Friday, December 31

Day 365 (Or: The End)

2010 has been a wild say the least.

For starters, I began this 365 Project on January 1st, without thinking much of it. Little did I know how much it would truly impact me - it's helped me pursue photography like I never have before. It's forced me to realize and unearth talents I never knew I had, and I'm so excited about the future possibilities and potential I have because of it. I've gotten to do a number of photo shoots this year, with a couple different families, local musicians, couples, and I even got to shoot my first wedding in September. I am beyond excited to see where photography takes me in 2011 - and it really is all thanks to this blog (and my wonderful husband for getting me the 50mm lens last Christmas that really started it all). I won't lie to you, it hasn't been easy, but it's been absolutely worth it. If any of you are considering doing a Project365 for 2011, I would encourage you to try it. It forces you to think and be creative in ways you wouldn't have thought possible. As a sidenote, you get to document 365 consecutive days of your life, which will probably be awesome to look back and read in like 20 years.

Next (and most importantly), in February, my best friend and soulmate asked me to marry him. He took me out to the walking bridge downtown, got on one knee, and said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I, of course, happily accepted! I had no idea 2010 would turn into "how to plan a wedding in 8 months," but it did, and we made it happen! Our wedding was one of the best days of my life, and I wouldn't change anything about it. It's been a blast getting to know each other even better than we already did these past (almost) 3 months, and I am so looking forward to the years ahead. I love you tons, babe. :)

I also got a job promotion about a month before our wedding - from "Production Coordinator" to "Assistant Production Manager!" I know, sounds fancy huh? It's been really cool learning a new position and having more responsibility - just really hectic. I'm really enjoying it though and I think it's giving me great experience for whatever lies ahead of me in the future. I absolutely love my job and I've been so blessed this year to work at such an amazing company as Thomas Nelson. I have some fantastic co-workers and the best supervisor anyone could ask for. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities I've been given there.

2010 involved a bit of travel, which I can honestly never complain about. January was a trip to San Antonio with Rachel. February, a trip to the mountains in Georgia with Justin and Rachel. July, a trip to Jacksonville for the 4th, and in October, the Bahamas (honeymoon!). I absolutely adore exploring new places and seeing new cities and I sincerely hope 2011 involves more of that. We've already got a trip to Asheville in the works. Hooray for learning how to snowboard!

All in all, I don't think I could've picked a better year to document every day of my life. I got to see 3 amazing couples get married. I met my newest little cousins, Jack and Caleb. I got engaged, and married. I spent time with family and friends (though not nearly enough). I laughed, I cried, I loved. This is the first new year's resolution that I can honestly say I've kept, and I'm so proud of myself for it! It feels good.

As far as 2011 goes, my main goal (I suppose you could call it a resolution) is to become more "legit" with my photography. I'm looking into getting a more professional blog/website together. I'm going to start working on a portfolio. I'm going to do my best to get more (hopefully paying!) photo shoots. I also plan on experimenting a little bit with film, which I'm really looking forward to.

A special thanks to my most faithful readers (like my mom, Danny, Aunt Amber, just to name a few) who kept me on my toes and most importantly, didn't let me quit. You let me know that what I have to say is important to you, and I appreciate that so much.

So, my readers, this isn't goodbye forever - just goodbye for now. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope 2011 looks as fantastic and inspiring to you as it does to me. :) I love you guys!

Thursday, December 30

Day 364

3 words to describe tonight: Delicious, Hilarious, and Awesome.

We had a Mexican night of sorts. Allen and Jessica came over with chips and salsa, Danny made his (now infamous) cheese/spinach enchiladas, and I tried my hand at making the only Mexican dessert that sounded halfway easy: "Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie" (pictured above). It was like a cross between cheesecake and coffee cake? Whatevs - it was good. I will definitely be making it again. Afterwards, Allen & Jess taught us how to play Spades and O-M-G I am addicted. Funnest game ever. Girls vs. Boys, and we won the first round! I guess I must (grudgingly) admit that the boys won the second round. It was so much fun though! Good and hilarious conversations. Haha. One thing we talked about was how our family up here is kind of an oddity - we don't really have much family drama and we all just get along so well. It's something that I'm so thankful for. I love this family to pieces.

All in all, an excellent night. :)

I don't have much else to say except WE DON'T HAVE TO WORK TOMORROW! Yaaaaaaay oh and I only have one day left to blog, holy moly.

Wednesday, December 29

Day 363

Awesome coasters, courtesy of my mom (and Pier 1) :)

Today has been rather ho-hum. Except I did go to the social security office at lunch (to change my name, finally) and it was a surprisingly pleasant experience! Not the dreadful misery I was expecting, you know, the typical crap you always deal with at a government office, where the most simple thing is complicated a thousand times over. But today, everyone was friendly and I was literally in and out in less than 10 minutes. Excellent.

We're making enchiladas tomorrow and Allen and Jess are coming over. I'm excited!! :D

I'm also exhausted and going to bed. Last night our lovely neighbor was blasting music at 10:30pm, so I marched over there and banged politely knocked on their door and demanded asked them to turn it down. Gah. We're always nervously adjusting the volume of our TV a billion times because we don't want it to be too loud. Apparently our neighbors don't have the same consideration. La-di-da.

Tuesday, December 28

Day 362

THIS THING has literally monopolized my entire evening. Last time I ever attempt a recipe on a spontaneous whim without first reading the reviews. It finally came out in the end, tasting pretty close to a pound cake, with burnt edges no less. Grrrrrrrrr.

In other news, we got our Christmas package from Tracy and Santi today! I love our friends. Seriously. Tracy and I have been friends for, let's seeeeeee, going on 11 years now. We have so much fun together it's ridiculous. They got us some awesome gifts - a super cute and snazzy apron for me, Ratatouille, and some awesome vinyl for Danny. We are blessed.

I can't believe the year is coming to an end already. This year has been a complete whirlwind for me (sometimes I think that's due to keeping the blog, but mostly I think it's because I was engaged for 3/4 of the time - ha). I'm so excited to see what 2011 has in store. :D

Monday, December 27

Day 361

I'm ready for bed. Can you tell? Ha.

I know with only 5 days left, I should really be making an attempt to deliver some excellent photos for you, my readers. But I am all out of ideas, people. I need some time to recharge my creative juices.

We went grocery shopping tonight and spent less than $100, which was nice. Hopefully that'll last us a couple weeks :) We're having Allen and Jessica over on Thursday for Danny's amazing enchiladas, and we're going to learn how to play Spades! Excited.

I think 2011 is going to involve a lot of baking. I find myself perusing the internet for recipes more and more lately and wanting to try really difficult, I-have-no-business-attempting-this recipes. Like homemade marshmallows, or chocolate peanut butter torte, or how about this girl's amazing 4th of July cake? Seriously - I got a cake leveler for Christmas thanks to my awesome mom. I plan on at least attempting that last cake. If I had all the time in the world to try every career I might ever aspire to have, I think I would like to try owning a bakery/coffee shop. How fun would that be??

Ok. I'm freezing and sooooo sleepy. Until tomorrow...

Sunday, December 26

Day 360

I sure do like my new toy (pictured above). :D

Today has been a much-needed lazy day. We ate Moe's for lunch and we've been watching Band of Brothers since like, 2pm. I'm actually getting into it, and I didn't think that I would.

I cannot believe that,
a) Monday has arrived so quickly
b) Christmas is over
c) I have a Macbook
d) it's almost 2011
e) I only have 5 days left to blog after today.


Saturday, December 25

Day 359

Merry Christmas!!!

Today was wonderfully relaxing. We woke up to snow, and it did not stop snowing for most of the day. We had a brief snowball fight earlier (by brief, I mean like 45 seconds) until our hands started to freeze due to lack of gloves. Ha. We opened presents with my parents this morning and they definitely got us a lot of amazing stuff, some things we desperately needed, haha. My mom got me a few new baking tools that I am dying to try out. :) Then the family came over around 3pm and we ate a delicious meal (duh, it's the South), and played White Elephant/Dirty Santa/Whatever you want to call it. I got a cute black scarf out of it, and Danny scored the game of Uno which we didn't previously own. All in all, it was an excellent day, filled with family, food, and snow. :)

I was going to post some more photos, but I've already received one "Will you hurry up and blog so I can go to bed??" phone call from Aunt Amber, so I'll save those photos for a Facebook post later. I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas!

Friday, December 24

Day 358

Merry Christmas Eve! Pictured above is Darcy the Dachshund. We spent some time over at Danny's mom's house today and I snapped a few photos of her dachshunds. :) She calls them her "little people" which I think is pretty cute.

Danny and I opened our gifts this morning as soon as we woke up, like the little kids that we are. He got me this amazing art print from Etsy which I've been envying for the longest time. He also got me a fantastic Portishead record on vinyl, which we promptly listened to as we ate homemade pancakes (courtesy of me...after burning about 6 of them, I managed to make 4 that weren't completely hideous). And then......drumroll......HE GOT ME A MACBOOK PRO!!!!!!! This is amazing of him in so many ways. I've desperately needed my own laptop (my PC has been on the fritz for months) and I'm constantly using his to blog on (as in, every night...) and my goal in 2011 is to become more "legit" and "professional" in my photography, which is kind of hard to do without a reliable computer. Not to mention, I really really really hate spending large amounts of money. It's just so hard for me to commit. So for him to just go and GET it for me, and save me the anguish of having to do it myself, was awesome. He's good to me. :) Anyways, so, first Christmas as 'The Rushtons' was a success!

Also, it's snowing outside. White Christmas anyone? ;)

Thursday, December 23

Day 357

Today, we were those people that you see running around frantically the day before Christmas Eve. Ridiculous. However I think I sold my 12 string Ibanez for $200 which is awesome. It makes me want to start selling all the other random stuff I have that I never use anymore. Anybody want an electric guitar, amp, or longboard? Ha.

ANYways, so the first half of the day was hectic, but we finally were able to get some Publix sushi and come home to watch Lord of the Rings. Rule my life. These movies are so good. I decided to make some homemade biscuits on a whim, because they're so easy and I was really itching to bake something.

My hand is a LOT better today. Last night was the worst. Pretty sure it kept me up till about 4am. It only felt better if I put ice on it, but then at some point it would start to hurt more from the ice, and then I'd take it off, and then it would hurt even WORSE without the ice. Wow. It was not awesome. At one point I was on the couch looking miserable and Danny woke up and came in at about 3am to check on me. I have the best husband ev'. :)

Tomorrow morning we're opening the rest of our presents to each other. And thus begin the Christmas festivities... YAY

Wednesday, December 22

Day 356

I burnt the living daylights out of my left hand today before dinner so this post is going to be really short because I'm typing with one hand.....LAME. (ps. isn't my mom just the cutest?)

dinner and yummy sugar cookies at my parents. i'm off work for the next 4 days and prepared to relaaaax. we've got all 3 extended versions of LOTR so guess what we'll be doing tomorrow?

ok my hand really hurts. so bad that we're actually going up to walgreens to fill the pain med prescription that i declined last week for my back. Wow.

Tuesday, December 21

Day 355

We have awesome friends who send us Christmas cards/photos.

Tonight we went to a really nice (and spontaneous) dinner at J. Alexanders. We both got a steak and it was amazing. The waiter was a bit over-enthusiastic, but whatevs.

I feel like there's water in my ear. I hope that doesn't mean I'm getting an ear infection. It's weirding me oooout.

I've spent the evening playing (rather, attempting to play) out of my Radiohead book..and we just played like 4 games of Rummy. We're keeping a running scoreboard because we're cool like that.

Only a half day of work tomorrow and then FREEDOM!!!

Monday, December 20

Day 354

Because we're kids at heart (and, because we can), Danny and I each opened up one Christmas present from each other tonight :) And because he is AMAZING, and knows me so well, he basically got me the best present ever: Radiohead sheet music, by Christopher O'Riley. O-M-G. His music is absolutely amazing, so amazing that we used it for our "prelude" music while people were being seated at the wedding. I am beyond excited to learn from this book, but it's going to take some serious work. I don't think I've ever attempted to learn music this difficult. YAY. Winter project! :)

Sunday, December 19

Day 353

Yaaaaaay CHRISTMAS! yes, this is hanging on our livingroom wall. :D

We ate some of the best sushi tonight at Ken's Sushi. The Vandy roll? omg heaven.

Hooray for only working 2.5 days this week!

I don't have much else to say. We're watching some Office season 2 right now. So I'm gonna go do that. BYE

Saturday, December 18

Day 352

I remember being a kid and opening presents was THE MOST EXCITING THING about Christmas. Somewhere along the road I became one of those boring adults that would rather spend the time napping. Ha.

Friday, December 17

Day 351

Getting all these people into one room, smiling, looking at the camera at the same time -- is quite a feat. Not to mention all the good looks - it's enough to kill anyone's ego! Anyway, pictured above is one of the coolest families I know. I feel privileged to call these people MY family.

Tomorrow we're driving to Birmingham to do the Christmas thing with my dad's side of the family. I can't believe Christmas is in one entire week. I'm totally not done yet. NOT READY!!!

I mean really...they could be an album cover or something. Best looking family ever.

P.S. Aunt Amber...I will give you the hi-res versions of these don't try to make any prints from these, they've been resized :)

Thursday, December 16

Day 350

Taco Mamacita's with the ladies tonight! Always a good time. We exchanged Christmas goodies and oooo'd and ahhh'd over Olivia's baby bump. I cannot wait for that child to get here. Cuteness. So excited for her and Grant, they're going to be awesome parents :)

Pictured above is art by Stef, and jewelry by Brooke. I'm so excited about both of these gifts! I have talented friends. ;)

This weekend is going to be INSANE. Gah. I need some time to breathe!

PS. only 15 days left. I'm actually pretty impressed with myself that I've come this far. :)

Wednesday, December 15

Day 349

Walked out of Publix this. Interpret it how you will. Hahaha.

So thankful I get to work from home tomorrow and avoid the mess of drivers. Have I mentioned how much I loathe winters in Nashville? Because I do. I also loathe doctors, but that's a whole OTHER story. Don't get me started.

Christmas is so close I can almost taste it!

Tuesday, December 14

Day 348

We got really festive and decorated our bathroom with lights, complete with a Christmas tree over the toilet. Hahahaha. Why do we rule so much? I'm still trying to figure it out. :P

We're starting to get on the ball with Christmas shopping. I plan on hopefully being completely done by this weekend. The weather better not mess up my plans.

ummmmmmmm I don't have much else to say BYEEE

Monday, December 13

Day 347

I am re-learning this song...I used to be able to play it perfectly but I've definitely slacked off within the last few years with my piano playing. I wish I could just start taking lessons again. That's what forced me to practice all the time. SIGH.

Danny and I splurged and went out for fish and chips tonight....WORTH it. So, so worth it.

It hit me today that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away and I am NOWHERE NEAR close to being finished with Christmas gifts. I'm starting to feel the panic.

Aaaaaand now I'm feeling super lethargic from all the delicious food. Time for Lost, and bed. Nighty night!

Sunday, December 12

Day 346

So, tonight was supposed to be our Roving Christmas Dinner (or the "Progressive Dinner" as some in our family like to call it, but I think Roving is way more awesome). However, it started snowing early this morning and didn't stop all day. Nor did the temperature get above freezing. Which turned into icy roads, and good ol' Nashville lived up to its expectations by not salting the roads in time, which made for scary driving conditions. We ended up just doing everything at my parents house, and it took us 35 minutes to get there when it normally takes about 15. SCARY. I hate icy roads, but what I hate even worse are the other people who don't have a clue what they're doing and are putting everyone else's lives at risk. Anyways. Danny knows what he's doing which I am extremely thankful for, so he drove us over to my parents. We ate dinner, spent time with family, the usual. Everything was delicious and it was fun just hanging out :) Jonah, Caleb, and Jack all graced us with their presence so I was able to take some photos of them tonight, using my flash! I keep forgetting I own the SB-600 and it really came in handy tonight in the dim lighting.

ANYWAYS I'm boring myself. Pictured above is Jonah making some sort of face, but honestly, I don't think there's a face this kid could make that wouldn't be cute. COME ON.

It took us 3 tries to get out of the neighborhood (up a hill) which left me stressed and white-knuckled. Driving on ice is just plain scary.

We're home safe and sound now, and the bed is calling my name. YAAAAAAWN!

Saturday, December 11

Day 345

Movie night hosted by my mom. We watched Elf. The house was decorated amazingly like the movie! Good food, good candy. I'm exhausted and going to bed. oh, my dad and I went to see Harry Potter and it was awesome. okbye

Friday, December 10

Day 344

A little Florida can go a long way when you're dealing with a dreary Nashville winter. Thanks to my cousin Katie, we got this huge box of tangelos for a mere $20! I had one today and it was delish.

Tonight we went to a Christmas dinner with my coworkers, hosted by one of our vendors. It was a fun evening full of laughter and AMAZING food. It's been a long time since I've been that full.

I've said it before, but I'm really, really thankful for my job. :)

I'm also very much looking forward to not setting an alarm tonight. Ahh, the beauty of Saturday mornings. :)

Thursday, December 9

Day 343

We've been learning German in our free time ;) MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I'm seriously having some severe back pain. Like right where my kidneys are? Awesome. I've been debating going to a minute clinic but that's seriously the worst way to spend your evening, short of going to the ER. Although, I tried to lay down earlier and couldn't get comfortable in ANY position so, that's cool. Waaaaaahhhh.

Sooooo I've been married to my best friend for 2 entire months today and the time has literally flown by. Best 2 months ever. :) <3

Wednesday, December 8

Day 342

In case you haven't noticed (if the endless stream of Christmas-related photos wasn't proof enough), I really really really really really like Christmas. :D

There are other things I could write about but I'm too tired. Only 2 days left in the week. Woo!

Tuesday, December 7

Day 341

I sort of didn't feel like taking a photo today, so I just took one of our stockings that I hung this morning. Cute eh?

We're watching Lost and I don't have much else to say. Is it the weekend yet? Although I can't even hope for that, because it's so jam-packed full of things to do and places to be that before I know it I'll wake up and it'll be Monday morning again. LAME.

ok, goodnight.

Monday, December 6

Day 340

$4.99 at Target. Mom bought it for us. It's the price of being festive. ;) I also scored some Christmas items at the dollar store...including some cookie cutters. Yay for making Christmas cookies!

It was unbelievably cold today. Aren't you readers so happy that I won't be blogging all throughout this next winter? I don't think you'd be able to handle the bitterness. HA! But seriously, I started reading my blogs from back in January earlier today and it's pretty cool to have so much stuff documented. Like the first Preds game I went to, or the fact that my dad and I saw Sherlock Holmes on New Year's Day. Stuff I would probably forget about (if I haven't already). I'd definitely recommend the 365 challenge to anyone who thinks they can handle it. ;) You'll get pretty sick of it before the year is done, but you'll be happy you did in the end.

In other news, I think I'm going to get absurdly crafty this week and make a Merry Christmas banner for our apartment. I am lacking in the sewing machine department however (not like I'd know how to use one, anyway) so we'll see what happens....

Sunday, December 5

Day 339

Could this kid be any cuter? I think not. I'd also like to point out that, 200 days ago, that post was also about Caiden and he looks SO much younger. It's unreal. Click here to see.

I can't believe there are only 26 (27?) days left of this thing. I foresee myself having a slight panic attack on January 1st around 11:30pm - "OMG I haven't blogged yet!!!!....oh wait." Haaaaaaa.

I am still in pain. I think I'll call the doctor tomorrow. :(

Saturday, December 4

Day 338

Helvetica playing cards. Neat-o.

We test drove the NIssan Juke today. Not as awesome as we were hoping it would be. I tried on some amazing boots at DSW; they were, however, $50 so we left them at the store. :( Ate sushi at PM. Went to my parents for dinner and re-learned how to play rummy with my cousins who are in town. So. Much. Fun. I forgot how much I loved that card game. We did not go see Harry Potter which makes me sad, but I'm also really just putting off spending $20 to go see a flipping movie. gaaaaaahhh.

I don't have much to say.....bye.

Friday, December 3

Day 337

I kid you not, this is what the sky looked like when I left work tonight. I didn't play with the colors at all - that awesome pink is for real. And I'm still annoyed at myself for only having my point-and-shoot camera which didn't even come close to doing the photo justice. Stupidly I thought I'd have a better view once I got onto the highway, but in the 5 short minutes it took for me to get to the on ramp, the sky had already morphed into dark blue and that was that.

I'm having some serious upper back/chest pain. Like if I take in a deep breath, move a certain way, cough a certain way, I get these awesome stabbing pains...Maybe I have a cracked rib. HAAAAA just kidding. But seriously, should I be concerned? It's been about 3 days of this.

We just ate Pei Wei and watched a few episodes of Lost, and now Danny's trying to beat the fire beast in Zelda for me. I seriously hate the mine levels. If I never see another fireball or flame again, I'll be ok. 8-)

Thursday, December 2

Day 336

I'm seriously too exhausted to post "for reals." I spent a few hours with Brooke and Kevin tonight. Two of the coolest people I know, seriously. So thankful for their friendships. :) They are pictured above with their "kids", Koola and Khloe.

Seriously thankful tomorrow is Friday. I can't express that enough.

Tracy and Santi are visiting SLC tomorrow and I'm pretty jealous.

What else can I randomly post about? ummmmmmmmmmmm GAH ok bye.

Wednesday, December 1

Day 335

Best game ever.

I have an enormous headache.

We're re-watching Lost, about to start on season 3. It's just as good as the first time I ever watched it. :)

I'm looking forward to this weekend. We're hopefully going to go see Harry Potter (finally), and we're going to go test drive a Nissan Juke just 'cause. ;)

PS. only 30 posts left! I-N-S-A-N-E