Its the Most Wonderful Month of the Year!

It's December friends!!!

And that brings many of my favorite things :)  Including, but not limited to:

Elf - I have spent the better part of my afternoon heytelling members of my family enjoyable quotes from the movie!  "Have you seen these toilets!?  They're GINORMOUS!!"

Santa - Santa adorns our doorway and greets us every time we walk in!

Secret Santa - Secret Santa starts soon at school & there's just something fun about rounding the corner and seeing a treat outside my door or checking my box to find a little goody bag.  It's fun being a sneaky santa, too!

Ornaments - I'm in 2 blogger ornament exchanges this year :)  I had so much fun picking out the ornaments!  One's in the mail and the other is wrapped & waiting for a fun blogger party!  So excited!

Hustle & Bustle - I did a little Christmas shoplifting at the mall yesterday and online all week :)  Packages galore will be arriving soon!  Now I just have to figure out how to hide some from B!!

Christmas Parties - Next weekend we'll dash away to Michigan for Brandon's work Christmas party as well as hit up a few in town over the next couple of weeks!

Obvious favorites that go without saying...

Stockings hung by the chimney with care, Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas", Peppermint bark, Baking, Blinking light necklaces, Jingle earrings, Family, Friends, A good Party Dress, Christmas Cards, Home Alone, Wrapping!

Oh, no.  Sorry, got carried away.  I really actually dislike wrapping!

This list could keep going, though!  It's definitely the best time of the year :)  Unfortunately included in all that hustle & bustle is a small amount of stress that's started to creep in.  There's just SO much going on!  But it's all super fun stuff and I wouldn't have it any other way!

So Happy December and may I be one of the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas!!

PS - You like my new banner!?  I finally figured out how to upload it and I'm very pleased  :)
Jess - from I Rock So What created it for me!  She's uber talented and very affordable so check her out if you're in the market!

Our 1st Year in Pictures

Before our anniversary month ends, I wanted to get in one last anniversary post :)  Overload much!?  This is an anniversary post I want to continue every year, though!

Megan, from one of my favorite blogs over at Tales of the Trees, does "A Year in Pictures" post every year for she & her husband's anniversary.  I loved the idea so I thought it would be a fun thing to start over here!

The jist is you pick a favorite (or sometimes the only!) picture from each month of the past year to document. Notice I didn't say the cutest or best quality, but favorite/most memory filled :) And that's pretty much it!  So here goes....

Our 1st Year in Pictures

November 2010
One of our first pics after arriving at our Honeymoon resort!
We were SOO tired but so excited to finally be in Jamaica!!

December 2010
At the ACC Championship - VT vs. Florida State
It was COLD!  But it was a Hokie win!!

January 2011
New Year's eve in Myrtle Beach!
It might actually still be Dec 31st in this pic.  I couldn't find any other January pics :(

February 2011
A rando date night :)
Sorry for the poor quality - old BB picture

March 2011
Ready for the St. Patty's Day Bar Crawl!

April 2011
Spring Break '11 - My first ever trip to Universal!!

May 2011
Memorial Day Weekend - On Lake Norman!

June 2011
End of the School Year/Welcome Summer Luau :) 

July 2011
At a Durham Bulls game on the way to the OBX!

August 2011
First Panther's (pre)game of the season!!

September 2011
All dolled up for a friend's wedding!
Pardon the lovely shadows our heads (and my poof :) were creating

October 2011
The top of Mt. Mitchell!  The sign speaks for itself!

November 2011
Asheville - Celebrating 1 whole year with each other :)

November 20th, 2011
Holding our wedding pic from November 20th, 2010

We made it one year babe! Here's to 100 more :)

I love you B!


Thanksgiving Weekend Randoms

1. Let's just let it be known that I'm terrible about taking pictures.  So instead of a cute post filled with Thanksgiving family pictures, you get this random post with some Thanksgiving sprinkled in :)

2. I would like to announce that I successfully made Shuck family noodles - from scratch!!


That's right ladies & gents!  And they were a pretty big hit!!  Especially with Brandon!  Which is good since he told me our marriage was on the line depending on these noodles ;)

See these noodles don't exactly come with a recipe, it's more like an old-passed-down-recipe-feel-it-out type thing.  I made them once last year with my SIL for Christmas.  This was only my second go-round, so I feel pretty accomplished!

3. The process of noodle making isn't exactly an easy task, btw.  It took me a good hour plus to make the dough and then roll it out.  And that rolling out is no joke!  My left hand still has a cramp!  And B says "Ohh, now you can make these every weekend!"  UMM....NO! :)

4. Not only did I excel in the noodle making department, but I was pretty much queen, ok princess (my mom gets queen title!) of the kitchen!

Wednesday morning I had Pandora Christmas radio playing while I made Molasses cookies & Pumpkin Spice Muffins with homemade Cream Cheese Frosting!  The lovely frosting pictured above was my attempt at being a baker for the day :)  I used a zip lock baggie, filled it with icing, and cut a little hole in corner.  Ha, let's just say I'll be sticking to my day job!

Molasses cookies are another Shuck recipe that I've been given rights to ;)  I'll have to see if I can share it on the blog.

Then, Wednesday afternoon I slipped over to my grandmother's kitchen to help my mom put together the sweet potato casserole!  We used my aunt's recipe and its definitely one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides! Yum!!  I'm sure we'll make it again at Christmas so I'll have to get the recipe then and share, SO good!

Finally, Thursday, I put together the dressing.  Another favorite Thanksgiving side dish!

5. I think dressing vs. stuffing should've been part of the accent vlog!  I think I use the terms somewhat interchangeably, but I think my family, for the most part, says dressing.

6. Our Thanksgiving eats were delish!!  If you can't tell by the happy mess this little boy was :)

Sorry for the poor quality!  Taken off B's phone

7. Slowly, but surely, I have begun my Christmas shopping!  Emphasis on the slowly.  Ok well, more like I'm making my Christmas shopping list!  Ha, I've only bought 3 things.  So I've got to get on it!

8. It was a pretty good weekend in College football for our house!  Michigan beat Ohio State & VT beat UVA!! The best part about the Hokies win means we'll have a full house next weekend of cousins and friends in town for the ACC Championship game!

9. In other football news, my Panther's won today!!!  We beat the Colts (who are 0-11 now) so not much to brag about.  But a win is a win and I'll take it!!

10.  In reference to 8, I'm ready for next weekend already!!  And completely in denial about going back to work tomorrow :(  Where did my vacation go!?  The good news is....I get another vacation in just 17 more work days!!  I just love this time of year and I'm so excited it's here!

Christmas cards, shopping, wrapping, parties, ornaments!!  Yes, I plan to soak up every ounce :)

Here's to a quicky work week!


Give Thanks


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, and everyday, I am thankful!  I have so much more than I could ever deserve and I am blessed beyond belief!

I spent the day with my wonderful husband and family enjoying way too much delicious food, fellowship, laughter, a warm fire, and sweet love from my niece and nephews.  I am oh so grateful!

My heart is full.

I hope your heart is full today, also!


Anniversary Weekend!

"1 year ago today, we were Jamaica bound for our Honeymoon!  Today, we go to work :)"

My Facebook status read something to this effect this morning.  Needless to say, today was not nearly as exciting as a year ago, but we sure did enjoy our weekend celebrating year numero uno!

Friday night we laid low, got our fav take out from Basil, and watched Water for Elephants!

I was so excited for finally watch the movie!  It was one of the most "true to the book" movies in my opinion. I just loved the characterization in the book and thought the actors and actresses captured it so well!!  Loved it!

Saturday morning, we headed off to Asheville for the night!  Since our anniversary is so close to the Holidays, we thought it would be fun to tour The Biltmore during their Candle Light Christmas tour as well as their winery.  Brandon had never been and we thought it would be fun to get the full experience!

When we first got to town, our hotel room wasn't ready, so we walked around downtown for a little shopping & lunch!  They were actually having a parade downtown so we caught a little bit of that while waiting to be sat at Tupelo Honey Cafe!

There was a bit of a wait at to get in at Tupelo Honey Cafe, but it was well worth it!  Those biscuits were to die for!!

After lunch, we were able to check into our room.  Turns out a little birdie (aka Brandon) told the hotel it was our anniversary so we walked in to a sweet surprise!

B caught up on the Michigan game while we sipped some Champagne, and then it was off to The Biltmore!

The gorgeous entrance!! 

Waiting for our wine tour, sampling some champagne :)

The Clock Tower - the 2nd most photographed spot, next to the house

Edith Biltmore's wheels & get up (in the corner!)  Her *estate car*

Large white wine fermenter's behind me!  (I think that's what they were called!)

The AMAZING house!!!

If you've never been to the Biltmore, you should definitely go at least once!  The house is spectacular.  Each room has such immaculate detail, the ceilings are my favorite!  They have such incredible features!!  I wish picture taking was allowed!

Since we realized we couldn't take pics by the GINORMOUS 33 ft tree inside The Biltmore, we had hoped to take our Christmas card picture by this lit up tree outside.  After a few practice shots, we realized it wasn't really going to work!  Haha, onto plan C....

After second look, I thought the giant lion in the background might be a little weird for a Christmas picture.  Plan D...

After The Biltmore, we made it to our dinner reservation at The Chop House.  Our filets with blue cheese crumbles and sides were delicious, but the service...not so great!  Or we might have just been tired from all that walking at The Biltmore.  Either way, not sure we'd go back.  We'll stick to our trusty Ruth's Chris when we feel like celebrating over a good steak!  Maybe one day when we're real baller (haha, oh to dream) we'll try out Morton's!

For dessert, we walked over to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge for some truffles and brownies to go :) We felt a little lame, but we were tired, so we retired to our bed, watched House Hunter's and ate our yummy desserts!!  The night was perfection!

Their truffles lived up to their hype, by the way!  And they ship those puppies, so if you need some nice Chocolates as a gift for anyone, go drool over their website!

Before we left our overnight get away Sunday morning, I wanted to snap one last picture.  I found this anniversary tradition on Pinterest and just for giggles we thought we'd try it out!

Brought our wedding photo and everything! I felt extremely awkward holding the photo while being photographed, ha!  I'm glad eventually this picture will be WAY down deep in the years of pictures since my eyes were so puffy.  Great look for me!  Not!

We had planned to grab brunch before heading back, but breakfast at the hotel seemed a little easier!  Once we got home, we turned on the Panther's/Lion's game and brought Christmas our from the storage unit :)

We had a house divided this week during the game, but Brandon didn't rub it in too much when to no surprise my Panther's lost and his Lion's won.  :(

I love our 3 new ornaments from The Biltmore!!

  We attempted a few more Christmas photo ideas so here's something similar to what they'll look like ;)

They're no where near professional looking, but I think our final one turned our pretty cute and I love the card I picked out form Vistaprint!!  I can't wait to mail them all out!  We used a wedding pic last year for our cards, and our picture this year was taken exactly a year later :)

We topped off our Anniversary weekend with a family dinner at my brother & SIL's new house last night!  My parents got in town yesterday for Thanksgiving and I'm SO SO excited!!

1 more day of school this week...

and tomorrow...

we start COOKING!!!

PS - bear with me while the blog is undergoing a little construction :) If you know how to upload a premade header and/or edit html and would like to offer your expertise, please don't hesitate!!


Our Rehearsal Dinner

One year ago today, we had our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner!  The wedding fun had truly begun!

Because our awesome photographer, Kelli, had flown in from Michigan she was with us pretty much all weekend and so she got some GREAT shots of our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner!

This is one of the only pictures we have of sweet baby Wells!  Ha, he was still a little too young to be a part of all the fun, but he was at the rehearsal :)

My brother Josh sang "Marry Me" by Train and his friend Chris was our AWESOME musician for the wedding!!

Our rehearsal dinner was in the Concierge Lounge at The Holiday Inn Center City!  The food was so good and I ate way to many petite fours for it to be the night before my wedding :)

Brandon grew up a Michigan fan so his groom's cake was the Michigan M!  It was delish, too!!


With Mom & Pops

Silly Casey!

With Deb & Joan :)

Such a great pic of bro & sis!

Our whole clan!!

Such great memories!  I just love looking back :)  We love you all!!  Thanks for being a part of a weekend we'll never forget!