Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas after Christmas.

I had a pretty wonderful Christmas, and I feel so blessed to have been able to spend it with my family.  Watching my sisters unwrap all of their gifts and witnessing their excitement brought me SO much joy! And just when I thought this holiday season couldn't get any better, it did :)

On Friday, my two best friends and I got together for our annual Christmas exchange.  We each brought appetizers and wore our PJs...even though we don't sleep over anymore, we can still have pajama parties, right?

As you can see, we had more than enough food and sweets for the three of us.

 My seven layer dip...found the recipe here.  It did not disappoint.

 Catherine's homemade cheese ball...super easy to make:  1 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, 1 pkg. of ranch dressing mix, and shredded cheese...

 I also made the dessert on the left.  Kind of hard to tell what it is, I know.  I got the recipe here, except I didn't add the toffee chips (as you can see).  This bark is addictive and dangerous, so be careful.  There's nothing healthy about them.

After consuming way too many calories, we broke into the gifts.  These two are the easiest to buy for because a) I know them inside out, and b) they love everything!  I'm pretty sure they feel the same way about shopping for me.  Regardless, buying for them is always fun because I enjoy giving to those I love...and I LOVE these two girls.  

The following night, I shared Christmas with my second family.  Each year, my team gets together at one of the girls' house and we have dinner followed by a Secret Santa gift exchange followed by an all-nighter sleepover.  I never participate in the all-nighter (I'm too old), but I always enjoy sharing time with my girls.  It's so fun to watch the big reveal, too see who had who, and to watch them unwrap their gifts.  And let me tell you, they are the best gift-givers.  I think I get more excited about the gifts than they do!  I always buy a little something from me to them too...

V-neck long sleeved black shirts with the NB Drill Team logo.

And this year, I received THE BEST gift ever from my girls...

A necklace with the birthstone of each of my senior girls along with a paw print pendant (that you can't see in this picture).  I will forever treasure this <3
These girls, although they may test my patience at times, bring me a lot of happiness and a TON of laughs and I'm so thankful for all 17 of them!

 How stinkin' cute are they?!

I had a blast this weekend doing Christmas after Christmas!  I'm approximately 10 pounds heavier, but I'm 10 times happier and that makes it all worth it, right?

Friday, December 28, 2012

glad to be back.

Ok, I know...I've been MIA for too long.  Once school was in full swing, grad school got intense, and drill team practices and games began, I disappeared from the face of my blog.  To say I've missed blogging would be an understatement.  

Christmas is over, the decorations are down, and everyone is getting geared up for 2013.  It's the time for New Year's resolutions, hitting the gym to shed the extra pounds, and a fresh start!  I can't help but be excited about all that is in store for 2013.  Like everyone else, I've been considering what my own resolutions will be.  While I don't have any "resolutions" (no one ever sticks to those anyway!), there are a couple of things I plan to focus on:
  • Family first.  Life gets super busy but family keeps us grounded.  My family brings me so much happiness.  I don't want to miss my little sisters growing up and I plan to be there every opportunity I have--the school plays, the dance recitals, the holidays, school banquets--the list could go on and on.  I want to be a part of it. 
  • Don't abandon the small things that bring me joy.  I enjoy blogging (whether anyone reads it or not) I'm back, and very excited to share my journey with whoever should read, even if it's just my mom ;)
  • Keep and open mind.  I'm finishing up my graduate degree and I've been spending time exploring my options after graduation.  Who knows what opportunities may come my way?  I don't, but I intend to consider every opportunity.  Through faith and prayer, I know God will send me in the right direction.
  • My husband.  I cannot stress enough just how happy this man makes me.  We are so blessed to have one another.  Sorry about the picture, but it pretty much sums up our relationship...

Ok guys, I have to get out of the bed, off this computer, and get my rear in gear.  After having lunch with a few of my girlfriends (who I haven't seen in forever!) today, I have to whip up few appetizers for tonight.  I'm having Christmas after Christmas with my two very best friends, and I cannot wait!  

Cross your fingers that it all turns out because we all know how brilliant I am in the kitchen...