Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A New Year.

We had a wonderful Christmas celebrating with family and friends.  We celebrated Christmas Eve at my mom's, then we hosted Christmas dinner for 11 people at our house, hosted our annual Christmas party on Monday evening, and celebrated my brother-in-law's birthday Tuesday night.  I feel like I need a couple days just to recuperate from all the celebrating!   

Can you believe 2011 is almost over?  I certainly can't.  Every year for work, I create a new spreadsheet to track my hours for the year (oh the joys of the billable hour).  It really does seem like just yesterday I was starting a new year and creating my hours spreadsheet for 2011. 

Speaking of work, I am taking the remainder of the week (and likely part of the weekend) to wrap up a pending, urgent work project.  Otherwise, we don't have any big plans for ringing in the new year.  Frankly, sipping champagne while watching Midnight in Paris sounds just about perfect to me.

What are your NYE plans?  I hope they involve some sparkle!    

See you in 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas.

It's pretty easy to get Riley to pose . . .

It's not so easy to get them both to pose . . .

Unless you are holding a treat, in which case, they will only look at the treat . . .

I hope you have a wonderful holiday spending time with family and friends!  Merry Christmas!  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Roundup.

Putting our house on the market really altered our Christmas decorating plans. We're a little (actually, a lot) behind schedule. This weekend, I am finally putting the finishing touches on our holiday decor. Better late than never, right?  While I'm busy getting my act together, here's a roundup of some of my favorite Christmas pins.

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, have you seen this video about what girls say?  It's too funny.  I admit that I say the majority of these things on a regular basis. 

(hat tip: meagan)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2 things . . .

There have been a couple of things going on here that have prevented me from blogging and keeping up with you guys as much as I've been wanting to.  One thing is exciting and the other is not so exciting.  Let's get the not so exciting thing out of the way first, so we can end on a happy note!      

1)  I've been feeling pretty crummy for the last two months.  I've been getting lightheaded several times a day -- sometimes it lasts only a minute, other times I have to lay down for a while.  It's been miserable, to put it mildly.  After trips to several doctors and a variety of tests (for example, see here and here), a wonderful cardiologist was finally able to figure out what was going on.  I won't bore you with all of the medical details, but evidently I have some form of an autonomic dysfunction, which has caused me to have low blood volume and for my heart to race.  Hence, the lightheadedness. It was totally interrupting my life there for a while, and I was getting way past frustrated with not feeling normal.  Thankfully, the treatment so far (which includes increasing my salt intake - yum!) has been helping to reduce the symptoms.   

(photo: pinterest)

Now for the exciting news . . .

2)  We are selling our house!  Yep, you read that right -- we are selling our house.  Can you believe it?  Me neither.  It's super exciting, but it's also sad at the same time.  I came home from work the other day and started crying when I saw the For Sale sign in the yard.  I love our home and it will always be special because it was our first home.  But at the same time, I'm very excited about finding a new wonderful home for us.   

So maybe you're wondering why we're moving and where we're moving.  If not, just skip this part!  :)  It all started when we called our mortgage broker to refinance a few months ago since the interest rates are so low.  He said it really only made financial sense for us to do so if we were going to stay in our house for at least 2 more years.  We were kind of thinking we would be here for a maximum of 2 more years.  So after thinking things through, and hearing about the current rates to buy something new, we decided now is the best time for us to sell.

 (photo: here)

As a little background, we always knew our current home wasn't going to be our forever home for a couple of reasons -- it's a townhome, it's 3 stories, and it's not zoned to the best schools in town (and we aren't overly interested in paying for private school once we have kids).  None of those things mattered when we bought it because we knew we wanted to wait several years before we even thought about having kiddos.  Even though we still don't have any immediate plans to have kids, the time is at least getting closer and we are thinking about a more family-friendly house.  As far as the house hunt, we haven't found anything yet, but we think we have narrowed our search down to a couple of areas, neither of which aren't too far away from our current home, which is great since we love the area. 

So to round this out, we've been busy doing a bunch of little things around the house to get it ready to show.  Our list wasn't too long, but things never go quite as planned!  We took down all the chandeliers in the house and replaced them with fixtures I'd be willing to leave behind.  We also did a bunch of paint touch ups and I've gone through so many Magic Erasers cleaning the cabinets and all those pesky scuff marks that inevitably happen.  And if we weren't the ones doing to fixing up (there's no way I'm climbing up to clean our 3rd story windows!), we were meeting people at the house to do so.  But thankfully, that part of it is done.  Now we just have to remember to make the bed everyday in case we have a showing!    

Is it poor form just to link to our online listing in my "home tour" tab?  :) 

Phew, that was a lot of info with fairly lame pictures!  If you made it through, thanks for reading! I've totally missed blogging and definitely missed being an active reader of your blogs.  I am hopeful that the hard part of both things is over and I can be around more.  Thanks for bearing with me, friends!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Trip Recap: Greece.

So remember that amazing trip to Europe we went on?  Yeah, I barely do either thanks to my sporadic (at best) trip recaps.  But this is the last and final installment.  And it's Greece, which was too good not to recap!  After Paris and Cinque Terre, and Rome, we headed to Milos and Santorini for a week.

Milos was easily my favorite island between the two.  Not because Santorini wasn't one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen before (as you will see below), but because I liked the vibe better in Milos.  Milos was a whole heck of lot less touristy (and cheaper).  And it also has something like 70+ beaches, while Santorini isn't really a beach island and, of the ones it does have, most of them are only accessible by boat.

We spent 3 days in Milos and spent most of our time driving around exploring the various beaches.  Every beach was totally different and many were an adventure just to get to (whether via driving or hiking).  Many of the beaches were tucked away and not visible until you got right up to them, so we were filled with anticipation each time of what we would see.  My favorite part was finally getting to see the beaches, and each and every time being totally surprised and amazed at how beautiful they all were.  So with that build up . . .


The only disappointing part of the trip was the winds were too high to go sailing every day we were there, which we really wanted to do.  We were both a little bummed, but as you can see, we still had an amazing time and saw some absolutely gorgeous beaches.  Here are all of the sailboats docked due to the winds.

Since we couldn't do a boat tour, we rented a car instead.  How amazing is this rental car?  Don't you love how it's perched on the cliff-side overlooking the water?  It totally highlights the dents, dings, and missing hubcab. 

Oh, and here's the view from our hotel room.

Yeah, I could totally get used to that.  In case you head to Milos, I loved our hotel.  We stayed at the Melian and I would highly recommend it.

From Milos, we took a high-speed ferry over to Santorini.  Santorini is beautiful and it's hard to believe someplace so stunning even exists (and its history is pretty cool too).  The island is in the shape of the letter "C" and we stayed more in the middle part of the "C", making for some fantastic views.  Many times we would just sit out on our balcony, relax, and take it all in (something we certainly don't do enough at home).  Here's a view looking to the left and to the right.

And the view looking straight ahead.

Some more cool shots:

The sunsets and sunrises were absolutely incredible.  From the view in Oia, it almost looked like the sun was sinking into the water.

You can see all the people watching the sunset in Oia.

Since we didn't get to go sailing in Milos, we decided to go in Santorini.  It was a great way to see the island.   

Well, that successfully completes the recap of our 2 week trip (that now seems like forever ago).  I loved every single minute of it, and we were both depressed the day we had to come back (but the champagne on Air France help lessen the pain a bit on the flight back home).  If you're planning to go to any of the places we visited, feel free to ask me questions!

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend.  I'll be back this week to share what's been going on here and hopefully turn my attention to some Christmas related posts. Somehow or another it is already the middle of December, can you believe it?!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Justin.

Happy 30th birthday to my wonderful husband!

I am so thankful to have such a handsome, funny, kind, patient, and loving husband.  We've been together since our sophomore year of high school, and I still love him more and more each and every day.  I am confident that no one else could love me or make me laugh like he does.  He definitely deserves to have the best birthday.

Happy 30th, Justin!