Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back at 2011

What a crazy whirlwind of year this has been!  I've had so many great things happen this year that it's going to be hard for another year to top it.  I never dreamed that I'd be getting married in 2011, or that my twin sister would be getting married a mere month and a half later.  It was crazyness at it's finest, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  Here are a few of my favorite moments and events of this year...
  • In January, Pete and I went to Michigan over MLK weekend for wedding planning.  I got to revisit a Michigan winter, and suffice it to say, I was happy to go back to sunny Florida.  So why is this a highlight, you ask?  Well I'd been wanting to see and experience some Michigan snow, slush and ice again, and by God, I got just that.
  • In February, I got an awesome performance review rating at work.  As an HR person, this is the kind of thing that gets you geeked in a hardcore kind of way.  I was a very proud Kari.
  • In April, Kelly, Jess and Tracy (3 of my amazing bridesmaids) threw me my first Bridal Shower at CBD's Southside in Tampa, FL.  It was gorgeous and had so many beautiful touches, and I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out. 
 Kelly, Me, Tracy and Jess

Check out the adorable little wedding dress cookies from Cookie Cousins in Orlando--so precious!

Everything was pink and blue, matching my shower invitations
  • In May, I had my last wedding planning trip to Michigan and my aunt and cousins threw Kelly and I a joint Bridal Shower at Eagle Eye Golf and Country Club in Bath, Michigan.  They did a great job and I was thrilled to have so many of my friends and family there.  It had been quite awhile since I'd seen all of the ladies in my huge family in one place, so it was a very heart-warming experience.
Me with my Mom and Kelly.  We worked hard to make sure we didn't end up wearing matching outfits.
My cousin Sarah made me this pretty cake and used my wedding colors.  I think she did a nice job!
  • In mid-May, my bridesmaids took me to Ft. Lauderdale, FL for my bachelorette party.  Me and my 7 girlfriends stayed at the Beach Place complex, and we hit up some great bars, restaurants and the beach.  It was a crazy weekend and I had a blast. 
Here we all are, right after dinner and on our way to a night of bar-hopping.

Jess and I were feeling no pain.  It was a beautiful thing!

  • In June, Pete and I got hitched!  We had a beautiful wedding with 125 guests in Michigan.  We then went on a super relaxing honeymoon in Antigua for a week, which was totally what we needed after the wedding stress.  We stayed at Sandals Grande Antigua and loved our suite, met great people from all over the world, and enjoyed some fantastic cocktails.  The cocktails MUST be included as a highlight... they rocked my world (well, not as much as marrying Pete, but they were pretty high up on the list).
The Wedding Party at the Rehearsal Dinner

This is The Rock at MSU that four members of our wedding party painted the night before the wedding.  It was a total surprise to us, and we LOVED it!  Painting The Rock was a big deal when I was a student at MSU, so having it painted for the wedding was a major treat.  I was feeling the love from our friends on this one.

Here's the Philadelphia Flyers groom's cake I surprised Pete with.  He was utterly shocked and he raved about it (especially since it was chocolate cake with peanut butter icing).  On the front are crossed hockey ticks and a black hockey puck.

Here I am in Antigua, enjoying our private cabana in my new Tory Burch sunnies.
After our dinner on the Antiguan beach
Pete and I enjoying the last night of our honeymoon.  We both got some sun and had the best time.
  • The week after we got home from our honeymoon, Tracy and I threw Kelly a Bridal Shower at Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, FL.  We had such a fantastic time, if you don't count the disaster we encountered getting Kelly's cake that day (they made us a single tiered pepto-bismol colored cake with sloppy piping--not the light pink multi-tiered mini-wedding cake we ordered).  Thankfully Publix came through and made us a new cake for free, and even delivered it to the shower before it started.  Here are some great shots from the shower:
Kelly wanted an all-pink shower, so totally delivered on that.  We used light pink and hot pink (aka blush and bashful) and gave pink B&BW Sweet Pea Scentportables and pink cake pops as favors.

Tracy, Kelly and I, all in shades of pink

Here's Kel opening my present--a humongous box of dishes and gadgets from Crate and Barrel

Here was our replacement cake.  Not as big, cute or awesome as we'd planned, but it was pretty, delicious and finished.  The fact that it was free didn't hurt, but I would have gladly paid for the sweet cake we ordered. 
  • The week after Kelly's shower, Pete and I had our Florida wedding reception at Jackson's Bistro on Harbor Island in Tampa.  We had 50 of our closest family and friends from Florida there to wish us well on our married life.  We showed an endless slideshow of pictures from the wedding, as well as the movie trailer of our wedding video that our a-maz-ing videographer Andy sent us just in time for the party.  The DJ did a great job, the food was phenomenal and the big cupcake display from The Cupcake Spot was a huge hit with our guests.  We felt so blessed to have two fabulous parties to commemorate the most joyful event in our lives.
  • In July, I threw Kelly her bachelorette party in Tampa.  We started out with a delectable dinner at Ceviche, then we went bar hopping in Hyde Park.  We had a blast I was so happy to give Kelly a fun night on the town with her friends.
All of the girls together at Ceviche.  Here we are, eagerly awaiting the champagne sangria.
  • On July 23rd, Kelly and Darrell got married in Key West, FL!  I was the Maid of Honor, and had a blast supporting Kelly on her big day.  She was such a pristine-looking bride and I was so proud to see her enter the next phase in her life with such a terrific guy. 
Darrell, Kelly, Me and Pete at their Rehearsal Dinner

The Twins in Full Force

Pe-Tah and I enjoying a breezy, beautiful night in Key West

  • In September, Pete and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary.  We went out to dinner (neither of us can remember where though!) and ate fabulous cupcakes from Gigi's.
  • In October, I saw my 100th concert.  It was the Hard Rock 40th Birthday Bash festival in downtown Orlando, FL on 10/1.  There were numerous stages, but I managed to see some of my favorite bands:  Mike Doughty, Everclear and Tonic.  Kelly also scored us free VIP passes, and I had a little too much fun with the open bar in one of the rooftop VIP areas.  I don't remember much of what happened after seeing those bands, but I'm sure I had a blast!
  • In December, I celebrated a really memorable Christmas and another birthday.  Since I'm having a hard time coming to terms with my age, I'll decline to say how old I turned, but let's just say that I turned 29 again.  Thankfully Pete always reminds me that I look younger than my age implies (he knows how to butter me up).  I also celebrated my work anniversary on the same day as my birthday, so I've now been working there for 6 years.  I can hardly believe it's been so long, but that speaks to what a great experience it has been.  People, it means SO MUCH to like/love your job.  My life has been infinitely happier since I began working for a company that was agood fit for me. 
I'm delighted to see what 2012 has in store for Pete and I.  With such a tremendous 2011, I can only imagine the fun and great times that lie ahead of us this year.  My primary goals are to lose weight (perennial resolution), get my home painted and organized and to take a cruise with Pete for our wedding anniversary.  I'm sure this will all be accomplished and more.  Should be fun to see what develops as the year rolls on.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!  Stay safe tonight!

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Tampa, Florida, United States
I'm a wife, daughter and amazing twin sister. I'm a mom to my adorable dog, Bella. Loves: Shopping, cooking, baking, good grammar and Dave Matthews Band. I'm also a Bath and Body Works addict, a Michigan State Spartans fanatic, and an iPhone aficionado. I see beauty in simple things and little things make me ever-so-happy. Welcome to my world!

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