Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 - Year in Review

2009 was a crazy year for me and my family...i can't believe it's almost over. time seems to just fly by the older that you get.

**EDIT: i knew i forgot something before - but props to Jamie Ann who inspired this with her 2009 breakdown. i meant to do something slightly different, annnnd it ended up being exactly the same. HA! thanks, Jamie ;)***

here's some of my memories of 2009...
some very sad events...and others very exciting...

new workstation at work! this was very exciting for me. visited my sister at her first BRIDAL EXPO - she gained enough clients for the year to quit her part-time job and go full-time with photography!! i am so proud of her. she just keeps getting better.

realized my love for avocados and (mostly) guacamole. celebrated Valentine's Day and Josh & I's 1-year anniversary only to hit a wall a day later. our relationship took a turn for the awful (because of me), then days later took a turn for the amazing, the hopeful, the future. together we found hope in Jesus, and though those days were incredibly hard for both of us, it was necessary to be where we are today. i fell more in love with him than i could have imagined in the days and months that followed. mum encouraged me with a song.

fell down a huge flight of steps and let everyone know about it. turned quarter of a century. dang. posted five things i was thankful for on day 5 of my "5 things" posts.

visited my best friend in Florida and took my first trips to Disneyland. finally finished decorating our apartment with roomie KC. Gramma Mason passed away and dad flew to England for the funeral. days later we found that Gramma Koos's cancer was getting worse and she had less than 6 months.

did some "trash the dress" bridal shoots. in the absolute freezing weather. was a lot of fun. started a 30-day diet in which i DID in fact lose about 10lbs. i've gained at least 5 of it back. discovered the best dieting salad ever - California Chicken Salad with Avocado and Mango. picnic lunch and first beach visit with Josh.

did my FIRST GIVEAWAY! got the most comments on any post ever, and my roomie won!! had my first photography gig - photographing a baby shower. spent time with Gramma during her last days, she passed away June 13th. I miss her everyday.

helped with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Katie's wedding! found out exciting news that my sister and brian were pregnant!

lots of birthdays and weddings. that's what happened that month.

nicole's wedding! visiting katie & mike in pittsburgh and went to the melting pot. AMAZING.
experienced the most amazing night of my life with the love of my life - September 30, 2009 i became the "future" mrs. joshua monacella :)

posted the best thing ever: ENGAGEMENT! starting slacking on the posting. mostly thinking wedding stuff. find out that i'm going to be an auntie to a baby GIRL :)

find out bad news about Papa Koos's cancer, much more serious than we thought. celebrated our first holiday without our grammas.

looking for shoes. searching for bridesmaid dresses. struggling. planning sissy's baby shower. awesome holiday with family and future in-laws/family.

what a crazy, emotional, roller coaster year. i'm very excited for 2010 - gonna be an AUNT and gonna get MARRIED!! i know this year is going to be another hard one, as Papa Koos is struggling with cancer and has been in and out of the hospital repeatedly the last few months due to surgeries and complications. i'm going into 2010 hopeful and excited. praying for protection for my neice, for improvement in business and the economy, for strength in all the craziness that will happen...

hope you all had a good year, here's to 2010 being even better!

Monday, December 28, 2009


my holiday has be great so far! i'm back to work for a few days (hopefully only two, but we'll see) and house-sitting at my sister's this whole week. josh doesn't have any lessons, so he'll be out early every day too! yippee! :)

Christmas was awesome - Christmas Eve morning we had our 2nd annual SKANK gift exchange & breakfast. then i sang at both our Christmas Eve services, then met Josh at his gram's house. it works out perfect for Christmas - we can attend pretty much all our family events together because nothing overlaps. Christmas Eve is at Josh's mum's house, then Christmas early afternoon at my mum's, evening at Josh's other gram's and Boxing Day (day after Christmas) we spend with some of our "English" family (my mum's cousin and her English hubby).

before we ate our "early dinner" Christmas afternoon, i read this passage in honor of Gramma Betty Jane Koos, who passed in June of this year. she would read "My Utmost for His Highest," by Oswald Chambers daily - and if you looked in her worn book, you would see the notes she kept in there - marking our birthdays every year, when we'd leave for trips to England, when family members had surgeries or past away. Gramma was an amazing and godly woman, and i wanted us to stop and remember her and Christ on His birthday.

His Birth in History. ". . . that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not emerge out of history; He came into history from the outside. Jesus Christ is not the best human being the human race can boast of— He is a Being for whom the human race can take no credit at all. He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate— God coming into human flesh from outside it. His life is the highest and the holiest entering through the most humble of doors. Our Lord’s birth was an advent— the appearance of God in human form.

i had a great time this Christmas and got some fun gifts - Bethany & I exchanged first, the week before christmas, but everything she got me i had picked out and knew about already, haha. Josh bought me new perfume that i wanted, Nicole - my secret SKANK santa got me some new sharpie fine points (LOVE!) and two books - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters. very excited about both of these books. sissy & bri got me a cute tote, sweater and socks, mum and dad bought me a variety of cute things (including a GIANT book of Jane Austen novels, chocolate, new mugs, earrings, Sims3 World Adventures and some other fun things). Also received a bunch of bridal stuff from my Aunt, some gift cards, and of course - cash!

i'm excited for the rest of the week to be relaxing (we were running around all weekend). we don't have much planned but one New Year's Eve party we were invited to, but other than that i was planning on celebrating the two of us and doing pretty much nothing all day!

hope everyone had an awesome Christmas with family and friends!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


i've been really struggling lately. at work, with money, with wedding decisions...i've been in a funk.

i really don't like it.

i feel like i'm not doing my best at work. i feel like i'm not doing my best with budgeting. i feel like i'm getting too frustrated over stupid wedding details that don't matter. i'm not really quite sure what to do with myself.

i have a very hard time getting up in the morning. sometimes i think i should ask the bosses if i can work 9-530 and maybe that extra hour in the morning will help me feel better all around and therefore make me a better employee.

usually i'm convinced it's my attitude that is my problem. with everything...

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough problems of its own..."
Matthew 6:34

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

why are these so hard to live out? no matter what your faith entails, being joyful and not worrying about "tomorrow" is good's just so hard...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

hunt and a sort of dilemma

i've been on the shoe-hunt and bridesmaid-dress-hunt for the last couple of weeks. the conclusion we've come to for the girls is a very common one now - let them pick out what they want. because i'm looking for a dark purple color that isn't very easy to find, i've realized this may be just as hard as them agreeing on a dress! but we're keeping our options open at bridal stores, so they might just pick from there anyway, but at least there is the option!!

i've been excited looking for shoes. i've wanted something that is a crazy color (purple or orange or even pink) and i've found some awesome ideas so far. i'm back and forth between the idea of flats or kitten heels (i do not want something higher!), and i need to make a decision by February because that is when they told me i should get my dress hemmed (mum wants to do the bustle and other alterations, so i need to get the hem done ASAP so she gets enough time for the rest of it, if she does in fact do it).

i'm absolutely in love with NINA brand shoes. it seems many of the ones i've shown roomie Kristen have been those shoes. did you know you can "create your own" shoe with them?!! yeah, for $150 +!!! the ones i love the most are under $100, but not much. i was hoping to spend more like, um, $25. haha. the dilemma here is probably that i want to spend more than i should/have. also i'm nerve about buying something online, though i'm sure i could send it back if need be.

i want to post pictures of the ones that i like the most, but i guess i want that to be a "surprise" as well...

what kind of shoes did YOU wear or are you planning on wearing? high heels? flats? dress color or something funky??

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


i hope everyone had an awesome holiday and vacation! of course, it went too quickly, but it was great nonetheless.

we had a great Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt and uncle's house. lots of food, watching The Office wedding, Rock Band and ping pong. I made a Chocolate Chocolate Chip bundt cake (Daisy Sour Cream Recipe - good though a little too rich/dark chocolate for my tastes), Veggie Casserole (broccoli, carrots & cauliflower - lost the recipe so i did this from memory and was still good!) and Corn Pudding thanks to Big Red Kitchen's awesome recipe.

my sister's baby shower is coming up in little over a month!! mum asked me to make cupcakes for it. i made some awesome ones for a baby shower earlier this year and i plan on doing the same ones. i believe they were lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting and i piped "baby" in white chocolate (in blue and pink - they weren't finding out the sex until the birth). mmm can't wait!!