Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Plans: Why make them?

As you may know, Josh and I had planned on moving to Europe this January to pursue master degrees for both of us as well as some international fun and bragging rights. Unfortunately the school we had both been accepted to had never completed the essential paperwork required for the US government to recognize them and to grant loans.. etc. etc. In short, our wonderful plans for moving abroad crumbled right in front of our eyes.

While we were disappointed not to be able to make the leap across the Atlantic, the real blow came when we realized Josh was just weeks away from graduation and without a job offer... Of course we weren't planning on sending him out on the job market this year so we had an excuse, but that surprisingly didn't make it anymore fun.

I think it is hilarious that we spent months and months planning and planning our amazing year in Europe just to have to redo the whole plan in just a couple of weeks. I will spare you any more dramatics and get to the good stuff... Josh got a great job working for Scripps Networks (Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, etc.) and I somehow tricked Huge (only the hippest agency eva) into giving me the perfect job. We will be living on the Upper East Side and trying to wake up before 9am, which will undoubtedly prove a struggle.

So while this was not the plan we had initially made together, we totally feel like this was meant to be and are so excited to see what round 2 in NYC has in store for us.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

You may be thinking, "you're still talking about your birthday after a whole month?" Yes, and I feel totally justified in writing this post so late since yesterday I received one last darling birthday present. Love birthday months!

My 24th birthday began as I woke up to the following on my computer screen:

I can literally think of no better way to start a day than with the Killers. I love them. Josh loves them. This was a win-win birthday present for us both. More on the concert later. Right now is all about my birthday.

Josh slaved away all morning to produce the most beautiful breakfast I have ever seen/tasted. I realize I am shamelessly bragging about my husband and for that I do not apologize. He's awesome.

Yes, that is Brie-stuffed French toast. Yes, he cooks more than I do.
Later that day, friends in Ithaca took me out to lunch, friends far away showered me with love and birthday wishes, my mother sent flowers, and I received a call that changed my life.

My friend Brooke (one of my ALL-TIME favorite people), really takes the cake, as it were, for the most hilarious/shocking birthday message. Apparently, you can pay a small fee to have a man with an Indian accent call your friends on their birthdays and sing them a festive birthday song. Mind you, this song is not the familiar "happy birthday to you" jingle, but more of an original rap song. I promise to post the recording if ever possible, although you may not be able to hear anything but my laughter.

As you might imagine, my birthday evening consisted of Josh taking me out to one of our favorite restaurants here, but I had yet another surprise awaiting me. As if my day could have gotten any better.

After dinner, a bunch of the coolest girls I know got together to surprise me for a night of chatting and desserts.

Eliza isn't pictured (neither is Sara), but she is the one responsible for this wonderful surprise!
Ithaca is great, but look at these girls; they are amazing. This weird upstate college town would not be half as fun without their friendship and bright shiny smiles. And my birthday would have had decidedly less desserts.

I think it is safe to say that this was one of my best birthdays ever. I'll try not to be disappointed when everyone forgets my birthday next year.

Cara's California Visit: Hitting the Trails

This is Ashley's first appearance on our blog, but I am quite certain she will be popping up now and again as she is a wonderful and fairly interesting topic. While I was in California, Ashley had a Groupon for a trail ride she needed to use and so I got the golden ticket and her husband, Ben, missed out on the ride of his life.

Please note how terrible both horses' expressions are. 
We went up to Chaparral Ranch where we were introduced to our steeds for the day. Ashley rode Orchid while I had the pleasure of riding Sugar. I didn't take any pictures during the ride because I was so distracted with the awkward Western-style reins.

While the ride was definitely fun, my favorite part of the day was after when we went to the mall in San Jose, ate Panda Express, and I bought a pair of bright blue pants. Better luck next time, Sugar.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cara's California Visit: Madison's 5th Birthday

This is a few weeks late, but I want to wish Madison a very happy 5th birthday!

My favorite picture from the birthday photo shoot we did with our new camera.

The birthday girl and her dad.
Madison is my oldest brother's 4th child and is a ray of sunshine. So happy I was able to be there for the big celebration! She is so much fun and extremely good natured. She even loved the trick candles on her cake!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cara's California Visit: Girls Night Out

During the first week of my visit we decided that my sister-in-law Natalie and I would take all of my nieces up to Music Circus in Sacramento to see The Little Mermaid. Some of the little darlings were being sassy thinking they might not want to go (after all, who has ever had fun going to a musical?), but little did they know that my brother, Doug, had a very fancy surprise for them...

The girls meeting Alan, their driver for the evening. I like Ellie's clenched fists.

Life is pretty good in a limo.
Bottoms up with a little bubbly before the show.

Connected at the hip. Best friends and cousins.
After one limo ride, countless glasses of Martinelli's, a thousand giggles and laughs, and a great musical it was finally determined that everyone had a good time. 

A Southern Summer

After a lot of procrastination, I have finally decided to embrace our blog. I can't say that I have been too busy to keep it up, unless you count watching full seasons of shows on Netflix busy!

We have been living in lovely Knoxville, Tennessee for the summer months this year. Josh has been doing an internship with Scripps Networks Interactive (Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, etc.) and absolutely loving it. I have been... going to the pool almost daily. Needless to say it has been a relaxing summer. 

It's been a blast living in a different part of the country. We have visited Nashville where we both started successful country music careers, hiked around the Smokies where we fell in love with the majesty of the mountains, and went white water rafting where I wasn't sure how that feeble white helmet would save me if I fell out. 

My observations from my time here:

- It is suspiciously and wonderfully green here
- People are generally quite friendly
- It's hard to get anywhere by walking
- Southern accents aren't nearly as charming as I had originally thought
- 4th of July in Knoxville is wonderful (see below)

Cara's California Visit: Grace's Baptism

I'm planning on doing several posts about this trip because it is just too much for one little post! I went home to Lodi, CA for a couple weeks in order to help my mother prepare her house to sell. Why is she selling you ask? Well, that calls for an entirely different post on how my darling mother met a darling man and eloped a few months ago. I'll write their love story shortly :)

While I was home, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to my beautiful niece's baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was so honored that she asked me to give a talk on the meaning and importance of baptism. It was such a neat experience for me to be a part of.

This particular niece of mine is a total darling. She writes her own blog and has a fiery personality. I can't wait to see all the awesome things she will do in her lifetime!