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I'm a twenty-nine year old Army wife currently living near a large Army post. I have an unhealthy obsession with Dr. Pepper, the Internet, cloth diapers, and ridiculous TV shows. I'm a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters, AJ and Amelia. We also have a 6 year old beagle named Abby who is as dumb as a box of rocks.
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Friday, July 29, 2011

One of Those Days....

Do you ever have one of those days? No, I'm not talking about an awful day where you just want to crawl back in bed with a cocktail and a carton big bowl of ice cream. I'm referring to the days where you look at the date and can immediately remember that a girl you barely knew in high school is celebrating a birthday!

Does anyone else do this?

I'm not talking about your long, lost high school bestie or anything either. I'm being serious when I say its a girl you barely knew. Maybe its your BFF from first grade who you haven't spoken to in 20 years.

That happened to me the other day.

I always wonder if people randomly think of me on my birthday. People I haven't had contact with or thought about in decades. It doesn't have to be an obssessive thought, but just a quick, "Oh! Its Joe Schmoe's birthday today, I hope he's having a good day! I wonder what his life is like now."

There are certainly days that are more poignant that others, like the birthdays of once close friends, etc. The days I'm talking about are the ones that you shouldn't be able to remember, but for some reason, it sticks in your mind, subconsciously.

Does this ever happen to you?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Longing For Fall...

Lately, with the temperatures and humidity we've been having in my neck of the woods (and the rest of the country) I've found myself dreaming of Fall. I love Fall. There's something about cool, crisp weather and football that makes my heart happy.

I think I've been struggling with the realization that since we live in the south now, Fall will most likely be short lived. I'm a Midwestern girl at heart, so I'm used to cool temperatures and changing leaves from about September until November. I have a feeling that we're not going to get much relief from the heat until at least September, and more likely October. Boo. Oh well, a girl can dream, right?

Who wouldn't love to be strolling (or running) along this path right now? I know I would!

Oh, football! I love me some college football. Brings me right back to the Saturday mornings I spent tailgating and then screaming my head off for my team!

I don't think I need to explain how wonderful the seasonal coffee drinks are at everyone's favorite coffee shop.

To me, there is nothing better than a cool Fall night to have a big bonfire. In the south you almost can't even enjoy a bonfire until the weather cools off at night, and that isn't usually until at least September.

I love a nice, hot apple cider come October. Yummmmm.

We carved pumpkins the past two years, but this year I think I want to try something like this for the front porch. We do live in the south now, and southerners love their monograms, right?

Lastly, I can't wait for Thanksgiving to roll around so I have many excuses to indulge in some of my favorite thing ever, pumpkin pie.

So, what about you? Are you counting down the days until Fall and cooler weather get here? Or maybe you're trying to soak up the final days of summer and sunshine?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What We've Been Up To: Instagram Style...

Since I've apparently decided to limit my blogging to once a week (unintentionally, I swear), I decided that you all deserve some photo evidence of all that has been going on around our house lately.

There has been some apple eating.

We've also done some intense TV watching.

And there was a little laying on the dog as well.

We moved most of AJ's toys from the family room upstairs into the bedroom that is connected to her room. I put her tent in there along with lots of other fun stuff and she has been enjoying the change of scenery!

My dad came to visit for a night, so AJ and Grandpa played in the tent in her new playroom.

After he left, AJ and I hung out in the tent for a while. (I may or may not have filled the tend with pillows & blankets so I can relax comfortably keep a close eye on AJ while she plays.)

I've done some running along this path (but not nearly us much as I should be doing).

And we've spent a good deal of time smoochin' and lovin' on this baby girl.

Last but not least, we had visitors this weekend (my FIL) and he bought us a deep-fryer! I know you're probably thinking, gross, that is terribly unhealthy! Well, you'd be right, but the food that came out of that deep-fryer? Delish.

I realize these don't look like pickles, but they're the sandwich stackers, so they are long and skinny.

We made fried pickles, fried shrimp and hush puppies. I'm not going to be able to take any credit for the hush puppies because they are simply a mix that you add water to, but man, they were good!

Hush puppies!

I posted the fried pickle recipe on my food blog, you should go check it out!

And yummy, yummy shrimp!

I hope you'll forgive me for not posting very much!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Changing My Life

Back in high school I was always in great shape. I ran Cross Country and Track & Field, which really helped me to stay active (obviously). Once I went off to college though, fitness and exercise took a backseat. I'd be lying if I said that schoolwork took priority, but my focus was definitely not on exercise.

Exercise and health continued to take a backseat when I entered the working world. Not only was working full time stressful, but I was involved in a long distance relationship, so oftentimes I would make excuses that I had to get home to talk to D or other things like that.

In 2006 a few of my family members signed up for a half marathon and I decided that I wanted to run it. I went to the gym every day after work and ran for an hour on the treadmill. I didn't use a training plan, I didn't have any idea what I was doing. I ran my first half marathon, The Rock 'n' Roll Phoenix Half in January 2007 finishing with a time of 2:12.

I stopped running. I didn't workout at all again for a long, long time. Life got crazy.

In April of 2007 I changed jobs, then in May D and I got engaged. I spent a lot of time traveling to see him and in December we went to the courthouse and got married. Our big church wedding was planned for May 2008, and instead of exercising to lose weight for the wedding I just cut back on my eating habits. I was never unhealthy, but I managed to lose about 20 pounds.

I moved to Ft. Benning in April of 2008 and a month later we got married. One month after our wedding D deployed for 10 months. Instead of using my free time to get in shape and be healthy, I found myself eating unhealthy foods and drinking alcohol. Nothing to the point of weight gain, I actually lost a little weight.

Once D got home from Iraq, we came down on order and moved across the country. We found out we were pregnant with AJ the day after moving into our new house. Since I was already in the habit of not exercising, it wasn't a stretch for me to continue my sedentary lifestyle while pregnant. I didn't gain an insane amount of weight, but I wasn't as healthy as I know I could have been.

Somewhere during those two years I realized that my body was different. I didn't have the same activity level as I did in high school, and I enjoy cooking and eating too much to not be active. I wasn't happy with the way I looked and I knew something needed to change. But what? Its very daunting to go from zero to sixty without help. Working out seems so challenging when you're out of shape.

It was while I was pregnant that I knew I wanted to change my lifestyle. I wasn't about to start a new workout regime while pregnant, but as soon as I was cleared by my doctor to start exercising after AJ was born, I got started. I signed up for my second half marathon. I started by walking with AJ in her jogging stroller and eventually I was running 20-23 miles per week. In November 2010, 8 months after giving birth to my daughter, I ran my second half marathon, The Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Half, finishing with a time of 2:05.

It hasn't been perfect, heck, there have probably been more days that I sit around than days that I exercise, but its a work in progress. I'm currently at the beginning of a long training program for my first full marathon. Am I scared? Hell yeah! Am I excited? Yep! Am I always motivated to run? No way.

I guess my point is, just because it seems intimidating doesn't mean you can't do it. You should try it! The worst thing that will happen is you decide its not for you. (I can tell you, I'm not a Zumba, Jazzercise, etc. type of person. That type of exercise wouldn't work for me. That is okay.) There are lots of tools out there to help novice athletes. I used the Couch 2 5K program to get in shape for my marathon training program.

My main goal in all of this is not to become a great runner (although I would love to improve my pace). I really don't even care about having a great body (although that would be awesome, too). I really want to set a good example for AJ. I want her to realize that even though its hard work, and sometimes I'm not in the mood, I exercise. I want her to realize that just because its been a few weeks or months since I last worked out, I can always start over. There is nothing wrong with taking some time off. That is the beauty of physical fitness, you get out of it what you put into it. You can decide to be a better you, any time you want.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Every Day is a Good Day When You Run

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."
--Oprah Winfrey

I know I've been really bad about blogging lately, and for that I apologize. I haven't really been doing all that much. I'm kind of in a funk (outside the blog world) and have not really been feeling like writing about the few things we have done over the past week.

I have been running, and I'm feeling pretty good, albeit unmotivated lately. My long run on Saturday wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I am still not really looking forward to my future Saturday morning runs. I think I'm struggling with motivation because I know that I'm not registered for the race yet and that is what makes it "real" in my opinion.

Even though I'm struggling with motivation, I've still been getting all my runs in. I guess the potential for guilt is a greater motivator than I realized. In the morning I wake up and the last thing I want to do is go run, but as I start my day, I get dressed in my running clothes and I tell myself that I will be disappointed in myself all day if I don't get the run in. I'm not the type (and the weather isn't cooperating) to run in the afternoon or at night, so I have to get it done first thing. I also feel like I have to go run because we don't really have all that much going on lately, so what else do I have to do but run? I guess guilt isn't all bad. ;)

I'm pretty happy with myself so far. I've have 5 scheduled runs and I've run the full distance for all 5 of them. Not bad. My times have been hovering right around 10 minute mile pace, which I'm pretty happy with at this point. I've been mostly running with the jogging stroller, so I can't really expect race pace or anything, plus I know I always run faster in organized events.

Sundays are supposed to be a cross training day according to my training plan and so this past weekend I skipped it. I just wasn't feeling it, plus I'm not much of a cross-trainer. I really want to make sure I stick as close to my plan as possible, so I'm trying to come up with some things to do on Sundays. I bought a couple apps for my phone to help with my cross-training and I'm planning to try them out. One is a push-up app and the other is an abdominal workout app. I'll report back here after I decide if I like them or not, in case you're interested in trying them out! I don't have super high expectations, but I really just wanted something to maybe help me tone up a little bit.

In other news, my Dad had some business close by, so he came down and stayed with us Monday night and left Tuesday morning. We had fun going out to Red Robin for dinner and playing with AJ. D's Dad and cousin are coming to town on Thursday for the weekend, so we'll have more fun and pictures to come. Hopefully some family time can pull me out of my funk!

AJ and I also have playgroup on Thursday morning, so Thursday will likely be a busy day for us. In the afternoon we have to drive the hour north to pick FIL and cousin up from the airport, so its looking like minimal nap for AJ. Hopefully she holds up and isn't too fussy for me!

So there you have it. That's the recap of what I've been up to. Not super exciting, but life isn't always fun and games, is it?

Do you ever run into writer's block? What do you do when you get into a funk?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Life Is Too Short aka The Story of Us, Part 1

If you're interested in reading about how D and I met, which is the prequel to this post, you can read Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE. Part of the story that follows is briefly touched on in Part 2, but I go into more details here.


When I graduated from college, D still had another year left of school. I wasn't sure what exactly I was planning to do with my English degree, but I knew that I needed to get a job. See, college paid off!

I moved back to Hometown, USA and lived with my parents while I looked for work. I found a crappy job that I hated with a passion. It had nothing to do with my degree, and I dreaded going each and everyday, but the silver lining was the fact that it paid very well, especially for an entry level position. I also worked with some pretty cool people, too. (I'll get back to the job eventually, I promise.)

Since D was still in school, I made many weekend trips out to visit him. Some of these were for events, while others were just for fun. At this point, it was 2006 and we had been dating since December of 2005. D and I used these weekends together as a chance to get to know each other again.

Let me explain to you what I mean by "get to know each other again." D and I met in November 2000. I think I knew shortly after meeting him that we would someday get married and spend our lives together. I know it sounds cliche, but its true. Don't get me wrong, I wrote that feeling off as the typical "puppy love" that many high school relationships are built around.

We dated from November 2000 until we parted ways in May of 2002. D joined the Army. I went to college. I was not willing to date someone long distance, nor was I prepared to be in a relationship with a service member. At least I knew it then and didn't try to force something that ultimately would have ruined our relationship forever.

It wasn't until several years later that we were brought back together (in true 2005 fashion, it was via AOL Instant Messenger). We started chatting and I mentioned that I was interested in attending a dance with him as a friend. Okay, so I'm not sure that I clarified that my attendance would be as a friend. Either way, I made the trip out and well, the rest is history.

But back to the story. We spent our weekends together getting to know each other again. He helped me when I moved out of my parent's house and into a tiny one-room apartment. He supported me through endless complaints about my awful job. When Spring Break rolled around, he came home to spend the week with me. We went to Chicago and spent the night at the W Hotel.

He went back to school Sunday after a fun week together. Monday morning I was at work at the awful job when he called me to tell me that his mom died. I remember the exact conversation, word for word, to this day.

He flew home the next day and we spent the week with his family, planning the funeral and services. I remember feeling uncertain. I wasn't sure what my role was, I was only his girlfriend. I didn't want to overstep my boundaries, but I also didn't want him to feel like I wasn't there for him.

D told me later that my support for him and his family during this time was when he really realized that he couldn't not have me in his life. It was also the first time that I really felt like his family accepted me. Essentially, this was the week that I became a member of his family. It was this week that he decided to propose to me.

Now, some may find this weird. I am certain that if his mom hadn't died, we still would have ended up getting engaged and married. I think experiencing his mother's sudden passing was a "life is too short" type moments for him.

Stay tuned for the next installment in our story.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tell Me I'm Not The Only One....

I can't be the only one who totally does not give two sh!ts about Harry Potter.

I told D the other night that I can't wait for the last movie to come out so I can stop seeing the commercials every five seconds and seeing every blogger blogging about it 24/7.

I never really got into it. While I enjoy reading many different genres, I am not really a big fan of fantasy or magical books. The Harry Potter series never appealed to me, so I never read it. I will be honest, D and I went to the theater to see the first movie when it came out 100 years ago.

It was okay, but 3/4 of the way through the movie the reel broke (seriously). The theater management told us that we could come back another time and see it for free, but we never did. To be honest, neither of us was really all that into the movie anyway, so I was kind of relieved it was over early. Ha!

I'm probably going to get a bunch of comments about how I should give it another chance, and OMG, how can I not be a fan of HP? Well, feel free to comment away! I don't think you're going to be able to change my mind.

Maybe someday in 18 years or so, when I have some free time, I'll sit down and read the books. Then I'll watch the movies (even though I'm admittedly not a movie person). Until then though, I'm okay being the only human on Earth who doesn't care about Harry Potter.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Marathon Training: Day 2

I ran my first of many training runs yesterday morning and unfortunately for me, it was only like the hottest freaking day ever. I literally felt like I was running on the surface of the sun under water. That is how hot and sweaty I was, plus my legs felt like blocks of lead.

I got a little spoiled when I was back in Hometown, USA doing some running. It was nice and cool, plus the roads there are very flat. Here, not so much. Its basically the opposite of that, with lots of hills and extreme temperatures. Added to that is the stroller and the fact that I haven't run in about 2 weeks, and today was not exactly the way I was hoping to start my training for this marathon.

I did run just over 3 miles in about 33 minutes. I don't consider that to be too bad, considering the circumstances. Its definitely not the pace that I'm hoping to maintain for most of my runs, but I'm sure that with time I'll pick up the pace. I also made sure to stretch well both before and after my run today and so far I'm feeling pretty good, muscle-wise.

I have another 3 mile run this morning and I'm hoping to get out a little earlier than I did yesterday. Yesterday morning we didn't get out until after 9 am, and I think that had a big effect on the run. If we had gone earlier the temperatures wouldn't have been quite as bad. I'm also hoping that as the summer winds down, and my mileage increases, the temperature will decrease, making my runs a little easier.

So there you have it folks, my first real day of running is completed and I lived to tell you all about it (and run again)!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Marathon Training: Day 1, Week 1

Today is the first day of my marathon training. I have to say, its starting out on a good note. Today is a rest day. It just worked out that way, I swear.

Mondays and Fridays are my rest days, so technically, tomorrow starts my real training. I am going to do some stretching today to make sure I'm starting myself off on the right foot tomorrow.

One of the goals I have for this training program is to really make sure I'm stretching well everyday. During my training for the half I ran in November, I got really hung up about a month before the race because I wasn't stretching properly. My hamstrings were so tight that I could barely walk. I don't want to run into the same problem this time around, especially knowing that my mileage will be so much higher, seeing as this is a full marathon.

My other goal is to actually run all my long runs. That is not to say that I will never stop and walk during them, but I mean, I need to actually get out and do them. During my training for the half I found myself making excuses and not running on days I was supposed to. I still did well in the race, but I also had experience with the distance, so I kind of knew what to expect from it. A marathon? I do not have experience with, nor do I know what to expect. Therefore, I want to be as prepared as possible and I think mentally, I'm ready for the training. I'm hoping that the next 18 weeks of training prepares me mentally for the race.

So there you have it folks, my goals and plans for the next 18 weeks. RUN.

I hope you'll follow along with me and offer support along the way. I know there are going to be times that I need encouragement and I ask that you all cheer me on during this process!

*I'm admittedly not cool, so if you all could let me know of any cool new workout/upbeat music I can add to my iTunes to run to, that would be awesome!

**Also, don't worry, I'm not going to post about running every single day for the next 18 weeks, in case you were nervous.

7-11 Day!

As always, if you're near a 7-11, get there and get a free Slurpee today!

I would totally be there if we had one near us.

Make sure you check to see if your local 7-11 is partcipating, because it would be sad if you went and they weren't giving Slurpees out for free.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Eternally Grateful

Two years ago today I dropped my best friend, brother and brother-in-law off at SeaTac airport after driving from Ft. Hood to Ft. Lewis. We didn't know a soul at Ft. Lewis and had just received our HHG. I came home from the airport, took a pregnancy test and found out that I was pregnant with my beautiful baby girl!

It was a day that changed my life forever, and for her I am eternally grateful. She made me a mom!

I love you, AJ!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Time I Gave A Murderer My Address

Remember a few days ago when I posted about my terrible, awful, no good, very bad day?

If not, you can read it here.

Remember how I said that I was pretty sure I had {stupidly} written an email with my full name and address to a spammer? I was expecting to have my identity stolen (at the very least) and figured that we were probably all going to get murdered as well.

Well, today as I was pulling into my driveway I noticed the mail-woman putting a package in my mailbox. I was wracking my brain trying to remember if I'd ordered anything recently. Nothing came to mind and I practically threw my groceries in the house and ran to the mailbox to grab the package. (Does anyone else get this excited about the mail?)

I took one look at the return address and knew that we would all live long and happy lives.

The giveaway that the "spammer" mentioned in the email was legit (I knew it was) and I really did win! The spammer wasn't a spammer after all!

Lucky me, I got a new diaper in the mail! I'm excited to try it out because its a brand I've never used before and its designed to hold extra layers inside while keeping baby dry for longer periods of time (which for us and AJ's 13+ hour stretches at night, should be awesome!). Hopefully we like it and it works well so I have a reason to buy more!

So in case you were worried about me, no fear! We'll live to see another day (and my identity is likely safe as well).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Guess What?!?!

Now that D is back to work and things are starting to settle down around these parts, I figured I'd let you all in on how our weekend went.

First off, guess what I did this weekend. Or rather, what I didn't do.

I didn't take any pictures.

Perhaps that is a fail on my part, but I thoroughly enjoyed not having to lug my camera or phone around with me 24/7. I just enjoyed the holiday, friends, neighbors, and family. How's that for fun?!

Our neighborhood is situation around a private lake and part of our homeowners' association dues pay for a private 4th of July firework show, so on the 3rd, we decided to have a little impromptu block party on our street and wrap it up by watching the fireworks that were being shot off from the dock.

The best part about our street is that we're almost exactly directly across the lake from the dock, so the fireworks were basically shot off right down the street. We had a great view and we didn't even have to leave the yard!

The party on the other hand. Oh, the party.

To say that it got out of hand would probably be an understatement. It was so much fun though!

We started at about 5 by rolling the grills out to the street and bringing out lots of food, and more importantly, beer. There are 7 houses on our cul-de-sac that people live in, plus 2 more that aren't finished, but the new residents came to the party anyway.

Everyone was out and all the kids were running around in various states of undress. Nothing says, "Let's party!" like butt-nekkid kiddos running around!

After grilling, eating, drinking, and partying all evening, the fireworks started.

I did something I NEVER do. I let AJ stay up past her bedtime to watch the fireworks. She was doing pretty well, she had a late nap and seemed to be enjoying playing with all the other kids, so I let her stay up. Then we got to the point where it seemed silly to try and put her down before the fireworks, so she watched them in my lap. She did so well!

After the fireworks ended, I took her straight upstairs and she went down almost immediately.

I was glad she went down so easily, because lots of the adult neighbors were heading down to the vacant lot to float in the lake and have a bonfire. I put my suit on, grabbed the baby monitor and off I went to join the fun!

There were about 10 of us floating around on noodles, drinking beers and watching all the houses across the lake set off fireworks. It was a fabulous end to a fabulous night! When I'd had enough water, I got out and stood by the bonfire to dry off/warm up for a while. Then we headed back up to our house and chatted until after 0100!

You know its a great party when it doesn't break up until after 1!

I think part of the reason it was so much fun was because no one had to worry about driving home, since we all live on the same street! I just have to say that I'm very glad we live where we do and have such great neighbors.

All the neighbors for one last picture before the fireworks started!

**In case you're wondering why I said that I didn't take any pictures and then posted a bunch, my lovely neighbor took all these. ;)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July! I know we're going to be busy hanging out at the lake, cooking out and enjoying American things like cold beer, burgers, and summertime.

(Okay, so maybe those things aren't all specifically American, but to me they are!) I'm so excited for the fireworks. Fireworks are basically my favorite thing and the 4th of July is my favorite holiday!

And without fail, this song makes me cry, every.single.time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Wedding

This post will be very picture heavy. I apologize in advance, but you've been warned!

MBD, me and Sirrah (the bride) the night before the wedding.

These two girls were the first friends I made in college. MBD was literally the first person I met. Its kind of fun to look back at the pictures and stuff from the beginning of freshman year of college and see how far we've come!

MBD, me and Bert at the brewery.

A few interesting things you should know about me and my college roommates.

1. There are 7 of us. We can be very overwhelming.

Me and MBD (we apparently love to take pictures together).

2. Yes, all 7 of us lived in the same house, for 2 years! Before that we all (except one) lived on the same floor of the dorms together.

MBD, Pants, and Shel at the brewery.

3. We love each other. A lot. We love taking pictures. We love telling the same stories and inside jokes. We love talking. All at the same time. See overwhelming.

The NASCAR cooler and stone-washed jean shorts. A perfect match!

4. Each time one of us gets married we take it as a personal invitation to leave the other husbands at home and stay all together in a room, sleepover style. We also take it as a personal invitation to drink lots of beer and get offended when there are others invited to the wedding.

Pants, Linus, and Bert hanging out in the hotel on Friday night.

5. We have obnoxious nicknames for each other and only use them when referring to or speaking to each other.

Linus, Bert, MBD, Pants, and Shel hangin'.

6. We have some other friends from college who didn't live with us (boys) and they were ironically at this wedding too (Sirrah's new hubby lived with them in a big house).

MBD and me before the wedding.

7. I'm not sure how we all managed to live together without killing each other.

Shel, Linus, Bert and Me waiting out the rain before the ceremony.

8. We all talk about each other behind everyone's backs, but its okay, because its expected.

Me and Bert waiting for the ceremony to start.

9. We're the type of friends who can always pick up where we left off, no matter how long its been, without any awkwardness whatsoever.

The kiss!

10. We always want separate checks at restaurants, no matter what.

All the roomies!

11. We have a pose that we always do for pictures. Its the one right above this text. ^

Me and Sirrah on her wedding day!

12. Its still crazy to me to think that some people just lived with their roommates, while we created life-long, incredibly close friendships with each other.

The first dance as husband and wife.

13. Our husbands don't get it. True story: Pants once told her hubby (fiance at the time) that she was excited about seeing her roommates and he told her that he was her roommate. For us the term "roommate" is not so much a classification or a position, but a name. The boys just don't understand. I'm not sure they ever will.

Roomies at the reception.

14. We are cray-cray. Obvs. And I love them. The end.

Shel, Jacob, Tony, and honorary roomie Brittney* at wedding after-hours!

You know what the absolute best part of the weekend is? This girl comes today to visit for the week! I'm so excited to see her again and spend some one on one time with my girl!


Shel and I weren't super close while we were in school, but after graduation, we moved to the big citay and started hanging out a ton. She was one of my bridesmaids and has been my go-to girl ever since our days meeting for cocktails after work and spending our Saturdays watching movies. We've been through a lot together and she is irreplaceable in my life. I can't wait to spend time with her and just hang for a week.

*Honorary Roomie Brittany is not really a roomie, but stayed in the hotel with us because she didn't have her own room.