Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our First Holiday Card

I mentioned last year how I really wanted to send out holiday cards for the first time (especially since it was right before our wedding, and, well, I wanted to do it!).


But yeah, it was right before our wedding. There was no way that was going to happen.


So this year we did it! And even better, we managed to get them out before Christmas (thanks in large part to my wonderful husband who addressed 90% of the cards that we sent out. Thanks, B!).


I knew that I wanted to use a wedding photo because let's face it, the year in which you get married is the only year in which you can get away with that (at least that's my rule of thumb). But I had a really hard time deciding what photo to use. In the end B and I kept coming back to this one, and B made the final call. 




I love the juxtaposition of the black and white photo with "Merry and Bright."


I've talked a lot about how much I'm looking forward to 2012, so for now, I'm off to enjoy the last few days of 2011 and here's hoping the next year is a good one for us all!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quiet week

Here's hoping it's a quiet week. It's a short one work-wise for me - I'll only be in the office for three days. But there are a lot of things going on with my family that are stressful, and I don't know exactly how they'll play out. So I wait. And I think. And I wonder.


I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend (or at least a wonderful weekend). I've got some news to share about this blog, but that'll probably wait until next week or so (these things take time people!).


And can someone please tell me how it's almost 2012? Seriously, this year has flown by.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ready for the New Year

Oh, I'm so happy it's Thursday. This week has simultaneously gone quickly (thanks to the millions of things I've had to do after work each day), and really, really slowly (likely due to the fact that I was on vacation last week down in California and it's been very odd to have to come back and work this week!).


But we're finally to Thursday. I'm leaving early today and then I get four glorious days off (without even having to take a vacation day!). Then it's a short three day week next week and another four day weekend! I'll take it.


If only all weeks could be three days long. I'd like that a lot.


In other news, not much else is going on around these parts. We're just about ready for Christmas. I think I got the last of the gifts last night (and my husband's final present is getting delivered to my parents house today!). Now I just need to wrap them all and get them organized for Christmas. I don't do that until we're at my parents' though, as every year I'm all about stealing my mom's wrapping supplies (thanks Mom!). 


I have no idea what my husband is getting me. Or if he's actually managed to get me something yet. I love my husband dearly but gifting is not his love language. It's not that he isn't thoughtful about gifts when he does get me something. He is. But usually it's something I want because I told him very specifically that I wanted it (like my absolute favorite necklace he got me for Christmas last year. I may have emailed him the link directly saying how much I loved it). Ah well. As I remind myself, if that's our biggest problem (and let's be honest, it's NOT a problem!), we're doing just fine.


As 2011 is wrapping up (and as I've been responding to some of the #WEverb11 prompts), I find myself really looking forward to 2012. This year has been... hard. It had some amazingly wonderful high points, but there have also been frustrations and setbacks and difficulties that I would rather not repeat. I'm trying to welcome 2012 and focus on all of the things that I'm looking forward to in this next year, but can I be honest? I'm a little apprehensive as well. I know that not all of the hard things are going to magically disappear come January 1. I know that there are still going to be challenges until certain things in our life get sorted out. But I'm trying SO hard to be open to what 2012 might be - new beginnings, new (fun!) challenges, and celebrating B's and my first year of marriage. 


And with that, I'm off to celebrate with my family. I'll pop in when I can, but I hope you're all enjoying time with your family and friends as well!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Morning Brain Dump

I don't generally write these types of posts, but I'm pretty sure the Monday morning after getting home from vacation (Christmas #1!) is the perfect time to start.


1. We finally got and decorated our tree! I say finally because the last couple of years (ever since the Christmas-tree-getting-turned-engagement-fest of 2009) we've gotten our tree the first weekend in December. Sure this year we technically got it the second weekend, but it just seemed like it was way later in the season. Definitely nice to have the lights up now!




2. My Bee ornament came! I became a blogger for Weddingbee right after Christmas last year (holy cow I can't believe it's been a year already!), so I wasn't a part of all of the holiday fun that this group does last year. I'm so impressed with the ornament that the amazing and talented Mrs. Funnel Cake created for me! Thanks again, FC!




3. We spent the last several days in California with B's family having Christmas #1. It was SO nice to get to spend a few days with them (though I wish we could have been there longer!). So far the last couple of years we've all gotten together in California the weekend before Christmas. This works out great for us coming down from Washington and his sister who's flying in from New York as we don't have to deal with the airlines over Christmas. Then we'll be with my family next weekend (for Christmas #2!). 




So far there really hasn't been any drama over splitting holidays or anything like that, for which I am profoundly grateful, as I know some people have a much harder time trying to figure out how to see everyone (and make them happy). I think it really helps that both of our families aren't so worried about seeing us on the actual day. They're happy to celebrate with us on the holiday itself, but really, so long as each family is together sometime around the holidays it seems to work well!


Granted this might change once we have kids and everyone wants to see the baby, but I'm hoping then I can get people to come to me! (Yeah, that probably won't work, but a girl can dream!)


4. The other great part about being down in California this past weekend is that we got to see very good friends of ours from law school. I wish we got to see them more often (though we've managed three times this past year, so we're actually doing pretty well!), not least of which is because they always make us a feast when we come. This year we started with a charcuterie plate that included homemade duck prosciutto, foie gras, bread with truffle butter, salami, various cheeses, homemade jam (from this girl's wedding!) and more. SO GOOD. 




Then we had the main course (tacos, complete with hand ground beef, homemade guacamole and salsa and all the fixings). And of course excellent wine and beer. Which luckily B did not partake of very much as we were stopped by a sobriety checkpoint approximately 3 minutes after leaving our friend's house. I was incredibly nervous and I was just in the passenger's seat! (What can I say, it was my first time ever being stopped by a sobriety checkpoint. The cop just asked B a couple of questions and we were on our way in about a minute.)


5. Even though we've already had Christmas #1, I still can't believe that Christmas is on Sunday. That's less than a week away! Seriously, where did this year go? B and I have been married for 10 months today (happy 10-month-aversary B!). In two months it'll be a year! People kept telling us that the first year is the hardest, and if that's true we're doing pretty well. This has been a tough year for a variety of reasons, but our relationship is not one of them. I feel incredibly lucky to have found this man, and even luckier that he wants to be with me. 


Here's to many, many more years to come!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Weekend in the Woods: The End of the Night

And just like that it seemed, our wedding day was over. 








All of our friends and family surrounded us on the dance floor until the very end.








And as the last song came to a close, Mr. EB and I enjoyed our final dance together on our wedding day.






Our amazing band (friends of mine from college) played until midnight when they had to stop. Literally, they had to stop as the power went out!




Mr. EB and I caught a ride on the golf cart back to our cabin where we tore into the fresh bread and other appetizers that the staff at IslandWood saved specially for us (luckily by then my appetite had come back!)




Hands down, one of the best days of my life. Perfect? Of course not. But Mr. EB and I were surrounded by love, and sometimes that really is all you need. 


Don't worry, I'm not quite done yet! I still have a few posts I wanted to share, including some of my favorite details from the day, what our guests were up to while we were getting ready, our day after brunch and our mini-moon in downtown Seattle! 

*Unless otherwise noted, all photos by the fabulously talented Persimmon Images.

Want to catch up?

The guys suit up.
We had our first look!
We enjoy the sun at the Tree House!
We make our entrance.
We take family pictures.
We join our guests for cocktail hour.
We were surprised with a photobooth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wedding in the Woods: Surprise Photobooth!

After the cake had been cut and the dance party was going strong, I found out that Kat had one more surprise up her sleeve.






She set up a photo booth.






This wasn't in our budget so I wasn't prepared with props or anything else, but she had that covered too. (And people improvised by grabbing whatever else they could find. Like an extension cord. Because why not?)








Some of my favorite pictures ended up being ones from the photobooth. 






It was pretty hilarious to see later who the hams were, going back to the booth multiple times.













And of course, I had to get some shots with a couple good friends of mine!










It was such an amazing surprise and one I really appreciated. Thanks again Kat!






*Unless otherwise noted, all photos by the fabulously talented Persimmon Images.

Want to catch up?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Appreciate


Appreciate: In which moment did you find yourself flooded with gratitude? How will you rally around gratitude in 2012?


I know I'm pulling a lot from our wedding, but that was the single biggest emotional moment of 2011 for me. And a lot of these prompts bring me back to that weekend. While I felt a lot of appreciation and gratitude during that weekend (especially when looking at what so many people did the day of the wedding to pull together such a beautiful ceremony), one of the moments that sticks out to me the most was during the bonfire we had the night before the wedding.



There were so many people there who I love - family, friends, people I had just met that day and already considered them to be part of my family. 



It was the beginning of one of my favorite weekends and I remember the overwhelming amount of gratitude I felt for all of my friends and family who were able to celebrate with us.



I'm not entirely certain that I'll ever be able to top that feeling, so for 2012 I want to hold onto that gratitude. My family and friends are the most important people to me, and I always want them to know how much they mean to me.


*All photos by Persimmon Images.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Choose



Choose: What was the biggest choice you made in 2011? What caused you to choose what you chose?


How many choices have I made this year that have affected my life? A lot. But there are two that stand out in my mind as being the biggest choices of the past year.


The first one? Saying "I do" to my husband. Yes, I already made the choice to marry him when he proposed in 2009. But in February of this year, we each made the choice to formalize that commitment to each other. And I'm so happy I did. Definitely the best choice I could have made.


The second one? Trusting myself and not choosing to take the first job offer I received after being unemployed for several months when we moved back to Seattle. I was so frustrated with my job search and really didn't know what I wanted to do, and yet the first thing I did when I was offered that job was to burst into tears. Because I knew I didn't want it. Because I was in the running for a job that I wanted much more, and because deep down inside I was still holding out hope that there was an even better job out there for me. 


It took a lot for me to walk away from that job, not knowing for certain how things were going to turn out and whether something else would come through for me. I'm so thankful that it worked out, but I'm also thankful for trusting my gut and not getting myself into a bad situation where I would have been searching for a new job within a few months.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feeling a little lost

I'll be honest. I'm having kind of a rough time right now. Nothing really has changed - and perhaps that's the problem. The feeling that nothing is changing and I'm just treading water and not getting anywhere. Reflecting on this past year is both helping and hurting with that, I imagine. I can see that I really have accomplished several goals... but I'm nowhere close to being where I want to be. And that's incredibly frustrating. 


It also hasn't really helped that I've started studying for the bar. Which really serves as some sort of odd kick in the pants that I'm back where I was three years ago. Again, intellectually I know that I'm not, but it's a bit disheartening nonetheless (plus, um, studying for the bar sucks. I don't care what anyone else might tell you, spending three months of my life trying to memorize areas of the law that DO NOT apply to my practice does not make me happy).


And so far the holidays aren't helping. I love Christmas. Love it. The lights, the Christmas music, the time spent with family and friends - bring it on. Plus, this is the time of year that B and I got engaged - how can I not love this season? But so far this year I haven't felt it. Maybe it's because we don't have a tree yet. Maybe it's because I feel terrible that I can't get my friends and family gifts that I've found that would be perfect for them (I love to give gifts and for the last several years I haven't really been able to do much in this department because our budget is tight. This sucks a lot). And yes, there's always handmade gifts. But those take time and do you see the above paragraph about studying for the bar? That means that time is in short supply right now. 


I think most of all I'm just tired of feeling this way. It's as though I have moments of clarity that things will be fine and we'll get through this, but the rest of my time is spent in this cloudy haze of anxiety and worrying. No matter how many times I tell myself to let it go, it keeps coming back. 


I'm feeling stagnant, and I'm tired of it. Tired of feeling as though I'm waiting for something (but I'm not entirely certain what that something is). And I'm not sure how to change this for myself, as I know that's what I need to do (rather than wait for certain things in my life to change, which I have no power over). An attitude adjustment is needed for sure, I'm just not sure where to start. Ideas?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Favorite Month



Day 6 - Favor


What was your favorite month of 2011? Why did it beat out all 11 other months?


February. No question.


This was also by far my most stressful month. 


But saying yes to this man? Knowing that we've promised each other to be together for the rest of our lives, through the hard stuff and the easy? Through sickness and health? Through whatever our teenagers might one day throw at us? 


No contest, the month that I married my husband is most definitely my favorite month from 2011.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lesson Learned





Today's prompt was: 


Learn: What lesson did you learn in 2011 from “The School of Life” rather than a classroom? 


This year I learned to let go. Similar to my word for the first prompt, I have done a lot of letting go this year - of expectations, worries and anxiety. 


Here's hoping I can continue to let go of those things that have bogged me down, and instead focus on those things that I can change and work to create the life that I want.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Song as Mood Changer




My immediate thought when I saw today's prompt (What song did you listen to in 2011 to completely change your mood?  Think about ways you can you add more music to your life in 2012.)? 


Cee Lo Green's "F*ck You." And yes, the unedited version. "Eff You" just doesn't have the same effect when you're pissed off.


In all seriousness though, that song and possibly "Raise Your Glass" by Pink are the two songs that stand out in my mind from this past year as being what I turned to when I was in a pissed off mood and just needed to let it out. And they made me feel better, every time.


When I'm in a happy mood and want to stay that way? Iron and Wine or Mumford and Sons. What can I say, I don't have particularly eclectic tastes and I tend to stick with what I like (which may or may not drive my husband crazy).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

#WEverb11

I am SO happy that Kim got #WEverb11 rolling this year. When I opened the email from Gwen saying that there wasn't going to be a #reverb11, my first thought was, huh, I enjoyed some of the prompts from last year, and I really enjoyed some of the posts that I ended up writing. But I guess if it's not happening this year, that's ok. Maybe I'll reflect a bit on my own? Or maybe not...


Because as much as I like to think that I would have written some reflection posts this next month, I probably wouldn't have. Because life is busy. And things happen. And my blogging has sort of fallen off a bit and I'm not entirely certain why. Life feels a little bit adrift right now, and I'm not really sure why that is either. But maybe by looking back at this last year and thinking ahead to the future I can re-center myself? It's worth a shot anyway.




Today's prompt: Choose one word.

Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why. Imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?


I looked back at last year's post (since the prompt was the same in the spirit of where this started), and was intrigued to see my choices of words. My word for 2010: Change. My word for 2011: Passion. Change was right on. Passion was maybe less so. I don't think that I would necessarily have described 2011 as a passionate year, however, when I look back I am surprised at the passion that was there. First off, our wedding. Second, reigniting my passion for the law (strange how finding yourself in the area of law you wanted to be in makes you want to be a lawyer again!). Third, my passion for my family as a whole - I feel incredibly blessed to be back in a place where I can see my parents on a weekly basis.


So while those words were a good choice for last year me, this year my words are:


2011: Release (I would have used "letting go" but I was trying not to cheat on the first post!). This might seem like it would be the opposite of passion, but I don't think so. It's more the way that I have tried to approach aspects of my life this year. When I was so worried about being unemployed and afraid that I would never find a job, I had to let go and trust that it would happen. And then I had three job offers in three weeks. When I was worried about not getting down to California for Christmas this year, I consciously released my anxiety and that day B found incredibly cheap tickets to California so that we both could celebrate with his family. Freaking out about B's job search and feeling like we'll be treading water forever and never getting ahead? Releasing that worry and telling the universe that we'll figure it out has led to an interview. My life is far from perfect, but for all of those things that I cannot change, I also can no longer hold on to my worries like they're a security blanket. This past year has been an exercise in learning that, and I hope to continue that into 2012.


2012: Growth. I want 2012 to be a year of growth for myself - personally, professionally, our family, all of it. Building upon the foundation that B and I have created for ourselves, and seeing where it takes us. And letting go of the anxiety about the future and embracing it instead.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Only Wednesday?

It's been a long week and it's only Wednesday. And today was one of those days where you go from a two hour conference call to a spur of the moment lunch meeting with your boss to trying to figure out what exactly needs to happen (and when!) for the 17 different people are asking you to draft documents that may or may not have something to do with each other. Oh and look into terminating this contractor and review this contract to see if we can get out of it. At least there was a puppy at work to play with.


Yup, I'm definitely back at work.


I was working last week while I was at home recovering from the surgery, but it was a pretty slow week with the Thanksgiving holiday (thank goodness!), and working on my couch in yoga pants is vastly preferable to actually getting dressed and coming into the office (even though I get to wear jeans to work. Yoga pants are always superior to jeans). It also probably didn't help that this morning's usually 20 minute commute took nearly an hour (thus leaving me not as much time to prepare for everything that needed to happen this morning). 


Anyway. There really isn't much of a point to this. Just that it's felt like a very long week and I still have two more days to get through. And then come Saturday I officially start to study for the bar. Again. Except that last time I was studying for a bar exam it was the summer of 2008, I was a newly minted law grad living by myself and I had nothing else to do for 6 weeks except study for the bar (thank god for bar stipends). Being married and working full time and attempting some sort of a social life during the holidays sounds as though it will be a bit different experience this time around...


But! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is the first week of March which has already been blocked off as a week of relaxation for our belated honeymoon/first anniversary/bar trip extravaganza. Even if we just drive to the coast and rent a cabin there, it shall be an extravaganza (apparently my definition of extravaganza involves a beach and copious amounts of alcohol. I would like for it to include the sun and warm breezes, but hey, I'll take what I can get!).


Just have to keep swimming until March...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Guest post on Geek In Heels!

Hey all - I'm guest posting for Jenny at Geek In Heels while she spends some time with her two adorable children!


Check out my post on how the glass you're drinking wine from really does affect its taste (also for some pictures of my dad's spectacular wine glass collection!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Am Thankful

I am thankful for:


My husband - he has waited on me hand and foot this past week doing everything he could to make me as comfortable as possible. And he would do this for me even if I hadn't just had surgery. 


My family - they are truly amazing. My parents have been there for me through all of the ups and downs in my life, and I can't even imagine where I'd be without their support. My brother and sister and new brother-in-law are equally amazing and I'm so looking forward to spending more time with them (with no wedding discussions for any of us!).


My friends - how have I been blessed with so many amazing people to call friends? I only hope they know how special they are to me, and how much brighter my life is with them in it.


My dog - yup, I am thankful for the crazy puppy that is Cody. He helped keep me sane through law school, has made a new best friend out of my husband, and will be a great buddy to our future kiddos (nope, not pregnant now though!).


My job and my co-workers - last year at this time was pretty rough. I had no idea that I would end up working with such an amazing group of people (including people who would bring me and my husband dinner this past week!).


My health - this is a big one. Before this surgery I've generally been a pretty healthy person. Sure, I broke bones and got the twice a year cold, but that was about it. I know that I can't take my health for granted, and must be more vigilant about keeping it in good condition going forward. I know so many others have a much harder time of it, and I'm trying to make sure I remember how lucky I am.


My life - I may bitch and moan sometimes, and I might joke about just how broke we are right now, but we have what matters and we'll work to dig our way out and get to the life that we want. Knowing that, and reminding myself how lucky I am in so many ways helps a lot.


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and I hope you have a wonderful (and safe!) holiday!
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