On Sunday, Little S got married (I guess she’s not so little any more!)  Since I was the matron of honor, I gave one of the toasts of the evening.  I really liked it a lot, so I thought I’d share it with you guys as well.

First of all, I would like to say congratulations to the happy couple – Little S and JT.  From the day you met, you could see that you two had something that you can only find in fairy tales.  I am so proud to be here today, taking part in your happiest day.  And I also want to thank you for giving me a moment to share some of your stories with all of your friends, family and loved ones.

On December 25th, 1985, my life drastically changed.  At that moment in time, I was not a happy camper.  It was Christmas Day and I was living an idyllic life with my parents as the only apple in their eye.  Oma and Opa were in town and we had just celebrated Christmas as a family.  As a three-year-old, I didn’t comprehend what it meant when my parents hurriedly grabbed bags and disappeared from the house for hours.  The next day, Dad picked us up to meet the new addition to the family.  I remember it like it was yesterday – here were my proud parents holding their new bundle of joy.  Their eyes and faces were lit up with pure happiness when they introduced me to Little S.  My eyes on the other hand were dull with boredom as I had been waiting for hours for my “special” Christmas present. I looked down at my new sister for a second and turned to them and said, “That’s great. Can we go home now?”  Our first meeting was a little rough, but as the years progressed, I realized that my sister and best friend, Little S, was the best gift I could have ever gotten.

Being Army brats meant that we moved around a lot when we were younger, which I know helped strengthen our sisterly bond, especially when we moved to America from Germany in 1990.  When we were new in town, I always knew that I had a friend by my side.  Even after we finally got settled and started making our own friends, nothing changed between us.  We were still like peanut butter and jelly, our circle of friends blending just like it still does -  sometimes sweet, sometimes a little nutty, but forever stuck together.

As you all know, Little S is not one to sit still.  She always had to be doing something – whether it was bouncing the ball off the side of the house endlessly for hours, playing a mock softball game in the driveway (to this day I’m still surprised that no windows were ever broken…), or creating exciting new lives for our Barbies and building crayon roads in her bedroom for our Matchbox cars – she was ready for anything.  Her enthusiasm always ended up dragging me away from my 90210 marathons outside to the imaginary world waiting for us on the other side of the door.  Little S always did end up being much better entertainment than Tori Spelling ever could be.  And that is something that I will always thank her for.

Speaking of our younger years, Little S used to be quite the little tom boy.  My image of her as a child is of a small, freckle-faced girl in a Braves hat with a softball glove glued to her hand. Wait, that’s not much different than it is today, is it?  Anyway, she lived in that hat – Mom had to pry it off her head from time to time so we could actually see her face.  Now when I look at Little S, I see a beautiful mature woman, who occasionally still sports that glove.

It might be hard to see now, especially after she’s had a couple of beers, but Little S used to be so quiet and shy.  Luckily, I was there to be her mouthpiece until she found her own voice.  Now she is a sure-footed, strong woman, who knows want she wants and won’t quit until she achieves her goal.  That is always something I admired about her.  I get frustrated and tend to want to give up when something doesn’t go my way – Little S on the other hand will keep at it until she is successful.  Whether it was being a softball all-star or being the only girl on the snare drum line in marching band to finding the absolute perfect man for her to marry, Little S is one to set her eyes on the prize and get it.  Even though you are younger, I look up to you for your can-do spirit.  If you take that same attitude that you’ve always had, I know you will make a great wife to JT and a wonderful mother to your future quarter German, American, Chinese and eighth Thai and Laotian children.

Speaking of JT, I still remember when you called me after your first few weeks at your first job to tell me about the “cute boy that you worked with who was so nice and sweet and kept inviting you to office outings.”  The second I heard your voice, I knew that you had been bitten by the Love Bug.  Even though I couldn’t see your face, I knew you were smiling and your eyes were shining.  And when I met JT for the first time, I knew my predication was true and I could understand why.  When I was around you both, I saw a happiness that I had never seen in you before, and it made me smile.

I liked JT from the moment I met him, even though he is a Florida fan.  He is a person who exudes happiness.  He has a good heart and spirit and is someone you know you will have fun with.  And I knew he had staying power after I heard the story about your very first date.  Put together first date jitters, beers on an empty stomach, and a dinner consisting of a crepe filled with ham, cheese, and strawberry jelly (I still wonder what you were thinking when you made that selection…) and you end up with an unforgettable evening.  Since JT is a true gentleman, he walked you to your front door.  As you were standing there, trying to unlock it, you turned to him and said, “I think I’m going to be sick!”  I know JT had to feel slightly dejected since you’d had a great evening together, but he did the right thing and said, “If you don’t want me to come in, I can leave.”  As he was finishing his sentence, you shoved him out of the way to Ralph in the bushes.  Poor JT had no idea that was coming, but he was so worried about you that he stuck by your side for the rest of the evening – holding your hand and your hair.  That right there is how you know that you found “a keeper.”

On New Year’s Eve 2010, I pulled JT aside to chat.  After a few champagnes, I’d worked up the courage to tell him that I thought he was perfect for you and I could see the two of you together forever.  He fit right in with the family – he was the older brother I never had, and he was like a son to mom and dad.

Just imagine my happiness last August when JT pulled me aside to “talk to me.”  As we snuck away to chat in secret, he told me he was planning on proposing to you.  When he told me, it was all I could do to keep from screaming with joy for you two.  It was hard to keep my game face on for the rest of the evening when I knew the happy surprise waiting for you on your two year anniversary.   And by the way, I totally spilled the beans to everyone about five minutes after you walked out of the door.

And here we are today, a year and a little less than a month later.  You two have exchanged your vows and are now your own family.  And I couldn’t be happier.

You are my sister, and I will always be protective over you. No matter how old we are, I always feel the need to watch over you and stick up for you.  I know that feeling will never fade, but it’s nice to know that now you’ll have an extra set of eyes looking out for you for the rest of your life.  Today, I am officially passing the torch of being your guardian onto JT.

Little S and JT, I am so happy for the two of you!  I love you both so much and am glad that you found each other.  If I had known that fateful Christmas Day that my “special present” would be a gift that keeps on giving, and that not only would I have received a sister, but one day gain a brother, the look in my eyes would have been much more excited.

So let’s raise our glasses to the special couple and offer them a toast for a long life filled with continued happiness because their love is truly a gift.  Congratulations to my sister and my new brother!!!  Here’s to Little S and JT!!

Well, well.  I am a blogging super slacker.  I can’t believe I haven’t posted since March!  Things just have been so hectic this year, and time has gotten away from me.

As summer makes its punch you in the face with extreme heat entrance, it made me think of some things that I am really loving.  So I thought I’d come back from my hiatus and share it with you.

1.  Our sweet new ride

T has been dying to get a new car, especially since his A/C bit the dust last summer.  He didn’t want to go through another GA summer with open windows as the only way to “cool” down the car.  He wanted to get a really sporty car; I wanted something more practical.  In the end, after much hemming and hawing and a test drive, we opted for the sporty car – an Infinit G37S.  And guys, I love it!  Is it practical – no.  Is it a lot of fun to drive – yes.  Do I feel like a badass zooming past people on the highway (in the left lane) – yes.  Will I enjoy driving it for the rest of the week while T is at roasting alive at Bonnaroo – hell yes!

The shiny new car - Vrooom!

2.  Fun Nail Polish

The other week I was checking out a blog and stumbled across a post about Sally Hansen’s new Salon Effects – Real Nail Polish Strips.  I am not the best at painting my nails myself, so I thought these would be perfect for me.  I picked up the sparkly Blue Ice strips and gave them a whirl.  They are so easy to put on and don’t make a huge mess!  They lasted about a week, but that included time in the pool and cleaning house (which I’m sure isn’t helpful for staying power).  Plus, if I’d had some topcoat to apply on top after I stuck them on, I think they would have held up even longer.  My only complaint is that they are about $10 a box and only come with 16 strips.  This means that even if you have some leftovers, you can’t get a second use out of them.  Boo!

Another cool Sally Hansen product I’m loving is the new Crackle Overcoat.  It comes in eight fun shades and is super easy to apply.  You just pick out your base color, then top it with a crackle, and voila – awesome nails in an instant.  I chose black as a base topped with Fracture Foil (a silver coat), and I am in love!  It looks so cool, and each nail is slightly different.  I am so hooked.  I am planning on stopping by the store to pick up some more crackles in red, blue and maybe purple!

Fun nails

3.  Frozen Yogurt

For some reason 2011 has been the year of craving ice cream for me.  I’m not sure why, but I can’t seem to get enough of it.  But alas, ice cream isn’t the best for trying to be skinny.  Luckily for me, there is a Yoforia right by my office, so I can hit that up when I have a frosty craving.  Since it’s 90-million degrees in Atlanta today (and will be that way for the rest of the week), I decided that I should much on some fro-yo.  I like going there because you can sample all the flavors then pick your faves.  Today I went with a tasty combo of taro, cookies & cream, and peanut butter.  I topped these three with some dark and white chocolate chips.  Let me tell you, it was heaven!  All of the flavors are good, but taro is my favorite.  I’m not sure what it is about it, but I love it!

4.  Pool Time

I love water – pools, oceans (with no jellyfish), lakes, rivers, you name it.  Maybe it’s because I’m a water sign.  Maybe it’s because it’s so cool and refreshing.  Who knows… Anyway, this means that summer is one of my favorite seasons because I can spend my weekends lounging at the pool, working on my tan, and being in the water.  We have three pools in my neighborhood – two smaller ones intended for adults and one Olympic-sized one intended for families.  Maybe instead of just lounging around this summer, I can actually take my butt down to the big pool and swim some laps so I don’t look like a heifer at my sister’s wedding in September!

Is there anything that you are really loving at the moment?

*And if you are looking for a new blog read, Little S has started a blog.  Go check her out if you have a chance! *

 

Day 10 – A photo of your favorite place to eat

This one is so hard because I love so many places!

I am going to go with my favorite brunch/lunch weekend spot – West Egg Cafe.   If you live in Atlanta, you seriously need to check this place out.  The food is amazing – I’ve never had anything I didn’t love.

What makes it so great is that they offer quite the assortment of food.  From appetizers and breakfast all day to an assortment of sandwiches and entrees.  It’s all delicious!

One of my favorite items is the goat cheese with pepper jelly appetizer.  It’s seriously the best goat cheese I’ve ever had!  My other mouth-watering faves include the shortrib hash, turkey bacon gouda sandwich, fried green tomato wrap, and the pig and grits. The burgers and fries are also quite tasty!  They also make a number of amazing soups.  My favorite is spinach, but sadly it’s one of the ones they don’t make that often.

I wish I had some pictures of the food to share with you, but sadly I don’t.  But here are some shots of the restaurant itself!

 

Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased

Linen-Blend Roll-Up Dress from Old Navy

The last item that I purchased, besides drinks or food over the weekend, was this cute olive green shirt dress from Old Navy.  We went to a St. Patty’s Day festival on Saturday, and I wanted something new and green to wear.  The weather was super nice, so I thought a dress would be great.

Since I’m so tall, it was more of a long shirt than a dress.  But paired with black leggings and some flats, and it was perfect.  It’s a little boxier than it looks in the picture, so I may need to get a belt to wear with it at some point.

It seriously blows my mind how short dresses and skirts have become.  I have crazy long legs, so things look short to begin with.  Most of the clothes that are labeled as dresses end up having to be something that I have to wear with leggings because my coslopus or ass would be hanging out if I didn’t.  It’s sort of annoying.

Day 8 – A song to match your mood

Golden Brown – The Stranglers

I first heard this song when I saw the movie Snatch (such an awesome movie), and I instantly fell in love with it.  It is an amazing song that always puts me in a great mood and makes me smile.  It makes me think of warm sunny days.

The reason I chose Golden Brown is because after a cold and rainy streak, it’s finally back up to the 70s in Atlanta, and this song captures that happy, springy feeling in my opinion.

I hope you like it as much as I do!  :)

Day 7 – Your dream wedding

I don’t ever remember dreaming about and plotting the perfect wedding when I was younger or even before I was married.  Call me odd I guess, but apparently my mind doesn’t work the same way as other females.

My wedding planning began once I had a ring on my finger.  I’d been to a few wedding before I got engaged, so I knew what I liked and didn’t like, but that’s where my thoughts ended.

When T and I got married in August 2008, I would have to say we had my dream wedding.   We tied the knot in a very modern space that was beautifully decorated, and T and I felt like it fit our styles and personalities perfectly.  We had a big party where all of our friends and family could celebrate with us.  The food was amazing, and everyone had a great time.  The best compliment that I received was people telling me it was the best wedding they’d ever been to.  That meant the most to me.

If I could go back and change a few things about that nearly perfect day, it would be that our grandparents who felt they were too old to travel so far (my German grandparents and his grandparents from New York) would have been able to be there to celebrate, our other German and northern family members that couldn’t come for one reason or another could have made it, and that it hadn’t poured rain all day.   If all those three things were changed, the day would have been absolutely perfect.

And now for your enjoyment, some wedding photos:

One of my favorite pictures

Our awesome venue - Lambert Place

My flowers were amazing

My hot husband and me

Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.

I am the biggest animal lover out there.  I know I’ve said this before, but I would have a zoo if I could.

It’s so hard to just pick one animal, so I will have to post a few of my favorite non-pet animals that I’d like to have as a pet.

A tiger - so cute and so ferocious

 

I love penguins - they are so smart and just adorable

 

The red panda, aka the Firefox mascot, is my new obsession

If you want to see the cutest live feed of these guys, check out FireFoxLive.org.

 

Shamu! I used to be obsessed with orcas when I was little

As a child, my dream job was to work at Sea World with these guys.  As I got older, I wanted to be a marine biologist and study them.  Unfortunately, science was not my strongest subject.  Sigh…

Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago.

On my wedding day

This is one of my favorite pictures from the wedding.  We were all “behind the scenes,” getting ready to walk out.  I’m pretty sure it was taken by one of my bridesmaids (JD or CMc) as we were all giddy with nervous excitement about heading out to begin the walk down the aisle.

I was happy, nervous, scared, but mostly excited, and I think this picture truly captures that emotion.  Plus, not to toot my own horn, but I think I look pretty damn good here!  :)

Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend

Well, I accidentally missed some days in this 30 days challenge.  I completely spaced on posting over the weekend and meant to post last night, but I made quiche and then started reading Water for Elephants and couldn’t put it down.  (Hello holy run-on sentence)

I guess I will just post 30 different times, and they may not all be consecutive!

JD's Birthday Dinner - CGN, JD, Me

This is one of my favorite photos because we all look great and are genuinely happy.  We were out for JD’s birthday in 2010 and the waiter brought over a free a dessert and champagne so we could all toast to the birthday girl!

This was also about the halfway point of the birthday extravaganza.  We started with brunch, then got our nails done, went to dinner, met up with more friends for drinks, and ended the night in CGN’s bro’s hot tub.  All in all, I’d have to say it was a pretty successful birthday shindig.

Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date

Since T and I have been dating since high school, we never really went on a first date.   We had classes together and crushed on each other, and ended up making out in the woods during a drunken field party behind his house.  Who would have thought that we’d eventually get married.  One of these days I need to tell you the whole story of how we got together.  It’s really quite special.

If money and traveling were no option, my perfect first date would be to spend the day strolling through Paris.  After seeing the city, we’d back a picnic with fresh baguettes, cheese, wine and chocolate and have a picnic in the grass by the Eiffel tower, where we’d watch the sun set and the stars come out.

How amazingly romantic would that be?  :)

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Jan 17 - seventeen

Jan 16 - sixteen

Jan 15 - fifteen

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