2.28.2012

One Year Anniversary Recap

This past Saturday was our first anniversary! Hooray! We made it an entire year! ;)

We've got big plans to travel to New York City in April to celebrate, but we also wanted to have a little fun on the actual date of our anniversary, so we exchanged gifts before heading out for the afternoon. The traditional first anniversary gift is "paper," so we tried to stick to that as the basis for our gifts to each other.

Joshua's gift to me? A Starbucks cup that he decorated himself! 

What was inside? A Starbucks gift card and a cheapo watch (as a joke) that Josh found on one of his buses (which is the modern first anniversary gift).
He re-loaded my old Starbucks card and attached a pile of Post-Its. He said whenever I want him to do anything, I just write my request on it and he'll do it, no questions asked. :) 

My gift to Joshua was somewhat similar. I made him a slew of scratch off tickets! For the printable and tutorial, click here. Whenever he wants to use a ticket, he'll just scratch it off and I'll do whatever it says, no questions asked. The tickets are good for things like breakfast in bed, a 15 minute back rub, dressing me however he pleases for a date night, and of course I threw one in there for...sex on command. ;)

I "delivered" them in this cute mailbox from Target.
He loved it!
After exchanging gifts we headed to Georgetown for the afternoon. We took the Metro, walked across Key Bridge (named after Francis Scott Key), explored the shops, and got a half dozen cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes. And yes, they are worth the $17 you pay for a half dozen delicious cupcakes.

I never get dressed up to go anywhere, so today was my one chance!
I even blow-dried my hair and put on make-up! 
Riding one of D.C.'s many eternal escalators.
Haha! He thought I was going to make a funny face and I thought he was going to make a serious face. Oh well. :)
We ended the day by watching Bridesmaids and eating Chipotle. It was such a perfect day.

So that's what we did to celebrate our first year of marriage! We can't wait to keep the celebration going in April when we spend a weekend in NYC! :)

2.27.2012

March Sponsor Swap

Good morning, lovelies!

I've got a fabulous opportunity for you! Since partnering with Lisha in a sponsor swap last month, I've realized that trading buttons with and writing about your favorite blogs is an easy (and free!) way to get your name out in the blog world!

Not only does a sponsor swap spread your blog's awesomeness through other people's blogs, but it gives you the opportunity to get to know bloggers better, creating friendship! That's probably one of the greatest benefits of reading other blogs.

For the month of February I swapped buttons with and featured Lisha and Kyle from One House, One Couple and LOVED. IT. It was super simple and I love that we actually read each others blogs. I think that's really important. Please, don't sponsor Local at Last unless you genuinely enjoy reading. I don't want you to feel that you must because I'm asking you to.

The details? Pretty simple, really!
1. Email me at snoopys_sweetheart@hotmail.com if you're interested in swapping sponsorship with me for the month of March.
2. Create a blog button (great tutorial here) and type up a little blurb describing yourself and your blog and email it to me. I'll do the same and email it you!
3. After that, we'll each post about the sponsor swap, including each others information and button and add the button to the sidebar for the month of March.

Sounds easy, right? That's because it is! If you'd like to see an example of what a featured post looks like on my blog, click here. Another example is Lisha's February sponsor post.

So if you're interested in free publicity and free networking, feel free to shoot me an email! I can't wait to make this a regular thing and get to know all of you wonderful bloggers!

My Bachelorette Party

***This post is slightly out of order (and late), but I haven't had a chance to write the preceding posts quite yet. Don't forget to check out the "Our Wedding" tab if you'd like to catch up!***

So...just a little tidbit about me...I've never been much of a "party-er", partly because I'm kind of a socially awkward person and partly because I'm only truly comfortable with a small number of people. That being said, my bachelorette party was pretty mellow, but very enjoyable. I got to spend the evening with my closest girlfriends - something I NEVER get to do - and we just enjoyed being girls. :) 

We started the night at The Melting Pot, a luxurious and delicious fondu restaurant that makes you feel like you're dining with royalty. We enjoyed dessert...maybe a little too much! ;) If you like chocolate and you like dipping things in it, this is the place for you. Just make sure you have some self-control because you will be moaning THE. WHOLE. TIME. It's that good. Oh, and the girls made me wear a bridal tiara all night. It was pretty funny. 

Excuse the poor lighting and the red eyes!
L-R: Tanya, Megan, Chelsea, Julie, and myself. Love you girls!
 After dessert, I got to open a few naughty gifts (ooh la la!) at our table...in front of everyone. It was embarrassing and liberating all at the same time. Haha! I received all of the bachelorette basics: thongs, slinky slips, bubble bath...you know, all the good stuff! 

Haha! Chelsea called this "sexy soap." It smells so magical! Notice the pile of frilly panties?
 To finish off the evening, we went back to my MOH's parents' house (we all live out of town now, so her parents were gracious hosts) to watch one of my recent favorites, The Backup Plan. All in all, it was a great night out with the girls - exactly what we needed before all of the wedding weekend festivities were in full swing. :) 

2.25.2012

Red-Letter Day

One year ago today I stepped off a plane in Baltimore. Joshua picked me up and took me back to the barracks so I could change my clothes and freshen up. We had a few appointments to keep, so we were on a strict schedule. I remember freaking out that we wouldn't make it to the courthouse before it closed when I received a call from my new boss saying that she had been admitted to the hospital because she was contracting (at only 24 weeks!) which made me freak out even more. I was so flustered that I smeared mascara all over my cheek, which obviously made it even harder to get out the door on time.

We sped to the courthouse, but forgot that it costs $1.00 in quarters to park, so we dug around in my purse and in Josh's car until we found the change. Then we ran across the parking lot, jumped across the street, and into the courthouse. The security guard promptly sent us away because we couldn't bring in cell phones or cameras, so we rented a locker from the building next door (more digging for change) and ran back to the courthouse.

It turned out that we arrived just in time! They were ready to close up shop when we arrived, with another couple trailing slightly behind, but the secretary was kind enough to let us both get our marriage licenses.

After filling out all the necessary paperwork and getting our marriage license (!) we left the courthouse with smiles plastered on our faces and walked a block down the street to the little brick building where we would officially tie the knot. Gerald Williams, the sweet old man that married us, was excited to see us and we got straight down to business.




We said our vows, our friend Jake took a few pictures of us, and Mr. Williams signed and filed our marriage certificate. Before leaving that day, he played a little joke on Joshua.

It was nontraditional and unexpected to most, but it was perfect. Every time I look back at these pictures I can't help but smile. Such fond memories of the beginning of our life together. :) 

It's so crazy to think that it's already been one year since we became husband and wife. The novelties have yet to wear off; being called "Mrs. Nix," waking up with my best friend by my side, coming home to a warm smile and a kiss, and my heart still skips a beat each time he calls me his wife. 

This past year has taught me so much about him, myself, and marriage. I've realized that I'm more selfish and clueless than I'd thought. But I've also learned that there is no one else on this earth that I would give up all my selfish ambitions for and I've come to know that no matter how clueless I might be at times, Josh will always be there to pick up the pieces and say, "Let's give that another try."

I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by and I can't wait for 50 more years like it. :)

{One}

Today's our first anniversary. 


 We exchanged "handmade" gifts (the traditional 1st anniversary gift is paper) and ate waffles for breakfast. 


I have so many blog posts I want/need to write, but I'm too busy watching my sweet husband nap on the living room floor while I wait for the banana bread to finish baking.


Today we're going to Georgetown to be "tourists" and get some delicious cupcakes to celebrate this milestone in our relationship.


Then we'll return home to cuddle up on the couch and watch some Harry Potter (or Bridesmaids, if I win the coin toss). 


After that, we'll probably fall asleep laughing at each other, reminiscing about where we were this time last year. 


And I'll leave the blogging for tomorrow.

Photography by TimTabStudios

2.16.2012

If...

About a month ago I found this post on Jamie's blog (you know, the host of WILW!) and thought it'd be fun to do one of my own. Enjoy!

If I could live anywhere in the US... I'd choose to live in Naperville, IL (where we grew up) or Portland, Oregon or somewhere in Colorado.


If I were to have more children... we're DINKS for the next 4 or 5 years, but when we do become parents we'll be ecstatic. :)


If I could have any talent in the world... it'd be to sing like Kelly Clarkson or Adele. Swoon!


If you met me in real life... I'm not sure how you'd feel. From my writing style, what do you think I'd be like in real life? Maybe I'll do a vlog sometime to show you a little more of my personality. ;)


If money were not an object... Josh and I would take a few years off from real life, travel the world, donate money to Wounded Warrior, and grow our family. If only...


If I could meet one celebrity... Sandra Bullock. Of all the actresses in Hollywood, I consider her the strongest and the most real. 


If I could only shop at one store for the rest of my life... Target. Duh. 


If I could chose one animal/pet... I've always wanted a little turtle...or a hedgehog. :)

If I could go on a trip right now... I'd drag Joshua all over the Czech Republic and Poland. I've been dying to go back since I left there so many summers ago. 

If I had to choose between a house cleaner and a personal chef... I'd choose neither. I love to do housework and cook! The only issue is finding time to do it when I'm not working. Haha! 

Let me know if you do this little survey - I'd love to learn more about YOU!  
      

2.14.2012

His Turn

Hello, lovely readers! In celebration of Valentine's Day you'll be treated to a post by this handsome man. :) Enjoy.


1. What is the first thing you noticed about your wife when you met?
She looked really cute in what she was wearing.


2. What is something your wife does that drives you crazy?
She always has a strong opinion about everything, and that wouldn't drive me crazy but she always tells me about it with her outside voice. 


3. If money wasn't an option what is one thing you would make sure you always had done for your wife?
Buy her fast two seater sports cars, believe it or not she loves them.


4. When do you find your wife most attractive?
When she dresses up just a little bit, and puts on just a little bit of make up.


5. What does your wife do for you that you totally appreciate and would miss if it was gone?
She is really supportive, and I would totally miss that.


6. If you had your wedding day to do over again and everything was your call, would you keep everything the same? Change something? Everything? Elope or if you eloped vice versa?
Keep it the same. I have no Idea how she did it, and I wouldn't want to change a thing.


7. What's one beauty up keep that you wish your wife didn't do? Or what's one beauty thing you wish she did do?
I've got nothing here sorry.


8. If you could go or be any where in the world with your wife right now, where would that be? 

Stelvio Pass in a Hypercar, or a super luxurious island getaway with our own see-through floor villa and a dock with jet ski's.   

9. What is one moment you wish you could go back and relive with your wife just to get to experience again? Would you change anything?
Hawaii! And no. That trip was perfect.

10. What do you love most about your wife? 
Her laugh it's amazing.

2.13.2012

An Apology & A Recap

*Disclaimer: This post is pretty rough because im posting from my phone. Will edit later!*

I just wanted to take a moment and apologize to you. The post I published a few days back regarding my horrible 2 weeks/birthday is not what I want my blog to be. It was selfish, childish, and rude - the exact opposite of what I want this haven to portray about me.

I want Local at Last to be a positive place to catch up on my life, not a page you hate clicking because you're afraid of what obnoxious post awaits you.

That being said, I want and need to apologize to you, readers. I'm very sorry for my outburst. While my rant/complaint/bitching was much needed for my sanity, you should not be the ones to bear the burden. But I thank you for all of your encouraging comments. At least I know that when I'm having "one of those days/weeks" you'll always be willing to cheer me up. Thank you!

Now, onto my birthday recap!

On February 5th (yes, Super Bowl Sunday) I turned 21. As I mentioned in my earlier birthday post, I was working that day (as well as the 7 before it and the 3 after it), so let's just fast-forward to this past weekend!

On Friday, Josh and I were supposed to go out to dinner with a group of friends to celebrate my birthday. Everyone bailed. So I put my big girl panties on and said, "Screw 'em!" and Josh and I enjoyed a night out together. :) I stocked up on some cheap wine and made myself a chocolatini. Delicious!

The next day I received a few gifts! I got Tortuga Rum Cake and Godiva Liquer from my employers (fresh from Jamaica, mon!), flowers and a few purse organizers from my hubby, a Zyliss chopper from my parents, and a few gifts I have yet to open from my employers sister-in-law (thanking me for watching the twins while everyone was in Jamaica).

I had a hyped-up vision of what my 21st birthday would be like. It turned out exactly the opposite, but at the end if the day, spending those days with my husband is what got me out of my funk. :) I love him.

2.12.2012

Facelift

*Just a quick note to say that I gave the blog a facelift (obviously) just in time to welcome spring!*

2.10.2012

Holidays in Chicago, Pt. 2 {Super, Duper Belated}

***Finally getting around to Part 2 of our trip home for the holidays! If you'd like to read about Part 1, click here. ***

On December 27th, Josh and I hosted a game night with all of our friends at my parents' house. We had a blast! We played games like Apples to Apples, Catch Phrase, carpet ball, pool, and Mario Kart. And the winners even got silly prizes that Josh and I had picked up from Party City. It was pretty funny! :)

Apples to Apples.
Carpetball.
Joshua. Haha!
Chelsea, Megan, and I!
On New Year's Eve Day Josh, his best friend Matt, and I went into the city to do touristy things. We saw the stupid new Marylin Monroe statue outside the Chicago Tribune building, walked around Water Tower Place, took pictures at The Bean (or The Cloud, either is fine), and toured the John Hancock Observatory. All in all, it was a fantastic day in the city. :)

The three of us finished off the day at my parents' house with Megan. We ordered Chicago's famous deep dish pizza from Giordano's and rang in the new year with a kiss.

Real classy, Chicago. Real classy.
Matt and Josh.
My hubby and I. :)
The three of us.
The Bean.
Chicago from the John Hancock Observatory.
Navy Pier.
There's an ice rink at the top of the John Hancock!
The lake front.
Us. :)
The next day (New Year's Day) my parents, Josh, and myself headed up to Grand Rapids, Michigan to have a get-together with my mom's side of the family. It was great to mingle and catch up with everyone. It even SNOWED! :)

Later that week, before we started packing up to head home, I had the opportunity to get together with the ladies from my old job. It was so fun to see them all again!!! Nothing like a night out with the girls to end a perfect trip home.

L-R: Priscilla, Brooke, Kayla, myself, Jenn, and Melissa.
And that's what we did on our holiday vacation. :) We could not have asked for a more perfect, fun-filled trip.

2.09.2012

Happy Birthday My Ass

Yes, I just swore in the title of this post. This is my blog, if you don't like what I write, you have the freedom to leave. Just a warning though, if you decide to stick around for this post expect quite a bit of bitching...and swearing.

These past few weeks have been pure shit. I worked 10 days in a row with teething twins who wouldn't stop screaming (for those of you who haven't experienced this all on your own, it's a living nightmare), one of those days was my 21st birthday, and I was supposed to get Monday off but at the last second my boss absolutely had to have me come in that day. So I worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Just to clarify, I worked five 13-hour workdays, then 72 hours straight (while my employers were enjoying themselves in Jamaica), then 5 hours Monday, 15 hours Tuesday, and 3 hours Wednesday. IN. A. ROW. ON. MY. BIRTHDAY.

Needless to say, I was exhausted and stressed beyond belief. I'd practically lived at work the past 10 days so my own house/laundry/husband, etc. was falling to pieces because I hadn't been there to take care of it. So I spent the rest of my Wednesday and all of today cleaning the apartment, doing laundry, and making sure I actually cooked a real meal for my husband (who has been working equally hard, I might add). Things were starting to fall back into place.

Then today, I remembered that my mom had told me LAST Monday to keep my eye out for a package she was sending me for my birthday. It still hadn't arrived so I sent her a text asking if she had the tracking number. A few minutes later I got a call from my dad saying he was on the phone with Amazon customer service and that the package had, in fact, been delivered. I immediately knew what had happened. Someone in our building had stolen the gift my parents had thoughtfully sent me, and I am 95% sure of who it was. Amazon was gracious enough to send a replacement with free 2 day shipping for the hassle (even though it wasn't their fault), but that doesn't erase the fact that someone is so heartless that they'd steal something that rightfully belonged to one of their own neighbors.

This isn't the first time this has happened - a few weeks back the cops came angrily banging on our neighbor's door and a few weeks before that, our other neighbor, someone Josh and I both know and trust, said he'd been waiting for a very important package for a while and had never received it even though the shipping service said it'd been delivered. It just breaks my heart that people could be so cruel and selfish as to steal things from people who live right next door.

On top of these things, I'm just feeling generally discouraged about my birthday "celebration" tomorrow night. In part, because the events leading up to it this week have worn me down and convinced me that I'm just not getting a birthday this year. And because two of the guys I invited will be on mission to Fort Benning until Monday, my friend is extremely busy with school and work, her husband has been sick with the flu, and the only other person invited outside of Joshua and myself probably has to work. I've decided not to get my hopes up for tomorrow, but to hold out for Saturday when I can get absolutely shit wasted playing beer pong and doing shots of UV Cake and forget that this week even happened.

So that's my 21st birthday for ya. Exciting, isn't it?

Twenty Twelve: At A Glance

Wow. Is it seriously February already? I tell ya, the older you get, the faster time flies. It seems like just yesterday (and forever ago at the same time) that we were heading home to Chicago for the holidays. Whoosh! And now it's almost spring time!

I've been meaning to post this (and many other things) for the longest time. As you well know, I'm a procrastinator when it comes to blogging...but not because I don't enjoy it or YOU. Simply because this past 6 months of our lives has been insanely busy. We're talking 13 hour work days, 6 days a week for both of us. It's madness, people. And I can't wait for it to be over.

Which leads me to the main reason for this post. 2012 is just as big a year for us as 2011 was and I could not be more excited! We've got so many amazing things keeping us busy and on our toes and I can't wait to share the journey with you (when I can find a moment to breathe blog).

Here's what's on the agenda for 2012 for the Nix's.


January - Tail end of Chicago trip.
             - Josh became interim squad leader for 45 days and earned Good Conduct medal!
             - Signed the lease for our new apartment in Champaign!

February - Meagan worked 72 hours straight, having the twins all to herself. Insane!
               - Meagan turned 21 that same weekend. 
               - We celebrate our very first Valentine's Day actually together!
               - We celebrate our 1 year anniversary on the 25th! 

March - Black Keys concert on the 9th. 
           - Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage conference on the 18th and 19th.

April - Belated anniversary trip to NYC!

May - Josh begins his ETS leave, starts training for his CDL, and registers for classes at U of I!
        - We begin the packing process so we can be out of our apartment at the end of June. 

June - Pack, pack, pack! 
        - We move out of our first apartment together (sob!) and into a friend's house temporarily.
        - JOSH OFFICIALLY FINISHES HIS ENLISTMENT!!!

July - Meagan finishes her year long stint with the twins. 
       - We move from Alexandria, VA to Champaign, IL! 

August - We move into our new home! 
            - Josh goes on a hardcore camping trip with his buddies. 
            - Josh starts college! 
            - Meagan is hopefully working part-time and taking online classes.

September/October - Getting into the swing of things in our new hometown. :)

November - Josh turns 21! 
                  - Maybe we'll host Thanksgiving at our place? ;)

December - Our 3 year dating/2 year proposal anniversary!
                 - Celebrate Christmas/ New Year's with our families. 


What are some exciting/big things happening in your life in 2012? Is this "your year"? Tell me how!

2.08.2012

We've Been Featured!

Hello, lovelies!

After working 10 (completely insane) days in a row, I've got 4.5 days all to myself! Yippee! I've never been so excited to catch up on housework, cooking, and blogging in all my life. I've got LOTS to tell you guys, as usual. :)

But today, I've got another super special post for you guys - one that I've been psyched about since discovering {AV}'s blog, Long Distance Loving. You see, she runs this inspiring series called "Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder" and I could not be more obsessed. I wish I would have known about {AV}'s blog when Josh and I were long-distance because I was always searching (with no success) for encouragement in the LDR world. If you're currently in a LDR (or have been in the past, no big deal) PLEASE check out Long Distance Loving, specifically the DMTHGF series. You will not regret it.

And for those of you not in a LDR, feel free to hop on over to her blog anyway! She also runs this super sweet Friday Fancies link-up all about your favorite fashion finds for the week!

Okay, back to the "Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder" series. {AV} found my blog, which led me to her blog, which led me to her amazing series of inspirational long-distance journeys. I cried as I read the stories of other couples' triumphs over the miles, remembering our own 2 years apart, and I knew that I needed to share our story as well. My desire to share our journey wasn't one of boasting or to pat ourselves on the back, so to speak, but to remind others in the lonely phases of their LDRs that there is always something to look forward to, whether it be your next visit or ultimately closing the long-distance gap for good.

Today, {AV} shared our story on her blog just in time for Valentine's Day!


 I'm so honored that Josh and I could be a part of this awesome string of love stories and I can only hope that our adventure can inspire others to push through the struggles of the long-distance relationships, no matter how many miles separate them. Check out our journey here!