Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Part Two

The second leg of our Christmas trip took us to Austin early on Christmas Eve morning.  My darling husband got a wild idea to try a new route which ended up taking us a big longer than our trusty normal route.  Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan of that and we will be sticking with the original route for all future trips :). 
We FINALLY (it really wasn’t that much longer, I’m just rubbing it in) made it and enjoyed a quick lunch and some visiting with my in-laws.  We watched the Christmas episode of Duck Dynasty on their new couch – my mother-in-law’s Christmas present!  It was so comfy, and I almost dozed off for an afternoon nap… but before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the Christmas Eve service at their church. 

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Austin, Casey, and I killed some time waiting for all the other slow pokes to get ready. 

The Christmas Eve service was festive and fun, and there were cute little children dressed in precious Christmas outfits everywhere.  That was probably my favorite part!  We almost had a dramatic ending to the service when the lady behind us caught her hair on fire with her candle.  It smelled so bad. She had a couple of rowdy little boys with her, and she leaned forward, I’m guessing to shoot them one of those “mom looks” that says you better sit down and be still right this minute.  Well, poor thing burned her own hair in the process!  I’m just thankful one of those little boys didn’t burn my hair! 

We had a little photo session outside of church on the very sunny Christmas Eve afternoon. 
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{the whole family: Austin, me, Buddy, Tyler, Courtney, Suann, and Casey}

After the service, a ton of family came over and we had a big dinner.  Dinner was followed by a white elephant gift exchange that was fairly tame compared to those in previous years that I’ve seen.  I went out on a limb and opened a gift that I did not bring, and I loved it!  But then my sister-in-law Courtney stole it from me, so I promptly stole the gift I brought from my mother-in-law.  So somehow I’m still undefeated when it comes to leaving with the gift I contributed.  Oh well! 

On Christmas morning, Austin and his mom read us the Christmas story from Luke before we began our present opening.
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I was pretty busy watching everyone open gifts and didn’t get many good pictures, but it was a wonderful Christmas morning followed by a delicious breakfast of quiche, cinnamon rolls, bacon, and fruit. 

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We lounged for a bit after breakfast, then finally got dressed and went on a nice long walk that included a trip to the elementary school playground.  I impressed everyone by doing some flips on the monkey bars ;), and we all had a great time!  It was a really nice day, so it was good to get out and get some fresh air.  We also got to have a quick visit with our friends Billy and Carly, who walked over from Billy’s family’s house next door, that afternoon. 

I came back to Dallas late that afternoon so I could be at work the next day – womp womp.  Austin stayed for the rest of the week, and he and Casey went on a little road trip on Thursday and Friday.  Now we are happily reunited in Dallas and getting ready for 2014!  But first, we’re excited to watch our Aggies BTHO Duke in the Chick-fil-a Bowl on New Year’s Eve.  Gig ‘em Ags!  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Part One

Well it is hard to believe that Christmas has already come and gone.  This year we were lucky that it worked out for us to spend time with both of our families on our “Christmas Break.”  We spent the Sunday and Monday before Christmas with my family, and then we traveled to Austin early on Tuesday to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Austin’s family. 

We left Dallas super early on Sunday and arrived at Mom and Dad’s at about 9:00 a.m.  Mom had the cutest little beverage station set up, and I enjoyed several cups of chai tea during the time we were there. 

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We unloaded the gifts we brought, sipped our tea, and started lunch prep while we waited for my sister Melanie and her husband Clark to arrive from Louisiana.  Once they got there, we had the ultimate grilled cheese bar for lunch.  It was such a fun lunch concept and one that I am just waiting for an excuse to repeat!  We laid out all kinds of spreads and condiments along with several types of deli meat, cheeses, and some extras like bacon and caramelized onions.  Oh my word, it was so good!

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We ate on Mom’s pretty Christmas china all weekend.  I just adore it!  My favorite piece was this plate with scalloped edges – so stinking cute.  The ginger cookies piled high just make it even better. 

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Mom also made a cherry pie for our dessert that night.  Have you ever seen anything as cute as that holly crust??

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For dinner that night, we had a feast of ham, rolls, hash brown casserole, and roasted vegetable salad in the dining room. 

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After dessert, which included cherry pie, chocolate pie, fruitcake cookies (gag), and ginger cookies, it was time to move to the living room and open presents! 

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Stockings first!  Since Mel and Clark have been married for a month, his official family stocking is not quite ready.  I think Austin got his on our second married Christmas, so we are apparently continuing that tradition. 

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My favorite wrap job of the night was this gorgeous fruit paper that Mom found in the Wall Street Journal of all places.  A close second was Austin’s bonus topper on one of his gifts – it’s a major award!

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The next morning we had a big breakfast including the world’s best homemade cinnamon rolls.  My fave!

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Then we just lounged and played games all of the rest of the day.  It was perfect.  Mom and I did one productive thing and made some cards for thank you notes.  Now that Christmas is over, I need to get to work on those little guys.

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Be back soon with part two from our time in Austin!  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Five on Friday – Vol. 16

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Yahoo for the Friday before Christmas!  Thanks as always to A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness for hosting such a fun day in blog world.

ONE: green cup > red cup

Yes, I said it.  I am the one blogger who prefers green cups to red this time of year!  Panera lattes trump Starbucks every time in my book.  Plus, there is a BIRD on their holiday cup.  I die!  This little guy was a highlight of my day on Wednesday.  I was running around to all sorts of hearings most of the day, and this provided the perfect and most festive fuel. 

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TWO: treats for Mango

At one of the parking lots I frequent for various hearings, the parking lot attendant is SO nice.  He always takes care of me and makes sure I have a spot closest to the courthouse.  I’m taking him some Christmas cookies today as a little thank you.  Hope he likes them!  Oh yes, and his name is Mango – how awesome is that?

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THREE: Phil

As someone who has always loved current events, I just can’t help but get swept up in the drama surrounding Phil Robertson these days.  There are so many CRAZY stories out there, and it seems like everyone on my Facebook news feed certainly has an opinion to share.  The whole thing has blown up in such a major way.  I’ve kept my mouth shut so far, but I did re-tweet this little gem yesterday from our pastor.

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FOUR: Project Life

Have y’all heard of Project Life?  A co-worker first told me about it, and then yesterday I saw that one of my favorite brands, Emily Ley, designed a Project Life layout.  I already know that a 2014 goal of mine will be to get our pictures organized for 2011 – now.  I’m debating a photo book that I can create online and have printed and bound, but now the former scrapbooker in me is very tempted to explore Project Life.  I took a screen shot of this on FB yesterday to remind myself to check into it a little more.  Has anyone done the Project Life scrapbook before? 

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FIVE: December’s card

Despite our ongoing mail debacle that I posted about yesterday, we did get my mom’s last monthly card of 2013 in the mail recently.  Isn’t it cute?!  I can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with for next year. 

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Happy last-Friday-before-Christmas! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday Things

Hello friends! 

It absolutely blows my mind that Christmas is in less than a week.  It seems like Thanksgiving was just the other day?!  I don’t know of a December that has ever flown by this quickly.  I can promise you that no December in law school ever went by at this speed – those couple of weeks during finals seemed to pass a a glacial pace.

I’ve been soaking up our tree every moment that we’re at home, but I’m already planning our big cleaning and un-decorating day, which I love and hate at the same time.  It is so nice to start the new year with a spotless house, but the post-Christmas clean is always a big undertaking.  But, I am getting a little ahead of myself here!  Here are some bits of Christmas cheer that have been collecting on my camera for the past few weeks.  TP

First up, our Christmas card!  These finally came in at the end of last week, and I got them in the mail on Saturday, which still feels so late.  Well, for some crazy reason, we have not gotten mail since last Thursday – yes, a whole week.  I have a sinking feeling that these haven’t even left the drop box yet, and that makes me so sad!  Finally after a week of no mail, I think I’ll give USPS a call today – that may not do a bit of good, but I’m starting to get worried.  So to any friends and family reading, I’m so sorry if your card is delayed!

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A few happy gifts under our tree!  I decided not to buy any new wrapping paper this year and to just use what we had from previous years.  I went overboard with this bird paper the year I bought it – shocking I know.  And even after using more this year, I still have an entire giant roll left.  We may be using this paper for the next 10 years!

As much as I love the birds, this gold paper is my favorite.  It is so festive, and almost “dressy,” if wrapping paper can be such a thing. 

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How fab is that giant wreath?  It is so massive, and I took a picture of it at church this weekend.  We have trees and wreaths like this galore all over the place at church.  I love it! 

Last night we went to a Christmas program at church put on by the various children's choirs.  It doesn’t get much cuter than little ones dressed up in precious Christmas outfits singing Christmas songs!  Our Sunday school teachers had four of their five children performing, and they were the main ones we were there to watch.  We took the three oldest girls a little Christmas surprise, and I didn’t take a picture but their mom Jessica did, so I’ll have to get her to send me a copy.  I had fun putting together a little goody bag for them.  Now there is talk of us getting together for a “spa day” with their new nail polish.  They are just the cutest!

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Happy Thursday peeps!  This is my last full day of work before being off for Christmas, and I’m getting so excited.  Tomorrow my office is closing early for our Christmas party – woo hoo!  See y’all tomorrow for 5 on Friday. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

First Blog From the New Computer!

Hello from my early Christmas present!  As someone who does not always fully embrace change, I’m still adjusting to the “newness” of it, so hopefully this blog post will work.  It is taking me longer than usual to get a post together since everything looks a little different on this little guy, so I’m practicing my patience this morning. 

We have been going going going all weekend with Christmas parties galore.  On Friday, my office had a tacky sweater day and a potluck, so that started a weekend full of party food and fun for me.  My friend Lindsay rescued me from having to hunt down a sweater and let me borrow hers, thank goodness! 

We had a fun breakfast with Trip and Lindsay on Saturday morning so I could return the sweater.  She needed it for a party on Saturday, so it definitely got some good use this Christmas season.  We ran a few errands before coming home for a relaxing Saturday afternoon.  Everyone in Dallas must have been running errands too, because there was crazy traffic all day!  My Christmas cards finally arrived at the end of last week, so I worked on those Saturday and got them in the mail. That was a big relief and something I’m glad I can check off of the December to do list. 

On Saturday night we had Austin’s work Christmas party at the Perot Museum.  Neither of us had been there before Saturday night, and it was super fun to explore.  The party was a great time with Austin’s co-workers, as usual.  He is lucky to get to work with such a fun group!

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On Sunday we had church in the morning followed by two different Christmas parties that afternoon, and then we went back to church to help with “Christmas Spectacular.”  Our choir and orchestra put together quite the show, and we helped take tickets as people arrived. 

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I took sausage balls to one Christmas party and cookies to the other.  The cookies were much more photogenic! 

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It was a full day, but it was a good day.  I just can’t believe that next week is Christmas! It just seems to have arrived so quickly this year.  There are a few more gifts I need to wrap, but I think we are ready to start our holiday travel whirlwind at the end of the week.  We will end up getting to see lots of family members on both sides this year, and we can’t wait.  Hope y’all have a great week before Christmas!