Archive for December, 2010


Because the last post was dedicated to our vacation, I wanted to do a little post about our time spent with our family this past Christmas. Unfortunately, I don’t have a single picture from our Christmas celebrations, but that’s because I decided to take a LOT of video, so I didn’t want to compromise the storage space. I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll spring for the video upgrade to the blog in 2011…I guess we’ll see if I continue to take as many videos!

We had 18 people for Christmas Eve Dinner— you know who you are— and it was fabulous. Just like the old days when the house is busting at the seams and full of chaos. The menu was delicious— sausage and meatballs, farmer’s pasta, pesto with homemade pasta, salad (the only vegetable to be found), and dozens of Christmas cookies— gingerbread, cherry roll-ups, Dora’s cookies, whiskey cookies and more.

We had an equally impressive 19 people the next night for dinner at Aunt Terry’s house for the classic dinner of rib roast, ham, creamed cauliflower, roasted potatoes, and black bottom pie. Being able to spend time with some many of our relatives— from both my father’s, mother’s and Ryan’s side of the family— was truly enough reason to be thankful and happy this Christmas.

On a slightly sad note, Ryan and I had to unofficially say goodbye to two friends who have truly become like family to us, Ethan and Allison. In a nearly empty townhouse, we said our goodbyes and made plans to meet up on Jan. 2 for a quick brunch– hence an “unofficial” goodbye. We’re trying to implore the never-say-goodbye thing by making plans to see each other a next time every time we meet, so there’s never an end in sight! We know that Ethan and Allison are going to be truly happy in North Carolina and they’ll continue to be like family to us, no matter where they are! Can’t get rid of us no matter where you move!

Me and the boys.

Ry and our besties.

Me and the Dodsons.

And, Ethan and Allison, gave us such an amazing gift before they left… a custom recipe book that contains many of the recipes for meals that we’ve shared together. Alli designed the book and I think that it’s possible that she might have a future career in designing cookbooks… we couldn’t believe how professional the book looked.

Among the recipes: man soup, sausage balls, and pizza fruit!

Cheers to our amazing friends family!


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I hope everyone has been enjoying a little time off with their loved ones, whether it’s in a crowded den with extended family or far from reality under a palm tree– or in our case, both. This year, Ryan and I decided to make the most of our holiday by having the best of both worlds– family and seclusion. And, I have to say, it was amazingly successful.

We spent four, glorious days in Vero Beach, Florida at the Vero Beach Hotel and Spa, for which we found an amazing deal on Jetsetter. If you’re not familiar with Jetsetter, it’s definitely worth a look around. They offer luxury hotel rooms for deep discounts— about half off in our case. The hotels are constantly changing, and the key is you have to book them fast (and pay for it entirely upfront) to secure the deal. But, they offer extremely high end places for pretty reasonable prices.

Moving on, the hotel was fabulous— ocean front, quiet, brand new, great dining room. And, the best part, it was practically empty! There are few things I relish more than a walk on an entirely empty stretch of beach.

The Vero Beach Hotel.

Obliging the paparazzi with a smile.

Ryan looking very GQ.

Perhaps it would make for a more interesting blog entry if I told you that we kayaked with manatees, explored national parks, and checked out the local shops and such. But, this simply isn’t true. We basically hunkered down at our resort and just relaxed. In fact, we did try to leave the hotel once– in search of the next town over– but (at the concierege’s misdirection) we ended up going the wrong way on A1A for about 45 minutes and we took this as an omen that we should probably just give in to the lounge chairs and heated pool calling our names and stay at the hotel.

Oh wow, Ryan took one picture.

Site of late night chats watching the ocean under a full moon.

Our kind of exploring.

Operation warm 2nd Honeymoon/ 1st Anniversary success!

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Nick’s Graduation

Ok, this is going to be a quick post because I wanted to get the pictures up as soon as possible! Over the weekend we went to Nick’s VCU graduation, where he got his BA in History. Go Nick!!!!!!!

He’s in there somewhere– I swear! (Check the back right corner of grads).

Obligatory family photo in front of the ram horns.

We ran into the Kurbels! How many times did I have to call over to Stephen Kurbel’s house asking if Nick was over there and if they could send him home for dinner?!?

Sisters, sisters. Siblings, Siblings.

Walking up to get his diploma.

Woot! Woot!

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At long last, I’m re-emerging from this blogging dry-spell. Things have been a little crazy recently and I haven’t had much time blog, much less do cool things and take pictures of them. So, here’s a little run down of things happening in my life.

We had a great Thanksgiving with the Galls. The highlight, of course, was having Miss Lacey join us for her first holiday gathering. She was absolutely adorable in her designer duds (I think her closet is bigger than mine!) and she is going to grow into a beautiful little girl. I wish I had some pictures… maybe I’ll get Peggy to e-mail some of the ones that she took and I’ll post ’em.

Our best friends in Cville the world are moving! Ethan and Alli, who have appeared so many times on our blog, are moving to Raleigh, NC.

We are so pumped for Ethan for landing an amazing position as a Major Gifts officer in NC State’s Development Office. Major Gifts is something he’s been wanting to try his hand at for a while and we’re so happy he now has the opportunity to do it, and we know he’s going to be incredibly successful. Raleigh is only four hours from Charlottesville and there’s the added bonus that Pat, Mel, Cam and Lacey live there, so now we have twice as many reasons to visit Raleigh.

And, last but not least, it’s December! Remember how I couldn’t wait for the holidays to get here? Well, now they’re here and I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed. I have hardly any shopping done (and less than two weeks to do it!) but we did manage to get our house decorated last weekend.

Check it out. Here we are at Whole Foods getting ready to pick out our tree.

The winner!

Loading up the sleigh!

Aren’t we precious?

And, the finished product.


Now, why, might you ask, are there no pictures of the decorating of the tree or stringing it with lights? Oh wait, that’s because I did it all by myself while Ryan was on the phone with incompetent United airlines representatives (more on this later). A girl cannot decorate a tree and take pictures at the same time. So, a finished product will have to do.

While we suspect our tree is not quite as tall as last year’s (and it was more expensive, boo Whole Foods), the scent is amazing. Any time you walk in the room you are bowled over with a strong fir tree scent. It really makes all the hassle and expense worth it.

And, I mentioned that Ryan was arguing with United representatives because we are going to be taking a vacation to Vero Beach, FL (not via United) in less than two weeks! We are excited to get away, just the two of us, and have that warm, relaxing, did I mention warm, honeymoon that we did not have last year.

I hope everybody else is enjoying the holidays as much as I am, and we can all have fun (and take deep breaths together) as we try to get everything done— that’s part of the Christmas spirit, right?

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