Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year in Review

2008 has been such an amazing year! When I think back on all that's happened and all that has changed this year, I'm excited and nostalgic and proud of all that we've accomplished. So many life changes, so many twists and turns, ups and downs and so many memories- some of them have even been captured in photos. So let's take a look at our 2008...

  • We braved Houston's Bridal Extravaganza---totally crazy and something I would NEVER do again!
  • I celebrated my 25th birthday on Martin Luther King Day
  • Started the hunt for a house.
  • Found a house, went to put a contract on the house, had the house sold out from under us


  • Were thrilled to find a better house and started to make it officially ours on Valentine's Day!
We celebrated V-Day with a late lunch at Perry's and coming back to the house to sit, stare, and marvel
  • Welcomed a new four-legged member into the family....then we watched him grow...
  • Celebrated Mom's Birthday
  • Closed on our house
  • Moved Joe into the house
  • Spent time with our family from Alaska with a trip to Galveston
Shopping for Diva shades in Galveston
  • Bridal Showers
  • Celebrated Joe's 29th Birthday
Birthdays always mean memorable meals at great places!
  • I don't remember much from June. Apparently there was a wedding of some sort....

  • Survived Hurricane Ike with no damage to our home!


  • Road Trip to San Antonio and San Marcos
  • Celebrated our first Halloween
We found the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
  • Celebrated Brink's 7th Birthday
  • Road trip to Waco with my parents
  • Watche our Bears dominate the Aggies!
  • Met and visited old college friends
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents and mom's fabulous pecan pie!

  • Our second Colt Christmas Party
  • Snow day 2008!
  • Joe's ER visit
  • Joe's first real surgery, followed by a second
  • Christmas
Summing up such a big year in our lives in a blog seems impossible. I know there are things that I've forgotten, or things that can not be captured in pictures or words. How in the world do you summarize or capture the dynamics of learning to be a spouse and to share your space, money, time, and energy completely with another person??? We have been abundantly blessed this year. 2009 will be an exciting year for us as well (we're really glad that it doesn't include wedding plans!). One thing we are especially looking forward to this year is when we will welcome a sweet niece or nephew into the world! I know 2009 will hold so much for us- BRING IT ON!

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Toys!

Joe picked me up after work so that we could grab some dinner and do a bit of shopping. Our main goal was a trip to Williams Sonoma (be still my heart!). Tonight I got my amazing Cookie Press and an awesome Mechanical Pastry Bag! I'm crazy excited to use them. I guess I'll be making and decorating cookies and cakes this week! I love new toys, especially those from Williams-Sonoma!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our First Christmas

At any given time of the year Christmas always seems so far away. Then, all of a sudden the days fly by and Christmas comes at you full speed. Our Christmas season ended up playing out differently than we had planned, but all in all, things turned out great.
We packed up the car and went to my parents' house on Tuesday evening. Christmas Eve we took it easy and helped get things ready for Christmas. We decorated a gingerbread house, wrapped some gifts, and did some last minute errands. My parents' church had a beautiful service that night. After church, we came home and my mom had some treats she put out for us to enjoy before we opened our Christmas PJs.
On Christmas morning, my Dad was up when I got up around 4. He was brining and smoking the turkey. We sat up and watched A Christmas Story (24 hour marathon on TBS!) and waited for everyone to wake up. It ended up that we had to wake Joe and Grannie up so we could start opening presents. Everyone had a great Christmas. Joe asked for tools. I've decided tools are not very fun to shop for, but I'll have to get used to that. I got Joe a massive tool chest and some smaller hand tools. I got a karoake machine (Joe has no idea what he got himself in to!) and a panini press, some perfume, and much more. This week I get to go get a cookie press and mechanical pastry bag. I need to clean and reorganize my cabinets today to make space for all the good stuff Santa brought.
My Mom made an amazing dinner, yet again. After dinner, Joe set up my karaoke machine and sang karaoke with me. We did some Ricky Martin La Vida Loca, and some show tunes from Mama Mia. Brinkley hid under the coffee table and Tucker started chasing his tail. There was a time when I was a voice major----either I was crazy or I'm REALLY rusty! Maybe both!
We had a great, quiet, first Christmas. Now I need to get it in gear and find a place to put all of our gifts.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Any of you all who know us know that Joe and I are crazy about Christmas. We put our decorations up at the beginning of November and have anxiously awaited this season. It hasn't been exactly what we anticipated. Joe has been down for the past couple of weeks with a kidney stone that caused a surgery last Monday and a follow up one tomorrow morning. It has been hard for him to get in the Christmas spirit. I even had to drive him to the mall so he could do his Christmas shopping. Definitely not what we expected. BUT, we have tried really hard to keep up with some Christmas traditions and to make new ones for us and our family. When I was growing up, we got a new ornament each year. We made sure that we got new ornaments to represent our year ( a key for our new home, and of course, several that say "Our First Christmas"). One of my favorite Christmas traditions is getting new pjs on Christmas Eve so that we look nice for photos on Christmas morning. I made sure that we were covered on that tradition as well. Last Thursday we had tickets to Houston Ballet's Nutcracker. I don't know that we will go to the Nutcracker every year, but we'll definitely go back periodically. My favorite thing we've done together this season was something that just randomly hit me. We were out killing time before an appointment with Joe's doctor and ended up at the Painted Potter. We decided to paint a Christmas plate for us each year. This year's plate won't be ready in time for Christmas, but its super cute! I love Christmas and Christmas traditions. Traditions give so much to look forward to that make the holidays more exciting! Regardless of everything going on surrounding our Christmas season, we're excited to celebrate our first Christmas. And, we know that the coming years will bring more traditions and more excitement!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cookie Day

Every year my mom and I spend a Saturday in December baking our little hearts out. The past several years we've made hundreds upon hundreds of cookies, fudge, and toffee for work, parties, gifts, etc... Cookie day this year was much later than normal which allowed us to bake with Grannie. We made Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies, Gum Drop Cookies, Spritz Cookies, and of course, Sugar Cut Out cookies with all the frosting. Grannie was in charge of cutting up the gum drops and letting us know when she thought the cookies were done. Its a long day, but we have a lot of fun. I meant to take pictures but got too tied up in Christmas goodness.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Day '08

We had a cold front last week. Tuesday the high was in the 80s, and in typical Texas "winter" fashion-followed by a cold front. Wednesday morning on my way to work, Joe sent me a text message telling me that Hobby Airport had snow in their aviation forecast. I figured I might see a single, tiny, flurry....the early evening brought some ice pellets and sleet which gave way to snow. It had snowed quite a bit at Joe's office, so we headed up there with Brinkley to make sure we got to see some snow. About an hour and a half later, we came home and found snow in our yard! Brinkley likes the snow (once he realizes he can eat it). I should mention its almost 80 again today...Here are some photos of us in the snow

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"White" December???

It is snowing in Houston! I'm stunned, but incredibly excited!!! When I left the office today to catch the bus, I was pelted with sleet and ice. There are flurries around but they aren't really sticking. Now that it is dark, I can't tell exactly what is falling at our house, but we will take winter precipitation any day!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Night Blues

The weekends go by far too quickly! I worked half a day Friday, went to an appointment, and then Joe and I worked on some Christmas shopping. My company partners with CPS' Bear Project for children in state custody. We "adopted" a little boy and did some shopping for some colleagues' "adopted" kiddos as well. After many trips back and forth from Wal Mart to Target, Kohls, Hobby Lobby, Old Navy, the mall, and every place in between, we secured all but one gift. The trunk of both cars were packed to the brim. We're shy a Fisher Price My First Doll House. Hopefully we'll get it before the toys are due. I mentioned to my Dad that we couldn't find the doll house, I think he has checked every store on the NW side of Houston looking for it. He is amazing like that. I think he and Joe are determined to find that doll house (Joe has a soft spot for little girls wanting doll houses).
Yesterday morning we got up and started wrapping Chanukah and Christmas gifts before Joe's company Christmas party last night. We had a nice time at the party, but it sure is a lot of effort to get dolled up and all the way to the Galleria! Sprinkle in some laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, some more wrapping and the weekend is coming to a close. Why do the weekends fly by??? This week is going to be pretty busy, but we're ready for it. I know we're both ready for our "Christmas Break." For now....we chug along and try to get through the week!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Festival of Lights

While I was at work today, Joe worked tirelessly to get the lights up on our house. They look great! Our house has that "gingerbread house" look to it. While he was up on the roof stringing lights I called to tell him that I had a sopresa for him after dinner. We quickly ate some chili, ran by Starbucks, and headed out to Dickinson's Festival of Lights. Tucked away in this little park not from our house, we found this fantastic little display of Christmas joy! The best part is that it is completely free! I think next year we will volunteer to help set up!

Here are some photos of the outside of our house (inside pics to come soon) and the Festival of Lights.
The picture doesn't do it justice...I love it!

There were "tunnels" of lights

Joe was totally in his element!