Seee Ya Lataaa

We are riding out of 2012 in style. Or at least Jack is in his new wheels..

I have learned so much, grown even more, & feel so grateful for a fantastic year. I cannot wait to see what 2013 brings for my family.. and for me! 

I have so many things swirling around my head for this here blog of mine. 
I will go right out and say, I have been a terrible blogger as of late. 

I have hardly written. And what I have written? Aside from a handful of posts, has been crap. 
Somewhere between starting school & getting "blogger lazy" I have let the concept of content fall to the wayside. 

No more. I no longer have the time like I used to - and if I am going to make the time, it's going to be QUALITY time. 

Making this blog MINE again.. that's my blogger New Year's Resolution.

Cheers friends, I hope you have fabulous celebrations this evening filled with champagne bubbles and midnight kisses!

12 months of Life After...

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We are still at my parents. 
We are relaxed. We are happy. 

I cannot wait to share more from these special holiday weeks... 
but for now, I am too busy sitting in my pajamas :)

A few tiny square pictures of our holiday. 
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Designs As Of Late...

I have been really busy with blog designing as of late... 
I know I have a portfolio section on my design page, but I thought I would fill a post with all of my recent projects! 

If you are looking to give your blog a makeover (At a more than reasonable price) contact me
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Wedded Bliss Wednesday

Welcome Back! 

1. Be sure to follow both Allie & I
2. Grab a button, add it to your post, & link up!
3. Try to visit other participants!

What are you hoping to get for Christmas from your husband this year?
(If your husband reads your blog this can be one GIANT "hint hint")

It's not secret to my husband that all I want for Christmas is for him to clean my car. I mean, deep clean it. This might seem like nothing, but my poor poor car is a PIT. It is covered in cheddar bunnies and spilled coffee. I have at least 3 different coats, 4 pairs of shoes, and a few shirts in there... you know, just in case. It is so far beyond messy that I just can't bring myself to clean it. I just don't want to! So, my dear dear husband can do it for me, it's basically a gift to him because it doesn't require him spending any money :) 

Can't wait to read what is on your Christmas wish lists!

Next Week:
What is your new years resolution for your marriage?

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If you came to my house today...

...most likely, every pillow and blanket in the house would be piled in the middle of the living room floor and Jack would probably be throwing a temper tantrum because we asked him not to smack me in the face with a plastic choo choo train. You would have to watch your step, or a toy could trip, stab, or bruise you. 

You would be lucky if Jack was wearing pants and EXTRA lucky if anyone had bathed in the last 24 hours. There would be lots of drool, a few boogers, and plenty of laughter. 

Life around here lately is more "bumps in the road" than "rainbows & butterflies". It's one of those times where I could easily wallow and feel sorry for myself. I could see only negative and give into doubt, stress, and worry. 

But I still feel grateful. 

I have a husband who loves me,
a beautiful little boy that is bursting with personality, love, and curiosity,
supportive parents, best friends for siblings... the list goes on. 

After last week's tragic events I cannot help but hug my Bubba closer & pray for healing. Healing for those who lost the lives of their loved ones, healing for our country, healing for those struggling with mental illness... 

I refuse to believe that there is no good left in this world, I refuse to let go of hope that tomorrow will be better, and I refuse to live and raise my son in fear. 

We cannot control those around us, we can only control ourselves. I, for one, will work hard every day to be a good person and to raise my children to be good people. That is all we can do after all...

Tragedy happens each day. 

Sometimes it's overt and unthinkable. 
Sometimes it's small & personal. 

We all have our battles and our bumps in the road. 
My heart goes to those struggling with tragedy, today and every day. 

But we cannot lose faith in the good. 
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Wedded Bliss Wednesdays

A little late... but better late than never right?! 
1. Write your posts
2. Grab the button
3. Follow your hosts (Allie and I)
4. Visit other participants!
What is a holiday tradition that you and your husband do or plan to do each year? If you don't have any, what is an idea you could try out this year?!
John and I don't have any "original" Christmas traditions. On the actually holiday we are with family, so our family traditions are blending with the traditions we both had growing up. I know that each year we will go to his parents to help them cut down their Christmas tree (we at least attempted to help this year but got rained out...) and that we will spend Christmas Eve partying at my parents. 
Christmas 2011
Something that we have done each year (not on a specific date) is watch Love Actually. We have yet to do it this year, but one night we will look at each other and say "Love Actually". 
As we have more children and they get older, I hope they look forward to cutting down our family Christmas tree, decorating the tree, and making cookies as a family. 
Next week's question:
What are you hoping to get for Christmas from your husband this year?
(If your husband reads your blog this can be one GIANT "hint hint")


Hey Girl Hey

I'm done!

With my first semester that is...

Besides being in and out of the office for the rest of the week, 
I have successfully finished 1/4 of my graduate program, and it feels pretty good - 
if not kinda scary that I still have a year and a half of this hot mess schedule!

I cannot go another second gushing about my completed semester (fingers crossed for straight A's)
without honorable mention of my grad school bestie,
How would I have survived without her?
I asked myself this very question each day. 

Every class together was by far the most necessary scheduling decision I have ever made in my life. 

We worked together, studied together, commiserated with one another...
She gets it, I get it.. 

God sometimes puts people in your life for very specific reasons, 
and I know he put Tara in mine because he knew I needed it!
I needed an "every day" girlfriend, one who was easy and effortless. 
A friend that just "gets it". 

I am lucky to have a lot of amazing women in my life, 
and I am so blessed to add another to the list!

John and Ben better get used to each other... because this friendship between Tara and I?
It's not just a "two-year program".


It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Not gonna lie, I haven't been feeling the Christmas spirit a whole lot this year. 

Blame it on school.
Blame it on the unseasonably warm Michigan weather, or the lack of snow. 
Blame it on how crazy busy our family has been as of late. 

I don't know what it is, but it has just NOT been hitting me. 

Last weekend, I had had enough!

I begged John to accompany Jack and I to the craft store/Home Depot. 
We loaded our shopping cart with garlands & wreaths. 
We purchased our SECOND fake Christmas tree. 
We lugged boxes labelled "Christmas" and "Fragile" up from the basement. 

Within an hour we had transformed our home into a warm and inviting Christmas wonderland. 
We reminisced over our Christmas tree from the year before (a HOT MESS)
I gushed over the lovely ornaments that were given to us as wedding gifts. 
We said "no" 1 million times when Jack's curious fingers tried to grab at fragile bulbs!
Our condo has never felt more "homey".

And while I cannot say I am in full-on "Christmas Mode" just yet...
Coming home long past the sun has gone down, 
and walking up to my festive front door with the Christmas tree glowing in the front window, 
I am ready for this season of giving and loving and sharing. 



A Glimpse Into Our Thanksgiving

Two weeks later and I am already missing all of my family. 
We had so much fun together over Thanksgiving, and I could not be more grateful for my family! 

My gorgeous cousin Libby was kind enough to send me a few picture filled emails 
so I could document a few of the memories :) 

The weather was pretty spectacular the whole trip. 
Thanksgiving itself was a perfect day for sitting outside by the fire with chunky sweaters and scarves. 

When it was time for dinner my Aunts and Mom and had turned the basement of my Aunt and Uncles house into what looked like a gorgeous reception!
There were round tables with festive centerpieces. 
We ate, drank A LOT of wine, and enjoyed one another. 

After we had all settled in with our meals we went around the room 
and shared what we were thankful for.
There were tears.
We are Irish after all..
And plenty of laughter!

It was Jack's FIRST  O'Connor Thanksgiving and it was so much fun!
He loved playing with all of his cousins and was the star of the show
per usual.

It was a wonderful celebration and I could not ask for anything more!
Mom & Seester
My parents are THE CUTEST.
Broseph & "not so" Little Johnny (he was the baby before Jack came along!)
Papa & (some of) his grandkids!
My heart is melting...
These love birds are next in line for the alter!! Cannot wait for May :)
The newlyweds