Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge -- Day 8: Least Favorite Thing About the Holidays

Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays

I pretty much love everything about the holidays!  Next to summer, it's my favorite time of year.  However, if I could change one thing, it would have to be the TRAFFIC!!!!!  I really hate how everywhere I try to go during this time of year takes about 15 minutes longer because of Christmas shopping traffic.  Even running errands during my lunch break is tough.  Oh, well, you have to take the good with the bad, right?

Head over the Aly's blog and tell us about your "12 Days of Christmas."

Top Two Tuesday!

Top 2 Cleaning and Organization tips or tricks!

1.  Placing the expiration on refridgerated items -- Because I live alone, and usually only make dinner for 1-2 meals at a time, I always keep a Sharpie in the drawer next to my fridge.  Whenever, I open a package of chicken, ground beef, etc. and I am only using a portion of it, I always put the remaining meat in a ziplock bag and write the expiration date on it with a Sharpie.  This keeps food from going to waste because I can see when I need to use it.

2.  Kaboom Foam-Tastic
This stuff is AH-MAZING!!!!!  I first discovered it last year when I had to sub-lease my apartment and needed to get my bathroom it's absolute cleaniest, ever!  It is really so great!  All you do is spray it on the surface, let the "foam" turn white, and then you just wipe it off.  You are left with a perfectly clean surface!

Head over to The Undomestic Momma and tell us your cleaning tips!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekend Update!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend!  Mine was great, but I failed BIG TIME in the picture taking department, so I will keep this short and sweet!

Wednesday night was spent bowling with Patrick, Chase, and Dena.  We had a great time, and I almost beat Patrick (which never happens), so I was pretty pleased.

Thursday, Patrick and I drove to Knoxville just in time to eat dinner with my family.  The food was delicious!  I mean, seriously, it was the best Thanksgiving meal my mom has made, yet!  Thursday night, the entire family went to see Due Date, which was an okay movie, but not one of my favorites...oh, and FYI...do NOT go see this movie with your parents...you will be embarrassed!!!!!

On Friday, the entire family headed to lunch at one of my Knoxville favorites -- Litton's!  After that, Patrick and I continued our search for the perfect dog.  While we found a guy that we thought was pretty cute, we decided that there were too many unknowns and that this was probably not the dog for us.  Friday night, was my traditional Thanksgiving weekend dinner with Andi at a Japanese restaurant.  This year, we let Rob, Patrick, and her parents join us.  We had a great time!!!!!

On Saturday, after a delicious breakfast cooked by my mom (have you noticed the vast amount of food that was consumed this weekend?), Patrick and I headed back to Nashville.  The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful, but honestly, I was so tired, that I kind of needed a boring day or 2.  =)

Today was back to work, and as much as I didn't think I was ready, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected...hope you all have a wonderful week!

"12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge -- Day 7: Holiday Craft/DIY

So, I have absolutely ZERO abilities when it comes to crafts and do-it-yourself projects.  I mean, seriously, I have to ask Patrick how to hang Christmas lights on my deck, for crying out loud!  Ridiculous!  Therefore, I can assure you that I have no Craft projects going on right now, although I did "borrow" Aly's idea that she mentioned here, and I must say it looks fabulous on my mantle.  Anyway, back to the topic at hand...since I am not a DIY-er, I started thinking about what I do around the holidays that I would consider my specialty.  The only thing I could come up with was baking...and not just any baking, but I make a Red Velvet Cake.  It is one of my favorite desserts and this time of year is the perfect time to make it because of the colors.  So, without further ado, here is the recipe:


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa
3/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1-ounce bottle red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa in bowl.  Cream oil and 1 1/2 cups sugar.  Add eggs one at a time; beat well after each.  Add food coloring; mix until well blended.  Combine buttermild and soda.  Mix well; add to oil-sugar mixture alternately with dry ingredients.  Add vinegar and vanilla.  Mix well.  Spoon into 2 greased 9-inch round pans.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Combine milk and remaining sugar in saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Spoon evenly on each layer.  Cool and frost.


1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound confectioners' sugar

Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla in mixing bowl.  Beat until smooth.  Gradually add sugar while beating.  Mix well.  Spread between layers and on top and sides of cake. 

So, there you have it...my only DIY project!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge -- Day 6: Gift Ideas

Because I have already mentioned my Christmas gift wishes on 2 different blog posts, I thought I would take this time to mention some of my bigger Christmas wishes:

1.  I wish that all of the people in Nashville whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the May floods would be back in a home of their own by Christmas.
2.  I wish that all of the children whose names are on the Angel Tree would get every gift they have asked for.
3.  I wish that I could wake up on January 1, 2011 and it really already be April 15, 2011.  =)
4.  I wish that Tennessee would get a bid for the Music City Bowl right here in Nashville, TN!!!!!
5.  I wish that I could get every thing on my "House To Do List" done before my Knoxville girlfriends come for a visit in early January.

If you aren't like me and haven't already told the world your Christmas List, head over to Analyze This or The Fuschia News and tell us your Wish List. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special

This is the easiest Day of the "12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge, yet!  I love Christmas movies, but my favorites are definitely:
If you'd like to participate in the "12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge, head over to Aly or Molly's blogs!  It's not too late!

"12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly Holiday Season

Since I am taking some "Me" time on this Saturday evening, I decided to go back and catch up on the 12 Day of Christmas.  Yesterday's Challenge was Tips for a Budget Friendly Holiday Season.  I don't really have many, but here are a couple, anyway:

1.  Make a list!  Yes, I know that several people have said this, but this is definitely something I live by.  I make lists of my lists, so a Christmas shopping list is definitely a necessity!

2.  I withdraw a certain amount of cash before I begin my Christmas shopping, and once that is gone, I'm done.  Usually, if I budget properly, it's more than enough.

3.  Every year, Patrick and I have a "conversation" about what our budget is for each other for gifts.  I know that's not very romantic, but it keeps one of us from going wayyyyy overboard, and it also keeps things in perspective and makes us both realize that there is no reason to go crazy!

Head on over to Aly or Molly and tell us your budget tips!

Fill in the Blank Friday

Sorry for not being around yesterday.  I was out and about with the family in Knoxville.  Oh, and still looking for the perfect dog to give Patrick as a Christmas present.  We're still working on that one though.  =(

I thought I might as well get caught up on the posts I missed even if they are a day late.

1.   Black Friday is not my cup of tea...even though I really WANT it to be my cup of tea.  We finally made it to Old Navy yesterday at 3:00 and all the doorbusters were gone.  =(  Guess I shouldn't complain since I did sleep until 9:30, right?

2.  Christmas shopping this year will include  gifts for my parents, siblings, Patrick, Patrick's mom, and a child off the Angel Tree.  My Christmas shopping is REALLY easy since there aren't any kids in the family, yet.

3.  Holiday shopping makes me  happy!  I love buying gifts that I think the special people in my life will love!

4.  This year my Christmas list will include   a Pandora bracelet, a few Pandora charms, an eBook Reader...honestly, though, anything I get will be amazing!

5.  Bargain hunter, or full price shopper?    Honestly, it just depends on how much I want an item.  If I REALLY want it, I will pay full price...however, I try to find a bargain everywhere I can.

6.  The best and worst things about shopping is   Best -- going home with lots of good items for my family and myself!  Worst -- spending wayyyy too much money!

7.  Online shopper or in-person shopper?  Again, it totally depends on the gift.  If it's an item that I know what I'm getting, I buy it online, but some things you just have to look at before you can purchase them.

It's not too late to head over to the little things we do and link up!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I just wanted to drop in to say that I hope each and every one of you have a VERY happy Thanksgiving!  Eat lots of turkey, take a long nap, and spend time with the ones you love on this special day! 

I also wanted to take a minutes to tell my family, friends, and boyfriend how thankful I am for everyone of them! 

Have a great day!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge -- Day 3: Meaningful/Memorable Gift(s)

Meaningful/Memorable Gift(s)

Today's Christmas Blog Challenge is all about the best gifts I have received.  Surprisingly enough, most of my most meaningful gifts aren't Christmas gifts.  I have received some fabulous Christmas gifts, but these are definitely the most meaningful gifts I have received (in no particular order):

1.  I have mentioned before in my blog how much I love Charleston, SC.  Well, one year while we were there, my mom agreed to Cross-stich a scene in Charleston that is my favorite -- Rainbow Row.  It took her over a year to finish and she even had it professionally framed when she was done.  I LOVE it!  Here is a pic:
2.  Not long after Patrick and I started dating, he went on a trip to Australia and was gone for 3 weeks.  Not having dated very long, I figured he would bring me a gift, but I didn't really think anything of it.  Well, when he got back, he gave me the prettiest Opal that I've ever seen.  I have never seen an Opal this dark before, but apparently, these are normal in Australia.  I wear it all the time because it looks great with black, and black is one of my favorite colors!  Again, here is a pic:
I couldn't get a very good pic, but you get the idea.
  3.  All my life, my grandmother had a cedar chest in her house.  There is nothing fancy about this cedar chest, but it's always been special to me because it reminds me of her and brings back so many memories of spending time with her as a child.  When she passed away back in 2002, my mom and uncle told me I could have the cedar chest.  I still have it displayed in my house, and probably will for a very long time.  I hope to refinish it one day, and think that it will be even more beautiful then.
4.  I don't have any pictures of this gift because it's not just 1 gift...it's many.  Ever since Patrick and I started dating, he has always randomly surprised me with small little gifts here and there.  I've gotten CDs, water bottles, African violets, bouquets of flowers, and even a little MP3 player, in addition to many that I can't remember right now.  No, these aren't necessarily expensive gifts, but they mean a lot because they let me know that he is thinking of me!  Thanks babe!  =)

Head over to Anaylye This and tell us what your favorite gifts are! 

#12 -- DONE!!!!!

Well, it seems like I am blowing through my 101 Things this week.  Maybe it's because I have some time off work, or maybe it's because it's Christmas season, and that makes me more productive, but I have to say I am relieved I am getting so much done now because I know that once tax season starts, my blogging life will have to make a temporary change!

In other news, tonight I finally purchased 2 lamps for my living room, and I love them!  I got them at World Market here in Nashville.  I am pretty sure it's a chain store, so if you have one in your area, you should definitely check it out!  Such a GREAT store!  Here are a couple of pictures of the lamps:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge -- Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

My family has never been the wake up at 2 am and hit up all the stores buying ALL of your Christmas presents kind of family, so I'm afraid I may not have a lot to add to this post, but I'll do my best.

1.  The main shopping trick that my mom and I figured out a few years ago is to wait and head to the mall around 10:00 am on Black Friday.  Yes, I probably miss all the HUGE sales, but I also get to keep one important thing...MY SANITY!  Like I said above I'm not a big morning person, and I'm also not much of a patient person, so therefore, it's sometimes really hard to imagine myself in the middle of Target before the sun comes up fighting over a iPod...it's just not my gig...I do however, love to shop and I love a good deal, and I've found that most of the "Black Friday" door busters don't end until 10-11 am so if I get to the mall toward the end of the time frame, I can still get a lot of deals AND it isn't NEARLY as crowded. 

2.  Another tip I have is to buy online.  When you shop online, you are always sure to get what you want and you never have to leave your home or office.  Also, so many online stores don't charge shipping this time of year, so it's not really any more expensive.

3.  A final tip I have is to buy stocking stuffers as you find them throughout the fall months.  Stockings are just fun, and the perfect way to round out all of your gifts.  If you buy items as you see them here and there, it tends to not be as tough on the ole pocket book.

Head on over to Aly or Molly's blogs and tell us about your shopping tips!

Top Two Tuesday!

It's Tuesday and you know what that means...It's time for Taylor's Top Two Tuesday...and it also means that there's only 4 days left of my vacation, but we won't focus on the negative, now will we?  =)

Top 2 Things on Your Christmas Wish List

1.  Pandora Bracelet

A lot of my friends have been getting bracelets like this, and I think they are soooo neat.  Therefore, I thought this would be the perfect gift from my parents for Christmas.  Since I actually got to pick it out, I'm pretty sure Santa is going ot have it under the tree!

2.  eBook Reader
Like this one...
or this one...

I'm not really picky...I know there are many different prices and types, so I've left the choosing up to Patrick.  He's usually pretty good with gifts, so whatever he gets, I'm sure I'll like it.

What's on your Christmas list?  Head on over to The Undomestic Momma and let us know!

Sports Filled Weekend Update!

So, yes, I have officially gone Blog Crazy tonight!  I have been soooo busy lately that I needed to update my blog friends on several things going on in my life, so I decided to sit down tonight and bring everyone up-to-date all in one evening!

This weekend was much like my other weekends lately, except this one was definitely Sports Themed...not that I planned it that way...it's just kinda how it worked out.

A few weeks ago, Kat had the great idea for us to have a monthly "Date Night."  Both of us area soooooo busy that we hardly have any time to hang out "just the 2 of us."  Therefore, we decided that once a month we would hang out without anyone else around.  You would think that we would want to spend these nights going out to a fancy dinner or seeing a movie that Patrick or Mickey won't see.  However, since we sometimes like to do a throwback to the days when I first moved to Nashville and we practically lived together (even though we had separate apartments), we would much rather just do something low-key and pretend like we are young and have nothing more to worry about than where we are going out on Saturday night.  =)  Therefore, we decided to go walk on Friday night.  We planned on just walking for a few miles; however, by the end of the night, we had spent about 3 hours hanging out and walking, and after measuring, realized we had really walked SIX MILES!!!!!  Thank goodness I didn't have to exercise on Saturday morning!

Saturday was spent doing laundry and getting a few things done around the house, and then it was time for the UT/Vandy tailgate/game.  Patrick's friend Jack's family are big Vanderbilt fans.  Therefore, they have a HUGE tailgate at every home Vandy game.  We were a little out of place in our orange, but they still welcomed us with open arms.  Here are a few pictures:
My beau and me all decked out in our orange!
Kat and me...again, we are dressed very similar...must be a football thing!
All the guys in their Vandy and UT gear!
Chase and Dave showed up just in time to get a few shots in before the game started.  =)
After the tailgate, it was time to head into the game.  Even though it was ugly, we still came out with a victory and I was, of course, able to get a few pics:
Patrick and me during the game!  GO VOLS!
Look at that sea of Orange!  Yes, the game was at Vandy...you couldn't tell from this picture though!
I even got a picture of Coach Dooley!  SOOOOO hope he makes it to a bowl game during this first year as an SEC coach!
Sunday morning we were up and at 'em bright and early for a Titans tailgate organized by this guy:
Not only is he cute, but he makes a MEAN Duck Taco!
Patrick's sister was still in town and her uncle, Romeo, and a friend of his Andy were also here for the game, so Patrick decided to go all out on the tailgating this weekend.  We had tons of people there and even though it was early, I thought it was a great success.  We had appetizers, main courses, desserts, drinks, and MAYBE even a shot or 2.  =)  Here are a few pics:
The girls smiling for the camera!

Patrick with Andy and Romeo
Patrick and Me
Kristine and I representing our favorite teams!
One last group shot before gametime!
Since I wasn't planning on going to the game (only on tailgating), I was pretty excited when Chase gave me a ticket, and I was able to sit with Patrick and Kristine.  It was tons of fun...well, except for the ending.  =(  Sooooo wish we could have won...or at least that Vince Young hadn't acted like such a baby!  I've always been a big supporter of Vince Young, but I'm afraid I may be changing my tune after yesterday.  I'm still going to stay positive though...hopefully, this whole thing will blow over and he and Jeff Fisher will work everything out!

After the game Patrick, me, Kristine, Romeo, and Andy all headed downtown to watch the end of the Colts/Patriots game, and I had a couple of these:
Yum!  I HEART Bloody Marys!
Next stop was dinner at Past Perfect were Romeo bought all of our dinner (Thanks Romeo!) and then we went to check out the Pedestrian bridge.  On the way home, we stopped off at the Parthenon which is in my favorite park in all of Nashville (Centennial Park). 

It was a great weekend, and I feel like I may not have to do anything sports related for a long time!  I have definitely filled my quota.  =)  Hope everyone has a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving!  =)

Monday, November 22, 2010

"12 Days of Christmas" Blog Challenge -- Day 1: Christmas/Holiday Traditions

Aly over at Analyze This and Molly at The Fuschia News have teamed up to do the "12 Days of Christmas" Blog Style!  This is so exciting and I can't wait to see what all my Blog Friends say about their Christmas holiday.  So, without futher ado, here is Day 1 of the Blog Challenge!

Christmas/Holiday Traditions

1.  One tradition my family has always celebrated is the Advent Season.  For those that don't know, Advent is a Christian celebration of the weeks leading up to Jesus' birth.  It consists of an Advent Wreath, which is usually a normal wreath laid flat on a serving plate with 5 candles (3 purple, 1 pink, and 1 white) standing on the serving plate inside the wreath.  Every night we would light the appropriate candles (you start with only 1 candle and work your way up until all 5 are lit on Christmas night), read a short devotional, and then we each got to pick our favorite Christian Christmas carole for the family to sing.  I say "Christian Christmas carole" becuase when I was young, I always wanted to sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" but my parents always had to explain to me that while that is a very good song, it doesn't talk about Jesus, so I needed to pick a different one.  =)

2.  Another tradition we have every Christmas is for my mom's family to come to my parent's house every Christmas Eve.  This is always a very fun celebration because we don't get to see this side of the family very often.  It's always a great night!

3.  After my family leaves on Christmas Eve, and after we have opened all of our presents (yes, we do it on Christmas Eve...weird, I know...guess that could be another "tradition" we have), we all head to church for the 11:00 pm communion service.  This is always very interesting...mainly becuase by this point I am so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open, but it's still so nice because it always ends at midnight, just in time to start the Christmas celebration!

4.  Since Patrick and I have always celebrated Christmas with our respective families and have never been together on Christmas day, we have started our own little Christmas tradition.  Every year on the night before he flies home to see his mother, he and I always do something REALLY Christmasy here in Nashville and open our gifts for each other.  Last year we drove around and looked at Christmas lights
We even went to George Jones' house!
And 2 years ago we celebrated by heading out to Opryland Hotel and looking at all the pretty lights there:
It's hard to say what we'll do this year...maybe I'll wait and see what Patrick has in mind...he's usually pretty good at that kinda stuff.  =)

#35 -- DONE!!!!!

When I did this post, I totally forgot that I had included buying a new camera on my 101 Things list.  Since I have already informed the blog world that I BOUGHT a new camera, I thought I would use this opportunity to tell you what I think about my Nikon Coolpix S8100 so far:


1.  The zoom is AH-MAZING!!!!!  It has a 10X Optical Zoom and that makes it about 7 times better than my last camera.  Yesterday, we had tickets to the Titans game wayyyyyyyy up in the nosebleeds, and I was still able to get this picture:
How cool is that??????
2.  It is RED!!!!!  I love the fact that it's not the same ole black or silver...mainly because it's much easier to spot and there's not as much of a chance of getting it confused with someone else's.  However, it might also have something to do with the fact that red is one of my favorite colors.  =)

3.  The night settings allow me to take pictures like this:
And this:

And this:


1.  I'm not a big fan of the wrist strap because it's too loose.  However, I think this problem can be solved by switching out the wrist strap on my old camera.

2.  The flash is on the top of the camera and it pops up when it's necessary.  The problem with this is that if you are holding the camera on the top, then when the flash tries to pop out, it doesn't work.  I'll just have to get used to this, and I'm sure it will be fine.

3.  It just seems to be a bit more fragile than my last camera...however, that may be because it cost a lot more and is quite a bit nicer.  Again, I'm sure this will get easier to deal with as well.

All-in-all, it's a FABULOUS camera!  I am soooooo happy I bought it!

#43 -- DONE!!!!!

When I was younger, my dad planted day lilies all over my parent's back yard.  I have always loved them and thought they all looked so pretty when they bloomed in the spring.  Once I bought my own place, I knew that I wanted some of those day lilies in my yard so that I could have a little bit of home with me at all times.  Therefore, I decided to put it on my 101 Things list because, let's face it...that's the best way for me to actually get something done!  =)

Because the fall is the best time to plant day lilies, my dad decided to bring some with him when he and my mom were in town for the half marathon.  We were going to plant them on Saturday afternoon.  I have to admit, I was exhausted after the half marathon, and I didn't actually help plant the day lilies.  However, I DID water them after they were planted, so I decided that would be good enough.  =)
Since Peppermint did almost as much work as me, she also got to be in the picture.  =)
I'll definitely report back next spring when they bloom.  I'm sure they will look just as beautiful here in Nashville as they do in Strawberry Plains.  =)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

#46 -- DONE!!!!!

You've all heard me mention walking in a half marathon multiple times, and last weekend was FINALLY the big day!  When I first created my 101 Things list, I never dreamt that it would make me so productive.  Honestly, it's like I finally feel accountable to someone and therefore, it makes me want to reach my goals. 

My mom first asked me to do a half marathon with her back in late August because she wanted to do one the year that she turned 60.  I said "yes" very reluntantly because honestly, I really wanted to wait and do one next year sometime.  However, I didn't want to let her down, so I begrudgingly started training.  I must say that the longer I trained, the more I enjoyed it.  I did NOT enjoy doing the long walks by myself, but I knew that was a very necessary part of the goal and therefore, I kept up with every one of them.  We decided to walk in the Nashville Half Marathon that was hosted by I Run for the Party.

The day before the race, I headed to the Hard Rock Cafe Nashville to pick up our race packets since my mom wouldn't get into town in time to pick her's up.  I know it's cheesy, but I took a picture of myself and my race packet:
Please excuse the tired look on my face...it had been a LONG week!
Friday night, I ate lots of pasta and went to bed very early, with lots of nervous and excited feelings.  I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and my mom and I headed down to the start line. 

When the race got started, I was shocked at the large number of people who were walking.  And I was also surprised at the number of people who were my age and walking.  Once I realized that we were able to keep up with all the walkers and even walk faster than some, I relaxed a lot and started to enjoy myself.

The first 4 miles went really well, and after a quick bathroom break, we were back on the course.  Miles 4-7 were on a greenway in an area of Nashville called Metrocenter.  Metrocenter is a business complex with many, many office buildings.  As you can imagine, this section of the half marathon was REALLY boring.  Thank goodness that my mom and I were "Chatty Cathy" during that portion.  Around mile 8 though, we both started feeling REALLY tired and in quite a bit of pain.  I have told a lot of people that miles 8-10 were the hardest part of the race for me...my body was already tired, I was really hungry, and quite frankly, I was bored...all I kept thinking was, "I still have 5 miles left of this!!!!!"  At mile 10, my mom told me to go ahead of her because she wanted to take a quick bathroom break and she thought that I may still be able to make my goals if I didn't wait on her.  See, at the beginning of this I set a goal for myself:  I wanted to finish with an average 15 minute mile.  After walking most of my long walks in shorter than a 15 minute mile, I decided that maybe I would try to do the entire race in 3 hours and 15 minutes. 

At mile 10.5, Patrick, his sister, my dad, and Peppermint showed up to cheer me on.
Kristine and Patrick even walked with me for a few minutes.
That must have been exactly what I needed to make it through to the end, because after I saw them, I got my second wind (or 3rd or 4th...I mean, really, who was counting?).  I decided I was going to walk as hard as I could in an attempt to meet my goals.

During these last 3 miles, I had a lot of time to myself, and as ridiculous as this sounds, I kept thinking about how proud I was of this accomplishment, and couldn't wait to cross the finish line. 

At exactly 3 hours 16 minutes and 17 seconds I finished the race.  No, I didn't meet my 3 hours and 15 minutes goal, but I did manage to walk an average mile in 14 minutes 59 seconds.  Therefore, my original goal was met, and I couldn't have been happier...or more tired.  =)
A few minutes later, I was able to watch my mom cross the finish line, too!  She also had a great time of approximately 3 hours and 22 minutes.

Here is one last picture of both of us:

I will finish by saying that I totally understand why people get addicted to this whole half marathon thing.  It was such an amazing feeling and really was so much fun!  Don't be surprised if you hear of me doing this again.  =)