Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

We spent our 2nd Christmas in our home this year. It was quiet & relaxing, what more could you ask for? Plenty of family? Kids excited for Santa? A large family dinner? Yes, there's plenty more we could ask for :) But we had a lovely day, regardless! We pray that on this day next year there will be a baby nicely growing. 

There were little surprises throughout the day.... a little 'Santa' magic thrown in here & there.

{that was fun}

The dogs had a wonderful Christmas! And provided some absolutely adorable photo-ops....

The cats too! 

Overall we had a wonderful, quiet, peaceful & reflective Christmas Day. We capped it off with a wonderful turkey dinner with all the trimmings & look forward to the new year!

Peace & Blessings to all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

There's something about Christmas Eve... 

something that seems 'quiet' about it. Reserved. Introspective

Maybe that's just Christmas Eve for me, in my life. I hope it is for you too. I do think it's a time to think about Christ & what it all truly boils down to. I love going to a candlelight service. Things seem to move at a slower pace. The stores begin closing that evening, lights twinkle in every direction. More people are at home or church. It can be a very beautiful night if you fully embrace it. I absolutely LOVE Christmas Eve. I know that in the huge, grand scheme of things, we celebrate Christ's birth not necessarily when it truly happened. I also understand that as Christians, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th of December. But there's something about the 24th that's more beautiful. It seems the world (our world, as Christians) all have a common goal on that night. And it's all about Jesus Christ. {I'd really like to believe that, but I know for many it's all about Santa} 

Regardless, for this girl... Christmas Eve is the most magical night of the year

Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade Christmas Gift Exchange

Craftaholics Anonymous

Have you heard of Craftaholics Anonymous? It's a fantastic blog/website devoted to all things CRAFTS! The Facebook page is pretty amazing in itself. It's run by Linda, who identifies herself as a hopeless craft addict. Sounds familiar ;) But what's pretty amazing is that twice a year she HOSTS a nationwide Homemade Craft Exchange. 

This winter was my first time participating. I had all intentions of making some homemade ornaments I'm making, but our Thanksgiving trip from Nebraska to Louisiana kind of threw a kink in my plans. I will share the ornaments later because they are so darn cute :) So instead I made something I know I'm relatively good at & that most people enjoy. While home for Thanksgiving, I made my mother-in-law one as well! 

A long time ago I saw these online & even linked back to where I'd originally seen them. It may very well have been Crafts by Amanda, but I truly am not sure. It was on my old craft blog. And I see them everywhere now. But check out Crafts by Amanda regardless, because she's pretty awesome herself! 

My partner that I was matched up with is Kelly from Arizona. And I really hope she likes it! 

Want to check out some phenomenal homemade crafts? See the linky party for the Homemade Gift Exchange here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Project: stocking hanger

The last three homes we've had, we have been without a fireplace. Oh how I miss the days of a beautiful mantle at Christmastime. But alas, I must make do. So last year I received a Cricut for Christmas. And... I think I used it a total of five times before this fall. I started this project (pictured below) last January. I finished it this December! Yay for perseverance ;)

First I painted it red (which I love to decorate with at Christmastime), then painted the edges black. I polled my Facebook friends as to what color the knobs should be & we decided on glossy white.

This December, I finally pulled out the Cricut & figured out what to do. I knew I wanted it to say... 'The Stockings Were Hung...'

I do have to say I'm pretty happy with the final outcome! Have a very Merry Christmas my friends...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

22 Things I've Never Done

1. Watched Nightmare on Elm Street.

2. Eaten sushi.

3. Watched Friday the 13th.

4. Been to Vegas.

5. Flown longer than 2 hours in an airplane.

6. Played Basketball.

7. Been pregnant.

8. Gone 72 hour without caffeine/carbonated beverage.

9. Not fallen asleep while in a moving vehicle for more than 1 hour.

10. Had a tattoo.

11. Traveled past the Atlantic Ocean.

12. Skinny dipped.

13. Comprehended the game Clue.

14. Kept nail polish on my nails for longer than 23 hours.

15. Kept a plant alive.

16. Been arrested.

17. Read or seen Harry Potter(s).

18. Used what I learned in Graduate level Statistics.

19. Learned a foreign language.

20. Gone to the movies alone.

21. Ran. You know. Like really RAN.

22. Not owned a cat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moving Mountains

Indeed, we live in troubled & difficult times. As Christians, we're tested every. single. day. Lord knows I am (He really does!). As what I consider a 'novice' Christian, I always have questions. Always.

But even during the darkest times, the times when we think there is nothing else that could go wrong, be wrong, or hurt us... God is there to protect us. He is there to protect us today, tomorrow, and always. For eternity. If you allow yourself to think about that word, the magnitude of it... it can be a little overwhelming. But that is what our faith is all about. It's about the unfathomable. It's about the things we can't see. It's about believing in something so much bigger than ourselves. It's about understanding that God has a plan for us, even if we can't comprehend what plan that may be. 

As I read a daily devotional my husband bought me many years ago, this is the scripture for day one. It asks if  I am a woman of faith. It asks if I'm the kind of woman who embraces God's love even when I can't understand His plan. Am I? Do I? It asks if I've allowed God's only begotten Son to reign over my heart and life. And then it simply reminds me that the Creator of the universe stands ready, willing, and able to solve EVERY. SINGLE. one of my problems.... wow. Maybe I can rest a little easier tonight? I kid, but seriously, it's something that you must truly believe and remind yourself of every day. And then, only then can it start to seep into every aspect of your life & turn into active belief. It not so subtly reminds me that my job in all of this is to let Him.... just let Him. 

Beth Moore (one of my favorite ladies of all time) is quoted on this same page and it says:

"Faith in faith is pointless. Faith in a living, active God moves mountains"

Oh so true. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birthday Celebrations: 33

The Weatherman took me to Jazz! A Louisiana Kitchen for lunch. 
It. Was. DELISH!

I had a shrimp po-boy with sweet potato fries & honey mustard for dipping. 
The Weatherman had a catfish po-boy with hushpuppies. Yum!

Oh. My. Gosh. I can still taste the savory goodness! 

Afterwards, we hit that part of town for some low-key thrifting. I'm super lucky to have a hubs who enjoys thrifting almost as much as I do. We had to hunt down {you know how it goes with one way streets} The Reserve, Goodwill in the Market - now this is no ordinary Goodwill y'all. This is a fancy schmancy boutique-type Goodwill. It was planted in the middle of the Old Market part of downtown Omaha & is absolutely 100% 'boutique' in all its glory & fanciness. They take the best donations from local Goodwill stores & send them here. Imagine living in a loft apartment & wanting a piece to add to your loft or a 1950's piece of jewelry or clothing... this is where you would head! 

I actually found a lovely little piece of jewelry that has a wonderful fleur-de-lis pendant and little crown, the epitome of Mardi Gras from back home! *swoon* $6.00 y'all! 

After that we found a cute little vintage/thrift/antique store that we hit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2011 Road Trip: Day 3

Our summer roadtrip for 2011 was Rocky Mountain National Park. We stayed at Colorado Cottages in Estes Park, CO. and spent every {seemingly} waking moment in the national park. If you missed the other days of our trip, here is: 

Day One - Bellevue, NE to North Platte, NE 
Day Two - North Platte, NE to Estes Park, NE; first journey into RMNP

On day three, we traveled all day! We took plenty of food, picnic materials, and ice cold water. We started at the Estes Park entrance again & headed up Trail Ridge Road. This road crosses RMNP from east to west (vice versa).

One of the first scenic pit stops along the way

Monday, July 4, 2011

2011 Road Trip: Day 2

The afternoon we arrived in Estes Park, we met up with my folks and hit the road for a brief journey into the Rocky Mountain National Park. Day three was going to be our big day, the long trip through the park, seeing a little bit of it all. But on the day we arrived, I was anxious for my husband (and myself, ahem!) to see some of God's beauty. One of the main eastern entrances to RMNP is in Estes Park, Colorado. This is one of the most charming little tourist towns (that definitely has its quiet times throughout the year {i.e. winter}). This is the gate entry in EP:

I just loved this. She was the epitome of 'ranger'. 

We drove to the Bear Lake area & just circled the parking lot (I was last there in '94 with my folks), then up the Fall River entrance area (as far as we could go without exiting the gate) & everywhere in between! 

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