Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I promised an update a week after my last one, but let's be honest...I did not have time, which shouldn't surprise anyone! I don't know how I manage to stay so busy all the time, especially over a 4-week break! But I have lots that I want to share.  Things have been getting very exciting around here, with Chris' assignment night approaching quickly.  The Christmas decorations are down (but my winter snowflake and snowman decorations are up), classes have begun again, and Chris is back on the flight line.  Actually, his flights have been mostly cancelled due to weather, but he will be back on it next week. I have another wedding to look forward to in 2013.  Where do I even begin?

Last time I posted, I was just finishing up my first semester back in school.  I presented my first year paper idea to the faculty, which I think went well, so now I am neck-deep in reading research papers about international governmental accounting standards.  After school ended, my parents were able to come up for a couple of days.  Even though Chris and I were headed to Auburn just a few days after they left, I really wanted someone to come see all my Christmas decorations, so it was great that they got to come up! I had a couple more days of relaxation after they left. Then I headed to Auburn on the 21st for the longest visit home I have had since getting married!

Chris had to fly that Friday, so he came up on Saturday.  I wanted to be there Saturday morning for a mother-daughter Christmas brunch that my mom was throwing.  I got to see so much of my family and friends over the holidays, it was wonderful! It was the first time since getting married that I could actually come home and see everyone without feeling like I was being rushed around.

Here are some pictures from our time in Auburn.
Dinner at Laredos with a few of my oldest and dearest

Guy time...of course, Mason is included in that

Mason gets groomed

Christmas Eve--we got an LCHS calendar with Mason's picture on it! Thanks again to his supporters and fans! ;)
Mason had been opening his gifts...he looks just a wee bit crazy there!
Mason enjoys Christmas brunch at Tammy's house. 

After Christmas, Lauren, Hannah and I went to Atlanta for a couple of days to visit Lauren Emily and her new house! By the end of this year, all three of these girls will have new last names! Lauren Emily's is in November, Hannah's is in June...and, if you read my last blog, you may remember me saying that I thought another wedding may be on the horizon for 2013...well, I was right! That would be Lauren's.  Her wedding will be in August.  I'm a bridesmaid for all these weddings, plus, of course, my sister' 2013 is going to be quite busy but I am so excited about it!

In honor of Chris' grandmother, Nancileigh's 80th Birthday, we had a family dinner/birthday party at the AU Club.  Chris and I were both so excited that she and her husband, Matt, were able to make it to Auburn for Christmas, and that we got to celebrate her birthday in person!

Chris and the birthday girl!
The 21st Birthday (+59) cake
Chris and Warren with their mommy :)
Chris and I with Chris, Sr.

The Wilson family in front of the tree at the AU Club

It's always great to see my oldest oldest friend, Anna.  We have been close since we were 6 years old! December 30 was her 25th birthday, and her boyfriend threw her a great party at her family's lake house.  Don't even get me started on the food there! Great times...

For New Years Eve, Chris and I had dinner at Maestro 2300.  We love eating at nicer restaurants, but these days, we don't treat ourselves quite as often as we used to.  It was a great way to ring in the new year...with  my beloved husband over a delicious meal with the perfect wine.  
Later on in the evening, we went out on the town with Sara for a bit to actually do the New Years countdown. 

It's pretty rare to see Mason and Kittykins in such close quarters! 

Mason loves being in Auburn so he can hang out with his friend, Luke

 As awesome as the break was, it was nice to get home on January 2 so that I could be in my own house, redecorate from Christmas, and crack down on my school work.  Unlike in my undergrad and masters programs, I actually have work to do pretty much year-round, even during breaks.  I got a whole lot of work done during the week I was home before school started, and even managed to clean the house.  Exciting life, huh? ;) Chris barely had to go in that week, which was really nice, too.  He had a lot of breaks since he was ahead of schedule before the break and also the weather was slowing down the schedule. Here are some pictures of my winter decor.

I have some other odds and ends up, but I didn't take pictures of everything.
Well, I had new decorations up, so naturally that means I had to have some people over to see them :)
We had a handful over to watch the National Championship game.  We ate off of Auburn stuff haha
We roasted some pork loin and had it with fresh baked bread, broccoli  gratin, and sherry tomato soup

         We have a few other projects going on...including fixing up the condo (my mom came to Tuscaloosa  to help me with that...she got some estimates on replacing the sliding glass doors that lead onto the screen porch with some french doors and having the heinous wallpaper stripped and repainted)...and, Autumn and I are now winemakers!
Mason sleeping in Dubs' bed while we make wine

We are making wine with the guys' beer kit.  The guys are just there to do the heavy lifting :)

Adding some kind of berries to the wine
Very intense...
Ta-da! We did it!

There it sits for another few weeks until it's ready for the next step!

 Last weekend, I went to Atlanta to run in a 15K (9.3 miles) with a group of friends.  I stayed with Tori...words can't describe how I love that girl! Hannah and Chase ran in the 5K and they stayed with Ellie and Matt, so we got to see them a lot too.  I just love being with old friends so much...and I absolutely love Atlanta! Basically, I never wanted to leave except for I missed Chris since he couldn't come with us.  He had a flight on Friday, so he couldn't join.  I even saw Jon and Autumn briefly, as they came to town for the Atlanta Falcons-Seattle Seahawks game (the third...?...round of the NFL playoffs), and I stopped in on Meredith in Birmingham on the way home Sunday and wound up spending the night thanks to the terrible weather.  So, overall, it was a weekend jam packed full of awesomeness. Here are some pictures.

Friday we went to my all time favorite restaurant, Eclipse de Luna (it's a tapas place...I like it because I can get like 5 different things for dinner, which is, of course, very appealing to me!), then out.  Here we are, aren't we cute! ;)
Saturday, Matt, Ellie, Hannah, Chase and I went to a new brewery in Atlanta called  Wrecking Bar.  It's in a building that has operated as a Methodist Church, dance studio, home, and antique store.  It was probably the coolest brewery tour I've ever been on.  It was literally like they took Chris and Jon's home brewing operation and put it on a bigger scale...but not too big.  The beer is actually going to start being distributed to some of the nicer brew pubs in Atlanta in the next few weeks.  The people were really nice there, and the food was extremely good! We didn't try a lot of it, but what we had was good, and what we saw on other people's tables looked delicious!
This is the Wrecking Bar brewery.  Doesn't look like any other brewery I've ever seen....
Dinner Saturday night at Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub 

I take any chance I can get to wake up at 5AM on a Sunday...haha just kidding.  But here was the main point of me coming to Atlanta.  A 20,000 people race called the Hot Chocolate 5/15K that went through Atlanta...most long races give you beer at the end (it's the best way to hydrate and replensish carbs, bet you didn't know that!), but this one...gave us hot chocolate and chocolate fondue! Yum!! I think the idea was that it would be cold outside and that hot chocolate would feel good, but it was actually in the 70's...

Me with my fellow 15K-ers...Carrie, Tori, and Lindsey...before the race
And here we are after, with our hot chocolate and fondue...slightly less glamorous...I believe I look especially ridiculous haha.  I finished in 1:32.  It was the hilliest run I think I have ever done.  It definitely felt like there were more up-hills than down! But I made it to the finish line! 
Our finishers mug! You can't see, but we also had marshmallows, rice krispies, wafers, and pretzels to dip in the fondue

After the race...and freshening up a bit...we headed to a sports bar/grill  to watch the Falcons-Seahawks game.  The weather seemed like it would be getting bad, so I had to head out around the beginning of the 4th quarter.  I listened to the remainder of the game in the car, and I have to say, that was the most interested I have EVER been in the NFL.  I've been saying I wanted to become an NFL fan...just to give me some other football team to care about when Auburn isn't doing I guess the natural choice would be the Atlanta Falcons.  I have to say, I will definitely be watching the game and wearing red and black this Sunday when they play in the final round of the playoffs! 

The weather in Atlanta was perfect for was in the 70's all weekend.  But on my way home Sunday, things took a turn for the worst, and we've had nothing but miserable weather since! Monday morning I went straight to Tuscaloosa for class, but Monday night I had to go home to get some fresh clothes and because I wanted to see Chris and Mason.  Things have just been getting colder since then.  Now I am very sad because I'm in Tuscaloosa where it's just very cold and damp, and just an hour away in Columbus, Chris has been sending me these pictures of our snow covered house, yard, and dog! I so wish I could be at home playing in the snow with them! The worst part is, I have class until 4:45, meaning it will be about dark before I can head home.  The roads may be icy, which means I may be here until tomorrow.  I have a social tomorrow for the CSC at 11:30, so hopefully I can make it home before then.  I am the first Vice President now, so I will feel bad if I have to miss it for the weather.

Here are some of the pictures Chris has been sending me today:

Mason loves the snow!!

 Best of all, here is the video he sent me of Mason chasing the ball in the snow.  You may have to turn your head sideways to watch it. But if you watch at least half way through, I think you will get a good laugh...

I am looking forward to (hopefully) heading home tonight after class.  I don't know if I will be able to, as I just looked out  my office window to see lots of flurries coming down! I wonder if it will stick.  It's MLK weekend, but for probably the first time ever, I think Chris and I will opt to spend this long weekend at home.  

Pilot training is nearly over, and if Chris get's the instructor pilot position that we hope he will get, it means he will probably be gone for about 6 months this year! That is going to be very sad for me! It's crazy knowing how up in the air things are right now.  He is supposed to have his assignment at the end of February...most likely, February 22.  After that, and his graduation on March 15, we have no idea when and where he will be going at this point.  We could have to move out of our house as early as April! What a nightmare that will be, if school is not out for summer yet.  We have learned to just take one step at a time, though.  

Thanks for reading, and I will be sure to keep everyone updated! Now that I am so busy, I can really only update the blog about once a month.  Chris' assignment is in about a month and a week, so my next blog post may be a very big update! 

UPDATE: School just got cancelled, woohoo! I am heading home to play in the snow :)

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