Wednesday, December 26, 2012

our christmas celebration

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful celebration with family and loved ones yesterday! 

We started our celebration with Matt's parents (who are visiting from Texas) on Christmas Eve.  We went to the 4pm service at our church where Matthew played and sang in the worship band.  It was a great service, and he did an amazing job.  You better believe that man sings like an angel, and his Mom and I were both in tears.

Then, we came home and I forced everyone to take pictures.  Yes, I have become my mother...but it's so worth it to get these pictures!
We ate tacos, cocktail shrimp, baked goodies, and watched Charlie Brown and Muppet Christmas Carol.  At about 7pm, the snow started, and it was beautiful.  Just enough to make the perfect white Christmas.  We stayed home until about 10pm and then we made our way to the 11 o'clock candlelight service. When we got there, I snapped a few pictures with some of our beautiful friends.
 And of course, we had to get some couples shots as well...
On Christmas morning, we opened gifts, had breakfast, and basically lounged around for most of the day.
 Matthew has a very large stocking, so he puts it on every year when he gets all his goodies out. 
Oh, how I love him...
Just like Thanksgiving, Christmas gave me the opportunity for a cooking first...my first ham! Matt's mom helped me bit a zillion cloves into this beast, and we threw it into the oven for a few hours.  Super simple, and super delicious. I'm actually about to go eat some leftovers for lunch right now!
The Christmas table was very similar to the Thanksgiving table we had last month.
We even ate our yummy dinner in our PJs.
At about 6pm, Matt's Grandparents, uncle, and cousin arrived from Oklahoma, and we had another round of eating, and gifts, and celebration.  It was a great day, and we had a lot of fun!  We will be celebrating with my family on Sunday, so there's even more fun to come!

Friday, December 21, 2012

our 2012 christmas letter

Merry Christmas!
2012 has been an absolutely incredible year in our lives.  We started our year by closing on our first home in Firestone, Colorado.  The home buying process was definitely a learning experience for us and we were so happy when we got our keys!  Since then, we have been working to make this house or home.  We have been decorating, have had many family members stay with us, and have friends over to break bread with us all the time.  It has been a dream come true!
We have also learned along the way that our living here is no accident.  We are attending an incredible church, and the relationships we have found in this place are most definitely a part of a plan so much larger than ourselves.  Matt has picked up right where he left off and plays/sings in the worship band almost every weekend, and he has lead our congregation in worship a few times.  Erin helps out in the nursery, has started singing in the worship band again, and most of all, she works with the middle and high school students as a youth leader.
The most amazing part of our year was our wedding on June 3rd, and it could not have been a more perfect day.  It was everything we could have ever wanted of our wedding day, and was a fantastic start to our marriage.  We are so appreciative of everyone's support and love throughout our relationship, and cannot thank everyone enough.   Right after our wedding, we took our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.  It was 5 days of relaxation, and was so great to just celebrate, and take a break after all of the wedding planning! 
This year, Erin has continued to work as the Administrative/Operations Lead in her 4th year at her job, and now works from our home, and she still loves it.  Matt also started a new job at the end of last year in Broomfield.  He was promoted to Department Manager in August, and is really enjoying the new position.  He looks forward to his future within the company.

Erin started documenting our life and home projects in her blog, Magenta and Lime.  She has really enjoyed this new hobby and if you are interested in following along, she would Love it!
Our holiday season started when we hosted our very first Thanksgiving at our house with Erin's parents and brother.  The turkey came out perfect, which Erin was very happy about, and it was a beautiful day.  We are looking forward to having Matt's parents visit for Christmas this year, and getting to decorate our new home for the first time!
We hope you have had a great year as well, and have a Merry Christmas.  We send our love, and wish you a happy new year in 2013.

God's Blessings To You,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

our house at christmas - 2012

I am calling it...we are officially done decorating for Christmas! And with a whole 5 days to spare! :) This is the first Christmas for us in this house, and it's been a ton of fun decorating it!  Who's ready for a house tour? Just a heads up, this is a looong post...I'm talking 37 pictures.

If you don't remember from this post, this is what the outside of our house looks like right now:
Step inside the front door, and you will be greeted by this cute little entry decor:
I made this sign the same way I made the O Holy Night art, and the christmas bunting, but used a canvas instead of fabric. And these reindeer were a gift from Matt's parents a few years ago.  They were from Pottery barn.
On the shelves, we've got this cute little Frosty The Snowman dish set that I've had since I was a little girl, and our nativity scene.  It was a cheap set that we got from Walmart a few years ago.  It's not terrible, but we have been on the hunt for one we really love, to replace it. A great nativity scene is hard to find!
Next up is the living room, which I must say, is my favorite spot in the house right now!
There's the O Holy Night art I was talking about earlier.  I just love how everything looks with the updated fireplace.  On the mantel, we've got some lighted garland with little bunches of cranberries.
We've also got this beautiful golden tree that we picked up at Michael's the other night for only $10! FYI - all of their Christmas decor is on sale and/or clearance right now!
And we've got these candlesticks that I picked up at Kohl's a few years ago.  I used some leftover burlap and wrapped it around these candles to make them a bit more rustic.
 Part of me would love to have beautiful, matching stockings, but these are ours, and they are special. You'll notice that a lot of our decorations are not necessarily our style, but I feel that a lot of that goes out the window at Christmas time.  It's much more about the traditional and sentimental items, than about something super stylish, for us.  I've had my stocking since I was a baby, and the two empty hooks are for Matthew's parent's stockings, since they are celebrating with us, this year!
 On the shelves, we just have a few decorations, including a snowflake candleholder,  some sprigs of bronzed cranberries, and the little baby Jesus and lamb that I made in Sunday School when I was about 6 years old.

And last, but certainly not least in this room, is this cute little reindeer my Grandpa made me when I was little.  It warms my heart every year to see him in our house, and to look at this tag and know my Grandfather wrote this himself.  He passed when I was only 11, so it's nice to have things around that remind me of him.
And there is the living room, looking from the dining room.
Speaking of the dining room, the decoration is limited to just the centerpiece, really.  
Remember at Thanksgiving when I told you that there was a centerpiece similar to that one for Christmas? Well, here it is! I love the "log" candles on this one!
 Right off the dining room, we have the Advent Calendar hanging on the basement door.  I made this calendar a few years ago, based on the one I grew up with, that my Grandma made for my Mom.
This is no ordinary advent calendar, I tell you.  This calendar is based not only on the traditional ornaments on a tree, but also things and people that I love.  For instance, how many of you have the Star Trek Enterprise (my Dad), Snoopy (my Mom), and a record (my Brother) on your advent calendar tree?
In our kitchen, we added just a few things to decorate for the season, including the bunting I made yesterday, and the Christmas Card holder I made last week.  We've also got some ornaments in the glass vase on the console table; that was all my hubby! That man has an eye for decor. :)
 On top of the cabinets, we have lighted garland (that we turn on at night), and these NOEL letters that I made...I'll be sharing soon!
 We also have these wooden reindeer that were in my house when I was a kid. 
The kitchen is all set for some baking to happen this weekend, and for me to cook my first ham ever, on Christmas!
Upstairs, we have just a few decorations, including this miniature tree in our room.
 And of course, my argyle Christmas water bottle on my nightstand!
In the guest room, as I told you the other day when I made this plaid art, we added just a bit of decoration to make it cozy, and festive for our guests.
And finally, we have this cute little guy in the guest bath.  He's cousin to the santa in the picture above; I got them both at Pier 1 a few years ago.
And that's our house, all set for Christmas! I just love how it has all come together, and I've gotten to make so many things to add to it! It will be so wonderful to celebrate with family in our home this year.
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