The Merriest of Christmases

Christmas has been so good to me this year and I'm not talking about any presents! Duke and I celebrated this year just the two of us (although we are going to visit family tomorrow). I was afraid it was going to be a boring Christmas. But I was oh so wrong. Yesterday and today have been SO lovely. I was sitting at my dryer tonight, pulling out the clothes and folding them and tears just started flowing. And they are coming again as I write this. I'm so filled with love right now. My "cup runneth over" as they say. Spending quality time with the one I love is the only present I need! And little winston too of course. Life can be so sweet sometimes. I'm just completely overwhelmed with love for my husband, my family, my friends and for my Savior. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas as well! Some pictures from the last couple days below.

Christmas Eve dinner. PS. made these rolls. If you have not made them, you really need to. life changing.

Duke's wrapping job without any help! He's a pro.

We each opened one gift on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Morning!
Winston got a little oinky pig. Basically his twin.

Went for a bike ride and laid out poolside bc it was 80 degrees! Insane.


A Gift to the World

Here's a video that I've already watched a couple times this week and will probably watch again tonight. It's a beautiful depiction of the bible story of Christ's birth. I hope you watch it and like it as much as I do!

And since it is a time to focus on Christ, I just want to share that I know Christ is the redeemer and Savior of the world. I'm so grateful for his wonderful and incomprehensible sacrifice. I know that he truly was born into this world to save us from sin, to comfort us, and to lift us. I have felt Christ's spirit so many times in my life and am grateful for the peace that it brings.

Merry Christmas!

San Antonio Quickie

Saturday we decided to head up to San Antonio to see what it was all about. We basically just checked out the Alamo and walked along the Riverwalk, which was so pretty! It was short and sweet. But fun to be with Duke and go see something new!

For Christmas Day Duke and I are staying in Corpus, so this will be our first Christmas just with ourselves. But we'll be going to visit family for a few days afterwards. Can't wait!

PS, this warm weather thing in December is so foreign to me (well i guess Florida was decently warm) but I'm really enjoying it. I know if I was in Utah I would be refusing to go outside if at all possible. However, all I've heard is that summers here are deathly, so I'm hoping to be out of here by then. 


Life is Wonderful

Life is a wonderful thing you guys! I may have just watched It's a Wonderful Life, which is one of my favorite movies of all time. An absolute must watch during the holiday season. I tear up at the end every single time. But it really is so great. Christmas season helps too :)

I'm not sure if I have changed or if I am just more conscious of it now, but I feel that the older I get the more my capacity to love and feel emotions has really grown. I don't just mean love in the romantic way, but my love for the arts and all the beautiful things in life. Am I the only one? 

I never cried in movies growing up. My friends called my emotionless. I didn't like babies or dogs or animals. In that aspect I know that I have changed. I cried watching the documentary First Position, The Business of Being Born and balled like a baby during the Changeling. (but the Changeling was not a happy cry)

There are just so many beautiful things in life that just fill my soul. Does that make sense? I've been watching a lot of ballet lately and I am in such awe of the beauty and talent. I watched the movie the Phantom of the Opera and was just filled with the beauty of the voices and music. This sounds so dumb and cheesy. But these things just pierce me! In this aspect I don't think I've changed, just grown to appreciate much more. I know this because when I was 8 years old I started and a journal and let me just quote an excerpt:

"We went to Kmart to get Brittany's pillowcases. There I found this aisle with a whole bunch of fake flowers. It was beutiful. Not a single peice of white or shelf was in sight. It was all flowers. I loved it!!!" (any typos are the original"

I wish I was 8 again sometimes.

I just think it's important to remember how much GOOD is in the world. With so many bad things that happen every single day, it's so important to focus on the good. In fact sometimes I really just hate hearing the bad and try not to think about it. I'm not sure where this post is going. Every sentence is evolving into it's own thing, so I apologize that this post is all over the place. But I recently read an article about Christmas and the Christmas spirit. There was a part that really struck me. 

"...our opportunities to love and give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. Today there are hearts to gladden, kind words to say, deeds to be done, and souls to be saved."

I think life is the best when I'm making other people happy. And when I read this I thought how EASY is it to say a kind word?? It can make my whole day to hear one compliment. So my goal was to say every nice thing that I'm thinking. Because a lot of times I don't even think to say them out loud. So this  year I'm gonna try to be more selfless. More kind and more thoughtful. Sometimes I get all wrapped up in my silly self just thinking about all the clothes I want and trips I want to go on and blah blah blah. And so I hope this will also get me outside of my dumb bubble of Mickelleville.  We can only hope!


McCrory Family Year in Review

For those of you whom I could not send Christmas cards to, because let's face it, postage is pricey, here is my e-version of our Christmas card! I've gotten some really really sweet feedback from some of you who got one, and I wanted to say that it made me feel so good! I'm one of those people who's love language is words of affirmation (just ask duke) and so your kind words were really appreciated. A few have asked where I got them. I made them myself, however I completely ripped the idea off. So I can't get any credit for the idea. In fact I was so unoriginal, I pretty much stole the complete card layout and filled in my own info. I got the idea from Pinterest last year, originally from Amanda Jane Jones, graphic designer extraordinaire. Next year I plan to be more original, but she just nailed it the first time. Plus it was a lot cheaper to make them myself and I actually really really enjoyed doing it. So I hope I didn't cross over any copyright infringement laws. whoopsies if I did!

I'm also really LOVING all the cards we have gotten. I look forward to checking the mail everyday in hopes of a new one in there! So fun getting real mail from friends and family. So thanks to those who sent one. Merry Christmas!

PS. when you look at my blog on your computer, do you have to scroll to see the whole arrow in the header?? My sister told me that, and I'm wondering if it's the same on anyone else computer????


Weekend Happenings

Every Saturday we try to get out and DO something. Last Saturday we went to the library and became official Corpus Christi library card holders, woop woop.

Then we ate lunch and walked around the bay!

It was pelican-city at these boat slips and the Arkansan in me was fascinated.

Last but not least we attended the Nutcracker, which Duke laughed through. ugh. But thanks for coming anyways. So there's the play by play of our Saturday which everyone is dying to know. I'm off to more important things, like baking cookies!

Happy Day

I have exciting news! I got a job working as a dance teacher at Tippi Toes Dance Company!! I'm so happy about it. Can I tell you why?

I graduated in Dec 2010--2 years ago. Since then, I've really struggled to find a job I enjoy. I've had GOOD jobs, but never a job that I've felt "fulfilled" or particularly looked forward to. It's been extra hard due to moving 3 times in those 2 years and being stuck to the location where the military has taken us. It got a little depressing from time to time. I had basically decided that I was doomed to little jobs here and there following Duke around until we had kids-and hopefully being a mother would give me that fulfillment. I really hadn't even thought about being a dance teacher until I saw the job listing,  but the second I saw it I knew it was PERFECT for me. Absolutely perfect. I get to move around while I work, work with cute kids, dance, have fun, and those are all things I love.

I'm really, really excited about this opportunity and can't wait to start. Yay!



I can't believe it's already Thursday! Life has been nice lately. I've never had so much time to sleep and I am savoring it so. I work about 2x's a week right now, although I'm applying for some other jobs as well. I can't say I've been super productive in all my free time, but I'm getting the important things done! (like sleeping)

A couple of weeks ago Winston was having some serious face problems. He had an allergic reaction to something outside (think it was a bee sting) and the right side of his face blew up in about 20 minutes. He was rubbing his face against the carpet and would NOT stop! English Bulldogs are notorious for crazy skin problems and lots of allergies. They also have really small wind pipes and I was afraid he was gonna stop breathing so I ran him to the vet. Long story short the meds we got didn't stop the itching, and winston basically rubbed his face raw and got a bacterial infection. So it was back to the vet. 2 weeks and $250 dollars later, he's back to his cute, lovable self.

the beginning stages
at the worst :(
Last Saturday we took Winston to the beach and then went for a nice long bike ride down Ocean Dr. It was all lovely. Not to mention it was in the 80's! Doesn't really feel like December, but like I've said before, I'm ok with that.

handsome hubby
Then we took a beautiful bike ride down Ocean Dr-which runs along the bay coast. Such a great view. I think this will become a regular thing. 

Also of note, I got new glasses! It's been about 5 years and it is wonderful to see again.

Last but not least I found out last night that one of my good friends, Loral, is pregnant for the first time AND she's having twins!!! How crazy, exciting is that?! She's gonna be a great mom. Can't wait.


Woes of a Wannabe Runner

yep, thats me. Just kidding.
Hi there. I want to write about my frustration of running if you would like to read along. It might get long.

I remember the first time (post elementary school) that I ran a mile. It was in high school and it seemed like such a long distance. I was so proud of myself. However, I didn't start running as a form of exercise until my freshman year in college. I danced through high school and sometimes went to the gym and that was my exercise. I got to college and started eating completely awful. Like a milkshake every night, candy on the way to every class, and cheesy bread for dinner. It was bad.

Now if you have ever visited Provo, Ut, you would notice that everyone and their dog just looooves to run there. (am I right, or am I right)? Which is great. My freshman roommate was one of those luckily. Within the first month of being at college my roommate and I, along with a couple guys, decided we were going to run a marathon. One of them already had and he devised our running schedule. Well all was going well until we decided we didn't want to do it anymore (they were kinda like nazi drill sergeants if I remember correctly).

Then Utah winter kicked in and it was COLD. And there was no way I was running outside anymore. I went running a few more times that year, but honestly, I didn't exercise much that year (and it showed-yes I gained about 20 lbs freshman year-yikes!).

Anyways to speed this story along I ran a little bit my sophomore year as well, but I think it was my 3rd year at BYU that I really began to LOVE running. I lost the rest of my freshman 20 and never felt better. My friend Natalie and I (my freshman roommate) would run about 3 miles together almost everyday, maybe every other day. It was our thing. And I got to the point, where I HAD to run. (Disclaimer--I never ran more than 6 miles, and that was a one time thing.) I loved how I felt after each run. It was such an easy and convenient form of exercise.

Fast forward to March 2011. I was back in Arkansas and working for Walmart. I started reading some running blogs and decided I wanted to get serious about running. I wanted to run races and get faster. I even started keeping a running journal. I signed up for my first 10k at the end of April and I was really excited. Then one day I was running on the treadmill, just doing my thang, and my knee started hurting. It wasn't excruciating, so I kept going. Noted it in my journal and carried on. My next run was a 4 miler..my knee starting hurting, but gosh darn it, I was gonna finish those 4 miles. And I did. The next day I could barely walk bc of my knee pain. I laid off of it for a few days, but every time I ran this kept happening. I finally went to a physical therapist and a chiropractor. But nothing really helped. I wasn't able to run my 10k. I tried doing all kinds of stretches, to no avail.

The point is I basically stopped running after that. Since then I've only run a mile, maybe two about once a week...if i'm feeling ambitious. I started cycling and doing the elliptical (which I feel is the lazy workout--I mean it IS the easiest thing to do, and the results are slower). But I don't love either. They are boring to me. I'm so jealous of people who can just run miles without pain. Why can't I be that person? The other day, I decided I'm gonna try again. Yesterday I ran 1.7 miles and last night I felt the pain again. Ugh. I want to figure this out! I think one of my legs is longer than the other and that may be causing the pain. But I can overcome! Right?! Or do I give up running? I hope not.

Has anyone else experienced running problems like this? I would REALLY love to know if anything helped. So here's to my hope that I can someday run more than 2 miles pain-free.