Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas in Austin

*Last Christmas post – I promise!  I’m trying to get them all in before the end of December.*

After celebrating in Livingston and in Ruston, we made the drive to Austin for our last Christmas with Austin’s family.  While we were in town, we also got to celebrate with my in-laws for their 30th wedding anniversary! 

We opened gifts on Thursday night when we got to town, and I spotted some Austin ornaments that were just too cute not to document. Winking smile  Precious right?

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The grown up version is pretty cute too. 

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We played lots of games while we were there, but my hands-down favorite was playing Just Dance on the Wii with the entire family.  The workout from dancing + laughing was awesome. 

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On Friday we went to a really cool pizza place downtown for lunch called Home Slice.  I highly recommended it if you are in Austin! 

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It was probably the best pizza I’ve ever had – served up with a side of creeper!  We had a wonderful time in Austin, as always.

That’s a wrap on Christmases – see you in the new year!

Louisiana Christmas

It almost doesn’t feel like Christmas to me unless I’m in Ruston.  Christmas Eve with Dad’s side and Christmas Day with Mom’s.  That has been our tradition for my entire life.  Now that I’m married, we celebrated in Texas last year with Austin’s family, but this year was our year to go to Ruston.  It was a very quick trip, but I’m so thankful for the time we were able to spend with family. 

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Although we were in Ruston for less than 48 hours, we ate enough for about a week!  Grandma fixed a feast on Christmas Eve that we enjoyed after the Christmas Eve service at church.  The highlight was probably her famous banana pudding – so good!  We followed up dinner with presents in the living room, then Mom, Mary Katherine, and I fell asleep and took a little night nap.  There was a crazy storm blowing through Ruston that night, and the thunder and lightening woke everyone up at some point.  On Christmas morning we had pancakes before getting ready and heading over to Mammo and Pop’s house to spend the day.

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{Pawpaw got a Yeti//Mom got some cozy slippers.} 

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{Christmas mani done at the kitchen table on Christmas morning}

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{Festive and delicious appetizers at Mammo’s}

We ate our way through Christmas Day and enjoyed a never-ending supply of more tasty food.  Christmas Day highlights include the girls dominating the boys in Catchphrase, Mammo playing Christmas songs on the piano and everyone singing along, and of course a game of Five Crowns.  Can’t go to Mammo and Pop’s without playing Five Crowns! 

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I spy a creeper…

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{new knife for Dad}

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It was a wonderful Ruston Christmas!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Catching Up After Christmas

We are finally back in Dallas, and I’m just itching to get back into a regular blogging routine.  Some of my Christmas presents from Austin were accessories for the iPad to make it easier to blog on the go, but I haven’t quite mastered my new apps to do that just yet.  So, now to catch up on a week’s worth of criss-crossing the state of Texas and spending time with our families! 

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We celebrated in east Texas, north Louisiana, and in Austin this year, and we are truly fortunate that we were able to be off work for the entire week of Christmas.  I think I’ll do a blog post for each place in an attempt to keep this from being one gigantic picture dump.

Our first major Christmas was in Livingston with my parents, my sisters, and my grandmother and her husband Rick.  Mom and Dad fixed a wonderful meal of pork tenderloin, salad, twice baked potatoes, french bread, and lemon delight for dessert.  The food was amazing, and it was a treat to eat at the dining table all decorated for Christmas. 

IMG_1283  We did presents after supper, and everyone unwrapped some wonderful gifts!  I was so excited to unwrap a pretty green dutch oven that is now looking so cute on my stove back at home. 

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Below is my favorite picture of the night – they were so excited to get iPhones for Christmas!  There may have even been some tears of joy…

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There are so many other things we crammed in during our time in Livingston – church with my parents and hearing Mary Katherine play the prelude, cookie baking, game playing, and just good quality time with my favorite people! 

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Home for the Holidays

We arrived at my parents' house yesterday and are loving being here with my family! My mom has the house decorated so pretty - I couldn't stop taking pictures of everything yesterday.

I am trying out blogging from my iPad this morning. Hopefully it works! Austin and I did our Christmas before we left town, and one of my gifts was a keyboard for the iPad. He also gave me a cute little gadget that allows me to put pictures directly on the iPad from my camera.

Here are some pics of Mom's holiday decor. Crossing my fingers that this works!










Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WILW: Christmas Cards

Getting Christmas cards in the mail has quickly become one of the best parts of my day!  All during the month of December, I have loved all of the cute cards we’ve gotten, and I will be sad to take them down. I have just been propping them up on our bookshelf by the front door, and I like seeing them there to greet me every time I come home.  They are also a great conversation piece!  Who doesn’t love looking at Christmas cards?
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This year I ordered our cards from Paper Source.  The blue color is a little bit unexpected for a Christmas card, and they are very simple, but I love them!  Now that I look at a picture of them on the blog, they kind of match. 
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I learned my lesson this year about ALWAYS needing to order more cards than I think we’ll need.  Next year, I will definitely be ordering more!  I wanted to keep one for us to save so we’ll have one from each year, but I sent out every single one and was still wishing I had more to send.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Revamped JCP

After having not stepped foot in a JC Penny’s in years, Austin and I ventured into one recently on a whim looking for a tie for his work Christmas party.  We met there one evening after work, and I happened to get there a few minutes before he did.  I think I was literally walking around the store with my mouth hanging open.  I was 100% impressed and amazed with the entire store.  The store was open and clean and bright.  The clothes and shoes were all organized and straight.  The prices were unbelievable, and there were so many cute things that I was dying to try on!  I just couldn’t get over it.

We found Austin a super cute tartan tie that was on sale for around $20.  He got several compliments on it at his party, and I’m sure he will get lots of wear out of it in the future.  I called my mom after we left to gush about my new-found discovery and we quickly planned to return to JCP when she and my Dad were in Dallas.
 
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{the tie in action}

We did go back the weekend that my parents were in town, and my mom and I did a good bit of Christmas shopping there.  On this trip, the cashier told us about these Christmas buttons that have little codes on the back, and you can simply input the codes on the JCP website and automatically win coupons and other prizes.  We now have a $15 coupon, and I’m already planning my next visit to shop for work clothes!

Monday, December 17, 2012

It’s a Wrap!

Hallelujah, all of my presents are wrapped!  All last week I was just itching to have time to sit down and get them all done and fill up the empty space under our tree.  Sunday afternoon after my nap I finally finished.  Now we get to enjoy all the wrapped presents until they all get loaded up next weekend for our holiday travels all over Texas!

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Just in case anyone is curious, the kraft paper is from Walmart, the ribbon is from Paper Source and Hobby Lobby, and the gift tags were made by my mom.