Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking back on 2010

We're back in Michigan after a great visit with the family in Oregon, and it's nice to be back home and spend time our family and friends here. Today is New Year's Even and I really can't believe that 2010 is coming to a close. This has been a HUGE year for us. Cam finished his Master's degree, we celebrated our first anniversary, we moved to South Carolina, and we both started new jobs. Oh and we traveled...A LOT. I think that was probably the biggest thing about this year, just how many places we got to visit. Cam and I made a list the other day, and I still can't believe everywhere we've been fortunate enought to visit in the past 365 days:
  • New York City
  • Chicago
  • Toronto/Niagara Falls
  • London
  • Paris
  • Bruges
  • Amsterdam
  • Berlin
  • Prague
  • Vienna 
  • Salzburg
  • Berchtesgaden
  • Munich
  • Venice 
  • Rome
  • Cinque Terre
  • Interlaken
  • Frankfurt
  • Knoxville, TN 
  • Greenville, SC (well maybe this shouldn't count since we live here now, but it was a new place at the time!)
  • Charleston, SC 
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Brevard, NC
  • Orlando, FL/Walt Disney World
  • Asheville, NC
  • Savannah, GA/Hilton Head, SC
  • Blowing Rock, NC/Grandfather Mtn
  • Oregon (x2)
  • Michigan (x3) 
Here's to even more adventures in 2011! Happy New Year everyone! :)

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    Happy Boxing Day...

    Ahh the day after Christmas, the perfect time to reflect on what a wonderful holiday season it's been. I have been meaning to do some Christmas-y posts for the past few weeks, but wasn't able to find the time, so a post-Christmas post will have to suffice. A big part of that busyness was due to a little puppy that has been consuming the majority of my attention lately. As I mentioned in my last post, we were fostering a little boxer lab mix runt named Elle Woods. Well, we decided that we want to make her a permanent part of our family, so yay for getting a dog finally!! We are going to be adopting her when we return to South Carolina, and thankfully the folks at the Humane Society were kind enough to work things out so that people could foster her while we're gone. We decided to change her name though, and are going to be calling her Lola because we thought that was a better fit for her spunky personality. I've already posted a ton of pictures on FB, but come 2011, I'm planning on doing a whole post about sweet little Lola, and I'll be sure to include lots of pictures!

    So that's really been the big news of the Christmas season for us, as playing with the puppy has taken up the majority of our free time. Cameron and I both had work Christmas parties which were a lot of fun; his was at the BMW North American Headquarters and we had drinks and hors d'oeuvres and got to look at all the beautiful cars and motorcycles on display. My office is a lot smaller, so my party was actually at my boss's house, but it was really fun as well, and a great end to the year. I made a few batches of Christmas cookies, and somehow mangaged to finish up the shopping and wrapping in time to get everything to Fed Ex so it would arrive in Oregon/Michigan by Christmas. And that was about it. December seemed to fly by, and although there were quite a few Christmas-y things around Greenville we didn't end up having time to do, they are definitely on my list for next year.

    Because I was so busy with work, the puppy, and trying to tie up loose ends for our travels to Oregon/Michigan, I kind of felt like I hadn't had time to really start enjoying Christmas, so as soon as I left work for the airport Tuesday, it was great to sort of just switch over in to Christmas mode, as I had 12 days of vacation ahead of me, and nothing to do. (What a fabulous feeling!) So right now, I'm in Oregon, and it's been SO great to be out here and spend time with everyone. It was a little bit of a tumultuous journey getting here, thanks to Delta and the fact that they are the worst airline on the planet (I had to hold myself back from doing another post about how much I hate them), but basically I was supposed to arrive in Oregon Tuesday night, but thanks to a delay out of Greenville, I missed my connection, and had to spend Tuesday night at the Clarion Inn in Atlanta. (I wouldn't recommend it...) I finally made it to Oregon on Wednesday, and it's been a lot of fun spending time with everyone. Our nieces have grown and changed so much, and it was wonderful to have the entire family together for Christmas at Cam's parents' house yesterday. Since being here, I've been able to relax, catch up on sleep, and enjoy some of my favorite Christmas-y things...

    Being with family-that's really the best part of the season, especially now, living far away from my family, I really value the times we are able to get to Oregon/Michigan and spend time with loved ones...Baking sugar cookies-I rarely make frosted cutout cookies any other time of year because they're kind of a pain, but they're my favorite, so Cam and I made a delicious batch together on Christmas Eve...Watching It's a Wonderful Life-it makes me cry every time, I love that movie...Exchanging presents-One of my love languages is gifts and I love to buy presents for people, so it was a lot of fun to shop for my nieces this year, and it was great watching them open their gifts...I got some really great stuff too, so I'll probably be posting more on that later...Getting a Christmas card from my husband-This is something that I really look forward to each year, because I love saving cards he gives me to look back on, and sure enough he got me a really sweet one this year. We decided that we were just going to exchange cards this year since the puppy was kind of our present to each other (and she's gonna need a lot of stuff when we come back in January!), and then we both decided we'd rather go shopping together in the after Christmas sales and each buy some new clothes, rather try to get each other gifts...so I'm looking forward to doing some serious shopping in the week to come! Going to candlelight church service on Christmas Eve-I love singing carols, and I think that my favorite moment of the entire year is when everyone has their candles light, they turn off the lights, and everyone sings 'Silent Night'...it's just so peaceful and perfect, it's really my favorite part of all of Christmas :)

    I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas yesterday :) We're off to Michigan tomorrow through the New Year, so I'm looking forward to seeing more family and friends and ringing in 2011!

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Fitness FAST

    I actually meant to do this post a couple weeks ago, but I didn't have time, so I thought I'd do it tonight before I totally forget. (I also am wanting to do a post about working out because I have had NO time to go to the gym recently. It really irritates me because I always feel a lot better when I workout, but between Christmas stuff/fostering this puppy, I feel like I've barely had time to sleep). However, during the month of November, I tried out a new fitness place in Greenville called 9 Round. It's kind of a combination of a gym and a specific class, and you can purchase a membership or individual sessions. Basically, it consists of 9 different stations or "rounds" which are different boxing inspired exercises. In between each round, you do 30 seconds of active rest (active being the key word!). There is a thing that looks like a stop light on the wall and when the light turn green you start a round, when it's yellow, you know you have 30 seconds left and you need to push yourself, and then when it turns red, you start with your active recovery. So for example, you might start with your first round as 3 minutes of jump roping, then go to 30 seconds of wall sits, then move on to your next station and do 3 minutes of squats with a kettlebell, then go to 30 seconds of plank, then put on boxing gloves and do 3 minutes on the punching bag, and so on and so forth. You get an high intensity, total body workout in a short amount of time, and my favorite part is that you never have to worry about waiting for class to start or going at a specific time, you can just show up and jump into a workout whenever. I also like the fact that there is a trainer there pushing you the whole time, so you really do get a good workout in a short amount of time. My favorite exercise was sparring with the instructor; I had on boxing gloves and then the instructor had on gloves with targets, and I just got to punch my little heart out for 3 minutes straight...it was awesome! I really enjoyed trying 9 Rounds and I think that it's a great concept. However, since I'm not going to cancel my regular gym membership, I won't be going there, except maybe sporadically when I decide to pay for an individual session. I would highly suggest checking it out though, because 9 Round is the perfect way to mix up your fitness routine and have fun doing it!

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Unexpected Elle Woods...

    "This little pup needs a foster home for two or three weeks. She weighs 3 pounds, which is nearly half of what her littermates weight. She is the little runt of the litter. I took her home Saturday evening because I was concerned about her staying here over the weekend and wanted to make sure she was ok – I thought that she might have developmental issues. She slept almost 24 hours, she must have had a hard time in the litter – terrible nightmares. By Sunday evening she was a little active and even more so now (barking, crying right now for attention). She just needs some nice life experiences I think. She is shy at times and tiny so I want to place her in a foster home without small children, relatively quiet home with some stimulation though.  Her name is “Elle Woods.” Yes, she is wearing a pink sweater … she needed a little help in the looks department and it keeps her warm and comfy."


    On Monday, I got an email from the Humane Society with their list of pets that needed to be fostered for the week and this was the paragraph and photo that were at the top of the email. Although, I had a not so smooth experience fostering a puppy earlier this year, I couldn't resist. Yesterday, Cam went to the Humane Society to pick up Elle Woods before I got home from work, and we basically both have been obsessed with her since she's arrived. As email said, she needs a place to be away from the Humane Society for a little while, so we are supposed to foster her from now until we leave to go out of town for Christmas. Right now she is super small, but she's actually a boxer lab mix, so she could end up being a pretty big dog. Everyone keeps saying "oh I bet you'll keep her!"...who knows, maybe this was meant to be and we'll end up keeping her and she is the perfect dog for us...or maybe as she continues to grow, she might end up being big and energetic and there might be another family out there who needs her more and has more space for her and it won't be meant to be that she stays with us permanently...I have no idea yet, all I know is that right now she's curled up with me on the couch, fast asleep. So I'm just going to enjoy each minute with this cute pup and see what happens, but I'm really glad that we could open our home to her for the time being :)

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Happy Birthday to Me ♥

     Today is my birthday, yay! 24 years old seems really young and really old at the same time. 23 was an awesome year...what will this next chapter of my life hold? Only time will tell, but I have a feeling it's going to be another fabulous year...haha.

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