Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Adios 2013...

Holy cow, Batman, where did 2013 go?? It's just crazy to think the entire year is G.O.N.E. I mentioned before, I'm not sad to see 2013 go, but there have been some really wonderful moments that I wanted to remember. 

January: Pinned It/Did it - Love canvas.  This was made for my sister from the kids for Valentine's Day.  The baby's feet and the preteen's hands.  :)  I thought it was cute! 

February: I am going to toot my own horn about the racing scrapbook I made for my friend, Paulene.  It was an honor to be part of her racing memories! :)  

March: 500th post!!!   And it just happened on a Muffin Monday. :) 

April:  Friday's Letters in April.  What can I say, I was boring in April.  But here is Sweet Niece and she's adorable. :) 

May:  I blogged roughly "Every Day in May."  - my Favorites and my Struggles

July:  The annual Family Beach Trip! WOOP WOOP!  And lots of scrappin'

August:  A Monday Muse on a Wednesday with lots of pics pics pics (and one picnic). 

September:  It's My Birthday!! Thanks to everyone who contributed to the USO! 

October:  The NOTEBOOK: It's not what you think, it's better! 

November: Friday's Letters - just a snippet of my life. Love it. 

December:  My column for YC Magazine.  

So there you go! :) A review of 2013!!! Thanks for reading, for being my "imaginary friends," for commenting and caring (because I know some of you do!).  Happy 2014!!! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ho Ho Ho

Good gracious, where have I been in the last week+?  Sheesh, I've just been a slacker, I guess.  Lots going on with Christmas and everything that revolves around it.  

We've had the celebration on my Dad's side of the family, several parades, most of us have trees up, cookies have been baked, a few gifts swapped, cards mailed (just a few more to go), and one Christmas pageant.  Gifts need to be wrapped, but maybe that will happen this week after work.

I'm getting excited! Especially hearing Macy say, "Santa, ho ho ho... toys!"  She's getting excited, too, even though she doesn't REALLY understand why it's exciting.

A few pics of the reason celebrations - ya'll enjoy!

Clay & Angela's beautiful Christmas tree! 

Macy after the Christmas play.

Katie as Aunt Bethany from Christmas Vacation. 
Snow Village in Clay & Angela's House

Santa stopped by my office for a surprise visit. Thankfully, we were being good!

If I don't get back online until after the holidays - ya'll have a very Merry Christmas!  Take time from the gifts to give thanks for the greatest gift of all - our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! :)  

God Bless you and your family! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Pictoral Review

I love photos and take MILLIONS of them everywhere I am. Driving to work, shopping, birthday parties, holidays, whatever the occasion.  So enjoy some pics from 2013 - LOTS of pics from 2013. :)  My everyday blessings and not even a drop in the bucket.  Thanks to all my family, friends, blogger peeps, - I appreciate you all so much! And mainly, thanks to the Lord above for everything good and loving in my life. :)


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Looking into 2014

As I mentioned earlier, this post will be my article for the newspaper/magazine I write for each month.  I'm supposed to have the service column, but seriously - they let me write whatever I want to write about.  You wouldn't think it would be tough to come up with 12 different columns a year, but after many years of writing, it's getting tougher. 


Adios 2013, I’m ready to see the back of you.  I can’t remember wishing away a year quite as much as I have 2013.  Well, not since I was a little kid wanting Christmas to hurry up and get here.  This year, however, I’m ready to have 2013 behind me and welcome 2014 with open arms.  I’ve had this attitude of, “Just-let-2014-get-here-and-it-will-all-be-ok.”  I long for a fresh start, clean slate, and new year.

As I was discussing my thoughts on 2013, it was like all the bad things from the year came to mind.  And trust me, 2013 brought with it plenty of negative drama – enough to hold me over until 2015, in my opinion.  Those events seem to create big dark stormy clouds over the sunny days, making it hard to remember the good things of the year.

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I pulled out my thankful journal and refreshed my memory on the things I’d prayed for and thanked God for over the past year.  I reread the worries and sadness, the fears and concerns – but I also saw all these great things that have happened and were forgotten in the drama. 

Why are we like that as humans? It’s like we are predisposed to elevate the negative and forget the positive?  It’s like we give the bad things in life power over us, impacting our happiness, our health and our mental well-being. Kind of a crazy way to live life and not a really pleasurable one, if you ask me. 

Each year I take one word to apply to my life in an effort to concentrate on one aspect of improvement.  The first year, I chose “Appreciation.”  I did pretty well at implementing appreciation into my everyday life.  I started a Thankful Journal, was more conscientious about thanking people and sending notes.  Several years later, I feel like it’s more ingrained in me to be appreciative in general.

Every year after that was a colossal failure. Every word I chose just got tossed to the wayside and nothing changed. I even tried changing words mid-year once, thinking that would help jump start me into changing my ways.  Nope. It got tossed aside, too.

This year, as I welcome 2014 with open arms, I’m returning to the basics of “Appreciation,” with a bit of a twist. 

We all have drama in our lives.  Sometimes our drama is silly and blown out of proportion.  It doesn’t stand up to the test of, “Is this really going to matter in 5 minutes, 5 days or 5 years??”  You know the type of drama I’m talking about.  Running late, the store is out of your favorite comfort food, your husband bought the wrong kind of shampoo kind of drama.  It’s ok. Life isn’t going to be impacted drastically by this type of drama.  Take a deep breath and put it into perspective.

Then there is the other kind of drama that is DRAMA with a capital D. Yes, it is going to matter in 5 minutes, 5 days and 5 years.  Life is changed in a serious way for the foreseeable future. Maybe forever.  It’s never going to be the same. There aren’t words to address this kind of drama. Maybe your heart aches, you grieve, you are swamped with sadness and sorrow. You worry. You are scared. Your anxiety is shooting off the charts and it’s with good reason. But even this drama must be put into perspective.

It’s with this in mind that I am bringing back my word, “Appreciation.”  Or “Thankfulness.”  Life is going to happen.  Sometimes life is more difficult than other times but regardless, it’s only made worse without appreciating the good things. Was 2013 a rough one? Yup.  But it was also a beautiful one with so many blessed memories and moments. It’s so wrong to let the bad drama blank out all the precious moments and gifts the year brought to me and my family.  So 2013, thank you for innumerable blessings that outnumber the bad 1,000 to 1.  If 2014 brings me half as many good things, I’ll still be blessed beyond measure.

Merry Christmas to all the YC Magazine readers and I am wishing you a very happy 2014! Thanks for joining me each month and I wish a million good things for you in the New Year. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Catching Up.

Goodness Gracious I'm behind in my blogging.  That's what happens with holidays, right? I had a very wonderful Thanksgiving filled with lots of family.  That's what happens when your mom is one of twelve and all but two still live in the area.  Actually, one of the two was in town, as well! So it was a great time with family, tons of yummy food and then relaxing at my quiet peaceful house. 

Enjoy some photos of the holiday - pics of my family. :) 

My brother, Clay and his wife, Angela

Dad and Mom on the front porch of my aunt's house

Me and Sweet Niece #1. She had the whole week+ with us! 

My sister's family - hubby Roger, Sweet Niece #2, Sweet Niece #1 and Katie.

Me and the Sister (or as she likes to say, Seester)

I finally finished my article for the column I write in a local newspaper/magazine.  I really struggled with how to wrap up the year, reflecting on 2013 with sad eyes.  I just keep saying over and over how tough 2013 has been for me and the family! But after some discussion with a coworker, I realized it was up to me to change that outlook or I'd just drown in the negative.  Blah.  So that article will post tomorrow. 

Hope ya'll had a great Thanksgiving and are gearing up for the Christmas season. I'm ready! The tree is UP.  I'm mostly done shopping but I don't have that many to shop for, so it's become easier over the years.  This week is a bit cray cray with all the holiday events (Staff Christmas Party, Parade, Sweet Niece #1's Chorus Concert, Dad's Family's Christmas Get-Together...) But it's all good. Because it means we have places to be and holidays to celebrate. Woop woop!

Ok, ya'll come back and see me tomorrow so you can read my article and get a sneak peek before the publication hits the stands!  :)

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