Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sue's birthday party!

Ok- I'm a little (well, a lot) far behind on some personal posts that I have had in the works. However, I have major issues with posting videos to blogger. Does anyone else? I can never get them to load ever, so you'll have to go to You Tube to watch them!!

To the post now and my mother-in-law's birthday celebration (her birthday was Jan 9, but we celebrated a week and a half later). As usual, the whole Carter gang gathered at Jimmy's parents house and this time we got pizza and Hillary brought the salad so Sue didn't have to cook! Since we had to reschedule to the next Sunday - it was perfect timing because in the mean time, Will Carter was born and he got to join in the family fun of celebrating his grana's birthday!!

I might be a bit biased, but you HAVE to watch this short video I took of the whole family singing happy birthday to Sue....all 21 of us!! It's so cute with all her grandkids around her helping her blow out the candles. And Eli yell "we can have a cake!" - so cute!! And when you watch, wait until the end because Ben grabs the sound card (Hallmark, of course) that we gave her with her present that sings the "Celebrate" song and dances to it when he thinks no one else is watching!! It was so adorable - so watch it on youtube!!

And onto the pictures :) Here was my "artistic" side coming out. Haha, Maren and Norah got two Barbies like this from Libbie, Ben and Kenlie for having a new brother and of course, I wanted to play with her and see how she worked- the Ballerina Barbie. Look at those moves!

Here are some pictures from the gift opening, cake blowing out! Sue is very loved - as you can probably tell. She is the glue that holds this Carter family together and we are all very thankful for her, so it was only fitting to celebrate her birthday like this!

I think Norah might be a Vera Bradley fan :) Ben probably looking for the card to dance again...haha.

4 of the boys helping their mom celebrate! Tim was out of town for work.

Really, I just love the video- it makes me smile. So I know Sue had a very happy birthday and cheers to many more birthday and many many more Carter family get togethers on a weekly basis :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Biological" parents

Have I ever wrote on my blog the story of how Milly and Willy became my dogs? Well, because of what I have to tell you at the end of this post (the hint is in the title), I'm going to tell you about how Milly and Willy became my dogs :)

It all started only a week after I started working at Hallmark in September of 2008. I had a job that I didn't travel finally and I couldn't wait to get a dog! I knew I didn't want the responsiblity of a puppy quite yet and knew it was the perfect time for me to adopt a dog from a shelter and save their life. So my search began scouring the internet sites of all the local KC shelters trying to find a wiener dog that was perfect for me. I found a few, but the time wasn't right...I was going out of town the next weekend. I had plans the next. Never any time. My mom called me and said something I'll never forget, "Brittany, if you wait for the perfect time to adopt a will never get a dog. If you are ready for a dog, then get one and you'll make your life work around it. The same goes with don't forget this." Oh Barb, I certainly did not forget it.

I knew it was time. I found the perfect dog named Sassy at Wayside Waifs. I loved her instantly from her picture. When Jimmy was off work, I made him drive to Grandview with me to go get her. I was SO excited. We drove there and to my disappointment...she was gone. Already adopted. Someone else already loved her. And do you know what I did? Hysterically sob (hard sobs, like the kind where your abs hurt the next day) all the way back to my condo...I kept crying to Jimmy that someone took my dog. And Jimmy, being Jimmy, comforted me but assured me that Sassy was not meant to be my dog. My dog would come soon and I would know when it was the perfect dog and all the circumstances would work out.

The next day, Jimmy sent me an email about 2 wiener dogs that were up for adoption at the local Merriam no-kill shelter, Animal Haven. I said-- "Send me a picture". He said-- "There is none." I said--- "That's because they are not cute, I'm not going to look at them. Plus it says that you have to take them both. I DO NOT want two dogs." He said --- "Brittany, let's just go after work and see what you think." I said -- "FINE."

After work, we drove to 67th and 1-35 to Animal Haven. It was a beautiful day outside and most of the dogs were outside in the pens that the shelter had for them set up. My eyes began searching for a wiener dog...or two. Then I saw him. The cutest, chunkiest little wiener dog I'd ever seen barking at us! I told Jimmy he looked just like Daisy, my parents dog. And as we were walking up, this little sweet dapple wiener dog popped her sweet little head out of the dog house igloo to stare right at us. OMG cutest dogs ever. I had to have them both. Like ASAP. So of course, I wanted to pet them and meet them right away. The lady that worked at the shelter said it looked like they loved me....HOWEVER, there is already an application for them to be adopted. Oh my gosh. My heart dropped at that moment. This cannot be true. I told her all about my love for wiener dogs. That I grew up with them. I would love them. Apparently she was convinced because she told me that I could go ahead and fill out an adoption application. She had a feeling that the people that are supposed to adopt them...she thinks it just won't work out because it's a dad that wants them for his kids, but the mom has to agree and they are divorced. They had 24 hours to decide. If not, they were mine. I filled out the paperwork and went home. That was all on Monday afternoon.


But then at 4:30PM, I was driving home from work and got THE call. They were mine. The parents couldn't agree, so they decided not to adopt them. I could come get them ASAP.

Wait, what? Right now? Um, ok. I called my mom, kind of cried and muttered the words..."I feel like someone just called me to inform me that I'm pregnant with twins and I have to deliver them now......................." aka what am I going to do with 2 dogs!? I call Jimmy, he meets me at Animal Haven. We walk out with 2 dogs. With kennel cough. Go to Petsmart. Buy stuff. Haul everything up to my condo. Then he tries to leave. I mutter..."YOU CANNOT LEAVE ME HERE WITH 2 DOGS!!!!!!! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THEM?". He laughs and I think he ends up staying because I was a mess, but I know he thought I was ridiculous, as usual. But you know what? They were my dogs. And I ended up falling in love with them. And my mom was right, I made my life work around them and I was happier because of it :)

On of our first pictures together in my condo!

Now to the present time....
Ok- I'm sorry for making you read that. However, I feel as though you need adequate background to appreciate the absolute craziness of the story I'm about to tell you.

Last Friday night we were at Bobby and Hillary's house for Bobby's 25th birthday celebration (more to come on that). Their friends were over and one of them I knew had just gotten a wiener dog with his wife and we were talking about it (duh). And I said, yes, we had 2 of them as well. Yep, names are Milly and Willy---STOP. He says, "What are there names?" I repeat myself. He asks to see pictures. I whip out my cell phone and show him tons. He asks where I got them. I say Animal Haven. He says when. I say 2.5 years ago. He says what happened to their previous owners? I say, "apparently they lost their house to foreclosure and they couldn't keep the dogs". His face....well lets just say it was in shock.

He tells me that it was his friend's family from high school that owned these dogs before. He knows it. He remembers them. He loved them. They are the reason he and his wife got a wiener dog because he loved going to his friend's house to play with them.

I'm in shock. No way - have I found out who Milly and Willy's "biological" parents? Their parents before us? Questions like this and more start to roll through my mind.

He tells the other people at the party, that all went to high school together (including my brother and sister in law)...and they all remember them. The girls start talking about Milly and how cute and sweet she was and how they remember her. And Willy, yes he's apparently always been fat, but so cute. They know them. They all knew them in their previous life. I kept asking questions- what was it like? Did their family love them? (answer was yes) But why did they give them up? (had to move from a ritzy neighborhood to a smaller house) (PS I imagined a much more dramatic event, but again I have an imagination).

So that was it. Everyone knew Milly and Willy's old parents. It was even confirmed when they asked how old Milly was. She turned 10 in 2010. Yep, they named her Milly after the millennium because they got her in 2000. Confirmed. So I call my mom. Text Vanessa. Call my sister until she calls me back. I mean, I feel like my life was turned upside down.

But not really. I'm happy to know that they were very much loved in their previous life and had a good home. But you know what? I'm even happier that they have an even better home that they are loved even more than before. I'm happy that they came to the conclusion that they could no longer keep them and took them to Animal Haven. And made sure that when adopted, they had to go together. And that I got to adopt them. And even though it was freaky and changed my life forever, it seems to me that those things that are a little freaky, a little uncomfortable and make you change a bit---yep, those are the ones that change you for the better and forever. And ensure that you keep smiling everyday.

So here's to Milly and Willy's "biological" parents- I thank you for loving them and molding them into the dogs they were when I adopted them. Just wanted to let you know, if you are wondering, your dogs are in a good home and are VERY loved.

PS but really, just how CRAZY is it that we found this out and what a small freaking world!!!!! I kept asking Bobby and Hillary how they never figured this out (because they knew the kid too), but they said they just never put it together. Which who would? I mean what a small world!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yes or no: married life

Sunday morning Jimmy wasn't feeling like himself. We were supposed to teach Sunday school at 10:45, so I called our stand in (my dad) to see if he was willing to teach. He was, so I headed off to meet my parents and aunt that were in town to go to the 9AM service while old Jim stayed in bed.

The 4 week sermon series that started 2 weeks ago has me hooked- and I'm sure many, if not all, of my blog readers can relate to it. It's called Antidotes for the Out-of-Control life. So far he has preached on Slowing down in a Hurry Up World and last week's was titled If I Don't Do It....Remember Rule #6. Needless to say, if you can guess as to what this is about and you know me at all (yep, I'm the "yes girl"), I was more than looking forward to some/any advice on how to get more balance/margin/control over my life that I seem to have over committed my time. If you ever feel like this, I HIGHLY recommend you watching the sermons from the links I provided above. Adam is an amazing preacher and like all of his sermons, he delivers a message that is applicable to everyday life and something that you can relate to, with biblical references to give you guidance from the bible.

Anyways---onto the real story :) The four of us are sitting in church (dad, me, aunt, mom) and at the start of the sermon, Adam usually talks about input that people have given him throughout the week on the topic at hand via email or facebook. This last week he posted this question:

"I have a problem saying "no". I can justify saying "yes" to so many things and this results in an out-of-control life. That's part of the focus of this weekend's sermon. Do any of you struggle with this? How and why?"

He read off a few comments and then said this: "I had one guy send me a message saying that his wife struggles with this a lot and is involved in lots of things. He tries to balance her out and help her to feel ok about saying "no". He said the funniest thing is that while she says yes to everyone else, it seems as if the only person she doesn't have a problem saying "no" to is him!!"
I chuckled along with the rest of the congregation....thinking to myself, "I really wish Jimmy was here because I'd love to see his reaction....I know he thinks the exact same thing about me".
Fast forward to later in the day when we went to go visit my grandmother and grandadday (the one who had open heart surgery- he's doing well!!) because it was their birthday- yep, they have the same birthday! They had watched the service online and we were discussing the sermon with them. I mentioned to my grandparents how funny that comment was and that I could just imagine Jimmy saying that about me! As we got into the car to leave...Jimmy looked at me and asked if Adam had really read that comment out loud to the whole congregation and I said, yes and that I thought it was funny! He pulls up his facebook message that he sent Adam on his phone and reads it to me....pretty much word for word what Adam had relayed to the congregation in SEVEN different services and online :) Are you following along? Haha- it was Jimmy that sent that message to our pastor and it was about ME!
So there you have it, our dirty laundry revealed to thousands of people at church. Haha. But I will admit it, I do have a serious "yes" problem and that is one of my goals in 2011 to really evaluate what I'm saying yes to, decide whether the work I will be doing energizes me and seriously assess if I have the time in my life to do it---and ensure that I don't have every hour of every day booked....because everyone knows the best stuff seems to happen on a whim. This sermon series has been great in giving me some perspective on how and why I need to truly do this :)
And for you, Jimmy...I will make a conscious effort to say "yes" to you more often* than "no" and spend lots of quality/unplanned time together in 2011.
*disclaimer- this does not include saying "yes" to going out to dinner every night, allowing you to buy a guitar because you "want to pick up a new hobby", allowing you to sit at home all the time to play PS3. When you ask the question if you REALLY have to clean the bathrooms/vacuum/make the bed--- that answer will always be "yes" my dear, so at least you have that to look forward to!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snowy week

So after a week that started out looking like this with 4-6 inches of snow...

...and I geared up for the weather and did the manly job of shoveling the driveway. Mainly because I got to leave work early on Monday and Jimmy wasn't home yet :) Oh AND my first grad school class was even canceled that night!!! I felt like a kid again! SNOW DAY/NIGHT!

So when Friday night rolled around, we had some fun celebrating Jen Gray's birthday with dinner starting at El Patron and then heading down to McFadden's at P&L.

Hilarious because the second when Lauren and I walked into McFaddens a girl walked past us with a TINY TINY dress on. We just looked at each other and cracked up and both said "We are way too old for this". But it was still fun---even though we were huge losers and went home early- so sorry Jen!

On Saturday, after an early morning work out class at Burn Fitness, Jimmy was feeling a little under the weather (nothing serious, I think he wanted to just be lazy), so he declared it a movie day at the Carter house. We decided each person got to pick 2 movies, so 4 redbox movies later, this is what we ended up with:
  1. Despicable Me
  2. Robin Hood
  3. Leap Year
  4. The Town
Can you guess who picked which?? Haha, it's pretty obvious. I did like my picks, but I would have to say I liked The Town, with Ben Affleck, the best. WOW. Super intense and really really good. Good pick Jim. But of course, we had to pause mid-movie watching...for Jimmy to watch the KU game. Thankfully they won so movie day could continue :)

But let's be serious...most of the day we just hung out around the space heater with lots and lots of blankets, snuggled up to stay warm! Willy especially. Look at those abs...

Ok, I lied. I did a LOT of emailing for Pi Phi. 7 hours of it exactly, as Jimmy made very clear to me and didn't believe it was real. Well about 27 personalized emails welcoming new VPF's and VPH's to their positions...believe it buddy.

However, when the sun set, it was all about loving in our family room :)

Jimmy even put on his PJs. Look at that sexy tank top. HA

Don't forget Milly sun chita. She was loved too.

Mr. Toby...where was he? Well he was upstairs and was chilling. Still wallowing in his self pity from destroying my brand new nighttime mouth guard - yep, $190 - that he destroyed that. Took the case and ate it and ate the guard. Oh, and he ate Jimmy's retainer. This was last Friday. I'm still upset about it. Therefore, he stayed upstairs.

But it was a good end to a snowy, really cold (BURRRR) week in KC! Hope everyone is staying warm!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let's play some basketball

Last Saturday morning, Jimmy and I headed out first to our nephew's, Ben, basketball game at good old Heatherstone elementary school...where Jingle himself (the latest Hallmark plush item) aka a Husky dog, was the mascot.

We had our eyes on Ben, who was amazing and the best defender on the team!! He's the one in the looks like he's looking at the camera!

And while we were watching from the stands, we got to hang out with this cutie- Kenlie :) Oh, and don't forget her dolls- Barbie (in a super short dress!) and Ariel.

Kenlie was really really into my camera and taking pictures. She usually is and has debuted a few of her pictures on some of my previous blog posts. However, she also likes to be photographed a lot - this is her doing the splits for me after she showed me that her Barbie can do the splits. Pretty good if you ask me!

Since this was the next picture she requested that I take....we both joined in :)

Hahaha. Well, she also really liked to hold my purse just like I do. So funny! Lots of pictures in the stands at Ben's game. Needless to say...we kept her entertained the best we could.

But don't worry, we still had our eyes on the team! 3 on 3 basketball for 5 year olds was pretty entertaining and it was fun to see them work on their fundamentals! Crazy how there is always the "super star" kid that is really into it. This one was named "Hank".

After Ben's game was over, we headed over to Countryside elementary to watch Libbie play on her team! Tim, Jimmy's oldest brother is the coach, so Jimmy was excited to see him in action as the coach!! In addition to this sweet girl in this picture, I am LOVING the carpet floors! Remember those???!

The stands were full and we got there a little late because we had to stop at the gas station for gas and some coffee, so we sat right on the side line on the floor. And Jimmy and I welcomed the company to sit with us and watch their big sister play!

This one just might be my favorite :) If only Libbie was in it!! So cute!

But don't worry, we saw plenty of the girls in action. And they were really good! Some of them had some pretty fancy basketball shoes too! They don't keep score, but they did play on a full court, so I'm sure their little legs were tired after playing the full game. They did great! Jimmy and I did volunteer to play some bball with Ben and Libbie and show them our mad skills soon :)

And finally- I had to get a shot with our all-star Libbie! She did awesome!

I think this might become our new favorite Saturday morning much fun!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Breakfast is served

It's no secret that I love breakfast. I like to cook it and LOVE to eat it. And guess what? It's a pretty important meal because it gets you going for the rest of the day :) I really think my love for breakfast mainly stems from my dad. My dad always ate breakfast - the same thing - every morning when I was growing up. And he still does. One bowl of Rice Krispies and one bowl of Rice Chex. Every morning. This pure act might also be a large region of my love for routine. And...I digress...but off topic, isn't it interesting how you see things in your parents and now realize that might be the reason you are the way you are?

Ok, onto the point (there is one)! I love eating eggs for breakfast and for awhile, I would wake up 2 hours before work, take a shower, make 2 fried eggs, a piece of wheat toast and a cup of coffee...grab the paper and enjoy. Sounds nice, right? Well, it seems with my life filling up and especially since I work out for an hour in the morning- that nice "let me just relax before I go to work" time is now gone. Plus, I absolutely hate the extra time it takes to clean up the pans, etc. So I've had to start eating in the bathroom a bowl of cereal in between putting on make up and doing my hair. Not fun or as delicious as my eggs. And here I go again, looking for exactly what I want, but more efficient. Yep, it exists, thanks to Hungry Girl.

Her recipes are delicious, fast and healthy. I have a few of her cookbooks and all the recipes are great! Well, I present to you:

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 122 calories, 0.75g fat, 702mg sodium, 6g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 2.5g sugars, 21.5g protein -- PointsPlus™ value 3*

The flavor in this mug is a MILE HIGH! Get it, because, you know, Denver is the Mile-High City? OK, we'll stop now.

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tbsp. chopped onion
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1 oz. (about 2 slices) 97 - 98% fat-free ham, chopped
2 tbsp. shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

Spray a large microwave-safe mug with nonstick spray. Add veggies and microwave for 1 - 2 minutes, until softened.

Blot any excess liquid from veggies. Add egg substitute and microwave for 1 minute.

Add ham and cheese and lightly stir. Microwave for an additional 45 - 60 seconds, until scramble is just set.

Let cool slightly, and then eat up!


Ok, Jimmy thinks the egg in a mug is a freaky concept, but I promise you it is SOOOO delicious and fast and easy. I have also added some avocado to the top of it and boy that is oh so good. The best part? It takes so little time (under 2.5 min total) and is so easy. I have tried using a big mug a few times and then a few times in a tupperware container. The other best part? The fact that it is 122 calories and full of 21.5 grams of that leaves me full much longer in the morning...and quick and easy clean up! Anyways, if you are looking for a fast/easy but delicious breakfast - check out the link for the recipe and there are lot different varieties that I'm looking forward to trying out!

And- you can sign up for Hungry Girl's daily emails if you are interested as well :) Happy breakfast eating!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Engaged: Jay and Sara!

Remember when we went to Baltimore/DC to visit these two wonderful people??! Well, to kick off 2011- Jay proposed to Sara while they were in Kansas City and Sarah said YES! We were so happy that we got back from Florida mid-afternoon on New Year's day to help them celebrate that evening!!!

They were in town attending the wonderful wedding that we had to miss for Sarah and Josh which was on New Year's eve....that morning they woke up and he took Sara on a "scavenger hunt" in Loose Park to look for her present. Well, it turns out they were running a little behind and his older brother had been there and hung the ring from a tree with a donkey on it (an inside joke) and was waiting and freezing....hiding but keeping the ring box in close vicinity!! When they got there and she saw the box, she freaked out and then he grabbed the ring and asked her to spend the rest of their lives together. I love it! They are such a great couple and I'm excited for all their wedding festivities that will soon to happening :) Yeah! I love weddings!!

Look at how cute they are (at Jay's parents house that evening):

But then I made her take another picture and show off her beautiful BLING!!

Yeah! So excited for you two and all the fun to come!

After a great evening celebrating the newly engaged, we went to the plaza to meet up with a lot of Jimmy's friends that were in town that we had missed from not being in town for the wedding the night before. It was so good to see all of them...especially a few of them that we haven't seen since our own wedding!!! Here is a good picture of all the KU Oliver dorm friends!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Big, BIG news!

Ok, I will start this post off and tell you right away that the big news is not that we are pregnant. Haha. Just wanted to get that out of the way because at least 2 times now, when we were telling people this big news and started off with "we have BIG news"...that was their assumption! So up-front, that's not it!

But it is pretty big. Wait for it, wait for it. It's about this guy:

Jimmy got a new job! He starts on January 31st at....Hallmark Cards! Yep, how great is that?! We will technically be "co-workers", however we won't work together, so even better! He will be working on the Gold Crown sales team to sell Hallmark products to a territory within the United States. He'll be sitting in a building just a few floors down and over from me, so now we can have lunch dates, which will be fun :) In terms of riding together...well...we will just try to figure out what works best for us! I know he will love the company and I'm sure he will love the work and getting to interact with those wonderful Gold Crown store owners!!! YEAH!!

But overall, wanted to shout out to old Jimmy and tell him how proud of him I am and how incredibly excited I am for him (and us) to start this new career and part of life :) From what I have heard, there were TONS of applicants and very few that made it to the second round and even fewer that got the offer!!! Way to go Jimmy! You will rock this job and are great at sales. Trust me, I know best!! You sometimes persuade and convince me to do/buy/think things I would never come up with myself....but that's just why I love you!

He has 2 more weeks in his current job and then a week off before he starts, so hopefully I can find some fun projects for him to complete when he has a time off!
P.S. Other big news is that baby Will arrived today at and baby are both happy and healthy! Cannot wait to meet nephew #3! From the pictures he looks absolutely precious!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Family nicknames

So every family has them. Something that they call one another that (A) either the family knows why or the event that nickname stems from or (B) it's so random, but no one else thinks it's funny but your family. For example, my friend Lyssa is nicknamed Schmee...I have no idea why, but I never question it when everyone in her family calls her that.

Now that I have proved these exist, I would like to present you our family nicknames that are the latter explanation. Since I have already stated you probably won't think these are funny, you can stop reading now. But if you care to read on about our ridiculousness- please continue.

As our family members are listed on the side of blogs with their respective pictures, I'll spare posting any more embarrassing pictures (especially the one that I just got of Toby trying on one of my bras and trying to get into the nail polish.....).

Name/ Nickname/ Short explanation:

Brittany/ Bernie / We were in church one day and our pastor asked everyone to introduce themselves when you greet one another. This lady behind us (I'm going with she was old and short of hearing) asked my name. I said "Brittany"; she repeated to confirm she got it right and sputtered out "Bernie". So now that is what my husband calls me.

Jimmy/ Timmy / (not sure why all these start at church....but....) When I sign us in at church in the attendance notebooks, I tend to have sloppy handwriting, especially when it comes to finishing off the tail end of the J. I just don't take the effort, I guess? Well apparently that's not ok because that is apparently what I wrote one week in the attendance now all the mail we get to the church is addressed to "Brittany and Timmy"....including our tax information for our donations to the church. Oops :)

Milly/ The Bia, Tina, Mamasita Maria / The bia is because Milly's attitude is exactly the definintion of a female dog at many times....Tina because I am apparently obsessed with wiener dogs names Tina and Tony (not sure why)....and finally Mamasita Maria. This is because I speak fake Spanish to my dogs. Again, this is a random, not sure why one, but it's just something I do.

Toby/ T man, Papa Joseph, NOOOO/ T man because I guess that's easier than saying the full name Toby....Papa Joseph because Joseph is his middle name and "NOOOO"....well, I think you can figure that one out!

Willy/ Chunky face, Tony, Papasita, Bill / the first one is because, well, let's admit it, Willy's a little chunky but he's so cute. Tony: please see the reason in Milly's. Papasita: again, from Milly's, but this is his fake Spanish/Mexican name. And finally, Bill. That's right. This is recent and I'm not quite sure how it started but every time one of us calls him that, we just immediately crack up. A dog named Bill.

If anyone would care to air their family's dirty laundry and expose what you call each other behind those closed doors (let's keep it PG-13 folks), I would love to read about it :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Post pub crawl and new year's eve

All right, so follow up to the pub crawl post and final Florida vacation post (sorry, there were jut too many pictures that I took, so if you made it to this rock. If you are sick of reading about our trip, just skip it! I understand!!).

But this is what we did all day long. Sat on the couch. We weren't even awake until my parents got back around noon...

I did some of this, which was catching up on everything that I want to do in real life but don't have time for. I was in heaven!

The boys thought it was warm enough to get in the hot tub, but the girls did not.

We were able to enjoy some fireworks for the Outback bowl that was in Tampa on 1/1...from our condo! So that was fun and good because no one was in the shape to leave. My dad cooked some burgers, so literally I didn't leave or get dressed all day.

Hence why you see me wearing the same outfit bright and early on New Year's Eve morning :) But what a great way to spend New Year's Eve morning. Headache-free, a cup of coffee with my fancy husband, and a beautiful sunrise with a great view!!

It was even nice enough outside to sit on the beach, so Jimmy and I rented a little hut thing and chairs and sat on the beach! I didn't put my swimsuit on, but Jimmy took his shirt off. Got a little sunburned, or a lot, but it was still nice to sit outside on a beautiful beach!

We met up with my parents and sister for lunch at Frenchy's on the beach where I enjoyed some delicious crap soup. YUM!

To get the evening started off right, Jimmy, my dad and I headed down to the beach to watch the sunset. And it was literally the most perfect sunset I have ever seen in my life!!

We then headed out for our final dinner out in Clearwater Beach, which was at Crabby Bill's (but another one....on the other side of the water with a bigger menu).

The boys got a bucket of beer, but it ended not so well, but that's ok!

Final family shot of the trip!

We then headed back to the condo for an uneventful New Year's Eve because everyone was a little beat, but did make it back with a bottle of champagne. I was a little bummed because we were missing out on an amazing wedding of an amazing couple (Sarah and Josh) that was in Kansas City. I was happy to be with my family and more than excited for a wonderful trip to Florida and I know we weren't missed, but it would have been very fun to be help them celebrate their marriage!! However, we did have a good time ringing in the new year watching Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark....oh and the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block- hahahahaha. And my dad was sure enjoying it...

TOAST to the new year and 2011. My hair looks really weird because I was experimenting with a new curling iron...but I think now I have it finally figured it out (but not in this pic!). Can't wait for all the fun that 2011 has to bring. And a HUGE thanks to my mom and dad for taking us on such a fabulous vacation and that is was soooo much fun spending time in nicer weather and a stress-free time!

We were up early the next morning on an 8:40 flight. Even though we missed a friend's wedding on NYE, we were back in time on new year's day to celebrate an engagement!!!!