Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

This year has been a special one.
 It's hard to believe that we just celebrated our 2nd New Years as a married couple and the fourth anniversary of when we started dating. Crazy how time flies!

 New Years is always an emotional time for me. Emotional in a nostalgic, look at us, here we are kind of way. I always get a little choked up right around the time the ball drops.
2013 hasn't been especially exciting but it has been one of the most comfortable, consistent years that I've had in my whole life and I don't think I've ever been so happy or so content. Ever.
Also? I am anticipating that 2013 will be our last full year without kids. At least we are hoping and praying that it is. I want more than anything to be holding a little bundle {or at least be baking one} as we ring in 2015.
My FIL has a New Years tradition that I love. Every year on new years day we sit around and he writes down every memorable moment from the past year. I love talking about each memory with the family and everyone helps to think of things to write down. He writes everything down in a tattered little note book that he's had for years. When we're all done he reads the entire list out loud. I've only been a part of this family for the last few years so I've only been able to be a part of this fun tradition for a little while but it's one of my favorites.
I want to start the same tradition with our little family and what better place to do it than on this little  bloggy of mine?  So, what did we do this last year...
{most of these photos are duplicates from past posts or Insta} 

: : January : :
We celebrated New Years at the family cabin in Arnold, visited my parents, and celebrated my 26th birthday in Arcata with friends.

: : February : :
We brought Teddy home and celebrated Valentines with our annual crab and champagne picnic on the floor in our bedroom.
: : March : :
Celebrated our first Easter as married people with church and champagne brunch.

: : April : :
I finished my first certification for work, we did our annual tailgate for the A's home opener, joined our first and favorite wine clubs, saw Lady A at Shoreline, and spent the weekend as tourists in San Francisco with friends.

: : May : :
My mom came to visit for Mother's day and my mom and I hosted my sister's bridal shower back at home. We spent most of the spring and summer enjoying our season tickets at the O.Co. watching the A's.

: : June : :
I took a short vacation with my mom to San Diego to watch my friend preform in Les Miserables, and we celebrated Father's Day at our favorite winery for their annual club member's BBQ. We traveled up to Oregon for my sister & BIL's wedding and Nick turned 28 that same day! We celebrated Nick's birthday a week late with a trip to Napa.

: : July : :
We spent 4th of July weekend on the houseboat at Lake Don Pedro, took a family camping trip to Bullard's Bar and saw John Mayer.

: : August : :
We took a family vacation to Maui for 8 glorious days.

: : September : :
We harvested the vineyards a little earlier than normal, closed escrow on our refinance and I officially became a homeowner, celebrated our 1st Anniversary in Napa with a hot air balloon ride, and Teddy had surgery on his poor little head.

: : October : :
We tailgated for the A's playoffs game against the Tigers, took a trip to visit my parents, and had a Halloween party with Nick's parents and their wine club.

: : November : :
My sister made a surprise visit to the Bay Area to celebrate her birthday, Mom's birthday and early Thanksgiving. We took a much needed trip alone to the family cabin in Arnold to rest and rejuvenate before the holidays, celebrated Thanksgiving in Napa, and went to Nick's 10 year High School reunion.
: : December : :
We celebrated Christmas with family and thanked God for our blessings. I am so thankful for everything that 2013 brought us. We are looking forward to getting started on some major home improvement projects and some exciting changes for our family. I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be amazing.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Merry Christmas!

We had the most wonderful Christmas! I think this year was the best one yet.
Nick and I both took Christmas Eve off so our vacation started Monday night {Christmas Eve Eve}. I picked him up from his company holiday party and we packed the dogs in the car and drove around our neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.
Our crazy neighbor!
When we got home I made a cozy bed on the living room floor for our Christmas tree sleep over. We snuggled in bed with The Santa Clause on my laptop and had the coziest sleep ever!

 Christmas Eve morning we woke up and had coffee in bed and opened our stockings. We started a tradition a few years ago of just getting each other stockings when we were broke new homeowners. It kind of stuck and has become one of my favorite parts of Christmas.
We packed all of our presents into the car and headed to the in-loves for pre-church happy hour. Because, I don't care what you say, singing at church is always more fun after a cocktail. We went to the 4:00 Children's Mass which I love and then Christmas Eve dinner on the harbor.
We went home to play Christmas Rummy {another favorite family tradition} and didn't go to bed until 2:00.

We woke up late on Christmas morning for Portuguese sausage and presents. The rest of the family came over in the afternoon and we ate and drank the day away and ended the night with annual M family charades.

Our favorite littles!

All of the girls

Friday was back to work for a half day and then we loaded up more presents into the car for a quick 5 hour drive to see my family in Mt. Shasta. There is usually tons of snow this time of year, but this year there was hardly any. Instead, every lake is frozen over solid. It was so nice to get to spend a belated Christmas weekend with both of my parents and my sister & brother in law. We just love them all so much!


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer...

Is singing loud for all to hear!
Spending $100 {look away husband!} to send a pretty Christmas card to everyone you love.
Christmas cards. There are few things I love more than Christmas cards. When I was growing up my parents sent the kind of Christmas card where they would write a two page letter about every single thing each family member had done that year. My mom would say things like "Camille likes to climb up on the roof and read books. {I did love doing that} She can read an entire Box Car Children book in one sitting!" and I would die of embarrassment. Then they would attach some family photos that they had taken when we were on a hike somewhere. My bangs would be entirely too fluffy or crooked and I would probably be wearing pants that didn't quite reach the tops of my shoes.
I have been impatiently waiting to send my own Christmas cards for like..  years. The year we got engaged we didn't send one because our Save the Dates went out in January and it was too close to Christmas to send both. The year we got married our thank you cards went out in November and it was too close again to send a Christmas card. Both of those were covered in engagement photos and wedding photos and we figured that if we sent people one more picture of us they were going to unfriend us forever.
Each year our fridge has been covered in other people's Christmas cards. This is my favorite thing in the whole world. I love seeing our friends chubby babies, pets, and smiling faces all December long. I love opening Christmas card mail. So, I was particularly excited knowing that this year was finally my year to send a Christmas card along with everyone else. Or so I thought...
{Here is where I'm going to complain.} I don't know if it's because Thanksgiving was a week late, giving us one less week between Holidays for Christmasy types of things {ahem... like sending me my Christmas card} or maybe everyone actually did unfriend us after receiving too many photos in the mail. Either way we have so far received 2 cards this year. Two. One is from our mortgage agent. The other from Nick's dentist. I won't lie, I'm a little sad about it.
Either way I am in love with how our {first!!} card turned out and I will hope for more cards next year.
Merry almost Christmas friends!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas! - Holiday Home Tour

I'm linking up with Kelly from Kelly's Korner for one of my favorite posts of the year, the Christmas Tour of Homes! I have always loved Kelly's Home Tours and I'm excited to do mine for the first time this year.

I love our house at Christmas time. I think that it feels so much prettier and so much cheerier with our Christmas decorations up. The paint colors that we chose when we bought the house complement our Christmas decorations so well that it feels like our house is supposed to be filled with Christmas all the time!

Let's do a little home tour shall we?

We will start in the living/dining room. This is the first room that you see when you come in from outside. It's a cozy room that unfortunately we never ever use. I love the couch in this room so much and I think I have only used it maybe twice. Mostly the dogs just sit on it. It's a tragedy.

This coat hook is where Cubby keeps his favorite Santa costume

These photos make our front room look orange. It's red.

Each year we choose a theme to base our decorations on. This year I chose Burlap & Berries. I bought a couple yards of burlap for my tree skirt and some burlap ribbon to make the bows for my tree. {Teddy has already eaten half of them. Please excuse the uneven bow to ball ratio!} They had some berry spray for cheap at Jo-Anne's. I pulled them apart and added the berries to detail my tree and to different accents throughout the house.

We have so much hurricane glass left over from the wedding. I took some of the berry spray and twisted them in the hurricanes and plopped a candle in the middle. Pretty and cheap!

I rescued this cabinet this year from our friend's garage and refinished it by painting it black. It's my new favorite thing to decorate for each holiday. We use it as a liquor cabinet and to display all of the pretty stemware we got for wedding presents.

We've always kept a small tree in our room. I love being snuggled in bed with a Christmas movie on and our pretty little tree all lit up next to it. This year it is doubling as our "fertility tree" my mom gave us the angel that is on the tree with three little babies. She gave these fertility angels to both me and my sister right when we were starting to try to get pregnant. My sister recently gave us the little baby birdie nest. She said to use it to call our little baby home. A positive pregnancy test is #1 on my wish list this Christmas!

One of my favorite parts of our family room is the fire place and mantle. I think it's pretty all year long but I especially love it with our Christmas lights and garland on it. I finally broke down and got our monogrammed stockings from Pottery Barn this year and I love them so much! They are the perfect size for all kinds of goodies and look so pretty on our mantle.

I made this burlap wreath for the front door earlier this year. Since our front door already has a wreath for Christmas, I brought the wreath inside and pulled the monogram off of it and added some berries. I hung it on the mirror at the end of the hallway with a Command hook. I love this wreath.

Here are just a few decorations in the kitchen.

The little Christmas village in the kitchen bay window is the village that I grew up with. My mom never put it up anymore and gave it to us this summer. I used to love setting it up when I was a little kid and playing with all the people. Now it doubles as a cute little light display.

So, there you have it. Our little Christmassy home!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


We had such a great Thanksgiving. The weather was beautiful and everyone had such a wonderful time. 

I woke up in the morning and sat on the couch with my cup of coffee and cuddly Cubby dog to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is one of my favorite traditions and even now I still feel like a kid as soon as it comes on.

This year we started earlier which meant that the appetizers came earlier and we had a longer period of time between the appetizers and cheese plates and starting dinner. I was hungry when we actually sat down for dinner which might have been the first time in history. Everything that we cooked was absolutely amazing and I didn't take any photos at all.
Before dinner we had a scavenger hunt and potato sack relay races which were hilarious and took some family photos.
L for Losers

The guys won as usual.

Friday morning we woke up went to Target and shopped our little hineys off with egg nog lattes in hand. Target is the only black Friday shopping that I will do and we got so much good stuff!

This Thanksgiving was the first year that I didn't have one of my parents with us and I was a little sad about it but we will be spending a late Christmas with both of them and I think that will make up for it. We just had so much to be grateful for this year. I am so thankful for this wonderful family that I have. I can't imagine what life would be like if I hadn't married into this wonderful family.

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