Friday, November 30, 2012

{iPhone Rewind} :: November

November was jam-packed full of friends, family, and events; the end of the year is quickly approaching!

My friend Austen's adorable baby girl Michal is a baby model for Zulily. Of course she is. Her older brother Marc and her mother are both models. :)

Sasha decided to eat her weight in Halloween candy. Thankfully there was no chocolate.

Holiday drinks came out at Starbucks!! :)

Our sweet nephew Luke received a HUGE pooh bear from an aunt. It was really fun because when you press his belly, he talks and laughs!

Of course, we ended up at the vet for a broken toenail. There was a lot of trauma, but she seemed to be ok.

And then Sasha decided to eat our bananas. She apparently didn't learn her lesson with the Halloween candy.

We received a belated wedding present from Mike's aunt. It was really sweet and incredibly generous! I got to make my first batch of cookies in it, and I can't wait to use it more!

I had Baylor Spirit for the football game against #1 Kansas State (all the way down to my fingernails!) So proud to be a bear! ;)

I helped put out Christmas decorations at work...I love this time of year!

We started the {12 Dates of Christmas}!

Mike brought me home this adorable (and delicious!) snowman cookie. Yum!

Mike celebrated his 31st birthday this year; I was able to take off work, so we had a picnic lunch in Erwin Park, went to see Lincoln, and had dinner at Uncle Julio's. Happy Birthday my love!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

{12 Dates of Christmas} :: A Fireside Date

{On the 3rd date of Christmas, my true love planned for me...A Fireside Date}

Date:  A Fireside Date, Home

Cost:  Free

It's funny to me that in my last apartment I had both a garage and a fireplace. Now in our rent house, we have neither. Maybe someday ;) Anyway, Mike found a netflix movie that literally is just a camera set up in front of someone's fireplace. So we joke about our little makeshift fireplace...we turn on our little space heater and the netflix fireplace movie, and it's almost like the real thing. At least that's what we tell ourselves...

For this date, we made dinner together, and then spent the evening snuggled up by the Christmas tree and the fire. Simple. But perfect.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Advent 2012

Growing up, I really only remember advent being something that we heard about in church during the weeks leading up to Christmas. We never had a family advent calendar or countdown. That's not a bad thing or a slight against my parents; but it is something that in recent years has made me want to focus on my own personal reflection time during the advent season. In years past, I have followed varying Scripture reading guides that have highlighted verses pertaining to the first coming of Christ.

This year, I decided to use the Advent Guide from the Village Church to walk through Scripture and reflect on the Christmas season. This is one of my favorite times of year, and if I am not careful, I can get distracted by all of the prettiness and fun of the season. My heart can wander and lose focus.

I chose this particular guide because of its purpose:

"to awaken the angst of waiting, longing and yearning for Christ."

I want to yearn for Jesus. To walk through the Scripture and truly understand the longing that the Old Testament people had for Messiah. To see glimpses of God's promises scattered throughout history and His fulfillment of those promises. To awaken that same expectation that Israel had for their promised Messiah as we look ahead to His second coming.

This Christmas season, I want to stay focused. I pray that I will not get distracted and instead spend purposeful time reflecting on the gravity of Christ's coming to this earth.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

{12 Dates of Christmas} :: Deck the Halls

{On the 2nd date of Christmas, my true love planned for me...A Deck the Halls Date}

Date:  Deck the Halls, Home

Cost:  Free

This date was set aside for us to decorate our tree and get the house ready for the Christmas season. We would have done this anyway, but it was still fun to make a "date" of it.  We put on some Christmas music and got to decorating!

We bought a new tree and ornaments last year, so we just had to put everything out this year.

Getting out all of the ornaments (it was finally cooler outside and we had no electricity so our rent house can get pretty chilly!)

Pretty Christmas ornaments

Decorating the tree

Ta Da! :)

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love that our little rent house is ready for the season!

Gotta love Pinterest ;)

Welcome Christmas! Successful Date #2 :)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

{12 Dates of Christmas} :: A Dickens of a Christmas

{On the 1st date of Christmas, my true love planned for me...A Dickens of a Christmas Date}

Date: A Dickens of a Christmas, Downtown McKinney

Cost: Free

Downtown McKinney hosts this holiday event every year. They have a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, seasonal music, food, horse-drawn carriage rides, and candlelight shopping on the square. The event itself is free, and it was a fun way to kick off the Christmas season in our hometown!

Since there literally was no one left in the office on Friday afternoon, I was able to get off {a little} early so that we could head out for the evening's festivities. I think McKinney's downtown area is pretty adorable, and I love that they transform the square to make it feel like you walked into a Charles Dickens novel.

We made it in time to get a good spot for the Christmas tree lighting. They had Christmas carols and a countdown!

We ran into some friends and were able to spend the evening with them.

We had a great time; we love fun things like this about our hometown! :)


Friday, November 23, 2012

{12 Dates of Christmas}

I have mentioned before that I am not the best gift-giver. I try really hard to think of something meaningful and oh-so-perfect for the person I want to celebrate. But it usually ends in 1 of 3 ways:
  1. Super lame (our first Christmas together, he bought me an engagement ring; I bought him the diamond anniversary edition of Scrabble)
  2. Super cheesy (remember Valentine's Day?)
  3. Not super lame or super cheesy, but somewhat "eh." (I mean, he asked for that new Bible...)
And so my sweet (and wonderfully-thoughtful) gift-giver of a husband is doomed to a life of uneven gift giving. Sorry Babe. Not sure how you would categorize this one...I was going for creative and meaningful, but it might just border cheesy ;) 

I really wanted to do some fun holiday activities together, so I devised the {12 Dates of Christmas}.

I let him know ahead of time what the next few weeks will look like. Most of the dates are flexible, so we can pick and choose the best time for our dates. But some activities have a specific unmovable date, so I made sure he put those on his calendar. Each date comes with its own card explaining what he is in for :)

We're on a budget, so I had to get creative with these dates. With a little extra planning and hunting for deals, I didn't spend a penny over $100. For 12 dates, I'm pretty proud of myself about that :) And I'm sure there could have been other ways for me to save. You just have to get creative!

I will link each of our dates back at this post. So stay tuned for our fun Christmas dates...the first one is tonight! ;)

Date #1 :: A Dickens of a Christmas
Date #2 :: Deck the Halls
Date #3 :: A Fireside Date
Date #4 :: Some Rink Time
Date #5 :: Christmas Movie
Date #6 :: Stratego Game Night
Date #7 :: Starbucks & Christmas Lights
Date #8 :: Movie Night Out

**Dates 9-12 were put on hold, but here are the ideas I had planned for them!**

Date # 9 :: Engagement Anniversary
Christmas is always a reminder of our engagement, so the date was to watch our engagement video and play a round of Scrabble Diamond Anniversary Edition (we joke about how we both got each other diamonds that year)  :)

Date # 10 :: Sweet Treat Date
Christmas cookie baking together for the neighbors

Date #11 :: ICE! Tickets at the Gaylord Texan
We had to give these tickets away, which was really sad. But I hope the sweet couple who received them enjoyed them! 

Date #12 :: Fire Pit & S'mores
The plan was to sit out by the fire pit, roast some s'mores, and let Mike smoke his pipe without complaints! :)


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sic 'Em Bears!

I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity I had to study at Baylor University. I loved my time at Baylor, and I couldn't have asked for a better college experience. I love going back to campus, taking a walk down memory lane, reminiscing the good times I had. It was an incredible blessing to spend 4 years there, and I wouldn't trade that time for anything.

This weekend, I had the chance to share Baylor with Mike, which was fun for me. He patiently listened as I told him where I spent my time while I was in Waco- where I lived, where I ate, where I had was such a big part of my life, so it was fun to share those memories with him.

I loved walking to class every day...our campus is just so beautiful.

Another fun thing about being back in Waco was seeing sweet Baylor friends. I love these girls, and I am so blessed by the friendships we formed while we were at Baylor.

Nicki and I met freshman year; Laura and I met sophomore year. And we have been friends ever since!

We were able to meet up for dinner (which was fun to have all 6 of us together- the three of us with our boys!) and then head to the stadium for a football game. We didn't go into the game with high expectations (they were playing #1 BCS-ranked team); during our time at Baylor, football wasn't much to write home about. We joked about how the game would be one that we were excited to be a part of or one that would just bring back memories of our past college days...a nostalgia of sorts :)

Good to be back...

We had really good seats- right in the end zone, row 13!

Full stadium...another fun thing to be a part of.

But boy were we in for a treat! Not only did the bears hold their own against #1 Kansas State, they pretty much beat up on KSU for the win (52-24)! The whole time, Laura and I kept looking at each other with huge grins on our faces; neither one of us could believe this was actually happening! 

It was such a great game, and the stadium was going crazy. They made an announcement asking fans not to rush the field, but everyone pretty much just ignored it and had a dance party in the middle of Floyd Casey.

Pack it up, pack it in. Let me begin. I CAME TO WIN!

The game was awesome, and I am so glad we were there to be a part of it. I am so proud of my bears!! It was such a fun night, and I am so glad I got to share it with some of my favorite people.

Sic 'em Bears! :)