Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dear Baby Ava...

Hello my precious niece,

This is your Aunt Beth. So I hear you'll be gracing us with your presence a week earlier than we thought! I know you're just soooo excited to meet me and all, just as I am to meet you. Unfortunately (but obviously you're just as stubborn as your Momma, as I've told you countless times), I'm in Chicago this week on business. :(

How rude of you. ;) I'm only kidding!

You sure have given your Mommy a rough time these past few months, and I know she's BEYOND ready to have you out here with her and your Daddy. But...aren't you warm in there? I mean, I know there's not much room to do back flips, with your Mommy being as tiny as she is. But how comforting it must be to be so protected. :) Your parents and all of us out here are so excited to meet you. I only wish you could hold on just a couple more days...

If not (and it's not looking like things will go my way), all I have to say is thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime! Should you arrive before I get home, at least I'll still get to "meet" you.

Your Aunt B loves you SO much already!! See you soon, Ava Jane!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Off to NYC!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and greetings from a very bumpy 35,000 feet!

Although I had a bit of bad news yesterday, with my dermatologist letting me know my biopsy came back as skin cancer, I'm in a super fab mood today. At least the spot is not melanoma and is 100% treatable. They scheduled Moh's surgery, which is very common and the most effective treatment, for April 3...which just so happens to be my sister's due date!! Ugh. But we're all I'm secretly hoping Ava Jane is an April Fool's baby. Fingers crossed!

Today I'm heading to New York for the NYC Half Marathon and a search engine marketing conference. I couldn't be more excited about this trip!

First, I get to spend the weekend AND run tomorrow's race with my awesome cousin, Missy. We were both selected for the lottery entry 2 years in a row, whoop. Not only are we close because we're family, but she is honestly one of the most amazing women I've ever met. Family is of the utmost importance to her, she is one of the most hardworking people I know, she loves to run and travel, so obviously we have a ton in common. And she's getting married to a wonderful man this summer (who was supposed to join us this weekend, but sadly injured his knee). So excited to see you, Miss!

The marketing conference I'm attending this week is hands-down my favorite. It was the most educational of all the conferences I attended last year, and just about every seminar on the agenda relates to what I do on a daily basis. SO thankful for the opportunity to continue growing professionally!

And finally, I get to spend time with my fabulous friend, Anna! We met back in 2004 when Brent and I were participating in the Disney College Program, and we've kept in touch ever since. I was fortunate to be able to visit her twice while she lived in Arizona, and this will be my third time seeing her since she and her husband moved to NYC...thank you, business trips! Oh yeah, and we're going to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday night!! Soooo pumped to see him live! Set your DVRs to record NBC on Tuesday. If you know me, you know I'll be doing everything possible to be seen in the audience. :)

Don't forget to wear your green! Here's a St. Patty's Day toast for you:

Here's to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A handsome man and an honest one.
A cold beer – and another one!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday: 10 years with Brent!

10 years ago, had I asked myself where I would be a decade later, I never could have imagined the way my life has played out. And thankfully so!

When you're in your teens and 20s and living the life (or so you think) in college, the world seems so simple. You think everything is just going to work out according to plan. I quickly learned that life does not work that way, and God most certainly has His own plan.

When Brent and I started dating back in 2002, I wouldn't say I knew he was "the one" right away (mind you, we were heavily intoxicated), but it was definitely something along those lines. :) However, I quickly realized I loved and wanted to experience life with him. And experience life we did!

From packing up and moving to Orlando for a semester to intern with the Walt Disney World College Program...to buying our first home together...to traveling all over the Caribbean...to getting scuba certified...to going skydiving...to losing loved ones...to growing into the people we've always wanted each other to be, and SO much more, I wouldn't change a single moment of it!

As my favorite quote goes, "Some days we love each other; other days we have to work at it. You never see the hard days in a photo album. But those are the ones that get you from one happy snapshot to the next."

Those words could not be truer. I LOVE YOU, Brent!! And I can't wait to see what the next 10 years holds for us!

Brent and me from the beginning:

This pic pretty much sums up our first month or so of dating ;)

2002 >> cheering for Memphis
 2003 >> cheering on Memphis at the New Orleans Bowl
2004 >> Brent's 22nd birthday in Orlando

"Wishes" at Magic Kingdom...one of our favorite things to see down there!
2005 >> more Memphis fun!
 2006 >> the start of a 5+ year wedding "season"
 Halloween fun!

2007 >> the proposal!! Thanks, Kelly Rhodes Stoffel! :)
 September 29, 2007 >> Mr. & Mrs. Brent Wilson!
 2008 >> Baby Buster the Boston Terrier arrives!
Some of my Buster faves!
 2009 fun!

 2010 >> 3rd anniversary in the Bahamas!

At our great friends, Patrick and Marcie's wedding!

 2011 >> 4th anniversary in Vegas! 

At one of my best friends, Kelly's wedding in NOLA!
 2012 >> Brent and me with our nephew, Cash. LOVE!!
It's so fun to go through all these pictures and see how much we've changed. Here's to the next 10+ years! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What I'm loving Wednesday

I decided to jump on the "what I'm loving" bandwagon, after getting the idea from Simply Smithwick (one of my FAVE blogs!).

I'm loving that I got to spend yesterday afternoon/evening with my precious niece, Bailey.

I'm loving that I get to run the NYC Half Marathon on Sunday and spend the weekend in an INCREDIBLE city with my cousin, Missy!

I'm loving that I have the opportunity to attend a wonderful, renowned marketing conference in NYC next week. #lovemyjob

I'm loving that I also get to see my good friend Anna while in New York, and that we're going to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon!!

I'm loving that my family will be together this evening to celebrate my Momma's birthday.

I'm loving that I will have another beautiful niece in just over 2 weeks! :)

And I'm loving that I made the St. Jude Heroes/Country Music Marathon brochure! Front and center, too. Thanks to the hubby for finding it. :)

{I'm the one in the yellow shirt, black shorts, and navy visor)

So much love this Wednesday. What are you loving today?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Making it through Monday...

While I am certainly no fan of Mondays, I have to say I am SO thankful last week is over and a new week has begun. The past seven days literally kicked my tail...

To start, late last Wednesday, a large government bid was dropped into my lap. I was asked to complete the technical volume write-up, similar to another large bid we completed in 2010. That one took me a solid month in a half. The time I was given to complete for this bid? A day and a half. Seriously?! While I greatly appreciate being asked to take part in something of this magnitude, there is no excuse for those who have a total lack of knowledge and concern to (1) be in the position they are, and (2) be the ones making the final decision on something this big. In the end, the project was completed; and although it was done well, it most certainly could have been done so with a great deal more accuracy and efficiency had there been more any communication and/or preparation. Regardless, there were a certain few people who really pulled together for the sake of teamwork, and we were able to get it done. SO very thankful for them!

In the middle of all that, I had my very first biopsy Friday morning. It is on my face, but luckily it's fairly small and where my jaw line folds into my ear, so it's pretty hidden. I tried hard not to freak out before going in to get the spot checked, and did a pretty good job at that. But of course after it was all over and hearing the dermatologist say she's almost certain it's skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, which thank goodness is 100% treatable and shouldn't come back once removed), I finally broke down that evening. Just a little too much after working 11+ hours three days in a row. I'll find out this Friday exactly what it is, once the biopsy has been analyzed. Skin cancer or not, it could be A LOT worse. Still...it's not something I was prepared for.

Thankfully I was able to get some actual marketing work done on Saturday (I should seriously hide a sleeping bag at the office...#ilovemyjob #ilovemyjob) and was even able to help out (if only for 20 minutes) at our first ever job fair. We truly have an amazing HR team!

Keeping on with the positives...

After our 7-mile run Saturday morning, Autumn and I had an awesome, albeit super random conversation. We stopped to say goodbye at our "corner" and figure out what time to meet on our next run, and then next thing we know, it's 25 minutes later! Autumn has truly become one of my closest friends, and I am beyond grateful for her advice, guidance, and encouragement. Has anyone (mainly runners) read Mile Markers? If you have a female running buddy, whom you share just about everything with due to the fact that you're running for multiple hours together and it would just be weird if you didn't talk, you should DEFINITELY read this book!

Buster and I had great run on Sunday afternoon, after which I did some spring cleaning, finally got a few loads of laundry done, and spent some much needed quality time with the hubby.

The NYC Half is this Sunday! While I've been having a minor issue with my left foot, I couldn't be more pumped about this race. Running through Central Park, Times Square, Ground Zero, and more – and running it with my cousin, Missy, in one of my all-time favorite cities in the world – I can't wait!!

On an even more positive note, the countdown is on for our Italy trip! A HUGE thanks to one of our friends for her Rome tour guide recommendation. We are even more excited now, if that was even possible.

And finally, today marks exactly five years (even to the day of the week) that Brent proposed! Read the super sweet story below...if you are so moved. :)

Happy Monday, everyone!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Home {family} is where the heart is!

It's a cliché phrase, no doubt, but one that has really struck a cord with me recently, having been in and out of town so much. While I feel extremely lucky to have been given these wonderful opportunities, I am positively spent.

This past week, I was in Las Vegas attending two different conferences. One I spoke at; the other my company was exhibiting at. Vegas is in my top five favorite places for sure, thanks to amazing shopping, incredible food, and Cirque du Soleil. But this trip really took it out of me. The panel presentation went really well (despite my PowerPoint being altered slightly), and I was even asked to come back and speak next year! The tradeshow we were exhibiting at was a success as well.

Angela and me at the tradeshow reception

While there was so much positive that came from the trip, after being on my feet for 7+ hours and walking down the strip in heels, four nights of tossing and turning, and a couple uncomfortable situations...let's just say I was MORE than ready to get home. I don't think I've ever missed my hubby and Buster so much and actually being in the office. My assistant has been a life saver these past few weeks, taking care of just about everything while I've been out. But there are still those projects I feel better about completing myself, and it makes things much easier when you're in the office for more than just a day.

I got home late Thursday afternoon, ran errands, washed clothes, and passed out. The next day, we had to be at work around 6am (which felt like 4am, still being on West Coast time) for a company safety meeting. Got a crisp $50 bill out of it, so I'd have to say it was worth it! Almost 11 hours later, I headed to the hospital to pick up my Dad from his cardiac ablation procedure. Fast forward 24 hours, we're still there due to him unfortunately going back into atrial fibrillation. He remained in good spirits and had a few visitors, and I was finally able to take him home late Saturday. SO very thankful for my aunts and uncles for all they did for him. Family truly is the most important thing in life.

Bailey and me taking care of Dad/Papa :)

My Saturday night: eye mask, ice on the foot, heating blanket, and Buster

Sunday, I was able to sleep in and then went on a 10-mile run. I took off Friday and Saturday, with so much stuff going on and my feet absolutely worn out from the week. My left foot has also been giving me some problems, so I'm trying to take it easy. Lord, just get me through the NYC Half, and then I PROMISE to take a break...well, cut down on mileage at least. :)

My aunts and I threw my sister a baby shower yesterday afternoon, and it was absolutely beautiful. My Aunt Kathy was thrilled to fill her house with pink, having all boys. It was a wonderful afternoon filled with family, laughter, and sweet wishes for Laura's baby girl. We're so excited to meet you, Ava Jane!!

The food spread

"A" for Ava. Aunt Kathy is so talented!

Homemade strawberry cupcakes...SO good!

The invitation matted onto a fabulous pink/rustic frame from Happi Stores!

That night, I went to my friend's surprise bridal/bachelorette dinner. She and her fiancé left this morning for their destination wedding, so we wanted to have a quick "we love you" celebration for her. Kudos to her friend Kimberly for putting it together!

After the craziness that has been the past month, I have to say that home (and family) is truly where the heart is. So thankful for the real, honest people in my life, especially my family.

P.S. I've got some EXCITING news to share...but that will have to wait until tomorrow! And no, I'm not pregnant. :)