Monday, November 30, 2009

Count Your Blessings: Thanksgiving Recap

I feel like it has been forever since I blogged last, but with the hustle and bustle of the long holiday weekend and too much traveling, I am sure you will forgive my absence... and what an incredible time it was. As always, the time seemed to rush by all too quickly, and I was sad to come home yesterday afternoon, but so happy that I got to spend my time off with not only my family, but with Jeff's family in Hilton Head as well.

Here we are at my Aunt Michele's house on Thanksgiving Day for lunch-- that morning I was up early baking away {recipe post to follow} and was so pleased with how my desserts turned out! My family was sweet enough to take our pictures before we ate because we had to get on the road to South Carolina as soon as we had lunch.

My Uncle Robert, Aunt Denise, Cousin Lauren, and Her BF Patrick

Jeffrey and I

Step-Brother Justin, Mom, Dad, and Me

Add Jeff and My Little Family is Complete

That afternoon we drove almost 500 miles to join up with Jeff's family in Hilton Head, SC... lucky for us, his Mom has a condo there and his entire family flew in from all over the country to have Thanksgiving at the beach--sounds horrible, right?? =)
Between plenty of seafood, and loads of sunshine on the beach, we managed to accomplish some Christmas shopping {and personal shopping too!} as well as beach bocce and much-needed relaxation time. Of course there has to be a negative right?? OH YES! Needless to say, we got stuck in the "Thanksgiving traffic rush" coming home yesterday and spent more than 12 hours in the Tahoe coming home--my bed sure did feel good after all that traveling

Harbour Town in Sea Pines-- look at that bright blue sky!!

Jeff's Family!!

Me and My Favorite Blessing This Year

Jennifer, Jeff, Kaye, and Me

The Beach View from the Condo

Hush Puppies at Salty Dog- YUM!

Hope you had a Blessed Thanksgiving, too!! OXOX

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

{A Very Special Day... And Many Thanks}

What an incredible weekend I'm approaching! Not only are we celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow and traveling to Hilton Head to relax with Jeff's family, but today marks a very special day for my family.... it is my Grandfather's 69th Birthday, AND his very last day at work-- after working for more than 56 years, he is RETIRING!! For the past few weeks, I have tried to wrap my head around the thought of what it must feel like to retire after working for so long, but I can't seem to imagine it at all.

When my Mom and her 2 sisters were growing up, my Grandfather worked 2 jobs just to provide for them and give them the best life he could... my Grandparents have sacrificed so much of themselves for the betterment of our family, and the selflessness they offer simply can't be matched. They have been there for me through everything--They took care of me like a 2nd set of parents when my Mother had to travel when I was young. They came to every dance recital, every softball game, and made my world most important to them.  Our family is so close-because they made each of us stronger, and let us make our own decisions, but have been there to back us up whenever we needed them. I am so thankful for their love, their devotion, and their support. And even happier that now they get to enjoy another chapter of their lives together--since they've practically gone everywhere and already done everything {they've traveled to all 50 states}, who knows what is next for them, but I know it's going to be fun to take a backseat and enjoy the ride... maybe they'll get themselves a Harley Davidson =)

In Miami Last Year at Bubba Gumps!

Aren't They Adorable???

Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage =)

Fall Fest!!

{My First Award!}

Yay! I received my very first blog "award"--isn't that fun?? Too bad I don't need to rush out and go shop for a red carpet couture gown- haha! =)
Thanks go out  to Mrs. MFC for her thoughtfulness for not only one, but two awards...

The rules are this: list 10 interesting {oh, this could be tricky--how interesting am I?} facts about myself and then pass on BOTH awards to 10 people! Let's see:

1. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people don't speak proper English--maybe all of our Spelling/Grammar/English teachers weren't the best, but I know some people who consistently speak poorly, and it drives me crazy {like Bozo the Clown crazy}

2. I have never ran a race of any kind, but starting NEXT Monday, I will be preparing for my very first 1/2 marathon in Nashville on April 24, 2010... and yes, I will be keeping everyone updated with my progress

3. I am O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with the holidays... between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I only listen to Holiday music, and I am the person that constantly wants to be talking about the holidays... the decorations, the food, the presents, YAY!

4. I hate potatoes--there I said it! Yes, my friends and family think I am extremely awkward {especially being from the South}, but I don't like them... it's a consistency thing, and no I will never ever try mashed potatoes again- GROSS!

5. Growing up, religion wasn't that big in my household... sure, we went to church and I believed in God, but I didn't really have a "relationship" with Him until just this year-- and on September 13th, I was baptized and became a member of Brentwood United Methodist Church... since accepting Christ in my heart, my life has changed tenfold and I couldn't ask for more
A Picture of Jeff and I After My Baptism

6. I only have one regret in my entire life, and that is giving up the chance to live in my dream city {NYC} because of my college boyfriend--sure there were other factors involved in my decision, but I had a job offer from my internship {Y&R: a very prestigious advertising firm} and I decided to come home to Tennessee instead... it's the ONE thing I know I'll always regret

7. I went skydiving for my 23rd birthday and it was the most incredible adventure I've ever done... I didn't tell my family {beacuse I knew they would FREAK OUT}, but then surprised them after and showed them the video--the best 70 seconds you will ever experience!
Me and Cody Before Getting on the Plane


My Arms Look SCARY!

8. I am such a planner that I basically have my entire wedding planned {and yes, my boyfriend does know what he's in for when that day comes around}... just think of me as Jennifer Lopez in "The Wedding Planner"-- "those who do not wed, plan"

9. You know how everyone has a talent?? Like my Mom can find a 4-leaf clover anywhere... but me, I can tell the exact make and model of a car just by the headlights, even at night. This has been tested time and time again and it freaks my Dad out-- don't know how far this will get me in life, but it's something I guess =)

10. I was named after Natalie Wood, the movie star-- her real name was Natasha...for those of you who don't know me personally, my name is pronounced Na-tash {like cash}- a... sounds more difficult than it really is. And my middle name, Carol, comes from my Grandmother--I love having a meaning behind both of my names

OK, so now I have to tag 10 other bloggers and hand the awards to you... have fun!
Pam at Pammycakes
Caroline at Simply Smithwick
Heather at Live.Love.Laugh

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

{I Gotta Feeling...}

Now I can recap our fabulous weekend, thanks to my wonderful for bringing my camera back from the woods {for all those wondering, no deer were shot--is that bad that I am happy the smart Bambi's are one up on the boys??}
As previously mentioned, this was our very last 2009 UT football game in sad, but only hoping for bigger and better things next season. On Saturday, we joined friends and family at Calhoun's for lunch for Candice's Knoxville birthday celebration-- she was so excited to have all her best friends in one location, and shockingly enough, this is the FIRST time this has ever happened--I don't ever think I've seen her smile so much! We had a great time, as you can tell by all the pictures:
Bev, Me, Candice, April, and Sara

Candice, Me, and Bev =)

The Sweet Millers

Bev, My Mom, and Me... So Glad to Have Both of Them There!

After lunch, my parents and Jeff and I drove around Knoxville to look at all the beautiful fall colors... we ran some errands, went and saw my cousin's apartment, and then headed to tailgate with all of our friends before the game that night. So much fun and so happy we could all be together for the BEAUFITUL DAY!

The Broadway Sisters... Whitney and Lauren

Jeff and Me in Front of Neyland

The Birthday Girl and Me

Best Friend and Me Tailgating-- YAY!!

Fun with My Ladies

Our Boys {and yes, they love their pictures taken, too!}

Jules, Bev, and Nat

Tailgating Fun Outside the Stadium

My Favorite Picture... My Little Family

After tailgating, we scurried to our seats just in time for pre-game festivities {which I always have to see}. Thankful that Jeff had a warm jeaket, I stayed nice and toasty during our game against Vandy... which we won!!! Tennessee is now bowl-eligible--now just saying a prayer for another W against Kentucky this Saturday... such a great weekend with friends and family--makes me even more thankful for how much God blesses me =)

Monday, November 23, 2009

{These Are a Few of my Favorite Things}

So I won't recap my weekend {just quite yet} because the boyfriend {who is away hunting Bambi} has my camera with my fabulous Knoxville pictures on it, but I will fill you in on some random tidbits...

1. I cannot and will no longer act like I am in college when I venture to Knox--I simply don't have the energy to stay up until all hours of the night anymore... yes, I am still recuperating
2. There is nothing like tailgating on football gameday-- I am thankful to have a boyfriend who will line up and take pics of me and the besties until we have the "perfect FB worthy pose"
3. It's never to early to start celebrating Christmas--we decorated our house last night... it looks like Festivus has officially arrived at the Masscorns! {pics to come, I promise}
4. While attempting to shop for Christmas yesterday, I came across these and just had to have them-- Steve Madden Alisha via DSW--aren't they adorable? Yes, they are tall, but I practically always wear heels so these are perfect for work and play...

5. I can't wait to have my best friends in Nashville in 2 weeks... we are going to have a wonderful Christmas weekend {filled with movies, food, Angel Tree shopping, and limo rides} and we can't wait to show off our holiday pajamas =)
6. With Thanksgiving this week {can you believe it??}, I needed something for my dessert I am  making--my fascination with aluminum/pewter/silver serving dishes keeps growing... even though I am running out of storage! {via Target for only $20!!}

7. I like having brown hair... I'm not going to lie--at first I hated it, but now I am promising myself I will remain a brunette well into 2010
8. The New Moon book keeps getting better and better... if you've seen the movie, don't spoil it for me!!
9. And finally, only 3 more days until I am surrounded by my family for Thanksgiving---AND Jeff and I are leaving for Hilton Head to celebrate the holiday with his family... this could be interesting {1st holiday season together}, but I am ecstatic about our time together!

Have a great Monday!! OXOX

Friday, November 20, 2009

{These Are My Confessions}

For 2 years, I have been dying wanted  to run in the Country Music Marathon, but thanks to 2 of my good friends, I was able to skip out on the tortureous activity and attend their fun-filled weddings instead... in 2010, I no longer have the ability to "cop-out" on my wish--therefore--I am announcing now {to keep myself honest and hold myself accountable} that I will be running the Nashville 1/2 marathon on April 24, 2010.
Questions you {and I} may potentially ask as to why I am going to purposely harass my body:
1. Have you ever run in a race before? Technically no, but I race against myself at the gym 3 to 4 times every week =)

2. Why would you want to torture yourself like that?
You know how we all have those lists of the "30 Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 30?" Well, this has been at the top of my list {as well as traveling to Italy- Jeff get on that please!} so I figure at 26, there is no time like the present--plus, my body is only going to get worse so I need to get this checked off sooner rather than later

I know lots of people, both friends and co-workers, who participate in the 1/2 or full marathon every year, and rave about how much fun it is. After some thorough investigation, they have concerts all along the race path, cheerleaders giving support to keep you motivated, food at the finish line {need I say more}, and once I finish, I'll get the coveted race medal and t-shirt, which yes, I will wear all the time to prove that I completed the course!

So for the next few months, I will be whipping my body into better shape and spending lots of quality time at my local YMCA to prepare for the big race... the normal ramp-up time to get ready for a 1/2 marathon, but I want to give myself a little extra time!
I'm even hoping I can have my friends and family join in in the fun and be there at the finish line to watch me--Interestingly enough, I've had one of my friends say she'll drink 1 beer for each mile I run, but I doubt she'll make it to see me finish- haha!

P.S. If you have any great race tips/blogs, be sure to send them my way-- I need all the help I can get! And be sure to keep on me about my workouts and training... I need support!

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