Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wowzers, what an ending.

I was reading Susan Branch's blog where she talks about how she LOVES the week between Christmas and New Year's because there is nothing to do but relax and enjoy.


It has been a full-blown madhouse in my office.  The stress level is rocketing off the rafters, added to an attempt to create decorations for my mom's 60th birthday party.  Which is my own fault because I have the grand ideas and high expectations, only to fall short and become disappointed in myself. (insert your own image of a sad face here).

I do have pictures of Christmas. I promise, I do. I haven't seen them myself, but they will arrive and I will torture you with them shortly.

I did have a wonderful Christmas, starting with a huge family breakfast that rolled right into piles of presents and lots of laughter and paper ball fights. This was followed by some rest before starting all over when AH arrived at the house. (insert the biggest happy-face smile you can think of here)!

As for New Year's, we'll be celebrating my Mom.  An amazing wonderful woman who still has "it."  She is so pretty, so funny, creative, and a great mom-figure. Most people I know learn to appreciate the mom-ness of my mother.  Not a frumpy mom-ness, but a person who remembers to send cards, to say thank you, to let you know she's thinking of you ... a supportive mom. :)

Anyway, I will provide you with more entertainment in 2012, I hope.  I haven't tired of this yet. Just need to wrangle life back into order so I can come back here and enjoy your company some more. If I don't post before Saturday - ya'll have a GREAT NEW YEAR and I'll see you in 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Muffin Monday

Christmas is over?  What?!?

Yes, Muffin, Christmas is over. But wasn't it beautiful?  We truly had a blessed Christmas, with all my immediate family together (minus AH until that afternoon). We ate a huge breakfast together before opening gifts. We filled two bags up with trashed gift wrap only after it was thrown at every person.
We had every intention of going to church but the phone calls during our Christmas morning + one sick episode derailed that plan.

Despite pink eye, the stomach bug and one preggers gal who stays sick, Christmas was beautiful. I hope yours was, too. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Family Fun Weekend. :)

This weekend was Katie's birthday celebration at Clay & Angela's house. Their house is totally beautiful and Angela is amazing with her decorating skills. It's like designer magazine!

Isn't it beautiful?? This is just one of their trees... I don't think I took any pictures of their other tree. Oops! Oh well...

My niece was also home this weekend, which always tickles me PINK, PURPLE and YELLOW with GREEN STRIPES and ORANGE POLKADOTS!! So we had the extra joy of AH time! :)  She is quite the photographer (she took the picture above and many of those below!) and will coax smiles out of people that normally hide from me.

Clay, being his normal goofy self and Katie with Chloe, the dog. :)

Roger & AH

Angela & Clay

Mom & Dad

Katie & Roger

AH & Me

Decorations in Angela's house, mostly taken by AH! :) 



I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.  I'll probably post again before Christmas, but in case life overtakes me and I don't, please remember the true reason for this holiday.  It's not Santa, or family, or presents... it's not trees, or decorations, or awesome food. Think of Jesus, who was born in a barn to the virgin Mary. You know she must have been nervous, childbirth with no epideral, no doctors... it's a miracle that has only happened once, and with this miracle we have the chance at eternal life with God in heaven. So much love. So much hope. So much peace.

Merry Christmas, my friends! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Muffin Monday!

I'm trying this on Sunday night in hopes it will be posted before Monday morning, waiting for all Muffin's fans!  She's very excited we finally have a little tree up...if she could only reach the ornaments!

Have a great week leading up to Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Misconceptions of Strength

I am very baffled by people who simply cannot apologize. That is completely amazing to me. It's like somewhere along the line they have been taught one of two things:

1-Never admit you are wrong; it makes you look weak.

2-Never apologize; it gives someone else the power.

I know a girl who marches through life, barking out orders, acting like she is an expert in all things. Unfortunately, she is not.  She doesn't ask questions, she demands answers. And she never, ever apologizes for the mistakes she makes. It is so frustrating.

I knew another girl who was to be my mentor in one of my college jobs.  She informed me I should never ask permission - it gives someone else the power. I'll never forget that... but I don't really believe that.

I BELIEVE, a heartfelt, sincere apology is a enormous sign of strength.  It's much easier to deny there is a problem than it is to admit there is a problem and acknowledge your role in the problem. Then to take it a step further and ask for forgiveness for your part. Wow. That's tough stuff and very few people have this amount of strength.

And while I am frustrated dealing with this person in my life, I can't help but wonder what I didn't own up to myself?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Magnificent Sister.

Happy Birthday to the most wonderful, awesome, intelligent, caring, silly, talented sister a gal could ever have.  It's so awesome to have my best friend and sister living right beside me, always willing to listen to my good days and my bad, to go on an adventure, to laugh over a story, to share life with in whatever form comes our way.  Having her as my rommmate since ... well, almost since she was born, then as my housemate for another 10 years gave us a strong bond that is one of the best blessings of all!

Happy Birthday, Katie! I'm so thankful for you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Snow Clouds?

Whew! Today has been a day! This week feels like we've been in it for four days and we are only two days into it. UUggghhh.... it's going to be one of THOSE weeks. But it's all good, because I'm thinking of a Winter Wonderland. :)

This was my view on the way to work this morning and I kept hearing, "Snow Clouds! Snow Clouds!" in my head. It was my mom's voice, who always looks at clouds like this and thinks snow, even if it's July. You do know I live in the South, right? Yeah... SNOW CLOUDS!  But it's something nice to hold on to on a crazy busy day like today. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Muffin Monday - GUEST!

When I saw this picture on my friend's Facebook page, I immediately stole it and turned it into my wallpaper on my computer. This picture is just awesome, I love it! And I had to share it with you, my friends.  Add a little Sparkle to your holidays! (Sparkle is her name!)

I hope you are having a wonderful week, your Monday has kicked off with a lovely bang, and you are NOT stressing over the holidays, but are looking forward to all the wonderful memories. :) 

Saturday, December 10, 2011


What a beautiful day today. Most of today was spent with my sister, baking cookies for her co-workers. The past several years have been interesting in her life - one Christmas she became engaged, then the next Christmas she was married. This Christmas she is pregnant! So life never stands still and is rarely dull. 

Since we were housemates for 10 years or so, it's always nice to have a few moments with just the two of us again.  She isn't up to her normal energetic self these days... the baby makes her pretty sick (I call it Ralphie... think about that one for a moment...).  And exhausted. So that just meant lots of breaks lounging on the couch and being slightly lazy. Always a good thing!

While I might not be bubbling over with Christmas joy this season for some reason, spending those moments with Katie made my day. :) And when mom came over for a visit, too - it was even more awesome.

Yay! Happy Days!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Simple Words.

Buy your own plaque here.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  - Jeremiah 29:11

Some days are difficult. Some days are trying, trying of my patience, my happiness, my goodwill towards others, my energy, my everything-that-is-good.  Just trying. Those days are tough to turn around and overcome to see a brighter side. And sometimes, it seems an entire row of these days stand in line to smack me backwards again and again until I wonder when it is going to end?

Then someone will give a positive comment or a word of encouragement. A note will come in the mail that lights up my world, or a simple stranger's compliment will beam like a ray of sunshine in the dark.  Those moments are more meaningful because they are so very needed at that point.

I think God brings those people and those moments to us.  He doesn't want me to be sad and down, but sometimes he uses that emotion to make me see Him again.  To remind me He has a plan for me, something greater than I can see with my limited human vision and it's a wonderful plan that is meant just for me, in a beautiful positive way.

An so while I am looking down at the ground with the ho-hum doldrums, God is sending people all along my path to remind me I'm a beautiful child of God! And maybe that isn't how they word it, but I am reminded all along of the special gifts God gave to me that impacts other people everyday. I'm a people person, generally friendly and I like to make people smile and laugh, I like making people feel special and appreciated, so forth and so on. When someone compliments me, they are really complimenting God... so it's a reminder to me as well, to look up and say, "Thanks!"

Happy Friday, friends, I hope you have a beautiful weekend and remember to show someone some love and appreciation. You never know how far it will carry them. :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lessons Learned.

A few lessons recently learned.

One, you can't depend on someone else for your happiness. Granted, we've all heard this a million times, but as I've been seeing my joy in the Christmas holidays dwindle more and more with each passing day, it just rings so true to me now.  I wasn't even enjoying wrapping presents, which is usually a type of therapy for me. Unfortunately, I lost sight of what Christmas is about, which isn't about me at all and is about God's unselfish act of sending His only Son into this world so that we might be saved and have a way to go to Heaven.  Enough of my selfishness of wallowing in self-pity and instead I'm refocusing on the real reason for this holiday.

Two, things you post online can hurt people. While we all realize this on a logical plane, I'm not sure we remember it every time we post something out here in the great wide open field called the Internet. It feels anonymous because you don't look someone in the eyes and see their reaction once you hit enter. But the reaction is there, just the same.

And Three... I need to value myself more and appreciate and acknowledge my self worth. While I believe I have self respect, I don't think I truly appreciate the gifts and skills and personality God gave to me. He deliberately place certain attributes and abilities into my genetic make-up and I don't believe I have the faith I should in these gifts. This is something I have to work on. 

Hopefully my frown will be turning upside down and I'll feel like writing in my thankful journal again, will pick up my camera again, and enjoy all the beauty and blessings that surround me.  So much to be thankful for, so I need to focus on those things.  Tonight I think was the beginning to it all - how could you not smile with this little one giving you hugs and kisses? And wanting to have Santa write me a special letter... She's a sweetie. I'm very thankful for the little girls in my life - AH and Ellie Bellie (who is pictured). They always bring smiles. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Muffin Monday Treat!

Because I missed last week, here is Muffin peeking at you from the safety of her cover fortress. I think she's trying to push thoughts into your mind, like feed Muffin treats...
And as a special treat, Shelby decked out in reindeer antlers for your enjoyment, and not so much hers. Hee hee...
Happy first week of December!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Making Memories.

I'm very excited to show off a few pictures from my new adventure!  It started as a way to make a bit extra money... My idea became "Pressed Clovers" - and thanks to my friend, Paulene, here is my awesome logo:

The Registry Books were my first idea, which I still believe in, but people don't quite get the concept unless I'm there to explain it. I usually make them for family as a baby or wedding gift.

A co-worker asked if I could do a little "honeymoon scrapbook" for a wedding gift.  Of course I can!!! So I set about doing just that.  Then, the idea was born, what about making pre-made scrapbooks and all folks will have to do is add their pictures? I even include the stickers to make it easy. Not that I have sold a million, but I've sold a few and people are seeming to get this concept much better. 

Funny, once you start something like that, you suddenly have a million ideas that you THINK will sell. Granted, they probably would, but I don't have the money to sink into probably.  So I started with Christmas, which has sold fairly well.  Then I added birthdays and we'll see how that goes.  Now I have two requests: one for a beach album and one for vintage guitars.  Then someone mentioned a dance album, and she'll get back to me on if her daughter wants one. Graduation was mentioned. So, who knows where all this may take me. We'll just have to wait and see.

Here are some pics of the birthday book I just delivered.  They are horrible quailty photos, but I have no editing software where I'm currently at. Regardless, you get the idea of the cuteness! I loved this book!

I think the Christmas book is just adorable, too.  I have two versions, one is more earthy and looks kinda teen girl-ish. The other is bright colors and kiddish, although depending on the pics used, they will all be good for all ages.  And here are those pictures!

And this is what my dining room table and all the area around it looks like while I'm "creating."  Oh my gosh, I have GOT to get this cleaned up so that I can decorate for Christmas, which I have not even started. And that's INSANE because I usually want to decorate in October!!

Wish me luck, folks. I'm excited about this project and really hope it goes well. It's very fun to be part of people's memories and know you are providing a way for people to preserve those great photos. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Beyond the One Day.

My Thanksgiving was wonderful - I hope yours was, too. We had turkey and roast, veggies and sweets. More food than any of us could possible eat in several sittings! We were overflowing with family and food.

And blessings. On the second floor of the house, my cousin was lying down because she was having labor pains. Not enough for the doctor to want her to come into the hospital, but enough to make her very uncomfortable. As of today, we still don't have a baby here, but we know it's only a matter of time. What a great blessing! A new life to add to our family.

Not that we didn't already have a new addition - my cousin's baby, River, was the star of the day.  He's so good natured and just downright cute.  Everyone ended up holding this little fellow, and who could resist him?  Next year, we'll be adding Rylan and my sister's baby, yet to be named (since they don't kow the sex, yet).
 My dad and mom, playing with River on the porch.  He enjoyed anyone's attention.

 My brother and sister-in-law, when I finally got my brother to quit being a dork and smile for the camera.  Trust me, I had enough pictures of his hand where he kept blocking me! GRRR!

 My sister, niece and mom.  We were so thrilled to have some extra time with AH, that always makes me happy.  She's such a smart girl and quick witted - such a trip.

My aunt took this picture of me and my mom.  The weather was PERFECT for a sit in the swing.
It definitely didn't feel like Thanksgiving and more like Easter. 

AH and River. AH is so amazingly wonderful with kids. She's much more confident about them than I am, that's for sure.  I know she's going to make a great big sister! :)

So there is a pictorial of my Thanksgiving.  I know I missed Muffin Monday, but wow, life has been a bit busy.  I'll post pictures of my lastest Pressed Clover venture soon. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday!

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! I hope you are filled with appreciation for the wonderful blessings in your life. I pray that your eyes are opened to the beautifulness that surrounds us all - in nature, in other's hearts and actions and in love (for family, friends and beyond).

Today, I also say a prayer of thanksgiving for our troops, especially those away from their loved ones during the holidays or injured in action. I hope God blesses them, lets them feel the peace of Him surround them and their families during this time apart.

Today is beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wonderfully Thankful on Wednesday

Get your fun paper wreath here.

Today, I am thankful for my loving family, for the blessing of a new addition (due in July!) and hopefully more nieces and nephews to come.  My family is truly one of those fairytale stories, the Norman Rockwell painting, filled with love and care, concern and support, and it's all held together with the glue of God.  I was raised in a very Christian household, blessings before meals and the true Christmas story. We may not have had the money of some but we had love like no other. 

I couldn't be happier with the family I have been given - including the ones who have married into my family - and they are one of the very best blessings I could be thankful for this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful on Tuesday

Purchase your own heart banner here!

Leading up to Thanksgiving, I was trying to post something I was thankful for each day of November on Facebook.  I failed. Eh, it's all good because honestly, I don't have to share my thankfulness with the world on a daily basis... I share it with a greater power that matters much more.

But today, I just wanted to say THANKS to people who pray.  Five people who are close to me in life, who I know will take my concerns and to God on my behalf because they honestly believe in this higher power who listens and loves us. 

It's very humbling to have these people to lean on in times of happiness, in times of sorrow and in all types of moments in between.  So thank you, Prayer Peeps, for being joyous Christians who are making a difference in my life! :)

UPDATE:  I just discovered this Bible verse that I really like! 
Philippians 4:6-7 (ICB) “Do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks. And God’s peace will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The peace that God gives is so great that we cannot understand it.”

Appreciation seemed to be a great word to choose for this year! May I find an equally wonderful word for 2012!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Muffin Monday

For your Monday enjoyment... MUFFIN-LICIOUSNESS!  You get a two-ffer for the holidays, since Muffin really enjoys her turkey flavored wet food she only gets on special occasions.  Of course, she looks like she's in a turkey induced coma in that first picture... so maybe she's already found the stash... hmmm...

Ya'll - have a GREAT week leading up to the Thanksgiving Holiday. Say a prayer of thanks for all the many many blessings that each of us have received this year.  GROUP HUGS!! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

These seemingly innocent looking clouds caused three deaths in our community on Wednesday night.  This picture was taken about 5: 30 p.m. and by 5:45 p.m. it was darker than night.  The sirens went off, and stopped. Sirens....and stop.  At least three different occasions.  The tornado warning was suppose to expire by 5:45 p.m. but the tornado didn't hit until 6:00 p.m.  So sad.  So devastating.

It makes you think how quickly life can end.  What loose ends are out there? Who have I not let know how much I love them, how much I care for them? What haven't I told God thank you for? What blessings have I ignored? 

It makes my word for the year, "appreciation," so much more meaningful.  Appreciation for those I love. Appreciation for my blessings.  Appreciation for my safety and the safety of my family.  Appreciation.

Thoughts and prayers to those who lost their loved ones and their homes this week.  And to the rest of us, let us show love and appreciation, even more so, during this Thanksgiving holiday.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Muffin Monday

My sweet kitten must have been taken from her mom a bit too soon because she still sucks on anything soft and furry-like. She goes into an almost trance, sucking and kneading and purring. Here, she has chosen my extra blanket for her ritual. 
Happy week and I apologize for bring late! My mom, sister and I took off yesterday and shopped the Southern Christmas Show! Great fun, but now it is back to work for all of us!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gobbles from the Heart

An Etsy item found here...

As we continue to march right into November, that special day of thanksgiving approaches closer and closer.  The blessings we each have are numerous - way too many to count.  For me, my faith, family and friends rank at the top of my list, with many material blessings (my house, that I love), my job & co-workers, the skills and talents that have been given to me ... the list goes on beyond forever.

Another wonderful blessing is also being celebrated this weekend:  our veterans and their families. Our freedom, this great nation and those who have fought for these freedoms. 

I'm asking you to revisit my birthday wish, because this wish hasn't changed:
It can be found here

Please take a moment to drop a line of Thanksgiving to my guys.  Or adopt your own at  They appreciate it. I appreciate it. And you will be blessed by reaching out to these heroes in harms way. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Scenic Drive to Work

I am a very fortunate girl.  I have an amazing view on my way to and from work.  Sunrises and sunsets - most are beautiful and usually, I'm awake enough to appreciate them.

There is this huge hill you go down and then back up on the other side.  And on the foggy mornings, you actually drive under the settling fog and then back up through it as you go up the hill.  It's the strangest thing.

On this morning, these strange clouds were like billows of cloth or something... so hard to describe. But imagine loops of fluffiness and you'll get the picture.  Or, look at the picture - well, you get it. Even the mail lady in our office commented on the strange clouds on the way to work that morning!

I can only guess - sunset? Or sunrise? I'm not sure, but it's awesome.  All these were taken on the same stretch of road, to and from the office. It really is a nice way to begin my day and wind it up on the drive home.  Since I'm usually on the phone talking, I have learned to keep a point-and-shoot camera on the seat beside me.  I don't want to miss the picture! 

I wish I would have taken some good autumn pictures - the leaves are amazing as the sunshine lights them up into glowing limbs of color! But I think I've missed that opportunity this year.  I better pay closer attention next fall, it's too pretty to not take pictures to share. :)
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