Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Recap

I'll be the first to admit, this Christmas was a little different this year as it was the first time in 29 years I hadn't been to Maryland.  But it was different in such a great way.  We had baby Sarah arrive on the 20th as our best Christmas gift yet! 

There are lots of pictures below but I promise they get really entertaining, especially about 75% down when something completely unexpected occurred on Christmas afternoon.  Hilarious.

Christmas Eve morning I got up and went for a run before heading out of Charlotte and down to Pawleys Island again (2nd time that week!). 

Big Sis Anna Kate spread some reindeer food that evening before she went to bed.

And she laid out some snacks for Santa. 

Christmas morning came early and as you can see, her lil sis was her favorite gift.

Isn't Sarah adorable?  Hmmmm maybe I'm a lil biased, but she is!  Should we send this in to the VV catalog?!  5 day old Sarah.

My Mom (Nannie) with Sarah.

Anna Kate got a microphone from Santa and she knew every Country song on my brother's ipod.  She's a star!  We're still not sure if she or my brother liked it more!  Haha!

My Dad (Poppa) opening some gifts.

Anna Kate was thrilled with her new puppy sleeping bag.  It was sooo cute.

My brother, sis in law Emily and Fin.  Fin is seriously like a human.

Anna Kate opening her Easy Bake Oven.  I've wanted to give her one of these since she was born and this was finally the year that Emily said she was freaking out over it when she saw it in commercials.  She loved it and we made chocolate chip cookies that night!

Me holding lil Sarah.  She was my favorite gift but some others that Santa and my family gave me were a Lilly clutch from my bro's family, J. Crew card, cardigan, yoga mat, white house ornament, itunes card, ornaments from Mom and Dad and the cutest polka dot bag from Emily's parents with a reindeer tea-towel in it.  Anna Kate gave me a potholder with a crab design on it that she made in about precious.

Mid afternoon on Christmas Day, Clay took Emily's Dad and I out to see the lot they are buying in January.  This is the view...

View from their dock.  Isn't it gorgeous?  Lucky!

Isn't this the sweetest picture of Daddy (my brother) and both of his girls?

This lil fake cat named Snowflake is about as close as Santa was going to get to bringing Anna Kate a kitten.  Seriously Emily did you just have a child 5 days ago?

All was relatively quiet in the house about an hour before dinner when BOOM!  The Christmas tree came tumbling down!  Clay, Dad and I were sitting in there and I saw the whole thing happen - it was like it was in slow mo!  Poor Clay was sitting right in it's path, thankfully neither of the little girls were anywhere close.  Once we found that only one ornament had been broken (and it wasn't a keepsake), the whole thing was hilarious.  Let me tell yall - ornaments have never been taken off a tree so quickly.  We got that thing out of the house and the floor mopped with beach towels so the water wouldn't hurt their hardwoods.  Easy Christmas tree clean up this year.  Perhaps a bigger stand next year?  Ha! 

Meanwhile, the grandmothers made Christmas dinner featuring country ham, turkey, broccoli, cranberry casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes and collards. 

After dinner we had some rose champagne to toast baby Sarah!  Emily wanted me to let yall know that she does have champagne glasses but they were a lil difficult to get out.  Umm and it isn't like you had a baby a few days prior!!!

We had a very blessed Christmas.  Words can't express how lucky we are.

I came home on Monday the 26th, thankful for the time I spent with my family.  It's time I always treasure. 

I was glad to get back to see Kevin though! ;)  We did our lil Christmas that afternoon and evening and had a great time.  He loved all of his gifts and of course he went crazy on me!  He gave me the VV Shep Shirt which I've lived in since (SO comfy), iTunes card, Lollia Wish perfume and the most gorgeous brown pearl bracelet.  He went nuts! 
The gold buckle above is from some fake Tory's I had years ago and he had taken the buckles off and kept them.  He thought they were real! ;)  Anyway he put them in my stocking and said I could put them on any shoes and they'd be Torys.  Bless his heart!  He is pretty cute about all that though. 

Anyway, thanks for reading my longgg Christmas recap.  I'm glad to have it all here so I can remember everything year after year.  I don't care how much fun my "mr. facebook" brother makes of my blog.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Guest Blogging at Life of Emily

Today I'm guest blogging over at In the Life of Emily while she is enjoying some time with her family and friends!  I'd love if you all popped over to her blog to read about work clothes for 2012 and to visit with her!  She is the sweetest gal!  Click here!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Preview

This is just a quick preview from the past week.  I had a wonderful time in Pawleys Island, SC, the second time around for Christmas. 

Picture below is of Anna Kate and I opening presents and playing with her toys Christmas morning.  It was so great to see Christmas through the eyes of a child.  We put cookies, an orange and milk out for Santa, and sprinkled the reindeer food that she had made at school for the reindeer. 
I will admit that it was a little different this year as this was my first time in 29 years I wasn't in Maryland at my parents house.  Instead, we were all at my brother and SIL's home since they had just had baby Sarah a few days prior.  Emily's parents were also there so it was a wonderful time. 

I'll post some more pictures in the next few days and I cannot wait to catch up on all of your blogs.  I sort of took a week off because life got so busy.  I hadn't done that in a long time so it was much needed.  I'm looking forward to a bit more structure in my life starting next Monday when I go back to work, but for now I'm going to catch up on things and relax! ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sarah and Merry, Merry

What a week it has been and we have SO much to be thankful for!
Emily the night before giving birth to Sarah! Doesn't she look amazing?

My brother, Clay and SIL Emily the night before they became a family of four!

Anna Kate on the eve of becoming a big sis!

My Mom and I with her grandchildren/my nieces! ;)

GrandMama!  As proud as they come!
day 2

Sarah and Emily are going home today.  What a blessing and amazing Christmas gift she is!
day 3

Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas!  Tonight I'm celebrating with Kevin's family at their annual dinner and heading back to their home to exchange a couple gifts. 
Saturday I'm going back to Pawleys Island to be with my family for Sunday morning.  I cannot wait to see Anna Kate's face after Santa has been!  Merry, Merry to all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Charlotte Blogger Ornament Exchange

Thanks for your sweet comments about my new niece yesterday.  We're all over the moon to have a new baby in the family!  I can't wait to go back down to Pawleys Island, SC this weekend for Christmas and see both Sarah and Anna Kate (and the rest of the family!). 

I did want to recap the Charlotte Blogger Ornament Exchange from Sunday night and it certainly deserved it's own post.  What a grand time it was at Rachel's home.  She had it all decked out for Christmas and everything was perfect. 
Top Row L to R:  Rachel, Faith, me, Lauren, Melissa, Heidi
Bottom Row L to R:  Michelle, Katie, Ashley (private blog), April

I came home with this beauty courtesy of April.  How amazing is this lil bird?  It's going to be gorgeous when I have a real tree but for now it's proudly displayed hanging on my cabinet right now. 

I simply had the best time with all of these ladies.  When my parents asked me what I had been up to on Sunday, I told them how much fun I had at this party because all the girls are genuine and the sweetest ever.  Thank you all for a great time and Rachel for hosting!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sarah Jackson

Introducing Sarah Jackson!  She was born today (12/20/11) at 9:06am.  7 lbs 12 oz.  19.5".  Sarah is an adorable baby and looks just like Anna Kate when she was born!  Maybe a little lighter hair though!

Anna Kate is a proud big sister!  Seriously yall, she ran around today chanting, "I'm a big sis, I'm a big sis!"  She wore an, "I'm a big sister" shirt and her hairbow also says big sis.

This Aunt is proud and excited too!

I'll be back to regular blogging later this week, including the ornament exchange recap with some of my favorite bloggers!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Party Weekend

Hey friends, it was a crazy weekend!  Hope you all enjoyed it! 

We had a big time at my company party on Friday night.  I did wear the same green dress but let's be honest, unless I had a blog, noone would know!  ;)

Saturday I played kickball in the season end tournament.  A guy slipped on mud and amazingly his feet came up and I had an imprint of them on my ivory fleece.  Thankfully they didn't go about 4" higher to my face!

Saturday night we had four parties to attend but we hardly could even get to the first one.  We were absolutely exhausted from the night before, so we just went to the first one at 7pm and then came home early.  At some point, we just can't do it all, ya know?!  It was a tacky Christmas sweater party but clearly Erin was the only one who participated.  Ha!
Jessica, me, Erin, Tara
Yesterday evening we had an ornament exchange at my friend Rachel's home.  It was a lil blogger/twitter get together.  We pretty much had all met before but I did get to meet a couple new gals who were super sweet (and one is a Chi O!).  My camera had no battery so once I get those pictures from the other girls, I'll post them!

Anyway, it was a super fun and busy weekend but I'm still alive, haha.  Today (at some point) I'm driving to Pawleys Island for the birth of my niece early tomorrow morning.  Cannot wait!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Power Jumping

Yes this is completely random but we do random things sometimes when we travel.  Let's just say Wednesday was a lonnnng day full of travel and meetings.  In between two meetings my co-worker and I had about 45 minutes so we went to the local mall.  I can't tell you how many malls I've been to on the east coast since I started traveling.  Some amazing like Short Hills and King of Prussia, some terrible but I won't name those!

In we walk to the mall and we see these high school gals power jumping.  Yall know what I mean?  You get on this trampoline and these bungy lines and it takes you about 50' in the air.  I dared my co-worker to do it (mind you, we're both wearing our suits) and she was like okay.  Haha!  So she did. 

Then she made me!  Here I am getting strapped in.

Honestly it was a really weird sensation.  The high school girls were doing flips and all this other stuff.  No way!  It freaked me out....I don't like not having control.  Plus in college I used to calculate the stress on those bungy cords!  So I was very skeptical. 

Then the harness started hurting my legs and I decided it probably wasn't worth it to injure myself because I can't afford for my running to be over.  So I stopped.  Haha, what a wimp I am! 

Anyway, it was pretty fun and I'm glad I at least tried it.  I do have video but I won't grace you all with that.  It's foul. 

Some other adventures we've been on together while traveling for work - riding the bull (again in our suits after a big meeting), skiing, snow tubing, ice skating. 

At the end of the day, you only live once, right?! 

Be sure to check out the post below for my Christmas decorating!  I'm linked up with Kelly's Korner today.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Decorating

Thank you for joining me as I give you a mini Christmas tour through my uptown Charlotte condo!  Every year I love to share my Christmas decorations with everyone.  You can see 2009 here and 2010 here

First up is my bar/kitchen area where this year I'm displaying a hurricane with some of my favorite ornaments (including a Lilly!) and burning my Nest candle all the time!

They other end has a tall gold Christmas tree with some fresh greenery and cocktail napkins.

My foyer area.

Up close of my table decorations!  I got the pillar at Pottery Barn this year and have loved using it to decorate.  During the fall you may remember I had mini pumpkins in it.  This time my Mom helped me and put cranberries and moss.

Must have fun tea towels!

One of my end tables with my special Maryland lamp, Rudolph, linen drink napkins and a bowl with fresh holly in it.

The mini Christmas tree that my Mom made me when my home was on the Holiday Home Tour in 2008.

Maryland Santa is my newest addition this year.  How adorable is he holding his beach chair and a plate of crabs?!  Thanks Mama! ;)  Love the white candle to the left with the red and green in smells delightful and my friend Lauren gave it to me a few years ago!  And yes, that's Young Kevin in that picture!  Ha!

The top of my dresser.  Some mini candles in the silver holder.

Just a little addition!

This is also a new this year!  I'm calling it my White House tree as it has the all the White House ornaments going back to 2002 on it.  I think it is so pretty and elegant and I LOVE turning it on every evening when I come home.  Sometimes I just sit by the tree light with the rest of my condo dark!

Some ornaments up close.

My other end table with Mr. and Mrs. Claus!  They are beautiful pieces and keepsakes.

This is my coffee table filled with a platinum wire tree, lil Santa bowl, Southern Living, my sign-in book from when my home was on the Holiday Home tour (love having this), another pillar from Pottery Barn with snow, pinecones and cranberries in it and some more cocktail napkins.  And a big ole poinsettia in the background!  I love the way they make anywhere feel Christmas-y!

Hope you've enjoyed seeing all of my condo Christmas decorations!  I'd love to see yours if you'll leave a link, I'll definitely check it out!  :) 

I wish y'all a Merry Christmas!