Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It is Christmas time at our place. 




Ginger, Rory and Jared






Its the most wonderful time of the year :)

What decorations do you have?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ginger...When Can I See You?

I have been back in North Carolina for just over a week now, and I have been extremely busy! What can I say, everyone has missed me!

First Week back in North Carolina Schedule:
Thursday: Rory and I return home
Friday: Tonya and Mary Beth [dinner and a movie]
Saturday: House hunting and meeting baby Malachi
Sunday: Lazy day with Jared
Monday: Shopping with Kelly
Tuesday: Genetics Department Christmas Party
Wednesday: Rescue Erin and make marshmallow reindeer
Thursday: High School Musical marathon with Tonya and Mary Beth

Is your head spinning yet?
Here is a recap in words and pictures:

Friday:  Tonya, Mary Beth, and I have known each other since our senior year of college and our friendships have grown stronger since we left undergrad. We went to see the movie "New Year's Eve" which was actually better than I expected. It had Lea Michele and Zac Efron in it, so you know I had to see it! We completed the evening with dinner, too much dessert and looking over Miche bag catalogs.



Saturday: Jared, his dad, and I went house hunting with our awesome realtor Zach :) We saw six houses, some of which were new and some of which were older construction. We have not found the house yet, but it was a good experience for me to go out house hunting for the first time. We finished the evening by meeting beautiful baby Malachi and visiting with Will and April.

Sunday: Did absolutely nothing. It was wonderful :)

Monday: Kelly and I were reunited (finally!) We went Christmas shopping for our families, including our typical trip to Bath and Body Works. Every time I go in there with her, I ALWAYS buy something :)

hope baby sister likes her stocking stuffer :)


Tuesday: I went to my old Genetics department for the annual Christmas party. It was so wonderful to see everyone again and to meet all the new students. There were good friends and delicious food, what could be better?
.....turns out the department is falling apart without me. Are we surprised? Just Kidding....but they are going through a lot of changes right now. On the bright side, there is a new grad student lounge with a huge TV, and look what I got to make while I was there:

It got my creative juices flowing

Good news....I also lined up a summer job grading!

Wednesday: Erin and I were reunited. Our day got off to a rocky start....Erin's car starting freaking out on her and she needed to have it towed. They claim it was because she ran out of gas....which she didn't. Who knows! Afterwards we made reindeer for Erin's work party. They were harder to make then they looked, but they were super cute and yummy. We ended the day with Mexican food and makeup tips :)

Finished product, thanks Pintrest!

Thursday: High School Musical marathon. What more could you want out of an evening...plus I got to see Tonya and Mary Beth for a second time.
Dinner was delicious and of course we need to take pictures.....here you go:



Can you guess which HSM movie this is from?

Needless to say, it has been a very busy week, but I have loved every minute of it.
On deck: Hocutt Family Christmas, human research training (groan) and heading home to my parents' house for Christmas!

Well, obviously, you've got a busy day ahead of you, so I'm gonna let you go

Monday, December 12, 2011

Malachi Liam

It is finally my turn to talk about this beautiful baby boy :)

Meet Malachi Liam:

so sweet

sweet boy

sleeping in his man dress

I got to hold him all night :)

Jared and I went over to Will and April's house on Saturday to meet Malachi for the first time. Barely three weeks old, he was the most well behaved baby boy I have ever seen. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner, but most of all each other's company. I learned so many wonderful things about Malachi, but here are some things you should know...

Top Five Things you should know about Malachi:

  1. He fights bad guys in his sleep
  2. Hardly ever cries, except when he gets his diaper changed
  3. Makes the most wonderful facial expressions
  4. He has daddy's nose and mommy's ears 
  5. He is the best snuggler I have ever met

I am so happy for Will and April and their newest addition to the family. I have had the opportunity to watch Will and April fall in love, get married, and become a beautiful family.

Welcome to the world Malachi, we are all so happy you are here :)

Well, tell them it's a baby. People love babies. They'll talk to it in funny voices.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ten Things about December

I go back and forth on loving and hating December. I mostly love it...but I think sometime I expect too much from December. 

Nevertheless, every year when I change the calender from November to December, I fall in love with it all over again. There are so many reasons to love the month of December. 
Here are my top five:

  1. The smell of cold when I walk outside in the morning. There is by far no better smell than the smell of cold. It is always intoxicating.
  2. Christmas decorations. I love that no matter where I go I am welcomed by Christmas decorations. Sparkling trees, smiling Santas, and of course gingerbreads! 
  3. The end of the semester. I would be lying if I said that I hated school, I obviously love it, but come December my motivation nose dives. The hope of being able to come home at the end of the day and not have to do school work is what gives me that last bit of drive. 
  4. My birthday. Truth be told, I have not had the best track record for amazing birthdays. My parents always had to work when I was a kid and since then it has not been that spectacular either. Don't get me wrong, there have been great ones, but I always look forward to it mostly because it is such a humbling experience. It was the day that the world went from being without you to being with you. That has to mean something....right?
  5. December is so unique.  Admit it, it is one of the most talked about months, and I am not just talking about Christmas. People always say " I cannot believe it is already December!" No one ever says that about January. It is a month of reflection in which everyone looks back at the last year and remembers everything that happened. What could be better? People even write songs about it. What other month ha so many songs about it. 
Back to December- Taylor Swift

Remember December - Demi Lovato

December- Norah Jones

My December - Linkin Park

Not convinced?
Here are five things you probably did not know about December:
  1. December was the tenth month of the Roman calender. It comes form the Latin word "decem" meaning ten. December starts on the same day as September every year and ends on the same day as April every year.  
  2. December 28th is considered the unluckiest day of the year. It is also known as Childermas Day. It is the day that King Herold ordered all males under the age of 2 be killed in order to kill Jesus. 
  3. The first human heart transplant was done on December 3, 1967 in South Africa
  4. There is a legend that all animals can speak the human language on Christmas Eve
  5. The Wright brothers were the first in flight on December 17, 1903

....and I go back to December all the time

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Just Stand Still

I do not even want to begin to think about all the things I need to accomplish between now and the end of the semester.

So for now, I am going to just stand still and imagine I am somewhere else..... just so I can try to hold everything together




.....it could fall apart faster than you could possibly imagine

Sunday, November 20, 2011

#SwiftiesforLife

If I could be any person in the world, I would be Taylor Swift.

I had the opportunity to see her in concert this past week, and it was the most amazing concert I have ever seen. Even though she was playing to over 14,000 people, it felt like a private concert.

We bought these tickets in February, that's right February. The show was originally scheduled for July, but Taylor ended up with bronchitis and the concert was rescheduled for this week, on a weeknight of course. It was supposed to be a birthday present for baby sister, and we kept it a secret all this time!

I surprised my sister at my aunt's house and told her that we were going somewhere and that I would give her a clue. I then showed her a 13 that was written on my hand, and she instantly knew. We were going to the Taylor Swift concert. 

Thirteen
Ticket!!!
For those of you who are not Taylor fans, 13 is her lucky number. She paints on her right hand for every concert and so naturally when my sister saw it she knew that is where we were going.  Taylor also writes song lyrics on her arm for each show, so my sister and I followed suit. 


I told you I'm not bulletproof, and now you know

Just like T. Swift

T. Swift performed 18 songs in a 2 1/2 hour period. The show was phenomenal, a perfect tribute to her fans and a perfect tribute to who she is as a person.


I'm wonderstruck, blushing all the way home

Isn't she beautiful?
Needless to say my sister and I are #swiftiesforlife 
Still not convinced she is awesome?
Watch this video, if you can make fun of yourself like this, you are perfect in my book

T. Swizzle and T. Pain

You are the best thing that's ever been mine

Monday, November 14, 2011

How Much Longer Until Christmas?

I always complain when people start celebrating too early, but this year I have caught the Christmas bug early. It is my favorite time of year, I get to sing in the Christmas choir on Christmas Eve and have a simple dinner of subs and macaroni salad with my parents and sister as we open presents....yes on Christmas Eve (benefit of being German).

Ever since the bug has hit me I have been playing this on repeat in the car. It is one of my favorite Christmas songs to sing. I cannot help myself, it is just beautiful. 


The best part about Christmas is our Christmas morning brunch in which my extended family comes over. We break out the good china and glasses and have the most AMAZING food. Cinnamon rolls, egg and sausage casserole, garlic cheese grits, mini chicken salad or pimento cheese croissants. The table is always decorated and of course we are by the beautifully lit tree.  Can you see why I can't wait?

Also getting me in the mood for Christmas is that the Lucky 7 has decided to do Secret Santa! I think I found my gift :) We are going to celebrate the end of finals by going out to dinner and exchanging gifts, what could be better?

The next few weeks are going to be awful in terms of school work. I am just 5 papers, 3 presentations and 2 finals away from vacation....scary right. I have to spend Thanksgiving in Columbia because I have so much to do, but it will be worth it because come December 8th, Rory and I will be road tripping back to Raleigh for a month off!

Trying to remain positive and keep myself happy with all the good things to look forward to! 

We said no Christmas, so I had no Christmas
You must have had a little Christmas

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ghosts of Halloween Past

Although Halloween was quite some time ago, I thought it would be nice to talk about the weekend I had with my mom and my sister and of course, our awesome Halloween.

Over Halloween weekend, my mom and my sister came down to Columbia to visit. They arrived on Friday night and we had pizza and wings, a tradition for fall in the our family since my dad goes to my high school's football games every Friday. We sat and talked (shock I know) and watched wedding shows (another shock).

Saturday was filled with a trip to the Riverbanks Zoo. It is a must if you ever find yourself in Columbia. The zoo is on the smaller side, but it is kept up very well and is perfect for going to for the day. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining and although it was a little chilly with the wind, with a windbreaker there was not a problem. It has been YEARS since I have been to this zoo so it was like seeing it for the first time again :)

Here are some of my favorite exhibits:

Grizzly Bear, he was HUGE

Running Kangaroo

Elephant :)

Baby Giraffe

Up close and personal 
Baby sister and I were given the opportunity to feed the giraffes (for a small fee of course) but it was so worth it to see her face. Priceless!

Flamingos....they smelled awful


video
These monkeys were so LOUD!

The most memorable moment of the day was however when we went to go to the garden part of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. If you go, you will see that there is a sign that says "Riverbanks Botanical Gardens" and a bridge you need to cross in order to get to the gardens. No big deal right? So we walk across the bridge and found ourselves at the bottom of a HUGE hill. Looking at the map at the bottom of the hill, we realize we need to climb the hill to get to the gardens. It was a tough climb, steep and steady increase and no gardens to be found. When we finally made it to the top, we notice that there is a tram stop. That's right, we were suppose to ride a tram up to the top.....not walk.

So for future reference, there is a tram stop in the middle of the zoo that you can ride to take up to the gardens and back down which is what we did.

We had a GREAT day and ended it by making beef fajitas with chips and guacamole. Delish.

Note the festive chili pepper serving dishes!
 We spent the next day at Village of Sandhills and found some killer deals. I got 2 shirts, my mom got one, my sister got 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants for a grand total of $50, crazy right! Even better, I now have a $30 off coupon that I can use when I spend $60. Old Navy, you make it so hard not to shop at you. Although my mom and sister were suppose to spend the night, Rory's hair was getting to my mom and she was having to take her inhaler to much. We decided it would be best if she and my sister went home that night. Good thing they did, I was up until 1am finishing my homework, which would have been harder to do if they were here.

After class on Halloween, I drove up to Charlotte to spend Halloween with my sister. We went over to my Aunt's house to trick or treat which was awesome, they have a lot more kids in their neighborhood then we do.

This year I decided to be Flo from Progressive. I borrowed an apron and a Progressive bag from one of my mom's coworkers, used a button down of my dad's and just wore my khakis. It was an awesome costume if I do say so myself....what do you think?

Printed them off the website, 

Had to have the Flo hair bump!
 Along the way there were things that got us in the Halloween mood:

OMG Phineus and Ferb Pumpkins!

My Aunt's Halloween table
It was a wonderful weekend, and it put me in such a good mood after having several projects and tests in the weeks leading up to it. I cannot wait for more fun weekends with the family.

You're missing the whole point of Halloween. Free candy?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pintrest

For those of you who have not been exposed to it, consider yourself lucky, and for those of you who have,
"Hi, my name is Ginger, and I am a Pintrest addict"
I joined this website recently because I have been hearing all sorts of things about it from people on Facebook and Twitter.  Instead of explaining, perhaps it would be more appropriate to show you what it is like when you first find out about Pintrest:

That pretty much sums it up. Total and complete addiction.

Pintrest has its benefits of course. It gives you the ability to find things such as great recipes, clothing ideas, decorating ideas for the holidays or your house and lots of DIY crafts and projects.

But just as important to remember is that it is a complete time suck. I do not even want to imagine the amount of time I have spent on Pintrest, and I have only been on it for a week.

Have I convinced you to love it....or to hate it? I truly is a love hate relationship. If you are already a part of the addiction, please follow me. For those interested here is the link

Come on, you know you want to.....

This isn't a hobby or an addiction. Its inside you now. You're responsible for it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

You've Got Mail

Voicemail:

"Ginger, this is Hope from the office, you have a package that was delivered to your old apartment available for you to pick up here. Have a nice day"

Mail Chimp Plushie

 
Front

Cute Butt

Just for you Rory

Thanks for the gift Daddy!

Hockey puck rattlesnake monkey monkey underpants

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Me Crazy

Once again, this blogging thing is slipping out of my hands, but I currently should be writing a paper, so that means blogging has taken priority once again as my perfect distraction.
So much has happened in the last two weeks, I will try my best to catch you up and perhaps do some posts in more detail later.

The Wednesday before fall break, I had the girls in the program over for a girls night to watch silly movies and relax (we had a test that morning). It was the first time some of them saw my new apartment and it was nice to be all together and NOT talk about school.

Since I was having people over of course that meant something embarrassing had to happen....enter in the ants, yes ants. Ants and I have been acquainted before, in Tucker where they came in through a crack under my window. Fortunately I have learned how to do deal with them and I am here to tell you the secret...hot glue.


ewwww ants

secret weapon

Cassie tackling the ants

It worked in Tucker and my new place like a charm. Use hot glue to seal up the area they are coming in and you will be ant free :) Cheap, easy and clear so it blends in nicely...and chances are if you are a girl, you have one of these hanging around.



On October 15th,  Jared and I celebrated our four year anniversary, and by celebrated I mean Jared was on a motorcycle trip with friends and I was in Columbia....needless to say it was still a nice day. Darcy, John, Cassie and I went out for drinks at Wet Willie's where Niall works. It was nice to not be alone on such a special day.  But, Jared and I were reunited the following weekend and went to the NC State Fair, and of course out to dinner for our four year anniversary. Here is to many more years of happiness!

4 years :)

NC State Fair (look at what I have to deal with)

Procrastination accomplished, I think I will head to bed and try to be productive in the morning.  November is going to be a crazy month for me, I will try my best to update you along the way.

Well you can celebrate next year on the anniversary.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Go Team Red!


Another wonderful thing about the Lucky 7 is our awesome birthday celebrations. ( I am next up in the birthday timeline, I am so pumped!)

Niall, Darcy's husband, turned 31 this past Friday. In order to celebrate we played laser tag! That's right....laser tag. Due to Niall's schedule we had to go on the Monday before his birthday, and it was so much fun! We went to Frankie's Fun House and to put it into perspective on how awesome this laser tag was, please read the description that is on their website about it:

Lasers make everything cooler. Seriously, take anything and put lasers on it and watch it's cool factor jump through the roof. Trained attack ninjas, or trained attack ninjas with lasers? Unicorns dancing on rainbows, or unicorns dancing on rainbows with lasers? Homeless puppy shivering in a rainstorm, or homeless puppy shivering in a rainstorm with lasers? See? We know the puppy will be okay, why? Because the puppy has lasers. It's not sad, it's cool. Somehow we don't think you've quite grasped the concept. Dude. It's tag. With friggin' LASERS!

John, Kim, Cassie and I were on the red team, while Darcy, Niall, Stephen, Rachel and Niall's friend who I cannot remember the name of (sorry) were on the blue team. The red team, is not a very competitive bunch, expect apparently when it comes to laser tag because we ended up winning! John guarded the base and Cassie and I hid on the bottom floor performing sneak attacks. We had a blast, if it had been cheaper, we would have gone for another round.

It's tag...with friggin' lasers


After the laser tag fun, we headed back to the Berry's apartment to have some cake, beer, and singing for Niall's birthday. Niall was able to open some presents, which he was very excited about:



 

The best present in my opinion was the sign that Kim made for Niall:

31 years ago, your parents made an (picture of egg and sperm (embryo)), excellent decision. Happy Birthday!
Overall, it was a great night with great friends, celebrating the day that the world went from being without Niall to being with Niall :)

Why am I being mocked on my birthday?