Our Weekend

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I look forward to celebrating it all year long!

Since it’s not recognized here in the UK we celebrate it on the Saturday. We make it a potluck meal where Will and I provide the turkey and a dessert (Will’s mom’s coconut pecan pie!) and everyone else provides the rest. I love how everyone really gets into it! We had friends this year that wanted to run a recipe by us to make sure it was a “proper” recipe! Stuff like that warms my heart – and my belly!

This year we had a “smaller” gathering – 16 people – and had it start earlier in the day than normal. It worked out better that way for Liam. Who, by the way, was an absolute gem the whole time! He’s such a little charmer!

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Photo Credit: Julian thanksgivingweekend2015-3_zpskvt0sgjw

We all ate waaaaaay too much, went around in a circle saying something we’re thankful for, ate dessert, had a little whisky tasting, and just hung out! It was such a great time; probably one of my favourite Thanksgivings.

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Of course, that night was not so great – as in Liam woke up crying at midnight and would not let me put him down. So I spent the rest of the night on the couch with Liam in my arms, sitting up and trying to rock him to sleep. I may have gotten about three hours of actual sleep that night. All three of us have been battling some sort of cold so this didn’t help. But luckily it was Sunday and we were able to abandon all responsibilities that whole day. Will did have to go lead worship in the morning service, but when he came back, with treats from the shop, we ate Thanksgiving leftovers, watched Florida State destroy Florida (as they do), got some extra baby snuggles in, Facetimed with family, and put up our Christmas tree!

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Will ended up putting up 95% of the ornaments while I was messing with the camera’s self-timer and posing for this picture – hahaha! #keepingitreal

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Oh man I love our crooked little tree!

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I’ve never been one to enjoy decorating the tree. We’d always wait until the last minute and I’d purposefully try to avoid helping my mom put it up. Now, I’m always so eager to do it. I think it’s a combination of bringing out our broken, fake tree with not enough branches that we bought our second year here in Edinburgh because we didn’t have a tree our first year; while trying to string up the too-small lights we bought with the tree in a way that make it seem more lit up, but doesn’t; and the process of going through our little box of ornaments that were either gifts from friends, tokens from our travels, pictures of memorable events, and/or handmedowns from our childhood. All of that combined makes me so keen to put up our tree and decorate it!

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It was a wonderful weekend! I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend too!

This weekend will be all about getting ready for our trip to Richmond AND celebrating Will’s birthday!!!!!

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Our Christmas Holiday in Richmond

Will and I (and Liam, of course) are heading back to Richmond for Christmas next month! We’re really looking forward to our families seeing Liam, some for the first time. I can’t believe how much he’s changed in these first six months so I know our parents are going to love seeing him again being more alert and interactive!

But, in getting excited about our trip back to Richmond, I realised that I forgot to share about our trip last year (oooops).

So, last year was great. I had JUST gotten over being sick and my belly was starting to show. It worked out really well. It was our first Christmas back in four years so there were a lot of things we were looking forward to: family dinners, family decorations, family christmas traditions – pretty much all things family!
 Will and I had spent the previous three Christmases just the two of us and albeit some of my favourite holiday memories with him, it was nice to spice things up a bit with being with our families. We consider ourselves pretty lucky that both sets of parents not only live in the same city BUT they’re friends and hang out all the time!!

We arrived on the 23rd and unfortunately jet lag kicked my butt and I could barely keep my eyes open past 8pm our whole time there. But we hit the ground running and managed to have joint dinners nearly every night, catch up with most everyone we wanted to, and got to see some FSU football together – go Noles! My brother came down from New York twice to be with us and that was really special – I legitimately can’t get enough of that guy.

I am blessed with two moms that really know how to make my belly happy! Between my mother-in-law’s southern comfort food and my mom’s puerto rican comfort food I pretty much had to be rolled out of Richmond. On top of that, I indulged in corned beef hash and eggs nearly every morning, with the occasional morning of waffles for breakfast. It was bliss! I joked that my bigger belly at the end of the trip was not entirely baby… maybe 75% of it was baby? ;)

One of the more exciting parts of this trip was that I would be spending New Year’s Eve dancing the night away with my closest friends! With three out of four of us not living in Richmond anymore (Tennessee, Oregon, and me in Scotland) it’s unlikely for us to find ourselves in the same place. BUT, this New Year’s Eve it happened. We put on our false eyelashes, curled our hair, applied our brightest red lipstick, and danced the night away! It was bliss! I think that was my most favorite New Year’s Eve EVER!

Deep down inside Will was looking forward to dancing ;)

“I’ve never felt more attractive” – Stacey
“Wow. Our faces move like that.” – Leslie

That night was only made better by dragging Will out of bed at 8am to go to Waffle House the next morning! Will might have hated me that morning, but it was for the baby ;) And it was Waffle House!! Note: I definitely plan on introducing Liam to Waffle House on this trip!

The last time we were back in RVA we didn’t take one family picture. This time we got the talented Amy Robinson to take our pictures. Aren’t we all so beautiful?!! I really do love my family!

Photo Cred: Amy Robinson

I also got my friend, Leslie to take some bump pictures for me. Oh my cute little baby bump!

All in all it was a wonderful trip back to Richmond and a wonderful Christmas! Will and I are looking forward to going back and having Liam with us – outside of my belly this time ;)

The Company Xmas Party (AKA: P-Diddy Style 2K14)

So, y’all might hate me but I’m currently in Venice… with my love! Yep, Will and I found this great deal on Groupon and jumped on the chance to go; especially since it’s drowning/sinking. We met up in London yesterday and flew out this morning. I can’t believe I’m here! It’s one of the places I’ve always dreamed of going. Eeeeeek!

But, I figured now would be as good a time as any to tell you about the company christmas party.

Remember last year’s work Christmas party?

Well, this year was no different. However, I did stay up later (1:30am!) and I enjoyed myself a ton more this year… for a few reasons: more people from the office came, I got to wear the same dress as last year, and my office won second place for business unit of the year!!

Also, the guys wore their kilts! I love kilts!

Note: none of these pictures are mine. I’m borrowing them from my coworkers and the photographer the company hired.

I’m so proud of us!!

The Edinburgh and Belfast staff


I’m pretty sure a Whitney Houston song was playing at this point.

This year was so much fun! Having more people from the office come down made it a ton better than last year.

It also didn’t hurt being acknowledged for all of the hard work we had done that year… on a stage… in front of everyone… with a professional photographer clicking away… while holding an award. I’m just saying ;)

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas was a great one. Christmas Eve we had some friends over for a potluck dinner.

Then it was Christmas morning!!

Ha, look at how sad our fake Christmas tree looks! Will and I decided to get a fake one this year but went super cheap and so our tree super sucks. But, we live and we learn and we get better trees the following year. Last year we didn’t get a tree so this is still an upgrade.
Do you like our awesome wrapping jobs? Both of us ended up getting the other’s gift on Christmas Eve. I had one of Will’s friends pick his up for me and bring it over when he came over for the potluck dinner. Will left our flat without telling me (I discovered this when I called his name and realized I was alone) and when he came back out of breath I knew what was up… my present was here! Needless to say, the Trader Joe’s bag and the UR blanket made for easy clean up; and that’s important.

Will got me some Hunter wellies and I added to his whiskey collection! We also had a couple extra gifts from a friend and my secret santa at work. Both Will and I get frustrated with how stressful the Christmas season can feel and have decided that we want our Christmases be as simple as possible and one way we’ve decided to do that is to get each other only one gift. That way we can give one really nice thing without breaking the bank.
The rest of the day was spent lounging and listening to music and crafting. I had bought a bunch of jars from various charity shops to fill them up with various food but had them grouped on my counter taking up precious space.

Well, I wanted to label them and when I saw this picture on Pinterest I thought I’d give it a go. Chalkboard’s really trendy right now, right?

So, what do you think?
I hated it. It didn’t look nice or clean. Fail.
Then, I remembered I have an awesome typewriter and decided to try that. Ta daaaaaa!

I liked it. Or at least I liked it more than the chalkboard labels. Will thinks the labels are unnecessary and part of me agrees with him but I wanted to try it out.

So, what do you think? Did you like the chalkboard labels or did they do less than nothing for you too?

Have you tried any Pinterest ideas? Which ones? Did they work out?

Christmastime

After Will’s graduation we celebrated the “official” start of Christmastime in Edinburgh. The German market opened their doors, the Highland Fair started up their rides, and the city turned on the lights!

It’s really a magical time here for Christmas; an all of it was kicked off with a parade. Now, I’d love to be able to explain to following pictures but I can’t. Sorry.

And, of course, in true Edinburgh fashion, there were fireworks!

This is probably the only good thing about the sun setting so early (3:30/4p), there’s more time to see all of the Christmas lights on!