A Truly Happy (& Slightly Tardy) Year-End Report *

As I prepare a short recap (Yeah Right This Took Me 14 Days To Publish) of my 2013, I would first like to share that I am in NO way ready to begin 2014. . . . While I’m well aware that (it’s already begun) you’re supposed to look forward to the changes and growth a new year symbolizes, I am not entirely sure I can top 2013! I’m all for change, it’s probably one of my favorite constants. BUT, looking back on such a fantastic year, this helpless smart ass has become a tad sentimental and would like to pretend it’s just not yet ending. . . .

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With all that being said, lets #Rehash (pun intended) my 12 amazing Months of 2013. . . . !!

January:

The Year of The Wedding! Planning began to take up all spare moments of my life. . . . 5 months and counting, it was crunch time! I will have you know that I WAS in fact one of those crazy bitches that took it upon myself to build practically anything and everything for the special day . . . .I will blog on this later (No I probably wont, lets be real, I hated every ounce of stress associated with that day) but for now here are some of the things I was completing last January when “Bride Mode” really kicked in. . .

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While braving the cold, we hunker down and get to work on booking our Bachelor/Bachelorette parties and my flight to Atlanta for my best college (golf) girlfriend, Sara’s wedding! To wrap the month up, my soon-to-be hubby turned 30 on the 31st! We celebrated a wonderful night out in Detroit with 3 rooms at Greektown, 30+ friends and a Ghostbusters Cake made by yours truly! (It was my first experience with fondant and I instantly fell in HATE all while adoring the results!)

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Lastly, Paige Starts WALKING!! 

February:

The first is MY BIRTHDAY!! I secretly hate my birthday but this year’s was kinda fun. I am born the day after my hubby (+ 3 Years) and I ADORE that he can semi-steal the show *We Share Our Birthday Party Since We’ve Met*. . . I’m not a big fan of being the center of attention. But I will say that his 30th made for an over-the-top 27th for yours truly! Can’t complain about a night out, friends, casino and hotel room with 3 boys who came back to the room lathered in strip club butter-(insert sarcasm here). . . . Regardless, it was still a night out. Mommy doesn’t get that many. I spent the month slaving away at wedding related nonsense and found time for a few fun family events. . .

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Paige’s First “Hockey Game” or Watching my coworkers play at the local rink on a league rather but still fun all the same! Enjoyed a Margarita or two & learned our colors. . . . we basically spent a good amount of “down time” as this was the LAST Chaos free month we would have for the entire YEAR. #NotKidding. Side Note: (& Very Proud Mommy Moment) – Paige Pick Up A Golf Club, Finally!

March: 

Our Wedding Shower! This was a hectic, wonderful and disorganized but we got some wonderful gifts! I was so happy to spend the weekend with my best friends and MOH Heather, who flew in from California for the fun weekend! We had a great time and spent the evening celebrating St. Patty’s Day, any Irish girl’s favorite occasion!

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The night of the shower and the next day we decided to hit the streets of Detroit and celebrate St. Pat’s. . . .

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Next came The Novi Golf Expo which is the largest golf event held each spring. I work for GroupGolfer.com and we spend each year prepping for the event to host some of the largest tents at the show. It’s a whole weekend of work and while I was busy working 14 hours days my husband decided to create his first feature film. . . . Paige’s First YouTube Appearance . It was beyond entertaining, I hope you enjoy.

Finally was Easter and an unexpected early trip to the park. Weather broke for a day and we couldn’t wait to get to the playground! ♥ Her.

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April:

April was a BUSY BUSY month. I spent most of the time traveling and while I complained about not being home a month before my wedding it was probably the best idea I ever had in planning. . . I needed the break and I LOVE TRAVELING. I cannot express that enough. I literally would just travel ALL the time if able. I get the biggest rush ever just experiencing new everything, it’s always been my passion . . . along with photographing every new adventure! Seriously, if I could just retire tomorrow and see the world I would be the happiest bitch on earth but lets be real, I’m 27, newly married and mother to a toddler. Money is a figment of my imagination, along with time!! Amidst all the traveling was our first annual Tigers Game! (We are Detroit Fan FREAKS!) Me and hubby scored from freezing cold tickets but it was a fun filled afternoon for sure! 🙂

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Anyhow, Atlanta came first. Sara’s wedding to be precise. . . . We traveled ALL day for this one, not to mention it was the same weekend as the Masters (For all of you not familiar with Golf it’s like the BIGGEST event of the season- IN Augusta, GA) and everyone and their brother was boarding planes for Atlanta too- Which might explain why my tickets were a rip! I took off from Flint- Landed in Detroit (mind you I’m still in the same state-The Nerve!) then head to Atlanta where I get off the plane and saddle up with a Man named “Buddy” (Real Name, Not the Elf – His grandfather owns the Atlanta Falcons or something random) who drives me 4 full hours into the Florida Georgia line. No, not the song, but I will say that after experiencing such a place, I have a new appreciation for their tunes. ❤ my Country Music! The wedding was absolutely amazing (minus not being able to watch The Masters ALL weekend and having to keep up on current affairs where work’s concerned!!!! – Sorry Sara had to say it, we played GOLF together in college, WHAT were you thinking!?!?) and Sara was absolutely beautiful. I also got to spend my few hours on Sunday before flying out with great family friends who moved to Atlanta when I was 7. . . the Poulos Family who took me to lunch in their cute little suburb of Atlanta which I could totally see myself living in. 60+ bars in a one mile stretch with historic southern homes and upscale condos. It was divine, and basically topped off the trip. . . along with Adam Scott winning the Masters. ♥ In Love with HiM. . . Please See Photo Below and you will understand exactly why that is. #AussieHeaven.

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Adam Scott

Next came my Bachelorette Party!!! San Diego to start followed by a road trip with the girls to VEGAS. I can’t tell you how much fun this was. . . I literally CAN’T. It’s my Bachelorette Party. It’s supposed to be a hush hush affair! I will say we were anything BUT quiet. . . oh and that the Donut Bar in San Diego – Thanks Bryan for the introduction, has the most unreal Donuts I’ve ever tasted and thus lead me on a year long obsession to open my own wild donut shop in Detroit. (This has no yet panned out, FYI). Regardless, the trip started out with a Mimosa breakfast on Pacific Beach, a night out in SD followed by a road trip through the desert to an oasis of old friends, free drinks, good times, limos and bikinis. It was a riot! Even the moms came. 🙂 I’m a very lucky girl. Ps. YES, I packed that many shoes. Don’t judge me.

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Now that the adventures were over, it was crunch time. On to the next month!

May:

MARRIED MONTH!! Manicures, spray tans, meetings, makeup, mimosas. . . .It was about the be a whirlwind of a month but we could hardly wait! So lets cut to the chase, we got married on May 11th, it was 70 degreed (pretty standard for a Michigan May) all week leading up to the wedding and the day of . . it had to be a high if 40 degrees and raining. Seriously. WORST case scenario- that was us. All the planning and all the worrying just didn’t matter any more. I was stressed as all hell and nothing could change that but in the end we were married and we danced and we were in love. OH and when they say try to stop and just recall you day, seriously do that. It flies by and that year of stressing was all for nothing so just try to take a minute and remember what you’re doing there in the first place! LOVE. – As you can clearly see I’m not one for wedding blogging. I thought I would try that when I first had the idea but I would rather NEVER go through that bullshit again.

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I can honestly say that I’m the luckiest girl in the world. (Sorry to get all sappy and shit, it’s something I’m personally working on – to be more grateful; with that comes extreme mush and slight sarcasm in random bursts. . . gratefully sarcastic you say? Totally possible; just try this: I fucking adore how you throw your socks all around the living room when you get home from the gym babe, I couldn’t ask for a better hubby, I really am the luckiest girl in the world”. #WifeLife. But seriously, I had a wonderful wedding and it was one of the most stressful yet enjoyable moments in my life. Sitting here 7 months in to being married, I feel like it’s only gotten better. Every day I’m a happier person for where my life is. Some days I may have to remind myself more than others but I really do have the best husband in the world, he’s my other half. ♥ Struggle is inevitable but it’s how you’re equipped to deal with it that matters and I can say that together, we can deal with anything. That and lots and lots of laughter. . . and sarcasm. From here on out . . .#WifeLife.

Following the wedding was of course the honeymoon . . . .  To start we missed our flight, #Woops. That was totally my bad. I had flown out of Flint ( a smaller airport north of Detroit) twice the month before and didn’t see the reason behind getting there any more than an hour before departure. Well apparently leaving the country requires a baggage check for customs no later than 1 hour. Yeaaaaahhhh . . . about that, we got there 56 minutes before the flight. I’m one stubborn ass bitch when I want to be and it finally bit me in the ass. . . . .I broke down in tears (and I’m NOT the crying type). After the horrible luck of our wedding day and now this, I was just an emotional bubble waiting to burst. An hour later we had everything figured out and would be back that afternoon to depart for Atlanta (once again) for a lay over which turned out to be a close second to our $800 a night ocean side suite. . . but really it was! We stayed with my friends from before (Please Refer Back To April) and went to dinner, were surprised by some friends that were just at our wedding and had a great night out! It was an amazing night followed by the best trip EVER to Punta Cana. Pj had never left the country and I’m afraid our resort may have ruined any future experience he may have. . . . it was an unreal adventure that was a perfect way to wind down after the wedding!

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Ahhh I wish I could live there every day! It was absolutely amazing. The beach, the sunrises, the room, the FOOD, dinner on the beach, boat rides, snorkeling, casino, Enrique (our server who we loved)- Also a commonly used name for a “friendly” female electronic toy (ie. Fernando, Horhey, Enrique Etc.) . . . it was an absolute dream come true. I would recommend the Now Larimar in Punta Cana to everyone!!

June:

We finally settled back into normal (Married!) life. We spent the month trying to declutter our lives and jumped into remodeling our kitchen. We wanted to get a rustic, modern look with out breaking the bank so we decided to upgrade in the most monetarily responsible way we could think of. . . .

Paint For Cabinets: $90. New Hanging Microwave: $300. Daich Spreadstone Countertop Paint: $100. Wood for Backsplash: $40. Stain for Wood: $15. New Hardware for Cabinets: $40. Ikea Shelving: $150. SandPaper, Nails, Brushes, Rollers Etc. : $30. Wine Rack / Glass Holders: $15. Other Stuff?/: $50

Over all it was well under $1,000.00 and we completely transformed the kitchen into a dream. The backsplash is what really made it pop and it’s a total Pinterest Dream Kitchen!! ♥ My Hubby actually had the idea for the wood “pallet” looking backsplash which is something I always wanted but I NEVER thought he would go for. He did an AMAZING job. I just did all the painting, he was behind all the rest. It turned out fabulous-We LOVE it. We had also waited to unpack all our wedding shower gifts until AFTER the remodel so it was a lot of organizing but in the end everything was brand new and so pretty! 🙂 The First photo gives you an idea of the chaos that this project took on for over a week. . . . DIY is SO worth it though!

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Once this project was finally finished, we looked ahead to other fun seasonal events. Lots of weddings, a number of concerts at DTE and some endless nights with family and friends enjoying the Michigan Summer to it’s fullest!

July:

Paige Turns Two!! Ok, I’ll admit. I am always about NOT being the crazy “Mother Stewart” of the neighborhood who tries to do it all while working a full time job and keeping her sanity BUT birthday parties are my one and total downfall. I am a crazy bitch when it comes to deciding a theme, colors, deserts, favors, etc. I am in no way supporting the games mothers play in comparing who does what better. . . I’m actually a huge supporter of doing your own damn thing, F all the rest. But- I don’t do this to impress you, I don’t do it because it’s all the rave, I do it because I genuinely am obsessed with being creative and the aspect of planning an entire event centered around my favorite tiny human is just the icing on the cake- literally!

I wanted to be an event planner for a living. Hell, I still do. I not only think I would be damn good at it, I KNOW I would be really damn good at it. I am obsessed with every minute detail and couldn’t be happier when everyone else is enjoying themselves. I like to see creativity from start to finish and will pine over something that’s completely useless for hours. . . .While I do need to work on making sure that I myself enjoy the party, (not just try to run it from behind the scenes) I will say that in no way am I sorry for trying to throw the most elaborate fiesta ever. I enjoy a good cupcake and I relish in a mimosa bar. . .  I don’t even care that my mother in law thinks I’m bat shit crazy or that my daughter can’t physically say “thank you” – nor does she understand the concept, for all the hard work I’ve done for her, that I slaved over fondant or was up all night baking/decorating 70 + cupcakes. . . as I said before, I do this for me. And Yes, I’m completely and 100% fucking nuts but I get complete self satisfaction out of it. . . #WinWin. You’re welcome.

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So yes, I had a photo booth. I saw the idea on Pinterest where the mom has balloons for the background and had her camera set up in the house. . . I managed to move my theory outside and create a fabric backdrop – I have a sick obsession with my Pinterest boards. I now make photo booth backdrops at my Etsy shop because of the overwhelming compliments I got at the party. Things happen for a reason I guess? I loved it! So many cute photos, I couldn’t post them all! My husband and I also decided to get Paige her first car. An Audi TT Roadster. Totally acceptable purchase. . . except I had to return the thing the Morning of her party because it wouldn’t charge!! Talk about stressing out, these are the exact type situations I consistently find myself in when trying to organize every minute of life. . . . just as my friends. We figured it out though and she ended up loving it! Such a diva baby. ♥ – We love you Paige!

July also marked the month that Paige would start SCHOOL! We decided to place her in Montessori two days a week just a short walk form my office downtown. We thought it might speed up her speech development, introduce her to other kids her age and teach her a variety of life skills. The Montessori is absolutely wonderful and we couldn’t be happier. If I needed them more (or had more money- HA) I would put her in 4 days. She truly enjoys is and it makes me a happy Mommy!!

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August: 

August was a whole lot of SUMMER. We spent the first weekend away in Chicago with friends experiencing our first ever Lollapalooza. It was an absolute blast! I got to see one of my old school favorite bands The Postal Service perform their last big show and I loved every second of it. We spent the rest of the time in the city bar hopping and seeing old friends . . . it was an amazing weekend! While I’m sure for the rest of the month we had an event scheduled every single weekend (because that’s just what life has become in your 20/30 somethings) it appears as if I had no major life events to worry about after LoLLa. I enjoyed a few more shows to close out the summer at DTE and spent the remainder of the season enjoying friends and time with Paige. Things were starting to calm down and aside from the 8 weddings/12 showers/11 bach parties we had combined (which I’m in no way posting about because that would take another 10 days to collect and recall) throughout the season, we actually had some time to enjoy Summer! Below are a few of my favorite pictures from August, taking Paige to the beach, concerts, Chicago and the lake. ♥ My MI Summers.

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September: 

One of my favorite weekends ever!! The GroupGolfer.com Patriot’s Day Shootout Golf Weekend at Tree Tops Golf Resort in Gaylord. I AM OBSESSED WITH GOLF. It’s been my favorite hobby since I was a teen and as I’ve grown older it’s become a major focal point of my career. I work at GroupGolfer.com and it’s basically the “Goupon” of golf! We run amazing daily deals for different courses and products around the country and in turn get to sponsor amazing events like the Patriot Day weekend for wounded veterans. It’s a 3 days trip with non-stop golf, time with co-workers and a cool events. . . . It’s so cool to be a part of this trip each year and an honor to be with a company that can give back to such a worthy cause. I Love My Job! ♥

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The last two pictures are of my Eagle shot on the second day. Par 5. Playing Great! 🙂 I love the trip so much! After Labor Day in Gaylord, I came home for a short week of work then traveled North again the following Friday for a fun filled girls weekend in Midland. You see, I lived in Midland for 4 years while I attended Northwood University for my undergrad. I made some amazing friends while working at a local bar and I enjoy keeping in touch with these bitches from time to time. . . .this trip was way overdue and included a lot of rain, a bonfire and a quick 9 holes at my college course, Currie Municipal! Unfortunately “Muffin” is hiding in the last shot!! #WayToGoBitch!

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After a fun weekend I head home to spend more quality time with Paige. We spent a lot of time in the park this month and even attended her first “School Picnic”! Dad and I head to the park just a short drive from our house and find a hidden gem of a place- George George Park. . . . Extremely stupid name BUT it was a ton of fun. We spent some additional time at the Rochester park later in the month, followed by Paige’s first ever Tigers Game!

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As if this month wasn’t already busy enough, we some how found time to attend the Renaissance Festival way up in Holly, MI with my parents and squeezed in a little networking in Down Town Detroit with the B.O.M.A. Young Professionals Group. I was previously on the board of this committee before leaving my last job and it was great to go back and catch up with old friends and witness how far this group has finally come. . . they have done some amazing work getting people involved and the venue for this event on top of the M@dison building was just #holyhell, beautiful. I love Detroit. What a busy month!

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October:

My Favorite Month! I love fall in Michigan. Boots, Scarves, Leaves, Pumpkins, Cider, Donuts and Carmel Apples. . . . Yes. Carmel Apples. A top 10 (personal) favorite food group and something I feel should be served year round; along with corn on the cob and Starbucks Eggnog Chai Latte. . . it’s not irrational it’s called cravings. . .. #LookItUp. Oh and peanuts are a MUST. I can’t say enough about this fall . . . we kicked off the first weekend trying to squeeze in some golf with our friends Adam and Erica at Lakewood Shores in Oscoda, MI. It was one rainy ass weekend but we survived and it was actually a blast. We had two room, 36 holes (The Gailes & Blackshire) and spent the night out watching the Tigers blow a playoff game but it was all worth the drive, the fall colors were incredible. Erica (Adam’s Girlfriend) is pretty new to the game so we had no idea what to expect, but she surprised us all! She can really hit the ball for a beginner and to be honest, she had a few shots better than the boys! Over all it was a trip we would love to do again and thanks to GroupGolfer.com we could totally afford the golf AND the gas! #WinWin. #BrokeFolkStillTravel

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Once our clubs were retired for the season, I spent a good amount of time with family sharing my favorite season with Paige! We hit the park as much as possible where we discovered changing leaves, made one last stop at the zoo before the cold hit. . . . (we visited the zoo THREE times this year and I can bet next year will be twice that, we love it there), hit up a Lions Game with the Hubby and friends. . . .Explored The Rochester Cider Mill (I try to pick a new one each year to explore) and after a fantastic photo session, ended the month carving pumpkins and begging for candy! Trick-or-Treating was absolutely hilarious this year- Paige finally understood it all and while she started cranky and wet (I swear it rains EVERY DAMN YEAR!), she ended the night blowing kisses to all the neighbors and rifling through one hell of a haul of candy. It was a super way to end my favorite fall to date! ♥

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November:

It’s finally cold. November was mostly about hibernation as we brace ourselves for the winter weather!  While I adore fall, I despise winter. I haven’t been skiing since college, I haven’t been ice skating since college, and I haven’t been sledding since college. . . . unless you count last year when I pulled Paige around our front yard (this is completely level mind you) for roughly 8 minutes. Overall, winter isn’t FUN anymore. It’s scraping ice off your car, wasting gas in 4 wheel drive, shivering to the core and always feeling like you need another car wash. That’s of course assuming you even wash your car in the winter, which I do not. Screw wasting $5 to pull out into a sea of salted roads, nothing more depressing then the god damn salt truck. It’s also the season of unexpected pot holes – something us MI people know all too well. Pretty sure we have the worst roads in all of North America. Anyhow, November was a dreary month with nothing but Football Sundays and some intermittent bowling, we finished the month off with turkey and a round-a-bout of three houses in one afternoon, it’s exhausting yet delish. Since this is the most boring month of the year, below you will find only a few photos of us taking Paige bowling for the first time at a charity event. . . . She picked up all my spares. Thank me later for sparing you one month of my life. . . I know it gets somewhat obnoxious but like I mentioned in my first Blog EVER, I do this for me, NOT you. Enjoy my year or shut your trap!

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December:

While the month was absolutely PACKED with fun. I will spare you the abundance of photos and simply direct you to my earlier post. Here you will find all the magic of the holidays while also sympathizing with my failed attempt at photography. ( I will have you know I have NO clue as to what I’m doing yet with this passion but I hope to learn and grow in the coming months. . . so please, while there is still time- critique away. I can take it! #HellINEEDit! ). Christmas is a personal favorite for me again. As I grew out of this magical season, I have since began to enjoy all that it entails again through the eyes of my daughter. This year was her first “real” Christmas as she finally understood Santa, enjoyed making cookies, opening gifts, and spending time with family! It made the season ALL the more exciting for me and my hubby and while I can’t explain how sad I am to see it over, I’m so incredibly blessed to have spent it so perfectly. It was truly an incredible holiday for everyone in our lives. I will add a few favorite photos from the Rochester Christmas Parade (A Special Thank You T0 Tom & Jill For Inviting Us- It was the BEST Day!) as they made me realize how important this Christmas would finally be!

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The last photo is when Paige finally sees Santa at the end of the parade. Her reaction is priceless and I wish I could relive this moment every single day! It’s the coolest. My favorite is that she would explain to people that she saw Santa by saying “Ho Ho” and waving. (She wasn’t exactly talking much yet. . . . boy have things change in only 3 weeks!) Christmas morning was a total treat and the level of anticipation between me and my husband was indescribable. I can hardly wait until next December and it really is the most magical time of the year.

So in closing, I would just like to thank you all for reliving the best year of my LIFE with me . . . . I know it’s an obnoxious post when it takes me literally 14 days to create – AKA this was a HORRIBLE fucking idea, BUT now that it’s finished I’m so happy to look back on the events of my 2013 and smile. While there will always be ups and downs, this past year was one for the books. Other unmentionables were that I chopped my hair, started my own Etsy Shop, attempted photography, declined my sex life (married-DUH) and started this blog!! 

I look forward to what 2014 has in store but I will in NO way be creating another post of this nature. It was the most absurd adventure for any chronic procrastinator to set out on and while I have made some personal “new years resolutions” giving up Cheetos, Netflix and time with my family (all of which I was too busy doing to finish this post in a timely manner) aren’t any of them. I also regret to inform you that I in NO way went back and edited any of this as I am incredibly lazy. I apologize in advance for all typos and horrible grammar- I was more concerned with the fabulous photos. Thanks.

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Happy New Year (13 Days Ago)! What are your favorite things about 2013?

Cheers!

– C

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