Category Archives: Holidays

Valentines Day Twins

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I can’t believe that this is mine and Matt’s FIFTH Valentine’s day.  And our last one as fiance and fiancee.  Fairly uneventful day at work (although I did participate in the cookie drive for breast cancer a bit.)

I came home and found a box of beautiful flowers:


I can’t wait until they open up.  I love roses!!

Then Matt and I exchanged cards.  Let’s see how compatible we really are:


Yes, we both got each other cards about farting (okay, technically his card was from April.  He misplaced his “I love you a whole punch” card.).

Yes, we also both got each other tickets to see Mary Poppins.  His gift to me was probably more apropos.  He knows that I love musicals.  And I thought that he might get me the tickets for Christmas.  So when he didn’t, I thought that I would be okay for Valentine’s.  ARGH!  See, we went to see “The Lion King” on the night that we got engaged.  So I thought that we could make it a tradition and go see a Disney musical and then return to Finale for dessert.  Oh well.  Hopefully the extraneous tickets won’t be too hard to get rid of (I already have some interest).  It is a hit Broadway musical that’s pretty much almost sold out as it is.

After the cards, we waited around awhile until our dinner reservation at 8:45 pm (that’s what happens when you don’t make dinner plans until 6:30pm on Valentines Day), and had a nice evening out.

Any special Valentine’s Day plans?  Share the love! Open-mouthed smile

Golden Birthdays

Well, I made it to Knoxville just fine!  I flew out at 5am on December 26th (just before the blizzard), and despite two hours on the tarmac in Charlotte awaiting de-icing, I got to Knoxville about 12:45pm.  My original flight (leaving at 5am on Monday, December 27th) was canceled, so I’m glad I made it.  I wonder how much snow will be left when we return to Boston.  April, who is staying with my mom, is enjoying the snow immensely!  My mom and stepdad swear that she is part husky.


Today is Matt’s (and his twin sister, Diana’s) GOLDEN birthday.  They are 28 on the 28th!  WOO HOO!!  We celebrated by checking out the new Brazilian steakhouse in Knoxville.  What an experience.  I had heard of the concept, but didn’t know exactly how it worked.  You are given a chip.  Red means “No, thank you”, and green means “MORE PLEASE!”


We started with a salad course.  Delicious cheesey poufs (little muffins) were also consumed.


Then came the meat.  Now I am not a big red meat fan, so I had to say “No thank you” to all of the guys with their many cuts of beef.


But yes to chicken legs, chicken breast wrapped in bacon, and pork sausage.

We were stuffed when all was said and done.  It was a fun experience, and highly recommended if you are a carnivore.

This evening we opened presents:


And ate cookie cake!


I gave Matt a digital camera.  He kept stealing mine to go to site visits, so I got him one of his very own!  Good thing, too.  I appear to have forgotten my camera.  I swear I checked that I had packed it, but I can’t find it!  ARGH!  It had better be sitting somewhere in our house.  I guess the fact that I stayed up all night until the taxi arrived at 3am caused me to be forgetful.  Speaking of which, my cab ride to the airport was $39 (plus tip), and I only gave the driver $27!  Luckily I figured it out and called him back to hand him another $20.  I wonder what he bad words he was saying when he saw that I had shorted him.

Anyway, happy birthday to Matt and Diana!  We are off to Cincinnati in the morning for LOTS OF WEDDING STUFFS!


What a great, although odd ending, day!  We went to the 11 o’clock service on Christmas eve.  Then came back to do the traditional placing of the stockings by the fire place.

Before Santa:

After Santa:

I got to snuggle with April on the pull-out couch in the basement.  It was so cute.  She slept until 8:30 this morning!!

Christmas has a few rules at our house:  We have to eat breakfast before presents.  The presents are then distributed to their owners.  We take turns opening, going from oldest to youngest.  The whole process took about 1.5 hours this morning.

April got to open a few presents.  Here’s her present from Santa:

See the Santa paper?  He has specific paper.  He also uses gold stars to put our names on presents.  April actually opened up her present from me:

She loved her Clemson bone!  April was also tortured by my stepdad, who put antlers on her head.

Another tradition for Christmas is Tom and his bows.  Yes, my 23 year old brother (who is a Marine), puts bows on his head.  But only the cool ones!

And of course we have to have pudding parfaits for Christmas dinner dessert:

What traditions do you have for the Holidays?

The hectic part of the day started around 5pm.  I knew that Boston was supposed to get some snow on Sunday/Monday.  My flight for Knoxville was supposed to leave at 5am on Monday.  Well, I went to the weather channel, and saw “BLIZZARD WARNING” and this map:

Yeah, Boston is expected to get 15-20″ or 1-2′ +!!!  Luckily, USAirways is waiving their change fees, so now I’m leaving 24 hours early.  My flight is in 4.5 hours, and the taxi will be here in three hours.  AHHH!!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Early Christmas Presents

Since Matt and I are spending Christmas apart (*gasp*), we exchanged gifts on Wednesday evening.  I had the darnedest time thinking of what to give him.  So I ended up giving him . . . ICE CREAM! Okay, not your generic, store-bought ice cream.  I shipped up 6 pints of Graeter’s from Cincinnati.  It shipped overnight and was packed in dry ice in this container:

I love the “irresistible contents”.  Oh yeah.

Mmm!!  Peanut butter chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, cookie dough chip, almond coconut chip, and Buckeye Blitz (which makes me feel like a traitor to Purdue every time I get it).

What makes this ice cream so special?  Well it’s made in small batches using the “French Pot” process.  To make the chips, liquid bittersweet chocolate is poured into the ice cream.  However it freezes, that’s the chip.  So you usually get a few large (like 2-3″) chips!  Don’t worry, despite the labor intensive process to make the ice cream, Graeter’s is expanding!!  They should be in Kroger stores throughout the country any time now.  Too bad we don’t have Kroger in Boston (for so many reasons).

Matt loved the ice cream.  Of course, I still have to figure out his birthday present (his b-day is December 28).

From Matt I received a FLIP VIDEO CAMERA!


Unfortunately, it might not be working correctly.  So I have to go brave the crowds either today or December 26th to exchange it.

Yesterday, Christie and I had lunch with the newly engaged, Holly.  I swear she’s a professional treat maker.  She surprised us with a tasty box of goodness:

Peanut butter fudge (how did she know about my obsession with peanut butter and chocolate?) and oreo balls.  Mmm!  I had to take a picture before they were completely devoured by myself, Matt, my brother and mom.  I think Matt had at least three oreo balls on the way to the airport.

So now I’m at my mom’s for a few days.  I took April on a 3 mile walk this morning, and need to get on this whole wrapping presents thing.  MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!

P.S. Be sure to check out my post on using bows in weddings on WedLoft!

Christmas Season is Upon Us!

And with the beginning of December, Christmas is soon near!  We can now start using our advent calendar!

(Confession, we never actually took it down from last year.  Oops!) Since I’m unsure of how April will react to a tree and other holiday accoutrement, our decor will be minimal this year.

And we received a package this morning.  Guess what it was?

OUR CHRISTMAS CARDS FROM SHUTTERFLY!  Correction: our FREE Christmas cards from Shutterfly!  They are absolutely gorgeous!  I went with ALL of your suggestions: the first one, since it does look like Boston, but with the close up picture as the main front picture.

I really love them, and am so pleased with the weight of them.  I decided to go with a folded card, so that I could put a nice note inside.


So I spent an hour this evening addressing Christmas cards, while watching Purdue play Virginia Tech in basketball.   This is the first time (that I am aware of) of my two alma mater’s playing each other.  I decided to cheer for the undergrad (Purdue), and it was a very close game!  PURDUE WON!  BOILER UP!

Sponsored Post: Shutterfly Greeting Cards!

First, be sure to check out my post on Practice Thanksgiving!  I made a 20 lb. turkey and had 24 people over!

Now to the meat:

I love getting non-bill, non-spam mail, especially greeting cards.  I even have a special place for our greeting cards: the display shelf of our dining room hutch!

It currently features birthday cards, engagement congratulations (I can’t seem to get rid of them!), and some birth announcements.  In the next month, they will be swapped out for HOLIDAY CARDS!  My favorite holiday cards are always the photo cards.   This year, I knew that I wanted to show off our engagement pictures as well as our cute new canine addition by sending out our own greeting cards (isn’t that what you do when you “settle down”?  Guess I’m getting old now).

I had been shopping around and always love the ones my cousin sends from Shutterfly.  When I learned about the deal with Shutterfly Holiday Cards for bloggers, I jumped at the chance to have great quality photo cards FOR FREE!

Here are a few tries at getting the perfect card:

Any favorite from the peanut gallery?  I can’t decide if I want just a single sheet photo card or a folded one so that I can write a brief message.  Decisions!  Decisions!

I’m also looking into using Shutterfly for making a photo guest book (we’re getting a lot of mileage out of these engagement pictures).  Has anyone else used Shutterfly?  What are your favorite products?  Are you sending out holiday cards?

*This is a sponsored post from Shutterfly.  In exchange for blogging about Shutterfly, I will receive free holiday cards.  If you’d like to participate, please visit Shutterfly online.

**All card designs are from Shutterfly.  Our engagement pictures are courtesy of our wonderful photography, Fyrefly Photography.

Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend

My weekend before Turkey Day was actually filled with many of the same things as Thanksgiving Weekend:  football, family, and a 20 pound turkey!

Saturday we met my mom, stepdad, aunt, uncle, and two cousins at the Harvard – Yale game (aka “The Game”).  My uncle graduated from Harvard 25 years ago, so it was a homecoming for him (he now lives in Michigan, so he doesn’t make it to Cambridge too often).  It was a pretty exciting game.  And Harvard Stadium is really neat looking.  It seats about 25,000+ people, and is entirely reinforced concrete (thus we brought blankets for our bums).

The Harvard Side and the Yale Side.


My 12 year old cousin, Elizabeth, confessed that she didn’t know much about football.  But she knew that when the left/Crimson side cheered it was good, and when the right/Blue side cheered, it was bad.  SMART GIRL!

Speaking of football, check out my “Football Themed Weddings” blog entry on WedLoft.  Gee, I wonder where I got that idea!

Sunday we hosted “Practice Thanksgiving”, which is a tradition started at Purdue, continued through grad school at Virginia Tech, and now is in Boston.  Basically we invite our friends over for a potluck Thanksgiving.  We provide the house, the turkey, and some dessert, and everyone else provides the rest.  This year we had 24 people.  Yup, 24 people!  We had to borrow some chairs, a table, and use four paper plates.  I bought a 20 pound turkey.  Luckily, my friend had a $20 coupon for a “free turkey”, and (even luckier) the turkey was only $12.  Guess who has two thumbs and was paid $8 to buy a turkey?  THIS GIRL!!

Of course, when inviting people over, the house must be cleaned, and then set up for an enormous amount of guests:


One table of 10, one table of six, and one table of eight!  Do the math!  April was very curious as to what was going on (and why her favorite chair was suddenly in the closet):


We even (finally) put up one of our engagement pictures to show off display in the foyer


Here are some group shots:


And we can’t forget the food (I never got a picture of the turkey, just the carcass)


Now I have to brag about the ice cream cake on the left.  I made it!  Our favorite restaurant (Not Your Average Joes) put some of their recipes online, including the dessert “Peanut Butter Thing”, which is made of ice cream with oreos, caramel, and peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough.  You can find the recipe here.  The cake was a hit.  As you can see, I had to snap this picture before it was demolished.


It was a great night (although the Colts lost to the Patriots, leaving some mixed emotion in the living room).  April was wiped!


Do you have any special Thanksgiving Traditions?

Happy Easter!

How original is that title?

So I did some pretty good studying Friday and Saturday, talked to some photographers, and headed out west to my mom’s with my friend Kristina.

Saturday night we watched the Final Four (GO BUTLER!!) and chatted about the wedding of course.

Woke up this morning and guess who had made stop at our house:

Hooray for Easter Candy!

I went to church with my mom and stepdad, and then headed out to brunch with their friends, my aunt, uncle, cousin, and Kristina.

It was a buffet that we went to last year.  I actually don’t really like breakfast foods, so I went for the real food:

Some chicken dish (hooray for meat again!), fish, and the only vegetables I could find: broccoli in alfredo sauce.  For dessert I had a hot fudge sundae and some pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream.  I didn’t pull out the camera for those.  I’m still not sure how to say “I have a blog” in front of new people, so there’s a lack of pictures.

We had a 2.5 hour brunch, then came home to more chatting with my mom.  We finally left about 7:30, but traffic was BAAAAAAD!!  So I just got back a bit ago.  Almost time to leave for the airport and pick up Matt!  I missed him so much!

First DIY Project!!

First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Did you know that Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Engineers!!  WOOHOO!

I celebrated by studying for the PE.  Last year, we went to South Boston (Southie) for the St. Patty’s Day Parade.  It was a fun atmosphere.

We were wearing green, can you tell?

Anyway, onto my DIY project.  I took two hours away from studying last Friday to make some cards to ask my bridesmaids to be my bridesmaids!!  They say that you shouldn’t ask your girls too early, but seriously, I’ve known them all for AT LEAST ten years, so I figured I was safe.

I made my way to the nearest scrapbooking supply store (aka Target) and could only find stuff for brides (not bridesmaids), so I got creative.  Here’s the outside of the card:

And the inside:

The poem was:  Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a six pence in my shoe, and a wonderful friend just like you.  I personalized them a bit by using colors that the girls liked.  And then the “white feather wedding dresses” were made less “wedding dress”y by putting sparkly blue paper and coloring things.  I thought they were cute.

I can post this now, since all the girls have received their cards, actually except for one (she knows what it says and doesn’t read this anyway).  I put them in the mail on Friday at 5pm.  And she still hasn’t gotten it.  We’re both afraid that it has ended up like a wedding invitation I received a few years ago:

Yeah, it was ripped in half.

Anyway, 6 bridesmaids!  WOOHOO!!   We’re on our way to a wedding!


Well, in a bit of a funk today, although I do have some great Valentine’s day documentation.   But I’m trying to escape some of reality and lose myself in comedies (currently watching “Julie and Julia”)

Anyway, here’s the video from Amy and Paul’s Wedding!!  We danced to a few songs.  I think the best parts (BY FAR) are the guys dance and “Thriller” at the end!  It was so much fun!!

P.S. Saw “Valentine’s Day” last night!  I definitely liked it.  It was a lot like “Love Actually”, which is one of my favorite movies of all time.  Plus, Topher Grace’s character was from “Muncie, Indiana”, so we got to make fun of Indiana!  (Hey, I’ve lived there, friends and family live there, even in Muncie, so I can laugh about it!) Oh yeah, and it made me cry!

Enjoy your Valentine’s and/or President’s Day weekend!


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