Wednesday, December 29

Top 10 in 2010 and some miscellaneous photos

**Disclaimer: Picture (and word) heavy post!

On some of the blogs I've read today, they've mentioned their top 10 of 2010.  I thought it could be fun to follow suit, so here we go!

Beer tasting at Boscos

1}  Falling in love with my best friend.  He brightens my day and makes me feel special.  Now that I have met him, I cannot imagine my life without him.  He's silly most of the time, but he cooks me delicious dinners and makes me laugh.  Maybe one day he'll forgive me for being a UT fan.

2}  Moving in with M.  For about two months I stressed and stressed about where I was going to live when my lease ran out.  I found a roommate on Craigslist whom I liked, but we had totally different priorities about where we wanted to live, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice safety/security for a cheaper rent rate.  I finally had determined I could afford to live in a lower quality place for less money when M offered me a place to stay, even though it was supposed to be "temporary, for a month, while I take more time to look."  I love that I get to fall asleep next to him ,and I love seeing his smiling face in the morning.

3}  Having my best friend back in the same city!  In August of 2005 we went away to college 11 hours from each other and besides Christmas and Summer vacations, we haven't spent more than 2 weeks together since then.  In July he moved back home from Baton Rouge and although it's been an adjusting period to living in the same city again, I'm so glad he's a Tennessean again!

4}  My best friend's wedding.  The first 6-7 months of this year were hard for me.  One of my greatest flaws is my rigidity and unwillingness to accept change.  I had a hard time graduating and moving back home away from all my college friends.  I had a hard time when my best friend got engaged (even though I knew it was coming.)  I couldn't accept that life would move on, it would just be different.  For months my best friend and I pushed away against each other, trying to make the pain/change bearable.  This only made matters worse and it wasn't until May/June that I finally accepted the fact that she was getting married, and I wouldn't see her as much, but she would still be my best friend.  She's still the amazing, caring, and beautiful woman I lived with for 5 years and had been best friends with for 4 years before that.  My brain just couldn't accept that life would go on.  KJ got married in July, and not only was it one helluva party, but I was blessed to witness the love and devotion between her and Joel.  I could see that he loved her dearly, and I was so honored to be a part of their special day.    

5}  Our beach vacation.  In June, M and I went to the beach to stay at his grandparent's condo.  It was our first trip together, and it was splendid!  We scheduled the trip in June hoping that BP would've gotten their shit together and stopped the oil leak long before we were to leave, giving ample time to clean up.  Nope.  Not at all.  We stayed in Perdido Key which is between Pensacola and Orange Beach (Floribama, if you will.)  Orange Beach was hit really hard.  We drove down that way one day to play putt-putt and as you looked toward the beach there were skimmers and other boats all over the place.  Alabama either hadn't had the time or money to get protective nets up before oil washed ashore.  

On the beach in Perdido Key.  Look!  No oil!

Perdido Key was fairly lucky.  While we were there, the red flags were up warning folks not to swim, but I got about half-way in and only had small patches of oil on my feet.  There was one day where the skimmers and boats were close to the shore and we could actually see patches of oil.  I know this is bad to say, but it was kind of nice that because there were less people around.      

Skimmers collecting oil

6}  The Boat.  M has a boat and we have spent many glorious weekends floating along Old Hickory lake and eating picnic lunches and at local marinas.  We've spent afternoons with good friends catching rays and wake-boarding (well, I haven't been wake-boarding, lol.)  It's nice when you can only take little vacations here and there to have a nice local day in the sun.

"I'm on a boat...I'm on a boat..."

7}  My surgery.  I know this is rather silly to have in my top 10, but after 2 years of self-diagnosed pain, (thank you wikipedia) it's nice to have it all resolved.  In college I started having gall bladder attacks, not knowing that's what it was.  After altering my diet and finally going to a doctor (who didn't believe me) to figure out what was wrong, I had no difficulty scheduling the surgery and getting it out of the way.  For the most part I'm feeling a lot better, and I'm glad to have it off my mind!

8}  Trip to Baton Rouge/New Orleans.  In May, best friend from #3 graduated from LSU.  I drove down with my parents for the celebration.  I was in town for 4 days that were filled with debauchery and too much booze.  His graduation festivities were fun, with nice dinners and a graduation party.  My parents left on Saturday, we celebrated some more, and then on Sunday drove to New Orleans.  The whole weekend was a blast, but this was by far the best part.  We stayed at the frickin Ritz-Carlton (paid for by his parents), ate dinner at Arnaud's, which was absolutely delicious, and then partied it up on Bourbon Street which included a stop at Pat O's.  We had a blast, and thanks to too many hurricanes, my flight home was hell (hangovers on a plane are miserable.)  It was totally worth it.  We had a great time!  

After Graduation with Tiger Stadium in the background.  L to R: Richard, Me, Brandon, and Leah

Drinking Hurricanes at Pat O's in New Orleans!  L to R: Me, Richard, Brandon, Leah

9}  Celebrating my one-year anniversary with M.  For the first time in my life, I have sustained a long-term relationship.  This is a great feat.  I never dated much in high school or college, with my "relationships" lasting 1-3 months at at time, if that.  M has made the past year amazing!  I look back and can't believe there was a time I didn't know him, but also look back and think "we've only been together for a year?"  I can't wait to see what our future holds!

10}  Starting my blog.  I know that's totally cliche, but it's true!  I do not love my job, (but I'm grateful to have one) this is no secret, so I started reading blogs back in March or April, during my work day.  Just reading blogs helped me realize that I wanted to start my own.  I initially started it to write fiction, but it hasn't followed that plan, but I couldn't be happier.  Unfortunately, starting January 1, my office is implementing a system that monitors the types of websites we visit, so I will no longer be able to read blogs or post my own while at work.  I'm going to do my best to work on my post and e-mail it to myself so that I can post it when I get home.  I'm devastated that I won't be able to wile away the hours reading about what's going on your lives!  I'll make it work, but it'll definitely be an interesting twist for 2011.

I made pumpkin bread to take to the cabin and Alabama, plus a couple extra loaves for M and I to munch on.  I tried to be all Pioneer Woman and photograph the step-by-step but I definitely fell short.  Either way, here's some documentation of this delicious recipe.

Cast of Characters (I doubled the recipe)
Ready to bake!
The delicious, finished product!

Around Thanksgiving, my coworker Nancy brought everyone in the office a poinsettia.  I don't have much of a green thumb, in fact, M makes me help him garden.  I do have a potted plant that sits on the kitchen table and every few nights I'll remember to water her.  Well, since we have Sally-dog and I've heard that poinsettia leaves are poisonous to animals, I put the plant up high in our living room, where I of course forgot to water it.  Well, it died.  Shocking.  There's a song by Elmo and Patsy on the same album with Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" (which I had on cassette tape! hellz yeah!) called "Percy the Puny Poinsettia."  The premise is that he gets left on the shelf in the store because he's puny and noone wants him.  Sad :(   Not the same story, but my poinsettia looked pretty puny before I dumped her in the trash outside.

Percy the Puny Poinsettia

KJ and Ashleigh at the cabin in Gatlinburg

Snuggle-time on the bunk upstairs at the Cabin! From front to back: Laura, Carolyn, Ashleigh, Nan and myself

Christmas Sally-Dog!  She was tired enough that she didn't freak out when I put the hat on her head!

We got a white Christmas.  The ground was much whiter at our house than my parents, but M decided to build a snowman in their front yard none-the-less.

Ralphie, with a scarf made of ribbon

Can you spot Ralphie?
My Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake for Christmas dinner dessert
Ready to sled!
Here we go!


The End. 


Jumble Mash said...

Awesome post! Sounds like 2010 was great!

Also, I love the new blog look!

Bouncin' Barb said...

What a great post. Lots of fun. Loved the sledding on the street pics. That's what we did when I was a kid. Found a street with a good hill.

Ingrid Gray said...

@ Bouncin' Barb: That's the end of our street, I'm just grateful we live on the flat part and not up the hill. At the top of the hill pictured is another hill with an apartment complex! Yikes!

@ Jumble: Thanks! I hope you're loving your new ipad!

Thisisme said...

Gosh, that was some post, keeping us up to date with YOUR 2010. Good post, and I enjoyed reading all about your year. Good to see the photos as well. I love the look of that pumpkin bread by the way!

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