The past few days....

December 29, 2012

Here in NJ we have enjoyed a relaxing trip full of snow, hot tea, fuzzy blankets on the couch, card games, cooking delicious food {and eating it} & also taking care of a sick fiancé. I love spending time with his family and not having a lot to do... Making memories with my future family is a true blessing and I love them so much!

Please keep Peter and my mom in your prayers. 
Peter still has a slight fever but my mom is fighting that nasty flu at home!
Happy Weekend everyone.... I had no idea what today was when I checked my calendar, I love you, wonderful vacations!! You really are the best!

This Christmas...

December 28, 2012

I found a new personality. I became hard. Tough. Its a hard knock life for us.... 
Just kidding. 
But it was fun to take that goofy picture with my brother. Then we took a normal "stand and smile and look happy in front of the tree for Mom because she said so" kind of picture. 
Welcome Mom.
And thanks Brother for not complaining.

More than a picture.

December 27, 2012

This blanket is very special to me because its made out of my Papa’s shirts. He passed away almost 3 years ago and my sweet Aunt Shelia made this blanket for my Mom. I know we will always treasure it and I will always love it. When I look at this picture I don’t see just the two of us, I see my grandfather with us and that makes me so happy! He was such a special man and he loved his grandkids so much. Not only did he love me but he also loved Peter.

One of the last conversations I had with my Papa is probably my favorite one. He was laying in bed telling Peter stories about my childhood… how he would lay out the yellow hose pipe in the back yard and we would walk "the yellow brick road” all day long while I wore my favorite red sparkly shoes or how all I had to do was poke out my bottom lip for that over priced snow globe in Gatlinburg and you bet I’d be leaving with it in my hand.
Peter’s response was simply, “oooh, that lip works for you too?” :)

I remember my heart skipping a beat while I stood there watching them talk. I knew it wouldn’t happen much more and just a few short days later he was gone. When my Papa passed away he knew in his heart that Peter would be my husband and while we stood there wrapped up in his blanket I couldn’t help but feel complete. The way my heart felt in the moment was the most pure kind of happiness I’ve ever felt and I can only thank the Lord for that.

It's still so strange to celebrate life and not have both of my Papas around but I find peace in knowing that they are with Jesus & I will see them again. 

Hope you all had a beautiful Christmas with some people you love, enjoy the rest of December! 

Surprise visits from Santa are kind of awesome.

December 26, 2012

Christmas Eve at my Grandma's house was a total success. The babies in the family had a wonderful time opening their gifts and they really loved the special visit from Santa. In years past we had Uncle Larry sneak in the back room and put on a big red suit fully stuffed with a pillow but since the kids are growing and becoming smarter {Santa's eyes looked like Uncle Larry's eyes...?} we decided to switch it up this year. I guess its safe to say the new Santa went over well. He even bribed the "big kids" with candy canes so we had to jump in for a picture as well. I love my crazy, loud family. I also loved the super tasty ham that my Mom cooked and the perfect peanut butter balls my Grandma made. Family, Food, Dessert & Santa... yup, a wonderful night!! 
I hope yours was wonderful as well! 

one thing I can't WAIT to do....

December 24, 2012

Send out Christmas cards every year with an awesomly fun picture. 
I sent Christmas cards this year that were pretty and fun but not with a picture, cause honestly, what would the picture be of? Me... by myself? Awwwwkward. Peter agreed that it would be a little weird to send out Christmas cards since we aren't married yet but I couldn't help myself. Why not play around a little bit and have a cute e-card for my blog readers.... It is my blog after all! :)

Photo: Red Apple Tree Photography // Edit: Phoster iPhone App

So, we hope you all have a beautiful Christmas,
a fun rest of December
& have a safe and happy New Years!
Prayers for a safe flight tomorrow would be greatly appreciated also! 
Let the Christmas festivities begin!!! God bless, friends!

we do not lose heart.

December 18, 2012

Most of the weekend and yesterday bloggers were writing about the horrible event in Connecticut. Every time I sit down and start typing about that awful morning I can’t even think of the words to type. My mind goes blank. My heart aches and I lose focus all together.

I have no idea how that town feels right now. I can’t even imagine how the parents, families and teachers are hurting. I don’t have a mother’s heart yet so that part of my identity hasn’t been awaken. So many of the blogs I have read about the shooting are mothers and they all express the pain they would feel if they lost their baby. I know I won’t truly understand that fear until I create that bond with my child when ever God gives me that gift but right now I can’t fathom the heartache those mothers are feeling.

The only thing I can do is pray. pray for the families that lost someone. pray for the students that lost a teacher. pray for the parents that will sit by their tree on Christmas morning with the unwrapped gifts. pray for the family and friends that knew Adam Lanza. pray for the world and the anger that fills it. pray that God will make himself known and by His peace & grace we will survive because it is only through Him that we live at all.

2 Cor. 4:16-18 " Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

New Traditions

December 17, 2012

On Saturday night I had a night of fun that involved some quality time with friends, cheeseburgers & a game of Apples to Apples which was awesome because I won. I normally don't win games so it was kind of exciting for me! I may have screamed BOOOOYAH!! Don't judge.

We decided this would be a new tradition for us before Christmas... switching houses and the burger style every year. Starting traditions is such an exciting thing to do, especially when it includes three best friends and our guys. I'm so lucky to have these people in my life! Thanks to Jocie and Adam for hosting the first annual "Sisters and their Misters Chrismas Shindig". Definitely sticking with that name so I hope you guys like it!

brunch & ballet

December 12, 2012

First time moments are always exciting especially when you get to share those moments with the woman that raised you. On Sunday I got to go see The Nutcracker with my Mom for the first time!! It was magical and so beautiful… we have always wanted to see this ballet but never had the chance. I guess if we had a bucket list of things to do before I’m married this would most definitely be on it. After a delicious brunch at High Cotton in downtown Greenville we walked over to the Peace Center for a little piece of Heaven.
I grew up dancing and had every intention on dancing the rest of my life, maybe even teaching dance but the Lord had different plans. When I hurt my back the summer before my senior year I was devastated and didn’t understand why God would take away something that I loved so much. Looking back now I’m thankful for that time in my life. He pushed me to find comfort in the unfamiliar and find a new place to fit in. I still miss dancing at times and while I sat there watching the dancers spin and leap so gracefully on the stage I definitely had that feeling. You know…. that feeling when you have blurred vision from watery eyes and forced swallows to try and keep the tears back. Yea, that feeling. The tears I faught back weren't of sadness though, they were tears of joy because I had the chance to witness something so beautiful. Something I used to be apart of. While I stood clapping with everyone at the end of the show I couldn’t help but feel sincere happiness. My love of dance was cut short but I’m so thankful that I had that season in my life at all… I definitely don’t miss the bloody toes or annoying pink tights but I will always look back on those years and remember how much I felt alive. Memories are such a great gift and I’m glad I have mine. I’m also thankful for the new memory made with my Mom on Sunday! I couldn’t imagine having that first with anyone else… after all, she’s the one that sat in the crowd and watched me spin and leap on stage all those years. It only makes sense.

all because of a little sunshine...

December 11, 2012

Peter and I recently took his Brother’s old camera off his hands and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s definitely confusing with all the 1,347 settings available but I’m starting to get the hang of it. I used the camera at the Christmas Party over the weekend and when I loaded the pictures to the computer I realized I had a few shots from Charleston saved as well. I guess it slipped my mind somehow…? Long story short, here are some of my favorite images from the little trip to Chucktown several weeks ago.

I could walk around this beautiful city ALL DAY LONG and take a gazillion pictures on every corner. Every single building is so beautiful in its own special way. The perfect beams of sunlight that peek over the buildings making every bright colored store front or home come alive is one of my favorite parts about downtown Charleston. It can make you have those lovely moments where you are walking down a cobblestone road minding your own business and all the sudden you think… well, hello Jesus, thank you for your beautiful light…….
and that feeling can make you lose your breath for a moment. It can cause you to almost burst full of love for the One that created all this gorgeousness right in front of you & placed you in that very moment where you could stand in awe of Him and feel loved right back in return.

Stealing ornaments and sipping champagne!

December 10, 2012

Yes.... on Saturday night twenty women gathered together in my living room and played a little game where it was perfectly fine to steal a pretty ornament from someone because that's just what you do at our 5th Annual Christmas Party!! It was awesome. I love these people a lot!

It’s kind of exciting that this yearly tradition has been living for five years… mainly thanks to my Mom since she does most of the work. I help but she is the brain behind it. Next year will be another story though… it will be at MY house and I will get to organize most of it. Decorate for all of it. Cook for a lot of it. All of this being done by a newly married woman. Yikes... fun stuff ;) Let’s be honest, I never help mom with the decorating because I just don’t enjoy it. I’m crossing my fingers and praying that I will have a new heart full of love for Christmas decorations next year since it will be my first home. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Grinch. I love Christmas and even Christmas music {after Thanksgiving of course} but I've never been a fan of putting lights on a tree that could quite possibly fall on top of me and kill me at any moment. You can find me in the pre-lit clearance trees after Christmas trying to score an awesome deal so I won’t have to face that horror next year.Safety first, ya know? ;)

Thank you to all the wonderful ladies that came out this year for our party!! It was so much fun to laugh, eat, sip and enjoy this Holiday season with you! It really is the most wonderful time of the year! 
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