Thursday, December 31, 2009

And the award goes to....

2009 for being the hardest year of my life!

That's a fact, folks. I lost my job, moved 3 times, Mom had cancer, and had a myriad of other things happen this year. But, I cannot complain because God is so good and faithful and usually when you're put through the fire, you come out refined. I am DONE with you, 2009 and it feels incredible! Here's to a happy, healthy NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


After a summer of chemo, we decided my Mom needed to make up for lost time. So we did what everyone should do after going through something as brutal as cancer: travel to the Caribbean. We drove down to Florida and our first stop was to visit the O'Steens in Ormond Beach. I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to continue the tradition of getting together with them at Christmas time. The next day we drove over to Tampa and set off on our adventure.

It was a bit strange to wake up on Christmas morning, put on your bathing suit and head out to the deck to a happening crowd where activities included the hairy chest contest (ew), dance parties and other non-traditional Christmas day festivities. We had a fun time, though.

Favorite cruise moments: snorkeling with beautiful fish in Cozumel, the ocean playground (complete w a trampoline where you jump into turquoise water), catamaran, margarita by the ocean, spending time with family, yummy food, and not being able to check email, phone, etc.

I didn't take many pictures as Lucy was the designated photographer, but here's one of us in Mexico.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Engaged: Michelle & Aaron

Ahhh Michelle is getting married! Malar and Aaron got engaged Christmas Eve and will be getting married on June 26th! This means Michelle is going to be a JUNE BRIDE!! I am beyond excited for you guys and can't wait til your big day! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

Flip flops - check
Sun hat - check
Cute dresses - check
Sunscreen - check
Good books - check
Passport - check
Wishing you the Merriest Christmas with family, friends and those you love - check!

Monday, December 21, 2009

This & That

It's been a long day, but not a bad day. Although one might think that taking the kids out to dinner for the first time and having Miss Mar throw up all over the table and restaurant would make for a bad day, but I was surprisingly calm and in those situations you just have to get through it, even if you are by yourself. Plus the best times are after they're cleaned up and bathed and you get to snuggle on the couch. Christmas time with kids is just so fun!!

I came home to 5 Christmas cards, and if you know me, you know this made my day! I finally decided that I'm not sending out my usual handwritten card (esp since my address list is around 140) this year. Hopefully I'll get to sending out a picture card when we get back. Sometimes you just can't do it all.

I'm listening to Handel's Messiah and I just can't get enough of it.

I'm jealous of those who got pounded with snow. Friday after work I was determined to leave the boring rain of Charlotte and drive home, even though my Dad told me the roads were bad. I was stubborn and tried to go anyways, but ended up making it halfway until I was sliding going 40 mph with my hazards on along with dozens of other cars on a snowy I-85, all the while passing multiple accidents. So I turned around and you know what I thought to myself: Dads know best.

I've been so encouraged lately by Matt Chandler, his sermons and his story.

Big dogs > little dogs.

Today is the shortest day of the year.

Every time I see a box of Cheerios, I think of this (very drunk) man on the subway who talked to me for 20 minutes about how Cheerios lowers your cholesterol. 20 minutes. (just saw a Cherrios commercial, sorry... stream of conciousness)

I have Gossip Girl on silent in the background because it's been months since I've seen an episode so I don't know what's going on, but I LOVE the UES shots. Wish I was watching with Katie & Kath on the couch at 1125!

Life is good. It's just one of those nights where my thoughts run all over the place (clearly), the tree is lit, the house is quiet, the to-do list is oh so long, but you just have to be still because Christmas comes only once a year and you don't want to miss taking it all in.

The last thought will be part of what my dear friend Ginny wrote in her Christmas card to me (hope you don't mind, Gin). I thought it was true and beautiful:

"What a ride you and I have been on this past year, but the Lord has been faithful and ever-present. Praise God for your mother's health! Our life is so precious here."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Because I am the biggest football fan...

Yesterday I got a personal invitation in the mail from the owner of the NY Jets football team for me and a guest to have a personal tour of their new stadium. So random and I have no idea how they got my name, or even if it's legit. However, if anyone in NYC wants to take the tour with a friend, let me know and I'll give you the info and send you the invite!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Manor girls

I realized that I haven't formally introduced my roomies! Caitlin and MaryKaren* both work for Crusade and we have the best time together!

Here is our cute little home. We love it! Of course, don't look too closely at the yard... it's a muddy mess with leaves still around from fall. I keep hoping the landscaping guys who drive by will feel an overwhelming sense of pity for us and one day we'll come home to a beautifully landscaped yard. A girl can dream. I mean, come spring I'll plant flowers and a garden, but I've never been too fond of the rake (ask my Dad).

I've enjoyed baking a lot this season. I also found at HT a marked-down produce section where I can get a bag of slighly bruised tomatoes for $1. I've made homemade sauce and other savory dishes. We laugh because while I don't eat much meat, MK's grandfather was a butcher and she LOVES meat!

For some reason, I felt completely safe walking around Harlem after dark or running the reservoir at midnight, but now living in Charlotte, I will do no such thing. Perhaps it's just that any cry for help wouldn't be heard or perhaps it's the crime shows MK & Cait enjoy watching and every now and then I'll tune in and see a jogger getting strangled and then I'm done. However, they enjoy running late at night together and as often as they ask me to join them, I am quite fine running in the morning and staying in a warm house at night.

This is Caitlin & I at Michael's Halloween party. The girls also hosted a tacky sweater party, but none of us ended up wearing sweaters. I mean, who looks cute in a jingle bell turtleneck?

Merry Christmas from the Manor girls!

*We NEVER call MaryKaren, MaryKaren. Heads usually turn if we do. We affectionately call her MK. Of course I call her MK my fav, MmmmmKay, Mmmk and other, various ways to put M & K together.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Public Service Announcement

If you're vacationing on the Gulf of Mexico this Christmas, mainly on a big cruise ship: look out. Tonight I lost a bet with that Ginna girl which means I will have to do a karaoke number all by myself. Awesome. The last time I did karaoke was in Chinatown, in a tiny room with yummy appies and we sang until 2am. But that was with a group of people and never once did I do a solo!! This should be interesting.

On a completely different note, App State lost tonight. I am sooo bummed! And let's face it, while I'm not that into football, if your college team makes it to the semifinals, you gotta tune in. Oh well... I probably wouldn't have caught the ball either if it was 7 degrees in the middle of a blizzard. I will leave you with this: Be true to Yosef.

Happy Birthday Michelle!!

Malar is 26 today!! Hope you have a wonderful day at the ballet and a yummy dinner tonight with your man! I'm so proud of you (sticking your hand up a cow's ass is something I could/will never do) and I so greatly admire all of your hard work and accomplishments. I can't wait to watch you become Dr. Roy in May!! :) Have fun today! Love you!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Allison!!

Al and I have been friends for 20 years. I think. Right, Al? (She's much better at remembering dates, events and pretty much everything else.) She's my oldest and dearest friend and we've had so many fun times together. I hope you have a very special day, Al. Love you!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas at Manor Road

Us girls at the Manor have put up the tree and decked the halls with wreaths, bows, cinnamon scented pine cones, poinsettias, candles and lots of Christmas cheer!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cover it Vogue

Lately I've really enjoyed following and reading about an up & coming artist, Max Wiedemann. I love the way he incorporates color through spray paint to create a modern and fresh graffiti look. Check it out:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas in the '90's

Look at that little Lu! Our little cherry on top!