Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kitchen Aid

Lately I've had this need to be in my kitchen. I've been dying to try new recipes for sweet treats and expand my general dinner menu. Am I bored with what I've been doing? Not really, I just need to add a bit of variety to my list of recipes. Plus, all this baking and cooking is satisfying this need for a creative outlet. I'm looking for something out of my ordinary and this is helping for the time being. A little kitchen aid, if you will.

I went last week and picked up a recipe journal from Barnes & Noble. Pryo Man and I decided we need to keep track of some of the new things we try and keep a running list of our favorites. It's interesting combining our two palates together. We often times have different ideas of what sounds good or looks good. This little journal might help us create our own cookbook of old favorites and new.

I turned to my one of favorite cookbooks from The Pioneer Woman, Food From My Frontier, for her Chicken Parmesan.  Delicious. This was my second time to attempt this recipe, the first being a couple years ago and I'm glad I took another stab at it. Takes a little bit to get it all ready, but I'm really glad I took the time. It was so worth it!

Janson caught me sauteing the onions and garlic.  

Table is set with our beautiful china. 


Dinner is served! Turned out pretty nice if you ask me and tasted even better!

Husband approved. 

Well, after dinner was finished and the Pyro Man helped me clean up (sweet man), I decided I needed to mess it all up again and try these Oreo Cheesecake Cookies from the Brown Eyed Baker. I accidentally doubled the recipe by reading the 3 oz of cream cheese as 8 oz. Fortunately I realized my "oops" moment early on and just doubled everything there after. I doomed this batch before even adding the third ingredient...

Part of trying new things is messing up a bit. These cookies looked delicious and really easy and yet, I wasn't really impressed with my outcome. However, I don't think it's the recipe's fault, but perhaps the baker. 

The batter is really great, but I was a bit disappointed with cookies themselves. After 15 minutes in the oven, they looked golden around the edges like the recipe said they should. So I popped them out, looking gorgeous, but incredibly gooey inside. Gooey to the point that both my husband and I wondered if they were even done (And yes, I realize this this a cheesecake cookie, but even cheesecake has some consistency.). 

After  another few minutes in the over, the darn bottoms got too brown, not burned, and the cookies tasted way too chewy. Well, I certainly took care of baking the gooey out of them. Perhaps they were supposed to be just browned on the outside with the super gooey center. Perhaps mistakenly doubling the recipe really was a bad idea (an extra 2 oz cream cheese might have added to the gooeyness...duh). 

I'd like to try these again and see if smaller balls would work better and not doubling the recipe on accident might help. We shall see. Try it for yourself! Even slightly crispy, the cookies have a great flavor to them! 



Oreo Cheesecake Cookies
Yield: About 1 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 12 to 15 minutes
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup chocolate chips
1 cup Oreo cookie crumbs --> I recommend running these through a blender or crunch with a rolling pin. I hand crushed mine, hence the giant chunks of Oreo. 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (No parchment paper in the house, I used non-stick foil. Might have added to the extra browning on the bottom).  
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and well-combined.
3. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix until the ingredients are well-combined. Add the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated then add the chocolate chips. 
4. Place the Oreo cookie crumbs in a small bowl. Scoop the cookies into about 1½ to 2″ balls and then roll in the cookie crumbs. Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the tops are slightly puffed.
5. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Welcome to the World, Baby Madeleine!

On a bright Saturday morning last February, I got a call from my Big Sister. In true Julie fashion, I rattled on about who knows what until I finally her asked, "what's up, Big Sister?"

"Oh, well, I've got some news," she casually replied. 

"Oh yeah? Tell me!" I'm such a little sister, anxious for new. 

"Well...Jason and I are having a baby!"

I then proceeded to weep and blubber on about how excited I was and congratulations and oh my gosh, you're going to be a mom! It was a very moving moment. I'm pretty sure Big Sister was laughing at my hysterics and repetitious exclamations of pure joy.

A few months later, we found out Baby Bean was a precious little girl! Pink, curls, sparkles, and bows! My little niece and I are going to have so much fun together, I just knew it! All I had to do was be patient until Baby Bean was made her grand debut on August 28th.

As her due date grew closer, we all debated just when exactly was Baby coming. Doctors moved up her date and then pushed it back a few times. We waited patiently just hoping Baby Bean would make her way safely into the world. By August 26th, Big Sister knew Baby Bean was either going to arrive right on time just like her dad or fashionably late like her mama. Well, we found out she's prompt just like her papa.

Baby Madeleine Elizabeth Duff arrived at 9:03 pm on August 28th, 7.5 lbs and 20 in long! 
(Middle name is for her Nannie Julie--Lucky little girl!)


She's a precious bundle of joy! Pyro Man and I got to visit the weekend after she was born and I had the best time just holding her. She is a beautiful creature and I can't believe she is actually here, a perfect combination of her mother and father. 

I'm always happy to hear about a friend's new niece or nephew. Babies are so precious and who doesn't love to hold their little hands or play with their little toes? I'm head over heels for my precious nephew, Michael, who is a hambone and a half. But seeing my Big Sister go through this wonderful miracle of pregnancy and holding her baby, her baby, I'm in complete and utter awe. 

Sometimes I think Big Sister should be back in the 5th grade reading The Babysitter's Club and trying to convince me that playing The Quiet Game was actually fun. Now here she is, a new mom with a brand new baby girl who is just that, brand new. Pregnancy, nature's coolest science fair project; taking two loving people and creating one unique human being. Madeleine has gotten me seeing babies in a whole new light.  

Don't get any crazy ideas, I'm all about being fun Nannie Julie/Aunt Ju-Ju right now! Bring on the weekend babysitting! When she gets big enough, I'll buy Madeleine her very first pair of tights and ballet shoes. And now for the better part of this post, more pictures of my sweet baby niece! 


We're going home! 


Papa Gary is wrapped around her little finger! 

Such a little Southern Lady in her seersucker bow!



Oh, sweet Madeleine, you are already loved beyond words! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

Who doesn't love the pumpkin spice flavor? Considering fall is right around the corner, this is the perfect time to add this flavor to pretty much anything. I personally love it in my coffee (Hello, Starbucks!) and baked into homemade goodness. 

This weekend I was dying to bake something for fall, something to satisfy my need for orange and red colored leaves and a cooler breeze. So I popped onto that handy dandy Pinterest site, my favorite get away site, and searched for anything pumpkin flavored. I came across this precious gem, Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donuts.

Recipe? Pretty easy. Taste? Pretty delicious. Status? Less than 24 hours and all gone. Here's the recipe: 


Doughnuts

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached flour



    Directions
    1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans. If you'd like, these can be made in muffin tins. 
    2) Beat together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, spices, salt, and baking powder until smooth.
    3) Add the flour, stirring just until smooth.
    4) Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full; use a scant 1/4 cup of batter in each well. 
    6) Bake the doughnuts for 10-12 minutes. (Original recipe said for 15 - 18 minutes but I found 15 minutes left the donuts dry.) 
    7) Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after about 3-5 minutes, loosen their edges with a spoon, and transfer them to a rack to cool.
    8) While the doughnuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them in a bag with the cinnamon-sugar. 
    9) Cool completely, and wrap airtight; store at room temperature for several days.
    Makes: 12 doughnuts


    Cinnamon Sugar

    1/2 cup of sugar
    2 Tablespoons of Cinnamon

Drop in a bag and shake it up! You'll have a ton of leftovers, but I like keeping it on hand for cinnamon toast. 



I kept four at home and boxed up the rest for Pyro Man to take to work to share and find out the verdict. Me? I'll love anything pumpkin spice, but I wanted to know if anyone else liked them, too. Pyro Man doesn't care for pumpkin, poor man. So much for an at home taste tester.  He came home with an empty tupperware so I'd call that good. 

Someone suggested using powdered sugar instead of cinnamon sugar. I'm really curious to try that in the future and this is definitely one I will try again. 

Hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Autumn is a second spring...

I absolutely adore the fall season. It brings so much into the year with it's crisp, cool breeze and I can hardly wait to dive into the fall festivities this year!

Some of the things I love about autumn are the changes that come with it. The temperature changes from blisteringly hot to a cool and balmy feel. The leaves often change colors and although they don't last as long or as beautiful up here in Oklahoma as they are anywhere up north, it's a little more than what we get in Texas. My closet changes from sundresses and tank tops to warm sweaters and beautiful boots. Even my kitchen holds new aromas of pumpkin and cinnamon instead of summer fruit and cook out fixings. Everything changes and this particular fall will be a new change for me.

For the first time, I'm teaching a full year in one place I'm very familiar with. For the first time I have someone living in my house with me and he's no roommate, he's my husband. For the first time in my entire life, I've got a family all my own that includes a husband and not one, but two kitties. For the first time, ladies lunch with my mother and sister includes a brand new little southern lady, my niece, Madeleine. So many adjustments in a few short months and like a domino effect, each change will trickle down into many more changes through out the year. It's a whole new slice of life I'm looking forward to trying.

With so many new things I'd like to share, it's no wonder that I return to my blog. It's been some time since I've last been on here. My dedicated blogging fell by the wayside as life got a little more "grown up" after my masters. After I started teaching and delving into wedding planning, I found I wasn't too sure about what to post any more. There are only so many times you can write "I'm still planning" or "I'm still teaching" on a blog. Stepping away from my first year of teaching and a few months after our wedding, I do have some pretty great stories and decoration how-to's. Just like the season, this blog might have to go through its own change.

For now, I'll make the effort to post a few more times than every once in a blue moon. One last final note, a very Happy Heart Day to my sweet mother. She had her open heart surgery 15 years ago today. We are blessed beyond words for these extra fifteen years with her and I know she's happy to have had them, too. I love you, Mom, and I'm grateful to have you!


Mom finally home after the big surgery and surrounded by the family. 


Happy Sunday, everyone! Go enjoy the gorgeous new weather! 


"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower" 
-Albert Camus

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm Still Here!

After several months of nothing, I'm feeling the need to blog again! Truly I didn't mean to stay away this long, it just happened. I got busy with daily activities and when I did sit down to write, I had nothing. I wouldn't call it writer's block so much as I just didn't know what to share on my little blog.

January I started a new job that I absolutely adore, an assistant professor position at a university I believe wholeheartedly in. Over the course of five months I learned so much about teaching dance, about teaching in general, and quite a bit about myself. Time flew by so quickly and I couldn't believe May came and my contract was already over. What's even a stranger though is the fact that I had completed my first full year of teaching in higher education. And I wasn't even 25 years old yet. Whoa.

Thinking back on where I was a year ago, sitting on a New York subway, completely defeated and desperately wondering what life had in store for me, I never could have imagined I would be completing my first contract at my dream school and looking ahead towards some other incredible opportunities. Let's just say Life shot me about five years into my future plans. I jumped ahead to a whole different point in my master plan and now I'm working on refiguring all I thought I was going to accomplish. 

My plans may have gotten jumbled, but I'm surprisingly okay with that. It's opening up new ideas for me and offering new paths. I'm feeling secure in what I've got ahead and excited for the new possibilities I'd once put on the shelf. I'm dreaming again about my future and that feels incredibly wonderful.

A long time ago I had this friend who said, "Write your plans in pencil, but give God the eraser." For the majority of my now adult life, I've been struggling with letting go of that need to plan out everything. I'm making it my goal to keep this reminder in mind every day because for once, I actually understand the full meaning of such a simple sentence.

So, that's the serious stuff. The fun stuff since February? Well, I turned 25 a couple of weeks ago. Quarter life crisis might explain the serious deep thoughts from earlier. Really it was a wonderful birthday. Had a picnic lunch at White Rock Lake with my parents and a lovely dinner at home with the family.

I'm going to be an aunt this August! My sister and brother-in-law are having a baby girl and I couldn't be more excited! Nannie Ju-Ju is going to buy Baby Bean her first pair of ballet shoes and pink tights!

Pyro Man and I are now 38 days out from our wedding! Whoo-hoo! Are we finished with our planning? Heck. No. There's a ton left to be done and I'm getting stressed out. Thank goodness for anti-biotics to keep the stress from popping up on my face too much...

I say there's a ton to do, and really there is, but I have to give us some credit. The dress is done....but I can't show you even though I'm dying to show someone the finished product. We've taken all of our pre-marital classes and have the ceremony picked out. We even picked out ceremonial music with the organist much to Pyro Man's delight. He loved our meeting with the organist, Mr. Conrad, and even convinced him to give us a private concert.

A few weeks ago I moved back home for the wedding and I've been going non-stop ever since. So why did I decide to sit down this morning? Maybe it's because I've missed running my fingers over the keys and spilling out thoughts and stories I love to share. Maybe it's the fact that I just got tired of wondering what would be appropriate to share or not share on here. Or maybe it's because over the last week I've seen several friends restart up their blog and it inspired me to do the same. In any case, I've missed this old blog and I just wanted to start it all up again. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Home Again Home Again, Jiggity Jig!

I got to go home this weekend for this first time in almost six weeks. It was perfectly planned out. Friday morning I'd set out early to see the fam for the day. On Saturday I'd get to visit with Pyro Man and then on Sunday I'd head back to Oklahoma City. Like I said, perfect. Well, at least in theory.
Friday morning started off great. Got up early like I planned, grabbed a coffee for the road, and braced myself for the rain. Fortunately it wasn't raining terribly, I didn't have any traffic problems and I was making good time. Everything was dandy until I hit Lewisville.

As I was driving along the highway, my car randomly started to slow down. It was as if I'd taken my foot off the accelerator and tapped the breaks. I pressed my right foot down a little hoping a bit of gas would help, but no, it kept dropping in speed. Then my check engine light came on. Not good. I punched my flashers on and started to head for the shoulder. Then my oil light came on followed by my battery light. Awesome.

I'm less than an hour away from home and here I am on the side of the road. My car got tired, I guess. A quick phone call to Dad secured me a ride home and left me with absolutely no idea what happened to my car. AAA was my next call. After that, all I had to do was wait. A kind stranger did stop to offer me help and see if I was okay. I had a gentlemen honk at me while my car my actually being hooked up to the tow truck. Thank you for thinking I looked nice makeup-less with crazy hair, rain covered glasses, and a phone plastered to my ear.

Luckily I didn't have to wait long for my tow truck hero, Scott, to rescue me from the racing traffic. Nice young guy, didn't know what was wrong with my car either, but was happy to tow Miss Iris, my car, where I needed. I asked for a ride and this is the part that I hope he never repeats on other calls. "Oh sure, but you know this is how most slasher movies start. The young lady gets in the car with the tow truck driver. You know? Ha ha...oh"

...really? He was waiting for a laugh that I just couldn't utter. My face must have said it all because he quickly tried to cover with several apologies and the guarantee I'd arrive safe and sound to my parents. "Well," I started, "so long as you can tow my car, it's all good." I was too stunned with this whole car situation to really care too much about his crazy remark. All I wanted was to get my car fixed.

Dad told me to take the car to Toyota of Richardson so when Scott The Driver asked, "Where to?" I happily replied Toyota of Richardson. "Well, ma'am, it's $8 a mile after the first three. Toyota of Richardson is a pretty far drive from here." I call Dad back, tell him the price, Dad's voice goes up a couple of octaves, and we all agree Toyota of Lewisville is a better alternative. Not only that, it's under three miles from where I got stranded so my tow was for free (Thanks, AAA!).

Mom and Dad took me for Chik-fil-a for a pick-me-up, but I was still pretty sad. My weekend plans were blown out of the water and my car was broken. I couldn't even begin to guess how bad it was going to be so of course I went to the worst case scenario. Was my car a goner? Was I going to have a buy a new? How was I going to work in another payment? Argh, the trials of adulthood!

I got lucky. I got very, very lucky. Someone was looking out for me. We got a call in the afternoon that my car only needed a new timing belt and it would be fixed that afternoon. My weekend plans were back on track! Huzzah!

It wasn't a perfect situation and my perfect plans got a little delayed, but everything was still turned out pretty darn well. I got to see my family and my Pyro Man. Best of all, I made it back to OKC without having to call AAA again. Now that is a perfectly happy ending to this weekend.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Calling All Curly Headed Girls!

I need some hair help. My curly hair is no longer curling. I have no clue what's going on with the rat's nest a top my head, but it ain't working for me any longer. The front right side of my hair is now completely straight. This doesn't really pose a problem when I want to straighten my hair. However, it's incredibly unnerving when the rest of my head is still attempting to curl/wave and I've got a whole section of hair that's stick straight.

When I asked my hair dresser what to do about this funky, one-sided straight thing, you know what you she said? "Change shampoos and use a curling iron to curl that side of your hair." Excuse me, what? Fake my curls with a curling iron? That's fraud, impersonating natural curls with a curling iron. I. Think. Not.

What's the deal? Seriously. I've spent the last hour online reading through article after article on curly and wavy hair trying to decipher what is the best solution. Should I use this co-washing trick? Don't wash my hair, but condition for several weeks in attempt to coax a partial curl out of my right side. Would a hot oil treatment work better? Could a deep conditioning treatment work? Why the heck have I been buying shampoo with all sorts of crazy ingredients that I can't pronounce? Is my hair going to fall out completely because I've been using shampoos with silicone? Has heat damage been so permanent that I won't ever see another curl again? WHY IS THIS STRESSING ME OUT?!

That's another thing I'm wondering. Have I just been under so much stress that my hair has been altered? Really. Let's break this down. Nearly three years ago I was graduating from undergrad, cleansing my love life of a toxic relationship, starting grad school merely one week after walking across the stage, and then falling head over heels in love with a wonderful man where we then started a long distance relationship. Nearly two years ago I was starting a complete non-stop (January to December) year of school, the last big push before graduation. In that year, I spent six months finishing massive amounts of course loads and another six months of it working on a full-length original show I wrote, researcherd, choreographed, auditioned, directed, and costumed. This past year I graduated, moved home, got engaged, was jobless for six months while I traveled and was turned down over and over again (that does a job on a person's self-worth). Then I finally got a few teaching jobs that, while wonderful, didn't pay much and I had looming bills coming in hard and fast. A few short months ago, we finally picked a wedding date, I got a brand new job, picked up my life, moved, and am now trying to juggle long distance challenges like wedding planning while lesson planning.

So, is it really so hard to believe that because my life has been in such a constant state of flux that my hair has decided it's just tried?

OK. Perhaps I've had too much coffee this morning. Much like my hair, I've exhausted myself.  I think I'll go buy a silicone-free bottle of shampoo, try this co-washing business, take a vitamin and call it art. But really, any one got advice for this curly headed girl, I'd be happy to hear it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another Month Goes By

Another month flies by and this poor little blog is left lonely out in the cyberspace cold. It's not that I don't care for my blog, it's that I'm at a loss of what to write. I ask myself on a daily basis, "What is this blog for any more?"

The third birthday of "Dancer Diaries" is coming up and it's bothering me a great deal that I have barely touched this thing in the last year. Writing in here has always been a creative release, however, I'm drastically limited in what I write nowadays. I've never wanted this to be a venting journal, that was never the point. It was a way to write my adventures while I traveled around the world dancing and performing.

My plans changed and opportunities came in different ways that I hadn't really prepared myself for...so here I am. Totally not in the spot I thought I'd be three, even four years ago. Don't get me wrong, I love my life, especially right now. I'm in the best best place I could possibly be and for the first time in a good long while, I'm really really happy. Everything really does happen for a reason and I know I'm right where I need to be.

Anyway, my poor blog is haunting me. I hear it calling my name. "Julie....come update me...I feel forgotten..."

OK, so maybe it's my own guilt getting to me, but I will solve my blogger problems later. For now I'll give a quick update of life since the starting a new year. Work is excellent. I don't know that I can really call it "work" because it's awesome. Teaching dance every day to a positive group of incredibly talented individuals every day. That is what I do and it is THE coolest job ever. How many people can say that get to do what they love for a living? I'm extremely blessed.

I'm reconnecting with friends in the city and I'm enjoying that quite a bit. Home life is very quiet right now. No Honey Cat here to keep me company and fuss at me when her food bowl is empty. I've taken up talking to myself again just to hear a voice in my house. So, yes, I'm feeling a bit lonely these days and missing my loved ones terribly.  It's not like I'm in Alaska or anything, but still. I was spoiled being with family all the time last year and getting to see Pyro Man every week. Oh, that one kills me. We were finally only an hour apart and now we're back to being truly long distance and I ain't liking it one bit. I'll have been up here a full six weeks by the time I see everyone again. Six weeks really isn't that bad in comparison with other situations people have faced. Still in all, it's not my ideal arrangement either.

My kitchen and I have been getting reacquainted the last couple of weeks. I pretty much took a year long hiatus from baking and cooking last year. When Mom or Dad offered to make dinner, it was really hard to turn them down. Also learning to live on pennies right now until that first paycheck comes in. Coupons are my friends and I'm actually about to head out, snag a paper, and clip some more tonight. Whoo-hoo!

Not having much extra cash at the moment means not taking any dance classes...not that I've really been able to find any adult classes yet, but I'm working on it. With the wedding less than six months away and a honeymoon planned for KAUAI (Yes! Hawaii, here we come!!), I'm inclined to get my butt in gear so as to feel great walking down the aisle in my dress and skipping down the beach in my bikini. By the way, what is with people putting out bikini's the first day in January? That's cruel. Or motivation. Or both. Can't decide.

So I've decided to start working out at home and it's going alright. Almost took out a coffee table the other day, snapped myself in the face with a resistance band, and rolled off my exercise ball and nearly crashed into the TV. We're all good, nothing is broken. My pecs are unbelievable sore (Hello, Push-up's. You are my enemy.) and my buns and hamstrings are mighty tight which makes it a tad difficult to sit down gracefully. Other than that, I'm feeling good.

Wow. That was a very play by play entry for the day. See what I mean? I need to get those creative juices going again, keep this thing a bit more interesting. Oh well, that's pretty much what's happening with me right now. I actually need to get off here, finish laundry, clean house, get a little workout in and get ready for tomorrow. Love having a good solid to-do list. Until next time!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hello 2012...

... I've been expecting you. At times I would have said that 2011 creeped and crawled on while other moments I would have sworn that time flew past my face. It was a roller coaster year with ups, downs, twists, turns, and some very slow moments in between. Overall it was a growing year and I can honestly say I'm ready for this fresh start. There's so much excitement and new adventures for me that I can hardly wait.

First of all, I moved. I'm back in Oklahoma City for...(drum roll please)...my new job! Yay! A great opportunity crossed my path and I am happy to say I was lucky enough to be offered the position. My contract started Monday and I'll start teaching this coming Monday. There's lots to do and I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed just yet.

In moving, one usually finds a new residence. Well, I sort of found a new residence. Back in my cute 1926 apartment complex, different apartment. It's got some quirks like the last one, part of it's character, it's charm. I also have Sasquatch living above me and let me tell you, he is loud. I want to know what in tarnation is he doing up there? Tromping around and shaking things off my ceiling. Not really, but it's going to happen one of these days.

2012 also brings a new change I can't wait to begin. I'm getting married to my very own Prince Charming. Tomorrow, January 6th will mark one year of begin engaged to my Pyro Man. Saturday, January 7th marks our six month mark to our wedding. Can't even believe we're this close. I thought it would never get here.

So here goes a new year, a new start, and a new name change. I'm ready for you 2012. Just please let's have a few less meltdowns, but I think you've already set yourself up to be a fabulous year.


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