Friday, December 31, 2010

The last of the scrapbook pages I cranked out was for a night out before we went to Europe.

Up next when time and motivation coincide, Europe!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

29 and 2010 - A Great Year

29 was awesome and here's hoping that 30 is even better...

All of my friends are calling it 29.2. :)

By the numbers:

2 - Weddings attended - The Gilbert's and The O'Leary's.

9 - Countries traveled to - Saint Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis, Saint Maarten, Spain, France, Portugal, Barbados, Dominica, USVI

12 - Months at my great company

14 - States visited

56 - Flights flown

And the best part is that is was a year that I got to see ALL of my best friends!

Let's get 30 started off on the right foot!

Thanks for all the birthday love, everyone!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Got My Mojo (Temporarily) Back

Ever since Europe, life has been crazy and I just didn't have enough motivation to get to scrapbooking the daunting pile of pictures I had on my table.  In the last two weeks I got into a little groove and gotten a few pages knocked out.

First up was our trip to St Louis to see the Cubs take on the Cardinals.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

 In the spirit of Christmas giving. Merry Christmas all!

The Bloggess and the Christmas Gift Card Miracle of 2010

Christmas Tradition

In 2003, to celebrate my first Christmas out of college, I got my first Christmas tree. I wanted to do something special that year that I could continue each year. I found a Hallmark ornament series in its first year so that I would eventually end the collection with every ornament in the series.  The series I chose was "Father Christmas." 

I look forward to getting my ornament each year so the next year there is a new addition to my tree!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Favorite Ornaments

Ever since I was little, one of the things I loved to do most while on vacation was to pick up an ornament from a place or two along our journey. This is a tradition I have continued and hope to continue.

Here are a few I've picked up the last couple years.

First from my trip up to see Jenny and our outing to Mount Vernon.

From our Caribbean trip in January, specifically our visits to St. Lucia and St. Maarten.


My family and friends are even getting in on giving ornaments as well!

This one is in a set of four my aunt gave me this year after admiring her set she bought last Christmas.  The set includes Love, Believe, Wish and Hope.

And this one came to me as a gift from Laura all the way from Italy!

Can't wait to see what additions I make to my collection over the next year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O Christmas Tree

After a year's hiatus I decided to put up my tree this year.  I'm really glad I did!  It's been so cheerful having it up in my living room.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Christmas Story

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.

Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, “Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?” Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.

Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in he Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined a make one – a storybook! Bob had created a character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print “ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn't end there either.

Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the “singing cowboy”, Gene Autry. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

Note: I'm not 100% positive about all the facts of this story I received but the bones of the story are true.  Regardless I thought it was wonderful reminder of the power of Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bear Down!

We all had a fantastic time cheering on the Bears at Ford Field!  While the win was not pretty it was a win no less!

Other pictures from the day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A First

On Sunday, Darren and I were joined by his parents, sister and mom's boyfriend Jerry.  Marlene and Jerry have been together now for a long time.  While we were watching warm ups, Jerry tells us this was his first football game.  While I'm not sure if he meant first ever football game of any level but definitely his first NFL game and as a lifelong Bears fan I'm sure this was a real thrill for him.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Warm Up

We got to Ford Field a little early and got to watch the Bears warm up.  Michelle and I went down front to take a closer look at the action.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hail Mary

Bloody Mary's in mason jars, a cute and tasty drink served at Ford Field.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa Claus

Has come to the Nashville International Airport!

Free pictures and $20 southwest vouchers! Yay for Christmas time!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

I was out of town this weekend and wanted to throw out a happy belated birthday to mom!  Love you!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Life is been busy lately and I've not taken much in the way of pictures.  Hope to be back to your regularly scheduled blogging next week! Have a great weekend everyone!s

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Chicago Tribune had list of the top 10 new theme park rides debuting in 2011.  The Dare Devil at Six Flags Over Georgia made the list at number 5.  I am a lover of amusement parks and roller coasters but this drop might be pushing my fear limits right here....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

I'm thankful for....

my family even though I'm not there with them today.

Darren's family who's welcomed me with open arms into their holiday.

someone who loves me for who I am.

my DVR.

prayers both answered and those that have gone unanswered.

finally getting to see Garth Brooks next month after 20 years of being a fan!

the housing marketing recovering... at least somewhat.

college basketball.

seeing ALL of my best friends in one calendar year!  Can't remember when it last happened!

I have the best family and friends and I hope they have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nasher Sculpture Garden

In Dallas a couple weekends ago, Elizabeth, Steve and I went to the Nasher Sculpture Garden.  They had quite a few neat pieces but by far this was our favorite.  From the front this piece was very unimpressive but can't tell what it is supposed to look like until you are inside the building.  Once there it was so clear and really neat.

Imitating art.

This one was called "My Curves are Not Mad."

They had this room with all solid white walls and a hole in the ceiling.  There was a little debate as to if the ceiling was the sky or actually painted. It was a really clear blue day with amazing weather!

Elizabeth and I acting like the goof balls we are.

Couple other neat pieces we saw.


Monday, November 22, 2010

A German Halloween

For Halloween this year, Darren and I decided to go as a German Beer Garden Girl and her German Man. Poor Darren, the first people we see as we are getting to the bar are a couple actual Germans who made fun of him...

But we had a good time with his residency friends.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Old Faithful - in Dallas

While I was in Dallas we were headed out for a bottle of wine in Elizabeth and Steve's neighborhood.  On our walk we passed over these water and cable access holes.

Not sure which one I stepped on but next thing I know my foot is going into a hole about a foot deep.  I then end up falling on my butt and quickly realize something is amiss....

Old Faithful started spouting water at me.  It was at least 30 feet high!  We were soaked and disgusting. At least our jeans came clean, but I'm not sure if my boots survived the night though!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winner, Winner

Chicken dinner!!!

Holy cow, I actually won a giveaway.  Imagine my surprise when I got an email last night from Missy at the It's Almost Naptime blog about the necklace that I had won!  The necklace is from Noonday Collections. I can't wait for it to arrive in my mailbox!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vanderbilt's Homecoming

It always amazes me who ends up showing up in Nashville for homecoming weekend.  This year Jenny, Jane, Lauren and Josh all came to town and I someone was able to see them all at the same time!  The game was a lot closer than I thought it would be and we kept it close well into the third quarter but ultimately lost 21-7.

With Mr. Commodore.

Great view from our FREE seats!

These crazy guys in their black unitards!