Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Cheer @ the Martin house

I really wish Christmas lights were a year round decoration. It makes the house so cozy! Check out how we decorated for Christmas!

Of course it all centers around the tree!
No mantle for our stockings so they're hanging on the chairs
Extra ornaments in my lantern
Swapped some pillows out on the couch for Christmas
colors and have a very happy, stuffed snowman on the chair!
Our nativity set (handmade from clay by Mitchell's great aunt!

Christmas lights in our bedroom!

And we aren't even going to be dismayed by our December calendar! Phew! It's going to a busy, fun-packed month!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving & the weekend

This blog post almost didn't happen because iPhoto deleted all of my pictures once I uploaded them and deleted them off the SD card. Luckily, Mitchell is tech-savvy and patient enough to recover them. Phew!

When we decided to do Disneyland in November we realized we wouldn't be able to come home for Thanksgiving. We hoped that with all our out of town friends in Sac, we'd be able to find some people to spend Thanksgiving with but everyone left town. We thought it was going to be slightly depressing to not be able to be with family on that special holiday but it actually ended up being a great weekend!

Starting the day right with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and a yummy breakfast!
We also enjoyed FaceTime-ing with both of our families when they were gathered with extended family!

Our neighborhood is full of trees that have all changed color with the season. I am admittedly obsessed so we took a walk to take pictures.

Don't you want to go run through those leaves!?

Our orange trees are growing up some incredible navel oranges! Just a few more months!
This Christmas will be our first Christmas that we get to have a real tree so I spent part of Thanksgiving morning wrapping up this tree skirt!

I'm a little excited about decorating our first real Christmas tree! I saw an idea on a blog I follow for making homemade ornaments and recruited some help to make a few!

A good sport!

That evening we decided to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner even though it's just the two of us. I just couldn't NOT have turkey on Thanksgiving so I bought a frozen turkey breast that was plenty of meat for the two of us.
Turkey on the platter and stirring the gravy!
Turkey, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and homemade bread
Someone is excited!
Happy Thanksgiving!
After dinner we got a wild hair in us to go get a BluRay player at Walmart for $38. Well as I'm sure you know, Walmart opened their doors at 8pm this year. We got there around 8:30 and it was PACKED! I have never seen so many people in a Walmart. It was total chaos and almost scary. Our player wasn't released until 10pm so we had some time to kill and take this picture. 

Most excited about this!
On Friday we decided to go out and get our Christmas tree since we will only be able to enjoy it for 3 weeks before going home for Christmas. We always had a fake tree growing up so this was my first experience picking out a real tree! Super exciting! So many choices!

Have I ever told you how much I love our Honda CR-V? She fit right in!

Tree skirt!
All decorated! Check out those homemade ornaments!
Adding the bow on top!
Saturday was a much more chill day and Mitchell started the day off washing the car, which is a huge blessing to me. Love language!

We did some Christmas shopping that afternoon, which I won't elaborate on because then it wouldn't be a surprise!

Lastly we got some Christmas lights hung up outside! Christmas cheer!

Happy heart!
What an incredible weekend we had! I'm so thankful that I can spend 4 days straight with my husband and have so much fun. Btw, we have a slight Harry Potter addiction now and are on the 4th movie!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DIY: Spicing up a mirror

Years ago when I moved into a house with my old roommates, Meagan and Hubs, my mom and I walked around Ikea looking for decorating ideas. I didn't have a floor length mirror so we ended up buying one there that had no frame at all. It was literally just the mirror and I never hung it. It just leaned against the wall behind the door. And it has continued to do so until I saw this great idea on Pinterest (of course).

Shanty2Chic Mirror

Luckily my husband is handy and always up for a craft so we spent part of a Saturday turning my plain, boring mirror into this...

Ugh, I caught the eyesore of our office space in the reflection. Ignore please!
All we needed was the 1x6 boards, stain and Loctite to glue the mirror to the boards. I literally followed the instructions exactly on the blog and ended up with a super cute mirror! My only tip would be to be sure and wipe the mirror clean of any Loctite that may have oozed out when you placed the mirror onto the wood. I haven't exactly decided where I want that mirror but I know once I find that perfect spot for it, it's going to be awesome.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


When we found we were moving to California we started praying God would provide us with new friends. We felt Friendsgiving was a culmination of that prayer request being answered...

Background Once moving up here we quickly found a church that had a Sunday school class. The first Sunday we attended that Sunday school class we went out to lunch with everyone afterwards. Mitchell started talking with a guy, Michael about shooting guns and they decided to go shooting that afternoon. I went over to their house and hung out with his wife, Allyson for a few hours. Allyson and I were instant friends and she has been such a blessing to me out here. The four of us got along so well that we would hang out every once in awhile.

The Lynns have an almost 2 year old son, Colton and another couple in our Sunday school class have a one and a half year old son named Colton also. One random weekend, the Lynns invited the Nickols over for dinner so the boys could play together and invited us as well. I don't remember when that was or what exactly we did that night but we had so much fun together. And thus our friendship was born! We have celebrated birthdays, seasons, weekends together and now holidays.

Friendsgiving The Nickols had the great idea of having a "Friendsgiving" this weekend before Thanksgiving. We went all out and had a fabulous dinner and night of fun. I tried to be good with the camera but with two two-year-olds running around plus preparing all the food, this was all I got.

Colton Sr (blonde) and Colton Jr (brown)

Beautiful Thanksgiving table

Casey doing an excellent job carving the turkey

The food! 
Pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie & pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

L to R: Michael & Allyson Lynn, Casey & Kim Nickols, Chrissy & Mitchell
 Disclaimer: The guys are participating in "Movember" so please excuse the molestaches.

Yay for Friendsgiving! And we are looking forward to FriendsMAS in December!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I called the police

Last night, Mitchell and I got home at dusk from driving 4 hours down south to check out a power plant for a few hours and then driving 4 hours back. When we pulled up to our house there was a car parked over half way in front of our driveway! Check it out:

Now we usually have people parking in front of our house because we live across the street from a florist and very close to a popular restaurant, Trader Joe's and other shops. I don't mind that people are always coming and going. Sometimes they park a little close to the driveway and may have their nose sticking over a little. It's frustrating but still no big deal, I let it go. But this crossed my threshold of what I could forgive.

We knocked on our neighbors' doors and the car didn't belong to them or anyone they knew. The florist was closed so I called the police and reported it to have them come tow it. I felt like a jerk but it was also extremely inconsiderate of the owner of that car to do plus we had to leave and go return the rental car! Luckily Mitchell was able to finagle our car out of the garage and we went on our way. While we were at Enterprise I got a call from the police saying they were in front of our house and the car was gone. I apologized for making him come out there for nothing but he assured me it was no big deal.

I promise I'm not a jerk. I am more prone to letting things go than getting upset about it but this was one of my allowed "excuse me" moments. :) Don't judge me!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Christmas Travel Plans

Since Mitchell and I decided to stay in Sacramento for Thanksgiving, I am even more excited about going home for Christmas! Ahhhh I can't wait to be back in Texas and spend extended periods of time with our family and friends!

Chrissy in Texas: December 18th - January 1st
Mitchell in Texas: December 20th - January 1st

We will spend the first part of our visit in Houston until Christmas Eve and then drive to Longview/Grand Prairie for Christmas Day with Mitchell's family until December 30th. We'll spend New Year's Eve in Houston and then head back to California!

I can't wait to see SO many friends, go to church at First Baptist, hang with my family, spend time with Mitchell's family and ring in 2013 in Texas. It will be wonderful! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

Short story: We went to Disneyland and had a blast!!

Long story:
November 1-4th, Mitchell and I were down in Anaheim, CA at Disneyland! We had the BEST time! We discovered that we enjoy Disney for different reasons. Mitchell is really interested in how all the rides work, how everything runs so smoothly and speculating how much money Disney makes. I am in la-la land soaking up all the magic of Disney. :) I loved being there with Mitchell too. We spent all that time together, planned rides and meals and didn't get into a single argument. We didn't even get frustrated with each other secretly. It was perfect!

We stayed in the Holiday Inn that was on the corner of the Disney property and only had to walk about half a mile to get to Downtown Disney and into the park. 

Day One was spent at Disneyland which is EXACTLY like Magic Kingdom in Disney World. A lot of the same rides, Main Street, castle, etc. Although I do have to say that Cinderella's Castle in Disney World majorly trumps Sleeping Beauty's in Disneyland. 

Starting each day off right with a healthy breakfast!

Decorated for fall!

I'm so excited!

Classic pic at the entrance to the park
Walt & Mickey!
See the tents and lights behind Walt & Mickey? Well the next day they were filming a parade and concert for Christmas Day! There was even a celebrity coming! So if you have the TV on on Christmas Day, tune into Disney's Holiday Park Parade!

Let the rides begin!
Space Mountain! 
About to hop on and not a bit nervous!
So we hopped on Space Mountain thinking it was just going to be your average roller coaster in the dark. Well they still had the Halloween edition of Space Mountain going called "Ghost Galaxy" and there was like this demon fire man on the walls grabbing at you as you swirled around in the dark. Creepy! Obviously we didn't like it at all if you look at our faces in the picture!

Here's a cool ride only at Disneyland: Finding Nemo! You climb down into a submarine and go around to the world of Nemo. My favorite little kid quote of the weekend was on Nemo: "We were so deep it got scary!"... You never fully submerge, they just make you think you are. Haha!

Looking out my port hole!

Getting ready to go blast away Zurg on Astro Blasters with Buzz Lightyear! I love how Buzz's face moves all around and talks but when I took this picture, he was looking at the camera... or the goober posed in front of him! ;D

Our one character meet of the trip: Wreck it Ralph! "I'm gonna wreck it!"

They even had Fix It Felix for you to play for free!
We decided we would walk through Toon Town just to check it out since it's a small world was closed. :( We ended up riding Roger Rabit's ride in that area. I was just impressed with the backdrop they have set up that makes it looks like there's hills in the background... only Disney!

I have to admit that I've never ridden the tea cups so since the crowds in Fantasyland were still light, we hopped right on!

Like I mentioned, Fantasyland (kid rides) was pretty empty so we decided to get some of those rides out of the way. So far I was kinda directing which rides we rode and we weren't having to wait in hardly any lines. Mitchell saw Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and suggested we ride that one. The line took forever! We both agreed that Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was our ONE mistake we were allowed for the day and so neither of us were bitter about it. Haha, check out the pic below.

After refueling ourselves at lunch, we headed over to Frontierland and rode several rides, one of which was the Haunted Mansion. That weird Tim Burton movie Nightmare Before Christmas had taken over the mansion. The sign in the pic below switched from saying Merry Christmas to Scary Christmas.

No trip to Disney is complete without authentic, park quality Dole Whips! Ahhhhh! We got our Dole Whips and sat down to eat them on Main Street and watched Mickey's Soundsational Parade.

You have to take a pic in front of the castle!
Mitchell was not interested in riding Splash Mountain because of how wet you get but I insisted because it's a classic and you just have to ride Splash Mountain! Well...

... we had a Splash Mountain fail! Check out the pics below! We were both soaked and Mitchell lost his hat sometime immediately after the picture above was taken. Plus the sun was setting soon and it was about to get cold. So we walked back to the hotel and got changed into warm clothes.

Once back in the park we had some dinner at the French Market in the New Orleans section of the park! It was so yummy and got to listen to this lovely jazz band play while we ate.

Mickey shaped beignets!
After dinner we rode a few rides and then found a spot to watch Fantasmic! We were tired after that and the park was so crowded, even at 10:00 at night! We walked back to our hotel satisfied with Day One of Disneyland and excited about Day Two!

Day Two - California Adventure!

Mitchell had a great idea to run back to the brand new Cars Land first and ride those rides before it got too crowded. Brilliant! Because later in the day the line for this ride was 2 hours long! We hopped into the single rider line and were through in a breeze! Radiator Springs Racers is an awesome ride!

Clearly I had fun! :)
After Cars Land we went over to get Fastpasses for Tower of Terror but realized that the line was only 13 minutes long so Mitchell wanted to go ahead and ride it... gulp! I hadn't worked myself up for it yet and started getting nervous as soon as they take you into the room and make you watch the movie about the Twilight Zone! Haha, check out the picture below. We are front and left!

Mitchell LOVES the Muppets so we had to stop and see Muppet Vision 3D!

Beautiful place for pictures with Paradise Pier behind us! The lady who worked for Disney that took this picture was from Houston! Cool!

Ahhh, I love the Little Mermaid!
Cars Land is behind us! See those mountains? Fake. Good job, Disney!

We didn't get a picture in front of California Adventure so we did it on the way out.
California Adventure was cool and we enjoyed it but it didn't really have enough to keep us entertained for the entire day. :-/ We went back to Disneyland for dinner, Captain EO and got a Fastpass for Space Mountain again then went back to CA for their awesome show, World of Color.

Castle in Disneyland at night!
Main Street at night!
After World of Color, we went back to Disneyland and rode a few more rides to soak up as much Disney as we (I) could. We left even later than we did the first night but we left feeling satisfied in Day Two of California Adventure/Disneyland. 

Sunday morning we enjoyed the extra hour of sleep, had a late breakfast and then walked to Downtown Disney to see Wreck it Ralph. It's a great movie!

After lunch we had to get our last vacation splurge and got this massive Mickey shaped cookie. I forgot to take a picture before we dug in. :)

OH no! The Hulk got Mitchell!
After spending time at Downtown Disney, we made our way back to LAX where we started to feel sad about leaving our fabulous vacation time! Don't make us go home! :)

We had a great time at Disneyland and we are so very thankful that we were able to go. We look forward to our Disney World trip with Mitchell's family next year!