Monday, December 28, 2009

8 months

Mike reminded me this morning that 8 months from today we will be walking down the aisle! Can you tell I'm excited and ready to be Mrs. Staton?!?!?!?!
8 months and counting...please go fast :)

New Traditions

We have spent Christmas at my parents house or Grandma Briner's house for as long as I can remember. This year we changed things up due to the arrival of Abby Reece.
The Gibbs clan headed to TN to spend the holiday at Em & Greg's house. Nate & Abby Reece were the center of it all and loved every second of it. Nate was very aware of Santa, new toys, baby Jesus and Handy Manny coming to his house. Em helped Nate write a letter to Santa and leave cookies, carrots & milk. It was SO CUTE!!

Christmas morning was very eventful as Nate opened each present, and said "open, open, open". It was a Handy Manny Christmas and I have so much more respect for Em's patience as she has to listen to LOUD toys all day long!

I have the pleasure of being born the day after Christmas, so I usually get a second day of celebration with my family! My sisters fixed a special birthday breakfast and I got to open all my presents before L headed to the airport. I got some great gifts but my favorite was a scrapbook from Em. She surprised me with a scrapbook she made of all my baby pictures through 8th grade. There were some hilarious pictures, captions and personal touches. It is completely AWESOME and I am so thankful for all the work she put into it.

We all (including the newest family member, Handy Manny) went out for some good ol' Mexican. After dinner, we headed home for yummy birthday cake. I was a bad aunt and talked Nate into going head first into the cake with me. Sorry Em...I know payback will get me one day!
Christmas 2009 was another great one with the family! Next year at this time I will be married...wahoooooooo!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Gibbs Girls...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Dinner

Last week we had our bible study Christmas dinner...complete with the same food as last year and all the same girls. There is something comforting about saying that :)
I blogged about our dinner last year and am still just as thankful for these girls!

I'm so thankful to say that our bible study is still going strong every Tuesday. It's been a year of different books, lots of conversations, many challenges, laughter, tears and the same sweet voices encouraging and loving each other.

We are all in new seasons of our lives: new houses, babies, jobs, school, new careers, engagements, and so much more. But we can look back at our prayer books and see how we prayed each other through every situation.

I love these girls and am thankful for another year with them! Let's see what "fun" studies we pick out in 2010!!!
We just love little Emerson & can't get enough of her

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rick Jr.

I have been sick for the past 2 weeks and I am very behind on blogging. (the codeine cough medicine has finally worked!)

We have been talking about getting rid of the Wrangler and getting a new car for a few months. After several test drives and some research, Mike narrowed it down to the car he wanted.

He found one he liked and even though I was sick, I couldn't miss the opportunity to haggle at the dealership with Mike. I was so excited about 1)getting a new car and 2)getting a good deal. We talked about our strategy before going to the dealership and decided how we would approach it. (I know you guys are laughing but it worked). After several hours at the dealership and lots of back and forth, we walked away with a fantastic deal and new car. (dad would have been so proud of us!) We are excited about our big new car and can't wait for all the App tailgates in the fall :)

Mike said goodbye to his beloved Wrangler...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hidden Talents

It is safe to say that I have an elf on my hands. Mike told me last year he enjoyed wrapping gifts and was pretty good.
Well last night he decided to open his gift wrapping business in the dining room/living room. He went at it for a few hours and seemed to have a great time. I sat on the couch and drank wine while he played was quite enjoyable for me.

All the gifts look great under the tree now!!
(minus the bows b/c apparently I was "supposed" to buy some)
Is it bad that I asked if he would mind wrapping the presents I got him?!?! I believe my mom and sisters did this for me growing up....some things never change.
He is for rent during the holidays if you need a good little elf :)

I know O'Malley looks depressed but I promise he is not

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas is in the air

The rest of Thanksgiving vacation was so much fun!
Friday we picked out our Christmas tree, got out our decorations and started the fun. When I was pulling out each ornament, it was nice to reminisce about each one. There were ornaments from when I was born, ones from grandma, some from my sisters and all the ones that mom has given to us each year. I know it sounds silly, but I'm so thankful for each ornament and all the memories it holds!

Decorating the tree would not have been complete without some homemade buckeyes!
Saturday was a day filled with friends and football! I got to some good quality time with Kat & BFF and some of the APP Family men too. BFF and I got in some much needed wedding talk and it was SO nice to catch up with her in person instead of phone, text and email. Thankfully the Mountaineers pulled out a win and are headed to Richmond this weekend.Emerson got to meet Aunt Lauren & Uncle Kyle
Mike and I rounded out the weekend with a date night and some good quality time together on Sunday! I love that boy :)

Please note: this is what the dogs and Mike were doing while I was hard at work on the buckeyes

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Carrot Cake by Aunt Wendy

As promised, here is the world's greatest carrot cake recipe. It's been in Aunt Wendy's family for 28+ years so you know it's a keeper! I DARE you to make it and enjoy every bite. Here's to packing on the holiday pounds :)

3 Cups grated raw carrots
2 Cups flour (All Purpose Flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Cups cooking oil
4 eggs
1/2 Cup chopped pecans

Beat all the above together and then add the eggs one at a time. Then add 1/2 cup nuts. Bake 9x13 pan for 35-40 minutes (8 inch round cake pans take a little longer, just keep checking with toothpick, till it comes out clean) in a 350 degree oven.

1 (8 oz.) Pkg Cream Cheese
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Pkg powdered sugar (2 Cups)
1/2 stick Butter
*you can double the icing recipe to make sure you have plenty

Let cake cool then ice and enjoy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fat Camp

I am thinking about enrolling after all the delicious food I ate the past few days!

Wednesday we headed to the lake for the Russo's annual Thanksgiving dinner. As usual, the food did not disappoint and its a good thing because there was a ton of it. The big news this year...I tried collards for the 1st time and LOVED them!

Thursday I woke up and it felt a little weird to still be in Charlotte. I have spent every Christmas and Thanksgiving with my parents. Usually I wake up to the smell of coffee, the sale ads laid out for me, the Today show on, dad washing the cars or running and mom telling me Happy Thanksgiving.
This year was a little different and that's okay. I LOVE traditions (thanks mom) and I'm excited about starting news ones with my future husband!!!!!

Mike and I took the dogs for a really long walk before heading to his grandparents house. A lot of the Dorsey/Staton clan was there to celebrate Thanksgiving together. The food was AMAZING and there was plenty of it. Grandpa even video tapped the entire meal...hahaha!
Mike's mom knew I loved my mom's squash casserole so she made that this year as a surprise. It was so yummy and was very thoughtful.
To keep my favorite traditions alive, Mike bought us tickets to see The Blind Side. It was a great way to end our day and the movie was AWESOME! (go see it right now)

Mike's Aunt Wendy sent us home with her homemade carrot cake. I love carrot cake and have had a ton in my lifetime, BUT this is BY FAR the best I have ever had (sorry if that offends anyone). I'm totally serious...I guarantee this will be the best you have ever tasted. I will post the recipe once Aunt Wendy emails it to me. SOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!

All in all, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I missed my parents and sisters but I will see them for Christmas in a few short weeks!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chocolate Heaven

We had a BUSY weekend of celebrations!

Friday night we headed to an engagement party for "Phillary"...aka Philip Tester & Hillary Pace. They are too cute and I loved talking about wedding stuff with Hillary.
Saturday we headed up to Boone with Kelly, Robby & Lindsay. After a few "mishaps" we made it into Boone. We had a great time of shopping, eating and cheering on our app state boys!

Sunday was the big day...
After church, we headed to Winston to celebrate Gregg's 88th birthday, Dad's 60th birthday and Lora's wedding anniversary. WOW!!!
We did presents at our house before heading to the "old folks home" to see Deedee & Gregg.
Lora decided to get dad an extra present this year...I don't think anyone will ever be able to top this one. CANDY MAN WAS IN HEAVEN!!!

After a little QT with Deedee & Gregg, we headed to dinner. Thankfully we didn't have to experience K&W for dinner...we were spared :) We actually had a great dinner at VT...complete with free desserts and champagne.It was a very full weekend but I'm glad we ended it with family. Its always an adventure with my family but I love it!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Lynsey posted THIS today and I thought it was worth sharing with everyone...

Visit her site and see how you can get free Christmas cards this year

Happy Friday.

Thanks Lyns:)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What were we thinking?!?!

Well folks, its almost been 1 year since a few of my friends and I went to the midnight premier of Twilight! Yep, I know...get your laughs out now.We arrived at the theater 2 hours early to ensure we had the best seats.
After the movie, I talked about my disappointment HERE!
The Twilight books were great, so I should have known that movies are never as good as the book. The screaming pre-teens could have had an impact on my viewing pleasure as well.

New Moon is being released tomorrow and that is all I have been hearing about on TV. I will NOT be going to the midnight showing. Alli and Adele were trying to talk me into see a matinee with them and I might. (sorry Ellen- I might be a sell out) Maybe I should just wait for it to come out on DVD so I only have to pay .99 cents.

Oh the memories we can laugh about...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh Daddyo

We have 283 days until our wedding but don't worry...I have already picked out the "father/daughter" song. Yes, I know its a little weird. Most people pick their song out a few weeks before the big day...but not me.
I heard this song a while ago and sobbed when I heard it. (sobbed=I loved it) I love the song even more because I have never heard it played at a wedding!!
My dad has always had a special place in my heart and I cannot wait for him to walk me down the aisle to marry Mike!
Get ready to shake your booty daddyo :)

Dad's 1st Father/daughter dance

Monday, November 16, 2009

Will you be...

Wedding planning is coming right and I'm loving all the little details!
Apparently its the best time to be engaged in the APP Family! Not only do I get to share this time with Hef and Lauren but now we get to share it with Hillary.
Love those two love birds!!!!

We have booked all of our venues, paid our deposits and asked our wedding party to stand beside us. My friend, Lynsey, gave me the idea of asking my bridesmaids in a different way. I wanted them to know how much they have meant to me and how honored I would be if they would be in our wedding party. First, I found a woman online that designed some personalized cards for each bridesmaid. Then I talked to a few cupcake companies about making some special cupcakes for each maid. After some back and forth, we nixed the cupcake idea b/c they don't really ship well. I settled on personalized cookies for each girl. I was VERY happy with how they turned out and an add bonus was they tasted great (or so I was told by my sisters)!

Mike opted to call his groomsmen instead of me trying to make him do something "girlie"! They lost out- I was planning to get extra creative for those guys.

When Nathan and Tara were in Charlotte earlier this month, we asked Nathan to marry us. We didn't want him to feel left we made some brownies and wrote a note on them with icing.
Even though it was really lame, Nathan agreed to marry us and NOT dress in his Wake Forest attire.

In case you were wondering, everyone agreed to be in our wedding party! Glad we won't be up there alone :)
Preacher man

one of the cards...the cookies

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I drove all night...

My phone rang at 1am on Tuesday morning. I was told Em's water broke and Abby was on her way into the world. The little princess decided to come 4 weeks early and arrive on 11.10.09!
I jumped in the car around 2:30am and started driving to TN. I was on "Nate duty" all day Tuesday and we had a ball. We sang, danced, played and laughed a LOT.

I was so excited to take Nate to the hospital so he could meet his baby sister AND I really wanted to meet her too! Nate did great- held her, kissed her and said he loved her.
Abby Reece is so tiny, has the cutest little lips and makes hilarious noises.

I am SOOOOOO proud of my sister! She did it this time with NO DRUGS!! That was not the plan but Abby came so fast there wasn't anytime. Em is a ROCKSTAR and Abby & Nate are lucky to have her for a mom.

Here is a sneak peak...I will let Em post all the other pictures first.
Nate checking out Abby for the 1st time

Sunday, November 8, 2009


O'Malley's girlfriend, Salem, got to stay with us while Emerson was making her entrance into the world. Usually O'Malley doesn't like to share his bed...or anything for that matter. But I think he knew that Salem missed her parents and needed some extra lovin! So stinkin' cute :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Say Cheese...

Today is engagement picture day and we (or maybe I) picked out our outfits! I'm not a big fan of being in front of the camera...I would much rather be the one taking the pictures. Mike informed me that we couldn't just take pictures of him for our save the dates. oh well, minor detail

We are so honored to have my dear friend, Amy Free, as our photographer.
The last time Amy took my picture was during my "Believe" photo shoot. I was so nervous about being in front of the camera, but Amy did such a great job calming me down and really helping me enjoy it. I'm so thankful that Mike will be there today and I have no doubt Amy will rock it. We are even bringing our two crazy pups to try and get a few shots with them. Let's hope O'Malley behaves himself and isn't his usual racist self. (it's true, I'm not proud that he is slightly racist but he is.)

Amy is an AMAZING photographer and I highly recommend you hire her at some point in the near won't regret it :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Morrow weekend

I got to hang out with my West Girls (minus Tara) on Friday night and enjoyed every second of it. We caught up on life and talked about all of our wedding details. Mel Mel even made an AMAZING carrot cake for me. It was great sitting around and laughing with them. I NEVER feel judged and no matter what they always make me feel so loved.

Sunday night, the Morrow's had me & Mike over for dinner. We really enjoyed hanging out with Mel & Matt, but I really LOVED getting to play with Oliver. He is starting to make all these funny faces and noises and it provides hours of entertainment. Mel and I got to have girl talk while Matt & Mike had male bonding time. I think Mike has a man crush on out Matt, you might get a man-date invite soon.
Because Matt loves to torture me, he decided a good parting gift would be the Dave Ramsey book. Anything dealing with budgets, finances, stocks and spreadsheets gets Mike so excited. I promise to read it soon...or maybe Mike can give me the cliff note version.
Can't wait for our next Sunday night dinner date :)