Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, It's Been Fun!

Happy New Year's Eve!  This year Bob and I are staying in with a few friends and having a dinner party and playing some games.  I'm looking forward to putting some of our wedding gifts to good use!  Speaking of wedding, let's talk about the great things that happened in 2010.  It certainly was one of my best years.

2010 Highlights (in no particular order):

Bob and I got married and had the most fun (week-long) party ever!  We got to spend a lot of quality time with our far away family and those we see everyday.

We took an amazing trip to the West Indies and stayed on the island of St. Lucia.  It was truly one of the most beautiful places on earth and we had so much fun exploring the beaches, ziplining through the rain forest, eating delicious local delicacies and being together.

While we were on our honeymoon our yard at home was undergoing a serious makeover.  Trees removed, mulch laid, decks stained and tons of lovely landscaping.  Man, was that a treat to come home to!  (No photos, boo!)

Bob turned the Big 3-0 this year and with the help of Bob's brother Matt, I was able to pull off the ultimate surprise party.  Bob had no idea and we got him good!  That was a great day!

Bob and I adopted an ornery little puppy named Winston who continues to light up our lives.  He's just the sweetest, most fun little guy you could ever ask for.  (I've completely forgotten about the shirts, shoes and socks he's ruined in the last few months.  Not to mention the shoe he ate this morning.) :)

I got to go to my first Blackhawks game and it was awesome!  Last year I got really into watching hockey (mainly in person at Illini hockey games) so it was a treat to get to see the Blackhawks in person.  Although they didn't win it was still a fun experience.

I accepted the position of Marketing & Sales Director with the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau.  It's been great to return to the non-profit sector (where my real passion seems to lie).  Marketing my hometown as a top destination in Central Illinois has been a great step in my career.

Early in the year we were able to take a trip to Atlanta and Big Canoe, GA to visit with our favorite family living down south.  We had a great time cooking, playing games, hiking and golfing!  Can't wait for another trip in 2011!

There are lots more things I could mention, but I'll wrap it up here.  In a nutshell, 2010 has been a year for the record books.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends and to be starting my own little family with my wonderful husband.  In 2011, I'm looking forward to some more traveling with hubby, cooking more delicious meals, perhaps picking back up my photography hobby and all the new and exciting opportunities my job will bring.  Thank you to everyone who's been a part of the last year of goodness!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cloud Umbrella

On this gloomy, slushy, seemingly rainy day, this pretty umbrella has me smiling.

Temps are unseasonably high here (for another couple of days) and the snow is turning into a gross, brown slushy mess.  The sky is overcast and they're saying it could rain tomorrow.  That won't, however, put a damper on my New Year.  I've treated myself to a 6-day staycation and am loving every minute.  I've been super productive the last day and a half, so after Winston and I head to the dog park I may just curl up on the couch with a cup of hot peppermint tea and read a book.  Sigh...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Surprised Husband

Bob and I had a wonderful first Christmas as husband and wife.  I surprised him with his very own Man Cave.  Decked out in gear from his favorite Chicago teams (and the Illini, of course) I loaded up a room in our basement with man essentials including a computer to check his fantasy scores, a dartboard, a poker table and a basketball signed by Coach Bruce Weber and the entire Men's Basketball Team.  Seeing the genuine surprise on his face was priceless.  He loved it - and, I loved making it for him!

And, Bob also got this signed Ernie Banks glove, which was the icing on the cake.

It was a lovely Christmas and we're looking forward to celebrating the new year, too!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

It's Christmas Eve and the falling snow is perfectly blanketing the ground.  I love it!  Bob, Winston and I are enjoying our first holiday season as a family.  Winston especially loves hopping around in the snow and sneaking nibbles on the Christmas tree.
Last night my high school girlfriends and I got together for a our 5th annual holiday merrymaking event, which is always a delight.  Today I've been working on Bob's surprise Christmas present - I hope he likes it!  Keeping it a secret is probably the hardest part for me...  And, tonight and tomorrow we'll be hopping around to different houses spending time with our families and indulging in delicious food and drink. 
The holidays are so wonderful and I'm so blessed to be spending this time with such loving family and friends, my wonderful husband and the cutest puppy you ever did see.

Here are some out takes from our Christmas card photo session this year:

            Winston eating an ornament

            "Winston look up there at the camera!"

                 "Bob, hurry!"

                  "Winston, buddy, c'mon. Just look at the camera."


Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hilarious SNL Digital Short

My co-worker, Cory, shared this video with me today and it has officially made my day.  Those crazy SNL kids have done it again.  Stick it out through the :30 commercial at the beginning - it's worth it.

"I Just Had Sex"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy First Day of Winter

A lovely quote for the first day of Winter:

I am younger each year at the first snow. When suddenly, in the air, all little and white and moving; then I am in love again and very young and I believe everything.
- Anne Sexton, 1958

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mmmm, Pasta

Tonight the weather is a fright out there so I'm staying home, eating a hearty meal and curling up with my two lovelies, Bob and Winston.  We took care of the hearty meal part in a serious way.  Big Belly Portabello Pasta. Mmm, mmm, mmmmmm!  Thank you Rachel Ray for this delicious 30-minute (well, maybe 45-minutes in my case) meal.

                                           From stove top

                                           To dinner plate 

And, speaking of food, I think we may have to try salad pizza for our next Sunday night ritual.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

As you most likely know, last week Washington took a huge forward stride by advancing the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.  I couldn't be more elated at our country's progress toward equal rights for all, not to mention a staggering leap away from stifling homophobic tendencies.  Having celebrated the differences AND similarities of so many friends and family members both gay and straight, this really is a victory.

A few articles:

Friday, December 17, 2010

John Legend Weekend!

My dear sweet husband, Bob, surprised me with tickets to see John Legend tonight in Chicago.  I'm so excited to see this guy live in concert!  His voice just makes me melt.  He's not too bad on the eyes either.

One night after a quiet dinner at home Bob and I were talking about what song to have our first dance to at our wedding.  He bolted out of his seat and ran to the car and darted back in with a C.D.  With a twinkle in his eye he skipped right to this song, swooped me out of my chair and told me how this song always made him think of me as we danced around our living room.  I was sold.

Tonight we'll be joined by the delightful Matt and Jackie and we're staying at the swank downtown hotel, The Wit.  And, we're hoping to make it up early to go ice skating at Wrigley Field.  It's going to be great!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Feeling Sicky

I've had symptoms of a sinus infection off and on for 3 weeks now.  Last night they came back with a vengeance and I feel rotten.  So, I'm taking my first sick day in almost a year and recuperating on the couch. After a quick trip to the doctor, I've got meds and a Rx for rest.  My sweet husband came home and made me a homemade chicken noodle soup, which is already making me feel better.  I'll be on the couch for the rest of today watching terrible daytime television and catching up on my magazines.

I'm hoping to feel better by morning since this is John Legend weekend!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Marching Band Rocks

You've got to see this marching band.  Their giant football player is awesome!  How creative, right?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marry Me

L-O-V-I-N-G this song! And, what a sweet, sweet proposal. Love is so, so, so good!

Adios Snowman

Watching the Today Show this morning I was shocked to see that the story of the CUMTD bus driver running over the snowman made national news.  These students built this snowman in the middle of a campus street waiting for cars to drive right through it.  After a few cars swerve and miss it, this MTD bus veers into the opposite lane to take the snowman out.  Hilarious.

Surprise, Surprise It's Puppy Surprise

When I was a kid one of my favorite Christmas presents I ever received was a Puppy Surprise.  Looking back I have no idea why I was so excited about this toy, but I really did love it.  After hours of snooping around the house I found the black and white puppy (these were the hard to find colors) buried in my parents' closet.  I was elated!  Keeping this secret for a the two weeks leading up to Christmas was no easy task, but I did succeed.  I remember opening the momma up and to my surprise finding three puppies inside.  Thanks Puppy Surprise for making that such a great Christmas.  :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Operation Stolen Christmas Tree

I've never been a thief.  As far back as I can remember I haven't stolen a thing.  That was until now...

A few weeks back we'd seen signs for a Christmas tree sale that was happening not too far from where we live.  Our schedules have been so hectic lately that we haven't had time to get a tree until today.  Recalling the signs, we headed in the direction of the tree sale.  To our disappointment there was no sale.  But, as we drove by the spot where the sale had taken place a week ago we saw a single lone Christmas tree leaning against a wooden fence post.  A left over, perhaps?  The less than perfect tree that no one wanted?  Bob, being the kind and compassionate man that he is, decided that we should rescue this tree from it's certain demise - especially given today's arctic conditions.

So... we promptly return home to pick up the truck, head straight back to the tree, hop out into the biting wind and run to the tree.  Bob holds up the tree and our hearts sink.  Too tall.  Way too tall.  Glancing around through the snowstorm we spot a pile of about 5 or so more Christmas trees on the other side of the forest.  We dart over to the pile and immediately spot a perfectly sized tree.  Bob scoops it up with one hand and we're off!  We run back to the truck, throw the tree in the back and drive off.  Spotted (a woman was walking her two dogs through the forest just as picked up the tree), but not caught.

Now, our stolen Christmas tree sits beautifully in our living room decked with glowing lights, sparkling garland and holiday ornaments.

We'll remember this Christmas not only as our first as a married couple, but also at the year of the stolen tree.  Lord, please forgive us.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lil' Says the Darndest Things

Last night Bob babysat our niece Lily for a bit at her Grandparents' house.  When he got home he had me in stitches telling me about some of their conversations.  I doubt that it will sound as funny reading it on this page, but I'll share anyway. 
In true Lil' form, as she and Bob were laying down for bedtime, she sits up and says, "Bob, do you think it's silly that I give my dog baths?"  Bob, holding back chuckles, reassures Lily that this isn't silly at all.  Once again trying to get Lily to fall asleep she sits up again and says, "Bob, is Libby coming over when she's done at her friend's house?"  Even though I wasn't going to make it, minutes later Lily had Bob clearing pillows and items off the floor to make room for me when I get there.  Doesn't it just melt your heart?
Now, if we could only figure out how to get her that Reindeer Puppy that she so desperately wants from Santa...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Bestie, Michele

This evening I'm sending out some love to my best friend Michele.  Michele and I met each other in high school, but truly found each other in college.  Most recently Michele stood up with me as Maid of Honor in my wedding this summer.  Heaven knows that I'd hardly be where I am today without the love and support of this one.  Michele has always been the first to my side in a time of need, the one to hug just a little longer than I'd expected (but secretly hoped for) and probably most importantly, the one to make me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry.  More often than not, I'm convinced that Michele knows me better than I know myself.  The best part about that is that she likes me anyway. :)  From spur of the moment road trips to Niagara Falls* to week long Sex and the City marathons to the death of parents and dear friends, we've seen each other through A LOT of highs and lows.

Michele, you're one-of-a-kind, woman.  I'm so honored to call you my friend and feel beyond blessed that we were planted on the same wavelength.  Thank you for all that you are.  I love you!

A random sampling of some recent photos:

*Remind me to tell you about the Niagara Falls/Toronto story someday.  It's a good one!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Good Morning

Dear French Press,

You make my mornings simply divine.  Your delicious brew is such a pleasure to enjoy on a sleepy morning.  Before the sun has risen, just you and me, quiet as can be.  Oh how I love these mornings.

Love, Libby

Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent Calendar Obama Style

While visiting my bestie, Michele, in D.C. a couple of weeks ago I picked up the Obama Family Advent calendar.  It's a riot.  An amusing cast of politicians and celebrities involved in Obama's campaign to the White House are given Christmas personas with amusing illustrations, culminating, of course, with Mrs. Claus and Obama Claus.  I hope my father-in-law is enjoying it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Today is a lazy Sunday at my house.  Bob is sick, Winston is on the mend and, after being sick for the past week, myself, we're taking it easy today.  I've got a yumm-o crockpot meal cooking and I've stocked up on DVDs from the video store.  We'll be on the couch watching a Dexter season 3 marathon and vegging out for the rest of the today.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I love the change of seasons.  Last night and today we've had a big snowfall in Central Illinois.  It's beautiful and Winston couldn't agree more.  He had his first experience of playing in the snow today and it was adorable.  Besides being scared of and trying to attack the snow shovel, he really loved being elbow-deep and jumping through the piles of snow.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Blackhawks Weekend

Tonight is my much anticipated introduction to NHL hockey.  We have been planning this for some time now and I'm SO excited that it's finally here!  I love hockey.  Bob and I often go to Illini hockey games with friends and it's always so fun.  The only thing that would make it more fun would be if the players were allowed to fight.  The fights are the best part!  Fortunately, the NHL does let the players fight.  And, fight they do.
Tonight I'll be cheering on the Blackhawks for the first time in person instead of from the couch and I can't wait!

The only thing I'm slightly bummed about?  Antti Niemi won't be playing.  He was my favorite Hawks player.  Nevertheless, excitement awaits in Chicago!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Exception to the Rule

I do not frequent chain restaurants.  In fact, I avoid them.  I will drink a Starbucks latte once in a blue moon, but that's about it.  There is one MAJOR exception to my No Chain Restaurant Policy.  Buffalo Wild Wings.  Or, as I lovingly refer to it, B Dubs.  The deliciousness of these tiny little boneless fried wings is something that words cease to do justice for.  Honey BBQ, Asian Zing, Mmmmm.  I just can't help myself.

Seriously Scary

Stumbled across these 7 Terrifying Celebrity Face Swaps this morning. I think Bieber Palin is my favorite!

 (via funny or die)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello December

This morning I would like to extend a warm (well, chilly I guess) welcome to December.  It's been a long time coming, but you have finally arrived once again.  I have missed your early days that present us with beautiful snowfalls like this morning's display.  How gorgeous!

And, I can't wait for sledding!
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