Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Card 2014

Merry Christmas

We hope you are all taking time to enjoy this wonderful holiday season! It comes at a great time to be thankful for what has happened and look forward for what is to come. For us, it has been one eventful year. We spent last Christmas at the most magical place of all, Disney World, with my family. It was so great! You can read more about that HERE. We then immediately made the big move to Phoenix and even celebrated our first anniversary apart. It was a year to remember! Join us as we recap it-brought to you by the number 14!

F is for Fieldwork
I finished all my schoolwork and started my fieldwork experience. I completed two internships-one at a skilled nursing facility and the other in pediatrics. I fell in love with my second one and ended up taking a job with them.
Our weekdays were filled up but we took advantage of the perfect climate and spent most of our weekends hiking.

You can read about some of our hikes HERE, HERE, HERE, or HERE.

O is for Options and Stocks
Matt began his first career in finance. He spends most of his time helping clients. Throughout the year he got the chance to help teach the Series 7 and 63 to some new employees. Often around the dinner table I learned more about stocks and options than I ever thought I could.

U is for University Studies Complete!
In May we headed back to Kansas City for my graduation. I am DONE FOREVER!!! You can check out the recap HERE.

R if for Relaxing
We spent Memorial Day in San Diego relaxing on the beach and seeing the sights. You can read all about it HERE.

T is for Trip on the road
This summer we took a really cool road trip to the Pacific Northwest. If you didn't catch my posts on that start HERE.

E is for Equip
After a nice long vacation we came back to reality. Matt got back to work and I spent the next month equipping myself for boards by studying, studying, and more studying. The following month was spent waiting on my test results and licenses to come in. After receiving good news I got a start the career I have been wanting since I was 12.
While we were waiting for my license to come in, we took a trip up to Flagstaff. One of Matt's co-workers talked us into hiking the tallest peak in Arizona...Needless to say, we have taken a long break from hiking since then! You can check that out HERE.

E is for Excitement
This fall we added to our excitement and bought a house! You can read about that HERE and HERE.

N is for New Responsibilities
A few years ago Matt and I completed 25 x 25 bucket lists-25 things we want to do before we turn 25. One thing on my list is to host a major holiday. I got to practice at Thanksgiving hosting my grandma, grandma and great aunt and uncle. You can read about that HERE. I get to try a little bigger crowd at Christmas! I am so excited!

Here is to wishing you and yours the most blessed holiday! And don't forget the reason for the season. We have enjoyed a few visitors over the past year and are definitely excited for more. Let us know when you are up for a little adventure!! As always, you can follow my blog by typing in your email address at the sidebar under the heading "Follow my Blog." You will receive an emailed copy of every blog post I write. Talk to you all in 2015!

Isaiah 9:6-7
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Filled with Christmas Cheer

We have definitely been getting into the Christmas spirit! As soon as Thanksgiving was over we switched gears towards Christmas. It just feels like a magical time. We LOVED our first ever experience decorating for Christmas. I will be showing you our Chirstmas decor today. I know that pictures never quite show it exactly as it is. Imagine you have just applied your Vanilla Bean Noel body lotion, the hot chocolate is ready and you are listening to your favorite Christmas song. (Feel free to do all of these things as you read to get the full effect!)

We put the tree up first.

Once we got the tree up we headed outside. Our whole neighborhood was out and about putting up lights.

Matt more than enjoyed hanging out on the roof. (I hope this is still true in 30 years!!)

I stayed grounded and put out the greens.

The lights are up! 

And our tree is shining through the front door as well.

We were exhausted! I opened up my Christmas gift a little early and started using them right away. I cooked my favorite soup.

It was so fun to cook with new pots and pans! 

Now for a quick little tour. 

Come on in!

Our entry table is mostly filled with old wedding decorations. What a blessing to get married at Christmastime. 

Our tree is up, our stockings are hung and even some presents are wrapped!

Our room divider hosts some more wedding decorations and garland too!

The garland flows into the kitchen. It is so nice to come home to Christmas lights on every night!

Our lanterns have been changed out seasonally and a Christmas candle has already been used!

Our Christmas dishes have been cleaned and are ready for use!

Great aunt Jan brought over a little housewarming gift for hosting Thanksgiving. I am doing my best to keep it alive!! (so far so good!)

Here is where we hang up our Christmas cards (and other fun things we get in the mail). So send us your Christmas card!! ;) ;)

And here is our little nativity I picked up in Ecuador.

Hope you enjoyed our little tour today.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Time for Thankfulness

Thanksgiving has come and gone and we have so much to be thankful for this season. One item on my bucket list is to host a major holiday so the first major holiday that came around after we moved into our house I volunteered to host (two days before the big day, mind you)! We were so excited, but gosh we have a lot left to do in our house to host company. 
We started the day with some pumpkin cinnamon rolls and the Macy's Day Parade. 

Then we frantically tried to finish cleaning and start cooking. We knew there was no chance we could get everything done so I purchased our Thanksgiving feast from the grocery store. What a lifesaver! Everything was already cooked so all I had to do was heat everything the day of. I think we may be doing this for many holidays in the future whether we have the extra time or not.

Things started coming together quickly.

Then our guests arrived. Matt and I were busy finishing things in the kitchen.

My grandparents and great uncle and aunt Darrel and Jan came to celebrate with us. 

Check out our new window seat we created! (more on that in another post)

Everything went well and it was very nice to have the company of family on this special day.
That night we switched gears to Black Friday shopping. We started around 5 o'clock at Michael's. It was a great first stop-not busy at all and tons of great deals. Then we went to Walmart. The first "event" began at 6 and we arrived a few minutes before. It was busy but not too crazy. 

Everyone was lined up for items, not just the big ticket items, like everything. It was different. Not quite as much fun but definitely safer. We found several items on our list and filled up our cart in about five minutes. We decided it would be best if Matt check out before everyone else, take our cart of stuff out to the car and come back in. We could not haul this thing around any longer.

He checked out pretty quick, but after he loaded the car he couldn't get back into the store. They were monitoring how many people were in there so it took him about 20 minutes to get back in. In the meantime I searched the store for a few more items.

The checkout line started in the back of the store. Here were the lines as they came through the clothing section. Crazy!!! It was very well organized-I was impressed.

We headed back the next morning on actual Black Friday. There was NO ONE there!!! There were less people than I would expect to see on a typical day at that time. We picked up a Christmas tree and some other decorations. We did a little more shopping at a few other stores as well. I did head over to the mall between a few clients on Friday, and it was pretty crazy!! The holidays are upon us, and we can't be more excited!! Stay tuned to see our first decorating experience!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wedding time!

A couple weekends ago we were back in Nebraska to celebrate a wedding uniting my cousin, Dalton and one of my closest friends growing up, Rachel. We were really excited for their wedding however we were not looking forward to the weather. They had experienced some major cold the week before we got there. We were going in expecting the same. We landed on Thursday, and we came home to this..,

Bbbrrrr.....a little bit colder than my last post with Matt in the pool right?
Atlee had her first basketball game of the season so we were able to go watch.

They played great!

Then the wedding festivities began! Rachel and the gang had been decorating all day. I got there just in time to see it completed.

They worked hard!!

Friday morning we headed over to get our nails done. I made a keepsake book for Rachel filled with questions Dalton had answered about her. I hope she enjoys it for years to come. Dalton did a great job responding to the questions.

Following the pampering we went to decorate the church-sorry I forgot to take pictures! Then we headed to the rehearsal dinner that evening.

(Photo props go to cousin Quinn!)
Saturday arrived in a hurry. Picture time! What a great brother!!

These two were in charge of taking a picture for us, and this is what they did...

Almost wedding time!

The ceremony went off without a hitch. Then we got in the bus and headed to the reception.

With the gorgeous bride!

And the soon-to-be bride!

The reception was great. I know these pictures are super blurry, but I had to have some evidence that London let me hold her long enough to take multiple pictures.

We had so much of fun!! Hopefully she remembers that the next time I see her!

It was a very fast weekend. Sunday we went to Grand Island to meet Matt's parents for lunch. Sunday night we loaded up the car and drove my grandparents down to Phoenix with us. We were a little worried this trip would make us decide to never move home due to the weather. It actually warmed up quite a bit so it is definitely not written out of the plan yet. We will see what February has in store for us when we are back for Travis and Mariah's wedding.