Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Look Back

If happiness had an odor this is what it would smell like. I had to go into a "natural" food store to get it but it was SO worth having to talk to the hippy tree-hugger at the check-out counter! But I digress...the point is my funk has lifted. Nothing chases away the funk like spankin' new cleaning products!

In light of my new-found cheerfulness I thought it would be fun to take a look back at 2008. My favorite pictures from the past year, in no particular order:

1. Caitlin's butterflies we hatched in her Butterfly Treehouse that Mammaw gave her for her birthday.

2. My girls at G & G Camp. That's Grandma & Grandpa Camp for you uninformed people.

3. Our trip to Playa Mujeres, Mexico courtesy of Wes' employer, Neurometrix. Too bad he quit the day we got back.

4. The Huckabee Victory Party on Super Tuesday.

5. My new Sheltie puppy, Tess.

6. My small group at church. I love these people!

7. My first official Arts and Crafts Show as a vendor.

8. My new niece, Faith.

9. My first ever fancy garland on my fireplace mantel and also the new drapes I made with my own two little hands.

and last but not least...

10. Riding the 4-wheeler with Wes and the "girls."

Farewell 2008! You were a good year!

Design Dilemma

I need help. Our comforter is beyond repair what with doggie toenails digging into it and a series of unfortunate events involving my foot getting caught in a small hole in it while trying to exit the bed and falling down and ripping even bigger holes. I've finally gotten my decorating mojo back and I think I'm going to make a duvet. I found this fabric that I LOVE.

My walls are this color and I'd rather not repaint them. It's Sherwin Williams Sconce Gold and I love it.

I'm thinking I would only use the giraffe print in the center of the duvet with a border of something else. Therein lies the dilemma. I don't want to use solid cream because it will show dirt. I don't want to use solid chocolate because it just seems too dark. But what kind of print do I use with giant giraffe?! I would probably use the same mystery fabric for the bed skirt and I'd need a third coordinating fabric for my drapes. Also, what accent color should I use for pillows?

I think I need professional help...decorating or mental, take your pick.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post-Christmas Funk aka Pressures of the New Year

My hubby pointed out that I haven't posted in almost a week so this post's for you, Wes.

I guess I haven't posted because I didn't want to burden you with the funk I'm in. But since you're my friends, I'll go ahead and burden you anyway.

It happens every year. The few days before Christmas are magical...sparkling lights on the tree, the smell of cinnamon and sugar cookies in the air, the sense of wonder and eager anticipation, the warm glow of the fireplace. Then on Christmas morning, in the harsh light of day, after the packages are opened and the brunch is eaten, I start to see...the dust that has gathered around the garlands and candles, the glitter that once seemed magical is now sprinkled on the floor and just looks dirty, the pretty paper that once adorned those beautiful packages is shredded all over the living room, plastic pieces and wires from the child (and adult)-proof toy packaging are scattered all over the house. So begins The Post-Christmas Funk.

I hate the thought of taking down all the decorations and putting them away. They never fit in the boxes they came out of. I hate the thought of trying to find a place to put all the new stuff not to mention what do I do with the old stuff it replaces? So begins the Pressures of the New Year.

It begins with me scouring the internet for organization ideas, buying assorted containers and boxes and bins and baskets that never seem to go where I intended, grand ideas that THIS will be the year I get our household clutter under control but then I don't know where to start so I just don't and then I'm overwhelmed with a sense of failure. The New Year is a bust before it even starts!


Please excuse me while I wallow in self-pity for a few more days.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Checklist

Ok, let's see...

1. Wrap presents. Check.
2. Make grocery list. Check.
2. One more mad dash to Wal-Mart. Check.
3. Bite tongue when fat lady breaks in front of me in the check-out line. Check.
4. Mad dash to Brookshires to get the things that Wal-mart was out of. Check.
5. Panic when I realize there are no more red seedless grapes in this town. Check.
6. Plan B: use green seedless grapes. Check.
7. Accept that if it's not done now it probably won't be. Check.
8. Relax with cup of coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer. Check.
9. Stockings hung by chimney with care. Check.
10. Enjoy family time. Check.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Christmas Sweater

Many of you know I'm a HUGE Glenn Beck fan. If you don't know who Glenn is the first thing I would say is "What the heck is wrong with you?! Have you been living under a rock?! and the second thing I would say is please click here. Glenn has a new book called "The Christmas Sweater" which you can purchase here. And you should, you really should. I'm actually holding my breath in giddy anticipation that my hubby remembered to order an autographed copy for me. We'll see. Well, anyhoo, Glenn also performs a stage show based on the book. We weren't able to go see it live, much to my dismay, but we did get to go last night to Tinseltown and see it simulcast live.

It. was. incredible!

Oh my! I do believe Glenn is the most talented person I don't really know. (And the smartest--if Glenn ever tells you to get out of the stock market and invest in gold, you really should listen. I didn't and if I had I would be much wiser and much richer today.) The coolest part is that the book, and therefore the show, is based on his life. I don't want to say too much and give anything away so you'll just have to read the book. I do, however, want to share some of the thoughts that it provoked in me.

First, I was struck by the sincerity and authenticity of Glenn. I appreciate so much his willingness to open himself up to the ridicule and criticism he is bound to receive in order to share this beautiful story with us. I think what I like best about Glenn is that he is one of us. He is a radio personality, tv personality and an author but before he is any of those things he is a husband, a dad, a friend and a Christian. His humility is inspiring.

Second, with specific regard to the plot of the story, if Eddie's mom had taken out a credit card so she could go buy Eddie exactly what he wanted for Christmas (which is what most parent's today would do) Eddie would have missed out on the most important, life-changing lesson of his whole life. It made me think about the disservice we do our children when we cater to their every whim. How will they learn to appreciate anything if we hand them everything they want? How sad to live your life in constant want, never satisfied, never appreciative, never recognizing the blessings all around you. The blessings of family, friends and faith. These are the finer things of life. Have I taught my children to be grateful for them? Do they see evidence of gratitude in my life?

Third, life is hard. Bad stuff happens to good people. We all face our own storms. When we do, we often cry out to God to deliver us from the storm when what He really desires is to deliver us through it. In His infinite wisdom our loving Father knows that we must go through the storm in order to be who He created us to be. The storm changes us. It's up to us to decide how.

I don't profess to understand it or even like it. But I do know God is good...all the time. I trust in His nature, His excellent lovingkindess. I put my trust under the shadow of His wings.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bloggy Christmas Tour of Homes


If you are a regular reader you may have already seen a few of these pics. If you are new, Welome! Make yourself at home!

First, let me say that I was so excited when I heard about BooMama's 2008 Christmas Tour of Homes. For nosy people like me it's so great to peek into other's homes without having to cruise by your house trying to casually look into your open, well-lit windows. Second, let me say that I really have NO BUSINESS spending time taking pics and blogging when I am drowning in clutter, dirt, grime, unwrapped (and unbought) Christmas gifts, etc. It's confession time...I just cleaned the parts of my house I wanted to take pictures of. I KNOW, shameful! Don't judge me.

This year I have really scaled back my decor in the name of sanity. Thanksgiving came so late this year there just hasn't been enough time to drag it all out and I must admit I lack the willpower to put it out knowing that I'll just have take it all down again. I'm a SAHM but I recently started a little business here at home and my first show was Dec. 6th. Yep, that was a shameless commercial plug.

So here's my tree:

and my
Nester- inspired garland:

These guys make me smile:

And these little guys:

I really like my entryway:

This is the beautiful nativity that my mother-in-law gave me:

These are a few of my favorite things...and now you're gonna have that tune stuck in your head too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Pics Gone Bad

Today was the day I forced myself (and my family) to attempt to take a picture for our Christmas cards. Emphasis on the word "attempt." I finally gave up after 71 pics. You'd think there would be at least one good one out of 71, right?

Not so much.

We started out with this:

which wasn't too bad except for the creepy eyes and Caitlin's flyaway elbow.

But quickly degenerated into this:

Don't worry. No animals were harmed in the making of this picture. Maddie is actually just yawning. Apparently my feverish attempt to snap the perfect pic was boring.

So we gave up and fired Maddie and Dazey. They were banished outside where they promptly killed a squirrel and played tag with it. Nice.

Tess was being fairly cooperative so we proceeded to try some pics with just her.

Not sure what's going on with the eyes.

By this point even Tess is depressed.

Now we decided the lighting was bad so we moved outside.

Again with the eyes. And Tess is more interested in watching the other two dogs play tag.

So I gave up. This is the one we decided to put on the cards:

So now when you receive our card and open it with eager anticipation you will appreciate what it took to get it. Instead of thinking to yourself with pity, "Is THIS the best she could do?" you will think with admiration, "Wow. This IS the best she could do!"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

O Chrismon Tree

Tonight we made Chrismon ornaments for our church Chrismon tree. I had planned to look up the story of the origin of the Chrismon and what the different symbols mean so I could patiently share it with the girls while their angelic voices sang along with Mercy Me's Christmas CD and we all sipped hot chocolate and created beautiful ornaments together. Sigh.

But as usual I waited until the last minute, made a mad dash to Wal-mart for supplies and we made ornaments while listening to the kids call each other "dumb head." And I had to tell them I have no idea what a fleur-de-lis has to do with Jesus.

Here are the results...we're kinda proud of these three...

And then there's this poor unfortunate fellow...

He's supposed to be a lamb but looks more like a rabbit. Was there a bunny in the Christmas story? There should have been.

Here's the aftermath:

The really sad part is that my kitchen didn't look much better than this before we started. And it's all still there.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Party

Tonight was our church small group's Christmas party. We decided to go out to eat at Ta Molly's. We're easy to please...we just enjoy being together without the kiddos. We also played Dirty Santa and I got this...

Isn't it beautiful?! You too can own one of these handpainted ornaments by Vanessa by clicking here.

Here's a pic of the whole group that I swiped from Amber's facebook:

I also took a 3 1/2 hour nap today. Yes, I had a lot of things I needed to do and no, I don't feel guilty at all.

Caitlin declared today the best day ever because they had baked potatoes at her small group (her FAV food) and they made gingerbread houses and took them to some older ladies and caroled for them too. I'm so glad that my kids like doing things for others. Hayley's youth directors will be leaving soon after they graduate this month. They are moving to CO to go to seminary. We will miss them so much. They have been such a blessing to us and to Hayley this past year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fun Day

Well, today was the day. My first show. My friend Amber and I shared a booth at the Red Cross' Ribbons and Bows Extravaganza. She was selling her beautiful, unique, handmade pendants and I was selling my pet accessories. We had such fun! We had plenty of time to visit with each other and with our new friend from the booth next door who sells Mary Kay. It's always good to know a Mary Kay lady. And the girl from the Stone Turtle. She was a lot of fun too.

We also enjoyed having our booth next to our good friend Stephanie who sells her precious kid's stuff and her friend Vanessa who sells really cute pendants among other things.

I am in love with her Christmas pendants. Must. have. one.

There was an interesting assortment of vendors. Towels to hang on your oven door that were shaped like dresses...magnetic jewelry...candles with fragrance names like "Butt Naked" and "Sex on the Beach." I'm not kidding.

Oh and the handmade leather cowboy belts with your name stamped on them...lamps with a hunting/fishing/cowboy/Indian themes...

and my personal favorite (not!)...the booth where they make music cds and insert your child's name in the songs. I will be humming Veggietales and Mickey Mouse in my sleep tonight after listening to it all day long. Please make it stop.