Happy Birthday America!

I hope everyone had a spectacular Fourth of July. For us the holiday gave a well needed excuse to go out and socialize with our long lost friends! Little Bear, Hubby, and myself spent the day at our friend’s house with them and another couple who also have a new baby.

It was so nice to just get out of the house and spend time with friends that it didn’t even matter that it was a holiday. Seems like forever since we’ve had any semblance of a social life. Of course, with another baby at the party most of the conversation (for the girls at least) centered around our children…how they’re developing, what labor was like…you know, typical party topics!

It was the first time Little Bear had ever seen another baby that was close to his age (she was five months old). He isn’t quite to the “other babies fascinate me” stage but she sure was! The little miss attempted to have several “baby stare downs” but my little man was much more interested in flirting with her mommy. Apparently, he likes the older ladies.  And when the other mommy took a turn holding him, he sure was a happy boy!

Little Bear and Little Miss were so adorable in their matching outfits! Everyone looked very patriotic. A good time was had by all, and we managed to be out of the house from 11 to 5pm before Little Bear decided that this party was over and he needed to go home NOW!!! Unfortunately we did not make it to see any fireworks, but Hubby and I were exhausted by the time they were starting to go off anyway. I have a feeling…due to someone’s early bed time…that it might actually be another year or two before we get to enjoy that particular part of the Fourth of July! There were snaps and blow guns at our friend’s house though, so Hubby did get to shoot something at least (ah, life in the South, where a day with friends isn’t complete without shooting a gun!).

I hope everyone had as good a day as we did!

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Leave the Cheese and Bring on the (real) Love

I love Valentine’s Day.  I mean, I’m a fan of most holidays but V Day is on my short list of favorites (right after Christmas and my birthday (it’s election day every eight years or so…it counts)).  But Valentine’s Day isn’t everyone’s idea of a good day.  For a lot of singles it’s a day to bring attention to their singleness, and not in a good way.  For guys it’s a day where they have to live up to unreasonable expectations of gifts that sparkle, or will be eaten in a matter of minutes, or die several days later.  And for a lot of girls it’s a day to be let down, because said guy didn’t deliver enough sparkle, or decadence, or allergy inducing beauty.  All over the world there are women crying today because they’ve been let down in the romance department.  It is, without a doubt, the most commercialized of all the holidays; given a bad name by the big card, flower, and confectionary companies looking to make a buck.  But that is not what Valentine’s Day is about.  It’s about LOVE!!!! Pure, true, uncommericalized love.  And if we all came to realize this fact there would be a lot less complaining about and hating on St. Valentine!

And that’s what I love about this day…ALL THE LOVE!!  Not just the love Hubby and I share, but the love I have for the special people in my life.  Because, as First Corinthians says: Love is the greatest of all.  And it’s important to share that love and spread it around like it’s strawberry preserves.  To me, a perfect Valentine’s Day is surrounding yourself with as many people you love and who love you.  Of course what would V Day be without a little snuggle time with your honey??  Once the sun goes down it’s time for some quality time with the one nearest and dearest to your heart.

This year is an especially special Valentine’s Day.  It’s the first we’ll be spending as a married couple…and the last that we’ll be alone in the house for.  That means lots of quality time, just the two of us tonight.  And nothing says love like a homemade meal prepared together.  Jesse is making his specialty, steak and twice baked potatoes (yum!!) and I’m in charge of dessert.  On our cruise we ate Molten Chocolate Lava Cake.  Since then Jesse has been begging me to make it at home, so tonight I’m giving it a try.  I’m not the best baker in the world so there will be a prayer said before I attempt this…hope it turns out well.  I’ll let y’all know tomorrow!!

Have a good night!!!

Back to Reality…and Happy to Be Here

We are back from the honeymoon.  And so excited about it!  Now don’t get wrong…it was wonderful.  I read two books, got a nice tan, and got in lots of “us” time (wink, wink!).  Having said that, seven days on a boat with 3K+ people is ENTIRELY too long.  There’s a reason I choose to spend the majority of my time around dogs.  Plus I got sick.  Just a head cold, but nonetheless, my nose was running like a faucet left on full blast!  And after two and half weeks of vacation the Hubs and I were really ready to get back to life in Charleston…not to mention all the stuff we had to do when we got back.  I was writing to do lists on the boat, and I’m still not done.

But like I said, the cruise was wonderful.  The food was delicious.  The seas were (relatively) calm.  The waters were crystal blue.  The beaches were breathtaking!

Our first port of call was Nassau, Bahamas.  We got there on the morning of January 2nd and the Bahamians were in full celebration mode!  I had no idea that New Years was such a big deal in the Bahamas but they were partying and parading like it was Mardi Gras!  There were huge floats in neon colors, girls dressed in butterfly costumes, and drum music filled the air everywhere you went.

 

After a “Fun Day at Sea” we docked in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  Being the travel bug that I am I always find it incredibly interesting to visit third world countries and to see how people on the other side of the coin live.  While we were there we took a tour of a 900 year old indian cave.  It was 75 ft. underground (coming back up was not so fun for 7 months preggers me) and had been used for religious ceremonies and ritual burials.  Ironically enough it was discovered by the Boy Scouts of America!  We also went to a market where locals were selling various arts and crafts that they had made and musicians and dancers were performing.

Our next stop was San Juan, Puerto Rico.  What a beautiful city!  I wish I would have enjoyed it more but by this time my cold was rearing it’s ugly head and I wasn’t exactly feeling my best.  We still ventured out and took a tour of the old San Juan fort.  To say that there were a lot of hills is a gross understatement.  But I waddled up them and got my history on.  There were great views of the old city at the top and it was completely worth the waddle up.  The other side of the fort was built on a cliff and had amazing views of the ocean.  It was a little scary sitting on the edge for pictures….my balance isn’t quite what it used to be!

The last stop of the cruise was the one I was looking forward to the most, and it didn’t disappoint, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos.  Ahhh paradise.  We did absolutely nothing but lay on the beach.  The perfect day.  We even found a stretch of beach where we were all alone.  The beaches were covered in conch shells and we took a nice walk along the shore and found three perfect conch shells to bring back with us (one for us and one for each of our mothers).  If I could spend the rest of my days on the islands T&C would be the place.  

All in all it was a great cruise with some great destinations.  But, as always, it’s great to be home!  We missed our little house.  And now it’s time to focus on getting ready for Mason’s arrival in April!!!

 

 

Honeymoon

Just wanted to say a quick Happy New Year!! And that as I write this I am sitting on the lido deck of a Carnival cruise ship leaving Ft. Lauderdale. After two long weeks of holidays with family (which were wonderful) we are taking our honeymoon. We’ll be headed to Nassau, San Juan (Puerto Rico), La Romana (Dominican Republic), and Grand Turk (Turks & Caicos!! I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it when we get back! In the meantime check Flickr for all the pictures I’m sure I’ll be taking!
See you soon!!

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Tis the Season

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and are looking forward to a festive New Years!!  As of Christmas Day Jesse and I have officially been married for a whole week and I’m looking forward to many many countless years of holidays ahead!  This year we spent Christmas with Jesse’s family, in Central Florida, and then will be traveling down to Ft. Lauderdale on NYE.  We’ll be boarding a cruise ship on the 1st and then our honeymoon will really begin!

I’m not used to it being 80 degrees at this time of year and I’ve been defiantly wearing sweaters and, appropriately, sweating my tail off.  But to me it’s worth it, I love my winter wardrobe and will rock it in December no matter the temperature.  Plus sweaters show off my baby bump!!

Before we left Charleston my mom, step mom, and the rest of my family sent us off with all of our presents from them; which made opening presents at Jesse’s parents just a little awkward.  Everyone else had about six or seven presents in front of them and Jesse and I have this huge mountain of gifts to open!!  Santa (and our families) were EXTREMELY generous to us this year.  The best gifts, by far, were Kindle’s from Jesse’s parents…one for each of us so neither can steal the others (good thinking)…beautiful monogrammed bath towels from my step mom (I’m obsessed with monogramming!!!)…oh and that whole wedding thing my amazing mother threw us a week ago!!!

All in all it’s been an amazing holiday season and I feel so so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family around us.  The only disappointing thing was that I completely forgot and left our stockings in Charleston…and didn’t realize it until we got about a block away from his parent’s house!  All that time hand making and embroidering our names onto those stockings and I up and leave them!  I blame it on pregnancy brain!!

If our first married Christmas is any indication of what future holidays hold for us, I can’t wait!!!

We’re Newlyweds!!! (Wedding Wrap Up)

It’s official!!  Barring a few dozen places where I have to change my name; I will, from this day on, be known as a Mrs.!!!  Jesse and I got married last Sunday at St. Luke’s Chapel with the reception following at The Wickliffe house.  It was an absolutely beautiful day and I can’t believe my Mom pulled it all together in just over a month!!  She is a true testament to the power of Southern women and I hope I’ll be half the mother she is. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to share with our friends and family.  With a little less than a month’s notice  (and so close to Christmas) I’m so glad how many people from out of town were able to come, and we of course missed the one’s who couldn’t make it.

The day itself was completely perfect!  The week before…an absolute nightmare!  Everything that could have gone wrong did…including one of my (two) bridesmaid’s eight month old daughter being so sick they couldn’t leave Atlanta, our rings not arriving until a day before, and several other things that would just stress me out again if I mentioned them here.  But, I attempted to handle them all with grace and in the long run everything worked out.  My hero of the day was my friend Julie who, having been asked to be a bridesmaid at 9:30 Friday night, stepped into the role like she was born to do it!!  One thing I realized through the wedding experience, besides how much I love my amazing rock of a husband, is just how thankful I am to have such wonderful girlfriends.  They really are an indispensable part of my life and I don’t know how I would have gotten through things without being surrounded by such strong and amazing women reminding me to breathe every fifteen minutes!

I do wish someone would have told me just how quickly the actual day flies by.  To me it seemed like from the start of the ceremony to the end of the reception lasted about an hour.  After many agonizing hours trying to decide how the flowers and centerpieces should look I couldn’t tell you what they ended up being!  Nor could I tell you how the food tasted, or if everyone liked the music.  It all seems like a big blur.  The one thing I do remember, I didn’t stop smiling the entire day.  I’m so happy to be married to my best friend, the father of my unborn child, and hands down the most amazing man I’ve ever met.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  No matter how fast our wedding day went by we have the rest of our lives to spend together and I can’t wait to see what adventures life holds for us.