Monday, December 30, 2013

Bring it, 2014.

First, I must start today's post by wishing my sweet fiancé a Happy Birthday! 24 years ago today, my sweet man graced us with his presence and I am quite happy that he did! We're off to his parents tonight for his annual birthday dinner (he's requested ribs and ice cream cake this year) and we'll of course do some celebrating tomorrow night, too.

Christian - I love you so much and I cannot wait to see what this next year of life brings for us. I hope you have the most wonderful day and I cannot wait to spend 100 more years of birthdays together :) 

Now onward to my goals for 2014. I'm not one for resolutions. I've attempted them before and I've never gotten past a few weeks of January so that's not really what I want to do this year. I DO have some resolution-type goals but I don't want to overwhelm myself with a million resolutions that I feel have to start on January 1. 

And while browsing Pinterest, I found this graphic and I love the idea behind it. 

And here we go!

A bad habit I'm going to break: Biting my nails. I'm a serious nail biter. Anytime you've seen my nails in pictures, they're quite fake. I did try to stop biting my nails last spring because I couldn't afford to get them done, but I still failed and they always looked like crap. BUT this year, I'm going to be a wife and I've decided wives don't bite their nails (okay, I know tons do but I'm convincing myself they don't)! 

A new skill I'd like to learn: HTML. I would love to be able to make tweaks to my design if I ever decide it needs it (I'm still WAY obsessed with my design from Erin, ps) but mainly, I want to gain this skill for my resume.What I want to do in life apparently requires HTML, CSS, Adobe and more that I just never learned in college when most people do. (I definitely picked the wrong major for what I want to do)

A person I hope to be more like: Me. I want to be more secure in myself. I want to do what I want to do. And not in a selfish way where I'm being whiny and demanding, but in a way where being me, helps everyone else. I've always wanted to be some kind of volunteer, so this year I'll do it. I've always wanted to cook a lot, so this year I'll do it. I've always wanted to be more organized, so this year I'll do it. You get the point. I want to go after my goals and grow and learn and become the best version of myself I've ever been. 

A good deed I'm going to do: I want to volunteer to help with some sort of cancer events, hopefully lung cancer. I also would let to lend a hand at a women's shelter and next Christmas, Christian and I would like to donate a lot of toys to children who don't have a lot. 

A place I'd like to visit: Washington, DC! Our travel budget for this year is quite slim since we'll be going on a phenomenal honeymoon in October, but since his sister lives in DC we have a place to stay! She even told us over Christmas to just give her a call when we're on the way and she'll be ready. Obviously, we'll give her a better heads up but I'm already super excited!

A book I'd like to read: Anything and everything. My goal here is actually going to be to read one book a month this year, at least. I LOVE to read and in high school, this would have been a silly goal because I read way more than that. But with college and then real life, reading was pushed aside much to my displeasure. So this year, I'm taking it back! 

A letter I'm going to write: One I'll never send. There have been some people in my family who really hurt me, my parents and my little brother and I'm not sure any of us will ever be able to forgive them. But, this year, I'd like to write that letter that will never be seen by them to get all my feelings out on paper and hopefully help me start moving on and stop holding a grudge because grudges only hurt me. 

A new food I'd like to try: I'd actually just like to start eating healthier. I'm not going to get too crazy with this one or it would turn into a typical resolution, but Christian and I have been talking about our terrible diet and we really need to fix it. I'm going to start with limiting our eating out (which I can do easily when we make time to grocery shop) and then buying fresher ingredients to cook with! 

I'm going to do better at: Staying positive. I've been struggling at work (with no liking my job... at. all.) and it's been really hard not to let it get me down. I spend a lot of time being angry, annoyed, frustrated and any other negative emotion you can think off. On top of this, I've had trouble with the job hunt and it's made me feel really down about myself. This year, I'm going to remember that everything happens for a reason and I will get the job I'm supposed to get! 

And I have one more goal to add here that's not on this list: Start a new job. It was mentioned above and I've mentioned it a few times before but this year I will find a job that fits me and is something I love to do. And I won't dump on myself in the meantime. 

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Hangover.

I cannot believe that Christmas has already come and gone. How? Where did it go? HOW is it almost January?! I'm shocked.

This Christmas was wonderful getting to spend it with both of our families as well as just each other. Everyone really considered this our "first Christmas" that you usually get once you're married so we got some wonderful joint presents that we are excited about!

I do want to rewind slightly to Friday night since I felt like it was acceptable not to show up here Friday OR Monday...

Friday night we had Christmas with our great friends Sam and Jeremy. First, we had decided to exchange ornaments this year since our little trees are so bare still! They got us an adorable "D" ornament and then a little dice ornament - too cute! Then we had dinner followed by some of the best Oreo cheesecake I've ever had! I should have just eaten that for dinner like I originally planned. It was heavenly. Then, we headed out to the Speedway for the lights!

It was so redneck.. or Southern... whatever you choose to call it! But, it was quite fun looking at the lights and getting to drive out on the track!

Saturday, Christian and I spent the morning shopping at the outlets and getting some stuff for ourselves as well as others! Sunday, of course, I worked all day but I did end up getting a two hour lunch break instead of an hour and I went to Christian's parents house for a steak and potato! 

Monday, I was running around Charlotte like a crazy person trying to finish up the last bit of my Christmas shopping and oh my word it was so crazy out there! My parents also got to Charlotte Monday evening and we went over to my aunt's house to visit. I also asked my little cousin, Miley, and her brother's to be in the wedding! 

We got home pretty late and went straight to bed. Originally, I was scheduled to work 9a to 8p on Christmas Eve but luckily, I was able to switch the day out for Friday and had 3 days off for Christmas! So after sleeping in a bit, I made some slutty brownies and headed over to my grandparents house to see the whole family! 

After a day just hanging out by the fire, helping where we were needed and helping mom make sausage balls, my uncle and his fiancĂ© made us a fabulous dinner! Once we were done eating, it was present time - my favorite time, of course! 

We always go youngest to oldest and with my grandparents, 4 kids, their significant others and the kids (my brother and I) and now their kids' significant other's (Christian), it gets to be quite a long process, but boy is it fun! Sadly, I got a solid zero pictures of present time. But, I got one of my uncle's basset hound sleeping at my feet. 

We finally finished up presents around 12:30 and Christian and I didn't get home until about 1am. We were exhausted. But, that didn't stop me from putting my new heated blanket on my bed that my brother gave me. Honestly, that may be my favorite present ever.. Christian likes to keep it at about 60 degrees and I would prefer about 72 degrees so obviously, we needed a way to compromise and the heated blanket is it! 

Zuko absolutely loves the heated blanket
We were up early Christmas morning and heading over to Christian's parents for Christmas morning. They were so sweet and put a stocking together and quite a few presents for me! I was completely surprised! We also got quite a few joint gifts that I love - a new soft throw for the couch, wine and beer glasses, a wine rack, a "D" ornament for our tree and my favorite is a beautiful hand drawn picture of Appalachian to hang on our wall! 
Of course Emmy needed some decorations as well. 
After dinner with is family, we headed back to our apartment, unloaded gifts and curled up on the couch in the Christmas tree/candlelight and watched Elf before bed. It was the most perfect way to end Christmas I could imagine. 

My parents also stopped by on their way out of town to say good-bye and I made mom take a picture in front of our first little tree :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, as well!

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh, 2013.

I cannot believe 2013 is wrapping up. I can never actually believe the year is ending. It seems to always go by so quickly! So many wonderful things happened this year, I can see why it went by so quickly!

Obviously, certain things stand out more than others...

In January (well.. technically December but we're going with January), I started this blog!

February brought the beginning of the after graduation job hunt, and accepted my first job. I also renamed this blog and it officially became With a Side of Chocolate that you guys know!

In March, I continued job hunting and ended up quitting my job at Cracker Barrel that I'd had for about a year because I was ridiculously overworked and wanted to enjoy my last month of college! There was also an epic Bachelorette weekend for St. Patty's Day.

Then, in April, we had one of my best friend's wedding! At this point, I was also spending most of my weekends in Charlotte with Christian and my friends and preparing for the move here!

May was such a bittersweet month. In the midst of finals (as usual), I turned 22 and we had a great weekend in Charlotte and I got to see Tim McGraw in concert! The next weekend, I graduated from college and almost had a few breakdowns over that... I still don't even know if I'm okay with it because I miss Boone daily.

In June, I moved to Charlotte and started my first "grown up" job and lived in an apartment right beside where my mom grew up.
I spent the summer trying to decide if I liked my new job, going to Carowinds with Christian and trying to get my bearings in this new city.

We officially started living together at the very beginning of September and it's been an absolute blast!

October was arguably the best month of my entire life. Not only did we celebrate 3 years of dating, but that cutie went and asked me to be his wife!!! And we set a date!

Following our news, I spent a little bit of November defending our decision to get married "so young". And we also had an absolutely awesome weekend in Athens for the App vs. UGA game!

This year was SUCH a blast and I seriously cannot wait to see what else 2014 holds for us (besides a ton of wedding planning...)!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wedding Wednesday {Engagement Pictures}

Guys! They're here! My engagement pictures are here! I've been the most obnoxious, anxious person waiting on them to arrive and demand that the mail gets checked every day.. sometimes twice... And then of course they arrived Saturday while I was in Indiana. I told Christian he better not even THINK about looking at them without me and he followed those directions perfectly and we were able to look at them together Monday night. So.. without further ado, here's your engagement photo dump :)


If you made it all the way to the end, I applaud you. I tried so hard to narrow it down.. and this is definitely narrowed down. I have NO idea how I'm going to pick Save the Dates! Eek! 

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NC Belle in Boots
Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass