In an Instant: A Kentucky Christmas

I'm only a month behind on posting this.

Don't look at me like that, I've been busy. We'll just call this a throw back Thursday.

Christmas was a little different for my family this year. Instead of the usual Texas traditions, we spent our Christmas in Kentucky in my parent's new 'hood. It was cold, it was different, it didn't really feel like Christmas, but it was wonderful..... Lets just never mention the tamale disaster of '13 again (read as: Cincinnati tamales ≠ Texas tamales).

1. Like I said, it was cold. Real cold. Like 5 degrees with a dusting of snow and a northern wind cold. Good thing I left my NorthFace sitting in terminal B of the OKC Airport......

2. Cassie had a little too much Christmas cheer. Bless her old soul.

3. The Kentucky Horse Park was a must see, despite the cold. I do believe I will be returning on a warmer day to take full advantage of what it has to offer.

4. Cassie (golden retriever) loves to shred wrapping paper. Chief (sheltie), being the old fart he is, hoards pieces of paper just so that Cassie can't enjoy them. Sibling rivalry at its finest, ya'll.

5. We toured the Lexington Brewery and Distillery. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout makes my taste buds dance. I'm talking the full on Cha-Cha.

6. I'm head over heels for this marketing scheme. Seriously, though, how do you pronounce Louisville?

7. A lovely morning at Churchill Downs. I highly recommend touring this place if you like interacting with the attractions. I could have easily spent six hours here. You best believe I will be attending the Kentucky Derby in the near future. Give me all the Mint Juleps.

8. Fulfilling my dream of being a jockey. Just another reason to visit Churchill Downs!

9. One of the many stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I've made my jar of bourbon cherries last longer than a month...can't say the same for the bourbon chocolate balls.

Although we missed the warmth of Texas friends and family, it was a blast exploring Kentucky with my parents and my brother. Don't worry, I brought back my fair share of touristy t-shirts.

The best birthday present.

Yesterday was my birthday, but there was no way in the world it could compare to the wonderfulness of the day before. Cole took me to the GW Exotic Animal Park to celebrate my 24 years of life. It was the best birthday present, ever.

Oh, hey there, Mr. Tiger. Got an itch?
I feel like I've been to enough zoos to say that this is the best zoo of all time. Its not just a zoo, its a personal, interactive experience with a plethora of animals (I love opportunities to use that word).

We set out on the two-hour Endangered Animal Adventure Tour which allowed us to interact with camels, wolves, snakes, baby skunks and more. It was jam packed with information about each and every animal there, not to mention I got to play with a baby tiger. Yeah, you read that right.

Chompers is a three-year-old alligator. He resembles Tiny Tim because alligators only grow to the size of their environment.

Cleetus the Camel gave me a kiss. It was pretty slobbery... I think I prefer horse kisses. Sorry, Cleetus.

Cole is a lot braver than me. I was proud of myself for just touching the gigantic Pithon. There was no way I was letting it slither across my shoulders. I mean, have you seen Swiss Family Robinson?! Mad props to you, babe. You're such a manly man.

I'll hold a fluffy albino skunk, though, no question there. Her name was Snowball...fitting.

And of course, wolves don't scare me in the least.....unless you're talking about four-year-old Amanda who was convinced they lived under her bed and came out to hunt little girls at 9 o'clock p.m.

Side note: did you know that wolves can't bark or wag their tails? They only howl. Interesting.

Naturally, the tour guide saved the best for last. The moment you've all been waiting for. The grand finale.

Drum roll, please.

Meet Thor, the baby tiger.

I had to sit on my hands to contain my excitement and keep myself from shoving five-year-olds out of my way. Can you blame me?

Not just baby tigers, but baby liligers, too! Thats a lion, liger cross, mind you. The only ones in North America.

A liger is pretty much my favorite animal. Its like a lion and tiger mix, bred for it's skills in magic (that's a Napoleon Dynamite quote if you didn't catch it). I guess that makes a liliger super extra magical.

The tiny, curious babes were six-weeks-old, weighing in at ten pounds. Their fur felt like stuffed animals that had been drooled on. Lots of fuzz. They crawled in my lap, chewed on my shoes and made the most adorable kitty-cat noises. My cheeks hurt from so much smiling, but I just couldn't help it.

Thor curled up in my lap for about five minutes and just cuddled. He didn't do that to anyone else. It was the best moment of my life thus far. He constantly made a sneezing noise, which the tour guide told me is a tiger's version of a purr. The pitter patter of my heart was on over drive. 

Sorry, Cole, but Thor has stolen my heart. You come in at a close second. 

Pucker Up

If they ever take this off the shelves, I'll go through major withdrawals. They'll have to drug me to keep me sane. 

Have you seen this little ball of joy in the check out aisle? I know you've wondered what makes it so special. I'll tell you.

Its the best chap stick ever. Of all time. To infinity and beyond (this coming from a girl with five chap sticks in her purse at all times. Yes, I have actually finished an entire tube before. Who else can claim that?).

I can't believe I passed it by for so long. My sincere apologies, EOS. I'm so glad I found you, I love being around you. 

Packed with shea butter, jojoba oil and vitamin e, 95% organic and 100% natural. You can't go wrong with EOS, folks.

Your sweetie will plant oh so many kisses on your lips because they will be sensationally smooth.

It won't leave behind that funky, flaky line. It won't make your lips sticky, but it also won't dry up too quickly. Its the perfect amount of moisture for your pretty pout. It'll be the Pinky to your Brain. 

My favorite part? Puckering up my lips to roll it on. It makes me feel fergalicious.

fer•ga•li•cious definition: make the boys go crazy

Next time you're standing in line at Target, pick out a flavor and give it a try. Your lips will thank you.

Note: not a paid advertisement. I just really, really love this stuff. However, if anyone from EOS is reading this, you can totally put me on the pay roll at anytime. I accept!

P.S. EOS hand cream is pretty bomb diggity, too, if you're into that sort of thing.

twenty thirteen

Twenty Thirteen, you were a good one.
You call that a New Years Kiss?
I turned 23. "Be kissed in the rain" got checked off my bucket list. I got my first piece of Tiffany's jewelry (thanks, babe). I started doing yoga. I went to my first OSU Basketball game (a little late on that, eh?). I discovered that I don't hate mushrooms that much after all. I went to a Muse concert. I designed and launched a website for work. I celebrated Saint Patty's Day by drinking green beer. I developed a love for food trucks (lookin' at you, Roxy's Ice Cream). I ran my first 10k. I said goodbye to my childhood home. I survived the May tornados that hit OKC. I got my Okla. driver's license. I PRed my 5k time. I sunburnt my nose so bad that it bled and scabbed (twice). I made it through another Pinto World Championship. I went Paleo for a month. I swam in the freezing cold Illinois River. Cole went to his 10 year high school reunion and I was lucky enough to be his plus one. My car got hail damage. I vacationed in Mexico. I swam with dolphins. I hiked Red Rock Canyon. I binge watched my fair share of Netflix shows. I drove through six states on my way to my parent's new pad in Kentucky. I attended the largest Oktoberfest in the nation. I went to America's largest homecoming an alumni. I got promoted. I saw a [off] Broadway play. Chloe and I dressed up as Princess Peach and Toad. I ran a half marathon in twenty-degrees. I went on my first solo plane ride and witnessed a medical emergency during landing. I sampled some tasty bourbons at several of the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I fulfilled my dream of being a jockey. I spent another year being completely head over heels for that total babe I call my boyfriend, and I ended the year the way I started it: with a slightly tipsy yet completely magical New Years Kiss (note: not the one pictured above). 

Now what? I don't have any "resolutions," my life is pretty great as is; there is nothing I really need to change. Instead, I have a little to-do list of goals for 2014. What is on the to-do list? I'm glad you asked....
  • Play with a tiger cub
  • Go completely Paleo for the month of January... Christmas Cookies got the best of me.
  • Run another half marathon....or two or three
  • Give Crossfit a try
  • Run 365 miles or more 
  • Nail that yoga crow pose and hand stand 
  • Sign my name on the wall @ The Copper Penny in good ole Stillwater, Okla.
  • Travel somewhere I've never been before and always wanted to visit
  • Visit the rest of the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and earn my free t-shirt
  • Maybe, just maybe, rock a fancy hat at the Kentucky Derby 
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