Easter Weekend

Unfortunately this is going to be a sad looking post because we never took one single picture on Easter Sunday. We spent Easter Sunday with Jake’s side of the family because our sister in law, Dani, made the most important decision and got baptized and dedicated her life to Christ. So we went to church with Jake’s brother and sister in law to support her along with Jake’s mom who was in town for Easter weekend and then out to brunch after church then home to hang out, play games, just be lazy, and do Easter baskets together. It was a pretty nice relaxing weekend, Jake’s mom stayed until Monday afternoon. And we were so blessed to be able to celebrate Dani giving her life to Christ, there is not one thing that is more important!! I feel very thankful that Dani asked us to come be a part of her special day and support her in this big decision she chose to make in her life!

 

And we spent Friday night with my family at my cousin’s wedding in Houston which was so much fun to get to spend the evening together and celebrate another wedding in the family. But I am so sad about not having Easter Sunday pictures, that is a huge deal where I come from, I still come from the mindset of Easter dresses, new shoes to go with it and taking your pictures outside the house before and after church. If you ever check out my instagram jilliegrace is my username, you will see how much I love #tbt especially old Easter pictures!

 

 

 

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2014 goals

I’m going to try to keep my goals simple this year so I don’t overwhelm myself, but I also don’t want to limit myself to one thing, I like to be reminded of other goals so I can keep myself in check in lots of different areas of life.

Here are my Top 10 goals for this new year:

1. Get in shape/lose weight-while this is a constant goal of mine every year, it is a continuous goal and goes along with get my Diabetes under control. I let things go during the holidays and my blood sugar is now way out of control and changing my diet and getting back in shape will get that under control so this is something that must happen.

2.Read more- I want to read at least one book per month. Once I finish the book I am currently reading I have a list of ones that I want to start during this new year and then will continue looking for more to read. It is amazing how much I have learned to read through the past several years.

3.Try one new recipe every week from one of my many cookbooks, pinterest, blogs, or friends. I get really tired of eating some of the same food so I am making this a goal so that some of these new recipes will get put into the regular rotation in our kitchen.

4.Practice more acts of kindness, encouragement, and appreciation on a more regular basis. I notice when you do the slightest act of kindness it can make the biggest effect on the person during the day, such as writing a short, sweet note or giving a simple compliment. I want to do my best this year to show people in my life or strangers for that matter simple acts of kindness, encouragement, and appreciation.

5.Be in God’s word more often- While some might put this in the same category as reading, this is an entirely different goal for me. I would love to read through the bible in a year, but my goal is just going to be to have daily devotionals deep in God’s word because I have discovered you can never truly hear God’s voice and what he wants you to do in your life unless you are really in His word.

6.Be more connected with God-Along with reading God’s word, being connected to God through my relationship with him is something I really want to work on. There are so many tools we have that can strengthen our relationship with God, but we take advantage of them and I want to totally change that this year. The top two being reading and being in God’s word and powerfully praying consistently and constantly.

7.Learn to sew- I got a sewing machine last year for my birthday and I have yet to really learn how to use it and sew. I really want to but find myself being a little intimidated by the sewing because I’ve really never used one. But this is my goal this year because there is so much cute, crafty stuff that I want to be able to make and start selling.

8.Start selling my stuff on Etsy-I recently started an Etsy shop online to try and sell some of the different things that I make for different occasions. I want to broaden my selection in what I am making, but really want to try to sell what I enjoy making so much.

9.Decorate our new house-We just moved into our first house almost two months ago and we are still in the process of putting our stamp on it and making it feel like our own. So one of my goals throughout this year is to decorate our house with our style and to really make it feel like our own.

10.TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL-We are hoping to take a fabulous holiday vacation next Christmas or New Year’s to the east coast. And we are already in the process of planning our summer vacation with my immediate family to the beach. Traveling whether far or near is always always a big goal in our lives, we love to get out and see the world that was created for us.

Happy 2014, we are excited for this year and what it will hold! I know there will be lots of fun planned and I cannot wait to make a dent in these goals/resolutions! 🙂

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone had a great new year’s celebration and that your 2014 has gotten off to a fabulous start! We had a very relaxing new year’s eve & new year’s day celebration by just cooking dinner at home and enjoying some bubbly to ring in the new year with just the two of us. And on new year’s day we hung out, cleaned and organized stuff around the house, watched the rose parade, watched some football, and had some friends over to enjoy drinks and celebrate the new year while watching more football. But of course we cooked a yummy new year’s day lunch of roasted chicken, black eyed peas for our good luck in 2014, roasted potatoes, spinach salad, and rolls.

This new year’s was a bit different for us because we are usually the type to get dressed up and go out to dinner and stuff on new year’s eve. But this year we decided to just hang out at home just the two of us enjoy dinner, some bubbly, and watched some tv, and enjoyed some yummy dessert and I had a great time just doing that! I’m happy to say that even though we weren’t with either of our families we spent new year’s eve together and I was with my favorite person in the world and new year’s day we spent with some of our good friends so it was the next best thing to family!

We are really looking forward to 2014 and what all this year is going to hold for our family. We have so much fun things to look forward to, lots of goals we plan to reach, and cannot wait to see what God has in store for us! I hope the new year is great for everyone reading this.

And a happy Friday to all 🙂

Christmas 2013

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year and that 2014 has gotten off to a fantastic start! This is a picture from our church small group Christmas party we had at our house about a month ago. Here we all are holding our crazy white elephant gifts, we had alot of fun exchanging and just hanging out and enjoying Christmas goodies! But that was our only Christmas event since Jake’s company had their Christmas party as a day luncheon instead of a dinner party. And before we knew it we were rushing around trying to finish ordering and buying all our Christmas gifts for our families. Then the family was here and it was time to celebrate! This year we had Jake’s family here for Christmas, we did Christmas Eve dinner with them at our house. I made Pioneer Women’s white chicken enchiladas which were fabulous, we had Lupe Tortilla’s Tamales, rice & beans, I love mexican food on Christmas probably because that is what I grew up having on Christmas Eve. Then we had homemade hot apple cider and went out and looked out at Christmas lights in the car. And for Christmas Day we spent the morning and had breakfast with my family over at my sister’s house and enjoyed watching our sweet nephew Parker open his presents from Santa Clause and everyone else and all exchanged gifts with each other. Jake & I got some really neat stuff, tools, socks, hats, Home Depot gift cards, a few magazine subscriptions, candy, and some other gadgets for Jake. As for me scarves, jewelry, new panties, a job haha (my parents will be paying me to clean my sister’s house, which was also a Christmas gift from my parent’s to my sister). I also got a magazine subscription, some new socks, some candy, new hair ties, new make up.

And the rest of the morning we just spent the time hanging out before leaving to head back to our house to do Christmas Day with Jake’s family. We did all our presents and got some great gifts and then Jake cooked an awesome late Christmas lunch of ham, green beans, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rolls. Jake ended up getting exactly what he wanted despite the difficult effort behind it, he got the game he wanted along with his PS4 system and some other small goodies along with quite a few movies. While I got some pretty awesome stuff I have been wanting such as a white waffle knit robe with my initials monogrammed on the front, the Coldplay Mylo Xylto live dvd, lots of new make up, a new purse, a few new clothes, a few scarves, a new devotional book, a new wallet, a new watch, more new jewelry, new nail polish, a whole new set of make brushes, new knobs for my vanity, and best of all Jake recovered an old hotel vanity stool with some cute fabric to go along with my vanity he was refinishing for me to match our bedroom. I will share pictures of all our favorite gifts soon and especially the refinished vanity and stool that are all done and beautiful, they look fabulous in our room!

This Christmas was really a different kind of holiday for me with not spending all of Christmas Day with my grandparents, all my aunts, and cousins and such for the first time in 27 years but I survived and am just so grateful to everyone that I was able to see both sides of our family on Christmas Day. And as far as the rest of the holiday time, we spent some time with some friends that we don’t ever get to see that live in Houston since everyone was on the holiday break. And also did some organizing and cleaning kind of stuff around the house before New Year’s time came which felt so good. I sure do LOVE a good clean and organized house!

The one debbie downer to our Christmas break was how increibely sick our sweet little Boston Terrier, Emmitt got on Christmas Day and was down for about a week. He started getting sick on Christmas Day sometime just not looking like himself and yelping in pain when anyone would touch him or try and pick him up, especially if you held him near or by his stomach. At that point we had absolutely no idea what could be wrong, we thought he ate something outside and honestly just thought he would be fine the next day or something. But as everyone was leaving that night he started to look worse in the face and his stomach area was getting very bloated and he began to breathe heavily and that was we began to worry more and decided to keep a really close eye on him. And throughout that night and early morning he threw up about 6-7 times and I couldn’t have felt more sorry for him, you could just tell how bad he felt by looking in his sweet eyes. And all this throwing up continued throughout the week, his first day of not throwing up was on Sunday, but he didn’t start eating his dog food until yesterday, which was exactly a week since Christmas Day. We don’t know what he got, but it clearly compromised his poor little system, we really think it was some kind of stomach bug because nothing he ate outside or inside would have made him that sick especially with the fact that he went days without eating so there would have been nothing for him to throw up which really makes me think it was some kind of stomach bug. We are just SO GLAD he is finally feeling better and acting like himself. And I for one was getting really tired of cleaning up throw up and washing all of his blankets and everything, but luckily nothing got ruined in the process.

Up next New Year’s post!
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It’s Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas

First of all, I wanted to share my first picture on here of our new house, this is actually the first and only picture we have of the house so far and I LOVE that it just so happened to be all decked in Christmas lights and decor. We only did lights in the bushes, and lights around the tree trunk, and lighted garland and a wreath this year. I think next year we will try to do lights along the roof, but it was just too much this year since had just moved in at Thanksgiving time and that was about the time we started decorating along with the fact that we don’t yet own a ladder so that kinda poses a problem with getting on the roof ha! But I love all the lights on the outside just the way they turned out, it is definitely pretty and festive looking.  But I just wanted to do a post of some of our Christmas decorations in our new house, at least some of our favorites, this definitely isn’t everything!DSC_0356

Our sweet little festive house from the outside 🙂

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We don’t have a fireplace/mantel to decorate with stockings in this house but we have this counter area from the kitchen that hangs a little in the living room if that makes sense so that is where I hung our stocking hangers & stockings. I love both our stocking hangers and stockings although they don’t match I don’t care. I’m enjoying our stockings while we can because I know when kids come along we will have to decide a whole new set of stockings because I can’t find these anywhere since one of my aunts gave us these as a wedding gift and she got them off Ebay.

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The Santa Clause stocking hanger, this one is mine

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And the Frosty the snowman stocking hanger which is Jake’s

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My corner basket which is used to store blankets, but has a stuffed rudolph that sings, my green table top Christmas tree, and framed picture of the cutest nephew in the world baby Parker.

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My green side table with one of our wedding pictures, “J” coasters, and another favorite Frosty the snowman.

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Here is our lit up and decorated Christmas tree filled with all our favorite ornaments we have gotten since being married, some at the very beginning, some throughout the years, some from friends and family.And we always make it a point to get ornaments from where ever we travel so we can always remember that trip when we hang it on our Christmas tree.

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Here is a close up of one of my very favorite ornaments, partly because I can remember the sweet people that gave it to me but also because I think it is just so very pretty!

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And this cupcake is one that came in a set of Martha Stewart cupcakes and they are all just so cute so naturally they are some of my favorite ornaments. We also got them from a sweet family member.

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I absolutely LOVE sparkly reindeer, so of course this is one of my favorite ornaments.

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And this sweet little bird is from Mexico, we bought while we were in Cozumel on our honeymoon almost four years ago which is crazy to think it has actually been that long!

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And if you know me you know I love initials and anything monogrammed. So of courses anything “J” or “N” is right up my alley.

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This ornament is one of our new ones that Jake got us while he was in Washington D.C. over the summer doing his job training.

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And this ornament here is from the best vacation I have ever taken in all my life, at least up to this point. We got this in Maine while we were doing a vacation with Jake’s aunt Sally who lives in Boston. While we were there we traveled all throughout New England and of course had fresh Maine lobster and this lobster cage will forever remind me of that vacation and the deliciousness of the Maine lobster.

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Here is another ornament Jake brought us home from his trip to Washington D.C. over the summer. I love this one it is a fun, sparkly patriotic ornament.

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This one is just a very pretty sparkly ornament with gorgeous trees all over, it is just one of our favorites.

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And here is another glistening reindeer that I just love, I have a gold one and silver one and I love them both, so pretty, especially in the light.

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Although I couldn’t quite find the best place for this cute silver tree this year I still love it and it is one of my new favorites! My sweet husband bought this for me at Hobby Lobby while he was training in Dallas last month because he knew how much I would love and he was definitely right about that. I bought the cute mini ornaments that match alot of other Christmas decor in the house at Target in the dollar section, so I was pretty proud. It does need a tree topper but I haven’t found one that is good for just a table top tree so I’m thinking it will just wait till next year, but then again I may find some ribbon laying around the house to just make a bow to put on top. Nonetheless its just cute and one of my favorites.

DSC_0413And lastly here is my indoor wreath that hangs on the inside of the back door to the backyard. I made this wreath two or three years ago and although it isn’t my favorite anymore and is looking a little bit worn it still does the job when you just need something to hang on the door. And I love the cute “N” initial 🙂

So that is some of our favorites at our house during the holidays this year, not everything but some. We have a great holiday season so far and are officially finished with all of our Christmas shopping. I am still waiting on a few packages to arrive from Amazon Prime, which hopefully happens tomorrow but the rest of the time will be spent wrapping and patiently awaiting Christmas and getting to spend time with our families which is what the season is all about!

November Update

So November was a really busy month for us because we had a family wedding, birthdays, Thanksgiving, moving the weekend before Thanksgiving, but it was still a fun filled month. Along with Thanksgiving we celebrated my mom, nephew Parker, and my MIL’s birthdays in November. I was lame and forgot my camera the day of Thanksgiving so I don’t have any pictures from Thanksgiving Day with all my family at my grandparents house. So I’m just going to share a couple of pictures from my nephew Parker’s 2nd birthday party. And I’ll do a special post on our new house once I get around to taking pictures of everything, hopefully over the weekend.

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Here is Parker’s birthday cake that my mom made, it was so cute. The bottom cake was just a square cake and on top was a 3D dimensional cupcake that was so cute in person not to mention that the chocolate cake was delicious!

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Here is the food table, it was too precious. The party was in the morning so they did donuts, kolachies, cake, and mini cupcakes.

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And this was our gift to Parker for his birthday, a wooden art easel with a chalkboard on one side and a dry erase board on the other, and it also has a rod to hang long paper from to draw on. It is too cute and he seemed to LOVE it, I hope he continues to love to color and draw on it.

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Here is the birthday wreath I made for him this year to hang on their front door as the party guests arrived. I thought it turned out precious and I loved how all the colors and different patterns all came together.

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This cute picture and birthday monkey were a little centerpiece on the counter, I just thought they were so cute.

DSC_0311And this picture was just too adorable not too post, Parker playing outside with his new “kid grill” cooking up some hamburgers and hot dogs. I think he loved his grill that his mom and dad gave him for his birthday! It was a fun Thanksgiving and birthday weekend for everyone!

Mardi Gras with my Daddy!

This float was built and decorated like an old boat, it was pretty cool.

This float was built and decorated like an old boat, it was pretty cool.

 

My dad & I at the Galveston Mardi Gras parade with the lights and floats behind us! What a fun night I'll remember forever :)

My dad & I at the Galveston Mardi Gras parade with the lights and floats behind us! What a fun night I’ll remember forever 🙂

Last week my Dad came into town to see one of his favorite singers in concert in Galveston at the old 1894 Grand Opera House. Originally my mom was supposed to come with him but she wasn’t able to take off work from school so he just came by himself and was hoping to find someone to go with him so he didn’t have to go alone. Although I am not a country music fan at all, I knew this meant alot to my dad so I just went with him to the concert and actually enjoyed myself quite a bit more than I thought I ever would. The most fun part though was definitely being in Galveston for the evening, being near the water, having dinner with my dad, and getting to experience the Mardi Gras parade in Galveston! I have only been to a few small Mardi Gras parades as a kid in Beaumont, but those definitely didn’t hold a candle to the Mardi Gras Parade in Galveston, it really was so fun seeing all of the floats, people, and catching as many beads as I could!

For dinner my dad & I went down to eat by the Port of Galveston by the old Elissa ship, yachts, and other boats and stuff. The restaurant we went to was called Fisherman’s Wharf and it was very delicious, I would definitely recommend it and would for sure go there again! After dinner we went down to find us a good spot to enjoy the Mardi Gras parade before it was time to go get our seats for the concert in the beautiful 1894 Grand Opera House. But before dinner we did have the chance to walk around the Strand and different areas of Galveston and just look around which was pretty fun because I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood in Galveston. I got to see the places we used to spend as a kid, the old ice cream and candy factory that we spent so much time in and other fun stores. I hadn’t been to Galveston since before Hurricane Ike  so it was really interesting to see how things had changed since then and what they had to change and repair because of the hurricane damage. As we walked along the sidewalks of the strand they had all the water lines marked on the brick walls showing exactly how high the water got during the Hurricane Ike. It was a really cool and unbelievable sight to see!

And here a few pictures from my fun evening in Galveston with my Daddy!

The Old Elissa ship docked in Galveston next to us while we ate dinner outside!

The Old Elissa ship docked in Galveston next to us while we ate dinner outside!

My delicious lobester and crawfish pasta dish I  ate at the Fisherman's Wharf in Galveston! So yummy.

My delicious lobester and crawfish pasta dish I ate at the Fisherman’s Wharf in Galveston! So yummy.

Sorry this is a dark picture but this was the amazing Boardwalk yacht that was next to us while we ate outside. I can't even explain the fine gorgeousness of this yacht!

Sorry this is a dark picture but this was the amazing Boardwalk yacht that was next to us while we ate outside. I can’t even explain the fine gorgeousness of this yacht!

One of the floats in the Galveston Mardi Gras parade!

One of the floats in the Galveston Mardi Gras parade!

Another Mardi Gras parade float

Another Mardi Gras parade float

The BEST float of the night in my opinion! This one had the best music, lights, colors, and the best beads being thrown!

The BEST float of the night in my opinion! This one had the best music, lights, colors, and the best beads being thrown!