Archive | September, 2011

The Godmother

27 Sep

So, I’m officially a godmother! Let me say it again … this time in my best Marlon Brando voice: “I’m the Godmother!” Lily Elizabeth Cole was born on September 19, six weeks early from her expected arrival date. I guess Little Lily decided to show her parents who’s boss and let them know they were running on Lily time now. And it seems to be working just fine.

PoppaNut and I had the pleasure of going to the hospital last night to see our god-daughter. She is so little (just four pounds) and so sweet at the same time. And to see Brooke and Brad as parents was amazing! You can see how much they love her! She even gave me a little smile before I left last night … she loves her aunt already!

The funniest story I have to share so far is that PoppaNut made sauce, spaghetti and garlic bread for our friends, who certainly needed a home-cooked meal after days and days of hospital food. Well, the next day Lily winded up smelling like sauce too! I thought it was so cute.

She has the cutest little nose courtesy of her mommy, and a gassy tummy just like her daddy. 🙂 She is perfect. Here are a few photos to share. I’m sure I’ll have a ton more in the future!

And that’s life in a nutshell … watching your best friends start a whole new chapter in their life is completely amazing … and I know PoppaNut and I are so happy to be part of the ride!


Ashley’s Bridal Shower

22 Sep

If you have been following my blog for the last few months, you know that my cousin Ashley is getting married this October, and I’m the MOH (maid of honor for those not familiar with the wedding lingo).

Well, as tradition will have it, I threw this very special bride-to-be a bridal shower in her honor. Debbie was a HUGE help, selecting the venue (Catch 23), menu and more. I couldn’t have done it without her!

And one of the best parts was a big surprise for the bride: The bride’s best friend and a fellow bridesmaid flew in from Indiana for the big day. It was wonderful! I was so happy to see everyone come out to give Ashley lots of love and well wishes for her big day.

And I captured a few photos that I wanted to share with everyone. I hope you had an amazing bridal shower Ash, and I can’t wait for the wedding to be here!

And that’s life in a nutshell … hosting a bridal shower for my dear cousin was such an honor for me!


Welcome to Your Thirties

19 Sep

I’ve been a bit MIA since I turned 30. No, I haven’t turned into a hermit crab or decided to buck technology in my new age. Instead, I’ve been actually LIVING life, with little time to write about life. And I’ll take that tradeoff any day!

But I had the most amazing birthday of my entire life. I could get choked up just thinking about it. I have never felt so loved in my life … that people would care about me that much to do so much for me on my birthday blows me away. And I’ll forever look back on my birthday with such fond memories for as long as I live.

So, let’s count down the top 10 highlights of my birthday weekend.

No. 1: Holy F Brad Paisley … PoppaNut took me to the Brad Paisley/Blake Shelton concert, which was completely amazing. Half way through the show, PoppaNut took the concert to a whole new level by handing me backstage passes! Holy cow, I almost peed myself. I don’t know if was the gin and tonics or just pure excitement but I got a massive case of hiccups … and I couldn’t stop screaming! And then I got super emotional, listening to that wonderful country music and knowing how much PoppaNut loved me to do that for me … I shed a few tears over it. And the meet-and-greet was amazing. Brad Paisley actually loved PoppaNut’s Captain Awesome shirt, and who could blame him. It does rock!

No. 2: Jagermeister and Pigtails … Yeah, I’m 30 and I drink Jager and I wear pigtails. Get over it. I happen to like both very much and I’m not stopping just because I turned 30. And I was proud of both when I was tailgating at the concert. Maybe I’ll feel differently at 40, but I would place a bet on that.

No. 3: My Pink Palace … Pulling up to the Hyatt on Clearwater Beach was so exciting! PoppaNut had reserved us a room for the weekend, and I was dying for some lunch by the pool. PoppaNut and I spent our wedding night at the pink hotel. I had dreamt as a child that I lived in a pink house with diamonds, built by my dad. Every time we stay at the pink hotel, PoppaNut tells me it is because he wants all my dreams to come true. I have to say that they have.

No. 4: Surprise Party … I have never been thrown a surprise party in my life, and I couldn’t believe I was seeing all of my friends and family in the cabanas at the Hyatt pool. It was so shocking to me! My Aunt Debbie had made these awesome centerpieces (blue balls!) and there was a beach-themed cake. Old and new friends mingled together. I laughed and smiled so much my cheeks hurt. I’ll never forget that day.

No. 5: Family Photo … My brother hates to take photos! And he reminds me every time he stands next to me for a photo. So, it is a miracle that this photo was taken and actually turned out pretty good. It was nice to have the Tam family all together. It doesn’t happen as often as I would like … and it was very touching!

No. 6: Sunset … Who can resist sunset at the beach? PoppaNut loves to capture the sunset in his photos, and I love watching it too. This one, I spent with Kenzie, looking up and down the beach. PoppaNut got a great photo of it.

No. 7: The Presents … I really made out with all the amazing gifts for my birthday! Thank you all so much. I can’t wait to put every one to use. Here are two gifts that PoppaNut gave me: a tablet and a LV purse! Hell, I’ll turn 30 every year if it is gonna be like this! It was a designer kind of birthday!

No. 8: Pool Time … My actual birthday was spent at the pool, just PoppaNut and I.  I got some great sun, I read my eReader and just relaxed. It didn’t take long until my skin was fried, but we had so much fun. I love that relaxation and cool breeze. I want to go back right now just thinking about it.

No. 9: Island Way … PoppaNut and I got all dressed up and headed to Island Way Grill in our grownup car for dinner. I got sushi, which was amazing! Get the firecracker roll if you every go there. I also got a little dessert for my birthday. It was so yummy!

No. 10: Martini Time … Things start to get a little fuzzy around this highlight, but it is still a highlight to me! Martinis and tequila shots … now that is the way to ring in 30 if you ask me!

And that’s life in a nutshell … grabbing 30 by the balls and never letting go!


Remembering September 11

9 Sep

Because my birthday is on September 11, 9/11 has a special meaning for me. I have what can be called “a different take” on the events of September 11 just because how that date relates to my life. So, two days before 9/11, I want to pay my respects to those who lost their lives on that day. It was a horrible day in our nation’s history, and there is not a 9/11 that goes by that I don’t think about that day in a different way since the attacks.

When the attacks happened, I was waking up for class in Bloomington, Indiana. My roommate was from New York and she woke me up with her crys. She had had her senior prom in the top of one of the towers. I was working at the IDS (Indiana Daily Student newspaper) at the time, and I had to call Bloomington students affected by the tragedy and get their story. One girl sobbed to me on the phone as she talked about her dad dying in the tower. That was the day I turned 20 years old.

When I turned 21, it was the first anniversary of 9/11 … and not a single person felt like going out. I did get my roommate to go with me for a drink, but the world was lost in the significance of the day. It was that birthday that I decided I wasn’t going to mourn on 9/11. I wouldn’t go to church or cry or watch the news coverage. I was going to enjoy life; I was going to celebrate my birthday every 9/11 going forward with as much energy and excitement as I could. If I didn’t, wouldn’t the terrorists be winning in some way?

And so, that is what I have vowed to do moving forward. And each time I hit a milestone birthday, 9/11 hits a milestone as well. In two days, when I turn 30, 9/11 will be remembering the ten years that have passed since the attacks happened. I’m reflecting on the significance this morning so that I can completely enjoy the day as my birthday when it comes. I know it is a hard day for many people … and it is hard for me as well … but September 11 is going to be my big 3-0 and I’m going to celebrate it to the hills. My hubby has something amazing planned … starting tonight with us heading to a country concert.

I don’t know what else is in store for my birthday, but I know having my hubby by my side will make it amazing in every way.

And that’s life in a nutshell … remembering the past doesn’t mean you can’t REALLY enjoy the present! September 11 has taught me that.

P.S. Let the birthday celebration begin!


Sanibel Island: Labor Day Weekend

6 Sep

PoppaNut gave me the surprise of a lifetime this weekend. He simply said, “Pack a bag.” And that’s exactly what I did. When we loaded up the new Jeep on Sunday morning, I had no idea where our final destination would be.

We drove down 275 to 75 … and I started thinking we might be headed to my parents’ home. But as we passed exit 170, I knew that wasn’t it.

About three hours after we left our home, we arrived at the Sundial Resort on Sanibel Island. I immediately assume we are checking in and can’t wait to get to the front desk to secure our reservation. But PoppaNut is sorta dragging behind, texting on his phone. I have no idea what is going on and he is acting so strange. What’s going on?

Melissa and Matt

As we wonder around looking for Building K, I still can’t figure out what is going on. Are we meeting people here? Are we lost? And then, PoppaNut swings me around and I see two very familiar faces: Melissa and Matt from Kentucky, my very close friends from college.

My eyes saw them but my brain couldn’t figure out what the heck they were doing in Sanibel. PoppaNut said my face was priceless … I was completely shocked. I ran up to them and gave them great big hugs! Gosh, I can’t even tell you how great it was to see them. And PoppaNut had arranged it all. He saw that Melissa and Matt were coming down to Florida and arranged the meet-up. Did I pick a keeper or what?

Melissa and MommaNut

As this group of four headed down to the beach, my brain was still trying to figure out what had just happened. We sipped all-natural cocktails while we laid in the sun … Melissa and I catching up on every detail of our lives … and something suprises me. No matter how much time passes between the time I see Melissa, we always pick up as if we haven’t missed a beat. We are instantly catching up and laughing and enjoying the sunny day on the beach.

That night, we head to dinner at a beautiful seaside restaurant called Gramma Dot’s. After a quick drink at a nearby bar, we head back to the pool for a dip, more laughter and way too much tequila. Matt, or JT as some people called him, made us smoked-salmon dip and caprese salad … the most gourmet drunk food I have ever had. And we did tequila shoots with hot sauce and orange slices (it will change your life).

MommaNut and PoppaNut

When it was time to say goodbye, I couldn’t help but cry. I had the best time in the world, and it was amazing to see Matt and Melissa again. And it was so sweet of PoppaNut to arrange this special surprise for me. He said, “I wanted you to be able to see your friends … you never get to see them and I know you miss them.” I could cry again just thinking about it.

And that’s life in a nutshell … getting to see your old friends again can make you feel brand new again. Thank you, hubby! I love you so much.


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