Wish List

Finally - I am forcing myself to sit down and write this blog! Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I would write about Christmas and birthday gifts I received this year, so here goes nothing. I want to say, though, that I really have been dreading writing this blog, but it wasn't until Sunday that I realized why.

At churh on Sunday, Pastor Danny was talking about how we need to feel content with our lives. Feeling a lack of content leads us to focus on material things rather than on what is truly important; plus, this is when we overspend, buying that new car, new house, new television, etc. Later in his sermon, Pastor Danny said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). That is when it really hit me - I didn't want to write this blog because I really don't care much about things. Getting gifts at Christmas time and for my birthday is nice, and I am always grateful - don't get me wrong - but I find WAYYY more happiness in giving gifts. As soon as I receive an invitation to a baby shower, bridal shower, or wedding, I am running to the store to pick out the perfect gifts! I seriously LOVE giving and cannot wait to get to Dave Ramsey's Step #7: Build Wealth & Give (mostly for the 'give' part). Receiving gifts just isn't one of my love languages, but I love picking out the perfect gifts for others. Anyway, the reason I think this blog was difficult to want to write is that I feel a little uncomfortable focusing on material things in my life. Does that make sense?

Regardless, I received SO many wonderful gifts for Christmas this year from Ryan, Noah, my parents, grandparents, my in-laws, etc. I am very blessed! Ryan and I both received a lot of money this year, and we were able to buy this new laptop. We are really happy with it for the most part! We paid cash for it, which makes us feel even better knowing we aren't going into debt with credit cards.

Aside from the money I received, I was given so many nice things this year. I won't list every single one of them, but you will get a good idea of some of my favorites!

Last year my dad and Danette gave me this exact coat from Victoria's Secret (hint: they have the BEST coats!) for Christmas. I love it so much and received SO many compliments! In fact, I liked it so much, I asked for a second one in a different print - it's black and white boccle wool. I LOVE this coat!

A few years ago, my dad and Danette introduced me to the wonderful world of Lush products. They have wonderful bath, hair, shower, skincare, and fragrance products, though the bath products are my favorite. This Christmas Star is what they gave me this year, and I have LOVED it! There is nothing more relaxing to me than taking a bubble bath and reading a good book.

I have mentioned this cookbook that my mom and Kent bought me in at least two posts, and I still love it as much as I did then. Ree Drumond has written such a wonderful cookbook, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes down home cookin', along with more Mexican-influenced cuisine. It is phenomenal! I recently made her chicken pot pie, and it was delicious. Buy this cookbook - NOW.

Mom and Kent also gave me a set of these soup and sandwich dishes, and I LOVE them! Ryan's parents bought me two of them last Christmas, and now I have four sets for when we have guests. Aren't they great?

Mom and Kent also bought me this book for Christmas. Some of my friends at church are reading this book and had a lot of positive feedback about it. I haven't started it yet but am looking forward to diving in once I finish a couple other books.

Ryan's parents bought me one of my favorite gifts of the year - Super Mario Bros. Wii! Being a kid who grew up in the 80's, Nintendo was a huge part of my life! I still love playing those Mario Bros. games from the original NES. This game has brought Ryan and me hours upon hours of entertainment! I always end up laughing so hard when we play! For the record, I am much better at this game than Ryan. :)

Ryan's parents also surprised us with this awesome snow blower for Christmas! Coincidentally, I had been talking to Ryan about possibly getting one for about a month prior to Christmas, but he kept saying that he didn't feel like we needed one. Well, he was right - we didn't need one, but now that we have one, he is LOVING it!

Ryan's sister, Kelli, and her family picked out this purse for me for Christmas! In the past, I have always had small purses, promising myself that I would never have one of those huge bags that women carry around. Well, looks like I am on my way to breaking that promise because now that I have this beautiful, big purse, I will never go back! It is so cute, and I love it!

Ryan and I set a budget of $100 to spend on each other. While that seems like a large amoun - and let's face it, it totally is - staying under $100 is challenging! On Christmas morning, Ryan handed me this gift. Tacky looking? Yes. Lots of gold bows and ribbons? Yes. Was I excited to see what my wonderful husband picked out for me? Absolutely! Drumroll please...

...ta da!! One boot in each wrapped gift - very creative! Aren't they beautiful? The Uggs had my feet going pitter patter from the moment I laid eyes on them several months ago. I am a little late jumping on the "boot train", but I say better late than never. These babies are so comfortable, and I wear them every single chance I get. I've debated about wearing them to bed. The are that comfortable! Come to find, Ryan did go over his limit, but he put his own personal money toward the extra money needed to pay for my gift. Isn't he the best?
For my birthday, Ryan got me this Sony radio/CD player/mp3 player that you install under your kitchen cabinets. I love this system! Noah and I spend a lot of our time dancing around the house, and we've spent a lot of time since my birthday doing just that. I really enjoy cooking and baking, so now I can listen to the radio, a CD, or my iPod while I'm working in the kitchen.

Am I the most blessed person you know? I really do feel like it. Life is amazingly good, and I can say without a doubt that I am more than content - I'm beyond grateful for everyone I know and everything that I have.

ERR! Did you really think I'd let it stop there? No way! I want to share about some of my favorite gifts we bought for family members this year, too. Stay tuned for the next blog where I talk about some great gifts that we gave others!

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