Thursday, December 31, 2009
January - rang in 2009 for the first time as husband and wife; Matt tossed me my Blackberry and it landed right in my glass of red wine (this still makes me laugh when I think about it); the Florida Gators won the BCS Championship; Jenn and I got to hang out with Eddie Ross; Matt found out he was "moving" to Tifton
February - Matt "moved" to Tifton; we took a trip to NYC and had a blast; went to a Robert Earl Keen concert for Valentine's Day; Wedding #1 - Sean & Elisa; Girls Weekend in Atlanta
March - snow in Atlanta; Britney's back and we felt too old and too classy to be at her concert but loved it anyway (good people watching, my friends); Memere's health problems really started getting bad; I celebrated by 27th birthday; our nephew Brody Shane was born the next day and was immediately sent to a NICU at another hospital
April - Matt and I head to Jacksonville to see our nephew and find out that we are also Godparents; Brody gets better and goes home (PRAISE GOD!); Weddings #2 & #3 - Holli & Spencer and Jessica & Matt; our "niece" Madelyn Grace makes a surprise entrance into the world less than 12 hours before she was supposed to
May - we went to prom; we went to Jacksonville to attend the TPC Sawgrass and baptize Brody; we decided to buy a house!!!!; head back to Florida for Wedding #4 - Allison & Brian and Memorial Weekend; spend what I think might be my last time with Memere
June - put an offer on a house and begin negotiations; head to St. Pete to really spend my last time with Memere; head back to Atlanta; turn around two days later and head back to St. Pete for Memere's services; Wedding #5 - Jen & Jason; we went under contract on our home!!!
July - this entire month was pretty much consumed with house stuff... packing, closing, making some improvements, and moving!
August - get settled into our first home; paint... a lot; realize that my husband is extremely handy and am extremely thankful for that; take a wonderful 8 day vacation to the San Francisco Bay Area and Wedding #6 - Brad & Mariah; more painting; Matt turns 30 and we throw a bash at our new home
September - celebrate our one year anniversary; go to Gainesville to see Tebow for the last time in the Swamp (our last time seeing him play in the Swamp, that is); Atlanta floods (this was a quiet month compared to most)
October - crazy work travel at the beginning of the month; went to the Florida Georgia game in Jacksonville at the end of the month and watched the Gators kick some butt
November - family time in Brevard, NC; ate an amazing dinner at Woodfire Grill and got to meet Chef Gillespie; bought a new 4Runner; spent Thanksgiving in KCMO with Matt's family
December - threw the Tailgate of all Tailgates Part Deux; had amazing seat at the SEC Championship to watch our Gators lose; went on my first new business pitch with my company; Wedding #7 - Liz & Andy; celebrated Christmas in Jacksonville with my family; and now we're here with only an hour and 15 minutes left in 2009...
If you read all of this, God bless you. It's been a great year, and in addition to all of this, I am thankful that Matt and I have been blessed beyond measure to have each other, loving family and friends, our health, and good jobs. Happy New Year! I hope 2010 brings even more excitement!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Yeah, we were that close. This is my "crappy" camera that doesn't zoom far.
This pretty much sums it up.
The next weekend, I attended my cousin's wedding in Sarasota, sans husband. The theme was peacocks and I loved it. The cake was fantastic!
Love this... bubba and Liz!
And, the last part of the 2009 picture review... my nephews. These were the only pictures I took during Christmas. I didn't even take any pictures of our decor. It's nothing major anyway, but still... I am getting really bad at documenting things pictorally in my "old" age.
Loving those blue eyes on my Brody Bear.
B-Man loves that Pooh... every time he saw it, he was all smiles. Then he would eat the nose and the antennae.
So, that's it for pictures. Christmas was great, albeit hectic. I was exhausted! I cooked Christmas Eve dinner and it turned out nicely - an antipasti tray and bruschetta for apps; prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, brussell sprouts, broccoli and cheese (for the picky eaters) and homemade Italian bread for dinner; and pecan pie and tiramisu for dessert. Only, no one really ate dessert! Santa was good to me... I got the Tory Burch flats (yeah!), two very nice crystal vases, a Canon photo printer/scanner/copier, LL Bean slippers, a Sonicare toothbrush, photo albums, a Home Goods gift card (already used most of it for a picture I found for our dining room), Bill O'Reilly's A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity, a new Gator t-shirt exactly like my favorite one that looks vintage even though it's only around six years old (it's my favorite Gator t-shirt), a shirt from the Limited and two pretty necklaces, along with some other small things. I was spoiled and certainly don't deserve (or need) all of the lovely things, but I will enjoy them all anyway. I got Matt a Nintendo Wii, which was really a gift for both of us (as the printer and toothbrush from him were sort of for both of us, as well), and we've been having fun playing it but we need some games. We brought it to Jacksonville so we could play while we were there. I'm pretty good at bowling, but not so much at tennis. I want to get the Wii Fit... anyone out there have it and actually use it? One of my co-workers is going to let me borrow his so I can try it out, because his wife doesn't use it. Any other Wii game recommendations? Rock Band or Band Hero? Which is the better version?
Anyway, this is a long enough post. I can't believe 2009 is almost over... I'm sure I'll have some sort of reflective post on that in the next two days. :) Hope you all had a very, Merry Christmas with your loved ones.
I finally uploaded pictures to our new laptop and to Kodak Gallery, so a post chock full of pictures coming your way soon. Get excited because my nephews are pretty darn cute.
Monday, December 21, 2009
We're on the rotating holiday schedule for now (HI PARENTS, YOU'RE MORE THAN WELCOME TO COME SPEND A HOLIDAY WITH US) :) so this year it's Christmas with my family. We do Christmas Eve celebrations at mom's house, so we'll all gather early for church and then come home for a feast and presents. We have two nephews - James (almost 4) and Brody (9 months), so Christmas has taken on new meaning! It's always fun to see it through children's eyes. On Christmas Day, Matt and I are heading a few hours south to visit his grandma for the day. She's precious, and I'm looking forward to spending the day with her! We almost never see her, so this will be a nice treat for both of us.
Since we don't wake up in our own home for Christmas, we're doing "our Christmas" tonight. We did Mexican last year, and I think it might be a recurring theme, as we're having fajitas, black beans and homemade guac tonight. I love our little Christmas together. I will torture Matt with Christmas music (and me singing along... now that's torture, especially after being sick), we'll eat and drink (and be merry, of course), and open gifts... then clean up and pack (good times).
I'm going to try to take a computer break, so I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. Don't forget the reason for the season! Luke 2:14
On a side note to my above comment, I think my family is going to come up to have Thanksgiving in Atlanta next year, and I'm so excited! Hopefully by then, we'll have our kitchen remodeled and a new dining room set to accommodate more people. It makes me really excited to think about hosting Thanksgiving, because I'm a dork! :)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Yeah, so it may have been from my cab on the way to the airport and not at nighttime, but still. YAY! We stayed right by the NYSE, so I also got to see their pretty tree all lit up at night.
Monday, December 14, 2009
What do I do if I don't feel better? Suck it up and go or call-in sick? Thankfully, the meeting will still go on without me, as I'm one of eight people from my company going up to represent us, but it's really quite an honor that I was invited, so I don't know what to do! Positive thoughts... I will be better in the morning! Please...
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
What the crap!? Seriously. Don't get me wrong, I like Ashleigh and Ryan, but seriously. Seriously!?! Mollee and Legacy aren't in the finals!?!? I cannot accept this. I should've known Mollee wasn't going to make it, because I was a dork and called in for her MANY times last night and got through every.single.time. That was not the case with Jakob, Russell (never got through with him), or Kathryn. Boo hiss. Okay, I'm over it now. But, not really. As long as Kevin wins Top Chef tonight, I'm good. If he doesn't and you don't hear from me for a while, send the police to my house. ;)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
We are the boys from old Florida,
Where the girls are the fairest,
the boys are the squarest,
of any old state down our way, HEY!
We are all strong for old Florida,
down where the old Gators play, GO GATORS!
In all kinds of weather,
we'll all stick togetherrrrrr...
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
I have been a good girl this year. These are some of the items I'd enjoy seeing under the Christmas tree.
*Tori Burch Reva flats - size 6
*Quilted jacket similar to the Burberry jacket in khaki/tan (or if you strike it rich, the Burberry jacket would be fantastic) - size small (here's one from Eddie Bauer to help you out)*Photo albums (leather or suede, no crazy colors, something very classic and simple)
I'm a pretty simple gal. Of course, if you want to drop a hint to my husband that I'd like a pair of diamond sparklers for my ears, feel free. I think those will have to wait a few years considering we bought a house and a car this year. And, if the above list isn't enticing to you, gift cards to home improvement stores or home decor stores (Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel) are always much appreciated, as we are still doing plenty of work on our little home. Oh, and if you're going to put anything from Bath & Body Works in my stocking, I'd appreciate travel size Coconut Lime Verbena body splash and/or Aromatherapy Sleep lavender/vanilla dream bath and pillow mist.
Monday, November 23, 2009
- We had NO intentions of buying a car on Saturday, but we did. May I introduce our new baby, the 2010 4Runner Limited. Her name is yet to be determined. Pardon the rainy cell phone picture.
- two day work week. Two Day Work Week. TWO DAY WORK WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!
- My "niece" Madelyn makes me very happy. I got to play with her for a bit on Saturday evening. She's just a joy. I kind of like her mom too.
- I was gifted with two FOURTH ROW seats on the 10-yard line for the SEC Championship. I really don't know where this streak of luck on the football tickets front has come from, but I'll take it. Look for us on TV. I think I will make a sign, but I'm not yet sure what it will say. The game is on CBS, so if you have any suggestions, let me know. Some early thoughts were "Can't Beat Spikes" and "[CBS logo - the eye] [heart] T[bow]." That's sort of hard to understand, but it would all be symbols... eye heart T-bow (a bow).
- This article was in the NY Times today. All of this stuff is right around our house. Fun!
- We're heading to KCMO for Thanksgiving on Wednesday, and in addition to spending FIVE WHOLE DAYS in a row with Matt, I'm very excited to see his family. We haven't seen his parents since Christmas... that's way too long.
- I made a pre-Thanksgiving feast for two of our friends last night. Butternut squash soup with maple croutons, turkey meatloaf, sweet potatoe puree, and sage stuffing. It was good, but I should have made some gravy for the meatloaf. Next time...
- Speaking of food, I really like it. I like just about all of it. But, I could stand to lose a few lbs, which means I might have to put my love affair with food on hold for a while (after the holidays, of course!). Actually, I think if I put my love affair with wine on hold, I'd see results. Hmmmm... either way, something's gotta give.
- That's all for now! If for some reason I do not blog again before Thanksgiving, I hope each of you have a blessed holiday with family and friends and find plenty of things to be thankful for this year. I know I have plenty of reasons to give thanks.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
You walk right by the open kitchen with a wood burning oven to the dining area, and I was beyond pleasantly surprised (okay, let's be real, I was downright giddy) to be seated at a table RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE KITCHEN. I mean, I could have reached up and slapped high five with Chef Gillespie. Since Matt and I are (obviously) really into food and cooking, it was quite a treat to be able to watch the kitchen work.
Now, I want to get back to the service. It was truly impeccable. I'm really not sure what they could have done better. Each person who visited our table, whether our server, food runner, or busser, was warm and professional. Our waiter was fantastic, but I really enjoyed our food runner, because he was the one who explained the dishes to me. I decided to order the chef's tasting, which is a blind tasting... meaning I have no idea what I'm getting. I will try just about anything, so this was a great option. Plus, Matt ordered off the menu, so we were able to get some things we knew we both wanted to try.
Shortly after we placed our order, the food runner brought us an amuse bouche of deconstructed Waldorf salad over a blue cheese aioli. After that little bite, I knew we were in for something good. The sweetness of the apple and tanginess of the aioli were perfect together. Matt ordered veal sweetbreads for his first course, and they were unreal. I've only had sweetbreads one other time, and Woodfire's sweetbreads ran circles around the ones we had in California. They were served with their natural juice over a potato emulsion, roasted chanterelle mushrooms and an herb salad. My first course was a pan seared diver scallop served over sauteed lima beans with lamb jus and pureed black olive olive oil. You have to be a pretty bad chef to do a scallop wrong, so I wasn't surprised that it was absolutely delicious. For the main course, Matt got the wood grilled Sonoma artisan duck breast over smoked collards with braised pistachios and candied garlic. I am not a huge duck fan, but OHMYGOSH! It was divine. Ohhhhhh, sooooooooo goooooooooood. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. My main course was grilled quail with pears, turnips and apples. (I have the luxury of having the menu in front of me for Matt's dishes, but my descriptions are from memory or little notes I took since they were off-menu items). I don't think I would have ever ordered quail in my lifetime (though I would definitely try someone else's), so I am so glad I got to try something new. The quail was a light meat bird with a slightly gamey flavor and the juices from the apple, pear and turnip side really complimented it well. I probably won't order quail again, but not because I didn't like it, there are just other things I like more. Oh, and I almost forgot... in between the first and main course, the chef sent me an oyster from the coast of Washington (some sort of sustainable oyster) over a fennel pepper jelly in the shell and sitting on a mound of rock salt and cloves. Oysters are one of my favorite indulgences, so that was quite a treat and it was so tasty and fresh. Matt didn't order dessert, so we shared mine, which was a banana layer cake with banana BACON buttercream and fried banana ice cream with a garnish of banana chips. That's right, I said there was BACON in the buttercream. Matt said he couldn't taste it, but I most definitely tasted the saltiness and smokiness and it really cut through the sweetness of the cake, ice cream and frosting.
As I'm sure you can tell, we really enjoyed our evening and are saving our pennies for our next trip. Even though we brought our own wine, we still spent a pretty penny but it was well worth it. I definitely recommend Woodfire Grill for a wonderful dining experience.
Sorry these pictures stink... we took them using Matt's iPhone without the flash.
quail (after I'd already started eating and forgot to take a picture... I really shouldn't even include this but at least you can see what quail looks like if you haven't had it before)
P.S. Holler! Chef Gillespie won the elimination challenge last night on Top Chef and won $30,000!!!!! and a chance to compete to represent the US in Bocuse d'Or. Crazy!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
And let you know that I'm in love with a cute, chubby chef with red hair. ;) The food was fantastic. I took a few pics with Matt's iPhone that are admittedly pretty bad, but I need him to send them to me. Too bad you can't taste via a picture, because the meal was divine.
Friday, November 13, 2009
P.S. Who am I kidding? Of course I'm trying to make you jealous! ;)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Now on to the matter at hand - the beautiful North Carolina mountains. We had a great time this weekend, and it was awesome to get away and spend some time with family. Aunt Luanne's home is very nice and cozy and has a great view, so if any of you want a getaway in Brevard, let me know and I can put you in touch with her rental agency (it's a 2/2 + loft and sleeps 6 very comfortably... we had 9 this weekend - little ones on air mattresses in one of the bedrooms and one on the couch).
We got up after dark on Friday evening, but we got to see some beautiful scenery on the drive before the sun set. There really is nothing like the sun setting on fiery red, bright orange and golden yellow trees. Unfortunately, we missed the peak foliage, but it was still beautiful. We had a lovely dinner Friday evening, plenty of wine, and after the girls went to bed, we engaged in a game called Apples to Apples. I recommend. It was very easy and fun to play. On Saturday, we were up early (hard not to be with a 2 and 4 year old that are up with the sun), had breakfast, and then headed out for a lovely hike through part of the DuPont Forest. We saw some beautiful waterfalls and got a bit of exercise to burn off some of the calories we ate and drank the night before. :) After the hike, we headed into town and had burritos at a great little place that I can't remember the name of. After a trip to a really neat toy store, it was home where Matt and I took a nap. The women all headed into town to shop, but I just really hadn't slept well the night before and was pooped. It was the perfect nap and I woke up rejuvenated and ready to watch football. We just hung out and watched the LSU vs Alabama and Vandy vs Florida games and the beautiful sunset. We put our game on mute since it was during dinner and the birthday celebration, and I'm kind of glad I wasn't paying too much attention, because we didn't look so hot on offense... again. (DEAR STEVE ADDAZIO, GET YOUR BUTT INTO THE BOOTH SO YOU CAN REALLY SEE THE GAME. THANKS IN ADVANCE, KRISTIN). And, of course, we had a wonderful dinner and yummy cake in honor of Tony's birthday. After more wine and games, it was off to bed for a good night's sleep so we could get back to Atlanta at a good time.
So, that's it in a nutshell. :) Now for the pictorial evidence. I'm sure you can tell which pictures I edited.
Okay, now that I see these uploaded, they don't look that great. :( Well, I promise they look better full sized on my computer... they get fuzzy when I upload them to blogger for some reason. Oh well.