Sunday, November 28, 2010

So thankful this year

I am thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving. I really don't know how it could be any better right now. Things are just going well and this Thanksgiving Jon and I got to stay in Atlanta AND manage to see all of our family. We started the week/weekend off with a trip to my parent's house to see my brother, sister-in law and niece on Wednesday night when they got into town. We got a chance to kick it off right with a little relaxation and a couple glasses of sangria. I had been pretty sick on Tuesday and Wednesday so I was in need of some R&R after the workday, a brief stint cooking and just simply trying to get over a nasty cold. Thursday we started out gorging ourselves on fantastic food at my parents house with the whole Crowe clan. Once everyone started drifting into turkey coma there we headed to Fayetteville to eat yet another Thanksgiving meal with the Rays. Jon's brothers and family hadn't all been together for a holiday in something like 4 years so this was quite a special holiday. We pretty much hung out there the rest of the weekend with trips back home to sleep at night and spend some time with the pups (who probably felt like this was the worst holiday of their lives). Also, on Friday we got to kidnap Lane, my brother's little girl, and take her to play with the other 4 kids at the Rays. It was a learning experience with the car seat I understand the reasoning behind getting separate bases for each car. It's not that it was hard, but just a pain getting it perfectly tight. But, we had lots of fun and she had a blast playing with Cami (Jon's brother Bill's little 3 year old girl). I loved getting to be the "go to" comfort person for her. And of course, I can't get enough of the way she says "Aunt Amanda." I realized that I failed miserably with the picture taking this holiday. I don't think I got a single picture. Ooops. Maybe I can ask around to see if anyone else managed to capture any moments. Now, off to decorate for Christmas! Side note: I refused to take part in any Christmas festivities until Thanksgiving has passed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coming soon to a mailbox near you!

I'm hoping to send out our 2010 Christmas cards very soon.....I've been adamant about not starting Christmas rituals, activities, shopping and decorating until after Thanksgiving! I just hate that we skip straight from Halloween to Christmas these days. But, I won't harp on that subject.

Back to Christmas cards..... I never thought I'd be a Christmas card (and am definitely not the letter writing/bragging) type, but I really loved giving and receiving Christmas cards last year, so I think it's gonna stick. I kinda used Christmas cards as a way to send wedding thank you's last year but this year it's just all about saying Merry Christmas! I had a little trouble trying to pick out the picture this year since last year I was spoiled with having an abundance of wedding pictures, but Jon and I decided to just venture out in the backyard with the tripod and dogs and capture a quick picture of our little family. Then it was the next step, picking out the design!

That's a process all in itself. I had so much trouble narrowing it down to 4 different designs that worked well with our pictures, took votes from my parents and Jon and then decided to keep it simple this year. We ended up with a very simple, one picture card. I figured I would stay away from the collage options so that people didn't think it was the "Jon and Amanda" show. But, they turned out cute and simple. I'm excited to get them and send them out soon!

Last year I stumbled across Shutterfly and now pretty much use them for everything. Last year I ordered photo books ( of engagements pictures, bridal portraits, wedding pictures and the honeymoon. They're really great as coffee table books and we tend to look at them more in the book format than we would if they were stuck somewhere in an album or even worse...on a CD! We also gave Mom and Dad Ray and the Mom and Dad Crowe a personalized wedding book last year for Christmas. While I was at it I also ordered a personalized calendar ( and of course, the Christmas cards ( I was extremely happy with how they all turned out and the quality and will be ordering both Christmas cards and moving announcements from Shutterfly very soon! I added a couple pictures of ones we liked but ultimately decided against. Aren't they cute? Of course I couldn't ruin the surprise!

Oh, and if you want to get 50 free Christmas cards and try out Shutterfly this year than go to! I did! Thanks Ashley :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Life's exciting in the Ray house lately

So, I feel like I say this at the beginning of every blog post now, but I can't believe I haven't been blogging more! There have been so many things happening and so many things to talk about. I guess I'll have to give the short and sweet version.

First things first.... number 1: I have a J.O.B. I started a while ago working a "temp to hire" position in the Accounting department, specifically Accounts Payable, at a law firm and was pretty much banking on it turning into something so I stopped the job hunt to see where it could take me. I'm working there now and like the work okay, but it is an accounting department (aka boring) and there's just not much room for growth in the position. So.....last week a friend of mine and previous co-worker recommended another position to me and I figured "why not see where it goes?" I interviewed for it and within 24 hours had an offer! I'm really excited about this position and can't wait to start after Thanksgiving. It's still in the general property management field but a completely different position (in the corporate office working in corporate housing). So, it's nice to know that I'm feeding off my prior knowledge and experience but taking a better path within the industry. I'm really pretty excited about it and think it will be a good move for me. Oh, and I forgot the best part! NO SATURDAYS!! I looooooovve having Saturday to do whatever I want. I've been getting so much more time with Jon and have really enjoyed having the extra quality time to do things together. Jon and I have been able to take the dogs to the dog park almost every Saturday and I love it! Actually, this leads me into number 2 on the list of things to talk about.

Number 2: We're buying a house!! Jon and I had been at the dog park one Saturday morning and just made the off-handed comment that we should look in the neighborhoods around the park. So, being my crazy, Zillow-app-loving self I started looking once we got home. I found an absolutely beautiful house within walking distance to the park and HAD to go see it. We scheduled a viewing and fell in love! We had been looking in the general area and fell in love with a different house just a few streets over, but this house is absolutely phenomenal!! It puts the other house that we loved so much to shame AND the morning we viewed the house they dropped the listing price, so of course it was meant to be! A couple days later we put an offer down, came to a good meeting ground with a few counteroffers, and are now UNDER CONTRACT on our first home! If all things go well we should be getting the keys on December 27th, so Merry Christmas to us!! Keep your fingers crossed for us because this house is dreamy and has plently of room for growing ;-) and entertaining guests and it'd be heartbreaking for it to fall through.

Well, I think I did a decent job covering the hot happenings in the life of the Rays recently but I will try to get back in the habit of blogging someday so that I don't have to continue doing these "recap" postings. I'll leave you with a picture of us in front of the house. :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sneak Peak

This past weekend was jam-packed! Along with all the Halloween festivities we had football Saturday, out of town friends in town and a Sunday photo shoot! On Friday we enjoyed the company of my rafting buddy Chad and his wife Rachel with a trip to Sweetwater and dinner at Taco Mac. After dinner I honestly, was exhausted and wasn't sure if we were going to make it out of not, but...we did! So, that night we got dressed up and headed to Lisa's house party. I'm glad that it didn't turn into a night of bar hopping because I just don't think I could've handled it. Actually, since we're on that subject...I don't think I like bars anymore. I mean, they're crowded, people are drunk, they're loud, you have to fight to get a drink, they wreak of smoke, and I often find myself screaming to (aka. tying to carry on a conversation) with the same 5 people that we came there with. I dunno, maybe I'm just lame but I'd rather have those 5 people come to the house for drinks and conversation..without the screaming. Okay, back to the topic. Jon was pretty pumped to break out his costume which I have to say was pretty awesome. This year he was sold on being Captain America so...I went from there and decided that I'd be a "superhero" too so...Super'wo'man it was! Meet Captain America and Superwoman:

We used the same costumes on Saturday for another house party/ night out with a group of Jon's buddies. Notice how I skipped over Saturday afternoon?? Yea...I'm gonna try to forget about yet another UGA loss of the season. Maybe it's a re-building year? Maybe we need new coaches? Maybe we need to keep our players out of jail and on the field? I dunno...but it's not looking good for dawgs fans these days. All I have an opinion on is: Keep Richt! What woulod I do without my weekly dose of his beauty? HA...just kidding. Well, but really he keeps my interest. Plus, who's better anyways? Who could Georgia get that would be able to turn our team around faster? Enough about that. I'm an Alabama fan for the rest of the season. :-)

On Sunday I photographed Kate who is 7 months pregnant and had a great time! I got some great shots and to top it off it was a beautiful day! Here is a sneak peak of a couple shots...I'll reveal more later (after mom and dad-to-be get to see them all)!

Now, off to bed to try to sleep off whatever this gunk that I've got now is, yuck!....