Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Our 2014 Christmas Card // Coming July 2015

 
 
Ethan and I are thrilled to announce we have a sweet little one joining us next July!
We are so thankful to God for giving us this precious Christmas present!
 
See, I told you this was my favorite card ever ;)
 
 
 
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekending // Houses & More Houses

Happy Monday before Christmas, friends! I hope you have all your Christmas shopping done and you aren't sending you husband out after he gets off work to complete your list.. #guilty.
 
We have a really good reason for not getting it all accomplished this past weekend and that excuse is we spent an hour in Toys-R-Us. That was enough craziness to kill the Christmas shopping spirit for the both of us! Ha!
 
We did get a lot of people crossed off our list on Saturday. All the kiddos are shopped for and the remaining people are mostly just gift cards. Now I get the lovely task chore of wrapping all bajillion presents. It's okay though.. I really got in the Christmas spirit and wrapped for a couple hours on Saturday morning all while watching American Horror Story on Netflix.
 
Holy. Crap. Does anyone else watch that show?! I just started and it's so creepy, but disturbingly enough I'm hooked! I have to know what happens! So creeped out in fact, that I wouldn't go home by myself Saturday night after my girl's night with Taylor and Marissa. I hung around Taylor's house afterwards until Ethan had come home from his guy's night so we could both go home together!
 
Speaking of our girl's night - Taylor, Marissa and I hit up Carrabba's for dinner and then Wild Honey for some fro-yo dessert afterwards! Such a good time hanging out with the girls!
 
Saturday {after the atrocious Toys-R-Us visit} Ethan and I walked through a model home of one of the floor plans we really liked. We've decided we're going to build through Paragon Homes. You just get so much more for your money!
 
 
{The Laurelwood}
 
We had two floor plans in mind, but this was the only one we thought we'd be able to see in person. Of course we loved it and we were really excited that *this* could possibly be our future home!
 
That night we went to the hockey game with my Grandparents. We got to watch the Ice Flyers kick some Fire Ant butt and see special guest appearances by Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, and Prince Hans of Frozen. They sang during each intermission which was cute, but there's some die-hard hockey fans there that did NOT care if Elsa wanted to "let it go."
 

That night Ethan got an email from our builder saying if we wanted to walk through the other plan we liked, we could see it Sunday at 12:30! Of course we jumped at the opportunity!
 
{The Osprey}
 
We freakin' loved this floor plan, and as long as everything works out budget-wise - this will be the house we're building starting next year! We want to try to incorporate stacked stone or hardie board to give the front more personality and maybe mess with the roofline, but we'll know more after we officially talk to the builder! Now we definitely need to get our lot appraised and the perc test done so we can move on with the next step!
 
And here's some creeper shots I took of the neighbor's houses for future reference on what we liked!
 
{LOVED this front door}

{Love the color scheme}

{Love the front door and colors}
 
 
All-in-all a very good weekend with some very definitive plans made! :) I hope you'll stop by tomorrow ~ I'm revealing my Christmas card! I have to say it's my most favorite ever! I love how it turned out!
 
 
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Life Lately

Sorry about all the silence around here these days - just honestly haven't felt like blogging. Which in turn makes me a terrible blogger. Sorry about that. But in all honesty, I know you don't care to see the 100th "best stocking stuffer" post in your newsfeed today. No offense to anyone that has posted something like that. I've been reading them and taking notes on what to get my loved ones.
 
But I thought I'd get up to speed on what's been going on in my life a little:
 
I gained a new niece on December 11, 2014! Her name is Milica Rose and she's my favorite. (Don't tell my other 7 nieces and nephews! Haha!) She's just so itty bitty and perfect! I can't help it!
 
{Sweet Mila}

{Please excuse my gosh-awful hair - someone please give me a suggestion on what to do with it?!}
 
On the home front - Ethan and I got pre-approved by the bank for a construction loan! We're still going to check out a couple of other banks for a better rate, but we're so excited we even qualify! Next up is getting our lot appraised and getting a perc test for a septic tank. We've narrowed it down to two house plans and just need price estimates before we make a final selection!
 
This past weekend we tried to re-home one of our cats, Jerry. It was seriously one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. We went through our local Humane Society for the adoption. The plan was Saturday morning we'd drop him off at PetSmart for their "kitty adoption day." He had a lady lined up to adopt him, so I was pretty confident this would be the last time I cuddled my Jer Bear. I cried off and on the whole ride from our house to PetSmart and completely lost it when we left. But long story short: the lady who wanted to adopt him also wanted to declaw him, which is a no-no in the Humane Society's eyes. So my sweet Jerry is back home and for good.
 
{He's always thisclose on my lap. Such a sweetie.}
 
I'm starting to freak out about Christmas only being 9 days away. For real, let that sink in. I've still got over half my shopping list to cross off! Good thing this Friday is pay day because me and Ethan will be doing some damage at the mall!
 
I'm also counting down the days until the Rose Bowl! I'm really hoping my Noles can pull off win #30 and head straight to the National Championship again!
 
 
Ok, so I've rambled enough for one post. Mostly wanted to remember these things even when I don't feel like blogging. I'm hoping the new year will bring a renewed feeling for the 'ole blog.
 
 
 
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Recap // Babies & FSU

Very exciting weekend on my end! Friday we met up with a builder and went over some details of the house plan that we like! We're trying our best to get a good estimate of what this house will cost us before we buy the official plans! And after that we met with the bank to get pre-approved! Still waiting to hear back from them, but it's so exciting to have started this whole process of building a home!
 
After our meeting we stopped by and had the best pizza dinner with my parents. It was just Domino's but it definitely hit the spot!
 
Saturday was a super busy day for us! Lots of fun things planned, but by the end of it I was exhausted! We got breakfast {as promised to Ethan} at IHOP and then headed home so I could start cooking for a football party we were going to that night!
 
 
I made my favorite cucumber sandwiches and the best hot ham and cheese sandwiches! Both are on my Pinterest board here! Feel free to follow along too! #shamelessplug
 
Saturday was also the day we found out whether me and Ethan were getting a brand new niece or brand new nephew from my brother and his wife! The party was set up boys vs. girls. I was pretty dang convinced Baby Ward was a girl, so I donned my best pink shirt for Team Girl!
 
 
Alexis' best friend was the only one that knew ahead of time what Baby Ward was, so she packed a box filled with either pink or blue balloons. The idea was that Dakota and Alexis would pull the cord and the streamers and balloons would come showering down.

 
Too bad the cord broke so they had to go digging in to the box to find out!

 
But I'm 100% sure it didn't bother either of them as they are both so excited to be welcoming a little baby boy this upcoming May! The above-picture was Alexis' first reaction to the blue balloon popping out!


Of course my phone makes its own gifs so I definitely love this time lapse!
 
 
Alexis' dad Mark was so overcome with joy that he ran up and started dancing! Haha!

 
Can't wait to meet my newest nephew Walker James come May 2015!
 
After finding out that Baby Ward is a BOY, we went back inside and mingled while the guys cooked burgers and hotdogs on the grill. The burgers were really good and I enjoyed the time talking to family and friends.  After the party, me and Ethan headed back to my Grandma's house to spend some time with her before we needed to go to Katie & Daniel's house for the football party.

 
The sandwiches I made earlier were a huge hit! We all made different appetizers and they were all so yummy! I loved the Golden Grahams dessert that Katie made. Basically it was Rice Krispy treats except with Golden Grahams and chocolate chips! Heavenly!
 
{29 in a ROW and ACC CHAMPS! Booyah!}
 
During halftime we did a Dirty Santa mug exchange which was a lot of fun! Of course our game was super stressful in true FSU fashion, but we pulled out another "W"!!
 
Sunday morning I wasn't feeling well so we didn't go to church, but I was able to get a lot of rest. Basically me and Ethan woke up and watched Arthur Christmas {the BEST Christmas movie} in bed. I napped on and off during the movie.  Then we moved to the living room to watch the Playoff Committee Selection. I napped on and off again. Around 1 we got up {for real this time} and headed to lunch at Ichiban and then off for some Christmas shopping. We got a couple more people crossed off our list! After shopping we spent some time up at the hospital with Ethan's sister Emily while she's on bed rest. But!! We got good news that her C-section has been scheduled for this Thursday! Yay! I get a brand new niece later this week!
 
Such a good weekend filled with food, family, football & babies! :)
 
 
 
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Monday, December 1, 2014

A Happy Thanksgiving Recap

Happy Monday after a 4-day weekend, Folks. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to call in sick this morning and give myself a 5-day weekend. Oh, well.. I have to face reality sooner or later!
 
I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with lots of family and friends! I went to a hockey game with my Grandparents Wednesday night then made my desserts for Thanksgiving at my parent's house.
 
Thursday was Thanksgiving and Ethan and I went over to my parent's house around noon. I helped mom with some last minute prep while the other family started arriving. This was my Mom's first time hosting Thanksgiving at her house and I think she did amazing! It was a great time visiting with my paternal Grandparents, Aunt Sarah and her husband Jimmy, my parents, and my siblings!
 
{All mom's babies}
 
I was not excited that Black Friday shopping started at 6 p.m. on Thursday. To me, that's just not the tradition and I really hated it. I miss the days of waking up at 2 a.m. to go stand in line! We started our night at Sears so my brother and sister-in-law could get a new washer and dryer for their new house! They got a really good deal and I know they're excited! After that we girls said adios to the boys and headed on to Target and met up with my friend Taylor. Since we got there late I didn't score all the deals I wanted, but I still saved some money!
 
Friday morning my mom, sister and I loaded up to go to Alexis' ultrasound for Baby Ward. When we got there she and her friend Chandler were already in the room doing the "fun part" aka the part where they find out the gender! But after about 10 minutes, we were all able to go in the ultrasound room and watch that sweet little baby jump all around. Baby opened its mouth so much! Which made perfect sense considering my brother Dakota and his wife Alexis are not quiet people! Haha! Baby also got the hiccups, which was super cool to see. We officially all find out this upcoming Saturday what Baby is at the Gender Reveal Party!
 
{All of us at the Gender Ultrasound}
 
{Sweet Baby's Profile}
 
Saturday morning me and Ethan met up with our friends John and Melissa and their sweet baby boy Landon for breakfast at Polonza Bistro downtown.  The food was amazing and it was so good catching up with John and Melissa.
 
{My chicken & waffles - so yummy!}
 
After breakfast Ethan and I headed to Lowes to price some stuff for the house we're building! We're still in the very early stages, but we have a meeting with a builder and the bank this Friday to talk numbers! We thought it would be a good to get an idea of what we wanted and the prices of materials. I'm so excited about this next chapter of life: home owners!
 
 
We spent the rest of Saturday over at Taylor and Colin's house watching a full day's worth of college football! I'm very pleased with how my team fared {see above!}, but I wish Auburn would have pulled out a win! That would have made the day 110% perfect!
 
Sunday was a lazy day. Ethan and I got lunch at Firehouse, visited with his sister Emily in the hospital {hopefully Baby Mila can come soon!}, and put up our Christmas tree. It was a perfect ending to a great 4-day holiday weekend! Now I'm counting down the days till our next 4-day weekend! :)

 
 
 
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cruisin' 2014 // Cozumel, Mexico

Our last port day was spent in Cozumel, Mexico. We had an excursion through the ship to an all-inclusive park called Xel-Ha. Our port stop was Cozumel, but we took a 45-minute bus ride to Cancun where the park is. Xel-Ha is a natural park that includes snorkeling, cliff jumping, tubing, and all other sorts of fun things! Our tour guide was really friendly and seemed to always be there. He'd literally pop out of nowhere and be "Hola, Amigos! Do you need anything?!" Haha!
 
{Coming in to Port at Cozumel, Mexico}
 
{Our nasty little friend that greeted us upon arrival!}
 
Side note: This was a natural park, so it contained lots of the local wildlife. Including iguanas stinkin' everywhere! I'm scared of lizards, so imagine my horror at having gigantic lizards literally sitting everywhere.
 
{On the train to go snorkeling}
 
The first thing we did after getting our bracelets was load up on the train to go snorkeling. You could either tube down the river or snorkel. We were on limited time, so we went with snorkeling! And you can't see all the pretty fish if you're in a tube!
 
{all geared up and ready to snorkel}
 
{mask selfie}

{the water was COLD!}
 
  
 
{exploring}
 
{We found a hidden cave, which later we decided was a secret love nest for iguanas and I hauled butt out of there!}
 
{practicing my dive skills}
 
{swings into the river}
 
One of the really cool things about the river was that it had different spots where you could get out and do activities, like these swings and then cliff jumping spots!
 
{thanks to Colin's Go-Pro for catching these shots!}
 
 
{I'm honestly not sure if this is Taylor or me? We were twinning that day with our swimsuits!}
 
 
After we finished snorkeling the river, we headed over to one of the three all-inclusive restaurants for a bite to eat! Our tour guide described them as "grandma's cooking," "authentic Mexican," and "Taco Bell." We went with Grandma's cooking first since that's what our tour guide suggested! It was amazing food! Ethan was really afraid of drinking the water in Mexico, so he (who is not normally a beer drinker) ordered a Corona from the bottle, no ice. Me, Taylor and Colin decided to chance it and have frozen Margaritas! It's been on my bucket list to have a margarita in Mexico, so it was fun to get to check that off!
 
 
{view from inside the restaurant}
 
{best guac I've ever had!}
 
{margarita in Mexico - CHECK!}
 
After lunch we decided to explore the park a little bit to try to find the rope swing that was advertised. Spoiler alert: don't waste your time on the rope swing. Not worth the 30 min hike!
 
 
{gorgeous place - this is the river we snorkeled!}
 
 
 
 
 
All-in-all it was a gorgeous place, but I'm not sure I'd go back or recommend someone to go? It had a lot to do, but it was pretty pricey and we had very limited time. I'd say if you're going to Mexico for vacation not through a cruise ship (where you have to be back on the ship at a specific time) go for it! I felt very rushed the whole day since we wasted 3 hours on ferries and buses to get to Xel-Ha! It was all-inclusive, which is a bonus, but I wish we had more time!
 
{selfies with the parrots - I have an animal selfie addiction I think}
 
 
{stubborn thing wouldn't turn around for my picture! Haha!}
 
{exhausted after our long day of fun!}
 
We had a good 30-minute bus ride back to port so we could get on our 45-minute ferry ride back to the ship. You better believe naps were taken! Oh, and word to the wise: bring extra dry clothes! We were all so cold and shivering on the ferry in our wet clothes! We did have a second to snap a picture of me at Senor Frogs! One day maybe I'll actually get to enjoy a margarita there too!
 
 
I loved being in Mexico and would definitely go back! Out of all our stops, Mexico was the best and the only place I'd visit again! Up next is our last day at sea before being home!
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