner.  After dinner we did some more baking and preparing for the wedding and just hanging out with my family.  Sunday night, Joe and I headed to downtown Greenville for dinner with Amanda and Will.  We went to Grill Marks in downtown and the food was amazing! I always love burgers that you can get lettuce wrapped so that was a plus.  The Parmesan truffle fries are also amazing and I am pretty sure I ate the majority of them and didn't share with Joe!  It was so good having dinner with Amanda and getting to catch up, but it was also great meeting Will.  After dinner we headed home and went to bed fairly early again.

Monday, Joe was working so I addressed a lot of wedding invitations, helped with the Christmas preparation, took a long walk with my little brother, and relaxed on the day off.  I headed to hot yoga with Bethany and Whitney in the early afternoon at a local yoga place.  Although the workout wasn't what I normally do (I do more power yoga/flow), it was a nice change of pace, and it was HOT!  We walked out covered in sweat so I know we got a great workout in.  After getting home I enjoyed dinner with my family before heading the the YSSC Alumni Christmas Party.  It was so good catching up with everyone, young and old, and hearing stories of where everyone is now.  It seems like not that long ago that I was still swimming for YSSC.  I didn't stay too long and headed home to enjoy the end of Christmas Vacation since Joe and my family were watching it.  Joe loved watching it with my family because they show more emotion when watching a movie than I do!

Tuesday morning, my little brother and I went on a walk again before my sister, brother in law, and niece arrived for Christmas.  We spent the day enjoying their company, playing with Rose, decorating the Christmas tree, and getting the final things ready for Christmas.  After waffles for lunch (everyone wanted waffles but I didn't wake up early enough in the morning to make them!) Joe and I and my parents took Rose on a walk so that Ana could get some work done.  Once we got home it was time to get ready for Christmas Eve Dinner.  We were having a mixture of a lot of different foods so it was quite a process.  After my older brother got home, it was dinner time!  We enjoyed so much food and way too many deserts!  After dinner we opened gifts and then took our Christmas picture with everyone!  Before we knew it, it was time for Joe and I to hit the road and head to Atlanta.  It was so good seeing all of my family although we were all together for only 3 hours.  I cannot wait to see everyone again in April for the wedding!
Rose's first Christmas!

Play Time with Rose :)
Presents :)
Joe and I hit the road right at 9 and headed to Atlanta to attend midnight mass at St. Ann's.  We made it early enough to go to Joe's parent's house and then went to mass. It was a beautiful service and I always love the way the church is decorated on Christmas!  We slept in Christmas day because it was a late night.  We enjoyed some waffles for breakfast and then it was present time at Joe's parent's house.  It was fun to see how they open presents vs. how we do at our house.  At my house we always open presents one at a time, youngest to oldest, while at Joe's they all get one present that Joe distributes, and open them all together.  After presents, Joe and I walked to Joe's friend Dillon's house to see him before appetizer time.  Once we got home appetizers were ready to go and after some more relaxing, it was time for dinner.  Christmas dinner is Joe's favorite dinner because they always have prime rib! Roxie also loves it because she gets a prime rib bone to enjoy for the next couple of weeks.  After dinner and desert Joe and I headed home to open our own presents.  Joe is an amazing gift giver and got me so many amazing things, including a travel yoga mat that folds for easy packing, and a water proof/shock proof camera that we will get to use on our honeymoon and not worry about it getting ruined!  After presents we headed to bed after a long day of celebrating.

Presents again :)
She LOVES Christmas :)

The rest of the week flew by, I did more wedding planning and relaxed and Joe was at work.  The weekend was here before we knew it, and we didn't have to many plans.  We met up with Sam and Dem for drinks and dinner Friday night and enjoyed our first time at Monday Night Brewery.  It is so fun talking wedding with them because they are getting married a month before us and are on a very similar path!  Saturday was a day filled with grocery shopping and wedding stuff.  We took a trip to Men's Wearhouse to pick out what suits/tuxs the guys would wear.  We also picked out our wedding favors and got a general price for them.  Last, we went to the SCUBA place in Roswell to sign up for our intro to SCUBA class!  I cannot wait until our first class to see if we want to become certified or not.  Saturday evening Sam and Dem came over as well as Will and Katie and we had so much fun hanging out, catching up, and having a good time at 5 Paces with the most amazing bartender ever!

Sunday, Joe and I slept in really late and before we knew it, it was time to hit the road for our food tasting for the wedding!   We asked Joe's parents to come along so that we would have a more diverse pallet at the tasting, and we all enjoyed tasting appetizers, sides, and entrees!  Our food should be amazing and I sure do hope I get to eat some on our wedding day :)  After the food, I hit the gym before finishing up the day.

Monday and Tuesday were relaxing days since I was still on vacation. Monday evening we started the meetings with the deacon that will be marrying us.  It was a great meeting where we planned out what still needs to be done, what chapters Joe and I need to do before our next meetings, and making sure that both of us were really ready to get married.  It was a great meeting and I am looking forward to the next one.  Somehow the days flew by and before we knew it, it was New Years Eve.  Joe came home early on New Years Eve, and I went to the gym for a swim.  For those that swam club with me, New Years Eve was always the BIGGEST practice of the year for us, and we spent 4 hours straight in the pool.  I was feeling inspired and I hit the pool myself, and managed a hole 3300 yards!  I was quite proud of myself for swimming so far, and it may not have taken me 4 hours, and I may not have swam super far, but hey it's an accomplishment!  After the swim I started getting ready for the evening.  Joe and I went to dinner with Kellie Ann, Reza, and Tareq and enjoyed tapas at Basil's which is one of Joe and my favorite restaurants.  They have such good food, their bread they bring out that is more like a pizza is amazing, and it isn't that expensive.  After dinner we headed to our apartments where Matt Tang and Mike V met us to head to the bars.  We headed to 5 Paces since they did not have a cover and of course our favorite bar tender, Jessie :), was working.  We had so much fun bring in the New Year with a champagne toast and a New Year's Kiss!

Happy New Year

GTSD taking over 5 Paces :)
We had quite a crew sleeping over that night, so the next morning was spent cleaning up before heading to Joe's parent's house for dinner.  They always have Christmas pasta for dinner even though it is New Years, and it has about 10 different meats in the pasta sauce.  It was amazing and after dinner we started talking logistics about the wedding.  We always think we have so much planned, but the second you start talking details, I start realizing how much more is left.  I am so excited to see all of the details come together on the big day, but for now I will not worry too much because I know we will be stressing before we know it!

And with that, I am caught up, and all out of vacation days :)  Today I went back to work, catching up on emails that were unanswered, and planning out the year to come.  I cannot wait to see what 2014 has in store, because 2013 sure was a great one!  Happy New Year everyone and I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays.

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