Monday, December 31, 2012

the best of 2012


I kicked off the new year by taking a wonderful little trip to our friend's lake house.  We hung out, looked at the lake, and (my personal favorite) fed deer!

I also started the year off with a new job: substitute teaching.  This definitely was not my favorite thing to do, but I was certainly willing to "pay my dues" as a sub if it meant getting experience and gaining connections that could help me land a full time gig.  Did it pay off?  Stay tuned...


My bird day month!  I turned the big 2-3 on the 5th of Feb, and we had many a celebration.  My family came to visit one weekend, and we went to one of my favorite spots: P. F. Changs!

Later in the month, Austin gave me my gift: a couple's cooking class at Central Market complete with a fabulous dinner.  He knows me too well.


For St. Patty's Day, Austin and I went to the big parade in Dallas on Greenville (that's a street name for you non Dallas-ers).  We drank green beer and caught beads from the parade.  It was a very fun and festive day.

March also marked the beginning of sports galore for Austin.  Over the course of a year he played kickball, softball, and volleyball.  I stayed safely on the sidelines and provided after-game snacks for the players.


We moved to a new apartment in April!!  We now live closer to all of our friends, really close to Austin's job, and we are loving life in our new spot!  We're planning to renew our lease in April and stay here for another year.  Speaking of Austin's job...April was also the month that Austin was offered the job of his dreams!  He works for The Richards Group (an advertising agency), and he loves loves loves what he does!  

My grandma turned 80 in April!  We celebrated by surprising her with a trip to Shreveport, LA to go gambling and eat some good seafood.  I think she had a great time.  I know I did!


I visited a few of my besties in Austin over Cinco de Mayo.  We hung out at Barton Springs, went out on 6th Street, and ate some amazing food.  When in Austin, it is now a must for me to get a Flying Pig doughnut from Gordough's.  I truly think that this doughnut has healing powers...

I also took a big test in May.  I passed (!!!), and now I am certified to teach Dance 8th-12th grade.  Whoot whoot!


We had our recital in June.  It was a loooong two days, but it was so much fun to hang out with my PowerHouse family and see all of the little dancers.  June was also my Daddy's bird day and Father's day.  Shout out, Jimbo!! 


July was a pretty big month for me.  Probably my favorite of 2012.  We started the month off with a wonderful 4th of July celebration.  Austin Proposed!  (I said YES)

Later in the month, I was offered my first teaching job!  I signed on at John B. Hood Middle School in Dallas ISD as a 6th grade Reading teacher.  I knew it was going to be a very challenging job, but I was up for it.  More experience to help me (hopefully) land my dream job in a district like Allen, Plano, etc.

We also asked all of our bridesmaids and groomsmen if they would stand up with us on our wedding day!  I made the girls a cutesy note attached to a bottle of wine, and we gave the boys a mini bottle of Jim Beam.


I had my first day of school as a teacher in August!  It was scary, but I survived!

August was also the beginning of a new dance year.  PowerHouse moved into a new studio, and I am still loving every minute that I get to spend there.  We have such a talented staff, and our dancers are just the cutest things ever.


September was quite a busy month, but we did our best to have some fun.  Trips to College Station for some Aggie football is an example of some of that fun :)


I started a new job in October!!  A position opened up in Allen at the school where I student taught last year (the school that I l-o-v-e), so I jumped at the opportunity to work there.  I moved into a new classroom, and I have been incredibly happy ever since.  

Austin and I celebrated 3 years together on the 14th.  We continued the tradition of consuming large amounts of meat and had a grand ol' time.


I took a trip down to Houston in November to celebrate my other grandma's birthday and see Les Miserables.  It was an amazing show, and now I am itching to see the movie.  

In football news, A&M had a pretty good game against Alabama.  We kicked that booty!  What's up Johnny Football Heisman!!!


Austin celebrated his 24th birthday on the 5th (isn't it cute that our birthdays are both on the 5th?).  We went to Ft. Worth and partied hard.  I also made him some cupcakes.

My mom's birthday was the 18th, and she came up to Dallas to celebrate.  Happy bird day, Sherbo!

December was obviously also the month of Christmas.  Austin and I traveled down to the Houston area and had many celebrations.  It was a great Christmas!

2012 was a fantastic year!  It definitely seemed like a lot of things went our way which was much appreciated, and I am certainly feeling very blessed as I look back.  I'm excited to see what 2013 has up its sleeve.  I definitely foresee a lot of wedding planning (we're planning to get hitched in June or July of 2014).  I'm also looking forward to growing as a teacher, spending lots of time with family, and hanging out with my main squeeze.  

Happy New Year, everybody!!!  Have a safe and fun celebration tonight :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

project 365 vol. 50

Sunday December 16, 2012
We had our PowerHouse of Dance company Christmas par-tay a few Sundays ago!  We went to Buca di Beppo and had an amazing meal.  We also did a white elephant gift exchange, and I got that adorable Grinch mug!

Monday December 17, 2012
I was in the kitchen ALL evening last Monday.  I made Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies (top left) for my school cookie exchange, Buffalo Chicken Salad (top right) for dinner, and a whole gob of Arroz con Pollo (bottom) for Austin to eat for lunch the rest of the week.  I had a lot of food and even more dishes...

Tuesday December 18, 2012
I was back in the kitchen come Tuesday!  I made treats to give to Austin's bosses.  The things in the picture are Oreo balls...YUM.  I also made peppermint bark and gave them a mini bottle of champagne to help ring in the new year.  This Tuesday was also my mom's bird day.  Happy birthday, Sherbo!

Wednesday December 19, 2012
 We did a Secret Santa gift exchange at work, and I had the BEST Santa!  She gave me cute gifts and notes like this every day.  Stuff like that makes the holly days so fun :)

Thursday December 20, 2012
 You know what else makes the holly days fun?  Free Chick-fil-a!  The stores in Allen gave all of the teachers at my school a coupon for a free sammich, and I redeemed mine last Thursday.  Delish!

Friday December 21, 2012
Austin and I celebrated Christmas with each other last Friday.  I was totally jazzed about his stocking.  I had so much fun shopping for all of his stuffers, and I think he really liked them all!

Saturday December 22, 2012
 I HAD to bust out my gift from Austin first thing on Saturday morning.  I whipped up what I know best--chocolate chip cookies.  They turned out great!  Austin said they were the best batch I've ever made!

Friday, December 28, 2012

5 Christmases

That's right.  This year, I had FIVE Christmases.  Holy toledo.

I love Christmas, so I was pumped last Friday when the bell rang, signaling my freedom until January 7th.  We had a whirlwind of a Christmas, and I am currently sitting on my couch, drinking hot chocolate, and watching the episodes of Ellen that I missed while I was gone.  I'm so thankful that I have these extra days after the big day to recover.

So, without further ado, I give you my 5 Christmases...

Christmas #1: Austin and Jamie

We celebrated Christmas together on Friday night (the 21st).  Austin got me an amazing gift this year.  You guys know I love to cook and bake, so a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer is something that I've been wanting for awhile.  I was just planning on registering for one, but Austin saved me the trouble!

I'm in love...
I got Austin some cash money to go towards his new set of golf irons, and I also got him a new golf hat and some stocking stuffers.

Stocking Stuffers
The next morning, we packed up, loaded up, and hit the road.  The stretch of 45 from Dallas to Houston is quite a familiar one for us.

I spy Buc-ee on the left!
Christmas #2: Austin's Mama

We drove straight to La Porte to visit Austin's mom.  I opened my presents from her (she got me some great stuff, including a "make your own wine kit"), and Austin and I headed to a tacky sweater party.  

Christmas #3: Austin's Dad

We headed to Austin's Dad's house on Sunday morning to hang out and watch the Texans.  The Texans did not do so great, but we had a nice visit! 

At this point in the trip, Austin and I parted ways, and I headed over to my Dad's house.  We did some last minute Christmas shopping and baking, and then went to sleep.  The next day was Christmas Eve, so we needed to get rested up!

Christmas #4: Dad's family

My sister, her hubby, and their dog got into town on Monday morning.  There was lots to do (and cook!) before we headed over to my aunt's house for our family celebration.  But was time for some presents!!!!

Do you like my sister's FOX paper??
Chef nutcracker!
We got Dad a Kindle Fire...I think he likes it!
We got aprons!
Once the gifts were opened, we went to my Aunt Lana's house...

Dad started grilling up some fajitas, my aunts made enchiladas, and before we knew it, we had ourselves a little Christmas Eve fiesta!

Once we'd stuffed our bellies until we basically couldn't move, we played white elephant!  Here are two of my favorite gifts...
My sister opened a framed and autographed picture of my cousin, Josh.
Riley with some straw glasses!
Once white elephant was over, we opened some more presents!
Little ones under the tree
Christmas #5: Mom's family

On Christmas morning, we drove to my Grandpa's lake house.  It was cooooold!

Fox, Riley, Sherbo, me
My cousin Gregg cut the turkey and ham, and the rest of us got ready to eat!

 Once we had gobbled and gobbled, it was time for mooooore presents.  At this point, I was starting to feel quite spoiled.

I spent the night at the lake, and the next morning Austin came and picked me up.  We got back to Dallas around 4:00 on Wednesday, and we were pooped.

I think I'm going to look like Lucy for awhile...

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year everybody!!!!!