Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tis the Season...

... to be super, duper, incredibly busy!

Life seems to be moving non-stop these days... so much so that I haven't been able to keep up with my blog, or even reading some of my favorite blogs.  Between working a ton so that I have money to spend on Christmas presents, starting a "new" part-time position at work, shopping, etc. I feel like there is no time to spare.

MD and I FINALLY got all of our Christmas cards written and ready to mail out.  And by MD and I, I really mean just the "I" part.... although this year I did make MD sign the cards because well I want him to see the effort that I put in to them.  I feel like sending cards via "snail mail" is a dying art and Christmas time is the PERFECT opportunity to let people know we miss them, care about them, etc. via a Christmas card.  I love the messages that I have been getting from people who already got the cards that we mailed out... everyone seems so excited to get something in the mail that is not a catalog, bill, advertisement, etc.

Now that cards are done it is time to move on to cookies, shopping, wrapping presents, etc. And all this needs to be done by Tuesday as we are heading to NJ for some family time before Christmas on Wednesday morning.  Not to mention we are also in charge of cooking a turkey dinner for my Dad for his birthday... something neither one of us has ever done before...things could get interesting.

I still haven't completely decorated for the holidays which is totally frustrating, but at least we managed to get our tree decorated last week (pictures to come soon... I promise).  Somehow I am going to get all of this done within the next few days PLUS get some quality studying time in.

How do you all manage to find time for everything during the holidays?  Cause I sure am having a hard time finding balance this year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December means....

Happy December all!  

Next to October, December is probably my favorite month of the year because well I love, Love, LOVE the holidays!  December means so many things to so many people. Here are some of the things that December means for me. :)

December means lots of family time which is something I always enjoy despite the fact that my family sometimes drives me crazy.

December means going with Mark and my family to cut down Christmas trees....

Our Very First Christmas Tree Together

Our 2nd Christmas Tree Together

"Family" Cutting down our Christmas Trees
Last Year's Christmas Tree
December means decorating the house inside and out for the holidays...

Our First Tree All Decorated
Our 2nd Christmas Tree All Decorated

Dining Room Table 
Last Year's Tree

Centerpiece on Coffee Table

End Table
December means going home and setting up the snow village displays...

Church and Skating Rink Scene

Neighborhood Scene

Neighborhood Scene

Town Scene

Neighborhood Scene

Town Scene

December means peppermint mochas from Starbucks...

December means lots of Christmas lights....

December means 2 weeks of uninterrupted vacation time with Lover....

Hanging out at Hershey Park during Lover's Vacation
December means baking traditional family Christmas cookies....

December means Christmas movies all the time on Hallmark and Lifetime...

December means one of the best times of the year! :)

What does December mean to you??

Tag-Along Thursday Blog Hop

I'm linking up with Miss MommyAnd Nothing Else Matters, Punkin' Heads & Dooda Loo'sMom 2 Memphis and RubyMy Adventures Through MommyhoodMommas Like Me, and Through the Eyes of the Mrs for Tag-Along Thursday Blog Hop.  They host this party the first Thursday of every month.  Check out their blogs!  And while you are there you just may find some other awesome people to follow!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Ten... I am {blank} Right Now...

I am ready for my life to begin.  I have spent so much time putting myself through school to still be working in a restaurant... so I am ready to find that person who is going to give me a chance to be the best lawyer there is out there!

I wonder whether there really is life on other planets... and by life I mean "people" like us.  I have always had a hard time believing that we are the only intelligent creatures out there.  I wonder if there are "people" just like us on some other planet, in some other solar system, wondering the same thing that I am about whether or not there are other people living out there somewhere.

I see things in black and white.  Sometimes to me everything is just black and white.  I need to start learning to see the grey and understanding that things are not always going to be perfect and that they sure aren't always going to go my way.

I want my grandparents to all be able to see me get married and to hopefully meet their great-grandchildren.  I have been blessed to have been able to know all 4 of my grandparents.  My grandfather on m mom's side died while I was in middle school, but the rest are alive and doing as well as they can be for their ages.  I was also blessed to have been able to meet 2 of my great-grandmothers.  That is something I want when I have children... for both me and my grandparents.  I would love for them to all be able to get to know each other like I had the opportunity to.

I pretend that I am really tough.  I am not as tough as I seem... though most of the time I can put on a good front.  The people who truly know me (i.e. my lover, MD) can usually tell when something is wrong, but lots of people can't.  I act like I am tough even though I may be crumbling inside

I worry that I will truly never, ever overcome that awful depression.  I know I have mentioned before that I was in a bad depression a while back and that sometimes it creeps back on me.  I would like to say that it can't creep back into my life, but it can.  I am working hard to overcome it, but I worry that I will never be able to 100% do so.

I cry when I am really worried and feel like life will never go my way.  I know that seems selfish, but the lack of being able to find a job a full year after becoming a barred attorney, feeling like I am never going to get married/have kids as I am now 27 (& according to my grandma over Thanksgiving "not getting any younger"), feeling like I am never going to be able to pay back all the debt I got myself into to put myself through law school, etc. I also cry when I am watching "touching" movies (i.e. Lifetime and Hallmark channel movies)... they can be super sad, super happy, etc... but I cry in movies ALL THE TIME!

I hope that when I am old and grey that I will be able to say that I have done all that I wanted to in my life.  This includes being married to my best friend, having children, being able to travel the world, having the money to donate to all the charities that are important to me, having some of the same best girlfriends as I do at this point in my life, etc.  I know that seems incredibly optimistic but I really do hope it comes true.

I dream of finding my prefect job and being able to finally get my adult life started. Since I still do not have a job in my chosen field I don't feel like my adult life has been able to start.  Sure I live on my own (well not really my own, but with my lover), I pay my own bills, drive my own car, etc. but I still don't feel like I have an adult life.  Maybe it is because I am still not married, maybe not.  Maybe it is because working as a waitress/bartender I feel like I am still in school, maybe not.  All I know is I feel like my life has not yet really begun.

I feel so many emotions all the time recently that I can't always adequately express myself. I have been an emotional basket case recently and I don't know why.  I can't always seem to put into words how I am feeling.  Although right now at this exact moment in time I feel really blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life who I can call my family and friends.

I am linking up with Miss Mommy's Tuesday Ten.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday... Birthday Twins Birthday Celebrations

My best friend JG & I have birthdays that are 2 days apart... this year hers is on Thanksgiving and mine is on Saturday.  It has been the tradition for the past three years that we get together with our girlfriends and go out on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving... THE BIGGEST PARTY NIGHT OF THE YEAR... to celebrate.  So this Wordless Wednesday I figured that I would share a collection of pictures from all of our various celebrations...

 1st Annual Joint Birthday Celebration... JF, KT, me, JG, LC, SS

 JG & KT looking beautiful

Birthday Twins and BFFs

Enjoying 1/2 price bottles of wine for our bday

Etel baked a GORGEOUS cake!

 Fridays Ladies

 Showing off our bottle of wine for the 2nd annual bday celebration

 LC, EO, SS hanging out during our 2nd annual bday celebration

 Shots with CS at Fridays


 KT & I

 KT, "Little Bro", & Me

 3rd Annual Bday Twin Bday Celebration

 BFF/Bday Twin & her lover


 SS, NS, JG & Me... bday celebrations rock!

There you have it... 3 years of birthday celebrations for JG and me.  Can't wait to see what year # 4 has in store for us!  I do know however that it will be pretty fantastic because it will be the first time all of us girls have been reunited in FOREVER! We have a lot of fun to catch up on! ;) 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Ten ... 10 Things I am Thankful For

In honor of Thanksgiving (& of my first week participating in Miss Mommy's Tuesday 10) I thought I would start off with 10 things that I am truly thankful for.

1. Lover. As most of you already know, MD and I just celebrated 5 years together and I really can't imagine my life without him.  I am so thankful to have such a loving and supportive man in my life.  Sure we may fight sometimes (what couple doesn't), sure there are times where we act a little crazy (again, what couple doesn't), but I know that through thick and thin he will always be there for me which makes me the luckiest girl in the world.

2. My Parents.  My parents and I did not always get along... I would love to tell you that we did, but we didn't.  As I have gotten older I have come to understand them a lot better and as a result we have a much better relationship and I appreciate what they have done for me way more.  I am so thankful that my parents were able to put me through college, that they were able to make sure that I lived a secure life when I was younger, and most importantly that they taught me how to love.  My parents were never short on love when we were kids (even though I swore they didn't love me when I was in trouble) and they always made sure that we knew how much they loved us... from little notes in our lunch boxes, to always signing cards with a bunch of little Xs and Os at the bottom, to telling us constantly that they loved us.

3. My Family (the rest of my family, not including my parents because well they deserved their own reasons why I was thankful for them).  Not gonna lie, I have a pretty amazing family.  Sure we are LOUD, sure we are all opinionated, sure we can all be a pain in the butt sometimes, but frankly I don't know what I would do without them.  I was blessed with the opportunity to know ALL of my grandparents...and even a couple of my great-grandmothers.  I am blessed with 2 wonderful aunts who love me like their own daughter.  And I am also blessed with a little brother who I may not have loved when he first came into this world but who I can't imagine living without at this point.  My family is fairly small and all live fairly close to each other (i.e. we all live within a couple hours drive of each other) and I am thankful for the time that we get to spend together.  My life would be incomplete without my small immediate family and I thank God every day for them all.

4. My Friends.  I think I have some of the best friends in the entire world.  My best friends are the type of friends that I can call at 4am when I can't sleep because something terrible has happened and they will be there for me to talk through whatever it is that is bothering me.  They are the type of friends that for the most part will drop everything to be there for me.  They are the type of friends who are always there to lend a hand or a word of encouragement.  They are supportive.  I am thankful that I have such great friends in my life, because well not many people can truly say that they have some of the greatest friends in the world.  At one point I couldn't even say that. But as I have grown older I know who my true friends are and for them I am truly thankful.

5. Having a job (albeit not my dream job or even a job in my field).  With the economy as bad as it is, I am truly thankful that I have some sort of job making me some sort of money.  Granted I am still at the SAME job that I worked at to get through law school, but at least it is a job.  At least I am no longer a hostess... I am a server/bartender so I am making more money now.  There are plenty of people out there without jobs, so I thank my lucky stars every day that I still have some sort of a way to make money in a world where people are struggling.

6. A working car. This may seem like a strange thing to be thankful for, but if you knew all the problems I had with my old car, you'd understand.  I loved my old car, but towards the end it was a money pit and I was afraid to drive it because I couldn't afford to fix it.  Last year, thanks to the help of my family, I was finally able to lease a new car... a car that I felt safe driving.  So I am thankful to no longer be driving a death trap and to know that I can make it from point A to point B in one piece.

7. The opportunity to travel abroad in 2006. In January 2006 I began a journey to find myself while studying abroad in Granada, Spain.  I did NOT want to go to Spain, in fact my parents bribed me with a car to get me to go.  I am so thankful that my parents made me go because well Spain was a huge part of how I became who I am today. I came back from Europe with more self-confidence, with a sense of knowing how to be independent, I was cultured, I had seen a lot.  Spain and my travels through Europe are to this day probably the best 5 months of my entire life.  I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to travel there and to study there and to become who I was meant to be.

8. Being a Bucknellian (yes, I know this is a super weird thing to be thankful for).  I was born into a family of Bucknellians.  My parents are both Bucknellians.  Both my grandmothers are Bucknellians. Both my aunts are Bucknellians.  My great aunt & great uncle are Bucknellians. Many of my cousins are Bucknellians.  Orange and Blue runs in my blood.  Being able to go to Bucknell and to share that experience with my family is something that is really hard to describe... there is just something about Bucknell that you can't truly understand unless you have been a student there.  Plus if I hadn't gone to Bucknell I wouldn't have met my lover and my life wouldn't be what it is today.  So thank you Bucknell for continuing to let me bleed orange and blue, for keeping my family connected in a strange yet awesome way, and for introducing me to the love of my life.

9. Holidays.  I am very thankful for holidays because it means time off from work to spend time with my favorite people... friends and family.  Holidays are the times of the year when I know that no matter what MD and I are going to find ways to visit our families... that we are going to spend lots of quality time in the car together driving from place to place... but that in the end we will have an amazing time because we will be spending it with our families.  I also know that even though we are traveling to visit our families, that we will also find the time to celebrate the holidays with our friends.  Time off from work and being able to spend it with my favorite people is definitely something to be thankful for.

10. My faith. It is hard to describe why I am thankful for my faith...but I am going to try.  I just know that I thank God every day that I believe in Him and that I believe that He has a plan for all of us.  Sometimes, when bad things happen, I may doubt Him, but in the end I always have faith that everything happens for a reason even if I may not always be able to understand it.  I know that God has a plan for me and that He will not throw anything my way that He thinks that I can't handle.  It may not always seem like that is the way, but deep down I know it is.  I am so thankful that I have this faith in Him and that I can continue to have faith even when times have not always been the greatest.

I am linking this post up with Miss Mommy's Tuesday 10

Friday, November 18, 2011

Soundtrack to My Life

One of my friends (along with one of her friends) has started a blog called The November Project (which you can find here).  Their "Day 14" post was entitled "Make a Playlist" and DD made a playlist of the songs that reminded her of her past.  As I was reading her post, I realized that I have a bunch of songs that remind me of the various stages of my life and I decided that I was going to make a playlist of the songs that mean something to me.

So here is what the soundtrack to my life would sound like....

1. "The Sign" - Ace of Base This was the first single that I had on CD... I remember listening to it ALL the time

2. "Up Against the Wall" - NSYNC My friend CM and I were obsessed and I mean OBSESSED with NSYNC in hs...we were also obsessed with Lance (too bad he turned out to be gay) and we were even more obsessed when we went to see them in concert and watched them velcro themselves to the wall on stage... can you say HOT?! (or at least HOT to a bunch of hs girls)

3. "You Know My Name" - Chris Cornell Title song to the movie Casino Royale which MD & I saw on our first date <3 

4. "The Right Kind of Wrong" - LeAnn Rimes This was one of the songs that we listened to ALL THE TIME on the bus going to football games when I was a cheerleader in HS.  We would belt this out on the bus before... and after games. Brings back a lot of good memories.

5. "My Hump" - Black Eyed Peas Or should I say "My Girls"...any of my Chi Mu pledge class sisters probably have fond memories of this song as we did a parody of it for song round of recruitment... "My Girls, My Girls, My Girls...My Chi Omega Girls"

6. "Dirty Little Secret" - All-American Rejects I went to see them in concert at Penn State with a few of my favorites (VG & LA) and this was my all time favorite song.  It was quite a trip filled with lots of laughs and good times... plus when the PSU kids would chant "We are..." and then answer "Penn State" we would yell "Bucknell" lol

7.  "Gold Digger" - Kanye West 3 words... Spring. Break. Italia.  What an amazing trip with amazing people... nothing says Italy like having random Italian men sing "Gold Digger" to you

8.  "Supermassive Black Hole" - Muse This is one of the songs in the first Twilight movie.  My friends and I are all pretty much Twilight obsessed... and every time I hear this song it makes me think of my girls :)  (Lots of love to KT, JG, SS, EO, & NS)

  1. 9.  "SOS" - Rhianna This song brings me back to Bucknell and many days of pregaming with VG before heading out for the night... somehow this song ALWAYS ended up on our drinking playlist

10.  "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" - Cyndi Lauper What girl doesn't love this song?! This is one of those songs that my girls and I will drop everything to belt out any time we hear it.  Imagine hearing this in a room full of sorority girls...oh the memories

11. "Heaven is a Place on Earth" - Belinda Carsile Again.. what girl doesn't love this song?!  This is another classic belt it out every time it comes on song.  

12. "Wannabe" - Spice Girls Another song that brings me back to my younger days... I remember watching the Spice Girls movie on HBO when it first came out back in the 90s... and I'm kind of ashamed to say that it was on a week or two ago because I saw it when flipping through channels and I totally stopped to watch it... needless to say, MD thought I was crazyyyyyy

13. "Living on a Prayer" - Bon Jovi As a Jersey Girl you KNOW this list would not be complete without a little Bon Jovi... I know "Living on a Prayer" is probably a little cliche because well everyone seems to know/love this song... but I can't help it... I just love it and it help keeps me true to my Jersey roots.

14. "Let's Get Loud" - Jennifer Lopez Another flashback to high school cheerleading... this time to freshman year when I was on the varsity basketball cheering squad.  We had an awesome dance to this song... a dance that I still remember most of too this day... especially the one part that I had such a hard time with.  Oh how things stick with you like 11 years later... (man I really am getting old... it's been 11 years since I was a freshman in hs... CRAZYYYY)

15. "God Gave Me You" -  Blake Shelton If any of you read my blog, you know from reading here why this song means a lot to me... but if you haven't read that post, this song reminds me of how lucky I am to have MD in my life and how I couldn't imagine it without him!

16. "Fallin' For You" - Colbie Caillat Along the same veins as song # 15, this song reminds me of MD because a while back he posted a link to this song on my facebook wall letting me know that this song made him think of me :) (Seriously... how cute is he?!)

17. Sex and the City Theme This really just reminds me of my girls that I met at Fridays and the girls I met through my Fridays girls.  I don't know where I would be today without all of these ladies...they definitely helped make the transition to living down here from a pretty dismal situation where my only friend was my bf to me having a close group of girls that I know I can count on for ANYTHING

18. "Watch Me Shine" - Joanna Pacitti This song has helped get me through a lot of rough times.  Every time I hear it, it reminds me that I can do anything that I put my mind to and that there is no one who can hold me back.  Also doesn't hurt that it is from one of my all time favorite movies... Legally Blonde

19. "Who Says You Can't Go Home" - Bon Jovi Again another Bon Jovi song makes it on to the soundtrack... because I mean who says you can't go home.  I will always be true to my Jersey roots and although my home is currently in West Chester, PA with MD... my HOME will always be in New Jersey where I grew up!

20.  "Angel" - Natasha Bedingfield This song reminds me of my sorority family because we are the Angel Family... and this was our family song!

21. "Hey Micky" - Toni Basil This song brings me back to my cheerleading days in HS... but more recently it brings me back to TGI Fridays Bar Championships back in September. I had been a bartender for all of 2 weeks and I had to compete in our store wide Bar Championships Competition and I ended up placing 2nd in front of a bunch of experienced bartenders and it was AWESOME

22. "All Roads Lead to You" - Chicago As much as I hate to put this on here this song reminds me a lot of my ex-MC. I used to think that this song was about our relationship because I was convinced that he and I were going to be together for ever...he even bought me the Chicago boxed set of CDs for Christmas which included this song on one of the CDs.  Even though we aren't together any more and this song obviously does not have any bearing on our relationship because we haven't talked since we broke up... every time I hear it I still think of him and my life wouldn't be what it is today if I hadn't dated him and fallen in love with him and his family.  (btw... I still love his family)

23. "Holiday in Spain" - Counting Crows This song really just makes me long for Spain and makes me want to go back there like none other

24. "Oye El Boom" - David Bisbal Reminds me of my days living in Granada where I became OBSESSED with all things Spanish.  I can't wait to go back there one day to relive the magic that was the 5 months that I spent there.

So I didn't quite make it to 40 songs like DD did in her blog post, but I do have to say that I put a lot of thought into the 25 songs that would make it onto the soundtrack to my life.  I also tried to keep it short because even in the day of IPods, Satellite Radio, etc. I would actually like to put all of these songs onto a CD so that years from now I can go back and see what I thought the soundtrack to my life would sound like in 2011.... cause I'm sure that I'll add on to this as the years go on and more songs start to hold a special meaning for me.

If you were to make a soundtrack to your life... what songs would you include?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy 5 Year Anniversary!

Happy 5 Year Anniversary to MD and me!! :)

No it is not our wedding anniversary, (we aren't even married yet), but it is the 5 year anniversary of when MD and I first started dating.  For some of you that might not seem like a very long time, but trust me, for me, it is.

Prior to meeting MD I never really made it past the one year mark in relationships... actually they usually didn't last past the 9 month mark because around then is when I would start getting bored with things or things would start to get rocky and I would, or rather we would, just give up on the relationship.  I didn't stay single long in college either... I always seemed to find a new boyfriend within a few month's time and they all ended in the same way.  Actually that is a lie too... I was broken up with twice... and I broke up with the guy once.  Each time I thought I was in love... each time I was heartbroken... and each time I swore that the next time would be better.  There were a lot of guys in between the steady boyfriends and I can't say that I am proud of those relationships (if you can even call them that)... but finally after being friends for a while I started to see something different about MD... I started to even think that he might be bf material.

For the longest time I refused to date MD and I refused to even acknowledge that there was something there.  My Jersey BFF AP came to visit me at Bucknell and she assumed that MD and I had dated at some time in the past and I just hadn't told her about it because of the apparent "chemistry" that we had... I told her she was crazy... then a month later MD & I were dating.

This is a picture of us before we were even dating

Eventually I guess we decided to call ourselves a couple... MD made his facebook relationship status as "In a relationship" and things kind of just went from there.  I refused to admit that we were dating until he officially asked me... which he eventually did.  It's really funny how things like this work out at times.  On November 15, 2006 we officially started dating.

For our first date we went to see the James Bond movie "Casino Royale" at the movie theater in Seilingsgrove, PA.  Our next big thing after that was his fraternity formals where I finally really started to admit that we were a couple.

MD and I at his fraternity formals

Us at the end of the semester

Before I knew it I was graduating (a semester early) and I was unsure of what was going to happen with the two of us.  I honestly didn't think we would make it because well MD was going to still be at Bucknell and I was going to be home in New Jersey working.  Somehow we managed to make it last during his last semester at Bucknell... he made a bunch of trips on New Jersey and I made countless trips back to Bucknell.  Through it all our relationship managed to grow stronger and not fall apart like I had thought it would.

 Back to Visit for the "P" party... MD was a "Prep" and I was a "Pirate"

 Back visiting for a Chi O Date Party

 Chi Omega Formals Spring 2007

Hanging out at a Basketball Game

Next thing I knew we were both graduating from Bucknell... still together and still going strong.  MD ended up with a job down in the King of Prussia, PA area... I ended up going to law school in Wilmington, DE... and somehow after being together about a year and a half we moved in together.  

Us at our Bucknell Graduation

MD and I have been through a lot of ups and downs together, we've had a lot of firsts together, we've had our fights, but we have made it through EVERYTHING all because we are stronger together, as a team.  We are a team.  He is the love of my life and I really don't know what I would do without him.  He has helped to make me who I am today.  

 My 1st Trip to Hershey Park

 Celebrating my Birthday

 Exploring the State Parks

 4th of July Fireworks in NJ

 Summer Lovin'

 Out Celebrating my Birthday

 Trip # 2 to Hershey Park & posing with the Bison... 'Ray Bucknell!

 My Law School Graduation

 Hanging out by the Riverfront in Wilmington

 Not happy with me at all for making him wear the elf hat lol

At a wedding in Florida

At another wedding

MD, you truly are the love of my life and I can't imagine life without you.  Thank you for an amazing 5 years and here is to the next 5, 10, 15... 50, etc.  I love you! - EAS

I am going to end this post with a song, because every single time I hear this song I think of my bf... Enjoy!