2011 Chirstmas Card Review

In January we were lucky enough to see our Auburn Tigers win a National Championship! We were supposed to stay in Arizona for a long weekend but that was extended due to snowpocalypse shutting down the city of Atlanta for an entire week. While on vacation we went to see the Grand Canyon (which was a first for us both) and Brad even went 4 wheeling up a mountain all while our friends and families were iced in their houses back in Atlanta! We could not have asked for a better start to our year, unfortunately that trip ended with us finding my car encased in 6 inches of ice that we had to chip away with a coat hanger and an old CD case because we live it the South and are totally unprepared for winter weather!

For my Christmas gift last year Brad surprised me with a trip to New York to see Andrea Bocelli sing opera at The Met. Knowing my husband’s affinity for opera, crowds, Yankees and traffic he might as well have surprised me with a 3 legged monkey - I could not believe it! We had the most wonderful trip and, even though Brad played Angry Birds and plotted ways to commit suicide the entire time, seeing Andrea in person was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! We also went to Peter Luger’s Steakhouse, Rockefeller Center, Ground Zero, Times Square, Katz’s Deli and even rubbed shoulders with a few people helping to run NY Fashion Week that was going on at the same time. To top it all off he also surprised me with tickets to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway – my all time favorite musical. The brownie points he earned from this trip alone will provide an almost endless supply “free passes” for things that would usually burn my biscuits.

In April I ditched my 7 year career in Finance and starting working for Thomson Reuters. I now sell a tax & accounting research software and honestly couldn’t be happier! It’s a great company with even better people and I am no longer burdened with the responsibility of managing millions of dollars – thank you Lord!
Mom & I took a trip to Italy in May. We went for two weeks and spent time in Florence, Tuscany & Rome. During our time in Tuscany we stayed with my dear friend, Chef John, who taught us how to cook Italian foods like tiramisu, minestrone soup and homemade pasta! It was truly the trip of a lifetime and getting to experience it with my Mom made it all the more special!

After all that exotic travel I knew I was due to arrive at some less-than-desirable destinations at some point and that came in the form of mandatory training for my new job in Ann Arbor, MI. I ended up spending a total of 3 full weeks in Ann Arbor for training and between that, and being out of the country for 2 weeks, you can imagine my concern for my house, dogs and husband. When I finally came home for good I was thanking my lucky stars that my pups were alive, my house was still standing and I did not have to swing by the county jail to find my husband!

Throw in a trip to Destin for Labor Day, a trip to Helen with friends for Oktoberfest, another work trip to Arizona and going to St. Simons for a wedding, it’s hard to believe that we were both able to keep our jobs this year! It was certainly a fun year that was full of “firsts” for us. Brad turned the Big 3-0 and we celebrated our 3rd year of marriage together. As we close down 2011 and get ready for the New Year we are constantly thankful for our health, our family, our dear friends and our love.

We are immeasurably blessed.


A Paula Dean Christmas

If you have ever met Pancake (my 1st born dog) you would probably comment on her beautiful hair. She has long, flowing, Fabio-like, silky hair that makes her look like the worlds tiniest, and most beautiful, Cousin It.

Most people think that I spend hours a day brushing her auburn locks into perfection but the truth is I rarely touch it. First of all, Pancake HATES to have her hair brushed… I mean HAAATTTEEEES it. She barks and wiggles and bites and whines and makes it almost impossible to deal with her. In addition, her hair gets so tangled and matted it takes an act of congress, and the aid of Vidal Sassoon himself, to get it brushed out.

So, a couple times each year I attempt to wrangle the (8lb) beast and brush her dang coat out. It is complete hell for her and for me. She may be small but she is very forceful when she is angry and the brat plays dirty. So I have to hold her down with one hand and force  her into all kinds of weird positions to try and get all of the tangles. She is also a huge baby and every time I even slightly pull her hair she screeches like I broke her leg and then just falls apart and does this weird tornado-crocodile-spin move and gyrates in such a way that I can barely hold her down.
Anyway, it’s torture. So, this process happened last week and it took me 3 or 4 days of sitting for several hours at a time to get the job done. Once I was finished she was the most beautiful I have ever seen her. Her silly locks would blow in the wind as she walked across the floor and she totally knew how pretty she looked. She was working it!

As I went to grab my camera to capture her in all of her glory she went outside to show off to Brad who was cooking on the patio. Apparently she walked up just as he had unwrapped an entire stick of butter and godonlyknowswhathappenedthen, but, he dropped the butter in her hair. IN HER HAIR! And of course when a pound of butter dropped on her back she completely freaked out and ran inside screaming. Then Brad started running after her. And the more he chased her, the more freaked out she got and then they were running circles around my kitchen. The faster her little cubster legs ran the more the butter became entangled in her perfect hair. So I hear the commotion and join in the chase and now the dogs are all barking, Pancake is covered in butter, Brad is screaming “Broken Arrow” and all hell just breaks loose.

When we were finally able to corral the pup she was so flustered that she had melted most of the butter and looked like more like an oil spill seagull than a Pomeranian with perfect hair

Needless to say, for Christmas she is getting a day at the doggie day spa.