Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Wow… it’s been several months, very long and very challenging months.. happy to have the start of a new year upon us!

Since I last posted… Acadia National Park reopened!  The government still has some major issues to resolve.. but, whatever… I wrapped up my last (allegedly) of five full seasons in Bar Harbor, and New England, moved back to Plant City, started in my new role as the Operations Manager in Tampa, celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my thirtieth birthday!  Whew!

The season in Tampa started mid-November, although I felt like I had been on the go from mid-August!  It’s been a challenging few months moving into my new role, constantly learning and adjusting… it’s been a mix of highs and lows as I learn to manage people, and it’s amazing to think that there is still more to learn!  Crazy, right?  Extremely thankful that the season in Tampa is seasonal… for one, I know the itch to travel is going to hit soon!

Richard has been traveling a lot for work, so it feels like we have switched roles..  He headed to Virginia with his father for Thanksgiving (to go hunting, of course) and spent time with Grandma Jane and other family, while I headed over to Mom’s for a relaxing week, and Alex joined us for a lovely meal at home.

After much traveling for work, Richard was finally home a few days before Christmas, and we headed back over to Mom’s and crashed at her place for a few days.  It was quite nice to relax, celebrate Christmas, eat delicious foods and not have to clean up!  We didn’t do any decorating this year… mainly because Richard was out of town and I am not a fan of going into the attic, but I knew I didn’t want to have to clean up either!  Mom got a fabulous black Christmas tree this year, and decorated with white and silver, it was gorgeous!  At work, the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas helped us to celebrate the holidays too, we decorated the terminal and the team wore fun hats… the ship gave us a delicious cake too!

A most fabulous end to 2013 was my fabulous dirty thirty birthday party!  (this deserves a post of its’ own!) ….and I am waiting on the pics from Alex too!

Christmas 2012

Posted: January 23, 2013 in Christmas

And jumping back another week in time…. to Christmas 2012.

Christmas this past year was a three day event… Christmas Eve and Day at our house, and Boxing Day at his mother’s house.  Decisions were made, and we had eleven people for dinner on Christmas Eve, and a selection of foods!  Mom and Alex spent the night… and Santa’s helper helped to protect the Christmas presents.


Christmas Day was a relaxing one.. Richard and Alex played video games most of the day….

For the day after Christmas, we headed over to the MIL’s – and she had a big spread, with extended family, cousins and whatnot.  It was fun to see everyone, most of whom we hadn’t seen since last Christmas.


What a wonderful week of Christmas!  Christmas Day turned into a full week for us… and it was awesome!

The highlight was certainly having everyone in New York City together, and, even though it didn’t snow, it was still a great time.  We did so much, and yet, still didn’t accomplish all we had set our sights on.

We flew up on Sunday, Christmas Day (a first for me, NO ONE in the airport!), and while everyone headed to the hotel to rest and relax, Richard and I headed to Times Square.  We went to dinner at Wall and Water,  The dinner was okay, it turned out to be a buffet, and only beer and wine was available, but, we made the best of it.  Mom had a great gift exchange idea, and before we left Tampa, we all got assigned another person to by a $15 gift for.  That turned out to be pretty funny.  Alex forgot to buy Richards’ gift, and ended up with cash wrapped in tissue paper, wrapped in a shower cap.

Richard and I, NYC Times Square

On Monday, we headed to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Museum,  It was a super neat experience, that was actually housed on an aircraft carrier, and we got to see a lot of different aircraft.  We even got a guided tour on a Concorde!  That night we had tickets for the Rockettes, which was a wicked amazing show!  It was super neat to finally see a show that is such an iconic part of Christmas in the City.


Inside the Concorde

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Tuesday was a trip to the World Trade Center Site, which is now a site of hope, instead of despair.  It is amazing how the construction has been coming along… Mom, Richard and I were in NYC for Thanksgiving two years ago, and it didn’t look like much had been happening.  It was pretty neat, Alex had a hotel room overlooking the site, on the 53rd floor of the Millennium Hilton.  To see the site at night was pretty amazing, the buildings had all the floors lit with different lights and the memorial pools were beautiful.

In front of the Memorial Pools

1 WTC, the Freedom Tower

Memorial Pools, at night

We sprinkled in a little bit of shopping, checking out the windows on Fifth Avenue, and taking pictures with all of the amazing sidewalk displays.  And sadly, Wednesday, we headed home.  It was quite a tragedy getting back to Tampa, but I will have to save that for a post all on its’ own!

along Fifth Ave, Christmas Lights...

and Christmas Tree Ornaments...

and beautifully decorated windows!

Thanksgiving… house decoration…would you believe I did not take photos of the TURKEY??? ARGH!!

Richard has always had a live tree… and we have always had an artificial one, so we went to Lowe’s (so wish we had one of those super cool Christmas tree farms in Florida!)…

We then headed home, with intentions to decorate the house too…. then I learned that the tree has to be set up in the stand and wait until the branches fall down.  Darn… So, the next day, we got to work on decorating…


We hosted our first Christmas party on Dec 18..

Christmas followed the next weekend… with a total of 11 for dinner!

And my birthday was the weekend following.. We had dinner at Kobe’s.. one of my favorites!

Life over the past month has been very full… full of surprises, full of people, a full house…

Often, I feel like I am in a dream world, where my life is not really my own… we have been married almost 8 months, living in our house for almost 3 months… had a full house of guests for several weekends, hosted our first house party, and we are planning on hosting Christmas at our house this year.  It just seems so bizarre that life this year has flown by SO QUICKLY!  A year ago… I had no idea that this is where I would be now.

What is there to catch up on?  Thanksgiving was fun… we still don’t have any “real” furniture in the house, but I am so lucky, and thankful, that Mom is helping us out.  One of our guest bedrooms is now a replica of the bedroom I left behind… literally.  She gave us the bed, and I still had my furniture from my apartment days… kinda funny to see!  We used her old kitchen table, my kitchen table, and a lovely shade of blue folding table covered in tableclothes.. but we had a great Thanksgiving!  Huge thank you to Mom and my SIL, Kristin, who helped make it all happen.  The turkey was tender, there was plenty of leftovers and dessert finished a great night.

Richard and I went to work on the master bedroom and I love the color I picked.  There was a debate when the color first went up…. it was not a pleasant color, however, after drying it has really started to grow on me.  We, meaning Richard, still has to put the crown molding up, and I need to find something for the walls.  However, it is so nice not having white walls anymore!   The crown molding went up in the office, and it looks amazing.  I am so thrilled, I can’t believe how good it looks!

We had two invites to weddings for friends this month… James and Katie,, and Steve and Sandra.  Both brides looked amazing!  Katie chose the Italian Club, which is where church used to be held (we are in a new building now), and it was catered by Wayl of a Time… which is just an amazing menu, all the time.  Sandy’s was at Tradewinds Hotel in St. Pete.  (Which happens to be just down the road from where we got married!)  Mom joined me for Sandy’s wedding as Richard had to work.  Both weddings made me think back to my own… wow.

Company Christmas parties are also in high swing… MPI hosted their party last Friday… the owners catered in at their home and we had a great time with the White Elephant gift exchange, we brought lotto tickets… they were a hit!  My Christmas party will be this Wednesday night, we are meeting my boss and some colleagues in Orlando for a Texas de Brazil dinner.. can’t wait!  Meat on sticks, unlimited salad bar… yummy!

We hosted out first party last Saturday night… It was definitely super fun!  It started about 7pm… and I think I finally fell into bed about midnight… Richard made hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill.  Mom, Kristin and I put a ton of other stuff together… lasagna, spaghetti sauce croissants, cucumber sandwiches, cookies, cakes, punch… I ate so well!  Reid took our Christmas picture- which will be going out in the mail today (can you believe how late I am???) and we had great conversation.  It was fun to show off the house and spend some time with friends.

Lots to do, Christmas shopping has to get finished.  I can’t believe how late I am in doing this… I have never put it off so late!  Pictures to follow soon….