Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year in Pictures

Happy New Year's Eve!! I can't believe 2011 is over, here are some of my favorite times this year!
New Year!! (January)
Our trip to Vail, Colorado. Simply beautiful out there. (March)
Anniversary Trip to the Homestead. (April)
Me and Emily at the Monument Avenue 10k. The race that started it all! (April)
Enjoying Easter with the family. (April)
Us at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. (May)
Camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. (June)
Us in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. (June)
Rebecca gets married!! At her rehearsal dinner. (June)
Beach trip to OBX with the girls. (July)
Me at Falling Water in Pennsylvania. (August)
Me after my first half, ran during a hurricane! (August)
Camping with friends. (August)
Apple Picking in Charlottesville. (October)
Rachel gets married! (October)
Me and Clarke before the marathon. (November)
Me and mom on Thanksgiving. (November)
Christmas! (December)
Family at the VMFA for my birthday. (December)
It's blog posts like these that make me feel so blessed!! What a wonderful year!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Monday was my 28th birthday. In some ways I feel 28 and in others I don't. But I honestly feel that I'm where I should be in life and I'm extremely blessed, so I guess that is what matters most.

I had such a great day. I did a bunch of things that I love to do with people I love. I started out the day with a run with close friends. Then I came home, got ready and opened up my gift from Clarke (a facial, I can't wait to go) and headed off to Station 2 for lunch with the family. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Richmond. Afterwards we went and saw the Mummy Exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The 3D movie was really neat and they even had a cat mummy!
That night I went out to another favorite restaurant, Kabuto, with friends.
Us with our chef. We seriously had the best chef ever, we had the best time with him.
Me and my balloons my friends gave me. They add up to 28!

Afterwards we all went back to our house and played this board game called Quelf. It's a super random board game but it's so much fun to play. And of course I ate more birthday cake!

Overall it was a busy but really fun day. So glad I got to celebrate with many wonderful people!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Catch Up

I can't believe Christmas is over! We have been so busy this past week......I'm going to try and catch up on the ol' bloggy starting with celebrating Christmas.

We always celebrate Christmas eve with Clarke's family and Christmas day with mine. That's when each family does their big dinner and it works out well. So, here are some pics from Christmas eve............
Us after Christmas eve church service. I love our church's Christmas eve service, all the music and everything is such a sweet reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas day we went over to my mom's house. I didn't get any pics that day but we had a great time there as well. Last night my dad came into town and we had everyone over at our house to celebrate.

Tuesday was our 7th annual girl's Christmas dinner, and once again I didn't get any pictures. All I can say is I love my girls and it's always a great time, mixed with some inappropriateness when we get together. Ha! We went to Azzurro's and the food was sooo good. This dinner is always one of my favorite parts of the holidays.

Lastly, a picture of our Christmas tree all lit up.
I never got a chance to post it on the blog, so there ya go!

Up tomorrow: my birthday recap!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

other house projects

So besides redoing our door I have been busy doing some other fun things around the house!

1. When the contractor came to redo our door and molding he also replaced the molding around our little side window, because that was rotted out too. He also replaced the entire window because somehow the original one broke a couple months ago. (Not sure how it broke, very frustrating.) So here is the before:
And here is the after:
So much better!!!

2. Another thing on our to do list for the house was to change out the hardware in our downstairs vanity. I am pretty sure it was the original hardware from when the house was built 27 years ago. Here is the before:
I thought this was going to be an easy little project, but that wasn't the case. Apparently most don't make the same type of hinges that were on our cabinets, it took me 3 different tries before I finally got one that worked. The guy at Home Depot and Lowe's both told me 2 other types would work, but when I went to put them on, they didn't. I finally went down to Pleasant's Hardware and found the exact same one. I was so happy to finally find them!
I love how they are silver and match all the other silver finishes. Note to self: remember this for when we change out the hinges in the kitchen.

3. And yet another thing from our house to do list that I never got to. I really wanted to paint the railing by our stairs white, since everything else is white. I finally got around to painting this as well. Here is the before:
Here is the after:
So glad it finally matches!

I know I always say my favorite thing about homeownership is making it our own, but it really is!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Crafts

I knew there were a few things I wanted to make for Christmas this year. Mostly things I found from Pinterest, where else? Ha!

I made this wreath a couple weeks ago. I love how it looks on the yellow door.
I really love it up close..............
For directions on how to make this fluffy wreath. It was pretty easy, just took a long time. I had to do it in sessions. But I love how it turned out.

My mom was going to throw these reindeer away last year, so I took them. I thought they just needed some TLC so I decided to spray paint them a fun color. Here is the before:
And here they are after I sprayed painted them red:
I love how they turned out. This was my first real project with spray paint, and it was so easy. Makes me want to spray paint more things in the future.

The last thing I made was so cheap and easy. I found this idea here.
I basically just cut up our wedding invatation into strips and put it into a clear ornament I bought from Michael's. I love how it looks and you can see pieces of the design showing through.

Clarke always makes fun of me for my love of pinterest, but as you can see it pays off to "pin" all those great ideas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

God's Timing

I know the holidays always make people think about their past year and the upcoming new year. I am the same way, especially since my birthday is at the end of the year as well. But this year seems a little different. I always would think about where I want to be at this time next year, but strangley I don't find myself doing that this year. I think it comes down to one thing I have really embraced this year: God's timing. It's something I have always believed in and trusted, but this is the year I have really started clinging to it.

This is the year I have decided to let go of this timeline I have in my head of when certain things need to happen. (ie: getting a teaching job) It's funny because this has been the year with so many interviews and all of them ending in a no. Yet, despite this I still believe God has called me to teach. And I really believe it more than ever now.

I can feel God working in my life because I have opened myself up to a different outcome than what I originally anticipated. When I started this journey towards becoming a teacher I wanted to teach art. Now, I really believe God has called me to teach special ed. It's crazy, and I really wouldn't have it any other way.

I recently went on an interview to teach special ed, and although I didn't get the position God really used this to show me something. I am passionate about teaching children with special needs. Whether that be children with multiple disabilities or children who are mainstreamed into a regular ed classroom. A couple weeks before I ever applied to that job I met with an old professor at Uof R to talk about their special ed program. She encouraged me to apply to teach special ed on a provisional license. Before I went into that meeting I prayed for God to show me what I should do. Lay it on my heart if this was His path for me. I left that meeting almost crying. It was just one of those times when I felt the Holy Spirit so strongly.

I don't know where that leaves me now. God has been laying other things on my heart besides teaching recently and I feel I need to persue it. But ultimately He is in control of that as well. I think it goes back to timing. I have such a peace about His timing. I don't need to plan where I want to be next year because as long as I persue His will for my life, I'll be exactly where I need to be.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Door Dilema

So when we bought this house almost 2 years ago (I can't believe it's been that long!) we knew we wanted to paint the door a fun color. It was either pink or yellow.
Well after much thought I decided I wanted a yellow door. I thought yellow would flow with our other house colors better and then after seeing this I knew it had to be yellow.
Another thing on our never ending house to do list was fix this:
This picture doesn't do it justice, but it was the molding around our front door. (And the cords from our Christmas lights) All rotted out, very nice. We had been putting this off, because who really wants to spend money on new molding, but we eventually just hired a contractor to fix it.
Here's the after. Doesn't it look so nice?! Ha! You will also notice the door is white because we got a new door as well. The old one was original to the house and was all cracked and just needed to be replaced. So here is what our house looks like with the white door:
I think it looks weird. So that brings us to the point of this post, the new door color!
So via advice from younghouselove I put up a bunch of paint chip colors to see what they looked like at different times of the day. One by one I took them down and then I had two left. Clarke made the final choice between the last two (I just couldn't decide) and we were off to Lowe's to get our Gypsy Gold paint.
Ta Da! I love the way it turned out. So bright and cheery!!
Here is the whole house. I can't wait for the spring to see when our azaleas bloom bright pink how it looks with the yellow. And to think it only took me almost 2 years? Love it!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

winter break!

Oh winter break I am soo happy to see you! I have been waiting for you patiently for awhile now. I can't wait for 2 whole weeks of sleeping in, celebrating Christmas, my birthday and new year's, seeing friends, hopefully lots of running, eating Christmas cookies, quality time with Clarke, going out to lunch and some home projects!
I've been really sick for the past couple days and I am finally feeling better, just in time for my break and I couldn't be happier. At least I got rid of this awful cold before the holidays.  I love this time of year and it's definitely one of the perks of my job. So ready to enjoy my winter break!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

Today I'm linking up over at Walk by Faith to share our Christmas card!
This was our second year using Shutterfly and once again I love how they turned out.

Christmas cards are one of my favorite parts of the holidays. I was so happy to get those out in the mail, now if only I could finish all my shopping!

Go link up here, I can't wait to see yours!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Lights

Saturday night we went to look at Christmas lights with another couple. This is def. one of my favorite Christmas activities to do.
We went to all of my favorites and some new ones as well.
I can't believe Christmas is less than 2 weeks away! We may need to go back again before.