Our First Christmas

This past week has been quite a blur. With a 48ish hour trip to Texas at the beginning of the week (more on this another day), it was nice to have a relaxing Christmas here in Indy with my sister and her family.
Christmas Eve we went to their Candlelight Service and it brought back memories of Christmas Eve services back at home in Germany.
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Cheese Fondue: a Christmas Eve Tradition I hope we will carry on for a long time!
Christmas morning we woke up (not too bright and early) to have our own little first Christmas morning celebration together before heading back over to Dawn’s for the day. With Loren’s help, I had prepped this amazing Baked French Toast Casserole the night before and I popped it in the oven at some point before we read the Christmas story and exchanged the gifts we had for each other. I’m looking forward to many more Christmas mornings with my man! 🙂
At some point, we headed over to Dawn’s for the afternoon and got to videochat with my family in Germany for a bit before diving into the delicious dinner Dawn made.
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Currently the best snuggler. 🙂
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This little guy never stops moving!
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My sister should be an interior decorator. I mean seriously, just look at that fireplace!
Other than the pictures above, we were so distracted playing with the nephews and having a relaxing time that, regrettably, we didn’t really take any more pictures.
The day after Christmas, we headed over to Cincinnati to celebrate Christmas with Loren’s side of the family.  Once again, we failed miserably in the picture-taking department, but nonetheless had a grand low-key weekend visiting with family opening presents, playing doctor with the nieces & nephew, catching up, taking a Tour of Lights, playing games, watching movies, and trying P.F. Chang’s for the first time. It was kind of hard to head back home after such a great week, but it’s always nice to come back to our cozy little home after being away.
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Maybe this adorable picture of Abby will make up for the lack of other pictures. 😉
It’s so fun to have both sides of the family just a short road trip away! The Lord has truly blessed us and we had a wonderful first married Christmas.

Burlap Stockings

My attempt at making burlap stockings was aided by my wonderful cousin Dennae, and we had a blast! Naturally, we had Christmas music and all the Christmas lights around the apartment on to help motivate us.

Making these stockings was rather easy and here are the steps we took:

1. Using either a stocking you already have to guide or your great artistic skill, trace/cut out the 2 sides of the stocking.

Dennae volunteered to cut out our stockings freehand, and did a pretty impressive job. Scissors and paper with no directed guidance can be dangerous in my hand.

2. With either a sewing machine or by hand, sew the two sides together.
I don’t have a sewing machine, and the only needles & thread I had were from an emergency sewing kit (I’m cheap, I know!). While there were several needles and bountiful colors to choose from, the threads were all rather short, so we had to use multiple colors for each stocking. But once right side out, you can’t even tell!
3. Flip the stocking right side out.
4. Iron to smooth out, if necessary (my burlap was super wrinkled).
5. Try on the stocking to ensure it’s the right size.
6. Add embellishments as meets your fancy. Apparently none have met my fancy yet. I need to find some.
And that’s it! Pretty Easy! My friend Danielle over at Mostly Sewing did a way better job of making burlap stockings (with awesome embellishments!!) last year with a sewing machine, so go check out her tutorial here.

Checking Things Off

First off, I would like to say Happy 35th Anniversary to my wonderful parents! They have one of the godliest example of marriage that I know and I am so grateful that I am on one of theirs!
My girl Dennae came up to Indy for the weekend. It was delightful to see my best friend/cousin/partner in crime/twin and catch up, play games, watch movies, make & eat food (our favorite) and just bask in each other’s company.
“We are cousins because our mothers could not handle us as sisters.” – Dennae
And she helped me cross a few things off my December goals list–one of which was making burlap stockings. I don’t have a sewing machine and the only needles and thread I had were from an emergency sewing kit, but we made those stockings all right! But I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post.
All in all, this weekend was very relaxing and refreshing, just what we need before these next couple of crazy weeks. Trips to Cincy and Texas coming up with Christmas festivities with family galore!

Wedding: First Look

Since we’ve been married for 7 months now, I guess it’s time to post some wedding pictures. So be prepared for some picture-overloaded posts over the next few weeks!

Date: May 12, 2014
Location: Greer City Park, Greer, SC

All photo credits Cleland Studios.

The most beautiful, perfect day!
The walk down to meet him and him turning around at this moment may have been the only time I actually had butterflies in my stomach that day.
We exchanged wedding gifts; he gave me a beautiful pearl drop and diamond necklace, and I gave him a fine leather watch.
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One of my favorites. 🙂
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Another of my favorites. 🙂
Check back in soon for the next series of pictures of the bridal party!
Missed other Wedding posts? Check them out here:
Part II: Bridal Party
Part III: Ceremony
Part IV: Reception

All photos courtesy of Cleland Studios

Fifteen Fun Facts

Everyone has random facts about them that only close friends or family know about, so I thought I would share a few of mine with you!

    1. It can take me 2 hrs to drink a cup of coffee, or any hot drink, for that matter.
    2. I despise clutter–don’t need it? Throw it away!
    3. I don’t like small paperclips.
    4. I’m OCD about my kitchen cupboards & counters and mostly everything except my dresser drawers.
    5. Touching velvet makes my hair stand on end.
    6. I am practically blind without my contacts.
    7. Sometimes I mispronounce words that everyone knows how to pronounce (I blame this on growing up in a different country).
    8. I will almost always pick chicken. I love chicken!
    9. I drive a manual car.
    10. Shopping is one of my least favorite things to do (except grocery shopping at ALDI).
    11. I always have music on.
    12. When I sing songs, I throw in my own lyrics because I can’t remember the real words.
    13. Quite often I say “right” when I mean “left” and vice versa. I do know which direction is which.
    14. I tend to write in narrative form.
    15. I add things I’ve already done to my checklists just so I can cross them off.

What are some fun facts about you?

Happiest Season of All

Well, we got our tree! The cutest little 4 ft tree you ever did see. As we were putting the tree in the back of Loren’s RAV4, some friendly man called to us, “Hey, the tree is supposed to get tied to the top of the car, isn’t it? Tradition!” True, but the tree would have been lost up there and we didn’t have rope. We did consider taking the tree into Starbucks with us for fun, but chickened out in the end. We want to continue patronizing that Starbucks.
We cranked up some Christmas music and decorated it simply with white lights, a burlap garland, candy canes and a paper star that Loren made.
We did put a few other decorations out, but maybe I will save those for another post on another day. I love Christmas!

December Goals

I know I’ve already posted a couple times in December, but it’s not too late to talk about some goals for this month. Since it is December, a lot of these goals will obviously be geared towards Christmas, but I have some other plans in mind as well.
  1. Get a Christmas tree and finally decorate for Christmas (hopefully tonight!!).
  2. Learn how to really cut a paper snowflake.
  3. Make burlap stockings (so much burlap left from our wedding!).
  4. Make some Christmas goodies I’ve never attempted before.
  5. Drink hot chocolate & play games by the light of the Christmas tree.
  6. Find some Christmas traditions to start as a new family.
  7. Make some more arm knit scarves for friends and family.
  8. Organize our important document drawer.
  9. Meet up with as many family members as possible over the Christmas days.
  10. Give more than receive.

Broski Birthday

Today is this guy’s birthday.
Back in the day, he was my little brother, pioneer & Indian dress up buddy, fort builder, partner in crime (ashamedly, I did on occasion let him get in trouble when I should have), and everything else that only a brother is. We didn’t always get along very well, but growing up and maturing has helped in that area quite a bit. 😉
Today, he is still my little brother, even if he is taller than me, and we still have fun whenever we rarely see each other, as he is way far away across the ocean pursuing his dream to be a rescue mission helicopter pilot in Germany.

I’m so thankful you were born 21 years ago, William! I pray that you will keep working hard and honor the Lord as you seek Him throughout your life. Love you!