Not too long ago I posted about how excited I was about spending my first Christmas as a married woman. I talked about decorating for the holidays and deciding on a theme for our tree. But things changed a little.
A couple of weeks ago, Hunter and I decided that we shouldn’t get a tree this year, and instead save the money we would have spent on decorations. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty upset. How in the heck was I supposed to get in the spirit of Christmas without a beautifully decorated tree? Plus it’s like 60 degrees outside… nothing in my atmosphere indicates that it’s Christmas time.
I broke down because if it were only snowing here the way it is in Blacksburg things would be better. And then God asked me, “Dear one, what is Christmas to you anyway?”
Wow I felt silly! To answer honestly I said, “Busy malls, and wrapping presents, crazy traffic, food that makes me fat, and decorated trees, and Santa Baby playing on the radio.”
Can I please take a moment to say that “Santa Baby” is like the most materialistic song ever, and don’t judge me but I love that song.
And so I started thinking of how much God could teach Hunter and I this Christmas if we focused on what it’s really about… if we went without gifts and without stockings and without a tree. I’m astounded at the things I so easily forget.
Christmas is not about the weather. It’s not about my insane need to decorate. Jesus is the Savior of the world even if we don’t put up a tree this year or ever. Christmas is not about me showing off a gift my husband gave me. Christmas is not about me.
And even as I write this I know that later on at the mall I’ll find a pair of boots and think, “Hunter should get these for me for Christmas.” And I’ll have to remind myself that I already received the gift of Christmas by the grace of God. Those boots probably won’t be in season next year, the tree will be ashes somewhere and I might not even want the same ornaments. But Jesus doesn’t change and I’ll still want Him (and need Him) tomorrow, and next year.
Christmas is not about me.
Last year, I helped throw Hunter a fun mystery dinner. This year, I had no idea how to top that. I still don’t think I did but that’s the reality of our life right now. Thankfully, Hunter doesn’t think his birthday is as big a deal as I do.
The Hokies sure helped me out though! We had a fun night watching the game with Hokie friends and family. Tacos, salsa, Blue Moon, red velvet cupcakes and a Hokie win equals success.
they were very yummy… if I do say so myself!
I love my husband yes I do!
Frosted Glass Monogram Christmas CardMake a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.View the entire collection of cards.
I can’t wait to get these and send them out! I am so excited to share my absolute favorite picture of or wedding with all of our friends and family… yay for the Holiday season and for Shutterfly who gave us these cards for free!
Next on my agenda… the photobook.
“First-Christmas-Together” excitement is in full swing and on a budget!
We went to Target to find a theme for our tree (Hunter was confused as to why we needed a theme but I operate better that way). His first suggestion was Orange and Maroon… a fine color combination but for a Christmas tree?
I wanted something homey that reminded me of the mountains in Virginia. Truly our hearts are nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I can always win him over if I remind him of Franklin County. And so we picked a theme and the most important part of a tree… the topper: a beautiful birchwood branch star with holly berry. We liked so many ornaments but they can be so expensive. Making some of them would be fun and cheaper… Michael’s anyone?
I hadn’t been to Michael’s since the wedding planning and the smell brought back awesome memories. Hunter was more patient for tree shopping than for wedding shopping. I feel so blessed that he is just as excited and eager to make this holiday special. We ended up buying little bird houses and paint. Then we went home to work on our ornaments and watch Die Hard and Die Harder… nothing like a little Bruce Willis saving the world on Christmas Eve to get you in the holiday spirit.
Our work station
They’re cute aren’t they? And they were only a dollar each!
Can you guess which one is mine and which one is Hunter’s?
Before we got married I told Hunter he would very rarely be allowed to eat in bed. I’m a little OCD and he’s a little messy. One of my big pet peeves… crumbs on the sheets.
There’s an episode of “Friends” where Monica yells at Chandler for the crummies she finds on the bed. Anytime Hunter brings food to the bed I look at him and say “I better not find crummies!”
But last night, I felt like going a little crazy and taking dinner and netflix to the bedroom. Hunter’s face lit up when he saw me loading the plates on a tray. “Do we get to eat this in bed?” He asked incredulously.
Seeing as to how he came home with a tall Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks, a special treat for me, I decided he should have a special treat as well: dinner in bed.
It turned out to be a fun experience and a delicious simple dinner. On the menu were ground turkey quesadillas (I’ve sneakily replaced ground beef with ground turkey) and plenty of fresh salsa and chips.
Here is the recipe for my salsa:
- four tomatoes, diced
- half an onion, diced
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- one jalapeno, finely chopped (add the seeds if you want more spice)
- juice of one lime
- salt to taste
Just mix all the ingredients together and serve with tortilla chips.
The dinner ended crummy-less, although we had a few close calls with the salsa, which would have been much worse than crumbs.
I am so excited to be spending my first Christmas with my hubby. We have started shopping for ornaments for our tree and other decorations. Mostly though, I am so excited for our first Christmas cards!
Shutterfly has a lot of awesome cards in every color and design and it has been so hard for me to choose one. I’m not usually indecisive, but with so many choices who wouldn’t be.
So the winner is… The Noel Lace Christmas Card
It’s elegant and I’m so into gray right now, plus I get to showcase some of my favorite pictures from the wedding. I am super excited for everyone to see the picture on the center of the card… my veil looks awesome!
To find more Christmas photo cards go to http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-photo-cards
They also have cards without photos… and they’re just as cute http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-photo-cards
Is your head spinning from all the options? Here’s another link! http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/holiday-cards
Here’s hoping you find the perfect card for all of your friends and family!
T-Minus one week until black friday! I found the ads for just about every store on this website. Sure beats buying the paper and sifting through all of the ads!
I love black friday! Some of my favorite memories of shopping with friends have happened before the sun rises. Last year, I hit the stores with my (now) mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and might as well be sister-in-law Meghan Thompson.
I’ve already started planning my assault on the stores. Luckily, I live 3 minutes away from the mall. This year the object of my desire is a Martha Stewart cast iron casserole which usually runs for like $80 will only be $19.99!!!!! Think of all the awesome recipes we can concoct together.
Did I mention I have to be at work at six a.m.? I guess i’ll just have to wake up earlier this year!
I love roasting whole chickens. It’s always a beautiful meal that leaves plenty of left overs. In honor of the fall weather, I made a butternut squash and apple side dish to go along with the chicken. The whole apartment was filled with an awesome aroma… Hunter smelled it before he came in the door (not surprised)!
The chicken took a little long to cook so if you’re going to try this recipe, make sure you put the chicken in the oven a good two and a half hours before dinner time. When I make chicken I usually improvise, which is another reason why I LOVE roasting chickens… I can be as creative as I want and here’s what I came up with:
- 1 whole chicken (take out all the inside gunk hehe)
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Dry white wine
- Lots of herbs- Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, fresh parsley
- Minced garlic
- Salt & Pepper
Mix all of the ingredients in a gallon zip loc bag. Like I said, I just play in the kitchen so I can’t tell you exact amounts but it’s very difficult to mess up this dish so don’t worry. When you have a good consistency going, add the chicken and close the bag. make sure the chicken is covered with the marinade and put it in the fridge until it’s time to bake.
I usually stuff the chicken with potatoes and onions so it holds a nice shape. bake in the oven at 375 until the juices run clear.
Isn’t that gorgeous?
And for a side dish whip up some fall goodness with roasted butternut squash and apples
- 1 lb butternut squash, cubed
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup mashed pecans
- 2 apples peeled and cored
- 2 tbsp butter (or more)
- a little more maple syrup (for the apples)
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the squash with the oil in a bowl and the spice mix. Spread on an ungreased baking sheet until the squash turns brown at the edges. In a bowl, mix squash with syrup and bake for 5 more minutes.
In a separate skillet, melt butter and add apples. Saute until golden and tender. Stir in water, syrup, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and saute until glazed.
Then mix the squash, apples and pecans together and Voila!
Served on a table… FINALLY!
Enjoy and happy fall!
We’re really into epicurious.com! It’s an awesome website with millions of recipes and great tools to help you fix a tasty meal. My favorite tool is that you can type in ingredients that you have at home and it will give you recipes to match them. Great for the days when the fridge and pantry are drained!
I found a little table with four chairs at a yard sale for $30!!! I’m not gonna lie it was pretty ugly but I channeled my inner Martha Stewart and this is what happened…
The wood was restained and the metal painted an espresso brown. I chose a fun paisley design for the chairs because so much of our apartment is beige. Our home needed a pop of something! I did not consult with Hunter before choosing the pattern… he thought it was loud. I think it’s darling… I even had enough fabric left over to make some throw pillows!
This is starting to feel more like home…