Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

While today is a day of love and gratitude for our mommas, I also am aware that there are heavy hearts out there today; daughters who have lost their mothers, mothers who have lost their children far too early, women who want to be mothers but can't due to infertility, babies lost and dreams lost with them. I know at least one women in every situation above and  it breaks my heart.  Breaks it to the core.  The grief and pain are all too real for these women.  So today I am recognizing these women.  These strong, beautiful momma warriors!


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29-11-13

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Reflection

I always like to take some time at the beginning of the new year, to reflect on the year gone past and to meditate on all that I have to be thankful for! 2012 was not a year filled with firsts...we didn't buy a house, we didn't start new jobs, we didn't just get married.  It was however, an amazing year of travel.  We were able to cross many experiences off our bucket list at a very young age. We had so many opportunities presented to us this year that allowed us to travel in a way that wouldn't normally be possible for us.  We are so thankful to everyone that allowed this to happen!

My mom and dad gave us the best Christmas gift ever last year.  They gave our family a week long vacation to Barcelona, Spain.  What better gift than the gift of memories.  It was truly an amazing experience. 

La Boqueria Market

 Gaudi's Park Guell

Catedral de Barcelona

City of  Zaragoza

Spanish wine country

Montjuic fort

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia (This was definitely on the bucket list)

View from where we stayed

I love my family!

Josh and I had been wanting to take a trip to Europe with just the two of us. We had the Cliffs in Ireland on our bucket list and thought this would be a good starter Euro trip for the two of us, since it is an English speaking country.   We talked and prayed and decided this would be a good time to go, immediately following the Spain trip.  Instead of a round trip ticket from Spain, my parents let us fly back to Dallas out of Ireland.  What a blessing! Again we wouldn't have been able to take this trip if we had to pay for all the airfare.

The Cliffs of Moher (another bucket list check)

 Aran Islands

The view from our room in Connemara 

 Kylemore Abbey

Touring the Guinness Factory in Dublin

Powerscourt Estate

We loved the stark contrast going from Spain to Ireland.  They were so different in every aspect...climate, experiences, food, language, architecture. After Ireland, we assumed that our travel for the year had ended and were beyond pleased with the experiences 2012 had afforded us.  We were wrong.  My brother moved to California in July for a year of work.  We wanted to visit him, but really didn't know when it was going to happen.  Everyone in the family had already visited him come October.  We knew that he wasn't going to be able to make it home for Thanksgiving, so decided to bring Thanksgiving to him.  Oh and did I mention he lives in Northern Cali...just a short drive from Napa, San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

Mumm Napa

V Sattui, Napa Valley

Boardwalk in Santa Cruz

We loved his rooftop view. 
Sea Lions at Pier 39

Ghiradelli Square, San Fran

Our rooftop Thanksgiving

Sitting on top of this roof, we had absolutely no idea that in a few short weeks, Josh would have the opportunity to fly to Germany on a work trip and I would get to follow behind him a few days later..  Wow! God is good!

 What better time to be in Bavaria than Decemeber...

Christkindlmarkt at the Marienplatz (town square) in Munich

Gluhwein is a hot mulled wine and Lebkuchen is gingerbread

Enjoying a toasty sip of Gluhwein

View of Munich

Christmas ornaments from the market

From our train ride in the Bavarian Alps


 Lots of snow!

 Loved this town!

 Neuschwanstein castle...this is what the Disney castle is based on. 

(Checking the bucket list again)

I am floored when I think of 2012 and all the memories that were made.  I am excited and hopeful about 2013 and what is in store...although it probably won't include travel.  

Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Gatherings

I am currently suffering from a bad case of the after Christmas blues! I love all the anticipation and preparation for Christmas, but am always sad when the whirlwind of activities comes to an end.  I thought I'd take a moment and share with you some images from our family Christmas gatherings.  This year we hosted not 1..but 2 Christmases!

The first one was Christmas morning with my family.  My sweet brother Mike was staying with us from California, so it was only fair to put him to work too.

Nothing makes me happier than a warm beverage on a chilly day...and chilly it was! This warm apple cider and hot chocolate bar did just the trick. 

This Wolfgang Puck recipe for spiced apple cider was a winner.

Our hot chocolate bar included pirouettes, fudge, marshmallows, whipped cream, m&m's, stir sticks made by dipping spoons into melted chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint, cinnamon, crushed peppermint and a variety of gourmet hot chocolate packets.
I bought these tin containers from the dollar spot at Target and painted them with chalkboard paint for a fun little twist.
We used this old shutter to display Christmas cards. 
Try something new this year! I never would have guessed I would be capable of making this, but was quite pleased with how it turned out! This centerpiece was the anchor on the table.
Our main tree
Lots of presents
I didn't get too many pictures fom Christmas #2 with Josh's family, but here are a few.  We decided to do an italian themed dinner. 
I made homemade lasagna.  Yum!
We also had these fun drinks, which we nicknamed "The Grinch."  They were Prosecco with a scoop of lime sherbert.
This is the newest member in Josh's family, Levi.  I could hardly handle his cuteness!
We had a white Christmas this year which doesn't happen too often in Texas!
Wishing you all a very happy new year and a blessed 2013.