2017 In Review

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 threw us some of the craziest curveballs we could've ever imagined. It was truly the best and hardest year we've had to face but through it all, God has been so faithful and constant.

This year, I'm going to do a quick recap of our highlights instead of doing a big month-by-month because #aintnobodygottimeforthat

Charleston Trip | March
The first few months of the year were really low-key; Stephen was working 60+ hour weeks almost every week which meant we didn't have much free time to do fun things together. Thankfully, in March, he was able to escape for a long weekend to Charleston to celebrate his college bff's wedding. We had such a fun time in my favorite city and even got to meet Julia and Thomas! You can see all of my posts hereherehere and here.

NYC Trip | April
At the beginning of 2017, we only had 2 trips on our radar - Charleston & HHI but when Stephen was presented with the opportunity to represent his company at an astronomy conference an hour outside of NYC, we jumped on the opportunity to see the Big Apple. My sister decided to join in on the fun and visit her friend in the city which gave me people to run around with while Stephen was at the conference for 2 days. We had the absolute best time and I'm so glad to report we both loved the city! Check here for day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4 and day 5.

Easter | April
Two days after getting back from NYC, we loaded up and headed to my in-laws for Easter. We also found out soon after that we were going to be an Aunt and Uncle again!!

Caroline's Graduation & Disney | May
In May, my little sister graduated from FSU with an engineering degree and physics minor. I headed up there (Stephen stayed back to see his little brother graduate from UCF the same weekend) to see her walk and then we all drove back down to spend the week at Disney. It was so much fun and we loved getting to spend some time with her boyfriend at the parks too! Check here for graduation & day 1 of Disney, days 2 & 3, days 4 & 5 and days 6 & 7.

Astronaut Hall of Fame Gala | May 
For the 2nd year, Stephen and I were invited to attend the Astronaut Hall of Fame Gala at Kennedy Space Center. We had a great time dressing up and attending again.

Northern California Trip | June
Another trip that caught us by surprise was to Northern CA. I was offered the opportunity to attend a conference in Napa, CA and couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring Stephen and extend our trip. We fly up the weekend before and stayed in San Francisco for one night before heading into Napa. I skipped out on golf and we did some winery tours and even found a few wines we liked! Stephen headed back home on Tuesday and I stayed the rest of the week to finish up the conference. It was a lot of fun and we even got a private tour of Alcatraz! Check here for San Fransisco day 1, day 2, Napa and Alcatraz.

Nashville Trip | June
Right after getting home from CA, we babysat our niece and found out we will be getting a nephew which was super exciting! The next Monday, I flew out to Nashville for a week long conference (which I did a terrible job of taking pictures).

Ft. Lauderdale | June
We knew my BIL & SIL were moving back to Orlando in July so we headed down to Ft Lauderdale to spend one last weekend with them in their old house. It was such a relaxing time and we loved spending time with Siena.

Hilton Head Island | July
The first week of July, we headed to HHI with my family and close family friends for a week of celebrations at the beach. On the 3rd, we celebrated Stephen's birthday, 4th of July and our 4th anniversary on the 5th! Check here to see part 1 and part 2.

My 26th Birthday | July
On the 9th, Stephen surprised me with a super fun day with our friends to celebrate my birthday. We did an escape room, had lunch at The Columbia, ran around Disney Springs and saw the fireworks. It was such a fun day :)

Stone Wedding | July 
At the end of July, I took a business trip to Atlanta and then drove up to spend 1 night with my parents in Chattanooga before heading to Knoxville for a family friend's wedding (same people who came with us to HHI). We had such a fun time celebrating them!

I donated my hair | August
I was finally able to do something I've been wanting to do for a while - I donated my hair! I'm so glad I was able to do this and help someone else out

Hurricane Irma | September
We survived our 2nd huge hurricane in 2 years - Irma. Our friend came and stayed with us (his wife was out of town); it was scary but thankfully, we all survived with no damage!

Charlotte Trip | September
One of my last conferences of the year was in Charlotte. I was able to tack that conference onto another business trip I needed to make up there and had a great time! I tried Cowfish for the first time and got to tour the Hendrix Racing Museum! It was such an awesome experience

#BasicFallParty | October
We hosted our first annual #BasicFallParty and it was an absolute blast! We had so much fun doing all the basic fall things.

Baby Sprinkle for Luke | October
My parents came into town for a few days and we attended my SIL's baby sprinkle tea which was a lot of fun! We loved getting to celebrate her and baby Luke

Siena's 2nd Birthday | November
Early November, we celebrated Siena's 2nd birthday with a character brunch at the Yacht and Beach Club. We had such a fun time and loved getting to see her interact (or freak out) over the Disney characters.

Weekend With Siena | November
The next weekend, we did 2 big firsts - we took Siena to Disney AK by ourselves and babysat her overnight so John and Lauren could have a quick babymoon before Luke came. We had so much fun spending the weekend with Siena and loved getting to spend that time with her.

Hosted Our First Thanksgiving | November
We braved the holidays and hosted our first Thanksgiving which went really well! Stephen and I loved making most of the food and having everyone from the Hirst family over to the house.

Christmas Parties | December
The first weekend of December was packed with a Christmas pot luck at my work, dinner with friends and a Christmas party at Stephen's work. We had so much fun but were definitely exhausted after that weekend lol

The following weekend, I had a Christmas cookie exchange with some girlfriends at work, we hosted #BasicChristmasParty which was a success and then we had our annual Disney Christmas date at Epcot to see the decorations and hear Kurt Russel read the Christmas story.

Luke is Born | December 11
On the 11th, our sweet nephew, Luke was born! We rushed over the next day to meet him and he was so little and sweet! Over the next few days, we had 2 ugly Christmas sweater parties, did a mini-Christmas with Stephen's family and went to a co-worker's dinner party.

Christmas in TN | December
Since I haven't and probably won't blog about it, we spent a week in TN with my family to celebrate Christmas. We finally got the cold Christmas we've been wanting (no snow.. boo), we got to see lots of family and friends, we wore matching jammies, baked lots of goodies and saw Jumanji which was really funny. It was so great to be home!

2017 was crazy and I can't wait to see what God has in store for 2018!!

Life Lately

Monday, December 18, 2017

This week has been filled with so much fun so instead of doing just a weekend recap, I'll share some fun bits of our week. Monday, our nephew was born so Tuesday we took a half day and went to meet him at the hospital. He was so precious and little - we loved getting some one on one time with my BIL & SIL and new baby Luke.

Luke with the things I made him

He's crying because his Aunt has crazy eyes lol

Later that evening, we attended our newlywed ugly Christmas sweater party. Stephen and I finally got to break out our sweaters we bought at Wal-Mart. It was so much fun seeing everyone's sweaters and showing off how ridiculous ours were. 

Wednesday during lunch, one of the ladies who is retiring had the whole group over to her house for a traditional Caribbean meal which was quite delicious! I tried ox tail and goat for the first time but I definitely won't be ordering it at a restaurant ;)

Friday was national ugly Christmas sweater day so all the girls (and our boss) wore our sweaters to work. Everyone got the biggest kick out of the reindeer sticking out of mine lol! Definitely a fun way to end the week and spend my last day in the office for the year.

Saturday, we wrapped presents while starting "The Christmas Prince", which ended up being quite cute - Stephen even liked it! After lunch, we headed over to my BIL & SIL's house to spend time with Luke and Siena and while we were there, we also did Christmas gifts. 

We got Siena a swimsuit cover up that I added a little "S" to and she was excited to put the shoes on that we got her which are 2 sizes too big lol!!

Stephen's parents got her a toy iPhone and she was loving taking pictures of everyone

After presents, Stephen and I headed to a co-worker's house for a lovely dinner party! It was great company and amazing food - we stayed up way past our bedtime. 

Sunday, we relaxed for once, finished up the Christmas Prince movie and I did some embroidery orders. It was a great weekend and I'm ready for this week!! Thursday, Stephen and I will be celebrating our Christmas at home before heading up to Chattanooga to spend time with my family. We're so excited to get up there and see everyone so with that being said, I'm going to take a break from the blog for a little bit and hopefully be back in the New Year!

I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and New Year surrounded by friends and family :)


Monday, December 11, 2017

We had such a fun weekend and with all our Christmas activities along with the cold weather, we are finally getting into the Christmas mood! Friday night, we hosted #BasicChristmasParty which was a lot of fun. Everyone came over and we ate dinner, drove around the neighborhood to look at lights, made gingerbread houses and played a game. It was a lot of fun and it was a great way to forget about the week's stress and enjoy time with friends.

Elyssa made the best Moscow Mules!

And we celebrated Jeanna's birthday

After dinner, we decided against driving 30 minutes to see the big Christmas light show and just drove around the neighborhood to see the lights. It was fun to see them and Stephen and I checked that one off our list ;)

After lights, it was time for gingerbread houses. Since each couple was going to do their own gingerbread house, Stephen and I decided to get a village kit so we could each have our own houses to do and wouldn't clash on design ideas. Thankfully, it worked out really well and we realized that the smaller houses held up structurally better because our friends' regular houses kept caving in. 

I had a lot of leftover herbs from our turkey brine so I used them to decorate the houses

After the houses, we played a new game called Fish Bowl. It was so much fun, even though the boys won ;)

Saturday, we were up bright and early to head to Orlando to attend my SIL's Grandfather's funeral. The mass was beautiful and we're all so sad to see him go.

After the funeral, we got dressed and headed over to Disney for our annual Christmas Disney date. We stopped in MK to get lunch and see the decorations. thankfully, that's all we wanted to see because it was packed.

After MK, we headed over to Epcot to check out their Christmas around the world which was a lot of fun. It was freezing and I underestimated how cold it would actually be - we could've used a few more layers but it definitely helped us get into the Christmas spirit. After walking around the countries, we watched the Candlelight Processional where Kurt Russel read the Christmas story. It was so pretty and they did such a great job.

After the show, we grabbed dinner then headed out. This was a new change of pace for us because we usually stay later in the night but it was so nice to get home, put on a Christmas movie, read in bed and it not be 11 pm. 

Sunday, we went to church then I got to work churning out orders. It feels so good to get things checked off my list - almost done for the year!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Only 2 weeks until Christmas (how is that possible!?) Linking up with Biana.