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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Year in Review

With the New Year approaching, it's a time when we all look back at what we've done this year, and also look to the future and think about what we want to accomplish in the year to come. 2015 has been a year to remember, that's for sure. While it may have been full of wedding planning most of the time, the best part was when Trent and I became husband and wife, and had an amazing honeymoon in Jamaica that included zip lining and climbing a water fall! That was definitely my favorite highlight of the year.

So here's a little collection of some of my favorite posts from the past year. Usually I wait until January to post my year in review, but I thought, why not post it at the end of December? Same difference, right? :) Here are my yearly 2013 and 2014 review posts, and now, time for 2015:

Of course, as always this is just a sampling of our year. Not only did we get married and have an awesome honeymoon, (not to mention all the time I spent planning the wedding), I also grew my first flower garden, sold things on eBay for the first time and had our second yard sale ever. We visited Cincinnati, built our walkway out front, got a new stove, and bought a sectional sofa. We finally got a Keurig and Netflix, and I finally got a Fitbit. We had lots of fun visiting family and spending time with friends, too. Overall I think 2015 was a success! 

Who knows what 2016 will hold. Maybe a vacation to Colorado or even Canada? And I'm definitely looking forward to actually getting our sectional delivered and seeing it in the living room! Good things to come, for sure. :)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

How was everyone's Christmas?! Hope you all had fun spending time with family and got everything you wanted! Here's a little recap of our Christmas this year, which was super busy and filled with family.

Our Christmas started out really laid back. Christmas morning, Trent and I opened all of our presents to each other at home. We each got each other lots of little things. Trent got me a couple of coloring books, which I've already started coloring! I got a few movies - Inside Out, 22 Jump Street, and Serendipity. He also got me the Kacey Musgraves and Luke Bryan CDs, and a Bluetooth waterproof speaker that I can listen to when taking a shower or getting ready.

I got Trent Chicago Bears socks and t-shirt, a scarf and beanie, Dave Matthews Band travel coffee mug, a sweater, the Thomas Rhett CD, and the new car jack he wanted. Oh, and some strong coffee and a refillable K-cup to go with it!

I'd say we did pretty good this year with our gifts to each other. 

That afternoon, we stopped by Trent's aunt and uncle's to exchange gifts there with his family. Unfortunately we couldn't stay long though, because we had Christmas with my dad's side of the family that night. Me, Haley, and Mom all wore our ugly Christmas sweaters we got in Chicago. I felt like a total dork, but they were kind of cute.

We did the annual exchanging of presents at my grandma's house, opened presents from Mom and Dad, and Haley and Dan brought their new puppy Frannie along, so we were entertained for quite a while with her shenanigans! I don't think she's calmed down much since we last saw them a month ago. She was her usual excited self!

The day after, we went back to my family's for Christmas with my Mom's side. We all went out for lunch, then exchanged presents and did our new annual tradition of Christmas Bingo. I think each year, the prize selection gets bigger and bigger! It was a good time. 

Later after most of the family left, we watched a movie and our friends Chad and Diane came over for pizza. We ate and played a Movie/TV trivia game until we had to head back home again.

After we got home that night we went back to Trent's aunt's to spend a little time with the folks who are out in Ohio that we don't get to see too often. We were there until about 2:00. What a long but fun weekend. I'm surprised I got any sleep at all!

We did get some awesome gifts from our families, too. Gift cards, jewelry, lots of cookies and sweets, and I finally got a Fitbit! Too bad I didn't do too much that was actually active this weekend! So much sitting around eating food and hanging out with family! But that's what the holidays are all about. 

Today was supposed to be back to work for me, but after some really mild Christmas weather, we had a big winter storm hit this morning. Ice, rain, and snow all fell on us today, with high winds, too. So my work was cancelled, and I got a day to relax and spend time with Trent at home! I took a long nap, and we watched a lot of movies. It was a nice change from all the craziness earlier in the week. 

So that was our busy Christmas weekend. I still don't have all of our gifts put away, but have 2 trash bags full of wrapping paper and boxes that need to go out. Anyone else getting hit by a winter storm? Hopefully the roads are better tomorrow. We'll see!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Y'all!

It's Christmas Eve! Hope everyone is enjoying their time off to spend with family this holiday.

Trent and I are spending our first Christmas as a married couple together at home, watching Christmas movies.

We did our traditional each opening one present from each other. He opened the photo book I made him with pictures of Saleen. And I got the Kacey Musgraves cd. :) And of course Saleen got to open her present - a bone.

We watched the Happy Holiday Yule log with a happy dog and cat. Ha!

We also took our annual photo in front of the tree. It's always hard trying to get a good picture with the timer, but at least we tried!

These were the best we got. :)

Merry Christmas everyone, from The Keevers!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rikki's Epic Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Friday night was a blast. Our friends Rikki and Nikki held an ugly Christmas sweater party. Trent dressed up like an elf. The rest is history.

He was too funny. Trent's sweater said "SUPER ELF", and he had a Santa hat, fake pointy ears, and elf shoes. It was pretty awesome.

They had a red backdrop on the doors for a little Photo Booth-like area. We even brought our selfie stick. Yes, we have one. :) They had fun props, too. We had a good time taking pictures and hanging with friends. 

The fun really started though when we decided to take Elf on the Shelf pictures of Trent. It was too funny! It definitely had my mouth hurting from laughing!

Sean's sweater was perhaps the ugliest of them all. It was definitely trailer park fancy.

The little chair made it so perfect, too. Look how tiny he looks!

Too many laughs to count.

There was a Drake dance-off, a hilarious original Christmas song by Corey and Rikki, and we played some card games with Sean and Nicole. 

Lots of ugly sweaters, and lots of fun!

It was just a good time all around. I felt super festive with my Christmas bows, and it was nice to hang out and party after a long work week!

We even briefly put antlers on Saleen just for kicks. 

Who else donned an ugly sweater this holiday season?! And who dressed up their pets? Sometimes you just have to. :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Presents = Done!

This past weekend, I got all of my gifts wrapped! I think we have more gifts this year than ever before. Really. It took several hours to finish them all!

I don't even think we could fit anymore under the tree if we tried! We also hung another one of our wedding photos, right above the couch.

I was saving a spot with our engagement photo. Now it's a nice little pair. :)

I just can't wait to get our new sectional. I keep thinking about what it's going to look like in this corner. I might just have to rearrange the whole space! That's ok though, I'm pretty sure I'll manage. ;)

Now when someone asks if I'm ready for Christmas, I can officially say I am. All presents are officially bought and wrapped. 

Now we just need to get this short work week over with. Who's with me? 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pittsburgh, PA

So I'm finally getting around to posting some photos from my visit to Pittsburgh. I was there for a work conference a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I had ever been there, and I wasn't sure what to expect! Doing conferences are always such long days, but one of the things I like about going to trade shows is that I get to see places I've never been.

I didn't know much about Pittsburgh before I went, but I learned that Pittsburgh is the home of Carnegie, Heinz, and Andy Warhol. So it actually has quite a bit of history. Our hotel was right downtown and had an amazing view of the hill that overlooks the river and pretty much the whole city. The area was called Mt. Washington, and we actually got to go up onto that hill one night! I'll get to that in a bit, though.

The hotel was very nice, and so were the rooms.

Here was the view from my room the first morning we were there. It was foggy, especially right over the river.

I took more photos of the same spot in the afternoon, and you could gradually see more and more as the fog lifted. It was pretty cool.

We learned from our taxi driver that there are 3 rivers going through Pittsburgh - 2 of them meet and form the Ohio River.

From our hotel, we had a view of Heinz Field, where the Pittsburgh Steelers play. Right next to that is the Carnegie Science Museum. From the hotel restaurant we could also see the baseball stadium that is home to the Pirates.

Here's a better view of Heinz field once the fog cleared.

I worked at the company booth just 2 hours the first day, then from 8-5 the next two days. So it was pretty exhausting, but we had a good show.

The top picture of me is from the first day, and the bottom one is from the last night. By then I was so tired and worn out! I was definitely ready for the plane ride home. :)

There was this really cool church up on the hill that I had a good view of from the hotel room. I just couldn't get a good photo of it from my phone! And the streaks in the windows didn't help much, either.

At night it was all lit up in a golden light. It was really cool.

There was a big Christmas tree all lit up by the river, and some small blue ones outside.

My favorite night was when we got to go out to dinner at this restaurant called Monterey Bay. That was when we got to go up on the hill overlooking the city. The view was amazing!

We could see the hotel we stayed at - we were on the other side of our hotel view! The hill was so high up that my ears literally popped on the way to the restaurant.

Who knew that Pittsburgh was such a beautiful city, especially at night?

We stayed at the overlook for a view minutes before going into the restaurant just to take in the few a little longer. It was a little chilly at night, but we had great weather for being December. There was no snow at all, and it was unseasonably warm, just like in Illinois. Highs in the fifties. Can't beat that!

From inside the restaurant, we had a 360 degree view. It was all glass windows all around, so you really get the full effect.

It was a seafood restaurant, so I was a little limited on what I could eat, since I don't eat meat or fish, but there was a really good vegetarian pasta, and the dessert was unbeatable. We all said it might very well be the best dessert we've ever had.

It was called Angel Food Grilled Cheese Sandwich. I wish I would have taken a picture of it, but there is one in the restaurant's gallery page on their website. We got two to share at our table.  It apparently won first place for a dessert in some restaurant competition. It was amazing!

If you are ever in the Pittsburgh area, I highly recommend eating at Monterey Bay. It is so elegant, and the food was great. We had no complaints at all. In fact, it made our whole trip! :)

My boss and coworkers and I all traveled back on Saturday morning, flying via O'Hare back to the good old QC. Trent picked me up at the airport, and we ate a late lunch at Qdoba and headed home. I was exhausted and went to bed at 7:30 pm.

It's always a long couple of weeks preparing for and attending conferences. But I've had some great experiences so far, and I love seeing new places. So it's definitely worth it. 

Stay tuned, because I have more Christmas-y pics for you all soon! It's getting closer! :)

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