Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Easter Memory

Being so far away from home for the last 16 years, my Easters have often been spent in Charleston and away from my family due to travel time and expenses.

I can remember a few Easters when I was newly out of college without out any official Easter plans aside from going to church and maybe grabbing a quick lunch somewhere. Those weren't very memorable aside from the memory of feeling a bit lonely knowing that my family was in another state and celebrating without me.

Over time I decided that I'd start hosting a friends' Easter gathering for whoever might be in town and without family to help them celebrate the special day. From that first friends' Easter on, I quickly learned that there were quite a few others out there in the same boat as me and a new tradition was vetted.

Some years I'd have mostly friends attend, other years were mostly made up of Citadel cadets who worked for me and didn't have the chance to go home. Every year, however, consisted of great food, adult Easter eggs hunts where we'd regress back to our childhood and run around like crazy people looking for eggs and candy, all the while, forming our own little friend-family memories.

The last Easter that I was able to host, one of my favorite cadets attended (although I wasn't supposed to have a favorite as the boss, so let's keep that between us;). Will was a comedian, to say the least, and was often larger than life. I had recently promoted him to a cadet supervisor because he was now a senior and a strong fundraiser, but often times I'd have to remind him, while I tried to not laugh myself, that he was there to establish order and not to create humorous chaos. He made my job fun every single day. He'd surprise me with McGriddles, he'd text me jokes, plop into my office chair and talk about his family, and some of my favorite times were talking with him about girls and relationships. He loved the ladies.

During our meal that Easter Sunday, Will was once again entertaining our guests, and in a moment of animation during his story, he jumped up from the table and startled the dog so bad that it bit his leg. Blood was drawn, jeans were torn, but Will kept on laughing. I felt horrible as the host, but it was definitely a memorable Easter together and one that he never let me live down. He claimed the dog was "a racist" and had planned the attack from the get go.

Last year while lying in bed one morning, I got a text that made me sit straight up  and is still ingrained in my memory. Our funny, sweet Will had been in a one car accident the night before and was gone. He was only 24 years old and he was gone. I couldn't breathe for a few minutes. I had just seen him a few months before when he came back to Charleston for a visit and he was so happy. How could he be gone? He was one of "my kids" on campus and I'd never get another joke from him again nor would I ever get to give him girl advice again. It just wasn't right.

As I sat through his funeral and heard story after story of this comedian who had won over the hearts of so many, I couldn't help but think of Easter in my home together. I was so thankful for that afternoon when a boss/employee relationship became what felt like a family tie as we prayed, ate and ran around my backyard like fools and fought over eggs. He's in a better place now, where Easter and everything we celebrate this Sunday, isn't just a meal and event, but is something much much bigger. Thanks to knowing Will and sharing that special holiday with him, this holiday will always be a little more special and real for me.

I've thought a lot about you this week, Big Willie, and I miss you. I actually see people all the time that look just a tad like you, even if it's just their polo shirts, and for a second I think maybe it's you. The good news is that I know I'll see you again. Some day we'll share jokes and a McGriddle again (cause ya'll know my theory on McGriddles in Heaven).

Celebrate with our Lord for us during this special time of resurrection, hope, and rebirth. And if there's a huge, holy, golden egg hunt up there, look out, everyone. I doubt Will will tone it down for you. He's always been in to win it and his laugh can charm you into handing over your entire Easter basket loot. Trust me.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dirty Little Secret

I'm about to let you into my inner circle. The place where the real, unfiltered me lives. The place that I try to hide from the rest of the world for fear that it will point a harsh finger, throw judgy words, and then turn it's big world back on me to never be seen again.

The time has come to share my secret with the world in an effort to gain some accountability.

My name is Brittany and I'm a water hoarder. Always have been. The hope of a full recovery is not promising, but the first step is admitting...well, you know the rest.

This is what my night stand looks like on any given day/bedtime.

Ugh, right?! I'm seriously afraid that if I don't take control of this habit/dirty secret, that I'm going to accidentally drown bury Wrigley in the mess one of these days.

I sometimes feel like maybe I'm suffering from PTSD and there was a time when my parents deprived me of water for bad behavior; so now as an adult, I feel I must stock pile hydration sources. Having 12 different containers of water next to your bed in a week's time is obviously due to some childhood trauma, right? Okay, mom, spill it! Was a locked closet involved??

Well, there you have it. Judge away if you'd like. I'm not proud of my obsession, but apparently I am a very thirsty person.

And if a war ever breaks out or zombies take over, I'm going to be set for at least 5 days when everyone else on the planet is dying of thirst. Or at least that's what I tell myself with an ounce of self preservation.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm Turning Into A Regular Ole Betty Stewart

After a week full of wanting to cook and bake, I declared to the hubs that he was married to a future Betty Stewart this weekend. Hmmm, not really sure that came out right, but maybe it was Freudian slip. What I meant was that I'm becoming a Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker, but the irony is that a lot of what I make on the first time often has the right ingredients, but somehow comes out slightly off. Much like being a Betty Stewart, I would guess.

A few of my recent recipes that did come out deliciously correct were a Shepard's Pie for St. Patty's Day (served with steamed cabbage, of course), Energy Balls from Pinterest (although these might need a new name that isn't so joke friendly- I told my hubs if he needed me, I'd be in the kitchen rolls my balls, which did not sound quite like it did in my head. Oops), and a Tex-Mex Pizza that I've made before and loved.

With all triumphs come a few failures along the way to help keep ya humble. Sadly, one of my recent failures was a Pinterest slow cooker meal that every pinner before swore by. #PinterestFail. And of course, this failure took place at a family dinner last night with my parents and brother present. I'm not sure what I could've done differently, to be honest. I followed the recipe to a T. One of the comments on the actual recipe site stated that she "made it for fer family of 4 and they had to fight each other for seconds", while another commentator stated "we ate this meal for 3 days straight; we loved it so much".

Seriously, if I had to eat this meal for 3 days straight, I'd probably cry until I was excused from the table and my Clean Plate Club membership had been revoked. Do yourselves a favor, if you were one of the 10 people who repinned my pin for the Cheesy Chicken and Rice pin, delete it and never look back. Never. It just tastes like a big vat of chicken. The end.

So if you're still reading and are looking for a few fun, new recipes, give these a try! I've tried them, tested them, and they're Betty Stewart approved:)

Martha Stewart's Shepard's Pie-

2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and thinly sliced (I always freeze extra mashed potatoes when I make them so that I can pull them out and use them for a recipe like this, saves so much time!)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, quartered if large, and thinly sliced
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 pounds lean ground beef chuck
1 cup whole milk (I used 1% milk for a healthier option and it was fine)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (6 ounces) (I also used less cheese for a healthier touch)
  • Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 1 inch with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. Set beef filling aside.
  • Drain potatoes; return to pan. Cook over medium, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; add milk and 1 cup cheese. Mash until smooth; season cheddar-potato topping with salt and pepper.
  • Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of topping over filling; spread to edges with a spatula. Using a fork, make decorative peaks; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until topping is browned and filling is bubbling rapidly, about 20 minutes (if topping and filling were chilled, increase to 35 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Meet our little shepard below-

Pinterest's Energy Balls-
1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)

2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes (I despise coconut, so this was omitted for my balls;)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used natural peanut butter)
1/2 cup ground flax seed or wheat germ (I used whole flax seed and it was fine)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions-Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1" in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
*Makes about 20-25 balls.

These are awesome of a quick snack on the go! *Warning, they look like meatballs so warn those that live with you. You do not want to throw these guys on spaghetti!

Tex-Mex Homemade Pizza- (Note: I eyeball this and don't use measurements)
1 pre-made crust (whole wheat or original)
BBQ sauce- enough to cover the dough, but I don't do it too thick as it's not the star of the show
Shredded or diced chicken
Corn- uncooked
Black beans-uncooked
Tomatoes- I just dice up half of a fresh tomato
Onion- I usually dice up a red onion
Fresh Cilantro- This is my favorite part so I add quite a bit
Shredded Cheese- Again, I want this to be on the healthier side so I don't use a ton.
*Throw it in the oven at 425 for between 10-15 minutes. Delish and easy.
I was too excited to dig in on Saturday night that I forgot to snap a photo. Trust me though, it's pretty and tasty.
Anyone have any recipes worth sharing?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Year of Love

I am officially declaring 2013 the year of love. There is something sweet in the air so take a big ole whiff!

For the hubs and me, last year was our year of love, but in 2013, I'm so content to be an innocent bystander and champion for all of the celebrations around me.

With a slight sense of déjà vu, we'll get to witness 3 babies come into this world and grace our friends with their first born, AND we'll watch 3 friends marry their best friend this fall. My husband asked me while we were talking about the travel plans we'd need to make for the festivities "man, are we 24 again?"  He was right and let me tell you, feeling 24 again feels amazing! I love it! I love that there are a few of us who had to wait a little longer than our peers to find the right one, and now we get to do it together in a wave. It's kind of invigorating for some reason. No man left behind!

And thanks to this year of love, we'll now have 3 weddings to travel to between September and November, all of which are in Charleston. High fives for everyone!

AND, if that isn't wonderful in itself, two of the new babies will be gracing the arms of some of my closest friends in Charleston. And these babies have been fought for, prayed over, waited for, and dreamed about before they were a reality. Now our high fives shift to champagne popping (for me, not them, of course. Pregnant, remember?). Not only will I get to celebrate my friends as they exchange vows, but I'll get to snuggle and spend some QT with these new little babies in between doing the Wobble and Cupid Shuffle.

If you're out there in Blogland and awaiting some much needed love, whether it's in the form of a soulmate or your first little one, keep doing what you're doing. This year seems to hold a lot of promise for those who aren't afraid to wait it out, pray, continue going through the motions when it seems like nothing will ever come of those motions, etc...

2013 just might be your year. I, for one, am praying that it is!

PS...If you're a future bride contemplating doing a bouquet toss and garter toss at your reception, skip it. We decided to not put our friends through the ritual and 3 of our bridal party members are now engaged and tying the knot in 2013. You're welcome;)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring is Dead. Winter Killed It.

For the last few months, I've been like a school kid all over again. I've stared out my office window and marveled at the beautiful snow flakes when they'd start to fall. I'd text my husband "have you looked outside yet???!!" You would've thought that I'd grown up in the south and had never lived in a winter wonderland before. The hope of snow days was an excitement that I hadn't felt in a LONG time and it was thrilling.

When my friend was here visiting I shared with her that I wasn't ready for the snow to melt. I almost felt a little twinge of sadness when the height of the snow banks would sink gradually. I wanted more. Bring on another blizzard!

Well apparently I was smoking crack because I am O.V.E.R this white stuff. I'm not really sure what flipped a switch in me last week, but the sight of cold, windy flakes make me want to vomit hot chocolate all over everyone. This chick needs some green grass PRONTO or someone might get hurt. I have a shovel and I'm not afraid to use it!

Seriously, I feel like I'm one flake away from Tim coming home and finding me frantically and hysterically shoveling our massive driveway through tears, while chugging straight vodka and screaming "It's is NOT the most wonderful time of the year!! It's NOT the most wonderful time of year!!" One flake away, I tell you. Tim, consider yourself warned. Hide the vodka if we own any.

And to make matters worse, yesterday during a little Pinterest time, I saw that a friend had posted a link to "10 Natural Alternatives to the Most Prescribed Medications". Awesome, I thought, so I clicked my way through to the article. Seeing a natural way to cure anxiety and depression among the list, I thought "yes, perfect for my seasonal blues while I freeze to death awaiting spring". I kid you not, Pinterest told me to simply "eat more fish and write about my feelings". Wow. I hope no one who truly is suffering from severe depression reads that load of hippie crap. Fish? I'm freezing to death and spring is truly dead and never coming back and you want me to EAT MORE FISH and WRITE ABOUT IT???!!! I think Pinterest and the author of that article over at Women's Health need to eat a boat load of fish themsleves because they are crazy with a capital loony tunes. Xanax=salmon for dinner? Rrriiiiigggghhhhtttttttttt.

So if anyone needs me before, oh I don't know, August maybe, you can find me buried under a snow bank, drinking heavily and eating my body weight in fish.

Grass and flowers and warm breezes, you're dead to me. And I miss you. Please come back. Please. Pretty please with fish sticks on top?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Poppin' Tags

If you are not on board with my friends over at Macklemore, you should be. Period.

Regardless of your stance on thrifting or treasure hunting as I like to call it, their beat is catchy and can make any freezing, snowy day a little more warm and bright when you're breaking it down at a stop light to lyrics like "I wear your granddad's clothes, I look incredible, I'm in this big a@# coat, From that thrift shop down the road".  Hypothetically speaking, of course.

This song is my jam. My apologies to anyone in the car with me when this song comes on. Even if you're in mid-conversation, we're about to dance. My apologies, as well, to anyone next to or behind me at a stop light. My SUV turns into Club Jeep in .5 seconds.

In honor of this sweet, sweet jam, I've compiled a few photos of my thrift shop finds (although I assure you, there are many, many more items in my home that I just can't fit and don't want to bore you with in this post). And much like Macklemore, I do draw the line on certain items when thrifting: swim wear (no way, Jose), unmentionables (aka...undies/fundos), shoes (unless they are brand spanking new with tags) curling irons (ewww), and rugs and bedding. Although, side note, I did rock a thrift store sheet once a year when I'd go to Nicaragua so I could just leave it there, but that bad boy was washed about 5 times ahead of time! Oh yeah, and ask my mom about the time she came to Nica with me and declared "I'll bring you a sheet, don't worry about packing one" and we get to said third world country and she hands me a sheet, wait for it, a fitted sheet. Just one fitted sheet. And that's all I had for a week. Try sleeping like a human starfish with both arms and legs fully stretched out and the elastic corners on the tips of my fingers and toes (option 1) or like a human burrito (option 2) for a week to keep the sheet on your person. Bad, mom. Bad, mom.

Without further ado, I bring you...a few finds of mine:

My vintage bar cart. I love her and with her handy dandy wheels, she will be a mobile bar cart this summer with many trips from the sun room to the patio and back. Boom. I'm toying with jazzin' her up with a new, fun coat of brightness. Just not sure what color yet.

Our entry way bench for snow boot removal (Hold up...who am I? Do I really have an area for snow boot removal now?!) This dude is solid wood. For only five dollars, this bench made me holler. Another  woman stared at it for like 10 minutes in the store, sure enough, the minute she walked away to think some more, I snagged it. You gotta be quick on yo feet to earn yo keep when I'm treasure hunting next to you!

 And of course, this beaut (in my opinion) was a no brainer. Snagged it up for under $75.

Aqua meets vintage curvy legs meets my checkbook and my heart. I heart this chair, I really do.

Original mercury glass is hard to find. I spotted these guys for $2 for a set and they had quickly found a new, happy home with me. I saw similar ones on Anthropologie after the fact for the price of our future first born child.

 My scrolly mirror and blue wall thingy (yes, that's the technical word for it). I recently saw the same exact mirror, cheap plastic frame and all, in a repurposed boutique in town for $59. Even I laughed at that price. I debated for a week before spend $9.99 on this little guy.

This next find is one that not everyone sees the beauty in. I bought it on a junkin' day out with my mom and she looked at me weirdly when I snatched this guy up. Not sure why I love it, but it's an original oil painting that someone had framed and it just makes me happy. Whenever I walk past it, I think of Shem Creek and fresh shrimp and the smell of pluff mud. Love it or hate it, she was mine for $7. I'll be painting her frame white very shortly.

Two weeks ago, this little pink lady came to live with me. She keeps our coffee cozy until its time for it to do its thang. She's retro and pink and mine.

Pig?? What are you doing in this post?!  Just making sure you're all still awake:) Clearly he was not a thrift store treasure, but this sweet pic deserved a public appearance!

Again, the crowd appeal on this tag team is up for debate. I'm not even 100% sure that I love them, and I know the hubs isn't sold on their daily debut in our "beachy bedroom", but I thought they had potential. They were heavy, black iron and at $4 for the team, I splashed on a little spray paint and twine to beach them up a bit and they've done their job until something else woo's me more. In my family, we always teased my grandma for wrapping everything in her house with twine to give it a more rustic feel. She and I shared a proud moment over this little duo and the twine cameo.
Don't love something? Wrap some twine on it.
Boom, yet again.

Well, what are you waiting for?! Grab your $20 and go pop some tags!
And listen to the jam on the way to get your game face on.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Sovereign Anthem

On my recent trip back to SC and a much needed visit to my home church, my ears were treated to one of Chris Tomlin's new songs and my newest anthem, Sovereign, which was co-written by one of our worship leaders, Martin Chalk. For some reason, seconds into the song, before any words hit the screen or left the mouths of the worship leaders, I felt a peace deep inside. A soothing peace.

Sitting in my new church yesterday, and listening to the message last weekend as well, on how God is greater than our pain, fear and shame, I felt this anthem in my soul again. I felt grateful for its simple, yet promising and hopeful words. I clung to it.

Whatever we're going through, no matter how small or how massive our fears, struggles, battles, changes, and hopes, triumphs, celebrations, and dreams, He is there. And we're in His hands. In the depths and on the mountain tops, we're held by a sovereign Lord.

He gets us when others don't.

He comforts when others can't. Or won't.

He doesn't promise an easy path, but He does promise that we can trust him with our hearts, our hurts, our hopes.

Whatever comes my way, I'm just glad that He is mine. And I am His.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Things My Husband Says

I have no clue if anyone else will find these even slightly humorous, but they make me smile and giggle, and well, this is my blog, so I'm posting them anyway;)

Everyday, thanks to both of our offices being less than a mile from our home, the hubs and I meet there to eat lunch together and watch Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. It's kind of our thing. Well, this week while watching a cutie pie contestant who happened to have Turrets Syndrome, our lunch conversation went something like this:
Me: "Turrets has always fascinated and scared me at the same time."
Hubs: "Why so?"
Me: "I just can't imagine being a passenger in your own body. You have no control over what you say or what your body does and when you get nervous it makes the symptoms worse, which in turn has to make them even more nervous.Sigh."
Hubs, in total seriousness: "Well, I can't control the amount of awesomeness that comes out of my body and THAT scares me too sometimes."
Oh, hubs, sometimes all I can do is shake my head.

And because I love a good text screen shot...

When I asked my hubs to help me brainstorm a random question that our newspaper asked me to answer when I first moved back:

He apparently knows me very well.

And when I saw an old high school friend, again, shortly after I moved back:

If you haven't visited Rockford Mugshots online, you should. It's fascinating.
I could spend hours on that site. Is that weird?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Drop Everything, I'm Coming to Town!

Before my big move, I was the fortunate friend who still resided in Charleston after many of my dear friends had moved away. I was one of the lucky ones who got to stay near the sand and the waves. I was one of the chosen who'd get an email or a text stating that someone I cared about would soon be arriving back to one of their most favorites places on earth. They'd always throw out a suggested time to gather a group of as many treasured friends as possible in one location to maximize their time together. I never put too much thought into the gatherings, but always tried my best to be there. I mean, where else would I want to be anyway?

Fast forward a year or so, and I'm now the friend traveling back to my favorite place on earth and sending out those same emails and texts. I'm the one now who understands that those words in a text are way more than words. I'm the one who hits "send" with a whole lot of hope and anticipation. I'm the one who's been counting down the days, literally there are only 53 days until I'm back again, until I get to see my friends again and get to feel as though for 3 days my whole world hasn't changed and that I'm still a part of my friends' lives again. And I'm the one who gets to wait patiently to see who is going to respond and essentially fit me in to their schedule. I've saved for my airline ticket, I've taken the vacation days, and I've waited patiently to see their faces.

Being a lover and respecter of life lessons learned, these trips have taught me two things so far.

1) You're best friends are your best friends regardless of distance and circumstance, if you want them to be. They will essentially drop everything when you're coming into town. They not only respond to your email request of a friend's dinner, but they write back with "Yes! Awesome, but what are your plans for the other waking hours you'll be here??" They'll shop with you just to have more time together. They'll sit with you at church while you worship together, and although you don't have to say anything, they're most likely feeling the bitter sweetness in your soul to be so happy and yet sad at the same time to be back in your home church where somehow the Lord just fills bigger and louder and closer. They'll wait to share exciting news because they still want you to be apart of the biggest things in their life. They'll make you feel so loved and so relieved that you're still one of their chosen ones that you will find yourself crying silent tears on your last night there as you drift off to sleep. At the end of the day, in its simplest form, they make room for you. Cherished room.

2) Sadly, some friendships will sort of take a backseat, even if you don't want them too. I guess it just happens. Regardless of trying to plan or give notice that you're coming, there just isn't room at that time for whatever reason. I can't be mad at them, and I try not to be hurt by it. I'm sure it's nothing personal. Their probably just busy. They haven't been the one to move away and know how much you look forward to being back there with them and in some sort of normalcy again that you've craved while you're away. I can't expect them to know that when I'm there and asking to have dinner with them, what I'm really saying is "do you still have room for me?" How could they know that until its them that's gone?

For my friends who do drop everything for me, you're a life line for my heart. You're my breath of fresh air that keeps me going when change can make it feel hard to breathe sometimes. You bring a piece of my soul out from hibernation. You make me laugh harder and longer than I do most days. You allow me to feel known. I do not take your time for granted. I know I never will because I now get to be one of the ones who knows just how treasured, precious and longed for that time truly is. Your time is safe with me.

Thank you for still doing life with me, even if it's only for a few long weekends here and there. You're the best!

And if you ever come to Rockford, or Chicago, or anywhere within driving distance, consider my everything already dropped. Yesterday.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Photo Journey

On Friday, March 1st, my day started out looking like this...

But then I flew the heck outta dodge and landed in sunny freezing Charleston for a 3 day adventure! My favorite people all awaited my arrival that evening. We hugged, we squealed a bit when we saw each other (at least I did), and we heard a very exciting announcement. Insert one more squeal.

Saturday looked a little like this...

If you build it, they will come. In droves. With smiles. Even when it's cccccooooolllldddd.

And I got to spend time with these beauties and many, many more. Who's smiling now?!

And this happened. About 200 times:) Sweet girls found their perfect dress, while about 60 volunteers celebrated and cheered them on!

And proud mommas posed with their gorgeous girls. It's a win-win at Cinderella Day.

And then this happened;) Love it.

And then some more best friend time was had over good food and belly laughs. I seriously hadn't laughed that hard in a LONG time.

I'm pretty sure I could face anything with these girls by my side. And Tim and Piggy, of course. And guacamole also helps a bit.

But then on Monday, sadly, it was time to leave. This part never gets easier. BUT, I almost didn't get out that night, because the picture below happened. Flights everywhere were already cancelled. I was a bit of a panic ball because....

This girl was arriving on Tuesday to play for a few days! Must. Get. Home.

Can YOU picture yourself on the prairie? Heather stated that "prairie life was serious business", hence the lack of smile below.

So, we did a little bit of this...

And DEFINITELY a little bit of this! It was awesome, but proved my theory that I am out of shape. That hill about killed me. Well, that and the time that my sled came loose on a 4 man train and I ended up being drug down the entire hill on my butt sans sled because Heather had a death grip on my legs. Good times! #ifelteverybumpandcrannie

Just when you think we couldn't possibly find more random things to do have more fun in Rockford, this happened. With about 200 of our closest friends over 60.
Bingo. Bring it.

We also taught Heather how to play shuffle board. Look at that focus!

Timmy was the big cheese winner of the night. Drinks were on him and his $12 jackpot. Good thing too, drink prices just went up a quarter at the social club. #fiscalcliff

And before it was time to go, we pumped Heather full of Chicago style hot dogs and cheese fries one last time. #YumPortillios

And we got a few more cuddles in before she flew out.

And then we rested for the last 1.5 days of our vacation/staycation. And we were a bit down in the dumps and lonely, to say the least. Piggy drowned his sorrows in fuzzy blankets. Momma chose Pinterest.

But it's always worth the goodbye to be able to spend precious time with friends, near and far!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Vacation Hangover

I've officially been on vacation time for the last 10 days, hence my hiatus from the blog world. It was glorious. I slept in, ate horribly but deliciously, and did whatever my little heart desired. Again, glorious, I tell you.

But today, on this first Monday back, I have a wicked vacation hangover. I want to be back in my sweats, with a coffee or tea in hand, and away from any work emails that start with "when you get back..." I fear the only cure for said hangover is another vacation day, or possibly more cowbell.

My only saving grace today is that it's Monday which means it's Bachelor day. AND, my momma is coming over to watch it with the hubby and I while we carb-load over some pasta and garlic bread.  Thankfully, I married well and my hubby is just as stoked for the finale tonight. I don't know what I'd do if he wasn't a fan? Who would hold me accountable from googling every spoiler that I could get my hands on today?!

Happy Bachelor Finale Day!!