Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in review

2010 in review..these things I remember because of my flickr page and my blog. I am sure lots more (and cooler) things happened, but I don't write everything down or take pictures of here we go.

2010 started out with a trip to Fossil Beach in early January. My nephew Adam turned 5. Later that month, I visited my uncle at Smith Mountain was nice getting to see the house my grandparents used to live in. Even though they are gone, it was nice being there at their house. By the end of the month, there was a huge snow storm in Richmond, and my friend Stefonia got married at Main Street Station in downtown Richmond. I also discovered a lot about my family ancestry on my mom's side..I am really interested in genealogy and my family history now.

shark teeth


In February, I canned a bunch of homemade cranberry salsa and shared it with friends and coworkers. The Valentine's Day flowers that Daniel gave me lasted well over 2 weeks. I met a bunch of people in the pyrex collecting world, and even traded bowls with one lady. Sounds odd, but pyrex fans are so much fun. I also started planning the 10th anniversary party for my sister with our friend Kristen. Somehow we were able to keep it all quiet until the day of the party later in the year. We got more snow in February, and it even canceled one of our huge events at work.


In March, Daniel and I went to Calvert Cliffs to look for shark teeth. We didn't find as many as we were expecting to, but we had a great time hiking and exploring the wilderness. The first hints of Spring started popping up, too.



In April, we finally got around to hanging up our wedding guest book quilt. I am not sure why it took us so long, but I am glad we hung it up. Juan David came to visit and we spent Easter with him at Fayth & Tom's house. Bonnie, Kristen, and I spent a day in Farmville, VA, where we met some Amish people at a furniture store who are related to Bonnie's husbands' family. Another weekend in April, Daniel and I spent the afternoon exploring Richmond. We went down to Shockoe Bottom and then we visited the Poe museum. Later that day we went to Hollywood Cemetery and then ended the day in Carytown (where it was Chalk up the Town Day) and went to Plan 9 to celebrate record store day. April was also the month I did my Richmond area Cupcake Taste Test..and decided that Pearl's cupcake shoppe is the best in town.


April ended and May started out with a tribute baseball game for Daniel's cousin Jeffrey Taylor who passed away in April 2009. The game was at Liberty University, and it is going to be a yearly game where they give out a scholarship each year in Jeff's honor. On the way back home from Lynchburg, Daniel and I took the long way home and explored all around that part of Virginia. We stopped at various places and little holes in the wall to see what we could find. Later in May, I drove up to Fairfax, VA and met my cousin Lora. We went to a booksigning and got to meet Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman. It was a lot of fun, and Ree signed our cookbooks. Me and my sisters planned a birthday and mother's day brunch for our dad and mom. My dad's birthday falls on mother's day every few years, and we thought it would be nice to honor both of them on the same day by having a nice big home made brunch for them. In the middle of the month was the Semper Fred 5k that I did along with my sister, Fayth, Tom, and cousin Lora. It was for a good cause and we all were able to finish and it felt so good. In May, I also experimented for the first time frying chicken. It came out great and I don't think I can ever buy fried chicken from a store again. The pool/clubhouse finally opened up at Malvern Manor and we got to enjoy it starting on Memorial Day. I also had a yardsale along with Kristen and Bonnie at Kristen's house. For Memorial Day weekend, my dad came down to visit with my nephews and we spent the afternoon at the pool, grilled, and then went to a Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game-there were even fireworks. It was a lot of fun.




June was spent mostly at the new pool with friends. Daniel's cousin Krae graduated from high school and I drove out to Roanoke to be there for the ceremony and the party. We also celebrated Daniel's Granny's 75th birthday that same weekend. A lot of time was spent packing up, since we decided it was time for us to move. Since we were moving to an apartment that was owned by the same company, we were able to just transfer over instead of having to wait for our lease to end. The new place would be townhouse style, so we were excited about it. My friend Liz turned 30 in June, and Anna and I went to her surprise birthday party. Fayth's stepson Jonah and his wife Heather and their kids visited for a couple weeks in June, and we made some time to spend with them. Their kids are so smart and cute! I also hosted a good luck pot luck for 2 of my coworkers who were moving onto different jobs/new chapters. We had a get together at the Malvern Manor pool and all had a lot of fun.


July was spent in Florida. We went to Daniel's aunt's house and spent 4th of July there. We were also there to celebrate Nana's 80th birthday party-I am so glad we went. Everybody had a lot of fun and almost all of the cousins were there. We also sang happy birthday to pretty much every single person that was there at the party..and there were a ton of people there! We also watched the rest of the World Cup..Germany came so close! Before we left FL, we visited Honeymoon Island and were able to collect a bunch of shells. The beach was amazing. After we got back to VA, we had to move the following weekend. We rented a u-haul and packed up all of our stuff. My dad, Joseph, Fayth, and Tom helped us move everything and we can't thank them enough. We got rid of a lot of stuff before the move (thanks to the several yard sales we had and craigslist), but we still had quite a lot of stuff. Thank goodness for the awesome peeps who helped us out. I also ordered the proof copy of my novel and it came in the mail. The novel I wrote for NANOWRIMO 2009..yes, it took me that long to redeem my free proof. Not sure why I waited, it's so cool seeing it in book form! My nephew Joseph turned 12 in July, and it's hard to believe that this is his last year before he becomes a teenager. I am so proud of him for everything he has done and the great person I know he will become. Also in July, me and Anna took our first culinary arts class at University of Richmond. We plan on taking more, especially now that there is a pastry chef program. Juan David came up for a visit and we went to a Dave Matthews Band concert together at Virginia Beach-it was so much fun! We had been waiting for years to be able to go to see DMB together. Also, I got a promotion in July! Well, a new job but in the same office as before. It's been keeping me busy!





In August I was commissioned by someone (I didn't know) to make some personalized stationary for them. I made them what they wanted and they loved it. Daniel took Joseph to Fossil Beach as a late birthday excursion, and he stayed over at our place where we watched Jurassic Park. I strung up all of the origami cranes that Daniel proposed to me with, and I also gave over 1,200 cranes of various colors/sizes to our friend Sheena.



In September I put up a tutorial online of how to make origami rose ball pomanders. We made a DIY bar shelf at home and got bar stools to match since the new place isn't big enough for our dining table/chairs. I took a day roadtrip with my friend David and we visited Richard Bland Community College (where he used to go), and went to some random antique shops along the way. Then we went out to the outlets at Williamsburg before we came back to Richmond. I also did another yardsale, this time at Fayth & Tom's neighborhood. It helped me get rid of some of the leftover things after we moved and decided we didn't need them anymore. And I will share here..that I hung up a pot rack above my sink in September. I am really proud of it and love it....funny thing to love. Dr. Wily gave us a big scare when he got really sick in September. We had to take him to the emergency vet and then he spent several days at the regular vet. Let's just say he is expensive..but totally worth it. He is doing so much better now and we love him so much. Daniel turned 28 this month.



In October I painted our kitchen and set things up some more the way I wanted them set up. Jackie came to visit us and we spent a day at Fossil Beach. We also spent a day antiquing with her, and just spent a lot of time with her. We found our first letterbox this month. Dr. Wily had his e-collar on for several weeks before his stitches came out, so our home was definitely crazy during October. We had our first experience with trick or treaters. Not as many came as I expected, probably because Halloween was on a Sunday this year. There was a j-crew regional warehouse sale that Anna and I went to-we got a bunch of stuff for great prices. The anniversary dinner party for my sister's 10 year wedding anniversary was this month-and it was great. Everybody had a good time and all the hard work that Kristen and I put into it was well worth it. Fayth altered my bridesmaid dress from the wedding 10 years ago and I wore it to the dinner party. My friend David and I went to an apple orchard one day this month and had a lot of fun there, he had never been to one before.



In November we spent our 2nd wedding anniversary in New York City! We were only there for 58 hours, but we saw as much as 2 young people could possibly see there. We stayed in Manhattan the entire time and I fell completely in love with NY. I can't wait to go back. After the trip we spent a day at the river here in Richmond for a class project I had to do. Yes, this year I was enrolled in 2 classes (for fun). They were both history classes and I actually learned a lot. I am glad they are over, though.. Our Christmas decorations were put up before Thanksgiving....and we spent Thanksgiving at Fayth and Tom's and Tom made a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, of course. And then later in the week we had a Thanksgiving dinner of our own that Daniel made all by himself. We also got all of our holiday shopping done before the end of November.



December started out with a holiday piano recital. Our friend Sheena's piano students put on the recital and it was a lot of fun seeing how everybody played. The recital was held at Sheena's family's church and she made all of the goodies at the reception. I hope one day we can put on recitals like that for Daniel's future students. Sadly, Daniel's Nana passed away and we spent a few days down in Georgia to be with his family. As much as we all miss her, we are glad we got to spend the time we did with her in July at her birthday party. That is something we will never forget.


December flew by..with tons of birthday and gatherings. We spent my birthday in Fredericksburg at a dinner with my family, and then the next day we went out around Richmond and had a nice dinner together, and there were even balloon animals involved. A lot of extra time was spent at work, because it's peak season, but it will all be worth it when Spring comes. We spent Christmas at Lake Anna with Fayth and Tom and the Fernandez family. Juan David brought his parents, his sister, and his brother n law to celebrate Christmas with all of us. Daniel's brothers and their girlfriends, and his aunt, Granny, and cousin Paige all came and we all had a great time. We even got a white christmas. The Fernandez family had never seen snow like that before, so that made it even more special.



It was so much fun spending Christmas with them and getting to know them better. Daniel and I feel so lucky to have such amazing people in our lives.

Also, this year I was able to check off a few more states...

visited 16 states (32%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Peace out, 2010! Here's to 2011..


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday cards

I mailed out our holiday cards this past monday. It has been nice getting so many cards from people this year.

Here is the card I made and sent out this year:

our holiday card 2010


Closeup of the detail on the card:


I also like to see the cards we get and this year I taped them to the screen in our living room.


I know it looks tacky but I like seeing all of them.

We have also had our origami advent calendar out this year again. I love it and it's a surprise every day seeing what's inside.


25 years..12/19

My birthday started with a visit to my mother in law's in the morning. After that we made our way up to Fredericksburg and had an early family dinner to celebrate me and my brother's birthday, and our sister's birthday. It was nice having everybody together even if it was for a short time.

My mother-in-law Fayth gave me a beautiful Origami Bijou necklace. It is the windmill shape (good luck), folded from a single thin sheet of pure silver. It is so precious and totally me. I love it.


I got a Penzey's Spices baking jar gift box set, a cute tea towel, and the Bakerella cake pops book from Kristen and Dave-so cute and thoughtful! My sis Bonnie & her husband Nate gave me a gift card, and so did my other sis Natalie and her boys..lots of goodies from everybody.

After dinner we went around a few places in Fredericksburg but most of the day was already by the time we got back to Richmond there wasn't much to do since everyone closes early or is closed on Sundays.

We had a birthday do-over on Monday.

When I got home from work, there was a sign on the front door for my birthday. I came inside and there were animal balloons everywhere. Daniel made me a chocolate cake with Ukrop's buttercream frosting, with an origami cake topper. He also gave me some really nice presents that I did not expect at all.



We went downtown to the James center for a bit and then headed to dinner at Maggianos's in Short Pump..we went around to a few of the stores at the mall and I picked up a NYC stamp set I had been eyeballing at Pottery Barn. It was nice getting to spend some time out with Daniel since the last month has been crazy busy for both of us at work and we've had weird schedules/have been working a lot of over time. We also went by Tom Leonard's and checked out their christmas trees and wreaths-the fresh greenery smelled so good.


Daniel gave me the 24 season 8 dvd set-the last season of the show, and the last dvd set we needed for our 24 collection. Now we have all 8 seasons..I love that show! He also got me some flowers over the weekend for my birthday. And, he printed a photo of fossil beach on some canvas printer paper. I have since framed it and plan on hanging it above Bob's tank.


He then gave me a beautiful silver bracelet with little diamonds all around it. We usually don't do much in terms of gifts for each other but this was something he wanted to get for me. I don't have to justify it..but he said I needed an upgrade anyway. I had been wearing the same plain silver bracelet that he gave me 9 years ago for my birthday. I very rarely took that bracelet off during those years. It was a nice surprise to get a new bracelet..and diamonds are always a good present. It is gorgeous.


Also, my sweet friend Donna from work had a surprise for me on my desk last Friday before my birthday- it was a pair of cute Christmas socks and a good smelling Christmas nice of her to do that for me in honor of my birthday. And on Tuesday my friend Anna brought me a birthday/Christmas gift certificate to UofR to put towards one of their enrichment classes..looks like the baking/cooking classes are back on the calendar for next semester!!

We brought back some lemon crescent moon cookies from Maggiano's, in honor of the lunar eclipse Monday night/Tuesday morning. We got up to watch it but it was too cloudy out. Some of our friends got some cool photos of it but we saw how cloudy it was and went back to sleep instead of waiting to take was neat though to experience the eclipse.

I have put the birthday cards I received on our's a nice reminder that there are lots of other things going on besides Christmas. It's sad that so many things get pushed aside this time of year. Daniel and I have made a promise to celebrate our birthdays every year, no matter what.

It was a great birthday..I am so thankful for everyone in my life and I hope that the next 5 years are even more amazing than the last.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nana Brown


Daniel's Nana passed away this morning. Naturally, I can't think of anything else. She was such a strong and lovely woman. I loved every moment I was able to spend with her over the years, even if there were only a few of those moments. She loved her family no matter what, and she was so happy. When we last saw her in July for her 80th birthday, you could see how happy she was to be with her family. Almost all her grand kids were there, along with her own kids and other relatives. Love to Nana and may she rest in peace.

Here she is with some of the Brown bunch at our wedding in 2008:



Daniel's dad & Nana:

At her 80th birthday party in 2010:



Love to all the Brown family, relatives, and friends.