One last 2006 Hurrah
I'm (finally) back! We've been gone since the 22nd, visiting Michael's dad first, then his mom, then my parents ,then my aunt, and then my Grandma. I swear, visiting family is exhausting. :P Michael and I finished unpacking about an hour ago, and I'm enjoying a post-dinner New Year's Eve snack of guacamole and tortilla chips homemade lovingly by my sister. We don't have big plans for the evening...having sat in a car for more than 6 hours this weekend, I don't have much energy to go out and party. The one thing we'd thought of (First Night) won't work because it's raining. So I'm content to sit here in my PJs, watch movies, and ring in the New Year with my honey and kitties. :)

Unpacking everything this evening made me realize just how blessed we've been this Christmas. Michael and I received SO. Much. Stuff. I really don't know how we found a place for it all. We just shook our heads a bit as reality set in.

So, I hope all of you are thoroughly enjoying your last night of 2006. '06 has been a year of ups and downs for me, and while I'm happy to wax nostalgia a bit, truly, I can't wait for 2007. It's going to be a great year, I can just feel it. So behind the cut are a little snippet of memories from 2006.

2006 in Review

Movie: Little Miss Sunshine! If you haven't seen it, you're truly missing out.
Song: "Crazy", by Gnarls Barkley. I'm tired of it now, but when it first came out, I couldn't get enough.
Outfit: *shrugs* I don't know, something with jeans, I guess.
Rap song to mock: I don't really listen to it enough to mock it. Although that one song about the "chain" hanging low comes close.
Place you went: Biltmore Estate in February with Michael. It was so nice to get away from everything at that point of our lives.
Gift you received: Probably the necklace Michael gave me, for its sentimental value (it looks like the symbol of the place where our reception will be.)
Color: Green.
Food: Hmm, not like I could *really* narrow it down to one, but my favorite new thing would be the weight watchers pumpkin fluff. A great low calorie way to indulge.
TV Show: Oh Lost, how I love thee.


In the Spring of 06...
What was the weather like? Like any other spring in North Carolina. Cold one day, hot the next, then back to cold...exciting.
Did you do anything for spring break? I think I just relaxed at home, because I had winterguard competitions before and/or after the break.
What holiday(s) did you celebrate? Valentine's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Oh, and birthdays, which are holidays to those that have them.
What did you like to do during the spring of '06? Go to rehearsal. Write short stories. Research new apartments.

Summer of 2006
When did summer officially start for you? Once I finished my last final.
Did you go on vacation? Yes, to Myrtle Beach, the first week of August.
How often did you go swimming, if at all? I don't think I went swimming, other than at the beach. Which is sort of lame, since both apartment complexes I've lived at both had/have pools.
What will you remember most? Moving to Poplar Place! Getting a job at Hallmark. Feeling free.
Did you go to any camp or go camping? No.
Swim in a creek/river? Ocean? Ocean, yes.
Go to any concerts? Uh, sadly, no.
Any of those "summer romances"? Yes, if you count the one I've been with for the past 2 years. ;)
If so, who? See above.
Best thing about the summer of '06: My rise in confidence.
Do anything school related? Studied for the GRE for about 2 days.

The Fall of '06....
When did you start school again? August 22nd I believe.
What grade did you enter? Senior year of college, eep!
Struggle at all getting "back into the groove of things"? Not so much.
Rake any leaves? No...
Jump in any leaf piles? I haven't done that since I was a kid.
What was the most memorable part of fall? Discovering a love for children's literature, and a possible career path.

Winter time!
What's the weather like during the winter? Cold (for me, anyway). This winter, however, it hasn't been that bad.
If it snows, what was the most snow you had? Two feet. That was when I was in 9th grade, though.
What holiday did you celebrate? Christmas. :o) And I will celebrate the New Year.
What kind of gifts did you get? DVDs, clothes, a camera, LUSH stuff ... I got a lot.
Make any snow angels? You have to have snow to do that.
Snowmen? I repeat...
Did you belt out carols like a madman at all? Sometimes, my friend, sometimes. Especially at work.

How old did you turn this year? 22.
Change your look at all? If you count losing 40 pounds, dying my hair back to a golden blonde, and finding the wonderful companies of Philosophy and LUSH that make my skin glow and hair shine, then yes.
Do you FEEL older? Strangely, yes.
Any life changing experiences? Yes. This has been the most eventful year of my life, perhaps.
Near death experiences? I don't believe so, thank God.
Do any painting at all? Not to my knowledge.
Greatest accomplishment of '06: Learning so much about myself and life.

Looking forward to it? Extremely!
What specifically are you anticipating? Graduating from college, entering the "real world," researching grad schools, getting married, and maybe turning into one of those "grown ups" I hear so much about.
If you're single, hoping to get in a relationship? I plan to stick with the one I'm in. :)
What do you want to change? The world!
Any plans for 2007? New job, earn a degree, become a wife, lose another 40 pounds, grow in my faith with God, and to cherish the friends I have.

Christmas 2006
from chris & angela (Michael's dad and step-mom):
$, bath & body works fluffy socks, peppermint candle,southern ladies cook book

from Celia (Michael's mom):
digital camera (shared with michael), 4 pc luggage set (!!!), pearl & gemstone bracelet & earrings, handmade scarf, and an AMAZING photo album of about 40 pictures of Michael as a baby. Love love love.

from Leah (Michael's oldest sister):
The Kite Runner (I've been meaning to read this)

from mom& dad:
bath&body works robe, You on a Diet book, digital scale (food), iPod clock radio docking station, Vera Bradley tote in my pattern (Medallion), LUSH: snow wonders, very berry, bob soap, tea & sympathy,shimmery silver sweater,pants from ny&co,bath sheet (towel),down comforter (for me & michael),gloves,bible,cross necklace, $ kitty candle from 10,000 Villages (a really cool store that employs fair trade practices in all their products, ensuring the artisans from around the world are fairly compensated for their work), vs panties, 90210 first season on dvd (!), The Devil Wears Prada

My parents also paid for a new set of tires on my car, an oil change, and a week's stay at the kitty kennel for Pandy and Simon. I recognize that I am spoiled, but am blessed to have their love, and this year more than anything has made me realize that family is what matters, not things.

from Lyndsay (my sister):
post secret book, pink kitchen aid ice cream scooper

from aunt &uncle in Raleigh:
pearl earrings,blue topaz earrings

from cousin in Raleigh:
to-go coffee dispenser, which has 2 travel mugs and will dispense 1 or 2 cups worth of coffee, tea, etc.

from grandparents in Raleigh:
$, watch with pink crystals

from Grandma in Va:
a towel, a blanket, $

from Aunt and Uncle in Va:
2 towels, a crock pot (YES!!!!)

Wow. I think that's it. With some of my $, I did a fair amount of post-Christmas shopping. Picked up several DVDs (Clueless, The Family Stone, 10 Things I Hate About You, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Producers), the Happy Feet soundtrack, 2 Yankee Candles and a Yankee Candle scented plug-in, 2 boxes of Christmas cards, eyeshadow from Bare Escentuals, 2 rolls of gift wrap, a whole crapload of LUSH (at the actual Georgetown store!), Philosophy oxygen peel kit, supernatural foundation, and The Present clear makeup. Needless to say, I have no more $.

To be a bit off-topic: Does anyone have a good crock pot recipe? If you skipped the Xmas list, it was one of my presents, and I am dying to use it. Let me know your favorites!

Tags: ,
Current Location: carrboro
Feeling: grateful grateful

17 are in // Are you in or out?
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stone_fox From: stone_fox Date: January 1st, 2007 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs* I wish I'd gotten home early enough to hang out with you and Jill! Oh well, we'll get plenty of bonding time next weekend. Can't wait to see you! Spin, not so much, lol, because my limbs will hate me by Sunday.
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manabanana From: manabanana Date: January 1st, 2007 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)
where are your pictures, missy? I have a ton of crock pot recipes... What kind of food do you guys like? I'll totally dig something up for you, dear!
stone_fox From: stone_fox Date: January 1st, 2007 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)
working on it now! I have a bunch to go through. Do you have Facebook, by chance? I have a bunch posted on there. But I should have some up on LJ either later tonight or tomorrow.

Michael is a total meat and potatoes kind of guy, he likes anything that has protein, pretty much. I'm good for that as well, but I also like pretty much any type of soup or barbecue covered anything.
manabanana From: manabanana Date: January 1st, 2007 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
just added you on facebook! at least, i think it's you! you're so cute!
stone_fox From: stone_fox Date: January 1st, 2007 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
yep, that's me. :D I just confirmed you, so go check out the pics. :P
From: fionagh Date: January 1st, 2007 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Get a pork roast -- big old pork loin, and put that in the crock pot with about a cup or less of water. (You want like an inch of water on all sides of the roast) and let that cook for about 2 hours before you add 2 cans of Golden Mushroom Soup. Golden Mushroom soup can kind of be hard to find in stores, but make sure you get the Golden and not just Mushroom variety. Let it cook for the full 8 hour time for a roast - you're welcome to include more fresh mushcrooms chopped for the dish, or even onion or peppercorns if you like. Then, cook some rice. Eat the pork roast and rice covered in the tangy golden mushroom sauce. Serve iwth a nice green veggie on the side. NUMM! This is my favorite dish of all time from my crock pot.
stone_fox From: stone_fox Date: January 1st, 2007 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Mmm, that sounds tasty! I will have to make sure Michael will eat mushroom soup, as he doesn't eat the raw kind. Even if he doesn't, I might make it anyway (fix him PB&J that night, hehehe) because I happen to love mushroom. :D
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From: fionagh Date: January 1st, 2007 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)
You might like my vegetarian cauliflower and cheese casserole then. ;)
stone_fox From: stone_fox Date: January 1st, 2007 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, that sounds good too! :D
From: fionagh Date: January 1st, 2007 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
1 big bag of cauliflower
1 carton of nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon of mustard
1 sprinkling (to taste) of shredded cheddar cheese
and bread crumbs to sprinkle on top.

Just steam the cauliflower til it's nearly tender, and stick it in a casserole dish covered in:

The yogurt which you've recently mixed with cheese shreds and the mustard. It will be tangy yet creamy.

Put the casserole dish under the broiler in your oven for about 15 minutes, watching it every five minutes. Add the bread crumbs to it just as its browning ... take it out and eat up!

The only people who can't eat this are vegans, who don't eat animal by-products as well as not eating meat. However, I think there's a special yogurt (I know there's special cheese) that even vegans can pick up in order to make this dish. My long-time friend was a strict vegetarian, and wouldn't even eat broth in any of her meals, so I've learned many wonderful recipes from her.
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From: fionagh Date: January 1st, 2007 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
The great thing about Campbell's golden mushroom soup is that there's like specks of mushrooms in it -- and it's "golden" because it's a chicken stock with tomato in it. So if he can get by with the underlying taste of mushroom which is basically nonexistant, then you both should be able to really enjoy this. Because it doesn't quite taste mushroomy -- it's a flavor that's really all its own and very hard to pinpoint. But omg so yum!:D
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From: daisygoddess Date: January 2nd, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love taking chicken breasts, placing them in the crock pot with a jar of salsa and letting that cook all day. If you're careful you can get the breasts out whole. But if not it shreads very easily and it's very good on a wrap with some lettuce. It's a good overnight cook that's ready in the morning to take for your lunch.
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