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. :)

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