I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance; a scene filled with flowers and friends. I asked him what kind of wedding he wished for; he said one that would make me his wife.
There is a reason for the season, you know.  We all tend to get caught up in gift buying, decorating, parties, etc so much so, that we rarely, if ever, stop long enough to remember why we celebrate Christmas.

Why DO we celebrate Christmas, you ask? Allow me to tell you! :)

We celebrate Christmas out of Love. Actually, we celebrate God's act of love for us by sending His one and only son to save the world. God sent his son to us to take punishment for all our sins. In case you didn't get the picture yet....when Christ was born, our salvation began.  We should be giving gifts to celebrate the birth of our Savior, not just because we need new clothes or a Playstation. 

We shouldn't take off work to Christmas shop or decorate.  We should take off work to give to those less fortunate than us, to go to Church and to celebrate the birth of Christ. To sing to Him. To reach out for Him. To show our LOVE for Him who gave up everything for all of us. 

I am truely making an effort this year to stop as often as I can and to think about that. You should too.  After all, it's the reason we are all here.  The reason we can have families, friends, dogs, cats, shoes, homes, etc.  All of it. 

Take some time this Christmas season to stop and tell Him how much you love Him and what He did for us.

He is the reason for our Peace.


Okay, this one is the BEFORE!

Here is my hubby opening up ornament boxes.  He is thrilled. Trust me.

No, the pic below wasn't posed or anything...

I LOVE my Nativity Scene.  Cutest ever.

These are 3 very important people! VIP!!

What to do with all those leftover ornaments?? You'll see these again...

More leftover ornaments.  Now hanging from the bar area.  Very sparkly!


I have a slight snowman obsession. Tree Skirt. Otherwise known as Bailey's new favorite place to roll around and get black hair all over.   : /

Very festive candle!

The outside. 90% done. Still working on getting the lights to come on in that little tree up front.  Work in progress.  Andrew will get RIGHT on that this weekend.

Front window.  Says "Let it Snow." with snowmen and snowflakes.  Fitting as it MIGHT snow tomorrow. Which I will be at work for. But I'm not bitter about it.

Told ya you'd see those leftover ornaments again.  Those angels my mom and I made like 5 years ago!

My SLIGHT obsession with snowmen continues....

I spy a few more snowmen. And a santa and a tree!!!

Is it?  Could it be!!? Another snowman!!!

Small angel in the little alcove area up front.

Maybe SLIGHT is the wrong word....

Hooray! Check out those picture taking skills!!

Awww....homemade ornament! I was kinda cute!

Andrew was more cute.

Our kids will be awesome.

This ornament is a LOT more sparkly in real life!!

You know I had to....HIIII!!

Merry Christmas!!

Phew! That was exhausting! :)

Don't forget the true reason for the season!!!



This year I am just completely overwhelmed.

I feel so incredibly blessed.  I've ALWAYS been blessed in my life, don't get me wrong.  Really though, look at all I've got this year.

  • A job.  A steady one.  A faithful income.  Awesome employees.
  • A car.  It gets me to and from my job.  Back and forth to see family and friends.
  • A house that is slowly but steadily becoming a home with all our love and finishing touches that are going into it right now.
  • A dog.  Who sometimes drives me completely mad, but is always there to give me kisses and lick up my tears.  He never judges me and loves me beyond what I can fathom.
  • Health.  I can see, smell and feel everything around me.  I can fully enjoy what God has given me.
  • A family.  Who loves me no matter what and is always there.
  • New family. Who accepted me in so easily to their already-made family.
  • Friends.  They are always there. Never judging.
  • A husband.  I think this is the one that puts me over the edge this year.  He went from boyfriend, to fiancee to husband in 8 months. He went from a boy to a man. He made a promise to be with only me for the rest of his life.  That's pretty awesome.  He loves me enough to make these vows. I love him more than I can even describe.
  • Faith.  The past year has shown me a lot.  Learning about God and Christianity is a life long process, but this year we started it.  First me and then us.  It's so exciting.  So enriching.  So. Awesome.
I know there is much more to be thankful for this time of year...but those are my top things.

"Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire!" - Hebrews 12:28

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours this season.  Let everyone know you love them because you never know what tomorrow will bring. 

One of our wedding gifts was a lovely Oster bread machine.  I was so excited when I opened it.  Yesterday I unpackaged it and went out on the hunt for bread ingredients. 

I was a little intimidated of the whole process.  The instructions scared me. They talked about the importance of VERY precise measurements. Eek!  At one point after it told me the order in which to add ingredients into the pan it said "Never let the wet and dry ingredients touch."  Um, excuse me?  Don't they HAVE to touch in order to add them into the bread pan.  The picture even had the two touching.  Someone apparently didn't have a good editor look over their booklet...

Anyway! Here's my stash for making the bread for Thanksgiving at the O'D's!

Please excuse the picture quality... these were taken from my phone :)

I spent like what seemed forever measuring ingredients and adding them to the bread pan and finally got it
into the machine.

MMMMMMM... you know that looks good! You know you want some! ;)

Three hours later:

This is a one and a half pound loaf! Dense! It was late when I finished it, so I have yet to taste test it
but I will definitely have some with dinner tonight and let you guys know how it turned out. I am hoping
it turns out really good or at least decent because I have to bring some loaves for Thanksgiving at the O'Donnell household! Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Other shenanigans this weekend included lots of returning wedding gifts and buying new ones! Hooray! Duplicates are great!  My favorite item from the weekend was our new Duvet cover from Macy's. We originally registered for one that we liked and it was on sale now for $199 just for the duvet cover. We purchased a different one we love for $39 on clearance!! Sweet!

And now for a close up!


It was a very productive/fun weekend!

So, week one of being back at home as a wife. I think I've earned some wife points over the past couple of days you guys. I mean, I deserve something shiny.  No, not a diamond...I want this bad boy.

I dream about this bad boy at night.  So much so, that maybe Andrew should be jealous?  Anyway!

I went grocery shopping whilst Andrew slept in very late one day.  He needed food for his lunches at work.  That was wife point number 1.

Number 2 is something that would make your tastebuds tittle.  Is that a word?  It is now!

That is right ladies and gentleman! I made my first ever homemade chili and cornbread.  It was a hit! Andrew called me before work one afternoon to praise it, actually!  I was told to keep that recipe :) Will do, hubby!

Wife point number 3....I cleaned the entire kitchen and all the dirty dishes that have accumulated this week. That's not even the best part.  I did this RIGHT after I got my nails done.  Love, I tell you.  Makes you do crazy things!

Wife point 4! I am cleaning all of Andrew's dirty work clothes.

Yah, his nasty bleach smelling clothes. That's how much I like him.  I think after I wash, dry and fold them, I will place them on his side of the bed for him to bask in their glory.

Yup, this wife thing isn't so bad! ;)  What do we think Andrew is planning on doing? :)

I kid.  Andrew has been incredibly thoughtful over the past two weeks.  He is acting as a husband should and I am loving every minute of it!
Since there are really no pictures from the wedding yet (and don't expect many before Dec. 19th when the professional pictures should pop up!) I figured I could at least do a Honeymoon post! Yippee!

To me, the Honeymoon, which I will refer to as HM, started the second we entered the car at the end of the ceremony. We'll begin there!

Andrew and I stuffed ourselves into the backseat filled with balloons.  Remind me to thank you Allie, Michelle, Jeff and Jeff!!!  Jeff, my brother, was nice enough to drive us to our hotel for the night.  Okay, this might be too much information but I figure most people reading this will be close friends and family...so here goes! If you know me, I always, and I mean ALWAYS have to poo at really inappropriate times. For example, riding up Hwy 288 in a really ghetto area all dressed up.  Yup, it happened.  Jeff reluctantly pulled over and quickly told me that he wasn't letting me out the car at THAT gas station. Uh-oh.  We crossed the highway to a Church's Chicken place and when Andrew and I scurried up to the door it was closed. CLOSED. Yah, really.  At this point, the feeling passed so we were able to move on towards the hotel. Is everyone still following? :)

Andrew and I stayed at the Marriott at the airport for easy access to our flight at 10 the next morning.

  We checked in and were immediately told that there were about 6 other newlyweds in the place that night and it was some sort of record. We didn't receive any gifts or conselation prizes, so I guess it wasn't THAT big a deal, right? First thing we did when we got up to the room was order room service!

 Andrew's hollow leg must have kicked in since he ate a whole plate of food and ice cream at the reception and I had about 3 bites of food. Oh well. I am just jealous. :) We ate, showered and tried our best to fall asleep since we were so excited about the next morning! We slept a good 4 hours and awoke before the alarm went off.  Told you we were excited!

Jumped out of bed at 6:40 and got dressed and lugged our stuff down to the lobby to shuttle over to the E Terminal. We walked into the terminal and were both immediately overwhelmed.  Neither of us had flown in a while and there were a LOT of people. We got in line to check in, got our tickets and went through security.  Why must everyone take their shoes off? I didn't realize that keeping drugs or weapons in your shoes was that popular.  I know, shame we aren't up to date on the latest buzz! We were hungry, so decided to grab some breakfast. That turned into lunch really.  Chinese isn't exactly breakfast, right? :)  Then we hit up a little shop for 2 magazines, a deck of cards, Red Hots and a water. Damage: $33.99!?! Wow. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, we went to our gate and made a few last minute calls. We boarded our plane on time, Sky Mall'd it before take off and generally did things married couples do.  Andrew watched a movie with headphones on and I read a book and my cooking magazine.  Pretty thrilling! After 2 hours and 55 minutes we disembarked the plane in Montego Bay Jamaica! A few customs and security lines later, we were at our little "Couples" nook enjoying free Red Stripe and waiting for our bus.  We boarded our bus and gripped the seats in front of us the entire 1.5 hr ride.  Apparently oncoming traffic likes to pass under ANY circumstance.  No matter how far away oncoming traffic may be.  I praised the Lord a few times during this ride. When we SAFELY arrived at Couples San Souci, we were greeted with champagne. We checked in, went to our room, unpacked and walked down to the beach to eat at the beach front grill. MMMM! We had a few drinks at the bar and headed to bed.

11-9-09 Monday
We woke up 7:30am (6:30am Houston time) and threw one our bathing suits with a cover-up and headed to the open-air breakfast buffet. After a rather delectable breakfast, we headed back to our suite to lather up with sunscreen and headed to the beach.  We noticed a "Champagne Cruise" sign on the water sports hut.  An hour later, we headed out on our cruise.

 We got to drink a bottle of champagne and cruise along Jamaica's shoreline for a tour.  At one point we got to stop and jump in the middle of the ocean where I quickly thought of sharks and didn't last TOO long. Haha! Once back ashore, we headed to the beach bar where I discovered my favorite drink of the trip...."Paradise".

Very fitting! We headed to the main lobby for a resort orientation which lasted about an hour and we learned a lot and went back to both the pool and beach for more drinks.  Hey, it's all-inclusive people! That night, we had dinner on the beach again.  So spoiled, I tell you! More drinks that night before bedtime!

11-10-09 Tuesday
Headed out for the breakfast buffet bright and early again.  At 9:45am, we were shuttled over to Dunns River Falls where we climbed 980-some-odd feet directly up a waterfall.  I will let the pictures do the talking!

 We were very intimidated at first, to say the least but quickly loosened up and had fun! We got back to the hotel around 1pm and immediately had lunch at the themed buffet.  I think this first day was Chinese.  We re-lathered up and headed to the beach, with more drinks of course! ;)  This was our first "reservation" dinner.  It was casual dress code and Andrew had a hunk of meat (surprise!) and I had spinach and feta crepes.  Yummmm! We shared a dessert...something the equivalent to "death by chocolate!" It was great, of course! I had a glass of wine before dinner was over and then we headed over to the beach bar for the remainder of the evening to people watch and then headed to bed!

To be continued.....