Updates as of late...

Hm. Not too many updates… I've been traveling, wedding thinking & planning, and organizing things around the house. I haven't had many things to blog about, but it's been in the back of head my that I really need to get back at it!

I had a lovely Christmas relaxing at home for a week. Most of my wonderful family was in town to celebrate and spend the days with...  always my favorite! This year was obviously different though. Derek and I split up our time with his family and mine. We drove around a lot and got a ton of congrats over the holidays! So this Christmas, I was thankful for my new family and their traditions! I love the idea of combining new and old when Derek and I create Christmas memories for our kids (not for awhile folks).

For New Years, Derek's parents treated the kids and their significant others to a vacation in Florida! YAY - Sunshine and warmth! It was much need :) and much appreciated!!

One of my fave's is the last one, the Burtch family cheesin'!!

{ First time sugar cooking baking' with the Wessels }

{ Chsristmas Eve }

{ Thanks Michelle! }

{ Christmas on Doten }

{ Biking on Sanibel Island }

{ Sand, sun, and rainbows }

{ Parasailing and paddle boarding!! }

{ i love the beach }

{ Many lovely dinners out }

{ Travis & Blythe }

{ NYE }

ENGAGED!

Sunday evening, Derek asked me to marry him and I said YES! He had the whole thing planned for weeks. Weeks!? I couldn't believe his creativity, thoughtfulness, and shear element of surprise. He done me good, real good…. Would you like to hear how!?

A week ago Derek told me that we were going to this little event at the Zoo. I assumed it was the Columbus Zoo Lights event, but he also mentioned his friend works with some of the animals and we would get to pet a few of the small ones. The weather was terrible, so windy and rainy, so they closed zoo lights early. He told me not to worry, we can still see the baby animals! Of course I was on board. So a couple of friends (Courtney, Kyle, & Joey) came with us. So the evening proceeds... we're all gawking over an adorable and friendly little penguin when his friend who works at the zoo, Shannon, says let me grab this african fox - you'll love it! She hands me this cuddly little fox and I spy the note... "Jackie, will you marry me?" OMG. WHAT?!?! Actually, I said "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!" as if he would pull an awful prank like that! We were lucky enough to have his friend Jake video the entire thing; notice he was speechless and so was I! I said yes, of course!! 



The next part of our story still warms my heart… This kid got my family there to share the love as we celebrated with dinner and champagne toasts at his sister's house! I mean, c'mon. {Pinch me now} So many tears, so much love, and soooo much excitement for our future! 

These are all pictures from Derek's sister, Grace! Head on over to {her blog} to see more of her awesome photos!
  
{my family}
{derek's family}
{the friends} 
{he's a keeper}

 Oh, did I mention the ring? Dang. All I have to say is he knows me, he knows my style, and he really hit a home run with his ring choice!

{it has a touch of rose gold… perfection!}

My family reunion: LA edition


This year, my family reunion was in Los Angeles, California. Lots of sun, lots of smiles, & a ton of fun! One of the first days, we broke up into teams and did a scavenger hunt similar to the amazing race. My team, unfortunately, came in 3rd (out of three teams), but we did have a lot of fun seeing some cool Hollywood sights along the way. Saturday night, when we roasted my uncle as SNL characters was by far my favorite evening! He was a good sport and laughed the entire time! Yeah... my family is pretty cool :) I love them all & miss 'em already!

The losing time, but definitely the bestttt team!

Michelle & I on the Hop On Hop Off scavenger hunt

Rock & Roll

Proud of our 3rd place :)

Me & Aunt Dini
Beth & MICHAEL CERA!!! super cool!
love these...

Dayton <3 td="">

Sprinkles Cupcake & Sprinkles ice cream = greatest combo ever.

24-hour Sprinkles cupcake dispenser = heaven!

Momma!


Protein pancackes by KC!

Me: Debbie Downer / Beth: Target Lady

My Mom: PAT

Meg & Kc: The Delicious Dish

The whole gang & the birthday boy!

Venice Beach

Met Katrina from Tone It Up with KC @ Coffee Beacn!!


Nikki

I've always known losing our family's first pet would be tough, but are you ever actually prepared for those things? I certainly don't think so. This past Wednesday, I received a text from my Dad, saying Nikki was back at the vet and not doing well (her back legs and hips had been slowly deteriorating, we could clearly see that when I was home for Christmas). I will admit, the text made me nervous, but in the back of my mind I told myself we still had time, I had to pet those soft little ears one last time. Sadly, this was not the case. My parents made the tough decision to put her down that day, said their good-byes, and called my brother and I.

It's a hard thing coming home, without that precious face to greet me! One of my good friends was kind enough to work her photoshop magic and whip this up in a day for me to bring home this weekend and gift to my mom. Yes, tears were involved, my friends!

{ but seriously... how beautiful is that! }

Jessica Porter is an amazing retoucher, with whom I also have the pleasure of working with at VS! 

You can find her work { HERE } and { HERE }. And hey; shoot her an email and have her make you a personal illustration of your beloved pet!

Christmas Eve

{ Mom & Dad }


{ The usual dinner set up... this seats more than it looks like }




{ New kitchen!! }


{ Mom, Aunt Dini & Meg }


{ Claire, Meg & Sarah }




{ Aunt Suzi & Nene }
{ Dinner time }
{ Dinning room dinner table & kitchen dinner table }


{ K dot C dot }

{ A boy and his beloved pup }

{ Post-dinner naps... sure looks cozy – not! }

These little gems are a continuation of Christmas Eve at my house :) Via this post you may remember that we were all a little stressed about the kitchen being presentable to the family for Christmas Eve dinner; well folks it was beautiful! Now, they have moved on to finishing the kitchen, building the addition, repainting, and redoing the floor in the living room! YAY! My mom said it should be done sometime mid february, so I just have to go home and check it out!

Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thanksgiving Instagrams

{wednesday night out with friends}

{christmas ale}

{happy turkey-day! photo cred. to michael kenneth}

{family fun on a friday night}

{check this beautiful sky out - holy moly!}
I am so very thankful for my friends and family and the ability to travel home to see both over the Holidays. Many are unable to make it home, and one day that may be me - but for now I cherish each Holiday I am fortunate enough to make it back to Cleveland to spend time with people I love!

Hope you all had as deliciously filling of a Thanksgiving meal as I did :)

 I am also thankful for some little things that make me smile! As pictured above; a good light-up sign that brings some festive element to the bar atmosphere, Great Lakes Christmas Ale (the best seasonal beer EVER), selfie-photos, and amazing sunsets on a road-trip!

Family Reunion 2012

My family reunion was at the end of July in Hocking Hills (OH). That was almost a month ago... It was so fun to have a little get-away with every one. All 20-something of us crammed into a cabin, lots of games, activities, food, dancing, laughter, and memories.

Here are some of the highlights
{Mesa Vista Lodge}


{Sarah & Emma}


{Saturday night dance party on the deck... we're reallllyyy good dancers... HA}


{game time}


{Boys VS Girls... guess who won}


{My Mom & Carrie}


{Brother Michael & Beth}


{Zip-Line TIME}


{being silly on a hike}


{the littlest one in the Owen clan... his name being Owen of course}


{Last day canoe trip}
 It may sound cliche, but my family is such an amazing group of people and I am so blessed!

Grandpa

This past weekend was rather rough for me and my family – – we lost someone very special to us. My grandpa passed away peacefully and surrounded by his family last Friday. It's bitter sweet for me because I know he is in a much better place and with my grandma, who passed when I was in high school, and yet its tough to loose the last of my grandparents.

He was an amazing person, so loving, so kind, and I know he loved all of his grandkids with all of his heart! He was always active with us kids, whether it was chasing us around the house, putting us on his shoulders, or tickling, he loved to tickle us! My cousins and I especially enjoyed when he would whip up some silver dollar pancakes... somehow they were extra delicious! Years later, we discovered the secret ingredient (yes, a lot of love was one ingredient - but I'm talking about a little something else )!

Grandpa, mom & I


His obituary has more about is hard-working and multi-talented life :)
Like I said, he was an amazing person!

{In loving memory of Glen D. Owen}

Part Two: Candi Cane

West Side Market involved a little more of an adventure, which included a strange stuffed animal I came across in my mom's car... why she had "Candi Cane" I will never know! And yes, these are child-ish things to do... but quite fun! Everyone needs to let their inner child out on occasion!!! Enjoyyy!

Meet Candi Cane via her adventurous West Side Market trip:




1. Meg & Candi Cane - they have similar eyes
2. Candi thoroughly enjoys candy.. duh!
3. Brother Michael decides to be-friend Candi
4. Candi says hello to her cousin Michelle!
5. Candi enjoys a clementine sample from the market
6. Can you spy Candi making a few more friends?


Happy Holidays <3 Candi Cane

Part One: Lunch

I was only in town for all of one week — but I was able to pack in as much as possible! One of my favorite days was lunch at my favorite restaurant in Cleveland, TYFUN, and walking around the West Side Market!






Christmas

My time at home was a whirl-wind of family love and fun times! I'm sad it all happened so fast... but I guess you take what you can get in the working-world! That's something I am definitely going to have a hard time adjusting to. 

I got home last Friday in time to meet up with my high-school dance team for lunch- which was delightful! It's been a long time since we have all been together and it was so wonderful to see all their lovely little faces :) 



Then I made it home in time for dinner with my family and I spent the evening wrapping my Christmas presents and creating a little something for all my aunts and cousins! It's a super east recipe for hand/body scrub! Found here, it smells eatable!


And finally it was Christmas eve!!! It's my favorite because my whole family of 30+ somehow fits into our house for dinner and a small present exchange. My dad always cooks... and let me tell you – HE IS THE BEST! Ask anyone in my family! haha. Here's a little recap of my very favorite holiday:

1. Christmas table decor      2. Fun gold shoes
3. Cousins 4. A festive red/green Meghan & I      5. Cousins with Santatize APP
6. Cousins: Sarah, KC, Meghan, Me & Claire
7. Meg and our new addition Owen      8. Sleepy baby Owen
9. CHRISTMAS MORNING :) Hot cocoa! 
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with loved ones! I certainly did... I am already excited for next year!

Gobble gobble gobble

Thanksgiving at home was simply divine! I love spending time with my family... especially over a delicious meal!
My baby Nikki!


THE BEST: Christmas Ale before dinner

salad, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and corn bread= perfect turkey day meal!

finish it off with peanut butter pie YUMMY

Love that I am near the lake at home... its beautiful no matter the weather!

Decorating before heading back to Columbus!

Dad, Michael, and Mom
Did you have a fulfilling Thanksgiving!? What were you thankful for?
 First, I am so incredibly thankful for my family and friends :) 
Second, I am thankful for my college experience that led me to an amazing job right after graduation!

Home sweet home


Oh home... my mom sent me this picture of our house all ready for Halloween and it made me miss home a lot! I love that she decorates for every holiday under the sun. Even in college I would get frequent care packages for Valentine's day, St. Patricks Day, etc. full of little things to decorate the dorm or my campus house with! I'm hoping she continues this tradition forever because it makes me smile!!

Welcome baby Owen

I got see my brand new baby cousin Sunday afternoon... Owen! He's a doll and he slept cozily in my arms for almost an hour! I posted about my cousin Michelle and her baby shower a month or two ago and he joined us recently... September 26th at 8lbs and all 22 inches of him!! 
Yayy- ain't he a cutie!?!



Labor day relaxation

A calm afternoon at home in cleveland is the way I chose to spend my labor day!! Erie island coffee provided my mom and I with a wonderful, hot latte on a crisp September afternoon! Coupled with a much needed mom/daughter chat... It was a lovely afternoon!! Now for my dads good home cooking for dinner and headed back to Columbus :)

Welcome September

I love the beginning of fall SO MUCH!! As the weather turns to jeans and sweaters paired with a cup of hot coffee and yellow-orange leaves beneath your feet, I find it to be the most beautiful season out there! This fall is going to be especially memorable though; a lot of new beginnings and adventures are ahead of me! I am moving in October, not to a different city, but a new apartment in the Short North, which is the fun and active area of Columbus. On top of that, I am continuing to adjust to my big girl life and the working world at Victoria's Secret. I am so thankful and incredibly humbled to be where I am today — So cheers to the start of my favorite season :)

What will your labor day weekend be filled with? I am headed home to be with my family!

Dear Lake Erie, I've missed you

Right after this photo, my brother Michael fell off

Hi momma!



Brother Michael and I


Last weekend, I returned home to find out my family now owns a boat! We owned a boat quite a few years ago and I am shocked my dad even considered getting a boat again, let alone actually buying it! I must say I was excited to get back into tubing and water skiing though! I was so happy and it was a beautiful day spent on the lake with some of my favorite people!

All things small

Simple joys of living on the lake


City of Cleveland in the distance

Meet my beautiful cousin Michelle! We celebrated that belly she is proudly showing off recently! I was able to go home for the baby shower and see some family, which is always lovely!



I believe she is due sometime in September and I cannot wait to meet the little guy! I'm lucky she's in Columbus with me, so I will be able to help out and babysit!




Beth, Michelle, Aunt Cindy, Mom, and Mrs. Buckley

I adore these earrings Beth! I love most feather jewelry! I recently bought an awesome feather necklace that I will post soon :)

The perfect ending to a perfect baby shower includes some delicious sweets— these cookies were hand made  by the hostess, and were a very nice touch considering Michelle is going with an animal theme for her baby boy's room!