Thursday, December 22, 2011

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Buster...

Merry Christmas from our little reindeer! 
If you can't tell, we kind of love this little guy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Family Christmas

Another tradition that Michael and I have together is having our own family Christmas.
 We usually cook a nice meal, watch Christmas movies, open our gifts from each other, and take pictures by the tree.
This year, we only took pictures!
I don't know what happened.
Christmas just seemed to sneak up on us and we weren't quite prepared.
We didn't even eat dinner here.
I was okay with it. It meant I didn't have to cook.
The fact that none of our gifts were a surprise (or even wrapped) didn't help either.
We still took pictures with our gifts...for traditions sake.

 Probably the most excited about the whole thing was Buster!
He couldn't wait to play with his new tennis ball!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Ornament

I mentioned in the post about our Christmas tree that Michael and I have a tradition of getting a new tree ornament each year.
We try to make it relative to the things that have happened over that year.
For instance, 
We moved to Houston in 2009
We adopted Buster in 2010
(His favorite toys are his squeaky tennis ball, and his red rope)
We also dressed as Woody and Jessie for a youth group movie in 2010
In years past, the ornaments have been pretty easy to find.
We just walk into Hallmark, and there's the perfect one for us.
This year, not so much.
I must have gone to at least 5 different Hallmarks.
I've looked at ornaments in several other stores.
Nothing seemed to fit 2011 for us.
I looked for something related to skiing, since we went over Spring Break.
Couldn't find anything!
(Probably should have thought of that while we were in Keystone...)
And I couldn't bring myself to buy just a plain, old, "Christmas 2011" ornament.
It had to be meaningful.

While we were our looking for our book, we finally found it.
 It is meaningful.
It describes our year.
It is perfect.
The biggest part of this year for us has been Michael starting his new job, and us joining the JV family.
We can't believe it has already been 8 months!
It was a big transition in our lives, but we have been blessed beyond what we could ever have imagined. 
Though our church building doesn't look exactly anything like this, 
we both still loved it and thought it summed up our year nicely.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Is your house on fire, Clark?"

"No Aunt Bethany. Those are the Christmas lights."
Michael and I love Christmas lights!
We usually go to one of those walk/drive-thru parks this time of year.
The closest one (that we know of) is about an hour away though, so we haven't gone.
We do like to drive around and look at lights though.
This year, we decided to give out awards (thanks Deisters!)

Here are some of the best...and worst.
This is one of the best.
Its called Christmas in Cypress (yes, they have their own website)
and they do 3 shows a night.
The lights are set to music, and video.
It's pretty incredible.
Here is a better photo, from outside the car.
This one is my personal favorite...
I love the doorway with the candy canes!
Next up...the worst/ugliest.
I hate blue.
But also, what even are those blow fish looking things??
Good effort though.
Speaking of effort, this one gets the aware for least effort.
A tree, a birthday cake, and a blow-up nativity scene.
This is my favorite in our neighborhood.
The tree is on a huge brick wall on the side of the house!
So creative!
As for our house...well, let's just say we are new at this.
Last year we were the only ones who put on lights on our street.
We figured we would just do the same thing, and it would still be ahead of the curve.
Here is our house.
Pretty decent!
Here are two of the other houses on our street.
There's just no competing with that!
We'll get a little more creative next year...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Starting a New Tradition

This is our 4th Christmas to spend together as a married couple.
We have tried out a few different traditions - some we got from other people, some we got from our families, and others we created ourselves.
Some have stuck.
Some have not.
And for some, its still a little early to tell.

This year though we decided to start a new tradition, and I can already tell that it is one we will keep doing each year.
Going together to pick out a Christmas book.
We got the idea from a family at our church.
They all go as a family to Barnes and Noble, or any other bookstore.
They each pick out a Christmas book that they like.
They read through them all in the store together.
And then they all decide which one is the best, and that is their Christmas book for the year.
They've been doing this for several years, and now have over 20 books collected!

We decided to give it a try.
These are the books we picked at first.
We sat together in Barnes and Noble and read through each of them.
Well, most of them.
A couple of them we hated after only 5 pages.
So they were out!
Another one had a typo...
It said "Donder" instead of "Donner"
Really Mary Engelbreit??
So it was out!
(And I was sad! I really wanted it! It was so pretty!)
Then we read The Happy Elf.
It was so cute!
Not your typical, Night Before Christmas, 
but still traditional enough to meet all of my requirements for the holiday.
It also came with a CD.
We both loved it, and decided it would be perfect for our first annual Christmas book!
We also found out that there is a movie about The Happy Elf!
Its on Netflix Instant.
If you haven't read it, or seen it - Do it!!
Its cheesy, but so darn cute!

This week I am going to write about some of the other traditions that we have as a couple.
And then we will be in Oklahoma, so I will share some of our family's traditions as well!! 
What traditions do you have that you love??

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Its time for another link party!
This time it is hosted by one of my favorite blogs, Thrifty Decor Chic.
If you haven't seen her blog, you are missing out BIG!
You should go to her blog, link up your Christmas Tree post, and then spend hours perusing her sight.
It really is that good. 
You won't want to stop reading.
On with the Christmas trees though!
As I think I've mentioned before, my in-laws gave us our tree when we got married.
HUGE blessing!
And I absolutely love it.
Its small, simple, and lovely.
And best of all - its prelit!
Did I mention that it was a huge blessing?
Most of the ornaments are red and gold. 
(Since the tree is green, that only leaves 2 colors to use!)
However, our tree is full of a random assortment of ornaments and decorations.
There are several angels:
because that was my ornament theme every year growing up.
There are characters:
Because they are Michael's absolute favorite ones at Hallmark
(and we dressed up as these 2 last year)
There are our yearly ornaments:
And here is one that was given to us this year:
We haven't been able to find one for 2011 yet.
I'll keep you posted.
Our tree isn't just packed full of ornaments, but I like it that way.
And to be honest, I wouldn't have a place to store them all if I had many more!
Here is a full view of the tree.
And one with the lights off.
And this one because I liked it:
I almost forgot about our 2nd little Christmas tree!
 This one was given to me by my Grandma Preece a few years ago, ornaments and all.
I haven't seen her in about 9 years, so it is very special to me.
Usually it serves as a centerpiece for the dining room table,
but this year I wanted to show it off a little more.
(Points for whoever finds the ornament one of the youth kids added - a banana laffy taffy)
Well, those are our Christmas trees for this year.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stare at them some more with this little guy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep

I got one of my Christmas presents early last night - 
Tickets to White Christmas on Broadway!!
I just found out that the show was in town a couple days ago, and I immediately knew that I wanted that as the last of my Christmas gifts.
I absolutely LOVE White Christmas, the movie!
My favorite part is when they sing to the General.
It gets me every time.
It's a tough call to say whether I cry more during this movie, or It's a Wonderful Life.
I cry a lot.
I'll admit it!
The play was not as good as the movie.
It's just not the same without the real Bing Crosby!
We I loved it though!
It was so much fun, and it may or may not have snowed in the theater! 
After the show, we went to Steak and Shake.
We used to go here all the time when we lived in Edmond.
But this is the first time I've gone since we moved.
I REALLY missed these milkshakes!
Aside from driving in rush hour traffic...
it was a perfect night!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Current (P)interests

Since I'm on break from school, pretty much all I do is Pinterest.
Who am I kidding...
that's pretty much all I did while I was in school.
(So far all As though, Mom!)
Anyway, just thought you all might like to know what I've been pinning lately.
If you don't want to know/don't can stop reading now!
I've really been wanting to make this wreath to hang up all of our Christmas cards.
Or maybe this one, because its just so cute!
I think I have shared my love for flower earrings...
but how festive and adorable are these?!
I found these tights a few weeks ago, and I still would love a pair.
Don't they look cozy...
I had planned on getting out of the Christmas-themed pattern with this post and I seem to have failed so far.
What can I say?
I love Christmas!
I also love buns!
They make me feel so delicate, agile, and coordinated.
AKA - A ballerina
I really need to try this one out!
And lastly, 
I love this movie so much.
Like "cry at least 5 times during it" so much.
And tonight, Michael is taking me to see the live show!!
Yay for early Christmas presents!!
Too bad Bing Crosby won't really be there...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Party Treats

I love to bake.
Especially if the baking is centered around a theme. 
This weekend was our church's holiday party, so I decided to make it a little festive.
I found these adorable little treats on Pinterest and had to give it a try.
They are SO EASY!
All you need is:
- 1 box of brownie mix
- Approximately 2 dozen strawberries
- 2 cups white chocolate chips

Make sure you grease your muffin pan well. 
The brownies are cute if they are only half brownies.
Make the brownies as directed on the box.
Let them cool.
While cooling, wash and cut strawberries.
Place one strawberry on each brownie muffin.
Melt the chocolate chips.
Once melted, move the chocolate to a piping bag.
Make a ring of chocolate around the bottom of the strawberry, and a ball of chocolate at the top.
Then you get this!
Not only are they super easy to make.
They are also totally delicious!
(I actually didn't get to try one, but they went really fast at the party so they must have been good, right?)

The other Christmas treat I made is also extremely easy.
My family has been making them as long as I can remember, and they are Michael's favorite!
All you need is:
- Ritz crackers
- Peanut butter
- Almond bark 
- Sprinkles
- Foil or wax paper

Make a peanut butter sandwich with the Ritz crackers
Dip in almond bark
Place them on foil or wax paper
Decorate to your desire
Use sprinkles, or drizzle chocolate, or just whatever!
 Give them about 30 minutes to dry.
Eat and Enjoy!!

What are your favorite Christmas treats??
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