Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Looking Back Before Looking Ahead

When we rang in 2010 nearly twelve months ago, I had no idea what the year would bring. Looking back, its been a BIG year and my goodness, its been a whirlwind. I need a moment to reflect before I run fast into 2011. So heres our 2010 highlights.

  • Successfully moved into our house and turned it into a cozy home! We decorated, organized, settled in and LOVE every square foot.
  • Spent six months searching for the perfect couch and it was well worth the hunt.
  • Celebrated Tim's 26th Birthday.
  • We hit a heartbreaking moment when Tim had to leave his job. That time made us stronger. Since then, Tim started a new job that he loves and quickly advanced into a new role. In a year he's gone from estimator to project manager and now gets to travel across the state visiting job sites. Lemons for sure turned into lemonade on this one.
  • My work travels allowed me to visit new cities and re-visit some of my favorite ones. Let's see... It started with a very memorable trip to Las Vegas, then I spent a week in Los Angeles, a week in Austin, went on a quick, but long overdue first visit to Seattle, went to Aspen for the second year in a row, spent a weekend in San Francisco, then traveled to Seattle and rounded out the year with a visit to Chicago. Phew! I'm tired just thinking about all of this.
  • But in all of it I got to attend some great events. You could find me at the Consumer Electronics Show, SXSW in Austin, the AMAZING Food & Wine Classic and the Grammys. I made some great friends along the way and even rubbed elbows with some celebrity favorites (my most memorable was Giada!).
  • I got a promotion.
  • ...and turned 25.
  • Attended the nuptials of our dear Lindsay & Chase Whitworth, Amy & Clayton Wells, my high school BFF Anna and my cousin Ashley. Congrats everyone!
  • We made it to Destin multiple times (I made three visits, Tim made it down twice). Ya know, a year isn't a good one without at least one stop at Rum Runners.
  • Took a trip to Tampa to hang out with Onnolee. It was so much fun!
  • Rode horses at Tim's mom's farm in Alabama - jean shorts, cowboy boots and all...
  • Hosted the annual Braves game outing, and managed to go on a special charter bus ride with 50 of our closest friends.
  • Our beloved Auburn Tigers went undefeated and we were in Jordan-Hare to watch them beat Clemson, Arkansas, LSU and UGA.
  • Played lots of flip cup...had too many hangovers.
  • Put up our first Christmas tree.
  • And last but by any means, not the least, we got ENGAGED!! That moment on the dock was magical and the week spent in Captiva was the best vacation of my life. We would give anything to re-live just one minute of one of those days.
But onward and upward we go. 2011 is just days away and next twelve months have so much in store. We are kicking it off spending a weekend with friends in the mountains.

Ready or not, 2011, here we come!

An Edelman Holiday Celebration

PR people know how to party. Or at least the PR people at Edelman Atlanta do. Our annual holiday soiree was a few short weeks ago, and it was quite the night out. Everyone got dressed up (Tim tried on five different outfits before making a decision), brought their dates and sipped on cocktails at the start of the evening, but by the end of the night we were all on the dance floor dancing to "Baby's got back" and learning the "Teach me how to dougie" dance. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. It was a wonderful thing to get a group of type A professionals out of the office and into a room together. Just add liquor and a DJ and we had the ultimate dance party - soul train, dance offs, circle formations, hair flipping, whatever, we did it. Once the official party ended, the group needed more so we relocated to a bar in the highlands and made it home in the wee hours of the night. Thank goodness for the late start on the Friday morning after, I needed the extra sleep to recover!

My manager Lindsay and her always "best dressed" hubby Johnny

Chip brought the santa hat...

...that ended up on Tim.
Our GM in the middle of the dance circle :)

Tomeka was the best dressed (in my opinion) - she's an AU grad :)

Gals from the Consumer team - Mandy, me, Taylor and Lindsay

Timmy hearts Abby and Abby hearts Timmy, although we missed Dustin very much!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baby Harper Turns One

It was one year ago that Baby Harper Wooten was born. When I first met him, he was so small that I wasn't even sure how to hold him! Well, the year has flown by and Harper has turned into quite the little man. He's walking, laughing and always smiling. Everyone says he looks identical to how his Dad Josh looked when he was a baby. And I've honestly never seen a little one so well behaved. With all of the attention on him, he never fused or got upset. He just smiled and let everyone hold him (even his future Aunt Kiki :).

The day was also very special because of a surprise visit from Tim's grandpa, Porter Ray. Porter is 85 and I just LOVE him. He reminds me so much of Tim it's scary. He's funny, kind and very handsome. But he can't travel for health reasons so he hasn't left Madison, Alabama in years. He couldn't even come to Birmingham for Josh's wedding. So it was everyone's surprise to see Porter Ray in Birmingham for Harper's birthday. Harper has no idea how lucky he is! We got a great photo with all the Wooten boys. Maybe grandpa will get a wild hair and travel to St. Louis for our wedding :)

Either way, I can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays with Baby Harper.
The Wooten Family (four generations)! Dennis, Grandpa Porter, Josh, Harper & Tim
Yummy cake!
Harper is happy as can be with Uncle Timmy & his Dad

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Windy City

I've been to Chicago countless times in my life, and every time I visit, I'm reminded how much I love the windy city. This particular trip was for work. We were launching the Starbucks holiday campaign and hosted a pop up store right on Michigan avenue - serving coffee to all of those who passed by. The day started with a wake-up call of 3:30 a.m. (yikes!) and went until the sun went down. It was super cold, but luckily my dad bought me a serious down coat just to make it through my day of work in the Chicago cold - thanks Dad! The event was successful and I got to spend time getting to know my Edelman colleague from Portland - we ended up having a great time (especially when we dined out at a quaint Chicago-style Italian eatery)!

But, the best part was staying at the historic hotel, The Drake. I never really realized how much history was at this hotel -- so many famous people have stayed there, Princess Diana, Jack Nicholson. Scenes from one of my favorite movies My Best Friends Wedding were also filmed at the hotel. To my surprise, when I checked-in, I was upgraded to a room bigger than my house. The room had floor to ceiling windows overlooking Lake Michigan, it was gorgeous.

And just to note, I do love Chicago, but only for a few days. I've been there in the cold winter months and there is no way I'd every survive living there. Way to cold! But if I get the chance to visit again, I'll be there in a heart beat.

The Edelman team (Jill, Casey, Kevin & Me) at the Starbucks photo booth. See my big coat:)

The chandelier in my hotel room!

The living room in my hotel room - if only I wasn't traveling alone. There was a full kitchen, huge bedroom and bathroom. I liked that they maintained the historic look of the hotel.

Gorgeous view of Lake Michigan from my hotel windows. I could see Oprah's house :)

Starbucks pop up store.

Inside of the pop up store.

Right on Michigan Avenue. Edelman's Headquarters is around the corner.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Top PR Prize

The other night I was asked to attend the Public Relations Society of America's (Georgia Chapter) Phoenix Awards Dinner. These awards honor the best public relations work during 2010. What I thought was going to just be a fancy networking event turned into one of the most memorable evenings of my career.

Awhile back, I submitted an entry for the campaign I've been working on for a couple of years now - the launch of Starbucks VIA! I've submitted countless PR industry award entries for VIA, and we've already won major national awards for the campaign. However, the PRSA Georgia awards were particularly special. It was the first awards ceremony that I was asked to attend, and to my surprise -- VIA was awarded the top honor of the entire evening! It won the top PR campaign of the year! It was the last award of the evening and I was completely shocked when they called my name. I was so proud walking up to that stage and accepting the award. Along with my team, we've accomplished a lot and now I have a sparkling crystal bowl to represent all of our hard work.

After we received all of our awards (and the top award of the night)!
Edelman gang before the event.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Favorite Time of Year

It took Tim three full hours to rake leaves today (and that's just the back yard). Fall is definitely here to stay. Maybe it's the football, or maybe the food (soup and chili!) or maybe the colors or the clothes, really all of these reasons are why I love fall. We've been lucky to go to most of the big Auburn home games and the weather at each one has been amazing. Then the weekends we are at home, there's nothing better then cozying up on the couch with a big pot of chili cooking on the stove while we watch football on TV all day. It really is my favorite season and I'm enjoying every minute of it (especially the extra 60 minutes of sleep we got this morning). Here are some photos from our fall football weekends...

Best part of fall tailgate - the Bonham Bonfire!
Gals before the Arkansas game
Mom & Dad came to Auburn to celebrate Dad's 65th!
My Dad and Carol celebrated October birthdays!
Auburn vs. LSU in Auburn for Taylor & River's engagement tailgate
The Singletary Sisters at the engagement tailgate

Monday, October 4, 2010

Engagement Celebration

The wedding celebrations have officially begun! This past weekend, my AMAZING bridesmaids got together to host an engagement party for me & Tim. It was so, so much fun and perfect in every way. You could tell that they put so much time into every tiny detail. It was a very special celebration for me & Tim and I am so lucky to have such wonderful bridesmaids. They are party planner extraordinares!

The party was "fiesta" themed - there was delicious food, great cocktails and they even had awesome mexican hats for me and Tim, and a pina
ta. The mustaches were a hit too. And what would a party be without a dance off and flip cup? It had it all.

I also finally found an opportunity to surprise Tim by coordinating J.T.'s visit to Atlanta. Tim and J.T. became best friends when Tim was living in Orlando. Tim didn't think J.T. was able to come to the party, but little did Tim know that J.T. and I had been making special plans. When we went to pick up my parents up from the airport, "surprise" - J.T. arrived too. Tim was so caught off guard, but so happy to see his friend.

Aside from the party (which was hands down, the highlight of the weekend), the weekend festivities also included a night out at the new restaurant that Tim built, a trip to the bridal dress store to try on bridesmaid dresses, lunch and beer at the Bucket Shop to watch the Auburn Tigers beat Lousiana Monroe and a finale brunch at Treehouse. My favorite part was having the dollhouse gals all stay over at our house - it was like old times having one big slumber party.

In all, I was just so happy to see all of our friends and family together to celebrate our engagement. Getting engaged (and planning a wedding) has been insanely fun, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as exciting without our amazing friends right by our side. Thanks to Onnolee Hickey, Laura Holland, Rachel Gray, Erin Thompson, Lucy Capps and Allie Pettigrew for being the best bridesmaids ever!!

The beautiful taco bar! Check out those gorgeous flowers.

One tequilla...

The best friends ever!

The Edelman girls & Timmy

Me & Tim with our parents

My cousin Darya came too Mustaches for all :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Catching up!

These past four weeks have been jam packed, and I've neglected the houseof20something. But I'm here to make a comeback. To bring everyone up to speed - here's everything we've done in the past month:
  • Visited St. Louis and hung out with my family
  • Spent a night out with the Kirkwood High School gang like old times
  • Went to my cousin's wedding which had salsa dancers!
  • Planned my own wedding! (I'm SO excited about the band)
  • Caved and got a cleaning lady (between work, wedding planning, football and traveling, I needed reinforcements)
  • Spent labor day on the boat. We went with friends to Shell Island and Crab Island - all while cheering on the start of the Auburn football season
  • Caught a baseball at the Braves game (Tim still can't believe I actually caught it!)
  • Went to the grand opening of the restaurant in Atlanta that Tim built. (I'm so proud of him :)
  • Welcomed another Hill family member to Atlanta (my cousin Darya just moved here for grad school @ Emory)
  • Helped out at the Ian's Friends Foundation Evening of Inspiration Charity event
  • Dealt with a broken pipe that burst and flooded our crawl space (all is good now)
  • Ran a 5K through downtown Atlanta with the Edelman team
Phew! I'm sure I forgot something on this list. But, goodness, it's been a busy, busy but wonderful month. And now, I'm glad to say the houseof20something is back!

At Flip Burger celebrating my cousin's move to ATL
Mom & Cousin Darya

Edelman girls before the 5k
Best Buddies on the boat
Party on Shell Island with Carol, Lauren and Kate
In our War Eagle swimsuits for the Beach Tailgate 2010
AH! Back on the water
The cake at my cousin Ashley's wedding
Father/daughter choreographed dance
Very cool decor
Me and Tim with Ashley and Hans
Timmy and my favorite Kirkwood High boys
Friday night out in Kirkwood
Miss them so much
Proof I caught the ball!
BFF's at the Braves game
I surprised Tim with "baseball hat" ice cream
Good times with Dustin, Tim and Abby