Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas, see you next year!

So sad that Christmas has come and gone, I always wish it lasted a little longer! This year it seemed to fly by extra quick! I realized that I had forgotten to post a picture of a really special gift that my mom made for me, when I had posted the pictures of some of my amazing presents! The picture was on her camera, not mine, which is why I didn't have it to share. But not to fear, I retrieved it. 


My mom surprised me with a shadowbox of the outfit that I wore on my first Christmas in 1988. She had taken a picture of Averi in my outfit and put her picture and my first Christmas picture in the outfit inside the box with the actual outfit! It was absolutely adorable, and it really meant a lot. I will take a closer picture so you can really see what it looks like. Needless to say, Ave looks so much more adorable in the outfit then I did. :-)

Now, here are some pictures I snapped from Christmas day, while playing with my new camera (some are better than others because I was messing with the settings, and there is SO much to learn!): 



(This is Odie, my soon to be mother-in-law!)






The sweatshirt I am wearing is the one that David ordered for me, I LOVE it! 








-Love to you all-

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

White Elephant Photos!

As promised, here are a few of the better pictures from White Elephant! 

Table full of WE gifts, as you can see, we have all shapes and sizes!

Guess the poop shoot frame. I gave you a fair warning last time.. our gifts can sometimes be downright WEIRD! Mom decided to frame pictures from her colonoscopy, and of course thought it was HILARIOUS! yuck. Stacy was the lucky winner of that one.

DJ received a beautiful...erm..angel(?) salt shaker. HA! I'm sure he will proudly display it in his kitchen. 

Aunt Sharon was the lucky one to get the bag full of belly button lint! Yum! LOL! Are you convinced we are crazy yet?! 

David posing with his Hillbilly dentist, what a handsome duo! 

Hahaha! Lindsay got stuck with the framed AND autographed picture of "Osama's mama".

Odie and her bag full of used makeup, just in case she left home without her own! lol. 


And Nana was the proud winner of the latest and greatest (and most used!) Ipad! This was one of mine and David's genius creations! 

And side note, Mom and Nana came over today to pick me up to go get fitted for my wedding dress and they just happened to slyly decorate our apartment with ALL of the White Elephant gifts that were left at the house. So this evening we have been finding these treasures all over, in the most random spots you could think of. Hanging from light strings, sitting on shelves, hanging on the Christmas tree, etc, etc.. I just have one thing to say.. Revenge is sweet, mommy dearest! Hope you are ready to have all of these treasures return home, they miss you and Nana. 



Man, what a fine looking family we are! We come by it naturally. Haha! 
Hope you enjoyed a few of the pictures from the annual White Elephant gift exchange, it is just a blast!
Now, it's off to bed I go, gotta wake up early for a doctor appointment in the morning. 

-Love to you all-


I'm back!

Hola my lovely readers! 
It has been far too long, and I have totally missed blogging for the last ten days! A ton has happened, of course, including Christmas! My foot is in a boot for 10-12 weeks, it is a bummer, but at least I am able to take it off to shower and sleep. I am not supposed to be carrying Averi, or anything really for that matter but if you know me, you know that I am just a wee bit hard headed. It is near impossible not to carry my little love bug around. I was so blessed to have had my parents and my Nana's help all last week so I could get some rest, it definitely helped because the pain is not as severe as it was. Thank God! 

Anyways, it was a very busy week (even with my broken foot!) up until Christmas Eve, imagine that. But Christmas was so worth it! My brother, DJ, who you can also read about in this post, came in on Friday and I was able to visit and catch up with him which is always so nice. I genuinely love every minute I get to spend with my whole family and it is not often we are all under the same roof at the same time anymore! Christmas is really the only day that happens. Christmas Eve, we all went the five o' clock Christmas Eve service at Church, and as usual, it was just lovely. It will never get old, and is a tradition that I hold dear to my heart. David's parents and sister-in-law even joined us for Church and soup after, as well! It was so much fun. After the service we all herded back to my parents to enjoy the yummy soups (another more recent tradition over the last few years), Nana made her baked potato soup, and Mom made the Crawfish Chowder, and let me tell you, both are to die for! After stuffing myself miserable, I made my truffles for Christmas day. This time I did french vanilla cake mix with white chocolate coating, and sprinkled candy cane sprinkles on top. They turned out SO cute and were delicious! I also made a mexicorn dip and a banana coconut upside down cake. I am going to dedicate one whole post to my creations and their recipes from Christmas, one whole post to White Elephant, and probably just a general Christmas photos post. Too much to squeeze into a single post. 

Christmas Day was an absolute blast! David, Averi and I woke up and opened our presents to one another and our presents to her at our apartment before we headed to my parents. It filled my heart with pure joy just watching Averi with her stocking and her presents, and just being able to wake up this Christmas and share it with this precious baby girl had me feeling extra blessed. Now, David being the pretty-close-to-perfect fiance that he is, totally surprised me with my Canon EOS Rebel T3i bundle! Needless to say, I was in tears. He had me convinced that he wasn't able to get it and that he promised I could get it after the first of the year. He had labeled the box that my camera and accessories were in, To: Averi, Love: Daddy. Naturally, I thought nothing of it. Just thought it was adorable he bought her something. Then, when that gift was next to open, he asked me if I would help Averi open it. I did, and was beside myself and shocked to find what was inside! My amazing camera and a ton of goodies to go with it! I cannot even tell you how excited I was. As if that wasn't enough, David REMEMBERED a sweatshirt that I had pinned on pinterest about a month ago, that I just adored! What did he do? Found out where to order it, and did just that. He really made me feel so special, and I cannot thank him enough. I love you, LD! After we finished opening gifts we headed to my parents to eat breakfast and spend the day over there. We opened gifts there, and once again were blessed beyond belief. Got so many wonderful, and meaningful gifts. And Averi is stocked with new toys and new clothes, to say the least! We lounged around most of the day at my parents, visiting and grazing like big ole cows. Haha. I am enjoying it while I can, because come Jan 1st, our diet and exercise regimen will be in FULL swing. No cheat days until our wedding! My uncle Jim came into town and stopped by to visit for a while which was so much fun (pictures to come!). Dinner and White Elephant consumed the rest of the evening, and as I said above, White Elephant will have a post to itself, so hope you are ready for some humor! :-)

Wrapping it up with a few pictures of some of my awesome gifts!

Um, how freaking lucky am I? This is the ADORABLE Betsey Johnson clutch that Allison got me! 

Isn't this plaque just beautiful? And I love the book of prayers for couples. Thank you Nana! 

A brand new NIV study bible!! I desperately needed a new bible and was STOKED to unwrap this one!

Oh my gosh, if you have a baby, and have used the Ergo carrier, you will not argue when I say it is THE BEST! We had been waiting for a sale to buy one, but thanks to Sabine and Andrew, we will be waiting no longer! Thank you Romero's, for saving our backs! :-)

This one speaks for itself! And I about jumped out of my boot! I am SO excited to use it with the pictures from my new DSLR camera! Mom & Dad, you guys never disappoint, thank you so much!

 And, the beauty! I forgot to set up all the accessories I got to go with it, in the picture! 

The new toy storage we built to house all of Averi's new toys! (Those are all her toys and clothes from Christmas minus her purse, and picnic basket, which are in our room!) Blessed? I know so.
The tub storage idea I got from none other than... Pinterest! And David made it come to life for me! It is absolutely perfect in her room, and is just great for all the toys. And she still has plenty of room left in them. I highly recommend it if you have a fairly large space to put it. (Unless you used smaller tubs, then it would obviously fit in a smaller space.)

Riley, the Reindeer!

And I saved the best for last! :-) Ave in her adorable outfit from Grandma!

We got several other goodies, they just don't look as good in pictures, we greatly appreciate every single gift we received though! And thank you to those of you who gave gift cards, they are always put to good use! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families and got some fun gifts, and I hope you remembered to say, "Happy Birthday," to Jesus! He is the real reason for the season! 

-Love to you all-

Friday, December 16, 2011

What a bummer!

Well, I had a lovely day up until around 6pm. Averi and I had lounged around at home until about noon and then we got ready and went over to my Parent's house to go to a craft show with Mom and Nana. The craft show was fun, not much handmade stuff, but as always, I enjoyed spending time with Mom and Banana. We had just gotten back from the craft show and my Dad got home from work minutes after we got there. The doorbell rang, (TJ, my parent's yorkie had decided to sneak out through the front door when we came home, and a lady had found him and was returning him) and I was headed to answer the door when I tripped and went crashing down the stairs. Luckily, there are only three steps but regardless, my foot and ankle took a pretty hard fall. I ended up in the ER with the diagnosis being a broken bone in my foot. :-( The pain has been excruciating and trying to maneuver on crutches is like me trying to dance...pitiful. The pain medicine has at least taken the edge off for now, but I can still feel the throbbing pain within the splint. They couldn't treat me in the ER because I needed to see a specialist due to the bone that I had broken being a tricky one to treat. Lucky me! All they were able to do was wrap my ankle and foot and then put me into what they described as a fiberglass splint. The doctor prescribed pain medicine and gave me orders to put absolutely no weight on my foot until I was able to see the specialist on Monday. There you have it. What an exciting start to my weekend. I am just so very thankful I was not holding Averi when I fell. And thank you, Mom, Dad, and Nana for all of your help this evening with everything. I'd be lost without my family.  


If you would, please keep me in your prayers for good news with the orthopedic specialist on Monday, and for a quick recovery. Having a broken foot, and having to use crutches with an almost 7 month old baby in a second story apartment is going to be a challenge. I will manage though, I always do. I hope everyone else has had a more peaceful start to the weekend. :-)

-Love to you all-

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Admiration

Today was a busy Wednesday for Averi and I. We went with Nana and my mom to San Antonio to help finish up the packing and moving of the last of Nana's things to her new house. This post won't be too long, as I am pretty worn out, but I wanted to take just a moment and let those of you that read my blog know what an amazing lady my grandmother is. Nana has been through her fair share of trying times over the past few years and her endless amount of strength never ceases to amaze me. Her walk with Christ, and her fearless trust in the Lord is such an inspiration to me, and a sense of calm when things seem to be on the verge of "crazy". I am so lucky to have been able to grow up so close to my grandmother and especially over the past few years, I feel as if our bond is closer than ever. She has always been one of my biggest supporters (in anything and everything I do) and I know I can always count on her for some encouragement when I'm feeling down. 

I knew that today was going to be a mentally and emotionally draining day for Nana especially, and although that was inevitable, I wanted to be there with her. Having Averi there, I didn't get to help with as much manual labor as I would have liked to, but I wanted Nana to know that I was there for her. For all the times she has supported me, I wanted her know that I was there as support for her. Throughout the day, there were several times when Nana could have gotten frazzled or things didn't quite go our way (ex: no electricity, and unexpected expenses), and not once did she miss a beat. She was so kind-hearted and compassionate (as she always is) to the movers, to the electric company, to everyone. I was reminded that though we may have a few potholes and speed bumps on our journey, it doesn't mean we won't get to where we are going. I know sometimes it is hard to believe that God wouldn't give us anything we couldn't handle, but I have learned that God doesn't expect us to handle things on our own. HE will always be there to handle things with us. He wants us to want his help.

Like I said before, I just wanted to take a moment and share the pride and love I have for my grandmother. I am so blessed to have her in my life, and to have such a wonderful relationship with her. Nana, I know you will read this, I just want you to know that you are so special to me, and I love you very much. I could go on and on, but I'll leave it at that. Thank you for all you do! 

 

-Love to you all-

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Time!

Every Christmas is exciting for me, but this Christmas I have so much more that God has blessed me with:
  • We have our beautiful daughter who will be experiencing her first Christmas this year!
  • It is the first and only year I will enjoy Christmas as an engaged lady with my FIANCE! Love the sound of that! 
  • It is the first year I get to buy a gift for my FIRST nephew, and label it, "love, Auntie Ashlee"! 
  • And my brother who lives out of state will be spending a whole week with us in Austin for Christmas!
Those are just some of the key points that make this Christmas a little more meaningful. Of course the reason for Christmas in general is the most important thing to remember during the Holidays, but I am definitely thanking The Lord for the added perks this year. Of course, just like every year, I absolutely love being with my family and enjoying all of the holiday cheer with them. 

Every year since I can remember, we have always gone to the 9:00 o'clock Christmas Eve service at our church (Bethany United Methodist), and then would head back to my parents to visit. This year we are going to the 5 o'clock service so that we can come back afterwards to visit and eat dinner without being rushed. And not to mention, that way the babies can still get to bed on time so Santa will come! :-) Christmas morning we all get to Mom and Dad's fairly early to open presents and have our traditional Christmas breakfast. Breakfast consists of Mom's delicious breakfast casserole and a TO DIE FOR pinch cake. Breakfast on Christmas morning is another one of those traditions we have done since I was a wee little girl. Now, later on in the afternoon, the rest of the family comes over (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, etc..) and we do dinner and White Elephant. I am posting some pictures below of past White Elephants and let me just warn you, our family does not do nice or sentimental White Elephant gifts! It is supposed to be funny gag-type gifts, and that we definitely do! It is so much fun and hilarious to watch, and I cannot wait to see what the family comes up with this year! Here are some pictures from past White Elephants: 

Pretty funny, right?! I'll be sure to post pictures from the treasures we come across this year! I have a couple pictures of our Christmas decorations and of Averi and Daddy working on Christmas lights, that I will post with my entry tomorrow! As for now, I'm hitting the hay, Averi and I have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow!

-Love to you all-



Monday, December 12, 2011

Say YES to the Dress!

I totally said "YES!" to THE dress on Saturday! How exciting is that?! My appointment was at 10:15am at Belle Saison Bridal on Saturday morning. I was so lucky to have my sisters, Allison (who came even though it was her 25th Birthday!), my mom, my Nana, my Aunt Lee Ann, and Aunt Sharon there with me to try on dresses. We spent at least two hours looking at dresses and then trying them on. It was SO much fun and as I continued to try on dresses, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to make such a hard decision! I had tried on several that were in the "love it" category, and I was starting to forget which was which. I had one last dress to try on, and then I was going to narrow it down to about three. I figured if I had narrowed it down, I could then bring back my bridesmaids, and have them help me make my decision. Well, needless to say, I narrowed it down alright.. to THE ONE! That very last dress I tried on was "it". As soon as I pulled it up and on, I got butterflies in my stomach, and a big cheesy grin took over my face. It just felt so right, and so me. As soon as I walked out in the dress, my family made it very clear that I had made the right decision! It was an indescribable feeling, and I am so grateful I had so many special people there to share it with. I cannot wait to get to wear it on our special day, and I am so excited to see David's face when he sees it! I would totally post a picture of it, because I am just that proud of it, but I want it to be a surprise for everyone! And, I know Little D reads my blog so it is a no-can-do! Just know that it is absolutely gorgeous and so me! Thank you, Stacy, Lindsay, Allison, Mom, Nana, Aunt Lee Ann, and Aunt Sharon for sharing in such a special day for me! I had so much fun. And another thank you to Aunt Lee Ann for snapping pictures of all the dresses so we could look at them later! 

I feel so much more pumped to plan decorations and such now that I've picked out my dress. It's kind of funny. I feel like I need to make sure the decorations and colors compliment my dress! I may not have all the details planned yet, but there are a few things I know for sure... I have picked out the dress of my dreams, we will be getting married at a beautiful venue that represents both of us so well, we have the support and love of our wonderful families, and last but not least, I am marrying the man of my dreams (I am so not kidding! I used to write my name with his last name in high school, just to see what it would look like, how cheesy, right!?)! 


Backtracking a little to Friday evening... I wanted to mention this because it was very special to me.. I had been at my parents for a few hours and didn't get back home until later that evening. Lately, I have had a lot on my mind and have been struggling with some anxieties which I have just kept to myself. Well, I pretty much broke down in tears and frustration to David and shared with him what was on my mind and the struggles that have been troubling me lately. He listened to me go on and on and was so caring and passionate, it really made me feel so good. Of course, I have known all along that David is the person I have wanted to share my forever with and it was at one point in our conversation (more like my vent session) that he totally reaffirmed that for me. He said, "Just know, I will always be by your side through everything. If you were to get into an accident and be paralyzed from the neck down, I will bathe you and I will feed you, and I will stay by your side forever. You are the love of my life." It really made me feel secure. I have been struggling with some physical insecurities of my body changes after pregnancy and it has definitely had me down and feeling pretty blue at times. I also believe that the physical insecurities led to general insecurities and my mind was always on overdrive. Having my vent session with David and being able to hear the way he felt about me again definitely was a pick me up. He is so very special to me, and I am so very excited for the day I get to call him my husband! 



And my favorite picture from that night, because we are both beaming and so happy...


That's all, folks! It is way past my bedtime! Hoping to update tomorrow about Christmas stuff! 

-Love to you all-

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wacky Wednesday!

Allison brought her new camera over this evening for our "Weekly Wednesday" visit, and she definitely captured some wacky pictures! 



These come from the fisheye feature on her new camera! Don't we all look so attractive?!

And while the guys were outside putting up Christmas lights, we were inside photographing Averi, as usual! She was a little ham for the camera tonight and Auntie Alli got some cute pictures, in addition to the wacky ones! 






Check out that eyebrow shape, just like David!



Averi & Aunt Alli being goofy!

And my faaaaavvvooorites of the night are:


love, love, love these!!

That concludes this post full of pictures! Hope you enjoyed them as much as we did taking them! You can never have too many pictures!

-Love to you all-