Sunday, January 29, 2012

Crafty: Christmas Gifts

I love, love, love, love making homemade gifts for family & friends. Chris & I worked hard to make these gifts very personal for each person they were going to.

Here's a few of this years Christmas gifts:

Mom had been wanting a updated picture of Me & Kevin, so Chris snapped a few shots of us over Thanksgiving. This canvas project was actually really easy. I liked how it turned out.

This was one of Chris' stocking stuffers. I had a lot of fun making this for him! This one actually only has 51 reasons, because I accidentally left one out!!!

I made this for my father-n-law. We knew he loved licorice so we filled it with these little round pieces of licorice that I bought from World Market. He loved it!

(For Father-n-law)

We made these picture candle holders for my mother-n-law and my mema. The way the tutorial said to do it didn't quite turn out. We actually just got the images printed onto a transparency. I love the way they turned out! I'd like to make more of these in the future.

I had so much fun making Emma's gift! Hopefully this will last her for a few years!

I made these ornaments with our wedding invitations. We still have so many leftover invitations that I wanted to recycle them instead of just throwing them away. This is my second project with our invitations. I gave these to all of my bridesmaids (Note: if you haven't received one yet you have one coming your way!)! I used the homemade boxes in the very first image to put them in.

It only seems appropriate to share this box next since it's the first creation from my invitations. It's not perfect, but it worked out great for Kerri's gift! I'll probably make a few more of these little boxes.  I even thought it was clever to just "tie a knot" instead of a bow in the ribbon. Get it?

I loved how these mini Polaroid magnets turned out! I didn't use the same backing as the link below used, but they still turned out great. I actually just remembered that I used our wedding invitation for the backing! I guess that means I've found 3 ways to use them so far :)

I made a few other gifts this year, but I forgot to take pictures of everything. I hope next year to be just as crafty, but maybe get an earlier start on it so I don't feel so rushed!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Change: New Years (a little belated!)

(We're such rebels...except for Matt, because he's eating healthy!)

I can always count on spending time with Matt & Kay on New Years. They are not even my "fall back" they are usually my "go to!" Unfortunately, my dear husband couldn't join us, because he had to work. We were really lazy and just watched a (bad) movie and hung out.

The next day we watched the UNC game, played chicken foot (feet?), and made banana splits! It was quite a low key New Years, but I was in good company!

I started off my New Year with some of my best friends! I didn't really make resolutions, but I do have a few goals that I hope to meet this year. Here's my 2012 list:

Finish meeting my weight lose/health goals: I'm very proud to say that I lost a lot of weight in 2011 that I had put on in the last few years. I'm really only a few pounds away from meeting that goal. My main goal this year is to continue to eat healthy and get fit.

Pass my Praxis Math test & apply to ECU's distant education program

Read more: If you have any good recommendations or would like to share a book with me on my kindle I'd love to hear from you!

Be more crafty: I crafted a lot in 2011, but I hope to craft something new in 2012. Maybe a new skirt is in my future!

Budget & keep up with receipts

Visit my friend in Utah

Save some money

Backup up documents/pictures on computer & Burn VHS videos to dvds: I've been avoiding this one for way too long!

Enjoy the beach more

Celebrate Maria's 30th Birthday in a BIG way!

Take pictures with film: Now I just need to buy that film camera that I'm eying.

Be more faithful in prayer

Purge more!

Give more (unselfishly)

Try new recipes

Go somewhere for our Anniversary

Write more letters to family and friends

Get on facebook less

Appreciate family and friends more

I have plenty to do this year! I should probably get off the computer and start on my list ;)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Change: Christmas Traditions II

Since we didn't get to go home for Christmas this year we decided just to make it a relaxing weekend. Originally it was just going to be the two of us, but it happened to work out for our friend Brian to come visit us. We've officially spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together now, so I guess that makes him officially apart of our family!

On Friday, Chris & I decided to take a nice long bike ride. One thing that I love about this city is that there are plenty of places to ride a bike. We decided to take our bikes on the city trail. Chris thinks we ended up riding around 10 miles that morning. We had a blast! I can't express how much fun we have had riding our bikes together! Every time I pass Chris on my bike I can't help but start singing the tune that plays in "The Wizard of Oz" when the wicked which is coming flying by on her bike!!! I'm so glad we decided to get each other bikes for Christmas!

We may look dorky, but we're having FUN!

It almost looks more like a Fall day than a Winter day. 

We opened our gifts to each other when we got back from our bike ride. 

Brian came later that evening. We enjoyed pizza and watched a movie together. Later that night we went to Church.

Sunday, Chris and I were planning on going to Church, but I guess we needed the sleep. We didn't wake up until 9:30. We basically watched movies all day and prepared a nice dinner that evening. Monday was still pretty low key, but we did leave the house and went to Fort Fisher for a little bit before Brian left. This was the first time I've been to the beach in a while. I actually love the beach this time of year, because it's so quiet and peaceful!

Overall I'd say we had a wonderful Christmas! It was spent with so many people that we love!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Change: Christmas Traditions Part I

I have never been a person that likes to change traditions. My family Christmas traditions began to change a few years back when our family dynamic changed. I also became apart of a new family, so I actually added new traditions along with keeping some of the old ones. One of the first major changes was when we stopped eating breakfast at my Mema's house on Christmas morning. That was a very hard tradition for me to change. I loved spending time with my family and enjoying a nice homemade breakfast together. Mema always made us homemade gravy and biscuit, which has always been one of my favorites.

My family has always did a majority of our celebration on Christmas Eve. We eat a nice dinner together and we open gifts. We also opened our gifts with just mom and dad too. Once Santa clause stopped coming on Christmas morning things slowed down a lot. Now that I'm married we still spend Christmas Eve with my family and then we spend Christmas day with Chris' family. Even though I've had to let go of some traditions I have also added some great new traditions with Chris' family. Change isn't always a bad thing.

This year the biggest change came. Chris was  on call at the hospital this past week. Thankfully he is a chaplain at the small hospital in town and he didn't get called in over Christmas at all. Being on call meant that we couldn't leave Wilmington this Christmas. We actually celebrated Christmas a week early with our families and Christmas weekend was more quiet and relaxing. Our friend Brian came up and stayed with us, so that was a nice addition to our Christmas weekend. Most likely we will experience many more early Christmas' in the future, but the older I get the more I welcome new traditions! I just hope to always carry a little part of the old with the new!

Here's a few pictures from our Christmas with our family:

We drove to Rocky Mount the weekend before Christmas on Friday night. Saturday we spent all day with Chris' family opening gifts and sharing a nice meal together.

(Ken & Emma)


(Chris & I)

We tried to give very creative and personal gifts this year. We made this little bag of coal and filled it with licorice, which my father-n-law loves! Chris also made his dad a special gift using one of my images.

Kristi loved the gift Emma picked out for her!

(Memaw & Emma)
We made a little snow globe for Jess & Lee that had a giftcard to a few different restaurants and we are giving them movie tickets. We figured it would be nice for them to have a little date night!

I made Emma this fun little hopscotch mat. This is something that she can use for hopefully quite a few years!

Emma opening some presents with her dad (Lee). She got lots of cool gifts of course :)

(Emma & Daddy (Lee))

Emma loved Chris' singing bowl that he got for Christmas.

Chris' cool new hat!

My awesome new kindle. Now I just need to order (loan) some books :)

We also got a new vacuum cleaner.  We were very excited to get this new toy! When we got home Chirs wanted to be the first one to use it, which was kind of cute! I didn't mind him cleaning one bit.

I love all of Emma's different expressions in these images!!!!

We got caught by mommy (Jess) putting Emma's UNC chearleading outfit on! I LOVE IT :) We also taught her to say "Go Heels!"

(Emma & I)

(Emma & Uncle Ye Ye (Chris) )

Chris & I went to Church on Sunday and then we headed to Mema's house to celebrate Christmas with her, my mom, and my brother.

Mom had been wanting to few updated pictures of Chris & I, so Chris snapped a few of us when we came home for Thanksgiving. I surprised her with this cool canvas that I made for her.

Kevin & Chris both got these very cool hats!

I'm not sure how long ago this tradition started, but we give Kevin penguin boxers every year. This year the plastic penguin kind of gave the gift away, but I couldn't resist!

We all got swiss army knives for Christmas!

(Mom & I)

We try to get a family picture around Christmas. I sure hate that the rest of the family wasn't with us this day, but I'm glad we still had fun with it! This was Kevin's idea!

This was our shot at a "normal" family picture. They don't always turn out like you expect, but we sure won't forget this one!

(Mema & Mom)

(Mom, Kevin, & Me)

We got lots of very nice gifts, but more importantly we were very thankful to be home with our family!