Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sweet Home, Chicago

It is so great to be back home! We've been going non-stop since we first got in, but it is so worth it! Here are the memories that I actually managed to get on film.

The helicopters.
Ron bought them for the boys.
Emma thought it was alive. 
Needless to say, it made for some entertaining comedy, 
as we watched her try to catch it.

 The best part of being back home is always doing the same things
that we've done since we were in high school.
I loved having everyone over to play games and hang out.
Oh, and getting to see Maggie and her baby bump!!
We're so excited for baby Graysie to join us in March!

We love hanging out at home, 
spending quality time with the family.
The dogs love it, too. 
We share our drinks and laugh as Nate tries to give old Max his joint supplement.
Emma must feel older than she looks - she wanted one, too!

I always get annoyed when I try to work out and Emma is around.
Two dogs are even worse.

There were so many things that I didn't document this year: Cinnabon breakfasts, game night, Portillo's lunches, our favorite cheerleader, and a million other times we hung out. Remind me next year, people!! It's so sad that our time back home is nearly over. We miss everyone so much when we're out east. I have to look on the bright side, though. May 18th is going to be one giant reunion/party/graduation celebration!

Merry Christmas from the Patels!

Better late than never - here we are on Christmas Day, 2011.

Waiting for Christmas Dinner Scraps.
Nate has Max trained so well. He saw my food and started barking.
Didn't even have to ask him to speak. 

I swear, they really do love each other!

It was such a blessing to be able to dance the night away with our favorite people and celebrate Christ's birth with our families. The only thing missing from our Christmas was the snow!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Eve Dance Party

We had so much fun at the Krueger's house on Christmas Eve! Surprisingly, after a 15 hour drive through the night, a quick nap, Christmas brunch at Dad's, a visit to Amit's parents, and a quick reunion lunch over our favorite nachorama, we were still ready to PARTY! My camera got handed around and I wound up with an interesting combination of photos...
Ready? Here we go!
Photo Op Galore
(Also known as, what happens when drunk Amit and Natey get the camera)

Dance Party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Quiz: What's Amit's favorite song?
Can you tell by his pose?

That was seriously the best Christmas Eve we've ever had! The disco ball turned the kitchen into a PAR-TAY! Amit did a great job being the DJ and our entertainment - he was hilarious! I can't wait for the next Family Dance Party! I'm thinking this will definitely become a tradition! Maybe next year we'll add a fog machine? 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Favorite Ornaments

I always end up with leftover wrapping paper and first made some of these ornaments a couple years ago. This year I found this fabulous wrapping paper at Ikea and decided to decoupage like crazy! Here's how I do it:

Step 1: Circle Punch
I make a TON of circles.
My punch is about a half-inch in diameter.

Step 2: Start decoupaging.
I usually start from the top and work my way down,
overlapping circles as I go.
I used glossy Mod Podge for this part, 
but you could use matte.
Step 3: Just keep gluing.
And gluing.
And gluing.

Step 4: Add a little sparkle.
I love adding a layer or two of the glitter Mod Podge to the top.
You could also just sprinkle glitter instead.
I keep this until the end because it can get a little messy.
Aren't they cute?
I love these ornaments, they are beautiful! You could use any old wrapping paper you have, though I think the wrapping paper should probably have a small pattern. I'll have to see what new wrapping paper patterns I find this Christmas, I have to make these every year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Yesterday was our eighth anniversary together. It is so hard to believe that it's been eight years since we first started dating. We've spent a third of our lives together - that's crazy! It feels like we've been married forever, though it's only been two and a half years. Now eight years, eight years is insane. Now it's time to do what I really love - look back on those early years and enjoy how young we look in pictures!

One of our first photos ever. 
Look how young we are!

Eight years later, we're still cooking!

Look how young my boys are!

And now...

A few more blasts from the past...
(Gotta love co-ed track meets!)

It's amazing how much has changed in our lives since we became official eight years ago, yet so much more will be happening before our next anniversary. I can't wait to document all of the changes over this next year. It should be lots of fun! Now onto Chicago to hang out with those amazing boys that are still there for us eight years later!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Decor circa 2011

Thank goodness for Christmas ornaments!! Just when I think I'm about to lose my mind trying to finish all my assignments for the semester, I pull out a few and destress. Aaahhh....

Since I am yet again procrastinating, I've decided that a Christmas decor update is in order. Though most of our decorations are still stored away in the basement, I managed to figure out a few crafts to add to our collection.

Our Christmas Tree
Small, yet so fun! 
I can't wait until we have space 
to put out all three trees!

Remembering the Reason for the Season
I found this printable here on Pinterest.
I love it!
I also found Printable #2 from Pinterest,

Ready for more Pinspiration?
I found this idea for Floor Shine Ornaments 
and decided I had to try them.
They are so easy and look amazing.
Here they are drying...
 Voila!! They are fabulous!

I saw some Salt Dough Ornaments, too.
Since I only needed one pawprint ornament, 
I decided to pay homage to my fabulous dentist.
These ornaments are going to look GREAT in his practice!!
Recipe found on this site.
I also made my fabulous decoupaged ornaments, but I will save those for a later post!

I wonder what other craft projects I can create in the next few weeks...