2011 was such a great year! I might just go ahead and say it was my best year yet! Here are a list of the top ten moments and events I am most thankful for: (Warning- There are an overabundance of exclamation marks!)
10. Traveling to Faithwalkers and rooming with Jason and Max! It was a different experience to have Max with us. He did get kicked out of a couple of sessions… but I am truly thankful that Jason and I are committed to learning more about the Lord and how to be better spouses and parents!
9. Road tripping to Branson with Jason and my sister-in-law Julia for a week of Rude Family Vacation! So fun to officially be a Rude this year!
8. Spending my favorite holiday (4th of July) with my husband! He made it so special! We weren’t even dating yet at that time in 2010! So much can happen in a year!
7. Having so many friends who love the Lord and encourage me to do so. Jason and I are so blessed to be a part of such an amazing church family!
6. Moving into our new house! It is so wonderful to not have to sign yet another lease and think about moving in a year. Also… I got to pick out paint colors!
5. Celebrating my niece Hailee’s 4th birthday and my nephew Brody’s 1st birthday! It is such a blessing to live so close to them and to get to see them grow up!
4. Going on my honeymoon with my honey. We had a great time and I finally got to go to Disney World!
3. Celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with both the Rudes and the Stopeks as a new family of three!
2. Meeting the greatest little blessing, Max Rude! What a cutie he is! Oh, and not being pregnant anymore!
1. Getting married to my very best friend, Jason Rude! (He is a cutie too!)
We started off the weekend by celebrating my brother-in-law Bobby’s birthday Friday night. It was really fun to see the family and I always enjoy seeing my niece and nephew although my nephew was almost unrecognizable in his cool shades!
|This is Brody, my nephew. This wasn’t taken at the party, nor is he wearing his shades, but he is still so cute!|
|This is a throw back picture of Hailee, my niece, celebrating the 4th. I think she is about the same age as Brody in the picture above! So cute!|
Saturday, Jason and I got some much needed cleaning done around the house. We also went over to our dear friends’ John Michael and Rachael Hall’s house to celebrate Rachael’s birthday with some homemade ice cream cake! To top off the night, we borrowed The Patriot from our friend Marc so that we could really get into the patriotic spirit!
Sunday, my wonderful husband took me to see the fireworks at Jordan Creek. We got there early and listened to some live music and enjoyed each other’s company. There were no signs of where the fireworks were going to be shot off, so we didn’t know if we had a good seat but… WE DID! When the fireworks started, we realized we were in the PERFECT spot! I had so much fun being right up in the action with my best friend!
|Jason and me at Jordan Creek|
Monday came and I got to spend some time with some of my closest girlfriends while Jason braved the heat in the Windsor Heights parade. After the parade we went out to the church camp to help with the festivities our outreach group had planned for our church. The night was a success! After the talent show, Jason, our good friend Marc, and I went to get some 59 cent drinks at QT and what would the 4th be without sparklers? We got back to the camp in time to celebrate with the sparklers and watch the WDM fireworks.
|Jason and me at the camp! With our tattoos!|
It was a great weekend! Thank you to my amazing husband for making my favorite holiday (and 5 month anniversary) very special!
Jason and I are going to be parents! On the morning on March 16, we took a test (more like I took a test) and it was positive! Our first calls were to future grandmothers- Karen and Nancy, followed by other family. What an incredible thing to share with those we love!
For 24 years, I had never been worried about getting hit by a car in a parking lot or been so aware of babies everywhere (seriously- they are EVERYWHERE!) But after that test, newly armed with the knowledge that there is a special someone growing inside of me, I have become hyperaware of anything that could harm my baby and super excited to see babies!
Unfortunately the not so great part of pregnancy, the morning sickness, has set in and has been pretty relentless. Jason has been incredible taking care of me (and Peanut, and the house, and the laundry, and the cleaning and everything else…) We have been to the hospital twice and have tried everything we can think of or that people have told us that helped them. Hopefully this will only last a few more weeks and that it will stop when I get into the second trimester.
Our due date is November 25th!
Being married is so great! Jason and I have just celebrated our two month anniversary and it has been the best two months of my life!
Here are some highlights:
Our honeymoon was so fun! We got to go to Daytona Beach the day after we got married. We got bumped from our flight, and made it to the hotel in the wee hours of the morning but we still had fun on the way there! When we arrived in Orlando to get our rental car we were informed that all they had left were minivans… but then after they learned we were on our honeymoon, they surprised us with a really fun car!
While on our honeymoon, we went to Disney World! It was my first time and I LOVED it! We went to Hollywood Studios and Epcot. We were there all day and the night was capped off with some amazing mexican food and FIREWORKS! We got VIP seats down on the dock to watch the nightly fireworks at Epcot. So cool!
|This is on our way in… It was kind of chilly!|
|24 and I finally made it to Disney World!|
|Jason with his “Happily Ever After” Button|
|Our 3D Muppet Adventure|
|After Beauty and the Beast|
|Jason’s scared face at the Tower of Terror|
|My scared face|
|Jason sporting a moo moo (sp?)|
|The end of our fabulous day! Our VIP seats to the firework show!|
When we returned from our honeymoon, we went to my parent’s house and opened up our wedding gifts. People were SO generous! Even though a note could never express our thankfulness to all our friends and family that helped to make our day so special… official Thank You’s will be out soon!
Getting settled in our home has been fun! I have learned a lot about how Jason organizes and his daily habits I did not know about before. Truth be told, the more I find out about him… the more I LOVE him! People have been asking a lot, “how is married life?” Married life is great! I get to see my best friend every day and night!
I still get excited whenever I hear Jason call me his wife and can’t stop smiling when I say the phrase, “my husband.” Looking forward to a lifetime of being married to my best friend!
It has been exactly 3 months since Jason purposed and we are getting married in 6 days!
Planning this wedding has been so wonderful and great. With experience in planning weddings and other events, I have always dreamed of planning my own wedding, and it has been so much better than I ever thought it would be! The main reason it is so great is because I get to plan it all with my bff, Jason!
The living room and kitchen table are full of wedding packages and supplies! Sometimes I wonder how it is all going to get finished but have been reminded that God is in control. Thank goodness!
|My Little Wedding Planning Helper!
|The boxes in the Living Room|
|Hundreds of Little Chairs…|
A lot has happened in the three months we have been engaged! I have a new job, and a new place! I moved in to what will eventually be me and Jason’s first home and with the help of Peanut, we have been keeping it warm until Jason moves in after the wedding.
We celebrated our first holidays together! We went to visit my dad’s side of the family near Cleveland, Ohio for Thanksgiving. Jason got to experience the 12 hour drive with my dad, mom, and me. Peanut had to stay home for this trip.
Christmas was great! Jason and I realized how blessed we are to have both our immediate families live so close to one another. We were able to go to church with both of our families on Christmas Eve and then go out to dinner with my family and back to Adel to open gifts. Christmas morning we were at the Rude’s. It was a great time to relax with the family, open gifts, and watch movies. Christmas night we went back to Adel, where we ate dinner and Hailee talked us through Toy Story 3.
|Jason and Hailee (and cat.)|
|Heather and Me|
|Little Brody man’s first Christmas!|
In between Christmas and New Year’s, Jason and I got the opportunity to go to a church conference in Omaha called Faithwalkers. We got to spend time with our friends and learned so much!
With all this going on, we have still managed to plan our wedding and we are both so excited to see our friends and family and celebrate with them in 6 days!