Friday, July 27, 2018

My Brother’s Wedding

My younger brother got married to the love of his life a few months ago, and we could not have had a better time celebrating. From the bridal luncheon to the rehearsal dinner to the getting-ready, the ceremony and the reception, the entire weekend was a blast. 


Frank has been dating Betty for over six years, and she's honestly the best sister-in-law I could ask for. Had it been up to me to venture out and find a woman for my brother to spend the rest of his life with, I don't think I could have done a better job. The two of them suit each other perfectly, and I'm just so glad to finally be able to call Betty family!


Y'all will have to excuse the picture of me crying.  There are more of them out there than I'd like, but to be fair it was just such a lovely and emotional celebration for me. 










Thursday, July 26, 2018

Back From Vacay



Well, here we are, with another vacation in the books.  As some of you may remember, each year my mom and her sister rent a house for a week at Figure Eight Island.  This is usually my favorite week of the year, because I love catching up with my family members and being able to unwind on the beach, far away from anything work-related. 


This year was no exception.  My cousin, Jack and his wife had their first baby in February this year, so I was looking foward to seeing them and meeting my new niece! Unfortunately, Jack's wife had to work and couldn't make it on the trip, but Jack brough the baby along for the entire week, so we had plenty of opportunities to get baby snuggles with Miss Evelyn. She was incredibly good the whole time, hardly ever crying, and was even up for spending her naptime under a tent on the beach.




On the last night of the trip, we were able to get a picture of the whole group. From left to right that's Will, me, my parents, my brother and his new wife Betty, my Uncle Rhode with Baby Evelyn, Aunt Hayden and my cousin Jack.



I love these trips and the memories they bring. I'm hoping in the couple of years my future children will have the privilege of participating in this tradition and will enjoy spending time with the family as much as I always have.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January Highs and Lows

Here we are, in 2018.  It's hard to believe time has been going by so quickly!  I have to admit to you guys that January is really my least favorite month. The weather is too cold and dreary, and everyone seems to be struggling to get back into the regular swing of things after the chaos of the holidays has died down. So, just to round our bases, let's recap (in quick fashion) on the holiday celebrations.

As usual, my parents threw their annual family Christmas party at their house on December 23rd. As is our tradition, the cousins (and their spouses) in attendance took the obligatory staircase picture.  We're missing several members of the family here, but that seems to be more and more common as we get older and families expand, making it a little more difficult to travel to these events.

Most of the cousins and their spouses

My brother, his fiancĂ© Betty, Will and I all stayed with my parents until Christmas morning, when we all hit the road to celebrate the holiday with other sides of the family. Will and I went to his dad's house for brunch, then headed home for a quick nap before joining his mom's side of the family at her house for dinner that evening.


Beau and his best buddy Boomer (my parents' dog) in Raleigh.

All in all, the holidays were wonderful, but I can't say I'm not glad to have them over and done with. You forget how much work goes into shopping for gifts, cooking, decorating the house, etc. until the season is upon you yet again. Now, I'm just glad to be able to sort of wash my hands of it until next year. Don't get me wrong -- I love Christmas and everything it stands for.  But today the whole thing really just seems like such a huge production, don't you think?



Will and me with his dad and stepmom on Christmas morning.

Let's fast-forward to the New Year. Over the past few years I haven't really been one for resolutions, so I guess I decided to make up for it this year by instituting three big ones -- I started the HCG diet (with homeopathic drops, not the true injections), threw my hat in the ring for Dry January (no booze whatsoever) and decided to make January a "fiscal month" where I stop the relentless spending (I'm looking at you, Amazon) and allocate money towards gas, groceries and bills ONLY.  So far I'm doing really well with all three of these -- I've definitely lost weight on this diet (although I'd be worried if I didn't, because it's essentially 500 calories per day of nothing but vegetables and lean protein), I haven't had a drop of alcohol, and I've only bought one thing on Amazon (a baby shower gift for my cousin and his wife). So that in itself is reason to celebrate, seeing as how the month is almost halfway over!

Ground turkey and cauliflower rice with steamed asparagus.

Oh, and we got snow a couple weeks ago. Not quite even an inch, but it was enough to shut the whole city of Fayetteville down, which is typical.  Either way, I enjoyed the scenery.  And we're due for another storm tonight, so I'm sort of looking forward to that. Maybe after this snow storm we can finish up this winter business and head right into spring.  I do love snow, but I'm ready for the warm weather to reappear. 


I say that now, but it really is so much fun to watch the dogs out in the snow.  They're not quite sure what to make of it, but they sure do have a great time running around like lunatics in it.


Ok, so I guess that's really all I have for now.  I'll round up some of my favorite HCG recipes soon and share them with you guys.  The 500 calorie days last for 24 days total, and I'm on day 16.  So I'm almost there, you guys! Keep your fingers crossed for me!