Thursday, January 28

Yes... That was me.


I've gotten a lot of phone calls, texts and Facebook messages since last night's American Idol - Dallas Premier. For those of you who asked, yes... That was me. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, last night on Idol There were two screen shots of me during the show in my little yellow dress and big arrow sign. LOL.

Here's one of the clips, compliments of my friend Derek who sent me an email congratulating me on my .15 seconds of fame.

video

My entire life I have been a singer. My parents started me in church choir when I was just a toddler and it's been a passion of mine ever since. In high school I started to finally take my singing more serious as I shocked myself in making the Texas All State Choir in my first go around. I was a supporting lead in our musical my Junior year and the female lead in our musical my senior year. I was also a part of the Show Choir in high school.

Last summer I had been praying, asking the Lord what HE wanted me to do with the blessings He had given me. I am a bit shy when it comes to singing and started feeling guilty for not sharing this gift that I felt I had been blessed with. The next day I was online and came across the American Idol website where it listed the time and dates of all upcoming auditions. Apparently they had already begun and the audition here in Dallas was to take place in two weeks. So, I decided to put my big girl pants on and give it another go around.

I auditioned when I was 17 in St. Louis and made it to the second round of auditions where I, apparently, sat in a room with Carrie Underwood for an entire day and never even knew it. My second audition took place at 9:00 at night, after we had been there since 8:00 that morning. I sang in front of an executive producer, Ken, who told me I had a great voice but I just wasn't unique enough for what they were looking for in the show. Heart broken I went to college and got my degree in Kinesiology.

5 years later I found myself headed to auditions once again. Here's a little bit about my experience.

Auditions take place during the weekend but you have to show up and get a wrist band and a ticket before showing up to auditions. The line opened up at 8:00 on Thursday morning, knowing how the process worked I knew that those who got their wrist bands first, auditioned first so I drove out to Arlington at 11:00 Wednesday night with my folding chair and a blanket. I sat in line the entire night about 300 people from the front and at 8:15 the next morning I got my wrist band, went home and slept for 3 hours before heading to work that afternoon. At this point the only people who knew I was auditioning were my mom and Josh.



 

The next day I got up at 4:00am and headed back out to Cowboy Stadium. It was incredibly packed, cars and people and camera crews EVERYWHERE. I had made some friends Wednesday night in line and they were kind enough to save me a spot in line that morning. Once the sun started to rise the producers came out and started to explain the filming process, we would be doing a lot of screaming, yelling, smiling and jumping around for the next hour as they got their shots for the opening scenes. I had this HUGE sign that I had made the night before. It was a big arrow that pointed to my head as I held it up, on one side it read, "Your Next Idol" and on the other it said, "Hollywood Bound." Apparently the producers loved my sign so they pulled me out of the crowd and moved me right in front of the camera... Front and center. After several takes they finally opened the doors and let us into the stadium.

 Picking out my outfit the day before auditions... Needed something BRIGHT!





I quickly found my seat and started the waiting game. They made us sing Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" over, and over, and over, and over again. It was our city song and they made everyone memorize it so that when they had terrible people audition they could make them sing it for their montage. So sad. At 10:30 the audition process finally began.



There were 12 tables spaced out on the floor of Cowboy Stadium, each one had two judges and the tables were separated by a black cloth. In front of each table there were 4 X's, auditioners would come up in 4 lines to each table. The "judges" which were actually just crew members would point to one of the 4 in front of the line and say, "sing." They would give you maybe 20 seconds to sing and then stop you and move onto the person beside you. After hearing all 4 in line sing they would ask those they liked or weren't sure of to sing another song, after that they would talk to one another and then go down the line saying "Yes" or "No." If you were a no you walked to the "Non Winner's Door" as they called it, get your wrist band cut off and you would be on your way. It was pretty dramatic.



My turn finally came and I was the very left person in our line of 4. It was myself, an interesting looking girl and two guys. Lucky for me, one of my judges was the guy that picked me to stand in front of the camera earlier that morning, he recognized me and shot me a grin, then asked me to sing. This go around I had decided that if I did make the show I would make it known that my ultimate goal is to become a Christian recording artist. I would be honored to stand up next to some of those who have inspired me; Brook Fraiser, Bethany Dillon, Francesca Bettistelli... just to name a few :). SO I picked "Amazing Grace" as my audition song. After all, it is because of HIS amazing grace that I was there in the first place. To my surprise they let me sing the entire first verse then moved onto the ones around me. After everyone had finished singing they came back to me and asked if I could sing another song, something more upbeat. So I sang the first song that came to my head, "Rich Girl" by Hall and Oats, lol. The judges talked amongst themselves and then pointed to the two guys and said, "Thanks for auditioning, you're just not what we're looking for this year" and sent them on their way. They asked the interesting girl next to me and myself to stay. I looked at the judge and said, "I made it?" He nodded and I broke down crying. I was so overwhelmed with emotion and so excited to move on. They handed me my golden ticket, I grabbed it, turned around to the audience of 10,000 in the stadium, held it in the air crying and the entire place started to cheer. It was unreal!!!



After getting my ticket I went into one of the floor suites at the stadium which they were using as the "Winner's Door." I had my picture taken and then filled out this HUGE packet that asked millions of questions about me and my life. This is where they get your "story." You know those sob stories that they love so much... After that they give you this talk about not talking to press/newspapers, etc... then give you the info for the next audition and send you on your way.

I walked out of the stadium "winner's door" and ran into the invited press (that we WERE allowed to talk to) and was grabbed by this cute little blonde with a mic and camera crew. After about 5 seconds I realized that it was Alexis Grace from season 8. She interviewed me and then hugged me and said good luck. I thought that was pretty cool. Then I ran into a news crew that asked me what I thought of the late Michael Jackson's passing (this had just happened at this point). That clip of me ended up on the news that night and a picture of me ended up on the front page of the news paper the next day. HAHA, I was dying it was so weird.

 This is the picture from the newspaper


The next round of auditions wasn't until two weeks later and took place in Dallas at the W hotel. We were allowed to bring family with us to this audition so I decided to ask Athena, my little sister, to tag along with me. We got to Dallas around 6:30 in the morning, grabbed some McDonalds and then stood in line. They brought us into this room with roughly 100 chairs in three sections. They gave you a number and you had to sit in your assigned seat and wait to be auditioned. We would audition in front of the producers and if you make it past that round you would go upstairs to audition in front of the executive producers, once you made it there you would come back in another couple of weeks and audition for the celebrity judges.




Lucky for me (please read that as dripping with sarcasm) I was 7th from last to audition that day. I sat there all morning and two hours after lunch watching people take their turn. About one in every 10 had been making it through to the next audition that morning. After lunch 1 in ever 30 was going through, if that. My turn came, I walked into a small room where there were about 5 people sitting at a long table. They looked up at me, talked amongst themselves and then asked me to sing. They did not look at me once during my song and once I was done, without looking up, they said "Thank you, but we've heard much better talent than that today." It felt as if they had made their decision before I had even walked through the door. I walked out without a ticket and my sister was standing there, arms wide open. She was so angry that the judges didn't let me through and made me feel like a million dollars telling me that they were dumb and had made a mistake. And with that my journey was ended.

If you watched the show this guy had his own little segment.  He was really annoying the entire day and wanted to sing to anyone and everyone at all times... We weren't allowed to have cameras so I had to sneak this picture!


I won't lie... It is really difficult to have someone tell you that you aren't good enough. But to have my sister there was such a blessing, she was so sad but I was able to continue smiling and to tell her genuinely that God has something else planned for my life and that even though I didn't make it, I was really happy that I gave it a shot. I could have regretted it later if I hadn't.

A couple of weeks later I met with the worship leader at our church and asked him about serving at our church. Not two weeks later I was up on stage singing with our praise and worship band. I have been singing at our church ever since and feel so strongly that this is where God needs me right now. It's been a blessing to me to have this opportunity and I am so thankful.

With all of that being said, it is a tiny bit embarrassing that everyone saw me on American Idol and that I didn't make it... BUT God is SO good, so loving, faithful and full of grace and He has my life headed in a different direction. He is all knowing and I trust His plan for my life wholeheartedly. I have no regrets in auditioning, if anything it helped me to see His plan more clearly and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for my life these next few years!


Wednesday, January 27

"Josh-isms"

Most people don't have the pleasure of seeing all of the different sides of Josh, lucky for me I get to be around him constantly and have gotten to see sides of him that I never knew existed. 

One of my favorite things about him is that you never know what he's going to say.  There have been so many great quotes that have come out of that mouth of his and as time passes they, too, pass from my memory.  So, I've decided that I will use this blog to help me to remember! 

Today's quote comes from him as we are driving home for lunch today:

"Sometimes I wish that I was driving a bumper car so that every time I saw someone talking on their phone I could swirve and smash them."

:0) Yup, that's my husband.  How lucky am I?

Tuesday, January 26

Birthday Festivities

Saturday, January 23rd I had some of my closest girlfriends come out to celebrate for the night.  We started the evening off with dinner at Mi Cocina.



The food was excellent!



After dinner we headed back to my house for some games, desert and fun!



 

Then we played the longest game of Jenga ever... It was EPIC.


 
 

We finished the night off by playing Guitar Hero World Tour until 2am
 

Kellie gave us plenty of good laughs as she dominated the vocals and everyone else took turns playing different instruments.  It was a blast.




Highlights of the night:
  • Seeing all of my friends
  • The delicious food at Mi Cocina
  • Everyone packing into my Ford Escape... Kellie and Jamie M. took the trunk!
  • Enjoying the yummy cookies and cake
  • Listening to friends as they sang "Happy Birthday" to me!
  • Playing the longest game of Jenga ever... Everyone would get so nervous right before their turn.
  • Listening to Kellie on vocals for Guitar Hero World Tour.
Not so great parts of the night:
  • As I was showing the girls how to use the pull up bar it came loose and I fell on my head and elbows.  I knocked the wind out of myself and had a terrible headache for the remainder of the night. It's now Tuesday and I am just now starting to feel better.  I imagine it is how I would feel if I had been in a car accident.... I will NEVER get back on a chin up bar ever again. 
  • Saying goodbye to everyone.  I hate goodbyes and wish everyone could have stayed even longer!
Thank you so much to all of my friends for making my 24th Birthday something I'll remember forever.  You are all so important to me and I love you SO very much!!!



Making a House our Home

Now that life has finally slowed down a bit, Josh and I have had the opportunity to do a few projects around the house.  So far we've only completed one but as they continue to get finished I'll post them on here. 

The Friday before my birthday party I painted and decorated the guest bathroom.  I am SO happy with how it all turned out, I love the colors and I love the way I feel when I walk in.  Hopefully all of our little projects turn out this well!


 
 
 

Monday, January 25

3 Months


I cannot believe that three months have already passed since Josh and I were married.  We have learned so much about one another and have grown closer than I ever thought possible in the past months.  I thought I would take a few minutes to write about some of my favorite moments of marriage thus far and write about some of the things that Josh and I have learned about each other. 

Here are a few of my favorite "Married Moments" over the past 3 months:
  • Being greeted as "Mr. and Mrs. Morgan" as we checked into our honeymoon suite.
  • Waking up next to Josh for the first time the morning after our wedding.
  • Taking care of one another through our first married sicknesses.
  • Flying on a plane together.
  • Moving into and setting up our home.
  • Painting our bathroom together.
  • Hearing Josh call me his wife for the first time as he introduced me to the Hawk Security guy.
  • Getting a new nickname, "Wifer.".
  • Cooking together and discovering new favorite dishes
  • Hawaii.
  • Spending the holidays creating new traditions.
  • Many nights of entertaining friends and family in our new home.
  • Lazy Saturdays.
  • My first Birthday as Mrs. Morgan  
  • Learning more about each other every single day.
There are so many things you get to learn about a person when you live with them.  During our premarital counseling we talked a lot about great expectations and what we expected out of one another in our marriage.  I feel like we learned a lot from those meetings and we've really been able to apply it all to our new life.  Here are a few things we've learned about one another in the past three months:
  • Josh LOVES watching sports, fishing, and hunting channels ALL of the time.
  • I prefer to watch reality TV and sitcoms.
  • I leave the lid of the toilet seat up while Josh prefers to have the lid down at all times... I never thought HE would be getting onto ME about the toilet lid!
  • Josh is VERY helpful and supportive around the house
  • We enjoy keeping our home clean and take the time to do so together
  • We both love entertaining friends and family and try to have someone over whenever possible
  • Josh sleeps with a billion pillows
  • I apparently steal said pillows in the middle of the night
  • Josh is incredibly attentive and sensitive when I'm sick or not feeling well
  • I sometimes forget the pull the hanger after grabbing an article of clothing and Josh gets onto me about not adding it to the hanger pile... I love it.
  • Neither of us like doing laundry very much, but he always helps me put it away.
  • We love making big meals and trying new dishes
  • We are both very orderly and like keeping our daily routines- Josh a little bit more so than me.
  • Josh likes 2% or higher with milk.  I like 1% or lower with milk... Needless to say, we drink 2%
  • Josh never complains about having to do housework and always takes the trash out on trash day without anyone having to ask him to.  
  • Josh likes to put his cold hands and feet on me... This I do not love.
  • We both enjoy going over to visit our families at least once a week- we miss them and love being so close.
  • Josh is a morning person... Me, not so much.
  • We are apparently getting old because we like being in bed by 9:00.
  • We love each other more and more everyday... And we take the time to make sure the other one knows how we feel.
These past few months have flown by.  We have had so many wonderful memories already and have learned a great deal about one another.  The one thing I am reminded of daily is that we are both blessed beyond measure.  I don't anticipate things to be this blissful forever, but I am hopeful that they will remain this way throughout our marriage and our life together.  I am (in my opinion) the luckiest woman on Earth to be married to Josh.  He has a heart the size of Texas and is the most selfless, thoughtful, compassionate and loving person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I write all of these things genuinely from the bottom of my heart and hope that when I look back on this post in 5, 10, 20 years, I will be able to say, "That is still the man I know and love today." 

Happy 3 months of marriage, Josh!  I love you with all that I am!

Tuesday, January 19

January 18, 2010

Another year has flown by and with it has come another Birthday. It's amazing that when you're a kid, it seems like an eternity passes by before your next one, but as an adult they start to blur together as time whizzes on by.

As you may have read before in my post about New Year's Resolutions, one of my goals for the year is to learn how to play the guitar. There was only one problem with that resolution... I didn't own a guitar! So, Josh being the amazing husband that he has proven himself to be, went out and surprised me with one for my birthday!

Friday night we had plans to go out with some friends but just before I started feeling pretty sick, so we called and broke our plans and I changed into comfy clothes to relax for the rest of the night. About half an hour later Josh asked me if I wanted my presents early, I was a little thrown off because we are both so traditional and like to open presents on our birthdays, but he said that he had a feeling I would want it for the weekend, so I agreed. He walked me into the guest bedroom where there was a tall, funky shaped box sitting on the ground. Instantly I knew what it was and turned to embrace him. Then I eagerly ripped into the box and pulled out my beautiful acoustic guitar. I was so overwhelmed that I didn't even notice the other two gifts lying beside the bed. He had also gotten me a gorgeous soft cover guitar case, a tuner and picks. Within ten minutes we had figured out how to tune the guitar and I was pulling up videos on how to play different chords. It will take me some time but I know that eventually I'll figure it out! A few minutes later mom called and told me that now I had my guitar I could open the gift from my brother and sister in law. They sent me a beginners guide on playing guitar and some money to go towards lessons or whatever else I didn't get. It was SO thoughtful!

Sunday after church and a little cleaning around the house, we headed to my parent's house to celebrate my Birthday with them. Mom had made cupcakes and wanted to open gifts right away. Athena, my little (not so little anymore) sister used her babysitting money to buy me Super Mario Bros for the Wii! I've already gotten past world 1 and am loving it!

Next I opened the gift from my parents. They gave me a beautiful pair of suede boots that I've been wanting for almost two years now. I can't wait to wear them!!


After presents we dug into the cupcakes and played a little Rock Band- I kicked some butt on the electric guitar. Just wish playing a real guitar was that easy!


Later that evening Josh and I headed to his parent's house to celebrate with them. They made us a steak dinner and we enjoyed a calm night swapping life stories and enjoying each other's company. They were so sweet and gave me another setting for our china for my birthday. We now have 6 place settings and are on our way to having enough to serve both of our families!

I had to work on my actual Birthday but the office came together and took me out to Charelston's for lunch. It was great getting out of the office and spending time with our friends for a bit.

After work Josh took me out on the town. Not many people know this but 7 years ago on the vary same night, Josh took me downtown for my Birthday to see the Lord of the Rings. It was our first date... It was cold outside and he let me wear his coat. I was 17 and smitten... Not much has changed. :) Happy 7 years to the one who holds my heart, I love you with all that I am Josh Morgan!

This year he took me out to dinner at one of our favorite resteraunts, Texas de Brazil.


If you've never been it is basically all you can eat, top of the line, steaks. They have other types of meat but we know what's best so we stick to it! My meal consisted of: 1 salad, 4 pieces of bread, 4 cinnamon/sugar glazed bananas, 1 garlic serloin, 1 and 1/2 house special, 4 baccon wrapped fillet mignons, dessert and a glass of wine. Needless to say, I was stuffed. It was an incredible night.


I felt overwhelmed yesterday as I received notification after notification from Facebook as friends took the time to wish me well on my Birthday, and several phone calls and text messages from friends and family. Don't ever underestimate what wishing someone well does for the soul. Thank you to each and every person who took time out of their day to do so- it meant the world to me.

This weekend is my actual Birthday party... I'll be having a few girlfriends over for the evening and it should be a night of epic proportions, just like every birthday party in the past. I thank God for the countless blessings he has given to me and look forward to walking through the journey of 2010 another year older and, hopefully, another year wiser.

Stay tuned!

Monday, January 18

Brokenness


As humans we have a tendency to want to fix things when they are broken. I am a fixer by nature. I have been learning, however, on my journey as a Christian, that sometimes it is okay to be broken.

Contrary to popular belief, my life is not perfect. I am not perfect... I am far from perfect.

I am constantly walking through this journey that we call life, learning lessons and growing closer to Christ. Recently I have found myself in a bit of a valley - stuck at the bottom, hurt and broken- sulking in my pain and relentlessly trying to mend something that has been broken. Try as I may, at the end of the day I was still sitting in the bottom of this valley... alone.

I have been learning, however, that in my brokenness - in my suffering, I can draw closer to Christ. I can run to Him and He becomes my perfect source of strength. The situation may not be mended, the wounds may heal over time-- and inevitably there will be a scar left behind, but through my suffering I find grace - Christ gives us endless, perfect and wonderful grace. I am deeply humbled by the love that continues to pour from Him and I find deep comfort in clinging to Him - He is my light, my truth and day by day He is pulling me out of the valley.

So here I am, broken. My hands are open, I have learned to let go. I have stopped trying to mend, stopped trying to fix. And through my brokenness I have found peace. I ran like an uninhibited 6 year old- barefoot, hair blowing in the breeze- through a field into my Savior's open arms. He is my strength. He is perfect. His grace is enough for me. I am a work in progress- God is not finished with me yet.

Hungry I run to you for I know you satisfy.
I am empty but I know your love does not run dry.
So I wait for you.
So I wait for you.

I'm falling on my knees!
Offering all of me.
Jesus you're all this heart is living for.

Broken I come to you for your arms are open wide.
I am weary but I know your love restores my life.
So I wait for you.
So I wait for you.

I'm falling on my knees!
Offering all of me.
Jesus you're all this heart is living for.

- Hungry, Kathryn Scott

Monday, January 11

Something to think about...

What if you're right?
And He was just another nice guy
What if you're right?
What if it's true?
They say the cross will only make a fool of you
And what if it's true?

What if He takes His place in history
With all the prophets and the kings
Who taught us love and came in peace
But then the story ends
What then?

But what if you're wrong?
What if there's more?
What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And just close your eyes,
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He's more than enough?
What if it's love?

What if you dig
Way down deeper than your simple-minded friends
What if you dig?
What if you find
A thousand more unanswered questions down inside
That's all you find?

What if you pick apart the logic
And begin to poke the holes
What if the crown of thorns is no more
Than folklore that must be told and retold?

You've been running as fast as you can
You've been looking for a place you can land for so long
But what if you're wrong?


I love this song - it's very powerful and has a wonderful message. What if you are wrong? What will you lose?

Matthew 16:25
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Thursday, January 7

Our "Denton" Christmas Party

This year our little group of friends, I call them my "Denton Friends," decided to have our Christmas celebration at our new home!

We arranged a gift exchange where the girls would all buy a $$ gift for the girls and the guys would all buy a $$ gift for the guys, then we would draw numbers and pick gifts- each one could be stolen twice, the person who stole the gift for the second time was the keeper of that gift.

Everyone arrived at our home the Sunday night after Christmas and each brought a home cooked side dish. Jami and Matt brought incredibly delicious home made mac and cheese, Angie and Josh brought potatoes and asparagus, Kristi brought this phenomenal tortellini soup ( I can't remember the name, though) and Frank brought drinks. Josh and I made bread and bacon wrapped chicken. The meal was fabulous with very little left overs.

After dinner we played our gift exchange game. The ladies went first drawing numbers; Jami was #1, then me, then Angie and last but not least, was Kristi. Jami opened Angie's gift which was a gorgeous picture frame filled with pictures of the 4 of us from the past few years and an incredibly soft blanket.

Happy with her gift we moved on to me, I picked Kristi's which ended up being jewelry and purses from Charming Charlies! I absolutely LOVED it all.


Then was Angie, she picked my gift which was a gift card for a 1 hour massage at Massage Envy. Kristi hesitated with the idea to steal Angie's gift but too kind to step on toes she picked Jami's. Lucky for her, Jami and I think alike... she, too got a gift card for a 1 hour massage!


We were all so happy with our gifts that no one stole or exchanged. Good job ladies!

The boys were next. First was Matt, then Josh, Josh, Zach and Frank. I cannot remember who got what but the boys stole so much that they each got their OWN gift back in the end! Matt went home with his two boxes of imported beers, Josh kept his bottle of Don Julio Tequilla, Josh Rollins went home with his Halo 3 game, Zach with his chin up bar and Frank with his mobster movie set! We found it kind of funny that the girls didn't steal once and the guys stole everything... :)



Josh and I both drew #2

After gifts we played some Apples to Apples where Josh Rollins kicked all of our butts and then we called it a night. It was so much fun spending time with our friends and I was so sad when the night came to an end. I cannot wait until next year!

Welcome, 2010!


I had been looking forward to New Years Eve for quite some time. Christmas was wonderful, but because of all of the traveling it didn't feel like much of a vacation. New Year's was going to be our mini winter vacation and we couldn't wait.

New Year's Eve Josh and I both worked a half day and once at home we were rushing around packing our bags so we could get on the road to Hempstead, Texas. With the truck loaded down we dropped Charlie off with my parents (who graciously puppysat for us) and started on our long drive South.

We arrived at Trevor's ranch just before the sunset. We said hello to friends we hadn't seen in a while and even met some new ones! Then, after getting settled in, the guys started dinner. Our appetizer was delicious sausage that was gone in about 15 minutes and our main meal was chicken and steak fajitas.


The food was wonderful. We spend the rest of the night inside playing games and enjoying our company as the rain fell outside. The boys had their New Year's cigars outside exchanging stories while the girls chatted inside. At midnight Josh found his way inside, snuggled up close to me on the couch and we watched the clock as it went from 11:59 to 12:00 and we sealed it with a big smooch. And because we are old we went to bed shortly after.

There were so many people at the ranch that we all had to pick and choose our beds. Josh and I ended up on the top bunks of two bunk beds, separated by a rod of wood we both drifted off to sleep in our full size beds. It felt a little like I would imagine the olden days; Saying goodnight from across the room as your honey gets into his own bed. Very odd.

The next day was spent outside as God gave us the perfect first day of the year, blue skies and cool temperatures. The boys shot skeet and had contests while the girls played on four wheelers and flew a kite. Josh and Chase were on a team and they both did a great job in the contest.



While the boys played we ladies headed to the part of their land that backs up to a golf course. They have made a game called "Hunters and Gatherers" where there are two to a four wheeler and you drive around picking up golf balls... It sounds lame but it was so much fun. The team who gets the most wins! Sarah and I ended up getting more than Lauren and Johnna, we were so proud of our win!

Everyone trickled off into groups, the guys went dove hunting while some stayed behind to fish... it was a very relaxing evening. Once night fell they started a bonfire outside and Lauren started making her homemade chili. We spent the night around the fire talking and Trevor disposed of their Christmas tree in the coolest way- he propped it up right in the fire and watched it burn. Definitely a beautiful site.


The next morning most of us headed back home to enjoy another day of relaxation in the comfort of our own homes. Josh and I stopped in Waco on the way home for lunch with Derek and Chase- it was really nice getting to just relax and spend time with friends.


It's already January 7th... There are so many wonderful things in store for us this year and I cannot wait to see what happens!

Happy New Year!

"Our First Christmas"

Well, I was waiting to post this until I had access to the photos that Josh took over our Christmas break, but it seems that I have failed at obtaining them so here we are...

This was our 6th Christmas together but it was also our "first." I thought things would be easy seeing that our parents live in the same neighborhood, not more than 5 blocks from one another, but I was proven wrong.

Like good kids, we both wanted to spend time with our families on Christmas, but this was just not possible, so we came up with a way to do it all.

Christmas Eve Josh and I had a half day at work. After getting a few errands run and doing some packing we headed over to the Morgan household to celebrate Christmas. We arrived to a beautifully decorated Santa Land with the smell of ribbye baking in the oven.

(We'll have to settle for an iPhone picture...)

Soon after our arrival we exchanged and opened gifts. Steve and Marsha were overly generous with all of their sweet and thoughtful gifts to us. We received board games and tools, and even new pieces to add to my village! My favorite gift from the Morgans was my very first pair of cowgirl boots!

(Sorry, another iPhone pic)

After our gift exchange we all sat down for dinner. They had made Ribbye, twice baked potatoes, bacon wrapped asparagus, homemade rolls, and incredible creamed corn. It was the best meal I had had in quite some time- we both filled ourselves to the brim. We had so much fun spending the evening with the Morgans and hated to leave, but had to get on the road before the ice and snow got any worse! The roads were so slick that it took Josh and I a good 30 minutes to get back home, it's usually about 15!

That night, after stuffing the stockings, as I was getting in bed I noticed a big box lying in my spot. I looked at Josh and said, "What is this?" He just smiled and said, "I dunno, maybe Santa brought it by." So I eagerly ripped open the gift and found the most perfect set of PJ's inside! He wanted to make sure that I had Christmas jammies... A tradition strong in both of our families. As I changed into my baby blue jammy shirt and red snow flake bottoms my heart was filled with warmth.

Christmas morning we woke up to a blanket of white snow outside. It was the first white Christmas I had experienced since moving from Colorado almost 8 years ago! I am so embarrased to say that I didn't think of taking pictures.. I think Josh did, though so when I get a hold of them I'll put 'em up for ya!

Josh got to work building us a fire while I gathered the gifts. Together we sat in front of the toasty fire and opened our gifts to one another. Josh loved his, a new duck call, a duck call laniard, and a Baretta gun case for his new over-under shotgun. My gift was a new puppy so I didn't have much to open, but he did get me an incredible pair of hunting boots from Cabellas! I was so surprised and very excited, now I can wear my own boots when we're out hunting! Unfortunately, as I wrote in my previous post, things fell through with the puppy but I had a wonderful Christmas nonetheless.

After getting things cleaned up we packed up the car and headed to my parent's house. We shared brunch with them, Mom made breakfast casserole! One of my absolute favorites. After eating we exchanged and opened gifts and I received even more pieces for my village! Next year it's going to be so big we may have to split it up around the house. :) We played a game of phase 10 and then it was time for Josh and me to get on the road.

We were headed to East Texas in the early afternoon. We arrived at Mimi and Papa's house at about 3:30 to find that the hospital had released both of them for the afternoon! They had spent most of the day in their own home for the first time in several months. If that isn't a great Christmas gift, I don't know what is. It was so wonderful to see them home, but the bittersweet moment only lasted briefly as they were soon on their way back to the rehab facility. We spent the remainder of the afternoon spending time with cousins and catching up.


Later that evening we made it over to our other Grandparent's home for dinner and great converstaion. My Christmas meal consisted of a ham sandwhich with BBQ potato chips, but it was still wonderful. After exchanging gifts, yet again, we headed to the movies with our cousins to see Avatar in 3D. I had already seen it opening night, but I was just buzzing to go again. It was (in my opninion) phenominal!

We ladies recieved these awesome hair towels from Grammy! I've LOVE mine!

Jamie and Kenneth rockin the 3D glasses at Avatar

The next day we spent with family, had a wonderful lunch and then headed out to Glenwood to set up Josh's trail camera that he got for Christmas. After waiting a while for Kenny and Jamie to show up they finally arrived. We stood around for a minute and then out of the silence Jamie says, "Well... I got another Christmas present..." And pulled her left hand out of her pocket... There on her ring finger was a gorgeous marquise cut, solitare engagement ring! My eyes instantly filled with tears as I rushed to hug and congratulate her. Apparently that morning, while they were at Mimi and Papa's letting the dogs out, Kenneth asked Jamie to be his wife. *Sigh* I must say that I feel partially responsible for this wonderful match... A year and a half ago Jamie and I had a girl's night and went to Billy Bobs. While in the car I told Jamie that she was gonna meet Mr. Right that night. We scored great seats for the concert and soon enough there was a group of guys behind us asking to share the spot. One of those guys was Kenny. They exchanged numbers and the rest, as they say, is history.

This photo is from that night, Kenneth is the creeper on the right... Who would have known..

After drying my tears and hearing the details we took off into the woods and set the game trail camera. After that Josh and I headed back to Fort Worth so we could spend a little time relaxing together at home.

It was a wonderful Christmas, in spite of the lack of a big Christmas meal, no hot chocolate for Josh Christmas morning and a great gift gone wrong, I still managed to maintain a happy spirit remembering the true reason for the Season. Christ, our savior was born to save us all from our own sin- He changed the world forever and THAT is why we celebrate CHRISTmas. No amount of Christmas ham, sweet potatos, or little puppy gifts will ever amount to that. :)