Saturday, December 31, 2011


If you know my Grandmother you know that she beautiful, intelligent, and regal. She is the center of my family, and perfectly embodies what it means to be a family’s matriarch. She is one of the most influential women in my life.

She’s my second mom, my light, ….my Gram.

I thought I’d write a list of reasons I love my Gram in this post.. but right now I can’t.

I would’t even know where to start. But, I WOULD know where to end…

I love my Gram because she’s one of the strongest people I know.

Friday, December 30, 2011

TOP 10 of 2011!

In the spirit of resolution and reflection, I thought it would be fun to list my TOP 10 moments of 2011. This was actually a more difficult task than I had bargained for.. I had a lot of amazing moments in 2011! Here’s my list, in order of occurrence (NOT in order of importance!)

1) MY BRIDAL SHOWER! Friends and family braved the snow on a frigid February Sunday to come help me celebrate my impending nuptials :) Rob and I were showered with LOVE and some seriously amazing gifts that day.

2) MY BACHELORETTE PARTY! My amazing MOH’s and bridesmaids coordinated a fabulous night out for me and my closest girlfriends. We were spoiled with a stretch hummer limo around Boston and a fabulous dinner at Joes. I wore my first ever (and probably last ever) leopard print dress and partied the night away.

3) MARRYING THE MAN OF MY DREAMS! On April 2, 2011 <3 We celebrated the best day of our lives with 200 incredible people. Our wedding was literally everything I could have EVER dreamed of. Our ceremony was romantic, and our reception was a PARTY. It was perfect. I would go back to that day a million times if I could.

4) OUR MINI-MOON! Rob and I decided to take a short “mini”moon instead of a honeymoon right away. His schedule with the Navy was tight, my work schedule was insane, and we were preparing for our first BIG MOVE. We vacationed at the INCREDIBLE Equinox Resort in Vermont and enjoyed lots of wine, breakfast in bed, and spa treatments as newlyweds :) We plan to take our REAL honeymoon to Italy later this year.

5) ROB AND BRITT GET ENGAGED! Two of our favorite people decide to tie the knot and ask ME to be a bridesmaid!

6) THE BIG MOVE! I did what I thought I could NEVER do.. move 1,000 miles away from home!! The adjustment to Charleston and Navy life has certainly been an adventure.. but I’m enjoying the ride. The BIG MOVE also helped me realize who my real and true friends are, and I have a new-found appreciation for the friends who really kept in touch and made me feel loved, even from far away (you know who you are).

7) CHARLIEDOG! We added the furry little guy to our family in August 2011 and life definitely hasn’t been the same since. Who knew we could love a little creature as much as we love Charlie?

8) OUR FAMILIES VISIT CHARLESTON! Ed, Judy and Lauren visited over Columbus Day and my family visited at Thanksgiving. It was so nice to have a taste of home here and it was fun to share our new life with them all :)


10) OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS! Decorating our little home, dressing Charlie up like Santa Paws, hosting our first Christmas party, and spending Christmas at HOME in Plymouth with our families.

Of course, there are a few moments I would like to remember only as DISTANT memories (our apartment getting robbed, etc).. but all in all, 2011 was good to me.

Hoping for a happy, healthy 2012!

Home for the Holidays

“Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays…” :)

We were so BLESSED this year to be able to travel home to Plymouth for the holidays. Rob’s Command was on holiday stand-down, so he was able to take leave for Christmas. We packed our car (/sleigh) and hit the road on Tuesday 12/20 at 2PM. Rob was just getting over a nasty head cold and I started feeling crummy late Monday night. I felt AWFUL by the time Tuesday night rolled around, and spent the entire drive in the passenger seat blowing my nose and praying my misery would subside in time to enjoy Christmas at home.

Rob drove STRAIGHT THROUGH THE NIGHT Tuesday night (like a maniac) and we arrived at Ed & Judy’s around 6AM Wednesday morning. Charlie settled in to his temporary home just fine, and Rob and I went to bed until about noon that day. We spent the day laying around and catching up with his parents, and went to bed early on Wednesday night.

Rob and CharlieDog napping after our LONG trip home.

On Thursday we had dinner with Mary and my parents at the Cabby Shack and I practically died when I finally had the clam chowder I’ve been craving for the last 7 months. NOTHING beats Plymouth seafood.. not even Magnolias! Charlie stayed home that night and got LOTS of love from Ed & Judy :)

Cabby’s clam CHOWDAH.

Rob and I had lunch at the Water Street Cafe with Jenna and Ashley Friday afternoon. We ran errands afterward and I had my FIRST Marylous iced coffee of the trip. Mmmm I missed MLous. On Friday night we went to Chandler’s Christmas party and caught up with our Plymouth friends. After the party we went to the BBC and then headed home around 1AM.

We woke up early on Saturday morning to help Ed & Judy get ready for Christmas Eve dinner. We ran a few errands and then went home and napped (whoops!). Lauren and Ryan came over around 2PM and the rest of the family, including my parents, came over around 5:30. We had a delicious dinner and it was great catching up with Rob’s family. WE stayed up really late that night (in our new Christmas Eve pajamas - a tradition we started this year as our own little family) chatting with Ed, Judy, Lauren & Ryan. It felt really nice to have some family time and we wished we’d be able to spend more time with them.

Ed & Judy’s Christmas tree.

Ryan & Rob on Christmas Eve.

Lauren & Ryan on Christmas Eve.

Judy woke us all up at 7AM to open our gifts on Christmas morning. Everyone enjoyed opening presents, and I was SO EXCITED to finally be able to give Rob his BIG gift - - a trip to San Francisco to visit Matt, Sandy and Ashu! I thought it would be really nice for him to have one last “guys weekend” before he deploys and Matt & Sandy were more than accommodating and helpful. I had been planning this trip for MONTHS and Rob was so excited when he opened his gift. It was all worth it.

The ticket I made for Rob’s BIG Christmas present :)

Christmas morning at Ed & Judy’s.
We packed up our bags and went to my parents’ house to open gifts around 9AM Christmas morning. We received SO many wonderful gifts from both families.. we are so lucky! Charlie loved tearing apart the wrapping paper and was a happy dog all morning. Mom made day-ahead-breakfast casserole and we all scurried around to get ready for Christmas dinner at Gram & Bumpas. Christmas dinner was a blast as always. I love my crazy family.

Mom & Dad’s Christmas tree.

Saunders Family Christmas!

Our 1st Christmas!!

Christmas Charlie.

Jamie arrived on Christmas night and spent two days with us in Plymouth. It was SO GOOD to see her and I was so happy that she made the drive just to see us while we were in Plymouth. We ran errands/made returns on Monday 12/26, and played a really fun game of Catch Phrase with the whole family that night. We had breakfast with Jackie, Seth and Alison on the morning of Tuesday 12/27. Mary, Jamie and I got our nails done on Tuesday afternoon.. and Jamie went home :(. Rob and I drove to Belmont to have dinner at Lauren & Ryan’s with Ed & Judy. It was nice to spend some more time with them, and I was really sad when we had to say goodbye to Lauren & Ryan that night.

On Wednesday 12/28 Rob and I went out to lunch with my mom, Gram, Auntie Jo, Elyse, Tina, Ashley & Mary. THEN we drove to Braintree to meet up with Christopher and surprise Amanda at dinner (thanks Ry for helping me plan that!). It was so good to catch up with two of my best friends, and I left dinner feeling refreshed that night.

Surprise dinner at Joes!! 12/28/11

On Thursday 12/29 Rob and I took Charlie for a nice long walk through Pinewood, had lunch at his parents house, had dinner at MY parent’s house with Mary & Mike, and then made our rounds to see my aunties, uncles, cousins and grandparents to say our goodbyes.

We finished our last load of laundry, packed our bags, and hit the road at 6AM on Friday morning. We stopped in Virginia to visit with Dan (one of Rob’s fraternity brothers) and his fiance, Tina. We had a great dinner at the Dogfish Head Restaurant and Rob even helped Dan move a big piece of furniture while we were there. We were back on the road around 7:30 and eventually stopped at a hotel in Chester, VA for the night.

We woke up early, took advantage of the free continental breakfast, and hit the road again. We took our time and even stopped at JR’s in North Carolina where Rob bought a few cigars and a new humidor. We were home in sunny Charleston by 5PM and it was 72 degrees!

We’re settling in for the night now - planning to lay low for our first New Years Eve as a married couple.

Missing home already. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas PARTY!

On Friday 12/16 we hosted our FIRST EVER Christmas Party! We invited everyone in Rob’s Power School class and a few other Charleston friends as well. I’m pretty sure we had about 45 people here in our tiny apartment that night, but it was really really fun nonetheless.

I baked and cooked for the party all day on Friday. I made homemade vanilla cupcakes w/ buttercream frosting, gingerbread cheesecake bites, brownie candycane bites, mini crab cakes w/ special dressing, prosciutto pinwheels, spinach & feta pinwheels, etc etc etc. Rob concocted an AWESOME cranberry pomegranate mojito for our punch bowl, and friends brought drinks and food as well. We had a great time.

I’m already planning to host another party next year.. But, who knows where in the world we’ll be by then. I just hope that wherever we end up we have friends with us that are as great as these ones.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmastime in Charleston

Christmastime in Charleston is weird…..

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the warm weather and literally EVERYTHING else about Charleston.. but it just feels so WRONG to decorate a Christmas tree when it’s 75 degrees out. I listened to “White Christmas yesterday” and felt like a complete phony. “Where Are You Christmas?” is more appropriate.

Even though I’m not feeling the Holiday WhoBalation (Grinch reference!), I still love all things sparkly and Christmas-y - so naturally we decorated our house two days after Thanksgiving. Once the lights were up and the weather cooled down to a chilly 65 degrees I felt a little less like Scrooge.

Rob and I have enjoyed as many Christmas-y activities around Charleston as possible. I dragged him to the Holiday market for some shopping (sorry honey, you’re such a good sport!), we went to the Daniel Island tree lighting, and drove around the Island the night of the holiday lights judging.

Now we’re REALLY in the spirit and we’re looking forward to hosting our FIRST EVER Christmas party this weekend and our big trip home for the holidays :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Professional Woman

It’s official: I’m a professional woman. I went on my very first BUSINESS TRIP!

I packed my bags and hopped on a 5AM flight out of Charleston on Monday 12/5. I landed in Boston, changed my clothes in a tiny stall at Logan airport, hailed a cab, and headed to BSC for a day full of meetings, hugs and overall excitement. I picked up my new BSC laptop and phone to set up in my teeny tiny home office, and checked into my hotel room around 4PM. I relaxed for a bit and then met Mary for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. It was SO good to see her again and I was seriously on cloud 9. I met up with some BSC friends for drinks and Joes on Newbury and Michelle even drove all the way from NH to see me :) I headed back to my hotel room around 9 and passed out after a super long day. I spent Tuesday running back and forth to meetings again and trying to get everything organized for my new position. I caught a cab around 3:30 and made it to Logan just in time for my flight home. After delays and terminal changes I FINALLY arrived back in Charleston at 11PM. Rob picked me up and I chatted his ear off about my adventure the entire drive home.
- - - - - - - - -

Business trip firsts:

1) Flying by myself. No Daddy or Robert to help me figure out what to do at the security checkpoints, guide me through the terminals and rub my back when I feel sick at takeoff or landing. (Yes, I realize this makes me sound like a huge baby but whatever, I’m over it). I DID IT. I got myself through security, made my flights, and DIDN’T PANIC when things went wrong.. changes in terminals, flight times, etc. This probably sounds incredibly juvenile but I’m actually really proud of myself.

2) Slept at a hotel by MYSELF. Pretty sure the Park Plaza in Boston is haunted, but whatevs. I enjoyed sprawling out in my big comfy bed and being called a "Mrs" when I checked in. It’s the little things, people.

3) Charging things to an EXPENSE account and having other people pay for your enjoyment. Amazing! I think I’ll be a professional woman forever now. ;)