Tag Archives: Christmas

Life Update/Random Rants

Happy New Year!

Thought I would pop in for a little random life update.

  1. Cuties are the bomb. George and I are doing another sugar detox/whole30/get in shape challenge. This means I have been going hard on these sweet snacks….cough3or4adaycough… Yum! I hope there is no such thing as too much vitamin C or potassium intake (George has been going hard on the bananas) IMAG23102. Thick/full/bushy eyebrows are in. It’s a thing people. Unfortunately thin, blonde, nonexistent eyebrows run in the family.  Want proof? This insta pic  my sister took showing off the “Whitney Wrinkle” aka ” forehead hotdogs” also shows off the family brow (or lack there of).


You can see we don’t have a lot in the brow department except for the 3 young boys…well see how long those last ha! Oh but check out mine (top left). This brings me to my point. I got a brow tint and LOVE it!

This is what my eyebrows looked like before (you can see the after in the shot above).


See the blonde, thin, and patchy?

Most places that wax eyebrows will also tint them. It’s a very mild hair dye that is semi permanent. Before tinting, I had been drawing them on most days which can be hard getting them to match :/.  Now I don’t need too! When I am wanting to look fancy, I still fill in the gaps with either this or this . I would recommend starting with this Maybelline define-a-brow gelish pencil (I used light brown) to try it out. The color doesn’t have a red tint to it (like most eyebrow products do), and goes on much more natural than a regular pencil.  If you love it (and I am sure you will), you will find that it goes fast and in that case, this Tarte product (I use taupe) is worth the investment. It comes with a brush to “paint” them in. It’s called a mousse, but really goes on in a similar consistency as they gelish pencil above. The pencil is great but I found I could go through one each month. The little pot of Tarte mousse has lasted me wayyyy longer. I think it will get me past a year for sure.

I think when my eye brows are full it frames my eyes best and helps me look more complete and awake… [eyebrow tangent complete]

3. George and I celebrated the 1st anniversary of our marriage. It has been an AMAZING year. I love him even more today than I did one year ago. I think I tell me like 10000 times a day too. I hope to post next week what I have learned so far from marriage. I could probably do 10 post on this, but overall, marriage has been absolutely wonderful. Sharing my life with this man has been better than I could ever imagine.

Remember this day? Can you believe it’s been a year?

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On a semi-related note, I am toying with the idea of selling my wedding dress. I just feel like its too pretty to just sit in a box. If you know of anyone that would love it as much as I do let me know!

4. Christmas was great this year! I was so glad to host my mother and sister- in -law at our home and then head to STL to celebrate with all the Krystopa Whitney Clan.  I stunk it up on the picture taking but here are a few I snagged on Facebook.

Christmas cookies with the Terlep’s
10341646_10204700027533563_88065903107069493_n Kathy and Anna have incredible artictic talent, George has an incredible sweet tooth for cookies and cupcakes, and well I just have a lot of fun haha.10407794_10204700001972924_8793164883288062809_nThe Krystopa crew (missing a few). We have grown so much that there is not one place in the house were we can all [safely] fit with enough room to take a picture. Thank goodness it wasn’t too cold out.


Girl cousins (and some little ones)!

10888563_921482894537599_761136607655215567_nThe reindeer team for some family feud. Love my cousins!
5. We grew up reading a lot in the Whitney house.  As adults, we have started a great tradition for Christmas: The Whitney Book Exchange. I am sure Shannon will do a great post about this years books soon. In the meantime, I wanted to throw a shout out to the two books I have read/reading.  I choose “Unbroken” . A movie just came out based on the book. Read it. Soooooooo goood.  The movie is good too, but there is so much more detail in the book.  This unbelievably true story is worth the read.

Now, I am currently about half way though my dad’s pick “One Second After”.  This one is really blowing my mind. This fiction novel sheds light on our society’s dependence on electronics and the scary tendencies of human nature. Apocalyptic /post- apocalyptic stories  seem to be a trend right now, but this one has really got me thinking.

Here I am bundled up with a book and my new heated blanket (the hubby gives me the best gifts)!


In case you missed our Christmas card, here were are!christmas card

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Friday to you 🙂


Christmas Traditions & Ornaments Part II

Last week I posted on some favorite ornaments on my mom and dad’s tree. If you missed it, you can read it here.

This year, as the weather began getting colder, I started painting a picture in my head of our first Christmas together as a little family in our own home. I was brain storming of great holiday traditions that I wanted to start that we could one day tell our kids about and carry on with them.

Our friends have an elf on the shelf that they take turns setting up for each other every night. They have the cutest and funniest ideas. I wanted to make this a tradition for us too.

I bought an elf last year.

I got the elf out this year.

She has moved once…. and it was because she was in my way.


I wanted to decorate a beautiful gingerbread house.

Did we decorate a ginger bread house? Yes.

Is it beautiful? I will leave that up to your interpretation. ha ha


It turns out someone was a little bossy when it came to the creative vision… so we ended up each decorating one face of the house and sharing the roof.  Ill let you guess who did each side.  IMAG2254 IMAG2253

Hint. The snow must have been blowing at a fierce angle, only hitting George’s side.

This is our first Christmas (married and) in our first house. I wanted to decorate our home perfectly. I think I succeed on this goal for the most part. Butttttttt, because I love a good deal, I plan to get most of our Christmas decor on sale December 26th, so this year, our decorations are minimal 🙂 They are still oh so beautiful and I LOVE our tree. Pictures of the tree will come soon, but I am waiting for our Christmas cards to go out first so I don’t spoil the surprise.

In the meantime, I will highlight a few ornaments we have together (and those I snatched from Mom and Dads collection and brought to our tree in KC).

We received a package from our real estate agents last week. Inside was this sweet ornament commemorating our new home. I love these types of ornaments because years down the road when this house is no longer new and exiting, we will pull out our Christmas tubs and for just a minute be reminded of the feeling our house give us now. This little ornament carries the feelings of excitement, accomplishment, and family.


We have a set of these reflective diamond ornaments that were originally my grandpa’s when he was a kid. These puppies have been around for three generations of Christmas morning smiles!


George and I each have our own graduation cap and gown to commemorate hours upon hours of studying.


We painted ornaments as our own “Sips and Splatters” craft last weekend. Not too shabby aye?


Mom  got me this one. Back in middle school I was nicknamed (by my family of course) as the “baby tamer”. I had baby sitting jobs lined up every weekend and could handle even the wild kids my sister refused.

When I travel, I always like to snag an ornament to remind me of my adventure. Here are South Africa and Ireland.



My oldest friend, Sarah home-made me this beauty in 2004. Love it!


Next up a handful of memories of the days of CJA. The beloved itchy plaid skit, pole vaulting, and field hockey.

IMAG2246 IMAG2240 IMAG2239 IMAG2238Last year, my mom and dad gave me this Cinderella ornament for my last Christmas before I got married. 


Now we have a little collection of engagement and wedding ornaments as well!



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I still have a few more fun activities that I wanted to do this year in the holiday season. We still have a week left to make some memories. 🙂 Whether  they are planed or unplanned traditions, I am sure they will develop over time. I am just excited for the upcoming family time with the ones I love!

What are your favorite traditions?

Christmas Ornament Classics

Merry (almost) Christmas! I was so glad I had the chance to head back to St. Louis this past weekend for some long over due family time. In just the 58 hours back home, we squeezed in a LOT of fun. We starting off the weekend we celebratory drinks and pinterest fest for my newly engaged sister, and ended the weekend with the Garth Brooks/Trisha Yearwood concert (which was AMAZING btw!)


We celebrated Garth’s Dad’s Birthday. He’s much to handsome to be this damn old. 😉



Dad labeled us with our alter egos.

In between we celebrated my cousins 30th birthday, showered her with diapers for her soon to arrive twin boys, girl talked with the cousins  and aunts, and loved up on some sweet babies.


The night was complete with our version of sips and splatters ornament painting and twin trivia.



Sunday started off right with some Jesus and Jack.2

Then we decorated Fort Whitney with some Christmas spirit.

Every year at Christmas I am in aww of the beautifully decorated trees on pinterest. Or how about the trees at the mall? You know, were all the ribbons, and lights, and ornaments match perfectly. Well I can’t speak for you, but the Whitney tree is still the most beautiful tree I have ever seen. It’s not because it matches, to be honest. its really a hodgepodge of colors and shapes crammed on to every branch. I love our tree because it is FULL of wonderful memories. Each year we add a memory (or two or three) to the tree. I absolutely love digging out the ornaments each year and laughing at the funny memories and reminiscing of years past. I snapped a few photos this to share some Whitney classics.

First off, Mom was kind enough to hand-me-down the Asian santas to George (remember how he has trouble keeping his eyes open for photos?)  These squinty eyed santas will be a perfect addition to our KC Christmas.


This Christmas will be our first spent with out Zorro.  He used to love the festivities, you could tell my his extra long naps. He especially loved when we put the blow up deer antlers on this head.


Up next, Shannon’s personal favorite: Julie “the brace face”. Shannon was the only Whitney child who never wore braces, which also means she is the only Whitney child that does not have an embarrassing ornament to remember  the awkward middle age years with a mouth full of metal. Mom wanted to make sure we remember ALL the big events in our lives no matter how embarrassing.


The cheer squad. Not only did mom shop for memorable ornaments, but some times the relatives joined in on the fun. I guess cheerleader ornaments are easy to find, because we have a whole squad on the tree. I think we counted 6? I brought a few of the cheerleaders to KC this year too. Below is a personal favorite, we call her DD Cheerleader, due to her large…um…pom poms.


Next up are the photo ornaments. It seems like we made one every year at school. Here are the highlights.

Chubby santa baby 🙂


About 3 years old I think.It’d hard to tell because I wore this christmas dress a few years…then I wore Shannon’s matching dress for a few years after. #littlesisterlove


Christmas Brownie (1st grade?)


1999 was a good year for me. Denim dress, striped turtle neck and sleep in foam rollers. Oh the price of beauty.


I call this one my “Mona Lisa smile”. This was 5th grade I think. I was very self conscious of my pre-braces smile, and tried to smile without showing my crooked teeth. I swear I was not this serious all the time.


Skipping a few years to high school graduation, oh the memories.


Each year it is tradition to get a god-child ornament from my god mother. This little bear for my third Christmas has always been my favorite.


What a nerd!


Seeing my field hockey ornaments and photos in my room really have me missing my CJA team.


Simba and Nala are some long time favorites. We used to play barbies with the Nativity set. Baribe and friends would travel from afar to see their Aunt Mary and new baby cousin Jesus. Sometimes Simba and Nala would come too.


And well close it out with a Mizzou Tiger.We are looking forward to the citrus bowl!  IMAG2211

Christmas Card

Most of you know my mom writes an epic Christmas poem each year full of rhymes and an update on our family since the last December. I have decided that maybe its about time to send out my own Christmas card this year. I could write a poem….oh who am I kidding? It couldn’t compare. Then I thought again. With the wedding so close and so many details to attend to, I would drive myself mad trying to get a nice letter out in time. It looks like I will wait for a new last name before you get a Christmas card in the mail from me.

I love reading cards from family and friends each December to look back on their year and see how much growth and change has occurred over the last 12 months. So much has happened for me in the last year, why not have a Christmas-cardblog ?  ( I made that word up).  I can write my heart out, and don’t have to limit myself to one 4×6 photo!Here goes!


Since last Christmas card….

I headed back to my senior year at MU to get down to business. Whoever said senior year is a blow off, was definitely not an engineer. I completed my computer and electrical engineering capstone project: A high efficiency desensitized solarcell hydrogen generator. Yes, it was as complicated as it sounds. Somewhere in the mist of all the studying I was able to squeeze in a little fun on our epic snow days, a spring break trip to Gulf Shores,  and an amazing, Engineer’s week celebration and dance.


In the spring I purchased an (almost) new car. It was the first time owning a car that was not almost as old as me. My 2011 Honda Civic treats me well driving back and forth from STL to KC and back, and boy do I love the amazing gas mileage! (34mpg!) I love knowing that my car is reliable, and that it is a product of my hard work and years of saving.


In May came a long awaited graduation. So many loved ones came to celebrate with me and 12 (male) classmates received our Computer Engineering degrees. Yup that’s right. It was the only girl in my graduating class. It was quite the change from my graduation from CJA, all girls highschool, four years ago.


During my time at MU, I worked as a part-time nanny for two amazing boys. It was tough to say good by to my two little ninjas. Its hard to believe that when I met them they were just 2 and a few months old!


I said “good bye” to Columbia for now, but will always be a tiger at heart. I plan to stay involved at the University through my position on the Engineering Recent Alumni Board.

Life sped up real quick after graduation.  George and I set a wedding date, and got to planning. I spent my summer based out of STL planning for the next stages of my life, and traveling every change I had.

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Merry Christmas from the (almost) Terlep Family
Merry Christmas from the (almost) Terlep Family

A family trip to San Francisco was a great time! We visited Alcatraz, Yosmite, China town, Muir Woods, Golden Gate park, and much more (read about our adventures here!). I think we walked hundreds of miles on this trip. It was such great family time exploring a new city.


I headed to South Africa with a group of engineering students from MU. We spent a week at a school outside of Capetown teaching students about engineering and promoting college education. It was a great experience to see how different our lives were, yet how our hearts are the same. We spend the rest of the trip exploring South Africa and on safari in Kruger national park.


Our annual family trip table rock lake did not disappoint!


On my birthday I moved across the state to Kansas City.  I decorated an apartment of my own, and even learned to cheer for the KC Royals.


My very first “big girl job” has been more than I can ask for. I have found a perfect balance of my computer- nerd personality and my desire to work with, and help people.  I project manage and work on software for a health care technology company. I love being able to geek-out and see first hand how my work is impacting patient care in hospitals and everyday life.

Lately when I am not working, I am wedding planning, cooking, exercising, or traveling back to Columbia or St. Louis to spend time with George and family. I have had some great opportunity to reconnect with old friends at showers and bachelorette  festivities. I just couldn’t ask for more!



December marked a second exciting graduation. My Chemical engineer has a great job to look forward to soon starting after the wedding.


I have so many blessings in my life and so many people that have helped support me this year. I have loved meeting people though this blog, and sharing my thoughts, feelings, projects, and adventure with you all along the way. Thanks for reading. I wish each and everyone of you a very merry Christmas. My we all focus on the Lord in such a beautiful season as we share in love and traditions.

PS: Here is my Christmas gift to you all!

Attempted Christmas Eve Whitney Family Christmas pic
Attempted Christmas Eve Whitney Family Christmas pic




Christmas cookies!

The best way to get in the holiday mood? Baking Christmas cookies! In high school, this became my thing. Sure the rest of the family helps, but primarily I run the show.  It’s the best! Usually crank them out on one night, just one batch after another , the sweet aroma fills the house, and I create a constant stream of dishes.  Lucky for me, baking at home means I have a dishes elf (aka Mom). She has a constant stream of dishes making sure the favorite spatula is clean and ready to be used for the next batch.

“Death by chocolate cookies”


This year I had second thoughts about baking. On one hand, I have to fit in a pretty white dress in 24 days. On the other hand, my little kitchen is stocked with wonderful new gadgets just waiting to be put to use! I knew I couldn’t forgo cookies this year when I received an early wedding gift: the kitchen aid mixer! The cookie queen herself (my moms long time friend from work, Kathy)  brought over the gift early knowing it wouldn’t be Christmas without the cookies! She has been bringing over the most delicious baked goods since I was a wee baby.

Unfortunately, my dishes elf is now 4 hours away 😦 . Knowing  an apartment full of cookies would be dangerous for my figure, I called in for some backup.

Girls cookie night with these beautiful ladies!


Baking with the besties!

I am so thankful for all the generous gifts and kitchen gadgets, they made baking even more fun! Check out my Christmas apron made by one of the “cousins”, Kathy, and that shiny new mixer (from the other Kathy).


We made “death by chocolate” cookies and chocolate chip. What are your favorite cookies?




Oh and side note: MK and Elizabeth took self-ies while I did all the work.