Hello New Year.

2012 was an awesome big year of Intense-ness for we McCarty's.


Let's do a quick re-cap shall we?

We started off 2012 pregnant with our second child... Another boy! :)



Had to take Elliot to Disneyworld so I could tell him at least once he got his own trip.
He wasn't too impressed...



Found out Valentines Day that Bryan got a new job! After a few years of praying for a new position he was scooped up to work in.... The Woodlands, Texas.


So... we built a house, had a baby and left all of our family and friends and headed out west.







But we have been so blessed to met new friends and find a new church home in
The Church at Alden Bridge.



Re-newed our vows in an Irish Wedding



Elliot turned 2 and Ethan got huge





And we also had a few emotional breakdowns... and some days we find ourselves still adjusting.

Having two children was a huge adjustment for Bryan and I. While we love both of our boys and planned on having them that close... We didn't realize how spoiled we were with our friends back home lovingly watching our children so that Bryan and I could spend some time together. I've always known that I need my best friend to keep me sane... I didn't realize Bryan needed me as much as I needed him though to keep him sane!

Yet... we are to

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.      [James 1:2-4]

We could have easily thought we weren't right for parenting when often we had days where our two children won against us. We could have also started to resent our sweet little blessings when they prevented us from being together and do things like to go movies or out to dinner like we use to.

But through it all at each turn we were constantly reminded whether by family who lovingly kept traveling to Texas to give us date nights... by friends who called to encourage us when we were weary or by solid Truth:

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”    [Hebrews 13:5b-6]

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  [Hebrews 12:1-2]

That even when we failed as parents... failed to romance one another... failed to read our Bible and pray... God was still faithful to us. His grace was still sufficient. His love was still unending. 


So, while we look back on 2012 as a HUGE year of fun changes and a bit of intense-ness... we are super excited that through it all we are again reminded how faithful and loving our God is.

We aren't the first to know that truth and know we will not be the last:


I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. [Psalm 89:1]


No matter what 2013 brings for you and your family know that God will always be Faithful.

Happy New Year from our Family to yours.



Looking forward to many more adventures in 2013! 


Jessica

A Christmas Mantle

I never grew up dreaming about being a home maker and I certainly never dreamed about decorating my home. In fact the more I think about what I didn't dream about... I wonder what I was dreaming and thinking about.

Whatever it was... it certainly cannot compare to what did happen in my life.

Loving husband, two perfectly healthy boys and a place to call our home. For some odd reason too... my husband lets me decorate that home he lovingly built for us.

When Bryan and I got married we always associated Christmastime with warm fires. In Louisiana you really don't have many nights you actually need a fire... So, he bought me the lame Fire DVD for Christmas one year and I bought him a real fire pit to help his manly, "Must light Fire" mentality but he's always wanted a real one in our home. So, when the option was available on our new casa it was a no-brainer.

It was one of the first things that we recognized during construction:


The first thing we played with before we moved in...


And the one place I felt most excited about decorating. It isn't much... and the rest of the house isn't even close to being done but... what do you think?



Does it feel like Christmas to you? (the fire helps doesn't it?)

It does to me!

We have our beautiful stockings. Ethan's just came in yesterday!
[Ours are from Etsy and the boys are from Pottery Barn]

Two giant sacks of toys [bags courtesy of a Target Gift and Amazon gift that I've held onto over the years. I stuffed them with the boys stuffed animals. They haven't missed them yet.]

Bought the greenery, cinnamon sticks, red holly and N E L letters at Hobby Lobby. (All there stuff is 50%) The O is a small wreath from Hobby Lobby as well. I was inspired by this Pinterest Photo:


Yet, made my own version. It's super easy too:


For the N I spray glued it than laid burlap over it. Cut the excess and taped on some small Christmas greenery. I spray painted the E white, the L gray and than sprayed glitter paint on them and the Wreath and VOILA! Noel.

The beautiful vintage mirrored window/door/whatever is from a Flea Market in NOLA. I haggled it to $10 with my bestie Megan F. I may turn it into a chalkboard one day but I thought it was beautiful the way it was... and for those who were reading my Facebook... that window is the one I was sanding and than realized it may have lead paint but I haven't died yet so I guess I'm good. ;) I'm sure you enjoyed my freak out about it though so you are welcome.

The Merry and Bright sign I bought from Goopdeals.com. It was one of their sales a while back.

I think for my first attempt at a Christmas Mantle it came out well... definitely looks too pretty to be something I put together!! But perhaps it may be the start of more pretty things to come...

Happy Holidays.

God Bless,


 Jessica




DIY Quick Christmas Decor: Trees in a jar


It's December and I am having some mad Christmas decorating spirit!

So, here is a super easy craft you can do today that will bring some Christmas Cheer the rest of December! 

If you are like me, your husband has by now questioned why you collect junk.
I do. I collect glass jars, old picture frames and random pieces of interestingness that I know one day I may be able to turn into something.

Today could be a great day for you to turn that “junk” into something!

I got some glass jars I had lying around that I’ve collected over the years.

All you need are:
    
                Glass Jars
             Epsom salt
                  Small trees 
     (Trees they normally use in like Santa village displays. I bought mine at  Michael’s when they were
     50% off. I got like 21 one of them so go in with a friend and save even more bucks.)


 My mom taught me to decorate in three’s so I used a large hermetic jar I got from a thrift store for $1 (I saw them at World Market though for $10), a glass spaghetti jar and a glass gravy jar.



Each were cleaned, (Goo Gone be some miracle stuff people!) placed some little trees in and dumped some “snow” on them.

And voila! Instant Holiday d├ęcor that takes less than five minutes to put together but brings a smile every time you pass it. Hubbies usually like it too and it helps them know you aren’t just collecting junk to collect it… but that you can make beautiful things out of it.

Happy Holidays!

God Bless,


Jessica

A Real Christmas Tree

On my way to a flea market a few months ago I saw a sign for a Christmas Tree Farm.
I thought those only existed up north or in the movies.

You can imagine my excitement that they actually were real and one was within range!!

See, growing up we had beautiful artificial Christmas Trees and no one can decorate a tree like my momma... except maybe Martha Stewart but her tree doesn't have the warmth ours did growing up.

Now there is nothing wrong with artificial Christmas trees and after this Christmas I may find out their mass appeal as I lug a dead tree out my house.

Yet, when I told my in-laws though that we'd never had a real tree they decided one day I should and bought me my very own Christmas Tree in 2009.


We planted it and planned to cut it down one day and use it as our first real tree!
Sadly though, when we moved to Texas we had to leave our sweet Christmas Tree behind.


But being Bryan... he wouldn't let my real Christmas tree dreams die. Even though this year we actually won't even be here for Christmas... He looked up that tree farm and off we went!!

              



I think we walked their entire farm looking for the right tree.
I was kinda picky... we were looking for a Leylend Cypress like the one we had in our backyard yet for the life of us couldn't find one. That's because we were in the Virginia Pine section... on the hayride back with our beautiful pine we found the Cypress section... whoops

But when I saw this little guy I knew it was the right one. It looked even better when I put some good looking men next to it...





TimBER!! 

























Next thing you know we had it chopped down and put up in it's new home!



Beautiful isn't he?
We just added some family memories with a little help from Elliot (who only broke one ornament by the way... kudos to him!) and our new tree found it's home!



I think it's going to be a very Merry Christmas!





God Bless!


Jessica