Monday, February 27, 2012

Full But Relaxing Weekend

This weekend was full of activity, but still relaxing and recharging in many ways. Friday night I got to celebrate with my sweet friend Kelly at her lingerie shower! If you will remember, Kelly was in my Bible study group and I lived with her before the wedding. Mike and I got to celebrate with her and Clint at their engagement this past December. They are getting married in March (planning a fairytale wedding in Italy), and we are so excited for them!

It felt a little surreal to be at the shower, now on this side of marriage, since it felt like I was celebrating my own lingerie shower such a short time ago. But I was so happy to be there celebrating now with Kelly! It was fun to have a girls night and celebrate with her as she plans for married life.

Here is the blushing bride...her sister-in-law had a stack of boxes that contained sleepwear for varying stages in life - which is such a fun idea! - (hence the flannel moo moo hehe)

Saturday I headed over to Laura's to walk through our study of James and enjoy some lunch together. Then I headed back home to get ready for the evening. We were able to spend the evening with my brother, which was so great. I hadn't seen him in awhile, and so it was nice to spend time catching up with him. We also got to have dinner with our new friends the Kuykendalls and their sweet little boys.

Sunday we slept in, made waffles for breakfast, and just enjoyed a relaxing morning. My brother had spent the night, so we got to enjoy the lazy morning with him. While Mike and Michael played a little basketball on the Xbox (boys will be boys?), I got to sit and crochet while listening to their banter. Over the weekend I finally finished a hat I had been working on for Mike!

I actually struggled to find a good pattern. Not sure why (it could be my novice skills), but I liked this pattern and it actually started and finished looking like a hat haha :) I didn't include the stripe because this was a multi-colored yarn and nothing seemed to match very well. But Mike liked it and it fits!

Materials: 1 skein of Lion Brand Homespun Yarn in Edwardian
Tools: Crochet Hook Sizes K and J, scissors
Total Project Cost: $5.00

The rest of the afternoon was filled with catching up on laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping, but we each got to have a coffee date with a friend before we came home to make dinner. I actually really enjoy when Mike and I make dinner together. It's something we did a lot while we were dating, and I just really enjoy the time we spend preparing a meal together. Our Sunday night dinner was one of our new favorite recipes- grilling up some chipotle fish tacos. As always, the time seemed to go by way too quickly, but it was a great weekend, and I am so grateful for the time with sweet family and friends.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Cheese to My Macaroni...

This is my oh-so-thoughtful Valentine gift from my oh-so-adorable husband :)

I LOVE macaroni and cheese. Of all kinds. Panera's Vermont white cheddar mac n cheese? Mmmm...yes. Homemade or makes no difference to me. The good old fashioned Kraft macaroni and cheese is still one of my favorites. The best, though? Leftover Kraft macaroni and cheese. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I prefer the taste of reheated mac n cheese over fresh out-of-the-box. So much so that I often make it to put in the fridge to reheat and eat later. Don't ask me why. I can admit that sounds strange. But everyone has their little quirks, right?

So when I mentioned this strange preference to my husband, he took note. And I opened the fridge to this wonderful gem :)

It may not mean much to you, but to's the perfect Valentine :) And I am VERY much looking forward to reheating my macaroni and cheese for lunch today! Happy. Girl.

My sweet husband also put together a fun basket filled with a number of my favorite things. And I also got a bouquet of beautiful roses. We went out to dinner and then headed home to curl up and watch our current show on Netflix. Perfect evening :)



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Saying "I Love You" One Cheesy Valentine at a Time...

Remember when you used to make/decorate your own box and then exchange valentines with your classmates? The creative side of me always looked forward to decorating my own box about a week before the big day. And I loved picking out just the right box of valentines for my classmates...they had to be just right. Meaningful for my closest friends, sweet for everyone. As Valentine's Day approached, everyone in the class would bring their specially-picked cards/candy to place in everyone's boxes. I have fond memories of my valentines, since my school ensured that everyone was included and no one was left out. Sometimes, I would even receive special valentines from special someones in the class (oh young, elementary school crushes). As a kid, it was such a cute and fun tradition.

Growing up out of elementary school though, the novelty and cuteness tend to wear off. So much pressure can surround this one day, and the practical side of me thinks the commercialization is a little silly. Can I just say, I love the fact that my aunt and uncle celebrate "Martinine Day" (their last name is Martin) on Feb 15th- when all the Valentine stuff goes on sale! Haha :) But even still, I enjoy celebrating the ones I love, wearing pink/red, and eating chocolate with the best of them!

Since this is only my 2nd Valentine's Day to actually have a valentine (and my first married Valentine's!), I wanted to make it special. So I decided to bring back the tradition of the Valentine Box, complete with cheesy valentines. Part of the idea was born too, out of my desire to become better at Words of Affirmation for Mike. I figured a valentine countdown would be a good place to start. So while I had a ton of fun finding the cheesiest valentines I could, I also made sure to spend time writing down in words how much I love Mike.

Here is a gallery of the cheesy valentines I created for his countdown...thank you to Pinterest and Google for your help in identifying some cute ones! ;)

Feb 1- "Won't you 'bee' my valentine?" included an intro to/instructions for the countdown
Feb 2- "Will you o'fish'ally by my valentine?" obviously included some Gold Fish
Feb 3- "How about you 'chews' me?" included a pack of gum (attached to the back)
Feb 4- "I'm wild about you!" was the lion pattern attached to a lollipop

Feb 5- "You are one 'hot tamale'!" obviously included a box of hot tamale candies :)
Feb 6- "I couldn't ask for anything 's'more' than to have you for a valentine" included everything to make s'mores- a fun date night in our backyard fire pit!
Feb 7- "I'm 'bananas' for you!" included a cute paper monkey and the bananas from Runts candy (I also gave him the rest of the box, because does anyone actually like the bananas in Runts??)
Feb 8- "It makes 'cents' to me!" included enough change for him to make a Sonic drink run (Mike loves Sonic Coke Zero)

Feb 9- "LOVE is more than a 7 word score"- no extras in this one beside the love note...Mike and I just like to play Scrabble and Words with Friends together :)
Feb 10- "I'm 'nuts' about you!" included a bag of nuts
Feb 11- "I'm so fortunate to have you!" included a Chinese take-out box and DIY fortune cookies

Feb 12- "We were 'mint' to be!" included some peppermints
Feb 13- " 'Owl' always be yours"- just the cute owl and a love note
Feb 14- Valentine's Day! I finally found the iPod Mike had been wanting :)

Happy Valentine's Day Sweetheart! I hope you know how much I love you! :)


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Birthday Love

I love birthdays. I really do. I guess it's because they were always a big deal in my home growing up. Birthdays always started with a wake-up parental serenade. Every year. Without fail.  :)  Birthdays always included sweet cards, favorite meals, fun gifts, and more than your fair share of birthday love. It has always been a special day, filled with well wishes and blessings from the ones I love. And even now, as an adult living in a different city, I still receive my yearly phone call and get to wake up to my parents singing me happy birthday. I have always felt special and loved on my birthday  :)

And can I just say that I really enjoy all the FREE things you get for your birthday??? Free Starbucks drink. Free Sonic drink. Free Panera pastry. Just makes the day just a little extra special. I know that's silly. But I can't help it :)

This year was no exception to the birthday love. I got to spend an entire girly weekend with my mom and best friend.  It was filled with shopping, crocheting, good food, chick flicks, desserts, and good conversation. I mean really, what more could a girl ask for?? Sweet Laura got me a gift certificate for a pedicure, so we have that fun hang out time to look forward to soon!

Because my client came into town and I had to work the night of my actual birthday, my sweet husband took me out for a fun dinner the night before to enjoy fish tacos and sangria margaritas. Then we headed back home for birthday presents! Mike is such a thoughtful gift giver; he pays attention and remembers the little things. This year, I got a whole bunch of crochet items (yarn, needles, organizing items, etc.). Mike has been watching me attempt to revive on old hobby, so it was the perfect gift!

So, my adorable husband went to Michael's Craft Store and picked out the items himself. Heart. Melt. I think imagining him standing in the crochet aisle is more of a gift than the items themselves. :) {Sorry if that embarrasses you, Babe. But I just have to brag on you. I know many men who would never even consider stepping foot in a craft store. And I am so thankful that you were willing to for me}. My birthday present also included another of my favorites: Sprinkles cupcakes! We enjoyed sampling several dark chocolate cupcakes, and he even bought me the mix to make my own :) I'm such a lucky girl.

I am so thankful for the outpouring of birthday love I received via text and Facebook. I am truly blessed, and I am thankful for the gift of another year of life. I definitely have felt the birthday love.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Girls' Weekend!

This weekend, Mike headed out to East Texas to speak at a men's retreat. So I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get some good girl time in with my mom and Laura. My mom came into town Thursday evening, and I took Friday off (my first PTO day in months!) so we were able to enjoy a good long weekend.

Friday we slept in, enjoyed a leisurely morning of coffee and conversation, sent the boys off to retreat, then the official girl time began. Laura met up with us, and we headed out to do a little shopping. We didn't buy anything, but it was fun to walk around and talk. I just have to say that I get a little inner happiness being out knowing that most others are at work and I am not. That may be bad, but the last few months at work have been busy and stressful. So I thoroughly enjoyed the day off! Friday night, my mom and I headed to Panera and Yumilicious for dinner and yogurt.

Saturday, we met my aunt and cousins for coffee at Starbucks. It was good to catch up with them and it was nice not to have to rush off anywhere. Saturday afternoon/evening were filled with craft projects, crocheting, and (attempts at watching) Chick Flicks. I know that doesn't sound uber-exciting, but it was so relaxing! I needed a lazy afternoon, and I couldn't have thought of a better way to spend it. And it was 10x better to spend it with my mom and Laura! :)

Sunday morning, my mom and I had a little bit of a repeat of Friday morning, enjoying coffee and conversation and watching church online. I was sad to see my mom go, but I am SO thankful for the weekend I had with her. It was completely relaxing, filled with girly fun, and I thank Jesus for sweet times with my mom.