Shoe Clips

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I can share a few craft projects I have been working on. If you ever look at Etsy or any other cute/crafty boutique, you have seen shoe clips, belt clips, or any sort of fabric flower that help shnazzy-up any outfit you wear. I have been wanting to buy some, but for some reason I just couldn't get myself to fork out a good chunk of change for fabric flowers. And I may have just wanted an excuse to have another craft night.

I gave these little shoe clips to my sister and sister-in-laws, which explains why I had to wait til after Christmas to share these with you. They really weren't too hard to throw together, and I love how the various color, shape, and size possibilities are endless. Oh fabric flowers, how I love you.

My Graduation Quilt

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My mom is an amazing seamstress and quilter. When Brittney, Jace, and I graduated from high school, it was tradition for my mom to make us a quilt to take to college. She would spend hours making something to help us remember her and our home in Spokane as we embarked on our new adventure with college.

When I was getting ready to go to college, I opened my quilt from mom. You know the first thing I said? "Thanks Mom, but these weren't the colors I wanted for my dorm room." Can we say BRAT?!? Thinking of how I responded to this gesture still makes me sick. My mom reacted with class and didn't make a big deal of the situation, and I went on my merry way. A few hours later I went out to the front porch and found my mom with tears streaming down her face. My heart broke. She had put so much time and love into that quilt, and I dismissed it without gratitude. How selfish I felt. We spent a few hours on that porch talking about life, growing up, leaving home, and more. My mom and I grew closer that evening on the porch. Even though I am still disgusted when I think of how I initially acted, I am grateful for this experience because I learned so much from my mom, how she handled the situation, what she taught me, and the mother-daughter/friend relationship I treasure.

I ended up using this quilt on my bed in college for many, many years. Every time I felt a twinge of homesickness, I would look at the quilt and remember my mom and her amazing love for me. This quilt is now one of my most prized possessions.

Why am I telling you this story? We are at my in-laws house where we still have some boxes we are keeping here for storage. I was digging through one box this evening, and found this quilt. Tears came to my eyes. I love this quilt. It is coming home with me to Texas.

Merry Christmas from the Lewis's

Friday, December 24, 2010

If y'all haven't seen enough of this picture already, just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas with our very first Christmas card as the Lewis family! I love Christmas Eve. No matter how old I get I still feel like a little child as I anticipate what lies in store the next morning. I hope everyone's Christmas wishes and dreams come true!

Merry Christmas!
Love, the Lewis's

Christmas Craziness

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We are getting down to the wire here, people! Christmas is officially in T-minus 2 days! If it weren't for the Christmas music you here in every store, the decorations up in my house, or the absolutely insane traffic as everyone is out-and-about, I almost think I wouldn't know it's Christmas. With the warm Texas weather and the fact that I'm still sitting in my corner at work, it feels just like any other time of the year. And yes, our office is open on Christmas Eve. And yes, I will be going. Awesome.

One thing that makes me extremely happy every time I see it is my fridge. NO, not because of the food (although that is a great addition), but because of the happy faces and messages sent to us from friends and family across the nation. Living so far away from those we love is really hard sometimes (just ask Russ, he hears it often), so receiving Christmas cards this year was extra special. It was like a peace of home coming to Texas.

I cannot wait for Christmas Day to come. It is such a happy day, filled with the message of the birth of Jesus Christ, family, and time to relax and reflect on our many blessings. The other night Russ came home to me sitting in a dark room watching this video. I was totally immersed in it, and it left me contemplative and grateful. It was a great way to be reminded of the true reason we have this "crazy holiday." I hope we can all keep the real message in mind amongst the hustle and bustle. Life is good.

Grill & Chill

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas came early this year! My parents surprised us with an early Christmas gift of a beautiful black grill. This gift was perfect for us for the following reasons:

It still gets in the 70's every day, even in December. Why not grill?
Grilling = considerably less dishes (perhaps my favorite reason for the grill)
Endless grilled entree possibilities, including, but not limited to burgers, chicken, salmon, corn, steak, etc.
It's fun!
Russ's manhood is enhanced considerably. A man needs his grill. 

Russ was very particular on the spatula we bought. It needed to be a uni-body metal piece of work that exudes strength and power. We grilled some chicken last night... I think the manhood power is evident, no?

Thanks again, Mom and Dad! We love the grill!!

The Provo Tabernacle

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm sure most of you have already heard about the Provo Tabernacle. For those of you who haven't, and have no clue what I'm talking about, the Provo Tabernacle is a historic building in downtown Provo that was built in 1883 by the early members and pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was an absolutely beautiful building that held so much history and memories. Church meetings, concerts, and city events were held in this building. When living in Provo, my apartment was just a few blocks away, allowing a good number of our meetings to be held there. In fact, Russ and I went to a church meeting at the tabernacle in one of the first few weeks we were dating (proof below). We had run into a friend of Russell's, who apparently texted Russ "predicting" we were going to get married. Russ of course didn't tell me that at the time... it would have freaked me out. But hey, he was right. (And can I take a moment to point out those amazing mountains? sigh.)

ANYWAY.... back to the point... I was shocked and sad to hear that the building burnt down early Friday morning. It will be a miracle if they can salvage it. This morning I read of a story about the "Second Coming" photo of Christ by Harry Anderson that partially survived the fire. The entire photo was burned except the middle, where "coincidentally" Christ is painted. I thought this story was inspiring and thought-provoking. I think I may have gotten a few goosebumps from this picture.

You can read the article here.

Complete coincidence or not, isn't that amazing? Seeing this picture was a perfect way to start off our Sunday. I love Sundays and the opportunity we have to stop and reflect on everything we have to be grateful for, because we all know we do not stop to do it enough. This picture is a great reminder to keep Christ the center of Christmas. Wow.

Divine Twine

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's been a day. You know those ones? The days when you wake up with really no expectations, but hoping for something great, and then the day just happens?

Work -- meh.
Traffic -- terrible.
A minor meltdown by yours truly -- inevitable.
Make dinner -- out of the question.
Alternative? Chipotle with husband. (Delicious).

Luckily, the future can only get brighter from here. I am taking the day off tomorrow and have a fun holiday party to look forward to. And also putting my Divine Twine to use. These pretty little rolls came in the mail this week, and just looking at those colors makes me a very, very happy girl.

I bought the twine from, a website filled with lots and lots of other fun supplies I would love to get my hands on sometime (aka: washi tape, stamps, labels, stickers, and more!)

Think of all the crafting possibilities! It gives a plain-o jane-o project some flare and personality. I even used the twine to complete some Christmas gifts. (Which I can show you post Christmas time... wouldn't want to ruin any surprises now would I?)

Here's to the little things that fill a blah/dreary day with color and happiness.

Good afternoon. My name is Russell.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My dream came true!!!! When the movie "Up" came out, I couldn't get over how funny the little "Russell" character is. It may or may not have been because my husband is named Russell and all I would envision is Russ as a little boy saying the very same thing. And then Russ was asked to help the Webelos in the Boy Scout troop at our church and my vision became a reality. He is required to wear the shirt, carry the book, the whole she-bang! It makes my day. Now only if we could get him a dog named Doug... or perhaps a bird named Kevin?

In case you are having a hard time remembering little Russell from "Up," I've included the following clip for your convenience. Enjoy!

Hot Glue Sundays

Monday, December 13, 2010

This is what happens when two girls get together on a Sunday evening who both have a crafty side they are forced to suppress for 40 hours of the week at their day jobs. We take glue gunning very seriously around these parts. I think Russell and Reagan may have enjoyed the evening just as much, if not more, than Sada and I did. While we created utter mayhem at our dining table, the guys got to build a shelf, watch football for hours on end, and grill hamburgers.

Everyone left the evening a happy camper, which may or may not have been enhanced by this bad boy I made below. I'll call it the Triple Chocolate Torte with homemade Caramel Sauce. Don't lick the screen, it won't taste the same.

Let It Snow!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

These last few weeks have been really... interesting. Among other things going on, it has been annoyingly warm here in Texas. Needless to say, I've been finding it hard to feel the "Christmas spirit." It just doesn't feel right when you are driving in your car, listening to the Christmas song station, and you have your AC on and the window down.

I know some of you guys may be wishing your mounds of snow would melt, but I guess that's the whole "grass is greener" syndrome, eh? Poor Russ hears me gripe and complain about how much I miss the snow probably 3+ times a week. Have I mentioned that to you yet? I. MISS. THE. SNOW. Ok, got that out there. Well what did I walk out to yesterday morning?

 SNOW FOUND ME HERE IN TEXAS! It's a Christmas miracle!!!

Russ had slipped out of bed an hour or so earlier than I had and cut out and hung up snow flakes throughout our living room. I just about started crying (happy tears, of course) when I stumbled out of bed. What a thoughtful little surprise! 

Family Pictures

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You know how after you get married the only legit pictures you have of your family is in a wedding gown and tux? Yeah, that's our house now. I had been wanting to get some updated pictures  (sans wedding dress, of course), so a few weeks ago my good friend Sada snapped some photos of Russ and me. Sada's my partner in crime at work, but is obviously a photographer on the side. I mean come on, how many CPA's take your family pictures, eh? We went up to the Antique Rose Emporium in north San Antonio, which turned out to be a great location for pictures. I'll stop talking and let you decide.

 Camille: "Are you hungry, too?"
Russ: "Of course. Do you want to go get some Chick-fil-a after this?"
Camille: "Yes. One spicy chicken sandwich for me! And don't forget the Chick-fil-a sauce"

Believe it or not, this picture was totally candid. I have decided that Russ and I are the goofiest people when it comes to photoshoots. We laugh nearly the whole time. At least we have fun... I think Sada did, too :)

I'm kind of digging this blue wall behind us. And of course Russ's squinty eyes :)
Doesn't this picture below just scream Texas? Well I happen to like it.

 I'm slightly obsessed with this one. How about those colors in the leaves? I have Sada and her Photoshop skills to thank for those.
 It's like we like each other.
And that's all for now, folks. Pretty good, eh? We literally have Sada to thank for everything... she took us from drab to fab. Thanks again Sada! (Check her out HERE).

San Francisco - In the City

Sunday, December 5, 2010

You can all rest easy after this post -- it's my last post from our trip to San Francisco! Hip hip hooray! We spent Saturday playing tourists of the lovely city with just my family. I was particularly excited for this day, because I would go back to the area that I worked in and had a job at a few summers back. I'll be honest, it was a little bittersweet. I quit my job with PwC to marry the love of my life and move to Texas. Never once have I doubted that this was the right decision. But going back and seeing the job I "could have had" was strange. It was like a glimpse into the life I would have had without Russell. It would have been mega lonely and far less fun and happy, but no one can argue that it would have been in a really cool city working in a building overlooking the Bay Bridge. :) Ah, such is life.

The top right picture is the ferry building, or the heart of the Embarcadero Center. I would walk out of my building and this was my view. Absolutely beautiful! Russ was so cute and made me take pictures in front of "my building," so that explains that corny-ness. The bottom right is of Russ and I standing on the steps of "my building" overlooking the skating rink and ferry building. See the Bay Bridge in the background? I love that bridge.

The rest of the day we visited all the local must-sees, incuding: Fisherman's Wharf, the Boudin Restaurant (mmm.. bread bowls...), the famous sea lions (the reason why Stu is so happy in his hood), Lombard street, Golden Gate Park, North Beach, the beautiful tree in Union Square, and more! What a fun and enchanting city. I can't wait till I get to go back!

Creating Joy

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I have been wanting to decorate the house from top to bottom with Christmas decorations... but as we all know they are quite expensive and money most definitely does not grow on trees. So, why not attempt a few DIY decorations? I bought some block letters from JoAnn's and a can of spray paint from Walmart, used my trusty spray-paint box, and bam! Instant Joy.

I'm still trying to figure out where to put them, but for now they bring some color to the opening from our kitchen to the living room. Other decorations I'm trying to find time to make include a Christmas tree skirt and possibly an advent calendar. I know, don't judge, those are supposed to be ready for the beginning of December, but hey, better late than never. I'll let you know if those every get accomplished.

In other news, we finally got our lights put up today. Only in Texas will you be dripping with sweat and getting eaten alive by bugs while hanging your Christmas light. I even got stung by a bee while helping Russell out. Mother Nature, are you listening? I wouldn't mind if a little holiday weather made it's way down to Texas. Thanks.

Santa Cruz, etc.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The day after Thanksgiving two of my little cousins, Ashley and Ashton, got baptized on the same day! It was such a fun and special day. I'm glad we got to share that day with the family.  The top right picture is a good handful of the McLaws women (me, Brittney, cousin Megan, Grandma, Aunt Lisa).

It's just always so good to spend time with family. Have I mentioned that family is what it's all about?

After the baptism and lunch, our family drove down to Santa Cruz. What a fun little town! It's right on the coast, south of San Francisco, and has fun piers to walk down, carnival rides galore, and super cute shops. It was quite chilly as it was right on the coast, but so, so worth it. And this is the town where I finally saw Harry Potter 7. Whew. My fandom is restored. (That bottom left picture is for you, Marcella. :)

A trip to Santa Cruz wouldn't be complete without visiting the local seafood restaurant. A fact you may or may not know about Camille is my aversion to seafood. I've matured a tad through the years, but still would rather not partake of creepy looking foods. In fact, when I was a little girl my dad once said he'd pay me $60 to eat one of those creepy fried Octopus things, and I refused. If only I would have known the power of $60... I would have endured the torment. Brittney, on the other hand, has always loved strange seafood entrees. To each their own.

Turkeys, Football, and Children

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

That title pretty much sums up our Thanksgiving day. We helped my mom make the most amazing orange rolls in Grandma's kitchen... and then us and the rolls high-tailed it to my Aunt and Uncle's -- the house of all the Thanksgiving action. Can I just say that my Grandma is absolutely beautiful?

Aunt Lisa did such an amazing job hosting Thanksgiving. She's a mom of 6 little ones, but still managed to throw together a coordinated, well-planned, and incredibly delicious meal. We even had two turkeys! One traditional, and one fried. Who here has had a fried turkey? It was my first, and I quite enjoyed it.

As I mentioned in the title, there were lots o' kiddos running around that house. You know how when there's a new toy everyone wants to play with it? Well Russ was the new toy this year. It was his first time being with all of the McLaws family, and the little girls especially seemed to take a liking to him. They prettied up his curly hair, and he was an awesome sport. I'm slightly obsessed with these pictures. The bottom left are Lisa's youngest -- the triplets. For every "cute" picture I took of them, they made me take a "goofy" picture. They like being goofy.

After the food was consumed and thoroughly enjoyed, we drove to the nearby park in the beautiful Palo Alto area and played a hearty game of football. I'm not necessarily a football player, but dang, I had fun. I think I even caught the ball once.

The bottom left picture is of our post-football activity. Back home for some gingerbread house making! Alea (another one of Lisa's cute kids), was my partner in crime with a vision in mind.

I was sad to see the day end. It encompassed everything a hearty American tradition should -- turkey, football, and family. How can one not be thankful?

Christmas Lights

It's December 1st and I'm feeling the Christmas spirit at full force. All I want to be doing is buying and/or making Christmas decorations, finishing up our Christmas shopping, or listening to Christmas music. Luckily the music part is one thing I can do here at work. In fact, I've had the James Taylor holiday Pandora station going for the last few days.

A special treat came out today. In fact, just about 10 minutes ago. I've been on the site all morning waiting for the official release. Coldplay, one of my favorite bands ever, released their Christmas song today, called "Christmas Lights." Now this is my kind of Christmas music. I got goosebumps while watching this video - it's so magical! I hope you like it. Bring on the holiday season!