Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Tis the Season


This is our first Christmas as a married couple, and our first compromise in tradition was the tree...real or fake? I have never had a fake tree, and Nicky has never had a real tree. We decided on artificial, because it makes the most sense for apartment living. We braved the crowds of shoppers on Black Friday to purchase our first Christmas tree! Here she is in all her 6.5 ft, pre-lit glory!

Nicky believes tree toppers should lean. I think it reminds him of his favorite Christmas movie - The Grinch

Beautiful collection of ornaments

 A little fuzzy, but very exciting!

Our handmade stockings! (A wedding gift)

I love holiday place mats!
This season has been so much fun! It's exciting to start traditions with Nicky. Another thing we're trying to do this season is follow an Advent Calendar. I got the idea from my friend Jenny (who inspires me to do all things creative). In her words, the calendar is a way to celebrate Christmas by spending less, giving more, worshiping fully, and loving all. A few things on our calendar include reading the Christmas story from the Bible together, leaving a Christmas card and cookies on a few of our neighbors' doorsteps, watching a Christmas movie together, and calling a friend or relative that we haven't spoken to in a while. It's exciting to be intentional about celebrating Christ this Christmas. It sounds simple, but it's a concept that can get lost in the midst of chaos that people so often create during this time of year.

These are a few of my favorite things about Christmas:
1. Hot chocolate
2. Christmas movies (the television pretty much stays on Hallmark)
3. Christmas decor
4. Christmas musicals at local churches
5. Secret Santa in the office place
6. Wrapping presents
7. Baking
8. Time with family
9. The constant mention of Christ

Mexican Food :: Check!

November meant another dinner with some of my favorite girls in the whole world! Unfortunately (and as usual) our sweet Jamie was unable to be there with us, but as the holidays approach, we know we'll get to see her soon! We celebrate Anna's and Jenny's birthdays in November, and our waiter did not dissappoint with a little celebration!

Surprise! Her boyfriend had flowers delivered!

The talented gentleman serenaded Jenny and Anna with an opera-like "Happy Birthday" Spanish.

Beautiful birthday girls!
We finished off the night with cake, ice cream, and a few rounds of a super fun game called "Bananagrams". I'm looking forward to December with ALL the lovely ladies!

Anna comes to Houma!

I get really excited when any of my friends or family mentions that they'll be coming to visit us in Houma! Obviously we miss Lafayette and being near everyone, but we are creating a life here, and we like for the ones we love to see our home. My dear friend Anna came to visit at the beginning of November. As soon as she got here on Sunday night, we went out for dinner. The next morning, I made waffles and coffee, and we chatted in our pajamas until noon! I showed her around Houma, then we dropped by Hobby Lobby for wreath materials! Anna runs a restaurant in Lafayette and the decor is red and gold. These wreaths will adorn her restaurant doors this Christmas!

She later added large poinsettas to the center of the gold satin ribbon. Gorgeous!

She eventually made 8 more for the windows!
Thank you for coming, Anna! Can't wait til' next time!

Renaissance Festival

My parents' 29th wedding anniversary was October 24th. As a way to celebrate, they invited Nicky and I to join them for a Saturday at the Renaissance Festival in Robert, LA. Here are a few photos from day...

He surprised everyone with his skills!

I loved these puppets.

I thought her face was precious.
We had such a wonderful time, and can't wait to go back!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Is it too early...

...for Christmas decor?

I think not! Once Halloween is over (and cold weather begins), Christmas season officially starts in my book. My dear friend, Jenny, posted a fabulous DIY wreath on her blog, and I was immediately inspired! I already had most of the supplies, but after a quick trip to Hobby Lobby I was ready to go!

The detailed instructions for this project can be found by visiting the Haute Apple Pie blog. You'll notice that my berry branches and ribbon are different...I have a huge bolt of ivory satin material left over from my wedding, so I used that instead of burlap, and I chose berries that complimented the satin.

I am so proud of my wreath! The best part about it, in my opinion, is that it doesn't have to be perfect. DIY projects that require perfection are not the DIY projects for me. I hope you've been inspired to get creative this holiday season!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our First Halloween

This is our first Halloween as a married couple. Since we're in a new town and in an apartment complex, I really did not know what to expect as far as trick-or-treating would be concerned. To our delight, our complex hosted "Trick-or-Treat Around the Pond" on Saturday night. The residents were invited to bring bowls of candy and set up lawn chairs around the pond in our complex while the kiddos made the round. So, we racked up on the best chocolate Wal-Mart had to offer, I dressed up like a witch, and we enjoyed a nice evening around the pond.

Only the best! We didn't want to be stuck with nasty left-overs!

I can always count on my trusty witch costume.

We finished off the night with cheese and crackers, and watched Dracula. (Movie Recommendation: Skip it.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October on the Road: Part 3

Our final October adventure was on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Nicky's cousin, Ashley, and her husband, Bob, own a vacation home on the island. Last year, they started a tradition by inviting the Prather family to spend a few days there. Unfortunately, I was student teaching last year, but there was nothing stopping me this year! We spent our mornings on bike rides, visited a petting zoo, kayaked in the ocean, and had an amazing time.
Entering Hilton Head Island at sunset.

Sadie and Jack gearing up for a bike ride.

Ben on the swing...

Ben in the air!

Hilton Head's famous Lighthouse

Beautiful marina

Family photo! (Minus Mr. Blake, Mrs. Donna, and Mikey)

Gan and her boys

Crazy wind!

Meet Spiderman and Batman
Gan on the tandem!

Cycling through the trees

Swamp People goes Hilton Head

Zack and Jack checking out the horse

Charlie feeding the baby deer

He's so talented!

The guys went shrimping on Thursday night. They got home around 1 in the morning with an ice chest FULL of jumbo shrimp! This called for a celebratory shrimp boil...Louisiana style!
Four generations of lovely ladies!

A little sample of our boys' catch!

Nicky and Charlie in a glow sword fight!

Spiderman! (A.K.A. Jack Attack)

Zack, Nicky, and their cousin Ben, designed and ordered t-shirts for this new tradition of an annual trip. The guys presented them on Friday night.

Zack drew this amazing fleur-de-lis (shrimp net and 2 shrimp), and the quote on the bottom ("Shootin our Sunday Shot") is one of Pop's famous quotes.

Sadie in her new t-shirt!

Gan, Mr. Blake and Aunt Linda peeling shrimp!

Battle of the of the most intense games I've ever played. The Prather family is insanely competitive!

The guys in a huddle discussing an answer for Battle of the Sexes.

A dolphin! I had never seen one in person before! (Except at the zoo, and that doesn't count.)

Beautiful Hilton Head sunset.

Sadie catching some rays!

Nicky and Charlie on the tandem!

Nicky and Charlie at the Salty Dog Cafe
Charlie and Sadie walked over to our house with Gan on our first morning there. Sadie pushed her baby in that stroller almost everywhere she went.
We can't wait to go back next year!