29 November 2010

Oh Christmas Tree!

So, my Christmas tree is just about finished. I still need a tree skirt, but I can't bring myself to spend $20 on one, which is about what they cost everywhere. Yes, including Hobby Lobby. I think I'm going to try The Dollar Tree or maybe just make one. And I still need some icicles, which have always been on our family Christmas tree growing up. But I haven't been able to find any. Suggestions??

I just had to post some pictures of my tree. It's such a conglomeration of every ornament I found that I liked. The tree started our with just red and gold ornaments. Then I bought a couple of smaller colored glass ornaments. THEN I bought a couple of larger and way cooler ornaments at Hobby Lobby. And THEN I found a set of 15 ornaments at Home Depot that were navy, teal and silver. SHUT UP! I loved them and there was no way I couldn't purchase. Which brings you to my tree...

{Isn't she lovely?!}

{Luke and Brooklyn got into the picture-taking spirit!}

{Brooklyn's first Christmas picture. Oh believe me, there are more to come!}

28 November 2010

Where are you Christmas?

Christmas is here!!!!!!!!
{Well, sort of. We can at least say it's Christmas time.}
Don't hate me, but I like Christmas more than Thanksgiving. Please don't get me wrong, Thanksgiving is great. Family, friends, food and so much to be thankful for. And of course, we can't forget that I was proposed to over the Thanksgiving holiday last year, which makes it that much more special.

But I love Christmas!!!

My Christmas tree and decor went up 4 days before Thanksgiving. I already know what I'm getting all of my friends and family for Christmas and many of these gifts have already been purchased. I e-mailed my Christmas list to my mother a week or so ago. Are you beginning to understand yet??

In honor of Christmas, my blog now looks a little more festive. Hope you enjoy. :)

And for all of you Thanksgiving lovers, I hope I haven't offended you and that you had a fabulous Thanksgiving full of turkey and newly-made memories.

Now break out your Christmas decor!  

16 November 2010

Today's small joys

I joined the Corpus Christi YMCA today! I'm really pumped because I've been missing the SLC at Baylor and the good old gym I worked out at in New York. There is just something about a sweaty weight room, the sound of multiple treadmills running, and people burning off those calories. PLUS, for $50/month, I get to go to any aerobic, zumba, spinning, etc. classes that I want to! I think I may check out tomorrow's 6:15 a.m. step class, or maybe the 5:30 cycling class after work. Anyhoo, I'm ready to get this body back in (better) shape!

In other fun news, Luke brought these pretty flowers to my apartment after class tonight. Aren't they cool looking? He said he picked these out because they look like venus fly traps. Silly boy. :)

14 November 2010

So much love!!

This weekend, Luke's best friend, Jay, and his wife, Morgan, were married. Luke served as the best man and did a fabulous job! The happy couple has been through two deployments to Iraq and over two years of engagement. They were SO ready to be married and smiled through the entire weekend. Luke and I were so blessed to be a part of their special day and it made us that much more excited for our own wedding! Here are a few pictures from the blessed weekend. :)

{Best friends at the rehearsal}

{Luke and I at the rehearsal}

{The guys before the wedding}


 {Us at the wedding}

{Giving his best man toast}

 {With the beautiful bride!}

11 November 2010


I've noticed the last couple of days that it's becoming a trend on Facebook to write on a daily basis things that you are thankful for. I'm guessing this is because the Thanksgiving season is upon us! These statuses have prompted me to think about the things I am most thankful for and I've made a list to remind myself of God's many blessings.

1) I am thankful for Luke. We drive each other crazy and we've been through a lot over the last 6 months or so, but I can't imagine life without him. I'm so grateful for the lessons he teaches me daily and for his never-ending love, despite my (many) imperfections. He has the most incredible servants' heart and I'm so proud to call him my fiance.

2) I am thankful for my family. When I lost my job back in July, my parents stepped in immediately and helped me financially until I started the job I'm at now. My sisters have always been a huge motivation for me. It's hard to fail at anything with the three coolest "little" sisters (THAT's relative) watching your example and playing on your team. My family is my rock.

3) I am so thankful for my job. I don't know if I could appreciate it more at this point. When you lose your first job out of college after 7 weeks and then begin the searching process all over again, the next job is even sweeter than the first. I work with amazing people that challenge me daily. I've always been told to surround myself by people I want to be like. These people are the cream of the crop.

4) I'm so thankful for my Brooklyn. I got Brook a couple of weeks before I lost my first job, and that little pup was a huge motivation to push through tough times. How can someone NOT find joy in tough situations when a 2 pound puppy is going crazy when they get home?? She's the best cuddler, tv watcher, and crum-picker-upper a girl could have!

5) I am thankful for my apartment. When I first moved in I had very little furniture. I felt like my apartment would NEVER feel homey. But I've bought some furniture, borrowed some from family, and just made it work! Every time I add a little something new, it becomes more of me. I love that my Baylor diploma hangs from the wall in the dining area and that pictures of friends and family are all over the place. I love cooking dinner for Luke and I in my apartment and I love watching all of "our shows" with Aubrey. My apartment smells like the Leaves candle from Bath & Body Works and I LOVE it!

{Pictures of my apartment to come soon!}

6) And last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ, the only man who has ever laid down His life for me. He has never left my side; never let me down. When it feels like my world is crumbling around me, He is the only constant. It is my goal every day to live my life for Him and to be an example to His people. I fail miserably, but I know His mercies are new every morning. In the end, He's all I need.

What are you thankful for this thanksgiving season?

08 November 2010

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Tonight I had the honor of meeting Spencer Lewis Payne, Jade and Nathan's newest addition (bebe dos!) to the family. He's just about the sweetest thing I've ever seen! Aubrey and I cooked the Payne Family chicken tortilla soup and ate with them this evening. I can't wait to spend more time with all FOUR of Paynes!

{me and mr. spencer}

I also have another joyous annoucement: 

Luke graduates in 40 days!!!!!

I've seriously been waiting for this day for what feels like forever, as have many other people. Luke has worked a full-time job since he began college and has only been about to take about 12 hrs. per semester to sustain himself. It's been a long five and a half years (especially after drastically changing his major half way through), but I know that God's timing is perfect and I can't wait to see His plans unveiled as Luke takes the next step into a new chapter of life. Oh, and of course we will be throwing a party for him. But more details on that later!

{Luke trying on his graduation gown for the first time about a month ago. Can't wait until Dec. 18th!!}

07 November 2010

My First Peddlers Show!

Today I was introduced to The Peddlers Show in Robstown, Texas. Multiple times a year, a ton of vendors set up at the Richard M. Borchard County Fairgrounds to sell anything from gaudy jewelry to Christmas and Thanksgiving decor to soup and dip mixes to just about anything someone can carve out of wood. Hundreds of people attend and its a good time for all.

Aubrey was given a couple of free tickets to the show from one of her bosses at work, so duh...we went! It took about 2 hours for us to walk around the entire building. We sipped on samples of fabulous coffee, I definitely tried the same pretzels and dip a couple of times, and we ooooed and awwwwed over about 10 baby girls with the largest bows on their little bald heads.

I'm sad that I didn't take any pictures at the actual show, but Aubrey and Brooklyn modeled for me (for your enjoyment!) as I took these pictures of the Christmas decor I bought for my apartment at The Peddlers Show.

 {My items of choice from left to right: a snowman ornament, two wooden tree stand-alone cutouts (for lack of a better title??), a county santa ornament, and a bell ornament}

{My models with the Christmas decor}

{Brook is mostly a fan of the bell. Because it makes noise, obviously}

06 November 2010

Long time comin'!

I moved into my apartment in Corpus Christi back in May. Oh, what a day that was! When I moved in, I had a couch and an inflatable mattress to my name; that's it. Yes, I had furniture in college, but most of it stayed in Waco with Claire. It's taken me a little while to accumulate furniture (my current bedroom furniture, kitchen table, and end tables are on loan), but my apartment looks good! The only thing I'm still missing is a coffee table and an entertainment center.

Well, until now...

Today mom picked up both of these for me at IKEA on her way home from Waco!!! I've been eying the pieces from a far for a while, just waiting for the right paycheck. The "entertainment center" is actually a bookshelf I'm going to turn on its side. A good friend of mine has the same one and did the same thing. I know, I'm being a copycat, but it's such a great idea! Plus, it has a TON of compartments for DVDs, the DVR, picture frames, candles, or whatever I want to put in the compartments. I'll post pictures of both pieces once they're put together (I get them Tuesday), but for now, here's a couple of pictures from the IKEA website.

I'm so excited!!! Thanks mom. :)

"Me" Time

I love shopping with myself.

I go to all the best stores. I don't spend too much time in one place. I like everything that I pick up and ask, "What do you think?" (Ok, maybe not everything). And I don't drive myself crazy. I am the best shopping partner for me that there ever was!

Don't you ever just need some "me" time? I don't have kids, I don't have a husband, and I still value my "me" time as much as those who do. There is just something about not having to talk with someone or be personable. Last night after work, I went and walked around the mall alone. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! Shopping and relaxing. It was fabulous. :)

Oh yeah, and I bought a new purse! You can see this bag, plus many others on the Francesca's website. I love their bags because they don't break the bank, but are still super stylish!

04 November 2010

Who writes YOUR paycheck?

As I am nearing the end of my fourth week at a new job, I'm remembering back to a lesson I learned in New York last spring. I had the most fabulous mentor and boss at CBS News when I interned in the press office. Not only did she teach me extrememly valuable lessons about working in the media world, but she also blessed me by teaching me lessons about Who it is I actually work for.

Early on in that internship, my boss was telling me and the other interns about a talk she had recently given to a group of adults at her church. She said that her first question to these people was, "Who writes your paycheck?" One person answered, "The lady in HR." Another said, "The president of my company." These were not the answers she was working for.

My boss went on to explain to us that no man writes her paycheck. God signs that check.

In the working world it is easy to fall prey to your boss, director, or manager. You can choose to not speak your mind or stay out of the issue because you are nervous of what people may think of you. This reminds me of a young teen who sees something wrong happening, but is afraid to stand up for what is right because they think this will cause them to become "unpopular."

My boss in New York was a firm believer in speaking truth, whether or not it was what the recipient wanted to hear. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind in a respectful way or stand up to an issue she did not feel was ethical. She knows Who is writing her paycheck and does not fear losing that check. She knows that as long as she is living her like as an example of Christ, God is on her side. If she was to lose her job, it would be because God has something better for her down the road. What a way to live life! Without fear, knowing that security is not in who you work for on this earth, but Who you work for eternally.

Who's writing your check? Where is your ultimate security?