So, after having 4 Thanksgiving meals, shopping all day Friday and going out Friday night.. oooobviously I couldn't wait to wake up bright and early Saturday morning to drive 3 hours to Asheville, NC.
Just kidding- I actually was pretty stoked on it. Mainly because we were going to the Biltmore Estate. Andrew and I were there this past February, but sadly he had to work and couldn't make it this trip. But the whole fam was there so it was a big ol' bucket of fun. Even if we were only in Asheville long enough to tour the 876324934 square foot mansion (why yes, I am too lazy to look up the actual square footage) and then drive alll the way back home on little to no sleep.
Like any other proper road trip, we stopped by Crackel Barrel for some country cooking on the way. I swear, you just can't beat their hash brown casserole. Plus, while you wait you can talk yourself into purchasing candy from 1934 and all kinds of other stuff you totally need.
Here are my sisters kiddos- well one is hers and the other two are her fiances.
Obviously they needed these hats. Who am I to judge? If my big head could of fit in the sock monkey one I would have made it mine.
Outside the Biltmore waiting in line.
I may or may not have rang the door bell once, twice, a couple times. Something about being with your parents makes you feel fearless I tell ya.
Now, I must tell you guys that taking pictures inside the Biltmore Estate is quite possibly jail-time worthy. Absolutely not tolerated. Forbidden. A not messin' around- thrown out on your rear- type of an offense. Buuuuttttt... I did it anyways. A couple at least. Yes, I got yelled at a few times but you know what.. I have gone there a handful of times and NEVER got a single picture and by golly, it's Christmas and those trees were fab so suck it, Biltmore.
This place had an indoor pool and bowling alley.
Excuse me for quoting Charlie Sheen again, but- #winning!
And then we drove 3 hours back home. But not before we stopped at some BBQ place where I ate approximately 39874 hushpuppies.
If you want honesty- I was about to skip this whole post.
First of all, with all these lazy people Cyber Monday shopping (I only say that because I woke my tard ass up at 4:30am on Black Friday.. and i may or may not have participated today as well ) I feel like my computer is moving at a snails pace. Uploading a single picture took ions off my life.
Secondly, who wants to add yet another 'thankful' post to the 7,298 they have already read? Let's say I did write one- then I would be like 'oh, gosh, gotta mention uncle bart, if he reads this he will be pissed.. and I have to give that guy at McDonalds a shout out because he let me have the last ketchup.' I have mad guilt problems.
So I'm going to keep it simple and to the point.
Thankfulness + a mini Thanksgiving recap
Waking up Thanksgiving morning to the most amazing friends + family texts wishing Andrew and I a happy Thanksgiving :) I love the personal ones so much better than the group texts you know were sent to you just because you happened to give them your number to ease some sort of awkwardness 4 years ago. Yeah- I'm talking to you awkward ginger from that one bar in Panama City circa Spring Break 08'. You were awkward then and Happy Thanksgiving texts are even more awkward now.
I spent the rest of Thanksgiving morning cooking pan after pan of my famous cornbread to share with 100+ people at all of me and Andrew's THREE Thanksgivings.
My mawmaw @ 12pm
My Nana's @ 2pm
His Granny's @ 6pm
And we were at his dads eating the night before.
I absolutely adore my family and Andrew loves his as well. We are beginning to feel like apart of each others family which prompts a big problem during the holidays- we can't leave a single person out. Hence- 4 different gatherings per holiday. And we some how make it to every.single.one.
If it wasn't so awesome- I would be complaining. But really, as exhausting as it is, we know we are completely blessed beyond words and we try not to take a single second of family time for granite.
While the corn bread was cooking Boots and I began scrolling through some of the Black Friday ads. As you can see, Boots really wants Santa to bring him a fishing pole this year.
My best friend comes to my Nana's every year for Thanksgiving & Christmas. She's been coming since we were in high school and it would be so strange if she didn't! She is considering part of the family. It's so great to see her while she's in town from Chapel Hill.
There were lots of naps taken. Very few by me and many by the guys.
How is it that the women do all the work on Thanksgiving and the men do all the snoozing?
After getting home from all of our Thanksgiving gatherings at midnight Thursday night, my mom, sister and I woke up bright and early to brave the crowds for Black Friday. We were up by 4:30am and at the mall by 5:30am. This was only one haul.. we had to go to the car to drop bags off.. but I'm happy to say that between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, my Christmas shopping is pretty much complete! My bank account of the other hand is so very not complete. It is actually a big fat mess and needs to be replinished ASAP.
Tis the season, right?
I am so thankful for my friends, family, pets, health, job.. etc.
God has truly blessed me.
I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday!
Every year, weeks before we even stuff our faces with turkey, us ladies attempt to throw ourselves into the Christmas spirit by attending the Southern Christmas Show. Usually this starts off pretty well. We walk in and 'ohhh' and 'awweee' at all the Christmas decor and talk about how 'we just can't wait to get home and decorate!'. But then midway through and 15 wine samples later, all we want to do is punch the group of little old ladies moving 1mph through the only door leading to the exit.
If you ould take a peek into all of the bags we are holding you would find nothing but wine-rita mix. Watermelon wine-rita, pomegranate wine-rita, margarita wine-rita, orange wine-rita... they get you by saying if you 'buy two you get one free' or 'buy five get one free'. Well lookie there, there's 3 of us so it only makes sense to buy these! This happened at every.single.booth. Pshhh, salesmen. They get me every time. Especially this one that started massaging my hands with some new all natural lotion. He could have got me to buy cow shit from him.
They have a Christmas tree decorating contest at the Southern Christmas Show which is one of my favorite parts (besides the little decorated doll houses above). Each tree has a theme and the above were a couple that I really liked. Andrew received a picture text of the one on the left with the caption: "This reminds me of you- don't get any ideas though." The joys of dating a redneck. The tree on the right was just really beautifully decorated with white owls.
There was also a section where people decorated full rooms for Christmas. It was hard to get any shots of them because all the people hovering in front but I made a point to get a shot of this one above. It is beach themed and completely gorgeous. Full of Carolina blue and burlap. Ahh-mazing.
Now, I think it's about time for a wine-rita.
[this post was prescheduled- I'm not actually drinking wine at 10am on a Monday. Unfortunately.]
According to my google search it's scarves. So we'll just go with that. Why is the English language so weird? No wonder half the country is converting to spanish.
Anyyyyways, my grandma is a master scarf maker. Well she's a master blanket, tablecloth, sweater, Christmas ornanment maker.. but for this post at least, scarves are going to reign supreme. Her scarf making abilities are insane. She's tried to teach me but God left me lackin' in the patience department so I'll just stick to purchasing mine, thank you. Except for those that are gifted by her, which naturally, a lot of them are. Grandma's just really like to give you things. With that said, I'd love to challenge any of you to a 'who has the bombdest scarf collection competition.' Bombdest? Yeah, that's like greatest but way more awesome. I haven't trade marked it yet- so it's free game.
Saturday, I woke up bright and early to help my grandparents at a chuch craft show. Let me just tell you, people love crafts. That place was BUSY. I wasn't really much help. When asked even the simplest questions ("are these knitted or crocheted?") I looked at them doe eyed not having a clue of the difference between the two. But hey, I got to spend time with my Nana and Papa and really that's all that matters. They won't be around forever so, go, go spend time with yours.
The craft show we were in was Christmas themed and let me tell you- they must not have been able to afford a snow machine and wanted to try to make their own because that place was FREEZIN! I kept 'modeling' the merchandise and as time went on, the more merchandise I had on increased.. but the time the end rolled around I looked like the ambominable snowman. Best part? Nana said I could keep everything I was wearing CHA-CHING! I just love that woman.
P.S. my grandpa doesn't really smile like that- he thinks he's funny.. and he is. Where do you think I get my wonderful sense of humor from? Ba-hahaa
If you don't want to follow me anymore after reading this post, I totally understand. After all, blogging requires having some what of a life and this is proof that I, in fact, do not have one of those.
Most exciting thing that's happened at my job thus far (which will be a year Dec. 9!)? Getting a new coffee machine! This machine is so bad ass that Starbucks and I may break up forever- holiday cups and all. Did I just hear you all gasp? Oh, the horror. But seriously, you press little buttons and it will make you a carmel vanilla latte frothy espresso with whip cream in 20 seconds flat and you don't even get judging looks from the person behind you for being so high maintenance. That is pure bliss right there. I may or may not have had 4 cups the first day. And I also may or may not have had a kit kat for breakfast.
Guess what else happened this week? I, along with every other preteen that apparently can sleep through their first period math class, went to see the Breaking Dawn 2 premiere. Without giving away any spoilers I just want to say IT. WAS. AMAZING. Best movie I have seen in YEARS. I laughed, I cried, I almost had an anxiety attack in the theatre.. I couldn't have asked for a better movie. Way to go out with a bang Bella. You rock in my books.
This is what I wore to see the premiere. Comfy and casual, just like I like it.
Sweater- Target, last year
Chambray top- Old Navy
Jeans- Old Navy Rockstar Skinnies
Boots- Steve Madden, last year
This is how I have been spending my lunch breaks:
Holiday shopping online and sending Andrew little subtle hints.
Haha, subtle my right butt cheek!
I have also been gearing up for Black Friday! My office gives 'Performance Points' for being awesome at life and I've been extra awesome this year so I saved them all up to get gift cards right before black friday so I can hopefully get all my shopping done without swiping a card!
I'm totally dreaming- but hey, this will at least help!
With my packed schedule I've been maintaining lately (sarcasm, folks.) you are going to be blown away when I tell you this..
I have watched 2 entire seasons of The Walking Dead! I had to catch up with season 3 (which is on now) because I heard it was the best show on TV. Not one to miss a trend or be left out of a conversation, I had to jump on the bandwagon. You know what? It is a pretty freakin awesome show. I'm obsessed. Plus it has put a lot of things in perspective for me. Things such as what am I going to do if the zombies attack? Is my house built to with stand a hungry walker? Am I surrounding myself with people that will be helpful when said zombie enters my home? Am I prepared for this? Do I need to take a gun class? Work out? Stock pile some food? Do zombies eat animals? What will I do with my animals? Etc. etc. etc....
I have also been dreaming about them every night. One night I literally woke up 5 times with all my covers on the floor. Apparently I was getting a good work out running from those bastards at all hours of the night.
Andrew has probably wondered why I don't roll my eyes quite as much when he talks about buying a new gun for his collection every .5 seconds. I think I am beginning to see that growing collection in a whole new light.
So.. I've been drinking lots of coffee, preparing to shop with all the absolutely insane women in the world at 4am, and I've been watching lots of vampires and zombies on tv..
I spent all day with 5 of my most favorite people in the whole wide world!
My best friend Grace came in town from Raleigh, Danielle and Joe came down from Concord, and John joined Andrew and I from.. right down the street. But you get the point- I got to see all those lame tards that have moved away from me!
We spent the day at a local vineyard drinking copious amounts sampling wine and chasing frolicking horses through a maze of grape vines.
They had these wine-ritas that were deeee-lish. I swear, 7-Eleven needs to start putting these in their slushie machines. They even sold kits where you can make them at home and they freeze right there in your freezer. Yep, I'll be making some trips back this summer to stock up. Seriously, obsessed. They had 8 different wines for us to sample and then of course we had little wine-rita to try. I personally am a fan of red wines (melot to be specific) but I found myself loving their whites too!
We had the privilege of learning all about how they make the wine at Treehouse vineyards- strategically enough, they do this portion before the tasting. Very smart Treehouse, very smart. I actually found myself fasinated by the mini lesson in making wine. Did you know that a longer shelf life usually doesn't mean the wine is any better? What matters is how the weather was at that particular vineyard on the year it was bottled. The dryer the vineyard- the happier the wine!
There! Learned ya somethin' today!
After we left the vineyard, we were cold and starving! Danielle's family is from New Orleans and her dad is the King of Cajun. We went back to her house and her dad made us the most amazing meal I think I have ever had. Like seriously, I have been having dreams about this meal ever since. He made bbq shrimp and shrimp po boys. Watching us eat was embarassing- all I'm saying that if someone lifted up the pan to lick it I wouldn't have batted an eyelash- that's how amazing this food was. I also have to give credit where credit is due- Grace made those stuffed mushrooms. She makes them every year for my familys Thanksgiving and Christmas and I completely devour them, so I was estactic to get them on a random weekend! Like I said, best weekend ever.
After we ate we sat around the fire pit and just talked and laughed for hours. It was so nice. This was one of those weekends where you look around and you can't help but feel so incredibly blessed. Blessed for the people in your life, blessed for the weather and the place you call home, and blessed for the food you are able to put on your table.
It's one of those times you can't help but sigh and say, "I just love my life."