Nine years ago, September 11 became a day we would all remember.

I remember the week before 9/11, I was sitting in my AP U.S. History class and my teacher was talking about how every generation has events that define their generation.

Every generation has events that were so poignant that they will always remember where they were at the exact minute that they heard the news about a certain tragedy or phenomenon.

Our parents, for example, have JFK and Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination or the first time a man walked on the moon, among others. 

My teacher said that our generation didn’t have a moment yet.

Then 9/11 happened. 


I was sitting in that same history class when an announcement came over the speakers of my high school, informing the students that a plane had crashed into a big building in New York.

None of us knew what that meant. Our teacher told us to continue with the essay test we were taking, and left the room to find out more information to share with us.

With Mr. Bokor gone, we all looked at each other in confusion before returning to our exams.

At lunchtime, my friends and I headed to my house (our school allowed juniors and seniors to go off-campus for lunch).

My mom came home from work and joined us in the living room as we watched the events unfold on our television.

We asked my mom questions to which she didn’t have the answers… No one did.

We were confused and worried.

As it turns out, we were in the middle of living a defining moment for our generation. A moment where so many precious lives were lost and others were changed forever.

God bless the families and loved ones of those affected so deeply by the events that occurred nine years ago.


Do you remember where you were when you heard about the events occurring in New York City on September 11, 2001?

Rehearsal Dinner Lunch + Cookie Coma

Our day started nice and early!

After a quick breakfast and a super-fast blog post, Ryan and I were out the door to meet with our pastor to discuss our wedding ceremony.

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We drove to Dunedin, which is about 40 minutes from my parents’ house, and discussed everything from our vows to special readings and personalized segments we created ourselves. We are personalizing a lot of our ceremony and I’m excited with how it seems to be coming together! I hope it’s full o’ love! 😀

By the time we were done chatting with our pastor and his wife, it was lunchtime.

We headed over to 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House, where we are holding our rehearsal dinner, and enjoyed a quick bite to eat.

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Can you spot Ryan? 😉

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We started by sharing the seafood chili, which was full of beans, lentils, shrimp and fish.

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While waiting for our main course to come out, we perused meal and drink package options for our rehearsal dinner and have some decisions to make. Luckily the restaurant let us take a packet detailing the various options home with us, so we are able to crunch some numbers and think about it in more detail.

After all the food talk, I was ready for my grilled grouper sandwich!

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It was served on a fresh bun with tomato, onion and lettuce and a side of the most delicious steak fries.

With full bellies, we left the restaurant and headed home to watch the University of Florida game with my mom and dad. We assumed my sister would be at the game, but we got a text from her saying that it was “too hot,” after we spent the first two quarters searching for her blonde hair in the crowd. 

I remember the first several games of football season when I was a student at UCF. It was always unbearably hot. The only salvation from the heat was beer… and lots of it. 😉

About halfway through the UF game, I got a little bored and my mom and I headed into the kitchen to do some baking. Blog reader Andrea won my one-year blogging anniversary giveaway and requested the chocolate chip cookies she saw on Jenna’s blog as her prize, so we had an assignment!

Initially I figured the recipe would be like any other chocolate chip cookie recipe, but it required a few extra steps, like melting butter on the stove top and rotating the cookies as they baked in the oven.

While baking in the oven, the smell of the cookies was unreal. The combination of butter and sugar sure does yield one heck of a delectable aroma!

Within 10 minutes of popping the balls of dough in the oven, we had big, buttery cookies!

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Sadie wanted to be the taste tester.

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Chocolate + Dogs = Big No-No

We made sure to make plenty of cookies for Andrea, but had a few leftover to enjoy ourselves.

I had two cookies the size of my hand, plus inordinate amounts of dough.

I am seriously stuffed. Cookie coma.

I’m off to lay around with Ryan and my family and digest because I clearly cannot control myself around baked goods. We also have a couple of wedding crafts to work on, so I’ll try to be a little productive, too. 😉

Mussels Rock My Socks

My mom knows what I like!

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Ever since I was little, I’ve enjoyed shellfish. Clams, oysters, mussels… I love ‘em all! (You may remember that embarrassing story about how I used to eat clams a Hooter’s with my dad when I was younger. Always been a fan!)

Along with the mussels we enjoyed snapper (I had one filet)…

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Corn on the cob (I had one ear)…

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Whole grain bread (I had one slice at dinner and two slices waiting to eat… It was delicious!)…

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And, last but not least, fresh fruit salad…

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The fruit salad included watermelon, blueberries and apple.

I ate a bit of everything, but dominated the mussels. I had a huge bowl of mussel shells to showcase my efforts. 😉

After dinner, my mom, dad, Ryan and I sat at the table until nearly 11 p.m., just chatting and laughing together. It feels good to be home!


We woke up bright and early this morning!

I started the day with a piece of whole grain toast, smeared with a bit of Brummel & Brown butter and blackberry jam.

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I gotta go get ready for our meeting with our pastor today. I have some notes to assemble and gotta change out of my pjs!

See ya in a bit! 😀