lukeandmanda

The most amazing love story since Romeo and Juliet haha

Weekend with the Bradshaws

Well, it’s been a busy weekend in our neck of the woods! I should really be working on finishing my brother’s college graduation gift (due next weekend-Yikes!) or getting my house cleaned for the week or prepping Christmas gifts. But, I am taking a moment amidst my quickly rising stress levels to write, an activity that is always therapeutic for me!

The weekend began with a bang–or rather a quiet evening in. After very long work weeks on both of our ends and an incident with Luke’s truck breaking down mid week, we were just plain tuckered out. We had planned to go to our good friend Kevin’s birthday cook out, but the evening proved to be dreary and rainy, and his wife, Rachel was sick. So, that was rescheduled for today. Luke and I briefly considered going out to eat just the two of us, but quickly nixed that idea in favor of a warm cozy evening at home as opposed to getting all dressed up and venturing out into the rain again. I get my chicken fix every day at work and was in the mood for something different, but Wing Stop came to mind and is a different type of chicken. So, we decided on quick take out that I could grab on my way home! We had a great time relaxing together with the glow of our Christmas tree in the living room providing a perfect backdrop. We watched a feel good Hallmark movie and unwinded from the work week for a few hours before dropping into bed before 10:00 (yes, I know we are old now!)

Saturday was booked solid, so we got up early to finish decorating our tree. We enjoyed hanging up all of the ornaments that have been near and dear to us over the years. I think the final product turned out pretty cute!

tree-1

When my grandmother was here for Thanksgiving, she helped me set up my nativity scene as the centerpiece for our mantle here. We really like the placement of the nativity scene, as it is a reminder throughout the season that Jesus is front and center and really what it’s all about!

tree-2

We are continuing to add to our ornament collection, and I fell prey to my own profession: marketing! After seeing a Facebook ad every couple of days for the past few months advertising a free wooden photo ornament from Photo Barn, I could not resist designing one for us! Valued at $26 plus shipping, I got the ornament free and just paid $9 for shipping and tax, which is a steal! I used photos from Luke’s promotion ceremony to Captain and chose the Field Artillery Red ribbon hanger. I can’t wait to see the finished product in a few weeks. Here is a link to their site if you want to check it out, as I think this deal is still running!

After decorating the tree, we headed for Church Directory photos at our church, Crossroads Baptist in Elgin. We love this church and the church family, which has been so friendly and welcoming. We greatly value our connection to this community, and so it was special for us as a transient military family to be included in something as lasting as a church directory. We have not taken these photos before as a couple and enjoyed getting dressed up and posing for our photo. We even get a free 8X10 which I will have to share with you when it comes in!

Then it was time for a little retail therapy. We grabbed a quick lunch at the White Buffalo since it is located inside the mall, and then perused the stores for our Angel Tree purchases. The Chamber of Commerce collectively adopted a few teenagers this year, and I volunteered to help shop for the gifts on behalf of the group. Luke and I had fun selecting special items that we hope might be treasured gifts under the tree this year.

We then looked a bit for ourselves since we needed tacky Christmas sweaters for a party next week and our annual family Christmas ornament. Each year we purchase one ornament together, preferably one with the year on it, to mark another holiday together. Here are the ones from years past:

ornaments

This year we did something a little different and selected a sterling silver bell from Reed and Barton. The year 2016 is engraved on the side and every time we hang it on our tree, its sweet tinkling melody will remind us of this holiday.

We hadn’t rested too much and were tired from all of our running around so we headed home in search of quick naps before a holiday event that evening. (I admit to catching up on my latest show–This Is Us. I am simply addicted and Hulu provides the perfect channel to catch up on episodes since my Tuesday evenings are usually busy. If you haven’t watched this show, I recommend you check it out! It reminds me a lot of another favorite, Parenthood.)

Saturday evening was the Redcoat Ambassadors’ Christmas party for the Chamber of Commerce. Since I am officially a member of this organization now, we were invited to attend the first annual Christmas Cabaret at the Lawton Country Club. We enjoyed getting dressed up, mingling with fellow Chamber members and eating really good food, although we didn’t end up hitting the dance floor. Here are a few photos from the event:

cabaret-1cabaret-2cabaret-3cabaret-4

This morning, we attended church and went to lunch with a couple of our good friends here, Josh and Kelly and their baby Cora. The pastor provided a good reminder for why we celebrate Christmas and where our focus should be–on Jesus as the reason for the season. This was helpful for me to hear as I am trying not to become too stressed out with the material or financial aspects of the season.

This afternoon, two exciting things are happening.

  1. My massage therapist, Jessica, is back after being on maternity leave for over a month!!! I am beyond excited to see her. She does mobile massage therapy and comes right to my house, which is such a blessing. Her business, Peaceful Bliss Massage Therapy, provides great quality for a great value, and if you live in the Ft. Sill area, I highly recommend you look her up.
  2. We are heading over to Rachel and Kevin’s this afternoon for the rescheduled          birthday cookout from Friday. We got to see them on his actual birthday on Wednesday when they brought some chocolate cupcakes and much needed cheer over to share with us after the incident with Luke’s truck breaking down. But, it will be fun to celebrate for a little bit longer and with some of their other friends here as well!

(**Note: In good news, it is such a blessing that Luke’s truck is back up and running! It turned out we had to replace the alternator, but all things considered, it could have been much much worse the way that the engine died on him mid drive Wednesday night. We are thankful to be a two vehicle family once again without having to imminently purchase another vehicle!)

The rest of the afternoon will be spent working on gifts and making preparations for my trip to Alabama. I leave mid week and will be gone for several days to see my brother, Ethan, graduate from college! I am so excited to see family and friends and to have this time to celebrate him. I will write more once I return!

Have a great week!

xoxo from Oklahoma,

Amanda

 

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