Post-Grad Celebration: Part II

Sunday afternoon, the graduation celebrations continued!

 

Did you miss part 1?

 

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We had some leftover champagne from the night before, so mom made me a mimosa while I got ready for the party.

 

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She combined equal parts Trop 50 Orange Juice and champagne.

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My dad and stepmom wanted to have a get-together in Tampa with my family and friends from back home. Mark, my mom, and I made the 1.5 hour drive from Orlando to celebrate!

 

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I’m so glad Mark likes driving, because I would rather be a passenger. I played on my iPhone the whole drive over.

 

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Once we got there, Lexie (my 10 year old little sister), brought out her new pet to show off.

 

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His name is Stanley, and he is a bearded dragon.

 

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We arrived a bit early, and the food was not ready. My mom helped to prepare the salad.

 

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She taught us all a really cool trick with avocado: Rinsing avocado with milk keeps it from turning brown for 24-48 hours. We had avocado sitting out for a few hours in the salad and it never turned brown! Pretty neat.

 

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My stepmom made cheese triangles, which are always a hit! They are basically rolled out croissants with a mixture of mayo, parmesan cheese, green onions, and a few herbs baked in  the oven. So crispy and delicious, like mini pizzas!

 

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Pretty soon, family members started to arrive. First was my dad’s mom (Granny) and Papa Tex.

 

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Then, my dad’s sisters (my favorite aunts), and my grandma.

 

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Even a few friends from Orlando made the drive! Taylor (and her un-pictured BF) came to say congrats!

 

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Even though my family is physically split up through divorce, it’s really nice that everyone still gets along. Instead of losing family, I feel like it only gets bigger! Many people might find this bizarre, but it works for us!

 

My mom and my aunt Christie (dad’s sister) were happy to see each other!

 

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Guess who else made an appearance at the party?

 

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JasoNerd!

 

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He was in Orlando visiting his family (he moved 7 hours away for a job in April) and came by to say congrats! We have remained good friends, and it meant a lot to me that he stopped by. After all, he helped get me to graduation more than any other person in the world. 😀

 

I think Lexie was the most excited out of everyone to see Jason. He’s always a good sport.

 

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Brother and sisters picture:

 

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Once all my family and friends arrived, it was time to eat!

 

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My parents had created quite the buffet of food for our guests.

 

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A sandwich making station, salad, fruit, chips and hummus, cookies, and a cheesecake made their way onto the table.

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My plate was filled with: pork tenderloin and cheese sandwich, a large portion of salad (complete with feta, avocado, almonds, and tomato), and grapes. I also went back for a cookie!

 

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Of course, like any party, more pictures were taken!

 

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Thank you to my family and friends for making my graduation so special! I am glad that I got to share this milestone with all the people I love.

 

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Graduation is over!

 

Holy cow, what next?

 

I’m off on a week long trip! First stop, the beach!

 

❤ MegaNerd

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Graduation!

It’s official, I’m a college graduate!

 

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After 5 long years of studying, I now have a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

 

I actually had no idea what I wanted to wear under my cap and gown, so Friday night I tested a few things out.

 

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I knew it would be a boring ceremony, and I joked I was going to hide Mark under my gown for some company.

 

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The ceremony didn’t start until 2:00pm, which left me plenty of time to run, shower, eat, take my sweet time getting ready, and take pictures. I was so excited about graduating that I woke up before it was fully light out, and got in a 5.0 mile run. I finished in 48:56! It was hot out, but my spirits were high and there was no stopping me.

 

We headed to Panera Bread for an early lunch/late breakfast around 10:45am. I tried the new Strawberry Poppyseed Salad which was amazingly refreshing on a super hot day! I also had half a Smokehouse Turkey sandwich with cheese, turkey, and bacon (not healthy but soooo yummy.)

 

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My mom drove down on Friday from North Carolina to see me graduate! It has been so nice having her in town!

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After lunch, we headed to campus to shoot some pictures. It’s kind of a tradition that people take pictures in front of the main fountain, but there was a LINE! I decided it would be more appropriate to take them in front of the engineering buildings since they were pretty much my home-away-from-home for the past 5 years.

 

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Here are some of my faves:

 

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Class of 2010!

 

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I took a few artsy ones as well:

 

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The ceremony began at 2:00 pm and lasted two hours. They had several other colleges, not just engineering, graduating and it seemed like the ceremony took forever!

 

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My mom tried to get a photo me in the crowd…

 

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Once the ceremony let out, it was POURING rain. Nobody could leave or move anywhere because there were bad lightning storms all around us. Everyone kind of stood in a mob for about 20 minutes until it cleared.

 

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Then, it was time for more pictures!

 

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I’m DONE! For real! 

 

Time to celebrate! 😀

 

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Thanks to my family and friends for coming to see me walk! My dad and stepmom took other pictures but I didn’t get them yet, but they were there!!

 

❤ MegaNerd

It’s About Time!

After 7.5 years of dating (including all of college and most of high school) my two really good friends tied the knot!

 

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The wedding was beautiful and filled with more love than I ever thought possible. I didn’t take pictures during the ceremony itself, but she looked insanely gorgeous. I love seeing my friends so happy!

 

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As I arrived at the reception, I placed my gift to the couple at the already full table. It’s going to take forever to open all of these!

 

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I also signed the guestbook/frame!

 

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While we waited for the couple to arrive, I took a seat with some old friends.

 

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Did I mention that my date to the wedding was my best friend from middle school, who was also my high school homecoming date? Eight years later, Tyler and I show up together.

 

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The bridal party took forever to take pictures. Luckily, there was a candy bar for us to check out:

 

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I munched on a few handfuls of m&m’s while chatting with other guests.

 

Once the couple was announced, it was time for their first dance as husband and wife. It’s amazing to see two people so in love that their joy literally fills a room. That’s Jaime and Matt for you.

 

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Dinner was buffet style, and I was at one of the last tables to get food. They have HUGE families! I had a hodge-podge of everything.

 

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When it was time to cut the cake, there was a big debate: To smash, or not to smash.

 

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Matt is an engineer (like me!) and is very by the rules. He carefully tried to place the cake in her mouth but dropped it on her dress. Ooops.

 

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Jaime is the silly one of the two and had planned all along to shove cake in his face.

 

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The music started playing and everyone jumped up to the dance floor.

 

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I hung back and took some pictures with my old high school gang. I miss these girls!

 

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Next up it was time for the bouquet and garter toss!

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Look who caught it!

 

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Is this bad luck!?

 

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We all headed outside to wish the couple farewell!

 

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Bubbles were everywhere!

 

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Congratulations, Jaime and Matt! May you be as happy forever as you were on your wedding day!

 

They are now on a plane to Hawaii! How awesome is that?!

 

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After the wedding, I drove the two hours back to Orlando. During the drive, I thought to myself how blessed I am to have such awesome friends in my life!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Luau Rehearsal Dinner

It’s Wedding Season!

 

I came back to my hometown of Brandon, FL (a suburb of Tampa)  for the first time in 3 years this weekend. Pretty weird feeling to be back. I came back for my dear friends’ wedding.

 

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Even though I am not a part of the bridal party, she invited me to come the rehearsal dinner since we have known each other since 6th grade.

 

This was taken  of us on the bus to summer camp around age 15. Hehehe. (I’m in the green shirt.)

 

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I knew her (future) husband before she did — we were biology lab partners in 9th grade!!

 

Anyways, on to the party. The couple, Jaime and Matt, are surfers and total beach bums which I love about them. Their rehearsal dinner was more of a luau themed party.

 

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While we waited for dinner to get started, I sipped on a strawberry tea lemonade.

 

 

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I had a plate of BBQ for dinner…

 

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…and a pineapple filled with sorbet for dessert. YUM!

 

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Sorbet filled fruit is such a great idea!

 

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I was at a table with all married couples… except for Kelli. We are the single ones left from the high school group. I like to think of myself as having high standards. 😉

 

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The dinner was REALLY fun. My friend Lisa’s husband was doing all kinds of magic tricks for us…

 

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I HAD to know how this was done.

 

I was unsure how my sunburn would look in a halter top dress. Plus, my hideous feet. No worries, I didn’t go totally unglamorously. I gave myself a pedi.

 

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Before:

 

I wore my hair down to cover the brutal burn.

 

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Who wants to see THIS?!?!

 

 

I also used some sunless tanner on my non-red skin to even out the color slightly. It worked pretty well! Everyone commented that I looked really tan. Yay for cancer free tanning.

 

The wedding is tonight! I am going to try to hit the gym, but I still need to go get a wedding present and run some other errands while in Tampa.

 

I feel completely clueless about all things wedding related. I guess it’s about time I start learning…I’m going to be a bridesmaid in Debbie’s wedding in a few months!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Box Face Birthday…Otherwise Known As Caitlin’s 26th

Happy 26th Birthday, Caitlin! She still has one more day, but we celebrated early!

 

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Last night, I went out with Caitlin and some friends for to celebrate her birthday! We started out at the Relax Grill at Lake Eola. I had never been before, but really enjoyed the outdoor patio and live music.

 

 

We all split a couple of bottles of wine to save on costs of individual glasses.

 

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I drank some of the Pinot Grigio which was pretty good, and they also got a Riesling.

 

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There were tons of great looking Mediterranean dishes offered, but I wasn’t feeling to hungry.  The menu had a lot of great appetizer items, so Mark and I split two.

 

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First, we had the chicken quesadilla… it was huge and yummy.

 

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Then, we had the spinach dip with chips. I wasn’t in love with the chips, so I dunked my quesadilla into the spinach dip.

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I think I died and went to food heaven! SO GOOD!

 

The rest of the night was pretty fun!  We hung out and talked and did typical birthday celebration stuff.

 

In the meantime, I discovered my new favorite drink: Sex on the Beach.

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Box face Series:

 

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We like box faces.

 

 

Awww Series:

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Sigh.

 

I am going to miss Caitlin (and Kristien, too!) so much when they move to Charlotte, NC in 63 days! They are some of the coolest people I have met. Ever. 😀

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAITLIN!

 

Some exciting things are happening in my life! I can’t wait to share with you all! For now, I’m off to get some work done. Happy Sunday!

 

❤ MegaNerd

This Will Be…

…an Everlasting Love!!!

 

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My friends Lisa and Tim tied the knot this morning! The wedding was gorgeous, and I am so happy for them. 😀

 

Their wedding started early, so I stopped at Starbucks for some coffee on the way over. One Iced Tall Nonfat Caramel Machiatto, please!

 

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The wedding was held at beautiful Leu Gardens in Orlando.

 

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The only other wedding I have been to (other than when I was very young) is my brother’s beach wedding back in October. So far, I love outdoor weddings!

 

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The aisle was full of pink rose petals as guests arrived.

 

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The beautiful bridesmaids walked down the aisle…

 

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…and then the bride!

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It turned out to be a perfect day for a wedding. Not a single drop of rain, beautiful sun, and a gorgeous bride!

 

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Now pronouncing the Mr. and Mrs!

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After the ceremony, I spent some time catching up with old friends and taking pictures in the gardens.

 

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My friend Taylor and me…

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…same thing again, but added Tyler!

 

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Tyler has been one of my best friends since seventh grade. We don’t hang out nearly enough and it was so great to see him!

 

Mark happily came along as my date. He cleans up nicely!! 😉

 

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Time to mingle!

 

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I had two of these little sundried tomato things. YUM!

 

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Plus a sparkling water… this was a non-alcohol wedding. It WAS in the morning…

 

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Let’s make a toast!

 

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I sat at the “singles/kid table”, or so we joked.

 

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Since the wedding was so early, the reception included a brunch. Even though I ate breakfast, I was hungry!

 

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My plate included:

  • Honey smoked salmon (only a taste)
  • veggies
  • garlic tomato pasta
  • chicken with some sort of cream sauce (only ate half)
  • sundried tomato frittata
  • blueberry scone
  • piece of chocolate muffin stolen from Mark

 

I didn’t finish it all, because I was saving room for cake!

 

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Wedding cakes are always so beautiful! I wouldn’t want to cut the cake, it’s too pretty!!

 

I had a small piece, but I don’t really like red velvet. The icing is my favorite part anyways.

 

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It’s crazy to think that this is my first friend-I-grew-up-with-wedding, and two more next month! Pretty soon everyone is going to be having babies…gaaaah! I have at least ten years before that happens. 🙂

 

 

Our last high school group picture was taken, well… three years ago?

 

 

We were WAY overdue for another one!!

 

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I am so glad that I got to celebrate this day with my friends. Here’s to a long life of love and happiness!!!

Yay, Love!!!

xoxo,

❤ MegaNerd

Green Eggs and [Easter] Ham

Did someone say there was no such thing as the Easter Bunny!?

 

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Pft… I don’t know what she is talking about!

 

Easter is usually filled with lots of candy, chocolate, and other goodies, so I loaded up on a healthy breakfast before heading to Tampa.

 

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I had a bowl of apples and cinnamon oatmeal, with a green egg from yesterday’s coloring adventures.

 

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Look what the bunny brought!  A GIANT Reese’s Egg.

 

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It just wouldn’t be Easter without Candy for breakfast. I had a little nibble. 🙂

 

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Upon arriving to Tampa, I was greeted by my family.

 

Michael, my little brother, was bouncing off the walls after consuming copious amounts of refined sugar…

 

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…My dad showed off his mad skills on the wii guitar…

 

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…and Lexie was her usual silly self.

 

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They make me laugh. I love them! 😀

 

Let’s not forget about Belle!!

 

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Mark came along for the Easter celebration to meet my family. I’m really glad they got along, but what’s not to love?!

 

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Seriously… I feel like if he can deal with this…

 

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…he’s a keeper! 😀

 

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It was such a gorgeous day outside. There was not a cloud in the sky and the weather was warm. We sat on the porch and munched on some snacks while everyone arrived.

 

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Don’t be fooled. I ate this plate times five.

 

It’s always fun to see my family members. Most of my family lives in Tampa, and as I get closer to graduation, I can’t really imagine moving too far from them.

 

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As it got closer to dinner time, I was getting annoying with the camera. I seriously think that my family thinks I’m trying to get a job as paparazzi. Sorry, guys! 

 

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I was just getting hungry… sheesh.

 

Dinner was fabulous! I always leave feeling absolutely stuffed to the brim. It’s worth it, though. I never deprive myself on Holidays, or ever really.

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I had a little of everything. My stepmom is becoming quite a chef!

  • honey glazed ham
  • squash casserole (made my grandma!)
  • mashed potatoes and gravy
  • green beans with special seasoning
  • citrus salad
  • challah bread chunk

 

After dinner, it was time for the annual egg hunt!

 

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The kids had a blast! I miss Easter egg hunting. It was always so much fun growing up.

 

By the way, Mark’s mirrors sunglasses make for some awesome photography!

 

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After all the eggs were found, we came inside for some delicious dessert. I had a little bit of everything…

 

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  • chocolate chip cookie
  • cheesecake/pecan brownie
  • devil’s food cheesecake (EPIC!)

 

I am really glad that I went home for Easter, it just wouldn’t be the same without my family.

 

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I’m off to get ready for the week ahead! I actually have a little bit of free time tonight, which is so rare.  Enjoy your night!

 

Happy Easter!

 

❤ MegaNerd