Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I survived....

....the first Christmas hosted at my house! My parents and brother came over to our house on Christmas Day to celebrate with us. When we dropped my brother off at my parents on Christmas Eve on our way to Wilkesboro, it felt a little weird to know I would not be coming back there to celebrate this year. Since we both had to work today, we asked my family if they would mind coming to us, and it worked out great! Mom helped me cook, so it wasn't too bad, and Brandon helped me clean everything up after they left last night. Chelsi really enjoyed having everyone here - so much so, that she had to be on a leash while we opened presents! Since I was determined to sleep in my own bed each night this year, we came back from Wilkesboro on Christmas Eve night, and then my family came over about noon on Christmas Day. Everyone loved their gifts, and we love the ones we got too! My in-laws (with help from their son) helped me get up to to date in the technology world by getting me an iPod nano. I loved having it at work today to block out noise! I won't bore everyone with tons of pics, but here are a few from our celebrations.

About 20 pictures later, we finally got a pretty good shot of the Inscore family. Derek just has a funny look on his face because he was trying to get everyone to smile by saying something funny. I love the time-delay function on my camera!!

I love hanging out with the kids. They are really developing their own personalities, and it is so neat to see how much they change each time I see them. They are usually hanging all over me, but that is ok! I just can't believe how fast they are growing up!!

Chelsi was very excited about the chews she received from my cousin in Boston!

My family loves games! We played the new game Brandon got for XMas after dinner - "Origin"

Host and Hostess :)

Oh yeah, does anyone know what frostbite feels like? I think I might have it on my thumb! My thumb got really really cold when I was serving up ice cream last night for the fam, and I tried to warm it up my sticking it in my coffee mug (I know, weird, but it was hot and convenient). But today, it has been really sore, red and a little swollen. Why is it that the small cuts, burns, etc seem to hurt and bother you more than larger ones!?!?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve!

Presents are all wrapped, cookies and bread all baked, dishes done, dog walked, showered and ready for Christmas! We are leaving in about an hour to head towards Wilkesboro to be with Brandon's family. My brother came in town yesterday and stayed with us last night. His roommate and he drove up from Charleston together, and we met them in Winston to pick up Andrew. We pretty much just lounged around last night, but it was nice to have him in the house. I fixed the boys left over Ted's Kickin' Chicken wings for an afternoon snack, and then we had pulled pork sandwiches last night (I Love Let's Dish!). I asked my brother if his sister was domesticated enough for him, and he said, "yeah, it's a little weird." I guess other times he has been here, we have just been on the go and I haven't really taken the time to make meals. And he couldn't believe all the baking I was doing either. What can I say, I am turning into my mom! We went for a walk around the neighborhood last night to check out all the Christmas lights. Some people just don't have any taste when it comes to decorating! One of the houses in our neighborhood is all decked out, and they even have Christmas music playing when you walk by. Needless to say they are a retired couple with lots of money and extra time :) I just did the usual wreath on the door and candles in the window. Nothing special. Well, I better finish getting ready and load the presents in the car. I am always a little nervous that everyone will like what I got them - especially my niece and nephew. Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Brandon and I headed up the mountain last night for a get-together with his high-school friends. It was a lot of fun, and great to see everyone. Of course the boys were back to their old tricks of giving one another a hard time, playing pool and darts, eating Ted's Kickin' Chicken wings, and watching their annual Christmas movie "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation." Gene and Michelle hosted everyone at their house in Ashe County. Aaron & Kristen were in town from New Orleans visiting with his family, Chad & Anna came from Wilmington, and Lucas from Raleigh. Although the guys have gone in completely different directions in life, I know they will always remain in touch.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Santa's on his way!

It's Friday evening, I am home from work and excited because my holiday vacation has finally started! I wouldn't say I have not been in the Christmas spirit this year, but it just hasn't really felt like Christmas. But, now I am really starting to get excited about spending time with family and of course, presents!!! It is going to be a busy weekend, but just glad we have the long weekend with Christmas Eve and Day falling on Monday and Tuesday. At work today, my cubicle neighbor, Amy said to me, "You know, I should have put Merry Christmas on my signature for outgoing emails." As we have already been over that I am in the corporate world, my first comment was, "Yeah, but you may want to just put Happy Holidays, instead of Merry Christmas." Well, she didn't like that idea - she wasn't mad at me, but led to a discussion about how we both are sad at what the world is coming to, and she said "I dare anyone to say anything to me about saying Merry Christmas. If they don't like it, they can just ignore it." So, even though I was the one that originally suggested Happy Holidays over Merry Christmas, I have to agree with her. I am excited for Christmas, and excited to be celebrating the reason for the season, and want to share that joy with others. So, Merry Christmas everyone!! And not only is Santa on his way, but a Savior was born!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Money, money, money..... the insurance biz towards the end of the year, this is the only word you hear. And being as I work in Finance and that I am in charge of disbursements, I am getting hassled constantly by coworkers on when they will be able to pay out money to their clients. The holidays are not only stressful in making sure you get all your Christmas presents bought and wrapped, baking, Christmas cards, making plans, but work is stressful too. I am doing my best to stay up-beat, and not let it get to me, and I must admit, I am doing much better this year than in year's past. Part of that has to do with the fact that I am more comfortable in my position now, and feel I have a little more footing in denying some requests by colleagues. But, I have also taken an oath with myself that I will not let work get to me anymore. It just isn't worth it. I still have a strong work ethic, and of course want to do a good job, but just don't seem to be as career oriented as I used to be. I used to bust my butt, work crazy hours, and dream about work. Of course that panned out and helped me get promotions and then get selected for my current position, but I am content to stay where I am for now. Of course, if an opportunity comes along, I have to keep my options open, but I am hoping I can just stay under the radar for a little while, and enjoy life. Most people, not even Brandon, truly understand my job and what all I do, but my friend, Jess started working at Willis a few years ago, and so it has been nice to be able to talk to someone who knows what I am talking about. I am looking forward to a long holiday weekend (when Christmas falls in the middle of the week, it isn't as nice), but I know work will really start to become stressful on the 26th and won't let up until January. At least working in reinsurance, we are not dealing with people's personal lives as in primary insurance, we just deal with other companies, but when you hear that an insurance company is going to incur a penalty on their schedule F if they do not receive the 2,000,000 you owe them by the end of the year, it is a hard burden to bear - just times that by about 10 and that is what I am dealing with at work :) I am just glad that I am in Finance now, as opposed to my old department, when I had the clients actually harassing me personally looking for funds - now I just have to deal with the harassment of my coworkers (I say harassment in the nicest of ways!). Anyway, I am off to finish baking - we have "goody day" tomorrow at work - more reasons to pack on the pounds during holiday season!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cubicle Land

I saw my new cubicle for the first time this morning. Our office was running out of room for new hires, and I guess they thought we just needed a change, so we have been involved in several phases transitioning the cubicles over. This past weekend was my area's turn to reconfigure. So, below are some before and after pics. It is hard to tell from the pictures, but let me reassure you, it is very different!

Before Pic #1: All packed up and ready to move.

Before Pic #2 - at least we got to leave early on a Friday afternoon :)

After Pic #1: At least we got a nice new chair.

After Pic #2: Hello Neighbor!

I don't want to be negative and say I hate it, but it is going to take a lot of getting used to!! They are about a foot smaller on two sides, and the walls are half as high on one side and pretty much non-existent on the others. I have already purchased earphones, and I am sure I will be putting them to good use soon (more on reasons why another time). To top it off, we received an email Friday afternoon from Human Resources with a notice about restricting strong fragrances in the office. I feel for those with allergies, but just seems crazy that they can tell us not to wear perfume, not to use lotions, or eat at our desk. I know everyone is not going to adhere to it, but just another one of the joys of working in the corporate world and in cubicle land!! At least I get along well with my co-worker and cubicle neighbor :) Her daughter just got engaged this weekend, and is hoping to get married in August, so you can guess what I will be hearing about for the next 8 months!

I found the below link. The sad part is, I can attest to knowing someone who has broken all 10 rules, including myself on a few!!-10-Tips-for-a-Happier-Office-Environment&id=343971

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I had some "Friend Therapy" this weekend. My friend, Jess and I headed to Raleigh on Friday afternoon to visit our friend, Amanda. Amanda just recently moved back into the area after living in Knoxville, TN for a few years. So, we took advantage of all being close by around the holidays, and had a much needed "Girls Weekend." We went to dinner Friday night at this really neat sports bar, and then headed back to her house for our gift exchange, Christmas movies and spiked hot chocolate. On Saturday we battled the crowds and headed to Crabtree mall to finish our Christmas shopping. I had never been to that mall, and really enjoyed the day of shopping and hanging out with friends. We spoiled ourselves at the end of the long day of shopping and walking at the Cheesecake Factory. Again, another first for me, and it was wonderful! We started out with fun girly cocktails, then the appetizer sampler platter, and last but not least, we each got a dessert. It was awesome! Amanda had a company party Saturday night, so Jess and I headed back to Greensboro (slowly and cautiously in the rain). I needed this girls weekend more than I thought. Just a time to giggle and be silly with friends - no negative talk or drama - just three girlfriends catching up. Here is one of our silly pics - I love it! - we are already in our PJs and getting ready to enjoy our hot chocolate. (Just ignore my double chin please!!)Of course with our busy lives, it is hard to find time to get together with friends as often as we would like, but I know I can count on some "Friend Therapy" each month with my church circle girls, and that is awesome! I love hanging out with Brandon and being with my family, but friends have always been and always will be very important to me. Friends are with you through thick and thin, and even though sometimes your lives are going in different directions, you know they are there for you. It hurts when you can't be as close as you used to be, or just don't understand what one another is going through, but sometimes I just have to accept that friends will float in and out of my life, and every one of them will leave footprints on my heart!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Lighthouse Tavern

"Elon Lighthouse Tavern & Deli owner charged with buying date rape drug"
The Lighthouse was the place to be when you were a freshman at Elon, because it was one of only a few bars within walking distance of campus, and you could get in under age 21. Well, imagine my surprise when I heard about this headline from Burlington's TIMES NEWS today. Understandably an investigation is underway, and I don't want to judge before all the facts come out, but I honestly feel sorry for anyone that feels they need to use a date rape drug in order to have sex. Why would you want to be with someone that doesn't want to be with you? Girls have always been reminded not to accept drinks from random guys, but now you can't even trust the bartender? I swear, sometimes I really worry about what this world is coming to. A sorority function was taking place the night the bust took place - so luckily lots of innocent girls were hopefully spared.
This story just makes me sick to my stomach. Luckily I still have my memory of my previous blog's news story involving Brad Pitt to cheer me up :)

Charity and a hottie

I love "The Today Show". I feel I get the major news by watching for a couple of hours each morning, and on day's like today, I also get to feast my eyes on some "hotties" like Brad Pitt. He was on this morning talking about his "Make It Right" campaign to help families start over in New Orleans. How can one man be so hot (besides my husband of course!)?!?!I wish I had lots of extra money to do awesome things like this. Brandon and I try to do our part by giving each year to charitable organizations, but sometimes wish I could do more. When I day dream about becoming a millionaire, as I often do, I wonder if I would be selfish and keep the money for myself, friends and family, or if I would do the "right" thing by giving to those really in need. I mean, I could definitely find ways to spend the million on myself, but would that really make me happy? Just one of those questions I find myself asking - and of course daydreaming that one day I will find out the answer since I keep buying those Lotto tickets!