Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Year for the Books

This time last year, I sat down and wrote a blog about the good feeling I had about 2012. I just felt it was going to be my year. As good as I believed it was going to be, it was more than I could ever imagine. I will never forget this year. Between getting married, finding a house, sisters having babies, and buying a puppy, it was by far, one of the best years of my life.

I kicked off the year with a bang, starting a brand new job in January and completely changing my life's career path. I left the studio of live sports television for the office and travels of the PR industry. It was scary and unfamiliar at first, but after landing one of the biggest athletes in the world as a client, I am able to continue pursuing my love of sports from a whole new angle. A year in, I'm more comfortable and confident than ever before, and am so thankful that I shifted directions when I did.

In February, I made my first work trip to the NBA All Star game in Orlando. I had nightmares for days leading up to it, and even had a minor panic attack the night before I left. I had never traveled and found my way around an unfamiliar place by myself, and I wasn't sure what to expect. But I found my footing and it was awesome!

March was a busy month, as we celebrated Corey's 27th birthday, Pixie's 22nd birthday, and Nellie's baby shower. We were all so anxious and excited to meet our first baby nephew, and the shower was amazing.

Baby Brendan finally arrived in April, and he quickly became the love of our lives. He made us wait 10 days past his due date, and we were all on edge the whole time. We never knew this little guy would take over our lives the way he has, and we love every single second of it!
Corey and I also went to our first Cold Play concert, and continued planning our late summer wedding.

In May, we celebrated many milestones including mine and Corey's 10 year anniversary, my mom's 48th birthday, and a big family trip to Lake Tahoe. Wedding planning, of course, continued!

June marked the beginning of our very long house-hunting process and I attended my first-ever blogger meetup. It was fun to meet some of the wonderful people I met through blogging over the course of a year!

The month of July was awesome. I celebrated my birthday with my 3rd annual jump house party and had my first bridal shower. The upcoming wedding finally started to feel real!
 
August was finally the month I waited for all year long... my wedding month! It started with my bachelorette party on Catalina Island, continued with my second bridal shower, and ended with mine and Corey's wedding. My wedding day was one of the very best days of my life and I will never forget any of it!

The year kept on rolling in September after we returned from our honeymoon with my big sister's baby shower as we awaited the arrival of nephew #2, little Johnny. My aunt also turned the big 5-0.

In October, Corey and I found the furry love of our lives, our puppy Ruby. We were knee-deep in house hunting and still without a house, but the moment we laid eyes on her, we knew she was the little girl we'd been waiting for all these years.
The day we brought her home.
Baby Ruby and her daddy.
More big moments followed in November as Shawna gave birth to my second nephew, Johnny, and Corey and I FINALLY found a house after months of searching! Everything was falling into place...
This December, we had a chance to sit back and take in everything wonderful that happened in our lives this year as we celebrated another memorable Christmas. My family keeps growing and growing, and with each addition, our love multiplies.
2012 is going to be a hard year to top. My life is SO much different after this year, in all good ways. So many things that I've always dreamed of came true and more. As I spend the evening with my closest family and friends ringing in the new year, I am very thankful for the year that was 2012.
It was definitely one for the books.
xo Steph

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

On Christmas night, I was driving home from my parents' house after two days full of family time, way too much food, plenty of presents, and lots of laughter and love, and I was just thinking how Christmas gets better and better every year. I don't know how that's possible, but it is. Our families always do way too much for us, and we enjoy every second we get to spend with them.

We spent Christmas eve with Corey's family, baking waaaaay too many Christmas cookies, having dinner at his aunt's house, and going to midnight mass.
I helped my sister-in-law make sugar cookies, rum balls, toffee, snicker doodles, cheesecake bars, candied walnuts, and a few more things I can't even remember!
Ruby opening her first present.
After a good night's sleep, it was time for Christmas at my parents' house. We spent most of the day watching the little boys open their presents and play with every single one of them, chasing Ruby around, and visiting with our grandparents and aunt. It was an awesome, awesome day and night.
All the girls and Brendan.
All the boys. Bryan, Ben and Corey.
Brendan and his pile of presents.
Sisters and their babies on their first Christmas!
Me and my baby sister. No babies for us yet!
Grams and Johnny.
Grandma's boys!
Brendan driving his new doggy car with uncle Bryan.
Ruby and one of her many new toys!
It was a great first married Christmas for Corey and I. I am really loving the word "husband" these days! The hubs had an A's sign made for my office and got me a much-needed massage. He always does so good for me!
Nellie & Ben.
Mom & Dad.
Our parents make the holidays so special for us. And it was the first time in years I didn't have to work on either Christmas eve or Christmas day or even any of the days around it! I've really enjoyed this break from work and time with my family. Hope everyone had a very merry christmas!
xo Steph

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

While every Christmas is wonderful, this Christmas is an especially special one. It will be my first Christmas as a married woman, an auntie, and a homeowner. It will be the first time I give a present to my husband, watch my nephews rip open theirs, and watch my puppy tear all of them up! I can hardly wait for this much needed family time.

Our first Christmas card, designed by my BFF. Love them!
 
Corey and I want to wish you and your families a very merry christmas!
xo Steph

Saturday, December 22, 2012

'Tis the season in San Francisco

San Francisco is such a magical place around the holidays. At night I've been walking down Market Street, through Union Square and around the Marina where you can see countless Christmas lights, wreaths, and decorations. There are people playing Christmas music in the streets and bells ringing up and down the sidewalks. Store windows are filled with candy canes and snow, and the trees are all lit with twinkling lights.It makes me so happy just taking it all in.
The famous Macy's in Union Square is one of my favorite Christmas stops.
Ice skating rink in Union Square.
I wish I took more pictures of the details. Like the puppies up for adoption in the Christmas windows, and the gigantic ornaments on the street corners. San Francisco is definitely a site to see during the holiday season!

On a semi-unrelated note, yesterday I found this dangerous spot in the mall...the most amazing truffles ever!
 
I can't believe Christmas is just a few short days away! This December absolutely flew by. I am currently basking in the sunshine of Palm Springs for a quick work trip; here is my current view from the balcony...
 ...but I'll be home for Christmas!  Can't wait to spend time with my family and watch my little nephews open all their presents! (Oh yeah, my sisters and my time is over...it's all about the babies now, and I love it!)
 
xo Steph 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Our New House.

It's the moment you've all been waiting for! I've finally had a chance to take pictures and put together this long-overdue post of our new house! It's been just over a month since we moved in, and it is still a work in progress, but we are really loving our cozy new home!

Our first family photo at the new house.
Note: we will be puting stucco on the house and painting it tan instead of the yucky blue!
 
After months and months of searching and visiting hundreds of houses, we finally found this one. It has been listed for 2 weeks and had no offers on it, which in the market we were dealing with, was RARE. In most cases, there would be several offers on a property the day it got listed, and dozens by the time a weekend passed. I think one of the factors that scared people away was that it had an old, shingle roof that was falling apart, and maybe people didn't have the energy to deal with that. Well, we looked right past that roof knowing we could take care of it, and as you can see in the picture, we ended up with a new roof before closing escrow!

Now, in no particular order, here are some quick iPhone pictures of the rest of the house....
Ruby hanging out in her usual spot in the front room.
When we moved in, the hardwood floors were much more pale and scratched up. Corey really impressed me by sanding and re-finishing the floor all by himself!
Before
After
The dining room/fireplace/kitchen.
The kitchen.
I love all the counter and cupboard space.
View from the other side of the room.
Note: the wall directly across the room from the kitchen counter is going to be cut in half and turned into a bar top so that you can see the TV from the kitchen.
The fireplace.
I am in love with this fireplace! In less than a week from now, the fire guys will be installing the insert so I can have a cozy fire burning in the evenings.
Guest bathroom.
Master Bedroom.
Still need to decorate in here, but I like that there is access to the backyard from here.
Ruby by the master shower.
She will actually walk right into the shower when someone is in there if you let her!
The Backyard.
This is one of our long-term projects. We will eventually re-surface the pool to have a darker bottom, and put new rocks and a waterfall around it. That will be a summer project!
Ruby hangin out in the front yard.

I have barely touched the guest bedrooms yet, and we are slowly working on upgrading all of our apartment furniture. As we make changes to the house, I will be sure to take before and after pics, so I can keep you posted throughout the process!
 
 
House hunting was a long and sometimes frustrating process for us, but like everyone said, we found the one that was meant for us! Corey and I enjoy working on things around the house and are excited for all the future milestones we'll celebrate here!
xo Steph
 
P.S. Thanks for being patient with my little blog while I try and get through these last couple of work days before a nice holiday break! Really looking forward to winding down for a few days!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So long, San Bruno.

Today was a surprisingly emotional day for me. It was the end of an era as I moved the last boxes and remaining items from mine and Corey's apartment in San Bruno. We had made apartment #302 our home for the past 2 years, and they were some of the best, busiest, and most memorable years of our lives. It was a small, one-bedroom apartment that doesn't look like much in pictures, but it was a place that Corey and I made our first home together, and it was always so cozy and full of love. It was the place we returned to as an engaged couple. I planned our wedding in that dining room. I got the call that my sister was pregnant when I was sitting out on that balcony. I did my phone interview for my new job in that bedroom. It was a place that will always be home to a small piece of our history, and will always have a small piece of my heart.
Our building at Skycrest Apartments, nestled up in the hills above San Francisco.
The street I drove up every day after a long day or night at work.
The apartment's pool that I never went in, but that I watched Corey swim in.
The view from our balcony where Corey and I used to watch baseball games and just hang out and talk on a sunny day.
An old picture of Corey cooking me breakfast in our little kitchen...
The empty kitchen as I left today.
Me today, puting on a happy face for my final picture in the apartment.
A very sad, blurry final photo of the front room.

Today I took it all in and took a brief moment to be sad, but there's nothing but happiness and excitment up ahead. Corey and I are slowly getting our new home in order, and I'll have a brief photo tour up this week. Today might have been the end of a chapter in our lives, but it was also the beginning of a very exciting time for my hubs and I. To be continued...
xo Steph