Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas Recap 2013

Christmas is always over the top for my family. Always has been...always will be. Kev says my family does Christmas on steroids. I am not just talking about presents, but talking about the amount of thought and joy we put into such a special holiday, as well as the traditions we have established and continue each year.
My momma and daddy have always instilled in my brother and I what Christmas is truly all about...the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We give all thanks to God for the amazing lives we live. Always reflecting more intently this time of year on his grace and blessings he pours upon us. I find myself most at peace at Christmas time, as we truly do not deserve his love and mercy. 

This year was a bit more special because my two grandmothers are alive and doing well. This was something my family did not expect as they have struggled with their health almost the entire year of 2013. Having them together with all of our family was such a blessing. 
The time I get to spend with my family at Christmas is greater than any gift I could ever receive. This year was so fulfilling. I thank God for blessing me so abundantly with so much love in my life. 
How we spent Christmas this year............
I was lucky to have almost an entire week off this year for some much needed Christmas vacay. That just does not happen in the healthcare realm. I have never had more than a day or two off in 5 years of working in the healthcare industry for Christmas.
Kev and I surprised my parents by heading home earlier than expected. We loaded up our cars Monday after work, and didn't mention a peep that we were headed home until we sent this this video......

excuse the no makeup and lack of fixing my hair

followed by an immediate facetime call ...and i opened the call to find momma, daddy and my brother jumping up and down. that melted my heart right then and there!

and then she sent us this....and i about died of laughter

My momma has always went above and beyond with her Christmas cheer. Her whole house completely transforms into a winter wonderland ...down to the soap dispensers and dish towels. I wonder where i get it from....hhhhmmmm. She is so into Christmas traditions. She bakes and bakes hundreds of yummy Christmas goodies and cooks an elaborate Christmas Eve meal for all of my extended family. She is also known for going a little overboard on gifts for her family, neighbors and friends. My dad has learned to let it go.... haha! 
But momma isn't the only one into the holidays.....you can find my dad on Christmas eve smoking and baking his famous "meats" for family and friends in their small community. His smoked ham, turkey and pork tenderloin are locally famous...tis true. He is also known for last minute Christmas shopping that he usually talks my brother into doing for him. 

Christmas Eve is my family's big event. It has always been at our house as as long as I can remember. Our family is about to outgrow the living room. We stuff ourselves silly, pass around a little "shine" (compliments of my uncles .....aka moonshine for you non eastern-kentuckians) and open gifts. It's just so much more fun when you have little ones in the mix, and are able to see the holiday through their eyes. 

After our family leaves, my brother, momma, daddy, KR  and moi....all open our gifts from each other. This is my favorite part because it's just us. We change into our pajamas and usually eat a second round of dessert and open our presents one by one. I think we got a little carried away this year....

Christmas Day is spent in our pajamas playing with our goodies and eating left overs. We still wake up to gifts from Santa .....and i still get a holiday Barbie every.single.year. (true story - i have them all but the first thanks to Santa...who insists on continuing this tradition...ahem ahem. i secretly love it!) My momma will whip up some finger foods and we take it easy. 

We then traveled to KR's parents' house and spent Christmas time with them. We gifted his parents with an ipad this year and they were so excited! 

The weekend after Christmas my parents came up to NKY for a little extended vacay of their own. My parents continue to work full time (thank goodness retirement is just around the corner!!!), and  are taking care of both of their mothers full time. It's been quite a year for them having one grandmother live with them permanently, and the other next door requiring 24/7 care split between family and paid caregivers. So we made arrangements for someone to be with the grannies so they could have a little down time of their own. Just what the doctor had ordered for them.
Kev and I spent the weekend taking them anywhere they wanted to go ...and doing whatever they wanted. 

That consisted of shopping
going to the Casino
burgers and beer at Flipdaddy's
introducing my dad to Jersey Mike's for the first time 
watching UK beat Louisville!!!! GO BIG BLUE!
Movies on the couch
more left overs 
checking out the new Field and Stream store
dropping my baby brother off at the airport and sending him to California for the rest of his break to be with his sweet gf who we missed so much at Christmas 
and lunch at Findlay market 

Needless to say...i am on a total Christmas hangover and had the hardest time going back to work yesterday. Kev and I neither one wanted it to end. We were so happy to spend so much time with family this holiday season. 
It was an amazing Christmas and we are blessed beyond words.

Happy New Year's Eve Friends!  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Our Christmas Card

This is officially mine and Kev's first Christmas card as hubby and wife. Last year I was so consumed with pre and post wedding festivities that I didn't even send one out....Christmas cards have never been my strong suit. Until now...I am determined to be better at this yearly tradition.
I wish I could send more out, but unfortunately my husband may kill me :-)

Kev was shocked I didn't use a photo of us and the dogs (and I may have shocked myself a little too), but I wanted something different this time. Something festive and fun. So I decided to use one of our Mr. and Mrs. Photos we took post wedding with the fabulous Amy Campbell.
(I used Tiny Prints to make our card)

So Merry Christmas from ours to yours!
and a happy new year too!

Back of card 

I probably will not return to blogging until after the new year as Kev and I will be busy spending time with family over the next two weeks. We plan to celebrate Christmas, wear lots of elastic pants, and consume lots and lots of holiday goodies with our families. We can't wait to have them here!
May you remember the true reason for the season and be surrounded by those you love! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Home Tour: The Formal Dinning Room

When Kev and I first saw this house during our home buyers shopping period, I absolutely loved the round table our sellers had in this room. It was perfect in there. Small enough to have an intimate meal, but large enough to add a couple of chairs and have big holiday meal around it, too. 
We met our sellers multiple times and just adore them now in the present. They were willing to sell anything in the house....they just told us to ask. Of course I asked about the table! The sellers price was dirt cheap....and i mean cheap...and not to be materialistic, but it's an older model pottery barn table so you know it cost a pretty penny and is made well. 
Kev happily reminded me that we didn't need the table, and that we already had nice dinning room furniture. He insisted it would just sit in the basement and collect dust. I notified our seller that I would sadly pass on the table. She knew how in love with it I was, but I put the table out of sight and out of mind.
Then came closing day and our final walk through........
and those amazing sellers i have been telling you about, well......they gifted us that gorgeous table as a housewarming gift with a nice note about how much she wanted us to have it. 
I was speechless!!!!!!! Speechless people! 
and it didn't stop there....they left us quite the wine collection, a fridge full of beverages (coke, water, etc,), tools for kev, cleaning supplies, shelving in the basement, a shop vac, a HUMONGO dog pen in the basement, yardwork tools out the wahzoo....i could go on and on about their generosity....
Needless to say, I teared up at our closing on the house. 
We could not thank them enough. I am telling you, our house has good karma ;-) 

So the dinning room is special to me. It holds our first housewarming gift at our new house.... and boy is she a dandy.

I wanted to keep this room, clean and crisp with just a pop of color to go with our white casual/country dishes, our white bone china and our pretty crystal. 
I had taken some photos before Christmas decorations went up and some after.....i think i like how the table and chairs are positioned with the runner going diagonal better than the pre-Christmas setup. See what you think.....

The topic of the day is what to do with the gorgeous window in the dinning room. i don't necessarily want to add window treatments at all as I love all the natural light, but this window is in the front of the house and i dont want any peeping toms looking my way ....knowwhatiamsaying? I hate that people can possibly see in my house at night.
We have plantation shutters in every room on the first floor with exception of this one. Should we do shutters? Should we add a window treatment? What do you think? 

And there ya have it folks....hoping to have our first big meal at this table with my family right after Christmas! 

Blue Accent Chairs: Pier1
Other Dinning Room Chairs: overstock.com 
Table: Pottery Barn
Chandelier: Pottery Barn - our sellers had good taste :-)
Hutch and China Cabinet: Ashley Furniture 
Baker's Rack: Hobby Lobby 
Runner: Pottery Barn 
Blue Vase: Pier1
Table Christmas Trees: Housebyjsd (local - Lexington, KY) 
Horse Print: Starving Artist Gallery (local - Lexington, KY)
Dishes/Serving ware/Drink ware - combo of Kate Spade, Polo, Lenox, Longaberger & Martha Stewart

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wedding Photos: Groom and Groomsmen pre-ceremony

Only this post and one more to finally have blogged about our wedding and it's entirety. Just took me a year....no big deal :-) 
Better late than never my momma always says....

Check out Our Wedding page for all things related to our wedding. 

Just a Country Girl
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