Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflecting on 2014.

So this year was one for the books for me. Here are some highs (and some lows) for 2014.

Rung in the new year in Ohio with my father. Enjoyed some very wintery weather!

I continued to work hard during my work tour. Got some great feedback and even a couple extensions!

We took a road trip to Asheville, NC for our wedding anniversary. I could live there in a heart beat. 

I finally got the job promotion I had been working so hard for. 

Our family went from three to four with the addition of our second fur baby, Addie. She has been quite the 

I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. It turned my world upside down but showed me the importance of my faith and family. 

I turned the big 3-0 in Gatsby style with my "Roaring Out of my 20's" birthday party.

I got a new car. Her name is Pearl. 

The Mr. found out he was losing his job but was blessed with a new job opportunity in my department. He is doing awesome and is happy!

We took a road trip to Blairsville, GA and stayed at our friends cabin. Enjoyed the outdoors and fall foliage.

I was the wedding planner for one of my BFF's which was a success.

Definitely had it peaks and valleys. I had some great moments and successes where hard work and determination paid off.

Then I had moments where I felt like I could barely keep my head above water and clung to my faith.

Probably not one of my favorite years, even though looking back there were lots of blessings in 2014. I am definitely ready to end this year and welcome in 2015.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Read: Balancing It All

Who was not a fan of Full House growing up? Hello, #teamunclejesse. Oh how I remember wishing I could be DJ Tanner and have her room. I was quite sad after the last season of Full House and the fact that Candace basically dropped off the face of the earth. Fast forward over ten years and she is back in the show biz. Yes, I have watched her made for TV movies on the Hallmark channel. Don't judge.

I bought this book a couple weeks ago to read during my holiday break and much to my surprise, I finished it in just over a day. I started reading it Christmas morning after we opened gifts, then read some more after we came home from parents house. It was a very peaceful Christmas day for us.

I really enjoyed the book. It was as though I was sitting next to her sipping some coffee and her just sharing her wisdom with me. An easy read, clearly, and had a lot of good life lessons. Some I could relate to as a Christian, wife, and working woman. Others I can't at this time but will sometime in the future.

Each chapter she focused on an area in her life such as childhood TV show Full House, family, marriage, parenting, faith, relationships, volunteering and current career. As we all know, her faith in the Lord is important to her, so each area was supported with her faith and biblical scripture.

She shares that her faith wasn't always a priority in her life. She struggled at times. Had her peaks and valleys. Don't we all? I think that is what I appreciate about her and this book. Made her so relatable. Gave me the "if she can do it, so can I" mindset.

It's so refreshing when you see celebrities who have values and make good role models. Unfortunately, not something you see often.

If you're in search of an easy read and some food for thought on life, I recommend this to you!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gaylord Palm's ICE.

Yesterday, we made the trip to the Orlando are to visit Gaylord Palm's ICE exhibit. They host this annually and it's quite the hit. The last time I went was five years ago and boy has it grown since then. When we went, there was ICE, a little Christmas shop, and hot cocoa. Now the activities are endless, Snow tubing, Gingy's gingerbread decorating, ICE Blocks Bar (for the adults), snack bar and more. Each with it's own price tag of course. 

We were just interested in viewing the ICE exhibit. This year's theme was The Nutcracker. 

Before entering the exhibit, they showed a quick video to show how the ice sculptures came about.

Bundling up in the provided blue parkas. We brought our gloves, hats and scarves to help keep us in warm in the 9 degree temperatures! It didn't really help. Still froze our tushes in there.

They have slides made of ice that you can enjoy. It was freezing and the line was long. We just walked through this area.

The last room was the Nativity Scene. Made me happy to see this at the end. He is the reason for the season.

After the exhibit, we drove to Downtown Disney. It's like ten minutes from this hotel. We were thinking about walking around and having dinner there. That was until we were surprised with ridiculous traffic thanks to all the construction going on over there. I swear. Every where you look, there is construction going on in Florida. SMH. Realizing that parking was going to be a challenge, we just went home, had dinner and got started on my puzzle!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. Let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas and this season.

"For unto us a Child is born;
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder;
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"
Isaiah 9:6

This ornament is from Siracusa, Italy, where the Mr.'s paternal side of the family is from. Love sentimental things like this.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Phantom of the Opera.

Last night the Mr. had a special date night planned for us. He got us tickets to go see the new production of the Phantom of the Opera! This is my favorite musical. I've seen it twice before, once in sixth grade and the second time once older. I love love love this show. If I could see it every time it came to town, I would. Needless to say, I was a happy gal!

Check out that photo bomb. Ha.

This was during the intermission. At the end of the first half, the Phantom shoots down the chandellier and its comes falling down. My oppotortunity to take a picture of it :)

So, my thoughts on the new production? Amazing! New stage set up and more pyrotechnics. There was a lot of flinching and squinting going on. Lol.

Music was perfection as always. I love the music to this show. During the intermission I informed the Mr. that I want a piano and want to get piano lessons. Adding that to my 2015 goals list.

On a random note, I was not impressed with the person playing Raoul. He did not fit the character, lookswise. Kinda like Edward from Twilight. When you read the book and think of his character, Rob Pattinson just didn't look like what you imagine.

Love the show. One that I highly recommend for sure!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Magic Kingdom Christmas 2014

Hello! Happy Monday!

I'm in a happy mood for a Monday because only 3 more days til Christmas!! Get happy people.

Yesterday, we went to the most magical place on earth.... Disney's Magic Kingdom. Yes, we were those crazy Floridians that braved the over crowded park during the holiday season. I really wanted to go and see all the Christmas decor and ,most importantly, visit the newest section of the park which has the Be Our Guest restaurant.

Here are some pics from the day...

Funny story about our ride on the tram to the park. We load up when it arrives and as soon as they close the doors, they tell us that they have to turn off the computer and restart the tram! Are you kidding me?! I am claustrophic. As soon as they say this, my heart starts going a 100 mph and I am doing everything possible to not let the inner beast come out. So I distract myself by scrolling through IG pics. Fortunately, it only took a couple minutes and we were on our way to the park. Phew!

The newest section... it was my first time seeing it so I took pictures like a tourist. #sorrynotsorry

Here we are on the Dwards rollercoaster. We were in the last row, hence no people behind us. It took over 90 minutes to get on this ride, but I will say, it was worth it. Such a fun ride!


The highlight of my day... Lunch at the Be Our Guest restaurant. Of all the Disney movies, Beauty and the Beast has been my childhood favorite. When I heard they were building this addition I was dying to go! I was seriously like a little kid waiting in line to get in.


S and I taking a silly selfie with one of the gargoyles in the entrance. I am pretty certain that I said "Let's take a mean face pic next to him" and this is what S decides to do. SMH.

We rode a couple more rides after this and then made our way out. I've been to Disney plenty of times so didn't feel the need to stay til closing. Also, my hip was hurting like crazy and I was ready to go home and lay on the couch. #oldpeopleproblems
I did leave with one souvenir from our trip. This beautiful Thomas Kinkade puzzle. In case you didn't know, I'm a puzzle fanatic. #nerdalert Love doing them when we go on vacations. Since this Christmas we are doing a staycation, I will be doing this at home. So so pretty!