Category Archives: Hubby

40th Anniversaries

In December 2012 we celebrated my in-law’s 40th Wedding Anniversary, and this past May we celebrated my parents. Even before getting married, I felt that marriage was something to be celebrated. In these days, marriages have become so short-term, the commitment so fake and selfish, that staying together for 40 years needs to be celebrated!


For my in-laws, we planned a party. They aren’t really “party people”, but we didn’t give them much choice in the matter. Most of their family and friends all live in the same area as us, so it was easy to gather everyone. Every single person we invited came. Wow. That is amazing for a party! And it was so wonderful. Felt very much like a big family reunion with both sides of the family there and great family friends. So much love and celebration for this huge milestone.

I designed the invitation and then had them printed at Staples

I designed the invitation and then had them printed at Staples. Obviously I’ve redacted some address and phone number info!

The hardest aspect was that we are only children. Meaning, Michael and I had to plan and pay for everything by ourselves. Oh how I was wishing for siblings!! With that cost barrier, it wasn’t as “fancy” as it could have been, but we aren’t fancy people so it worked out. We rented a low-cost “hall”, made all the food, and bought basic decorations. The one thing we splurged on was the cake and I am SO GLAD we did. It was perfect.


Since the 40th Anniversary is traditionally the “Ruby” anniversary, we went with a red theme. It sure helped that it was around Christmas time!


For table decor, we used cheap plastic tablecloths with silver and red ornaments in vases. We used the same decor style at our wedding (except the colors were teal and blue). We also had heart shaped candy dishes on the tables with silver and red wrapped Hershey kisses and Andes mints. And some fake jewels strewn down the center (I think those were leftover from our wedding too).


At the entrance, I placed some 40th anniversary pictures we had taken, some candy, and pens and papers to write a note to Tommy and Judy. I wish I had a better picture of the note papers, but they were just 4×6 notecards that I stamped hearts onto. I later put them into a photo album with pictures from the party that we gave the in-laws for Christmas.

DSC01697I set up a table with pictures from their wedding and a board with facts about their wedding: date, time, wedding party, reception, honeymoon.


For food we had a ham & cheese sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, spinach artichoke dip, raspberry chipotle cream cheese with crackers, a cheese ball, and cinnamon sugar pecans.



They were so cute!

Overall it was an incredibly successful party and their anniversary was well celebrated. So thankful for all the family who came.

That brings us to celebrating my parents’ 40th a month ago. We talked with them about a party, but we live in a different city than them and family is spread across the state. Logistically it was just going to be tough. So, we opted to go visit them and take them out for a nice dinner at one of Houston’s best restaurants- Taste of Texas.

2014-05-03 (3) 40th anniversary dinner at taste of texas

For special occasions, they take your picture and present it to you at the end of dinner.

For special occasions, they take your picture and present it to you at the end of dinner.


And us, of course :)

And us, of course 🙂

Such sweet celebrations! We are so thankful for parents who have stuck together for so long, honoring the vows and commitment they made to God and each other. What great examples for us as we continue in our marriage.

Now time to start planning for the 50ths!


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Dating Anniversary and Wine Trail

wine graphic

On January 19 we celebrated five years since we met and started dating. We actually met through eHarmony and had been going through the stages of communication on there for quite some time (because I wasn’t a paying member and we had to keep waiting for free communication weekends…). We were both living in the same city and finally decided to meet in person. We planned for a date at Starbucks- my favorite place in the whole world (and I later found out that Michael was not a Starbucks person…). I was pretty nervous about meeting this man from the internet and had two friends go with me as secret bodyguards. Michael found out about them several months later and that’s been a a funny story ever since. Obviously the date went really well and here we are five years later and three years married!

My beautiful roses for five years!

My beautiful roses for five years!

Each year on the 19th we celebrate through small gifts, doing something fun, and of course going to Starbucks! We are now living again in the same city where we met so we get to back to the exact one. They have remodeled, but we try to sit in the same area and we reminisce about that evening.

Celebrating at the same Starbucks where we first met!

Celebrating at the same Starbucks where we first met!

This year, a wine trail fell on the same weekend as our anniversary so we decided to do that. For a few years we have been getting into wine as a hobby. Neither of us particularly likes wine or knows a whole lot about it, but we enjoy touring the wineries, doing tastings, and learning more about how it’s made. (In fact, a college near us offers a degree in winemaking. I realllyyyy want to do it, but everyone is telling me that my two bachelor’s degrees and master’s degree are enough school for now. Rude.) Our first wine tasting experiences were actually in Grapevine, TX while celebrating six months of marriage. We enjoyed it so much and have just continued to seek out wineries. It’s been a fun hobby to do together.

May 2011- Delaney Vineyards in Grapevine, TX

May 2011- Delaney Vineyards in Grapevine, TX

November 2012- Grape Creek in Fredericksburg, TX

November 2012- Grape Creek in Fredericksburg, TX

Texas is really becoming a huge player in the wine industry and has many fabulous wineries, especially in the hill country area. Several months ago I stumbled across the San Gabriel Wine Trail. Six wineries in central Texas, close to where we live. For $30 you got three tastings and a snack at each winery, coupons, and a special tasting glass. Perfect! It was such a fun two days visiting the wineries, trying new wines, and seeing some great parts of Texas! (Make sure to read about all six because our favorite was the last one!)

Winery #1: Lakeview Winery in Oasis

2014-01-18 (3) wine trail- lakeview

This is such a cute place nestled near The Oasis restaurant right on Lake Travis. Gorgeous view. It has a nice, large bar area along with a little room with tables and chairs to sit and relax and enjoy the wine. The staff were very friendly and made conversation even in the midst of a day filled with over 200 customers. We enjoyed all of our wines here, but the one that stood out was their Longhorn Reserve- a chocolate and orange port. (Well, this was my husband’s fave, it was too strong for me!).

Winery #2: Georgetown Winery in Georgetown

This winery is right on Main Street in downtown Georgetown and had such a great atmosphere. I really want to go back on a day when there isn’t a trail going on- it was very crowded! We both stuck to only the sweet wines here, they had so many fun options. Our favorite was the “Funky Monkey”- a banana and pineapple wine. It mainly tasted like pineapple and was very refreshing. Michael branched out a tried their Jalapeno wine, and didn’t enjoy it much. I’m hoping to go back another day and sit at one of their outdoor tables and enjoy a glass while people watching.

Winery #3: Grape Creek in Georgetown

This tasting room is also located on Main Street in Georgetown, just down the road from Georgetown Winery. Grape Creek’s main location is in Fredericksburg and we toured and tasted there about a year ago and had a wonderful experience. They have some really outstanding wines. But sadly, our experience at the Georgetown location just wasn’t that great. It wasn’t very crowded, we just didn’t feel like they cared about us unless we were going to purchase some bottles or join their wine club. But I highly recommend the Fredericksburg location if you’re in the hill country!

Winery #4: Rising Star Vineyards in Salado

2014-01-18 (19) rising star

Love this place in the heart of downtown Salado. A very cute and spacious tasting area and shop. The couple who (I’m assuming) own it were so very friendly and sweet and allowed us to taste more than our allotted three. It is a smaller winery and thus they have limited production and a short list of wines- but all were delicious. I especially enjoyed the White Merlot and Rustler’s Red (it’s rare I find a red wine that I like!).

Winery #5: Salado Creek in Salado

A great space with lots of room and lots of tables and seating areas. Seems like it would be a fun place to hang out with some friends. The wines were really delicious and I found my favorite of the whole trail- their Sweet Blush. They had some interesting and different wines like lime, lemon, and chocolate. We enjoyed this place.

Winery #6: Dancing Bee in Rogers

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Hands down our FAVORITE  of the trail. Rogers is a VERY small town kind of in the middle of nowhere… but it is well worth making a trip to Dancing Bee. The owners also produce honey (Walker Honey Farm) and so most of the wines are honey-based, making for a different taste and experience than just “normal” wines. They have meads (honey wine), melomels (honey and fruit), and metheglin (honey and herbs/spices). Our favorite was the Sweet Raspberry Melomel. They very recently built and opened a new building and it’s so cozy and welcoming. The wines were great and the staff were very friendly. It’s the only place that we enjoyed a glass of wine after our tasting (and that’s saying a lot because we are cheap!).

Overall it was a great weekend and we had such fun on the trail. We hope to do more of the trails around Texas. There are lots!

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Our 3rd Anniversary

On November 20th we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary! As I may have mentioned before, we are celebrators. Michael will never be one of those husbands who forgets his anniversary because we start talking about it and planning months in advance. (Though, I’m sure that may change once we have kids… I hear they take up quite a bit of time….).

For gifts, we use this opportunity to be creative and we go by the traditional/modern gift lists. Since it’s so close to Christmas, we will get “real” presents then, and we love having a theme and thinking outside the box for the anniversary. 3rd Anniversary gifts are leather (traditional) and crystal/glass (modern). Kind of a challenge on a small budget!

My gifts to him: a belt, leather key chain I made him from a kit, and the Leather Scentsy bar (here’s a secret: he’s more into the Scentsy than I am….).

His gifts to me: a pretty cross covered in broken glass and a beautiful leather journal to use as a “couple’s journal” (he has always been such a thoughtful gift giver).


After gifts, we had a dinner at Olive Garden and then drove to my parents house in Houston to leave Oliver with them and head out for a New Orleans trip the next day! We only had 2.5 days in New Orleans, but we were able to do a lot in that time!

Here is our trip told through pictures!:

Dinner at Gumbo Shop. Delicious! I don't eat seafood, but I did branch out and try the red beans and rice- so glad I did!

Dinner at Gumbo Shop. Delicious! I don’t eat seafood, but I did branch out and try the red beans and rice- so glad I did!

Cafe du Monde. We went in the early evening, so we beat the crowd and it was so delicious and relaxing!

Cafe du Monde. We went in the early evening, so we beat the crowd and it was so delicious and relaxing!

We are not gamblers, but set a limit and wanted to have some fun! We ended up winning over $200! Came out ahead by a lot.

We are not gamblers, but set a limit and wanted to have some fun at Harrah’s! We ended up winning over $200! Came out ahead by a lot.

We went on a ride on the Steamboat Natchez. This was my husband's favorite part- I think because you got to go into the engine room and watch the steam engines work.

We went on a ride on the Steamboat Natchez. This was my husband’s favorite part- I think because you got to go into the engine room and watch the steam engines work.

The National World War Two Museum is not to be missed while in NOLA! But plan to spend several hours there. We only had two hours there before they closed and we had to rush! So many interesting things to read and look at.

The National World War Two Museum is not to be missed while in NOLA! But plan to spend several hours there. We only had two hours there before they closed and we had to rush! So many interesting things to read and look at.

On our last morning we explored the French Quarter and had hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's.

On our last morning we explored the French Quarter and had hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s.

Oak Alley Plantation. My favorite part of the trip.

Oak Alley Plantation. My favorite part of the trip.

What a great 3rd anniversary!

What a great 3rd anniversary!







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House Makeover: John Deere Bathroom

In our year long home makeover journey, the guest bathroom is the room we were most excited about…. because we had a theme… John Deere. You may not believe me, but it was my idea. Really so that we had a place to store display all my hubby’s John Deere paraphernalia. I think it also helps people who come to our home get a better sense of who we are.

We debated the color for a long time, whether to do brown or go all out and do John Deere green. We finally decided to go all the way and had the store mix up the John Deere green paint formula. When we first started painting I was beginning to question our decision…


(Please ignore my painting clothes and hair….)

In the end, it turned out better than I could have imagined. We started with a plain, white bathroom:

2012-04-12 guest bath before (2) 2012-04-12 guest bath before (1)

…and turned it into a John Deere extravaganza


One of my best friends made that adorable button “M” with John Deere backing. Love it so much! I spray painted the light switch cover and the soap dispenser yellow- love the little touch that adds to the whole thing. You can’t see it very well, but that is a John Deere hand towel.


My mom made this amazing shower curtain with fabric from Hobby Lobby. Love it so much and it really helps to tie the room together.


I wanted to be sure to incorporate a personal touch, so in the shelf above the toilet (another father-in-law creation!), I displayed pictures of my husband and us with some of his tractors. The little toy tractors were on his “tractor show” groom’s cake.

We love how it all turned out and are excited to show it to our guests when they come over. Definitely a great snapshot of who we are and my husband’s hobby!


See Related Posts:

Master Bedroom

John Deere Birthday Party

Master Bathroom

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30 Presents for 30 Years

In addition to loving birthdays, I LOVE giving gifts. Especially to my husband. I ran across this post on Pinterest (where most of my ideas come from…) and decided to do a similar thing- give him 30 gifts on his birthday! It definitely took some effort first coming up with thirty items that weren’t just junk, and then going and purchasing them all. But when he arrived home after work on his birthday and saw them all on the table, it was so worth it! He was in awe.



I wrapped them in different papers to create a more “festive” feel. I love how they all came together. It looks like SO MANY presents!! I made those cute number tags so he would know there were 30 total, and so he would unwrap them in a specific order (just because I’m OCD).


It took a long time for him to unwrap them all, which was fun. Usually it doesn’t take long to unwrap presents and then it’s all over with! He opened half before dinner and half after. So if you’re wondering, here’s the list of all 30 gifts:

  1. A card
  2. His memory book
  3. Gummy candies
  4. Flossers (y’all, he likes this specific kind of flossers that I feel are expensive, so he doesn’t get them on a regular basis.)
  5. Old timey sodas (from Cracker Barrel)
  6. Otterbox for his new iPhone my parents got him
  7. Slim Jim
  8. Special shampoo (Again, the shampoo he likes is not in the regular budget…)
  9. Cedar grilling plank
  10. Moon pies
  11. Gum (If you do this, buy more than one pack…. I only bought one and it seemed a bit paltry)
  12. Soap on a Rope
  13. Czech cookbook
  14. Whataburger Spicy Ketchup (This was by far his favorite of the presents. I probably could have just bought 30 bottles of this and been done with it)
  15. Hershey bars
  16. Taco Bell gift card
  17. A DVD of eight Westerns
  18. Reese’s
  19. Brylcreem (Another expensive product….)
  20. Altoids
  21. “Take a day off work and let’s go to the Blue Bell factory”
  22. Shiner beer
  23. A John Deere puzzle
  24. Peanuts
  25. Subway gift card
  26. T-shirt
  27. “Take a day off work and let’s go tour the Shiner brewery”
  28. Polka CD
  29. K-cups
  30. A small frame to put on his desk at work with pictures of me and Oliver


He was very happy.

See Related Posts:

30th Birthday Party

30 Letters for 30 Years

Anniversary Presents

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30 Letters. 30 People. 30 Years.

I knew I wanted to do something really big and really special for my hubby’s 30th. After running across this post on Pinterest, I knew it was the perfect idea. Have thirty people each write a letter about my husband sharing memories about him and aspects of his character that they notice and admire.

In June, I typed up a note to send people:

As you may know, Michael will be turning 30 in August this year! I have been pondering something special to do for him, to let him know how much I love him, and how much others love and appreciate him as well. I know this idea is usually reserved for later years, but I thought it would still be fun now, and will really mean a lot to him.

I am asking 30 people/families that have been important to him to write a note to him in celebration of this big birthday. Rather than be purely focused on him turning 30, it would be great if the note included a funny story, good memory and/or a way he has impacted your life. I want to celebrate moments in his life that he may or may not remember, and I want him to know what he has meant to others.

I have included a sheet of paper for you to do this on. I will put them all in a book and give it to him on his birthday. Feel free to also include a photo if you would like. If you don’t want to participate in this for whatever reason, please let me know as soon as possible so I have time to ask someone else.

Please return this to me by August 1. And of course, this is a SURPRISE for Michael!

Thank you!! I am so excited to see what everyone writes and I know this will mean so much to Michael!

I knew I wanted to book to have a John Deere theme so I purchased green and yellow scrapbook paper and sent a sheet to each person/family. In total, I asked 36 people/families to participate. I wanted to make sure that I received at least 30 back!

I sent them out and gave people six weeks time to return them. And I waited. In just a few days the first letter appeared in the mailbox and as I read it I knew I had made the right decision to do this. It was amazing! And then as the weeks passed more letters came, each one bringing more memories, and for me, insight into this man I’ve only known for four years, but these people had known for much longer. What a treasure it was for me to read how all these people feel about my husband! Checking the mail became my favorite part of the day, eagerly anticiapting what new memories I was going to read and new character traits pointed out. So moving. I could not believe people were actually taking time to sit down and think about Michael and express what he meant to them. Amazing.

I ended up with 32 letters total. Pretty good percentage! I was so pleased. I had purchased a scrapbook to put all the letters into. I alternated the pages so it would be green, yellow, green, etc. And I made a cute decoration for the cover. On the first page I printed out the note I had sent to everyone so he could better understand what this was (and he could see how controlling I was about it….haha).

DSC02134 IMG_2534

I chose to give it to him at his party because everyone there had taken part and it just makes it all the more special for them to get to see him receive it. He tried reading some at the party, but was so moved that he stopped and waited until the next day to really sit down and absorb all these special words.

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I am so thankful for everyone who participated in helping to create this lasting book of not just his 30th birthday, but the many memories that have led up to it. I know he was so encouraged by everyone’s sweet words of love and affirmation.

IMG_2533 Even Oliver wrote one!


See Related Posts:

30th Birthday Party

30 Presents for 30 Years


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Hubby’s 30th Birthday- The Party

I LOVE birthdays. Love, love, love so much. It’s so important to take that one day a year and celebrate someone and make them feel special. I try really hard to make sure my friends and family feel loved and cared about on their special days. This week, my husband turned 30! Thanks to Pinterest, I have been planning this big birthday for well over a year. Kind of crazy, I know. But I have just been SO EXCITED.

This past weekend I threw him a party. In my original plans (like, a year ago) it was going to be a massive party with all his friends and family. But, when it came down to practicality, that was going to be really expensive and a lot of work. So, we chose to have a gathering of his closest family and friends. And I was still able to use some of the ideas I have been gathering.

My husband is a tractor guy. Ever since he was a little kid he has loved working on, restoring, and driving antique tractors. His favorite day of the year is the annual local tractor show. He currently owns six antique tractors, two of which are fully running and restored. He owns a John Deere, an Oliver, a Farmall, a Ford, and two Cases. I had planned to do a “classy” antique tractor themed party, but it eventually turned into just John Deere themed. That’s what most people think all tractors are anyways.

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For decorations I did simple crepe paper and balloons. And I loved the John Deere banner that I found at the local party supply store! My in-laws had the great idea to make a photo display of pictures from when he was younger. Everyone so enjoyed looking at all those photos and reminiscing!


I bought some mason jars and put ribbon around them and used those to hold the knives and forks. I chose to put them on the tables so they could play double-duty as centerpieces and functionality!

I am really into baking and decorating cakes. So that is always my favorite part of any birthday/gathering. I had thought about how to do the cake for this party for a long time. Since my 4th of July layer cake, I have been into doing layers of different colors, so I thought it would be neat to do chocolate, green, and yellow layers. I used cream cheese icing in between the layers and for the crumb coat, and chocolate icing for the outside. (I used a total of six cans of icing! Maybe too much?).  The little tractors I added were some that were used on Michael’s groom’s cake at our wedding and now reside in our John Deere bathroom (I cleaned them really well!!).

IMG_2500 IMG_2521

I wanted to have some games on hand to help make it a more “party atmosphere”. I didn’t know if the group of adults would really be into games, but it went so well! Everyone seemed to be enjoying the games. We played 1983/Michael Trivia and Tractor Bingo. I used an online bingo card generator to make the bingo game.

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For food we had bbq from one of Michael’s favorite places, along with cookies and cake. Everyone must have been having a great time because most stayed for over five hours! I’d say that’s a successful party.

See Related Posts:

30 Letters for 30 Years

30 Presents for 30 Years

John Deere Bathroom

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