Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nail day

I need to blog about Christmas and my birthday, but that would require me combing through 500+ pictures...and I'm too lazy right now!
Instead I will share with you the best thing ever- Shellac! Kel and I got our nails done and I'm obsessed with shellac. I'm not usually one to have painted nails but I think I found a few obsession.
If you haven't gotten a manicure in a while, go treat yourself to some shellac nails ASAP!

Happy day!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All Things Christmas

It's hard to believe that Christmas is almost here. I look forward to the holidays every year, and I feel like I haven't gotten to "enjoy" them as much this year...shame on me!
Regardless of our busy schedules, we have managed to fit in some holiday joy. It goes without saying that I LOVE traditions and that really comes out during the holidays.
From "when" we get a tree, to describing the memory of each ornament when we decorate the tree, to watching The Elf, to baking Christmas cookies, maki
ng our Operation Christmas Child shoebox, to our 33+ year old Gibbs family advent calendar or to buying our hallmark series ornament each year...just to name a few. Don't get me started on Christmas eve or Christmas morning!

our VERY old advent calendar
the stocking were hung by the wine with care...using Mike's great-grandma's cookie cutters

Our tree might not look "pretty" but I love how each ornament has meaning!
Here are a few of our favorite ornaments that are new to the tree this year...

Breckenridge, CO trip with Kel & Robby
Boston trip for Mike's 30th birthday
Kauai, Hawaii anniversary trip
KitchenAid Mixer in honor of getting my very own
Our 2nd "cupcake" ornament from Hallmark

I took the last 2 weeks of December off and it feels fantastic. I am trying to be as lazy as possible because I know that 2012 is going to be madness!
So, I plan to "live in the moment" over the next 2 weeks and enjoy every second I get to spend with my wonderful friends and family!
Love to all and have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

No clue

My AMAZING, WONDERFUL and THOUGHTFUL husband pulled off the best 30th birthday surprise party on Saturday night...and I had no clue! Apparently there were hundreds of emails exchanged between Kelly & Mike over the last several months.

Let me set the stage...

I worked in Charlotte all last week, and Mike came into town Friday to attend my work holiday party with me. Kelly's parents were supposed to come into town on Saturday to see the Christmas lights and take us to dinner. Kelly "said" she wanted to have a girls day so we decided to spend the whole day together. Little did I know this was a big fat lie and she really just needed me out of the house!
She took me to Yama for lunch, shopped until we literally dropped at SouthPark Mall, then headed to the movies to see Breaking Dawn. By the time the movie was over, it was around 7:15 and I had made a 8pm reservation at Cantina. We were going to rush home, grab the husbands and her parents before heading to dinner.

We pulled up to the house, got out of the car and all of a sudden a bunch of people jump up and started yelling, "SURPRISE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY." I then had a mild heart attack, wondered who they were yelling at, and began freaking out. I saw my sister, Em, doing what looked like a cheerleader cheer with her mouth wide open smiling (love you, sis) and then realized they were "surprising" me.
Kelly led me upstairs where so many sweet friends (and both my sisters) were there to wish me a happy birthday. To say I was shocked would be the largest understatement of the year!
I then got to see all Mike's hard work (my sisters and Kel helped some too)...invitations complete with calligraphy, custom koozies, decorations, catering from Cantina, the mos
t perfect cake ever and lots of loved ones to share the night with. Mike filled me in on the months of planning and all the lies that had been told.
Kel left the boys a diagram so they would set everything up right-ha!

I cannot thank my husband and friends enough for such a wonderful surprise. All the details (especially the cake & koozies) were perfect and made my heart so happy! I felt beyond loved and couldn't imagine a better 30th birthday present.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We spent Thanksgiving 2011 in Charlotte with the Staton clan.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I had a very important appointment at the DMV. Since I'm about to turn the big 30, it was time to renew my license. Yes, I still have an NC license which is probably against the law. Before you go and call your local law enforcement officer, I practically live in Charlotte more than 50% of the time so it is justified.

After I passed my sign test and took my pretty picture, Mike & I head to the lake for the annual Russo family Thanksgiving.
Each year gets larger and larger which mean more amazing food! There was enough to feed all 40+ guests plus the entire neighborhood. We stuffed our faces, caught up with friends and of course took lots of pictures.

Judy is such a great host and loves having everyone at her house.
Thanksgiving was spent at grammie and grandaddy's house along with the ENTIRE Staton family. I don't think we have all been together since our wedding, so it was nice to catch up and actually get to spend time together. Mike's brother, Tim, is serving in Afghanistan and we all missed having him around. The Staton family knows how to cook and we stuffed ourselves again with more yummy food. It's a good thing Mike and I brought our workout clothes because we had lots of calories to burn off.Friday night we met my parents for dinner in Clemmons before heading to Chapel Hill on Saturday. We woke up Saturday morning and my mom decided to make us a big breakfast before we hit the road. Well, let's just say she forgot to look at the expiration dates for the syrup and pancakes. At least O'Malley thought it was delicious!
When we arrived in Chapel Hill, Mike drove us all around pointing out his running routes, apartments, frat house, favorite bars, etc. We walked & shopped on Franklin street, ate lunch at Top of the Hill, had a drink at Back Bar and then headed to the stadium to watch the UNC vs. Duke game. Thankfully, UNC pulled out a win so the husband was very happy for the rest of the evening.
We woke up on Sunday and headed back to Knoxville. It was a very full and fun weekend with both our families! Just a few more weeks and our Christmas vacation will begin. I love this time of year!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I spent last week working in Charlotte and living at my 2nd home, casa de St. Louis. It was a very busy week and I was glad to see the weekend arrive.
Sunday night, Kel & I went to dinner and caught up on life before the crazy week began.
The majority of the week was spent running from meeting to meeting, prepping for a GIGANTIC presentation, having to deal with teammates getting let go (heartbreaking), after work activities and hanging out with friends.
The good news is...I got to attend 2 baby showers (YAY!!), volunteer at Crisis Assistance Ministries, attend an offsite with my extended teammates and partake in Family dinner nigh

I always look forward to family dinner night and couldn't wait for Thursday to roll around. The Bruces, Chids, Kessl
er and Parker came over to the St. Louis house for a night of food, drinks and laughter. Kel made delicious soup that we ate in Panera bread bowls...HUGE hit! We ended the night with the ever so popular, cookie cake, to celebrate Ellen & Sara's birthdays. I always love an excuse to eat cake!

I was so excited to catch up with friends, that I neglected to take many pictures. I did however take a few pictures of the food...priorities!

We already have the next Family dinner planned and I'm so excited that my husband will be in town this time. He hasn't been to a family dinner in so long.
Even though the week was a long one, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm grateful to be able to see my Charlotte family and teammates every few weeks.

We're heading back to Charlotte on Tuesday morning to spend Thanksgiving with the in-laws. Then we only have a few weeks of work before our 2 week Christmas vacation...WOOT WOOT!!!! I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!

Happy early Thanksgiving to everyone...gobble gobble.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bama Trip

I'm sad to see our 3 day weekend already over! Mike & I headed to Tuscaloosa, AL on Friday for Abby Reece's 2nd birthday party. I hadn't been to Tuscaloosa since college, so it was nice to be back. It was sad to see all the tornado damage still present all over the town...Em told us about it but you don't really believe it until you see it.

My sister, Em, did an amazing job on Abby's party. She is so creative and crafty and pulled together an awesome "doggie" themed 2nd birthday party. All the kids & parents had a great time and were asking Em to help them plan their kids' parties.
Abby & Nate always make me laugh and seem to grow up way too much in between visits. Even though it was sad to leave, we were thankful for the time together and it made us so excited for Christmas!!
I will save all the pictures and details for Em's post because I know she will do a full recap. In the meantime, here are a few pictures from the weekend!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some phone favorites

I was going through my phone tonight and found some funny "App Family Weekend" pictures. These were too great not to share. Enjoy!!

Always travel with a fire extinguisher.

Our car speakers for the trip

Robby was annoyed and didn't like our loud singing

My first trip to Cookout!!

Missing Masser :(

A little breakdown after our Coltrane photo shoot

Never a dull moment with the St. Louis family!

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bedside Baptist

Some Sunday mornings, Mike and I really miss our church in Charlotte. This morning we decided to stay in bed and watch Pastor Furtick live...and it was well worth it. It was a sermon that both of us really needed to hear and were totally convicted.
We missed seeing our friends at Sunday School, but sometimes we just need to take a break and hear Pastor Furtick bring it!
Have a great week!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still going strong

Is the weekend really over? We made it back from another App Family Homecoming weekend and had a BLAST!!
Robby & Kel picked me up from the Charlotte airport (honking in the travelall, of course) and we headed up the mountain. The party was in full swing when we arrived. We unloaded the car, grabbed a beverage of choice and jumped right in.

Yes, 4 twin beds pushed together-this is where me, Mike, Kel & Robby slept!
Saturday morning rolled around and everyone was ready to begin the fun. We loaded up the cars, packed 10 people into the travelall and headed to campus for a full day of tailgating. The weather was perfect, the leaves were gorgeous and it was a great day to spend with friends. After lots of pictures, drinks, food, cornhole, football and laughs, we packed up the tailgate and headed into the game. TBruce scored us fantastic seats and we all enjoyed the game (a little too much)...probably annoyed our neighbors too!After the game, we all headed back to the house for more QT and grilling out. It was a very relaxing evening filled with great conversations and yummy food!
The house crashed early on Saturday which of course warmed my grandma heart!

Sunday seemed to come a little too quickly and I wasn't ready to head back to the real world. After breakfast and a little clean-up, we loaded the car to head back to TN.

I walked away from this weekend with a full heart, lots of pictures, some wonderful memories and maybe a few extra pounds.

App Family, thank you for the sweet gift of friendship