Friday, November 30, 2012

decking the halls

The Christmas season is in full swing in the Ridley household.  We officially kicked it off on Thanksgiving.  After all of our stops we went home, opened a few bottles of wine & whiskey, invited a few friends over, & watched Christmas Vacation, a tradition that Joe & I started a few years ago.  We had a ball all weekend decking the halls for our favorite holiday.

We started a new tradition this year & got a real tree.  Joe's family has always had a real tree, I grew up with a fake.  For some reason this year I gave in & decided it was time to try a real one.  I was hesitant, I wanted to wait until we built our house & moved to the country, it felt more appropriate to have a real tree there, but I am so glad that I changed my mind.  So Sunday we ventured out to Holockers Tree Farm, cut our tree, then came home drank mimosas, decorated our tree, & watched Christmas Vacation, again.  I absolutely love our tree.  We ended up with a Fraser fur, easier branches for hanging, smaller needles that make less of a mess.  It turned out so beautiful & amazing & fit perfectly in our new living room. 

Joe dragging our perfectly shaped Fraser Fer

drinking mimosas on our Christmas themed champagne glasses

my cute felt garland found on Etsy here

the finished product!  i love it!

I also completed a few fun Pinterest projects this weekend.  Usually a Pinterest project consists of me going out, buying the stuff I need, then never doing the actual project.  This weekend & ended up getting 2 done.  Thankfully my friend & I went to Hobby Lobby & got trapped there for half an hour because all of the Christmas decor was 50% off & there was tons of cute stuff!  I am so proud of myself for my accomplishments.  The first I tweaked, I found this project & decided to put the jingle bells in my hurricane candle holders rather than on a tray.  The second project, I also tweaked.  I found that using the glass in the frame helped it hang flush against the wall.  They both turned out great. 

cookies were also a Pinterest recipe

I can't believe how fast this year flew by & how quickly Christmas is coming.  Only 20 more days until we leave for Minot!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear

Totally getting into the Christmas spirit lately, my husband does not allow any decor, music, movies, or talk of Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but I am already full of holiday spirit!  

The Elf soundtrack of course so many classics & fun songs, I especially love Baby It's Cold Outside, Pennies from Heaven, & Santa Baby!  A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my other favorites, it's a jazz album & it's completely relaxing.  Last but not least for now, Bob Dylan's Christmas in the Heart.  Let's face it, Bob Dylan is a classic, he may sound like he's had one too many eggnogs, but it's still a great album.

I haven't started watching any Christmas movies yet, those I will wait to start until after Thanksgiving.  Top favorites, Elf, Christmas Vacation, White Christmas, Just Friends, The Grinch, The Muppet's Christmas Carol, to name a few.  

Couple things I'm excited about, a real tree is in the works for this year.  Joe grew up having a real tree his entire life, his parents still put up a real tree, I've never had the pleasure of having one, so this year were going to give it a try.  I'm afraid Frankie might try to pee on it...  we will see.  My new Scentsy Owl Warmer with several new scents, all winter themed, Eskimo Kiss, Snowberry, Silver Bells, & Festival of Trees.  My Yankee "Christmas Eve" candle, another necessity.   

Some other random holiday stuff I'm pumped about, I picked up some Sam Adams White Christmas today at the grocery store I can't wait to try it.  My best friends Ugly Sweater party is December 8th.  It's such a great party, I went to her house yesterday and she was decorating already, she has more Christmas decorations than anyone I know.  Her party is always a blast. 

Joe and I are going to be breaking tradition this year & it will be a first for both of us.  We are actually going to be traveling to Minot, North Dakota from December 20th thru the 26th to spend Christmas with my bestest friend & sister-in-law & Joe's brother, Jon & their kids.  We are extremely excited.  We're planning on doing some last minute Christmas shopping, lots of drinking, eating, movie watching, playing, & laughing.  It will be a great time.  I've never had a Christmas where I could just stay in my PJ's all day & do nothing.  My parents were divorced when I was two so I've always had lots of places to go between Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.  Pretty pumped about that.  

And last, but not least, my very favorite thing during the holiday's is gift giving.  I've already gotten the majority of my shopping done & I'm pretty excited about the gifts were giving this year.  Of course I can't reveal anything on here until after Christmas, but I have to toot my own horn about for my awesome gift giving abilities.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

halloween happenings

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year!  I love the decor, I love dressing up, I love to eat candy, carve pumpkins, it's such a fun time.  This year we decided to dress up as Ron Burgundy & Veronica Corningstone from Anchorman.  It was a hit & we looked pretty awesome.  Joe wore a suit of his dad's from back in the 70's so it was authentic.  We go to a house party every year & always have such a blast.  Our friends are all pretty creative with their costumes too.  

This was the first year that we dressed up as a couple, we have never dressed alike or even in the same theme.  Last year I was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz & Joe was Popeye.  (I didn't think Olive Oil's costume would be fun). 

Sunday we laid around all day & recovered from the party & watched scary movies. We took a quick run out to Boggio's for pumpkins to carve since I want to keep my smaller decorative ones through Thanksgiving.  We didn't carve them until Monday (slackers!).  I would've like to have done them Sunday, but it just wasn't happening.  Joe went with a traditional face & I decided to represent Ridley with an "R" turned out pretty cute.  

our pumpkins!  Joe went traditional, I went with our initial <3

watchin Nightmare Before Christmas passing out candy, representin' in black & orange

yummy cupcakes made by a co-worker (ate 1.5 million grams of sugar today)

In baby-making business, I'm in the process of a blood test to make sure all my levels are good.  I went at 6 AM on Thursday, they took nine different viles of blood which scared me.  I've never given that much blood before, I was worried I was going to pass out, but I actually felt fine, & made it to work without falling asleep at the wheel!  Hopefully some good news will come out of the testing.

I've also got some exciting stuff happening at work, I have yet to say much about what it is until it's more set in stone, but it will be a huge, but exciting, challenging, & great change for me.  Fingers crossed!  (I feel like I've had my fingers crossed about something for months now with no luck!) 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anniversary Weekend Remix

So here is a list of what I was looking forward to & how it was:
  • Eating the top of our cake! Yes, this is one of the top things.  Our cake was done by a lady who has been around forever & her cakes are just awesome.  I wanted lemon cake with raspberry filling and Joe wanted white cake with strawberry so we alternated layers & of course the only bite of cake that I had was when Joe tried shoving a whole piece in my mouth so I am anxious to try my wedding cake.  THE CAKE IS AMAZING.  I AM STILL EATING IT BECAUSE JOE DOESN'T EAT SWEETS SO I GET TO ENJOY IT ALL TO MYSELF.  IT TASTES JUST AS GOOD AS IT DID A YEAR AGO, EVEN AFTER BEING FROZEN!  
  • Hot air balloon ride.  We were supposed to do this on our honeymoon last year in Galena but we didn't get to because of all the pilots being gone to a hot air balloon festival.  CANCELLED.  SO UNBELIEVABLY UPSET THAT THIS WAS CANCELLED, I STILL HAVE HOPES WE WILL ONE DAY GET TO TO DO THIS.  THE WINDS PICKED UP TOO MUCH SO THEY HAD TO CANCEL IT.
  • Renewing our vows.  Yes, we are going to renew our vows!  We are doing it at the Iron Horse Social Club & Motorcycle Museum & I cannot wait.  It's a biker bar/motorcycle museum in Savanna.   THIS WAS SUCH A BLAST, SEE PICS BELOW!  SO GLAD WE DID IT, LOVED THAT IT WAS AT IRON HORSE  & SO THANKFUL TO THOSE FAMILY & FRIENDS WHO JOINED US!  
  • Camping.  We are going to camp a night or two a Poopy's in Savana on our way to Galena since Eagle Ridge is pretty expensive & we love to camp.  WE ALWAYS HAVE A GOOD TIME CAMPING, SEE PICS BELOW!   LOTS OF ALCOHOL INDUCED FUN CAMPING AT POOPY'S!
  • Bike trip!  We did our honeymoon on the bike, I hope to do all of our anniversaries on the bike.  JUST LIKE CAMPING, WE ALWAYS HAVE A GOOD TIME WHEN WE'RE ON THE BIKE.  THIS TIME OF YEAR, BUNDLING UP, & SEEING THE BEAUTIFUL FALL SCENERY, WE LOVE TO RIDE THIS TIME OF YEAR.  

So we left Saturday morning about 11 and headed to Poopy's where we ate lunch, set up our camp & hung out and enjoyed a few drinks before the vow renewal.  We renewed our vows at the Iron Horse Social Club which is a biker bar/motorcycle museum downtown Savanna.  It was a blast.  Our friend Mike was ordained online so we had him officiate for us.  I used a bouquet and a veil and headband that we found at the bar (God knows how many people have had that on their head!? yikes!)  The ceremony was cute, I walked down the aisle with my beer and my bouquet, Joe and I both had our chaps on and a white shirt, he had his leather vest & gloves & his bandana on so we looked pretty freakin' awesome if i do say so myself.  The ceremony was short & sweet.  We took a bunch of pics, had a few drinks, Joe and I danced to a slow song, then everyone who wasn't camping headed for home.  It was going to be a cold and windy ride home, especially since it was near dark.  

just pulled up to Poopy's... lots of layers to stay warm

renewing our vows

Just Married (again)

notice the hand on my boob, which i did not notice at the time!

on the iron horse

fun toilet up some stairs, like a trashy throne?!

Joe, Jessica, Mike, & I decided to take a little ride so we crossed over the bridge & into Iowa and went to a bar in Sabula called Flippers where we played the juke box, drank beer, & had a good time.  We signed our name on a ceiling tile & had our picture taken by it.  We made our mark at Flippers in Hawkeye territory!  We headed back to Poopy's to continue drinking, we got our sweats on, made a fire, then decided to go play in the park that butts up behind the campground.  We had tons of fun camping & playing.  

fun at flippers

riding in Iowa, we skipped rocks at this lake, like old skool!

the ceiling tile at Flippers!

playing in the park


So Sunday we woke up, ate breakfast, & headed about 30 miles north to Galena.  It was a beautiful day to wander the streets, we hit up the winery, the brewery, a few shops, and a few bars.  

Benjamins, probably our favorite bar downtown Galena.
Galena Brewery...

So we finally told Jessica and Mike they had to leave & that we needed to get on with our anniversary ourselves.  We hated to see them go, but Mike was watching Frank for me on Sunday night & he needed to get back to take care of him for me.  We said our farewell to them & headed a few miles down Blackjack Rd to Chestnut Ski Resort.  It's so beautiful there & you get a great view of the amazing scenery and landscapes that Galena has to offer.  We had a beer in the lodge then we did this amazing slide that you ride down in plastic sleds that have a throttle and a break.  We raced & I kicked Joe's ass he was jealous, & who can blame him.  We rode it three times which cost us a whopping 45$, but it was so worth it.  We didn't stop laughing the entire time & now that I look back I'm glad we did something so memorable since we weren't able to do our hot air balloon ride.  

view at Chestnut
at the top of the slide!
the slide!

After Chestnut we decided to head to the hotel since we it was after 3 and we could finally check in.  We were pretty beat, & after having several drinks, doing a lot of walking, & all the slide fun, we were ready to go chillax for a bit.  I decided to give Joe his gift at the hotel.  He actually had given me my gift on Friday before we left which was a gorgeous orchid plant, our wedding flower.  I thought that was very thoughtful of him.  He also go me a bottle of wine and told me I could pick something out in Galena if I found something I really wanted, which of course, I did!

so i found this amazing turquoisen (my FAVE!) bracelet at a little boutique in Galena.

and I gave Joe an album of a boudoir session I did for him a month ago that he had no idea about!
and he loved it.

I also gave him the extremely expensive bottle of Booker's whiskey that he has been eyeing up, 
he said he loves the boudoir photos just as much, but I'm not really convinced.

all dress and ready for some gourmet pizza at Piasano's for dinner!

the bike all loaded up and ready to go home... :-(

After dinner I called Galena on the Fly and they told us our trip was cancelled.  I was noticeably upset, & after several glasses of wine, what girl wouldn't be when something they've tried to do for two years now keeps getting cancelled!!  But i tried to stay positive & remember that we still had a full day to enjoy & it was our actual anniversary day the next day so I couldn't be sad!  It was nice to be able to sleep in, take our time getting ready, have a nice breakfast, & not have to rush out of the hotel.  We loaded the bike up, headed back to our favorite bar in Galena, Benjamins, for a couple brews, then called it a day at about 1:30 and made our journey home.  

9-24-11 truly was the most amazing day of my life & I just cannot believe how quickly this last year went by.  It was an amazing year filled with some completely unexpected moments, one being our motorcycle accident, another being buying a house, but I could not ask to have those moments with anyone else in the world, the good and the bad, I am so glad that they are with Joe.  A lot of people don't know that he really was and still is my saving grace & if he wouldn't have come into my life the way he did, when he did, who knows what mess I would be in now.  I was in a horrible place, & although I know that I had the best support group anyone could ask for, he is the biggest reason that I am where I am today, happy, healthy, & successful.  And him being there for me at that time, not a lot people can say they have an experience like we had.  We had just gotten together when I was going through the hardest, heaviest, challenge I have ever been through & he stood by me and supported me through that from day one.  I knew that he was a keeper because he was able to support me in what I was going through and never once was he not there for me, never once did he question my intentions, or chastise me for making my life right.  That's how I knew he was The One, because of what amazing person he was to me from day one.  I can't wait for the rest of our journey through life together & whatever challenge may be put in front of us, good or bad, I know that we can face together & get through together.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

keep calm & carry on

I've been such a slacker when it comes to blogging.  Partially because I started "Fifty Shades of Grey" & I can't put the thing down.  I am on book two & so wrapped up in them, I haven't found time to do much more but read.  I highly recommend these books to ANYONE.

So yesterday was my dreaded annual exam, but I had actually been looking forward to going & talking to my doc about trying to get pregnant, & what comes next after we've tried for a year.  She is recommending that we give it another two months, which would bring us to a solid year of trying & then seeing the fertility specialist.  They would order some testing for me, for Joe, & then based on the results, would start me on Clomid.  I'll be honest, the thought of having to go on medication is off-putting, but I am willing to do whatever it takes.  She did say that it's possible that the trauma of our motorcycle accident could have put a hold on things.  I am optimistic that we won't need to even be tested & will hopefully end up pregnant in the next two months.  I was glad to find out what the next steps will be if we can't get pregnant on our own.  She said that my current methods (temperature, ovulation tests, tracking, prenatal vitamins, & exercise) are all great & I should continue them.    So I'm trying to stay optimistic, positive, & stress-free so that things can happen naturally.

This past weekend our good friend Mike had a Western themed house warming party.  It was fun.  We didn't win the costume contest, but we both looked pretty good if I do say so myself!

And, in honor of National Dog Day on Sunday... my sweet potato Frankie J.  My little peanut, puppy, stinky, baby.  So, so, glad that his foster mom thought that we were a perfect match, because we are! 

Lot's of great things coming up to take our minds off of baby-making.  This weekend, bachelorette party, then camping at Poopy's in Savanna with some friends, & riding all day Monday.  Hoping to visit the Potosi Brewery in Potosi, Wisconsin.  A wedding next weekend, bridal shower the following, then finally our 1 year anniversary getaway weekend!  I can't wait.  I have a couple of surprises for Joe, I can't wait to give them to him.  And of course, looking forward to the hot air balloon ride!  

Rain-check on the photos of the house... again.

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