Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Find your fam...

All of your Christmas cards were fabulous this year! I always love seeing people's families and pets. The photo cards revolutionized Christmas cards did they not? I love getting your pictures. In fact, last year, I didn't want to just throw them away, so I ended up keeping them. Then, we moved back in September and I found them all and thought, "Now why on earth did I keep these? What am I going to do with them?" And they got tossed. I apologize greatly, but just think....you threw mine away last December 26th! We're even. :)

This year, Martha came up big and actually gave me an idea I could use. Usually it's cutting snowflakes out of doilies and things similar, but this one turned out fabulous if I may say so myself. I wanted a way to display my cards and couldn't find a cute wire hanger thing without ordering one, so I went to the drawing board...or rather the backyard. Dave got his ladder, we consulted in the backyard, he used his mad saw skills to cut 3 perfect branches for me, I got some ribbon and beads at Hobby Lobby and the rest is history. You can find your family on my card tree! Oh, and these pictures were taken about 2 days before Christmas, so if you don't see your family, don't flip. I got about 8 cards between Christmas day and the day after. They are on the tree, don't you worry! They just didn't make the photo-op. XOXO

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Texas Christmas!

I hope you and yours had a fabulous Christmas. We sure did! We buck tradition and open gifts on Christmas Eve with my side of the family. It's always funny when people start opening gifts and there is a theme. Take Christmas 4 years ago as an example....mom and dad gave me Rookie. I was shocked and so excited! I'm pretty sure I even cried....I know, I'm pathetic. I had to get Rookie first because all of my other gifts pertained to that gift. Dog collar from Taylor, dog bowl from Kristen, etc, etc. This year, I watched as each person opened their gifts and instead of a theme for each person, I decided we had a "general" theme for Christmas, and that was total and complete "Texas Christmas". I'm sure the thought of how all of these gifts would come together never entered my parent's minds, but we literally laughed with each new Texas treasure. Yee-haw!

To start things off, Dad and Taylor both got knives. I know you're heartbroken that there is no picture....

Brother got a guitar...

Kristen got boots...

Dad got a rifle...

Taylor got a .22LR...

Nana and Papa got Longhorn stockings...

And a partridge in a pear tree... Santa showed up for the party!

Jake, guarding the goods...

Christmas 2008!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy birthday week, Jesus!

I'm not gonna lie, I like to milk my birthday for at least a week, so I FOR SURE think Jesus can do the same! Pretty sure Hobby Lobby's been celebrating since July! :) It's hard to believe Christmas is almost here, and I've heard many say they're not ready, or it just doesn't feel like Christmas yet, but the bug has bitten me and I'm in the spirit! I'm ready to celebrate and I'm SO looking forward to the Christmas Eve service at church. I just watched this video and I must share it with you. The hallelujahs at the end just get me every time. What an amazing gift we have received. This song gives me so much hope because God chose Mary to carry the child that saved the world. He picked her to trust Him, believe he had a purpose for her life, and just follow and be obedient. I wonder what he has in store for me?

I hope my Lord and Savior feels celebrated and praised this week. After all, a baby changed everything!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fabulous Find Friday!

Santa Claus is coming to town! (And I hope he's reading my blog because I need refills of just about ALL of this! :) Here are a few items you are sure to love! Ask Santa nicely, and if you've been a good little girl, I'm sure you'll find them nestled in your stocking!

This product is part of my daily make-up routine. I love Laura Mercier's Metallic Eye Colour in Platinum, but there are tons of great shades for every skin tone.
Burt's Bees is my lifeline! Remember my addiction admission? Burt and his Bee's make my favorite lip balm and Target has a fabulous little "Lip Stash" stocking pack for $10! Love you, Target!
This lotion smells amazing! It is very moisturizing and not at all greasy. It is Niven Morgan Velveting Body Lotion, and I like the scent "Gold". Actually, I LOVE the scent "Gold"! I put it on after a shower, before bed, and my clothes, sheets and skin smell awesome. Getcha some!
The stinky feet fixer! Y'all, I hate to admit it, but those adorable little ballet flats can start smelling a little (or a LOT) stinky if you're not careful. The remedy is NOT wearing socks with them! Please don't go there! The remedy is Dr. Scholl's Deodorant. PROMISE it will change your life. My sister inadvertently introduced this to me when she was home for Thanksgiving. Apparently she has been using it for years and I have been in the dark....with my stinky feet! Change has come my friends.
Finally, this weather can do a number on your skin! I keep Lollia Hand Cream in my purse at all times. First of all, it too smells amazing. And secondly, it makes your hands feel baby soft. I love it. My favorite scents are Breathe and Believe.
I hope you're all on the nice list! XOXO

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Papa!

Happy, happy birthday to my papa! Today we celebrate you and what you mean to us! My papa has been there for me and been my biggest fan as long as I can remember. Probably because he was my biggest fan before I was born. I know it's tough to imagine, but I was a softball player at one point, and Papa would sit on a bucket in his backyard for hours (or maybe it just seemed like hours when I was 12...) and catch me while I practiced my pitching. He was a tough old bird, making me practice and work on my "form". He has always been serious about "ball" and always wanted to see us succeed.

I knew I could always count on papa to be at school on grandparent's day, and head to Duncan, OK on Friday nights when I cheered in high school. He has done the same for Taylor and Kristen. We always know that we can count on Nana and Papa to be there for us and support us in whatever we choose to do. We are blessed.
"I'm going to turn my hat sideways like Fifty Cents!"

Happy Birthday Papa! We love you!!

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." ~Jane Howard

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bitten...

I've been bitten by the "tagged" bug! My friend Keely tagged me and although I'm very slow on doing this, I am posting my top 5 favorite things. This was very hard for me because I have lots of them! :)

1. My Jesus, my husband, my family, Rookie and the Gyllenhaals (The Gyllenhaals are also our family pets, Maggie and Jake. Mom says she did that inadvertently, but I'll point out that she has a subscription to US Weekly.)

Maggie and Jake

2. Chips and hot sauce...these items can always turn that frown upside down! Coupled with queso and a margarita you'll be hard pressed to find anything better.
3. Laughing with good friends (preferably while consuming #2)

Reams, Lynch, Bradley, The Loj and Me

4. Christmas time. Celebrating a child that changed the world, the lights, the trees, the smells, the happiness, getting Christmas cards, Christmas music, how happy the kids are, 2 weeks off work....the list goes on and on.

5. Texas Longhorn football....I KNOW...I'm probably going to die in my sleep. I love college football and I love Longhorn football. I also love collegiate baseball...specifically watching my brother play. Roll Wave!

Taken by my sister after the 45-35 win over ou. Texas/ou weekend '08

Photos Copyright of Dave Browning/Wavebaseball.com

My "little" brother bringing the heat

"When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad...I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad." ~ The Sound of Music

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fabulous Find Friday!

Kids are hilarious. I don't have them, but I enjoy laughing at other people's! Last night, mom and I went to the Phillips, Craig and Dean concert and this little guy in front of me was just cracking me up. He was standing on the seat when we would all stand and he was just rockin' and rollin' and clapping so hard his whole body was moving. He was practically headbanging, and if you've heard PC&D you know they don't usually require headbanging. I would say the average age in the room was 45. But, I LOVE PC&D, so I'm not taking anything away from them here! I just bet a lot of them aren't headbanging to "I have a friend in God".

Back to the little guy...he was probably 11? I use the question mark because my age guessing is questionable at best. I could never be the guy working the age/weight/height booth at Six Flags. Six Flags would go broke handing out inflatable guitars and stuffed dogs. Anywho...they asked all the children to come on stage and bring their parent's car keys. Homeboy raced to the front and was ready for the task at hand. PC&D sang "Jingle Bells" and it was so cute that all the kids shook their parent's keys to make the jingle bell noise. But my little buddy was rockin' out! By the time I was smart enough to realize, "I should be taping this!" it was almost the end of the song, so I got him when he was cooling down, but I hope you enjoy just a bit of this video... (And I'm very sorry, but I have tried for 30 minutes to try to figure out how to flip this video and I can't. So you'll just have to turn your head sideways. :)

video

Hopefully that got you in the mood, because my fab find for today are some of my FAVORITE Christmas CDs. I'm going to go with a few classics, but share a couple you may have not heard of. I promise, they will change your Christmases! :) They are in no particular order because I truly cannot choose.

#1. Mariah Carey- Merry Christmas. Let's be honest, you know you LOVE you some "All I want for Christmas is you". Homegirl hits those high notes that make my dog's ear perk up. It's up-beat and fun.

#2. Josh Groban- Noel. Seriously, he is AMAZING. I bought this CD last year and have played it more than just at Christmas. Even though it is Christmas music. His version of "Silent Night" literally brings me to tears and "Little Drummer Boy"...You HAVE to get this CD.
#3. The Carpenters. Go ahead. Laugh. You done? Because when you get this awesome CD it will change your Christmas and make you a happier person! I grew up on their music, and I have a girl crush on Karen Carpenter's voice. Girlfriend had some pipes! "Merry Christmas Darling" and "The Christmas Song" are 2 of my favorites, but the entire CD is amazing.

#4. Freaking Celine. I say freaking because she deserves it! She is the Queen Bee. The award for my favorite Christmas song EVER goes to her. I listen to "O Holy Night" on repeat. REPEAT. I get goosebumps, I cry, I drive around the block so I can hear her hit the high notes just one more time....it's just awesome. Other amazing songs on this CD include, but are not limited to, "These are the Special Times", The Prayer" and "Don't Save it all for Christmas Day".
#5. Chris Rice- Living Room Sessions. This is an instrumental CD, but it is just beautiful! It's perfect for a Christmas party when you want some background music, or just to play while you do things around the house. I gave this to my mother-in-law and she swears she loves it too! I would say she's just being nice, but Claudia is not a story teller! * You can also buy the sheet music, so if you have a wonderful piano player in your family it would be a nice gift.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bookies

I'm part of a book club, and truth be told, we're more about hanging out and sharing a bottle of wine and a few good laughs more than we're about discussing great literature. Sure, we gather under the pretence of sharing our thoughts on our latest read, but we usually end up sharing our thoughts on Speidi's "elopement" and whether or not T.R. Knight is really leaving Grey's. (He SO is BTW.)
I got to host last night, so I decided to take a few pictures of the blessed event. We had hot chocolate, a few bottles of wine and a TON of laughs at the ridiculous "treasures" that were brought for the "re-gift" exchange. I have enjoyed meeting new friends and reading some books that I might not have chosen otherwise. See you all next month!

The Bookies

The Loj and Bradley with their roasted marshmallows!

Kim, roasting her marshmallow for her s'more

What story do we think Angie is telling?

One of the ridiculous gifts that Abby had the privilege of opening!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree(S)

The Christmas tree, in my humble opinion, is the symbol of Christmas. Symbol meaning a physical, tangible part of our Christmas tradition. Celebrating the Birth of Jesus is the reason for Christmas, but the Christmas tree is a part of our celebration. Some families go pick out their tree together and have a live Christmas tree while others have artificial trees that last year after year. Due to allergies our family has always fallen into the later category. Although I do love the smell of Christmas as I walk past the trees into HEB. :) After the tree is chosen, it's a family affair to string the lights and decorate the beloved tree with ornaments and adornments. I love the house all decorated for Christmas. That was always so comforting when I came home from finals and walked into my home (now my parent's home) to find it filled with Christmas. I would walk through the rooms to see if any of the trees "themes" had changed and see where a new tree might appear. Wait....is that not normal?

Allow me to give you a tour of my parent's house and take you room by room....tree by tree. It is gorgeous! And excessive. :) It's my home!

The workout room...


Breakfast area...

Kitchen...this is one of my faves with the Diet Coke can and the Hershey's bar ornament

Living room tree...this is the family tree and the one we gather around on Christmas Eve (Yes, like not eating Turkey on Thanksgiving we shake things up at Christmas too and do gifts on Christmas Eve...)

The formal dining room tree

Study...

The guest bedroom...

Mom and Dad's bedroom...

The deck off mom and dad's room that usually has a live tree!! Mom is slipping...

Mom's bathroom...

Upstairs game room...

Taylor's room....

Kristen's room...

I took this because from this standpoint I could see 4 trees...although only 2 would fit in my camera scope.

By the pool.

And that, my friends, is the grand tour! It wears you out just thinking about it doesn't it?? :) Thanks, mom for always making Christmas so special!