Wednesday, December 9, 2009

25 Memories from the 25th Birthday Celebration

After a WONDERFUL 25th birthday celebration, I thought I would do something a little different and post 25 memories to recap the happy day!

1. Getting a wake-up phone call at 8:00am from Mom & Gracie. They sang "Happy Birthday" to me!
2. Christopher making me breakfast-in-bed...eggs, turkey sausage & apple juice.
3. Getting Dunkin' Donuts peppermint latte before hitting the road to Disney's Hollywood Studios.
4. Listening to Christmas music in the car & holding Christopher's hand the entire way to Orlando.
5. Getting in FREE to Hollywood Studios. Happy Birthday to me!
6. Receiving fast passes to Toy Story Mania. Later we found out that all the fast passes had been distributed by 12:00pm. Thank you to the stranger who gave us those fast passes; otherwise, we would not have been able to ride the new ride.
7. Riding Aerosmith's Rock-n-Roller Coaster.
8. Riding Toy Story Mania. It is one of my newest, favorite rides at Disney World.
9. Receiving text messages & voice mails throughout the entire day.
10. Eating free chocolate mousse at lunch for dessert.
11. Dancing in the middle of the street during the Block Party parade.
12. Being told "Happy Birthday" by complete strangers all day long.
13. Watching all the great and entertaining shows.
14. Seeing the true meaning of Christmas, a beautiful nativity, in the heart of Hollywood Studios.
15. Riding The Tower of Terror in the front row.
16. Eating free carrot cake at dinner for dessert.
17. Picking out a special ornament to commemorate my wonderful birthday.
18. Watching the opening ceremony of the Osbourne's Light Spectacular show.
19. Looking up at the night sky and seeing snow. Yes, it was fake!
20. Standing in the middle of 35 miles of Christmas lights.
21. Christopher twirling me and holding my hand while walking through the park.
22. Watching Fantasmic.
23. Kennedy reminding me that our wedding is only 1 month away.
24. Ending the evening with a wonderful rendition of "Happy Birthday" from Halie & Gracie.
25. Seeing all the Facebook messages when we got home.

Needless to say, the day was wonderful, beautiful, memorable, exciting, fun and so much more! Enjoy the photos and videos below of the magical day!

The Birthday Girl

Watching "Beauty and the Beast"

The Coolest Ride Ever

"Hi. My name is Mater."

Jesus is the Reason for the Season

Absolutely Incredible

Merry Christmas from the Soon-to-be Carters

Friday, December 4, 2009

What a Week!

It has been quite some time since our last post, but here is an update of our busy month of November.

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, Christopher's mom and aunt flew to Florida to visit us for their third annual "Turkey on the Beach" vacation. However, unlike in the past years, Gayle and Susan stayed with us at our home instead of renting a cottage on the beach. We were fortunate to spend a great deal of time with them in between work and school. We shopped at the outlets and ate good food. They ended their week long vacation in Orlando, where Christopher's brother lives. They enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday there.

I, on the other hand, spent Thanksgiving with my family in North Carolina. Christopher dropped me off at the airport on his way to Orlando with his mom and aunt. Thanksgiving in North Carolina was a fun-filled day. Mom and I spent the day decorating the front yard with Christmas decorations. My family joined us for dinner; we had quite the spread of food. It was delicious! We had so much food, we did it all over again the next day. Blair, Robin and I were part of the many crazy people who went shopping on Black Friday. We had great success!

Along with the Thanksgiving holiday, I was blessed to have two bridal showers while I was home. Saturday, Blair and Robin hosted a Christmas shower. Christopher and I received several pieces of our Christmas china, Christmas tree ornaments, decorative serving pieces and a Willow Tree nativity set. It was a shower filled with great company and good food. Sunday, my church hosted a shower. I was able to spend wonderful quality time with my church family who has watched me grow up over the past 20 years. Their gifts and words of wisdom were greatly appreciated!

While at home, I was able to accomplish more wedding tasks! Monday, Mom and I met with the wedding director at church. We were able to cover many of the details that will accompany the wedding weekend. I have great confidence in our wedding director as she is organized and will be very helpful on our big day. I also had my bridal portrait session. The day at the portrait studio was so fun. Unfortunately, I cannot share details. You will just have to wait until January 9 to see the beautiful picture. I will tell you this; the photographer loved the photograph so much she wants to put in on display in the studio. Now, that is exciting!

As the Christmas season approaches, I will continue to work until Christopher and I travel to North Carolina on December 19. Christopher begins final exams the week of December 14. We also plan to go to Disney's Hollywood Studios to celebrate my 25th birthday. Not to mention, we have just 36 days until our wedding day. What a busy, yet beautiful, time of year!

Thanksgiving with Kai and Gracie

Christmas Shower with Nanny

My Sweet & Beautiful Nieces

The Wonderful Hostesses - My Sister-in-Laws

Carolina Girls...Best in the World

Where to Put All of These Gifts?!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

'Cause This is Thriller, Thriller Night

And we're off! No, we know it is not May, but we made the Kentucky Derby look good in October. Halloween was quite the thriller night. After a morning filled with work for me and studying for Christopher we were ready to enjoy the afternoon and evening with friends.

We spent the afternoon at our friend, Rebecca's house. Some people worked on Halloween costumes whiles others watched the Florida v. Georgia football game. We snacked on sausage balls, spinach dip, salsa, wings and drank some cold beer. It was so nice not to worry about work or studying; we were just hanging out with our friends.

That evening we headed to a local restaurant that had been rented out unofficially by Christopher's pharmacy school. The costumes were so good this year. It made for a tough costume competition. Christopher and I were in the running for most creative, but unfortunately lost to two guys who dressed up as care bears. I know the care bears are cute, but that is not as creative of an idea as a horse jockey and a derby darling. The DJ for the evening thought the care bears should have won for scariest costume. Until next Halloween; maybe we will go together as husband and wife. :)

Enjoy the pictures from the evening!

...I Think He is a Winner...

...The Gang's All Here...

...All the Single Ladies...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home Sweet Carolina

What a busy, fun, exciting, successful weekend! I flew home to North Carolina for a quick 48 hour trip. I went home with goals and can say that my mom and I successfully accomplished everything on our list!

I landed in Raleigh in the late morning on Saturday. I was welcomed home by my mom, my aunt and one of my sister-in-laws. We began our "girl day" by showing my aunt, who recently moved to my hometown, around Chapel Hill. I showed her all the highlights and we shopped at the student store. She is officially a Carolina girl as she added to her wardrobe the perfect t-shirt. All true Carolina girls should have one in their closet; it simply states, "Carolina Girls...Best in the World." After touring Chapel Hill, we made our way to Raleigh to eat sushi. It was delicious! My mom, sister-in-law and I claim that we can eat it every day! After sushi, what else would girls do? Shop! The Junior Guild of Raleigh hosted a shopping spree at the civic center in downtown Raleigh. The exhibit is every Southern girls' dream...monogrammed purses, bows for little girls, adorable Christmas decorations, yummy food to taste and so much more. We had a ball. After a long and fun day of shopping, it was time for some much needed beauty sleep.

Sunday was a family-filled day. My uncle came into town to visit my aunt as he has not yet moved to Rocky Mount (2 weeks and counting!). My brothers and their families came home after church for a favorite meal of my family, rigatoni with Italian sausage, garlic bread and salad. I was able to play with all my nieces and nephews, spend time with my Nanny and talk some wedding things with my sister-in-laws and brothers. I even had the joy of asking my brothers to participate in our wedding; Gary is going to sing and Russell is going to usher the grandparents. It is truly going to be a special day!

Speaking of weddings, Monday was a great day. Mom and I ran all over Rocky Mount and Nashville and finalized so many of the wedding details. First, we went to Birchwood Country Club, where the reception is going to be held. We met with the country club manager in the ball room and discussed all the details of the reception. We planned the lay out of the ballroom, napkin and tablecloth colors, the menu and more. Mom and I left knowing that the reception is going to be absolutely beautiful! Next, we headed to the Nashville Exchange restaurant. Our rehearsal dinner is being held here. While eating delicious homemade soup and chicken salad sandwiches, we spoke with the owner and was able to finalize the menu there as well. After lunch and coffee, we headed down the street to the florist shop. The place smelled delicious! It was so nice to leave the florist shop knowing the manager knew exactly what my mom and I wanted for flowers. After the running around in Nashville, Mom and I headed to the hotel where she had previously reserved the block of rooms for our out of town guests. I must say, the Country Inn and Suites is adorable! The ambience and atmosphere reminds me of walking into someone's cozy home. Cookies and coffee are available all the time. A fireplace is roaring in the lobby and the guest rooms feel like home. It is going to be such a perfect place for our guests to stay! We made one final stop in Rocky Mount at Belk; my mom reminded me of an upcoming shower that my church is hosting for me. She kindly told me how the elderly women love to buy China for new brides. We went to Belk to register for some items so that the ladies may shop away! After our fun-filled day, it was time to head to the airport. However, we could not go to Raleigh without one more sushi trip! Mom and I ate yet another delicious meal at the same restaurant that we went to Saturday for lunch. What can I say, we love sushi!

It was so exciting that Christopher picked me up from the airport. We talked the entire way home about all the details of the wedding. Not that it did not seem real before, but it is here and our day is coming! 74 days and counting!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin!

Christopher and I set out for a pumpkin adventure this morning. We researched local farms and found a great one about 15 miles from our home called Fruitville Grove. It is owned by an Amish family.

The farm had just opened upon our arrival. People were setting up craft tents, face painting, pony rides, games and more. We explored the grounds and then came upon the great pumpkins. We searched through the tent hoping to find a big, round pumpkin. We noticed there were no prices for the large ones, so we asked someone to price it for us. They took this pumpkin and placed it on a scale. They charge 50 cents per pound. This pumpkin was $16! What?! Talk about a great pumpkin, a great big price for a pumpkin. We kindly declined the offer and bought some fresh produce and homemade peanut butter at their market. We also had homemade pumpkin ice cream; it was so delicious and refreshing! I want to explore the internet and see if I can make it at home. Although we did not buy the great pumpkin, we did enjoy our morning at the farm.

We continued our Sunday date by eating lunch at a new restaurant. It is called Pei Wei (pronounced "Pay Way") and is owned by P.F. Chang's. The restaurant offers rice bowls, noodle bowls, salads and all things Asian. It is delicious! I had Korean chicken with vegetables and brown rice. Christopher had chicken pad thai. We bought our two meals and were given complimentary lettuce wraps for $15. It was cheaper than the great pumpkin!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

100 Days and Counting

Although we are not yet Mr. and Mrs. Carter, the BIG day is fast approaching. As we anxiously countdown to January 9, 2010, I wanted to begin a blog of our lives together. Not only did I want to begin this as a keepsake for us, but for our family and friends who live near and far.

In preparation for the wedding, I find myself on the computer all the time. I am researching, making excel sheets and sending e-mails. I am also texting my mom all the time; we find something, take a picture and hope that one or the other likes it. We are all about finding good deals! The majority of the big details is complete. It is now time to pay attention to the small details, the ones that make the biggest difference in creating ambiance and making the "wow" factor. All in all, I have enjoyed the entire process of wedding planning. No bridezilla here!

In addition to the wedding planning, massage therapy is my life. I enjoy work each and every day. I love helping people and I find such joy in my job.

As I type, Christopher is studying. It seems that he does quite a bit of that these days. He is anxiously counting down this school year as he will begin rotations sometime next summer. Although pharmacy school can be tiring, stressful and hard, Christopher has such a great passion and genuine interest in his field. I am so excited for what the future holds for him in the pharmaceutical world!

Life for us is good! We enjoy each other every day. We tell each other, "This time next year, we'll be married."