Tuesday, December 31, 2013


2013 was a wonderful year! I was continually blessed by my amazing husband, loving family, awesome friends, a great job, and most of all, a forgiving Lord and Savior.

Here are 13 highlights of this past year (in no particular order):

1. We were joined by 3 new nieces, Kinsley in May and twins Lainey and Londyn in July.

2. We got to celebrate my cousin's wedding in November in New Orleans with lots of family members!

3. I got to road trip to the Nebraska vs. Michigan football game with 2 great friends, we had a blast!

4. My sister moved to Minnesota, and although she's further away, it provides for a great weekend getaway and shopping at the Mall of America.

5. We celebrated numerous weddings of friends and also many engagements, with weddings galore planned for 2014.

6. I ran my personal best time in the Lincoln Half Marathon in May.

7. We got to attend a few Husker volleyball games at the newly renovated Devaney Center in Lincoln.

8. I enjoyed the concerts of Jason Aldean with Jake Owen, Miranda Lambert with Dierks Bentley, and Casting Crowns.

9. Ryan and I celebrated our first year marriage anniversary in May!

10. I got an iPhone, and love it!

11. We played on a summer and fall coed softball team, and had a blast with our teammates!

12. Ryan survived appendicitis and having his appendix out.

13. I took a weekend getaway to Kansas City with 3 of my college friends, we were finally reunited!

It was an AWESOME year and I hope for even better things in 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Recap

We are finally home tonight, which means I have time to do a post! Sorry for my mini-vacation, but I've been busy enjoying these past couple holiday-filled weeks! I hope you all had a very Merry and Blessed Christmas with your family and friends! 

Here's a photo drop of a summary of what I've been up to these past couple weeks, which includes…

* 6 family Christmas gatherings, loved all the family time
* bowling with my immediate family
* fun bottle gift exchanges
* lots of time with our nieces and nephew
* Christmas light tour on a party bus with friends
* celebrated with my best friend for her 25th birthday
* got a couple days of 50 degree weather, beautiful
* chili with my hubby
* sported some ugly sweaters on Christmas Eve at work
* spoiled with lots of nice gifts
* Christmas baking, and too much eating
* beautiful midnight mass with my husband
* basketball with my brother
* several family games, including pitch until 3am

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend Recap

I had to work this weekend, but I did get a few other things done in between…

Friday night, I have no pictures to show, but I went shopping with my mom and then we met up with my brother and a couple of his friends for supper at Red Robin, yum! I now have all my Christmas shopping done, yeah…now on to the wrapping!

Saturday night, we had some friends over for pizza and we enjoyed the rest of the night with some Catch Phrase and Just Dance!

Sunday night after work, I went to mass and then got to spend a little time with Ryan before he is gone all week again for work.

Hope all of you are staying warm and sharing the holiday spirit with those around you!! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Decor and DIY

I was finally able to finish my Christmas decorating today and also finish a few of my DIY projects I've been working on! Here's how everything turned out! I love being able to decorate and show off my Christmas spirit!

1. Our Christmas tree! I even got Ryan to help me put on the ornaments this year!
2. A cute little Christmas bucket decoration I made with lights, ornaments, pine cones and ribbon.
3. JOY made with wooden letters, scrapbook paper, and a big ornament.
4. Some mini Christmas trees made from styrofoam cones, fabric, and jewels.

Have any of you done any DIY crafts for Christmas this year?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Weekend Shenanigans

Sami's Shenanigans

It's been cold this past week in Nebraska, and I'm not quite ready for that bitter winter weather yet, but I guess it came anyways! Here's the recap of my weekend!

1. Friday night, we got to watch the Husker volleyball team win in the first round of the NCAA volleyball tournament! They won Saturday too, so on to regionals, yeah!
2. Saturday, we got a room at Harrah's casino to use a Living Social I bought! I didn't have very good luck, but my husband did.
3. Saturday night, we had my work Christmas party with some good food and drinks.
4. Sunday, we celebrated my niece, Allie's, 5th birthday with a party!
5. And…it snowed this weekend. Luckily it wasn't a lot, but enough for awhile.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Vacation…the last few days!

Vacation: Part Four

The last few days of vacation was spent with family and doing some sightseeing!

1, 2, 3 - We spent one day at the National World War II Museum, which was really neat! They have so many exhibits, and even had a 4D show about the war.
4 - We got to watch my cousin's basketball game while we were there, which was fun!
5 - Took my little cousin shopping for a couple new dresses, we had a blast!
6 - The sun finally came out and we took a walk by Lake Pontchartrain.
7, 8, 9 - We went on a swamp tour one morning. Even though the weather wasn't the best for gator sighting, we did see one and got to hold a little baby alligator.

We had an awesome vacation and I'm so glad we got to do a lot of things and spend some time with family and just take time to relax!! Thanks so much for reading!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Vacation…The Day After

Part Three: Post Wedding Festivities

1 & 2 - The morning after the wedding, we attended a family brunch hosted by the bride and groom! We had so much good food, including Saints-shaped fruit and the traditional Mardi Gras king cake!
3 - After everyone got done eating, we tested the groom's knowledge on our family. He had to see if he could match us all with the right parents and kids. Considering his new mother-in-law has 7 other brothers and sisters, it was quite the challenge!
4 - The weather was nice and sunny out, so the boys enjoyed some football.
5 & 6 - After brunch, quite a few of us took a trolley ride through the city, which was fun! We got to see some parts of downtown we hadn't been to before. 
7 & 8 - For supper, my cousin, who lives in New Orleans and one of his friends, treated all of us to a yummy seafood and vegetable boil! We had potatoes, corn, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, crab, shrimp, and sausage! It definitely had a southern kick in the taste, but it was soooo good!
9 - And to end the night, some of us cousins tried our luck at the casino downtown and finished off with some 2 am beignets!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wedding Recap…Nawlins' Style!

Part Two: The Wedding

This was my first New Orleans wedding, and we had a blast! Here are a few things I learned about a wedding in New Orleans that is different than how we do it in Nebraska:

1. There isn't a formal sit down meal for everyone at the same time. The food is out when you get to the reception and you can eat whenever you want.
2. The dance starts right away as soon as the reception gets underway.
3. The food is amazing! And after you initially go through the food line, they continually bring trays of food around all night. We had shrimp, sausage, sandwiches, crab, meatballs, and a few other things throughout the night, along with cake and cheesecake! 
4. They had a live jazz band, which was really fun.
5. The most fun part of the dance came on the last song. It's a tradition there that everyone gets a napkin or hanky and parades around with the bridge and groom, who have fancy umbrellas. We danced to "When the Saints Go Marching In," since we were in New Orleans, and then the couple danced on out of the reception! 

Here is a video clip:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Vacation…Part One

A little over a week ago, Ryan and I took a vacation to New Orleans with some family to celebrate my cousin's wedding! We flew out on Friday, the 22nd and stayed there until Wednesday, the 27th! I'm going to give you the recap in a few posts!

Part One: Getting There, Bourbon Street, and the French Quarter

1. Leavin' on a jet plane…our bright and early flight to New Orleans.
2. Once we got there and got checked into the hotel, we spent some time playing a few games with our cousins at my aunt's house. My aunt lives in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans.
3. Friday night, the rest of my extended family had arrived and we all had a big family dinner with some card games too!
4. Later Friday night, it was time to go out on the town to Bourbon Street!! We hit up a few bars, did some dancing, had some drinkss, and had a great time!
5. Here I am with my cousin's fiancé, can't wait for her to be an official part of the family!!
6. Saturday, we spent the day doing touristy stuff downtown. Here is a picture of the cathedral.
7. Walking down the Riverwalk.
8. Jackson Square in the French Quarter.
9. And you can't go to New Orleans without having a delicious beignet!

Have any of you been to New Orleans? What was your favorite part?

Monday, December 2, 2013

I'm Back…and I Brought My Shenanigans to Share with you!

Sami's Shenanigans

I'm back, and in case you wondered where I've been, I went on vacation to New Orleans and then I had a long Thanksgiving weekend! Here's my weekend shenanigans to share with you, and my vacation recaps will be coming throughout the week!

Starting with the bottom left, here's the details:
1. Thanksgiving day was pretty relaxed; we had lunch with my family and played some cards.
2. The night of Thanksgiving and Friday night, we had both of Ryan's extended family Thanksgivings. All the meals were great and I of course ate too much food because it was all so good!
3. Thursday night into Friday morning, for about 6 hours, we went shopping with Ryan's sister and brother and had great success! Our most exciting purchase was our new, 60" TV!!
4. Here's all my bags from Black Friday shopping.
5. Saturday, I worked all day and then we watched the Husker volleyball game Saturday night.
6. The last few pics are from Sunday! I got to meet my cousin's daughter, Sophie for the first time, and was honored to be her Godmother as we celebrated her baptism! She was so sweet and I can't wait to see her again at Christmas! She lives in Wisconsin, so we were glad to spend some time with her and my cousin and his wife.

Thanks for reading! Check back the rest of the week to read about my vacation to New Orleans!