Friday, June 29, 2012

My 27th Birthday

Yay for birthdays! Everyone should be celebrated on their birthday and feel special. Birthdays are kinda a big deal to me so I'm thankful for a husband, family and friends who went out of their way to make feel so loved on my special day.

Mitchell got up early to make me some blueberry muffins. He was so sweet - he even cleaned up after himself! He wanted to make sure I didn't have to do dishes on my birthday. 
As you can see, we are also decorated for the 4th of July!
After he left for work, I spent some time reading birthday messages on Facebook or text message. I enjoyed talking on the phone with a few people who called to wish me happy birthday. My brother and sister-in-law even Skyped me from Italy! 

I went for a walk around my neighborhood because it was such a pretty day! I could go for walks every day and not get tired of the beautiful houses and yards.
Missing my walking buddies, Allyson and little Colton but still enjoying my walk!

For lunch, I rode my bike into midtown and met Mitchell for lunch at Cafe Bernardo. We walked to our favorite cupcake place and got a birthday cupcake. 

I ran a few errands after lunch and got home to two packages on our front door - my birthday gift from my family and Mitchell.

I love the gifts from my parents, Liddy and even our puppy, Ginger wrote me a card! ;D I heart Vera Bradley - super cute stuff! My mom and Liddy did good picking out cute patterns.
Makeup bag from Liddy
Weekender bag from Mom, Dad and Billy
And my big birthday gift: a new sewing machine!! I've been interested in learning to sew for awhile now. I just feel like it's one of those skills I should at least have some basic knowledge of. I almost asked for one for Christmas but my sister-in-law did and I didn't want to copy. :P 

After doing a bunch of research on sewing machines and asking a bunch of friends what they have, I settled on a Brother CS6000i. There are SO many options for sewing machines. This one seemed to be decently priced, simple to use but with enough functions for me to learn as a I grow in my skills. 
Birthday cards and gifts!
I enjoyed getting to chat with more people who called on my birthday: mom, Liddy, Hubs, Meagan (best friends), Dad, my MIL...

When Mitchell got home from work, we went to dinner at this great restaurant around the corner from our house. I love being able to walk to so many fun places in our neighborhood! 
Sweet husband came home with beautiful flowers for my birthday
After dinner, we came back home and I played with my sewing machine and Mitchell played some music on his guitar. We love our birthday gifts!

*I have learned to never underestimate what can happen in a year. On my 25th birthday I never would have thought I would be engaged when I was turning 26. On my 26th birthday I never would have guessed I'd be living in California when I was turning 27. On my 27th birthday I never would guess that I'd be ____________ when I turn 28. I can't wait to see what God will write in that blank!* 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vacation Bible School

Last week, our church put on Vacation Bible School for preschool and elementary age kids. I volunteered to be a small group leader with one of the preschool groups. I was in charge of rotating my group of kids around to all the different stations: music, craft, puppet show, recreation and snack! My good buddy Allyson did it with me. We had SO much fun! Even though it was only from 9am-12pm, it was exhausting!
Playing with play-doh before VBS started!

ALL of our preschoolers singing a song during large group time

Music time with Emily

Puppet show time with Freddie the Frog

Snack time - mixing up some blueberry pancakes

The orange group with Allyson and I
I will spare the videos of me singing "Put your finger on the wall, on the wall..."! In order to get the kids to walk in a line from classroom to classroom, we would have them drag their finger along the wall and sing a song. It worked so well! They walked in the straightest line and didn't get mixed up with other groups walking around!

It was a great week - I was very blessed by these sweet kids and all the ladies I worked with.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

$800 worth it

This last weekend, we made our last trip to Texas until Christmas for Mitchell's cousin's wedding. The wedding was beautiful and it was so fun to see all of Mitchell's family and their family friends. Here are a few pics that I managed from the weekend:
Mitchell and his cousin Maggie before the wedding. They were in the wedding party.

The Martin Family at the meeting for the Grand Gathering Disney trip in 2013. We had to wear out shirts from last year.

Decorating for the rehearsal dinner on Friday

However, a really cool thing happened on the way home. We flew Southwest with Mitchell's points. There are a lot of things that I really like about Southwest like their plane boarding/seating system, you still get 2 free checked bags and they still give you a snack on the plane. I do not like how most of their flights are not direct. On the way there we stopped in LA and El Paso before Dallas. On the way back we stopped in Albuquerque and San Diego.

We landed in San Diego around 8:15pm and had to change planes for our flight to Sacramento at 9:20pm. While we were waiting to start boarding, they announced that the flight was overbooked and were looking for people to be willing to go on the next flight. We both had noticed there was a flight leaving shortly after ours to Sacramento so we walked over to talk to them about switching flights. They took down our names and said they would compensate us $100 plus the cost of the flight. We weren't sure if it would be for both of our tickets or just one, depending on how many seats they needed.

Well lucky us, they needed both our seats so we got compensated for both seats. The lady walked over holding two $400 vouchers for our flights! And all this for a flight we didn't even pay for because we used Mitchell's points!

If you remember this post from earlier, we only paid $600 out of pocket for all of these trips back to Texas this summer but we just made $800 with Southwest so we gained $200 for all these flights! Amazing!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Coffee Table

Well, I did it. I completed my first DIY, home improvement project. Last Saturday, Mitchell and I slept in, made some breakfast and then discussed what we were going to do for the day. The options were work on a craft or go on a day trip to somewhere nearby. We chose a craft!

I decided that I wanted to introduce an accent color into our previously neutral living room. My friend Allyson helped me decide that a light blue would look pretty and I went online and looked at color palettes to have a guideline to follow. After buying some throw pillows, here is what my living room looked like before...
I have had an itch to paint something lately so the subject of my scratch: the coffee table! It was a hand-me-down from my parents so it's older and it was free so if I totally messed this up, it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

I have a Behr paint colors booklet so I held a pillow up to it and found the closest color. Now off to Home Depot!

Our supplies:
-Behr paint in Harmonious
-Power sander (you could sand it with your hand but that would be no fun, invest in a sander)
-Purdy paint brush

*ignore our ugly garage please, it was super windy outside so we couldn't go in the backyard

The table before

Sanding it down

Start painting!


But I didn't stop there. I saw this really cute idea in the HGTV magazine where they found a cute fabric and mod-podged it onto the top of the table. I wanted to do something similar but didn't want to spend the money on fabric and all the Mod Podge. I saw this idea on one of my friend's blogs and thought I could copy it onto the top of my table.

Supplies for this part:
-1/4" paint brush
-pencil for tracing
-accent paint color (I used Honeymoon by Benjamin Moore)

My stencil

After tracing the stencil onto the table

Painting in the lines
This part can get kinda tricky so here is a tutorial.

Tracing the stencil took me about 20 minutes and painting the lines took about 2 hours. But here is what it looks like now!
Drawing the pattern straight is really hard so don't look that close! ;)

And here it is in my living room:

Yay! Success! The accent color on the table turned out a little yellow-y which I don't love but I don't care enough to go back and repaint the lines. :P There are still a few things I would like to change about the room but I have to pace myself so I don't burn out or spend tons of money. The great thing about all of the supplies from Home Depot is they were all FREE! We still had gift cards from our wedding to use. :D

Mitchell was working on a project at the same time so once he completes his project, I will post what he did!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beautiful Wedding Vows

At the wedding last weekend, the bride and groom had prepared some of the most beautiful wedding vows I've ever heard. They also had the great idea of putting the vows into the program so we could follow along with what they were saying. They are so beautiful and God-centered I had to share...

Groom's Vows
I vow to honor you as my bride
And co-heir to the gracious gift of life. (1 Peter 3:7)
I vow to submit myself entirely to you,
Even as unto the Lord, (Ephesians 5:21-22)
With purity and reverence of heart; (1 Peter 3:2)
Casting aside fears (John 6:20)
I vow to pursue the work of Christ, (Ephesians 2:10)
I will hold you forever before the Lord, (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Sanctifying you in the washing of the Word (Ephesians 5:26)
Protecting you, and delighting in your beauty, (Proverbs 5:15-19)
As the provider and head of our marriage, (1 Timothy 5:8, Eph 5:23)
I vow to love you and lay my life down for you. (Eph 5:25)

Bride's Vows
I vow to submit myself entirely to you,
Even as unto the Lord, (Eph 5:21-22)
I vow to respect and honor you
As the head of our marriage. (Eph 5:23 & 33)
With purity and reverence of heart; (1 Peter 3:2)
Casting aside fears, (John 6:20)
I vow to pursue the work of Christ, (Eph 2:10)
Trusting in the Lord,
To develop within me the unfading beauty
Of a gentle and quiet Spirit. (1 Peter 3:4)
I will not let corrupt talk come out of my mouth,
But only what is good for building up,
That it may give grace to you. (Eph 4:29)
Strength and dignity will be my clothing,
And I will bring good to you all the days of my life. (Proverbs 31)

"Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and your God my God.
Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.
May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely,
If anything but death separates you and me."
Ruth 1:16-17

They each said their part first and then the verses from Ruth. I LOVE the verses from Ruth as a promise to your spouse on your wedding day. What a commitment, yet a perfect description of what God expects of us to commit to each other when we marry. I don't know what it looks like to be married 5 years, 10 years, 25 years or 50 years but I pray, pray, pray that I take my commitment to Mitchell as seriously then as I do now. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

DIY/Home Improvement Craze

I don't know what was in the water in Texas but ever since being down there, I have had the itch to do fun little DIY, home improvement projects around our house. I have about a million things running through my mind...

Here are some of my ideas that I am for sure about...
-sadly I can't paint the walls since we are just renters* so I'm trying to find ways to add a fun accent color into our rooms through throw pillows, painting furniture, curtains, etc
-come up with a fun center piece for our dining table
-paint one of our dressers in a fun way - you take out the drawers and paint the shell of the dresser and then find fun knobs that match the new paint color
-find some cute wall decals since I can't paint fun patterns/stripes on the walls
-laminate a map of the world, glue to cork board and put pins where we've been - I have always wanted to do this** so I'm finally currently working on this one...
-learn to sew and make my own pillow cases, curtains, whatever!

I will post pictures/stories about my attempts at being crafty. I am not a very creative, out of the box thinker and I am usually not patient enough with crafts so we'll see how this goes!

*even if the landlord was okay with me painting the walls, I would loathe having to paint them back when we move out. I'd rather have my oatmeal colored walls the entire time we live here than paint twice, the second time not even being for my benefit.
**I could stare at a map of the world for hours and hours and hours. I love looking at the places I've been and ALL the places I haven't been. Our world is pretty big. One of my lifelong goals is to visit each continent on Earth, except Antartica. Who would want to go there anyway? No thanks! So I am 2 down (North America and Europe), 4 to go! Mitchell has one up on me because he's been to India so I guess he can cross Asia off his list.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Second Week in Houston

This week, Mitchell joined me in Houston! Although we started the week in different places...

Mitchell flew into Hobby airport, was picked up by his buddies and driven down to Galveston Island for a weekend with the guys. It was one of Mitchell's best friends, Michael's, bachelor party! The eight of them rented a beach house on Jamaica Beach and spent the entire weekend down there. They had a blast but all Mitchell wanted when he got back was eat a salad because apparently all they ate was meat. One of their goals was to incorporate bacon into every meal!

Funny story of the weekend was when they got to the house they realized they had three XBoxes but only two TVs. Hmm, solution? Go by another TV! But instead of buying a regularly sized TV from Walmart, they decided to go all out and by a 70" TV with full intentions of returning it at the end of the weekend. Risky move, luckily for the groom-to-be it all worked out. Imagine having that conversation on the honeymoon! The TV was so big that it didn't fit in the car with all guys in seats so Mitchell had to lay down in the back and have the TV lay over him on the way home. Ridiculous!

While Mitchell was down at the beach, Billy, Liddy and I made a trip to College Station to order Billy's Aggie ring. Whoop!

When we got back to Houston we met up with Ricky, Kenzie and Ashlyn at one of our favorite restaurants and had a great time laughing and talking.

Sunday afternoon, my old roommates and our sisters went to Galveston for the day. It was sooo much fun, despite the ridiculous traffic we sat in getting on and off the island. Apparently everyone else had the idea of going to the beach that day too!

On Memorial Day, my parents graciously hosted dinner at their house with our family so that we could see everyone while we were home.

Tuesday, Mitchell and I drove up to Longview to visit his parents. We had a great dinner with them and spent some time discussing and planning their trip out to Sacramento in a few weeks! :D

Wednesday, we drove over to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and visited two of Mitchell's best guy friends and their family, my cousin Andrea and our good friends, Ryan and Amanda Richardson. The Richardsons kindly let us spend the night at their beautiful, brand new house in Burleson. It was a crazy busy day but we loved every second visiting our good friends!

Thursday, we drove back to Houston and that evening went to dinner at mine and Mitchell's favorite Tex Mex restaurant. It was five minutes from our apartment that we lived in right after we got married. We went once a week on Thursday nights for majority of the fall of 2011!

Friday marked the start of Michael and Laura's wedding weekend! Mitchell's old roommate, Aaron came and picked us up from my parent's house and whisked us off to Austin. The now Andersons chose to get married at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (or if Lady Bird was saying it in her Southern accent, the wildflow-ah cent-ah). It was a beautiful venue. Perfect for an outdoor Texas wedding! The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner went smoothly. The wedding day was mostly pretty chill until about 3pm when things got crazy busy until the newlyweds left for their honeymoon at 11:30pm that night. Mitchell, as the best man, probably sat down for a total of 5 minutes the entire evening. The wedding was absolutely beautiful, visually and as result of the love between Michael and Laura.

Sunday morning, Mitchell's good college buddy came and picked us up and took us to Kerbey Lane for their amazing queso and kindly took us to the airport for our flights back home! Back to California!

The sweet revelation when I got home: As much as I loved being in Texas and spending all that time with my family (they are so loving and amazing) and friends, I realized that my real home is wherever Mitchell and I have built our home together. My home with him is where I can truly relax. Where I can be most excited. Most myself. Most comfortable. What a blessing that shift is.