Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Road Trip

On Sunday we embarked on our longest road trip to date. We knew it was going to be tough, but were determined to make it an adventure. Armed with an endless playlist of Christmas music, Gatorade and a full tank of gas, we set off...before 5am.

West Texas was full of cotton fields and windmills, as far as the eye could see.

We stopped at a roadside rest stop to eat lunch. PBJs, Fritos, and apple slices hit the spot. We had hoped to eat at one of the picnic tables, but it was too windy to attempt taking anything out of the car!

After hours and hours of driving, it started to feel more like this.

But our energy was renewed when we saw this...

An 80 mph speed limit! Now THAT is what I'm talking about. For those of you concerned about safety, the truck speed limit was still 70 mph. It called for a celebration of hot fries, the optimum road trip snack food.

At one point, Andreas and I were a bit concerned we were heading into Mexico. Check out that flag! Our GPS did not recognize anything to the left of this highway.

We could see the villages of Juarez. The buildings were so close to one another!

New Mexico was spotted with freight trains and cacti.

It wasn't the most interesting landscape to drive through, but the sunset was beautiful.

Our trip was finished off with In-N-Out for dinner and warm hugs from family upon our arrival. All in all, it was a way better trip than expected for a 16 hour car ride.

*Trip recommendation: Only partake in an excursion like this with people you love.
**Trip recommendation 2: Don't cry over orange soda. Love you family ;)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Home Is Where The Hearth Is

The other night we had friends over for coffee and dessert. Andreas made this awesome fire.

Mmmmm, cozy. Shoutout to Mama Payne for making our pretty stockings.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December Madness

My brain is moving a hundred miles an hour these days. I have at least ten mental lists going at all times, ten more lists on my iPhone, lists at work, post-its everywhere. I've officially lost track of the days of the week. It's crazy how the holidays get so busy so fast. Why isn't my brain organized like this?

Instead it feels like a jumbled mess of paperwork, some of which was fed through a shredder. But through it all, I continue to remind myself of a sermon from a couple of weeks ago. Beau Hughes gave a sermon entitled 'The Age of Anxiety' from Matthew 6. He talked about how anxiety plagues our society and how easy it is to let fear and worry rule your heart. The sermon rang so true in my heart. That I let things like making cookies for cookie exchanges and mailing Christmas cards and staying on top of my laundry pile cause me mental exhaustion is just crazy. I hope everyone actually takes time to enjoy the holidays, be with friends and family, and let unimportant things fall to the wayside.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blue Skies

Okay, so I love that we had a fall season and that it actually feels like winter in December. I love wearing a hoodie, sipping hot tea, and the smell of a fire (we made our first one this weekend!), but tonight...

Tonight I'm missing this kind of weather. Really I would settle for the sunshine.


Wow, blogging every day is way harder than I imagined. But I'm going to continue to try to do it as frequently as possible this month.

This is the first ornament I ever gave Andreas, and I still think it is adorable. I mean a s'more telling you it 'burns 4 you' - what could be cuter than that?! Ornament gifting is definitely a tradition in my family. Every year on Christmas Eve my parents would give each of us three kids an ornament, something that reminded them of us, and we would hang them on the tree. When we went on a vacation or somewhere special as a family, we would always purchase an ornament as a memento.

I love theme Christmas trees, when all the tinsel and lights and glass balls coordinate to look festive and elegant. And I would love to have a tree like that in my home someday...but it could never be my only Christmas tree. I love love love walking by this tree, every day catching a glimpse of a different ornament, a different memory, a different story. It is such a special part of Christmas.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Insight from The Eagles

I missed yesterday's post. Four days into the challenge and I failed to get something written. It was a busy Friday, and I was barely home at all. Last night was our work Holiday Party, and we had a great time with friends and co-workers. In fact, we shut that party down and were the last ones to leave!

Today's morning was full of Christmas preparations - gift wrapping, baking, etc. - and typical weekend chores - because who doesn't want to spend their Saturday morning folding laundry and paying bills? This afternoon we took a break from our productivity and got to hang out with some friends. We took pictures at Frisco Heritage Park, and I think some of them turned out really cute! It was a great location, but the weather was so cold we couldn't stand it for too long.

After pictures we determined that nothing says 'cozy evening' like Chicken Express and collectively decided to indulge. Old fashioned chicken tenders, creamy mashed potatoes, and gravy? Yes, please. An early dinner quickly turned into late night coffee. I absolutely love evenings spent with friends just sitting around chatting about everything and nothing, from budgeting to miniature potbelly pigs (I did NOT see that trend coming) to WordWorld. Nights like that remind me I should take it easy more often.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


It's been too long since I put these guys to good use. I took a run in the 40* weather today, and boy were my lungs burning. I haven't worked out regularly in a while. I'm trying to get back in the habit, but December might not be the most ideal month for getting into a routine.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chex Mania

I've been working on Christmas gifts for friends the last couple of days...

Things are starting to come together, but I still have a long way to go. Praise God for putting so many wonderful people in our lives.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Challenge

I stole this idea from another blogger, but it seemed so relevant that I thought I would partake in the challenge. Things tend to get so busy in December that days come and go in the blink of an eye, and the beautiful time spent with family and friends celebrating the birth of Christ is marred by the frenzy of mall shoppers, anxiety in crossing items off our to-do lists, and getting caught up in the overall hype of the holidays.

So, I'm challenging myself to take a moment each day in December to reflect on the day's joys, lessons, and stresses - and commemorate the day with a picture on the blog.