December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

This Christmas was definitely one full of memories.  All of the Christmastime activities have been so much more fun this year since I've been able to share them all with David.  December was full of parties and events and the beginning of wedding planning!

Here's a little rundown of the past week of Christmas fun

Friday the 21 was my last day of work for 2012.  We had 1 evaluation and then were at the office the rest of the day.  It was nice to get caught up on paperwork and leave feeling ready to take on another year.  I also may have done a little bit of figuring out wedding details and I was able to book sites for our ceremony and reception so we have an official wedding date!  It's nice to be able to answer the question of "when" since that's the first thing people ask from the day you get engaged.

Last Saturday,  we met my mom, brother and Aunts for lunch for our Reed family "Christmas."  It was supposed to be with the whole family, but my grandfather was not feeling well enough to come up to Dallas, so it was just a small crew.  But still nice to catch up with everyone

Sunday we had church and a meeting, then we spent the afternoon relaxing and wrapping gifts.  We knew the rest of the week would be crazy, so we took it pretty easy that day.

Monday I headed with David and his sister their parents' house for Christmas Eve.  We had an early dinner and then I went to church with them.  Afterward we exchanged a few gifts and spent time at the house.  It was the first Christmas Eve as long as I can remember that I did not spend at my home church--which felt a little weird, but I really enjoyed getting to spend it with my new family :)

We decided to spend Christmas Day with our own families, so Tuesday I headed over to mom's house.  We had breakfast and then opened gifts.  My nephew is at a fun age where he is understanding the idea of opening presents and he liked unwrapping things... but we also had several distractions of snack time, attempted nap times, playing with toys and snow--so overall it took us about 4 hours to open all the gifts.  It was the first time Chase had ever seen snow and he was mesmerized to look out the window and point to it for all of us to see.  We ended up heading home early, right after dinner, in case the roads got bad (which they really didn't)

Wednesday morning David picked me up and we headed up to Oklahoma to visit his extended family.  We didn't know what to expect on the roads, but they weren't icy at all.  Even without the ice, people were being super cautious (a nice way to say slow), so the usual 3.5 hour trip took us about 6 hours.  But we enjoyed the time in the car together and had some good conversations, including answering questions from these books my mom bought us for christmas--they were full of fun and silly questions for us to answer.  When we got to his Grandma's house I was able to meet his aunts, uncles and cousins and then we had dinner together.  We stayed there through Friday and were able to enjoy playing games with his grandma, eating lots of good food, a visit to the OU campus, dinner with David's best friend and his wife, and watching Baylor in the Holiday Bowl.  It was a nice time to get away and meet his family.

Saturday we headed to East Texas for a visit with my family.  Since my Grandpa wasn't able to come up for Christmas, we wanted to make a trip to see him.  We spent the afternoon visiting and David was able to meet my Grandpa and my Aunt and Uncle.  It was a quick trip, but nice to see them for a while.

And now I am thoroughly enjoying being back at home and having very little on the schedule (other than New Years Party) before I go back to work on Wednesday!

December 20, 2012

Toys for Tots

I have really fallen down on the whole photo a day thing this month.  Being sick for last almost 2 weeks has wiped me out and I just haven't taken many pictures, even when the perfect opportunity presented itself (i.e. Day 14 b&w--I was at an amazing and beautiful black and white party hosted by some friends, but did not take a single picture!)

But I wanted to share this picture as a tidbit from my day yesterday.  We had a few cancellations at work, so my friend Jill and I had the opportunity to go pick up gifts from Toys for Tots for a few of our co-workers and the clients and families they submitted.

We got to the room where they were setting up and it was amazing to see just how many toys had been donated (and that's just for this specific location).  It was all set up by age group and gender and we go to take the list and "shop" for each of the kids picking out a couple toys to take to their families.

Having seen and contributed to collections for toys for tots, angel tree, and other opportunities, it was very neat to get to be on this side of it and see where some of those toys were going.  Overall we got to get toys and food for 66 kids in 33 different families that will now have a little something to celebrate Christmas.

It was just what I needed in the midst of all the busy-ness and last minute shopping and worrying about finding the right gifts for people.  So looking forward to being done with the next 2 days and on to a little rest and a lot of traveling and fun for Christmas!

December 11, 2012

A very Christmas Weekend

***AHHHH!  I am about to scream about how frustrating making this post was and I just need to know if anyone knows how to fix it.  For some reason when I upload pictures into Blogger, most "landscape" pictures get rotated 90 degrees.  And I have not been able to find a tool in blogger to rotate pictures.  And the only fix I've found is if I go turn the picture  in my computer folder 90 degrees, upload it like that (then it's still turned) and then go back and turn it back to normal in my folder and re-upload it.  Needless to say, that seems a little ridiculous.  Does anyone else have problems with that??  Is it just my computer?  Any ideas of fixes would be awesome. :)  Now I hope you enjoy lots of pictures from this weekend, because I worked hard to get them on here! ;) 

This weekend was full of Christmas fun!

Friday morning was our Holiday Party for all of the families we work with.  We rented out a church outreach center, had cookies, crafts and pictures with Santa.  It is always a great party every year and lots of fun!

From there we headed to lunch with my co-workers for our Secret Santa reveal.  After a few hours of actually working, that night we had our staff Christmas party at my friend Julie's house.  I stopped by that, but left early to meet up with David for a party with his co-workers. 

Saturday I went to lunch with my friends Melissa and Amy for our second-annual December birthday lunch.  Then I met up with Erin for some fun wedding planning talk--and a spur of the moment Christmas gift exchange once we realized the next time we both have free is in January.

Saturday night we took a group of International Students (along with some friends from church) to look at Christmas lights.  We drove out to one of the neighborhoods well-known for it's lights and it was a lot of fun explaining some of the fun and crazy Christmas traditions to them as well as talking about the real reason we celebrate Christmas.  We turned up the Christmas music and enjoyed the lights

 This street was definitely the most fun to turn onto.  They had lights strung across the street and the houses at the end were so brightly lit!
 We also really liked the way they put lights in these trees

And the inflatables inside this house were kind of fun.

Sunday was church and then David and I watched a Christmas movie.  Sunday evening we headed out to celebrate our friend Amy's birthday.  Her boyfriend Matt had planned dinner in downtown Grapevine and then an evening walking around the Gaylord Texan.

I had been to the Gaylord before for the Ice Exhibit a few times, but David had never been and it was a lot of fun going with a group of friends!  The decorations there are so amazing to me.

 A Life-size Gingerbread House


 Santa's Boots

 My favorite tree there

Now this week has been greeted with my annual Christmas sickness along with the cold temperatures (that I LOVE).  And this week is full of Christmas parties as well!

December 9, 2012

December Photo a Day

December is such a FUN month, I can't imagine not participating in some photo a day challenge... and I really liked this one I found.  So here we go

 I absolutely love the lighting and shadows from our engagement pics!
 I obviously really like this scarf since it debuted in 2 of this week's pictures!

Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Kids' Holiday Party we do for work

December 3, 2012

December started off with a bang...and a ring!

So Saturday morning I was reminiscing about birthdays past, not even knowing that I was about to have the best birthday ever which would end with an engagement I've waited and prayed for for a long time.

David had planned an afternoon together.  He told me the night before it would be a scavenger hunt with a variety of clues to figure out the next stop of the day.

We started off at my apartment and then went to our church for the next clue.  That clue led us to BJ's where we enjoyed lunch before getting the next clue to head to Dave & Buster's.  After Dave & Buster's I got the final clue (which I didn't know at the time) leading us to White Rock Lake.  At this point I was thinking through all the places we had been.

 he said he wanted to make sure we got pictures at each place we went... we definitely forgot to get a picture at BJ's... and the 2 pictures we got otherwise are kind of ridiculous looking but it documents the day :)

First, was the church, the place we first met.  Second, the restaurant where we had our first date.  White Rock Lake is where we had our first kiss.  I couldn't quite connect the dots to Dave & Buster's-- we had a random date night there several months ago that we both really enjoyed-- only later did he tell me he chose that because that was the night he knew he wanted to ask me to marry him and he stayed up that night starting to plan this very day (so incredibly sweet).

So we got to White Rock Lake and decided to go to the bench where we had watched a lightening storm over the lake the first time we went together.  David decided to grab his jacket "because it was windy" which tipped me off a little that there might be more going on (although I will say that the whole day any time I started to think we might be getting engaged soon, I would tell myself not to get my hopes up and remind myself it was just a fun birthday surprise!).

We turned the corner going up the hill and saw the bench set up with purple balloons (even though they look pink here) and a card with my name on it taped to the bench.

We sat down and David read the birthday card--which included lots of wonderful things about what he loved about me and how glad he was that God had brought us together--to me.

Then he said he had something else for me and he got down on his knee, pulled out the ring box and said (something to the extent of) "Laura, I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Will you marry me?"

And I said yes

And then he told me to turn around because there was someone who wanted to take our picture.  I was completely oblivious to my surroundings and didn't even notice his best friend taking pictures from not too far away (but I'm so glad he did so we have all these forever!).  

Two of his friends had driven down from Oklahoma to help set things up at the park and take pictures for us of the engagement.  It was great to finally meet them--but they headed off pretty quickly so we could enjoy our time together.  We headed down to sit on the dock and watch the sunset, so I called my mom and made a plan to go over there and then called by 2 best friends.  David called his grandma to wish her a happy birthday as well and share the news.  And we were able to enjoy about an hour just sitting together and soaking in the day.

From there we grabbed a quick dinner and then headed to my mom's to catch up with her.  We showed her the ring, told her the story and she got some good pictures of us.

Then the plan was for me to go to my friend Katie and Melissa's house to catch up with the two of them and tell katie the news (Melissa already knew and had been planning with David).  Little did I know the surprises were not over.  David and Melissa, along with other good friends, had planned a surprise birthday party with me.  I was completely floored when I saw everyone standing in the kitchen--but maybe not as floored as almost everyone else when David turned the tables and announced that we were engaged!

It was so much fun celebrating with my best friend, among other people.  And I was so glad I had already had a chance to call and tell her the news before the party

David added to the surprise by planning well enough in advance that Nicki and Mathis were able to drive up to be here for the party too!  Nicki and I lived together when she and Mathis got engaged and as they planned their wedding so it was very fun to share in this special night with them too.

 I don't really have other pictures from the party yet, but there were a ton of good friends, hugs and congratulations.  Along with a fun cake from my friend Melissa.  It was an awesome ending to the day and so fun to be able to tell a lot of our good friends at once and to share the story.

The last several months with David have been amazing.  I've prayed for several years for the Lord to bring the right man in to my life at the right time--and He has answered that prayer in ways I never even would have planned or imagined.  I am so looking forward to starting the next chapter with David and the idea of celebrating many future birthdays with him sounds perfect.

November 30, 2012

November Photo a Day, Final Post

I forgot to post this one last week.  But this was one of my Black Friday tasks--a hat for my nephew!

 I love that Lily came and got in the picture.  She loves the tree!

I know he was in my post for small, but really I cannot believe how big he is getting!

November 26, 2012

Photo A Day

I did not do very well taking pictures last week... but I still did over half ;)

worked on decorations for a party my friend Sarah is hosting.  Stole the craft idea from my friend Erin

 Flip flops... the day before Thanksgiving.  Ridiculous

 My grandfather has had some health problems recently, so I felt more grateful than usual to be able to sit with him and eat Thanksgiving dinner together 

love having my Christmas playlist going!

November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

It has been a great couple of days.  We went to Palestine to visit family for Thanksgiving.  I always have so much to be thankful for, but I feel like this year especially I am feeling blessed this Thanksgiving.  The past month or so has been a crazy whirlwind with things going on with family.  I am grateful that my mom is past most of her cancer treatments and we were able to travel together for Thanksgiving.  And I was grateful yesterday that I got to eat dinner with my Grandpa who has also been facing some health problems the last couple months--it was nice to sit at the table with him and enjoy a meal together.

And today I am grateful for a day off and for getting to put up my Christmas decorations this morning!

This is my favorite part of my apartment right now:

And my newest decorations that were all made this morning:

A friend and I got together Tuesday night for a craft night and we had discussed possibilities of different wreaths... we ended up settling on a different craft, but when I saw this burlap wreath I thought it would compliment my Willow Tree nativity perfectly.  I couldn't find red burlap, but I think the regular worked well too!

And I added a few prints of Christmas songs to the area as well (it might make the area busy, but I just LOVE both these songs)
I found this O Holy Night Print on pinterest
And I made the other one based on the hook of a song on Natalie Grant's Christmas Album
It reads:
Mistletoe and falling snow and presents under the tree
But most of all, and best of all, a Savior came for me

I LOVE Christmas time and I am kind of excited that Thanksgiving was so early so Christmas season lasts longer :)

November 19, 2012

November Photo a Day Part 2

 Love my Tervis Tumbler!

Dog Included in sleeping arrangements

My friend Jill and I were in charge of making the popcorn for our agency's All Staff meeting.  Look at that container of oil/butter.  Gross

 My eval kit for work

 Passed this same intersection at 3:45 am and 11:05 pm.  Friday was a long day!

Michaels had all their yarn on sale!  And I've been getting back in to knitting--we'll see how that goes

 Caption for this day if you can't read it is "happened this weekend"  And guess what happened this weekend?  My 2 best friends and I had bought tickets for this weekend's Baylor game back in September, so we go to watch Baylor beat Kansas State--the #1 ranked team in the country--by 28 points.  It was amazing.

 Also happened this weekend: got to spend time (though never enough time!) with both of these girls together for the first time in almost a  year and a half

And I celebrated 6 months of dating this guy.

It was a good weekend.