#Reverb11 – Birthday

{For the month of December a fellow blogger, Melanie, and I are leading  #reverb11 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

December 30. Birthday: If you could do anything for your birthday in 2012, what would you do?

I would go to Italy and Greece, no hesitation at all on that one. I would hit up the coast as well as Tuscany and Rome. Ideally I would take my pops as my traveling companion simply because he would love to go there and check out the architecture and I would love to be the one to take him.

He’s an architect, you see, so that kind of thing fascinates him. And I wouldn’t mind ambling around listening to him talk about the buildings like my mom would. That sort of thing drives her ka-razy! But we would have to have an understanding, the pops and I. A few days would have to be spent on the beaches, we would have to go to the hot springs at Terme Saturnia, play bocce ball here, and we would have to consume obnoxious amounts of food and wine. The architecture talks are best handled less than stone-cold sober, know what I mean?

That’s what I would most like to do. What about you?

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#Reverb11 – Wish

{For the month of December a fellow blogger, Melanie, and I are leading  #reverb11 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

December 29. Wish: If you could make one wish (other than wish for more wishes!), what would it be and why?

Honestly, I’d wish for a heaping pile of money. Not very original, right? I just long for a time when I can be as generous as I would like to be. It’s not so much about wanting material things (my Pintrest boards aside – ahem), it’s more about wanting to contribute more to society and worthy causes. Know what I mean?

However, in an effort to be more original, here’s my actual answer…I would wish to go back in time. There are several dates/times I would pick to be sure. One of them would be a Christmas from my youth. Probably somewhere in my early teens. You know, back when it was all still so magical and stress-free. I would make sure my parents knew how grateful I was, I would help my mom in the kitchen more, I would watch the football game with my dad, I would take more time to listen to my grandmother (heck, I’d probably even go to church with her), I’d take my little brother sledding instead of burying my nose in a book as I was so apt to do, I’d give my sister a really thoughtful gift that would let her know that even thought we fought, I loved the hell out of her. I would just try to be in the moment a bit more. That’s what I would wish for.

You?

#Reverb11 – Hope

{For the month of December a fellow blogger, Melanie, and I are leading  #reverb11 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

December 28. Hope: What are you most looking forward to about 2012?

Hands down, the birth of my little brother’s son. This will be Logan and his wife, Nicki’s, first child. This will also be my 11th niece/nephew. Crazy, huh?

When Logan called to tell me that Nicki was pregnant I was initially shocked and then just so, so, so excited for them. I love being an aunt and I love seeing my siblings as parents. The single most defining moment in my relationship with my sister, the moment that started us down the path of a wonderful friendship that had eluded us for years, was the birth of her son. I was beyond flabbergasted when she asked me to attend the birth and it was an event I’ll never forget. I was there the day her world changed forever and it blew me away. And seeing the positive changes in her as a parent has made my relationship with her richer. I know it will be the same for my relationship with Logan. I’m just so excited to see him as a dad.

Now, it does freak me out that my little brother, a person I remember holding at an hour old, is about to become a dad. WHAT?! And I’ve already warned his wife that Logan sees animals and children as put on this planet for his own amusement. Seriously, he gets an immense amount of joy out of harassing kids and animals. Not in a mean way, of course. More in a, “This is the pecking order of life, now dance for me, monkey” kind of way. That kid’s gonna have a thick skin, I’ll tell you what!

I’m going to head out to visit the little dude in late March, early April and I can’t wait!

What are you looking forward to for 2012?

#Reverb11 = NomNomNom

{For the month of December a fellow blogger, Melanie, and I are leading  #reverb11 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

December 25. NomNomNom: What is your favorite recipe? The one you’ve mastered or the one you request every time from that very special cook. Please share the recipe with us if possible.

The manfriend is a helluva cook, but we fall into ruts just like everyone else. Every now and then we vow to try new things, get creative, find interesting recipes to whip up. Earlier this year I came across a recipe for short ribs with beer and buckwheat honey from food52.com and we decided to good for it. OMG. It’s become one of our favorite recipes. In fact, that’s what we’ll be chomping on today to celebrate CHRISTMAS!

This is the first Christmas I’ve ever put up a big tree as an adult. I love it! I’m threatening to never take it down. Why would I when awesome things like this hang on it?

A colorful peacock right up front!

A new ornament from my mom.

A childhood favorite that now hangs on my own tree.

Frosted berries that glint in the lights.

Stella in ornament form!

Merry Christmas, you guys! Hope you have a wonderful day!

#Reverb11 – Say cheese!

{For the month of December a fellow blogger, Melanie, and I are leading  #reverb11 – an online initiative that prompts people to reflect on the past year and look towards the new one.}

December 24. Say cheese: Post your favorite picture taken in 2011. Who took it? Where and when was it taken? What’s happening in that moment?

Well, it shouldn’t be surprising that my favorite picture is one of Stella. She’s pretty photogenic, seems to pose for the camera, and is just so dang cute! It’s really hard to pick just one picture of her to share, but I decided on the one below simply because I haven’t posted it yet. The manfriend is apt to take dozens of photos of her a week on their walks. It’s hard to keep up with them all. I came across this one while making a 2012 calendar of Stella photos for the manfriend. It’s a gift from Stella to him, which totally boggles him. “Stella got me a present. What are you even talking about?”

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