February 28, 2010

A Cherishing Sunday

Had a super relaxed weekend with nothing serious planned. After church today, Brett and I hung out and watched a bit of the Olympics. Mid afternoon, Camille came to visit with me. She brought me the most lovely vase of white and yellow ranunculus. I just discovered these flowers recently but they are quickly becoming my new favorite. They just make me so happy!!! I definitely think that they have booted Gerbera Daisies and Alstroemeria down the favorite ladder.

After a bit, we decided that we needed to get out and do something. How about The Boathouse? Ok!!

So, we headed over to Hendry's Beach, found ourselves a nice booth, and enjoyed each other's company and happy hour. It was nice to spend some time with Camille alone and get to know her a little better.

We invited Amy to join us, and I was so happy that she came too!! The three of us had a good old fashioned girl's gab session....and decided that it didn't have to end there.

So, we grabbed a bottle of wine from Lazy Acres, and met up with LB at the house. The 4 of us stayed there talking girl talk until past my normal bedtime.....even though I was the one that originally said that everyone had to leave no later than 9pm.

Even after they left, I was still on a happy high from awesome girl chat that I called them afterwards to thank them for coming. When I called Camille, she was on the phone with Emily, and so we had ourselves a super old fashioned 3 way call.

I truly do cherish my girlfriends and nights like these.

February 25, 2010

Sneak Peak

Ok...so maybe we weren't TOTALLY awkward for ALL of the time. I've gotten Em's pics, and seen a few sneak peek's of Amy's images too....but here is one for now.

I can't wait to see the rest and share them with you!! :)

February 24, 2010

Yum yum yum!

We went for our catering tasting tonight.....and boy, did we eat GOOD!!! (Yes, Mom...I know that is grammatically incorrect....but it's meant to be that way.....as to put the emphasis on the GOOD part!).

Sidney and the chef, Josh, fixed us up with everything that we would be having at the wedding (I'm going to keep it a secret) and we tried it all. We would have cleaned our plates if there wasn't so much food to be had! I'm excited about the passed appetizers during the cocktail hour....and hope that our guests don't eat all of them before we get there. Ha!

The dinner is going to be delightful and I am really looking forward to the yummy food on the big day. We committed to her on the spot and are excited that Sidney and the fine folks at Santa Barbara Gourmet Catering will be feeding our guests in July!!

February 23, 2010

Do you take this man??

Yeah!! We met with Dave Lomas today. He is going to be marrying us and we couldn't be more thrilled about this!! He was Brett's homegroup leader for a long time before I came to Santa Barbara, and Brett talked with him quite a bit about me when we first met. When I came to SB for the first time after we started dating, I went to homegroup, and when I first met Dave, I was welcomed with open arms by him and his lovely wife, Ashley.

He knows Brett's story. He knows my story and testimony. And most importantly, he knows US. He actually has more insight into us as a couple by seeing and being around us than I had originally thought....which is amazing.

We're all set on what we are going to do in ways of pre-marital counseling and I'm excited about getting into it all with Brett. We also will be planning a trip up to San Francisco to spend a day with Dave as it gets closer to the wedding.

I know that Dave is going to make our wedding day so special, and we couldn't be more blessed that he's said YES to us!

February 22, 2010

Who loves ya baby? We all do!!

So....you know that Emily is leaving us to head back to good ole Texas. Well, we couldn't let her leave without one last night to show her how much we love her!!

We didn't need much....other than...some self made mini pita pizzas....and the best Mocha Brownies EVER. The recipe is in The Pioneer Woman cookbook. Glad it was put to use....even if it wasn't me that used it. But, seriously.....they were SO good!!! Make them. Now.

And....of course....a LOT of people that love Emily. She's been such a blessing in so many people's lives. It's evident at how much love surrounds her wherever she is. Texas is one lucky place to be getting her back....for now. ;)

Yes, we had to take a break from stuffing ourselves in the kitchen to watch The Bachelor. It was so funny to hear the commentary from the men in the room. Funny enough, they had quite a bit to say.

A little girl time in the kitchen...going to miss Emily's smile and laugh SO much!!

I am already counting down the days until I get to see Emily again...80 days. For those of you in Houston, be on the lookout for this amazing woman to show up sometime in the next day or two. :)

Love you Emily!!! We miss you already!!!

February 21, 2010

Lovely Sunday

We had a nice chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese lunch at Brett's this afternoon. Loralyn wasn't feeling that great, so she was happy to eat her "feel good soup". We hung out and then decided to take a little shopping trip to Paseo Nuevo to get out of the house.

Brett met up with me at Dargan's for a short time to say good bye to a few folks that are leaving Santa Barbara. It's super sad that so many folks are going to be leaving soon.....but they will be back. Everyone comes back. :)

Tara made me laugh tonight. As I was getting out my camera, she said "Oh yay! I'm going to be on the blog again. Your blog is like the Page Six of Santa Barbara". So funny....love that girl!!

Emily is one of the people that is leaving us.....I'm so bummed about that...but it was nice to meet her mom, Linda, and step-dad, Richard, as they had come down to visit her before she moves.

The boys played some pool while the girls chatted it up in the corner.

Love hanging out with the wonderful folks in Santa Barbara.

February 20, 2010

Showered with Love

When Emily was planning today's activities to honor my being a bride, she asked me if I wanted to be surprised. I said "Sure!", so the only thing I knew was to be ready at 11am.

Everyone started to show up at the house around 11am, and my heart was so happy. So many of the wonderful women that I have had the pleasure of getting to know in Santa Barbara were showing up at my door, with the biggest smiles. "Happy Bridal Day!".

After everyone had arrived, Emily handed me a note rolled up and wrapped with a ribbon. I need to still take a picture of it, but it had the picture of Brett and me jumping at Firestone and a beautifully written poem printed below. The gist of the ditty, which I barely got out without tears, told me that we were headed out to Firestone Vineyard for an afternoon of wine tasting and spending it with my favorite SB girls. I couldn't have been more excited!!!

We divided up to 3 cars and headed out towards Los Olivos. It was the most beautiful day. Big, white, fluffy clouds in the bright blue sky. I shared that I cannot wait for my Texas friends to take the same drive and see the beauty that is out here in California. I kept saying it over and over. It really is just majestically beautiful.

When we arrived, I learned that we were having a picnic of sorts in the terrace area of the vineyard, along with a wine tasting. How fun!!! It was the perfect plan for a wonderful day!!

This is the view from where we were dining and tasting for the afternoon. Unreal. I know!!

As I looked around, I felt the need to pinch myself. I am so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful women in my life. I've been here in SB for less than a year and I would have never in my wildest dream have ever expected to be so lucky!

Seriously.....so lucky!!

Emily and Laura thought of everything. It was wonderful. I just can't believe how wonderful my friends are, and how much they did to shower me with love today.

They put together a wonderful spread for us to make sandwiches....my favorite. :) Laura even thought to bring my favorite seasoning. She was also up early this morning making some super yummy chocolate bars that were a HIT!! These ladies are the most thoughtful!

Adam took great care of us during our lunch. He poured us a few whites, a yummy rosa, a few whites and then a favorite was the Riesling. It was so good to spend time, enjoying each other, tasting yummy wines, smiling, laughing and enjoying the beautiful day!

I had to invite Adam to join us for my signature self group portrait. Got everyone in there....well, mostly. :)

My wonderful hostesses with the absolute most, and future in laws! :)

After lunch, Emily had put together a little questionnaire for all the girls to answer. I thought the questions were so fun. Even Adam got in on the fun. His answers were definitely the most colorful, but Brett's Mom and sister each got 12 out of 13 right. The only one that they missed was the one that asked about the song Brett the night we got engaged. :)

Janey made the most adorable, and delicious, cookies......complete with yellow and white polka dot packaging, and our initials too! Have you ever seen anything cuter?

Next we played a little game that involved the gifts. All of the girls were asked to bring a pair of undies that showed their personality....and then I had to guess which girl each came from. This was so much fun....and had us laughing quite a bit. The box that gave us the biggest shock was the one that was empty....oh, my!!!

I got 4 of them right with my first guess.....and then after a few tries, matched everyone to their gift. The best part about it...is now I have a whole new drawer of unmentionables! :) And they are all so different and fun!!

I love these girls!! They are so fun!

The sun was shining. The sky was blue. The hills were green. The wine was tasty. The girls are loving, thoughtful, funny, beautiful and best of all....part of my life. I just couldn't help thinking over and over, how blessed I am. I had the best day. It couldn't have been more perfect.

Thank you Emily for being you. Thank you to ALL of the girls for loving me, and being my friends and the most wonderful day! I love you all so much!!

February 19, 2010

Wow...I love surprises!!!

So, it's Friday night after work, and Brett and I had no plans. I went over to his place after work and we're hanging around. We're about to walk out the house to run to Men's Wearhouse....when we hear a knock on the door!

He flings open the door so wide....and as soon as I start to think that's a little weird when he doesn't know who might be on the other side, when I hear "SURPRISE!". Brett's Mom, sister and niece were on the other side. They had come in to be here for my shower tomorrow. I had no idea, and it WAS a great surprise.

We then headed out to Men's Wearhouse together....got to see Brett in his suit that he'll wear for the wedding, looking all handsome. :)

We rounded out the night hanging out and then I headed home to get some rest for my big day of shower fun tomorrow!!

February 18, 2010

Stay tuned for awkwardness!

Brett and I met up with Emily and Amy this afternoon for some engagement pictures. I cannot begin to explain to you how awkward I feel to be on the other side of the camera. I kept asking "What do you want us to do now??" and it was so hard for me NOT to smile when I was looking at Brett.

I also now know exactly how the people that I photograph feel when they are asking to see one of the pics. I left there wondering if ANY of them turned out. Brett and I kept apologizing to each other saying that we messed up our pictures.

At least the scenery was pretty. We went out towards the bluffs where the yellow flowers that I love were in full bloom!! Well, we'll see soon anyways.....and we're hoping that there is one in there that we both look good. :)

February 14, 2010

Just Because

Two years ago today, Brett emailed back a stranger. Neither of us knew at that point that we'd end up being each other's Valentine....today, next year and for the next 80+ years to come!

After church, it was SOOOO beautiful outside....over 70 degrees and sunny....and so we picked up a sandwich and went to Shoreline Park.

We hung out for less than an hour...because, while it WAS sunny...it was also SUPER windy, which made it a little chilly in the end.

We had a nice dinner at Brewhouse together, courtesy of a generous gift certificate from a friend of Brett's. My favorite parts of dinner were the shrimp appetizer and the peanut butter creme pie dessert...yummy!!!

But....regardless of what day it is....whether it's Valentine's Day or not.....I love my Brett!! More and more each and every day!

February 13, 2010


Brett needed a "headshot" of sorts for work, and so I broke out my big girl camera on Saturday morning.

Brett is one hard subject to shoot. I always thought it was more challenging shooting someone that didn't have a clue what they were looking for, but it turns out I was wrong. Brett was super particular and what he was looking for wasn't the same thing that I had in mind. It was actually pretty frustrating trying to get a good shot of him. He turned the camera on me to try and show me, and grabbed this shot. It was the 2nd one...the first one I had my tongue stuck out at him.

He ended up being pretty happy with the one for him, and made the one of my his new screen on his iPhone. :)

After seeing this picture I realized how bad I am in need of getting my hair done. Eek!!! The color is all grown out and I am in dire need of some shaping. Boy, do I miss my Tara right now!!

February 9, 2010

Loving SB Ladies!!

There aren't many things that I love more than spending time with girlfriends.

A quick call after work to Emily, and I learned that she was planning on meeting Jen for dinner. I talked to LB at the casa, and we made plans to join them. A little bit of scrolling through the Axxess book, and we ended up at Marmalade Cafe.

I can't share the details of our conversations, but I tell you that when I say that there are just some things that you can only talk about with your girlfriends....well, we did just that. I love these girls and I am so thankful that they're part of my life.

I'm going to be one bummed out girl when 2 of them leave me and move to other places far, far, away....but they won't be too far....and they'll never NOT be part of my life.

Love you ladies!!! xoxo

February 6, 2010

Hadley's Here!!

So, yesterday afternoon, after a long week in Atlanta, Jacksonville AND Gainesville, we were all set to leave from the Jacksonville airport at 420 for an on time departure...but the weather had other plans for us. We were delayed enough to where we were going to miss our connection to get home, so they rerouted us through DFW to where we could at least make it all the way to LAX.

After our first flight landed, and as we enjoying mildly warm Chinese food at DFW, we got the text from Dave that we'd been waiting for......to let us know that Baby Girl O'Neil had been born!! Woohoo!!!

So, it actually ended up not being a totally horrible thing that we got stuck in LA on Friday night. We landed a little bit after midnight and promptly went straight to the rental car place and got ourselves a nice little ride. Next stop was the hospital where we found out that Dave and Dayna were staying with their new little girl.

A few minutes after we found D&D, Brett asked them for the keys to their place, and we were off to stay there for the night. Hey, they were already staying somewhere else. :)

The next day we went to run some errands around LA.....I got my ring sized again...and then we went to meet the newest addition to the O'Neil family.

We were so excited to meet her....and learn that they named her Hadley Noelle. She really was a cutie....and Dayna and Dave were already parental extraordinaires!!

Brett is such a proud "uncle"!

We were so glad to be able to spend some time with D&D and get to meet Hadley right after she was born! She's such an incredible blessing in all of our lives!! Can't wait to watch this little one grow in life, and in our hearts, more and more!!!

February 2, 2010

Bone Garden with Paige

When I started to plan a work trip to Atlanta and Florida at the end of last year....my boss was going to go with me. Well, a few weeks ago, the trip kind of took a little bit of a turn, and I was going to be taking the trip by myself.

I was nervous for the onsite visits alone at first...but that settled in after a bit. But....then it was a small concern of mine that I would be driving from Atlanta to Jacksonville, about a 6 hour drive, on one of the nights, alone . So....my wonderful fiancé to the rescue, and he volunteered to travel with me.

I made sure that he'd be able to work while I was out doing my thing, and so it was all set in motion. We traveled from SB to ATL on Monday and got in late afternoon. I went straight to a dinner meeting while he worked via WiFi from the rental car.

As I was landing in ATL on Monday, I got a facebook message from an old college friend, Paige. She noticed my status saying that I was going to be in Altanta and let me know that was where she was living now. I'm so glad that she did....and we planned to meet up for dinner on Tuesday night.

She came to pick me and Brett up and presented us promptly with three dinner options. This is the Paige that I remembered for sure - totally on top of things! I loved it. We decided on the Mexican choice and ended up at Bone Garden.

It ended up being a totally delightful little joint in the most strange location. It was part of an industrial park...not in the slightest where you would expect to find a yummy Mexican restaurant.

We had a great time catching up and laughing with Paige. She's just as funny as I remember....and I think that Brett and I left in awe of her wondrous life and travels! She's off for a two week excursion to Italy in a short time. Wish that she could fit us in her suitcase!!

Thank goodness for Facebook and the quick to notice updates by Paige. If I could spend time with an old friend on all my work trips, that would make the traveling that much better!!