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Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Whew There were several big milestones that 2013 held! I thought this survey Mrs. Betsy Maddox uses is fun since I don't really have updates for each month of the year. 

What did you do this year that you had never done before?

I feel like this may be a running theme for these questions- graduate from college! I obviously hadn't done that before & I cannot believe my undergraduate years went by so quickly. 

I also learned to sew! I got a sewing machine for Christmas last year and I spent a lot of my time in January learning tips and tricks. I just wish I had more time on it the rest of the year! Someday...

Did anyone close to you give birth?

My best friend's cousin who is also a sweet family friend, Erin, gave birth to her first little girl, Hadley! I got the chance to meet her last week :) 

Did anyone close to you die?
Andy's grandmother Bonnie passed away in August. She was so sweet to me every time I visited and I know his family felt such a great loss. It is sad to think our grandparents are getting old and thier health is declining. I know we all selfishly want them to stay with us forever but its so comforting knowing we will see them again and that they are SO much happier being in heaven with Jesus. 

What dates from 2013 will remain etched in your memory?

There really arent any dates in particular that will stand out in my mind. I, of course, will always remember May of 2013 as when I graduated. Though I probably won't remember the specific date ha! I'm not a major date person unless it is big dates such as birthdays or anniversaries. 

Did you suffer any illness or injury?
Thankfully I did not! Thank you Lord for keeping me well in 2013! 

What was the best thing you bought?
My MacBook Pro with my graduation money! Much needed investment as my old laptop was being held together with screws Ha ha

Where did most of your money go?
Sadly, Im not currently making any money AT ALL thanks to grad school. When I was still able to work in the spring & summer though- it all went to groceries and gas. Sigh, the life of a college student ;) 

What songs will remind you of 2013?
As awful as they were, probably all the skany songs sung my Miley Cyrus & others. I was appalled by the VMAs this year! 

What do you wish you would have done more of?
This is hard because I dont like regret but I definitely should have worked out & exercised more. I wish I would have been in the word more too- it helps me immesely and I've let the business of life become an excuse for not reading my Bible like I neec to. 

What was your favorite tv program?
My favorite TV program since my freshman year of college... The Bachelor! I LOVED Sean and Desiree. Such good people! I also love that the franchise has picked Christians (intentionally or not) who talk about their faith on the show. 

What is the best book you read this year?
My favorite author is Emily Giffin and I dont think she came out with any new books this year. Besides Ive spent way too much time reading textbooks anyway Hah

What did you do on your birthday?

My birthday was a lot of fun this year! I remember that both of my classes were cancelled and all I had to do was work. I LOVE my babies at work so that was really a treat more than anything. That night I got together with several of my girlfriends at Casa Rustica and enjoyed good food & wine. I ended up talking & laughing hysterically with 3 of them in the parking lot after for over an hour. 

Where did you travel?

Asheville with the roomies & the fam

Morgantown, WV for Andy's Barrister's Ball

 Hilton Head, SC/Savannah, GA with the bestie for Spring Break!

Asheville for my last retreat as a sister of Sigma Alpha Omega

Ocean Isle Beach with Andy for a graduation treat & to see Nana & Papa

Wild Dunes, SC with S & E

WV for 4th of July including a trip to the Greenbrier!

Cruise to Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel 

Virginia Tech for a football game

Back to Asheville with the family

Plus the usual holiday travel to Wilmington & Salemburg!

Wow- looking back at 2013 makes me think one thing- I am BLESSED! 

I hope you have a happy, happy New Years! Here's to 2014 :) 

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Big Christmas Post of 2013

Man, this seems like the shortest Christmas season in a long time. Maybe because Thanksgiving was so late this year? I don't know but it really flew by. 

 On Monday, Anna, Faith, and I made Christmas cookies! 

On Christmas Eve, we all slept in and laid around the house watching Christmas movies until the Christmas Eve service. I thought our sanctuary was decorated so beautifully. I LOVE going and being reminded of the reason Christmas is celebrated- Jesus, the light of the world, was born with the plan to save us from our sins- now THAT is a reason to celebrate. 

After the Christmas Eve service, I headed over to my dad's to celebrate Christmas there :) We had fun opening presents, having a yummy meal, and just hanging out. Kendall's brother Kevin always gets some kind of cool present that we all play with. This year he got a chameleon light that changes to whatever color its placed on. He even changed to different shades of colors. We were all stumped with how that technology works but it was cool! Sadly, the only pictures I took were of two of my presents. Kendall made Leah and I Shutterfly scrapbooks from our cruise which I loved looking through! She also found a fun way to give money-money origami. Andy got money shaped like a shirt & tie at Nana and Papa's and I ended up getting a stingray and turtle! Most definitely reminds me of the Caribbean :)

I didn't do a good job of taking pictures on Christmas morning with mom & Phil either! We each get 3 presents and I only took one picture of my stash of tiny presents ha ha. I think they get tinier every Christmas. But I was super excited for my stash nonetheless :) 

Once we opened gifts & ate breakfast, we were on the road to my mom's hometown for a Royal family Christmas! My grandaddy rented out their church's family life center this year and it ended up being a fabulous idea. All the great-grands had room to run & play and there was lots of space for yummy food & conversation :) Here are some pictures from Christmas evening. 

Cousin love:

I didn't get any pictures with the older cousins! But one of my favorite things to do this year was watch my cousin Ashley's little boy John & my cousin Joel's little girl Elizabeth interact. It was so funny how they would follow each other around or just stand and look at each other. Hah Love them. 

While we had a good time visiting with family, it was also sad because Mama Faye was not able to be home for Christmas. She is still in rehab from her fall. My family started the day after Christmas by visiting her. She is still improving each day and I can't wait until she is strong enough to go home!!

Our Christmas travels ended with a trip to Greensboro to visit my cousin Allie and her little boy Brady! His birthday was the week before Christmas so we wanted to give him his gifts. I was excited to meet him and glad we got to spend time with them as well.

I'm always so thankful to spend time with family over the holidays. It sure is refreshing. Be thankful if you live close to family though! I may or may not have kissed our driveway when we were able to get out of the car last night ;) 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Parker Christmas + Andy's Visit!

I was a little quiet on the blog at the end of last week & here is what has been going on:

Andy got into town Thursday afternoon & we went to dinner with some of the "parker crew'z" bunch! ( I really should do a series of posts on that vacation-such good times)

Friday morning was spent with my sidekicks and everyone on IG seemed to love this picture ;) We went on a walk and S decided to get up on that brick wall and say she was the teacher and Andy was the student. She talked and talked about whatever lesson it was that she was teaching. It was so funny.

Shortly after watching the girls, we loaded up the car with Dad & Kendall and headed to Wilmington! 
Friday night we just visited and I helped Nana make an ice-cream pie. 
Saturday is when the Christmas festivities took place! We relaxed, watched TV, and it was 75 degrees (!!) so we sat outside while the steaks grilled and enjoyed each other's company. After eating, we opened presents and hung out some more. It was a fun weekend! My brother and Leah weren't able to make the trip because of work and we missed them. Here is our Saturday in pictures :)

Papa got an App Tervis Tumblr! He was excited about it, he just didn't get the memo to smile for the picture ;)

Haha photobombed.

The obligatory pictures by the Christmas tree:

(I hate glowing eyes in pictures! Guess thats what you get with phone pictures ha)

I love this picture of Nana and Papa!

Sadly, we headed back west yesterday morning. Andy and I watched The Holiday with Mom and Anna last night. It is one of my favorite Christmas movies that I hadn't watched yet! I just love this view.

And just like that, Andy had to go back home this morning. :(

PS- he didn't take Chapman ;) He was just posing for the picture with him hah 

Thankfully it will only be a week until I see him again for New Years! I can't wait until we can spend holidays together!!! But I am excited for all the family festivities to come this week!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve ;)