Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our First Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Fosters!
Christmas this year was indeed a special treat! Not only was it our first Christmas together as a married couple, but we were able to spend time with both sides of the family. Such a joy!

Greg lead worship in two Christmas Eve services on Saturday night so we were able to spend Christmas Eve at my parents. The night was filled with some of my favorite things: Italian food prepared by my dad, delicious wine, a fire in the fireplace, and card games. I love Christmas Eve at the Roberts’ House. I literally talk about it being one of my favorite days and something that I look forward to year-round. Glad ol’ Gregory got to experience it with me this year!

We were able to have Christmas with my family on Chrismas Morning and then head to Cross Plains to be with the Fosters. It was a fun time of lounging, playing games, eating good food, and shooting guns, of course. What else would you naturally do in West Texas??

Armed and Dangerous.

Greg's Cousin Garrett

Some of our favorite gifts topping the charts:

  1. A Banjo!
  2. A new pocket knife. Again, naturally a Texas thing.
  3. New Guitar case
  4. Gift cards to good restaurants (Uncle Julios!) and J. Crew
  5. A fun new guitar strap.
Too talented for his own good. 

  1. A Kitchenaid Mixer! Finally!
  2. A John Hart planner with the new initials
  3. New slippers (much needed!)
  4. A pretty new necklace with the new last initial.
  5. An owl canister from Anthropologie to complete the kitchen

Grateful for two families who love us and want to bless us!! 

Stars Game!

It has been a LONG time since I’ve been to a Stars game, but Greg and I had the privilege of going with my brother, Lindsey, and her family last Friday night. Her dad was given 8 free tickets so we felt lucky that we got invited to join!

It was a chilly and fun game and we loved getting to spend time with them and watching the Stars defeat the Memphis Nashville** Predators! (Hah! Thanks Christin! I definitely kept getting this wrong at the game too!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Need a plan for your New Years Fitness Resolution? Ohhhh Boy.

So... Turns out that when you graduate college to go live and breathe corporate America... sitting on your rear for 8-9 hours a day isn't really conducive to keeping a cute and toned figure. Who knew? I'm such a busy body that sitting for 8-9 hours only make me feel restless and like I have exorbitant amounts of energy to spend. That was why I decided to train for my first half marathon. After getting 6 weeks through training, I found that I was choosing to run and check it off my list rather than make time for my husband and my friends. I loved the running but hated sacrificing those relationships. So, naturally, I gave it up.

After a couple of weeks of no activity, I found I was getting more and more restless and therefore stressed because I didn't have any means of activity in my life. Crazy, non-morning person me (aka I want to kill everyone in sight), decided that I was going to wake up at 5:30 to roll out of bed to hit the gym. The first morning, when my alarm went off, I literally could not figure out why. I was so confused. But I got up, and lethargically went to the gym. Before I knew it, getting up at 5:30 became pretty natural. Shocking, I know.

This past week, I decided that I wanted to spruce up my workout, so I decided to try a new workout plan that I found on Pinterest. I needed something new and different so that I had a challenge to look forward to conquering every morning. When browsing Pinterest, I found this set of workouts and was immediately drawn to them because of the structure and the challenge (seeing as I never do any of the prescribed exercises!). I decided to give this plan a try and if I liked it, continue it for a month. So here is to my second week on the new workout plan.

Let me just say, day one... I almost threw up. That's how you know the workout you just did has kicked your toosh. Not to mention, since Monday's are "Total Body Toner" days, I don't think that there was a muscle on my body that wasn't shaking.

I have officially completed Monday - Thursday's workouts (taking a break on Friday), and can already tell a huge difference. If you are looking for a workout that will totally kick your booty, then I will make this workout my recommendation! Here are all the workouts for all six days. You can click on the links above the photos and it will link to the blog where these were originally posted. From the blog, there are links on how to complete each exercise if you are unsure. If you're going to try it, or any other plan for that matter, don't be the anomaly who gives up on your New Years Resolutions, and don't cheat on your workouts!! Come swimsuit season, you'll thank yourself for sticking it out. Enjoy!

**Wednesday's Workout is a little hard to read, but here it is:

Warm-Up: 10 Min Cardio

Do 15 reps for each exercise, complete the circuit 2-3 times:
Dumbbell Squats
Dumbbell lunges
Dumbbell dead lifts
Push Ups
Wide grip assisted pull ups
Seated dumbbell shoulder press
Lying triceps extension
Dumbbell bicep curls
Plank (1 minute)
Swiss ball jack knife

Cool down: 10 minutes light cardio

Sunday: REST!!

A Very Pinterest Christmas

Christmas is here! I love all the décor that is associated with Christmas, whether it’s the lights in trees at businesses or personalized stockings in each and every home. With my new obsession with Pinterest, and DIY products, our house was transformed into a DIY Winter Wonderland. For a tiny budget anyways.

First, and most importantly, there’s our tree. My grandmother lives very close to my parents, and wasn’t planning on putting up her Christmas Tree, so my dad brought it home for us. It’s the perfect size for our tiny little apartment! I chose to decorate with all white, muted metals, and sparkles. Not to mention, I told Greg that I wanted A LOT (slightly excessive amount) of lights and he went to town. Putting all 500 lights on the tree took about an hour and wore Greg out. 5 strands of lights later on an almost 6 foot tall tree might be a bit dramatic, but I couldn’t be happier with the way that it turned out! Props to the hubs for putting up with my ridiculous demands!

All of our decorating garb.

Here’s some shots of our favorite ornaments on the tree. And our oh-so-perfect mercury-glass tree topper!

I'm in LOVE with mercury glass!

One of my projects for decorating our house this year was to make my own tree skirt. I tend to have “boutique” style, so therefore every decorating item that I am drawn to is naturally the most expensive product that I can find. Of course. So thanks to Pinterest, I was able to recreate a Ruffled Linen Tree Skirt out of a painters drop cloth, linen fabric, a glue gun, and some grosgrain ribbon. So easy and I completed it in an afternoon!

You can get inspired and make one too! I found my tutorial here.

Another project that I endeavored on (with TONS of help from my mother) was our stockings. Again, I had seen some burlap stockings on both Etsy and Pinterest that I was in love with. Being that we are newlyweds with two entry-level jobs, we obviously couldn’t afford to pay up to $35 a piece. And naturally, we needed three of them. One for Greg, one for me, and of course one for Moose. I did some research and found several tutorials on how to make them and told my mom we had a date with the craft store and the sewing machine. Again, they aren’t perfect, but I love the way they turned out. Rustic, simple, and oh so cheap! I spent WAY less than $35 bucks a piece! Victory!

Where our TV would be if we had one. But that would require actually watching TV.....

On yet another impulse craft day, I decided to make this CoffeeFilter Wreath just to hang in our house. Again, cost me $7, and I love the way it turned out. It’s currently hanging on the wall in our living room, but I think I might find a new home for it above our bed once Christmas is over. I’m not thrilled with the décor over our bed, so after Christmas, I’ll be crafting to spruce up our bedroom with pillows, a shelf, our monogrammed initials, and a pic of our wedding printed on Metal. Yet, I’m pretty indecisive so this will probably change.

The view of the wreath on the wall in our living room. 

The window that is hung over our piano in our breakfast room. My mom and I found an awesome metal snowflake garland at JoAnn Fabrics for half off!

Again, a close up of the garland.
Our own little elf who was so involved in the decorating process. 

I owe a HUGE thank you to my mother. Without her, we wouldn’t have half the ornaments on our tree, our tree skirt, or our beautiful stockings. My mother is creative, talented, and therefore I am greatly indebted to her! Thank you Momma!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Sweet Baptism

A couple of weekends ago, we were invited to be a part of a very unique and special baptism. Greg’s cousins, Bryan and his wife Chelsea, decided it was time to make their profession of faith public to both their friends and family. Since their church only offers baptism 4 times a year and they had just missed the deadline for the most recent baptism, they decided that they were going to do a special baptism in Chelsea’s parents backyard.

Conveniently, Greg’s other cousin Craig (also Bryan’s brother), has just recently returned home for the holidays from doing year-long missions in Argentina. Since they have such a special relationship, Bryan and Chelsea asked Craig if he would be the one to baptize them. So sweet to watch one brother baptize the other.

So blessed to be apart of this special celebration and proclamation.

Love the expression on Bryan's face as his wife is baptized. So full of joy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Turkey Re-Cap

Our Thanksgiving week was so relaxing and such a nice break from the busyness of everyday life. Greg’s parents rented a BEAUTIFUL rustic house on Possum Kingdom Lake, flew in from California, and invited us and my immediate family to come out and enjoy some time together over the holiday. 

Greg and I both had to work on Monday and Tuesday, so Tuesday night, we packed up, grabbed Moose, and headed out the door to “The Chocolate Moose Lodge”. Time there consisted of sleeping in late, preparing for the big Thanksgiving meal, watching movies, playing guitar by the fire, hiking around the lake, playing lots of Texas Hold ‘Em (don’t ever play my sister in-law by the way… She’ll rob you blind!), playing Frisbee golf, and celebrating Meredith’s 23rd Birthday. It was just what we needed.

I have officially taken on the role of baking all of the pies for the second year in a row. I’ve always loved helping my mom make the pies, because I’ve always loved how beautiful they are when they are done, and I love taking pride in that art form! So anyways, I took on the task of making four pies: Pumpkin, Pecan, Buttermilk, and Apple. Let me just say, I ascertained a new level of pie making this year. They were picture perfect, not to mention absolutely beautiful. Ok, I’m done bragging. But seriously, see for yourself. Obviously, I wasn’t in the kitchen alone. I had tons of advice and help from two expert bakers/chefs: Nancy and my mom. Boy do I have a lot to live up to! 

I tried a new recipe for the buttermilk pie this year. I used Paula Deen’s “Olivia’s Buttermilk Pie” Recipe. I was a little nervous at first because it’s a crustless pie, but it turned out wonderful and was the first pie to completely disappear. 

Another favorite of the week is Pioneer Woman’s Pecan Pie. All I have to say about this one is YUM. 

A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, Meredith and I schemed and decided that everyone should dress up in traditional Thanksgiving wear for our Thanksgiving meal. Yes, I do mean pilgrims and Indians. No, don’t ask me what we were thinking. Anyways, the girls were good sports, and we even got a visit by a 6 ft. turkey! My father-in-law had the brilliant idea to not show up as a pilgrim or Indian, but to show up as the turkey himself! It was a surprise to us all, and definitely the highlight of the meal. It was ridiculously hard to take anything he said seriously when he had tail-feathers, a beak, and talons!


The day after Thanksgiving, all the kids decided to go out and play some Frisbee golf. Disclaimer: I am terrible at Frisbee golf. So bad, that I cannot even fake it and play on the wii. It’s bad. But, we all went out and braved the wind and actually had a lot of fun. I even had fun letting everyone laugh at my expense at how terrible I am. No lie. We played the 9-hole course forwards and then backwards, and I must say, I did slightly improve by the end of it. And I did have fun so I would definitely go on another Frisbee golf outing if the occasion arose.

That day was also Meredith’s birthday. We had fun celebrating her dinner that night with a gourmet meal of grilled shrimp with a honey cilantro dipping sauce, a delicious vegetable medley, and last but not least, filet mignon. Oh my goodness. Delicious. It was so sweet to be able to be around to celebrate the life of Meredith. She is the kind of girl that everyone wants to be around because she’s fun and her laughter and goofiness draw others to her.  I always love getting to spend time with her. 

This is our second annual Foster/Roberts Thanksgiving, where our families have gotten together to do Thanksgiving. Last year, we went to Austin and stayed on the river that fed into Lake Travis. Anyways, that trip was such a huge success that we decided to start a little tradition! 

My family normally just invites my grandmother over, so combining with the Fosters brings so much more fun and joy to the holidays, not to mention, our families get along great! Greg and I have a hypothesis. We like to believe that if we had grown up in the same town, our families probably would have attended the same huge Baptist church, and since Meredith and I are the same age, our family paths would have crossed often and would therefore have been really good friends. I envision our mom’s being a part of the same bunko/keeno group. It’s that real of a hypothesis. Anyways, I say this often, but I am SO thankful for all my in-laws and that our families get along SO well. It is such a HUGE HUGE HUGE blessing as I know that in-laws can cause rifts between families. We got lucky!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Give You..... FIJI.

As many of you know, Greg surprised me with this trip to Fiji. Up until the morning after our wedding, I had NO idea where we were going. I only knew that we were headed to a beach. Well, as you can imagine, I couldn't really grasp the fact that we were going halfway around the world to FIJI for our honeymoon. If you ever need anyone to plan a trip for you, call my husband. He's pretty incredible. 

Finally... the long awaited pics.
Greetings from Fiji

The infamous Ghost Crabs captured by the one and only, Greg Foster

Meet our friend. He hung out on our front porch alllll week.

 It's hard to see, but this was an orange and blue stingray that we spooked one day when we were walking down to the beach!

Sipping some wine on the front porch of our bure

These next photos are from our underwater disposable camera. We captured some serious photos with that camera. Don't judge the poor quality.

So we went on a little "reef fishing" adventure. These are the fish that everyone else was catching. 

And this just so happened to be the fish that I caught.

Me, holding my shark and almost pushing our guide into the water. Not pictured: me screaming like a little girl.

My man catching an awesome fish. 

Out doing some kayaking. Katie Craig, you'd be so proud.

Holding up a clam at the local clam farm! These suckers were heavy.

Greg, holding up an even bigger clam. 

 Shot of the clam farm. If only this dinky camera would have had the capacity to capture the vibrant neon colors that were inside the clams. Maybe next time....
There are 10 clams in this picture, just FYI.

 Snorkel Trip!

Hi, Mom. 

Snorkeling in about 50 feet of crystal clear water.  


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