Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Month in Review: January

I made my final "long distance" road trip up to New Jersey. After approximately 12,500 miles traveled back and forth between NJ/PA/NJ, its nice for a little break.
We weren't together on NYE, so we had our own mini-NYE & countdown the next weekend.
Immediately after Christmas, Maid of Honor & I jumped right back into wedding planning.
This is the back trail behind our house, covered in snow.  The back trail I had to walk down carrying a couple things I pulled out of my car in early January.  I woke up at 5am to get home from New Jersey, and made it home just as the freezing rain froze the streets, literally I watched our neighborhood street freeze.  After sliding down the road outside our house and passing countless accidents, I made the call to leave my car at the top of the neighborhood and walk home.  I was so blessed and thankful to have made it home safe.  (I am still avoiding driving in any bad weather from this experience).
We finally got our new signs put up at the new office.
We set up Derek's New Room and got ready for his big move in.
I dropped Derek off at the train station for his first day of work in Philadelphia!!
We had some FREEZING mornings in January, on this day Steve was nice enough to start my car & warm it up for me before I took off for the gym.
We made a visit to this place.
Wedding Planning was underway in full force (Next Wedding Wednesday will be an update).
These guys showed up right outside our window at the office!  Davey texted this photo to Mom & I because we'd already left.
 Family dinner at Fellini's to send Steve off to Africa
 We sent Steve off to Africa for a 10 day mission trip with our church (11 day since they got stuck there an extra night).  Look at what he packed, seriously that's how much I pack for a normal vacation AND he had food for himself and treats for the kids in there.
I sent over some dum-dums and smarties for the kids!
 On the 20th, we welcomed him back home!1
 He brought home some goodies.
The kids loved the candy from me!!
Nash got some extra love from everybody while his buddy was away in Africa
 He made his rounds and slept in each bed a little through the week.
The night Steve left, Derek and I brought Nash home a new toy and Mom some flowers.
We helped Davey with some home improvements at his house; Soon he'll be doing the same for us :)
We celebrated Grandmom's 89th Birthday!
Next year, a big celebration is definitely in order for the big 9-0.
We had a huge snow and two Snow Day's
It took Derek almost four hours to get home from work the day of the snow because the trains were so full and behind.  Luckily, Steve & I went together to get him at about 5mph. This is Linvill Road.
We showed up to work after the snow days to this mess.  There goes the boss piling through the snow.
We had office guests coming and had to think fast -- shoveling a make shift path with a dust pan. (Davey came soon after with a shovel).
I got some more housewife training!  It's been about two years since I moved back home from my internship in Lehigh Valley, so it's been about two years since my hands smelled like laundry detergent.
We made two relaxing weekend getaways -- one to New Jersey to visit Derek's family and one up to Penn State.
Looking forward to warmer weather...
Xo C

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Bachelor Wedding, The Good, The Bad, The Inspirations

The Good . . .
At the very beginning of the episode when Catherine was reading item after item off the wedding to do list.  Sam had texted me just before I watched this part and said, "the part when they are in the car reminds me of you and Derek."  She was dead on, just Sunday afternoon on the way back from Penn State that was me & Derek.  There's no better time than when you have time to kill in a car to get some wedding planning done; we've done that the past two weekends.
When Sean said the thing he was most looking forward to was being announced Mr. &. Mrs. Lowe; I cannot wait until we're announced as Mr. & Mrs. Derek Sotherden.
When they were sitting outside at the Four Seasons in the garden practicing putting the wedding rings on each others finger.  I can't wait for Derek to have a ring on his finger, I think it'll look so good on him!
The chairs/mix-matched seating element.  If I was having an outdoor wedding, I'd love to incorporate this.
The hanging chandeliers & the alter, again, if I was having an outdoor wedding, I'd love to incorporate this. 
The groomsmen doing a group prayer for Sean before the ceremony. 
When Sean cried when he saw Catherine.
Mindy Weiss! I'm having so much fun planning my own wedding, but if I had Mindy to help, I wouldn't hate it.
The Bad . . .
How fast the bridesmaids walked down the aisle!  I was so distracted and couldn't focus on anything else for a solid few minutes because they were basically running down to the alter.  My girls will most definitely be taking their time and taking it all in.
Holding Hands!  It was so weird that they weren't holding hands up at the alter until the very end.
The "Honeymoon Suite Cam" that kept popping up on the bottom corner of the screen, that was just weird, I think Molly's face says it all.
The Inspiration . . . (or things I was already thinking of)
They had an uneven number of flower girl/ring bearers.  I love matching but we have one flower girl and two ring bearers and being able to see two boys then one girl walk down the aisle looked good. 
All the flowers!! I want flowers Everywhere!!!
The aisle runner, I definitely want to have an aisle runner.
The Groom's Cake! I'm so excited to make Derek's Groom's Cake -- I already have too many ideas.
And like every bride to be, I loved Catherine's robe.
Xo C

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day!!!

Philadelphia was shut down by the snow last week, literally!  We got 14 inches!! It took Derek 3.5 hours to get home from the city on Tuesday afternoon and Steve & I made a slow trek to get him at the train station. 
 Our 14 inches sitting out on the deck! The boys worked from home, Mom & I declared ourselves a snow day and Nash was happy we were all home with him!  Davey was snowed in over at his house!
Super thankful I got these Zumba DVD's for Christmas on all these days with bad weather that I can't get to the gym. 
They started playing before I could even get outside
 Sweet little pup was in heaven
 One of many snowballs thrown at me
 Right after Derek & Nash tackled me down the hill
 Seriously, in heaven.
 Mom came out to play too, Steve was inside working during play time
 What a happy pup
 Our first snow day together!
Giving hugs out in the snow.

Mom and I got dinner going in the crockpot in the morning (a recipe she had found online) and the house smelled great all. day. long. 

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
- 1 (17.5 fluid ounce) bottle buffalo wing sauce, divided (Hooter's Sauce is a great choice!)
- 3/4 (1 ounce) package dry ranch salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 hoagie rolls 

1. Place the chicken breasts into a slow cooker, and poor in 1/2 the wing sauce and 1/2 the ranch dressing mix (best if you put 2 pieces of the chicken in the crockpot, put in some sauce and ranch dressing, then put in the other 2 pieces of chicken and put the remaining sauce and dressing) 

2. Once the chicken has cooked, add the butter, and shred the meat with two forks

3. Pile the meat onto the hoagie rolls, splash with remaining buffalo wing sauce to serve. 
Meal Prep 
Finished Product 
It was a hit!  We all really enjoyed Chef Mama's new recipe!

Xo C