Monday Morning Thoughts

It's Monday morning, and I am in one of the best moods! Mostly because it's a 4 day week, and Christmas is this Saturday!!! I attempted to finish my Christmas shopping this past weekend, but it was all in vain. 

We went to the Mall, and Michael tried to make things better by saying that dealing with the crazy crowd was part of the "Christmas Spirit." Aww how cute, but Honey, let's face it - we are the losers who decided to wait the last minute, and we are just facing the consequences! 

We had a pretty low key weekend, and it felt good to relax. Sunday, I cleaned up our apt because I am having my girl friends over for dinner tonight for a little pre-Christmas dinner; and we watched the Falcons game. Yes, they won! Yes, they are 12-2. And YES, they are in the playoffs! I am so excited, and really really really hope they make it to the Superbowl - but I am not getting my hopes up just yet. 

Oh Matt I love you! via

Needless to say, I am not done, and I still have a few things to get. Luckily, I don't need to go back to the mall for these, so I am not as worried. I just hope I will be done before Christmas Eve! 

I finally got the chance to upload some of my pictures from France. It turns out I took a lot more family pictures, than I did of Paris - I'm sorry!!! But for those of you who are still interested, here are a few :) 

 My cousin Yoran, and his daughter Mahau

My cousin Ellie - yes, she is going to break hearts!

Michael and I at Atlanta Station in Atlanta

Did I mention that I got to see my favorite singer, Raphael, while in Paris?! (I'm sure I did before I left - if not, shame on me!) Every time I go to France, I check to see if he is going to be in Paris at the same time - and the last couple of years, I always missed him by a week or so. 

This year, he came out with a new album in September, so I knew he had to be touring when I'd be in France. What do you know, for the first time EVER - he was playing in Paris while I was there! My cousin bought be a ticket as soon as I found out, and I got to go see him. I have to say it was one of the coolest things I've done in the last couple of years. 

I know, it's a concert - not THAT big of a deal, right? Well, it was for me - because I have a huge fan of Raphael for 6 years now, and I had never seen him play live. I stood there, about 10 feet from the stage, and felt like a little girl when he came on stage. I watched him play for two amazing hours, singing a mix of his new album and some older favorites. He sang my favorite song (I mentioned in one of my Music Tuesdays here), which of course left me speechless. Is it corny for me to admit that I even had tears in my eyes!? 

It was probably the highlight of my trip, and one of the most memorable moments of my life. I'm sure for those of you who are music lovers out there, you understand what I am talking about. His music, his lyrics, and some of his songs just mean so much to me; that finally seeing him live just made it all real. 

I hope you all have a GREAT Monday - the countdown to Christmas has officially begun!!!


Fill In the Bank Friday

This is it ladies - we are officially one week away from Christmas Eve! Needless to say, I am starting to feel nervous because I know that I have SO much shopping left to do, and I am dreading the parking lot crowds! 

With that said, I just have to make through one more day of work before I can sleep in, and spend some time with Boo this weekend. I requested a "no plans" weekend so that we can start finish up Christmas shopping in time to cheer on our Falcons this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Yes, this is true, the Falcons are 11-2!!! 

Enjoy this Friday's Holiday themed fill in the blank :)

1.   Giving is  what the holidays are all about. There is nothing better to me than seeing the faces of the people I love while opening their gifts. I always wait until everyone is done opening gifts until I open mine!  

2.  Receiving is   nice too...although now that I am getting older, I get a lot more pleasure out of spoiling my niece and seeing her enjoy the magic of Christmas. I think I enjoy getting gifts more on my birthday now - it just feels more special :)

3.  The best gift I ever received was  oh a kid, anything Barbie related could make my day. But I remember one Christmas when my parents went crazy, and bought me the house, along with all kinds of accessories for all my Barbies! As an adult, I'd have to say that the best gift I've received so far has been my engagement ring :) :) 

4.  The best gift I ever gave was   I am honestly drawing a blank on this one - I feel like always try to get gifts that reflect the persons personality...they might not always be the best gifts per se, but I know that they are the best gifts for that person - if that makes sense!?

5.  Something intangible that I wish I could receive is    singing talents. I have absolutely no singing talents, and I would give anything to be able to just break out a song at any given moment (you know, just like the Glee cast! )

6.  Something intangible that I wish I could give is   patience. I wish more people took the time to take a step back and realize that sometimes, you just have to let time go by for things to happen/to get better/or simply change. I feel like most people expect things immediately - but most of the time, you just gotta work hard, and stay motivated, and good things will come to you :)

7.  The one gift I always wanted as a child, but never got was   one of those mini-kitchens. You know the ones that are almost your size when you are a little girl...gosh I wanted one of those so badly!



I Swear I Am Still Alive

I'm really upset with myself for not taking the time to update my blog lately, but I promise you, I have not had one minute to myself ever since I came back from France. I still haven't uploaded my pictures, I have not started our Christmas shopping, and I still have SO much to get done at work before the holidays. 

I came back to a ton of work to catch up on, followed by our month-end close week, and I've been so tired at night that I have not had the energy to get on the computer at home. My weekends haven't been light either, which is another reason why I have not started my Christmas shopping - I know I'm going to regret this when I am fighting for a parking spot at the mall this weekend.

I won't go into a lot of details, but to give you an idea, here are a few things that have happened since my return from France: 

My younger brother Kevin turned 19, my niece turned 4, my soon to be brother-in-law David turned 27, my cousin Jordan turned 18 one of my good friends Amy got engaged while I was in Paris, and asked me to be in her wedding; oh and...guess what...I have found my wedding dress!!!! 

Happy Birthday Lil Brother!!! 

Happy 4th Birthday my love!! 
(yes, this outfit is from Zara, and I was pretty much wearing the same one - no I am not brainwashing her...yet!)

Happy Birthday Gregors!

Happy 18th Dadou (Jordan, and his mother - my cousin who is battling cancer right now) 

Congratulations Amy and Kyle on your engagement!!! I am SO excited to be a part of your big day :)

I know this doesn't sound like a lot, but let me just say that I have attended all of these birthdays, and have managed to stay sane during yet again another crazy month-end close at work. Is it possible that I ALREADY need another vacation!? 

At least, I took the time to put up our Christmas tree, and decorated our apartment for the holidays. I cannot wait for next week - we get the Friday and Monday after Christmas off - so happy about that! I'm ready for family time (which I missed while being in Paris during Thanksgiving), some good foods, fun presents, and spending time with my other half, because I really feel like I have neglected him these past few weeks. 

Our tree - with Hannukah colors for my mom :)

Oh and check out Michael's parents AMAZING tree!!! 

I love the stocking she had made for us. 

And as for the wedding dress...well, you will just have to wait! All I can say is that it was love at first sight, and I cannot wait to be able to show you pictures!!!

Ahh can you tell that most of these are mobile pictures?! I seriously need to take the time to upload my pictures! 

I hope you are all doing well, and getting ready for the holidays! We are so close!!!! 



Home Is Where The Heart Is

I made it back from France in one piece (Dad's words), and oh how good it is to be back. I was only gone for 11 days, but it felt a lot longer. It might have been because this was the first time I was in Paris, and felt homesick. 

For the longest time, I called France (Paris)  "home"; because it is where I grew up, where I spent the first 16 years of my life. I moved to American 11 years ago, and for the first time, I realized that as much as I wanted Paris to still be my home, Atlanta is now where my heart was. 

I had not been there in two years - and this time, I felt it. I felt different there, almost like a stranger? I'm not sure, but I can tell you that there was a different feeling. I forget what it is like to live in a big city, with people walking around everywhere, and the fast paced life they live. I have to admit I felt like I was suffocating at times. I was missing Atlanta, the tree, the outdoors, and that feeling a personal space that I felt did not exist over there. 

I'm not sure whether or not it is related - but it was so cold, and so gray all the time, and people just seemed unhappy. No smiles, no friendly faces; just a lot of stressed people who seem angry with life - it made me a little sad. 

My dad kept telling me that Paris has always been like that, but that I am just now old enough to realize these things - I guess so?

Of course, I had an amazing time in Paris - who wouldn't? I spent some much needed family time with my grandmother, my uncles/aunts and cousins. I walked around the streets of Paris despite the freezing temperatures and the snow, and I managed to eat amazing foods and do a little bit of shopping :) 

I have not gotten the chance to upload all my pictures yet - but I promise I will very soon. I went to work the day after I got back, and between the large amount of work I needed to catch up, and the jet lag, I have not had time to do much. I did decorate our apartment, and put up our Christmas tree (pics coming soon). 
I am slowly trying to catch up on all your blog posts, prepare for the holidays, get ready for our month-end close at work, and between all this, I still have a wedding to plan! Can you say busy?! 

On an exciting note - I am going to look at wedding dresses with my Mom tonight - I can't wait!!!!