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Hi guys! I hope you all had a wonderful New Years Eve! Joe and I spent our night making homemade pizza and playing Jenga. Yes, it was one crazy night.

I wanted to let you all know that I’ve registered a domain and set up a hosting service for this little blog. What does that mean? I’ve moved over here and I’m working on researching how you all will begin receiving notifications to the self-hosted blog. I’m still with WordPress, but I get a lot more toys to play with over at the .org site.

So in the mean time, I’ve posted a new blog over there. Please do check it out and if you’d like, follow me on that blog. I’m officially http://www.collectionsofawanderer.com! I certainly won’t be moving from that blog anytime soon. Changes can be a bit challenging and I’ve got quite a lot of learning to do. Please bear with me through this time. Thanks everyone!

Happy New Year!

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Happy Friday, ya’ll!

I’m a bit sad that Christmas is over. The anticipation every year is heightened intensely with many holiday traditions, decked-out homes and trees with lights and ornaments, and the hustle and bustle as everyone prepares for baby Jesus. Once it’s over, the feeling is weird and slightly foreign. It feels like a “Now what?” kind of feeling. The good news is we have many more great things to look forward to in the coming weeks and new year. Can you believe it’s almost 2013? Crazy.

As an adult on Christmas morning, I’m not always surprised by the gifts I receive. Sometimes I’m even the one wrapping my own gifts or present at the time of purchase. It just comes with adulthood. This year, I received the greatest, most thoughtful gift anyone has ever given me. It was the best surprise I’ve ever been kept in the dark about. Joe’s mother, Teri, spent weeks days leading up to Christmas hand-writing every family recipe onto recipe cards. They were placed in a recipe album which I opened Tuesday morning.

IMG_1184I was so shocked and surprised by such a gesture. Every home recipe from chicken and noodles to wedding ring cookies were included. There were several recipes I had never even heard of. I loved reading through each recipe and seeing who originally made it. From great grand-parents to even Joe’s brothers girlfriend, everyone had a recipe to contribute. It was such a personal gift.

IMG_1188The first thing I thought after realizing all the thought she had put into the recipe book was the many generations this little book will get to see. Because of my future MIL, we’ll be able to carry these recipes through many generations and many special holidays. I cannot wait until I have a weekend to just whip up some of Joe’s favorite childhood recipes.

Best. Christmas. Gift. EVER!

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One last thing…

Kaye Saymington, a Marketing Manager for Stickygram, contacted me about joining their January photo-a-day challenge. Here’s what she had to say:

Here are the details of how to take part;
Every day there will be a pack of StickyGrams up for grabs, we’ll reveal a daily theme on our website and Instagram, and if you stick with us for the full 31 days you’ll earn something a little special. To enter, all you need to do is look out for the daily theme and upload your photo to Instagram with the hashtag #stickygramaday1 (with the relevant number).
Pretty cool, huh? Starting January 1st, check the Stickygram website or Instagram everyday for the theme and snap away! Don’t forget to post it on Instagram with the hashtag. Get creative and have fun with it! Instagram is one of my favorite social media sites. I’m looking forward to the “something a little special” at the end of the month. I’ll be blogging about it periodically in the month of January to show you all what I’ve come up with. So won’t you join me? It’ll be fun!

Merry ChristmasIt’s been a great few days spending Christmas with our families. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well.

I spent Christmas Eve baking our traditional Spritz cookies with my mom and attending/ushering the children’s Christmas Eve services at our church. Joe and I found some time to go look at Christmas lights the other night. Sipping on some hot apple cider while looking at Christmas lights is such a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season. Christmas day was filled with family, food and blessings. We visited Joe’s family in the morning and mine in the afternoon. My mom and step-dad whipped up a delicious feast. My mom even broke out my great grandmothers china for the holiday occasion. We ended up with a white Christmas here in North Texas. It was a really great Christmas.

Since, I’m in the mood to snuggle in bed, watch t.v. and read, you all are getting a little Christmas photo dump today. I’m off to work tomorrow so I’m taking advantage of the last few hours of my Christmas break. There may be some White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life tonight. Have a great one guys!

*I just realized I took zero photos of my actual families. Oops! Major Christmas fail!

20121223_202550 20121223_205227 20121223_205947 20121223_210416 20121223_210800 20121224_152520 20121224_162925 20121225_10293620121225_150423And my absolute favorite from yesterday…

IMG_20121225_162042

This is for you, sweet babies and brave teachers. You all are wrapped in His love today and always in heaven.

Charlotte Bacon, 6

Daniel Barden, 7

Rachel D’Avino, 29

Olivia Engel, 6

Dylan Hockley, 6

Chase Kowalski, 7

Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47

Jesse Lewis, 6

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6

James Mattioli, 6

Grace McDonnell, 7

Anne Marie Murphy, 52

Emilie Parker, 6

Jack Pinto, 6

Noah Pozner, 6

Jessica Rekos, 6

Avielle Richman, 6

Lauren Rousseau, 30

Mary Sherlach, 56

Victoria Soto, 27

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

Josephine Gay, 7

Madeleine Hsu, 6

Catherine Hubbard, 6

James Mattioli, 6

Caroline Previdi, 6

Allison Wyatt, 6

The other weekend, I got to thinking about the differences between my married friends vs. my single friends. Joe and I were attending one of his good friends Christmas parties when I noticed that the guests attending were all married and with their spouse. Four couples made up the little shindig.

We love our friends dearly. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends, but I’ve noticed a pattern that I can only distinguish by their relationship status. Either way, the quality of the friendship stays the same.

Married Friends

– Their perfect night consists of staying at home with close friends either watching a football game or making it a game night with Cranium and Pictionary. A good bottle of wine or draft beer is usually present as well.

– Conversations revolve around new homes, who’s pregnant or wedding talk (for us).

– Married friends have married jokes. Always an interesting area of conversation. They usually involve bodily functions and the opposite sexes home life habits.

– I’m never surprised when one couple must leave early so they can relieve the babysitter.

– Nights usually end by midnight.

Zeus2(This has nothing to do with this post, but you can’t go wrong with little Zeus sleeping upside down in Joe’s arms.)

Single Friends

– Their perfect night consists of getting dolled up and hitting the town with close friends. “Hitting the town” usually means mingling at a restaurant bar, dancing it up at a club or having a drink or two out on the patio of a local bar.

– Conversations revolve around the hateful existence of the opposite sex, crappy jobs and drama-filled recaps of the night before.

– Single friends have single jokes. A lot more funny than married jokes in my opinion and usually much more raunchy with very little shame; however married couples do give single people a run for their money.

– I’m never surprised when one friend ends up drinking too much.

– Nights usually end well past my bedtime with an ounce of regret. Regretfully drinking a tad too much.

The fun part is I get to experience both types of friendships. I can have the chill game nights and the crazy bar nights. It’s fun to have friends in different stages of life. I’ve experienced lots of single moments and I get to look forward to many married moments.

No matter if my single friends are complaining about crummy guys or my married friends are attempting to solve a sherades game, I have the best friends. I’m so blessed to have them in my life and I’ll never take them for granted.