Monday, January 26, 2015

New Year's Eve

Finally posting about New Year's Eve! Here is a look at what I wore. Sweater is from Forever21, but everything else is old! Shoes are from Gap, last year, earrings from Kohls.
Obviously I wake up looking gorgeous every day, as you can tell by the picture on the left (I don't even look that great when I wake up, that picture was taken late afternoon!) I have really straight fine hair, and all my life, my hair does not hold a curl! I started using velcro rollers, and I either have to sleep with them in or wear them with wet hair for a few hours, but the curl holds!
Here's a picture of the back of my hair. I just tuck, pin and use a million pounds of hair spray.
My brother-in-law & sister-in-law hosted a New Year's Eve party for the second time this year. When we walked in to the party we were greeted with festive decor, music, and treats.
First, played a trivia game with questions about 2014. Later, we played "truth or dare Jenga". It was really just "dare" Jenga because last year we had a label maker and we printed our own dares to put on the pieces. We get a little crazy ;)
We then had our 2nd annual "Just Dance Off". A bracket is created and we have to dance off against each other until we have one winner. My brother-in-law and I started off dancing to "Let it Go". I won my first round, but lost the second round. For the second year in a row, the biggest under dog of the group won. This year it was my Father-in-law! Always a fun competition!
  It was a good workout too!
We rang in the new year out in the front yard with noise makers, balloons, sparklers and, of course, kisses. 
So long 2014, you were a year of ups & downs. I have a feeling that 2015 may be a year of adventures. Considering that my word for the year is "Brave", it has to be right?
Happy Monday!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Our Merry Little Christmas

Monday we meet again. I can't complain about you today, though, because there is no school. Today is sad, however, because I have finally admitted defeat and decided it's time to take down the Christmas decorations. So I will reminisce of my last little bit of Christmas.
Every year, my husband and I exchange our gifts for each other after Christmas. This year I was talking about how I wish we could sleep in our living room so I could look at the Christmas tree more (since we had been gone so much!). So Joel suggested we pump up our air mattress and sleep under the tree. :)
The lovely view from where I slept.
We decided to start a tradition of picking out 1 ornament each year that was special to represent the year. So we picked out a little apple to represent that in 2014 we both finished school and got teaching jobs. We also picked out the pretty green ball on the right, just because we both thought it was really cool. The picture doesn't quite do the color justice.
Here is some of my Christmas decor. I love this little set up because a lot of the things were wedding presents or Christmas presents so I always think of the friends and family that gave them to us when I put them out.
I made this little clip banner last year to display our Christmas cards. I leave them up all year so I can see our friends and family. All I did was hang a string of twine and paint the clothespins red and silver to clip on.
I made the banner, using burlap paper from Michael's.
Our stuffed stockings.
Our gifts for each other.
I love wrapping paper. It's so pretty. I always take forever to unwrap because I don't want to rip the paper and I try to save it and re-use it if I can! Silly, I know.
One thing I love about my husband, is that he really does try hard to put thought into his gifts for me and actually goes out and shops and tries to surprise me. Among the gifts he gave me this year, was a book called "Fifty Places to Hike before you Die" (I now have a new bucket list!), and he got me the cozy sweater I am wearing. I had to put a "Lump of Coal" stout in his stocking, because his brothers discovered a song called "Joel the lump of coal" this year :)
We had ourselves a merry little Christmas.
Later we went for a walk so I could snap a picture of the Christmas lights on our little main street. So pretty, until next year Christmas magic!

Happy Monday!

Martin Luther King Jr.

 I've posted this before, but it's worth sharing twice :)

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Christmas Day

I forgot to post this yesterday, so just replace all the "Monday"s with Tuesday in your head... ;)

Another Monday calls for some more Christmas posts!
Christmas morning we woke up early and ate a delicious breakfast of sticky caramel rolls, scrambled eggs and mimosas. It was pretty laid back, some of us were rather cozy and lounged by the fire place all morning ;)
We opened presents with my parents, my 2 younger brothers, my Grandma, and my Aunt & Uncle. I received these beautiful beaded place mats from my youngest brother and the JOY mugs from my parents. I was so pleased to get the mugs because they went on sale right before Christmas and the letters I wanted were sold out on line and I didn't have time to get to the store.
 I framed a Katie Daisy print for my mom for her present. We both love her artwork. It's colorful and joyful!
I don't get to see my younger brother very often. It was really nice to have him home for Christmas.
  Not a great picture, but I wanted to share my festive outfit :) I got the sequin top on sale at Macy's a few years ago, and the red & gold heart shirt I got at Wal-Mart before Christmas.
We munched on good food and visited all day.
I made punch and of course I had to use the punch bowl I got as a wedding present.
Punch Recipe: 2 liter of Gingerale, cranberry juice and orange juice (I just poured until it looked good haha). Sliced oranges. You could also you cranberry gingerale, which is what I originally planned, but they were all sold out at the store I went to!
Oh this sweet dog gets around. We started to put this puzzle together but we decided it was too hard for the amount of time we had.
My older brother & sister-in-law stopped by for a little while before heading to her family so we could take a family picture. I love my family & I love Christmas.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas Eve

I am seriously combating the post-Christmas blues today. I do not want to go back to school and back to the responsibilities that I've been pretending don't exist. So today I posting about my Christmas Eve to help combat the blues (PS my Christmas tree is still up too, I'm going to ease myself out!)
To recap, we woke up early Christmas Eve morning at the beach. We had a quick breakfast and then packed up, drove and hour home, unpacked, re-packed, went grocery shopping and then drove another hour to my parents. It was absolutely pouring down rain as we packed up and drove off, which made loading everything in the car quite fun.
This is what greeted us at my parents'. Thanks mom :)
We visited and ate yummy treats and watched my adorable nephew open his first Christmas presents. He was very interested in the bow and wrapping paper.
Santa even stopped by on his trip around the globe!
Later, we settled down for an epic game of RISK. This was the first year the the girls were invited to play. My youngest brother was out for blood, because last year my husband won. Joel is really good at strategy games--he always wins!! So we were all in an alliance against him.
After, like, 4 HOURS... Joel was the 1st one out and it came down to me and my youngest brother left. Beginner's luck? We decided to call it a draw because we were tired of playing haha.
We said goodbye to my older brother & his family and then my younger brother and I decorated Christmas cookies and recreated the picture on the left. I think it was taken about 6 or 7 years ago. Our snowmen didn't turn out quite as well this time. Let's just say we were tired and got creative haha.
 I love my mom's Christmas decorations. My mom and I were the last ones up. We wrapped presents and talked, and cleaned and organized things until about 4 AM. My mom and I have always stayed up late on Christmas Eve to wrap presents together.
Ah, Christmas time is magical. I hope this post made your first Monday post Christmas break (for those of you who didn't have to keep a regular work schedule!) more enjoyable!
Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 New Year's Resolution

I stole this from a friend's Facebook status:
Awhile back I heard about a great alternative to making a "New Year's Resolution"... Instead choose one word that you will try to embody for the year. Rather than "do" or "don't do".... Let's "be" something. In the past my words have included, "forgiving, compassionate, and worthy."

The first word that came to my mind was "Brave".
While I wish that mean brave about big things like skydiving and being adventurous, the truth is, I need to be brave about the little things (for the record I have NO interest in skydiving!).
I am an introvert living in an extrovert's world. For me being brave means, answering the phone to a number I don't know, being more independent, not procrastinating on things that are uncomfortable (like organizing the huge dance competition my team is hosting in February), and sometimes being brave means, doing what's best for me. I often get stubborn about things and stay on one path because I don't want to let other people down,or I'm worried about what others might think, instead of praying and asking what God wants.
Yes. This year I want to  be brave, and even as I write this post, I come to the realization that being brave means having faith and trusting that God's plans might be different for me than what I think they will be or what I think I want. I want to be brave enough to follow God along the journey he is taking me on.

So Happy New Year, happy 2015! Let's make it a great year.
What word do you choose? Leave a comment!