11 miles & Cashing in on a Christmas Present

So this morning I knocked out another 11 mile training run! I am seriously LOVING this stuff!!

11 miles. Done and done.

Stretchy stretch with the (magic) stick!

I don’t know why I was so afraid to sign up for a marathon. I mean yes, I know that 26.2 miles is a lot, and the most I’ll ever run at one time until race-day is 20 miles… but I think I’ll be well prepared by the time May 1st rolls around. As long as I listen to my body and stay injury-free, I should be good to go 🙂


Today Ryan and I have quite the adventure ahead of us! Let’s just say… it involves a mini roadtrip to Chapel Hill, a nice dinner at the best restaurant Franklin Street has to offer (Cypress on the Hill, anyone?), and some African Wildlife. Any guesses as to what it is?

Let me give you some clues…

But first, a background story!

This past November I was debating over what to give Ryan for Christmas. I don’t know what sparked the idea in my head, but I randomly decided to search online for a certain show on Ticketmaster. I actually found the show I was looking for and realized that they would be performing only 2 hours away in Raleigh/Durham during the month of January. After a quick squeal and some constrained wiggles in my seat to contain my excitement (I was at work), I started searching for tickets to the show. My heart began to flutter once I kept seeing “sold out,” “sold out,” “sold out” over and over again on the screen… “Could ALL of the shows really be sold out?!” I did some more searching, and finally nabbed two tickets for the last weekend they’d be in town—the last weekend in January.

Three weeks went by and I found myself and Ryan packin’ up the car for the Christmas holiday to head to my momma’s house down in Florida, sans tickets. The tickets still had not arrived in the mail. At first I was sad, because I didn’t have anything *tangible* to give to Ryan for our first Christmas together. And to make matters worse, I’d be making him wait over a month to actually enjoy his present. That’s when I realized this was a great opportunity for me to get creative!! https://i1.wp.com/roots.greenbush.us/3/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/lightbulb.jpg

While I was in Florida, I crafted together a fun way to present Ryan’s non-existent present (Thank you, momma Rice, for providing the bebe boxes and wrapping paper, as my current budget does not allow me to invest in such frivolous things…yet).

(Sidenote: Ryan has spent the past 2 Christmases before this current one with us. However, he usually flies out to Arkansas the day before the actual holiday so he can be with his own family on Christmas day… and I just drive back up to Charlotte by myself a few days later. Needless to say, we were so excited to finally spend the real Christmas day together this time around!)

Here’s how it all went down:


Wake up wake up wake up IT’S CHRISTMAS MORNING!!!!


Presents under the tree!

First, Happy needed something to entertain herself with while the rest of the famjam opened up human presents…


Stocking full of “happiness”




Happy loves anything and everything “kong”

Stockings and Christmas cards around the table during brekkie!


Oh mom, you know you love getting your picture taken at 7am.


Gerry’s turn!


Oh hey, Ry, fancy seein' you here this lovely Christmas morning (!!!)


I’m such a poser


Smile pretty!


My present to my momma… all personalized with her favorite spots on Sanibel and Captiva!


“Annie’s Oasis”


Carrying over Momma Rice’s big present to Ry…


Happy boy!

Ryan’s stepmom, Barb, picked out this pretty scarf for me!


Looove it!

And the unveiling of Ryan’s surprise present begins!


Yes, Ryan, all of these bebe boxes are for you.


Opening up the first one…


“a special occasion…”


“…for two”

More clues…


“Durham, North Carolina”


“8PM Saturday, January 29th”


All the clues put together…

Hmmm… I wonder what it could be?!


Dun dun dunnnn...


What is it what is it?!?!



We’re goin’ to see The Lion King !!!!!


I saw this show with my parents when I was 17 back in Cincinnati. I thought it was an incredible performance and remember it with so much detail. I can’t wait to experience it again, and this time with Ryan! So that’s where we are headed tonight — we are so excited!!!

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering what Ryan got me for Christmas…


A brand spankin’ new red NOTEBOOK! YES!!!

Just kidding, here’s what was inside:


Looks like we were both crafty!

Some other goodies from Ryan:


Trader Joe’s GINGERCATS!!!! I die.


And dark chocolate covered EDAMAME!!!

He knows me so well!!


“Always kiss me goodnight”

Seriously now, what a sweetheart…

And here’s how I cashed in on my cardboard watch a few weeks ago….


Bling Bling!!!

Now I can finally tell time correctly! In case you have forgotten, I noted on my  FAQ page how awesome I am at telling time…

“I wear a watch (one of the sporty kinds) and because I’m so smart in math, I never change it when it comes time for Daylight Savings. I just subtract an hour during the months of Nov-March. (kidding, Math is TOTALLY not my strong point, I’m just really bad with technology and do not know how to change the time on my watch). I’ve been doing this for so many years now… I’m just used to it. I have a feeling Ryan is going to one day switch my watch for me. So if I start showing up early to things during the winter, just go with it and be happy I’m on time…”

And switch up my watch he did! Maybe he’ll stop using man-code on me now that I have this new watch Smile with tongue out

Ah, what a perfect first Christmas together…


Loooove Christmas in Florida!

Check back later for a recap of our African Safari Lion King adventure… it’s time for us to hit the road!

Hakuna Matata!!



Filed under Captiva, Christmas, family, Florida, Happy, my story, recap, roadtrip, Ryan, Sanibel Island, Travel

18 responses to “11 miles & Cashing in on a Christmas Present

  1. Lion King on Broadway is so good!! Saw it years ago, and loved it! All the Christmas pics are so cute!! 🙂 Have a great weekend, girl!

  2. My boyfriend and I stopped getting each other conventional gifts also since we’d rather do fun things together!

  3. I loved reading this! I never change any watches/clocks for daylight savings, I’m way toooo lazy. I always have digital watches too, they are so much easier to read for a “can’t do any type of math person” like me. But I really want to get a kind like yours- it’s so cute!!

  4. Ok….I was about to go all index finger in the air “Oh no he di’nt get you a red notebook for baby Jesus’s birthday”! But then I kept reading—thankfully so! You two are so creative, I love it! Is that TJ’s goodness also on Xmas? Doubly awesome. If Ryan wants to come over to my place and change the clock in my Corolla, I would be more than happy to let him. I seriously hate it b/c half of the year I’m good, the other half not so much. I miss when cars had non-digital stuff, sigh.

    And how frickin gorgeous was it today?? I need the warm weather to get here stat!

    • Heck yes I’m rockin’ some TJ’s goodies… gingercats are where it’s AT! Love those babies. And I’m sure Ryan would love to change the clock in your car… he’d have it done in point two seconds!

  5. Aw you two are so freaking cute! I am so jealous of Christmas in Florida–short sleeve shirts?! Yes, please! 🙂

  6. Hope you guys enjoyed The Lion King, in Durham.
    I saw it on Broadway during one of many NYC trips, back in 2005, I think. The sets and costumes were amazing; but it is not one of my favorites. (I am a HUGE Broadway Musical nerd). I’ve seen a ton of shows, keep my Playbills, all that jazz. Yes, dorky. 🙂


  7. Awww, I LOVED reading this! What a great first Christmas together! You two are just SO adorable, love it! 🙂

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