Saturday, December 24, 2011

2012 in review

Its not New Years, yet, but I am ready for a Year in review...

Celebrated my 25th birthday with family
Lewie joined our family.
Spent a week on Gull Lake.
Watched Bjorn and Alyssa get married on the lake.
Neil started his first year of decathalon coaching. 
Sold over 100 scrabble tiles on etsy.
Got my cool new car.
Released the Eat Well Waco program at work. 
Marquie, my cousin, moved in with us.
Spent a week in Colorado Springs.
Went horseback riding.
Went white water rafting for the first time.
Celebrated Neil's 25th birthday.
Had an armadillo problem in our back yard.
Worked on my aunts house that burned down from wildfires.
Got a rainwater harvesting system.
Started two community gardens in town.
Survived a drought in Texas.
Witnessed a great Baylor football season.
RG3 won the heisman.

We had a great year we had and now, with one more in the family, we are ready for more adventures.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Randomness in 2011.

My camera card was full. Christmas is coming up. 
I finally decided to clear the card to make room for new memories. 
When doing this, I ran into a few pictures that I realized I never mentioned so here are a few.

On my trip for the Beach to Bay Marathon, we stopped at the Aquarium in Corpus Christi. 
 We visited the Mayborn Museum near campus on the last day of the mummy exhibit. Thus, the RG3 pharaoh.

I made a quick change in the upstairs bathroom and finally switched out the old toiled seat that had random nailpolish and other stains when we moved in.

We found another friend in our yard. He was a big one!
I found this old gumball machine with a really heavy, intricate, metal stand.

From Dec 2010 to Dec 2011, I had 273 pictures and that does not include all the pictures I had to delete everytime I tried to take pictures in the last month. I gotta remember to clear it more regularly.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa stopped by.

 When we agreed not to buy gifts for each other, I thought that we were not going to buy gifts.
Instead, Neil sent me an email with a list of cars and told me to choose one. 
That was kinda fun, but really overwhelming. 

After doing our research and heading to the dealership, I came home with my very first NEW car!

40 mpg highway will make it a great traveling car! 

So much for not buying gifts! He made out pretty good too. He got Alamobowl tickets to watch Baylor and RG3 finish off a great season!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Card Reveal

Since most of the cards are out, I can now reveal our Christmas card(s)!
I am making it sound much more exciting than it actually is, but either it is!


And because I am that indecisive, I split the order in half between the one above and the one below. 

 This is the back:

We set up a white backdrop (curtain) in our kitchen, set up the camera on a stool, a full length mirror across form us, and snapped the picture with a remote. 
The card was done through snapfish with a 50% of coupon! 30 cards for $15!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

All that glitters is GOLD.

On our list of things to do on Thanksgiving break with mom (besides Black Friday-yes we did it) was finding stockings for her mantle. We had the same stockings since like 4th grade but they were mismatching and we have added a Neil to the family so she wanted a complete set and boy did we do good.

First of all, ALL CHRISTMAS STUFF at Hobby Lobby is 50% so we headed straight there and found some adorable stockings. Because they all look alike, we wanted to personalize them somehow.

We saw these cardboard letters for $1.00, and grabbed glitter paint for $1.17 and gold glitter scrapbook paper for $1.99

We started by painting the edges and saw how great the paint worked so we nixed the scrapbook paper and painted the whole letter.  

 Be simply tied the letter to the stocking loop and hung them up for show.
I love the way the letters came out. For just a dollar each, they would make great ornaments, gift tags or anything!

They look great on her mantle and she does such a great decorating job, that I know the whole house will look amazing!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Light up the Night.

 The day after Thanksgiving seems to kick off the Christmas season and we did it up this year.
We headed down to the Riverwalk to eat and see the lights up. There is also a river parade that goes on but we just admired the view from afar. The new LED lights were the talk of the town. It is magical on the riverwalk during Christmas. I highly recommend it. If you are there you may want to stop by the huge tree in front of the Alamo.

We couldn't get enough lights so we headed to San Marcos to see Santa's ranch. It is 12 acres of lights. We piled into the back of dad's new truck and took it all in.

This is the tunnel I want to do alllll the way down our 100 yard drive way - Neil vetoed that idea.
Of course Christmas in San Antonio is not the same without the Mariachis!
 There were themes along the way. The first of which was "In the Beginning" and it took you through bible scenes. I had never seen lights done quite this way. Cool way to keep the reason for the season on our minds.

 It was a perfect 70 degree night. The tour took about 30 minutes and another highly recommended stop!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Merry Early Christmas, Dad!

We got to see Dad's new shiny toy over Thanksgiving.

He had his old truck since 1995! He worked it to the ground!
His truck moved me 6 times in 8 years....thanks for that, by the way.

What a handsome pair they make.
I am sure they will have great adventures together.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Failed Christmas Card Pictures.

Last year we took our Christmas pictures randomly one day after church and since we were running out of time, we had to use them and I was not excited about it.

So this year, we (I) decided to put some effort into it.
Since I have not put the cards in the mail yet, I will not reveal the "good" pictures yet.... a little suspense is good.
 Instead, I will show you some pictures that did not make the cut.

The sleigh scene:

The lights scene:

The wreath scene:

That last one is my favorite "bad" picture.
I think it shows exactly what he is thinking, "huh?"

The cards came out great and the dogs were such good sports.
I'll post the final card after mailing them out.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Big Bummer.

So we had a great thanksgiving in San Antonio!

We did a lot of fun stuff that I have plenty of pictures of....however
 1. Our internet is down at home
 2. My pictures are lost for the time being.
 3. Too busy at work to post there :(

I hope to get them all up soon and I will make up for the lost time :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks.

Today I am celebrating Thanksgiving with family, some of which I have not seen in awhile. It makes me happy to be able to love each person in our huge family no matter how long its been. The weather is perfect, the house smells of goodness, the puppies are getting along, and my love is with me. 

I am thinking of not only our family in Iowa but all those not able to be with family today. 
I hope your day is filled with peace. 


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Love Letter Reveal!

So a few weeks ago a vote occured. 
You voted for the LOVE LETTER art work for our bedroom. 
Well, it has finished. 

The process was not difficult but a little time consuming. 
First, I went to the post office and bought a cute stamp. 
Then, I put it on a blank envelope and sent it to Grandma in Iowa. 
Grandma then wrote out our address, put the envelope in another envelope and mailed it back. 
We chose Grandma because she sends snail mail to us often, she has beautiful handwriting, and we wanted to have a little piece of her in our home. She got the envelope stamped in the post office in Neil's hometown (Marshalltown).

I received theenvelope inside an envelope a few days later. 

Then, I took it to WalMart to get it blown up to 24X36. This cost $20 but it is pretty cool!

Prior to printing it, I made sure there was a canvas large enough to put it on. 
I bought this one at michael's with a 50% coupon :)

To apply the print on to the canvas, I used Mod Podge. This took two people. We quickly covered the canvas with a layer. As we finished one section we layed out the print on top. We used a credit card to smooth it all out and let it sit for a bit. Then we covered the top with Mod Podge to get a matte finish.
And voila! A canvas print!

It is now up in our room and I love it! 

Definitely unique and personal!
I later thought that this would be sooo cool with a sports ticket or special movie ticket!!

Thanks for all your help Grandma!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wish List

It is that time of year again... gift giving.
One of my favorite things about Christmas is spoiling my family with gifts. 
While it can get stressful, it is fun for the most part.
This is not something I have ever done but for the blog I am willing to make an exception. 
I created a wish was fun to do but hopefully it will make shopping easier this year ;)
All you have to do is click on the source at the bottom to find the website. 

Even if you have never met me, hopefully this can serve as a spring board for gift ideas.
happy shopping!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Little Man

Oh my! I could go on about this little man forever!
He is my cousin's baby so I don't know what the legit name for that relationship is but he is sooo adorable.
He was so content trowing rocks in our driveway! He is almost 2 and his vocabulary grew while he was at our house. He learned Lewie, Rexx (sounds more like Resss), and of course, Margo ... no Neil yet.

While playing with his remote control car, I snapped a few pictures.

He loves and misses his Tia who lives with us now.

I have to tell this story:
He found a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal and started to play with it.
We would say "give him a hug" and things like that.
He would hold it close to him and give him nose kisses.
He said, " I like him" and his mom said, "do you love him?" He said, plain and simple, " I don't."
And of course we all burst out laughing!

He spent time admiring Lewie as he fetched in the house. He stared at him while in his cage. But his smiles turned to fear as soon as lewie got near him.

He knows how to use an iphone to play games and to play music...its kinda creepy..
 But isn't he adorable!!
We loved having him in the house. Come back soon!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Baylor Homecoming is one of my favorite days of the year. 
So many fun, family things to do and while we have done most of them through out the years, the parade is my favorite.

The floats are always interesting. Student groups work for months to put them together. There are often moving parts, water features, and of course themes!

This was the winner this year. The red wagon full of toys. I didn't get all of it but there was a moving rubix cube, a real life mario in a Nintendo gameboy,and even an abacus!

And we had another special guest this year - Ryan. Marquie's nephew.
It was so fun to have a little guy around! 
He repeats everything! He throws hard! He loves the puppies! He is so cute!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lake House Bedroom

This one is especially for you gramma and mom shanks. 
I ran across this picture here and thought of the lake house. 
Whimsical, unique, and inexpensive.
Just a thought.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


 I am not a fan of September Christmases. You know, when Christmas seems to appear in the stores while we are still at 105 degrees! I try not to fall into that trap. I DO NOT decorate early. I DO NOT buy decorations early. 

I DO shop for gifts early.

When thinking about gift giving, I usually try to make gifts.
Especially for coworkers and cousins because there are so many of them.

So this year, I got a head start. 
I decided to make a set of four coasters for each person.

White tiles at The HD are about $0.16 each.
So a whole set, including the scrapbook paper cost around $0.80.

It is so simple. You paint Mod Podge clue on the back of the cut paper. You lay it down on the tile and paint on a coat of glue on top. Let it dry for 48 hours and do another coat. 

These are some of the fun tiles I made. I realized a little late that you could personalize them with messages, names, etc.

 Here are some Christmas ones. 

Add felt or cork on the bottom and you have a whole set of new coasters. 

Simple yet satisfying!