Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday's Five

1) Our new mailbox
Michael has been asking for a new mailbox for at least a year.
I looked them up online once and they were about $300, and I was not going to pay that.
Then, I just happened to walk down the mailbox aisle in Lowe's, and they were much cheaper, so I bought him one.
And our brother-in-law Jon helped him put it together while he was here.
We LOVE it!
It looks perfect with our house, and it is usually a race to see who gets to check it each day.

We grilled these for Memorial Day.
I found a great tutorial on YouTube, and another one for steakhouse baked potatoes.
Both were delicious.

3) Youth Group Photos
I take lots of photos at every event I go to, and put them on the youth group photo board.
We change it every May and August.
In May, we put up all the photos from the school year.
I went up to the church last week and spent the afternoon putting all the photos up.
It was so neat to come out of my Wednesday class and see them all huddled around trying to find pictures of themselves.

4) Fruit Pizza Bar
I had a jewelry party this past week and this was what I chose to serve as a snack.
It was SO easy, and delicious.
I have made fruit pizza with a giant sugar cookie, but thought this would be perfect for the party.
Thank you Pinterest for all your great ideas!

5) Snow Cones!
Got my first snow cone of summer yesterday and it was delicious!
Bahama Bucks just opened down the street from our house, and its probably going to get me in trouble.
I mean, they even have a drive through!
I'm seriously debating trying all the flavors that they offer.

This is the last weekend before Summer starts and we are going to be very busy.
Tonight we are taking our small group leaders out for a "thank you" dinner,
and tomorrow we are going with a group to Galveston for the Sand Castle Building Competition.
Then on Sunday we promote our new 6th Graders in to the youth group!!
It's almost officially summer!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let's Go!

I think that it is no secret that Michael and I like to travel.
We both went on study abroad programs in college, he even came to visit me on mine.
We sat through 4-hour timeshare talk just to win a free trip.
And anytime we get a tax return, we start looking at travel websites.
Since it has been such a big part of our relationship, I wanted to find a way to incorporate into our house.
Plus, I'm slightly obsessed with maps.
So, I bought this gigantic map, framed it, and put it in our breakfast room.
Then I found some straight pins in my sewing kit, and Michael and I marked the places that we have traveled to. 
Pink/Red = Brittany (I ran out of pinks)
Blue = Michael
Green = Places we have been together
Black = Places we have lived together
 I am so happy with the way that it turned out.
Now I just want to travel even more so that we can add more pins!
First up, Seattle and Portland in August!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beautiful Mess

Every now and then I come across an app that I love, and have to share with you.
Beautiful Mess photo app is that app.
I am so obsessed with it right now.
Unfortunately, its not one of the free apps, but the good news is that it only costs 99 cents.
It is completely worth it.
It takes your photos and allows you to add borders, doodles, words, and filters.
*Beautiful Mess does not allow you to add multiple pictures in one photo.
I made a collage of my Beautiful Mess photos on PicFrame, so that I didn't have to upload 8 different photos. #lazy

Monday, May 27, 2013

Weekend Getaway

Last year Michael and I started the tradition of getting away together for a weekend before the crazy of Summer starts.
Last year we went to Galveston, but we wanted to do something different this time.
The only requirements:
1) A good pool
2) A good price
I think you know which one of us chose each of those. 
Anyways, we hadn't officially decided to take a trip this year, 
but on Thursday it was hot, and I really needed some pool time - and I don't mean neighborhood pool.
So I did some searching online and found a nice hotel, in a good part of town,
for really cheap.
So I booked it, and we left that night.
Before we could go to our hotel, we had to take Buster to his (the Petsmart Pet Hotel) and then we hit the the other side of Houston. Ha!
 We stayed at the hotel for 2 nights, and it was absolutely perfect.
Someone else cooked and cleaned for us.
We got to watch all the cable we wanted, which ended up being LOTS of HGTV, and Mean Girls.
*Random fact: Every time we are in a hotel we watch Mean Girls.
Its always on tv, and it never gets old.
And we spent almost all of Friday right here
The pool was small, and a little cold, but we were the only people out there the entire day!
 It was perfect.
After the day at the pool, and a nap, we went out to dinner.
Thanks to my handy Yelp! app, we found the most delicious restaurant.
 You know its fancy when you order diet coke, and they bring you a glass bottle of Coca Light!
And when I asked for flavored lemonade, the brought me lemonade mixed with pineapple juice
The restaurant is called Houston's, and we are already planning to go back.
Both of our dinners were so big, and we couldn't take left overs since we were at a hotel,
we decided to go somewhere else for dessert.
We were close to Rice Village, which has a great shopping area, so we went there and found the cutest dessert place.
It is called Sweet Paris Creperie,
and Oh. My. GOODNESS!
 It got the Just Nutella Ala Mode, and Michael got the Smores Crepe.
They were fantastic!
Bonus, the entire restaurant was decorated with a Paris theme - which I loved!

We ended the weekend with the Houston Symphony Pops show.
For the 2nd year in a row, a sweet couple from church gave us tickets for Memorial Weekend.
They have season tickets, and have been out of town the past 2 years, and so we have really lucked out!
The Houston Symphony is outstanding, and this year they played with the group Pink Martini.
The best part of the show was when they brought out their special guests:
The Von Trapp Family!
 No joke!
These kids are grandchildren of Kurt, and great grandchildren of Captain and Maria Von Trapp!
I was beyond excited!
And then they started singing Sound of Music songs and I was in Heaven.
They sang Lonely Goatherd, and then Edelweiss as an encore.
 They were amazing!!
 It was a wonderful weekend full of fun and relaxation.
Now, I think I can honestly say I am ready for Summer and all its crazy!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Simple Senior Gifts

A week ago, our church had what we call Senior Sunday.
Yes, it was on the same day as my graduation.
Yes, that does create a problem when your husband is the youth minister.
We won't talk about that though...
With Senior Sunday comes gifts for the seniors.
I have always had a hard time deciding what to get them.
Sure, gift cards are great, but they are so unoriginal.
And I don't want to be another person giving them a towel.
And then last year it came to me through Twitter.
One of the seniors tweeted that she wished someone had given her thank you cards for graduation.
And I made a mental note right then, that I was going to get them that.
It ended up being such a simple (and cheap!) gift.
I got everything at Dollar Tree, but I think that it still turned out really cute and useful.
I picked out a small plastic basket for each senior.
Put 2 packages of thank you cards, and a pack of pens, and then a personal card for each one.
So. Easy.
 I absolutely love them!
I haven't heard from any of the seniors whether they liked it or not, but I thought it was too good of an idea not to share!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fun with Oliver in Houston

Since we knew that the graduation ceremony was going to be pretty boring, 
and since almost all of the family was not able to be at Oliver's 5th birthday party in Oklahoma, 
we had a fun day + birthday party for him on Saturday. 
We started the day at the Houston Children's Museum,
We might have misread the opening time, which allowed us to have our own little photo shoot outside the museum.
Then, because of my Mom's connections, we got in to the museum completely free - including parking!
*She had only emailed to ask about a discount, or something like that and they rolled out the red carpet for us! We were so thankful, and had a blast!
This little guy was EXCITED!
 There was so much to see and do at the museum!
We were moving fast and having fun for a full 2 hours, and probably only saw about half of what they have to do there.
 As you can see, Oliver was definitely not the only one of us acting like a kid.
It was a lot of fun for all of us!
After the museum, we went to lunch and had a mini birthday party for Oliver.
There was no cake, no balloons, and no singing...
so we pretty much just had gifts and he was more than okay with that!
Michael and I love that little guy so much, and we are so glad that he got to come visit us in Texas!
He was pretty upset the morning that they all to go, 
and we were upset too!
Its just one of those times that we are reminded of why its not fun to live so far away from family.
Oliver says he is going to kindergarten in Texas though,
so I guess we will be seeing him again soon! ;)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Boots, BBQ, and...Bairds?

The night before my graduation Michael invited friends and family to celebrate with us.
I need to just take a minute to brag on my husband.
He has gone way beyond making me feel special for my graduation.
He got me new cowboy boots for graduation back in March (which I wore to the party)
he organized the dinner/party and invited all my friends,
and he worked hard to make the party all that I would want it to be.
It was perfect!
Michael even arranged for my FAVORITE cupcakes to be there!
They were so good!
And graduation themed.
The best part was having so many of my close friends and family there to celebrate with me.
All of these people have been so important to me,
and have been the greatest support for me during these past 3 years of school.
It meant so much to have them all there with me!
The boys entertainment during the party
It was the perfect party, and I had such a great time!!
I feel so blessed to have these amazing people in my life.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Graduation Day

Sunday was the big day - my master's graduation day.
I'll be honest, I was a little worried that I would get there and they would tell me,
"I'm sorry, you're not on our list" and I wouldn't graduate.
But, I WAS on the list, and I did graduate.
Of course, I was one of 10 people that actually followed the directions to be there no later than 2 hours before the ceremony,
which gave me plenty of time to gown up, and take a picture with the mascot.
Eventually, my friends from the program arrived, and we had plenty of time to catch up and take some pictures together.
I haven't seen most of these people all year, so it was great to have this time with them.
I'm so happy I got this picture with Misti too!
We have spent the year working together at Shield Bearer, and I am so thankful for the support she has been for me! What a blessing she has been!
Then it was time for the ceremony.
Walking in
It was pretty boring as far as graduations go.
Not to mention a weird video with space music at the end,
but I was just so happy to be finished,
and even happier to have my family there cheering me on!
I am so thankful to all of them for making the trip to Houston to be here for graduation.
My grandparents were even able to be there in spirit, as they watched me walk across the stage via the live stream on the internet.
I am one lucky girl to have such wonderful family!
After the ceremony we took a few more pictures with my friends.
 Oliver was so excited to try on my "square hat"
We were all hot, sweaty, and extremely hungry by the time the ceremony ended, 
so we waited until after church that night to take these other pictures.
It was a crazy, and surprisingly emotional day, and I am so happy to be finished!
My family has been such a great support for me these last 3 years, and I am beyond grateful.
I could not have done it without the help of my amazing husband though.
He would let me role play different therapy models,
pack my lunch while I was reading articles,
take care of the house while I was writing papers,
and love me even when I was stressed out and at my worst.
He has made me feel so special this past week with different gifts and celebrations, 
and I am so lucky to have him for life!

*Thank you to all of you for your prayers, encouragement, and love these past few years as I completed my Masters.
This blog has been an incredible outlet for me, and I am thankful that you have taken the time to share in this experience with me!
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