I'm a half century old! Wait... no I'm not.

As I may have mentioned before, math is not my strongest point. I walked around for about a week telling people that I was going to be HALF A CENTURY OLD!! before Brian finally stepped in and informed me that I was turning 25, not 50. Ah, well-- at least I was blissfully unaware.

It was a lovely little day filled with not much at all, which I'm all about these days. Pretty pink roses were delivered, we did lots of Christmas shopping during the day, I was gifted a lovely gorgeous exciting new camera, we went to a nice dinner, and then climbed into bed to watch Christmas Vacation... because Brian had never seen it before. A moment of silence for him, please. (sidenote: I am ALL ABOUT Christmas movies, and he's never seen the majority of my favorites, including It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street... I don't know what planet he grew up on, but these were absolute holiday staples in my young movie-watching life. Because I only want the best for him, I'm force-viewing all of my favorites before I leave for Texas. He can thank me later.)

Sunday morning Brian made breakfast, I stayed in my pajamas until 1, and then we went to his parents house for World War Thr... I mean to watch the Patriots game and decorate the tree. Whoop. It was not relaxing or fun. It was stressful. There was lots of yelling about the tree and things falling and things being crooked and... and I have to do that with my own family in one week, and one family's dose of drama is about all I can handle and I much prefer it to be my own family, thankyouverymuch.

Anyways, now the week has begun. My crazy week. I fly home to Texas after work on Friday which means that I now have two and half days to get two weeks worth of things done, including finish shopping, do laundry, pack, get gifts together that I'm taking home, grocery shop for meals this week and for Brian to have food while I'm gone, and bake enough treats for my entire department (100+ people). If anyone has any suggestions about holiday treats that pack well individually and are always a hit, I'd LOVE to hear about them. I need treats for the 8 admin people in our group, plus treats for our janitorial staff and my bus driver (just because they work hard and always have a smile!), and a bunch of more basic treats to put out in the kitchen for our lab.

My camera cord finally came and I uploaded a ton of pictures (dating back to apple picking in October), so I'm going to do a post of picture catch-up.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!

reasons why this saturday is oh-so-lovely.

Reasons Why I Am Loving This Saturday Night

*After a long week of chest cold #2 and being exhausted and worn out, I'm feeling good and like myself again!

*Our third roommate has moved to New Jersey for three months for a work extension program. All I can say is alleluia- the break is needed. I'm excited for this little bit of time that Brian and I have just for us. I spent all day today cleaning and making the place look as close to mine as I could, and it feels GOOD.

*Brian took Level 1 of the CFA exam this morning... make that all day. I drove him into Boston to check in at 8 this morning, he had an hour break around noon, and then I picked him up at 5. He's put 200 hours of studying into this exam, and has openly admitted that he probably put more time into studying for this exam than he did for all of his studying through college... and he studied a lot. I was so nervous that I would pick him up and he would be in a horrible mood, but my wonderful boy was ALL SMILES. Seriously, my prayers were answered. Every time I thought about him today, I sent a little prayer his way, for him to be focused, to be calm, to not be overwhelmed... Needless to say, he whistled and chatter-boxed the entire way home, so I'm thinking we're pretty confident :) He won't find out the results until mid-January, but he said tons of kids were walking out with him, talking about how hard it was, and that he just really didn't feel like it was all that difficult.

We're both so glad that it's over-- I'm the easily-rattled one in our relationship. In the three years that we've been together, I've seen him worked up enough times that I could count on one hand. These last few days, he's been completely nervous and on edge. To know that he feels confident and so relieved that it's finally over is an answer to my prayers, indeed.

*I'm sitting on the couch with a lovely (large) glass of red wine, waiting for Brian to wrap up playing on his XBOX so that we can go to dinner at our favorite dinner spot. A night with my boy, stress free? Sign me up, please.

*I decorated for Christmas today. We're getting our Christmas tree tomorrow and going to breakfast, and then I'll put all of our ornaments and such on (my favorite part)-- love. Love it. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and I'm really getting back in touch with the real and true reason for the season, which I feel like too many people tend to forget at times. It makes my heart happy.

*My birthday is next weekend. I will be a quarter of a century old. I'm terrified... yet excited.

*I fly home to Texas for the holidays with my family on the 17th. Although my parents shattered my world and informed me today that they'll be getting a fake Christmas tree (I'm all about the real), I absolutely cannot wait to be home with my family to do all of our lovely holiday things together. Christmas movies, decorating the tree, cooking and eating 'til we burst, Christmas Eve mass... it's what the holidays are all about :)

Two posts in one day is shocking. I'm off to dinner. Au revoir, my friends!

my ladies, my friends... my girls.

I am a true, firm believer in having amazing girlfriends.

There are friends who come and go, friends who you've recently met and are just getting to know, friends who you can maybe call for a girls night out but not for a no-makeup-early-morning brunch... these friends are good to have and are wonderful at bringing you lots of smiles and fun times. As much as they're your friends, they aren't your girls.

Your girls who have seen you through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad. The girls who you know that you could call in tears and that they would do anything in their power to right whatever is wrong, and who would show up at your door with wine and junk food to cheer you up. The girls who are gently honest, managing to find a way to tell you what you need to hear without making you hurt more than you already do. The girls who have seen you through the crazy nights out and the lazy nights in. The girls who are the first in mind when you think of you want to stand by you when you get married, have babies, and get older together.

I'm lucky enough to have a close handful of my girls. They are all wonderfully beautiful and special to me in their own individual ways, which is why I'm so lucky to have them in my life.

One can make me laugh and laugh and knows just which Friends quote to throw my way at random, or to always text stories about how our parents need our dogs to practice on for future grandchildren. She has known me the longest and maybe knows me the best. We've danced through high school football games, picked up late night Sonic and driven all over our tiny hometown, spent more time watching Gilmore Girls in our respective living rooms than we could ever remember to count, and had more of the hilarious-to-us moments and memories that you can really only share with those friends who have known you since forever. We can hold conversations with each other while looking at each other in the mirror while putting on makeup, and I will never judge her for loving peanut butter and cheese sandwiches. She is an amazing and wonderfully beautiful person, inside and out, who is honest and truthful and trustworthy... and I love her for that:

Another never fails to brighten my day with her loving and kind words, always unintentionally exuding this perfect happiness, which comes from how full she is of love and happiness and God in her own life. She shows care, concern for and devotion to her friends, which is more appreciated than she will ever, ever know. When I first met Brian, she was the first to know all of the details, and has supported me through all of my ups and downs of moving across the country. Today has been an emotional rollercoaster (hello, girl week), and right when I needed someone, my phone rang, and it was her. We talked and laughed and cried for an hour and a half, and when we hung up, I felt lighter and happier and uplifted-- she is the special, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime kind of friend who can do that to you, and she has saved my heart more times that I can count. I love her sweet soul to pieces:

Another who has the exact same chipper, positive, happy personality and outlook on life that she had when I first met her in 6th grade orchestra, with me at the cello and her at the violin. Girlfriend is so amazingly intelligent and is currently in med school (so proud of her!), and you better believe that I will do everything I can to see her graduate! We always always make a date to meet up when I'm at home, and I always know to set aside at least three hours for our coffee/lunch/catch-up extravaganza, and I look forward to it from the second that we say goodbye to the second that we meet again. She is just a wonderful person inside and out, and we have the kind of friendship where we just pick right back up where we left off the last time that we were together:

This lady has known me since kindergarten-- we met fighting over a red crayon and were inseparable from there on out. We were together through all of the dramatics of school-- first crushes, first kisses, first breakups. Skinned knees and broken hearts, Barbie dream houses and riding our bikes to the neighborhood park without our parents (big stuff). I'll never forget the time she tried to roller blade down Suicide Hill or when we were walking her dog and he ran into a neighbor's backyard, complete with a huge dog, and we ran to the front door screaming to call 911. We hit big bumps in middle school and went our separate ways in high school, but once we grew up and realized that it was okay for our worlds to be different, I was one of the first to be called when her sweet baby Abigail Rose was born. We still talk and see each other and even though we may not be quite as close as we are with others, we will both always be each others firsts best friends, and that's a pretty fabulous title to hold:

As I stated earlier, this morning was a bit rough. I'm missing my friends at home so much, and talking to Keegan brightened my afternoon. It made me think about how truly blessed I am to have such wonderful women in my life. I wouldn't trade my friendships with these ladies for the world, not only because we've been through so much together, but simply because they're my girls. And really, how fun is it to go through life without your girls right there with you, along for the crazy, fun, tragically fabulous ride?