Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 in Review

To prepare for the start of 2012 this weekend, I thought I'd do a little recap of all the fun things that happened in 2011.

Corey and I rang in the New Year in Atlantic City with some friends. It was so much fun! Unfortunately, my camera had a little mishap and the only pictures I got were a Blackberry photo of Corey and I right before midnight and a rather drunken photo of our friend blowing a party horn.

Corey visited me in Greenville, for what would be the last time while I was living there (even though we didn't know it yet.) We visited with old friends, ate at our favorite restaurants, and then he surprised me when he told me he'd made an appointment at my favorite jewelry store in Charlotte to browse at engagement settings.

I said goodbye to my gorgeous Greenville, SC townhouse, including garden tub and massive walk in closet.

After this unfortunate incident (when a utility van's emergency brake failed and it literally flew into the back of my townhouse) and then moved in with my parents for several months.

I started my blog, even though I thought no one would want to read it, and connected with so many fabulous ladies.
First Life with Elizabeth header.

Riley celebrated his first birthday with a gourmet doggie birthday cookie and lots of presents. 

I started the forever long process of job interviewing in New Jersey. And had my first flight cancellation, during a New Jersey snowstorm.

I went to visit Corey for a weekend and he planned a romantic getaway for us at Crystal Springs Golf Resort. He proposed and made me the happiest girl in the world!

I traveled to Knoxville to spend some time with my fabulous big and grandbig from my sorority and have some much needed girl time. 

I finished up the school year with my sweet first graders. I said goodbye to them as they became second graders and as I packed up my classroom to become a New Jersey resident.

I traveled to New Jersey to spend the weekend with Corey and we scored awesome seats to a Yankees game.

I started my daily commute from Charlotte to Greenville and spent most of the month in a blur dominated by interstate mile markers.

I spent 4th of July weekend in New Jersey with Corey and his family and relaxed at the lake, enjoying the four days between Summer I and Summer II, when I had no homework or assignments due.

Corey took me on a romantic picnic in Central Park.

I packed my belongings into a moving truck and shipped them to New Jersey. Corey moved into our apartment and I headed back south to finish my master's.

I flew to New York with my Maid of Honor and found the most perfect wedding dress ever at Kleinfeld.

I spent 20 hours a week in my car commuting from Charlotte to Greenville and home from Greenville to Charlotte finishing up my last semester of my master's degree and flew to New Jersey every weekend.

We celebrated our engagement with fifty close friends and family at an engagement party hosted by my parents.

Corey and I spent a week in the North Carolina Outer Banks with some friends then drove north to my new home in Hoboken.

I received my diploma in the mail, since I chose not to walk at graduation because I missed Corey and was ready to move! I earned a Masters of Arts in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood.

Hoboken was evacuated when Hurricane Irene headed towards New York. Riley, Corey, and I took refuge with Corey's parents and had some quality family time, while we hid inside as the high speed winds set off tornado sirens.

I was finally offered a job, which I accepted, and absolutely hated. I came home crying with banana in my hair almost every day.

Corey and I flew home for the weekend, met some friends for a Clemson tailgate and game.

Corey's raise went into effect so I sent in my resignation while we were out of town. It was a huge relief.

We took our engagement pictures and the weather was perfect!

We returned to New Jersey and I applied for some recent teaching openings. Within a week, I was hired as a Kindergarten teacher and was back in the classroom where I belong!

We celebrated Corey's 27th birthday. I baked him a butterfinger cake and surprised him by giving him the Tag Heuer watch he'd been dreaming over.

It snowed five inches on Halloween weekend! This doesn't happen in South Carolina so it was a complete shock to me. We headed out to enjoy the Halloween festivities anyway, but my cute costume stayed home.

We celebrated my 24th birthday! It was lots of fun and I'm so glad I could share it with Corey. He spoiled me rotten and surprised me with the Michael Kors bag I'd been coveting.
I spent my first Thanksgiving away from my family but was happy to share it with Corey's family in New Jersey.

I came home from Thanksgiving dinner and decorated our apartment for Christmas the very next day.
My mom came to visit and experienced Manhattan for the first time. She even got to see the Rockefeller tree!
Corey and I traveled south to spend Christmas with my family. It was the first Christmas we spent together!

I got to see my two Maids of Honor at the same time, shop for bridesmaids dresses, and catch up with both of them.

What a fabulous year its been. have big shoes to fill!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Highlights

Corey, Riley, and I made it home late Tuesday night. Our flight was delayed, as per the usual. While we were waiting for our flight, I met a really sweet girl in the lobby area who was on her way to Hoboken, too. Her boyfriend just moved in a building a block from where Corey and I live and she's a teacher so she'll be moving to Hoboken to be closer to him at the end of the school year. Serious de-ja-vu as I was in the exact same position last year. How neat.

The holidays were wonderful. Corey and I flew out on Friday when we got off work. I was super nervous because it was the first time we have flown with Riley. He was super well behaved and took a nap in his carrier and didn't make a single sound the entire flight. Our flight was delayed on the way out, too, but my mom had heavy hors'doeuvres waiting on us.

On Christmas Eve, Corey and I woke up early and met my cousin, aunt, and uncle for a yummy Southern breakfast and exchanged gifts. Then, we headed to the Panthers game, where we had awesome complimentary club level seats.
My mom always does a more fancy dinner on Christmas Eve. She made cornish game hens, which is a meal she learned to make for my father soon after they got married because it was one of his favorites. After dinner, my mom gave me an antique cameo broach that my dad gave her for their fifth anniversary to use as my "something old."

We slept in late on Sunday morning. Then, had a big breakfast in our pajamas before opening presents. I left my camera charger in New Jersey so I didn't take many pictures this Christmas. Corey's Tag Heuer watch was supposed to be birthday and Christmas but I surprised him with a new pair of shoes he'd been eyeing up and personalized collar stays for his work shirts. He wore the collar stays this morning when he went back to work and had so much fun choosing the two sweet messages he wanted to wear first.

I was a super spoiled girl this year for Christmas. My big gift from Corey were these diamond earrings. They match a ring I wear on my right hand and a necklace I wear often. I was so surprised and excited we he gave them to me.
 He also gave me the Lord and Taylor cashmere scarf on my wish list:
My parents gave me some spending money and they gave me the Clarisonic Mia 2, which I have to say I am completely loving!
Corey's parents surprised me with a cute pair of Ralph Lauren ruffled gloves in camel, a gift certificate so I can buy the flat black boots I've been dying for, and this pretty French Connection sweater dress. 

My aunt, uncle, and cousin made me smile when I opened their presents and found some pretty personalized serving pieces with the initial "W" on them for my new last name! It made me really excited to think all my personalized items will have a "W" instead of an "L" so soon!

Riley had a very happy Christmas, too. He enjoyed gourmet doggie cookies, rawhide gingerbread men, and lots of new squeaky toys.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bridal Talk Tuesday - Christmas Gifts for the Bridesmaids

Life with Elizabeth
Happy Bridal Talk Tuesday ladies! Corey, Riley, and I are headed home to Hoboken this afternoon after a fun time at home. My Maids of Honor and I had a fun time shopping for bridesmaids dresses yesterday so expect an update on those next week!

I am so grateful for all my bridesmaids are doing for me and to help with the wedding. They are really too sweet! Being a bridesmaid takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money once dresses and accessories, travel, and shower contributions are taken into consideration. I appreciate all my girls are doing and value it so much - especially since they are all in graduate or law school.

To show them how much I love and appreciate them this Holiday season, I picked out monogrammed pashmina scarves from Marley Lilly. Marley Lilly is based out of Greenville, South Carolina where I went to college so I've seen these cute pashminas floating around for a couple years now but know my girls didn't have one. I facebook stalked them to see what colors of pashminas already showed up in their photos and then picked out a unique color for every girl.

Then I wrapped them up in cute paper, included a personal note about how excited I was to have each of them standing beside me during our wedding, and delivered or shipped the packages as necessary. 

I uploaded this through the mobile blogger ap for iPhone and can't figure out how to rotate it. Oops.

My girls seemed to love their new scarves and I loved being able to share a gift with each of them halfway through the wedding planning process. Gifts for the bridesmaids don't just have to come on wedding weekend, after all.

Wank to join in on the Bridal Talk? Grab the button, link back to Life with Elizabeth, and link up below!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Home for the Holidays!

Corey, Riley, and I are headed home to South Carolina for the holidays after work today! I am beyond excited to see my family and enjoy some Southern hospitality! It has been too long!

We are in the Holiday spirit at work today! The tree is up and the stockings are hung.

Best of all, Santa stopped by the school to make an appearance and hand out toys donated by Toys for Tots and a faculty fundraiser.

Corey and I feel very blessed this Holiday season. What a wonderful year we've had! Happy holidays to your family from ours! Love, Corey and Elizabeth (and Riley, too!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm still here!

Just in case you were wondering where Bridal Talk Tuesday was today or worried that I've abandoned my blog - don't worry!

I'm STILL sick! And pretty much haven't had the energy to pick up my computer after work. Riley is sick also so what little free time I've had has been spent taking care of him and taking him to the vet. (And persisting that the vet give him an antibiotic - he has a UTI).

We'll be back to normal tomorrow or Thursday - just in time for the holidays! My kids have been crafting up a storm as they learn about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas so check back after the holidays to see all the cute things we've been doing.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thoughts for Friday

I am absolutely ecstatic that it is Friday today! I have been so worn out from being sick this week but didn't miss any work so I am completely worn out.

Corey and I have a fun weekend ahead. I really love New York this time of year. It was this weekend las year that I visited Corey here for the first time after he accepted his current job and relocated. It seemed like he was going to be living far away from each other for such along time. We've come so far!

I painted my nails Essie's Jag-U-Are last night. It's the perfect holiday red - with just the right amount of sparkle!

I'm a lover of Seche Vite topcoat. It's so sparkly and makes my manicure look professional every time. I picked up a new bottle yesterday and noticed a warring on the back of the box - "This product contains a chemical that is known to cause birth defects in California." I'd never noticed it before - but something to commit to memory for five or so years ;)

Corey and I are hosting Christmas for his family tonight. His sister is teaching in Thailand and they've decided to meet her in Amsterdam for the Holidays. We're making baled brie en croute for an appetizer, pork loin, rosemary roasted potatoes, and garlic roasted asparagus. His mom is bringing something delicious for dessert. I cleaned our apartment last night and it is spotless. And the fun place settings are ready!

Hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The best time of the year!

Happy Thursday girls! I can't believe the week is almost over but boy am I glad! Six work days until Holiday break from work. And I am so glad. To be honest, I haven't been feeling like my normal cheerful self this week. I've had a yucky cold and cough all week long and then received a huge student loan bill in the mail (the first one where the payment due date was right around the corner and not way in the future.) I'd really like to have a rant session right now but instead, I browsed my Christmas Pinterest board to remember why this is the best time of the year.

Pretty, classic decorations.

Fancy wrapped presents.

Pretty tablescapes for sharing meals with family and friends.

Cute, cheesy crafts for the kids in my class to make.

Fun snacks to make and enjoy.

And a sweet fiance and puppy to snuggle with beside our lit tree.