Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Christmas Revue

.....And no, I did not misspell "review".  One form of the definition of "revue" was "theatrical entertainment"and I'm pretty sure each Christmas activity we participated in was theatrical and here goes.....

We kicked off the season with our third annual trip to Thomasville for Victorian Christmas, with our friends, Tiffany and Ryan in tow. This year did not disappoint and was full of beautiful decorations and entertainment.  One of my favorite things is the live Christmas Nativity/skit which reminds me of our Christmas play we used do at church every year. (We'd essentially dust off the old trunk with the angel & shepherd costumes...and instant Christmas play.)  It was adorable.  Even funnier was that Tiffany and I got "shushed" by a little boy in front of us.....we just couldn't stop laughing at the donkey kicking the heck out of its handler behind the barn. 

Jeremie's favorite thing about Victorian Christmas is the roasted corn that you smother with butter and your choice of spices.  Unfortunately, both boys seemed to choose too many spices and were having a hard time eating their corn.  But they seemed to be enjoying it anyway.

The next day we made our second annual trip to the Lawn Mower/Golf Cart Parade in Havana.  Havana is much smaller than Thomasville, but no less entertaining.  The Donaldsons joined us and we had a good time shopping, watching the parade, and just being plain silly.  

Don't ask me why there was a helicopter on display at the Lawn Mower  Parade...all I know is that it made for a hilarious picture.
After the parade, we made our way to another party at our friend's John and Susie's.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures from this party.  It was a cookie swap, so I may or may not have been stuffing my mouth the entire time.  Too busy too take pics.....and there wasn't really anything left to take pictures of anyway.  Nevertheless, we had a blast with The Andersons, The Bushes, & The Colavecchios.  

My office Christmas party next on the docket.  They surprised us and took us to the Publix cooking school, which was a blast!  We made crawfish etouffee, gumbo, crabcakes, oysters & my personal favorite: homemade ice cream with pecan praline caramel sauce!  Can't say that I could make everything again, but it was a really fun experience.  
Wasn't a fan of touching the raw oysters....

I am blessed with great co-workers!  We all keep each other on our toes....
Moving right along to one of our favorite events, the Tacky Sweater Christmas party.  Our Sunday School class is not afraid of a little competition, so Jeremie went all out and impersonated "Cousin Eddie" from National Lampoon Christmas Vacation. He found the hat, the green corduroy pants, the thin was hilarious.  He took away the Most Tacky award, which, I guess is something to be proud of.  I sported an Old World Santa sweatshirt that Mom made about 20 years ago. Good times.

These boys are taking Tacky to a whole new level. 
And with that, I conclude this years Christmas Revue.  Until next year!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Deck the Halls......

Decorating for Christmas is so much fun!  The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is turn on the Christmas tree.  It just feels so festive to me.  (And maybe it has something to do with a girl's love for shiny stuff.)  Here is a peek at some of our decorations.....

I try to decorate the mantel different every year.  This year, I bought the gold sleigh & reindeer from one of my co-workers. She has been using it for years, so I was happy to give it a new home.  Unfortunately, it's so big, all the reindeer wouldn't fit on the mantel!  I was happy how it turned out. 

Jeremie's Aunt Deb gave us this for my Christmas Shower before we got married....I love it! 
Santa was another Christmas Shower gift.....he looks so jolly! 

My natural bouquet...trimmings from the tree and furry looking stuff from the yard...
The MSU mom put this tree together when I was at State.  We add an MSU ornament every you can see, it's getting pretty full! 
Jeremie gave me this ornament with the Chapel of Memories  (where we got married) for our first Christmas...very special.
Christmas Bully....Manny does a double take every time he passes him...
O Christmas Tree!
Hands down, this is J's favorite decoration.  If you don't know the story of the Oh-so-tacky snowman head, this was a gift to us from our friends Bryan & Emily.  For their first Christmas, Emily told Bryan he could pick one thing out to adorn her elegant tree....never imagining he'd hunt down a Styrofoam snowman head in the store.  We picked on them so much about their story, so when Bryan found a twin snowman head last year, he got a KICK out of gifting us with our own. The ONLY reason I allow it to stay up is because it's just so darn hilarious.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Wells Weekly: Family Photo Session

Last week, our friends David & Melissa doubled as the family photographer and came out to the house to snap a few shots.  (This was prefaced by a delicious breakfast pizza the Donaldsons sponsored.)

Here's a few of my favorites.....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Wells Weekly: Winter

I absolutely LOVE this time of year, and all (or most things) that winter brings.  I do admit, the other morning was a chilly one, and when I got up to take Manny out, opening the door was bone chilling!  So I'm pretty sure I was whining about having to get out of the warm bed.  The moment I opened up my devotional that morning the verse was:  "You made BOTH summer and winter."  (Psalm 74:17).  Wow and oops all at the same time.  Funny how God will set you straight real quick. (You can't tell me he doesn't have a sense of humor.)  Anyways, here are some more things I love about winter:

1.  Winter clothes:  I love sweaters, boots, hats, warm and cozy!

2. Fa-la-la-la Lifetime: A girly Christmas movie every night starting December 1.

3.  Hot chocolate:  I have a cup probably every other day.  With marshmallows.

4. Christmas Events & Parties:  Victorian Christmas in Thomasville. Live Nativities. Cookie Swap. The Lawn Mower Parade. Tacky Sweater Christmas Party.  I love them all.

5.  Soup season: Cold weather calls for hot soup. Jeremie & I have cooked chili, taco soup & beef stew the past few weekends.  We eat it until it's gone. : )

6.  Operation Christmas Child:  This actually happens in the middle of the November, but I still consider it a holiday activity.  Jeremie & I have been doing this for years, even when we were dating.  Every year I find myself essentially sitting on the shoebox to make everything fit.  I totally wish I could see the sweet child that receives it. The neat thing is that they've added a feature where you can track your package to see what country it goes to!  Can't wait to find out.  If you you've never heard of this go to:

7. Winter College Football:  Rivalry games are played; shocking upsets ruin the rankings.  And the debate begins on whether a College Football playoff should be instituted as opposed to a "bias" BCS system.  Happens every year.  Don't know why the ESPN announcers are so surprised EVERY year.

8.  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation-need I say more?

9.  Real Fires in the fireplace:  I know the gas logs are easy & clean, but there is nothing like a real fire.  My dad is the MASTER at a big fire, and we used to spend a lot of time in front of the fire doing our "thinking pose."  (One foot up on the hearth, one hand leaned against the mantel, then stare into the fire. And THINK.)  Jeremie can make a mean fire too; in fact, too good sometimes.  Last year, I was brushing out my hair and felt a chunk of VERY short hair on the very top of my head. (Think Alfalfa from Little Rascals.) Long story short, we finally realized that I was singeing my hair off by sitting in front of the fire too long!  (The evidence was the smell of something burnt one night.)  My hairdresser assisted in the recovery.

10. Christmas Tree Hunting: The last 3 years, Jeremie and I have gone to Tallahassee Nurseries to pick out our tree.  The place is so charming and the trees are hanging, not bunched up in a net laying on a sidewalk. The workers will even take it out and twirl it around for you if you wish.....Jeremie is very methodical about his choice tree; I love watching him choose.

*Disclaimer:  I know that when people think of Florida, the automatic mental picture is palm trees, sun, and sand.  To much surprise, the Florida panhandle is not as tropical as you think, in fact, we are under a freeze warning tonight!

Hope everyone is enjoying the season as much as I am!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Wells Weekly: Thanksgiving

Whew...can't believe Thanksgiving was just last week!  Everything has moved on so quickly to Christmas that it seems like a lifetime away!  Thanksgiving was fabulous and busy.  I spent four nights in four different places!  Fortunately, since our families live so close, we get to make our rounds to everyone.  (Quick rounds, that is.)  

Round 1: Jeremie's family:  We got to spend some sweet time with Judah, who has already gotten so big!  He had his 1st set of shots the day we got home, and he was NOT happy.  Fortunately, I got lucky and when I held him, he settled down......since I didn't want to mess up a good thing (wink,wink) I held him a looong time.....and reluctantly handed him over to Uncle J eventually....

We finished up Round 1 by eating lunch with Jeremie's family.  It was great to catch up...everyone is so spread out we have to talk 90 to nothing to squeeze in everything....

Round 2: My family: Then we headed to Hattiesburg to visit Grammy & Big Jack, and my aunt & uncle were there as well.  I couldn't resist Grammy's famous cornbread dressing, so I loosened up my belt, and took the plunge.  (And there was just enough room to squeeze it a Farm Cookie or 2.)  After that, Steven, Amy, I went to see Puss n' Boots, which was totally hilarious!  (I found myself trying to talk in a Spanish accent frequently afterwards.)  We loved it and it was fun to have a siblings only outing.The next day I caught up with Grandma & Papa and our conversations spanned from cooking failures to our faith...gotta love it....

Round 3: Black Friday Shopping: I honestly cannot believe Mom & I braved Black Friday, but boy did we have a good time.  We tossed around the idea the night before as we were eyeing the $19.99 boots at Belk, but I knew there'd be no point, as there would be nothing left by the time we got there.  Well, at 5:30 a.m., I got up to take a bathroom break, and Mom peeked in my room and said she was going to hit the town.  So I decided..what the heck...I can sleep later.  I definitely didn't look like a rock star, but I wasn't going to impress.  I was going to conquer. And that we did.  There were millions of boots left and the crowd wasn't bad at all.  In fact, we were probably a lot safer going at 6:00 a.m. then getting tazed and trampled at 3:00 a.m. We had a great time; it's been forever since Mom & I did a shopping marathon. 

Round 4: The Battle for the Golden Egg: After shopping and recharging, Amy, Mom and I left for Starkville at 6:00 Friday night!  I wanted to see some of the cute new shops, and Jeremie and I never have time when we go.  So Saturday we got up early and hit the town. Starkville has changed so much; it makes me feel so old.  Then again, it's been 5 years since we graduated...hard to believe. 

Jeremie and Dad rode up to Starkville together that morning, so we met them for some cheesesticks at the grill and headed to the game!  The weather was terrible but the stadium was rockin!  We are no fair weathered fans, so we covered up good and cheered the Dawgs to a 31-3 victory!!!!!  Nothing like beating Ole Miss.....

This little guy was not letting the rain get him down either; he stood in the middle of the sidewalk and  high-fived  people as they walked by....adorable...this will probably be our child one day....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Will You Marry Me?

Sigh....the beautiful question Jeremie asked me 3 years ago today that wasn't even a question at all.  What I thought was a trip to The Junction to set up our tailgate tent for the Arkansas game turned into Jeremie on one knee in front of the Chapel of Memories.  I was TOTALLY stunned!  Fortunately I get to re-live the moment any time I want since J hired a photographer to catch the moment.  (Infinite points for him...)

Our 2.5 years of marriage have been a BLAST and such a blessing.  Don't believe all the crazy "ball and chain" jokes you hear....if you marry your best friend, it's awesome.  Not to say there aren't challenges....merging two lives together is not easy...but at the end of the are together.
In honor of the famous proposal 3 years ago, J surprised me with this tonight:

In addition to the flowers and chocolate, I didn't take a picture of the deer steak, fried green tomatoes and mashed potatoes that we had for dinner....  : )

I know it sounds kind of silly to make such a big deal of an "Engagement Anniversary"...and we don't do this every year.  (I had NO idea J was going to spoil me with goodies tonight.) But if you know anything about our dating history, we dated about 4 years and were so ready to be married.  But every time it seemed like we were getting closer (with jobs, financially, etc.) something would get in the way, and our engagement was delayed about 2 years later than we had originally hoped.  It was a frustrating time for us, but honestly, it drew us closer together and closer to God.  And eventually, He began to open all the right doors at the right times (just love how He does that).  So for us, the engagement was a big step forward we waited for a long time.

BTW, J is totally bragging about how many points he gets for this, and also how many points his guy friends are getting points deducted for this......At this moment he is cuddling with Manny and whining about how I didn't get him anything.....For better or for worse, right???

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Wells Family Nacation

Last weekend, we took off a couple days of work and took a four-day-long "nacation".  And no, I am not misspelling vacation.  There are vacations, there are staycations, and this one was a "nature" inspired trip, so we called it a "nacation".  We wanted to get away for a few days, but didn't want to spend all weekend on the road, didn't want to go somewhere too exciting where we felt pressured to tour a bunch of stuff, and also wanted to bring the little buddy along.  Lake Blackshear fit all the criteria:

Lake Blackshear was a 2.5 hour drive through the most beautiful back-country roads lined with cotton farms and pecan trees.  On the way, we experienced all things southern by eating fried chicken in a town that is "Home of the Syrupmakers",  stopped at a country store that had homemade jerky, and believe it or not, saw a deer hanging from a billboard about to be " field dressed", if you will.  I'm not even going to get into Jeremie's encounter with a lady named Skeeter in the Dollar General.  Anyway, the remainder of the weekend was fairly uneventful.  We did a lot of hiking with Manny, who had himself a ball, and was so tired, he was snoring like a person at night.  Of course we watched a lot of football and had some delicious meals at the restaurant at the resort.  

The little buddy was so happy to join in on the fun.  Just like a man, he closed his eyes and stuck his tongue out for the picture.

Jeremie just couldn't resist climbing the tree.......can't take him anywhere...
We did spend some time in Americus, about 30 minutes from Lake Blackshear.  It had the most adorable downtown,  with so many beautiful historic homes and buildings.....and just look at what intersection we's to you Dad....

The beautiful Windsor Hotel....I think built in 1890.  

The highlight though was most definitely the quality time J & I got to spend together. Words can't express how blessed I feel to be married to my best friend who makes our marriage his top priority.  Even after 6 years of being together, hanging out with him never gets old.  Looking forward to many more getaways with my wonderful husband.  

Agghh.....the sunset at Lake Blackshear....I look at this and think:  We serve a Mighty God.