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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An East Coast Christmas

Merrrry Christmas everyone!  I hope this finds you and yours enjoying the Holidays, because it finds us loving every second of our break :)

After a busy week of Christmas shopping, Seth and I managed to finish up just in time to enjoy the familial festivities!  On Friday morning, I headed to the airport to pick-up Andre and enjoyed a fun 24-hours with him in D.C.  We had lunch with Amy in Old Town, went to Maria and Jay's for dinner with my sister Marita and her family, and then met back up with Amy and her sister Meg for drinks at Russia House...good times :)  After all the fun, I'm really looking forward to Andre playing tour guide when we are in Miami for Jen's graduation in May!!!  Hope you're ready Andre :)

Andre, Meg, Amy, & Seth at Russia House.
Before heading down to Fredericksburg on Christmas Eve, we had to drop off Honey at the Pet Hotel (since we were heading straight to the airport on Christmas Day) naturally we had to do Honey's Christmas before we dropped her off...and boy was she spoiled by her Grandmas, Great-Aunt Carol, and Utah Aunt's :) 

Honey opening her gifts.

Honey's "Pugz Boots"...she didn't like them so much :)

Honey pouting about her "Pugz Boots."

Honey is "Daddy's Girl."
After a fun Christmas with Honey, we dropped her off at the Pet Hotel and headed off to Fredericksburg.  Lucky for us, Jen was in town, so Seth and I met up with her for lunch at our favorite Mexican place before going to Mom's house.  We had a nice visit with the family and were stuffed with Prime Rib and a wonderful Christmas dinner, courtesy of Pepe Roman.  Little did we know, however, how good Santa Claus would be to us, because it turned out we'd need all the energy from the food to open all of our presents :) 

Underneath our Christmas Tree :)

I love this wall-hanging...Thanks Chrys!

Luckily, the WSJ Wine Collection came early :)

Mom's Christmas Tree

Way too many presents...thanks Santa!

Mom, Andre, and Dad opening presents.

Seth, Mom, and Andre are thankful for Santa Claus!

Dad was wayyy too excited!

Even the cats were spoiled...Wheezie loved her cat-nip :)
After opening our presents on Christmas Eve, all that was left for Christmas morning was a delicious breakfast (courtesy of Pepe) and the Church Christmas program...and Mom was happy to have all THREE of her sons in attendance :)  After Church, Seth and I headed home to finish packing before Dad picked us up to head to BWI for our flight to Utah for Christmas Part deux :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!!!

Hello again everybody - long time, no see!  Now that the semester is DONE and I am officially HALF-WAY through with law school, my lameness from exams has come to a conclusion, I'm back in action, and am ready for a new Blog entry :)

Since my two weeks of exams were uneventful, there isn't much catching up to do about all that (although I did take a break between the two exams to meet a girlfriend that was visiting from Atlanta!)  While I don't know my grades yet, I think things went well and know I did my best :)  SOOO glad to be done!

Me & Alex outside of Front Page in DuPont.
Since being off from school, life has been even more jam-packed than before...but this time with parties and fun :)  To kick off our celebrations, Seth, my two friends (Tensie and Daniel), and I went to grab a margarita (or two pitchers) at Guapo's (an old standby for students at my school).    On Friday I spent most of the day getting ready for our party - cleaning, buying supplies, making appetizers/sangria, etc...  We had about a dozen of our close friends over to celebrate the end of another crazy semester!  But we didn't stop there...we had to get our dance on, so we headed downtown to boogie down :) 

Theo, Yasmine, Tensie, Veronica, Me, & Emily waiting on the Metro.

Seth & Yasmine boogying down :)
Saturday we were up and at 'em fairly early to meet Amy and Megan for brunch at LevelOne (again, in DuPont...kind of our stomping grounds).  As we were getting off the Metro, Seth looked at me and said: "Brandon, my wallet fell out in the Metro."  Shortly after speaking with the Metro guard at the station, Seth got a call from his credit card company with a message: some lady had found the wallet and left her number for Seth to call her so that he could come and get it.  It's so nice to see that there are still good people out there...and with the good news, we still made it to mimosa hour with time to spare :)

Meg & Me at brunch with our bottomless mimosa :)
The rest of our Saturday and Sunday evenings were full with dinners, holiday parties, and lots of fun!  Then, on Monday morning when the alarm went off, I looked at Seth, smiled, and laid back down :)  (Sorry babe!)  But, I haven't been a lazy daisy...I've been busy doing much needed Christmas preparation!  Our cards are out, shopping is almost done, and now we just have a few more details to wrap up before the weekend is here! 

The result of my shopping today!!!

The result of Honey playing with her new toy :)
And with that, I think you're about caught up in the life of Seth, Brandon, and Honey.  I hope this finds you happy, healthy, and enjoying the holiday season!  Between last minute Christmas activities, travel, etc... there is much more to come this weekend...but until then, much love and many well wishes :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Half-Way There...ALMOST!

Hello again :)  Hope this Blog finds you finds me a very happy camper :)  For those of you who don't know, December is a pretty lame month for law school students, thanks mostly to exams (boo!)  Luckily for me, however, this December won't be THAT bad - although, it still is pretty lame :)  Since I only have two exams this year (two classes had papers that I have pretty much finished and my internship ended before Thanksgiving).  I am not as stressed as I was this time last year!  That being said, this will likely be the last Blog I write for the next two weeks (partly because I will be studying, but partly because I will also be lame and not have much of anything fun to write about)...and then I will be officially half-way done with law school!!!  This week though, I do have some fun updates to share, so away we go!

To celebrate the end of classes (along with the end of social life/beginning of exams), some friends and I went to Cactus Cantina to grab a margarita for my friend Abby's birthday.  The week got even better when we got a call from Chrissy asking if the Ahern clan could come visit and spend the night at our place before heading back to Utah...and of course we said HECK YES!  We had a great visit and are so glad we got to see them a SECOND time this trip :)

Happy Birthday Abby!

Look what Santa left us under our Christmas Tree!

On Friday, we bid adieu to Chrissy, Ryan, and Baby Nolan and got back to the grind.  I had to head to school, while Mister Seth stayed home to recover from his cold (luckily, he seems to be feeling better now!)  Although Friday and most of Saturday were pretty dull, we did have a really fun Saturday night (courtesy of Marissa and Peter!)  Seth and I attended the CentroNia Charity Auction (an annual event that we were also able to attend last year) at American's Katzen Arts Center.  CentroNia is a great program in DC and Maryland that has 5 campuses which provide programs for underprivileged kids.  Maria (Marissa's Mom) sits on the Board and each year, CentroNia hosts a fundraiser where they sell tickets to the auction and auction off donated art from local artists, as well as handmade crafts.  This year was the 25th Anniversary Bash and was wonderful - yummy food and drinks, great company and entertainment, and we were even able to buy someone their Christmas present :)  Check out the video and pictures below...good times!

Maria (on the TV) giving her speech.

Jay, Maria, Seth, & Me - too bad you can't see my bowtie :)
And with that, it's back to editing my papers and counting down the days til my FINAL final :)  Until then, wish me luck and I will talk to you all very soon!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm Thankful for Thanksgiving!!!

First things first: Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you all!  I hope you all had a great holiday weekend with all of your loved ones...I sure did!

The time off has been great (although school is still ongoing, so it hasn't been TOO much of a break!)  Seth even got off early on Wednesday (and came home early without telling me, so I thought we had a burglar in our house!)  Wednesday night, one of my best childhood friends (Adam Dodd) was in town and performing at Riot Act Comedy Club, so we went to go watch him and kick off a nice, long weekend!  Adam was great and we had a good time.  To end the night, we went home and I started getting everything prepped for Thanksgiving morning cooking :)

Me and Adam after his show.

On Thanksgiving Day, I got up early and started cooking my portion of the dinner: cranberry sauce, mac and cheese, and an apple bacon (yes, bacon!) pie :)  With the Macy's Parade (and the National Dog Show, which I think I should enter Honey in) on, I finished cooking, cleaning, and putting up our we are officially ready for the holidays now!  Seth and I actually got in a pre-Turkey workout and then picked up Andre from the airport before heading to Mom's for dinner.

The Apple Bacon Pie :)
Dad helping us unload dinner supplies - hehe!
Thanksgiving was really nice - lots of good food which, of course, was accompanied by good company :)  Although we def miss the Odoyle clan, it is nice to be able share holidays with the East Coast fam!  After eating ourselves into a food coma, we enjoyed some football and Thanksgiving TV specials (including Lady Gaga!) before calling it quits and heading to bed...and as you will see in the pics below...EVERYONE was exhausted!

Maybe this was what really made everyone tired lol!?
Post-Dinner visiting led too...


After recovering from our food coma, we spent most of our Black Friday avoiding the outside world and hanging out at the house.  In the evening, we all hopped in the car and headed down to Richmond (Mom, Dad, and Andre went to go see Bill O'Reilly's tour).  In honor of Dad's birthday next week, we got a cake and celebrated all together over dinner...and I think Dad liked his gift from us :)  Seth and I found a close-by theater and went to see a movie while we waited, and before I knew it, I was back on the couch watching Lock-Up!

Andre, Mom, & Dad at dinner.

Dad and his Birthday cookie cake!
 To wrap up our trip to Fredericksburg, we got up on Saturday and went to meet Aunt Carol for lunch to celebrate Andre's birthday (which was earlier this month, but since he was in town, we ate in his honor!)  After lunch, we went down to visit Aunt Kathy in the hospital.  For those of you who don't know, doctors just found out that Kathy had a malignant tumor in her pancreas, but thankfully they found it in time to remove it all before any of the cancer spread!  She is looking much better and seems to be on her way to a full recovery, so please continue to keep her in your prayers :)

Today I woke up early to finish decorating and wrapping up things (it's really my last weekend of freedom for a while, because this week I start prepping for finals!)  After getting Honey's check-up (clean bill of health, although she wasn't too fond of her shots!) we hopped in the car and headed to Mt. Airy, Maryland to see Seth's sister Chrissy who was in town visiting her husband Ryan's family for the holidays.  We had a great visit and enjoyed seeing her and baby Nolan (who has grown so much in the three weeks since we last saw him!)  Although we wish we got to see her and all of our beloved Odoyles more often, we are officially counting down (28 days!) until we head to Utah for Christmas!!! 

Honey under the Christmas Tree :)
Baby Nolan had lots to say to his Uncles today :)
Well, it's about that time again...Sunday night blues are hitting and another week is approaching.  But, in the spirit of the holidays, I want to end today's Blog by reminding each of you how THANKFUL I am to have you in my life.  I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people, and hope you never forget how much I love and appreciate YOU!!!  Hugs and love!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Me :)

Hi there everyone!  Hope this finds you certainly finds me very happy and loved (and TIRED!)  This has been an AMAZING week!  First things first, work and school were great this week (some good stories from Court especially!) and I continued the interviewing process in an attempt to find a summer associate position for next summer...and the best Birthday present came (early!) on Friday morning when I got a call from a partner at Patton Boggs LLP offering me a slot in their 2012 Summer Associate Program!!!  I couldn't be happier: the firm has offices around the country/world but I will be able to stay in DC, they do a lot of policy work (which is perfect for my interests), and its a well known/respected firm and I am thrilled to be a part of it!!!  Thanks for all the crossed fingers and prayers - it paid off!!!

With work plans lined up for next summer, the weekend stage was set for fun, fun, fun!  On Friday, Seth and I went to dinner with Brooke and Matt at DC 901.  It was deeeeelish and I enjoyed every single bite :)  On Saturday, we got up and met Amy and Meghan at Level One for a brunch with unlimited Mimosas :)  They made me feel so special - cake, flowers, and love!  Following brunch (and a nap!) we headed over to my friend Tensie's for a joint birthday dinner/party with her and a bunch of law school friends.  We had a blast and danced the night away :)

My beautiful flowers :)

Tensie and I at Madam's Organ celebrating!

Today, on my actual birthday, we got up and ate some homemade breakfast (thanks to Mister Seth!) before heading to Pentagon City to meet Mom, Dad, and Carol for lunch and shopping :)  We had a good time (as usual), and I was showered with love (and gifts), and even got some nice new threads (thanks Mom!)  I guess my old age has caught up with me, because by the end of the afternoon, I was pooped and ready to go home to rest :) 

A bird's eye view of Mom, Dad, and Carol at the mall!

I'm not OCD, I'm CDO :)

Well, like I said earlier, my old age has gotten to me and I need to get some shuteye soon (I need beauty rest to keep me looking somewhat young hehe!) But before I go to bed, I want
to thank you all so much for making my day so special and helping me feel so birthday wouldn't have been the same without you :)  Much love until the next time!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

All Work and No Play Means...Game Night

Well, aside from 11-11-11, this week was kind of a bear with school, work, etc... (although I did make a wish at 11:11!)  But never fear, it all wound down in time for Game Night :)

On Friday, we invited about a dozen friends over, so my Friday afternoon was busy getting ready (I told Seth I sometimes wonder if I should just have been a party planner instead of going to law school!)  Anyway, it was lots of fun, and much needed after such a busy week.  The menu was pretty yummy (if I do say so myself): cucumber rounds topped with salmon and chipotle queso, bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese, pita chips with hummus, home-baked pizza, mini-eclairs, mini-fruit tarts, and (of course) some deliciously potent punch :)

The gang playing Sour Apples to Apples/Loaded Questions - fun!
After Game Night, we were convinced not to be the old, married couple and went out on the town to dance the night away (for which my soaking wet socks the morning after can serve as proof hehe!)  We didn't get home til almost 4:00 AM, so we were pretty tired...but from the looks of things below, Honey was even more tired :)

Miss Honey Child is pooped!
Well, speaking of tired, its time to go fold my last load of laundry and wrap-up things here, but more to come next week :) 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jay & Tina Get Married...O'Doyle Style

A big hello from Boise to all of you :)  Seth and I are sitting in the airport awaiting our flight to Minneapolis (which is delayed, so hopefully we make it in time for us to get on our connection).  It sure has been a wonderful weekend...and we needed it after the busy week we had!

On Friday, we got up at 4:30 AM (ugh!) and headed off to Dulles for our flight.  After having some problems with my boarding pass (stressful!), we made it to our gate with about 15 minutes to spare before boarding...and guess who we ran into?  Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah :)  Being a true politician at heart, I introduced myself to him and we had a nice 10-minute or so conversation.  When I was telling him about being in law school, he noticed my wedding ring and asked if I was married, to which I replied simply "Yes, I am" with a big smile on my face :)

After a nice flight to Salt Lake, we purposely missed our connection to Boise in order to be part of VanFest 2011!  The family rented a 15-passenger van and we trekked it from Salt Lake to Boise (about a five hour drive).  It was actually really fun and we had a great time with all of the O'Doyles :)

Why hello Utah, so happy to see you again!
Andrew, Mindy, and Chrissy displaying the O'Doyle Van.
Baby Nolan and Uncle Seth :)
After VanFest safely made it to Boise, we ran by Jay and Tina's to say hello and meet some of Tina's family.  We didn't stay long though, because VanFest tired us all out :)  The next day, however, we were up bright and early in time for the big event!  We all met and took pictures before heading to the cutest little chapel right by the Boise State campus!  It was a simple, sweet ceremony and we couldn't be happier for the newlyweds: Congratulations Jay and Tina!!!  To show their appreciation for everyone coming, we all went to lunch at the Cottonwood Grille for some yummy food and even yummier wedding cake...but that was just the beginning of all the food!  After lunch (and a nap!), we headed back to Jay and Tina's for a BBQ.   It was so much fun and just like old times to be able to have everyone together...and only 49 more days (according to our Delta itinerary) before we are back for more :)

Goin to the chapel and they got married :)

Tina and Jay - Congratulations!
The Longhurst boys and Jack.

It totally looked like Jay was going to shove Tina's face in the cake!

Me, Jack, & Seth in a food coma from the BBQ!
Well, like I said, this has been a wonderful weekend and now its back to reality: school and work - boo!  But it's OK, because its times like this weekend that make all the hard work worthwhile!  Gotta sign off and get ready to board our flight, but I will talk to you all again back on the East coast - much love until then!