Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Time in Tulsa

On this trip we went from Houston to OKC to Enid, back to OKC, then to Tulsa, and 
finally home to Houston.
Like I said in my last post, the holidays can be stressful.
Let's just say, we were more than a little happy to get back home.
The great thing is that our short time in Tulsa was spent with these beautiful girls.
I mean come on, you can't find more gorgeous sisters!
We love them!
Christmas Day was mostly spent with my family in OKC, 
but we got to Tulsa in time for dinner and gifts.
My Grandparents were there early in the evening, and his Grandma Johns gave me the best gift.
This is a quilt that her mother made, and she passed on to me.
I was so touched that she thought to give it to me.
It really meant so much.
The rest of the night was pretty focused on our nieces and the gifts we got them.
^^ Uncle Mike helping the girls open their gifts
^^ Emily told me that night that she loved her new puppy.
You can see the necklaces we got Emily and Ashley in this photo.
It had their first initial.
Last but not least, I drew my mother-in-law and mad her this wreath.
I made one for myself a couple years ago, and she loved it and wanted one for her door.
You can find the tutorial for the wreath here.
Though our time in Tulsa was short, it was great to see Michael's parents, and those sweet nieces of ours.
I will never forget the way Emily and Ashley's faces lit up when they saw us.
They are so precious, and we love the 3 of them so much.

We ended the trip with breakfast with some great friends.
They are preparing to move to Brazil next month to do mission work, and we are so excited!
I'm going to hate having them so far away, but I know God has big plans for them!
Brazil is one lucky country!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas with the Bairds

If I were to choose one picture to represent our time in Enid it would be this.
Those dogs did not get along.
Mostly due to our little fur ball, who thought he was king of the house.
It was sweet the way Oliver kept reassuring me that "Buster is not a bully" though.
Other than the dogs, we really did have a great time in Enid.
My Mom always goes above and beyond with Christmas, and makes the house feel so magical.
^^ Even Buster got in the Christmas spirit.
We played games, ate way too many no-bakes (okay, maybe just me)
watched movies, ate at Wee Too, didn't get to go to the thrift store because it was closed - sad day, and just spent lots of time with each other.
Here are some highlights from the days we were there:
^^ Michael was pretty excited about his gift!
^^ Buster was equally excited about his gift from cousin Maddy
^^ But I think Grandpa was by far the most excited.
I mean, who doesn't want a yard of cookies!
^^ Sweet picture of the Dad's holding their boys.
*Mom, don't show this caption to Ben ;)
I love my family SO much!
Holidays can be stressful, especially with 2 crazy dogs,
but I am very thankful for the time that I had with them over the holiday.
Mom - Thanks for spending every waking minute in the kitchen making delicious meals for us!
Dad - Thanks for picking out the perfect gifts for me 2 years in a row!
Ben - Thanks for getting our precious boy Oliver to Enid to spend Christmas with us!
Oliver - Thanks for being so kind to me, and for taking family photos before opening gifts!
Bailey - Thanks for opening your home to us on Christmas day! 
Jon - Thanks for taking care of Maddy, and pulling yourself away from the family to keep her and Buster separated. I hated it, and look forward to actually talking to you next time ;)
We love you guys!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday's Five - Christmas Ramblings

1) Christmas Treats:
Whether its baking with best friends or family, or just making treats for party,
I absolutely love all the fun Christmas-themed treats.

2) Oh Christmas Tree
Specifically my Christmas tree.
It is my very favorite part of the season.
I will be devastated when the lights stop working.

3) Fancy nails and cake pops
I was feeling adventurous at the nail salon and tried a party nail.
I kind of like it.
Also, this salted caramel cake pop.
Get to your local Starbucks and get one, quick!

4) White Ice Christmas
^^ Michael took this beautiful picture of my parents neighborhood.
Now that we live in a tropical climate, 
it makes me so happy to have a white Christmas.
Especially when the roads are still clear.
Even though it is mostly ice, it is absolutely beautiful Enid.

5) My Old House
This has nothing to do with Christmas, but everything to do with being home for the holidays.
Michael and I were on the west side of town earlier this week,
so I took him by the house that I grew up in.
We lived here from the time I was born until I was going into the 5th grade.
So many memories were made in this house, and on this cul-de-sac.
It looks completely different now, but also still the same.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Johns Family Christmas

Another tradition that we have is taking a family picture each Christmas.
It isn't much, and it usually is a lot more work than its worth,
but it is kind of fun to look back and see our little family through the years.
^^ Christmas 2010
^^ Christmas 2011
^^ Christmas 2012
^^ Christmas 2013
Merry Christmas from the Johns!! 
Hope you have a day full of friends, family, and happiness!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Traditions

Where did December go?
It seems to have flown by, and Christmas is tomorrow!
Michael and I have been so busy this month with work, church events, and Christmas activities,
but we did make time to do our annual Christmas date.
Thanks to a wonderful, generous family we were able to eat dinner at Pappasitos again.
It was busy, but we got a table and enjoyed some fajitas.
We even had more than enough to take home for leftovers.
As per tradition, we went from dinner over to Barnes and Noble.
We each made our selections of books to read, and found a little corner to read...
the kids corner to be exact.
In the end, I think that we were both surprised by the decision:
*I don't know what is wrong with me this year!
I have just been loving all the snowmen.
Between the snowmen displays at Hobby Lobby, the movie Frozen, and this book,
I have just been loving them.
And it goes against all of my holiday beliefs instill in me by my mother!
In my defense, it is an adorable book.
And, it talks about Christmas so it still counts.
We ended the night by driving around to look at Christmas lights.
Here are some of my favorites.
I am so glad that this is one of our 'family' traditions.
It is the thing that I look forward to the entire month.

Hope you are enjoying traditions with family right now.
Some of the ones my family will be doing today include, eating breakfast at Wee Too, shopping at Park Avenue Thrift, and watching Muppet Family Christmas.
Its going to be a wonderful, perfect day.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Youth Group Christmas

Last weekend we had the Christmas party for the youth group. 
We did it a little different than last year, and went with the idea of simplicity.
We started the night by caroling at the nursing home.
It was so sweet to see the faces of the residents, and watch them sing along with us.
Some of them even did a few "dance moves".
I took a video of the group singing, but unfortunately, my microphone was turned off.
After caroling, we went to see the Houston Zoo Lights.
We might have underestimated the amount of people that would be there with us.
We finally got in though, and the kids loved it!
There weren't too many animals still out, but I did see the cougar, some giraffes, and a zebra.
This zebra was my favorite of the night, but the peacock was pretty too.
We finished the night back at the church with a Dirty Santa gift exchange.
One thing I learned is vast differences in people's idea of "white elephant"
All the kids had a great time though, and everyone was happy in the end.
I walked away with 3 pairs of socks (that I loved) and Michael ended the game with a DVD of 
The Land Before Time (which he bought himself)
He was so excited!
It was a great night, and I was SO happy to not have to set up or take down decorations!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Double Dates, Double Trouble

Last weekend Michael and I got to go on a double date with two of our favorites.
To make it even better, it was a Christmas date!
We started with some delicious Italian food followed by amazing lattes.
Well, Michael and I had some lattes.
We are currently obsessed.
After dinner we drove around River Oaks, on of Houston's wealthiest areas, 
to look at Christmas lights.
We had so much fun driving around with Trey and Claire, adding our own commentary to the lights.
Here are some of our favorites from the night:
^^ Prettiest street
This was the street leading to the country club.
The trees were beautiful!
^^ Claire and I had to have a picture together.
^^ Yes. Chevy Chase.
If only it were Clark Griswold St.
On this street we found the house with the worst decorations:
 That's right. Its a 10 foot angel.
This was on one side of the house, a string of lights hanging from a tree was on the other side.
Nothing was on the house.
Weird and weirder.
We also found the house with the best decorations on ole Christmas Vacation Ln.
^^ My favorite!
With trees like this, the house doesn't even need lights.
The rest of the car chose another house for the best lights award,
but Michael was busy yelling at the owner while his dog used the restroom,
so I got too distracted to take a picture.
We ended the night with a classic - House of Pies.
Unfortunately, are favorite location burned down.
And, they were out of every kind of pie that Claire wanted.
But, we still had a great time.
^^ Love these two so much!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Cards

Ever since our 2nd year of marriage Christmas Cards have been a tradition for us.
I don't know what happened that first year of marriage, I guess we were still getting in the groove of married life. 
We have some great cards, some decent cards, and some not so good cards.
Here are a few of the ones from the past years.
^^ Christmas 2009
Short hair...yikes!
^^ Christmas 2011
Definitely not our best, but also not our worst.
^^ Christmas 2012
Probably my favorite. 
Buster is the cutest Santa you'll ever find!

This year, of course, is no different, and we even got the cards out early this year!
*Its not this dark in real life. 
The picture just didn't come out that good.
I went a little Pinterest crazy this year with the Christmas cards.
Like I said yesterday, I got all my ideas for poses and the tree farm on Pinterst.
I also got the idea for our Year In Review from Pinterest.
We weren't able to send it to everyone on our list (that thing uses tons of ink) so here it is in case you're interested.
I hope that we are able to continue this tradition for many years.
It is so fun to look back and see all the different cards we have made, and that people have sent us over the years.
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