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my life in my words


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When Christmas Comes To Town

 

For the most part, Christmas is a very Merry time for me! Ever since I can remember, Christmas has been a magical day filled with family, friends, presents, and delicious seasonal treats. The days leading up to it are equally wonderful. Life has certainly changed since I left home (almost 7 years ago!), but it’s fun to explore new territory and develop new traditions, while hanging on to some of my old favorites. I know that many of you reading this are already busy spending time with family, but I found myself with some spare time today to create a blog post—which I haven’t done in forever—and thought I’d share some glimpses into my Christmas season this year. So I hope you enjoy them!

 

As you know, I’m a HUGE fan of Christmas—decorations and all! Since it was my first year with space to call my own, I decorated accordingly. I also made sure that we had some sweet Christmas lights glowing from our front yard!

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During the weeks leading up to the holidays, I got to participate in some fun local events:

My Birthday buddy, Maggie, and I celebrated our Birthday with dinner at Red Mill Burgers and a stage play at Taproot Theater.

Had a fun fun Christmas party with our 2Twelve Youth Group!

Got to attend our church's annual Women's Christmas Brunch.  And bonus points cause my table won the game this year! Woot!

Got to attend our church’s annual Women’s Christmas Brunch. And bonus points cause my table won the game this year! Woot!

Enjoyed our office party at The 'Ol 9-to-5, which was especially sweet cause one of my old co-workers is onsite as a temp with us this holiday season while our tech guy is away on vacation. SO great to see him again!

Enjoyed our office party at The ‘Ol 9-to-5, which was especially sweet cause one of my old co-workers is onsite as a temp with us this holiday season while our tech guy is away on vacation. SO great to see him again!

 

The week before Christmas, we held a special event for our Westside Kids, called JINGLE JAM. It was a huge undertaking, with countless hours of volunteer work and administration, but oh baby, it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!! The giggles, sweet memories, and parent/kid testimonies made the event a huge success. Here’s one of my fave pics of us playing a game where the kids built “snowmen” out of  toilet paper, scarves, and (of course) their table leaders:

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On Christmas Eve, I got a big treat—I was able to attend one of our Christmas Eve Candlelight Services. I provided childcare for the 1st and then one of our adult volunteers and a teen volunteer took over for me during the 2nd one. It was sweet and beautiful. One of our Pastors performed special Christmas music with his son’s band, while another Pastor’s wife led the youngsters in a Nativity Story.

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On Christmas morning, I opened my Christmas stockings and enjoyed some of my treats with my tamale breakfast!

So much to enjoy this Christmas morning! Devotions, Tamales for breakfast, Opening stockings, Talking to Anabelle about her visit from Santa, and now off to go Christmas caroling at the Juvenile Detention Center with the #WestsideChurch crew!

So much to enjoy this Christmas morning! Devotions, Tamales for breakfast, Opening stockings, Talking to Anabelle about her visit from Santa, and now off to go Christmas caroling at the Juvenile Detention Center with the #WestsideChurch crew!

I love my stocking stuffers! :D // My fave kettle corn, peppermint chocolates, Jack Skellington socks & NBC bracelets, a youth ministry book, my fave holiday teas, lisa frank erasers, White Squall (a movie I've been wanting to own for years! SO GOOD!), my fave mini crackers

I love my stocking stuffers! 😀 // My fave kettle corn, peppermint chocolates, Jack Skellington socks & NBC bracelets, a youth ministry book, my fave holiday teas, lisa frank erasers, White Squall (a movie I’ve been wanting to own for years! SO GOOD!), my fave mini crackers

 

Then, I went Christmas caroling at the King County Juvenile Detention Center again this year with the crew from Westside Church! It was a great experience to see the difference that simple gifts can make in the life of an incarcerated youth. I’m so thankful that my church creates shoebox gifts for them each year and makes the commitment to see that we are on the scene to sing to the teens!

 

When I got home, I opened the rest of my gifts and enjoyed a tasty lunch with some of my favorite goodies!

WOO HOO!! Santa stopped by my place this year!!

WOO HOO!! Santa stopped by my place this year!!

I even got some AWESOME gifts from my Auntie O back in Austin, plus my family present exchange gift from my cousin's daughter, Sable! It was a beautiful set of handmade earrings and an Old Navy gift card.

I even got some AWESOME gifts from my Auntie O back in Austin (Costa Rican coffee beans!), plus my family present exchange gift from my cousin’s daughter, Sable! It was a beautiful set of handmade earrings and an Old Navy gift card.

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My Christmas presents from Santa: 2 new tops from Rue 21, a new Captain America hoodie from Rue 21, CSI Board Game, CSI mug, Willow Tree “Love of Learning” Figurine, Rue 21 Makeup set, DVDs > Caddyshack II, National Lampoons Vacation Series, Nightmare Before Christmas; And a special book about something I’ll be sharing with ya in 2015! ;D

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Beautiful Christmas presents from friends! Candles, a great book called THE LIGHTLINGS that I think every kid should own, Rudolph mug & stuffed animal, Chocolate, CSI Season 14 DVD, special card w/ photos of some of my Westside Kids, Hobby Lobby + Coffee Date gift card!

 

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Lunch time! Red beans & rice, cornbread, scrumptious macarons (FAVES!), coffee, peppermint marshmallows. Yummo!

 

And after a nice nap, I was up and ready to celebrate Christmas with my housemates! David cooked a delicious spread, and I provided the hot apple cider and bread. It was such a beautiful feast—so good that we gobbled it up without snapping a photo. But I did get a shot of his appetizer—roasted butternut squash with caramelized balsamic drizzle. Holy yum! Then after dinner, we opened gifts and wished David a Merry Christmas as he headed off to work at the hospital. After he left, Lauren and I snuggled up and watched HOME ALONE 2 together on the living room couch. We were cracking up SO much! 

Just so we’re all aware, Bobby Flay lives at my house!

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My housemates got me this super rad shirt for Christmas. I LOVE it!

My housemates got me this super rad shirt for Christmas. I LOVE it!

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Cuddled up & cracking up with Lauren watching Home Alone 2 after a DELICIOUS Christmas dinner made by David!

 

 

All in all, it was a fantastic Christmas! I did miss my family, but I got to talk to them throughout the day, so that was a plus. This was such a great season for me and now I’m off to join Heather’s family for some continued Christmas fun. I hope you and your loved ones had an incredible Christmas season as well!

Christmas Photo_Web

 


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I Heard The Bells

There are many things I love about God, but one of those things that I’m most thankful for is that He is all about 2nd chances. This Christmas, I was given a 2nd chance to experience a solo Christmas in Seattle. Last year was supposed to be my first go-at-it, but as you may or may not know, those plans were pushed aside by a long hospital stay. Having this 2nd chance to fully participate in some old/new Christmas traditions has ignited hope, love, joy, and wonder into my heart and mind.

Living thousands of miles from home and not being able to be home for the holidays can be just as emotionally draining as being home for the holidays. For instance, I had called each of my parents on Christmas Eve to schedule Skype video chat dates with them on Christmas Day so that I could at least “see” them in some way. My goal was to unwrap my gifts in front of them so that it would seem we were in the same room, enjoying some Christmas joy. I carefully planned my events around their schedules and then on Christmas Day, each of them had a change of plans and were both unavailable for visual communication. I was SO bummed. I still kind of am. Living so far from home is tough when you can’t “see” your family.

Still, I want them to be able to see how my day went and share some of that Christmas joy with them here. So, this post is really for them, but if you’re interested in reading about how my Christmas Eve & Day went, scroll on, mah friend!

Now, before you go thinking that this long-distance Arroyo-Martinez chick has forgotten to honor family traditions, think again! I love our family traditions and was thankful that I was able to uphold them this Christmas!

 

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I got to enjoy (and share with others) a daily sweet treat with my fun Advent calendar!

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I sent out my Christmas cards with my funny photo and was so excited to get some cards from friends near and far!

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Seattle really is lacking in delicious, authentic, Mexican fare, but I do know of this one carniceria that has fantastic tamales! They’re thicker than what I’m used to back home, but they are still just as tasty! As I walked out the door with my tamales, I noticed the case of Pan Dulce and it reminded me of all those Saturday mornings we would go to Mi Victoria for breakfast tacos. 🙂

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I was bummed I couldn’t join y’all at Aunt Sandra’s for Christmas Eve tamales, but I made sure to enjoy from a distance. PS: If the Whole Foods in Austin sells Intelligentsia coffee, be sure to pick some up! It’s great!

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This is a new tradition, adopted from my East Coast fam, the Warners—opening stockings on Christmas Eve! Oh, and obviously I had to watch one of my faves. My fave (Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer) was saved for Christmas morning. 😉

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And these are all the goodies I stuffed in my stocking: Rudolph coloring book; Maxx Robots magnets, Glow-in-the-dark skull tattoos, fun socks, Luna & Cliff bars, Candy Cane prism glasses, Razors, Tony Chachere’s, coffee scoopers, trail mix, cocoa drizzled kettle corn, Bath & Body body wash, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark, and just like Mamo always puts in our goodie bags—an orange, an apple, a candy cane, and nuts! 😀

Christmas morning was extra special! I woke up early to watch Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer before heading off to Christmas Caroling. Of course, I had to enjoy some yummy breakfast beforehand, though. 😉

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With breakfast being my favorite meal of the day, it’s no wonder I had a little more pep in my step while making Christmas breakfast! 

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After breakfast, I headed out to the King County Juvenile Detention Center to meet up with some of my friends from Westside Church. While we were there, we sang Christmas carols to the inmates and celebrated with them as they opened their gifts. It was SO special!

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Once we were done with caroling, I headed home to open gifts!

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The majority of the gifts are things I bought for myself, but I did get some special gifts from others as well! My housemates gave me gifts, my friends at church gave me gifts, and I got a package from Aunt Olga, which had my exchange gift from Liz in it!

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Um, I MAY have gone overboard on the gifts I got for myself this year . . . but in my defense, they were all on clearance/major sales. 😉

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MY LOOT!! –> West Elm bowls from my co-worker/friend Glenda, a 200 Cal Cookbook from my housemate Kiesha, a unique painted mug and a bracelet from Glenda, clothes from Old Navy, CSI:NY + CSI: Las Vegas, Big Bang Theory ornament, 8-bit Sunglasses, Hair Chalk, POPULAR book, Salt & Pepper shakers, Christmas Vacation on DVD, The Wolverine on DVD, a keepsake Rudolph ornament, and 4 new shirts from Old Navy!

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And I LOVE my sweet Wonder Woman jammies from Liz! I hope Gabriel likes the remote control car I got him!

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After opening gifts and touching base with the folks, I headed over to Glenda’s and enjoyed a (way too short) time of board games + snacks with her and a couple of her kids.

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Then, I headed over to Kristen’s house to enjoy a nice Christmas dinner! We had fun sharing about the gifts we got and trying out her new Rip Stick! I can’t wait to see her skate all around the town! Sadly, I had to leave early because of my allergies. 😦

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When I got home, my housemate Vivian invited me to open more gifts that she got for us upstairs. We also noticed that our landlady and her hubby left us a house Christmas gift! SOOOOOO much goodies! 😀

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Vivian got me Hungarian chocolates (She’s from Budapest), a hand painted/baked mug, and shared some of her Hungarian cookies with me!

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As we were opening gifts/chatting upstairs, Kiesha came home and we all sat in the living room, chatting it up! A little ways into the convo, Kiesha noticed my grey skull jammies and excitedly ran to put on her blue skull jammies! We’re twinsies!!

All in all, it was a great second chance to experience Christmas in Seattle! I love it here in the winter and making it through this year just helped me to realize that I can definitely do this again! I kinda of wish my family were able to join me up here for the holidays because there are so many fun things to do here! Welp, today I’m off to Auburn with the Jollys to share Day-After-Christmas fun with Heather’s family! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and I pray you have an incredible New Year!

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It's a retro kinda Monday . . .

It’s a retro kinda Monday . . .

I had a WONDERFUL weekend full of good times and good treats.
For instance, yesterday, my friend Robert dropped me off at Barnes and Noble so that I could sit in a coffee shop and think through some things that have been going on in my life that I need to wrestle with. It felt incredible to get out of my house and sit in a cafe and drink hot tea
(I highly recommend the Hot Cinnamon Spice by Harney & Sons) that I didn’t have to microwave and to enjoy a piping hot bowl of chili!
Oh the little things I once took for granted.

So what better way to kick off the new week than to share some goodies with you?! Enjoy!

I got to have Christmas Breakfast with one of my 2Twelve Students and his family!

The Millers are an awesome family that have taken me in and covered me in love and guidance. Now that I’m not under house arrest, Mrs. Miller was more than willing to have me over for a special Christmas celebratory dinner. One thing you should know about me by now is that I LOVE breakfast. Any time of the day. I’m a sucker for eggs, turkey sausage, pancakes, fresh fruit, etc. Any time—actual breakfast, lunch, or dinner! So, in following up with my previous brunch party hosted by my amazing G-Mama, the Millers also treated me to a delicious Vegetable Egg Bake, Fresh Fruit, Bacon, and Coffee Cake! Another thing you should know about me is my breakdown of favorite fruits, cause well, I HEART FRUIT!!

  1. Pineapples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Honey Crisp Apples (okay, okay, and apples in general)
  4. Grapes
  5. Blueberries

What’s extra cool is that, knowing how much I ADORE Christmas (hello, we STILL have our tree up at the house), they left their Christmas decorations up so that I could enjoy them as well. *swoon*

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Learning ADRIFT from Jedi Master B—, one of my 2Twelve Student Leaders!

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I fell in love with their sweet pup pup, Danny!

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Basking in the warm glow of the beautiful lights

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I totally want to do this when I get a place of my own!

My buddy, Jolly, had me in stitches with this hilarious comic strip!

Seriously, at this point, I just gotta laugh to keep from crying 😉

Ha-larious!

Ha-larious!

 

I celebrated Birthdays with my family thanks to technology!

I’ll be brutally honest—this holiday season took SO much out of me emotionally! I MISS MY FAMILY LIKE NO ONE’S BUSINESS!!!
It’s true. As much as I’ve tried to tell myself that I’m good on my own and I don’t need to have constant contact with my family, I do. I need them. Even when I feel they don’t need me or that I don’t really “need” them to get through tough seasons of life, I do. I got to Skype with them during the holidays but it’s not the same. A computer screen is no substitute for a hug or a snuggle or a good cry sesh. It’s also no substitute for family comfort food, relaxing walks in downtown Austin, or Mamo’s Christmas cookies. Over the past few days, my mom and my youngest niece both celebrated their Birthdays. While I couldn’t be there in person, my sibs made sure to send me pics. I cannot even begin to tell you how bittersweet these pics are. I’m stoked that my mom was treated to a delicious dinner and that my niece got a super cute new pet, but I wish I could have been there as well. I did spend a good amount of time at B&N last night with the water works going because I realized that I wouldn’t get to give my niece Birthday snuggles. The good news is that I’ll get to spend 4th of July weekend with them (AND FIREWORKS!!!!!) this year!

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My mom and sis celebrating my mom’s 20th Birthday ;p

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My sibs and nieces

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my youngest niece chompin’ down on some good ‘ol Tex Mex

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My sister and the girls . . .such beauties . . . and ummmm booties 😉

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My bro bro and my oldest niece

For once in my life, I am actually factually jealous of a bunny rabbit . . . mostly because this wascaly wabbit, Lola (her present), gets to snuggle with my sweet niece on her 4th Birthday! ♥ PS: You can tell we’re related because she also walks around with no pants on 😉

I got to go out for coffee & shopping with my best friend, the Magster!

I got to finally reconnect with my bestie after a stretch of busy seasons. Yesterday in youth group, I taught the students about how a true friend cares about your INSIDE more than your OUTSIDE and the Magster is definitely one of those friends to me, as well as one I reciprocate that with. On Saturday, she treated me to coffee at ZOKA in Greenlake (trust me, if you can get your hands on a Zoka roast, you’ve got GOLD!) and some sock shopping at THE SOCK MONSTER. She finished it up in true friend fashion and grabbed some groceries for me for this week. 🙂

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Amazeballs! . . . errrr Grounds.

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Tea Maxi anyone?!?

Peanut butta’, Zoka time with mah homegirl, the Magster

 

New Fun Socks!!! DEFINITELY a treat!

New Fun Socks!!! DEFINITELY a treat!

My friend Alisa shared this with me.
I DARE you not to laugh as you read the reviews!

No really. Go. Now. Read. LAUGH!!!!

Playmobil Security Check Point

(click through to read hilarious reviews)

I am officially a Seahawks Poser!

I went shopping with my friend Heather the other day in search of some Seahawks colored clothing to wear to church on Sunday to stand in solidarity with the sports fanatics that attend Westside. Heather spotted this AWESOME sweatshirt and I got to wear it for the big game day. Unfortunately, I missed the game. Partially because I was teaching youth during the majority of it and partially because afterward, I was wiped out and needed to go home and take a nap. I slept through the game 😦 Having watched a couple of Texas games this season, I don’t feel TOO bad about missing this one. At least I got the sweatshirt, though, right?!? 😉

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I actually LOVE the style of the sweatshirt too!

Who’s ready to get wild & crazy and cheer on the Hawks?!? This Amo right here!!! Ohhh bed head and face mask, you are mah heroes 😉

 

My friend Kat is now officially a blogger!

You should definitely head over to THE WIFELY ADVENTURER and subscribe.
She’s got so much snark, wisdom, and great stories to share!

Have you downloaded the new Chris Tomlin album yet? If not, get on it!

 

(click through to listen on Spotify)

I cannot get enough of this gem. My fave songs are:

  • AWAKE MY SOUL
  • GOD’S GREAT DANCE FLOOR
  • JESUS, SON OF GOD
  • THANK YOU FOR SAVING ME

 

Yeah, and that’s only SOME of the fun!
For now, I’m gearing up for a good, strong week ahead as I start to make trips back into the workplaces I once frequented.
And now I MUSTACHE you a question . . .

 

Amo—little, yellow, different. 😉

 

How was YOUR weekend?
Did you do anything exciting?!?


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On This Winter’s Night

☃ Merry Christmas Eve! ☃ 

 

Merry Christmas 2012!

Merry Christmas 2012!

 

One of my big questions for everyone during Christmastime this year has been:

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FAMILY TRADITION?

 

Knowing that I wouldn’t be spending the holidays with my family, I made it my mission earlier this year to try to set up some new traditions for myself.

  • What will holiday traditions do I want to build into my life now that I’m on my own, livin’ the single lady life?
  • What will my future holiday traditions look like when I find that special someone?
  • What will my future holiday traditions look like when I have kids?

While a few major (and minor) events have set me back recently, I have been able to establish some and I’m looking forward to developing more next year!

 

Things I’m including this year:

 

Going to see the Nutcracker Ballet 

Even though I am mandated by my PT to be housebound, she gave me permission to have a special outing. So, I received one of the best Christmas gifts—my friend Melissa T. treated me to a night out to dinner & my 1st ballet ever—The Nutcracker!! It was by and far one of the most incredible, creative, and beautiful experiences I’ve ever had! ♥

 

Christmas Eve Breakfast for Dinner

I actually haven’t made dinner yet, but I will in just a bit. It’s going to be Turkey Sausage Egg Omelet with salsa + Gingerbread Pancakes + Pumpkin Granola and Stumptown Hairbender Coffee! Breakfast is my favorite meal and so what better way to kick off a season of happiness than with those delicious treats!?!

 

Video Chat with my Family

After tonight’s Candlelight Christmas Eve service at my home church, I’ll be sitting in front of my computer video chatting with both sides of my family all the way back in Texas! I’ll also get to chat with them tomorrow!!

 

Going to Bed in my Favorite Pajamas

These pajamas are special. It's actually a big deal to me that I'm wearing them to bed tonight. They are not only my FAVORITE pajamas, but they are actually the ones I wore the day I got my wisdom teeth taken out. And while I still can't watch the video from that night that turned into a month-long nightmare, I'm determined to wear them tonight and celebrate the victory of where God has brought me through every twist and turn along this crazy journey. I am looking forward to waking up in them, not in turmoil and danger from benzos, but in joy and victory, ready to embrace this next season of life!

These pajamas are special. It’s actually a big deal to me that I’m wearing them to bed tonight. They are not only my FAVORITE pajamas, but they are actually the ones I wore the day I got my wisdom teeth taken out. And while I still can’t watch the video from that night that turned into a month-long nightmare, I’m determined to wear them tonight and celebrate the victory of where God has brought me through every twist and turn along this crazy journey. I am looking forward to waking up in them, not in turmoil and danger from benzos, but in joy and victory, ready to embrace this next season of life!

 

Christmas Morning Quiet Time Devotional

Christmas morning will be celebrated with a special quiet time devotional from my Jesus Calling devotional. I received it as a gift when I was going into the rehab center to do my Physical/Occupational Therapy recuperation time and it’s carried me along every day since. It DEFINITELY belongs on the forefront of my Christmas Day. After all, Jesus IS the reason for the season!

 

“Stockings Only” in the Morning

Even though I have a bunch of presents under the tree, I want to open the little ones in my stocking first. They are simple, small, but packed with love and care. I had friends pick them out for me according to what they thought I might like. It’s going to be a time for me to celebrate the friendships that seem simple and small, but come overflowing with love and care!

 

Mexican Food For Christmas Breakfast

This is actually something that my family does every year and I’M NOT LETTING IT GO!!! It will FOREVER be tradition! 😀 We always do turkey and ham and the traditional stuff for Thanksgiving, but Christmas is ALLLLL Mexican food alllll day! Breakfast would usually consist of Mamo’s (grandma) tamales, Barbacoa tacos on Mamo’s homemade flour tortillas, Menudo, Migas, and TONS of salsa! Tonight, my dear friend Melanie is bringing me Pozole. I’m going to save it for tomorrow’s breakfast and party it up Latin style for Christmas breakfast before hitting up the Christmas Caroling! I’ll also be enjoying some pumpkin pie with my breakfast too 😉 I can’t wait!

 

Making my own recipes for Christmas Day

That’s right! I did it! I’ve always wanted to contribute something to Christmas Dinner. My aunts always bring their signature dishes (*ahem* Holla, broccoli rice and cheese casserole!!) but I tend to come up short and just bring some canned corn that I microwaved. Not this year! I’m stepping up my game!

It took every ounce of energy I had in me, but yesterday and today, I made my Christmas recipes! Rosemary + Basil roasted carrots (Caroling Carrots); Green food-dyed oatmeal cookies [not pictured because they need to be decorated tomorrow] (Green Grinchies); and home baked + mashed Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Potatoes (Yuletide Yams)! I'll be honest, there's about a third less yams in that bowl because I couldn't stop eating them . . . you know, cause I *had* to taste test them ;p

It took every ounce of energy I had in me, but yesterday and today, I made my Christmas recipes! Rosemary + Basil roasted carrots (Caroling Carrots); Green food-dyed oatmeal cookies [not pictured because they need to be decorated tomorrow] (Green Grinchies); and home baked + mashed Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Potatoes (Yuletide Yams)! I’ll be honest, there’s about a third less yams in that bowl because I couldn’t stop eating them . . . you know, cause I *had* to taste test them ;p

Christmas Caroling at the King County Juvenile Detention Center

For the past couple of years, my amazing best friend, Maggie has organized an event where people from our home church (Westside Church) get together and head down to the King County Juvenile Detention Center to sing Christmas Carols and pass out Christmas gifts that our congregation has prepared for the teens. Though I am a Children’s Director, my utmost heartbeat is still teenagers and being able to give back to these hurting hearts that are without family time during this season is a no-brainer! I’m looking forward to making this a full-on Christmas tradition!

 

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my Family of Friends from the East Coast to the West Coast and my own housemates! These are ALLLL gifts from them—including stocking stuffers and regular presents. I am truly one blessed girl!

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my Family of Friends from the East Coast to the West Coast and my own housemates! These are ALLLL gifts from them—including stocking stuffers and regular presents. I am truly one blessed girl!

 

Who knows what other things I’ll add next year. What matters most is that I’m learning a lot about myself and who I am in Christ during this season of questions and soul-searching. Being away from my family is definitely an emotional struggle, but knowing that I’m surrounded by the abundant love and hope of Christ and the warm fuzzies and life that come from my Family of Friends is carrying me through . . . which is great cause right now I can’t even walk right ;p hehehehe

One more sleep until the big special day, so . . .

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOOD night!

 


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I’ve Got Plenty To Be Thankful For

Yesterday, my ICU room was invaded by the BEST ELVES EVER!!!

 

It all started when Kristi Lyn came over with some festive Thanksgiving pumpkin decorations, because she knows how much I LOVE PUMPKIN!!!!  ♥

 

Kristi Lyn decking the window with Holiday Cheer and Melanie working on some sweet festive Coloring Page Wall Art!

 

And then the fun continued when my friend Heather stopped by and brought me some fine dinner to rescue me from hospital food! 

 

Deeeeelishus Dinner and a Story, courtesy of my Wing Girl Bestie, Heather!!! | Pumpkin soup + mashed sweet potatoes + asparagus soufflé + Greek yogurt w blueberries + pumpkin tea! & Wookie The Chew ♥

 

And then my friend Grace came over to visit me and right around the time she showed up, Heather had bust out her box of Christmas decorations to deck the halls of my room! Something you should know is that I LOVE Christmas! It reminds me of all the warmth, love, and joy of family and time spent with family, so it’s a HUGE comfort to me to listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies. So you can imagine what it did for my heart and spirits when I woke up in my very own ICU Winter Wonderland!! ♥ 

 

Deck The Halls Divas

My winter wonderland welcome mat!

Happy Falli-Days even happen in Amo’s Baño!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 😀

I even bring along the Holiday cheer when I go for walks! Check out my blingin’ IV ornament

Let’s walk in a Winter Wonderland!

A Very Merry Window

 

All the nurses and CNAs agree that I have the best decorated room in the ICU 😉

 

And nothing says Happy Fall-idays like enjoying breakfast with some DAVIDStea in a Christmas Space Invaders mug!

Organic Banana Dream Pie tea? Yes, please and THANK YOU!!

 

Also, sweet Christmas treasures like these . . . 

It is ridiculously hard to resist the urge to lick my arm when I put that lotion on 😉

 

I am BEYOND thankful for incredible friends that help make my stay in the hospital more manageable, cheery, and comforting!! 😀

 

The best part of waking up is having a new non-hospital blanket (in my favorite color) to snuggle with!! Thank you so much for the super soft and warm luxury, Grace!!


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Marvelous Things

Christmas 2011 | My Merriest Christmas Yet!

This past week, I got to go home (Austin, TX) for the holidays! It was great to be back around everyone and enjoy some much-needed time off. Here are some of my favorite pics from my time at home:

 

Fun at the airport is a great way to start a vacation! An added blessing was that I flew standby both ways and made it on the first flight out both times!

 

I got to spend some much-needed quality time with my big bro!

 

Spending time with my dad, stepmom, and step sibs on Christmas Eve!

 

Comfy, cozy, warm, bright, caffeinated Christmas morning!

 

Christmas morning with my grandma (Mamo) and her amazing tamales & homemade tortillas. Please note the UT wrapping paper in the bottom left hand corner—our fam is dedicated!

 

I got to take my nieces, Vanessa and Annabelle out for a little photo shoot! I ♥ these cute little ladies!

My favorite shot of the girls

 

Photo Booth fun with my mom at the mall!

 

And of course . . . 

My favorite part of the holiday season: CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!


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Santa Baby

Last night’s Elf Party was fabulous! I totally wish I had taken a picture of my costume, but I’m sure they’ll surface from other peoples’ cameras soon enough, so I’ll post one when I can. In the meantime, just imagine me dressed in red velvet santa-suit style pajama pants and a green shirt, with an elf hat that has ears sewed onto them. What I DO have to share today is some of the pictures I took last night. There aren’t as many as I had planned to take, since I was busy schmoozing and belting out BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE with my friends.

I think for sure one of the biggest highlights was the cake that Luke brought:

Also, the fact that he was daring enough to put some syrup on his spaghetti:

H. Stubbs won the child’s costume contest as Frosty The Snowwoman:

Her little sister, E. Stubbs was DEFINITELY a favorite as well! She was the ghost of Christmas past.

What’s even better is that when I got home, I had some treasures waiting for me in the mailbox!

I recently ordered some personal stationary from my favorite Etsy shop: PLAIN JANE’S CARDS. Jane makes such beautiful cards using great fabric patterns. She had posted some updated patterns lately and I found one that was just too “me” to pass up! So I ordered some and then had her personalize them for me so that I could use them as stationary to send notes to friends! Here they are, personalized with my nickname, AMO!

I just adore them! They’re perfect for me!
I also got this super creative Christmas card from my mentor & friend, Brian Brooks and his beautiful wife, Hannah:

One of the fun things about it is the silhouette on the back to represent their dog Louie. So so sweet!
All in all, yesterday was pretty amazing! And if you don’t believe me, just watch this quick clip of Corbett as Rudolph The Red-Nosed Lounge Singer!