Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas Love & Laughs - 2015

Happy new year, friends! Time to get photos up from the past few weeks! This Christmas season, we were able to get to Iowa the weekend before Christmas to see our families. We ended up splitting once we got there so Nick could spend time with his family, and I could see mine (our extended families usually do Christmas the same Saturday night each year - so we have to take turns or split like this time).
We were on the 6am flight. Which meant we had gone to bed around 10:30 - 11:00, and were up at 2:15. Cheers. Haha! That also meant we were in Minneapolis at 8am, driving to Iowa ready to (take a nap, then...) see family and enjoy the weekend. 

We got to take a quick detour to see where we made memories in Ames in our dating days. It was so fun, and felt like forever since we lived there. Seeing college kids walking around campus made me want to shout, "ENJOY THESE DAYS", because they are such good days (or were in my case) and go way too fast. The days of living with my best friends, sharing clothes and jewelry, looking forward to seeing the cute guy I was dating;), those were the days! Every part of life has its season though, and many of those days, I know I just wanted to graduate, just wanted to get married, etc.. Now, I can see so clearly how special those college days were. 

Iowa State's campus is so beautiful! 

I got to see friends while in town too. And hold babies! Emerson and his rolls are the cutest! 

My new BFF. His brother Hudson was my boyfriend when he was about this age. ;) 

I've done life with these ladies for so long! One since 4th grade:) In our 6 years of marriage (and me moving away), I don't know what us girls have ALL been together once. I've seen many individually since then, but I was SO so thankful to gather them up and eat, drink and have a merry night. I didn't want it to end! Can married mamas still have sleepovers? I love these friends with my whole heart. So thankful the Lord made friendships this sweet. How cool is it that 7 kiddos belong to the mamas in this group?!

My dear Rachel. Oh how I wish I could spend more time together! Her creative spirit and honest heart are so good for my soul. The Lord has knit our hearts together something special. 

 Meg is the sweetest - we hadn't been able to get together in far too long and I loved our time catching up! She even brought me the sweetest cute Iowa-inspired frame I have in our living room. 

 Love you and miss you already, ladies!

Sweet Hannah had gifted us leather feather earrings she made that are so fun! I love sweet gifts from the heart that remind me of my dear ones when I wear them. The best. 

 Cousin time! This was at our family Christmas that weekend. I didn't get many pictures that night! But I hadn't been at this Christmas in a few years, and it was so good to be there together. I grew up with these cousins, aunts and uncles - we all lived in the Des Moines area and it felt like we were together every weekend. 

My dad and I enjoyed Caribou back at the Minneapolis airport as we headed home. Nick took the pic;) this was only my dad's second time flying in the past 20 or so years, we were so glad he could come with us! 

Wrapping gifts like a mad woman, making a mess, and getting ready for our TX Christmas with mom and dad. 

Wrapping gifts is maybe one of my love languages. I love making them look cute and creating pretty things. Growing up, I would wrap all of mom's gifts for her, and all of my step-dad's for his family. I love it! 

Fun with my parents and our dogs trying to get a nice Christmas photo together. 

Nick and my parents surprised me and took me to the lights display at the Texas Motor Speedway Christmas night. I thought we were driving around looking at lights on houses when we pulled in. So fun! 

(Des Moines friends, it's like Jolly Holiday Lights, where you drive through to look at the lights displays.)

Photo op at the Christmas Village at the speedway. :)

These were apparently my top 9 most liked photos on instagram in 2015. Giveaways, hair cuts, completing the whole30, dressing up, celebrating 6 years of marriage, and heartbreakingly, saying goodbye to my birth mother (for now). The silver lining about her passing has been getting to know her family better, and growing through heartbreak. I'll always wish I knew her more and had more time with her, but am thankful for what I did get with her, and to know her family. They are gems. 

 {Before we took down the tree on New Years Day}. 

As 2015 ended and 2016 began, I got out some packages to some friends who have joined me on this oils journey over the past year. I love being able to bless and encourage others! Hoping those receiving them feel the love as we being this new year together. 

Cheers to a new year, friends!

Today's Pinspiration:
I love how the new year allows us to re-evaulate progress on our goals, get a fresh plan together and get after it. Decisions we make each day can help us get there. One small step at a time is what I remind myself! 
(Pinterest Source)

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